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 Persecuted Church

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p.6 The Vineyard’s transition time

In the later 70s and early 80s John Wimber was a Calvary Chapel pastor at the time, some say he was inspired to have the church embrace healings and miracles before Frisbee’s infamous ‘Mothers Day sermon in 1980.’ This very well could be true as he was with another bad influence, Peter Wagner, teaching a signs and wonders course at Fuller College at the time.

Nonetheless, Wimber’s initial reaction was to quit the ministry after seeing what Lonnie Frisbee had done at his Church, does hang as a shadow over this theory, he may have been wondering about spiritual gifts; but nothing as shocking as what he saw Frisbee bring into his church.

Frisbee claims three years prior at a pastor’s conference “the Lord told us that he was going to join us together.” Yet Pastor John Wimber of the Yorba Linda Calvary Chapel was intensely hesitant to invite Lonnie Frisbee to preach.

Frisbee’s Mother’s Day sermon should have had numerous flashing red lights go off as he began to speak, “I think the Lord's gonna meet us tonight in a special way so I want you to be in expectancy for a move of the Spirit of God the Lord says wherever two or three are gathered in my name there I am also in the midst of him wherever two or three will agree as touching anything it shall be given unto them.”

Again another inaccurate interpretation, this scripture is about one who sins against you and you take witnesses to resolve it, to achieve forgiveness. It is ironic that this is what launched the false revival because the wider truth of this passage says that if the person refuses to hear them, tell it to the whole church (Mt.18:17) Frisbee refused to hear what Pastor Smith had spoken to him years prior.

In Frisbees Mother’s Day sermon at Wimber’s church, he continued to use scriptures (Out of context), about God’s glory being seen, his power being felt in an experience. Frisbee was suggesting to the people, what is called priming the pump. He intentionally seduced their minds to receive what he wanted them to have, and as mentioned before, even using his knowledge of hypnotic suggestion.

Throughout his message he repeated certain phrases, “and I sensed that we're experiencing a second wave of God I believe that we're having an outpouring of the Holy Spirit something similar to what I sensed back then 11 years ago. I, I sense it in the atmosphere, I sense it in the eyes, I sense it in the voices of the people that I… I hear responding to the Lord in this hour God is moving upon you in a very blessed way and some of you are just new to it you're just being introduced to it … I want to encourage you tonight to go on it what God is doing, press into it.

In other words, don’t resist, because if you do you will quench what the Spirit is doing. And no one wants to do that! We hear the same today from the false revivalists on the third wave. (Rodney Browne says step over into the supernatural). Exactly what was the first wave? Certainly, they are not going back to ‘apostolic times.’ Are there more waves to come, a 4th or 5th wave?

Using Moses as an example Lonnie says, “ hold his hands up and the blessing of God came out of him… if they will extend their hand towards the young people and really bless them like priests.”

Frisbee then asks for the worship to play the song, his name is as ointment poured forth,… sing at one time with two times and enter into the atmosphere of the Lord let's sing it through once and learn it good and there will wait upon the Lord everybody stay in the atmosphere of Prayer and expect the Spirit of God to move …”

He was repeatedly using the power of suggestion. Expectancy is a powerful primer for an experience. This is carnal, and a work of the flesh, this is not something that the Holy Spirit is involved with.

Frisbee continues, speaking about “end of the superstar minister that does everything , it's the army of God we're gonna march in our ranks and we're not gonna break our ranks and responsibility in these days is too great for one man .”

It is here where we see the continuation of Branham’s Latter Rain teaching of the end times signs and wonders movement that was developed in Wimber’s church, the army of God, Joel’s army that Wimber and those with him later preached on.

When the "Vineyard Ministries International" visited England. They brought a "prophetic" message that God is raising an ARMY in these last days to execute judgment and dominion throughout the earth. The time is at hand for God to pour out His Spirit (just as Frisbee taught; the Latter Rain) that it would be the fulfillment of Joel 2:28, a great and "new thing" God is doing on the earth.

In other words, Jesus isn’t going to save the day, the Church led by Peter Wagner, Lonnie Frisbee, and others, Jesus can’t come back until we the church subdue the earth.

Wimber himself stated what is coming is the judgment of all mankind the greatest revival the church has ever known; the greatest baptism of the Spirit the Church has ever experienced; that will bring the greatest miracles, supernatural signs, and wonders far exceeding that of the Apostles and Prophets in Scripture. Producing the greatest Army (Joel's Army), that will have invincibility, immortality, and divinity; which is the manifest sons of God straight out of the Latter Rain teaching.

