Oct. 07Cults & MovementsComments Off on How To Identify a False Prophet / False Teacher
Matthew 7:15-18 NKJV Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
We live in a time where money and not lost souls, is the motivation for why people become pastors; We are living in a time where a person who calls himself a “pastor” announces that he supports homosexuality & gay marriage; We live in a time where the gospel is no longer about the grace and love of God through the life, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ – instead there are now heretic teachings such as the “prosperity gospel” whose focus is to enrich the preachers of the prosperity gospel movement.
The Bible warns us that false prophets and teachers are “deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
However, one of the methods on how to identify a false prophet / false teacher is by studying the doctrine that they preach & believe and comparing it with what is written in the Bible.
For example false teachers may teach that you must keep the law and earn or work for your salvation. Yet there are many verses in the Bible that teach us that salvation is a free gift and that we are saved by grace and NOT by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
It is therefore up to every Christian to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who after hearing the preaching would “search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”.
Therefore the Bereans did not just listen to the preaching, but they verified through the Scriptures if what they had been told through the Scriptures is true or not.
Therefore knowing & studying the word of God for yourself is the best way to guard yourself against false teachers & prophets (2 Timothy 2:15).
2 Timothy 2:15-16 NKJV Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
IDENTIFYING A FALSE PROPHET / TEACHER THROUGH HIS DOCTRINE
The first way that you can detect false prophets or teachers is by how they interpret, practice and teach the word of God. Remember that even the devil used scripture and he misinterpreted the scriptures in an attempt to tempt and manipulate Jesus (Matthew 4:5-7)
Therefore a false prophet will show the following traits in pertaining to doctrine
A false prophet or teacher preaches a different gospel. He does not correctly interpret the word of God, but he will interpret the scriptures inappropriately in order to subtly deceive people to meet his personal deceptive agenda.
Examples of a different gospel is the “name-it-and-claim-it gospel” or the “prosperity gospel”. Another example is the teachings that salvation is attainable through personal works. (Galatians 1:6-9 NKJV – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.)
They preach only what people want to hear – even if it is the wrong thing. (2 Timothy 4:3-5 NKJV – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.)
Their teachings reject the work of Christ on the cross and instead give precedence to self-glorification, self-effort and self-achievement apart from Christ. Many false teachers have become more like motivational speakers. Rather than glorifying Christ & His finished work, false teachers teach humanism and glorify human ability & human achievement above Christ. (2 Peter 2:1 NKJV – But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction)
False teachers / prophets seldom teach their listeners or followers to read the Bible for themselves so that the followers may personally learn from God through His word. False prophets / teachers subtly prefer that their own teachings become the sole authority over people instead of God’s word. (Matthew 16:11-12 NKJV – “How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? — but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.)
False teachers / prophets at times teach the doctrines of demons & deceiving spirits instead of God’s word (1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons)
1 John 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Be careful what you listen to. Be careful what you feed yourself with. It is very important as a Christian that you have a one-on-one relationship with God. It is also imperative that you learn to study the word of God alone and to spend quality time with God. You must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you pertaining to the word of God.
God’s word is food to your spirit. It is good to listen to teachings of other people – however it is also important that you also study God’s word for yourself.
When you have a sound relationship with God and when you are constantly learning God’s word and studying and meditating His word, you will not easily be swayed by false prophets or teachings whenever they come in your direction.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV The word of God also says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work
The word of God clearly warns us to beware of false prophets, false teachers and false doctrines. False preachers will not only come from outside of the church, but the scriptures warn that false teaching and false prophets will arise from among or within the church. God’s word also advises us to test the spirits so that we are not led astray by deceiving and seducing spirits. God’s word warns that MANY false prophets / teachers will arise and the Bible also clearly tells us that false prophets / teachers will have a LARGE following and therefore MANY people will be deceived by them. Therefore a preacher / prophet is not judged by the size or number of their followers, but by their fruits and whether or not they teach and practice God’s true Biblical sound doctrine. It is therefore important for every Christian to have a genuine personal relationship with God; to exercise the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment; to test the spirits as the Bible says and for us to know and understand God’s sound Biblical teachings and doctrine. God is protective of His own people and therefore He always wants us to be watchful of those who may disguise themselves as sheep but yet they are wolves.
