Category: False Doctrines & Apostasy

Uncovering The “Covering Doctrine”

[Article by Cheryl McGrath] —

“I hope you will be patient with me as I keep on talking like a fool. Please bear with me. I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. For I promised you as a pure bride to one husband, Christ. But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach about a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” ( 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 NLT)

In this two-part edition of “Bread for the Bride,” I am inviting you to take a journey to freedom. Freedom, though, rarely comes without a cost, so be prepared for a few bumps and bruises along the way! My fervent prayer is that by the time you reach the end you will at the least be stirred to do some personal exploring of the scriptures, and at the most some long-held religiously-based mindsets will be shattered beyond hope of repair.

Firstly, though, let me share a little personal history in order to establish the fact that the teaching I offer you in this article has not been arrived at hastily, presumptuously, or with lack of experience in what is commonly known as “the church”. For almost my entire life I have been “churched”. Born to a Catholic-Italian father and an Anglican-Australian mother, anyone might have guessed there would be a few pot-holes along my spiritual path! I do remember at a very early age being taken by an uncle to a Catholic Mass, where the sheer majestic atmosphere of the church overwhelmed me. He must be some God! I thought. Later, I was introduced to Sunday School at a nearby Baptist Church by yet another conscientious relative, where the most important thing I learned was that God loved me. Good start! In my first year in high school a friend and her mother shared the gospel. As a result, alone in my bedroom, I experienced a life-changing revelation of Christ on the Cross. I was born again! Several years were then spent attending a local Anglican church with my friend. After some time I was allowed to teach the kindergarten Sunday School class, but was still forbidden to take communion because I had never undergone infant baptism. (That scenario had been too stressful for my Catholic father and Protestant mother!)

In my early twenties, through the encouragement of the same friend, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. My husband and I started attending a little Assemblies of God church, where to my great delight I heard for the first time about the gifts and anointing of the Spirit. There followed nearly twenty years in that denomination, and during those years, I was certain that I would spend the rest of my life there. God had other plans, however, and after a series of deep family crises which my church preferred not to know about, my husband and I found ourselves fellowshipping briefly at a Uniting Church (Methodist to American readers). Perhaps “fellowshipping” is not the right word. “Attending” might be more appropriate, as fellowship did not appear to be an offer. From there the journey through “churchianity” continued, when a Congregational Pastor friend who’d been Spirit-filled invited us along to his church. Alas, the pastor wanted the Spirit, but the congregation didn’t, so we, as well as the pastor, found ourselves being offered the left boot of fellowship! A major geographical move found our family churchless again, so off we went to find our new “spiritual home” among the local Pentecostals, trying several different flavours, but somehow we knew we weren’t fitting. God came to the rescue again, directing us to a Baptist church with a charismatic pastor, but with the clear message this was to be for “a season only”. This would prove interesting! (Lord, isn’t this where I started???) We spent three years of relative peace there, before He suddenly said “the season’s up.” That was four years ago. These days we fellowship in a house church community. I know this is the place of fellowship the Lord has for me at this time, but I also know that He alone is my spiritual home. It took a lot of years and a long journey for me to discover that truth.

Of course, there are many details I’ve omitted, some not so pleasant, to make this history as brief as possible. My purpose in relating these facts is not to imply any kind of pretentious credentials, or to elevate one type of worship expression above another. My desire is only to establish the fact that there IS a denominational history, and a fairly extensive one, from which I draw upon in addressing this issue of “spiritual covering”.

You see, in a number of the denominations I’ve been involved in, including at leadership level, a “doctrine of covering” was taught and accepted. And for many, many years, I never questioned this teaching. After all, everyone believed it; the leadership upheld it, so it must be right, right? It is only as the Holy Spirit has impressed me to study the scriptures more deeply on this teaching that I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that He never originated it! In His infinite grace, He chose to wait patiently for a time when the Spirit of Truth would become dearer to me than the traditions of men.

The teaching on “covering” goes like this. Everyone needs to be accountable to someone who is spiritually his or her superior. This someone may be your cell group leader, the head of a church department or your senior pastor etc. In turn, these leaders receive covering from someone further up the line, for instance a denominational leader or a “recognized” apostle. The necessity for this covering is based on the belief that believers need to be safeguarded from falling into error and/or sin. So covering is provided by those who are more spiritual than we to protect us from such error. At the top of this pyramid of covering there is quite often a well-known and recognized “name” but the chances of meeting or having any kind of relationship with that person if you are at the bottom of the pyramid are fairly slim. Currently, there are several networks offering this kind of covering to those in some form of church leadership or ministry, more often than not for an annual fee. The annual fee usually provides for the running of the network, and conferences where you can fellowship with others under your particular brand of covering. You may also be denied entrance from one of these networks because you don’t have the appropriate credentials.

One of the strange things about this “covering” teaching is that rarely is anyone asked about their spiritual covering, until they step outside their particular church, denomination or network. However, the minute a believer shows signs of having something important to share with the wider Body of Christ, suddenly all and sundry are interested primarily in that one important question: “Who are you covered by? ” It all sounds pretty reasonable except for one problem – it’s not found in scripture. In fact, the early church was taught to rely on the inner anointing to discern the spiritual source of potential ministers. (1 John 2:20; 1 John 4:1)

So, where did this idea originate that believers need to be “covered” in order to serve God and minister within Christ’s Body? Are you, like many others, living your Christian life under the shadow of this fear that without “covering” you dare not minister, preach, pray or do a myriad of other things you’re called to do by the Spirit of God, because you will somehow be ministering without protection?

The purpose of this article is to shed some light on this issue based on scriptural truth. To begin with, though, we need to understand that this need to be covered by a perceived spiritual authority, and the scriptural instruction to submit ourselves to God’s delegated authorities, are NOT necessarily one and the same thing. Furthermore, New Testament authority as demonstrated by Jesus and the first apostles, is servanthood-authority, upholding, strengthening, reinforcing and overseeing the Body from beneath, not domineering, controlling and ruling from above. Therefore, it is vital in examining this issue that we begin from a correct understanding of Biblical submission and Biblical authority.

“LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU”

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:5-8)

The current mindset we carry in much of the church concerning submission is quite unrelated to the submission taught and demonstrated by Jesus and the early apostles. There is a desperate need to return to the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. The scripture tells us that though He was equal with the Father, Jesus CHOSE to submit Himself, He CHOSE to humble Himself, He CHOSE to obey. This is the key to Biblical submission, and the model laid down for us by both the Father and the Son. Submission is firstly a choice; a choice that can only ever be made by the giver. Biblical submission can never be demanded or forced. That kind of relationship is subservience, not submission. Jesus chose to subject Himself to the Father, but the Father “so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son.” Sacrificial giving and sacrificial submission are married to each other. In the Spirit, you cannot have one without the other. If you try, you will invariably end up with control, dependence and abuse rather than humility, interdependence and grace.

The New Testament concept of submission, or subjection, is one of a totally voluntary attitude of giving, of yielding one’s preference and deferring to another. In this way, Jesus as a child was subject to His parents, yet the scriptures record that He did not even consult them when He was “about His Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49,51)

“IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU”

“Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” (Hebrews 13:17, NLT)

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.” (Mark 10:42-44)

“Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads.” (Mark 10:42 The Message)

There is no question that the scriptures instruct each one of us to submit to God’s delegated authority. It is the understanding and the application of that authority we often stumble over. The Bible records that Jesus taught the twelve this Kingdom authority as they walked along the road to Jerusalem. His face had been set toward the Cross, and it is certain He was keenly aware of the short time He had left with them. Perhaps He was conversing with His Father about what were the most important lessons He could impart to them during the time that was left. We know that He heard them disputing over who among them was the best “leadership material”. Perhaps Peter, having not long before witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration, thought that gave him special status. Perhaps James and John felt they were more likely candidates for rulership than impetuous Peter. Shortly before, they had asked Jesus to give them special places of honour in His Kingdom. Whatever had started their dispute, Jesus certainly knew how to end it! “Whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave…..” (Matt. 20:27).

The Lord was speaking to a group of people who had grown up under the rule of the Roman Empire. The Romans exercised their authority through forced subjection and harsh cruelty. In fact, the literal translation of the words Jesus used in reference to Roman rule mean “to be under the power of” and “to be subdued.” Despite having witnessed Jesus using a very different kind of authority and power, the disciples had not yet understood exactly what He would require of them. The Romans were, in the political sense, their masters. Yet here was Jesus stating that to exercise the authority He was going to invest in them they would need to become slaves to one another, and not masters. One might safely assume these weren’t words any of them particularly wanted to hear that day!

Kingdom authority has nothing to do with titles, positions, educational qualifications or reputation. Kingdom authority is granted by the Lord according to the measure with which He can trust us to wield it with humility. The greatest authority in the kingdom is reserved for His bondslaves.

WHAT ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY?

