Prophets and the Saving Gospel
God desires that His children be liberated in both physical and spiritual dimensions. Christ’s mission to the earth was to achieve this liberation (Luke 4.18, 19). Christ came to deliver us from the kingdom of Satan into His kingdom and also to deliver us from the various physical oppressive forces (e.g. political, economic, social, technological etc). However, in as much as God would have us free from the various physical oppressive forces, the ultimate goal for this is spiritual liberation and salvation at the Second Coming of Christ. Present day preachers, usually masquerading as “prophets” have preached on physical liberation at the expense of the true saving gospel of Christ. There is a significant shift from emphasising the spiritual aspects of Christianity to the physical.
Modern day prophets seem to be motivated by money and make sensational claims. They promise financial blessings and liberation for anyone that sends their “seed of faith”. They even claim to know how many viewers or listeners there will be and that they will have their mortgage paid off or see their business prosper if they send in their offerings today. If the opposite happens and the promises are not forthcoming, the blame is laid on the believer as they are told “you have little faith”. Some have even claimed to prophesy and tell people their national identity or passport numbers. The list on how these “profits” claim to be messengers of God is endless.
The Bible tells us that our God does not work in this way. Ezekiel 22.25 says: “The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst.” These false prophets claim to have special revelation from God and can prophesy about things, people, and events that are to come. You see many on TV, on the Internet, and on radio that claim to be modern day prophets. Many a times these men of God claim to have received visions from God telling them to start a ministry and/or church. But as the Bible makes it very clear and as I shall explain below, revelation has been completed and the church has already been found by Jesus Christ. I will not dwell much on the doctrines of men as taught by these men. I will now go to discuss the true saving gospel of Christ as outlined in the
Christians are guided by the New Testament in doctrine and practice. The New Testament speaks of one and only one gospel. Paul told the Galatians that if even an angel would bring another (different) gospel, he should be accursed (Gal 1.6-9). Jude speaks of our faith which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Peter speaks (in the first century) that God had given the dispersed Christians “all things pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1.3). Paul told the Ephesian elders that he had “declared the whole counsel of God” to them, and he has various instructions to Timothy and Titus, urging them to remain in this one doctrine.
Christians who await eternal salvation today are in the church of Christ. There is only one church (Col 1.18; Eph 1.22; Acts 20.28). This is the church that was founded in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost by Jesus Christ (Acts 2). Christ is the Head/ Founder of this church. So there is no need for any man of God to claim to have received “another” revelation from God instructing them to start another church, which is far much different in doctrine and practice from the New Testament church.
In a nutshell, Christians should be able to “test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4.1). The standard for this testing is the Word of God. We should be able to stand faithfully on the one and only saving gospel of Christ.
• 1 Timothy 1.3; Titus 3.9 - Urge certain men not to teach strange doctrines; Do not pay attention to myths and endless genealogies; Anything that give rise to speculation rather than furthering the administration of God by faith (fruitless discussions)
• 1 Timothy 1.10 - The law is made for everything that is contrary to sound teaching
• 1 Timothy 4.1 - People would pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons
• 1 Timothy 4.6, 7 - Following the commands of Paul would nourish Timothy in the faith and sound doctrine; Have nothing to do with worldly fables fit for old women
• 2 Timothy 1.4-5 - Build a generational faith in your family
• 2 Timothy 1.13 - Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard; guard this treasure jealously
• 2 Timothy 2.14, 16 - Do not wrangle about words which destroy the hearers; Avoid worldly and empty chatter
• 2 Timothy 2.23 - Refuse foolish and ignorant speculations which produce quarrels
• 2 Timothy 3.14 - Continue in the things you have learned
• 2 Timothy 4.3 - Men will not endure sound doctrine… accumulate teachers for themselves, turn away ears from the truth, and turn into myths
• Titus 1.9 - An elder must hold fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the doctrine
• Titus 2.1 - Speak the things which befit sound doctrine