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The Dangers of Divination
by Bob DeWaay


“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).

One of the claims I often hear from those who use techniques to gain spiritual information is this: “Methods are neutral.” Another statement often made by the purveyors of new techniques for “hearing from God” is: “God cannot be limited, He can use anything.” My intent is to show from Scripture that the first of these statements is false and the second is misleading.

The Bible forbids certain methods for contacting the spirit world.  The passage cited above lists several.  This is not an exhaustive list because methods for contacting the spirit world are limitless.  The term “divination” is a general term that covers any such method.  Old Testament scholar Eugene H. Meff ill comments on this: “The phrase ‘practicers of divination’ refers generally to the whole complex of means of gaining insight from the gods regardless of any particular technique.”‘

The reason for the existence of divination is the fact that the spirit world is hidden from our eyes and information about it cannot be gained by normal means of learning.  The various cultures that the ancient Israelites contacted all had means of divination.  They believed that their fate and well being was in the hands of gods whose intentions were mysterious.  A good diviner, like Balaam (see Numbers 23), was adept at interpreting signs and omens. His desire was not only to learn the future, but to influence the present.  Thus Balaam was hired to curse Israel.  Diviners hope to break curses and forestall bad fate.

Why God forbids Divination

God spoke authoritatively to his chosen people through Moses.  What Moses wrote was God’s revealed will.  It was the only access they had to true information about their relationship to things hidden from normal means of learning (general revelation).  Moses wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law(Deuteronomy 29:29).  The word “occult” means secret or hidden knowledge.  Divination is any practice not specifically ordained in scripture that seeks to gain secret knowledge (i.e. spiritual knowledge God has not revealed).  God purposely limits His people’s access to such spiritual knowledge for their own good.  That which is outside of “the things revealed” is not for us.  Why?  Because there are spirit beings out there who have been practicing the art of deception for many thousands of years.  They are good at what they do.  If we dabble in their world we will be deceived.

In the same section of Scripture that forbids divination, we find this promise: “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.  The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yot4 from your countrymen you shall listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:14,15).  The “prophet’ who God was to raise up was none other than Jesus Christ (see Luke 9:35; John 5:45-47; Hebrews 1:1,2).The true prophets that came after Moses were not law-givers.  They exhorted Israel to be faithful to the Law and they predicted the future.  They did not add to the Law of Moses.  As further protection against deception, Moses declared that the prophets had to be one hundred percent accurate or they were to be dismissed as false (Deuteronomy 18-22). Also, if they made true predictions but led the people away from God they were false (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).  The next authoritative law-giver was Jesus Christ.

By limiting both the methods and the persons that were available to Ms people, God was protecting them from deceiving spirits.  Every pagan culture has had its methods of divination.  Balak would not have been willing to pay Balaam richly if Balaam had not been good at what he did.  The evil spirits that Satan uses to deceive people make these practices work.  The reason that divination is so prevalent is that it works.

Divination in the Church Today

The teachings of Jesus Christ are contained in the New Testament and constitute the further divine revelation that Moses promised when that new “Prophet” came.  These writings are authoritative and combined with the Old Testament constitute “the revealed things” (Deuteronomy 29:29) that belong to us.  This is the limit of authoritative, divine revelation.  Prophecy in the New Testament is not adding to authoritative revelation, but exhorting from it and applying it.  Just as the Old Testament prophets (except Moses) were not law­givers but law-appliers, so are the “prophesying ones’ in the New Testament.  The other function of Old Testament prophets was to inerrantly predict the future of Israel and her Messiah.  Since the One to whom the prophets pointed has come and spoken in full and final revelation, that role no longer exists.  All the prophecies about the future that we are allowed are already contained in the Bible.

Using prophetic techniques to learn secret information or the future is divination.  Today it is like it was in Jeremiah’s day: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name.  I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divinations, futility and the deception of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14). 

For example, the “prophet” Rick Joyner went into a trance, visited heaven, and talked to the apostle Paul.  Here is what the departed “Paul” told Joyner: “If what I have written is used as a foundation, it will not be able to hold the weight of that which needs to be built on it … You must see my teachings through the Lord’s teachings, not try to understand Him from my perspective.” (Joyner, The Final Quest, 133).  Necromancy (communicating with the dead) is a technique for gaining secret information that is forbidden.  When forbidden techniques are used, deception is gained. 

 The information from Joyner’s “Paul” is contradictory to the New Testament where Paul claims that his writings are foundational and authoritative. I do not deny that various practices from guided imagery, to EMDR (a technique used by some practitioners of “Theophostic Ministry” to help people find hidden memories and gain personal revelations from God), to contemplative prayer (which uses techniques to silence the mind in the hope of hearing God’s voice), and many others “work.” They do. I deny that they are from God.  God has chosen the valid means by which we can hear from Him.  Those means are revealed in the Bible.  Going outside of God’s ordained means is rebellion which constitutes divination.  Samuel told Saul: “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is an iniquity and idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the Lord He has also rejected you from being king” (I Samuel 15:23)

Using divination puts one in the realm of deceptive spirits.  Paul predicted: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ” (I Timothy 4: 1).

Conclusion

I said at the beginning of this article that methods are not neutral.  That much has been proved by the fact that the Bible forbids divination, a practice which involves innumerable possible methods.  The other claim that “God can use anything,” is misleading.  That God could use something if He chose to does not mean that He will.  It also does not mean that if He does use something it is a good thing.  For example, God used Balaam to prophesy of Messiah, yet Balaam is condemned through Scriptures as a wicked person who led Israel astray (see Numbers 24:17 for Messianic prophesy; Balaam is condemned – 2 Peter 2:15; Jude I 1; Revelation 2:14).  Balaam was a practitioner of divination, hired to curse Israel yet God chose to sovereignly use him to bless Israel instead.  God may indeed use things He condemns, but that does not exonerate those who are thus used.

Today divination is rampant in the church.  It is just as poisonous to the faith today as divination was to Israel’s faith in the Old Testament.  It is rebellion in that it involves refusing to stay within the boundaries God has set for our own good.  Those who are thus deceived have put themselves into that horrible state because they did not receive the love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12). The truth is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to purge divination from the church and replace it with Gospel preaching and Bible teaching.

