Studies in Matthew 24

Matthew 24 And The False Prophet

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SMTF

Program Code: SMTF000008

00:34 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:37 Our Father and our God,
00:39 what a joy it is to be in Your presence.
00:41 And we thank You, Father, for Your word,
00:45 because it's a sure guide in a world
00:48 that is totally confused.
00:51 We ask, Father, that as we open that word
00:54 today that Your Holy Spirit will be with us.
00:57 Give us divine thoughts for our human wisdom
01:01 is not able to grasp the great things from Your Holy Word.
01:05 So we place ourselves in Your hands.
01:08 And we thank You, Father,
01:09 for hearing and answering our prayer
01:10 for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus,
01:13 Your beloved Son. Amen.
01:18 In our study today, we are going to deal
01:21 with the biblical concept of false prophets.
01:27 And I would like to begin by reading a couple of texts
01:30 that we find in the chapter that we're studying in this series,
01:34 Matthew Chapter 24.
01:37 You see in Matthew 24, it is emphasized
01:40 that the false prophets played a very important role
01:44 before the destruction of Jerusalem
01:47 and they will play a significant role
01:50 shortly before the close of probation of planet earth.
01:55 Now I would like to read Matthew 24:9-11.
02:01 Matthew 24:9-11.
02:05 In this passage we find
02:06 the first reference to false prophets.
02:10 It says there, "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation
02:15 and kill you, and you will be hated
02:18 by all nations for My name's sake.
02:22 And then many will be offended, will betray one another,
02:27 and will hate one another."
02:30 And here comes the key verse.
02:32 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many."
02:39 So you notice here a reference to false prophets
02:42 who will deceive many.
02:46 The second reference to false prophets
02:48 in Matthew Chapter 24 is found in verse 24.
02:51 And this is a very significant verse.
02:55 It has several elements
02:56 that we're going to come back to later on in our study.
03:00 Matthew 24:24. It says there.
03:06 "For false christs and false prophets will rise."
03:12 And now I want you to notice this.
03:14 "False christs and false prophets and show,"
03:17 what? "Great signs and wonders
03:22 to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
03:27 So I want you to remember that in Matthew 24:24
03:31 there is a reference to false prophets
03:33 and we're told that they will perform signs and wonders
03:39 with a purpose of deceiving,
03:41 if possible, even the very elect.
03:46 Now we need to ask the question,
03:48 what will these false prophets be like in the end time?
03:53 Well, in order to understand this,
03:56 we need to go back to the Mosaic Legislation.
04:00 In other words, we need to go back to the writings of Moses
04:03 where the ground rules are laid down
04:06 as to the identity of a false prophet.
04:10 Allow me to say first of all before we go to that passage
04:13 that these false prophets are not like Jean Dickson.
04:19 They are not secular false prophets that predict
04:22 who the Hollywood celebrities
04:24 are going to marry next, so to speak.
04:27 It's not--the false prophets are not the type of David Koresh.
04:32 You know, false prophets that are whackos.
04:35 Excuse the expression but I'm sure you'll understand
04:38 what I'm talking about.
04:40 This is a special type of false prophet
04:43 who arises within the church,
04:45 within the congregation of the Lord,
04:48 and has great power and deceives people
04:51 into thinking that he is speaking for the Lord.
04:56 So we're going to notice as we go to Deuteronomy 13:1-5
05:02 what Moses had to say about false prophets.
05:06 How to identify them and how they would act?
05:11 Deuteronomy Chapter 13
05:14 and I want to read verses 1 to 5.
05:16 This is foundational.
05:19 It says, "If there arises among you,"
05:23 now I want you to underline that.
05:24 Where do the false prophets arise?
05:27 Among the Israelites.
05:28 In other words, they are Israelites
05:30 and they claim to belong to God's people.
05:34 "If there arises among you a prophet
05:38 or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a," what?
05:44 Did we just read that somewhere?
05:47 Yes, we did in Matthew 24:24.
05:50 That's why we have to go back to the Mosaic Legislation.
05:53 Notice, it says, "And he gives you a sign or a wonder,
05:58 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass,"
06:03 now notice, "Of which he spoke to you, saying,
06:07 'Let us go after other gods'
06:12 which you have not known and let us serve them.'"
06:17 We begin to notice that the first characteristic
06:20 of a false prophet is that a false prophet
06:23 performs signs and wonders
06:25 and he encourages God's people to go after other Gods
06:29 and to serve them which means to worship them.
06:33 In other words, obey false gods and practice false worship.
06:39 Now notice what we find in verse 3.
06:42 "You shall not listen to the words of that prophet
06:46 or that dreamer of dreams,
06:48 for the Lord your God is testing you
06:50 to know whether you love the Lord."
06:52 Now there are several synonymous expressions here.
06:54 "Whether you love the Lord your God
06:57 with all your heart and with your soul."
07:00 And now notice verse 4.
07:02 "You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him."
07:09 And then what does it say? And what?
07:12 "And keep His commandments."
07:15 Is there a similar expression to that in the Book of Revelation?
07:19 Most certainly.
07:20 "And keep His commandments and obey His voice,
07:25 and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him."
07:28 Do you notice all the synonymous expressions that we have here?
07:32 Walk after the Lord, fear Him, keep His commandments,
07:36 obey His voice, serve Him, hold fast to Him.
07:40 Notice, verse 5,
07:42 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams
07:45 shall be put to death," very severe punishment.
07:49 "Because he has spoken in order,"
07:52 now notice the reason,
07:54 "To turn you away from the Lord your God,
07:58 who brought you out of the land of Egypt
08:01 and redeemed you from the house of bondage,
08:04 to entice you from the way in which
08:07 the Lord your God commanded you to walk.
