Category: ‘False Brethren’

Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’

November 20, 2012 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’

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A "spoof" of Joel Osteen's book, "Your Best Life Now," which portrays Joel as a Hindu, and is entitled, "Your Best Life Next Time" (referencing reincarnation beliefs).

This widely circulated “Hindu Edition” spoof of Joel Osteen’s famous heretical book, “Your Best Life Now,” was just too funny and too appropriate for me to not use for this post. (Click to enlarge.)

If you have ever watched Joel Osteen’s “church” services from Lakewood “Church” in Houston, Texas, you have probably seen him lead the congregation and television viewing audience into making a “positive confession” right before he begins his teaching. What you may NOT know about that “confession” is that Joel — consciously or unconsciously — is programming his audience to receive his false doctrine without ANY question or discernment.

(Let me note briefly that I have hyper-linked many of the words in this article to Dictionary.com in order to provide definitions for terms that might not be readily understood, especially by those for whom English is a second language. So if you do not understand a particular word or phrase, simply hold your cursor over it to see if a message appears that indicates there is a link there for you to click.)

“Now,” someone might object, “How can you say that about Joel’s innocent confession? It is simply a profession of faith that we are going to be teachable and to learn from God’s Word.” Oh, is it? We will take a closer look at that confession and find out that there is more to it than readily meets the eye.

However, before we get into that detailed examination of the “Lakewood Church Confession,” let us first take a look at the word “mantra” which I used in the title of this article. You will readily see as we progress how accurate a word this is for us to use to describe what Joel Osteen encourages his followers to do (and why I picked the spoof book graphic to the right for this post). Here is the definition:

1. Hinduism: A word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.

2. An often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism: e.g. If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I’ll scream.

(Source: Dictionary.com)

Now as we get into studying this “confession” of theirs, you will find that the NET EFFECT thereof is the same as the “mantra” definition #1 above: Namely, that it is an “incantation” (of a sorts) that takes place, through which the people are led into programming themselves to be deceived by the man.

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Word of Faith, or Word of Poison?

To begin, let me note that this “Lakewood Church Confession” was actually created by John Osteen, Joel’s father, many years ago. John was a very respected leader within the “Word of Faith Movement,” and had the typical “confession” theology that prevailed in those circles for many years and even today (though “money” now dominates their attention more than “faith” or “confession” typically). That brand of theology contains a mix of biblical truth with significant error. As it has proliferated since Kenneth Copeland became more prominent within the movement back in the 1980s, it is also mixed with Masonic doctrines as well.

I came out of that background myself, and even served as an Associate Pastor on the staff of a then-4,000-member “Word of Faith” church. So I know “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” of those doctrines. (And Osteen’s use of  “confession” is one that comes under the category of the “ugly,” as you shall soon see.) However, rather than get into a detailed analysis thereof, let me just offer here a few observations for the purpose of this article…

There is a fairly old saying that points out that, “Rat poison is actually 98% perfectly good corn meal.” Obviously, just 2% of poison is enough to turn a perfectly good “dinner” into a “death sentence” for any rat that dares to feed on the meal they are offered. Likewise, heretics often mix their spiritual “poison” with Scriptures that seem to support their thesis only at first glance.

There is a term within the legal profession that goes by the Latin phrase, prima facie, whereby they describe a lawsuit which appears legitimate at first, but has not yet been tested in a court of law against all the available facts. Heretics absolutely THRIVE on presenting “plausible looking” doctrines which seem to be authentic, but which are actually incapable of surviving close scrutiny. A closer examination of their false doctrines reveals that what appears to be truth is actually a myth.

(By the way, I teach on this subject of “truth verses myth” at some length in my free MP3 audio series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, which you can download FOR FREE by clicking here to visit the download page.)

In the case of the “confession” theology found within the Word of Faith circles, this mixture of error and Masonic heresies with God’s Word, creates a dangerous mix of “spiritual rat poison” for those who accept or study it. Thus, I highly recommend that you stay away from such teaching, as any effort to “feed on the good” necessarily causes you to mentally “ingest” the “poison’ that is mixed therein.

But since I do not want to expand this article too far from it’s original topic, I will leave this subject here at present. I will have to write on this issue separately at a later date. Please check back to this website frequently to read it when it is posted, or simply sign up for our Feedburner™ notifications by clicking here to be updated about all our posts.

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Confession of Deception

Getting back to the “Lakewood Confession”: The DANGER with Joel’s pre-instruction confession is NOT found within the first two sentences. That opening portion is actually pretty nice, and tends to lull the person into not questioning the remainder of the mantra.

So the DANGER of the “confession” that they repeat before EVERY service at Lakewood “Church” is found in what FOLLOWS, starting at the third sentence. Here is the full confession (as copy/pasted from the Lakewood FAQ page, last accessed on November 20, 2012):

This is my Bible. I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have, I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess; My mind is alert, My heart is receptive, I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same, never, never, never, I will never be the same, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s now begin to dissect this mantra and find out where the danger lies therein…

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Begging the Question

The FIRST problem found in the Lakewood mantra is that it is founded upon a logical fallacy known as “Begging the Question” (aka “Circular Reasoning”). The confession first ASSUMES that the “teaching” which is about to follow is BIBLICAL, and thus, will actually convey genuine Christian doctrine.

However, logically, one should not merely ASSUME something is fact (or true), but rather they must PROVE it to be so — especially if there is any question in the matter — BEFORE accepting it as such. So in terms of doctrine, one should always prove that a doctrine is sound and congruent with the Scriptures BEFORE accepting it as being true.

This is certainly the biblical thing to do because “gullibility” is to be avoided:

Test all things; hold fast what is good.

(1 Thessalonians 5:21, NKJV, emphasis mine)

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

(Acts 17:10-12, NASB, emphasis mine)

Paul preached truth, and these people were receptive to what he was preaching as he quoted extensively from the Old Testament prophecies to support his assertion, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ” (verse 3). However, these people were NOT gullible; and they wanted to move beyond the prima facie appearance of plausibility, and to put this doctrine of Paul’s to the test. So they examined “the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” BEFORE they “believed” what the man proclaimed.

As the passage from 1 Thessalonians above reveals, Paul actually wrote a letter to the Christians in Thessalonica to tell them that they were to be similarly “noble-minded.” Like their Berean brethren habitually did already, the Thessalonians were told to likewise “test all things” and only accept that which “is good” (i.e. those things that pass a closer examination).

But does Joel Osteen encourage people to “test everything” that he says? No, he does not. He instead “begs the question” whether what he teaches is biblical or not — and through the Lakewood mantra, Joel has all the people predetermine beforehand that they will “accept” whatever he teaches as being “biblical” BEFORE Joel has PROVEN anything from the Scriptures.

Worse yet, the instruction that follows the Lakewood mantra is generally NOT biblical teaching. Rather than dive into his heresies here, however, let me first refer you to a few resources of mine which discuss Joel’s “other gospel”:

And let me also suggest the following “Joel Osteen” resource pages, each of which provides a generous list of other websites that document his errors and heresies (listed alphabetically):

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Switching Definitions (Equivocation)

The SECOND problem found in the Lakewood mantra is that it is also founded upon another logical fallacy known as “Equivocation.” Equivocation generally occurs when people switch the definitions for words in how they use them, in order to either obscure the the truth (i.e. to hide something) or to deceive another person (i.e. to interject a lie into their mind).

(Note: Some people “equivocate” because of sloppy thinking and/or because they were themselves deceived by someone else, and are just repeating what they were told. However, I am primarily addressing within this article the intentional use of equivocation as a tool of deceit and manipulation, although is is possible that the “deceived deceiver” scenario might be the case with Joel Osteen. Regardless, he is deceiving others — whether intentionally or unintentionally — which makes him a dangerous “leader” who should be avoided, and not “followed.”)

So to illustrate: When a Mormon — or a “Latter Day Saint” (LDS), as they prefer to call themselves — comes to your door and claims that the “Jesus” of Mormonism is the “same Jesus that is in the Bible” they are equivocating. I had this happen to me recently, and I refused to let them do that. I replied to these Mormons, “The Jesus of the Bible NEVER came to America after His Resurrection as you claim, and thus, your ‘Jesus’ is NOT the same one.” They tried to use equivocation on a few other terms in an effort to hide the distinctions between Mormonism and GENUINE Biblical Christianity, but I kept catching them at their tactic and REDEFINING the terms according to the Scriptures —i.e. in CONTRAST to how they interpret them. Those two Mormons were quite confounded by that (as I guess they had never run into someone who knew their heretical tactics) and they soon looked for a way to exit the discussion (but I kept re-engaging them and extending the conversation…hee hee.)

