Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jesus Culture LA's Non-Christian Roots and Fruit

What is the history of

the Jesus Culture movement?


Do the teachings at Jesus Culture conferences line  up with the Bible? 

This teaching video addresses the historical roots of the Jesus Culture Movement and its current fruits, specifically the teaching presented at the Jesus Culture Los Angeles Conference in August 2012.

These additional videos explore the "Word-Faith" movement, the heretical stream of non-Christian teaching addressed in the above video. The first is part 1 of an eleven part series by Tim Martin of Watchman.Org

Justin Peters also has an excellent teaching series on the movement. 

This is part one of four teaching videos.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jesus Culture's New Apostolic Reformation is Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Recently Bible teacher and pastor, John MacArthur, said that the false teachings and practices of Jesus Culture's New Apostolic Reformation movement were "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit", a "work of Satan" and "not Christian."

These comments, his teaching on the role, purpose, and worship of the Holy Spirit - as well as the dangerous misunderstandings that lead to blaspheming Him -- can be viewed in full here:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Are You Called to Be A Watchman with Us?

We have observed that there are many readers of this blog who are diligently studying the warnings we are declaring. Your diligence is commendable. 

The brethren in Australia; Hartford, Wisconsin; South Africa; the University of California (Irvine); New Zealand; the UK; and other locations have drawn our attention to ask you...is the Lord calling you to  be a watchman?

If so, are you called to join us? If you believe the Lord is showing you this, please read this post and contact us using the contact email address at the top of the blog page.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. ~ Ephesians 5:11
And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:  therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. ~ Ezekiel 3:16
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. ~ Galatians 6:1  
The prophet Ezekiel was “Called to be a Watchman” by God, over his people, Israel.  When many consider the position of “watchman," they assume it to be one who only is sent to care for the needs of the people, watch over them, pray for their needs, and tend to them as a shepherd tends to his flock. 

But, the position of a “watchman” is far more than this, for not only does it require a heart of love for the people and most importantly the Father, it also requires boldness, diligence, fearlessness, dedication, obedience to the Father, and a patient dependence upon the grace of God. In Old Testament  times, a physical "watchman" was one who stood guarding the city wall, and upon sensing any immediate danger inside or outside of the walls, he would then sound an alarm to warn the people in advance of what lied ahead.   

The prophet Ezekiel was called by God to be a spiritual watchman over the people and, much like the physical watchman, he had to warn the people in advance of impending dangers.   

There are some within the Body of Christ who’ve been called to be a watchman, and it is not an easy calling. It is a very serious position which one should not take lightly and has serious consequences for disobedience.  A watchman called of the Lord will often face ridicule and persecution, will be mocked and shamefully mistreated by the very ones they are called to “watch over,” as many will despise their speech, seeing it as a curse rather than a warning and will close their ears to the truth. 

However, he/she must have boldness, love, patience, and gentleness in warning the brethren, for this reason: for such a one to choose to be silent, and not declare the warning of the Lord to the people when sensing the oncoming dangers, or knowing of the seemingly hidden dangers, he/she will suffere the consequences of disobedience. 

Are you called to be a watchman? Are you called to guard and watch the sheep, to warn of wolves among us? Seek the Lord, pray and wait. He will answer. 

Titus 3:10-11 "As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned."

2 John 1:7-11 "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works."
1 Timothy 5:20"As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear". 

2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching."
Galatians 6:1 
"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted."
Romans 16:17 "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them."
1 Timothy 4:1, 6
"the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons….In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Exposing the Darkness at Bethel Church - Have no Part With it



Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Strange Manifestations in 'Christian' Circles - from God or not? Feathers in Church? Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, Redding California...