Bob De Waay is the pastor of: Twin City Fellowship P.O. Box 8060 Minneapolis, MN 55408 Phone: 612-874-7484 http://www.twincityfellowship.com pastorbob@twincityfellowship.com Pastor DeWaay produces a newsletter called: “Critical Issues Commentary.” You can subscribe to this newsletter by contacting Twin City Fellowship; previous issues are archived on the Twin City Fellowship website listed above.

New to my blogroll – Slaughter of the Sheep

Two People “Healed” at the Lakeland Revival Die – From Slaughter of the Sheep

 

It was inevitable.  A false healing revival with overblown and unsubstatiated reports of healing can only lead to one thing for those who are desperate and looking for healing… death.

I grew up as a Charismatic.  I have seen people suffering with maladies and they were visibly in pain, but yet they would say, “I don’t accept that.  I don’t have _______.”  Even though they have been diagnosed by reputable doctors, they refuse to claim the disease or illness they have been diagnosed with.  To some charismatics, words have power, and if you speak a negative word, they will negatively effect you.  Therefore, only positive words must be spoken.

People with little to no Biblical knowledge have a heart that is a breeding ground for error.  It is these people that are susceptible to the hocus pocus of the Word of Faith/Charismatic doctrine.  One of the cruelest things a minister can do is to tell people unequivocally that they are healed.  Especially when these people are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Their misplaced faith can then turn deadly if they aren’t grounded in the Word of God.

Rest of article HERE

 

Todd Bentley: Claimed but Not Ordained

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

April 7, 2009

  

According to his January 2008 book, Journey Into The Miraculous, Todd Bentley claims to have been “ordained” through the Canadian-based Christian Ministers Association, and recognized as a “minister” through the World Ministry Fellowship here in the United States.

 

With its original roots in the Pentecostal movement, the Christian Ministers Association (CMA) is a “licensing body” that “provides a covering for those in need of meeting the requirements of Canadian Law concerning ordination of clergy,” and a “Canadian charter society registered with the Federal Government” ( http://www.canadacma.org/home/index.php?id=4 ).

 

But according to a top official from the Christian Ministers Association (CMA), Bentley is not ordained through the CMA, and has never been a member of that association.

 

Further, Christian Research Service has learned that while Todd Bentley was recognized as a minister through the World Ministry Fellowship (WMF), his membership “papers” have been removed, according to a top official.

 

Founded in 1963, the WMF is an outreach and fellowship of ministers worldwide that “functions under the oversight of a 12 member Executive Board, a 21 member Advisory Board, and a 12 member Credentialing Committee” ( http://www.worldministry.com/aboutwmf.html ). 

 

Once the WMF board learned the circumstances surrounding Bentley’s leaving the Lakeland revival and resignation from Fresh Fire Ministries, the WMF wasted no time and “moved-in quickly to take action,” a top official said.

 

Christian Research Service’s contact with the CMA and the WMF was due to the claims made by Todd Bentley in Journey Into The Miraculous

I thank God for my friendship with Patricia [King], and for how God used her as an instrument to ordain me into the ministry–but I always will know that the call came from God. I’ve since been ordained in Canada by my local church, and through the Christian Minister’s Association. In the U.S., I’m recognized as a minister of the Gospel through World Ministry Fellowship in Texas. [Todd Bentley, Journey Into The Miraculous, Destiny Image Publishers, January 2008, p. 162]   

According to Bentley, “God” led him to write Journey Into The Miraculous (p. 22).

 

Currently, Todd Bentley is undergoing another “restoration,” this time under the auspices of Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, and Jack Deere. Unfortunately, Joyner, Johnson, and Deere are part of the problem, not the solution.

 

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-13). 

 

Truth to the core

 

In 2008, Todd Bentley left the Lakeland revival in controversy, disgrace, and sin. Since then, Christian Research Service has maintained that he needs to repent and be born again, and surround himself with solid, Bible-based Christians for council.
CRS has also maintained that if Bentley is groomed, mentored, and “restored” by those who groomed and mentored him in the first place, he will end up in worst shape than ever before.

Solid, Bible-based men and women strive to lead holy lives and teach sound, Bible-based doctrine. They set good examples for others to follow–including the younger generation. They do not suddenly disappear in controversy, disgrace, and sin, then suddenly return months later in more controversy, disgrace, and sin. They are accountable first to God, then to their fellow Christians. To them, truth is paramount, and a false prophet is a false prophet; a false teacher is a false teacher, and sin is sin.

 

 

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them

on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3). 

 

Closing comments…

 

This current fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg, and a natural consequence to a hyper-Charismatic movement gone wild and out of control. In many cases, false prophecies, false teachings, and sin are just mere “mistakes” that can be handled by playing the Wiser than God game, then filtered down though the Department of Compromise and Excuses. Eventually, after all the dust has settled, sin in the camp ends up in a mound of paperwork on the desk of Mr. I. Could Care Less. From there, it ends up in “File 13” (trash can), never to be discussed again.


And they get away with it because they have spent years conditioning and deceiving and intimidating their followers into believing in their self-appointed apostles, prophets, and teachers over-and-above God’s written word, the Bible.

 

But their fine-tuned deception hasn’t gone unnoticed. God’s righteous judgement is already at work, for He does not bless, honor, or excuse false prophets and false teachers. And they, like others before them, will fall:

 

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).

There is an old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Todd Bentley made choices. His actions will return to haunt him and those surrounding him. In the meantime, God warns those who continue to be fooled by the Todd Bentley’s of this world:

 

 

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD (Proverbs 17:15).

 

 

 

Time is an enemy to all false teachers. Time has revealed that Todd Bentley’s claims are not ordained.

 

 

 

 

Volume 19  Number 4                              July/August 2008

 

 

 

 

What Language Do You Speak?

Jewel Grewe

 

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.

 

Latter Rain

 

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,

www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_JanFeb1993.pdf

 

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.

 

Satan’s language

 

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.

