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Revival or Apostasy? by: Dave Hunt

Knowing that we are in the last of the last days, with an imminent Rapture a very real hope, our thoughts often (and indeed should) turn to the signs which Christ said would herald the nearness of His return. The signs which are most widely cited include “wars and rumours of wars…[when] nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…and …famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes…these are the beginning of sorrows” (Mt 24:6-8).

Unquestionably, these specific “sorrows” have been both prominent and accelerating since Israel again became a nation in 1948. Since that time, the intensity and frequency of these signs have increased like the birthpangs of a woman approaching her time of delivery, exactly as Christ foretold. However, the first sign Christ gave has been largely overlooked and His solemn warning neglected:

And Jesus answered and said…Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many….(Mt 24:4,5)

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many….(v11)

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (v 24) [Emphasis added.]

Concern for this prophesied deception has marked this ministry. Let us take a closer look at the religious deception Christ foretold. He issued a warning: “take heed [beware] that no man deceive you.” Its seriousness is emphasized by being thrice stated. Its nature is specified: false Christs, false prophets, and false signs and wonders. His repetition four times of the word “many” indicates a worldwide deception of multitudes.

Paul issued a similar warning: “Let no man deceive you by any means….” He explains that the spiritual deception to which Christ referred will infect the professing church. That is evident from his words “falling away,” or apostasy:

…for that day [of the Lord] shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition” (2Thes2:3).

While a true Christian cannot fall away, a false Christian can. Fall away from what? From the faith in Christ which he or she has outwardly professed without inward reality. Those few apostates who announce themselves as atheists or convert to Buddhism or Hinduism are not the concern of Christ and Paul. They are warning of a turning from the truth within the professing church. Other scriptures confirm this, as we shall see.

Paul warns us not to be deceived into thinking that the apostasy won’t come. It must. Such a warning can only mean that in the last days many will reject the biblical teaching that apostasy is inevitable. The false prophets to whom Christ refers will use their signs and wonders to support their false teaching that revival, not apostasy, is underway. Paul therefore warns not to be deceived with talk about revival: the apostasy must come or Christ will not return!

*****************************************************
* *
* “Then the LORD said to me, The prophets *
* prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, *
* neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto *
* you a false vision and divination, and a thing *
* of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” *
* (Jeremiah 14:14) *
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That fact is clarified by other scriptures. False signs and wonders will be an integral part of the apostasy. The departure from the truth will be spearheaded by apparent miracle workers, and the delusion will be made possible by a prevailing emphasis upon experience over doctrine: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2Tm4:3). Christ declares,

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mt 7:22-23).

These apostates of whom Christ speaks do not lose their salvation; they were never saved (“I never knew you”). Yet they are high-profile Christian leaders apparently performing signs and wonders in the name of Christ. Tragically, they seem to think that their ability to prophesy and to perform wonders proves that they belong to Him. The signs and wonders are so impressive that doctrine no longer matters -exactly what we see today!

Surely these of whom Christ speaks in Matthew 7 must be the same “false Christs and false prophets” to whom He refers in Matthew 24. Moreover, the signs and wonders they are able to perform are apparently so impressive that without discernment by the Holy Spirit even the very elect would be deceived by them. Obviously, something more than mere trickery is involved. These miracle workers are backed by the power of Satan, whom they unwittingly serve in the name of the Lord.

Clearly, the Bible predicts a last-days signs and wonders movement-but it will be of Satan, thus a delusion that will deceive many. After a solemn warning that in the last days “perilous times [not revival!] shall come,” Paul makes this remarkable statement:

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these [apostates] also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith (2Tm3:8).

Jannes and Jambres were the magicians in Pharaoh’s court who, through the power of Satan, duplicated (up to a point) the miracles God did through Moses and Aaron. Paul thus declares that the last days opposition to the truth will not come so much from outside the church but from those within who are reprobate conceming the faith, depraved men who corrupt the truth. And they do so by performing apparent miracles in Christ’s name but which (when more than mere trickery) are actually of Satan. In that way, they deceive and lead many astray-not out of the church, but into false doctrine and thus a false hope within the church. Satan has no more effective tactic to damn souls!

Consider the example we gave two years ago of Benny Hinn on TBN (with Paul and Jan Crouch giving full support) telling with much merriment of a man’s wig flying off when he fell “under the power” after Hinn touched his forehead. The man pulled the wig back on, a bit askew, got up and Hinn touched him again just to see himfall and the wigfly off. This occurred five times, boasted Hinn with a laugh. Was this God’s power on display, the Holy Spirit at work? Surely not! Then what was it-this power that Hinn claims to pick up at the graves of Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee Semple McPherson?