by Anne Heers

"...for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness"? (2 Corinthians 6:14)  
In chapter 12 of When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California writes:
I have seen the small gems that suddenly appeared in the people's hands as they worshipped God. Since early in 1998, we have had feathers fall in our meetings. At first I thought birds were getting into our air conditioning ducts, but then they started falling in other rooms of the church not connected with the same ductwork. They now fall most anywhere we go - airports, homes, restaurants, offices and the like...He [God] wants to take us farther, and we can only get there by following signs. Our present understanding of scripture can only take us so far. (Page 204,205)
Johnson convinces people that these signs are from God and the Holy Spirit and our present understanding of scripture cannot take us far enough. On the same pages, he says that laughter, gold dust, oil and a cloud (appearing in the church building) are also signs of God's presence. He further explains in the same chapter that these signs and manifestations "are simple indicators of God's presence and purpose". He calls these signs God's "personal notes" to us. He clearly links these signs to our holy God and the Holy Spirit.
But are they? In scripture, believers are commanded to be scrutinizing (not blindly accepting) by putting what they see and hear to the test instead of accepting a teaching, sign or wonder right away, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
Are all signs from God? Clearly scripture teaches that the apostles did signs and wonders. God is still powerful just like He was back then: "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders done among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch" (Acts 5:12).
However, scripture also contains warnings about following signs and wonders: "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him" (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).
Johnson preaches this about Jesus: "He laid his divinity aside" (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 7; page 110). Johnson also preaches that Jesus did His miracles as a man and not as God. Remember in John 10:30 when Jesus said, "I and the Father are one"? What about the immaculate conception and the virgin birth? That was divine, so Jesus had to be divine since conception, even before that - and forever for that matter! In an article from Charisma Magazine dated February 23, 2012, Johnson writes: "While Jesus is eternally God, He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a man...it’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God. If He did them as God, I would still be impressed. But because He did them as a man yielded to God, I am now unsatisfied with my life, being compelled to follow the example He has given us. Jesus is the only model for us to follow". The proof text he gives is Philippians 2:7 (which does not state that Christ's divine nature ceased, but basically that Jesus humbly became a servant despite His divinity).
Is this the same Jesus of the Bible that is preached here - a Jesus who was a non-divine man? I personally believe that Jesus was and is always divine in nature and never ceased to be divine in nature and one with God (because God is divine) for a split second. If someone is divine, it is in their nature and cannot be changed. Divinity cannot be laid aside or stopped. I am human in nature, and I cannot lay that aside. Jesus was and always will be divine in nature, so how could He lay His divine nature aside as He has always been divine, Godhead and deity forever?
Interestingly, there are no records of feathers falling on the apostles in the Bible, though this is an occurence happening in occultic religions and practices. According to a new age ministry calledKrysalis Training Academy, which supports the Dalai Lama, psychic practices, reiki, new age spiritual healing, hypnotherapy, eastern meditation, shamanism, wicca, mysticism and more - feathers are indeed a sign.
Angels often send us little reminders of their presence as angel feathers, which are small white feathers. These seem to appear from nowhere when we are down and in need of comfort. I remember sitting in a café, watching the rain falling on the pavement outside and feeling blue. Suddenly, a small white feather floated down in front of me and landed on my table. I smiled, knowing the angels were around me, with their comforting presence.
Feathers falling - from God or not? As we see here, feathers do appear as signs from other spirits of the occult.
The Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians 11:4 on "another Jesus" and "another spirit". Could this be?
Another peculiar manifestation in professed Christian circles these days are uncontrolled animal sounds, laughing and drunkenness. Bill Johnson endorses John and Carol Arnott (Catch the Fire Ministries and Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) on his own website's friend list. In fact, Johnson and the Arnott's are together having an upcoming conference in the UK in August 2012 called theRevival Alliance Conference. The Arnott's promote jungle and barnyard animal sounds as a manifestation from the Holy Spirit on their official website. Interestingly, we do not see any apostles being "overcome" by a lack of self-control with animals sounds in the entire history of Christianity nor from our plumbline, the Word of God (remember, self-control is the fruit of the Spirit, not a loss of self-control; see Galatians 5:22).
According to the same occultic ministry mentioned above, animal sounds are characteristic of spirits of shamanism.
The Arnott's, friends of Johnson, explain:
The Toronto Blessing is a transferable anointing. In its most visible form itovercomes worshippers with outbreaks of laughter, weeping, groaning, shaking, falling, 'drunkenness,' and even behaviours that have been described as a 'cross between a jungle and a farmyard.' Of greater significance, however, are the changed lives.
Bill Johnson attributes these manifestations to the Holy Spirit when he states:
Our new list includes falling, shaking, laughing, etc...we must learn to recognize his move by recognizing his presence. (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 12; page 205)
The Apostle Paul said that if all spoke in tongues and an unbeliever walked in, they would think everyone was crazy (and turn around and walk right out!). "So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?" (1 Corinthians 14:23; NIV). Are these manifestations from God? If you walked into a church and one or more people were barking uncontrollably like a dog, hissing like a snake, moo-ing like a cow, or jumping around like a monkey, would you stay to hear the message? What would God say about this? What about the Apostle Paul? Some things to ponder.
The Apostle Paul said, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:12-17).
Have you ever looked up the Greek meaning for seducers ('imposters')? This word is translated from the Greek word "góēs". Here is how the HELPS Word-studies defines the word 'imposter':
Originally, a sorcerer (in ancient Greek literature); in New Testament times, 1114 (góēs) is a swindler – a shameless cheat pretending to use supernatural power; an actor (cheap imposter), looking for self-gain, i.e. posing to be someone he isn't. "A charlatan", used only in 2 Tim 3:13, refers to a seducer (properly, a wailer) – a fraud who "sounds off" like a whining enchanter. This person uses their verbal spells and incantations to give the (false) impression they can do miracles.
Are these signs and wonders from the real Jesus and the real Holy Spirit? Or is this another Jesus and another spirit bringing "lying signs and wonders" as prophesied? What do you think? I know what I think, and that is based upon the scriptures.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jesus Culture's False Gospel: Will the Real Gospel Please Stand Up?

