Posts Tagged ‘Bible Jesus Christ’

CHRIST BARES OUR NAMES

Posted: December 23, 2013 in Bible, Jesus Christ
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CHRIST BARES OUR NAMES

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In a recent debate on the issue of Joyce Meyers, the argument went something like this:

“But people are getting saved through her ministry”

The idea being that if Joyce and her fellow prosperity teachers are saving souls they cant be that bad.   I have a friend whose father in Law went to a Benny Hinn crusade and went forward to be saved.  After that they would not hear anything bad about Benny. 

NOW IT A FAIR ENOUGH QUESTION IF THEY ARE WINNING CONVERTS SURELY THAT CAN’T BE BAD?

Now please notice that I have change the wording from actually being saved to winning converts, because numbers are not really a basis to determine if someone is genuine.  The appeal to converts does not in itself determine the message.  There is no doubt many cults including the rev Sun Moon of the unification church  and even Islam  all groupingboast in their numbers  as the principle basis that numbers somehow equals truth.   Yet we know their message is in no way genuine.

So the number game does not determine the message or the fruit.  Jesus had few followers at the end and yet his message and fruit was more than genuine.   Sadly it has become the principle debate that mega churches are automatically right simply because of their numbers.    We can’t go on that basis.  As scripture says Broad is the road that leads to destruction, and narrow is the road that leads to life.  The broad road is easy to find, but the narrow is so much harder to find, never mind squeeze through.

THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, SOME OF WHICH IS NOT ALWAYS OUT OF A GENUINE MOTIVE.

Phil 1: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds.

Just because someone preaches a gospel message:  Appears to use all the right terminology and even makes an altar call, is no guarantee they are the genuine article.  People have preached the gospel for many reasons.  Some of which have been for reasons altogether insincere.  Many have done so because there were dollar signs attached.   Such as with the case of Marjoe Gortner who for many years went on the preaching circuit, and accumulated vast sums of wealth.   He was brought up by his parents to be the boy preacher.  Many believed on him, followed him.  He preached and prayed for the sick and could speak in tongues as good as anyone.    Yet he is on record as never ever being a true believer.  He could say all the right things and make all the right moves, but was never the genuine article.   Yet how many bought into this mans message and dare I say anointing?  Just because a man claims he is anointed, does not mean he is?  In the end he did a final preaching tour with a camera team to expose just how easy people could be deceived.  Sadly many missed the lesson!!!!

 2 Peter 2: 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet

BUT WHAT IF A PERSON GETS SAVED THROUGH A FALSE TEACHER?

Balaam’s was rebuked by his ass and what the ass said was true.  Now did ass gather a following afterwards?  Just because a ass bore some fruit does not mean we should all follow the ass.  The ass may have been used once but the ass remained just an ass.    So someone may have been witness to by something someone said.  Still does not mean we follow the ass.    Plus and what makes this all the more important is the preacher is not the one who does the saving, God does.  Yet in listening to some you can’t help walk away with the thought that the preacher becomes the one who does.

There is an interesting line to point out here.  The messenger is still only the messenger.  A sign post on the road is still only a sign post, but he is never the vehicle that takes you to the end of the road.    So even if someone is convinced by an individual, like Joyce Meyers.  Joyce is not the one who saves, God alone saves the lost soul.  What many are actually pointing to is the fact that Copeland Osteen Meyers or the many others are actually doing is winning converts to themselves, rather than to the Lord.

IF NOT SAVED , THEN WHAT ARE THEY SAVED TO?

Heb 4: 2 For unto us was the gospelpreached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].

It would seem that in some conversation with people, it becomes clear that it is not a matter that people are being saved to know the Lord, But that they are being converted to a certain individual.  What happens is that the convert instead of running after God, spends their time running after the messenger.  When the messenger falls the converts fall away.  It may not always happen,  they may come through to a genuine path and therefore to a genuine faith.  But when trust is misplaced and these pillow prophets will often package their message in such as way that they place themselves central to their message.  That people inevitable follow the individual thinking they are following God.. 

IT’S ALL IN HOW THE MESSAGE IS PACKAGED

There is great subtly in the way the prosperity message is packaged.  There is almost a two tier lever of consciousness to their message.  Yet whilst many hear one level they will embrace both.  One is a very vocal top message that’s very positive.   This message is very comfortable to embrace, health peace financial stability, divine health and how to love oneself.

There is a lot what I call mixture, where both truth and error are all blended in together and it takes almost a blowtorch to separate the two.

But the core lever of the message which drives the top message is altogether prejudice against the truth of scripture.  Both are inevitably embraced without the realisation that the core message is poison and dangerous to the soul.  I have talked with a number of Prosperity believers who would argue blind that Copeland, Hagin and others did not teach a specific aspect of their message.  Yet in the continual conversation on the subject they would begin to mimic the very thing they denied previously.  It is both curious and alarming that the individuals do not see this reality.  It takes some persuasion before even they begin to see that the truth of the falseness of these teachers is actually coming out of their own mouths.

