I greet you all in the Mighty Name of Lord Jesus Christ.
The latest news circulating about Joel Osteen is shocking and depressing. Among many was the apology he tendered to his members for the slip of tongue mentioning the name Jesus in his sermon. This is disturbing, Why? Is Osteen really hurting anybody? Absolutely yes. He wears the mantle of God — influencing millions! He preaches positive thinking and self-help instead of the Gospel. The Gospel is the opposite of positive thinking and self-help, no man can help himself. The Gospel says, I’m a wreck! Help me God! The true Gospel is edgy — it divides — and I count it as unlikely in a church that attracts 40,000 people, including youth, and millions others who follows him blindly on different social media that there would be even a whiff of the true Gospel. True salvation displays humans that are wrecked by sin. It requires a suffering Savior, the essential unworthiness of the believer, and the emptying of self. These are not in Osteen’s showcase. Those of us who have been pulled back from the brink of hell will not hold our peace, and we cannot afford to see others going on opposite direction and become careless about their souls, as we tend to keep the core Gospel elements as our underlying message. Therefore, we raise unrelenting, unapologetic proclamations against these evil people.
Friends, There are two evil breeding fast in the gathering of the children of God today:
1) The predators in the cloaks of pastors, bishops, preachers.
2) The lazy, crippled minded, blind, epileptic, brain-dead nominal/professed christians, who prefers to be fed with junks of falsehood, anointed oil, blessed water, aprons, etceteras, rather than read their Bibles, trust in God to grow thereby.
The epistles of Jude made us to understand that, “For there are certain men crept into our midst unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4 KJV
These people preaches strange doctrines to those with itching ears, who will not bother to open their Bibles to read, and meditate upon, thereby fall into traps. If you are a true Christian, you’ll soon discern that these agents of satan uses God-flavored language to propagate an ungodly concept. The Word of Faith theology and/or the prosperity gospel tells us that God wants us rich! That’s a lie. God does not want us rich — he wants us Holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16), “But as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 KJV” According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4 KJV
Riches are neither here nor there.
Among many of their erroneous doctrines is, “name it and claim it” or “prosperity gospel” which is not Biblical and are in many ways antithetical to the true Gospel message, and the clear teaching of Scripture. While there are many different versions of the “name it and claim it” philosophy preached today, they all have similar characteristics. At its best, this teaching comes from the misinterpretation, twisted, misrepresentation, misunderstanding of some Scriptures, and, at its worst, it is a completely heretical teaching that has the characteristics of cultic doctrine with evil intentions of the inventors. The roots of the “Word of Faith movement” and the “name it and claim it” message have more in common with new age metaphysics than with Biblical Christianity. However, instead of us creating our reality with our thoughts, as new age proponents advise, “name it and claim it” teachers tell us that we can use the “power of faith” to create our own reality or get what we want. In essence, faith is redefined from “a trust in the Holy and Sovereign God despite our circumstances” to “a way of controlling God to give us what we want.” That Faith becomes a magical force whereby we can get what we want rather than an abiding trust in God even during times of trials and suffering which God can use to purifies us.
There are many areas where “name it and claim it” departs from Biblical Christianity. The teaching really exalts man and his “faith” above God. In fact, many of the more extreme Word of Faith teachers teach that man was created on terms of equality with God and that man is in the same class of being that He is Himself.
This dangerous and heretical teaching denies the very basic tenets of Biblical Christianity, which is why the extreme proponents of the “name it and claim it” teaching must be considered to be cultic and not truly Christian.
Both the metaphysical cults and the “name it and claim it” teaching distort the Truth and embrace the false teaching that our thoughts control reality. Whether it is the power of positive thinking or the prosperity gospel, the premise is the same—what you think or believe will happen is ultimately what controls what will happen. If you think negative thoughts or are lacking in faith, you will suffer or not get what you want. But on the other hand if you think positive thoughts or just have “enough faith,” then you can have health, wealth, and happiness now. This false teaching appeals to one of man’s most basic instincts, which is one reason why it is hugely popular with large followers.
While the prosperity gospel and the idea of controlling one’s future with his thoughts or faith is appealing to sinful man, it is insulting to the Sovereign God who has revealed Himself in Scripture the “He will make us to be what He desire for His Glory.” Instead of recognizing the absolute Sovereign Power of the Almighty God as revealed in the Bible, the “name it and claim it” adherents embrace a false god who cannot operate apart from their faith. They present a false view of God by teaching that He wants to bless you with health, wealth, and happiness but cannot do so unless YOU have enough faith. Thereby God is no longer in control but man is. Of course, this is completely antithetical to what Scripture teaches. God does not depend upon man’s “faith” to act. Throughout Scripture we see God blessing whom He chooses to bless and healing whom He chooses to heal.
