Welcome the to head of the church
Going to a prophetic conference used to mean going to hear about the end time events, what God has to say in His word about the future of Israel, the world, and the Church. Not any longer, it now means we hear the future by men who call themselves prophets, who are there to guide the church collectively and as individuals.
A few years ago I watched Peter Wagner state in an interview on CBN “I believe that the government of the church is finally coming into place and that is the, the scripture teaches in Eph. 2 that the foundation of the church is apostles and prophets, previous to this decade of the 80’s and the 90’s we practically ignored prophets and apostles and now were seeing, that I believe is a major reason were going to new levels in prayer were going to new levels in spiritual warfare, were going to new levels in healing and miracles were going to new levels of deliverance, of demonic deliverance and so that’s so this is the new era we are going into, I don’t know if its coincidental or what but its just as we are moving into the new millennium.” (CBN interview Jan.3, 2000)
What Wagner presented was nothing new at all, it was the very premise the Latter Rain used in the late 40's early 50's.
C. Peter Wagner and Ben F Gray wrote: “The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit that is changing the shape of Christianity globally. It is truly a new day! The Church is changing. New names! New methods! New worship expressions. The Lord is establishing the foundations of the Church for the new millennium. This foundation is built upon Apostles and Prophets “(The organisers of the Apostles and Prophets Conference (APC) Brisbane - February 2000).
One would have to wonder if it is just coincidence or a timing planned by those who want to form this new government in the church. As one of the prophecies of Wagner’s prophetic council is “The church will be in key transition period between 2000-2003. … It is especially important for the apostolic government to be initially established and functioning in our cities by Oct. 2003 if we are to see the transformations that God wants to release.”
These men are architects of the new paradigm who have promised a river but they have sold to the church an empty well.
Wagner has written a several books, one is called the New Apostolic Churches that explains the new Apostolic Spirit that is raising international leaders. Contrary to their claims of restoring apostles and prophets to the Church to complete a five-fold ministry mentioned by Paul in Ephesians, this movement can be more identified as Nicolaitans warned of in Rev. 2:15-16. But it is taking many churches by hook or by crook. The prophetic movement has for all intensive purposes proven to be a repackaged disciple/shepherding movement under the title of church growth.
The stories of lives being ripped apart by people prophesying over them have become an in house disaster that is often swept under the rug. Yet it daily continues with some new faces (and old) and a repaired program with a barrel full of excuses waiting to be used.
I have watched, studied and spoken out on this movement since it was known to me in the late 80’s (as have numerous others). What we see today is the iceberg rising; no longer is 75% of it hidden but is becoming more known all the time. A new Priesthood government is being set up that can only be comparable to what has been practiced in the Roman Catholic church hierarchy throughout its history. They are called “the anointed,” “apostles and prophets” and the Church must listen to them, allow them to minister and lead to be healthy and fulfill her commission. Without them we will be unable to complete our commission by Jesus; so they tell us. It has the error of the Nicolatians at its core.
Before I get into the inner workings and practices of this movement, we need to look at a few things that are very important- intent, motives and means. The intent is what one purposes as their goal. It would seem on the surface their intent is genuine, to see the church prosper and extend God’s kingdom. Motive - the motive is connected to the intent, it is the “why,” or the reason someone does something. Their motivation is known to be a mixture of both genuine and not so genuine practices. The third part is the means which involves how you do something, how you end up achieving your goal. This I can honestly say is way off and many examples will be cited. Although we cannot judge their heart in everything done, their actions speak loud. There are some obvious questions that come up from what we see and hear being practiced and said. For actions can produce both good and bad consequences. Sometimes we need to weigh out the consequences before we go ahead implementing “new ideas.” The point of saying all this is to find out if something is Biblical or not, not if it works. For one can have bad motives and intent and still have something work. What we cannot condone is something because it works. As Christians we are to accept it because it is Biblical. It must have a biblical basis, not just a biblical phrase or title.
You cannot use the Scripture illegally, in a way it was not intended to bring a godly result; we do not do wrong, bad or evil so good may come from it. Only a biblical means will produce a true Biblical action. It is this that God approves of. Using a means for a desired result, even if it sounds biblical does not justify it’s worth. The end does not justify the means. However the apostle that resides over this new movement to gather the prophets together after John Wimber left earth is Peter Wagner. Under the chapter title: The end justifies the means he states “we ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means. What else possible could justify the means? If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method. If, on the other hand, my method is not accomplishing the goal, how can I be justified in continuing to use it?” (C. Peter Wagner, “Your Church Can Grow - Seven Vital Signs of A Healthy Church”, 1976, p.137)
Although everyone’s intent may not altruistic, we can see that some do not care whether something is Biblical or not. Again the question we need to ask is if this something has a Biblical precedent, not does it work? Many assume because something was effective then it must be of God, after all it helped the person. it succeeded. We have been convinced that what works is what matters and not what is biblical. This has become a major problem in the modern church in pursuing new methods of how to do evangelism, prayer etc.
This is exactly the problem with the new prophet movement today. We are being told that God is giving new information, new revelation and so it does not need to be found in the Scripture but should be accepted as if it is. With the use of “God-talk” and “spiritual speech” the church is being led into a completely “new program” for the 21st century.
C.P. Wagner states “Prophets are critical to the equation. All I ask is that you remain open to hear from God regarding how you fit into the emerging Divine order. You must be willing to take steps to team yourself with men of this caliber” (Wagner Finding Your Place in the Apostolic Vision Feb. 1999).
The church has been barraged over recent years with spiritual indoctrination, promoted by experiences that have re-educated people out of a biblical position into the “new thing.” Through impartation, laughter, slain in the spirit, new revelation, supernatural appearances, dreams, visions, prophecy and various other means, a major change has occurred. Things are changing very quickly; the restored apostles and prophets are moving us to the new improved version of the body of Christ.
Where do we get the idea that we need prophets for the church to function today? We can go back to precursor of this, William Branham who said of himself “it will take a prophet to get the revelation because God has no other way of bringing out His Scriptural revelations except by a prophet. The Word always came by a prophet and always will” (William Branham excerpt from Exposition of The Seven Church Ages).
