ARE THERE FAKE CHRISTIANS?
IN CHRISTIANITY TODAY?
THERE ARE UNSCRUPULOUS CHARLATANS
IN BOTH THE CESSATIONISTS
IN THE CONTINUISTS CAMPS
Unscrupulous charlatans amidst the church have done horrible hoaxes upon the churches in our day. The teachings of such were ‘strange fire’ and were unloving, unkind, intolerant, divisive, dishonoring of the Holy Spirit. Someone has said that the ‘god’ of those unscrupulous charlatans is not the real God. That statement by a cessationist is true. The real god would not tell them to do such things. Most charismatics serve and listen to the real God, but the unscrupulous ones cannot be hearing the voice of our God, for our God does not sponsor nor condone the deceptive hoaxes the charlatans say a god told them to do.
Some of these charlatans establish falsehoods, create pretend miracles, push back all efforts to correct their doctrines, with false prophetic words, imitation discernment, false dreams that confirm their false doctrines. As a result of these charlatans, all the charismatic congregations suffer mocking, and our true God is sometimes blasphemed due to the demonic god. Having an errant view of the Holy Spirit and of His work, the congregations of the charlatans become willing victims of the charlatans. They defend them, support them with great offerings, fearing to not do so will result in a curse from the Holy Spirit. It is not the Holy Spirit Who threatens a curse, it is the demonic spirit, who has no authority to curse a Christian.
Strange, questionable, sometimes proven bogus signs and wonders seem to come from the meetings of these charlatans. Sometimes God even honors the faith of a true child of God in the meetings and a real miracle occurs, but not due to the charlatan.
Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV)
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
One particular feature of many of these charlatans is that they finance their extravagant lifestyle with hoax gimmicks to raise money. They merchandise prophecies, healings, magic water, oils to imitate Spirit anointing, potions, and various products with some magical ‘Simon magus’ power. They raise as much money as they can, and manipulate people with fear, or with hope, or by using one’s gullibility. Those that find that the whole thing is a con, are sometimes turned against God, thinking the ‘god’ of these charlatans is the real god who would devastate them so badly. Our real God would never have done those things to them, only the cunning of charlatans, the heartless selfishness of demon used charlatans.
Some who have left the circles of these charlatans have revealed that when they were in their circle, they saw that their only goal in their conferences was to raise money, not to win souls to Jesus. One’s spiritual level was measured by how much money they could raise. Strategy meetings were held, learning what stories, what twist of a Scripture would work best to encourage generosity of the crowd. After services, money would be divided, with greater amounts given to those who in their time frame had raised more. Competition was evident on who could come up with the best gimmick of encouragement to give to them.
Jeremiah 23:30-32 (KJV)
Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
We should avoid these charlatans. We should not encourage any to watch them on television, nor to attend their meetings. They will, when given a chance to scam, give accolades, flatteries and loving smiles to their intended victims. They pretend sincerity, imitate empathy, and can seem to be wonderful saints. If that all works, they scam and merchandise the victims. If one can be flattered, one can be merchandised and bought.
The purpose of the anointing of the real Holy Spirit is to establish and build God’s kingdom, to give witness to a loving and merciful God. True children of God want to turn the heart of people toward Jesus, Who is our Savior. The real Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus, not try to raise money offering blessings that only come if the offering goes to the charlatan, in a specified time. It takes demonic powers to prophesy the kinds of prophecies that come from the charlatans. There are no natural mystics. Mysticism, psychic ability is from the devil. Fears are aroused, curses are threatened, witchcraft is employed with only a veil of religiousness to hide its presence.
No Christian is ever employed by the Holy Spirit to curse others. If the spirit of curses is seen, it is the demon spirits. Balaam attempted to curse God’s people, and a dumb donkey was wiser than was he on the foolishness of that mission. God’s Spirit employed a donkey to explain what the false charlatan, Balaam, could not understand.
Preachers speaking truth do not need locks of hair, photos, people’s clothing to help them give a prophetic utterance. Those speaking truth from God, do not blend New Age teachings into their sermons to unlock hidden meanings of Scripture. Reading of Hebrew symbols and letters, numerology, reading Hebrew words, Kabala secrets are not needed by those speaking true fire, only by those of strange fire.
