Q. In the last days there will be False Prophets deceiving many. How would we recognise one in an Assembly, and what should we do?
A. You are right; there will be perverse men who will rise amongst us to do their own thing, seek prominence and draw people away after themselves – all for personal glory. And 1 Cor 11:19 says not to worry; ‘For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.’
Such instances can be turned to good as godly men, especially those in oversight, stand up for the Truth, and to protect the flock. It will probably always be a confrontational, if not traumatic situation, but the Body of Christ will benefit being safeguarded from error – and also seeing that they are being properly protected by the brethren God has given them.
How to recognize a False Prophet? He will be discovered by his misuse of God’s Word, usually for his own glory and ways, and he should be addressed when he preaches or practices error. He may become aggressive when confronted with the Word which, in turn, will show his spirit.
It would be out of line for a brother, on his own, to address someone who seems to be a False Prophet. Speak firstly with your Oversight for the Elders carry the responsibility of correction. It would be chaotic and devastating if everyone in the Assembly corrected folks willy-nilly. Some cases may be simple immaturity and the accusation of being a False Prophet could wreak havoc in a young believer’s life if his motives are pure while his actions needed correction and direction.