In today’s church system we have confused the word “covering” with the need for accountability. Consequently many are holding themselves accountable to people with title and position, regardless of whether or not they are developing an ongoing transparent relationship with that person. In the Kingdom, it is not possible to be truly accountable to those with whom we are not actively growing in relationship. How can I be trusted to call you to account righteously if I don’t love you in Christ? How can you love me with Christ-like love and not call me to account?

Paul was able to correct the Corinthians because he had true relationship with them. He had travailed over them, nurtured them, wept for them and rejoiced with them. Therefore he was able to reprove them, for their edification and not for their destruction. (2 Corinthians 13:10)

When we turn to the scriptures for guidance on this issue of accountability, a startling fact confronts us. The News Testament mentions accountability ONLY in terms of the believer towards God. The scripture teaches that we will give accountability TO GOD ALONE in the following areas:
• stewardship (Luke 16:2)
• ourselves (Rom. 14:12)
• fruit (Phil 4:17)
• what we do in the flesh (1 Pet. 4:5)
• leaders shall give account for the souls they watch over (Heb. 13:17)
What then, DO the scriptures teach about how believers, as members of the corporate Body of Christ, are to relate to one another?
“… all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
In Galatians Chapter Two we read of a journey Paul took to Jerusalem. He states that he went up “by revelation”, that is, at the instigation of the Holy Spirit, in order to confirm that the gospel he had been preaching was approved by the eldership of the Jerusalem church. He goes on to state that “those who seemed to be something, whatever they were, it makes no difference to me,” had nothing to add to his teachings. He further adds that when James, Cephas (Peter) and John perceived the grace God had shown him, he was given the “right hand of fellowship.”

At the instigation of the Holy Spirit, Paul had subjected himself to the Jerusalem eldership, including Peter, for the purpose of accountability. One may safely assume that Peter, having spent around three years day and night with Jesus, and highly regarded by the early believers, held very great authority in the church. Paul, however did not ask Peter to cover him. Instead, he did not hesitate in calling Peter to account when Peter was later swayed to go back on his word by the fear of men (Gal. 2:11-14). Bear in mind this is the same Peter who stated “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

These men understood the nature of relationship through the Holy Spirit; ALL of you be submissive to one another, ALL of you be clothed with humility. Each of us is accountable to one another, whatever our function in the Body, whether apostles, teachers, deacons or helpers. This is the church Christ is building.

To say that we are demonstrating accountability to a person or group of people we may briefly rub shoulders with at a meeting once or twice a week, or perhaps once or twice a year, is ludicrous. True accountability is about how we express Christ in us – our lifestyle, our character and our integrity in families, jobs and church community. This cannot be measured outside Godly relationships, and without a humble willingness to be in subjection one to another. Each one of us needs to seek out and submit ourselves to those in the Body the Lord has placed close to us to provide that accountability, regardless of their position, title or function. Each one of us needs to be willing, in humility and service, to provide that same accountability base for others in the Body. This applies to leadership equally as it does to the newest, most inexperienced member of the Christian community.

Sadly, what we see today in so much of the church, is a frenzied jockeying for position under the supposedly protective umbrella of some ministry name or reputation, in order to prove ourselves “covered”. “Who covers you? ” has become one of the most frequently asked questions among Christians, and too often it is the deciding factor in assessing a ministry’s integrity or otherwise. Consequently, an unsatisfactory answer to that question in some church circles can label you “outside the camp” and almost certainly not to be trusted. Christians are judging each other’s worth and relationship with God on this issue of covering, and using it to justify self-righteousness and spiritual elitism.

In Part Two of this study we will talk about what is at the root of this distorted doctrine, and the clear choices that lie before us in order to be free from it.

UNCOVERING THE COVERING DOCTRINE
PART TWO

“…..then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering.” ( Isaiah 4:5)

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Ps. 91:4

IT’S ABOUT HIS NAME

“Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?” (Luke 20:1-2)

As we see from this portion of scripture, the question “who covers you? ” is not new. The chief priests, scribes and elders were not simply asking Jesus where His supernatural power came from. More than that, they wanted a NAME. “Who is he? ‘ Come on, tell us Jesus, who is the scribe, who is the rabbi, who is the prophet who covers you? And no more of that over-spiritualized talk about your Father. We want the name of the person who said you could do these things!”

The apostle Paul confronted a similar problem in the Corinthian church.

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:10-13)

The Lord is jealous over us concerning His Name. We were bought and paid for by His Blood, and His Name is the only Name by which we are to identify ourselves. When believers choose to find their identity in another name other than His, the Spirit is grieved and His Name is dishonoured.

IT’S ABOUT THE FLESH

“Don’t ever let anyone call you `Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are on the same level as brothers and sisters. And don’t address anyone here on earth as `Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don’t let anyone call you `Master,’ for there is only one master, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. “ (Matthew 23:8-11, NLT)

The Corinthians were apparently separating into factions according to whom they considered was the most authoritative teacher. They were following after men, and for that reason Paul took issue with them. Further in his letter he goes on to challenge them by describing this kind of mindset as carnal and fleshly rather than spiritual:

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?” (1 Cor. 3:1-4)

Finally, he instructs them:
“Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come–all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Cor. 3:21-23)

The Corinthians had become so obsessed with the attributes of certain teachers they were idolizing them. They wanted to regard particular individuals as their “master”, “father”, or “teacher”, but Paul wanted them to understand that in doing so they were falling short of their full inheritance in Christ. He wanted them to see that all of these teachers, belonged to them as servant-ministers, and not the other way around.

IT’S ABOUT A SUBSTITUTE KING

At the heart of the Corinthians’ idolatry was the age-old desire for a ruler, a king. The flesh would much rather fear man than fear God. The flesh would much rather submit to the control of law than submit to the freedom of the Spirit. This principle is seen throughout scripture.

Afraid they would die, the Israelites begged Moses to be God’s messenger to them, rather than hear His Voice for themselves.

“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” ( Exodus 20:18-19)

God desired for the people to hear Him for themselves, but they refused. Effectively, the Israelites were elevating Moses as their mediator. The entire nation had been called as a kingdom of priests, but their preference was to be ruled by one man. (Exodus 19:1-9)

Many years later, when the prophet Samuel officiated as Israel’s judge, Israel’s carnal desire for a man-king surfaced again.

“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day–with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behaviour of the king who will reign over them.” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behaviour of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” (1 Samuel 8:4-22)

The key to Israel’s demand for a human king, rather than the direct reign of Yahweh over them, was “that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” They wanted a name and a face that could “go out before” them. They wanted someone visible they could show the other nations. They wanted a symbol, a token leader who could take responsibility for how they would live and conduct their lives. They wanted someone with a reputation they could identify with. They wanted to be like the world. They wanted human “covering.”

You see, friends, there is a place for governmental leadership, there is a place for accountability within the Body, there is a place for submission to legitimate God-delegated authority. All these are valid and in order, but only insofar as they are not permitted to substitute for the direct rule of God in our lives. And only insofar as they are not sought out as a counterfeit for the sovereignty and rulership of the Holy Spirit within each believer.

IT’S OF A DIFFERENT SPIRIT

“You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.” (Ezekiel 28:14)

Many Bible scholars agree that God’s rebuke to the “king of Tyre” recorded in Ezekiel 28:1-19 is prophetically addressed to Satan. In it, we find that originally this fallen angel was called the “anointed cherub who covers”. Some scholars believe he was especially anointed to cover the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. In the Presence of God, he walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. The passage states that when iniquity was found in him he was cast out of God’s holy mountain, and removed from the midst of the fiery stones.

This Hebrew word “to cover” means “to hedge, fence about, shut in, block, overshadow, screen, stop the approach, shut off, cover” ( H. “cakak” Strongs 05526 ). It is a word than can be used either in relation to defense or oppression.

Beloved, Satan still desires to walk back and forth in the midst of God’s living, fiery stones. He still desires to be the covering cherub on God’s holy mountain, but the covering he offers is oppressive, designed purely to hinder believers and rob them of the freedom and full potential that is ours through Christ.

The doctrine of covering is an old lie with a new name. It is fundamental to the maintenance of a false hierarchical religious system controlling many Christians in this day. Without the power of this erroneous mindset, it is even doubtful that some sections of the “church” could survive.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is OVER ALL and THROUGH ALL and IN ALL. (Ephesians 4:3-6)

The scriptures plainly state that it is God alone who is OVER all. Only God can cover His people, and only the Holy Spirit can unite them. The most disturbing aspect about the covering teaching is that it subtly encourages believers to look to men and women rather than develop their own deep relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. It upholds a man-made church built on hierarchy rather than a spiritual temple built through the unity of the Spirit. It promotes a class system of rulership by title, human appointment and personality, and devalues the priesthood of every believer. It negates leadership by the Holy Spirit and discourages believers from hearing the direction of the Spirit for themselves. It is a doctrine of demons being used to deceive and bind countless believers.

