A Sermon by Abuoma Boanerges
Reading: 2 Corinthians 2
I want to speak to you all this morning the same way that Paul the Apostle spoke to the Corinthians. He wrote, “for if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus whom we have not preached ye might well bear with him. I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.” (2 Corinthians 2:5)
First, Paul points them to the very fact that they still had that carnal tendency to give in to false gospel preaching, and that they were not yet through with their itching ears, which have time for “every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Second, we see that he gives them a prophetic warning, pointing to what would take place in the future, that another preacher or preachers who would preach “another Jesus” was on the way coming to them. Paul’s concern was that many of those to whom he was writing would be deceived into accepting such a person when he comes. Third, he warns them not to count him as a ‘nobody’ but to see him the same way they say the other twelve apostles and to accord him the same respect they accorded them.
Why would the apostle Paul speak in this manner? It is because the children of God are very quick to despise the humble shepherds that God has given them, and to go running after false shepherds! They so quickly give honour to those that come in “sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening [ravenous] wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
Look at the apostle’s words in verse 7: “have I committed an offence in abasing myself?” (2 Corinthians 2:7). He had brought himself low to minister to them, but they despised him. For this reason, he proceeds to use “rudeness of speech” toward them (as I shall do today towards you this morning), yet in knowledge. Verse 6: “but though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge.” (2 Corinthians 2:6). In other words, Paul was here writing them plainly, in simple words that they could easily understand, and not use highly ‘intelligent’ language.
Many, especially of our often visitors that come around, ask us what I shall label useless questions. Their questions are their way of telling us that our believe in an absolute sovereign God makes no sense at all. They come to look in amazement at how we can hold to a sovereign God when every other church holds to an UN-SOVEREIGN God. And they want to push us into that perversion of true Christianity called the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement. However, many of them do not know, or have forgotten, from the pit from whence the Lord pulled me out.
Yes, it was the Lord Jesus Christ, by his grace, who pulled me out of the Pentecostal movement!
I didn’t leave the Pentecostal religion because I was a failure, no. I didn’t leave that religion because I was not making money from it. I had a promising future in the Pentecostal movement which I will prefer to call the Pentecostal religion, because it is a different religion altogether from true Christianity!
I got no less than 25 to 30 people filled with the holy ghost in the 5 years of my ministry as a Pentecostal pastor. For example, I saw a sister named Ogechi from Umuduru-Ekwe filled with that thing they call the “Holy Ghost” (but which is not the true Holy Spirit of the Bible). She had sought “the baptism” for years under many so-called “great men of God” but to no avail. But once I laid the hand on her, the “power” came mightily upon her and she both spoke in tongues and laughed in the spirit for over 30 minutes. For I was well able to induce this trance. And in the same service, another woman called Constance was filled with the holy ghost!
Friends, there is no power, glory and experience I have not seen in that old religion from which the Lord, by the power of the real Holy Ghost, brought me out. As a Pentecostal I had experiences that some of you will not believe if I tell you!
I have had dreams, visions of Jesus entering my room to anoint me with fresh oil, showing me the great worldwide “crusade” that I would host all around the world, and how so many sick people will be healed and set free. In one vision, this “Jesus” gave me a key and, as I asked for the purpose of the key, he said to me that it is a symbol of power and authority over the kingdom of darkness – he had giver this power and authority to me!
In one program [preaching event] I hosted, a lady kept shouting – as though she were demon-possessed – and pointing to the people, “this preacher is the son of god, and the more he preaches the more we are tormented!” And I pointed to her from the pulpit and just said a word and the “power of god” (I now use a small “g” because it was not the true God) “slew” her under the “anointing.”
Well, our new visitors are free to ask these few old members who have remained with me from the time where we were all Pentecostals. They saw these miracles themselves. But men and brethren, all these things I count as DUNG that I may win Christ and not lose my soul in hell at last (compare Philippians 3:8). I not only count them as dung, but I wish I had never been a part of it for once.
Since our visitors come around to see how we can possibly be Christians and yet reject these Pentecostal practices, I will ask them this question: “When that lady in the program pointed at me and called me the ‘son of god’, was such an utterance ever made by a devil concerning any of the apostles?” And I will ask them, “Where do we see devils confessing mere depraved men as myself to be the son of God?” The only person in the Scriptures to whom such was said truthfully was the very God almighty revealed in the flesh (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16)! Never was it said to any fallen man of the seed of Adam. But such things are said today – all as part of the deception used to convince people that Pentecostals and Charismatics have the same miraculous gifts as the apostles, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
This kind of nonsense is all we find in the occultic books written by world-famous Charismatic leaders such as Kenneth Hagin and T.L Osborn. For example, Kenneth Hagin, in his book I believe in visions, said Jesus told him that from the day of that his special anointing, anyone with a devil seeing him will recognize the power of God upon his life and immediately begin to confess such statement. He is not alone in this heresy, his companion in heresy named T.L Osborn said that “god” told him the same thing as well when the healing anointing was giving him.
