It May Have ‘Hooks in It‘
There are times when what seems obviously, and is normally good, may have a ‘HOOK IN IT.‘ Hooks are baited to entice fish to bite! There is much in the 24/7 ‘worship & prayer’ movement, that is ‘hook baited’ to entice to partake of and participate in, seemingly good, virtuous, spiritual, activities, hook bait, to draw people in to something totally other.
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES CAN BE MADE TO CAUSE SPIRITUAL HARM!
Some definitions for deception are: a misleading falsehood, the act of deceiving, an illusory feat, a misrepresentation, a showy misrepresentation intended to conceal something unpleasant, a partially true statement intended to deceive or mislead, the act of giving a false appearance, beguilement= deceive by guile (cunning intelligence) or charm, seduce= manipulate by attraction, lure.
Discernment on the other hand means: the ability to judge well, the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure, the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well, the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In a Christian context, discernment is the ability to think biblically.
First Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “examine everything carefully; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
Biblical discernment would examine, analyze, scrutinize, look closely, and carefully at, observe intently, and consider what Scripture would have to say regarding what is being examined. We will continued to do so, examining carefully, regarding things about “Awaken The Dawn,” and ‘Stadium Enterprises’ that may normally be good, and appear as good, noble spiritual endeavours.
*>Daryl. Lou Engle brings a few hooks, ecumenism, (covered in part 1) and fasting. Fasting is not always a ‘noble spiritual endeavour. I will expound on fasting as well. In Lk. 18:11-14 Jesus gives a story’ “The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
*The ‘Latter Rain’ movement, ‘birthed’ in North Battleford Sask. in 1947 at the ‘Sharron School,’ was in an extended period of fasting, encouraging the students to reach for a goal of 40 days of fasting. The whole school and staff carried an elitism, separation, isolation attitude, as they entertained false doctrine. Their extreme fasting and attitude was one of fanaticism. So fasting, combined with other issues created a spiritual ideological ‘monster,’ plaguing the church today, a ‘HOOK’ in the charismatic movement, that has baited and caught perhaps millions of believers!
Combing For Hooks
*>Daryl here. I will address the ‘hook’ in worship, later. Things like yoga, embraced now by many ‘believers,’ is a demonic syncrestic tool, like ‘contemplative prayer, which is an integral part of much 24/7 type prayer, this being another ‘hook’ in the ‘prayer movement.
One writer observes, It is alarming that 24/7 uses monastic tradition – and to such length – as one of its primary foundations. Why?Because there is an approximate 200-year gap between the apostolic age and the monastic age and, therefore, the question must be asked: where did the monastic tradition originate if not from the apostles? And if not from the apostles – and henceforth from Jesus – then why would we follow its example?
It should also be noted that the concept of 24/7 corporate prayer and worship is not mandated in scripture. Nowhere in the New Testament did anyone set up houses of 24/7 prayer. And despite attempts to find it in Amos 9:11, the Bible really knows nothing of the reestablishment of Davidic worship among New Testament believers. Additionally, many of the prayer practices such as Contemplative Prayer, Prophetic Decrees, and spiritual mapping find no support in scripture. The fact that these are done 24/7 only compounds the problem. Doing a great deal of something wrong doesn’t cause it to be right. http://www.discernmentministries.org/Newsletters/NL2012SepOct.pdf
I want to mention some of what was said and give information concerning each of the main speakers. Here are a few statements from the very beginning: “We’re going to make some proclamations… Shofar players are going to shake the foundations of this city!…We proclaim tonight the beginning of the greatest awakening in America!… We proclaim a new Jesus movement has begun across America!” (So, we have someone declaring that the greatest awakening in America has begun. Obviously this person doesn’t know that according to several scriptures in the Bible the Church in the last days will consist of many deceptions, false teachings, false Christians and false teachers, rather than a great end time revival or awakening. True believers will be on a narrow path (Matt. 7:14) and they will have only a little strength (Rev 3:8) (http://www.biblebelievingtruthwatch.com/revival-for-today.html).
