FREE CHRISTIAN REPRINT ARTICLES
Christian Articles for All of your Publishing Needs!
Word Count: 8477
|Send Article To Friend||Print/Use Article|
Identifying and Dealing with Counterfeit Ministries
by Segun Olumide
11/03/2014 / Christian Living
All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in this book are from the King James Version of the Bible.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN OPERATE A MINISTRY WITHOUT BEING BORN- AGAIN
2. MINISTERS CAN INTRUDE INTO WRONG MINISTRY OFFICES AS BELIEVERS AND BECOME COUNTERFEIT
3. COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS WILL BE KNOWN BY THEIR FRUITS
4. COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN PERFORM COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS DECEITFULLY
5. COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN OPERATE A MINISTRY, EVEN AFTER THEY HAD DEPARTED FROM THE FAITH
6. COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN OPERATE CHALLENGING COUNTERFEIT SPIRITUAL GIFTS
7. COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS WILL OPPOSE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN OPERATE A MINISTRY WITHOUT BEING BORN- AGAIN
Here we want to discuss counterfeit ministers so that we can differentiate them from true ones. The following are some of the things to know about these counterfeit ministers, who are so many in these last days:
Paul wrote, "For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man.." (Galatians 1: 13-16, NIV).
Paul was a type of minister of Satan as a sinner before he was born-again and became a minister of Christ.
Acts 13: 6-10 (NIV) reveals, "They (Barnabas and Paul) traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and FALSE PROPHET named Bar- Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Paul because he wanted to hear the word of God.
"But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Paul . filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, ' You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?"
Bar-Jesus operated the ministry of a prophet without being born-again (see vs 6 above). Some so-called apostles, prophets, and so on in our day are just like him. They have not been to the cross yet they may be trying to preach the cross!
Similarly, Acts 8: 9- 13 says, "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women.
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."
I remember the leader of a particular white garment church. I was with that church ever before I got born- again. He was a prophet, but not of God. He divorced his wife after seven children and married a beauty lady in the congregation. Counterfeit spiritual gifts operated through him, his original (first) wife and some other people in the congregation. He gave me a prophecy which came to pass some years ago.
The Scripture tells us that because a prophet gives a word that comes to pass doesn't mean he is of God (see Deut 13: 1 -5). This was a man who drank and bathed some of the ladies who came for 'spiritual' help.
I have come to believe that some (if not all) white garment Churches worship fallen angels of darkness who are portrayed as the holy angels of God. What a great deception!
Some time ago, I read the story of the founder of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church.
To my surprise, I discovered he was a genuine apostle of Jesus Christ. This unusual man, appeared and disappeared supernaturally on some occasions like Philip (Acts 8: 39- 40). He was said to attend meetings in heaven while on earth.
After his new birth experience, some folks came to persuade him to 'renounce' Christianity, so to speak, and embrace the tradition of his forefathers.
He explained to them that he was cut out for God's work and he began to praise the Lord before them. When he said, '(The Lord) who made the earth and everything in it, the world and all who live therein' (Ps 24: 1), suddenly there was an earthquake as soon as he mentioned the earth! Moses in the Bible had a similar experience (see Numbers 16: 28- 34).
The folks disturbing him fled for their dear lives, even their elderly ones were quaking with fear. Then they sent his brother to plead with him to go his way!
This great apostle passed on to glory in 1933. It is to be regretted, however, that the great church he left behind has largely gone into deep occultism.
Only a few of them may be said to be serving the Lord probably because of the revival invading their churches before Christ returns.
If you have read my story, you will remember that I was the leader of a Christian fellowship, which a friend and I started as unbelievers in our secondary school compound. It began as a result of the news we heard one day that two girls saw an angel in the moon overnight with a drawn- out sword.
So I led the group as an unbeliever. I preached to many people in the long run. This brought me some respect among the students but I was not born- again. I only got saved a month after I finished from that school.
You see, some people are in the ministry today but they are not born- again. Such are false ministers. I read about one of them who got born- again through listening to his own sermon live!
MINISTERS CAN INTRUDE INTO WRONG MINISTRY OFFICES AS BELIEVERS AND BECOME COUNTERFEIT
"But after Uzziah became powerful, HIS PRIDE LED TO HIS DOWNFALL. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. They confronted him and said, 'It is not right for you, Uzziah to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honoured by the LORD God.'
Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD'S temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.
King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house- leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD.
Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land" (2 Chronicles 26: 16- 21, NIV).
