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Which Mormon group is the “Restored Church”?

Introduction

We will study this question by first (in Part 1) looking at the various divergent Mormon sects, then (in Part 2) examining why this division constitutes further proof that Mormonism can in no way be considered a “restoration” of Christianity.

Part 1: How many Mormon sects are there?

The more important Mormon groups

1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

2. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS)(Independence, Missouri, USA) now renamed to the Community of Christ, under president W. Grant McMurray,

This groups came into existence in the 1850s under the leadership of Joseph Smith’s son, Joseph Smith III. This group believes Joseph Smith II was nominated by the founding Joseph Smith as his successor. The Utah-based LDS group, however, disagrees.

Interestingly this group owns the historical Mormon properties in Kirtland, Ohio; this being the outcome of court case with the LDS group, the courts having decided the then RLDS had more claim (from a doctrinal standpoint) to be the church founded by Joseph Smith Jr. than the Utah–based LDS group.

In the 1970’s the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints began to experience what many lay members considered to be serious problems with the hierarchy of the church trying to change the church. The main changes were “a major shift in the General Church teachings a de-emphasis of the Book of Mormon, the Second Advent and celestial life in favor of more conventional Protestant-like Christianity” (Saints Herald, January 1974, p. 52).

What Is The Difference between the LDS and the RLDS (now Community of Christ)?

Salt-Lake City based LDS uses KJV or Joseph Smith’s Translation (aka the “Inspired Version”); their second President, Brigham Young, taught God the Father was once a man (Adam), a doctrine which has never been revoked; teaches “eternal progression” to godhood; use secret temple rites; practises baptism for the dead; temple marriage is for eternity; God the Father Son and Holy Spirit are three separate “Gods”; accepts the Pearl of Great Price as Scripture.

Independence Missouri- based RLDS (now Community of Christ):uses “Inspired Version”; do not believe God was once a man; does not believe in “eternal progression” claim never to have used secret temple rites; claim Zion is Missouri; does not and never did, condone baptism for the dead; marriage only for earthly life; believes God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit exists in three different “modes” not Persons; rejects the Pearl of Great Price.

Both sects of course claim to be the “restored” church. When the LDS missionaries come knocking, they wil not tell you that the second largest Mormon group (the Community of Christ) believes very much differently from the Utah based LDS group.

3. Church of Christ -Temple Lot (Temple Lot, Independence, Missouri)- one early leader, Granville Hedrick, called Joseph Smith a “fallen prophet”. This group teaches that there has been apostasy from the restored gospel faith. This group was also involved in a lawsuit with the RLDS over ownership of the Temple Lot. By 1869 they purchased the original “temple lot” in Independence Missouri.

How does the Temple Lot church differ doctrinally from the LDS and RLDS?

In contrast to the LDS and RLDS, the Temple Lot group have no first presidency, high priests or patriarchs, and no prophet as leader (having 12 “apostles” instead). In common with the RLDS group, they reject the Pearl of Great Price, the doctrines of celestial marriage and eternal progression, and baptism for the dead.

Lesser known groups

The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Independence, Missouri, USA) Founded 6 April 1991 at the Waldo Avenue Church in Independence, Missouri. The RLDS Church was declared “out of order” and the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded in its place. In 1992 and 1994, two small schismatic groups, in their turn, left this group.

There also exist fundamentalist groups that do not accept the revelation which ended the practice of polygamy.

The Church of Christ With the Elijah Message (Blue Springs, Missouri, USA).

The Church of Jesus Christ (based in Pittsburgh, USA).

The Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times (Mexico) now defunct.

The Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerites) (Independence, Missouri) founded by Alpheus Cutler, 1853 – distinguished between church and kingdom

The Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (based in Louisiana USA). Rejects the Doctrines and Covenants standard LDS work

The Restored Church of Jesus Christ (Independence, Missouri, USA) – also claims to be founded by Joseph Smith, Jr.

The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (Manti, Utah, USA) these believe “that the fullness that Joseph Smith Jr. restored has been corrupted”. The Manti group split into two groups in late 1994.

Further information on several of these groups can be found at http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dbowie/restore/restoration.html . For a comprehensive list of Mormon sects, please see the book “Divergent Paths of the Restoration” by Steven L. Shields (1990) which discusses more than a hundred different mormon sects.

So we see that there exist many Mormon sects, with even the main groups differing widely on doctrinal points.

Part 2: What do the divisions in Mormonism tell us?

Mormons will point to the apparent unity of their church and say it is proof theirs is the one true church. Mormon missionaries will not tell you, however, that the Utah-based LDS church is one of over a hundred mormon sects, or that there are numerous differences in doctrine between the Utah-based LDS group and the next largest group, the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS).

Do not for one moment, dear reader, believe that the Mormon religion resents a unified faith system that consists in some “restored gospel”. Mormon claims therefore to hold the true “restored” and “everlasting” gospel ring very shallow indeed when we discover that their doctrines are products of the 19th century, and that, like so many other religious sects, divided into multitudinous doctrinally divergent sects after the death of their first leader in 1844 and subsequent decades.

Is it not so much easier to simply conclude that there never was any “restoration” because there never was any apostasy?

This is the obvious answer, and the correct one. (Other pages on this website deal with this subject also.) None of the Mormon sects claiming to be the “restored” church are what they say, precisely because there was no “restoration”!

It is also of no value for LDS to counter that the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism are as great, if not greater, than the divisions betweent the Mormon sects.

(Important to remember: it is not necessary for a Catholic to defend the divisions of Protestantism; Protestantism, in the same way as Mormonism, is divided because it is in error.) This Mormon argument can be a bit confusing when first encountered: in witnessing to the truth, a Catholic only has to point to the unity of Catholicism, not the disunity of Protestantism.

Also, the authority of the Catholic Church had been accepted for the first 15 centuries; the authority of the sect of Joseph Smith’s followers was repudiated as soon as he was dead. The authority of 15 centuries will not be broken by the rebellion of a few Protestant leaders whose teachings themselves subeequently underwent countless divisions.

Remember, the Mormons claim to present the “restored gospel” so any divisions among them is automatic proof they do not have this. In contrast, the sects which left the Catholic Church over the centuries present no proof that the original teaching of the Church has been corrupted, a requirement for the Mormon “restoration” in the first place. (We will not even begin to discuss the glaring absence of Mormon doctrines from the early centuries of the Church)

It is also of no use for Mormons to claim one sect is true, and all other groups broke away from it. This view requires that the original sect be known. But both the RLDS and the LDS claim this title, as well as many other groups! Historically there were many sects after the death of Joseph Smith. The US courts ruled that the RLDS (now Community of Christ) was the closest to Smith’s original church. Where does that leave the Utah-based LDS group? Which was first?

Even more importantly, the Mormon sects cannot show that there was an “apostasy” in the early days of the Church. Without this evidence, of course, all their talk about “restoration of the gospel” is pointless.

So what do we see? The doctrine of the Catholic Church has been maintained a unified whole for 20 centuries, the doctrines of Mormonism split in every direction after the death of its founder Joseph Smith. The doctrines of Protestantism likewise split in every direction after the Protestant revolt established a foothold.

The one true Church has exhibited doctrinal unity through 2,000 years and now has over a billion adherents. That is the Holy Catholic Church. Her source of unity is not the empty boasting of some self-appointed prophet but the Holy Spirit. Those who seek the truth need look no further. Herein is unity as given by the Holy Spirit. Outside is chaos. The sincere Mormon reader is urged to look at the claims of the Catholic Church and to prayerfully seek the true Christ where He may be found.

Conclusion

Mormonism has split into a variety of sects since its foundation less than two centuries ago. Such division bears the hallmark of a religion invented by man. Mormon founder Joseph Smith once boasted:

“Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” Joseph Smith, Mormon founder, History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409

The followers of the Latter – Day Saints did run away from him, into over a hundred different sects.

The Catholic Church, in contrast, has preserved a supernatural unity throughout 2000 years, a unity promised not by man, but by the Holy Spirit.

http://www.angelfire.com/ms/seanie/mormon/mormonsects.html 

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Why The LDS/Mormon Church Will NEVER Be Part Of The Body Of Christ
An answer to the efforts of people like Greg Johnson (Standing Together), Richard Mouw (Fuller Theological Seminary), Craig Hazen (Biola University), Ravi Zacharias (RZIM) and many others who are attempting to forge some kind of “Evangelicals And Mormons Together” alliance out of thin air
by Sandy Simpson, 10/26/05

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There has been a continuous effort, since the Evangelicals And Catholics Together (ECT) debaucle, to widen the definition of what Christianity is by those mentioned above, among many others. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has an agenda to try to carry out the unbiblical mandates of the false apostles like C. Peter Wagner to “overthrow” the governments of the world and take over everything, which also means they have to manufacture “revival” where there is none and never has been. So in order to fulfill the false prophecies of the false prophets of the NAR, people involved in this heretical movement, like Richard Mouw, are waving their wands over the Mormons and dubbing them “Christian” to the consternation and embarrassment of Christians who understand the teachings of Mormonism that they cannot and will never give up.

So let’s put this whole sham of building bridges with the Mormons, on the way to another “ECT” type document, to rest for good. The Mormons will NEVER give up their “sacred texts”. Here are quotes to show how they view the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith from a few of their web sites. Notice that the Mormons don’t just have two “sacred” scriptures, the have four.

“The Book of Abraham is now included in “The Pearl of Great Price” and is one of the four Mormon sacred books, along with the Bible, The Book of Mormon, and The “Doctrine and Covenants”. (Mormonism – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), http://members.aol.com/browne/mormon.html)

The Bible is the only sacred book in the world today, breathed by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture (refering to the Bible) is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Romans 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

None of the books that the Mormons call “sacred” except the Bible are, in fact, sacred. But the Mormons will NEVER give up their false scriptures because that would mean the end of their whole organization. The Bible and the Book of Mormon are seen as both equal “sacred” texts by Mormons.

“A Hermeneutic of Sacred Texts: Historicism, Revisionism, Positivism, and the Bible and Book of Mormon” (http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=32)

“An Ensign to All People: The Sacred Message and Mission of the Book of Mormon” (http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=15)

The Book of Mormon is called a “sacred chronicle” even though it is full of historical fabrications and lies, and has been proven so by many researchers.

“Though not a secular history of the Nephites per se, the Book of Mormon is a sacred chronicle or, to use Elder Boyd K. Packer’s language, “the saga of a message.”1 (Boyd K. Packer, “The Things of My Soul,” Ensign 16 (April 1986): 59., http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=jbms&id=29&previous=L3B1YmxpY2F0aW9ucy9ib29rb2Ztb3Jtb252aWV3LnBocA==)

Joseph Smith urged Mormons to immerse themselves in the Book of Mormon.

“The Prophet’s statement challenges all to immerse themselves in the Book of Mormon rather than to watch from the sidelines and just talk about this sacred record.” (The Most Correct Book: Why the Book of Mormon Is the Keystone Scripture, http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=98)

Notice that Joseph Smith is called “The Prophet” above. This brings us to the second damnable heresy of Mormonism, of which there are many. For a fuller detail on the false teachings of the cult of the LDS, go here for information.

LDS Church/Mormonism
http://www.letusreason.org/LDSdir.htm

The Mormons revere and follow a false prophet and heretic.

Joseph Smith’s statement, therefore, is a concise declaration that the Book of Mormon is the “most correct of any book” because it has the power to change individuals into more correct (Christlike) people. This change can only come because of better understanding Christ as the “keystone” figure of the Book of Mormon, and by applying the atonement, which embraces all of the “precepts” that bring one nearer to God. (The Most Correct Book: Why the Book of Mormon Is the Keystone Scripture, http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=98)

The fact that Joseph Smith calls the Book of Mormon the “most correct of any book” is not only false teaching, it is a lie. What does the Bible say about liars?

John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Smith is viewed as a prophet on a par with the prophets of the Bible, in fact higher because he allegedly got a newer revelation from God for this “last dispensation”.

If the people of today were to ask, as men did in the Savior’s time, “Whence has this man (Joseph Smith) wisdom?” we unhesitatingly declare: “He received it from on High.” “Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! Jesus anointed that “Prophet and Seer” — Blessed to open the last dispensation; Kings shall extol him and nations revere.” (Joseph Smith: Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, Address of President David O. McKay for the BYU Founders’ Day Exercises, October 6, 1941. Birgham Young University, Provo, UT., http://www.byu.edu/edlf/archives/mckay/41oct.html)

From my experience with Mormons in the Pacific Islands, the only way “kings extoll”, island leadership or “nations revere” Joseph Smith and the Mormon LDS Church is if they are paid off to do so, or given scholarships to BYU.

So the case is closed on Mormons being a part of the Body of Christ until the day they, as an organization, forsake their false scriptures and their false prophets and the ridiculous plans of people like Ravi Zacharias, Craig Hazen, Richard Mouw and Greg Johnson! If Mormons want to be saved they must confess thier sins, particularly the sins of being in a cult group, believing in another Jesus, another Spirit, another Gospel, and their false scriptures and false prophets.

Hey, we had to forsake sin and paganism to be born again. Why shouldn’t they?

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P.S. I predicted back in 1998 the progression that this ecumenical/interfaith compromise would take. For those of you interested, read that article here. Unfortunately it is all coming true like a bad dream.

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/mormonism.html

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Church releases first volume of ‘The Joseph Smith Papers’
December 1st, 2008 @ 5:27pm
By Carole Mikita

It is simply titled “The Joseph Smith Papers,” but there was nothing simple about gathering the materials that went into what historians for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are calling a landmark publication.

Before now, only a few historians, and certainly not everyday citizens, were able to examine Joseph Smith’s original 19th-century diaries and journals, which are now rather fragile.

This first volume includes those journal entries and much more during an important seven-year period.

Joseph Smith wrote in one of his journals: “I was very conscious that I had not kept the commandments, and I repented heartily for all my sins and transgression and humbled myself before him whose eyes are over all things.”

The year was 1835, and that one and several others are transcribed into the new book “The Joseph Smith Papers.” There is enough material for 30 volumes.

Gathering it has taken decades because many papers were scattered across the country. Richard E. Turley, Jr., assistant LDS Church historian, says, “We have sent teams out to gather these puzzle pieces, and they have brought them back, and we have carefully fitted them into place. So that by the time this series is complete, you’ll have as complete a picture of the man as we may be able to get during our lifetimes.”

Historians are commenting. Kenneth Minkema, from the Yale Divinity School, says, “‘The Joseph Smith Papers’ rank among the most significant projects in the history of American religion.”

“Joseph Smith has been one of the least accessible major figures in the history of American religion. ‘The Joseph Smith Papers’ will forever change that by producing a monumental critical edition of every document written, dictated or supervised by the Mormon prophet,” said Stephen Marini from Wellesley College

Professor Emeritus Jan Shipps at Indiana University-Purdue University says, “‘The Joseph Smith Papers’ are absolutely central to understanding and interpreting what happened.”

Historians call this important because not only does it focus on the big events in Joseph Smith’s life but also into his personality.

The book’s publisher has printed 12,000 copies, calling volume one unique. CEO of Deseret Book Sheri Dew says, “Created something that is very hard to do, and that is a work that appeals to and satisfies scholars and is also very commercially viable.”

Volume 1 is available at Deseret Book for $49.95. I am told they are going quickly.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4948679

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 momron-magic

 

 

Mormonism and the Magic World View
Author: D. Michael Quinn
Signature Books, 1998
Reviewer: Eric Johnson

MrM.org

Introduction

The story of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism, is absolutely incredible. Here was a young man living in the early part of the 19th century who came from a family that could not have been any more common than spring leaves on a tree. As the story goes, he claimed that he was approached by God the Father and Jesus, told that all the churches were false, and commissioned to lead the restoration of God’s kingdom upon the earth, which apparently had been lost for almost two millennia. Today millions of people claim that he is more important than anyone else on earth, save Jesus Christ alone, and that his teachings on God, church structure, and new revelation were divine.

Just what made this modern-day Moses tick? A number of books from both LDS and Christian authors have been written explaining their differing perspectives of the life of a man who lived only 38 years. Some of these books have caused quite a controversy. For example, Fawn Brodie was excommunicated when she wrote No Man Knows My History half a century ago. A historical biographer, Brodie did not mix her words as she described the sordid details of the life of the prophet. Hugh Nibley was so disgusted by Brodie’s work that he wrote a response entitled No Ma’am, That’s Not History. His response was quite a disappointment for many, even those within the LDS community.

But as far as books on the life of Smith are concerned, probably no volume has stirred more overall controversy than D. Michael Quinn’s 1987 first-edition book entitled Early Mormonism and the Magic World View [hereafter Early Mormonism]. (The only single volume that may have caused even more hand-wringing from LDS apologists is probably Brent Metcalfe’s book entitled New Approaches to the Book of Mormon. It caused such controversy that the reviewers at the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) dedicated an entire volume of their series entitled Review of Books on the Book of Mormon to criticize it.)

