Many religious leaders today are having an identity crisis. . . . they have a MOSES-COMPLEX.
Signs That Your Pastor Has a Moses-Complex
1. Your pastor believes that he has the SAME spiritual status, rank, authority, and ‘prophetic mantle’ as Moses.
2. Your pastor flaunts his supposed ‘authority’ over the congregation and justifies it by saying “God ordained me to rule over this church just as He ordained Moses to rule over Israel.”
3. Your pastor portrays himself as “God’s appointed mouthpiece/prophet to the church” and tries to parallel it with God appointing Moses as a prophet to Israel.
4. Your pastor implies that he’s “more anointed” than everyone else and tries to justify his conceit by quoting [out of context] the Scripture where God took the Spirit upon Moses and anointed 70 elders.
5. Your pastor claims that anyone who says anything “negative” about him and “puts their mouth on the man of God” will come under a curse. He justifies this by pointing to the Scripture where God struck Miriam with leprosy for speaking against Moses. This scare tactic is meant to frighten you from discerning his fruit and holding him accountable to God’s word for teaching error and living in sin.
6. Your pastor calls himself your “spiritual covering” and tries to justify it by claiming that “Moses was the spiritual covering of Joshua and the children of Israel.”
7. Your pastor is an untouchable “pope” at the top of a church-pyramid where he isn’t accountable to the congregation. He says that he’s accountable to God alone and tries to justify his top-down authority structure by pointing to the Old Covenant Moses-model of leadership.
8. Your pastor has ‘ministry assistants’ waiting on him hand and foot as if he’s a king or a religious diva. He tries to rationalize this by saying “Moses delegated authority to leaders who served under him. They learned humility by serving. You can’t have authority without submitting to the authority of the man of God.”
9. Your pastor believes that he represents God in your life “just as Moses represented God before the children of Israel.”
10. Your pastor believes that anyone who tries to minister “without his permission” is “usurping his authority’ and trying to take over *HIS* ‘church’ “just like Korah usurped Moses’ authority and wanted to take Moses’ position over Israel.” Insecure paranoid leaders use this tactic to keep their position on lock and control who goes into ministry.
11. Your pastor believes that when he speaks, it is the same thing as God speaking — therefore if you don’t listen to him and do what he says, God will punish you and the devil will wreak havoc in your life. This is all rationalized by the following line of thought, “God put His word in Moses’ mouth. Therefore when Moses spoke, it was actually God speaking. And anyone who didn’t listen to Moses was punished and died in the wilderness. Since the pastor is as Moses over the church, you must obey the man of God.”
12. Your pastor believes that the life and ministry of Moses foreshadowed him and his ministry.
The word “foreshadow” means “to indicate or suggest in advance; to show or represent beforehand by a figure or type.” Foreshadowing [as this very word implies] is when the shadow of an object is thrown before the advancing object itself, in order to present an image of that which is to come. The purpose of foreshadowing is to give a hint or a sign of something that will happen later.
In the Old Testament, God used various individuals, objects, and events to foreshadow New Testament events, the body of Christ, and above all Jesus Himself. It can be said that the Old Testament was intended to give God’s people a sneak preview of Jesus Christ and things to come.
One example of foreshadowing is Noah’s ark which pointed to Christ as the Ark of Salvation. Another example of foreshadowing is the Old Covenant Passover lamb which pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God.
Religious leaders who believe that Moses foreshadowed themselves are guilty of blasphemy and idolatry. How so? Because Moses Foreshadowed Jesus Christ.
Moses & Jesus
The Scriptures clearly teach that the life and ministry of Moses foreshadowed Jesus Christ.
In Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses said “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.“
Then a few verses down in Deuteronomy 18:18-19, God reaffirmed that He would raise up a prophet like Moses “I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.”
The Scriptures above show that God promised to raise up a prophet like Moses. This prophet and His message would be so important that God will personally deal with anyone who rejects Him.
My friends, this prophet is not your local pastor who erroneously sees himself as “the 2nd coming of Moses.” It is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s take a look at the similarities between Moses & Christ
1. Moses was an Israelite, and according to the flesh, Christ was an Israelite.
2. Satan tried to murder both Moses and Christ while they were infants to prevent the deliverance of God’s people (Exodus 1:15-22; Matthew 2:16-18).
3. Both Moses and Christ were born while the children of Israel suffered under the domination and bondage of Gentile rule (Exodus 1:8-10; Luke 2:1-5).
4. Both Moses and Christ spent their early years in Egypt (Exodus; Matthew 2:13-15).
5. Both Moses and Christ were brought up by men who were not their biological fathers (Exodus 2:9-10; Luke 2:33). Moses was raised by Pharaoh and his daughter, and Christ was raised by Joseph.
6. Both Moses and Christ saw the burdens of their Israelite brethren and had compassion on them (Exodus 2:11; Mark 6:34).
7. Both Moses and Christ sat at a well to rest, and were kind to women by offering them water. Moses watered the flocks of the the daughters of the priest of Midian. And Christ offered living water to the Samaritan woman (Exodus 2:15-17; John 4:5-15). Both went outside of cultural customs by speaking with women.
8. Both Moses and Christ performed extraordinary miracles to confirm God’s word and prove that they were sent by the Father (Exodus 4:1-9; Exodus 4:28-31; Exodus 14:31; Deuteronomy 34:10-12; Mark 2:10-11; John 3:1-2; John 5:36; John 10:37-38, John 14:10-11; John 20:30-31; Acts 2:22).
