I did not make this book available online for free because I had to, or because no one would buy it. Clearly, there are thousands now who would gladly pay for this book, allowing me to reap a material harvest for sowing spiritual seed among them (1 Cor 9:12). God willing, I would like to see this in a printed book format one day, which could be held in the hands, but the book will always be available online for free.
I make it available for free for the same reason I made the John 7:17 Challenge available for free, both in text and audio, in three different ways and two different places. I do not want money to prevent someone from hearing the truth, either by their lack of it, or by their weak conscience which causes them to think anytime a Christian writes a book, the motive is money. While ministers of the gospel have this right (See 1 Cor 9), many do misuse this right in their love of money. My life has already proven before God and men, to be a sacrificial life which is free from the love of money. Therefore, my intent is to join Paul in preventing anything from being a stumbling block to you my reader. I wish to silence those who look so desperately for a good excuse to not listen to the truth, or to turn others from it, simply by making it free. I truly understand now why Paul said what he did in 1 Corinthians 9:15, about him desiring to die before he would desire to give up this boast.
However, historically men do not value what is free. I cannot convince you of the value of this book, until you read it, but perhaps if you could see how many devils, even now, are fighting against me to not finish this book, you would indeed find a great perceived value. Please accept this by faith and rest assured, that not only did I pay a hefty spiritual price to live this story and then to write it, but you also will pay a spiritual price to read it and to follow my example as I follow the Lord Jesus Christ. However, if you are willing to pay this cost, you are also willing to receive God’s very best spiritual treasures and glory in your life!
Please forgive my style, length and format in this book. I am not at all a gifted writer or editor and this should not be read as, or considered as traditionally published book. Father has asked me to tell what He has done in my life. I cannot allow my weaknesses in writing to hinder the glory due our Father nor a traditionally acceptable word count. Instead, I just ask you to give me the freedom to sit down and talk to you as my friend, from my heart, on paper. I want to be Spirit led, not book format or publisher led.
Lord willing, this story will be to the great encouragement and faith strengthening of true brothers and sisters in Christ, who perhaps discover more about the Father’s ways and His loving but often mysterious and painful dealings in their own life. My hope is to showcase the principles in His Word, as reflected in my life. I want you to desire and receive more of God’s astonishing grace in your own life.
Every single thing you need in order to become a spiritually abundant follower of Christ comes down to one thing, grace. If you are looking and living like Jesus right now, it is because you have grace. If you are not looking and living like Jesus it is because you do not have grace. You will look and live like Jesus in direct proportion to the grace He has given you. This entire story is about how I found and received this abundance of God’s amazing and indescribable grace in my life, and then in my ministry.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power [grace] has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace [power] abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
My friend, these two wonderful promises from God, which I have taken possession of, are waiting to be claimed by you through faith and patience. Notice the first promise deals with personal grace and the second promise deals with the grace needed to be a fruitful worker for Christ. We truly cannot do anything apart from His grace (John 15:5).
The way I see it, there are two types of God’s grace (or undeserved power) that can be administered in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ, external grace and internal grace. An example of external grace is me driving down I-75 in February of 2012, coming back from my divorce trial in Orlando, Florida, yelling into my voice recorder, “Oh, my goodness…I cannot believe it…this is freaking me out God!!!” He showed me the number 777 sixteen times that day and was showing me in advance that my divorce crisis would miraculously end on the 777th day after my ex-wife had filed for it.
Exodus 14:31, 15:11 – Deu 4:35 “And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in Him.” Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you---majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.
Then there is internal grace where you can hear me exclaiming in other recordings, “I cannot believe how much my heart has changed Father…this is incredible…I am a totally different person.” These graces can also be thought of us as visible and invisible grace. For Jesus Christ to heal a blind man of his physical sight is external visible grace. For Jesus Christ to heal that same man of his spiritual blindness is internal invisible grace.
To me, the internal grace, albeit less exciting and less provable to others is the most important for several reasons. First, the devil can counterfeit much of God’s external grace (2 Thes 2:9-12). He can heal and can do wondrous supernatural signs and miracles. He can bring people, careers, and material possessions into your life and he can even counterfeit the fruits of the Spirit. But, the one thing he cannot bring, which is the highest blessing of the New Covenant, is the holiness and the peace and rest of the living God into your heart by the Holy Spirit. He cannot counterfeit that internal grace of the heart which conforms a man or woman into the image and character of Jesus Christ. He cannot counterfeit fullness in Christ which gives you a victory over the world, yourself, and him. All Christians are supposed to attain to the full measure of Christ.
