Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’

 
 
 
 

Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’

 

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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P.S. Someone created a BIBLICAL version of the “Lakewood Confession,” at least with regard to how sinners (including Joel Osteen) need to come to Christ. So in order to provide additional contrast between Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’ and what the Bible says about everyone’s need for the Savior, I thought it would be useful to share it here at the bottom of this article: 😉

This is the way it SHOULD be done. ;)

This is the way it SHOULD be done.

By the way, I believe that the person depicted in the graphic is John Calvin. I am NOT a Calvinist, but after reading large portions of Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” I did develop a great respect for his scholarship. No, I do NOT agree with his every point, but I was surprised to discover with how much of his writing I did agree.

Moreover, I was particularly surprised to discover how much his writings disagree with what most “Calvinists” that I have met express as their doctrines. (It is quite funny to consider the fact that John Calvin did not agree with many of the things that modern “Calvinists” promulgate in his name. Oh, and you should see how they react on Facebook whenever I quote Calvin in reply to some of their statements.) 😉

Be that as it may, I certainly agree 100% with the “modified” confession found within the graphic above. It is biblical, brilliant…and funny! 😀

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Posted in Christianity, False apostles, False Brethren, false prophets, False Religions, false teachers, Gospel, logic, Media, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

31 Comments

  1. Thanks, Rich, for the post – well said. Your point about John Osteen (Joel’s dad) doing the mantra before Joel ever did: the elder Osteen was not the only one. Though you never see it on her TV broadcasts, Marilyn Hickey is another who has done a similar mantra for years with her audiences. And I’m sad to say that her teaching is quite often as shallow and “poofy” (can’t think of a better word right now, sorry) as Joel Osteen’s – lightweight. They both have some good stuff, but – – you, Rich, give the analogy of rat poison, just like the article someone here posted a little while back referred to Joseph Prince’s teaching as having really good stuff mixed with cubic zerconium. Joel Osteen and Marilyn Hickey, at the end of the day, come off as kind of lightweight – they both know what the Word says on the surface, but what they serve up comes off with the consistency of Hostess Twinkies.

    • Wow, Bruce. That is kinda deep. “What they serve up comes off with the consistency of Hostess Twinkies.” That is a very good metaphor regarding the utterly unhealthy but sugary fluff kind of “food” that they bring forth.

      Thank you for your input. That is an excellent comment.

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

    • Bwwhhaaa. “…the consistency of Hostess Twinkies.” That’s a good analogy, Bruce. Full of fluff, tastes good to the flesh, unhealthy, and is actually harmful to the body in the long run. When you eat a Twinkie (although I could think of better desserts, but let’s pretend like it’s really good), it satisfies the flesh for a moment. You are having “your best life now.” Afterwards, you realize that what you ate had no food value to it and gave you a sugar crash. In the end, you are unfulfilled and unhealthy. Those who eat nothing but that eventually die from mal-nutrition or disease.

      That is what happens SPIRITUALLY to those with itching ears who heap up to themselves and follow the broad-way, Twinkie preachers. They are having “their best life NOW,” on the road that leads to destruction.

  2. Great article Rich. Joel Osteen comes across as a motivational speaker with a dazzling smile! It would be wonderful if he used that gift to preach the REAL Gospel.

    • Thanks a bunch, Alison. I agree. However, Joel would have to get saved himself first, I am afraid. I think Charles G. Finney explained this situation best in his famous “Ordination” sermon, when he told those candidates for ministry:

      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.

      Since Joel Osteen is bereft of knowledge of the essential doctrines of Christ, and has even denied that Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved (see my article The REAL Gospel on this website for the video), then we can only BIBLICALLY conclude that he has never tasted the grace of God’s salvation himself — because he does NOT understand it at all!

      Nevertheless, thank you so much for your commentary, Sis. I agree with you that if Joel ever gets saved, and gets his doctrine grounded in The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, then his personality and “dazzling smile” could actually be put to useful work for the Kingdom of God. 🙂

      Amen.

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  3. Oh, my! I just found out that Joel Osteen has actually come out with a heretical BOARD GAME! Yes, that is right…a BOARD GAME that teaches the same self-serving heresies that his books and “messages” teach.

    Here are a few of the “levels” in the game, directly from the instructions (which I downloaded from the website below):

    Level 1 – Enlarge Your Vision

    A player draws an Enlarge Your Vision card and, looking at the picture on it, searches for images within the image. There are no correct or incorrect answers in this visual challenge. If you see a cat in a cloud, for example, point it out. It’s okay to be original if you can justify what you see in the shape, shading, lines, or color of an image. You can find things in the whole picture or in parts of it….

    Level 3 – Discover the Power of Your Thoughts and Words

    When a player reaches Level 3, the space s/he lands on tells them which item on the Discover the Power of Your Thoughts and Words card they must complete (A, B, or C). Players are given a negative word that s/he must write down on a sheet of paper, then build positive words off the letters in a crossword fashion….

    Level 7 – Choose to be Happy

    When a player reaches Level 7, the space s/he lands on tells them which item on the card they must complete (A, B, or C). In Level 7, players are asked to make statements and tell stories about things that make them happy. (For Example: Tell a story about a time you were sad and someone made you feel happy.) A player must make a statement or tell a story according to instructions on the card. If a player cannot accomplish this, the player loses a turn, unless s/he uses a Have Faith card. To move from the end of Level 7 and begin living to your full potential “Tomorrow,” a player must make a statement about being happy. (For Example: If you drew the word “Trust,” you might state… “I trust in God that I will find happiness.”)

    Winning the Game

    The first player to move to “Tomorrow” wins. The winner then opens the My Miracle envelope and reads aloud the goals and promises of all players. The other players must now help the winner reach his/her goal by fulfilling their promises to live YOUR Best Life NOW!

