A related article: “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” sets out some of the numerous scriptures in both the Old and the New Testament relating to the discerning of false doctrine, false teachers and prophets which provides us with clear guidance on how to deal with all aspects of these matters.
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
The Bible clearly tells us not to judge, as in condemn
“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” (Romans 14:4).
“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” (James 4:12).
“Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?” (Romans 2:17-23)
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)
The Bible also tells us to test the spirits, to discern the true from the false
“Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” (I Thessalonians 5:21)
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1)
“They went out from us [many antichrists] but they did not belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But their departure made it clear that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19)
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
Scripture tells us to be obedient not just to some things, but to everything. As Christians it is important not to allow others – Christian or otherwise – being dishonest, deceived and/or deceiving, or simply immature in Christ, etc. cause us to stumble.
It is rare that even false teachers, although they may do a great deal of harm, don’t do some good. It is important to make sure we don’t fall into the same traps of the devil, and condemn those who sin, while we – as the Bible makes clear we all do – sin ourselves.
Nevertheless, scripture makes it clear that it is crucial to ensure that we do discern between true and false teachers and teachings as did the Bereans:
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:24-26)
The last thing any Christian should want to do is to falsely accuse anyone, especially on the basis of information found on the internet, or bear false witness. It could not of course reasonably be possible for the average person to prove that what is said on the internet is true. However in many cases there is sufficient evidence either from video footage of the person themselves talking and/or from their own hand in their own articles or books, and often on their own admission.
Libel laws in the UK and US do protect those who have the money to take legal action to protect themselves from public false accusation, so the media does have to take care not to make libelous accusations without a firm foundation and usually – although not always – it doesn’t. So great care must be taken in this.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:8-17)
When taking heed of anything spoken against anyone, it is important to ensure that we take into account that the devil is the false accuser and what people say about others is sometimes either not true at all, only partly true, or twisted and out of proportion. In most cases the evidence is on recorded audio, often video – footage, or actual items such as the evidence of Pentecostal syncretism in the case of Oral Roberts (please see link further on in this article).
Many famous evangelists have been involved in scandals of one sort or another. However they are still Christians in a way and it is for God to judge them. They may have been instrumental in converting and healing people and sometimes they come to a kind of repentance.
Nevertheless please be wary as some or all are – to a greater or lesser degree – false teachers.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt 24:24)
Estimates have been made that as many as 4 out of 5 preachers are teaching ‘another gospel’ and ‘another Jesus’.
There is a proliferation of ‘seeker-friendly’ churches these days teaching the ‘prosperity gospel’, ‘believe it and receive it’, ‘name it and claim it’, blab it and grab it, introducing new age and pagan elements, along with many other heresies.
There are links at the foot of the blog to ‘discernment ministries’ which are intended to signpost the way, leading people away from false teachers and hopefully helping to set and keep their feet on the right path.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:3-5)
In 2007, Senator Chuck Grassley opened a probe into the finances of six televangelists who preach a ‘prosperity gospel’. The probe investigated reports of lavish lifestyles by televangelists including: fleets ofRolls-Royces, palatial mansions, private jets and other expensive items purportedly paid for by television viewers who donate due to the ministries’ encouragement of offerings.
The six that were investigated are:
- Kenneth Copeland and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas;
- Creflo Dollar and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga;
- Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas;
- Eddie L. Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga; (DocuSeries – “Sex Scandals and Religion” did a 2011 investigative episode on his alleged sexual misconduct);
- Joyce Meyer and David Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo; and
- Randy White and ex-wife Paula White of the multi-racial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa.
On 6 January 2011, Senator Grassley released his review of the six ministries response to his inquiry. He called for a further congressional review of tax-exemption laws for religious groups.
Benny Hinn gets anointing from Kuhlman’s grave; felt to be a fraud by several doctors; widespread false claims of healings; extravagant lifestyle jewels, clothes and cars; felt he was a superstar.
Roberts Liardon reveals through his website http://www.robertsliardon.org that he actively supports the ministries of some of the biggest heretics this century has seen.
Jack Coe on occasion would actually “pick people up out of the wheelchairs. If they fell, he’d say you didn’t have faith”; conventional medicine the mark of the beast; ejected from the Assemblies of God in 1953.
