Just two more facets to examine. The fifth is that there will be some level of greed as a motivator for the false teacher. It is not always money. It could be fame, power or control. It is something they are getting from the false teaching. A vast majority of them however are financially motivated. The aforementioned Copeland is worth over 600 million dollars. Take these words to heart beloved. They are exploiting you. They are taking advantage of you. The Bible says they make merchandise of you. I often hear Joel Osteen defenders point to the fact that he does not take a salary from Lakewood Church and I give him credit for that but where did he make his 30 million dollars? Book sales. Who do you think his books are marketed to and bought by? He is still making merchandise of you. He is just nicer about it.
The final point is perhaps the most obvious but often overlooked. They are lying beloved. Their words are false. They prey on our gullibility, ignorance, and laziness. Ignorance is one thing but willful ignorance is quite another. The vast amount of people who go to church every Sunday do not care what God has actually said. They like their church. They like their pastor. They like their ministry. They like the sense of community and belonging. They like the sheer and utter carnality they get to be a part of wile being assured they are saved and going to heaven. Then that fateful day comes beloved and thankfully Jesus has given us a picture of what it may be like if we do not come out from among the false teachers we follow:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' - Matthew 7: 21-23 (ESV)
How terrifying! These are churched people beloved. They spent their lives thinking they were serving God only to discover He never knew them! They are the victims of false teachers! Do not minimize this for a minute. False teaching is a poison that will eternally kill millions of people. Review these signs of false teaching and start to examine what you are being taught. You can do the work of a Berean and discern for yourselves. Do not be deceived just because everyone likes them. Todd Bentley was packing in 15,000 people a night to watch him kick people in the face to impart "healing." Stop using carnal metrics to measure spiritual success. What they teach will be heretical -- it will run contrary to accepted doctrine. They will deny Christ on some level, even if it just by twisting His Word. There will be an underlying greed to their motivation and in the end, they are lying. If all of this is too confusing right now, start with the two simplest ways to determine if you are listening to a false teaching. Is it about me or Jesus and is it about this life or the eternal life. Build upon that through reliance upon the Holy Spirit being reassured that their condemnation is not idle and their destruction is not asleep.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- September 20, 2017