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My Journey From Darkness Into Light: 

“Revival” Memories Of A River And Deliverance Survivor

by an anonymous Christian and Alan Morrison

Originally posted on the Diakrisis.org website by Alan Morrison

Written in 2002, the story goes on today.

Dear Friends:
I want to share with you a most harrowing but true story of one woman’s experience in a well-known church in the U.K. (when she was a worship leader there) which was hit by the “Toronto Blessing” in 1994 and also her treatment by a high-profile so-called “deliverance ministry”. In case you think that this is all ‘old hat’ and rather out-of-date, I hasten to add that what commenced at that time is still going on unabated to this day and is still deluding and damaging a great many people. It is by no means an isolated set of circumstances that we will read about in this story but is all too common in my ten years of experience of counselling a multitude of folks who have escaped — or are in the process of escaping — from the most appalling church situations imaginable.

The dark spiritual activity which began at that time — and which hugely accelerated the degradation of churches and of the witness of the true gospel — has not in the least abated but instead has consolidated itself into a position of respectability and strength in the wider evangelical scene.

However, I don’t just want this to be yet another “horror witness” concerning the madness which takes place today in the name of Christ. I also want it to be an opportunity for us to grapple with the issues so that we are clear where we stand and can stand on that solid ground when confronted with those who would oppose. Therefore, at the conclusion of the lady’s story below, I shall return to expand some teaching and encourage further thoughts on the issues involved. It has been a long hard road for this lady to extract herself from the clutches of these fiendish deceptions. In fact, she has paid a high price with her health and is now permanently disabled. She has given her permission and encouragement for me to send this out, and to make some apposite comments. So read on, and I shall return at the conclusion of her story…
Descent Into Darkness
Originally, I was in the New Age but it was mixed up with the church we were in, my family and inherited “gifts”. No one told me they were wrong. My Dad was brought up in a spiritualist church and was introduced to many dark things by his mother, who was a spiritualist medium. He got “saved” just before I was born at a Billy Graham crusade in London. However, he still continued with his spiritualist activities, like being on the prayer list of a famous Medium, whose name was Harry Edwards, if I remember correctly.

My Father loved dark scary stories and was always getting the vibes from buildings. I learnt how to seek out cold buildings and try to find out the history of the place by laying my hands on them. My sister and I followed in our Dad’s footsteps. When we got into ESP (extra-sensory perception), I was able to make things happen like getting people to trip over. I could even predict events — always bad ones! My sister and I perfected it. We practiced for hours. We would send messages to each other from the other side of the world and write them down and compare them when we got back. I could astrally project. I could practise levitation. My sister and I practised these to a fine art. I became a very frightened person, always looking over my shoulder feeling I was being watched. As I closed my eyes at night, I always saw death, rotting corpses and other horrible things.

I gave my life to the Lord in our local Baptist church but still continued with all that. It was the time period of Uri Geller, when many things like this were popular on the TV. At the Youth Club after church we would talk about these things and do the Ouija Board in church. At school we would do levitation and put the desks together. We used to lay someone down on the desks. We all fought for this position. Then we would chant sickness over them. Each one more horrific than the last until we pronounced they were dead. Then we would levitate. One day it was my turn as usual and as they said I was dead, I had the most horrible experience. I was suddenly at the gates of hell and fire was all around. It was the most terrible thing I had ever experienced. I jumped off the table and vowed never to do it again.

A few years later, I was working at a Christian publishers in ******* . In the lunch hour I would go to the packing room and look through the discarded books which had their covers on upside down or pages missing. Many were from America. They were all about the Baptism in the Holy spirit, healing and deliverance. I read them avidly. I loved to read. Also there were tapes on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. One night I was in my bedroom and was desperate to have what these books said I could have. I wanted to know how to pray better because I found it so hard and my Christian life was dead. Suddenly, I was taken over. I was scared as I couldn’t remember my name or even speak English. I felt my mouth bubbly and my tongue tingly. I was in another world. This went on for hours.

The next day I went to work and went to see the Director of the firm who was a Pentecostal. He called me in and I told him what had happened the night before. He was so thrilled and said I’d been Baptized in the Holy Ghost. This “language” wouldn’t go away. It just kept on bubbling out. I had to keep going into the ladies toilets and put my hand in front of my mouth. This went on for months. I tried to use this conjunction with the other gifts in the Holy Spirit but when I tried to pray my head spun round fast inside and I felt like I was on a merry go round. I was confused. Meanwhile, my sister had started at University and the same thing happened to her too. Later, it happened to my Mother and Father. I repented of my Occult past and did not do any of these things again. I eventually realized that these things were Evil and not natural gifts which man had forgotten how to use.

“Power” became very important in our Christian churches — a must-have for charismatics. Everyone was reading John Wimber’s book on “Power Evangelism”. We then heard about the church starting in ******* and were amazed to see these things start happening there.

One strange thing happened to me on a leaders training day in ******* . We were all on the floor getting out our fishing rods to haul in the lost. The music was getting louder and people were exhibiting bizarre manifestations. Suddenly I was pinned to the floor. I couldn’t get up and I was being transported through the clouds at breakneck speed. I knew this was astral projection, as I used to do in my occult days. So I cried out to the Lord to save me and I came back from the astral projection and I could get off the floor. I told some others about this and they said it was great that the Lord was taking me through the Universe and I should just go with it.

As the years went on we were told from the front of the church that these things were normal. People were thrown off chairs. We were told to take our heads off and not think any longer but to “drink in the Spirit” and to “jump into the river”. So we did. Chaos had come into our church. Our real introduction to “it” came when we got drunk — not on alcohol but on the manifestations which we experienced.

Because we had small children we took turns to go to the leaders’ training meetings. That night it was very hot and all the windows were open in this ground floor room. I walked in and wondered what on earth had happened. I had not experienced it until this evening.

I saw the guest speaker sitting on a metal stool, blind drunk — a “drunkenness in the spirit”. His face was puffed out, really large. He was waving his arms at a man outside on the street shouting at him with unintelligible words. When he pointed his hand at people in the room, they did somersaults backwards and ended up on the floor unable to move, drunk with this “spirit”. Others slithered across the floor. I thought to myself “The answer is to not look at this man”, because as soon as his eyes met yours you were gone. It wasn’t just pointing – it was eye contact. So I decided not to look at him.

Others were convulsing all around me. Some were shooting each other with bows and arrows. There were no chairs so I had to sit on the floor. People were rolling fast across the floor. I ended on my back when our future Pastor rolled over my neck with his body. I cried out to the Lord as I thought I was going to break my neck. I didn’t, but it hurt. One lady was beating her chest like King Kong. At the time I thought, “what is she doing?”. She was beautifully dressed and behaving like an animal. I could see some women were very shy of all of this because they had dresses on and ended up indecent.

It was then that I made a mistake. I accidentally looked at him and he looked at me. He then said “Let her have it Lord!”. Within seconds, I was a gibbering wreck, unable to walk or talk. My body felt like it was swelling up. I started to laugh uncontrollably and everyone was rolling over me — arms, faces, legs. I knew enough to be cross inside that it had happened to me, but I could do nothing about it. Eventually, I crawled to the door to try to get out. Outside it was dark and I saw the headlights of a car coming towards me. I thought “I’m going to be killed and there is nothing I can do”. I was rescued by my future pastors, who took me home. They were thrilled that I could get under the “anointing” so quickly. It lasted for days.

Then, on Sunday my husband got ‘zapped’ by this man. At this stage, it was popular for them to zap the soles of your feet with the microphone. People went under quicker through the feet. That night, my husband drove us home with his head on his steering wheel totally drunk. From now on, it was easy to get into this experience. If anyone pointed their finger or laid hands on us, we were gone.

It was at this time that we installed the Christian Channel Europe in our home. There was programme after programme where you could get zapped if you were already under this power. From then on we were completely initiated into the “Toronto blessing”. It was August 1994.

In May 1995, we lost our drummer in the church band. He was killed by a bridge when he stuck his head out of a window of the train. He was 16. The week before this, we had experienced a visitation of angels, which of course then took us up to another spiritual notch.

Week after week we would have hands laid on us for power. The more noise you made, the more the speakers were pleased and the more they gave you. If you sat in the corner and did not get “blessed” you were thought of as awful. Often you would get chased and oil would be thrown over you.

At one leaders’ conference we attended they kept on throwing oil at us. I remember going to the ladies with others and washing our hair in the sink to get it off, plus our clothes were stained with oil. At this conference one lad was singled out as being very anointed because he made lots of noises and jerked and was thrown off his chair a lot. We were told to collect round him and get it off him. So many ended up in a heap on him. Most ladies didn’t.

Every Sunday we were told to obey our Pastors and not question them. Also we were not allowed to go home and ask the Lord if it was okay for us to do a particular task which our Pastors might have asked us to do. Several times during the services we had altar calls to come out and come under their “anointing” and for other things too.

My husband had been very unhappy for a long time and felt it was wrong so he left, which caused me much unhappiness. He joined an Anglican church with our son. So my daughter and I were left going there. I was finding the hours tiring with my daughter and with the constant pressure from my husband at this time against it. I thought as he led me into it in 1994, it has to be right. He had got it wrong, I thought. But there were many nagging doubts in me.

One Sunday we had Benny Hinn’s brother, Henry, come to speak, so everyone was very excited. He told us off because our pastor was away and someone had dared to park his car in his place. He was furious and told us so. It got late. It was about 11.00pm Sunday night. I was exhausted and so was my 5 year old daughter. He said that no one must leave or it would “break the anointing”. He was watching everyone. So I crept to the back with my daughter on my back. It took awhile and was hard work with my 5 year old on my back with me. We got to the back of the warehouse and managed to phone my husband to say we were on our way because of the lateness. I was very scared that Henry Hinn would stop me from leaving but I think he missed seeing me.

Meantime, as the keyboard player in the church band, I had a microphone to sing into. One song we were singing was composed by one of our people. It was entitled “Put the Roar Back”. “Put the roar back, roar back, put the Lion of Judah in your hearts, then we’ll take back, take back”… basically taking everything back which we were supposed to be entitled to. Money, prosperity, gold of the nations, health and wealth.

So we roared like lions with open mouths, screaming and shouting. It was then after a morning service that I had severe pain in my jaw and it wouldn’t close. I went to accident and emergency at hospital and they diagnosed it as dislocated . So the doctor, in front of students, showed how to dislocate and undislocate a jaw. I was screaming. He said it was fear and that I should stop worrying.

Over the next week I had a dental appointment which I went to. My dentist said she could not treat me because I couldn’t open my jaw. She rang the hospital and I saw a specialist that day and had an MRI. It showed it was severely degenerated. I slept for 9 months with a band round my jaw and head because of the terrible pain. Meanwhile I started getting excruciating pain in my right hip. I had X-rays and they said it was osteoarthritis.

Because of the pain I decided to step down from being music leader and sat in the congregation instead. It was there that the Lord opened my eyes. One day a lady came and prayed for my hip and jaw and really went at it. I lay on the floor and she shouted at it for ages. She made a man with cerebral palsy get up and push his own wheelchair. He was in agony. I was very upset by this.

I saw the pastor’s anger get worse. We had many famous speakers come from America who you can see on the Christian Channel. One Sunday we were told we had a man coming who was special. The man told our pastor that we weren’t to come in the evening unless we were prepared to do what he said. We were scared but still went. He was the man that prophesied over the leaders of the Christian Channel to put it into being. Jonathan David – a Malaysian who had changed his name. The evening came and all the chairs had gone. The music was deafening. We were put through a series of movements to the music. “Move to the left and then to the right. Call on the Spirit to give us more.” This was a process lasting an hour. Then we were ready. He was going to take us into the “throne room”.

My mother was with us and she started to cry. Her dead mother and father appeared to her to take her in. They were both Christians and had died a while ago. I was not happy with this because we were not allowed to see our dead relatives and I always thought that demons could do this. Eventually, this stopped and people were in a state of great delusion. I was in the middle of these people. About 500 of us. I decided to push my way to the front of the crowd to get a better look at this man. I was about 10 feet away from him and I wanted to see what his eyes were like. I looked at him and he was very scary – very evil looking. I thought how come there is nothing in him that looks like Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t look like this. He then got all the leaders of the church and prophesied over them.

By now I was a nothing in the church, having my husband step down I was ignored and I was no longer in the music. Some of the words for the people were quite bizarre, like “you’ll be known for your healing ministry and you will dress in long velvet flowing robes”. My sister and I were there and that evening we reflected over the past week’s events. We said that if he had asked people to jump from the balcony they would have. Our eyes were even more opened.

