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CAN WE REALLY BLAME FALSE PROPHETS?

23 Sep

By Terry Loving


“The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”

Jeremiah 5:31

I received the news of Bishop Eddie Long with my mouth wide open. The charge of inappropriate sexual allegations isn’t what caused my heart to sink, for I have no personal relationship with Bishop Long, therefore, I cannot speak to his personal character. What saddened me is the fact that this news circulating around the world gives Christianity another black eye.

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As far as my opinion as to his guilt or innocence, it is my hope and prayer that he is innocent. I would hate to see the faith of so many Christians damaged, and lost souls shying away from the true teaching of the Bible by faithful ministers of God. Sad to say though, this is a tough one, and the spotlight is shining brightly on Bishop Long, and several other ministers that are viewed as false prophets – who are accused of financially raping their congregants for their own sordid gain.

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There are numerous scriptures that warn of false prophets, especially in the Last Days. Let’s suppose that Creflo Dollar, Bishop Eddie Long, Joel Osteen – mega-church ministers – are false prophets who preach prosperity, and live lavish lifestyles above and beyond what is necessary. How did they get to where they are today? If they just prayed to God and asked for riches, and poof – there it is – shouldn’t all faithful children of God be rich? The Bible says, “God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34)

This means that “God does not show favoritism.” So what rained down from heaven into the coffers of these ministers, should equally rain down for faithful members of their congregations – you think? It doesn’t happen that way folks. Let the Bible show you how questionable ministries begin.

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When people are anxious and impatient, they run to and fro’ seeking those who will tell them exactly what they want to hear. When they no longer “endure sound doctrine,” the way our Lord Jesus taught His true Apostles to teach the Word, they seek ministers that will preach according to their desires – a little bit of this, and a little bit of that – but  “no hellfire and brimstone please.”  To be palatable, the gospel message has to be watered down, empty, indulgent, and sprinkled with just enough scripture to trick the people into believing they are spiritually fed on Sunday morning. Oh, and add just enough shouting and dancing to mask as worship and praise to please the congregation.

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Many church services make you wonder if you are in the house of God, or your local club. In numerous cases, not much “sound doctrine” is being preached, but a lot of sweating going on. But this is what many Christians desire, to have a good time in the house of God. Personally, I cannot tolerate a “dead” church, at least let me softly say “Amen” without looking at me as if I cursed or something. But let’s be real, running around the church house, jumping over pews and body shaking is not showing God a lot of respect and adoration. In the presence of a Holy God, worship should be honorable.

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2 Timothy 4:3 says, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” This should come as no surprise for this is prophecy:

“They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.” (Isaiah 30:10)

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”  (Jeremiah 6:14)

“Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you, “I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!” That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!”  (Micah 2:11 – NIV)

“Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” (Isaiah 30:11)

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“The Jews were the only professing people God then had in the world, yet many among them were rebellious. They had the light, but they loved darkness rather. The prophets checked them in their sinful pursuits, so that they could not proceed without fear; this they took amiss. But faithful ministers will not be driven from seeking to awaken sinners. God is the Holy One of Israel, and so they shall find him. They did not like to hear of his holy commandments and his hatred of sin; they desired that they might no more be reminded of these things. But as they despised the word of God, their sins undermined their safety. Their state would be dashed in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” 1

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“Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)

“And my people love it so.” Mixing truth with lies produces spiritual ingredients that too many Christians assume are the very words of God. When ministers are looked upon as the final authority, and not the Bible, spiritual delusions are not far behind. When Christians do not read the Bible to verify what has been preached, their gullible minds will receive anything fed to them – especially if they hold their ministers in high regard – even higher than Jesus Christ Himself.

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“Where God gives a warrant to do any thing, he gives wisdom. What they delivered was not what they had seen or heard, as that is which the ministers of Christ deliver. They were not praying prophets, had no intercourse with Heaven; they contrived how to please people, not how to do them good; they stood not against sin. They flattered people into vain hopes. Such widen the breach, by causing men to think themselves deserving of eternal life, when the wrath of God abides upon them.” 2

Even though false prophets, teachers, and preachers will someday give an account to Almighty God for their deception and lies, gullible Christians will also give an account for following them:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.  (2 Corinthians 6:17)

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People want to hear that they will be prosperous in this world – hence – prosperity preaching is born. There is nothing wrong with prosperity as the Lord sees fit to bestow, however, there is a warning concerning the riches of this world:

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (James 5:1)

False teachers of the gospel lie and deceive their way to riches:

“In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:3)

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Sadly, it is the “stories they have made up” that the people want to hear. So I say to all who are down on false ministers of the gospel, they are preaching what the people want. They found a way to build prosperous ministries on the backs of the simple minded, and their flock must share the blame for many lost souls that turn away from God because of their greed.

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In conclusion, there is more that can be said concerning this issue. But I believe I have stated enough facts and truth for you to get the message. Pushers are in business because people want to get high. Psychics are making big bucks because people rather hear a lie than the truth. Plastic surgeons are rich because most people hate the way they look. Prosperity preaching is popular because people don’t want to hear that they may die poor. Yes there were rich believers in the Bible such as King Solomon, but not everyone who is a believer will be monetarily rich in this world.