This is partially true, most of the Bible is by the prophets, but James was not a prophet, neither was Esther, Job is not considered a prophet either. The fact is -- we are not continuing to write Scripture because the canon is closed. So it is not necessary to have a prophet today. What Branham meant was for someone to understand the Bible they needed a prophet, and he just so happened to be that prophet. But God did not give every believer a prophet, but He instead gave us the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament only the prophets, kings, and priests had the Holy Spirit. The apostle and prophet John says in Jn.2:20: “But ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things..” The gift of the Holy Spirit is the believer’s aid, our helper to lead us in the knowledge of the truth that is written. The Spirit who resides in ALL believers helps us to understand the truth of Jesus’ teachings that are already written, so we can apply it. So when someone comes along and says of them self or others you need us to teach you new revelation we need to beware. John 16:13-14: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” He, the Holy Spirit, is sent to carry out a teaching ministry to us, just as Jesus taught the disciples. He is the sent one to all believers. The same Spirit that dwelt in the prophets is in the believer. Even in the youngest believer, the Spirit of God dwells. The gift of the Holy Spirit (who is God) is our personal expert aid to lead us into the knowledge of the truth, and give us the power to live it. The Spirit helps us to understand the truth of Jesus’ teachings. When someone understands God’s word they can apply it, walk in it and reap the benefits. When the Son was commissioned for His ministry the people heard a voice from heaven and this was later written. We do not need to hear an audible voice from heaven to testify of Jesus again. Yet we can by faith enter into the same fellowship that they had (1 Jn.1:1-4), through the Word and the Spirit.
Instead what we are hearing are prophets with a new words or a new interpretation. But which is to be our authority, the written Word or new apostles and prophets?
“New” Prophets = “new “Words
Lets hear what the new apostles and prophets have to say; speaking of apostles John Eckhardt says “They are often the first to preach certain revelations that God is releasing to the Church” (p.45 Moving in the Apostolic by John Eckhardt). “An apostle can come in and establish new revelation” (p.56 ibid.)
Restoration can be good if we are getting back to the Bible. God used Martin Luther to begin such a movement froma church that departed from the Scripture. However if it is filled with distortions and false interpretations and words that are not in the Scripture it cannot be getting back to the Bible, it then becomes a whole new movement. And that is exactly what are these prophets saying.
Of these prophets Bill Hamon says, “Their ministry will be clarified and amplified until all the present-truth church world recognizes them as ordained by God and gifts of God to the Church” (Prophets and Personal Prophecy God’s Prophetic Voice Today p. 53 by Bishop Bill Hamon, Destiny Image Press, 1987).
The New Word (Revelation 23)
Peter Wagner who presides over many of the new prophets, says “Pentecostal theologians have made the helpful suggestion of distinguishing the logos word of God from the rhema word of God.... The rhema is regarded as a more immediate word from God which we do not find in the 66 books of the Bible” (Engaging the Enemy, by C. Peter Wagner (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1991), pp.15-16).
So this is the agenda: to speak words outside the Scripture that will become as or more important than Scripture itself, the new prophets words become the churches guide.In fact Wagner makes this clear when he wrote that he is “...[one] among rapidly increasing numbers of others who believe that a valid source of divine knowledge comes through what some would call “extrabiblical revelation.” I daresay that the standard- brand evangelical doctrine of “logos only” that we were taught might now find a place on an “endangered doctrines” list, about to become extinct” (C. Peter Wagner, Confronting the Powers (Ventura, CA, Regal Books, 1996) p.55).
Any extra-biblical revelation of this type denies the sufficiency of the Bible (Jn. 8:31-32; 2 Tim. 3:16-17;2 Pt. 1:3) replacing it with new words from new prophets.
If Rhema is considered as equal or superior to logos, we have a set up to believe anything that comes from a so - called prophets mouth. This means their word is more important than the logos word spoken by Jesus and the prophets. If Jesus is the logos and the rhema is superior than we have new words from God that are greater and more important than God who became flesh (John.1:1-3,14). Then we must conclude the Bible does not end with the book of Revelation. Furthermore we are unable to test these new words by the logos.
A Restoration movement is key to bring the new government in and take over. To say we must have new apostles and prophets denies that we have the completed revelation and that we are complete in Christ, who is the fullness. It was the apostles that delivered to us the teachings to instruct us on our position and knowledge to be complete in Christ. Instead, new Revelation knowledge is not only needed but necessary through the prophets. We are told we cannot be complete and equipped for every good work by just reading the Bible, we must have the prophets and apostles installed to give us a rhema word. The only apostles mentioned in Scripture after Paul was picked are false ones (Rev.2:2; 2 Cor.11:14).
Just as Bob Jones has percentages of accuracy in prophecy he also applies this for new words from the prophets. “The Rhema will be two thirds right on. Not quite time for Ananias and Sapphira yet” [Mike Bickle] “The Lord actually said that sentence to you?” [Jones] “Yeah, I mean what he was really showing me was, ‘I’m going to release the Rhema to where that many begin to move two-thirds right on with their words, and the other third will be like poppin’ a bullet at the enemy and He wouldn’t fire. It was a blank’. And He [God] said, ‘I’m the one that’s loading the gun, so there’s going to be some blanks there...the blanks is pointed in the general direction of the enemy anyway’...’If I [God] release the 100% Rhema right now, the accountability would be so awesome and you’d have so much Ananias and Sapphira’s going on the people couldn’t grow’”(Quoted on p. 68 Beware of the New Prophets by Bill Randles, 1999).
As Bill Randle's observes “it makes God responsible for blanks and gives him a reason for deceiving us.” Now we know the reason for false (missed or mistaken) words of knowledge and prophecies by the “New prophets.” How believable is Jones who is supposed to be a prophet when he tells us God is supposedly protecting us from His 100% accurate Word, the very opposite the Bible says for us to strive for! If you’re willing to believe this, you have stepped over into a spiritual twilight zone.
In fact, if what Jones says is true, then even the prophets of Scripture were not as nearly right as these men are today, because their accuracy is increasing. But we must look this square in the face, God is not responsible for any inaccuracy, it’s these men who are!
One of the ways the rhema word is used is throughout the spiritual warfare movement. C. Peter Wagner explains to us how it is done. “People often will be saved and healed in Cabrera’s meetings before he starts preaching” How is this done? By their new teaching on spiritual warfare. “Cabrera takes seriously the demonic hierarchy which Satan has given jurisdiction over a geographical area. Before opening a new location for his church, he breaks the grip of the principalities and powers which have been assigned the territory. To do this, he shuts himself up alone in a hotel room in the city for a minimum of four or five days of prayer and fasting.… There he enters into spiritual warfare and remains until, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the enemy is defeated. Because this happens, people often will be saved and healed in Cabrera’s meetings before he starts preaching” (C. Peter Wagner, The Third Wave, p. 99).