    WOW! I cannot help but think of Donna’s article, “How to Go to Hell with a Positive Attitude,” as I read through the instructions to this absurd “game” of self-centered idolatry: http://kennethcopelandblog.com/2011/04/07/how-to-go-to-hell-with-a-positive-attitude/

    You can read about this heretical “game,” and download a copy of the full instructions yourself, here:

    http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/11/joel-osteens-bo.html

  4. I shook my head as I read this article. I’ve watched Joel’s program hundreds of times– how did I miss this? You’re absolutely right! Joel is programming his audience to receive his false doctrine without question or discernment.

    Joel’s opening affirmmation is also a form of self-hypnosis. It puts the audience in a suggestible state, intentionally relaxed and focused, with our defenses down. Joel’s mantra calms and subdues the listener so that our mind takes a less active role in the thinking process. Any worries and doubts that normally keep our actions in check are tuned out. Now the “control panel” to our mind is open, and Joel can say whatever he wants– and we accept it without question or discernment. Wow, this is scary stuff!

    Many Christians who watch Joel Osteen rationalize that he is reaching the unchurched by sharing a positive and upbeat message. Surely, if people listened to Joel Osteen long enough then they would feel convicted about their sins, hear the plan of salvation and surrender themselves to Jesus. However, this doesnt seem to be the case.

    To his credit, Joel added a line to his salvation prayer at the end of his service: “Forgive me for my sins.” The problem is that there is very little (if any) explaination of what sin is. Instead, there is more emphasis on blessings, getting what you want, affirmmaitons, and positive thinking.

    A person who doesn’t realize they’re a sinner doesn’t need Jesus. People like Oprah latch on to Joel’s positive psychology– she loved the parts of his book where Joel talks about having royal blood seeping through your veins– and that you’re a son or daughter of the king. The problem is that Oprah doesn’t know the God of the Bible. Her god is the product of her imagination (one that requires no repentence) which ends up being nothing like the Biblical God at all. It is idolatry.

    Thanks again Rich, for helping us think this out and recognize the fallacies of Joel Osteen.

    • VERY good points, Nicky. I once was told by a former-hypnotist (i.e. one who had been saved, and abandoned that ungodly and demonic profession) that when they were trained within that practice, they were taught that Christians are typically the easiest people to hypnotize because they believe almost anything. YIKES!

      Frankly, that is rather shocking…but too often true! And so your point about “self-hypnosis” is right on target, because the people in Joel’s audience are doing this to themselves willingly.

      That is one reason why I emphasize LOGIC and critical thinking skills within my articles and MP3 series.

      In short, throughout my ministry, I am trying to “kick start the brains” of people in order to get them to THINK for themselves according to biblical logic and precepts. Your added comments above go a long way toward helping me in that goal, indeed; so I thank you for sharing your insights, and I certainly hope that others reading this will take your points to heart. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • But of course!!! 🙂 That is the reason for which everyone’s God-given brain was provided to them! 😀

      I always tell people to “search the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so” and to NEVER take my word for anything. This is based upon the example of the “noble-minded” Bereans (plus many Scriptures more besides this one):

      Acts 17:10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 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. 12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

      If you listen to our FREE audio MP3 series, I repeatedly state this over and over. I challenge my audience to “test everything” and to verify what I say. I exhort them to write down the Scripture, and to look them up within their context in the Bible. In short, I encourage EFFORT by which people are to TRULY discern “TRUTH” from “MYTH”:

      2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

      So, yes! I would NEVER suggest that anybody should merely “take my word” for anything; and this is why I provide so many references to the Scriptures and external resources (e.g. Dictionary.com and Greek/Hebrew Lexicons) within my writing on this website, and why I cite so many resources even within my public teaching. I want people to DO THEIR HOMEWORK and see if the doctrines I present are TRUE!

      Ah, but there is a point: How many CORRECT answers to the equation “2 + 2 = ?” can there be? There is ONLY ONE correct answer, but a nearly infinite number of WRONG answers. Any answer other than “4” is WRONG, no matter how much the person wants to believe the error, or how sincere they may be. And likewise, there is only ONE REAL Gospel, which was “once for all” given to the saints:

      Jude v.3 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. 4 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.

      ** 2 Timothy 4:1 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: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 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; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

      There is ONLY ONE “truth” of the Gospeland everything else is a myth.

      Again, I highlight these very things frequently and extensively throughout the FREE audio MP3 teaching series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel. However, I also discuss these points within my favorite article here upon this website, Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine, as well. So I suggest that you check the article out first; and if that seems to be sound, then download and listen to the MP3 series next.

      Thank you for the question! And I trust you find my reply to be sound and consistent with what I have taught above. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  5. What we all failed to see in times past, is that all Word of Faith preachers, most of all televangelists, and most of all their associates and a good deal of the financial boards of Baptist and Methodist churches and most of their pastors and let’s not forget the Catholics are freemasons and/or some order of some society. In 1922 their was an order that went out to all freemasons to infiltrate the churches and that they did. Even penecostal churches subcomed to it and the lever was pride. These same people have created the balloon effect and manifestatioin of dementia (Alzheimers,etc.)because freemasonry is the occult. Every person who has some form of dementia is directly or indirectly yoked to the occult in some form or fashion.

    • Howdy “Deal.”

      I can agree that the Body of Christ in the USA is largely “infested” with Freemasons. I have firsthand knowledge of a certain amount of that, having run into a few of them myself through the years. That said, it did not begin in 1922. I have information going back into the 18th Century documenting how they infiltrated the churches. So this has been their “Method of Operation” (MO) since nearly their beginning — as Speculative Freemasonry began in 1717 AD, and not some far time back in antiquity as they falsely claim.

      So perhaps there was some 1922 event in which they decided to make a more concerted effort at that project; but I cannot accept that date as the “start” of such infiltration, because they have been doing it for centuries. For example, there was a Freemason “pastor” who said a “prayer” over the men who murdered William Moran in 1826, that their “god” would “bless” their efforts in killing him. Obviously, that guy was an unsaved NUT…and he is only one of many that I have run across in my reading about such things in the 18th and 19th Centuries. But again, maybe this event to which you are referring (and of which I am unfamiliar) is some special effort they decided to put forth at that time.

