Category: False Doctrines & Apostasy

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”

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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.

 

 

Who Is Your Spiritual Covering? Is It Biblical?

The term spiritual covering is an authoritarian false teaching that is usually used by the Charismatic movement and various religious cults in relation to authority and submission.
The spiritual covering doctrine basically teaches that your leader, your pastor, your prophet or your apostle is a human “spiritual covering” over your life or the personal affairs of your life. Therefore if you are not under the spiritual covering of your leader then you are not “covered” or “fathered” or protected from spiritual curses or from problems in life.
Believers of this false teaching therefore teach that every Christian believer needs a human spiritual covering to protect the believer from deception, curses, problems and even the devil himself.
The spiritual covering doctrine also teaches that without your human spiritual covering, whatever you do will not be blessed by God unless it has the endorsement of your particular human spiritual covering.

The spiritual covering theology has its roots in The Shepherding Movement of the 1970s which came out of the Charismatic movement. The Shepherding Movement created cult-like manipulation techniques and intimidation tactics over its followers through its emphasis on the non-biblical teaching that every follower needs a human “spiritual covering” in his life.
Today the spiritual covering doctrine is either openly taught or subtly imposed by certain religious sects and cult leaders upon their followers as a method of control and manipulation over people’s lives. The acquiring of money and the control over people’s lives is at the heart of this doctrine.

Religious groups that teach the spiritual covering theology can be identified by the following teachings and practices:

  • Followers cannot make any major life or personal decisions without the input, knowledge or endorsement of one’s spiritual covering
  • Approval from your human spiritual covering is more important than approval from God or from God’s word.
  • Approval from your human spiritual covering is also believed to be equivalent to being approved by God. Therefore if your spiritual covering does not approve, it is presumed that God does not also approve. Or if your spiritual covering approves – then it means that God also approves.
  • Followers must have unquestioned loyalty and obedience to one’s spiritual covering. The doctrines or teachings by the spiritual covering cannot be questioned or challenged even by those considered to be the “lowest” members or followers within the hierarchy.
  • Followers have an obligation to confess sins and problems to their spiritual coverings, accountability partners or “shepherds”
  • The group has a hierarchical system of accountability; the hierarchical system looks more like a pyramid than the Biblical church body.
  • Followers must conform to the group’s traditions and beliefs even if these traditions oppose the scriptures.
  • Biblical and spiritual knowledge and revelation only flows downwards from the spiritual covering to the followers. The spiritual covering is seen as the source through which all spiritual revelation flows. Therefore without the revelation and protection of your human spiritual covering – you are deemed to be “lost” or in “rebellion”.
  • There is legalism, manipulation, intimidation, fear and coercive control by leadership over members. The followers are taught to be spiritually, psychologically and practically dependent on their human spiritual covering.
  • There is total dependence by the followers for their spiritual covering’s approval and endorsement.
  • There is information control. Followers are prohibited from information or literature that is likely to free them from deception or from discovering the truth.
  • Anyone who disagrees with their spiritual covering can be subjected to humiliation or expulsion for questioning the leadership or its teachings.
  • Anyone who questions or does not conform to the standards of his/her human spiritual covering is categorized as being “rebellious” or unsubmissive.

 

JESUS CHRIST IS THE TRUE AND ONLY SPIRITUAL COVERING

Jesus Christ is the only true spiritual covering that any Christian believer needs. Ultimately if we do not have Jesus Christ in our lives, then we do not have any genuine spiritual covering.
We must beware of any religious group that practices “shepherding,” “submission” and “spiritual covering” concepts. Though these groups may speak about Christ, they do not ultimately point people to Christ but instead they subtly point people to controlling and manipulative men for spiritual direction instead of God. These groups can create a counterfeit Christianity or hinder a genuine relationship with God because it promotes a mere man as being a type of mediator between you and God. It promotes the concept that you should always seek the approval and endorsement of man instead of seeking the approval of God. It also promotes the concept that the human spiritual covering is “perfect” or “infallible” in his advice or teachings when in fact every man is a sinner who is subject to error and deception. Unfortunately many people have fallen for this spiritual covering manipulation, especially in many coercive religious groups where the followers are taught to seek the approval of their “spiritual covering” or “spiritual father” rather than the approval of God.

