Sixth Stage: Deception
As history often reveals, people who rebel are grossly deceived. If they were not deceived they would not do some of the things they did. Most people who have rebelled have ended up in destruction.
Below are some common deceptions that ministers encounter as they progress along the road of disloyalty. You must realize though, that every minister is tempted with these thoughts.
Many rebellious people are deceived into thinking they are greater than their seniors.
Sometimes a son in the ministry can rise up to do greater things than his father.
Jesus did not seem to be worried about the fact that some of His disciples would do more miracles. He actually predicted that His trainees would do greater things than He had done and He was happy about it.
…the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do...
History has proved this to be true. Today, evangelists minister to larger crowds than Jesus ever did.
Ministers have larger Bible schools than Jesus did (Jesus had only twelve students in his Bible school).
Jesus never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where He was born. Many ministers have travelled thousands of miles from their birth places to preach the gospel.
Jesus never wrote a book however, someone like Pastor Kenneth E. Hagin wrote many books.
Jesus never had an office for His ministry, but most modern churches do.
Jesus raised only two people from the dead, but someone like Smith Wigglesworth is said to have raised twenty-one people from the dead.
At the end of His life Jesus was ruthlessly murdered by His enemies and condemned amongst thieves. Most pastors would be given an honourable exit from this world, but Jesus didn’t have that!
While He was dying, the soldiers gambled for one of the few things He had on earth - His coat. However, most ministers now own more property on this earth than Jesus did. These facts do not make any of us greater than Christ. Christ is still Christ the King. Without Him we are nothing. Do not be deceived by your recent promotion in the ministry. You are still you.
...The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
It is unfortunate that when we make little gains in the ministry, we begin to think that we are greater than anyone who has been before us.
Don’t Despise Your Teacher
Ministers despise their teachers just because they have acquired a little following and popularity. One of the oaths taken by new doctors is to respect their teachers. You must remember that you have been helped by somebody to get to where you are. You must never forget that, in a certain sense, you have been set where you are by or through someone else.
Lucifer was appointed by God, but it seems he forgot the all-important fact.
Thou art the anointed cherub…and I have set thee so…
Lucifer forgot that his perfection, wisdom and beauty had come from somewhere. And that he was actually created.
You learnt what you know from somewhere. Eighty percent of what we preach and teach is learned. Lucifer was a created being. He did not create himself.
...Thou…full of wisdom…perfect in beauty…wast created.
Some people have a little vision and go off into the deep end.
Some pastors have a few miracles in their churches and from that time they respect no one. They lay hands on one or two people who fall under the power of the Spirit and their hearts are corrupted because of their success in the ministry. Many sing their praises and young ladies approach them with admiring eyes.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty…
Many pastors become rebellious when they are sent outside their country to pastor churches in other, sometimes more prosperous cities. They walk up and down in the midst of the “stones of fire” and it goes to their heads.
There was a certain minister who had been in training for some years. He was sent to pastor a branch church for the first time in his ministry.
After six months he had transformed into a rebel.
He Said, “Give Me Six Months”
No one could control or counsel him. He had cutting rebukes for his seniors, pointing out to them that they were not always right.
This person had become deceived into believing he was as gifted as anyone else was. In the end, he resigned, bitterly denouncing and deriding his superiors in the ministry. Out of anger, he called his former church a cult. He even went as far as calling his father-in-the-Lord (the one who led him to Christ) a fool, for associating with the church he was leaving. To emphasize the “I’m as good as you are” attitude, he started a church a few metres away from his home church, and began to invite members from his previous denomination to join him.
That was not all. This refractory anarchist vowed to prove his ministerial gift to all within six months of his defection. However, years after this defiant separatist revolted, he simply disappeared into obscurity. This obstinate insurgent thought that within six months he could achieve things that take many years of experience to attain.
Avoidance of deception was one of the reasons why Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. It is to remind everyone that no matter what you achieve or attain you are not Christ! We need to remember our origins. We need to remember how we became what we are today.
…this do in remembrance of me.
Many rebellious people are deceived because they are gifted and anointed. Absalom was very gifted but wanted to be the king. Many insurrectionists think that they have acquired all the knowledge they will ever need.
The mother of all deception is when the mutineer thinks that he can destroy his teacher and father. He thinks he has enough power and experience to obliterate those who have been a blessing to him.
The spirit of rebellion does not only lead assistant pastors to defect but also inspires them to fight against the authorities that have been set over them.
Absalom fought against his own father and failed. Judas tried to destroy Jesus his teacher and Lord but that is the mother of all deception. You cannot destroy the Lord through your uprising. Lucifer thought he could dethrone God, but that was also not possible. What folly! What unthinkable madness!
A certain Nigerian overseer spoke of one mutinous pastor who had grown up in his house as a sort of servant.
This young man had graduated into becoming the pastor of one of his largest branch churches. After a while, this pastor had become anarchistic and had decided to fight against him. He later said “This young man rebelled, broke away and began to say all sorts of malicious things about me.”
His own son in the ministry said, “I will publish a book of seditious material that will bring you down.”
You see, this is the mother of all deception.
This is the spirit of Absalom that fights against your own father.
The spirit of Lucifer, is the spirit that tries to replace and take over rightful authority. The spirit of Judas, is the treacherous spirit that betrays and turns against its own teacher. We want you to learn right here, that all of these things are impossible. You cannot replace God. And you cannot succeed in fighting your own father. God will not help you and in fact, He will fight against you. All of nature, including the wild ravens and eagles of the air will fight against you.
The Bible says,
The eye that mocketh at his father…the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.