Highly Esteemed by Men
Carefully choose whom you will serve, God or man, because the rewards are life and death. Do you know whom you are serving? Are you praising man or God? Can you tell the difference? Here is the cautionary tale of a very successful minister of men, from which you may learn the difference, if God grants it to you.
“Daugherty was one of America’s best-known charismatic pastors, preaching an upbeat and sometimes controversial message that Jesus came to bring spiritual, emotional and physical healing, and blessing and prosperity to mankind.” – Tulsa World, November 23, 2009; Obituary for Billy Joe Daugherty, dead at age 57 of lymphoma.
I had never heard of Billy Joe Daugherty until a couple days after he died. A new customer of our health business told me how upsetting and perplexing it was that her pastor, Billy Joe, a famous and well-loved “man of God” who founded Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute, and Victory World Missions Training Center, had so suddenly died of cancer at such a young age. “Thousands of us were praying for him day and night, but he died anyway. Well, I guess we will never know or understand some things.” She giggled awkwardly after saying this.
“On the contrary,” I told her, “we can and do know many things in this life, if God has opened our eyes and quickened us to see. That is the believer’s inheritance in the Lord, when we know Him and walk in His ways by faith. And we have His sure promise regarding health and disease.”
I quoted the familiar Scripture:
“If with all your heart you will give attention to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His eyes, giving ear to His orders and keeping His laws, I will not put on you any of the diseases which I put on the Egyptians: for I am the Lord your Life-Giver” (Exodus 15:26 BBE).
“Things were not right there with Billy Joe being taken before his time by cancer, especially as one professing to not only follow, but represent, the Lord and to teach others about Him.”
To this my perplexed friend had nothing to say except brief acknowledgement that there was no valid argument against the point I made.
If God and the Bible are true, then Billy Joe was not following Him, because it is plainly written that He is all powerful and keeps His Word, and His Word says He keeps those who keep It.
Otherwise, if Billy Joe was faithfully following the God of the Bible, then God is not true, because Billy Joe died contrary to His promise. One would have to be a fool to follow Billy Joe either way.
But we know that it is God Who is true and Billy Joe who is not true. We are sure that God keeps His Word, as proven by the many saints recorded in the Scriptures, and by the Word Himself, Jesus Christ, Who is God come in the flesh to demonstrate His truth and faithfulness. By His grace, we have received His testimony and testify that He is indeed faithful and true.
So what was going on with Billy Joe? The woman I talked to could not comprehend how such a sincere and nice man was not a servant of God. Thousands, if not millions, of others also attest to Billy Joe’s loving attitude, commending him as a faithful pastor and leader. They loved him dearly. Isn’t this the love of God and proof of His work?
In a word, no. Jesus said that even sinners loved those who loved them. This is the love He declared was of God:
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him” (John 14:21 MKJV).
The proof of this love is in the motive behind the action, which comes from the hidden heart. If one has discernment and knowledge in the things of God, he can see these things, but Jesus also said that the tree would be known by its fruit. While the motive may be hidden for a time, the fruit eventually forms in the open for all to see.
An early death by cancer is not the fruit of one loved by God. It is the fruit of disobedience in the one professing to love God. The one who died had taken the Name of God in vain, because God says that His people will not die that way.
In this case the dead man was deceived and deceiving. He preached healing, but he did not obey the Healer and was not able to seek and find Him when his catastrophe came. He loved men, whose minister he was, but he did not love God, Whose minister he was not. If he had loved God, he would have heard what God says by faith and would have obeyed by grace, thereby receiving the promises of God for his health, besides the salvation of his soul.
The love of God never fails. The love that presumes to be His, yet fails, be it ever so sincere and convincing, is deceitful and untrue. Where does this false love come from? There are only two righteousnesses. If the one professing the love of God manifests evil fruits, it is because he walks in his own righteousness and not God’s. False love comes from man.
That explains Billy Joe Daugherty, a zealous worker with winning ways by which he gathered many people to himself and to his “Jesus,” which was another Jesus of the kind the apostle Paul warned about. Billy Joe preached another gospel, coming in the power of false love and deceiving those given over to strong delusion. Here is what a son-in-law said about him:
“His entire life was about one thing, loving God, and out of that love, he loved people. We will continue in his legacy, loving people.”
