10 ways to identify false teachings

By Rick Becker   10 May 2018

Throughout history false teachings have infiltrated the church.  Heresies that plagued the early church have not been silenced; instead they continue to flourish.  The “Christian” who slams the door on a visiting Jehovah’s Witness has no qualms embracing a “born again Jesus” that came to make us wealthy, suffered in hell, and laid aside his divinity during his incarnation.  These are some of the heresies promulgated by well known brands such as Hillsong, Bethel, and the host of word of faith and prosperity churches that litter the globe.  In this post, we offer some simple markers that will be helpful, in a general sense, to identify a false teaching.

 

1. False teachings are Man Centered

The description of this current generation is found in 2 Timothy 3:1-9, and could be summed up in three words found in those verses: “lovers of self.”  It is this love of self that has been injected into scripture via narcigesis, and in doing so, the bible has become a book about us.  We become the hero in a biblical story – a good example can be found in the way many popular teachers approach the biblical account of David and Goliath.  This story has become a source for many topical sermons, comparing us to David.  We become the giant slayers, the hero of the story.  While we may certainly learn from David’s faith in God, there is a bigger and marvelous picture in the account that escapes many due to the tendency of narcigeting texts.  David is a type of Christ, who has overcome the enemy for us.  If we were represented in the story, we would be the dismayed and fearful Israelites, perhaps even the stubborn Goliath who needed to be slayed.  This man centered approach will focus on your destiny, your legacy, your gifts, your breakthrough, your potential, your worth etc.  You determine your future through your creative words that contain inherent power.  False teachings will meet your ‘felt needs’ instead of addressing your real needs. Your emotions will be tickled, your conscience ignored.  Contrary to popular teaching, our “best life now” can only be found when our identity is in Christ, not self.  

2. False teachings Misrepresent the nature of God and man.

False teaching emphasizes some attributes of God and excludes others. God is loving, kind, and gracious; his love is so great that Christ died for us while we were sinners. This same loving God is also righteous, a consuming fire that hates evil and punishes sin. There is mercy because there is judgement, and the good news of the gospel is good news for those who know and accept the bad news – that they are sinners under the wrath of God.  This is the nature of all men and women, but false teachings would have us believe that all humans are inherently good, just somewhat lost and damaged, but not depraved.  We are purported to be victims, not perpetrators; worthy of salvation, not deserving punishment.  If that were true, we would not need a saviour but a life coach.  The truth is that the brokenhearted will find consolation in the work of the cross, but not before the wretched heart in all of us is dealt with.

What we believe about God and ourselves is what defines us.
A different Jesus, more human than divine, has duped thousands into believing they can walk as the Son of God walked on earth.  A new breed are so familiar with “papa God” that when he supposedly manifests his presence in a glory cloud, they whip out their smartphones to record the fog.  Where is the reverence for a holy God that should cause us to fall prostrate before him, trembling in awe?  The future of those who have such a low view of God and high view of man can only be further deception, and apostasy.

3. False teachings promote Methods

False teachings contain methods to harness spiritual benefits – a quick sinners prayer gains entrance into the kingdom of heaven, breaking a generational curse will restore health and finances, tithing will ensure prosperity, praying in tongues will ensure a breakthrough, praying the prayer of Jabez will enlarge your camp, spiritual mapping identifies strongholds, spiritual warfare will bind demons, aligning oneself under an open heaven will bring revival….and the list goes on.  Each year a plethora of new courses flood the market.  Not content with income from book sales, teachers now offer paid courses based on their latest book release.  Their revelations are touted as words for the body of Christ.  We are told that we can discover our prophetic personality, find out what our Kryptonite is, or discover the keys to success and prosperity.  False teachings place the emphasis on what you must do, instead of what Christ has accomplished for us.

4. False teachings Minimize the cost of following Christ.

False teachings ignore the consequences of escaping the dominion of darkness and being placed in the kingdom of God.  New believers are entering a war zone, yet the new gospel on offer is sold to happy consumers delighted to hear that God wants to make their dreams come true.  Better relationships, job promotions, and a bright future in this present world await those worthy creatures upon whom “Papa God” is eager to display his favour.

