Those “many false prophets” who soften or make excuse for or dodge the raw truth of God’s Word, are His very enemies (Matthew 7:13-29; 1 John 4:1-2, etc.).
One disciple writes: “A true pastor must preach the truth. He has been ordered to do just that and only that (2 Timothy 4:2-4). He should be a model for preaching the truth, and not one of those who has corrupted the Word. Those who peddle a carefully selected portion of the Word of God for their own self-serving purposes, emulate the very image of street salesmen hawking their wares, interested only in making sales—not in serving the end user, the customer. Just as there were money changers in the temple courtyard, there will always be street salesmen in the church, peddling prophetic pills . . . cure-all tonics . . . positive thinking . . . health and wealth . . . legalism, etc.: in short, peddling whatever the public is gullible enough to purchase. But in 2 Corinthians 2:16-17, Paul assured the Corinthians that he was no salesman. He represented the Lord, not himself. His adequacy was not in his persuasive words, but in the authority of the One who sent him, and the content of His message—Christ.”
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
Every man who represents Christ or feigns to do such, is to be weighed in the balance against Holy Scripture.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:10-11
Jesus and His apostles warned us of “MANY (not a few) false prophets” who would operate among us as Christian leaders – in many cases undetected by so many who are deceived.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing (allegedly having the Christian credentials), but inwardly they are ravening (devouring) wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. … And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Matthew 7:15-16; 24:11
We are instructed to discern false leaders and to teach Christ’s body to discern.
“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths (gatherings).” Ezekiel 44:23-24
WHAT to look for in a preacher. What is he preaching? Where does he stand?
The True Man of God ….. (these are in no particular order)
5. He receives correction when necessary (Matthew 18:15-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Without exception, when a godly man walks in biblical truth – he preaches that biblical truth. WHAT does that tell us?