(Click here if you want to learn more about the Mormon’s many absurd heresies, and their ties to Freemasonry, as I have to move on beyond this example and get back to our main subject.)

As you can probably guess, this fallacy of equivocation is another TOP favorite among heretics. Understandably, therefore, the Bible specifically addresses this practice of theirs in numerous places. Here are a few selections for us to discuss (of the many which could be cited):

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Jude vs. 3-4, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Jude warns that these ungodly men (and women) would “turn the grace of God” into something that the Bible does NOT describe it as being. (Joseph Prince falls into this category, by the way.) Such heretics will redefine “grace” according to definitions which will actually produce “lewdness,” and that even actually DENY the Lord Jesus (by either word or deed…please note Titus 1:16). Such “changing the definition of grace” is an example of the use of equivocation as a tool for deception.

Now look at one of the things that Peter discussed along these lines:

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 3:14-18, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Peter discusses how heretics “twist” the Scriptures, to include the New Testament writings of Paul. This “twisting” is typically manifested by heretics through how they apply both “equivocation” to the terms they use, and how they apply still other logical fallacies in order to lead people to wrong conclusions.

Now let’s look at how Paul discussed this use of “definition switching” by false ministers (heretics):

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a DIFFERENT spirit which you have not received, or a DIFFERENT gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

(2 Corinthians 11:1-4, NKJV, emphasis mine)

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a DIFFERENT gospel, which is NOT ANOTHER; but there are some who trouble you and want to PERVERT the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

(Galatians 1:6-9, NKJV, emphasis mine)

It is important to note that Paul was writing by the Holy Spirit to churches that he had founded himself. He was concerned that because of the outright carnality (i.e. fleshly mindedness) of the Corinthians, that they seemed to be “easy prey” for false teachers to deceive through the use of equivocation.

When he wrote to the Galatians, he was shocked that they HAD ALREADY been taken prey by such heretics using this very tactic. A “different gospel” had been presented to them, and they were in danger of losing their salvation thereby — not only by being “accursed” for spreading that heresy themselves, but also for “falling from grace” through a works-based religion (see Galatians 5:3-4 for Paul’s statements regarding this last point).

ALL of these heretics were preaching different things than what Biblical Christianity teaches, but were using the subtle tactic of “equivocation” in order to confuse their hearers and to lead them astray with their false doctrines. They say “jesus,” “cross,” “baptism,” “gospel,” “holy spirit,” “salvation,” “christianity,” & etc., but mean entirely DIFFERENT things than the TRUTH of what the Scriptures reveal about those Persons and things. (Note: I used lower-case letters intentionally above, though not grammatically correct, because I wanted to differentiate these false terms from the REAL ones of the Bible.)

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Conclusion

So what is the problem with the Lakewood mantra, which the people “confess” before Joel Teaches? What is wrong with them saying that they are going to “receive” the “Word of God” and accept it from Joel Osteen without questioning it or putting it to the test?

By getting all the people (and his television audience) to “confess” this mantra, Joel Osteen is doing the following:

  1. Equivocating his FALSE doctrines with the GENUINE doctrines of Christ….
  2. …and fallaciously ASSUMING that they are the same (i.e. “begging the question”) without first PROVING that they are actually sound biblical doctrine…
  3. …and thus, he is PROGRAMMING his audience to “receive” something that is often NOT BIBLICAL as if it truly is biblical….
  4. …when the BIBLE tells us that people should INSTEAD be taught to TEST THINGS that they hear — instead of just “swallowing” it like a fish, “hook, line, and sinker,” without questioning its validity and veracity.

Thus, the PROBLEM with the Lakewood “confession” is NOT the first two sentences of it, which are actually quite nice and sound good. Rather, the problems are found within the REST of the confession — because it softens the minds and discernment of Osteen’s audience in order to make them more receptive to his false doctrines and gross heresies.

Thus, I highly recommend you do NOT ever make such “confessions” whenever ANY alleged “minister” wishes you to do so before they teach you. A genuine minister of Christ will always want you to learn the truth for yourself, and to “test things” to ensure you both understand their teaching, and have confirmed that it is truly biblical.

Again, in closing, my audio teaching series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, actually explain how to discern true from false doctrine — AND true and false ministers as well. I hope you will obtain your own copy of this FREE series today, and begin to listen to it — searching the Scriptures daily as you do, to “see if these things be so.”

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it was helpful. The comments section is open below if you would like respond or to add your thoughts to this discussion. (And yes, comments are moderated.)

Now in closing, let me offer you the following benediction from the Bible itself:

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

(Ephesians 6:23-24, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

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Lifting Up Their Faces…Surgically

February 24, 2012 Posted by Donna Vermillion

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Lifting Up Their Faces…Surgically

by Donna Vermillion

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An introductory note from Rich: The following article by my wife, Donna, is an outstanding confrontation of an issue that seems to rarely get addressed. Namely, the difference between INNER beauty and OUTWARD beauty.

The Scriptures say it this way, in regards to women (but which would also certainly apply to men): “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV). What Donna points out herein is that there are too many ungodly—but popular—televangelists these days running around trying to improve their OUTSIDE appearance (via cosmetic surgery) while their inward parts are “full of greed and wickedness” (Luke 11:39, NKJV). Just as Jesus is more concerned about our INSIDE purity, so should these people be primarily focused on dealing with their own hearts ABOVE AND BEYOND their appearance. After all, one’s appearance will not help them one bit on the day of judgement, when the Lord will speak to “many” those terrifying words, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work lawlessness” (see Matthew 7:21-23). Yet, these people are ignoring the critical issues of their heart while they focus on their external looks instead.

So Donna’s article here is about the NEED for these people to deal with the corruption found within their own hearts, which is evidenced to us all by their manifest “fruits” (see Matthew 7:15-20).

However, this article is NOT a denial of a person’s right to get a facelift if they want to—and Donna clearly states that fact, while even suggesting it is a good idea for some people. Nevertheless, some readers have gotten hung up on the outward issue, and missed the main point of her article—indicating, perhaps, that they were convicted by Donna’s message, because they themselves are not tending to their own hearts…or that at least, that they lacked good reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. ;)

And now on to Donna’s bold, but loving, article…


Woman marked for a face lift

Is it just me or do Gloria Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Lindsay Roberts, and so on, look very different than they did years ago? As a woman, I do notice these things.

When I first saw the “new” Gloria Copeland on the BVOV daily broadcast a few years back, I wondered about it. At the time, I was so duped by those wolves that I actually did not know if she had really had plastic surgery; or if her “faith” was just so strong that the years of confessing her youth being “renewed like the eagle’s” had finally manifested. I even remember saying that to someone.

Joyce Meyer? Well, I kind of agreed with her decision to “get a lift.” (The first time, anyway… I have no idea how many she has had to date, but her mouth is looking really weird to me now. Sometimes people need to know when to stop!)

How about Paula White? She was very pretty to begin with and was, in my opinion, nowhere near the standard “face-lift age.” Why in the world would she need to do such a thing? If you scan through her photographs on her website, you will see that her face looks so recycled that it is ridiculous. In an effort to obtain the most “perfect” outer beauty, she has actually ruined her appearance (in my opinion).

It is sad, really. In Gloria Copeland’s case, and in the case of some of her buddies, this “face lift fancy” seems to originate mostly from sheer vanity. I am not against a woman looking her best (especially for her husband), but these folks have an obvious Hollywood-like obsession with their looks.

In Paula’s and Lindsay’s cases, I see a lot of pain and insecurity that they are seeking to relieve only through superficial means. These two seem to be very messed-up women and clear examples of what Proverbs says that a woman should NOT be:

As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

(Proverbs 11:22, NKJV)

Paula was seen in very promiscuous looking circumstances with Benny Hinn in Italy. Lindsay was caught doing “questionable activities” with teen-age boys in Tulsa (download this court documentbut ONLY if you can stomach the details). There is certainly “no fear of God before their eyes,” to be acting this way (Romans 3:18). So it is very strange to me that these women think that multiple cosmetic surgical procedures could overshadow their seemingly “pig-like” character. For those who are discerning—i.e. read their Bibles and judge accordingly—the swine’s snouts of these apparent “church whores” should still be obvious, regardless of how far they “lift” their faces surgically.

