What the Bible Really Says about Alcohol and Alcoholism

Many religious people believe that God has forbidden any use of alcoholic beverages — that any use of alcohol is wrong and sinful. They claim that the Bible supports this prohibition.

Wine and other alcoholic drinks are frequently mentioned in the Bible. If something sinful or beneficial exists about these beverages, then the Bible will show it. What does the Bible really say about wine and alcohol?

Proper use

One of the first mentions of wine in Scripture is by Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God at Salem (Jerusalem) during the time of Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham. Melchizedek “brought forth bread and wine” for Abram and his companions: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” (Gen 14:18)

The Hebrew word translated wine in Genesis 14:18 is yayin. This word is used over 130 times in the Hebrew Bible to mean fermented wine, not grape juice. This same beverage, when used excessively, causes drunkenness.

Gen 9:21 says that Noah drank too much yayin and became drunk: “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.”

Lot also became drunk on this beverage (Genesis 19:30-36) and so did Nabal: “And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.“  (1 Sam 25:36)

Nevertheless, God told his people to enjoy yayin at the yearly festivals: “And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,” (Deu 14:26)

In addition to using wine as a beverage, God also commanded the Levitical priests to include in the sacrifices a portion of wine (yayin) as a drink offering: “And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.”

These scriptures make it clear that there can be a right and a wrong use of wine. Naturally fermented wine is between 10 per cent and 14 per cent alcohol. Higher alcoholic wines are fortified wines. On special occasions God even allowed use of what is translated as “strong drink.” This term comes from a different Hebrew word —shekar — which is used 22 times in the Old Testament, and refers to alcoholic drinks made from dates and other fruit.

The high alcoholic drinks called hard liquor today (40 per cent to 50 per cent alcohol, or 80 to 100 proof) did not exist in Bible times. They are produced by distilling grain-based mash or material from other sources. They did not come into widespread use until the Middle Ages. The danger of these high alcoholic drinks is that, unless one dilutes them, they easily lend themselves to abuse, drunkenness and alcoholism. (Liqueurs, flavoured and sweetened distilled liquors, are somewhat different in that they are usually served in small amounts and sipped slowly.)

The Bible says that God gave wine to make men glad: “And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.”  (Psa 104:15)

Why have some people turned this blessing of God into a curse? The answer is that many people do not follow God’s instructions. A blessing of wine was prophesied as a heritage to the chosen people in: “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine [tirosh]:” (Gen 27:28)

The Hebrew word tirosh, meaning “new wine,” is used in 38 places in the Old Testament. People sometimes conclude that this word means grape juice, or fresh-pressed juice of the vine. However, states: “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.” (Hos 4:11)  Grape juice could not have this effect. Tirosh is an intoxicating wine if used in excess.

New Testament instruction

John the Baptist did not drink wine (oinos in the Greek) or any other form of alcohol and it was prophesied that he wouldn’t: “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luk 1:15)

However, Jesus Christ did drink oinos (wine): “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” (Mat 11:19) and “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”  (Luk 7:34)

Jesus did not preach against the use of wine; instead he did like most other Jews of his day. He drank wine in moderation. In ancient times it was normally diluted with water for drinking, and was one of the principal beverages at that time — as it is today. Jesus’ first miracle was to change water into wine (oinos). Some people who preach total abstinence claim that this miracle was to turn water into grape juice. Imagine if you can a Jewish wedding banquet where everyone drank only grape juice! (The ancients did not have refrigeration or any other method of preventing grape juice from fermenting.)

On this occasion, Christ turned six jars of 20 or 30 gallons each into wine (oinos). This was no small miracle. This wine was of the finest quality: “And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (Joh 2:10)

At wedding feasts, the hosts normally started with the best wine, and they would bring out lesser-quality wines later. Jesus gave a parable involving the fermenting process of oinos:. “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” (Mat 9:17)

At that time, instead of having metal or glass bottles to enclose wine, the skins of animals were used. The fermentation of the wine could burst an old skin, but it would not break a new stretchable skin. Another proof that oinos is fermented wine is the fact that the apostle Paul said: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph 5:18)

Paul did not mean to avoid getting drunk on grape juice! Paul instructed Timothy: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”  (1Ti 5:23)

He said to use only a little wine, not a whole lot. The purpose of this wine was Timothy’s frequent stomach ailments; small amounts of wine can help some stomach problems. Some of the Corinthians Christians were getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper: “For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.” (1Co 11:21)

They were using fermented wine, probably following the example that Paul had set for them. Paul did not tell them that they were using the wrong kind of wine. He simply told them to eat and drink at home, and to participate in the Lord’s Supper in a respectful way.

Paul says: “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” (Rom 14:21)  He is referring to fermented wine; grape juice wouldn’t offend anyone. The implication is that there’s nothing wrong with the wine in itself, only if it offends a weak brother.

Abuse, drunkenness condemned

Both the Old and New Testaments contain many examples and commands against excessive use of alcohol and drunkenness. Drunkenness is listed as one of the works of the flesh: “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21)

That means it is the result of the undisciplined, indiscriminate use of alcohol. Jesus warned his followers not to be drunk: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” (Luk 21:34)

The apostle Paul told the Corinthian church they must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but cannot control his or her drinking: “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” (1 Co 5:11-13)

This refers to people who will not face up to or won’t even try to overcome drinking problems, not people who are working on and overcoming their problems. The Bible says that drunkards will not enter the kingdom of God:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Co 6:9-10)

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21)

“No one who abuses alcohol should be ordained in the ministry of Jesus Christ: Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;” (1Ti 3:3), and “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;” (1Ti 3:8)

“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;” (Tit 1:7)

If a minister drinks, it should be in moderation. Throughout the Bible, God criticizes those who are “heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks”:“Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:” (Isa 5:22)

Excessive drinkers are committing an evil: “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” (Pro 23:20-21)

“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!  Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.  The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:  And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,  And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.  For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.”  (Isa 28:1-8)

When used improperly, wine is a mocker and deceiver: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Pro 20:1)

Those who “linger over wine” and spend a great deal of time in drinking will find all kinds of woe, sorrow and trouble:  “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.”  (Pro 23:29-30)

Prohibitionists focus on the verses that condemn or show the results of wrong alcohol use, but neglect those verses that show there can be a proper moderate use.

Outstanding antiseptic

Another use of wine that has been recognized for millennia is the antiseptic qualities of wine. The germ-killing qualities of wine are greater than the same proportion of alcohol in water – and a good natural wine is not as damaging to the flesh as some strong antiseptics are.

Jesus showed he knew the benefits of wine as an antiseptic when he gave the parable of the good Samaritan. In this case a man had been injured and had a severe wound. The good Samaritan “bandaged his wounds, pouring on [olive] oil and wine [oinos]”:  “And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”  (Luk 10:34)

The oil softened the flesh; the wine helped kill bacteria.

Use this knowledge

Some people reject this truth from the Bible about alcohol. They have made up their minds that the use of wine is always wrong. The Bible shows we are not to judge or condemn those who honestly hold such beliefs:

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (1Co 10:23-33)

Alcohol is not a necessity of life. In God’s eyes, one does not have to drink to show maturity, virility or sociability. And because of the enormous destruction caused by alcohol abuse today, many people have decided that it is better to abstain even if the Bible does not require us to (see for example Howard H. Charles, Alcohol and the Bible, published by Herald Press in 1981).

That is a more respectable position than trying to argue that the Bible itself forbids the use of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholics, or anyone who reacts adversely to alcohol for any reason, should not drink alcohol privately or socially at all. Nor should a person use alcohol in the presence of a recovering alcoholic (and often one does not know who that might be). There are many non-alcoholic drinks a person can enjoy instead.

This article was written in 1991 and updated in 2012.

Copyright Grace Communion International. All rights reserved.

Grace Communion International

[Please note that inclusion of links to other sites does not mean recommendation of everything on that site only the particular article/s referred to.]

Other articles about alcoholism at Grace Communion:

Deliverance from Alcoholism

People can be delivered from all addictions, whether gambling, sex and drug addiction, and alcoholism, by Jesus. Salvation in the form of living a godly life, reading and obeying God’s word, praying, giving praise and thanks to God, good fellowship, renunciation prayers for generational inquity, and so on, will help and may resolve the problems entirely.   Otherwise there are many Christian and secular organisations who can help with information about how to be delivered from addictions.

Casting out demons can help with deliverance from alcoholism.  There is an book by Win Worley available on Amazon called “The Alcoholic Syndrome.”

Even after years of being free of alcohol, someone’s life can be made difficult by life patterns acquired during the period of alcoholism, and accompanying demons need to be cast out.

 

 

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Prayer of Release from the Stronghold of the Baphomet (Freemasonry, the Occult, the New Age, Sexual Sin, Rape, etc.)

In the name of Jesus, I renounce and repent of all worship of the Baphomet goat god through my own sexual sin.

I renounce and repent of all worship of the Baphomet goat god through the sexual sin of my forebears.

I confess and repent of my worship of Satan through sexual sin and renounce that worship, in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and repent of my involvement with the zodiac stars.

I renounce all horoscopes and reading of the stars.

I renounce and break all sun worship by my forebears, in the mighty name of Jesus.

I renounce and break every effect of tarot card reading, clairvoyance and communication with the dead.

I repent of and renounce all worship of the planets, sun, moon and stars.

I renounce and break the god of mercury and the god of alchemy.

I break the spirit of clairvoyance off my life and command it to leave.

I cut all ties to Baphomet worship through freemasonry, druidism, the New Age, Mormonism, and Hinduism in the name of Jesus.

I cut all ties to Baphomet worship through Islam.

I renounce and break every effect of the crescent moons of goat worship.

I renounce and break every effect and tie to the satanic bible and its Baphomet seat.

I renounce and break all satanic magic, sex magic and sex alchemy.

I renounce all curses of sodomy, bestiality and perversion that come from worshipping this, male, female and animal ‘in-one’, Azoth sexual deity.

I renounce and break every stronghold of sexual lust, sodomy, bestiality, and perversion that has come down my and my spouse’s family line and the family line of any other sexual partner in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break every tie to ritual abuse through worship of the goat-god.

I renounce and break every effect of the witchcraft symbolism of the Baphomet-hand.

I renounce and break every effect of the black art and craft of the goat-god.

I renounce and break every tie to the goat.

I renounce and break the vows taken while sitting on the goat.

I renounce and break every effect of the ceremony of riding the goat, the violence of that ceremony and the resulting fear.

I repent on behalf of my and my spouse’s forebears who have demonstrated their sworn loyalty to Lucifer through performing the obscene kiss [kissing the goat’s anus].

I renounce and break the effects of that kiss in Jesus’ name and ask you Father to cleanse me of every vile effect that has come down the generation line.

I renounce the worship of satanic consummation, satanic ritual consummation and satanic ritual abuse.

I renounce and break off my life the insanity that comes from worship of the goat-god and its spirit of bestiality, in the name of Jesus.

I repent and break the aphrodisiac of inflamed sexual lust and sexual addiction coming from the fire of the goat-god.

I renounce and break the seal of satan, the pentagram on the forehead and the opening of the psychic ‘third eye’.

I renounce and break off my forehead the ‘Golden Triangle’ and its opening of the psychic ‘third eye’, in the name of Jesus.

Father, I ask you to cleanse me from every dimension of the third eye and close that psychic entry point.  I ask you to close all psychic entry points in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break off my life the twisted horns of the goat-god, and all idolatry of, and desire for the twisted power of the goat-god.

In the name of Jesus, I renounce and break every effect of the horns of the goat-god and break their power over my life and that of my family’s life.

I smash the horns of satan off my life and that of my family’s life.

I renounce and break all brain damage and insanity caused by the worship of this goat-god.

I renounce and break all fragmentation of the mind and personality in my family line and myself through the worship of the goat-god, bestiality and all abuse.

I break, bind and command to leave every demon assigned to fragment my mind, in the name of Jesus.

I repent and break all worship of the woman’s breasts, through the power of the goat-god and through pornography.

I renounce and break the Baphomet tie to the woman’s breasts to destroy, mutilate, maim and dismember.

I renounce and break the worship of female sexuality especially through pornography and oral sex.

I repent of, renounce and break masturbation, known as the mysteries of solitude. I renounce the mysteries of solitude, I command the spirit of masturbation to leave me now, in the name of Jesus.

I repent, renounce and break the power of the caduceus rod over my life, and its representation of male sexuality and all sex, magic and death magic.

I renounce and break the power of the two snakes around that rod and over my sexuality in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break the power of the two snakes of that rod around my own spine and command them to leave in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break every effect of perverted sex and the poison of the two serpents.

I renounce and break the worship of the male phallic and every compulsion and lust to rape and to sodomise, in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break the desire to be sodomised and fantasy of being sodomised.

I renounce and break every effect of being the bride of satan and being initiated and sealed as the bride of satan through rape and/or sodomy.

I renounce and break every effect of the goat-god’s cloven feet, their uncleanness and their power to trample underfoot.

[Take a prophetic step forward as you renounce:]

I take myself out from under the power of these feet and declare the Baphomet goat-god is under my feet in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break every effect of being terrorised by the goat-god and I break all night terror.

I renounce and break the false angel wings of the goat-god, all astral travel and every tie to the astral plane.

I break the wings of astral travel and of the goat-god off my life.

[Men:] I renounce and break misogyny, the hatred of women and the wife I love, that comes from the goat-god.  I declare I will not be a misogynist. I break misogyny off my life in the name of Jssus.

Or:

[Women:] I renounce and break misandry, the hatred of men and the husband I love, that comes from the goat-god.  I break it off my life in the name of Jesus.  I declare I will not be a misandress in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break the spirit of the misogynist and misandress off my life and command it and the spirit of feminism and male chauvinism to leave in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break misogamy, the hatred of marriage, that comes from the goat-god.  I break it in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break the absolute hatred of women.

I renounce and break the despising of men and the hatred that comes from being used to satisfy their lust.

I renounce and break the spirit of prostitution that comes with pornography and the murder of the soul of the man through prostitution and the absolute hatred of men.

[Note: Pornography is prostitution because it is sex for money.  It is not an excuse to say, as some have, “Oh but I did not pay for it”.  If for some reason someone had a freebie with a prostitute they would have still been with a prostitute.]

I renounce and break every effect of being bathed in the darkness of satan through the goat-god and sexual sin in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break every effect of the death and hell of Apollyon coming from pornography, homosexuality, prostitution, temple prostitution, sodomy, incest and polygamy in the name of Jesus.

I renounce and break the spirit of whoredoms and prostitution that comes with pornography.

I renounce and break anger, rage, and murder that comes with Baphomet consummation and all satanic rape.

I renounce and break the Baphomet symbolism of sex with a man, sex with a woman, sex with an animal and sex with a demon.  I break this perversion off my life in the name of Jesus.

I repent of, renounce and break all sex with Incubus and Succubus demons whether by invitation, through masturbation or otherwise.

I break the power of the Incubus and Succubus spirits off my life.  I shackle and bind them and command them to leave in the mighty name of Jesus.

[Fasting may be required to deal with either of these two demon spirits which can be a less than easy stronghold to deal with.]

I renounce and break every effect of the Baphomet cross, the grid of satan off my life.  I break the dedication to satan on that grid and I take myself off the grid in the mighty name of Jesus.

I renounce and break every tie to Leviathan through Baphomet worship.

I renounce and break every effect of Kundalini and Kali.

I renounce and break every effect of the Lotus flame coming out of the goat-god’s head which I break off my life.

I renounce and break the prince of devils, Om, off my life.

I renounce and break every effect of the bowing of yoga, and unifying with the spirit of the universe.

I renounce and break off my life the seven chakras, the spinning wheels of yoga, and I close every one of those psychic entry points.

I renounce and break all self-enlightenment, occult enlightenment and occult revelation.

In the name of Jesus, I renounce and break every effect of declaring ‘I am a god’.

I renounce and break every effect of being in an altered state of consciousness.

I bind every demon that came in through that state and command it to leave in the mighty name of Jesus.

I bind and shackle every spirit of an altered state of consciousness and command them to leave me in the name of Jesus.

I ask you Father, to close every psychic entity point or door to the astral plane and seal it closed.

I bind and shackle the spirit of the gatekeeper to the astral plane and command it to leave me now in Jesus’s mighty name.

I break every effect of these strongholds and I ask you Father, to cleanse me and seal every release in the name of Jesus.

Thank you Father, for delivering me.

Amen.

Prayer to break the stronghold of rape and receive healing
https://truthinreality.com/2012/08/14/prayer-to-break-the-stronghold-of-rape-and-receive-healing/

Prayer of Release from Freemasonry I – General Information
https://truthinreality.com/2012/11/30/prayer-of-release-for-freemasons-and-their-descendants-3/

Prayer of Release from Freemasonry II – Ancestral
https://truthinreality.com/2012/11/29/prayer-for-release-from-freemasonry-short/

Prayer of Release from Freemasonry III – Degrees
https://truthinreality.com/2012/11/26/prayer-of-release-from-freemasonry-iii-2/

Prayer of Release from Freemasonry IV – The Masonic Order of the Rose Croix and the Knights Templar
https://truthinreality.com/2012/11/25/prayer-of-release-from-freemasonry-iv-2/

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New Age Christianity and Christian Witchcraft in the ‘One World’ System

Many people including Bible scholars believe that we are rapidly heading towards a One World system which will incorporate all institutions – the government, banking, commerce, workplaces, schools, churches and the media, etc. – into a worldwide network to provide the basis for the persecution of true Christians during the tribulation period.

The Bible tells us that in the last days not that many will be false teachers, but that most will be false teachers.

It is quite possible for a person to follow a syncretistic religion — a faith involving elements from two or more religions. Sometimes disparagingly called ‘shopping-cart’ or ‘pick and mix’ religion this practice is common within the so-called “New Age” movement.  The Bible makes it quite clear, that syncretism – mixing in any way whatsoever with anything that has its roots in pagan or non-Bible based beliefs or practices – is an abomination to God.

There are even churches that would claim to be “New Age” Christian Churches, such as St. James, Piccadilly, in central London which has associated itself with the New Age since the 1970s.  In their Mission Statement they say:  “We understand ourselves to be called to gather as a body which welcomes and celebrates human diversity, including spirituality, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation – create a space where people of any faith or none can question and discover the sacred in life through openness, struggle, laughter and prayer – a common commitment to be in solidarity with poor and marginalized people and to cherish creation (we don’t manage it all the time, so we try again).”

Christian churches are being infiltrated by the New Age through many avenues such as various ungodly forms of Christian music, especially rock but also country and western and other worldly types of music. There is Christian energy light working and healing in various forms, reiki, yoga, meditation, and many other non-biblical practices. There are many Christian books which have no solid biblical basis such as various forms of Christian self-help psychology, for example Joyce Meyer’s books, along with ‘Christian’ books such as “One Thousand Gifts” and “The Shack” which are in fact a form of Christian witchcraft.

“The Occult and Cursed Objects List” on this site provides some further information on witchcraft in Christianity, whether through false doctrine or commercial exploitation, etc.
Whether it is seemingly harmless and beneficial practices such as contemplative prayer, ‘soaking’, lectio divina, or labyrinths,  an ever-increasing plethora of non-biblically based practices are being brought into Christianity.  These are things we don’t actually even need, as according to His Word itself, God has already given us everything we need.  As these practices take their part in corrupting the true and pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, they are anything but harmless and beneficial, and in fact constitute a form of witchcraft, which is an abomination to God, and as such falls totally within the realm of the devil and the demonic.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-10)

Repeatedly in the Bible, witchcraft in particular is expressly forbidden, whether black or white.  Yet, astonishingly, a Google search for “Christian Witchcraft” returns 10.5 million results, and “Christian Witch” returns 42.6 million results.

The following two pictures are from a so-called ‘Christian’ website:

The following videos include an interview with Mary-Kathryn,  a popular Christian singer, where she proclaims to be a part of something called ‘New Age Christianity’.

A closer look at ‘The New Age’ clearly shows that it is a contrived construct and false through and through, made up of lies and fabrications by Satan and his servants along with those who have been deceived by them. So it follows that there can be no such thing as ‘New Age Christianity’.  Indeed the songs and the mode of singing are discernibly witch-like.


Mary-Kathryn sings “The 91st Psalm” and then “Incense of Praise” from her album “Dreams & Visions”:

 

Posted in New Truth about The New Age, The Great Falling Away Today, What are Spirits of Witchcraft | Leave a comment

False Prophets Unmasked II

The first sign Jesus gave heralding the last days was deception (Matt. 24:4).  This warning was later echoed by the Apostles John (1 John 4:1); Peter (2:1-3); and Jude.   And of course Paul: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils,” (1 Timothy 4:1).

People often get saved, or at least begin to believe in God or in Jesus, by listening to false teachers or prophets, and will later move on away from them. If you discover your favorite “Bible” teacher mentioned, please research. Very few, if any, teachers get everything right, but what they say and teach should not be way out of line with scripture. False doctrine is in the domain of the Jezebel spirit and is very dangerous in a number of ways.

This list represents a growing collection of false prophets and teachers in the church now promoting the prosperity gospel, the Occult, New Age, the Emergent Church, Latter Rain-Manifest Sons of God, Word of Faith, and a myriad of other chaotic Charismania collectively promoting and employing blasphemous eastern religious practices such as shamanism (occult overtures), kundalini (slain in the spirit), divination (words of knowledge, prophesies, tongues and interpretations so called).

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” (James 3:1)

“Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Tim. 1:20)

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (2 Tim 1:15)

“And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;” (2 Tim 2:17)

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.” (3 John 1:9)

“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” (Rev. 2:20)

From Wikipedia: Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs.  Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one’s religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverance toward religion.

Heresy is usually used to discuss violations of religious or traditional laws or legal codes, although it is used by some political extremists to refer to their opponents. It carries the connotation of behaviours or beliefs likely to undermine accepted morality and cause tangible evils, damnation, or other punishment.

In Abrahamic religions, it also implies that the heretic is in alliance with the religion’s symbol of evil, such as Satan or Chaos. In certain historical Christian, Jewish, and some modern cultures including Islam, espousing ideas deemed heretical was punishable by law.

The term heresy is from Greek αἵρεσις originally meant “choice” or “thing chosen”, but it came to mean the “party or school of a man’s choice” and also referred to that process whereby a young person would examine various philosophies to determine how to live.

The word “heresy” is usually used within a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic context, and implies slightly different meanings in each. The founder or leader of a heretical movement is called a heresiarch, while individuals who espouse heresy or commit heresy are known as heretics. Heresiology is the study of heresy.

According to Titus 3:10 a divisive person should be warned two times before separating from him. The Greek for the phrase “divisive person” became a technical term in the early church for a type of “heretic” who promoted dissension.

In contrast, correct teaching is called sound not only because it builds up in the faith, but because it protects against the corrupting influence of false teachers. [Wikipedia]

Ahn, Che [Latter Rain]

Anderson, Fil [Universalism]

Angley, Ernest [Word of Faith]

Armstrong, Garner Ted [Worldwide Church of God]

Armstrong, Herbert W [founder Worldwide Church of God]

Arnott, John [leader Toronto “Blessing”, Latter Rain]

Austin, Jill [Latter Rain]

Avanzini, John [lucre lover, Copeland clone]

Bailey, Foster, Alice [Lucis Trust, occult]

Bell, Rob [Emergent Church]

Bennett, Rita [occult inner healing see Agnes Sanford]

Bentley, Todd [false prophet, kundalini, Lakeland lunacy]

Bernal, Dick [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Bevere, John and Lisa [lucre lover, Kingdom Now]

Bickle, Mike [Kansas City Prophets, Int’l House of Prayer]

Blanchard, Ken [Mystic Contemplative Prayer]

Blavatsky, Helena Patrovna [psychic, Theosophical Society]

Boshoff, Jan [false prophet, denies inspiration]

Branham, William [occult spiritist, serpent seed, false prophet]

Brother Lawrence [Contemplative Mysticism]

Brown, Michael L. [Brownsville heresy]

Browne, Rodney Howard [Latter Rain, spirit drunkenness]

Burke, John [Emergent Church]

Burke, Spencer [Emergent Church]

Cain, Paul [Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain]

Campbell, Wes & Stacey [Latter Rain]

Camping, Harold [false prophet]

Campolo, Tony [liberal professor, author, theologian]

Caycee, Edgar [occult psychic clairvoyant]

Charisma Mag [writers, editors, associates]

Cho, Paul or David Yonggi [Word of Faith, pastor of largest church in the world]

Chvada, Mahesh [Latter Rain]

Clark, Randy [Latter Rain, Toronto “Blessing”]

Clement, Kim [New Apostolic Reformation]

Cloud, Deron [Assoc of heretic Eddie Long, check web for much more]

Collins, Jim [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Copeland, Kenneth and Gloria [Word of Faith]

Corner, Dan [teaches Another Gospel other than Grace]

Craft, Charles [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Crouch, Matthew [promotes rank heresies via TBN]

Crouch, Paul Jr. [promotes rank heresies via TBN]

Crouch, Paul Sr. [lucre lover, sodomite, TBN founder]

Crowder, John [New Mystics, Sons of Thunder]

Dake, Finnis Jennings [Bible editor, Charismatic/Latter Rain]

Dawson, John [YWAM, Latter Rain Copelandite]

Dawson, Joy [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Daystar Television Channel [Charismania]

De Artega, William [Latter Rain adovocate]

Deere, Jack [Latter Rain, Wimberite]

Dollar, Creflo [lucre lover, Copeland clone]

Dowie, John Alexander [father of Modern Healing Revival]

Driscoll, Mark [previous Emergent Church leader]

Dunne, Benjamin [New Mystics; toking the “Ghost”]

DuPlantis, Jesse [lucre lover, Copeland clone]

Eastman, Dick [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Eddy, Mary Baker [“Christian” Science; mind sciences]

Foster, Richard [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Frangipane, Francis [Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain]

Hagin, Kenneth Jr./Sr. [Kenyon clones like Copeland]

Hamon, Bill [Latter Rain]

Hanegraaff, Hendrick Hank [Preterist, plagiarist thief who stole Walter Martin’s ministry from his family]

Hayford, Jack [ecumenist Pentecostal RC supporting Latter Rain Dominionist]

Hickey, Marilyn [Copeland clone]

Hill, Steve [lead “evangelist” Brownsville blasphemy]

Hinn, Benny [Latter Rain, fornicator w/Paula White]

Huch, Larry [Copeland clone]

Hybels, Bill [Emergent Church, Chrislam]

Jackson, John Paul [Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain]

Jacobs, Cindy [Copeland clone]

Jakes, TD [Oneness Pentecostalism]

Jones, Bob [Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain, not College]

Jones, Laurie Beth [Mystic Contemplative Prayer]

Jones, Tony [national coordinator Emergent Church]

Jordan, Bernard [Hinn clone]

Joyner, Rick [Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain]

Keating, Thomas [Contemplative Mysticism]

Kelsey, Morton [Agnes Sanford’s pastor]

Kempis, Thomas a [Contemplative Mysticism]

Ken Blanchard [Emergent Church]

Kenyon, EW [Father of Word of Faith occult spiritism]

Kidd, Sue Monk [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Kimball, Dan [Emergent Church]