Vineyard’s Jack Deere spoke on the Joel 2 army when it comes, “it’s large and it’s mighty… so mighty that there’s never been anything like it before…‘begin the slaughter and begin it in the temple and begin it with the elders, the leaders of my people.’ And they walk through the land and they start and they begin to slaughter and you know it’s already started with the biggest names in His household? He has already started the slaughter…and it is coming now among the Church.” (It Sounds Like the Mother of All Battles, Jack Deere, VMI, Joel’s Army, 1990, “Joel’s Army”)

But instead, the slaughter had come, upon them!

Speaking of command and control, Frisbee went on to say in his Mothers Day sermon,

“letthe power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit come on you right here , …I bless you the name of Jesus look at me let the power of the Holy Spirit come on your whole body right now, …the Spirit of the Lord is moving and great power that the Spirit of the Lord move over here and the name of Jesus,… I bless youin his name receive the anointing,…the Spirit of the Lord the power of God is coming on this guy.” “open look open your eyes watch, watch this is a class of the Spirit open your eyes the Spirit of the Lord is moving Spirit of the Lord is moving in Jesus name in Jesus name let the power of God come in Jesus name I slapped you in the norm and alarm (his words are not intelligible here) that the anointing of the Lord fall hallelujah let the power of the Holy Spirit come, Come holy Spirit this is like Pentecost , this is like Pentecost, that the Spirit of the Lord move over here that the Spirit of the Lord move over here in Jesus name.”

Contrary to what some say, including Wimber, Frisbee did not pronounce “Come Holy Spirit” and it all took place. He spoke throughout his sermon insinuating that the Holy Spirit was coming. (The power of suggestion was in full swing), and finally, at that point it all culminated, when it all began to hit everyone, and Frisbee claimed this was Pentecost. (which is what all the Latter Rain revivalists say today, (a new Pentecost has come) which is false.

Carol Wimber wrote: When ‘it’ came we hear of “chairs were flying over, and the people were falling on top of the fallen chairs, the leaders that could still function were shouting at one another, it was complete pandemonium”(Carol Wimber, ‘The way it was,’ in her book, 1999)

According to the Bible, this is nothing God has done in the Scriptures. Paul even rebuked tongues not being done in order, along with any other gift being exercised in an un-orderly way, which is what we see Frisbee doing to the people. This was much more than what Paul described as disorder found in Scripture. God is a God of order, not chaos, pandemonium is not of God.

Jesus says, in Jn.3, speaking of the Spirit no one can tell where the Spirit comes from and where it goes . The Holy Spirit is like the wind, it blows where it wishes. In other words, we do not command nor control the Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to lift up Jesus, and Jesus will confirm the Word, but this is not what took place on Mother’s Day. Frisbee introduced fringe Pentecostalism which he learned from Kuhlman, Roberts and others which brought strange unbiblical experiences.

Regardless, it was Tom Stipe who later called Wimber, convincing him that what just happened by Frisbee (on Mother’s Day) was of God. Despite this, there was considerable uneasiness the days after Lonnie had preached. Wimber who seemed to be convinced called a meeting with his elders of which Lonnie was asked to explain what had taken place, but it did not go as expected.

We had to have a special meeting a couple days later with all the elders. They want to know what in the world is going on here. Lonnie comes back up and disrupts John and says ‘Listen, the Lord just spoke to me. I don’t care what kind of issues you have here. What needs to happen is you need to have an encounter with God.” (DVD The Life and death of a hippie preacher: John Ruttkay, “Lonnie’s Friend”).

Another testimony, “ Before he finished his defense, Frisbee burst into the room, walked up to the angriest elder and screamed, ‘You need to have the experience of God’. The elder shook uncontrollably, fell to the floor, and rolled around.”

That ought to convince him! ... take that. Are we expected to believe that God led Frisbee to oppose this man of God with hostility? Because he wasn’t seeing Frisbee’s actions validated in the Scripture? Is that how God operates, by aggression, or did Frisbee react with fleshly boldness demonstrating the power he had; by speaking, causing an experience upon a weaker unsuspecting elder who could not find this activity in the Scripture, which is our guideline.

Frisbee only knew of experience, he could not offer a biblical argument for what he had caused to happen, yet he claimed to know God and his ways more than the others and then used power to bully an elder who disagreed with him. There was a spiritual battle going on because the principalities behind these unbiblical practices wanted entry into the Church through the open and vulnerable Vineyard movement. This elder stood in the way, not prepared or equipped for a battle, he was overcome by a demonic power he didn’t expect.

This was classic intimidation, this was a counterfeit power not of God to bring a man of God into the submission of another spirit, not the Holy Spirit of God.