People with the genuine call of God become unfaithful to the Lord who called them whenever they enter into a wrong office.
Hence they operate counterfeit ministries in the name of the Lord and bring damage to others and destruction to themselves.
Some of the reasons why they enter into the wrong offices are:
ii) seeing a need
iv) love of money
v) love of fame
vi) comparing and measuring oneself by others
vii) lack of self- discovery
In the Scripture above, we see that King Uzziah wrongly intruded into the office of a priest because of pride (see 2 Chron 26:16). This led to his shameful downfall.
Though anointed to function in the office of a king yet he was so proud that he wanted to function in the office of a priest which he was never anointed for.
God's anger came upon him. He judged him instantly for entering a wrong office. Leprosy broke out on his forehead.
You see, ministry offices are holy things that must not be played with or else we will incur God's wrath. He died a leper in a lonely place.
Pride brings destruction and humiliation (Prov. 16: 18, Prov 29: 23). And unless some of our ministers today stay in their callings, they will die pre- maturely for toying with holy things.
ii. SEEING A NEED
"When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached at and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD'S anger burned against Uzzah because of the irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God" (2 Samuel 6: 6- 7, NIV).
God ordained the Levites and priests to carry the ark but Uzzah who was never consecrated by God for that purpose, out of zeal, saw a need to help (1 Chron. 15: 13- 15).
While trying to help God, He struck him dead. You see, God never wants human volunteers for the ministry offices. He only needs the people he had appointed before the foundation of the world (Hebrews 5:4; Jeremiah 1: 4- 5).
So Uzzah died because of this irreverent act (see verse 7). Yes, it is a disrespectful act before God to try to meet a divine need which he has not anointed you to meet.
I believe that people who are sensitive to God's Spirit can perceive a divine need but that does not mean God has called them to meet that need!
King Saul intruded into the office of a priest because of fear.The Scripture says, "... Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with FEAR"(1 Sam . 13 :7b, NIV).
The spirit of fear tormenting his soldiers was contagious. So fear entered him and caused him to force himself into another man's calling. When Samuel questioned him, he said, " I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering" (1 Sam.. 13:12b).
Friend, we need to know that it's not by force, it is by faith. If you walk by faith (and patience), you will likely stay in your calling. If, however, you are bound by fear, you will likely gatecrash into another person's calling.
So God rejected him because he was unfaithful (see 1 Samuel 13: 7-14, 1 Chron. 10: 13). Fear of man brings a snare but faith brings safety. Fear brings torment but perfect love cast out fear. God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, of love and of self-discipline to stay in our divine calling (see Prov 29: 25, 2 Timothy 1: 7, 1 John 4: 18).
iv. LOVE OF MONEY
Many an evangelist today has settled down into the office of a pastor because of love of money. A pastor receives some benefits and comfort which an evangelist may not always enjoy.
For this reason, after some evangelists have faced financial hardship among other things on the evangelistic field, they give up their work and seek to become pastors. At least, this will guarantee a salary, comfort for the family, and so on.
Although Churches and pastors should learn to support evangelists, yet the evangelists should put their trust in the One who called them as they live by faith and wisdom.
We must never intrude into any office because of money. That's too bad.
Paul warned, "For the love of money (not money itself) is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6: 10, NIV).
v. LOVE OF FAME
"Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not" (Jeremiah 45:5, NIV).
God wants us to seek him and his will for our lives and ministries. We get into trouble the moment we are seeking our own selfish interests. God will make us great according to his definition of greatness, but in his own way and time. He gives fame to his minister one more than the other.
It is, however, wrong to seek fame. I would rather be famous (well-known) in heaven and not famous on earth than have it the other way round (famous on earth without being famous in heaven).
When God gives fame, it is a good thing (Matthew 4:24, 1Kings 10:1, Zephaniah 3:9). John Alexander Dowie was called to the apostolic office yet because of love of fame, he deviated from his divine calling and campaigned for a political office.
The quest for fame rather brought shame and hurts to him, his family, ministry and the church. (Please pray Psalm 139:23-24 for your- self constantly).
Eventually, he repented and embraced his true calling and heaven's approval with blessing followed him. But later on this love of fame made him proclaim himself as Elijah to come.
Also he declared himself as "Messenger of the Covenant," which is a title meant for Christ (see Malachi 3:1). Counterfeiting his ministry, he died of stroke - defamed and dejected though repented!