King, Patricia [mystical witchcraft via Extreme Prophetic TV]

Kinnaman, Gary D. [Latter Rain spiritual warfare]

Kuhlman, Kathryn [faith healer and Hinn’s mentor]

Lawrence, Brother [Contemplative Mysticism]

Lea, Larry [Latter Rain Copelandite]

Leonard Sweet [Emergent Church]

Long, Bishop Eddie [lucre lover, sodomite Charismatic]

MacNab, Francis [Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain]

Marrs, Texe [rabid anti-Semite]

McClure, Joel [Emergent Church]

Mclaren, Brian [Emergent Church]

McManus, Erwin [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Merton, Thomas [Trappist monk and Catholic mystic]

Meyer, Joyce [lucre lover, Copeland clone]

Miller, Calvin [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Mills, Joshua [Crowder clone, gold dust, oily hands]

Munsey, Phil [lucre lover, Copeland clone]

Munsey, Steve [lucre lover, Copeland clone]

Murdock, Mike [Copeland clone]

Murphy, Ed [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Murray, Arnold [serpent seed, much more]

Nouwen, Henry [Contemplative Mysticism, Emerging Church]

Osteen, Joel [compromiser, positive confession]

Packer, J I [Romanist and Charismatic Sympathizer]

Pagitt, Doug [Emergent Church]

Parham, Charles [sodomite father of modern Pentecostalism]

Parsley, Rod [Kingdom Now, Joel’s army, Manifest Sons]

Paulk, Earl [Latter Rain]

Peale, Norman Vincent [positive confession liberal]

Pearson, Carlton [Universalism]

Peretti, Frank [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Peterson, Eugene [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Pierce, Chuck [Elijah List]

Pierce, Chuck [Latter Rain]

Popes, all [idolaters, false Christs, exceeding deceivers]

Popoff, Peter [lucre lover, fake healer]

Price, Fred KC [Copeland clone]

Richard Foster [Emergent Church]

Rinker, Rosalind [occult inner healing see Agnes Sanford]

Roberts, Oral [deceased, false prophet]

Roberts, Richard and Lindsey [Oral’s son and wife, false prophets]

Robertson, Pat [divination, false prophet, aiding wickedness]

Sandford, John & Paula [Latter Rain]

Sanford, Agnes [occult visualization inner healing advocate]

Savelle, Jerry [Copeland clone]

Scandrette, Mark [Emergent Church]

Schambach, R. W. [deceased Latter Rain]

Schuler, Robert [Peale clone, positive confession liberal]

Seamands, David [Mystic Contemplative Prayer Movement]

Seymour, William [see Parham, Charles]

Shaw, Gwen [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Sheets, Dutch [Elijah List]

Smith, Joseph [founding False Prophet of Mormonism]

St. John of the Cross [Mystic Contemplative Prayer]

Stapleton, Ruth Carter [occult inner healing see Agnes Sanford]

Stevens, John Robert [Latter Rain; assoc of Frangipane]

Strader, Stephen [Latter Rain]

Sutton, Dave [Emergent Church]

Talbot, John Michael [Contemplative Mysticism]

Tenney, Tommy [Oneness Pentecostalism, Charismatic]

Teresa of Avila [Contemplative Mysticism]

Thompson, Robb [Word of Faith, lucre lover]

Tilton, Robert [Copeland clone]

Vineyard Fellowship or Churches [Wimberites]

Wagner, Peter [New Apostolic Reformation, Wimberite]

Wallis, Jim [Communist Liberation Theology]

Ward, Karen [Emergent Church]

Warren, Rick [Emergent Purpose Driven, promotes Chrislam]

White, Dr. John [Latter Rain, Word of Faith]

White, Ellen G. [founder False Prophet Seventh Day Advents]

White, Paula[Copeland Clone, fornicator w/Benny Hinn]

White, Tom [Latter Rain; spiritual war network]

Willard, Dallas [Emergent Church]

Wimber, John [deceased, Kansas City Prophets/Latter Rain]

Womack, Andrew [Copeland clone]

Wright, H. Norman [occult inner healing see Agnes Sanford]

Wright, Jeremiah [liberal Liberation Theology, Bible denier]

Xander, Dieter [Emergent Church]

Youth With a Mission Prophets [YWAM- Latter Rain]

Muldoon, Dayna [Word of Faith]

Dear friend, there is no way to include every deceiver in a list of this length. If you are in question about someone, please contact me and I’ll search the person’s credentials for you.

Dr. Mike Johnston, Editor – PMI Centre for Biblical Studies at
http://pmicenter.blogspot.co.uk/p/read-1st.html

People are fallible.  God’s word isn’t, so always check against (preferably KJV) scripture.

I would like to add to this list Brennan Manning, Contemplative Christianity along with many other Catholic and Christian authors.  There are some wonderful Christian books, far too many to list, but a very large percentage of these books contain false doctrine and they are also far too many to list.

It would be wise for anyone to check carefully before paying out their hard-earned cash to buy a book that may be attractive in one way or another, but will not do much good and could potentially do great harm as even listening to or reading false doctrine can open demonic doorways.

Check carefully on Google or see the foot of this page for links to some discernment ministry sites where it is easy to check and find out whether a preacher is possibly a false teacher and why.

The enemy looks for a chink in our armour, to get a toehold, then a foothold, then a stronghold, then a stranglehold.  We are warned in God’s word to be wary and watchful, as no one is immune to deception, unless we are so prideful as to think we know it all.

“Of all deadly sins, this is the most deadly, namely, that any one should think he is not guilty of a damnable and deadly sin before God:” Martin Luther.  Yet some say Martin Luther was himself guilty of a degree of anti-semitism which according to the Bible is specifically cursed by God.

It is a cliche, but still it is good policy to be better safe than sorry and keep away from false doctrine and anyone involved in it.  As God’s word tells us that means many, even most, Christian teachers.  The fruit of their false teaching can be quite upsetting and personally damaging as many will testify.

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there 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.” (2 Peter 2:1)

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” (Luke 16:10)

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” (Malachi 3:18)

The Parable of the Good Shepherd

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an HIRELING and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.  (John 10:1-30)

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11)

For further reading please see the article on this blog made up entire of KJV scriptures from the Old and New Testament, much of which is God Himself speaking:

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Modern Heresy Timeline – The Flow of Current Heretical Beliefs

Posted in False Prophets Unmasked | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

30 Traits of the Jezebel Spirit

The Jezebel spirit is described in the Bible in a story about a woman, Queen Jezebel, a daughter of a pagan king who married a king of Israel, King Ahab. Jezebel is mentioned again by name as a spirit in the New Testament.

Women who are unfaithful, uncaring or rebellious wives, are often called Jezebels but that was not the character of Queen Jezebel, who was a faithful wife but very evil in other ways. In the Bible story, Jezebel wrote letters falsely accusing the owner of vineyard, arranging for him to be killed so her husband could have his vineyard which he coveted.

The Bible paints a very graphic and concise portrait of this spirit, although the name of Jezebel is not always mentioned, such as in Proverbs 5 and 7. Also Isaiah 47:7-9:

“And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.”

Numerous articles, books and videos etc. have been published about the Jezebel spirit. A considerable amount of the information given is misleading as to the true identity of the Jezebel spirit and the means by which it works.

The Jezebel spirit is not a demon but a principality which particularly targets people of God. That is both directly in themselves, and indirectly through others. It can get in through uncrucified flesh and fear. Highly intelligent and devious, this seducing spirit is adept at using all sorts of manipulative tactics, especially flattery.

The Jezebel spirit has the means to work against and through highly intelligent and spiritually knowledgeable people and is easily capable of carrying out complex long term strategies. It also has the ability to masquerade as and provide a convincing counterfeit to the Holy Spirit.

The Jezebel spirit is very evil and has been said to be like “the bride of Satan”. It will often work closely with a demonic network in order to conceal its presence and activities, so it can be difficult to identify and break free from.

Mistress – or master – of cunning and disguises, the Jezebel spirit would want everyone to believe it only manifests as a tarty and/or manipulative woman but that is far from the case. Contrary to what many believe, the Jezebel spirit does not work only or mainly through seductive women, or even controlling and manipulative men, but also by more subtle, covert and devious means.

As a spirit is genderless so Jezebel can and does easily take on either male, female, or any of the various forms of transgender identity including homosexual. The Jezebel spirit functions just as proficiently through men as through women and this is reflected in scripture which tells us that Jezebel had 850 male followers who did her bidding. It is Jezebel – spirits of witchcraft, and religious spirits, false prophecy and false doctrine – behind the idolatry of false doctrine and cults.

Just like the Bible story which tells us that Jezebel had 850 men, eunuchs who who “ate at her table” meaning that they were fed by her spiritually with the food of the devil, representing false doctrine, not the food of the true word of God. “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, [men] which eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:19)

Some characteristics of the Jezebel spirit in its outward appearance have been likened to narcissism (or narcissistic personality disorder).

Characteristics of the Jezebel Spirit

1. Refuses to admit guilt or wrong

A Jezebel spirit is never wrong, unless it is a temporary admittance of guilt to gain “favor” with someone. To accept responsibility would violate the core of insecurity and pride from which it operates. When a Jezebel apologizes it is never in true repentance or acknowledgment of wrongdoing but rather “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt.”

2. Takes credit for everything

While a strong trait of Jezebel is to never take responsibility for his/her wrong actions or behavior, he or she also is quick to take credit for benefits for which he/she contributed no effort.

3. Uses people to accomplish its agenda

The Jezebel spirit lets others do its dirty work. The Jezebel gets another person’s emotions stirred up, then lets that person go into a rage. The Jezebel sits back looking innocent, saying “Who me? What did I do?” This behavior makes it difficult for even the most ardent truth seekers to pin one down. The Jezebel spirit is clever in its agenda.

4. Withholds information

This is a form of control. A Jezebel wields power over you by knowing something you don’t know in a situation. In the eyes of a Jezebel, having information you don’t have is a powerful weapon of control.

5. Talks in confusion

It is impossible to converse with a Jezebel in logic. One pastor wrote a six-page letter to his elders about a situation in the church. The context was so vague that no one was without confusion. This is a way to maintain control and domination. When confronting a Jezebel, the subject may be changed five times in one minute. Confusion keeps them ‘undiscovered’ and unexposed.

6. Volunteers for anything

A Jezebel volunteers in order to establish control. He or she seemingly has endless (nervous) energy and eagerly looks for opportunities to be in charge of projects. Although he or she will work hard, His/her motive is never pure, and eventually his/her  secret agenda cannot be hidden.

7. Lies

A Jezebel lies convincingly. No one can lie better than he/she can. He or she can turn on the charm and make you believe blue is red. He or she always fools those whom he’s just met while those who have been victimized by his/her tactics stand by helplessly. The fact that Jezebel can look you in the eye and lie just shows how strong and adamant this rebellious and recalcitrant spirit is.

8. Ignores people

A classic ploy of a controller is to ignore you when you disagree with him/her. This tactic is frequently used by leaders when someone doesn’t agree with their plans, and they isolate the person by ignoring him/her. Some in these situations have been ignored for months, just because they chose not to be a puppet and say to every idea or whim. This puts the person out of the leader’s grace and forces him/her to either “come around” to the leader’s way of thinking or be indefinitely ignored. One is not free to disagree with a controller.

9. Never gives credit or shows gratitude

A Jezebel will rarely acknowledge another person’s actions, not even for something that turned out to greatly benefit the Jezebel. He or she just cannot bring himself/herself to say thank you or to acknowledge that someone else did something right. There are those who have gone out of their way to bless a Jezebel by being the catalyst of sending him/her on a trip or giving a gift. Yet never will there be a thank you. This again puts the controller in a position of power.

10. Criticizes everyone

This is a characteristic of a controller. He or she has to be the one who looks good, so he/she will quickly sharply criticize anyone who makes a suggestion or plan. Even though he/she likes the plan, he/she can only criticize it because the idea did not originate from him/her. Criticizing others elevates the controller in his/her own mind.

11. Oneupmanship

A person with a Jezebel spirit will always upstage another person. He or she feels threatened by anyone who dares to steal the limelight or anyone who is a threat to his/her power and control. If you are with such a person and tell of your accomplishment or victory, you can be assured he or she will quickly tell of something he/she has accomplished.

12. Sequesters information

A Jezebel loves to be in control of information. If there is ever a situation where information is important, he/she will push to be the “first” to know it. He or she seems to know everything about everyone. Where he/she gets all his/her information is beyond comprehension, but he/she can dictate to you data and details about people’s lives and actions in mass quantities.

13. Uses information

A Jezebel uses information as a leverage for power and then shares tidbits with you, often things told him/her in confidence. This gives him/her a sense of power, even to the point of trying to impress people by “knowing things” that others do not.

14. Talks incessantly

Many people talk habitually, but a Jezebel uses talking as a form of control. In a typical conversation, he/she does all the talking, whether it is about sports, the weather or the Kingdom of God. Because of this form of control, he/she is unable to receive input from anyone in his/her life. All conversation with him/her is one-sided. You are doing the listening.

15. Spiritualizes everything

When a controller is confronted, he or she commonly spiritualizes the situation, explaining it off on God. This prevents him/her from owning up to responsibility required of him/her. The implication is always, “You’ve got a problem; I don’t.”

16. Is insubordinate

A Jezebel never takes the side of the employer or a person in authority, unless it is a temporary action to make him/her look good. He or she often will take credit for someone else’s idea. His/her main desire is for power and control. There is no conscience when an opportunity for recognition presents itself.

17. Is pushy and domineering

A person with a Jezebel spirit pressures you to do things, seemingly ripping from you your right to choose or make a decision for yourself. He or she makes others feel as though they don’t have enough sense to think for themselves.

18. Is clairvoyant

Many who operate with a spirit of control also have a clairvoyant spirit. A Jezebel has supernatural help in knowing and sensing information. If he or shee uses this against you, he/she may say “I can’t tell you how I know this. I just know it.” This is not the Holy Spirit, but the help of a clairvoyant or familiar spirit. Clairvoyance may be defined as the power to perceive things that are out of the range of human senses.

19. Uses the element of surprise

A Jezebel’s main thrust is to be in control, and a large part of control is catching you off guard. Therefore, the element of surprise works well when he/she shows up a day early for a meeting, etc.

20. Sows seeds of discord

A Jezebel will continually belittle another person in the most subtle way. The strategy is to “gain” control by minimizing the value of another person. It is common for him/her to tell half-truths to implicate another person in your eyes. By sowing these seeds, he/she hopes (perhaps subconsciously) to eventually reap a harvest of destruction, improving his/her position of power.

21. Commands attention

A Jezebel likes to be the center of attention and doesn’t like to see others recognized and lauded. When someone else is recognized, he or she will quickly undermine the person’s accomplishments verbally.

22. Is vengeful

Since a Jezebel is never wrong, if you contradict or confront one, get ready to become his/her worst enemy. As long as you are in agreement with him/her, all is fine. But if you confront or challenge him/her, then look out. You are the target of his/her fiercest venom. A Jezebel will stop at nothing to destroy your reputation.

23. Attempts to make you look like you’re the Jezebel

A Jezebel spirit is difficult to pin down. If the person is near to being confronted, he or she will skillfully twist the entire situation, trying to make the innocent person look like the one who is attempting to control. As always, the Jezebel will do anything to look like the one who is right.

24. Insinuates disapproval

A Jezebel will often imply disapproval to those under his/her control. The controlled person feels no freedom to express an opinion, for fear of disapproval. This often manifests in a marriage or in a working environment.

25. Knows it all

A Jezebel is usually blatant regarding his/her knowledge of everything. Quick to express his/her opinion in any area, he or she leaves little room for anyone to point out the other side of an issue. He or she has made idols of his/her opinions.

26. Is ambitious

The Jezebel has strong desire, but all for self. “I want what I want when I want it,” describes his/her worship of self-will. A Jezebel leader will never use the words, “We have a vision,” but rather, “My vision is thus and so.”

27. Gift giving

Gift giving is a form of manipulation a Jezebel uses that always makes you feel obligated to him/her. It also compromises the victim in speaking direct and confrontive truth. Naturally, not everyone who gives gifts is guilty of control, but gift giving is a tactic used by those who have a need to control.

28. Is independent

No one has input in a Jezebel’s life. He or she fraternizes with no one unless it is to get you to “cooperate” with his/her agenda.

29. Is religious

A Jezebel dwells in the local church but doesn’t like authority unless he/she is in the position of authority.

30. Hides

We all want to believe that the person with a Jezebel spirit is delivered. The person may seem “normal” for a period, exhibiting none of the classic traits. Then suddenly without warning a situation will arise, once again with the spirit taking control and wreaking havoc over lives. Hopefully, true repentance will come. Only then will the person be delivered.

The good news is that God gives each individual person the freedom of choice. Everyone has the freedom to make decisions, to make mistakes, to think for himself/herself, to communicate, to like or dislike and to express his/her taste and creativity.

Those who control are in worship of their own wills and their own ways. Thank God for freedom.

If you recognize any of these traits in your own life, begin by praying this prayer:

I renounce and bind this demon of Jezebel, and I pull down this stronghold in my life.

Through the Holy Spirit I will live by your standard of righteousness, holiness and conduct. Open my eyes and cause Your light to expose any darkness, and help me to walk in humility and truth.

In Jesus Name,

Amen!

“30 Traits of the Jezebel Spirit” is an excerpt from “Confronting Jezebel: Discerning and Defeating the Spirit of Control” by Steve Sampson (p.62-68)

Please note: The Jezebel spirit is believed by many to be the spiritual equivalent of narcissism. If you believe you have been the victim of one or more narcissists, be careful to make sure that whoever you seek counsel from understands narcissism correctly and gives the right advice that does not make the situation worse.

Scripture says trusting in man is a snare. There is no one better to turn to than God Himself, who understands absolutely everything about everyone and everything that has ever happened. We can ask God in the name of Jesus for his Holy Spirit to teach us and to guide us.

We need information though, and thankfully there is a plethora of helpful information available today for free on the internet. There are many books, articles and videos available about narcissism and many posts about narcissism on sites like Quora.com. There are a number of Facebook groups where people can share and talk about their experiences and get information and advice, such as “Living with Narcissistic Emotional Abuse”.

As with Christianity itself though, there is a massive amount of disinformation out there and some of the information may be very inaccurate and/or misleading, some driven by demons and intentionally so. This situation like any and every other can be used by the enemy to turn to his benefit and our detriment. For sure, it can be very dangerous and destructive spiritually to listen to the wrong information, adding salt to our wounds and can easily open demonic doorways – something we definitely would do not want to do.

We live in a sick world, and we should use the utmost care to discern who and what we listen to. and consider carefully whether what we are hearing fits with what we know the Bible says and our experiences. Any such information found can be used as a guide to apply as an aid to understanding what has happened or is happening now or what may happen, while not deviating from Bible principles.

That said, finding out about terms that apply to narcissism, like what is “hoovering”, what are “narcissistic fleas” and things like the common practice of ‘victim shaming’ can be extremely helpful to those already suffering from the effects of abuse who need to make some sense of what is happening to them, and why, so they can deal with it appropriately.

Important info: A letter to every victim seeking help from therapists or groups

See also:

Recovery and Freedom from Jezebel Abuse – Jesus Our Only Mediator

Prayer of Renunciation Against Jezebel and Ahab Spirits

The Jezebel Spirit and How It Operates

Twenty-one Jezebelic Footprints

The Conflict Oriented Male Jezebel Spirit

The Charismatic Male Jezebel Conquest By Romance and Assimilation

Characteristics of the Jezebel Spirit in a Man

How To Recognise Religious Spirits

Don’t Eat at Jezebel’s Table Pt 1

The Nine Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Dr Les Carter is a professional psychotherapist and provides some helpful information on his Youtube Channel “Surviving Narcissism”.

Posted in Jezebel and Ahab Spirit, What are Spirits of Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 482 Comments

Your Church Babylon Or Zion?

“And they said, Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.”  (Gen 11:4-5)

Those who teach, as do a growing number of Christian leaders, that we must not ‘divide’ over doctrine but unite at all cost and take over the world and literally establish God’s kingdom here and now, could discover too late that they have been helping to establish the Antichrist’s kingdom.

As Roy Livesey wrote in his book “Understanding Deception – New Age Teaching in the Church”: “They can be so deceived that, in encouraging a form of godliness and rejoicing in all the false unchallenging prophecies and whatever else is given forth, they fail – like the bishop in the cathedral – to recognise that some of them are yet unsaved.”

All men, whether they be spiritual men, committed men or consecrated men, need to understand that they can be deceived.  It is vital that they do understand this, not only because God wants us to love the truth and be obedient to His Word, but because they are in turn – often unwittingly – deceiving others.

The following comparison is from a sermon by Milton Green, whose amazing testimony, along with video and audio seminars, and his only book “The Great Falling Away Today” are available on an ad-free one-click download from the foot of the home page of this blog.

Babylon Zion
Self Jesus
Flesh Spirit
Earth Heaven
Law Grace
Death Life
Doing Being
Bondage to flesh Liberty in spirit
Kingdom of Men Kingdom of God
Elected appointment Jesus as Head
Rules and regulations of men’s own making Spirit led
Man pleasing Spirit sensitive
Busy and church work Obedient to Holy Spirit
Accomplish in self strength Accomplish things in Holy spirit power
Authority in manmade doctrines Authority in Word of God
Sectarian and divisive with many divisions of people One body in spirit
Programs, mind controls and preys Worships in spirit and truth
Denominations, doctrines, heresies, creeds, traditions, personal views and opinions Preaches Christ and Him crucified
Clergy system – want to make a difference between themselves and others Priesthood of all believers
Answers to man and their institutions as the authorities Answers to God as highest authority
Imagination Revelation
Conforms people to its own image Conforms people into the image of Jesus
Increases itself in power, position, riches & domination Decreases that Christ may increase
Counts the money Counts the cost
Preserves and protects itself Lays down its life
Schemes, organises and promotes to execute its own plan in its own way and time Waits upon God to raise up what He wants in His timing
Goes after things and people to possess them Seeks the Lord with his whole heart to be possessed by Him
Seeks to build a city, a power and a name for itself Seeks the city of God
Seeks to gather people to itself Longs to be gathered to Jesus, to be a disciple, willing to deny self, take up cross and follow Jesus, self denial is the cross we bear.
The old man will rise up and attempt to control and dominate The old man of flesh and sin has to be rendered dead, to lay down life defines the NT concept of agape love

Full Gospel –v- Seeker Friendly Churches

Entertains/tickles ears Preaches the word given once to saints
Seeks man’s approval Seeks god’s approval
Goal is to get new members and increase funds Goal is to make disciples
Appeals to felt worldly needs Appeals to spiritual needs
Purpose driven Spirit filled and led
Seeks unity of faiths Seeks holiness & truth
Inclusive & tolerant Exclusive & divisive
Builds self esteem Dies to self and humbles the proud
Undiscerning Discerning

 The Babylonian Spirit and The Church

Though the bible does not say there is a ‘demon of Babylon’, there is a combination of human rebellion and demonic activity we sometimes call the ‘spirit of Babylon’ which is a Jezebellic spirit. This spirit manifests in mans heart saying “Let us build, let us get a name for ourselves, let us reach unto heaven.”

The “spirit of Babylon” motivates human organization and building with man at the head. It is the root behind all the world religions trying to reach heaven by human effort. The stories in the book of Daniel capture the essence of Gods people in the midst of Babylon. The Body Of Christ is being called into the marketplace, an arena that the spirit of Babylon controls. It is easy to mix the spirit of Babylon into our organization, church or business, and not realize it.

We are like the people of Israel who adopted the “practices of the land round about” and couldn’t see the problem. This is why Christians have often been ineffective and irrelevant in our culture.

The Lord wants to reveal His glory to world through His people and cannot anoint a mixture. As God sends us INTO the marketplace he is also calling us OUT OF Babylon. Here are some observations.

1. The spirit of Babylon causes man to say “come let us build”

Whenever Christians gather we are the church (Ecclesia) We know the church is not the building, the organization or corporation, yet we need to organize the things we do. As soon as we move from the church being believers “gathered” to creating an organization and corporation, we become vulnerable to the spirit of Babylon. We can subtly shift to a “come let us build” mentality and end up building and sustaining a “religious organization”, rather than extending the Kingdom of God. Human methods then replace the power of the Holy Spirit and selfish ambitions come in along with “every kind of disorder.” If we take an honest look at the church today where to we see the problems? They are usually centered around the organization! Regarding church buildings and organizations John Wesley adopted the stance “it will all burn”. We must not initiate, but always follow Jesus.

The story is told of Chinese Christian leaders visiting our churches. At the end of their trip they were asked what they thought. Conferring for a moment they replied, “We are amazed at how much you have accomplished without the Holy Spirit.” We need organization, but it must always reflect Jesus. We cannot build the church, Jesus said “I will build my church…” (Matt.16:18).  Today the Holy Spirit is saying “repent from dead works, enter into rest and follow Jesus as Lord of the church, in everything we do.

2. The spirit of Babylon causes men to say “let us get a name for ourselves”

This is the real motivation behind much ministry. We have adopted human values of size, fame, youth, wealth, power and recognition! We want the name of our church or ministry to be famous! We operate by control through titles and positions to “get a name for ourselves”, rather having real spiritual authority.

The 1995 “Gathering” at Whistler marked a beginning of God’s dealings with personal agendas in ministry in Canada. I had a dream about the Whistler gathering the year before. In this dream about 2000 people are together. The leader says “The Spirit of God is coming like the rain, but He will be coming like Niagara falls.” Everyone jumps up and grabs their “boogie boards” from under their seats, getting ready to ride the wave of God. These boards represent God’s call on each life, and they were beautifully painted with the names of churches and ministries, honorable titles, and positions. As the rain hits the boogie boards the paint started to run. This is what God has been doing for the last ten years. He’s washing off everything man adds to His work. Those who won’t co-operate will be set aside in the next move of God!

When I stepped out of pastoral ministry last spring the Holy Spirit said forcefully to me “no positions, no titles” The coming generation of believers will be free of selfish ambition and be noted for one thing – The Glory of the Lord. When the bible says “The Glory of the Lord shall cover the earth” it does not mean we will be incapacitated by His presence, rather we will reflect the glory of the Lord in every sphere, because our hearts are one with His. It will be His name alone that is noticed.

3. The spirit of Babylon says “let us reach to heaven”

The spirit of Babylon is the spirit of religion. It says “‘let us reach heaven’, and permeates Christians activity with legalism or religious effort. For example, today there is much striving in Spirit filled, revival circles, to ‘open the windows of heaven’. I know what that means, we all want God’s atmosphere to permeate our cities, but let’s look at our methods. We’ve been taught to tithe accurately, adopt new ways to pray, do spiritual mapping and warfare, identificational repentance, quote the right scriptures, continually deal with heart issues, etc. The problem is, the focus is on what WE do, not on what HE HAS DONE. We are always reaching for one more activity that will break through. Where is the simple unity and oneness with Christ and following the Holy Spirit that opened Jerusalem in Acts?