What these women seem to not realize is that they are trying to achieve inner beauty by changing their outer appearance. At the risk of sounding cliche, we need to get back to Proverbs chapter thirty-one’s description of a virtuous woman. This is what it says:

Who can find a virtuous wife [KJV, "woman"]? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

(Proverbs 31:10-12, NKJV)

Well, I guarantee you that Paula’s ex-husband, and Lindsay’s current one, have not experienced a life of their “hearts” being able to “safely trust” in their wives. Verse thirty then says:

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

(Proverbs 31:30, NKJV)

As I said, there seems to be no fear of God in these woman’s lives. The Holy Spirit, through Peter, described where a woman’s beauty should come from:

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

(1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV)

Notice that some of the scriptures which I have cited above say that the inner beauty of a godly woman is very valuable (e.g. “…far above rubies…,” and “…very precious”). From an economic standpoint, what makes something valuable? It is its rarity. Common things are considered “common” in value, but rare things are typically considered precious.

The fact of the matter is this: “Narrow-way” women (Matt. 7:14) seem to be a minority in church circles today in America. Notice, I am not referring to the unsaved people outside the church—I’m talking about “church women,” particularly the ones who are in the pulpits and on television.

For a male minister to lower himself to “dog” status by returning to his own “vomit” of sin (see Proverbs 26:11) is despicable, of course. We all know that sin is wrong for every person, regardless of their gender.

However, there is just something in every human being that says, “A woman just should not do that.” Even if all the men surrounding her have fallen, there is a standard of godliness that, for some reason, we all know that a woman should follow. When she does not walk with an exemplary moral standard, it is like “a gold ring in a pig’s snout” to behold. Nobody—not even an ungodly man—respects a whore.

So there seems to be an “unspoken” rule: If anyone in the family should take a stand for holiness and fidelity in the home, it should certainly be the “lady” of the house. (And I thank God that, in our house, my husband does, too.)

Just to clarify, let me say that I am not against all face lifts categorically. Like I said, I think it was a good idea in Joyce’s case.

The point I am expressing in this article is that—instead of ONLY outward face-lifting—there is an urgent need among the “piggish” women professing to be Christians, for them to lift up their faces to God in genuine repentance:

A Face Lift Nightmare

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

(Ephesians 5:5-6, NKJV, emphasis added)

There must be a stirring up of the fear of God in the hearts of women. There must be an emphasis on the eternal consequence of sinful behavior, some of which even many gentiles would be too ashamed to participate in (1 Corinthians 5:1).

After all, one day everyone will die…face lift or not. Whether God’s judgement is welcomed or ignored really doesn’t matter—it is coming anyway. Moreover, it will begin in His house:

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

(1 Peter 4:17-18, NKJV, emphasis added)

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all [even Christians] appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

(2 Corinthians 5:9-11, NKJV, emphasis and bracketed note added)

This is true for EVERYBODY…even women preachers.

—Donna Vermillion

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When Wolves Remove Their Clothes

April 3, 2011 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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When Wolves Remove Their Clothes

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A wolf taking off his sheep's clothing

There are many wolves at large today, prowling around with their “sheep’s clothing” draped across their furry shoulders, looking for any unsuspecting prey which they can devour for their own self-serving agendas. One even contacted me today, and tried to deceive me into advertising his alleged “ministry” for him on my websites, using a false confrontation about Kenneth Copeland as his “lure.”

Instead of playing his silly game, however, I decided to write this article and let him undress his true character for the entire world to see.

(Note: This post is rated “R” for “reveal” as I intend to expose a hypocrite herein very sternly, with the intent of trying to warn him of his error, and to secure his salvation. This is in total conformity to Paul’s admonishment in 1 Timothy 5:19-21, which says in part, “Those [elders] who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” Since this person claims to be a “pastor” then public rebuke for his hypocrisy is certainly in order. So “canine discretion is advised” for all other wolves who may be reading this post.)

Dressed to Kill

Some wolves wear “tailor made” sheep suits which hide everything but their fangs as they salivate over the next meal. In my informed opinion, Kenneth Copeland falls into this category, as he has shown himself to be quite deceptive with his wooly attire.

For example, Copeland will publicly teach on topics such as honor and integrity, or perhaps love and forgiveness, even while simultaneously propagating multimillion-dollar frauds. His hearers are lulled into believing that he and his wolf pack (i.e. family) are “upright” and “holy” and the donations come in as overly-trusting people expect “hundred-fold returns from God” on their “seed.” However, the Copelands don’t live that way themselves. They merely devour the wealth of the unsuspecting victims with their multimillion-dollar incomes and other financial “perks,” paid for by these contributions and the sales of products that teach this unbiblical tripe. In fact, most of the so-called “prosperity preachers” fall into this category (though the more amateurish among their number are not as competent with their deceptions as the truly “professional” wolves are).

Others are not so clever in hiding their true nature from the flock of God. The “cotton ball” covering, with which they have arrayed themselves, provides very little camouflage against detection—if the sheep will merely pay attention. (The guy we will discuss shortly falls into this latter category, in my opinion.)

All of the wolves, however, will occasionally drop all pretense of feigning themselves as sheep, when their own carnivorous nature gets the best of them. To understand how and when that might happen, let us first look at what Jesus said about these deceivers. Herein, we will see what are the two CHIEF characteristics that marks all wolves:

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

(Matthew 7:13-23, NKJV, words of Jesus in red, emphasis added)

The First Characteristic

The first point to note about the above passage about “wolves in sheep’s clothing” is that it is sandwiched between two powerful passages that discuss both true and false “converts” to Christianity.

In the beginning of our citation above, we are told by the Lord that “many” find the “broad way” that leads to Hell and damnation (as heresy is typically more popular among the wicked than is the truth); but those who are willing to take the “narrow way” will find eternal life through Jesus Christ. In the ending of the section we quoted above, Jesus tells us that not everyone who claims to be a Christian really is one, and that many of these false converts will be shocked to discover they are unsaved only AFTER damnation comes upon them.

Oh, what a horror! The Savior of the world has told us that many are deceived into believing they are righteous when they are not. Oh, what a terror! Should we not be about our Father’s business and warn such people that their false beliefs are leading them to Hell?

I truly think that stern warnings about their frightful condition is FAR more loving than lying to them by telling them that there is no Hell to fear at all!

Picasso “Theologies”

"Weeping Woman" by Pablo Picasso, 1937

Picasso's "Weeping Woman" looks just like someone you know, does it not? Be forewarned: Rob Bell's "portrait" of "love" is just as perverted from biblical reality as this Picasso is from the features of the woman he "represented" therein. (Click to enlarge)

Of course, this last point flies in the face of popular “broad-way” heresies today. Some have gone so far as to twist so-called “love” teaching into shapes so distorted, so perverted, that their heretical doctrine has lost all reference to true biblical theology. In short, Rob Bell’s “love wins” defecation (a far more appropriate term to use than “teaching”) reflects the agape love described in Scripture about as well as a Picasso painting represents a true “portrait” of his subjects.

Nonetheless, the fact of true and false converts—and the truth that there is a Hell to avoid, even as there is a Heaven to gain—is VERY consistent with other “narrow-way” teachings of Jesus Christ. As the passage above warned, there will be those who are shocked to find themselves damned because they were never truly born again into eternal life.

This class of unsaved false “Christians” have been referred to by preachers throughout history by names such as “false converts,” “false professors,” “pretenders,” “counterfeits,” and even simply “hypocrites.” Jesus, however, used allegorical terms that compared the true Christians with the false. There are the “wheat” but also “tares” (Mat. 13:24-30, 36-43); “good fish” but also “bad fish” (Mat. 13:47-50); “sheep” but also “goats” (Mat. 25:31-46); “wise virgins” but also “foolish” ones (Mat. 25:1-13).

In short, not everyone who claims to be a Christian—or who even thinks that they are a Christian, simply because of their religious observances or profession—is truly born again. As I stated within the very comprehensive explanation of salvation entitled, The Supreme Value of Righteousness:

[Jesus] said clearly [in John chapter 3] that we must be “born again” (i.e. a second birth) in order to enter into the Kingdom of God as genuine children of God. He said that this one is a spiritual birth, in which our spirits are “born again” by the working of Holy Spirit of God Himself. “Spirit gives birth to spirit,” Jesus said. And just as our first birth was dramatic, so is the second birth also—but on the inside of a person, rather than on the outside….being “born again” was not merely a doctrine, a concept, a philosophy, or merely some emotional euphoria. It is an experience. And to be quite honest about it, it is a very dramatic experience to be born of God’s Spirit on the inside. (Bracketed clarifications added.)

So what do we see Jesus saying about wolves? The Lord says that they are “clothed” like sheep, but inwardly they are “ravenous wolves.” In short, they are NOT born again; or at best, have traveled the road of apostasy so long, that they are once again lost and can only expect damnation for eternity:

For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, back-bitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced….

Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?