Now, about that freedom we were talking about at the beginning of this article! Don’t, repeat DON’T, use your newfound liberty as a license for rebellion against authority. If you have been trapped in this covering doctrine be wise in how you appropriate your freedom. There are many, many humble and faithful men and women overseeing and serving the Body of Christ with humility and devotion, and it may well be that whoever has been “covering” you is one of them. If you are blessed enough to be aligned with a servant-leader who demonstrates true Biblical authority, honour them, support them, and submit to them. But don’t expect them to cover you – that’s not theirs to give.

False doctrines are mindsets and beliefs that can only be cast down by the Spirit and the Word together. And ultimately, our walk in the Spirit is not the responsibility of leadership; it is our own responsibility. It is time for each one of us to choose – do we want the rulership of kings, or do we want the rulership of THE King?

Finally, let me leave you with these thoughts:
1) Who covered Philip when He went down to Samaria and started a revival? (The apostles heard about it and sent Peter and John down to check it out!) (Acts 8:4-8)

2) Who covered Philip when the angel of the Lord directed him to the Gaza desert? (Acts 8:26-40) (There’s no record of the Ethiopian eunuch asking him for his “covering” credentials!)

3) Who covered Ananias when he was sent to pray for Saul? (He went to pray for a known enemy of the church and didn’t even get permission!) (Acts 9:10-18)

4) Who covered Apollos when he taught boldly in the synagogue, even though he had not yet received the full gospel? (Acts 18:24-25)

5) And who covered Aquilla and Priscilla when they took Apollos under their wing to instruct him further? (Acts 18:26)

6) Who covered Agabus when he traveled down from Judea to deliver a prophetic word to Paul? (Acts 21:10)
The answer is the same in each instance: The Holy Spirit covered, protected, led, and enabled. He is the only covering we need. The real question is this: is He the only covering we want?

“IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU.”

This article has been reproduced by Inspired Walk with the permission of Cheryl McGrath

©Copyright Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride Blogsite. Permission is granted to reproduce any of my original posts in emails, blogsites and internet forums, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included. To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

9 Dangers of False Doctrines & Teachings

The Bible warns us that spiritual deception will increase in the last days in preparation for the eventual arrival of the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-11).
Jesus Himself warned people of the inevitability that many false teachers will arise who will propagate false doctrines and perform false signs and miracles (Matthew 24:24-25), (Matthew 7:15).
False doctrines have a dangerous and life altering effect on people. When you accept false doctrine it can be likened to accepting a disease in your life. The disease infects you and it begins to methodically and slowly weaken and destroy your body if the disease is not removed.
In the same way, false doctrines subtly infect the spiritual life of a person and are methodically capable of leading to a person’s spiritual destruction. Such examples of false teachings that are popular in this age are the prosperity gospel, spiritual covering / shepherding doctrines, seed-faith teachings, antinomianism / hyper-grace, the word of faith teachings and many more.
False doctrines not only affect an individual, but false doctrines can affect entire generations and masses of people at the same time.

 

THE DANGERS OF FALSE DOCTRINES / TEACHINGS

The consequences or dangers of false doctrines are as follows:

1. False Doctrines Cause Followers to Submit to Spiritually Blind Leaders
False teachers are themselves both deceived and blind. They are deceived and in the process they are deceiving others.
Jesus spoke of the blind leading the blind in Matthew 15:14 by saying “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit”.
Therefore both the false teacher and his followers will fall into the same pit. Jesus is thereby warning that false doctrines are capable of leading both the false teacher and his followers to destruction in hell.

2. False Doctrines Cause Followers to Obey the Teachings of Men Instead of the Doctrines of God
False doctrines will always oppose the word of God and cause people to disobey God’s values and principles.
Matthew 15:1-3 says Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Therefore you will discover that various religious groups, cults or false teachers might put their own group traditions & beliefs above the authority of the scriptures.

3. False Doctrines Create Hypocrisy and a Counterfeit Christianity
When followers who profess to be Christians have a culture of disobedience against the word of God because of their false doctrines, this type of culture ultimately leads to hypocrisy.
Jesus says the following to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:7-9 : “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
The Pharisees were hypocritical teachers who only honored God with their words. However by their actions, the false teachers considered their own doctrines & traditions as being better than God’s commandments through their lifestyle and conduct. They reflected their hypocrisy by twisting scriptures and coercing their followers into obeying the traditions of men rather than God (Matthew 15:3-7).

4. False Doctrines Lead to People Becoming Followers of Men Instead of Followers of God
People who obey false doctrines are ultimately followers of men and not followers of Christ. Victims of false doctrines and teachings tend to have more of an adoration of men or their leaders rather than Jesus Christ.
Acts 5:29 says: But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Acts 20:29-30 says: I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

By using deceptive teachings or deceptive words, false teachers ultimately encourage their followers to be loyal to them above their loyalty towards God or towards His word.
We learn in Matthew 15:1-9 that Jesus exposes the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and some of their false teachings. Jesus also exposes the fact that the Pharisees were not teaching their followers to obey the scriptures but they were teaching their followers to obey their own personal man-made traditions and twisted interpretations of the scriptures.
Hence blind men were leading blind men instead of blind men following God.
Colossians 2:8 says that we should be cautious about receiving philosophies of men and evil spirits – or any principles which oppose the teachings of Christ.

5. False Doctrines Lead to Spiritual Bondage and Legalism
Galatians 2:4-5 says Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
The Christian life is not meant to bring people into a life of spiritual bondage but instead when you are in Christ you are set free from bondage and you have liberty in Christ.
Galatians was written by the apostle Paul because the churches of that region were facing a theological crisis pertaining to the gospel. The essential truth of justification by faith rather than by human works was being denied by the Judaizers. The Judaizers were legalistic Jews who falsely taught that salvation was by human works or obeying the Mosaic law rather than by faith alone in Christ.
Paul therefore wrote Galatians in order to set the record straight that salvation is a free gift received by grace through faith in Christ alone and not by our own works or human effort (Galatians 2:21).
We therefore consistently see through many of the epistles which Paul wrote that false gospels and doctrines were being spread during Paul’s lifetime & ministry. Therefore in many of his epistles, Paul himself had to consistently correct and warn his readers pertaining to the existence and rise of false teachings.

6. False Doctrines Lead to Devotion to the Teachings of Demons
1 Timothy 4:1-2 says Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
The Bible is clear that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against evil forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore it’s important to understand that false doctrines are teachings which have been inspired by demonic spirits who ultimately report to Satan.
In other words, every false doctrine or false gospel that opposes the scriptures – especially the essential Christian doctrines is most certainly demonically inspired.
1 John 4:1 says: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Why does 1 John 4:1 link the testing of spirits to the existence of false prophets? It’s because false prophets and false teachers are mostly inspired by demonic spirits whether these teachers are aware of it or not. Therefore their false teachings are also inspired by evil spirits.
The Bible itself and all its scriptures was inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) and God used men. Therefore the devil himself will inspire false teachings to oppose God’s word and he will use men whose consciences are seared to spread false doctrines.

7. False Doctrines Create A Counterfeit Christ or a False Concept of the Biblical God
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.
False doctrines are able to create a different Jesus than the actual Jesus that is mentioned in the Bible. For example there are false doctrines that deny the deity of Jesus Christ. These doctrines claim that Jesus is not God and that Jesus was only a man. There are also some false doctrines where Jesus is not seen as the ultimate Mediator between God and man. These doctrines have false teachers and cult leaders who claim that it is they who either mediate or co-mediate on behalf of their followers before God. Yet the Bible is clear in many verses of scripture that Jesus is God and that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
There are also false doctrines that falsely teach that God exists to give you any material possession that you can desire because Christ died for such a purpose. Other false doctrines teach that you can buy or earn the favour, the gifts and the blessings of God with money or by the amount of money that you donate or “seed”.
These kind of doctrines and many others do not speak of the Biblical Jesus or the God of the Bible. These false doctrines speak of another Jesus. Therefore while false teachers may read from the Bible and mention the name “Jesus” in their teachings, their false teachings do not represent the true Biblical character and nature of Jesus Christ. Hence false teachers will present a different Jesus by misinterpreting and twisting the actual meaning and context of various Scriptures.
Popular false doctrines and teachings that are taught today such as the prosperity gospel, spiritual covering / shepherding doctrines, seed-faith teachings, antinomianism / hyper-grace, the word of faith teachings and many more, all create a false concept of Jesus Christ and the true character of God. They propagate a false gospel and another Jesus instead of the Biblical Christ.
These false doctrines and others tend to diminish and distort the authentic nature and character of Christ.
Therefore following a counterfeit Jesus results in counterfeit Christians which then results in a counterfeit Christianity.
Jesus said “not everyone who says “Lord! Lord!” will enter the kingdom of Heaven.” When we read Matthew 7:21-23 we learn the tragedy that there are those who presume they will enter heaven but they will end up in hell simply because they lived hypocritical lives. They lived a counterfeit Christianity.

