Category: Cults & False Doctrines

What Do Mormons Believe?

The Mormons also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith in the 1820s.
Joseph Smith claims to have experienced a series of visions of God the Father and Jesus Christ and also visitations by an “angel” called Moroni who directed him to a buried book of “golden plates”. According to Smith, the angel Moroni was the guardian of the golden plates, which Latter Day Saints believe were the source material for the Book of Mormon, which is a sacred text of the Mormon religion and beliefs.
Therefore the golden plates are the source from which Joseph Smith said he translated into English, the Book of Mormon.

 

It’s important to note that while the Latter Day Saints claim to be Christians and claim to believe in Jesus Christ, it is evident from their literature such as the Book of Mormon and other writings of Joseph Smith, that the Mormons do not believe in the essentials of the Christian doctrine.
The Mormons have many beliefs that are contrary to foundational Biblical teachings and as a result, they have been classified as a non-christian cult.

Some of the beliefs of the Mormons which totally contradict the Bible and the Christian faith are as follows:

  1. The Mormons believe that god was once a man who lived on a planet just like we do (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). They also believe that god earned his divinity while living on that planet. Essentially they believe that god is an exalted person but who has a body of flesh and bones
  2. The Mormons also believe that god has a wife. They believe that god and his wife had children (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516). The first born was Jesus and then after that Lucifer was born and then later other spirit children were born through the procreation of god and his goddess wife.
  3. The Mormons believe that if men on earth practice Mormonism to its fullest, then we too can become gods who also procreate so that we can create our own dynasty of other gods.
  4. So the Mormons do not believe in just one God, but the Mormons believe in MANY gods (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163) and that if humans practice Mormonism, they too can eventually become gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347).
  5. Therefore Mormons believe that Jesus is literally the first born created child and that Lucifer is a brother of Jesus (Mormon Doctrine, p. 192) and that both Jesus and Lucifer have other godlike brothers and sisters.
  6. Also Mormons do not regard the Bible as being their spiritual authority. Instead they believe that the Book of Mormon which was published by their founder Joseph Smith as being the ultimate spiritual authority (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461).

 

2 Corinthians 11:4 says “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough”.

So the Bible speaks of people who will come and proclaim a different Jesus. They will also proclaim a different spirit. And they will proclaim a different gospel.
Unfortunately, the Mormons are one those groups who proclaim a different message and a different God than the God who is mentioned in the Bible.

The god of the Mormons and the God of the Christians are totally different.

The Bible teaches that there is only ONE God (Deuteronomy 6:4) who eternally exists in 3 Persons; that is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In Isaiah 43:10 God says that He is the only God and there was no other god before Him and there will be no other god after Him.
The Bible also says that God is not a man that He should lie / sin, but God is perfect and God is Spirit and those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The Bible certainly teaches that God does NOT have a wife. God did not need a wife to create humanity or any other creature on this planet (Genesis 1).
The Mormons believe in the literature of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. However, the Bible is the inspired word of God and the Bible should be the ultimate spiritual authority in a Christian believer’s life (2 Timothy 3:16).

Most importantly, the Bible also teaches that salvation is only through one Person – Jesus Christ (John 14:6) – who paid for our sins on the cross & resurrected on the 3rd day so that you and I may have eternal life.

Do Christians and Mormons worship the same God? No they don’t.

See our articles: What is the Trinity?  ,  Is Jesus God?   , The Role of The Holy Spirit ,  What is the Gospel?

If you are a Mormon or if you have never genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour – you have the opportunity to put your total trust and faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible as your Saviour.

True salvation comes only through Jesus Christ and eternal life is a free gift in Christ.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

 

Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult?

What is the Jehovah’s Witness sect and what do they believe in? Also, what are some of the specific beliefs & practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that have led this group to be classified as a cult?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded through Charles Taze Russell in 1870 who started a Bible study class called the “Millennial Dawn Bible Study”.
Russell also wrote a series of books called “The Millennial Dawn” from which most of the Jehovah’s Witness theology is based on and to which the Jehovah’s Witness members hold as part of their essential doctrine.

In 1886 the Jehovah’s Witnesses founded an organization known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society which is led by the Jehovah’s Witness leaders.
The Watchtower Society is responsible for the publication and distribution of various Jehovah’s Witness literature such as The Watchtower, the Awake! magazines and also the Jehovah’s Witness translation of the Bible called the New World Translation.
The Watchtower Society and the Jehovah’s Witness leaders have tremendous spiritual & psychological control over Jehovah’s Witness members, both through their doctrines and through exercising cultic manipulation techniques on their members.