(2 Corinthians 12:20-21 NKJV; 13:5, Amplified, emphasis added)

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven….And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

(Excerpt from Matthew 7:13-23, NKJV, words of Jesus in red, emphasis added)

And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

(Matthew 13:36-43, NKJV, words of Jesus in red)

Obviously, the most loving action that any of us can take is to warn such “wolves” that they are literally “playing with fire” (i.e. eternal damnation within the Lake of Fire). Consequently, though it may seem severe to people ignorant of biblical truth, this public rebuke of the wolf who I will shortly identify will be for his eternal good and profit—if he will simply repent, as we have likewise publicly called upon Kenneth Copeland and his family to do.

The Second Characteristic

It is important to note also that another chief characteristic of covert “wolves” is their “ravenous” nature. The Greek word translated for this adjective is harpax, which means literally a “robber or extortioner.” So their appetites drive such unsaved people to array themselves in “sheep’s clothing” in order to deceive other people into complacency, so as to “rob” and “extort” from them all that they can devour.

This is a huge truth that Jesus has made plain to us: “Wolves in sheep’s clothing” are best identified by their “ravenous, robbing, extorting” nature! Their “ravening appetite” tends to be directed toward money, fame, power, and other such carnal lusts.

Doctrine (i.e. teaching) can certainly be a clue to their nature when they use it to plunder their overly-trusting victims. However, that is not the best indication of wolves overall because some are very smooth with their “tailor-made” sheep costumes and deceiving ways (as I noted already above). So using doctrine alone as a guide, one could miss a wolf here and there—or at least fail to properly warn others of the dangers of a particular wolf even if the identification is appropriate, because people’s eyes tend to glaze over when you get into doctrinal points.

Oh, but draw a person’s attention to evidence of fraud, public lies, greed, and other such “tell tale” signs of a true wolf, and you can get their attention! In fact, that is the best way to begin to wear down a person’s misguided trust in these deceivers. Consider what I wrote in response to this dear lady’s question about how to get her Copeland-cult deceived brother free from their clutches:

She wrote:

I have watched for 20+ years my brother sending money to KC. My brother is like brainwashed to send money and he can’t afford it. He is 54 years old and lost his job. He doesn’t seem to recognize that the KCM “prosperity” only goes to K and his wife. How can I break the spell? Any advice is welcomed. KCM is a cult.

I replied (in-part):

…The “Prosperity” error, as Copeland preaches, promises their followers that “God” will give them a “thirty, sixty or hundredfold” return on their “seed” (i.e. offerings). Since your brother is in financial straights, and has been “sowing seed” for 20+ years, I suggest you quiz him along those lines. For example, “How much money do you think you have sent KCM over the years?” (Press him to give an estimate, then do the math.) “Have you received [30X] that amount? How about [60X] that amount? Surely, you have not received [100X] that amount have you?”

The key with ANYBODY involved in ANY cult (e.g. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Prosperity-cult followers) is that you have to destroy their trust in the cult leaders BEFORE you can then point them to the truth of God’s Word and help them get their thinking clear. So you will have to “corner” your brother on the above point, press him for an estimate for how much he has given through the years, and then press home the fact that their “promises” (which are supposed to be based upon God’s Word, but are a complete misuse thereof in actuality) are NOT WORKING for him. You need to then drive home the following two points:

  • Since the Copelands’ message is NOT working after 20+ years of his attempts to live thereby, COULD IT BE that what they teach is in error and NOT supported by the Bible after all?
  • Since the Bible indicates that “good seed” needs to be sown in “good ground” (see Matthew 13:23 and Mark 4:8) could the alternative explanation for your brother’s lack of manifest “prosperity” be that the Copelands have hidden sin, and that those people are just NOT “good ground” to “sow into” after all?

At least one of these two points above MUST be true, given the 20+ years of evidence concerning your brother’s failure to prosper financially (and both are actually true). So you will need to “hammer” on these points, once you establish the fact that your bother has NOT been “walking in the blessing” as Copeland has promised that he would.

Wolves are easily exposed when you dissect their “fruit” (as Jesus admonished), and expose their “ravenous” nature for others to see.

A “Junior” Wolf

The wolf in sheep’s clothing that wrote me today is named Donato Anzalone. Unlike the “smoother” wolves, Mr. Anzalone seems to be so obvious in his nature, that he would seem to rank only as a “junior” among his “pack” of wolfish peers. Those who are really good at their devouring ways are never so silly to drop their guard and “sheep’s clothing” as this guy did, especially on a first contact. Yet, not only did this person do so, but he also attempted to recruit me to his wolfish agenda. Before I dissect his note, let me first simply quote it in its entirety without any commentary so that you can see if you can spot the saliva dripping from his little “wolf teeth’ for yourself.

The author is from Switzerland, and thus, I do not think English is his first language. So for the benefit of our international readers, I have fixed a homophone typographical error of his, so that our translation engine will properly translate the text. Where I have done so, I have [bracketed] the word to make that substitution obvious. If you want to read his original post without edits, simply view it toward the bottom of my Ask Rich page here on this website. Now, for his note:

Author: Donato Anzalone

I am so upset at your blog against Brother Copeland. Shame on you. [Whether] you are right or wrong. This is not the issue. The issue is that you are trying to build your ministry by attacking another fellow man of God. You are using Brother Hagin as well. But if you knew brother Hagin as much as you want people to believe, you would know that brother Hagin would have never used your practices… You better repentant before God and before Brother Copeland. Pastor Donato Anzalone

PS: Let us see if you dare to put this comment on your websites. all of them.

Now it is time to analyze this guy’s note to see if we can determine which wolfish characteristics he exposed. He removed his “sheep’s clothing” for anyone to see who knows for what to look. However, for some who are perhaps unskilled in wolf spotting, a few keys to remember before we begin our analysis:

  1. Jesus showed us that such people are “inwardly…wolves” and their exterior “sheep” appearance is only superficial. They are not genuinely born again.
  2. Jesus explained that they are also “ravening” or seeking their own self-interests, and not those of the Lord. That is why Jesus will be forced to say to such people—despite their claims for having done things in His Name—”I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Can we see these two characteristics evident within his note above? Let’s break it down now:

Wolf Tracks

Let’s break his short comment down point-by-point, and in the process, reveal the fangs, drool, and ravening appetite.

Point 1: He Has No Care for the Copelands’ Souls

The first thing no note about what Mr. Anzalone’s note above is the fact that he shows absolutely no care for the Copelands and the state of their souls, when he writes:

I am so upset at your blog against Brother Copeland…. [Whether] you are right or wrong. This is not the issue.

Whether I am right or wrong is not the issue? First, to see how callous and uncaring this statement above is, let me first detail for a moment what our allegations are concerning Kenneth Copeland and his family. With copious videos, downloads, and other documentation, we have alleged within the various posts on KennethCopelandBlog.com:

  • That Kenneth Copeland has committed a multimillion-dollar fraud with regard to his broken promises concerning the promised Angel Flight 44 ministry (i.e. that he has stolen through deception).
  • That Kenneth Copeland has done such things before, as was revealed by the Senate Finance Committee’s findings with regard to his “Revival Capital of the World” broken promises (i.e. that he has a history of stealing through deception).
  • That Kenneth Copeland has lied repeatedly—and I document this by video, KCM “partner letters,” three BVOV magazines, and other such evidence (i.e. that Kenneth and his alleged “ministry” habitually lie).
  • That the Copelands are technically heretics in that they allege to preach a “prosperity gospel” which differs from that which was preached by Paul and the other apostles in the New Testament (i.e. that they are “accursed” as Paul explained in Galatians chapter 1).
  • That the Copelands are “covetous” which the Bible says is the same as “idolatry” (Ephesians 5:5), which would mean that they worship “things” instead of the God of the Bible.
  • That I am very concerned that the bulk of the evidence suggests that Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, and most of their family, have never been born again; and that their documentable wolfish nature seems to confirm this concern (i.e. that few—if any—of the members of that family are saved).

Now please consider a few passages of Scripture to put the above allegations into proper context, so as to understand the genuine concern that my wife and I have for the Copeland family:

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

(Ephesians 5:5-6, NKJV, emphasis added)

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

(Revelation 21:5-8, NKJV, emphasis added)

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

(1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NKJV)

So Mr. Anzalone thinks that whether I am right or wrong “is NOT the issue”? If I am RIGHT, then the Copelands are on a one-way trip to Hell!

Yet, Donato Anzalone is not concerned? How can this “junior wolf” possibly be saved himself if he has so little concern about the salvation of others?

