Chapter 3 Discerning Today's Christian Leaders and TV Ministers
The Lord is still "in the midst" of His people...
Despite today's failures in American Christianity, the Lord can still be found right 'in the midst' of His people. Churches all across the United States are filled with true believers. This is exactly where the Lord desires to be. Whether there are just two people gathered in His Name or 2 million believers gathered, Jesus will always be found "in their midst" at all times, regardless of poor leadership.
This is His greatest desire: to be with, protect & care for His people. Nothing will ever stop Christ from being found in the very "midst of His people". Even in the last recorded appearance of Jesus Himself, He is seen by the Apostle John [in 95AD] as standing "in the middle" of His people. This was symbolized by the physical 7 golden lampstands of which John saw Jesus physically standing "in the midst of". Jesus Himself identified to John that these "are the 7 churches". [Rev.1:13, 20].
Keeping this knowledge in mind, then sharp discernment can result for God's people with regard to today's leaders. For example, most believers do not differentiate much between the "body" of Christ & the "minister" who is standing at the forefront. To be specific, in any particular meeting of true believers where legitimate salvations, healings or miracles are taking place, then the "body" of true believers in America typically will automatically interpret that "leader" at the forefront to be "a true man [or woman] of God". This is a big mistake & is not automatic at all.
This is because the Lord, who is truly 'in the midst' of His gathered children at that particular meeting, will always have His children's needs as His foremost priority. And He will meet those needs regardless of any lack of qualifications or unbecoming behavior on the part of a "minister" standing at the forefront.
The Lord will never "not" meet His children's needs based upon a particular minister's failings or unqualifed status or even if a "false prophet" himself is standing at that meeting's center-stage. In fact, the Lord is ready at all times to respond to His children's needs even if there is 'no one at all' standing at the pulpit. When God's people are gathered together & focused on Jesus with hearts of faith & worship & exalting of Him, then He is always there to respond.
So, believers' discernment of a particular "leader" should always be zeroed in FIRST on that leader's own spirituality, character & qualifications. And not simply based upon the fact that there might be legitimate miracles occurring "in the midst" of the body of Christ at his meetings. Although signs & wonders & gifts will definitely follow true men & women of God, it is a minister's true Christ-likeness of character plus his true care & effective oversight of God's children that qualify him before the Lord. Not a minister's "gifts".
This is why the Lord forewarned that in the End Times many "false" leaders will be seen at gatherings where the Lord Himself is truly performing miracles amongst His people. However, He will cast those false leaders aside because of their ungodly character & misleading God's children. [Math.7:21-23]. The body of Christ [& true ministers] today must keep these insights in mind for accurate spiritual discernment of today's ministers.
As specified previously, even though many powerful miracles by the Lord occur in America, still 90% [min.] of today's Christian leaders & TV ministers are unqualified & failing in the Bible's strict requirements & high standards for leadership. For these, they should step away from the pulpit & from representing themselves as a 5-Fold Leader. However, they should definitely continue in ministering under the anointing & with their giftings until they are "first tested" & proven by bonafide 5-Fold Leaders, as Paul instructed. [1Tim.3:6,10]. God's people in these End Times who are equipped with this kind of understanding & discernment with regard to Leaders will not be fooled in the days ahead about "who's who?" in 5-Fold Leadership.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage [less than 5%] of America's ministers can be heard today accurately identifying today's spiritual departure from Christlikeness in America. Almost none can be heard providing key insights to God's people about spiritual discernment. In fact, numerous mightily anointed leaders have been shunned or even barred from appearing on top Christian TV networks because of their outspokeness concerning the types of things mentioned here. This is because most of today's top TV ministers & high-profile Christian leaders have become more interested in their self-serving & worldly interests rather than having the best interests of God's people as top priority.
Today's blindness & folly in God's House can be epitomized by one popular TV minister who is filled with a spirit of homosexuality yet still undetected by others [as of May 2007]. He recently "prophesied" that "the body of Christ is now in its final mature form & ready for the coming of the Lord!". How far from the truth can a false "Christian minister" & his "prophecies" be?
In fact, many of today's unqualified Christian ministers & false prophets themselves have something in common. Their prime interests have become the exalting of their own 'name' & their own 'ministry' which for most of them have become their own idols. Being recognized publicly as the 'man of God' is their greatest glory.
Most of today's popular TV ministries have actually done more [by their unbecoming behavior, arrogance & worldliness] to distance Americans from the Gospel than they have done to draw them towards Christ over the last 20 years or so. They have brought great reproach upon the Lord. Again, this is because they are not completely qualified as a leader in the first place. Their worldliness & lack of discernment is part & parcel with their own unqualified status. Plus, being surrounded mostly by other undiscerning & unqualified Leaders has virtually left them completely unchecked in God's House.
As emphasized, over the years now a flood of immature & unqualified believers [even false prophets] have easily taken the forefront as the "mighty man or woman of God". Still, regardless of a leader's individual status, the Lord will always be seen "in the midst" of His most cherished & beloved children, the body of Christ. And He will be there to attend to His children's needs, His number one priority.