Quinn is a former professor at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University who was excommunicated in 1993 for apostasy based on his historical writings. Instead of trying to deny Joseph Smith’s penchant for occultic activities, Quinn—who says he “remains a DNA Mormon”—concluded that Smith’s background truly did involve divining rods, seer stones, a hat to shield his eyes in order to see hidden treasures, amulets, incantations, and rituals to summon spirits. Smith was a magician first class, Quinn believes, but he holds that Mormonism’s founder was also a man of God who used his magical tools to communicate with the Almighty God of this universe.

To say the book caused LDS leadership consternation is truly an understatement. The original volume, which used numerous “subjunctives, qualifiers, and qualified-qualifiers” such as “possibly,” “might,” and “apparently” due to the insistence of his editors who did not want Quinn to lose his church job, went out of print because “escalating publishing costs” made it so that they could not even reissue a paperback version for the 1987 hardcover price. Also, Quinn asked the publisher not to reprint the book until a revised version was ready. Thus, “by the 1990s otherwise-poor college students were paying $100 for a battered copy, while avid collectors shelled out $350 for a ‘mint-condition’ copy of (it)” (p. ix).

As he pointed out on pages ix-x, Quinn’s changes to the revised version were four-fold. One, he switched to endnotes rather than citing within the text, and he dropped a booming bibliography that he claims would have taken 80 pages to print. Second, he added new information. The third change was the addition of material extremely harsh towards his vocal critics—most of whom are LDS scholars—for the abuse he had taken in the previous 11 years. Finally, he wanted to take care of some errors and refine the text.

To read this book will require plenty of time and careful patience. Early Mormonism is not a book to be rushed through. After all, Quinn is famous for his copious endnotes. The book has 685 pages, and 257 of those pages—close to 40 percent of the book!—are endnotes. (A little more than half of the book is text.) You can’t ignore them, though, because he strategically places very important information there. It is also a good idea to consider his sources. Although he lists no bibliography, the endnotes contain the bibliographic information, and if I would guess, I would say that he utilized more than a thousand resources. Unless you look the individual endnote up, you will not know where the reference came from because he usually gives no hint within the text itself.

For this book you will need two bookmarks, and by the end of the book you will have certainly soiled the edges of the back pages, as you have to continually flip back and forth. (Most frustrating is when you put the book down to get a drink, preferably something caffeinated, and your tome falls from the couch to the ground, losing your place not once but twice. Just get used to it.) The 94 pictures and illustrations just before the endnotes are also helpful to reference.

Is Quinn’s book worthy to be read? This is what this limited review will try to determine from an evangelical Christian point of view.

Joseph Smith: Involved with the magic world around him

Quinn admits that what he writes in his book is not what readers might find in a brochure given out at an LDS temple open house. “Instead, they will discover that the LDS prophet certainly participated extensively in some pursuits of folk magic and apparently in others…. I have found that the ‘official version’ of early Mormon history is sometimes incomplete in its presentation and evaluation of evidence. Therefore, official LDS history is inaccurate in certain respects. …LDS apologists often do not inform their readers that pro-Mormon sources corroborate the statements made by anti-Mormons” (p. xxxviii).

According to Quinn, there is no denying any of the accusations “anti-Mormons” have made against Smith for decades. For instance, Quinn goes into a full description of how Smith and his brothers used divining rods—he acknowledges that they were occultic tools with contact with the spirit world—in their seeking buried treasure (pp. 33ff). Smith was also experienced with the seer stones that would give the owner special access to the buried treasures (pp. 41ff). Even Smith’s mother and father were avid seekers after Captain Kidd’s buried treasure, utilizing these seer stones. Quinn gives a good background to the three seer stones owned by Smith, especially the prophet’s favorite, the chocolate brown stone.

Many Mormon scholars criticize the linking of Smith to divining rods and seer stones and say the evidence is inconclusive. To these Quinn writes on page 47: “Mormons traditionally have rejected outright the nearly contemporary accounts from hostile non-Mormons in favor of LDS accounts written long after the event. For example, Mormons readily accept the accuracy of Joseph Smith’s sermons which were massively reconstructed more than a decade after he spoke. In one instance, the official History of the Church published a 128-word section of his sermon twelve years earlier. This was someone else’s expansion of five words in the original manuscript report of Smith’s sermon. Apologists extend the broadest possible latitude to sources they agree with, yet impose the most stringent demands on sources of information the apologists dislike. Both scholars and casual readers should give greater attention to the reports by Palmyra neighbors of statements and actions the neighbors witnessed.”

Tracing magic footprints from early Judaism into the Age of Reason and beyond, Quinn attempts to show that religious people have, for the most part, always been very involved in these other things. He shows how Christians before Smith’s day were very involved with such things as horoscopes and folk magic. “The majority of early Americans were “unchurched” and participated in folk religion,” he writes (p. 27). Only one of 10 white Americans during Colonial times were churched, Quinn points out, and “several generations of the Smith family were influenced by the magic world view before the 1800s” (p. 31).

The idea that Smith participated in occultic things because they were part of the American society at that time appears to be a very big point with Quinn. He writes, “…early anti-Mormon authors and modern LDS apologists shared the assumption that if Mormonism’s founding prophet engaged in ‘money-digging,’ then his religious claims could be discredited. However, the substantial evidence of their participation in treasure-seeking in no way discredits Joseph Smith or his family. This was even the view of some of their neighbors who had no interest in the family’s religious claims. Magic and treasure-seeking were an integral part of the Smith family’s religious quest” (p. 30).

Quinn is not happy with attempts by LDS Church revisionists to deny Smith’s foray into the occult and folk magic realm around him. While this is the apparent attitude church members have now, it wasn’t always like this, he says. The attitude change began in the 1880s, he says, when the last of those in the Mormon leadership who had been familiar with Smith and the occultic practices died. “Their successors had more in common with denominational Christianity than with the folk religion of many first-generation Mormons,” Quinn writes. “It is astonishing how some LDS apologists can misread (or misrepresent) all the above evidence for the magic use of seer stones and divining rods…” (p. 59). After noting that BYU biblical professor Stephen E. Robinson denied that these things had anything to do with magic but rather were influenced by the Bible, Quinn is very strong. “This is self-parody by an LDS polemicist,” he writes in part (p. 60).

The average Latter-day Saint does not want to dwell on his founder’s penchant for using magic stones, peeping into a hat to help him translate scripture, and frequent outings in search for buried treasure. “Modern Mormons are not simply better-educated than their ancestors,” Quinn writes on page 319. “They are differently educated…. Twentieth-century Mormons have adopted the scientific world view…For children from the age of five onward, standardized public education since the 1890s has left no room for the magic world view, except to dismiss it as ‘superstition.'” In addition, “by the last quarter of the twentieth century, the LDS church also became increasingly authoritarian and obsessed with conformity.” (Quinn should know since he was excommunicated in 1993 for his differences with the “only true church upon the face of the earth.”)

Quinn laments, “Modern Latter-day Saints give little, if any, place in their lives for the magic dimensions of folk religion, the esoteric, or the occult” (p. 320). He disagrees with these modern Mormons, “admir(ing) current Jews, Christians, and Mormons who privately adopt any magic practice that speaks to their inner bliss. Some call this a ‘new age’ religion, but I see it as a very old expression of religiosity” (p. 326).

The facts are that magic and the occult played a huge role in the very foundation of the LDS religion. Quinn works hard to show this to be true, as he factually supports his points. Consider the following:

  • Smith used his divining rod and stone for finding buried treasure as late as the fall of 1825 (p. 54). Saying that Smith’s family and friends were also involved in such escapades, Quinn wrote on page 240: “Joseph Smith (founding prophet and president of the new church) had unquestionably participated in treasure-seeking and stone divination. Evidence indicates that he also used divining rods, a talisman, and implements of ritual magic.” In addition, “two-thirds of Mormonism’s first apostles had some affinity for folk magic” (p. 240).
  • Smith would place his seer stone into a hat and bury his face into the hat “so as to exclude the light, he could see as a clairvoyant” (p. 55). This was supported by such witnesses as Martin Harris and Smith’s wife Emma (pp. 169-173). The fact that the same brown stone Smith used to look for buried treasure was used to “translate” the Book of Mormon is not emphasized by Smith’s followers (p. 172). Yet when Mormonism’s original leadership died off in the 1880s, “LDS authorities typically regarded seer stones as unusual relics of an ever-receding sacred past” (p. 253).
  • Smith was arrested in the mid-1820s “as a disorderly person” because “he was about the country in the character of a glass-looker: pretending to discover lost goods, hidden treasures, mines of gold and silver, etc” (p. 56). Pointing out Christian Wesley Walter’s discovery of the 1826 court record showing how Smith was tried in court for being a “Glass looker,” Quinn says many Mormons vehemently denied this fact because they felt this would show Smith to be a fraud. In fact, LDS researcher Francis W. Kirkham stated that “if such a court record confession could be identified and proved, then it follows that his believers must deny his claimed divine guidance which led them to follow him,” thereby making him “a superstitious fraud” (pp. 56, 57). He adds, “LDS apologist Hugh Nibley also wrote that if genuine, the court record ‘is the most devastating blow to Smith ever delivered.'” However, Quinn, says, this was “a self-defeating line-in-the-sand…to draw, and LDS apologists now accept the transcripts of this 1826 testimony to be valid” (p. 57).
  • While Quinn doesn’t believe that money was Smith’s main motivation for digging for buried treasure, it was certainly a big reason why he did it (p. 65).
  • Smith’s mother Lucy Mack Smith “did not deny that her family participated in occult activities. She simply affirmed that these did not prevent family members from accomplishing other, equally important work” (p. 68). Quinn also pointed out that Smith and his family never denied the allegations of occultism and magic when early antagonists such as Eber D. Howe (Mormonism Unvailed, 1834) produced testimony affirming this truth (p. 323).
  • Drawing magic circles, “which has been central to the ritual magic of incantation, necromancy, and treasure-hunting,” was done by Smith and observed by his neighbors (p. 70; 101). Since Smith owned implements such as a dagger for drawing the circles and seer stones, “it is irrational to claim that the Smiths did not actually use those objects they possessed, which were so important to their acknowledged interest in buried treasure” (p. 322).
  • “Both friendly and unfriendly sources show that astrology was important to members of the Smith family” (p. 72). They believed that the success in their pursuits of buried treasure “depended in a great measure on the state of the moon” (p. 74). In fact, Smith’s mother and father as well as Smith himself and Emma were married on days that coincided with favorable days related to the new moon. Smith founded his church on a Tuesday (April 6, 1830) rather than a Sunday to coincide with the full moon (p. 291). In addition, the children Smith fathered both by his wife Emma and other polygamous wives were, for the most part, conceived in either February or September when his “ruling planet (of Jupiter) governed generation.” Mormon scholars, he notes, don’t like any correlation between astrology and Smith, but “where LDS apologists claim to see only coincidences, I see logical consequences of astrological belief” (pp. 76-79).
  • Quinn wrote: “Throughout his ministry, Joseph Smith affirmed the reality of witchcraft and sorcery. While the 1830 Book of Mormon contained ancient condemnations (Alma 1:32, 3 Ne. 21:16, 24:5, Mormon 1:19, 2:10), his revelations in 1831 and 1832 reaffirmed the reality of sorcerers (D&C 63:17, 76:103)” (p. 291).
  • As far as Smith’s knowledge of occult works and other materials that he could have borrowed from, Quinn says LDS apologists who deny Smith’s access to books are contrary to the evidence. “Newspaper advertisements and library holdings prove access, even if they don’t prove possession or page-turning,” he said (p. 145). “Textual parallels involved books published as recently as the late 1700s and early 1800s. Some of these clearly were available to the Smiths” (p. 322).
  • Palmyra’s bookstores were filled with “sophisticated publications” and rare books that Smith could have accessed (p. 180). “During the 1820s bookstores near Joseph Smith’s home were selling thousands of hardback books for 44 cents to a dollar each” (p. 182). Despite his mother’s insistence that Smith did not read, “he later quoted from, referred to, and owned numerous books which were advertised in his neighborhood as a young man” (p. 192). As far as his familiarity with books on the occult, “the Mormon prophet’s knowledge of such literature is not a myth. The myth is LDS emphasis on Joseph Smith as an ill-read farmboy” (p. 218). Quinn adds, “Of the books Joseph Smith donated shortly before his death, 75 percent of the pre-1830 titles can be verified as either directly available in the Palmyra area or as being promoted there.” A number of these books were out of print for more than a century (p. 189).
  • The idea that the name of Nephi replaced Moroni in the 1842 Smith-published Times and Seasons was not a clerical error, Quinn believes. “Because the names sound nothing alike, clerical error is unlikely in the manuscript recording of Smith’s dictation. The use of Nephi in the manuscript history about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon seems instead to be the prophet’s intentional substitution of another name for Moroni” (p. 199). Nephi’s name is connected with occultism, Quinn points out.
  • A revelation given in D&C 129 in 1843 regarding the determination if someone was a worldly messenger from God or Satan was related to occultism. Smith said a person who wanted to ascertain the difference should try to shake hands with the messenger. Feeling air would mean this was a representative of the devil. The occultic world used a similar test. According to the 1856 Transcendental Magic, which said in part: “What is commonly called Necromancy has nothing in common with resurrection…The proof of this is that spirits, at least the specters pretended to be such, may indeed touch us occasionally, but we cannot touch them…we cannot unmoved feel the hand pass through that which seems a body and yet make contact with nothing” (p. 226).
  • The very idea of three degrees of glory (multiple heavens) is “compatible with occult views. Even ‘degrees of glory’ was an occult phrase connected with the ancient mystical beliefs of Judaism.” Quinn rightly points out that, despite FARMS’ insistence that the idea of the Mormon three-tiered heaven comes from the Bible, “the phrase ‘degrees of glory’ is nowhere in those biblical verses.” The idea occurs with certain English occultists (p. 216). Showing that FARMS was wrong regarding the existence of pseudepigraphic texts mentioning multiple heavens, Quinn declares, “Despite the rhetoric of LDS apologists and polemicists, ‘meaningful content’ occurs within a context and Joseph Smith’s environment included books, practices, and oral traditions of the occult” (p. 217).
  • Although many have presupposed that Mormonism’s temple ceremony has Masonic roots, Quinn disagrees. “I believe that the underlying philosophy and purpose of the two were fundamentally different. Mormon revelation, in fact, proclaimed that the LDS endowment directly restored what Masonry acknowledged it had only some connection with—the occult mysteries of the ancient world” (p. 227). He gave several different examples to support his point, including this: “Freemasonry’s minor emphasis on the heavenly outcome of its rituals was a chasm between Freemasonry and the Mormon endowment. A concept of heavenly ascent was completely absent in many pro-Masonic writings before the 1840s. However, such an ascent was central to the occult mysteries of the ancient world” (p. 229).
    Other fundamental similarities between the ancient mysteries and the Mormon endowment are: “1) Revealed by God from Beginning, but Distorted through Apostasy…. 2) Worthiness of Initiates…3) Washings and Anointings, New Name, Garment…4) Vows of Non-disclosure…5) The Lesser and Greater Rituals…6) Presentation through Drama…7) Oath of Chastity…8) Sun and Moon…9) Mortals “Exalted” to Godhood…10) Prophets, Priests, and Kings…11) Gods” (pp. 230-234).
  • Mormons are taught that the LDS garment is a physical and spiritual protection, sort of like a spiritual amulet or good luck charm. Quinn notes the irony of how some modern Mormons tend to shy away from this view, although a great number of Latter-day Saints still cling to the idea that bad luck will more likely come when they fail to wear the garments. Quinn also show how Canadian researchers discovered that “Mormons use luck-charms and amulets in sports competition more than non-Mormons.” In fact, the athletes used such practices as “double-knotting one’s shoelaces, wearing socks inside out, wearing ‘lucky’ item of clothing, or wearing a lucky charm” (pp. 276-277).

I’m not quite sure what to make of Quinn’s constant point that Smith’s occultic views were not very different from his day. If people are not following God, it is unclear to me why Quinn would attempt to make folk magic appear innocent and even OK. His argument that many Christians of the 18th and 19th centuries believed like Smith is meaningless because Christianity is not a religion about the people who follow Jesus. Rather it is about following the commands and examples given by God through the Bible. Just as we should not imitate the sins of fellow believers (if they are even believers at all), so too should we not legitimize sin just because the culture around us believes a certain way. I think Quinn goes way too far to show how occultism’s roots could exist within true Christianity, which he believes to be Mormonism.

Warning his young charge Timothy of false doctrine, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:4, 6: “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith…From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling.” Second Timothy 3:2-5 explains what it would be like in the last days: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers…traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”

The Bible is very clear that Christians should be wary of the culture around them. Jesus declared that “broad is the way that leadeth to destruction” while true believers who are few in number should “enter in at the strait gate.” The idea that many people (including supposed professing Christians) from the earliest half of the United States’ history were involved in magic does not give an open license for Christians to follow this example. As the proverbial saying given to us by our parents goes, “If your friends all jumped off a bridge, would you follow?” Of course not. Again it is puzzling why Quinn spends so much time, effort, and ink showing how “Smith learned from village mentors how to use a divining rod; a seer stone; a hat to shield his eyes in order to see hidden treasures; and amulets, incantations, and rituals to summon spirits.” (back cover).