Let me elaborate on this point just a bit: Charles H. Spurgeon is famously quoted has having said, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” He also wrote within one of his marvelous sermons:

The burden which the true preacher of God bears is for God, and on Christ’s behalf, and for the good of men. He has a natural instinct which makes him care for the souls of others and his anxiety is that none should perish but that all should find salvation through Jesus Christ. Like the Christ who longed to save, so does the true Malachi, or messenger of God, go forth with this as his happy, joyful, cheerfully-borne burden—that men may turn unto God and live.

(An excerpt from “The Burden of The Word of the Lord” by Charles H. Spurgeon, emphasis added)

Charles Spurgeon uses the name of the famous prophet of the last book of the Old Testament “Malachi” to make a point: The meaning of that name in the original Hebrew is “My messenger.” God had chosen that prophet to be His messenger to Israel at a critical time in their history, and to be the final “trumpet” to announce the coming of the Messiah prior to the coming of John the Baptist some 400 years later. So Spurgeon points out that a true minister of God is a faithful “messenger” from God, who like his Lord, has genuine concern for the souls of people. Their “anxiety” is that “none should perish, but that all should find salvation through Jesus Christ.”

That is the heart of God. Thus, that is the heart of a true minister of God:

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

(James 5:19-20, NKJV, emphasis added)

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

(Jude verses 20-23, NKJV, emphasis added)

Oh, my friends! If you are a genuine Christian, your soul should ache and grieve for those who are still within their sins and walking like blind men toward the precipice that will plunge them into Hell itself! Can you truly be a Christian if you are not?

But should not a true minister of Christ be even more so? Is that not their very calling, to “seek and save that which was lost” on behalf of the Savior Who employed them? Should not a genuine minister of God be known by his genuine compassion for the lost, for the errant, for the heretic, for the sinner—yea, even for the wolves?

I see no genuine concern within Donato Anzalone’s note for the souls of the Copeland; and so it is not surprising that I also see no genuine concern in his note for my own soul. If I am WRONG with my accusations against that family, then I am guilty of falsely accusing my siblings in Christ! Should not this man show concern for ME if he is to rebuke me according to biblical standards? Should he not care what judgment awaits ME, if I am actually in error?

No, Donato Anzalone does not seem to show the slightest concern for either the souls of the Copelands or my own. True love would, but Mr. Anzalone does not.

I can say with all sincerity, my own conscience bearing me witness, that my wife and I have a genuine concern for the souls of the Copeland family. That is why we are calling them to public account for their sins!

At the top of every page of that website it says, “Calling on the man, his family, and his ‘ministry’…to simply repent.” We want to see them saved! We are concerned also for the souls of those they are leading astray! Oh, dear God! How many people have to plunge into Hell before Mr. Anzalone considers these “issues” to be worthy of discussion as to whether we are “right or wrong”?

In truth, I cannot see how Donato Anzalone could possibly saved himself! It is rather obvious that he is not thinking “eternally” but rather carnally and according to temporal considerations alone.

This concerns me tremendously…and that is why I took the time to rebuke him publicly through this post. I can see a need to get Mr. Anzalone saved! There is no way he could be a genuine minister of Christ, with the careless attitude that he has shown for the souls of others!

As Brother Spurgeon once again explains it so wonderfully:

And why is the Word of the Lord a burden to him that speaks it? Well, first, it is a burden BECAUSE IT IS THE WORD OF THE LORD. If what we preach is only of man, we may preach as we like and there is no burden about it. But if this Book is inspired—if Jehovah is the only God, if Jesus Christ is God incarnate, if there is no salvation except through His precious blood—then there is a great solemnity about that which a minister of Christ is called upon to preach. It therefore becomes a weighty matter with him. Modern thought is a trifle light, as air, but ancient Truths of God are more weighty than gold.

And, first, the Word of the Lord becomes a burden in the reception of it. I do not think that any man can ever preach the Gospel aright until he has had it borne into his own soul with overwhelming energy. You cannot preach conviction of sin unless you have suffered it. You cannot preach repentance unless you have practiced it. You cannot preach faith unless you have exercised it. You may talk about these things—but there will be no power in the talk unless what is said has been experimentally proven in your own soul.

It is easy to tell when a man speaks what he has made his own, or when he deals in secondhand experience. ‘‘Son of man, eat this roll’’—you must eat it before you can hand it out to others. True preaching is artesian—it wells up from the great depths of the soul. If Christ has not made a well within us, there will be no outflow from us. We are not proper agents for conveying the Truth of God to others, if Divine Grace has not conveyed it to us. When we get God’s Word in our studies, we feel it to be a load which bows us to the ground. We are, at times, obliged to get up and walk to and fro beneath the terror of the threats of God’s Word. And often are we forced to bow our knee before the glory of some wonderful word of the Lord which beams with excessive Divine Grace.

We say to ourselves, ‘‘These are wonderful Truths—how they press upon our hearts!’’ They create great storms within us. They seem to tear us to pieces. The strong wind of the mighty Spirit blows through the messenger of God and he, himself, is swayed to and fro in it as the trees of the forest in the tempest. Therefore, even in the reception of the message of God, it is a burden.

(Another excerpt from “The Burden of The Word of the Lord” by Charles H. Spurgeon, emphasis added)

Do any of you reading this consider it a frivolous thing that we have spent untold thousands of hours confronting the Copeland family for their sins, and praying that God would grant them repentance leading to salvation? Do you think that such a task could be ANYTHING but “The Burden of The Word of the Lord” as Brother Spurgeon just explained above?

I can see within the note of Donato Anzalone above, that he seems unable to recognize the redemptive focus of our efforts. This is a STRONG indication that Mr. Anzalone has probably not experienced redemption himself. As the great evangelist George Whitefield explained within his powerful text, “Unconverted Ministers,” this is all-too common within the Church of Jesus Christ:

The Lord enabled me to open my mouth boldly against unconverted ministers; to caution tutors to take care of their pupils; and also to advise ministers particularly to examine the experience of candidates for ordination. For I am verily persuaded the generality of preachers talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ; and the reason why congregations have been so dead is, because they have had dead men preaching to them. O that the Lord may quicken and revive them, for His own name’s sake! For how can dead men beget living children? It is true, indeed, God may convert men by the devil, if He pleases, and so He may by unconverted ministers; but I believe He seldom makes use of either of them for this purpose. No, the Lord will choose vessels made meet by the operation of the blessed Spirit for His sacred use.

The great evangelist of the Nineteenth Century, Charles G. Finney, echoed this same concern during his “ordination” sermon to fourteen candidates for ordination to the Gospel ministry, in the summer of 1842, when he said:

Take heed then that you are truly converted men—not merely convicted sinners, but regenerate men, men whose hearts are right with God, and whose great motive in entering the ministry is to glorify God in the salvation of men. Remember if you are not converted men when you enter the ministry, you are almost certain to go to hell yourselves, and, so far as you have influence, to take your hearers with you.

And remember too that it is altogether too common, for it to be taken for granted on all hands that ministers are really converted men, I must say, and dare not say less, that every year’s experience and observation forces upon me more and more the conviction that it is becoming alarmingly common in these days of pressing so many young men into the ministry, for multitudes to enter upon that sacred office who are not truly regenerate men.

We have had, in this place, instances, not a few, of your men coming to this Institution to prepare for the ministry, who have turned out to have no religion at all—have been here convicted and for the first time converted—young men who had been supposed in Churches from which they came, and by which they were recommended, not only to be truly converted men, but your men of more than common piety, and promising candidates for the Christian ministry. And but for those powerful revivals in this Institution which broke up their delusions, numbers of them would no doubt have been this day, in all their sins, engaged in the sacred office of the ministry. Take heed then to yourselves, brethren, that you know what it is to be born of God, and that you know what it is to have an eye single to his glory in entering upon this sacred work.

Or, to put it the way Brother Hagin often did: Donato Anzalone needs to ensure that he is a “saint” and not merely an “ain’t.”

Point 2: Ravening Appetites

Wolves are best discovered by their “ravenous” nature, as we already learned from Jesus further above. Mr. Anzalone does not seem to be lacking on this point either. Consider first this “Freudian slip” when he wrote:

The issue is that you are trying to build your ministry by attacking another fellow man of God….

What? “Building a ministry” by “attacking a man of God”? Is this guy for real?

Was Jeremiah trying to “build his ministry” as he confronted royalty, ministers, and common folks alike, calling on them to repent before God’s judgment came upon them? Was Nathan trying to “build his ministry” when he confronted David for the sins of murder and adultery, in his affair with Bathsheba? Was Paul trying to “build his ministry” when he rebuked Peter at the church in Antioch for his public sins and hypocrisy, as is recorded in Galatians chapter 2?

