False Prophets

Matthew 7:15-20
Gn 15:1-12.17-18 / Ps 105

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
(Matthew 7:15)

They’ll excite your curiosity,
Beware how they pervert the truth;
Their creed harks on prosperity,
You’ll recognize them by their fruit.

So how do we recognize these false prophets? Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Mt. 7:16-20)

Reflection

In his second letter to Timothy, St. Paul had warned about such false prophets with their heretical teachings. He said, “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine; but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth, and will be diverted to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). This prophecy is now evident in such popular “New Age” religions like the Unification Church, Scientology, Hare Krishna, etc.

These modern-day cults share common techniques of disorientation and mind control (meditation, TM), and usually attract followers among disillusioned Christians and non-traditionalists. Their meditation techniques and tenets promise self-control and tranquility, and are drawn from a mixture of eastern mysticism, psychology, and enough Christian doctrine to delude their recruits. This New Age Movement boasts that its leaders have developed intimate relationships with God and they experience visions, encounters and conversations with the Supreme Being. But the clearest proof that this movement comes from the Prince of Lies is its teaching that there is no need to strive for sanctification or holiness because God loves you no matter what you do. According to its adherents, sin is just a human weakness that God in His goodness will tolerate. This clearly contradicts God’s Word that we read in Psalm 5:5-6: “You are not a God who delights in evil. . . you hate all who do iniquity.”

Let God’s Word in the Bible be our guide: “Even if an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one which you have received from us, let him be accursed.” (Gal.1:8) “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, whether by word, or by our epistle.” (2 Thess. 2:15)

May Your Word and Spirit be our constant protection against all false prophets. Amen.

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