When all the elders of Israel came to Samuel at Ramah, they told him to appoint a king for them like all the nations.
Satan had already compromised their hearts: they were now no longer interested in being led by God and in fact had
rejected Him (1 Sam 8:7). Remember that Saul was a king FOR THE PEOPLE. I Samuel 8:19 says, ““…the people
refused to listen to the voice of Samuel. They said, “no, but there SHALL be a king over us that we also may BE LIKE
ALL THE NATIONS…”” In 8:22 of I Samuel the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen TO THEIR VOICE and appoint THEM a
king.” It is no wonder then that God gave them a man who according to I Samuel 9:2 was a “Choice and handsome
man and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up, he
was taller than any of the people.” God gave the elders an attractive man of considerable stature who would attract
the people and cause them to rally around him and the leadership of Israel. Saul in a sense became the bait the
elders dangled before the heretofore lethargic people of God. Saul would give them someone and something to be
excited about, and God’s people would proudly join in behind their impressive looking king to fight for the Lord. These
were shallow qualities to be sure, but they satisfied both the elders and the people. This superficial, fleshly attitude
characterized the people of God under Saul.

Even though God appointed and anointed Saul, the people really chose Saul for themselves. Samuel, speaking to the
people in I Samuel 12:13 say, “Now therefore here is the king whom YOU HAVE CHOSEN, whom YOU HAVE ASKED
FOR.” They chose a man who ended up being very much like themselves: shallow and mainly interested in the
material realm, one who valued material rewards and blessings, one who, when he wanted to get something difficult
done, offered these material rewards as an incentive. He did this because he considered the material to be of great
value, something great to strive for.

Even as the elders apparently wanted an attractive man of great stature to lead them as their king against their
enemies, so Saul made an attractive offer to anyone in Israel who would kill Goliath. When Saul wanted Goliath killed
he did not mention to the people the fact that the honor of God was at stake. He also did not point out to them the
spiritual difficulties they would experience if they were under the rule of the Philistines. He did not even arouse their
patriotic fervor. The best that he could do was to cover the gigantic hook (the task of slaying Goliath) with attractive
bait. I Samuel 17:25 says, “ will be that the king (Saul) will ENRICH the man who kills him (Goliath) with great
riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”

We Evangelicals and Charismatics make attractive offers to the flesh to get people to be on our side. In fact the
attractive allurements that we use have become part of our practical evangelism theology.
In Matthew 4:19 Jesus saw two fishermen, Simon Peter and Andrew, and uttered these words, “follow me Me and I
will make you fishers of men.” Their predominant occupation from now on, He infers, would not be to gather fish for
their own livelihood but to gather souls for the kingdom of God. If these men were construction workers, He probably
would have said, “Come follow Me and I will make you builders of My Church.”

In the twentieth century we took these words “fishers of men” to imply that we, as men and women of God, were to be
involved in the building of His kingdom and were to become good fishers of men in the Spirit. Accompanying this
notion of being good fishers of men in the Spirit is that we must choose the appropriate bait for the particular kind of
fish we are trying to catch for Jesus. This notion of course is completely unscriptural. The fishermen that Jesus called
to be disciples used nets not lines and bait. But no matter, we in the Church still think in terms of bait. If we are
dealing with businessmen, or even anyone who wants to get rich, we carefully and abundantly cover the gospel hook
with the material rewards that we suppose their hearts would most likely desire. We stress how the Lord will bless
their financial situations beyond what they could ask or think. If we are dealing with people who have been lured away
from our churches by the entertainment of the world, we will lure them back into our churches by presenting equally
enticing entertainment. Large churches often hire men who are entertaining preachers, not necessarily deeply
anointed men of God. Some of these men are very good storytellers, some are personable and some are extremely