      Your closing statement, “Every person who has some form of dementia is directly or indirectly yoked to the occult in some form or fashion” is a bit more problematic, however. It would seem to be the “Fallacy of Hasty Generalization,” because such a sweeping assumption about “all” people with dementia being directly or indirectly associated with Freemasonry is neither plausible nor provable. I have noticed that old Masons tend to be senile, and that people like Pat Robertson seem to be really “losing their marbles” at times. So I do agree there is a connection with the demonic stuff they have been playing with for so many years, indeed.

      However, my own grandfather had dementia and he had nothing to do with the Freemasons, nor did his father, or any relative up that side of the family tree of which I am aware. So it is merely an assumption that “all” dementia sufferers are so because of some tie to Freemasonry. Thus, it “begs the question” (as the article above explains); and since such a thing is not provable, it must be considered fallacious and untrue by necessity. There may be a “cause and effect” between Freemasonry and dementia, Alzheimers disease, etc., and Freemasonry, but it is fallacious to reverse that and claim that all people suffering from those are doing so because of Freemasonry.

      So while rejecting your last claim outright, and taking your “1922” point with a grain of salt, I can agree with you that a HUGE problem TODAY — and for a long time — within the Body of Christ is the presence of Freemason infiltrators, who are “false brethren” according to the Scriptures (e.g. 2 Corinthians 11:26 and Galatians 2:4). I would agree that MOST of the “big name” preachers are Freemasons, regardless of their denomination. The evidence is in their doctrines, and in their “signs” to one another. So that is a good point there.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  6. Thanks for the information about Joel Osteen’s “mantra”. It is sad to think of the millions of people who sit under his “ministry” that in all probably will go to hell. They need to hear the truth! I have sent links of your MP3 series to my friends and would recommend others to do the same. More people need to listen to your (no nonsense) teachings. Blessings to you and your family.

  7. So Rich what do you say about a preacher like Joseph Prince, a message of his helped me immensely in life, build my faith in a certain area when I needed it, I got a breaktrough, and yet you mention him in your blog as being off? I find that very hard to reconcile, because of a certain thing Joseph said brought healing to my life. I got annoyed with another preacher because he said he doesn’t like Joseph Prince yet I stand here healed, and it is real. Know what I mean? Is it like Jesus healing someone and then getting thrown out of town for it? Sincere question etc.

    • Arie,

      Did you click on the link and read that page? Joseph Prince’s name was hyper-linked to another website, which does a fine job of explaining in what ways J.P. distorts the Scriptures with his heresies. So read that, and you will discover the answer to your question. Here is the link again: http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/joseph-prince-destined-to-reign.htm

      Regarding your healing: I have been blessed at times by people who I now largely considered wolves due to their errant doctrines and behaviors. As the old saying goes, “Even a stopped clock is right twice per day.” For example, have you ever heard of a man named “Pythagoras”? You may have studied the “Pythagoras Theorem” in school within your math classes. That is a VERY good and worthy mathematical theory, and should be understood. However, Pythagoras himself was not trying to advance the field of mathematics as a science when he came up with that, but was a practicing occultist who was trying to utilize “divine geometry” to tap into additional power within his practice of witchcraft. So should you “feed” on the REST of what Pythagoras wrote? I think not. Stick with his “Theorem” only, and you will be safe; go beyond that, and you will turn into a nut like he was.

      So let me bring this back around to the subject at hand: Just because someone is a heretic does NOT mean that they have NEVER said anything worthwhile. As my “rat poison” metaphor above illustrates, however, they are dangerous to “feed” upon regularly due to the “poison” intermixed within their messages. So I suggest you study up on Joseph Prince to find out WHAT it is that he teaches which is heresy, and then once you understand all of that, avoid him thereafter.

      Further, here is a BIG question which your comment raises: Are you giving Joseph Prince or GOD the credit for your healing? It seems to be you have your “praise” very misapplied, and that is a form of idolatry actually. GENUINE ministers of Christ do NOT take credit for what God does through them, e.g.:

      Acts 3:11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16 And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

      Let me point out also, briefly, that in terms of logic, you have committed the error of “Irrelevant Thesis.” The question is NOT whether you have learned something good from Joseph Prince in times past, or even if you received a “breakthrough” at some point via something he said. The question is whether he is largely a heretic today or not. (His twisted doctrines regarding grace are pure heresy, and the above link explains that quite well.) So whether you were blessed BY GOD through the agency of Joseph Prince at some point is rather irrelevant (though a good thing in and of itself). The question raised by this post is whether you should expose yourself to the “rat poison” of Joseph Prince’s “ministry” in an ongoing basis from this point forward.

      Even if J.P. was on track in times PAST, that does not mean that he is today. Notice just one example of how the apostle Paul mentioned ministers who had “strayed from the faith” and became heretics, and concerning whom Paul herein warned Timothy…in case he ran across these guys:

      2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

      It appears that these guys were known to Timothy, and that at some point they were “on track” previously. But Paul said they were at that point “off track” and essentially heretics. Thus, they were to be avoided. So it would be wise for you to look into Joseph Prince using the above link and investigate if he fits into a similar category.

      Lastly, your note toward the end that you are “annoyed with another preacher because he said he doesn’t like Joseph Prince” is rather dangerous for YOU. As I have already noted above, Paul pointed out preachers — by name — which were in error. Galatians chapter 2 even describes how Paul confronted Peter in front of the church at Antioch because “he was to be blamed” and acting like a “hypocrite” by NOT being “straightforward about the truth of the gospel.” So for you to imply that ministers should NOT publicly confront the false doctrines of errant ministers (to include “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” and heretics in general) is patently unbiblical. It is also dangerous, because you are closing your mind prematurely to truth, by refusing to analyze the argument being presented.