This false religious love is the greatest of lies believed by men in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read everything you can about it – False Love – Satan’s Last Stronghold – and pray that your eyes may be opened. Flee fornication and spiritual adultery.
Why should it be any surprise that Satan has made such a big thing of love, when he is the counterfeiter masquerading as an angel of light? We know that God is both light and love, so it is natural that Satan would take on both attributes in grand fashion, as do his ministers:
“For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. Did not even Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light? Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 MKJV).
Satan can manifest many impressive things. He can do great signs and wonders and preach many truths, but he cannot lead you to take up the cross and receive the resurrection life of Christ, which is exactly what those who believe and follow Him do and have through His gift of faith, empowering them to overcome the devil.
Daugherty’s statement of faith is a denial of the salvation of Christ through the cross. It doesn’t come out and say it directly in those words, but it says it nevertheless, beginning with words of faith that Billy Joe lacked the reality of, manifested by his death:
“We believe that deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.
(Isa. 53:4, Matt. 8:16-17, Mark 16:18, John 5:6-14, 1 Peter 2:24)”
And here’s why it didn’t work for him – the last item of his statement (our emphasis added):
“We believe in the imminent and personal return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(1 Thess. 4:13-18, Rev. 22:20, John 14:3)”
How can the Lord save you if He is not presently with you? Of course they will say He is, but if so, why so much emphasis on a return? Why the unfulfilled promise of healing if He is present? Is it not obvious by the results Billy Joe experienced that the Lord was not there as they had hoped? Is the problem that the Lord must physically return before all can be made well, or is it that they have nothing to do with Him and He is not there as He promises with those who believe?
“And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20 MKJV).
Satan’s gospel puts Christ in the past and in the future, anywhere out of reach presently. The Lord is always coming soon, but never here NOW! Oh yes, these false teachers will preach up a storm about Him being a present help, just as the prophets of Baal jumped up and down on the altar, calling on their no-show god to perform. Neither were they delivered.
John 14:3, given as proof text of the Lord’s imminent return, actually speaks of what was fulfilled at Pentecost and is still in effect for every believer that receives Christ by faith and is baptized in His Spirit:
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3 MKJV).
We who are baptized and crucified with Christ are with Him, and He is with us – that is the whole point of His appearing to us!
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3 MKJV).
“But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved), and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6 MKJV).
There are no plagues of Egypt at the throne of God.
If what Billy Joe Daugherty has is “victory,” what is defeat? Victory Christian Center calls his death the “ultimate healing by entering into the presence of God.” How is that for putting a happy face on the tragic consequences of sin? What this man lacked in life – the presence of God – death, the last enemy, does not bequeath him. To present it as otherwise is sin itself.
And what Billy Joe didn’t have he couldn’t give to others. What he did give was the equivalent of Dream Whip from a can. It is white, it looks good (some even think it tastes good), but it is toxic imitation food. It puffs itself up and spreads its empty calories over great areas. It is the whited sepulchers of Pharisees who whitewash the wages of sin, which is death, turning them into a magnificent monument to their presumed faith in God. How deceitful are the hearts of men!
“Signs and wonders follow their ministry,” they said of Billy Joe and his wife. The greatest wonder is how men follow these false teachers into death and hell in the Name of Christ. Those who continue blindly and mindlessly to follow Billy Joe in his doctrine, organization, and works will suffer the same fate – both fall into the same ditch.
For more on how to know a false teacher and whether you are in the way of Christ, read The True Marks of a Cult and Is Your Profession of Faith Vain, Christian? And for a good look at many of the false teachings in the manmade church system, read Diabolical Doctrines.
Our conversations with those who try to defend Billy Joe Daugherty:
A reader takes us to task for saying that God takes care of His children. Imagine that! And those like Billy Joe Daugherty, who preach deliverance and healing but die without either, are frauds, pure and simple.
An indignant passerby assaults us for applying the Word of God to the one she calls “His anointed.” We will have to answer for our words someday, she waggles her forefinger at us. Yet she is unable to answer for her own words when confronted with the truth, including the report of one believer who was delivered from confusion and doubt by our report of Billy Joe.