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The Persecuted Church

 

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Its WAR, spiritual war

Joels Army Marches

Much of the teaching with experience in this revival encourages military aggression. What is suppose to be Biblical prayer is instead directed AT people or things, principalities and powers, even Christians to set them free from demon invasion. Results are often expected to be immediate. They believe that Joel's end-time army is now marching putting Satan in his place. Eventually all will be submitted to the kingdom of God as the earth is reclaimed.

Prophecies have spanned from the inception of Latter Rain in the 40’s to our time period. “The Church is asleep, but when she gets woken up and joins together in an ARMY, there's not any power anyplace that can stop her, for she'll know nothing but victory when she joins hands and becomes one in purpose and that's to REVEAL THE KINGDOM ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.” (School for Prophecy, Session 7, Vineyard Ministries, 1989).

Tommy Hicks had a prophecy where he claimed to have seen in a vision on July 25, 1961, that there would be a great anointed miracle army about to burst on the scene, healing multitudes and invulnerable to bullets and death. This unstoppable army would be miraculously transported from place to place. This is clearly Manifest Sons of God teaching. Hick’s is making a rare occurrence with Philip a normal miracle for the Church. How does one get out of such a vision that has had not been fulfilled over the course of 40 years? The excuse is: It’s dependent on us, if it has not happened we are just not ready. The whole impetus of this movement is dependent on man and the Church to over come and enforce Christ’s rule on the world. And to call Him back when they are ready. (Ready or not He will come).

God's people are going to start to exercise rule, and they're going to take dominion over the Power of Satan. They're going to bring diabolical princes down. The dark powers that hover over the Parliament buildings of the nations are going to be paralyzed by the corporate prayer of an authoritative community. As the rod of His strength goes out of Zion, He'll change legislation. He'll chase the devil off the face of God's earth, and God's people together, doing the will of God, will bring about God's purposes and Gods reign.” (Ern Baxter, National Men's Shepherds Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, September, 1975) No amount of unity or agreement in prayer can quicken Gods Word or will to happen before He allows it to, we are not in the driver’s seat. He is! It is in His timing when this will take place and nothing will hasten this to occur. The times and seasons are in the Fathers hands.

Bill Hamon says: “At that time the sons of God will be fully manifested on the earth. Widespread spiritual warfare will result with the Sons of God doing battle with Satan and company, the non-Christian nations of this world will also be defeated. Once the earth has been subdued, Jesus will come back to earth and be given the Kingdom that has been won for Him by this “manchild company.” (Prophets and the Prophetic Movement Bill Hamon).The Manifested Sons of God doctrine teaches that these immortal sons will be sinless, having partaken of the divine nature. They will have every right to be called gods and will be called gods

As Copeland has said: “There is a god class of beings.” (Force of Love; Tape #02-0028), (Praise the Lord broadcast (TBN), 2/5/86).

Benny Hinn warns: “It tell you the anointing is so glorious Satan better not show up tonight or well tear him apart. And I warn the devil tonight. I warn every demon in this arena. You better get out before we kick you out.” (Honolulu Blaisedale Jan. 21 1999) He then said I am prophesying this. I’m not just preaching it. You must see this as surely as Jesus is Lord.” … “On that same day every demon that is deep in your house will run like a coward. No more demonic possession, no more witchcraft, no more witchcraft, no more devils in your house. Not only will there be healing in the church and salvation in the house, but every demon that has ever questioned back, every devil has been there harassing you from the day you were born again will literally be kicked out of that house by the Holy Ghost. Are you ready for that day? There is something glorious happening in America. God is about to kick the devil right out of here.” (ibid.)

