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Measuring Oral Roberts's Influence

Friday, December 18, 2009 | Comments (200)

John MacArthur

Oral Roberts died this week and the obituaries have been abuzz with analyses of his life and legacy. The USA Today headline summed up his contributions this way: "Oral Roberts brought health-and-wealth Gospel mainstream." The Los Angeles Times gave a similar snapshot of the man: "Oral Roberts dies at 91; televangelist was pioneering preacher of the 'prosperity gospel.'"

But Christianity Today's lead blogger, Ted Olsen, disagreed. He responded with a post titled "Why the Oral Roberts Obituaries Are Wrong." The long subtitle at the head of Olsen's post explained: "The 'faith-healer' (who hated the term) may have done much to mainstream Pentecostalism, but he was no architect of the Prosperity Gospel."

Olsen's argument, essentially, is that the real founder and mastermind of prosperity doctrine was not Oral Roberts but Kenneth Hagin, "who is far more widely recognized as the man who joined Pentecostalism with the Faith Movement (also called 'Word-Faith,' or derogatively, the Prosperity Gospel or 'Health and Wealth' gospel)."

E.W. KenyonOlsen, however, is wrong. He has evidently confused two categories. It is quite true that Kenneth Hagin is the main prosperity preacher who popularized word-faith doctrine--the notion that the words we speak determine the blessings we receive. Hagin borrowed that doctrine from an earlier, lesser-known preacher--E. W. Kenyon. (A mountain of evidence suggests that Hagin actually plagiarized large portions of his published works from Kenyon's writings.) Kenyon had been strongly influenced by the teachings of New Thought, a 19th-century metaphysical cult similar to Christian Science. So Hagin's word-faith doctrines had deeply cultic roots, but the idea fit perfectly with the prosperity doctrines that were already being taught by A. A. Allen, Oral Roberts, Jack Coe, and other faith-healers. The two ideas were natural complements to one another.

Still, word-faith doctrine and the prosperity gospel are not synonymous. (Even the current Wikipedia entry acknowledges this: "Although [the Word of Faith movement] shares teachings in common with Prosperity theology, they are not the same thing.") Prosperity doctrine is the notion that God's favor is expressed mainly through physical health and material prosperity, and that these blessings are available for the claiming by anyone who has sufficient faith.

Oral Roberts was certainly the 20th century's leading advocate of that idea. His prosperity doctrine laid the foundation for an enormous media-based religious system, and Oral Roberts was indeed its chief architect. It is preposterous that Christianity Today would try to whitewash that fact. Prosperity teaching was what Roberts himself wanted to be remembered for.

In Oral Roberts: An American Life, biographer David Edwin Harrell, Jr., describes how Roberts discovered the prosperity gospel and how it became the centerpiece of his message. One day he opened his Bible randomly and spotted 3 John 2: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." He showed it to his wife, Evelyn, and "They talked excitedly about the verse's implications. Did it mean they could have a 'new car,' 'a new house,' a 'brand-new ministry?' In later years, Evelyn looked back on that morning as the point of embarkation: 'I really believe that that very morning was the beginning of this worldwide ministry that he has had, because it opened up his thinking" [(Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1985), p. 66]. Roberts testified that a shiny new Buick, acquired by unexpected means shortly after that experience, "became a symbol to me of what a man could do if he would believe God."

After he embraced prosperity doctrine, Oral Roberts's best-known and most far-reaching brainchild was the Seed-Faith message. Roberts taught that money and material things donated to his organization were the seeds of prosperity and material blessings from God, and that God promises to multiply in miraculous ways whatever is given--and give many times more back to the donor. It was a simple, quasi-spiritual get-rich-quick scheme that appealed mainly to poor, disadvantaged, and desperate people. It generated untold millions for Roberts's empire and was quickly adopted by a host of similarly-oriented Pentecostal and Charismatic media ministries. The Seed-Faith principle is the main cash-cow that built and has supported vast networks of televangelists who barter for their viewers' money with fervent promises of "miracles"--and the miracles are invariably described in terms of material blessings, mainly money. Elsewhere I have compared this doctrine to the mentality of the post-WWII cargo cults.

Tragically, the Seed-Faith message usurped and utterly replaced whatever gospel content there ever may have been in Oral Roberts's preaching. In all the many times I saw him on television I never once heard him preach the gospel. His message--every time--was about Seed-Faith. The reason for that is obvious: the message of the cross--an atoning sacrifice for sins wrought through Jesus' sufferings--frankly doesn't mesh very well with the notion that God guarantees health, wealth, and prosperity to the righteous. Our fellowship in Jesus' sufferings (Philippians 3:10), and our duty to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:20-23), are likewise antithetical to the core principles of prosperity doctrine. The prosperity message is a different gospel (cf. Galatians 1:8-9).

One leading charismatic figure this week stated that without Oral Roberts's influence, "the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred." That may well be true. For that very reason, Roberts's legacy needs to be evaluated soberly, honestly, and carefully, under the stark light of Scripture. Was the message he proclaimed the unadulterated gospel? Though he eschewed the label, Roberts made his main reputation on television in the 1950s as a faith-healer, and he even claimed to have raised multiple people from the dead. Were those "miracles" real and verifiable? Did his best-known and most staggering "prophecies" prove to be true? Was he himself a credible man?

Kenneth HaginThe answer to all those questions is an unambiguous no. Oral Roberts's influence is not something Bible-believing Christians should celebrate. Virtually every abberant idea the Pentecostal and charismatic movements spawned after 1950 can be traced in one way or another to Oral Roberts's influence. (What the CT blog fails to mention is that Kenneth Hagin and Oral Roberts often ministered together and affirmed one another's ministries. Furthermore, the heir to Hagin's standing as chief of the word-faith preachers is Kenneth Copeland, who went into television ministry after working as chauffeur and pilot to Oral Roberts. So even though it would not be quite accurate to portray Oral Roberts as an aggressive proponent of word-faith doctrines, he acted as more of an ally than an opponent to the movement. We might say his relationship with that movement was reminiscent of a benign grandfather who refused to correct an out-of-control grandchild.)
Kenneth Copeland
One thing all the obituaries agree on is that Oral Roberts paved the way for all the charismatic televangelists and faith-healers who dominate religious television today. He did more than anyone in the early Pentecostal movement to influence mainstream evangelicalism. He parlayed his television ministry into a vast empire that has left a deep mark on the church worldwide. In many places today, including some of the world's most illiterate and poverty-stricken regions, Oral Roberts's Seed-Faith concept is actually better known than the doctrine of justification by faith. The message of prosperity is now the message multitudes think of when they hear the word "gospel." Countless confused people worldwide think of the gospel as a message about earthly, temporal, and material riches rather than the infinitely greater blessings of forgiveness from sin and the eternal blessing of the believer's spiritual union with Christ.

ORU Praying-HandsAll of those are reasons to lament rather than celebrate Oral Roberts's fame and influence. My prayer is that future generations will see the folly of those doctrines, renounce and turn away from them, and cling tightly to the sure word of God and the glorious, eternal promises of the true gospel.


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#1  Posted by Patricia Anderson  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 11:21 AM

Thank you Pastor MacArthur for your bold proclaimation of the Word of God without fear of not being accepted by those so called believers that never bring these ministeries up before the Body of Christ (and the world). If more men like you would speak out, these false preachers would not be able to dupe so many looking for "sugardaddy god". This lack of speaking out by many Pastors (even the godly ones) have given credence to these evil men to run amuck within the flock of the weak, sick, poor and those that are just fools. Why does it seem that other godly men of God aren't speaking out for the world to hear as you are doing? Their damage has been great! This article came up on my facebook page and I will repost it so that more and more people can read it.

#2  Posted by Robert Wilcox  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 12:04 PM

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#3  Posted by Steve Hereford  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 12:07 PM

Thank you John for saying what everyone else seems to be afraid of saying or worried they will be marked or labeled. That's not the point. The gospel is the issue and when it is attacked we must respond. Thank you again for doing that!

#4  Posted by Grady Adams  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 12:20 PM

It's a shame that so many do not realize that we are born with sin and are deceitfully wicked. It seems that we want God to always bless us materially and we forget the blessing of forgiveness thru Jesus Christ. Dr. MacArthur you've always stood up to those that want to falsely lead us down wrong paths. We need to be thankful for the spiritual blessings bestowed on us by our Heavenly Father. May we all strive to be more like Christ who gave up the riches of heaven and became God incarnate that we would be able to live eternally with Him. May we all remember this as we go thru the next few days of the Christmas season.

#5  Posted by Edward Palacio  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 1:53 PM

Thankyou Mr. Macarthur for your time that goes in to shed light on these unbelievable imposters who claim to be anointed by the holy spirit who give false hope to poor and desperate people. Times are as bad as they have ever been and I am so thankful for you and your ministry to help with the fight. God Bless.

#6  Posted by Gordon Andrews  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 2:11 PM

Thank you for your boldness and insight. I am not aware of pastors in any of the evangelical churches in my area who would dare proclaim the truth publicly regarding the error of the prosperity gospel for fear of offending their "charismatic brothers and sisters". It seems as if political correctness means more to these pastors than the spiritual welfare of those whom they are caring for. It's no wonder so many well intended "Christians" are floundering in their faith. Please pray that God would open the eyes and ears of these people.

#7  Posted by Jermaine Rodgers  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 4:12 PM

I hope the confused of the "so-called" turn from Oral Roberts destructive error. Thanks John and GTY.

#8  Posted by Joseph Cook  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 4:32 PM

I'm going to step out on a limb here and say something that many may find to be harsh or unnecessary, but I believe it needs to be mentioned. We should not celebrate the life of Oral Roberts, but we should absolutely mourn his death. This man has preached false teachings for many years, and made bold and uncharacteristic statements that have led many people astray. He has successfully robbed simple people of their possessions with false teachings of prosperity. I do not see how anyone could do these things and be ignorant of what he was doing. We should mourn his passing not because he was some spiritual giant, but because unless something changed before his death, Oral Roberts entered eternity unprepared to stand before God. One more soul has been lost to the enemy, and sadly, many will surely place him among the saints in heaven, and his passing will probably spur an even greater interest in the false teachings that he helped to promote. We must pray that God will open the eyes of the people, and especially the family members of Mr. Roberts so that they will indeed repent of their ways, and be converted. Some will see my statement as harsh I know, but we don't need to sugar coat it just because someone has passed away. People need to know the truth, and fear before the Creator of heaven and earth. They need to mourn over their sins and truly repent so that they may be spared from the judgment to come. I thank you John for your honesty and concern for the truth. May God continue to use and bless you in all you do as you minister the truth of His Word to the people. Christ first in all we do...... Your brother in Christ.

#9  Posted by Bob Silling  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 6:33 PM

Not only is John bold in saying what he did about Oral Roberts but Joseph Cook was even more bolder in his statements. The truth of the matter is that both of these men are telling like it is. Oral Roberts preached alot of bad doctrine

#10  Posted by hasan bytyqi  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 7:32 PM

Amen. Thank you John, You are a teacher of the truth, and i Love it.

#11  Posted by Michael Mickens  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 8:00 PM

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#12  Posted by Michael Mickens  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 8:02 PM

Pastor MacArthur,

Thank your for boldly proclaiming the truth!

#13  Posted by Vickie Eberflus  |  Friday, December 18, 2009at 8:28 PM

I never went into Christianity looking for grave deception. I was raised Roman Catholic (never abused, just bored and didn't believe) became an atheist around 21 and became "born again" at age 38. I went to the Christian Community to learn about Christ. To be honest what I really learned was turn that one off it is "pop psychology", the natioinal bank of God is literall garbage, I am almost sure turn that one off because they are just a liar and fraud and I do not believe you are healing anyone. It is a sad state of affairs. I could not ascertain which bible they found that "teaching" in; it was not the one I was holding. I am not talking about doctrinal disputes such as total depravity, substitutionary attonment, ect. Calvinisism vs Armenism ect. I at least see where honest people could have disagreement's over those.

Pastor Mc Aurthur I do not agree with you 100% on everything. I am a Weslyn, still I do believe you are sincere and tragically I wish more honest preachers had the backbone to call the outright charlatans and fruads out on the carpet. When will all those who made false prophecies apologize to the Christian Community for misleading them and when will the Christian Community hold them accountable? It is not love or nice to let someone be a liar or fraud and rip off people and mislead them unchallanged.

For your backbone you do get a solid A.