Ephesians 3:19 I pray that you may have power to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph 4:13 - until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
The second reason that internal grace is superior is the reason why I do not like all these supernatural healing documentaries that are being made and shown on Netflix where people go out on the street and heal people. Persis and I watched a movie called HOLY GHOST and I got so upset watching it. I don’t recall seeing anywhere in this movie where any of these people being healed or given words of knowledge were told about their sin or the need for repentance.
One rich lady was given a word about her wounded childhood and she was moved to tears at a bar, but Jesus did not come to save people from their troubled childhoods. He came to save them from their troublesome sins against God. This lady was being emotionally moved and led by a false gospel. I can practically guarantee you she walked away from that encounter feeling God had touched her and now she was good with God to go on and continue living her rich life.
Without the preaching of sin and repentance there is no true Gospel and no true Jesus. Not only that, but I never heard anyone mention obedience to the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is by far the most important and neglected part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20. If I led someone to the Lord today in this coffee shop, there is no way I could leave them without telling them the importance of repentance and obedience to the words of Christ. That’s the only way I could be assured they have a chance of really knowing Him and really being saved. If I spoke less than the full gospel, I rob them of eternal life no matter how Charismatic I might be or what word of knowledge I might have given them.
In the film Holy Ghost, you get the impression that if someone can tell you something vague about your past life, or if you get a physical healing or tingling sensation in your body when they hold on to you yelling, “more Lord…more Lord…more power Lord…more Lord…more Lord”, then you are instantly a part of God’s family and saved for eternity. I am sorry, but this is spiritual insanity!
How was the Gospel preached to people in the early church? The first public words about the Gospel from John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Peter and Paul after Pentecost all call for repentance from sin.
John Baptist - Mat 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Jesus - Mar 1:15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
Peter - Act 2:38 "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
Paul - Act 26:20 I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Now look what Paul warned us about regarding sharing the Gospel.
Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (9) As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
If a person is healed externally in the name of Jesus Christ or begins to believe because you gave him a “word”, but he is left internally and spiritually sick because he never heard the true Gospel, what good will come from this at the end of his life? How many people have fallen over at a Benny Hinn miracle conference under the supposed great power of the Holy Spirit, and yet upon returning home they continue falling over powerlessly into their same old sins? We need power for living up to the righteousness of Christ, not for falling down at some meeting. From this we can see why the person who preaches a false gospel is headed to eternal condemnation. By doing so, they have robbed countless others of eternal life in Christ.
A person with internal grace in the heart, who has little or no external visible grace in their life, is far better off than the person who has external grace, but who doesn’t have the internal power to change their heart. Being healed of sin is far more important than being healed of physical sickness. Most believers have this reversed and are desperately fascinated with physical healing. How many people would watch a documentary about God miraculously setting people free from sin vs a movie about watching a guy’s leg grow on camera? You can go to heaven with a leg that doesn’t measure up, but you cannot go to heaven with a heart that doesn’t measure up. - Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Maybe one day, God will make a way for me to fly around the world with a camera guy and interview some of the many people like Kim who are taking the John 7:17 Challenge and have seen their hearts completely changed by obedience to Jesus Christ. We don’t need more physical healing stories. We need spiritual healing from sin stories, the one thing the devil hates the most!
Kay, the cleaning lady struggling with unforgiveness had chronic COPD when I met her. She can die with COPD and still go to heaven. She cannot die with sin, rebellion, or unforgiveness in her heart and still go to heaven. Do you see the difference my friend? Suppose she was running to these miracle healers and got her COPD cured, but then she was left with that bitterness in her heart because no one told her about the true requirements of the gospel because it’s just so offensive.
According to Jesus in Mark 9:38-40 and Matthew 12:27, even people that don’t belong to Christ, and even the Pharisees and their disciples were capable of casting out demons. Indeed, they had the power to do these miracles. What they didn’t have was the far superior internal grace in the heart to become anything more than a child of the devil. This is why Jesus warned in Matthew 7:21-23 that there would be many who would indeed do visible external miracles, signs, and wonders in his name, but who would one day hear, “I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.”