The final level is probably the worst in this regard that they both see believe and accept that what is being taught by these people is not accord with scripture.  It is almost impossible to reach them without God.  At this level the individuals are so persuaded, and their conscience has been so seared and hardened that it almost impossible to reach.    They know what they believe and could not care that the doctrine they pursue is error. 

To put is bluntly people are being brainwashed by this heresy.  Because this message is often repeated word for word, with only minor changes people are becoming subconsciously persuaded by it. Just as people are persuaded to buy the next new product on the market, so people are being persuaded in the same way.  The constant repetition of any product is eventually picked up by some consumer, so the message if listen to on a regular basis on Books TV and tape will eventually hit its mark.

I know of another dear friend who was involved in a church that embraced this heresy many years ago.  Whilst he knows that the prosperity teaching is wrong.  He totally rejects it as heresy.  Yet there are times he comes out with something that I can tell is from the prosperity Message.  Unless you are fully aware of why how and where you can miss the subtitle of this heresy, but once you see and grasp where it is wrong it sticks out like a boulder. 

The world preaches a message that if we buy into this or that product we will become more  successful.    Use the right deodorant and people will rush into our arms.  They will be caught up in the magnetism of our hair product.  The underlying message is success and greater assurance   But seriously we all know that is not reality and yet people still buy the products.

We all like to see ourselves as the superhero that rights all wrongs, sets the world to right, fight doctor doom and defeat the arch villain.  We all see ourselves as the hero of our dreams.   Yet even thought we know we are not supermen, we still buy into something of that reality.

God  gave us the LAW and that LAW became a mirror to our souls.  When we look into that mirror, we don’t see a super hero but the super villain.    We don’t see ourselves as the solution but the problem.

Gal 3: 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

When we read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation this message keeps jumping out at us.  Man is not the solution but the problem.  Now this is not a comfortable message.  We don’t like such a message to be preached to us.  It takes God to break apart the dream, give us the truth and shock us into a reality that we are the villains.  We are the super foes.  We are the ones that God needs to lead captive.  Hog tie us and bring us to the realisation we are broken fragile beings that are mired and corrupted by sin.    This makes us so very uncomfortable!!!!

“Start calling yourself healed, happy, whole, blessed, and prosperous. Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are, and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is!”  ― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

It is easy to buy into a message of ease, comfort and prosperity even if it’s a lie, because the truth is many  are not prospering they are being persecuted.  Many are not healed and suffer terrible health issues.  Lying will not change the truth.  Lying to oneself is probably the biggest deception of all.  Saying it does not make it happen.

The man who is scared because someone threw acid on his face because of his faith is hardly the man who is going to lie to himself and proclaim he looks like Rock Hudson.   Nor belief he is healed when he obviously is not.  

So when Joel Osteen claims  you can have your “ best life now, “  is this not the same message the world preaches every day though commercials  and TV programs.  Is this not the same message Joyce Meyer preaches when she makes up her confessional list of health and wealth.  Is this not the message of ease that we in ourselves are the superheroes which rights all wrongs?  Let’s all be positive and see ourselves as the solution, the head and not the tail as many prosperity teachers affirm.   That somehow we are to see ourselves as little gods writing out our own little world via the power of our tongues. Otherwise buy into the same myth and the same lie and we will be successful wealthy and prosperous.  But God does not look on man as man does.  The message these people preach is not God centred but self centred.  How to make ME feel good about myself?  What will make ME comfortable?  What pampers to MY feelings?

 The fact that like many commercials on products there are elements of truth mixed in there.  They can’t be total lies, but what people come away with may not actually be the truth either. Like the man who builds himself a Noah type ark, sprayed himself with a popular deodorant,  and all the women come to him two by two.  No one believes it will happen, the commercial is a fabrication and yet people will go out and buy the product.  We are subtly persuaded, even when we know the commercial was a spoof.

WE COME STAMPED FAILURE.

The gospel message is heading in a completely different direction.  The law makes one thing clear the package we buy into does not make me the superhero, but the super villain.   It’s only as we begin to see ourselves as God sees us that we begin to understand the failure, the magnitude and the consequences.   The gospel is not meant to be popular, spruced up and coated with dainty lyrics.  It’s meant to offend, convict and compel the sinner from his ways.  Its shatters our allusions, it breaks down our confidence in ourselves until finally we raise the white flag and cry surrender.

“It’s vital that you accept yourself and learn to be happy with who God made you to be. If you want to truly enjoy your life, you must be at peace with yourself.” ― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

Somehow these people want us to believe that God wears rose tainted glasses and sees us as something we are not.  The truth is I am not happy with myself.  We are called to overcome.  How can you overcome unless you are not happy with something?

 It can never be a matter of me saving myself by buying into some commercialised product.  This hair spray or deodorant is no guarantee of happiness, no matter what the product makers say..  I am not the superman of my dreams.  The need is therefore to hang up my hero suit, step down from the throne and look to the one person who is truly the real superhero and he is the one who died on the cross to save me.