God Bless

#14  Posted by David Smith  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 2:24 AM

Pastor John, thank you again for an excellent article. The only thing Oral Roberts pioneered was heresy and deception, and it gives me no pleasure to say that the church is a purer place now that he's gone.

As a charismatic christian, I don't share your cessationist convictions, but neither do I follow any self-proclaimed "healing evangelist". Testimonies of people healed through the ministry of Oral Roberts are notable by their absence, so the conclusion has to be that he was a fraud. His repeated false prophecies and unbiblical teaching confirm this.

Sadly, there are many others who have followed in his footsteps and are leading people astray. I hope you will speak out against them as well.

#15  Posted by Andy Cartwright  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 3:57 AM

Deception..............Error................Deception.

Jesus said "Everyone who is of the truth hear My voice" John 18:37

I am with you Pastor John "that future generations will see the folly of those doctrines, renounce and turn away from them, and cling tightly to the sure word of God and the glorious, eternal promises of the true gospel".

Keep going!! We are with you!!

AKA

#16  Posted by Carol Brock  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 4:20 AM

Pastor MacArthur;

I also want to add my sincerest thanks for the bold and firm stance you take with false preachers who mislead so many. Equipping individuals with the Truth of God's Word, and exposing the heretics that surround us, is of upmost importance. We are so blessed to have men like you preaching and teaching the true Word of God. And the work you do with Grace To You Ministries helps to set the gospel mesage straight.

We are blessed in St Louis to have Pastor Jerry Marshall of New Community Church preach, as you do, expositionally from God's Word. My prayer is that God will raise up more ministers, preachers, and teachers in our own country and around the world who are dedicated to the glory of God and unafraid to PREACH HIS WORD!

I thank you, and the ministry of Grace to You, for clinging so unashamedly to the true gospel message despite tremendous criticism. May God bless you, protect you, and grow His church to become a light to mankind in an ever-darkening world... for His glory and praise!

#17  Posted by Christopher Davis  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 4:32 AM

Im justA little old preacher here on the easternshore of va. i just want to say THANKYOU for the truth it make whom ever will free i seem to be the odd one but the Word of GOD is right all by itself it needs no protector it will stand in this evil day Thease false preachers will repent or pay I bless GOD for you teacher.

#18  Posted by Vikochi Ndovi  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 5:58 AM

I shudder to think that someone who was preaching all this error missed the very message of salvation and yet used the very Bible that could have given him life. And to think that he was not content only to damn himself but wanted to spread the cancer to others is unthinkable.

#19  Posted by Barbara Eversberg  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 7:12 AM

I appreciate this discussion very much.

#20  Posted by Greg Huntley  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 7:27 AM

I agree 100% with Pastor John. Will someone please explain to me why Billy Graham does not? As a bi-vocational pastor I want to go on the record and thank Pastor John for all the valuable resources he makes available to men like myself. Thank you pastor, your solid teaching is priceless!

#21  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 7:38 AM

In the aritcle it says, "Countless confused people worldwide think of the gospel as a message about earthly, temporal, and material riches rather than the infinitely greater blessings of forgiveness from sin and the eternal blessing of the believer's spiritual union with Christ." You could say this was my understanding until my rebirth. This could be my only understanding I was unable to have any other. Unless you are Born Again.

As a child I was in the Church, Zion’s UCC . My Parents Insisted, so I sang in the choir, was an acolyte, had my conformation classes and took my first Holy Communion.

When I turned sixteen I went into the world and became worldly. For 38 years I was solely in charge of what I did and where I went. For a while this worked out just fine. But in time I found the world to be a hardhearted place. To get what I wanted or felt I was cheated out of I believed I needed the same dead heart. So I played the role, hardened my heart, lost my faith and became a poster child for the Devil.

I indulged myself in it all. Broken marriage, abandoned children, drunkenness, drugs, debauchery the whole gambit

So, in the summer of 2007; with my health in question, my job prospects gone, a personal concern for my sanity and on the verge of loosing what little bit of the worldly possessions I had left. I fell to my knees and admitted to God that I could not go any farther on my own. I was broken and defeated.

I began turning back to the Jesus I vaguely remembered from my youth.

I had to re-learn the Lords Prayer for I found I had forgotten the words. But pray I did. I asked the Lord for help, I was lost. I needed direction, everything I tried had failed, I had lost control of my life. 2007 was a tough year but I never stopped asking the Lord for help. I had even picked up the Bible and was trying to read it. What was it I needed to know?

Then in February 2008 I came to the Berean Bible Church for Pastor Jace’s Wild Game Dinner. For the past several years I had attended this gathering it had become a diversion from the mid winter “cabin fever. I always figured it was a good deal. For 5 dollars all I had to do was listen to some Jesus talk and I could get all the wild game I could eat.

BUT this year was different! When Pastor Jace spoke I could actually hear what he was saying, like he was speaking only to me. I’m not real sure what his topic was. All I kept hearing was that everything was going to be OK. That Jesus loved me and my prayers were answered. I broke down and as the tears flowed I felt such a weight lift off of me!

The Lord came to me that night. God shed his grace on me and the Holy Spirit opened my heart. I felt then and feel now humbled and ashamed. I’m nothing but a worthless sinner.

Revelation 1:17-18. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last. I am the living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

That night I turned my life over to God. I’m now in the Lords hands to do his will. AMEN

I love our Pastor, I love my Church, I love my life because I now know how to Love Our precious Jesus You May Be Born Again If You Believe and trust the sound doctrine presented Daily by GTY.

In the First week of my rebirth surfing through the RELIGIOUS channels on TV I came across a program called CROSS TV WORD PICTURES Mark Kielar was walking me through what it ment to be BORN AGAIN. If not for this form of Tele Evangelism I would never have met John MacArthur's teachings. For the first year at 7 pm every week night I sat infront of the TV with Bible, pen and paper in hand. Cross TV not only aired Mark but also some other Godly Men. None more notable to me than John, this man realy got my attention.

Are their miracles? Sure I'm one and with new spiritual sight I see many. Why was this programing presented on my TV exactly the week I was regenerated? Why was I introduced to John through this medium in the first few weeks of my new being? I find no other evidence other than God working through his holy spirit to present to HIS ELECT all the teaching and direction,assurance and inner peace through those he has selected and elected to be Ministers of his word. To me it is easy to spot most of the deception moving into the church. Satan is a liar and has a who eternity to work his plans. I love you and I pray for John MacArthur

#22  Posted by Aaron Lucas  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 10:43 AM

Thank you Pastor John/Bro. In Christ,

Thank you for standing for the truth and keeping things in there proper perspective. Sound the Alarm!!

#23  Posted by Larry Hunter  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 12:55 PM

Thanks John, not only for this excellent expose` of the OR phenom, but for all the years I have enjoyed the benefit of sitting under your ministry on radio & in literature (from salvation in '77 'til now...& still countin')!! You have been a bastion of dependable & solid Biblical teaching. Without your voice there would have been a large void. God bless you!

#24  Posted by Rev. Tony Williams  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 2:48 PM

Thank you Pastor MacArthur for standing boldly for preaching and teaching the truth of the Word of God. Thank you for standing boldly for the truth of the gospel of our Jesus Christ and exposing false teachers and their false doctrines. I believe all believers in Christ are responsible for exposing false teachers and their false doctrines. We have no excuse not to do so. God have entrusted believers with His Word and have given us the Holy Spirit. Through hard work, sacrifice and commitment to the Word of God of godly men such as yourself. God has provided all the necessary tools and information for believers to learn how to study His Word. So that when we hear or read about people who are preaching and teaching false doctrine we can expose them and refute there false doctrine. I’m not a Bible scholar but I have learned not to believe and accept everything that people preach and teach no matter who it is. We as believers in Christ must learned to do like the Bereans. They didn’t just accept the apostle Paul teaching when they heard him preach without running it through the grid of the Word of God. “For they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11 NASB).

#25  Posted by Theo Parillo  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 4:58 PM

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#26  Posted by Theo Parillo  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 5:00 PM

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#27  Posted by Theo Parillo  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 5:01 PM

I'm a Pentecostal, and I agree that the Seed-Faith message is false, actually it's demonic in nature :It can only work for televangelist. It's a message created to cover up there lust for power and greed. Also because of this Message Many judge your walk with the LORD by your material possesion If you ain't driving a BMW, you ain't driving with the LORD. It's ashame.

#28  Posted by Alexander Armstrong  |  Saturday, December 19, 2009at 7:37 PM

Finally, someone comes out and gives us the truth in light of the Scriptures about the worldwide destruction this has caused. What a shame to say that throughout the world people relate the Gospel with health-wealth prosperity teaching. This must be stopped. This teaching destroys the testimony of the true church. God Job GTY! I love you guys. COntinue to live Coram Deo!

#29  Posted by Joseph Wade  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 5:15 AM

Dear Pastor MacArthur,

Thank you so much for standing firm on the truth of Gods word, your wisdom and boldness and insight has shaped a closer walk for me with Christ and the gospel. I'm forever grateful for the clarity of God's truth being taught by you. My heart breaks for the faith movement because it offends God and misrepresent's everything the Gospel stands for. I'm blessed because I was once a member of the Vinyard church in Clarksville Tn. I thought I could make a difference there by exposing the pastor and elders there to your messages. Wrong answer. I was shunned. Praise God. I now attend Calvary Bible Church in Tn. I'm blessed to hear the gospel each week from Dave Harrell jr. who cmes from your seminary. He preaches one verse at a time like you. Thanks be to Christ for blessing us with Him. I dn't know if you read these comments? I do have something to share with you which may or may not matter to you, but it does to me. In the 80's I purchased your book "Th Gospel according to Jesus" I read the introduction and the first few chapters and then laid it down and I hated you for it! I thought you were legalistic and way off with the message the book held. I was a product of easy believism, Jesus and my sin. I lived that way for almost 20 years. I went to bible college and was going to preach, then I joined the navy and lived in every sin you can think of, doing it thinking I was a carnal Christian? I thank God He brought me to my sences. I now am truly saved, I have a complete brokeness over my sins, espcially sinning against our great God. I love the word, I have such a burden for the lost and I share my faith. Istill sin but not at te gross level of my past, and when I do I ask God right away for forgiveness and repentance. Now I'm reading your book again and I embrace it, and I have a love and respect for you like none other. Thank you for impacting my life.

In Christ

Joe wade

#30  Posted by John Douramacos  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 11:22 AM

Dear Rev. John

As a christian, it breaks my heart to see such serious divisions in the body of Christ. It is incomprehensible to me that such intolerance can even exist. Many persons' experience in Christ have historically lead them to emphasize one teaching of the Bible over an other. I think of Calvinism and predestination of armenianism and free will. There are so many brands of protestantism based on these different interpretations that Catholics and Orthodox Christians feel justified to proclaim that the reading of the Bible is best left to the clerics and it is best to stick with tradition. Believe me I know, I face it within my own family.

In our day we have the contrast between prosperity and poverty gospel. Are you really serious when you proclaim that the millions of souls that have heard and are hearing the gospel through the work of prosperity teachers, should be counted worthless and we should mourn the lives of all prosperity teachers? I spent half of my life in an anemic relationship with the Lord because the "Poverty gospel" teaching in my church was unable to equip me with the tools of spiritual growth. It was through the teachings of Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Lester Sumral and the like, that I was able to break out of the mediocrity of my own spiritual life. And yes I know that they get carried away and go to extremes with the faith message but as Christians, should we not be a little smarter than cows? You know, chew the hay and spit out the sticks?

I do appreciate the solid Bible teaching that traditional mainstream Christians like you provide but I am sad to see that you are missing the boat on the move of God in our day that is taking place outside the mainstream. Do you really think that all the salvations, miracles, sign and wonders reported in the experience of prosperity teachers are worthless?

You are loosing a lot of credibility when you sit in judgement of a move of God just because it does not nicely fit in mainstream molds. To say nothing of the shame that is brought to Christ when the world sees such divisions. "There go the hypocrites again, fighting one another".

#31  Posted by David Smith  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 2:15 PM

To John Douramacos:

I would question whether "millions of souls" are being reached by the prosperity gospel teachers, and the sad truth is that the message that they preach is so different to the biblical one that it is really another gospel. I'm not an expert on Oral Roberts or Lester Sumral, but I have checked out the teachings of the third name you quote, Benny Hinn, and they are utterly unbiblical.

