Posts Tagged ‘false prophet’

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“ELF-LIKE ENTHUSIASM” – Dec 27

December 27, 2013

“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  Matthew 7:21-23

Cover of "Elf (Infinifilm Edition)"

My family and I fulfilled what has become one of our Christmas traditions.  We watched “Elf”.  One of our favorite scenes is when Buddy learns that Santa will be coming to the Gimbel’s department store.  Buddy’s pure enthusiasm upon hearing of Santa’s pending arrive is contagious.

Elf the movie:  Santa Announcement

The divergent realms of religion and spirituality all proclaim to know God with as much enthusiasm and confidence as Buddy the Elf.  They shout out with certainty that they know God.  Their great works are provided as proof that they really do know and have experienced God.  However, Jesus tells us that they will be proven as false as a Santa that smells like meat and cheese.

Jesus teaches us that we must know Him and also be known by Him.

There are many voices who encourage us to explore the spiritual.  Some deem all spiritual experiences equal.  Others preach a religion devoid of Christ.  Others have cast Christ as a good teacher, a prophet, the brother of Satan, or a mere created mortal.  Yet, they all claim to know God.

Enthusiasm does not make us known by God.
Extreme devotion to a belief does not merit recognition by God.
Even an intellectual knowledge of Jesus does not obligate acknowledgement by God.

There are few things more tragic than a life led in devotion to a false belief.  We are told that there will be many devoutly spiritual people, even professing Christians, who will be rejected because they are not known by Christ.  They were never one of His.

Jesus knows who are His own.  He is the good shepherd – He knows His sheep.

I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  (John 10:14-15)

Reza Vaziri / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Jesus calls out to His sheep.  His sheep are the ones who know His voice and follow Him.  They are the ones who believe that He is the one Shepherd who laid down His life for them.  They are the individuals who trust His leading as the Shepherd of the one true flock.

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  (John 10:3-4)

The ones, who change the gospel of Jesus Christ, proves that they are not one of His sheep because they don’t know His voice.  They don’t believe that He is the one shepherd.  They don’t believe in the one flock of God as revealed in the Bible.

We must be very careful of the voices that we listen to in this confused and deceitful world.  There are many voices shouting, with great enthusiasm, a false spirituality that will only lead to rejection by the one true God.

We can easily recognize these false voices because they lie about who the one Shepherd is and what He did for us.  Don’t be led astray by enthusiasm or miraculous works.  We all need to listen to the voice of the one Shepherd and follow Him alone regardless of all the noise going on around us.

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for calling out to me.  Thank you for drawing me to yourself.  Thank you for being a shepherd to me.  Father, attune my ears to your voice.  Help me to discern your leading from all the false teachings vying for my attention.  Teach me to set my eyes upon You, my one Shepherd.  Enable me to trust your leading and create in me a desire to follow You wherever You may lead.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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“FORM AND SUBSTANCE” – April 19

April 19, 2013

“And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the Lord, “With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.”  And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph.  The Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 2 Chronicles 18:10-11

I wonder if Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah was touted by the commentators of the time as, “An innovative prophet who communicates the word of God in a creative and fresh manner that resonates with our generation.”

The problem with Zedekiah’s dramatic presentation was that it did not resonate the word of God.  It appears that he was very creative in how he prophesied.  It appears that the rulers and religious of the highest levels followed his prophesy.  The innovative manner and creative way that Zedekiah prophesied did not change the validity of what he said.  He was still uttering false words.  It appears that he was a very dynamic and entertaining false prophet.  His form was more than his substance.

We would be foolish to think that there are not modern versions of Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah.

the word of GodI am not against innovation and creative ways for preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.  Read this blog – that is exactly what I am trying to do.  I try to write in a way that helps me and hopefully you, to think about the truths of scripture and our wonderful God in new and deeper ways.  However, my or any person’s unique and innovative presentation should never shroud false, incorrect, or misleading teaching.

It is the communicator’s job to make sure that he is communicating a message that is fully supported by the word of God.  I am endeavoring to communicate with you.  It is not your task to have to try to figure-out what I am really saying.  It is my problem if you don’t understand what I am attempting to communicate.  If you are listening to someone and have to justify their message with, “I know that is what he said but that cannot be what he meant”, then the communicator has failed to do his job well; no matter how captivating his presentation was.   One must conclude that He is either not a good communicator or he is trying to mislead you.  Neither is a good conclusion.  Now, no teacher is perfect and they will make misstatements.  However, it is a problem if misstatements or misrepresentation of the word of God are a chronic occurrence.  That is when you need to ask yourself why you are listening to this person.

Do you care more about the form than the content?  Do you want a creatively and freshly presented message more than a message based on the Word of God?

The message is what matters.  Presentations will always change.  What was creative and fresh to my parents is mundane to me.  What is creative and fresh to me will be tired and traditional to my children.  It is the message that matters.

Let’s enjoy how an innovative presentation of the truths of God’s word can bring encouragement and conviction to our souls.  However, we must remember that it is the word of God – the message – that is bringing the edification.  Never trade truth for presentation.

PRAYER: Father, please give me discernment and a clarity of mind.  I know that I like multi-media presentations and dynamic speakers.  I am easily fired-up by a charismatic speaker.  I like to be fired-up.  Father, ground me in your word; give me eyes to see through all the smoke and light of these teachings so that I can understand the truthfulness of their
message.  May I only be fired-up and edified by your true Word coming through their presentations.  Grant me wisdom and understanding to reject all that is false.  Amen.

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