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"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. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 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."   1 Peter 2:1-3  NKJV

   IHS-WA.net       Beliefs & Practice  -  Page 3  -  Christian Brethren Topical Issues


Bible Versions examined for accuracy

Why so many Christian Churches
Creation in 6 Days Vs. Evolution

Christmas - Santa Claus

Easter - Eggs & Bunnies?
Baptism in the Spirit

Speaking in Tongues

Prophets Today - just bad & ugly
The 'MONEY' god! gospel examined


Beliefs & Practice - Page 1 - Christian Brethren Common Creed

Beliefs & Practice - Page 2 - A Typical Christian Brethren Church


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   IHS-WA.net       Practical outworking of beliefs common among people associated with the Christian Brethren



Bible Versions tested for accuracy _____________________________________________ Review / Critique

The majority of new Bible versions being produced today are what the Bible societies call “CLT’s,” for Common Language Translations. Such versions are all translated using dynamic equivalency techniques. “Dynamic equivalency” means that the Bible is translated thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word. This is opposed to “Formal Equivalency,” in which the Bible is translated word-for-word with minimal repositioning of words to clarify understanding. On a short test, the Contemporary English Version, a “CLT,” tested only 25% accurate to the original text of the Bible.


This is alarming! Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (NKJV). If you are having trouble keeping the commandments of God, could it be related to the Bible in your hands, which adds to or diminishes from the Word of God? We recommend Bibles based on Formal Equivalency, not only because they are truer to the original words of God, but also because they are better for you, so you may be more completely fulfilled in doing God’s will. To know God's will, you need to be able to read what God ACTUALLY said, not what men THINK He was saying, which leaves little opportunity for the Holy Spirit's leading.


At some point we need to decide what we want to read, the Word of God or the approximations of translators who carelessly reword His thoughts, sometimes tainting the word with the imaginations of their hearts and rabid doctrinal bias. It is inescapable that a dynamic equivalency version or a paraphrase is hardly even a representation of the Word of God; it is really only a representation of the biases and thoughts of the translators. The fact is, thought for thought translation is rendered doctrinally unacceptable and even heretical by one Bible verse for a start, Isaiah 55:9 which says, " For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts" (NKJV). It is a total impossibility that man can replace God’s thoughts with his own thoughts and call it a translation. The thought that one could do so is to either elevate man to God’s level or bring God down to man’s level, and that is absolutely contrary to Scripture.


** Reliability Comparison via selected passages of Scripture - results in Alphabetical Order :

American Standard Version - Score: 100%
Analytical-Literal Translation - Score: 100%
Bible in Basic English  - Score: 30%
Contemporary English Version  - Score: 20%
Douay-Rheims - Score: 80%
Holman Christian Standard Bible  - Score: 90%
King James Version - Score: 100%
Literal Version - Score: 100%
The Message - Score: 30%
New American Bible - Score: 60%   (Not to be confused with the New American Standard Bible)

New American Standard Bible - Score: 100%
New International Version - Score: 90% 
  (Ed. Highly recommended.)
New King James Version - Score: 100% 
 (Ed. Highly recommended - my personal choice.)
New Living Translation - Score: 60%
New Revised Standard Version - Score: 50%
New World Translation - Score: 10%
Today's English Version - Score: 30%

World English Bible - Score: 100% 
 (Ed. Highly recommended new un-copyrighted version for the world. Try it.)

