THE ONE major problem facing Christianity today is fake men of God in the pulpits. Indeed, there are several people who have sneaked into the Body of Christ, calling themselves apostles, bishops, prophets and other revered titles just as was prophesied in the Scriptures. These have many people following them, but when you carefully look at their works you will know that they do not know the true God of the Holy Bible.
By analyzing the contents of their preaching, teaching and character, one can clearly see that many of these preachers have not even been born again. That is, they are not regenerate Christians in the first place. When you attentively read the Bible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will see that to be called a man of God is not just about knowing how to quote scriptures, lead prayers, bless marriages, or counsel people.
Many folks can do all these excellently and yet be men of the world or agents of the devil. Christ Jesus and the foundational apostles especially John, Peter and Paul spoke greatly about false teachers, apostles and prophets after encountering them in the days of their ministries. Thus, they warned the local churches they established to be cautious of these false ministers.
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, BUT TEST THE SPIRITS to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4: 1, NIV).
God's living Word implores you and I, “To test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5: 21). Paul said, we should, “test all things” but John said, we should, “test all spirits”.
How are we to test them? As Christians, we should examine every doctrine we hear ministers espouse in the light of the written Word of God. It is vital for all children of God to test and identify the spirit of truth and the spirit of error or antichrist in the world. Until we test them, we may not know the sound doctrine to accept or genuine man of God to follow or listen to. But then unless you know the Word, it may be difficult for you to test them. This is why you must read your Bible daily.
Indeed, there are thugs in the pulpit. A thug is a gangster or a violent criminal. Thugs in the church are false men of God who are in bed with the devil; most of them operate under witchcraft. They appear as angels of light, but inwardly they are wolves, destroying the faith of many immature believers. They lead many people astray through their false teachings, preaching and magic.
A true Christian minister of God is not necessarily someone who wears clericals or vestments and wields a Bible in his hands or under his armpit. A person may be adorned in beautiful sacerdotal garments and carry a Bible around preaching, teaching, praying, prophesying and conducting deliverance services and yet may be unknown to Christ.
A true Christian minister is not necessarily someone, who is eloquent and fluent in speech or someone who is presentable. Eliab, Jesse's son, had an impressive stature which nearly moved Samuel, the prophet to anoint him king over Israel, but God had rejected him (1 Samuel 16: 6- 7).
A true minister of Christ is not necessarily someone, who is called by many sacred titles. A person may be called Reverend, Bishop, Prophet and Apostle.
People in his church and the community may accord him all the necessary courtesies, yet he may be described as a worker of iniquity by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord, who dwells in unapproachable lights, knows the secret intents of men's hearts.
Christ Jesus has His chosen and appointed ambassadors in the world. He calls them faithful servants, brothers and friends. Such men of God practically keep or maintain an intimate relationship with the Lord. They abide in His love, doctrine and gladly obey His commands. I mean, they do not only have sound knowledge of the gospel of Christ, but also live and act the Word of Christ. Remember, the power of the Word of God is not in knowing it, but in obeying or doing it.
The character of such ministers are built on the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
The Lord Jesus did no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth because He built His character on these virtues.
A true man of God, following Jesus Christ will also be helped by the Holy Spirit, to build his life on these fruit of the Spirit, in order to live a Christ-like life. We all must aspire to conform to the image of Christ.
Indeed, true men of God are humble, and obedient to Jesus Christ, the Master. They recognize and declare the Lord Jesus Christ as their Head, and are committed to building on the foundation Christ and the Apostles laid. They preach and teach the full gospel without betraying any of them. True servants of Christ explain the mysteries of God, especially the mystery of Christ – the Body of Christ – the Church. They thank and exalt their Master wherever they go and in whatever they do.
Like Paul, the apostle and the other foundational apostles, they toil day and night; preaching, teaching and praying so that they may present every believer mature in Christ. They know that their core responsibility is not necessarily to help Christians to acquire cars, build houses and amass wealth. These are very important things we all need for ministry and for personal enjoyment, but true ministers have a sense of priority.
They know that the main aim of their calling is to build up or develop believers spiritually to the stature of the measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4: 13). In their day-to-day activities, they are conscious that they are to perfect the saints for the work of ministry so that all may conform to the image of Christ. This is God's plan for every believer including you (Rom. 8: 28- 29, Eph. 4: 11- 15, Col. 1: 28).
By James Quansah