The Flatterers

NOVEMBER 25

MATTHEW 7:21_shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…

There are, and will continue to be, those who are excluded from the kingdom of heaven—both the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the eternal one. 

Those who publicly reject Christ are excluded. These are those who have sought the world for their fulfillment. Don’t misunderstand this—they had the same knock on their heart’s door. They are not excluded instantaneously. Jesus pursued them with the same passion He pursued you. Unfortunately, these are people who just flat refuse to feel the need or desire for a savior. These people do not pretend to be sheep—they wear their wolves clothing for all to see.

In this principle, Jesus refers to the ones who do wear the sheep’s clothing. These are the flatterers. They use Christianity to work for them—not to glorify Jesus. Their charisma comes from a different power. 

II Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) explains this, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

The devil uses his power in ways that appear to be good. According to Jesus’ teaching, the devil can even use the people who call Jesus … Lord! 

PRAYER

God of All, Help me to not be deceived by the devil’s light. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                   

Christ is true light—The devil’s light becomes darkness!

A Dead Giveaway

NOVEMBER 21

MATTHEW 7:20_Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Jesus applied this principle to the Scribes and the Pharisees. They used their power to hold worshipers in bondage to fear. Jesus exposed their hypocrisy numerous times. Hypocrisy is definitely a way of knowing false prophets by their fruit. Those who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk—a dead giveaway.

People in the public eye are generally there because of their political or financial power, or because of their celebrity status. In either of these cases, you know them by their deeds. If you happen to be a fan, be careful to not only watch their abilities, but listen to their views. If their views don’t line up with your Biblical convictions—don’t become an imitator (doesn’t mean you can’t still be a fan of their talent).

The greatest power figure of all time was Jesus.  Mark 10:42-45 (KJV), “42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, ‘Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’”

Sounds like a servant’s heart is also a dead giveaway – to a true Jesus disciple.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Please give me a servant heart that bears fruit for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                   

Christ had great power – And a humble heart!

The Source of Power

NOVEMBER 10

MATTHEW 7:17_but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

The word corrupt in this verse means subject to decay. To decay is to rot. Dead to the life and abilities once possessed. A tree that is in the process of decay may still bring forth fruit, but it is not good for consumption.

The condition of the fruit is the same as the the condition of the tree which produces it. The strength of the tree determines the strength of the fruit.

In the same way, the weakness of the tree determines the weakness of the fruit. It’s all about the tree—the vine—the source of power. If you go anywhere other than the Bible for the source of connecting with the Holy God of Heaven—you’ve gone to a weak source.

Psalm 60:11-12 (KJV), “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Now that’s a powerful source! 

It’s not that you should not go to people when you need help—everyone needs a little help from their friends. The problem comes when people are your primary source. When you place all your trust in what people can do, and never seek God’s help.

It’s all about the source!        

PRAYER

Holy Master, I want You to be the primary source of all I am and need. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ is The Source—He wants to be mine!    

False Teaching

NOVEMBER 4

MATTHEW 7:16_Ye shall know them by their fruits…

Jesus is about to teach some clarity on how to recognize false prophets. If you think you don’t know any prophets, false or otherwise, change your perspective.

Look at something simple—like false advertising. You may covet some kind of product you see advertised.  You may save up all our money, or nag the life out of your parents, until you have it. In no time at all you discover it is not as advertised. 

Being taken by some false advertising is minor in comparison to being taken by some false teaching. False teaching can appeal so strongly to your flesh that your spirit is diminished.

False teaching appeals to your appetite for wealth and possessions, for glamour and fame, and for power and control.

In Jesus’ wilderness experience the devil tempted Him, Matthew 4:8-9 (KJV), “Again, the devil taketh Him [Jesus] up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, ‘All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.’”  

Jesus knew the truth, He replied, 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’”

PRAYER

Good Shepherd, Help me strengthen my spirit in the truth of the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

 Christ knows the weakness of my flesh—He will save me!

Prophesy Came Alive

NOVEMBER 1

MATTHEW 7:15_of false prophets…

A prophet was God’s spokesperson to His people.  Acts 2:17-18 (KJV) on the day of Pentecost, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”

Peter was quoting from Joel 2:28-29. Israel had experienced a time of silence from God because of their disobedience. On Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon God’s people prophesy came alive again. That’s what Peter said anyway—and he was there! Prophets were people chosen by God. 

The devil also has prophets. Because the devil does not possess God’s unlimited power, he can only operate within his limited boundaries. As the prince of the world he has great powers. Among them are: deception, lies, accusations, fear, temptations, interference, and theft. On our own we are no match for him.

Eve tried to match him on her own and fell into the seduction of his lies. She fell to the fear of missing out on the good things of life and disobeyed God.

You know the rest of the story.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Help me call upon You to defeat the devil and his deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                

Christ knows all of the devil’s deceptions—He will save me!