Book Review – Live a YES! life by At Boshoff

By Rick Becker    26 February 2020

At Boshoff is the senior pastor of Christian Revival Church, commonly known as CRC. CRC have over 90 national and international churches. The CRC website describes Boshoff as: “focused, passionate and fervent in his hunger for the Word of God and explosive in his dynamic teaching of it. His powerful, bold and practical messages are equally refreshing in relevance to authenticity and doctrinal accuracy.” What better way to test Boshoff’s “doctrinal accuracy” than to compare the words he penned with the scriptures. After all, a pastor is not qualified according to scripture unless he is able to teach sound doctrine:
“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound[doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
Titus 1:9.

Before I begin the review, I want to refer the reader to this article that will address any objections which typically arise  – Do I know Boshoff personally? Have I approached him directly? CRC gives to the poor and therefore has good fruits. Who am I to judge? I am sowing division in the body etc.

Sections of this book that contain truth, but as is the case of many false teachings – error is best served and accepted with a with a modicum of truth. This review will point out those errors, and compare them with what scripture teaches.

The review is based on the currently available Kindle edition of  “Live a Yes! Life.” (emphasis mine)

Chapter 1 –  I Am a Brand – New Person

Boshoff begins by stating that there in a new life in Christ for those who believe, but wastes no time turning the focus from Christ, to self.

Boshoff: You are a little Jesus in disguise – a little anointed one. You are the most beautiful person alive on planet earth. You have the greatest nature that anybody can ever design. You have the greatest personality – all that needs to take place is for you to discover yourself so that you can become what God wants you to be. You are a brand-new person.

These egocentric words are music to the ears of a generation of people Paul described in his letter to Timothy:  “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud…” 2 Timothy 3:2. 
Boshoff goes a step further by claiming that vitality is part of our renewed state. He bases this on Romans 8:11: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
This verse is referring to the resurrection of our mortal bodies, it does not mean believers have some form of extra energy or vitality.

Boshoff:
When we live with God, we are full of vitality, we are the life of the party, we are the life of the company, we are the resource base of that company and therefore we will ensure promotion because we have the vibrant life of God on the inside of us.
Wrong! Christ in us in not a means for earthly gain. This is the beginning of Boshoff’s numerous attempts to yoke the gospel with earthly success

A few pages later, Boshoff contradicts himself.
Boshoff: Our calling is not to seek the kingdoms of this world and to build that which man will celebrate.
Ironic, since he promises success for believers in the kingdoms of this world.

Prior to our salvation, Boshoff says we served our own purpose, but as believers we have a brand new purpose in Christ Jesus. Which is of course true, but Boshoff inserts a presupposition.
Boshoff:
Why does God want us to excel in life and in business? The answer is simple: God wants us to be his ambassadors. But when Christians lose sight of their purpose, they become selfish and self-centred instead of Christ-centred.

Why is it assumed that every believer is going to run a business, and be successful? Can the unemployed believer not be an ambassador for Christ? Is the purpose of believers to excel in life and business, or to be conformed into the image of Christ and glorify him?

Boshoff: So, you are not a failure and you are not a mistake.You are a success waiting to happen, if you stay close to God. People can exclude you or sideline you as many times as they like but if God’s favour is upon you, you will make that team, no matter what the world’s system is; they will not keep you from reaching your destiny in God.

That’s such a broad and problematic statement that begs a few questions – Where does scripture describe believers as a success waiting to happen ? What is the biblical definition of success? Do believers make “teams” despite being bad players simply because they earned God’s favour?

Boshoff: No matter if I was excluded from every team in high school, no matter whether I never made the team or never won the race or never had great marks, I still have a great life in Christ. But to obtain this great life we have to set our minds on Jesus, in spite of our disabilities or past failures. We have a future and a hope in Christ. So dear friend, we have to start living according to this motto: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You may not give me a chance, but God believes in me, He cheers me on. God knows I can, therefore I know that I can.

I thought believers would make that team?  Philippians 4:13 is yet another verse that has been utilized to justify the dreams and ambitions of many. This verse does not mean you can do anything, it means you can endure all circumstances and be content in them. A great life in Christ may include hunger and need – “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:12-13

Chapter 2 – My Future Is Better Than My Past.

In this chapter Boshoff writes concerning the great future believers have in Christ. It’s all about God’s best for us, which in Boshoff’s view means being successful. Biblically speaking, success has nothing to do with material gain, but Boshoff believes that greater success in business means that believers will be able to help the needy, but notice the subtle hint he throws into the mix:

Boshoff: Today is a new day; there are souls to be saved, a job to be done, a world to be won and a story to be told. For instance, a businessman who has donated generously towards a church building project cannot sit back and feel comfortable because he has given to one project. What about the next building project?

These hints have literally paid off, CRC new state of the art 6000+ seater auditorium opened in February 2019, and is valued at 100 million.

Boshoff: There is nothing small about God when He talks to us. God knows our potential – He made us! And the most important thing is that He never promised us a small ‘just-getby’ life. No, God promised us a superior quality of life. In Deuteronomy 28 we find God’s list of promises to his people who obey Him. 