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There isn’t anything wrong with having a favorite minister of the gospel. Some preachers are more vivid than others, and are able to rightly divide the Word of God. The wrong thing to do is put any man or woman in the pulpit up so high that they become your god. This is idolatry, and there is a price to pay. Prideful, rich and arrogant ministers will meet their doom at the appointed time.

“Pride comes before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

1 http://bible.cc/isaiah/30-11.htm

2 http://bible.cc/ezekiel/13-3.htm

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“Creflo Dollar Defends Eddie Long; Rebukes Unforgiving Followers”

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http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

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8 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Home

 

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8 responses to “CAN WE REALLY BLAME FALSE PROPHETS?

  1. Salvatore

    February 2, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Hi Terry,

    I like this article of yours about a subject of urgent and vital importance. I think that it is well-written and well-argued. In general, I agree with you. I have expressed the same or similar thoughts and sentiments elsewhere on the Web, and also cited Jeremiah 5:30-31 and Micah 2:11.

    I disagree with you, though, on two points:

    1. I do not think that because “God is no respecter of persons” that He will answer a prayer that is uttered by two or more people in the same way for each supplicant. For example: Many single Christians ask God to provide them with a spouse. God does not answer this prayer in exactly the same way every time. Another example: Many married Christians ask God to bless them with a child, or with children. God answers this prayer in different ways, too–sometimes with the wife becoming pregnant, sometimes through adoption, and sometimes with neither.

    2. Based upon my own personal experience, I am not prepared to say that when a sheep is deceived by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it is always a case of the sheep hearing what he or she wants to hear.

    I think that some Christians who are fooled by false prophets and bad teachers are gullible because they are spiritually immature. It can be easier to fool a child than an adult.

    I think that others are gullible because, like many people in general, they do not take the effort to *think*. That is to say: They are intellectually lazy. For example: When they hear a bad teacher attempt to support a false doctrine by citing a Bible verse out of context, they do not read the verse in context–even when they think the doctrine may be dubious.

    Furthermore, some who are fooled do not want to change their minds out of pride, or because they are averse to the possible consequences of changing their minds, e.g. leaving one church and joining another. Some would rather make an effort to prove to themselves that what they already believe is the truth by reading a book that argues for what they believe.

    With the thought that it could be beneficial to you and other people who read these comments, I will tell you about a real example of a Christian whom I think is sadly deluded:

    I know a certain middle-aged man who, it seemed to me, had a profound conversion experience a few years ago. Ever since then, it has seemed to me that he has been unstable in his understanding of the Scriptures.
    To begin with, it seemed to me that he immediately regarded himself as qualified to teach Christians who were more mature and knowledgeable about the Scriptures than he was. (One thinks of Alexander Pope’s remark, “A little learning is a dangerous thing”.
    It wasn’t long before he seemed to be obsessed with the the return of the Lord and His millennial reign. Eventually, he got deceived into the Word of Faith Movement. He is so convinced that the special doctrines of this movement are true that he is currently attending a Bible college of one of its teachers. What is more, even though he has not graduated, he has already started to give public lectures about these doctrines.
    I have confronted him with the errors in his thinking, but he is like a fish that has swallowed hook, line, and sinker. He is so absolutely convinced that the doctrines of the Word of Faith Movement are true that I am concerned that he may not only believe them, but teach them, to the end of his life.

    I think that this man, and some of the other people who are attentive followers of false prophets and bad teachers, need to *think upon*, and *pray over*, these words:

    “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”
    –I Corinthians 14:20

    “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.”
    –Hebrews 13:9a

    “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
    –Ephesians 4:14

     
    • ssofdv

      March 26, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Hello Salvatore.

      This is what I wrote:
      If they just prayed to God and asked for riches, and poof – there it is – shouldn’t all faithful children of God be rich? The Bible says, “God is no respecter of persons.”

      (Acts 10:34)”means that “God does not show favoritism.” So what rained down from heaven into the coffers of these ministers, should equally rain down for faithful members of their congregations – you think? It doesn’t happen that way folks.”

      Notice the last line, “It doesn’t happen that way folks.”

      This is what false mega preachers want their flock to believe. That God will bless them to be rich just as they the preachers have become rich. What the congregations do not realize is that mega preachers are rich because their followers throw money at their feet. OK sure, they publish books and are into over financial endeavors. But, if they were not born into riches – the money to begin their projects had to come from some where. You get my meaning now?

      Perhaps I could have stated my point in a different manner. And yes, you are correct – Christians are “blessed” by God in various ways. And of course, sometimes the answers to prayers are “No,” or “Not Now,” or answers that many can eventually accept. However, in many cases God’s Will is rejected.

      Thank you for your comments.
      Peace

       
      • Salvatore

        March 27, 2015 at 12:01 am

        Hi Terry,

        Thank you for your reply. You asked “You get my meaning now?”.

        My understanding from your reply is that you believe that if two people pray for the provision of money for themselves, and God provides money to one and and not to the other, that He is *not* showing favoritism.

        This seems to me to be different from what you have said in your article–but I understand you to say now that, in fact, it isn’t different.

         

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