A True Prophet

 FEBRUARY 21

MATTHEW 5:17_or the prophets…

Many prophets of the Old Testament knew persecution – first hand (go back to verse 12). The prophets were men and women God used to speak His words to His people.

To tell a true prophet from a false was simple enough. The true prophet’s prophesies always came true – exactly as God had given. If the prophesy was some type of judgment for disobedience, the result was persecution for the prophet. The power-people of the day resented someone telling them the truth of God’s Word. They were able to discern for themselves what was best – or they had people to do that. Their people were far more gifted and trained than people who called themselves prophets of God … or so they thought!

If the prophesy took decades, centuries, or millenniums to be fulfilled, the recognition of the true prophet could be discounted by the power-people.

Jesus taught from the writings of the prophets. He even taught about Himself – to those who had the heart and wisdom to understand. 

Jesus is the balance between the prophesies of the Old Testament and the truths of the New Testament.  

PRAYER

Great Balancer, Help me balance judgment and mercy in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the Great Balancer—He will balance me!    

You’re Not the Only One

FEBRUARY 6

MATTHEW 5:12 _for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one? Everything that has to do with suffering, trials, and persecutions always comes to you. Everybody else has it made. Even if they do suffer for their Christian values, it’s short lived. You’re the only one for whom it goes on and on. Whenever something bad or hard comes around, it always falls on you. If someone gets the blame (for something they didn’t do), it’s always you. And, you’re the one who was doing right. The ones spouting the blame are the ones in the wrong.

According to Jesus, not only are you not the only one – but it has been going on since long before you were born. Jesus goes back to the Old Testament prophets and points out they, too, were persecuted for standing up for God’s truths. It is not something new. It is something that has been and always will be a part of a disciple’s life. 

Go ahead and rejoice – you’re in good company!

 PRAYER

God of comfort, I’m sorry for the times I whine, when I should praise. Help me thank You when I am persecuted for Your sake. Help me know the difference when I am persecuted for my own sake, and help me change my path. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.              

Christ knows who is persecuted—I’m not the only one!

A Servant Heart

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.’”

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!

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 it was 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!

A Waiting Period

NOVEMBER 2

MATTHEW 7:15_which come to you in sheep’s clothing…

As discussed, false prophets’ prophesies did not come true and not all prophesies were instantaneous. Those not instantaneous involved a waiting period—which involved faith—and patience—and wise discernment.

Had Eve recognized the serpent as a false prophet the life we know today would be completely different. I have no idea of the physical features of the serpent, but if they were monstrous or harsh—she would have fled in fear. I believe his appearance was alluring and attractive. More than that, he spoke to her without any threats and made an offer she could not refuse. In the same way, Eve made Adam an offer he could not refuse. God’s words were not as appealing to their fleshly appetite because God’s words offered consequences to eating from the tree.

The apostle Paul gives wise counsel in II Timothy 3:13-15 (KJV), “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

What is false will be revealed.

PRAYER

Dear God, Help me gain Your wisdom to know what is false. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                                  

Christ wants me to know the truth—He saves!