So, why then, if I am saying that internal grace is superior to external grace, am I now going to share some of the stories in my life which showcase the external grace? Simple, because Father asked me to proclaim the wonderful deeds He has done in my life and I cannot do that without also sharing the visible parts of what He did.
Someone might say, but why is that necessary if we are all to live by faith and not by sight, and didn’t Jesus say, “it is a wicked and adulterous generation who asks for a sign”? I believe one of the main reasons Father asks us to do this is because of His mercy to help sincere Christians who really want to believe Him, but who may be struggling with unbelief. These are extraordinarily difficult days to be a Christian, however where sin and darkness abound, His grace abounds all the more when He can find a wholehearted servant (2 Chronicles 16:9).
God is willing to help us believe Him when He sees we have that mustard seed of faith. The great faith I have in Him today came from Him, not me, and it started out as little faith. When God told me many things that would happen in my life before they actually did, it helped me to believe Him even more when what He said came true. I gave Him my little mustard seed and He made it grow into a large tree!
Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”
John 14:29 “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.”
The wicked and adulterous generation Jesus spoke of in Matthew 12:39 were not people like you and I who are sincerely struggling in our desire to believe and follow Jesus Christ. They despised Him and hated him and their asking for a miracle was done in a mocking attitude. It was more like them asking, “Oh yeah, well let me see your magic show Mr. Messiah…let’s see what kind of power you’ve got if you’re really the big shot Son of God.” Please read Luke 4:23 and Mat 27:42-44 for examples.
God’s visible external grace helps many of us to believe Him in these very dark days, but it only comes after we have some level of sincere mustard seed faith to bring to Him. How amazing is His loving kindness to help those of us with a humble heart and a mustard seed of faith!
Jas 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Also, God validates His messages through His servants. Exo 4:30 And Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed.
Joh 14:11-14 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. (12) I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (13) And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. (14) You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
My friend, I am not lying and God will prove it in this story for those who have ears to hear. I am indeed in possession of the fullness of Christ and it is gloriously beyond the explanation of human words. I walk daily in the seven things Christ promised to all true followers of His, divine provision (Mat 6:31-34), rest (Mat 11:28-30), contentment (John 4:13-14), freedom from sin (John 8:31-36), peace (John 14:27), answered prayers and fruitfulness (John 15:5-8), and with the joy of the Lord made complete in my heart (John 15:9-11), even when I am suffering. Indeed, I was thirsty and now rivers of living water flow from my belly to others, thanks be to the Lord! (John 7:37)
Two thousand years of exceptional Christian testimonials have proved that an abundant spiritual life in Christ is available to all who will come to Him on his terms, regardless of the rocky path they have been on. I hate to be cliché but, if God will do it for me, he will do it for any one! I am not worthy of Father’s astonishing grace in my life, but I will not despise it or Him, by hiding it either. Our God is Amazing!
Mark 2:12 This amazed everyone and they praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Without fear of overhyping the story, I can say to you with confidence, “You have never seen anything like this!” In 27 years of being a Christian, I’ve never heard of anything this amazing or complex. A person being raised from the dead is a piece of cake for God compared to what I have witnessed Him do in my own life over and over. One pastor when he heard only one part of the story said, “Michael God is doing something historical here…I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years of ministry.” That man, has no idea about the most incredible parts of my story! I think after you hear what God has done, you will understand why I feel like Father wrote Exodus 34:10 for me.
Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.
Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. – Psalm 111:2
I know you are anxious to hear it all, but please be patient with me. As your loving brother in Christ, I first must warn you that supernatural signs and wonders are not remotely a guarantee that the work is from God. In fact, today, far more often than not they are from the devil.
Jesus warned us to be very careful that we are not deceived by false prophets and false teachers (Mat 24:24) and the apostle John warned us to test every spirit (1 John 4:1). I’ve seen incredible videos of gold fillings in people’s teeth, gold dust covering pastors, manna showing up in Bibles, “glory clouds” flying in a church, crying statues of the virgin Mary, moving heads on Jesus statues, Stigmata, jewels appearing on the ground in churches, and many more things like this that we must discern and test! The devil is doing all kinds of things around the world and in churches where people can say, “We have never seen anything like this!”. See (2 Thes 2:9-12) So, how can we know what things are from the Lord?