After Wimber’s paradigm shift in his ministry, as he expresses in his book; Power Evangelism, and refers to Lonnie Frisbee as the “young man” whose preaching on Mother’s Day in 1980 launched the revival. There is no doubt he set the course for Wimber’s demise, only it was not evident to any at the time.

Wimber and Frisbee became a team, “John would speak and Lonnie would minister. They were the dynamic duo. Lonnie got up there and he’d wave his leather coat and the power of God would come and people would be falling all over these old pews in these Baptist churches. And Lonnie would start climbing over the pews and start laying hands on people saying, ‘Speak in tongues! Speak in tongues!’ And he’d hit them in the forehead and they’d instantly begin to speak in tongues ....” (Steve Zarit, Vineyard church member, quoted in Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).

What power was exhibited? Frisbee had the ability to have a spirit imparted by speaking, by touch, or thrown around by the wave of a hand resulting in people falling over (now accepted as 'slain in the Spirit'), which originally came from the Latter Rain teaching of Kathryn Kuhlman (who died in 1976). But there is nothing of this type of spiritual activity found in Scripture. Even without Frisbee praying, we are told people would walk by Lonnie and fall over. This supernaturalism is not found as a biblical practice (the only people who fell over were unbelievers, i.e. when they came to arrest Jesus). This practice is commonly found among those into mysticism and the occult, which Frisbee admittedly claimed he practiced before his three conversion experiences.

We can see as time went by the manifestations increased and many testified to incredible powers coming from Lonnie, they assumed that it was the Lord working through Frisbee, not knowing or applying to test the spirits, even in the church.

Later on, Wimber’s meetings would center on spiritual encounters, by experience as introduced by Frisbee.

A few years later, in the mid to late 1980’s Wimber was introduced to the ministry team at the Kansas City Fellowship, later known as, "The Kansas City Prophets"(Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, and Paul Cain as Branham disciple), along with his colleague C. Peter Wagner this became the catalyst for the “New Apostolic Reformation.” Wimber taught a course on "Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth" at Fuller Seminary with Wagner in the early 1980’s. The revived Latter Rain movement became more and more integrated into Wimber’s new church movement starting from Frisbee.

These manifestations that were introduced by Frisbee's ministry into the Vineyard became commonplace in the miracles/ Signs and Wonders movement that was of the Latter Rain.

This eventually brought the Vineyard to the Toronto Blessing, Peter Wagner, Wimber’s other Latter Rain influencer called the "Third Wave."

Wimber was once again confronted to make a decision on his policy of charismatic experimentation through the manifestations and experiences in the Toronto church under a man named John Arnott. In Charisma magazine in 1995, “there is nothing in scripture that can support these kind of phenomena that I can see and I can't think of anything throughout the church age that would, I feel no obligation to try and explain its just phenomena, its just people responding to God” (Charisma Feb. 1995 p.26).

His response was a non-biblical answer for the supernatural experiences taking place inside the Church (just like Frisbee). Reluctantly, he decided to distance himself from the controversial Airport Vineyard fellowship in Toronto, which eventually got fully out of control with practices called soaking in the Holy Spirit, animal noises, uncontrollable shaking, twisting, squirming, and contortions of the body, drunkenness in the spirit where people acted drunk; yelling, screaming, stupors, stammering. Many other bizarre actions were being practiced but encouraged.

As these became acceptable the people who were open, they became less equipped to speak the gospel, much less anything coherent.

Many today believe as Wimber did, that the gospel cannot fully be accomplished by preaching the message of salvation without accompanying power, signs, wonders, miracles and healings, spiritual experiences. While some may have good intentions (who doesn’t want to see people healed and restored) it is this dichotomy the Vineyard Church accepted from Frisbee, t hat changed their focus. The truth of the Scripture is that “the gospel is the power of God for salvation.” We are all to speak the same message. Wimber’s and these practices we see today are in direct contradiction to Romans 1:16. Insinuating that the church was deprived of the full power of the gospel after the apostolic era, nearly 2,000 years ago because signs and wonders are not present. Scripture is said to be adequate to equip the people for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15-17). We are told to preach the Word (2 Tim 4:1, 2), exhort in sound doctrine, AND refute those who contradict (Titus 1:9) what is written. That would certainly be Lonnie Frisbee if Scripture were applied.

As time went on, all of these earlier manifestations from Frisbee morphed into being acceptable not just in the Vineyard but in other Charismatic gatherings (such as with Benny Hinn who did much the same after). The Latter Rain’s false revivalism by signs and wonders had found its place in the Church.


p.7 What Lonnie Frisbee thought of himself  (all along)



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