Walter Martin's Warning to the Church




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Walter Martins Warning to the Church (1988)

This message is not for the faint hearted; it is not a message of comfort for those who live in
false teaching or protect false teachers. These are excerpts from Walter Martin's message.
[Background - Kenneth Copeland claims that Jesus said in conversation with Copeland that
he never claimed to be God ; he only claimed he walked with God.]
Dr. Martin had contacted Copeland by mail confronting him on this issue, but unfortunately
his responses to Dr. Martin "were not kind or receptive."

A short time after this statement was made here, a conversation ensued with Paul Crouch
(on TBN) on this very subject of Copeland's prophecy. "We're still questioning what was said
about that prophecy. That prophecy never mentions the Son of God. It never said anything
about the Son of God." (Crouch) "What did it say?" "It said, 'I did not claim to be God! ' T hat's
all it said." (Crouch) "In other words, then, in so many words you 're right - nowhere in the
New Testament did he literally get up and (Copeland interjects: "preach and claim that I am
God ), say I AM God , did he! Now I stand corrected." (Ed. Note - It doesn't matter what
Copeland thinks he did, but what Jesus thinks he did.)

Now let's go to Walter Martins Warning of the Word Faith Movement's teaching to the
If you have your Bible, if you have your Bible I'd like you to turn with me to Acts chapter 20.
I'd like to read a few verses from this passage which I believe are very apropos today.
Talking to the elders in the church of Ephesus, as he is preparing to go to Jerusalem where
he will be bound by the Jews, and later to die, the apostle writes these words or speaks
these words and Luke records them. "I take you to record this day" v.26, Acts 20:26. That is
a direct quote from Ezekiel 34 where the scripture says if you do not warn the wicked man of
his wicked way and he dies in his sin, I will hold you accountable for it. So we are supposed
to warn the wicked of the wickedness they perform , and also of the judgment of God upon
them. If we don't, we become 'accessories after the fact' of their sins. So, Ezekiel 34 is what
Paul is definitely referring to. "I want you to know I am free from the blood of all mankind
because I am giving you the whole counsel. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all
the flock unto which the Holy Spirit has made you rulers." The Greek word 'episcopos' - a
ruler to fend or tend, therefore , the church of God which he has purchased with his own
blood. "For I know this: after I leave you, savage wolves shall enter in among you and will
not spare the flock." No mercy! And notice this: "From your own selves men shall arise
speaking contrary things to draw away disciples after themselves."

"Therefore watch, and remember for a period of three years I did not cease to warn
everyone night and day to the point of tears." Now, there is a twofold warning to the Christian
Church. Now, we are speaking this morning on 'The Warnings of God' - 'The Warnings of
God.' This passage tells you that after the apostles would leave the Church there would be
savage wolves ; they are characterized as wolves - ravenous wolves - who will enter in, and
they will not spare the flock: which means they will attack the flock from without, they will
penetrate the sheepfold, and they will chew up the sheep. Now that's as clear as crystal right
here. "I know this: after I leave, this is going to happen." We have those savage wolves
today. We have theologians in Theological Seminaries and departments of religions of
schools who literally chew up the flock. They chew up the people who are studying for the
ministry and then they spit them out into our pulpits where they can chew us up. These are
the savage wolves who come in not sparing the flock : apostates in positions of authority in
the Christian Church ; apostates who allow the ordination of homosexuals, forbidden and
cursed of God; apostates who deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ ; apostates
who will ordain you if you deny the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the bodily
resurrection, and the second coming; apostates who dominate our denominational structures
and our educational institutions ; apostates who have come in and are chewing up the
Church. That is very clearly stated here that we are to lookout for these people. Paul said, " I
warned you day and night for three years to the point of tears. " Very important!

Now there is a second part of this that is seldom preached on, because when you preach on
it people get upset in my ministry. What else is new! It's an occupational hazard because
you have to tell them the whole counsel of God. Notice Paul's emphasis here: "I have not
avoided declaring unto you (verse 27) all , or the whole, counsel of God." The whole counsel
of God is to warn against the savage wolves, cultists , occultists, non - Christian religionists,
atheistic and skeptical philosophers, psychologists - whatever they may be - who have
attacked the church from without; and some have penetrated and chewed up the Church!
Now there's a second warning from God. This warning is one the Church has paid very little
attention to, and, because we have paid so little attention to it, it has thrived and become
lethal. Why? Because what's close to you, you don't see: it does you far more harm than
something you can get in perspective and easily identify. So let's take a good look at what
he's saying here. "From your own selves" v.30 - you ought to mark 'Church itself' , "men
will arise. " It does not say "possibly could"; he said, "will arise". "They will speak contrary"
(the meaning of the word in the Greek - King James says perversion - the word in the Greek
is "contrary "). "They will speak contrary things for the purpose of drawing disciples after
themselves." So the warning of God is against people in the Church in positions of
leadership and respect, who will draw disciples surrounding themselves, whose allegiance is
not to Christ, but to that person. And they will draw the disciples after themselves from within
the Church so that there is no accountability for what they say. Now this isn't my message;
this is the Pauline counsel to the Church at Ephesus. Warnings from the Holy Spirit. Look
out for the wolves and look out for the divisive schismatic leaders who will split and fragment
and divide the church by attracting disciples to follow them.