(** Comparison Method by Reece Currie...  I have selected for comparison verses that are usually attacked on the grounds of the personal theologies of the translators. To keep the test quick for you to use on your own, I have limited it to twelve passages of Scripture:  John 1:1-4, Zechariah 12:10, John 14:26 and Genesis 1:2 are verses most frequently mistranslated in an attempt to obscure the Trinity doctrine. John 1:1-4 identifies the Son (the Word) as being God and being present from the beginning with the Father. Zechariah 12:10 identifies God Himself as being pierced; this verse is related to the Son in John 19:37. Zechariah 12:10 further describes God’s gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. John 14:26 refers to the Holy Spirit as a Person and Genesis 1:2 refers to the Holy Spirit hovering above the waters during the creation.  I also want to know that all facets of repentance are covered. First, that repentance was the message that Jesus preached (Mark 1:15), second, that this is the message Jesus commanded the disciples to preach (Luke 24:45-47), and finally, that repentance is granted by God and is a necessary precursor to belief (Matthew 21:32, 2 Timothy 2:25). Next, I am concerned that the Bible version does not impose the theological viewpoint that baptism is necessary for salvation. In Acts 2:38, the Bible says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (KJV). This is a difficult passage to reconcile with the many verses that say repentance alone is necessary to receive the forgiveness of sins. The reconciliation is found in the interpretation of the word “for.” If “for” is interpreted as “to obtain,” we have an immediate inconsistency with the verses claiming only repentance is necessary to obtain forgiveness. But if “for” is interpreted as “because of,” there is no conundrum here at all. The King James Version quoted above, while written by supporters of baptismal regeneration from the Church of England, nevertheless places a comma after the word “repent,” preserving the possibility of the correct interpretation. In many modern versions, we are not so lucky. I have included Acts 2:38 and Mark 1:4 in this comparison to see if baptismal regeneration is imposed by the translation.)

For further study on this subject: 

http://www.compassdistributors.ca/topics/nkjv.htm - The Reliability of the New King James Version by Reese Currie

http://www.compassdistributors.ca/topics/compare.htm - Comparing Bible Versions by Reese Currie

http://www.compassdistributors.ca/topics/dynamic.htm - Dynamic Equivalency Examined by Reese Currie



Why so many Christian Churches ______________________________________________ Review / Critique

Now here is the big picture that you need to grasp!  For the most part, there are only TWO main branches of Christianity in our Australian culture. In days of old, the Church of Rome had things pretty well sown up and dictated to all and sundry the way things in the church would operate, and woe-be-tide anyone who disagreed. Torture and death was often the fate of the uncooperative. But as the Bible became more accessible, people began to question what the Roman Church was saying and doing. People began to PROTEST against the unscriptural stuff being forced on them. These protesters became known as 'PROTESTANTS'.


So there you have it, the two main streams of western Christianity - the Church of Rome (Roman Catholics) and the New Testament based Protestant Church. The Church of Rome has an 'earth-based' governing head and bureaucracy that lords it over its followers with rules and decrees (dogmas) that are not from the Bible, and which hold people in fear of the consequences if they do not obey them. Because of this, there is little freedom of variation within the Catholic Church and it is easy to recognise who and where they are.


OK, but why are there so many 'Protestant' type churches? Firstly you need to keep in mind that all the Protestant churches are basically the same in that they reject most of the core teachings of the Church of Rome in favour of following the clear church model given us in the New Testament. Here is how Wikipedia explains all this: "Protestantism is a branch within Christianity, containing many denominations with some differing practices and doctrines, that principally originated in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. It is considered to be one of the major divisions within Christianity...  As such, the term Protestantism is often used loosely to denote all non-Roman Catholic varieties of Western Christianity... Protestantism is associated with the doctrine of sola scriptura, which maintains that the Bible (rather than church tradition or ecclesiastical interpretations of the Bible) is the final source of authority for all Christians. Another distinctive Protestant doctrine is that of sola fide, which holds that faith alone, rather than good works, is sufficient for the salvation of the believer."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism


Why so many Protestant churches?  Well, because we can!  Because we have freedom of expression in following scripture and applying the New Testament (NT) church pattern to our cultural setting and to our preferences. Christ is the head of a NT church, not the Pope. The Holy Spirit is God's representative here on earth, not the Pope. The Bible is our guide, not decrees from the Vatican. Some Protestant denominations have a more organised system than others, but this is only for mutual benefit and support, not as strict governing bodies to rule the local church. And there are many individual churches that are completely autonomous. A NT church could consist of a small group of believers meeting in a home or hired facilities, right through to mega-churches.


As families differ in the way they set up their homes and in the way they raise their children etc., so NT churches also reflect different expressions in their style of worship and modus operandi. Different churches yes, but we are all related by blood and have the same Father, and read from the same book. This is why when christians travel they can visit a Baptist church one week, then a Church of Christ another time, or Open Brethren, Evangelical Anglican, Evangelical Uniting or Methodist, or one of the many completely autonomous individual NT churches. You are able to attend a local NT church and see if it is a comfortable fit for you and your family. If things do not gel, then you can try other NT churches in your area knowing that they hold fast to the basic core principals of the Word of God.



