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"BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS" An exposition by: William Lewis ((one that was shown Mercy...

))

Each month, millions of letters go out to those on the mailing lists of numerous ministries. Many of them are computer-generated with the recipients name inserted at several strategic places to personalize the letter. Our files contain countless letters from televangelists. Many have told how the writer was up much of the night praying for the addressee; or the writer has received a special word from the Lord just for the recipient, etc. Such claims are beyond belief except to the most gullible... Only those who, for their own selfish lusts, want to believe such lies could be deceiving. There are apparently millions who fall into that category, making the deceivers willing partners. From: (Occult Invasion, by Dave Hunt, copyright 2007; published by The Berean Call) -------------------------------------------------------There is a rising movement within the mainstream Christian circles today that tend to emphasize wealth and health as the sign of Gods blessing upon His people (replacing spirituality and conviction of sin). By all appearances, when compared to rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15) it is obvious that they have left the true path of Salvation in Christ for reward (materialism):

Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of the Balaam for reward ... (Jude 11) *See also 2 Peter 2:1-22

The Bible warns us that near the time just before Christ returns that many false prophets would rise up within the body of Christ itself and deceive many: For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the very elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. (Matthew 24:24, 25) We can see these great signs and wonders being exhibited everyday on our television screens by men and women who appear clean and righteous on the outside, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 23:27, 28)

I realize this current exposition is going to offend many people and I am also very aware of my own sin and unworthiness to speak in

condemnation of anyone else; nevertheless, the Word of God compels me to speak the truth (His Word, not my own);

And I cant quit! For if I say Ill never again mention the Lord never more speak in his name then his word in my heart is like fire that burns in my bones, and I cant hold it in any longer. (Jeremiah 20:9) Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. (Jeremiah 15:16) Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

We as believers in Jesus Christ must become intimate with God through diligent study and contemplation of His word if we are to recognize the many false prophets that have gone out into the world misrepresenting the plan and purpose of God for our lives. Just because some clean-cut, smooth talking, charismatic preacher is standing in the pulpit speaking from the Bible does not mean that he is being lead by Gods Spirit because even Satan, our enemy, quoted scripture during the temptation of Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11 & Luke 4:1-13)

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is

transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;... (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, ... (2Peter2:1)

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out in the world. (1 John 4:1)

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesized 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)

Listen to the following quote from Dave Hunts book, Occult Invasion:

Tragically, the Hinns, Hagins, Copelands, et al, convince themselves and others that the supposed miracles they perform are proof that they belong to Christ. Will some of todays charismatic leaders be among those who will say, Lord, Lord, did we not...?

Then again: Todays false prophets boast of their power and use it to threaten those who would reprove them with Gods Word. To escape correction, they warn critics, Touch not the Lords anointed, and threaten those who question them will suffer Gods judgment. With Paul crouch backing him, Benny Hinn threatened on TBN that if critics dared to Touch the Lords anointed (meaning him), their children would die... (Occult Invasion by Dave Hunt)

Where is the grace of God in that statement, your children will die? Certainly not Jesus Christ who taught us to love our enemies and forgive others; And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face:.. .and they did not receive him, . .and when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them. (Luke 9:51-56) For the record, let me say that Benny Hinn (and several others) is a false prophet and his white washed suit is a facade to hide the stains of iniquity that only the Blood of Jesus Christ can remove! Forgiveness follows repentance;

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea-a, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:1-2) The question in my mind is, how can so many people not recognize or see the errors being promulgated by these charismatic leaders who are misleading and deceiving the Church? The only answer I can come up with is that the body of Christ puts too much faith in men to lead ~ rather than allowing Gods Word through the Holy Spirit to guide them, or even more discouraging is the reality that many professing Christians do not really know the God of the Bible or want the truth:

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because the received NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:910) Those who try to develop a faith that always gets ones interpretation of a promise to work out may in fact not have the genuine faith to trust Gods love and the true wisdom to let Him work all according to His will and not ours. (The Seduction of Christianity, by Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon, copyright 1985, Harvest House Pub.)

Many of the false, charismatic leaders who are misrepresenting the God of the Bible often present God as some kind of force or magic

charm that can be manipulated into providing our every want by certain spiritual laws that we activate by faith (and of course make a monetary covenant or partnership with the ministry itself ). Many Christians who buy into the materialistic mentality do not want the truth provided in Gods Word concerning His will and purpose for our lives and instead focus all of their time and resources pursuing worldly ambitions:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ;...( 2 Timothy 4:3)

Jesus stated: My kingdom is not of this world... (John 18:36) Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for him hath God the father sealed. (John 6:27)

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:20-21)

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

And then again: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust there of: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (1 John 2:15-17) *see also 1 Timothy 6:17 ...He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)