Now the Scripture has many statements about false teachings and false prophets. Matthew
7: 15+16 gives one of the most frightening passages in all divine revelation. It says - and this
is the Lord Jesus speaking on the subject - "False prophets will come dressed as sheep but
inwardly, or spiritually , you are dealing with savage wolves . You will know them by what they
produce." Now Jesus has said something else that the Church has forgotten today. Jesus
said, " in my name ." (v.22) or if you want the actual meaning of the Greek text, " by my
authority" - ' name ' means ' authority' . When you say, "Stop in the name of the Law! " to a
criminal fleeing, you are saying "Stop!" by the authority of what? The law! The law says you
can't do that. Stop! When a King pronounced judgment in Old Testament times and recent
times ( until kings went out of fashion in the world ), a ruler person would say, "Open the door
in the name of the King". Alright, once you get that concept in your mind, Jesus said there
will come men who will speak, claiming their authority is from me. Now get that in your head
carefully. There will come men who will speak "in my name"; that is, I am supposedly saying
this to you. That is a very important phrase. They're going to come and say, "I 'm speaking to
you in Jesus 'name." "In my name they will work miracles. In my name they will cast out
devils. They will prophesy and preach. But when I meet them I will say, "Leave me - I never
knew you, workers of iniquity." Why? Because they use his authority and his name, because
the power was in Jesus' name ( Jesus' authority ), not in themselves . And God honored the
name of his Son. And they took that as a means of teaching their own false doctrines and
false prophecies , and because of that they corrupted the faith of the church. But inwardly,
spiritually, they really roooaaar ! And if you don't know fleece from fur, you're dinner, dum
dum! And the only way you can know fleece from fur is to know how to test them. You don't
test them by Walter Martin, or by Norman Geisler, as good as the apologist and defenders of
Christianity might be and as much as you trust them. You don't test them by other people;
you test them by Scripture. Then if your fidelity is to the Scripture, and your allegiance is to
the Scripture, you reject them! But, says Paul , in the last days, men are going to be drawn
away by false teachers and prophets in the church speaking in the name of Jesus. And
you 're not going to test them, you're going to go along with them. And they're going to
fragment and divide the Church because you won't test them.

Well it's about time that we test them. Kenneth Copeland delivered the following prophecy
during a three day victory campaign held in Dallas, Texas. It is reproduced in the Voice of
Victory 20th anniversary of his ministry. Found on page 9, his prophecy came from Jesus
Chris t, Copeland says. He quotes Jesus as saying, "You remember in my word I said to my
disciples, ' this kind comes not out by prayer and fasting' ." He's talking now about the power
of prayer. He goes on "Don't be disturbed (this is Jesus) when people accuse you of being
God. They crucified Me for claiming I was God. But I didn't claim I was God; I just claimed I
walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah." That is a lying spirit. Look at me! Read
my lips! "That is a lying spirit." That is not the Holy Spirit. Now for ten years I have warned,
and I'm on tape and in print on this: that we were heading into the kingdom of the cults with
the faith teachers. You are no longer heading there, baby! You are there! Just so you are not
mistaken let me give it to you again. Jesus speaking- "T he more you get to be like me
(Jesus) the more they're going to think that way of you. They crucified Me for claiming that I
was God. But I didn't claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in
Me. Hallelujah." "That's what you're doing." Now this was on TBN - this on Christian
Television and Radio stations. This is tolerated by the Christian Church, particularly the
charismatic wing because they will not obey the Lord Jesus Christ and they will not obey
what the Scripture says. They are taken by people and ministries. And by large crowds, and
jet airplanes, and by affluence as supposedly the seal of success. If you're big and you're
powerful and you're rich and people come to hear you, automatically it must be from God.
No! Automatically it isn't from God. You're supposed to test what the person says by
Scripture. And if you don't test it by Scripture you can be taking in spiritual arsenic or
cyanide , and it can ruin your Christian life and take your eyes off Christ. The Scripture says it
will overturn the faith in the Church.

