Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jesus Culture: The Purpose of Signs and Wonders

"A question often posed is, 'Can others do miracles like the apostles, since Mark 16:17-18 describes "and these signs will follow those who believe in my name they will cast out demons they will speak in other tongues and… will heal the sick." ( Note: these particular verses are not found in the majority of the manuscripts. Lets grant that it probably is.) The answer is found in a careful examination of the text. Where we find in the Mark 16:14 narrative that Jesus is speaking to the 11 and commissions them to preach the Gospel first then baptizing the believers. So we find that the Lord is in fact speaking directly to the apostles just before he is taken up into Heaven (verse 19). Afterward, the apostles went out and preached, and the Lord was working with them confirming His Word through accompanying signs. The "them" is referring to the apostles, therefore, there is no evidence that all believers can do what the apostles did. What did occur is the word was first preached and the signs and wonders followed to validate the new leadership for the Church. In much the same way Jesus’ miracles were to validate his person and message. Signs and wonders were to follow those who believe, not the believer following after the signs. Acts14:3 shows their focus was to build people up in the objective word, not looking for the power to do miracles. Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Signs and wonders, miracles are not for the Christians who already believe, they accompanied the Gospel and were done in the presence of the unbelievers to have them believe in the message...."

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Testimony of Deliverance from Signs and Wonders Movement - 4 Pt Series


A Dangerous Journey – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 1)

SOURCE: http://inerrantword.wordpress.com/

My wife was, until last year, dangerously involved in Bethel and their music. Thanks be to the grace of God, she was able to move away from it and realise what happened to her.
 She has decided to write her testimony of this time in the hope that others may realise how dangerous this can be and as a reminder to please not turn of your discernment switches.
 Because it is rather long, we have split it into 4 parts. Part 1 is below and the others follow shortly after in separate posts. These have also been published on her blog which is found here.
Here is the testimony of my wife:
At the beginning of 2010 I decided I wanted to get involved in a more passionate “Christianity”. I have always thought of myself as a worshipper & I craved being around others who lived & breathed worshipping the Lord. 
Our church had been *pushing* & wanting revival to break out. So naturally I went home one day and decided to research about what “revival” actually was and how we could get it!  Through my discoveries I found out about The Welsh Revival, Charles Finney and others.
I wanted *revival* to break out in our church. The more I read about the “amazing” things that happened in Wales, the more I wanted that to happen to us.
A member of our church had been involved in the Brownsville Revival.  She told me many stories about the revival that happened there & the anointing that she received from there.  Whenever she went up for prayer her body would shake & eventually she would, fall to the floor.
I was curious and started looking into the information surrounding the Brownsville revival. Like the Toronto blessing, the Brownsville revival had similar manifestations of the holy spirit, and following that was the Lakeland revival.
At that time I was initially very cautious. It didn’t seem to line up with the God of the Bible I knew and I couldn’t find anything in the scriptures to back up what was happening in these places. BUT I so desperately wanted to feel God and being among passionate Christians, I thought that this was where those sorts of people were.  Some of the manifestations, including the prophetic seemed exciting and it drew me in.
Despite my initial caution & a nagging feeling of unease, I started listening to the answers that these extreme prophetic people would give to the sceptics.
Here are some of the things they said/say:
 - God was revealing new things to the church today.
 - God was moving in a way that was different & more relevant to the world now.
 - How could these things not be of God, when people were singing his praises all within the safety of a church?
 - No one can judge or dismiss the manifestations of the holy spirit, if you did then this then you were quenching the Spirit.
 - David danced in the streets and people then thought he was crazy, but he was a man after the Lord’s heart.  This meant that even though manifestations were similar to David’s dancing (disorderly behaviour) they were of God.
 - The church at Pentecost had exactly the same spirit manifestations (like drunken behaviour…because in the Bible the mockers thought they were acting drunk therefore the early church must have had drunken spirit manifestations.
 - Bill Johnson is such a kind, quietly spoken & gentle man therefore he must be a man of God.
 - People from all over are coming in droves to these churches, so its has to be good.
 - In the last days, God’s spirit will pour out on his people and this is that.
 - No-one can judge the holy spirit. If something is done in the name of the holy spirit then it must be the holy spirit.
 - Those who think that these manifestations are not of God are Pharisees (& are not open to things happening in the spirit outside of the Bible).
 - People who were outside of these movements were missing out on a special anointing from the Lord.
I became convinced by these sorts of answers. I was drawn to it, I wanted to be around enthusiastic worshippers of God and I did not want to act like a so called Pharisee. It also looked exciting.
So began my journey into the world of extreme Pentecostalism, the teachings of Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, & the music of Jesus Culture.
(Little did I know how dangerous this path was going to be)…

Hidden Dangers – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 2)