 

Revival Language

 

“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.

 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlt0_8HwMk

 

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****

 

http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2008.htm

 

 

Jewel Grewe and myself at the conference in Spring Hill, Florida.
Jewel Grewe (left) and myself at the conference in Spring Hill, Florida.

How to get drunk without drinking – via Derren Brown

The anointing that Brown gives this young man, is the same anointing that many are receiving in our churches today.

Derren Brown –  The so called Messiah Part 3 0f 8.

In Part 1 Brown is headed for the US where he is basicallly unknown and he going to approach people with “paranormal belief systems” to see if he can convince them that he is the real deal. He says that he uses magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection, and showmanship when he is performing. He is going to slay people in the spirit and “convert” them.

There are those who have claimed to be “drunk in the spirit”, or feeling out of control because of the overpowering of the Holy Spirit. But in these videos these people are being “slain” and “intoxicated” by a well-known medium, who admits to be conducting an experiment and posing as someone religious. Brown is an atheist.

Derren Brown – The so called Messiah Part 4 0f 8

These two videos are very interesting to watch in tandem. It is actually difficult to tell if Bentley really knees this man in stomach. I have watched it over and over and I do see his leg lifted, but I am wondering if a different power was transferred to this man to knock him down. A power like the one Derren Brown calls on.

Next watch Derren Brown deliver his “One inch punch.” The effects on the two men are very similar. Remember that Brown is an atheist and does not believe in God.

Why should you be watching these videos clips?  For one thing they show that a spiritualist, can recreate the experiences that are happening in our churches. Why is this?   Simple ….the spirit is the same spirit. A deceiving spirit.

Our churches are being invaded by false, masquerading spirits and we need to educate ourselves about the paranormal/occult world so we can recognize them. Unfortuneately, the deceiver Satan make these experiences pleasant.

From his website:

Derren Brown: Mind Control, with Derren Brown’ quite literally aired. It was an immediate success, and gained Derren a cool, underground kudos which he described as “not enough”.

Mind Controls 2 and 3 followed, then a series, then a brief spell in prison, and then in October 2003 Derren caused an international furore with ‘Derren Brown Plays Russian Roulette Live’. This secured his notoriety with the public and his big apartment in London. “Bristol can shove itself”, he said.

The Seance followed soon after, which was Derren’s first look at the area of spiritualism and paranormal phenomena, and the first show where his intelligent scepticism could be expressed. Derren says of the show, “By now I was properly famous and could pretty much buy whatever I wanted”. Further specials have followed, including ‘Messiah’, which took him undercover to the US to see if leaders in paranormal belief systems would wrongly endorse him as the real thing.

I am unsure that Brian Flynn knows the extent of the service he provided when he wrote, “Running against the Wind.”  The information he shares about Mind Control and TM are really invaluable. He was taught how to access information from the netherworld. The spirits he contacted gave him real life information about the people he was dealing with. The power from the supernatural world is there and available. But Christians are clearly not supposed to delve into this world and access demon power.

At the beginning of this article I quoted Brown about how his magic is done. But there is much more than meets the eye here. Brown is deeply entrenched in the paranormal world and has attained demonic talents. Others videos on his site  demonstrate his ability to convince the bereaved he was communicating with the dead, and he can definitely astral project.

It is no wonder he doesn’t truly explain the source of his abilities because he may not know….or is not telling. But as we compare the demonic abilities against similar abilities being demonstrated in the church, we must sit up and take notice.

 Angels or Demons? 

 

Todd Bentley and “The Beautiful Side of Evil”

 

By Berit Kjos – June 26, 2008  

 

The Beautiful Side of Evil

Back in the eighties I read The Beautiful Side of Evil by Johanna Michaelsen. For many years she was caught up in the occult, yet she believed that the “angels” who reached out to her were servants of God, not Satan. One of those “angels” sounds strangely similar to Bentley’s “floating” angel, Emma:

“[She was] beautiful with flowing hair and robes of shimmering dark blue spangled with tiny stars…. She took me by the shoulders and gently kissed me on the forehead…. ‘Welcome, my child,’ she said. Then she turned and floated back through the wall as she had come. I have never experienced such joy, such light and peace, such unspeakable ecstasy. I was on the right path at last.”[2,p.83]

No, she was tricked! Masquerading as an “angel of light,” Satan used her feel-good experiences to deepen the deception. Through those painful years, Johanna’s “fellowship” with demons brought her indescribable depression and despair. The enchanting moments of light were fleeting, while fear and confusion darkened her days. She would continue to suffer under that cruel master until God set her free. But since that time, God has used her testimony as a much-needed warning. It calls His people to– 

“Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Eph 5:8-11

Exposing the darkness can be costly. Church leaders who seek unity, popularity and unbounded fellowship are quick to label us intolerant and judgmental. But the cost is nothing compared to the genuine joy of serving our Lord!

Mesmerizing the masses

To alter her consciousness and connect with these entities, Johanna used meditation, visualization, concentration — and the repetitive beat of a metronome. Bentley’s tools are different but just as effective. Like tribal shamans (and like his own former world of “satanic music”), he uses loud rhythmic sounds (drums, etc.), then adds repetitious words and hypnotic music. Pastor Gary Osborne described it in his article, Bentley’s “Revival” in Lakeland, Florida:

The phrase ‘stir yourselves up’ was used repeatedly…. A woman led in prayer for the service and … told the people to ‘roar like a lion!’ … People everywhere shouted at the top of their lungs…. This same lady was jerking and twitching…. There was also much talk of ‘birthing’ and ‘signs and wonders.’… People were swaying and dancing…. There was a very sensual spirit… People seemed to be in a trance all around me. If the worship leader said, ‘raise your hands’ everyone did so immediately. If he said, ‘drop to your knees’ they did…. The music had the people mesmerized….

