Transformations or re-transformation?
pt. 1 INDEX
As far as we can see this video and movement is coming into the churches under the stealth of prayer. Much of what had been reported in the video is falsehood, exaggeration with only shreds of truth. They may mean well but we should be offended and respond against such monkey business on their part. They are giving glory to God for events that did not transpire the way they say. instead they give the people who watch this video, fabrications to promote their special way of warring against spiritual darkness. To think they are telling us the results are from prayer, something which is used to commune with God and their facts are found false - what does this say? Church growth, vegetable growth, the ending of crime, cults, war etc. are all results from this “kind” of praying. Again, we want to reaffirm that we can all pray more and it is necessary, but it is also just as important to pray correctly and biblically. The Bible teaches us that it is the Gospel that is the power of God for salvation, NOT spiritual warfare. This is Spiritual demagoguery. Throughout the video George Otis Jr. said the responsibility is on us for community transformation and the coming of the Kingdom of God to earth it is all dependent on us. If this is what we should be doing then what did the Lord Jesus achieve on the cross?
The reports cited in this article are not a means to an end and I would encourage everyone to do their own research. We are continuing our research as well. If you have anything to add please write and let us know. Years later will become the proof on these new methods of prayer introduced into the church.
If they really want to prove their method, without a shadow of doubt, I suggest for all these spiritual warfare warriors to move to a certain area that has had a history of violence, crime and drugs etc., pray for 6 months, doing nothing else and lets see if what they have works. In every case on this film with the exception of Almolonga, the community has not changed. Here’s a novel idea: drop the false spiritual warfare techniques and pray for the salvation of souls being converted by the bold preaching of the gospel. Pray for laborers in the field that know how to present the gospel. Abandoning of any grandstanding and advertising of men’s works would be a step in the right direction.
This spiritual warfare prayer is not how the apostles worked in their ministry I would suggest one meditates on these words. 1 Thess. 2:3-12: “For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness--God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
In the beginning of the video the narrator says, “Transformation is potent word, a powerful concept. What does it mean in relation to a society. Can a spiritual DNA of a community really be altered?” Yes transformation is a powerful concept. It is for this reason the New Age Movement has picked up on it. Transformation means a change from one construction to another. But to build another one must deconstruct the former and replace it.
The Transformation presented in the video is something more related to the concept of transubstantiation? Where it looks the same, but we are told that there is a substantial change. One apparently needs “only to believe” to see the change. In all the four cities the video clips span many years and were patched together to give a story, a biased story. One can show anything as if in sequence on video and present it as a documentary. Taken at face value it seems real but when the facts are looked at it is not. This video can only be believed if one accepts it face value what they say without checking the facts. After reading this article, after the facts are presented to you and you are still with them – Are you believing the truth? Check it and see for your self.
If we look at history this kind of transformation of cities and countries took place over the centuries through Roman Catholicism. Even today many South American, European cities and even countries are Catholic.
A current western example of the employing these spiritual warfare techniques is found in Pensacola, USA. What happened there was preceded by two years of prayer and fasting, utilizing spiritual mapping of the area to identify and bind the territorial spirits. This spiritual warfare believed and practiced can be seen at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, an intercessory team “sweeps” the sanctuary before each meeting to drive out the demons. What are the demons doing there in the first place? That’s the extent of this concept in action, it is meaningless.
Petrie and Sentinel Group founder George Otis, Jr., hold seminars in churches, teaching Christians to find “spiritual pathologies” to discover what blocks revival in their cities, http://www.joelnews.org/news-en/jn323.htm. Do we need to hold a seminar to discover blockages for cities? (what in the world is spiritual pathologies?) Is this some kind of holistic healing? Preach the gospel, this is what holds back revival, not enough people have the ability to explain it. But instead they convince people to come along with their new revelation as the solution to the churches inability to reach people. It is a Panacea
The Early Church did not first bind all the demons in cities, they preached the gospel. The only one called "the strong man" in the Bible is Satan, people all over the world are "binding the strong man," but he never seems to be affected. The Bible explains that God has a sovereign purpose in allowing Satan and his demons to have limited freedom during this church age. It is only when Jesus returns that Satan is actually bound by a direct order of Jesus to an angel (Rev.20:2-3). Those who think they have power to do such things now have fooled themselves into practicing something other than the spiritual warfare the Bible teaches us. It becomes something far more concerning when they are teaching it to the church worldwide.
The words of Jesus, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" is not enough. Why? They believe God is speaking to them new revelation, new methods to conquer the enemy. The Church Age is a Dispensation of Grace, but it is being changed into an age of Dominionism. Military slogans are used in prayer, prayer is said to the Devil, worship music is used as a weapon, they use Catabolic interpretations that change the Biblical meanings. “The Word of God is living and powerful" (Hebrews 4:12) not our words.
Ephesians 6:12 cannot be true in the way this spiritual warfare movement practices it, because Jude tells us we should not rail against these powers and principalities or go after them. For one thing, it is unhealthy to pursue darkness without any light. There is no biblical precedent to practice prayer in such ways. Therefore one cannot have any armor on when they go against the kingdom of darkness. The video puts man against demons, by the authority in Jesus’ name we are to bind and chase away demons. This is first necessary for God to move into a city and bring revival. “Spiritual mapping brings us to a place of knowledge and information.” Isn’t this like the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, pursuing to learn something God does not want us to. If one reads further in Ephesians 6 Paul sums up the reason to have the armor and how to win the battle. “And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20.)