For many the cross was but a failure, a marked man who failed to realise that the people who ruled the roast would see to it that he would be taken out of the picture.  But little realising that is was in such humility, discomfort and pain that the real example was demonstrated.   At any moment thousands of angels could have came to his rescue.  At any moment who could have thrown the entire legions of Roman soldiers into some fiery pit.  At any moment he could have thrown aside his humility and demonstrated that he was in every way GOD.  But it was in this example of humility and surrender to his Fathers will that the true glory was seen.  It was in laying down his humanity and surrendering himself to the indignity of a crucifixion that he laid down the example to each of us. 

2 Cor 1: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead 

Self wants the glory the honour and the power.  Our spiritual head Jesus choose to lay it down as an example that we need to also lay down our self interests.

Phil 2: 5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus

What mind was that?  What example did he lay out before him?

Phil 2: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God

So it is not in declaring  that I am some little god, but our willingness to reject our own image as the superhero.  To declare NOT I but Christ that lives in me, and to renounce my own super identity.  Surrender it and declare that without Christ we are simply miserable failures.  The super villains that we all hate to boo and to realise we are that person.  Dont get me wrong we are blessed people, but we are blessed because GOD is the one doing the blessing.

Phil 2: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men

The prosperity Gospel point inwards, that we should elevate ourselves.  To see ourselves that it is not Christ but I that liveth in me.

For the believer the way up is down.  For the prosperity teachers the way down produces negativity and a failure.  We must preach upwards. Be positive exalt ourselves and cry out that we are gods in Gods class.  We must become the head and not the tail.  GOD help the one who preaches otherwise.  Yet sadly God becomes nothing more than another piece of merchandising, the selling of a product, or the newest hair die or deodorant.  Keep it positive and the punters will buy into it.  Never mind the fact that its all hogwash. 

Phil 2: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross

Jesus example was obedience even to suffering at the hands of men.  But for those who merchandise the gospel and pervert its message there is no willingness to submit to humiliation, that’s beneath them.  How many would be prepare to sell their chauffer driven limos , surrender their private jets, and give away their expensive homes to live in a caravan?    The west has preached a message of ease wealth and comfort whilst many of our Christian Brothers and sisters in the east labour under fear persecution victimisation imprisonment and death.  They endure the hardship that we in the west would be aghast at.  Yet I wonder which witness would God bless more?

Phil 2: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth.

The true Gospel does not come to give us ease and comfort.  If anything the very opposite is true.  We are not at ease in this world.  We continually live with the knowledge of being imperfect creatures before a perfect God.

Joyce Meyer talks about how God wants us to be rich and prosperous, and yet Jesus makes it clear DON’T LAY UP FOR YOURSELF TREASURE ON EARTH WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT.  BUT LAY UP YOUR TREASURES IN HEAVEN.

So the prosperity teachers circumvent the word to make it say something it does not. They labour to talk about fictitious conversations with God telling them the very opposite. People scoop up the lie and embrace it as the gospel truth.

In a recent conversation over the heretical teachings of Joyce Meyer I had a dear lady tried to argue that I was merely slandering her, to the point where she would not even believe her own ears when she heard Joyce Meyer from her own ears teach heresy.  Such is the overwhelming merchandising that many continue to buy into this message of ease.  She eventually befriended me.  In the end it was easier to listen to a message that she wanted to hear than a message that was uncomfortable.  

Rom 7: 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin

Even the great Apostle Paul at the height of his ministry had to come to that realisation of his own need.  I AM CARNAL AND SOLD UNDER SIN.  This is no message of ease comfort and whipping out the super hero suit and declaring my own identity as some little god who is in God’s league.

Rom 7: 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not

Rom 7: 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

This type of message hurts the pride.  It strikes at the core of self.  We are uncomfortable with it. It leaves us with no excuse.  The Holy Spirit will not excuse us, nor leave us with our sin intact.  However the answer comes in the next verse.

Rom 7: 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin

The turning point for Paul was not hiding the issue and pretending it was not there but the realisation that this was who he was.  Who among the prosperity ministers are prepared to give such a negative statement about themselves?  To speak it is to become it.  Joel Osteen believes that to make such a negative statement is a sin.

In all points to our own spiritual bankruptcy, but in that failure comes the hope and realisation of the saviour who is more than willing to save from the gutter to the highest.  No where does Paul declare that his confession would change his condition.  No where does he teach that his words will save himself.  NO where does he say confess and that confession will make you prosperous.

The very opposite is made clear by Hebrews 11.  Try preaching Joel Osteen message that one can have ones BEST LIFE NOW to these men.

Heb 11 : 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.

Yes some saw their dead brought to life and other did not.  Some wandered in deserts and some had homes. Some subdued lions and kingdoms, but others saw bondage and torture.   Hardly reiterating the message of Osteen on how to have your best life now.  Frankly many did not have a good life and many today would not consider that a reality.

Yet they all choose to suffer the affliction as the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. They all had great faith.  So those who suffered and died had the same faith as those who subdued kingdoms.  So we must be reminded that faith is not based upon the size of ones bank balance but the size of one faith.  Faith that is not centred on what I say but in what God says.