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Pt.2 What happened to John Wimber’s church AFTER Lonnie Frisbee?

What happened at Wimber’s church on Mother’s day is exactly what Chuck Smith did not want to happen at his church or any of his churches. As the youth were introduced into a full scale charismaticism, which had a huge impact on Wimber himself and began the whole third wave charismatic renewal. Whether Frisbee understood this or not, he was using group dynamics that he learned from Kuhlman and others.

It had been 6 years since Lonnie was allowed to speak or minister at Calvary chapels. He came back to calvary chapel (1977) from Florida leaving the shepherding movement he was involved with from 1971. What is more concerning is what was reported that Lonnie was slaying people in the spirit at other places that were not in the church while attending early on at Calvary chapel. Lonnie saw himself as a faith healing holy roller, because of what he previously learned over the years from attending Kuhlman’s meetings and watching Oral Roberts (and others) on TV. When he was a youngster at Central Bible Church, Lonnie went to his “blind choir teacher and saying, “Mrs. Beardsley! Mrs. Beardsley! If you only have Oral Roberts lay hands on you, you can get your sight!” And then I cried.” (Lonnies book by Sach's) Lonnie's Christianity was shaped as a child by what he saw, and believed it was true. More than likely he was looking for solace from all the suffering he endured when he was young. This confidence of supernatural healing  through man did not leave him but stayed with him as he believed he was a conduit for this power.

Chuck Smith emphasized Bible studying and biblical values (which Lonnie thought was awesome) but did not focus on. Greg Laurie described this day at Wimbers church, “when Lonnie would speak, chaos would sometimes ensue. One Calvary Chapel staff member was surprised when Lonnie addressed a youth group meeting in May 1980 and kids started falling on the floor like trees in a forest, crashing into chairs, some speaking in tongues, some crying and confused because of the chaos.” (Jesus Revolution: How God transformed an unlikely generation and how he can do it again today, by Greg Laurie)

Lonnie later openly proclaimed himself to be a prophet, having an apostolic ministry and called himself a mystic, something he believed all along. (Denver Colorado Vineyard church, time:5:00).  After Mothers day Wimber would accept others that followed in Lonnie’s footsteps.

It was Wimber (not Chuck Smith) who followed this different Spirit that was given through Lonnie Frisbee that led him into new understandings of Scripture and a different practice of Christianity. At this point Chuck Smith offered Calvary Chapel pastors the opportunity to either remain with Calvary Chapel and having the Holy Spirit operate through the teaching of the Scriptures, or to follow after Wimber and pursue not teaching the full council of God, but rather pursue the experiences and manifestations not shown in the Scriptures, of which, more than a handful followed Wimber and converted their Calvary Chapel churches into Vineyard churches.

In ‘John Wimber’s book: 'The Way it was’, his wife Carol shares how important Lonnie was for the Vineyard. In sharing testimonies from a trip to South Africa that John and Lonnie had taken together with others, she made the claim, that they literally saw the blind and lame being totally healed when they imparted the power of the Holy Spirit to them

Frisbee speaks of this in his book 'Not by might, not by Power,' “Little did anyone know that in my adult ministry I was going to become a faith healer and that the Lord was going to open the eyes of the blind! He did it in South Africa, making front-page news.” He then refers back to his blind Bible teacher as a child “I believe that God wanted to heal –– and could have healed—my blind choir teacher way back when.”  (that being through Oral Roberts)

It becomes clear that Lonnie's Christianity was shaped as a child as he went to Pentecostal meetings or saw Pentecostalism on TV. It was also at this time the Latter Rain movement was in full swing under William Branham and his contemporaries.

As mentioned, Chuck Smith discerned that he should not allow this type of unbiblical activity to be practiced in the Calvary Chapel Church movement. Wimber was convinced the hyper charismatic practices of Lonnie Frisbee were genuine so he moved on to be a Vineyard Church, because he could not remain a Calvary Chapel Church any longer.