08:10 So you shall put away the evil from your midst."
08:16 Do you begin to discern
08:18 what the characteristics of a false prophet
08:21 are in the Mosaic Legislation
08:24 which is foundational to all of the rest of the Bible?
08:28 The false prophet leads God's people
08:31 because he rises among God's people.
08:33 He leads God's people to practice false worship
08:38 and to disobey the commandments of the Lord
08:42 and to turn away from the path
08:46 that God has established
08:48 and commanded His people to walk.
08:51 And yet they claim to be true prophets.
08:55 And we're gonna notice
08:56 that they claim to speak in the name of the Lord.
09:01 Now every false prophet
09:03 that rises after this is going to be defined
09:06 and is going to be established by what we find
09:11 here in this foundational passage
09:14 of Deuteronomy 13:1-5.
09:19 Now before we read several verses from the Old Testament
09:23 that illustrate what Moses spoke about.
09:26 We need first of all to speak
09:28 about the role of a true prophet in Scripture.
09:32 Prophets, folks, were not innovators.
09:38 Prophets were restorers.
09:40 In other words, it's--if Israel had not gone out of the way
09:44 in the service of God,
09:46 God would have never raised up prophets.
09:48 Because the purpose of the prophets
09:50 was to bring God's people back to the old landmarks.
09:54 When God's people started disobeying the Lord
09:57 and they started worshiping other gods,
09:59 God raised up prophets to call them
10:02 back to the straight and narrow.
10:04 In other words, prophets were not raised up
10:06 to bring new truth.
10:08 Prophets were raised up to bring God's people
10:11 back to the old truth that truths
10:15 that they had forgotten and that they were disobeying.
10:20 You know, the prime example of this would be Elijah.
10:23 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children
10:26 and the children to the fathers.
10:27 He will turn the children of Israel
10:29 back to the Lord their God.
10:32 Is the story that the Bible gives about the Prophet Elijah.
10:36 Now let's read Jeremiah 35 verses 15 and 16
10:41 on what the role of the true prophet was in biblical times.
10:48 Jeremiah 35:15-16.
10:54 Here God is speaking and He says this.
10:57 "I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets,
11:02 rising up early and sending them, saying,
11:06 'Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings,
11:13 and do not go after other Gods to serve them,
11:18 then you will dwell in the land
11:20 which I have given you and your fathers.
11:22 But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.'"
11:28 What are the true prophets doing in these two verses?
11:32 Notice once again.
11:33 They are calling God's people to turn
11:36 from their evil ways to amend their doings,
11:40 to not go after other Gods to serve them,
11:44 in other words, to return to their obedience
11:47 and to their worship of the true God.
11:52 Now let's examine a few other passages in the Old Testament
11:55 that speak about what the false prophets do.
12:00 By the way, there were many
12:02 false prophets that arose between
12:04 when the Romans first laid seize to Jerusalem
12:08 and when Jerusalem was actually finally destroyed.
12:12 In fact, those prophets, as we've studied,
12:14 were telling the people, "peace, peace."
12:16 You know, you can still remain in this obedience to the Lord.
12:19 Of course, they didn't say it that way,
12:21 but that's what they were actually teaching
12:24 and there is still gonna be peace
12:25 and God is still going to deliver this city.
12:30 In fact, we're going to notice
12:32 as we look at the false prophet in the Old Testament
12:36 that the false prophets do exactly
12:39 the opposite of the true prophets.
12:41 They lead God's people astray from God's law
12:46 and they encourage God's people to practice false worship.
12:50 I want you to remember those two prime characteristics.
12:53 They lead God's people astray from keeping God's law
12:58 and in the second place
12:59 they lead God's people into false worship.
13:03 Now one interesting detail about false prophets
13:06 according to Isaiah 28:7
13:09 is that the false prophets were drinking wine
13:12 and therefore they were not able to tell God's people
13:17 how to return to the Lord.
13:19 In fact, they directed God's people
13:21 to go astray from the Lord.
13:23 Notice Isaiah 28:7.
13:27 It says there, "But they also have erred through wine,
13:32 and through intoxicating drink are out of the way.
13:37 The priest and the prophet
13:39 have erred through intoxicating drink,
13:43 they are swallowed up by wine,
13:47 they are out of the way through intoxicating drink,
13:51 they err in vision, they stumble in judgment."
13:56 So what were the false prophets doing?
13:57 They were drinking what?
13:59 They were drinking wine
14:00 and as a result they were not able
14:03 to distinguish between righteousness and evil.
14:08 In fact, they stumbled in judgment
14:10 and they erred in their visions.
14:13 Let me ask you, in the end time,
14:15 will wine be a very
14:17 severe problem in Christendom? Absolutely.
14:21 In Revelation Chapter 17,
14:24 we find a great harlot
14:26 who actually gives wine to the nations
14:29 which are her false teachings
14:31 and as a result she leads God's people astray
14:35 from keeping God's law and leads them into false worship.
14:40 Now notice Jeremiah 6:13-15.
14:44 You're going to notice that I'm going to read
14:46 mostly statements from Jeremiah now
14:48 and the reason is very simple.
14:50 Jeremiah lived right before
14:53 the first destruction of Jerusalem.
14:56 And more than any other prophet,
14:58 he speaks about the false prophets
15:00 that led up to the destruction
15:03 of the first city of Jerusalem in the year 586.
15:06 So if we know what characterized those false prophets
15:11 before the first destruction of Jerusalem,
15:13 we're going to know
15:14 also what characterized these false prophets
15:16 in the second destruction of Jerusalem,
15:18 and what will characterize these
15:21 false prophets at the end of time.
15:24 Jeremiah 6:13-15 tells us
15:28 that false prophets practice covetousness.
15:33 They cry out, "Peace, peace."