What we're talking about here has nothing to do whether something is "mainstream" or not, neither is it a fundamentalist/charismatic difference. It's simply the case between what is true and what is false.

Also, you talk about "all the salvations, miracles, sign and wonders reported in the experience of prosperity teachers" - in my experience most, if not all, of the claims of prosperity teachers are false, in fact they are frequently outright lies. That's why, in another article, Pastor John described them as "shameless frauds", something I agree with completely, and I write as a charismatic christian.

It is these false teachers (of which Oral Roberts was a prime example) who bring shame on Christ and cause division in the body.

#32  Posted by Josué Morissette  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 3:16 PM

Division start as soon as someone proclaming Jesus-Christ goes outside Scriptures. My parents have been pentacostals for more than thirty years and even though I show then true biblical truth they still can't relying on their experiences. That's all I hear these days, experiences, which of course are not a true measure of doctrinal truth. It is not uncommon to hear sermons from such a movement with only a few or no biblical references at all. It's like the reformation has to happen all over again.

I was watching Larry King Live to see now Joel Osteen would represent Christ and as expected I was profoundly disapointed. His message when biblical, is very superficial, lacks true meaning and scarce on the saving gospel. They were showing a segment with him and Orel Roberts and I'm not suprised he would associate with him. He might have the biggest church, but they are most likely much smaller churches with more saved people. True christianity is in a crisis that is getting deeper and deeper as people are afraid of bringing people back to the center of the path that leads to the narrow gate.

It is very alarming to see who is getting more attention. I'm not suprised, as it is those that refrain from completed biblical truth, afraid to offend I supose, and please people's hears that get all the air time. These teachers will have much to answer for.

God is the only one that can bring the desire to someone's hearth to embrace the truth. It is on the other hand, our endless duty and life mission to present God's truth to those who have never heard it and to those who have not heard the saving message of Christ, but some watered down message that can't save.

More and more I understand that it is the few that will be saved. The confusion and chaos of all the different message brought about from teachers who have strayed away from Scripture, repulses more than it bring as, like this article says, people take their message as representing true christianity which is not. My brother and my wife's family is lost and away from Christ because of such messages.

I pray everyday for teachers and organisation, like the one here, that spreads the truth and are not afraid to confront error. I was happy to see John Macathur, and Alistair Begg also, publicly denouce the Manhattan Declaration. But I also pray for the false teachers and especially for those that they reach, so that they may come to the one and only truth and keep away from damning messages.

#33  Posted by Steve Smith  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 4:12 PM

Rick Warren recently stated, "So many will be ashamed one day that they wasted so much of life criticizing other believers instead of reaching unbelievers." I agree!

#34  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 4:39 PM

Steve, should we stop criticizing other "believers" when they preach a different gospel a la Galatians 1:9?

#35  Posted by Steve Smith  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 6:10 PM

Gabriel, the "gospel"/salvation message OR preached has been the same one Paster John preaches, i.e, Jesus Christ is Lord and died for the sins of the world to bring man in to a saving knowledge and relationship with God. Billy Graham seems to recognize the tremendous value that OR's ministry has had over the many years proclaiming the "gospel" where countless people have entered the Kingdom of God regardless of the prosperity perspective. Brother Graham may not agree with all of OR's positions but could still call him his friend.

The prosperity message is not the gospel - it is a perception of some as to how God blesses the believer's life. If one disagrees with the perspective, should they criticize to the point of condemnation or just disagree and display the love of God regardless? Jesus said in John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." So many in the world use christian contention and fighting to reject Christ; they will be without excuse, but why help them justify their unbelief?

I go back to what Brother Warren said, "So many will be ashamed one day that they wasted so much of life criticizing other believers instead of reaching unbelievers."

#36  Posted by Andy Cartwright  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 7:38 PM

No no...............Rick Warren?????. Oral Roberts ?????.

Jesus said "Everyone who is of the truth hear My voice" John 18:37

Listen to the truth (which is the Word) and you will hear His voice and if so you are His and if you don't hear it you are not His.

#37  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 7:51 PM

Steve S.,

The "prosperity gospel" ignores the depravity of human condition and focus' on as you put it "how God blesses the believers life". The blessings of God are a reslut of salvation, not a cognitive deciding option for an idnviduals entry point into the faith (i.e. if I say this prayer and become a christian then Gods gonna bless me with a promotion at work) and if we don't get a firm understanding on that then we are leading people into bondage (see the testimony posts throughout these blog topics) or worse.

For example (I had a very tough time with this one) suppose someone had witnessed to an executive going to work in NY City a few years ago with the "become a christian and live your best life now gospel" and they accepted. Then they get to work and look out the window and see an commercial airliner flying right at them and the last thought they have is "what about my good life now?"

My hope and prayer is for correction. You just got'ta love Apollos. He was a well spoken man, competent in the scriptures and on fire for the Lord! He spoke boldly and taught accurately in the syngogues concerning Jesus but he was on the old news, John's Baptism. So, some saints witnessed this, took him aside, corrected him, encouraged him and sent him on his way and the Word says that Apollos "greatly helped those who believed for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ". Apollos took his correction and just kept on pushin' as is indicated throughout the NT.

Correction is love. Are we loving (correcting) people to life or are we loving (silencing) them to death?

Bro. Kelsie

#38  Posted by Jose Amarillo  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 9:03 PM

Dr MacArthur has done Bible believers a favor even when professing Fundamentalists hold their peace on Oral's death for fear of coming across as boorish or pouring crankcase oil over his grave.

This "judge-not" attitude is communicated in exhortations like "He considered himself a servant of God so let us avoid being guilty of judging another man's servant," "He had his flaws like the rest of us and if we we were held to similar public dissection by the world and fellow christians then how would we fare?" and "I hope God will find plenty of works of gold when his works are tried in the fire." Same thing, though a little more sophisticated, we're told to ask, '"How can I express this in a way that is likely to be listened to seriously by those who need it most?" (as opposed to those who already agree).'

The irony is that some of these fellas will turn around and say that John MacArthur's not separated or militant enough!

Well, I say keep up the good work! While the Billy Grahams, Rick Warrens, and Jack Hayfords eulogize the late false teacher, may the remnant not bow the knee nor kiss the baal of Evangelical political correctness.

#39  Posted by Neda Hall  |  Sunday, December 20, 2009at 10:57 PM

In response to John Douramacos

You speak about the division in the 'Body of Christ'...but (not to be harsh) if it was the true 'Body of Christ', all of this would not be going on. We all can learn a lot from this. I am studying hard to 'know the truth' so that I am really a part of the Body of Christ. I am so appreciative of Pastor McArthur and others like him. There are so few of them.

Neda

#40  Posted by H C  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 6:21 AM

If one is going to accurately critique a movement, at least get the name of the movement right. It is "Word of Faith" NOT Word-Faith. It makes you sound like that silly woman Sally Jesse Raphael (and other gossip\news show hosts) who could never get it right either. It comes from Romans 10:8:

"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;"

#41  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 6:45 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#42  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 6:46 AM

To H C:

Your comment: "Word of Faith" NOT Word-Faith. It makes you sound like that silly woman Sally Jesse Raphael (and other gossip\news show hosts) who could never get it right either."

Wiki's comment: Word of Faith (also known as Word-Faith or simply Faith) is a family of Christian churches[1] as well as a teaching movement kindred to many Pentecostal and charismatic churches and individuals worldwide.

Semantic.

Bro. Kelsie

#43  Posted by Michael Sapp  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 7:13 AM

To HC: Your use of Romans 10:8 is a textbook example of isogesis, that is, taking one verse and piling subjective meaning on top of it. Taken in context Romans 10:5-21 is about salvation by God's means and contrasts the Law given by Moses to the Gospel of Christ. And the word "faith" in this passage is also descibed as an objective faith in Christ not a subjective "if I say it..." and then transgesses back in to law and none of us can stand before a Holy God based on law.

God's Blessings to you,

Mike S

#44  Posted by Michael Sapp  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 7:16 AM

Sorry, wht I meant was 'not a subjective "if I say it..." which then transgresses back in to law and none of us can stand before a Holy God based on law.'

#45  Posted by H C  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 8:32 AM

To John Kelsie:

Those within the movement have NEVER referred to it as "Word-Faith"... I know, I was in it. My comments were not meant to defend the movement, but rather point out that Dr. MacArthur needs to get the name right if he wants to effectively communicate to those who need to be rescued from within the movement. Just because Wiki uses it doesn't make it accurate. So Word of Faith or Faith Message is what those within the movement will recognize. And they will laugh at and not listen to anyone who cannot get the name right.

To Michael Sapp:

You are wanting to argue where there is no argument. I wasn't trying to "exegete" the passage silly. I was correcting the title that Dr. MacArthur was mistakenly using. As said above to John Kelsie, the movement has labeled itself a certain way and to not get it right would be akin to calling Mormons "Morons." You'll get no respect from them if you don't get your terms right. So please put your exegetical pistol away and listen before shooting a friend...and accusing him of isogesis.

#46  Posted by Rob Thompson  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 8:43 AM

I am grateful to God for the Grace To You broadcast and the ministry of John MacArthur. As an ORU alumnus, I'd like to say that while I don't agree with everything Oral Roberts preached, I am grateful that he obeyed God to build the university. It has blessed my life and the lives of thousands of graduates around the world.

#47  Posted by Jay Gardner  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 10:37 AM

Let's see - John McArthur doesn't like Oral Roberts. I am STUNNED!

#48  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 6:41 PM

Steve,

You keep repeating Rick Warren's quote. Yes I agree it is important to reach unbelievers. But it is even more crucial to ensure that the unbelievers are reached with the true gospel that the apostles preached (Gal 1 : 6-9 ) . That's why so much time is spent on fighting the false teachers who are preaching a different gospel and penetrating the churches and deceiving the very elect.

Unlike the early church where the saved are added daily to the church, the question that arise is; are those added to the church today, saved? That depends on the gospel they have been preached. Gospel lite, prosperity, emergent etc... there are numerous types of different gospels preached today. Fighting to ensure the true gospel is preached is an not admirable task and very few will bother or choose to do it. But it is important as it concerns eternity.

#49  Posted by Theo Parillo  |  Monday, December 21, 2009at 7:55 PM

Do I have to give the money to the televangelist so he can live high on the hog, or the old lady down the road ,or that family struggling with the dicision to pay there bill or buy there daughter school clothes.Will God still bless me ? I never hear them tell you to give to someone else, it,s always to there ministry so God can bless you.I can see if they lived within normal means, but they don't .There out of control.

#50  Posted by Chris Lemi  |  Tuesday, December 22, 2009at 1:26 AM

Thank you Pastor Macarthur for preaching God's truth and for standing up to those who manipulate God's word for their own personal gain.

#51  Posted by Franklin Twumasi  |  Tuesday, December 22, 2009at 6:18 AM

Thank you so very much Pastor MacArthur for standing for the tructh of God as clearly taught in His Word. We'll probably not know the full extent of the influence of OR until we get to heaven. In my humble opinion its had a devastating effect on the chuch in places such as Africa. And this doesn't apply only to OR, but also to all the wealth-health-prosperity preachers. The notion of faith within the African church today is devoid of any form of committment and has been reduced to some sort of emotion or abstraction that one turns on to wringle out goodies from God in Heaven through prayer.

Growing up in Ghana I knew something was just wrong about such teachings like the prosperity gospel, and after several years, thanks to GTY, JM, and other ministries I now have the encouragement, tools and confidence to refute such a devilish doctrine. Christianty is not about wealth, health or prosperity but about proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord in our hearts and through our lives. How this gets twisted sure beats me! May God continue to give you strength to be a beacon of light for the truth of Gods Word and a source of encouragment for some of us who believe in the authority of scripture.

Franklin, Accra, Ghana

#52  Posted by Zedy Aroche  |  Tuesday, December 22, 2009at 7:40 AM

Thank you for speaking boldly and fearlessly against these false doctrines and teachers that have deceived so many around the globe even those who at one time professed the True Gospel. The majority of these preachers have no interest in the flock, their soul, let alone their eternal salvation. On the contrary, their main focus is on temporal and earthly gains. May the Lord continue to use you to proclaim the Christ-centered gospel.

#53  Posted by Keith Krohn  |  Tuesday, December 22, 2009at 9:27 AM

Thank you so much for your continued defense of the Truth. While I understand you would not do this without God first regenerating you as a young, sinful man, I am grateful now for the work you have done so far and the legacy you will leave for all of us when you go home to the Lord. I hope that it is not for a long time, but please know that it is my prayer that your influence, which is simply a godly, Biblical influence, will never wane.