      What you SHOULD do is investigate the claims made against Joseph Prince, and compare those criticisms with the Word of God in order to see if they are valid and factual. If so, then you are commanded by the Scriptures to AVOID J.P. and his “ministry” — regardless of how you were blessed in times past — because he is NOW in error:

      Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

      2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

      Titus 1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 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. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

      Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

      The first quote from Titus above demonstrates that false teachers are to be CONFRONTED by genuine ministers of Christ — even publicly — and certainly to be avoided. The second quote from Titus above actually demonstrates what the BIBLE says about God’s grace — which is in direct contradiction to how Joseph Prince teaches it. So if my brief point about J.P. in the article above, and within this reply, and within the article I provided a link to above, prove to all be true…then you need to shun that guy…regardless of what happened for you in times past.

      So please consider the sober words of the famous evangelist of the Second Great Awakening, George Whitefield, as he addressed the subject of how God might occasionally “bless” someone through even an ERRANT or UNSAVED “minister,” though that is NOT God’s primary method:

      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.

      And the Bible agrees with this as it notes:

      Proverbs 16:4 The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

      So in conclusion: I praise GOD that you were blessed BY GOD in times past; and that He even saw fit to do it through Joseph Prince. However, I also understand that Joseph Prince is a heretic, and thus, I will stand by my statements to that effect and encourage YOU to do your homework in the matter. So a search for “Joseph Prince heresies” on Google, and you will find various pages describing them besides the one that I gave you above. Then search the Scriptures to see if those accusations “are so” as I explained within the article above; and if they prove to be, then reject the PRESENT “ministry” of Joseph Prince accordingly.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

      • “CONFRONTED by genuine ministers of Christ”

        So what makes you a genuine minister of Christ?

        [The remainder of this comment was deleted.]

      • Arie, you wrote, “So what makes you a genuine minister of Christ?” I suggest that you read your Bible, and find out. 🙂

        Start in 1 & 2 Peter, then Jude, then go through the pastoral epistles of 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. Study Matthew chapters 23-24 as well, and then jump over to John’s Gospel and study chapters 13-17. After that, go through the Book of Acts and watch GENUINE ministers of Christ in action. Then compare all those NT examples and precepts with those found in Ezekiel chapter 34 and Jeremiah chapter 23, and you should eventually come up with a pretty good idea of what a genuine minister of Christ is SUPPOSED to look like, and what they are NOT supposed to look like.

        THEN, of course, you will have to study my websites to see if I match that biblical picture. 😉

        The rest of your comment has been deleted because you are getting into outright absurdity, and obviously just want to argue instead of UNDERSTAND.

        So from this point forward, any similarly hostile and irrational diatribes will be simply deleted instead of my replying to them. (Please note Proverbs 12:1 and 14:7 Titus 3:9-11 — among the many Scriptures that I could cite — in order to see the biblical principles which I am applying by this action.)

        If, however, you manage to come up with an honest question, I will endeavor to answer it as my time permits.

        Always in Jesus,

        -Rich

  8. Thanks for sharing this with us, Rich. As usual, your lesson has turned into a powerful message of submission and we all need to hear this. I have never listened to Osteen preach (his version of the Bible) because I have always felt grieved when I heard his voice. I know he’s not anointed, and I think it’s really sad that so many people think he is. It’s very dangerous when we rely on someone else to teach us the Bible, and Christians need to get rid of that laziness and study it for themselves. We need to hear preaching and then study it because the revelation of it doesn’t happen when someone else says it; we only get the revelation when we accept it as God’s Word and then believe it. And that only happens when we prayerfully study and search the scriptures because it’s then that His Spirit reveals the truth to us. Praise God.

  9. We used to watch Joel and picked up on the fact that though he went through his spiel every time, never once did he open his Bible or ask his audience (I say audience because they have become entertainers),to open their Bible, or quote from the Scriptures but rather from his Books or the word according to Joel. Also that he never mentions sin and hell.

  10. I realize this is an older post, but I thought I’d comment anyway. I am one who was damaged by this kind of theology. I am here today only because of God’s grace. But my mom went to a church that was heavy into Kenneth Hagin, Copeland, Jerry Savelle, and Jesse Duplantis. I know all those names. Sometimes I will say those names to people and they have no idea who I am talking about, but I know them because their videos and sermons were played in my house as if the men were gods. And the church we attended taught the same thing while I was growing up. I had a hard time understand God. I thought he was mean, mad at me, even cruel. I had people in my life die and my prayers were not answered. My dad died when I was 11 and I can’t even tell you how much “faith” I tried to have to get him to live. Because I was taught that my faith was everything. My dad died because of some sin I didn’t tell God about. I’m being punished. So today, as a 35 year old adult, I want to just sucker punch people like Osteen in the face. I am so glad God brought me through much to realize who He really is. I’m still debunking that crud from my childhood every time I pick up my Bible. Just irritates me so much that I was fed a bunch of crap all my childhood.

    Also, after my dad died, we lost our house. Why? Because my mom gave all our money which wasn’t much, to the church. Give and you will receive ten fold, right? God is going to give you a mansion if you tithe your last penny. Meanwhile the pastors are driving around Mercedes, wearing Armani suits and fine jewelry, and living it up. Just makes me sick! I hated God for a long time because of this false doctrine. And church attendance for me has been lack. I don’t put a whole lot of faith in preachers. My husband and I are now attending a solid, bible-believing church but I still don’t hold the pastor on a pedestal. I see some people doing that (going to him with every single problem or just asking his advice before asking God) and I just shake my head. He’s a man at the end of the day and God is who we should seek first. It doesn’t sake “Seek ye first the kingdom of pastor so and so…” no. It says “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”. How lazy we get in forgetting to open up our bibles, seeking God’s face instead of a man, and trying to do things our own way. I’m not perfect. Not at all. I’m trying to understand and find freedom in God’s word but it hasn’t been easy. This is abuse if you ask me. These pastors are abusing their congregation and its sad because one day, these pastors will have to answer to God for what they’ve done. I would not want to be in their shoes. As I saw in another comment on another link, “Live your best life now because the life coming to you is hell”.