I agree with Quinn when he says “how different from current norms early American religious practices could be.” I just disagree with the idea that these are the types of things God wanted his people to follow when his revelation to us, the Bible, does not encourage such practices.

Does the Bible teach in a magical worldview?

Quinn spends much of the first chapter attempting to disprove the Anchor Bible’s assertion that the Bible “prohibits the practice of magic or presents it negatively in a number of places.” Quinn believes the Mormon founder was not very different from the biblical prophets who preceded him. His premise is that Smith should be deemed a prophet of God if it is true that the Bible is loaded with magical imagery. After all, if biblical prophets were allowed to explore this world while having solid relationships with God, why couldn’t Smith?

Quinn gives examples in the first few pages of his first chapter to show how the Bible encouraged the use of magic, including:

  • “…Jewish tradition also held that King Solomon’s ‘wisdom included his vast knowledge of magic and medicine'”
  • The Old Testament has “neutral or positive references to a wide range of magical and divinatory practices”
  • “Jewish and Christian lore contains many references to occult incantations, to amulets, charms, spells, exorcisms, all related to speculative angelologies and demonologies”
  • The magical power of God’s name (YHWH)
  • “The patriarch Joseph had a special silver cup in Egypt with which ‘he divineth'”
  • The casting of lots that took place in both the Old and New Testaments
  • Moses’ brass serpent that saved the lives of anyone bitten by snakes just because they looked at it
  • A corpse that came to life upon touching Elisha
  • The healing of people who touched the handkerchiefs of Paul
  • Speaking in tongues

Most amazing is that Quinn does more than hint that Smith’s magic was little different from that practiced by Jesus. He writes on page 4, “In many of the miracles of Jesus, the techniques paralleled closely the magic practices of the ancient world…Like Jesus, pagan magicians used spittle to heal the blind, put their fingers in the ears to heal the deaf, employed the same series of separate acts involved in some of the more detailed Gospel healings, and used foreign words as part of magic spells and incantations.”

He adds on page 5, “Some scholars of the New Testament and ancient history have acknowledged that Jesus performed acts which were closely paralleled by magic practices among the pagans. These Christian scholars have insisted that these ceremonies in the Gospels were not magic, no matter how closely they mirrored contemporary magic practices, because it was Jesus who performed them. That seems an assertion of faith rather than a conclusion based on existing documents.”

The Bible’s View of Occultic Magic

While this review is limited, I would like to show why I disagree with Quinn’s premise that the Bible supports Joseph Smith’s foray into the magical world. The Bible very expressly forbade the Jewish people to be involved with such practices as magic, sorcery, and divination. Consider, for instance, Deuteronomy 18:10-11. Among other things, it said no one should be found among God’s people who practiced these things:

  • Divination. This practice involved extracting information or guidance for a god. Examples include Balaam, the soothsayer, who was hired to curse Israel (Num. 22:7; 23:23; Josh. 13:22) and the witch at En Dor (1 Sam. 28). The Bible says we are not to be involved with such practices (2 Kings 9:22; 17:17; 23:24: Isa. 2:6; 8:19; 44:25; 47:9, 12; Jer. 27:9; 29:8; Ezek. 13:9; Micah 5:12; Gal. 5:20). According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [hereafter ISBE] under “Magic”: “Though in many lists in Daniel the various types of Babylonian diviners and sorcerers are mentioned without express disapproval, the entire context makes it clear that such arts are no match for one who depends upon God for wisdom (Dan. 2:27; cf. 2:10)” (p. 215). I’ll talk a little more on this in the section below on lots.
  • Spiritism. According to page 789 in Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nelson, 1995): “The root of the word in Hebrew is the verb ‘to know.’ In modern English ‘wizard’ means someone very wise or inventive, a very clever or skillful person. But in the Bible it is always a forbidden thing, a kind of black magic.”
  • Necromancy, or calling up the dead. Again, according to Nelson’s Dictionary: “The Hebrew word translated as ‘magic’ appears only in connection with Egyptian and Babylonian magicians.” The first cluster refers to Joseph in Egypt; the second is connected with the plagues in Egypt; and the third deals with Daniel and the government-sponsored magicians of Babylonia. It should be pointed out that the term is never used in connection with the nation of Israel. As far as the Greek New Testament is concerned, the only time it is used is negatively. Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-25) and Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:6-8) are examples. Another word for magic is related to the English word “pharmacy” and it had to do with drugs. Says the Nelson’s Dictionary: “The denunciations in Revelation 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; and 22:15 apply to those who use drugs to bring on trances during which they claim to have supernatural knowledge or power” (p. 790).

Consider the sources for occultic magic. According to ISBE, “Various magical traditions from the East moved into the West and became, often because of a nostalgia for the ancient and mysterious, part of a growing body of international magical lore. From Assyria and Babylonia came an interest in astrology. From Egypt came an emphasis on the power inherent in the spoken or written word, especially the secret name” (p. 218).

It is true that later rabbinic literature is not unified when it comes to magic. In fact, “while the rabbinic sages were well acquainted with the prohibitions against the various forms of divination and sorcery in the Torah, they were also well acquainted with magical practices. Some even practiced the art themselves” (ISBE, p. 216). Among other reasons, “it appears that they were able to harmonize the biblical prohibitions with the practice of some forms of magic by redefining both” (ibid).

According to ISBE, Jesus was charged several times for practicing magic through His miracles such as healings and exorcisms. “Matt. 10:25 suggests that Jesus’ opponents may have actually nicknamed Him ‘Beelzebul.’ This charge and all that is implies are refuted…(Mk. 3:23-30). In the Fourth Gospel Jesus is three times accused of having a demon, which is an abbreviated way of charging Him with being a fake prophet and a charlatan whose powers to perform miracles come from Satan. Similarly, the accusation that Jesus was an impostor or deceiver must be understood in relation to the charge that He practiced magic, for false prophets and magicians were subject to the death penalty according to the Deuteronomic code (Dt. 13:5; 18:20). Jesus’ Jewish opponents may have used these ancient laws to justify His execution” (ISBE, p. 219).

If Jesus wanted to, He certainly could have credited His powers with magic. However, His work was in accordance to His nature since He is literally God in the flesh. While Quinn would not hold that Jesus is both 100 percent God and 100 percent man, the second member of the Trinity, the Evangelical Christian acknowledges His nature and understands that those things that He did were miraculous, not magical in any way.

While Quinn makes the Jewish mystics seem almost normal for the biblical record, he fails to realize that the New Testament (written after the time when Jewish mysticism had its heyday) condemns the magical worldview. Luke was quite familiar with the technical terminology of magic as evidenced in Acts 8:9-24; 13:4-12; and 19:11-20. “All of these passages describe contests between Christians with miraculous powers and magicians whose powers are derived from incantations and the control of malevolent supernatural forces. The author of Acts carefully demonstrates the superiority of Christianity in each of these encounters” (ISBE, p. 219).

What about Quinn’s list of ways the Bible supports magic? While this was a partial list, let’s consider his points in a short manner and show how these examples do not condone the magical worldview.

  • “…Jewish tradition also held that King Solomon’s ‘wisdom included his vast knowledge of magic and medicine'”
    We are given so very little information about this that it makes it very hard to respond. But we should point out several things: 1) While Solomon was known as the wisest man in the world, he made some very foolish decisions. In fact, it was soon after his reign in the monarchy that the kingdom split into two. 2) Solomon did some very foolish things, including having almost a thousand women as wives and concubines. Should his polygamous ways make him a man to be followed in practice? 3) The Bible doesn’t fully explain what Quinn calls Solomon’s “knowledge of magic and medicine.”
  • The Old Testament has “neutral or positive references to a wide range of magical and divinatory practices”
    While we would agree that the Old Testament is “neutral” in some cases (the types of divination that could be credited to God, such as the dreams had by Joseph and Daniel or lots in the right circumstances), one would be hard pressed to state that occultic divination was fine. Again, based on numerous verses as listed above, the Bible condemns the occultic worldview.
  • “Jewish and Christian lore contains many references to occult incantations, to amulets, charms, spells, exorcisms, all related to speculative angelologies and demonologies”
    Christians follow the Bible, not lore. They acknowledge the existence of Jewish mystics, which appear to have been very popular between the 2nd century B.C. and 1st century A.D. Yet traditions don’t mean much to the evangelical Christian since he or she is a follower of the Book, or written word of God.
  • The magical power of God’s name (YHWH)
    There is nothing magical about the tetragammaton. Rather, it is the holiest name of God. In modern Bibles the translated word LORD is given in all caps to express the holiness of this name. In ancient times YHWH was not even pronounced. In fact, this name is considered to be so sacred among Jews today that the Jewish scroll writers continue to go through a purification rite every time they write out the tetragammaton. There is no magic in this name.
  • “The patriarch Joseph had a special silver cup in Egypt with which ‘he divineth'”
    Because Genesis 44:5 mentions Joseph’s “divining” cup, Quinn makes it appear that Joseph practiced hydromancy, a form of ancient Near Eastern divination that predicted the future. However, while this cup was said to have belonged to Joseph, could it not have been part of the ruse of entrapping his brothers? This may not help detail Joseph’s spiritual practices, as its use was certainly to frame the severity of Benjamin’s supposed crime. It is an argument from silence to say that Joseph actually practiced a pagan divining rite.
  • While we do know that he received revelation from dreams given to him by God—a form of divination known as oneiromancy—we cannot ascertain if hydromancy was a common practice of Joseph. According to ISBE (“Divination,” 1:972), “…the ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Arabians, Greeks, and Romans sought to understand the future primarily through the practice of various techniques of divination monopolized by skilled adepts. In contrast, the central way in which the will of Yahweh was made accessible in ancient Israel and in early Christianity was through the medium of inspired prophetic spokesmen.”
  • The casting of lots that took place in both the Old and New Testaments
    Proverbs 16:33 says that “the lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the Lord.” According to ISBE (“Lots,” 3:173): “The use of lots in making decisions, therefore, was regarded as a means of allowing God to make the choice. Lots, though a form of divination, were never a forbidden practice in ancient Israel as were the other forms of divination.” The Urim and Thummim, which was kept in a pocket of the high priest but apparently not used by the time of David, were also tools to get yes-and-no answers from God.
  • In the book of Acts, the disciples decided to nominate another man to fill the twelfth spot. According to Richard Longnecker in the ninth volume of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 1981), “The ‘remnant theology’ of Late Judaism made it mandatory that any group that presented itself as ‘the righteous remnant’ of the nation, and had the responsibility of calling the nation to repentance and permeating it for God’s glory, must represent itself as the true Israel, not only in its proclamation, but also in its symbolism” (p. 265). The disciples did not want there to be any question that the successor was not qualified to become an apostle of Jesus.
  • The two qualifications were that the candidate had to have been with Christ since the time Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and that he was a witness to Christ’s resurrection. Two men were qualified to fill this position: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. The disciples prayed to Jesus before “casting lots” and determining Matthias was the right one (Acts 1:26).
  • What are Christians to make of lots? Does this mean that they should flip a coin when making a decision? Not at all.
  • It should be emphasized that the disciples prayed and used wisdom before seeking God through the lots. (Old Testament passages involving lots include finding a guilty individual; selecting someone for a particular task; dividing the land of Israel; and selecting the scapegoat for the Day of Atonement.) God has spoken in different ways to His people throughout the ages. He walked alongside Abraham. He talked to Moses. And as these passages point out, He made Himself available to His people through lots.
  • Curiously this practice is never again mentioned after Acts 1:26. It was not a normal part of communication from the early church on. This is true because the Holy Spirit was fully given at Pentecost in Acts 2. According to Jesus in John 14:16, the Spirit was not only to be the Spirit of Truth but also the Counselor available to all Christians. “The Spirit was also the Spirit of prophecy, whose departure from Israel had left them with only dice as a means through which God might communicate his will. But now in the wake of the coming of Jesus the Spirit is back, not resting only on a few prophets, but on the whole people of God” (Hard Sayings of the Bible, IVP, 1996, p. 513).
  • Joseph Smith’s practices were no way biblical. And why would Smith not rely on the Holy Spirit for counsel and direction rather than magical practices if He was truly directed by God?
  • Moses’ brass serpent that saved the lives of anyone bitten by snakes just because they looked at it
    According to Numbers 21:8, God told Moses to put a snake on a pole so that anyone who was bitten from the snake-infested camp could look at it for healing. Jesus mentioned this incident as a precursor to Himself, saying in John 3:14-15 that He would have to be lifted up just like that snake so that everyone believing on Him would receive eternal life. (Also see John 12:31-32.) According to the Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, “The bronze serpent is thus a symbol and type of Christ. Israel needs to learn that the Lord is sovereign. He uses the serpent to punish; he also uses it to heal in conjunction with obedience and faith” (p. 99). Just as the sick Israelite could look up to the snake for healing, so too sinners with no hope of healing can look to Jesus. As far as magic is concerned, there is no correlation whatsoever.
  • A corpse that came to life upon touching Elisha
    How do we explain Elijah’s going up to heaven in a chariot? How do we explain the taking of the sacrifice at Mt. Carmel? And how do we explain this event? Magic? No. Rather, we would say that God continued to use Elisha even after he was dead in this miraculous one-time event. (It had to have been “one-time” because they certainly would have tried to repeat the miracle with other bodies, but we hear no more about this.) Could Elisha’s departure from this world be any more dramatic than his predecessor Elijah?
  • The healing of people who touched the handkerchiefs of Paul and the speaking in tongues
    We see several ways how people were possibly healed in the New Testament, including Peter’s shadow (5:15), the edge of Jesus’ cloak (Matt. 9:20), and Paul’s handkerchiefs (Acts 19:12). These items did not have magical qualities, but rather the smallest article or shadow was a representation of having contact with one of God’s men. Writes Richard Longnecker in his commentary on Acts, “The virtue, of course, lay not in the materials themselves but in the power of God and the faith of the recipients” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p. 496).
  • To equate the above as well as speaking in tongues to magic is not a very strong parallel. Christians believe that God certainly heals. The above passages do not say the recipients had faith in the garments or the shadow of an apostle. Rather, as Jesus so clearly stated, a person with the faith (in God) as small of a mustard seed could move mountains. While God can use whatever He wills to accomplish His purpose, it is important to point out that only a faith in God can result in the miraculous.
  • In conclusion to this section, it is understood why Quinn has to presuppose that the Bible condones and even encourages the kind of view Joseph Smith had about magic. However, the evidence from the Bible does not support this view.

Returning the fire back to LDS “Scholarship”

There is no doubt that Quinn has a vendetta in re-releasing his book. His LDS critics were merciless in attempting to destroy Quinn’s credibility and hence his career. His honesty was not appreciated by either the leadership or those who are paid in Provo to defend the church from scholarly critics. Now that Quinn is no longer on the membership roles, he took off the proverbial gloves. He abandoned the use of the “could haves” and “might have beens” and instead became quite definitive in his writing. In addition, it is obvious that Quinn wrote as he pleased because LDS leaders no longer hold any authority over him. After all, what can the Mormon prophet do to a man who is already excommunicated?

With pit bull tenacity, Quinn continually went after the writers from FARMS, an organization that was unofficially connected to LDS-owned BYU and officially connected to the university in 1997. Even FARMS apologist Daniel Peterson wondered if this move would allow him and other writers to keep their nasty edge. Perhaps it is for this reason that Peterson, who has boasted that some of his fellow writers were born “with the nastiness gene,” is Quinn’s biggest target.

Why are the writers for FARMS so abusive in their writings? According to Peterson in the eighth volume of FARMS Review of Books, “We did not pick this fight with the Church’s critics, but we will not withdraw from it.” Peterson has also said,” If we have occasionally been guilty of levity at the expense of some of our critics, this has been because they tempted us with irresistible targets. It isn’t our fault…. A few of us, indeed, may have been born that way, with the nastiness gene—which is triggered by arrant humbuggery” (p. 329).

Quinn does not take kindly to the meanness of FARMS. He writes, “I have allowed my polemical critics to have their decade, not just their day….I believe this eleventh-anniversary edition responds to these LDS polemicists with greater honesty and civility than they have given me” (p. xi).

Quinn defines the difference in his mind between polemics and apologetics. According to him, a person who practices polemics engages in “an extreme version of apologetics. Defending a point of view becomes less important than attacking one’s opponents. Aside from their verbal viciousness, polemicists often resort to any method to promote their argument…. Moving beyond apologist persuasion, LDS polemicists furiously (and often fraudulently) attack any non-traditional view of Mormonism. They don’t mince words—they mince truth” (p. x). We should note that, traditionally, polemics does not have as negative a connotation as Quinn makes it out to be. Rather, the noun just means the “art or practice of disputation or controversy, especially in theology.”