People may think “Just get out of there, what’s wrong with you?” But we had been under this “anointing” for so long that we were trapped in it. It wasn’t that simple. My use of the word “anointing” is not flippant. For it was definitely an “anointing” of something. But what?
Finding The Light
I’m not quite sure of the year. It was Easter Sunday morning, 1997 or 1998. I had come to the realization that it was all truly wrong and that I had to leave. I had come to realize how manipulative the sermons were. The Lady Pastor shouted at the start of the service. “There is a bad atmosphere in here and someone is causing it. Someone is stopping the anointing”. Gulp! I knew it was me because I had known for a long time and had stopped going forward to catch the “anointing”. She ran towards me and screamed “IT’S YOU!” She pushed me and I fell back on a lady who jumped forward to catch me. We were thrown several feet and I landed on this lady. I got up dazed not remembering what had happened but feeling upset. I sat down and the music was deafening. I saw this lady sprawled out on the floor crying in agony, who at the time I did not know had tried to catch me. I was told this later by other witnesses. Many were furious and left over this thing.

I went over to this lady, who was now lying on the floor. She was crying in agony. She explained to me what had happened. I couldn’t believe it. I prayed for her but her pain was great. She said she needed an ambulance. So I went up to the Pastor and told him. He said “never! No one goes out of here in an ambulance!” so he carried on. Meanwhile I went around asking for help and found someone and we got together with others and decided to go against the Pastor and ordered and Ambulance. When it came the men were Christians which helped a lot. She was X-rayed and found to have broken her back and was in a hairs breadth of being paralysed. It had gone into her spine and just missed the spinal chord by as much as a hair.

I visited her in hospital and felt devastated. I was told that I’d done it but had no memory of it which was worse. I felt very responsible for her agony. Of course the Pastor blamed me because I was blocking the “anointing”. In fact, I now saw the truth and realised the deception. However, I still carried on in the church as an observer. But the Lord had started to show me bit-by-bit how dangerous it all was.

One Sunday I decided to see if they’d let me back in the music group. I thought perhaps I can change things for the better! I was allowed back, but as second fiddle. It was during a music practice when I realized that I had to escape. I was the main keyboard player that evening. We had a famous guest who was joining our church. A musician who now is in a famous church in London and has appeared on the Christian Channel. Drums played an important part in worship. We were practicing songs and each time we had to get to the stage where we had “arrived”. We were either screaming, barking, groaning like giving birth or laughing hysterically. The ultimate quest was to be stoned, blind drunk in “the spirit”. This day it was the Lady Pastor. We had two. It was a husband and wife team – both Pastors.

She said that we were getting nowhere, so she started to bash the drums to a beat. This went on for ages while I had to jam in the back ground with guitars while the others roared in tongues. As the beat got more furious she started to sound like an American Indian going round a totem pole. Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo... She was making the sounds with her hands on her mouth. By now I was feeling horrible in my spirit and I asked the Lord to forgive me. She said we can take any sound and sanctify it.

I knew now that we were summoning up spirits. I decided to make an excuse and leave. I went home and told my husband who had left nine months before that I must soon leave that church altogether. But the pull was enormous. While chatting to others I realized many felt the same way but were far too scared to leave because we were cursed with death if we left the anointing. The pastor said that he would bury us within three years. So you can imagine how scared everyone was. This statement was not a one-off – it was week after week after week of indoctrination about leaving the anointing.

The next Sunday morning I was not playing the keyboard and sat in the service when the drums were thumped to a beat for ages. It was horrible – like someone was being prepared for sacrifice. I got up with my daughter and walked out shaking all over. We went to a shop and bought some chocolate to calm my nerves and caught a taxi to my husband’s church. He was so surprised to see us. However, they would not leave us alone. There were phone calls and visits. It was horrible. I walked the streets with my daughter in fear – scared to answer the phone or door.

Every Sunday at the Anglican church I found it so different. It was like a culture shock. I couldn’t trust anyone or anything. They sang modern songs and as soon as they sang anything like the other church’s songs I felt myself go under the “anointing”. So did my husband. We had to try very hard to stop it. It took about a year. We were prayed for in the Anglican church and this helped. They never got into the “Toronto ” thing.

About six months later, a friend from the old church said that we had been publicly cursed for leaving the church and that no one was allowed to speak to us. They said that we were evil and very dangerous. I just burst into tears. We had contacted an organization that supposedly helped people who had come out of these churches. So we sent a letter telling her how scared we were. She then put our story on the internet but she didn’t change the name of the town or our own names. A member of the church saw it and told the Pastors and that was why we were publicly cursed. I was so scared. Within months, my husband was in hospital with an embolism but by the grace of God he survived. One other man died in the church and others had mental breakdowns plus brain illness. I later went down with Meningitis and still greatly suffer now as a result of it.

Spiritually we did not know what to do. We didn’t even know if we were praying to the real Jesus anymore, or if it was a false Jesus. We had forgotten how to be a normal Christians. We had learnt to roar in tongues every morning for years and rely on this anointing, hardly ever reading our Bibles. So we went back to the AV and little by little came back going up and down on the way and almost giving up. But my grandma’s Baptist hymn book saved me really. The old tunes and word were in my memory deeply. This is how I came to know the real Jesus – this is how I will get back to being normal again. Now I was very ill, unable to care for myself at all. Meningitis had hit me badly. I started to read Joni Erickson’s books. Only a bit at a time because I couldn’t read properly at first. I realised the real Jesus wasn’t far away. I asked for forgiveness and to be washed clean.

It’s been a great trial to come back. In our town is a Bible book shop which only opens if you press the button because it’s more a place to store stuff and a place where they teach. They are old Reformer types and they had some video tapes on the Toronto Blessing by a man called Alan Morrison! I hired them and watched. I was amazed and he helped open my eyes. He also mentioned Ellel Ministries with which we had been involved (about which more is below), but had also eventually left. I chatted to the people in the shop who were very helpful.

When I found Alan Morrison’s Diakrisis website, it dawned on me slowly that he was the same man as the one in the videos. I am so grateful for that site! However, the truth is that I will never be the same again. My husband has never got over it and can’t even talk about it. He is not the same man. It had damaged us in so many ways and our son too, but my daughter was too young to be really affected by it. Life is hard now being so ill and not being able to care for my family. The Lord is merciful and is showing me the truth. The 1990s were a nightmare for us and the year 2000 started with meningitis, leaving me with permanent brain damage.

I would hate others to suffer like us. Alas, many do and are still suffering. Others are now being hooked on the Christian Channel. It is so easy for people to be manipulated en masse through that medium.

                                                                                    My Ellel Grange Experience
Because it was also one of the major influences in that dark period of my life, I want to share with you my nightmare experience with the “deliverance” ministry called Ellel Grange. I am telling you this because I think it is important that others realise the truth about this place. In 1991, I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband and I had heard that an organization that had a healing and deliverance ministry was setting up a branch in the South of England in a huge manor house. We were very excited as both of us had bad backs.

There was a meeting about it, which we attended. I went forward to be prayed for and they said I had a Kundalini spirit on my spine (Kundalini is a kind of snake of coiled energy in Hindu spirituality). They said it was not right to pray much now but they “bound” it and told me to see them when I had had my baby when they were properly installed at Glyndley Manor.

1992 came and I gave birth to my daughter. I decided to go for an interview with them. There were two ladies who asked much about my childhood. They arranged an appointment with a couple. This was to be one of many lasting about six months, going to all the conferences they had there and experiencing the ministry. Most of the sessions I attended with this couple lasted from 10 o’clock in the morning till 9 at night. I was exhausted by the end of each session. Basically they were taking me back on one side to the Valkuries in the Northern hemisphere. They had apparently thrown their babies over a cliff and aborted many and their souls were trapped in my body. They got me to visualise these things and I started to see them. It got very scary.

On another side there were flying carpets! Yes! Going back to the Far East. Before long, I had hundreds of demons which they were expelling every time. It got to the stage that if they’d have said “Marks and Spencer” I would have had it. By now they said there were covens in the spirit world around me and power points through which they were getting into me. They had talks with people above them and it was decided that I was in such a bad state that I needed to go to their other healing centre at Ellel Grange in the North of England. So a time was set for me to go: July 1993. That was about three weeks away. So when the time came, I said good bye to my 10 year old son, toddler daughter and husband, and off I went.

When I got there, I was told that I was the second person to have this type of ministry. The Director had done this to one lady and she had then done it to another woman. Then there was another, who couldn’t cope, but they thought I could. I arrived in this wing off the stables. It was built for this purpose. It had a kitchen, lounge and one bedroom and bathroom. I was to have one lady sleep in the same bedroom as me. The man who had been counselling me at the South of England branch had also come to stay in the Grange and came to all the meals and sessions with me.

It was like a mental hospital. I was locked in and only allowed out with two people with me. All meals were served on my lap from the Grange kitchen. Most ministry did not get going till 10 p.m. at night because the main counsellor who had had this done to her by the Director was a night person, so I was told. I was not. They said I had many children trapped in me from various stages in my childhood. Each night they bound them down until they were ready to come out. I soon realized that If I didn’t co-operate I would never get free of these people and this “mental hospital”. The main thrust was I had to get in touch with my anger. Large pillows were provided. I had to get into a mode where I was thumping them and then my anger would be released.

At about 10 p.m., under the personal instruction of the Director, a pork chop arrived on its own on a plate which I had to eat in front of everyone. By now there were three women and two men “ministering” to me. All accept one of these people collapsed themselves and exhibited strange manifestations and it was mayhem. It was just like a really crazy mental hospital. The only relief was the beautiful walks in the grounds and by the river — but of course there were always three of us. One of them even had to stand outside the toilet waiting for me.

It came to a climax in the third week. I had bruised and bleeding elbows, hands and knees. I had not reached where they wanted me to go. This night the lady in charge started to bully me intensely to make me react and fight back. I just kept on collapsing in hysterics on the floor. Hour after hour this went on, bullying, name calling, pushing and shoving. Still I kept on crying and ended up in a heap. Then the worst thing happened. She climbed on top of me pretending she was going to abuse me (I had been abused in my past by a woman and she knew this). I simply couldn’t take anymore. I was confused and very scared. So, at about 3 a.m. in the early hours I snapped and went for her. She was thrilled. I’d finally made it. They took a photo. I was sweaty and horrible.

The next day they finished it off.

They said they would hold a children’s tea party for the children in me. They did so, and invited another man who was to be a little boy at my party who had also exhibited manifestations and had the little children in him too. I had to regress and have fun like a child. I actually felt like one. It was weird. Then they called them all out, starting at age three. They then asked each child who was behind until I’d grown up.

The next day they said I’d finished and the doors were unlocked. Meanwhile it seemed that there were problems with my counsellors. Some were in tears when I saw them. There were words. Three days passed and I was ignored and left to myself. I then asked the man who had brought me up there, who had counselled me with his wife, what was going on. Apparently, they had all been in trouble with the Director because of the way the ministry had gone on and that even the counsellors were exhibiting manifestations.

I drove home the next day feeling vulnerable, and that was that. A few weeks later, I went to an open day at Glyndley Manor and was told that heads were rolling over the way my ministry was carried out. The Director then apologised to me via someone else. They stopped this ministry and carried on with it in a less intense way. Meanwhile my husband had ministry with them and was very unhappy with the way he was taken back several generations. We came straight out of all this into the large Toronto Blessing church which I wrote about in the previous section. Out of the frying pan into the fire. In 1998, we left that church and tried to get help. It was suggested that we try Ellel Grange again, because they said that had improved! So I did and then received similar ministry. Soon after this I contracted Meningitis, resulting in brain damage, and my husband was also rushed into hospital with an Embolism.

We are now in a Baptist church and three months ago I went up for prayer. The same man who took me up to Ellel Grange was there in our church in a ministry position. He talked with me and said that he still ministers and teaches at Ellel. He then told me that my meningitis is caused by part of someone’s spirit entering me who I had contact with in the past who had meningitis. Of course this was the Lady Pastor in the previous church. She recovered quickly though. Here we are now, confused and vulnerable but determined to be free.
POSTSCRIPT
I am continually reminded of the past and don’t seem to be able to escape from it. Here is an example, which happened yesterday while I was out with my daughter in my wheelchair. I had to get her some new school clothes for the start of the Autumn term. At the shop, I met a lady who was in the large charismatic Toronto-type church we used to belong to. She looked at me in horror and said “You’re not still in that wheelchair are you?” She then grabbed my shoulder hard and said loudly “It’s not Gods will for you to be in there. You shouldn’t be in there”. She then very harshly told me that it is never God’s will for anyone to be sick, that I must be healed and then started to tell me about “another” man coming to their church who had a healing gift. Her spirit was so harsh and uncaring. So I grabbed her arm which took hers off mine and said that at the moment it is God’s will for me to be in the wheelchair. To which she shouted “Never!” with such disdain.