8. False Doctrines Encourage Sin, Pride and Rebellion
False doctrines do not lead people to Christ nor do they lead to authentic Christian living. Instead false teachings will energize the flesh and encourage the desire to sin or rebel. False doctrines will also encourage a spirit of pride and arrogance rather than Christ-like humility.
2 Timothy 2:16-18 says that false teachings not only lead to “empty chatter” but it also leads to ungodliness and is capable of spreading like a disease.
When you read Titus 1:10-11 it says that false teaching leads to
a) Rebellion or insubordination against God
b) Empty talk or mischievous conversations
c) Deceptive or manipulative behavior
d) Upsetting or division of families
In verse 11 it says that the motive of some of these false teachers is that “they teach for shameful gain what they ought not to teach”.
This means that false teachers teach false doctrines for their own personal gain even if they know that they are sinning and rebelling against God.
The result of continuous rebellion is that false doctrines eventually leads to both false teachers and their followers having a seared conscience.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 connects false doctrines to having a seared conscience because of people devoting themselves to teachings of demons.

9. False Doctrines Give False Teachers Abusive Control Over Their Followers
This happens especially within religious cults or groups that exhibit high control behaviour. False teachers and cult leaders tend to twist scriptures to enable themselves to intimately control, manipulate and spiritually abuse their deceived followers.
1 Peter 5:3 says that the church leader should not lord over or be domineering towards his followers but he should be an example to the flock.
In Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus gives His disciples the template for Christian leadership. He basically mentions that Christian leadership is when:
1. the leader becomes the servant
2. the leader serves the flock and not himself
3. the leader imitates Christ’s leadership style
Another name for Christ’s leadership style is Servant Leadership.
However false teachers will teach false doctrines that cause their followers to fear them, idolize them and follow them without exercising any critical spiritual thinking.
Many false teachers have caused divorces, separated families, sexually abused members and destroyed lives because of the application of false doctrines upon blind followers.

 

Conclusion
The Bible consistently warns believers to beware of false prophets and false doctrines. They key to avoid being deceived is to seek a sincere relationship with God and to imitate the example of the Bereans who studied and verified the scriptures for themselves irrespective of who preached it (Acts 17:11). For example, even though Paul was an apostle of Christ, the Bereans would fact-check Paul’s message by going back to the Scriptures to see if what Paul had preached was really true.
In this age of deception, this is the kind of Christian that is needed: a Christian who tests the spirits and diligently studies and rightly interprets the word of God. It is necessary that as we grow in our walk with God that we avoid a culture of being spiritually spoon-fed, but instead we grow into a culture of personally studying and obeying God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15-19).
False teachings and doctrines lead people to hell rather than to eternal life with Christ. They encourage idolatry by creating a false concept of the true nature of God so that people are deceived into worshiping a false god and a false christ. It is therefore necessary that the truth be preached and the deception exposed because the spiritual lives of people are at stake.

 

 

When False Teachers Have A Seared Conscience

Have you ever wondered why many false teachers/ prophets are capable of hypocrisy, manipulating, cheating and even abusing many of their followers and yet not feel a single ounce of guilt, shame or remorse for their actions?

Have you ever wondered if false teachers actually comprehend or care about the kind of spiritual damage that they cause to people when they spread false doctrines & teachings in order to brainwash and manipulate people for their own personal or financial gain?

Do you wonder why false prophets are capable of performing false or staged miracles & healings in order to deceive their followers that they are men of God who have been given healing powers?

Why do these false prophets speak false prophecies or hire people to give false testimonies in their churches and not feel any shame or guilt?

Why do false teachers deliberately twist and misinterpret God’s word in order serve their own appetites or for monetary gain?

Why do such false prophets / teachers seem to lack an authentic fear of God when they consistently manipulate, control or brainwash followers to satisfy their own ego and pride?

Where is their moral compass and do they actually comprehend the wrong that they are doing?

The answer to all of the above questions is found in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV) which says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron

The ESV version of 1 Timothy 4:1-2 says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared

Therefore a seared conscience is the reason for why false prophets / teachers can behave badly without feeling any shame, guilt or remorse.

What Is A Conscience?
A conscience is defined as a person’s moral sense of right and wrong. Our conscience is our internal moral compass that enables us to know and feel when we have behaved badly or correctly in life.
The Greek term for conscience in the Bible is [suneidesis] which means “moral consciousness”.
Therefore our conscience helps us to distinguish between what is morally good or morally bad and our conscience is supposed to illicit the appropriate feelings depending on our moral behavior.
God has placed in every individual whether religious or not, a basic understanding of what is fundamentally right or wrong.
For example, you don’t have to tell an 8 year old child when he/she has done something wrong. Children already have an inbuilt moral compass that gives them knowledge of sin.

However a seared conscience is when a person has a conscience that is so damaged and deceived because of rebellion and pride to the extent that the person no longer feels shame, guilt, remorse or any appropriate feelings whenever he/she has committed sin.
A seared conscience no longer distinguishes between right and wrong because the conscience has become uncaring and insensitive due to consistent disobedience and pride.
Therefore when people have a seared conscience they have become insensitive to basic human morality and they no longer care about what is morally or spiritually right or wrong.

False Teachers With A Seared Conscience
According to 1 Timothy 4:1-2 there are many people who are going to be deceived by false teachers and therefore depart from orthodox Christian faith (vs 1).
Why will many people depart from the faith? It is because people will be coerced into believing and following deceitful spirits and the doctrines of demons (vs 1).
Any doctrines or teachings that contradict the word of God and attacks the gospel of Christ is either inspired by the sinful nature of man or such doctrines are sourced from deceitful demonic spirits (vs 2).
However, for any demonic doctrine to spread, both the teachings and the deceitful spirits who create the doctrines require a host in order to spread or propagate the false doctrines.
Hence in verse 2, Paul explains that men with a seared conscience are the hosts through which doctrines of demons are spread “through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared”

So in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 we learn the following about why false teachers can deceive without guilt, shame or remorse:

  1. False teachers have the characteristics of insincere or hypocritical liars whose consciences are seared. They have no moral compass and they no longer distinguish between right and wrong when they deceive their followers.
  2. The seared state of their conscience makes false teachers to be eligible mouthpieces for evil deceitful spirits. Hence in 1 John 4:1 Christian believers are encouraged and warned “not to believe every spirit but to test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone into the world”
    Therefore by comparing 1 Timothy 4:1-2 and 1 John 4:1, it is revealed through these scriptures that there is always a spiritual or demonic link & influence between false prophets / teachers and the demonic doctrines they teach. According to these scriptures, evil spirits influence the behaviours of false teachers / prophets.
  3. Thirdly we learn from 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that many people will depart from the faith due to the influence of false teachers who propagate the doctrines of demons.
    This reveals in the broader context that the battle between good and evil in not physical, but it is a spiritual battle between God and satan with his demons (Ephesians 6:12)
    Evil spirits are at work to influence men whose consciences are seared so that they may spread false doctrines and lead people astray from God’s word and truth.

A seared conscience enables a person to perform acts of wickedness and deception without the desire to repent or the comprehension that his/her actions are wrong.
False teachers with a seared conscience are easy instruments for the devil and for performing the works of the devil.

In Matthew 23:13-33 Jesus describes the Pharisees as being hypocritical and deceitful and lacking basic moral conscience.

In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 we are warned of false apostles who are described as “deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus warned us to beware of false prophets who will come disguised in sheep’s clothing but yet they are wolves. Jesus said they will be recognized by their fruits.

In Matthew 24:24-25 Jesus further warned about false prophets who will perform signs and wonders in order to lead people astray.

It is therefore clear that such actions by false teachers reflect the characteristics of people who have a seared conscience because they do not have any genuine fear of God.
False teachers will use the Bible and deliberately misinterpret it in order to manipulate and deceive others. They will stage false signs and wonders, speak false prophesies and spread false doctrines for personal and monetary gain without any moral compass or shame for deceiving others.

Men with seared consciences are consistently open to demonic influences because the truth of God’s word does not truly reside in their hearts. False teachers lack the true conviction of sin of righteousness and of judgment that comes from the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11).

Therefore the only way to prevent having a seared conscience is by having a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In the life of the Christian it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin. It the work of the Holy Spirit to lead us to all truth regarding the word and will of God for our life.
So as we yield more to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will have the conscience and the mind of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Avoid Spiritual Deception

We live in a world where spiritual deception is on the increase. 2 Timothy 3:13 says that evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Therefore with many deceptive teachings that have gradually crept into the church such as the prosperity gospel, spiritual covering theology, seed-faith teachings, word of faith theology, and many others, it is imperative that people understand both the nature of deception and how to avoid spiritual deception. It is not only false teachings and philosophies that are being used to deceive people, but false prophets are also performing false miracles, magic illusions and using satanic power to deceive the masses. 
The Bible warns us that spiritual deception will not only increase but it warns us of a great deception or a “strong delusion” which will occur before the antichrist appears (and during his brief reign), and before Jesus Christ returns (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 says: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of His mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

When we read 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 we learn that there is a type of spiritual deception that has the following characteristics:

  1. This deception is performed through the activity or strategies of Satan
  2. This deception involves satanic power and false signs and wonders
  3. This deception affects those who refuse to love the truth
  4. This deception also affects those who have pleasure in sin or unrighteousness

In Matthew 24:24, Jesus says: “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
Here Jesus is warning of the fact that there will be false believers / teachers who will perform miraculous signs in order to deceive or lead people astray including genuine Christian believers if possible.