Vi. COMPARING AND MEASURING ONESELF BY OTHERS
Paul wrote, "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us ,"(2cormthians 10:12-13,NIV).
I read about a great minister who pastored for over ten years because he felt that was what most other ministers were doing. When the Lord rebuked him for being unfaithful to his original calling he repented. But rather than ask the Lord to show him his true calling, he reasoned, 'If I am not a pastor, then I should be an evangelist because a great number of ministers are either pastors or evangelists.'
So for few more years he intruded into the office of an evangelist. He later made a change and embraced his true calling. You see, just as there is real naira and counterfeit naira, there are real and counterfeit callings.
For instance, an evangelist or pastor who compares himself with and measure himself by a prophet may veer into the prophetic office and become a counterfeit minister - a false prophet! Compare and measure yourself by God's plan and purpose for your life.
vii. LACK OF SELF- DISCOVERY
"Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint" (Prov.29:18, NIV).
This verse suggests that if you don't have a revelation to discover yourself, you don't know your boundaries on the path of destiny.
In other words, you go anywhere or everywhere. That's what it means to cast off restraint.
Restraint is like a seat belt that fastens you to your specific seat of calling in the vehicle of Christ, namely the Body of Christ. It is also likened to the yoke of his calling that joins you to the one who called you (Matthew11:28-30).
That Scripture means unless you have a divine revelation of whom and what you are, you will throw off your spiritual seat belt or unyoke yourself from the one who called you, and gradually move away from your real calling.
The multitude wanted to make Jesus a king but he restrained himself because he knew who and what he was. He must have thought, 'I am not a political king but a heavenly king. I'm not a man-made king but a God- ordained king of all kings' (John 6:15).
Until you discover your true ministry, you may answer to anything people call you and that makes life miserable and burdensome. Those who go everywhere (because of casting off their restraints, seat-belts, 'divine' yokes) are nobody going nowhere to fulfill nothing!
Someone said "You are an original don't die a photocopy." I want to say that when God has called you to be a genuine minister, then don't make yourself a counterfeit one by intruding into another person's office.
Discover your own office. Paul identified himself as an apostle. Then he added, "I am what I am by God's grace" (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).
So you are either a genuine minister by God's grace or a counterfeit one for human disgrace.
COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS WILL BE KNOWN BY THEIR FRUITS
Jesus warned, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing. But inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits " (Matthew 7:15-16).
Similarly, Paul wrote, "But they (deceivers) won't get away with all this forever. Some day their deceit will be well known to everyone, as was the sin of Jannes and Jambres" (2 Timothy 3:9, Living Bible).
Also he exposed some counterfeit minister, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, them, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Their end will be what their actions (deeds, fruits or works) deserve" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15, NIV).
The first Scripture above tells us that false prophets (that implies false ministers) are known or detected by their evil deeds or fruits.
The second Scripture reveals that false ministers can't fool others forever because sooner or later their secrets will be uncovered. It is a question of time.
The third explains that although they pretend to be true ministers calling darkness light, yet their bad deeds will bring them to a deserved bad end.
We must not forget that it takes quite some time for some trees to produce fruits. Even fruits mature over some period of time.
For example, if you plant a macadamia nut right now, you shouldn't expect a harvest from it until the next twenty years or so. Then you can continue to harvest from it in its season from time to time for about a hundred years!
Compare this with planting a pawpaw seed. Within one or two years you can expect a harvest. In essence, it can take a long time to detect the evil fruits of some false ministers while it takes only a short time to uncover the bad fruits of some others (see 1Tim 5:24).
Not long ago, a so-called minister was arrested and put in prison. He claimed that he would judge the world. Members of his congregation worshipped him. Offenders were flogged and sometimes driven out of the sanctuary.
Some 'law breakers' were fined thousands of naira. A particular lady was set ablaze for allegedly committing adultery.
This false minister who reportedly preached hard against sexual immorality denied all the sexual allegations levelled against him.
I think some ministers preach hard against some sins which they themselves are guilty of so as to suppress their guilt and make others unsuspicious of them.
I must confess that the first time I saw this man on a billboard I knew something was wrong about him. Before long, God exposed their shameful, abominable practices.
Interestingly, Jesus said, "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known,
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops" (Luke 12:2-3).
COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN PERFORM COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS DECEITFULLY
Counterfeit ministers can perform counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders while they deceitfully draw people away from the Lord (Jesus) by opposing and exalting themselves above the lord.