Unless one knows the gospel what would they believe in? This is the nonsense of the third wave teaching, fight demons and the gospel does not necessarily need to be preached. I wonder, who would not want it to be preached, since it was God who told us to preach the gospel? Is the enemy defeated? We need to ask, in what, for how long, who defeated him, a man by praying? More questions can be asked than answers given. But my question is how can the head “apostle” of this whole movement approve of this nonsense? No these men are not like the apostles and prophets found in the Scripture.
The Beat Goes On
Bill Hamon is one of the few persons on earth who are both a prophet and apostle. He says that it is the company of prophets will help restore the apostles back into their rightful place in the church. “I believe that the 1980’s have been designated in the councils of God as the time for the calling forth of the prophetic ministry. Before the 1980’s are over, God will have raised up and called forth thousands of prophets” (Prophets and Personal Prophecy, God’s Prophetic Voice Today” p. 53 by Bishop Bill Hamon, Destiny Image Press, 1987).
Apostle Eckhardt writes, “There are more apostles and prophets on the earth than ever before. We are living in apostolic times” (p.67 Moving in the Apostolic by John Eckhardt).
How many were apostles in Jesus’ day? Were they not apostolic times? This statement seems very estranged to the Bibles position of the apostles and prophets being used to lay the foundation of the Church 2,000 years ago.
Bill Hamon states, “The full restoration of apostles and prophets back into the church will bring divine order, unity, purity, and maturity to the corporate Body of Christ.”
WILL IT? There were not thousands of prophets in the New Testament times, yet the church was able to fulfill God’s calling in their lives. In fact having thousands in this position may just bring confusion. Paul asks rhetorically in 1 Cor 12:29 “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?”
When the National Symposium on the Post-Denominational Church was convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Seminary, May 21-23, 1996. Prophet Bill Hamon said that “this was a historical occasion in God’s annals of Church history. It was prophetically orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s progressive purposes of bringing His church to its ultimate destiny. . . the consensus of the panelists was that there are still apostles and prophets in the Church, and there is an emerging Apostolic Movement that will revolutionize the 21st Century Church.”
Today’s prophets will have greater power and influence than those of Israel and the church was built on. Mike Bickle in An Interview with Bob Jones said Apostle “Paul will be more anxious to talk to the endtime apostles and prophets than the endtime apostles and prophets will be to talk to Paul, because what the prophets of this generation will do will be far greater than what he had done. The saints in the New Testament will wait in line to greet the apostles of this generation” (Mike Bickle and Bob Jones, “An Interview with Bob Jones,” Kansas City Prophets 1989.) One of the new prophets Rick Joyner says, “The most glorious times in all of history have not come upon us. You, who have dreamed of one day being able to talk with Peter, John and Paul, are going to be surprised to find that they have all been waiting to talk to you” (Rick Joyner, The Harvest p.9 MorningStar, 1990).
John Eckhardt says, “Prophets are critical to the equation, but are not the final position of authority. All I ask is that you remain open to hear from God regarding how you fit into the emerging Divine order. You must be willing to take steps to team yourself with men of this caliber.” “It is the responsibility of the apostles to release and stir up the apostolic dimension in every believer through teaching, preaching, prophesying and the laying on of hands. When saints become aware of and begin to walk in this dimension of the Spirit, they will manifest the power, authority and characteristics of a sent one “(John Eckhardt Moving in the Apostolic p.25). This movement offers power authority, the Spirit through these men, everything the Bible says each believer already has in Christ.
How is this all being done? The same way it was by the Latter Rain in the 50’s. “The prophetic spirit is transferable and can be imparted” there are companies of prophets being raised up “ their purpose is to begin to touch emerging leaders and to begin to baptize them into a prophetic realm” (National School Of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office John Eckhardt - Friday, 5/12/00).
This all being spread by hands laid on people. Just like slain in the spirit gives one the anointing from that person
So what are the prophets saying or doing that is so bad. Besides one prophet calling for an earthquake another cancels the earthquake, then another prophet re-instates it. Another prophet calls for persecution and trials, another says there is blessing and peace coming. One prophet tells us about the great revival, another tells us judgment is coming. They all can’t be right! In fact ones worldview will be shaped by which prophet they listen too.
Then you can often hear such statements as:
The lord would have me say unto you; what I believe what the lord is saying to you is…
“I’m calling you to be a leader in my army and to bring my people up into a new level” Take up your authority and speak to heavenly realm.
“and I’ve called you into this place,” so the Lord says, “Do not draw back but press into this dimension, miracle and signs and wonders shall follow your word for this day I release a creative power, and unction, and an authority from my throne room”
worship me as never before and see what I will do.
“this is the day and this is the hour that I’m opening the heavens”
“ I am releasing____” I’m giving you a gift that will have all notice you for my sake.
I have raised you up for this hour, you will be unto me a Daniel ____ (or some other prophets name)
“You will have authority unlike any you have had before, great authority”
Any prophet that speaks about dominionism, about your authority on earth or the kingdom now without Christ’s coming is a false prophet. Anyone who feeds you the line that you will do greater miracles than any other before is not speaking the truth.
We are told “Sometimes that prophet can be there and say “Thus saith the Lord.” And it don’t even have to be a deep word, it can be a word like “Thus saith the Lord, chill out apostle.” Calm down, it’s gonna be okay” (National School of The Prophets, Mobilizing The Prophetic Office John Eckhardt - Friday, 5/12/00
Jesus is very hip and can speak our lingo, just about anything can be said today, no matter what our cultures genre is: are you down with that.
The words of the prophets today have become like the tradition of the elders of Jesus’ day. Many people listen more carefully to their new words than God’s word, making God’s word of no effect.
We have removed ourselves from believing that we are complete in Christ Jesus. Jesus is sufficient, the apostles said so the prophets prophesied it. Instead we are being sold an empty box of goods, that “we need the restoration of prophets and apostles” NONSENSE!
So who are these apostles and prophets at these union meetings?
The National School of Prophets has become a regular meeting in January 28 -30, 1999 (Colorado Springs, Colorado) the Speakers were: C. Peter Wagner, Paul Cain, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, Dutch Sheets, Rick Joyner, Kingsley Fletcher, Mike Bickle, Jim Laffoon, Barbara Wentroble and Ted Haggard. Jim Goll.
The National School of Prophets May, 2000 the speakers were: C. Peter Wagner, Jack Deere, Chuck Pierce, Jim Laffoon, Mary Crum, Cindy Jacobs, Kingsly Fletcher, Barbara Yoder, Dutch Sheets, Mike Bickle, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Ted Haggard.