Matthew 7:17-18 (KJV)
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Talent of money raising does not mean one is anointed, nor holy. Entertainers are not necessarily righteous. Those speaking strange fire can and will put on quite a show before people. Beware of those who make money the key to their success. Jesus tells us to intercede, to study, to be a blessing to others. The promise to make others prosper if they first make the charlatan prosper is a sign of a false prophet. The love of money is the ‘root of all evil.’ The desire and demand of glory being given to the charlatan rather than the Lord Jesus, is a sign of a false prophet.
Isaiah 42:8 (KJV)
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Sexual sins, sexual thoughts spilling out of the mouth, are warning signs of charlatans. If streaking, pornography, dirty jokes and revealing pictures seem to be obvious in conversation, it is a warning sign. Polished showmanship, entertainers, and spiritual mysticism are often noticeable on charlatans. Strange fire is often bright and blazing fire. True fire may seem more obscure, humbly burning without much blaze. High anointing, wealth of the Spirit’s oil, is not always seen as ‘blazing’ and easily incendiary. Superstars and celebrity personalities may present endorsements and stories of great miracles, and be ‘strange fire’ preachers. The true fire from humble and serious gives glory to the Lord. If one allows themselves to be fooled by charlatans, then lamentations, mourning and grief will be your traveling companions.
Think of how Aaron felt at the sudden judgment of two of his sons. Think of Moses’ startled shock of two of his nephews who are struck dead about to do incense burning in the tabernacle. How does one respond to God’s sudden judgment for ‘strange fire’?
Aaron saw his two eldest sons die on their first day of their tabernacle service. No doubt he was greatly shocked. What should he do? Should he be angry at God? Should he get mad at Moses? Should he be angry at his son’s stupid attempt to drunkenly offer fire not from the proper source? If he had time, he would have interceded for the two sons, that God would have mercy. He would have sought to keep them from ever offering strange fire again. It was their sin and wickedness for offering up strange fire to God. If you were Moses, would this have consoled Aaron? Would you have said the clouds are to blame for allowing lightning to strike these innocent sons of yours, these nephews of mine, dead without chance of repentance? What would your reaction have been then? What is your reaction now with the charlatans of our day, not judged with sudden death, but judged with public rebuke, national uncovering of their sins?
God tells us that He is a ‘holy’ God. The word "holy" here is "qadash" which means "to show oneself sacred or majestic, to be honored, be treated as sacred, or to be holy." God refuses to allow Himself to be regarded as unholy. The false prophets of today is dishonor the holy God we are to serve. If God’s holiness is compromised, tainted, or misrepresented in any way, there are consequences. This is true for people then, and for people now. We must not ever misrepresent God.
In the Lord’s prayer given to us to pray, we say "hallowed be Thy name". It ought to be the desire of all of us, in every age, to hallow the name of God, to represent Him ‘in spirit and in truth.’ There should never be shame brought to God by strange fire, by unscrupulous charlatans of Simon magus magic tricks that are imitations of true Spiritual gifts. Those who draw near and claim to be speaking prophetic words, but are speaking words that God never would have inspired, are dishonoring God.
What was Aaron’s response to this horrible event upon his two eldest sons? Aaron was silent. The Bible says, " Aaron held his peace." Aaron stayed silent. "Stayed silent’ is a strong Hebrew word, "damam (daw-man’) meaning ‘to be struck dumb.’ The silence was not simply chosen, his shock and awe of the event, made him unable to speak. He, in silence, was only able to accept God’s act in the event as agreeable to him, even if it were not pleasant to him. God alone determines who is to be suddenly judged, and who is given warning and expose to have more time in which to repent
In Leviticus 10, the story of Nadab and Abihu shows the seriousness of strange fire, and it has long been a warning that encourages repentance of those who find themselves exposed someday to be in this sin of offering strange fire. God alone is to be worshipped. Mankind is not to offer strange fire to build reputation, to gain notoriety, to become famous and beloved. We are to bring glory to the Lord. God has laid out the rules of ethics, demanding truth be in every miracle and blessing. He demands we speak no prophetic message but such as are inspired by God Himself. The rules are non-negotiable. God demands we offer only the ‘real fire’ and we are to follow the way that He has taught.
Isaiah 48:17 (KJV)
Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Those who speak words, claiming them to be from God Himself, but are not truly from God, are blaspheming God, are offering strange fire, and will be reproved. We cannot defend them, we cannot call them righteous, but can pray for them to repent.
Proverbs 30:6 (KJV)
Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
God does not want His word added to, nor taken from. We go by the way that He has commanded, and any other way is strange fire. When strange fire is reproved by expose, it is the giving of time to repent. For judgment as was on Nadab and Abihu will follow if we do not get strange fire to repent.