The Bible also warns us many times to avoid being deceived by strange teachings, philosophies and doctrines.
For example, Paul says in Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11:4 it 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.

It is therefore important to understand the meaning of deception; how people are deceived and how a Christian can avoid being led astray by the many false prophets and false teachings that plague our world today.

 

WHAT IS DECEPTION?
Deception can be defined as the manipulation of appearances such that they convey a false reality or a false belief system.
When studying deception, you will discover that with deception, there is always the deceiver and then there is the deceived / victim.
Deception generally depends for its success on keeping intended victims unaware that deception is actually taking place in their life or situation.

Deception may involve a lifestyle, a teaching, philosophy or doctrine sounding good and sounding as if it is logical and practical – but it does not always mean that the teaching is Biblical or that it is true according to God’s word. Ultimately most spiritual deception will be a mixture or aspects of both truth and lies so that the deception is not easily recognizable.
Spurgeon once said “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right”

• Therefore deception includes concealing and disguising one’s true nature and motives from the intended victim. This is why it’s important for false teachers to “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” just as the devil conceals his true identity by disguising himself as an angel of light according to 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.
• Deception includes hypocrisy or pretentious behavior. For example, in Matthew 23:1-39, Jesus exposed the hypocrisy and deception of the Pharisees.
• Deception involves information control. This includes both dissimulation (hiding or withholding information) and simulation (putting out wrong or misleading information). Deception also involves true information being mixed with false information. Therefore truth can be mixed with a lie so that the deception is difficult to immediately discern. In Galatians 5:9 Paul says “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
• Deception may involve the deceiver imitating or appearing as a type of saviour / hero / spiritual covering to the intended victim or victims. This is why the Bible warns of false christs (Matthew 24:24).
• Deception also includes the deceiver imitating the nature and characteristics of the intended victims so that the victim is unaware of how dangerous the deceiver is or of what kind of danger lies ahead for the intended victim. When the deceiver imitates the victims, the victims assume that they are in good company. An example is when Jesus said in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

 

HOW TO DISCERN & AVOID SPIRITUAL DECEPTION
The only way we can discern and avoid spiritual deception is in the following ways:

  1. We Must Be Genuinely Born Again & Have A Relationship With Jesus Christ
    Jesus said that He knows those who belong to Him and that His sheep hear His voice and that no one can steal His sheep (John 10:27-28).
    It is therefore imperative for a person to be born again and have a genuine relationship with God in order to avoid deception.
    Those who hear and obey the voice of Christ spoken in the Bible are able to discern between the voice of the enemy and the voice of God. However, such discernment is only possible through having a relationship with God.

  2. We Must Love The Truth Found in the Word of God
    2 Thessalonians 2:10-11 mentions the fact that victims of deception can be those people who do not love the truth but instead they love falsehoods. They do not love the word of God nor do they rightly interpret or divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
    2 Timothy 4:3-4 says that there is a time when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.
    This scripture gives us some insight that there are situations in life where deception is not always involuntary or due to ignorance. Instead deception is sometimes a matter of choice. In other words, people choose to be deceived. People choose to follow darkness instead of light.
    Therefore people love falsehoods because it suits their inner sinful passions and they hate the truth because the truth may speak against their sins or sinful desires.

  3. We Must Love Righteousness & Hate Evil
    Romans 12:9 says that we must “… hate what is evil; cling to what is good”.
    In John 3:19, Jesus spoke of people who loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
    Avoiding deception in our life, means that we must love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates. We love light and not darkness. We must therefore pursue righteousness and seek to bear good fruit in our daily life. We must no longer cling to our old sin nature but we must walk in the fear of the Lord.
    Colossians 3:5-10 says: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.

  4. We Must Hate The World & The Philosophies of this World
    James 4:4 tells us that friendship with the world means enmity with God. Therefore we must not love the world and its ideologies.
    Romans 12:2 says that we should not be conformed to the standards of this world? But why!?
    It is because the world’s systems, values, principles and practices are against God and His written word.
    The world’s philosophies and ideologies can easily lead people into deception. Therefore hating the world’s philosophies enables us to avoid spiritual deception and being deceived by those who follow the world.
    1 John 2:15-17 says: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

  5. We Must Walk in the Spirit
    In John 16:13, Jesus says that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit in our life is to guide us into all truth. Therefore the Holy Spirit is essential towards helping us avoid living in deception or being led astray.
    The Holy Spirit will help us discern between the truth and falsehoods through the standard of the Scriptures and not the traditions or philosophies of men.
    Walking in the Spirit of God enables us walk in God’s truth but living according to the flesh or sin nature leads us into spiritual deception. How do we walk in the Spirit? By obeying God’s word and trusting in His word.
    Galatians 5:16-17 says: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

  6. Imitate the Bereans
    If we are to discern and avoid spiritual deception, then we must imitate the example of the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11.
    The Berean Christians were said to be noble and they did not accept a culture of being spiritually spoon-fed. Instead the Bereans would study the scriptures for themselves and crosscheck anyone who preached to them. They examined Paul’s message in Acts 17:11 because they wanted to make sure that what he preached was the truth and not a lie.
    1 John 4:1 says: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    Therefore to avoid being deceived by false prophets and false teachings, it is essential that we learn to test and verify all things through the word of God and discern which spirit is really behind the teachings.
    Paul warns us in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that the Holy Spirit warns us of deceiving spirits that will teach people doctrines of demons and will cause people to depart from the true faith by causing them to follow demonic teachings.
    1 Timothy 4:1-2 says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,

 

GOD’S WORD IS OUR STANDARD
The Bible is the ultimate standard for our Christian walk. It is therefore important that all teachings be measured against the word of God. Jesus Christ Himself used the Scriptures to avoid being deceived by the devils temptations and suggestions (Matthew 4:1-11).

 

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

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
    This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
    You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments 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.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all 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”

 

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Is The Selling of Anointing Oil & Holy Water Biblical?

In many churches or religious groups there has been a trend where various items such as anointing oil, holy water, handkerchiefs, and many other “anointed” products are sold to church members with the belief that the purchase and use of such objects or products will attract God’s blessings, favour and protection.
Therefore church leaders will encourage their followers to purchase their products with the promise that if the followers purchase and use their “anointed” products, then God will answer their prayers.

However, what does the Bible say about the sales of anointing oil and holy water? Should Christians use various “anointed” objects or church products in order to attract God’s favour and protection in their lives?

In the Bible, there is no record of Jesus Christ nor His disciples ever selling anointing oil, holy water or any product with the belief and promise that these products will attract God’s blessing or protection.

Jesus said the following in Matthew 10:7-9: “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 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,”

There is no record in the scriptures where Jesus or His disciples healed anyone for a price.
God does not sell miracles. The gifts of God are for free and God’s gifts and blessings cannot be bought or sold by anyone.

 

Selling of “Anointed” Objects Is a Form of Witchcraft and Idolatry
In Acts 8:9-24 there is the story of Simon the Sorcerer who was strongly rebuked by Peter for thinking that the gifts of the Holy Spirit could be purchased.

Acts 8:18-22
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

The selling or purchasing of “anointed” items or products such as anointing oil or holy water in exchange for blessings and miracles is equivalent to practicing witchcraft.
God’s word does not teach that people must purchase “anointed” or “holy” objects in exchange for God’s miracles because the power to heal or bless does not come from objects but the power comes directly from God.

It is a form of practicing witchcraft when people purchase objects and trust in those “anointed” objects in exchange for blessings and miracles. It is the same practice when a person visits a sorcerer or witchdoctor. Such practices are therefore cult-like and demonic in nature. Any power or results that are experienced because of trusting in various objects for miracles is likely sourced from satan and not from God.

Having faith in an object for miracles and blessings is also similar to practicing idolatry. Our trust and faith must be directed towards God alone (Mark 11:22) and not towards objects.
Our function as Christians is simply to pray to God whenever we have a problem or petition (Philippians 4:6-7).
We do not need to pray PLUS purchase an “anointed” object for God to answer our prayers.
God is sovereign. Therefore God cannot be manipulated or coerced by the purchase and usage of “anointed” or “holy” objects or products which are sold by various church leaders.
God will answer our prayers without the need for us to pay anybody any money.

 

False Teachers Are Profiteering From Sales of “Anointed” Objects
The crux of the matter is that the selling of such products as anointing oil or holy water is done for the purposes of making money and exploiting gullible followers.
The Bible warns that there will be many false teachers who will exploit people for the purposes of making money and enriching themselves.