Such questions involving the whole gamut of today’s revival scene, from Toronto to Pensacola, must be seriously faced! Videos of the services show people crawling on the floor, howling like wolves, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, going through bodily contortions impossible without the aid of some spiritual power, unable to speak or even remember their names when they try to give a testimony -and worse. Many of those being baptized at Pensacola seem to lose consciousness or shake so violently that they must be carried out of the baptismal tank or they would drown. Others flail about so wildly as to require several men to handle them. Such manifestations were also found in past “revivals” among the Shakers, the Mormons and many other cults. That such things could now be accepted widely as evidence of the Holy Spirit can only testify to the depths of the delusion!

Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Contend against whom? Surely not primarily against godless enemies outside the church. The warning concerns those within: “For there are certain men crept in unawares” (v4). Crept in can only mean inside the church.

Paul confirms Jude in addressing the Ephesian elders: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). The spiritual deception of which Christ warned would be rampant within the church.

In further confirmation, Christ warned His disciples that “the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (Jn 16:2)-a most remarkable prophecy. He can’t be referring to the slaughter of Christians by the Caesars or by Mao or Stalin or Hitler, for they did not believe they were thereby serving God. Yes, when the Jews killed the early Christians they thought they were serving God; so did the Roman Catholics when they slaughtered the true Christians before and after the Reformation; and so it was when Muslims killed Christians. But none of this was the complete fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.

“Whosoever” is the key. Neither the Pharisees, the popes nor the Muslims were alone in killing Christians. Others pursued them to the death at the same time. But Christ is saying that a time is coming when whosoever (in other words, everyone) who kills Christians will think he is serving God thereby. That can only mean that a world religion to which everyone must belong is coming, a religion that will seek to exterminate true Christians in the name of God. John saw the same scene in the future:

And it was given unto him [Antichrist] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them….

And I beheld another beast…he exerciseth all the power of the first beast…and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast….

And he had power to…cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed (Rv13:7-15).

To summarize, the scriptural warnings foretell the very delusion we find in our day: 1 ) a false signs and wonders movement led by many false prophets; 2) many being deceived through these seeming miracles; 3) the rejection of the biblical teaching concerning apostasy and the insistence that we are in the midst of, or at least are building up to, the “greatest revival in the history of the church.” Such is the prevailing teaching today among charismatics and increasingly among evangelicals. The promise of revival will be part of the last-days deception, Paul warns, so beware. Instead, in the days preceding the Rapture there will be a great apostasy, a falling away from the faith. Don’t be part of it!

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* Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs *
* and wonders, ye will not believe.” (John 4:48) *
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That we must earnestly contend for the faith against those who have crept into the church implies that the battle is not so much one of faith against unbelief, but rather of true faith against false faith. And that, too, is precisely what we see today. Articles in leading medical journals cite studies showing that those who have any “religious faith” are more likely to recover from illness. Christianity Today recently ran a major article naively promoting these studies as though they were supportive of the truth.1 Instead, God has been reduced to a placebo that can come in any shape, size or color.

Multitudes of Christians imagine that faith is believing that what they are praying for will happen and that if they truly believe, they will have whatever they ask. Obviously, if things happen because one believes they will, then one does not need God. This is mind power, not the “faith in God” Christ taught (Mk 11:22). It is faith in faith, which Kenneth Hagin and his followers such as Copeland and Price teach, calling it “the law of faith,” which even non-Christians can use to get alleged miracles.2

The great tragedy is that evangelical leaders who ought to expose error commend false prophets instead. A prime example was Norman Vincent Peale. In 1984, on the Phil Donahue program, Peale said, “It’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine …I’ve been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.” Shocked, Phil Donahue responded, “But you’re a Christian minister; you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren’t you?” Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere.”3 Yet Peale, whose many heresies and occult practices were flaunted before the world and church, has been praised by evangelical leaders, from Billy Graham on down, and his books and magazines are read by millions of evangelical Christians!

The topic on everyone’s lips and mind today is revival. Christian TV and radio and bestselling books persuasively argue that we are in the midst of the greatest revival of Christianity in the history of the world. Enthusiasts point to the signs and wonders occurring in such places as the former Toronto Vineyard, the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, Benny Hinn’s church in Orlando, Florida, his huge televised crusades, etc.

It comes as a shock to many to learn that the word “revival” does not appear even once in the entire King James Bible. The hope of revival which excites so many today is not even a biblical concept. Ask yourself a few questions: Is Christ not indwelling us? Is He not in our midst each time we meet? Are we not to be filled with the Holy Spint at all times? Is not the Word of God sufficient? Why, then, run after signs and wonders as though unusual manifestations prove that God is at work, while neglecting what God has already given us? We will return to this topic in the future.

In the meantime, undertake a study to see what the Bible says. Check every source (including TBC) against Scripture! Be a Berean. TBC

Endnotes:
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1 Christianity Today (Jan 6,1997), 20-30.
2 Kenneth E. Hagin, Having Faith in Your Faith (Rhema,1980), 3-4.
3 Christian News (May 12,1997),11.

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/apostacy2.htm

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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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