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How do you identify a false prophet?


But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.  2 Peter 2:1-3
            False prophets (or teachers) have been around since the Old Testament (Balaam for example).  They are individuals who preach a different gospel, saying it’s the true gospel.  When Peter wrote his letters, there were a number of false prophets claiming to know the truth about Jesus and corrupting the church.  In 2 Peter, Peter dedicated a whole chapter to false prophets and some characteristics about them.
1.      They deny the Lord (verse 1)
2.      They have depraved conduct (verse 2)
3.      They are greedy and exploit people with fabricated stories (verse 3)
4.      They are arrogant (verse 10)
5.      They blaspheme God (verse 12)
6.      No one can reason with them (verse 12)
7.      They find pleasure in what they are doing (verse 13)
8.      They seduce the vulnerable (verse 14)
9.      Their words are empty and appeal to the desires of the flesh (verse 18)
10.  They promise freedom but they are slaves of depravity (verse 19)
In other words, stay away from such a person.  They are still around today so be careful who you follow and see if they display any of these characteristics.