1 Corinthians 4:10-14 (New Living Translation)

 10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.

 14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.

Matthew 6:24 (NASB)

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
It was about an hour ago when the Lord downloaded this paper into my spirit. You see, he first gives me the main point and then the Holy Spirit reaches into my memory and then he brings particular facts, experiences and memories into account. Normally, within the first few moments, I can generally see the logic, the purpose and the far reaching effects that it is going to have with the various people who it is directed to. 

Years ago, I might respond occasionally like, "Jesus, I don't particularly think that this is going to be received real graciously by some of my hearers Lord?" 

Well, then the Lord would have to remind me who was writing the thing, either him or me?

All that has changed though over the years, now instead of me questioning whether my hearers are going to like my preaching or perhaps what their reaction is going to be, well, we just have a good "chuckle," about the whole thing. 

Anyway, A few moments ago, I was trying to remember when the expose from Sixty Minutes was done on Oral Roberts and the City of Faith Hospital that he was building at the time. This was before I had ever got to know the man, s even wondering whether I had been a Christian or not. 

I remember watching it with my Father, but that was about all I remember. Actually though, as I have just wrote those words, I believe that I just had a memory come back to me. You see, my Father thought that Oral was exactly what the media had been portraying him to be. 

Occasionally, my Dad would tell the anecdote about when Oral was a guest on the Ed Sullivan show. Apparently, they approached each other from opposite ends of the stage and after Mr. Sullivan welcomed and shook Orals hand, he limped away to the opposite side of the stage. 
Yeah, my Dad thought that that had been the funniest thing he ever saw on TV, I think. 

I wouldn't share this, but after the death of my Mother, I sought the Lord that next morning during a few Praise services until Jesus personally assured me that my mother was in heaven. At the same time, the Lord also spoke to me and told me that my Father was right there also, standing next to my mother. 

I had to go to three separate church services that morning and I had to worship in the Spirit with one destination in mind, but my spirit rose to the "Secret Place" that allows man to converse with a Holy God. 

Yes, it is possible in the Spirit, to hear from God. 

Nonetheless, my point here is that Oral Roberts was a Holy Man and a fighter, I don't think we have seen any one person other than perhaps, President Trump who has gone through more unjust persecution. 

Dr. Roberts though, didn't just go through it for a couple of years, but he subjected himself to that type of persecution for decades. He was a just man.

In fact, in all of the times that I was ever in his presence, I never once thought, heard or believed that he did any one thing to solely benefit himself. 

He was a selfless person. 

It was sometime last year, when I heard one of these Televangelists being cornered by a news reporter, and as she was questioning him about his ridiculous wealth and fortune, the man alluded to Oral Roberts, somehow as if explaining that he was merely following in the foot steps of his "great mentor?"

Well, what I witnessed was a man hiding behind the shadow of a man who had in no way endorsed this man's personal adaptation of ministry that was screwed with error. 

I thought to myself as I witnessed this charade, "How cowardly to shift his ridiculous lavish lifestyle on a man of integrity like Oral Roberts."

I thought, "Where is your University.

Where is your City of Faith?"

No, before Oral Roberts had passed away he had forsaken all worldly wealth. If I remember right, he retired to live in a rental apartment, and then, I heard that when they wanted to redo his building into Condo's, a friend had purchased it for the man. 

Perhaps, my facts are not exactly right concerning his last residency, but one thing that I can assure you of and that was that Oral did not go into seclusion with hundreds of millions of dollars, nor did he spend his last years ministering for million dollar salaries as many of today's so called "Faith" clergy.

Nevertheless, we have countless "Prosperity preachers" who love to paint a very different picture of the man.

For something like twelve years, I would faithfully attend the International Charismatic Bible Ministries conference every year in Tulsa, and I had ample opportunity to hear this man as he opened his heart up to the four or five thousand preachers and minister's who would love to come to Oklahoma in order to hear from this man. 

In particular, there was one sermon where Oral admitted that he had not shared an anecdote in public before. He had been ashamed to tell it, but he stated that he had a heavy urging from the Lord to divulge this confession to the many preachers who were attending that year. 

And so, he told of a time early in his ministry where he was constantly on the road in Crusades. His Father in law suggested strongly, however, to get a hobby or to find something to otherwise fulfill his life, something to relax him as he came home to rest from his constant travels. 
Oral began and he explained how he then began to raise Hereford Cattle. 