Our visitors: I ask you, is such biblical? Do you know what Satan was doing to me when he was moving that lady to confess that statement concerning me that I was the “son of God”? I will tell you. Satan was hardening my heart and searing it with a hot iron! He was building pride in me by lifting me up and putting me into the position of deity! He was deceiving me, and everyone there present, to make us think I was someone very high as Jesus – or else, the other way round: he was making me and others there to begin to see Jesus as someone low like myself! This “Ye shall be as gods” is a heresy straight from the serpent’s mouth (Genesis 3:5) – and the so-called Word of Faith movement is full of it.
Some of you will say, “But is it not written that we shall do greater works than the Lord Jesus Christ himself did?” (compare John 5:20). That is the common Pentecostal/Charismatic sound-byte! But please stop to consider what you are really saying. For what were Jesus’s works? And what did they prove him to be? If you did “greater works” – what would it prove you to be!
You had better begin to interpret that verse to mean that we shall also have immaculate conceptions in order to be consistent! Listen, for that verse to be very consistent in the way the Charismatics use it to deceive people, such “anointed men of God” must fast eighty days in the wilderness, be baptized by the Spirit several times more than Christ was baptized, at be baptized four times by John the Baptist, and have at least a dozen white pigeons descend upon them in bodily form! The Lord Jesus was crucified on one cross and – do you pray that your “god” grant that you be crucified on at least eight greater crosses?! But those are part of the works the Lord Jesus Christ did! Why take the good side that suits you and reject the side that doesn’t suit your selfish life?
And again, since we started preaching only the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, without any use of the “seeker sensitive” methods of entertaining “carnal professors,” I notice that these girls who confessed that I am the “son of god,” and that my sermon was tormenting them have not for once stepped into this place! Satan knows we in this church have now truly discovered who the real Son of God is! The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Glory. He does not share his glory with any preacher! No preacher is the “son of god”! They are mere unworthy servants!
Hear the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:5: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves YOUR SERVANTS for Jesus’ sake.” What could be clearer than that?
Like I said, I want to use great “rudeness of speech” towards some of you, especially toward our visitors, seeing they do not want to be a part of our church –and yet they do not want to leave our church alone and stop troubling us. Yes it is true we need more church members. We have only a few people here, but that is fine if it is the Lord Jesus who has sent them to us. Besides, we remember that “Strait [narrow] is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Matthew 7:14). And so we may need to be content for a while to have only a few people willing to be members with us.
About this whole issue of seeing Jesus, I shall now proceed to open your eyes.
When I spoke on this topic some few weeks ago, a sister whose mother was worshipping in the Assemblies of God church, Amurie branch, but herself was a member of this church; the day I preached it she stopped coming to our church and she joined her mum in Assemblies of God church. What was her problem? A prophet had earlier told her she had the “call of god” upon her life and that “god” would use her mightily to perform miracles, and from that day she began hearing unseen voices. At times this voice would give her certain Bible passages to read, or direct her to a sick person she would go and pray for, and so on.
And not long after, she began having visions of “Jesus” appearing to her. So when I preached against such experience, she said I was holding to “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (see 2 Timothy 3:5). I never knew she had memorized that verse of the Bible as a weapon against me! It’s a good sound-byte that suits the Pentecostals, isn’t it?! Well, we have no time at present to explain what that verse she quoted means, but bear in mind that verse was rightly put in the context where Paul was describing the effeminate Christianity of the “last days” – which the Pentecostals are now fulfilling.
WE DO NOT DENY THE POWER OF GOD – the true God. That is the last thing I would do.If others deny the power of God, that is their business; but myself will never deny the power of God.
I think the problem is that most of you misunderstand the gospel. Some of you misunderstand the gospel I preach from this pulpit every morning and that is why you call me names.
This is the gospel I preach in a nutshell: I preach that God is almighty and still miraculous. He still heals the sick and he can still raise the dead if he chooses to so do; BUT HE HAS NOT AND WILL NOT GIVE HIS POWER TO ANY 21ST CENTURY PREACHER! If the sick seek God with a broken heart they shall be healed, if the poor like myself be willing and obedient to the Lord they shall eat the good of the land. If the down-trodden cry out to the Lord he shall raise him up to sit with princes!