#54  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Tuesday, December 22, 2009at 3:59 PM

Dr Albert Mohler in his article on Oral Roberts, laments the negative contribution of his theology to the church. In fact he regarded that the greatest tragedy done to the church by OR was the perpetuation of the prosperity gospel passed on by him to the new generation. Pastor John is not alone of this view. The way to undo this different gospel is to disseminate the truth and confront it outright with the Word of God.

#55  Posted by David Smith  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 3:32 AM

Yes, Albert Mohler has written another good appraisal of Oral Roberts. If you don't know, it can be found here: http://www.albertmohler.com/2009/12/16/newsnote-the-death-of-oral-roberts/

Here's the last paragraph, which I think is a balanced and accurate comment:

But the greatest tragedy in all this is the perpetuation of prosperity theology, passed on by Oral Roberts to a new generation. I am thankful for every sinner who came to know the Gospel of Christ through the preaching of Oral Roberts, and I heard him preach about salvation in ways that were true and powerful. But I can only lament the prosperity theology that he leaves in his long shadow.

#56  Posted by Barbara Eversberg  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 8:21 AM

Thank you very much to the person who directed to the article by Albert Mohler about Oral Roberts. Especially the last paragraph. While I was not a big fan or supporter of Oral Roberts, I was, for many years, an ardent and extravagant supporter of another TV Evangelist, who was involved in sex scandals, but who is still preaching the gospel. And from time to time, his preaching is straight out of the Scriptures. So, I suppose, we can only chalk all this up to God's sovereignty. (Question mark). Why does God allow charlatans to preach His Word and even save souls by this manner? Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

#57  Posted by George Law  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 8:30 AM

Would these persons seeking worldly prosperity consider searching the wors from God considering this sort of behavior:

If you only have one piece of bread you’re poor. If you only have one suit of clothes you’re poor. If you only have one car you’re poor. If you only have one house you’re poor. If you only have one yacht you’re poor. If you only have one million dollars you’re poor. There is no person more poor than he who has only the things of this world. You can measure the worth of a person by the object of his love. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 You say: “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich… Revelation 3:17, 18 “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.” Luke 6:24, 25 I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. Luke 12:20, 21 Here’s real wealth: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7, 8 To all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ… Romans 8:17 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

#58  Posted by Neda Hall  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 8:50 AM

In response to Barbara:

You asked Why does God allow charlatans to preach His Word and even save souls by this manner? Maybe we can let Paul answer that fromPhilippians. "The important thing is that whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached". I just wish they would preach it correctly.

#59  Posted by Robert Iannuccilli  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 9:41 AM

Hey John... Your speaking as though Oral was a complete fraud, bent on destroying true faith in Christ. I wonder do you think he was a 'saved" man? Is Oral Roberts in heaven? it would sure be a shame if such a prominent proponent of false doctrine would be in heaven. However, are you prepared to boldly say that Oral Roberts is in HELL.. That he in fact did not have saving faith in Jesus Christ?

I think you should stick to preaching the Gospel yourself, which by the way , you do so well... But when you become critical, you too are no longer preaching the "Gospel'. I wonder sometimes how much of your criticism is born from your disdain of the Pentecostal movement altogether. Let's face it, it is quite obvious you think that ALL Pentecostals are in grievous error.

#60  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 9:48 AM

@Robert Iannuccilli

I seem to be using this post alot around here lately:

"Please understand that I am not saying all the charismatic leaders are corrupt. I know that is not the case. Many of my charismatic friends are genuinely committed to Christ and are examples of true godliness." --excerpted from the intro of Charismatic Chaos, written by John MacArthur, Jr.

#61  Posted by Barbara Eversberg  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 10:49 AM

To Neda Hall: Thank you for reminding me of those verses in Philippians. I actually know them and understand them. I guess what I really meant is, Why are some so fortunate as to have been raised in a true and relatively-error-free Christian environment, and others, like myself, had to endure the pain of feeling duped and exploited after learning that our "hero" is really a crook? Which I fortunately learned close up and personal, and which also, fortunately, did not cose me my faith, but rather made me more earnest in seeking a close walk with the Lord and a deeper understanding of His Word. Well, I am thankful, but yet still a little bewildered. If anyone has any clues for me, I am interested.

I followed the Oral Roberts University scandal on line for many months via Tulsa World articles and blogs, not because I was involved with ORU or ORM, but rather because the rales of former supporters and employees was so similar to my own experience. It seems these Pentecostal big-shots are very controlling and can be quite hateful. That's what opened my eyes more than anything - because I knew from the Scriptures that true Disciples of the Lord "love one another."

#62  Posted by Robert Iannuccilli  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 12:13 PM

Ok then.. this blurb from Pastor MacArthur's book shows that he believes that one can be a "charismatic" (and i assume "pentecostal") and be sincerely committed to christ. It does NOT however answer to the case of Oral Roberts. Is john MacArthur saying in fact that in his estimation Oral Roberts was a compete fraud and did NOT personally have saving faith in Christ? An answer to this specifically would be more apropos in relation to y remarks.

#63  Posted by Paul Neil  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 2:47 PM

Robert, no one truly knows if Oral Roberts is saved or not but many in the church have got it all wrong due to his teachings.

I dont get it at all, where in the scriptures advocates talking about Christians seeking wealth, fame and all that? whata travesty, you have people behing the pulpit and that all they are saying. I even heard a preacher today talking madness about "money coming to me"!?

Many have cheapened the gospel and its a crying shame!

#64  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 3:34 PM

Robert,

John's article is about the great impact of Oral Roberts teachings on the church. And his prosperity teachings is certainly erroneous but has deeply penetrated into the church. Is that not a serious concern for those who care and contend for the faith. Are we to remain silent and let these teachings perpetuate after OR has long departed?

John was evaluating OR's gospel message and not his person or character. Weather OR is saved or not is another issue, and it is always dependent on one's personal relationship wiith God. This applies to everyone, you and me , including John himself. Does that satisfy you. Please keep to the topic of discussion.

#65  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 4:05 PM

David Smith,

Albert Mohler " can only lament the prosperity theology that he (OR) leaves in his long shadow." He laments along with John who in his closing comment said :

"All of those are reasons to lament rather than celebrate Oral Roberts' fame and influence. My prayer is that future generations will see the folly of those doctrines, renounce and turn away from them, and cling tightly to the sure word of God and the glorious, eternal promises of the true gospel."

Because there were only few voices challenging such false teachings from the beginning, such teachings have now become common place in many churches . Dismantling it will be a long tedious task.

#66  Posted by Robert Iannuccilli  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 5:35 PM

Thank you Barry for your pertinent comments. The truth is, that although I came across at odds with JM's teaching and thoughts, i am in agreement with much of them! I am a pentecostal pastor, and as such have been surrounded by erroneous and extreme teachings regarding "Seed-Faith" giving and the "Word-Faith" doctrine.

Oftentimes error is truth taken too far. In response to error then, we must be careful not to allow the pendulum to swing too far to the other extreme. Balance always is best but is seldom maintained. It seems to me that for centuries very little was made of "blessings' to be received in the here and now... In response to this, much that is being propagated today has been limited almost exclusively to the blessings to be received here and now. In being open and honest with the scripture, there is certainly a promise for the life that now is and the life that is yet to come. The bible certainly makes reference to blessings bestowed upon those who honor the Lord. Additionally, words are important and even powerful.

As far as OR getting into heaven, I just thought we ought to be careful of making judgements here. There most certainly are some men (women too!) who consciously, without regard and recklessly, abandon God's word for selfish ends. Still there seems to be others who in sincerity and earnest zeal (though not according to true biblical knowledge) adhere to erroneous doctrines. Only God can truly judge the thoughts, intents and motives of the heart (yes, i know all about examining the fruit). It seems to me that eternal destinies are to be decided by Him. I'm sure there will be some notably absent from heaven and others amazingly included!

Responses are welcome!

#67  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 6:59 PM

Robert,

Thanks for your comments. Only problem is a 'balanced view' may not always be in line with scripture. And we have to be careful that there are many basic truths of the gospel that cannot be compromised just to have a balance. I was deep in the word of faith teachings of Kenneth Hagin but no longer regard myself as one. I listen to John MacArthur regularly but I am not a Calvinist or cessationist. The word of faith teachings have penetrated even the old Pentecostal church that today the term charismatics and Pentecostal are taken to mean one and the same. Even evangelicalism and charismatics are now lumped as one. That's how great the charismatic tide has moved.

Regarding blessings in this life, if God chooses to bless us with monetary riches, it is not because of the 'abundant life' and prosperity theology or confession or some faith formula. It would be because he chose to, by His sovereign will and grace . But he does promise to meet all the basic needs of His children and our response would be to learn to trust Him for our daily bread. Hard work and honest living is Godly. We need to pray for strength and wisdom to make the right choices in how we handle or invest our money and in daily living, whatever our job or vocation might be.

Money is not the root of all evil but when a theology is fixated on that, it smells like a greedy obsession and love for it. When 'abundant life' is taken to mean health and wealth , it is no longer the same gospel the apostles preached.

#68  Posted by Shawn Simar  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009at 8:37 PM

As a person that lives in the Tulsa area and has listen to Oral Roberts all my life I can’t believe what I am hearing here. Oral always talked about the importance of having Jesus Christ as your personal savior. To label Oral Roberts as a cult leader is putting yourself in the same book as the Pharisee fighting against the disciples. Now I am not saying Oral was a Paul or a John but Oral reached a lot of lost people for Christ. You all sound like a bunch of high society rich snobs who think you know it all.

#69  Posted by David Smith  |  Thursday, December 24, 2009at 3:24 AM

In response to some recent comments, Oral Roberts was obviously a born-again christian who did preach a gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus. Albert Mohler (who views OR in the same way as John MacArthur) attested to this in the quote I posted earlier.

However, OR also taught that God promises "health and wealth" to believers and God will materially bless them in proportion to their giving. This is unbiblical heresy.

In addition, OR used money that people had donated for the Lord's work to live a life of luxury and excess. This is basically theft, from both the doners and from God. (Just in case anyone questions this, I am absolutely not saying that any christian minister or worker should necessarily live in poverty - of course not - but neither should they live like a movie star).

So the conclusion has to be that OR was a false teacher. He may have sincerely believed in what he did, but he was sincerely wrong. We are not talking about debatable matters and topics where christians disagree, but black and white subjects where there is a definite border between truth and error. OR was outside of the truth in many areas of his teaching.

He basically created a new model for christian ministry, which was focussed around getting rich from repeated manipulative requests for donations with divine promises of health and wealth in return. This is utterly corrupt and has been copied by many other people. It brings shame upon Jesus.

The legacy of OR is therefore a polluted church, which I too must lament. It overshadows any good work he did in preaching salvation. In addition, I would question how many people actually came to faith through his ministry - probably only a tiny fraction of the numbers he claimed.

#70  Posted by Shawn Simar  |  Thursday, December 24, 2009at 7:35 AM

If Oral lived like a "rock star" why did he die broke? He was able to live out his life by the love of Benny Hinn's ministry putting him on the pay roll. Evan Billy Graham loved and respected Oral Roberts ministry.

#71  Posted by Robert Iannuccilli  |  Thursday, December 24, 2009at 11:33 AM

Hey Shawn,

I have NOTHING at all against a preacher prospering. I'm sure John MacArthur isn't living "poor" by any man's standards, nor should he! But to insinuate that Oral Roberts died broke is rediculous. No one living in Newport Beach, CA is broke.

Further, I agree that Oral was NOT, by any stretch of the imagination a Cult leader. While I have never been able to find a definitive definition of what a "Cult Leader" is, it seems that it is unanimously accepted that ALL cult leaders deviate from fundamental Christian Belief. Oral's foundational theology was mainline Christian and he certainly did believe that trusting Jesus and His finished work was the sole means of one's salvation.

#72  Posted by Jose Amarillo  |  Thursday, December 24, 2009at 1:17 PM

Robert Iannuccilli:

I have NOTHING at all against a preacher prospering. I'm sure John MacArthur isn't living "poor" by any man's standards, nor should he! But to insinuate that Oral Roberts died broke is rediculous. No one living in Newport Beach, CA is broke.

