Volume 19 Number 4 July/August 2008
What Language Do You Speak?
Our spoken and written language is the most important aspect of our culture and identity as a people. In 1997 The Summer Institute of Linguistics noted that the Bible had been translated into 2,197 languages. The Ethnologue Institute has a detailed list of 6,809 distinct languages. In the U.S. we recognize what part of the country someone comes from by their accent. As an American traveling overseas, my ears always perk up when an American accent floats across a crowded airport (Americans seem to speak quite loudly, especially overseas). We identify one another by our language. Our knowledge of the spoken and the written word enables us to hear and understand each other.
Likewise, true knowledge is gained through understanding. Understanding comes through applying oneself to the Truth. Proverbs 24:5 states that: A man of knowledge increaseth strength.
The Word of God is the very fountain of all knowledge. The study thereof should be of utmost importance in the believer’s life. It will identify us as believers. Our knowledge of the Word will enable us to hear and understand His will for our lives.
The Language of the Redeemed
In I Peter 2:9 we are told that we are a peculiar people: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
This means that we have been set apart from the world. We are part of a different world than that which is around us. We speak a different language; it is the language of the Redeemed. True holiness before God is the daily goal of the true follower of Christ. I Peter 1:13&14 says: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.
The language of the redeemed binds us together even closer than the language of our native country.
It is because of this understanding that our hearts break over so many dear Christians who are not steeped in God’s Word today. They are not satisfied with the simplicity and beauty of walking by faith daily in the joy and blessings that He gives. This is the reason why Discernment Ministries has plodded along these many years weeping in the dreary dust of the crowds flittering here and there like the Athenians who spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.
Oh, but they say, God is doing a new thing in the earth. That does not mean to jump ship without a life jacket. When you hear those words, follow the admonition of Scripture – rather prefer to err on side of caution. Listen to the language spoken. Oh, yes, websites of many errant teachers can copy a statement of belief that looks genuine. But is this what they really believe? They can make many claims that will suck in the gullible. But what are they really teaching?
After studying these things for so many years, it is hard to know who is deceived the most. Is it the Leaders who have moved so far away from the knowledge of the Holy and instead, promote the profane and call it holy; or, is it the Followers who blindly run to and fro?
As a young girl, I grew up in Minnesota. The Voice of Healing had just started. Evangelists visited Minneapolis on a regular basis and my father, an Assembly of God pastor, supported every campaign that came through. My eldest sister was born with spinal bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. Naturally, the greatest desire for our family was that she be healed. We attended meetings by: William Branham, Oral Roberts, AA Allen, the Cerullo brothers, Raymond Richey, Velmer Gardner, Kathryn Kuhlman, and I could go on and on. My sister was usually relegated to a back corner somewhere as she was considered a “difficult case.” I wondered about that. William Branham told my father that “it wasn’t God’s will to heal her.” I wondered about that. In some meetings I would observe “set-ups” where people would walk in a side door, sit in a wheelchair and when the healing lines would form, they would be wheeled up and be proclaimed “healed” and walk off the stage. I wondered about that.
At 12 years of age we moved to Zion, Illinois where there was a lot of fascinating history. My father had known John G. Lake personally when he had lived in Zion in his younger days. My piano teacher would relegate us with stories of John Alexander Dowie. During this time the Charismatic movement started, and my father and I visited many Full Gospel Business Men’s Conventions as he was active in the local chapter. A whole new set of individuals became known to my father as he would drive speakers to their next engagement, and I would sit in the back seat drinking in every word. Derek Prince, Don Bashan, Nicholas Bhengu and many others passed our way.
Stanley Frodsham, a dear man of God and the Editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for many years, became part of the Latter Rain Movement that started in 1948. He and many others left the fold of the Assemblies of God and joined with those who were part of the “new thing” that came out of that particular time. Stanley Frodsham and his wife moved to Zion and attended our church. Mrs. Frodsham became my Sunday School teacher. Rev. Frodsham was the biographer for Smith Wigglesworth. He and his wife had traveled extensively with him and I was fascinated with the many stories they told. When I went to Central Bible College, the Frodshams had moved there and they introduced me to the Latter Rain group called The House of Prayer. At CBC attending Brother Kessel’s class I learned one side of the story of the split in the Assemblies of God http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_January1997.pdf. After attending this particular group for awhile, I learned the Latter Rain side of the story. I now realize all of this was part of God’s teaching process in my own life, even attempting such a ministry as Discernment Ministries. (Many years later I questioned Stanley Frodsham’s daughter about his involvement in the Latter Rain. Her answer was: “My father was a glutton for the supernatural”).