    • MB,

      Thank you for your sincerity and frank honesty. It is a fact that people need to first “call it what it is” before they can deal with it, and you have done just that. You have identified that the self-serving agendas of these wolves is simply “abuse,” and that is quite correct. I would suggest also that most of them are not even saved, because that is the VERY point that Jesus made when discussing such people:

      Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

      Please notice that “outwardly” these people look like “sheep” (i.e., they can put on an outward show of “Christianity”), however, “inwardly” they are what? Something else entirely. They are “ravening wolves” who seek to DEVOUR the sheep as prey, in order to fulfill their own cravings and greed. Thus, their very INNER nature is the opposite of their external pretenses. Biblically, that means that they are not saved. If any of them were ever born again, then they are apostates now; but John’s first epistle indicates that many of them were likely never born again at all:

      ** 1 John 3:Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

      4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

      7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

      10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

      13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

      So those who “practice sin” (i.e., habitually, such that they are increasingly skilled at sinning) are surely NOT born again people. It is those who “practice righteousness” (i.e., habitually, such that they are increasingly skillful at living righteously) who are truly born again. The word “practice” implies imperfection. So the hypocritical sinner may occasionally “mess up” and do something right; the God-fearing Christian may “mess up” and do something sinful; but both are practicing what their nature drives them toward. Thus, they will get more and more skilled at what they practice, and demonstrate less and less of the opposite behavior, over time.

      Those who do NOT demonstrate that they have the new nature of Christ in them, as John talked about above, are clearly unsaved — regardless of their professions otherwise. They may claim to know Christ, but in their deeds and words (i.e., general manner of life, especially when they are not putting on a show for others by putting on a “sheep suit”) betray the fact that they are NOT saved at all:

      ** Titus 1:15 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. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

      ** Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

      ** Acts 26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

      So Paul agreed 100% with John that a person’s manner of live will prove whether they have truly been born again and been saved by the grace of God. In Titus 1 above, Paul pointed out by the Spirit that those who demonstrate a “denial” of Christ by their behavior are “defiled” spiritually. In Titus 2 above, Paul explains that the very same grace that SAVES a person also TEACHES them how to live godly in Christ Jesus. This perfectly agrees with John’s description of “practicing righteousness,” in that people are being taught the skills of godly living over time by the grace of God, and through the Word of God. Paul even went so far as to tell King Agrippa that the summary of his entire Gospel ministry was that people should (1) Repent of all sin and ungodly living; (2) Put their faith in Jesus Christ by turning to God through faith in Him; (3) Demonstrate their repentance by living a godly Christian life by the saving grace of God.

      Consequently, this brings us back to the wolves that you named: Are they practicing sin by doing what they are doing, or are they practicing righteousness? Given that people like them are rebuked by genuine ministers throughout both the Old and New Testaments, I would suggest that the ONLY correct conclusion is that they are practicing sin. And again, Jesus said that this is their TRUE inward nature, which indicates that they were either NEVER born again in the first place, or that they are apostates who have departed from Christ.

      I have given you the biblical explanation above. Now please permit me to consult two of the greatest evangelists of more recent history in order that they may confirm my points above.

      “Unconverted Ministers” by George Whitefield:

      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 un-felt 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.

      An excerpt from Charles Finney’s “Ordination Sermon” of 1842:

      …5. Ministers should take heed to the motives by which they are actuated in entering upon the great work of the ministry. Be careful, brethren, that you make no mistake on this point. See that your eye is single to the glory of God–that disinterested benevolence be the actuating principle of your life. Unless your eye is single, and your intention supremely and disinterestedly benevolent, you are ungodly men, and have no business in the ministry.

      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.

      Thus, my points herein are NOT unique. The Bible is full of references to unsaved wolfish “ministers” (e.g., 2 Corinthians chapter 11; 2 Peter chapters 2-3; Jude; Revelation chapter 2; etc.) and godly ministers of times past have encountered them, and have had to address the issue too.

      In short, what you have suffered is NOT a demonstration of New Testament Christianity, because it is an outright VIOLATION of what the Bible teaches! (Consider also Jesus’ warning about such wolves in these last days, as He provided in Matthew chapter 24; compare this teaching from Christ with Paul’s similar affirmations in 1 Timothy chapter 4 and 2 Timothy chapters 3-4.)

      In fact, you can download the sources of the two excerpts above by Whitefield and Finney from my server at the following two links. I would also like to add an amazing message by the late great Charles Spurgeon too. Together, I believe that these three PDFs will help you to better understand what you have gone through. These will also explain more clearly what a GENUINE minister of Christ looks like (versus the fake counterfeits), and thereby I believe you will be comforted and encouraged tremendously.

      Whitefield: http://richvermillion.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Unconverted-Ministers.pdf

      Finney: http://richvermillion.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/OE1842.Ordination.Text-Finney.pdf

      Spurgeon: http://richvermillion.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/TheBurdenOfTheWordOfTheLord.pdf

      God bless you, MB, and thank you for coming here to add a comment to this older post. I am thrilled that you did.

      I hope my reply proves to be beneficial to you in return, and perhaps even healing to your heart too. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  11. I am not a Christian. I am however, spiritual. Our True God is not delivered in a book. We are all connected in God because God created each and every one of us even Joel. God Loves the sinner if you believe in sin and the non sinner because God loves his creation. Instead of teaching the Bible why don’t you teach your followers to get rid of their egos, (Ego’s go deeper than you realize) Once you let go of your egos you will then realize and connect with your Creator and know that you and every one of us is loved and have a connection to the Kingdom of God. In your slandering your brother in Christ you should be loving your brother in Christ. I’m truly ashamed before God to admit that humans really believe that they can separate themselves from one another, (God’s Creation) How can you slander, slice and dice those who have the Spirit of God and still believe you are God’s chosen? Wake up!!!! WE ARE ALL CHOSEN!!! If you have truly read your bible and know it then you would know that the bible teaches with fear, war, guilt and love. Tell me something, How can we be created out of the abundance of LOVE and there be control, murder, War and fear? God loves us UNCONDITIONALLY. What does that mean? It means that when He looks at us He knows we are imperfect and we do and say stupid things but yet He still loves us. so how can there be both a negative and a positive in God? As God says He was, is and always will be and nothing can be outside of God. So if God created all things in LOVE then there would be no negative. We humans made that up. We are the negative and until we realize that our egos are what keeps the veil over our eyes and our ears plugged we will be forever in this turmoil. God Bless!

