TRY THE SPIRITS

1 John 4:1


by James E. Farley

Back when Oral Roberts was trying to raise $8 million to save his life, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail about it all. Remember Roberts said that the Lord had told him to raise the $8 million for his hospital, or the Lord would take his life! I said in my letter to the editor, "Letís just not send it and see if he dies." I based my statement on I John 4:1 and other passages. We are commanded to "try the spirits" to see whether or not they are from God. Matthew 7:15-20 says that we will know false prophets by their fruits. And Deuteronomy 18:22 states clearly, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, not come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."

When I said that in my letter to the editors of those papers, and gave the Scripture references for people to look up and read, I still received a good bit of "flack" over it. One lady from Charleston, West Virginia wrote to me saying, "Shame on you for picking on such a nice man like Oral Roberts." I wondered then how much money she sent to him to keep him alive.

Oral Roberts has proven to be one of the biggest charlatans alive! He has been proven to be a liar and a fraud. He, and all like him, must be marked as such! During the same time period as when he was begging for the $8 million, Roberts publicly claimed that he had raised people from the dead. He stood before about 5,000 people during a three day "Charismatic Bible Ministries Conference" and said, "I had to stop and go back in the crowd (at the sermon) and raise the dead person so I could go ahead with the service. That did increase my altar call (audience response) that night." This was all recorded in an Associated Press article from Tulsa, Okla., entitled, "ORAL ROBERTS SAYS HEíS RAISED THE DEAD, WILL HELP RULE EARTH." In the same article, Richard Roberts (Oralís son) said that he "recalled one instance in his boyhood when his father brought a child back to life."

This all reminds me of the story I was told while preaching in Boone County, WV. An old brother told me of a "Holiness" preacher coming to town and shouting out in his sermon, "I can speak in tongues, heal the sick and raise the dead . . . " The story goes on, saying that a member of the church of Christ walked up to him and asked if he had heard him right; could he really raise the dead? The preacher said, "Well . . . ummm . . . why yes, young man . . . the Lord has blessed me with that wonderful power." "Well," said the member of the church, "Thereís a grave yard just down the street here . . . Letís go down there and you can show us your handiwork." The preacher began to back up some . . . and complain that the young man was trying God. The young fellow said, "No preacher, Iím trying you as I am commanded to from I John 4:1. Now, letís go down there and you tell them to get up out of the grave and Iíll tell them to stay put, and letís see who they obey."

Well, such is a funny story for sure, but you know, it really does make the point, doesnít it? These guys making these bold claims need to be put to the test. Revealed Righteousness (Romans 1:16-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17) demands it! It is not always a pleasant thing to have to do . . . but we have to do it!

If you have questions or comments contact me at:
James E. Farley
P.O. Box 285
Crum, WV 25669
or Email me by clicking here

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