The majority of believers throughout the history of the church, have lived a ‘just-getby’ life as far as status, vitality, personality, influence, and material possessions are concerned. The day you read these words, at least eleven ‘just-getby’ believers have been martyred, and thousands are in prison for their faith. Boshoff, like any word of faith teacher, fails to make a distinction between the old and new covenants. Deuteronomy 28 is part of the law, applicable to Israel not the church. The “superior quality” of life God has promised the believer, is spiritual: “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.

Under the sub heading Get Ready For God’s Best  Boshoff once again reverts to the law in order to persuade his readers to tithe.
Boshoff: Do you want a great financial future? Then you have to keep on sowing your seed in the house of God; you tithe – you sow your finances; you budget your expenses – line upon line, precept upon precept as you apply yourself diligently in the little things. As you are faithful in the little things, God will bless you and God will promote you.

Do you want a great financial future? – is not a question Jesus ever posed to his followers. Wealth, like poverty is not inherently sinful, and God blesses some believers with wealth – in order for them to be generous. However, if we look at the passages of scripture in the New Testament concerning wealth and poverty, all the warnings are directed at the dangers of wealth.

One passage that commends generous believers, is not directed at people experiencing great financial success, but the poor Macedonians. There goes the excuse that you need to be wealthy to help those in need : “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord.” 2 Cor 8: 1-3.

Boshoff: Our tithing is a perfect example in our everyday lives where we have to obey God, even when it does not make sense. God’s instruction is clear, ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’ – MALACHI 3:10 Every month God tells us to bring our tithe, but we look at our circumstances – rising interest rates, escalating food and fuel prices – and we think, ‘No Lord, I can’t give you everything, I need my tithe.’ God is very clear on this; if you keep your tithe you are cursed with a curse – you are destined to fail. But if you bring your tithe into the storehouse of God, even though it does not make sense, you are empowered to prosper in life.

God’s instruction was clear in Malachi, he was speaking directly to Israel and the priests, but this has become the go to chapter to manipulate the biblically illiterate and solicit money. The tithe under the old covenant was between 20 – 30 %, consisted primarily of produce and livestock, was used to support the Levitical priesthood, and was a form of taxation for Israelites living under the law. Those who teach tithing today conveniently neglect the other laws Israel had to keep. As believers, we are instructed to give cheerfully, generously, according to our means, and sacrificially – not a specific percentage. There are two common arguments some use in defense of tithing:
Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek was before the law – but Abraham tithed from the spoils of war, so if you want to use this argument raid your nearest city and give a once off tithe from your spoils.
Jesus mentioned tithing – but Jesus was addressing people still bound by the law, this was prior to the new covenant.
I can almost guarantee that those who sit under this false teaching of giving a compulsory tithe, are to a large degree motivated by the expectation and desire that they are going to benefit financially. It’s quite obvious that there are two ways Boshoff manipulates his followers to give a compulsory tithe:
• By appealing to the desires of the flesh – financial gain.
• By instilling fear in his followers – failing to tithe brings a curse.

Chapter 3 – Be an Imitator of God.

A chapter about imitating God in order to live the great life he has in store for us. I was hoping Boshoff would avoid money, business and success, but the theme continues.

Boshoff: I know people who have millions in the bank, but when you talk to them, they will tell you they have no money. They may have money but they are poor in their minds. There are also people who have large resources, but when it comes to God’s Kingdom, they are stingy – they can never give, they can never release finances into the Kingdom of God. They have not encountered God, because one thing we know for sure about God is that He is a generous Father. So if we want to be imitators of God, we will have to become the most generous people in our world.

Yes – believers should be the most generous people in the world. That however has nothing to do with being manipulated into giving one tenth of your income to an empire in the visible church. The believers attitude should not be ‘I owe God ten percent’ – but ‘all belongs to God and I should be a wise steward.’  A point to keep in mind is that when people are duped into giving to any “church” that does not teach sound doctrine, they are contributing to the spread of deception, and not furthering the kingdom of God.

Boshoff: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success’ (Joshua 1:7–8). You see, my dear friend, we generate our own success in life through the way we spend time with God, by seeking his wisdom and by walking in his power.

It’s not sinful to have a good career, plan ahead, make goals etc, but we don’t generate our own success by obeying the law or spending time with God. The bible is not a formula for success or prosperity, and God is not a genie in a bottle that if rubbed correctly, will make your dreams come true. Instead we take heed to the words of James: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:13-17

Boshoff: The spiritual person knows that giving money actually expands it in the spiritual dimension.Tithing to a spiritual person is a money multiplier, because they understand that giving God ten percent does not take money away from them. They understand that the law of God is opposite to the natural law. Tithing multiplies our income. That is God’s way, my dear friend. If we want a great career and a great job, we have to become givers.

The born again “spiritual person” should know that the gospel is not a means of gain in this world. I hope you can see that what Boshoff is teaching here is one of the most manipulative schemes to ever raise it’s ugly head in the visible church. On the surface, this principle works every time – for the “pastor” who manipulates his gullible followers into compulsory tithing. It’s a simple process:
• Pastor teaches tithing.
• Members tithe.
• Pastor gets wealthy off member’s tithes.
• Pastor can easily afford to tithe, and makes sure people know he tithes.
• Pastor can testify that tithing “works.”

There may be people in their “churches” that have experienced financial increase and attribute it to tithing, but what about all the wicked who prosper?
Then of course there’s the fall out – some give faithfully for years and never experience the financial breakthrough they expected. Naturally, they are told that they are to blame – perhaps they gave too little, or their motive was wrong, or they were disobeying God in some other area of their lives.

