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When Someone Says "The Lord told me..."

Some people will claim God spoke to them directly, either verbally, in a vision, in a dream, on their private air plane, or they were lifted up to heaven and met God face to face.  But are their claims true?  If these claims are true, what are the implications?  If they are not true, what does that mean for the person making that claim?  How can we know the trustfulness of their claims?  We need to seek God's actual word to test these type of claims.


Face Value

Why are we not to take their claims at face value?  The Apostles (The Holy Spirit) explain why in a very clear way.  Paul (The Holy Spirit) encouraged and praised the Berean church when they tested what they were taught against Holy Scripture (Acts 17:11).  John (The Holy Spirit) does not just suggest but commands us to test teachings and its teachers to determine if they are from God or not (1 John 4:1).  People claiming the same things the Apostles claimed, personal encounters and experiences with the risen Jesus, are to be put to the test (Rev. 2:2).  And we are called to have righteous judgement (John 7:24) because Jesus tells us that we CAN and WILL know them to be true or false (Matthew 7:16).  When rightly judged, we are even called to refute and expose those who contradict God's actual word (Titus 1:9; Eph. 5:11).  THAT is why we do not take something at face value if it seems different from the true gospel message.

WHEN someone quotes God's new (extra biblical) sayings:

When God spoke to the Prophets of the old Testament, they recorded exactly what God wanted them to record.  When the Apostles spoke with Jesus and had visions from heaven, they recorded exactly what God wanted them to record.  BUT somethings were not meant to be recorded (2 Cor. 12:2-4; John 20:30; Rev. 10:4).  The point is that specific chosen individuals, The Prophets and Apostles, were tasked with writing Holy Scripture and the very Words of God.  

  • Kenneth Copeland gave a claimed prophecy in which Jesus allegedly said, “They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me.”(Kenneth Copeland, “Take Time to Pray,” Believer’s Voice of Victory, February 1987, 9.) THAT IS HUGE!  He did he just quote the very words of God?!  If so, is this not the same as Holy Scripture?  
  • Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church, located in Seoul, South Korea claims to have received his call to preach from Jesus Christ Himself, who supposedly appeared to him dressed like a fireman. (Dwight J. Wilson, “Cho, Paul Yonggi,” Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 161.).  THAT IS HUGE!  Did he just meet the risen Christ?!  Then Cho recently made the news by changing his name from Paul to David. As Cho tells the story, God showed him that Paul Cho had to die and David Cho was to be resurrected in his place. According to Cho, God Himself came up with his new name.(Paul Yonggi Cho interviewed by C. Peter Wagner, “Yonggi Cho Changes His Name,” Charisma & Christian Life, November 1992, 80.).  THAT IS HUGE!  He must be an Apostle like Paul!
  • Morris Cerullo purports to have first met God at the tender age of eight. Since then his life has been one mind-blowing experience after another: he says he was taught by leading rabbis;(“God’s Faithful, Anointed Servant, Morris Cerullo” (promotional literature, on file).  led out of a Jewish orphanage by two angelic beings; (Cerullo, The Miracle Book, ix; and 7 Point Outreach World Evangelism and You (pamphlet), 4.) transported to heaven for a face-to-face meeting with God;(Cerullo, The Miracle Book, xi.) and told he would be capable of revealing the future.  WHAT? NO WAY, he met God face to face and lived! 
  • On the Something Good Tonight programs of Tuesday and Wednesday, October 26th and 27th, 2004, Oral Roberts related a second vision or conversation he allegedly had with God the Father recently. God supposedly revealed to Oral that the second coming of Jesus is delayed, and being blocked because of the indebtedness of God's people, and by the fact that most of them are not returning a faithful tithe.  OH SNAP, Better give more money!  
  • Benny Hinn posted on twitter stating: "I saw Jesus walk in my bed room".  THAT IS HUGE!  He witnessed personally and literally the risen Lord and Savior, present in his bed room! 

Given the role of the offices of Prophet and Apostle, these men would then be Prophets and Apostles!  Thus, they write Holy Scripture, apart from the bible!  Or... at least that's what the implications ARE for them to be true.  All someone has to do is listen to their broadcasts and at some point they will tell a story about how they have seen the risen Lord and quote from him in some form or fashion. 

If anyone says "The Lord told me..." and then they proceed to quote the Lord in their books or blogs, they are recording God's Word, except its new, and not in God's Word, the Bible.  If we compiled all those quotes from these type of people, we could generate the Word of Faith Prosperity Bible and we could all have the new additional words of god.  See, that's the crux of it all.  If you believe that these people actually heard God speak to them, how can you pick and choose which modern 'prophet' is of God? 

TRUE OR NOT

Their claims are either true and thus carry with them the authority of God because, after all, they are his words right?  Or their claims are not the actual words of God and they are liars and deceivers, even if they believe their own claims.  People who believe these teachers MUST then believe that God's real Word, the complete bible, can be added to and supplemented.    That is exactly what Kenneth Copeland, Cho, Paul Yonggi, Morris Cerullo, Oral Roberts, and all the others like them teach and DO.  That is a slippery slope that leads only one way.  Because, then, how could Word of Faith followers denounce Islam? or Mormonism?  or Jehovah's Witnesses?