Apologists, on the other hand, “take special efforts to defend their cherished point of view…It is not an insult to call someone an ‘apologist’ (which I often do)…” (p. x). This statement was obviously meant for FARMS writers who, for whatever reason, have taken offense to being called “apologists.” I’ll never forget Daniel Peterson’s attack on Bill McKeever in the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5, 1993. In a review on John Ankerberg and John Weldon’s book entitled About Mormonism, Peterson took several pages to divert and tackle an unpublished paper that my colleague and I had written on the “land of Jerusalem.” Listen to the shot Peterson fired at us in footnote number 170, page 77: “McKeever also has the irritating habit, prevalent among many anti-Mormons, of describing those authors with whom he agrees by their academic titles and positions, while referring to those authors with whom he disagrees as ‘LDS apologists.'”

Why was Peterson so insulted at being called an apologist, which really is a simple word meaning a person who practices apologetics (which is the defense of one’s faith)? While many falsely assume it refers to a person who has to apologize, it has no such meaning. Truly this is not a derogatory word, and we at Mormonism Research Ministry have never used it to belittle someone’s credentials. Like Quinn, we who write for MRM welcome the title of apologist.

To show his disdain for those who dislike being called “apologists,” Quinn writes: “‘Polemicist’ is a dishonorable vocation, and I use the term only where I believe it applies.” When referring to FARMS, the word apologist takes a great big back seat in Quinn’s vocabulary, for the most part. Instead, polemicist is the word of choice about 60-70 percent of the time. His disagreement comes because, for FARMS’ writers, “defending Joseph Smith from any association with magic is the primary motivation for their definitional nihilism…. However, the fundamental problem with this tactic of LDS apologists is that denying the legitimacy of the word ‘magic’ or ‘occult sciences’ also denies the self-definition of people before and during Joseph Smith’s time” (p. xxviii).

In Quinn’s own words

  • There is no other way to explain how hard Quinn went after these men than to just list a few of the well more than a hundred pokes he made against LDS writers, especially those aligning themselves with FARMS. Hopefully this gives the person reading this review a flavor of Quinn’s rebuttal to his critics:
  • Referring to Stephen E. Robinson’s denial of Quinn’s assertion that Smith was connected to the occult, Quinn wrote, “I have no respect for the statement of one reviewer who claimed he had read this chapter (6, “Mormon Scriptures, Magic World View, Rural New York”) carefully….This is simply polemical defensiveness: he refuses to acknowledge the existence of evidence he is afraid others will accept” (p. 234).
  • Again referring to Robinson’s critique, Quinn gave a slight compliment before offering additional unkind words about the BYU professor. “This was the only evidence that he might be a sincere apologist struggling for a perspective he could regard as faithful. If that had been his approach throughout the review, I could regard him with compassion. However, throughout the rest of his review, Robinson showed himself as a mean-spirited polemicist eager to use any insult, distortion, mislabeling, deletion, false analogy, semantic trick, and logical fallacy to defend officially approved LDS history. Within that context the quoted paragraph appears as simply a vulnerable-sounding weapon from the arsenal of an unrelenting polemicist” (p. 403).
  • Quinn uses no less than three full pages of his endnotes (pp. 407-410) to ridicule a parallel Robinson made to make light of a point Quinn made in the first edition of his book. Quinn concluded his diatribe with this slam: “False analogy should have no role in any discourse, particularly by a professor of the New Testament.”
  • Referring to Smith’s promise of blessing to a Kirtland Mormon in 1835 who was attempting to find buried treasure, “LDS apologists like Richard L. Anderson dismiss such promises as ‘poetic elements’ or ‘spiritual metaphor.’ This is an example of ‘present-mindedness’ or the ‘presentist bias’ which ignores the historical context and meaning of experiences in the past, and instead superimposes the perspective of the present” (p. 260).
  • Criticizing FARMS writers for doing a “computer search” that he felt was incomplete and truly dishonest, Quinn lashed out, “(William J.) Hamblin, (Daniel C.) Peterson, and (George L.) Mitton presented only those findings which supported their effort to disassociate magic practices and beliefs from Joseph Smith and early LDS publications. If their key-word search did not actually include ‘amulet,’ ‘charm,’ and ‘talisman’ at some point, this oversight occurred because these FARMS authors did not want to find those terms in early LDS publications. If those terms were included, these FARMS authors deceived their readers…. These FARMS authors also claimed there was allegedly no evidence that Joseph Smith even knew about talismans or magic parchments, and allegedly no evidence that Mormonism’s founding prophet would ever look favorably on such occult artifacts. It would not be helpful for the FARMS agenda to alert readers to the founding prophet’s use of this amulet-talisman-parchment reference in Times and Seasons” (p. 271).
  • Criticizing William J. Hamblin, Quinn writes with a humorous edge on page 351: “Hamblin and I obviously see faith and its defense in very different ways, both as historians and as believers. According to his published comments about me, Hamblin thinks that my commitment to historical analysis has subverted my LDS faith. Having read many of his writings, I think Hamblin’s commitment as a ‘defender’ has subverted his historical training. Polemicism has also warped Hamblin’s judgment of what is religious. In his polemical review of Metcalfe’s book, Hamblin constructed his essay to be published with a repetitive left-margin acrostic (‘Metcalfe is butthead’). The FARMS editor discovered this while the article was in press and required Hamblin to change the acrostics, some of which he still left in recognizable form. As ‘a defender of the Kingdom of God,’ Hamblin tried to deceive a religious journal into publishing the kind of graffiti that teenagers scrawl on the walls of public restrooms…. This is another example of how polemics warps the judgment of its LDS practitioners” (p. 352).
  • Referred to FARMS Louis Midgley as “a polemicist without scruples, willing to say anything to attack whomever he regards as an opponent” (p. 401).
  • Referring to the idea of chiasmus being found in the Book of Mormon, Quinn stated, “As I told (FARMS) John W. Welch in a 1995 letter, I have always admired and praised his discovery of the ancient poetic technique of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. However, I believe that he has done a disservice to all Mormon believers by his decades of misrepresenting America’s pre-1830 knowledge of this biblical parallelism. As stated in my text discussion, Hugh Nibley’s misstatements in 1975 occurred because of his lack of access to information that was not yet published or not easily available to him. This was not the case with John W. Welch, whose publication for the LDS audience since 1969, in my opinion, have manifested an escalating, intentional concealments of pre-1830 American publications about chiasmus” (p. 504).
  • Showing that FARMS writers too often shoot off their guns without properly aiming, Quinn writes, “However, (FARMS) John Gee…ridiculed a non-LDS Egyptologist for writing that Michael Chandler sold Egyptian artifacts ‘to members of the Church of Latter-day Saints’ in 1835. Gee insisted: ‘The name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is [thus] given inaccurately.’ That demonstrates Gee’s ignorance of the fact that ‘Church of Latter Day Saints’ was its official name from 1834-1838” (pp. 531-532).

Conclusion

In the first part of this review, I asked, “Is Quinn’s book worthy to be read?” My answer is quite simple. Yes it is. Every interested Mormon and Christian should read it in conjunction with other excellent books on Smith, including Fawn Brodie’s No Man Knows My History and David Persuitte’s Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon. No matter what your opinion of Quinn is—whether he offends you because he was excommunicated by the Mormon Church, that he is an avowed homosexual, or that he writes historical books that are not what you might call “faith promoting”—he is not a slouch.

As mentioned in this review, I disagree with several of his views. For instance, I don’t agree that the Bible encourages necromancy, magic, dealing with occultic materials, and the like. But when it comes to the facts about how Smith himself was involved in magic, Quinn’s historical points are well documented and leave little to debate. I appreciate that Quinn seems to be very honest, wanting to know just what the facts are all about. To do any different is to be a revisionist, and that is just not honest, as Quinn makes this a big point in his criticism of Mormon apologists, especially those who work at LDS-controlled FARMS. I give the book a 5-star recommendation, as long as the reader promises to read carefully, slowly, and with a critical mind.

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The True Father of the Modern Faith Movement
from A Different Gospel
by D.R. McConnell

People frequently credit my father, Kenneth E. Hagin, with being the “Father” of the so-called faith movement. However, as he points out, it’s nothing new; it’s just the preaching of the simple ageless gospel. But he has had a great effect on many of the well-known faith ministers of today. Almost every major faith ministry of the United States has been influenced by his ministry. Kenneth Hagin, Jr., “Trend toward the Faith Movement,” Charisma (Aug. 1985), 67.

They’ve [the Faith teachers] all copied from my Dad [E. W. Kenyon]. They’ve changed it a little bit and added their own touch. . . , but they couldn’t change the wording. The Lord gave him [Kenyon] words and phrases. He coined them. They can’t put it in any other words. . . It’s very difficult for some people to be big enough to give credit to somebody else. Ruth Kenyon Houseworth, taped interview, Lynnwood, Wash., Feb. 19, 1982.

The Relationship Between Kennth Hagin and E. W. Kenyon

The founding father of the Faith movement is commonly held to be Kenneth Erwin Hagin, the man termed by Charisma magazine as “the granddaddy of the Faith teachers,”1 and “the father of the Faith movement.”2With his country Texan accent and a disarming “good ol’ boy” charm, Hagin’s teachings on faith, healing, and prosperity have been foundational for almost every major minister of the Faith movement.3 Even the other heavyweights of the Faith movement readily admit that Hagin’s teaching and leadership were the key both to their own success, and that of the movement.

For instance, the heir apparent to Hagin’s throne, Kenneth Copeland, frequently acknowledges Hagin as his spiritual father. Although he briefly attended Oral Roberts University, Copeland points to Hagin as his mentor, not Roberts. Ken Hagin, Jr., recounts the beginning of Copeland’s relationship with his father this way:

A poverty-stricken student from Oral Roberts University attended my father’s Tulsa seminars in the mid ’60s and got turned onto the Word of God. The student was deeply in debt, but he desperately wanted my father’s tapes. He offered to trade the title to his car for them. Buddy Harrison, my brother-in-law, was managing the ministry then. He took one look at the old car and told him, “Just go ahead and take the tapes. Bring the money when you can.” So young Kenneth Copeland memorized those tapes and another great ministry was launched.4

According to recent polls and press, Copeland is now the ex officio leader of the Faith movement. Nevertheless, at least in spiritual matters, when Hagin speaks, Copeland still listens.

Frederick K. C. Price, a prominent Faith preacher and founder of the 14 thousand member Crenshaw Christian Center of Inglewood, California, can make the incredible claim that “Kenneth Hagin has had the greatest influence upon my life of any living man.”5 Price received a great deal of help from Hagin in the early days of his Faith ministry, and Hagin is still a frequent speaker at his church in California.

Many other ministers of the Faith movement also acknowledge Hagin as their spiritual father. Charles Capps, who bills himself as “a Spirit-filled farmer from England, Arkansas,” and who speaks at many national and local Faith conferences, states that “most of my teaching came from Brother Kenneth Hagin” and that Hagin was “the greatest influence of my life.”6 Even so prominent a preacher of charismatic renewal as John Osteen, pastor of the Lakewood Outreach Center, Houston, Texas, gratefully acknowledges Hagin as his introduction to the Faith movement and proclaims, “I think Brother Hagin is chosen of God and stands in the forefront of the message of faith.”7

Indeed, not only does Kenneth Hagin stand in the forefront, for many in the Faith movement he is also “the Prophet”: the Revelator of the gospel of faith, health, and wealth. As we will see in chapter 4, Hagin claims to be the man who first received the “revelation” on which the Faith movement is based. Even though in popularity and power the younger Copeland has overtaken his elder Hagin, in the eyes of his disciples, the man who is referred to as “Dad Hagin” at Rhema Bible Institute is still the grand old man of Faith.

Not everyone in the Faith movement, however; is willing to concede to Hagin the role of patriarch and founder. Ruth Kenyon Houseworth, president of the Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society, Lynnwood, Wash-ington, contends that her father, E. W. Kenyon, who died in 1948, is the man who really deserves the title, “father of the Faith movement.” Mrs. Houseworth charges that the 18 books written by her father and published by her society have been pilfered, both in idea and word, by the other preachers of the movement.8

Houseworth says of her father’s lack of acknowledgement by the Faith movement:

His first book was printed in 1916, and he had the revelation years before that. These that are coming along now that have been in the ministry for just a few years and claiming that this is something that they are just starting, it makes you laugh a little bit. It is very difficult for some people to be big enough to give credit to somebody else.9

Although Mrs. Houseworth is extremely gracious when asked about her father’s lack of recognition, she is decidedly not “laughing” about it, not even “a little bit.” She feels hurt that the Faith teachers have failed to give credit where credit is due. Moreover; the Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society has been exploited financially by the massive popularity of Hagin (whose first book was not published until 1960), Copeland, et al. Houseworth can no longer afford to publish its newsletter because of what she sees as the injustice done to her father.

The injustice done to Kenyon has not gone unnoticed by others who knew him. For instance, one man who both knew and occasionally ministered with Kenyon, John Kennington, pastor of Emmanuel Temple in Portland, Oregon, says this of his role in the Faith movement:

Today Kenyon’s ideas are in the ascendancy. Via the electronic church or in the printed page I readily recognize not only Kenyon’s concepts, but at times I recognize pure plagiarism, for I can almost tell you book, chapter, and page where the material is coming from. Kenyon has be-come the “father” of the so-called “faith” movement.10

Kennington claims that plagiarism of Kenyon’s writings is a fairly common occurrence in the charismatic movement. “In fact,” he says, “one prominent Pentecostal minister hired a writer or writers to rewrite Kenyon’s books and put his name on those books.”11 Because of these many plagiarisms, Kennington agrees with Houseworth that her father is also the father of the Faith movement.

Hagin may have the reputation of being “the granddaddy of the Faith teachers,” but in the eyes of Mrs. Houseworth, he is just another young preacher who has “borrowed” her deceased father’s writings. Kenyon was 70 years old when Hagin was licensed as an Assemblies of God pastor in 1937 at the age of 20. Hagin himself, however, has gone on record with the claim that he was teaching his message on faith and healing long before he ever heard of E. W. Kenyon.

Mr. Kenyon went home to be with the Lord in 1948. It was 1950 before I was introduced to his books. A brother in the Lord asked me, “Did you ever read after Dr. Kenyon?” I said, “I’ve never heard of him.” He said, “You preach healing and faith just like he does.” He gave me some of Kenyon’s books. And he did preach faith and healing just like I do. After all, if someone preaches the new birth, and somebody else preaches the new birth, it has to be the same. Likewise, if you preach faith and healing – and I mean Bible faith and Bible healing – it has to be the same. We may have different words to express it, but if it is according to the word of God, it is the same truth.12

Hagin claims that it was not until 1950 that he came into contact with Kenyon, some 17 years after he had gotten “the revelation” that launched his ministry. Any similarities between himself and Kenyon are to be attributed, says Hagin, to the fact that both are merely “using different words to express” what the Bible has to say on “the same truth.”12

At first glance, this statement may appear a reasonable explanation, but does it account for the amazing similarities between Hagin’s writings and Kenyon’s? Unfortunately, no, for as this chapter unfolds the reader will be presented with seemingly undeniable evidence that E. W Kenyon is the true father of the Faith movement, a position which has been unjustly usurped by Kenneth Hagin. As Mrs. Houseworth has testified, the Faith movement in general and Kenneth Hagin in particular have used Kenyon’s many books and pamphlets without ever acknowledging that he is the author of their teachings and the founder of their movement.

Hagin’s Plagiarism of Kenyon

Hagin, of course, would deny any plagiarism of Kenyon. He maintains that it was not until after his discovery of the truths of the Faith gospel that he was introduced to Kenyon’s writings. There is reason to believe however, that he was acquainted with Kenyon earlier than 1950, perhaps much earlier. For example, Hagin remembers reading a book in 1949 with the following quotation: “It seems that God is limited by our prayer life, that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him to do it. Why this is, I do not know.”13 This quotation comes from E. W. Kenyon’s book, The Two Kinds of Faith.14 Even the “revelation” supposedly given to Hagin on his deathbed is described by him with an undocumented and plagiarized quotation from The Two Kinds of Faith.15

Such confusion over when Hagin read various materials by Kenyon is fairly common. For instance, Hagin says that, in February of 1978, the Lord told him to prepare a teaching seminar on “the name of Jesus.” Only after he began his research does Hagin admit that he discovered Kenyon’s book, The Wonderful Name ofJesus. At his request, Mrs. Houseworth gave Hagin permission to quote from Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus. Hagin’s book, The Name of Jesus, was first published in 1979. Concerning his indebtedness to Kenyon, Hagin writes:

At the time [1978], I had one sermon I preached on this wonderful subject, but I had never really taught on it at length. I began to look around to see what I could find written on the subject. For others, you see, have revelations from God. I was amazed how little material there is in print on this subject. The only good book devoted entirely to it that I have found is E. W. Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus. I encourage you to get a copy. It is a marvelous book. It is revelation knowledge. It is the Word of God.16

This is one of the few candid, direct acknowledgments of Kenyon to appear in any of Hagin’s writings. The problem is that two years prior to 1978, the first date that Hagin admits to having read Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus, he had already copied extensively from this book for an article published in his magazine in 1976.17 That article never mentions the name of E. W. Kenyon.