Boshoff:  Many great men and women throughout history understood this principle of seed-time. They were meticulous tithers and they reaped the harvest.

Boshoff is referring to the seed faith, or seed and harvest teaching – a prosperity gospel/word of faith teaching. One of the verses commonly used to justify this teaching is 2 Cor 9:6: The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
Paul was taking up a collection for poor believers, not enriching himself, and there is no guarantee that those who gave would reap financially. Verse 7 is ignored, because it does away with a fixed percentage: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 
Believers would reap bountifully as God would make sure they are sufficiently provided for so that they may “abound in every good work.” This is not about self enrichment, but about caring for the poor resulting in thanksgiving to God, and God being glorified.The prosperity doctrine of seed-time is simply a self enrichment scheme, designed to lure those who desire wealth. Paul warned Timothy about this desire:

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for 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 Tim 6: 6-10

Boshoff gives examples of these great individuals who tithed and reaped a harvest, one of them is Oprah Winfrey.
Boshoff: Oprah Winfrey is also a tither. She experienced supernatural increase in her life because she believes in generosity. We have all watched the Oprah Winfrey Show and we know that everybody who goes to her show is better off for coming to her show, because she brings the best to help people. What about your life? Are people better off because of you? Is this church better off because of you? Listen to what Winfrey has to say, ‘I don’t think you ever stop giving. I think it is an ongoing process. It’s not just about being able to write a cheque, it’s about able to touch somebody else’s life.

Yes, we have all watched Oprah Winfrey, we know exactly what she stands for – a new age spirituality. This is what Oprah has to say about Christ: We are all one, we are love itself. “Accepting the Christ” is merely a shift in self-perception.
Boshoff is happy to use a pagan media mogul, self help guru, and philanthropist as an example to his followers. What this shows, is that Boshoff values a self enrichment formula (that does not work) above the truth of the gospel. Is Boshoff that naive to think Oprah is a believer, or is he simply happy for any “supernatural” increase regardless of the source?

Boshoff:  If we want increase we have to sow in order to move from a place of need into the provision and abundance of God’s promise – that is God’s Word. A generous man gives generously, and through his generosity he will receive from God – promotion, favour and all good things will come his way. Nobody can stop it. It is a universal law, like gravity – when we have a generous heart things will come our way.

God does reward believers who sow into his kingdom, but that reward may not be monetary, or even in this life. Part of the reward is the knowledge that our giving helps expand the kingdom of God or meet the needs of others. Hoping for good things to come our way as a result of our giving reveals selfish motives, and does not represent the biblical principle of giving.
Paul must have been a lousy tither, these are some of the “things” he received: 
Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 2 Cor 11:24-27

Chapter 4 – Climbing Higher

Boshoff begins this chapter with the inspiring story of Sir Edmond Hillary conquering Mount Everest. Hillary failed on his first attempt, but refused to give up as he knew he had the capacity to grow, Boshoff uses this to example to encourage the reader to “climb higher.”
Boshoff: We can and will go higher in God and for God, if we resist giving in to pressure and giving up on the dream that God has for us. God’s promises remain, in spite of our past or our present. We can still climb higher; build a great marriage, build a great business, live a great spiritual life and overcome adversity, temptation, trial and tribulation, in spite of our previous failures, or even in spite of what we think have been all our successes. God is not impressed by our success, because He knows what we can still accomplish in life and He has a great future and a plan for each one of us.

And…there it is again – business. God’s plan for us to climb higher may mean – the loss of earthly comforts and friendships in order that he may be the one we learn to trust and obey. The rosy picture Boshoff paints is a far cry from what believers since the inception of the church have experienced in general. When Paul encouraged the Ephesians to walk in a manner worthy of their calling, he was not writing from the headquarters of his successful tent manufacturing empire, but from prison. His dream for them was that they mature in Christ –  “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Eph 4:14.
Despite the inclusion of some biblical truth in this book, there are continual assumptions that God is a means to more money, a successful business, and good things coming our way – this is a “deceitful scheme.”

Boshoff:  Some of us prefer not do the climbing ourselves; we would rather watch others do the climbing. We watch the preacher climb into the presence of God; we watch another man prosper and then criticise him and try and bring him down, forgetting that God has a glory place on the mountain-top for us as well. Some of us think faith is like relaxing in a reclining chair – we just want to lie there, doing something every now and then, while we expect our faith to reach great heights. But we have to realise that if we want to climb higher and reach the top, we have to apply the principle of seed-time and harvest (as we discussed in the previous chapter), and both sowing and reaping require effort and work.

I have never seen a preacher climb into the presence of God, why would he leave God’s presence in the first place, and how is that possible? What does this “glory place” on the mountain top look like? Well, I think Boshoff has already defined that – you make the team, you run a successful business, you get promoted, financial gain etc.

Boshoff:  In Romans 8:31 we find a wonderful, encouraging promise, ‘What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?’ It does not matter what the coach says, it does not matter what the bank manager or the Reserve Bank says, it does not matter what the doctor’s report says – the only thing that matters is what God says; if He is for us, who can be against us? It does not matter what our financial situation is, or how severe the circumstances in our marriage are, God is for us, nobody can be against us, because God is able.

