Our Lord warned us that in the last days the devil would do his best to deceive as many as he could. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, if we know what is coming we can prepare for it.
Mathew 7:15 Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep costumes, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits.
Christians appear to have a dilemma, we are told not to judge and then we’re told to look at fruit. So, what do we do? We judge the fruit of anyone making claims to Christiandom, but we don’t judge the person. Judging one’s fruit is not an option, if we don’t live soberly, we will be subject to deception. The devil is like a cat that prowls around in the darkness, but the truth exposes him. False prophets project themselves to look like everyone else, so we cannot trust our vision of the outward appearance. If a person gets offended because “you want to get to know them better”, that’s a red flag warning. A legitimate believer has nothing to hide, they will welcome scrutiny because their new life in Christ is a testimony.
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him.
A man is not accepted solely based on his word, anyone can make himself appear more honest than he truly is. No man can hide his fruits, they become a matter of public record. When Saul became the Apostle Paul, the Christians didn’t believe the account, all they knew about him was his hatred for the church of Christ. Paul’s words were not enough, the people wanted to see the fruit of his conversion. Occasionally a celebrity will publicly declare themselves to be a Christian, this is an invitation to observe their fruit.
Romans 16:17 Take heed brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to sound doctrine, and avoid them.
The devil is constantly looking for a place in the churches of Jesus Christ, his motive is division. True believers come to church to be conformed to the image of God, some come to turn the church into their image. As a baby pastor I put people in positions that did not belong in those callings, I made huge mistakes. God protected the church and myself because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Kenneth Copeland taught me a very important lesson, don’t be moved by flattery nor by criticism, just obey God.
1 John 4:1 Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
It doesn’t sound like the devil is having any problem finding “prophets” to represent him. Don’t get into a hurry, a demon can “fake legitimacy” for only so long and then he will show his true colors. The devil is wily, crafty and cunning but he cannot conceal himself from the Holy Ghost. The ministry of a false prophet is to spread lies and deceit, he cannot neglect his calling. The prophet will eventually expose himself to the believer who has a discerning heart. He will be put on trial, found guilty and banished to a dry and barren place.