In Sweden, there has been a sensational murder trial, which has finally concluded. Helge Fossmo a minister in Knuby was found to be guilty of inciting Sara Svensson to kill his next-door neighbor, Daniel Linde and also Fossmo's second wife, Alexandra. Fossmo sent cell phone text messages to his lover (also the family nanny), Sara Svensson, telling her to kill. Fossmo wanted Sara to think and Sara thought that God was sending her these messages. Fossmo wanted Linde killed because he was also having an affair with Linde's wife. The verdict of the court states, "Helge Fossmo ruthlessly made use of Sara Svensson's love for him and her dependency on him as a religious leader." Helge was sentenced to life in prison and Sara was sent to a psychiatric institution.
The tragic misuse of authority by some ministers is vividly seen in this situation. Some people do not have even a clue when it comes to determining the will of God. The people of God must always be alert to the abuse of authority and there are some ways to identify this when it happens. Sara Svensson appears to have had psychiatric problems but even she could perhaps have avoided this terrible thing if she had been more aware of how to determine God's will. Helge was in effect saying, "God says you are to kill these people."
There are some things that God will never have you to do or tell you to do through any person even a minister. If someone tells you that God wants you to do one of these things you should immediately separate yourself from that person and find safety. What are these things? God will never tell you to do something that He has told you not to do in His Word (the Bible).
The Bible says in Exodus 20:13, "You shall not murder." It is one of the Ten Commandments. In the New Testament we are told in Romans 13:9-10, "For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Just in these verses, you can clearly see there are some things that God will never tell you to do and a minister of God should never tell you to do. God will never tell you to: murder, steal, lie, or participate in sexual activity outside of marriage.
We are also given a general rule to apply when in doubt, ".all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." If you are told to do something that will harm someone else that you would not want done to yourself this is most likely a violation of the rule of love.
Sadly, we do live in a world where some try to manipulate and abuse others for their own personal benefit. Knowing the Word of God will give you a clue as to whether or not what you are doing or someone wants you to do is really the will of God. To protect yourself, you should and every child of God should read and study the Bible. Then, when someone tries to manipulate you into doing something in violation of God's Word, you can tell them that they ought to "get a clue" and read the Bible sometime.
Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Used with Permission. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.