True OR False?

A Sermon on True and False Prophets


Key Text: 1 John 4:1



  • Do you remember the days in school when taking quizzes, tests and exams?
  • What was or is your preferred method of examination?
  • One that I particularly like is the True or False quiz, though at times it can be very confusing
  • Life presents us with such puzzles in many areas of our lives: diet; suitor; faith.
  • Some situations you can laugh about later, but others can be deadly.
  • One particularly weighty issue is on the question of True and False prophets.
  • How can one tell or know which is which when the stakes are so high and the claims so bold?



  • The challenge of true and false prophets is not a new, for it was there even in Jeremiah’s time.
  • Jeremiah was opposed by many people, but especially the priests and the prophets in Jerusalem
  • The lying prophets (Jer. 23:9-32)
  • Prophets and priests are godless (23:11)
  • Will by punished for misleading people (23:12, 3340)
  • A repulsive thing, they prophecy by Baal (23:13)
  • Immoral and hypocritical (23:14)
  • Speak visions from their own minds (23:16)
  • Preach smooth things (23:17)
  • Jeremiah versus Hananiah (Jer. 28)
  • Hananiah predicted the return of peace to Jerusalem in 2 years
  • He broke Jeremiah’s yoke
  • Jeremiah insisted on the Word of the Lord
  • Elijah on Mt. Carmel was apposed by over four hundred prohets of Baal (I Kgs. 18:22).
  • Micaiah ben Imlah was opposed by about four hundred prophets of Baal who also had the support of King Ahab (I Kgs. 22:6)
  • In our own days, as in Micaiah’s days, people choose to believe lies over truth because the lies massage their ego (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
  • Jesus repeatedly warned of false prophets in the last days (Matt. 7:15; 24:4, 5, 24, 25).

How can I tell?

  • So, how can one distinguish between true and false prophets?
  • True prophets:
  • Any prediction made in God’s name must be fulfilled (Duet. 18:22)
  • Proclaim Jesus and the Christ (I John 4:2, 3)
  • They have no scandalous lives (Matt. 7:16-20)
  • Their teachings are in line with bible teachings (Isa. 8:20)
  • It may also be important to note that Bible prophets:
  • Were not miracle workers, with the exception of Elijah and Elisha
  • Did not run religious organizations.
  • Forthtold more than they foretold
  • Not religious innovators, but reminders of the covenant and its stipulations.

In the End

  • Even with all the light made available to them, many people still preferred to follow false prophets rather than listen to Jeremiah.
  • God, through Jeremiah paused a question to those people back then and the question still stands in our own time. To those who love to have falsehood prophesied to them, what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:30, 31).




  • Is it your desire to stand for the right though it may not be popular?
  • Will you ask God to guide you into all truth and to give you the gift of discernment between that which is true and that which is false?
  • In a time of many popular self-styled prophets, I choose to stand guided by God’s Word in what I believe and live by.


Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray for the spirit of discernment to distinguish between truth and error in the prophets, preachers, and teachers of your Word in my time. May you guide me into all truth, through the Holy Spirit and your Word. I pray for victory over the devil and his tricks. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

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