Below are just a few of the many Bible verses related to the warnings and issues regarding false teachers & prophets.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Then MANY false prophets will rise up and deceive MANY.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And MANY will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 Timothy 4:2-5
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. MANY will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done MANY wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because MANY false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
1 Timothy 6:20-21
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
1 Timothy 6:8-10
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
2 John 7-8
For MANY deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs & wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things.
Is it possible for a born again Christian to be possessed by a demon?
To answer the above question, one always has to go back to the Bible and learn from the teachings of God and learn the Biblical patterns that exist in scripture in order to come up with the truth.
Demon possession is defined as the following:
• Demonic possession is the control over a human form / human body by a demon / evil spirit
• The condition in which a fallen angel exercises such control over an individual that the individual is unable or unwilling to resist.
CAN A CHRISTIAN BECOME POSSESSED BY A DEMON?
The answer is: NO. A Christian CANNOT become possessed by a demon. When you become a genuine born again believer in Christ Jesus it means that you become a child of God and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17,18) who is under the complete spiritual guardianship, protection and direction of the Most High God (Romans 8:14-17).
Below are the following reasons why a Christian cannot be possessed by demons
(1). A Christian Is The Temple of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV – Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
The Holy Spirit / the Spirit of God dwells inside every Christian according to the scriptures and the Holy Spirit will perform various functions in our lives such as; performing the various gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-11); or enabling us to live according to the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25); or equipping us with power to overcome the enemy (2 Timothy 1:7); and leading us to the real truth pertaining to God’s word (John 16:13-15).
If therefore, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us and in our body, how then can a demon spirit indwell in the same body at the same time as the Holy Spirit does?
When the Holy Spirit dwells inside of a born again Christian, it is impossible for a demon spirit to overcome the Holy Spirit in order to control the same territory where the Holy Spirit dwells. The gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit when they are working inside of a Christian cannot be overpowered by the tricks and imitations of the enemy.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul says that “… you are not your own”. In other words, you are God’s property as a Christian; you belong to God (including your whole body). Therefore if you belong to God, then your body cannot at any time be possessed by a demon spirit for as long as you are a true born again Christians.
(2). A Christian Has Been Given Power Over the Enemy – Luke 10:19-20 NKJV – Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.
In Christ, a born again Christian has authority over the enemy. It is not vice versa. When you are a Christian, in Christ the demon spirits do not have power or authority over your body in order to possess and control your body and mind. God has therefore through Christ Jesus, given us the power to cast out demons and the authority over demons can only be given to born again Christians. Mark 16:17 NKJV – And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
(3). The Status of a Christian is Higher Than the Status of the Enemy – 1 John 4:4 NKJV – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
In Christ, a Christian is a child of God and as such a Christian is automatically more privileged than the enemy or than anyone in the world. The scriptures say that when God dwells in a person, that particular person becomes a child of God who is able to “overcome”the enemy and this child of God is “greater” than the enemy because the person is “of God”. Therefore as you look at the issue of whether a Christian can be demon possessed, God has made it virtually impossible for the enemy to be greater or to overcome a born again Christian / child of God in who God dwells. Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
If the fullness of Christ Jesus dwells inside of a Christian, and if a Christian is “COMPLETE” in Christ who is the “head of ALL principality and power”, how then can this very same Christian be possessed by a demon spirit that trembles, submits and bows at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10,11), (James 2:19)?
(4). God Is Supreme Over All Things – Colossians 1:15-18 NKJV – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Demons cannot occupy the same space that is occupied by the Holy Spirit because God is greater than any evil spirit since God is the Creator of everything, that is both seen and unseen. This supremacy of God includes even the fallen angels or demons.
To believe that a Christian can become demon possessed, would be to deny the supremacy of Jesus in a Christian’s life when a person becomes born again.
To believe that a Christian can become demon possessed, would be to deny that Jesus has given the Christian the power, privilege and authority in Him to overcome the enemy at any given time or place.
To believe that a Christian can be demon possessed, would mean that the devil can possess any Christian he feels like possessing at any time of the day; It would also mean that the devil is able to make Christians powerless to overcome him and his demon spirits because all that the devil would need to do is just possess any Christian and simply enact his evil plans through any Christian of the devil’s choosing.
