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Cursed Is He...
Jeremiah’s words are as inspired and relevant to the Church today,
as they were to the people whom he addressed back then.
One of the greatest abuses in the Church is hierarchy.
It is human government, not God’s! (Read Jeremiah 5:31.)
Many such overlords are charlatans!
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully (Jer 48:10).
This principle "carries an idea of ‘slackness’ or ‘idleness’ in fulfilling the wishes of another" (NKJV comment). There are many so-called ‘men of God’ who have taken control of large numbers of believers, and who do the Work of God deceitfully.
Some may not be slack in their outward zeal and effort, but what God sees in their heart is grossly displeasing to Him. They do not truly care for the things of God. They reject His holiness, and one day soon they will be rejected by Him!
I mentioned in the leaflet Masquerade In Ministry, Matthew Ashimolowo of KICC in London. In the article series Dreams From God About Morris Cerullo, I mentioned another false minister, John Avanzini. In A Message To The Charismatic Church I named another exalted man who considers himself a high-and-mighty prophet – Kenneth Copeland. And in various exposés of some other preachers (mostly in Newsletters), I have named names, just as Paul named names to warn the Church of impostors (1 Tim 1:20; 2 Tim 2:17,18; 4:10,14). This is biblical and very necessary (Rom 16:17).
...avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:18).
By serving "their own belly" Paul means they are innately and irreversibly selfish. Self-motivation is what makes their hearts ‘tick’.
You can see it in their fruits, just as Jesus warned (Matt 7:16). Those who serve God for money, for fame, for prominence, for power, etc., have telltale signs of carnality accompanying them. It may take time, but eventually you see things that are not right. They amass big bank accounts, live in palatial abodes, spend lavishly upon themselves, or get trapped in other sins of the flesh that are rooted in lust, greed or pride.
Therefore, by their fruits you will know them (Matt 7:20).
Jesus didn’t mean physical fruits – large and popular ministries, reaching many people. He meant spiritual fruits – qualities that indicate whether a person is converted or not. Do their spiritual qualities include humility, self-abasement, not wanting self-aggrandise- ment, or are they proud, lifted up, arrogant, seeking to be noticed and acclaimed?
Woe to you when men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets (Lk 6:26).
For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).
Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15).
Charlatans do what they do to be seen of men (Matt 23:14, 25-28); they preach and prance on stage for effect – to persuade people, to win them over – to get you to follow them. They are motivated by self interest. They appear good. They say some things that are good. They even do some things that are good. But what is in their hearts is predominantly evil.
Like the old-time Pharisees, they may expend great effort to win ‘souls’ (Matt 23:15), but they are doing that to win people to their cause. It’s done in the name of Christ, but it’s not done with the altruism of Christ. Such men are in it for POWER, and for money, and for other ancillary selfish, devilish interests!
They are out to make a name for themselves. They are out to build a big church which gives them acclaim in the eyes of others. People foolishly think that the bigger your church, the better you must be as a minister. Sometimes there can be some truth in that, but generally it is wrong to be impressed by human factors such as numbers of converts, size of the set-up or influence it exerts. Physical factors can be deceptive – they are not the spiritual fruits Jesus was mainly referring to, to which you should look to perceive whether a man is truly God-fearing.
Look at the people whom Jeremiah confronted in his day. They were the majority, but they didn’t fear God. They were motivated by self-interest and pride.
...the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, "You speak falsely!" (Jer 43:2).
And so do the highly-acclaimed evangelists, preachers and ministers of today accuse us and other prophets whom God sends to remind them of the way. They won’t be told. Few receive any correction. Their hearts are set on their goals and agenda.
The root core of their problem is self-will. They are ships who have set their course and are not about to change direction while things are going well. They won’t listen to God, except to hear what fits what they want. So, they have ended up with a very lop-sided theology and blinkered approach.
Compare these men’s service with Paul’s:
Paul "served the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials" (Acts 20:19), he "kept back nothing that was helpful..." "testifying... repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ" (20:20,21). "Chains and tribulations" awaited him (20:23). The sufferings did not daunt him because he didn’t count his life dear to him (20:24). He died to God daily and was ready to die for the truth then (20:25).
He declared boldly and honestly:
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
But the charlatan preachers of today DO shun to declare to you the whole will of God. They don’t even recognise the whole will of God, and when prophets or others bring more of the will of God to them, they reject it and carry on down their same self-willed route.
Like in Jeremiah’s time, the people were giving place to syncretism, burning incense to idols, including the Queen of Heaven (Jer 44:15-25), these preachers of popularity are busy building their own empires by NOT telling the whole counsel of God!
God says to them today:
You took some of your garments and adorned multicoloured high places for yourself, and played the harlot on them (Ezek 16:16).
Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ The conspiracy of her prophets [preachers who claim to bring you the Word of God] in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things... [the money motive].
Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them (Ezek 22:24-26).
And so it is. If you confront any of these men with the fact that, by their subtle and permissive teaching, they have thrown out God’s law and that they are violating God’s Sabbaths, they will deride you as a legalist, as seriously misguided and ill-informed, and spurn your words with contempt!
Their motive is dishonest gain (Ezek 22:27) and pride. They WANT the adulation or acceptance of many people. They are not prepared to be small, insignificant, unnoticed. No one likes to be rejected, especially to have one’s message rejected if you have a calling from God to declare it. But it’s what everyone called to ministry must accept. We are not here to win people; we are here to preach God’s truth.
Wrong Ministry Motives
Let’s list some of the wrong motives that fuel ministers in their efforts. Don’t be deceived by the fact that they bring some of the Word of God. And remember that most of them are deceived about the errors they preach. I don’t believe most false ministers preach falsity knowingly. But because there is pride, or self-seeking in their hearts, the deception follows on.
Some telltale signs of falsity and false ministers:
Many people will ‘go’ for Jesus if they get what they want, but that’s not the right basis for ministry. The signs of true conversion are willingness to give up whatever is not of God in our lives, and to do whatever God says no matter what the cost to ourselves.
The service of God under the Old Covenant was sacrifice. It still is under the New Covenant (Rom 12:1). Seeking for self is the exact opposite! (Matt 22:5.)
In Jesus’ parable in Matthew 22:1-14, you see that many are called – to be part of God’s family and to be ministers, serving others with the truths of God – but why few are chosen (22:14). ‘Going’ – taking the gospel to others – is not a matter of self-interest. It is actually a matter of contempt! People will hate you for bringing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! (John 15:18-20; 16:2,3).
Charlatans won’t preach the whole truth. It doesn’t sell well. It doesn’t fill pews. It doesn’t make megachurches! It doesn’t bring wealth and power.
That’s what motivates these guys: wealth and power. The Greek word for wealth carries the numeric value of 666, as do tradition and faithful. If you are to be completely faithful to God, you can’t tolerate church tradition! You must counter it where it is false! That’s the test which faces all Christians now.
Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully (Jer 48:10).
Malcolm B Heap
God’s Church – Whose Authority? (GC)
Testing The Spirits (TTS)
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