A Permissible Deception
We are at war; as a nation and as a church. It is a war of values and about truth as we are seeing corruption spread into every facet of our society. In any war the first thing to go is the truth that will no longer be easily accessible to the public. The problem is that we have a truth phobia in the media, and the same is in the church.
Two questions that need to be asked in the days we live in. If we were to take the temperature of the church what would it be, normal; hot or cold? And the follow up question, how did we get here?
Nearly 500 years ago the church had become aware that it slid into an unholy mixture because it was challenged by one of its priests, name Luther. He made his stand and though it was not obvious at the time, it was a victory. The church that sought truth separated from the established church of their day and began to move back toward biblical Christianity. Reformers tried to preserve the Bible instead of the man made traditions that had taken over the church. History repeats itself to those that ignore its lessons. Are we not in the same place today? Yes, the churches overall temperature is not hot but lukewarm, and there are a number of reasons for this.
Non - nutritious, even inedible food that would be considered poison at any other time is being offered as staple food to the saints today with few complaints. We did not get here quickly; it was noticed by some but not enough to counter its influence. By small increments of change the protective barrier of the Church was worn away, like incessant waves crashing at high tide, they lashed against the barriers. Many said nothing, some thought it would recede, others thought they were safe and so in their inaction it continued to escalate. I know I’m stating the obvious to some but many have not come to the conclusion of Jesus’ warning in his last public sermon about the end, saying “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Mt.24:4) this is a increasing reality today.
Too many preachers are practicing sophistry. When we hear false statements repeated by the various teachers, the body of Christ, for her own protection is to be made aware of them so they can avoid the speakers, their books and videos and not be influenced by falsehood. The main protection in resisting deception is to walk in the truth (3 Jn.3-4). The other is to speak up for the brethren that are not as aware of it as you are.
Eph. 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” is not an option.
The adoration of man has prevented the church from resisting the false teachers inside. There is nothing wrong with admiration or respect of a person’s work but when these men and their words become more important than the words of Jesus - watch out. This is how the Latter Rain was introduced to the church, its focus were on “the anointed” men who were supernaturally gifted as prophets and apostles, they misled the church.
The latter rain was the first organized modern heresy that became a movement. It was held at bay and pushed back by the Assembly of God denomination in1948 when they took a stand. It then went into remission only to surface by a group called the Kansas City prophets.
In 1986 the leaders of Kansas City Fellowship formed Grace Ministries, a "ministry team of men committed to seeing the church fully restored to the glory described in God's Word."
Grace Ministries' ministerial team consisted of Paul Cain, Bob Jones, John Paul Jackson, David Parker, Jim Goll, Francis Frangipane, and Reuven Doron. Through grace ministries Kansas City Fellowship began
John Wimber allowed them to minister to his church that was already removed from teaching through the word and instead being led by spiritual experiences. “During the late 1980s Grace Ministries developed cooperative efforts with other movements, including the Vineyard churches.” “In May 1990 Kansas City Fellowship and Grace Ministries placed themselves under the headship of John Wimber, and all the affiliated churches subsequently became Vineyards.”(Vengeance is Ours p.129 Al Dager)
The Kansas City prophets were mostly identified by Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, and Paul Cain. These were the prophets. They brought personal prophecies, dreams and visions and assortment of glory experiences that had nothing to do with New Testament Christianity. They also bought personal anointings, where one was to come under their anointing for receiving the same blessings.
Though grace ministries were denied the official corporation, the Kansas city prophets, left their influence for many. Peter Wagner who was friends with Wimber picked up on this teaching and brought it forward as the International coalition of apostles and prophets. Also at the time Benny Hinn and others had picked up on these new doctrines and made them their own. The influence changed many through the 80’s - 90’s and the pulpit became a platform for pundits who promoted (counterfeit) spiritual gifts as playthings.
The word faith teaching was also growing through advertising on TBN. This brought into the church a whole pack of lies that were called Bible promises. Prosperity and healing became the iconic doctrines of this movement and identified whether a ministry had God or not. The teaching of the word in context was being thrashed, they ignored their critics justifying they are right because of the money that was coming in (TBN is now worth billions). Jesus never said one would become rich or successful by following him, in fact he said the opposite. They changed Jesus into a rich prophet that used a magic power called faith to change things for the better. Confess it to possess it, don’t negatively confess or you will reap it. Only say what is positive to change your reality. But they had overlooked the main ingredient to being a Christian. A “Negative confession” is necessary, without it one cannot become a Christian. You cannot confess your sins as a to be cleansed if you don’t not recognize you do wrong and call it sin. This morphed into a holiness movement where we now have people teaching that were are no longer sinners, sinful, but saints that have the glory ready to burst out of us with the right activation.
