Have you heard those comments before, or something to that effect? Just about everyone has been subjected to finger pointing at some point, especially if you are a believer. But what about when the person ordained mishandles the Word of God, especially those that draw crowds by the thousands? Those who claim to have been called by God to preach the Gospel? Do we just allow them to pervert the Word of God? We should know the people of God by their fruits, but instead we see them as in the old days of the priests. We don’t see, or call many of these lovely preachers, teachers, pastors, or prophets – false prophets. We call them anything but that, and we don’t even try to steer fellow believers away from such as these. I recall the apostle Paul calling out a couple of them. This one topic, that of false teaching, false prophets and such is always a great lesson for believers, well…for me anyway.
I ask the question again, do we cut them any slack? Well, this incident with the Osteen’s has certainly brought this question to the forefront. The incident has disturbed the slumber of some believers and nonbelievers. However, there were some believers that were watchful and now they are being criticized for criticizing the powerful and great Osteen ministry. We can expect criticism from the typical anti-God groups, that is not troubling, if anything expected, but what is troubling is that many believers, especially new believers, babes in Christ may be getting the wrong idea of what the Christian faith, believing in a living God, and the message of the cross is all about. And it’s not just her remarks that trouble me, it’s her response and that of some of their followers, many of which may be new believers.
I ask God, is there resolve in this matter, as in the case of ISIS according to the fella from DD, is it one of two choices: repent, or ignore God and suffer the consequences. Or as believers, do we just let it slide? Knowing of course that the Lord will deal with His own. We can know with confidence that the Osteen’s will not repent, because repentance connotes wrong doing. And Osteen has pretty much admitted no wrong doing. I am surprise that she did not use scripture to support her remarks. I am confident that anyone at all concerned about this has already forgotten about it, or put it in God’s hands, which is what I would have done, but for some reason…I can’t, so I am just going to address it this last time and put it in God’s faithful hands. He alone knows the heart of every man. Praise God!
Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. The bible warns repeatedly to watch out for the false prophet.
Well, the hour is at hand.
Last night I had this image in my mind. In the garden of Eden, Eve took the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. She handed it to Adam. Adam took the fruit and ate of it. So, here comes God, walking in the garden, calls Adam. Adam admits he is hiding because he is naked. Why, God asks Adam do you think you are naked? Well, you know the story. Eve handed Adam her belief that the fruit of the tree that God told them not to eat from was a better choice…and you know the rest of the story. God dealt with both, but let’s face it, Adam got all the blame. He went along with Eve, but not without consequences. I had to discuss this image in my brain with a friend before I completely understood what the Lord was showing me.
Why I am I even compelled to put this argument on paper, I don’t know, but God knows. Let the reader have ears to hear.
The Hour is at Hand…
In her words…
“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God we’re not doing it for God — I mean that’s one way to look at it (That’s the only way to look at it.),” she said from the pulpit. “We’re doing it for yourself, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning … just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy.”
With boldness, she reiterates her statement… rather than clarifying the awkwardness of the statement she had just made. This was her opportunity to acknowledge God, but instead chose to please the flesh. She might have gone into more detail with her church, or elsewhere, but no where that I found.
She added, “When you come to church when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God, really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.”
Her defense or reasoning whichever way you want to see it…
“While I admit that I could have been more articulate in my remarks, I stand by my point that when we worship God and are obedient to Him we will be better for it,” she said. “I did not mean to imply that we don’t worship God; that’s ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way.”
Osteen continued, “Every Lakewood member knows what I was talking about because they have experienced firsthand the joy and victory of a Lakewood Church worship service, and the honor, reverence and gratitude we show God.”
Cognizant of the awkwardness of her statement, rather than apologizing she goes on the defense. Everyone that heard that statement was not a Lakewood member. The remark, as it was articulated did not in any way represent the Word of God. Relying on, “You know what I mean…” is not the same as speaking in parables, and is not an excuse for manipulating the Word of God. Further, many of those critics and cynics are believers’ not just naysayers. They are believers grounded in the things of God, in His word. She just dismisses them. There is no obvious sign of humility. There is no excuse for mishandling the Word of God, especially among pastors. You say what you mean and mean what you say.
Biblical principles work, and for many people is nothing but a means to gain prosperity…give and the lord will bless you, rather than desiring a Christ likeness. The false prophet does nothing more than preach a false hope…the entire church is locked up in the nations of Canaan. Never walking the path of conquering.
What does the Word say…1 Cor. 24 “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”
1 Cor. 32-33….” Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
The prophet Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar… “…It is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
“And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him’; this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.
“And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven:….”
Jeremiah 28: 11-15 “And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.’” And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Go and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron.” For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also.”’”
Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.
God through the prophet Jeremiah does not relent in warning His people about false prophets. Throughout the bible God’s people are warn about listening too and following and being on the alert for false teachers, preachers, prophets.
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.
James 3:1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
Itching ears will no longer tolerate sound doctrine. We need to be testing all the spirits.
2 Timothy 4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.”
2 Peter 2:18-22 “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
Warning: Rich Mullins: “Jesus said “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you’ve done unto me.” And this is what I’ve come to think. If I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers, but they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong.”
And since his departure to be with His Father, the rapid rise of this cultural phenomena of the megachurch, the megapastor, evangelicals of all sorts, cable television, the internet, social media and on and on, self-ordained pastors, watered down Christian lyrics, scriptures galore have made it possible for the false prophet to spread a gospel other than that of Jesus Christ. However, the true Gospel also took to the air and is the saving grace of those that have been called. Just how much of what we read online is real truth? We need to be discerning.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 8: 12-14
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Gal. 5: 16-18 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
3 They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
4 You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
5 Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
6 Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly!
The believer knows that Jesus came to divide. Mat. 10:34
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
Mat. 10:38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
2 Timothy 3:1-9
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
2 Timothy 3:12-13
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Romans 10:10, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
While obeying God will benefit us in the long run, it is not what pleases God, at least not according to scripture. Our desire for happiness is not the basis for doing God’s will. Being happy is a choice. Our desire is to please God, to go about the Father’s business, but it is not of ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit that dwells in us that permits, compels, restricts, it directs us according to the will of the Father. The joy of the Lord on the other hand, is our strength, and comes totally from the Lord, because the Lord is our strength.
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”