DON’T GO BEYOND WHAT’S WRITTEN (PART I)
By Akin Ojumu
Keenly observant Christians are getting fewer in number the further we go into these Last Days. As the events of these perilous times unfold, the Church seems to be losing the sophistry required to discern truth from error. It has now become customary for Christians to go the whole hog in accepting and respecting anyone who comes along claiming to be a man of God speaking on behalf of God.
Back when I first got saved, a clear line of demarcation existed between those considered Christian ministers and those regarded as charlatans. In those days, for instance, a man like TB Joshua was dismissed as an impostor. Ostracized and rejected, his Synagogue temple was looked upon as a place where Satan dwells.
By the time TB Joshua died in 2021, however, not only had the “son of the Devil” amassed millions of followers globally, but he also enjoyed godlike status in the eyes of his Nigerian followers. Worst still, unbeknownst to many Nigerian Christians, even their own pastors were secret admirers of TB Joshua. In fact, in his condolence letter to TB Joshua’s wife, one of Nigeria’s leading pastors wrote, “We take solace in the Lord, believing that we shall meet again at the feet of our Lord Jesus, on the resurrection morning.”
That false prophets and false teachers will infiltrate and dominate the Church in the Last Days was foretold by the early Christian Fathers. Every single Book in the New Testament Bible, with the exception of Philemon, forewarns about the impending deluge of false teachers and their false teachings. From Christ Jesus Himself to the very last one of His Apostles, we were told that obfuscation and deception will be the modus operandi as this present age winds down to a close.
From the clownishly obvious to the most cunningly subtle, a menagerie of false teachers is running wild within the walls of modern-day Christian assemblies. Thick smoke of erroneous doctrines blankets the Household of faith, and its toxic fumes deplete the spiritual oxygen in the atmosphere. As the wildfire rages through the Body of Christ, it lays waste the faith of the undiscerning and wreaks havoc to the souls of the unperceiving.
The reason false teachings proliferate is because the vast majority of Church folks relish the lies they are being fed. People can’t help it; they love to have their itchy ears scratched. To be told that God is duty bound to make them an instant millionaire or give them a multimillion-dollar contract award is a message with great appeal. It’s natural for them to gravitate towards a preacher who says that God has purposed for them to achieve greatness and that He has a plan to bless them beyond their wildest dreams.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
Scratching the itching ears is what false teachers do, and many of them are quite proficient at it. They love to regale their audience with fantastical tales of how they live supernatural lifestyles. With a good understanding of human nature, they use cleverly devised tales to lure their prey into traps of false expectations. Unlike Apostle Paul, whose message and preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, these ferocious wolves fill their victims with vacuous words of human wisdom.
Predictably, the false teachers of health, wealth, and success false doctrine are richly rewarded for feeding their victims with a sumptuous meal of the very things the flesh lusts after. The very same people they’ve fed with lies return the favor by lavishing on them generous gifts and donations. Thus, they become the Gucci Pastors who roll in style and reside in palaces. From head to toe, they reek of lasciviousness, and they ooze from the stench of carnality.
Sadly, fidelity to sound teaching and large crowds are mutually exclusive. At places where sound doctrine is preached, the people that go there are few and far in between.
Tune in next time to learn how to detect false teachers.