Romans 8 does not promise a better life on earth or financial gain despite a battered economy or weak currency. It does not promise bad players will make a team or that all sickness will be cured.  In fact, it promised that some pretty awful things will befall believers and promises believers that they will never be separated from the love of Christ: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

Boshoff:  No matter what we have to face – whether it is a very competitive sports match or clinching an important business deal – we have the unfair advantage that we are not doing it alone! But when we look in the wrong direction we become intimidated and we start to focus on what people say. That is when we lose sight of the fact that God promised that He will never leave or forsake us.

Business and sport….again.

Boshoff:  Letting Go of the Pleasures of This Life – So many people start to climb their mountain with great dedication and vigilance but soon they allow the pleasures of this life to overtake them. In Matthew 10:22 we read, ‘… he who endures to the end shall be saved.’ But in Mark 4:19 we read about those people who hear the word but ‘… the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.’

This is how false teachers ensnare many – error mixed with truth. Boshoff has been promising promotions, favour, great careers, successful businesses and monetary increase to those who tithe, but now warns about the deceitfulness of riches.

Chapter 5 – Transforming My World

This chapter is about the power of thought  – we become what we think about  (says no biblical text)

Boshoff:  It is very important that we understand that our expectation and our attitude are the greatest things we possess in life.
That would make a great introduction to a motivational book, which the bible is not. The believers greatest possession is Christ. Boshoff has been creating a false expectation by suggesting that by obeying certain aspects of the law and spending time with God, we can be successful.
Paul’s expectation and attitude: “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.” Philippians 3: 7-8

Boshoff:  Our thoughts determine many things. They can determine … • Our self-esteem and our self-worth •   Whether we go for it or whether we step back •   Whether we bounce back when we fall over, or whether we quit • Whether we succeed or fail in life The real question here is: What is dominating your thoughts – what is your mind preoccupied with? Our thoughts have tremendous power over our minds and over our lives. The thoughts that dominate our minds will gradually manifest themselves. What we are thinking about all the time will reproduce itself.

While scripture instructs us to take our thoughts captive, and think on pure things, it does not teach us that our thoughts have power. Notice that God is excluded in this process – the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit is not mentioned. 

Boshoff:  How we look at things and how we think about them will direct what the dominating pictures are in our mind’s eye, and we will move in the direction of the dominating pictures. If these images are negative or if we do not have a picture or a vision at all of how we would like to see our marriage or our finances, Satan will be all too eager to provide us with a picture or a vision – his picture! In Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) we read, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish …’ Satan uses images to stop us from obeying the call of God and to wreak havoc in our lives. He does so in a masterly way through our culture, our religious systems, our upbringing, things people have said to us – we have mind pictures that control us all the time. And if we want to change these pictures, we will have to bring our thoughts into line with what God says because these pictures are not going to disappear by themselves. We have to work at changing our thoughts and mental pictures.

Proverbs 29:18 is not referring to mental pictures or another common misinterpretation –  a pastors vision for his church. Boshoff quotes half the verse in Proverbs, because the second half makes plain what the vision is – God’s word: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.”
In other words, this verse is not about your ambitions or mental images but about obeying the word of God. Few would imagine that God’s sovereign will for their life may be the loss of earthly comforts, trials, tribulations, persecution and perhaps even martyrdom. 

Boshoff:  By believing God’s Word we release the creative force called faith into our lives. Start by declaring, • ‘I can do all things through Christ’ • ‘I am the righteousness of God’ •   ‘I am strong in the Lord and in the power of his might’ Whether it is negative or positive, we believe what we say; and what we say, we create or become. So if we are not saying something positive about our lives we are not creating something positive, and therefore we are not empowering ourselves to live the way God has called us to live.
There it is, the little god & word of faith heresy. The false belief that our words are causative. This teaching is nothing less than the regurgitated teachings of Kenneth Hagin (who plagiarised the teachings of E W Kenyon) This is a different gospel.

Next, Boshoff quotes a portion of Ephesians 4 to show that thoughts and feelings can prevent us from living an abundant life. He mentions three reasons some miss out on abundant life based on the following passage: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Ephesians 4: 17-18

Boshoff:  we find three reasons (v 18): • Darkened understanding • Ignorance • The blindness of their heart…How does our understanding become darkened and how does our heart become blinded? Through the effect of our cultures, of our traditions and of people in authority over us who have had an influence on our lives. The phrase ‘the blindness of their heart’ literally translated means ‘the thoughts and feelings of their mind’. These are the thoughts and feelings of our minds which keep us from the life that God has for us. We hear the Word of God concerning abundance, blessing and prosperity, but the thoughts and the feelings of our minds are so powerful that they neutralise the Word of God.

You can prove all things through a passage out of context. Paul is not referring to
ill-disciplined believers ruled by their emotions, and as a result are missing out on having a successful business for example. Paul is not referring to believers at all, but the unconverted – those who have hardened hearts and are alienated from God.

Here is an example of something quite subtle, yet effective. Choice of words is important, take note of the phrase Boshoff uses.

Boshoff:  The only way in which to renew our minds, our lives and our bodies is the Word of God. If we do not put the Word of God in our minds, the old ways will always be part of our lives and will overtake us. Rather than us walking through a door of opportunity with God, we will be defeated by Satan. If we do not fill our minds with the Word of God we will always back away from the door of opportunity, because our minds have been trained to think negatively and we are ruled by our negative emotions.