This is the 2nd of 4 parts about how my wife was delivered from the extreme Pentecostal teachings out there. The first part can be read here. These have also been published on her blog which is found here. Part 2 follows:
 I spent months immersing myself into the Bethel Church teachings and music of Jesus Culture.
 I started engaging in what is called ‘soaking’. Soaking is a practice of opening your mind and spirit to the “lord” whilst listening to loungey “Christian” music.  I gave up reading my Bible…because I wanted new revelations from God.  I had heard mentioned in so many sermons (including writings by Rick Joyner) that the Bible was being superseded by new revelations.  The people who only read the Bible were called “wordies” and these people (the “wordies”) were setting themselves up against the new spiritual move of “god”.  The new spiritual movement was more important than the information in the Bible.  So I gave my regular bible reading and embraced soaking.
I wanted to encounter God.  I wanted something dramatic to happen, something exciting. During my soaking I would sit quietly opening my mind and heart up to the ‘presence’. I would focus on this little warm fuzzy I had in me and eventually this feeling started to get bigger and bigger. I would have this almost ecstatic feeling on call anytime I wanted it. Eventually I would just begin to start a soaking “prayer” and this feeling would come over me immediately. It made me feel “in love” with jesus. He was no longer in a position of authority or a lord on a throne, but someone I was in love with.  Someone who made me feel really good and superior.  This feeling made me feel good and I wanted more of it.
My whole world started to change…in fact I was changing more than I really knew…and not for the better.
The more I engrossed myself into Bethel church’s teachings the more passionate I became about “us” being ‘right’ and those that only followed the Bible being wrong. This set me up against my husband. My husband is a fervent student of the Word of God – quiet and humble – and so he did not embrace what I was now into.    I resented this and felt he was not good enough anymore. I wanted him to be more passionate and open to the spirit like I was. My main goal in life now was to save our money to get to a Bethel Conference so I could receive these special anointings. I was increasingly unhappy with my life the way it was. It was too boring, it didn’t excite me or make me outwardly more passionate for God. I wanted this anointing. I wanted to see the gold glitter and jewels falling from heaven. I wanted to move in the prophetic.
As you may have noticed…it had now become all about ME.
I wanted the new anointings. I wanted to be blessed by God. I wanted to give up my entire life and get into one of these churches…I even wanted to get my husband to move our entire family to Redding (where Bethel is based) so that I could be apart of this new move of God.  All I wanted was to have these good feelings I had inside all the time. The ones that made me feel “in love” and passionate about jesus. I loved how those feelings made me feel, and I wanted more of it.  No one was going to stand in my way. I knew what was right for me! I had become a loud, aggressive woman, extremely impatient and completely caught up in my own selfish ambitions. 
I could not see that this was happening.  I no longer had any time for my family, I needed this and that what was all that was important.  I couldn’t understand that my husband wasn’t able to see the great *change* in me. I needed to be soaking and listening to my Jesus Culture music.  As time went on, I started to get exceedingly rude towards my husband. I grew to be resentful towards him and completely disrespected his walk with the Lord.  I wanted him to become “great” for God by receiving the new anointing.  I was in a superior place with the Lord and I thought his bible studies were a waste of time. 
One day however I did pick up my Bible and read it.  It was during that time that I noticed something very different from what I was experiencing.  I became aware of this quiet still voice. This had become very foreign to me. It was no at all like the excited, loud experiences I was having in my soaking time. It concerned me as I could not work out in my head why this gentle, quiet voice was so different from my other experiences.
Then something happened that completely opened my eyes.
At a church gathering I started chatting to the same member that I referred to in part one on my story.  We started talking about all the amazing anointings and manifestations that were happening overseas, like the gold dust, glitter and jewels and how we wanted these things to start happening in our church.  We longed to go and attend these conferences and receive “more”. 
Then it happened.  She started telling me about this amazing “anointed” man of god, who received the glory of god.  His name was Joshua Mills.  At his conferences were all the same manifestations…she started telling me that the glory of god was so strong on this man that he had oil that drips from his body as a show of his anointing. She was amazed by this. But for I suddenly started to realise that something wasn’t right. In fact there was something very wrong with this.
I felt very uncomfortable with this. I had been raised in the Catholic church, before I became a born again believer. When I became I believer God opened my eyes very clearly to the satanic influence in that church.   The Catholic church is full of visitations from “mary”, oil dripping from their own “anointed” people, the stigmatas etc.   So when my friend started telling me about Joshua Mills and his oil dripping from this body as a sign of the glory of god, alarm bells starting ringing inside my heart!
As soon as I got home I started looking up Joshua Mills to find out more about this.  Joshua Mills is part of the Elijah List, a list of special “prophets”.  On this list included Bill Johnson, Kim Clements, Rob De Luca, Randy Clark, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Rodney Howard-Brown, Carol and John Arnott and so on.  Joshua Mills was a man who ran conferences and teaching classes (which you pay huge amounts of money to attend).  He ran these classes so the students could receive from him and take home his special anointing.  And sure enough, just as my church friend had said, Joshua Mills was producing oil from his skin, that was sign of the glory of god upon him.  And if it wasn’t bad enough – he was collecting his drips of oil on rags and selling it…so that people could buy and get his special anointing from the rag.
All of a sudden, like a lightning bolt, I realised what I had got myself involved.

Uncovering the Dark Deception – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 3)

This is the 3rd of 4 parts about how my wife was delivered from the extreme Pentecostal movement. She was particularly involved in the teachings of Bill Johnson and Bethel and the music of Jesus Culture among others. Part 1 can be read here and part 2 can be read here. These have also been published on her blog which is found here. Part 3 follows:
After reading about Joshua Mills on the internet I started to realise exactly what I have allowed into my spirit, my heart and my life. It hit me like nothing I have ever experienced before! I had allowed a deceiving spirit into my life. A false spirit, a false jesus.
All of a sudden everything that had been covered up was uncovered.  The truth of what was my reality, my darkness was exposed. The moment of this is like nothing I can explain or give a full account of. I became completely aware of this sick, filthy darkness that had been in my life. The heaviness of the reality on my spirit was awful.  To give you an idea of what this felt like I can only explain it like this: There have been times in my life when I felt a deep darkness. Times like when I had a life before Christ. Another time was when I was a born again believer but started living in the world for myself. I got involved in immorality and it was awful and caused a deep wound in my spirit then. When I realised I had allowed a deceiving spirit into my life, it was far, far greater than anything I have ever felt when I was not a believer and when I was engaging in full blown sin as a believer. The intensity and depravity of what I had done and allowed in was so great I simply just cannot explain in words. Perhaps for me I can only liken this to what is the actual reality of the dark evil spiritual realm. What it may feel like to be in alliance with satan. One thing is sure, when the Light of God and His Truth uncovers deception nothing can hide from His glory.
I came before my husband and confessed what I had allowed into mine and our lives. I explained to him exactly how I had been deceived and the burden and heaviness on my spirit that had come from allowing this false spirit in my life. I had spent so many months desperately trying to get him into this “world”. He told me that he had been praying to God intensely for Him to reveal to either one of which of us was wrong. God answers prayer and He came through for us!
When I realised what had crept into my life, all I wanted to do was get rid of this thing as fast as possible. I was absolutely desperate to get rid of this darkness, this filth! (One can only imagine what it will feel like in hell for people who will live an eternity with this constant desperation and never be able to get rid of it and get peace).
Praise the Almighty One. Earlier that year I had visited a blog about a woman who had gone through a similar experience (visit M’Kayla’s Korner), but I thought I knew better and had not heeded her warning. Thankfully I had bookmarked her blog page and that night Nick and I sat down searching through it to help us work out how to get rid of this darkness and filth that was in my spirit. God had given this woman the insight to put an extremely helpful link to getting rid of these false spirits if you had allowed them into your life (read this here).  We printed off the pages and followed each step.  I spent a few hours in our bedroom on my own paging through the advice and looking up bible verses. 
That night I spent those hours confessing my sin and disobedience to my Lord. I confessed my lack of discernment and my own sinful willingness to expose myself to this deception and false spirit.  I was able to see that after I confessed this from my heart and made a decision to never expose myself or my family to these false spirits again I was set free! The Lord Jesus took the darkness away from my life and in place the sweetness of His Spirit returned.


What is a False Jesus? – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 4)