“Then they said to Him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.” (Joh 6:28)

The facts are, Jesus already opened the windows of heaven, they are not closed to a Christian, ever. We need no religious activity whatsoever, only to believe and follow. He is our great high priest who went into the heavens, and we have unfettered access to him. (Heb 4) In fact we are seated with Christ above the windows of heaven, and in a position of rest. We join Him in pouring down his blessing onto the earth with the enemy under our (His) feet. Since I’ve grasped this and simply believed, healings, miracles and spiritual warfare have dramatically changed. It’s so good to stop striving and enter his rest!

“For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.” (Heb 4:10)

4. The spirit of Babylon inspires hidden idolatry in God’s people

When Israel was released from captivity, the priests copied the idolatry of Babylon. They painted unclean images on the inner rooms of the temple, and took ‘idols in their hearts’ (Ezekiel 14:3) In many ways we are like the Israelite priests. (We are a Royal Priesthood) We can have idols in our hearts, an image or picture of something we covet and serve. (Covetousness is idolatry Col.3:5.)  The spirit of Babylon is at work in idolatry.

In the early nineties the Lord convicted me heavily of idols in my hearts. I didn’t understand this until He showed me the images or pictures in my heart that I served. One was a picture of what I wanted my ministry to be like. Whenever ministry went according to the image my flesh was pleased. Whenever it went contrary to the image my flesh was upset and depressed. I served this idol of ministry with my flesh.

CONSEQUENCES OF IDOLATRY

1. Spiritual attack

When there is idolatry in ministry terrible spiritual attacks and oppression will happen, and spiritual warfare can not stop it ! This is what drove me to seek God. Satan took advantage of my idolatry and assaulted me. I could not resist him successfully because I was not really submitted to God. This is why there is so much spiritual warfare and depression in the church today.

2. Character issues in ministry

When a minister has an idol of ministry in his heart all kinds of character issues emerge. Some may be depressed and discouraged. Others become angry or control people. Still others may use spiritual manipulation.

3. Soulish prayers and witchcraft

Prayers become very soulish when serving an idol. We ask God to fulfill the picture of ministry in the heart rather than following the leading of the Holy Spirit. When prayers focus making people do our will it becomes witchcraft.

Until the idols of the heart are cast down (we have to do it) we cannot fully follow the Holy Spirit, or experience His power.

4.The spirit of Babylon is under a judgement that causes confusion and division.

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another’s speech. So Jehovah scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of all the earth. And they quit building the city ” (Gen 11:7-8)

The Lord declared His judgement on the spirit of Babylon and it stills operates today: Confusion, division, and scattering will always happen where this spirit has influence. This is actually the Lords mercy to restrain mankind and return him to God. We’ve wondered why the organized church is so prone to division. The truth is that we are experiencing the Lord’s judgement on the spirit of Babylon in what we are doing. Instead of simply praying for unity, (which Jesus even prayed for) we need to repent and remove every influence of this spirit in our midst.

Conclusion 

This is only an initial look at the influence of the spirit of Babylon. It remains largely unnoticed by the church today because we grew up immersed in its practices, and following its ways in our organizations.

Let those who have ears, hear what the Spirit says to the church.

by Terry Somerville

Posted in The Great Falling Away Today, Your Church Babylon or Zion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Worry About Doctrine – Here’s What the Bible Says

1. The Bible warns us to be careful about what doctrines we believe and teach.

2. The Bible teaches that church leaders (including teachers) must be held to very high standards.

3. God repeatedly warns His people that many who claim to speak for Him are actually false teachers.

4. The Bible teaches that false doctrines can be dangerous.

5. The Bible teaches that we must test every teacher, correct their errors, and even rebuke them if necessary.

6. We are to humbly love and respect our leaders and teachers. We must never judge them self-righteously, hypocritically, or with sinful motives.

1. The Bible warns us to be careful about what doctrines we believe and teach

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 1:13)

“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Cor. 13:6)

“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” (Hebrews 13:9)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

“I hate and abhor falsehood  but I love your law.” (Psalm 119:163)

“The righteous hate what is false.” (Prov. 13:5)

2. The Bible teaches that church leaders (including teachers) must be held to very high standards

[The LORD said,] “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

“You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

“Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:7-9)

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

“Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal. 1:6-9)

3. God repeatedly warns His people that some who claim to speak for Him are actually false teachers

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)

“Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD… Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:16,32)

“Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them.” (Ezekiel 13:6)

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

“Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” (2 Cor. 2:17)

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned…By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” (Rom. 16:17-18)

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

4. The Bible teaches that false doctrines can be dangerous

(1)  False Doctrine can confuse immature Christians.

“Then [when we become spiritually mature] we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” (Eph. 4:14)

(2)  False Doctrine can destroy people’s faith.

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Tim. 4:1-2)

“Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.” (2 Tim. 2:17-18)

“…there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies…” (2 Peter 2:1)

“They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.” (Titus 1:11)

(3)  False Teachers can ruin the credibility of Christianity

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

5. The Bible teaches that we must test every teacher, correct their errors, and even rebuke them if necessary

Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11)

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.” (Revelation 2:2)

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work – which is by faith.” (1 Tim. 1:3-4)

“He [an overseer] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)

“For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith…” (Titus 1:10-13)

“These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” (Titus 2:15)

[It is sometimes necessary to point out false teachers publicly by name]: “Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.” (2 Tim. 2:16-18)

6. We are to humbly love and respect our leaders and teachers. We must never judge them self-righteously, hypocritically, or with sinful motives

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Tim. 5:17)

“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.” (1 Thess. 5:12)

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing…Love is patient, love is kind…it is not proud. It is not rude…” (1 Cor. 13:1-7)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

“…correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3)

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 3:1-2)

“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Eph. 4:2)

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (1 Peter 3:8)

Conclusion

The Bible is full of warnings against false teachings. Just because someone quotes the Bible doesn’t necessarily mean they are teaching the truth. Even the Devil quoted Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Mattheew 4:1-7). The devil does not feed us poison outright; he hides it in the meat.

It is important that we seek hard after the truth and study out Bibles carefully. But we must do so with a pure and humble heart. Our goal should never be to attack, mock, or ridicule, but to humbly defend the truth with love, conviction, and humility.

Remember, truth is truth and error is error, regardless of our motives.

 Compiled by Cedric Hohnstadt, August 2004

Posted in Another Gospel Another Jesus, The Great Falling Away Today, Wolves In Sheep's Clothing | Leave a comment

The Nature of God

God reveals Himself through His written revelation, the Bible.  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is the book by God and about God!

Names of God: A Way to Understand His Nature and Character

The Names of God used in the Bible act as a roadmap for learning about the character of God. Since the Bible is God’s Word to us, the names He chooses in scripture are meant to reveal His true nature to us.

20 Bible Facts About God

  1. God is eternal.
    (Deuteronomy 33:27; Jeremiah 10:10; Psalm 90:2)
  2. God is infinite.
    (1 Kings 8:22-27; Jeremiah 23:24; Psalm 102:25-27; Revelation 22:13)
  3. God is self-sufficient and self-existent.
    (Exodus 3:13-14; Psalm 50:10-12; Colossians 1:16)
  4. God is omnipresent (present everywhere).
    (Psalm 139:7-12)
  5. God is omnipotent (all powerful).
    (Genesis 18:14; Luke 18:27; Revelation 19:6)
  6. God is omniscient (all knowing).
    (Psalm 139:2-6; Isaiah 40:13-14)
  7. God is unchanging or immutable.
    (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8)
  8. God is sovereign.
    (2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 46:9-11)
  9. God is wise.
    (Proverbs 3:19; Romans 16:26-27; 1 Timothy 1:17)
  10. God is holy.
    (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15)
  11. God is righteous and just.
    (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 119:137)
  12. God is faithful.
    (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 89:1-8)
  13. God is true and truth.
    (Psalm 31:5; John 14:6; John 17:3; Titus 1:1-2)
  14. God is good.
    (Psalm 25:8; Psalm 34:8; Mark 10:18)
  15. God is merciful.
    (Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalm 103:8-17; Daniel 9:9; Hebrews 2:17)
  16. God is gracious.
    (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103:8; 1 Peter 5:10)
  17. God is love.
    (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8)
  18. God is spirit.
    (John 4:24)
  19. God is light.
    (James 1:17; 1 John 1:5)
  20. God is one God, yet Father, Son and Holy Spirit
    Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

 

Biblical Names of God – Scriptural Names for God and Jesus

Advocate – 1 John 2:1

Almighty – Revelation 1:8

Alpha – Revelation 1:8

Amen – Revelation 3:14

Angel of the Lord – Genesis 16:7

Anointed One – Psalm 2:2

Apostle Hebrews 3:1

Author and Perfecter of our Faith – Heb 12:2

Beginning – Revelation 21:6

Bishop of Souls – 1 Peter 2:25

Branch – Zechariah 3:8

Bread of Life – John 6:35,48

Bridegroom – Matthew 9:15

Carpenter – Mark 6:3

Chief Shepherd – 1 Peter 5:4

The Christ – Matthew 1:16

Comforter – Jeremiah 8:18

Consolation of Israel – Luke 2:25

Cornerstone – Ephesians 2:20

Dayspring – Luke 1:78

Day Star – 2 Peter 1:19

Deliverer – Romans 11:26

Desire of Nations – Haggai 2:7

Emmanuel – Matthew 1:23

End – Revelation 21:6

Everlasting Father – Isaiah 9:6

Faithful and True Witness – Rev 3:14

First Fruits – 1 Corinthians 15:23

Foundation – Isaiah 28:16

Fountain – Zechariah 13:1

Friend of Sinners – Matthew 11:19

Gate for the Sheep – John 10:7

Gift of God – 2 Corinthians 9:15

God – John 1:1

Glory of God – Isaiah 60:1

Good Shepherd – John 10:11

Governor – Matthew 2:6

Great Shepherd – Hebrews 13:20

Guide – Psalm 48:14

Head of the Church – Colossians 1:18

High Priest – Hebrews 3:1

Holy One of Israel – Isaiah 41:14

Horn of Salvation – Luke 1:69

I Am – Exodus 3:14

Jehovah – Psalm 83:18

Jesus – Matthew 1:21

King of Israel – Matthew 27:42

King of Kings – 1 Timothy 6:15; Rev 19:16

Lamb of God – John 1:29

Last Adam – 1 Corinthians 15:45

Life – John 11:25

Light of the World – John 8:12; John 9:5

Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Rev 5:5

Lord of Lords – 1 Timothy 6:15; Rev 19:16

Master – Matthew 23:8

Mediator – 1 Timothy 2:5

Messiah – John 1:41

Mighty God – Isaiah 9:6

Morning Star – Revelation 22:16

Nazarene – Matthew 2:23

Omega – Revelation 1:8

Passover Lamb – 1 Corinthians 5:7

Physician – Matthew 9:12

Potentate – 1 Timothy 6:15

Priest – Hebrews 4:15

Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

Prophet – Acts 3:22

Propitiation – I John 2:2

Purifier – Malachi 3:3

Rabbi – John 1:49

Ransom – 1 Timothy 2:6

Redeemer – Isaiah 41:14

Refiner – Malachi 3:2

Refuge – Isaiah 25:4

Resurrection – John 11:25

Righteousness – Jeremiah 23:6

Rock – Deuteronomy 32:4

Root of David – Revelation 22:16

Rose of Sharon – Song of Solomon 2:1

Ruler of God’s Creation – Rev 3:14

Sacrifice – Ephesians 5:2

Savior – 2 Samuel 22:47; Luke 1:47

Second Adam – 1 Corinthians 15:47

Seed of Abraham – Galatians 3:16

Seed of David – 2 Timothy 2:8

Seed of the Woman – Genesis 3:15

Servant – Isaiah 42:1

Shepherd – 1 Peter 2:25

Shiloh – Genesis 49:10

Son of David – Matthew 15:22

Son of God – Luke 1:35

Son of Man – Matthew 18:11

Son of Mary – Mark 6:3

Son of the Most High – Luke 1:32

Stone – Isaiah 28:16

Sun of Righteousness – Malachi 4:2

Teacher – Matthew 26:18

Truth – John 14:6

Way – John 14:6

Wonderful Counselor – Isaiah 9:6

Word – John 1:1

Vine – John 15:1

Posted in The Nature of God | Leave a comment

In the face of tragedy, the first question people often ask is “Why does God allow pain and suffering?”

As Jen Hatmaker writes: “Suffering transcends all class, race, ethnicity, culture, privilege. The wealthiest, most successful man on earth could lose his only daughter in a car wreck this afternoon. There is no corner untouched by grief, no demographic, no alliance. If you haven’t suffered, just live longer. With anything so viscerally devastating, the Christian community has long tried to explain it … what we have always wanted to know when tragedy strikes is WHY.”

Hatmaker goes on: “To this end, the church has a history of formulizing suffering, giving it tidy origins and endings and whitewashing the horrid, debilitating middle. We’ve assessed the complicated nuances of universal sorrow and assigned it categories, roots, principles. Or in the face of uncertain causes, we recite some of the coldest, inhumane theology: ‘God is sovereign. Deal with it.’ In an attempt to understand the ordinary grief of human life, I fear we’ve reduced a complicated reality to an unmanageable burden; we’ve put a yoke of despair on people who mourn, assigning accolades to those who ‘suffer well’ and, in ways overt and subtle, urging our brokenhearted to buck up. Then adding insult to injury, we fall into the trap of explaining suffering, as if any one of us could possibly understand its eternal scope.”

She lists several things we do know about suffering from Scripture: sometimes people suffer because of self-inflicted misery; sometimes people suffer at the sin of others; sometimes people suffer through no human fault at all; sometimes people suffer because people get sick and die; sometimes people suffer because we live on a physical earth involving tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis; sometimes people suffer because we have an enemy whose goal is to steal, kill and destroy.

“The point is,” Hatmaker says, “there is no formula for suffering. There is no one answer. There is no pat explanation. … Though it is human nature to master all knowledge, we simply must concede that so much of life is a mystery, as is the way God moves and redeems. How can we possibly fathom it all? We don’t always get the answer to WHY this side of heaven, so we need to stop talking about spiritual mysteries as if we are in possession of all understanding.”

But, Hatmaker writes, as we suffer, as we hold onto one another through the dark night waiting for the sun to rise again, there are some things we can cling to:

  • God is impossibly loving. He loves us. He loves our families. He loves creation.
  • God restores things; all of history points to a God who makes sad things right.
  • God doesn’t tempt, abuse, endorse wickedness, abandon, or hate.
  • In our darkest moment, when we are crushed, Jesus is as close as our own breath.
  • He has given us to one another as agents of love and grace and safety.
  • He told us 100s of times to comfort each other, making sure we are cared for.
  • Jesus wept over death and grief; shed your tears, friend. We have a Savior who cries.
  • It is not the Body’s responsibility to explain why. We are family. We circle the wagons. We make casseroles. We weep with those who weep.

“We may not get a why, but we know the how: together,” Hatmaker concludes. “Jesus is so good and He loves you. The sun will rise with healing in its wings, but until it does, may we all learn to be a soft place to fall, cushioning the blow of suffering until Jesus turns it all into glory.”

The question of suffering is one that will always be asked, and one that countless Christian leaders, authors, writers and individuals will always attempt to tackle in the face of tragedy. What about you? What do you cling to in the midst of overwhelming pain? How do you answer the question of “Why?”

For further reading and different perspectives on this topic, check out the following articles from http://www.crossways.com:

Posted in When Things Get Tough | Leave a comment

False Christ Coming Does Anybody Care?

As New Age believers years ago, my wife and I had no reason to doubt any of the ‘new revelation’ that was coming our way. When we were students of A Course in Miracles in the early 1980s, it never occurred to us that Helen Schucman had received her spiritual dictation from anyone other than the real Jesus Christ. As members of A Course in Miracles study group, we studied what the ‘Jesus’ of the Course said and applied his teachings to our lives. Having never read the whole Bible for ourselves, we thought the Course was helping us to understand what the Bible was ‘really’ saying. We accepted the Course’s interpretation of the Bible completely. It had a certain logic and seemed to make sense. We believed we were on the right path. Meaningful ‘coincidence’ that had led us to the Course, and the supernatural signs that often accompanied our study appeared to confirm that we were spiritually where we were supposed to be.

But at the height of our involvement with the Course, the Lord intervened. He exposed the darkness that was actually behind the deceptive ‘peace,’ ‘love,’ and ‘light’ of our New Age/New Gospel teachings. By the time it was all over, it was clear to us that all of our New Age beliefs had been founded on half-truths and lies. Shocked and amazed by this discovery, we came to the conclusion that A Course in Miracles was not from God and that the ‘Christ’ of A Course in Miracles was not the true Christ. Because we had not previously been aware of the Bible’s real teachings, we had not been aware of Jesus’ many warnings about spiritual deception. He said in the last days false prophets and false teachers, accompanied by deceptive signs and wonders, would deceive most of the world into following a counterfeit ‘Christ’ who would pretend to be Him.

Amazing Grace

But by far the most important lesson we learned in the midst of what turned out to be our ‘crash course’ on spiritual deception was that Jesus really did die on the cross for all mankind. On that cross, He defeated sin, death, and a real spiritual being named Satan and called the devil. We learned from our trying, and at times harrowing experiences, that we actually do need a Saviour, and that it was only through belief in the atoning death of the true Jesus Christ that we are truly saved.

We learned the hard way that the ‘Old Gospel’ really works, while the New Gospel definitely does not. When we learned to call on the name of Jesus Christ and all that His name stands for, we experienced His victory over an evil presence that had not responded to any of our metaphysical New Age teachings—most especially A Course in Miracles. Calling on Jesus literally saved our lives.

How We Were Deceived

The more we studied the Bible for ourselves and reflected on our own particular situation, the more we came to understand the extraordinary deception of which we had been a part—a deception that was hiding behind New Age/New Gospel teachings like A Course in Miracles. In the following … passages excerpted directly from my book, The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace, I describe my initial understanding of just how badly we had been deceived:

For some time now, my spiritual teachings had convinced me that I was a sinless, guiltless, perfect Son of God and that I was every bit as much a part of the universal Christ as Jesus or Buddha or anyone else. I had been taught that I was a holy part of God, inherently equal to Christ and that I didn’t need to be saved, redeemed, or born again. Because evil was only an illusion, there was no evil to be saved from. I had believed that I was responsible for myself and my world and I was the creator of my own reality.

‘But as I looked at those ‘truths’ now, I could see that they were not truths at all. What was being taught—no matter how cleverly expressed—stood in stark opposition to the actual teachings of the Bible. Couched in spiritual platitudes, the Course and the New Age, although pretending to be friends of Jesus and the Bible, were really no friends at all. Like Judas, they betrayed Christ in the name of love and with a deceptive kiss. Jesus warned about false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing—even in His name. His words were concise and clear:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

They would look not like an enemy but like someone you could trust, and I was now thoroughly convinced that the Course was a channeled wolf in sheep’s clothing that came not to praise the Bible’s Jesus but to bury His teachings forever—if that were possible.

In the midst of my study, I started to understand that for a number of years I had been letting my spiritual teachers—most especially the Course—tell me who Jesus really was and what His teachings really meant. I could see that through my own laziness in never reading or studying the Bible for myself, I had swallowed a false gospel—hook, line, and sinker.

I realized now that, although I was made in the image of God, I was not God or a part of God in any way. God was God, and I was me. I wasn’t Christ or a part of Christ, and neither was Buddha or anyone else. Jesus was the Christ, and there was no other. And, in spite of what anyone else tried to say, He had won an amazing victory on the cross of Calvary—one that Joy and I had learned to call on time after time. It was a victory that was fully described in the Scriptures and that so many of the old hymns proclaimed.

Something very mysterious had happened on that ‘old rugged cross’ that a whole New Age was doing hand-over-head flips to completely avoid. It was the ‘victory in Jesus’ that A Course in Miracles was desperately trying to redefine and explain away.

Finally, after all we had been through, I was starting to see that the heart of the Gospel is not so much that God helps those who help themselves but rather that God helps those who can’t help themselves. It was not in affirming our strength but in recognizing our weakness that we had finally learned to ask the Lord for help. It was His grace, not our own self-sufficiency that had saved the day.  Yet even though we had recognized our need to be saved from the evil that was coming at us, we had stubbornly refused to acknowledge Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour. Clinging tenaciously to our metaphysical identities, we hadn’t understood that our faith ultimately had to be in Jesus, not in ourselves, and that Jesus meant it when He said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

We had put our faith in ourselves as God and not in God as God; by going within we had gone without. We had grossly underestimated our ability to not be deceived, and we had grossly overestimated the wisdom of our metaphysical teachers.

Bible Warns of Spiritual Deception

As time went on, I reflected on how the reality of a deceptive spirit world was never mentioned in the Course or any of our other New Age teachings. . . .

Those of us who had believed the Course’s Jesus—that he was the Christ and we were too—were deceived into thinking that ‘the Christ’ was something bigger than Jesus or us or anyone else. But in believing the Course and my other spiritual teachers, I had unwittingly become the very person the real Jesus warned me to watch out for:

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4–5) . . .

What we had thought to be spiritual truth had turned out to be nothing more than fiction. What we had believed to be the fiction of the Bible had ironically turned out to be the Gospel truth. The age of deception that had been predicted was already well on its way.

In listening to our spiritual teachers, we had missed the many warnings that were being shouted to us from the pages of the Bible. We were, in reality, fallen human beings, prone to temptation, and easily overcome by evil. And although there was no way we could ever save ourselves, we could be saved by Jesus Christ—the true Son of God—whom God sent to set us free.

I knew now that if being ‘a sinner’ meant falling short and being in need of salvation and redemption, then I was a sinner. And if ‘repenting’ meant turning away from my sins and my ungodly ways, then I was ready to repent. And if being ‘born again’ meant being born again from God on high, then I wanted to be born again.

In some strange and wonderful way, Joy and I had backed into the Gospel and into our faith. It was only after our whole world had been turned upside down and inside out that we found ourselves right side up at the foot of the cross.

In the years following our conversion in 1984, as just described . . .  my wife and I have watched as a somewhat underground New Age movement has evolved into the popularly accepted, worldwide spiritual phenomenon that it is today. It has grown at an exponential rate and is now highly organized both spiritually and politically. As previously mentioned, many well-known New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality advocates had joined together to form The Global Renaissance Alliance. A New Age movement, that for so long seemed to be lacking a central core, had now ‘reinvented’ itself. Suddenly, many of its leaders formed a single organization that had a board of directors and even a mission statement.

Excerpt from Chapter 5 of “False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?” by Warren B Smith

[Lighthouse Trials Research Project Note: Today, the Global Renaissance Alliance that Warren Smith refers to is now what is called The Peace Alliance, an activist group in Washington DC working with congress members to form a Department of Peace. But be not mistaken, this is the work of New Age leaders, who founded the Global Renaissance Alliance (one of which is Marianne Williamson), who are helping to usher in a global one world panentheistic religion that will seek to extinguish biblical Christianity off the face of the earth. All one has to do is look at the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard to know this is true – see chapter 2 of False Christ Coming regarding Marx Hubbard’s ‘Selection Process.’]

Posted in Another Gospel Another Jesus, New Truth about The New Age, The Great Falling Away Today | 1 Comment

My Seven Years Working for the Elijah List by Kevin Kleint

As of this writing (Feb 2011) it’s been about three years since I ended my employment with the Elijah List.

It started around the year 2000. I was working for Hewlett-Packard and, through the grapevine, I learned of this daily email newsletter that published “prophecies” to around 30,000 people. This was back in Elijah List’s “text-only” days, where you received only 1 email per day. At the time, I was going to a “Word of Faith” church and I had a very strong foundation in the Word of God. Still, I knew that there was another element in my Walk with God that I wasn’t experiencing yet. I longed for the Reality of His Presence…. to actually SEE the working of God and to KNOW and EXPERIENCE Him more.

As I daily studied the words that I received from the Elijah List, this desire grew. I grew dissatisfied and frustrated with the church I was attending. “They just don’t GET IT!” I told myself. So I determined in my heart that I would find out where I could learn about this “New Thing” that God was doing and I and my family would be there when God showed up!

At the time, I was listening to our local Christian radio station, and they had an hour of worship where they would play worship music from Vineyard, Morningstar, RevivalNow, etc. Having been exposed to Maranatha, Hosanna Integrity, Ron Kenoly and Hillsong in the 80′s and 90′s, this new “style” of worship music just sent me soaring. I would sit at my computer and just weep, longing for the intimacy with Jesus that they sang about. The only church in our area that played this kind of music in their services was the Vineyard, the home church of Steve Shultz and most of the people who worked for the Elijah List. As soon as I found this out, I said “Goodbye” to my family at the Word of Faith church and started going to the Vineyard.

I didn’t know what I was getting into.

After going to the new church for a couple of weeks, I was laid off of my job at HP. I’m a person that gets really antsy (and annoying) when I don’t have anything to do so I set out to find a new job as soon as possible.

One Sunday morning, I bumped into Steve and told him how much I appreciated the Elijah List and that, since I had some spare time on my hands, I could help him out with some computer and web work, if he needed it. Long story short, I was hired on at about the same rate as I would have made being on unemployment.

That’s when my life started to unravel.

My First Conference

After I worked at Elijah List for a few months, I attended my first Elijah List prophetic conference at the Vineyard. I know that Bob Jones, Larry Randolph and a guy named Ed Traut (later removed from Elijah List’s links page for some unnamed “indiscretion”) were some of the speakers (there were a few more, but they don’t come to mind).

During the conference, the extravagant worship and manifestations were in “full effect”. People were moving, twitching and making various noises in every corner of the building. Although I thought it strange that the worship was way more extreme than your typical Sunday morning at the Vineyard, I didn’t raise the question because I didn’t feel qualified to ask (in my mind, I was just a web guy, not a prophet or one with authority).

After spending a few years going to this church and attending these Elijah List conferences (as well as other “prophetic” conferences), I noticed a pattern emerge, where the worship would grow in intensity and volume during a conference where a “big name” prophet headlined, and then died down again once the conference is over.

I was really amazed at how idolized these “prophets” were in the eyes of the conference go-ers. They sat, literally, wide-eyed drinking in every word like it was the Absolute Truth. Even people who worked for the Elijah List were treated with some degree of idolatry. People came up to us and shook our hand saying things like, “Oh you’re so lucky to be able to work in that anointed atmosphere all the time!” They would hang out and ask us questions incessantly and make it really difficult to work (although the appreciation did give us a boost).

I even had some guy come up to me and ask me to lay hands on him and impart a “webmaster anointing”, so that he could do what I did (which wasn’t much talent-wise). I told him that it wasn’t an anointing, but that he should just study books and learn the code. But he was insistent, so not wanting to upset him, I laid hands on him and said a short, polite prayer. From his reaction, you would think that I had shocked him with a cattle prod! He did a few twitches and hit the floor. I walked off laughing, kind of embarrassed by the whole spectacle.

Let me take a small side road: For the record, I am NOT against manifestations. I’ve been “slain in the Spirit”, had Holy Laughter hit me and even physically reacted to the Holy Spirit. Believe me, when God (the Creator of the Universe) touches dirt (you and I), something is going to move. But if God touches us, there is going to be a change, a transformation, a healing of SOME sort. These people who “manifest” outwardly without becoming more and more like Him are NOT under the influence of the Holy Spirit (it’s another kind of spirit). I’ve known several people like this, who can twitch in the middle of WalMart, but have the personality of a troll. They claim to be so in tune with God, but the fruit of their lives speaks otherwise.