In the first Great Awakening in England, George Whitfield was an entertaining preacher who would occasionally act
out portions of his sermons. He was naturally gifted in this area. The great difference between his preaching and the
preaching of those in the Saul Church is that his preaching convicted men of their sin. His abilities did not cause the
people to be drawn away from the Gospel message, but instead helped them to see Jesus much more clearly. Often
the Holy Spirit subsequently brought great comfort to those who mourned deeply for their sin. Whitfield’s dramatics
were not done so more people would come; more people were already there! Whitfield did not preach to please the
people, he preached to please God, and believed if he preached the whole counsel of God, that he could trust God to
save souls. His mission was to find the lost sheep of Israel and awaken hearts that God had touched. He correctly
understood that salvation is completely of the Lord and ultimately for Him, even more than for the people. The will of
the Lord was the issue in Whitfield’s preaching, even more than the needs or desires of the people. Once again, his
trust was completely in God to accomplish His ends and he NEVER shaped his messages to the desires of the people.

However, because the Saul Church believes that people are the issue, it MUST do everything it possibly can to bring
them into the church and relationship with Jesus Christ. The Saul Church feels that the ends do justify the means
because the issue is so important. The issue is the salvation of souls and they believe that more people will come if
you have entertainers and attractions that will bring them to the meeting. Because of this you are more likely to get
decisions for Christ. They do not understand that the issue is to preach the whole counsel of God and tell people of
their lost and hopeless condition outside of the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself, spoke it very clearly when He
said, “My sheep hear My voice and they will follow Me wherever I go.” The issue is locating His lost sheep. His sheep
are identified as such because they want to hear ALL of His truth. They are not afraid of or offended by preaching that
exposes the depths of their impure motives or brings to light their corrupt natures. When they hear the Gospel, they
eventually will come to know their true motives and their true nature. But, they will also recognize that the blood of
Jesus Christ is sufficient for their cleansing of sin and forgiveness. Most importantly, they will be truly born again into
His kingdom and have a new nature to cope with the world the flesh and the devil. They also will have new natures to
love God with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength. Once again, because we fail to trust God’s ways, and
honestly believe that we must “get the people in” we frustrate the grace and the power of God even as Israel
frustrated God’s purposes when they chose a king so they could be like the nations.

To “get the people in” we must use bait that will attract them. We’ve used magicians as bait, musicians as bait, acting
groups as bait, body builders as bait, Miss Americas as bait, pot lucks as bait, and beach parties as bait. We have
used everything we could think of to attract the seekers into our churches or meetings.
In the late 1980’s the Church coined the phrase “seeker sensitive.” Churches strove to be attractive to the people in
their area. Churches took polls regarding what made these people happy. They constructed their services and
activities and even doctrines to accommodate the spoken or written desires of the seekers. They recognized that in
many cases, the people wanted short teaching and preaching. They found that counseling classes based on a
mixture of the Bible and secular psychology fit their desires much more than classes that dealt exclusively with the
Scriptures. Even when they dealt exclusively with the Scriptures they found out that some portions of Scripture were
more attractive than other portions of Scripture. Teachings on end-time events were particularly attractive. They
played on the carnal curiosity and the desire of people to have special knowledge. End-time doctrines, that assured
or implied to the listener that the Church need not worry about tribulation, judgment or chastening has been
particularly popular. In Charismatic circles, many churches major on the gifts and ministries, partly because people
are more interested in learning how to be powerful than learning how to be pure and holy. Often, these classes will
use psychological profiling so that the students can learn what their gifts and ministries are. In these classes virtually
everyone is assured that they have a ministry and a number of supernatural gifts. This information is validated either
by the tests they take or the spiritual sensitivity of the teachers overseeing the classes. The problem is that often the
anointing of God is COMPLETELY absent, and because of this, virtually NOTHING occurs. However, these classes
remain popular and when those who have been told that they have the gift of prophecy speak words that seldom
come to pass, nobody notices or comments because they have taught that it is wrong to judge others.