 

“At about 8:30 PM… the music leader says, ‘I’m feeling drunk.’ He then tells the people to say to God, ‘Intoxicate me, Lord…. Now the people are getting truly wild and the leader says, ‘Scream!!!’ and the people let out a yell…. Finally the worship leader falls to the floor himself….”[5]

This manipulative process started up again the next evening. Finally, with the crowd thoroughly conditioned to “break out of the box” of Biblical order (1 Cor 14:40), Bentley took control. Wearing a t-shirt with the words, “Jesus Gave Me My Tattoos,” he announced the presence of “great authority” in the building. “I speak creation,” he declared. “I speak new hearts, new livers into existence tonight….’”[5]

Doesn’t he know God’s view of such arrogance? Has he no fear of His judgments on those who serve the purpose of the master deceiver?

“For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven… I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” Isaiah 14:13-15

Signs, wonders and mystical healings

“The glory of God is intense,” wrote Bentley in a “Personal Message” on May 20. “…miracles continue – tumors disappearing nightly, cancers and deaf ears being healed. It has been reported that more than 55 people in wheelchairs are receiving their healing. Another remarkable turn of events – 13 reported resurrections!”

He claims that a male “angel” named “Healing Revival”[6] worked with him in many past healings: When he comes,” said Bentley, “I get… the ability to diagnose people’s sicknesses with my left hand…. I get very accurate details from God…. And whenever this angel shows up the miracles go off the charts.”[4]

Four angels supposedly operated on him during one of his heavenly visions. He saw “a Pillar of fire” rise up through the roof of a church. When “God” told him to “get into the Pillar,” he complied — and landed on an operating table in heaven. The angels tied him down and began surgery:

“[T]hey pick this thing up… and they stuck it in me right here on my neck and it didn’t hurt…. they went right down to my lowards and all of a sudden … everything inside of me popped out onto the table, my heart, my liver — like everything…. . [T]he angels start taking these white boxes… and they start stuffing these things inside of me… and I heard the verse ‘I desire truth in the inward parts.’”[7]

Bentley’s reference to Psalm 51:6 illustrates his blatant Scripture twisting — a timeless demonic tool. And his “surgery” reminds me of the mystical reports about “alien abductions.”

It’s also similar to Johanna’s experiences with painless operations in Mexico. Both claim to have seen countless supernatural healings that clashed with all medical knowledge. But Bentley’s “heavenly” experience (while in a trance) occurred only in a psychic realm, while Johanna assisted in numerous operations where patients actually bled. A few incredulous doctors observed this bizarre process and validated the results.

We shouldn’t be surprised. Long ago, missionaries to distant tribal cultures described both the source and the effect of and shamanic magic. It’s not a new phenomenon!

Johanna would assist Hermanito, a demonic spirit that “possessed” a Mexican woman named Pachita and used her body to operate on his patients. Like Bentley’s six angels, he often replaced something from the patient’s body with special objects.

A former army officer with an inoperable brain tumor came seeking relief from blinding headaches. As his operation began, Hermanito ordered Johanna to hand him the knife: She described the brutal action:

“In a single, violent motion he plunged it into Perry’s skull. The man on the table gasped. ‘Do you feel pain, Perry?’ I asked him anxiously. ‘Oh, no,’ he replied with a faint smile, ‘but I can feel something moving inside my head—it’s so strange!’ he laughed nervously…. Several days after the operation, I called him to see how he was doing. He told me his headaches were completely gone….”[2,p.126-127]

To heal David, a young man with terminal cancer, Hermanito called for more concentrated prayer — using words that blended the Scriptures with occult ideas:

“Take a glass of pure water. Go out to the balcony, raise it high in your right hands and say, ‘May the most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which, when only represented in Egypt brought freedom to the Israelites by the strong arm of God, free us and favor us against all evil.’… Sun and Earth, Moon and Stars… Mosses, Reptiles…. I ask of you this day the health of this patient.’

      “’Form a circle around him…. Hold hands and pray….’ He raised the scissors in prayer for a long moment, then plunged them into David’s side. He cut for a few moments, then asked ‘Do you feel pain…?’ David didn’t answer…. Hermanito’s breath drew in sharply…. ‘Roll up your sleeve. We must perform a transfusion. Hurry! The rest of you pray!” he ordered…. Suddenly, David took a deep breath and opened his eyes….

     “David had died on the table that night. The force behind Hermanito had brought him back…”[2,p.118-119]

But all was not well in this psychic realm. David died less than four months later. And many other healings were only temporary.”[2,p.134]  Christians who sought help through demonic forces suffered more and were less likely to be “healed.” Satan has only hatred for his deluded victims — especially those who actually belong to the true God.  [See From torment to triumph]

God’s Victory in this Spiritual War

“…many of our churches are in serious danger of occult contamination,” wrote Johanna.[2,p.183]  She knew how easily even Christians could trade God’s truth for counterfeit promises. After all, she didn’t stray into darkness because she loved evil — but because evil looked so good! Her testimony is a wake-up call to churches everywhere:

“That first week in college, when the gospel was shared with me, I welcomed it with open arms. I confessed my sins before God and asked Jesus to enter my life as my Lord and Savior. I know, on the basis of God’s word, that I was born again, and I received in my spirit the assurance of my salvation. I gave myself to Him with my whole heart.

“But I did not understand the importance of carefully, systematically studying His Word. I had no real understanding of what I believed or why I believed it.’ And so, in time, I began to build my relationship with God based on my experience. My experience told me the healings and miracles I witnessed at Pachita’s were of God. My feelings assured me the work there was holy, for the name of Jesus was used and there was a crucifix on the altar, and demons were ‘cast out.’”

“Soon my ‘logic’ told me the Bible was too narrow…. Ultimately, I came to believe Jesus was a way to God — but not the Way, the Truth, the Life. Gently, a step at a time, I fell away from the faith, unwittingly ‘paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.’ (I Timothy 4:1).… Ultimately, because I was a child of God, because I wanted more than anything else to know the Truth, He delivered me.”[2,p.181-182]

I thank God for His mercy and saving grace that reaches out to all who will hear and heed His Word. As the spiritual war intensifies, may we be ready to hear His call, turn around (repent), resist the deceiver, and follow our wonderful Shepherd.

