Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets/Tests/No filthy lucre

Table of Contents

A FairMormon Analysis of: Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets, a work by author:

Personal character

They lead as willing ensamples to the flock, not for filthy lucre

Of True Of False

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind: neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul discusses at length the Lord's ordaining that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel, (Matt. 10:10), and his declining to use that power in recognition of the danger for abuse that is represents. We can distinguish between “those who partake of the milk of the flock” for the sake of the work (Acts 6), and the traffic of religion.

The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, is not the LORD among us? None evil can come upon us.

The former recognizes the need for being called as was Aaron, that he who does not work should not eat (2 Thess. 3:10), that he should be not burdensome, and not exceed his needs (Acts 4:35), that he not compromise (1 Kings 22:14). The latter involves being self-appointed, puffed up (1 Cor. 4:7), catering to appearance (2 Cor. 5:12), having man's hearts in admiration because of advantage, supposing that gain is godliness (1 Tim. 6:5), lay heavy burdens on men's shoulders and will not move them with one of their fingers, make broad the phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments (Matt. 23), and preaching smooth things easy to hear (Isa. 30:10 and Titus 1:11), and in general, failing to meet the tests of a prophet.

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

Note: The early Christian text called the Didache included several other tests for prophets along these lines, implicitly witnessing to real dangers faced by the early communities by those who would exploit their generosity.