In religion, a false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or who uses that gift for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others, even within the same religion as the "prophet" in question. The term is sometimes applied outside religion to describe someone who fervently promotes a theory that the speaker thinks is false.
Joshua had a vision about the coming of a new (female) Antichrist whom he describes as a false prophet that will bring destruction to Earth by unleashing the lake of fire. Eliza warns Joshua to kill the Antichrist.
After Rose's defeat, Joshua tries to warn Vera about Michael and Amy's destiny, but she says it is impossible because they are just kids. But in the final moment, however, Amy recognizes the Devil as her real father, as well as the mission she was given to.
Throughout the New Testament, there are warnings of both false prophets and false Messiahs, and believers are adjured to be vigilant. The following verses (Matthew 7:15–23) are from the Sermon on the Mount:
- "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
The New Testament addresses the same point of a false prophet predicting correctly and Jesus predicted the future appearance of false Christs and false prophets, affirming that they can perform great signs and miracles. The following verses (;24) are from the Olivet Discourse:
- "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time" (Matthew ;24 NIV).
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus brought out an ethical application for his disciples using the analogy of false prophets in the Old Testament:
- "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets" (Luke NIV).
- "They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar‑Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 'You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.'
- "Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord" (Acts of the Apostles , NIV).
This particular story likewise best matches the model found in Deuteronomy. The claim here is that Elymas is trying to turn Sergius Paulus from the true faith, just like the false prophet described in the preceding verses. In these verses, we do not see Elymas prophesying as the term is popularly understood, so the model seems to fit this scenario best.
The Second Epistle of Peter makes a comparison between false teachers and false prophets and how the former will bring in false teachings, just like the false prophets of old:
- "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 shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping" (2 Peter NIV).
The First Epistle of John warns those of the Christian faith to test every spirit because of these false prophets:
- "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus, that spirit is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world" (1 John NIV).
The False Prophet of RevelationEdit
One well-known New Testament false prophet is the false prophet mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The Apocalypse's false prophet is the agent of the Beast, and he is ultimately cast with it into the lake of "fire and brimstone" (Revelation KJV). He is also called the Beast from the earth and is an infiltrated agent of the Antichrist within the Church, sent to destroy and deceive the Christian faith.