SPIRITUAL HIGH TREASON
The `Rhema Bible Church` hosted their ‘BE FREE CONFERENCE’ on the 28th February 2006, with a dazzling opening ceremony. More than 3000 delegates watched as trapeze artists flew across the stage amidst showers of fire, while the energetic dancers aptly, ‘broke free from bondage’.
All of this took place while huge media screens portrayed images of wild animals running free in nature to a cacophony of sound and music. The stage was lit with spectacular multi--coloured lighting reflecting on a white background. The Rhema Band, all dressed in white, led the delegates into an anointed time of praise and worship, which got the crowd up off their feet and dancing in celebration. Timisho Masha, [Top Billing’s television presenter], took to the platform to welcome and entertain the crowd before the first guest speaker ministered to the audience.
Except for the fact that the mention of ‘an anointed time of praise and worship’ and `before the first guest speaker` ministered, one would have the impression that this dazzling ceremony was nothing short of a ‘Las Vegas’ style type of entertainment or glitzy show that had just commenced. What followed this dazzling show was a bevy of ministers from as far-a-field as Seattle --USA, Hillsong in Sydney -- Australia, Newport—Wales, Minneapolis—Minnesota, and Georgia—USA. One such pastor ministered with ‘humorous illustrations’ suggesting that God, ‘vomits you out if you are lukewarm’. Bishop Eddie Long [a favourite in South Africa], from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia - USA, urged delegates to grasp the concept that they are not ‘breaking free from bondage’, their minds are not free. Once the mind is free, one will be free not only mentally, but spiritually and physically as well.
The ‘BE FREE CONFERENCE’ was a blessed time of fellowship, where God’s awesome power and anointing were tangible. The highlight was when hundreds of young and old accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and was set free from their bondage to begin a new life full of God’s grace, mercy and restoring love. To this I’ll say a resounding, HALLELUJAH!!!
In part two  of this message I’ll come back to the introduction of this message. What I want to share here with you is the misuse of scripture of some of these pastors mentioned. And of course other ministers all over the world.
The first one is Pastor Ray Bevin from Newport Wales declaring that God, ‘vomits you out if you are lukewarm’ which is a direct misquote of this particular verse found in Revelation 3:17, concerning the lukewarm state of the church in Laodicea. The King James Bible is translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. And this is the most reliable version of those original manuscripts that have been in use since 1611. The KJV uses the word spew or spue. The argument here is not whether the word spew or spue or even vomit is or has the same meaning [Take a look see at the Oxford Dictionary, there is a difference in the meanings]. The only other times in the word of God [KJV] where the word ‘vomits’ come through is found in the following scriptures; Job 20:15, Proverbs 23:8, Proverbs 25:16, Proverbs 26:11, Isaiah 19:14, Isaiah 28:8, Jeremiah 48:26, 2 Peter 2:22.
Folks, the point I want to make is the fact that so many preachers of the gospel, [anywhere in the world] are misquoting the scriptures translated from the Greek and Hebrew scripts. This seems to have become the norm amongst the ‘modern preachers’ of our day. And this goes under the guise of, ‘well it is so much easier for the layperson to understand.’ NO IT IS NOT SO DIFFICULT FOR THE LAYPERSON TO UNDERSTAND!!! Take a look see at the new translations that have flooded the market these recent years; the NIV, NAB, NEB, RSV, etc.
Brother Dan Hanshaw from Faith Warrior Ministries explains it like this. ‘This is why all these modern translations and paraphrases are perverted and not God’s Word. I am a theologian writer for Jesus Christ and not a philosopher. If someone takes my writings and they add [or change] there words to my writings, those writings are no longer mine but theirs. [stealing as in Romans 15:20]. God’s word is no different [1Corinthians 2:10—16] Here are a few examples [especially] from the NIV to prove how the ‘modern translators’ have perverted the Word of God as it was originally translated in 1611, which today we know as the King James Bible. They are in reality trying to disclaim the deity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Compare these scriptures mentioned here to the KJV.
Luke 4:4…`but by every word of God` ________is omitted.
Luke 2:22…`their instead of her` _______changed
Luke2:43…`his parents` instead of ` Joseph and his mother. Jesus did not have an earthly father. Joseph was Jesus` stepfather.
