Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. I John 1
Black Church Incorporated Moguldom Studios
The church was overflowing this particular day because a celebrity pastor/prophet would be delivering the Word. Naturally, a number of church-goers wanted front row seating and they got it. They paid a premium price just to sit in a designated section of pews in the church. Can you believe that? But it’s true.
As the devotional and praise team performed, the choir came out and sang their hearts out with contemporary gospel songs. The church was jumping, shouting and waving our hands with shouts of hallelujah.
Then the worship leader announced there would be an offering. Fine, I thought. Makes sense to have the collection before the service.
The large media screen lit up over the pulpit and a barrage of upcoming events screeched across the screen. A special sale of merchandise for the celebrity pastor/prophet products of DVDs and books would also be available for a special discount price after the service.
The celebrity pastor/prophet entered the sanctuary with the host pastor and surrounded by a security team of church volunteers.
The introduction of the celebrity pastor/prophet read like a who’s who among guess who I know.
I sat back with my Bible open waiting for the “thus saith the Lord,” sermon but the prophet side appeared with “the Lord told me.” I couldn’t believe my ears. The Lord told the prophet that anyone giving one-hundred dollars would be blessed.
When the congregation didn’t move quickly down to the altar, the prophet announced that each pew should give twenty or ten dollars per person. Once the one hundred dollars was collected, they were to send one representative down to the altar.
After the benediction, the doors of the sanctuary open and there sat three long tables of merchandise exclusively for those unable to pay for what they didn’t give in the service.
During the entire service, I kept hoping that this celebrity pastor/prophet would not pull a prosperity scam on the congregation. But my hope was dash.
By the time I arrived at home, my heart was broken. I knew I had betrayed God. And I did. No, I didn’t put in twenty-dollars or ten dollars. But I did contribute, whether I felt peer pressure or weakness of the flesh. I gave to this false prophet.
Later that evening, I knelt down and prayed. I knew that if nothing else, I owed God my sincerest apology and I had to confess my sin for being swept up in the madness of the charisma of this celebrity pastor/prophet.
The Holy Spirit reminded me of the scripture of Matthew 24:24, where it warns us that even if it was possible, even the very elect can be deceive.
This situation was a teachable moment for me. What I learned was to always be on the watchtower asking God for discernment and to always test the spirits as the Word instructs us to do.
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