The shop we were in was very crowded and I was getting very hot. I was aware of people listening. I then tried to explain that the Lord loves people and cares for the hurting and disabled people and that I am now reaching them. I told her that the Lord has softened my heart towards sick people. Now that I’m one myself, I have an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to them. I said I may never be healed. She then just hissed with mockery. I wanted to move away because I was very upset but I was determined not to. The abuse was terrible.

I said that at one time I used to find wheelchairs annoying if they were in my way, but not anymore, and that the Lord had allowed me to be sick to show me things. She was furious and laughed mockingly. I said He loves sick people and that there are so many hurting Christians who have been to so many meetings and are still sick. They are really hurt and need grace to get through each day. I said that I need the Lord’s help to get through each hour and that I have a lot of pain in my body. She was amazed and said “Have you?!” I said that the sick need love more than anything, and peace and quiet. She then turned her back on me and walked off angrily. Last night I could not sleep and had terrible palpitations on top of everything else. My husband prayed for me though.

As I reflected on this unpleasant meeting, I wondered if she and I are talking about the same Jesus! 

I’m praying that some of my conversation may help her to understand those who are ill in church and not mock them when they are not healed. Maybe it was meant to help her. I don’t know if it will, but it did hurt me.

Commentary By Alan Morrison

I’d like to make a few comments after that awful tale, which almost beggars belief, if one isn’t already aware of the real extent of these activities. You may think that the events described above are extreme and not very widespread. But that would be a mistake. I have counselled many hundreds of people with a similar experience during the last 10 years. There are so many who come to churches for help and succour only to find themselves subjected to such an onslaught, which often lasts for years. Why should this be?

Before I attempt to answer that question, let me first say that the churches and people and institutions mentioned above are widely regarded as respectable in the evangelical scene in the U.K. today. (And even where they are not, no one dares to speak out against them for fear of being branded as “divisive to the Body”). That they should be regarded as respectable is an insult of the highest order to Christ and a sure sign of the decadent state of the church in the world today. It is taken for granted that such “deliverance ministry” is on a par with the casting out of demons practised by the Lord Jesus Christ. But they are as far apart from each other as one could imagine.

What possible biblical basis could there be for people calling themselves Christians to put curses on others calling themselves Christians simply because they disagree with them or because they leave their church? The whole idea is not only bizarre in the extreme but it is utterly pagan. One only finds such terrible activities in the worst kind of black magic. How anyone could do such a thing and imagine that they are a Christian is quite extraordinary.

And a further question is begged here: Could such curses uttered in these churches be effective from an objective point of view? Only insofar as the people being cursed believe it to be so. I do not believe that these perverted people uttering the curses have any objective power whatsoever over genuine Christians. Believers have the assurance that “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). They have the assurance that “He who has been born of God keeps himself [i.e. guards himself against sinful behaviour], and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). Believers have the assurance that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Why did the lady who wrote the above story fall victim to Meningitis? Was it the result of a curse (which is no doubt what some people and the pastor involved in her former church will believe)? Was it the result of “part of someone’s spirit” entering her who she had contact with in the past who had Meningitis, as the Ellel Grange counsellor told her recently? Not at all. We must not believe any of that hocus-pocus for a moment! I can’t think of any more irresponsible explanations than those that this lady has been given by these so-called counsellors, which are more suited to pagan superstition and the Grimm Brothers than biblical exposition and godly counsel.

The most plausible explanation for her contraction of meningitis is that the horrendous stress and abuse inflicted on her by her spiritual guides over the span of a decade — much of it spent imagining that she had hundreds of demons, spirits of the dead and phantom children inside her — made her body weak and vulnerable to infection. I think the same is true also for her husband’s embolism. I would agree with her own courageous analysis that it is God’s will for her to be in that wheelchair at this time. However, the future may hold all sorts of wonderful surprises in store for her, and we must still pray for her healing.

On that note, I want to present four definitive statements here about illness, disability and the Christian — and may they ricochet around the cosmos and deafen the ears of those who teach otherwise! Those statements are:
Definitive Statement No.1: Every single one of us is permanently disabled in many different ways in this life”.
Definitive Statement No.2: Every single one of us is going to die from illness or degenerated body tissue”.
Definitive Statement No.3: God does not want or expect everyone to be continually healthy, wealthy and happy”.
Definitive Statement No.4: God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes, but always with the proviso that He is working “good” for the believer and making us more like His Son
It is necessary to stress these statements today, because there are very many professing Christians who foolishly think that illness or disablement or hard times or suffering or distress are all signs of a lousy relationship with the Lord or disobedience to Him or quenching the Spirit in some way in our lives. But here I want to make an impassioned personal response to the events mentioned in the lady’s story above.

To teach that Christians should not get sick and that they have a right to permanent healing in this life is to teach a kind of perfectionism, and represents a serious misunderstanding of biblical anthropology (human nature in the wake of the Fall) and soteriology (the process of redemption). The Bible clearly shows that “the whole creation groans” (Rom.8:22), and that even we “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves”, and have to wait for “the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:23) until the time that “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom.8:21). This is very basic Bible teaching about the process of redemption in the cosmos.

Sickness exists because we live in a fallen world, and the Christian — even though he or she is a part of the perfect world to come, i.e. is now in the kingdom of God — still exists in this fallen world, with all its problems and obstacles, and still has to decay and die in the physical realm. Because of that, it is true to say that we are ALL disabled in this life, to a greater or lesser degree. Some people can’t use their legs, some can’t use their brains, some can’t write properly, some can’t make head or tail of a problem staring them in the face, some can’t exist without a cigarette (a real disablement!), some can’t bring up their children properly, some can’t read or write, some can’t understand William Shakespeare, some can’t fly a kite, some can’t tell the difference between good and evil, some can’t see with their eyes, some can’t see with their hearts.

We – even we Christians – are ALL disabled to a greater or lesser degree and yet, in spite of that, we complement each other and must help one another. Understanding this truth would save a lot of heartache in the churches today. If it was true that God doesn’t want us ever to be ill and that we have a perfect right to full health, then that proves too much because then it must surely follow that He doesn’t want us to die and that we should just have eternal life right now. But even the Christian must die, and most will die of sickness, and many will suffer a painful lingering death, no matter how faithful or weak they have been. Fallen body tissue degenerates. That is the fallen nature of humanity and the world in which we live. The difference is – as the expositor Matthew Henry so ably put it – that “for the unbeliever, death is the end of all joys, and for the believer death is the end of all griefs”.

The truth which these people just will not accept is that believers have to wait for the after-life in order to experience full health and prosperity (Rev.21:7). As Augustine of Hippo put it in his heading to Chapter 19 of Book XXII of his book “The City of God”:
All bodily blemishes which mar human beauty in this life shall be removed in the resurrection, the natural substance of the body remaining, but the quality and quantity of it being altered so as to produce beauty
Until then, we will have to endure wheelchairs and crutches, fillings and screws, appendectomies and medicinal brews. So far, we have only experienced the Kingdom in its grace, but not yet in the fullness of its glory. That awaits us beyond this life.

Certainly the Lord wants us to be happy (in the highest sense of “blessedness”, as the Greek word makarios imports, Matt.5:3-11 & Rev.1:3, etc.); but His idea of our happiness may be (and almost always is) vastly different to our own. So often, we see our happiness from an ‘instant gratification’ standpoint, whereas the Lord views our happiness from a long-term perspective. He knows (whereas we don’t) that our ultimate happiness (blessedness) may involve sitting in a wheelchair or getting knocked down by a car or being imprisoned, ostracised, tortured or even being killed. Oh how little we understand! Oh how much we want to superimpose our petty minds on the vast plan of God! All those spiritual pigmies with their “healing” and “deliverance” ministries are actually working against the Lord’s will rather than carrying it out, and are (from a human standpoint) undermining His true labour.

This is why I can confidently state that “God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes”. For this is how He moulds us into being more like Christ. If you deny that, then read Heb.12:3-11 and Rom.8:28-29. If you deny that, then read about the experience of so many saints in history who have suffered persecution, extended torture and finally martyrdom (cf. Heb.11:32-40). Was their experience a sign of their lack of faith? To imagine that the Lord wants everyone to be healthy, wealthy and happy always in this life is to miss entirely the deep things of God. The froth of charismania and Toronto-style experience goes hand-in-hand with the superficial teachings of the Word of Faith movement.

How is it that these churches — or cults, as they should properly be called — and these so-called “healing centres” are allowed to remain in existence? If they were running a hospital, a therapy institute, an elderly person’s home, a day-care centre for the handicapped, a children’s home or some other social agency, and carried on these practices, they would soon be held up on disciplinary proceedings and removed from their office in disgrace. Some of them may even find themselves to be the subject of criminal charges.

As for Ellel Grange — or “Hellhole Grange”, as it is properly called by those who understand its true origins — it should have been razed to the ground years ago and its workers arrested on criminal charges or made the subject of numerous civil lawsuits claiming damages for harassment and emotional distress. In the U.K. newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, March 8th 1992, even the wife of the Director of Ellel Grange said that it is “a dangerous place”, claiming that “what he [her husband] is doing is as dangerous as the occult practices he preaches against”. In a BBC documentary which I have in my possession on video (Everyman, 1995), Steven Pockson, a former trainee counsellor at Ellel Grange, spoke of how he came to be accused of having a “demon of lust” and was subsequently assaulted by the staff there in a bizarre “deliverance” ritual. He spoke of the way that the Director (who is also the co-compiler of a leading modern hymnbook used in most of the churches in the U.K.) is obsessed with demons and sees them in everyone. Most telling of all, this former counsellor at Ellel Grange said:
“I have nothing but disgust for these methods. I certainly wouldn’t recommend them or condone them as Christian practice in any way. They’re intrusive; they’re violent; they’re impolite at the very least. And I don’t think they are helpful. I’m aware of a number of people who are still suffering the psychological effects of this type of counselling.”
Some years ago, I received a letter asking me to withdraw some derogatory comments I had made publicly about Ellel Grange. It contained more than a hint about possible legal action. I refused to withdraw those comments, and I still do so today. Actually I challenge them to sue me right now! It would be a great work for Truth to go eyeball to eyeball in a court of law with these charlatans. I welcome the opportunity. I would come to court armed with reams of documented evidence from all the abused people I’ve counselled over the years proving that Ellel Grange and similar outfits are a blot on the face of the earth and have harmed far more people than they may claim to have helped with their phoney and entirely transparent catharsis therapy, not to mention their fanciful (and harmful) theories about demon-possession coming down the generations as a result of some sin or occult activity in the lives of one’s ancestors.

A number of years ago a conservative politician in the UK spoke of what he called “the unacceptable face of capitalism” – a reference to the corruption and chicanery which goes on at the heart of many financial institutions. Surely we also need to speak out publicly about “the unacceptable face of evangelicalism”, as so many people calling themselves “evangelical” support, condone, endorse and even attend the cultish churches and healing centres which have become such a widespread feature of modern-day church life.

Why is it that these religious perversions are allowed to continue? They are not only an affront to the name of Christ – whom they claim to represent – but they are also incompatible with a civilised society. What they have done to this lady, and others like her, is nothing short of criminal. How come the perpetrators of this malevolence have not been locked up in prison or put in a mental hospital, where they can no longer harm people and abuse them spiritually and emotionally? Why, years later, are they still in practice and raking in money for the purchase and upkeep of huge mansions and estates?

Two answers come immediately to mind:

1) The victims are so exhausted and intimidated by real or implied threats of being cursed that they feel unable to approach the police or lawyers to file complaints;

2) Many rich and influential people are involved in this mayhem (even Anglican Bishops have been on the board of Ellel Grange), which thus affords it a measure of protection and brings in the cash.

However, while those two answers may explain, from an earthly standpoint, why they have been able to proliferate so successfully, there is, I believe, another, deeper aspect to the presence of these cultish churches and movements, and it is this: The whole thing is a sinister shadow of wickedness instigated by dark powers in the heavenlies and their emissaries on earth intent on destroying the credible witness of the church. Surely, as the power of darkness comes into the ascendancy at this extraordinary point in history, we will see the unfettered growth of these chaotic “churches” and destructive “healing centres”.