Do you keep running from ministries to ministries, from one prayer-house to another in search of the latest and best “miracle-worker”? Do you believe that the Supreme Being who created the sky, moon and stars and hung them up there without the support of a single string? If you think he has given his power to these your false prophets, then you will perish in your afflictions.
THIS IS THE GOSPEL I PREACH – NOTHING MORE – the gospel I preach is: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:5).
That is the gospel I have brought to Umuaka. I have brought you the gospel that says you can now approach God without passing through any man or woman – without any Roman Catholic priest or any Pentecostal or Charismatic “man of god” or “woman of god.” I have brought you the gospel that will save your money from false prophets and your soul from hell! So repent and believe this gospel.
Ifunanya joined her mum in Assemblies of God church because she couldn’t endure sound doctrine – she believes in seeing “Jesus.” I myself previously bought into this lie until God brought me out of it. And now I seek, by God’s grace and enabling, to help you out of it as well.
Let us hear about one of the greatest blessings that New Testament saints have above the apostles! It is recorded in John 20:29: “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.”
Do you believe that blessing is for you? Do you believe you are blessed more than the apostles? Do you know you have a greater reward in heaven awaiting you? Ah, blessed are they that have not seen the Lord but have believed in him with the whole heart.
This is one blessing the Pentecostals do not seek and do not have at all.
They want a “Jesus” they can see, a “Jesus” that will walk into their hotel room and chat with them as I always do with my friends on Facebook! Such a “Jesus” exists only in the minds of men and women who have no reverence for the Most High.
A “Jesus” that walks into people’s hotel rooms has no heaven to live in, no throne to sit upon, no angels to accord him divine worship, no church to intercede for, no Heavenly Father to show him love, no saints to bow to him. And he only exists in the thoughts of 21st century sinners who have no idea of what God looks like!
Certainly, Jesus knew that after the apostolic generation passed away, no saint – indeed nobody – would see him on earth. Look at the words there just quoted: “blessed are they that have not seen me and yet have believed.” That blessing is for me and my kids and for all that love our God.
In Kenneth Hagin’s book, I Believe In Visions, and in another of his children story book titled The Believer’s Authority he tells of how he was praying and suddenly we was caught up in the spirit and saw one “Jesus” that began to talk to him and to show him greater mystery. In the middle of his conversation with this his “Jesus,” a small demon ran in between himself and “Jesus” and created a smokescreen that hindered him from seeing “Jesus” and hearing him clearly. According to Hagin, this demon stood there and “Jesus” COULD NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!
Then out of annoyance Hagin said to the demon, “I bind and cast you out.” Immediately the demon began to shrink and ran away from there. When Hagin asked this his “Jesus” why he allowed the demon to stay so long, then his “Jesus” told him that UNLESS he takes an action against the devil, himself being “Jesus” and the host of heaven will not take any action. What an insult to the true Jesus! My friend, no devil can stand in between my risen Lord and myself!
And listen, the truth totally the opposite to Hagin and the Word of Faith movement. Contrary to Hagin’s lies – unless heaven acts, we the church cannot act! Our inability does tie God’s hands, and our slackness doesn’t hinder his zeal. For it is written, “THE ZEAL OF THE LORD OF THE LORD OF HOST WILL PERFORM THIS” (Isaiah 9:7).
The inability is on the side of man, not on the side of God!
We are unable but God is able. We cannot but God can – because God is GOD. His zeal shall make us zealous, and his will shall make us willing. O Lord, in the day of thy power thy people shall be willing! (see Psalm 110:3). Because God will give them new hearts to make them his people, willing to worship him, serve him, live for him. Obviously, this Kenneth Hagin’s “god” is so weak and depraved – a “god” that cannot act on behalf of his weak children. I’d rather set up a carved wooden image and fall down before it than have such a weakling for a “god”!
Again I ask you to reason with me on this matter before we round up. The First Epistle to the Corinthians 11:4 makes mention of “another Jesus”, “another spirit” and “another gospel”. Certainly, there is another “Jesus.” And if you see “Jesus” how will you be able to know if he is the true Jesus or not?
Some of you will still say I know the difference because the real Jesus will be very beautiful and glorious. But so is Satan too! He is very very beautiful and every precious stone is his covering (see Ezekiel 28:12-19). Listen, if Satan should appear in your home tomorrow morning in all his beauty you will never believe that it was Satan appearing to you. And moreover, he has the supernatural ability to transform himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
So how was Kenneth Hagin able to recognize this “Jesus” that appeared to him?
Follow me to the Revelation 1:12-13 as we read of our Lord’s appearing to his servant the apostle John in the Island of Patmos. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden cadlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks ONE LIKE UNTO THE SON OF MAN, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.”
