Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, T. D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Doug Pagitt, Kenneth Hagin (Jr & Sr), Billy Graham, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Robert Schueller, Rodney Howard Browne, Juanita Bynum, Benny Hinn, Jesse Duplantis, Frederick K. C. Price, Paul & Jan Crouch, Eddie Long, Noel Jones, Ed Young (and countless others) have something in common – they are not teaching the Bible properly.
I’ve been sitting on this for a while, but considering the doctrines being taught and people listening, I think it’s time to start addressing this. I’ve been caught up in the hype, attended several conferences of people I once supported and want to share what I’ve been shown since then. I’ve noticed there is an increase in the number of people with titles (prophet/prophetess, apostle, Dr., evangelist, bishop) – especially “Dr.” Apparently, there are things called diploma/degree mills that allow people to receive degrees without having to actually attend classes. If your donation is large enough, you can receive a doctorate!
false – declaring/uttering something untrue; not genuine or real; contrary to fact or truth
teacher – an instructor; one who imparts knowledge or skill in an area; an advocate or preacher
prophet – a person used by God to deliver His message usually as a warning combined with future revelation delivered to a people
False prophets are generally easier to detect. Wait for them to speak about an event, and see if it comes true. God’s prophets gave specific detail and were 100% accurate. If they were less than 100% accurate, we are told not to fear them, and they were stoned for trying to mislead God’s people. False teachers are more common and may be more difficult to weed out because they usually have truth mixed with to what they want to say. (There are times when people are in genuine error, but false teachers are generally wrong in multiple areas and refuse correction even after being shown.) The reason we should be aware of false teachers is because wrong doctrine is damnable (meaning it can cost a person his soul)! Christians often believe they will be able to know instantly if someone is a false teacher; however, Jesus told us to watch out that we be not deceived.
~ Matthew 7:15 “15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
~ 2 Peter 2:1-4 “1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
~ 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “3For 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; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
~ Acts 20:29-30 “29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
~ 1 Timothy 4:1 “1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Point to remember – false teachers will arise from professing Christians
We are called to reprove, rebuke, correct and mark people that cause division. If a person is teaching a damnable heresy, then we are obligated to point it out. There are multiple places in the Bible where people that work against God were called by name. Paul is often mentioned (2 Tim 4:10-11), but Judas Iscariot is known for betraying Jesus and being a thief. Jeremiah spoke out against the kings’ prophets and counsel that told him what he wanted to hear. (Jer 28:15-17 ” 15Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. 16Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD. 17So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.”)
So, now that we’ve got some basics covered, let’s talk about some of the signs of false prophets and teachers. Then, we’ll see some examples.
Signs that may indicate there is a false prophet/teacher:
– An extremely large following/congregation – Generally, with a church congregation having thousands and thousands of people, the pastors are telling them what they want to hear. The messages are man-centered instead of Christ-centered and cater to the flesh (“itching ears”. The churches are seeker-sensitive.)
– The words “holiness”, “hell”, “sin”, “repent/repentance” are avoided which means the Holy Spirit is probably far from that church. The Holy Spirit convicts man of his sin. If sins against God are not taught, he doesn’t know when he is out of right-standing with God. More importantly, he doesn’t understand his need for salvation.
– The Bible is more of a decoration than a necessary tool. Man’s opinion and experiences are placed above what God says. The Bible is rarely, if ever, used. If you hear, “Now you won’t find this in your Bibles, but…” beware.
– Pastors or members boast about the stuff God has gotten them. Emphasis is placed on what God can do for you rather than how we are here to serve God. Name dropping is common.
– People of any religion are comfortable listening to the pastor and enjoy hearing him speak but do not feel any change in their spirit to draw closer to God.
– The church looks like the world with Christian paraphernalia (worship service looks like the club, people are irreverent in dress, speech and mannerisms, socialization and activities are spoken of more than ministry, etc).
– The doctrine being taught differs vastly from the Bible and what the early church practices. They are constantly telling you what they believe the latest “Word from God” is, telling you about where Jesus will show up, new revelation or claiming miracles break out all over the church because they believe God is doing “a new thing”. Healing revivals and impartations are scheduled. They claim they have special anointing (that may vanish within a few minutes, so get your checkbooks out now) that may be one of these: swimming, tv, uncommon, “devil-busting”, fire, speaking, 100-fold increase, mindless, corporate, financial, fun time, seed, explosive, rambo, anointed trinkets (& handkerchiefs, ropes) etc. Matthew 16:4 “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.”
– They gloss over what salvation is, process of salvation and claim being saved is easy living.
– They claim they’ve discovered some secret from the Bible only they know. They encourage new age methods.
I want to give links and videos for some of the well-known teachers and prophets to show what is going on and compare them to Scriptures. However, before I jump into that, I want to show you some of the methods being used in healing crusades today. Of course, our Lord can heal and work miracles, but Christ never charged people for a miracle nor made a circus around what was most important – His message to us. I’m putting this here because people have DIED believing they’ve been healed when they haven’t!
Exposing faith healers
An ex-faith healer exposes tricks used
Benny Hinn – I know a lot of people flock to him for his crusades hoping for a miracle but are getting parlor tricks and ungodly spirits. I have seen him in person and heard him pray for some men’s eyes to be able to see into the spirit realm. He didn’t pray like Elisha did for the servant to see the army of the Lord as their protection (2 Kings 6:17) but to see in general. We have a veil to keep us from seeing into the spirit realm for a reason!
teaching nine (9) people in the Trinity
Todd Bentley – sexual criminal, adulterer, claims to have been possessed after being saved, claims to have an angel named “Emma” teach him, has “gold” in his conventions, heavily tattooed and pierced, “beats the illness out of people”
Emma/Emma-O (demonic angel) – detailed document, “Who Is Emma-O?”
strange doctrines & encounters
violence (Todd assaults people)
James Ray – author of “The Secret” – universalist loved by many unsuspecting Christians was practicing shamanism – video
1Cor 14:26-28, 40 “26How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.” “40Let all things be done decently and in order.”
Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin
Which spirit is this?
“Christian” tv, in general, isn’t teaching what it claims. While there may be a few good teaches dotted throughout, the first glimpse people get of Christians is falsehood.
TBN – “Deception in the Church”
TBN’s logo – questionable
Now, for our happy-clappy preacher smiling Joel Osteen!
Joel denies Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father in Heaven by stating he does not know if non-Christians/unsaved people will go to hell. Osteen has stated he considers himself a life coach instead of a preacher. He preaches about what God should do for us (our best life now) and chooses not to address sin. His Scripture knowledge and understanding of the Bible is low and does not seem to understand basic Christian theology. However, he does know how to take one verse and run with it which often helps people stay comfortable in their sin while they wait for God to shower them with blessings.
Todd Friel holds Joel Osteen to the Bible
false prophets conspiracy of silence – video
TBN, Paul Crouch, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn
Peter Popoff (warning: may want to mute the last few seconds) – video (pt 1)
Thomas Kearney handkerchief (warning: do not eat or drink while watching)
Fred Price – teaches God cannot do anything on earth without man’s permission, Jesus was rich, followed Hagin’s teachings – link
Making of a false apostle
Kenneth Copeland – teaches Jesus died spiritually, we are little gods, Jesus was not the only person that could have redeemed man, prosperity gospel
For more links to see what has sprung up, is being taught or if you are in a church where wrong doctrine is being taught, check out some of the websites or videos comparing what comes from their mouths to what God’s Word says.
Deception in the Church – link
False teachers & Charlatans exposed – includes videos, audios and articles – link
(Originally posted 2011)