The National School of Prophets November 21-23, 2002 Dallas, Texas with Speakers: C. Peter Wagner, Dr. Lawrence Kennedy, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs, Bill Hamon, Barbara Yoder, Kingsley Fletcher
Bill Hamon one of the apostles/ prophets in Wagner’s roundatable states “now, Christ is activating His Prophets in the 1980’s and His Apostles in the 1990’s. Jesus is thrilled at the thought that His prophets will soon be fully recognized by the church” (Prophets and Personal Prophecy, p. 28). He explains the “1980’s had a prophetic movement. 1990’s apostolic movement. And now in the year 2000 we’re trying to establish the prophet and apostolic around the world.”
Hamon has had his own school of prophets for many years (here in Hawaii it is affiliated with Grace Bible church) but he was not the first in modern times; Joseph Smith, who started the Mormons was. He had Lectures on Faith that was delivered to his School of the Prophets in 1834.
Bill Hamon is one of the few associated with the original Latter Rain movement and is still actively promoting it. Hamon traces this all back to the Latter rain movement of the 40’s and 50’, he sees nothing wrong with it; he believes it was good thing. What was pronounced Heresy by AoG and others in the late 40’s to early 50’s has since the early 90’s resurged throughout the Vineyard (the Kansas city prophet movement) and incorporated into a new more influential group under the leadership of Peter Wagner. The movement has translated into what is called apostolic churches. Because Bill Hamon is endorsed and promoted by Wagner, he can’t help but be associated with the Latter Rain of the late 40’s. This is where the restoration of apostles and prophets was birthed. Hamon himself holds to the extreme views of the latter rain movement, such as the manifested sons of God doctrine, where there is no rapture but people will be changed into eternal beings here on earth to fight and overcome the devil. “At that time the sons of God will be fully manifested on the earth. Widespread spiritual warfare will result with the sons of God doing battle with Satan and company, the non-Christian nations of this world will also be defeated. Once the earth has been subdued, Jesus will come back to earth and be given the Kingdom that has been won for Him by this “manchild company.” The Manifested Sons of God doctrine teaches that these sons will be equal to Jesus Christ: immortal, sinless, perfected sons who have partaken of the divine nature. They will have every right to be called gods and will be called gods.” (Prophets and the Prophetic Movement Bill Hamon).
Today we are facing a prophet movement inside the church that is becoming a great influence gaining many people to its side. Jesus prophesied that in the end times a group of prophets would arise in the church. Today Peter Wagner and his entourage have sold this concept to the church as: bringing the original intent of Church government back. The Word of God says many (thousands?) of prophets will be raised up in our day--False ones! This does not mean there are no true prophets today? not necessarily but this movement would not be the first place to look for them.
What the Bible has to say
Jesus had much to say about end time prophets, in Mt.24:11 Jesus said, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Notice many, not a few, in v.24:24 “For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Possessors of power seem to be popping up everywhere these days. The Church has never experienced a time when so many have risen up from the four corners of the earth claiming God’s calling to be a prophet or prophetess. Today there are churches and ministries called prophetic; the office of the prophet, personal prophecy with words of knowledge are spreading everywhere by books and on the internet. One can’t turn anywhere without seeing prophetic conferences advertised today. Just as Jesus warned, we now have a prophet movement that fulfills Scripture.
Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles sees itself as a means to bring together apostles and prophets from around the world. The goal is have from five hundred to one thousand apostles joining. So we will now have thousands of prophets and thousands of apostles. That’s comforting isn’t it?
Pastors will then be brought under the prophets and apostles. Is this not an attempt to replace one governmental structure with another? While Wagner does not believe in a Pope, if the pastors are under the prophets and the prophets (who are second) are under the apostles (who are first) and he (or anyone one person) is the head of the apostles that makes him-chief, head, leader; call it what you want, it is what it is. Who says non-Catholics can’t have a Pope.
Wagner has appointed Apostles to the City as those “whom the Holy Spirit gives an anointing for extraordinary authority in spiritual matters over the other Christian leaders in the same city.” They are drawn in by the desire to have the mega churches thus blinded by success.
The Synergy of the Ages
Prophet Dutch Sheets believes he has received a “fresh word from the Lord for … the phrase that he gave me was the synergy of the ages” He explains this as “joining of the generations.” “It is a synergistic joining century defined as the combined action of 2 or more which have a greater total effect than some of their individual efforts” synergism which combines to make a reproduction. [Merriam-Websters Dictionary defines synergism as: conditions such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects.] Sheets teaches that a joining of past generations to the next generation and their joining perhaps to the next generation will make this synergism. “It is a summing up of all things in Christ it is a bringing to its fullness the Christ anointing in the church which is having an exponential effect it is happening synergisticly exponentially we don’t just add we are just going and it is a snowball effect in the body of Christ that is bringing this fullness of Christ into play” (Dutch Sheets National School of The Prophets, Mobilizing The Prophetic Office May 12 2000).
One way we see this happening is through Benny Hinn. There is no one in media who has the admiration of all as a healer and prophet; that has more worldwide influence or money then Benny Hinn. The fact that Benny Hinn has had almost all the new prophets under Wagner on his program becomes a vehicle for this synergism. This media exposure began mostly in January 2002 with Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, Francis Frangipane, Quanita Bynum, John Paul Jackson, Winkie Pratney, Che’ Ahn, Mary Crum, and others. In fact, this is very significant that Hinn would not only acknowledge them but promote them on his program, something he has not done before. One wonders if Hinn has conceded to a marriage of sorts with the prophetic movement, seeing their progress and potential of it in the church.
On Hinn’s program in 2002 a big concentration was about the Jezebel spirit, he had dreams about it. He stated that he was going bring the spirit down. The Bible states: Rev. 2:20-23 “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. “And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.” Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.” I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”
In the booklet The Jezebel Spirit, Francis Frangipane (the same promoted on Hinn’s program) says “Jezebel’s worst enemies are the prophets; her worst fear is that the people will embrace repentance. Jezebel hates repentance. Though this spirit will infiltrate the church, masking its desire for control with true Christian doctrines, it will hide from true repentance… Jezebel hates the prophets, for the prophets speak out against her. The prophets are her worst enemies. When she wars, it is to stir people against the message of the prophetic church. More than she hates the prophets, she hates the word they speak” (The Jezebel Spirit p.6, F. Frangipane).
