Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The False Prophet's Method

Since it is true that the false prophet’s motive is quantity and not quality (their motto is: “you have to get them there however you can”), then it is also true that his message will be one of easy salvation and easy discipleship – he will preach a message of a wide gate and broad way false gospel. But what also is logically true of the false prophet, are his methods. Since the false prophet is after quantity and not quality, his methods are out of line with God’s word.

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells us the differences between the false prophet’s methods and the true prophet’s methods by comparing a wise man (true prophet or true Christian) to a foolish man (false prophet or false Christian). The wise man hears the words of Jesus and acts on them while the foolish man hears the words of Jesus and does not act on them. The meaning and understanding of the passage is simple – the true prophet follows instructions and the false prophet ignores instructions. The true prophet trusts in the Lord with all his heart and does not lean on his own understanding while the false prophet trusts in himself with all his heart and leans on his own understanding. The true prophet goes by the Book while the false prophet does it his way. The true prophet says that you are to do nothing on your own initiative, but you are to look to see where God is at work and join Him there in His strategy for His purpose while the false prophet says that you are to discover the purpose of God and then you strategize how to fulfill it. The true prophet teaches you how to walk in faith – trusting the Lord with all your heart. The false prophet teaches you how to walk in the flesh – leaning on your own understanding.

So the first and most obvious method of the false prophet is he does not follow instructions – he does it his way leaning on his own understanding. He attempts to do the will of God his own way not following the Lord’s instructions. He uses his own ingenious ideas and thinks that the Lord is going to be pleased with his ingenuity. He has no time for instructions – he can figure this thing out. He is interested in quantity and not quality so the instructions only serve to hinder his efforts.

Another comparison between the methods of the true and false prophets is the true prophet isn’t in a hurry and doesn’t take short cuts while the false prophet is in a hurry and does take short cuts. The false prophet does not take the time to dig deep and lay a solid foundation taking whatever time is necessary to get the job done right. The false prophet isn’t interested in quality – he just wants quantity. The false prophet does not take the time to find out all he can from the Word of God and from history – his is a shallow foundation on sand. He is in a hurry and takes shortcuts in order to get “results.” For the false prophet, “if it works it must be right” so any method that seems to work he will use – even if it reeks of the flesh and the world. The false prophet thinks that God will allow any method as long as it works – but he has forgotten to check the instruction manual to see that that isn’t so.

The false prophet ends up deceiving himself and others because of his results. Men are prone to judging by appearance instead of making a righteous judgment and because the false prophet has “results” (quantity) he appears to be the true man of God when in reality he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The true prophet is not in a hurry and takes the time to build on a solid foundation regardless if the false prophet appears to be a better and faster builder. The true prophet knows that the storm of the trying fire of God’s judgment is coming!

One last comparison between the methods of the true prophet and the false prophet leads us to the true prophet’s method of completing his assignment from the Lord while the false prophet’s method is of competing to see who can build the biggest, the fastest, and the most.

The true prophet doesn’t care what men think about his progress, he is only concerned with what God thinks and is interested in bringing glory to God by building God’s way. The false prophet does care about what men think about his progress, and believes that if men are pleased then surely God will be pleased also. But the sad reality is, the false prophet, is seeking his own glory, and not the glory of God. If he were seeking the glory of God, he would follow God’s instructions and take the time necessary to lay a proper foundation so that God would have the quality He is after and then God would receive the glory for His wisdom in the correct way to build. But the false prophet is too busy competing and never ends up completing God’s assignment because he believes that God is interested in quantity and not quality.

All through this passage of Scripture the truth jumps off the pages that God is interested in quality and not quantity. That is why the true man of God uses the narrow gate and the narrow way and the true man of God listens to and follows instructions, is not in a hurry, and is seeking after God’s glory and not his own.

Jesus' litmus test to determine a false prophet is this – is he interested in quantity or quality. If he is interested in quantity then he is a false prophet. If he is interested in quality then he is a true prophet.

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