Nor is Kenyon mentioned where his words and thoughts appear in numerous other books and articles by Hagin. Whereas Hagin appears to have copied only occasionally from sources other than Kenyon,18 he has plagiarized Kenyon both repeatedly and extensively. Actually, it would not be overstated to say that the very doctrines that have made Kenneth Hagin and the Faith movement such a distinctive and powerful force within the independent charismatic movement are all plagiarized from E. W. Kenyon. This is a most serious charge and one that will be substantiated by ample evidence. Part 2 of this volume will examine the fact that all of the major thoughts and ideas of Faith theology are taken from Kenyon. At this point in our study, it is sufficient to say that the writings of Kenneth Hagin are verbally dependent upon Kenyon. The accusations of plagiarism by Houseworth and Kennington are absolutely correct. In many instances, Hagin has, indeed, copied word-for-word without documentation from Kenyon’s writings. The following excerpts of plagiarisms from no less than eight books by E. W. Kenyon are presented as evidence of this charge. This is only a sampling of such plagiarisms. Many more could be cited.

Kenneth Hagin

The 22nd Psalm gives a graphic picture of the crucifixion of Jesus – more vivid than that of John, Matthew or Mark who witnessed it.

E. W. Kenyon

The twenty-second Psalm gives a gnphic picture of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is more vivid than that of John, Matthew or Mark who witnessed it.

Kenneth Hagin

He utters the strange words “But thou art holy.” What does that mean? He is becoming sin. His parched lips cry, “I am a worm and no man.” He is spiritually dead – the worm. Jesus died of a ruptured heart. When it happened, blood from all parts of His body poured through the rent into the sack which holds the heart. As the body cooled, the red corpuscles coagulated and rose to the top, the white serum settled to the bottom. When that Roman spear pierced the sack, water poured out first, then the coagulated blood oozed out, rolling down his side onto the ground. John bore witness of it. (“Christ our Substitute,” The Word of Faith [Mar., 1975], pp. 1, 4, 5, 7)

E. W. Kenyon

But He says the strangest words, “But thou art holy.” What does that mean? He is becoming sin. Can you hear those parched lips cry, “I am a worm and no man.”? He is spiritually dead. The worm. Jesus had died of a ruptured heart. When that happened, blood from all pats of the body poured in through the rent, into the sack that holds the heart. Then as the body cooled, the red corpuscles coagulated and rose to the top. The white serum settled to the bottom. When that Roman soldier’s spear pierced the sack, water poured out first. Then the coagulated blood oozed out, rolled down His side onto the ground, and John bore witness of it. (What Happned from the Cross to the Throne [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969], 44 – 45)

Kenneth Hagin

What does identification mean?
It means our complete union with Christ.
This gives us the key which unlocks the great teachings of identification. Christ became one with us in sin that we might become one with Him in righteousness. He became as we were to the end that we might become as He is now. He died to make us live. He became weak to make us strong.
He suffered shame to give us glory. He went to hell to take us to heaven. He was condemned to justify us. He was made sick that healing might be ours. (“The Resurrection! What it Gives Us.. .” The Word of Faith [Apr., 1977], p. 5) E. W. Kenyon
At once you ask, “What does identification mean?”
It means our complete union with Him in His Substitutionary Sacrifice.
This gives us the key that unlocks the great teaching of identification. Christ became one with us in sin, that we might become one with Him in righteousness. He became as we were to the end that we might become as He is now. He died to make us live He became weak to make us strong.
He suffered shame to give us glory. He went to hell to take us to heaven. He was condemned to justify us. He was made sick that healing might be ours. (Identfication: A Romance in Redemption [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1968], 6, 7) Kenneth Hagin

Here is a picture of Christ in awful combat with the hosts of darkness. It gives us a glimpse of the tremendous victory He won before He rose from the dead. The margin of King James reads, “He put off from Himself the principalities and the powers.” It is quite obvious and evident that whole demon hosts, when they had Jesus within their power intended to swamp Him, to overwhelm Him, and to hold Him in fearful bondage. But the cry came forth from the throne of God that Jesus had met the demands of Justice, that the sin problem had been settled, that man’s redemption was a fact. And when that cry reached the dark regions, Jesus arose and threw back the host of demons and met Satan in awful combat. God has made this investment for the church. He has made this deposit on which the church has a right to draw for her every need. Oh that our eyes would open, that our souls would dare to rise in the realm of the omnipotent where that name would mean to us all that God the Father intended it to mean! In one sense, this is practically unexplored table land in Christian experience. (“The Name of Jesus: The More Excellent Name,” The Word of Faith [Apr., 1976], pp. 4-6)

E. W. Kenyon

The picture here is of Christ… in awful combat with the hosts of darkness. It gives us a glimpse of the tremendous battle and victory that Jesus won before He rose from the dead. The margin reads: Having put off from Himself the principalities and powers.” It is evident that the whole demon host, when they saw Jesus in their power simply intended to swamp Him, overwhelm Him, and they held Him in fearful bondage until the cry came forth from the throne of God that Jesus had met the demands of justice; that the sin problem was settled and man’s redemption was a fact. When this cry reached the dark regions, Jesus rose and hurled back the hosts of darkness, and met Satan in awful combat. God has made this investment for the benefit of the Church: He has made this deposit on which the Church has a right to draw for her every need. Oh, that our eyes were open; that our souls would dare rise into the realm of Omnipotence where the Name would mean to us all that the Father has invested in it. This is practically an unexplored tableland in Christian experience. (The Wonderful Name of Jesus [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1927], 8, 9, 11)

Kenneth Hagin

God’s method of physical healing is spiritual. It is not mental as Christian Science, Unity and other metaphysical teachers claim. Neither is it physical as the medical world teaches. When man heals, he must do it either through the mind or through the physical body. When God heals He heals through the human spirit, for God is a Spirit. Life’s greatest forces are spiritual forces. Love and hate, faith and fear, joy and peace, are all of the spirit. (“Spirit, Soul, & Body; Part Three: God Heals through the Spirit of Man” Word of Faith [Dec., 1977], p. 5)

E. W. Kenyon

You must have seen as you have studied this book that healing is spiritual. It is not mental as Christian Science and Unity and other metaphysical teachers claim. Neither is it physical as the medical world teaches. When man heals, he must either do it through the mind . . . or he does it through the physical body. . . When God heals He heals through the spirit. We can understand that the greatest forces in life are spiritual forces. Love and hate, fear and faith, joy and grief, are all of the spirit. (Jesus the Healer [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1940], p. 90)

Kenneth Hagin

The fact that there is enmity between Satan and the woman is seen through woman’s history. She has been bought and sold as common chattel. Only where Christianity has reached the heart of the country has woman been elevated above the brute creation. Woman’s seed is Christ. Christ was hunted from His babyhood by Satan’s seed until finally He was nailed to the cross. From the resurrection of Jesus until this day, the church has been the subject of the bitterest persecution and enmity of the world. “and it. . . shall bruise thy head” (the head of Satan). In Oriental languages “bruising the head” means breaking the lordship of a ruler. “The heel” is the Church in its earth walk. . . . The long ages of persecution of the Church by the seed of Satan are today merely a matter of history. (“Incarnation” Word of Faith [Dec., 1978], p. 4)

E. W. Kenyon

That is, there will be enmity between Satan and woman. This is proved by woman’s history. She has been bought and sold as common chattel. Only where Christianity has reached the hearts of a country has woman ever received any treatment that would lift her above the brute creation. …and woman’s seed is Christ. Christ was hunted from His babyhood by Satan’s seed until finally they nailed him to the cross; and from the resurrection of Jesus until this day, the church has been the subject of the bitterest persecution and enmity of the world. “He shall bruise thy head” – that is, the head of Satan. In all Oriental languages the term “bruise the head” means breaking the lordship of the ruler. “The heel” is the Church in its earth walk. The long ages of persecution of the Church by the seed of Satan are a matter of history. (The Bible in the Light of Our Redemption [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969], p. 58)

Kenneth Hagin

Here in Genesis, God refused to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until He had talked it over with Abraham, His blood covenant friend. Abraham’s prayer is one of the most suggestive and illuminating prayers of the Old Testament. Abraham was taking his place in the covenant. Abraham had, through the covenant, received rights and privileges which we very little understand. The covenant Abraham had just solemnized with Jehovah gave him a legal standing with God. . . . we hear him speaking so plainly “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” All through the Old Testament we find men who understood and took their place in the covenant. Joshua could open the Jordan. He could command the sun, moon and stars to stand still in the heavens. Elijah could bring fire out of heaven to consume the altar as well as the sacrifice. David’s mighty men were utterly shielded from death in time of war as long as they remembered the covenant. (Plead Your Case [Tulsa: Faith Library, 1979], pp. 4-9; cf. pp. 23-32)

E. W. Kenyon

…in Gen. 18 when God refused to destroy Sodom and Gomornh until He had talked it over with His blood covenant friend, Abraham. Abraham’s prayer. . . is one of the most illuminating and suggestive prayers in the Old Covenant. . . . Abraham was taking his place in the covenant. Abraham had through the Covenant received rights and privileges that we little understand. The Covenant that Abraham had just solemnized with Jehovah gave him a legal standing with God. We hear him speak so plainly, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” All through the Old Covenant we find men who understood and took their place in the Covenant. Joshua could open the Jordan. He could command the sun, moon and stars to stand still in the heavens. Elijah could bring fire out of heaven to consume the ofiering as well as the altar. David’s mighty men were utterly shielded from death in their wars. They became supermen as long as they remembered the covenant. (The Two Kinds of Faith [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969], pp. 76-84)

Kenneth Hagin In John 1:4 we get the first intimation of what this life will do for us: “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” There are four different Greek words translated “life” in the New Testament. First, there is zoe. Then there is psuche. That means natural or human life. Bios means manner of life. And anastrophee means confused behavior. It seems strange that the church has majored on “manner of life” or “behavior” rather than eternal life, which determines in a very large way the manner of life. Receiving eternal life is the most miraculous incident in life. Often we call it conversion or the new birth. Some call it “getting religion,” but that’s not what it is, really. It is, in reality, God imparting His very nature, substance, and being to our human spirits. (The God Kind of Life [Tulsa: Faith Library, 1981], pp. 1-2, 9)

E. W. Kenyon

Jesus gave us the first intimation of what this Life would do for man. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” There are four Greek words translated “life” . . . in the New Testament. The first one is psuche which means natural, human life. The second is bios which means manner of life The third is anastrophee which… means “a confused behavior.” It is a strange thing that the Church has majored in “manner of life” or “behavior” rather than Eternal Life which determines in a very large way “the “manner of life.” Receiving Eternal Life is the most miraculous incident or event in life. It is called conversion, the New Birth and the New Creation. Some have called it “getting religion.” It is, in reality, God imparting His very Nature, Substance, and Being to our human spirits. (Two Kinds of Life [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1971], pp. 2-3)

Kenneth Hagin

Man is a spirit who possesses a soul and lives in a body. He is in the same class with God. We know that God is a Spirit. And yet [He] took upon Himself a man’s body… when God took upon Himself human form, He was no less God than when He didn’t have a body. Man, at physical death, leaves his body. Yet he is no less man than he was when he had his body. (Man of Three Dimensions [Tulsa: Faith Library, 1973], no page)

E. W. Kenyon

Man is a spirit being, he has a soul, and he lives . . . in a body. He is in the same class as God. We know that God is a spirit and He became a man and took on a man’s body, and when He did it He was no less God than He was before He took the physical body… Man, at death, leaves his physical body and is no less man than he was when he had his . . . body (The Hidden Man [Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1970], p. 40; Two Kinds of Faith, p. 3)

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The primary purpose of revealing Hagin’s plagiarisms is to prove his verbal and doctrinal dependency upon Kenyon. This book will offer neither theories as to why Hagin plagiarized Kenyon, nor indictments as to the fact that he did so. When he was once confronted with the plagiarism of another writer, Hagin claimed that the appropriate documentation giving credit to the author was omitted from his book “in error.”19 Because of the number and extent of Hagin’s plagiarisms of Kenyon, it seems unlikely that all of them are an oversight. But we are more than willing to concede such a possibility, particularly if Hagin were to admit the extent of his dependency upon Kenyon. His honesty in doing so would give credibility to any claim of having plagiarized Kenyon by accident. It would also do much towards righting the injustice done to the Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society.

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In admitting that he took his theology from the writings of Kenyon, Hagin would also have to acknowledge that his teaching is of human origins. As we shall see, Hagin claims to have received most of the Faith gospel by divine visitation, visions, and revelation. Much of his reputation as a “prophet” in the Faith movement rests upon these experiences. His reputation and revelation aside, however, it must be said that Hagin’s theology has historical roots, and these may be traced directly to Kenyon, whose writings predate Hagin’s by more than thirty years. The word-for-word correspondences between Hagin’s writings and Kenyon’s cannot be attributed to coincidence, nor can they be attributed to a miracle of inspiration by the Holy Spirit. It is inconceivable that the Holy Spirit would inspire Hagin to use another man’s words without also informing him as to who first wrote those words. That man was E. W Kenyon.

In conclusion, it must be admitted that Hagin is the man who single-handedly took Kenyon’s teachings and from them forged a movement, the Faith movement. Hagin’s influence is omnipresent in Faith circles. His mark is printed indelibly upon his countless disciples, such as Copeland, Price, and Capps. Hagin’s son, Ken, Jr., is quite correct in his statement cited earlier that “almost every major faith ministry of the United States has been influenced by his ministry.” What Hagin’s son does not say is that his father plagiarized the majority of his teaching from E. W. Kenyon. If this is true, however, then through the person of Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon’s teachings are the foundation of the entire Faith movement. Hagin was the key player in the early Faith movement. But Kenyon was the author of its major doctrines.

Consequently, we cannot agree that Hagin’s leadership thereby merits him the title of “father of the Faith movement.” Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin provided the leadership to transform communism into an international movement, but Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels first taught the doctrines on which communism came to be based. Thus, they are today considered the founding fathers of the Communist movement. Likewise, Hagin was the primary leader of the early Faith movement, but he was not the man who first taught its doctrines and thus was not its founding father. Consequently, we must agree with Ruth Kenyon Houseworth that since her father, B. W. Kenyon, was the man who first authored its teachings, he is, in fact, “the True Father of the Faith movement.”

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NOTES

1. Sherry Andrews, “Kenneth Hagin: Keeping the Faith,” Charisma (Oct., 1981), p. 24.

2. E. S. Caldwell, “Kenneth Hagin, Sr.: Acknowledged as Father of the Faith Movement,” Charisma (Aug., 1985), p. 116. It is interesting to note that in a random sampling of Charisma readers concerning those ministers who influenced them the most, Kenneth Hagin was third, ranked only behind TV kingpin and presidential aspirant, Pat Robertson, and the heir apparent of the throne of the Faith movement, Kenneth Copeland. Faith preachers Marilyn Hickey and Fred Price were ranked sixth and ninth respectively, and Robert Tilton, John Osteen and Norvel Hayes were in the top 24. The Faith movement was listed as one of the ten “decatrends” of the charismatic movement. See Kenneth Hagin, Jr., “Trend toward the Faith Movement:’ Charisma (Aug., 1985), pp. 67-70.

3. Hagin, Jr., “Trend toward the Faith Movement,” p. 67

4. Ibid.; italics added for emphasis.

5. Fred Price, taped correspondence, lnglewood, Calif., Feb. 18, 1982.

6. Charles Capps, taped correspondence, England, Ark., Feb. 17, 1982.

7. John Osteen, taped phone interview, Pastor of Lakewood Outreach Center, Houston, Tex., Feb. 24, 1982.

8. Ruth Kenyon Houseworth, taped phone interview, Lynnwood, Wash Feb. 19, 1982.

9. Ibid.

10. John Kennington, “E. W Kenyon and the Metaphysics of Christian Science,” unpublished written statement, Portland, Ore., July 8. 1986.

11. Ibid.

12. Kenneth Hagin, The Name ofJesus (TuIsa: Faith Library, 1981), preface.

13. Kenneth Hagin, The Art of Intercession (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1980), p. 1.

14. E. W. Kenyon, The Two Kinds of Faith (Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969), p. 76.

15. Cf., Hagins Six Hindrances to Faith (Seattle: Kenyon’s Faith Library, [n.d.]) to Kenyon’s Two Kinds of Faith, p. 67.

16. Hagin, The Name of Jesus, preface.

17. Cf., Kenyon, The Wonderful Name of Jesus, pp. 8-11, with Kenneth Hagin, “The Name of Jesus: The More Excellent Name,” The Word of Faith (April, 1976), pp. 4-6.