Or…were all these genuine men of God trying to obey God, and help the subjects of their rebukes to see the error of their ways?

What Mr. Anzalone wrote is absurd. However, what he has just told us about himself is this:

  • Donato Anzalone believes that rebuking a man of God publicly will build a ministry.

I will not argue that the men of God we referenced above are esteemed today because they were so bold and loving. However, that would not seem to be Mr. Anzalone’s understanding of the true purpose in rebuking a person publicly. He seems to think that it “builds up a ministry.” Paul wrote, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15, NKJV).

So the wolf just dropped his wooly robe: He is trying to build up his own “ministry” by rebuking ME publicly. Note what else he wrote:

PS: Let us see if you dare to put this comment on your websites. all of them.

This guy included his website in his comment post, as well. So it would seem that he wants me to run around, posting his absurd comment on ALL my websites, so that he can have some additional traffic to his own website. The guy did not even have the decency to post the comments on all my websites himself, but instead “dared” me to do it for him! (Like I work for this wolf!)

An Unclothed Wolf

The bulk of the evidence—and absurdity of this guy’s unethical and ridiculous challenge—suggest that this wolf thinks that by taking on the guy who “took on Copeland” that he can get some kind of fame among the wolf pack for himself. He must think that it will drive more traffic to his website so he can “build his ministry” by “attacking” a genuine man of God.

  • He seems to care nothing about the Copelands’ souls.
  • He seems to care nothing about MY soul, or those of my family.
  • He obviously seems to think that public rebukes for sin and wrong doing are nothing more than “attacks” against the sinners; it seems he cannot fathom their true biblical and eternal purpose of redemption.
  • He obviously thinks that the errant concept he has of such behavior will “build” a ministry.
  • He has blatantly asked me to publicize his foolish comment on “all” my websites.
  • So I have obviously concluded that he is an unsaved wolf, and a rather silly one at that.

However, let me not disappoint him! He apparently wants me to drive traffic to his “ministry” website, so let me oblige him.

There may be some sincere Christians reading this, who will take what I have written in here and then go to his website (by clicking here) to examine his other writings to see if they are consistent with that of a typical wolf (as I have done already have myself). If such genuine Christians find themselves equally concerned with me about Donato Anzalone’s soul—and the souls of those he may influence—then perhaps they can pray also for him that he will take this post to heart, recognize the terrifying state of his unregenerate soul, turn and repent, and finally put his faith in Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins so that he can finally be born again.

On the other hand, there may be some Copeland-cult members—and other similarly unsaved (and unconcerned about the Copelands’ souls) false converts—who read this and may want to pop over to Mr. Anzalone’s website to congratulate him on his effort to “confront” me (howbeit, falsely) for trying to get the Copeland family and their followers saved. If that is the case, please be sure to invite him to speak at your “church”! He is looking for “bookings” according to his website. (After all…you wolves should stick together within your “wolf packs,” should you not?)

Let me quickly note here that I did not bother dissecting his insincere “defense” of Brother Kenneth E. Hagin, as it is obvious from his comment that Donato Anzalone is unfamiliar with the contents of Hagin’s book, The Midas Touch. However, you can learn about that book at Rev. Hagin’s Previous REBUKE of Kenneth Copeland to see what Mr. Anzalone’s “fuss” was all about. You can then judge his comments about Hagin for yourself and form your own conclusions. (I even have video on there for you to watch.)

Aids for Discerning Wolves

Let me close this article by providing my readers with some very helpful downloads, which will help you to understand what characteristics to look for in true ministers of God. If you are a professing Christian, this will help you to pick your preachers much better. If you are a professing minister, this will help you to understand what standards God will judge you by once you enter into eternity and have to give an account for your ministry:

I believe the above PDF downloads will bless you all immeasurably, if you will take the message in each of them to heart.

If you are not sure of your own eternal salvation, however, please read The Supreme Value of Righteousness without delay! That article will share with you key truths from the Bible that you need in order to be sure that you are born again and ready for eternity.

And now, in closing:

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

(Ephesians 6:23-24, NKJV)

And for any stubborn wolves:

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!

(1 Corinthians 16:22, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

Note: Comments are welcome below… “if you dare” (to quote Donato Anzalone’s silliness once again).  ;)


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Preachers of Righteousness

October 1, 2010 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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Preachers of Righteousness

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Where are the “preachers of righteousness” today that Peter esteemed so highly in his day? (2 Peter 2:5) Where is balanced ministry, that touches a person at their TRUE points of need — rather than simply feeds the carnal nature of unsaved masses in order to appeal to their wallets?

There is much concern today about the sheer numbers falling away from the Christian faith as they “give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4). It seems as if God is truly using heretics for His purposes to:

  1. Purge the church,
  2. Reveal true preachers of righteousness,
  3. And to punish those who “love and believe a lie” with their own lust for error.

However, part of the blame regarding the sheer volume of such apostasy is the fact that there are many “hirelings” in the “ministry” who only desire to pad their own pockets and improve their own lifestyles. Others crave ecclesiastical authority to “lord it over God’s people.” Still others are vain narcissists who think only of their own conceits and “popularity” with people. Still others exhibit a combination of ALL of these worthless character traits.

There are just too few genuine ministers of God today who are willing to endure afflictions and minister God’s truth in righteousness, whether the people want to hear such good doctrine or not:

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.

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing… (1 Timothy 6:6-14, NKJV)

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.

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 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; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 3:16 – 4:5, NKJV)

Paul admonished his protege, Timothy, to be a TRUE preacher of righteousness. My purpose in this article is to see if I can encourage at least a few of the ministers who read this to strive for this same godly zeal and maturity in true ministry.

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God’s True Remnant

Let me state for the record that I do believe in the modern existence of ALL FIVE of God’s five-fold ministry gifts today:

When He [Jesus Christ] ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men….

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ(Ephesians 4:8-13, NKJV, note and emphasis added)

How long were these ministry gifts given? Until “we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (or mature) man.” How mature is that? “To the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Have we achieved that even individually, much less corporately? No, we have not. Therefore, the Ephesians passage continues by explaining why these gifts are still needed even today:

…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16, NKJV, emphasis added)

God does have a true remnant of honest ministers who serve Him. However, let me also be clear that there are also the false ministers who with the “trickery of men” and “deceitful plotting” mentioned above, sow strange “winds of doctrine” within God’s Church. These false ministers actually work for the devil himself:

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15, NKJV, emphasis added)

So though there are true ministers of Christ functioning within the five ministry offices of the Church today, there are also counterfeits masquerading around as “ministers of righteousness” at the same time. Thus, the individual Christian needs to be aware of this fact, and pursue those true “preachers of righteousness” who will minister to them soul-searching rebukes and correction when needed — PLUS the encouragement and edification we all desire as well.

God has a remnant of such true ministers today. And we are calling attention to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ — while also confronting and exposing the false ministers lurking within the Body of Christ.

May the message of this article provoke and encourage many other ministers to join our ranks.

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True Shepherds

Where are the TRUE pastors and teachers who will tell their people what they NEED to hear, rather than what their “itching ears” want to hear? Such “hirelings” think they need to always have a “positive” message for their congregations so that people will come back to hear their sermon the next week. They want their “attendance” to grow, and their pews to stay full — but for what reason? If they do NOT give their people the truth of God’s Word —according to their hearers’ true needs — then they are completely worthless as ministers:

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd [i.e. no true shepherd]; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” (An excerpt from Ezekiel chapter 34, NKJV, emphasis and note added; see also Jeremiah chapter 23)

The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD ?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. (Jeremiah 2:8, NIV, emphasis added)

Too many “pastors” are not true shepherds of God’s flock. Instead of seeing that the “sick and broken” are properly ministered to, they simply want to “inspire” everyone. They will not “seek” after God’s lost sheep with genuine motives and concern for their souls (but might do so only if they think it will increase their offering size).