15:36 And they teach God's people
15:38 to practice the abominations of the nations.
15:41 Let's read that passage.
15:44 "Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
15:49 everyone is given to covetousness.
15:54 And from the prophet even to the priest,
15:57 everyone deals falsely."
16:00 And it's speaking here about economic business transactions.
16:05 Notice verse 14.
16:07 "They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
16:12 saying, 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace.
16:18 Were they ashamed when they had committed?"
16:20 Now notice this, "Abomination? No!
16:24 They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush.
16:29 Therefore they shall fall among those who fall,
16:33 at the time I punish them,
16:35 they shall be cast down, says the Lord."
16:39 So we notice several characteristics
16:40 about false prophets here.
16:42 Number one, they are covetous
16:44 and they are deceitful in their business transactions.
16:49 We notice also that instead of telling the people
16:52 a great calamity is coming,
16:53 you need to prepare and return to your God,
16:56 they preach, "Peace, peace."
16:59 And they actually practice and encouraged God's people
17:03 to practice the abominations of the nations.
17:06 And by the way, Ezekiel Chapter 8 tells us
17:09 that the worst abomination that was being committed
17:12 inside the city of Jerusalem, specifically in the temple,
17:16 was that the leading men of the nation
17:20 had their backs to the temple of God
17:22 and they were worshiping the sun.
17:25 Notice Jeremiah 23:17. Jeremiah 23:17.
17:31 Once again they cried out, "Peace, peace."
17:33 It says there, "They continually say to those who despise me.
17:39 The he Lord has said, 'You shall have peace.'
17:43 And to for everyone who walks
17:45 according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
17:48 'No evil shall come upon you.'"
17:52 You know, it makes me think about those preachers today
17:56 that are people pleasers.
17:58 You know, they stand up and they tell people,
17:59 "It's all right. You're okay.
18:01 You know, God will understand."
18:03 And they try to meet peoples felt wants.
18:07 I'm not talking about felt needs, now.
18:09 They want to meet people's felt wants.
18:12 And yet those people despise the Lord
18:15 by the way in which they live.
18:18 And so you'll find here that the false prophets say,
18:21 "You shall have peace.
18:23 And you can walk according to the dictates of your own heart.
18:27 And no evil will come upon you."
18:31 Another interesting thing about these false prophets
18:33 is that they spoke in the Lord's name.
18:36 That means that they arose among God's people
18:38 and they claimed to be spokesman for God.
18:42 Notice Jeremiah 14:13-16.
18:46 Jeremiah 14:13-16.
18:51 Jeremiah has a lot to say about false prophets.
18:56 "Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God!
19:01 Behold, the prophets say to them,
19:03 'You shall not see the sword, now shall you have famine,
19:07 but I will give you assured peace in this place.''
19:12 And the Lord said to me, 'The prophets prophesy lies,'"
19:16 notice this, "In my name.
19:20 I have not sent them, commanded them,
19:23 nor spoken to them,
19:25 they prophesy to you a false vision,
19:27 divination, a worthless thing,
19:30 and the deceit of their heart.
19:32 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets,"
19:36 now notice again, "Who prophesy in My name,
19:39 whom I did not send, and who say,
19:42 'Sword and famine shall not be in this land.
19:46 By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed!
19:50 And the people to whom they prophesy
19:52 shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem
19:55 because of the famine and the sword,
19:57 they will have no one to bury them
19:59 -them nor their wives,
20:01 nor their sons nor their daughters
20:03 -for I will pour their wickedness on them.'"
20:08 Notice that in this passage the false prophets
20:10 claim to speak in the name of the Lord.
20:13 They prophesy in the Lord's name.
20:16 This means that these are not secular prophets
20:18 that predict all kinds of curiosities.
20:21 These are religious prophets who tell the people
20:24 that God is gonna preserve their nation
20:28 that they are not gonna be destroyed
20:29 that they can follow the deceitfulness of their hearts
20:32 and God will still be with them.
20:36 Notice Jeremiah 27:9-10.
20:39 Once again Jeremiah emphasizes
20:41 that the false prophets speak in the Lord's name.
20:44 Jeremiah 27:9-10 and then we'll jump down to verses 14 and 15.
20:50 "Therefore do not listen to your prophets,
20:54 your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers,
20:58 or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying,
21:02 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon.'
21:04 For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you from your land,
21:10 and I will drive you out, and you will perish.
21:13 Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets
21:16 who speak to you, saying,
21:17 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,'
21:20 for they prophesy a lie to you,
21:23 for I have not sent them,' says the Lord,
21:26 'Yet they prophesy,'" and now notice this,
21:28 "Yet they prophesy a lie in My name,
21:34 that I may drive you out,
21:35 and that you may perish, you and the prophets
21:39 who prophesy to you."
21:42 In fact, the false prophets
21:44 actually strengthened the evildoers.
21:48 Notice Jeremiah 23:14.
21:51 Jeremiah 23:14.
21:56 "Also I have seen a horrible thing
21:59 in the prophets of Jerusalem.
22:01 They commit adultery and walk in lies,"
22:06 and now notice this,
22:08 "They strengthen the hands of the evildoers,
22:13 so that no one turns back from his wickedness.
22:17 All of them are like Sodom to Me,
22:20 and her inhabitants like Gomorrah."
22:24 What did the false prophets do?
22:26 They strengthened the people in their what?
22:29 In their wickedness.
22:31 They did not turn God's people back to the Lord.
22:36 Now notice a passage that speaks about
22:39 what the true prophet did.
22:41 Jeremiah Chapter 23:20-22.
22:45 Jeremiah 23:20-22.