Paul mentions a door of opportunity in 1 Cor 16:9 : “for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
For Paul, the opportunity was furthering the gospel, but what has Boshoff primed his readers to envision a door of opportunity as being?
Would they believe a “door of opportunity” could involve a bodily ailment in order to spread the gospel? That’s a ridiculous example some may argue, yet it’s exactly what Paul experienced –  “You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me..” Gal 4:13-14
Or could a door of opportunity mean that you could make the team, clinch that business deal etc.
Which one has Boshoff primed his readers into thinking – a door of opportunity that would benefit the kingdom of God despite their personal discomfort, or a door of opportunity that would benefit themselves and ensure their own comfort?

Chapter 6 – Enjoy Life Everyday

A chapter about taking time out from the busyness of life, enjoying family, nature, being content with the season we are in, following our dreams and finding our passion. 

Boshoff:  The secret to happiness in life is very simple: we need to discover what we love doing, and do it with all our energy and pursue it with all our heart.

Well, that’s the ideal for the world, but is this what a pastor should be teaching? Jesus did not die to make us happy, but to save us. And in many respects, the very things that keep people happy, are the things that distract them from the truth. Believers can experience joy in the midst of dire circumstances – because they are not pursuing temporal happiness, but view their life on earth from an eternal perspective and rejoice in God.

Boshoff:  Because God is our partner we are allowed to dream big dreams – we should never lose our dream for God. I have a great dream for God: I dream about the Church impacting the nations of the world – I dream about building an auditorium big enough to seat ten thousand people in the heart of Bloemfontein – I dream of seeing five hundred people a day saved. These dreams keep me alive.

That’s convenient, a divine partner to help us make our dreams come true. Boshoff may cloak his dreams with a veneer of godly motives, but the fact remains what he is teaching is not the gospel, once and for all delivered to the saints.

Boshoff:  I like to believe that God has a great and wonderful life in mind for me because in John 10:10 in The Message we read that Jesus said, ‘I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.’ It gives me great confidence and hope for tomorrow that God is not out to get me, but He is actually out there to bless me. God is out there encouraging me, saying, ‘Come on, you can do better than that. Come on, son, I believe in you, dream bigger, reach further – you can do great things for me. I have invested myself in you – I place my life, my Holy Spirit on the inside of you.’
The Message is a paraphrase by Eugene Peterson.  What Boshoff should tell his readers is that when we are born again, our world is turned upside down. What we once fought for, we now walk away from, what we once desired, we now loathe – we have exchanged kingdoms, and become aliens and exiles in this world. The life we dreamed of when we were unsaved, will be a far cry from the life we dream of as believers. Boshoff ignores the first half of John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
The thief is referring to hirelings or false teachers who don’t care for the sheep. In contrast, is the good shepherd – Jesus, who lays down his life for the sheep. This verse has nothing to do with dreaming bigger, in fact some of those who heard Jesus say these words would later lay down their lives for his sake.

Boshoff: I want to encourage you in your tomorrow, in the dream that God has for you. Where there is no vision people perish (see Proverbs 29:18 KJV) but God has a great dream and a vision for each of us. The plan He has for our lives is better than our own plan for our lives (see Jeremiah 29:11) So it does not matter what troubles we have to face at the moment, God knows the thoughts he has for every aspect of our lives. We still serve a God of miracles; our anticipation and expectation is God’s invitation.

We have examined the real meaning of Proverbs 29:18, now lets examine
this verse in Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Like any text, we should examine the context. Jeremiah’s letter is to the exiles in Babylon – exiled as a result of their disobedience to God. What is interesting, and overlooked, is that fact that the false prophets had prophesied that their time in captivity would soon be over. God’s punishment for Hananiah who prophesied falsely that restoration would take place within two years, was to remove him from the face of the earth. The exiles wanted good news, and the false prophets gave it to them, the truth was that their exile would not end after two years: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you” – vs 10. Furthermore, the majority of exiles never lived to see this promise fulfilled.

This does not mean God does not have good plans for believers.The problem is we have been bombarded with false teachings such as the prosperity gospel, dominion theology and word of faith heresy. The result is that God’s “good plans” in the eyes of the majority in the visible church are indistinguishable from the desires of this world. God’s plan is not to transform our world or guarantee a comfortable life, but to conform us into the image of his son. Your trials and tribulations may increase, your situation may not improve, but know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
Romans 8:28-29

 Chapter 7 – Living a YES! Life.

Boshoff’s research for this chapter seems to be based on the ability to look up the word “yes” in a bible concordance, and then twist the passage to suit his narrative. Elisha, Mary, and Jesus are some of Boshoff’s examples of people who said yes! I’ll give those sections and pass, and comment on four quotes.

Boshoff:  Live with a ‘yes!’ in your life. Say ‘yes!’ to your highest hopes and your dreams. Say ‘yes!’ to your finest aspirations. Say ‘yes, I can do it!’
Your, your, your – 
there’s the problem right there.

Boshoff: God wants to load us with blessings every day but we stop these blessings with our attitude of saying ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’. We should never forget that with God all things are possible (see Mark 10:27).
Since Boshoff has placed such an emphasis on financial gain, this is a good opportunity to take a closer look at the verse he quotes, here is the context:

“And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:23-27.
The blessing here was not accumulation of wealth or someone’s finest aspirations coming to pass, but salvation. 