We receive repentance from right teaching. Ahab the king of Israel was influenced by his wife Jezebel a false prophetess, and became a worshipper of the false God Baal, and led the people into idolatry. This is what John means by Jezebel. What Frangipane has done is teach correctly on Jezebel and apply the scripture incorrectly to the modern day prophets. In Scripture Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, and the church allows her, yet he says she controls (by manipulation) disguised by true doctrine! She wars the people against the PROPHETIC church. So where is he going with all this? He is saying that anyone who comes against the new prophets is Jezebel (her spirit). He's turned the Scripture all around.
Practicing correct doctrine has more of guarantee one is walking with the Lord than not practicing it. It is also harder to manipulate someone with correct doctrine than without it. It's not those who hold to right doctrine that have the Jezebel spirit. The fact is, those who challenge these so called prophets words do not hate but are doing the very opposite, loving the brethren, by trying to preserve the sheep’s lives. They are upholding what the Bibles prophets and apostles commanded us to do; test the spirits andJude 1:17 “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Pet. 3:2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior”
What we see happening is spiritual manipulation and threats from these prophets toward those obeying the biblical commands. It is Jezebel who deceives the servants, remember she is calling herself a prophetess. These new prophets don’t want you to say a thing about them and they don’t seem to care if right doctrine is used. So they teach their adherents to hush the opposser's and protect them. This is a convenient way of building a protective wall around what they are doing. These new prophets change the Scriptures meaning and add things that are certainly not there, these are the giveaways to the real manipulation from these prophets.
James write sin 5:19-20: “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” It is our obligation to bring people back to the Words of Jesus, not to new prophets.
Endorsing oneself as a prophet
When Moses the prophet was commission he argued back, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it” (Exodus 4:13-14). When Jeremiah was picked he complained “Then said I: ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth”(Jer. 1:6). He was unprepared and God prepared him to speak to the nation Israel whom He had called to walk with him. Heb.11 tells us the prophets gave up many things and were physically threatened and persecuted, “Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented--of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11:36-38)
Today we instead have schools and books on how to become a prophet and how to prophesy. Today’s prophets think they are so important, that the church cannot get along without them. All along we have been trying to do church without a prophet giving us new revelation, what could we have been thinking?
The line of Scripture that this is base on is “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Notice what it actually says, the servants are the prophets. That would be a qualification, to be a servant. Jesus called all who are His followers servants, so if this has any application today; it has everyone capable of knowing what He will say and do. Not just a certain person or elite group that are prophets.God’s will is revealed to all who love God (Jn.17:25-26). How can we be sure? The apostle John records what Jesus said in John 15:14-15 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
However we need to go deeper intothe full context the Amos passage, because so much of the new prophets office rests on it. Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
In a like manner the church has been given the scriptures to warn the world of the future judgment coming. In Revelation John as a prophet tells us things to come and He is told to write so we can hear what the Spirit is speaking to the churches throughout ALL TIME; it is written.
This Amos passage cannot be correctly understood without the whole context of Amos’ message. Starting in Amos 3:1 “Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” This is an ominous message to God’s people to repent before punishment falls on them. The secrets of God are revealed to the prophet to inform the people to repent. Through the Jewish prophet Amos God is warning Israel to forsake their idols and turn to Him, so they would not be punished. So they can renew their walk with God, and secure the continuing favor of the Lord in their conditional covenant. This is what is meant by 2 Chron. 20:20 “Believe in the Lord your God, shall ye be established; believe His Prophets, so shall ye prosper.”‘ What is He saying? That if Israel would heed their prophets all will go well with them. They needed to repent and get back on track, it’s no different today, if there is any real application for us today: people need to get into the Bibles revelation from the true ancient prophets and not seek some new prophet. For God has already spoken on the these matters.
Amos further states in 3:8: “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” When Amos 3:7 is used without Amos 3:8 it is ripped from its context. For the Lord has sent an alarm to the people, to bring fear for some to repent. The Lord roars like a lion warning of the approaching judgment, as God reserves the right to punish apostasy. Israel is the prey and it is revealed it to the prophets so they can warn the people to bring fear to repent and the people can reform their behavior. It is always meant as correction to God’s people to avoid future judgment. The Lord God speaks and those who are in communion with Him hear. The prophet could not help but proclaim the judgment against the nation Israel. This message was to be heard as far away in Egypt and Assyria (v.9-11) so they testify against Israel’s rebellion. The punishment will not be a surprise because God always foretold Israel of their judgment through the prophets.
Any use of this passage for today's prophets is clearly taken out of context. It is used in the very opposite way by those who claim the office of a prophet for themselves. However, if taken in context and if we apply the proclamation of this passage, God is warning that judgment is going to happen to the Church if she does not turn back to the Lord. For Amos wrote V.10 “for they do not know to do right.” In an ironic way they are speaking judgment.
The Bible states: “Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem.... They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness.... But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings (Jer. 23: 14,22). Nothing has changed except the location and time. Do these prophets correct or rebuke the false ones? That’s what the true prophets did. Do they correct the leaders who chase after money and influence the people into worldliness? How can they when many of them do themselves.
It was in the Old Testament that God sent the people prophets to hear His message, but this not what He is doing in the New Covenant. God’s message is completed in scripture and sufficient for any Christian to spiritually grow. Today God speaks through the Scriptures that are the Word of God from Jesus Christ, written through His chosen prophets and Apostles (2 Pet. 1:19-21, Heb. 1:1-2).
In Heb.1 it clearly and unequivocally states “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Heb 1:1-2). Previously God gave his revelation in succession, sometimes it lasted a short while, like with Haggai (a month) and other times through the lifetime of the prophet (Moses). The whole Old Testament took 1,000 years to be written. The Hebrews passage is in the past tense; the heir has come, our creator, and revealed Himself, He gave His words to the apostles and they in turn built the foundation on Jesus Christ. It is Christ whom the church preaches (His Gospel) and teaches (His doctrine). So the relationship of revelation has changed. It has gone from progressive revelation by prophets to the final revelation by the Son.
The words spoken to us by the prophets are written down. Jesus who is our prophet and priest, His words were all written down within one generation. Once the last apostle died our New Testament revelation was completed, there was no longer a need for prophets to reveal God’s will or new revelation knowledge. His Son’s words are all we need as the apostle Paul stated in 2 Tim.3:16-17. It is sufficient for teaching, reproof, correction and living a righteous life. Every truth of God necessary for us was given (John 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:15). In 1 Jn.2:27 He writes the believers that they had been made thoroughly acquainted with the truths and will of God. John is asking the Christians to be on guard against the deceivers that are trying to corrupt the church. It didn’t matter what they called themselves, but what they taught. If it was contrary to Jesus Christ’s doctrine delivered by the apostles it was to be rejected.