This went on for a couple of years, and then he told how he let it become out of hand. He was at an action and he bid on a Hereford that cost him one hundred thousand dollars. 
Next, he stated that when he had gotten to his hotel room , he had known that he had gone too far. He had strayed from the expectations of a proper shepherd and minister of the gospel. 

He went on, and he explained how that night it hurt his conscience so bad that he was crying out for God to forgive him. He promised God that he would give up his ranch and become the servant that was expected of a preacher involved in ministry. 

He was deeply hurt at what he had done. 

Well, when they delivered that Award winning Bull and it was checked by a customary Physical at receivership, it was shown to have a sickness of tuberculoses and the receivership or sale was revoked.  

The Lord had freed brother Oral from his materialism and he later went on to build a University and Hospital that incorporated the idea of Prayer and Healing that is still recognized today. 

So, the next time that you hear one of these Prosperity Preachers explain their millions of dollars in salaries, please ask them for me, "Where is your University or where is your Hospital, will you?"

But, you see, I was a witness of that sermon and I personally can tell you that it was directed at members of the Prosperity Gospel, who Oral recognized as "getting off," from the intent of the movement.

They were there that night, as well.

Nevertheless, Oral was ignored and today's church is a partial result of those men left uncorrected.  

In recent years, the calling of God to be a "Shepherd," has been all but abandoned in the modern day church. There are numerous men who aren't satisfied by this highest of calling from the Lord. 

No, instead they want to have their ministries involved in other types of businesses, or the churches wealth in stocks and securities. 
They would like to have a separate business or two. They feel that they have to put their irons in a number of fires. In many cases, it is beneath them to "Shepherd" people.

I imagine they think, "I am no one's babysitter," yet the only thing that any of them have ever produced concerning disciples are spoiled little rotten children all running around hoping to have what they see their leaders having?

"Faith Leaders," what a joke in many cases. 

A few years after I was saved and delivered I was led to leave a few Charismatic communities that I had been involved with for around four years. Not quite knowing where to go or what to do, I just knew that I needed to go to Bible School, since I had strong Charismatic roots. 
I attended a school in California for a short time and then was led to a school started by Kenneth Hagen Sr. 

This is another man who many have attributed their skewed lives to his teaching, yet shouldn't be the case. I spent a year under the teaching of this man and through out my life I attended numerous conferences and speaking engagements where he spoke. 

Again, there were times, where I had heard this man open his heart pertaining to things never spoken before in public. I recall a number of times where he stated, "I have never shared this before," or "You realize this is something that you can't speak at a general meeting in public?"

You see, there are times in the Spirit where God will cause men to open their hearts up in the most personal manner and this is what I have heard many men do. 

This is how the church is suppose to work. These secret things of God should be passed down from generation to generation by powerful men of God. 

On the contrary, however, what we have today in the church are simply methods to get the congregants to tithe, so that we can build larger and larger ministries or ways to publish books, record CD's anything to prosper us and to make us "Blessed," meaning financially rich. 
It doesn't seem to matter to our modern day clergy, that because of the huge wealth that each ministry has invested materially, that the "Word of God," becomes watered down or of no real effect in producing righteousness. 

Who is ever going to preach righteousness toward an wayward way of life, or against a politician or a fellow minister practicing Cultist behavior or placing God's people in bondage, when the result of such preaching could jeopardize their million dollar edifice? 
Oh, I am sorry, I meant, one of "God's Holiest Temple's."

Any way, Kenneth Hagin, is another where some of these crooked "Prosperity Leaders," have skewed his teachings. 

I remember Dr. Hagin explaining how that it took him decades to write a book. He shared how that for decades people would all encourage him to write a book.

He plainly stated, "You don't write a book just because people tell you to write a book." 
During the healing crusades of the late forties and fifties, he was also told to get a tent. He said numerous times, where ever he went for years, people would prophesy, "Kenneth go get a tent." 

I can still hear him today, "I ain't got no tent then and I still don''t have one today." 

He was preaching from a Bible School of world recognition and worth millions of dollars in ministry property.  By the end of his ministry, he had influenced millions and millions of followers in nations all over the world. 

Of course, he waited decades to write a book and he never ever had to get a tent. 

In today's church, if you can chew your food, then we recommend that you go out and start a business, record a CD, write a book, or if you can find a church venue willing, then go perform some magic tricks, just so long as you make it your ministry or it pays a worldly salary. 
I will never forget the time when I was in Gatlinburg, Tn, visiting a notable prosperity preacher. You know, they all think that I am a little slow?

Like I missed the line when God was handing out "Church sense." 