This does not mean to imply that God doesnt wish to bless His children with good things in this life, because He does! But His first and foremost concern is our sanctification in Christ and relationship with Himself. In response to Pauls request for healing and deliverance we read;

And he said unto me, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.(2 Corinthians 12:9)

When we come to love and know Christ in any and all adversity, thats when God can trust us with material and physical blessings; but as the Word of God states:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)

our earthly parents may have blessed us with material things in this life, but God, our Heavenly Father, wants to give us that which is so much better;

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17)

The Bible does not have much good things to say about worldly materialism and ambition. On the contrary, it instead discourages us from placing too much emphasis on monetary gain:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, Perverse disputing of men and corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But 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 raiment let us be therewith content... For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, o man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness... (1 Timothy 6:3-8, 10-11)

In this exposition I have tried to present Gods Word above my own; yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; (Romans 3:4) Yes, there are many promises in Gods Word concerning wealth and health but we should always seek those things that are much greater first and foremost. Many false preachers are misleading willing and deceived people into pursuing an impersonal and selfish, materialistic relationship with God that is based on having ones wants supplied rather than having strong, personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself who is the real treasure and health of any believer:

So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:15-20)

These false teachers we call televangelists who present themselves as prophets of God, appear, by all outward signs, blessed and successful, but listen to Gods Word: Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. (Jeremiah 14:14)

The anger of the Lord shall not return, until ~ye have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days (meaning our present time) ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their doings. (Jeremiah 23:20-22)

This does not mean to imply that every televangelist or preacher we see and hear on TV are false prophets, because there are those who I do hear and respect myself; what I am saying is that in order for one to recognize truth from error one has to first know and understand Gods Word and pray for discernment which only thee Holy Spirit can give. A good sign to look for in a false preacher is someone who constantly focuses on wealth and health as Gods will for your life rather than holiness, repentance and conviction of sin. The Apostle Paul stated: I But we preach Christ crucified,.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 1:23 & 2:2)

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,.. (Galatians 6:14)

Beware of who you choose to send your donations too and make sure whether or not your heart is right in the giving. If you give expecting nothing in return then you are truly blessed.. .but if your giving is motivated by a desire for increased monetary gain in return, then your motivation in the giving itself is misplaced and greedy. If you sincerely wish to give to God and help others without risking the good chance that your hard earned dollars will not be misappropriated, then remember that there are plenty of people and organizations within your local area and community that need your help and support. As the time for Christs return draws ever closer, we as believers and followers should be more concerned about our relationship with Him and about the position of our next door neighbors soul, rather than on worldly ambition and success or the materialistic illusions we see being marketed and shoved down our throats on television every day. In the words of a well recognized and established philosopher, a man who by all appearances never even embraced Christianity or the

God of the Bible, yet, nevertheless, a man who recognized the vanity and ignorance of pursuing worldly pomp and wealth:

Philosophy bestows life in that it reveals the dignity and purpose of living. Materiality bestows death in that it benumbs or clouds those faculties of the human soul which should be responsive to the enlivening impulses of creative thought of ennobling virtue.. .Today man, a sublime creature with infinite capacity for self-improvement, in an effort to be true to false standards, turns from his birthright of understanding- without realizing the consequences- and plunges into the maelstrom of material illusion. The precious span of his earthly years he devotes to the pathetically futile effort to establish himself as an enduring power in a realm of unenduring things... Ignorant of the cause of life, ignorant of the purpose of life, ignorant of what lies beyond the mystery of death, yet possessing within himself the answer to it all, man is willing to sacrifice the beautiful, the true, and the good within and without upon the blood-stained altar of worldly ambition. The world philosophy- that beautiful garden of thought wherein the sages dwell in the bond of fraternity- fades from view. In its place rises an empire of stone, steel, smoke, and hate- a world in which millions of creatures potentially human scurry to and fro in the desperate effort to exist and at the same time maintain the vast institution which they have erected and which, like some mighty Juggernaut, is rambling, inevitably towards an unknown end. In this physical empire, which man erects in the vain belief that he can outshine the kingdom of the celestials, everything is changed to stone. Fascinated by the glitter of gain, man gazes at the Medusa-like face of greed and stands petrified, in this

commercial age science is concerned solely with the classification of physical knowledge and investigation of the temporal and illusionary parts of Nature. Its so-called practical discoveries bind man but more tightly with the bonds of physical limitations. Religion, too, has become materialistic: the beauty and dignity of faith is measured by huge piles of masonry, by tracts of real-estate, or by the balance sheet... (Manly P. Hall; 1901-1990: Founder of the Philosophical Research Society in 1934; Los Angeles, California)

If you have been blessed by this exposition and support its message; please feel free to make copies and distribute them as you wish.

Shalom and God Bless!! In His Service.. .~ His Glory... William Lewis W.V.C.F PO Box 1111 Carlisle, IN 47838 (address until July 2013)