...Charismatic differences. This is far beyond doctrinal disputes: he speaks it in the name of
Jesus. He's a liar, and the truth is not in him. Isa. 8:20 "If they do not speak according to this
word they have..." - what? "NO light in them!" In fact the Hebrew says there is no dawn.
What deceives people about these false prophets is that out of one side of their mouth they
preach the gospel , and out of the other side of their mouth they deny Him who is the core of
the gospel. And if you don't put the two sides together you think you're hearing Christianity.
But you're not! The false prophets know that to get crowds they have to preach
Christianity. The false prophets know that in order to have financial support they have got to
get the Church to contribute to them. So they will sound like the Church and they will
prophesy in Jesus' name, they will heal in Jesus ' name, they will work miracles in Jesus
name, and then as they prosper, they will deny him.

How do you know he's a false prophet? It's easy: he said so! I wonder if people who read
this thought, thought, "They crucified me for claiming I was God, but I didn't claim I was
God." He didn't?! That's strange language. John chapter 8: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to
see my day coming ; he saw it and he was glad." But they said, "You're not even 50 years old
yet. You saw Abraham?" Jesus said, "Before Abraham came into existence, I AM." And they
reach for stones to kill him. Who'd they think he was? Obviously, Go! John Chapter 10: "For
thy good works we stone thee not , but for blasphemy. That you, being a man, make yourself
out to be ... ", Who? "GOD!" Now we are dealing here with the doctrine of antichrist. And it's
not coming from an apostate Professor of a Theological Seminary. It's not coming from a
Jehovah's Witness that knocks on your door. It's not coming from the Mormon missionary
that peddles up. It's coming from Kenneth Copeland on your television set, on your radio,
and in print, and if you resist the false doctrines of antichrist elsewhere, why will you not
resist here? The answer is very simple: because people hear the gospel being preached and
they automatically assume that the person preaching is a true prophet of God. No. Jesus
said the false prophets can do it. They only way you can find out is test them. I've not
avoided declaring to you the whole counsel of God for the space of ten years. I have told you
day and night to the point of rage.

Now it's come full circle; there it is. Quote on TBN, " Dogs beget dogs , cats beget cats, and
God beget Gods. You are little Gods." Close quote. That's Kenneth Copeland on your
television set. You are Gods! No you're not. You're sinners saved by grace. And he's not a
God, he's a sinner professing to be a Christian, and denying - in prophecy, in the name of
Jesus - what Jesus said. That's a false prophet; I don't care how you spell it. If you say, "But
look at the healings, look at the meetings, look at the miracle ." READ Matthew Chapter 7.
Use your brains! Jesus said that's exactly what's going to happen: "They're going to preach
and prophesy in my name. " They do! "In my name they're going to work miracles." They do!
"In my name they will cast out devils." They do! And then they deny Him! Jesus said , "Look
out for them, because they're here!" And they are here now. They are on our Television sets,
our radios, and in print. Now the question is : will you tolerate it? We should be bombarding
TBN and every Christian channel that produces and distributes this stuff. And we should be
telling them we will not support the doctrine of the Anti-Christ. You may not do this with my
money, and furthermore I'm not going to send any money. And then in addition to that I'm
going to actively discourage everybody I know from sending you any money. And when you
withhold financial support they listen, but not until. So I'm suggesting over the Bible Answer
Man program that we start withholding support to people and ministries that do this. And I'm
going to get a lot of flak. You're going to hear a lot of people coming after me, and I want you
to know, I couldn't care less. This is the TRUTH. What I'm telling you is the truth, and if it is a
voice crying in the wilderness, it's the truth [clapping]. And the Holy Spirit will see to it that
they will listen. Because I am a prophetic voice in this and have been for a decade - of
course I don't for a moment believe I am a prophet, anymore than I believe I am an apostle.
I'm a teacher, but you can speak with a prophetic voice; you can exercise apostolic office in
given situations.