===quite so. according to this neutral source (Epoch Times is a Falungung newspaper: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/26782/):

"Oral Roberts traveled six continents and performed healing rituals for over an estimated 2 million people. He was born into a low income household as a child and his father was a Reverend. Roberts' faith in God carried him into transcending his humble beginnings and he died a multi-millionaire."

#73  Posted by Andy Cartwright  |  Thursday, December 24, 2009at 5:19 PM

To Robert

To Jose

Oral Roberts may have had extensive performances of healing rituals, preaching and the sort in far away lands as well as on the homefront, but it's this mixture of truth and error that presents a problem by people who have been exposed to truth, in listening to him and those with whom he has close affiliation, such as Benny Hinn...

It's like someone mixing a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven .......and offers some to you, just before you take one they "BTW" let you know that their pet dog who has rabies got to it and had a bowel movement and piece fell into the cookie mix, but just a little, go ahead take a few..............

Most people wouldn't even try one once realizing what it was mixed with............would you? Same for christians who are exposed to sound doctrine and Truth as that taught by Pastor John Macarthur.........

2 Peter talks about men like this especially 2:1 ..."from among us who will secretly bring in destructive heresies".....

If it were all false then most people would know right away its false, but when you mix truth with it, its more destructive and secretly & connivingly done.......we have to be analytical and discerning of what we hear and see .........

#74  Posted by Andrew Hulse  |  Friday, December 25, 2009at 2:46 PM

This post is not for the purpose of showering Dr. MacArthur with accolades of praise, because it is obvious from listening to the man preach that the Lord Jesus, Himself, will provide MacArthur with abundant “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” But rather, this post is to repudiate the two post by Steve Smith on December 20, 2009, in which Mr. Smith quotes Rick Warren saying, "So many will be ashamed one day that they wasted so much of life criticizing other believers instead of reaching unbelievers."

Let me first begin by saying that I whole-heartedly hate false doctrine and false teachings. Why? Because by promulgating false doctrine and false teaching, false teachers have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme His Great Name. False teachers are LIARS. And, just in case we have forgotten what happens eternally to liars, let us review the Book of the Revelation:

"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8) NASB

Only Rick Warren knows to whom he is referring, when he says, “believers.” I hope Mr. Warren does not include false teachers and false prophets when he says, “believers.” But, I say this because the Scriptures explicitly declare: “Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13) NASB That being said that impostors will deceive, it seems logical that the Lord would provide some mechanism for sparing His flock from those deceiving impostors. That mechanism is two fold. The first part is the Scriptures themselves, and the second part comes from the work of what the Apostle Paul refers to as the “man of God.” Being adequately “equipped for every good work,” the “man of God” is ordered and commanded by God to “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” as it is written in the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul passes on this charge to Timothy, who was also considered to be a “man of God”:

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus … Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:1a-4) NASB

“Reprove, rebuke,” and “exhort” are not disposable options for the “man of God” to act in some “spirit of partiality.” They are commandments; they are absolutes, which are non-negotiable. Also, the Apostle Paul says, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ,” and they will want “to have their ears tickled.” May I be so bold as to say that the “time” has come and is now here, when men “will not endure sound doctrine,” and men will want “to have their ears tickled” by the feathers of false doctrine?

It is clear from Mr. Smith's post that he believes that Mr. Roberts was a believer who was unjustly being criticized by Dr. MacArthur. I reject this proposition completely.

Perhaps, Mr. Warren and Mr. Smith need their memories jogged on what the Scriptures declare. Let us consider what the Lord, himself, said about division:

"Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. (Luke 12:51:52) NASB

It seems that Mr. Warren confuses the definition of “criticizing” with the meaning of “reproving” and “rebuking.” Let us review the meaning of the word “reproving” with its Greek equivalent, elegcho. The Complete Word Study Dictionary by Spiros Zodhiates says that “reproving” means: “to convict, to prove one in the wrong and thus to shame him.” Rather than provide the definition for “rebuking,” permit me to provide a rather stinging example of one. Let us review what the Lord said both personally and directly to the Jews, who disagreed with Him:

"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. 45 "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:44-45) NASB

And now, as an example of instructions on “reproving,” look at what the Apostle Paul, writing with the full authority of the Lord Christ, writes to Titus, another “man of God”:

"'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.' 13 This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.” (Titus 1:12b-13) NASB

From Mr. Smith's quotation, it appears that Mr. Warren has annulled the divine commandments to “reprove” and “rebuke.” This is truly a sad affair, because false teachers and false prophets distort the Gospel, and if the Gospel is distorted, then how can we, the church, do what Mr. Smith says as “reaching the lost.” We would not want to “reach the lost” with a distorted Gospel, would we? But, the Apostle Paul gives us a most excellent and concise presentation of the Gospel when he writes:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you … For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Corinthians 15:1a, 3-8) NASB

In addition to laying out the Gospel in simple terms, the Apostle Paul also guarantees that all who believe and obey the Gospel message will be persecuted. Paul writes, “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12) NASB In addition to persecution, Paul, while addressing Thessalonian believers, writes that believers will endure suffering, affliction, and tribulation:

We ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

(2 Thessalonians 1:4-5) NASB

Our suffering for the kingdom of God is an “indication of God's righteous judgment.” This, God permits so that we “may be considered worthy” of His kingdom. The Lord Jesus corroborates Paul's doctrine of suffer for the kingdom of God when He says to the church in Ephesus:

I know your tribulation … 10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 9a-10) NASB

Persecution, affliction, tribulation and suffering are all apart of God's process of sanctifying those who believe and obey the Gospel. Let us look at Paul's letter to the Romans:

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:3-5) NASB

The Holy Spirit makes it very clear that tribulation produces perseverance in the mind of the believer. Also, He declares that perseverance brings about proven character. That is character that is proven true by the act of testing, which is not necessarily a pleasant experience for the one being tested. Finally, Paul tells us that hope is brought about from proven character. In simpler terms, one attribute begets the next attribute, and all of these attributes are thus fathered by tribulation. Why review all of these doctrines? Simple, so that we can all know and understand that Jesus Christ is not going to make us rich in this life on this earth because we have trusted in Him. Jesus did not die on the Cross so that you could drive a Lexus or a shiny new Buick and look cool doing it. The notion that God is obligated to make you wealthy or heal your body because you sent a donation to a so-called televangelist is total heresy. Remember what Jesus said, “"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money)." 14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things, and they were scoffing at Him. 15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:13:15) NASB

Although God added material blessings to a portion of the “Old Covenant,” so that the nations surrounding the kingdom of Israel would know that it was God who blessed the kingdom of Israel, God did not add them to the “New Covenant.” Human wealth and riches, while being “highly esteemed among men, is detestable in the sigh of God.” Why would any of us think for a moment that Almighty God would bless us, under the “New Covenant,” with what He finds “detestable”? Rather, the blessings of the Almighty for those found to be bound to Him by the blood of the “New Covenant” are His: presence, mercy, grace, kindness, faith, hope and love. And, if it is true that tribulation brings about perseverance,” then we could confidently say that suffering for Christ is a blessing by Christ.

In parting, look at these two warnings that the Apostle Paul writes:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1) NASB

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his (Satan) servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) NASB

#75  Posted by Tony Watkins  |  Friday, December 25, 2009at 3:54 PM

With so many Proserity Teachers and Followers in the country how is it that we are in a recession?

#76  Posted by George Law  |  Friday, December 25, 2009at 4:28 PM

John K. Thank you. I had decided I was not going to post again in this blog when I read a comment by a person that said: JM has made the fundamental mistake of a Black and white perspective. Where there are obviously shades of gray.

Momma always told us kids "It's either right or It's wrong. There are no shades of gray. You cannot be partially pregnant can you? Either you are or you aren't! You know the difference between what's right and what's wrong."

Scripture cannot be any clearer on this topic. Scripture may seem exclusive, but hey I didn't make it up. It's all the shades of grey that have crept into the church and the world that has watered down the impact of the fear of God. No more absloutes, My daily walk is too "Self Righteous" in a world soo full of shades of gray!!

#77  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Friday, December 25, 2009at 6:00 PM

Thank you Jesus for ministries such as GTY that preach the truth in season and out!

#78  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Friday, December 25, 2009at 6:45 PM

Well I for one (did NOT agree with all that Oral did) but I know people who where healed theough his prayers. And that being said before we critizise someone I would ask... How many deaf ears have you made to hear again? How many blinded eyes have you opened? I think before we speak against a mna of God we should at least have done wht they have done.

#79  Posted by Charles Jennings  |  Friday, December 25, 2009at 9:41 PM

Hey!! Hey!!! Pray people, the Lord God is in control.

Php 1:15

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Php 1:16

The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

Php 1:17

But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

Php 1:18

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

1Co 1:12

Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

1Co 1:13

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

1Co 3:4

For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

1Co 3:5

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

#80  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 12:47 AM

Leon Bible,

The Lord is not going to judge us the way you do, based on the number of healings or miracles we do but on us obeying His word and doing His will. On the last days, many who claim to prophesy and do many miracles will be turned away. Harsh words personally from the Lord Himself but why? Read Mt 7 : 21- 23

Mt 7: 21-23. " Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, " I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS."

These verses are a follow up from the passage in Mt 7 : 15 - 20 which warns us of false prophets who comes in sheep's clothing and tells us to judge them by their fruits. Someone has to do the unpleasant work of warning the brethen against these ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing who creep into the church teaching a different gospel.

Please note that I am not judging OR's salvation but merely differentiating what you think and what God says and the fact that there are false teachers around. ( If Jesus Himself personally warns us of it, then all the more we should take note ). Everyone's salvation is purely based on their personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and that includes you and me and OR and John M.

#81  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 5:50 AM

How many deaf ears have you made to hear again? How many blinded eyes have you opened? I think before we speak against a mna of God we should at least have done wht they have

I'm not saying this includes OR but even Demons performed miracles.

Exodus 7:8-12 [8] The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, [9] "When Pharaoh says to you, `Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, `Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,' and it will become a snake." [10] So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. [11] Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: [12] Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.

Usually, when this story is told the emphasis is on the fact that Aaron's staff won. How did the sorcerers ("magicians") transform their staffs??? Did they pray to the God of their slaves? Hardly likely! They weren't even impressed! They had to already be hooked into some serious power to know they would be able to do miracles ! There are only two sources of that kind of power: (1) God and His angels and (2) Satan and his demons.

#82  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 5:58 AM

More supporting Scripture

Acts 16:16-19 [16] Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. [17] This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." [18] She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. [19] When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.

#83  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 6:21 AM

I agree there are TWO sources of power to open deaf ears and blinded eyes as you have said: the devil and God's.

Question: Which power does MacAuthur use to open blinded eyes and deaf ears?

Answer: Neither. He has no power from God or the devil.

#84  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 6:35 AM

No power? are you sure you want to be here? In all kindness the power is called the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. THE gift of GOD the spirit is the enabler.

Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the twelve apostles, Jesus' mother and family, and many other of His disciples gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day of Passover. While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads. This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on human flesh promised by God through the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29). The disciples were suddenly empowered to proclaim the gospel of the risen Christ. They went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began preaching to the crowds gathered for the festival. Not only did the disciples preach with boldness and vigor, but by a miracle of the Holy Spirit they spoke in the native languages of the people present, many who had come from all corners of the Roman Empire. This created a sensation. The apostle Peter seized the moment and addressed the crowd, preaching to them about Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. The result was that about three thousand converts were baptized that day. (You can read the Biblical account of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-41).

#85  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 6:39 AM

By the power of the Holy Spirit in JM he has opend the eyes and ears of many and they have recieved a new heart and a new life. Have been Born Again. As attested to by many, many, many blogers to this site.

#86  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 7:05 AM

I have backed my statements with Scripture. My faith the the Bible Cannot Lie.

God the Father's wonderful Christmas gift of His one and only Son, and Christ's Easter triumph over the power of sin, death, and the devil would be of no benefit to us if the Holy Spirit did not give us the gift of saving faith. Through the Word and Sacraments, (Baptism and the Lords Supper) the Holy Spirit gives us the power to believe and trust in Christ as our Savior. This precious gift of faith in the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ is the reason Pentecost is the third "mega-festival" of the church and why we celebrate it with such joy and thanksgiving.