We have done our best to attract every type of individual that we have been able to think of. Our fishing techniques
have become quite good. Unfortunately however, we are now involved in a most dangerous game that is offensive to
God. We have actually become so bold that we use the Word of God in a deceptive manner. In our teaching and
preaching we edit the Word of God in such a way that the sharp barb of the cost of discipleship is virtually unknown to
people who come to our gatherings. Discipleship has become an option for those “who want more from God.” No
longer is discipleship a necessity in the Saul Church even though the requirement is stated in Scripture. One example
of this is Luke 9:23-25 where Jesus says, ““If ANY ONE wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up
his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake,
he is the one who shall save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself
(KJV uses the phrase “his own soul”).” It is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, as spoken from the lips of our Savior
Himself, that we take up our cross daily and DENY ourselves.

In many churches, we are ALWAYS told to count the blessings that God gives us. However, we are virtually NEVER
told to count the cost of being a Christian. Luke 14:28-33 says, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a
tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise when he has
laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘this man began to build and
was not able to finish.’ Or what king when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and
consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty
thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none
of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

In many cases our editing techniques have either miniaturized, or removed entirely, the ugly hook of the Cross of
Jesus Christ. We are not told many of the facts. We are not told that the wrath of God abides on disobedient
unbelievers. John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not
see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

We are not told that we are to FEAR God. Typically we are told that to fear God means merely to respect, reverence,
or worship God. Matt 10:28 makes it very clear. Fear means Fear! This Scripture says, “FEAR Him who is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell.” In some cases, the word translated fear does mean reverence or worship.
However, in most cases the word fear means fear!

The fact that we are miserable, despicable, and entirely hopeless, outside of faith in the blood of Jesus for the
forgiveness and remission of our sins, is now largely omitted. Rom 3:10-18 clears up this issue, “THERE IS NONE

These facts are virtually buried and sometimes completely missing underneath the attractive bait of the Saul gospel of
Blessings. Some churches promise financial prosperity; others promise physical prosperity in healings of the body,
and still others promise psychological prosperity through “healing of the memories”, “inner healing” or teachings that
center on increasing your self-esteem. FEW demands are made on the people except perhaps regarding financial
prosperity. In this case the people are often strongly encouraged to give money to the church so they in turn can
become wealthy.

While the Saul gospel glamorizes the so-called positive elements of the Gospel, it virtually ignores many other so-
called negative aspects of the Gospel. It glamorizes, among others, God’s love for man, God’s abundant material
provision, and God’s desire and power to heal broken bodies and broken lives.
Regarding the negative aspects of the Gospel, the Saul Church does acknowledge God’s hatred for sin, but one of
their favorite non-existent Scriptures is “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” This church does not recognize that
God, in some cases, hates the sinner! The psalmist says in Psalm 5:5-6, “The boastful shall not stand before Thine
eyes; Thou doest hate all who do iniquity. Thou doest destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man
of bloodshed and deceit.”

It only gives slight attention to the fact that God has a terrible punishment for sin and the sinner. It is especially
unlikely to discuss the fact that God will punish His children who disobey continually. Heb 12:5-6 says, “My son, do
not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He
disciplines, and He SCOURGES every son whom He receives.”

The Saul Church also ignores the Scriptures that say that those who reject the true teachings of Scripture will be led
astray by false teachers and false prophets (Matt 7:15-20). Very seldom does the Saul Church teach that God will tell
some powerful and “successful” ministers who apparently function supernaturally, that they must depart from Him
because they were workers of iniquity. He then will declare that HE NEVER KNEW THEM (Matt 7:21-23).

Obviously these are serious mistakes that have misled many concerning who Jesus is and what is the true Gospel of
salvation. If we were to use their analogy of Jesus fishing for men, we would have to say that He used a hook with no
bait. You would have to say that the hook of the cross was very sharp, very ugly, and very visible. He made sure that
people knew the cost and the pain of the cross both to Himself and to all who would be His disciples. But, as people
were confronted by the sharp and ugly hook that He so clearly presented, they also saw with equal clarity The
Fisherman, Jesus Christ Himself. In fact this hook/cross revealed the greatest manifestation of love the universes
have ever known, clearly outlined on and in the cross - Jesus Christ experiencing death and torment in the place of a
totally undeserving and otherwise worthless humanity of believers.