Jesus warned his disciples, "FOR FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS WILL APPEAR AND PERFORM GREAT SIGNS AND MIRACLES TO DECEIVE EVEN THE ELECT - IF THAT WERE POSSIBLE. See I have told you ahead of time" (Matthew 24: 24- 25, NIV).
It's very unfortunate that some of God's elect have already been deceived through false miracles, signs and wonders by false ministers. People are deceived because they wrongly believe that every minister who performs miracles must be of God.
Paul cautioned, "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will OPPOSE AND WILL EXALT HIMSELF OVER EVERY THING THAT IS CALLED GOD or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the WORK OF SATAN DISPLAYED IN ALL KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS, AND IN EVERY SORT OF EVIL THAT DECEIVES THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2: 3- 4, 9- 10, NIV).
Here Paul was speaking about the anti-Christ who will carry out the work of Satan displayed in all manners of fake miracles, signs and wonders.
The KJV puts verse 9 as, ". the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."
The phrase 'lying wonders' is literally translated from the Greek as 'wonders of falsehood,' that is, 'wonders calculated to deceive.'
Apart from performing false miracles, these false ministers do two others things, namely:
i. They oppose God (vs 4).
That means they put themselves in an opposite direction to God or they are set over against Him as it is rendered in the original.
ii. They exalt themselves above God (vs 4).
It means they raise themselves over God or they are haughty towards Him as the original text put it.
A Cameroonian lady came to me in confusion one day. She belonged to a particular church where false signs, wonders and miracles were the order of the day.
I told her some things which made her to relay some of her nasty experiences ever since she had joined this demonic church.
She told me this false prophet asked her to stop sleeping around with men. It was a false prophecy because she wasn't that kind of a person.
I told her boldly the kind of power the man was using. She became shocked and then confirmed it as true because she had been having dreams about it.
She promised to leave that church for a good one. From our discussion, I gathered that she was a born-again believer who was deceived by the enemy.
But she continued attending the church meetings. Then some weeks later, God specifically gave me a stern prophetic warning for her. I gave her the revelation and told her that my hands were clean from her blood. We prayed together and she left.
You see, I believe with my whole heart that that miracle-working prophet was of the devil. I have prayed about him and God will not keep his people in the dark.
This same man claimed he was born-again in the womb. That's unscriptural. He said that being born-again is the same thing as being filled with the Holy Spirit. What a heresy!
God told my wife, who has a prophetic ministry that judgment was coming upon the man. A leading prophetic voice in this nation also said a similar thing. Three other ministers in three different places shared with us what God showed them about the deception of this great prophet.
Many of these man's teachings and practices oppose the Scripture. I did a research on him and discovered many shocking things.
He brainwashes people to believe that he is Lord - that if one offends him on earth, one will still stand before him in heaven! The people worship him for he has exalted himself above the Lord.
This man is a mesmerizer who heals people by magnetically stroking the disease or sickness away through his hand movements commonly at a distance from the patients. That is an occultic practice.
The magicians of Pharaoh (Jannes and Jambres) opposed Moses and performed lying wonders and miracles to prove that Satan has got some power (ability) [see Exodus 7- 10]. Satan truly has power (ability) but the believers have power (authority) over all his limited ability (see Luke 10: 19).
CAN SATAN CAST OUT SATAN?
Jesus established the principle that Satan can never cast out Satan (please read Mark 3: 20- 30).
For example, if someone with a problem in his body goes to a demonic minister for help. He can appease the devil afflicting that body until it moves to the person's soul or spirit. Man is a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body (1 Thessalonians 5: 23). So there are three dimensions to every human being on earth, and Satan can operate in each of these three realms.
Several years ago, I read the story of a Christian fellow who consulted the occult for healing or deliverance. After the 'ministration,' he was ok.
So the physical problem disappeared. But guess what. An internal problem began. The fellow's fellowship with the Lord came under attack.
I believe what happened was that there was probably a demon oppressing his body (Acts 10:38, Luke 13:11). So the occult minister did not cast out this devil because Satan can't cast out Satan.
Rather this counterfeit healer merely relocated this demon from that believer's body to his mind. In other words, he changed his problem from a visible one to an invisible one.
You see, a demonic minister can't drive out a demon. Though he can appease a demon to move from one part of the victim's body to another part of his same body, or move from his body to his soul, and so on.
But Jesus has warned us, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world (the physical blessings of this life; not only wealth but also health), and lose his own SOUL?