Boshoff:  So if we can answer ‘yes’, we will have to do something and act on our ‘yes’. God wants to bring life and resurrection to the dry areas of our lives – our relationships, our marriages, our children, our bodies, our finances, our businesses.

And there it is again – finances and business. Where does God promise to bring life and resurrection into a believers finances and business? Those who have sat under teachers who fail to make a distinction between the old and new covenants will immediately point to the blessings outlined in the law, they will not be able provide any New Testament example.

Chapter 8 – I Can Do It.

At this stage if the reader has bought into Boshoff’s teaching, they probably assume that God wants them to be the life of the party, enjoy promotions, multiply their finances, succeed in business, and the list goes on.

Boshoff:  I want to encourage you, my dear friend; if God means it for you, you can do it – God is your partner. Remember, the Word of God says, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom 8:31) No matter what we face, we can accomplish what God calls us to. We can do it! Life should be an adventure – Christianity should be an adventure!

Boshoff has described in no uncertain terms the kind of life he believes God means for believers. Whatever biblical truth Boshoff does present, is irrelevant, because the application is misguided and based on selfish motives.

Boshoff:  God knows his will for our lives and we know it. God knows we can do it – but we should also believe that we can do it and then do it. If we do not believe that we can do it – build that new building, influence someone, grow our home cell, expand our business – we are not radiating positive energy. Instead we are radiating inferiority and no matter what people may say, nobody wants to hang around a loser.

Note the absence of the gospel in Boshoff’s examples – all of which would prove beneficial to CRC if members caught the vision and bought into Boshoff’s teaching. Can you recall the apostle Paul rebuking believers for failing to “radiate positive energy?

Thankfully, Jesus spent time with losers and James instructed us how to treat those who are viewed as “losers” in society: “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?” James 2:1-6

 Boshoff: Too many of God’s people are waiting for a breakthrough; some miracle, some manifestation from God. But what God is waiting for is for us to arise – in ourselves, in our dreams, in our vision. God needs us to believe that we are able to do what He has called us to do. But sometimes we battle to do this, because we have not dealt with our feelings of inadequacy. While the problem of inferiority is mainly about not feeling worthy of being a winner, the mindset of inadequacy is about not feeling able to do what God has called us to do.

I agree with Boshoff on this – Too many of God’s people are waiting for a breakthrough; some miracle, some manifestation from God, but his narcissistic alternative is the very antithesis of dying to self and surrendering our ambitions to God. And these words – God needs us, have no place in Christianity. All this talk about feelings would be dealt with if Boshoff taught the whole counsel of God, instead of twisting the scriptures to appease the flesh. I would describe the apostle Paul as a winner in the true biblical sense. Paul knew he had completed his task : “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2 Tim 4:6
These are Paul’s instructions in the previous verses, to young Timothy: “ For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” vs 3-4.

Chapter – 9  Decisions that Glorify God.

Boshoff:  We know God has a great future for each of us. However, our future is largely determined by the decisions we make and therefore we need to realise and understand that all the decisions we make are crucial.
Yes they are, and one of the best decisions a believer can make is to test all things, and compare what is being taught to the word of God: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11

Boshoff:  It never fails to amaze me how often good Christian people get caught in foreign, fraudulent, pyramid and other get-rich-quick scams. They are promised a five hundred-fold return on their money, but it simply does not make sense. And if it is too good to be true, it probably is not true.

Whose fooling who? Reminder of what Boshoff said previously:

• “If you need finances, sow a seed in a time of need and God will bless you and multiply your seed.”

• “Tithing to a spiritual person is a money multiplier, because they understand that giving God ten percent does not take money away from them. They understand that the law of God is opposite to the natural law. Tithing multiplies our income.”

•Tithing multiplies our income. That is God’s way, my dear friend. If we want a great career and a great job, we have to become givers.

Conclusion
Live a YES! life is a NO! –  as far as doctrinal accuracy is concerned. It’s a combination of the prosperity gospel, word of faith teachings, and motivational messages.

4 thoughts on “Book Review – Live a YES! life by At Boshoff

  1. Good review. Sums up the whole movement which unfortunately I got involved in.

    Just wanted to say William P Young wrote the shack not Eugene Peterson. I think Peterson wrote the forward or an endorsement.

    Please keep posting.

    • Thanks Angela, and thank you for pointing out the correct author of The Shack, I have updated the article. Glad to hear you escaped the clutches of this movement.

  2. Thank you for the time you took reviewing At’s book. May God bless and use you. Just an article in supporting your point of view. Nick Maartens.

    Testing the Tithing Doctrine

    The following are the scriptures that are usually used as a basis for the tithing doctrine: Gen. 14:17-20, Gen. 28:20-22, Malachi 3:7-10 and Matt. 23:23. When studied in their context, it becomes clear what they really mean.

    1. Malachi 3:7-10 (The most popular section used by those who promote tithing).

    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house…”

    In order to properly understand Malachi 3:7-10 , Num. 18 must be taken into account as it is the section which describes the giving of the tithing law by God to Moses and the Israelites.

    At the outset one must understand that in the Old Testament Israel was ruled by a priestly government and that they were supported a by a tithing system of “tax.”

    Where did the priests live?

    It is important to understand that the priests could not own land or houses and therefore the other tribes had to make towns and homes available for them to live in (Num.18:20-23).