The 90’s began to roar as Rodney Browne introduced more of the Latter Rain influence through laughter – offering drunkenness in the spirit, drinking wine at Joel’s place would have people act drunk; stupors were in, writhing on the floor and stammering were acceptable and people became less equipped to speak the gospel, much less anything coherent. They were enjoying themselves; going to church had the excitement of Rodeo. This influenced Randy Clark who took it back to the Vineyard where it exploded in a second breach. Later, the manifestations rested in the Toronto airport vineyard under John Arnott, who was prepped already by being friends with Benny Hinn. Screaming clucking, vomiting, collapsing and a host of other non biblical activities were present. And people came all over the world to get “it.” This got so out of hand that John Wimber had to distance himself, and so Arnott’s church was no longer to associated with Vineyard. However, Wimber held to what he believed were power gifts to the end where he died from an illness. None of the Latter Rain miracle workers he knew were able to heal him.
Jesus never said we would have the same power or results he had but that is what these men claimed. But when it came time to show the stuff, they had none.
At this same time the twin sisters of illegitimacy were growing; prosperity and health for all. The self is god movement from the word faith teachers brought the ultimate aha moment. Like Eve who thought God kept something from her, the forbidden knowledge was accepted as truth over the word, or more accurately as a distortion of the word. The most basic teaching of the church is that there is one God and no others, yet the church said next to nothing when teachers on TV and radio and from the pulpit said we were little gods and we can do anything Jesus can do. This was such an obvious departure from the Christian distinctive.
Oral Roberts may be gone but he has left his heretical seed faith fingerprints all over other disciples; Mike Murdock, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, and now a whole new younger more deceptive generation to take their place. The degree that these prosperity teachers manipulate God's people to give them money is more than a Bernie Madock would dare to do. Their prosperity to live as royalty on earth was built on manipulation and coercion; it will certainly tell a different story in heaven.
Then the turn of the century came, the seeker friendly philosophy where techniques and methods from the world were used to build a larger Church. Contradicting the word of God was easier than ever before as the discernment of truth and error were unable to be recognized. Self improvement- Schullerism, which transformed into secular seekism became the norm as books and accompanying studying guides replaced personal Bible study and Bible based books.
The seeker sensitive’s understood truth can make people uncomfortable, so they had churches softened their appeal to avoid making the weak, and liberal sinner uncomfortable so they can sit among the saints (ps.1). So the saints were starved for the sake of tolerance. The word of God became a whisper in the lands it was once proclaimed so boldly years before.
Now we have so called evangelicals behind the environmental movement that think it is part of the gospel and devote their time to saving the environment instead of souls. Others name the gods of various cultures as Yahweh claiming their god had a son who is Jesus and offered this as a better way to evangelise the hard to reach cultures and religions. Instead of evangelism based on the truth it became evangelization.
Promotion of the most minor of prayers- the prayer of Jabez came to prominence and promised that by saying this prayer as a mantra each day of the year you will expand your borders – do you see the pattern? Feeding Self. Promising God ALWAYS answering THIS prayer. The love of self leads to all kinds of the deception, even of being a god.
Lets not overlook the Hebrew Roots Movement. Under the semblance of learning more about Judaism law keepers confused on which covenant to live by turned the church from grace back to the law of Moses. Christians are to be dead to be the Law of Moses that they might live to God under grace.
And hardly anything is said from behind the pulpit because everything is weighed by friendships and associations; the ecumenical influence shifted the church from being the pillar and ground of truth to a multi colored rug to walk on. The Ecumenical Movement has been instrumental in Evangelical churches tepidness against false teaching. The Protestant Reformation had classified Catholicism as a false religion. Paul Crouch, Charles Colson, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn and numerous others have brought the church to a different conclusion, uniting the church with Catholicism through moral issues, some of them introduced to the church Charismatic Catholics as brethren who still prayed to Mary and seek Marian apparitions.
To bring this up to date, Todd Bentley who was another large, colorful pawn in the deception that found its influence to Bob Jones, one of the original Kansas city prophets (who is also friends with Randy Clark) had endless tales of his supernatural experiences and gave hope to the youth about his daily trips to heaven and healed people by violence (bam), a Toronto repeat. Ignoring that his rant sounded more like someone on hallucinogens. The youth knew no better and because they were undiscerning and unlearned, they were unable to learn from modern Church history and waked into it because their pastors knew nothing about it.