Creation in 6 Days Vs. Evolution _______________________________________________ Review / Critique

Excerpt: "The Answer Book - Did God create everything in 6 days" by Ken Ham

...Does It Really Matter? - Yes, it does matter what a Christian believes concerning the days of creation in Genesis. Most importantly, all schemes which insert eons of time into, or before, creation undermine the gospel by putting death, bloodshed, disease, thorns, and suffering before sin and the Fall, as explained above (see answer to Objection 1).  Here are two more reasons:


1. It is really a matter of how one approaches the Bible, in principle. If we do not allow the language to speak to us in context, but try to make the text fit ideas outside of Scripture, then ultimately the meaning of any word in any part of the Bible depends on man’s interpretation, which can change according to whatever outside ideas are in vogue. 


2. If one allows science (which has wrongly become synonymous with evolution and materialism) to determine our understanding of Scripture, then this can lead to a slippery slope of unbelief through the rest of Scripture. For instance, science would proclaim that a person cannot be raised from the dead. Does this mean we should interpret the Resurrection of Christ to reflect this? Sadly, some do just this, saying that the Resurrection simply means that Jesus’ teachings live on in His followers. When people accept at face value what Genesis is teaching and accept the days as ordinary days, they will have no problem accepting and making sense of the rest of the Bible.


Martin Luther once said: "I have often said that whoever would study Holy Scripture should be sure to see to it that he stays with the simple words as long as he can and by no means departs from them unless an article of faith compels him to understand them differently. For of this we must be certain: no clearer speech has been heard on Earth than what God has spoken."

Pure Words - God’s people need to realize that the Word of God is something very special. It is not just the words of men. As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “You received it not as the word of men, but as it is, truly the word of God.”  Proverbs 30:5–6 states that “every word of God is pure...  Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you and you be found a liar.” The Bible cannot be treated as just some great literary work. We need to “tremble at his word” (Isaiah 6:5) and not forget: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). In the original autographs, every word and letter in the Bible is there because God put it there. Let us listen to God speaking to us through His Word and not arrogantly think we can tell God what He really means!    ...read full article here.

For further study on this subject: 

http://www.answersingenesis.org/ - Study many articles including science-backed examination for creation in 6 days




I GOT A BIG BUT... The Veracity Project on Vimeo.



Christmas - Santa Claus ________________________________________________________ Review / Critique

Questions To Parents... When did you decide to lie to your children? Can your children really trust you to give them the honest truth?  It is a sad situation that even some christian parents find themselves in. If you think these are awful questions, your answers could be purely frightening. Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin." Luke 171-2. Some time ago I watched a videoed interview that Dr. James Dodson did with one of Americas worst convicted serial killers, Ted Bundy, and have never forgotten one statement he made.


Dodson asked Bundy how the downwards spiral all started for him. Bundy replied something like, "It was when as a child I found out that my parents had lied to me about Santa Claus, I never trusted them again!' Is Santa worth lying to your children over. Has God granted an exception for us to tell lies to children about Santa and will not hold us accountable? Sorry, He hasn't. If you find yourself in this situation, then confess it to God and your children, and explain that Santa is not the father of Christmas, but that God in heaven is the true father of Christmas when he gave His one and only son as a gift for us, so that whoever believes in Him might be saved.


So what is it about Santa that is so disturbing for the Christian? The myth (made-up story) of Santa is partly built on a guy in the 4th century who gave gifts to the poor - but that is where the truth ends. The myth developed differently in various countries, but seems to have had similar pagan god roots from which sprung the things we often associate with Christmas today, such as: stockings or socks to be filled; Santa coming down the chimney; elves and imps (demons in mythology); Yule; giving candy; etc.. Who knows when your good or bad? God in heaven, and Santa. Who can be everywhere at the same time? God in heaven, and Santa. Who gives gifts? God in heaven (he gave us His son), and Santa. Who is the father of Christmas? God in heaven, and the usurper - Santa Claus.