18. Two other authors from whom Hagin has plagiarized are John A. Ma-Millan and Finis Jennings Dake. See ch. 4, pp. 69-71.

19. See ch. 4, pp. 70ff.

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Taken from A Different Gospel, copyright 1995. Used by permission of Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA 01961. You can order A Different Gospel for a total of $14 by calling the Issues, Etc. resource line at 1-800-737-0172.

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 The Last Hurrah!

It’s no secret Peter Wagner and his associates have been trying to implement a new government in the Church promoting new apostles and prophets are needed for the last age.

Peter Wagner has written a new book called the Second Apostolic Age, (this article is excerpts of a promotional release of his book-Chapter Eleven History Makers). http://www.regalbooks.com/2nd_age.pdf )

He writes in his book “If you are a believer, there has never been a better time for you to make history. “In the Second Apostolic Age, we are already living through the most radical change in our way of doing church since the Protestant Reformation.”

Wagner says at the end of the chapter My purpose in this book (2nd Apostolic Age) is to help us change our minds so that we can be history makers, not mere maintainers of the status quo. God has given us the power to overthrow the spirit of religion. Greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world (see 1 John 4:4).

Do you want new wine? Do you want to fulfill God’s destiny for you in this life? If you do, I recommend that you tune in to what the Spirit is saying to the churches,

resolve to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit and

agree to pay whatever price is necessary to become an active part of the new wineskin-including renewing your mind.

The new wineskin is the Second Apostolic Age. If you are a part of it, you can count yourself in the company of history makers!

Wow, what a sell, an advertising agency could not have done better. Using the current genre he appeals to our desire on making an impact. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this new wineskin. But is this our commission, to overthrow the spirit of religion? As we will see he is talking about the church not the other religions of the world.

Immediately questions spring up from what Wagner is offering. Are we to tune in to new words the Spirit is speaking to the church. Or should we hold to what Jesus already speak to the 7 churches in the book of Revelation through John the last living apostle? Is this adding to the word of God?

What he is proposing is something new and it is delivered through the new apostles and prophets.

Jesus introduces his admonishment to each church saying, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Paul specifically warns “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). These would have to be ignored to hear the new things “the Spirit” is saying to the church by the new apostles and prophets. Are we to read what the Spirit already delivered or what the Spirit is saying now? Obviously the emphasis is on what is new.

Wagner appeals to us to be history makers, If you are a part of his new apostolic movement. A 2nd apostolic age sounds so significant. This certainly is makes one think they are important, it is an appeal to the flesh to be significant. (1 Thessalonians 2:5-7: “For neither at any time did we use flattering words”). It’s God who raises someone up and will use them how he chooses, no man or any organization can decide this. In fact where does the Bible say there will be a second apostolic age? Can you find it?

Catch the Wind is an accepted cliché. The wind is blowing strong but Wagner is mistaken; it is the winds of doctrine (Eph.4:14) that are tossing people back and forth. As each new wave blew the church a was exposed to new things unheard of before, unbiblical practices and experiences. There is no teaching to catch a wind. The Holy Spirit when He first came to birth the church came as a mighty wind but this event was never repeated nor is He spoken of in this manner.

His claim of new wineskins is the Second Apostolic Age is a misapplication of Scripture. To suggest that if you do not join his company of history makers gives the impression that if you are not with him then you are not going to have part of God’s end time plan and will not be significant (a “history maker”). Is he able to decide this?

Wagner says, Old wineskins are strongly appealing. They offer a great deal of comfort and security. Jesus said, “No one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5:39). Therefore, the majority of people will never desire to move into the new wineskins of the Second Apostolic Age.

Consequently, they will never join the ranks of history makers. Why do they resist? Moving from an old wineskin to a new wineskin seems to be too much of a risk!

Is this what Jesus meant, joining a another (2nd) apostolic age? What second apostolic age? The Bible says absolutely nothing on this. It is a risk of unprecedented proportions to have a completely new way of doing church, a church that has no basis on the apostles teaching that was already delivered. To speak like this to those who resist his new move smacks of heavy shepherding, Nicolatianism, and just plain intimidation.

At one time Wagner said, “I don’t condemn the old networks,” Wagner says. “But people are now realizing that they have spent 30 or 40 years trying to pour new wine into old wineskins. They are attempting the impossible.” (Charisma Online News Service, 2/24/04; Giant in the Faith’ Theologian Encourages Pentecostalism)

Wagner says “the whole movement based on prophets and apostles that has now emerged as the new wine skin that God is giving to the body of Christ is called the new apostolic reformation” (National School of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Wagner May 11, 2000)

As Bill Hamon one of the apostles/prophets under Wagner presents “A New Church Is Arising That the World Has Never Seen!” That would mean a church that has no connection to the one the apostles Jesus appointed to start. Something that everyone should pause and consider before they join this new apostolic age.

Wagner redefines the Bible in what Jesus meant about wineskins. Now let’s see what Jesus meant. Then He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.” (Luke 5:36-37)

First, this is a parable not a prophecy. Second, Jesus was not talking about even newer wineskins – a 2nd apostolic age. What Jesus was speaking of was accomplished almost two thousand years ago. He was telling us that he is not extending the life of the law (the Old Covenant of Moses) but making a new covenant (the old was wearing out -Heb.8:7-13 referring to Jer.31:31). This is a bad argument for the “new thing.” What Jesus spoke on the new wine skins already took place and is not to be repeated. Jesus meant that He did not come to strengthen the law (the old covenant) but to bring people into a “new covenant” of grace. This was accomplished by Jesus and it is not a repetitive act throughout history. We don’t have a new, new covenant to practice as some are teaching.

A major train of thought running through this book relates to the activity of the corporate spirit of religion. In order to refresh our memories, here is my definition of the spirit of religion: The spirit of religion is an agent of Satan assigned to prevent change and to maintain the status quo by using religious devices.

This is Wagner’s definition, but is it the Bibles? I looked this term and similar ones up, I could not find a spirit of religion or a religious spirit in the Scripture. This a new term that has been used to put people down who will not join in with the new thing.

Jesus did speak of the traditions of men which made the Pharisees religious, because it severed them from following the law of Moses accurately. Mark 7:6-8 Jesus said ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men.” They departed from what was written and substituted their own way of doing things, this is exactly what the new apostolic reformation is about. One only needs to read a portion of their writings to see this is what they are saying.

So if this change means to implement a new government under Wagner’s leadership then he needs to take a closer look at home for the spirit of religion. It is a departure from the word of God substituting new words of men.

In Wagner’s philosophy leaving the Bible behind and implementing new revelation as the course for the church is what the apostles and prophets are all about. Unhitching the church from the real apostles and prophets writings to the new apostles and prophets ways. He says this implicitly and so do his prophets

Chuck Pierce “you know when you come to a school of prophets, it’s very important. Peirce states, “This is where you look at something and even though a city is flowing in a certain way, an individual is flowing in a certain way, a church is flowing in a certain way, you know God’s redemptive plan over that, and you begin to prophesy.”

“…the first word is nabi, nabi or nabi, and that word simply means to bubble up and expound. So that when you’re talking about a prophet and much of and much of what we’ll be doing this afternoon will be linked with this and pastor Mary will discuss this further with us but that just means that within you you have a river and in the innermost being of you is rivers of living water and if you can ever get a bubbling then what’s bubbling begins to speak, needs to bubble and speak.” (Chuck Pierce and Mary Crum #0005114P, tape #5 Thursday May 11, 2000)

Prophecy never came from within man but from God who sent the word to the prophets.

Pierce at the same conference with Cindy Jacobs stated “And the second thing I wanna do is ask forgiveness from the prophetic realm. There will come a time that we will be very, very accurate in days ahead. And I wanna ask forgiveness for immaturity and a lack of accuracy that has come to bring words into the Body of Christ that have not been accurate” (National School of the prophets Chuck Pierce/Cindy Jacobs Sat. May 13, 2000)

Is this what we are to look forward to in the 2nd apostolic age a promise to be more accurate in prophecy?

Wagner says, In most of this book’s chapters, I pointed out how the corporate spirit of religion attempts to keep leaders from moving into God’s new wineskins. In this concluding chapter, let me summarize what I have said.

The last thing that the spirit of religion wants you to be is a world changer. It would like you to be so comfortable with the past that, for the rest of your life, you would prefer to keep doing the things you have been doing.

How does the spirit of religion attempt to maintain the status quo in the Church today?

The spirit of religion would love to maintain the status quo of denominational leadership, which prevents apostles from ministering in their God-given apostolic authority. It does this by casting a spell that convinces denominational leaders that final decisions affecting what the Church does must always be made by groups, not by individuals. In many cases, it has succeeded in elevating the notion of democratic church government to a level usually reserved only for essential doctrines. (underline added)

Are we asked to change the world or bring the gospel to save people and see them change? What if what we have been doing is what God called us to do and we see his hand our life, are we to abandon this to follow Wagner’s new thing?

What was the priority of the early church under the apostles? “They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, in fellowship, breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts 2:42) and “they continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine, having all things in common, and the Church increased daily.” The Apostles teaching was first and kept them in unity and increased their numbers.

Then the Bible says there will come false apostles and prophets that cause division by introducing new teachings that oppose the apostles teaching. When the apostles taught, there was no debating of whether it was correct. They were already recognized as God’s appointed leaders by Jesus to reveal God’s will for the Church. John, the last living apostle of those that Jesus chose, wrote that Jesus commended the church in Ephesus for testing “those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars” (Revelation 2:2). Are we testing them today?

What does Wagner mean preventing apostles from ministering in their God-given apostolic authority? What if a church is already following the apostle’s teachings in the Scripture, is that not enough? Jude said, “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 17). Jude does not mention any continuation of apostles in the Church. Jesus never said Jesus would continue to pick more apostles to do the same work they did in the first century. We are to listen to the Old apostles doctrine, not new ones who have new doctrine. Our apostles are in the Bible, they wrote the Bible, and tell us to keep to the writings of the Bible ONLY.

Wagner is saying that the old churches who follow the Bible are not getting on board with the new thing not only have the spirit of religion but are casting a spell, a term related to what Paul said to the Galatians because of their believing the Judaizers. To say the corporate spirit of religion prevents leaders from joining his ranks is in my assessment plain intimidation. Equating churches groups that make decisions (doing what the Bible says) as bewitched is certainly a derogatory remark. His solution is that individuals must make the decision, not a board. But Wagner neglects is that his apostolic government has a board, his decisions are made with many not by one individual. He also overlooks that the Bible always has a plurality of elder’s, not single leadership like the church of Rome. The first decision of the church was made by a council, by a group elders and apostles in Acts 15.

His group of self appointed apostles can gather together and decide they are local or international apostles and prophets, announcing themselves to the church as the new leadership and we are supposed to accept them because they say so?

In 3 John 9, John the Apostle names Diotrephes: “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. He would not accept the teaching of the apostles. He as an individual wanted to be recognized and spoke against them, bringing division in the church.

Thirty years of attempting to pour the new wine of the power of the Holy Spirit and of theological orthodoxy into decaying old wineskins of denominational structures has now been seen as a well-intentioned but fruitless effort. The spirit of religion would like reform-minded leaders to do the same for another 30 years, rather than take the bold step of moving and establishing separate apostolic networks. (Wagner/2nd Apostolic Age p. 3 of chapter 11)

Seems as if Wagner is getting a bit teed off on the non-acceptance of his apostolic takeover. His take is that denominations are bad so he wants to replace it with an apostolic denomination (which he calls a government) that will rule over all denominations. This is a repeat of what the Catholic church did, except he wants this done with evangelicals, Pentecostals, fundamentalists etc.

In the past, family heritage has been one of the strongest factors in determining a believer’s church affiliation. Today, many church leaders are perceiving that affiliating with churches of other denominations in a given city can produce more effective ministry than restricting their contacts to those with their same heritage. The spirit of religion tries to discredit this change by convincing denominational power brokers that they should preserve the traditions of the elders at all costs.

Are those who have the old status quo the traditions of the elders now accepted if they work with other churches? Now he is saying denominations working together is an advantage. Which is it?

Are denominations that follow the Bible to be considered equal to the tradition of the elders? Certainly there is merit in that those denominations that have no intention in following the word and need reform but Wagner is generalizing the many. Unless those who depart from Scripture are teaching the doctrines of men as if from God, or false teaching this has no correlation. In fact it is his group of prophets and apostles that teaches new revelation as if it is equal to Scripture, which replaces the true revelation thus being guilty of this very thing.

Church leaders in the Second Apostolic Age are now looking beyond enlarging their congregations, although this remains important, to penetrating all levels of society with the values and principles of the kingdom of God. The spirit of religion attempts to keep this vision bottled up because it knows that if it is applied, Satan will end up with much less control of society and finances than he has now.

Seems as if Wagner is saying churches that do not go along with his new apostolic movement are aware of what they are doing and are demonized, not a very nice thing to conclude. Is this our mandate to go into society with kingdom principles? Are we to stop Satan’s influence in society or in people by giving the gospel. His view is a position typical of dominionism. That we go into the work places, the schools, the arts, the music etc. and influence them with Christian ways. Certainly we are to be salt and light but Wagner is proposing a social, civil taking back.

The spirit of religion is strongly attempting to create a Christian antiwar movement, persuading believers that if they do spiritual warfare and attempt to confront the devil and his principalities and powers, they have a good chance of becoming casualties. Christian pacifists make the spirit of religion happy.

Are their new spiritual warfare concepts superior to God answering the prayer of a righteous man? I do not see any validity to this argument, again it is putting down many who have worked hard on the mission field and evangelizing other nations. What many are saying is that they are doing is not biblical spiritual warfare but teach a Gnostic pagan view that does absolutely nothing in reality but puffs up peoples minds, convincing them that they have become a powerful force chasing the devil away with his tail between his legs.

What does Wagner believe in spiritual warfare?

A letter from C. Peter Wagner Unlocking the Supply
In that chapter, Chuck (Pierce) speaks of the keys of the kingdom and writes, “God is saying to us in this hour that He is ready to give us keys. These keys will unlock the supply we need to advance His covenant purposes” (p. 160). He says that in order to do this we must identify the “illegal domination of demonic structures from region to region” (p. 161), and then recognize that “apostolic authority must be established in a field if we are to reap the harvest in that field” (p. 162).

Apostles also have authority over the demonic rulers of a region. They have the ability to demonstrate supernatural power that draws a whole region to our life-giving God” (p. 164). From this I think that we can conclude that if full-stage spiritual warfare is to be done in a region, the generals of that warfare must be apostles.”

Wagner’s non biblical but innovative ideas such as praying on location for a community, region, or nation is seen as more powerful than praying at home. That one must bind these so called strong men and territorial princes to have any affect in our praying.

“Spying out the land is essential when warring for a city… Christians should walk or drive every major freeway, avenue, and road of their cities, praying and coming against demonic strongholds over every neighborhood…” (Engaging the Enemy: How to Fight and Defeat Territorial Spirits – C. Peter Wagner, Ventura,CA; Regal , p. 98)

Wagner labels this “occult-level spiritual warfare.” Spiritual mapping is a necessary strategy to “map out” the demons’ geographical activity with the help of individuals who, according to Wagner, have “gifts of prophetic espionage” or a spiritual “hunting instinct to track down the enemy’s manipulations.” Wagner explains that through the gift of prophecy and the gift of the discernment of spirits, “we can know what has and what has not been bound in heaven” (Wagner, Powers, p.155.

Despite the fact that research shows that traditional theological education does not necessarily produce competent church leaders, the spirit of religion persists in trying to make seminary and Bible school training a prerequisite for ministerial ordination.

Should not one pursue education in good schools? I agree that a wrong school can ruin ones faith and that God’s calling does not depend on ones education but should we have less education? Was not Paul educated? In fact, almost all the apostles, though they were mostly fisherman were far more educated in the Scripture than most are today. Does not Wagner have a Leadership Institute? Is this not like a school. The difference is that his school teaches all the new revelatory ways that are not found in Scripture of doing church for the 21st century apostolic church. What is he talking about? He is putting down the old and replacing it with His new, thus implementing a paradigm shift.

The unity of the Body of Christ is very important for the fulfillment of God’s purposes on Earth. It is no secret that differences in doctrine have contributed to a great deal of division. Doctrine, however, is becoming less divisive in the Second Apostolic Age, and the spirit of religion is trying to thwart this trend. (Wagner, 2nd Apostolic Age p. 4 chapter 11)

Wrong doctrine does harm and bring division and some right doctrine brings health buy its division. Real doctrine divides, Jesus gave true doctrine next to the Pharisees invention of laws and it divided. Truth divides, we are told to divide from those who do not hold to the apostles teachings (Rom.16:17). Does Wagner and his associates care for upholding the former apostles teachings or their new agenda- the New Order of the Latter Rain? Doctrine divides and brings harm when it is not the truth. Why does doctrine become less divisive in the Second Apostolic Age? They seem to be more about uniting in a human effort of strength to influence the world than maintaining the unity of the faith that was delivered to us (the saints) once for all. Doctrine we are told is necessary “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16). 2 John 1:9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.”1 Tim 5:17 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”

Renewal of the Mind

Wagner’s remedy- The remedy for being under the spell of the spirit of religion in every one of the above scenarios is a new way of thinking. In chapter 1, I explained that the Hebrew word belaw characterizes the tactics of the corporate spirit of religion. This word means to wear out the victim in a mental sense. How do we defeat the enemy in this arena? We become transformed by the renewing of our minds as we are told to do in Romans 12:2. To move ahead, then, we need a paradigm shift.