To be sure God’s love IS attractive and very real. The same could be said for His material provision and His power to
heal. But the purpose is not for these things to be used as bait to attract the flesh, but as evidences of His great love
and infinite power. When we use these principles to attract the people without telling them the rest of the Gospel we
commit a spiritual crime. If they never encounter the true Gospel of Scripture, they will never be born again.

As a result we can make a clear distinction between a positive quality of the Gospel and mere bait. The positive
qualities of the Gospel are for the purpose of bringing glory to our Lord Jesus Christ and deliverance to His people.
When they are used to attract people to our meetings we are USING the Word of God in a most unscriptural manner.
We are speaking half-truths that ultimately can be more dangerous than no truth. Jesus NEVER healed anyone to
attract attention to His ministry. He did it to show the power and compassion of God and to relieve suffering. He did it
to bring glory to God. When Jesus fed the 5,000, He did not do that to bring the people in. They were already there!
In fact, when they made it evident that many were misunderstanding Him by wanting to make Him an earthly political
king (probably to lead them against the Romans) He withdrew Himself from them (John 6:15). The next day when they
found Him on the other side of the sea, He referred to Himself as the bread of life and He uttered the words that drove
the entire multitude away in confusion and disgust. John 6:53 says, ““Jesus said to them, “truly truly I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”” John 6:57-58 reads,
“As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.
This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died, he who eats this bread shall live
forever.” John 6:63-66 says, ““It is the Spirit who gives life: the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to
you are Spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who
they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said
to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His
disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “you do not want to
go away also do you?””

Jesus and the Church in the Book of Acts did not have any Specials. They did not have any famous personalities.
You do not read of one testimony by a famous gladiator or chariot driver in the entire Bible. When they had
fellowships it was not to “let the world know that Christians can have fun too!” They did not have the hidden agenda
of “if we don’t have parties and get-togethers the people will leave.” Their fellowships were for the purpose of getting
together and loving one another in the Lord and glorifying Him. The Church in the Book of Acts was absolutely BAIT

How many planning committees have made plans with ulterior motives? The leaders get together and say, “Let’s have
a fellowship to attract young people.” They are not solely concerned to have a fellowship so that FELLOWSHIP can
take place; they also are doing this for the purpose of ATTRACTING a crowd. Can you honestly find any place in
Scripture where Jesus or the disciples did ANYTHING for the purpose of ATTRACTING people to the Gospel? For
some reason, that never occurred. For some reason, these men never used ANY BAIT to attract ANYONE for ANY
REASON. The reason is really quite simple. It was not honest. Bait is a trick. It fools the fish into thinking something
else is happening. He thinks he is getting only food. But the fisherman knows the fish is getting something else. The
fish is getting hooked and will be used to accommodate the desires of the fisherman NOT the needs of the fish! The
Father does not stoop to draw anyone to His Son except by the Holy Spirit. The Father would not stoop to any kind of
deception, even if it were only momentary. He is not a man that He should misrepresent Himself. He is not a man that
He should lie. But we are deceptive individuals from a deceptive race. We are everyday influenced by the attractive
bait that television casts out every five minutes or so to those who watch. So we are already conditioned or have
been captive to a way of life that not only condones but also promotes deception. We are actually taught by our
churches to be afraid to be as simple as Jesus and His disciples. We are taught that we must have Something Else
Going to attract people to Jesus Christ. We MUST have “good” worship. We must have talented musicians or at the
very least, talented sound tracks.