This teaching from Benny Hinn shows a definite connection to the Latter Rain. Whether he is espousing it purposely or not, he is aware of it. Despite his noble gesture to kick the Devil out of his crusade our houses and our country. He and anyone else is unable to deliver this. Jesus will deal with the Devil and his kingdom when he comes until then we rescue people out of his kingdom of darkness through the proclamation of gospel. G. Warnock stated: “The very unseen powers of the heavenlies must be toppled from their thrones; yea, even now they are beginning to feel the impact of heaven-tremors as the sons of God begin to mount up with wings of an eagle to take to themselves their God-given authority in the Spirit. It is this wrestling with the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies that shall cause the very heavens to shake and Satan and his hosts to relinquish their kingdom into the hands of the Sons of God. Everything that can be shaken is going to quake and fall before the sons of God. And then into the very heavenlies they shall ascend, first of all in the Spirit, to take possession of the kingdom left vacant by the casting out of Satan and his evil hosts. Then they shall be in a position to administer peace and life and blessing to a Church and a world that are in bondage and under oppression.” (Warnock, “Feast of Tabernacles” page 97)

We cast Satan out of meetings cities and countries? The very thing that Jude warns about “railing against authorities” is practiced as normative spiritual warfare. Today this is all implemented through crusades that have the anointed lead followers into prayer or bind in prayer the strongmen over cities. Praise Marches in cities are to challenge the principalities ruling over the cities. (March for Jesus etc.)

Prayer walking is done by  groups that walk the streets of their neighborhoods and school grounds binding demonic powers to set the people free for the gospel. Prayer for places that were targeted through spiritual mapping and words of knowledge to pray God's Kingdom to come in fullness. Prayer Expeditions,  and prayer Teams travel from one geographical point to another to pull down strongholds in that area. Climbing mountains to reach strongholds, airplanes are even hired to fly over cities to take dominion of the air-waves. The names of these strongholds become longer than a large families   grocery list. One has to learn a whole new concept with its spiritual intricacies to pray for victory in evangelism.

While it is good to walk and pray and to march to show that one stands for Jesus, their motivation is quite different. If one has to travel to a certain location to bind the principality or do research to find what demons are operating in the area, they need to check and see what the Bible says about any of this. Absolutely nothing! Noble gestures, that have enforced non- biblical teachings into practice. When Paul confronted the idols on Mars hill there was no binding. Paul didn't pray to bind Zeus, or Aphrodite or any other of the idols of their gods. Paul's weapons were the preaching of truth through the gospel. Paul destroyed this false belief by preaching on the resurrection the third point of the gospel. The people were controlled through philosophies, one of which was the Epicurean's. They believed the gods who created the world left it all to be governed by chance. To Live for today is all there is, there was no afterlife.    In this he destroyed the demonic strongholds of thinking that held them captive to false Gods and worship.

We destroy strongholds this by learning of the people and their beliefs then we, remove the obstacles they have to faith in Jesus Christ by challenging their falsehood. It is a shunning of our responsibility to say we we just do warfare prayer and not confront the darkness with the light personally and openly. We are to give rational and biblical explanations of why the gods of this world are false and that through Christ they can turn to the one true God they do not know.

J. Preston Eby explains the result of the Latter Rain as, “the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ....which shall bring the FULNESS, a company of overcoming - Sons of God who have come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, to actually dethrone Satan, casting him out of the heavenlies, and finally binding him in the earthlies, bringing hope of deliverance and life to all the families of the earth.” As Hinn states, “We are going to torment the Devil tonight.”(7/17/2000).

It is the same theme that runs through the old Latter rain to the new outpouring. Larry Randolf a leader from the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) shows his influence from Kingdom Now theology, “ When God processes this thing and we come out the other end, we are going to be a people, one new man in the earth, that are going to exhibit and showcase the Kingdom of God in such a degree that the nations, kings are going to come to our feet and ask of us the things of God.” (Toronto church, November 18, 1994).

Kenneth Copeland speaks of incredible powers that will make people cringe. He says: “God intended for the Body of Christ to walk through this earth with such a manifestation of His presence in our lives that it would either scare people spitless ... or draw them into the Kingdom of God!” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer's Voice of Victory” magazine, January 1998, in an article called “Expect The Glory”, p. 5-6)

“The Church is the feet of Jesus. God promised Jesus 'I will train your feet, and use them to tread down and crush your enemies.” (Francis Frangipane, Charisma magazine July 1993 )The Bible says that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Rom. 16:20) We do not do this, Jesus does when He comes back.