Jesus warned us about what it would cost, to be his disciple: Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.   For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?   Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’   Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.  So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:25-33

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.   And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  Matthew 10:34-39

False teachings offer a gospel that does not offend the natural man.  An attractive gospel produces decisions for Christ, but not true converts. An attractive gospel shuns self denial and replaces it with self-aggrandizement.  The true gospel has two effects – it brings life or it brings death.  Life to those who are regenerated, great condemnation to those with hardened hearts who reject truth: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:19

5. False teachings Misinterpret the kingdom of God

Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world, but some teachings make the kingdom all about this world.  Dominion theology teaches that man lost dominion in the garden, and this is the time of restoring that dominion. The church will supposedly conquer the seven mountains of society: religion, education, business, family, government, arts, media.  Jesus contradicted this false notion: ” “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36

The idea is to bring heaven to earth – “invade Babylon” and establish the kingdom of God on this earth – something only Jesus can accomplish. Jesus told the Pharisees,  who asked when the kingdom of God would come:The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” Luke 17:20-21  In one sense the kingdom is here, in another, it is yet to come. Those in the New Apostolic Reformation are always looking for visible signs, and they do all that they can to influence society.  Bringing heaven to earth means conditions on earth should match heaven –  no sin, sickness or suffering in heaven.  Heaven will come to earth when Christ returns, not before.  God is building his church, not earthly kingdoms.

6. False teachings Misapply promises God made to Israel

How many times have you heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 being applied to your nation recently?  We have been taught that if the body of Christ would “humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways” that  God would “heal the land.”  As a result, the economy will prosper, crime decrease, corrupt officials rooted out, and a Christian nation would emerge.  False teachings claim the promises of Deuteronomy 28:1-13, but fail to teach on the dire consequences of disobedience in verses 14 – 68.
You will be taught that “all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” (28:2)  A South African favorite due to the drought: “The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands..” (28:12)
You probably won’t be taught : “The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.” (28:20)
False teachings offer the blessings of the Mosaic law but ignore the curses…but not always. Some false teachings apply “generational curses” to the body of Christ based on the Old Testament law that God would visit “the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”  Panic stricken people search their family tree to find out which great uncle was a freemason, or which grandmother read her horoscope.  The cure apparently is to confess their sins, forgive them, break soul ties, and break the curse.  This is an exercise in futility as “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” Galatians 3:13.  False teachings make no distinction between the gospel and the law or between descriptive and prescriptive texts.  This allows for misapplication of scripture.

7. False teachings Marginalize the word of God

The word of God is effectual: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”  Hebrews 4:12.
When we neglect the word of God, we quench the working of God in our lives.  The church has never been as active as it is today, yet we find ourselves in the midst of a great falling away, a departure from the faith.  God is doing a new thing – and it’s not revival, it’s a strong delusion from God on those who reject the truth. Unthinkable yet true – the only infallible source of communication from God has been relegated.  A false teaching will declare that unity is far more important than truth. The irony of course is the fact that this unity is based on what is false, and therefore not a biblical unity, but merely a crowd of deluded people.

The content of many teachings consists of well crafted stories that appeal to the senses. Unverifiable testimonies, opinions, and new revelations have replaced a thorough exegesis of scripture. The few verses that are thrown in to give the teaching some form of authority are usually out of context, and from a perversion of scripture such as The Passion or The Message “bible.”  New mediators between God and man have appeared in the form of modern apostles and prophets who receive direct revelations from God.  Their revelations hold just as much authority as scripture, and they ignore the infallible blueprint for the church in favor of what they heard from God.  In place of a series on biblical passages with clear expository teachings, series follow the vision of the modern apostles and prophets.  This is the year of acceleration they proclaim, next year will probably be a year of accelerated acceleration.  Teachings then focus on how to position yourself for this divine acceleration in order to reap the benefits – increased signs and wonders, creative ideas, great success in your business, opportunities that will thrust you years ahead, greater anointing etc.  

