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After the way of Gehazi December 8, 2011

Posted by Henry in Word of Faith Movement.
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5 comments

There are many people in Christendom today who clamour after ministers, teachers and prophets that claim the ability to work miracles. Such people shower money and gifts on these “miracle workers” in exchange for their miracles and breakthroughs, unaware that this practice is wrong. However there is a very important lesson in the story of God’s healing of Naaman through the hands of the prophet Elisha, which is lost on the church today. Notice I did not say that Elisha healed Naaman but rather that God healed Naaman through Elisha. This point should be very clear because only God can grant the miracles of healing but He may do so using His ministers as His instruments.

The story is told in 2 Kings 5, how that Naaman, the captain of the king ofSyria’s army though he was a great man of valour, he was a leper. Naaman got word from his wife’s maid that there was a man of God in Israel who could cleanse him of his leprosy. To cut a long story short, when Namaan went to Elisha’s house and the prophet sent a messenger out to him to tell him to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan River and he would be cleansed. After some protestation Naaman was convinced to do as the prophet had said and he complied and was made whole again. Naaman was so thankful for his healing that he wanted to bless the man of God, so he went back to Elisha’s house to bestow a blessing upon him. But note Elisha’s response in verse 16 of the passage:

15And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. 16But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. (2 Kings 5)

Elisha flat out refused to take anything from Naaman. Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, however thought that he would pursue Naaman to collect money and gifts, falsely claiming that Elisha had sent him to receive the things which he claimed were meant for two other young men ofIsrael. Elisha however being the man of God, perceived what Gehazi had done and challenged him with the following words in verse 26:

Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? (2 Kings 5:26)

 

Gehazi thought he would use the Grace of God as a means to collecting “filthy lucre” but Elisha demonstrated aptly that this occasion was not appropriate for receiving monetary or other gifts. Today our so-called men and women of God are playing the role of Gehazi by collecting money, tithes, offerings and gifts in exchange for miracles and breakthroughs. There are individuals such as Mike Murdoch, Paula White, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Prohetess Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Matthew Ashimolowo and others who all promise miracles and breakthroughs if you sow seeds (monetary gifts) into their ministries. They will claim that you are not buying a miracle but rather that you are exercising your faith – they attempt to spiritualise their claims by saying that you have to make sacrifices to get God to move on your behalf – they claim that the size of your seed will determine the size of your harvest and by giving your seed they will add their faith to yours. They try to veil their claims in scriptures by misapplying them in order to convince the church that God cannot do anything for them if they don’t test their faith by sowing a sacrificial seed. The truth though is that God does not need you to do anything in order for Him to work a miracle in your life or give you a breakthrough.

Naaman did not know God as he was an idol worshipper, yet he came to the prophet Elisha for his healing. He received his healing without sowing any seed and even after receiving his healing the prophet refused to take gifts from him. This shows that God is sovereign and He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and there is nothing man can do to appease God. God healed Naaman not so that Elisha would be blessed materially but because it was His sovereign will to do it to the praise of His glory. Elisha made sure not to corrupt the Grace of God by accepting money and gifts because God is not in the business of selling miracles. There are some ministers today however who have become as greedy as Gehazi by collecting gifts in exchange for God’s grace. If one receives a miracle, healing or breakthrough through the preaching or personal ministration of a minister, it is not a time for collecting money.

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The Blessing of Persecutions and Trials January 29, 2010

Posted by Henry in Word of Faith Movement.
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2 comments

At the beginning of this year I had a mishap with my car which was quite challenging to face. Basically the cam belt went whilst I was driving and rendered the engine almost irreparable. One mechanic told me that it would cost in the region of £700 to repair and that this figure was perhaps a conservative estimate. To say the least I was gutted as I drove a very modest car and did not have the money at the time to repair it or to buy another car, which would have been the better option. I told my friend at work about the issue and said to her that this was my “New Year blessing”, a broken down car and no money to fix or replace it. She laughed and said, “Your funny” with a hint of sarcasm. If I didn’t need the car it wouldn’t have been so bad but in the area where I live public transport is infrequent and impractical for myself and my family’s needs. To cut the story short however, I was able by God’s grace to replace the engine and the car is now operational again, at least for the time being.

 The point I want to make though is that often when trials come our way we do not see the blessing in them. In this particular experience of mine, the first blessing was the fact that we were meant to be travelling on the motorway that very day but decided to go somewhere local first, when the problem occurred. If the car had broken down on the motorway it could have caused a fatal accident but thank God it broke down when I was braking to stop at a traffic signal. Praise be to God for His mercy. Isn’t God good? More importantly however when trials come our way they are meant to “sharpen” our faith and we should see them as a blessing. Many people however don’t see trials or persecution as a source of blessing. Some even think it is a curse. For them blessings means increasing in health, wealth and prosperity and the Word of Faith Movement comes to mind here. In stark contrast to the Word of Faith beliefs however Jesus had this to say in Matt 5:10-12:

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

In conjunction with the above quote we also note from scripture that it is a blessing to endure trials:

 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12, NIV)

 I have broken with convention in using the KJV for the above quote because the NIV uses the word “trial” as opposed to “temptation” in the KJV and thus gives a better rendering. The message is clear however that persecution and trial are sources of blessings and not just material things unlike what those in the Word of Faith camp teaches. If God were to only bless us with materials things and health we would become like the Laodicean church who thought that now that they had become rich and increased in goods that they no longer needed God. If our faith is being tested daily however we would learn to always trust in God and put our faith in Him. Again quoting from the NIV version 1 Peter 1: 6-7 has this to say about enduring trials:

 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed..

 If our faith is of much greater worth than refined gold then, which blessing would you rather have? The blessing of having your faith tried through trials or the blessing of health, wealth and prosperity?

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