Jesus gave us the specific instructions to “watch.” This implies watching for His return; watching over our hearts; watching over our lives, and watching what we take in as spiritual food.
Unfortunately much of the church today is on a carcinogenic diet of “gimme gimme” theology and “easy believism.”
Tea with the Queen
A Christian brother recently told me of the time he went to a tea-party at Buckingham Palace with the Queen of England. The gilt-edged invitation was superbly presented with fancy calligraphy and the Royal Stamp embossed into the paper. Excitement was the order of the day as the guests made their way to Buckingham Palace. They were escorted onto a massive lawn adjacent to the palace where manicured lawns were covered with white marquee’s and had carpets to walk on.
They enjoyed their tea and snacks using bone china crockery and silver cutlery. Then they were alerted to an announcement that her majesty was making her presence. The queen came out of a palace doorway some distance from the tea party crowd and with a smile and waved at the crowd with a little white handkerchief. It was not possible to get near her for an introduction and soon the queen retired back into the castle.
My friend mused about the encounter and asked himself the question: “Did I have tea with the queen of England?” The answer was a definite, “No!” You see being in the near vicinity of someone and not interacting with them is as impersonal as the tea party at Buckingham Palace.
My question to you is this: “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”
You may attend church and do all the religious good things in order to score “brownie” points with God, but only an up-close and personal relationship with Jesus Christ will open the palace for you to enter and take-up residence in one of the rooms.
The Word of Faith Movement (WFM)
What happens when you “exceed what is written?”
Proverbs 4:23 says: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
In other words do not be deceived by manmade religion or doctrines of demons.
A study on the WFM will reveal that it is an old heresy that has been around for a long time.
It is the same old pie with different gravy. Word of faith movement teachings blur the line between God and Man.
They reduce God to a more human form by referring to Him as “Big Daddy” etc. while saying that we can do godlike things as God did by speak things into existence. The created is becoming more like the Creator, and the Creator is being made more manlike.
WE DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO SPEAK THINGS INTO EXISTENCE;
ONLY GOD HAS THAT ABILITY.
At the beginning of the 1800s, Phineas P. Quimby taught quasi-Christian heresy which influenced Mary Baker Eddy (the founder of Christian Science) and E.W Kenyon who in turn influenced William Branham and later Kenneth Hagin Snr the grand daddy of WFM who plagiarized Kenyon’s writings.
Branham, an admired hero of the Charismatic Movement believed that the he was the angel of
Revelation 3: 14. He also believed that the pyramids held equal authority to the Bible.
Amongst other heresies, he also denounced the doctrine of the Trinity as “Of the devil.”
Incidentally Branham claimed that an angel named “Emma” appeared to him. Branham was a great influence on Oral Roberts and Todd Bently who also claims that the same angel named Emma (who was14 foot tall) began his healing revival in Lakeland Florida.
Todd claims that he was sucked up into heaven where he was strapped down to an operating table where four angels, two on each side cut him open and stuffed white “gift” boxes into his body. The gifts were supposedly gifts like wisdom etc. (I imagine the white box containing the gift of discernment was pretty small.)
Can one actually make this stuff up? Yet this man’s following has grown in leaps and bounds; go figure that one out.
Matthew 7:13 says: “…broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”
Into this ferment there is an astonishing lack of discernment in the church today and the bizarre excesses all began with the “exceeding” what is written. Job comes to mind here…the theological elephant sitting in the pew of the faith preachers.
Having a positive outlook on life is a good thing; however Christian visualization is an occult practice. In this teaching you strongly visualize something in your mind until it manifests in the physical realm.
So in order to Christianize the practice Scripture is used as a reference point. Scripture is misquoted in order to support this theory.
Basically there is a preconceived theory on Positive Confession, Prophecy, Healing and Prosperity. Those who use this search for Scripture that appears to support their view and use it to reinforce their position whether that “cherry picked” portion of Scripture is in context or not.
This is called: Eisegesis.
We are to read what the Scripture says and get our authority from the Word of God. This is called: Exegesis. We should interpret our experiences by the Bible not interpret the Bible by what we experience. No matter how authentic an experience may appear to us, if it does not line-up with the Word of God it is not a legitimate experience, and we have exceeded what is written. When we exceed biblical parameters we open ourselves up to error and demonic influences.