8. False teachings Magnify experiences.

When the word of God is neglected, something else will creep in and take it’s place. Entertainment has become part and parcel of many a church program, but spiritual experiences and encounters with God have become the real threat of late.  Mysticism is widely accepted in the New Apostolic Reformation.  People supposedly take trips to heaven, receive downloads, new revelations, and new interpretations of scripture.  Teachings are based on experiences and encounters with God, angels, or visions.
This fascination with experiences has permeated the way some evangelize the lost. False teachings suggest that the unsaved need an experience or encounter with God in order to believe, whereas scripture states that power is in the gospel, not signs and wonders: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” Romans 1:16
An experience never takes precedence over the word of God: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

The rich man in Hades thought that if his five living brothers had the experience of someone returning from the dead preach to them, they would repent.  Abraham replied: “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” Luke 16:31
Could it be said any plainer – scripture is sufficient to save!
Paul, a real apostle who had a real experience in the third heaven wrote of his experience in the third person: “and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.”  Today’s “apostles” flout their so called trips to heaven and subsequent revelations on the Sid Roth Show.  
Gullible folk are mesmerized by artificial smoke, glitter, gold dust, and feathers in meetings, convinced that this is an experience from heaven.  While these are fake, even genuine signs and wonders will not persuade those who reject the truth – Jesus knew this:
 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.  But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people” John 2:23-24

9. False teachings Monetarize the Gospel

A mandatory tithe is a false teaching that makes the Industrial Evangelical Complex a lucrative business . Manipulative pastors will tell you that If you don’t give your tenth,  God will curse your money and you have opened the door to demonic attack.  Other teachings promise that if you give a certain amount during a specific time, God will bless you for the remaining year. 
As noted, false teachings misapply God’s promises to the nation of Israel.  Here is an example and this verse is used as justification for tithing: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi 3:10  This was a specific word for Israel, who were neglecting part of the law – the tithe (which amounted to approximately 23%). The body of Christ is not under the Mosaic covenant, but the new covenant.  The only time Jesus mentioned the tithe, he was addressing the Pharisees under the law. Any teaching that commands you to give a certain percent is false. Any teaching that guarantees you financial gain because you have tithed is false.  Any teaching that claims God’s will is to financially prosper all believers is false.
Ask a prosperity teacher to explain these verses: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…” – Rev 2:9
“For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted
the plundering of your property” – Heb 10:24
“as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as
having nothing, yet possessing everything” – 2 Cor 6:10
“For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” – Psalm 73:3
Scripture does instruct us to support those who preach the gospel, and to give generously.  What amount should we give: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”
2 Corinthians 9:7

.10. False teachings Modernize the gospel

Modern man has demanded a modernized gospel – one suitable for the present time.  One result is a politically correct gospel that offends none and saves none.  Social justice takes precedence over evangelism, and an all inclusive approach legitimizes sins condemned in scripture.  Liberalism, Feminism, Mysticism and a host of other poisonous “isms” have influenced teachings in the visible church.  When truth becomes relative, it can no longer be defined as truth.  A modern gospel that questions the sufficiency and infallibility of scripture in order to appease skeptics and appear seeker friendly has created hordes of false converts. If Jesus was not born of a virgin birth, if he was not fully God and fully man, if he was not resurrected in his body – you have another Jesus. If scripture is not infallible we have no objective source of truth.  A modernized gospel is nothing less than an attack on God’s word.

 

 

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Kris Vallotton – For Thirty Pieces of Silver

By Rick Becker   22 February 2018

Judas betrayed Christ for a mere thirty pieces of silver.  Today many charlatans follow the path of Judas, betraying the Lord and the true gospel for money.  Kris Vallotton of Bethel church is one such charlatan.  Vallotton will be releasing his new book “Poverty, Riches and Wealth” in March this year.  In this post we review the first chapter sent out free to subscribers.  There are no surprises, although Vallotton boasts he can “go a week without sinning” he is a shameless prosperity teacher, twisting God’s word to come to his conclusions.  Vallotton loves to speak about himself, 75% of the first chapter is about him, a further 20% are his opinions, and bible verses that he has twisted out of context make up the remaining 5%.

The foreword is by Jentezen Franklin, a word of faith and prosperity heretic.  Right from the start, Franklin nails his colors to the mast with the following words: “Know this: God’s dream for you is so much bigger than yours. He promises prosperity and good success. Why is this important? Because it does matter to God. He can take you beyond anything you ever imagined, and He can take you places you have only dreamed about. I find most people are bound by a spirit of limitation.”
All of the disciples would disagree with Franklin, most of the early church would disagree with Franklin and most importantly scripture itself exposes Franklin as a liar.  Believers currently being held in custody and tortured for their faith would disagree with Franklin’s assertion that a “spirit of limitation” is what’s holding them back.