This is not only the remedy for the spirit of religion but for every believer who is saved. However, Wagner’s renewing of the mind is to accept his new apostolic reforms, get on board but don’t check them by the Scripture or you may have a conflict and then you are labeled as the corporate spirit of religion (proof of this is in all the statements made by him and others under him)

Romans 12:2: states we are transformed by “the renewing of our mind.” This is done through the Word of God and by the power of the Spirit. This means the process to change us is not subjective but primarily objective, based on knowledge from the word and living it out. You can’t know God and His ways outside the Bible.

Rom 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

So how does our mind get renewed? Jesus prayed in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.” He repeated himself many times that we should know. Twice Jesus specifically said, “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28 also 8:21) John 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” Hebrews (4:12) states the “Word is living and powerful and Jesus said if “… continue in my word and you will know the truth and the Truth will set you free.” “Your word is truth” (John 17:17) “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 1 Timothy 4:6 Paul writes for us to be “nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.” To “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine,” We are to be “Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught” (Titus 1:9). Paul continually asserted this: “That you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3).

Many other Scriptures can be used, yet Jack Deere who is onboard with Peter Wagner states about finding what the apostles did in their ministry “You know I’m gonna look up every reference to teaching in the Bible. so I just punched it in my computer concordance, looked up every single reference ‘taught, teacher, teaching,’ every single reference in the New Testament and its astounding. Did you know not one time, not one time does it say that Jesus taught the Bible?.. isn’t that interesting not one time does it ever say that. It says He taught about the kingdom, taught about God, preached the Gospel of the kingdom, and the Good news. Not one time does it ever say He taught the Bible … I looked up all the references with the apostles and did you know that with only one possible exception, it never says the Apostles taught the Bible?…Here’s the last verse in the book of Acts, verse 31. Here’s how it ends with what Paul’s doing. V.31 “boldly and without hindrance he preached” not the Bible, the kingdom of God. And he taught, not the Bible, but taught about the Lord Jesus.” (National School Of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office May 11, 2000 11:30 AM tape #3)

Deere could not find that Jesus or the apostles taught the Bible!

Gal. 6:6 “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”

Titus 1:9 “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”

Jack Deere you contradict! And the words we have written is what we are to teach today. You look it up and wee what you find.

Here is what the last verse of Acts actually says Acts 28:31 “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”

If you don’t think that Paul taught the Old Testament and what pertains to the Messiah then you have not read your Bible well.

The reformation brought the word of God to everyday people; it affected the common people, the laity. Without a reformation that goes back to the word of Scripture people will continue to try and catch the wind.

Peter Wagner and those under him promote his innovated methods; a rhema word that has precedence over the logos word. “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)

Paul admonishes in 1 Corinthians 4:6 “do not go beyond what is written” Proverbs 30:6 tells us, “Do not add to his words lest you be rebuked and found a liar.”

Jonathan Edward’s wrote of the Bible “The devil has ever shown a mortal spite and hatred towards that holy book, the Bible: he has done all in his power to extinguish that light and to draw men off from it: He knows it to be that light by which the kingdom of darkness is to be overthrown…. He is enraged against the Bible and hates every word in it: And we may be sure that he never will attempt to raise persons’ esteem of it or affection to it.” (Works of Jonathan Edward’s, Vol. 2, p.260)

Since when does the church need a paradigm shift that will take us away from what the bible says to hold to. The paradigm shift was popularized by Wagner’s good friend John Wimber. It is a new age term to mean a new way of looking and doing things. Wagner says that he was told “you are being called to reshape the face of Christianity” (National School of The Prophets, Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Wagner May 11, 2000 )

This whole movement is a challenge to Biblical based ministry and (status quo as stated) are convincing people by the old shepherding methods to accept a paradigm shift to the new apostles (ala Wagner) and prophets to be the government of the church; which he now calls the 2nd apostolic age.

Wagner says, “I myself, for example, would rather not have people call me a Charismatic, I do not consider myself a Charismatic, I am simply an Evangelical Congregationalist who is open to the Holy Spirit working through me and my church in any way He chooses ”(C. (Peter Wagner, cited in Charismatic Chaos – Part 5, Does God do Miracles Today? 1991, by John F. MacArthur, Jr.)

The fact is Wagner and almost all his associates under him are teaching Latter Rain doctrines. They instead call it 3rd wave so it is not recognized. They can call it what they want, it does not change what they are.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=peter+wagner&emb=0&aq=f#q=peter%20wagner&emb=0&aq=f&start=10

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Todd Bentley: The Culmination of the False Charismatic Revival
The Charismatic world has been full of the false from its inception. Being a Classical Pentecostal for fifty-six years has given me the privilege and heartache of watching their development. While no great movement of God goes without attacks from within and without, the Pentecostal revival that started in 1906 has touched tens of millions around the world. The Charismatic deception was planned by the enemy, Lucifer, to infiltrate and destroy the Pentecostal churches. It has almost totally accomplished that for which it was intended. It is an unquestionable fact that good, undiscerning, born-again believers have been unwittingly involved.
Three things that were a part of its inception were based on utterly false premises. Doctrines, the established heart of fundamental truth, was ignored and even belittled. It didn’t matter if you were Catholic in doctrine, even Jesus Only, Mormon, or held any other theological position. Every doctrinal idea was accepted as being equal. Bible doctrine was out, but the gifts of a spirit were central. Kathryn Kuhlman was a star to them and embodied the heart of the movement. When the whole Word of God is not supreme, the Holy Spirit is not welcome.

Speaking in an ecstatic tongue or utterance was central stage. This presumed gift was at the heart of the movement and quickly became the door that everyone had to enter. The very idea of ecstatic speech was reduced to a gibberish trick. People were helped along the way by being told to just start forming sounds and they would turn into the gift. “Repeat after me” was a totally acceptable teaching tool. The utterance quickly developed into chants that the crowds did in concert. I literally walked out of such events with an eerie feeling of evil in the air. Please understand that I believe in the real nine gifts of the Holy Ghost, but I do not tolerate the false.

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The third false foundation of this movement was an utter rejection of a separated life. Many of the main movers and shakers hated the holiness heart of the Pentecostal churches. The great truth of sanctification and godly separation from the worldly life has been the rock solid roots of the Pentecostal world. The Holy Ghost will not dwell or manifest His glory in an unclean temple. All of this purity and devotion to Biblical standards was purposely rejected, downplayed, or downright attacked as the situation allowed. Today, the most absurd and godless lifestyle is championed and acceptable throughout the Charismatic world. Look at Todd Bentley, the present star (Spring 2008), with his tattoos and the rings in his face, along with an entire abuse of decency to see how far the purity of life has denigrated.

Those three main characteristics have been allowed and promoted until we now have this ultimate trickster, who claims himself a prophet of God. Todd Bentley is so absurd that the only way he could be accepted is by the thirty (30) plus years of conditioning. He is grotesque and diabolical. His departure from even basic truth and cultural norms leaves the wise despairing at such insanity.

Todd Bentley


Can you imagine a prophet of the true Jehovah God who is almost totally covered in tattoos which his “god” told him to get? He has rings in his ears and on his chin. As he prays for people, his main words are, “Bam, Bam, Bam.” The results are ecstatic, bodily motions that range from sexual gyrating to insane stupors. This spirit does not make you wise; it makes you unwise.

There is only one thing that ties this false prophet to the kingdom of God. He represents every false doctrine, emotion, and action that I have documented in the false invasion of the Charismatic world. Some of his actions go back before the Charismatic period when it was all called Pentecostal. (Please do not confuse this with Classical Pentecostals.) Mr. Bentley is a kind of culmination of every false doctrine or idea that has plagued the Pentecostal people and their churches.

When Pentecostal churches — Church of God, Pentecostal Holiness, and the Assemblies of God, etc. — were solidly rooted in Holy Scripture, and men like Todd Bentley and the persons he is emanating came along, they were almost totally rejected and exposed. They were usually reduced to a small crowd or totally removed from the organization. That day has changed as the Charismatic world has influenced the formerly great Pentecostal organizations.

We will try to look at key persons and the doctrines they reflected that are now manifest in Todd Bentley. I will not go all the way back to Azusa Street in 1906 because I am not a historian and would need hours of research to do justice to this argument. Let’s start with William Branham, one of the biggest names connected with deception and error. His meetings were attended with great signs and wonders, which he attributed to his angel who gave him his power. He was a Jesus Only proponent that called the trinitarian truth a doctrine of the devil. Todd Bentley is apparently claiming that the same angel, who accompanied William Branham, helps him and performs miracles with him.

The name Todd has given this female angel is Emma. First, there are no female angels in Holy Scripture. Angels were created before men and women, and the female gender has no place in the angelic world. The fact that women are helpmates for man is plainly stated in the Holy Bible. The name Emma is associated with many dark occultic movements and presents its own false realm. A little research will take you into a world of much confusion connected to her name. She certainly has no kinship to the work of Christ and His kingdom. Emma, if she even exists, is a fallen angel or a nephilim spirit.

Evangelist A. A. Allen, who died in the 1950s, also has a place in Todd’s theology. I watched a short segment of Mr. Bentley, where a woman was standing before him showing him the oil in the palms of her hands. He clearly accepted this manifestation as coming from the presence of the anointing in the meeting. Rev. Allen was fairly big during the forties and fifties, but slowly fell into disrepute. He was the first false prophet that I remember hearing about when I was converted to Christ as a young teenager.

While the acceptance of Rev. Allen was very marginal, I do remember some sincere saints in my home church that became quite upset when I plainly stood out against the false signs he represented. I was too young to even open my mouth, but I confess that I had not learned the same. To see Todd Bentley embracing this heresy of sixty to seventy years ago is prophetic of the coming judgment of such departure from Scripture. Satan never gets a free hand from the Creator of this universe and His infallible Word. Truth will triumph.

Paul & Jan Crouch are the two most effective of all false prophets and false prophetesses of this generation. They are not far ahead of Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, and Benny Hinn; but win the prize by the extent of their influence. Gold dust that is claimed by Paul & Jan Crouch is also claimed by Todd Bentley. I personally watched and listened to a video in which Paul explained to Benny Hinn the source of the gold falling on his garments and that of Benny Hinn. Paul claimed that the doorway into the Golden City of New Jerusalem or some part of Heaven had been left ajar. The dust had fallen out of the door and floated down on these two men. Until my Father removes the second heavens between heaven and earth, that’s a long way for gold dust to fall (a few million light years).

Benny Hinn is going to need to upgrade his techniques because Todd Bentley is stealing them. The demonstrations of Mr. Bentley are very similar to Benny Hinn. They both are ready to send fire on people, which they claim is an anointing of God.

Above all of the false prophets, there is none that has gone so far from truth as Rick Joyner. He claims that he goes to Heaven and talks with Apostle Paul. He is best described as a strange astronomical traveler. When Rick met the Apostle Paul on his (apparent) first trip, he started telling the apostle what a delight it was to meet and see him. The great apostle supposedly rebuked Rick Joyner to tell him it was his pleasure, not Rick Joyner’s.

Todd Bentley cannot allow any one of the past greats in the false realm to be more famous than him. Read carefully as he really tells a fantasy tale about one of his trips into the same astronomical realm,

“…. I actually saw the Apostle Paul come walking toward me onto the bridge. … He was short, not more than 5’1” or 5’2”. He was bald except for a little crown of hair that came around his head. Looking very Jewish with a short, trimmed, white beard, my first thought was of a monk in a monastery! He actually had jolly cheeks and I thought: Paul you’ve got a little weight on you! I mean he wasn’t fat but he looked a little pudgy! He sat next to me and he took his hand and placed it across my chest not saying anything. But I felt like I was receiving an apostolic blessing from a father. While he touched my chest, Abraham and David appeared out of the cloud of witnesses. Although they were very close (and yet somehow at a distance), they weren’t the main focus. They were simply there as witnesses to an encounter. Next, Paul spoke to me without words spirit to spirit. I never heard one word but I had instant knowledge of what he was saying. He said that David and Abraham are true fathers — ‘These are the apostolic fathers’— and I thought to myself: Why Abraham and David? He answered me by saying that there would be no gospel without Abraham.”

“As I just stated, Paul told me that essentially there would be no gospel and there would be no Israel without Abraham. He said too, that there would be no gospel without David because there would be no divine Son of David in order for the kingdom and His throne to be built upon the throne of David.”

“Next, I was at Paul’s house and he said to eat the Book of Titus! What’s more, several days later I was taken back into heaven to Paul’s house! But this time I didn’t go inside. I stayed outside where I saw a ladder in his back yard like the one described in Genesis 28, Jacob’s ladder. [I’ve come to understand that there are ladders like that in heaven in order to ascend and descend into different realms because heaven has places, geographical places. For example, the first heaven is where we live on the earth; the second heaven is the invisible realm of Ephesians 6:12; and the third heaven where I was with Paul, it’s the Paradise of God.] So I jumped onto the ladder and began to climb up into another realm. I saw around me that it was all clouds so I began to pull those clouds back. As I did, a hole opened up in the heavens. Immediately then, out of heaven, flowed the color green, not just a light; it was like a green liquid and it was pouring onto my eyes! When I asked God about this, He said, ‘You are coming into the throne room; you are beneath the sea of glass; there is a rainbow around the throne. It’s not just above the throne; it’s a circle around the throne, a rainbow, emerald, green in color.’” (Excerpted from http://www.patholliday.com website.)

If this does not show the insanity of this man, I am helpless to teach you the truth.

We could continue to show a connection to the Kansas City Prophets, Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, or Ruth Heflin. Todd Bentley is a culmination of an endless list of false teachers and prophets/prophetesses. Kathryn Kuhlman started an ecumenical movement, but at least stayed in the broad context of the Judeo-Christian faith. The final end of all of this abuse of truth and the Pentecostal people is to add the occult realm to the mix. Todd Bentley is mixing the entire realm of the underworld with his version of revival.

It’s Time For The Father to Act

I personally believe that the end of what we call the Charismatic movement is at hand. There certainly will follow echoes of all that is happening, but the Father has never allowed the devil to have the last word. The devil and his servants will be put in their proper place. At every point of history from Genesis to Revelation, our Heavenly Father has appeared to put it all in perspective. In the Book of Revelation the great God saw this day coming and announced His plan, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:9-10).

Please notice that this appears to happen right before the Rapture. The religious facade will be accountable to truth. The Remnant Saints, who refuse to bow or bend, will be acknowledged by this unholy mixture. No one that I have ever met can hate you quite like this Charismatic crowd. Their love is giddy sweet when they woo you and as bitter as hell when you reject them. A large number of good saints have testified of the hate and rejection they received when they refused to submit to this error. This is why the Bible-believing saints will be the great company that error will be required to face and to whom they will be required to confess their departure from truth.

The Latter Rain Will Fall

The Book of Joel and the Book of Acts give us the absolute promise that the false revival and noise of the current closing moments of the Charismatic deception is not the end. Here are Peter’s anointed words of what is yet to occur, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke” (Acts 2:17-19).

My friends, rebuild your altar. Get ready for the Holy Spirit to give the final answer to the foolishness of men. His visitation will be sweet but powerful. It will be mighty but orderly. It will be full of emotion but divine. Best of all, He will come for His saints in the midst of His visitation.

http://www.pawcreek.org/articles_pcm/end_times/todd_bentley.htm

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The New Apostolic Reformation  by Orrel Steinkamp, D. Min

A Second Pentecost?

C. Peter Wagner is attempting to will into existence what he calls a “New Apostolic Reformation”. He tells us in a book he has edited called “The New Apostolic Churches” of the struggle he had with naming his new reformation.

“I needed a name … For a couple of years I experimented with ‘Post denominationalism’. The name I have settled on for the movement is the New Apostolic Reformation.” (1)

Donald Miller a colleague of Wagner calls this movement “The New Paradigm Churches”. (2) This is advertised as a reformation greater in scale than the reformation of the 1500’s.

