Very often believers like us are responsible for the creation of such false preachers.  Though this remark is a little difficult to accept, it is a fact.

Firstly, our tendency to idolize preachers is the major cause.

It is good to have love and respect for the preachers.  However, this can not exceed certain limits.  We should not believe that they are all powerful, superior even to nature.

They too are human, with struggles to face like any other human.

They are only the servants of God and not Gods.

When we offer the honor and glory due to God, to these servants of God, they become idolized.

"You know what it is?"

"O, yes, it's a kerchief."

"But it is not an ordinary kerchief, it is (mentions the name of a famous preacher) his kerchief.  When he had visited our place for the convention, he left it behind and I happened to get hold of it.  It is indeed very powerful.  When we suffer from headache or fever, we just need to cover the face with this kerchief and we get instant healing.  If you want, I can cut a small piece and give you.  You try it out and see the result!"

You might have seen  many such a believers who are crazy about preachers.  Even the incident mentioned above is not my imagination but one that actually happened and I myself heard this personally.

Such believers who are too fond of preachers are responsible for the rising of false preachers.

They, by their behavior, induce even innocent, simple preachers to over-estimate themselves.

They flatter the preachers to their face; prostrate themselves in front of them and show exaggerated devotion to them that the preachers, in course of time, are inclined to believe that they are greater than what they actually are.  They begin to think that whatever they say should be right.

Love the servants of God! Respect them! Honor them!

But it should be done within the boundary prescribed by the Bible.  They should be kept one step below Christ.  If you are willing to agree with them when they are right, you should also be ready to disagree with them when they are wrong.  Keep up a balance by relying on the verse.

Don't make idols of the preachers and elevate them because God detests idols.

It is our responsibility as believers to keep them in the right place, in order to help them preach with the Bible as the centre.

If the preachers are convinced that deviating from the Bible will not be accepted by believers, they will be careful not to go astray.

After being responsible for the creation of false preachers, we can't later regret.  In I Samuel, Chapter 13, there is an incident narrated:

When Saul was with his army in Gilgal, He had invited prophet Samuel to offer the burnt offering to God, when Samuel delayed, Saul himself offered the burnt offering to the Lord.

In those days it was specified by God that only God's men, that is, priests, could offer burnt offerings.  The scriptures did not allow the others, though they may be kings or lords, to perform this.

Yet, Saul dared himself to perform something permissible only to the servants of God and hence incurred the wrath of God.

From that time on there was a decline in Saul's spiritual life.  God toppled Saul from the throne and planned to anoint another man as King.

Didn't Saul know that it was improper for the King to offer the burnt offering and it was the work only allowed to priests?

H knew!

They why did he dare to do such a thing?

It is because Saul highly over-rated himself, that he had the courage to do such a thing.  He thought of himself as equal to the prophet Samuel.  So, he thought he could also perform the offering.

Behind this courage there is a reason.  That is the praise of the people.

Read I Samuel, Chapter 10 and you shall understand what I am saying.

"And it was so, that when he (Saul) had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs cam to pass that day." (Verse 9)

"And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them." (Verse 10)

"When all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, what is this that is come unto the son of Kish?  Is Saul also among the prophets?" (Verse 11)

After Saul was anointed by God as King, on his way back, the spirit of God descended on Him.  At once, joining the company of prophets who met him, he also began to prophecy.  When people noticed this, they said to one another, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" They also make it into a proverb.

When Saul heard this proverb frequently uttered, Saul imagined himself to be a prophet. (1 Samuel 10: 10-12)

Saul had a great weakness.  He attached a lot of importance to whatever the people around him said, and believed them blindly.

Because of this quality, when people shouted, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands,"  Saul gave importance to their words and said, "They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands."  From that day on Saul hated David. (II Samuel 18:7-9)

 

(Is it the only reason for Saul to hate David or are there other reasons?  We shall see in the next issue.)