Each restorational advancement of the Army of the Lord has established denominational forts that are given responsibility to maintain the purity and power of that truth... New recruits are now being drafted and trained and older soldiers and generals are being put through intensified training for the next advancement of the Church Army. A new government must be established, a now way of life for those millions of people. You are now ready to rule and reign on your overcomer's throne!” (Bill Hamon “The Eternal Church” 1981)

Ern Baxter “God’s people are going to start to exercise rule and they’re going to take dominion over the power of Satan. As the rod of his strength goes out of Zion, he will change legislation, he will chase the devil off the face of God’s earth and God’s people will bring about God’s purposes and God’s reign. (MacPherson “Can The Elect Be Deceived” 1986)

Francis Frangipane: “All spiritual warfare is waged over one essential question: who will control reality on earth - heaven or hell? ... We must see that our prayers, attitudes and agreement with God as an integral Part of establishing the reality of the kingdom of God on earth!” (Mainstream. Spring 1994, p. 10.)

God is already in control and working history toward its final outcome. Its all a matter of how this will be implemented. Will it be through the Church or through Jesus Christ himself coming back. Certainly we work and cooperate with God to bring His kingdom on earth. But it will come suddenly from heaven not by a transition from the Church taking control and ruling.

After binding and loosing the church can have its restoration of everything we lost. Fred Price represents the teaching of: “Don’t blame God. But... He will let it happen if you do because He doesn’t control it...you do… Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth its loosed in heaven.” Binding and loosing in terms of authority in Christ for whatever we ask comes from a misunderstanding of Matthew chapter 18. Matthew does not deal with taking spiritual dominion over a city, but with Apostolic authority being given to the disciples for Church discipline, which continues today. It does not mean we can pray and get what we want, nor bind up demons and send them to the pit. No matter how much we would like to see this happen.

The Apostles never taught or practiced these things. Furthermore God never put them in His word for us. Scripture teaches that there were demons so powerful that the Apostles could not cast them out, they did not have all authority. They had to sometimes ask in prayer, not take authority in prayer.

Rod Parsley states “Just before the return of Jesus Christ, God is going to restore to the Church everything the devil has stolen.” (Breakthrough Oct.3,99) Where in the word does it even hint of such a thing?

This of course means finances. “I'm talkin’ about your money you know one of the greatest things that is going to happen in the year 2,000 were about to see the church rise up with a revelation that only this generation has ever been given of Gods word concerning high finances in the kingdom of God and we are just about to see the greatest transfer of wealth out of the hand of the wicked into the hand of the just.” (Jan. 7, 2000 Breakthrough) This is surely a intended prophesy which is flat out non biblical. You can hear this kind of hype from just about anyone who is into the “new thing.” While the intention is that with this enormous wealth the Church can now preach the gospel everywhere and the end will come. There is a danger of having this much immediate wealth and power, it always has the potential to corrupt. The important question we need to ask is have we been preparing to send missionaries to go to far away places, are we willing to drop what we have to fulfill the great commission? God is not going to transfer huge amounts of monies into those unprepared in their hearts. And just who is all this money going to anyway? Remember the great commission means people with other people in personal contact to disciple them in Jesus' teachings.

The  ultimate  Healing

Benny Hinn: “After He, by one sweep of His power, things will begin happening...folks on wheelchairs will start jumping out of their wheelchairs The blind will begin to see, and the deaf will begin to hear, and the plague will begin to unhold on the church. That will be a day that we’ll never forget as long as we live...It’s going to hit every church in the world. “ (Benny Hinn Honolulu Blaisedale 1/21/99) He goes on to say what everyone wants to hear “That same day, that same glorious day, every lost loved one will be born again.” (Ibid.)

You could say Hinn” over promises” and certainly “under delivers.” He has been saying this for years “The day is coming, I tell you this, I knew it like I know my name, the day is coming there will not be one sick saint in the body of Christ. Nobody will be, nobody's gonna be, no one will be raptured out of a hospital bed. You're all gonna be healed before the rapture.” (Benny Hinn, “Praise the Lord,” 7/8/96) So who needs Christ to come if all this is going to happen without him.It is the rapture/resurrection that transforms us.  Hinn has the right concept but wrong timing.