For example, 2 Peter 2:1-3 (KJV) speaks about false teachers and says “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”
1 Timothy 6:3-5 says that we must beware of anyone who teaches false doctrines and of false teachers who “think that godliness is a means to financial gain”
Romans 16:18 says “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

Therefore, one of the primary objectives of many false teachers is to make a lot of money by exploiting the gullibility of their followers. They deceive their followers by suggesting that their products have the power to miraculously change the lives of their followers if their followers purchase and use their “anointed” products.
These false teachers exploit people who are in genuine need of help and who are desperate by selling them “anointed” oil and water. Yet this was never what Jesus did nor what Jesus taught.

It is therefore necessary to avoid any religious group or persons who exploits followers through selling “anointed” objects and products. Such people are false teachers who seek monetary gain and they are used as instruments of the devil to lead people into both witchcraft and idolatry.

 

 

What is Universalism / Universal Salvation?

Universalism or universal salvation is the belief that all mankind will eventually be saved. It is the belief that every human soul will ultimately go to Heaven irrespective of his/her beliefs or religion.
Universalists argue that a loving and merciful God will never condemn people to eternal punishment in hell. Therefore they believe that God is able to use all faiths and all religions to eventually reconcile every individual to Himself and to Heaven because God is so loving and so merciful that He cannot bear to punish His own creation for eternity.

Universalism is unbiblical and should be rejected as it creates a false concept of the nature of God and it is a direct attack on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1. Universalism Creates A False Concept of Sin and its Consequences
Universalism minimizes the effects of sin on mankind and the eternal consequences of sin. If all people will eventually end up in Heaven then it means that people are no longer accountable to God for their sins.
Universalism indirectly promotes the philosophy that God will not hold any person accountable for his/her sinful actions. If Universalism is true then one can presume that wicked and unrepentant people such as Hitler or Stalin are in now in Heaven.
The Bible however clearly tells us that sin has consequences. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death”. This death that is mentioned in this scripture speaks of eternal separation from God. Therefore it is saying that the consequence of sin is eternal punishment.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 also tells us that the consequence of sinful living is that a person will not inherit the kingdom of God.
It’s therefore clear from these scriptures and many others that God takes sin seriously and that sinful living has serious and eternal consequences.

2. Universalism Creates A False Concept of the Purpose of the Cross
Jesus Christ died on the cross because of the existence of sin in the world. Our sins brought Christ to the cross so that He would be crucified for our sake.
If the doctrine of Universalism were true, then it would mean that Jesus Christ would not have to come and be crucified on the cross for the sins of mankind. It presumes that Christ’s finished work on the cross is not relevant.
Universalism therefore attacks the gospel and the purpose of why Christ came to die for our sins.
Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
God demands justice because of sin. Mankind is unable to pay for his own sins, therefore Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the cross (Matthew 20:28).
Ephesians 1:7 says that “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”.

3. Universalism Creates A False Concept of the True Nature of God
Indeed God is merciful; God is loving and God is gracious. However God is also just and holy.
This means that God demands justice for sin. God also holy such that He cannot ever tolerate sin or turn a blind eye towards sin.
Universalists fall into the deception of believing that God’s love and grace tolerates sin and that ultimately God’s love will override the consequence of sin.
However John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
It was God’s love for the world that also sent Jesus to the cross. However, it is only when we believe and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour that we will have eternal life. According to John 3:16, the consequence of not believing in Jesus Christ is that we will perish.
John 3:18 says “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Therefore according to John 3:18, anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ is currently under condemnation until such a time when that person believes in Jesus Christ, then he/she is no longer condemned (Romans 8:1).
Therefore whilst God is loving, He still demands justice. Jesus Christ paid for our sins; He was crucified in our place; He paid the debt for sin we could not pay. So when we receive Christ as Lord and Saviour we avoid eternal punishment and we are reconciled to a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
However, when a person does not accept the finished work of Christ on the cross, then that person will experience the full justice, wrath and condemnation of God because he/she has rejected Jesus Christ (Romans 1:18; Colossians 3:5-6).

4. Universalism Rejects Jesus Christ As The Only Way to Heaven
Universalism ultimately rejects Jesus Christ as being the only means by whom we can eternally reconcile with God. Therefore Universalists will reject Jesus Christ as being God’s only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
In John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Acts 4:12 says that salvation is found in no one else under heaven except by Jesus Christ.
However, universalism promotes the belief that there are many paths which lead to God and to heaven. Universalism promotes the belief that a person can reconcile with God by his/her own merit and not through Christ alone.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says we are saved by grace through faith in Christ and not by our own works or merit.

Conclusion
Universalism is therefore an unbiblical belief. Universalists are generally more likely to believe or promote the idea that all religions can “coexist” or that all religions can unite as one.
However, the scriptures are clear that Jesus Christ alone is the only way by which mankind can be saved.
The Bible is very clear that hell exists and that tragically there are many people who will face eternal punishment (Revelation 21:8; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:46).
In Matthew 7:13 Jesus says: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”
Jesus Christ is the narrow gate. He alone is the only way to reconcile with God and He alone is the Lord and Saviour for all of mankind.

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).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments 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.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all 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 and would like to know more about what to do next? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below

What is the Word of Faith Movement?

The Word of Faith or Word-Faith Movement is neither an organization nor a denomination. This movement traces its roots from the “positive confessions” and New Thought teachings of E.W Kenyon who is said to be the originator of the movement. However Kenneth Hagin is said to be the “father” of the Word-Faith Movement because he was responsible for popularizing Kenyon’s theology and teachings since the late 20th century.

To this day, the Word of Faith Movement consists of a wave of popular but heretical teachings that have been popularized by other preachers such as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Mike Murdoch, Benny Hinn, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Hagin and many others.

This movement is known as Word of Faith / Word-Faith mainly because of their false teachings and distorted perceptions regarding faith. Many Word-faith preachers such as Kenneth Copeland for example are on record as teaching that faith is a “force” which can be used to get or achieve whatever you desire.

Since this movement consists of some of the most popular preachers and televangelists, it is no surprise that the Word-Faith Movement and some of its heretical teachings have been very popular all over the world.
The heart of what word-faith preachers teach is that God promises health and wealth to anyone who practices their faith related formulas and theologies.

Some of the theology and false teachings of the Word of Faith Movement are as follows:

1. Faith is a “Force” Controlled By The Words You Speak
One of the foundational theologies of the Word-Faith movement is the belief that faith is a “force” through which a person is able to acquire whatever he wants if he conjures up enough faith.
They believe that the words you speak or the words you confess will control or manipulate the faith force in order to get the outcome that one desires.
Therefore your success and experience of material prosperity is dependent on how successful you are able to manipulate the faith force through your positive confession so that you get your desired outcome.
The Word-Faith movement subtly or indirectly promotes faith in faith instead of faith in God. Their theology clearly attempts to remove or ignore the sovereign will of God as it puts man as being the one who has the control and power to create whatever he so desires by simply using his words to control the faith force.

2. Prosperity Gospel / Health & Wealth
The prosperity gospel is the teaching that every born again believer is meant to obtain material wealth and riches. These riches are available by using faith and positive confessions whilst making deliberate and practical effort to seek the riches that one desires.
The Word-Faith movement also believes that the death of Jesus Christ extends to Christ giving every born again believer the ability to obtain the material riches and possessions that one desires.
Word of Faith preachers therefore teach their followers that one of the primary objectives in a person’s life must be the pursuit of material wealth. In the theology of this movement, the possession of material wealth is a visible sign that a person has the “favour” and “blessings” of God upon his life.
Therefore, a bankrupt bank account can be translated as one having a bankrupt faith. Or if you do not get healed from a sickness, then it is because you lacked enough faith to receive your healing.
Therefore the Word of Faith Movement teaches that if you desire to have whatever you wish, then you must use enough of the faith force to bring your desires or material wealth into existence. (see article: What Does The Prosperity Gospel Teach?)

3. Men Are Little Gods
The Word of Faith movement also teaches that men are like “little gods”. They have the belief that people are just like God in that they can control their reality and destiny by the use of their words.
The Word-Faith movement believes that since man is made in the image of God and if God created the universe by the power of His words, then it means that man also has creative power by the use of his/her words.
The Word-Faith movement therefore believes that just like God, man can control the weather; or just like God, man can change any reality or destiny.
The Word-Faith movement also heretically teaches its followers that God cannot do anything without the permission of man.
Therefore the subtle deception of this movement is that not only is man a “little god”, but that man can also control the Creator of the universe.

4. Seed-Faith Teachings
The Word-Faith movement also promotes the false doctrine of seed-faith offerings. Oral Roberts is known as one of the initial originators of this false teaching.
It involves followers being coerced into “seeding” or giving their money in “faith” with the belief that God will give them back a multiplied harvest or return of their initial offering.
For example, the belief is that if a person gives or “sows” $10 in “faith” to a prosperity preacher or his ministry, then God will be obligated to give that person a monetary or material reward of $20 or more in return. (see article: Can A Man Bribe God? What Is The Seed-Faith Teaching?)