False teachers also preach boldly in the name of Jesus, they do many charitable deeds, and share many true teachings and principles in the word of God. However, their teaching will always be off in some very significant way which strongly appeals to your flesh. As Dave Hunt used to say, even rat poison is 98% delicious and nutritious (truth). It is the 2% of poison (error) that kills the rat.
With a false teacher, typically your flesh will find itself being enticed and saying, “amen…amen” to things that a spiritual person will not say amen to (like the promise of material blessing or how graceful God is even though you are still living in sin.). Some of these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up and convince you that God wants to bless you with temporal abundance. This is the “prosperity gospel” which claims God wants you to be happy, healthy and wealthy now, and if you aren’t it’s because you don’t have enough faith, or you have unconfessed sin in your life.
Prosperity preachers aren’t the only false teachers. There are also legalists and cult groups that may not be promising prosperity but instead they seek to control the people with a, “we are the only ones who have it right and therefore the only one’s going to heaven” type of a message. There were apparently even miraculous answers to prayer in the deadliest cult of all time, the People’s Temple under Jim Jones. Who was it that was answering those prayers?
My wife Persis is from India and just from a few of her own stories I can say with confidence that there are far more supernatural things going on in the Hindu temples in India than there are in all the churches in North America. Who is doing them? It is the same one who gave the Egyptian magicians their power to counterfeit Moses’ miracles in Exodus 7:22 and the same one we find speaking with Jesus here.
Luke 4:5-7 The devil led him (Jesus) up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. (6) And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. (7) So if you worship me, it will all be yours."
Until a Christian has strong discernment, any of these types of messages can strongly appeal to the desires or fears of the flesh and they are exceptionally effective at deceiving people when they are accompanied by the supernatural. When a Christian has a strong desire to hear from God or to see the supernatural, this is ground for the devil’s deception.
We shouldn’t be afraid of the supernatural and we shouldn’t despise God’s power, but we should be wise and test it all. The bible says the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1 Cor 4:20). It has the power to change your life and the power to influence others for Christ. I have seen this power in several ways, but there is authentic power and counterfeit power. Let me give you a few other basic examples.
There have been a few times where the Lord blessed me with very specific insight no one else had into a person’s life. One day I was in prayer and the Lord moved me to call and warn a very godly and well-respected business man whom I hadn’t spoken with or heard from in two years. I was reluctant to do it because he was an older brother in the Lord and very well respected for his faith and work in Christ, but in obedience to the Spirit I made a message for him saying that He had fallen into a sin which was robbing Him of God’s favor in his business. Two days later he replied in shock and admitted that he had turned back to pornography the week before I messaged him.
On another occasion, a gentleman contacted me who was facing 20 years of prison and having to register as a sex-offender in a very unfortunate case against him. He was scared to death and having dreams about killing himself. By the Lord’s power, I was able to tell him emphatically that he was not going to have to do either. My telling him this was the grace of the Lord to keep him from sinking. In fact, the Lord was so gracious that he only went to jail for one year, and was blessed of the Lord with favor from a guard during his time.
I’ll share one more of these so you will believe. Just this past week as I’m editing this document, the Lord had me warn a very zealous brother who reached out to me in a recording with his wife, to tell me about their testimonies and love for the Lord. While listening, I discerned Father was going to let this man fall hard and that I was supposed to warn him just like Jesus did Peter in Matthew 26:34. Two days after he replied to my warning assuring me he was good, he had an affair. In His love for Him, God warned him in advance, just like he did me when I fell into sexual sin as a single person, to break him from pride and self-confidence. There is power in the kingdom of God. Remember, Jesus said those who have faith in Him will do the same things He did.