Or what shall a man give in exchange of his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37).
Never let the occult take your soul in exchange of a so-called blessing! The blessing of the devil comes with sorrow (spiritually, mentally, physically, maritally, ministerially, financially, and so on) [see Prov. 10:22, Rom. 8:14-15, Gal. 5:1].
COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN OPERATE A MINISTRY, EVEN AFTER THEY HAD DEPARTED FROM THE FAITH
1 Timothy 4: 1-3 reads,
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
It is a terrible thing to depart from the faith and go into perdition. It may begin in a little way. Someone commits a sin and just laughs it off. Rather than repent and confess it to claim God's forgiveness, he hardens his heart and continues in his error.
When the church, especially her leadership hears about it, they pretend as if it never happened. They fear that if they speak the mind of God to the erring brother he may stop giving his heavy financial support to the church, or even decide to become a member of another church.
Because of constant hardening of their hearts against God's truth and of consistent feeding on the lies and deceits of the enemy, their consciences become seared with a hot iron - they become unfeeling, callous or insensitive to God and His truth.
Sadly, what used to interest them when they first believed will now bore them to death. By yielding to deceiving or seducing spirits and demonic doctrines, they depart from the faith.
There are ministers today who were once greatly used of God, but unfortunately, they have departed from the faith. Such men and women may now be under the influence of occult powers or a familiar spirit.
Church members who are undiscerning will still be following them until they are led astray unless God intervenes.
Any minister who forbids people to marry and commands them to abstain from meat is propagating heresies - doctrines of demons!
I know of a particular controversial minister who does that. I have checked his life and ministry, though, at a distance. He is a sheer charlatan, only in it for the fame, money, accolades and the like.
This guy has never been in the faith let alone departing from the faith, but he perpetrates the doctrines of demons.
It must not be forgotten that Saul was once used of God. Unfortunately, he turned away from God unto Satan. The king who was anointed (in the physical) by Prophet Samuel through God's guidance, who prophesied with a group of prophets ended up at the door of the witch at Endor.
The woman, through a familiar spirit, supposedly brought Samuel up from the ground to speak with Saul. But that was not the real Samuel! Why? It wasn't Samuel because if God Almighty refused to speak to Saul, then even Samuel, a servant of God couldn't have dared it. When God was quiet, then the devil spoke (see 1 Sam 28: 6, 1 Chron 10: 13- 14).
There are many 'Sauls' in the pulpit today. They have departed from the faith. What they practice is false Christianity.
If God has not been speaking to you, then maybe Satan has been talking to you. Who has been speaking to you lately? Has God spoken to you this week?
If you don't care much about God speaking to you then you are setting yourself up for Satan to run and ruin your life and ministry.
Some people are too busy to hear from God while others are too busy to speak to him. That's why they don't know what he is saying to them at this moment.
It is good that God speaks to you, but it is better that he speaks with you. The former is one-way while the latter is a two-way communication whereby God talks to you and you talk to Him!
CAN A TRUE MINISTER YIELD TO SATAN?
A truly anointed minister of God can yield to God one moment but yield to the devil the next moment.
He can flow with God's Spirit right now but begin to flow with an evil spirit some minutes later, and then flow again with God's Spirit after a while and so on (please read 1 Sam 10:10-11; 1 Sam 19:9-10, 18-24; 1 Kings 22:1-37, Matt 16:13-23).
One of the reasons for such is that when a minister sets his mind on the things of men, but not on the things of God, he is prone to yield easily to devils (Matt. 16:23, Rom 8:4-8, KJV, NIV, Eph. 4:17-27).
Whenever a minister of God yields to the devil like this, he counterfeits his God-given anointing!
Also there are Occult churches and ministers today, and sometimes, we need the gift of discerning of spirits to recognize them on time (see Acts 16:16-19).
But generally, we discern true ministers through the presence of the witness of peace in our heart, but false ministers through lack of it (see Rom. 8: 14, 16; Rom. 14:17, I Jn. 2:20, 27; Is. 55:12, Is. 60;17b, NIV).
Colossians 3:15 AMP reads, "And let the PEACE (soul harmony which comes) from Christ RULE (ACT AS UMPIRE CONTINUALLY) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds.]"
COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS CAN OPERATE CHALLENGING COUNTERFEIT SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO GLORIFY THE DEVIL OR MAN, AND NOT THE LORD
Jesus told his disciples; "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. HE WILL GLORIFY ME, FOR HE WILL TAKE WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU" (John 16:13-14, RSV).
