Guest Authors: Richard Martin and Brad Holda
Chorus Shhhh….. be careful little ears what you hear be careful little ears what you hear be careful little ears what you hear be careful little ears what you hear The Father up above is looking down in love so be careful little ears what you hear… be careful little ears what you hear be careful little ears what you hear The Father up above is looking down in love so be careful little ears what you hear… VERSE 1 (Richard Martin) Fake shepherds equal spiritual drought I’m praying you find out by the end of this song what I’m talking about B-Rad and I we callin' 'em out Hope to turn you around We do it in love 'cuz we want you to sprout! They never wanted Jesus In the last days they want Caesar THEY SAY “imagine dragons” to be a believer But I say imagine JESUS Yeshua The one that can do - uh What he say he will, the truth yup! So between us listen to my thesis Spittin love cuz he frees us! (preach) Send us your money today houses cars money and fame But These ain’t coming your way Go away, deceptive snakes TD Jakes and KANYE! False prophets love profits Souls burn while they deposit Kill the poor to make pop hits Itching ears can’t accept what they don’t understand you hear? Let me grab a 60 inch tv to help expand THE PICTURE HERE ! ! ! Itching ears follow KENNETH Copeland Itching ears follow the Pope and ITCHING EARS follow Joel Osteen! Itching ears LOVE boasting… CHORUS VERSE 2 (Brad Holda) Furtick, I’m sorry, Pastor Steven Everyone stand … you only a mortal man… Don’t tell the members that or I’ll be banned You preaching heresy from the pulpit, can’t watch it, now I see why others mock it, we ain’t puppets. Every move methodical thinking you unstoppable…gotta stop it bro Elevation all about numbers Members sit and get becoming spiritual dumber, numba Driving hummers it’s a bummer while souls crave for hunger It’s senseless, bringing dollars and senses Spend a quarter million on paint, can’t forget china rain… Drivin me insane going to the brain thinking you a genius mane, but you ain’t Must confess it…seems refreshing but you lost sight of the mission, forgetting the hearts condition and Jesus the Great Physician No theology… just a motivational message you see… Dishonestly, promoting falsehood and peculiarity (preach!) 90% of your message is about me… king Steven…preaching…moralistic therapeutic theism, now listen… Jesus is Lamb, He’s also a Lion where’s that in the message? The gospel that saves alive today what our souls crave becoming like James Clutchin to the world's ways, misjudging… Jesus ain’t bluffin, now you say I’m judging… Must be buggin, this is nothing but lovin I’m talkin real love, not some zimzum you fell like Rob Bell man, you messin with the wrong one…
The Article: What Does it Mean to Have “Itching Ears?”
By Richard Martin
Many Christians are likely familiar with the phrase, “itching ears.” But what exactly does that mean in the context of scripture as it relates to the modern church?
When writing to a younger minister named Timothy, Paul warns that there will be a time when the church will,
turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned aside to fables2 Tim. 4:4
After Jesus’ ascension into heaven, we read in the New Testament about false teachers who came into the church to turn people away from the faith.
It should come as no surprise to us that from the very onset of the early church, “tares” (i.e. false Christians) were already being planted alongside the wheat (see Matt. 13:24-30).
For this reason, Paul warns young Timothy that doctrine will be perverted:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their2 Timothy 2:3-5, NKJV
own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you
be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your
All false teachers share one thing in common: fraudulent and destructive doctrines.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardlyMatthew 7:15, ESV
are ravenous wolves.
Peter also warns the early church about looming apostasy (i.e. people falling away from the faith) that would stem from false teaching:
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers2 Peter 2:1
among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who
bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
Allured By Lust
But Peter goes further to explain how such deception happens:
For when they [false teachers] speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.2 Peter 2:18
Did you catch that last part? The key words are “the lusts of the flesh.”
All sin originates from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (see 1 John 2:16).
To have itching ears means to be lured away from Christ by one or all three of these.
In other words, many believers in Jesus Christ will be led away by their lusts and attracted to false teachings because
they don’t want to hear the whole truth of God’s Word.
For example, those with itching ears don’t want to hear that God would ever hold anyone accountable for their sins and
cast unrepentant souls into hell. This example is known as the hyper-grace gospel.
Another example is the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel appeals to the lust of the flesh in promising earthly health and wealth to “Christians”, especially when you donate to a prosperity-gospel church or ministry.
You can see why Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:4-5, Luke 21:8, and Mark 13:5-6 to,
not be deceived; many will come in my name.”
The Lust of Money
The truth is that many have come in the name of Jesus Christ and have traded the true gospel–which is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone–for a false gospel that makes them money.