First Impressions Crumble

Many of the following things that I have learned happened simultaneously. It is difficult to get this chronologically correct, so I ask that you bear with me. Life was somewhat of a blur during my time at the Elijah List, but I am going to do my best to be as precise as possible.

After the twin towers fell on 9/11, traffic to the Elijah List site, as well as subscriptions to the Elijah List newsletter, increased dramatically and as a result, so did the workload. I was on call 24 hours a day for a few years after that and, although I did get paid for my labor, the demand from Steve (the founder of the Elijah List) was completely unreasonable. If he called and I didn’t drop what I was doing immediately and fulfill his request(s), I knew I would get a guilt trip in the email before the day’s end. I even remember one day, when I was in the shower bathing my dog, covered in dirt and hair, he called wanting me to check something on the web site. I asked him to wait 10 minutes so that I could get cleaned off, and he had the nerve to get upset about it because I didn’t “jump”.

This kind of behavior was a continuous problem throughout the 7 years and didn’t just affect me, but other Elijah List workers as well. Along with other types of mind games, I was called “rebellious” and “insubordinate” on a regular basis. And I found this very strange, because all of my prior bosses felt that I had been very easy to get along with, and that I followed orders great! In fact, my boss from my subsequent job asked me, “Where is your confidence? You don’t speak up and you act like what you have to say has no value.” I had to literally re-learn how to become a contributing part of a work discussion because the emotional and spiritual “beat down” of the prior 7 years at the Elijah List had left me so demoralized and pathetic, that I could hardly function.

Marital Issues

Obviously, living in these circumstances put a strain on my personal life and my marriage as well. I began drinking a lot and being verbally and emotionally abusive to my wife and kids. I’m not going to point the finger and blame Elijah List for all my personal troubles, a man stands by his own decisions and actions,  but I do know that a man’s job can affect all areas of his life …  I’ll just let it rest at that.

I just thank God for His mercy to me. When I came to my senses and realized how I was treating my wife and children, I sat my wife down and profusely apologized to her for how I had taken her for granted and spoken so abusively to her; tears welled up in her eyes. She told me that she had been planning to leave me that very day, but because I repented to her she would stay. We have been inseparable ever since (we’ve been married 17 years now) and I still love her (and my kids) to pieces.

Believe it or not, I don’t have an offense against Steve – I’ve forgiven him. But, in my opinion, if someone who preaches “grace and mercy” from a pulpit and (from their own mouth) bases their whole ministry on it, they need to walk accordingly in “real life”. If you speak of “grace and mercy” from a podium, and yet are rude, obsessive and controlling to your employees, this reeks of hypocrisy and is a far cry from grace (more on this “grace” later).

Elijah List Gets A New Look

At about this time, I noticed that companies, businesses and other web entities started to come out with HTML-based emails. This would give more of an aesthetic value (structure, images, color) to an otherwise drab text-based email. Wanting to keep up with the trend, I did some research and came up with my own simple template for the Elijah List newsletter, hoping to give the readers something nicer to look at. There was even a small right-hand column to put special notes, links and maybe an ad or 2 to help increase income.

The very same day that I created the modest template, I was told by Steve to take advantage of every available space and fill it with product ads. Knowing that this would do nothing to improve public perception of the Elijah List, I was very disappointed. Despite the fact that we had many negative emails from subscribers who didn’t like the change, income actually did increase dramatically. In my opinion, at this time, an increased income began to be perceived by Steve and others as proof of God’s favor. Within a few months, we were sending out 3-4 emails per day, peppered with ads in every available space – only 1 of which would contain any “word” from God.

Mammon and the Fear of Man

With the increased subscribership and the increased income came an increase of contacts from other “prophetic” people who wanted the Elijah List to release their words to the burgeoning Elijah List audience. As a result of exposure through the Elijah List, the “prophetic” people could (potentially) increase their web traffic and, if they had written a book or had a teaching/music CD, increase their income as well. As a result, the product inventory grew immensely and Elijah List sales skyrocketed proportionately.

But, along with the increased contacts and income, came the Fear of Man — in epidemic proportions, and just like the Bible said, it brought a snare (Pr. 29:25). Wanting to keep the income steady and wanting to stay in our contributor’s (the other “prophetic” ministers) and the public’s good graces, most publishing decisions were based upon our relationship with these people and the public perception of their product…. whether or not it sold well.

Occasionally, a contributor would send us a “word” with content that didn’t necessarily jibe with the Elijah List’s “encouraging words only” philosophy. Trying to stick with the “encouragement only” philosophy, Steve would have to write introductions (sometimes 3-4 paragraphs long) to the words and try to “play down” the corrective/repentance-based element of the email. There would usually be an effort to direct people to God’s “softer” side. Occasionally, certain “offending” sentences in the submission would be completely re-worded prior to release. These subtle, and sometimes flagrant, manipulations would usually upset the contributor, especially the more “idealistic” ones.

The last time I checked the Bible, a prophet was told not to regard man’s opinion and give the Word of God…. Undiluted.

It became clear to me that, during this phase, the focus had shifted. Mammon and the Fear of Man had become the “god” of the Elijah List. I say this because, from what I experienced, every effort was made to make more money and to please man. Words were released based upon the popularity of the contributor and the profit to be made from the products they sold — not on the truthfulness or relevance the words held.

The Bible says in Galatians 1:10 that you cannot please man and be a bondservant of Christ. It also says in Matthew 6:24, that you cannot serve both God and Mammon, it’s impossible to have love for both … you MUST love one and despise the other.

Let me be clear … I don’t feel it’s wrong necessarily to make money even in a ministry. People need to pay the bills and the staff. It’s when money becomes the “main thing” that God’s heart is grieved. When you come to a point when your “ministry” becomes all about the money you need to question 1) your personal walk with God and 2) whether or not it is God’s will for your ministry to exist at all.

My Experience with Todd Bentley

After I was employed by the Elijah List for about a year, I had my first exposure to Todd Bentley.

Although Todd Bentley was fiery and charismatic in front of an audience, on a personal level he seemed to be a very insecure person. He wasn’t used to the notoriety that had been thrust upon him, but he definitely enjoyed it.

Over the course of time, Todd asked Steve if he wanted to send one of his (Steve’s) employees on a mission trip to Uganda with Fresh Fire Ministries (Todd Bentley’s ministry). Steve suggested to me that I should go, and even generously offered to pay for the trip and my wages while I was gone. At first, I was reluctant to go (I have never felt called to Africa), but after much prodding from Steve and my co-workers, I decided to go ahead and go.

To this day, the Uganda trip is still somewhat of a big “question mark” to me – I don’t know why God sent me, or if it wasn’t God at all, but a “manmade” decision. I did make a few connections with people who are still very dear to me to this day, but overall it was a very strange experience.

Although I have no proof one way or another, it seems like plans were made “on the fly” and there were a couple of times where my life was in danger (or so I was told). One night, when my partner and I were out in the middle of the people praying for them, Dave Bentley (Todd Bentley’s Dad) started screaming at me from the stage “Kevin … GO! GO! GO! GO!” I grabbed my partner and we ran for the bus.

The next morning, he (Dave) told me that he had seen 2 people in Muslim caps coming toward us with spears. Needless to say, I was a little shook up, so that morning, I wrote Steve and asked for prayer. At the time, my wife didn’t have email or a cell phone, so I was hoping that perhaps my boss could contact her, but that didn’t happen. I learned later that he had immediately converted my prayer request to a post (since deleted from the archives) and sent it out as a prayer request to the Elijah List. That wasn’t so bad, but my wife did not hear about my situation until a friend of hers had read the post and had come over to console her.

During the trip, we were told that 2-3000 people gave their lives to Jesus, and that would be great news normally. But from what I experienced when I talked with the people, they were still unwilling to give up their charms, idols, etc – or their ancestor worship. Like most American Christians, they wanted Jesus to be “one” of their gods, instead of their only object of worship.

After we got back, Todd Bentley lied (from the pulpit) to the Vineyard church and said that an even GREATER number of salvations, healings, and miracles took place than actually occurred (no I don’t remember the exact number he said, but it was way higher than what we were told). When I asked him later why he gave that figure, he said that more numbers came in from people who were listening to the radio and television.

I thought, “Can that many people afford radios and televisions in third world countries?” But, once again, I didn’t speak out because I didn’t feel it was my place to question “God’s prophet”.

The Revival, The Divorce, The Cover-up

After the controversial Lakeland Revival and Todd Bentley’s subsequent divorce from his wife, the church was all-too-quick to point the finger at him and accuse him …. and I’m in agreement, for a man to leave his wife and kids is a tragedy. For that same man to re-marry and be reinstated into ministry within a little over a year should be an outrage.

But the church needs to understand that it is just as much their fault as Todd’s that all this went down. We have been trained for generations to look to man for our guidance instead of God. In essence, we are re-living the scenario in Exodus 19-20, where the Children of Israel were in front of Mount Sinai and God was offering personal, one-on-one communication with each and every one of them. The conditions were clear … Israel was to sanctify themselves (separate themselves from all things unclean). But when Israel heard this, and saw the awesome Fire of God burning on Mount Sinai they basically said, “No, that’s OK, you just talk to Moses, and we’ll listen to him.”

It’s the same today … rather than separating ourselves from the sin in our lives, and separating ourselves from the world, we would rather listen to somebody spoon-feed a message to us …. satisfied with half-digested crumbs. To this day, God is longing for those who will forsake this life and become an enemy of this world’s system. Those who would be called a “friend of God” must do this (James 4:4). He is more than willing to give us pure, fresh Revelation from Heaven, if we would only look to Him. Instead we desire the latest conference, the newest book or the next worship CD.

We’ll grasp at anything and everything to fill the void in our lives with a flesh substitute, even if it means taking a young, immature Christian, who may (or may not) have had an encounter with God and stick him behind a pulpit. Being attracted to the new “show”, we reject God’s best (personal communication) …. and then we pay the consequences. And, once again, the name of Jesus is mocked among the ungodly.

I was shocked that Rick Joyner was so quick to put Todd Bentley right back in front of a camera and into the limelight once again. But he, as well as all the other “prophetic elders” who had commissioned/anointed Todd only a short time before were (and still are) in “damage control” mode. In a sense, John Arnott, Rick Joyner, Peter Wagner, Stacey Campbell, Paul Cain and the others put their “prophetic reputations” on the line when they appeared on the stage with Todd to pray for and prophesy over him. But after this blunder, their credibility with the church took a hit, and they had to try and “bandage the wound”. A few tried to explain away the transgression and stress the idea that we need to have “grace” for Todd in this situation (meaning we should accommodate and/or forget about it), and others were strangely silent. But Rick didn’t waste any time in putting him in front of a camera, offering a token apology (with his new wife in tow).

I am all for forgiveness, restoration and grace …. but in a year’s time? Something is definitely wrong with this scenario. Don’t tell me that a young minister can 1) conquer the selfishness it took to leave his wife and children, 2) conquer the lust it took to seek out another young woman, 3) prioritize his life to where God is first, family is next and ministry is third, 4)conquer the need for man’s approval, and 5) any other obstacle that could hinder the work of God in his life ….. in a year’s time — I’m not buying it, and you are a fool, if you do.

The bottom line is this … Todd Bentley is a money maker. He’s flamboyant, edgy, very entertaining and controversial …. ALL of those traits will draw an audience. And if you have an audience, they will come to the $100 conferences and buy the $20 books and CD’s. It’s really that simple. If Todd was a minister with no tattoos, a small following and a more traditional preaching style, you would be amazed at how quickly he would be swept under the rug and forgotten about.

Dismantling the Wall

Touch NOT His Anointed?  Leadership in the prophetic movement, including the Elijah List, has constructed a cleverly crafted wall of deception that has kept them above accountability and immune from criticism and reproach. This wall of deception revolves around the misinterpretation and the misapplication of Matt. 7:1-5 (not judging) and other verses like it.

As a result, no one is able to say that they (the “prophets”) are doing anything wrong. If someone should mention that they see anything wrong with the behavior or deeds of the “prophets”, they are immediately told that they are not walking in love, and that we should give “grace” to the prophet (more on this later). They’re also told that we shouldn’t judge, because we do not want to be judged in like manner … that we should remove the plank from our own eye, rather than point out someone else’s faults (more on this later). And because we put these leaders on a pedestal (in essence, “idolizing” them), it’s really easy for most people to swallow this reasoning and to ignore the sin.

This dynamic also carries over into the church’s relationships with each other, individually. We’re all afraid to say anything about the sin in each others lives because we don’t want to be perceived as “judgmental” or “mean”. Because of this fear, sin in the Body goes unchecked and actually thrives! Why do you think our divorce, abortion, porn use, and drug abuse statistics are equal to the world? Because there is no purity, no holiness, and no Holy Spirit’s Fire in our congregations! Do you know witches and satanists can actually come into our “houses of worship” and feel comfortable? God have mercy on us!

The following verses are conveniently downplayed and/or ignored by the “prophets” and their followers:

1 Cor. 6:3 “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” This verse allows us to discern/judge issues concerning this life.

1 Cor. 6:5 “I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?” This verse allows us to judge issues between brethren.

1 Cor. 11:31 “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”  This verse allows us to judge the sin in our own lives.

To Rebuke, or NOT to Rebuke

Not only does the bible say we are to judge behavior/issues, it also gives us permission to REBUKE!

Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”  This verse allows us to rebuke our brother/sister who is in sin.

1 Timothy 5:20 “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.”  This verse allows us to rebuke an ELDER who is in sin (read prior scriptures for backup).

2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” This verse allows us rebuke as a vital part of our preaching!

Titus 2:15 “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”  This verse allows us to rebuke with authority!

Most ministries associated with the Elijah List, the “prophetic” church, and much of the rest of the church, can’t stand it when you bring up these scriptures, because then the possibility of exposed sin creeps its way into their salvation equation. The weirdest thing is, they want to keep the sin hidden, and yet they wonder why they are some of the most battered, bruised and confused people in the church. I experienced it too! During my 7 years at the Elijah List, I had never experienced such defeat, sickness and confusion in my whole life! Whenever one experiences this, they are told that they are just experiencing “spiritual warfare” … that it’s enemy’s fault they are experiencing this trauma. That sounds great to a carnal mind, I mean, after all … who wants to take the blame?

Wisdom Cries

Wisdom would say something else though. In Proverbs 1:22-31, Wisdom is crying (listen to her!):

Proverbs 1:22-31 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the Fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.”

That’s not to say that “spiritual warfare” doesn’t happen; we ARE in a war with spirit beings(Ephesians 6:12). But the bible is clear that He will protect those who walk in the Fear of the Lord and that the battle will be a victorious one, not a continual excuse for the consequences of poor behavior and decisions.

It is clear, the North American church must re-introduce judging and rebuke (based upon the Word of God) back into our “christian culture” post-haste. If we do not clean our house, God will come and clean house for us, and it will not be a pleasant thing. When John Crowder can introduce “huffing the baby jesus” as a means of getting spiritual jollies, it’s time to set a standard.

Well, What About Jesus’ Words

I’m not going to ignore Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus DID say, “Judge not lest you be judged” but it doesn’t mean what you’ve been taught! Let’s take a look at these scriptures in detail.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.“

I clumped all the verses together to help assist us in understanding that this is one continuous thought. This passage does not tell us NOT to judge. The main idea is that we shouldn’t judge someone if we have the same issue in our lives, otherwise we will be judged by the same standard and found to be hypocrites. If we repent of the sin and no longer have it clouding our vision, we are in a place to be able to effectively help remove the sin from our brother. If we’re not supposed to judge, why would Jesus even give us the option to “see clearly” and “remove the speck”?

Hopefully by now you see that when they use the phrase “Judge not lest you be judged” to keep you from exposing sin is to take the scripture completely out of context. The Word says in Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” So, if you see something, say something!

PS: I’ve also created a 3 part teaching series entitled “Judge Not – or “Just Do It”? Feel free to check it out!

Mortar in the Wall

Grace or Licentiousness?  If the Wall of Deception is the misuse of judgment-based scriptures, then the misuse of the term “Grace” is the mortar that holds it together. Grace is a very nebulous term in prophetic circles and is used to replace “mercy” or “covering sin” in most conversations. According to Steve Shultz, the Elijah List’s whole philosophy and foundation revolves around this grace. But when you listen to him preach about grace, usually you walk away with a skewed understanding of it. The “main idea” being that we should be nice to people because God loves them, and after all, He was nice to you, so you need to do likewise. This isn’t necessarily a wrong idea, but this isn’t “grace”, and it also plays in to the mindset of not judging anyone’s actions, thereby strengthening the Wall of Deception.

Let’s see what the Word says about Grace in Titus 2:11-15:

v11: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,

v12: teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

v13: looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

v14: who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

v15: Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

So, from the verses above, I know that if you preach a message of Grace, you need to be teaching a few things.

Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts

Live soberly and righteously in the present age

Look for Jesus’ return

From v14:  Be aware of His Work on the cross and how he sought a pure and holy people

What’s more, the message is to be preached (spoke, exhort, rebuke) with Authority. You will not find the above concepts taught in most “grace” messages these days. Unfortunately, what you’ll mostly hear about is more along the lines of “mercy” and how God wants to be your buddy. And to a church culture with itching ears, this is wonderful news! Because Jesus is their buddy, they won’t have to live righteously! They won’t have to live soberly! God has “GRACE” for all of those things!

As a result, licentiousness (unrestrained flesh) reigns supreme in our lives.

Accuracy please

To be an inaccurate prophet in the Old Testament was punishable by death. Thankfully, we don’t have to live under that law today, but as a result, many people prophesy inaccurate “prophecies” and are not held responsible if that prophecy doesn’t come to pass. Just go to any prophetic conference, or do a small search through the Elijah List and you will see/hear yearly prophecies of revival and breakthrough in many major cities in the United States and around the world …. this has been going on for years …. and yet, where is it? If even 10% of these prophecies came true, you would’ve heard about it. They also prophesy these things over the Body of Christ as a whole, but we have yet to experience this.

Do I believe in revival, blessing and outpouring? Absolutely! But I believe they put the “cart before the horse”. See my article “Same Prognostication – Different Year” for more information.

Do I believe a prophet can make a mistake? Yes, definitely! But when a prophet has a continuous bad record, he/she needs to come clean and say “I didn’t hear God” or at least “I made a mistake”. Unfortunately, instead of coming clean, the “prophets” will debate about God’s timing vs our timing …. or, if all else fails, they fall back on the scripture that says “We know in part and prophesy in part”.

Of course we only know and prophesy “in part”, we are not God. But when the prophetic track record is so abysmally low, we really need to stop taking a cheap escape route, humble ourselves and ask if we’re truly hearing from God. The prophets in the Old and New Testament knew exactly what they were supposed to say and would stand behind it to the death, and some DID die. They were so sure of it that they stamped it with a bright, bold “thus sayeth the Lord”! Nowadays, new prophets are instructed NOT to say “thus sayeth the Lord” JUST IN CASE they’re making a mistake. Where’s the faith in that?

In Jeremiah 23:21-22, God tells the prophet a vital characteristic of True Prophecy:

“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.“

The end result of all prophecy should be God’s people repenting …. turning their hearts back to God. Nowadays, teachings on “third heaven experiences”, “the glory realm” and “breakthrough” are labeled as prophecy. Do you see how even our definition of prophecy has become “man-centered”?

The Practice of Lawlessness

The Bible plainly says in Matthew 7:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Something we must realize about Jesus’ sermons is that they were a continuous thought, they weren’t just random thoughts and separate subjects brought together just to “fill space”. The Word of God was/is God-breathed. The chapter numbers and the sub-headers in your bible translation were put there by man.

Now, there is a reason why God put a warning about false prophets and the good fruit/bad fruit dynamic together in the same subject. It is because false prophets work in such deception, that sometimes the ONLY way you are going to tell a good prophet from a bad prophet is through their fruits.

In fact, in the subsequent verses of Matthew 7, it says:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Up until a few years ago, I never thought this verse could be possible. How could someone use Jesus’ name to do miracles, prophesy and cast out devils unless God was with Him? But we’re seeing it all over the place now.

Wicked Roots

“Fathers” of the Prophetic Movement: It is not my intention to pick on specific people with this next section. I am using Bob Jones and Paul Cain as examples to show that perversion and error has had a firm foothold from the roots of this movement and is being passed on directly to the “younger” generation of prophets and their followers, who revere the “older” prophets unquestioningly, because they’ve been taught to do so. It is SO EASY to just accept what you hear when it comes from a person you admire, but the consequences are great when what you hear is wrong, or worse yet … half right.

Bob Jones and Paul Cain are considered “fathers” or “high level prophets” in this movement. They have been on the scene since the 90′s and are quite well-known to the prophetic crowd. If you ask a prophet who their influences are, 95% of the time either Bob Jones or Paul Cain will come out of their mouth.

According to the Olathe Daily News (11/13/91: “Minister removed after confession of sexual misconduct”), Bob Jones confessed to sexual misconduct with a couple women behind the closed doors of his office. I’ve read and heard a couple different reports as to what exactly went on, but I will not disclose them here as I don’t have a concrete source. The fact that it happened, and was admitted to, should be enough.

Additionally, he has been quoted as saying that God is only allowing a 66% accuracy of the prophetic word. “If I [God] release the 100% Rhema right now, the accountability would be so awesome and you’d have so much Ananias and Sapphira’s going on the people couldn’t grow.” (this was quoted on p. 68 “Beware of the New Prophets” by Bill Randles, 1999) … God forbid we have any accountability.

Even as early as February 23 of this year (2011), Steve Shultz posted on the Elijah List site

“I was honored years ago when Bob Jones came to my property. There are few prophets that I almost ‘insist’ that when they prophesy, I listen. Bob Jones is one of them. When he prophesies, I really tune in. Now, I don’t post anyone unless I trust them, mind you, but some I trust even more than others. Bob Jones is one such person. He is my friend and a high-level prophet. Tune in!”

From the above quote, you can see that Steve Shultz puts unquestioning faith in what Bob Jones says, because he is perceived by Steve (and the rest of the prophetic crowd) as “high level”.

In the exact same post, Bob Jones teaches error. He says that Elohim means “father of the remnant”. I researched that in the following site (http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Elohim/elohim.html) and did not find that definition anywhere. So I decided to Google it, and guess what I found? In August of 2010, Bob Jones says Eliakim means “father of the remnant”. So which is it?

That may seem like nitpicking, and it may be a small error in the middle of a “bigger picture”, but did anybody bother to check their bible/concordance to see if it actually lines up with the Word? It, literally, only took me 5 minutes to do that research …. certainly someone has 5 minutes? How many other errors like this have we swallowed because we were too busy looking to a man for guidance, and not God? These kinds of “little” errors happen all the time in the prophetic movement and no one bothers hold each other accountable.

I guess we can allow Bob this mistake because, after all, prophets are only correct 66% of the time. Let’s move on.

Paul Cain, probably most famous for his “stadium speech“, is another “high-level prophet” who is highly revered among the prophetic crowd.

When confronted by Rick Joyner and Jack Deere in 2004, Paul Cain confessed to being both a homosexual and an alcoholic. Although restoration was attempted, it was not successful. And in 2007, Mr. Cain declared anyhow that he had been “restored” to ministry and started scheduling conferences. In 2008, Paul publicly said in Lakeland that there were “false rumors” about him and that he had lived a “chaste life.”

Adding a new twist to this deception, on May 5, 2008, Paul Cain prayed over Todd Bentley at the Lakeland Revival:

“I thank you that you have answered my prayer that you have let me live to see tokens of this revival and be involved in it in some way or a participant if possible … and Lord, You have never allowed me to say that I have met the New Breed … Absolutely met the New Breed! And when you brought Todd Bentley and I together, the angel of the Lord said ‘you have found what you are looking for,’ ….this is a man without guile …. behold Nathaniel in whom there is no guile! … I’ve stood by the notables and the greats that had the greatest healing ministry of all times and I’ve never met anyone that has the integrity and the possibilities of leading this thing into a worldwide revival. And I just want to confer and bless … whatever I can do,… I just place to myself to hear from the Lord and to transfer and to give to my brother who has given so much to others and soo much to me, everything you have ever deposited into my life that I didn’t know how to give away I’m giving it to my brother tonight to carry on this revival until the stadiums all over the world have been, uh… catching this, have been carriers of it and taking it from one end of the world to the other and thank you I’VE MET THE NEW BREED TONIGHT.”

No wonder Todd fell through sexual sin!! Paul Cain transferred (conferred, blessed, transferred) everything that his “god” gave to him to Todd Bentley! Not too long after, after Todd committed adultery and married his new wife, the Lakeland Revival lost its steam and eventually ended.

Lack of Discernment has a Price

The hard truth is today’s false prophets and their followers boast of great prophetic insights, but actually have little or no discernment at all.

During my 7 years working for the Elijah List (and my 5 years at the Vineyard), I had so many encounters with people influenced by witchcraft (to varying degrees), pornography and the homosexual spirit, and yet NOTHING was said or done about it. As I said before, witches attended these conferences and church services, leaving unconvicted and unsaved. People with homosexual spirits and/or admitted pornography addictions were allowed to give “prophetic words” from the pulpit, unchallenged.

That is sin, people.

Another Broken Dream

Around 2004, I was invited by Jill Austin to attend a conference at Gateway Church in Los Angeles (with Jill, David Ruis and Shawn Bolz). This church was right on Santa Monica Boulevard and provided food, shower and discipling services to the homeless, prostitutes and drug addicts. Having a call to minister to people on the street, I was VERY excited to be able to go to this event.

Santa Monica Boulevard is known to some as “the Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, and I believe that’s an understatement. The destitution and emptiness of that street impacted me more than what I saw in Uganda. Cross dressers, prostitutes, gangbangers, drunks and drug addicts were everywhere, and not just at night … it was broad daylight. My heart just broke at the vacant look in their eyes …. they were just empty shells. I couldn’t wait to meet the people who were in charge of meeting the needs of these lost souls.

When I met the pastor and the leadership team, I noticed that they were really well dressed and (honestly) quite effeminate. I did my best not to draw conclusions about the people because not everyone has a redneck background like I have. After all, some guys fit into the whole “metro sexual” stereotype, and I figured if Jill Austin approved of them, well then certainly I should too.

The conference itself was confusing, interesting and chaotic. David Ruis was playing techno-type worship music and it attracted the people from outside the church. As the cross dressers, druggies, etc. filtered in, they saw all the “already saved/prophetic” people dancing and worshiping and an interesting dynamic took place. Many demons manifested, and a lot of the unsaved started “worshiping” with the prophetic crowd, but honestly and sadly, I don’t remember any deliverance or salvation taking place.

Nonetheless, for all of its shortcomings, what I saw at that time was a church actually engaging the world around them and I just “KNEW” that God wanted me to be down there with them. When I got home, I told my wife (in tears) that I had found our ministry home. We began to make preparations to move to Los Angeles.