However, false teachers and false prophets can also sometimes accurately share unknown past or future events in people’s lives also. The late Dave Hunt got off a plane in India to speak at a conference and a man who was not supposed to pick him up came up to him to give him a ride to the event. When Dave questioned him, the man was able to tell Dave his full name, where he lived in CA, and what he was doing in India. Think about it. Was that the power of God? No, it was the power and divination of an evil spirit and he stayed away from that man. The devil indeed has power. He is a brilliant counterfeiter. Don’t think you can’t be fooled! I even test all the things that I experience in my life by the following method.
So, how can we know if a pastor is a false teacher, or if the signs and wonders or prophecies are coming from God or Satan? How do you know if the power and signs in my life are coming from God or if I am false teacher? There are several ways but Jesus Christ gave us a solid test. He told us we will “recognize a tree by its fruit.” The fruit on a tree shows us the type of tree it is, and it reveals the outcome or result of the tree’s health and production. First, as we grow in discernment we can see the false teacher will reveal his heart through his words or some part of his temperament which consistently contradicts the Spirit of Christ. Let me give you a few personal examples that I’ve seen as a spiritual man making judgments of all things just at Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:15.
And by the way, if you have problems with me naming names, please see Luke 13:32, Acts 13:8, 2 Timothy 2:16-17, 2 Timothy 4:10, 4:14-15, and 3 John 1:9.
When I see T.D. Jakes haughtily strutting across that stage like a proud rooster with his head held back and yelling out, “Yall ain’t listening…let me try this side over here.” or when I see him sitting on the Oprah Winfrey show talking to a secular and New Age thinking audience about how you can live your dream, I cannot reconcile that spirit with the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ who is in me.
I wasn’t able to reconcile Ted Haggard, the former pastor of New Life Church in Colorado, standing in front of an interviewer zealously saying evangelicals have the best sex lives and then asking right on camera two of his own church leaders how often they have sex with their wives and how often their wives have an orgasm. Can you possibly imagine the Holy Spirit asking anyone this?
I am unable to reconcile Joel Osteen telling jokes at the beginning of each sermon when people are going to hell from hyper grace teaching, or to reconcile his find your best life now message with Christ’s lose your life now to find it message. I’m not able to reconcile the ten-million-dollar home of a Joyce Meyer, or her husband’s apparent golf addiction with the true Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us to say no to worldly pleasures and wealth. And they go on saying, “Well, God has blessed us!”.
Then what is He doing for me according to their definition of blessing, since I’m now the poorest person financially in my entire circle, or what has He done for my wife Persis since she grew up literally the poorest person I’ve ever met? Is God not blessing us? On the contrary, we enjoy the true riches…the great spiritual treasures. Perhaps you’ve seen my first story video. I know how to earn a large income. Even now, I could do all kinds of things to make money even in this ministry and say, “Look, the Lord is blessing me…come follow me to blessings and treasures on earth.” (If I ever start preaching that by the way, you can know the devil has won me over and I say run) I could start by allowing advertising on my YouTube videos, taking away all three free versions of the John 7:17 Challenge, selling this book instead of giving it away for free, asking a fee for the thousands of personal recordings I’ve made for people around the world, etc. I don’t do these things, because I’m not interested in seeking temporary earthly riches. I am seeking spiritual riches and this is why I could never work with or have a relationship with any of those or a multitude of other false teachers. I have nothing in common with them spiritually even though they have the name of Christ on their lips and a Bible on their podium.
I’m following a very different Jesus because I can’t possibly imagine Christ, the disciples, or any of the greatest true servants of God that have ever lived, doing things like this. Seriously, can you see Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter, John Bunyan, Madame Guyon, Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, D.L. Moody, Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, or an A.W. Tozer, strutting across a stage like a proud rooster, asking about other’s sex lives and orgasms on camera, going on the Oprah show, or living in a ten-million-dollar house from the profits of their ministry? I will refrain from what I would like to write next and simply defer to Paul…
1 Timothy 6:5 They are…men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
People that follow these teachers, even me for a time, will find that they are being enticed by the desires of their flesh not the Holy Spirit. The love of money and material prosperity is one of the greatest barriers to the true treasure and presence of Christ in your heart. As you will clearly see in my story, you cannot have two loves or two Masters.
Heb 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Another visible part of the fruit of false teachers is their congregation or followers. When we look at the lives of those he is preaching to, we can ask questions like this to ascertain more about his fruit?