New car ads which use sex in their ads to sell cars ALSO sell sex; the man who watches these ads is purposefully
tempted to associate the ownership of the new car with the implied fact that he will be more attractive to sexy girls if
he owns such a car. Unfortunately, these well thought-out ads have played a great role in changing our values about
sex. The ads, whether for autos or diet soda, have really sold us a permissive attitude about sex.

The same thing has happened in the Body of Christ. We have used entertainment, personalities, and material
enticements to attract people so we can get them to “accept Jesus.” What has really happened is we have attracted
and gotten people who have encountered Jesus impurely. They, like the television watchers who purchased both an
auto and a change in attitude about sex, have gotten more than Jesus. They have apparently received both Jesus
and the bait. And they will perceive Jesus as One who will supply a steady steam of enter-tainment, personalities and
material blessings. Tragically, these manipulative Saul fishermen have played a great role in changing our attitude
about Jesus Christ and His Word. The bait, whether it is entertainment or material enticements, has created a
sensual, self-pleasing, pleasure loving, deceptive Church.

We must understand fellowships are not bait, if they are held for the purpose of bringing people together to love God
and love each other. They become bait when used for ulterior motives. Movies are not bait if they are used solely to
teach a principle from the Word of God. A band or music group is not bait if it is at the church solely for the purpose of
giving God glory or encouraging people to worship and to love God more. If the dress is not self advertising, if the
music has NO INTENTION of pleasing or attracting the people to the musicians, and if the ministers have no desire to
fit into any worldly style of behavior, past or present, and if all is done without the hidden agenda of Attracting a
Crowd for Jesus, then the band or group or minister can truly present Jesus Christ for who He is.

We must flee from the bait and switch tactics of the world that we have used so “successfully” for so long. We must
flee the idea that we can bait them with entertainment and then switch them to Jesus. In the world bait and switch
techniques are illegal. In God’s economy, it is unlawful, unscriptural and unholy. Deception of any sort has NO PLACE
in the kingdom of God. You must understand, in I Samuel it was Satan who tempted the people of God with the
attractive notion that they could have an attractive flesh and blood king to be their leader. He lured the Israelites into
becoming a carnal powerless people that no longer placed God first.

Baiting the hook can be the first step in developing an attitude of “the ends justify the means.” The Saul Church feels
that virtually whatever it takes to get people saved or in their churches to hear about Jesus is justifiable. The
Scriptural reference point in defending the notion that bait is permissible is I Corinthians 9:22 which states, “....I have
become all things to all men that I may by ALL MEANS save some.” Obviously Paul did not mean that he would
become worldly for the purpose of saving men’s souls in the world. Obviously Paul did not mean that he would
compromise in any way. He would not sin to save sinners. He would not become effeminate to save the effeminate.
He would not become vain to save the vain. He would not become frivolous to save the frivolous. He would not
become a man pleaser and use any method that would draw attention to himself or the method he used. He would do
nothing that would dishonor or misrepresent the Person of Jesus Christ. With Jesus and Paul the means and the
ends were always the same. There was a consistency of holiness and love and separation from the world and its
ways and a dependence on God and His ways. The ends would become polluted by anything that would in any way
detract from the pure Gospel or bring attention to anyone or anything that was used as a vehicle for the Gospel. John
the Baptist made this clear when he said, “He must increase but I must decrease”, (John 3:30).

Anything that causes us to shift our attention away from Jesus Christ is wrong. Even the physical presence of Jesus
Christ Himself was not something that men would be naturally attracted to. Judas had to identify Him with a kiss when
His enemies came to take him away. Isaiah 53:2 CLEARLY settles the issue: “....He has no stately form that we
should look upon Him nor appearance that we should be ATTRACTED to Him.” God made it CLEAR. Who Jesus
Christ IS - is the issue - not what He appears to be.