9. Both Moses and Christ gave God’s people the law/covenant. The Old law/covenant came through Moses, and the New law/covenant came through Christ (Exodus 24:8; Joshua 23:6; Hebrews 12:24; Hebrews 13:20; Matthew 26:26-28; Romans 8:2; Galatians 6:2).
10. The law/covenant of Moses was inaugurated by the blood of animals, and the law/covenant of Christ was inaugurated by His own blood (Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:11-22).
11. Both Moses and Christ were transfigured on the top of a mountain (Exodus 34:29-35; Matthew 17:1-3).
12. The children of Israel rejected Moses and Christ and wanted to kill them both (Exodus 17:1-4; Mark 15:12-14; John 1:10-11; John 58-59).
13. Both Moses and Christ chose 12 men, then appointed 70 others (Deuteronomy 1:23; Mark 3:14; Numbers 11:15; Luke 10:1).
14. Both Moses and Christ forsook riches and made themselves poor servants, choosing instead to suffer persecution with God’s people as sojourners in this world (2 Corinthians 8:9; Hebrews 11:24-26; Philippians 2:5-8).
17. Moses was a shepherd, and Christ is our Good Shepherd (Exodus 3:1; John 10).
18. Moses was called to deliver God’s people from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 3:10). Jesus was called to deliver people from slavery to sin and out of spiritual Egypt (Luke 4:18-19; Luke 19:10; John 8:31-36, Acts 7:35).
19. Moses was a ruler of Israel, and Christ is our Ruler (Acts 7:35; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6).
20. The children of Israel were baptized into Moses and Believers are baptized into Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-2; Mark 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12).
21. Both Moses and Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 34:28; Matthew 4:1-2).
22. Both Moses and Christ washed their brethren with water to consecrate them for service unto God (Leviticus 8:6; John 13:3-5).
23. Both Moses and Christ interceded for God’s people (Exodus 32:9-14; Deuteronomy 9:25-27; Numbers 14:11-20; Numbers 21:7; Luke 23:34; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
24. Both Moses and Christ are noted in Scripture for their humility (Numbers 12:3; Philippians 2:5-11).
These similarities are not a coincidence. God orchestrated the life and ministry of Moses so that it would foreshadow the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The apostles understood this very well and proclaimed that Jesus is the Prophet who would be like Moses (Acts 3:22-23; Acts 7:37).
“Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” (John 1:45)
“If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.” (John 5:46)
“For He [Jesus] was faithful to God, who appointed Him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house. But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.” (Hebrews 3:2-6)
Moses, Jesus, & The Pharisees
Jesus often ran into conflicts with the scribes and Pharisees because of their pride, hypocrisy, and spiritual blindness.
One of the manifestations of their pride was that they assumed upon themselves the authority of Moses: “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and Pharisees have SEATED THEMSELVES in the chair of Moses.” (Matthew 23:1-2)
The term “chair of Moses” or “Moses seat” isn’t referring to a literal chair that Moses sat on. It’s an expression which refers to the authority of Moses to teach the law of God and lead the children of Israel.
The scribes and Pharisees wanted the same authority that God gave Moses to teach the law and be leaders over Israel. Yet God did not appoint them to the chair of Moses — they were self-appointed as Jesus said, they “have seated themselves.”
Similarly, many religious leaders today want the authority of Moses, so they sit themselves in the chair of Moses. Yet God has not appointed them. The only one with authority from the Father to sit in the chair of Moses is Jesus Christ.
The scribes and Pharisees exalted themselves as stellar examples of obedience to the law of Moses and official interpreters of the law. Yet they side-stepped God’s commandments and canceled them out for the sake of keeping their own false traditions (Mark 7:1-13).
In like manner, many religious leaders today consider themselves to be the greatest examples of obedience to Jesus and expert interpreters of His teachings. However, they render the teachings of Jesus null and void by substituting them with their own customs, ideas, and concepts.
Whereas Moses was humble, the scribes and Pharisees were prideful: “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ [meaning ‘my Great One, Master’]. Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” (Matthew 23:5-8)
The pompous behavior of the Pharisees is a mirror image of today’s leadership. Yet ironically, they consider themselves to be a modern-day Moses, but where is their humility? Show me in Scripture where Moses power-postured over others by emphasizing his authority, rank, position, anointing, gifts, and revelation knowledge. Show me in Scripture where Moses had people call him by honorific titles and elevate him by sitting him in the highest seats. Moses did no such thing, but many ‘pastors’ today do and have the audacity to fancy themselves as a modern-day Moses.
Where Does The Moses-complex Come From?
The answer can be found in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16: “But their minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
It may sound striking to you. . . . but the fact of the matter is, many religious leaders today think they’re Moses because their minds are hardened and their hearts are covered with a veil so that they do not understand the truth. They TALK about Christ, but they have not yet turned to Christ — otherwise, He would have lifted the veil from their hearts so that they can understand His word.
How else can one explain the blasphemous mentality of leaders who think they are “as Moses/Jesus” over the household of God? Is this mentality indicative of someone who has turned to Christ? Or is it indicative of someone who does not know Him? Indeed someone does not know Christ if they are blaspheming Him by attempting to sit in the chair of Moses.
Their minds are hardened, which is why they do not understand the Scriptures about Moses and the entire Old Covenant in general which foreshadowed Jesus Christ. In their blindness and arrogance — they believe that the Scriptures about Moses testify of themselves, and they use the Old Testament as a footnote for self-exalting sermons.
It is only when someone humbles themselves and turns to the Lord that He removes the veil which covers their heart. Then the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened, and they will see Jesus Christ proclaimed all throughout the Old Testament.
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to ME! Yet you refuse to come to me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-49)