THE HYPOCRISY

As Word of Faith teachers continue to have more visions and prophetic utterances of God's actual Words or messages from angels, it is then hypocritical to say that Muhammad, Joseph Smith, or Charles Russell are false prophets.  All of which claim special revelations from God and make claims of truth from God outside of the bible.  If they deny  Muhammad's, Joseph Smith's, or Charles Russell's visions and prophecies than they are hypocrites, but if they accept them than they are in direct contradiction of what Jesus said in John 14:6.

THE IMPLICATIONS:
  1. They are Prophets of God
  2. They record God's Words to them
  3. They have witnessed the risen Lord and Savior
  4. They are Apostles
  5. They write Holy Scripture outside of The Bible.
  6. The Bible is not sufficient. 
  7. Muhammad, Joseph Smith, and Charles Russell must also be true
WHEN SOMEONE SAYS "THE LORD TOLD ME..."

When someone, anyone, claims that the Lord told them something, anything, we must ask them (1) how do they know Muhammad's, Joseph Smith's, or Charles Russell's visions and prophecies aren't from God either then.  When someone, anyone, claims that the Lord told them something, anything, we must ask them (2) why it was not recorded in the Bible and why they should not write an addition to the bible with those new revelations.  Yes the Bible does not specifically talk about Internet Pornography but we CAN understand how it is sin through what scripture has revealed.   We must also ask (3) why John's written testimony in The Bible is not sufficient (see John 20:31).  We must ask why (4) all that was once delivered from the OT Prophets and NT Apostles is not enough (see Jude 1:3).  We must ask them WHY because we are called to!  To protect us from being deceived and believing a false teacher and false prophet.

Even if the prophetic utterance is so basic as to tell someone something personal like "God told me he wants you to be happy".  We must ask why The Holy Spirit did not reveal that to them already through The Bible (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).  They even say things like "God wants you to walk up to someone in jeans and a blue shirt and speak blessings over them".  The question is WHY you are not approaching people with the gospel to begin with as it has already been made know that it is your duty to as a follower of Jesus?  Secondly, the details like that, are so general that eventually, it will fulfill itself even if it was not from God.

If Scripture (The Bible) is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, than what else is lacking?  That's the point, God's Word renders these additional revelations as pointless and unnecessary. 

THE OBVIOUS FAILURE:

The most obvious failure is that people who believe in the Word of Faith teachers do not KNOW God's Word well enough to TRUST IT completely; if they need these guys to make them feel as though it is more complete.  They feel the need to hear these extra biblical messages because they are not satisfied with ALL that God has actually revealed in scripture already.  These Word of Faith teachers would not have such a large audience if the people of God truly sought God's Word already.  But this could also be because it is a heart issue. 

THE HEART ISSUE:

The Word of Faith teachers justify themselves through their own teachings which justifies their lifestyles of self happiness and wealth.  Their audience desire the same thing.  Its natural.  They want to be happy in their lifestyles and desire wealth (blessings) as well.  Taking it deeper, the ultimate reasoning is to be like God; and some Word of Faith teachers are not scared to admit it.  The popular Word of Faith teachers even teach that they and their followers are like 'little gods' and thus can make themselves wealthy (blessed) because of their own divinity.  Kenneth Hagin has asserted, “man…was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority (which is a blatant lie given what is revealed in actual Holy Scripture Gen. 18:27; Isaiah 6:5; Rev. 1:17)…. He made us the same class of being that He is Himself…. He lived on terms equal with God…. The believer is called Christ, that’s who we are; we’re Christ” (which again is a blatant lie: Matthew 24:23) (Zoe: The God Kind of Life, pp. 35-36, 41).  Morris Cerillo says “the whole purpose of God was to reproduce Himself. …you’re not looking at Morris Cerillo, you’re looking at God, you’re looking at Jesus” (The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God, Audio Tape 1, Sides 1 &;2).  Kenneth Copeland’s remarks, “You are not a spiritual schizophrenic — half-God and half-Satan — you are all-God”(Ibid., 16-17.) and “You don’t have a God in you; you are one, When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, ‘I AM,’ I say, ‘Yah, I am too!'”(This is straight up blasphemy! see Isaiah 45:5) (Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Love (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #02-0028), side 1.).  Welp there it is.  THIS IS the very first temptation from Satan in Gen. 3:5.  First he distorts God's Word, like the Word of Faith teachers do, and then he tells them they will "be like God"; exactly as the Word of Faith teachers say.  How ironic.  Yet, they have followers who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ who think they are like God and little gods.

Conclusion

When someone claims that God literally told them something; test it!  Do not automatically denounce it as false because who knows, maybe God did talk to them.  BUT do not automatically believe it either!  Do what The Holy Spirit instructs us to do and TEST them.  See TEST OF PROPHECIES page for Biblical ways to test and rightly judge what which is from God or not.  If we are to believe what they claim at face value, the implications are huge and can lead us to blaspheming God's Holy name and truth and believe in heresies.



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