The Personality and Ministry of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person; that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He regenerates the sinner by the Word of God; that He permanently indwells the Church and the body of each believer. He seals, enlightens, instructs, and guides every born-again person, and is the efficient power for godly living, Christian service, and spiritual worship.( John 3:5-7; 14:16,17, 26; 16:7-15 / I Peter 1:23 / Ephesians 4:30 )

My only goal in life is to Glorify God in all I do and to:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

God's Grace To You

#87  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 7:50 AM

So are you saying that MacArthur has power form the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues?

#88  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 7:53 AM

Hi George,

Above you said: "By the power of the Holy Spirit in JM he has opend the eyes and ears of many and they have recieved a new heart and a new life. Have been Born Again. As attested to by many, many, many blogers to this site."

BUT has he ever prayed a prayer and saw PHYSICAL blinded eyes opened by the power of God?

Oral has!

So untill he has done that by the power of Jesus Name he has no right to talk about Oral Roberts.

#89  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 8:56 AM

For eight years I sat under some of the most famous Word Faith teachers in the country; Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, and John Avanzini to name a few. By the grace of God I was delivered from their heresies mostly by the teaching Dr.MacArthur but also by R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg and others. The damage done by the strange doctrines of the Word Faith movement could keep an army of ministers going full time in healing the pain and spiritual confusion of those exposed its non-sense.

Outside of the lust for money and fame shared by the Word Faith teachers, the underlying the problem (even for those who are sincere in the movement) is the notion that people come to Christ of their own volition and not by the sovereign election of God. This man-centered mindset causes a "sales approach" to the discipline of ministry rather than a servant's approach. If one has the idea that everyone sitting before him will come to Christ because the right words are spoken and the right buttons are pushed then he will respond with a sales approach to ministry. With the ends always justifying the means of the false teachers, they find no better buttons to push than those of health and wealth. If, on the other hand, a teacher understands the doctrine of election he will approach his ministry like a waiter serving a meal. The minister/waiter knows he is not the Head Chef. He is not the One who wrote the recipe and prepared the meal. He is just the one delivering it to those being served. He doesn't change the recipe or rearrange the food on the plate. He simply serves the meal knowing that the Head Chef is also the One who creates the hunger. The foolishness of the current trend in today's church to lay aside sound doctrine for the sake of "unity" only adds to fuel the fire.

#90  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 9:06 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#91  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 9:07 AM

Hi Jim Mckane You said above: "For either underlying the problem (even for those who are sincere in the movement) is the notion that people come to Christ of their own volition and not by the sovereign election of God."So according to you we all might as well live like the devil and do anything we want to do with no discipline at all. If as you say then we will be saved or not be saved NOT based on our acceptance and adherence to the Gospel message of Christ but at the whim of God!Thanks for letting me know - I think I will pitch a drunk and go rob a bank. After all according to you it does not matter what I do!

But too bad Jim the Bible speaks differently:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.

#92  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 9:51 AM

Leon,

Most heresy is bred out of the misunderstanding and misconceptions of the nature of God, primarily His Sovereignty. God is not a God of "whim" but of purpose.

#93  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 9:56 AM

Hi John,

You said: "Most heresy is bred out of the misunderstanding and misconceptions of the nature of God, primarily His Sovereignty. God is not a God of "whim" but of purpose."

I agree.

What purpose do you think God has in creating people and then based on NOTHING they do or don't do... deciding to send the Hell.

#94  Posted by Victor Pedro Martin  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 10:13 AM

"What purpose do you think God has in creating people and then based on NOTHING they do or don't do... deciding to send the Hell."

DEFINITELY FOR HIS OWN GLORY.

Westminister's Cathechism: " The chief end of man is to gloryfy God and worship forever"

Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel 1for honorable use and another 2for common use?

22 1What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much apatience vessels of wrath bprepared for destruction?

.

John Piper: " The chief end of "GOD" is to gloryfy God and worship forever"

#95  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 10:22 AM

Hey Leon.

Thanks Victor, on point and fast! I'd like to add:

The baffling call of God

And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. . . . And they understood none of these things. Luke 18:31, 34.

God called Jesus Christ to what seemed unmitigated disaster. Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ’s life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God’s. But what seemed failure from man’s standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God’s, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.

There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purpose, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes.

If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are. As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say—‘Now why did God allow this and that?’ Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God. “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.” A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God.

[1]

[1]Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (August 5). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

#96  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 10:31 AM

Revelation 20,21 Satan's Binding and Loosing The Matthew Henery Commentary pg 1984

The Persons to be judged Rev.20:12

none are so mean but they have some talents to account for, and none so great as to avoid the jurisdiction of this court; not only those that are found alive at the comming of Christ, but all who have died before. The rule of judgment settled: The books are opened. The book of Gods Omniscience, and the book of the sinners conscience. And another book shall be opened - the book of the scriptures, the statute-book of heaven, the rule of life.

The cause to be tried; the works of men, what they have done whether it be good or evil The issue of the trial and judgment. All those who have made a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell, shall then be condemned with their infernal confederates, cast with them into the lake of fire. But those whose names are written in that book shall then be justified and aquitted by the Judge.

Sir, I think you have limited scriptural discermnent and hermetical expertise. You twist scripture to suit your arguments. A common practice of Heritical idology.

#97  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 10:43 AM

"Eat, drink and be merry." It is in the Bible, so it must be true, but how dangerous when taken out of context. Some add, for to-morrow we die, revealing a fundamental flaw.

To-morrow we do not die, but live with the consequences of eating and drinking today. There is a price to pay for undisciplined excess.

God said to a poor rich farmer, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you." Not very often does God call a person a fool.

People can regard a fool as someone not very bright mentally. God thinks of a man who is not very bright morally.

There is no use praying for this not to happen. In some areas prayer is irrelevant and invalid.

When we are summoned by God, we have no choice.

Do you know how much so-and-so left? Everything! The lot!

The man who lays up treasure for himself is not rich towards God. By the way, you will find that this story was told by Jesus and is recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus is not against riches, but selfishness.

How much is in your account in the Bank of Heaven? Money can be invested in that account through a local branch Sunday by Sunday.

Jesus teaches about investing in heaven, where there are no thieves, no rust and corruption, no moths eating it away, and no inflation devaluing our investments.

Imagine hearing one day, someone from Africa saying to you, "God sent a missionary to our village. I heard all about Jesus and that He is my Saviour. What the teacher said kept me going when I was about to give up. His teaching strengthened me when I was down. I became a disciple of Jesus and continued faithful through the encouragement I received. I learned that all this came to me because you gave money to send the man with the message."

#98  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 10:50 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#99  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 10:52 AM

Hi George,

You said: "Sir, I think you have limited scriptural discermnent and hermetical expertise. You twist scripture to suit your arguments. A common practice of Heritical idology."

Thanks for your unlearned opinion. Your ignorance is only exceeded by your arrogance.

The Scripture remains. Men's works are the basis of judgment not some whim of God.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.

#100  Posted by George Law  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 11:11 AM

Thank You I now know I'm finished here.

Matthew 7:6 (New International Version)

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

#101  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 11:20 AM

Hi George,

Please note I for one do not believe yuo to be a dog.

#102  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 11:47 AM

Hey George, I agree with everything you said. You have handled the insults hurled at you with a Christlike love. It sounds as if the person making the previous comments may have confused himself with someone who possesses a greater understanding of Spiritual Truth. He was surely not demonstrating the Love of Christ in speach. Im not sure that if in your stead, Christ Himself wouldnt have used stonger language as he did with the Pharisees. Keep preachin the Word brother. I would sit under your teaching anytime. Grace and peace!

#103  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 11:52 AM

Hey Mr. Bible. You are in our prayers. Grace to you!

#104  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 12:06 PM

Hey Leon,

Those that have been born again have already had their sins dealt with on the cross through Christ Jesus. Rev 20:12 is refering to the unregenerate "the books" and the born again "the book of life".

Let's look at 1 John 4:7-21. These verses are powerful and are touching on alot of points, but here are a few. In v. 9 & 10 it states "In this God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Nobody seeks God right, humans are dead and were in need of atonement.

So anyway, v. 16 & 17, "So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement because as His is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear. For Fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfectred in love."

There is no fear of this "judgement" for a born again believer because they have been perfected in this "love". Christ has already dealth with the judgement "propitiation" on the cross. "There is therefor no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus".

Unregenerate men's works are the basis for judgement in Rev 20:12. No judgement is mentioned for those in the "book of life". Additionally v.15 further states the outcome of those that are not written in the "book of life".

#105  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 12:31 PM

Hi Bob,

Above you said: "Hey George,... You have handled the insults hurled at you with a Christlike love."

Do you mena the insult where he called me a dog?

#106  Posted by Andrew Hulse  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 12:53 PM

Dear Mr. Bible,

If you are going to call people “unlearned” and “ignorant,” you might want to consider engaging the spell check on you computer, so that you, yourself, won't appear as “unlearned and ignorant”!!! But, this is only a suggestion. By the way, “yuo” and “mna” are not English words, neither is “mena.”

#107  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 3:29 PM

I dont know you personally, however i am intrigued by your hostile defense of false teachers. I meant for you to read the Scriptures where IT calls those to whom it refers...dogs. Im not sure if you were implying that this might be an apt reflection of yourself in the mirror, since you were the first to bring it up. it is better to be thought of in such a way than to speak and remove all doubt!

#108  Posted by Andy Cartwright  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 3:50 PM

This is all good, "Christlike" is in view, let keep it to the point and Clean.

#109  Posted by Rod Kinney  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 5:50 PM

The Greatest Secret by Ron McIntosh. Ron is a former Campus Pastor of Oral Roberts University and so I thought the following question relevant to this forum.

Is anyone on this blog familiar with this book? I saw it at the Family book store, purchased and read it. I was intrigued by the authors claim that the new age book ‘The Secret’ has it’s foundations in Biblical principles. McIntosh claims to show, through scripture, how we should be living a more abundant life in all its facets. What do you think? Is this veering off into the so called ‘health, wealth and prosperity gospel’? Thanks!

#110  Posted by Jose Amarillo  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 6:03 PM

I'm reading Erin Arvedlund's Bernie Madoff: Too Good to Be True, and it's hard to keep my mind drifting back to Oral's spiritual hedge fund industry.

Bernie occupied 3 floors of an office building, the 18th and 19th floors being the front--legit trading office--for his 17th floor scam business. It was at the 17th-floor that he received investment moneys from North America, Europe, Brazil, and elsewhere--promising and delivering above 10% year-on-year interest regardless of the economic climate and financial market.

As long as the miracle stayed constant, nobody would ask questions, not even the SEC. It wasn't in their interest so to do (with the exception of one whistleblower from Boston). But when it all fell apart, the emptiness of Madoff's Ponzi scheme suddenly became obvious.

Well, we have a job to be whistleblowers (Ezek. 3 and 33) regardless of the industrial/political correctness out there. Someday the tares will be lifted from the wheat, but until then John MacArthur's been exemplary in calling out the pointy-eared, long-toothed "sheep" in our midst.

#111  Posted by Theo Parillo  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 7:20 PM

Lets expose the ones that are still alive.

#112  Posted by Jose Amarillo  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 7:38 PM

Great idea! How about those who sang praises to St. Oral at his memorial service and failed to warn of his dangerous legacy:

Billy and Frankline Graham

Pat Robertson

Rick Warren

Joel Osteen

Robert Schuller

Paul David Yonggi Cho

Benny Hinn

Paul Crouch

Marilyn Hickey

James Robison

The rest at ORU and ORM

This list was gathered through various news sources; would anyone be able to add? We could have the charismatic equivalent of the handy Iraqi most-wanted deck of cards.

#113  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 8:43 PM

Hi Jose,

Or we couls make a list of those who have never perfomed a miracle in thier life.

Got any ideas who we could start with?

#114  Posted by Andrew Hulse  |  Saturday, December 26, 2009at 9:52 PM

Mr. Bible,

How many miracles have you performed in your life, or would you be on the long list of people that have never performed one? Are you a pastor? You seem to have very strong opinions.

#115  Posted by David Smith  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 12:27 AM

To Leon Bible:

You said, "BUT has he ever prayed a prayer and saw PHYSICAL blinded eyes opened by the power of God? Oral has!"

No. No. No.

Oral claimed God healed blindness through him. To the best of my knowledge those claims were never verified.

I am sorry to be a sceptic but the charismatic/pentecostal healing movement is full of exaggeration and unsubstantiated claims (and I am a charismatic myself). I shouldn't need to remind you that, in 2008, there was a so-called "healing revival" in Lakeland at which it was claimed that hundreds of thousands of people had been healed and 30+ people had been raised from the dead. Needless to say, there isn't a shred of evidence to confirm any of this, but there is strong evidence that everything was fabricated. Even insiders used phrases like "hype and embellishment" and "Todd Bentley is a pathological liar" to describe what was going on.