1 Thessalonians 2:4
But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

Galatians 1:10
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

When leaders view themselves as a “spiritual covering” over others, they also directly make themselves to become spiritual mediators between God and their followers.
1 Timothy 2:5 says: For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Christ died for our sins and His blood provided the ultimate covering from curses and from all kinds of sin so that because of His blood there is freedom in Christ and forgiveness of sins. We have been bought by the precious blood of Christ Jesus and “brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Jesus Christ is our true protection and our only covering from all curses, bondage and sin because of His finished work on the Cross.
There is no human being who can copy or imitate the effects or results of what Christ did on the Cross and the functions that Christ plays in the life of an individual. Without Christ we are nothing.

Jesus Christ is Lord over your life – not man. Colossians 3:23-24 says that we are to do everything “as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ”.
Therefore Jesus Christ is your true and only spiritual covering because He is with you wherever you go; He resides in you and He knows you more than you know yourself.
Therefore when various leaders, false teachers and cult leaders elevate themselves to the unbiblical status of a “spiritual covering”, they’re in fact making themselves a “false christ” over the people they lead because they claim to mediate between God and man. The “spiritual covering” leaders claim that their approval or disapproval of what you do is equivalent to God’s approval or disapproval.

Matthew 23:8-12
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

A “spiritual covering” leader is the exact opposite of what Christ expects from a Biblical leader. A “spiritual covering” leader lacks humility but instead seeks to be served by his followers rather than to serve them. The spiritual covering leader sees himself as a “spiritual father”.
In the body of Christ there are no “spiritual coverings” or “spiritual fathers” – but instead according to Matthew 23:8 we “are all brothers”.
In the body of Christ we have different gifts and different functions (Romans 12:5-8) but we are all brothers and sisters in the eyes of God. Nobody is more important than the other in the body of Christ. The functions and gifts may be different but we are all equal and play a pivotal role in the body of Christ.
According to Romans 12:5 we are “members of one another” and NOT members over one another.

However, the spiritual covering or Shepherding Movement doctrines are used by cult leaders and false teachers who seek to have unbiblical control, power and influence over people’s lives for their own self-ambition and personal gain. The spiritual covering doctrine creates a culture of manipulation, control, fear and intimidation of which the followers become the victims and false teachers become the benefactors. It also opposes Christ’s leadership model of servant leadership.

Matthew 20:25-28
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Many religious cults and high control groups control the lives of their followers because of the spiritual covering doctrine. Many people are controlled and manipulated both for selfish and monetary gain by their leaders because of unbiblical methods of leadership that are being used. We must therefore beware of leaders who demand or coerce people into blind loyalty and submission. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 1 John 4:1 says that we must “test everything” or “test the spirits” because “many false prophets have gone out into the world”. God’s word therefore encourages us to test, question and verify whatever we are are taught in order to avoid being deceived or being led astray by false teachings.

The spiritual covering teaching shifts the focus of our spiritual relationship away from Jesus Christ and His Lordship. Instead the false doctrine shifts people’s focus into following man or the “spiritual covering’s” personal desires instead of following God. Such an unbiblical relationship indirectly blinds people from individually exercising discernment regarding their spiritual life.

The Bible indeed teaches us to obey those who are in authority – but only as far as what they teach and say is in agreement with God’s word. It’s therefore important for every Christian believer to study the word of God as a Berean and Biblically research and verify the things we are taught (Acts 17:10-15).
Christian believers should not rely on a human “spiritual covering” for truth and revelation but instead Christians must learn to check what they are taught against the word of God to see if what they are taught is actually true.
Christians also need to get into the habit of personal study of the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).
Christians need to be led by the Holy Spirit who is the revealer of all truth (John 16:13) and not only look to man as a revealer of truth.