Our job, therefore — yours and mine — is to expose them for what they are, both journalistically and theologically, and to offer a hand of rescue to those caught in their miserable grip. There are many suffering at the hands of these “ministries” who have serious doubts about them, but they are too fearful to voice those doubts openly. If we publicly provide a gentle path for them to make their exit, their courage will be supported and their journey made easier. May the Lord help us to do so…
Yours, in the cause of God and truth,
ALAN MORRISON Diakrisis International
© Alan Morrison, Diakrisis International, 2002

ALAN MORRISON is a Baptist minister who established Diakrisis International originally in 1990 to acquaint believers with the importance of Christian apologetics, to provide written commentary and public speaking on a wide range of topical, doctrinal and pastoral issues, and to hold out a hand of rescue to those who suffer psychological and spiritual manipulation in the religious scene. Rev. Morrison has, since the publication of this on his website in 2002, shut the web site down to engage in a church planting project in France. We have adapted an email containing this Christian woman’s testimony for usage in this article and did not omit nor insert a single word into this truly terrifying and yet avowedly true story.

While Spiritwatch Ministries does not endorse his views on an end time conspiracy theory that links a shadowy network of occult organizations promoting a globalist New World Order, Rev. Morrison’s work in discerning this strange fire burning in the Pentecostal and Charismatic world is highly recommended.  RM

About eight years ago I begin hearing about Chuck Missler. Today information is abundant with the likes of social media. News is passed on like wildfire.

Teachings from Chuck Missler are easily available and what I first read caused alarm. What? Bible Codes? Numerology? Microcodes, Macrocodes and Metacodes.  My first thought was that this man has no interest in teaching the Bible. If he did at one time,  then he has surely lost his way.

Other issues surfaced. Plagiarism, purgatory, and support for a book “Have Heart” which suggests necromancy.

But….I was ridiculed for posting warnings about a  favorite teacher from Calvary Chapel.

So now it has come to this. Please read this from Herescope.

http://herescope.net

THE MERGING OF MUDDY RIVERS

The Singing Prophet Kim Clement. . .
. . . Washes in Chuck Missler’s Stream


“And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. (Ezekiel 34:17-19)
Kim Clement hosts Chuck Missler – End Times Conference
(image is taken from the Koinonia Institute email alert, Jan. 8, 2015)
By Gaylene Goodroad

“And he [Naaman] has a river problem. He does.  And many of us don’t want to wash in a river because we feel that our rivers are better….  And because of that, he [Naaman] lost out—he could have lost out on being healed and being restored.  I was in that position.  I don’t want to dip myself and wash myself in that river because we have something better.  Which apparently was the Kingdom message, and you know, Word of Faith and all this great stuff that was out there—but so unbalanced. And one of them was, of course, end times. And I mocked it many times… eventually Naaman goes and washes himself in the river and he is restored.  Don’t reject this river [Missler’s] because you think that what you have is better.  We need rivers to restore us. And I am proud to say that the Lord God, through my wife, brought this representative of that river to us [Missler], so we could be restored and have a healthy outlook and preach the gospel, and win the lost, touch the untouchable, and reach the unreachable. And that’s what we’re gonna do! …”
– NAR Prophet Kim Clement[i]

“This is what it is.  I was very desperate to hear the truth  about the Second Coming and about the Rapture….  In the meantime, my wife, who by the way, for thirty-something years basically trusted what I taught… she knew there was a gap somewhere… she was searching and getting—listening to different teachers. And she was getting passionate. And then I heard this voice… I’d said to Greg [Wark], Greg just tell me of a teacher that can tell us the whole thing, uh, in a nutshell. So I don’t have to spend days and hours and weeks learning.  And Greg said there’s only one man that I can guarantee will teach you and impart something on you. His name is Dr. Chuck Missler. And I said to Greg. Okay, I’ll let Jane listen to him… She’s been telling me about Isaiah 53 being the Holy of Holies and all this stuff. And I’ve been listening to what he’s been saying.  And so I asked the Lord to do what He did with Cornelius. Cornelius prayed. I pray a lot. Cornelius gave alms and God sent the very best to him. And He sent—and I know Dr. Chuck won’t even acknowledge this—but I said to the Lord, ‘Send me the best for my people, cause I love my people’. For thirty six years I fought being a pastor, you know that. And then He gave me all these people. We have an online church of almost 15 thousand people. I said, ‘why are you doing this? I’m not a good pastor.’ Well, apparently, I am, because I got the best. And so I believe that we’re going to be taught.  And this is the beginning of a moment in destiny that I believe is God-orchestrated long before we were born.”
– NAR Prophet Kim Clement[ii]

“I thank you for having me and what a thrill to really have people so hungry for the word. And we’re [Missler and Ron Matsen] so glad to be here. And we have an opportunity, not just for a little session or two, but a whole survey of the end time perspective. And the passion that’s here for the word of God is so refreshing, and so contagious! I can’t tell you that Ron and I are so thrilled to be part of this Kim, and uh, we sense a real partnership emerging between Kim and myself. I just couldn’t be more pleased. And I thank you [Kim], and I thank you Jane [Clement] for making this possible.”
– Bible Teacher Chuck Missler[iii]

Missler and Clement embrace at Clement’s House of Destiny

“You know, it’s rare—let me be blunt. It’s rare to encounter someone with the integrity and character that I find in this new friend—new brother and friend [Clement]. I just appreciate that.”
– Chuck Missler[iv]

ANALYZING CHUCK MISSLER’S ‘STREAM’
For the past few years, we have documented the ever-mystical leanings of notable Bible teacher and author, Chuck Missler, ultimately listing him among a group of evangelical teachers we’ve dubbed ‘Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm’ (PPP) leaders, because of their gravitation away from sound truth revealed in Scripture alone, coupled with their feverish efforts to re-fashion end-times prophecy to fit their extra-biblical speculations. We have written extensively and in detail of these seductive, morphing departures from the Word of God.[v] The end result has been a toxic mixture of truth and error—leading away from Christ and headlong into the occult.

Finish article HERE

This  is posted from the  Bethel Church and Christianity Facebook Page.  To date, the author has not been determined.

SAVED FROM THE DECEPTION OF CHARISMANIA

GOD SAVED ME AND BROUGHT ME OUT OF THE SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENT

God saved me, and brought me out of the Signs and Wonders Movement, after being involved in it for nearly twenty-two years; I am now twenty-three years of age and have been saved for about a year and a half. This is my testimony, and in writing this I pray that God would use this to save others out of the movement that I was so heavily involved in, and that above all else, Christ will be magnified and made much of!

I was born and raised in the “Prophetic Movement” (which is now in the process of morphing into the “New Apostolic Reformation”), and I grew up completely oblivious to what Biblical Christianity is meant to look like. Some of the leaders who had an influence on how I perceived what the church is to look like, have included John and Carol Arnott of the “Toronto Blessing”, Rodney Howard Browne of the “Brownsville Revival”, and others such as Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Chris Harvey, Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, Randy Clark, Patricia King, Georgian Banov, Bobby Conners, Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, and Bill Johnson.

In the fall of 2002 I ended up moving to Redding, California to get “plugged-in” to Bethel Church, which Bill Johnson (a self-proclaimed “apostle”) oversees. It was here where I ended up jumping into and entertaining the supernatural phenomenon, signs and wonders, and mystical experiences (which were falsely attributed to God) in a much greater way then I did when I was a kid growing up. I soon got involved in the youth group, which was heavily influenced by Lou Engle who heads up “The Call” and Mike Bickle who heads up “IHOP” (International House Of Prayer). I later enrolled in Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in 2006, and went through the whole three-year program. I was heavily engaged and supportive of many of the things, which were being taught and practiced. When Todd Bentley and his, “Lakeland Revival” began to take place, I jumped on board with that as well, and became a full supporter and advocate for it. I was gladfully defending it against all the, “Religious Pharisees” (or so I called them at the time). It was also at this time that I noticed the, “Toking the Ghost” movement and became a “Toker” myself, and a full supporter of John Crowder and Ben Dunn.

However, when Todd Bentley’s affair was made public (August ’08), I ended up becoming grieved by what happened and by the poor response that was to follow. Shortly after the crash of the “Lakeland Revival” I received some severe rebukes for being involved with John Crowder’s and Ben Dunn’s “Toking Mania”, and so I withdrew myself from this aspect of the chaos. It was also at this time, while I was in my third year internship with Bethel, that I was starting to notice that things didn’t line up and I began to question the legitimacy of the Prophetic Movement.

First off, before I share my testimony of how God saved me and brought me out of this movement, I want to explain why I believe that Bethel is a cult, and not just on the charismatic fringe. Labeling someone or a group a “cult” is not a thing to take lightly and so I hope to explain why I believe this to be true with the Word of God. The following statements are examples of the beliefs and practices of Bethel, their school of supernatural ministry, and other ministries who they consider to be their friends and partners in revival. I will not be able to share everything that I was involved with, but in sharing some things I hope to bring some awareness to the dangers that this movement possesses, and bring encouragement to those of you who are praying for friends and loved ones who are entangled in this deception.

TO THE GLORIOUS PRAISE OF MAN AND A STRANGE FORM OF SINLESS PERFECTIONISM

Bethel has a really high view of man, and is extremely man centered. My understanding after being involved with Bethel for almost seven years, and after going through three years of their school of ministry is that they teach that man is basically free to choose good or evil, and that man isn’t all that bad. They would teach that man, prior to coming to Christ is a sinner, but even though he is a sinner he isn’t all that wicked. They would teach that if you pay your bills, don’t cheat on your taxes, and love your family that you are a good person. The leadership at Bethel is quick to impress this into the students who go to the School of Supernatural Ministry in the very beginning of their schooling. Kris Vallotton (a self-proclaimed “prophet”), who is Bill Johnson’s right hand man, would be quick to tell the students how amazing they are, and that they are not wretches or all that bad. It is taught that you are a child of God (which is true for those who are saved), so (by their definition) that means you are “royalty”, “amazing”, “kings” and “queens” so how can you be a wretch? Here is a link to a video clip that is on  Kris Vallotton’s website, where he talks about the royalty of man, and how amazing you are.

(http://www.kvministries.com/media/index.php?type=5&id=47&foreign_id=47&media_id=41)

*update  video no longer available*

But the Scriptures say otherwise concerning the “goodness” of man. The Word of God says that all of man’s righteousness is like a filthy rag useless for anything at all. Isaiah 64:6 “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” This is to say that all of our own efforts of “goodness” amount to disgusting garbage in the sight of God. The Apostle Paul wrote concerning men and their sinfulness. Romans 3:10-18 ““None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”” Paul further writes Romans 8:7-8, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law, indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (More Scriptures concerning man’s total depravity: Gen 6:5, Ps 14:1-3, Ps 51:5, Jer 17:9, Ro 5:10-12, Eph 2:1-3) The Scriptures makes it clear that men are born with a sinful nature, and commit sin by nature and choice. Man is not good for the most part, with some sin, but rather man is totally corrupt and in love with his sin, and does not wish to part from his sin. For “no one does good, not even one.” men are naturally “hostile to God” and have a “heart of stone”(Ezekiel 36:26), nor do they naturally seek for God. People are not waiting to hear about the wonderful plan that Jesus has for their life, for they hate Him and are not submissive to Him (John 15:18-25). It is not until God does a saving work in the sinner’s life, (Jon 2:9, Jn 1:12-13, Jn 3:3-8, Jn 6:37, Jn 6:44, Jn 10:25-30, Ro 8:28-30, Ro 9, Tit 3:5) that the person is able and willing to seek for, submit to, and treasure God.

It is also taught at Bethel that once you become a Christian you are no longer a sinner. One of their “key verses” for this is taken from Romans 6:11 “So you also must consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Kris Vallotton would take this and say that since you are “dead to sin” you are no longer a sinner. But the context of “consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” means that we are no longer enslaved to sin, to fulfill its lusts and desires, that it is no longer the thing that drives us, it is not that we are no longer sinners. Now, the leadership at Bethel does not teach that a Christian can’t sin, but rather they teach that if a Christian does sin it does not make him a sinner. In other-words (they would teach), if a Christian does sin it is because they believed a lie that they still struggle with sin. Here is a link to a video clip of Kris Vallotton talking about Christians not being sinners. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvS2kkIoyAs) What does scripture have to say about Christians being sinners? Are Christians still sinners? If we were to look at 1 John 1:8-10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Scripture tells us we are sinners because, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” If we claim to be sinless we lie and do not have the truth in us, or in other-words if someone was to truly believe that they are sinless then they are not truly saved.