God promises us eternal life, not a comfortable life, but that message does not put dollars in the coffers these prosperous charlatans who cross the globe in their jets as they peddle their false doctrines. They teach as a means for gain, the apostle Paul on the other hand knew that nothing can compare to what we really gain as believers – Christ himself:  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Phlippians 3:7-10

Franklin: “The difference between living in prosperity and living in poverty is a choice. Choices have consequences. God told Israel that He set death and life, blessing and cursing, before them. They had to choose life or death (Deut. 30:19). It is not by chance that you are blessed; it is by choice.”
That’s it – a simple choice?  What went wrong with the apostle Paul?  At times he was hungry, naked, cold and homeless.  Millions are living in poverty, and many of them are true believers and like the beggar Lazarus may not experience financial relief in this world.  Why were God’s people who suffered tremendously and never tasted prosperity commended for their faith:Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy – wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” Hebrews 11:35-38

Kris Valloton (KV) begins in his introduction by criticizing “God’s noble people” for “despising wealth” and creating “doctrines to enshrine poverty.”  There have always been extremes throughout church history.  It is true the some have unfortunately practiced asceticism or monasticism in order to attain a higher degree of spirituality or to “get closer to God.” This generation however is aptly described in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 :But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”

The first time he mentions scripture he does so in a mocking tone.
KV: “Paul’s exhortation to his beloved Timothy was inscribed in the halls of our conscience, like the thundering voice of God echoing from some holy mountain: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Lets be clear – money is not evil, but the love of it is.  Vallotton has ignored the warning in verse 10, and it’s ironical that just a few verses earlier, Paul describes the likes of Vallotton:If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,  and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”  1 Timothy 6:3-5

Vallotton laments the fact that he carried his “poverty prejudice with him” for many years, but then something happened a few months after he and his wife became pastors at Bethel church.
KV: “Then suddenly, it all happened—my poverty spirit crashed on the shores of adversity and my tiny boat of small thinking began to break apart, torn by wave after wave of revelation. The Scriptures that used to be my safety net were now ripping under the weight of exponential increase. I scurried around in a panic, trying desperately to mend my broken nets of poverty, but they simply could not carry the load of prosperity that was being charged to our account.”

And then another suddenly…

KV: “Then suddenly, thousands of dollars began pouring in from a number of different sources, from real estate deals to book sales, and from teaching materials to conference offerings. Thousands of dollars found their way into our bank accounts.
Soon we were giving away about half our profit, yet there was still enough left over to live in abundance. The whole thing came to a climax in May 2016, when a man I had never met before insisted on paying off our house, to the tune of $487,000!”
Any money that Vallotton makes from business deals is his business, but receiving money from teaching false doctrine that tickles ears is called “teaching for shameful gain.”  

KV: “The payoff of our house was the final straw for me. I saw it as a confirming sign from God, and I was compelled to tell the world what the Lord was revealing to us about wealth”
There is nothing new about wealth that God needs to reveal to the world.  The problem is that today’s new breed of celebrity teachers have to concoct new doctrines to stay relevant.  These teachers have replaced servanthood with self-aggrandizement.  If you think about, the church is merely capitalizing on the cravings of this world.  This is what sells in the world – you design the life you deserve, you can attract wealth, you can be successful at whatever you choose, you are awesome!  This is the same message Valloton & co preach, it sells because it’s what people want to hear.  Whenever there’s a new book release from any of these charlatans, there’s always the claim that God told them to write it, and that it will reveal new information that God has apparently withheld for 2000 years.

KV: “I knew I had to brave the criticism of those who would question my motives and/
or methods and write a book about true Kingdom wealth. I think this revelation is a catalyst to overthrowing the principality called Mammon and establishing a wealth mentality rooted in heavenly wisdom. My primary motive in writing this book is to break the back of poverty and release a spirit of prosperity on the world.”
Wrong Kris – the source of your “revelation” IS mammon.  
Do the scriptures teach about prosperity being the answer to the world’s problems?