This is clearly demonstrated by a person connected with the Vineyard movement, who speaking of Wimber said: “if you look at some of the larger Calvary chapels they weren't directly impacted by Lonnie's life and then John Wimber you know John told me I mean he was very outspoken about the fact that it was Lonnie that that really brought the Vineyard into the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit into the Vineyard so yeah his imprint will you know will always be on those movements” (Lonnie Frisbee's Influence - Frisbee 01 video on youtube)

After Lonnie Frisbee laid the groundwork for Wimber’s new openness, anything was considered. The floodgate of false teachings and greater unbiblical practices had been opened into the Vineyard Church Movement.

Frisbee, who was allegedly a young hippie when he first came to Calvary chapel was eventually cut off from the Calvary Chapel movement because of these extreme Pentecostal practices (in 1971). And as mentioned before, Chuck Smith gave John Wimber the option to remain or to depart from the fellowship of Calvary Chapels, with Wimber choosing to depart, he and a number of Calvary Chapel pastors followed Wimber/ Frisbee; and by May 1982 they were officially a 'Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Anaheim. '

Lonnie said of himself “I see my heritage among the Pentecostals…. I’m Pentecostal because I waited on God and the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit fell on me” ( Not by Might, Nor by Power)

But there was no waiting on Mothers day, he spoke and it happened, as if the God of all creation submitted to his very command! And at the same time Frisbee  led others into a practice that goes beyond what God has laid out in the scriptures to practice, as the Apostle Paul warned against in Corinthians.

‘Wimber embraced the experience of what happened with Frisbees hyper Charismatic performance on Mother’s Day 1980 (et al Kathryn Kuhlman), and the Vineyard movement would eventually go beyond Lonnie Frisbees unbibilical and eccentric spiritual antics and allow themselves to enter a time recklessness abandoning their former doctrine and practice that would affect the Church. Then to travel the globe to practice these things thinking he was bringing renewal to the various denominations and movements. Wimber taught on, demonstrating his signs and wonders in the years to follow, the bad fruit produced by Lonnie Frisbee came to fruition.

Wimber’s Church was convinced that this was now the Holy Spirit moving among them in power, by being introduced to what was first spoken by Frisbee as being what brought him down and brought the people down.

Before anyone gives Frisbee a charismatic medal of honor all by himself, it is important to note that Frisbee had already been practicing these things prior to Benny Hinn who himself would also go on to practice them in the future. To understand Kuhlman’s influence on Lonnie Frisbee and Benny Hinn, one only needs to look at Kathryn Kuhlman who influenced both of them, first Frisbee and then Hinn, and the many hundreds to follow afterwards.

Hinn's had the highest regard for Kuhlman who died in 1976, he became enamored by going to her meetings in 1973 (as did Frisbee visiting the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles each month for 7 years). Hinn tells us that it was at Kuhlman's meetings, I was introduced to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person in the Holy Trinity and “I felt like I was charged with electricity.

Exactly the same that Frisbee described of his own baptism in the spirit. Not being the person of The Holy Spirit but rather, The Holy Spirit (“As An It”) like some type of spiritual force. This is exactly what is described by nearly all who partake of this, so-called anointing experience, from those who are involved in the unbiblical Latter Rain / 3rd Wave Christianity movement; which by the way, is exactly what has been practiced by the Gurus in India. Having this practice of Kuhlman, Frisbee, Hinn and many others be not of The Holy Spirit, but rather, the practice of a different Spirit, as warned against by the Apostle Paul.

Video footage of Kuhlman’s teaching of "slaying in the spirit" is falsely interpreted from Acts 9. “It is obvious that Hinn's view of that topic is not straight from heaven, but straight from Kuhlman” (from Confusing World of Benny Hinn). Hinn also learned about "holy laughter" from Kuhlman, or "laughing in the Spirit," which occurs when one "under the power" and gets hysterical with laughter and the laughter spreads to others in the meeting by group dynamics. This laughter later happened at Wimbers church and more.