Two weeks later, I received an email from Jill’s associate saying that the pastor (and leadership team) were publicly confronted by someone in the congregation. I was right in my initial assessment of them. They were all participating homosexuals – both with each other and with others outside their “team”. The pastor ended up stepping down from his position, his wife left him (yes, he was married to a woman) and the church crumbled. (Note: David Ruis was NOT part of the church leadership team, just a guest worship leader. He was not participating in the sin.)

I was really upset about this. The name of Jesus was once again tarnished in the eyes of those who needed Him so desperately. I will never forget what I saw on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

After this incident, I really started to question the discernment of the prophets. I really liked Jill (who has since passed away) as a person, but if she (and other prophetic people) couldn’t see something that should have been so obvious, how could I trust their insight at all?

I’ll probably sound like I’m profiling here, but a homosexual demon (in a man or a woman) is one of the most obvious demons to recognize, and yet if you take just a small glimpse at some of these prophetic people, you will see them comfortable and unchallenged … even among the prophets themselves.

Flabbergasted in Georgia

I was invited to speak at a conference in Georgia with Chad Taylor and a few “lower level” prophets. After the conference, I sat across a table from two of these prophets (I won’t reveal their names because I don’t know where they stand these days) and they looked me in the eye and said, “If two people of the same sex love each other and want to get married, I honestly have NO PROBLEM with that.” I told them that there is no way that they can name the Name of Jesus, preach His Righteousness and Holiness, and adhere to that kind of garbage. I left Georgia very angry and disappointed about that situation.

How can someone agree with this homosexual spirit? How can someone with a prophetic gifting be unable (or maybe unwilling) to recognize it?

It comes back to lack of discernment.

Witchcraft at the Elijah List

The spirit of witchcraft can be recognized by a number of different MO’s (methods of operation), but in order to stay on topic, I will refrain from explaining each one. However, one thing is certain in every situation … it is devious and usually remains “under the radar” until one with discernment comes along and calls it out into the open, binds the spirit and then casts it out in the name of Jesus. Because this was never done in this next circumstance, I can only explain the following situation by telling you what happened to me, from my perspective. I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

A woman came on staff to answer phones, and within a month was elevated to be Steve’s assistant manager and more-or-less in charge of the office while he was gone. A member of the Elijah List leadership told me that people from her prior church wrote Steve many letters, warning him against this woman, some saying that she operated in manipulation and witchcraft, others accusing her outright of being a witch. Despite the warnings, they were ignored and she was hired on anyways.

For the first couple years, I was unaware of these warnings, and honestly, I was quite taken with the lady. When my wife got sick, she actually came to my house and cleaned my hardwood floors on her hands and knees. This was extremely humbling for me, and I thought for sure that this woman was a saint.

She and I developed a “friendship” for about a year and a half. She used to tell me things like how she recognized “God’s anointing” on my life and how we were going to work together on prophetic projects in the future. She kind of fawned on me like a little brother and was always quick to smile and give a hug.

My wife, on the other hand, had a different perspective. Throughout this time, she continued to get sicker and sicker; and the evil presence in my house would sometimes become almost “tangible”. My wife told me, “Kevin, I don’t trust her. She is a bad person!” For quite some time, I told my wife, “Honey, you’re wrong, you just don’t understand her … you don’t know her like I do!”

Well, it turns out my wife was right.

I have only had a couple times where a spirit has actually materialized in front of my face; this was one of those times. One morning I was waking up, and at the foot of my bed I saw a spirit being. I can’t really explain what it looked like …. the air was just “denser”. Anyways, the spirit being turned its face to me, and I recognized the woman’s face!

I said out loud, “OK, I know who you are now. I renounce any relationship or soul tie that I may have with you. Now I bind you in the name of Jesus …. Get out of my house!”

The spirit left immediately and the atmosphere in the house actually changed!

Well, you would think that this incident would be enough to convince me, and it was starting to do so, but when I got to work that day and saw this person, she would not say anything to me, would not smile at me, she would barely even look at me. It happened the VERY DAY I renounced my relationship with her … and she has barely said anything to me since.

Soon after, this woman became very commanding in her personality, and a couple of the weaker willed women from our office immediately fell in line and followed her around as one would follow a queen … carrying her bags, fetching her coffee, etc. The whole office knew about it when this person had a bad day, this drama was almost routine.

Although the Elijah List already had an operations manager, there were frequent power struggles between the woman and the other manager. Enough authority had been delegated to this woman to where she could cause a lot of division and other issues. Many of my co-workers would get one order from the operations manager and the opposite from the woman. Needless to say, this created a very chaotic atmosphere.

As we all know, hindsight is 20/20. There were other signs that I should have recognized, but, like Steve, I too was blinded by this woman’s influence. Looking back, what stands out the most to me was, when she would talk to me (and others) about her intimacy with the Holy Spirit, her words and her body language inferred something more than just a spiritual connection. I know that sounds pretty foul, but that’s exactly what was portrayed.

Anyways, she was eventually laid off from Elijah List after I quit. But Steve is still suffering to this day from weakness and a malady that the doctors can’t explain, and I’m convinced that it was because of the relationship with this woman and the spirits that accompanied her.

The Next Generation

“Prophetic” Youth: If you’ve read this far, you probably agree with me, or are convinced that I am not walking in love and have a vendetta against the Elijah list and/or the prophetic movement. While I admit that it has been very therapeutic to get the events of the past decade out of my head and online, my main concern, and the cause of my grief, is watching an entire generation of young people being sucked in to this deception.

There have been multiple prophecies by people in the prophetic movement aimed toward the youth. The prophecy goes something like:

“There will be a great move of the Spirit among the youth and they will reach everyone in the bars and clubs and on the streets and, because of the signs and wonders, and the fact that the youth look and act different than older people who have been in church, the lost will listen to them and then a HUGE revival will take place!”

Obviously that is not verbatim, but if you research words on the Elijah List and other prophetic sites, you will see words that are very similar.

Preference Given

Because these “prophetic words” have been circulating for years, a mindset has developed in the prophetic movement that gives preference to the youth. Instead of being taught by the older and wiser in the ways of the Word, the youth are encouraged to put priority on looking different, being original and expressing themselves creatively. The older generation are looked upon as “religious” and “out of touch” and, therefore, ignored. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with originality and creative expression; but when God’s Word is downplayed and tattoos, piercings and other forms of bizarre self-expression are emphasized, you get a group of young people who look and act like the world … and that’s about it.

People can argue that I’m being too legalistic and I really don’t care, I’m going to let the fruit speak for itself. Look at your youth groups, prophetic church … look at your twenty-somethings … what impact are they really having for the Kingdom of God? Are they adding to the number of the Church daily? Sure, they look really “cool” with their new tattoos (how original) … are they doing the works of Jesus? Are they daily feeding on His Holy Word? Or are they down at the bars being a “witness” (sarcasm implied)?

Are You Going to Do Anything

I really WANT to come across stronger on this point, more than any other in this series of posts. I WANT you to be offended to the point of ACTION, because it is those same youth who you are raising to be leaders of your “movement” within the next few years. These same youth, who may “worship” more extravagantly than any of the older people in your church, are riddled with addictions and idolatry behind closed doors (read Isaiah chapter 1 to see God’s view on extravagant worship without holiness). Weep and grieve over this, church … we’ve taught them that Jesus is your buddy, and they have no concept of His Kingship! They have no concept of His hatred for their sin!

The Bible says in Revelation:

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

What makes us think that we can turn them into the next Smith Wigglesworth without the Word, or without holiness?

As we draw nearer to the End of the Age, I know that there will be a large influx of people who will come into the Kingdom. But it will be made up of, not just the youth, but babies, children, old people, middle aged people, black, white, Hispanic, etc. No people group should feel a sense of entitlement to God’s coming move. I also know that II Thessalonians speaks of a great falling away before the end of the age. Take heed to this, church; receive the love of the Truth so that you will not be deceived into believing the lie.

A Final Loss

During the final couple years at the Elijah List, I was a wreck. My foundation was all but destroyed, and I had no “anchor point” to judge whether I was hearing God or not. It was at this time that a young guy was hired on who fit the prophetic move’s description of a “cutting edge” christian … approximately 20 years old, black, tattooed and pierced with a very shady past and a “flamboyant” personality. He had already been attending the Vineyard church and was regarded by many as one of the “New Breed” leaders that were rising up to help bring in the great revival that had been prophesied.

He and I developed a pretty close friendship and, in spite of my own spiritual destitution, I kind of took him under my wing. My wife and I provided furniture for his apartment, a place to spend the holidays, and a basic sense of “family” for him. I have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed his company and loved him dearly, like a little brother.

Over time though, I started seeing serious inconsistencies in his walk with God. For example, he would have horror movies like “Saw” and “Hostel” at his house and, when I would point it out to him, he would say things like “It’s OK, the Holy Spirit said it was OK for me to watch them.” or “God understands where I’m at, so don’t worry about it.” Since I myself wasn’t providing the greatest example to him at the time (I drank beer in front of him and our conversation wandered into inappropriate subjects quite frequently), I never challenged him on it.

Also, I noticed that he had several young people (mostly boys between the ages of 14-18) at his house. He told me that they had come from abusive homes, or the street, and needed a place of refuge. “The church isn’t reaching out to them, so if I don’t, who will?” he reasoned to me. I had discerned early on that this kid was sexually messed up, so I felt very uncomfortable with this situation.

On top of all this, the church he was attending had not discipled or corrected him according to the Word of God. Granted, this would have been no easy task; because of the preference given to him earlier, his arrogance and sense of self-entitlement had really gotten out of hand. And, because of his appearance and his personality, people either automatically assumed he was God’s “New Breed” leader, or, despite their misgivings, they didn’t want to challenge the status quo and point out the obvious issues that really needed to be addressed. The young man worshiped extravagantly and “prophesied” just like he saw his church peers doing and he was left alone.

It was at about this time that I determined in my heart to rebuild the foundation of God’s Word in my life. I knew I had to leave the Elijah List at the first opportunity, so I began praying in earnest for a new job. Had I known the blessing that awaited me, I would have just quit.

As my foundation and my conviction started to grow again, the young man and I started to have serious arguments. I would point out to him that it was impossible for him to live the life he was living and name the name of Jesus. Rather than acknowledging what he was doing as sin, he would justify it and say that the “Holy Spirit says it’s OK”. I would tell him that it was NOT God’s Holy Spirit that was telling him it was alright to sin, but another spirit from hell. Obviously things got worse from there, to the point that we didn’t even want him around the house. Believe me, I took great measures to be as gentle and as “nice” as possible, but he continually rejected God’s rebuke.

Finally, one day he came to me and told me, “Kevin, I’m bisexual.”

Knowing he had issues in this area, I told him, “Yeah, I figured that.”

Then he said, “… and God made me this way, so I’m happy with what I am.”

To which I responded, “God did NOT make you that way! Maybe something happened to you before you can remember, or when you were younger, but Jesus does NOT make people bisexual, or homosexual, or anything perverse like that.”

But he justified himself in that, as well, saying “The Holy Spirit told me he made me this way and loves me just the way I am.”

It was at that point that I knew he was lost. He had absolutely no respect for the Word, completely justified himself in his sin, and was determined to continue in it. I haven’t talked to him since, but I know he’s moved to another city and is a practicing cross-dresser and bi-sexual, all the while convinced that he is “witnessing” to others by going to gay bars and dancing with other men.

And my heart grieves for him. He is going to hell, fully confident that he has a close relationship with Jesus.

But you see, he is the Ultimate Fruit of a movement who has no regard for the whole Word of God or holiness. The children grow up, seeing their parents seek after signs, wonders and a christian dog and pony show. They see the futility and hypocrisy of it all and, in the end, basically turn to the world.

I’m just as guilty of providing a shabby example, and I’m still in the process of picking up the pieces. I beg God every day that there will be lasting fruit in my children, and I’m happy to say that I’m starting to see it develop. Please God, let it continue!

My Way Home

Seven years after I started working for the Elijah List, God mercifully let me have another job with another company. I know I tried to leave in good standing with the ministry, but I’m not sure I succeeded, because I was very bitter at the time. It’s taken me 3 years to get to this point, where my foundation is mostly rebuilt and I have been able to forgive, from the heart.

I know, to some of you, it may seem counterproductive to expose the error in people and ministries, but to me and others who regard the Word, it needs to be done for a few reasons:

  • so that we can recognize error when it arises (and it will continue to arise)
  • to check our own lives to make sure that we are not giving place to the same error
  • to not support those who are in error, but to pray that they may repent

I used to buy into the cleverly disguised deception that we all have our own path with God, and that we need to just love each other through everything and not judge. But, you see, now I’ve found the true definition of love!

Love’s True Definition

The true prophets in the Old and New Testament had it right! They LOVED their nation to the point where they would say what God told them to say, even if it meant becoming the object of ridicule and disdain in the eyes of those whom they loved. Their Love begged people to repent and turn back to God, not to continue in their ways and hope to get the next “third heaven experience”. They had no concern for the number of followers they had, what conferences they were invited to, or the bottom line $$. They didn’t say ear-tickling messages that would coddle people into a deceptive slumber; they left that to the false prophets, who ALWAYS had a “positive and encouraging” thing to say.

It’s because of this Love, that I absolutely must write this. Do you think that I did this to gain the favor of man? I know personally at least a hundred people in my own home town who will NOT accept this message and feel the need to “rebuke” me (according to their wisdom) … this is not an exaggeration! It would have been much easier to just walk away and forget about it. But there is a generation at risk … I cannot and will not walk away. I love them too much.

What Really Matters

The day I came home from my last day at the Elijah List, I took my bible in my hands, looked at my wife, and said “All I need is this …. and you.”… then we just held each other for awhile.

That’s pretty much where the story ends, or begins, if you look at it another way. The very day that I walked away from the Elijah List and the prophetic movement, the Blessing of God came back to my house. Although there were battles, there was hope and victory instead of fear and the confusion of not having a foundation. I began to find myself in His Word, to hear His Voice speak to me and to see His Faithfulness in every day.

I know there are good people still in this movement, and there are good prophetic people who still associate with the Elijah List, but unfortunately they are few and far between. Some are just naïve, thinking that the “New Thing” God is doing takes the form of the new prophetic scene, others are simply wicked people.

I would hope that those prophetic people who have a heart for God would follow hard after Him and that their walk with God would not be superseded by their relationships with others within the prophetic community. I pray that they would embrace all of His Truth, not just the parts that are easy to swallow.

As for me and my family, we have found a few friends of like mind and common vision, and we treasure them because they are rare. It is so freeing to be able to tell each other our problems, and receive encouragement AND rebuke, knowing that we love each other too much to see each other perish.

Ironically, I do have to thank the Elijah List for a couple things. Whether it intended to teach me or not, I learned over the past few years that:

The love and discernment of a good woman (my wife) is absolutely priceless

Celebrity and public approval mean absolutely nothing in the eyes of God

Increased income is not a sign of God’s favor

Lastly, I learned that people who name the name of Christ, and ignore Wisdom’s Rebuke are really just “dead men walking”.

As for me? …. I’m alive again.

Last Thoughts: I know many who read this may think that I’m holding a grudge or trying to exact some sort of revenge …. I guess that’s your business. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ve forgiven Steve Shultz, the Elijah List, its associated ministries and any people who are currently playing a deceptive role in what is known as “the Prophetic Movement” – God will be my witness. I do not wish harm on anyone physically, financially or otherwise.

What I do wish, if anything, is that the Truth would be revealed. I would hope that the Holy Spirit would convict those who need it, that they would repent and get right with God and, either step down, or start being True Prophets. But most of all, I would also hope that all who read this would have their eyes opened and that they would be made free from this growing deception.

Rehab: How to Get Back on Track

I received a letter from someone who, like me, was involved in the Prophetic Movement for quite some time and has only recently had the eyes of their understanding opened to the Truth. They asked what steps should be taken to “rehabilitate” themselves and get back on track.

When you’re involved with the Prophetic Movement, there are so many distractions, half-truths and …. well, junk, that your vision gets foggy and you feel like you’re lost in the middle of a huge forest with no direction as to how to get out. You doubt your ability to hear God’s voice and the Truths and Promises of His Word no longer seem valid or reachable.

Have you had enough of the crazy visions, theories, “warfare”, visitations, psycho-twitches, HO’s and Shabbah’s?

THERE IS A WAY OUT!!!!

This answer is so simple, it’s easy to discredit it and sweep it under the rug.

Here’s the answer: READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY ….. A LOT!!!

Could it be this simple?? YES!!

Transform Your Thinking

We are told in Romans 12:2 to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” This is the perfect way to find your way out of the forest … by having your mind transformed!

You’ve been wandering out in this sea of confusion, moved and shaken by every wind of doctrine and teaching of man … you want a way out … you want to chart your course in the direction of Ultimate Truth. The Word of God will do this for you!

The Spoken Word of God has its own Power that, when listened to and meditated upon, can actually CHANGE the way you think. It can fine tune your “spiritual” ear to actually be able to discern between the Holy Spirit and “other” types of spirits.

Be prepared to find ways of thinking in the Word of God that conflict with what you’ve learned in the Prophetic Movement. There are many things that I had to re-learn as my mind became more aligned with His Word.

Talk With God

The other thing that needs to happen is a lot of prayer. The Word says in 1 Thess. 5:17 to “pray without ceasing” … in other words, DON’T STOP!! While you may not be able to actually speak out in prayer all the time, you can keep yourself in a position of continually listening for His Voice. Hearing what He has to say is WAY more important than anything we think we need to pray.

As you’re listening, remember that you’ve been part of a movement that allows for other spirits to enter into the picture. This can result in a lot of confusion when listening to the Father’s Voice, so you really need to compare what you hear with what is in the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will NEVER NEVER NEVER tell you to do something that conflicts with what the Word says. Never be too prideful to admit that what you heard wasn’t from God … I’ve made this mistake a lot!!! I thought that I heard His voice and then acted before I compared it to His Word and ended up in a real mess!

Another gauge we can use to analyze if we’ve heard correctly is good bible-believing friends who have a proven track record with God. Not someone who sounds “spiritual” (there are plenty of those flakes), but someone who is solid, firm, grounded and steady in the Word … those are the ones you want to glean from.

Get Rid of the Fluff

The church has become entirely too dependent on books, worship CDs, teaching tapes and other “fluff”. Get rid of them … especially if they are from the old way of life from which you are trying to escape – GET RID OF THEM! You don’t need worship CD’s to get into His Presence, you don’t need instruction from these books by people who think they’ve heard from God.

YOU NEED TO HEAR FROM GOD FOR YOURSELF!

When you get alone with God, quiet yourself and rely on Him alone for your spiritual experience … gradually, but faithfully, He will pour out on you such revelation that you will not have room to contain it! The Best Revelation comes directly from God, not from man.

Take the Time

How long it takes for you to be back “on track” really depends on you. How long are you willing to spend with Him daily? Do you really want to be back “on track”?

I want to challenge you to tithe your time and dedicate 1/10 of your day (2-1/2 hours) to spend time with God (not as a religious duty – think of it as an investment) in prayer and in the Word. This is a great way to break through certain ways of thinking and to re-establish a damaged foundation. It worked for me!

Fear the Lord and Watch for His Coming.

For the Love of the Search,

Kevin Kleint

Email: kevin@honorofkings.org

 

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The Great Falling Away Today by Milton Green – Truth Teller

Milton only wrote one book – “The Great Falling Away Today” – which is available as a free download from the link at the foot of this page, or here:

The Great Falling Away Today

Also available on Youtube:

The Great Falling Away Today Audio

“A probing look at the spiritual condition of the body of Christ, examining the fortresses of Satan in believers’ own lives (greed, pride, selfishness and lust of the flesh) and shows the scriptural path to rejuvenation through repentance and holiness.”

Milton Green’s prophetic sermons are available on Sermonindex and Youtube, as are those of his wife, Joyce Green.  What Milton said in the early and mid-1980s, we need to hear today.  Then there were over 400 Christian denominations, now there are over 40,000.  Read the truth about why in “The Great Falling Away Today”.

Introduction to the Great Falling Away Today – by Mrs Milton (Joyce) Green

My husband, Milton Green, was very suddenly taken to be with the Lord on 14th October 1987. It was just over a year after he had completed the book, The Great Falling Away Today. So in a sense, this book is Milt’s last will and testament for the church of Jesus Christ, which he loved so very much.

We were all surprised by Milt’s death. He was so vibrantly alive! All those of us who knew and loved him thought he would always be part of our lives. But our loving Father had other plans, and He spoke a part of those plans to me the day after He took Milt home. He said, “I am going to use Milt to a far greater degree in his death than I used him during his life!” And this is certainly proving to be true.

The word that God gave Milt was so very controversial, just as it was to religion when Jesus spoke it. While Milt was here, men of religion and renown made him the object of the controversy. But now with Milt gone, they have to deal with the word that he spoke, instead of with him.

Another reason why I feel the Lord took him was this: Milt was so full of Jesus and so lovable, it was easy to make him the very thing he taught so vigorously against—a flesh king. He said over and over, “Don’t try to make me your king! I don’t want you!” And he truly didn’t want people to follow him—he had too much fear of God to willingly let that happen. So God protected him by taking him, and I have tried to protect him by not letting him be enshrined in any way, nor by letting yet another denomination be formed based upon his teachings. We esteem him for the Word’s sake, but only Lord Jesus Christ has the right to be King. He is the only One who died for us.

Milton never wanted to write a book. The president of the publishing house wrote Milton in 1985 and asked him if he would write a book. Milt’s response was, “As far as I am concerned, the Book has already been written! What do we need another one for?” He always felt that people read too many books, and didn’t spend enough time in the Bible. Then in 1986 as he was writing a Bible study, he realized he had more to say than for a Bible Study. Milt contacted the publisher again and asked him if he still wanted him to write a book. The publisher replied “All I know is that I was riding down the freeway and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to ask you to write a book.”

So in every sense, The Great Falling Away Today is a very supernatural book. God told the publisher it should be written; the Holy Spirit wrote it through Milt. Testimonies abound of the awesome works of repentance and enlightenment that God has done in thousands through this book.

So once again we present The Great Falling Away Today to you. It is, obviously, about how the church has fallen away from faith in God to many other things. One doesn’t have to be a deep theologian to discern that something is radically wrong with the church today. This was brought home to me in a thundering way recently. A ministry moved from one city to another a few months ago and eagerly sought out a church with which to be affiliated. They found the one that appeared most successful in their denomination, a large and growing church, that seemed to be alive.

After a very short time, they were shocked because the pastor was discovered to be having an affair— but he was having an affair with his associate pastor, a homosexual affair! That pretty well describes the condition of much of the so called church today—filled with adultery, perversion, love for the world and the things in the world— having a form of godliness, but denying the power that is inherent in true salvation to walk in holiness and righteousness.

People who truly love the Lord know that something is dreadfully wrong with today’s church! People who love religion will continue to defend what they call the church and will continue to persecute those who dare speak out against the perversion that is called “church.”

Meanwhile, Jesus Christ continues to build His church, and He continues to choose to use meek and humble vessels like Milt Green. Milt could have made some small changes in his message, just a little watering down of the Word, and he would have been accepted as part of a “big” ministry. But, like his Master, he chose to make himself of no reputation for the sake of presenting a pure, uncompromised word from God, which the true bride of Christ so desperately needs today.

I revised the book into the King James Version of the Bible in obedience to God. Dr. Frank Logsdon, Co-founder of the New American Standard Version, has renounced all attachment to it. I too have seen the many deletions and changes, and have found for my own personal study and teaching, there is a strong anointing on the King James Version, which gives understanding even to difficult words and passages.

So, just as Milton Green laid this book at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, I do the same today with these revisions. I have made very minor changes, only to help the flow of words, never to change the content. I respect too much the way Milt was able to hear the Holy Spirit to make other changes.

Sometimes the book seems to move slowly, and there is much seeming redundancy, but I know the Holy Spirit was speaking the same message over and over to His Church in this manner. I know if you will persevere with The Great Falling Away Today, letting the Holy Spirit bring repentance as you go along, you will come to the end of it with a heart that has been cleansed, with greater spiritual understanding, and a heart determined to “FOLLOW THE LAMB WHEREVER HE GOES!”

Mrs. Milton (Joyce) Green

Discerning False Teachers

Milton Green Video Testimony

 

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What’s Wrong with the Purpose Driven or CGM (Christian Growth) Movement?

Let me begin by saying that I have no axe to grind against ‘Mega Churches’, rapid growth or men who are great visionaries. In fact, I have been very slow to criticize this movement at all. After all, what could be wrong with reaching the unchurched and presenting worship in a way that is exciting to those who have no connection with the church traditions of the past? When I began to hear a handful of people criticizing it, I believed it was most likely a resistance to change from traditions and had nothing to do with doctrine or scripture.

I know several men and women who have gone through studies incorporated by the CGM and have had no objections at all – in fact, they highly recommend it to others. These people are friends who appear to be very solid in their faith. My real objection began when I saw the change of focus in those who attended CGM conferences as they abandoned a scriptural foundation and put all their focus on business-like goals. Other than a few pet verses taken out of context, they gave little heed to the Bible at all.

What is the CGM?

I believe that the best way to inform believers about this movement is to define the movement, its objectives and compare these with scripture. Even though there are a handful of high-profile church leaders at the forefront of this movement, I don’t believe these leaders are the problem. Their ideas and message are symptoms of a greater problem. My hope is that each person reading this will see the error and turn away from it; however, my goal is to provide information so that each person can make an informed decision. As Christians, we cannot force submission, but we are obligated to be the watchman on the wall who guards the truth.

If you are not familiar with the CGM (Church Growth Movement), it is a modern church development process that is heavily backed by big churches like Saddleback Community Church and Willow Creek and big names like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels among others. The most popular book promoting the CGM philosophy is The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. In a nutshell, this book teaches how to build a church from the inner circle (or core) out to the community. The core group is a committed group of members that become the foundation of the church and are entrusted with lay ministries directed from the pastor. Their goal is to support the pastor’s programs with the purpose of getting noticed in the community. The visitors who attend are called the ‘crowd’. The crowd is taught the church’s core values through a membership class and then transitioned into the congregation. Members who show commitment, work their way into the core which will then seek out the community again.

This is adopted from a purely business model and not a scriptural model. While using methods external to the Bible are not necessarily wrong, it can become harmful when we put marketing and human effort into the place God has said can only be fulfilled by His Spirit. I find it disconcerting to see that very little scriptural reference is given to building the church and very little emphasis (if any) is placed on the Spirit of God drawing unbelievers to Himself or the need for believers to surrender and follow the will of God. The Bible does not say the church is built on marketing, programs or a good core group. Jesus said, “on this rock I will build my church”. He is that rock and He must be the central focus of the church or it ceases to be the true church.

The CGM adopts very unbiblical methods to gain opportunities to introduce their belief system. Look at these quotes from CGM leader Doug Murren, director of Square One Ministries. This is from his book entitled, Leaders on Leadership:

“Arnold Mitchell, a social psychologist from Stanford, has spent years studying the attitudes and behaviors of Americans. He contends that three ingredients are necessary for change to occur. First, Mitchell notes that change comes from dissatisfaction…. Effective change agents assess the chances for change by evaluating the level of dissatisfaction within the group. If dissatisfaction is strong, the potential for change exist….