Believe me we're in trouble, and if we don't do something about it really quickly, you're going
to be in more trouble than you know what to do with. Because people keep accepting these
as Christian representatives. What we're getting is the doctrine of antichrist. If you deny that,
you don't know your Bible. Jesus says through Copeland, "I never claimed to be God." That
is not the Jesus of the Bible. You want me to tell you who it is? Turn in your Bible to 2
Corinthians 11; I will tell you who it is. Verse 3: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent
deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in
Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached" . a
different spirit . a different gospel . then he goes on to say that there are false apostles,
deceitful work men who transform themselves on the outside to look like the ministers of
Christ but inwardly you are dealing with the imitation of Satan. I don't bring judgment or play
God - that is not my role or yours. But if Jesus Christ said it, and the New Testament teaches
it, and it is Biblical theology, and we reiterate what the text says, we are not playing God ; we
are being faithful to what God said. Is Kenneth Copeland a Christian? If he is a Christian, let
him repent! Let him apologize to the Church! Let him forsake these false doctrines. He is not
a God ; he lies when he says anyone in the Church is a God. He lies when he says Jesus
Christ gave him this prophecy; this did not come from the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle
Paul calls Jesus, "Our great God and Savior ": Titus 2:13. Acts chapter 20, which I just read ,
says, God purchased the Church " ______________with his own blood". Well, who died on                                                            the cross? God in human flesh - and purchased the Church with his own blood. The whole New                                                Testamentdeclares they deity of Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was                                                  with God, and the Word was God." And Kenneth Copeland knows it as well as I do! But he's
denying it. When you take your eyes off Scripture as the criterion for authority and you place
it on experience , and on people, and on revelations, and on messages that allegedly come
from God, you are a set up for deception . You're made for it, because you don't have any
way to check it. But you must check it. The title of his article is "Take Time to Pray." That's
the title: "Take Time to Pray." No "take time to obey". Take time to obey Christ and to obey
him is to proclaim him Lord of all. "I am the Alpha and Omega , the Beginning and the End ,
the First and the Last , the Almighty": Rev. 1:7-8. Who is He? "He is coming with clouds and
every eye shall see him," and he is " the Almighty". Well, that's what Christ said about
himself. Thomas said, "My Jehovah and my God", and worshiped him. And Jesus said,
"Because you have seen me, you believe. Blessed is they that have not seen and believe."
Kenneth Copeland quoted every one of these verses, and then, in a prophesy originating
with Jesus Christ, he can deny the identity of Jesus Christ. You are now dealing with false
prophets. I don't presume to judge the eternal destiny of men; that is not our task. But I will
tell you one thing : biblically speaking, if you say you are Christ's property then you have
Christ's Spirit: Romans 8:9. And whoever does not have Christ's Spirit is not Christ's
property. Christ's Spirit does not deny Jesus Christ: Christ's Spirit exalts Him. This is a denial
of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Jesus speaking? "I never said I was God, never claimed to
be God." No - that's a lie, "Let God be true and every man a liar." I want a repudiation of this.
And a removal of these men from the Trinity Broadcasting Network Station until they
apologize to the Christian Church and repent of this evil. And if they won't, then it must be
the task of the Christian Church to oppose them vigorously, publicly. And tell it to the whole
Church. And read this until people can't stand to hear it anymore - until they will act on it.
Don't you dare talk about fidelity to Jesus Christ, and love to Jesus Christ, and allegiance to
Jesus Christ, and sit by while men deny him! You're going to be consistent? Then be
consistent in obedience.

You may sit here and say, "You sound very angry!" I am! I may be one of God's last angry
men, but I'm angry for the right reason. I'm in the presence of the doctrines of the Anti-Christ
and I plan to be angry that way the rest of my life. And if you don't hear me angry about
those kinds of doctrines, please come and tell me as quickly as possible, because I have
defected from the ministry. So I'm going to ask you to covenant with me in prayer that God
will bring Kenneth Copeland to repentance for this blasphemy , and there may be an open
apology and repudiation of it in the Christian Church. And then - until this is done - we will
remain constant in prayer , and we will not support what we know to be evil doctrine. If we do
that , God will bless us and honor us. If we don't do it, we're going to reap an awful harvest.
This morning was a very difficult message to preach - 'The Warnings of God', because
whenever you talk this way, you're bound to be misinterpreted , and people are bound to
think somehow or another you've got some ax to grind and you're after somebody's neck.
I'm not, but if I sit still in the presence of the doctrine of antichrist, I'm an accessory to those
doctrines, and I fall under the condemnation of Acts chapter 20. If you go further into
Revelation chapter 2 later on, you will find that the Holy Spirit commends the Church in
Ephesus above all the seven Churches because they tested these people, just as Paul told
them to , and they found out they were liars. And the Spirit says, "Good job! You did what you
were suppose to do!" and he commends the Ephesians for it. May God make us faithful in
the tradition of the Ephesians! The Lord Jesus Christ paid the price for all sin on the cross.
The Lord Jesus Christ rose victoriously from the dead for our redemption: we are saved by
His life. The Lord Jesus Christ has given us His Spirit so we can walk with him. He has also
given us His Spirit so we might discern evil, as well as good.

(Well, Dr. Martin is no longer a voice crying in the wilderness. We can now look back to a
real prophetic voice and see the church for the most part did not heed the warning, and has
paid the consequences). Haunting isn't it. But Martin had inspired so many others to
continue on (myself included) and so there are numerous apologetic ministries today doing
the work that Martin left.

I know there will be some who will make the mistake of repeating like parrots what their
leaders have said ("This is the reason why Martin died: he came against God's anointed." ) .
But the fact is, Martin lived well beyond what he should have. But then, they would have to
say the same for all their sick faith healers that teach divine healing is a guarantee, and have
died also. Certainly something to think about.

(thanks goes to Nigel Curtis who cleaned up the transcribed grammar)







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