The laughing also happened when Hinn introduced the man who was no joke, Rodney Howard Browne. He continued with Browne in the years to follow. With these charismatic speakers, this is a premeditated act, with one person intentionally starting to laugh, with the goal to seduce as many unsuspecting people as possible who are willing to surrender to it, and often times, these Christian events have plants in the audience to get it started.

It must be noted that this laughing phenomenon very commonly happens anytime, somebody anywhere, starts to laugh, whether it’s on a bus, in a room, or in any other secular place where people are being entertained, The Holy Spirit of God, does not manipulate, or seduce people in this way, into anything.

Hinn visited Kuhlman’s grave at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Southern California, where he claims her anointing still lingered - that people were actually healed from visiting the grave site. Hinn also says Kuhlman appeared to him in dreams and visions instructing him.

Similarly and ironically, we have Jonathan Roumie (the actor) doing the same ‘ in real life’ (in preparation for the movie Jesus revolution) by visiting Frisbees grave, to help him playLonnie Frisbee in the movie.

Hinn, after Frisbee, took up the mantle of Kuhlman he patterned his methodology, mannerisms after Kuhlman but his doctrine was more borrowed from Branham. He mixed Kuhlman’s expressions and Branham’s practices of visions much like Lonnie did before him.

Lonnie’s proclamation, ‘Come Holy Spirit’ became Hinn’s ‘welcome Holy Spirit.’ So both Frisbee and Hinn have Kuhlman connections; coincidence? Or is another spirit in operation.

They, like Branham, what was unleashed on Wimber. In fact, Paul Cain, one of Branham’s chief disciples who would substitute for Branham at his meetings, was later accepted as the chief prophet in Wimber’s Vineyard Church in 1989 who had partnered with the “Kansas city prophets” movement, which in reality was a ministry of false Prophets, Not sent by God, but rather, the same counterfeit Spirit as with the others.

This is exactly what we see being taught and practiced by all the false biblical teachers infiltrating the Churches today, popping up on YouTube and all over the world every day.

Wimber writes about this first experience as like “a power encounter similar to the one described at Pentecost.” In his book Power Evangelism, he refers to Lonnie only as the “young man” whose preaching on Mother’s Day in 1980 that launched his church into a new movement that was strictly ‘of the spirit,’ (not of the Word). Instead they reinterpreted the Word by their spirit experiences that are not found in the Word.

Wimber had a paradigm shift in his ministry, Wimber later became dependent on the experiences rather than the Scripture, and he took it further into him practicing pragmatism (if it works, it must be from God) which was an influence by Peter Wagner).

“when John Wimber told Chuck Smith that he was going to go with "whatever works," Chuck asked him no longer to use the name Calvary Chapel and Wimber adopted the name Vineyard. There is no limit to the unbiblical phenomena that the Vineyards (and others) have since found will work. (Berean Call ‘why Christ came’)

As the Gnostics before him, his experience formed his new theology. He did not use the Bible to test and approve what he experienced as it instructs us to do.

Peter Wagner and John Wimber

Peter Wagner tell us that “ God began doing signs and wonders through John Wimber and the people in his church that I previously had thought could be done only through Pentecostals ” (The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit p.25). However, It needs to be pointed out, that Lonnie Frisbee proclaimed himself as being a Pentecostal.

In 1982, shortly after being severed from Calvary chapel, Wimber returned to the Fuller Theological Seminary to co-teach with C. Peter Wagner who was a professor of Fuller's School of World Mission. They taught a course together titled MC:510, "The Miraculous and Church Growth." It was a laboratory for experimenting with signs and wonders. He encouraged people to experiment through trial and error. Imagine, experimenting with something that can only be given by God and his will! What were they experimenting with?

The ministry of Dr. C. Franklin Hall was a lecture topic in C. Peter Wagner's and John Wimber's Signs and Wonders course at Fuller Theological Seminary. this course had significant influence through the teachings of Dr. C. Franklin Hallthat continued past Branham. (posted on www.franklinhall.org, website page -no longer posted. Franklin Hall was one of the Main promoters of the unbiblical Latter Rain teachings that spread through Pentecostalism by William Branham and associates. They taught what Branham taught.