Santa is not just a "feel good" jolly guy to have a bit of fun for the kids. Santa stands in place of the One True God to the world, and he should be despised for that. He should have no place in the Christian home or the church. What should you be telling your children about Santa?


For further study on this subject: 

www.Wikipedia/santa - Every christian should read this truly shocking, eye-opening history of the myth of Santa



Easter - Eggs & Bunnies? ______________________________________________________ Review / Critique

What is the origin of the Easter bunny? Like the origin of Christmas, the origin of the Easter Bunny has roots that go back to pre-Christian, Anglo-Saxon history. The holiday was originally a pagan celebration that worshipped the goddess Eastre. She was the goddess of fertility and springtime and her earthly symbol was the rabbit and eggs. Thus the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons worshipped the rabbit believing it to be Eastre's earthly incarnation. When the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity, the pagan holiday, which occurred around the same time as the Christian memorial of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, was combined with the Christian celebration and given the name Easter. Originally, there were some very pagan practices that went along with the Easter celebration.


Today, Easter is often commercialized, with all the focus on eggs, the Easter bunny, etc..  Because of this, many churches are starting to refer to 'Easter' as Resurrection Day. This is to reject the pagan-origins and the trappings that have become the commercial backstay of cards and chocolates. So let us not get sidetracked away from the death and resurrection of Jesus at this time of year. Can we celebrate 'Easter' as the world sees it - probably can. But should we - probably NOT. "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."  Colossians 2:16-17.



Baptism in the Spirit ____________________________________________________________ Review / Critique

Christian Brethren (CB) adhere to the traditional view that upon true repentance of sin, personal acceptance of Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the cross and a heart-changing commitment of ones life to God, that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart at the moment of conversion - you become a 'new-creation', a child of God, born again, etc.. You become 'the temple of the Holy Spirit', and it's no weekend residence, he is with you 24/7. Let the scripture speak: "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." Rom 8:9. But many get confused as to how this plays out on a daily bases for the believer. Many christians look for MORE in their life - seeking more of the Spirit, seeking a more deeper spiritual experience and more of God's power in their ministry.


Well the solution to the problem, according to scripture, is not MORE but LESS. You grieve and smother the Holy Spirit when you do things your own way, do not turn away from sin, make your own plans instead of following what God has clearly laid out in His Word, chase after worldly gain, and look for 'silver bullets' (like the so-called 'second blessing' or 'baptism' of the Holy Spirit') to fix your life, when what you should be doing is getting rid of the worldly rubbish in your life and sin that so easily besets us. As John the Baptist said about Jesus, "He should increase, and I should decrease".


It is impossible to know the fullness of the Holy Spirit when your life and mind has so much of self, the world and its desires. So this is a daily, minute by minute battle to yield one's self to Christ and live in the Spirit, not in the ways of human reasoning and self-centeredness. God has given you all the instructions you will require already, in his written Word, the Bible. There are no shortcuts - read and study your Bible for yourself. Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you.


For further study on this subject: 

http://www.graceonlinelibrary.org/charismatic-movement/  - A weighty article "Holy Spirit Baptism: Seven Easy Steps?".

http://www.newtestamentpattern.net/biblestudy/baptismintheholyspirit/introduction.htm - A well grounded, somewhat exhaustive study.



Speaking in Tongues  __________________________________________________________ Review / Critique

Many people who speak in "tongues" say that their experience confirms that it is the Holy Spirit guiding them. Some say that you MUST speak in a tongue after receiving Christ as saviour or you are NOT a christian at all. But what does the Bible say about these things. A careful study of the following will show that the gift of tongues has indeed actually ceased. 1 Cor 13:8-10 says that tongues will cease and that prophecy and knowledge will fade and disappear when 'that which is perfect' has come. The inspired writers of the Bible were given futuristic prophecy and special knowledge. Futuristic prophecy, such as Revelation, was given to these men to foretell the things which God wanted to reveal to man.


Supernatural knowledge was needed to explain things like redemption, Christian living, church guidelines etc. After these things were recorded in Scripture, this type of prophecy and knowledge ceased so Scripture cannot be added to today. Normal knowledge will never cease but will continue forever and increase greatly after Jesus' return. Today, we are encouraged to grow in biblical knowledge and to prophecy in the form of biblical preaching, as in 1 Cor 14:24-25, which saves and edifies souls.


