True And False Preachers – Which Are You Listening To?
This Bible verse tells us how we are to recognize these false preachers, by how they act!
The Tree and Its Fruit
NLT Matt 7; 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Unfortunately the body of Christ has been starved by these false preachers for so long, we don’t even know what to look for. We don’t know the mark these fallen preachers have!
There are a six simple steps that will lead you to the truth. When you see this truth you have two very clear choices. You can reject the truth and continue following men with the mark of the beast, or you can turn to the truth, turn to God, and follow him. I pray you will continue to seek the truth, continue to seek God, and simply turn from todays levitical priest deception!
Paul declares that that he would rather die than accept money for for preaching. Take a look.
NLT 1 Cor 9; 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. 15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. Pastor’s Pay
Paul explains that men have a right to accept pay for preaching, but there is a cost for doing this.
NLT 1 Cor 9;15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.
Paul was clearly called to preach, and this prohibited him from accepting pay for preaching.
Those accepting pay, those refusing to offer the gospel free of charge declare that they are not preaching in response to God’s call on their lives [NLT 1 Cor 14; 3-5], they simply chose to become a preacher. It is just a job for them, not a call from God.
In John 10 Jesus declares that he is the good Shepard and then he warns us to watch out for hired hands!
NLT John 10;11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
There is a very stern warning about those who don’t follow Paul’s example in 2 Peter 3.
NLT 2 Peter 3;15 And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
These men distorting Paul’s teaching [not following his example] are headed for destruction! Pastoral Virus
If we doubt the importance of the 2 Peter 3;15-16 warning [above], this passage clearly calls us to learn only from those who follow Paul’s tentmaker preacher example!
NLT Phil 3;17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
If there might still be a vestige of doubt in you mind, please look at 2 Thess 3;6-9
An Exhortation to Proper Living
NLT 2 Thess 3; 6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.
The reason that Paul refused to accept money from his followers is spelled out for all to see, to give us an example to follow! ! !
Paul was concerned about being disqualified from the prize. Paul was clearly a teacher so he was probably concerned about this harsher judgment for teachers;
I think that Paul’s motive for not accepting money for preaching was summed up in this simple passage. He was concerned that even he might be disqualified from his reward if his motives were wrong. Lets first look at the passage where Paul talks about being disqualified;
NIV 1 Cor 9;24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Paul was not playing around here. He was trying to explain something critical for a church leaders salvation. He was a slave [not honoring his earthy monetary desires] so that he could not be disqualified from the prize.
Now we should look at a passage that talks about leaders who will be disqualified.
NLT Jam 3;11 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. … 13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
The teachers who collect followers, and act on selfish ambition and jealousy are still following their evil selfish desires. The teachers who lives an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom is the one following God! Taking The Mark Of The Beast
Please grant all your followers the gift of discernment, and help them to seek understand and obey only you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.