John 8:31-32 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” And you shall know the truth and truth will set you free.” We need to know His word -- the truth, and no revelator except the Holy Spirit is needed to learn the truth. The prophets were necessary as God gave additional revelation to Israel, and when the church was in its infancy. Jesus was our ultimate prophet God does not need to reveal more of Himself than what He has already revealed to us in Scripture. A person who says they are a prophet today, and is going to reveal new information about God is saying the Bible is not complete or sufficient for us to know God intimately. This means we must depend on him being the current mouthpiece of God to tell us what we are to do; that is what the ancient prophets did. Today we no longer need a prophet speaking for God; God is speaking in His eternal Word because it is complete. It is just as alive today as the day it was given.
By the death of John the last apostle who died around A.D. 90-100, the foundation of the Church had been laid. The main purpose of the gifts of apostleship and prophecy were to lay the foundation of the Church, to record New Testament revelation for all people for all time. The problem with those claiming to be “prophets of God” today is that none of them claim the ability to write inerrant Scripture, which is what a prophet was able to do. This does not mean every prophecy was written down, but would anyone want to take the position we can add to the Scripture?
If one examines the works of the Early Church Fathers contained in 37 volumes, there is no reference to a prophetic office continuing as in the apostle’s time. The early church after the death of the last apostle (John) ceased to acknowledge the office of apostle and prophet being in existence. There is some mention in reference to prophecy but not prophets by the Nicene or Post - Nicene Fathers.
It is clear that Paul’s instructions on prophecy to the Corinthians, it was to be a component of their meeting but not the major one. They were to be tested just as the prophets of old were; to see if it was a trustworthy message. The argument is not so much are there prophets in the church today but are those who claim to be a prophet speaking true prophecy.
Today, prophecy does not have the same position/office that it carried with the prophets to Israel. Prophecy today is not so much a warning, foretelling the future judgment for a nation or kings to move them to repent, but to comfort encourage, edify, those who believe, there is a substantial difference.
1 Cor. 14:3: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” (1 Cor. 14:3), this is quite a different function than the prophets of old who warned, rebuked and declared God’s future judgment for their unrepentance and the future of nations concerning Israel. Today it has a different function within the finished written word, so it drawn from the word and not new words (otherwise we are to pen at least some of them into the book). The New Testament church has already repented and so it has a different focus than it did for Israel. The church has a different covenant relationship to God than Israel. Not that rebuke cannot occur today, but we need to be careful in listening to men’s words about our future and words of guidance, we are not just to blindly obey them because they have a reputation or name as a prophet. I believe that the Word teaches God has closed the writing of Scripture. Rev 1:1-3 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants-- things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” There is no longer be any reason for the office of Prophet to function today as it did in the past with Israel. However there is the gift of prophesy; Paul teaches that prophecy can be speaking a word of Scripture (or related to Scripture) that would be for ones edification and exhortation and comfort. Exhortation is to give motivation for a holy life filled with good works and remove any sluggishness; or comfort and give consolation to give hope and remove sadness; Edify is to strengthen and build up what is weak.
However, I don’t believe that we can take the position of God giving future revelations like we have in scripture any longer. Prophets are not a continuing (office) position. However, we do have the gift of prophecy functioning within the local church body. But this is not related to giving doctrine as the prophets did before. But today we do hear new doctrines and revelations from these prophets on prayer, spiritual warfare, affirmations, speaking things into existence; what we do not hear is correction and comfort to peoples lives. In fact there has been a tremendous misuse of those who claim the prophetic gift. Many people have been hurt under “their anointing” and gift of prophecy as they have given words that have not edified or brought comfort.
The fact is, Ted Haggard went before the people at their Wagner’s 2000 Prophetic Conference (The National School of Prophets) and said: “We’re sorry for the way we’ve abused our authority” “I apologize to you as a representative of the prophetic and as a prophetess, and I want to tell you that we’re sorry for hurting your feelings. That we’re sorry for the things that we’ve said. We’re sorry for the way we’ve abused our authority…. we’ve done have hurt well-meaning people like you that have been trying to serve the Body, been trying to deliver the word of the Lord, and we’ve been harsh. And we’ve been judgmental.”
Both Cindy Jacobs Chuck Pierce reaffirmed this, Cindy Jacobs “We’ve made a lot of mistakes. There’s no excuse but we need to do better’ Chuck Pierce “And I wanna ask forgiveness for immaturity and a lack of accuracy” …. I wanna take governmental responsibility and ask you to forgive the inaccuracy of the office” (National School of the prophets Chuck Pierce/Cindy Jacobs t. May 13, 2000 11:00 AM Tape #15)
Admittedly they called it inaccuracy, mistakes, abuse of authority and Cindy Jacobs further stated it was charismatic witchcraft and curses. Most people would be satisfied from this admittance of wrongdoing, but this is not enough. Nothing has changed, they went right back to what they were doing before. In fact they continued throughout the conference.
If these prophecies were from the Lord then there would be no room for improvement, this proves that it is from man. Did any apostle have to apologize for abuse or inaccuracy in God’s name? (Except for Judas). Calling it an inaccuracy of the office shifts the blame off them personally.
Here what the apostle Paul said of the apostles and prophets of his dayEzek 22:28: “And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken”
Jer. 14:14-16: Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.
Jeremiah 23:16-17 “Thus said Jehovah of Hosts: Ye do not hearken unto the words Of the prophets who are prophesying to you, They are making you vain things, A vision of their own heart they speak”
“A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31) The church is confronted with the very same conditions Israel was. The question is, what will YOU do?
How it all works
Peter Wagner the “presiding apostle” of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) and “convening apostle” of the New Apostolic Roundtable explains how the now Famous Amos Scripture works for today. “So # 1 the prophets submit to the apostle #2 God speaks to the prophet, …this is a normal way that it happens to, God speaks to the prophet because …Amos 3:7 says surely the Lord God does nothing unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets, … Now if I’m a leader I’m an apostle I really want to know what God’s big plans are for the future, and it says right there that he will reveal these to the prophets, but if I’m not hitched to prophets I’m going to be in I’m going to have to go on my own, I think what I just read is God’s plan A, I think God also has plans B’s and if that doesn’t click God will go to a plan B and the plan B will sometimes be successful but it will never be everything that God wants it to be, unless, unless the prophets have their rightful role and mind you, I just gave you number two that God speaks to the prophet but that won’t work unless number one is in place see… The prophet has to be submitted to the apostle but when number two clicks in and God speaks to the prophet, and then number three is that the prophet speaks to the apostle, … God speaks to the prophet the prophet speaks to the apostle got that down, at that point who is the one that is submitted? The apostle thanking God for speaking through the prophet” (Peter Wagner, May 11,2000 tape #1 National School of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office).
