Along with singing, giving is another way of showing your appreciation to God for His goodness towards you. No one should give to any ministry that is using God’s name in vain by claiming that they are relaying a message from God when in fact the message is a vague/general message. Give to the poor, widows, orphans and those who are truly in need. Also, give with a pure heart (a thankful heart). No one should give with the following kind of thought: “What will God give me in return”. Such a thought is very evil. It shows that the person does not know how good God has been towards him/her. Oh! May we pay serious attention to Matthew 5:44-45 where Jesus said “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” God has been very kind to us the unthankful and to us the evil. No one can pay God for anything. Do you want to pay God for existence/life? Romans 11:35-36 “… who has first given to God that it should be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
The New Covenant does not have a symbolic giving like the Old Testament’s “one-tenth”. True Christianity teaches the following: 2Corinthians 8:12-15 “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For i do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack–that there may be equality. As it is written, ‘He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.” 9:7 “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” There are those who are wealthy, and they certainly give more than the Old Testament’s “one-tenth”. But if you are financially unable to give a penny, don’t worry about it. God wants your love, not your money. Don’t allow any preacher to condemn you with unscriptural teachings/lies. Bad things happen to everyone. God is gracious to those who don’t even serve Him. No one is holy enough for God. Those who are accepted by God are only accepted by Him because of Christ. If you are financially poor, be encouraged by James (Yakob) 2:5-8 “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well”
Romans 8:15-17 “You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God … joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Don’t give to any preacher who claims he is relaying a prophetic message from God when in fact the message is a vague/general message. Freely give to those who are truly in need; seek to understand true Christianity through the Scriptures. Depend on Christ. Share true Christianity with people, and God will be happy with you. When you give to the poor, remember this: God does not need your money. He is not impressed because you gave, He can easily use another rich person to help the poor. Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
God provides for people’s physical needs. He also sustains all living things (plants, animals, etc.) However, God has not guaranteed earthly blessings to anyone. The spiritual blessings of the New Covenant are definitely guaranteed to all/anyone who will abide in Jesus. Serving the true Jesus does not mean you will be wealthy or that everything will go well with you in this world that hates righteousness. Philippians 1:29 “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” Acts 5:40-41 “… when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, then they let them go. So the apostles departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Your soul will always be fine as long as you are trusting Christ, but God has not promised that you will always be fine physically. All your spiritual leaders (including E.A. Adeboye) are getting old; they all fall sick and die. Don’t let anyone deceive you. In 2Corinthians 4:16, Paul said “… Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
1Timothy 6:5-11 “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness …”
Benny Hinn made the following prediction in 1989:
The Spirit tells me, Fidel Castro will die in the 90’s. Oh my. Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power. And Cuba will be visited of God. … The Lord also tells me to tell you, in mid 90s, about ’94 or ’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. … He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed (Orlando Christian Center, December 31, 1989).
Fidel Castro is still alive; he retired in February 2008 and transferred his power to his brother (Raul Castro) on the 24th of Feb 2008. This is March 2009, is the Homosexual community in America a thing of history? The true God never spoke to these Pentecostal preachers. They are being deceived by deceitful spirits, yet millions continue to follow them. 2Peter 2: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies … And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. … (they) speak evil of things they do not understand, and will
utterly perish in their own corruption … They have a heart trained in covetous practices … They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness … For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure (they entice) through the desires of the flesh … While they promise them liberty (deliverance), they themselves are slaves of corruption …”
Pentecostal preachers often make predictions of things of high probability/general knowledge while claiming it’s a special revelation from God. On RCCG’s Europe website, the following were among Adeboye’s predictions for 2008:
1. There will be scientific breakthrough this year
2. There will be major medical breakthrough this year (http://rccgeuropemainland.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=109).
How do Pentecostals explain the fact that when Jesus was physically here, His relative (John the Baptist) was unjustly imprisoned and later beheaded and Jesus did nothing/no miracle. On this issue, Jesus said “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Luke 7:23). God is God, not us. He does His miracles according to His own discretion, and blessed is the person who is not offended because of God’s decision/will in allowing physical tragedy/no deliverance for His own child. John the Baptist was taken to his Heavenly reward but many Pentecostals with all their miracles/ deliverance will be taken to Hell.
Like witchcraft (Harry Potter, Star Wars Force, etc.) Pentecostal beliefs are very appealing because they promise people immediate power and a million dollars. Also, those who are not yet born of the Spirit of the true Jesus and those who are not growing strong in true Christianity, want a god they can see (e.g., their spiritual leader) rather than the invisible God. In addition, they stubbornly want self-pleasure and self-glory (pride), therefore they want a god that caters to their will/desires rather than a God who says: Shame on you for your selfishness. Repent of your selfishness. The only God who can save your soul from the eternal judgment is the God who continually says “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40). Last year, while i was staying with a relative of mine in Lagos, Nigeria, he asked me if i realize that Jesus is actually our servant (i.e., Jesus serves us). I told him yes, Jesus serves us. The reason i said yes is because of Mark 10:42-45 “Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
However, the whole truth is this: Jesus (i.e., God) serves people according to His own will/timing, not according to our own desire/timing. On the other hand, witchcraft does not have holy requirements that limit people, like the requirements of true Christianity. Pentecostal beliefs, like witchcraft are very appealing because they promise you immediate power at your command (just imagine it and speak it). But the spirits who grant these powers are deceitful. They want people to continue on that road (e.g., visualization/imagination); they want people to be on their side; those deceitful spirits are sometimes able to grant some wish but sometimes they are not able. The true God does not serve us according to our own desires but according to His own holy will. He is not a foolish Father who spoils His children or rarely disciplines His children. He regularly disciplines those who are His. Through His love, He teaches them to be content, meek, disciplined; and He helps them because they are weak. Hebrews 12:5-8 “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom YAH loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
If you don’t want to be misled/deceived, the best way to identify a true servant of God versus the many that are deceitful is by comparing the person’s teachings/sayings to the instructions of Scripture, not by signs and wonders. Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” In Deuteronomy 13:1-3, God instructed His people (the Jews): “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’–which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
In Matthew 24:23-26, Jesus said: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Anointed One!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs (false anointed ones) and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.” 1John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 2Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2Corinthians 11:13-15 “… false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”