Some of the largest churches today are Latter Rain churches, and are called ‘third wave’ named by Wimber and Wagner. But many do not know that it was Branham who popularized this whole movement in the late 40’s through the 60’s. Today it is what Bill Johnson’s Bethel hybrid new age church teaches, as he chose Wimber as his mentor.

Wagner reinforces “Wimber A key part of my own spiritual pilgrimage was my close friendship with John Wimber, which began in the mid-1970’s ” (The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit p.27).

Peter Wagner describes Wimbers influence on him, “I’d go down to the Vineyard to get charged up, and then the next Sunday they would come to my congregational church and discharge and then they would go down … about every, every, every new thing that came into the Vineyard uh 3 months 4 months later 6 months later I mean it was right there in that congregational church and the 120 fellowship” (C. P. Wagner National School of the Prophets May 11, 2000.)

Here Wagner describes the rapid changes in the new Charismatism that was occurring in the Vineyard church.

One of our adjunct professors, John Wimber, who is a pastor of Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Yorba Linda, California, came to us recently with a suggestion that we offer a course in Signs, Wonders and Church Growth. I agreed to cosponsor the course with him, and early in 1982 we experimented with it.” (On The Crest Of The Wave, p.131-132, C. Peter Wagner, 1983.)

Because I trusted John, I never doubted that what was happening at Vineyard Christian Fellowship was authentic New Testament Christianity. The upshot: I teamed up with John to offer a new course in Fuller Seminary, MC510, first called “Signs, Wonders and Church Growth,” later renamed “The Miraculous and Church Growth ” (Wagner, The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit p.24).

Peter Wagner and his book, ‘Look Out! The Pentecostals are Coming’ (published by Creation House, 1973) changed Wimber’s thinking once again, just like Frisbee did before. Except now he did not need to be pried open, he opened up himself. Wimber stated, “he avoided Pentecostal and charismatic Christians,” Not believing the “charismatic gifts like tongues, prophecy, and healing were not for today. (As a dispensationalist, I believed the charismatic gifts ceased at the end of the first century.) But in Dr. Wagner, I encountered a credible witness, an accomplished missionary and dean of Fuller Theological Seminary's School of World Mission, who wrote that healing and deliverance from evil spirits were happening in South America today. Further, he proved that these miraculous encounters resulted in large evangelistic harvests and church growth. His book forced me to reconsider my position on the charismatic gifts ..." (XIX of the introduction in John Wimber' 1986 book, Power Evangelism)

His affiliations at Fuller theological had Wimber study the relationship between spiritual gifts and evangelism. The result was his development of what he called "power evangelism," predicated upon the supposition that the Gospel is largely ineffective unless accompanied by signs and wonders. His claim was completely superficial, as the religious leaders in Jesus day saw all of the signs and wonders done by Christ and turned away from him, and these were repeated by the Apostles that did not always convince to believe.

Accepting the gifts and not the actual message which was the actual power to salvation can only produce false conversions! Not the other way around.

Wimber seeking power broke the barriers he once had by his new found openness. As mentioned, this led him into practicing pragmatism (if it works, it must be from God). His experience formed his theology. Several years later, they officially formed the Association of Vineyard Churches. John Wimber said, “It was in this environment, a small group of fifty people, that “I first tested my theories of power evangelism.”

Wimber later brought on Sam Thompson, a licensed psychologist, as an assistant pastor in charge of counseling. Thompson developed the ministerial aspects of the Vineyard, combining the psychological beliefs with their charismatic practices. They were to look for signs of spiritual and physical problems. An example of how they dealt with them was the congregation standing in a circle, holding hands and commanding demons to manifest themselves in order to cast them out and be cleansed. All of this can be subjective in one’s experience and does introduce other reshaped doctrines that can lead into more unbiblical practices.