To believe that a Christian can be demon possessed, would mean that there is virtually not very much difference between the spiritual power and authority of a Christian and that of an unbeliever. If both Christians and unbelievers are being possessed by evil spirits how would one tell the difference between a true believer in Christ and an unbeliever.
THE NOMINAL CHRISTIAN
Someone might say “Well, I don’t agree with you and I’m confused, because I once saw a person whom I know to be a Christian and he/she was possessed during a church meeting ”
The simple answer to this statement is this: There is a difference between TRUE born again believers of Christ and those who profess or appear to be Christians but yet their relationship with Christ is not reciprocal. Even Jesus and the word of God does mention that there will be false believers / false prophets / hypocrites or people who may have been falsely deceived by improper doctrine to the extent that their true knowledge of the status of their relationship with God is negatively affected. Such people who are false or have been deceived are called Nominal Christians.
Nominal Christians are Christians in name only, but yet their life, their fruits, their works (even the things they do in secret) denies Christ Jesus even though they bear the name “Christian”. Nominal Christians will know exactly how to act “Christian” or “religious” outwardly, but either in secret or because of false indoctrination or self-deception, they will be living a life that is both deceptive and rebellious against God and His word (Matthew 23:25-28).
It is very important to note that the word of God regards nominal Christians in the same category as unbelievers because nominal Christians are not genuine biblical born again Christians. Therefore if a nominal Christian becomes demon possessed it is very possible because according to God’s word, the nominal Christian is not truly born again nor do they have a genuine one-on-one relationship with the LORD.
Here are a few examples in God’s word concerning God’s view and God’s judgement about nominal Christians and those who are religious but yet are self-deceived due to false doctrine:
Nominal Christians Are Religious but They Are Also Iniquitous – Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Nominal Christians Are Religious, but They Are Disobedient to Christ – Luke 6:46-47 NKJV – “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”
Nominal Christians Are Religious, but They Do Not Bear Godly Fruit – Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Nominal Christians Are Religious, but They Have Deceived Themselves – 2 Timothy 4:3-5 ESV – For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Nominal Christians Are Religious, but They Do Not Abide in Jesus –John 15:5-6 NKJV – “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
(The above scriptures on nominal Christians are only but a few examples of scripture to explain my point. I decided not to expand in explaining each scripture so that I may focus on the main topic of this post. You can read my article THE NOMINAL CHRISTIAN to learn about nominal Christians and to find out the difference between a nominal Christian and a true born again Christian. This issue is very important as it will help people to be freed from the deception of the enemy and to also help people to become genuine born again children of God. Matthew 7:21-23 for example clearly shows that on judgement day there will be some people who will be shocked and dismayed that they are not going to Heaven because Jesus will tell them , ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’)
HOWEVER, please note nominal Christians can become demon possessed – but GENUINELY born again Christians CANNOT be demon possessed.
The Bible does not give any known examples or situations where a truly genuinely born again Christian became possessed by a demon.
Instead, God’s word gives us overwhelming evidence that if a person is truly a genuinebiblical Christian then such a person cannot be demon possessed because God and a demon cannot occupy the same body and because greater is God who is in us, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). God’s word also gives overwhelming evidence that a true born again Christian is a new creation who has been given authority over all the power of the enemy.
So can Christians be demon possessed? NO! Genuine Christians cannot be demon possessed.
HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN
If you are not a Christian, and you want to become a born-again Christian, you can do so by confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that He came to save you from the power of the enemy and so that you may have an eternal everlasting relationship with Him. You can commit to making Jesus your Lord and Saviour and to live for God.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You. I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future. I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus. Thank You for forgiving my sins. From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be. I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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How do you overcome evil with good. How can you show the love of Christ in a bad relationship? Have you ever been offended by somebody so much that you felt that the best option was to revenge? So therefore if somebody harms you, should you harm them back? If somebody insults you, should you retaliate by finding a way to insult them too?
Matthew 5:38-39 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also
Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
According to Jesus, if we are to overcome evil with good, there are 4 things we must do.
These 4 things that Jesus mentions in Matthew 5:43,44 are the following:
We Must LOVE
We Must BLESS
We Must DO GOOD
We Must PRAY
Jesus Himself extended this same love and grace to us through His death on the cross. Despite the fact that we were sinners, God demonstrated His love for us through the death of Christ for our sins (Romans 5:8).