But godliness with contentment is great gain,  or we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Quick quiz – Vallottons book is going to appeal to those who
A  Desire to know how to live a godly life in an ungodly world
B  Desire to learn the secret of contentment in all circumstances
C  Desire to have an eternal perspective of life
E  Desire to be rich

False teachers prey on the weak, vulnerable, hurting and poor.  Vallotton’s book is not going to be snapped up by the wealthy, but by those who “desire to be rich.”  The outcome will be a wandering away from the faith and destruction.

A master of obfuscation, Vallotton says that he does not use the word “prosperity” in the same way that the world describes riches, he means “Kingdom wealth”  which is far more inclusive and sounds more spiritual. Part of his definition below:

KV: “Wealth is light in the darkness, healing in sickness, prosperity
in poverty, wholeness in brokenness, favor in obscurity, love for
the unlovely, beauty for ashes and victors among victims. Wealth is a “can-do” attitude, a “more than enough” mindset and a “nothing is impossible” belief system.”
That sounds nice – prosperity IN poverty.  A believer may be poor, yet in his spirit he is prosperous, I agree with that, but that is not what Vallotton means.  How do I know this, because this whole chapter is about money…. obscene amounts of cash flowing into his bank account!  In a recent blog, this master of obfuscation writes:

Both Solomon’s riches and Abraham’s riches were directly attached to their relationships with God. Genesis 13:2 says, “Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold,” and 2 Chronicles 9:22 says, “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. So maybe wealth is not a sign of your relationship with God, unless it is”
Have you noticed how often prosperity teachers use examples from the Old Testament without explaining the context of the text.  They will never explain the law, who it applied to, it’s conditions or its curses.  If we apply God’s promises of prosperity to Israel under the law, we must also apply God’s punishment for false prophets, in which case Vallotton would be dead.  This is part Vallotton’s “word for Russia” in 2016.  Tell me what has come to pass: “
I saw a great reformation flowing through the entire country of Russia. It began in Red Square and flooded the nation with a spiritual awakening that is unprecedented in modern history. Every city was filled with joy and prosperity. Creativity was released in the land inspiring medical breakthroughs, inventions and innovations. This resulted in an historic economic boom as Russia began exporting their medical cures, automobiles (I saw two new brands of automobiles emerge with excellence out of Russia), and inventions to the nations of the worldI saw great collaboration happening between government, commerce and business. Many corporations moved to the land to be celebrated and empowered. There were great incentives given by the government to those that created wealth. They were lessons taken right out of the parables of the Talents and the Minas that Jesus told. The righteous reigned in the land and a Jesus movement that will touch the entire world will be birthed in the universities, beginning in Moscow.”

Remember what I was saying about the claims that accompany new books?

KV: “My prayer is that you would find keys in this manuscript that would unlock your legacy and release prosperity on your children’s children. I hope that you will be so transformed by the revelation in this book that it will literally alter the course of your history. May it be on earth as it is in heaven!”
That’s a pretty impressive sales pitch, but not one you will find in any of the gospels or epistles. Here is how Jesus presented keys that would unlock your legacy and alter your history: pick up your cross and follow me.they will hate you…they will persecute you…if you love your family more than me you are not worthy of me….etc

The church in the book of  Acts have missed out on Vallotton’s new revelation: “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to prosper suffer shame for His name” Acts 5:41
……………………………………………..and
“if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we prosper suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” Romans 8:17

Part one of the book is under the heading :The True Meaning of Kingdom Wealth

KV: “In the first part of this book, we will discuss the true meaning of Kingdom wealth as we contrast it with poverty and riches. I will prove that there is a power to make wealth and that there is a spirit behind poverty. I will also help you discover how to embrace the abundant life that Jesus promised and how to avoid becoming rich instead of wealthy.”
Sounds tantalising, this is how false teachers appeal to the senses of their carnal followers: But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
2 Peter 2:1-3

The first and only chapter we review, is entitled: “The Net Worth of Jesus”

KV: “if you make the mistake of judging Jesus’ net worth by His humble earthly condition, you will misjudge His prosperity and undermine His mission. The apostle Paul put it like this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty
might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Wait! What did Paul say? Jesus was rich, but then He became poor so (the reason He became poor) we might become rich. That is incredible!”
Wait! Did Vallotton take the time to explain the meaning of that text – of course not!  Christ became poor in the sense that during his incarnation, he took on the form of a servant, took on human nature, his attributes were veiled, and he suffered death on a cross.  Christ did not give up earthly or material wealth because heaven does not consist of monetary wealth as we understand it.  We are made rich spiritually through Christ’s sacrifice:  To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” Ephesians 3:8
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” Ephesians 1:3