We see from verse 14 above that whenever the Holy Spirit is in manifestation, he will glorify Jesus- he will bring him honour without belittling him by contradicting him.
Notice that Jesus explained how the Spirit will glorify him. In that same verse 14, after he had said, "HE WILL GLORIFY ME," he went on to reveal how. He continued, "FOR HE WILL TAKE WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU."
You see, he will glorify or honour Jesus by receiving revelations from him and giving them to us. And these revelations must agree with the Holy Scriptures (1John 5:7, KJV).
That was why Jesus said of the Spirit, ". He will teach you all things, AND BRING TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE ALL THAT I HAVE SAID TO YOU" (John 14:26b, RSV).
So, if a minister has been inspired to bring the revelations of the Lord back to your mind, then the Lord could be speaking to you through him. But any minister who speaks to make you forget and abandon the sound teachings or revelations of the Lord is undoubtedly counterfeit.
For instance, in John 4, Jesus told the Samaritan woman to go and bring her husband to which she replied, "I don't have a husband."
Then Jesus dropped the bombshell, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true" (vs 17b-18, NIV).
The woman believed that Jesus was a genuine prophet who told her nothing but the truth (see Jn 4:19,39).
The point I am driving at is that when Jesus told her that the man she then had was not her husband, it implied that the man was probably another woman's husband. I believe some people we refer to as husband and wife in our society today are not seen as such from heaven's perspective.
You see, if Jesus were to be here in person today and minister to some of our women, he might tell them, "O woman, people call that man your husband and you have had some children for him. But he is another woman's husband.
"Though you forced yourself into his home as a second or third wife or even as the only wife, yet his rightful wife is suffering pains somewhere else because of you.
You are living in the sin of adultery. Remember what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in God's sight" (see Mt 5:31-32, Mt19:1-12, Lk 16:15).
Sadly, some counterfeit ministers today glorify the devil by encouraging divorce, bigamy or polygamy.
My wife told me the story of a woman who ran a beer parlour. Her pastor told her to stop selling alcoholic drinks but she refused.
Then during a convention which my wife attended, a guest minister who was a prophet knew some things about her supernaturally. When she knelt before him, he asked her, "You sell beer?" She replied, "Yes."
He went on to tell her that he saw a man dead in her beer parlour. It was to be a murder case on her neck, which will cause her much trouble. He told her that God was not pleased with her because through her business, she was sending people to hell.
So he asked her to quit selling beer and start another business (which will glorify the Lord). He told her to see her pastor as regards any business she is starting for the Lord will proper her.
On the contrary, imagine a prophet who tells someone who runs a brothel (house of prostitution) or beer parlour or an armed robber or fraudster, "The Lord says he is going to establish and expand your business. Just remember to pay your tithes faithfully. Also, don't forget to partner with this ministry so that we can reach the nations together for God. In fact, the Lord says he is pleased with your generosity."
He can go on and give the fellow some accurate prophecies about the business. But giving accurate prophecies doesn't make one a true prophet.
The Scripture says, "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them" you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.
"The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
"That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you" (Deut 13:1-5, NIV).
One of the stories that illustrate this point clearly in the Old Testament was that of Saul. When he inquired of the LORD and saw that he did not answer him by dreams, Urim or prophets, then he turned aside to the devil.
When God refused to speak to him, the devil spoke to him. How? It was through a familiar spirit.
You see, familiar spirits know some things about the stories of people, and histories of places and events. They have familiarized themselves with people, places and events over the centuries.
So, a familiar spirit disguised as Samuel and glorified the devil. When God refused to answer Saul, who was Samuel to answer him? At times, when God is frowning, Satan is smiling.
You see, when God is condemning sin, Satan is busy condoning it; but when God is forgiving sinners, Satan is busying condemning them!
A careful study of 1Samuel 28 reveals that it wasn't the true Samuel that spoke with Saul. It was a familiar spirit. A servant of Satan can disguise as a servant of God (see 2Cor 11:13-15).
That witch of Endor operated a challenging counterfeit spiritual gift to glorify the devil, and not the LORD.
The Lord was angry with Saul for that according to 1Chronicles 10:13-14, "So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD which he kept not, and also for ASKING COUNSEL OF ONE THAT HAD A FAMILIAR SPIRIT, to inquire of it;
And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse."