The reason why so many people are led astray is because they look towards man or “spiritual coverings” to lead them instead of looking towards Jesus Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

 

 

Does Purgatory Exist?

Where does a person go when he/she dies? It is the belief of the Roman Catholic Church that some people will go to a temporary place called purgatory before entering Heaven.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, purgatory is defined in the following way:
Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace , are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.

So the question is: does purgatory exist and what does the Bible really say about where we will go when we die?
According to the scriptures, there are only 2 places that a person can either go when he/she dies. A person can either go to Heaven or that person can either go to a place called hell.
The scriptures do not mention any place that is called purgatory nor does the Bible describe any place that serves as a temporal punishment when a person has died.
Matthew 25:46 says: “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
2 Corinthians 5:8 says: “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord”

In this world, we only have one life on this earth in which we can either make a choice for Heaven or we can make a choice for hell.
Our choice for Heaven or hell depends upon whether we genuinely accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour (John 3:16 and 1 John 5:12).
According to the scriptures we cannot enter Heaven unless we are born again and received Jesus Christ as Lord (John 1:12 and John 3:3-6).

The concept of purgatory contradicts scripture and it misleads people in the following ways:

1. Purgatory Belief Opposes the Purpose of Christ’s Death on The Cross
Jesus Christ shed His blood on the Cross so that we may be redeemed. It is through His blood that the debt of sin was fully paid by Jesus Christ. Therefore there is no need for any further purification in purgatory because the blood of Christ is enough to purify us from sin.
Ephesians 1:7 says: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
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 ancestors,
but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

2. Purgatory Belief Falsely Supports Salvation by Works Instead of Salvation by Grace
The idea of purgatory suggests that when people die they are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.
The purgatory belief suggests that man needs to pay for his own salvation or that man needs to earn his own way into Heaven. This contradicts the scriptures and the true graceful nature of God.
We cannot earn our salvation by our own works. We cannot pay for our sins because we do not have the capacity to do so. It is the very reason why Jesus came to pay for our sins. He did so because mankind could not pay the debt of sin to a just and holy God.
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, a result of works, so that no one may boast.

3. Purgatory Belief Opposes Your New Identity in Christ Jesus
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Every born again Christian is a new spiritual creation in Christ. The moment a person becomes a Christian, that person becomes “the righteousness of God”. This means that when God looks at a Christian, He sees the righteousness of Christ and the Person of Christ inside the Christian.
Therefore we enter Heaven not on the basis of our own personal effort or works, but we enter Heaven because of Christ in us and because of what He accomplished on our behalf on the Cross.
The belief in purgatory ignores the Christian’s new identity in Christ and the fact that the Christian believer is a new creation whose sins are fully and totally paid for by Christ.

4. Purgatory Belief Deceives People to Believe They Have a Second Chance After Death
Every single person on this planet has been given a chance by God to repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. As long as we live and have breath on this earth, we still have the opportunity to become born again Christians. However, after we die, we either go to Heaven or are sent to hell.
2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Hebrews 9:27 says: “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment”

Catholics have used 1 Corinthians 3:15 to justify the existence of purgatory. 1 Corinthians 3:15 says: If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
In context, this scripture does not define the existence of a place called purgatory. A few verses upwards in 1 Corinthians 3:11, Paul says no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ is the foundation of anyone who is a believer in Christ, then one must recognize that redemption and purification is only possible by the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7) and not by entering purgatory.
Therefore if Jesus is our foundation then we will also acknowledge that salvation is not by works but it is only possible because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the Cross in payment for our sins.
It’s therefore important to understand that purgatory does not exist but only Heaven or hell will await those who die.
TODAY – receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.