In the book of Revelation, Smyrna was one of the seven churches addressed. It suffered no rebuke from our Lord.  The church was being persecuted, and was warned of more suffering to come including imprisonment and death.  Far from experiencing prosperity, they were poor, yet Jesus refers to them as being rich.  They were rich in spirit, despite material poverty.  “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…” – Rev 2:9
Why did Jesus not condemn them for their poor choices, lack of faith and spirit of poverty?

Vallotton has commended himself to us because of the dollars pouring into his account.  Lets compare that with how Paul commend himself:
 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;  by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;  by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;  through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed;  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as POOR, yet making many rich; as HAVING NOTHiNG, yet possessing everything.”   2 Corinthians 6:4-10

The fact that Vallotton believes if we misjudge Jesus’ networth we “undermine his mission”  means that Vallotton does not understand the gospel.  That is why he does not preach the gospel.

KV: “I want to point out again that Jesus became poor for a reason. His
celestial mission was to make us wealthy. It is the great exchange—
beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, hope for the hopeless, healing
for sickness, prosperity for poverty. You get the idea: Jesus called it
abundant life.”
Yes, wealthy in the spiritual sense Mr Vallotton!  Prosperity IN poverty has now morphed into prosperity FOR poverty.  To use well known phrases from Isaiah 61:3 (beauty for ashes, joy for mourning) and then insert “prosperity for poverty” is crafty and exactly how false teachers operate.  The abundant life Christ promised is spiritual and eternal: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
Vallotton has made it clear that he has made a bad exchange – mammon over Christ.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”
Matthew 6:24

KV:”First of all, if wealth and riches are inherently evil, what are they doing in heaven? Why would God describe heaven so lavishly if wealth were bad, or even bad for you…wealth cannot be intrinsically evil, or the Bible would not describe heaven as a place full of unimaginable riches. In fact, if heaven is God’s goal for us, then wealth must be a piece of our prize!”
They are not inherently evil, but Vallotton seems to think of heaven in earthly terms.  The gold he loves so much on earth, will serve as pavements in heaven. There is no condemnation for wealthy believers who love God, steward their finances for his glory, and don’t have a love for their money.  There is condemnation for those who believe God guarantees us material wealth.  Furthermore, scripture are replete with warnings to those who have succumbed to the temptation of wealth:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.  Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.  Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.  You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter” James 5:1-5

 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

KV:”Our idea of “poor Jesus” is similarly skewed. Although Jesus left
heaven, heaven never left Jesus, because Kingdom prosperity always begins from the inside out. You can put Jesus in a manger, but you can’t put a manger in Jesus. Wealth, glory and power seeped out of His pores like sweat on a hardworking man on a hot, humid day”
This is what Vallotton craves, wealth, glory and power.  Keep in mind Bethel teaches that Jesus came to model what life should be like for every believer.  This is why Bethelites attempt to raise the dead, walk on water, and outshine whatever Christ did because “greater things” in their minds points to the miraculous.  This is what Bethel teach their children: “Having the keys of power and authority means that we have the same position, recognition, and abilities that Jesus had.” – ” Kids carrying the kingdom”

Vallotton then goes on to recount the miracle when Jesus changed water into wine.

KV: “Mary and Joseph may have been a middle-class carpenter family, but they might have been drinking wine that reminded them of heaven at home. In fact, the wine was so good that the Bible says that when Jesus made wine, He “manifested His glory.” Now, that is great wine! I guess He was not kidding when He said that He is
the vine and we are the branches (see John 15:1–14).”
Vallotton misses the whole point of the miracle.  John tells us why these signs are recorded:Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
John 20:30-31

Vallotton then describes the miracle where Jesus instructed Peter to catch a fish in order to pay tax.  The first fish Peter caught, would have a Shekel in it’s mouth.  This story sets Vallotton up to deliver an over the top and simply dishonest assessment.

