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The Persecuted Church


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Pt.2 The seed of Faith that made BIG MONEY The Story and legacy of Oral Roberts

Roberts has frequently been on the Larry King show. Jan 31, 2002 on the Larry King Live program.

King asked Roberts to explain why people he prays for don’t get better? He said he can’t explain it, “I’m not a healer, ... I don’t know how to heal anybody, if the spirit of the Lord doesn’t come upon me, come down my arms in my right hand, I can’t do anything only God can heal.”

Even doctors will tell you they can’t heal, nobody can heal, something greater than a doctor …Surgery can make an adjustment where the person inside heals. He then said “surgery doesn’t heal, the body heals itself if its put in its proper position and surgery does that.

Larry King: What do you feel when you touch people?

Oral Roberts: “I feel the anointing I feel the presence of God its beyond my comp.. it comes down my arm into this and my hand is like I have touched a live wire feel nothing in this hand” Oral says, if he touched Larry with his left hand he’d feel nothing but if he used his right hand when the spirit is moving on me and you’d feel it go through you, and there’s no explanation for it, its just simply God chose to do it and somehow he selected me.”

Larry King: “You have been criticized for leading a pretty good lifestyle.” Oral-you’d better believe I had wished I had a better lifestyle. You mean having a lot of money and doing? I never had a lot of money…,

King asks “You have never been rich?”

Oral Roberts: Oh never in my life but I have nothing against it because as a preacher, listen to me Larry,.. if a preacher is downtrodden his needs are not met and he gets up to preach and his people are downtrodden how can he inspire them? Unless he has food for his family and clothes for his body a nice car to derive an nice home how can he stand up and inspire people who don’t have anything.

Larry King: But he shouldn’t be rich should he?

Oral Roberts: Well uh are you going to go against this Bible?”

Larry King: “well I’m not a,”

Roberts: Abraham, was rich, Isaac was rich, David gave a half a billion dollars to help build the temple in Jerusalem… Its how you use riches, now if the riches get a hold of you now…

Roberts claims he is not rich but he must have a different standard than John Q public.

Harrell, the author of Oral Robert’s biography writes:
"Roberts' two California homes, partly for security reasons, were not much discussed by the ministry. Oral also remained sensitive about press criticism of his lifestyle. His house in Palm Springs, purchased for $285,000 and financed by a Tulsa bank, was his only privately owned home. In 1982 ORU endowment funds were used to purchase a $2,400,000 house in a high-security development in Beverly Hills. Considered a potentially profitable investment, the house served as Oral's West Coast office and residence." (p. 355)
In 1981, the Associated Press published Roberts' personal income figures for the preceding five years--ranging from $70,000 in 1976 to $178,000 in 1978.
"In addition to his healthy income, derived mostly from book royalties, Oral continued to enjoy generous expense accounts: `The Roberts wear expensive clothes and jewelry and travel in a company-owned eight-passenger fanjet.'
Tax records indicate that Oral's partners donated in excess of $38,000,000 in the fiscal year 1977-78, "surpassing every other religious association in the nation." (p. 389)

In 1979 a book was published by Jerry Sholes, a former employee of Oral Robert ministries, exposed what he is really lives like:

"Here is a portrait of the real Oral Roberts, the man not too many of his admirers know. He dresses in Brioni suits that cost $500 to $1000; has $100 shoes; lives in a $250,000 house in Tulsa and has a million dollar home in Palm Springs; wears diamond rings and solid gold bracelets employees `airbrush' out of his publicity photos; drives $25,000 automobiles which are replaced every 6 months; flies around the country in a $2 million fanjet falcon; has membership, as does his son Richard, in `the most prestigious and elite country club in Tulsa,' the Southern Hills (the membership fee alone was $18,000 for each, with $130 monthly dues) and in `the ultra-posh Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California' (both father and son joined when memberships were $20,000 each--they are now $25,000); and plays games of financial hanky-panky that have made him and his family members independently wealthy (millionaires) for life. (When his daughter and son-in-law were killed, they left a $10 million estate!)" (Evangelist R.L. Sumner's review of Give Me that Prime- time Religion by Jerry Sholes)

Oral Roberts continued to earn $161,872 a year as a trustee.