Another problem with the “name it and claim it” teaching is that it fails to recognize that Jesus Himself is the ultimate treasure worth sacrificing everything for (Matthew 13:44 ), and instead sees Jesus as little more than a way of getting what we want right now. Jesus’ message is that a Christian is called to “deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24–26 ). Contrast that to the message of the prosperity gospel. Rather than being a message of self-denial, the prosperity gospel is one of self-satisfaction. Its goal is not becoming more Christlike through sacrifice but having what we want here and now, clearly contradicting the Eternal Words of our Savior.
The Bible teaches that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 ), but the “name it and claim it” message is that any suffering we undergo is simply the result of a lack of faith. The prosperity gospel is completely focused on us getting the things the world has to offer, but 1John 2:15 tells us we should not “love the world or the things in the world” and, in fact, those with a fondness for the things of the world become enemies of God (James 4:4 ). The message of the prosperity gospel simply cannot be any more opposite of what the Bible really teaches.
In his book, “Your Best Life Now”, prosperity teacher Joel Osteen says that the key to a more rewarding life, a better home, a stronger marriage, and a better job is found in a “simple yet profound process to change the way you think about your life and help you accomplish what is truly important.” What is truly important in the mind of Pastor Joel is simply materialistic, and worldly possessiveness. How different that is from the Biblical Truth that this life now is nothing compared to the life to come. The large followers they control has no heavenward meaning but delusion. Jesus Christ counseled, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17 KJV The message of the prosperity gospel is focused around the “treasures” or good things we want and can have now, while Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21 ).
Jesus did not come to give us health, wealth and happiness now, He came to save us from our sins so that we can have an eternity of bliss with Him. Following Christ is not a ticket to all the material things men desire in this life but a ticket to eternal life. Our desire should not be to have our best life now but to have the attitude of the Apostle Paul, who had learned to be content “in whatever state I am” (Philippians 4:11)
There is another one called ‘prayer circle.’ Prayer circles are not mentioned in the Bible. If prayer circles were important and provided authority, Jesus would have included the idea in His prayer tutorial to His disciples (Luke 11:1–4 ). At the very least, if prayer circles were helpful in our prayers, they would have been mentioned somewhere in Scripture.
• Biblical prayer comes from a humble heart, submitted to God’s will and desirous of God’s glory. The Bible never mentions marching in circles during prayer, drawing circles around objects, or demanding what we want to receive from God. The prayer circle system has undertones of the “name it, claim it” philosophy that exalts man and his “faith” above God. While many proponents of prayer circles deny an association with “name it, claim it” ideology, there are connections. God does not need us to release Him or give Him permission before He blesses us.
• The Bible instructs us to pray boldly and to be persistent Luke 18:1, but we should never attempt to manipulate God through a specific formula or ritual. There is nothing wrong with praying boldly and faithfully, as long as we remember who is in charge. It’s not us. Common “warfare prayers” include many “I” statements such as “I declare,” “I decree,” “I bind,” “I overrule,” “I smash,” “I override,” “I juxtapose,” “I rebuke,” etc. REMEMBER how the 5 word of ‘I’ put satan into trouble while he was meditating it in his arrogant heart, “For thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I’ will ascend into heaven, ‘I’ will exalt my throne above the stars of God: ‘I’ will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: ‘I’ will ascend above the heights of the clouds; ‘I’ will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:13-15 KJV
We must be very careful about these kind of prayer manufacturers, because the pray-er is the acting agent, and there is a danger of praying “My will be done” rather than “Thy will be done.”
We should be wary of any teacher who says that certain physical actions give prayer more power or authority. We are nowhere in Scripture called to “claim” what we deem as rightfully ours.
• The Bible does not attribute power to proximity or visualization. For example, a prayer for a person to find employment is no more or less powerful offered sitting in one’s home than offered while walking around the office building claiming the position of the chief executive director of the company, it is laughable. To believe that prayers offered in one setting or position are more effective than those offered at another time or in another manner is more superstitious than scriptural. While we may feel the need to be close to a location or situation to pray more clearly, we must remember that our heavenly Father is omnipotent and omnipresent. God knows exactly what needs are present and will respond to our prayers in His own perfect will and timing.
Likewise, visualizing one’s prayer with a prayer circle does not give it more authority. The human mind has no power to create reality or reshape the world to one’s liking, no matter how focused the thoughts or clear the visualization. God alone creates, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17 ). Visualizing the answer to prayer will not make it more likely to be answered.
God’s Word gives us specific instruction about prayer. We don’t need to add to those instructions in an attempt to manipulate God’s power or receive answers to our prayers.