Scripture and You

Is It True That Moses Didn't Die?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
A "prosperity gospel" preacher didn't let Biblical facts get in the way of his "give-so-you'll-get" agenda.
From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

A "prosperity gospel" preacher didn't let Biblical facts get in the way of his "give-so-you'll-get" agenda.

On a recent ministry trip I flipped on the television set in my motel room, as I often do, to see what kind of preaching could be found on "Christian" television. I quickly came across a man who was basing his message on the proposition that Moses, like Enoch and Elijah, "did not see death."

A Slip of the Tongue?

I thought at first that this preacher might have simply made a mistake, and perhaps would correct himself. But he kept emphasizing the point over and over again, with increasing vehemence. He said the proof that Moses did not see death was his presence at Jesus' transfiguration along with Elijah (Matthew 17, Mark 9). Several men who were on the platform with him added their enthusiastic "Amens" each time he made the point that Moses did not die.

Scripture clearly tells us that Elijah did not see death, but was taken up into Heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). But Scripture just as clearly tells us that Moses did see death:

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. (Deuteronomy 34:5-6)

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them-the children of Israel. (Joshua 1:1-2)

Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 9)

Playing Fast and Loose With Scripture

Sad to say, playing fast and loose with the Word of God is commonplace on much of so-called "Christian" radio and television. This particular preacher is a proponent of the name-it-and-claim-it "prosperity gospel" that dominates cable and satellite television. He was preaching this falsehood on TBN, a "word of faith" network that is viewed around the world by an audience of over 100 million people. Hordes of them are being led stray by such charlatans.1

This man's false teaching about Moses merely served as a poorly-contrived lead-in to his real theme of the evening ?? that faith is a force, that your words release that force, and therefore you can speak your own reality into existence. You can demand things of God. One of the best ways you can release that force, he said, is to give your money to his ministry. And the more you give, the greater things you can demand from God as your rightful due.

Clearly, it doesn't matter to such men what the Bible actually says. False teachers will even twist or ignore pointed statements of fact in the pages of Scripture, if they get in the way of their agenda.

No One Is Immune From Deception

Sadder yet, growing numbers of people from solid churches are being led away into error by such teachings. Dear reader, don't ever say, "That can't happen to me." Let none of us think for one moment that we are immune from the wiles of the Devil. We must exercise discernment. We must, like the Bereans of Acts chapter 17, test everything we hear against the infallible Word of God. We must constantly be on our guard, just as Paul instructed the elders of the church at Ephesus when he left them for the last time:

And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:25-32)



  1. The program aired on the evening of March 2nd, 2011 at 11 P.M. U. S. Eastern time. I later tried to verify the name of the program and preacher on the Trinity Broadcasting Network website, but this particular program is missing from their extensive archives.

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