This is the 4th and final part of my wife’s testimony of how she managed to get out of the influence of the extreme Pentecostal movement. Make sure you also read part one, part two, and part three. These have also been published on her blog which is found here. The final part is as follows:
 This false spirit, a false “jesus”, one that pleases the flesh, had been given permission by me into my life. If I knew the character of the Lord well or knew my Bible basics I would have recognized the false spirit simply by looking at what type of behaviour I was displaying when I was experiencing this “spirit”.  I would have know that the fruit of the real and true Holy Spirit  is peace, love, real joy, gentleness, self-control, humility, patience, kindness, faithfulness and goodness. If I had done this little test I would have clearly seen that I lacked gentleness, self-control, patience, peace and real love. This false spirit is very easily recognised when you do this little test. What I had allowed in my life brought out impatience, anger, rudeness, complete lack of Self-Control, chaos, flesh seeking madness, self ambition and selfish desires.
The next way to determine a false spirit is to do a quick comparison with what the God of the Bible is like in character versus the spirit you have opened yourself up to. Does it match up with what the Word of God says?
 - Who God is (a God of order and peace)
 - The order of a Church service (no chaos, no un-interpreted tongues, no more than 2 or 3 people talking in tongues and in turn (not over each other)
  – That these manifestations are similar if not the same to the strange fire offered by Aaron’s sons in Exodus
 - Leadership in the church (should be characterised by godly character: men of peace, self-control, peace, gentleness, quietness and of humility).
 - The focus of godly teaching (is leading one towards complete reliance on Jesus Christ and not on yourself or a person or a ministry)
 - People under the authority of the Lord (will display a peace, calmness, quietness and gentleness about them).
 - Dying to self and dying to flesh. The entire false spirit movement is characterised by satisfying your own flesh and carnal nature. Rather than bowing down before the Lord, it is about getting as much out as you can for yourself, getting the “anointing” for yourself, getting the “manifestations” for yourself, seeing the signs and wonders for yourself. This is completely the opposite to the life of Jesus Christ, one of complete self sacrifice and in turn the life Christians are to live. We are to beat our body/flesh to make it our slaves (1 Corinthians 9:27).  
 - The real gospel of the Lord is unpopular. I have realised that wherever there are huge crowds and no real genuine repentance (followed by no major changes in the person’s life) then one needs to proceed with extreme caution! The way of the Lord is a narrow way, not a popular one.
 - We need to be very careful of false teachers and false prophets in the end times. There are no arguments that we are in the end times, so why would we switch off our discernment buttons because we are too scared to be wrongly called Pharisees.
Will we be accountable to God for being easily deceived?
We have access to the Truth, the Word of God. The Word of God specifically warns us in detail about what deceptions there will be in the end times and yet we are still easily deceived.  I was warned by earnest believers, but still chose to be lead astray.  And in turn we have earnestly warned others but they choose to defile themselves with these false spirits too.
Why are we caught off guard by so called “men of god” that are bringing these false spirits into the church?
Most likely they are completely deceived themselves and are themselves, in turn, deceivers. The whole purpose of deception is that is going to come in and trick us! Why does it surprise us that this is happening in the church? Satan has had over 7,000 years to work out the best ways to deceive and cheat people, of course he is going to influence people in the church today. It is naive to think he wouldn’t. There will be no excuse for us on our day of judgement when we face our Lord and King and we realise we have been tricked into allowing false spirits into our hearts. We should know better and be prepared for this.
How do we know and recognise satan?
Satan will deceive us by enticing our flesh! It is not surprising them to find that these so called movement of the “holy spirit” are about ‘making us feel good’, ‘hyping up our emotions’ and ‘satisfying our carnal desires’ into chaos, uncontrolled disgusting behaviour and acting like mad people.
Is it any surprise why we are so desperate for the next “fix”?
This behaviour is not found anywhere in the Word of our God. The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and then they went out with their purpose, to spread the gospel NOT to  run from conference to conference, meeting to meeting to get *more* of the “anointing”.
When I look back over my darkest days I can now very clearly recall some of the behaviours of these people and even friends who are in these “movements”. Their behaviour (including my own) was some of the most selfish, prideful displays I have ever seen. We were desperate to have our next “fix”, the next manifestation, the next drunken moment in the so called holy spirit, and the next “loved up” feeling. The longer I was involved the greater my drive and motivation was to fulfil my flesh and carnal desire. This selfish, flesh seeking drive is intensely stronger than the motivation to go out into the world and spread the gospel and to save lost sinners in the name of Jesus.  I only cared about myself and truthfully I had no real genuine care or love for other believers during that time. It was all about me.
I also have noticed and experienced the anger of these people when they are questioned about the truth behind these movements and any mention of false spirits. It is like they turn into monsters defending their prey. There is an awful ugliness that emerges and it is quite frightening (that is why I used the word monster). I displayed this ugly behaviour myself so I speak from first hand experience…these people have sold themselves out to a false spirit, a false jesus. The devil has a hold on their heart and their desires. This false spirit makes them feel good and they will hold onto it like nothing else! Their flesh fights to hold onto it and fights against the truth being revealed.
If you are concerned about this false spirit that is creeping into the church please go to my sister in Christ’s Mkayla Kelly’s blog.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Apostolic Reformation - Perilous End-Times Deception

"Below are some of the teachings and beliefs of these self styled apostles.
·         They believe that God is restoring the office of prophet and apostles to the church
·         Claim that they alone have the power and authority to execute the plans and purposes of God
·         Believe they are building a new foundation for a global church.
·         Believe they will  literally establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth
·         Believe in a coming “civil war” in the church where they will overcome all (true Christian) opposition.
·         Place an inordinate emphasis on angels and the supernatural
·         Claim extra-biblical revelations that can not be scripturally proven ( progressive revelation)
·         Claim that God is doing a “new thing”
·         Frequently say that those not accepting their heretical teaching are “Putting God in a box”
·         Teach that we should never question their authority.
·         They use the term “Touch not God’s anointed” frequently when questions are raised.
·         They peg those that question their authority as  bound by religion,  legalistic, divisive,  narrow minded,  rebellious, and demonic
·         Place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Word of God
·         They believe they will be the incarnation of Christ
·         They believe they will execute judgment upon those who oppose them (up to and including death).
·         They believe in a one-world religion operating in sync with a one world government.
·         They believe in complete unity and believe that there is nothing they can not accomplish through this unity.
·         They believe they can bring Heaven down to earth (a heresy called Yoism- see link below for more information) (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/05/yoism-creating-heaven-on-earth.html)
·         They believe that we will be perfected here on earth
·         They believe in aggressively organizing small group networks
·         They believe in the organization of apostles under pre-eminent apostles
·         They believe that ALL local churches must be under the authority of a regional or trans-local apostle
·         They believe each city must have an apostle- men given extraordinary authority in spiritual matters over the other Christian leaders in the same city
·         They consider themselves divine, little gods and equal to Christ ( although they loosely veil this)
·         They believe they will attain perfection on earth, same as the deception in the Garden of Eden
·         They consider themselves the “Defenders of the Faith”
·         Place a great deal of emphasis on mysticism and hidden knowledge ( Gnosis)
·         Do not believe in the rapture (or believe the wicked are the ones that will be ruptured)
·         Stress unity over doctrine and reject the literal interpretation of the Bible" 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hillsong's False Gospel - Part 1

" Now here is my problem with Hillsong, while when you push them enough you will find they have orthodox convictions regarding their faith and the Gospel but THEY do not teach it to their followers.

Hillsong is as big and as influential as it is because of a systematic and strategic effort to hide the offence of the Gospel, and to whittle Christianity down to something that’s more palpable to the world, and a generous amount of prosperity teaching is sprinkled in the process. It is not that they don’t believe in sin, it’s just that they don’t talk about it. It’s not that they don’t believe in justification, it’s just that they don’t talk about it. It’s not that they don’t believe in repentance, it’s just that they don’t talk about. In its place what you get is much boasting about the love of God, but that love is no longer based upon the cross but based upon blessing. You will hear bits and pieces about Jesus dying for you, but the bulk of their time is spent talking about blessing. How you get it, how much is there, if you are not getting it this is why so on and so forth. Are they heretics? No, but they are a lot more dangerous…

Gather all the material you can get your hands on in the past five year or so, all the teachings Brian Houston have made in public, every time, if at all, the word gospel is mentioned; how much of that gospel actually lines up with the Scriptures? Of the thousands upon thousands of people attended Hillsong’s weekly services, how many of them walk away with the clear knowledge what the Gospel of Jesus Christ really is? For all the people who have ever responded to an altar call in that church, how many of them know why they went forward? Is it because they are sinners in need of Christ’s perfect righteousness or is it because they wanted some blessing from Jesus? How many followers of Hillsong can give a reason for the hope they process, how may of them can speak of Jesus other than the vacuous emotional sentimentalism that frames Christ more like a heavenly boy friend instead of a Saviour of sinners?