It is suggested that this “new reformation” is something entirely new. Wagner outlines his article with sections such as “new name”, “new authority structure”, “new ministry focus”, “new worship style”, “new prayer forms” etc. The centrepiece of this new apostolic reformation is the launching of new apostles and prophets. The restoration of modern day apostles and prophets is promoted in the book “The Gift of Apostle” by David Cannistraci. This book was offered to those attending a conference organized by Wagner called “Churches in the New Apostolic Paradigm”. Among the list of topics and presenters for the conference was Bill Hamon. (Can we really refer to the Bill Hamon’s teaching as new?) Bishop Hamon has been promoting restoration and manifest sons of God teaching for decades. Can it be argued that this “New reformation” is something that God has just recently dropped new from heaven like the baby Superman from Krypton? I suggest that there is nothing new here at all and for anyone willing to do the study they will find it a mere cutting edge version of something at least 100 years old. G. Raymond Carlson, former General Superintendent of the AOG [USA], had this to say regarding the new apostles and prophets:

“I saw it in the New Order of the Latter Rain in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Before that, it made its presence felt in the early days of the century among early Pentecostals.” (3)

The only thing new about this movement seems to be the new personalities who are promoting it and their creative marketing techniques. It is interesting that those promoting this end of the age global revival visualise and allegorise it as a “Mighty River”. Do the “River Boat Captains” know the direction the current river is flowing and do the gleeful riverboat passengers know where “the river” originated? Do they know that this river has been flowing for many years? Do they know the original channel that still determines where the river will eventually flow? We all know that the source and the course of a river determines its direction no matter how many tributaries may enter into it along the way. So it is with what is currently called the “River of Revival”. Provided people think logically, the underlying core paradigm will eventually play out according to the original vision much like the rules of chess determine what is a valid move and what is not.

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G. Raymond Carlson was right. This much-publicised new paradigm can be traced to the Latter Rain movement of the 40’s and early 50’s. Even though the Latter Rain of the 50’s faltered and fell into disrepute with the death of William Branham and the repudiation by the Assemblies of God it was kept alive by certain survivors and reintroduced in a veiled manner into the Charismatic Renewal of the 60’s and 70’s. Few people have realised just how influential the Latter Rain movement was and how effectively Latter Rain concepts were introduced into the Charismatic Renewal. Ern Baxter who was instrumental in the Shepherding Movement, worked with William Branham during the 50’s Latter Rain. George Warnock, who wrote the only systematic teaching from the Latter Rain (The Feast of Tabernacles), was Ern Baxter’s personal secretary. In the midst of the Charismatic Renewal I remember well the teaching of the fivefold ministry and at that time assumed it was a new revelation to the church not knowing it had been imported directly from the Latter Rain. But is the mid-century Latter-Rain the headwaters of the current River of revival? Not really. Rather than the headwaters it is a major tributary. We must travel further upstream to find the actual source. Dr Raymond Carlson again is correct in asserting that some of the early Pentecostal pioneers of the turn of the century also were involved. Before we stop with the early Pentecostals, we must go back just a little further and find the headwaters in the Holiness movement of the late 1800’s.

The Holiness Movement

Holiness enthusiasts of the late nineteenth century searched the scriptures for reference to the revival they were experiencing. One popular scripture was Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel shall be preached in all the world… and then the end shall come”. Holiness teaching served as a prelude to missions and missions a prelude to the second coming.

They identified their holiness experience as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the enablement to take the gospel to every nation and then Jesus could return. Holiness preachers searched the scriptures for this worldwide revival and interestingly enough the best they could find was a teaching they called the “Latter Rain”. This Latter Rain allegory was pieced together from scripture references of the early and latter rains of the growing season. (Deuteronomy 11:10-21 and James 5:7-8). These rainfall patterns metaphorically became a sort of lens though which to view all of church history. The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost was seen as the early rain in which the church was planted and the end of age revival was the latter rain, a divine preparation of a last days harvest and the signal of the soon return of Jesus. Wesley Myland (1858-1943) who began his career as a holiness preacher was the first to put in writing the Latter Rain scheme, which he titled “The Latter Rain Covenant”. (4) He is also credited with writing the first Pentecostal hymn “The Latter Rain”. The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements also refers to his book, “The Latter Rain Covenant” as the first definitive Pentecostal theology.

Latter Rain And The Early Pentecostals

It was Charles Parham, a Methodist holiness preacher who broke with traditional holiness teaching and linked the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with a latter-day Pentecost. His new discovery was that tongues was both a sign of this Spirit baptism and also the signal of the end of the age.

The early Pentecostal pioneers initially accepted this Latter Rain motif. Spirit baptism was an end time repeat of the first Pentecost. Tongues were seen as an eschatological sign signifying that a second and final Pentecost was taking place, bringing the church into a new and final dispensation. This second Pentecost would bring a final world revival in which the nations would have one last opportunity to hear the gospel and then the end would come. Tongues were at first perceived as actual missionary languages to enable the gospel to be quickly preached throughout the whole earth. Indeed many at that time went to China assuming they had been given a Chinese tongue to announce the gospel. Most returned disillusioned. The term “Latter Rain” was used freely by the early Pentecostal pioneers as well as the term “apostolic”. The early Pentecostals were convinced that not only would there be a Latter Rain global revival but the last days’ church would be restored to the apostolic pattern. Joined to the Latter Rain teaching was a complementary truth called restoration.

Restoring The Apostolic Church

The basic principle of restoration teaching is that there is a fundamental discontinuity, historical and spiritual, between the church today and the New Testament church. In the restoration agenda, God will end the church as He began it. Events, however, caused the early Pentecostals to dispense with restorationism and the Latter Rain motif. In 1914 and later the founding fathers of the AOG turned their back on Latter Rain Apostolic Restoration thinking and espoused the current premillennial eschatology. The Latter Rain motif then sat more or less dormant for decades until 1948. In Canada the Latter Rain paradigm erupted again. Impartation of spiritual gifts by the laying on of hands was instituted as well as travelling prophets giving personal prophecy.

This time there was added the restoration of the apostolic office gifts of apostles and prophets. Indeed to restore the apostolic church without restored apostles and prophets would be a limited restoration of the apostolic church.

Restored Apostles And Prophets

To Latter Rain teachers it seemed obvious that if there was to be a repeated apostolic Pentecost then apostles and prophets must be restored as well. These teachers then devised a historical scheme of restoration. Church history was understood as a succession of recoveries of lost or neglected truths. Luther recovered justification by faith, Baptists believers’ baptism, Wesley holiness, A.B. Simpson healing and the early Pentecostal pioneers the gifts of the Spirit. The recovery process was now extended further. The end time body of Christ must go on to maturity and restore the apostles and prophets and these restored ministries must lead the church to a new and final dimension of power and authority not only bringing in the final harvest but establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Kingdom Now Teaching

Now we are introduced to another major feature of the current move namely Kingdom Now Dominionism. Previously Latter Rain teachers saw a second and repeated Pentecost as a final harvest of souls before Christ could come back. Now there is a major addition to the Latter Rain/Restoration concept. The restored apostles and prophets will lead a new and reconstituted body of Christ in conquering the kingdoms of this world and establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

This dominion mentality is conceived as a gigantic end-time revival that will sweep the whole earth in its wake. Some even refer to a billion souls being swept in to the kingdom. An elite company of overcomers from out of the larger church will subdue all things and will be so endued with supernatural power that the first church apostles will be envious of the latter day apostles.

According to his view, summarised from the statements made by a number of its exponents, “the church isn’t going sit and take it any more. The church isn’t going to wait to be helicoptered out of the world in some rapture rescue plan. The church will stay right here and by its spiritual authority even defeat the principalities and powers in the heavenlies, dragging them to earth and putting them under their heel”. Paul Cain, a survivor of the Latter Rain (1950) is currently marketing a vision of an elite company of overcoming spiritual warriors called “Joel’s army”. This end-time spiritual army unit will be an invincible band, which leads the church in dominion on the earth. A purging of the wider church of those who will not follow the new order is necessary to constitute a unified global church.

Teachers of the new order tell us that all this has been prophesied. This is an end-time fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles. These teachers assert that Passover found fulfilment in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled in the outpouring of Spirit, and now the only remaining feast is that of Tabernacles to be fulfilled in the last days’ church. It is a second Pentecost with restored apostles and prophets. This end time spiritual army will put all God’s enemies under its feet, yes even the last enemy, death itself. This introduces us to another added teaching of the Latter Rain (1950).

The Manifested Sons Of God

The body of Christ coming to spiritual maturity will be able to defeat death itself. This teaching became known as the “Manifest Sons of God”. Taking childish cues from Paul’s teaching in Romans eight and misunderstanding them, they suggested that a company of overcoming believers “the sons of God” will be manifested upon the earth with never dying spiritual bodies before the return of Christ. This would have to be the ultimate in dominion teaching.

Bishop Earl Paulk has stated the Manifest Sons teaching very clearly without ever using that unpopular term. Listen to his unmistakable teaching:

“Jesus Christ, as the first-fruit of the Kingdom, began the work of conquering death on an individual basis, but we, as His church, will be the ones to complete the task. Jesus said (Matthew 28:18), “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” and the church today has that same power. Death will not be conquered by Jesus returning to earth. It will be conquered when the church stands up boldly and says, “We have dominion over the earth”. (5)

Obviously the church has not yet matured to the place of defeating death. Bishop Paulk counsels Christians not to accept death unless they get a specific revelation from God otherwise. There is a companion truth that often accompanies the Manifested Sons teaching namely the birth in the church of a corporate Christ. This corporate Christ is said to be a fusing together of the spiritual Christ within His many membered body upon the earth. The end-time glorious church is supposed to give birth to this corporate Christ. Though it is not always stated this view assumes and some teach (not all) that the literal physical resurrected Jesus will not need to return as such. Rather His second coming will happen when He is spiritually incarnated into his church, which will then be able to conquer death itself. This teaching has been expressed in various ways.

“Jesus was God in the flesh. We must be as He was in the world, even greater in volume and influence.” (6)

“The completion of the incarnation of God in the world must be in His church… Jesus Christ is the firstfruits, but without the ongoing harvest, the incarnation will never be complete.” (7)

“The living Word of God, Jesus Christ, was conceived in the womb of a virgin. The Word became flesh in the God-Man Jesus Christ (John 1:1). Likewise, the Word of God must be made flesh in the Church in order for us to bear witness to the Kingdom which God has called us to demonstrate.” (8)

“We are on earth as extensions of God to finish the work He began. We are the essence of God, His on-going incarnation in the world.” (9)

This is saying far more than the orthodox view that Christ indwells His church by the Holy Spirit. The question arises: how can Jesus, with his current resurrected body in heaven, be incarnated into the church that is still upon the earth? Some have seen this problem and solve it by adjusting their Christology.

“He [Jesus] entered a higher realm of restoration and love by becoming an indwelling Spirit.” (10)

We must oppose this view. Jesus has not become the Holy Spirit. It is rather the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer. The resurrected Jesus is at the Father’s right hand and in His glorified resurrected body He will return bodily to the earth. Obviously an indwelling spirit would not need to return from heaven. It is on this basis that some Dominion teachers assert that Jesus can be an ongoing incarnation of God in His body (church) upon the earth. Consequently scriptures pertaining to Christ’s ruling on earth are often seen as referring to the church rather than to Jesus. The church is viewed as a kind of Virgin Mary who must give birth to Jesus the indwelling spirit.

Francis Frangipane teaches a similar message:

“When the Spirit of Christ comes into the physical world, He must enter through a physical body. When Christ first entered our world as a child, it was Mary whom God chose to give Christ birth. Mary’s life symbolised the qualities the church must possess to walk in the fullness of Christ. God is preparing us as He did Mary to give birth to the ministry of His Son. Even now, in the spiritual womb of the virgin church, the Holy purpose of Christ is growing, awaiting maturity, ready to be born in the power and timing of God. The virgin church is in labour and in pain to give birth (Rev. 12:5) even now hell trembles and the heavens watch in awe for I say to you, once again, the virgin is with child.” (11)

Latter-Rain teachers have long used Revelation 12, teaching that the woman in this passage is the church and the “Man child” to be born is a spiritual second coming of Christ into His corporate body. When Latter Rain Prophet Paul Cain describes, in passing, the church as the “Man Child Company” he has this teaching in mind.

Marc Dupont of the former Toronto Vineyard claims to have received a significant prophecy in which he states the following:

“This move of the Spirit in 1994 is not just a Charismatic and Pentecostal experience, concerning power and gifting. It is one thing to be clothed with power, it is another to be indwelt with the Person of God.” (12)

Old Testament scriptures are spiritualised to see this birthing as the return of the ark to the temple, that is the coming of Christ invisibly into His living temple the church. This will occur when the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled which celebrates the Lord dwelling among His people. “When this happens, no longer will it be the Head (Jesus Christ) in heaven and the body (believers) on earth – but one Perfect Man filling both heaven and earth”. (13)

This teaching of a spiritual second coming of Jesus into His body is rarely advertised. Rather the more palatable teaching of a final global revival and restored apostles and prophets is the public teaching most emphasised. How can the present Charismatic/Pentecostal church even entertain elements of this teaching that originated from such a small group that operated on the fringes of the Pentecostal movement in the early 50’s?

When the Charismatic Renewal exploded in the 60’s and 70’s certain Latter Rain remnants found a new and undiscriminating audience. Charismatics had never heard of the Latter Rain and received the new teaching as part of their new wine experience. Consequently Latter-Rain/Restorationism received a greater hearing within the Charismatic renewal than it ever did in the Classic Pentecostal tradition. Through the Charismatic Renewal, Latter Rain teachings were renamed and finally homogenised sufficiently so that today Latter Rain ideas float freely on “the river” without anyone detecting their true identity. Furthermore the Charismatic Renewal has been mainstreamed into wider evangelical circles through John Wimber and Vineyard conferences, signs and wonders teachings, etc. Indeed some of the more extreme parts of the paradigm are not put out front, nevertheless, little by little the wider church is coalescing around what, when thoroughly analysed, are Latter Rain core beliefs. Without unwarranted employment of the Latter Rain allegory there is not even a hint in scripture of an end-time global revival and second Pentecost. Not everyone in the river uniformly accepts all the parts of the paradigm. But as time goes by more and more Latter Rain tenets exert a gravitational pull that draws participants to logically espouse more and more of the paradigm.

When Peter Wagner calls for and attempts to network a world wide apostolic reformation does he espouse the whole of the Latter Rain/Restoration paradigm? I don’t really know. In fact I doubt that he does. I do know, however, that by bringing Bishop Bill Hamon to speak at his conferences, he is bringing the whole paradigm mentioned above. There must be at least openness on Wagner’s part and many others because they without qualification recommend Bill Hamon’s books with its full-blown Latter Rain and Manifested Sons’ teaching. Wagner’s “New Apostolic Reformation” is nothing more than warmedup Latter Rain teaching. G. Raymond Carlson from his vantage point of history knew that all this has its source in a second end-time Pentecost, first articulated at the turn of the century and restated and expanded in the New Order of the Latter Rain 1950 and now imported and marketed into the wider church by means of the Charismatic renewal.

When much is made of a sweeping revival that will overflow the earth in the last days with billions of converts, you should be aware that this popular idea comes not from scripture but from a view of church history that has been running now for over a century. Take away the fraudulent allegorical use of the “Latter Rain” scheme and there remains no other biblical support for this elaborate view of the end-times. Rather it was Jesus Himself who asked the question: “When the Son of Man comes will He find faith upon the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

The scripture leaves no doubt that Jesus will return bodily, first to the air then to earth and when He does, at the first stage, His “body” upon the earth (the full complement of his church) will be raptured to meet Him in the air (I Thessalonians 4:17). It is then and only then that He will change our corruptible bodies in a twinkling of an eye. It is then (at the second stage) that Jesus will rule earth in His glorified and resurrected body. It is then that the Sons of God will be manifest. Rather than sensationalising a false and unbiblical agenda, the church must occupy until He comes and His body is completed. Faithfully this gospel must be preached to every nation and then the end will come. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

The PLUMBLINE
74425 County Road 21 Renville, MN 56284
Published by Orrel Steinkamp D. Min.
Tel. 320 329 3874

Email Address: anst@tds.net

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NOTES

C. Peter Wagner, The New Apostolic Churches (Ventura CA; Regal, 1998), p. 18.
Donald E. Miller, New Paradigm Churches in the Twentieth Century (Pasadena CA: Ministry Advantage, Vol. 6, No. 4, July/Aug 1996).
G. Raymond Carlson, personal letter to Jewel Van de Mewre.
Wesley Myland, The Latter-Rain Covenant (1910).
Earl Paulk, The Proper Function of the Church (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, undated), p. 13
Earl Paulk, The Uitimate Kingdom (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986), p.121.
Earl Paulk, The Wounded Body of Christ (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers), p. 43.
Earl Paulk, Held In The Heavens (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1985), p.60.
ibid, p. 125.
Earl Paulk, Thrust In The Sickle And Reap (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986), p. 132.
Fancis Frangipane, In The Presence Of God (New Wine Press 1994), pp. 153-157.
Marc Dupont, Mantle of Praise (Alpha Magazine, 1994).
Tricia Tillin, The Source and Goal of the Second Pentecost (UK: Banner Ministries, 1994).

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