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-12

 

Full story here”

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/bentley.htm

 

This article is from:

Authentic Spirituality

 Here is the blog address and you really should go this blog and read the comments.

http://freebelievers.com/blog-entry/authentic-spirituality

First of all, I’d like to say that I consider myself to be a “Charismatic Christian.” By that, I mean to say that I share an excitement about God that is not always visibly evident in some of the more traditional denominations. I also share the belief that the Holy Spirit is alive and moving as much today as in the New Testament. Most of my writings specifically address the Christian mindset from the perspective of Charismatic-Pentecostal because that is the background from which I come. I say that because I want to make clear that when I “call stuff out,” I am not critically standing on the outside looking in, but I am living very much on the inside. The fire with which I address certain subjects, however, does not come from my loyalty and love for a set of beliefs or a particular sect, but from a sincere love for individuals who many times are trampled to death by those beliefs.

With that in mind, I would like to address something that has bothered me all my life, but have never put into words until now. I believe that this little issue has taken its toll on thousands of genuine and honest God-seekers, and has left them feeling as though they are completely missing God. It’s time to expose one of the church’s greatest and best-kept secrets. Exposing this could set Charismatic Christianity back a thousand years. I’m about to blow a cover off this religion in a way I’ve never seen done before, so buckle your seatbelts.

My 8th grade science teacher pinned up one of those psychedelic mind-bending posters that supposedly had a picture within a picture that you could psychologically see inside, if you stared long enough and allowed your eyes to go out of focus. Those things never worked for me. I could stare for hours and I never saw anything but a bunch of squiggly lines and shapes. Supposedly this particular poster had moving dinosaurs in it. At least that’s what the first kid claimed to see as he let out a, “Wooooee, dude, I tooootally see it!” I got up close and looked till my head hurt but I still couldn’t see what he was talking about. Sure enough, one by one, people started to see the moving dinosaurs. Everyone was laughing and talking about it. There was energy and excitement as people coahed friends on how to look in just the right way to “experience” it with them. One by one you could hear people getting a “break-through” as they would finally se what everyone else was seeing. I felt ignorant, because all I saw were stupid, squiggly lines.

I quit trying about half-way through the year. I got to the point where I just ignored the poster when I came to class. Truthfully, I resented the fact that he put it up there in the first place. It was a science class. Why hang a poster with hidden dinosaurs? It didn’t make sense to me, and I found it to be a source of irritation every time another two or three people exclaimed, “I see it, I see it!!!!” I even considered lying to everyone at one point because it was only me and perhaps two other kids who were on the outs, and neither of them had a cool bone in their body.

By the end of the school year, it appeared that the majority of the school had experienced the dinosaurs and I still couldn’t see them. How embarrassing. My embarrassment was short-lived, however, because on the last day of school, the cocky old science teacher stood before the class and revealed to everyone that there were no dinosaurs in the picture. IT WAS A HOAX! He wanted to illustrate how peer pressure can easily sway others. It was amazing to see different people become angry and defensive and swear up and down that they saw moving dinosaurs. I believe those kids could have taken a lie-detector test and passed with flying colors. They fully believed that they saw dinosaurs moving!

Time and again, I have sat with sincere people who feel like they must be missing something in the God department. They tell me that they don’t understand why God hasn’t moved on them the way He has with their friends and Church mates. They are plagued with a nagging sense that they are always a few miles behind the rest of the group and regardless of how hard they try; they can’t seem to catch up. Every time there’s another testimony about God moving in someone’s life, they are reminded that they can’t hear His voice like everyone else and don’t feel the same spiritual ecstasy that their Christian counterparts continually describe and claim to have received.

Over and over, I hear people talking about “Peace that surpasses understanding” and “joy unspeakable,” as though it’s an orgasmic state of mind that truly spiritual people achieve after encountering God in a personal way. I can recall being in Bible college, watching my classmates weep and wail while lying on the floor during the worship service as though the Holy Spirit had completely taken control. They would talk about receiving a touch from God that instantly changed everything. Some couldn’t remain upright during the service because the ‘power of God was all over them.’ All the while, I felt like I did in my 8th grade class when I couldn’t see the moving dinosaurs. What am I missing here? Why doesn’t God do that to me during praise and worship? When am I going to receive a touch like that? How come I can’t hear His voice so easily? Why do I still struggle with depression? What’s wrong with me?

It began to unravel when a popular evangelist came to our Bible college. This guy was known for laying hands on people and having them “fall out” in the spirit. I was excited to receive this and nervous that I wouldn’t. After a short sermon on the power of God, this gentleman instructed us to line up side by side. He would then walk from person to person, laying hands on each one. Sure enough, they were dropping like flies. Everyone he touched turned to Jell-O and hit the floor under the power of God. I was praying a million miles a minute as he drew closer. Finally, I felt his hand on my forehead and I stood there waiting to be launched into the supernatural. I waited and waited but nothing happened. He kept praying for me but I wasn’t going down. Then he started saying things like, “Just receive it, brother,” and “Don’t hold back from God.” At that moment, I felt the eyes of everyone in the class upon me and I knew somehow it was my fault that I wasn’t receiving “the power of God.” Guess what I did. . . . I fell.

When we were in the parking lot and walking to our cars, my classmates were praising God and leaping for joy because of the incredible move of the Holy Spirit that they had just witnessed. People were talking about how awesome God was and how wonderful it was to receive a touch of His power, but I continued walking with my head down, saying, “I will never, ever do that again!” Someone asked me what it was I’d never do again and I said, “I fell on purpose.” To my amazement, every person there admitted that they had purposely fallen, as well.

I say all that to say this: For the better part of my ministry, I have attempted to take things that people say about God that are terrible and wrong and correct them. I have kept myself busy for the past ten years in an attempt to correct all the troubling misconceptions taught by the Church regarding the heart of God. Recently, however, I felt like I came to the conclusion of those bad things. I couldn’t find anything to address because I had pretty much covered it all. Then I felt the Lord strongly impress upon me that He would reveal that even all the good things said about Him are not true.