22:51 It says there, "The anger of the Lord
22:53 will not turn back until
22:56 He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
23:00 In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
23:04 'I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
23:08 I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied,'"
23:12 now notice this, "But if they had stood in My counsel,
23:17 and caused My people to hear My words,
23:21 then they would have turned them from their evil way,
23:26 from the evil of their doings."
23:29 What do true prophets do?
23:31 They turn God's people back from their evil ways.
23:36 What do the false prophets do?
23:38 They confirm the people in their wickedness
23:41 and they actually say, "Peace, peace.
23:45 Destruction will not come upon us.
23:48 Everything is okay."
23:50 Notice Jeremiah 23:14.
23:54 Jeremiah 23:14.
23:58 "Also I have seen a horrible thing
24:03 in the prophets of Jerusalem.
24:05 They commit adultery and walk in lies,
24:08 they also strengthen the hands of evildoers
24:11 and no one turns back from his wickedness.
24:14 All of them are like Sodom to Me,
24:17 and her inhabitants like Gomorrah."
24:21 Now notice also Jeremiah 26:4-6.
24:28 Jeremiah 26:4-6.
24:33 The false prophets also tell God's people
24:35 that they don't have to keep God's law.
24:37 They turn God's people away from the law.
24:40 Jeremiah 26:4.
24:42 "And you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord,
24:46 'If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law,''
24:50 notice, "To walk in My law which I have set before you,
24:55 to heed the words of My servants
24:57 the prophets whom I sent to you,
25:00 both rising up early and sending them
25:03 but you have not heeded,
25:05 then I will make this house like Shiloh,
25:07 and will make this city a curse
25:09 to all the nations of the earth."
25:12 So the true prophet leads God's people
25:15 to walk in the law as it says there,
25:17 "The false prophets lead God's people astray from His law."
25:23 Notice Jeremiah 28:15-17.
25:27 Jeremiah 28:15-17.
25:30 This theme comes through time and again,
25:33 the false prophets claim to speak in the name of the Lord
25:36 and yet in reality they teach God's people
25:40 to go astray from the law and they teach God's people
25:43 to practice false worship.
25:46 Notice Jeremiah 28:15.
25:49 "Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet,
25:54 'Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you,
25:58 but you make this people trust in a lie.
26:02 Therefore thus says the Lord,
26:04 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth.
26:08 This year you shall die,'''
26:11 now notice this, "'Because you have taught,'
26:14 what? "'Rebellion against the Lord.'
26:18 So Hananiah the prophet died
26:20 that same year in the seventh month."
26:23 Are you starting to catch a picture
26:25 of what characterizes the false prophets?
26:28 You know, the prime characteristics
26:32 of these false prophets is not that they utter a prophecies
26:36 that are not fulfilled.
26:38 Although, that's true also because they say,
26:40 "peace, peace" when there is no peace.
26:42 They say that God's people
26:43 are not going to be taken to Babylon
26:45 and they were taken to Babylon.
26:47 But the primary characteristic of these false prophets
26:50 is that instead of rebuking wickedness,
26:54 instead of rebuking the transgression of the law,
26:58 instead of getting God's people to turn back to the Lord,
27:02 they do just the opposite.
27:04 They lead God's people astray from the Lord,
27:07 astray from His law,
27:08 and they lead them to practice false worship.
27:13 Now let's notice a text that we find in Ezekiel.
27:16 Ezekiel 22:25-26 and I have included this
27:21 because Ezekiel also lived shortly before
27:24 the first destruction of Jerusalem.
27:26 So he would know what he's talking about.
27:28 Ezekiel 22:25-26 and there are several characteristics
27:33 here about the false prophets.
27:37 It says there, "The conspiracy of her prophets
27:42 in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey.
27:48 They have devoured My people.
27:51 They have taken treasure and precious things.
27:55 They have made many widows in her midst." Let me ask you.
27:59 Are they covetous according to this?
28:02 Do they ransack the treasury of God's people?
28:06 Yes, in fact, it says
28:08 that they have made many widows in her midst.
28:11 Why? Why do they do that?
28:12 Because they have taken treasure and precious things.
28:15 In other words, they are in it for the what?
28:17 They are in it for the money.
28:19 Notice verse 26.
28:21 "Her priests have violated My law
28:25 and profaned My holy things."
28:28 And now notice, "They have not distinguished
28:32 between the holy and unholy,
28:35 nor have they made known the difference
28:38 between the unclean and the clean,
28:40 and they have hidden their eyes from My," what?
28:43 "From My Sabbaths,
28:44 so that I am profaned among them."
28:48 No distinction between the holy and the common.
28:52 Trampling, according to this, upon God's holy Sabbath.
28:56 Trampling upon God's law
28:59 filled with covetousness and a desire for material goods
29:04 in their ministration or in their work.
29:08 Notice Daniel 9:10. Daniel 9:10.
29:13 Once again it's emphasized that the false prophets
29:16 turn God's people away from God's law.
29:21 It says there, Daniel is praying,
29:24 "We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God,
29:28 to walk in His," what?
29:30 "To walk in His laws, which He set before us
29:34 by His servants the prophets."
29:37 Once again the emphasis of walking in God's laws.
29:42 Let's notice another text, Zechariah 7:12-13.
29:46 This is taking place after the Babylonian captivity.
29:50 Zechariah 7:12-13, speaking about the experience
29:55 of Israel before the captivity.
29:58 "Yes, they made their hearts like flint,
30:02 refusing to hear," what?
30:06 "The law and the words which the Lord of hosts
30:10 had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.
30:14 Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts."
30:18 So once again the idea is refusing to hear the law
30:22 and the words which the Lord had spoken.
30:26 Now you might say, "Well, then the destruction
30:28 of Jerusalem was due to the leaders.
30:31 You know, because they taught false worship,
30:33 they taught God's people to go astray from the law.