Additionally, the idea of proclamations being made shows the Word of Faith flavor of this event. Many Word of Faith beliefs can be traced back to New Thought metaphysics which teaches that the human mind through positive mental attitude and positive confession has the power to create its own reality. Well, people can positively confess a revival or great awakening all they want, but if the opposite is prophesied in God’s Word, we will not see a revival or awakening. It’s as simple as that! (http://www.biblebelievingtruthwatch.com/word-of-faith-error.html)
*>Daryl. These proclamation type prayers, speaking revival, “proclaim(ming) tonight the beginning of the greatest awakening in America!… We proclaim a new Jesus movement has begun across America,” These ‘opinionated’, lacking Biblical validation, prayers, are ‘hooks’ in the activities of this movement, and considering that worship and prayer are integral, these ‘hooks’ are huge inroads for counterfeit influences, in 24/7 ‘prayer & worship,’ including IHOP.
*These questionable approaches in ‘prayer,’ decreeing what is believed, ‘prophesying’ in prayer, etc. but not based clearly upon Scripture, believing their ‘confession’ is ‘shifting atmospheres, making a difference, when considering that much of the 24/7 prayer is based on this perception and other erroneous ‘prayer’ approaches, applications, and focus, one can hopefully begin to see, that 24/7 prayer and worship, is not what it is made out to be! With that much focus on supposed prayer, wisdom in God ordered prayer is so important. The issue of ‘contemplative prayer’ is another hook, that is being decried quite a bit now. What is really going on in 24/7 prayer, is the question, to be asked and answered!
These are questions to be asked and answered. As spiritual as 24/7 prayer and worship may seem, it’s not Biblical, it’s roots, early and modern are questionable, the orthopraxy and orthodoxy, spurious, and the results negligible. The concept and exp. may even fit the description of asceticism, as it pertains to fanaticism. An insightful article on the virtues of true asceticism, and some distortions that lead to fanaticism can be viewed here. https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20110308_1.htm
False Prophecy -Catalysts For False Revival
*>Daryl. Bob Jones has been highly influential in many ‘kingdom now’ endeavors, ‘prophesying’ false information that has become a catalyst and focus for many vain ‘labours’ in numerous ministries, these false prophesies and false doctrine being ‘hooks’ in the movement as well! False prophecy can be a catalyst for false, counterfeit, revival, ‘moves of God’, and ‘ministries.’
Will-Worship – Asceticism
Such restrictions indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-prescribed/self imposed worship, their false humility, asceticism and their harsh treatment of the body; (may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial,) but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. Col. 2:23
Here’s an interesting description from Strongs re: Col. 2:23
Will-worship = #1479 ethelothrēskeía (from 2309 /thélō, “desire” and 2356 /thrēskeía, “religion”) – properly, self-willed religion, defined by the desires of the human will – which amounts to nothing! This form of “worship,” which is accomplished “by self” (Souter), is merely a “will-worship,” exalting the worshiper at God’s expense (used only in Col 2:23). Much of the worship at 24/7 events may very well be sincere towards God, yet it may still be self-imposed, human effort to accomplish something out side of Divine and Biblical mandates, and can easily turn to, exalting the worshiper at God’s expense, becoming strong soulish devotional , pious self-denial, sanctimonious.
Strongs adds this; worship which one devises and prescribes for himself, contrary to the contents and nature of the faith which ought to be directed to Christ; said of the misdirected zeal and practices of ascetics;
This is not an accusation, but observance of potential problems, because; they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh, and if not initiated by God, all the more so is the potential, as a matter of fact, misdirected zeal and practices of ascetics, as fanaticism, will most likely result in soulish piety, and false humility. 24/7 prayer/worship, not being Biblically mandated, is not going to be governed by the Spirit of God! Spending extreme amounts of time in such a manner, is not normal, or conducive to a healthy balanced Christian life, for the spirit, soul, and body, of a believer.
Again, this practice came from monasticism, not from Scripture, and even tho’ the period of isolation from basically the outside world of every day reality, may be intermittent, the ongoing periods, length of periods, questionable practices during those periods, create more concern than just ineffectiveness.
