After looking at some of the more popular ministries of “Churchywood”, I am almost convinced that the American church is suffering from an epidemic that continues to spread among members across the country. I call this illness “The 10 Spy Syndrome”. Most of us who have read the Bible a time or two are familiar with the story of Moses sending out the twelve spies to spy out the land of Canaan as they were going into the Promised Land. In the book of Numbers, chapter 13, there you will find the story, and a list of the names of the men that were selected by Moses to go and spy the land and return with a report of their findings.
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send men to explore Canaan, which I’m giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of their ancestors’ tribes.”
3 So at the Lord’s command, Moses sent these men from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
4 These are their names:
5 Shaphat, son of Hori, from the tribe of Simeon;
6 Caleb, son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah;
7 Igal, son of Joseph, from the tribe of Issachar;
8 Hoshea, son of Nun, from the tribe of Ephraim;
9 Palti, son of Raphu, from the tribe of Benjamin;
10 Gaddiel, son of Sodi, from the tribe of Zebulun;
11 Gaddi, son of Susi, from the tribe of Joseph (that is, the tribe of Manasseh);
12 Ammiel, son of Gemalli, from the tribe of Dan;
13 Sethur, son of Michael, from the tribe of Asher;
14 Nahbi, son of Vophsi, from the tribe of Naphtali;
15 Geuel, son of Machi, from the tribe of Gad.
16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. But Moses gave Hoshea, son of Nun, the name Joshua.
During your leisure time, I would admonish you to look up the Hebrew definitions of the names of all of these that were selected by Moses to travel as spies to the land of Canaan. I want to fast forward in the story as I hope most of you are familiar with the story and upon the returning of the spies to the camp of Israel, ten of these spies, though they actually brought back evidence of the fruit of the land (Numbers 11:23) As the spies give their report to Moses and the congregation, they are definite in their assessment that the land flowed with milk and honey as promised by God, and implies that everything that had been declared by God was so, however, because of the enemy that was there, they felt as though they could not conquer the land. Caleb, whose name means “dog” stills the people and reassures them that they could indeed have what was promised by God. BUT:
31 1 But the men that went up with him said, We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.
Because the “ten spies” brought up an evil report, in chapter 14 of Numbers verse number one states, “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.”
At this point I want to again encourage you to look at the names of those ten spies who went up with Joshua and Caleb to spy the land out! Pay close attention to what their names meant, knowing that the children of Israel didn’t name their children haphazardly but with purpose based on the character of that child.
These ten were able to use the power of influence and convince an entire nation to go against the plan of God, why because of their status! Again, you will have to research the meaning of those names. I really don’t want to give those out as I hope you will do the research yourself.
Just as those ten spies were able to use their influence and their status to convince the “church” (Israel) to go against the plan of God and take immediate possession of what was promised, so it is today that we have so many people glued into the personalities and status of many people who may have messages, but not THE WORD!
We are sadly at a time in Christianity in which very little is discerned by members, very little questioned by parishioners, and very little tested by the Spirit of God. Just recently I awoke out of my sleep and tuned in on the Word Network and behold an “apostle” was marketing “anointed socks”! ANOINTED SOCKS!!!! I guess once the socks are slipped onto the wearer, it causes one to walk in true righteousness and purpose? Sadly, many will give into the gimmicks and the cons of many so called preachers and personalities, not because they have a WORD! Not because they are working authentic miracles! Not because they are even in tune with God, but simply because of their personality!
With the invention and popularity of social media, many are exposed to more people than their local congregations now. We have world wide platforms from our living rooms! We can host conference calls from our automobiles. We can broadcast radio shows to the world from our computers. With this exposure, there is also a growing awareness of error that many teach both ignorantly and surprisingly with knowledge. When known error is challenged or brought to the light my the “normal folk”, many followers of the “prestigious elite” will come running to the rescue of their favorite heroes without examining even the content of what they present. The gauge in Christianity now is not SOUND DOCTRINE, BUT TWITTER FOLLOWERS! The gauge is not holiness any longer, BUT HOW MANY LIKES one has on Facebook!
The sad reality, most of the prestigious elite are aware that their “anointing” is based on their influence, thus the more people that speak well of them, the more influential they can be. Promiscuity, misappropriation of God’s money, wretched lifestyles are of little importance as long as they are liked by the masses, so they continue to do ungodly things knowing that their “fan base” will overlook it.
The even more sad reality is that there is a “different spirit” that is speaking through the likes of Joshua and Caleb who tried to still the Children of Israel and reassure them of the TRUE WORD AND PROMISE OF GOD, but those “popular preachers’ were able to seduce the entire congregation with their influence and cause them to miss out on one of the greatest moments in their lives.
Who are you listening too, and most importantly why are you listening? Close to a million “church members” listened to ten “top preachers” of their day and missed a move of God because they were not willing to hear the words of “nobodys”.
Just because you aren’t happy with the package that it is being wrapped in, doesn’t mean that its not God.
Beware of the 10 spy syndrome!