[See the apostasy awareness website that documents and refutes Todd Bentley’s mashuguna practices… http://www.thouartthechrist.info/lakeland/]
The impetus of this whole Latter Rain movement was the distorted teaching of the Scripture made into personal supernatural experiences that became lying doctrines of demons that the church ingested on a regular basis.Moments of sanity do not make an insane person sane, anymore than if a false teacher says the gospel correctly at times makes him an evangelist. The new paradigm (anointing) convinced people to accept teachers by what they say is happening, without looking at the facts, or the Scripture to know what is actually happening.
The elect has always been the target of Satan through history (Mt.2:24). Satan knows if they succumb to falsehood, the truth would soon become rare and the world would enter a time of darkness, deception that would prepare the way for the greatest deception of all … the one who began the lie would finally rule over the people.
All these false teachings were propagated throughout the world from America, which was turned into the new wave of evangelism. It was at this time the churches light was diminishing at such a rapid rate, it brought us to the same place the Roman Church was when a priest named Luther stood up.
The Church was also taught not to judge by the deceivers inside her walls and she lost the ability to discern what is right from wrong –good or evil; so the falsehood increased almost unhindered. Now it has become more pervasive than the truth. People are trained like Pavlov’s dogs to parrot “judge not”; we are to leave this to God alone. They did not know they were being taught the same lie that was first introduced in the garden where Satan spoke to Eve his distortion of God’s instructions and convinced her not to judge. So the deception continues to escalate at an even greater rate.
This has been a two - prong problem -- there has been confusion on certain doctrines and what to do with those who teach heresy. But the Bible is clear we are to confront the error and if the person does not repent we are, if necessary, to remove them from a teaching position and even the church. We do not protect the violators of sound doctrine as if they are victims (that is what liberals do). We are to keep people safe from becoming victims of lies and being influence by those who do not understand the Bible correctly. Apostasy is now rampant because the Bible is no longer preached in many churches. The liberal churches have plunging membership and ask themselves why and then seek out worldly means to attract people. It is the remnant that are not pleased that speak in protest about letting the world come into the church and yet they are scorned by the liberals.
But because of the lack of true shepherds that will lay their lives and reputation down for the sheep the false teachers continue unhindered. Even the good pastors can see the large enemies as hungry lions but do not see the small foxes that spoil the vine. They both bring destruction; only one is quicker in its devastation.
Love acts for the truth; it does not ignore it or hide it because of friendship. Shame on the politicians who cave to pressure from other politicians - shame on the pastors that do the same.
People are leaving the church not because they are offended, because they lack faith. Why, because the word which produces faith is not coming from the pulpit. Instead of building the house by the word they are taking it apart brick by brick, the same thing is taking place in the American government. God will often use what we can see to show us what we cannot see.
We may wonder why we are powerless in the church, the answer is staring us in the face, the word is not being taught or explained, so people get hunger pains and begin to search for food elsewhere. Because of starvation they will pick up scraps wherever they can, even if it’s not Christianity, they become scavengers lack that discernment, they don’t know any better and are willing to accept anything that seems to have protein. Along comes the Emerging Church to fill the Spiritual void they live in. A little bit of Hinduism, Buddhism and mysticism along with ancient church monasticism and heresies and a hybrid tree is now planted in the garden.
Scripture states that people perish from a lack of knowledge, especially spiritual knowledge. Being equipped to have answers preserves both yourself and others you care for, it prevents deception from being transmitted like a virus.
The White house administration has made known they want to transform - change America. The Emergent church has made known they want to transform Christianity; the same spirit is at work in both politics and religion. The intent is to overthrow values that have kept us doing what is right in America; these are also being overthrown in the church. Once we are loosed from our moorings we drift wherever the tide takes us.
The brainwashing that is taking place in our day is unprecedented in both politics and religious broadcasting -- called by some as Christian TV. It is as bad as any cult or oppressive government control.
The world is being transformed not by the Spirit of God as Latter Rain promoters teach, but toward a one world governmental system, which will merge politics and religion to be one. It will have evil rule unlike any other time in history, before or again (Mt.24:21). But this evil will be called good; it will have power and influence to convince people. It is happening already.
The church apologizes to the Catholic church for separating from them calling it a mistake much like American (capitalists) apologize to the communists for saying their socialism was wrong. The irony is that the church has been taken over by greedy capitalists who want you to give your hard earned money to them so they can keep their so called “gospel lifestyle.” At the same time America is being taken over by socialists that want to distribute the wealth calling it social justice. Laws are being developed to take from the rich to give to the poor. Both groups have this in common, they are liars that constantly lie, they are consistent and we should expect nothing different from them.