Also as Christ was crucified on the cross He prayed for those who hated Him saying “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”(Luke 23:24).
Therefore God is not only good to those who love Him but He is also good to those who despise Him. Matthew 5:45 says “… for He (God) makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”.
Therefore the goodness and love of God is extended to everyone.
Jesus basically taught us that no matter how badly other people may treat us, we MUST ALWAYS respond to them in LOVE and we must NEVER respond to anyone with bitterness, unforgiveness, revenge and hatred.
Jesus taught that if your neighbor hates you and if you want to defeat your neighbor – then you must LOVE him. If you hate your neighbor just because he hates you too – it would cause more hatred to fester – and NOTHING good comes out of hatred.
Hatred is an emotional characteristic of the devil, but LOVE is the character of God. So when you LOVE, you are imitating the very nature of God, but when you hate you are imitating the devil.
Matthew 5:46-48 NKJV For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
When you become a child of God you are called to a Godly standard of living. You are called to imitate God’s nature through Christ and His teachings. You are called to live according to the principles of the Kingdom of God and NOT according to the standards of the world.
Jesus taught that there is a very CLEAR DIFFERENCE between the children of God and the world. Therefore as children of God in our relationships, we should aim in Christ to not react or respond by the values and principles of the world.
Romans 12:17-21 NKJV Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So the next time somebody offends you, don’t revenge; don’t hate, but respond the way Jesus has taught you – by showing LOVE.
Whenever you encounter a problem, a challenge or some sort of difficult circumstance in your life, who do you decide to blame? Do you at times blame the economy; the society; the politicians; a family member – or do you even blame God Himself for some of the problems in your life?
Sometimes in life we can blame everybody for our problems – but not blame ourselves. Sometimes it is important to take responsibility for our problems and take the right steps to resolve them head-on.
Genesis 3:11-13 NKJV And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Adam and Eve were given strict and clear instructions from God that they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil (Genesis 2:15-17).
However when God later discovered that Adam and Eve had disobeyed His instructions, Adam blamed Eve for his sin. Eve then blamed the serpent for her sin. So the question is – who was to blame? Who was responsible? Was it the serpent’s fault?
When you read the above verses, you will discover that God held all 3 parties responsible and therefore God required all of them, that is Adam, Eve and the serpent to face the consequence of their sin.
God did not show favoritism to any of them because doing so would mean that He approved of their sinful actions.
The basic point is that whenever we sin, God does not want us to pass the blame to others, but He expects us to take & accept responsibility for our actions.
God does not expect us to hide from Him whenever we have done wrong or whenever we face a difficult problem.
In Genesis 3:8-10, after Adam and Eve sinned, they decided to hide from God’s presence because they thought they could hide their shame or their sin from God.
However the best way to deal with a problem or with your sin is not to blame other people for it – but rather it is best to bring all your issues to God so that God may help you to deal with it.
John 1:29 NKJV The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Psalms 46:1 NKJV God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Only God through His Son Jesus Christ can wipe away your own individual sins and also the sins of the world. Sin cannot be removed by blaming others for it, neither can you solve your own problems by blaming other people. However sin can be removed by confessing, repenting and allowing Jesus to cleanse us by His blood.
Also your individual problems can be resolved by bringing them to God so that He may help you to solve them.
To illustrate my point:- Just after Adam and Eve had sinned, they then realized their nakedness and so they decided to make for themselves coverings that were made out of leaves (Genesis 3:7). They made these coverings out of leaves by themselves (without God) in order to cover their bodies.
Later however, when God discovers their sin and the fact that they realized that they were naked, God Himself then makes tunics for Adam and Eve which were made of skin and God discards the leaf coverings that Adam & Eve had made by themselves.
This shows that even after sinning, Adam and Eve could not properly take care of themselves nor of their problems without the help of the LORD.
Adam and Eve’s attempt at fixing their sinful actions by themselves was a total failure. God’s intervention was necessary.
Whatever problem, burden, wrong-doing that you face in your life – don’t focus on shifting the blame – but rather focus on giving your issues to God and allow God to guide and help you to deal with them through His power and infinite wisdom.
1 John 1:9-10 NKJV If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
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Bible Verse of the Day
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.