Yes, there are wonderful sincere people who are genuine in their love of the Lord but are always looking for “supernatural experiences and revelations,” but in doing so cause division and harm to the body of Christ. Yet, God in His infinite mercy has a way a working in the lives of His children who are humble and remain low at the Master’s feet, which I know was true of the Frodshams.
After several years of processing and growing in my Christian walk, I left for South Africa as young eager missionary to work with a 75-year-old lady with a genuine “apostolic ministry gift.” I say that because Ruth established many churches along with other wonderful missionaries, and the work of God in the Northern Province in South Africa is a testimony to their lives and sacrifices. Those people truly laid down their lives for the Gospel. They gave their all! Many times Ruth would go out and spend her last mite to fill up the little pick-up truck with vegetables that she could pass out to the hungry. They gave unstintingly of their time and resources for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It distressed me greatly when new innovative thinkers came on the scene and denigrated the work of these pioneers with a “new way of doing missions.” They then would maneuver to get rid of those who had gone before.
Marriage in 1971 and arrival of a family took our lives into a different set of circumstances and new ventures in our ministry – even to then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Ultimately we came to the U.S. where many things already had changed in the church. While pastoring in the States, we quickly became aware that Christian television was changing the whole direction of the church. A language was being spoken that somehow sounded foreign to our ears. Thankfully we realized that what at stake was the preaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Language of the Apostasy
It is grieving to me to write this as there are so many sincere people involved. It is so hard for me to understand why so many get caught up in these things. My heart cries with Paul who said, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (I Cor. 2:1-2).
Please don’t dismiss me as a heresy hunter and shut up your mind to anything but your preconceived notions. This is about Truth. Whether you are Todd Bentley, C. Peter Wagner, Bob Jones, Paul Cain or a pastor of a church, you can be deceived. None of us escape Satan’s devices. As simply as I possibly can, I will attempt to lay out some of the unscriptural language of the apostasy.
Let us examine the foundation for what we are now witnessing – from a 1993 Discernment newsletter,
In the newsletter there is a review of a book by William DeArteaga entitled Quenching the Spirit. DeArteaga makes the assertion that “God brings new truth to the church by first revealing it to cults and occult groups.” He already had written a book in 1983 entitled Past Life Visions in which he lauds Agnes Sandford’s incredibly heretical The Healing Light and defends her belief in a pre-earth human existence (pp 145-6); seems to embrace evolution of man from a lower species (p. 126); declares the “ghosts” are “earthbound souls” (p 187) who may legitimately communicate with the living (p 182) and that the dead should be ministered to by the church (p 183). He argues that reincarnation is Biblical and was “validated by Jesus” (pp 197-209) and that such a gospel is helpful for India because it allows “the Hindu to maintain… the concept of Karma-reincarnation” (p 215); and he recommends regression into past lives as a standard method of spiritual healing for the church to adopt (pp. 151-163). [The Berean Call, Nov. ’92.]
The language of the occult
At the time this Discernment newsletter was written (1993), DeArteaga’s book was legitimized by the TBN, obviously to back up many of the teachings being promoted. There are ministries active today who have no problem introducing occult practices and call it “truth,” and claim we can use these experiences for a deeper “relationship” with God.
I heard about one ministry that boasted, when invited to a Luciferian Initiation, that really Lucifer just means “angel of light” and after all, we all want “light”! Do you wonder why there is no mention of sin any longer? Has it grieved you that the cross is a subject avoided like poison?
Patricia King (Extreme Prophetic) influenced Todd Bentley after his conversion. I personally do not think he had any opportunity to sit under sound doctrine and learn the first principles. He was “channeled” into the supernatural realm to hook up with what taught him as getting “connected.””.