Deuteronomy 12:32 (KJV)
What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
God wants us to seek Jesus with out whole heart, with all our efforts. We do not want to stray from His way. We must not accuse God of evil when He exposes strange fire, for that expose is more merciful than Nadab and Abihu found. God is offering mercy today, but not condoning the strange fire. Neither should we condone strange fire.
Psalm 119:10 (KJV)
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
The inner persons of the ones offering strange fire are far from God to be able to offer strange fire. They truly deserve judgment, and the merciful Lord is offering them a time of repentance. We must not get angry at the one God uses to expose the sin.
There are still active gifts of the Spirit in operation in the faith, and I have witnessed, and experienced far more than I could have ever dreamed or hoped. I have seen the Holy Spirit raise the dead, heal the sick, fill with gifts of power. So, talk about those gifts ceasing at the end of the 'apostolic age' do not phase me... I know better.
Acts 2:38-39 (KJV)
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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The GIFTS of the Spirit are still working GIFTS today. The Holy Spirit sends and operates the gifts through the saints.
I Cor. 12:28
"GOD HATH SET SOME IN THE CHURCH, FIRST APOSTLES, SECONDARILY PROPHETS."
Eph. 4:8, 11, 12
"WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE AND GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN... FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS, FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, TILL WE ALL COME INTO THE UNITY OF THE FAITH."
The Holy Spirit gives gifts of miraculous power to help the saints do the work of the Lord. Healings, and miracles, bestowments of faith, are miraculous power received from the Spirit of God, and we are only tools of the Spirit in the process.
I Cor. 12:4
"NOW THERE ARE VARIETIES OF GIFTS, BUT THE SAME SPIRIT."
The GIFTS of the Spirit are divine endowments of special power for service in the body of Christ. These are God-given abilities, strengths, and divine endowments. They are not natural talents. Natural talents are given of God through genetics. Talents are received at birth. Talents should be dedicated to God for His use. However, the gifts of the Spirit are given of God, independent of the parents. They are received at conversion, or later. They are to be used as God directs. The gifts are not talents already present, that now must be increased. The gifts are not more of what was already present. The gifts of the Spirit are not enhancements. The gifts are not received from schooling or training. The gifts are endowments of the supernatural. They are manifestations of the Spirit as He works through the saint as His vessel.
Four words are used in the Greek to refer to the gifts.
This refers to them being gifts of God's love and mercy.
( I Pet. 4:10, Rom. 12:6, I Cor. 12:4,9, 28,30,31)
This emphasizes that they are gifts that proceed from the Holy Spirit.
(I Cor. 14:1)
This word emphasizes that they are a manifestation of the Spirit.
(I Cor. 12:9, II Cor. 4:2)
This word stresses the reality of the gift, rather that the beneficial nature of the gift.
(Lk. 11:13, Eph. 4:8, Mt. 7:11)
These gifts cannot be earned, they are freely given of God to His children. These gifts are a manifestation, a showing forth, a making visible of the power and workings of God. The focus of the exercise of the gifts is not on the Holy Spirit, nor on the person the is operating the gift. The focus of the gifts are to be on the magnifying and glorifying of Jesus Christ.
For 'cessationists' to see strange fire makes them even more adamant in their 'cessationist' views. That is a shame. If he only could witness the true miracles, could see only honest and Biblically consistent teaching coming from the Pentecostal movement, it would be irresistible to join in reception of the true gifts. The scams, hoaxes and deceptions of the few charismaniacs in the world today, make the real Pentecostal movement to be easily unnoticed.
We, as Pentecostals, should stand up against the scams in the 'charismatic' movement, rebuke them, teach the truth against their heretical and hypocritical presentations. I have been in the Pentecostal movement for many decades, and have a history family wise long before my own. I have witnessed in the Pentecostal movement miracles beyond count. These were verifiable, true, not hoax type of miracles. I have taught, preached, and written on the real, and exposed the errant and evil.
Simon magus was the charismaniac of the early church. Down through the ages, more and more 'fakes' have imitated the real. Libertines in the time of Calvin corrupted the move in that day. Jim Jones illustrated the evil a few years back. There are a few today, who shame us, claiming to be Spirit filled, when actually, it is 'spirit' with a small 's' that is in control.
Our signs, wonders, miracles, healings, are real and more powerful than the magical, trickster hoaxes of today's Simon magus'. We need to rebuke the hoaxers, and not depend on a cessationist to do our job of housecleaning our own house.