You got a license for that thing? False Prophets Part 3

photo credit: Woodlouse via photopin cc
photo credit: Woodlouse via photopin cc

Jesus warns us:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. ~ Matthew 7:15-16

So we are taking a few days to see if we can figure out what bad fruit looks like.

Jude tells us this about false teachers and false prophets.

For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. ~ Jude 4 (my emphasis)

The first marker Jude gives of a false prophet is that they turn grace into license. Paul talks about it in Romans 6 when he says

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ~ Romans 6:1-2 (KJV)

Simply put, if someone is teaching in a way that makes you comfortable in sin and ungodly lifestyles, well, that fruit stinks.

There is grace with the Lord, and it is so amazing, so all encompassing, that it can almost seem like a license to sin, but if those teaching and preaching and prophesying are not drawing you toward Christ-like character, well, Houston, we have a problem.

How do you speak into folk’s lives? Do your words draw your fellow sheep into more and more freedom from sin, [Tweet This] or do you, by your words and example give people more and more of a license to sin?

Hmmm…

Thanks for stopping by.

There are a couple more of the signs that the fruit bowl needs cleaning.

BenCome back tomorrow, will you?

Ben

 

0 thoughts on “You got a license for that thing? False Prophets Part 3

  1. Caddo-Jael

    Nicely and clearly said, Prof. You know that I'm a big fan of Pastor Joseph Prince--sometimes called the "Grace" preacher. I've been studying under him for 2 years now, and have been greatly encouraged. He's quite open about the criticism he has received from the fear- and shame-based leaders, who are frightened to death that, by preaching the Gospel (of Jesus' grace)--folks will misinterpret "free grace" as "cheap" grace, and fall into licentiousness. Because I was in a somewhat vulnerable place, having just received God's healing/deliverance, I was careful to test the teaching I was listening to--as everyone should. I'm no genius--particularly in theology--but I believe the Holy Spirit led me, regarding how to "test" JP's teaching. I saw that He preached the BIBLE--everything he says is backed by scripture, and contextual explanations; that he ALWAYS leads and draws his listeners to "our wonderful JESUS"; and that he is a tremendous "encourager" in the Faith. If we're to look at the fruit, then surely I've received a cornucopia--as, walking in Grace has brought me into an intoxicating intimacy with our Lord; and the fruit of transformation in my life cannot be missed (by those who knew me "before"). I'd have to say that, what JP's teaching about Jesus' grace has done for me, is to free me from the crippling fear and condemnation about "messing up"--rather than giving me permission to "sin more". As Joseph Prince puts it, "if you Believe right (correctly understanding the Bible), you'll Live right"--believing right produces the excellent fruit (behavior) which pleases God and serves Him and His Kingdom.

    Guess I took over your class in the last 10 min--sorry, Prof! You know this kid, always wants to jabber.... God bless you and the fam--love, sis Caddo

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Well Hi-Jacked Caddo. You have said a mouth full for sure. There is such a fine line there. I have totally been in a place where I was against grace preaching for just the reasons you have mentioned, but i had to let that fear go (how could fear help anything - right?) and embrace grace and It has been a great learning journey for me.

      There are those around who are preaching stuff that will actually draw you away, but the warning bells will be loud and clear.

      thanks for bringing a good balance.

      Have a great weekend!

      Reply
      1. Caddo-Jael

        I understand that there's a line--and that some of the grace preachers are "wolves". I'm really hoping you get a chance to see/hear Joseph Prince--if not in Newark, then online/TV. He's very clear about sin "not being okay at all"--and he's surely stood the test of time, weathered the critics who, in his opinion, are trying to put new wine into old wine skins. I realize that you may listen to him--and get a totally different take than I've presented; and that would make me sad, but we'd deal with it together, I hope.

        Reply
        1. Ben Nelson

          I have heard nothing but good about him to date. My favorite preacher these days is Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding CA. He starts many of his messages with the comment - "God is in a good mood" which would have set me off a decade ago, but I am so impressed with the depth of his revelation, and the fruit of that ministry, miracles, salvation, families restored, waves of youth hungry for God, and pressing in, not only to worship times, but pressing into holy living.

          Today (time allowing) i will see if i can find Joseph Prince pod cast and dump him into my commuting mix.

          Thanks as always for spending time in the after-glo of class!
          Bless you as you run after Him kiddo.

          Reply
          1. Caddo-Jael

            Oh, that's funny--"God is in a good mood"!! Now, I LIKE that!! J Prince often comes out and says, "Are you ready for the Word?" And he has such a smile--so happy about our Lord. I always answer him: "YES!!" Thanks Ben, for your patience with me--and encouragement--as I truly am "running after HIM", so grateful for the good teachers He has brought me, including you. Have a great day!

            Reply
  2. Debbie

    Loved this message, Mr. Ben. of looking at the fruit .. .of looking if we are being led closer to Jesus or away from Him by the prophecies or teachings. Thank you and God bless you as you lead us to Him each day! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      It is tempting to latch on to words we like (ear tickling stuff) but the Spirit will always lead us back to Jesus. Your words always encourage - thanks so much.

      Reply

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