Luke2:33…`Joseph and his mother` are replaced by the child’s [father] and mother.
Matthew 17:21________completely removed
Matthew 18:11________completely removed
Matthew 23:14________completely removed
1John 5:7____________completely removed
John 5:4_____________completely removed
John 6:55____________`my flesh is meat` changed to `my flesh is real food` `my blood is drink` changed to `my blood is real drink`. Very wrong definition.
James 5:16______faults changed to sins. Two different meanings.
Matthew 6:7_____`vain repetitions` changed to `do not keep on babblings`. Two different meanings [take a look at the dictionary]
Mark 10:24______`it for them that trust in riches` is omitted.
Romans 1:16_____`of Christ ` is omitted.
Titus 2:1_________The word charity has been replaced by the word love. Very wrong! The word charity means love of all [fellow men, kind-ness, leniency, liberality, beneficence etc], whereas with love, you have to ask the question, what love? Love between husband and wife, father and son etc.
Do you understand the point that ‘Brother Dan’ is making when he says that God’s word is being perverted by these modern translations. Let me show you an example of this perversion as found in 1John 5[KJV], `for there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these Three are one [v7]. `And there are three who bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these Three agree in one [v8]. Verse seven has been removed from the modern translation.
This is one of the most important verses in God’s Word because of the witness in heaven. [The NIV, NEB, NAB, RSV translators omit verse seven in there modern translations]. You say that doesn’t matter? Brother Dan Hanshaw says the following and I agree with him.
 If it were not for these Three, being one God, we would not even be here in the first place.
 By omitting verse seven , is the very reason why Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18+19 were put in God’s Word in the first place. Are you starting to grasp the meaning of the perversion of these modern translations? So thank you Brother Dan for your Holy Spirit inspired wisdom concerning these matters.
OK!! Let me explain why I have chosen to write on such a controversial subject as the title of this message would suggest, Spiritual High Treason! For the last decade but even more in recent years church’s [different denominations] have sprung up like ‘mushrooms’ here in South Africa. And I know in the USA also. And we know that `mushrooms` have the provability for rapid growth, sudden development and expansion. Certain mushrooms as we know are edible, while other types are of course poisonous and are very unhealthy for human consumption and then they are trodden down and discarded. So it has been my observation over the years that these ‘mushroom churches’ spring up and there is sudden growth and expansion, and then like the ‘mist before the sun’ disappears.
Each of these ‘mushroom churches’ have their own set of rules, as concerning the interpretation of the Word of God. One believes in ‘water baptism’ but does not believe in the ‘Baptism in the Holy Spirit’ with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Another believes if you give to God you will live a life of prosperity, and deceiving people that if you join their church all these things can be possible.
One such church that promotes this is the ‘Universal Church of the Kingdom of God’ here in South Africa. They advertise over national television in so-called interviews with people concerning their problems. It goes something like this. The ‘Bishop’ will ask the person being interviewed what has been his/her problem. The person will give his/her answer what their problem is/was. The ‘Bishop’ will then ask what has happened to his/her problem since they have joined the ‘Universal Church’ taking part in this or that program. And the answer will come back, ‘that since they [him/her] have joined this or that program at ‘Universal Church’ their problems have been solved, or this or that need has been met etc. Folks, one cannot but clearly see and hear that the interview is choreographed. A few months back they ran an advert based on the scripture in Exodus 29:21 called ‘Nine  Sundays of Intercession’. This is a portion of that advert:
`While in Israel, all Bishops blessed the Holy Oil; with this oil we will anoint and consecrate the clothes of your family at the door every Sunday as you come in. And whenever they wear it, God’s power will be upon them. All you need to do is bring the clothes of your family members to be consecrated with the blessed oil.’
While I’m on a roll let me add another of their ‘join our church’ promotions, as in `Blessings of Love`….would you like to find true love? Come to the Therapy of Love ----- Saturday @ 2PM.
Let me end here with one last `join our church` advert called `Suffering in Silence`
1. Family Problems
2. Broken Relationships
3. Bad luck
9. Victims of addiction
10. Victims of witchcraft
Tick the problems you’re facing, cut out and bring this paper to your nearest `Universal Church`.