Thus, they are actually being cruel to their congregations because they couldn’t care less if their listeners go to Hell or not. They refuse to preach soul-searching messages that will reveal the sin and error in people’s lives because that is “not popular.” But Paul certainly knew where that will lead:

Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. (Acts 20:25-27, NKJV, emphasis added)

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. (Ezekiel 3:17-19, NKJV, emphasis added)

Paul knew that God would hold him accountable for his ministry upon the earth, and he exercised himself to “always have a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16). When I pastored within the various churches in which my wife and I were called to serve, I poured my heart out to the people in true ministry from both the pulpit and in person. My wife spent many a time pouring out her soul in anointed ministry in counseling sessions by my side, as well. Those who have true pastor’s hearts for the people God entrusts to them will prove it by giving themselves for the lives of God’s sheep:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. (John 10:11-13, NKJV, emphasis added)

The epitome of a “good shepherd” is Jesus, of course; He alone “owns” the sheep. Yet, this passage clearly sets the STANDARD for all true pastors before God. Jesus Himself explained this fact to Peter:

Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”…

And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” (An excerpt from John chapter 21, NKJV, emphasis added)

True “shepherds” know that they are not the “owners” of the sheep. They understand that they are responsible to their True Owner, the “Great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20). They also realize that if they truly love Him, and want His commendation of “well done thou good and faithful servant” when their service is done, then they must give their lives for God’s sheep also:

Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17, NKJV, emphasis added)

And any “shepherd” unwilling to bring strong correction to God’s sheep, and to turn them from the error of their ways, is NOT a true pastor in the eyes of God:

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20, NKJV, emphasis added)

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth….As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Jesus talking to one of His churches; an excerpt from Revelation chapter 3, NKJV, emphasis added)

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True Ministers of Righteousness

Thus, not only true pastors and teachers, but ALL true ministers of righteousness tell people what they NEED to hear. All true ministers know that they MUST speak what the Lord directs, whether their message is refused or not:

Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. [Sounds like many professing "Christians" today, does it not? So what is God's prescription for this hard headed people?]

Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”

Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.” (Ezekiel 3:4-11, NKJV, emphasis and note added)

Of course, the above passage would apply to ANY true minister of God, and not to prophets alone. But since we are on the subject of the prophetic office…

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True Watchmen

Where are the TRUE prophets who will confront sin and call God’s people to repentance; rather than merely “white washing” their transgressions and giving them “positive words” that merely increase their sin and pending judgment? Such false and “Balaamic” prophets merely want to feed their own bank accounts rather than God’s sheep:

Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence” [i.e. as a reward for their multiplied sins].

Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’”

And the LORD said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’—‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them—them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters—for I will pour their wickedness on them.’ (An excerpt from Jeremiah chapter 14, NKJV, note and emphasis added)

They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. (2 Peter 2:14-16, NKJV, emphasis added)

” ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.

” ‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” (Ezekiel 13:9-12, NIV, emphasis added)

Note in the Ezekiel passage above that the “prophets” were spreading “whitewash” on the “walls” built by the people. Isaiah tells us, “God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks” (26:1) and, “you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise” (60:18).

So in the light of Isaiah’s clarifications, the Lord through Ezekiel was rebuking the money-minded “feel good” prophets of the land for NOT rebuking the obvious sins of the people. Instead of righteous ministry and faithful adherence to God’s Word, these worthless “prophets” were “white washing” the people’s sins with false messages — that left their hearers bereft of any true salvation. This same thing is happening today!

The world is on the verge of the largest economic collapse in history — a financial “earthquake” which will have its destructive epicenter within the United States of Americaand all these so-called “prophets” can do is tickle people’s ears with words of “comfort” and “prosperity”?

As the Lord said through Ezekiel in the passage above, “They lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall.” In a similar manner, these errant “prophets” are actually distracting people from the ONE THING that will benefit them during the massive economic calamity to come: Righteousness!

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4, NKJV, emphasis added)

When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge. (Proverbs 14:32, NIV, emphasis added)

For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. (Proverbs 24:16, NKJV, emphasis added)

My sincere counsel is that my readers turn a “deaf ear” to such erroneous ministry, and run to the Living God Who can and will prepare His righteous saints for the coming times of economic despair.

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“Manifest” Stupidity

Again, the false and Balaamic prophets are feeding their hearers pure lies, “lying visions,”  and “false divination,” and not true counsel from God. As Peter warned in the quote from his second epistle above; and as Jude warned within his epistle also; false “prophets” (some of whom may have once been on-track and true to their ministries) are proliferating within the Body of Christ today.

All the “well-known” prophets in the USA (that I am aware of) are propagating various false teachings such as “dominion theology” and “manifest sons of God,” and even promoting a secular “patriotism” instead of God’s true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me help clarify something for all my readers, and any ministers in particular:

  • Unsaved people and sin-ridden “Christians” will NOT receive ANY “dominion” from God. Thus, such sermons are not only wrong when presented to unrepentant people…they are also quite STUPID within such a unsuitable context:

“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.” (Romans 8:12-14,  NKJV, emphasis added)

  • So unsaved people and sin-ridden “Christians” are NOT “manifest sons of God,” nor will they ever be so — unless they repent (see also Matthew 7:18-28).
  • Some “patriotism” is good within limits (and I am a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps myself). However, Christians are actually — and PRIMARILY — “citizens of Heaven.” So our surpassing allegiance is owned there in service to the Lord; and only in a minor way here in service to any earthly government or country (Philippians 3:20).

So in reference to these points above, let me point out that “ministers” who continually propagate these errors are either:

  1. Very ignorant, or…
  2. Very devious and self-serving, for they know it is wrong, but do it anyway.

In either case, you would do well to avoid such “ministers” like the plague. Unless they preach strong messages that encourage repentance from sin BEFORE teaching such things, they are in serious error.

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False and “Balaamic” Prophets

Keep in mind that false and Balaamic prophets NEVER address the sin, apostasy, and heresy, all around them (or they do so only superficially for appearance sake). They prefer to run around talking about false “prophetic words,” “angelic visitations,” and bizarre supernatural events that do NOT encourage repentance and holiness among their hearers. Paul warned about such miscreants:

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19, NKJV, emphasis added)

So what can we conclude about Chuck Pierce, Kim Clement, Rick Joyner, Patricia King, and all the other “feel good” prophets, who refuse to STRONGLY rebuke and confront the sin, heresy, and apostasy, so widespread today within the Church in America and many of the Western nations? I think we can conclude that they have sin, heresy, and apostasy, within their own lives too.

For example, most of these same “prophets” named above endorsed the now-defunct ministry of Todd Bentley. This strange man ran around preaching that an angel named “Emma” was regularly visiting him and giving him new “insights” (i.e. doctrines of demons); and all the while, he was adding tattoos all over his body in “honor” of this angel — and these so-called “prophets” could not discern there was a problem here? Not only that, several of them wholeheartedly endorsed Bentley only a few months before it was revealed publicly that he was committing adultery with female members of his “ministry” team.

So what does this gross error in judgment by such “famous prophets” say about their “prophetic discernment” capabilities? As a hint to the answer of that question, let me show you what type of apostles and prophets the God of the Bible chooses to reveal things to:

As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began… (Luke 1:70, NKJV, emphasis added)

…whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21, NKJV, emphasis added)

…which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets… (Ephesians 3:5, NKJV, emphasis added)

…that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior… (2 Peter 3:2, NKJV, emphasis added)

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. (Revelation 22:6, NKJV, emphasis added)

Could we conclude that they perhaps are NOT holy? What would that make them then? Either Balaamic prophets who “love the wages of unrighteousness” (2 Peter 2:14-16) and prophesy out of their own warped imaginations (e.g. Jeremiah 23:16 and Ezekiel 13:2); or they are false prophets, who speak by demonic spirits (e.g. see Deuteronomy 13 and 1 John 4:1-6). There is no third alternative that I can see in Scripture for such grievous error.

Why did these errant “prophets” endorse Todd Bentley anyway? Primarily because he had unusual “supernatural” manifestations within his “services,” and thus, they approved a demoniac as a “man of God” on those terms instead of the biblical terms declared by God (e.g. 1 Timothy 3). These people obviously love “gold dust” appearing on their pulpits and “anointing oil” flowing supernaturally (i.e. demonically) out of their hands…but for WHAT purpose? If these things are merely dazzling the masses while NOT convicting them of their multiplied sins, then can we conclude that GOD is perhaps NOT behind these Balaamic and false prophets and their “supernatural manifestations”? I think we can.

Let me note that I do believe in modern supernatural manifestations by God’s Spirit — and have experienced quite a few under my own ministry as well. However, “lying signs and wonders” are also discussed within the Bible, and people need to be very cautious about anything “supernatural” that does not clearly:

  • Exalt the Savior,
  • Transform and biblically edify the saints,
  • And lead sinners to repentance.

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A Final Word of Exhortation

In closing, let me suggest to all ministers reading this article that you check your own hearts and ministry practices, and examine your doctrine to see if you are truly pleasing to the Lord… or merely awaiting His judgment.

To all my other readers, please prayerfully consider the content herein and examine the ministers in your life more closely. I admonish you all to ONLY listen to those who will minister ALL the truth of God’s Word to you, with sincere motives and hearts of love toward both God and you.