30:36 They didn't distinguish between the holy and the common.
30:39 They trampled upon God's Holy Sabbaths.
30:41 So the fault rests with the leaders."
30:43 Well, the fact is that Jeremiah says
30:46 that the fault actually rested with the people.
30:49 Notice what Jeremiah has to say in Chapter 5:31.
30:54 Jeremiah Chapter 5:31.
30:59 "The prophets prophesy falsely,
31:04 and the priests rule by their own power."
31:09 And now notice. "And My people," what?
31:13 "Love to have it so.
31:15 But what will you do in the end?"
31:20 Isn't that a telling verse?
31:22 "My people love to have it so."
31:26 They love the prophets to tell them
31:28 what they want to hear.
31:29 And so God says, don't tell me that the leaders are to blame,
31:33 because you are to blame.
31:35 Because you gathered these leaders
31:37 to tell you what you wanted to hear from them.
31:42 Now we need to go to the New Testament.
31:44 Is this picture clear
31:45 about the false prophets in the Old Testament?
31:47 You know, we could have read
31:48 many other statements from the Old Testament.
31:50 They are all based on the legislation of Moses.
31:53 Do you remember Deuteronomy Chapter 13:1-5?
31:56 There is the key.
31:58 Everything that comes after that
31:59 is a development of Deuteronomy Chapter 13.
32:02 And the two basic ideas there in Deuteronomy 13 were,
32:06 number 1, that the false prophet does signs and wonders
32:10 to lead God's people away from the Commandments of Lord,
32:15 away from the law of the Lord and they lead God's people
32:19 to serve and to worship false gods.
32:23 That is basic to the legislation which was given by Moses.
32:28 Now we must remember that the New Testament
32:30 is a continuation of the Old Testament.
32:33 So we not--we're not going to find in the New Testament
32:36 a brand new definition of what a false prophet is
32:40 because false prophets in the New Testament
32:42 have the same characteristics
32:44 that the false prophets had in the Old Testament.
32:48 Go with me to a very interesting passage
32:50 that we find in Matthew Chapter 7,
32:53 we'll read verses 15 and 16
32:55 and then we'll jump down to verses 21 to 23.
32:59 Matthew Chapter 7:15-16 and also verses 21-23.
33:05 Notice what Jesus had to say.
33:08 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you," in what?
33:16 "Sheep's clothing," so did they look like sheep outside?
33:21 Yes they do, remember that.
33:22 By the way what does a sheep
33:24 or what does a lamb represent in Scripture?
33:27 Represents Jesus. Thank you, very much.
33:28 So that they claim to speak for Jesus?
33:31 Oh, yes they do, we're gonna notice that.
33:33 "Beware of false prophets,
33:34 who come to you in sheep's clothing,
33:36 but inwardly they are," what? "Ravenous wolves."
33:39 Have you ever read in Revelation,
33:41 a beast that comes up out of the earth
33:43 and it has two horns like a lamb but it speaks like a dragon?
33:47 Here we have false prophets
33:49 that are clothed in sheep's clothing
33:52 but inside they are what? Ravenous wolves.
33:54 In other words their profession
33:57 and what they really are are contradictory.
34:00 Now notice what it continuous saying in verse 16.
34:04 "You will know them by their," what?
34:06 "By their fruits."
34:08 Now let's jump down to verse 21.
34:10 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord.'"
34:15 Do these false prophets claim to speak in the name of Jesus?
34:19 Yes.
34:20 "Not everyone who says to Me,
34:22 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
34:25 but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
34:29 Many will say to Me in that day,
34:32 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name.'"
34:37 Did we find that in the Old Testament?
34:39 We certainly did.
34:40 "'Cast out demons in Your name,
34:43 and done many wonders in Your name?'"
34:46 Did false prophets in the Old Testament
34:48 also do signs and wonders?
34:50 Did they claim to speak in the name of the Lord? Yes.
34:53 Are they identified as false prophets?
34:55 Yes, they are. Now notice verse 23.
34:59 "Then I will declare to them,
35:01 I never knew you, depart from Me,
35:04 you who practice lawlessness!"
35:09 Now isn't that interesting?
35:11 What characterizes the false prophets?
35:14 They practice what? Lawlessness.
35:18 Is that related to what we studied
35:19 about the false prophets in the Old Testament?
35:22 They teach God's people to what?
35:24 To go astray from the law of God.
35:28 Now let's go to Matthew 24:11-13.
35:31 And I want you to notice a very interesting word here.
35:34 Matthew 24 and verses--
35:37 actually we'll read verses 11 and 12.
35:41 It says here, "Then many false prophets
35:44 will rise up and deceive many.
35:49 And because," what?
35:51 "Lawlessness will abound,
35:54 the love of many will grow cold."
35:59 Is there a link here between false prophets deceiving many
36:03 and the abundance of lawlessness
36:05 that arises in society? Absolutely.
36:09 You see the religious leaders today
36:11 they cry out and they say,
36:12 "We need to moralize the United States,
36:15 we need to return to God's law."
36:17 But where do they go to change people?
36:19 They go to Capitol Hill.
36:21 But Capitol Hill can't change the hearts of people.
36:24 You see, for obedience to be acceptable to God
36:28 it has to come from inside.
36:29 It cannot be imposed from outside.
36:33 And so as a result of not doing the work from within
36:37 so that righteousness can come out
36:40 society gets worse and worse and worse.
36:44 Lawlessness abounds according to this.
36:47 Now notice Matthew Chapter 24:24.
36:51 Matthew 24:24.
36:53 We not only notice that these false prophets,
36:56 by what they teach, cause lawlessness in society
37:00 but we also notice that these false prophets will perform
37:03 signs and wonders just like we read in Deuteronomy Chapter 13.