    • SJ, you wrote, “I am not a Christian. I am however, spiritual.” That is very true, because human beings are all created with a spirit. Thus, although our bodies have an expiration date due to mortality, our spirits will exist eternally. The question is, however, where? Hence, herein lies the point that you have seemed to miss about “spirituality” in the sense of having a relationship with God.

      Have you ever told a lie? Ever? What do we call people who tell lies? Liars. Now, you may protest that you don’t practice lying, and that would be a good thing. Nevertheless, you would only have to commit one rape to be considered a “rapist,” and only one murder to be considered a “murderer.” In the eyes of a Holy God, that means that if you have EVER told even ONE lie in your life, you are a liar:

      ** Proverbs 6:16 These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him. 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.

      ** Revelation 21:8 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.

      In reading the two lists above, you may even notice more than one category of sin that qualifies you for the Lake of Fire besides lying. Since you do not worship the God of the Bible, you are automatically idolatrous because you esteem something ELSE higher than Him, and have essentially made up your own religion (which is paganism). Thus, you are truly a “spiritual” person in that you will exist forever… but by your own admission, you have NO relationship with the God of the Bible, and thus, your eternity will be separated from Him entirely as you burn forever in a Lake of Fire — a place originally created for “Satan and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), but also reserved for all of those who he has deceived:

      ** Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

      So here is the big question: Is the God of the Bible the Creator of the universe (and all things therein)? If He is, then you are in BIG trouble. If He is not, then you are wasting your time writing me to criticize how I serve Him. 😉

      Here is an absolute truth:
      The entire universe (including all energy, matter, and the laws that govern them) shares the very same origin. Whether one wants to claim it was a “Big Bang” or to name some other god, or the God of the Bible; whatever the origin, we all share that original source.

      Thus, there is a second absolute truth that is necessarily derived from the first:
      No matter what that source or mutually-shared origin is, it is what is is regardless of what one believes about it, knows about it, or even if that source/origin is knowable at all! Thus, no matter what you or I believe, and no matter what the next person believes, the absolute truth about our origin is an absolute truth that is fully independent of our beliefs.

      Now the question is: What is that origin, and how can we know what it is–or WHO it is? Several things can guide us in our discovery:

      (1) Since the universe is logically ordered, and thus, easily understood by logic, then it is governed by the laws of logic. Hence, this origin must have been an Intelligent Creator, and not some cosmic “energy” or random event. (Note: All evolutionary models, such as the “Big Bang” and “Pulse” theories, are self-contradictory; they assume a supernatural event to create all matter, energy, and the laws that govern them, but deny a supernatural creator. Since the Law of Non-Contradiction forbids us to accept self-contradictory theories, we have to reject those outright.)

      (2) Since the universe itself is unfathomable in scope and complexity, this Intelligent Creator is necessarily MORE unfathomable in intelligence, scope, and complexity. Thus, unless the Creator reveals Himself (or Itself, to be neutral about this subject for the sake of discussion) to humanity, then such an infinite being would be unknowable to humanity otherwise. Thus, all man-based efforts to identify and know the Creator must be based in error.

      (3) Since this Intelligent Creator invested so much of Himself (or Itself, to be neutral about this subject for the sake of discussion), then reason would seem to dictate that the Creator would WANT to be known by His creation. Hence, it follows that if such is the case, then the “holy book” or “revelation” that bests matches the empirical evidence OF creation itself (i.e., that which can best explain the reality in which we live, and which is verifiable by observations of different sorts, to some degree or another) would be the BEST source of revelation knowledge about our Creator.

      With these three points in mind, therefore, let me state very clearly that ONLY the Bible explains what our eyes can see in the world around us (to include the issues you have raised); that ONLY the Bible is verifiable by empirical evidences of different sorts; and thus, that ONLY the Bible can reveal the way to have a GENUINE relationship with the Creator. With that said, let me recommend these websites for you to review and learn the truth of what I just said (listed alphabetically):

      http://www.answersingenesis.org

      http://www.icr.org

      http://needgod.com

      Let me also suggest a few of my own articles to you for further review:


      The Supreme Value of Righteousness
      (This one includes my personal testimony too.)

      Of God, Rocks, and Infinity


      Hades, Sheol, and Biblical Logic

      Now, let me note in closing that your criticism of me are rather self-contradictory. You accused me of “slandering your brother in Christ you should be loving your brother in Christ.” However, you are slandering me right now, and thus, are doing the very thing that you are accusing me of doing. Worse yet, you are accusing me FALSELY of bearing false witness against someone, which implies that you are saying that I am not acting biblically. Yet, you already stated that you are not a Christian, and thus, clearly do not understand what the Bible says about what I am doing (i.e., because you do not truly understand its message of salvation through Jesus Christ, or you would become a Christian). In short, you have falsely accused me of doing something that I have not done, while doing it yourself. You are self-refuted because you are self-contradicted.

      Let me reveal the copious Scriptures that FULLY COMMAND me to do what I am doing with regard to Joel Osteen (who, by the way, is not my brother, as my article The REAL Gospel reveals) by referring you to three articles here on this website and two on my other “public rebuke” website regarding Kenneth Copeland:

      Judging: Hypocritical vs. Biblical (I suggest thine one first because herein I respond publicly to two people who had similar misconceptions regarding my public rebuke of false ministers)

      When Wolves Remove their Clothes

      How God Uses Heretics (this is a long one, but it discusses several dynamics that apply to the current situation)

      The Biblical Basis for this Public Rebuke

      The Convenient Doctrines of Preachers in Sin

      Lastly, let me address your false understanding when you stated, “God loves us UNCONDITIONALLY.” You are doing something that is called “equivocating.” This is a behavior that stems out of a fallacy known as “equivocation,” which you can read about by clicking here. In short, you are using a different definition for the word “love” than what the Bible uses with regard to describing God and His agape-love.