5. Name It & Claim It
The Word of Faith Movement teaches that by using the power of your words, combined with the faith force, you will be able to use the technique of naming whatever you want into existence. Therefore a car, a house, a job and many other things can be acquired simply by naming it, claiming it and declaring it into existence.
So it is believed that positive confessions and declarations for the items you need will result in obtaining the possessions or reality you want in life. However, they also believe that “negative confessions” will create a negative reality or destiny since they believe that man is a “little god” who has the power to create his own reality by the words that he/she speaks.

6. Other False Doctrines & Beliefs

  • They believe that Jesus died spiritually and that He had to be “tortured in hell” and “born again in hell” before He rose from the dead.
  • They believe that the office of apostles and prophets still exists today. While most Word-Faith teachers do not outright claim to have an authority that matches or supersedes the Bible, they do allege that God gives them direct or special revelation in the form of words of knowledge, prophecies, and visions. Therefore the teachings of word-faith “apostles” or “prophets” cannot be questioned or challenged by their followers as they allege to hear from God alone because they claim to hold the spiritual offices of prophet and apostle.
  • They believe that Jesus and His disciples were rich and that to be poor is a sin or to be sick is a sin.

What Does The Bible Teach About Word-Faith Movement Beliefs?
The Bible teaches us that God alone is Sovereign and He alone is able to create something from nothing (Genesis 1:3). Therefore God cannot be commanded and neither do we have the ability to manipulate Him based on our faith.
We are not supposed to have faith in our faith nor faith in our own words. Therefore God alone should be the object of our faith (Mark 11:22). We must have faith in God and God decides when and in what manner He will respond to prayer or our requests
We are not “little gods”. We are not deity. Instead we are God’s creation. Therefore we do not have the power to change the weather or create nothing from something by the power of the faith force or “positive confession”.
Therefore there is only one God who exists in 3 Persons (The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit).

The prosperity gospel is a false doctrine according to scripture (1 Timothy 6:3-10). We cannot bribe or manipulate God with our monetary offerings. The seed-faith teaching encourages manipulation and coercion. The teaching is an insult to the divine nature of God and it promotes money as having some kind of power to influence the hand of God.

The Word of Faith movement is deceiving countless people around the world. It is a cultic and deceptive movement that uses both subtle and blatant methods to promote the self and individual interests rather than the genuine pursuit of Christ.
Most Word of Faith teachers have become enormously rich and wealthy because of the Word-Faith doctrine. Their prosperity gospel has made these preachers rich whilst their followers either become poorer, covetous or seek an unbiblical lifestyle in the pursuit of monetary riches.
Word-Faith preachers have managed to commercialize Christianity and make merchandise of their followers (2 Peter 2:1-3).
We must therefore be vigilant and careful to avoid being deceived by any preacher or religious groups that teach Word-Faith theology as such teachings have distorted genuine Biblical Christianity.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaff

 

Is Grace Ever A License to Sin?

What is grace? The grace of God is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Grace is God’s unmerited favor. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved by grace and not by our own merit or our own works.
Therefore the grace of God is important for our salvation because if we were to attempt to work for our salvation, then we would certainly fail.
Ephesians 2:8 also informs us that salvation is a gift received through faith in Jesus Christ.

However, does the fact that we are saved by grace and not by our own works mean that grace gives us a license to sin? Does the fact that we live under grace mean that we are no longer obligated to obey God’s moral laws? If salvation is a gift and if salvation is by grace – then are we free to live as we please?


ANTINOMIANISM & FALSE GRACE
Antinomianism
is the false belief that because God’s grace exists, then there are no moral laws which God expects Christians to obey. Therefore the belief is that a Christian can wilfully and rebelliously live a lifestyle of lying, cheating, sexual immorality and all sorts of sins, and still call him/herself a “Christian”.
Antinomianism falsely presumes that God no longer cares about sin or our sinful lifestyle. In fact, most professing Christians who are antinomian, prefer not to speak about sin or to expose sinful behavior.
Antinomianism is based on a deceptive and false understanding regarding the true meaning of the grace of God.
An antinomian is one who takes the principle of salvation by faith and God’s grace to the point of asserting that Christians are not bound to follow God’s moral law or to obey God’s written scriptures.
The word “antinomian” means against the law and this belief system is unbiblical.

Jude 4 speaks of people “who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

A false or perverted concept of grace indirectly or deceptively promotes a lifestyle of sin.
A false concept of grace presumes that God no longer cares about sin. A false grace assumes that God takes sin lightly, yet it is because of sin that Christ was crucified on the Cross.
Antinomianism therefore minimizes the consequence of sin and the fact that God hates sin.


THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD
Romans 6:1-2
says: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

True grace will compel the Christian to seek after God and to desire to please God. When you are under true grace, you will begin to have a growing hatred towards sin. However when you do sin as a Christian, you will feel a sense of brokenness, godly sorrow and a genuine desire to repent or change.
True grace understands that even though salvation is free for mankind – this same salvation came at a heavy price. It cost the Son of God. It is Jesus Christ who paid for our sins by His blood on the Cross, so that we may be freely saved.
Therefore the true grace of God does not undermine the penalty that Jesus paid for our sins on the Cross.
The true grace of God leads to genuine repentance from sin and will cause a genuine spiritual transformation in the life of the Christian believer.
True grace compels us in Christ to walk away from sin, instead of running towards it.
The true grace of God compels us to hate sin, instead of seeking the pleasures of sin.
The true grace of God will persuade us of our need to live a life of obedience to God.

Romans 6:12-13 says: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

Therefore if we are under grace, then we should not allow sin to “reign in our mortal bodies”.
When we are truly saved by grace, we will not justify our sinful actions. Instead we will repent of them.
When we are truly saved by grace, we will not wilfully and habitually seek the pleasures of sin, but instead we will allow Christ to reign and sanctify us so that we walk in righteousness for the glory of God. Therefore the true grace of God makes us instruments for righteousness and not instruments for sin.

Romans 6:14 says: For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
According to Romans 6:14 we should not allow sin to have dominion over us because we are under grace and not under law. Therefore if we are under the true saving grace of God – then we should not allow sin to rule over us.
Antinomians have misinterpreted Romans 6:14 and other verses like it by presuming that since Paul says that we are “not under law”, then it means that we are not obligated to obey the moral laws of God.
Examples of God’s moral laws include most of the 10 commandments with the exception of the Sabbath. These moral laws include for example: God’s view of sexual immorality; God’s view of idolatry; God’s view of stealing, killing, personal relationships etc.

Indeed, whilst we are not saved by the Old Testament laws, this does not mean that Christians should completely ditch God’s moral laws. The genuine Christian who is saved by the true grace of God will be persuaded in Christ to be obedient to the word of God.
Even scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and many others include elements of God’s moral laws and Paul warns people not to wilfully and rebelliously live under the control of various sins.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Therefore, whilst we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) – when Christ truly lives in us, then Christ will give us the ability to walk in obedience to God’s word and to live as instruments for righteousness (Romans 6:13).
However whenever we do sin against God, rather than to enjoy and defend the pleasures of sin, we will feel the inner desire to ask God for forgiveness, as well as repent and allow Christ to lead us.

The true grace of God teaches us to renounce ungodliness and to live a life that pleases God.
Titus 2:11-12 says: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

 

SAVING GRACE IN JESUS CHRIST
The truth is: nobody needs a license to sin. We are all sinners by nature (Romans 3:23).
We all deserve to go to hell because of our sin. However, because of the love and grace of God, Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty for our sin on our behalf (John 3:16). His finished work on the Cross makes it possible for mankind to experience the saving grace of God when we genuinely receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
God shows His grace to mankind by sending Jesus Christ so that we may conform to the image and nature of His Son when we become born again. It is through God’s saving grace that we experience the loving nature of God and seek to live a life that is pleasing to God.
Therefore the true grace of God does not give us a license to sin. Instead because of His grace we will desire to become more like Jesus 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).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments 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.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all 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”

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Why Are There So Many Religions?

Why are there so many religions? Why do people worship many different gods? Is it possible that all religions lead to the same God or the same destination after we die?
To answer these questions we need to go back to the beginning of creation.

Before Religions Began
In Genesis Chapter 1 & 2, God created the heavens and the earth. He created the first man and the first woman (Adam & Eve) and God saw that all He had created was good (Genesis 1:31).
In all of God’s creation, it was only mankind who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and man had the unique purpose given by God to subdue and have dominion over the earth.
Therefore since man was made in the image of God, it also means that man was created to have a unique relationship with God that was different from the rest of His creation. Of all the creatures that God had created, man is the only creation whom God breathed into and gave the “breath of life”.
Genesis 2:7 says “Then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature”.

So from the beginning, man was uniquely created to have a personal relationship with God because mankind was created in God’s image; God gave man a special purpose in the earth; God communicated with man and man communicated with God; God instructed man, and man was supposed to obey.