Before the scandal of Richard Roberts (in 2007) many recognized names were part of ORU’s current officers and trustees (2006). The list is a word faith lineup- the regents are Jerry Savelle, Jesse Duplantis, Ulf Ekman, Peter Sumrall, Ralph Wilkerson, Karl Strader, Myles Munroe, Marilyn Hickey, Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee, Creflo dollar Jr. and Benny Hinn. Stephen Strang Founder of Charisma magazine and Founder and President, Strang Communications Company is on ORU’s Board of reference.

Richard Roberts’ salary in 2006 was $243,099 compensation was $132,000 along with $57,200. His wife Lindsey Roberts was $76,501. Oral Roberts is listed as chancellor with a salary of $39,040 with a compensation of $44,042.


More references to ORU- http://www.rickross.com/reference/oru/oru5.html

His son Richard Roberts became President of Oral Roberts University January 27, 1993. He then served as president until the recent scandal accusing him of improperly spent school money for home renovations, vacations and clothes. Richard bought a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay. A pending lawsuit alleges that the university paid for a $39,000 shopping bill at just one store for Richard Roberts's wife, a "$29,411 senior trip to the Bahamas on a university jet for one of the Roberts daughters, and a stable of horses for the Roberts children." (Where would Jesus jet? Washington Monthly,  Dec, 2007   by Charles Peters) (also the university was charged for 11 home renovation projects over 14 years, the couple claimed the walls and floors of their home had to be removed because of black mold.)

Charity Navigator is an online site that rates charitable organizations, gives ORU an overall rating of one star out of four. According to Charity Navigator, Richard earned $477,122 a year as president and CEO of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association. His wife Lindsay earned $196,818 a year as executive vice president. ("Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association" Charity Navigator October 2007. http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4272)

Richard resigned as president of the university from Oral Roberts University on October 17, 2007, amid a lawsuit filed against ORU by three professors who claim they were wrongfully dismissed. On 13 November the tenured faculty of Oral Roberts University "nearly unanimously" approved a nonbinding vote of no confidence in Richard Roberts. P, Faculty Opposes Oral Roberts President). This all was taking place while the university is some $54 million in debt, so it is understandable how people are angered by this.

Billy Joe Daugherty of Victory Christian Center was appointed Executive Regent of the Board of Regents and Interim President. January, 2009 ORU had selected a new president: Dr. Mark Rutland, president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.

So how does a ministry that teaches God always provides by faith and teaches seed- faith go into debt?

Even with the tens of millions of dollars in donations into the ministry each year, the over 5,000 students enrolled.

The 900 foot tall Jesus who appeared and spoke of the city of faith

Many may not have been around for the revelation scandal that Oral Roberts brought upon himself but it can hardly be forgotten. Even today the spirit lingers over the broken promises. In 1977 Oral claimed to have received a vision from God telling him to build the City of Faith. Later he claimed that he saw a 900 foot-tall Jesus who told him the vision will soon be realized, and that the hospital will be a success.

Oral's own words: "I felt an overwhelming holy presence all around me. When I opened my eyes, there He stood ... some 900 feet tall, looking at me ... He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600-foot-tall City of Faith. There I was face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. I have only seen Jesus once before, but here I was face to face with the King of kings. He reached down, put his Hands under the City of Faith, lifted it, and said to me, "See how easy it is for Me to lift it!" Oral said that his eyes filled with tears, and Jesus assured him that He would speak to the ministry's partners and that the City of Faith would be finished."

This is a big story and an even bigger Jesus. Like Hagin and others he associated with, he gets to see Jesus.

In 1983 Oral said Jesus appeared to him in person and commissioned him to find a cure for cancer (Richard N. Ostling, "A Family That Prays Together," Time, July 4, 1983, p. 38.) There has been no cure for cancer found at ORU. So then was Jesus mistaken? Lets see how this all played out.

Roberts vision--"He said to me: `Son, you cannot put the vision I have given you into a place where My full healing power is not freely accepted. It must not be in a place defeated by lack of faith in My miraculous power. You must build a new and different medical center for Me. The healing streams of prayer and medicine must merge through what I will have you build. ...

"There rising before me were the details of the buildings. Immediately I was led to read the two chapters in the Bible, Revelation 21,22. There I saw the City of God, the New Jerusalem, with its River of Life and its broad avenues. ...