    “Command the Israelites to give the Levites towns to live in…And give them pasturelands around the towns. Then they will have towns to live in and pasturelands for their cattle, flocks and all their other livestock” (Num. 35:2-3). “In all you must give the Levites forty-eight towns, together with their pasturelands” (Num. 35:7).

    How were the High Priest and the other priests who did duty in the temple supported?:

    “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Levites and say to them: When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering…From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest” (Num.18:26-28, my emphasis).

    “And a priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury” (Num.10:38, my emphasis).

    It must come as a surprise to those who so often quote Mal.3:10 as their proof text to learn that the “tithe” mentioned in verse 10 really refers to the tenth of the tithe that was collected by the Levites! The main tithe never went to the storeroom of the temple as we so often hear it being taught in some churches! It was received in the 48 Levitical towns that were set apart for this purpose, and only a tenth of the main tithe was sent to the storeroom of the temple for the priests who were on duty to live from..

    How long did the priests do duty?

    In 1 Chron.24 we read that the priests were divided into 24 divisions and that these divisions, in turn, had to do duty in the temple throughout the year (Neh.10:34). Hundreds of years later this system was still in place at the time of the announcement of the pregnancy of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist:

    “In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; …Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God…he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense” (Luk.1:5-9, my emphasis).

    If each of the 24 divisions had to take turns in performing their duty in the temple throughout the year, it meant that each priest was involved for only about two weeks of the year. I wonder if those who so readily quote from Mal.3:10 to justify the paying of tithes realize that the Old Testament priestly ministry cannot be used as an example of “full time” ministry, because no Old Testament priest served for more than two weeks at a time during the year.

    Was money involved in tithing?

    Reading Num.18 and Lev.27 we notice that in connection with tithing, money is mentioned nowhere – only agricultural products are named (2 Chron.31:5-6). Some people argue that the reason why money is not mentioned is because it was not commonly available in those days. This point of view does not take into consideration that before we read about tithes in the context of the Law of Moses, the word “money” is already mentioned more than forty times in the first five books of the Bible. So for instance, slaves and property could be bought with money (Gen.17:12, Gen.23:9-15) and money could also be paid in terms of vows that were taken (Lev.27). Money could also be used for the paying of fines (Ex.21:35) and it had to be used to pay the ransom for lives during the taking of a census (Ex.30:11-16). Another case where money was involved was when shekels had to be paid for the redemption of the firstborn of Israel (Num.3:45-48). Therefore, to reason that money was not commonly available in Israel is not a valid argument. Another logical reason why we must believe that tithes consisted of agricultural products is found in Deut.14:22-29. Tithes had to serve as food:

    “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord…But if the place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and you cannot carry you tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away),…then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you…Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep…” (Deut.14:22-29, my emphasis).

    If money could be used for the payment of tithes, why was it necessary to exchange it again for livestock and other agricultural products?

    What Percentage was the Tithe?

    For those who teach tithing in their churches, there can be only one answer to this question and that is that it must be ten per cent. One prominent Word of Faith teacher, John Avanzini, has the following to say in his book God’s Debt Free Guarantee:

    “It is quite easy to prove from God’s Word that the tithe is exactly 10 per cent” (pp.56, my emphasis).
    Is it easy to prove that it was “exactly” 10 per cent? The Old Testament specifies a number of different tithes:
    1. A first yearly tithe had to be taken to the towns of the Levites (Num.18:21).
    2. A second yearly tithe had to go for a feast Jerusalem (Deut.12:5-7, Deut.14:23). (Deut.12:5-7). Whilst the first tithe had to go to the towns of the Levites for them to live from, this tithe had to be taken to Jerusalem for a feast to be eaten by the people themselves.
    3. A third Year tithe is mentioned so that strangers, the fatherless, the widows and the needy could be looked after (Deut.14:28-29,Deut.14:28-29, Deut.26:12-13).

    Corrupt priests

    A thorough reading of the Book of Malachi will reveal that it is not only the common people that are being rebuked, but also the priests who were guilty of sacrificing stolen animals!

    “…and you bring what has been taken by robbery, and what is lame or sick…” (Mal.1:13, NAS) “And now this admonition is for you, O priests” (Mal.2:1).
    The context clearly shows that the priests were the guilty ones who were robbing God while ministering at the altar! This fact is usually totally ignored when preachers use Mal.3:9 to warn people about the curses that will strike them when they “rob” God.

    The High Priesthood of Jesus abolished tithing

    “For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law” (Heb.7:12).

    It is difficult to understand why any discussion concerning tithing, the Sabbath or the keeping of any Old Testament law, does not start with a study of Heb.7:12. Because many of the first Christian converts were Jews, most found it very difficult to break with some of their Jewish religious traditions. The letter to the Hebrews was written to address this problem. They had to be persuaded that Jesus, as High Priest, was much more important and greater than Moses (Heb.3:1-6). With Jesus Christ as their new Mediator and High Priest, they needed no other system of religion anymore.

