Scripture references are taken from the NET2 translation.
I vehemently disagree with the Prosperity Gospel folks, and similarly so with ‘faith-healers.’ Their messages appear not to be Gospel related contextually speaking and certainly not founded in sound hermeneutics or exposition of the Word of God. Yes, they use the Word as a ‘jumping off place,’ but never return after initial introduction. I will quote Paul, “For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, but the Apostle wrote this in verse 11, “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.” The point being that this is not being ‘judgmental,’ but just spiritual discernment and what we might refer to as ‘fruit’ inspection.
Jesus tells us that we would recognize unbelievers and Believers by their fruit, ” “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.” Matthew 7:15-20. And in the very next breath Jesus says this, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many powerful deeds in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’” And then the Lord speaks about the houses built on foundations of sand and rock. I would submit that these ministries have constructed ministries on sand or less.
Be Aware of the Devil’s Companions
“Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. 16 But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners? 19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.” 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Unfortunately, there are those among us who are claiming to be workers of the Christ, but effectually are not, they “are disobedient to the gospel of God.” These false teachers/prophets bring harm to unsuspecting Believers who are seeking the help of Christ in the wrong places and suffer because of them. Many years ago a person I loved dearly and was financially poor gave what was large sums of her money to one of those who promoted the idea of giving a certain percentage of income to their ministry. The promise was a 10-fold return of her investment that never happened. The preacher was and remains very well-known and PROSPEROUS himself. He is also a ‘faith-healer’ and both she and her husband died from cancer believing all the while the promises of this fake would heal them.
Satan is that roaring lion seeking to devour the unsuspecting who follow him, but should be following the crucified and risen Savior Jesus Christ. We must be authentically pursuing the Truth of the Message of the Gospel at all times.
Jesus alone is Lord.