Note on Video: [The fundamental error in Kris’ teaching is that he has missed the overriding context of 1 John. John writes to those who have made a profession of Christ (1 John 5:13) in an effort to assure them of their salvation. John does not write to non-believers as Mr. Vallotton suggests, therefore, he is guilty of allowing his presuppositions concerning sin and salvation to misleadingly guide his interpretation down an avenue that the apostle never imagined.]

SHAKE -N-BAKE WITH A SIDE OF KUNDALINI

Among one of the more common and heavily embraced practices would be that of getting “drunk in the Spirit”. This is where you lay hands on each other, pray for each other, or ask the Lord to get you “hammered”, in which people (including myself) would have experienced spiritual bliss, joy, and ecstasies. People would react differently to these experiences, some would fall down and not be able to stand, others would stumble around as if heavily intoxicated with alcohol, some would shake violently, and others would experience the blissful side of this but not necessarily exert any physical manifestations. Although, I do not doubt that their are those who would “fake” being drunk (I did this at times), this does not exclude the reality that people regularly experience spiritual highs when practicing this. One of the main “proof” texts for this is taken from Acts 2:1-15. “But others mocking said, “they are filled with new wine.””(vs. 13) and “These people are not drunk as you suppose”(vs. 15a) The defense for “getting drunk in the spirit” is that they were “drunk”, so they were drunk in the Holy Spirit (aka: falling down, laughing, twitching, and shaking), because people thought that they were drunk, and that is how drunk people act. But if we were to look at the text a little bit closer we would see clearly why they thought that they were drunk. We read in verses 1 -13, “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing him speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians – we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “what does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”” There were those who thought that the disciples were drunk because they were speaking in tongues (foreign languages and dialects unknown to the speakers) “Telling the mighty works of God.” It was because of this that people thought that they were drunk. There is nothing about shaking and baking in the text at all!

These drunken manifestations that are experienced within the Prophetic Movement are identical to that of Kundalini. Kundalini is a practice found in New Age groups as well as eastern mysticism. These practices would include physical manifestations, such as jerking and shaking, and feelings of heat, energy, and pleasure. There is absolutely nothing in the Scriptures that even come close to supporting this practice at all! With this it is safe to say that getting drunk in the spirit is a counterfeit experience. Here is a link to a good video clip that Andrew Strom did on the Kundalini, and the manifestations of “drunkenness” found within the Prophetic Movement. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpw2oQrvMM). The Scriptures warn us that people will turn away from the Truth and follow what is false: 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teachings, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

WHEN SOLA SCRIPTURA IS NOT ENOUGH

Another common practice is for people to hear the Lord “speak to them prophetically”. In this movement and at Bethel in particular it is taught that the Lord is always and continually speaking to you (apart from the Scriptures), and all you have to do is “tune” in to the right station (like an FM/AM radio) to be able to hear from the Lord. Some of the different ways that they teach that you can hear from the Lord would include: audibly, open visions, angels, the inner-audible-voice (where you hear the Lord speak audibly inside of you, rather than on the outside), the still small voice (like that of a faint whisper), feelings (where you “feel” what the Lord is saying to you), and dreams. (however, compare that with Hebrews 1:1-2) They would say that all prophecy is for edification, exhortation, and comfort and that when you give someone a prophecy, you are doing so to encourage them and to help build them up. For Example: you would receive a prophetic “download” about someone and prophecy over them by telling them something that may sound like this, “The Lord really likes how you like numbers, so I feel like you have a grace on your life to be an accountant.” This is something that if you were to ask the leadership at Bethel about, or anyone who has been apart of Bethel for any length of time, that they would testify too.

This “continual speaking” also embarks into the arena of authoritative new revelations, or extra Biblical revelations. It is believed and taught at Bethel that the Lord is revealing new truths apart from what has already been revealed to us in the Scriptures. Bill Johnson has said, “The Lord wants to give revelation at a measure that has never, I don’t think has ever happened in the world before. The spirit of revelation is being released upon the church, but I’ll, let me tell you one of the things that makes room for the spirit of revelation to come, it’s the fact that we are willing to embrace mystery.” Here is a link to a video clip where you will hear Bill say this, and as well hear him expand on it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pfa_kj1NUk). For an actual example of extra Biblical revelation: Bethel recently had Cindy Jacobs (who is a self-proclaimed “prophetess”) come to Bethel on 09-01-10, which she gave a “prophetic word” over Bethel, about Bethel building buildings, being an apostolic center, and taking the media mountain (the “mountain” concept will be explained in the section “At The Root Of It All”). Here is a portion of Cindy Jacob’s “prophecy” over Bethel.“The apostolic team here will have to pray over this and unpack it and see what it will look like. There might be other buildings in-between and other ways. In order to do what you’re going to do, you are going to need a lot of buildings. Because the Lord says, “I am getting ready to build this apostolic network and many people are going to come and say, “I need to join.” And I am going to show you how to do this organically but yet put structure to it.” The Lord says, “do not fear to step out and do that. My people need a home and a place. I have put a heart in many that have the DNA of revival and healing and revivalists and miracles…. where will they find a resting place? There is a desire to find a resting place.” You can read the full transcript of this “prophecy” at this link

(http://www.ibethel.org/site/articles/2010/08/09/prophetic-word-for-bethel-church).

*update…no longer available*

While I was involved in the Prophetic Movement it was my experience that many people (yet not all) didn’t bother to read their Bibles on a regular basis, which was also the case for me. From what I observed I believe this was the case because it is believed that we need fresh words from the Lord, and the Written Word of God is not enough, and it is believed that you can’t walk in the fullness of your relationship with the Lord using the Scriptures alone.

The Scriptures do teach us that the Word of God is sufficient, 2 Timothy shows us of the sufficiency of Scriptures, that the Scriptures are enough, we do not need new revelation. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” The Scriptures are enough that one may be “competent, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teachings, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

2 Peter 1:16-21 “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. . [Peter is referring to his experience on the Mt. of Transfiguration (with James and John) when Jesus was transfigured and Moses and Elijah appeared] And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, [The exact meaning of “prophetic word” is described in verse 20 as “Prophecy of Scripture”.] to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” What the Apostle Peter is saying is that they have received something even “more sure” than the audible voice of God, transfiguration of Jesus, and appearance of Moses and Elijah… The Word of God! Scripture is enough and there is no need for new revelations whatsoever!

IS IT ALLWAYS GOD’S WILL TO HEAL EVERYONE?

One belief and practice that is heavily embraced and aggressively defended, is that it is always God’s will to heal everyone, and that if someone is sick it is against the will of God, and you have authority to take dominion over sickness, disease, and even death. One verse in particular, that is Bill Johnson’s and Bethel’s “hallmark” verse that is used in the defense of this is found in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So the defense goes that there is no sickness in heaven so there should be no sickness here on earth, there is no diseases in heaven so there should be no diseases here on earth. On earth as it is in Heaven. But if we were to look at this verse in its proper context it means that we are to pray that the Lord’s will be done here on earth. God is sovereign over heaven and His will is being expressed and experienced there, so likewise we are to pray that the Lord’s sovereign will be expressed and experienced here on earth as well. The Leadership at Bethel are also contending for a cancer free zone within Redding, California. Bill has said, “It’s really possible for Redding to be cancer free.” He also said, “It’s possible (for Redding to be cancer free) because it doesn’t exist in Heaven, and He said, “On Earth as it is in Heaven.”’ Here is a link where you can listen to a video clip of Bill saying these things (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4wwTw7ZOtk).

*update..video no longer available*

What is the will of God? John 6:32-40, “Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” It is God’s will that men believe in Jesus Christ savingly and receive eternal life!

Another widely used verse that is used in defense of it being God’s will to heal everyone is Matt 10:8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.”. This verse is usually used in conjunction with Matt 28:20a, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (this “defense” here was one of my favorite ones to use) Makes sense at face value, but if we go back and look at Matt 10 again, and in particular verse 5-6 we will see the setting for verse 8. Matt 10:5-6 reads, “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the hose of Israel.”” So if were to truly be faithful to Matt 10:8, we should only evangelize to those who are Jewish, and forget about everyone else. But this would be in violation of Jesus’ command in the Great Commission “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ”(Matt 28:19a).

It is also taught at Bethel, that physical healing is in the atonement for this life, so therefore it is God’s will to heal everyone. Strong defines “atonement” by stating: “The Scriptures teach that Christ obeyed and suffered in our stead, to satisfy an immanent demand of the divine holiness, and thus remove an obstacle in the divine mind to the pardon and restoration of the guilty.” (Strong, A. H. (2004). Systematic theology pg. 713) Bethel would use a portion of Isaiah 53:5 to support their claim, “with his stripes we are healed.” So it is said that the lashings Jesus received was for the purpose of physical healing in the believer’s life (the leadership at Bethel does not deny, nor would they deny that the problem of sin is dealt with in the atonement), and that if you are a Christian you are then entitled to have physical healing and divine health (where you walk your whole life and never get sick) as your blood bought right. Bill in his book Face To Face With God writes, “The sufferings of Jesus were realized in the persecution He endured and in the burden He carried for people. He did not suffer with disease. That must be removed from our idea of Christian suffering. It is vain to carry something under the guise of the will of God when it is something that He purchased that He might destroy its power over us. An additional concept to remember is that He suffered that we might not have to suffer. For example, He bore stripes on His body applied by a Roman soldier so that they could become His payment for our healing.” (Face to Face with God, ch8 Joy: The Reward pg. 172) Bill also writes, “None of us would say that He died for my sins but still intends that I should be bound by sin habits. Neither did He pay for my healing and deliverance so I could continue in torment and disease. His provision for such things is not figurative: it is actual.” (Face to Face with God, ch8 Joy: The Reward pg. 173) Is this the case? Is physical healing on this side of heaven in the atonement and thus a promise to be claimed for every believer? Let’s take a closer look at Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” What are the “stripes” speaking of? Reading the first part of the verse puts “stripes” into the right prospective. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace”. This is the type of healing that Jesus’ stripes” brought us. That He substituted Himself on the cross in the place of guilty vile sinners and bore their punishment for their sins’; He bore the holy righteous wrath of God in the sinners place, so that God could bring salvation to those He died to forgive. The Apostle Peter also echoes this 1 Peter 2:24-25 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Now, healing is in the atonement, however, the healing that Jesus (in His first coming) secured was spiritual. Perfect physical healing takes place in the resurrection of the believer, which, as is the case of the myriads that have already physically died, may come at some moment in time subsequent to death.

If you wish to look further into “with his stripes we are healed.” here is a link to a good article on Isaiah 53:5.

(http://www.heraldingtruth.com/Stripes)

How Bethel would incorrectly view Isaiah 53:5 (as how I also use to incorrectly view it) also changes the nature of the atonement, because if physical healing was an absolute promise to the believer in this life, it stands to be true that if a believer isn’t healed of a sickness or infirmity, then they are not truly saved. To bring further clarity, you should be healed the moment you get saved, or at least begin a gradual process of being healed physically, if physical healing is [a promised blessing for all based on] the atonement [which is meant to be realized] this side of eternity. If you change, add to, or subtract from the atonement, then you swap out the Jesus whose shed blood paid the price for the salvation of His elect, for another Jesus. If you preach another Jesus you are then preaching another gospel. The Apostle Paul had some strong words for those who preached another gospel Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” This is not to say that one by necessity must understand all of the implications of the atoning death of Christ, but one must understand why Christ died and what He died for. These are crucial to not trusting in “another gospel”.

Not only does Bethel and Bill Johnson believe that physical healing is in the atonement for this life, but Bill also believes that if you believe that physical healing is not a promise to be received or claimed in this life then you are preaching another gospel. Bill Johnson in a recent sermon he preached at Bethel on 08-15-10 entitled “The Real Jesus” said it like this, “I refuse to create a theology that allows for sickness” On this same note in the same sermon Bill tries to “illustrate” what he said by referring to Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), by saying “Paul refers to his thorn in the flesh, which has been interpreted by many, as disease allowed or brought on by God. That’s a different gospel. Jesus didn’t model it, and he didn’t teach it. And Paul said you can’t change the standard (Bill earlier in this sermon referenced Galatians 1:8-9).” Here is a link to a video clip of that sermon where you can hear Bill say these things (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhG1x4fOtBw), this part begins at the 3:19min mark. This is heresy! Why, is this heresy? Well, the question must be asked, who is the Sovereign? If God does not allow sickness or disease then who does? With Bethel having such a strong and overbearing emphasis on healing, it makes you wonder if healing is their god. Scripture itself is clear that God does indeed allow sickness, disease, and even death.