      You see, we use the same English word “love” to talk about our loved ones, pizza, a movie, and all kinds of things. However, we mean different things in every case (at least I hope you don’t love pizza in the same way that you do your family 😉 ). The Greek language had several words that applied to different things. The Greek noun “agape” (and the verb “agapao”) are used with regard to the “love of God,” and this is a term that is purely biblical and MUCH different than the “love” definition that you are trying to apply. It is the very same Greek word used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament, made circa 250 B.C. by 70 Hebrew scholars who were summoned to Alexandria, Egypt, for that purpose) for the Hebrew word “chased” (also transliterated “hased,” because we don’t have letters in English that convey the throat-clearing kind of sound that is necessary to pronounce this beginning of this word correctly). I would suggest you examine the TRUE definitions of BOTH of these words at the following links, which will take you directly to online lexicons. Underneath the definitions given are the many passages in the Bible where these words are used. By surveying these passages in the light of the definitions, you will learn that YOUR definition of “love” is NOT the one used in the Bible with regard to the agape-love that He has offered mankind through His Son–which ONLY those who believe in Him receive:

      Click here to see the lexicon entry for agape

      Click here to see the lexicon entry for chesed

      The God of agape-love in the Bible will throw those who have rejected His Son into a Lake of Fire, because they are NOT partakers of His covenant. They have NO relationship with Him. I have already quoted the passages above that state this clearly. However, let me point out that the God of chesed-love demonstrated this VERY SAME behavior in His relationship with Israel. Those people had a covenant with Him, and because of that fact, MANY OTHER people DIED as the God of the Bible dealt with them according to THEIR sins:

      ** Psalm 136:10 To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      11 And brought out Israel from among them,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      13 To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      14 And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      16 To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      17 To Him who struck down great kings,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      18 And slew famous kings,
      For His mercy endures forever—
      19 Sihon king of the Amorites,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      20 And Og king of Bashan,
      For His mercy endures forever—
      21 And gave their land as a heritage,
      For His mercy endures forever;
      22 A heritage to Israel His servant,
      For His mercy endures forever.

      Please notice that BECAUSE of their covenant with God through Abraham, the Israelites were on the “blessing” side of His “mercy” (which is this very same Hebrew word chesed). However, the Egyptians Amorites, and others, did NOT fare so well, as they are on the “judgment” side of His covenant.

      UNLESS you realize this fact, and get the false idea of “love” out of your head, you will not be able to reconcile the grace that God offers humanity through Jesus Christ with the WRATH that will be displayed against those who reject it. The websites/links/articles that I have provided you within my reply will help you, indeed. So for your sake, I will be praying for you that you take the time to research these things more thoroughly because the Lake of Fire is the WRONG place to discover how wrong you have been about God and His Word.

      Thank you for coming by so that I could respond to you. I will be praying for you that your eyes will be opened, and that the ONLY true and living God, Who has revealed Himself ONLY through the Scriptures found in the Bible (and NO other book), will remove the blindness from your eyes that has hitherto hindered you from seeing Truth:

      ** 2 Corinthians 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

      Although very misinformed, you do sound like a very intelligent person. Please ponder what I have shared herein, and read the articles/websites I have recommended to you. God FREELY offers to you a full pardon for your sins, but ONLY upon His terms. Please “read the contract” (i.e., covenant) that is found in the Scriptures, and “sign on the dotted line” by faith so that you can KNOW EXPERIENTIALLY His saving grace. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

      http://needgod.com

    • Amazing that someone who admits they are not a Christian accuses Rich Vermillion of slander and suggests that we “wake up.” This is total hypocrisy.

  12. Joel Osteen does not preach inclusivity…that any and all religions lead one to heaven. He is not perfect and does not claim to be such. He makes it clear truthfully that he was not educated as a theological minister. He regularly states that he is greatly blessed by God to be where he is at in life. All sermons preached by other ministers are not always better than Osteen’s. Joel’s sermons vary in effectiveness. They are not slick, one word messages. Each and every human being needs to hear the Word of God…from a minister who can truly touch them deeply with Jesus’ Biblical truth. It takes all kinds of anointed priests/ministers to reach the masses. I am always searching for the growth kn Bible knowledge that will help me to become a much better Christian. Thank you for this article…hope you can see that all of us need time to refine our walkwith Jesus.

    • Tim, I really think that you are sincere. 🙂 However, it is apparent that you are also ignorant about what you are discussing AND self-contradicted. Let me explain by quoting what you wrote and then replying to each point individually:

      Joel Osteen does not preach inclusivity…that any and all religions lead one to heaven.

      That is not true. The following links provide the evidence (directly and/or by linking to other sources) that Joel Osteen HAS expressed his personal belief that people of other religions either DO (and at other times, perhaps CAN) go to Heaven, which is a direct contradiction of what Jesus Christ stated in John 14:6 when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The very fact that Joel has affirmed Mormons (e.g., Glen Beck) and practicing New Age gurus (e.g., Oprah Winfrey) are “saved” should be enough evidence for any rational person to conclude that your statement is FALSE, but here are the links nonetheless:

      http://www.apologeticsindex.org/229-joel-osteen

      http://apostasywatch.com/Wolves/WolfReports/JoelOsteen/tabid/112/Default.aspx

      Next, you wrote:

      He makes it clear truthfully that he was not educated as a theological minister.

      That is a true statement, but also PROOF that he has no qualifications to be in a pulpit or to “teach” ANYBODY ANYTHING. No, not everyone has to go to seminary or Bible school in order to be a very capable minister of Christ. However, one should understand the fundamental DOCTRINES of the Christian faith if they are to be qualified for ministry, which 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Ephesians chapter 4, all assert repeatedly. Hence, the very fact that you are “defending” an ignorant man who has intruded CONTRARY to the Scriptures into an office that he is NOT qualified to fill, is a self-contradiction. You are defending what he does by pointing out that he should NOT be doing what he is doing. That is absurd, but nonetheless, evidence as to why you listen to him: You are irrational.