"`I saw the City of God as a reflection of God himself bringing healing and health to those who entered there. Suddenly God gave me a new name for the Health Care and Research Center I am to build in His name.

"`You shall call it the City of Faith.'

"I thought my heart would burst with joy. The City of Faith. What a name! I knew only God could give a name like that to the Health Care and Research Center He wanted me to build.'"

God has built the city of God in heaven but tells Oral to build the city of Faith on earth, and people believed this big story.

God spoke to him and said, "I had you build the City of Faith large enough to capture the imagination of the entire world, about the merging of My healing streams of Prayer and Medicine. I did not want this revelation localized in Tulsa, however, and the time has come when I want this concept of merging My healing streams to be known to all people and to go into all future generations." So said God. Roberts said, "It is clearly in my spirit, as I have ever heard Him, the Lord gave me an impression, 'You and your partners have merged prayer and medicine for the entire world, for the Church World and for all generations.' And then He said, 'It is done.' And then I asked, 'Is that why after eight years you are having us close the hospital and after eleven years the medical school?' And God said, 'Yes, the mission has been accomplished in the same way that after three years of public ministry, my Son said on the cross, Father, it is finished!'"

Oral Roberts claims God told him the City of Faith is equated on the same level of importance as the finished work of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and his statement on the cross that “It is finished.” Apart from this not sounding like the God that inspired scripture, we have to face the obvious- it was a failure not a success, he did not find a cure for cancer so how can this be the same as Jesus’ overcoming sin on the cross?

Also we should note in God’s revelation to Oral: "about the merging of My healing streams of prayer and medicine. ..I want this concept of merging My healing streams to be known to all people and to go into all future generations."
(these same words merging My healing streams had been picked up and used by Rod Parsley and Todd Bentley and numerous others in the charismatic third wave movement.)

On their website only a portion of this story is posted, many of the details are left out for obvious reasons. “In 1981 Roberts founded the City of Faith Medical and Research Center to merge together the healing streams of prayer and medicine as God had revealed it to him. The City of Faith was in operation for eight years and closed in late 1989. The concept of primary patient care to treat the whole person—spirit, mind, and body” (http://www.oru.edu/university/campus/history/oral/)

Who would know the real story that brings repute to Oral Roberts University and testimony?

The real story is in the 1977 issue of Abundant Life. Oral spoke of his August '77 vision: "Suddenly God gave me a new name for the Health Care and Research Center I am to build in His name. You shall call it the City of Faith." Where is the lie? Coronet magazine in 1955 wrote about Oral's purchase of 175 acres of land in Tulsa for the purpose of erecting "The City of Faith." In May, 1956, an article in American magazine revealed that Oral had purchased a 175 acre site for $250,000 and there he intended to erect a whole City of Faith (from Give Me That Prime Time Religion by Jerry Sholes, p. 194).

Oral did build the "the Health Care and Research Center" (the City of Faith) in 1981. By 1986, the City of Faith was deep in debt, over $10 million dollars and eventually Oral heard from the Lord again "I want you to use the ORU medical school to put My medical presence in the earth. I want you to get this going in one year or I will call you home. It will cost $8 million and I want you to believe you can raise it."

Of course this is not how the Lord speaks but this is the same Jesus that Oral has been hearing from for years. Richard Roberts commented "...I believe we made a mistake...in organizing a clinic to go along with our hospital," “The City of Faith's non-profit hospital and research center will remain open” (USA Today, November 4, 1987).

“On January 4, 1987, Roberts launched his most notable campaign to date. Roberts told his followers that if he did not raise a total of 8 million dollars by March, God was going to take his life ... Comparing himself to the apostle Paul, Roberts begged not to let Satan defeat him. "God" he says, "clearly told me he needs me here on earth. And here's why -- because of all the ministries, this ministry is the only one God has on this earth that owns a medical school." ... Oral's son, Richard, took pen in hand to warn of his father's impending doom. Without "the additional $4,500.000." explains Richard, "God will not extend Dad's life" He then pleads, "Partner, we cannot let this man of God die. There is no reason for him to die."

