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Flattery Will Get You Anywhere. False Prophets Part 8

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

Have you ever been played? Duped? Conned?

Ever been around a salesman who finds out you are a Christian, and suddenly he's a Spirit filled, tongue talkin', son of a Pentecostal preacher?

Can you tell when it is going down? Have you developed insincerity antennae?

My friend Larry says (rarely) there is a man in whom there is no guile. He is of course quoting Jesus assessment of Nathanael, Philip's brother.

What he, Larry, (and He, Jesus) is getting at, is that there is nothing false in the person in question, no hidden agenda, no secret purpose. Our guileless friend may choose his words carefully, but you can count on every one.

Not so with false prophets.

I met a preacher once who, when he addressed a meeting I was attending, brought a very strong message. It was full of truth. It was a good message. To this day, there are parts of it that help to form my understanding of God.

Years later I heard this same preacher preach a message that nearly undermined all of what he had said the first time I heard him preach.

Had his theology changed, or had his audience changed?

I want you to know today that you can have good theology, and still be a false prophet, a false teacher.

Jesus said

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

and Jude tell us at the end of verse 16

These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. ~ Jude 16

Flattery can simply be insincere compliments. Sometimes it shows its ugly face by playing to people’s sympathies. [Tweet This] Do you change your words or behavior when you are moving in different crowds?

One of my core messages for the Church is generosity. I love to see God’s people give with open hands, and hearts, just like their heavenly Father does.

Nevertheless, you must know that there are wolves out there (and in there) who want nothing more than to take your money, or advantage in a myriad other forms, and they look just like sheep. The talk like sheep, they walk like sheep, and they smell like sheep, but you may find wool in stuck in their teeth – so beware!

Our true enemy, old sulfur breath, loves to kill steel and destroy, and he uses flattery to draw us away from the narrow path of life. Don’t fall for it!

BenKeep your eyes open guys!

Come back tomorrow


0 thoughts on “Flattery Will Get You Anywhere. False Prophets Part 8

    1. Ben Nelson


      15:1* ¶ (A Psalm of David.) O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?
      2* He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.
      3* He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
      4* In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt, and does not change;
      5* He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

      You mean like this?

      thanks much Larry!

  1. noordinaryjoy61

    Thank you for such an important reminder! Being able to discern false prophets is critical because people are led astray every day. Sometimes even people you would least expect. People you thought were grounded in Christ. I pray every day that God will help me to hold steadfast to His truth all the days of my life.

  2. Caddo-Jael

    Well, it's the end of a long week, so I hoped I've soaked up the bulk of your class lessons. Any chance you could say just a tad bit more about "flattery--playing to people's sympathies"? (I'm thinking about situations where folks tell you how great you are, in hopes you'll do something--or MORE--for them, or their cause. Could be Christians, or not.) God bless your Friday--love, sis Caddo

    1. Ben Nelson

      Oh - you have nailed it there. When i ponder the phrase for Jude, there is so much there - the kings james says it this way

      and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

      their swelling words of admiration in order to gain the advantage over you, they twist you with their words.

      The sad thing is how manipulated we are - i know you used to care about this, but i get so twisted about how many vistors and why didn't so and so read my page today - or worse - what if they read it and did not like it - oh my

      it is all the same stuff.

      Jesus said "How can you believe, who receive honor from men"

      I better stop - you did ask for a few more words right? LOL

      Have a great Weekend - you will love SoS tomorrow, I promise! Sunday is Rin's birthday! I will have to work it into 7 words!

      1. Caddo-Jael

        Well, the King James didn't help me--I guess I'm just wore out after a week of drama. When I ask a question, it's usually about, "am I doin' somethin' wrong, that you've noticed--but I've missed?" Which is probably burdensome for you, and not healthy for me, maybe--I should just ask God, let the Holy Spirit come after me.

        Please note that, even if I'm scrambling for time--yours is still the first post I read and reply to (and not with manipulative intent--I just do it). If I've "liked" but not commented--it may mean that I don't understand, and don't want to bother you for clarification; or maybe I'm in a "mood" and don't agree "at that moment" with what I've read--(and maybe it gets cleared up later on...). I appreciate all the personal time and help you've given me, and that--as motivation--doesn't lack nobility or sincerity, I'm sure.

        A big Happy Birthday to Corinne, from way out here in the west--blessings to my sister, unmet. Y'all have a Big Blessed weekend--see you for SoS. love, sis Caddo

  3. Larry Who

    My favorite all-time statement by a preacher/prophet happened as the preacher finished preaching a great message and then said just before the collection of the offering, which was all going to his ministry: "God showed me earlier that one person in the audience tonight was going to give my ministry a check for a thousand dollars. Don't be disobedient to what God wants you to do."

    My advice for believers who hear a preacher say something like this: RUN!

    1. Ben Nelson

      I have been there. it's scary how manipulative folks can be.

      I get the idea that we need to teach the Church to be generous, but i do dislike it when you get to a conference and they have a special guest preacher take up the offering. Put on this huge pressure play. Usually that is when i put my wallet away.

      thanks Larry

  4. Debbie

    Thank you for showing us about flattery and manipulation. I might not always catch it, honestly, Mr. Ben. Hate thinking the worst of others, but understand that there are times when I got to see it for what it is! God bless you and happy birthday, almost, to Mrs. Ben!

    1. Ben Nelson

      Looking at when you wrote this, and accounting for time zones - it was Corinne's Bday already - i will pass on the greetings.

      It is a tough tension - because in order to love, we must think the best. I find myself on the trust side, and that's a good thing. I just have to trust that the Lord will tweak me if i need to be warned.

      Don't harden your heart toward people - that would be a sadness.

      Have a great Sunday.


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