Whilst the Jehovah’s Witness sect may outwardly appear to be a friendly, Bible-believing group that follows God and has a strong dedication towards evangelism – closer scrutiny of their doctrine and internal practices will reveal that this group is not at all what it appears to reflect.

 

What do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?
The Jehovah’s Witnessess have many beliefs and practices that veer off from normal Christian behavior and doctrine. Some of these beliefs are as follows:

  • The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). They believe that salvation is something you earn through serving the Jehovah’s Witness sect and adhering to its doctrines.
  • They believe that Jesus is Michael the archangel. As a result, they believe that Jesus is a created being thereby claiming that Jesus is not God. This is a contradiction of the Bible which clearly states that Jesus is God (John 1:1,14)
  • They believe that the Holy Spirit is an “active force” and not a Person whom you can talk to or relate with. This concept clearly affects how their members perceive God and how they can relate with God according to His true nature.
  • The fact that they see the Holy Spirit as a “force” and view Christ as a “created” being means that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not ultimately believe in the triune nature of God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only God the Father is Jehovah / God and that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not part of the Godhead.
  • The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only 144 000 people will be resurrected to live with God in Heaven and then a great group of others will live on the earth.
  • They do not believe in a literal hell or lake of fire as described in the Bible. They do not believe that people will be eternally punished in hell. They believe that a bad person will either seize to completely exist or that the person will be completely destroyed after physical death.
  • They believe that they have the most accurate translation of the Bible which is called the New World Translation. Basically the New World Translation is a version of the Bible which was created by the Watchtower Society and contains subtle but deceptive changes to many Bible verses especially where the deity of Jesus Christ is depicted.
  • Jehovah’s Witness members are persuaded therefore to only read the New World Translation Bible and not any other version of the Bible such as New King James Version or English Standard Version. They believe that every other version of the Bible is inaccurate except their own New World Translation.

 

The above are just but a few beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrinal beliefs which contradict essential Christian doctrines and classify the Jehovah’s Witnessess as being a cult.

The governing body of the Watchtower Society is the only body within the entire Jehovah’s Witness cult that claims authority to interpret scripture. Therefore the interpretation of scripture by the Watchtower Society and Charles Taze Russell cannot be challenged or questioned by Jehovah’s Witness members but their teachings should be accepted and followed.

 

Testimonies of Former Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
In addition to its false doctrines being an issue, many former members of the Jehovah’s Witnessess have given many heart-breaking testimonies of cultic behavior, sexual immorality, hypocrisy, spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, separation of families and a manipulative side of this group and its leaders.
Many articles and testimonies about the Jehovah’s Witnesses exist all over the Internet and also from various reputable sources and ex-members who reveal a dark and strange side concerning the group.

All over the world there are thousands of cults that exist and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are claimed as being one of the largest and probably most recognized religious cults in the world.

The Bible warns every believer that there are various types of false teachers and false prophets who exist in the world. These false teachers deceive many and disguise themselves as sheep but yet inwardly they are wolves (Matthew 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Therefore every Christian believer is encouraged through the word of God and through the discernment from the Holy Spirit to test the spirits because of the existence of false teachers (1 John 4:1). Christians are also encouraged to heed the example of the Berean Christians who had a personal relationship with God and studied the scriptures for themselves. The Bereans were not so quick to believe every preacher but they compared what was preached with what the Bible actually taught.

May God open the spiritual eyes of those who are deceived by the Jehovah’s Witness doctrines & practices and may the power of the gospel of salvation set its members free from the grip of this group.

 

A NOTE TO THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESS MEMBER
If you are currently a Jehovah’s Witness or an ex-member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s important to realize that God loves you and salvation is a FREE gift of God received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). You don’t have to work for your salvation because Jesus paid a debt for sin that no other person could pay.
Jesus paid for our sins on the cross so that through Christ alone, we may have eternal life. All we have to do is to GENUINELY believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour (John 1:12). When you put your trust in Christ, God will change your life and free you from bondage.
It’s also important to believe in the deity of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit.
There is only ONE God who exists in 3 Persons – The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

See our articles: What is the Trinity?  ,  Is Jesus God?   , The Role of The Holy Spirit ,  What is the Gospel?