The vague, superficial, shallow, trite and one-size-fits-all approach Hillsong adopted in their treatment of the Gospel message means that they are now peddlers of a gospel that gives people hope without substance, Christ without the cross, faith without reason and self improvement in place of salvation. It may not be the wacky prosperity Gospel of Benny and Kenny but it is just as self-serving in the end. Whatever glimpses of the real Gospel that may appear on occasion is immediately swallowed up by the Hillsong message of blessing and encouragement. No one is exhorted to examine their own sin with any measure of seriousness, so no one is made to feel bad about themselves, that will not be "encouraging". You know whatelse people think is discouraging: Christ and Him crucified."

Let No Man Deceive You - Not Even Hillsongs

"My Story of Losing Faith In Hillsong
My loss of faith in Hillsong took much time. It took me some years to finally concede that tithing was clearly unbiblical.

But I was still so zealous for Hillsong that I was anxious to prove it to its critics.

The critics kept banging on about how Hillsong was all about the money, so I was anxious to prove to them that Hillsong was open and honest about its financial practices. It had assured me that any member of the congregation could agree to meet the manager, George Aghajanian, and see the financial books.

So I made the appointment. After some months, I was finally in the meeting.

After pressing George and his assistant for a long time, I left the meeting without seeing a single figure. They refused to show me anything. I was a supportive congregant for five years. Not a single figure. In fact, they filled my mind with spin and answers so that when I left the meeting, I thought they had answered my questions. Only later I realised they had shown me nothing.

The financial accountability of the church is a grand lie. It is upheld by willing people, and those who are conditioned not to question, because criticism is ungodly.


Deliverance from the Counterfeit Revival (Testimonial)

"...Since coming into the truth concerning Toronto and my subsequent ministry, I have had such a desire to walk in truth and holiness before the Lord, and to set no unclean thing before me. Nothing less than this will do. Since then there has always a “check” in my when something is not of God, even though there are occasions when I cannot find the reasons why in my Bible.

The Lord has also made it very clear to me that, having come into truth and having been set free (Gal. 5:1) that I am no longer to go to churches or associate myself with ministries where Toronto and indeed other false teachings, are promoted and accepted. This has meant that I have had to leave my previous church where I had worshipped for seven and a half years.

Toronto was in evidence there, as well as other false teachings such as Replacement and Dominion theology to name but two.

I thank God that, in the midst of this, He promised me that He had “prepared a place for me, a place where I would continue to be nurtured and fed and where the things that were now dear to my heart were practiced and taught.” In June 1996, he led me to this place, a little independent chapel in nw London where the teaching is sound, the ministry balanced and without excesses and where I received a warm welcome and became part of a close-knit church family. I AM used of the Lord there, but not in any of the supposed “anointings” I received when I was caught up in Toronto. I got nothing from these “anointings”, despite all their promises of equipping for ministry. Instead, I still have the gifts I have always had since being baptised in the Holy Spirit.
~ Sally Richardson June 2006


11 years on, and I am still at the same independent fellowship that the Lord led me to in 1996. It is a precious little fellowship where the things of God are faithfully taught and where the truth of Scripture is paramount. I am reminded that it was at Shavuot (Pentecost) 11 years ago that I first attended a service at this little church, and it was Shavuot last weekend. I owe so very much to the Lord, and am grateful too for those dear folk who prayed for me and helped me to come out of deception. Sadly, although our church has been extremely careful to uphold Biblical practice and teaching, much of the church has not, and in the last 11 years, I have seen error and deception proliferate and multiply.

The Lord has spoken to me much out of Ezekiel 13. Read it for yourself and you will see how relevant and pertinent it is to the situation in much of the Church in these days. When I look at verse 5, which reads YOU HAVE NOT GONE INTO THE GAPS OR BREECHES, NOR BUILT UP THE WALL (FOR THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL – parantheses mine) THAT IT MIGHT STAND IN THE BATTLE OF THE DAY OF THE LORD, it reminds me of David Noakes’ warning on that tape I listened to all those years ago where he said that the walls of Scripture were being broken down.*

Much of the church is in ruins because of false teaching, false prophecies and deceptive practices, and yet they seem unaware of their wretched state. People tell me that Toronto is over, but it has surely left its legacy. So too, will the latest fads and teachings that many are so taken with, the latest being Purpose Driven.

I can only pray for those caught up in false teaching and deception and especially pray that He might open their eyes and bring them out as He brought me out. Will you join me?


Counterfeit Revival : An Insider's Warning of the Signs and Wonders Movement - (Video)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jesus Culture | False Anointing (Video Series)

"A few months ago, a group called Jesus Culture visited the UK. I knew a few folks who were attending and promoting their return, but I hadn’t heard of it and so I did a little digging and found they were linked to Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. Now Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, based in Redding, CA, I do know and so I intended to put up a blog post, warning people what was at stake. Well, in what I can only describe as a fit of cowardice, I didn’t post the piece I had written.
However, I received a link to a three-part documentary about all this which at once made me extremely sorrowful I didn’t speak out at the time. The following is a three-part documentary by Andrew Strom, a self-professed Charismatic (which fact becomes evident in the latter part of the third video) who, like myself, has seen that groups like Bethel Church and its youth arm, Jesus Culture, are not promoting Biblical Christianity in any shape or form. In fact, what is being promoted is deeply disturbing. Like I just said, Strom himself is Charismatic and does make some claims at the end of the third video, which I couldn’t possibly endorse. That said, I applaud for having the courage to speak up about this and for providing clear and uncompromisable proof that something is amiss in his own movement. And now, here’s the VIDEO SERIES

Thursday, March 24, 2011

False Apostles of the "New Apostolic Reformation"

Apostles: True or False?

"New Apostolic Reformation"

