Our key scripture for this new series of posts is 1 Cor. 3:1:
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
As we read through this blog, we should always bear in mind that the message we are setting forth, which is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, is
“Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2)
One time they were interviewing your favorite prophet from down south… Oh, did I say “your”? Sorry about that because he might not be your favorite prophet. But, just in case you dropped in from Mars, here’s the buzz: everyone today has to have their favorite prophet, one who can prophetically bring up images of their kids simply by tapping on an ipad, etc. The southern tip of Africa is heavily infested with these prophets. The interesting thing is that nearly all the top prophets peddling their wares in the south come from outside that part of Africa: they come from Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, etc. It is a virtual invasion of this country. Why this invasion?
Guess what? South Africa has the world’s greatest deposits of gold. This invasion is all about wealth, and it is not heavenly wealth we are talking of here.
In one of our neighboring countries also, they have the most mightiest prophet of God. He has to carry that pitifully slanted title because the English language has failed to provide him with an adjective that adequately describes his powers. This particular prophet would love the whole world to worship at his feet. Most of his countrymen already are.
Initially, it was thought that all this man wanted was a big-sounding title and nothing more. This was because he began by preaching forcefully against ‘pulpit thieves’ and even refused to take up offerings in his meetings. But it has now surfaced that the most mightiest of all prophets is a scammer of the worst sort who has specifically been targeting rich widows. He has clandestinely and systematically robbed widow after rich widow of their inheritances. After the initial daze wore off, some of his victims caught onto the man’s act and are now trying to reclaim their property through the courts.
The truth is that all these so-called apostles, prophets, etc., are nothing more than the worst form of scammers. Why? THE GOSPEL THAT THEY PREACH AND THEIR LIFESTYLES ATTEST TO THIS. The Apostle Paul’s description of them in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 is telling.
Paul first charge against them is on account of what they preach. He says that they do not preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ. He says they preach
“another Jesus, whom we have not preached”;
and that they carry
“another spirit”, and
“another gospel” (v.4).
In other words, they do NOT preach
“Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23).
They preach everything else apart from
“Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)
But recall that the Apostle Paul stated what the true apostle and prophet ought to preach.
“But we preach Christ crucified…” (1 Cor. 1:23)
That is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul then goes on to connect the gospel that these scammers preach with the lives they lead. For one, they
“desire occasion” (v.12).
In other words, they desire to be seen. They seek after worldly glory. These are the folks who love doing their stuff in front of cameras in order to be praised by men. They love titles, and fame. They love being adored by men (and women).
Paul calls them
“false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (v.13)
If you thought that everyone who works a miracle is doing a bona fide miracle from heaven, think again. In reality, Paul says, these fellows are ministers of Satan (v.14, 15).
These false preachers
“glory after the flesh”. (v.18)
If you Google them, you will learn about their net worth, the watches they wear and the cars that their wives and children drive. One famous preacher in the U.S. once said, “I am one of a few billionaires…”
They are all about going up and up and up in this world.
Finally, Paul calls them
How do you view someone who walks on air? Must be very wise. Or a billionaire? Can’t even come up close to them. Another ‘prophet’ in Africa calls his henchmen “wise men” (an attempt to compare them to the true Biblical wise men). All these people appear incredibly wise in the sight of men. But in God’s sight they are fools who are headed straight for destruction. Anyone who subscribes to the flesh is a fool.
Just in case you thought people masquerading as ministers of God are a modern phenomenon within the church, scripture here reveals that it is not. This is a problem that has been there since the inception of the church. Paul himself confronted it.
And Paul tells the Corinthians what these scammers will do to anyone gullible enough to entrust themselves into their hands.
“For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.” (2 Cor. 11:20)
Today, we witness too much of what Paul is saying here to write about it. But, strangely, believers will simply not heed scripture! The fact that these kinds of characters have not two or three but hundreds of thousands of followers attests to this. But it is also foretold in scripture. In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 the Apostle Paul gave his young disciple Timothy a mandate:
“1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
Notice verse 3. Who are the “they”? It is as if Paul is saying that a time would come when the entire church would be taken in by these false prophets! Sadly, indeed, it appears so today.
But Paul also foresaw in the Spirit long into the future that a time would come when God’s people would cease to have a hunger for the things of God, but would use ‘God’ as a platform to fulfill their fleshly desires.
When the true gospel of
“Jesus Christ, and him crucified”
has been sidelined, people will become everything but spiritual. For this is the only gospel wherein Christ is: where the flesh is being crucified daily. Christ is to be found nowhere else; incidentally, not even in miracles. Christ is firmly settled in the crucifixion of the flesh.
We will see more about that later.
[Have you seen the light?]