Richard said: “When he (Oral) says God speaks to him, he’s not bluffing.” I feel totally called by God to do this….I’m writing to you as an anointed servant of God-doing what God has called me to do.”

Roberts closed his letter with -- Sending a seed-faith gift will not only enable you to "STOP SATAN IN HIS HATE TO BRING YOU DOWN," it will also "help you get your hundredfold return." (Roberts raised the money and did not die) (quoted in Christianity In Crisis, 1993, pp. 196-198).

“the evangelist claimed God would "call me home" if it could not be funded. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, January 29, 1988)

Walter Martin spoke up for the discerning church "When Oral Roberts says that God told him that he was going to take him home if he didn't get 8 million dollars, he lied to the public.” (Walter R. Martin "The Schismatic Sheep")

Why is this such a concern that God would call Oral home? And when does God give people a choice by coercion concerning money? The consolation prize, he got to stay.

Roberts raised $3.5 million but he needed another $4.5 million before March 31--or he would die!

Roberts said the Lord told him, "I would not have had you and your partners build the 20-story research tower unless I was going to give you a plan that will attack cancer." That Jesus instructed him to tell his partners that "this is not Oral Roberts asking [for the money] but their Lord." The project was completed, but has since been "shut down and sold to a group of investors for commercial development." And no cure for cancer was found. (Christianity In Crisis, 1993, pg. 31 citing Russell Chandler, "Talked with Jesus, Evangelist Says", The Los Angeles Times (3 February 1983), 3, 16 and Clark Morphew, "What's to become of Oral Roberts 'City Of Faith?'" St. Paul Pioneer Press (27 June 1992); reprinted in The Christian News (20 July 1992), 2.)

By April 1, 1987 Roberts raised over $9 million -- $1.1 million more than the 8 million needed. He then gave $1.3 million to a dog track owner.

November 1987: Roberts announced that the City of Faith medical clinic will close in three months. A few months later (1988) Roberts canceled the university’s free medical tuition program. There would be no medical school world outreach program. If Jesus had actually told Oral He would give him a cure for cancer it would have taken place. But this medical breakthrough did not take place none of the City of Faith doctors got the cure for cancer; the hospital is now closed down. The medical school and research facility are closed. So ended all the big stories from the Jesus Roberts said appeared to him.

Roberts did not hear Jesus instruct him, but what follows in denials made this even more twisted.

The year is 2002, Oral is on the Larry King show as he had been for so many times and Larry asks Oral the most awkward question “How about the most controversial time and you were on this program, during that time, I’ll never forget it back in 87, when you said you were going to die.

Oral Roberts: “I did not say that!”

Larry King: “help me I tried.. .

Oral Roberts: “this is 15 years ago. That’s what the media said I said, God never said that to me, I had the medical school which I raised up for medical missionaries and they were graduating and not going.”

I didn’t realize they had to borrow so much money that they had to go work some, and I was naïve and made a mistake..

Larry King: you said what?

Oral Roberts: We’re falling behind several million dollars and I didn’t know what to do, the Lord said I want you to raise that money write your friends and you partners and tell them you have to have money to get the medical students through.” Well I told them in the month of march and nothing happened the rest of the year, so I was faced with a crises and Dec 31 came and the lord spoke in my,.. I’m giving you 3 months and if you don’t do it your works done. I’m calling you home”

Larry King: So he was telling you, you would die”

Oral Roberts: but he didn’t tell he was going to kill me, God doesn’t go run around killing people.

Larry King: “He was going to call you home what does that mean?

Oral Roberts: Well it was great moment in my life…

King then runs the tape to Orals embarrassment “ if you and enough people will send me $100 immediately I need some very quick money, I mean I need it now I’m desperate to turn this around I need to turn it around enough so I know when march comes I won’t be taken I’ll get to live , my life will be extended.”

King then asks Roberts “that was a mistake?”

Oral Roberts: responds- no uh, uh, maybe I could have said it better because I’m a human being I’m not perfect… in retrospect I could have said it better but it was a crises time the medical students were dependent upon me the medical missionaries, there was only 400 medical doctors in the whole mission field of the entire earth is a half million in the US.

Larry King: did you raise the money

Oral Roberts: “oh yes right to the dime two days before the time was over the end of March”

Larry King: “There’s no doubt in your mind you have been called?”