37:07 It says there, "For false christs
37:09 and false prophets will rise
37:12 and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
37:17 if possible," whom? "Even the elect."
37:21 By the way, do the prophets in the New Testament
37:24 also want to please people?
37:27 Notice what Jesus had to say in Luke Chapter 6:26.
37:31 Luke Chapter 6:26.
37:35 Jesus had a dire warning here.
37:37 He said, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
37:45 for so did their fathers," to whom?
37:49 "To the false prophets."
37:52 You know, ministers have not been called
37:54 to win a popularity contest.
37:57 They've been raised up by God to speak the truth.
38:01 Have you ever found a prophet in scripture
38:03 that the people loved?
38:05 You know, I don't know of one prophet in the Bible
38:08 that the people actually loved
38:10 when God sent that prophet to the people.
38:12 Do you know why the people did not love the true prophet?
38:16 Because the true prophet was a meddler.
38:18 The true prophet stepped on toes.
38:21 The true prophet ruffled feathers.
38:24 In other words, the prophet--
38:25 the true prophet told people what they didn't want to hear.
38:29 As the apostle Paul says, "Then in the last days
38:32 people will pile up teachers who will teach them
38:35 what they want to hear.
38:36 And they will turn away their ear from the truth
38:40 and they will be turned on to fables."
38:42 The apostle Paul speaks
38:43 about these false prophets in the end time.
38:47 Now I want us to go to Revelation Chapter 13
38:51 and notice something very interesting
38:53 here in Revelation Chapter 13:11.
38:58 Revelation Chapter 13:11.
39:02 This is speaking about a second beast.
39:06 You know, there are two beasts
39:07 in Revelation Chapter-- actually Chapter 13.
39:11 There are two beasts in Chapter 13.
39:13 The first beast comes up from where?
39:16 Comes up from the sea.
39:18 The second beast comes up from the earth.
39:22 And the second beast actually helps the first beast
39:26 to get its power back.
39:27 Have you noticed that?
39:28 Now let's talk a little bit about this second beast.
39:33 It says, "I saw another beast rise,"
39:35 out of the what? "Out of the earth.
39:38 And he had two horns like a lamb and yet he spoke as a," what?
39:44 "He spoke as a dragon."
39:47 Now hold that for a moment.
39:49 And I want you to notice
39:52 what this second beast is called.
39:54 This second beast has a special name.
39:56 In Revelation 16:13.
40:00 Here John inspired by the Holy Spirit.
40:03 It says, "I saw three evil spirits
40:07 like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon,
40:12 out of the mouth of the beast,
40:13 and out of the mouth of the," what? "Of the false prophet."
40:17 So what is this second beast called?
40:20 This second beast is called the false prophet.
40:25 Now do you suppose that there might be any relationship
40:27 between this end time false prophet
40:29 and the false prophets that we studied about
40:32 in the Old Testament and in the New Testament?
40:35 Absolutely.
40:37 Now I want to for a few moments about the two horns like a lamb.
40:42 Do you know the word lamb is used
40:43 29 times in the Book of Revelation?
40:46 28 of those times it applies to Jesus.
40:51 In this one case it applies to this beast
40:55 that has two horns like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon.
40:59 Let me ask you then.
41:00 Would this false prophet claim to be spokesman for Christ?
41:04 Absolutely.
41:06 Because invariably, in Revelation,
41:08 the lamb is the symbol of Jesus Christ.
41:11 So this beast that rises from the earth
41:14 is actually going to claim to speak in the name of Jesus.
41:20 Now let's talk a little bit about the two horns like a lamb.
41:24 What do horns represents in Bible prophecy?
41:28 You know what horns represents in Bible prophecy?
41:32 They represent kingdoms.
41:36 You say, "How do we know that?"
41:38 Well, you remember Daniel Chapter 8 we have a ram.
41:42 And the ram has two horns.
41:45 And one of the horns is higher than the other
41:48 and the highest horn comes out last.
41:51 What do those two horns represent?
41:54 They actually represent, according to Daniel 8:20,
41:59 the Kings of Media and Persia.
42:03 And the lamb represents the kingdom.
42:07 In other words there is actually one nation
42:11 composed of two nations or two kingdoms.
42:14 In other words-- I don't know
42:16 if you're understanding what I'm saying,
42:17 but what I'm saying is that there is actually
42:19 one united nation that is composed of two kingdoms,
42:23 the Medes and the Persians.
42:25 So in other words, the two horns represent two kingdoms.
42:30 This must mean that this beast that has two horns
42:34 like a lamb is a beast that recognizes two, what?
42:41 Two kingdoms.
42:42 And there must be kingdoms that were taught by, whom?
42:47 They were taught by Jesus
42:48 because Jesus is the lamb in the Book of Revelation.
42:53 Now the question is which two kingdoms
42:56 did Jesus recognize and did Jesus teach about?
43:01 I'm sure you know.
43:02 Once He said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things Caesar's
43:09 and unto God the things that are God's."
43:13 How many kingdoms that Jesus recognize?
43:15 He recognized two kingdoms.
43:17 He recognized the kingdom of earth,
43:21 the kingdom of a state.
43:22 And He also recognized
43:24 and He was the representative of the kingdom of God.
43:28 In fact, Jesus said to Pilate,
43:30 "My kingdom is not of this world."
43:32 He is saying, "You have a kingdom
43:34 and your kingdom is of this world."
43:36 He says, "But my kingdom is not of this world."
43:39 So how many kingdoms is Jesus recognizing?
43:41 He's recognizing two kingdoms here,
43:45 the civil power and the religious power.
43:48 By the way, we're sitting in a church this evening.
43:52 Do you know that we are actually citizens of two kingdoms?