Wagner proposes that unless we opt for plan A we will never become what God has in mind and will not succeed as the church. So we must incorporate the prophets back into the church. Not to worry he has plenty of them waiting in the wings. But remember they must be hitched to the Apostles for true success. Too bad there were no apostles during Amos’ day.
Is God going to tell a prophet everything; when He is coming for his Church? When the next disaster will strike a nation or a church? When He is to judge? (go look at the prophetic sites and see how accurate their hundreds of prophecies are). Does the New Testament teach anything like the Amos passage to endorse this kind of continuation that was for Israel? Do we find this being taught in the epistles? Taking Old Testament Scriptures out of their context does no one any good. This is the same Scripture William Branham and a host of others used to prove they are God’s prophets. It worked then and it is working now.
We don’t have to look to far to see another group, a cult that has been practicing this type of teaching from its inception and it calls itself the restored true church. It is the Mormons who also often quote Amos 3:7 to teach that we need prophets today. The similarities only begin with this. They have become quite successful in growth with great numbers and it has become their solace and justification for what they are doing as right. But numbers are not fruit and never were a validation for any of the truth being spoken. In fact, Jesus had few when the church began. Can I dare to say He will have few not many when the church finishes!
What is a leader to be like? Titus 1:9: “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” These new prophets certainly oppose the doctrine delivered to all Christians. If anyone tells you to receive a new truth that will supercede the old truth they are essentially telling you not to believe the Bible. Instead, the original prophets and apostles become obsolete, we are now encouraged to listen to the “fresh word” from new prophets and apostles. Jer 5:13: “And the prophets become wind, For the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them.”
This movement has become dangerous. This is how Mormonism (a Christian counterfeit church) developed into what it is today. The Mormon Church has new apostles and prophets to replace the old ones in the Bible and they have grown tremendously. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, June 1, 1833 Provision to be made for the School of the Apostles (Doctrine & Covenants 95:0).
Look at the Roman Catholic Church, they have a pope because of apostolic succession who can say what he thinks as long as he calls it tradition; He can speak Ex Cathedra and it will be considered equal with Scripture. Is there any difference in this new apostolic reformation with their rhema word?
Bill Hamon describes: “We developed a manual for ministering spiritual gifts to teach, train, activate, mentor and mature and now we have trained over thirty eight thousand individuals in six continents of the world, nine thousand leaders and over a thousand prophets and prophetic ministers have been raised up and are now prophesying and flowing like a river…. Now, you see I could take this group right here and take trainers and in one week I could every one of you flowing like a river in the prophetic. We’ve done it with thousands” (National School of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Bill Hamon 5/12/00). So you too can learn to become a prophet under Hamon.
To almost all of these new revelators of our day, they claim the Lord gave them something beyond Scripture or even something non-Biblical. The only thing they do agree on is that they should tolerate each other’s inconsistencies and inaccuracies, despite their departure from the apostle’s writings.
Rick Joyner a prophet and receiver of visions says “There is a prophet named Bob Jones who was told that the general level of prophetic revelation in the church was about 65% accurate at this time. Some are only about 10% accurate, a very few of the most mature prophets are approaching 85% to 95% accuracy. Prophecy is increasing in purity, but there is a still a long way to go for those who walk in this ministry” (The Prophetic Ministry, Rick Joyner- Morningstar Prophetic Newsletter. Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 2).
Yet we are told by many “Christ will raise up apostles and prophets who will prepare and equip the church for service. This will demand a maturity beyond anything we have seen in recent years, and will result in a greater unity of faith and “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” being visible in the Church. Only such a Church with the whole Christ released within her, is properly equipped to give opportunity for the whole world to believe.” (John Noble, “Apostles and Prophets” in “Breaking The Mould” compilation, pub Pioneer Trust 1993)
Do we have only a percentage of Christ and need more through these prophets who get mostly 65% right, maybe more but never 100%. That is not something I would want to be basing my assurance on. There is a booklet at the food store counters called “Worlds greatest prophets.” In the front of the book it says we know these are the worlds greatest prophets because they are 80% correct. That’s better accuracy rate than what the prophets in the church have.
When the prophets of old got their message from God, it was perfect, free from error. Today the prophets tell us they are learning to prophesy and can be anywhere from 10% ranging to possibly 90% right (although there is none graded this high). Therefore their prophetic gift they are exercising is not the same one God gave to the prophets of old. This is like baseball and trying to have a good hitting average. Maybe someone should make cards with their prophetic average printed on them so we know who to go to. They also need to include gum so we get our moneys worth out of it.
Is God appreciative that some of His prophetic mouthpieces are improving in their accuracy? I don’t think so. God always rebuked the inaccurate prophets by calling false ones. It happened then and it happens today.
God can speak but He often did not. Today they prophesy over dozens and hundreds at a time, even though the Scripture says there is an order for prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14:29 “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.” We should not assume anything. God gave the church several means of protecting ourselves against false prophets and teachers: first and foremost His Word which we can discern truth from error, another is the spiritual gift to discern spirits. Last, the spirits prophets are subject (arranged and controlled) by the prophets (v.32-33).
Bill Hamon completely ignores this and says, “God released me in ‘73 with a constant flow of the prophetic. And I became in demand. Everybody wanted a prophet. And there’s only two of us in the whole United States that was travellin’ round in the early 70’s that could prophesy by the hour - line ‘em up and prophesy from nine o’clock to three o’clock in the morn’n through two to three hundred people in one sittin” (“Battle of The Brides” Bill Hamon at ‘New Life Church’ Nov. 13 1997).
Today everyone (thousands) are off and running reminisient of Jeremiahs time “I did not send these prophets, But they ran. I did not speak to them, But they prophesied” (Jer. 23:21).At a time when the church needs those who have been looked to as leaders to speak up we hear nothing. The courageous voices come mostly from those who do not have mega size churches and best selling books.
A “New” Age Influence
The New Age has always had the agenda of reorganizing the world religions; Christianity is included. Adjustments will be made either slowly or radically to move the church toward their goal. The plan is to merge the Church and the New Age into one entity. Once the church has a new vocabulary and the new concepts are practiced the members will align themselves with the vision and Biblical Christianity will be replaced with a new paradigm.
