In the past few weeks the Lord has burdened me with the condition of the church. Many preachers are still preaching their own thoughts about Scripture, rather than the thoughts of God, and they are influencing many other people. Members of churches are being told that God sees them as perfect children, and to think of themselves as such. But Revelations 2 and 3 prove this to be wrong. Even so, ministers continue tickling the ears of their congregations, not giving any thought to the grieving of the Holy Spirit.
Couple this with the word of faith movement started by E. W. Kenyon and carried on by people like Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Andrew Wommack, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and others, and things have escalated downhill fast. People started believing that, along with being perfect in the eyes of God, they had unbridled authority in Jesus’ name and applied it to any situation they wanted. I don’t know which came first, being perfect in the eyes of God, or having unbridled authority in the name of Jesus, but the idea that we have been empowered to control our lives by faith, and its ability to make things happen, took the world by storm because nobody wants to submit to another. This is something the flesh craves, the ability to control its own destiny. (If anyone believes in this word of faith hypocrisy, I challenge you to study its origin.)
Those who espouse these beliefs have created a generation that has no idea what conviction of the Holy Spirit is. They don’t know Him. They are so entangled in their mind games, deciding which formula works with which problem, and whether they should declare and decree, or name and claim, they have no idea of their need for the Holy Spirit. They do, however, claim to follow the Holy Spirit. However, what they claim is the Holy Spirit is just a psychological and emotional stimulator that leads them on their quest to be on a level with God.
Again, study the origins of this hypocrisy; study their beliefs. They actually believe we were created to be mini gods. This is the rationale behind their belief that they can speak things into existence; we are like God and therefore can create things with our words. This began as a metaphysical project concerning “the Power of the Mind”. It was quickly changed to “the Force of Faith”. They take the Word of God and add whatever they want to it, whatever will attract the masses; more people, more money. If you doubt that money is what they’re after, check their net worth. Each and every one of them is in it for the money; they’re liars and thieves, robbing the poor via their outrageous lies and their pompous and arrogant doctrines. And beyond this, their filthy tentacles have reached as far as the true church. Immature Christians have latched on to some of their teachings such as name it and claim it, declare it and decree it, speak this and that over a brother or sister, etc. It all started with a study of the power of the mind.
Paul said the day of the Lord would not come unless the apostasy comes first, II Thessalonians 2:3. Dear friends, I believe the apostasy is staring us right in the eye. Those who have ears to hear: Consider the man of sin, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God, verses 3-4. All who follow the teachings of this so-called word of faith movement are treading on dangerous ground.
The Holy Spirit leads us in the ways of God. He is our Comforter, our Helper, and He teaches us the very depths of God. When we make a wrong turn, He convicts us, and we turn back to the Way. But those who have fallen prey to these false beliefs, and have lifted themselves up in their own minds never hear, or sense, the Spirit’s convictions. Consequently, they just keep running from one mental ritual to another, in a constant search for formulas that make them feel good; formulas that bring them instant gratification. These people hold to a form of godliness, and deny its power. (Some will say, “Miracles happen at their meetings.” To that I say, “They also happened at the hands of Pharaoh’s magicians,”).
I am so thankful to God that through all this absurdity He has provided for Himself a remnant of humble believers who follow the Lord Jesus and continually forsake their own will and submit themselves to Him, and to the Father’s will. They realize they’ve been called for a purpose and they seek that purpose, forsaking their own wants. Humble believers still hear the Holy Spirit when He convicts them, and they follow where He leads. Humble believers find themselves a new creation where Jesus is their wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; He is their all in all. They need no authority; they have a Savior.
Rev. Jon Banks
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