43:56 You know, right now we're sitting in a place
43:59 that is the kingdom of Jesus.
44:02 But, you know, when we go to vote
44:04 and when we pay our taxes
44:07 which kingdom are we recognizing?
44:09 We're recognizing the kingdom of Caesar, so to speak.
44:12 In other words, we are respectful
44:15 of the civil authorities and we are also citizens
44:19 of the Kingdom of Christ which, by the way, is the church.
44:22 You remember that Jesus said to Peter,
44:24 "Upon this rock I will build my church."
44:26 And then He says, "I will give you the keys," of the what?
44:29 "The keys of the kingdom."
44:31 So the church is a kingdom.
44:33 So basically what I'm saying is that this beast
44:36 that rises from the earth is going to have
44:40 two Christ like kingdoms that it recognizes.
44:45 And what are those two Christ like kingdoms?
44:48 It is the civil power and it is the religious power,
44:53 but not joint together, but separate.
44:59 Now let me ask you, what nation on planet earth
45:02 which is a worldwide power arose
45:06 and in its bill of rights recognizes
45:10 the existence of two kingdoms,
45:13 the civil power and the church
45:15 separate from one another repeating the principle
45:19 that Jesus taught when He said,
45:21 "Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar
45:24 and unto God that which is God's"
45:26 What nation is that?
45:28 It's the United States of America.
45:30 And of course we've been studying
45:32 in this series on Matthew Chapter 24
45:35 about the abomination of desolation,
45:37 about the eagles of Rome,
45:38 and about the eagle of the United States.
45:41 About the sun wreath that was around the eagle
45:44 on the Roman standard.
45:46 And about the imposition of the day of the sun
45:51 in the United States in the future.
45:53 In other words, what is going to happen
45:56 in the United States is that this beast,
45:58 who originally recognized two kingdoms
46:01 separate from one another,
46:03 the power of the state and the power of the church,
46:06 suddenly this kingdom is going to start speaking like, what?
46:11 He is going to start speaking like a dragon.
46:13 In other words He is gonna set aside these basic principles
46:17 upon which this nation was built
46:20 and He is going to speak like the dragon.
46:23 He is going to speak like Satan.
46:26 You say, "Well, Pastor Bohr,
46:27 this could never happen in the land of the free
46:29 and the home of the brave."
46:30 You know, we've studied all ready that in the 1880s
46:34 there was an agitation to establish
46:36 a National Sunday Law in the United States.
46:38 We've also studied how the conservative Protestants
46:43 in the United States--
46:44 we dedicated a whole lecture to this.
46:46 How the conservative Protestants in the United States
46:49 are joining church and state.
46:51 They're joining the papacy with Protestantism
46:55 and they are speaking like the dragon.
46:57 They are saying that this idea of church and state
47:00 is a figment of someone's imagination.
47:03 In other words, they are getting
47:04 rid of the two foundational principals
47:07 upon which the United States was built.
47:10 By the way, I'm gonna give you now
47:14 several passages from Scripture that show
47:16 that this end time apostasy has to do with God's holy law.
47:21 You say, how is this?
47:23 Allow me to mention the text.
47:26 We read from Matthew 24
47:28 that there would be a great increase in, what? Lawlessness.
47:34 And the immediately preceding verse speaks
47:37 about the false prophets, the work of the false prophets.
47:41 In 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 we have the expression,
47:47 "The man of sin" speaking about the Antichrist.
47:51 And the man of sin is called the mystery of, what?
47:57 The king James says, the mystery of iniquity,
47:59 but many modern version say, the mystery of lawlessness.
48:03 It is the same word that use in Matthew 24
48:06 and is used also in Matthew Chapter 7.
48:10 So in other words, the antichrist
48:12 somehow is going to emphasis lawlessness.
48:16 We've read in Matthew Chapter 7 where Jesus says,
48:19 "Depart from me you who work," what? "Lawlessness."
48:25 In Revelation we find that this second beast imposes
48:28 the mark of the first beast.
48:30 Which is what?
48:31 The idea that Sunday is the day of rest.
48:35 And by the way, Daniel 7:25
48:37 speaking about this same power says,
48:40 "That He thought that He could change times," and what?
48:44 "And law."
48:45 So in all of these antichrist passages,
48:48 the Abomination of Desolation in Matthew 24,
48:50 2 Thessalonians, to the man of sin,
48:52 Matthew 7, the false prophets,
48:55 Revelation, the beast and the lamb beast,
48:59 and Daniel Chapter 7, the little horn,
49:01 all emphasize that the final apostasy
49:04 will have to do with the holy law of God.
49:07 And incidentally that's why Revelation says that,
49:11 God will have a people who keep the commandments of God.
49:15 God will have a people who fear God
49:18 and give glory to Him,
49:20 recognize that we're in the hour of the judgment
49:22 and worship Him who created the heavens,
49:25 the earth, the seas, and the fountain of waters.
49:28 In other words, they will recognize God as the creator.
49:33 I want you to notice in Revelation 19:20,
49:39 a very interesting detail.
49:41 Revelation 19:20.
49:47 It's speaking here about this lamb beast.
49:51 And I want you to notice what it says about the false prophet
49:55 as well as the first beast of Revelation Chapter 13.
49:59 It says, notice.
50:01 "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet
50:07 who had worked signs in his presence."
50:11 And now comes the key portion.
50:13 "Who work signs in his presence, by which he," what?
50:19 "He deceived those who received the mark of the beast
50:24 and those who worshiped his image."
50:26 Now let me ask you.
50:29 What is it that the beast and the false prophet do
50:34 in order to deceive people?
50:37 They perform what? Signs and wonders.
50:41 But the purpose of the sings and wonders
50:43 is to get people to receive, what?