I have a book titled "The Challenging Counterfeit" by Raphael Gasson who has moved both in counterfeit Spiritual gifts as a spiritualist and in the genuine gifts of the Spirit as a born-again believer, and has learnt the vital difference between them. The former glorifies the devil while the latter glorifies the LORD.
A certain preacher who was once mightily used of God in the word of knowledge was ministering one day, when God said clearly to a seasoned prophet there that he(the speaker) was using a familiar spirit. He has departed from the faith and yielded to a wrong spirit (1Tim 4:1).
COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS WILL OPPOSE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, AND THE LEADERSHIP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST WILL ALSO REJECT THEM
Paul the apostle gave us a picture of this, "Just as Jannes and Jambres OPPOSED Moses, so also these men oppose the truth - men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned are REJECTED" (2Timothy 3: 8, NIV).
He also instructed Titus, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition REJECT; Knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself" (Titus 3: 10- 11).
Since two cannot walk together unless they agree, and light and darkness can never agree, counterfeit ministers will oppose the ministers of light, especially the leadership of the Body of Christ.
In the first Scripture above, Jannes and Jambres were counterfeit 'ministers,' so to speak, who could perform some miracles with magical powers. But when Moses began to demonstrate the power of God, they stood against him because he was of God while they were of Satan.
Similarly, Paul revealed that the anti-Christ 'will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped.' (2 Thes 2: 4a, NIV).
If God could open our eyes to see many of the secret, or at times, obvious activities of these counterfeit ministers, we would notice that they oppose Christ and his ministers.
We read about a particular occult prophet who would paste the photographs of some genuine church leaders under his shoes and use the shoes to walk on his prayer mountain. We even read that he would sometimes use a hammer to hit those photographs. He strongly opposes all genuine ministers of God.
ASSOCIATE WITH UNBELIEVERS BUT FELLOWSHIP ONLY WITH BELIEVERS
Jesus associated with unbelievers. He interacted with them. He sat and ate with them so that he could find a way to bring them to God (Mat. 9: 10- 13). But he did not fellowship with them, and we are to follow his examples.
You see, to associate with differs from to fellowship with. Paul wrote in 1 Cor 5:9- 10 (NIV), " I have written you in my letter not to ASSOCIATE WITH sexually immoral people- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world."
The KJV uses 'company' in place of 'associate' in the Scripture, and it comes from a Greek word translated, "to mix up together, to associate with." So believers should not segregate, separate or seclude themselves from unbelievers (John 17: 14- 16, John 20: 21), though, we need to keep off occult ministers and churches.
We need to mix up with unbelievers without messing up with them. Somebody said we should maintain contact with them without contamination.
On the other hand, Paul wrote in 2 Cor 6: 14- 16a, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbeliever: for what FELLOWSHIP hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what COMMUNION hath light with darkness?
And what CONCORD hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what AGREEMENT hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God."
The Greek word translated 'fellowship' here means 'participation, intercourse, a sharing, communion.' So believers must not share evil practices with unbelievers. We must not participate in their spiritual and moral wickedness and lusts.
We are to fellowship with fellow believers (Heb 10:24-25). Our first fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus by the Holy Spirit (1John 1:3).
The contents of fellowship among believers are revealed in 1 Corinthians 14:26.
NEITHER ASSOCIATE WITH NOR FELLOWSHIP WITH COMPROMISING BELIEVERS
Paul wrote, ". There is sexual immorality among you .. A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your FELLOWSHIP the man who did this?
.. But now I am writing you that you must not ASSOCIATE with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man DO NOT EVEN EAT EXPEL THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOU" (1 Cor 5: 1- 2, 11, 13, NIV).
You see, we are neither to mix up together with, associate with unrepentant, compromising believers nor to fellowship with, share evil practice with, participate with them in their compromise (see 2 Thes 3: 14, 15,1 Tim 5: 22, Mat 18: 15- 17).
Without mincing words, God said we shouldn't even eat with an unrepentant believer. He also said we should expel certain believers who have refused to repent, perhaps over a long period of time (see 1 Cor 5:1-13).
He also instructed, "If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother"(2 Thes 3:14-15, NIV).
CHRISTIAN LEADERS WILL REJECT COUNTERFEIT MINISTERS
Paul warned Titus to reject a heretic after the first and second warnings (Tit 3: 10). He also wrote Timo that those who oppose the truth are already rejected by the Lord (2 Tim 3: 8, NIV). So if the Lord rejects anyone, who are we to accept them?
After the LORD had rejected Saul, he pleaded with Samuel to come back with him to the LORD, so that he might worship him.