Our concept of “living in victory” has been embellished and exaggerated from generation to generation, to a point where we wouldn’t recognize the real thing if it jumped up and bit us on the nose. People talk about “freedom” as though it were a state of spiritual nirvana where nothing goes wrong and everything is blissfully perfect. I believe that in the Charismatic movement, there are thousands of people chasing dinosaurs in an effort to appear like they’re getting it when in fact, they have no real idea of what “IT” is.

I’m amazed when I hear testimonies of people in those Churches. It reminds me of “Reality Television.” The problem with “Reality Television” is that there is nothing real about it.

The editor reveals what he chooses by cutting and pasting bits and pieces. He omits certain parts and highlights others in an effort to create exactly what he’s looking for. This is what I see in modern-day Christian testimonies. They remind me of a 30-minute scripted sit-com where everything miraculously comes together in the end. The middle part that is raw and real is always mysteriously omitted so that the listener only sees the rags-to-riches part of what God did in a person’s life. “I once was lost, but now I’m found.” Nothing in the middle. That’s it. Overnight, everything changed and now there are no more struggles and strife in the Christian life, only continual happiness and fulfillment.

I think we do this because deep in our hearts we’re trying to sell Jesus to the public. We attempt to make Him out to be more than He is in an effort to spark interest. We present “life with Jesus” as though it’s a continuous mountain-top experience that comes with batteries included and a life-time guarantee. If this isn’t your personal experience with Him, something is wrong with your spirituality. Sadly, the result of this pattern of exaggeration is that people chase a carrot that is always just out of reach and then become depressed and disillusioned.

Let me be the first to say that the reason you can’t find the peace and joy and freedom that you’ve heard about is because it doesn’t exist. At least not in the way it’s been presented. The Christian life as advertised to you is a lie! The promises and claims that were made to you about Jesus were nothing but a list of sales tactics to close the deal. After all, who would reject eternal happiness and contentment? Who in their right mind would walk away from a Jesus who could make all their problems go away overnight? Who would say no to instantaneous freedom and victory? Especially when it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Rattle off a quick sinner’s prayer and you’re on your way to a life of constant adventure and roller-coaster spirituality.

I think there is something to be said for the way Jesus presented Himself 2000 years ago. He rode into the city on the back of an ass. Now that resonates with my life! I get this real and raw picture in my mind, “Life on an Ass,” and it rings true. Maybe it’s not a popular concept with the Christian world, but the fact is, life is humdrum. There are “up” days and there are “down.” There are times of purpose and times of purposelessness. There are extended times when there is clear direction and you know where you’re going and then there are times when you just sit and stare at the walls and go nowhere. Life with Jesus is not filled with a continuous vibration of exhilaration and adventure. Scripture never promised that to us.

I believe that until we are given permission to accept and embrace our humanity, we will be unable to possess values such as peace and contentment. Present-day Christianity seems to be about denying and even detesting our humanity and all in the Name of Jesus. We want nothing to do with out human-ness. It’s as though people present the Christian life as a rejection of the physical realm and an adoption of all that is spiritual. You’d think that some of us are embarrassed to have arms and legs because we think we’re supposed to float from here to there through the power of God. Anything physical or human is considered ugly by today’s Charismatic standards. The phrase, “In the flesh” has been coined in an effort to shame and silence anyone who might dare to be normal and live with both feet on the ground. If God was against living in the flesh, He wouldn’t have created flesh and inserted our spirits into it.

I believe that true spirituality is more physical than spiritual. In other words, it’s NORMAL. Today’s perception of true spirituality is equated with someone no one can relate to. I think it’s something else entirely. If a person is truly in touch with their spiritual side, they will connect and become relatable to everyone. They’ll embrace their flesh and be content with who they are while, at the same time, accepting it in others. Peace and contentment is not a point in life where you no longer experience pain and discomfort. It’s the point when you understand that you will experience pain and discomfort in this life and when you do, you know He is with you and nothing’s wrong. Many perceive any form of depression as evidence that God is not present or we are not receiving what we should from Him. I disagree. Being spiritual, in my opinion, is when an individual embraces every facet of their humanity with no apologies, knowing well that their shortcomings are not evidence of God’s absence but rather, evidence of life. True spirituality comes when we understand that in the midst of living, He will never leave us.

I am convinced that an authentic Christian life looks nothing like what most Charismatic churches promote. The picture they paint is not only unattainable but it’s impossible. I no longer believe the majority of the testimonies I hear. They’ve been edited to fit a story-line that’s proven to be a crowd-pleaser and a bestseller. Rarely does anyone merely provide an accurate account of their life because to do so would be flat-out boring. We don’t want a day-to-day Jesus; we want Super Jesus!

Additionally, I don’t believe all the hype that comes out of Florida. I’m telling you right now that all the people who profess to have experienced “the fire” in Florida are nothing but a bunch of self-conscious teens claiming to have seen the moving dinosaurs on a poster in science class. When asked to produce a shred of verifiable evidence of healings and miracles, the ring-leaders in Florida have come up empty-handed. Everything you are hearing about that “outpouring” is nothing but exaggerated rumors from people who desperately want to appear as if they got it too.

Matthew 24:24
“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.”

These rumors are spread by those who sincerely want to believe that something’s happening somewhere because when they look at their own “humdrum” life, they are filled with guilt and condemnation for not measuring up to the embellished testimonies and exagerated claimes they’ve grown up hearing in the Church.

Yes, I believe that God heals and yes, I believe the Holy Spirit is alive and well. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit and I believe that God is actively speaking to His people. I consider myself to be Charismatic to the bone, but I don’t believe for one moment that these manifestations occur in the manner that we claim. The sooner we release the modern-day Christian fantasies about true spirituality and embrace normalcy, the better we’ll be.

You might be surprised to find that what you have been seeking; you already have.