One of the defining differences between Paul and many of the so-called apostles of today is that Paul decreased. By contrast, these men and women who flaunt their titles and positions are ever on the increase. Another big difference is that Paul preached Christ, while these are ever preaching their apostleship. Paul wrote, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5). In contrast, all the books by today's rising stars are written in defense of their supposed ministries. Their sole preoccupation is the resurgence of apostles in the church and the restoration of apostolic authority. To our knowledge, only those who view themselves as apostles have written such books. This is a clear conflict of interest since they preach themselves!
Paul warns us that the identifying mark of false apostles is masquerading. "For such men are deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:13). If you are not a true apostle, it requires constant posing and posturing to convince others that you are. This may explain the need to make up new and extravagant ministry titles almost daily. They want us to think they are as important as they think they are.
They clearly state that victory in "spiritual warfare" is dependent upon them "going into an area and doing spiritual battle with territorial spirits." One of these so-called apostles wrote,
"These evil prince spirits will be defeated little by little, and they will be eventually dethroned by the warfare of the Church. In contrast, a man who is an apostle and submitted to Christ will now reign spiritually over that locality in place of the displaced evil prince spirit . . . As these evil prince angels are defeated one by one, Satan's control over the world is seriously weakened. Finally, in unified global spiritual warfare, the last apostles and the Church will confront Satan himself."
Talk about visions of grandeur! We thought that the angels of God were the ones who throw Satan into the lake of fire at God's appointed time. It was this kind of insanity that Jude warned against when he wrote:
In the same way these dreamers make the flesh unclean, having no respect for authorities, and say evil of rulers. Now when Michael, one of the chief angels, was fighting against the Evil One for the body of Moses, fearing to make use of violent words against him, he only said, May the Lord be your judge. But these men say evil about such things as they have no knowledge of; and the things of which they have natural knowledge, like beasts without reason, are the cause of their destruction. (Jude 1:8-10, BBE).
These presumptuous men also believe that the restoration of "the office of the apostle" is key to "releasing finances" for the church. In their own minds, these men see themselves as the answer to all the needs of the church. A few have even dared to place themselves at the top of the apostolic heap.
After the 9 -11 attacks one of these "apostles," who refers to himself as the "Presiding Apostle," gives us a glimpse into the megalomania of these poor self-deluded men and women.
"In our roles as apostolic leaders of the International Coalition of Apostles, both John Doe (not his real name) and I have written initial apostolic declarations. This is mine, and John Doe's will be attached to it in the same communication . . . I habitually read a chapter of the Bible before each day begins. On September 11, I read 2 Kings 18 before I had heard that we were in a national crisis. Naturally my reading for September 12, after I knew about it, was 2 Kings 19. This is the story of Hezekiah. In 18 he went on a spiritual offensive and wiped out idolatry from Judah. The devil did not like this, so he sent Sennacherib of Assyria against him with a threat, which I liken to the destruction of the twin towers. As I prayed for my personal role in this crisis, I came to 2 Kings 19 recording Hezekiah's reaction. Hezekiah inquired of the Lord, then sent for the Lord's word through Isaiah the prophet. He was aware that "God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
Only when he had received the word of the Lord through Isaiah did Hezekiah go back before the Lord and make his kingly declaration. I saw that the Lord wanted me to postpone any declaration about the twin towers war until word had come in from the prophets. The word, at least a preliminary word, has now come in from the prophets (we have received over 1,000 emails), so I am ready to write this memorandum."
Does this man actually envision himself as a king, making a kingly declaration?
He continues,
"I imagine that numbers of other apostles, besides John Doe (not his real name) and me, will be doing the same thing. Who knows? Maybe some day we will be able to collate them in order to agree on what the Spirit is saying to the churches. . .the Strategic Prayer Network, the Observatory, Generals of Intercession, the International Coalition of Apostles, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, the Jericho Center and other vital units."
Thank you, commander and chief! Did you notice how they gravitate to the titles that this world system employs--titles like Strategic, Network, Generals, Coalition, Center and units? One of these men spoke of an ever increasing ascendancy of titles as the emphasis changed from the ministry of pastors to teachers, from teachers to evangelists, from evangelists to prophets and from prophets to apostles over the last five decades. When I heard this, I (Michael) thought, what title will they clamor after next, the title of Jesus Christ the King? After reading the memorandum above, this does not seem to be so far out of reach. There is nothing so blinding as pride. In contrast, the words of Paul come to mind,
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:1-6, NKJV).
The one who builds the house gets the glory. We ask you, "What house are these men building and who is getting the glory?" The answer is all too obvious.
These self-appointed kingdom builders also charge exorbitant prices to get in to their meetings, often over $300 per seat. They make merchandise of the unsuspecting people of God. Other than the Bible, the Didache is among the oldest Christian documents. It was written about 150 AD. In it we find the following instructions.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bill Johnson Denies Christ's Divinity?

I have 4 of Bill Johnson’s books; and, I’ve seen videos, heard audio online, read parts of his blog so I have read quite a bit of Bill Johnson yet none show Jesus to be Christ at the Incarnation but rather Jesus received the “title” of Christ “in an experience.”

This is CLEARLY not what Scripture indicates.

What is obvious in Johnson’s work is Jesus was a mere man empowered by “the anointing.” In that, he is VERY consistent.

The stakes ARE high regarding false teaching. There are real souls at stake. When a false teacher is teaching a different Jesus, a different gospel, then the end result is no salvation from this teaching. And, a little leaven [Matthew 16:6, 11-12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1] leavens the whole [1 Cor 5:6; Galatians 5:19].

Bethel Healing Rooms and Dead-Raising Teams

Jonathan Lair stood in the middle of Bethel Church's Healing Room on Dec. 5 and joyfully got straight to the point: "I'm going to get new feet today."

A pastor at a church in San Diego, Lair said he came to Redding so he could go to the Healing Rooms at Bethel and be cured of a painful condition that has caused his feet to be flat his whole life. Lair, 27, was barefoot and had rolled his jeans up above his ankles, exposing his flat, calloused feet.
"I will see my arches healed," he said just before two women on Bethel's Healing Rooms Ministry team approached him. "I really believe that."

As Lair closed his eyes and bowed his head, the two older women stood on either side of him and began to pray quietly, tapping him on the chest and back. They motioned for another woman, one with a ram's horn known as a shofar, to come to where they stood. She began to blow the shofar at Lair's feet and in moments he fell to the ground, shaking....

Music performed in the Encounter Room made its way through the Healing Room speakers, repeating "God is good, God is good, God is good," while worshippers prayed, danced, laughed, cried, fell down and lay on the floor under what they say is the power of God. According to Bethel leadership, this is the room where people are cured of cancer, broken bones, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and a host of other diseases....

Back in the Healing Room, Jonathan Lair lay peacefully on the floor, covered in a dark green blanket, while the three women continued to pray over him and blow the shofar at his feet. At one point he got up and hopped up and down in the middle of the room where people were painting pictures on easels, before lying back down again. Eventually, one by one, they walked away and left him lying still on the floor.
Lair slowly sat up 10 minutes later and looked around. He looked at his feet, then stood up.
He said he had expected bones to crack and form an arch but his feet were still flat.
"I look at them, and they don't look healed," he said.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Idolatry in Bill Johnson's Teaching --Pt 2: Healing

Let's just keep it simple, if healing is in the atonement why does Mr. Johnson wear glasses? Seriously, that really should settle the whole debate, no fancy exegesis required. Rather than paying the $200 every few years for a new pair of spectacles why not pay $25 and purchase his own teaching series, "Healing: Our Birthright" at the Bethel store and grab his healing? If God never causes sickness, then what are we to make of David's child, the tumors in Egypt and on the Ark harboring Philistines all being struck with sickness clearly by God? Not to mention the covenantal threats of disease upon the Israelites in Deuteronomy if they break the covenant?

None of that makes sense if we are to live by theology based upon quaint slogans. All slogan theology leaves us with is a God somewhat like a doting mother with a head full of curlers who showers us with kisses and cookies everytime we skin our knees playing kick the can in the alley when she told us to clean our room.

Fortunately, man does not live by quaint sayings but the word of God.


Idolatry in Bill Johson's Teaching--Pt 1: Signs and Wonders

Thus, in Johnson's zeal for making supernatural signs and wonders an everyday Christian thing he tosses the Divine nature of Christ making Him our entirely imitatable example. As previously stated, this actually reveals the idolatrous centrality of signs and wonders in much of the Charismatic movement. My personal observation of this reality was what caused me to break with the movement years ago. My own parting with the movement came as I realized that the Charismatic church I attended literally never preached the simple gospel, the gospel was always a peripheral thing, I recall it even being described as a stepping stone to greater things. Again, don't take my word for it, Johnson himself says in his book:

"Salvation was not the ultimate goal of Christ’s coming… [The ultimate goal] was to fill each born again person with the Holy Spirit.” (WHE p.71)

“The present day understanding of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom means to preach a message that will bring as many people to conversion as possible. But what did preaching the kingdom mean to Jesus? Every instance in which He either did it or commanded it, miracles followed.” (WHE p.185)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jesus Culture Awakening | Chicago 2011: Reinhard Bonnke - Unbiblical Teachings and Actions...