If you are a member of Jehovah’s Witness or an ex-member and have never received Jesus Christ, today you have the opportunity to believe and FREELY accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

How To Identify a False Prophet / False Teacher

Matthew 7:15-18 NKJV
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

We live in a time where money and not lost souls, is the motivation for why people become pastors; We are living in a time where a person who calls himself a “pastor” announces that he supports homosexuality & gay marriage; We live in a time where the gospel is no longer about the grace and love of God through the life, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ – instead there are now heretic teachings such as the “prosperity gospel” whose focus is to enrich the preachers of the prosperity gospel movement.

The Bible warns us that false prophets and teachers are “deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
However, one of the methods on how to identify a false prophet / false teacher is by studying the doctrine that they preach & believe and comparing it with what is written in the Bible.
For example false teachers may teach that you must keep the law and earn or work for your salvation. Yet there are many verses in the Bible that teach us that salvation is a free gift and that we are saved by grace and NOT by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
It is therefore up to every Christian to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who after hearing the preaching would “search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”.
Therefore the Bereans did not just listen to the preaching, but they verified through the Scriptures if what they had been told through the Scriptures is true or not.

Therefore knowing & studying the word of God for yourself is the best way to guard yourself against false teachers & prophets (2 Timothy 2:15).

2 Timothy 2:15-16 NKJV
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

IDENTIFYING A FALSE PROPHET / TEACHER THROUGH HIS DOCTRINE

The first way that you can detect false prophets or teachers is by how they interpret, practice and teach the word of God. Remember that even the devil used scripture and he misinterpreted the scriptures in an attempt to tempt and manipulate Jesus (Matthew 4:5-7)

Therefore a false prophet will show the following traits in pertaining to doctrine

  1. A false prophet or teacher preaches a different gospel. He does not correctly interpret the word of God, but he will interpret the scriptures inappropriately in order to subtly deceive people to meet his personal deceptive agenda.
    Examples of a different gospel is the “name-it-and-claim-it gospel” or the “prosperity gospel”. Another example is the teachings that salvation is attainable through personal works. (Galatians 1:6-9 NKJVI marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.)
  1. They preach only what people want to hear – even if it is the wrong thing. (2 Timothy 4:3-5 NKJVFor the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.)
  1. Their teachings reject the work of Christ on the cross and instead give precedence to self-glorification, self-effort and self-achievement apart from Christ. Many false teachers have become more like motivational speakers. Rather than glorifying Christ & His finished work, false teachers teach humanism and glorify human ability & human achievement above Christ. (2 Peter 2:1 NKJVBut there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction)
  1. False teachers / prophets seldom teach their listeners or followers to read the Bible for themselves so that the followers may personally learn from God through His word. False prophets / teachers subtly prefer that their own teachings become the sole authority over people instead of God’s word. (Matthew 16:11-12 NKJV“How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? — but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.)
  1. False teachers / prophets at times teach the doctrines of demons & deceiving spirits instead of God’s word (1 Timothy 4:1 NKJVNow the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons)

 

1 John 4:1 NKJV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Be careful what you listen to. Be careful what you feed yourself with. It is very important as a Christian that you have a one-on-one relationship with God. It is also imperative that you learn to study the word of God alone and to spend quality time with God. You must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you pertaining to the word of God.
God’s word is food to your spirit. It is good to listen to teachings of other people – however it is also important that you also study God’s word for yourself.
When you have a sound relationship with God and when you are constantly learning God’s word and studying and meditating His word, you will not easily be swayed by false prophets or teachings whenever they come in your direction.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
The word of God also says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work

TODAY. Study the word of God for yourself.

 

 

What Does The Prosperity Gospel Teach?

What does the prosperity gospel teach? This popular but false doctrine survives & grows by taking advantage of the financially desperate, the self-ambitious, the greedy, and the spiritually deceived with the promise that those who obey its subtle but twisted doctrines will one day amass material riches, material wealth and self-fulfilment in life.
However, even the scripture is clear that money does not satisfy and fulfillment cannot be found by the pursuit of money or wealth. (Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV – He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity)
Another important note is that: just because the prosperity doctrine has been made popular by charismatic and influential prosperity preachers it does not mean that this doctrine is true and sound. The Bible is clear that many people will be deceived by many false prophets and that many people will not endure sound teaching. (Matthew 24:11 NKJVThen MANY false prophets will rise up and deceive MANY.)