Constant ‘worship’ for long periods of time can be just as detrimental as forced silence, inhibiting the ability to think. I will discuss ‘white noise,’ regarding this. Prayer applied to the same circumstances will create the same concerns. Misdirected zeal is fanaticism.
A couple of observations made by attendees at IHOP events reinforces these concerns.
“The IHOP conferences and events are stage-managed to produce the maximum amount of visual, aural, psychological, sensual and spiritual stimuli—all of which can superficially appear to be revival. But is it biblical revival? …What is perceived as spiritual is in reality soulish, contributing to a euphoric state of altered consciousness from repetitious choruses that follow one upon the other. The mesmerizing effect of the music creates a frame of mind open to suggestion by the subsequent preaching of dominionist teachers who build on the fervor of the moment with messages of future power and glory.”
“…there is another practice of “presence” that is taking the evangelical world by storm. In the IHOP/NAR the passionate invocation of the “presence” (which they call the “Spirit”) isn’t just done via contemplative meditation. They believe that the “presence” is achieved via the elaborate staging of flashy lighting, noisy music and hypnotic manipulations in the context of what they call “worship.” The clear intent is to create an altered state of consciousness – a spiritual/emotive state in which the participant is susceptible to heretical suggestions, “feels” closer to God, and learns that he/she may even become a god. Thus their “passion” is believed to invoke the “presence” of God… This passion-filled worship involves more than simple singing of hymns or humble prayers and petitions. It incorporates various psychological and sociological techniques to affect the emotions. Key variables are stage-managed in order to create an “atmosphere” of heightened experiences, all said to be of God. Thereby this engineered “passion” claims that it can invoke the “presence” of God.
Mantra meditation is so very seductive because it generates a very powerful, seemingly supernatural experience that can make one feel as if they are actually encountering “God.” The first meditation I ever did at age 20 left me utterly convinced that I had experienced the presence of God. In hindsight, I believe that this encounter truly was supernatural.
OVERSTIMULATING! Driving home from the U of C last Friday afternoon I caught a broadcast on the increasing mental health dilemma in our youth.
For sometime I have been quietly listening and observing our current daily practices in our culture. I believe our ability or inability to balance our lives is directly connected to our mental health. Recognizing or not recognizing the need for downtime should not be hinged on our age and generational background only, our personality traits must also be considered, as well as our spiritual beliefs and traditions.
For example for someone born at the very end of the Baby Boomer generation, one might conclude I don’t embrace technology therefore I am not plugged in 24/7, not cool, not hip, and live in slow motion. However I embrace technology and my addictive personality finds me fighting for mental balance among the fray – all of the time.
I attribute my mental health to cultivating my spiritual health. My ability to recognize when I am over stimulated or driven, or anxious comes from actively meditating on my relationship with Christ, and His Word. Might I suggest reading the Psalms, both the laments and the praises? It is a great way to contemplate injustice, sorrow, poverty, creation, beauty and nature, and realize humankind has faced similar problems and celebrations since the dawn of time. This truth reveals we are not alone, God can hear us, and He wants to comfort us and restore our minds.
If we are to navigate the overwhelming waters of our culture’s technology frenzy, we must make sure to schedule downtime for reflection and meditation, and genuine relationship.
The inability to go for a walk without a phone is a red flag. The inability to sit by the fire on a cold winter’s night without your computer is troublesome. Have you been watching a movie with your phone or i-pad in hand and feeling rather accomplished at your capacity for multitasking? Have you studied the advertising practices on television and recognized the same patterns? It isn’t enough to watch a movie anymore, you must have advertisements, and pop ups with even more information.
How often do you allow your conversation over coffee to be interrupted by your cell’s ringtone? Do you take all of your devices with you on a holiday? Are you one of those travelers who has to watch multiple movies? Do you take work home with you? Do you shut off unnecessary interruptions when you are studying? Ultimately we are overstimulating our brain. There is no longer an even flow of any one thought. Multiple chores and tasks are taken on at one time, with many left unfinished. We are stopping and starting like a beginner driver, or living from pop up to pop up.
