"At that time I said to you, 'I am not able to bear you by myself. The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven. May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you! How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.' -- Deuteronomy 1:9-13 (ESV)
The seeker friendly industrial complex driven by the purpose driven church growth models employs a seemingly endless line of false teachers and prophets. Keeping up with the more brazen and public is the norm, which sometimes lends itself to missing several false teachers. For my ministry Jentzen Franklin is one such false teacher. While I am sure I have referenced him in the past this may very well be the first devotional specifically about him. He is usually not this publicly sloppy so maybe this is a sign of things to come. Perhaps he is trying to expand his reach within the complex. Let us reason together through the above linked article and take a look at the theology of Jentzen Franklin:
"This coming year--2019--is going to be powerful. It's going to be the year of a thousand times more. Wouldn't you like to have a thousand times more of God's presence in your life and in the lives of your children and grandchildren? How about a thousand times more of God's favor in your church, your business and your home?" -- Jentzen Franklin
A thousand times more? Why not just shoot for a million and get it over with? If you are pimping God out, why the hesitancy? This is a tell-tale sign of a false prophet beloved. A one size fits all prophecy that cannot possibly be true but tickles the ears so much. How do we know it is not true? Franklin is claiming this is a word of God for His church. Everyone. So everyone gets a thousand times stuff? No one is in the valley? Can you imagine giving this absurd word to the underground church in China or the persecuted church in the Middle East? Any word that falls apart when leaving our shores is false by definition. Now let's watch how much Franklin respects scripture in defending this mess:
"I didn't pull that number out of thin air. We find the almighty God promising that very blessing in Deuteronomy 1:11: "May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times more numerous and bless you, just as He has promised you!" That's what I'm believing for. And I'm believing it for your life. A thousand times more sounds pretty big, but our God is a big God." -- Jentzen Franklin
Our God is a big God but that is no reason to butcher His word. The key verses today include Deuteronomy 1:11 as well as the immediate context. Is this God establishing some generational promise that we can all live by? Is He establishing an eternal principle of a thousand fold blessing? Hardly. What is happening here is that Moses is about to tell the tribes to pick leaders to serve as a buffer between him and the individual people in the tribes. Quite simply, Israel had grown so much that Moses could no longer answer every single question, concern and complaint. He says as much in verse nine when he says I cannot bear you by myself. In verse ten he properly gives credit for this growth to Almighty God. In verse 11, the verse in question, Moses is merely reiterating the covenant God has made with Israel. He is reaffirming or praying if you will, that God will make the nation a thousand times more and bless them as He has promised. This is regarding Israel beloved, not the church. After saying this sidebar prayer, Moses returns to the point in verse 12 -- how can I bear the burden and weight of your strife? Finally in verse 13 he instructs them to appoint leaders from their tribes. So yes, Jentzen Franklin did not pull the notion out of thin air. Instead he ripped it out of context and pretended it somehow applies to today and us receiving a thousand times the goodies we want in 2019. Ugh.
"At Free Chapel, we start out each new year with a 21-day fast. We do a "Daniel Fast," eating no meat, bread or sugar for 21 days. During this year's fast, we're going to be praying and seeking God's face for a thousand times more of Him than we've ever had in our lives." -- Jentzen Franklin
Uh-huh. Let's start with this notion of a Daniel fast, made popular by Rick Warren and the secular new age expert, Dr. Oz. In the first chapter we see the king want to give Daniel and his compatriots a portion of the meat the king ate and the wine he drank. The text clearly says that Daniel did not wish to defile himself so he cut a deal. He asked to be allowed to eat nothing but pulse, which was vegetables and seeds. In ten days he presented himself to the king who saw he was no worse off and the king allowed them to continue to have only pulse for the duration of their training. This lasted years, not 21 or 40 days but the issue was not fasting. It was that the king's meat was not at the standard of clean for the Jewish boys and probably did not have the blood drained. The only other place where Daniel fasts is in the tenth chapter where he says that he is in mourning so he excludes delicacies, meat and wine for 21 days. The verse prior is where Daniel receives a great revelation that has caused him to mourn. The point being is there is a reason why Daniel chose to fast and it certainly was not to seek God for a thousand times more stuff.
That said, fasting in general is a fine discipline to learn as a Christian. The first rule however is everyone is different. Some people have diabetes. Others have low or high blood pressure. You cannot just call everyone to the fast you have decided. That is dangerous and unbiblical. The bible says to fast in private and not let others know you are fasting. The object is to sacrifice something and during those times that you would usually enjoy what you are fasting from -- to draw closer to God. Not out of greed or silly prophecies of greed. Rather we draw close because He is God and we want to be closer to Him. For some their sacrifice might be no coffee. For others no sugar products. Can you imagine a vegan doing a Daniel fast? That is their diet! I remember when I was on a regular fasting regimen I eventually had to expand it because what was a sacrifice at the start became less and less sacrificial. A Daniel fast may sound pious but it is not biblical as designed and could jeopardize people's health. It is yet another "look at me" trick with the narcissistic world of Charismania.
"If we aren't careful, pride can cause us to pay a high price as well. That's why fasting is so important. When we fast, we humble ourselves before God. We are saying, "God, I need you right now just as much as I ever did. You've given me so much, but I know it's all through your power and not my own." We must never get to the place where we feel we can do it on our own. We must never feel our gifting, our talent, our education is enough." -- Jentzen Franklin
While I agree that we should never rest in our own selves, his notion that fasting for a thousand times more things is somehow humble is laughable. There is nothing humble about the fast he is undertaking. First of all he is doing it in public and against scripture. His entire premise was lifted from Deuteronomy without a care in the world about context. Then factor in the fact that his fast is essentially drawn from a desire for this thousand times stuff increase. That is the thing with false teachers. What God has already done is never enough. Franklin concludes:
"One of the greatest results of fasting is that we humble ourselves so God can exalt us. When we ask for a thousand times more in 2019, we ask it humbly. We ask it in the brokenness and humility of a fast. We ask it while recognizing that everything we are, everything we have, and everything we will ever accomplish is a gift from the hand of God." -- Jentzen Franklin
Wow; what carnal thinking. First of all, there is no way to ask for a thousand times more in 2019 humbly. Jentzen Franklin seems to believe that the fasting will result in brokenness and thus when asking for the thousand times bonus it is from a place of brokenness. No Jentzen it does not work that way. Fasting is not meant for us to go to God and say look -- I'm starving so give me what I want! All we need to know about the carnal theology of Jentzen Franklin can be highlighted in his assertion that we fast to humble ourselves because then God will exalt us. The way Franklin states it here we fast in order to be exalted! Beloved do not fall for such fleshly desires. God is Lord and He deserves to be exalted. We are the created, not the Creator. Let 2019 be the year we draw closer to God for everything He has already given to us not for a faux humility that not only asks for more but asks for a thousand times more with an eye towards being exalted by God.