Pastors are rarely accountable unless they think you on their side, they do not answer letters questioning the doctrines they teach or allow in their church or the false teaching ministries they unite with, even good churches are becoming involved in this compromise.
In this time of apostasy we are not to unite with churches that are part of it but separate from them. Many a good minister has been compromised by these actions. The church is in a more corrupted state than the Roman Catholic church was in the 1500’s when Luther brought the protest of its corruption public.
We have continued to paint ourselves in a corner that there is only enough space left to do either one of two things; take a stand against it or walk the plank.
The most insidious of all teachings from the latter rain (besides the manifest sons of God doctrine) is taking the kingdom by force- teaching that we bring the kingdom. The “kingdom now” promoters are like the prodigal son that wants his inheritance now, and are not willing to wait for it. (Lk.15) Notice that the prodigal son joined with the pigs, he fed them; in the end he realized WHAT HE HAD DONE was willing to be like one of the hired servants. Servanthood is what God wants, not leaders ruling over the people like the world – like those in kingdom now who are apostles and prophets.
A good example of this mindset is promoted by Steve Shultz, of the Elijah list, promoting a new cd by false prophet Kim Clement. Steve Shultz’s September 8, 2009 promo started with this headline in big red letters: “
"THE VIOLENT TAKE THE KINGDOM---BY FORCE!--Just listen to some of Kim Clement's Prophetic music to 'hear' Kingdom Violence"
He went on to say: “Kim Clement is a VIOLENT worshipper. It's odd. There have been times when I've felt so over-stimulated with life and the problems of the day, that I needed to just find a quiet place and BE QUIET myself. Yet strangely enough, in the past few years, it's been during just such times, that I was able to bear the "Spiritual Violence" coming through Prophet and Minstrel, Kim Clement--at just those same times... it's all VIOLENT in a VERY VERY GOOD way.”
The song is called“Kingdom by Force” with a chorus that repeats the words over and over again, “There’s nothing that can stop me now, I’m gonna take the kingdom by force.” (www.apostasyalert.org/REFLECTIONS/kingdom_violence.htm)
Taking the kingdom by force was never a good thing in Jesus mind and He told us it would be INHERITED, the meek would inherit the earth. Specifically to Pilate He stated that his kingdom was not of this world or his followers would fight. Yet many want to enforce a spiritual army to fight demonic strongholds to transform governments. If you have to take the kingdom by force you have proven you are not in his kingdom or ruled by Christ who is humble, meek and peaceful. Why do we need to be aggressive to have the things of God that are freely given (1 Cor. 2:12; 2 Pt.1:3). This is indicative of the mindset of the church today, to be authoritarian, fight for what you think you deserve as his child. So whose kingdom is taken by force? For if the church is ruling when Jesus returns whose kingdom is he destroying?
The Satanic campaign to stop Jews from believing Jesus is their Messiah, so Satan has convince the church that Israel is not about the Jews but the church, (replacement theology) that the land Is not promised to the Jewish people, the land should be divided to the Palestinians – it has nothing to do with ends time prophecy.
Or even a more ingenious ruse that the prophecies are fulfilled in 70 AD and the kingdom is already here as preterism teaches. That we do not need to know of prophecy; we instead should avoid it as Rick Warren teaches.
We have a need to demand a higher standard from our leaders, a biblical one. We still have that need but it may be too late. If we accept what we have it will continue until nearly everything is leavened by their lack of leadership and false teaching. Jesus said this is how it would be in the end but the difficulty is not just reading about it but living it and surviving.
We can no longer view this through rose colored glasses, but need to see it for what it is. God has sustained the church though all the onslaughts of attacks from without and within. And for those who seek truth He will be there for them and lead them away from error.
The Pharisees were into celebrity worship, they demanded Jesus to put on a show. The show must go on, for some, without Jesus. The players may change but the show stays the same.
What will be the next false revival, where will it come from? No one knows; it may be through one of the former Kansas City prophets like Mike Bickle, it may be through those that were of Toronto or Brownsville like Che Ahn. It may be John Crowder’s ‘Sloshfest,’ and those of his ilk that promote imaginary doctrines as spirit experiences – it may be Patricia King of ‘Extreme Prophetic’ or from Bob Jones. It may be of the ‘emerging church,’ as the ‘spiritual awakening’ or the Latter Rain’s ‘manifest sons of God,’ or something entirely new … but you can be assured it is coming, it will take place. Be ready because it will be strong and influential.