Therefore in Part 1 and Part 2 of this article you will discover what the word of God actually teaches about the pursuit of riches and about the false doctrine known as the prosperity gospel.

Matthew 6:24
(Jesus speaking) “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Since the prosperity preachers encourage that the pursuit of worldly wealth and riches on this earth is a good thing for every Christian to do – then why did the devil use the prospect of acquiring the same wealth & the same riches to tempt the Lord Jesus to worship him? The reason is even the devil knows that a man cannot serve both God and money and even the devil knows that the pursuit of money leads to all kinds of evil.

In 1 Timothy 6:5,9-11 Paul warned Timothy about such men like prosperity gospel preachers. Paul said that these men who were of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of (material) gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (vs 9).

2 Timothy 4:3 ESV
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

The problem with the prosperity gospel is not only that it is heretic – but that this false gospel is so dangerous to the point that it can send deceived people straight to the fires of hell. What’s worse also is that prosperity preachers have twisted scriptures in the Bible to justify covetousness, greed, self ambition and the desire to pursue worldly riches instead of pursuing eternal blessings and eternal rewards.
Jesus said the following:  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Matthew 19:23-24 NKJV

The most important issues to learn about the prosperity gospel are the following:
a) What is the prosperity gospel and what does the prosperity gospel really teach?
b) Does the fact that the prosperity gospel is popular among millions of people and is preached by well-known charismatic & articulate preachers mean that the prosperity gospel is true?
c) What are the dangers of believing and following the prosperity gospel?
d) Who benefits from the prosperity gospel?

Through Part 1 and Part 2 of this article please look out for the Biblical answers and explanation concerning the 4 issues above.

 

WHAT DOES THE FALSE PROSPERITY GOSPEL TEACH?

1)      God Wants You To Be Rich
Are you aware, that whenever Jesus brought up the issue of earthly money & riches, Jesus always spoke AGAINST the idea of people pursuing material wealth & earthly riches? He was against it so much that He warned His followers by saying “it is HARD for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23,24)

So does God want you to be rich? Does God desire that you seek after money & things? As you live on this earth, is God’s desire for you to seek after the expensive cars; to wear the best looking clothes and to live in an expensive posh house? Does having such type of material possessions and wealth reflect that God’s blessings are truly on you and that you have a RIGHT relationship with God?

The answer to the above questions is found in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and Philippians 4:11,12.

Philippians 4:11,12 ESV – Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

If God doesn’t want you to be rich, then does He want you to be poor? The truth is God wants you to be CONTENT in whatever situation you are in. 1 Timothy 6:6 says “godliness with CONTENTMENT is GREAT gain”. Therefore life is not about whether you are rich or whether you’re poor; or whether you have or whether you don’t have – “life does not consist in the abundance of things” (Luke 12:15)

What does God say about people who want to be rich? Here are a few out of MANY Bible verses where God speaks against people having a desire to pursue material riches.

Luke 12:15 NKJV – And He (Jesus) said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

1 Timothy 6:6-10 NKJV – Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV – He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

From the scriptures above (and there are many other similar scriptures), it is clear that God does not promote the pursuit of material wealth or riches. God desires CONTENTMENT in whatever situation. Most of all, God desires that you seek His kingdom & His righteousness FIRST (Matthew 6:33). God knows the temptations and distractions that come with pursuing after material riches. He therefore discourages it because the pursuit of riches actually prevents us from pursuing God, and the more riches we have, the greedy we become because money does not satisfy.

 

2)      “Seeding” Your Money Will Compel God to Reward You
The popular term that prosperity preachers use whenever they want people’s money is the word “seed” or “seeding” / “sowing”. Therefore when a prosperity preacher asks you to “seed” or “sow”, he is really asking you to give either him or to give his church some money with a promise that the “seed money” will “harvest” a double blessing or a “reward” from God.

Matthew 7:7-11 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

Imagine you have a son. And your son told you that he was going to “seed” $10 to you as his father, because he wants you to one day buy him a car. Or imagine you have a daughter, and your daughter told you that she is “seeding” $20 to you because she will be expecting you to buy her a house. What kind of child-father relationship would this be? Is it not somehow a manipulative and strange relationship? Would you really want your own child to “seed” money to you so that you can do good things for child? Would such a relationship be a GENUINE relationship?