Humor has become a part of many a preacher’s bait bag. We Americans particularly love a funny story. In fact, in a
Charismatic seminary homiletics class we were told the value and even the necessity of a humorous story to
introduce the message. Unfortunately the use of humor to awaken our congregations, or attract their attention or even
to get them to come to our services has in some cases become an end in itself. Often people go away just
remembering the jokes and forgetting the point of the sermon. Humor can be used but it must support and be in the
context of the point being made. It alone should never be the reason the people come to hear the preacher. Music can
be a great backdrop for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But music in and of itself, regardless of the style, should never be
the focal point. The Word of God and Worship of God must always be the focal point. When the people leave, if the
Word of God and Worship of God has been the focal point, they will be discussing God Himself and His Word. If
humor has been the focal point they will be discussing the jokes. If music has been the focal point they will be
discussing the music. If the dress of the preacher or the musicians has been the focal point, they will be discussing
the dress. And if the preacher or the musician is sensitive to God’s purpose, regardless of what his audience wants,
he will get rid of anything that detracts from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If the Rolex watch is what they discuss, he will
get a Timex. If the $800 suit he wears is what they talk about, he will get a $200 suit. If his purple spiked hair is what
they are talking about, he will change his hairstyle. Anything that causes the people to shift their attention from Jesus
Christ and Him crucified MUST GO! We must decrease, and He must increase. If the means of getting people to hear
about Jesus is the focus of attention then the people, if they do come to Jesus, will have double vision or blurred
vision. Scripture is clear about the danger of having blurred or double vision. Matthew 6:22-33 says, “The lamp of the
body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear (single, KJV), your whole body is full of light. But if your eye is bad,
(does not function properly) your whole body will be full of darkness....” We must be attracted to and depend only
upon Jesus. If there is any diversion we will experience visual, mental, and spiritual confusion, which, if not checked,
can lead to spiritual blindness (“your whole body will be full of darkness”).
Why then do we Charismatics and Evangelicals scrounge out of the earth all manner of bait? Why does the Saul
Church of our generation need ATTRACTIONS? Why do we need to edit Scripture so the people will not find it
unattractive? The answer is actually quite simple. It is twofold. First of all we LIKE to use bait because it is easier on
the flesh than REAL faith, obedience to the Word, prayer, and waiting on God. Secondly we believe that the world is
not offended by bait dug from the earth. When we use bait we feel they will treat us with more respect. When we
depend solely on preaching the full counsel of God, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and all its implications; when we
depend solely on GOD’S power to save by the preaching of the cross, we become a reproach and fools in the eyes of
the world.

Another reason we use bait, and this really is quite tragic, is because the Anointing of God has been gradually
disappearing from our churches. In fact the more we use bait the more the Anointing leaves. The more we depend
upon our FLESHLY abilities to bring people to Jesus Christ the less evident is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bait is not merely harmful; it is potentially deadly. If people don’t get through the bait to the Cross, they prove
themselves not to be His. If their attention continues to be centered on the bait, they prove themselves not to be His.
Even if they wander back and forth from Jesus Christ to the bait, they will experience the pain of the double-minded -
they will experience spiritual schizophrenia. Eventually they will be forced to choose one or the other. The
fishermen/preachers who use this bait to lure people into their churches and the kingdom of God must take another
look at their motives and, what is more important; they MUST take another look at Scripture. They must be jolted out
of the Saulish mentality, which says we need bigger and better methods to hook them in. The spirit of Scripture is
clear - the ends and the means of the Gospel are the same. They highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8) is the path to the
Holy One and His Holy Kingdom. The realm we are leaving is the realm of the world, the flesh (self), and the devil.
We renounce and reject this realm as we apprehend by faith the realm of the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, and
Jesus Christ Himself. To enter the realm of faith, hope and love we need faith, hope and love. To enter the realm of
purity we need to be pure. To enter the realm of the Spirit we need the POWER of the Spirit, repentance, faith in
Jesus Christ and Him Crucified, His Word, and the Power of His Resurrection. This is ALL we need for true salvation
to take place and true revival to occur.
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