What Motivates False Leaders?

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False leaders have a variety of sinful motives. They may:

  • Want to do the deeds of the devil. (Jn. 8:41-44)
  • Want to gain power by controlling people. (3 Jn. 9-11)
  • Seek to undermine the authority of Scriptures and the Lord’s true servants. (Phil. 1:15-17; 2 Pt. 3:16)
  • Seek praise and honor from people. (Matt. 23:5-7; Jn. 12:42-43; Gal. 1:10)
  • Seek personal financial gain. (Jn. 12:4-8; 2 Pt. 2:3; 2 Pt. 2:12-16)
  • Promote their fleshly lifestyles. (2 Pt. 2:17-22)
  • Promote their own teaching. (1 Tim. 1:3-7)

A false leader’s motives, with time and discernment, will become obvious. Observe the fruit of their words, life or ministry to discern their motives. (Matt. 7:15-20; Matt. 12:33-37; Gal. 5:19-25; 1 Tim. 5:24)

Take a moment for reflection or discussion:

1. How have I discerned motives of others in the past?
2. How can the principle of “observing fruit” assist me in discerning motives of false leaders?
3. If fruit reveals motives, what motives does the fruit of my life reveal?​












Leaders influence and lead ministries. How is effectiveness to be discerned?

The Pharisees asked Jesus to defend His actions and authority. They saw fruit of the Kingdom but rejected what they saw because “they” not “He” were in charge and “they” knew what was right. They relied on their positional and organizational authority to validate their authority.

But Jesus, as He always does, defined Kingdom leadership from a Kingdom point of view. Kingdom leadership produces a kind of fruit that represents the Kingdom. Positional and organizational leadership, even religious, can produce a different kind.

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.” (Matt. 21:43)

Jesus is not in the business of protecting human leadership organizations or structures. He is in the business of Kingdom fruit. This is what he wants from us as individuals, churches and ministry organizations.

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (John 15:16)

Take a few minutes to reflect on the ministries you are connected with. What fruit is represented from their efforts? Does this fruit reflect Jesus’ Kingdom?

Think about your own life. How is Kingdom fruit reflected in your life and ministry?



Pray Without Doubt


Jesus found a fig tree without fruit. He said, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.”

At once the fig tree withered.

The disciples were amazed. Jesus said, “If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ IT WILL HAPPEN. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matt. 21:18-22).

Wow. This is a big claim. The power we have at our disposal is staggering. Prayer without doubt is a tool we have that few of us really utilize. But the power for doing Kingdom work is available to each of us.

What does He want you to pray for this week?

I am no expert at this, far from it. But this passage challenges me anew to pray without doubt.