“To be effective, a leader must also deliberately develop dissatisfaction. …

“Preparing people for change sometimes takes what seems like forever…. I shared startling or even embarrassing statistics about where we were as a church body and where we needed to be, seeking to create the right level of dissatisfaction….

“Positive change rarely intimates ‘returning to the way it used to be.’ Most positive change I have witnessed has been about creating a better future rather than returning to a cherished past.” (Pages 204-206).”

While scripture condemns creating conflicts (Proverbs 6:14-16), the CGM embraces it. This has very little difference than the ‘change agent’ applied to open the cultural doors to communism. One of the main points of Marx is to bring about change through conflict. Communism seizes opportunity created by a crisis or they manufacture a crisis to use as a catalyst to open the door for change. This CGM leader has a strikingly similar ideology. Another important note is that communist leaders (and even cult leaders) present a very different public face that may be contrary to their true agenda. The CGM philosophy also uses this method. They stress the importance of ‘standing firm’ on scripture and ‘change without compromise’ to the gospel, yet when you examine their methods and doctrine, it is quite different than the public face presented.

Doug Murren is not alone in this teaching. Jim Dethmar of Willow Creek said:

“Change only occurs when there is significant disillusionment with the status quo. This is ‘Change Theory’ “. So, that is what begins to happen. Tearing down subtly begins. Jim Dethmar gives a suggestion on how to do this when he says, “…a simplified view of how to do change is to find something that is wrong, it might be a little one, and rub it raw, irritate it”. {Willow Creek Seminar Tape}

What passage can we find that remotely justifies creating irritation within the church for the purpose of making the congregation discontented and therefore willing to accept change? Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”(Matthew 7:15). If Jesus compared false prophets to wolves disguising themselves as sheep, why should we be surprised if these teachers pretend to have orthodox beliefs but practice unbiblical methods?

Why do these leaders teach pastors to create dissatisfaction and conflict within the church when God clearly warned that this is something He hates. Look at Proverbs 6:16:

“These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”

Visualization

The CGM takes a world-styled cultural approach to a new church start that is quite different from scripture. New church planting pastors are invited to attend a church start or a growth conference that is highly charged with emotions and a new ideology is communicated. Appealing through emotions are extremely effective in communicating a message. As we saw earlier, leaders of existing churches are often encouraged to appeal to negative emotions in order to create an openness to change. The opposite is also true. Comedy, drama, music, and a charismatic presentation are powerful tools to make people susceptible to messages they would not have accepted otherwise.

If you take the average pastor and try to teach him new age visualization, most would reject the notion. However, if you begin with energized music, success stories and create an atmosphere of celebration, you can communicate that same message by using Christian jargon and receive very little if any resistance. Once the mood is right, the teacher can begin by appealing to what all new pastors want – a successful, growing church. Step by step, pastors are walked unknowingly through visualization techniques hidden behind Christian sounding terms.

“Faith is thinking big!” the pastor is told. “You are free to dream big!”

“See your church the way God sees it! If it is a God-thing then it will explode with growth – but you have to have faith”.

“See your church as the largest church in your region! See the church. See it filled with thousands of people. See its programs. See its music, worship and sanctuary. See the building. Confess that it has already happened and believe. That is faith! What you picture, believe and confess – God will perform!”

In reality, this is not faith at all. New Age, Eastern visualization is pagan to the core and has found its way into many so-called Christian circles. This pagan ritual is taught and practiced in many so-called Christian leadership seminars around this nation. Examine this excerpt from 20/20 Vision: How to Create a Successful Church with Lay Pastors and Cell Groups, by Dale E. Galloway:

“Before a vision can become a reality it must begin to be verbalized in spoken words of faith. Visions verbalized in words of faith release the creative powers of God to work through our lives, to bring into existence that which was not”. p.40. [Also See Can OUR ‘Positive Confession’ FORCE God to Change Course?]

Compare to the New Age doctrine of visualization

We BELIEVE what our eyes see. This is true for visual seeing as well as mental seeing. As you create an image in your mind, your brain believes it is happening and real. Repetition of the visions causes the image to become more real. Your mind begins to believe it actually has happened. It’s an event that has taken place. Combined with affirmations, it becomes a powerful tool to create what you want.

Affirmations are statements of acceptance that one uses to allow the manifestation of your destiny. They are powerful and positive thoughts and statements sent out to the universe. To do positive affirmations, you need to eliminate the negativity around you. You must first believe that YOU CAN manifest your destiny. It must be a positive, powerful belief not just ‘maybe I’ll try and see if this works”. Together with Visualizations, you can create the life you want. – “Seeing is believing: New Age Visualization”

The New Age shaman says we create reality by seeing, believing and speaking words of affirmation; the CGM teacher says we must visualize our new programs and buildings and then speak faith words. Both teachings are identical and teach we are the creators of reality but the CGM visualization is disguised with Christian jargon. Where is God? Under the ‘New Paradigm’ church movement we are the creative power behind the church. With empty words the CGM lowers the guards of skeptics by claiming to be fundamental, but in practice they are everything but fundamental. This is the original sin of Satan and the same lie that caused the fall of man in the beginning. With sinful pride, Satan said, “I will be like the Most High” but instead he was cast down from the glory that God gave him. With a lying tongue Satan told Eve, “You will be like God”. She was drawn by the desire to be like her Creator and Adam with her. Instead of being exalted, they were cast down as well. (See Article on Visualization)

New Age Connection to the CGM

CGM leaders such as Rick Warren quote and praise heretical teachers and New Age philosophers such as Yonggi Cho, Robert Schuller, C. Peter Wagner, and Bernie Siegel among others in the ‘Purpose Driven Church’ and other publications. Warren Bennis quotes from many New Age resources including Carl Jung, Norman Lear, Tom Peters, Alvin Toffler and publications such as ‘The New Age Journal’ and ‘The Aquarian Conspiracy’. There are many New Age connections to the CGM, but this should provide ample evidence for those who wish to examine these sources and verify this for themselves. What man of God could use anti-Christian sources to influence the Christian church?

Rick Warren (Author of the ‘Purpose Driven Church’) has also received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. This Seminary is an ultra liberal institution that puts more emphasis on the ecumenical movement than biblical doctrine. Fuller has professors that are on the record denying the reliability of scripture and has hosted and endorsed the World Council of Churches and paganism on their campus. Below are some examples:

IPS Note: C. Peter Wagner, who came from the academic halls of Fuller Theological Seminary, has proclaimed himself “presiding apostle” of a coalition of 200 “true” apostles by forming the “International Coalition of Apostles”. This strategically places him into the middle of an international network of “Christian” activities to help implement, organize and dominate a Global Church, largely based upon a post-millennial view of the End Times, in which Christ will return to earth after the thousand year reign of God’s kingdom. Christians alone are Biblically mandated to ‘rule’ the earth subduing every enemy of Christ before He can return as King. He founded the idea of the “New Apostolic Reformation” where apostles and prophets are rising up to take control of the Church. Christians outside of the Dominionist system are considered to be in spiritual bondage and not bona fide members of the Kingdom of God. Therefore a “civil war” will have to be fought to remove the cancer (Their words, not mine). They, as the true Church will inherit the earth, and rule the nations… all before Christ comes back. Where the rapture, tribulation, end time apostasy and literal Antichrist fit in (if at all) is anyone’s guess. See Section on Dominion Theology

Paul Jewett was Professor of Systematic Theology at Fuller Seminary. In 1975 he published Man as Male and Female. In the book Man as Male and Female, Fuller professor Paul Jewett admits that he has been influenced by modern biblical criticism and claims that the Bible contains error because it was written by men:

“Historical and critical studies of the biblical documents have compelled the church to abandon this simplistic view of the divinity of Scripture [the traditional doctrine that the Bible is the Word of God without error] and to take into account the complexity at the human level of the historical process by which the documents were produced. Instead of the simple statement, which is essentially true, that the Bible is a divine book, we now perceive more clearly than in the past that the Bible is a divine/human book. As divine, it emits the light of revelation; as human, this light of revelation shines in and through the ‘dark glass’ (1 Cor. 13:12) of the ‘earthen vessels’ (2 Cor. 4:7) who were the authors of its content at the human level” (Jewett, Man as Male and Female, p. 135).

The foreword of Paul Jewett’s book was written by Virginia Mollenkott, chairman of the Department of English at William Paterson College in New Jersey. In 1994, Virginia Mollenkott wrote a the book, The Divine Feminine: The Biblical Imagery of God as Female, Mollenkott calls God the “One Mother of us all” (p. 19) and suggests that the Lord’s prayer might be addressed to “Our Father/Mother who is in Heaven” (p. 116).

In 1978 she co-authored (with Letha Scanzoni) the book entitled Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? In this book Mollenkott praises her own Homosexuality as a divine gift and denies that homosexuality was condemned in the Bible. [See Feminism and The Christian God   and Section on Homosexuality]

Charles Scalise is associate professor of church history and academic director of Fuller Theological Seminary in Seattle’s M. Div. program. He authored the book From Scripture to Theology: A Canonical Journey into Hermeneutics (InterVarsity Press, 1996). In this book he denies the historical accuracy of scripture, claims that Moses did not author the Pentateuch but it was written centuries later, and he challenges the infallibility of scripture throughout the book. [See Section A Remarkable Book Called The Bible]

Siang-Yang Tan, director of the Doctor of Psychology program at Fuller Seminary, was one of the attendees of the national conference on Personal Spiritual Renewal in October 1991. It was hosted by Renovare, an organization founded by Richard Foster. Speaking in the evening sessions, Foster praised Pope John Paul II as a “powerful asset of the Catholic movement” and called for unity in the “body of Christ” through the “five streams of Christianity: the contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice and evangelical.” He promoted occultic meditative techniques such as guided imagery and visualization. Another speaker was Renovare Steering Committee member Sister Bernard, a Catholic nun who is involved in the Buddhist-Roman Catholic dialogue. Fuller professor Tan “stressed the need to integrate psychology with spirituality” and “advocated inner healing, healing of the memories, and other occultic visualization techniques” (Christian Information Bureau Bulletin, December 1991). [Also See The Two Faces of Catholicism]

Fuller / Council of Churches

The Fuller Theological Seminary also hosted the World Council of Churches in 1995. Some excerpts from this follow: (See More On The World Council of Churches)

Goddess Worship

The WCC-sponsored conference featured a standing ovation for a group of some 100 “lesbian, bi-sexual, and transsexual women” who gathered on the platform. On Sunday morning the conferees joined together in repeating a prayer to Sophia: “Our maker Sophia, we are women in your image. … Our guide, Sophia, we are women in your image.” (Sophia is a goddess worshipped in New Age circles.. [See Section On Goddess Worship] Chung Hyun Kyung spoke at the conference saying,

“My bowel is Buddhist bowel, my heart is Buddhist heart, my right brain is Confucian brain, and my left brain is Christian brain. … If you feel very tired and you don’t have any energy to give, what you do is … go to a big tree and ask it, ‘give you some of your life energy.’”

Chung Hyun Kyung also summoned the spirits of the dead and “the spirit of Earth, Air, and Water.” Chung said, “I also know that I no longer believe in an omnipotent, Macho, warrior God who rescues all good guys and punishes all bad guys.”

Megatrends For Women, by Patricia Aburdene and John Naisbitt, is endorsed and sold in the Fuller library and in its online bookstore (http://fulleripac.fuller.edu/#focus). This is a blatantly New Age occultic book that challenges biblical Christianity and promotes Goddess Worship. The Fuller online catalogue once promoted this book with the following quote:

“To hell with sexism : women in religion — The menopause megatrend –Collaborative couples — Fashion : top down to bottom up — The family revival — The goddess reawakening — Save the world : women as social activists — Women in the new world order.”

The inside cover flap has the following promotional comments:

“Whether theologians or nuns or New Agers, women are transforming both religion and spirituality by rejecting the notion of a male divinity and embracing the archetype of the Great Goddess.”

It is not difficult to recognize that the Fuller Institute is training its leaders to reject scripture and adopt pagan beliefs and practices through the ecumenical movement (merging all religions as equal), academic training and literature. It should not be surprising to see graduates such as Rick Warren embrace New Age philosophers and authors as he drives deep into the Christian culture with a new church model that draws from sources that reject historic Christianity and a salvation that is found in Jesus alone.

Self-Exaltation in the CGM

In CGM conferences, after charging new pastors with emotions, a subtle but effective shift is introduced. Instead of being a church plant, the focus is shifted to a launch. The Purpose Driven / Church Growth candidate is lead away from a scripturally based foundation and toward a business model built on marketing and big events. A new church plant I attended was persuaded to spend $25,000 on a ‘get noticed’ community campaign that was called ‘The Big Event’. The church went into debt, hired three different bands, spent thousands on food, carnival styled attractions, tents and food. God was not in it and the net result was a sapped bank account and a tired and discouraged small congregation.

This is not a unique scenario. The ‘new paradigm’ teaches that communities should be shaken with the noise of the new church launch. Attention getting community events, marketing and other creative ideas are to coincide with the launching of the new church.

The shift from planting a church to launching a church may seem subtle at first glance, but beneath the surface there is a tremendous philosophical difference. The CGM has adopted from the culture of the world while quietly slipping away from the principles of scripture. Before we examine these two diametrically opposed systems, let’s lay a bit of the ground work by comparing CGM philosophy to an example from scripture.

Does The End Justify The Means?

Peter Wagner is quoted favorably by Rick Warren in ‘The Purpose Driven Church’. Read this quote from C. Peter Wagner from the book, “Your Church Can Grow – Seven Vital Signs Of A Healthy Church”:

“… we ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means. What else possible could justify the means? If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method. If, on the other hand, my method is not accomplishing the goal, how can I be justified in continuing to use it?”

Is this true? Does the end justify the means? Can we use any method we choose if our goal is accomplished? The world would say that it does, but God clearly does not agree with this philosophy. A very good example of this can be found in the story of Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6. One day King David decided to move the ark of the covenant as he prepared for battle. As an acknowledgment of dependence on God to go before them, Israel would take the Ark of the Covenant as they marched to war. David commanded that the ark be placed on a cart pulled by an ox. However, God gave clear and specific instructions for transporting the ark that represented His presence with the people. The ark was only to be transported by priests from the tribe of Levi and carried by hand using acacia wood overlaid with gold through the rings on the sides of the ark.

Even though these rules were clearly spelled out, it was easier just to load the ark on the cart. It would make little difference because the end result would be the same and the ark would make it to its destiny with greater efficiency. David was absolutely sincere as he worshipped before God and rejoiced as the ark moved forward. Absolute sincerity is still disobedience if it is contrary to God’s word. To make this point clear, God allowed the ox to stumble and the first person to touch the ark was struck down before God.

God was not pleased with the dancing, music, celebrations or worship of the people. God was not pleased with the progress they were making toward their goals or the success of the battles. God’s anger was kindled because of the disobedience of His people and the means in which they thought they were serving Him. Nothing has changed today. Jesus made it clear that God seeks only those who worship in Spirit and truth. Spirited worship that compromises truth is not acceptable to God. God’s Spirit must inhabit our praise and our worship must be solidly founded upon truth or it has no relevance to God and our religion is in vain. Also See Does Picking Up Sticks Deserve the Death Penalty?

God’s Ways or the World’s?

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”( Isaiah 55:8)

God’s ways are not the world’s ways. So many times the Bible is completely counter culture to the world system. There are three ‘ministry opportunities’ that the Purpose Driven / Church Growth emphasizes that need to be examined: 1. Lift your Banner high; 2. Draw the crowds by marketing and programs; 3. Keep visitors by appealing to their ‘felt needs’.

1.      Lift your Banner high

This draws us back to the church plant verses church launch question. CGM trainers teach pastors not to want to do a church plant by asking, ‘Do you want to plant or launch’? Of course this question is asked after the answer has been driven home through an emotional conference. The world looks at ‘big’. Success is lots of money, large numbers, big buildings and many other physical measurables. One very important thing we should note is that none of these are presented with a scriptural foundation. They are only founded upon emotions and the appeal to the pastor’s desire for measurable success. The scripture paints a different picture for the plan of God. Look at John 12:23-25:

“But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Jesus is our example to follow. How was Jesus glorified? His glory came through dying. Like a grain of wheat, He died, was buried and glory was in His resurrection. He then tied this to our lives by making it clear that we also must lose our lives in this world and we will gain it for eternity. As long as we are living for our purpose, we remain alone. We may be in a crowd but the Spirit of God is not in anything we do until we die to this life and allow God to raise us as a new creation focused on Him alone. We must seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Only then do we have the promise that our needs will be added to us.

Unlike the world, we don’t lift our banner high to be noticed, we humble ourselves before God and submit to His will. It is God’s role alone to lift us high. A ‘church launch’ puts the focus on ‘look at us’. A ‘church plant’ gives us the focus of dying to ourselves and allowing God to raise us up to the level where He desires us to be. I would rather have a small congregation of disciples obedient to God than 10,000 members that are focused on world-centered objectives.

The CGM paradigm says that we should exalt ourselves in the community. The Bible teaches a different message. Look at the following passages:

James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Matthew 23:12 “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 1:50 “And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.”

1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;”

Matthew 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ “

Our example is Christ. He did not lift Himself up, but humbled Himself even to the point of death on the cross. Philippians 2 tells us that this mind should also be in us. If we are the builders of the church instead of Christ, we are lifting ourselves up. CGM marketing efforts may succeed in building numbers in some churches, but it fails in the areas that God shown are our real focus.

2.      Draw the crowds by marketing and programs

Big events, marketing and man-made efforts are the focus of the new church growth paradigm. This is also the antithesis of God’s way to build the church. Look at these passages:

Acts 2:47b … And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Matthew 16:18b …on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

John 6:42 …No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;

The church is not a man-made institution nor is it built by the efforts of man. While the CGM focuses on programs and methods, the true church remains focused on Christ and the commission He gave us. It is not events that add to the church, but God that adds those who are being saved. God alone builds the church and no one can come to Christ without the Spirit of God drawing him. Launch events may draw ‘the crowd’ to the church building, but they do not draw people to Christ – only God can do this.

3.      Keep visitors by appealing to their ‘felt needs’

One of the more disturbing elements of the CGM is the complete shift away from the true message of the gospel. The Church Growth Movement teaches that we must be seeker sensitive by doing two things: insure that visitors are not offended and answer the ‘so what’ question. The ‘so what’ question is explained by Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church:

“The messages must have high user value… When unchurched Harry comes out here for a service, he’s going to be asking, ‘What value does my being here have for my life?’ So in preparing messages, we keep asking ourselves, ‘So what? Jesus Christ was born to a virgin – so what?’ That’s the question Harry’s going to be asking.”

In CGM theology, the message of the gospel must meet the felt needs of the unchurched visitor. The focus of each message must be able to answer ‘what’s in it for me’? This sounds good if you are talking about business, but is quite contrary to the true gospel message. Salvation in Christ has already answered that question. The gospel exposes sin to show man his need for a savior and reveals the love and forgiveness of God through the cross of Jesus Christ. At this point we are not called to ask God what more he can do for us; instead we are called to have faith and become a follower of Christ. Look at this extremely important passage in Luke 9:23-24: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

This is quite a contrast in world-views. The CGM teaches pastors that to gain followers of Christ they must provide a value added service. Jesus teaches that if we desire to follow Him we must deny ourselves – not ask what is in it for us. The sad reality is that most of the world will reject Christ because they are unwilling to live for Christ. The man walking in the flesh only lives to satisfy his own desires. No one can be discipled by continuing to appeal to the self-centeredness of the carnal man.

Our primary concern is not to prevent people from walking away because they are not made comfortable and happy. Our highest priority is to lift up the biblical Jesus, teach people to trust in God’s promises and by faith, lay down their life and seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Look at Matthew 7:13-15:  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.!

The gates of heaven are open to anyone who will follow Christ in. However, it is and always will be a narrow gate with a difficult way. Under the guise of ‘seeker friendly’, the Church Growth Movement has built a gate that is wide, yet contrary to the true gate. You can get the masses to go into the wide gate, but destruction is behind it. After giving instructions to seek the narrow gate, Jesus followed up by warning that false prophets will disguise themselves as sheep. Many leaders will come that look like Christians, talk like Christians but are wolves that will attempt to devour those looking for the gate. The only way to know is by looking at their message. The message of CGM is clearly contrary to scripture. They sound good; they have big churches, spirited music and use Christian terminology. However, the message they teach is a self-centered gospel.

To be a God-thing it Must be a Big Thing

When a business decides to go public with a stock offering, it is vital to make a lot of noise so that you are noticed and people get excited and buy company stocks. Recently the popular internet search engine, Google, made their initial public offering. For weeks they marketed their product with news feeds, forecasts and any type of publicity that would bring attention to themselves. The public waited with anticipation and the demand quickly drove the price up 10% higher than the first year’s target estimate.

The CGM has adopted this same philosophy. A church must launch with a great noise and public fanfare so the unchurched world will rush in and get in on this new public offering. On the surface it sounds good because this appeals to our human nature. Unfortunately, God does not reach out to mankind by appealing to human nature but rather calling us to put to death the flesh and live by the Spirit. Galatians 5:17 explains: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

The flesh and the Spirit are in direct opposition to each other. The church’s role is to go into the world and make disciples of Christ by teaching others to be transformed by God – not by transforming the church into something that is palatable to the flesh. Instead of calling for the world to imitate Christ, the church has adopted a role of imitating the world. When the crowd began to follow for the wrong reason, Jesus forced them to abandon the ‘show’ to see if they would follow Him. In John 6, Jesus forced the crowd to choose the show or Him. His words offended them. John 6:66 says: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

If Jesus was not afraid to lose disciples who were following for the wrong reason, should we cater the church model around the concept of avoiding offending those who we fear will turn away?

Jesus even condemned those who came just to be filled. It is ironic that the CGM’s whole focus is on helping ‘seekers’ to have their want filled, yet Jesus made it clear that those who follow Him for ‘what’s in it for me’ are better off turning back and ceasing to follow Him.

It is also a misconception to think that God only works ‘big’. A popular Sunday School training book made the statement that we must do things so big that only God can perform it. In reality, big things can be achieved without divine intervention. Jesus made an effort to avoid making a show of His ministry. Many times when He would do a miracle, He would instruct the person not to publicize the event (Matthew 8:4, Matthew 16:20, Mark 7:36, Luke 8:56). This is illustrated very clearly in the story of Elijah. Look at 1 Kings 19:11-13: “Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”

God was not in the great and strong wind; God was not in the earthquake; God was not in the raging fire. God was in the still small voice and is only found by those willing to stop and hear His call. God’s ways are not our ways. Man wants a show and to make lots of noise, but those who find God listen to His voice. If anything, the big show encouraged by the CGM makes it more difficult to stop and listen to God. Are we leading people to the Master, or are we drowning out His voice with our ‘Big Launch Events’?

Beware When All Men Speak Well of You.

The Church Growth Movement makes a great effort out of appealing to the masses. It has been called a ‘New Awakening’ and a modern day revival. Is getting large numbers into a building a great revival? In truth, the masses have never gone after God. Jesus said that there are few who will find the narrow gate leading to life. The door may be opened to everyone, but few are willing to leave behind this world and follow the ways of God. In the Bible, the masses only became involved when paganism was introduced into their religion. The masses worshipped the golden cow after God delivered Israel from bondage. The masses went after Baal worship and various pagan doctrines. In Revelation the masses will worship the false prophet and the beast.

In history, the masses followed after Hitler, Islam, Hinduism and various other religions and causes. The only time we see the masses turning to God is when fear knocks at the door. Even then, it is short lived. Once people become comfortable, they immediately turn back from God unless they truly are seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ. 87% of Americans claim to be Christian yet only 15% attend church weekly and fewer than this allow God to influence their daily walk.

When the masses jump on a bandwagon, it should raise a flag and we should proceed with great caution. Look at Luke 6:26 “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

When the masses are singing praises, it should cause us to stop and beware. This passage does not mean every single person will speak well of the false prophet. This is a figure of speech that warns us that when the crowd is behind us, we are likely on the wrong path. The crowds follow human nature and the things that appeal to human nature. The false prophets speak to the people with words that appeal to their desires. When someone is saying what you want to hear, you always think highly of them. Look at 2 Timothy 4:1-5:  “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

We are commanded to remain focused on preaching the word, not preaching to the masses. We are to preach in season and out of season to convince, rebuke, exhort and teach with patience. It is important to understand that people will not always be open to the true gospel, but this does not change the message. The measurement of success is not numbers, but faithfulness. Jonah preached a simple message of repentance and God did a mighty work. Yet Noah preached for 120 years and only his family was saved. Isaiah complained that no one believed his report of God’s word. The leaders complained to Amos for his message and questioned his right to preach without qualifications. Micah was thrown in jail for preaching an unpopular message. Throughout the scriptures we are given many examples of prophets who preached faithfully out of season.

We are out of season today. The crowd is not looking for someone to teach, rebuke and exhort, they are looking for teachers that will teach them according to their own desires (felt needs). The CGM trains pastors to preach to the audience’s feelings and not to strive to convince them to follow and obey God. The primary sign given for the end times is that the church will join the world. The world has seasons of accepting and rejecting the gospel. The faithful preacher remains consistent throughout these seasons in history. However, the sign of the end is that the church will fall away from the true gospel. Only then can the man of sin be revealed. Look at 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”

The Bible does not say that the church numbers will diminish, only that the church will fall away from the faith. In the end times, the church will have “a form of godliness while denying its power” (2 Timothy 3). The CGM model fits this to a tee. The CGM leaders definitely have a form of godliness: they talk about a non-offensive Jesus, God, and use select passages or phrases from scripture. However, they have no power in their message. Their message is numerical growth and marketing, not the call for repentance and laying down our lives to follow Christ.

Leadership

The Church Growth Movement deviates from scripture on leadership hierarchy in the church. Pastors are the unquestioned authority that receives a vision directly from God (often via CGM seminars) and they are keepers and protectors of the vision. They sit at the top and instruct those below them. To question the vision keeper is to lack faith in God. Anyone who does not get on the bandwagon is often labeled as weak in faith. The CGM leadership structure is the pastor on top of the pyramid who hands down vision and specific tasks to lay ministers. Lay ministers execute the pastor’s direction through church programs and small groups. Like a business, leadership is centralized. At the top is the CEO who has a handful of inner circle executives reporting to him. The executives carry out the instructions of the CEO and pass it down to directors, managers and so on until it reaches the entry level worker.

The CGM model has the pastor as the CEO who hands down his instructions to the inner circle / lay ministry team. The lay ministers pass the pastoral instructions to small groups and other point men within the church and the process goes on until it reaches down to the members, congregation and crowd. I have heard many pastors who model the CGM philosophy state that they are accountable to God alone. This is not the biblical model of leadership.