      You need to discover a few things about what a genuine minister of Christ looks like, versus mere “wolves in sheep’s clothing” like Joel Osteen and his “feel good, but send you to Hell” doctrines. Here is a passage that points at this issue VERY specifically, in fact:

      ** 2 Timothy 4:1 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: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, REBUKE, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 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; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the TRUTH, and be turned aside to FABLES.

      Please note the FOUR words in ALL-CAPS above:

      The Greek word translated as “convince” in the NKJV above (and as “reproof” in the KJV) is “elegchō” (Strong’s #1651). The Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT edition, defines this word as, “to convict, to prove one in the wrong, and thus, to shame him….to convince of error.” So God’s Word requires a true minister of Christ to “CONVICT” people of their error — and PROVE that they are wrong, even to the point of bringing them to a point of being shamed.

      In other words, this term is a legal-type of term that describes a person “taking their case” against a person — even PUBLICLY — demonstrating that the other person is CLEARLY WRONG and in error…even to the point of bringing them to SHAME. It is the exact same word used for “rebuke” by Paul, in telling Timothy (and all true ministers of Christ) how to deal with elders in sin:

      ** 1 Timothy 5:20 Those [elders] who are sinning REBUKE in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

      ** Titus 1:7 For a bishop [elder, minister of Christ] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and CONVICT those who contradict.

      ** Titus 1:12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore REBUKE them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

      The second word in ALL-CAPS of 2 Tim. 4:2 above translated as “rebuke” is the Greek word “epitimaō” (Strong’s #2008). The same reference defines and explains this word as follows:

      “to evaluate; In the NT, to punish, rebuke, charge. (1) One may rebuke another without bringing that one to a conviction of any fault, perhaps because there may have not been any fault or because there was fault but the rebuke was insufficient and ineffectual to bring the offender to acknowledge it. Therefore, ‘epitimaō’ is merely the rebuke without [indicating] any result in the person who is being rebuked.”

      In other words, Paul told Timothy to “CONVICT” people (i.e prove that they are wrong, even to the point of publicly humiliating them); but that word emphasizes the EFFECT of the rebuke by indicating that the person FEELS the conviction (and by extension, that OTHERS are convinced that the person is wrong). However, Paul THEN told Timothy — by the Spirit — that, regardless of the effect on the other person, REBUKE THEM ANYWAY as best as he could.

      Please note: THIS IS TWO-THIRDS of NEW TESTAMENT MINISTRY of God’s Word. (The last “third” being “exhort, comfort, encourage.”) So if TWO-THIRDS of public exposition of God’s Word is SUPPOSED to be “CONVICTION” and “REBUKE” of people, what is the reason? What are the circumstances that warrant such harsh dealings with people? Note that the passage then EXPLAINS this “charge” (i.e. command) given to Timothy:

      ** 3 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; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the TRUTH, and be turned aside to FABLES.

      The next word highlighted in ALL-CAPS from the 2 Timothy 4 passage above is translated as “TRUTH,” and is the Greek word “alētheia” (Strong’s #225). The same resource defines it as, “Truth, reality; the unveiled reality lying at the basis of, and agreeing with with, and appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter….denotes the reality clearly lying before our eyes as opposed to a mere appearance, WITHOUT reality.”

      Let’s contrast that with the term “FABLES” in that same verse, which is the Greek word, “mythos” (Strong’s #3454), which the same dictionary defines as, “…that which is fabricated by the mind in CONTRAST to reality.” In other words, it might look plausible on the surface, but there is NO REALITY (truth) to substantiate it, and thus, make it effective or useful. This same word is from where the English words “myth” and “mythology” originate.

      Thus, my point: If ANYONE is preaching a “different gospel” than the one that the apostles preached in the New Testament, and which Paul is describing above, then they are NOT a true minister of Christ AT ALL:

      ** Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 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. 9 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.

      Again, you are self-contradicted to even discuss his sermons, given the fact that they do NOT match the description given above.

      One of the CORE requirements of a NT minister of Christ, is to “CONVICT” people of their error, even PROVING they are wrong (to include publicly doing so), and thereby, even SHAMING them in the process for their error. Why? Note that if they are a Christian, then Titus 1:13 indicates that this is so that they will be “sound in the faith.” However, if they are DECEIVED, and NOT really Christians at all (despite their professions thereof), then it is to keep them from being DAMNED:

      ** Matthew 7:13 “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. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it….21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

      Please note that “few” find the NARROW WAY that leads to life, but MANY find the broad way (e.g. false gospels and false christs) that lead to damnation…even “MANY” that profess to know the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. Thus, what you called “arrogant” is actually PURE love:

      ** James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 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.

      Joel Osteen cares NOTHING about the souls of men, because he will NOT tell them the TRUTH of the Gospel but instead peddles “myths” that fund his lavish lifestyle.

      And what about you, Tim? It would appear that you are counted among those who have “itching ears,” since you have no interest in convicting truth but wish to “defend” wolves when they are being rightly exposed. Hence, let me recommend these articles of mine to you in closing:

      Are You a Mature Christian? (Take the Tests and Find Out!) (You will probably be surprised by this one.)

      When Wolves Remove their Clothes

      How to Go to Hell with a Positive Attitude (This is an excellent article by my wife, Donna, that discusses Joel and his “feel good” false message.)

      Christianity: Are you Missing the Point? (This one will help you a whole lot, since you seem to be missing the point of what biblical Christianity is all about.)

      Again, I do believe you are sincere and perhaps mean well. However, I am also very concerned about your soul, since I do not see any evidence in your comment that you undestand what it means to be saved. Thus, let me also recommend The Supreme Value of Righteousness to you, as I would like you to know what the REAL Gospel of Jesus Christ really is. And on this last point, here is my free audio teaching series on The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel too. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  13. Ha ha! Someone created a BIBLICAL version of the “Lakewood Confession,” and I could NOT resist adding it to this thread in order to show the CONTRAST between Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’ and a GENUINE confession made by someone who TRULY wants to please God:

    http://richvermillion.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/A_biblical_confession.jpg

    I went ahead and added it to the bottom of the article itself further above, in order to make sure that nobody misses it. 😉

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