KV: “Apparently, Jesus took God’s command to “rule over the fish of the sea” seriously (Genesis 1:26), because He became quite famous for impacting the fishing industry. The gospels record Jesus supernaturally chumming the fish into the disciple’s nets on at least two occasions”  (Read Luke 5:4-7)
“These guys are not fishing recreationally; this is how they make their living. Fishing was a middle-class, feast-or-famine kind of occupation . . . that is, until Jesus showed up. He quickly transformed a meager living into a prosperous vocation.”
The fishing industry was barely impacted by Christ’s miracle.  Since when did the disciples now step into a prosperous vocation after Christ’s miracle?  In this instance, it was the opportunity Jesus used to call some of his disciples. The lesson was not about prosperity or wealth, it was about Jesus being the son of God who performed miracles. It was about the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.  Peter’s response to the miracle was not relief due to the fact that he would now be wealthy thanks to a revitalized fishing industry:But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken.” Luke 5:8-9
This miracle caused the disciples to actually forsake the little they had gained in this world“And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him” Luke 5:11

KV: “Let’s look at one more fishing expedition so we understand that the previous story was not an isolated incident. It was the nature of Jesus to behave extravagantly. He never provided just a few more fish . . . heck no!”
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”  He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.” John 21;4-8

This was his third appearance after his resurrection, this was not just a matter of Jesus behaving extravagantly.  Far from setting an example of wealthy and extravagant living, after breakfast Jesus described Peter’s destiny as follows: Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:18-19
There are many lessons in Christ’s miracles, but none of those lessons are about extravagant displays of wealth or guaranteed prosperity for his disciples.  Vallotton begs to differ, in his mind, it’s all about the money.

KV: “Jesus is into the boat-sinking, way-too-many, catch-of-the-year kind of fishing. In America we say time is money, but in the fishing business fish are money. Jesus was not just increasing their catch; He was increasing their cash! It is worth mentioning here that if having a lot of money is a bad thing, then Jesus should have made sure they had minimal catches.”
It is worth asking here – how many rebukes or warnings did Jesus give to the poor as opposed to the wealthy?  What Kris is preaching is called the American dream, it’s not the gospel.  Having a lot of money is not inherently bad.  Teaching that one of the reasons for Christ’s incarnation and death was to ensure an increase in cash on our part is an abomination.

KV: “What I am pointing out is that if Jesus can circumvent the process of wealth creation by creating money out of thin air, or by making wine instantaneously from water, or by taking a boy’s lunch and multiplying it ten thousand times to feed a crowd that would fill an entire NBA basketball stadium, or by increasing a fisherman’s
catch by 1,000 percent, then there is no way He can ever be called poor . . . at least by worldly standards. Yes, Jesus became poor when you contrast His heavenly home with His earthly visitation. But Jesus was no homeless transient, traversing the countryside
with twelve vagabonds. He actually was a famous traveling rabbi who grew up in a middle-class carpenter’s home and had a very well-funded ministry.”
It’s worth pointing out that Jesus performed miracles out of compassion, and to prove that he was the messiah. Secondly, he did not perform any miracles in order to enrich himself.  Vallotton just does not understand that Jesus became poor, not in financial terms, but through the constricts of the incarnation. Vallotton presents a successful Jesus, famous, well funded, with wealth, power, and glory seeping out his pores. Can you see how hard  Vallotton is trying to justify his own lifestyle?

Vallotton will use any opportunity to take an incident in scripture and highlight money

KV : “Many scholars believe that Jesus had a substantial amount of money from the Magi treasury that launched Him into ministry. Yet traveling for three and a half years with twelve other men had to be pretty expensive.”
He makes mention of the women who supported Jesus financially (Luke 8:1-3)  He revels in the fact that Jesus had wealthy supporters such as Mary who poured expensive perfume over his feet, and suggests that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were “probably His primary financial supporters.”
At this point Vallotton is at great pains to deal with these words of Jesus: Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
KV: “Much of the misunderstanding about the status of Jesus’ personal financial condition comes from a story told in the gospels of both Matthew and Luke.”

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”  To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
KV: “His “foxes have holes and birds have nests” comment had more to do with the heart of the person who was inquiring than it did with the accommodations available in that location. Especially since a few seconds later, Jesus turned to another guy and said, “Follow Me.” If Jesus were telling the first guy, “I’m sorry you can’t go with us; I have no accommodations for you,” then why did He invite the other guy to travel with Him? Again, Jesus was not homeless.”
That unfortunately is the kind of shallow argument Vallotton needs to resort to.
There were times when God provided for the needs of Jesus and his disciples (Mark 14:12-16)  Vallotton assumes this was always the case.  Furthermore, God provided for their daily needs, not their greeds.  Jesus did not live in luxury or own properties, he could not even afford his own grave.