Folks this is the exact type of adverts that the mediums, fortune-tellers and soothsayers and such ilk advertise in your and our magazines and even the local daily newspapers.
I wonder what happened to just good old fashioned Bible scripture, `Come unto me, all ye, that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light` [Matthew 11: 28—30]
Or consider what Jesus said in John 10:10, `the thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly`.
So must I join the `Universal Church of the Kingdom of God` to receive God’s blessings as promised in His Word? Or must I subscribe to one of their promotions or campaigns, to gain financial-prosperity so I can afford to buy a new car or home or save my marriage. Folks, this is not something I am pulling from a rabbit’s hat. This is being promoted as gospel by this mega-growing church. And believe you me; they are very successful at what they do. They are also springing up like mushrooms all over South Africa. I am here giving you a taste of the title of this message, ‘Spiritual High Treason’
This is just one of the churches in South Africa that operates like this. At some other time I will call some names of these mega-churches.
Let me step off South African soil, and step onto American soil. This has become the decade of mega-church growth. Prosperity preaching’s and teaching are the order of the day. Name it and claim it, the sky is the limit, God will bless you abundantly when you give abundantly to the work of God. Is it the work of God?, when pastors preach constantly on giving and giving and give till you can’t give any more. Trust God for supplying your every need! In the meantime the pastor is driving a bigger and better car, he is living in a bigger and more luxurious home, he is flying overseas to have holidays, and he owns a private jet. Does this sound familiar? In the USA one church is bigger and better than the other. The pastor becomes so big that the poor church member of his ‘mega-church’ cannot even speak to him. These mega-preachers now become celebrities; as they preach or promote some or other ‘Purpose Driven Church’ or ‘name it and claim it’ type of gospel. These mega- churches have congregations up to 10,000 members in one service. I pose this question!! Do these celebrity-ministers even know any of his congregation on a personal level? I don’t think so. There is no way that the mega-preacher can know his flock save maybe a handful.
Oh be assured they preach messages that give the impression of caring, but to be very blunt [to those who can’t see it], it’s all about the money.
So, does the preacher know his flock? Let’s see what Jesus has to say about being the shepherd of the flock. `I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His life for the sheep`. `But the hired servant [he who merely serves for wages], who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches and scatters [the flock]. Now the hireling flees because he merely serves, and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them, I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me`, John 10:10-13 Amp Bible] Does this sound familiar to you? I have seen, and know of several cases like these here in South Africa.
Recently in your, The New York Times` newspaper there was an article written by a journalist by name of Michael Luo [Sunday 5, February 2006]. The article was on the Reverend Creflo A Dollar Jr, who preaches the Gospel of Wealth, and teaches `total life prosperity`. [But before I continue, let me say upfront that in no way is this writer brow-beating or preacher-bashing anyone]. I certainly do believe in what the Word of God teaches about the blessings of the Lord that He so bountifully pours upon His children, who are faithful in their giving to the work of the Lord. The point I believe I want to make is that the `Gospel of Salvation` has been replaced by the `Gospel of Prosperity and Wealth`, this past decade. The mega-churches all over the USA and here in South Africa, and most other parts of the world have certainly all but neglected the Great Commission of Acts 1: 8. The `Church of Jesus Christ` has been called firstly to comply with that Great Commission. The second important aspect that has and is being neglected by many and that is to do as recorded in Isaiah 1:1-4, Mark 16:15, Luke 4:19, Luke 9:2, Acts 10:42, 1Corinthians 1:23, Colossians 1:28.
The preaching of the Cross and Christ crucified is no longer first priority in this new dispensation. Many preachers say, `but we have moved past Cross and Crucifixion teachings`. They now teach and preach the deeper things of God. I for one am all for moving on to the deeper things of God, as concerns one’s maturity and growth in Christ as taught in Hebrews 5:11-14, 1Corinthians 3:1-23, Hebrews 6: 1-12 and so-forth. But when ministers make careless statements like the above then I want to make the following statement, `They have backslidden when the Cross is no longer their first priority in matters of the spiritual-growth of their flock`.