Ok I have to see for myself
Posted July 3, 2008 by Mike Kendall

from:

http://kingdomgathering.wordpress.com/

I have been hearing SO MUCH about Todd Bentley, reading SO MUCH about Todd Bentley, and watching SO MUCH YouTube on Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revivals that I had to see for myself what was going down in Lakeland, FL. I actually live about 45 minutes away from Lakeland, FL where Todd Bentley has set up his camp. Though I did not see him personally, I went just yesterday to Ignited Church that he is connected with. I visited a 10 am service that happens daily, and there was probably 1000 people there. Keep in mind that I am a worship leader/young adult pastor at a large non-denominational church, and consider myself a charismatic with a seat belt on. I do believe in the spiritual gifts, including tongues, prophecy (which I have), and miracles or healing. I prayed to God to let me have an open mind, and for His Holy Spirit to guide me in worship and also in discernment. As I entered the lobby/ cafe area I noticed something right away: No one greeted me and there were no signs of any crosses or anything that made me feel like I was at a Christian church. As I walked into the main worship area (that had no hint of a Christian cross anywhere) the music had just begun and was very hypnotic, building up with chants in tongues by the worship leader and his other vocalists. Right away I felt like I was at a Hindu, Buddhist, or new age meeting. It was creepy to say the least. It really reminded me of kundalini. Google kundalini and you might be shocked to see how it connects with the revivals that are happening.
Again I prayed to God to help me have an open mind, but I was very distracted by people speaking in tongues, and dancing around through the rows of seats. The music went on for about an hour, with the worship leader laughing and jerking uncontrollably, and speaking in tongues between singing and playing piano. A man then came on stage to introduce a prophetess that was going to bring a message from God, a prophecy that she had been given for the church. She began by speaking in tongues, and calling down the glory of God into the room. By this time the congregation had been worked into a frenzy from an hour of hypnotic music and tongues, and was crying out and shaking, and laughing, and crying, and screaming, and dancing, it was all going nuts at once.
Again I tried to pray and ask God to help me have an open mind and discernment. It was tough to hear God, to feel God through all of the chaos…but then it happened. God reminded me of what Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 14
Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues
1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. 3But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
6Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. 12So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
13For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 16If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21In the Law it is written:
”Through men of strange tongues
and through the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people,
but even then they will not listen to me,” says the Lord.
22Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. 23So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

Orderly Worship

26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

36Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

39Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Once God finally spoke to me I left that “church” building as quickly as possible. Again let me say that I believe in tongues, prophecy, healings, when it is done orderly as the BIBLE instructs. I am weary of ANYONE that can call on healing, call on God when they want to, in an instant. Though I did not see Todd Bentley at Ignited Church, I saw enough. What I did see was a lack of a cross, a communion table, a Bible (although some people had one, they were not in leadership), and Biblical teaching or preaching. What I saw is exactly what Paul was writing against to the church in Corinth.

 

Be prewarned, this 5:09 YouTube video is one of the most disturbing of its kind I have seen. While it contains no profanity or sex, it is not suitable for children!

 

 

–Bud

 Christian Research Service

 

FROM THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT

From time to time, the General Council receives inquiries desiring comment on various revivals or ministries held in both Assemblies of God and non-Assemblies of God churches.

Rather than attempting to comment on any specific series of meetings, I feel it would be preferable to provide some Scriptural guidelines for assessment. I have great confidence in the maturity of Assemblies of God pastors and laity to make their own judgments and heed the admonition of the Apostle Paul: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).

The Assemblies of God is irrevocably committed to the inspiration of Scripture, that the Bible provides the assessment tools needed for evaluating doctrine and experience, and is deeply hungry for the continued filling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Our former general superintendent, Thomas F. Zimmerman, once compared the Holy Spirit to a mighty river, and the Scriptures to the banks of that river. Brother Zimmerman said that great harm occurs when the river overruns the banks, but that the river does great good when it stays within the banks.

Thus, it is well for us to look at the safeguards the Bible provides in helping us “test everything.” Here are the questions we should always ask.

1. Is Jesus Christ exalted? The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Christ; and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come (John 15:26, 16:8). To the Corinthian church that had become overly enamored with charismatic manifestations, the Apostle Paul reminded them that “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Thus, the focus for any lasting revival always must be on Jesus. The Holy Spirit has not come to glorify Himself, or any human or angelic personality.

2. Is the Word of God proclaimed? Every revival with lasting effect has always been rooted in the preaching of God’s Word. This is in keeping with the spread of the Gospel in the early Church as recorded in Acts.

  • Following the first persecution, they “spoke the word of God boldly” (4:31).
  • Following the second persecution and flogging, “day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped preaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (5:42).
  • After the selection of deacons, “the word of God spread” (6:7).
  • Resulting from Saul’s persecution of the church, “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (8:4).
  • Samaria “accepted the word of God” (8:14).
  • The Gentiles of Cornelius’ household “received the word of God” (11:1).
  • Paul and Barnabas preached “the word of God” on their first missionary journey and “the word of God spread through the whole region” (13:46, 49).
  • Before departing for their second missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas and many others “taught and preached the word of the Lord” at Antioch (15:35).
  • The Holy Spirit kept Paul and Barnabas from “preaching the word in the province of Asia” (16:6).
  • The Bereans “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (17:11); Paul “was preaching the word of God at Berea” (17:13).
  • At Corinth, “Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God” (18:11).
  • Through Paul’s ministry at Ephesus, “all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord” (19:10).
  • Paul’s farewell words to the Ephesians elders are: “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God” (20:27).

It is clear from the above references that great focus was given in the early Church to the preaching of the Word, sometimes also identified as proclaiming the Gospel. This is consistent with the first commitment of the early Church following the day of Pentecost – “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine . . .” (Acts 2:42).

Thus, a doctrinal test for any revival is whether the content of the preaching is the same as Jesus and the apostles. The Word of God stands over personal viewpoints. Any Biblical revival must “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). If so-called truth is being proclaimed that cannot be found in Scripture, then that proclamation violates the specific announcement of Scripture that the faith “was once for all entrusted” and such a proclamation also deviates from the apostles’ fidelity to preach the Word, and from the early Church’s devotion to the apostles’ doctrine.

The Azusa Revival (1906-1909) unabashedly proclaimed that the sure plumb line of truth was God’s revealed and written Word. Elder Seymour and others were criticized sharply for their insistence on “checking everything out with the Word.” But, they were unashamed. In fact, Seymour responded to these criticisms in the September, 1907, issue of The Apostolic Faith.

