The whole thing is entertainment. The people always have to hear or see a new thing. Those up on the stage are all actors. Those in the pews support the actors with applause and money.
However, in God’s plan it is necessary for this to happen or it wouldn’t be happening, for nothing escapes his notice or direction. As this group is actually showing the other side of Jesus’ wife, it is necessary for them all to be gathered into one “place” by deception, as no one or very few will gather to hear truth, because it is offensive to the ears and hurts the feelings too much. Deception then, is God’s method of harvest; the revolt or falling away must come first. They who are “downstairs” have to go through correction before they can be allowed “upstairs”. The fact that they all have to be brought together in one “place”; ie, the “place” of deception, is revealed in the present day establishment of what is called “mega churches”.
The mega church phenomenon is the establishment of “cities within cities”. In some locations they have become like university complexes, with multiple structures dedicated for different purposes or to hold simultaneous meetings due to the large numbers of people attending cannot be held in one building. In one building, the pastor/teacher is on stage in view of the people and in another building he is presented on a giant tv/movie screen before other people.
These complexes can be found in most major cities. The larger the city, the more they have. One of the more prominent ones, due to the personality (actor) running it, is located in Texas and his name is Joel Osteen. His father was associated with the Hagin/Copeland, Word of Faith crew, and he’s pretty much followed in their footsteps, but has put his own stamp on the interpretation of their system with books in which are filled with positive, pious platitudes, one called, “Your Best Life Now”, which the deceived ones have grabbed up by the millions like Oprah books, and put up there on the NY Times best seller list. Along with all this hoopla comes worldly notoriety/celebrityship. Curious outsiders buy the book and get suckered in also.
The success of the system is based on hypnosis, with the use of Bible verses and passages which taken by themselves, seem to support their prosperity gospel: God wants you to be healthy, wealthy, and wise; to have a good job, nice car, nice house, plenty of food on the table; never have to suffer and if adversity should get it’s foot in the door, you rebuke it, for it’s of the devil, and keep up the self hypnosis program as you continually repeat the mantra of positive Bible verses over and over again until it “gets from your head to your heart”. This they call the “Word of Faith”. I neglected to mention, that if adversity does overtake you somewhere along the the line you will be counseled that you must be failing in your “confession” somewhere or this wouldn’t have happened.
One of the main bible verses they use is Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, verily I say unto you, if two from among you shall agree upon earth concerning any matter whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be brought to pass for them from my Father who is in the heavens; for where there are two or three gathered together into my name, there am I in their midst”.
So if the leadership and the pew sitter agree together about a certain thing; ie, that prosperity in every facet of life is God’s will, then those “two” are all that is needed for they then have joint verity. In another place it says, “in the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established”. So if there is a husband and wife, there is two; and the leadership and family, there is two groups.
One of their main methods of getting money to support their megalopolis’ is by means of the tithe guilt trip deception. This is a manipulative tactic to make the people feel guilty because they don’t give their 10%. Even if a person has very little money, they push him into giving a “seed gift”- you know, you have to plant a seed before you can get a harvest right?. They push him to give out of his need, like the widow whom Jesus used as a teaching moment in the temple, who gave all she had. So if a guy’s car just broke down and he has just enough money to fix it, they manipulate him into giving that money to “God” (of course by giving it to their ministry), as “seed”, so eventually he can harvest a bunch.
Another gimmick for fleecing the sheep is the building program. Perhaps they are beginning to grow out of their present building and instead of splitting up into home or cell groups as they should, they have to make sure they keep firm control over the pocketbooks and keep away sheepstealers and keep everybody under one roof, so they take out a big loan from the bank – they call this using wisdom – and push and manipulate the pewsitters to give even more on top of their already ridiculous tithe; some may even take out personal loans to help pay the church loans. They put up a money thermometer on a big display in the lobby or somewhere with “lets get it done! in big letters across the top.
I have some more background info on this group, but I am now at 925 words so I’ll stop here and continue in the next post.