So what did Jesus mean by his statement ““Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”  Vallotton is partly correct, his answer did have something to do with the heart of the enquirer – a scribe and probably a wealthy citizen.  Jesus was clearly demonstrating that his life was not his own, he came to do the will of the Father which culminated in his death on the cross.  The scribe would be asked to do the same, and what is envisaged in the answer is not exactly a life of extravagance and earthly wealth. There would be no worldly security in following Christ, no guarantees of comfort or even stability, and perhaps this is what the scribe was wishing for. The apostle Paul  knew what Jesus meant: “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless 1 Corinthians 4:11

KV: “Dressed for Success
Not only was Jesus not homeless; He actually dressed well for His day. If you compared Jesus’ clothes to the people of that time, you would have to conclude that He was at least somewhat affluent. Jesus wore a seamless tunic woven in one piece. When He was crucified, the four soldiers who stripped Him cut His outer garments into four pieces so that they each got something. But because His tunic was seamless, it was so valuable that the soldiers gambled for it (see John 19:23–25). Some modern theologians call His seamless tunic the Armani suit of the first century.”
Dressed for success – that’s really a pathetic introduction to his paragraph, and reveals what’s in his own heart.  Vallotton at first argued that Jesus became poor so that we can be rich, now he claims that Jesus was at least somewhat affluent.  According to Vallotton Jesus became somewhat affluent so that we could be wealthy.  If Jesus was somewhat affluent, why did he depend on the hospitality and funding of others?  His seamless garment was probably a gift, he may have had it for his whole 3 years of ministry.  Vallotton focuses on the value of the garment, instead of the valuable lesson of fulfilled prophecy: For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet  – I can count all my bones – they stare and gloat over me;  they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”  Psalm 22:16-18.

KV: “Let me be clear: I am not trying to propose that Jesus was a rich tycoon on earth, although He clearly had the means to be one through the supernatural abilities He demonstrated. What I am trying to point out is that Jesus was not poor by any earthly standard. He had everything He needed to take care of His team and cover their
travels. He was incredibly generous, He often helped people prosper financially, and He taught more parables about money than about any other subject.”
God provided for the needs of Jesus.  That does not mean Jesus was somewhat affluent as Vallotton proposes.  Jesus was generous, how he “helped people prosper financially” only Vallotton can explain.  Jesus did speak a lot about money, not to give advice that would make people wealthy, that was not his goal.  The way people use money reveals the condition of their heart.  I wish Vallotton would work through some of these parables on money.  Are they encouraging wealth for all, do they provide keys for gaining wealth, do they reveal the secret of obtaining the power that produces wealth?

Lets look at one chapter on money, Luke 16.  These words come directly after the parable of the dishonest manager: If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” vs 11-13
The same chapter recounts the story of the rich man and Lazarus vs 19-31. I’m sure you know how things worked out for the wealthy man.
Although there is wisdom in what Jesus taught on money, the purpose of parables was not to give sound financial advice,. The purpose of parables was to instruct his disciples (not the world) in matters pertaining to the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not about earthly concerns, but about true wealth – righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Has it not dawned on Vallotton that if Jesus was so concerned with his material possessions, he would never put a thief in charge of the moneybag.  Judas helped himself to the offerings, fulfilling Christ’s own warning:Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matt 6:19-21

That concludes the first chapter, one can only imagine what this charlatan will conjure up in the remaining chapters.  Vallotton boasts about his ranch, his vehicles, and the fact that he makes obscene amounts of money – he is not merely storing up treasures on earth, he is boasting about them.  As we know, Judas turned out to be the one who would betray Jesus, this was a shock to the other eleven.  Judas flew under the disciples radar, like many charlatans in the visible church today. Thirty pieces of silver was enough for Judas to betray Christ.  Vallotton, like Judas has betrayed Christ for silver.

Since Vallotton enjoys parables about wealth, it seems fitting to end this post with one:
” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.  And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:15-21