Jesus Culture Awakening Chicago 2011: Reinhard Bonnke - Unbiblical Teachings and Actions...: "Read FULL ARTICLE Virtually every existing Pentecostal group was represented in New Orleans for the massive display of unity. Signif..."

Saved from the Deception of Bethel Church

Cover PhotoGod saved me, and brought me out of the Signs and Wonders Movement, after being involved in it for nearly twenty-two years; I am now twenty-three years of age and have been saved for about a year and a half. This is my testimony, and in writing this I pray that God would use this to save others out of the movement that I was so heavily involved in, and that above all else, Christ will be magnified and made much of!

    I was born and raised in the “Prophetic Movement” (which is now in the process of morphing into the “New Apostolic Reformation”), and I grew up completely oblivious to what Biblical Christianity is meant to look like. Some of the leaders who had an influence on how I perceived what the church is to look like, have included John and Carol Arnott of the “Toronto Blessing”, Rodney Howard Browne of the “Brownsville Revival”, and others such as Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Chris Harvey, Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, Randy Clark, Patricia King, Georgian Banov, Bobby Conners, Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, and Bill Johnson.

   In the fall of 2002 I ended up moving to Redding, California to get “plugged-in” to Bethel Church, which Bill Johnson (a self-proclaimed “apostle”) oversees. It was here where I ended up jumping into and entertaining the supernatural phenomenon, signs and wonders, and mystical experiences (which were falsely attributed to God) in a much greater way then I did when I was a kid growing up. I soon got involved in the youth group, which was heavily influenced by Lou Engle who heads up “The Call” and Mike Bickle who heads up “IHOP” (International House Of Prayer). I later enrolled in Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in 2006, and went through the whole three-year program. I was heavily engaged and supportive of many of the things, which were being taught and practiced. When Todd Bentley and his, “Lakeland Revival” began to take place, I jumped on board with that as well, and became a full supporter and advocate for it. I was gladfully defending it against all the, “Religious Pharisees” (or so I called them at the time). It was also at this time that I noticed the, “Toking the Ghost” movement and became a “Toker” myself, and a full supporter of John Crowder and Ben Dunn.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reinhard Bonnke - Unbiblical Teachings and Actions

Virtually every existing Pentecostal group was represented in New Orleans for the massive display of unity.  Significantly, though not surprisingly, over half of those attending the five-day event were Roman Catholic. This however, became a source of embarrassment on Friday night. It all happened when a speaker decided to make an appeal for salvation. A Petrifying Event: Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was not prepared for what happened, however! In fact, it immediately became obvious that he had just made a grave mistake from the Pentecostal point of view and also from that of the Congress leaders. To Bonnke's utter amazement, half of those at the Congress stood to indicate they were not saved! And yet for three days these same people had danced for "joy in the spirit,"spoken in tongues and had been previously registered as children of God (because they had been "baptized in the spirit"). In reality, through his spontaneous invitation, evangelist Bonnke provided true believers with a startling revelation and shocking confirmation. The type of evangelism and the gospel proclaimed by Pentecostalism is a sham! Or, putting it more plainly, the cries of "Full Gospel," or "Four Square Gospel" or just plain "gospel" that reverberate throughout Pentecostal or Charismatic Movement publications, meetings and programs, are cries coming from those outside the circle of God's truth. Their gospel is a hoax, for it unites truth with error, darkness with light, and destroys the very wall that separates. An obviously dumbfounded Reinhard Bonnke again explained that he was speaking of receiving eternal life from Christ. And still, the immense throng of some 15,000 persons remained standing. Asked to explain this situation at a press conference, Congress Chairman Vinson Synan admitted they "were probably Catholics" and "would see this as a kind of renewal of baptismal vows." Tragically, no attempt was made to show the people that water baptism is not a part of salvation. (EVANGELISM: (Billy Graham) THE TROJAN HORSE OF THE1990's, By Wilson Ewin, Quebec Baptist Missions, Box 113, Compton, Quebec, J0B 1L0 Canada, http://cnview.com/on_line_resources/evangelicism_the_trojan_horse_of_the_1990s.htm)
This is a travesty!  Those who say they are evangelists should take great care in the presentation of the Gospel so that when people respond they know what they are responding to.  But the facts in this case indicate that Bonnke wanted them forward so they could have a "slain in the spirit" fest, just like hundreds of churches in the Third Wave.  There is no such thing as Catholics, who do not know the Gospel and are not saved, being given the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues.  There are demonic tongues, as well as people who pretend.  Holy Spirit tongues are a spiritual grace gift and are only possible in people who are born again.  There is also no such thing as "baptismal vows" in Scripture.  The RCC teaches baptismal regeneration, as well as other heresies, and most Catholics have no idea what the criteria is for them to be born again and have eternal life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is the Gospel? by Michael Horton

Saved from the Deception of Bethel Church

God saved me, and brought me out of the Signs and Wonders Movement, after being involved in it for nearly twenty-two years; I am now twenty-three years of age and have been saved for about a year and a half. This is my testimony, and in writing this I pray that God would use this to save others out of the movement that I was so heavily involved in, and that above all else, Christ will be magnified and made much of!

    I was born and raised in the “Prophetic Movement” (which is now in the process of morphing into the “New Apostolic Reformation”), and I grew up completely oblivious to what Biblical Christianity is meant to look like. Some of the leaders who had an influence on how I perceived what the church is to look like, have included John and Carol Arnott of the “Toronto Blessing”, Rodney Howard Browne of the “Brownsville Revival”, and others such as Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Chris Harvey, Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, Randy Clark, Patricia King, Georgian Banov, Bobby Conners, Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, and Bill Johnson.

   In the fall of 2002 I ended up moving to Redding, California to get “plugged-in” to Bethel Church, which Bill Johnson (a self-proclaimed “apostle”) oversees. It was here where I ended up jumping into and entertaining the supernatural phenomenon, signs and wonders, and mystical experiences (which were falsely attributed to God) in a much greater way then I did when I was a kid growing up. I soon got involved in the youth group, which was heavily influenced by Lou Engle who heads up “The Call” and Mike Bickle who heads up “IHOP” (International House Of Prayer). I later enrolled in Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry in 2006, and went through the whole three-year program. I was heavily engaged and supportive of many of the things, which were being taught and practiced. When Todd Bentley and his, “Lakeland Revival” began to take place, I jumped on board with that as well, and became a full supporter and advocate for it. I was gladfully defending it against all the, “Religious Pharisees” (or so I called them at the time). It was also at this time that I noticed the, “Toking the Ghost” movement and became a “Toker” myself, and a full supporter of John Crowder and Ben Dunn.