Jesus gave the model of leadership for His disciples in Matthew 20:25-28:

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

The leadership model handed down to the disciples is a two part message – you will not lord over one another and to lead you must serve. In Revelation 2:6 and 2:15, Jesus said that He hated the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The word Nicolaitans means to rule over the laity. They had several erroneous doctrines but the root cause was a ruler over the church handing down his will to the people. Without accountability and checks and balances, the ruling pastor cannot be questioned. Those who question will be condemned and often pressured into silence or departure from the group. Those who do not question will unwittingly receive any errors in doctrine the Nicolaitan pastor passes down.

God condemns this because this is not His design for the church and this opens the door to error. God’s plan for the church is to decentralize authority. A pastor is indeed a valuable role in God’s plan, but the pastor is not the ultimate authority in the church. Even the apostles showed the example Jesus gave in Matthew 20. They never ruled over the church nor did they expect to go unquestioned. Elders appointed in the local body were given the same authority as the pastor and many of the same authorities of the apostles. The apostles were first in the church, but they were not rulers over the church.

In Acts 15:2-6, when a question about doctrine arose in the church, the apostles gathered with the elders to discuss and reason out the dispute according to scriptures. The apostles did not dictate the doctrine but worked with the elders to resolve the matter. The same principle is repeated in Acts 16:4. Throughout the New Testament church in Acts, elders, bishops and apostles shared authority and leadership in the church. If godly men are appointed as elders according to God’s plan, leadership will have godly accountability and the church will not be dependent on one man to set the direction of the church. If one is at the helm and he drifts off course, the whole congregation is lead off course. If God’s plan is followed, the entire leadership will confront anyone who begins to go in the wrong direction.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is vital that the church follow the scripture as their eternal compass. Is it so far-fetched to allow scripture to be the vision of the church? God has laid out His plan for the church and if we deviate from it, we are questioning the wisdom of God. Very little supporting scripture is presented in the CGM model and when it is presented, it is a phrase or a verse taken out of context. Frequently the CGM books choose translations that word a passage in a way that they can use. CGM leaders love non-literal and paraphrased Bibles such as The Message.

Following is a chart that summarizes some of the differences between the Church Growth

Movement / Scripture Chart

 
Church Growth Movement doctrine Scriptural doctrine
God is in the big things God is in the still small voice
Seeks to answer ‘what’s in it for me’? To follow Christ, deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him
Avoids doctrines that offend Rebuke, exhort, instruct according to scripture.
Avoid being associated with absolutes that the world sees as foolish God saves through the foolishness of the message preached
Open the door to the masses Few will enter the narrow gate
Fashion the church so the world can accept the message Woe when the world speaks well of you
Leadership is based on business CEO model You will not be as the gentiles in leadership
Create change by stirring up dissatisfaction and create irritation The Lord hates those who sow discord among the brethren
Visualize and create reality Trust in God
Seek to build a large church Seek God’s kingdom and righteousness
Lift your banner high Humble yourself before God and He will lift you up.
Begin by launching You begin by dying to self
God is seen in the community by making a big scene or a great noise God is found in the still small voice
The end justifies the means To obey is better than sacrifice
Success is measured by numbers, buildings and programs Faithfulness belongs to man but the outcome is determined by God

 

The entire CGM philosophy is addressed and refuted in a single passage of scripture. Please take the time and read this entire passage with great care. Look at 1 Corinthians 1:18-29:  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.  For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

The CGM is diametrically opposed to this passage and human effort provides success and glory for its leaders. God only acknowledges what He accomplishes through us so that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Proverbs 14: 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

A sermon by http://www.exchangedlife.com

Posted in The Emergent Movement, The Great Falling Away Today | Leave a comment

A Billion is Big – But How Big?

Message - Holocaust perspective billions 02

A billion seconds ago it was 1957.

A billion minutes ago it was the time of Jesus.

A billion hours ago it was the time of the Stone Age.

A billion days ago nothing walked on the earth on two feet.

 

Posted in Miscellanea Etc | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Attack of Jezebel on the Church

The spirit of Jezebel is a name given to the demonic personality or personalities whose role is to neutralize ‘life giving churches’. These churches are not satisfied to go on doing their own religious thing for their own benefit. They are churches committed to serving the cause of Christ locally and more widely in any way the Lord leads them.

A ‘life giving’ church takes seriously Jesus’ command to, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. They are churches with an outward focus and for this reason they represent a thorn in the enemy’s side. He has effective strategies to bring about their downfall.

Is the church you lead or attend characterized by all or some of the following?

  • A passion to press into God and know Him more
  • A heart for worship
  • A love for the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Open to the flow and ministry of the Holy Spirit
  • Led by godly, spirit filled leadership
  • A heart for the Kingdom of God not merely focused on local issues
  • Passionate for world missionary enterprise
  • Moving in intercessory ministry
  • Open to and exploring prophetic ministry
  • Seeking to speak into your community in ways that will make an impact

Then beware!  That church is a target for the attack of the spirit of Jezebel.

Biblical Foundations

In the last chapters of 1 Kings we read of the encounters between Elijah, the Prophet of God, and Queen Jezebel, wife of King Ahab. Ahab had married the Sidonian princess and priestess, Jezebel who brought the worship of Baal Malquat, the fertility deity of the Sidonians, to her new homeland.

A group of several hundred “prophets of Baal” accompanied her. The wickedness and evil associated with the worship of this powerful demonic deity soon swept the land. Under the influence of Jezebel, “Ahab … did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel , to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.” (1 Kings 16:33 NIV)

As always at such times, God had preserved a remnant who refused to follow the ways of wickedness and idolatry. Elijah, the Prophet of Fire, was sent by God to call the nation to repentance and back to worship of the true and living God; Yahweh, the God of Israel. The stage was set for a series of dramatic battles between Elijah, servant of God and Jezebel, servant of Satan.

Ultimately, the battle was for the hearts and minds of the people of Israel. Various skirmishes were played out at such places as Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:16 -40) where Elijah dramatically demonstrated the power of God by calling fire from heaven. But always the motivating principle was God’s passionate love for His people and His desire for them to live in righteousness and enjoy the benefits of His favour.

In Revelation 2:18-28 we read Jesus’ letter to the church in Thyatira. This church was clearly a ‘life-giving church’. The Lord Jesus commends them with these words; “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” ( Rev 2:19 ). But there was a problem. The enemy had planted in this church a subversive agent who was causing significant disruption to the life of the body.

The following verses give some very clear pointers to the character and operation of one manifesting this very destructive spirit.

  • “…calls herself a prophetess.”  Note the personal claim to a position of status, influence and authority. There is an arrogance and pride which demands recognition not the quiet humble spirit which waits for godliness and gifting to be recognized and affirmed by the body.
  • “By her teaching she misleads my servants…”  Note the impact of ‘Jezebel’s’ teaching.  Does it glorify Christ by promoting righteousness, holiness and unity? No! Rather it lays the foundations for immorality, idolatry, relationship break down and party spirit. This person’s operation was clearly very subtle for many of the Lord’s people were deceived.
  • “…into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.” There was a patently fleshly element to this influence in the life of the church. These words speak of spiritual and moral compromise. Jesus requires the highest standards of spiritual and moral integrity among His people. The enemy seeks to undermine these in any way possible.
  • “I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.”  Do you see the pride and arrogance demonstrated here? Those deceived by this spiritual entity are blind to their own error and deception. Therefore they see no need to express repentance or apology?

The Spirit of Jezebel Today

Some who study the life of the Church today have become aware that the same destructive spirit which challenged the spirit of prophecy in the time of Elijah and in the church at Thyatira, is very much at work today. The human personalities have changed, but the demonic entities that inspired Jezebel of old, are still the same.

There are a series of very discernable characteristics which define an attack of the spirit of Jezebel upon a community of God’s people. While the attack will generally be personified in one or two people, they may be the unwitting agents in a far more wide ranging strategy to neutralize a ‘life giving’ church. Here are some of the characteristics of Jezebelic agents one might expect to observe and identify through such an attack.

1.       Disguise

The enemy often chooses people who have a thorough knowledge of spiritual issues but wrong motivations to become his instruments in destruction. To many they appear to be very genuine, spiritual people. They use the ‘right’ words and attend the right meetings. However the outward displays of sincerity and commitment may be a cover for wrong motivations or some other sin issue that has allowed the enemy access. The disguise is so good that even the most discerning leaders can miss it completely.

2.       Deception

Relationships are the key to the operation of this spiritual subterfuge. The agent seeks to develop webs of relationships which position them in a place to influence others and ultimately to exercise considerable power over the life of the church. There is often an element of deception and manipulation in these relationships.

The pastor is often the point of first approach. To many overstretched pastors, the arrival of a seemingly spiritual and willing worker or couple seems to be an answer to prayer. The telltale signal is the way in which these individuals seek to position themselves close to the pastor and spouse. A variety of strategies are applied. Personal friendship, financial assistance, support and encouragement, access to confidential information are just some of the baits in the enemy’s tackle bag.

In order to secure the confidence of the pastor in his agent, the enemy may even use this plant to reveal seemingly important aspects of his strategy.

And should the pastor’s discernment warn him of the danger to the extent that he puts barriers in the way, the deception simply changes focus to other people of influence. An elder or spouse, leader of a significant ministry, a home group or indeed any network of relationships that delivers the much sought after influence and ultimately power.

The pastor who seeks to warn his leadership team of the danger is often chided for having an overactive imagination. In the meantime the agent is working behind the scenes to establish a power base from which to operate. It all appears so genuine that most are deceived until it is too late.

3.      Division

It should not surprise us that the church’s unity is the enemy’s favourite place of attack. Clearly Jesus placed great importance on our unity. Unity among His followers is a principle theme in the great High Priestly Prayer of John 17: 20-26. Likewise, the enemy knows that if he can destroy the unity of a church family, bring them to conflict, distrust and suspicion, he has taken a major step to neutralizing them as effective instruments in the Lord’s hands.

People operating under the influence of the spirit of Jezebel will cause division. A favourite target is the unity between the pastor and his wife. Comments like, “I can see your wife does not really understand you,” or “I understand the things that are on your heart and I am not sure your wife does,” are quite common especially when the agent is of the opposite sex.

If that line of attack is unsuccessful the next may well be to generate division in the senior leadership of the church. The eldership or spiritual oversight, worship department or prayer ministry are favourite places for attack. The goal is to drive divisive wedges into crucial relationships. From the enemy’s perspective, the wider the division and accompanying distrust, the more effective the strategy.

4.      Manipulation

The spirit of Jezebel is incredibly manipulative. The agent seems to know instinctively, who are the vulnerable people in the life of a church. Relationships with these people are nurtured. The agent uses information, shared confidences, obligation; indeed any strategy to endear themselves to those whom they feel may be useful in their purposes. Truth is often a victim. One favourite strategy is allowing people to believe things the agent knows to be untrue. One leader calls these people ‘traders’. They will trade anything necessary to gain a position of influence from which they can manipulate. Sadly, few people recognize what is happening. They become victims of a very skilful manipulator.

5.      Arrogance

True spirituality is characterized by humility, gentleness and spiritual authority that come from a close walk with God. The godly person recognizes their humanity and sinfulness. Confession, repentance and apology are characteristic of the godly person. Those through whom the Jezebel spirit operates are very different. Whilst they may appear to be self effacing at times, one rarely hears them acknowledge that they could be wrong.

There is a subtle arrogance and pride which sees their point of view as the only one possible. They will accept the apologies of others with apparent humility but rarely will one hear such apology from them. They may use tears or other emotional outbursts. But one will wait in vain for the agent to acknowledge that they could possibly be at fault.

6.      Destruction

The operation of the Jezebel spirit is incredibly destructive. It is destructive in the life of the agent. It is destructive in the lives of those who come under their deception. People once characterized by godliness begin to behave in ways that are totally out of character. Foul language, anger, rage, bitterness, ungodly actions and more are the impact of this deception in the lives of others. Once supportive elders and co-leaders turn on those with whom they have formerly prayed and journeyed.  Once trusted relationships are shattered, often never to be healed.

People turn on those who have been their spiritual mentors and pastors to the extent that they become cold and uncommunicative. Vicious, slanderous attacks on pastors and elders are quite common. Whole church families can change from a happy, united fellowship to a divided entity in a matter of weeks. All of this has tragic consequences for everyone caught up in the cycle.

Dealing with the Attack of Jezebel

It must be acknowledged from the outset that this demonic attack is incredibly difficult to deal with because of the manner in which it undermines leadership and builds networks of personally supportive relationships.

For congregationally governed churches, it is almost impossible to confront this form of attack without substantial division or even a church ‘split’. In apostolically or eldership governed churches, the task is a little easier because the leadership have authority to confront and, if necessary expel, without reference to the body at large. However a degree of loss is highly probably because of the personal loyalties developed by the Jezebelic agent.

With all of this in mind, what can leaders do to both guard against such attack and to deal with it should it become necessary?

1.       Awareness

At least part of the problem with the destruction caused by people under the influence of the spirit of Jezebel is that they become deeply entrenched before the leadership is even aware of their operation. Most church leadership teams are totally unprepared for and unaware of this form of demonic attack. They are reluctant to ‘name it’ even if there is a suspicion. After all, the people concerned often appear to be so ‘spiritual’. By the time the attack is identified, huge and often irreparable damage has already been done.

It is critically important for pastors and leaders of ‘life-giving’ churches to become aware of this satanic strategy, to be alert to such forms of attack and to confront them early if such attack begins to manifest. Awareness and watchfulness are two key words.

2.       Intercessory Covering

When a pastor or leaders become aware of possible attack, the mobilization of increased intercessory covering is essential. If the church’s own intercessory team has been compromised, it may be necessary to draw on intercessors from external networks, being careful not to give them too much information. Integrity on the part of the leadership team is a critical factor. Godly leaders must not stoop to the same tactics as the Jezebelic agents employ.

3.       Outside Consultants

Tragically, by the time leaders become aware of the attack, their own standing in the body may well have been compromised. This is part of the enemy strategy. As a result they may well lack the confidence of the body to act in ways that will deal with the problem. This is especially acute in congregationally governed churches where the spiritual oversight depends on the confidence of the people if they are to exercise their leadership effectively. In such cases a vote of the membership is required to finally resolve the issues. Securing such a decision may be almost impossible without significant fall out or even division.

One way through this impasse may be to bring in an outside consultant who appears to be neutral. This may well be a very risky strategy but it may be the only one available. The difficulty is finding people with the necessary skills and spiritual insights to deal with this kind of spiritual attack. Mediation is not an option. The enemy and his agents never keep their agreements. They don’t fight fair. The use of a consultant can sometimes help.

Regardless of the above, there is no future in living with such an agent of the enemy in the Body. Unless there is clear acknowledgement of the problem accompanied by public confession, repentance, reconciliation and restoration, the agent must be expelled. Experience shows that such restoration rarely happens.

4.       Confrontation

The struggle for most pastors is their own nature – they are pastoral. By nature and calling they believe in restoration. They see any individual as one for whom Christ died and therefore valuable to the Master. The hope of restoration is a major chain within the pastoral DNA. It is this fundamental hope which leaves many churches open to be ravaged by the Jezebel spirit.

One of the only courses of action available to pastors and spiritual oversight is to confront the agent of attack at the earliest possible moment. Once leaders have discerned the nature of the attack, they must prayerfully confront the agent, reveal their actions and call them to repentance and restoration. If this approach fails to bring the desired results, leaders are left with no alternative but to expel the agent from the fellowship. They then face the challenge to pastor the Body through the inevitable fallout. The longer leaders put off the confrontation the greater will be the fallout.

These are serious issues. The implications are significant no matter which way a leader moves. The potential for serious spiritual damage to people is a major cause of concern. The life and health of the Body is at risk. But we are dealing with a vicious enemy of whom Peter wrote, “Be clear minded and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ISV).

As shepherds of the sheep we are called to confront and deal with any attack which threatens their welfare. Such is the challenge of leadership.

by Dr Gavin D Williams

Prayer of Renunciation Against Jezebel and Ahab Spirits

Posted in Jezebel and Ahab Spirit, The Great Falling Away Today, What are Spirits of Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Discerning False Teachers by Milton Green

Milton Green was a humble carpet cleaner who, after a terrible childhood with an abusive and violent father and a lifetime of drink and drugs, found himself to be a social outcast and unable to hold a conversation.

At the age of 43 Milton had a major heart attack. Open heart surgery was attempted but Milton was told that his veins were “like wood” and “like the veins of a 90 year old man”. Doctors told Milton they were unable to do anything for him. Basically Milton was sent home to die.

At that time Milton had not been married long, as he had married late, and his wife Joyce was a Christian. Milton felt suicidal, he felt his life was all but over and yet for many months was terrified to go to sleep in case he died and woke up in Hell.  Milton prayed to be spared. He repented of his wayward life and in the months that followed, Milton repeatedly petitioned God to save Him, and not to let him die.

Milton once told a journalist about his childhood and the journalist found it so difficult to believe he decided to visit the place Milton came from. He found to his amazement that what he had been told was true.

Milton’s hour long video testimony is on Youtube, linked to from the foot of this page.

Milton passed over more than 20 years ago but in his lifetime he was somewhat targeted, ostracized, and even hated by certain others, as a result of some of the things he said and the way he said them.  Milton did not seek the approval of men, which is something people have a tendency to do, though the Bible tells us we must not look for the approval of men, only for the approval of God.

Milton speaks the truth in a straight-talking way and doesn’t mince words.  Unlike so many he does have a great sense of true humour and sense of timing, such as when he says: “What’s the Greek for falling away?” and the audience shout in unison: “Falling away!”  Then he asks: “Are all Greeks saved?”  He calls the body the “carton.”  He will say something like: “Overcoming doesn’t mean going to church in the rain.”  Or: “You got your scissors with you?  Then when you see something you don’t like you can just cut it out.”

Milton is an ordinary yet extraordinary human being. He could not perhaps be called an educated or cultured man, but then several of the Apostles were fishermen while the ‘learned’ men of the time plotted to murder Jesus.

After his heart attack, Milton went on to live another 15 years during which time he spoke at many seminars around the country, some lasting several days. He recorded hundreds of audios and videos, many of which are available on Youtube or on one click downloads at the foot of this blog. After his passing, Milton’s wife Joyce Green also recorded a small series of audios and videos which are also available on Youtube or from the foot of this page.

Milton only wrote one book, shortly before he passed over, called “The Great Falling Away Today,” but it is an excellent book. It is available free from a link at the foot of this page, or here:

The Great Falling Away Today

In his no-nonsense sermons, Milton clearly explains simply how we can easily discern the true gospel from the ‘doctrine of demons’ and separate ourselves from sin, evil and our satanic nature so we can begin to truly walk with God.

David Wilkerson said of Milton Green:

“I was first introduced to the ministry of Milton Green by our friend, Evangelist James Robison. He said, “You need to hear this man; his message is awesome. It has changed my life”. At the time, I was in no mood to hear him or listen to any of his tapes. I had heard rumors that he was teaching ‘strange delusions’, that all he talked about was demons and that “Spirit-filled believers could be possessed by them.” Others told me he misused the Word of God by spiritualizing everything.

“Recently I took the time to listen to his message. After the first message, I knew I was hearing a true word of repentance, holiness, and heart purity. After three messages, I was on my face before God, having been shattered by the hammer of God’s Word. No other message of repentance had so touched me. I am convinced God has called Milton Green to be one of those chosen vessels to bring the church back to repentance and purity. God has given him a strong message searing, searching, yet healing and uplifting.”

Posted in Another Gospel Another Jesus, Milton Green Truth Teller, The Great Falling Away Today | 9 Comments

The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation

This article explores the idea of apostles in the church throughout church history. It will show that the restoration/Latter Rain idea that fuels the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is unbiblical and dangerous to the well-being of Christians who become part of it.

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” (Ephesians 2:19, 20).

First we will review how the early church understood apostles in church history. Then we will examine the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching about apostolic authority. From there we will examine the ideas of a 17th-century mystic given new life in the Latter Rain movement, and now the NAR.

At a 1996 Fuller Seminary conference hosted by C. Peter Wagner, a movement that Wagner previously labeled “post-denominational” became the New Apostolic Reformation. Besides Wagner himself is another person prominent in the movement—Bill Hamon—who is strongly endorsed by Wagner. Hamon is important, as we will see, because his ministry goes all the way back to the early 1950’s and began on the heels of the Latter Rain Movement.

How the Early Church Understood Apostles

In 97 AD, Clement of Rome wrote an epistle to the church at Corinth. The epistle provides solid evidence that the early church did not believe that the apostles had successors or that new apostles were needed in order to provide direction to the church. At issue was the fact that certain individuals in Corinth challenged the duly constituted elders’ authority; Clement wrote to correct them. Clement’s testimony is remarkable because he likely was the Clement mentioned in Philippians 4:3, whom Paul called a “fellow worker.” Clement mentions the apostles in this passage:

The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe.

Although the Roman Catholic Church claims that Clement himself was an apostle of Christ in succession from Peter, Clement claimed no such title and neither did he acknowledge any apostles but the true apostles—the ones Christ appointed personally. What we will see from Clement is that the apostles appointed overseers and elders (the same group), and these were the authorities in the local church. The apostle Paul had given instructions on the qualifications and roles of elders (Acts 20:28 – 31; Titus 1:5-9; 1Timothy 3:1-7) and provided for their continuation (2Timothy 2:2). Clement goes on to discuss this:

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest anyone deprive them of the place now appointed them.

Clement did not claim the apostolic authority to intervene, but rather pointed to elders who were appointed according to the standards of the Biblical apostles. It is noteworthy that he used the terms “episcopate” and “presbyters” interchangeably for the same people. Soon the church would develop “bishops” over cities (the “monepiscopate” or single bishop over a city), which was an innovation not endorsed by the Biblical apostles. However, Clement, who had been an associate of Paul, used episkopos (overseers or bishops – KJV) and presbuteros (elders) to describe the same group of people. This is precisely what Paul did in Acts 20:17, 28 when he called the elders together and described them as “overseers.”

By 97 AD, the authorities in the church were not apostles and prophets, but elders who had been appointed according to the standards lain down by the apostles. Those who claim that God always intended there to be authoritative apostles in the church who give binding revelation ignore the fact that the apostles themselves never anticipated that they would have successors and gave no instructions for the qualifications of any such successors. But they did provide qualifications for elders, and these would apply to future generations. Sadly, the fact that there are no qualifications for apostles (other than that they must have seen the risen Lord and have been appointed directly by Him – which qualifications the NAR apostles ignore or reject) has opened to the door the proliferation of apostles around the world, many of whom claim apostolic status even though they do not even have the necessary qualifications to be elders in a local church.

The Roman Catholic Church’s Apostles

As church history progressed, the understanding of church authority as seen in the days of Clement of Rome disappeared very quickly in favor of the monepiscopate and progressed from that unbiblical innovation to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. This idea eventually led to the Papacy. Later in church history, and in amazing irony, the Roman Catholic Church claimed that Clement was a successor of Peter and had apostolic status. This travesty dishonors the very teachings of Clement himself who taught no such thing.

Roman Catholic innovation removed the status of the Biblical apostles as the foundation of the church and replaced it with a succession of apostles who claimed the liberty to give new, binding revelation to the church. Here is how the Roman Catholic Church explains its own position:

We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable. (Catholic Encyclopedia)

It is ironic that C. Peter Wagner claims we need restored apostles when there have been claimants to the office of apostle going back over 1,000 years. Wagner acknowledges this:

[I]n certain segments of the Church the office of apostle has, indeed, been recognized throughout the past two millennia. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican or Episcopal Church and many denominations that have actually incorporated “apostolic” into their name would come to mind as examples. However, just as was true of prophetic movements, the emphases of these apostolic movements had not penetrated the mainstream of what I am calling life-giving evangelical churches that are now the cutting edge of the spread of Christianity. This only began to happen in the 1990’s.

So, with regard to having apostles Wagner sees the Roman Catholic Church not as guilty of unbiblical innovation as Luther and the other Reformers claimed, but as a positive role model for evangelicals. His new “reformation” claims to have many thousands of apostles and prophets. At least Rome put some reigns on apostles in that they only have one at a time and he speaks “ex cathedra” only occasionally. The new apostles are continually speaking new revelations from God.

The Reformation Teaches “Scripture Alone”

The Reformation rightly rejected the authority of the Pope and church tradition and returned to “scripture alone.” This was a return to the true foundation of the church, the Biblical apostles and prophets who speak to us through the Scripture. This means that the decrees of men in church history are not binding on any believer unless those decrees are valid implications and applications of Scripture. This brings up an important point mentioned in the previous issue of CIC: God only binds us to what is inerrant and infallible. Words from men that contain mixture and error and lack the qualities of inspired Scripture cannot be binding on the lives of believers. This truth was at the crux of the Reformation. The words of the Popes do not have this quality nor do those of latter day apostles and prophets.

17th Century Mystic Jane Leade Prophesies of a Coming Elite Church

One of the problems that attended the Reformation was the presence of “enthusiasts” who claimed direct revelation from God. The Reformers universally condemned such persons and movements, but that did not deter them from gaining followers. One who arose a century after the Reformation and who continues to have followers was an English mystic named Jane Leade. Her writings are posted on the Internet by persons who have affiliations with latter day apostles and prophets. She held to a theory of church history that claimed that the seven churches in Revelation stood for seven successive stages of church history. There are some today who still teach this theory. The problem with it is that there is nothing in Revelation itself that indicates John expected his readers to understand it that way. This is a classic case of the reader determining the meaning of the Bible rather than the Spirit-inspired author.

Leade was particularly interested in the church at Philadelphia because Christ found no fault in it. She was involved in a movement called “The Philadelphian Society,” named after that church. In 1679, the Philadelphian Society and the Theosophists published a document containing a 60-point prophecy by Jane Leade (the document has her name as Lead). The document proposes ideas that resurfaced in 1948 in the Latter Rain movement, and, as we shall see, are still being promoted by a key Apostle-prophet of the New Apostolic Reformation.

The first several points of the prophecy are about sealed mysteries that would be revealed only to “worthy searchers.” She claimed that there was an Ark of the Testimony in heaven containing new revelations to be opened during the church age. She wrote under point 8, “The presence of this divine ark, will constitute the Philadelphian Church, and wherever that is, there must the ark of necessity be.” Thus the group was called the “Philadelphian Society” which published “Theosophical Transactions.” She goes on to prophesy of an elite church that would be beyond anything previously known. In fact this church would be a “virgin” that would give birth to the “son” mentioned in Revelation 12:5:

Of the stem of DAVID, a virgin church, which hath known nothing of man or of human constitution, is yet to be born. And if it be yet to be born, then it will require some considerable time before it gets out of its minority, and arrives to the full and mature age. The birth of this virgin church was visionally typified to St. JOHN by the great wonder in Heaven bringing forth her first born, that was caught up to the throne of GOD FOR — As a virgin woman brought forth CHRIST after the flesh, so likewise a virgin woman is designed by God, to bring forth the FIRST BORN after the Spirit, who shall be filled with the Holy Ghost and with power. The VIRGIN that is hereto designed, must be as of a pure spirit, so also of a CLARIFIED body, and all over impregnated with the Holy Ghost. This church so brought forth and signed with the mark of the divine name, shall be adorned with MIRACULOUS GIFTS AND POWERS beyond whatever yet hath been. . . . . This Catholic and anointed church must be perfectly holy, as CHRIST himself is holy; so that it may worthily bear the name of the Lord our Holiness, and the Lord our Righteousness. Until there be such a church made ready upon the earth, so holy, so catholic, and so anointed, that is without all spot or wrinkle, and that is adorned as a bride to meet her bridegroom, CHRIST will not personally descend to solemnize this marriage, and present the same to his Father.

