Four Hundred To One - Pretty Good Odds
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares (weeds) among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared." Matthew 13:24-26 The parable goes on to say that the servants asked whether they should uproot the tares, but the master said no, because you'd uproot the good wheat too. Tares in a wheat field look exactly like the wheat as they're growing. It's often difficult to discern false teachers, false ministers, false prophets, because they look like the true. Usually they have very winning personalities and have an air of credibility about them, and that's why so many fall for them. They're pleasing to listen to. They say nice things. They always speak words that are "uplifting." That's exactly how a wolf in sheep's clothing looks. They look like the sheep. So how DOES one discern the false from the true? Not from looking at them, they will usually be all smiles, very appealing. The only way one can discern is to know the Word of God thoroughly, because their straying from the truth will only be discernible by those who know the truth. There are people who want to hear only that which is "uplifting." That's the most dangerous thing one can do. Satan is only too happy to bring you "uplifting" messages, especially when the truth of the matter is not uplifting. Oftentimes truth is hard. In 1 Kings chapter 22 we see a story of false prophets. King Ahab of Israel had 400 prophets whom he brought before him asking whether he should go up to battle against the king of Syria. With one accord, the false prophets all told him to go and that God will deliver the king of Syria into Ahab's hands. But then Micaiah came, and he told the king that he would die in the battle and his servants would be scattered on the mountains. Ahab listened to his 400 prophets who were all in agreement, telling him what he wanted to hear. Wouldn't you listen to them if all 400 were telling you something "uplifting?" Would you even consider the one telling you an unpleasant truth? 400 to 1, who wouldn't take those odds? Most would fall for that. Well, Ahab fell for it. He went to battle ...and died. False prophets and false teachers want fame and fortune. They have a way of saying things that just sounds SO good. Look at the huge mega-churches of today – in many cases that's exactly what's going on there because people want to hear the 400 false prophets telling them how they can be healthy, wealthy, and wise. If you belong to one of those churches, FLEE. You've been deceived! A true man of God will tell you to take up your cross and follow Jesus. What is a cross? It's what you die on. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Matthew 16:25-26 When you need advice, when you need direction, take it to the Lord. Our safety is in HIM, and ONLY HE can lead you through any problem. When you're up against something, don't go for advice or direction to someone who is going to tell you what you want to hear. If you do, it's because you've already made up your mind and you only want someone to agree with you. No. Submit yourself and the problem to the Lord, asking for help. He is the ONLY one who can give you the right direction.