Her itinerant pastor, who doubles as a travelling DJ, calls the show “Club Mysterio” on an online video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2i5k6WuwX4 Please compare this to the New Age version at www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDebb9dLKY&NR=1
This newsletter could actually be a large book to do justice to this vast subject. However, if it just makes one person stop, think and repent, it is worth the effort. It is about souls for whom Jesus died that our hearts grieve. The days for “playing church” are over, folk.
“Well, revivals can be messy you know”. This is the way the weirdness is excused. After all, we want to “move higher” into God. We hear sincere folk saying things like: We have to move into a ‘higher place’ – a place of intimacy with God. Jesus did the things the Father told Him to do. WE MUST MOVE INTO THAT PLACE. A place of the knowledge of the Lord that the Lord yearns us to come into. Teachings on “intimacy with God” have sold many books. But just stop here a moment. Isn’t that what any “religion” requires? Always striving after something? Bringing offerings to the many gods in Hinduism, faithfully bowing low in the mosques, dancing into a frenzy to obtain “oneness”?
Let us take a breath and rest in the Scriptures a moment. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (I Peter 2:9&10)
The language of the Scripture tells us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation. This is what this is all about. The perversion of language is the ploy of the enemy to subvert the body of Christ to follow another gospel.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
II Thess. 2:9 Him, whose coming after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.
Language of Angels
Dear ones, nowhere in Scripture do we find angels appearing out of nowhere to just keep in communication with us. The culture right now is crazy about angels and Hollywood is churning out movies to satisfy that desire. To read and listen to the stories about Todd Bentley’s angels really denigrates the truth of Scripture. On his website in 2002 he talks about a particular rock on Rick Joyner’s property at Moravian Falls. This rock supposedly has some power, and as they approach it there are three young angels “horsing around, wrestling, getting each other in head-locks and giving noogies.” He learned from others that these were the worship angels who oversee the worship center.
Sorry, but this isn’t biblical. The worship angels are before the throne of God… and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. They give glory to God night and day without rest. We serve a Holy God. His holiness NEVER CHANGES. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And some cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Yet Todd Bentley says, “they [the angels] have nothing in heaven to do but waiting to serve God’s purpose in you!”
Language of the Lie
Bob Jones, who obviously has had a huge influence in Todd Bentley’s life, even introducing him to his angel in 1988, said, “the children will possess the Spirit without measure – for these are the best of all generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth. And the best of all generations are those ELECTED SEEDS that will glorify Christ in the last days… they will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder they’ll move in the power that Christ did…. They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet and to glorify Christ in every way and the church that is raising up in the government will be the head and the covering for them… the chosen generation of history that will go beyond all the others in power.” He goes on to say, “This generation of the young people that are coming are going to see the beginning of this World-wide New Order… it is going to change the expression of Christianity in the earth in a generation.”
From a Discernment newsletter in 1990, www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_Sept1990.pdf you will read that Gnosticism has again entrenched itself in the thinking of Christendom. Mystical knowledge is replacing the truth of the Word of God. And they are talking of taking over the WORLD?
Language of Heresy
The greatest sorrow of all is that the deity of Jesus Christ is undermined by this teaching. The divine purpose of the Holy Scriptures is the revelation of Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God. Gnosticism gives way to “higher knowledge”. It brings about disinterest in the Bible and Bible teaching. The “anointed seed” is now said to be connecting with the supernatural realm, and this heresy draws the masses with its instant gratification.
The door is being opened, Eat this fruit and ye will be as god. Accept this lie and you will find yourself at the altar of mysticism where all of the religions of the world worship based on subjectivity, humanism and brotherhood.
What Language do you Speak?
It is time to examine ourselves – whether we are in the faith or not. Have we been led astray by “strange fire”? Has the siren’s sweet song lulled your senses and caused shipwreck to your walk with God? Repent and return to your first love that you may be found worthy to stand in His Presence.
The following are two recent podcasts that I did on the subject of The “revival” and The New Apostolic Reformation. http://sliceoflaodicea.com/slicecast/
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, …For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God…. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (I Cor. 1:10a, 2-3)
****This article was posted with the permission of Jewel Grewe****