What I find interesting is that the prophets are all saying the same things; they want to change the church. No matter what church you belong to if you don’t have a prophet or apostle in it, it will be considered dead and not moving in the new wave of the spirit.
Listen to what the new prophets in the prophetic church say and then we will see what the New age prophets and teachers have been saying. “... I believe that God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth. I believe that the way that 99% of us across the world as believers understand Christianity, in 20 years there will be a totally different understanding of what Christianity is from what it is right now. I believe the understanding of it, the standard of life and the expression of Christianity as we know it, I believe God is going to restore it and change it in the Earth in this generation” (Overview of Corporate Long Term Vision, Mike Bickle, 1/5/86, cassette tape.)
“... and they (apostles, prophets) do things that you have no frame of reference for understanding because, believe me, what’s going to be coming down in the next twenty years you and I have no frame of reference for understanding. It is going to be so unusual you are not going to be able to look at the word for every manifestation and find one there because the Spirit of the Lord has so many manifestations that you and I know nothing about” (Divine Appointment [Introduction], Mike Bickle, 3/29/89, cassette tape).
What they have planned is nothing short of a total transformation. Hamon says of Wagner “… Peter Wagner and several other ministers in the United States are saying we won’t recognize the 21st Century Church compared to what we are today. Amen? The last day apostles and prophets that are alive today is going to take the Church through the transition from the dispensation of grace to the dispensation of the Kingdom, from the dispensation of the mortal Church to the dispensation of the immortal Church” (Transcript of Bill Hamon at ‘New Life Church’ Nov.13, 1997, entitled “Battle of The Brides”)
Rick Joyner is one of he new breed of prophet’s in our day, who desires nothing less than to see a redefinition of biblical Christianity in these last days of the church. “What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival, or another awakening; it is a veritable revolution. The vision was given in order to begin to awaken those who are destined to radically change the course, and even the very definition of Christianity. The dismantling of organizations and disbanding of some works will be a positive and exhilarating experience for the Lord’s faithful servants. A great company of prophets, teachers, pastors and apostles will be raised up with the spirit of Phineas…” (Rick Joyner, The Harvest)
The new age movement is constantly teaching the church will be radically changed at the end of the century. The church is not doing the changing but the changing is being done to the church.
This apostle/prophet movement within the Christian church can certainly be referenced to prophecies and statements of respected names in the new age movement such as Alice Bailey and other occultists that tell us a new church and a new Christianity would appear at the end of this century.
“...a spiritual event, coming to us to bring about great changes or major restorations, to inaugurate a new civilization or to restore the “ancient landmarks” and lead men nearer to the divine. They have been defined as ‘extraordinary men who from time to time appear to change the face of the world and inaugurate a new era in the destinies of humanity.... The necessary stage is set for the reappearance of the Christ” ("Preparation For The Reappearance of the Christ," World Goodwill (founded in 1922 by Lucifer Trust).
Consider theosophist Alice Bailey statement aligned with the prophets and apostles themselves. When speaking of the church movement the occultist prophesied “ Eventually, there will appear the Church Universal, and its definite outlines will appear towards the close of this century… This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the TRUE second Coming has been accomplished… the Christian church in its many branches can serve as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished… the church as a teaching factor should take the great basic doctrines and (shattering the old forms in which they are expressed and held) show their true and inner spiritual significance. The prime work of the church is to teach, and teach ceaselessly, preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages. Teachers must be trained; Bible knowledge must be spread; the sacraments must be mystically interpreted, and the power of the church to heal must be demonstrated” (Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, 1957).
Helena Blavastky also prophesied events at the close of this century. “This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the true second Coming has been accomplished. NO date for the advent do I set, but the time will not be long” (prophecy by H.P.Blavatsky).
She taught “The esoteric interpretation of the Bible, however, sufficiently refutes this slanderous invention of theology” (Madame Blavatsky Vol. 2, p. 228 THE SECRET DOCTRINE).
The attack on Bible doctrine has always come from the mystics and gnostics. New Ager Marilyn Ferguson “The radical Center of spiritual experience seems to be knowing without doctrine ... the teacher does not impart knowledge but technique. This is the ‘transmission of knowledge by direct experience.’ Doctrine on the other hand, is second-hand knowledge” (The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson, pp. 371, 377).
“The churches In the West need also to realize that basically them is only one Church, but it is not necessarily only the orthodox Christian Institution. God works in many ways through many faiths and religious agencies; this is one reason for the elimination of non essential doctrines” (The Reappearance of the Christ, p.159 Lucis Publishing Company: New York, 1948 )
Is this not what we hear from the new prophets, to let go of the traditions, there is a new Christianity, remove the old forms, the power must be demonstrated. A mystical influence has certainly come in the front door of many churches. Yes there is a spiritual side to Christianity but what we are talking about is quite different.
Prophet Bob Jones “The Last Days church is being birthed out of the old church, and the old leadership is coming to an end and the new, young leadership is being raised up to reign over an end time church that will bring forth the bride” (Visions and Revelations, 1988). The question would be, whose bride.
Alice Bailey “The rule of the churches is over, but not the precepts of Christianity or the example of, the Christ. He is, however, responsible for a newer and more effective presentation of the coming world religion, and for that the churches should prepare...” (Alice Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 448 Lucis Publishing Company: NewYork, 1957)
This can be summed up by what was said at Toronto Airport Vineyard “… the methods that you have been using in the past, you are to throw them away because I am giving you My sword now and the old ways of doing things will not do. The old methods will not be acceptable to Me anymore because I am doing a new thing. Do not look to the yesterdays but look to the future because I am doing a new thing and this new way is not the old. This new way is new and you must throw away the old ways of doing things” (January 20, 1997 - Prophecy by Carol Arnott).
I think all these statements are too similar to overlook as coincidence. But we should ask why they have such similar content if some of these are from our modern church and others are from a new age source.
So what are we to think of this movement of prophets and apostles who want to be the leaders of the church and build a new foundation? All ideas have consequences when put to practiced. Right Biblical doctrine expounded in the Scripture conforms us to be in right relationship with Christ, wrong doctrine has us removed from Christ. The Word is very clear in how we are to learn and practice our spirituality. These new practices and new words redefine our Christianity. If these teachings are left unchallenged they will eventually replace what the church grew up with for almost 2000 years, it will remove us from the faith that was originally delivered to all the saints.
This all echoes of what Jesus said: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) This is something we all
need to ponder on and be prepared for.