As we look at the character of the congregation or followers do we see increasing holiness and faithfulness? Christian history has shown that if the Holy Spirit is the one doing the preaching and teaching, there will be increasing holiness. There will be people moving from sinful carnal and worldly Christianity to true spiritual Christ followers. There will be people surrendering at the heart level, and not just the lip level. There will be people taking up their cross and denying their flesh in sacrificial ways, gaining freedom from sin, losing their life to find it, obeying the words of Christ unto death, abandoning their will and coming in full submission to the will of Christ in their life regardless of the cost? By the way, I know this all sounds scary if are just starting to take Christ seriously, but please don’t panic. God will help you and give you strength in ways you do not yet understand or possess. Just keep reading the story…don’t cliff jump yet please!
With true believers, it will be clear that God is their master, not money. The Father will become increasingly their magnificent obsession. They will chase holiness and godliness, not the supernatural. They will love God and not more of His stuff? Most importantly, we can see the fruit of the Holy Spirit increasing in their everyday life. Just think back on Mr. Kim’s testimony. Perhaps go back and re-read it and look at the type of fruit coming from him now. Look at what he sees as important now. He is a piece of fruit which God is producing through His work in my ministry. Remember, a tree produces after its own kind. Kim is a reflection of the type of Spirit at work in me, and now in him, which is the Holy Spirit. A worldly, money loving preacher will produce worldly, money loving followers. A spiritual, God loving preacher will produce spiritual, God loving Christians.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Gal 5:24
Those are not all, but some of the major characteristics of a spiritual man or woman. Even with the presence of signs and wonders which are believed to be from God, a false teacher will characteristically produce worldly and carnal Christians who often stay stuck in sin. They will not be producing holy and spiritual Christians. They can be among the most zealous and charming or charismatic believers and honor God much with their lips, but their hearts and actions give them away.
Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Mat 7:17-20
Fifteen minutes after writing past this part of the book, I took a break to check my email and received this email, which is another perfect example of the point I am making. Let’s read and see if we can discern the type of fruit that is being produced here.
Message: Hey Mike , my name is Daniel I'm 24 years old, I surrendered my life to Christ and his will about June 3-4. I been living like a fake follower wanting God but doing my own will. Following the ways of men, there's a lot more that I can say about what I’ve been through as a kid, but now I can say I see that God has allowed all this to happen in order for me to be broken and fixed by him and to truly see who I am before God. The day I truly surrendered I was so frustrated with the way I was, so a thought came across my mind to type in the words on google search "how do I surrender to God when I don't want to". At this point in my life I was enjoying sin and at the same time hating it because I felt I was under Gods wrath and it was a sucky way to live every day. Then one of your videos was recommended so I listened to it and the Holy Spirit started to give me understanding and a revelation that came to me such that I fully surrendered the next day. I am now completely free from all addictions that I was in. I'm on about day 44 on your john 7:17 challenge. It's been really helping me. Thank you so much.
Unlike the visible parlor tricks of the devil, all external visible grace from the Father has its aim, under the New Covenant, to produce that which is most pleasing to God, an internal faith and righteousness in the heart called Holiness. Any external visible grace in a believer’s life which does not lead to the changing of the heart, is either a counterfeit of Satan, or a true grace which has been squandered or trampled.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. (12) It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, - Tit 2:11-12
It is good that we ponder and marvel at God’s wondrous deeds but please remember this important principle. The most important part of my story to God, is not the astonishing wonders and visible outcomes. Those are only the visible proof of a greater internal grace. They are the rewards, the stamps of approval from Father, on the steadfast faith that was walked out in private, in my heart, along the way.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
And remember, do not covet the experiences of others. God knows what each of us need, and apportions His grace just as He sees fit (Ephesians 4:7). There are people everywhere who are walking in the same amount of His internal grace, if not more, than I am, yet they may have never seen the amount of visible grace you will see in this story. They are loved just the same if they are humbling obeying His words!
His incredible grace in my life is primarily in direct proportion to the massive amount of weakness I faced in my journey to fullness in Christ. Indeed, where the enemy came in like a flood, God raised up a standard against Him and where weakness and sin abounded in my life, you will see that grace abounded all the more. We serve a powerful, faithful, merciful, and loving Father. Thank you so much Abba!
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (10) That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10