The preacher was preaching, but he saw an opportunity to encourage this slow witted disciple of Jesus, so he takes the opportunity. 
Well, it wasn't important what he said, but when he said the right phrase we both knew that God had just revealed a truth hidden in this modern movement of "Prosperity." 

He was pertaining to some formula or suggestion, and then he says, "Why, this is how you get a ministry." 
It was as if the entire room stopped for a moment in time, and it was so obvious what the Holy Spirit had been pointing out. 
And right at that moment, I thought to myself, " Yes, that is so true Lord."

You see, in that one moment of time, I realized that one of the most destructive things about this "Prosperity Movement," was how it had encouraged each man to out and have a "Ministry." 

You see, we have placed this idea, or this "word" upon some Holy pedestal in the modern day church. 
Do you see what I am saying?

One of the most coveted things in the church today is the "ministry."

Man, if you got a "Ministry," then you are in like Flint. 

You have surely arrived, if you have obtained a "Ministry." 

Yes, it is taught and we encourage all to go out and to get yourself a successful "Ministry." 

If you can play an instrument, if you can sing a tune, if you can rap, if you can dance, if you can do magic tricks, if you can contort, if you can stand on your head and blow bubbles, then the modern day church has a "ministry," just for you. 

But, especially if you can preach, prophesy, evangelize, or can work a Hula Hoop. 

You see, in the Early church, the entire emphasis was on unity. As the unity of the believer's increased the more the presence of our Lord was found. It was in the unity of the church where the world was turned upside down. 

In this present age, however, we have all showed God how many ministry's that we can establish to serve Him, and in so doing we have welcomed the world into the midst of our congregations. 

I mean, what's the point in turning the world upside down when it is so good to us and our "Ministries."

Well, it is time for me to bring this to a close.

"So, what are you saying John, are we suppose to break up every mega church in the country and to follow God according to how you wish?"
No, the answer is that you need to repent. 

The entire Charismatic/Spirit Filled Churches/Non Denominational/ Prophetic, or whatever you call yourself. 

Repent from these immature and selfish attitudes that predominate the entire church. It is time to get back to the church from the perspective of the Bible, not from the inclinations of man. 

Personally, I have been attending Lakewood Church in Houston. This is one of the largest churches in America and the pastor is a man whom I have great admiration and respect for. 

There is no way in the world that I would ever challenge it's existence or to have any part of it's destruction. The longer that I attend this particular church the more that I am convinced that it was established precept upon precept from the will and word of God. 
I have heard remarkable stories of the Faith that has been exercised to purchase this property and to provide for the funding for it's existence. There are some things that I am not in total agreement with, but they are not enough to keep me from worshipping at this facility. 

Personally, I believe that Joel Osteen is one of the most relevant preachers of our day. After attending literally hundreds of churches where at almost any Sunday service I am subjected to a lesson on the tithe, it is quite refreshing to be encouraged week after week by Mr. Osteen's sermons. 

As a fairly new Christian back in the early eighties within the "Faith" movement I had heard many stories concerning the Patriarch of this family. I recall in particular a story from T.L. Osborn, where he shared an episode of his life when he went out to lunch with John Osteen. He told about when they left the parsonage and Dodie, his wife, had been writing checks to various missionaries around the world which they supported. Then Mr. Osborn stated that as they came back to the parsonage after lunch, the woman was still sending off checks. 

Well, is it any wonder that God has raised up such a "Mega church?"

I am thinking of another group of "Mega Churches," where they use market Research to go into a  new city in hopes of building another "Mega Church." 

If they find a nice area that is suitable, such as a fast growing wealthy population of rich yuppies, then they will set up tent stakes and begin to build another church, as their god has led them. 

You see, that is a "Mega Church" where I might have trouble fitting into?

It reminds me of when Dr. Hagin was explaining his first few years beginning Rhema Bible College. Immediately, after he had established his Bible School ministers from all over the country would write him wanting to know how they could build a similar Bible College? 

I can still hear him, as if it were yesterday. 
He said, something like, "Well, I don't know how to build a Bible School, I only know how to listen to God." 

And then he said, "Just because God told me to build a Bible School that doesn't mean that he told you to build a Bible School, but you see this is what happens in the ministry."

He went on and he encouraged us as future leaders, he said, "You don't just do something because you see the other guy doing it, you listen to God, you do what God tells you to do, lest you get in trouble with God." 

You see, this is why the church is in such trouble with God. It is because they just do what ever they want to do and few know God in order to hear Him. 

"Well, I want a 'Mega Church,' too, so I can collect million dollar offerings..."

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