It wasn't long before Wimber began to form his methodologies for healing, music ministry, leadership, outreach, and evangelism. Wimber's methodology (along with C.P. Wagner) focused on the experimentation which came from his new openness which blinded both of them to the true nature of the Holy Spirit and Biblical truth. The testimonies of these new signs and wonders, and the experiences which could not be verified from Scripture. When Scripture was used as proof of something new, it was out of context and bent to the experience that was non biblical .

Wimber taught that the Gospel is largely ineffective without signs and wonders. Which the made the Gospel ‘not the power of God unto salvation’ but the spirits gifts effects as the power to salvation. There must be a demonstration of supernatural power through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and that signs and wonders, not just reinforce the truth of the Gospel but they became the focus as the gospel.

Wimber was convinced of his idea that prayer went beyond petitioning God for something, but rather he could command God for it, by declaring it, whether it was for a healing or something else.

His church was attracting many and filling up. The question of these many conversions should be debated because of the unbiblical experiences that accompanied them. Did they hear the gospel correctly, the full gospel, did they accept Jesus as God in the flesh and believe his resurrection? Or were they getting a partial GOSPEL of Jesus (whoever he is) died for their sins (whatever that means?)

Which is nebulous, believe that whoever Jesus was to them died for them and that was good enough?  This continues today by telling people, “make Jesus your Lord” what does this mean to a person who knows nothing about the Bible and biblical terms. What does “Jesus dying for your sins” even mean to a person who doesn’t know who this Jesus is. These things matter, according to the Bible and the Apostles writings, they are a matter of life or death. What Jesus, what gospel what spirit?

Roman Catholicism accepted

Al Dager writes: Wimber's wife Carol was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. Wimber stated that after having separated for awhile over marriage difficulties, he and Carol were remarried in the Catholic Church. Neither of the Wimber's ever renounced their Roman Catholic experiences -- which does explain why the occult influences of Roman Catholic mysticism found its place in the Vineyard church.

Wimber wrote for the Catholic charismatic publication, New Covenant (June, 1988) and had been featured on the cover of New Covenant, the major Catholic charismatic magazine. His article, "Why I Love Mary," didn't affirm the Catholic dogmas of Mary's sinlessness, her perpetual virginity, or her assumption into heaven. But neither did it offer any refutation of them. Knowing the Catholic belief in Mary as "the Mother of God," and the unbiblical doctrines that attend her veneration, such an article left the impression that Wimber had no problem with the Catholic approach to Mary. (Moreover, in his ecumenical fervor, Wimber publicly apologized to the Archbishop of Los Angeles on behalf of all Protestants.) (source rapidnet.com jbeard)

Those martyred by Rome throughout history would certainly be greatly disappointed of those called evangelical are now supporting her along with her false gospel?  If there is anyone to apologize, should it not the Archbishop apologizing for the Roman Catholic Church to all ‘Protestants’ (that is anyone that was not baptized Roman Catholic whose Christ is the Pope), under a man (called a Pope) speaking in the Lords place, ordering them as slaves unto his church, forcing them to forsake the freedom they received from Christ. A church that forced Christians to live under the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church traditions; All done by the torture, murder, rape, pillage and plunder of the millions of ‘born-again’ Christians who simply wanted to live their lives unto Christ their savior, as their Lord and God?

Wimber instead stated, "The Pope's a...real born-again, evangelical charismatic...." (Former Vineyard pastor, John Goodwin, "Testing the Fruit," Tape 2 (Toronto, Canada, Apr. 1997; quoted in Discernment Ministries)

When Pope John Paul II designated the last decade of this century for "world evangelization," John Wimber, responded, "[This is] one of the greatest things that has ever happened in the history of the Church....I am thrilled with the Pope and glad that he is calling the Church to this goal, to this work."

Did Wimber not know of the Vatican wanting to lead all of Christendom back under papal control?

* portions from a 1996, 32-page report ("The Vineyard: History, Teachings & Practices") by Al Dager of Media Spotlight.

What we see was flood of what was old and new false teachings that entered the Vineyard through the front door. Each experimentation and experience brought further discovery, His church was on a widening road that no longer would have guardrails.

Pt.3 what happened Next in the Vineyard church


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