Exodus 4:11 “Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?””

Deut 32:39 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”

1 Samuel 2:6-7, “The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.”

John 9:1-7 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As Long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. This man who was blind from birth, was allowed to be blind by God, so “that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Now, I do believe that God can still heal today, and does still heal today. It would be in accordance to His will and not our will.

AT THE ROOT OF IT ALL

All of these things which were mentioned stems from a very heavy “Manifest Son’s of God” and “Kingdom Theology”, where the main thrust and goal of us being here on earth is for Christians to take dominion over the world in all “spheres of influence”, or what has often been called “The Seven Mountains” (business, government, family, religion, media, education, and entertainment). Bethel would teach that Jesus has commissioned us with delegated authority to take dominion over the earth and bring it to the highest level of perfection possible to offer up to Himself at His second coming.

The Leadership at Bethel teaches that we are to restore the earth to what it was like in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve fell. Bill would teach that when Adam and Eve fell that they gave up the “keys” of authority to Satan, and when Jesus died on the cross He took those “keys” back from Satan. Now that Jesus has the “keys” He has given us delegated authority to take dominion of the earth. Here is a link where you can read a chapter of Bill’s first book When Heaven Invades Earth, in chapter two entitled “Commission Restored” Bill writes about these “keys” of authority.

(http://books.google.com/books?id=msDOo0EM6ucC&dq=Bill+Johnson+When+Heaven+Invades+Earth&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=0UOETPuoM5OmsQOSsfz2Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Bill Johnson in his book When Heaven Invades Earth writes, “Jesus destroyed the power of sin, sickness, and poverty through His redemptive work on the cross. In Adam and Eve’s commission to subdue the earth, they were without sickness, poverty, and sin. Now that we are restored to His original purpose, should we expect anything less? After all, this is called the better covenant!” (When Heaven Invades Earth, ch2 Commission Restored pg. 33)

Now, the Scriptures teach that the redemption of creation and our body’s is not for the temporal life, but the eternal life.

Romans 8:18-25 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [“the glory that is to be revealed” is contrasted with and distinguished from “the temporal life”. Paul expects believers to suffer in this present life. If Paul expects it, so should we.] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

The Leadership at Bethel also believes that God has given man delegated authority to be able to speak things into existence and declare what is not as if it was, by way of decree or declaration. One example of this would be that if there is a storm taking place, (like that of Hurricane Katrina) they teach that you have authority to still that storm, because Jesus stilled the storm when He was in the boat (Luke 8:22-25) and we can do everything He did, because He came as a man to show us what we can do!

Bill Johnson in his book When Heaven Invades Earth writes, “Jesus was sleeping in the middle of a life-threatening storm. The disciples woke Him because they were afraid of dying. He exercised authority and released peace over the storm. It was the peace of heaven that enabled Him to sleep. And it was that same peace that subdued the storm. You only have authority over the storm you can sleep in.” (When Heaven Invades Earth, ch5 Praying Heaven Down pg. 66)

Could it be that Jesus had authority over the storm because He is God? Could it be that God is the only One who could have stilled the storm, because He is the only One who is omnipotent?

Bill Johnson in his book Dreaming With God writes.

‘“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”(Prov. 18:21 NASB). With our speech we design and alter our environment. Realities are created that didn’t exist a moment earlier through simple proclamations. With this tool we can build up or tear down, edify or discourage, give life or destroy it. The declared word has the capacity to resource earth with Heaven’s resources. As reformers we must first pay attention to what we say, realizing that we are actually building the world we have to live in.” (Dreaming with God, ch9 Redesigning Our World pg. 157)

To go further down this trail Bill Johnson has also gone so far as to say that God is in “charge” but that He is not in “control”. Bill has said, “Not everything that comes at us is God’s will. We have confusion, one of our biggest areas of confusion in the church, is concerning the Sovereignty of God. We know that He is all powerful, we know that He is in charge of everything, but with that we make a mistake in thinking He is in control of everything. There is a difference from being in charge and being in control. If you think He is in control of everything then you have to believe that Hitler was His will.” Here is a link to a video clip where you can hear Bill say these things (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhG1x4fOtBw).

This “ Manifest Son’s of God” and “Kingdom Theology” mocks God, by placing a high view on man and a low view on God, rather then placing a low view on man and a high view on God, as it should be. The Scriptures clearly teach that God is the Sovereign and that man is not sovereign (Job 38-41), that God is in fact both in charge and in control.

Exodus 4:11 “Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?””

Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

Isaiah 45:5-7, “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.”

Isaiah 46:9-10, “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purposes,”’

Daniel 4:34-35 “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”’

Amos 3:3-6 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing? Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when it has taken nothing? Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?”

Acts 17:26 “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,”

1 Timothy 6:15-16 “which he will display at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

God is the Sovereign; man is not. God is not powerless to act, and He is not desperately waiting for someone to enable Him to do something, He is not sitting in heaven longing for man to be “In control” or exercise “dominion” of the earth and bring it to a state of near perfection for His second coming. God is God, and man is not. Now, this does not negate away from the responsibility of man. Even though God is Sovereign, man is responsible to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15, Acts 17:30-31), go out and preach the gospel (Romans 1:16-17, 10:14-17), and Christians are called to step out in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) these are among a few of the things that man is responsible to do. How the Sovereignty of God works out with the responsibility of man is a mystery that can’t be understood, and it is a mystery that the Bible gives no explanation for.

WHAT ABOUT THE GOSPEL!? WHERE IS THE GOSPEL!?

The worst and most horrifying thing in all of this is that there is no gospel being preached at all! It is all about the signs and wonders and the stories of supernatural encounters and experiences. This creates a spiritual frenzy, that promises health, wealth, supernatural encounters and experiences, for anyone who “presses in”. This false portrait of Jesus can suck anyone in who wants to be wealthy and healthy (which is the desire of almost everyone who has not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit), or anyone who is intrigued by the supernatural. (I should mention I don’t doubt at all that there are some people who are deceived in this movement who are truly saved) At the same time it creates a group of people who would deceive themselves and call themselves Christians, and yet are completely oblivious and hostile to the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.

At Bethel there is no preaching on the Justice and Righteousness of God, and how God can’t let the guilty go unpunished. There is no preaching of the sinfulness of man, and how everyone has violated God’s standard. There is no preaching on the eternal conscious torments of Hell. There is no preaching of Christ and Him crucified. There is no preaching of Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross paying the full penalty of the sins of those He died to forgive, that is penal substitution. There is no preaching of repentance and faith in Jesus’ name as the only basis for which one is justified and declared righteous in the sight of God. Bethel preaches a gospel that is deficient, useless, and powerless to save.

The “gospel” that Bethel does preach is somewhat hard to pin down, since it encompasses the whole package of Manifest Son’s of God and kingdom Theology. To explain further, they would say that God is good all the time (which is true), but what they mean by that is this, sickness and disease is not of God, so be healed. Lack of provision is not of God, so be prosperous. The earth does not look like what it did in the Garden of Eden; so go fix it, by releasing the Kingdom of God. Their “gospel” encompasses fixing and restoring almost everything on this side of eternity to a near state of perfection for Christ second coming, so that when Christ does come back the church can present to Him a near perfected earth. This is the Jesus that they would present to someone who may be lost. That if you believe in this Jesus your life can be restored into right relationship with God. That if you believe in this Jesus you can have good health, restored relationships, and abundance in needs being meant. They teach that if you believe in this Jesus you can have the “good life” now, which is what God wants for you, and you don’t have to live in separation from Him. This false and counterfeit gospel may soothe the appetites of some, but it won’t lead anyone to Christ in the least bit.

This is a different gospel then the one of Christ and Him crucified, paying the penalty of sin, for corrupt sinners and rising again on the third day showing that the wrath of God was satisfied with His vicarious death on the cross. Here is a link to a good video clip of John MacArthur delivering the gospel from (2 Co 5:21), (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZuVt7qWO80). Paul spoke strongly of those who would preach a different gospel. Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” We also know that there is one gospel and only one gospel with no modifications, no new revelations, and no additions or subtractions to be received. “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to content for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) “The faith”, not “a faith”, but “the faith” was once “for all delivered”, it is sealed, with no changes to be received or made at all!

Concerning the Gospel, Paul wrote Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘“The righteous shall live by faith.”’ The gospel is the power of God for salvation, not signs and wonders. Signs and wonders cannot cause a person to truly repent and believe (Luke 16:19-31, John 2:23-25, John 6) “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, not by seeing signs and wonders. The gospel must be proclaimed, for sinners to repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”’ Romans 10:14-15. This is why the proclamation of the gospel is so important, because “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

FALSE TEACHERS ARE THE ONES WHO BRING DIVISION

We also know from Scripture itself that it is those who teach falsely are the ones who bring division within the visible church, and are the ones who are enemies of the cross of Christ!

Romans 16:17-18 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

2 Peter 2:1-3 “But False prophets also arose among the people, just as their will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

Jude 4 “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Jude 17-19 “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “ In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”

False teachers deny Christ by preaching another Jesus, by making up for themselves an idol of their own imagination to suit their own lusts and passions. In doing so they blaspheme the One True God! Not only do they blaspheme God, but they are also spiritual terrorists! If you think about it, in history there were fascist dictators like Hitler and Mussolini who killed many people, but false teachers like Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, and others are a much greater threat then Hitler was! The reason why I say this is because Hitler and Mussolini were only able to kill someone’s body. Though, if someone was to die believing the lies that false teachers teach, they will spend an eternity in Hell, that is the second death.

Even Paul spoke strongly against those who would teach another gospel.

Galatians 1:6-9 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Paul said that those who preach another gospel should be “accursed”, the Greek word for “accursed” is “anathema” which refers to devoting someone to destruction in eternal hell.

Confronting false teachers was not a job that was assigned to the apostles alone. For in the book of Jude we read.

Jude 3 “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Christians are “to content for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” and are to confront those who teach falsely (1 Th 5:20-22, 1 Jn 4:1, and Rev 2:2).

THE CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT I WAS NOT SAVED

IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL

While I was involved in the Prophetic Movement I was entertaining and practicing all these things and I had many supernatural experiences and encounters (which I falsely attributed to God), which at the time I perceived to be absolute evidence and proof that I was truly saved. In reality I was not saved at all; the fruit in my life was testifying to the contrary that I was actually saved. I was living a continual and habitual lifestyle of sin, without remorse, regret or genuine repentance. I was heavily involved with pornography, and watching it several times a week, if not at times daily. As well I had an ongoing struggle with rage and anger, which at times got violent. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” This verse does not mean that if you stumble once or even twice then you are not a Christian, nor does it mean that the Christian is perfect, but rather it is referring to a habitual manner of walking or pattern, hence the words “walk” and “practice”. In short, it is not about perfection, but rather it is about direction. We also know from other passages in Scripture that it is possible for people to claim to be Christian and have spiritual experiences, but in reality they are not saved. We read in Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many might works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” This is not the account of someone on Judgment Day who just out of the blue is claiming that they were saved, for the person is crying, “Lord, Lord,”. Nor is this of someone who was “once saved” then fell away (which is not possible Jn 10:25-30, Ro 8:28-30, Php 1:6, and 1 Jn 2:19) for the Lord responds with “I never knew you”, and not with “I once knew you, but I no longer do.” What will Jesus’ response be to the person who claims to be saved, but in reality was never saved? Jesus response will be “depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Now, lawlessness is the practicing of sin (1 John 3:4-6). So, it is possible for someone to claim to be a Christian, but the fruit in their life testifies to the contrary, that they know not Christ.

HOW THE LORD BROUGHT ME OUT OF THE SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENT

AND MY PRAYER FOR THOSE WHO ARE STILL TRAPPED IN THIS DECEPTION

The following March (2009) while I was still questioning the validness of the Prophetic Movement someone posted a video sermon of Mark Driscoll (whether or not you agree with everything that Mark says and does, their are good fruits coming from his ministry, regardless of the errors) on their Facebook page, and one of the people who rebuked me for “Toking” commented on it saying that Mark Driscoll was one of his favorite speakers. Because of his comment, and the respect I had for him, I figured that I would check it out. While I was listening to the sermon I realized that I had never heard preaching like this before, where it was straight bible, verse by verse, truth bluntly told. I was then hooked, and began to listen to several of Mark’s sermons a day (later on I found out about other ministers like John Piper, John MacArthur, and Paul Washer). It was around this time or soon there after that God saved me, that the Lord drew me to repentance and saving faith in Jesus’ name.