Kathryn Kuhlman fell in love with a married man who divorced his wife to marry her—she then divorced him; met and felt `oneness’ with the Pope.
Charles Parham was arrested and ostracised for sodomy; racist.
Creflo Dollar was arrested in Fayetteville, Georgia in June 8, 2012, on charges of allegedly attacking his 15-year-old daughter. The initial report stated Dollar’s 15-year-old daughter accused him of strangling her, throwing her to the ground, and spanking her with his shoe after she argued with him about going to a party at 1 in the morning. Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter reportedly witnessed the altercation in question and corroborated her sister’s version of events. The official charges were simple battery and cruelty to children, both misdemeanors. He was later released on a $5000 bail.
William Branham claimed God’s Word consists of the zodiac, Egyptian pyramids and scripture; doctrine of trinity is considered demonic; the claim that he was Elijah the prophet; Millennium to begin in 1977; that he was the seventh angelic messenger to the Laodicean Church Age; that anyone belonging to any denomination had taken “the mark of the beast”; that he received divinely inspired revelations; the fall of man happened when Eve had sexual relations with Satan, that this sexual union produced Cain—Branham said that “every sin that ever was on the Earth was caused by a woman….the very lowest creature on the Earth”; Branham denied the biblical triune Godhead—he pronounced it a “gross error” and as a prophet with the authority of a “Thus saith the Lord,” revealed that “trinitarianism is of the devil”; unsaved descended from the serpent.
Oral Roberts appears in this list several times not once but eleven times:
In 1977 he told the world that a 900 foot tall Jesus told him to collect money for a medical and research center. Unfortunately, nobody publicly asked him why a 900 foot tall Jesus would tell him to collect money for a medical center when Oral and Jesus could heal people! Johnny Carson at the time said Oral Robert’s brain didn’t go all the way to the top of his prayer tower! He was the patriarch of the “prosperity gospel,” a theology that promotes the idea that Christians who pray and donate with sufficient fervency will be rewarded with health, wealth and happiness. Oral Roberts trained and mentored several generations of younger prosperity gospel preachers who now have television and multimedia empires of their own.
Oral Roberts was politically conservative as his contemporaries in what became known as the “religious right,” but he was known more for his religious style than for his political pronouncements. He was widely lampooned after he proclaimed on his television program in 1987 that God would “call him home” if he did not raise millions. His influence derived from his intimate understanding of those who turned to him for worship. They were white and black and Hispanic, the poor and the ill, hard-working people who could not afford an abundance of material possessions but whose dreams of health and prosperity were tied to an abiding love of God. By 1985, the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University employed more than 2,300 people and earned $110 million in revenue.
The expanse of Oral Roberts’s ministry, coupled with his fiery preaching, tycoon-like vision and jet-set lifestyle, also attracted persistent questions throughout his career about his theology and his unorthodox fund-raising techniques, although no credible evidence of malfeasance was ever produced on his watch. His university later fell into debt, however, and his son, Richard Roberts, was forced to leave his post as head of the university in 2007 after he was accused of using university funds for personal luxuries.
Richard Roberts is the son of the late Oral Roberts, and CEO of Oral Roberts Evangelical Association and was arrested in Tulsa for speeding (93mph) and Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. An Oklahoma State Trooper stopped Roberts who was behind the wheel of his 2006 Mercedes on the Creek Turnpike shortly after midnight. The trooper detected the strong smell of alcohol. Roberts failed two field sobriety tests and was taken to the Jenks, Oklahoma Police Station where he was given a breathalyzer test. The trooper then took the Evangelist to the Tulsa County Jail where he was booked on a complaint of DUI and speeding. Roberts posted bail and was later released.
Richard Roberts served as President of Oral Roberts University for 15 years until he was forced out of that position after an investigation by ORU into charges of financial impropriety by him and his family. Roberts added that the “untrue allegations of sexual misconduct by my wife” have been the most damaging to his family. Roberts also claims the plaintiffs have said “We don’t know if any of these allegations are true, but they are so defaming that the Roberts won’t survive.” If that’s true, and the allegations are proven false, these people will be in a lot of legal trouble. (They weren’t in trouble.)
Kenneth Copeland taught that we do not have a god in us but that we are a God. “You don’t have a God in you. You are one!”