    The whole discussion in the context of Hebrews chapter 7 makes it very clear that the law that was changed was the Mosaic Law. Jesus being a descendant of the tribe of Judah, and not of the tribe of Levi, did not qualify to become a priest under the law of the old Mosaic system. Therefore, in order for Him to become a High Priest, the law had to be changed to accommodate Him. At Christ’s death His blood took the place of the blood of the Passover lamb and the place of Aaron as high priest was taken by Jesus. One of the results of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus was that the old system of priests was replaced by the New Testament priesthood of all believers (1 Pet.2:5-9, Rev.1:6, 5:9-10). Because the Old Testament priesthood came to an end as result of Jesus’ death on the cross, the tithing system which supported it was also no longer necessary. In its place came the principles of New Testament stewardship which includes the principle of giving by grace. The total absence of any mention of tithing in the letters of the New Testament can only be explained by the fact that no such law was given to the church; just as there was no law given to the church about circumcision or of having to keep the Sabbath.

    2. Gen. 4:17-20 – Abraham and Melchisedek

    For the following reasons the example of Abraham paying a tithe to Melchisedek cannot be used to build a doctrine for the church:

    (i). Nowhere in the context of Gen.14 do we read that God ever instructed Melchisedek to pay a tithe to anybody.
    (ii). Abraham’s paying of a tithe was a once off voluntary act, unique in the sense that in his life time he never did it again.
    (iii). Furthermore, Heb.7:4 states that it was an offering taken from the spoils of war. Of his own possessions he gave nothing.
    (iv). If Abraham’s payment of a tithe to Melchisedek is used as an example of why tithes should be paid to the church, to be consistent with this way of applying Scripture, nine tenths should be given to Satan, because in the context, after having given a tenth to Melchisedek, Abraham gave the rest of the loot to the king of Sodom! (Gen.14:23-24).
    (v). Nowhere in Scripture do we read that God’s blessing on the life of Abraham depended on his having to pay tithes.
    (vi). Nowhere in Scripture is this incident used to motivate Jews or Christians to pay tithes.

    3. Genesis 28 – Jacob bargains with God

    Jacob, just like in the case of Abraham, does not respond to a command given to him by God. It is he himself that schemes and negotiates with God; He asks that God must first bless him with food and clothes and a safe journey and then he will give a tenth of what he receives, back to God.

    4. Jesus, the Young Ruler and Zacheus

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (Matt. 23:23).

    (i). What Jesus says in Matt.23:23 cannot be used to justify the paying of tithes in the New Testament church, because at the time that He spoke the words the Old Testament was still in force. It only came to an end at the moment of His death on the cross.

    (ii). The Rich Young Ruler (Luk.18:18-24) and Zacchaeus (Luk.19:1-8)

    “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor…” (Luk.18:22).

    It is interesting to note that Jesus did not say to the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and to give a tenth of the proceeds to the priests in the temple; he had to give it to the poor! (Luk.18:18-24). According to what is being preached in some circles today, one would think that Jesus should rather have said to him to take it to the “house of God.” In a similar situation when Zacchaeus said to the Lord that he was going to give half of what he owned to the poor and that he was going to repay those who he had cheated, Jesus did not say a word about tithes that should go to the temple (Luk.19:8).

    New Testament Stewardship

    ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management…’ ” (Luke 16:1).

    Giving – The New Testament alternative to tithing

    (A). The Underlying Principles

    (i). It is more blessed to give than to receive (Luke 6:38).
    (ii) You must give according to your ability (2 Corinthians 8:12, Leviticus 27:8, Acts 11:29, Ezra 2:69).
    (iii). You must not give sparingly (Mark 12:43, 2 Corinthians 8:3, 9:6).
    (iv). You must not to give because you are under compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7).
    (v). Each one must decide for himself how much to give (2 Corinthians 9:7).
    (vi). You must plan and give regularly (1 Corinthians 16:2).

    Nowhere does Paul or any other New Testament writer specify a certain percentage as an underlying principle in giving. Paul’s teaching that giving should not be under compulsion and that each one should give what he decides in his own heart is in stark contrast with the tithing rule imposed in so many churches (1 Timothy 6:17-18, 2 Corinthians 8:2-14).

    (B). Biblical Priorities in Giving

    (i). You must first give yourself to the Lord.

    “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected,
    but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” (2 Cor.8:4-5, my emphasis).

    The easiest thing to give, is money. The giving of yourself and your time to minister to the spiritual needs of others requires a different type of commitment than just the opening of your purse.
    (ii). One must care for the needs of one’s family first (1Timothy 5:4-16).

    “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim 5:8).

    A Christian’s first obligation is for the needs of his or her immediate family in terms of medicine, food and shelter. Many pastors teach that the tithe belongs to the church and that meeting any other financial obligation that a person might have, must come out of what is left after the tithe has been payed. Giving first to the church to the neglect of caring for one’s own family is being guilty of sin against God’s cleat post-Calvary command.

    (iii). The needs of the Body of Christ must be looked after

    When it comes to material things there should be a balance in the Body.
    “…your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality”( 2 Corinthians 8:14).

    (iv). The needs of the widows, the poor and the orphans (Gal. 2:10, James 1:26-27).

    (v). Legitimate New Testament ministries need to be supported

    Conclusion

    Pastors who teach tithing and then go even further by stating that Christians who do not tithe are robbing God and are therefore under a curse, show how ignorant they are in terms of sound principles of Bible exposition and those that follow them are guilty of supporting false doctrine.

    Nick Maartens
    Jeffreysbay
    [email protected]

    • Hi Nick, so nice to hear from you! Thanks for the post, I’ve always been encouraged by your writings and books, please send my regards to Elsa, God bless – Rick

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