9. Mistrust the false prophets. This recommendation is useful in all epochs, but above all in times of transition such as now when a transformation of humanity is occurring, because of a multitude of those who are ambitious and scheming will promote themselves as reformers and messiahs. We should be on guard against these imposters and it is the duty of all honest people to unmask them. You may well ask how they can be identified. Here are the things which point them out:
The command of an army is only confided to a capable general. Do you believe that God is less prudent than Man? You may be sure that He only confides important missions to those He knows are capable of fulfilling them, seeing that great missions are heavy burdens which crush those who are lacking in sufficient strength to carry them. In all things the teacher must know more than the disciple. In order to lead humanity to advance, both morally and intellectually, we must have men and women of superior intelligence and morality. This is why Spirits who are already advanced, having passed their tests in other existences, are always chosen for these missions, because if they were not superior to the ambient in which they are required to act, their effect would be nullified.
Having said that, we must conclude that the true missionary of God must justify his mission through superiority, virtue, magnanimity, results and by the moralizing influence of his work. We may also take into consideration yet another consequence. If, due to their character, virtues and intelligence, they show themselves to be less than the part they purport to represent, or the person under whose name they have placed themselves, then they are nothing more than storytellers of low character, who cannot even imitate their chosen model.
Another consideration is that, in the greater part, true missionaries of God are ignorant of the fact. They fulfill the mission to which they were called by the strength of character they possess, seconded by occult forces who inspire and direct them, even against their will, but without premeditation. In a word - the true prophet reveals himself by his actions and is discovered by others, whereas the false prophet declares himself to be a messenger of God. The first is humble and modest, the second is full of himself, speaks with arrogance, and as all who lie, appears to be always afraid he will not be believed.
Some of these imposters have passed themselves as apostles of Christ, others as Christ Himself, and to the disgrace of all humanity, they have encountered those sufficiently credulous as to believe in their baseness. However, a simple pondering is enough to open the eyes of even the most blind in this matter. That is to say, that if Christ were to reincarnate on Earth, He would come with all His power and all His virtues; unless one admits that He had degenerated, which would be absurd. Well, in the same manner, if we were to take away even one of God's attributes, we would no longer have God. So likewise, if we take away even one of Christ's virtues, we would no longer have Christ. The question is, do those who purport to be Christ have all His virtues? Observe them, scrutinize their ideas and actions and you will recognise that apart from anything else, they lack the distinctive qualities of Christ, which are charity and humility, while abounding in all those Christ does not possess, such as covetousness and pride. Furthermore, take note that at this moment in various countries there are many supposed Christs, just as there are many Elijahs, Saint Johns or Saint Peters, and clearly it is impossible for them all to be true. You may be sure they are only creatures who exploit the credulity of others and who find it convenient to live at the expense of those who listen to them.
So then, mistrust the false prophets especially at a time of renewal such as the present, because there will be many imposters who say they are from God. They try to satisfy their vanity here on Earth, but a terrible justice will befall them, of that you may be sure. - ERASTUS (Paris 1862).