However in Genesis 3:1-24 everything goes wrong on the earth. Man disobeys God by eating from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and as a result of man’s sin and disobedience, there are 3 major things that changed in the life of mankind:

1. Man’s relationship with God changes (Genesis 3:9-11).
2. Man’s relationship with each other changes (Genesis 3:12)
3. Man’s relationship with the earth also changes (Genesis 3:17-19)

Therefore it is the problem of sin that affected everything that we know today. Mankind’s ability to perfectly relate with God and fulfill his purpose was affected because of sin.
Man’s ability to harmoniously relate with each other was also negatively affected as a result of sin.
Also because of sin – mankind has tried to directly or indirectly find meaning, purpose and a relationship with his/her Creator.

 

Why Are There So Many Religions?
It’s vital to understand this important aspect: Before sin existed, there was NO religion – there was ONLY relationship. Instead of religion – man had a relationship with God and that was it.
Therefore many religions exist because of the sin that exists in the world.
Religion is man’s attempt to seek God or seek a relationship with God. Religion is man’s attempt to seek meaning and purpose in life. Religion is man’s attempt to relate better with others and with the earth.
However – religion is man-made. Religion is man’s effort. This is why many religions exist and why there are many different gods that are worshipped.
Different religions will exalt different gods and different religions have different philosophies and beliefs. Many people have tried to discover their own way to seek God through their own ideas.


Is Christianity A Religion?

While religion is man’s attempt to seek God – Christianity is about God’s plan to reconcile with man.
Christianity is about God taking the form of man through Jesus Christ to die on the Cross and pay for the sins of the world.
Man cannot deal with the problem of sin by his own effort and man cannot pay for his own sins.
Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Therefore all of mankind has sinned because of the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:12).
If the problem of sin is not dealt with – this will result in eternal spiritual separation from God because a just and Holy God cannot accept sin.
Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Therefore, whilst the wages of sin is death (eternal spiritual separation from God) – God in His love and grace offers salvation as a gift because of Christ’s death on the Cross who paid for the sins of man so that man can be redeemed and avoid hell.

John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him”
Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus dealt with the issue of man’s sin through His crucifixion on the Cross. Therefore man’s salvation is not based on his own effort or religion – but man’s salvation is based on Jesus’ payment for sins on the Cross.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Many religions will emphasize man’s work and man’s effort to save himself. However Christianity emphasizes the love and grace of God and that God offers salvation to mankind as a gift of God.
Therefore salvation is obtained through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
True salvation is the result of the work of God through Jesus Christ. However for many religions – salvation is through man’s fruitless effort to seek God.
So whilst many religions may exist, God offers mankind a relationship for ALL sinners or for ALL mankind through believing and accepting Jesus Christ so that we may reconcile to a right relationship with God. There is only one way to Heaven and to God – it’s through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

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).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments 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 TRUSTING 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.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all 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”

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Can A Man Bribe God? What is the Seed Faith Teaching?

What is the seed faith doctrine? The seed-faith teaching is part of the false prosperity gospel doctrine whereby followers are taught to “sow” or “seed” money to a prosperity preacher and then expect a “harvest” from God.
For example, the concept of the seed faith teaching is that if you “seed” $10 then you must trust God to give you back $100. Or if you “sow” $1000 then you must trust or expect God to give you a car, a new job or a “harvest” of money that is more than the amount you initially “seeded” to the ministry.
Therefore believers of the seed faith doctrine are taught that the more money you “seed” or give to a seed-faith preacher or his ministry – the more money or “blessings” that God will give you in return.

The seed faith teaching is widely taught around the world mostly within the charismatic movement or within prosperity gospel churches. This teaching has not only destroyed the spiritual lives of many people who have believed in this false doctrine – but this teaching has been one of the primary get-rich formulas and methods that has enriched many prosperity preachers around the world. The late Oral Roberts is one of the main people who was known to be one of the “fathers” and influential promoters of the seed-faith teaching.

Preachers of the seed-faith doctrine have twisted scriptures such as the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20) to support this false teaching.
When read and interpreted in its proper context, the Parable of the Sower does not refer to seed as being money – but the seed is actually the word of God (Mark 4:14) and NOT a “harvest” of money.
The different types of soil mentioned in the Parable of the Sower are the hearts of men and the harvest mentioned in the parable are the souls of people who have responded to God’s word and NOT money.
Therefore when prosperity preachers use the Parable of the Sower to support their seed-faith doctrine they are actually twisting the scriptures in order to manipulate and coerce people for their personal monetary gain.

Prosperity preachers have also twisted Matthew 17:20 where Jesus compares faith to a grain of mustard seed and that one’s faith can move mountains.
Again, when Matthew 17:20 is read in context, Jesus does not speak in relation to giving so-called “seed faith offerings” nor is Christ teaching that people will acquire a multiplied return of their money if they “seed” their money to a prosperity preacher.

 

 

Problems With The Seed-Faith Doctrine

2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV
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.

The seed faith doctrine creates a false concept of God. The seed faith theology is a false teaching that twists the true meaning and context of scriptures so that it proclaims a different Jesus and a different gospel. This false teaching also manipulates people to give or “seed” money under the influence of a different spirit or an impure motivation.
Through this doctrine, God is falsely seen as one who can be bribed or manipulated by money. God is also falsely seen as one who is only motivated to act when He sees the “sacrifice” of “seed money”.
In fact, the god of the seed faith teaching is NOT the TRUE God of the Bible – but instead, the god of the seed faith doctrine is a different god – it is the god of mammon (money).

Matthew 6:24 NKJV
“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.”

• The seed faith doctrine makes the prosperity preacher richer whilst making his followers poorer, desperate for wealth or anticipating the arrival of a false promise.
2 Peter 2:3 KJV says that false teachers will exploit you with false words because of greed and that “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”

• Preachers of the seed faith doctrine have gone as far as promising salvation and deliverance from curses and problems if followers “seed” their money to them or their ministries. The Bible however is clear that salvation or deliverance cannot be paid for by money. Salvation and deliverance is only through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross alone.
1 Peter 1:18-19 says “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

• The seed faith theology encourages its followers to give so that they can get. Therefore the giving is motivated by selfish gain or a “what’s in it for me” attitude. The giving is done from an impure motive of personal covetousness and personal monetary gain.

• The seed faith doctrine manipulates and uses coercive techniques. Therefore followers are coerced into giving out of guilt and out of a spirit of legalism. Followers are made to feel guilty that their lack of “seeding” enough money is the reason for their problems in life.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.
So according to 2 Corinthians 9:7 the teaching and attitude concerning Christian giving is that one should give cheerfully as each person has decided in his/her own heart and not under coercive or manipulative techniques.

• The seed-faith theology creates a false god who lacks sovereignty and who can be controlled based on the amount of money that you “sow”. The false god of the seed-faith doctrine is transactional and this god is motivated to act only through money that is “seeded”. Therefore without the “sacrifice” of money – the god of the seed-faith doctrine will not “bless” the giver.

• The seed faith doctrine energizes the flesh of man and undermines the dangers and warnings of desiring riches.
1 Timothy 6:8-10 says: “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love or craving of money causes people to “wander away from the faith” and that it pierces people with many pangs. The untold reality is that the seed-faith doctrine has destroyed many people’s lives around the world and it has negatively affected their faith in God entirely.

 

What Would Jesus Say About the Seed-Faith Doctrine?

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

Jesus taught His disciples when He sent them to minister into various towns to not request payment from those they had helped. Jesus did not teach His disciples any seed-faith doctrine or that God responds depending on how much or how little we give money to a seed-faith preacher.
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 ESVBut 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”.

Often during Jesus’ ministry and as He taught His disciples, the people who had need of God’s help were often poor, broke, desperate, sick, helpless and hopeless.
Jesus did not also teach that if anyone has a physical or spiritual need, then one must give “seed” money or give a “seed offering” in order to activate God’s hand. God is not activated by money and nor does God choose “seed” money as being a means by which He makes decisions. God acts and responds out of His own sovereign will and NOT out of the will of man (Luke 22:42 and Matthew 6:10).

The seed-faith doctrine has misguided many people and given people a false perception of the true nature of God. Imagine if your young child told you that he wanted to “seed” to you $10 because she wants you to give her $1000 in the future. Surely, it would be a strange, manipulative parent-child relationship.
God does not require money in order to bless anyone. God is sovereign and He does and chooses to do whatever He desires within His perfect will. God cannot be bribed by “seed” money or by the manipulative techniques of the seed-faith doctrine. God cannot be controlled. The only “god” that can be bribed or controlled with money is a false god – the mammon god.

 

How To Give Correctly & Wisely
In the New Testament dispensation we are not under the ceremonial or sacrificial laws of the Old Testament but we are under grace. The death of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection ensures that we are not subjected to the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament in relation to the types of offerings and sacrifices because Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrifice once and for all (Hebrews 10:1-18).
Therefore all giving of any kind must be done prayerfully and cheerfully and not under compulsion or guilt (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Our Christian giving must genuinely glorify God and be beneficial to the work of God without the expectation of a return but out of love and humility.
All giving must be done with God’s wisdom, discernment and understanding in order to avoid being conned, manipulated or coerced by false teachings and false teachers.
All giving must be done out of a pure and righteous motive.