The Bible clearly calls us to be wise and discerning, containing such exhortations as "take heed than no man deceives you", and there is a definite track record of deception in the area of healing.

Oral Roberts also had a track record of deception - for instance look at the story of the City of Faith medical school. He came out with a false prophecy defending Jim Bakker, who then fell from grace with both legal and moral failures, did jail time, and later wrote a book called "I was wrong".

Most TV preachers are gifted orators and are extremely good at working an audience and manipulating their beliefs and expectations. They'd make excellent politicians! But if you examine carefully their claims, you'll find plenty of gaping holes.

So, Leon Bible (is that your real name?), I would suggest it is extremely unwise to believe the healing claims of Oral Roberts, and I'd going to respectfully ask you to consider if you may have been taken in yourself.

#116  Posted by George Law  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 5:31 AM

And the whole of the Sermon on the Mount is predicated on a clear understanding of the distinction between true religion and false, between hypocrisy and reality. We're not to be undiscriminating. We're not to be blind. We're not to be flabby sentimentalists. For example, look at verse 6. it says, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine." Now, if you're not going to do that, you're going to find out -- have to find out who the hogs and dogs are so you know not to give them that. There must be discrimination.

Look at verse 15. "Beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing." Now, if you only perceive things superficially, you'll see the sheep's clothing and never know the wolf that's under there. There must be discernment. There must be judging, or we don't know the false prophets. We don't know the dogs. We don't know the swine that we're to avoid.

So in the very passage itself we are told to test, discriminate, evaluate between the true and the false. We have law courts to do that. The church, for example, in the same Gospel of Matthew, is told to confront a sinning brother in chapter 18, and to confront that brother boldly, forthrightly about his sinfulness, and to make it a matter of public knowledge if he doesn't repent. So we are not flabby and soft in obedience to Scripture. Scripture calls us to discern.

Paul says in Galatians 1, if somebody comes and preaches another gospel, let him be accursed. John says, if anybody comes and talks about a Christ other than the Christ of the Bible, don't receive him into your house. Don't even bid him godspeed, or you're a partaker of his evil deed. We are told to remove from our midst those who are sinning as leaven that leavens the lump, in I Corinthians 5. Hymenaeus and Alexander were put out of the church because of the corruptive influence they had upon it.

So all throughout the Bible we are commanded to discern, to try the spirits, to have our senses exercised to know the difference between good and evil, says Hebrews 5:14. Now, having said that, then, we look at "Judge not." We know it doesn't mean that we're not to discriminate between truth and error. I mean, that's infantile. It is a child, according to Ephesians 4, that doesn't know the difference between good and evil, that becomes victimized and prey to Satan's cunning craftiness because of an inability to discern. We must discern. We must discriminate. We must evaluate. There are things we must judge.

John MacArthur

Stop Criticizing Matthew 7:1-6 Code: 2250
#117  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 5:31 AM

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#118  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 5:32 AM

Hi David,

Above you said: "I am sorry to be a skeptic but the charismatic/pentecostal healing movement is full of exaggeration and unsubstantiated claims (and I am a charismatic myself)."

I am sorry you are a skeptic as well. Because of your condition your are NOT pleasing God.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

#119  Posted by Jose Amarillo  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:03 AM

Actually, Mister Leon Bible, there's a huge difference between faith in God and faith in men and magicians in the passage you quote: Hebrews 11:6. I'll leave you to figure out the difference.

But there's another passage you should take heed to. It's not Oral's spectacular "successes" that we should pay attention to or even his alleged "prophecies" and "numerous miracles." Matthew 7 tells us plainly:

21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

But how can we know a tree by its fruits (verses 15 - 20) if it's loaded with all these distracting but false miracles and prophecies (verses 21 - 23)? Well, the answer follows, in verses 24 - 27. The disobedience of Oral to Jesus' teachings and the consequences thereof are plain for all to see. His entire emphasis on self-preservation and promotion through manipulation of God ("Seed Faith") resulting in the enrichment of Oral's dynasty runs counter to everything that Jesus taught His disciples (Matthew 28:16 - 20). Personally, I think it also cheapens the faith of the martyrs, who for all their authentic seed faith in Christ never got to see their harvest on earth.

#120  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:18 AM

Hey Leon,

We are called to have Faith in God not Faith in Faith. Faith is believeing God no matter what happens. Faith is living your life according to His plans and precepts even though what you may be going through or praying for or what comes up against you or what trials and tribualtions may come, or chechk this out, not matter how many big houses you have or cadillacs or bling bling, no matter any of this, you still believe that God exists and He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Hallelujah!

Leon, you got us preaching to ourselves, at the least and we ain't never mad about that!

#121  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:22 AM

Leon you got me going now,

Faith is, when you're at work and your co-workers are brown nosing the boss to get that promotion, you still remain holy and keep your nose to the grind stone!

#122  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:25 AM

Hey Leon,

Faith is: When you're at the job and your co-workers are lying and coniving trying stay close to the boss so they don't get caught up in the next layoff, you keep your self clear and remain true to God's commands.

#123  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:29 AM

Hey Leon,

Faith ain't: Sowing your mortgage payment into any ministry when your mortgage is due! That's called theft! What would that bank think about you (anyone) taking their money and sowing into anything!

#124  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:32 AM

Hey Leon,

Faith ain't: well, God hasn't called us to be gamblers, He called us to be Holy!

We're praying Leon.

#125  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 6:39 AM

Leon,

If you're ever in the Chicagoland area touchdown with me @ golfnbro@hotmail.com and we can get a cup of coffee or something and do a study.

Off to services,

God Bless

#126  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 8:21 AM

To Leon Bible: First I would suggest that you rob the bank before you get drunk thereby giving you better odds of success at both. Second, there will be judgement based on works but we are not saved by works. And finally the bible is clear on the doctine of election. The unregenerate man is at enmity with God, cannot understand the things of God, has no faith in God, thinks the things of God are foolish and has a heart that is desparately wicked. So not only does he not have the desire for the things of God, he cannot even intellectually conceive of God. Without a sovereign act of God to change the heart of the unregenerate, the unregenerate perish in their sin. Dr MacArthur has some great sermons on this subject. I suggest "Chosen by God".

#127  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 1:31 PM

Hi John,

I come through Chicagoland about once every year or so on ministry trips. Thanks for the offer, it would be nice. You might even get saved! (big smile)

#128  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 1:34 PM

Hi Jim,

Above you said: "So not only does he not have the desire for the things of God, he cannot even intellectually conceive of God."

Do you have any Scripture that might confirm that statement?

#129  Posted by Frank Fuentes  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 1:39 PM

Not sure if anyone knows but Leon Bible runs the Dake bible forum. He actually called John Piper an "idiot" in his forum after claiming to have read an excertp of Piper's book "Suffering & The Sovereignty of God". He is clearly WOF to the core & refuses to actually read any opposing viewpoint that might threaten his beliefs. Just so you guys know. I came out of the WOF movement (by the grace of God!) & used to post at that site. Recently I posted only to see my posts censored by Mr. Bible (that IS his name to knowledge) & simply stopped as there is no sense in casting my pearls before the swine. Funny how he get's treated better at this site than he ever treats anyone with an opposing viewpoint at his site.

#130  Posted by Frank Fuentes  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 1:40 PM

Another thing I forgot to add he posted a cut & paste of this excerpt from GTY's blog & stated "Warning from an IDIOT". Quite disengenious there. How's that for a "christian brother"?

#131  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 1:56 PM

Hi Frank,

You said: "He is clearly WOF to the core & refuses to actually read any opposing viewpoint that might threaten his beliefs."

Strange indeed seeing how I completed my seminary training at a Presbyterian Reformed Seminary.

#132  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:05 PM

So Mr. Bible, Over on the dake blog folks say some mighty nasty things about JM. Is that Christlike? Is it not ok to disagree with someone and not stoop to insult them?

#133  Posted by Frank Fuentes  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:06 PM

Comment deleted by user.
#134  Posted by Frank Fuentes  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:09 PM

Can you please tell me the seminary & the year? I apoligize but I do not believe you or your "sincerity". Forgive me for that.

#135  Posted by Anita B  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:09 PM

When asked "What purpose do you think God has in creating people and then based on NOTHING they do or don't do... deciding to send the Hell",

Victor responds "DEFINITELY FOR HIS OWN GLORY."

That's the standard canned response, but what does that mean, exactly?

Does God appear "bigger", "better" or "more powerful" to you because He CAN (and DOES?) create people just to send them into a fiery furnace for all eternity without them being able to do a thing about it? Does He seem "more Holy" to you by His creation of "vessels of wrath" (which I take to mean He creates many bodies just for them to serve as kindling)? Remember, these people did not CHOOSE to be created evil, correct? They were willed to "be evil" by God's own decree, yes?

Just wondering ...

#136  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:23 PM

Hi Bob,

You asked: "So Mr. Bible, Over on the dake blog folks say some mighty nasty things about JM. Is that Christlike? Is it not ok to disagree with someone and not stoop to insult them?'

John MacArthur? In fact I just picked up his commentary as a gift to myself for Christmas.

As to an insult... is it an insult to speak the truth?

#137  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:27 PM

Hi Frank,

You asked: "Can you please tell me the seminary & the year? I apoligize but I do not believe you or your "sincerity". Forgive me for that."

You are forgiven. The fact that you doubt the reality of my seminary training does not change the fact that I completed the Master's of Divinity program at Erskine Theollgical Seminary in 1998. It is located in Due West SC.

You see as a Charismatic/Pentecostal I know what YOU know PLUS what I know. I have chosen to hold on to the truth and reject that false.

#138  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:33 PM

So Mr. Bible When did JM ever call you an Idiot?

#139  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:42 PM

Hi Bob,

When did JM ever callme an idiot?

I don't know that he did.

#140  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:51 PM

Why then, Mr. Bible, did you call him an "idiot" over at the Dake site?

#141  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 2:56 PM

Hi Bob,

Anybody me, you, or JM, that talks in a bad way about a man of God such as Oral Roberts would have to be an idiot... wouldn't you agree?

#142  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 3:01 PM

Hey Folks. You won't get any meaningful discussion with Leon Bible. He is not here for that purpose. So don't waste your time trying to engage him.

#143  Posted by Bob Scott  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 3:03 PM

You didn't answer the question Mr. Bible. JM has to my knowledge, and presumably yours, never said anything disrespectfull about you. Yet you call him names. What does James say about this kind of speach? Do you even know?

#144  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 3:08 PM

Hey Leon,

Jim may have been referring to 1 Cor 2:14:

But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.

#145  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 3:17 PM

Hi Bob,

You said: "You didn't answer the question Mr. Bible. JM has to my knowledge, and presumably yours, never said anything disrespectfull about you. Yet you call him names."

Is that sort of like Jesus did?

Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

#146  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 3:18 PM

Anita B.,

Before you read the attached, pray for understanding. You cannot figure out God (see my post above to Leon). God reveals Himself to you, albeit, in different ways but in enough ways where you will be held accountable for not acknowlegding Him through Jesus.

Pray, then read.

Romans 9:14-26

14 What shall we say then? wIs there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, x"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,2 but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, y"For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19

k"Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’

and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ "

26 l"And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’

there they will be called m‘sons of the living God.’ "

You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For zwho can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, ato answer back to God? bWill what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 cHas the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump done vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience evessels of wrath fprepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known gthe riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he hhas prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he ihas called, jnot from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

#147  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 3:26 PM

My first comment in the context of your request was: “The unregenerate man is at enmity with God” This is from Rom 8:7 as follows: Because kthe 3carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, lnor indeed can be. Enmity is deep-seated animosity or hatred. Also Note here that it is impossible for the unregenerate mind to submit to the law of God.

My second statement was that the unregenerate man (the natural man) cannot understand the things of God. This is from 1Cor 2:14. 14 nBut the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.[1]

Third is said: The unregenerate man “has no faith in God”. This is a foregone conclusion. By definition the unregenerate have no faith in God.

Fourth I said: (he) “thinks the things of God are foolish”. See notes on my second statement.