50:45 The mark of the beast and to worship his image.
50:50 Let me ask you, is the end time crisis
50:53 than going to have to do with the issue
50:56 of obedience and worship? Absolutely.
51:00 So what I'm saying is that the false prophet
51:03 is going to encourage people
51:06 and he is actually gonna deceive people
51:08 into receiving the mark of the beast
51:10 which by the way is a sign of disobedience to God.
51:14 Now I want to end by reading a statement that we find
51:17 in "Signs of the Times" March 31, 1898.
51:23 Here Ellen White is speaking
51:25 about the story of Nadab and Abihu.
51:28 Do you remember that I read a text in the Old Testament,
51:31 where it says that the priest and the prophets
51:33 did not distinguish between the holy and the common
51:35 and they trample upon God's holy Sabbath?
51:38 Now notice this very significant statement.
51:42 "Those who ignore the Lord's Sabbath
51:46 to keep holy the first day of the week,
51:50 offer strange fire to God."
51:57 Notice what she continues saying.
51:59 "It is a strange Sabbath,
52:02 which He has commanded them not.
52:05 Will He accept it at their hands?
52:10 Men have sought out many inventions.
52:13 They have taken a common day,
52:15 upon which God has placed no sanctity,
52:19 and have clothed it with sacred prerogatives.
52:23 They have declared it to be a holy day,
52:26 but this does not give it a vestige of sanctity.
52:31 They dishonor God by accepting human institutions
52:35 and presenting to the world as the Christian Sabbath a day
52:40 which has no 'Thus saith the Lord' for its authority.
52:46 As did Nadab and Abihu,
52:48 they offer the common in place of the sacred."
52:53 You remember what Nadab and Abihu did?
52:57 God had said that that whenever the priest
52:59 brought incense with fire they were to get the fire
53:02 from the Altar of Sacrifice,
53:03 because that fire had been rained from heaven.
53:05 That fire was holy.
53:07 But Nadab and Abihu, it says,
53:09 under the influence of alcohol--
53:12 you can read it there at Leviticus Chapter 10.
53:14 "They decided that they would bring common fire
53:17 and offer the incense with common fire."
53:19 And so the Bible says that they brought
53:21 the common fire in before the Lord.
53:24 And of course the Lord said, "Oh, who cares fire is fire."
53:29 Is that what the Lord said? No.
53:31 The Lord was offended by the fact
53:33 that they brought something common
53:35 and they presented it as if it was holy.
53:38 And the Bible says that a fire came
53:40 from the presence of the Lord and consumed Nadab and Abihu.
53:44 Because they took the common
53:46 and they present it to God as if it was holy.
53:50 But you know, that there is another story
53:51 that we find in Daniel 5 about the fall of Babylon.
53:55 There we have the other side of the coin.
53:58 There it says that Belshazzar,
54:00 the king-- the apostate Babylonian king,
54:03 took the sacred vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had brought
54:07 from the temple and he used them
54:10 for common purposes in his banquet.
54:12 In other words, he desecrated the holy vessels
54:15 by using them for a common propose.
54:18 And the Bible tells us that as a result Belshazzar was slain
54:22 and Babylon fell that very night.
54:26 So in other words, God does not accept
54:30 something common from us as if it was holy
54:34 and He expects us to take what is holy
54:36 and never treated as if it was common.
54:40 You know if God accepts the observance
54:42 of the first day of the week from Christians
54:45 then God is going to have to apologize to Nadab and Abihu.
54:49 You say, why is that?
54:51 Because Nadab and Abihu took common fire
54:55 and they presented it as if it was holy.
54:58 Now you tell me, in principle,
55:00 how is that different from taking a common day...
55:07 Sunday and present it to God as if it was holy?
55:10 Is there any difference?
55:12 There is no difference at all.
55:13 Because when God says that we're supposed
55:15 to present to Him what He has made holy
55:18 He means what He has made holy.
55:21 How do you suppose the Lord feels
55:23 when people take the holy Sabbath
55:26 and they treat it as if it was common?
55:29 Now let me ask you, who are those
55:31 who are spearheading this idea
55:34 of trampling upon one commandment of God's law?
55:38 It is the ministers who are preaching.
55:40 People constantly come to me
55:42 when I have evangelistic meetings.
55:43 They say, "Well, you know what my preacher says?"
55:46 And I say, "What does your Bible say?"
55:48 That's the key, what does the Bible say.
55:52 Maybe you're being deceived to disobey God's law
55:55 just like the false prophets did in the Old Testament,
55:58 in the New Testament, in the Book of Revelation.
56:00 Maybe he is preparing you
56:03 to receive the mark of the beast.
56:06 I know that's strong language.
56:08 But I'll tell you, folks,
56:09 that what's going to happen at the end
56:11 happened in New Testament times
56:13 and also happened in Old Testament times.
56:16 There is noting new under the sun.
56:18 By the way, Revelation Chapter 13 tells us,
56:22 that this false prophet will perform great signs.
56:26 Remember Deuteronomy 13,
56:28 he will perform great signs even to the point of making fire
56:33 fall from heaven in the sight of men.
56:38 And so the false prophet is distinguished
56:43 from the true prophet by two central characteristics.
56:47 The true prophet will always call God's people
56:50 to obey God's law out of love and to worship God
56:55 in the way in which God has established.
56:58 The false prophet on the other hand
57:00 will teach people that it's okay to violate one commandment
57:07 or other commandments of God's law
57:10 and leads them into false worship.
57:13 And we have to decide today
57:16 which voice we are going to listen to.
57:18 Whether we're going to hear the voice of the Lord,
57:21 or whether we're going to listen
57:23 to the voice of religious authorities
57:25 who do not have a "Thus saith the Lord."


Revised 2014-12-17