Signs and Wonders Movement Exposed - Teaching DVD

Jesus said that those alive for His second coming would be subject to the greatest onslaught of deception ever leveled at the body of Christ - and that this deception would be predicated upon signs and wonders. For many professing Christians, this could be one of the most important videos you ever watch. The lies, deception, false miracles, and faulty theology of the charismatic movement are exposed. This documentary features international Bible teachers and authors - plus experts from the world of music, illusion, and medicine - and combines their knowledge and expertise to present the most shocking expose of deception ever to hit the church.

Signs and Wonders Movement Exposed - Teaching DVD

Documentary Film of Hinn/Bonnke Fraud

Miracle workers such as Benny Hinn are followed and interviewed in this American Undercover documentary. It questions if faith and prayer can heal. This documentary is a very well-researched and in-depth look at the world of televangelists and “faith-healers”. It takes a unique approach in that there is equal time given to a breakdown of the psychological, neurological, sociological, and other scientific gimmicks used by these vampires and the business end of it that makes swindling millions such a lucrative business.
The viewer is taken from “crusades” in America to Europe to Africa, witnessing heartbreaking stories that would make the hardest heart melt with compassion. To see people who are terminally ill, crippled, or have family members in need of a miracle open their checkbooks or take out their credit cards for donations in the thousands (one family of recent converts from Hinduism gave $2,000 in the hopes their son’s brain tumour would be healed. He died nine months later) is as heart-wrenching a moment of real drama as one is likely to see for a long time. The answers these frauds give to the documentarian’s questions, which are quite good and well put, always revert back to “one must have faith, or this shall not work”.

Documentary Film Here

False Claims of Reinhard Bonnke

A eye witness who attended two of the three Reinhard Bonnke meetings as an observer was amazed at the 'sensational' reports found on the CfaN website regarding the visit of Reinhard Bonnke to Belfast - Northern Ireland [Not Ireland]. [2] The eyewitness friend said how he saw people slumped on seats with their Pepsi and hamburgers whilst the service was taking place, all at the same time as people were continually entering and leaving the arena. The eyewitness said it reminded him more of a picture house/baseball game rather than a gospel service. This eyewitness who was at two of the three meetings reports that a great number of claims made on the CfaN website have clearly been exaggerated probably for the American market?

False Claims such as "Throughout the crusade the air was filled with an excitement of enormous proportions. Each night it spilled out unto the streets of Belfast as the crowds left, praising and worshipping God well into the night as they went." The eyewitness reports that this is a total fabrication, as most people left the meeting talking or looking around the stalls. In fact the eyewitness reports that even the hymns sung at the meetings were unknown to most of those in the audience. The eyewitness reported that things got so bad that people were even leaving the meeting when the closing prayer was being said.


Bethel Teaching and the Emergent Church - Converging Apostasy

Recall that one of the goals of the New Age movement is a syncretism of all religions.  Since Biblical Christianity is problematic to New Agers with its insistence on one way to salvation – through Jesus Christ – the only way to merge with this movement is to modify the message.  In the Alice A. Bailey esoteric/occultic book From Bethlehem to Calvary she – actually Tibetan Master DK (Djwan Khul) who channeled through her – states:
Christianity will not be superseded.  It will be transcended, its work of preparation being triumphantly accomplished, and Christ will again give us the next revelation of divinity

…Can there not be revelations of God utterly unprecedented, and for which we have no words or adequate means of expression?  The ancient mysteries, so shortly to be restored, must be re-interpreted in the light of Christianity, and readapted to meet modern need

Compare this to some statements by Mike Bickle, currently of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) formerly of Kansas City Fellowship (KCF); Bob Jones, formerly one of the “Kansas City Prophets” of KCF; and, Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries: 

“The Lord said simply, ‘I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.’” (Mike Bickle; Growing in the Prophetic)

“They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to death itself underneath their feet…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!…This generation of young people that are coming are going to see the beginning of the worldwide new order…It is going to change the expression of Christianity in a generation.” (Bob Jones; Kansas City Fellowship Interview tape with Mike Bickle, 1988 as quoted by Jewel van der Merwe {Grewe}) (Source)


Reinhard Bonnke's False Claims

by Terry Arnold, Diakrisis Australia, Newsletter of TA Ministries Vol.2, No.15 March/April 2002

Reinhard Bonnke is a German Pentecostal evangelist with a large ministry mainly to African and European countries. His crusades feature crowds of hundreds of thousands. Miracles, healings and multitudes of 'conversions are reported. On 6th October, 14 people were crushed to death in Nigeria when they attempted to rush the stage to try to touch Bonnke. The parents of one of the dead, a cilantro baby steak, tried unsuccessfully to get the body to Bonnke hoping he would raise her from the dead. The family then did the next best thing and laid the body on Bonnke’s Mercedes Benz in the hope of the baby coming back to life. Apparently they were putting their faith in the ‘anointing’ of the faith healer. Yet Bonnke claims,

'When I step on a platform, often without any touch of mine the blind begin to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak and the cripples to walk...Miracles happen as if copied from the Gospels and the Book of Acts'.

The crusade chairman in Onitsha, Nigeria, boasts:
'We know that when Reinhard Bonnke comes to preach, we will see the...healing power of God in action...Each [person at the crusade] was expecting the miracle that would transform their lives; they looked desperate enough to pursue it...the healing power of God flowed each day as countless numbers reported evidence of the miraculous'.

As with most of such healing claims, when pressed for evidences, there is either silence...or castigation that any should question such an 'anointed one' as Bonnke. In 1999 we were able to view a recipe produced by Bonnke's ministry. It detailed what many believe is the most convincing miraculous healing of modern times. The 'healing' of a Jean Neil appeared to be well documented until an investigation by a British Christian surgeon exposed gross inaccuracies, (see Diakrisis, Dec/99, P.5,6). Bonnke was asked to take the recipe off the market but today this fraudulent recipe still deceives many.

Bonnke has not produced one verified authentic documented healing. Yet the amazing claims continue unabated. Jesus Christ shunned acclaim and let his miracles speak for themselves. His miracles were to prove He was the Messiah and that His message was from God. 'But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God...’, (Jn.20:30,31); ‘...Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you...’, (Acts 2:22). When John the Baptist asked the disciples for proof of the Messiahship of Christ, Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached’, (Lk.7:21-22).

Compare the claimed miraculous ‘healings’ of Bonnke with those of the time of Christ and the apostles. In the Gospel of Matthew alone it is clear that Jesus healed ‘all’, (Matt. 23:24; 8:16; 10:1,8; 12:15; 14:36; etc.); and ‘every sickness’ that came to him were completely healed, (12:13; 20:34;). Jesus healed ‘all’ whether they had faith or not! (Lk.17:11-19; Matt.8:1,14; 12:10; 13:58). Many healings were to do with organic diseases which cannot be healed psychosomatically. To sum up the healings of Jesus Christ, Richard Mayhue in his book 'The Healing Promise' writes that the miracles of Jesus Christ were:

'undeniable, successful, spectacular, without any recovery period; permanent, overwhelming, abundant, awesome, instant, authoritative, without limitations, total, and convincing all without any major medical attention that could possibly have taken credit for healing in any way.'

Bonnke often boasts of his power. His fraudulent claims of healings have proven without a doubt that he is one of many who make merchandise of Gods people, (2Pet.2:3). The fanciful and exaggerated claims of Bonnke are sometimes more occultic than Christian. Bonnke once boasted that 'Locals brought sacks full of witchcraft items to the crusade grounds for burning each night.'

