In this video I refute all arguments in support of tithing (mandatory giving of 10% of monetary income), to include the prosperity preachers’ latest scam that Jesus is the High Priest receiving our tithes just as Melchizadek/Melchizedek received tithes from Abram.
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Spiritual Abuse Survey: Is YOUR church a safe place?
Take the survey from wickedshepherds.com and see!
Here is a questionnaire to determine just how healthy your church really is. To find out how well it ranks, answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:
•Does your church tightly control the flow of information within its ranks?
•Does the head of your church, along with the other “leaders”, use public shaming as a method to gain the compliance of followers?
•Does the head of your church and his “fellow elders” appear to be intolerant or consider it evil persecution when criticized or questioned?
•Are you discouraged to associate with former members, being warned that they are “evil” or “defiling”; a “danger to your spiritual welfare”?
•Is leaving your church to join another church that “is not approved by the elders” equal to leaving God?
•Do you fear being rebuked, shunned, or ignored for expressing a different opinion?
•At church, is there a sense of control, rather than support?
•Is there a relentless obsession of reminding the sheep of “who’s in authority”?
•Are you told not to ask questions as to why others have left? Are you told to accept the statements that the “elders” give you?
•Are books, tapes and CD’s, speakers, music, etc., carefully controlled to keep only the belief structure of your church before your mind?
•Is there is a relentless campaign to keep you around the activities of your church, expecting you to be at all the stated meetings, except if providentially hindered? And if you are absent, is your spirituality and dedication sometimes questioned?
•Is the concept ever so subtly present that, “when you please the “pastor”, God is pleased and when your “pastor” is not pleased with you, God is not pleased with you?
•Is there present, the breaking of even the closest family ties, to “guard” the flock?
•Is there the constant using of guilt and shame as tools of control?
•Is there present at your church the encouragement of the members to spy and report on each other, lest sin be found in the midst?
•Is there present at your church the dominant climate of fear in the group – fear of failing to keep one of the rules, and fear of being held up to public humiliation and rejection?
•At church, are the normal lines between what is private and what is public knowledge broken, and members confess the most personal, and the most minor sins, as the conscience is being surrendered to the “leadership”?
•Are many (if not all) of the results from voting at “congregational business meetings” announced as….. “it is unanimous!”?
•Is questioning condemned as “whispering, back- biting, vicious slander, gossip, nit picking, signs of a proud rebellious spirit, being disaffected and divisive?
•Are those who dissent publicly punished? Are their reputations murdered by veiled, or not so veiled “revelations” of “sins”; past and present, as confidentiality is broken for the benefit of the leaders?
•Is there a misplaced loyalty from Jesus and God onto the leadership, which is idolatry?
•Is there harsh preaching and full of condemnation for your failures and are you deliberately being kept wounded and off balance by the haranguing and condemnation from the pulpit?
•Is “Persevere or be damned” and “listen to YOUR elders; obey YOUR elders”; “submit to YOUR elders” preached over and over again?
•Is paranoia the “very air you breathe”? Paranoia of falling from grace; thinking for yourselves; breaking the many unspoken rules as well as the clearly spelled out expectations of the leader?
•Are you becoming paranoid – carefully watching your every word and even gesture, lest someone report your faults?
•Does a code of silence reign at your church? Is no one to divulge the business of the church, or the faults of the leadership?
•Do the spiritual leaders at your church seem to give you the impression that either covertly or overtly, they have the right to tell you how you should manage your own family; presuming that they know your own family better than you know yourself?
If you answered “no” to all of the above questions, your church is relatively healthy. If you answered “yes” to a quarter or more, your church is showing signs of being unhealthy. If you answered “yes” to half or more, your church is very, very unhealthy. If you answered “yes” to three-quarters or more, your church is an authoritarian cult.
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Dominionism: The New Christian Fascism? Is it ultimately that different from Islamic Fascism?
by Sandy Simpson, 6/29/07
My answer to the above is “no”. I will prove that in a moment. C. Peter Wagner, as the head “horizontal apostle” (allegedly the modern version of James) has finally admitted that the goal of his “New Apostolic Reformation” based on heretical Latter Rain teachings, is to take dominion over every aspect of human life in His creation.
Apostles and prophets the foundation of the Church and, um, I identify as James an apostle as my function as a horizontal apostle to bring together the people of the body of Christ not only can I do it, I love to do it. Yesterday I was the apostle with a group of about 15-20 prophets we met all day long, and these prophets many of whom are going to be speakers in this conference come under my guidance, coordination and leadership as an apostle. They each have apostles in their own networks but I mean they are under spiritually. But I’m the one that brings them together and when I bring them together things happen. (C. Peter Wagner, National School of the Prophets – Mobilizing the Prophetic Office, Colorado Springs, CO, May 11, 2002, Tape #1)
Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God’s creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden. It is nothing less than seeing God’s kingdom coming and His will being done here on earth as it is in heaven. (C. Peter Wagner, letter, May 31, 2007)
Islam also holds to a very similar Dominionist theology as espoused by the likes of C. Peter Wagner.
Whoever seeks other than Islam as his religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he will be with the losers … Slay the idolators (non-Muslims) wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture (the Koran) as believe not in Allah nor the last Day … Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! (Sura [9:5,29,41], paranthetical material mine)
During a mass rally in Gaza this week, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said, Islam will enter “every house” and become the dominant religion across the entire planet. Zahar was previously the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister. He spoke at a rally held for the late Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, and his comments were translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) organization. (Mahmoud al-Zahar, Lekarev Report, 6/07)
This is the “real battle” between the Shaitan and man. Although Allah … dominates every creation, as He … is the Creator, he also wants the believers to dominate earth. They can then influence people so that kufr (unbelief) has no influence over Muslims to change their beliefs. (Allah’s Governance On Earth, The Official Website of The al-Khattab Family, The Official Website of The al-Khattab Family, Unite & Conquer!!, http://www.al-buruj.com)
Iran’s radical President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared on Thursday in Malaysia that Islam will be the dominant power in the “near future”, the official state news agency reported. (Iran’s President: Islam to dominate world in “near future”, Free Republic, Iran Focus, 3/2/06)
Perhaps if Islam and false Christianity join forces they can accomplish their goal more quickly.