“We are measuring everything by the Word, every experience must measure up with the Bible. Some say that is going too far, but if we have lived too close to the Word, we will settle that with the Lord when we meet Him in the air.

Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival – fidelity to God’s Word is the test. Jesus Himself said there would be many who would do miracles in His name and even cast out demons, but He does not know them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus warned that “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matthew 24:11). Paul warns, “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3). To the Galatians, Paul writes: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned (Galatians 1:8). Paul also warns us: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connections with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Colossians 2:18-19). Peter warns us that “there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies . . . Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” (2 Peter 2:1-3).

In summary, the message must always be examined. If the message and the messenger line up with God’s Word, then the revival is on safe Biblical ground and it should and must be embraced. If not, then even though miracles and manifestations occur, it should be avoided.

This raises the question of how can healings and miracles occur if the message and/or messenger are not consistent with Scripture. The attribution for the healings and miracles is the grace of God and his mercy for hurting people.

3. Are persons repenting of sin, and being baptized in water and the Holy Spirit? Repentance has been called the first word of the Gospel because it is the initial response called for by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), the Twelve (Mark 6:12), Jesus after His resurrection (Luke 24:47), Peter (Acts 2:36), and Paul (Acts 26:20). With repentance comes baptism in water and the overwhelming or baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39).

Unless these initiatory events of the Christian life occur, along with the sanctifying work of the Spirit that leads to a holy life – then the miracles, crowds, and enthusiasm will quickly wane.

Of course, there are additional questions that can be raised, but my purpose is to give some starter reflections for those who have honest hearts to “test all things” as Paul admonished. If the above three questions cannot be answered with a resounding yes, then perhaps other questions are unnecessary.

The modern Pentecostal revival is now over 100 years old. Within that revival, there have been some significant centers of activity. For example, the Azusa Street Revival generated a missionary movement whose effects we still see today. The Charismatic Renewal brought refreshing both to Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal believers. However, there have also been some tornadoes that have brought destruction. In other words – there have been good winds and ill winds.

It is our responsibility to maintain a deep hunger for God and to keep our focus on the mission He has given us: to bring glory to God, to evangelize the lost, and to make disciples. We cannot do this on our own. We need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit along with the signs that follow those who believe.

Someone has said that revivals are like child birth. They are messy, but you like the final result. Certainly, every revival has been marked by some elements that would be regarded as extreme. Dr. J. Edwin Orr, who studied and wrote more on the history of revivals than any one else in Christian history, told me once that revivals are like a cabin on the Maine coast that has been shuttered up for the winter. When the winds begin to blow, the first thing that begins to make noise is all the loose hinges and shutters. And, that may well be the case – so we must be cautious at the initial onset of a revival to let some “loose hinges and shutters” have their freedom – but, ultimately, if the revival is to have enduring fruitfulness, it must be pastored carefully with doctrinal soundness, moral and financial accountability, and care to give publicity to Christ rather than to the revival.

The Azusa Street revival had such enduring fruitfulness precisely because the three questions raised above can be well answered – both then and now: Christ was exalted, the Word of God was the plumb line, and people responded to the Gospel with repentance, and baptism in water and in the Spirit. And, like the early Church, they were full of the Holy Spirit and went everywhere to share the Good News!

Let us keep the prayer of Habakkuk (3:2) in our hearts and on our lips:

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds,
O LORD.

Renew them in our day,
In our time make them known.
 
Your brother in Christ,
George O. Wood
With the concurrence of the Executive Presbytery of
The General Council of the Assemblies of God
 
 
 

 

 

 Assemblies of God say Lakeland “should be avoided”?

 

from Living in the way:

I’m not sure if it is in direct response to our open letter, but I just received a note (thanks Karen) notifying me that just a few hours ago, the Assemblies of God posted an “Official Statement on Revival” . The link leads to a video of Dr. George O. Wood making comments which deal with “revival” in general. The “statement” never mentions Florida, Lakeland, Ignited Church or Todd Bentley, nor does it mention specific matters in relation to the “Florida Outpouring”.

I think this would be a good start if there is going to be some further direct statements concerning the “Florida Outpouring”. But if there will be no further statements, I would only call this a positive step to a wishy-washy objective. This statement gives no firm warning to the “sheep” to stay away from Lakeland, and to stay away from Todd Bentley and his posse of heretics

For now, I will have to take what I can get. Dr. Wood’s statement deals with the history of the Azusa Street Revival and he states: “the sure plumb line of truth was God’s revealed and written Word. Elder Seymour and others were criticized sharply for their insistence on “checking everything out with the Word.” But, they were unashamed.”

Dr. George Wood also states “The Word of God stands over personal viewpoints. Any Biblical revival must “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). If so-called truth is being proclaimed that cannot be found in Scripture, then that proclamation violates the specific announcement of Scripture that the faith “was once for all entrusted” and such a proclamation also deviates from the apostles’ fidelity to preach the Word, and from the early Church’s devotion to the apostles’ doctrine.”

Dr. Wood continues; “Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival – fidelity to God’s Word is the test.”

“In summary, the message must always be examined. If the message and the messenger line up with God’s Word, then the revival is on safe Biblical ground and it should and must be embraced. If not, then even though miracles and manifestations occur, it should be avoided.”

So according to Dr. Wood’s own statements, this “outpouring” in Lakeland, Florida is NOT on safe Biblical ground because it most assuredly DOES NOT “line up with God’s Word! Therefore, Dr. Wood implies that the “Florida Outpouring” and Todd Bentley “should be avoided.”

I wonder how Dr. Wood and the Assemblies of God national leadership will get this message to their flock??

I hate to be so pessimistic but I have a feeling that if Dr. Wood can’t bear to name names, then he must not want to turn his pastors and congregations against a “particular” outpouring.

I’m thankful that Dr. Wood has made some kind of statement (regardless of the generalities and vague non-specifics). I just pray that he does whatever it takes to make sure that the congregations hear the little bit of a leading that he expressed. (Dr. Wood… How about an article in the Pentecostal Evangel telling people to stay away from Lakeland?)

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