His workers wrote:
'This is the greatest number of witchcraft items we have ever seen. People surrendered their idols by the sack full...we started burning the witchcraft items from the second night of the conference, when Reinhard preached on the Blood of Jesus and took authority over the powers of the enemy. The strongholds in the city were demolished and the people released...Looking at the crowds, it was if fire from heaven had fallen on top of each head and burning hot coals had suddenly been rolled onto the tip of each tongue. The fire seemed intense - almost excruciating - judging by the painful expressions on many faces. The fire caused many people to shake their heads uncontrollably, while speaking non-stop in other tongues'.
These kind of manifestations are never once found the New Testament and are unbiblical in their nature. Why do huge crowds follow after the likes of Bonnke? Anthony Thomas, who wrote and directed the recent TV documentary 'Miracles', believes Bonnke is popular in Africa because he taps into the continents old religious superstitions. 'Bonnke is [like] the 'voodoo priest', casting spells on his enemies and summoning up good and evil spirits as he dances to the beat of the drum,' said Thomas.
Jesus Christ warned his believers to 'take heed that no man deceive you...For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect', (Matt.24:4,24). The word 'Christs' means 'anointed ones'. Bonnke and his ministry claim a special anointing. Bonnke claims to preach the 'full gospel'. However, there is no 'full gospel' or 'half gospel' but only the true Gospel which Paul preached in 1Cor.15:1-4. This Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf (substitution) because we are vile sinners. The ‘full gospel’ that Bonnke preaches is actually a gospel full of extra biblical teaching such as second blessings, unknown tongues, etc, and arguably lacks any real preaching on 'sin, righteousness and judgement to come'. These additions to the Gospel produce 'another gospel' as Paul warned against. With this gospel Bonnke preaches, 'Raise your hands and wave to me if you want to receive Jesus Christ.'

Many come to see Bonnke's 'signs and wonders' yet Jesus warned: 'An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign', (Matt.12:38). Sadly, when we in this ministry have investigated such healing claims, the delusion of the modern signs and wonders movement becomes more frightening. The major signs and wonders leaders have failed to produce real evidence for their claims of healing of organic diseases. Jesus' offer on the cross of Calvary has no emphasis in bodily healing but rather in the deliverance from the horrific consequences of sin. The offer is not the redemption of our bodies in this life (Rom.8:23; Eph.1:14), but eternal life through the imputed (credited) righteousness of Christ. Reinhard Bonnke may appear sincere but one must question why he continues to produce the fantastic claims of healing when Christian doctors, researchers and the media have uncovered sheery fraud. Bonnke is deceiving millions of poor Africans and making merchandise of God's creatures. We pray that this information might be used to warn many who might be ensnared by such delusions.

Can Reinhard Bonnke be Trusted?

On February 28, 2002 Benny Hinn had on his daily program "This is Your Day“ his good friend and accomplice Reinhard Bonnke.

The topic of the day was a man raised from the death in Nigeria after having a revolutionary visit to heaven and to hell.

The event happened on December 02, 2001 in a Nigerian town called Onithsa .According to Bonnke’s testimony and to the video they showed, titled “Raised fron the Dead” here is what happened.
The resurrected man Daniel Ekechuk a pastor who died on Friday November 30, 2001 in a car accident. And before he passed away and while he was giving his wife his last instructions two angels came and took him away, and showed Daniel, the paradise, and the city of God.

And then they brought him to hell where Daniel saw a banner reading “Welcome to Hell”


The Bible on False Prophets

The Bible on False Prophets

False prophets are all over the landscape today, and they are a sign of the times pointing to the soon return of Jesus.
Jesus Himself warned of false prophets in the end times. His most detailed discourse on end time signs is recorded in Matthew 24. In that passage the very first sign He mentions is false prophets (Matthew 24:4-5), and it is the only sign He repeats (Matthew 24:11,24). His warning was blunt and plain spoken: "Many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many."
The Apostle Paul echoed the Lord's warning when he spoke to the elders of the church in Ephesus. Here's how he put it, as recorded in Acts 20:28-31 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock... [for] I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert."
Peter and John also warned against the danger of false prophets. Peter asserted that false prophets would "introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master" (2 Peter 2:1). John exhorted his brethren to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
John proceeded to provide a test that should be given to prophets. He said they are to be asked to confess that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" and that He is from God (1 John 4:2). He went on to assert that anyone who refuses to confess that Jesus is from God has the "spirit of antichrist" (1 John 4:3).
The Old Testament test of a prophet is spelled out in Deuteronomy 18:22"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..."
This, of course, is an obvious test. But what if the prophecy is fulfilled? Does that guarantee that the prophet is speaking for God? Not necessarily. The reason is that a prophetic utterance might be fulfilled by coincidence or because of supernatural insight given to the prophet by Satan. So there must be other tests.

Additional Tests

1) Does the prophet speak in the name of a god other than the true God revealed in Scripture?
If a prophet speaks in the name of Allah or Baal or Vishnu, you can be assured that he is a false prophet.
"If a prophet... rises among you and gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known), and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of the prophet...for the Lord your God is testing you." (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)
2) Does the prophet's message pass the test of Scripture?
If a prophet tells you that you can be saved by putting your faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus, you can be certain he is not a spokesman for God.
"But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8)
3) Does the prophet's life manifest a commitment to holiness?
If a prophet lives a sinful life, his prophecies are to be doubted.
"Among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing; the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood... Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, 'Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood and make them drink poisonous water.'" (Jeremiah 23:14-15)
4) Does the prophet's teaching produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)?
If the prophet's followers are motivated to worldly living, the prophet does not speak for God.
"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits... a good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit." (Matthew 7:15-16,18)
5) Does the prophet emphasize vain visions?
If the prophet focuses on personal visions with sensational insights (visits to Heaven or Hell, for example), his words are to be distrusted.
"Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by... taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind." (Colossians 2:18)
6) Does the prophet deliver only positive messages?
If the prophet never issues a call for repentance, he is to be suspect.
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise Me, 'The Lord has said, 'You will have peace...'' They say, 'Calamity will not come upon you.'" (Jeremiah 23:16-17)
7) Does the prophet appear to be greedy for monetary gain?
If the prophet operates in a manner that makes it appear that his greatest interest is money, he is to be avoided.
"From the least even to the greatest, everyone is greedy for gain; from the prophet even to the priest, everyone practices deceit. And they heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, saying, "Peace, peace." But there is no peace." (Jeremiah 8:10-11)
8) Does the prophet focus on the exaltation of Jesus?
If a prophet tries to bring attention to himself or focuses on the Antichrist or the sensational, he is to be questioned.
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10)
Over and over, the Word of God commands us to test all messages lest we be deceived and led astray. Paul urged the people of Berea to test everything he taught them, and they did so by "examining the Scriptures daily" to see whether what he was teaching was scriptural (Acts 17:10-11). Paul was an apostle! How much more so should we test everything we hear taught by the standard of the Word of God.
The tragedy is that most professing Christians today are incapable of testing anything because they are biblically ignorant. There is a famine of the Word in most churches today (Amos 8:11) as people are fed a diet of pop psychology and positive thinking.
What about you? Are you in the Word on a daily basis? Are you capable of testing doctrine by Scripture? If not, then you are a sitting duck for deception. "Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
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