For related teaching, I suggest these following additional articles of mine (some of which link to articles written by others):

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Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (Ephesians 6:24, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

-Rich

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Why Do Glenn Beck’s "Fans" Hate Him So Much?

September 24, 2010 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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Why Do Glenn Beck’s “Fans” Hate Him So Much?

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An intriguing phenomena seems to be at work here. There are people who actually claim or allude that they are Christians — who also say that they “support” Glenn Beck and favor him and his agenda — and YET seem to be quite unconcerned about whether the man goes to Hell or not. For example, “John K” of North Carolina submitted the following two comments on my How God Uses Heretics article (which I only recently approved and displayed thereon):

Rich,

Ultimately, the truest words in the Bible and the best guide for everyone’s life is 1 Corinthian’s 16:14. I always look for whether people are extending love–or whether they need to be “right.” People are attracted to Glenn because of the love he extends. And this, more than theological views–defines a Christian. The early Christians in fact were known by the description–”those who loved each other.” God is love. So the only question ever worth asking–is a person extending and motivated by love. The fact that Christianity splintered into thousands of pieces over theological issues is the best evidence that most Christian have lost sight of the most important truth Jesus ever taught–”and the greatest of these–is love.” (Submitted 9/22/2010)

Rich,

May I pose a hypothetical because I have so many very good Mormon friends who are some of the most generous, loving and kind people I know. Frankly, I agree with you that if taken literally, Mormon theology seems really whacked. Taken mythologically or metaphorically, it is full of insight.

Who would you consider more of a Christian? A kind, loving, charitable, family-oriented Mormon–or a judgmental, uncharitable, unloving, name-calling selfish person who has a theology that is completely in line with yours?

Isn’t ultimate “our fruits” the best evidence of our true love of Jesus and God? “You shall know them by their love.” (Submitted 9/24/2010)

Now notice what “John K” said here: “Frankly, I agree with you that if taken literally, Mormon theology seems really whacked.” So this commenter seems to recognize that Mormon theology is NOT biblical. However, he also stated within his first comment that it is love (or rather, his weird concept of love) that defines a real Christian “more than theological views.”

Really? Well, golly gee…that “silly” apostle Paul (as “John K” seems to regard him), did not think that was true; nor did the very Holy Spirit Who wrote God’s Word through Paul:

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, NKJV, emphasis added)

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10, NASB, emphasis added)

The BIBLE says that there can be “another Christ” preached other than the one revealed by Scripture; and “another gospel” which will condemn both preacher and hearer to eternal damnation; and “another spirit” (i.e. demons) that a person can receive into themselves rather than God’s Own Spirit (Who, by the way, will only enter a truly born-again Christian). The BIBLE, therefore, makes it plenty clear: Accurate doctrine regarding the Person and Gospel message of Jesus Christ is ESSENTIAL to becoming truly a Christian.

But…”all we need is love” according to my hippie friend, “John K.” (I guess he is a Beetles fan too.)

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Hate in Disguise

So here we have a problem, exemplified by “John K” and his absurdities: Here is someone, who seems to allude that he is a professing ‘Christian,’ admitting that his “Mormon friends” and Glenn Beck all have a false doctrine that is “really whacked,” but he would rather not bother telling any of them that this is the case so that they can be saved. We can, therefore, make several observations from “John K’s” inadvertent admissions:

  • “John K” really does not care whether his Mormon friends or Glenn Beck go to Hell or not.
  • “John K” really does not care whether his Mormon friends or Glenn Beck take ANYBODY ELSE to Hell with them or not.
  • So in reality, “John K” really does not “love” his Mormon friends, or Glenn Beck, or anybody they may influence (for if “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” they certainly do NOT let them go to Hell for eternity).
  • And “John K” has actually shown us that his agenda is self-serving (though he likes to call it “love” for the people he intends to let go to Hell without any warning or concern).

Worse yet, our hippie friend, “John K,” is not an isolated example. Multitudes think that biblical “love” is an emotion, and so measure their “love gauge” by their feelings for the people they are letting go to Hell. However, true BIBLICAL love exhibits a totally different character:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (the Words of Jesus from John 15:13, NKJV, emphasis added)

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20, NKJV, emphasis added)

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ….But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude verses 3-4; 20-22, NKJV)

Again, true loving friends do not let their friends go to Hell.

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Reality Check

So what can we conclude about such “friends” of Mormons, or “fans” of Glenn Beck, such as our hippie commenter exemplifies? Several things:

  1. Most such miscreants have self-serving agendas, which they refuse to abandon by telling the other person the truth for the sake of their soul.
  2. Most who exhibit such disregard for the state of other people’s souls are likely NOT born again themselves, for truly born-again people want to help others find salvation.

And, of course, Jesus put it this way:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV, emphasis added)

He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. (Matthew 15:13, NKJV, emphasis added)

I think the two passages above are clear enough for any honest and thinking individual to discern that not everybody who calls themselves a “Christian” is truly one in God’s eyes. (However, this point is explained in greater detail under the subsection “Unsaved ‘Christians’” in my post, How God Uses Heretics, for those who would like to explore this biblical fact further.) So in the light of Scripture, I am beginning to wonder about our “John K” friend…

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Drinking the Kool-Aid

Of course, our hippie friend, “John K,” really gave himself away when he wrote, “Frankly, I agree with you that if taken literally, Mormon theology seems really whacked. Taken mythologically or metaphorically, it is full of insight.” In other words, as he has hung around “some of the most generous, loving and kind people” he knows (Note: nice people go to Hell too), “John K” has begun to drink from the same proverbial “cup” from which THEY drink.

“Literal” and biblical theology means nothing to “John K” as he would prefer something that is “mythologically or metaphorically” intriguing to his “itching ears.” This brings to mind two powerful insights I quoted from John Bunyan within my How God Uses Heretics post, which are also well-corroborated by Scripture (as that post explains more fully):

1. One reason why so many errors do from time to time come into the world, is so that those who are not indeed planted [in the church] by the Lord’s [own] right hand [and are consequently unsaved hypocrites] might be rooted out. (Matt 15:13) Now these [unregenerate people] are many times carried away by deceiving doctrines…

3. Another reason why the Lord allows — and even sends — delusions among the people, is: That those who were too idle and slothful to seek after the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, might be taken away and violently possessed with error, and actually be made to run greedily after the same. [His purpose is] that they might suffer even more for their neglect of the truth. For those who were always lazy in seeking after the truth when it was offered, but afterward were very hasty after the doctrine of devils when that was declared to them, are guaranteed to have their latter behavior to rise up in judgment against them. For when the truth was offered to them, they were idle and did not receive it; and yet when delusion did offer itself, they were industrious, and laboring [to receive that error greedily]. Now [take note of the Scripture], “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness; because they received not the truth in the love of it, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they might believe a lie, and be damned.” (2 Thess 2:10-12)

It appears obvious from “John K’s” comments that he has been very prone to drink the Mormon “Kool-Aid” while rejecting God’s divine truth as revealed through the Bible (i.e. the Bible alone). I am fairly confident, therefore, that the Mormon friends of his are actually serving their TRUE purpose according to point 1 above (again, which is explained within my article more clearly).  They are apparently revealing that “John K” was never truly a Christian to begin with, because he seems to have been “rooted out” from among God’s true children by their heretical doctrines.

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The Good News

The “good news” for Glenn Beck and all the Mormons out there is that God has raised up godly people and true “preachers of righteousness” (of which I am only one of many) who are willing to suffer the abuse and accusations that come from those who refuse to hear sound doctrine:

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 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; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5, NKJV, emphasis added)

When a true minister of God rises up in the Spirit of God and begins to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (KJV) there are many like “John K” who will accuse them of not being “loving” or say that they are “harsh” or “mean.”

However, in truth, we are doing the most LOVING thing we can possibly do: Preaching the Word of God so that  we can “save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

Nevertheless, we have to “endure afflictions” and suffer abuse from those who “love lies” and, thus, have been “turned aside to fables” — even as we attempt to lead them away from the precipice of their eternal damnation. But true ministers of Christ will do just what we have been called to do, regardless of whether anybody appreciates our efforts here on earth or not:

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 110, NASB, emphasis added)

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:8-11, NKJV, emphasis added)

I am sure that if “John K” ever gets saved himself, he will finally discover that TRUE love of God, that is “shed abroad”  within the hearts of genuine Christians by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Perhaps THEN “John K” will try to get his Mormon friends and Glenn Beck savedas I am attempting to do.

In closing, if you want more teaching on some related subjects, please consider these other posts of mine:

.

Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (Ephesians 6:24, NKJV)

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Always in the REAL Jesus,

-Rich

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