A Self-Proclaimed Prophet Twisting God’s Word

One American author teaches good things about our legal standing in Christ and has helped many to be free from the wicked legalism of trying to earn their salvation. But sadly he has not seen the legalism behind much of his own teachings on money and material blessings.

For example, when talking about believers being partners with him, he said that when believers give him money and other things, they are then guaranteed by God a share in his supposed prophet’s reward. Note he claims to be a prophet. Misusing 1 Samuel 30:13-25 and Matthew 10:41-42, this preacher said, “If you will believe and act on the principles you’re about to see, you will tap into a spiritual gold mine. It is a mine so deep, so rich, you will never be able to plumb the depths of it in this lifetime. Obviously, I can only scratch the surface of it here. But if you’ll spend some time on your own digging around it, you’ll realize as I have that the power of partnership is greater than anything you’d ever imagined. ‘Partnership?’ you ask. Yes partnership. You see, contrary to what many people have thought, partnership is not a new idea some fundraiser cooked up. It is an ordinance of God that began in the Old Testament and continued in the New. It is a system, designed by God to dramatically increase the abilities, resources and rewards of every believer. That system was officially established and recognised as an ordinance of God in 1 Samuel 30… ‘Well, I’d like to believe that, Brother…, but that was an Old Testament ordinance. Are you sure it’s still in effect today?’ Yes! Jesus taught the first 12 disciples about it. He reaffirmed it to them that principle of partnership by saying: ‘He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.’ (Matthew 10:41-42). It would be sufficiently exciting if the reward we receive from our partnership in God’s work was strictly a heavenly reward. But praise God it’s not. There’s also an earthly aspect to this reward system. Partnership is one of God’s ways of providing for us here and now blessings so great we could never muster up enough faith to receive them on our own…If you’re newer to this faith life than we are, or if you haven’t had the opportunities to grow in it that we have, you may have some needs that are out beyond your faith range right now. For example, you might have $50,000 worth of debt you want to pay. You know He can do it, but at this point in your life, it may be hard for you to believe He’ll do it for you. Well, take advantage of the privileges of partnership. Believing for $50,000 worth of debt reduction isn’t hard for my wife and me. As I said, we have to believe for millions every month. So write that $50,000 debt reduction prayer request on the sheet I send you each month with my letter and send it back. Use it as a way to release your faith in the God-ordained power of partnership.”

The errors made in the above quote by the good Reverend can be seen in the following:

 

         1 Samuel 30:23-25 refers to a statute and ordinance made only for the nation of Israel. Similarly, Esther 9:18-28 refers to the festival of Purim which the Jews began to celebrate from the time mentioned in these verses. The Purim festival is not a part of the Mosaic Law, but no New Testament believer is required to obey it.

Also, note Genesis 32:22-32 shows after Jacob wrestled with God and had his hip touched near its tendon, the Israelites would not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip of animals. Genesis 32:32 states: “Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank.” But no child of God living under the New Covenant is required to obey this Israelite national practice begun before the Law of Moses.

Similarly, it is unbiblical to suggest that an Old Testament Israelite national law found in 1 Samuel 30:13-25 applies to New Covenant believers. This is especially since there is nowhere in the New Testament that specifically quotes this above-recorded incident from 1 Samuel 30:23-25 as applying to New Covenant believers.

         It is extremely dangerous to make even the slightest inference of any supposed connection between giving money to a ministry and God then supposedly being obligated or indebted to perform miracles for the person who gave the money. Romans 11:35 says: “Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again.” As Deuteronomy 10:17 stresses, God cannot be bribed by gifts of money or anything else.

         Matthew 10:41 mentions receiving a prophet and a righteous man. In Greek, the word “receives” in the expressions “receives a prophet” and “receives a righteous man” is a form of the word “dechomai” which in this context means “receive as a guest, welcome”. [1] In Matthew 10:41, “receives” can mean personally welcoming the prophet or righteous man in a general sense or it may include personally welcoming him into your house for undeserved hospitality. But to twist this verse into saying it teaches we should send large money donations to preachers we are not personally coming into contact with at present and as a result we are guaranteed of being rewarded with having all of our debts wiped out by God, involves stretching the meaning far beyond the original context. The verse mentions us being rewarded but does not specify how or when.

It is presumption and a very dangerous thing for preachers to promise a specific thing which God has not specifically promised. Deuteronomy 18:20 says: “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.” In New Covenant times, we are not commanded to punish with death those who speak false Words of the Lord. But it is still an extremely serious matter.

The only people with the God-given warrant to interpret previously written verses of Scripture with meanings beyond their original context are Jesus Christ, the Apostles and other God-inspired Bible authors. Multitudes of heresies have resulted from churchgoers over the centuries interpreting verses out of their context. Texts interpreted out of context are mostly pretexts for error or sin.

 

I have a friend who went bankrupt following the financial teachings of the previously-quoted author. Also, I know of a former Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International director, a previously highly successful Australian ministry and a bookshop who all went bankrupt following this author’s legalistic money principles.

I had another friend years ago who was very zealous for God. He loved Jesus Christ. But later he became obsessed with the above author’s books and tapes. At the same time, he became more carnal and self-centred. After my friend experienced a tragedy – something which the above author claims should not happen to those with strong faith – my friend backslid. My friend either blamed himself and/or God for this tragedy. He recently separated from his Christian wife.

It is no co-incidence that the testimonies of such poor unfortunates are never mentioned in this author’s books or tapes.

 

Hero-worship

 

One of the problems of the present time is the sin of hero-worship among many Christians. I have spoken to many churchgoers who idolize certain authors or television preachers. They regard such people as being almost infallible Protestant “Popes”. They treat the newsletters of such people as being virtually the letters of their closest friends. They read the books and listen to the tapes of these authors and television preachers more than they read the written Word of God. They quote these authors and preachers as though they are the Bible. They often send these people more money than they give to their local church.

One reason for such hero-worship is that some authors and television preachers encourage this. They set up a marketing strategy which leads their supporters and partners to feel as though the preacher is their father or mother or best friend. This is even though they have never met each other.

These marketeers are always talking about what the Holy Spirit is saying to them in order to create the impression they are very godly special leaders like Moses, Elijah or Paul.

Because of such hero-worship, many churchgoers are not willing to read books which challenge the supposedly “perfect” teachings and “revelations” of their heroes. This creates a tremendous resistance against the Holy Spirit Who is at present trying to lead His people into being freed from the bondages of many false teachings which have been spread by these idolised heroes. It is the same problem we face in trying to convince many Roman Catholics and Orthodox that the writings of their Saints and the supposed “revelations” from a spiritual being claiming to be Mary at places like Fatima and Medjurgorje, contain many things contrary to God’s Word.

 


[1] Bauer, page 177.

 

 


Copyright © 2002 - InternetBibleCollege.net
Individuals may take copies of these works for the purpose of studying the Bible provided that this copyright notice is attached to all copies.