Jesus did not teach any formulas for getting God to do something for us. Jesus did not teach that there is a get-rich formula for life. Jesus taught that if you wanted something from God, you should simply ASK – pray, believe and let God do the rest. Matthew 7:11 says how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ASK Him.

The problem is not with the concept of giving, but the problem is that we think God should respond because we “seeded” money.

The prosperity gospel has indoctrinated its followers that God responds to our giving of money to the church or to the preacher. For example, one might expect that if he “seeds” $100, he must expect God to give him a double portion of $200 or a possession he desires. Therefore should the concept of giving become a tool to force God to grant somebody personal prosperity? Would such motives be pure and good?

2 Corinthians 9:7-8 ESV – Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Whenever you read the gospels and study the ministry of Jesus & His apostles you will discover something very interesting about Jesus’ ministry and the ministry of His apostles that is very different from what you see from the prosperity churches and the prosperity preachers.

Jesus did not ever ask for so-called “seed” money from any person who needed His help. Unlike the false prosperity preachers, Jesus did not teach that God will materialistically reward those who “seed” money into the church or into the pockets of preachers. Jesus did not ever teach that “seeding” money is a pre-requisite for experiencing God’s answer to prayer or God’s deliverance.

Jesus even told His disciples when He sent them to minister into various towns to not request payment from those they had helped. Therefore the idea that “seed money” must be paid or given to get God to respond was never anything that Jesus taught. Matthew 10:8,9 ESV – (Jesus speaking) “ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.  9 Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts,”

Acts 3:6-7 ESV – But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong”.

Jesus did not also teach that if anyone has a physical or spiritual need, then one must give “seed” money in order to activate God’s hand. God is not activated by money. God acts and responds out of His own will and NOT out of the will of man (Luke 22:42 and Matthew 6:10).

Often during Jesus’ ministry and even His apostles, the people who had need of God’s help were often poor, broke, desperate, sick, helpless and hopeless. Yet Jesus never requested for their money as a “seed” that He might deliver them. Neither did Jesus ever teach his disciples that God would respond to people’s “seed” money for them to receive their breakthrough or their deliverance or more wealth.

 

3)      Jesus Was Rich or Wealthy
Was Jesus rich? Did He look rich and wear expensive clothes? The prosperity preachers would falsely like to have people believe that Jesus was wealthy whilst on earth. However, the truth is Jesus was not rich and wealthy during His earthly ministry as the prosperity preachers teach.

It was one of the reasons why such skeptics as the Pharisees were not convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. The reason is because even to the Pharisees, Jesus didn’t dress like a King; or move around with servants and an army like a king. Jesus was not the kind of King or Messiah that the materialistic Pharisees expected. On the outside, Jesus looked like any ordinary person.

Jesus told an interested follower that “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head” (Luke 9:58).

Jesus and His disciples often relied on the hospitality of others during their ministry.

Jesus in humility took the form and life of a servant and not of a rich man when He came to earth (Philippians 2:6-8 ESV – Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,  being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross).

Mark 10:45 ESV – For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus also encouraged His disciples to become like servants (Mark 10:43-44 ESV – But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,   44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.)

The life of a servant or slave of God is NOT to pursue after riches. The life of a servant of God is to serve and obey his Master.

Jesus did not go around the earth preaching a prosperity gospel or giving His disciples a get-rich formula for life. Jesus preached repentance and the need for man to have a right relationship with God (Matthew 4:17). Jesus came as a living example of how we should serve God and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Jesus also came that we may pursue the prize of eternal life through Him and not the temporary monetary riches of this earth.

 

4)     The Bible or Jesus Spoke More About Money Than Any Other Topic
Does the Bible speak more about money than any other topic? Several prosperity teachers have heretically claimed that God or Jesus or the Bible speaks more about money than any other topic. This claim is untrue and totally deceptive. The main message of God’s word is not about the accumulation of wealth and possessions. Material prosperity has never been at the heart of God’s concern in relation to man’s relationship with Him.

Therefore if material wealth & health is not at the top of God’s heart, then what has been God’s great desire concerning His creation?

2 Peter 3:9-10 ESV – The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Matthew 4:17 ESV – From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

John 5:39 ESV – (Jesus speaking) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me,

John 3:16 ESV – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 28:19-20 ESV – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Contrary to the false teachings of prosperity teachers, the Bible was not inspired by God in order to supply man with a get-rich formula for life. God’s word exists because the entire Bible speaks & witnesses about Jesus (both in the Old & New Testament – John 5:39). The Bible also exists because it is necessary for every person to repent from sin and realize that salvation can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ whom God sent out of His love for the world.