There are many false teachings at Jesus Culture Conferences. Some of these errors are more obvious than others. One of the errors that can be hard to detect is the "different gospel" that is taught and preached consistently throughout Jesus Culture's teachings. It is hard to detect, because for some people--even long-time Christians-- the actual message of the gospel is not fully clear. 

[The absence of the gospel in Jesus Culture conferences --as well as Jesus Culture's home church, Bethel, and its affiliated School of Supernatural Ministry-- is certainly an obvious "different gospel". One can attend many of their events, Sunday messages, classes and even the "Power Evangelism" seminars, and never hear, read, or practice the preaching of the gospel.]

Another way to see these different gospels is through contrast. The short video below illustrates several "other" gospel messages--including some similar to those taught by Jesus Culture--and then the message of the real gospel. 

See if you can detect the true gospel message, from the other, false gospels. Teacher John MacArthur then offers an explanation of the summary of the gospel, as it was inspired by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 21: 
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him

Why is Jesus Culture's false gospel dangerous? 

Because "it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). The Bible says that it must be preached, we must hear it and, by faith, we must believe it, in order to be saved from the rightful punishment of a holy God for our sins committed against Him.  (Romans 10:13-15, Ephesians 2:8).

This is the message that has the power to bring us out darkness and death into light and life, eternally.  (1 Peter 2:9). 

Jesus said in John 12:46-50
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” 
Jesus is saying that we will be judged according to our response to Him and His Word. If the Jesus that is preached is "another Christ" we cannot respond to Him in a way that leads to salvation. Similarly, if the Word that is preached is "another gospel" we cannot respond to it in a way that leads to salvation.

Zac Pooneen, in his article, "The True Gospel and the False", explains it this way: 

Basically, there are only two gospels being preached today - one man-centered and the other God-centered.
The man-centered gospel promises man that God will give him everything he needs to make his life on earth comfortable and will also give him a seat in heaven at the end of his life. Man is told that Jesus will forgive all his sins, heal all his diseases, bless and prosper him materially, solve all his earthly problems, etc., etc.
Self still remains at the center of such a man's life, and God revolves around him - as his servant - to answer his every prayer and to give him whatever he wants!! All that he has to do is "believe" and "claim every material blessing in Jesus' Name"!!
This is a false gospel, because no mention is made of "repentance". Repentance is what John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, Peter and all the apostles preached first of all. And repentance, unfortunately, is what is not preached today, even last of all!!
The God-centered gospel, on the other hand, calls upon man to repent. It explains that "repentance" means:
Turning FROM Self as the center of one's life, from doing one's own will, from walking along one's self-chosen way, from loving money, and from loving the world and the things in the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life), etc., and
Turning TO God, loving Him with one's whole heart, making Him the Centre of one's life and doing His will henceforth etc.,
Faith in Christ's death on the cross can forgive a man his sins only when he has repented. Then he can receive the power of the Holy Spirit to empower him to deny himself daily so that he can live a God-centered life. This is the gospel that Jesus and the apostles preached.
The false gospel makes the gate wide and the way broad (easy to walk along, because one does not have to deny one's Self or stop living for one's own interests or stop seeking one's own gain). ...But it is all a deception. Although some are indeed genuinely converted in such meetings, because of their sincerity, many such "converts" end up becoming "twofold children of hell" (Matt.23:15) - deceived about their true state.
The true gospel however, makes the gate small and the way narrow - not smaller or narrower than Jesus Himself made it, as some "super-spiritual" cultists do, but just the same size as Jesus made it. Few there be, that find this way to life. There is not much for the evangelists of this gospel to report about, and the statistics are not impressive. But this gospel leads people to the Lord Jesus and to heaven.
"Be careful how you listen. Whoever obeys what he has heard, to him more light and understanding will be given. But whoever does not obey what he has heard, even what light and understanding he thinks he has will be taken away from him." (Paraphrase of Luke 8:18).
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Miraculous Healing and Belief in God

