1jo 04v01 Many False Prophets Are Gone Out Into The World




I John 4:1


The scriptures abound with warnings to God's elect about false prophets. Satan would rather make you a religious moralist than make you a pimp or a prostitute, for it is far more difficult to persuade one who thinks he is saved that he needs a Savior than it is to persuade one who knows he is an abominable wretch. Therefore the Word of God gives plain and repeated warnings to us about false religion and false prophets. Here are four marks by which you can always identify a false prophet.

1. A FALSE PROPHET WILL ALWAYS DENY GOD'S ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY IN SALVATION. He may allow that God is sovereign in creation. He may even allow that God is sovereign over the elements of the world in providence. But he will not acknowledge God's sovereignty in salvation, though it is most plainly affirmed in the Word of God (Matt. 11:20-26; Rom. 9:8-26).

2. A FALSE PROPHET WILL ALWAYS DENY THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S BLOOD. He does not deny that Christ died for sinners; but he denies that the blood of Christ actually atoned for and put away the sins of those people for whom he died, and that his blood guarantees the salvation of all for whom it was shed. Yet, this too the Word of God teaches in unmistakable terms (Isa. 42:4; 53:8-11; Heb. 9:12, 26; 10:10-14).

3. A FALSE PROPHET WILL ALWAYS DENY THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD'S GRACE ALONE TO SAVE SINNERS. He would never openly make such a denial. But he asserts that God deals with all men alike in grace, though some perish and some are saved. In other words, it is not God's grace alone that determines salvation, but God's grace and man's will or man's works. This also is in direct opposition to Holy Scripture (Rom. 9:16; Eph. 2:8-9; II Tim. 1:9).

4. A FALSE PROPHET WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO DO TO MERIT GOD'S FAVOR. He will have you to understand that your works, to one-degree or another do merit something from God, either in justification, or in sanctification, or in your heavenly reward. Yet, the Word of God everywhere denounces man's works as useless and abominable (Isa. 64:6; Rom. 11:6).