'But Samuel said to him, " I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has REJECTED you as king over Israel" ' (1 Sam. 15:26, NIV).
Eventually, Samuel went back with him but the LORD would not change his mind (vs 27-31, 34-35). Don't accept any ministry the Lord has rejected. Neither reject any he has accepted!
You remember the story of Saul of Tarsus. Before he got born-again, he was a type of a minister of Satan, persecuting and trying to waste the Church of God (Gal. 1:13). So after he had got saved, he tried to join himself to the disciples in Jerusalem but they rejected him until Barnabas took him to the apostles, who were the leaders, and told them how he had encountered the Lord.
I believe Christian leaders will sooner or later accept an ex-minister of Satan who has genuinely repented and has become a child (or minister) of God.
You see, that occult prophet I was talking about was boldly rejected by Christian leaders. They are wise enough neither to associate with nor to fellowship with him. And any minister who does is dealt with.
I read about a pastor who was reported to have gone to this prophet. Then that fellowship of leaders brought him to their national executive meeting where he knelt down, confessed and apologized, saying that it was the greatest mistake of his life!
If you are not yet born-again, say this:
I choose to repent today. Also I choose to believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose up for my justification.
The Scripture says, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom 10:9).
Therefore, I believe in Jesus in my heart and confess Him as my Lord. Now I am born-again (Amen).
SAY THIS ALOUD TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Also Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8).
And on the day of Pentecost "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
Therefore, I receive the Holy Spirit by faith right now and I begin to speak in an unknown tongue (unlearned tongue) as He gives me the utterance.
I command every foul spirit [spirit of fear, spirit of unbelief, spirit of doubt, religious spirit, unforgiving spirit] wanting to hinder me to stop in its evil operation in my life in Jesus' name.
Thank you God for filling me with your Spirit in Jesus' name (Amen).
Books By The Same Author
How to Interpret Dreams and Visions
Why Marriages Break
How to Find the Right Life Partner
Secrets of Financial and Material Prosperity
How to Receive Your Divine Healing
Unfolding the Fivefold Ministry
The Ministry of an Apostle
The Ministry of a Prophet
The Ministry of an Evangelist
The Ministry of a Pastor
The Ministry of a Teacher
Passion for the Lost
Understanding the Call of God
Basic Bible Course
How to Receive the Holy Spirit
Fulfilling Your Divine Destiny
Day of Reckoning: God's Formula for Eternal Rewards
Identifying Counterfeit Ministries
Sanctification: Changing from Inside Out
O Suffering, Why Really Me?
Intimacy with God
The Pastor's Wife
Why Some Churches Won't Grow!
Just Before You Start A Church
How to Prepare and Deliver Sermons
Finding Your Own Ministry
False Doctrines Exposed!
SPECIAL! SPECIAL! SPECIAL!
A MUST READING/VIEW
(Google the following free of charge on the Internet and God will change your life forever.)
1. "Holiness Required For Heaven by Carillo from Bolivia"
2. "Eternal Destinations: Godly Attire and Adornment"
3. "Another Warning by Kingsley Ubani"
4. "Time Is Over : Run For Your Life by Kingsley Ubani"
5. "9 Testimonies on Tithing from Heaven and Hell Visions"
6. "The Dangers of Eating God's Tithes and Offerings"
7. "The Visitation of Jesus to Samuel Oghenetega"
(Crosscheck these testimonies with the Scriptures and if you have questions you may send us an email.)
About the Author
Segun Olumide and his wife, Tosin are founding ministers in the New Apostolic Movement and the Glorious Family Church International both in Lagos, Nigeria. He has a divine mandate to align the Church with God's purpose.
In a vision, the Lord showed him a Bible opened to the Acts of the Apostles with the words "APOSTOLIC CALL" on one of the pages. They reach out through School Of Ministry, School Of Life (Pre-Bible School), NAM Bible School and Healing School. His apostolic teachings have blessed the Body of Christ across the nation.
Connect with me online
If God has blessed you through this book, please send me an e-mail to share your testimony, inspiration or reading experience, mail to:
All rights reserved.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! Click here and TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by Segun Olumide
Like reading Christian Articles? Check out some more options. Read articles in Main Site Articles, Most Read Articles or our highly acclaimed Challenge Articles. Read Great New Release Christian Books for FREE in our Free Reads for Reviews Program. Or enter a keyword for a topic in the search box to search our articles.
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.