Promises come from every direction as peoples hopes are built up “all the sick are gonna be healed, the dead are gonna be raised and nations are gonna turn to God in a day.” (Bob Jones and Paul Cain, “Selections from the Kansas City Prophets,” audiotape)

Browne has said a number of years ago this revival is soon to have “Creative miracles will happen; eyeballs will form, legs and arms will grow out, people will leap out of wheelchairs.” (R.H.Browne, Coming Revival, 24-28)  I recently watched Benny Hinn claim a creative miracle for a man who had his leg torn off in a terrible accident and had it sewn back on with a  metal rod in it. (This is Your Day 7/17/2000) He couldn't feel or wiggle his toes, now he could. But the leg was not made new as he continued to limp. This was interpreted as a creative miracle by the healing ministry of Hinn. Is it? Its wonderful that this man can do something that he formerly was unable to but lets not call it something it is not.

As God’s glory is manifested without Christ’s coming Rod Parsley says: “They laid the sick the whole the lame the blind in the streets, Peter shadow caused strength to come back into their legs, some of you are going to be pushing the grocery cart between the frozen peas and carrots and somebody is going to jump out of a wheelchair over in the cereal aisle because of the glory of God that is coming upon you.” (Rod Parsley Breakthrough 1/ 7/ 2000). This is more hype than reality.

“were gonna get to the point that  were not going to have to talk  we just walk in  and we show up God’s there and when we show up the presence is there. We’ve been in the outer court too long  we got to take one more step, were goin in where the glory is.” (Breakthrough  9/19/2000). This is latter rain speak. I’m talking about  when we walk into the grocery store cancer  starts  falling off of peoples bodies I’m talking about the glory(Breakthrough  9/19/2000)

Hinn has gone so far as to recently say about TBN “I see, I see quite something amazing. I see rows of umm, of caskets lining up in front of this TV set. And I see them bringing them closer to the TV set. And as people are coming closer, I see ahh, a, actually loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen, and people are, are getting raised as their hands are touching that screen. With just programs. I’m not talking about my program. I’m talking about programs, plain programs airing. The, the glory of God will be so on TBN that there’s gonna be divine resurrections happening as people bring their loved ones to the TV set.” (TBN Oct. 23, 99 ) One would think the kingdom of God is now on earth through a TV program from what Hinn says. He went further to say that to watch TBN is like seeing heaven. “TBN will no longer be just a television network. It will be an extension of heaven to earth... I’m getting connected to heaven through this TV tube and it will be heaven’s signal to the earth. It will be as though heaven is transmitting and earth is receiving through that set. So if you want to go to heaven, you want to see heaven, you want taste heaven, turn on that channel.” (ibid.).

Visions of paradise will never be known on this side of heaven.1 Cor. 2:9-10: “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” Paul is saying that it is God's Spirit that understands the state of glory we will enjoy in the future world but we cannot comprehend it by seeing or hearing.   The Holy Spirit has the knowledge of the hidden counsels and purposes of God's  plans. He knows all his designs. The same truths are communicated through the same Spirit to all Christians through His word. Certainly Paul does not  mean beyond the word that He and the other apostles wrote, because he has already told us not to go beyond what is written. The Spirit will have us understand what the word means, it does not mean we can apprehend all things nor the future promises now.

Hinn also promises “There will be no sickness for the saint of God” (Rise and Be Healed! 1991 p.14).  “He promises to heal all- every one, any, any whatsoever, everything- all our diseases! That means not even a headache, sinus problem, not even a toothache- nothing! No sickness should come your way” (ibid. p.32) Hinn is not talking about the day of resurrection but today. “God's greatest desire for the church of Jesus Christ...is that we be in total and perfect health.” (ibid. p.65). “If your body belongs to God, it does not and cannot belong to sickness” (ibid. p.62).