Never before this have I ever been told that I was really, really sinful. Never before did I hear of Original Sin, or the radical depravity of man and how everyone has violated God’s Holy and Righteous standard, and is thus fully deserving of God’s righteous and just wrath being poured out upon them. Never before did I hear of Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross, bearing the righteous holy wrath of God, paying the full penalty of sin for guilty vile sinners. Never before did I hear what the significance was of Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead, that His bodily resurrection was proof that God accepted His perfect sacrifice. I was involved in the “church” for nearly twenty-two years, and I never heard the gospel fully preached!

Sure, I would hear biblical truths like, God is Holy and Righteous, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, Jesus lived a sinless life, Jesus is fully God and fully man, Jesus died on the cross to forgive sinners, Jesus rose bodily from the grave on the third day, and Jesus is now seating in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. Even then, when these truths were mentioned, they were not handled with any real kind of value or importance. These truths were never mentioned together, and when they were brought up it was seldom, far and few in-between, as if they were potholes in the road that were carelessly bumped over!

The fact that I never heard the gospel before, even though I was heavily involved in a movement that professes to be Christian, was completely shocking and devastating to me. What has been even more baffling to me is that God would actually save a wretch like me. I am extremely grateful that the Lord would draw someone like me who was a false convert to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Why God would save me, or choose to save me is beyond my comprehension. For I know that there is nothing good in and of myself that would make God want to save me.

For a short while after God saved me I didn’t know what to make of Bethel and other leaders within the Prophetic Movement. I wasn’t sure if they were Christians who were just really fringe, or if they were plain cultic. After God saved me I struggled with this for a few months, hoping for the best, but at the same time fearing the worst, and I was not sure if I was just being legalistic about the whole thing. During this time period I began to attend Bethel less and less while I was finishing up the last month(s) of my third year internship. Very soon after graduating from the school, I left Bethel all together and began to search for a new home church. I am now at a wonderful Christ centered, Gospel-Driven church, which seeks to Glorify God in everything they do.

I am forever grateful that God would save an undeserving and ill-deserving wretch like me, and bring me out from the cultic chaos, and my prayer is that God would use this testimony to save others who are ensnared in the Signs and Wonders Movement. I pray that those who are truly saved within it would come out, and that God in His beautiful, kind grace and mercy, would grant others repentance and saving faith, and that they would come to see the Beauty and Majesty of Jesus Christ. Through it all, God would receive all the glory and honor and praise. To Christ be the glory, amen!

By Marsha West

March 10, 2012
NewsWithViews.com

“The gospel’s most dangerous earthly adversaries are not raving atheists who stand outside the door shouting threats and insults. They are church leaders who cultivate a gentle, friendly, pious demeanor but hack away at the foundations of faith under the guise of keeping in step with a changing world.” – Phil Johnson

“Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

There is a spiritual battle of epic proportions going on in churches all over the globe that should drive serious Christians to their knees. A whole host of aberrant to downright heretical movements have slithered into contemporary evangelicalism and more are being added to the mix virtually every day.

Unbiblical teaching is rampant in mainline Protestant denominations as well as in non-denominational churches. Inside our churches you will find men and women teaching rank heresy. Sunday after Sunday people flock to churches and become a captive audience to those who preach outlandish lies and half-truths. Televangelists are the worst offenders! Many of them are money grubbing charlatans! As a result of false teachers and cult leaders gaining worldwide access to churches and Christian ministries over these past few decades to spread their false doctrines, evangelical Christianity is experiencing a downward spiral.

The good news is: “Upon this rock I will build my church,” said the Lord Jesus Christ, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18).

Matthew Henry stated that “Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other!”

Triple “woe” goes to the wolves that have infiltrated evangelicalism and show a startling disregard for the major tenets of the faith.

Speaking of wolves, somewhere around 45,000 people attend Lakewood Church each Sunday to hear Pastor –celebrity Joel Osteen preach the word-faith prosperity gospel “lite.” The Lakewood services are broadcast in over 100 countries. Gary Gilley reveals that:

Osteen has no theological training and it is obvious from his books, sermons and interviews on television that he has little knowledge of the Scripture. Nevertheless, he has caught an unprecedented wave of popularity and could clearly claim the title as the most admired pastor in America.

Osteen brags that he teaches a non-confrontational gospel. He believes:

There’s a lot of negativity in the world. We need somebody to bring us hope and somebody to tell us that we can overcome our past and break free from addictions and things like that. And, you know, our whole message is that Jesus came to help us live a great life. And some people are not going to agree with that. (Online source)

I for one disagree with Joel’s statement that Jesus wanted us to live a “great life.” Tell that to the persecuted church! Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world,” so for many the “great life” Osteen speaks of will not be experienced here on earth, but in the Kingdom of God. The reason Jesus came to earth was to set the captives free! Free from what? Free from sin and death! Why? We are dead in our sins. And by the way, sin is an odious thing – and the God of the Bible is infinitely holy and righteous. (Isaiah 6:3, Rev. 4:8, 2 Thess. 1:6)

Sin makes us unclean, thus the unredeemed are not permitted in the presence of holiness. How do people get clean? By believing in Jesus! Believe that He came to earth to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. When He died on the cross our debt was paid for – in full. He died once, for all. Only believers will spend eternity in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Contrary to popular belief there is no way to have a relationship with the One true God unless we believe that we are sinners in need of Savior, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) God says sinners must be punished, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

This is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sadly, this is not the gospel people hear from Joel Osteen and countless other word-faith prosperity preachers.

The intent of this article is not to fully examine the Word of Faith Movement (WF), but to give readers a glimpse into their beliefs. At the end of this piece are links to articles and videos of a few prominent word-faith teachers. It’s important to take the time to watch these so called teachers and preachers in action.

Following is a summary of WF teaching:

God created man in “God’s class,” as “little gods,” with the potential to exercise what they refer to as the “God-kind of faith” in calling things into existence and living in prosperity and success as sovereign beings. Of course, we forfeited this opportunity by rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves Satan’s nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan’s nature), went to hell, was “born again,” rose from the dead with God’s nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling their calling to be what they call “little gods.” Since we’re called to experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in virtually every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as is even taught by the faith teachers) to be left by one’s spouse, simply means that you don’t have enough faith — or you have some secret sin in your life, because if you didn’t, you would be able to handle all of these problems.

Further…

In every instance, the “Word-Faith” teaching is guilty of presenting an inflated view of man and a deflated view of God, thereby compromising God’s message as revealed in the Bible. This fast-growing movement has disastrous implications and, in fact, reduces Jesus Christ to a means to an end — when in fact he is the end. If the New Age Movement is the greatest threat to the church from without, “positive confession” may well be it’s greatest threat from within. (Online source)

The WF is considered a metaphysical cult. Pastor/teacher John MacArthur calls it Satanic. WF holds that faith is a tangible force. This force is released through the spoken word, hence name-it-and-claim-it. When we speak words of faith, power is discharged that will accomplish our desires. Through faith we can have health, wealth, success – anything we want!

As I previously stated, word-faith teaching ranges from aberrant to outright heretical. As such these people must be exposed. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:13-14).

It is imperative that serious Christians recognize word-faith teaching. Therefore I’m including Beyond Grace’s Word Faith Top Ten which is an abbreviated version of an article Tricia Tillin wrote: Top Ten Reasons for rejecting Word-of-Faith doctrine.

REASON ONE:
It requires ‘revelation knowledge’.

REASON TWO:
It makes the Almighty God and Creator a weak ‘faith-being’ who is at the mercy of His own universal laws.

REASON THREE:
It makes the Divine Son of God into a born-again man who had to die in Hell to pay the price for our treason.

REASON FOUR:
It elevates man to equality with Jesus.

REASON FIVE:
It makes man a god.

REASON SIX:
It makes the redemption into a restoration of dominion for mankind.

REASON SEVEN:
Its goal is the transformation of the earth by spiritual dominion.

REASON EIGHT:
It replaces prayer with confession, and God’s will with the manipulation of ‘forces’.

REASON NINE:
It denies the reality of sin and sickness.

REASON TEN:
It focuses on self and the world instead of God and Heaven. (Tillin’s article expands on these ten points)

To avoid being taken in by false teachers and cult leaders Christians must have some knowledge of heretical movements such as the word-faith/prosperity gospel/name-it-and-claim-it. Another movement that is steeped in word-faith theology that’s taking the Church by storm is the New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism aka Latter Rain/Kingdom Theology/Kingdom Now/Charismatic Renewal/Third Wave/Joel’s Army/Manifest(ed) Sons of God. Read about this dangerous movement here.

Most false teachers and cultists do not take the opposition’s rebuke or criticism lying down. In part 4 of a piece I wrote titled Doublespeak: The Language of Deception I explained how words are often used as a club against anyone who reports on the aberrant teaching of those who have “Christian rock star” status:

…Conservative Christian apologists and those involved in the counter cult and discernment ministries who dare to expose apostates are accused of being divisive. For example, if a conservative attempts to combat the spread of the social justice gospel that emphasizes good deeds without the power of the gospel, their liberal critics cry “Pharisee!” Implying that these critics are Pharisees is another way of saying that they are narrow-minded, mean-spirited and unloving — and yes, even intolerant and bigoted.

Word Faith (false) teachers use “heresy hunter” to define the opposition. But in reality discernment ministries are “truth-seekers.”

What is heresy and what is a heresy hunter? According to Let Us Reason Ministries:

“Heresy can be defined as any departure from Christian orthodoxy which is a teaching, doctrine or practice that goes beyond the apostles teachings — the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Biblical heresy is often a denial of the core beliefs held in the Church that are founded on the Bible. In this sense it applies to groups which reject basic Christian doctrines and separate themselves from the historic church.”

Most mature Christians recognize heresy when it rears its ugly head. But when they speak out against prominent false teachers who are leading the Body of Christ astray, their bamboozled followers invariably play the Matthew 7:1 card:

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”

This is doublespeak for: Shut the heck up!

First of all, discernment demands that we make judgments. As my pastor, Stan Way, said in a recent sermon, faithful Christians live their lives in a new center of gravity – the biblical worldview. Serious Christians must stand up and speak the truth with conviction and courage. We must be willing to lose our life for Christ and the gospel. In other words, for truth! Further, we must be willing to be treated with contempt by the world. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

 

So – I am going to name names. The list of popular word-faith teachers numbers in the hundreds. Following are the names of a few of these who have risen to a more prominent status:

Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, Paula White, Paul and Jan Crouch, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Jentezen Franklin, Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo, Juanita Bynum, Rod Parsley, Ed Young, Eddie Long, Rodney Howard Brown, Joseph Prince, Kim Clement, Cindy Trimm, and John Hagee.

As I have indicated in this piece there are things going on in the Church that are deeply disturbing. And for this reason it is imperative that Christians have no fear of exposing those who “hack away at the foundations of faith.” We really have no choice, the reason being that the Bible commands the Body of Christ to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Marsha West — A fast-growing movement with disastrous implications.

Kim Clement, Haiti, and the ElijahList

Prophecies after the fact are not true prophecies

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

http://www.christianresearchservice.com

February 14, 2010

How many times have we heard of a disaster, then listened to a modern-day “prophet” inform the public about his prophetic warnings months or even years before the disaster occurred?

“God gave me a vision a long time ago about that terrible disaster,” the prophet announces, “and I feel led to share it with you now.”

Not only do the prophet’s followers believe it, they do back-flips praising his name.

Then, someone pops up and asks, Why didn’t the prophet shout the warning publicly months or even days before the disaster? Good question, and one that needs to be asked more often.

Making a prophecy public after a situation occurs is prophecy after the fact. The more wrong a false prophet is the more it occurs. While Christians are commanded by Scripture to test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), prophecy after the fact is a claim that is almost impossible to test or validate. False prophets know this, and rely on their audience of followers to nod their heads in approval and take their word for it.

Prophecy after the fact is also prophecy of convenience. How convenient it is for the modern-day wannabe prophets, especially those whose popularity is suffering in the ratings department.

‘Spirit of unity’ or devastation?

Out of curiosity, I went to Kim Clement’s website, did a search on the word “Haiti,” and found the following, dated July 17, 2009: “In Haiti a spirit of unity is being released” ( http://tinyurl.com/yggadgy ).

But unfortunate for the Haitians, that “spirit of unity” turned into a devastating earthquake, where the death toll is reportedly 230,000 (“Haiti death toll same as Asian tsunami,” http://tinyurl.com/ylm3rtz ).

