In this post, I want to analyze some things about how the false prophet works, and how you can use this knowledge to identify a false prophet. The idea here is that there are ways to identify a false prophet, and rather than listing correct and incorrect doctrines (because he will read this list and say he is teaching the correct, and invent new false doctrines), we examine how a false prophet thinks and works his work.
Pastors are supposed to “get things done” in the local church. But in getting things done, many misunderstand the style of leadership our pastors are supposed to have. It is not an army, where the general sits behind a desk and gives orders. The pastor is somebody who takes the lead by doing things himself, and others see him and because they love him, they follow him.
Pastors are not to be dictators
The “lording over the flock” is exactly the problem with modern churches. It doesn’t work in God’s work.
1Pe 5:3 “not being lord’s over God’s flock”
G2634 κατακυριεύω katakurieuo (kat-ak-oo-ree-yoo’-o) v.
1. to lord against, i.e. control, subjugate
There is a grave problem when a pastor thinks his principle ministry is the controling of the flock of God. Pastors do not control. They are brethren with the sheep. Their purpose is to take care of others, and to lead them by being the first and most faithful one to do the correct thing.
1Pe 5:2 not for filthy lucre, G147 αἰσχροκερδῶς aischrokerdos (ai-skhrok-er-doce`) adv.
1. to gain in a disgracefully, sordidly manner
A pastor does what he does, striving to get what he deems a worthy goal by a correct method. Motives, methods, and goals are all involved. But when a minister makes spiritual decisions based on how it will economically affect him (personally or as a ministry) we need to take a step back on that one. We should not do things without considering the long range effects of the thing, but the spiritual side comes first and can completely overrule any economic suffering that may result. The Christians of Bible times accepted great economic loss in order to obey God (Hebrews 11 – Heroes of the faith).
Although there should be financial responsibility in every ministry, the pastor has to be distanced from that concept of greediness.
1Pe 5:2 but of a ready mind G4290 προθύμως prothumos (proth-oo’-moce) adv.
1. with alacrity
Merriam Websters – a quick and cheerful readiness to do something; promptness in response.
Again, the greatest pastors in history and in the world today are doers that do not order others to follow them, but rather by themselves doing the right thing, they inspire others to follow them and do the same.
1Cor 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 1Cor 16:16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
Basically, I have seen two kinds of pastors: (1) those that are hands on pastors, wanting to get involved and if possible lead the charge. (2) armchair generals that normally “do not get their hands dirty with the small stuff.”
When we see a minister that has a dedication to work and work hard, we should follow that man. When we see lazy, do little, do nothing, and brag about what they themselves don’t actually do, we should get away from them.
Ministers should be examples for others
Note that this concept is very biblical. Some people say, “don’t look at the minister because he will just let you down. Look only at God.” We should not let failures of Christian character get us discouraged. That is a good thought. But if you cannot follow the leaders you have, you need to change leaders and churches altogether.
1Tim 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Titus 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Titus 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
1Cor 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Cor 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
Phil 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
1Thess 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
The point here is that the Bible exhorts us to follow the faith of those spiritual leaders over us. There is a given here that those leaders are spiritual examples in themselves.
No Dictators allowed!
There are several considerations here. First and foremost is that God has not given us His flock for us to do what we want with them. We are but stewards of God’s flock, and therefore God will return one day to force accounts with us. If we have abused God’s heritage, we will be condemned by Christ. Being saved, we will not lose our salvation but rather all our rewards in heaven. This is a powerful consideration in its self.
Moreover the example of God is Jesus Christ, and he was at times very forceful, but never abusive. Jesus allowed his followers certain liberties and