Tongues is nowhere said in scripture to be a sign of a Christian being saved through receiving the Holy Spirit, nor is it said to be either a Prayer Language, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or Tongues of Angels. These things can only be read into the text. The Bible only says that tongues was a sign to unbelieving Jews, nothing more. The first church in Jerusalem was entirely Jewish and they badly needed convincing that Gentiles were part of God's salvation plan as they were fiercely, often violently, opposed to it. One example in Acts 11 shows this opposition and how tongues was used as a sign to verify that the Gentiles were in God's plan.


Today, we have the Bible to explain the mystery of the church (Eph 3:1-6). Tongues, prophecy and knowledge are grouped because they had a limited purpose and when that purpose was served they were removed. In Mark 16:15-18, Jesus said that tongues would be one of the signs to follow evangelists as they preached the gospel. This did occur as Acts shows. However, about 20 years after Jesus said this, 1 Corinthians was written stating that tongues would cease and this occurred many years later, when the Bible was completed. The rules of 1 Cor 14 were given because of the abuse of the gift and didn't alter the fact that tongues, being just a sign, was to cease later on. An unemotional study of the Bible will reveal that tongues has ceased and should be renounced in the Lord's Name.   

MP3 audio - listen to Stanley D Toussaint explain "Tongues & Spirituality"


Read the full article here at http://www.christianissues.biz/tonguessummary.html - Tongues Have Ceased - A Brief Summary by Mick Alexander

For further study on this subject: 

http://www.gty.org/resources/distinctives/dd06/the-gift-of-tongues - THE GIFT OF TONGUES - A GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH DISTINCTIVE



Prophets Today - no 'good' - just plain bad & ugly ____________________________ Review / Critique

It has has been said that the biggest threat to the church today is the Prophetic Ministries that abound, because through this false, "Thus says the Lord...", Satan can introduce any false doctrines he likes and lead believers away from the Truth of God's Word, the Bible, that was "once and for all delivered to the saints". Once someone is hooked into these false prophets, they are taken further and further away from God's completed revelation in Jesus Christ and often finish up believing some pretty ridicules things as is evidenced in the hyper-charismatic movements around today.


People who sit under the teaching of these charlatans rarely open their Bible to see if what they are hearing is correct, yet the scripture says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth". 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV. Hebrews chapter 1 makes it clear about the prophets words in the past, and the Son speaking to us today by the record of the apostles. As Heb.1 tells us, there were many prophets sent in successive periods, these were in contrast to the Son who came one time with a completed message. The Son being not only a prophet but our priest and king. None of the former prophets possessed the Spirit continually, He would come upon them for a message, but not necessarily abide with them.


So the prophets were all partial in the revelations, incomplete. All of these are eclipsed by Jesus Christ as the final revelator of Scripture. As John the last apostle living wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev.1:1) that focuses on prophetic events. Paul wrote to Titus (1:9) to “hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that you can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Doctrine is our scripture, the only true measure of truth.

As established from God, prophecy is always 100% accurate or it is not from God. Yet Rick Joyner who is considered a prophet and visionary says “There is a prophet named Bob Jones who was told that the general level of prophetic revelation in the church was about 65% accurate at this time. Some are only about 10% accurate, a very few of the most mature prophets are approaching 85% to 95% accuracy. Prophecy is increasing in purity, but there is a still a long way to go for those who walk in this ministry” (The Prophetic Ministry, Rick Joyner- Morningstar Prophetic Newsletter. Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 2).


Does this sound like the biblical prophets from the Bible. Does this sound like “...I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets ... who carries out the words of his servants and fulfils the predictions of his messengers” (Isaiah 44:24-26).  Ezek 12:25 “For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.”‘ Therefore any prophetic gift they are exercising that is not accurate 100% of the time is not the same one God gave to the prophets of old.