That Adam was God manifest in the flesh: “God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself. I mean a reproduction of Himself, and in the Garden of Eden He did just that. He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even. . . . Adam is as much like God as you could get, just the same as Jesus. . . . Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh.”
God is the greatest failure in the Universe: “I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is….The biggest one is God….I mean, He lost His top-ranking, most anointed angel; the first man He ever created; the first woman He ever created; the whole earth and all the Fullness therein; a third of the angels, at least–that’s a big loss, man. . . Praise-a-Thon program on TBN [April 1988]
God lives on a mother planet: “Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.” “You don’t think earth was first, do you? Huh? Well, you don’t think that God made man in His image, and then made earth in some other image? There is not anything under this whole sun that’s new. Are you hearing what I’m saying? This is all a copy. It’s a copy of home. It’s a copy of the Mother Planet. Where God lives, He made a little one just like His and put us on it.”
The death of Jesus on the Cross did not pay the price for sins: “It wasn’t the physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin, anybody could do that.” Every prophet that walked the face of the earth under the Abrahamic covenant could have paid the price if it were a physical death only. “When he said ‘It is finished’ on that cross, he was not speaking of the plan of redemption. The plan of redemption had just begun, there were still three days and three nights to be gone through.” “[Jesus] accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own Spirit, and at the moment that He did so, He cried ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’.” “He [Jesus] was down in that pit and there he suffered the punishment for three horrible days and nights for Adam’s treason… There is a new birth takes place in the very depths of the earth, when the command of God says ‘That’s enough, loose him and let him go’.” What Happened from the Cross to the Throne
Jesus was raped by homosexual Roman soldiers every way possible: “Let me tell you something folks. Anybody in here that’s ever been sexually abused, listen to me right now. Listen to me very carefully. The Bible’s very careful about the way it says these things. But down there in that dungeon, Romans, ungodly men, ungodly men, put him (Jesus) to every kind of abuse that you can think of. There is no sin that Jesus didn’t bear. There is no thing, there is no such thing as a sexual abuse on somebody that Jesus doesn’t know firsthand what it’s all about. He’s been where you are, I don’t care what you’ve been through, Jesus has been through it. And everything’s done to him that we couldn’t even speak of.”
God and Adam are the same size: “God spoke Adam into existence in authority with words. These words struck Adam’s body in the face. His body and God were exactly the same size.”
God has no right to the earth at all, he needs an invitation: “God had no avenue of lasting faith or moving in the earth. He had to have covenant with somebody. . . . He had to be invited in, in other words, or He couldn’t come. God is on the outside looking in. In order to have any say so in the earth, He’s gonna have to be in agreement with a man here.”
Adam looks the same as Jesus and God: “[Adam] was the copy, looked just like [God]. If you stood Adam upside God, they look exactly alike. If you stood Jesus and Adam side by side, they would look and sound exactly alike.” “ Adam was made in the image of God. He was as much female as he was male. He was exactly like God. Then God separated him and removed the female part. Woman means ‘man with the womb.’ Eve had as much authority as Adam did as long as they stayed together.”
He [Jesus] is suffering all that there is to suffer: “There is no suffering left apart from Him. His emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing [hell]. And the Devil thinks he’s got Him destroyed.” “That Word of the living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before.”
Kenneth Hagin taught several heresies, one of which is positive confession mind science. He said that: “Those who are not up on something are usually down on it.”
[From Jesusdisciple.net:] Well this could not be said of me! I was up on the Word of Faith Teachers for years. I was taught, as were many of you pastors out there, to march around someone’s land seven times claiming it for myself. To lay my hands on other peoples cars, campers, vehicles and claim them. You see these teachers taught everyone that; that is how they obtained their lands, property, vehicles. They taught me to break the tenth commandment: “Thou shalt not covet anything that is my neighbors, thy neighbors field….. Now they have a new covetous saying: “I’m believing God for the land next door.”
Wouldn’t it be funny if the guy next door was believing God for their property? They both need to repent and realize they are breaking the tenth commandment!
Hagin taught – and you will hear most ‘word of faith pastors’ pass it on to their flock – that: “If you are content with just having enough to get by in life, You are believing a devil’s lie”.
But child of God, that is totally against what God says: God says to FLEE these things! [Jesusdisciple.net]