His reasoning is that if “God healed all under the Law, how much more will he do it under grace. “ (Benny Hinn Honolulu Blaisedale Jan. 21, 1999) Grace means his favor, but despite what Hinn says healing is not a general promise to all, all the time. Certainly it is included in the atonement as is the resurrection, but neither one is at our disposal.

The idea of the transference of health by faith teachers is that the promised blessings of the covenant are for the Church, because we are not under the curse. God said he heals all our diseases. The writer of Hebrews tells us we have a new and better covenant. It is on this slant that some faith/prosperity preachers, like Hinn, believe since our covenant is better, shouldn’t it include health and prosperity? If the Jews were promised prosperity in this world, Why not us? They forget that the blessings for Israel were dependent on Israel's faithfulness, if they were obedient. It was a conditional covenant. The blessings of health and prosperity in the Mosaic Law were not for any individual, but for the nation Israel, corporately. One of the reasons the new covenant is better and superior is that it operates by grace for individuals.

So it becomes clear the current popular teachers do not encourage people to carry their cross, and live a crucified life, but in its place is prosperity, authority and power. A magnificent trade off indeed.

Much of what is promised is true “if it is after the tribulation and Christ the person has come,” but this is not what they mean. “Yes, sin, sickness and disease, spiritual death, poverty, and everything else that's of the devil once ruled us. But now, bless God, we rule them -- for this is the Day of Dominion!” (Kenneth Hagin, “Rejoice! This Is the Day Which the Lord Hath Made!” The Word of Faith p. 16, 7/96)

The Bible teaches that the kingdom is restored to Israel, not the Church, and it happens with the return of Christ, not before it. Any healings we have before the resurrection are simply the blessings of God representing just a foretaste of the immortal bodies we shall receive in the resurrection and when Jesus returns. Paul was sick and left others sick and did not heal all those who came to him in need of healing. He did not have a kingdom now theology.

Satan's healings and miracles are not always illusions, they can have real power which makes them all the more dangerous. The reason people believe the teachers when they are accompanied by signs and wonders is they have the predisposition that Satan’s demons cannot perform genuine miracles even inside a church by someone naming Christ. But this does not verify that it must be from God. Satan Himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Corinthians 11:15 ). But look at the previous vs. 13 “For such are false apostles deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” What does he mean? They can do miracles, they have revelations just like the ORIGINAL APOSTLES who wrote this down as a warning.

D.R. McConnell points out “When these truths really gain the ascendancy in us, they will make us spiritual supermen, masters of demons and disease. It will be the end of weakness and failure.” (A Different Gospel, P. 21, D.R. McConnell, 1988.)

From the start to finish this Dominion movement has been empowered by pride. Though they may be well meaning in their efforts, but they are deceived. No more or less than the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW's) who also have an anointed ruling class. Just as ones relationship to God depends on their relationship to the 144,000, there is no substantial difference with the Church in relationship to the “new” anointed prophets or apostles to be in his kingdom.

Yes, there is an ultimate healing coming, but not the way many think. The Millennium is not the final kingdom of God, but only temporary; it ends with a final battle with Christ vanquishing all His foes (Revelation 20:7-9). The 1000 years of peace is disrupted as Satan is loosed at the end of his millennial confinement tries to deceive the nations one more time. It is then after he is overcome and judged that the eternal kingdom begins and the Millennium ends. The final judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 takes place with this present universe is consumed by fire and the creation of a new eternal one is made in its place (Revelation 21:1).

The religious leaders of Jesus day justified their rejection of Christ by not understanding the suffering-servant prophecies before He could rule. It didn’t fit into their scenario of the Messiah, since they only understood one coming. Today it is no different. Many cannot see Jesus is coming back to judge the world and to set up his kingdom. Instead they think that God’s plan is for the Church to take over the world and that we become triumphant so he can return. We have much too much confidence in ourselves and very little in God’s prophetic plan. We need to see it as it is written — that the world is getting worse and no sanctified government or Church will turn it around, no matter how good their intentions may be. This is why John wrote: “The Spirit and the Bride say Come!” Can we agree with this? Can we wholeheartedly say “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” I hope so.

 

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