 

Difference Between Prophecy and Divination

Deuteronomy 18:14
For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.

What is the difference between prophecy and divination? What is the difference between a true prophet and a false prophet? In Mathew 24:11, Jesus Himself warned that “MANY false prophets will rise up and (they will) deceive MANY” and true to God’s word – today, many people claiming to be prophets of God have arisen all over the world and they have been performing various signs and wonders before masses of followers. However such signs and wonders have been met with skepticism and the source of these signs and wonders is unknown as to whether such wonders come from God or from somewhere else.

Below are some scriptural teachings in relation to the difference between prophecy and divination and how a person may be able to discern a wolf in sheep’s clothing:


Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.

Jesus forewarned over 2000 years ago, that false prophets and false christs will rise and become many and that these false prophets and false christs will perform “GREAT signs and wonders to deceive…”.
So the obvious question is: How do you tell the difference between a true prophet and a false prophet? What kind of signs and wonders would a false prophet perform? How do I ensure that I do not get deceived by false prophets?

Jeremiah 14:14-15 NKJV
And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.

  • Not everyone who prophecies and gives a sign that comes to pass is a prophet of God. Not everyone who performs signs and wonders is operating under the Spirit of God. Pharaoh’s magicians in Exodus 7 & Exodus 8 performed similar miracles to God but these magicians operated under demonic power.
  • As a prophet of God can wear a suit and tie to preach in the pulpit, so can a magician, a sorcerer, a diviner, a witchdoctor, a false prophet also put on a suit and tie and transform himself into a “man of God” yet he is not. (Acts 8:9-11)
  • Jesus said that false prophets will disguise themselves as sheep, but yet they are wolves (Matthew 5:15,16). The word of God also says that the devil is able to transform himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)

2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

  • Today in certain parts of the world there are false prophets who are performing signs and wonders that indeed amaze their followers. However many who follow them do not question the SOURCE of these signs and wonders in order to discern whether it is God’s power or the devil’s power at hand.
  • The devil himself and those under satan also have the ability to counterfeit the miracles of God. Such signs and wonders that satan performs are reflected through witchcraft, sorcery, divination and all sorts of occult practices.
  • In Jeremiah 14:14 God clearly says that there are people who prophesy lies in His name, and that these false prophets use divination (and not prophesy) to deceive the people.

Deuteronomy 18:14
For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.

God forbids divination. However you will find that in the Bible many people used divination in order to try foretelling future events.

 

MEANING OF DIVINATION

  • Divination is a demonic counterfeit ability that the devil uses in order to foretell the future. It is the ability to access hidden knowledge or secrets pertaining to a person or a people or an event through demonic sources such as familiar spirits etc.
  • The Greek word of divination comes from the root word PYTHON. The Spirit of Python counterfeits the Spirit of Prophecy. Divination is a form of witchcraft that possess psychics, witchdoctors, false prophets, spiritual advisors, medicine men, new age gurus, voodoo priests & priestess, mediums, etc. We are told in Deuteronomy 18: 14 that we are not permitted to practice divination, sorcery or any witchcraft, for it is an abomination to God.
  • The act of divining; a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means.

Therefore when Jesus said that false prophets would perform signs and wonders, He did not lie, because false prophets use divination in order to foretell future events.

 

DIVINATION IS PRACTICED BY THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF PEOPLE:

 

THOSE WHO PRACTICED DIVINATION WERE:

  1. Regarded as wise & knowledgeable men. Daniel 2:12,27 
  2. They earned a lot of money for their “prophecies”. Acts 16:16
  3. They were admired; they were followed and thought to be “men of God” yet they were false prophets / diviners. Acts 8:9,11
  4. They were consulted in desperate or difficult times Daniel 2:2; 4:6,7 and Exodus 7, Exodus 8

 

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF DIVINATION & DIVINERS
In the natural observation, diviners and prophets may appear the same, but they are actually very different and the spiritual effects on the people are very different. Jesus said that you will know false prophets by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20)