This prophecy of a perfected church (later called the “many-membered man-child”) that will be the incarnation of Christ on the earth while Christ remains in heaven sets the stage for the Latter Rain movement in the 20th Century that would make the same claims. Whether that movement got its ideas from Leade or came up with the same heresy independently I cannot say at this time. But the ideas are identical. The church must be perfected on earth before Christ can return, and this shall be accompanied with miracles and power greater that at any time in church history—including Pentecost.

The Latter Rain Movement: Five-Fold Ministry Elitism

At the very beginning of the 20th century a man named David Wesley Myland used the term “Latter Rain” to describe the Pentecostal revival that was going on. He allegorized Joel 2:23 that spoke of God blessing the agricultural harvest in Israel to create a theory of church history. In Israel’s agricultural cycles, there were the spring rains (early rain) and the fall rains (the latter rain). Myland used this terminology and applied it to the Pentecost of Acts (early rain) and the one he claimed was again happening at Azusa Street and elsewhere (the latter rain). The key idea of these early Pentecostals was that the gift of tongues was being restored to the church and was going to issue forth into great power to evangelize the world. But the Pentecostal movement was fraught with aberrations that soon arose—such as the Oneness doctrine that denied the Trinity. The thinking of early “Latter Rain” Pentecostals was that God was restoring the apostolic power of the early church.

Those who wanted to maintain traditional evangelical theology yet include the idea of the gift of tongues as the sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit joined together into groups such as the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies rejected the latter rain ideas and held to traditional premillennial eschatology that many evangelicals believed.

In the 1930s, a man by the name of William Branham began to preach and exhibit supernatural manifestations. George Hawtin and P. G. Hunt heard Branham speak in Vancouver and brought his ideas to North Battleford, Saskatchewan where the “Latter Rain” revival that became the New Order of the Later Rain (NOLR) actually began. A key book that was circulated at that time was Atomic Power with God Through Prayer and Fasting by Franklin Hall. A key idea that still persists is that God is continually desiring to do great and powerful miracles through the church but is unable to do so because the church has not become holy enough, desired it badly enough, has failed in numerous other ways, or lacks the faith that is necessary to precipitate these miracles. The Latter Rain has always been predicated on elitist ideas such as those of Jane Leade previously cited. They consider ordinary churches to be miserable failures that God cannot use.

In 1951, George Warnock wrote a book that became one of the most important statements of the ideas of the NOLR, The Feast of Tabernacles. The book is based on an allegorical interpretation of the feasts of Israel that has the Feast of Tabernacles standing for a glorious end-times church that would arise before Christ can return. The entire book can be read online, as it is posted by current advocates of Latter Rain theology. Warnock states a key premise that underlies the theology of the Latter Rain as well as that of the New Apostolic Reformation: “How thankful we are, therefore, that God is revealing the pattern of perfection. The Ascension gifts, the ministries in the Body of Christ—these are the means of perfecting the saints,—and as we have read, they are to remain in the Church till we all come unto unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man!” The “Ascension gifts” is a reference to the so-called “five-fold ministry” of Ephesians 4:11. The idea is that the church will be perfected by the renewal of the ministries of apostles and prophets before Christ returns.

Warnock, like Myland, allegorized the rains in Israel to make them create a scheme of church history:

Joel’s prophecy, therefore, speaks of Pentecost–but it goes on to embrace the fullness of Pentecost, even the Feast of Tabernacles. God did give the former rain moderately–in the Pentecostal Age extending from the early Church until now. But here is something very unusual. Right here in the “first month” of the Agricultural Year . . . God has promised to do something most unusual; for He would give, not only the former rain which belongs to that month, but He would give the former rain and the latter rain combined!”

This he interpreted to mean that the Latter Rain would be characterized by far greater power and glory than what was seen in the Book of Acts. Warnock thereby set the stage for the grandiose claims that are made by the apostles and prophets of our day. It is not inaccurate to say that there is no claim so grandiose that the latter day apostles will not make it. We shall demonstrate that when we examine the writings of one of their top leaders.

Warnock also claimed, like Jane Leade, that Jesus would remain in heaven until after the church achieved elite status never before seen in church history, including that of the Biblical days:

O the immensity of these words! And what is more, Christ is going to remain right where He is at God’s right hand until there shall arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer over all God’s enemies. . . . And yet the majority of Christians are looking for a rapture any moment, when Christ is supposed to catch away a miserable, defeated, disease-ridden Church.

Notice that ordinary Christians, in this elitist thinking, are “miserable, defeated, and disease ridden.” Supposedly we are not worthy of Christ returning for and catching us up to meet Him in the air. Echoes of Leade’s Philadelphian Society are evident here. Rather than looking for Christ’s return as the “blessed hope” of the church, elitists from Leade to Warnock, and as we shall see to the New Apostolic Reformation, are looking for the church to become the new “incarnation” of Christ, with Christ still “held in the heavens.” The hope of the church has thereby ironically become the church itself.

One of the most heretical teachings associated with the NOLR was called “the manifested sons of God” that claimed that certain elite Christians would obtain the promise of immortality (as promised in Romans 8:19) now rather than at the parousia. Warnock taught that all enemies, in which he included death, the “last enemy,” had to be conquered by the church before Christ could return: “God says Christ is going to stay right where He is until all His enemies are under His feet. And His enemies include the “last enemy,” which is Death. There must arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer and become absolutely victorious over all the opposing forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil–before this dispensation draws to a close.” The “overcomers” is another term used by the Latter Rain to describe elitist Christians who are to be distinguished from the rest of us. This is in spite of the fact that the following verse applies to all Christians: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith” (1John 5:4).

One of the ironies of the Latter Rain and New Apostolic Reformation movements (the latter is merely the current version of the former as I will demonstrate) is that they hold to a “restoration” scenario in which God is supposedly progressively restoring truths lost during church history and now are being restored starting with the Reformation. But ironically, NOLR and NAR teachers constantly contradict and reject important Reformation doctrines. They want to claim the Reformation as theirs and reject it at the same time. For example, the Reformation taught the priesthood of every believer, but George Warnock of the NOLR taught an elitist “Melchizedek” priesthood that only applies to some:

The Melchizedek priesthood is a priesthood of life, and of fadeless glory. It is a priesthood of eternal fellowship and communion with Christ, and not like the Aaronic priesthood which experienced the presence of God only on a certain occasion, once in the year. . . . In the fullness of this new priesthood we shall be completely glorified, like unto Christ. But even as Christ began His priesthood on earth by interceding for His brethren–so let us begin even now to possess this glorious heritage in the Spirit, the Kingdom of God within.

This only applies, according to Warnock, to the last day saints who have attained to this status and shall operate during the great tribulation and thus shorten it. Saints of previous generations have not had this status.

William Branham, mentioned earlier, became a key figure of the Latter Rain movement and is still revered by many. It was said that he accurately, in thousands of instances, gave detailed information about people of which he had no natural means of knowing. Interpreting this ability as “words of knowledge” (1Corin. 12), his followers were convinced that it was a sign that he was a great prophet of God. Branham claimed to have a personal angel who taught him and gave him revelations. He claimed that this angel told him that he was the Elijah who would come before the return of Christ. He also claimed to be the messenger of the Laodicean church. He is buried under a pyramid that makes that claim. Branham rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Branham demonstrated one thing conclusively: that restoration movements like the Latter Rain so lust for prophets who can do signs and wonders that they will accept nearly any heresy or outrageous claim as long as it is accompanied by signs and miracles.

From the Latter Rain to NAR

Ern Baxter was a personal assistant to William Branham for several years. When the Charismatic Renewal came on the scene not long after the death of Branham, Baxter became a key leader in that movement. He eventually joined with Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, and Don Basham to become the “Fort Lauderdale Five” who published New Wine magazine. They became famous for the controversial Shepherding movement. Taking the ideas that God was currently speaking to people through extra biblical revelations, and that certain persons were more advanced than others at “hearing from God,” they began an hierarchical movement in which shepherds would “hear from God” directions for those under them and on down the pyramid.

I was involved in that movement myself in the late 1970s. The key idea was that authority came from “hearing from God.” By definition, the leader of the group I was involved with (a man by the name of Jack Winter) “heard from God.” He came armed with a cache of miracle guidance stories that he repeated to convince people that when it came to hearing from God, he was unsurpassed. Under him were shepherds who heard from God for those under them. Everything we did was under the scrutiny of over shepherds. This included every decision from whom to marry even to mundane decisions like taking trips. Although our heroes on the national level were Baxter, Mumford, and company, we needed to go no higher than Jack Winter for our final divine approval. If there were any serious complaints about this arrangement, Winter would come into town and preach a sermon on “Korah’s Rebellion” with the application that Winter was “Moses” and anyone who disagreed with him was Korah. I personally heard that sermon more than once.

The shepherding movement in general, and our local version in particular, came apart at the seams by the early 1980s. The shepherding movement, like the Latter Rain movement before it, had been discredited. But those who believed the basic paradigm of a restored, apostolic church with more power than the church in Acts never gave up their beliefs. In their minds, it was only a matter of time before the elite end-time church would arise and defeat all of God’s enemies. They dismissed the failures of previous movements on the grounds that certain leaders got off base; but they themselves had kept the dream alive.

Latter Rain Beliefs Enter the NAR

Bill Hamon was born in 1934, and according to his book, Apostles, Prophets, and the Coming Moves of God, he entered the ministry as a teenager: “At the age of eighteen, I was birthed in the restoration teaching that there are still present-day apostles and prophets in the Church. I was ordained and started pastoring when I was 19.” That means that he was in the restoration movement and began his ministry right after Warnock published The Feast of Tabernacles. His claims, as we will show, are almost identical to Warnock’s. He too allegorized Haggai 2:9 to prove that the church at the end of the age will be more glorious than that of Acts.

Hamon became involved with C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation at its very inception:

The National Symposium on the Post-Denominational Church convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Seminary, May 21-23, 1996, was a historical occasion in God’s annals of Church history. It was prophetically orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s progressive purpose of bringing His Church to its ultimate destiny. . . . The consensus of the panelists was that there are still apostles and prophets in the Church, and that there is an emerging Apostolic Movement that will revolutionize the 21st-century Church. The last-generation Church will have an Apostolic Reformation that will be as great as the first-generation Apostolic Movement.

With Wagner’s endorsement, Hamon brought the teachings of the Latter Rain movement into the NAR. Wagner “highly recommends” Hamon’s book on Apostles and Prophets and wrote the foreword to it. But Hamon’s book reiterates nearly every claim of the discredited Latter Rain movement. For example, one of the more extreme teachings of the NOLR was the “manifested sons” teaching; but Hamon teaches the same thing citing a version of the Bible that translates it “revealing of the sons”:

The whole creation is waiting for the last generation Church. The earth and all of creation are waiting for the manifestation of God’s last-day apostles and prophets and fully restored Church. “ For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19). When the Church is fully restored, then the saints will receive their final redemption, the immortalization of the mortal bodies.

Hamon claims that this has to happen before the return of Christ so the church can fulfill her role. Here is further evidence that he claims that immortal bodies will be received before the parousia (second coming of Christ): “The resurrection-translation of the saints that brings about the redemption of their mortal bodies into immortal, indestructible bodies will take place so that God can fulfill His greater purpose for and through His Church.”

Latter Rain Heresy is Renamed and Reintroduced

The differences between the Latter Rain Movement and the New Apostolic Reformation mostly have to do with terminology, not doctrine. In the 1980s, a teaching circulated amongst those who attend conferences put on by those in the prophetic movement called “a new breed of man.” The basic idea is that ordinary Christians throughout church history had been colossal failures and that God was going to fall upon certain persons by His Holy Spirit and “impregnate” them so that they could “give birth” to something entirely new. The “new breed of man” would be exalted saints with holiness and power never known before. I remember debating people at the time who were following this teaching.

Earl Paulk was a noteworthy leader in the 1980s who was involved in these teachings. Though later discredited through a series of sex scandals that are even now back in the news, Paulk articulated the elitist ideas of the movement:

“Firstfruits” means many others like Him [Jesus] will follow. Jesus was the firstfruit of God’s incarnation, a man living out God’s perfect will. Now He says, “I want to inject life by putting the seed of the Holy Spirit in the Church. My people will bring forth life as they become the ‘incarnate Word’ on planet Earth.” I am sure this definition bothers some theologians, but the Church is “the ongoing expression” of God.

So the impregnated church will become “incarnate” like Christ. This idea is exactly the one taught by Jane Leade back in 1679 as cited earlier and then also articulated by Latter Rain teachers. Paulk reiterates the idea: “The great move of God to place the Holy Spirit within us makes us become the incarnation of God.”

Bill Hamon includes the “new breed” idea in his teachings: “The new breed of Joshua Generation apostles will move in the miraculous and definitely manifest the signs of the apostle.” The “Joshua Generation” is another allegory popular in this movement. The crossing of the Jordan into the promised land by Israel is allegorized to mean the triumph of the church over all enemies so as to take the land, “every place your sole treads” they claim. The “new breed” means that they are not of the same order of humans as other Christians who have ever existed. Hamon further states: “Let it suffice to say here that the new breed of apostles will be motivated by the Spirit of Wisdom.” The spirit of wisdom in Isaiah 11:2 is that which is distinctive of Christ. The NAR claims that Christ is coming IN the church not FOR the church. Hamon claims that he himself is one of God’s “new breed” of last-days apostles.

Earlier, William Branham had claimed to be the Elijah who would come (Matthew 17:11). But Branham died and all things were not restored. Now Hamon has modified this claim to cover what they call an “Elijah Company”: But there is still a future fulfillment when Elijah will come to prepare the way for Christ’s Second Coming. This time it would not be just one prophet but a great company of prophets that would not only prepare the way and make ready a people, but they would RESTORE ALL THINGS.” This “restoration” must happen, through the church, before Christ can return: “Jesus could not leave earth until He had fulfilled all Messianic prophecies and He cannot come back to earth until the Church fulfills all restoration scriptures.”

While rejecting the pre-tribulation rapture, teachers like Hamon do not believe their glorified, end-times church will be martyred by Antichrist but rather defeat the entire Babylonian system of the tribulation themselves! Here is his claim:

God’s holy Church apostles and prophets have a co-laboring ministry of bringing about the mighty fall of Babylon the Great. Their authority will be beyond anything we have seen in our day. . . Like Moses and Elijah, God’s apostles and prophets will prevail over all their enemies unto the end.

The Bible says that God will destroy Babylon; it does not say the church will (see Revelation 18).

The Joel’s Army Heresy Reintroduced

One of the discredited teachings of the NOLR was called “Joel’s Army.” The claim was that Joel 2:1-11 predicts that the end time church will be “Joel’s Army” that will execute God’s judgments on the earth. This is another false Latter Rain teaching that Bill Hamon still propagates. Here is his claim:

The saints are being trained now in the military bases of international training centers and their local church armories. The goal is to have them taught, equipped and field trained to be the officers that lead God’s army of prophetic evangelist saints during the coming Saints Movement. They will minister under the covering and leadership of fivefold apostolic and prophetic generals who trained them. These saints will function like God’s army prophetically described by Prophet Joel (Joel 2:1-11).

There is nothing in Joel 2:1-11 that predicts that this army is made up of elite, end times Christians. Hamon’s allegorical method allows him to read most anything into the Scripture. He further discusses the church as an end time army:

God’s great end-time army is being prepared to execute God’s written Judgments with Christ’s victory and divine judgment decrees that have already been established in heaven. The time is set when they will be administered and executed on earth through God’s saintly army. All that is destined and needed will be activated during God’s restorational Army of the Lord Movement.

All of this ignores the obvious fact that the judgments poured out during the Great Tribulation as described in Revelation are direct outpourings of God’s wrath on the earth, not through the actions of the church. The “movements” that Hamon describes are not found in the Bible; he is prophesying them by his own authority with no evidence that we should believe what he is saying.

The “Kingdom Now” Heresy Reintroduced

Another “movement” that Hamon predicts he calls “The Kingdom Establishing Movement.” Here he makes even more grandiose claims:

The movement will not cease until all knees bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus is the true Lord God over all the earth. That does not imply that everyone who makes that confession or acknowledgement is saved. However, there will be such worldwide demonstration of God’s power over the elements, people raised from the dead, miraculous control of natural catastrophes, miraculous prophetic words and endless supernatural manifestations, signs and wonders, until everyone will have to acknowledge that there is no god like Jesus Christ, the God of gods and Lord of lords.

According to NOLR and NAR teachers, the kingdom of God is established by the church during history and before the parousia. Hamon writes, “Now let us begin to pray earnestly that the full dominion of His literal kingdom be established in all reality over all nations and people of the earth. . . They will pray and declare that it is time for God’s kingdom to be established over all the earth by the divine delegated authority and ministry of Christ’s Church.

The Bible Prophesies End Times Delusion

Having seen the consistent claims spanning several centuries right up to the present that elite Christians shall arise and overcome death before the rapture, do greater miracles than those of the Biblical accounts, defeat all of God’s enemies while Christ remains “held in the heavens,” and become the virgin born, new breed of man, manifested sons, the very incarnation of God on earth, etc., let us consider what the Bible predicts about the end time. The Bible teaches none of these heretical doctrines uniformly based on allegorized Scripture, but rather teaches that massive deception through false signs and wonders would characterize the end of the age.

Jesus said: “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:11, 24). He did not tell us to look for a “new breed” of “anointed ones” (christs) but warned us to avoid their deceptions. Paul predicted perilous times of sin and evil at the end of the age where men will oppose the truth by doing false signs and wonders like Pharaoh’s magicians opposed Moses (2Timothy 3:1-8). Peter predicted that false teachers would arise and seek to seduce the church by exploiting us with “false words” (2Peter 2:1-3). John warned us that in the last hour there are false “anointed ones” (antichrists). Paul tells us where this is all headed: “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the day of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” (2Thessalonians 2:3).

Furthermore, the passages in Revelation that the elitist, NAR and NOLR apostles appropriate for themselves, do not teach the church triumphs over the world through her own efforts while Jesus is “held in the heavens.” Their interpretations are fanciful and not based on any sound hermeneutic. They allegorize the Bible because there is no way to find their ideas in the Bible if taken literally. We need to decide whether to believe what Jesus, Paul, John and Peter said in the inerrant Scripture or the prophecies of people who claim to be new apostles and prophets while simultaneously contradicting the teachings of the true apostles and prophets.

Conclusion

Church history has shown that whenever new claimants to the office of apostle have arisen, so have false teachings. The teachings of many such persons today, as we have seen, are shocking in the extremity of their error. Yet C. Peter Wagner claims that churches that he terms “apostolic” in this new sense are part of the fastest growing segment of the church in the world today. Perhaps he is right; but if he is, this is proof of massive end time apostasy and not the revival he claims it to be.

The only binding authority in the church is that of Scripture. God does not bind us to mixture, error, or the musings of men. The false apostles and prophets of the NOLR and NAR have no power over the true, blood-bought church of God. Prophets that are less than inerrant have nothing to sell but fear: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22). The grandiose claims that span from Leade, to Warnock, to Branham, to Paulk, and to Hamon have never come to pass, and they never will. There will be no virgin born, many-membered man-child, Elijah company, new breed of man, new incarnation of the Christ on earth or any other such blasphemy. The role these terms describe is that of antichrist. The true Christ will return bodily and catch his church up to meet Him in the air. (1Thessalonians 4:17).

by Bob DeWaay


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The Spirit of Jezebel and the Church In Biblical Times and Now

According to scripture, Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians or Tyre and Sidon. King Ahab of Israel, the son of Omri, did evil in the sight of the Lord, took Jezebel in marriage and went and served Baal. Ahab coveted the vineyard of Naboth and when he could not obtain it, Jezebel slandered Naboth, he was stoned and the vineyard given to Ahab. The wife of Ahab had introduced the abominations of Astarte worship into Israel. Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, hiding others in a cave with bread and water. Jezebel is referred to as the corrupt woman, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. She led her husband into the same idolatry and fed the prophets of Baal at her own table.

Jezebel is mentioned as the licentious false prophet of the Thyatira Church of the seven churches of Revelation. The church at Thyatira seems to fulfill the age of the Western Church from the dark ages unto the present time when their last works are more than the first. The Nicolaitan idea of fleshly leadership in the church typified Rome and continued with the Protestants with the separation of clergy and laity. The denial of the sacramental quality of marriage leads the church into fornication and the false authority leads the church into confusion and false prophecy.

What Jesus had against the church of Thyatira was that “You suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.”

Jezebel is a figurative and spiritual name for us. The Thyratiran church continues to this day and the Jezebel spirit manifests herself in the church and reaches to the highest pinnacles of government. The prophecy of the tribulation is in these last days and includes the greater part of Christendom that has allowed idolatry and the Jezebel spirit to flourish in the church and subsequently into all areas of society. Without an attitude of holiness, grace turns into licentiousness.

Jezebel is a whore and a witch whose spirit endures in the church by taking over the vineyard of the Lord. She covers her face with make-up to appear more attractive. Finally, Jezebel was a woman eventually destroyed by the very government she herself corrupted. The word of God came to Elijah and called him to show himself to Ahab and it would rain. The prophet came out of nowhere, stirred the righteous hearts, and the priests of Baal were put to death by the people. It was not Elijah alone but Jehu the anointed King over Israel that sought out the prophets of Baal and slew them, avenging the blood of the prophets. It was this king that dealt Jezebel the death blow by having her thrown down from the wall. In the end, Jehu did not follow the laws of the Lord with all His heart but it shall not be so with us. You are under the law of love and are among the overcomers, if in fact you are among the remnant. We may not be the Elijah to come or even a prophet but under our heritage, we are kings and priests. It is up to the church to become the spotless Bride in these last days and cast out the false prophets, we have the right and the power, we need but have the resolve to appropriate this power as the chosen remnant.

In Thyatira, the Jezebel spirit was and is introducing these same vile practices into the Christian church. By attaching herself to the Christians and manipulating them, she is insisting on the right to teach and practice licentious indulgence and claiming inspiration for her teaching. Those in the church that despise prophecy and forbid the true prophets to speak are under the influence of the Jezebel spirit.

They may not have actually killed the prophets but by not allowing God’s free operation to speak through His ministers, they kill the spirit that speaks through Him, thereby introducing the confusion of Babylon and the false teaching and doctrines of demons that identify a divided church. Among an apostate church, true prophets are hidden and not allowed to feast upon the richness of spiritual meat. Those under her influence will despise true prophecy, entertain the false prophets and attack those with true spiritual authority. Not all Thyatira pastors accept this teaching and this stinging rebuke is not for those that have not reached into Jezebel’s satanic depth. Judgment is given according to the works of those under the Jezebel spirit, the words against them are delivered from One “with eyes like fire and feet like brass.” Without repentance, these sins and the accompanying worldliness and schismatic confusion will cause tribulation and the death of the children who commit adultery with her.

Different demons have different names. The Jezebel demon spirit entices God’s servant to fornication and adultery. Attitudes are contrived to try to cover the sin and the true prophetic spirit of conviction is allowed to be cast out. The sin of fornication includes any sexual act outside of marriage, male and female, to one partner and in the New Testament, it is the sin with the most singular condemnation but we must realize here that there are prophecies concerning the church committing fornication with the kings of the earth. Jesus is wedded to the church. When Jesus condemns those that have committed adultery with Jezebel, He is referring to the church and worldliness, not necessarily sexual immorality. Jezebel was and is a political figure and uses spiritual control and manipulation to exert influence. Once under this delusionary spirit, she takes them captive, disguises herself as the spirit of God and allows false prophecy, idolatry and worldly practices to flourish.

Jezebel uses her controlling influence to lead God’s people to worship a church system that is not led by His spirit. Instead of being the Bride of Christ, the church is turned into a harlot turning to other gods, and a harem, becoming many wives through denominational divisions. It is hard to resist once under her spell, she feels just like Jesus but it is a delusion. Those under the Jezebel spirit are given a false peace about the sin and confusion and the spirit of conviction does not take hold because they are given over to satan’s deception for the destruction of the flesh. She will even counterfeit the Holy Spirit feeling of holiness in the heart. Jezebel is the spirit of modern day Babylon and we are told to flee from her.

Jezebel is not gender specific. She is a type that shows up in today’s relationship with the church to the world and the relationship with church authority and the congregation. When Jezebel painted her face to make herself more attractive it suggests a type of evil that is all made up to look attractive to those that are under her spell. The Jezebel spirit is a type of delusion that is given to the church so that they might not recognize the influence. If you understand the hypocrisy and worldliness of the political Christian right and their pretense of proper Christian truth, you have an idea how far this has gone. This is much more of a balanced approach to the world situation today and what Elijah would be fighting against than merely a women doing anything in authority over a man or any person usurping authority in the church.

There is a movement today that looks like it is coming against pastors in the church but this impression is only half right. Pastors are needed in the church and are a proper part of the ministry and there are many that have not bent the knee to Baal but more and more, we are learning about the Jezebel spirit in the church and that it applies to many pastors and teachers. The Elijah spirit that comes against the spirit of Jezebel is prophetic and those pastors that will not submit to the prophetic voice in the congregation are starting to feel the heat. There are pastors and Christian leaders that use control and manipulation to bring forth their own special interests and pet denominational doctrines. Some of those pastors are trying to turn it around and blame it on the prophets speaking out in church but these very pastors that are muzzling the prophets are exposing the Jezebel spirit to their own shame. Pastors who are hearing the insistence of apostolic mandate and treat these times as business as usual are being exposed as fools. It is true that most Christians will be taken unawares but many hear the Lord.

Jezebel is a hot prophetic topic right now, the Lord is exposing these people as false teachers and it includes so-called apostles and evangelists. Your pastor may accept the prophetic but it is time to come against the Jezebel spirit in the church and prophets called to do it will be sent to them. If your pastor falls into that category, then it will be to his loss but it is not for us to judge. There are pastors who have not fallen prey to the delusions of Jezebel and they are standing alongside of these truths. We must come to the irrefutable conclusion that as the remnant, we should not be subject to this power. The Elijah spirit that is taking on the Jezebel spirit is coming forth with another power, that of the “Spirit saith the Lord” kind of power that will knock Jezebel out of her exalted perch and bring her down to the level that she is destined to fall into, along with Babylon.

It is the Jezebel spirit that has seduced our present generation to commit fornication, whether sexual or political, to deny the prophets and has allowed the spirit in the mainstream, justifying it according to the mores of the times. Those under her spell think it is overlooked by God. We need to pray for these ones that the Jezebel spirit is overcome so that they will see the truth. There are loved ones involved that need to be restored, churches that need the prophetic truth, there are millions right around you just waiting to hear this truth and submit themselves to true spiritual authority so that they may be delivered. Now you know, the trumpet is at your lips, sound the alarm.

by Jay Atkinson

Prayer of Renunciation Against Jezebel and Ahab Spirits

 

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