“Why won’t God heal amputees?”  The question caught me by surprise.
I had just finished my “Why I Am a Christian” talk at Calvary Chapel Chino Valley’s youth conference in April.  After talking with a few students and leaders, a young man approached.  He challenged me with this question, explaining his atheist friend had asked it earlier in the week. And he had no answer for his friend.
Apparently, it’s a question atheists make a big deal about. There is even an entire website dedicated to it (www.whywontgodhealamputees.com).  The website claims “this is one of the most important questions we can ask about God.”  Sometime, somewhere I had heard the objection but had never given it much attention.  Now it was staring me right in the face.  Immediate attention was required.
I proceeded in usual fashion—by asking clarifying questions.  “What conclusion does your atheist friend draw from this question?” I inquired.  He responded, “Well, if God doesn’t heal amputees when we pray for them, then He doesn’t exist.”  I followed with a few more questions, gathering the gist of the atheist’s argument.
The atheist claims that alleged healings, like the disappearance of a cancerous tumor or diagnosed disease, seem to be ambiguous.  Did God supernaturally heal the person or is modern medicine responsible?  Both causes could be offered and both could be disputed.  But according to the atheist, if an amputee grew back a missing limb after intercessory prayer was offered on his behalf, this would be a clear case of the miraculous and thus proof for God’s existence.  On the other hand, no new limb means no God.  A fail-proof test, right?  Wrong.
First, I pointed out this atheist’s argument is guilty of a logical fallacy called a non sequitur.  The fallacy is committed when a conclusion or statement does not logically follow from a previous argument or statement.  If amputees do not grow back limbs when we pray for them, does it follow God does not exist?  Of course not.  His existence is independent of what actions He would or would not take.
But why limit myself to amputee miracles?  Any miracle will do.  A million dollars in my bank account today.  World peace starting tomorrow.  And if these miracles don’t occur, then God doesn’t exist.  Well, I think you can see the irrationality of such claims.  God’s failure to perform a miracle at my request says nothing about His existence.  In fact, even if we granted the atheist his assumption that amputees are not healed, at the very most we could only conclude God does not heal amputees.  Not a profound conclusion.
Second, I pointed out his atheist friend simply assumed no amputees have been healed.  But just because an atheist says there’s never been an amputee healing in thousands of years of human history doesn’t mean it’s true.  Now, I’ve never researched this question but I wanted this young Christian to catch a healthy bit of skepticism, particularly when it comes to anti-Christian claims.  Research is now in order but my point was you cannot simply assume what needs to be proven. 
But we also have to test the intellectual honesty of the atheist asking this question.  If we can produce a credible report of an amputee’s missing limb being healed and replaced, is the atheist willing to accept that evidence?  There are credible reports of miraculous healings in our own time and in the Bible, but he dismisses these wanting further evidence of a particular kind of miracle.  So is this an honest question or an insincere request for evidence when no evidence will suffice?
Third, even personally witnessing a miracle is no guarantee that someone will believe.  This was the case with the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.  They witnessed His miracles, but their response was to conspire to crucify Him.  Greg Koukl calls this “unbelievable unbelief.”  Jesus told them, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
You see, our essential problem is moral, rebellion against God.  Asking for evidence is legitimate, but evidence doesn’t guarantee belief because sinners don’t want to bend their knee to the Lord.  So the question actually arises from a wrong understanding of the atheist’s fundamental problem.  It’s not lack of evidence, it’s sin and rebellion to the Truth.

What is the truth against he rebels? The gospel.
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