When did the territorial spirits become dealt with? By the Church today or by Christ when he died? Colossians 2:14 –15: “Blotting out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” It was done on the cross and if the original and only appointed apostles of our Lord didn’t take cities or countries by pragmatic spiritual warfare techniques, what makes us think some new self- appointed apostle wanna- be could! It is ONLY when we lift up the cross, God’s glorious gospel - they lose their hold on the people today.
Christianity Today states “Otis poured seven years of global research into his new book, The Twilight Labyrinth: Why Does Spiritual Darkness Linger Where It Does? He has identified 15 'transformed communities,' of which 14 incorporated spiritual mapping. Two factors present in all 15, Otis Jr. says, are 'persevering leadership' and 'united prayer.' (Christianity Today, January 12, 1998 Vol. 42, No. 1, page 55.)
At the end of the video many places were cited where allegedly other communities have experienced the same transformation. Some of these places were Mizoram – India; Sao Paulo – Brazil; Umofai Villages Nigeria; Sibero-America – Arctic; Resistanca – Argentina; Navapur – India; Selakan Villages – Malaysia; Beriut of Kampala – Uganda; San Nicolas – Argentina. These are in the developing world. It would be interesting to investigate the stories of these places as well, as Otis Jr. will be releasing part two including some of them. In fact as the years pass one should revisit the places in this first Transformation video and see what has become of them.
For these extraordinary claims made in the video there should be some evidence and verification instead of hearsay or retelling of stories (better identified as positive and hopeful gossip). If any of these have actually had a change (which would be wonderful) it would still not verify what these men are proposing in their worldview or in the “Transformations video”. We have done what we can to provide any seeker of truth the basis to see what really did take place. We wish we could say the same for the video.
With all due respect for those who may have worked hard on this video not knowing the agenda behind it. It would be more accurate to change the name “Transformations” to “Exaggerations” or “Transformations” to “Misrepresentations?”
If these 4 communities are dramatically altered as Otis Jr. (and Peter Wagner) claim then the evidence would be overwhelming. We have seen there is no evidence for what they claim for a community transformation, but the very opposite has taken place (or no change at all). Of the one positive circumstance (Almolonga) it was completely unrelated to what they were doing and they have made no connection to attribute it to their prayer and mapping. Its all in their mind what they think happened.
However, Otis Jr. states “not one of the stories have been an aberration, rather they are reflections of divine intent the way things are suppose to be.” What we have found is that there are not aberrations, they are mostly exaggerations, embellishments, and even mendacious stories.
Read 2 Tim. 3:1-5 The Bible tells us overall things will get worse, not better. This does not mean good cannot exist in our world but it will never become the majority. The only way things change permanently is when Jesus comes back physically to reign, then everything will change. This video is a perfect example of people not paying attention to details and accepting what is presented without question. 2 Tim. 4:3-4 certainly comes to mind as they turn away from the truth, (the word) to fables.
This video is some of the sloppiest research many of us have ever seen. If a newspaper printed an article with this many skewed facts they would be sued if they didn’t print a retraction.
Otis Jr. at the end of the video states, “Our journey has taught us that there are steps we can and should be taking to position our community for a visitation of the Holy Spirit.” Again, Transformation is also a new age term, and the way it is used in this video is certainly not biblical. What we have is the anointing falling on whole cities. Where is this all headed? Not just cities being transformed they will claim whole regions and nations become Christian.
Then Jesus said, “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This truth is not spiritual mapping, binding or loosing nor being under apostles and prophets. It is knowing the Word inspired by God and therefore you will be able to know the author of the Word Who is God.
They say the gospel transformed the communities. The Bible says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. They are claiming spiritual warfare prayer changed the communities. The gospel is not spiritual warfare. The gospel is centered on the person of Christ and his death for sin. We hope it was actually mentioned to the people in these areas. The new gospel presented in the video is supposedly Christianizing cities which would be quite a feat considering it is to be an individual decision for each person. We cannot Christianize cities, or countries or the world but we can make individual people Christians. No New Testament church was built by an apostle going into an area doing spiritual battle with territorial spirits. No apostle attempted to clean cities this way. It is NOT by binding the demons over their city to set people free, but by preaching the Gospel and then making disciples. The real spiritual warfare casts down arguments, confronting the false beliefs that hinder the people from hearing and understanding the gospel. When truth is explained falsehood is defeated and abandoned. There was only a semblance of truth throughout this video in its facts and representations.
Otis Jr. speaking at the end of the video tells us we are “ to ask God to increase our appetite for the things that attract his presence most notably unity holiness and faith and humility. At the same time we MUST cultivate a crop of persevering leaders whose collective vision for the community is watered by informed sustain intercession.”
If this video is any example of the informed leaders, should they be the ones
we should be listening to?
If we go back to the beginning of this article we find the prophecy from Peter Wagner's Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders is significant. “The church will be in key transition period between 2000-2003. During this period the youth in particular will be transitioning into revival. 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.” It is not a coincidence that this video is named “Transformations.” As Peter Wagner’s new book is Apostles of the City: How to mobilize the territorial Apostles for city Transformation. If one accepts the Transformation video on prayer, they do not receive it alone. It comes along with the Peter Wagner model of spiritual warfare and his appointed apostles and prophets for the church.
Is the battle today between Good versus Evil, the Church verses the Devil? No! The distinction must be made. The battle today is the same battle that has always been through the ages.
It is between the truth of God’s Word and the lies of Satan to the people of the world.
This article was put together by Concerned Christians, who care for people and the truth. To voice your concern please mail to the sentinel group first, don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. Then mail to us if this article has been a help
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