Study to show thyself – “Name it, Claim it!”

study2Ironic, isn’t it? The constant infusion of new age philosophies into Christianity has inadvertently or deliberately given birth to a completely new religion that bears the tell-tale signs of Christianity on the outside but hides something dark and sinister on the inside.

A lot of these philosophies do seem quite harmless at face value but end up doing a lot of damage to lives on the long run. The most popular of these philosophies being masqueraded as the gospel are these self-belief and self-help teachings made especially popular by the word of faith proponents: “Awaken the giant within you” “Release your potential” “Confession brings possession” and the list goes on. In all honesty, is there anywhere in the bible where teachings like these can be found?

If all of these so called new age philosophies addressed all our issues then where does that leave the Gospel? Of what relevance is the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus? Since you are able to imagine yourself as healthy and wealthy, confess things into being, then all the power lies with you and God becomes irrelevant!

This so-called teaching unfortunately obscures God’s grace and introduces a life of self-dependence, which the bible stresses do not profit in any way. When you get down to the brass tacks, these teachings only achieve one thing: enrich those who teach it! It never really benefits those who hear it. They not only come away from these meetings seeing all their shortcomings but also end up enriching the speaker with attendance fees and costs of the speakers’ cds, books and all other self-study materials. At least the secular self-help gurus are bit more upfront about their charges but the Christian ones are not. The Christians ones use God as a tool to milk people dry! Lazy people who cannot be bothered to know the truth for themselves.

A while back, I sat down to watch a programme, which I think, was entitled something like “A Christian perspective to wealth creation”. I was really interested and got myself ready to take mental notes. Boy was I disappointed! The presenter, I wouldn’t say whom, a preacher, was definitely a charlatan and a crook! All he ended up saying was that by sending certain amounts of money to him, God would make you rich. (I think I have just described more than half of the preachers on TV). It most certainly was a waste of my time listening to all the untruths he spewed.

Why do these teachings gain ground? Why are more and more Christians lapping up this pseudo gospel? Laziness and ignorance that’s why! They fail to realise that God is closer to them than they think. Let’s see what the bible has to say about this

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; Rom 10: 8

That’s how close the word of God is to every believer and we do not need any earthly intermediaries to bring it any closer. We already have such an intermediary in the person of Jesus. He is the mediator between God and man and His sacrifice has paved the way for us to enter the holy of holies, the very presence of God.

These “new age” teachings do not work! And rather unfortunately, its adherents are led to believe that their lack of faith is to blame. They then get caught up in a vicious cycle of trying to prove that they have faith by giving more, confessing more scriptures, attending all “supernatural/leadership” seminars et all until they burn out and get totally discouraged. The question they should ask themselves is “where does their faith lie?” Is it in the confessions? Is it in the word of faith preacher? Is it in the offerings, tithes and seed faith that they give? Or is it in God himself?

Com’on get real!

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Study to show thyself – Ye are saved by grace not by works

Within the Pentecostal church circles, it does seem like legalism is making a strong come back!

All that is preached from most pulpits these days are usually works centred, far removed from salvation through grace by faith that the bible teaches. We Pentecostal Christians have very loud mouths and believe we alone know the truth and all other Christian denominations are wallowing in ignorance. This superiority complex also happens within the Pentecostal churches as well with some churches believing that they are better and more in tune to the move of God’s spirit than others. I believe the bible tells us to examine ourselves first before we point out the faults of others.

How true is our claim in Pentecostalism of being the only ones that know the truth? Very, very false! Most of our actions show how ignorant we are of scriptures and our perceived knowledge has puffed us up really badly.

Nowadays, we are so driven by works that we now believe that these works is Christianity. We are famous for having daily church activities with which we use to measure people’s commitments but in a truth, these daily activities only show each individual’s commitment to his local assembly and not to God. We now believe that the more you attend these activities, the more God loves you. So now we try really hard to earn God’s love and even believe that God loves some of us more than others. This has given rise to so many other unbiblical practices, which in reality is legalism. We think that by adhering to these practices God would love us more.

I stumbled across a very excellent teaching on this subject and I believe it would bless the lives of those who read it. Click here to read it.

Study to show thyself – “Touch not Mine anointed”

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Jesus spoke these famous words in the book of Mathew 5:15. In as much as we know that Jesus was referring to our Christian lives, another application of this scripture crossed my mind – do not misuse things but use them in the way they were intended. For instance, using a TV as a chair is most certainly misuse.

In our everyday life, we are very careful about use and abuse of things that we own, most especially when we pay good money to get them. A lot of us dutifully read the manuals that come with our gadgets in order to get the best out of them but when it comes to spiritual things it is a different story altogether. Most of us are guilty of rampant misuse and abuse of scripture! This has become the norm in Christendom that people have come to accept a lot of warped views of scripture as authentic.

A very good example is “touch not mine anointed”. A so-called man of God is going off the rails preaching questionable doctrines, if you dare point this out you are silenced with this verse. A man of God is caught in a compromising position and he uses this phrase to wrangle his way out of accounting for his misdemeanour. Is this scripture being properly applied? Does its use in scripture marry up with the way we apply it now? Let’s look in scripture to find out.

O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He [is] the LORD our God; his judgments [are] in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations; [Even of the covenant] which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant, Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. And [when] they went from nation to nation, and from [one] kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, [Saying], Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 1 Chron 16: 13 – 22

In the above scripture, David was bringing the ark into Jerusalem. And while doing this, he took a trip down memory lane remembering the humble beginnings of the nation of Israel and he used the “touch not mine anointed” verse to refer to the ENTIRE nation of Israel and not to a selected few who believed they were beyond reproach.

Every believer in this new dispensation is the Lord’s anointed. We are told in scripture that we are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood in the book of 1 Peter. The book of Revelation further leans weight to this by saying that we are a kingdom of kings and priests. So why then would some individuals equate themselves with God and believe that saying they are wrong makes God angry? This trend is certainly not biblical.

Once a thing is not put to proper use, it most certainly would be abused. Once a scripture is not properly applied, we will never get any benefit out of it.

No human being is beyond reproach.