Oral Roberts: No doubt in my mind I was sitting there prepared. So was my family.

Larry King: Because your not afraid of death?

Oral Roberts: Oh look, I’m destined for heaven, heavens my home.”

Well it didn’t sound so assuring when he was telling it 16 years ago. Roberts says God doesn’t kill people- but he is wrong- he does, it is called judgment. He did so in the flood, with Moses in Exod. 4:24 God sought to kill him because he had not circumcised his son.

Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land- God took him (Deut. 34:7). Num 26:61 And Nadab and Abihu died when they offered profane fire before the LORD. With Annaias and Sapphirra- there are many more examples. But this does not go well with Orals predilection from the Scripture on the nature of God being the great giver of everything that lives in the sky.

How Roberts spins this is bad and he has no excuse for this kind of cover up of his mistakes. Where’s the seed faith at work?

One of the more unforgettable times of seeing compromise was when Oral Roberts shared an interview on the Larry King live to talk about miracles with the promoter of A Course of Miracles, Marilyn Williamson. A course in Miracles contains an occult view of the world, which denies sin and Jesus Christ dying for sin among other things.

In the interview Roberts found more in common than not with her, agreeing that God does miracles. There was no correction of the book she promotes.

King asking Marriane Williamson about a man who had tuberculosis having God heal him

Marianne: "No I think he would have Moses parted the red sea without saying the name of Jesus Christ. So I believe theres power I don't believe the Christ part of me, I don't think any religion has a monopoly on the power of God." but the original, the god the father of Christ, the father of you etc. he or she performs the miracles? I think the most powerful words in the universe are God please help me, and I think many people don't know what words to use they just say if anything is up there please help me. and as soon as there is any consciousness of a higher power Gods not up there judging us for our language. Any, as soon as it breaks through the consciousness of a human being that there is a power higher than we are, I believe the sky is open.

Larry King:  turns to Oral Do you believe that too?

Oral Roberts: Well.

Larry King: or do you have to believe?

Oral “Well first of all is said theres a sovereign move of God that I certainly can't explain but in my case I had to believe."

Larry King: "what do you mean you had to believe or you know that? I know that I had to believe.

Marianne W turns to him and says this is a powerful healer and. ..

Larry King: surprised says “Oral Roberts?

Marianne W: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely and I have um, theres a line in the Course of Miracles that miracles arise from conviction Oral Roberts greatest gift is the power of his conviction so when you were talking about people who themselves are not so convinced when someone prays with you who is convinced . his greatest gift that he gives, and that’s why he has such power he is convinced. (so it doesn't come from God only conviction)

And I believe that is the priestly function the ministerial function

Larry King: Why does he have the power?

Marianne W: I believe that God touches, I feel there is a line many are called few are chosen. And I think really what it means everyone is called but few care to listen.

Oral Roberts: that was well said now larry she said something important.

Marianne W: thank you he was called he heard and he accepted the call.

Larry King: most think of miracles they think of cure of something don't they….

Oral Roberts had no correction for this woman, maybe because he finds agreement with her. After all, she is talking about his favorite subject, MIRACLES. But she has a completely different gospel and another Jesus. Come to think of it, so does Oral.

Roberts does not have to answer to those inside the church, so he and all the others that make these claims continue to get away with their incredible claims of miracles and distorted teachings. The church continues to trust them - they listen and obey like Pavlovs dogs did hoping for the reward.

Oral Roberts is 91years-old now (2008). While the University continues without Richard it also continues to spread the heretical word faith teachings that Oral had so cleverly extrapolated from the Scripture. Oral Roberts and family were pioneers to commercialize Christ’s miracles to the church. Money is not seed, faith is not seed- Giving money to a ministry does not give you favor with God. Faith and living out his commands by the Spirit gives us a walk in the grace of God. Seed-faith and the prosperity gospel are all contrary to this.

The legacy of Oral Roberts will be seen in his thousands of seed faith disciples who will continue to propagate the “give to get” blessing lie. This becomes abuse to those who are in a fragile situation looking for God to help them with healing and finances. The 8 million in 1987 may have kept Oral in ministry for a time but eventually he will stand before the Lord of heaven and earth to answer for these manipulations done to God’s people.

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