I so much love reading the book of Revelation – even though I don’t understand most of the passages. But ask me why I still love it. It is because the Jesus I find there differs in every area from the one we hear of these days in the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches all around us.
Mark John’s description of the risen Lord! How did John know it was truly that same Jesus who rose from the dead? How can I trust and believe that John’s record is truth and inspired? Let us allow John to describe who or what he saw.
Brother John, how did you recognize our risen Lord?
John’s answer in verse 13 is, “I saw one like unto the Son of Man.” Amen! I believe it. I can trust it to be true because John saw one that looked “LIKE UNTO” that Son of Man whom he previously knew on earth. You see, the Lord came in his resurrected glory, even the same as John had looked upon with his own eyes on the Mount of Olives when our Lord ascended into heaven – and this is why the apostle “fell at his feet as one dead.” Remember also how this apostle John began his First Epistle: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, WHICH WE HAVE SEEN WITH OUR EYES, WHICH WE HAVE LOOKED UPON, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
But the Lord also knew that certain doubts might arise in the mind of John and even in the minds of the seven churches to whom John would be writing to (in chapters 2 and 3). Therefore he came in his risen glory and also with his same earthly APPEARANCE AND FACE, so that the doubts would be cleared off! John clearly saw the Jesus he knew on earth before his ascension. He recognized him with 100% evidence! John POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED him as the same man – the Son of Man.
What evidence do today’s preachers have to prove that it is the risen Lord that they saw and not another Jesus? THEY HAVE NOT ONE EVIDENCE. To deceive the unwary they will use Paul as a cover-up. They will say how then did Paul know it was actually the risen Lord whom he saw severally? They will tell you they were able to recognize him the same way Paul did. But ask them how Paul became sure that what he saw was truly Jesus, and the liars will tell you it was through the “discernment of spirit”. But that is a bigger lie!
Paul submitted his visions and revelations and his whole ministry to the apostles for verification, and it was they lord that told him to do so. We have no record that Paul saw Jesus in his earthly days. But he was told by the Lord to go to the ORIGINAL APOSTLES and DECLARE or MAKE KNOWN to them the revelations he had received. This we read in Galatians 2:1-2: “Then fourteen years after I went up AGAIN” – that is, a second time, showing that he had previously done so before – “to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation” – the Lord told him to do so – “and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the gentiles, lest by any means I should run in vain, or had run in vain.”
Paul had gone to Jerusalem the first time, after the Lord had appeared to him and called him to preach the gospel. And then here, as he recorded in Galatians, we see the Lord asking him by means of revelations to go to the original apostles “again” – a second time – for verification.
Paul gave two major reasons for his going up to the original apostles in Jerusalem a second time. One: he said they Lord told him to do so. Two: he personally wanted to make sure that he was not running in vain. Ah, he was diligent to be sure he was hearing from the true source! So unlike the Pentecostal/Charismatic “prophets” today. The great apostle Paul wanted to be sure it was the truly risen Lord that was appearing to him and sending him to preach the gospel. From what the Lord has taught me from the scriptures, I can tell you that Paul did his best to keep himself alongside the original apostles and under their spiritual guidance.
It may be, perhaps, that he first sent copies of his epistles to Jerusalem for verification by the apostles before finally sending them to the designated churches. Or if not, how did Peter know that the Pauline epistles contained revelations “in which were some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16)?
I do not here say that Paul’s epistles were not inspired at the time he wrote them. I do not here say that they contained minor or gross errors which the original apostles corrected. Away with such lie of the devil, for “every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5). If Paul did send his epistles to Jerusalem for verification, then the would have come back to him unedited, and with an apostolic stamp of approval!
But what I do know is this: Paul kept himself in as close contact as possible with the apostles at Jerusalem so as to receive official apostolic evidence, to confirm to himself and to all others, that he not to run in vain (Galatians 2:2). And this is why I choose to keep myself close as well to the gospel that the great Reformed men of old preach; to the gospel that the Puritan Jonathan Edwards preached. To the gospel that Jonathan R. Crosby preaches, and the gospel that William C. Nichols preaches.
In summarizing, we conclude that those who lay claim to having had a supernatural encounter with our risen Lord are deceived, either by their wrong imagination of him resulting from their depraved hearts and un-renewed minds, or by the devil who has paid them to lure unwary souls to hell.
They neither have any evidence of having walked with him on earth prior to his ascension, nor the proven verification of the original men and apostles who so knew him and to whom the lord commanded paul to go to for verification. Their claim on having the gift of “discerning of spirits” is a rotten basket that doesn’t hold water at all. Such men shall stand before the GREAT WHITE THRONE (Revelation 20:11) on the last day and see the judge they had caricatured in their depraved hearts and unrenewed minds.
EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS.