Is your church changing?
Change can be good, or, it can be bad. It’s becomes bad when your church has done things biblically and now is open to doing things other ways, using models of expansion from other church programs or bringing in certain men whose modus operandi is to produce a revival that are of the Latter Rain, then it has become not good.
The fact is there are so many changes introduced to churches in our day it’s hard to know where to begin to list them. There are so many non-biblical practices that have become ingrained in churches. The most important need of the hour is to know the Word in its truth, and this comes by discernment. But this is also the most attacked and belittled activity from those who want to bring the wrong changes.
Let me begin with the most pervasive teachings that has been among us for years.
1 Tim 6 Paul warned us of teachers who would “suppose that godliness is a means of gain,” and he exhorts us to stay away from them. “ If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing , calling it the useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
He goes on to say those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ”
A good Shepherd cares for his flock, they do not take advantage of them financially. The false teachers in the church have for many years introduced the seed faith concept as a Biblical teaching (thanks to Oral Roberts). Along with other ingenious ways to make people covet and have them think their pursuit of mammon is right. None of this is right.
Paul spoke of contentment even when he was in jail (Phili. 4:11). This certainly was not jail like we have today with comforts like a mattress and TV and 3 square meals.
Contentment is the opposite of coveting, desiring to be rich. The prosperity teacher have people declare and decree for money. Chanting money come to me is coveting. There is little contentment seen in their Christianity, it does not fit with the apostles view because their view is not based on the Bibles.
From this waywardness the church was being misled, then came numerous other introductions that were false
Rodney Browne is congratulated by Rheinhart Bonnke, Creflo Dollar and Joel Osteen as co - belligerent’s (there are others) for his 30 years of ministry, as he tells people we have a new Pentecost occurring in the church.
A transferable anointing -- getting Joel's blessing- get drunk.
This new Pentecost was introduced as laughter, being drunk in the spirit which he equated with the joy of the Lord. But Pentecost was one of the 7 feasts, the last of the set of 4 of the Spring feats. There is no new Pentecost in the last of the 3 fall feasts.
He purposely ignored what the Bible says, “Do not be drunk” and gives another alternative explanation, but there is no spiritual equivalent.
In fact, the Bible speaks of this very type of drunkenness. Isa 29:9-10 “ Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! T hey are drunk , but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink . For the LORD has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.
Yes there is a way to be drunk without intoxicating drink and it is condemned resulting in spiritual blindness- especially those who claim the status of a prophet.
Browne used this lie of being Drunk to launch his ministry in America through Benny Hinn, and is now involved with “The Send” of Lou Engle that is focused on young believers (mostly YWAM).
Browne has called himself the Holy Ghost Bartender. He says, " Belly up to the bar and take a drink of the Holy Ghost." They called it drinking the new wine, and yes they are drunk. They have drank false teaching, a poison that has affected their Christianity. When I see Christians belly up to what is called the "Holy Ghost Bar," staggering like drunkards, Joel's words speak, " Awake you drunkards and weep all you who drink new wine because the harvest in the field is perished. "
Yet the true prophet had said, " The day of the Lord is at hand. Wickedness abounds. Weep between the porch and the altar. Put on sackcloth. Fast and mourn for the backsliding of my people ."
Jesus is soon to come. The masses are unreached, the church is in confusion all from these teachers who distort the Word.
The experiences, the antics they have people anticipate in they attribute to the Holy Ghost which are not found in the Scripture. The new thing produces uncontrolled bodily spasms, jerking out of control, falling on the floor, being paralyzed, unable to move or speak, laughing hysterically, staggering around like drunkards, running around because of heat, writhing like snakes, howling like wild animals. All this produces the works of the flesh and they attribute this to the Spirit. Are we so unspiritually minded that we cannot see what this is?
John Kilpatrick one of the leaders of the Brownsville fiasco stated: "Let me tell you something else about this revival," Kilpatrick said. " This move of God is not about preaching. We've heard so many sermons and so much of the Word of God that we've grown fat," he said, "but there's been no power and no anointing and no miracles. So, I just want to tell you, that's why tonight I don't feel bad about not coming up here and preaching a great sermon." (The Brownsville/Pensacola Outpouring. Revival or Pandemonium?, Matt Costella, Staff Writer FOUNDATION Magazine, March-April 1997)
Does this sound like men that have stayed in the Scripture or "strayed" from the Scripture? This is clearly banal, as it has been going on for 25 years and people still do not get what is going on!
And the audience of seekers of experience capitulate to the leading of the spiritual pied pipers, having no compunction to pause and question what they are being fed. So they get fat on these teachings. You only get fat when you eat and don’t exercise. However when the true word is preached in context, it gives understanding it energizes us to do the right thing, it is accompanied with grace and power.
Paul admonishes," And do not be drunk with wine." So Browne tuned it on its head and said be drunk in the Spirit. Drunks are very self centered people, concerned with their feelings and having a good time, they are obnoxious and mostly out of control. Exactly what we see with those who are “drunk in the spirit.”
Isa. 29:9-13: "Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed. "Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I am not literate." Therefore the LORD said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men."
The vision is found in the book its not something people keep on seeing, its written, that’s why you have to be literate otherwise it is sealed, hidden from your understanding. The leaders, the self proclaimed prophets are spiritually blind, unable to walk straight with the Lord and they cannot help others. God had closed the eyes of the so called prophets and when the Word of God is closed human authority, man's opinions and ways replace the Lord's words. The Bible became a closed book they could no longer understand they became biblically illiterate.What kind of wine is it that is not a drink but makes one stagger? What is it like to fall asleep. To be drunk is like having a sedative, putting people in a stupor where one moves very little. There are others who talk in their sleep, this is what is happening to those involved in this new movement, they are sleep walking doing things they never thought they would do. A person who falls asleep is insensitive to what is transpiring around them. people are paralyzed, become mute, spaced out, delirious, can't speak or mutter unintelligently.
These men are now involved with Lou Engle’s ”the Send.” Which is just one of many conduits to pass on the new anointing they claim to have. If you think this has no bearing on today, that this was then and now is different listen to those who were there then and are leading now.
"Growing in the Prophetic, in the appendix Mike Bickle gives a catalog list of phenomena that supposedly accompany the presence of God: shaking, jerking, loss of body strength, heavy breathing, eyes fluttering, lips trembling, oil on the body, changes in skin color, weeping, laughing, drunkenness, travailing, dancing, falling, visions.... angelic visitations, violent rolling, screaming, coldness, and nausea ." "http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Prophetic-Mike-Bickle/dp/0884194264
There are more ad nauseum descriptions by others. Dr. Steinkamp has followed these New Apostolic Reformation (particularly the IHOP/Latter Rain) leaders for the past two decades, and written about them extensively in his publication, The Plumbline. His archive of old newsletters can be found at: "http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/plumblinearchive.html"
Bereans or NOT
A "Berean" "searches the Scriptures to see whether those things be so." They were commended by the apostle Paul.
Acts 2, the Pentecost in the Bible does not have drunkenness or laughter attributed to those receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
William Branham thought differently and those who admire him think the same. Speaking of Mary who accompanied the disciples on the day of Pentecost Branham said, "before God would ever let her come to heaven, she had to go up to the day of Pentecost and receive the Holy Ghost, and staggered under the power of God like a drunk woman." (61-1015E, Respects, Branham Tabernacle, Jeffersonville, IN)
William Branham claimed they were all drunk. And so does the Latter Rain parade that came after. The only accusation like this is from the "mockers," who claimed the believers were "drunk with new wine." This is a 180 degree opposite of what actually took place.
Jim Lafoon at the apostle prophet conference of Peter Wagner gave this flattering description of him.
“ people say how can Dr. Wagner his age be with all these weird people, he’s been on 14 year drunk, it’s the only way to explain it, he’s not been sober for years , … but when you sober up and all of a sudden your not cross eyed your pastor doesn’t look what you thought, man that person you’ve been praying with irritates you and you don’t like their personality you’ve only got one choice, get drunk again.” (National School Of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office may 2,000)
He explains drunkenness as a help for us to get along. Which shows that his idea of fellowship is artificial, reliant on a non biblical activity to bring this result.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. While laughter can sometimes be associated with joy, laughter and joy are not synonymous, but this is how they interpret it.
John 15:11-12 “ These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. ” Jesus did not mean my laughter be in you. It is the same as Jesus saying My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Joy is inner happiness, delight or gladness which is calm (Greek-chara, from which we get the word "character"). Laughter is more often provoked, a reaction to what is funny. But this type of laughter inside the church Solomon said, "it is mad and of mirth, what doeth it?" (Eccl. 2:2). Excessive, uncontrolled laughter is a sign of foolishness. It is not just inappropriate it is ungodly. There are more than 200 negative references in the Bible warning against fools, folly, and foolishness. Scorn, mocking, ridicule, derision, scoffing and buffoonery (Greek- morologia or moronic).
These types of actions are to be rejected, not accepted. The Galatians were called "foolish" by Paul for trying to complete their sanctification by being fleshly, when they first were in the Spirit trusting God's Word. (Gal. 3:1-3). The Ephesians were told to stay away from foolish talking and jesting (Eph. 5:4, 6, 10, 15) and to "prove what is acceptable unto the Lord," "to walk circumspectly, not as fools." Eph 4:14-15 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.
The word "drunk" appears in the book of Acts, but it also appears three times in the book of Revelation (17:2 and 18:3) where it says all nations and inhabitants of the earth will be made "drunk" with the wine of the harlot church's adultery. Here "drunk" comes from the Greek word "methistemi" which means to turn away or seduce through trickery. Rev. 17:6 says the harlot church will be drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus. In other words an alternate church will persecute the true saints in the last days.
Drunkenness puts people in a stupor. They use bad judgment because they are confused. Our God is not the author of confusion. If excessive laugher occurs from drunkenness, is it from God? Wine is called "spirits" in the secular world. In the Bible it is called "a mocker." (Prov. 20:1). What spirit are those laughing being joined with ... the Holy Spirit or un-holy spirits?
We cannot divorce this new thing that was introduced in the early 90’s to the church by Rodney Browne through Benny Hinn. This is just one of many false doctrines they teach, but it may be the major one that has brought a paradigm shift from the word of God to their words.
After Benny Hinn gave several false prophecies on New Years Eve 1989 he states, “ What a way to start the 90's. What a way to start the 90's. People I feel enough of the anointing on me I wanna spread it! You want that anointing get down here as fast as you can and come and get it! Ahh. Ooh. Ahh! Ahh. While the Lord; I, I wish somebody would make sure to tell me what I said. Did--Did you tape that, brother? Did you tape that? Ooh! I was totally drunk. I'm still drunk. ” (Benny Hinn on December 31, 1989 at the Orlando Christian Center)
You have so much today that is not from the spirit but is called the Spirit’s work. It's not the Spirit, because it's not lifting up Christ or promoting His nature, it is not connected to the Word and how one is to act. When the manifestations have people are barking, making sounds of animals, acting out of control - I can tell you, that is not the Holy Spirit, it is demonic. The Holy Ghost does not have you bark, crawl become dumb or make one act in any of these other expressions.
At the end we are told false teachers, false prophets will increase, in fact they will have a coalition, today it is called the New Apostolic Reform that is targeting churches with their dominionist agenda.
Jeremiah was prophet to a wayward people who listen to the wrong group of voices.
Jer. 5:30-31 “ an astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”
What will you do now that is has come to fruition? It is decision time, whose side you are on!
Jer. 23:20-22 … In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 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.”
Do you understand it perfectly? Are you still not comprehending what has been and is taking place in our day. A adverse revival is now called a revival which does the very opposite of what a real revival is to do.