Sadly, this shouldn’t surprise us:
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 sorrows(1 Timothy 6:10, ESV).
Money and power are clearly the end goal of many of these false teachers.
The Lord through Peter warns:
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not(2 Peter 2:3, KJV)
I enjoy reading various Bible translations, and I believe the KJV of 2 Peter 2:3 perfectly encapsulates one of the things I have seen in such false teachers: making and selling church merchandise.
For instance, I know of a local pastor who spent countless dollars to promote a music album, of which he was the main feature. He sold various items, including notebooks, hoodies, and his album release. The sad part was that the hoodies were sold to inner-city people, typically from the poorest neighborhoods in America, and each hoodie cost $70.
In other words, this pastor was making “merchandise of people.”
In my opinion, the most glaring sign of false preachers is how much wealth they amass and keep for themselves.
Here is a top ten list of some of the wealthiest pastors in the world (sources: Money, Inc, “The 10 Richest Pastors in the World” and “How Steven Furtick Achieved a Net Worth of $60 Million”):
- Kenneth Copeland – Net Worth $760 Million
- Thomas Dexter (“T.D.” Jakes) – Net Worth $150 Million
- Ayo Oritsejafor – $120 Million
- Emmanuel Makandiwa – $100 Million
- Pat Robertson – $100 Million (close friends with Kenneth Copeland)
- Steven Furtick – $60 Million
- Chris Oyakhilome – $50 Million
- Benny Hinn – $42 Million
- Joel Osteen – $40 Million
- Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye – $39 Million
One honorable mention is Creflo Dollar – $27 million. You read that last name correctly. His last name is “Dollar.” You literally cannot make this up.
Pastors who accumulate such high amounts of wealth and store it reminds me of Jesus’ parable about the rich man who stored wealth but lost his soul because he was, “not rich toward God,” (Luke 12:16-37).
These pastors also all teach and preach very concerning doctrines, including various versions of the prosperity gospel.
Sadly, these are just a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of false preachers today.
The Lust of Power
Additionally, there have been tragically well-publicized moral failings of prominent pastors, as well. Such pastors have given into the temptation of being self-serving and their moral compromise has sadly led others astray.
A few examples include:
- Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek, who resigned in April 2018 after allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power.
- James MacDonald, the founding pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, was fired in February 2019 for creating a culture of fear
and intimidation and for enabling financial mismanagement.
- Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong East Coast, was let go in November 2020 for “moral failures,” including an
adulterous affair, and is now accused of sexual abuse.
Stories like these bring sadness to my heart. Such leaders harm people, but most of all, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
These examples should also cause us to examine our hearts each day.
The world we find ourselves in is a world where good is called evil, and evil is called good (Isaiah 5:20).
The result of such atrocities within the church is a lukewarm Christianity that Christ warns us about in Revelation 3:16 (ESV) when speaking directly to the Laodicean church:
So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my
The issue here is two-sided. On the one hand, you have false preachers who satisfy itching ears by preaching only the niceties of God’s Word while obscuring the rest, but on the other hand, you have those who have itching ears who do not read God’s Word (by their own doing) and become led astray.
Why is it important for believers to discern false prophets and warn against them?
Because the Word of God instructs us to be on guard against false preachers and those who, “come in my name, saying I am Christ; and will deceive many” (Matt 24:5, KJV).
We are to examine each person so that false doctrines contrived by men do not deceive us. The central theme when looking out for false preachers is that we do not become deceived. We are to warn against and also reprove falsehood. Here are some additional scriptures to consider:
- “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions” (1 Timothy 1:3-7, ESV).
- “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1, ESV).
- “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8, ESV).
- “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve” (Romans 16:18, ESV).
The best thing we can do as true believers in Christ is to stay rooted and grounded in God’s Word so that we, too, are not led astray. Because, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).
Now, suppose you read this and attend a church with a questionable doctrine – maybe your pastor is listed above OR you subscribe/follow him or his teachings. In that case, you should first go to scripture to read about God’s true character for yourself and compare that against one or all of these false preachers. The Bereans are famous for doing this in the book of Acts when Paul preached to them.
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue. 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 17:10-11, ESV)
You’ll notice they were willing to hear new things from Paul out. They weren’t closed-minded to learning from others (even things that would have been different than what they grew up with). However, they didn’t stop there. They went on to examine the Scriptures daily to see what was true or not.
If you’re still confused or need help, contact us, and we will point you to a local church that teaches the true gospel of Jesus Christ. May God bless you and keep you all. Amen.