Continuing with the article in the newspaper, Reverend Creflo Dollar Jr as you know is the founder and senior-pastor of World Changers Church. This church, which links faith with material riches, has more than 25,000 members in the USA. The article spoke of a couple [Cherayel and Troy Anderson]. `They wave their blue-offering envelope overhead, as all around them worshippers shout their praises to God. Inside the envelope is ten  percent of the weekly pay Mr Anderson takes home as an electricians-apprentice [he earns $30,000 a year] – and a little more for the church building-fund`.
`The Andersons live in the Bronx, are struggling financially. Not long ago, the couple who have two  children, had no money to buy groceries. But they believe what their pastor, Reverend Creflo Dollar, said on this recent Saturday night about the offering time; `its opportunity for prosperity` I want to ask a quick question here. Does Reverend Creflo Dollar, even know the Anderson family? My answer has to be a resounding, NO HE DOES NOT!! With 25,000 members in his church, how can he know them? `
The man has his own TV show, called `Changing Your World`, and has best-sellers in the bookstores, owns two  Rolls Royce’s, private-jet, million dollar home, and a $2,5 million Manhattan apartment. So how can he know the Andersons? who are poor, and struggling to buy groceries to feed their two children. Because if he did know them, I’m sure the good pastor as a shepherd who cares for his flock, would want to help them who are in need. And the Bible so clearly tells us that the poor will always be amongst us, according to John12:8.
Also we read in Romans 12:13, that we who have plenty should, `distribute to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality`. One wonders if Reverend Creflo A Dollar puts this attribute into practice where the needy and the poor are concerned, and all the other [mega-church] ministers for that matter, who own million dollar mansions, private jets, limousines or Rolls Royce’s. One such mega-church pastor here in South Africa is Ray McCauley, from the Rhema Bible Church. This minister himself owns a million-dollar mansion of the highest order, and himself is a prosperity-gospel teacher who has a congregation of about 30,000 members.
Let me stop here for a moment and quote something from author, Barbara Nauer in her book Jimmy Swaggart – Dead Man Rising: pp159, `A fine book of 1993, `Christianity in Crisis` by Hank Hanegraaff [Harvest House], examined this `prosperity gospel` heterodoxy, named the TV ministers who have been its chief promoters, and generally explored the ravages which prosperity preaching has inflicted on the faith of many American believers and their churches. Hanegraaff did not name Jimmy Swaggart as being among the foremost teachers of prosperity thinking, which is sometimes called the `faith movement,` but he probably should have fingered Jimmy. This critic pointed to Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, John Avanzini, Marilyn Hickey, Benny Hinn [who by now has repented of the heresy] and in a lesser way Oral Roberts. Not surprisingly, Hanegraaff and other heresy-hunters have reserved their most biting attacks for Evangelist Robert Tilton whose endless array of `prayer cloths` and tiny packets of `miracle oil` and `faith seeds` thanks to modern marketing and packaging techniques, have generated riches such as the rascally Johann Tetzel [the monk who sold relics and indulgences in Martin Luther’s time for financial gain] could only dream of.
Not surprisingly there are ministers here in South Africa who divulge in the same manner as of a Robert Tilton. One such minister has gone so far as to have his printed hands placed on the Internet [On his ministries website, www.spiritwordchannel.org], which is anointed with oil, so that if you place your hand on to his printed hand on the PC monitor you will be blessed or healed, or whatever your need is will be met. One cannot but wonder what our Lord and Saviour thinks about all these so-called ministers who promote these unscriptural methods for financial gain. It saddens me when I see or hear these things happening in the `Church`, as these so-called preachers of the gospel feed off the innocent and gullible to enrich themselves.
In closing this first of our two  part message, I would like to echo what our Lord said in Matthew 19, ever so directly and to the point, `And Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you, it will be difficult for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven [v23], Again I tell you, it is easier, for camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go into the Kingdom of Heaven [v24 Amp Bible]
Greetings till we talk again.
Note from the FMHCCI administrator (Dad):
Contrary to Brother William's statement concerning the word 'vomit' being a direct misquote of Revelation 3:16, it is perfectly acceptable to translate the Greek word 'emeō' as 'spue' or 'vomit':
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (G1692) thee out of my mouth." (Revelation 3:16 KJV)
Spue (G1692) [emeō] - Of uncertain affinity; to vomit: - (will) spue. (Strong's Greek Dictionary)
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