Identify by self-promoting
One way to identify a false prophet, or any person, who claims to be following God, yet is not doing what God wants them to do, is by their bragging or self promoting. Jesus tells us "pride" is a sin and He encourages us to "deny" ourselves. Yet people will brag and claim they are just try to build faith while telling self-promoting miracle stories. Jesus, our example, never bragged about the miracles He had done, to build people's faith. Sometimes it may appear to be a thin line between helping someone know what God can do to help them and bragging how God has used you in ministry. It can help to remember that Jesus said no one can come to Him unless God "makes you want to come". The desire to be healed needs to come from God not our convincing comments. One time a well-known TV minister in telling a story to a large group of ministers proudly stated, "I'm the one with the anointing!" Being proud of what God does in our ministry is dangerous. Remember when Jesus said, "When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by Your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!'" This is a claim that many people of God including those called, pastor, minister, priest, evangelist, brother, father, prophet, bishop, teacher, Rabbi, etc. who claim to follow God are capable of making. And of course the response as you may remember is, "I never knew you. Get away from Me, you wicked people". Regarding titles, many have promoted themselves or had their friends promote them politically to religious titles even though Jesus speaks against people exalting themselves with titles such as "Rabbi father teacher ". Once there was a faithful woman from one of the Christian traditions where they ignore Jesus words and call their religious leaders "father". She didn't want to call me Father Ed which would be abbreviated Fr. Ed so she settled on "Fred". Although it was humorous, the preferred name is simply "Ed". Although people may mean it as a sign of respect, we need to discourage all spoken titles, even brother or pastor. 1
Jesus talks about religious leaders where the reason they "do good things is so other people will see them". They wear special clothes or robes "so that people will notice them". "They love to have the most important seats" so people will be impressed by them. In the previous quotations, words that would identify religious leaders and locations in Jesus' day have been omitted, so we can notice how it applies to religious leaders and churches today. In many Christian churches you can walk in as a total stranger and quickly identify where the most important religious people will sit and by the clothes they are wearing identify which people are considered the most important religious leaders in that church. Peacocks are beautiful birds but peacocks as religious leaders are an offense to God. People who are self-promoting or false people are also called "hypocrites" by Jesus, who says, "I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full". Yes, if your religious leaders teach correctly what Jesus or God teaches, we should do what they teach but do not follow their examples if they are self promoting. Instead of seeking admiration from people and the thrill of being popular, "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven". If you are considered a religious leader or consider yourself a Christian, a self-test might be; "do you value what other people think of you higher than you value what God thinks of you?" 2
1. Mk 7:22; 8:34; Jn 6:65 (CE); Mt 7:22-23 (GN) Mt 23:8-12 (NI);
2. Mt 23:5-6 (IC); Mt 6:5,16, 20 (NI):
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
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A Psalm for reflection "They trust in their money. They brag about their riches". Ps 49:6 (IC)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop
"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."
Forgiveness All marriages have opportunities for forgiveness. Failure to forgive is like drinking poison to get even (you only hurt yourself). The psychologists, whose 30 years of research in developing our marriage workshop material, found that forgiveness is essential. This is strongly reinforced by the fact that the Son of God (Jesus) taught that forgiveness is essential 2,000 years ago (Mt 6:14-15). Saying "I'm sorry" is powerful and equally as important is saying, "I forgive you". Sometimes healing can come from just talking about the offense, especially in a safe conversation like in your weekly couples meeting (prior to your weekly date night) using the Speaker Listener Technique. Even major issues like adultery can be forgiven and many couples have gone on to have great marriages after major forgiveness. In society, people think that forgetting is a sign of brain problems like dementia. Jesus tells us in Mt 5:48 to be "perfect" like God. God says in Jer 31:34 (NI) I will remember their "sins no more". Some people will say they forgive but the memory and hurt of the offence is still present. If you will forgive them and "pray" for them every day as Jesus recommends in Mt 5:44, eventually the hurt will leave and the memory of the offense will be healed. If you want the last word in an argument then apologize.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). All marriages have opportunities for forgiveness. Failure to forgive is like drinking poison to get even (you only hurt yourself). Saying "I'm sorry" is powerful and equally as important is saying, "I forgive you". In society, people think that forgetting is a sign of brain problems like dementia. Jesus tells us in Mt 5:48 to be "perfect" like God. God says in Jer 31:34 (NI) I will remember their "sins no more". Some people will say they forgive but the memory and hurt is still present. If you will forgive them and "pray" for them every day as Jesus recommends in Mt 5:44, eventually the hurt will leave and the memory of the offense will be healed. If you want the last word in an argument then apologize.
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