Benny Hinn stated this on a Praise the Lord program on TBN (1989)…
I had a witch tell me this…(First mistake Benny!) She said, “You know that we are taught in witchcraft how to kill birds with words and how to kill people with our mouth. We were taught to with words to bring disease on men, by speaking words that would defeat them.” She said, ‘With words I used to kill birds…I used to kill birds.’ She said she would speak to a bird and the bird would drop dead. I said, ‘Dear God, I didn’t know the devil had such power.’ And the Lord spoke to me and He said, ‘The devil can kill with words, then you with words can bring life.’ And it just come to me [sic] and clicked inside of me brother…and we Christians don’t realize the power in our mouths.
The above statement begs the question…Are spiritual truths from a witch now doctrine in this movement? Is this what the Scripture refers to as “doctrines of demons?” Where is the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit?
What much of the world understands about Christianity it gets from Christian television.
Someone is going to have to answer some very awkward questions one day. If you, dear reader were saved under a false gospel, believing in another Christ other than the Christ of the Bible, where does that put you?
Do you have true biblical salvation, or is it a false salvation from a false gospel that now gives you a false sense of security in your Christ?
No, I am not questioning your sincerity or your love for the Lord; I am questioning whether you have been led astray by the many wolves in sheep’s clothing. They may bleat like sheep, they may seem so sincere and helpful, they may seem entirely harmless, but that is exactly how the enemy deceives the church of Christ.
Okay, so now you are offended, but I have to speak the truth in love. I have approached this subject with as much charity as possible without watering down the stern warning that we all need to examine our position in Christ. Taking offence might be just what you need right now in your life.
Be honest, what exactly do you believe? Why do you believe what you believe?
2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”
ASK YOURSELF SERIOUSLY; WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
The time has come to be honest with yourself; It is time to call a spade a spade and not an agricultural implement.
2 Peter 2:1-3: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
Maximus the Gladiator
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23).
There is an interesting quote from the movie “Gladiator.” Commodus, the next in line to Emperor Marcus Aurelius had been doing his own thing and disregarded his father’s advice on all matters pertaining to kingship. Marcus Aurelius in fact calls Commodus “an immoral man.”
When Commodus learned that the royal succession would go to another, in desperation he relates a letter that he received from his father…
You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues:
WISDOM, JUSTICE, FORTITUDE and TEMPERANCE.
As I read the list, I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues, father.
AMBITION: That can be a virtue when it drives us to excel.
COURAGE, perhaps not on the battlefield, but… there are many forms of courage.
DEVOTION, to my family and to you.
But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.
Will this be similar to your defense when you are faced with rejection from your Heavenly Father because you did not follow the instructions of a loving Father who’s only desire for you was to get you into His bosom?
Is the doctrine you are following a work of iniquity that will ultimately be rejected like Cain’s sacrifice?
Have you taken the time to find out exactly what your group teaches?
And if what it teaches is biblical?
Or are you along for the spiritual ride that ultimately ends up being rejected?
Are you keeping your heart with all diligence or are you swallowing every new “anointing” that presents itself to you?
Ephesians 4:14: “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.”
What can you do?
If the above is the why, then what follows is the “how.”It all begins with prayer. Desire the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Someone might ask, “What about the Jehovah Witnesses? They use the Bible and they claim that only they have the truth.” True, but the Jehovah Witnesses use a version of the Bible called the New World Translation. This Bible was translated from the original Greek and Hebrew with one purpose in mind: to make it fit their cultish doctrine.
They “exceeded what was written,” and they added and subtracted from the Word of God in order for it to comply with their preconceived doctrines. We do that too, when we go beyond what God requires of us, or if we subtract from the Bible those things that do not suit us.
Are you prepared to change your theology if you find that you have been misled?
One would have to put aside any spiritual pride when examining one’s theology.
If your beliefs are not biblical, are you prepared to reject a long held false premise in order to walk in the truth?
God has made a promise to you that He will lead you to all truth. This does not happen automatically. You need to have the desire to walk before God in truth no matter how much that may hurt. The desire to walk in truth before God is more than a simple prayer. It requires enough humility and will on our part to say…
Lord, I know nothing of your Word. I do however want to know you through your Word.
Teach me your precepts as if you were teaching a child, and give me the grace to release any falsehood that I may hold as true. I surrender my spirit and my mind into your loving hands in order for you to mould me into that which you created me for. I ask you Father to do a work in my heart that I may conform into the image of Christ who is in me. I want to walk before you in humility, in love, in faith and in truth. Amen