Contrary to popular belief, we do not need to be plugged in 24/7. There have been studies done on teen stress due to having phones on all night. There are signs of loss of vocabulary, the inability to speak in full sentences. The emoji craze was fun for a fleeting second, but for some the world of texting and emojis have replaced reality, which can lead to an unrealistic craving for over sharing and drama. This drama can inadvertently change the atmosphere and attitude of your entire day, if it succeeds to pull you in.
Ever since the beginning of time we have been creating with the brains God has given us. However, when we leave God out of the picture our brains begin to hurt. We create, overstimulate and crash. Then we have to expend a ton of energy creating something else to fix the mess. Right now we are in that mess, and back paddling frantically to figure out how to help our brains heal.
God is the key to balancing our lives. God’s love, purpose and plan is the key to our mental health.
Today, if we are to take a real honest look at our nation, we have cause to mourn. By taking God out of our culture, our schools, our lives, our hearts and minds – we will continue to short out at breakneck speed. White noise here we come. (and increasing mental and spiritual health dilemma!)
Examining every thing closely and discerning Biblically is so important. This is not nit picking!
More Hooks! – False And Fuzzy Gospel – False Ideas
“the cross to me isn’t the revelation of my sin, the cross is actually the revealing of my value“ Todd White
Another speaker was Nick Hall. He organized the Together 2016 event which was held in July of last year. The thing that should stand out in people’s minds the most concerning this event is how ecumenical it was. Nick even visited the pope, gave him a copy of his book “Reset” (as mentioned previously, with no Scripture – no gospel!), and a T-shirt with the Together logo on it. In turn, pope Francis made a video for the event and invited those watching to “find the One who can give you an answer to your restlessness,” and encouraged everyone to wear the Together 2016 T-shirt. (https://www.christianpost.com/news/together-2016-pope-francis-urges-millennials-to-find-the-one-who-can-give-you-an-answer-to-your-restlessness-166598/)
Here are some of Nick Hall’s statements at Awaken the Dawn: “Can we make some noise for Jesus? God is on the move…Jesus is passing by right now…Is there anything between you and God today? Because I’m telling you, man, we know God wants to send revival. We know He wants to send a great awakening…Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life…Jesus died on the cross…” (So, we hear him make some true statements, but he also makes these false statements about a great awakening. And, this is often how Satan operates; he mixes dark with light so he can deceive even more people. Most people will say, oh, we heard Jesus died on the cross and it doesn’t matter to them what else someone says or does. You know, one could clearly see the Ouroboros tattoo on the inside of Nick’s arm as he was raising it and exhorting the crowd. For anyone who is unaware, Ouroboros is a Greek word meaning “tail devourer,” and is one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world. I will have a link to an article about this in the notes on Facebook also). (https://www.tokenrock.com/explain-ouroboros-70.html)
Todd White also spoke. His ministry is called Lifestyle Christianity and his focus is on healings, signs, and wonders. Here is part of what he had to say at Awaken the Dawn: “Every sexually transmitted disease, we command to leave the field. Every addiction, get out right now, in Jesus’ Name. Bloodstreams, I command you be healed in Jesus’ Name. Hepatitis C, I curse you and command you, get out! Father, I thank You for every disease, every sickness, being healed right now in Jesus’ Name. I thank You for every scar, every cut, being healed right now in Jesus’ Name. We thank You for healing all over the field. We thank You for miracles all over the field, right now, right now.” Then the crowd repeated this several times. Then he said, “I want all of you to check your bodies physically. I want you to check your scars. If you are healed; if you felt heat sweep right through your body I want you to testify with both arms over your head right now.” (However, in order to tell if most of the sicknesses he mentioned were healed, a person would have to see a doctor. But, Todd expects the people to know because they have felt heat sweep through their bodies. We do not read of any such occurrence in God’s Word, but rather we do read of such heat sensations concerning kundalini awakenings in the occult). (https://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/k/kundalini.html)
There are many videos and articles concerning Todd White’s false teachings, but an interview he conducted on TBN stands out. Todd says, “See, the cross to me isn’t the revelation of my sin, the cross is actually the revealing of my value… How much did heaven pay? How much did Jesus pay to get us back?…The value of the person is determined by the price that was paid for it.” (https://www.facebook.com/trinitybroadcastingnetwork/videos/1019834738053055/ 1:19 mark) (Talk about confused and turning what Jesus came to do for us absolutely upside down).
