False hope never emptied more pockets like a false preacher whose promises don’t deliver. And I say preacher in the most broad sense. It’s the theology of Wheel ‘n Heal doing its best (or is it worst, I can never tell). This doctrine of sacerdotal glorification claims that true believers can be healed of their ailments, just wheel them to the right endowed healer, and boom “In the name of Jesus” they’re healed. “What great faith you have,” said the wolf in sheep’s clothing! There’s all kinds of backwards Christianity, not that you can call it Christian really, going on out there. Don’t be fooled. We’ve seen this before folks.
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. –Exodus 7:10-11
Like Pharaoh’s magical minions, even today we see signs and wonders from false teachers, prophets, and preachers. There is finesse to their craft, but devious sorcery nonetheless. I suppose we ought to hold our tongues, seeing that the Benny Hinn’s of the world can prove their ability–if you believe enough, of course. Just take a look for yourself! Even if you don’t believe, why don’t you see it for yourself, Youtube is full of healing miracles ready for you to watch and believe. Hold my tongue? More like my nose.
Televangelists don’t all espouse to this theology of Wheel ‘n Heal, but the richest ones do. And I don’t mean rich in the treasures from above sort of rich. They hold their god given visions and healing abilities as the proverbial carrot before your eyes. And, like the good serpent they are, while the carrot dangles they beat the money out of your pockets with their stick of self-rightouesness. Telling you how important it is to believe, yes perhaps Jesus, but really to believe who “Jesus” put in your life. So believe. Certainly you can understand this simple truth. True believers, believe don’t you know that, so believe, and believe that belief will faith-away your financial burdens, brokenness, and illness ridden lives. Believe darn it. BELIEVE! This web of lies will entangle and suck you dry, leaving a forgotten corpse. Who cares about the stragglers left behind? The ones whose everything didn’t improve or wellbeing didn’t last after their miracle. Who cares about them, if they were a true believer wouldn’t things be better for them? We should feel sorry for the lost ones whose faith has wavered. So the scheme goes. It’s a never ending circle of: new believer > promise/miracle > realization of deception > question person/institution > believer marked as faithless > a new believer takes his/her place.
Still many wonder how they do it. How do the wheelmen of health, wealth, and happiness do it? How does the prosperity gospel they preach endure if it is fraudulent. I propose two conclusions here:
- They are truly excellent at illusion and a master of perception. Their deception comes with work and hustle. They know their crowd, they know their tricks, and they know how to work both well. Any truthful illusionist or magician will know and confess their trade is not about telling the truth but selling a lie. Why do they hide their tricks, keep secret their ways, and fear someone stealing their act? Because it’s all an act, and their livelihood too! But while some preform for entertainment others come and rob souls. A most despicable thing.
- The other possibility is more chilling. Perhaps it’s no illusion or masterful slight of hand at all. It may be that the staffs which Pharaohs magicians used actually turned into serpents. Meaning, the secret art they use was nothing else than the possession of Satan and the institution of his devilish ways. A trickery that comes neither from above or from man, but from the Evil One. This wickedness is a frightening possibility, a most fascinating possibility of how demons work today before our eyes.
What is our response? Easy. You cannot supply the faith sufficient to move mountains or to faith-away your life’s burdens. Only Christ can truly be your Lord and fulfill his promises to you. Any man who claims to be a master is a liar, a deceiver, and a vain fool. Our master is Christ alone, and our faith in him is a gift. The quantity and quality of such faith is sufficient in Christ’s mercy and grace. Your best life now begins with a life in Christ, and never in idolatrous self-talk.
Useless are the visions of men, useless are the fraudulent healing miracles that come from men, and useless are the words of men. Christ is your vision bright. Christ is your healing when heart and limb and life are frail and dying. Christ is the Word made flesh. Christ does not promise prosperity but redemption, that is, his promises are from above. His promises are not the riches of this life but the treasures from on High are your glory. A true believer relies on Christ to save when healing is impossible. A true believer looks to God’s enduring love and faithfulness when they are sinful and faith wavers. A true believer doesn’t need the illusion of grace or the demons who dwell among us, they simply need Jesus.
In the end I think the response of the Lord before the Pharaoh is more fascinating than the possibilities of how his wilily wise men made their staffs into serpents. “For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs (Exodus 7:12).” Christ is victorious, and the serpents of death are swallowed up; Pharaoh is made into a fool and the lying televangelists will see their ruin too.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.— 1 Corinthians 15:54-5