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Catholic Essentials
"Not Believing" is not an Option!

False Prophets & False Christs

Imposters who claim to be Christ, to be a prophet, sent by God, or otherwise claim to speak God's truth, when in reality they do not speak the truth and are not who they claim to be.

References in Scripture

  • "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their riotousnesses, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." 2 Peter 2:1-2
  • "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand" Mark 24:24-25
  • "And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you: For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many" Matthew 24:4-5
  • "Who said: Take heed you be not seduced; for many will come in my name, saying, I am he; and the time is at hand: go ye not therefore after them" Luke 21:8
  • "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many" Matthew 24:11
  • "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them." Matthew 7:15-20
  • "Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" 1 John 4:1
  • Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30
  • Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared...." 1 Tim 4:1-2
  • For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:3-4

Church Teaching:

  • "But while the preaching of the divine Word should never be interrupted in the Church, surely in these, our days, it becomes necessary to labour with more than ordinary zeal and piety to nourish and strengthen the faithful with sound and wholesome doctrine, as with the food of life. For false prophets have gone forth into the world, to corrupt the minds of the faithful with various and strange doctrines, of whom the Lord has said: I did not send prophets, yet they ran; I spoke not to them, yet they prophesied" Catechism of Council of Trent, Need of an Authoritative Catholic Catechism
  • See the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia at www.newadvent.org on the topic of "Imposters" for a history of many examples of false prophets throughout the history of the Church. Scripture foretold us about these false prophets, so they are no surprise!


Throughout the entire history of the Catholic Church there have been false prophets and imposters of all types. Scripture clearly foretold this. Catholics today need to consider if the clergy in their church is teaching in opposition to Scripture and/or past Church teaching, they may well be considered among false prophets and heretics that Scripture so clearly warned us about!




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