Can one actually be considered a “prophet” with an accuracy level of about 65 percent, or even those who are better at it getting a somewhat higher rating?  We don’t rate them for their effort and ask them to go home and practice and come back again when they improve. God is not training His prophetic mouthpieces on improving in their accuracy! God always rebuked those inaccurate prophets by calling them "FALSE". It is no different today. We often hear the excuse, "Well if someone had to think they were to be 100% accurate they may not try to prophecy". Good! Because it is a most fearful thing to say, "Thus saith the Lord". And there are too many people who have practiced this gift as if it is like teaching.


The Bible makes it clear God only gives a true prophet one kind of prophecy, correct prophecy; 100% of the time. This is because if ones doctrine is off it will lead to their prophecy being false. Once their prophesy is wrong, they no longer speak for God. This is why we are always to test a prophecy by the prophet’s statements; we are to judge and discern what is said. What do all false prophets have in common? A hope of not being tested for what they said! They count on the people not to test their statements by putting guilt and fear in those that would dare to question the “anointed ones”, telling the people not to judge. Time is the enemy of a false prophet, and a bad memory is their ally. You will find very few people waiting to see if what was said will come to pass. A true prophet will not avoid being tested but encourage it.


For further study on this subject: 

http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain23.htm - When a PROPHET SPEAKS and his words DO NOT come to pass - Let Us Reason Ministries

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue66.htm - Apostles and Prophets and the Foundation of the Church - by Bob DeWaay



The 'MONEY' god! - the wealth gospel examined  _____________________________ Review / Critique

The ATM God by Anton Bosch
God wants you to be rich, healthy and happy. If you have financial problems just become a Christian and all your problems will go away. Believers can get anything they wish from God by planting seeds in the form of cash. Every dollar you give God, He repays ten or a hundred fold,” so say the tele-sprookers.  As a result of this message, millions of people have converted to Christianity and swelled the coffers of the TV stations, preachers and churches that preach this.


But we must ask a few questions: Are they following the God of the Bible, and are those who teach and believe this message really Christians? How dare we ask such questions? Well, how dare we not!  It all hinges on one question: Is the god of the prosperity message the God of the Bible? That should not be hard to answer. All we need to do is compare the god of the prosperity gospel with the God of the Bible and it becomes clear that they are not the same. The god of the health and wealth message can best be described as the “money god” or the “ATM god.”  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness” (1Timothy 6:10). Yes, I know. it is the love of money and not the money.


But what exactly is it that the money preachers are appealing to when they promise people that God will make them rich? It is the love of money. It is not the love of God. If that were the basis of their appeal they would encourage people to just give their money to God and not expect anything back. But they are expressly appealing to, and encouraging, the love of money. So who promotes the love of money? God or the Devil? God’s messengers, or the messengers of Satan? Just think about it a moment before you reach for the mouse to delete this message. Wait before you sit at the keyboard to fire off a message telling me I am a heretic. Yes, I agree that God blesses His children, meets their needs and teaches them to look to Him for their daily bread. But there is a huge difference between loving God and loving money.


Millions of people have become “Christians” because of the promises of health, wealth and happiness. But I wonder if they would have become Christians if God rather promised persecution, hardship and problems. But wait!  What does the Bible promise?: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2Timothy 3:12). “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33 NIV). And “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Not only do we have promises of hardship as Christians, but the record of Scripture confirms that to be the case. Jesus was never rich and had to be buried in a borrowed tomb.


Paul had a few seasons of abundance but mostly his life was pretty miserable: “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness” (2Corinthians 11:24-27).


Does that sound like the kind of life preachers are offering today? Look at the wonderful “prosperous” life the heroes of faith lived: “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented-- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11:35-38). There are glaring differences between the promises of the Bible and those of the prosperity preachers.


In fact, they are direct opposites. It is very obvious that the god of the prosperity message is not the God of the Bible, and that those who preach that message are not messengers of God but of Satan. We must then ask whether their followers are really Christians. If you have been following Jesus for what He can give you, then you need to repent and turn to the real Lord Jesus Christ who died for you on the cross. Ask Him right now to forgive you for following Him for things, when He already gave Himself as a sacrifice for your sins.  God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son; but would you really just have money and stuff instead?!?


Read the full article here at http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/08/money-god.html - The Money god! - the ATM God by Anton Bosch

For further study on this subject: 

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/word-faith.html  - General articles on the 'Word of Faith' movement



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