Four Questions to Ask Preachers

Four Questions to ask preachers:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Who sent you?
  3. What are you teaching?
  4. By what authority are you doing these things?

These four questions will give you the answers you need to know if someone is sent by God or not.

The Bible was written for our learning, and there are examples in the Bible that show or demonstrate how the Bible is to be followed. One such example of this is how to treat people who claim to be prophets, apostles or servants of God. Let's look in the Bible for what God wants us to do when we meet someone who claims to be of God and is preaching something new and expects us to obey them.

False Prophets Used to Test People

Why are their false prophets? How do I know if they are a true prophet?

Deu 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

You need to know what someone is teaching before you know if they are turning people away from God and away from God's commandments.

People Who Claim to Be Prophets - Who to Ignore

Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

You need to ask and know what someone is preaching to know whether it comes to pass or not.

The Prophet Moses

Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Examples of People Questioning Prophets

When John the Baptist came preaching the gospel of repentance for the remission of sins, there were Levites and others who came to him asking of him who he claimed to be. There is a lot to learn from this. First off, I want to give some background because most of the people reading this don't know or understand much or any of the Bible:

First, there is a prophecy by Moses about a prophet that is to come. The Jews were waiting for this prophet:

Deu 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

So now with this background, let's look at an example of people questioning the prophet John the Baptist:

Joh 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

So you can see that the Levites and the priests are concerned about who this prophet John the Baptist is. They ask a very scriptural and legitimate question.Let's look at John the Baptist's response:

Joh 1:20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

John the Baptist made it very clear that he was not the messiah or Christ. He got that out of the way promptly. Probably because everyone was hoping for the Messiah or Christ to save them from the Romans. So then the priests and Levites continue asking questions to clarify and get the answer to their question to John of "Who are you?"

Joh 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
Joh 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Here John is quoting from Isaiah, which the Jews would be familiar with.

Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Why Are You Doing This?

oh 1:25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. Joh 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

It is a legitimate question to ask people in the religious world why they are doing what they are doing.

Preachers baptized people who believe their gospel into their church. A person who has been baptized by a Baptist but then joins the Catholic church would need to be baptized by the Catholic "priest" because they preach different gospels. And 2x2s reject the baptisms of people for example like a Baptist or Methodist or Pentecostal, because the 2x2s preach a different gospel. I know this for a fact because people who claimed to be born-again Christians and had already been baptized were required by my companion to be baptized by workers.

So the baptism and the message and the preacher all go together. John the Baptist was preaching a message: the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Did it matter whether people believed John the Baptist? Certainly. John the Baptist was a man sent by God, with a message, baptized people into that message and so on. It is dangerous to reject a servant of God just as it is dangerous for people to accept and believe a false prophet. Look at the concern and relevancy of John the Baptist's baptism in this passage:

Luk 7:24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

Jesus Christ pointed out that John the Baptist was special, a messenger of God, preparing the way of the LORD. The people who were baptized of John responded favorably to Jesus Christ, which is evidence that John the Baptist was a messenger of God.

Are They Of God or of Men?

When a person who claims to be a prophet arises with a message, we need to know if they are of God or of men. Clearly, we need to look at the person's claim, compare it to their teaching and compare it to their followers.

What Authority Do You Have

When people go out and do things, especially affecting many people, it is good to ask "By what authority are you doing these things? Such was the case when the chief priests and Levites came to Jesus Christ who was openly teaching people in the temple:

Luk 20:1 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, and spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

You see, these people were asking questions with the presumption that they really cared if Jesus Christ were a true prophet or a false prophet. But Jesus Christ called them out on their deceit. Had they done their homework after asking questions of John the Baptist? So he simply asked them if John's baptism was of God or of men, and they would not answer. Jesus Christ exposed their deceit. And the chief priests, rather than admit their faults, chose rather to be silent.

I would like to point out, that the workers are secretive, elusive. They teach a gospel requiring a certain form or worship which is not demanded in the Bible, they teach man-made doctrines contrary to the word of God, do not obey God, deceive many and the lives of their followers is evidence of their poor teachings. Furthermore, when Jesus Christ is pointed out to their followers, he is rejected. This is clear evidence that the workers of the many overseers are born of men, born of the will of the flesh (not of God) and are false messengers, and more specifically ministers of Satan.

I hope you can see that the problems that we face today of false prophets etc and of discerning servants of God are the same as they were thousands of years ago. And the Bible, being written for our learning, instructs us clearly on what questions to ask and how to discern.

I would also like to recap, that a person is fully justified in asking:

  • Who are you? or Whom do you teach people that you are?
  • What are you teaching?
  • Who sent you?
  • By what authority are you doing these things?

Who Do Workers Claim to be?

When I asked the workers, they claimed to be apostles. Because of what they taught, I found that they were apostles of Harold Bennett, the overseer of Oregon, not of Jesus Christ.

What Do Workers Teach

When I asked what they taught, they told me that I should obey the workers above the Bible, the word of God. I knew that this was contrary to the law and the prophets and their message was not of God.

I didn't ask why they were teaching those things. But I know now that they do it to gather a following and to make money.

By What or Whose Authority Are They Doing These Things?

I knew that the workers got their authority from a man called Harold Bennett. Harold also preaches a gospel that is different than the gospel of Jesus Christ, so I knew he was not of God but a minister of Satan.

Did the Fruit of their Followers Match Their Claims?

And I knew, without asking, that the fruit of the workers' teaching was idolatry of them and the sins of the flesh: fornication, adultery, deceit, lies etc. At this time, I had no idea yet how wicked they really were.

After asking the questions, a person is obligated to make decisions, a judgment.

  • Does the person's claim of who they are match the scripture?
  • Is their message Biblical?
  • Are they leading people to other gods?
  • Are they teaching things contrary to the Bible?
  • Are they leading people to God?
  • What are their followers like? the people who believe their message?
  • If they are of God, then they should be believed
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