Finally I said regarding the unregenerate man that his “heart that is desparately wicked”. This is from Jer 17:9 : 9 “The nheart is deceitful above all things, And 4desperately wicked; who can know it?”

Enjoy your study!

#148  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 4:06 PM

You would have to assume that Oral Roberts was a man of God. He was clearly a notoriously false teacher whose seed faith message was designed to line his own pockets with the money of the deceived. False teachers are not men of God.

#149  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 4:26 PM

Hi Jim,

So how many of Oral Roberts books have you read?

How many of his services have you been in?

Did you ever sit under the tent in one of his services?

Did you ever talk to anybody who has been healed through his ministry?

Have you ever met the man?

#150  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 5:39 PM

I have read quite a few of his books and attended countless of his services. Never did a tent service but I spoke with many people who claimed that they were healed by him and watched him "heal" hundreds of people. I had dinner with him several times as I was part of a large Word of Faith church for 8 years. I also had dinner with Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, Rodney Howard Browne, Jesse DuPlantis, Jerry Sevelle, John Avanzini and a host of other well known false teachers. I read their books, saw their videos and listened to thousands of hours of their tapes.

#151  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 8:16 PM

Hi Jim,

So really your main knowledge of Oral Roberts was AFTER the Tent meeting days.

In my humble opinion the Oral Roberts you are aware of is not the same as the one in the latter days of his life.

#152  Posted by Robert Iannuccilli  |  Sunday, December 27, 2009at 8:18 PM

Hi Jim, I am intrigued that you seem to have been so deeply involved in a WOF church and have personally met some of the bigger names out there. I am a Pentecostal pastor, but not associated with WOF teachings. I am very interested to know if, in your personal opinion, these men are merely off in their doctrine OR are they purposely deceitful? Do they believe the things they so fervently advocate? I appreciate any personal observations and insights you would be willing to share. Bless you. If you prefer you may write me personally @ christianlifecen@aol.com
#153  Posted by Andrew Hulse  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 12:41 AM

Hello Jim M.

Since you interacted with so many of the WOF people, I thought I would ask you a question.

Do you know if any of those false teachers had a hand in shaping Benny Hinn's doctrine?

I just heard Benny Hinn boldly declare the statement below on a video of him speaking at the World Healing Center Church. The Hinn claims that God is going to give the wealth of the world to the people listening to him there. He rips Proverbs 13:22b grossly out of context.

“It's going to happen at the worst moment for the world...God is about to take their money and stick in your hands”... (applauds...pause) then “Did you hear what I said”? And then, “Why? Because the wealth of the world belongs to the righteous.”

This is also on Benny Hinn's website:

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Coming Supernatural Wealth Transfer and You!

Get ready for Pastor Benny Hinn’s dynamic teaching on the six supernatural wealth transfers recorded in the Bible—Abraham,Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the children of Israel, and Solomon—all forerunners of a seventh major transfer about to take place. And you can be next! Pastor Benny says, “I believe the...

Back in 1999, I also heard Benny Hinn on a re-run claim that he would raise the dead. I found the quote by doing a Google search. Here is the quote:

“You’re going to have people raised from the dead watching this network… people around the world who will lose loved ones, will say to undertakers, “Not yet. I want to take my dead loved one and place him in front of that TV set for 24 hours.” I’m telling you. People will be — people — I’m telling you, I feel the anointing talking here. People are going to be canceling funeral services and bringing their dead in their caskets, placing them — my God I feel the anointing here — placing them before a television set, waiting for God's power to come through and touch them … You wait. Now the Lord just told me…”

To me, Hinn is obviously false as well, and for that reason I am posting some warnings from the Scripture in my post in case an uninformed person stumbles across my post.

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. (1 Timothy 6:9-10) NASB

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21) NASB

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.

2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! (James 5:1-3) NASB

Thanks!

#154  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 12:58 AM

Leon,

In reply to your comment to me (Dec 27 @ 5:32am), where you say, "I am sorry you are a skeptic as well. Because of your condition your are NOT pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

The faith that is discussed in the Bible (including in the Hebrews verse you quote), as others have said, is faith in God not faith in man. My skepticism is directed not towards God, for I fully believe that God can heal supernaturally today, but towards a man who has repeatedly made extravagant unsubstantiated claims. You should know who Marjoe Gortner and Peter Popoff are, they were also healing evangelists who were both frauds. More recently we've had Todd Bentley, whose claims of 100,000 healings and 30+ resurrections at Lakeland have been proven to be false. So there is ample evidence of wrongdoing in this area.

I respectfully must disagree with your view that I am not pleasing God by this attitude, I believe the opposite, namely that my approach is pleasing to God, and is inline with scripture. Here's a collection of verses to support it:

Matt 7:15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matt 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matt 24:4-5 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many”

Matt 24:10-11 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Matt 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible.

Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect – if that were possible

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Acts 20:29-31 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

1 Cor 2:15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment

1 John 4:1 Dear 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.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

1 Thess 5:21-22 Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders

The emphasis throughout the Bible is that God's people must be discerning, not having blind faith in the words of man. I believe that Oral Roberts was one of the wolves amongst the sheep - the false teachers, false prophets, and false miracle workers that we are warned against. He may have been different in his tent meeting days, but a crook who was once an honest man is still a crook.

Let me finish with this. I was praying today and God has told me to tell you, Leon Bible, that if you donate $5,000 to my ministry, he will bless you 1,000 times over in return. Call this number and sow your seed now...

[I confess and repent. I just made that up. If you believed it, you are a fool. But Oral Roberts said similar things. How do we know he wasn't making them up? Same goes for the rest of the shameless frauds.]

#155  Posted by Andrew Hulse  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 1:10 AM

Hello Robert,

I hope you don't mind me responding to your question. I have pondered that very question many times, but the Scriptures answers the question for us.

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13)

According to the Apostle Paul, these “impostors” are themselves “being deceived.” Apparently, Satan has been granted immense power to deceive dead unregenerate hearts.

Also, Jude says, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.“ Jude 1:4

#156  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 1:23 AM

To Robert,

Permit me to also answer your question to Jim.

There is evidence that some people in the WoF movement were definitely deliberate deceivers. I mentioned Marjoe Gortner and Peter Popoff in my previous post. It's quite likely that there are others like them around today who haven't been exposed yet.

Equally, there are some who have definitely been taken in by the false teaching of the big names, and genuinely believe the message that they preach. The deception and delusion is very strong.

I once heard a former pentecostal faith healer make a very interesting comment. He said that you soon realise that the healings you claim are happening in your meetings are false, brought on by mind-tricks, and you end up having to constantly lie to people. He questioned whether anyone who was truly born-again could live such a life of deceit.

Likewise, when it comes to money, as soon as you realise that you have stumbled upon a money-making formula (give me money and God will bless you), it consumes you, and your ministry becomes a business. Your focus becomes finding ways to continue and increase your income, and the word of God is reduced to the status of the commodity that you sell. Truth and integrity are left behind. You see this with Christian TV, and also in some churches, which seem to be the pastor's family business.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter whether someone is deceived or a deceiver, as either way they are still spreading deception.

#157  Posted by Andrew Hulse  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 1:29 AM

Comment deleted by administrator.
#158  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 6:00 AM

Regarding your comment as follows:

So really your main knowledge of Oral Roberts was AFTER the Tent meeting days. In my humble opinion the Oral Roberts you are aware of is not the same as the one in the latter days of his life.

Your humble opinion notwithstanding you've reached the wrong conclusion. I knew him from the mid 90's till the end. The Oral Roberts of whom I'm aware litterally could not be older than he was.

#159  Posted by Michael Sapp  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 7:06 AM

HC. My apolgies. I totally misunderstood your intention. Please forgive me. I too have a come-upance in the word of faith movement and I thought you were quoting that scripture verse as a proof text for your position. But (and perhaps I am the biggest one of all :) ) my intention was to point you, had you been using that scripture as I had thought you had, to Christ and His wonderful Saving work for you. God's blessing to you Brother.

#160  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 8:09 AM

Robert, in response to your question: “I am very interested to know if, in your personal opinion, these men are merely off in their doctrine OR are they purposely deceitful? Do they believe the things they so fervently advocate?” I wrestled with the very same question for some time: “are they ignorant or are they evil?”. My experience, not surprising, is that they display the exact characteristics that the bible says they do (see below). If a person claims to be a Christian and constantly exhibits impenitent sinful behavior, we should treat him as if he is unregenerate because, even though we can’t know his heart, we do know his actions (see 1John). If he repents, we were correct in our treatment as we have helped him by our ministry. If he remains impenitent, then he is most likely unsaved regardless of his words and we should continue to treat him as such. False teachers consistently display sinful behavior if in no other way than by teaching falsely but usually in many other ways as well.

2Peter 2:1 and following:

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

1 Timothy 6:2

3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

#161  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 8:37 AM

Well done David. Your final comment "In the end, though, it doesn't matter whether someone is deceived or a deceiver, as either way they are still spreading deception". I have more compassion for the deceived than for the deceivers as long as they are sincerely looking for the truth. The deceivers have put on the mantle of "teacher" and they are subject to a greater judgement by God. The WOF movement is just one of many that are growing and consuming the unaware. We all need discernment and the boldness to lovingly but firmly correct.

#162  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 2:52 PM

Well after studying the movement for 30 + years I have found most to be genuine in their faith and commitment to the Lord. An error from time to time? Sure... Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, John MacAurhur, Jerry Fawell... they are all human and all are subject to error. But I believe their hearts to be truly turned toward the Lord Jesus.

#163  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 9:10 PM

You could "study" the movement for another 30 years and come to the same conclusion. Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses and all other heretical religions are populated with false teachers who are "genuine in their faith" as well. Unfortunately like those just listed, the Word of Faith teachers are genuinely wrong as they also place their faith in heresy. A first year theology student could study them for 30 minutes and find enough error to last a lifetime. You keenly observe that, they are all human but fail to understand that it is one thing to make an error as Dr. MacArthur has admittedly done; it's quite another to teach error as the Word of Faith teachers do for a living. I also believe their hearts are "turned toward Jesus". Teachers of sound doctrine such as Dr. MacArthur are turned toward the Jesus of the bible whereas Word of Faith teachers are turned toward a Jesus of their own design, some of them up to 900 feet tall.

#164  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 9:19 PM

Hi Jim,

I appreciate your opinion, but after 30 years of waling in faith and love toward Jesus Christ I have never seen His Word fail. Not one time!

I have been healed many times and blessed in many ways. To God be the Glory.

#165  Posted by Jim Mckane  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 9:25 PM

I have personally sat in on informal meetings where these teachers bat around their “new ideas” to get feedback from the others. It’s very common. The Proverbs 13:22b scripture is a common staple among in WOF movement. Give me a Rolex, a white linen suit and hour of your time and I’ll preach it from memory.

#166  Posted by Leon Bible  |  Monday, December 28, 2009at 9:48 PM

Hi Jim,

You said: "Give me a Rolex, a white linen suit and hour of your time and I’ll preach it from memory."

Maybe so... But how many eyes of the blind have you opened?

#167  Posted by David Smith  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 12:22 AM

To Jim:

You said, "I have more compassion for the deceived than for the deceivers as long as they are sincerely looking for the truth." I agree, but equally there is a point at which someone steps over the line that separates sound doctrine from heresy. No christian would want a mormon preaching in their church, as the mormon gospel is a false gospel. But they tolerate WoF teachers who preach an equally false gospel.

To Leon:

You said, "But how many eyes of the blind have you opened?" And how many have you opened? And, more importantly, how many have the "healing evangelists" actually opened? These people do not have a reputation for integrity and it is utter stupidity to take their claims of miracles at face value.

#168  Posted by Barry Koh  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 12:47 AM

Hi Jim,

I too would like to ask you some questions.

....But how many prophecies have you made that never came to pass. If you did even just once, I am surprised you are still alive. You are lucky they don't stone anymore, at least not in the USA.

....But how many times have you asked for money in return for your guarantee of healing or monetary blessings.

....But how many people have you raised from the dead or claim to have raised from the dead but unable to provide documentary evidence.

....But how many poor people have you helped to become rich and prosperous through your preaching. You could come to my poor country and help eradicate the massive poverty there

....But how many hospitals have you helped to empty , seems that there is where most sick people are found. That would be the best place to prove healings did actually take place and eliminate the many exaggerated or false claims.

#169  Posted by David Smith  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 8:12 AM

Barry, your last post reads like it was directed towards Leon Bible, not Jim Mckane...