You might say: “Wagner is not advocating death to unbelievers as are Islamic Fascists”. At this point that is true. But doesn’t his statement “our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary” leave that door open? We will examine the ultimate state of the coming (and already present) world religion which includes the apostate “Christian” church in a moment. For instance, that the Catholics have stated the Muslims worship the same God, that Evangelicals have signed on with Catholics, that many Bible societies use the name Allah in place of YHWH in Arabic Bibles, and that the WCGIP is advocating a world religion is a well known fact. But first we have to understand that our “mandate” as believers is NOT to achieve world domination at any cost.
Job 38:33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?
This is God speaking to Job. The answer is that no one can set the ordinances of heaven or their dominion over the earth. Even Satan cannot do this. He has only been given temporary “power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Yet the new “apostles” claim they can legislate in the heavenlies.
“It is time for the apostolic leaders of nations to rise up and proclaim into the heavenlies of the nations where they have apostolic voice and authority to speak and legislate in the heavenlies.” (Tommi Femrite, Open Memorandum Addressing the Twin Towers War released on 9/12/01 by C. Peter Wagner)
“We are no longer to ask God to do what he put us here to do. Rather, it is a time to make clear declarations that will change the atmosphere of our nation.” (Marty Cassady, Open Memorandum Addressing the Twin Towers War released on 9/12/01 by C. Peter Wagner)
God has established governments to set policies and execute strategies in the visible world. He has established the church to do likewise in the invisible world. (C. Peter Wagner, Open Memorandum Addressing the Twin Towers War released on 9/14/01 by C. Peter Wagner)
We must not and cannot legislate dominion in or from the heavenlies. We wait upon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to excercise His dominon over the earth at His second coming.
Ps. 49:12-15 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish.
This is the way of those who are foolish, And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me. Selah
Our dominion will come “in the morning”. That is when the new day of the Lord has dawned starting in the Millennium (2 Pet. 1:19). For now we are to complete the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19), not take over the systems of government, businesses and social platforms of the world.
Mr. 10:42-45 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Christians, and particularly those whom God has given as overseers of the Church, are NOT to lord it over anyone, especially God’s flock. But there is a day approaching when there will arise false apostles and false prophets who will try to rule, not only the churches, but the whole world. That time has already come.
What is the end result of this Christian fascism? Ultimately it will be the same result as Islamic Fascism, Nazism and any other totalitarian structure based on religious fervor.
Mr. 13:12-13 “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
This is in reference to “Christians”. In the end times they will turn against each other, led by gangs of power-hungry heretics, and this will ultimately result in “Christian” terrorism and persecution. There is an apostate world religion coming.
Rev. 17:6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
This is the “woman” who tries to ride the beast of world governance into dominion over the planet. In “saving the planet” for God they will trample the true saints. The Holy Roman Empire trampled true believers as did the Inquisitions. Israel did this to the true prophets. There is really nothing new under the sun … only the labels. Make no mistake. This push for world dominion will succeed for a short time just as Satan’s dominion is short lived.
Re 13:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
But are the true saints overcome in the ultimate sense? No way! We are called to be overcomers in the face of persecution and death in preparation for the end times.
Re 21:7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
For the meantime the temporary authority and power will be given to the enemy and those who follow him, including the apostate global “Christian” church lead by the false apostles.
Rev. 17:7 & 13 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. … “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
If you doubt that the programs of the New Apostolic Reformation, the P.E.A.C.E. plan of Rick Warren and countless other Dominionist agendas are in league with the globalist agenda, then you need to read the NAR and Church Growth sections of my site. I need not belabor or prove that point again here. They are teaching Dominionism in direct opposition to what the Word of God says. Suffice it to say that a great apostasy is underway at this time and it will end in a strong delusion and the death of true believers.
2 Thes. 2:3-112 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
One of the lies those who follow heretics are believing today is the lie of Dominionism. This false theology gets believers to focus their attention on what God has NOT ordained. Then they are swept away in the pantheistic mysticism that has taken up residence in many churches, relying on their feelings to guide them. At that point they are already following the enemy and don’t even know it. If they would search the Scriptures daily they would know they are a tool of the enemy. But rather than repent they continue down the path of heresy, carrying out the ridiculous edicts of false apostles, the false prophecies of self-proclaimed “prophets”, and passing along the fables false teachers make up daily to tickle the ears of their followers until their consciences are branded with a hot iron and they can no longer discern truth from error. At that point they have given in to delusion. When God allowed Pharaoh many chances to repent and he hardened his heart, God finally hardened it for him. God will do the same when He ultimately sends a great delusion on those who no longer have a love of the truth. These deluded ones will end up being the same type of Fascists as their counterparts in Islam.
Re 18:24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
The promise for true believers is that even though Satan and his masquerading apostles (2 Cor. 11:12-15) will have “dominion” over the earth for a time, in the end that “dominion” will be taken away from them.
Da. 7:25-27 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. ‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’
Victory is assured those who do not try to take dominion over the earth now, but wait patiently for the Jesus Christ to take dominion over the earth in His millennial Kingdom!
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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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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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