At one of his events Todd White is onstage standing between two Catholic priests and they’re all holding hands. Todd White says this: “I believe that the Catholic church and the Christian church are going to come together.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzk3AtoLsEI 19:59 mark) (One can’t make his or her ecumenical beliefs much clearer than that, can they?)
Another speaker was Shawn Bolz and the following is part of a biographical sketch about him at the Bethel TV website: (https://www.bethel.tv/speakers/show/74/shawn-bolz)
Shawn Bolz is passionate about seeing both individuals and groups become the best version of themselves. Shawn has been a pioneer in ministry, including the prophetic movement, since he was in his teens. His focus is on intimacy with God, creativity through entertainment and social justice. Shawn lives in Los Angeles, where he is involved as talent for the entertainment industry and is the Senior Pastor of Expression58 Church. (We see not a speck of the gospel of salvation in any of that).
And, here are just a few of his statements at Awaken the Dawn: “God wants to release His mind and His thoughts to us.” Then he called out two names, and said the couple was from CA. Then he gave them this “word of knowledge”: “What you’re doing in the house of prayer movement in Chico; it’s going to change a state. God’s giving you a governmental assignment over CA.” (So, he definitely ascribes to 7MM teachings).
A ‘Hook’ Of Ecumenism
And, to show his ecumenical bent, at one of his speaking engagements he was discussing contending for the deep relationship with Jesus and the knowledge of Him, not for the ministry performance driven life. He said, “I took a break from mystery at the age of 28 and I studied anybody in history who had that deep connection with God for the sake of connection…and I found them in the mystics in the Catholic church…I studied St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. John of the Cross.” (https://www.facebook.com/GrahamCookeBBH/videos/10155262616193918/ 6:24 left)
Incidentally, and many of the listeners have probably heard about this – Shawn was part of Azusa 2016 and he delivered words of knowledge to the crowd which he read off his Iphone. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzdjsWjFRU0)
Two other well-known speakers at this event were Francis Chan and Heidi Baker. Francis Chan is a popular evangelical speaker, but he has chosen to link arms with Mike Bickle and has spoken at his IHOP conferences several times. These IHOP conferences are quite ecumenical with Catholics Matt Maher and Audrey Assad leading worship and the conference schedule including a Catholic track. (I watched a video the other day of one of the IHOP sessions in which Frances Chan said how much he appreciated Matt Maher’s stand on the Word of God. How sad and deceived is that?)(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2muxxpAc-8 1:26:00 in)
Heidi Baker has been part of the NAR and the healing, signs and wonders movement since the 1990’s. We did a discussion on her not too long ago so I will include the link (https://www.facebook.com/tammy.cheetham.77/videos/267643840401998/) to that in the notes on Facebook. Since there is so much information about her in that discussion I will only mention one example of her ecumenism here. During one of her messages (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzk3AtoLsEI 9:55 and 10:19) she said she saw the following in a vision: “There is a net catching all these people and she mentions Catholics and then says only when you work together can you bring in the harvest. Also,“if they love Jesus, work together.” (And, we have heard that concept so many places, but it doesn’t make it Biblical).
These groups are trying to speak a revival into existence; to actually impose revival on people, on the nation. Many people are embracing this because these groups bring a message of unity and people are tired of seeing the racial divides, the disunity all across this nation. However, all this false unity is laying the groundwork for the OWO as we often say. I pray people will wake up before it’s too late).
Hooks & Errors In Spiritual Disciplines With Spiritual Harm
Many hooks, errors, that are, in fact, harmful, fanatical, ascetic practices, causing spiritual, mental, emotional harm, as well as distracting from a true/evangelistic gospel focus, leading participants further into deception!