  1. Diviners, false prophets, fortune tellers etc, walk with and receive their information from familiar spirits and other demonic entities. Their foretelling of the future indeed at times does come true. However their source of information is from the demonic and ultimately the information that they speak actually subtly deters you from God. What they foretell does not glorify God in any particular way. Rather it subtly brings more focus, more praise and more glory on the diviner or false prophet instead of on God.
  2. Diviners, false prophets, fortune tellers etc, ultimately perform signs and wonders and preach in order for you to give them money. They exploit people and manipulate them for money. Their messages mostly focus on materialism, money, self-glory rather than on character, relationship with God or anything Christ-centred. They are part of the devil’s plan to subtly and systematically lead people away from God through deception and false doctrine (2 Peter 2:1-22)
  3. They teach that you will receive salvation and deliverance from your problems when you give money to them or their institution. However salvation and deliverance does not come because you have given money. True salvation and deliverance is FREE and it comes from the Lord Jesus who died for us on the cross. Jesus paid a debt that we could not pay through His blood and by His death. Deliverance and salvation from challenges and problems cannot be paid. Deliverance and salvation comes ONLY from God through His Son Jesus Christ. The gift of God cannot be purchased with money. A sorcerer by the name of Simon thought that he could acquire God’s gifts by giving money or paying for them (Acts 8:9-23)
  4. The false prophet is never questioned or tested by his followers. The voice of the false prophet is compared without question by his followers as being the voice of God. (1 John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world). 1 Thessolonians 5:21 instructs us to test all things & hold fast what is good. God has given us permission to test the supernatural, because Satan is a supernatural being also. In the future don’t Reject all prophecies, but Test all prophecies! However a false prophet will manipulate followers not to question his prophecies and not to question him because he is “anointed” and he is a “man of God”.  Believers should know however, that the reason why God allows us through His word to test the spirits and to test everything, is because of the false prophets who are out to deceive people. Therefore it is important for believers to know the word of God and to uphold his word in every situation and above the personal word of other people.
  5. Diviners, false prophets, fortune tellers etc, mostly speak or foretell of events that pertain to fear, disaster, discouragement, death and their foretelling of the future ultimately leads their faithful followers to have a spiritual attitude and condition of fear, hatred, anxiety, anger and dependency on the word of the false prophet, rather than to depend on the word of God through His scriptures.
  6. Diviners, false prophets, fortune tellers etc, will mostly create an attitude of dependency within their followers. Their followers begin to depend more upon them because their followers will have an insatiable need to see more of their signs and wonders and to hear more of their foretelling of future events. This dependency on the false prophets automatically removes dependency on God.

 

TRUE PROPHECY FROM GOD
Biblical Prophecy can be defined as – A spoken or written message from God through a person.

  • Biblical prophecy ultimately comes from God and focuses on God and His plans.
  • Biblical prophecy will always line up and agree with God’s scripture and true prophecy does not contradict with scripture.
  • True prophecy does not tell as psychics or false prophets predict.
  1. True prophecy comes from God. God is the source. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
  2. True prophecy must build up the Body of Christ, ie the Church. It must encourage not discourage; It does not cause anxiety, fear or confusion. – 1 Corinthians 14:4
  3. True prophecy must agree with Scripture. It does not contradict with His word according to the Bible. – Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:16
  4. True prophecy must exalt & glorify Jesus. It does not glorify the “prophet”, nor does it put the prophet on a pedestal – Revelations 19:10, 1 John 4:1-3, John 16:13-14
  5. True prophecy must lead to obedience to God. When God allows prophecy in the church, it is meant to lead people to a right relationship with Him – Deuteronomy 13:1-5
  6. True prophecy must produce life & liberty. Because it comes from the Holy Spirit, it should not lead to bondage, captivity, hatred, fear, condemnation or confusion – Romans 8:15, 2 Corinthians 3:6
  7. True prophecy is 100% correct and it must come to pass – Deuteronomy 18:22

 

Conclusion
It is therefore imperative to be able to discern the difference between real Biblical prophecy where God is the source and divination where the devil is the source.
Start by knowing God. I mean really knowing Him and having a genuine relationship with God. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and He says that His sheep know His voice.

  • Therefore having a sound relationship with Jesus is imperative.
  • Pray for discernment concerning issues that may confuse you.
  • Read God’s word and allow the Spirit of the Lord to enable you to understand and obey.
  • Test what you listen to, what you read and what you hear to see if it aligns with the scripture.

John 10:25-30 NKJV
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

 

 

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