The earthquake in Haiti took place on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, but where was Kim Clement before the earthquake occurred? Powerless to prophesy. And where was Clement’s “god” beforehand? Without the authority and ability to predict the future.

While there are numerous references to earthquakes on Clement’s website, the above quote is the only reference to Haiti (as of this writing, that is).

My next stop was the ElijahList, where exists a den of more modern-day false prophets than I care to count. While there, I typed-in the word “Haiti” into the search window and came up with seven articles, the most recent dated February 9, 2010.

Out of the seven articles, there are only three general references to Haiti: one by Kim Clement (cited above), one from Francis Frangipane’s September 27, 2004 article, “From Little Children to Sons,” and one from Luke Holter’s February 9, 2010 article, “Opportunity for Great Awakening with the Lord of the Harvest.” Yet, there are more references to “earthquake(s)” on the ElijahList than I care to count.

Haiti is east of Cuba and north of South America, and shares the same island with the Dominican Republic. I also searched for references to the “Dominican Republic” on Kim Clement’s website and the ElijahList. There is nothing on Clement’s website, but there is a general reference on the ElijahList, dated March 2005.

It is true that time is an enemy to a false prophet. False prophecies return to haunt false prophets–they always do. Kim Clement’s prophecy for a “spirit of unity” in Haiti turned into a tremendous devastation, and returned to haunt him.

Kim Clement would do well to heed God’s Scriptural warnings, and leave prophecy to those who were called to be prophets of God in the first place

( http://christianresearchservice.com/God&FalseProphets.htm ).

Dropping the prophetic ball

Give false prophets an inch of opportunity and they will take a mile of advantage. Such is the case with Steve Shultz, Publisher of the ElijahList (the internet’s laundry list for heretics, false prophets, and false healers). Note Shultz’s after the fact comments on the earthquake in Haiti:

“Contrary to many who ask us to do so, we don’t normally post how we ‘got a prophetic word right’ after the event comes to pass. To do so COULD sound like we are more interested in being right than in being righteous and compassionate. Please know that we are wanting to be Righteous and Compassionate before we care about being right. Having said that, these words were all given BEFORE the earthquake in Haiti. It lets you know that we serve a God who is in control and a compassionate Savior who has a plan for the people of the earth—all of whom HE LOVES far more than we do. On July 17, 2009, while prophesying about Chicago, Kim Clement suddenly mentioned this line about Haiti: “In Haiti, a spirit of unity is being released.” –Kim Clement” ( http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/8407 , emp. theirs).

Goodness gracious! Kim Clement mentioned a “line about Haiti.” So? What does that validate? Nothing!

Since the ElijahList contains zero prophetic warnings specific to the earthquake in Haiti, Shultz played the catch-up damage control card to protect the prophets and let his readers know the ElijahList is on the ball–even when they all drop the prophetic ball.

Further, while Shultz wants his readers to “Please know that we are wanting to be Righteous and Compassionate before we care about being right,” the fact is that righteousness, compassion, and being right work together in harmony for those who serve Jesus Christ and trust in God’s written word.

Nonetheless, it appears that as far as Steve Shultz is concerned, all a prophet has to do is mention a word or a name in a prophecy, and when that word or name makes headlines, BOING! it’s a fulfilled prophecy. As such, the prophet is elevated and vindicated, and the ElijahList survives another day to seize an inch of opportunity and take a mile of advantage.

Prophecy after the fact is a desperate grabbing at straws. But, since the competition between modern-day prophets is fierce, they do what they must to stay on top and in the game. And, pathetic as it is, jockeying for a top position in the prophetic is the name of the game.

False prophets do what they do best: they serve a false “god,” fabricate and deliver false prophecies, drop the prophetic ball, and spend an incredible amount of time in the Department of Excuses and Damage Control. False prophets are opportunistic, and grab at anything that appears to validate their claims.

And while the gullible and unwary stumble over each other to get to the false prophets, God’s warnings are as valid today as they were thousands of years ago:

The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it? (Jeremiah 5:31).

Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles encountered their share of false prophets, and dealt with them according to God’s instructions. Right now, God is allowing this foolishness to continue to test those who claim to love Him (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; Deuteronomy 18:19-22).

Don’t kid yourself, God is against false prophets (Jeremiah 23:31-32; Ezekiel 13:9; Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Peter 2:1), and He will deal with them severely at His appointed time.

After the fact…how convenient!

In her article, “Kim Clement Says Haiti Quake Was Actually Meant for America,” Chrystal, Director of Slaughter of the Sheep blog, reveals that self-proclaimed prophet Kim Clement “claims that God told him that the Haiti earthquake was actually intended to hit America…” ( http://tinyurl.com/yf69ral ).

In fact, beginning at 2:07 into the YouTube video included in Chrystal’s article, Clement, backed by emotion-stirring music, states that,

When even as the earth shook-ka, in Haiti, and some have cursed and they’ve said, “This is the judgment of God.” God said, “Be careful what you say! For you see, I diverted.” Now listen carefully. “I diverted the earthquake, for it was due to happen in this nation.”

See what I mean? Prophecy after the fact is a prophecy of convenience. Both work hand-in-had, and false prophets capitalize on it to stay in the game.

Prophecies after the fact are not true prophecies. They are, however, a pathetic attempt to elevate the prophet, exploit a situation or disaster, and gain favor with the gullible and unwary.

How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? (Jeremiah 23:26-27)

Zero tolerance

I have seen the damage false prophets cause to the spiritual, physical, and mental welfare of their followers. Some recover to serve the real Jesus of the Bible. Others go into seclusion–shipwrecked and feeling betrayed–nursing their pain and sadness, taking months or years to recover.

Then, there are those whose hearts are filled with anger and hatred over anything that resembles “Christianity” They not only blame Christians and God for being conned and deceived by heretics and false prophets, they actively campaign against God and the Bible, and cause others to stumble and mock God in the process. It is a vicious cycle, and a whirlpool that leads to destruction.

God is not asleep. He is moving within the darkened alleys of the “prophetic movement” and revealing the true nature of its so-called prophets, teachers, apostles, and healers.

God has zero tolerance for false prophets and false teachers, and so should we.

Related reading and viewing:

“By His Grace” (YouTube video by VinnieActs2030)

http://tinyurl.com/ByHisGrace

Kim Clement’s ongoing prophetic Promises

http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain58.htm

Is Kim Clement a New Age Prophet?

http://letusreason.org/Popteac14.htm

Kim Clement Prophesies Assassination Attempt on Obama in 2010

http://tinyurl.com/yfnulp6

What God Has To Say About False Prophets

http://christianresearchservice.com/God&FalseProphets.htm

Word of Faith Movement: Birthed in the Bowels of Hell

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/Word_of_Faith_Movement.htm

FALSE PROPHETS & FALSE TEACHERS: Pictorial of Modern-Day Wolves in

Sheep’s Clothing

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/Wolves_Pictorial.htm

— You are encouraged to reprint and distribute this article. Please review the CRS Article Reprint Guidelines at

http://tinyurl.com/CRSArticleReprint

War on the Saints – Lying Spirits

I once read a book in which the author consistently said, “The Lord told me”. This was repeated so often I began to doubt that everything this author said was indeed from the Lord.

I have a reason to question his oft quoted assertion. I too can say “The Lord told me”, ” I heard”, “I sensed.” Come to find out, even though I was aware of lying spirits, I still listened to them, thinking that I could always tell the difference. I was wrong.

Not too long ago I read an e-book from a man who was featured on a blog, The Sign of Jonah. His story was fascinating and it was evident that he thought he truly was in the will of God, but certain aspects of his story began to reveal that he was deceived. He told of how he was always hearing from God. God was being rather specific with this man. Apparently this man went through his day, constantly being directed as to what to wear, what to eat, and when to make a left turn. He saw red dragons on all supposedly “evil” sites that needed to be “taken” for the Lord. It became apparent that this man was totally deceived and was not listening to God but had given his ear over to the lying spirits.

In the book “War of the Saints” it talks of counterfeit guidance.

“As Christ was a pattern or example for His followers, guidance or ‘leading’ in its perfect and true form is shown in His life, and believers can only expect the co-working of the Holy Spirit when they walk after the pattern of their Example. Out of line with the Pattern the cease to have the working of the Holy Spirit, and become open to the deceptive counterfeit workings of evil spirits.”

“If the believer ceases to use mind, reason, will and all his other faculties as a person, and depends upon voices, and impulses for guidance in every detail of life, he will be ‘led’ or guided by evil spirits, feigning to be God.”

“This is the time for which the deceiving spirits have been watching…he (man) is now watching for some other supernatural indication of the way to go, or the course to take….This is the moment of opportunity for a deceiving spirit to gain his faith and confidence: and so some word or words are whispered softly, that are exactly in accordance with the inward drawing that he has had….the soft whisper of the deceiving spirit is so delicate and gentle, that the believer listens to, and receives the words without question, and begins to obey this soft whisper, yielding more and more to it, without any thought of exercising mind, judgment, reason, or volition.”

“From this point deceiving spirits can increase their control, for the believer has begun the listening attitude…until he is always watching for an ‘inner voice,’ or a voice in the ear which is an exact counterfeit of the voice of God in the spirit; and thus the believer moves, and acts as a passive slave to ‘supernatural guidance.'”

ppg. 136-137

When I returned to the Lord some years back, I had a true spiritual awakening. Unfortunately, Satan was not going to give up without a fight. Every time I grew in the Lord, Satan provided opposition. I struggled to divide what was from the Lord and what was counterfeit.

God was so good to show me these things and to teach me through the Holy Spirit. All through this struggle I only wanted the truth and I prayed for answers.

Are you teachable? Do you really want the truth? This may seem like a silly question, but truly it is not, for you may say to yourself…of course I want the truth. Human nature is full of pride and what does pride do to man? It limits him. What does it limit? It limits admission.

Admission of being wrong.

Admission of being fallible.

Admission of weakness.

Admission of being deceived.

Why is this so hard? Losing face. What will others think? When we have been wrong the truth hurts. It pierces our pride, and when we are more concerned with what our fellow man thinks rather than what God thinks….we will fail every time.

It is because of this difficult admission of wrong thinking that we allow Satan to lead us into deception…no matter how many Bible verses we learn. We have to really believe and heed them. God’s Word is powerful if we actually use it and apply it to our lives. God’s Word can be poetic and inspiring but if it is left at that, using it only for its beauty we will forfeit its powerful instruction.

It is this power that keeps us teachable, humble, and open to the truth. Truth opposes lies – Satan’s lies. In these times Satan’s lies are growing more powerful because they cover-up and distort God’s written Word. When we as Christians listen to Satan’s lies, we will begin a journey into deception.

“It requires a very deep allegiance to the truth which God desires should reign in the inward parts of His children, for a believer to accept truth which cuts and humbles, as readily as he accepts that which is agreeable. The ‘undeceiving’ is painful to the feelings, and the discovery that he has been deceived is one of the keenest blows to a man who once thought that he was so ‘advanced,’ so ‘spiritual’ and so ‘infallible,’ in his certainty of obeying the Spirit of God.”

Pg. 181

So why is this deception so compelling, ever-growing, and filtering into the church? This has always been Satan’s plan. He is the deceiver of the whole earth. He is deceiving all into thinking that a new spiritual awakening is coming upon the earth. He is right, you know…there is a spiritual awakening but it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ.

“The world is now drawing nearer to the ‘time of the end,’ characterized by the deception depicted in the Apocalypse as being world-wide; when there will be deceptions of NATIONS, and individuals, on such a vast scale that the deceiver will practically have the whole earth under his control. ‘The whole world lieth in the evil one’ (1 John 19) said the Apostle, to whom was given the Revelation, describing the world as already lying deep in darkness through the deception of the evil one, and blindly led by him through vast evil spirit hosts under his control.”

Pg.10

When Satan was bombarding me with opposition and lies, I listened for awhile, but I always questioned, probed and prayed. Was I deceived? Yes, I was…but I was more interested in the truth, no matter what. If I had never acted on my doubts, who knows…I probably would be posting silly lies and prophecies that would sound just like false prophets, Kim Clement or Chuck Pierce.

I was listening to a tape this morning from a Discernment-Ministries conference I attended last year. Carolyn Schorle spoke of her deliverance from drugs prescribed to her when she was diagnosed as mentally-ill. She was taunted with the voices of demons and she battled her way out with scripture. She told us, read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. When you are done start over.

I beg of you….pray for the truth, nothing but the truth, so help you God.

*************

“Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.”

Daniel 11:35

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