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

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
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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How to Identify a False Gospel

We live in a world where there is a growing number of false teachers, false religions and counterfeit churches. The Bible warns us about false teachers who will preach false doctrines.
2 Corinthians 11:4 warns us to take heed of people who will proclaim a different gospel, a different Jesus and a different spirit.
Galatians 1:18 says “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed”

So the question is: How can we identify a false gospel?

false gospel

Below are some of the false gospels that you might face in the world today

False Gospel #1 – You Must Earn Your Salvation by Your Personal Effort
There are people and religious groups who teach that a person must work for his/her salvation. They believe that salvation is something you work for through trying to be a good person by your own personal merit. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:26) therefore our own good works are not good enough to make us enter Heaven (Isaiah 64:6).
It is only through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross that we can enter Heaven (John 3:16).
Scriptures such as Ephesians 2:8-9 addresses this viewpoint. It says that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We are not saved by our own effort or personal merit. Salvation is a free gift for mankind purchased by the blood of Jesus on the cross.

False Gospel #2 – All Religions Lead to Heaven or to the Same God
Some groups may teach that all religions can coexist. They teach that there are many religions that can lead us to Heaven or lead people to essentially the same God.
However, the Bible teaches that there is only ONE path to Heaven and that path is Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh who died on the cross to save mankind from sin and to reconcile man with God. Without Christ, we cannot be eternally reconciled with God.
Jesus Himself says “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Therefore Jesus is the only way we can enter into Heaven through repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior by faith.

False Gospel #3 – Prosperity Gospel & Seeding Doctrine
Many religious groups may teach that a bankrupt bank account means a bankrupt faith. They will teach that God’s hand is moved by the amount of money you donate or “seed” to the church or the pastor, thereby insinuating that God is motivated by material donations.
This type of doctrine classifies people incorrectly whereby those with material wealth are seen as being blessed by God and the poor are seen as being cursed by God. This doctrine fosters covetousness instead of contentment.
However we learn from the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus that our financial situation in society is not related to salvation nor our spiritual relationship with God (Luke 16:19-31).
Jesus taught that life does not consist in the abundance of things (Luke 12:15). The Bible also teaches that we should have an attitude of contentment (Philippians 4:11-13).

False Gospel #4 – Grace is a License to Sin / Antinomianism
The Bible warns against false teachers who pervert the grace of God. Jude 4 says “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Antinomianism is when people pervert the true meaning of grace by completely ditching the moral laws of God. They falsely believe that because there is grace, then it means they are not obliged to obey God’s moral laws or commandments. They falsely teach and believe that sin becomes acceptable because there is grace.
Romans 6:1-2 addresses this issue and says “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Therefore grace is not a loophole or a license for a person to sin. If one is truly saved, then that person’s salvation will reflect by the fruits that person bears (Matthew 3:8). Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).

 

What is the True Gospel?
The word gospel means “good news”. Therefore the gospel is the good news that God is able to save sinners doomed for hell and save them from eternal punishment because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
The gospel is the good news that God is able to reconcile with sinful man and that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the debt of sin that mankind could not pay (Mark 10:45).
Man is by nature sinful and therefore spiritually separated from God because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6).
Man is not inherently good. Mankind has broken God’s laws and commandments and man cannot fulfill God’s laws by his own ability.
Man cannot reconcile with God through his own efforts or his own ability but he can only be reconciled to God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Therefore the gospel is the good news about the free gift of salvation that God graciously offers to anyone who would by faith turn to Jesus Christ and recognize Christ as the only way that a person can have an eternal relationship with God (John 14:1-6).
The gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” in Christ Jesus as their personal Lord & Saviour (Romans 1:16).

Therefore, all of mankind needs to hear the true gospel. People need to hear the good news that God offers salvation as a free gift and that Jesus Christ died that we may have an everlasting relationship with God.

Conclusion
It’s only by understanding and having knowledge of what the true gospel is all about that we can differentiate between a falsely gospel and the true gospel. When we study the genuine gospel, we will discern the fake gospel when it is presented to us.

 

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.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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

 

 

What Does The Prosperity Gospel Teach?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WHAT DOES THE FALSE PROSPERITY GOSPEL TEACH?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see articles: Can A Man Bribe God? What is the Seed Faith Teaching?) and (What is the Word of Faith Movement?)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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