Mrs. Gwen Shaw’s End-Time Handmaidens,”Servants” Cult

http://www.eth-s.com/

UPDATE: Gwen Shaw died Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the cult’s headquarters near Jasper, Arkansas.

What is love? Love is the theme of the universe, the symphony of heaven, the inspiration of life, the power of creation, the life of all we see and know…” (Gwen Shaw, “Love, the Law of the Angels”, pg. 2)
“And love is the theme song of the universe…It is the melody of heaven…Love is that melody that will vibrate across the entire universe…Love is the divine symphony of eternity.” (New Age author Annalee Skarin , “Ye Are Gods”, pgs. 177, 180.)

Prologue:
In the early 1970’s Mrs. Gwen Shaw (then Gwen Schmidt) founded the End-Time Handmaidens. (“Servants” was added several years later after men expressed interest in joining.) Joel 2:28-29 is the basis for this cult’s name. At the time, she lived in Chicago. She married James v. D. Shaw, and around 1974 settled her cult in the northwest corner of Arkansas, just south of the town of Jasper. (Address: PO Box 447, Jasper, AR 72641; Tel.: 870-446-2252) The estate is comprised of 340 acres of mostly wooded land in a valley that is labeled “The Grand Canyon of the Ozarks.” The small amount of acreage that is cleared is occupied by 5 houses, 2 garages, a large dormitory that also houses a chapel and dining room/ kitchen, a barn, and a pasture for livestock. (Circa 1991.)
This area of Arkansas is home to other cults and aberrant groups. In the early 1980s on a bridge just outside of Jasper, two members of F.O.U. (Foundation of Ubiquity) killed themselves before a crowd. They had stated that they would resurrect within three days. “The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord” is located near the Arkansas-Missouri border, and believers in the Book of Urantia are sprinkled throughout the Jasper area.

This cult’s appearance is that of a Christian missionary organization, and calls itself “A Ministry to the Family, A Ministry to the Nations.” However, as the reader will learn, it is actually a New Age based cult of personality that revolves around the teachings and demonic magnetism of Gwen Shaw.

Report:
On December 13, 1980, while living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and began my life as a Christian. At this time, my mother was just beginning to attend meetings of the End-Time Handmaidens in the Columbus, Ohio area. My first contact with this cult was Thanksgiving weekend in 1981 in Brighton, Michigan. My mother traveled north for this series of meetings and I joined her for an afternoon meeting. A small series of meetings were scheduled in Detroit in the spring of 1982 and my mother was in attendance. I attended one of them. It was after this series of meetings that things began to change for my mother, my entire family, and myself.
A few days after these meetings, my mother telephoned me. She said she was in Iowa with Gwen and Jim. Mrs. Shaw had asked her to travel with them from Michigan to Iowa and Mom accepted this invitation. Mom told me that one night before she went to sleep, she saw Mrs. Shaw’s “angel” come over to her (my mom) and kiss her on the forehead. Mom said that this “angel” looked like Mrs. Shaw and, after telling Mrs. Shaw about it the next morning, was told that it was indeed her “guardian angel” and that many times a person’s “guardian angel” resembles the person they are a “guardian” for. I now know that there is no Scriptural basis for any of Mrs. Shaw’s statements concerning these alleged “angels” and I am quite convinced that the “kiss” from this angel placed my mom in a position of influence to demonic spirits. At other times in my association with this cult, I heard stories of “angels”, and can find no evidence from the Bible that would verify the fact that these appearances and teachings are doctrinally correct. (On a related note, there were instances when a living person’s spirit was allegedly seen with others – in the absence of said person’s body – and also reports that our spirits can go and minister to others, and be seen by those that are being ministered to.)

“Angels” are a significant part of this cult. The End-Time Handmaidens and Servants’ (E.T.H. & S.) logo is an angel with an hourglass. In addition, one of the key Scriptures for this cult is Rev. 10:5,6 which speaks of an angel. The name of the property on which this cult has its headquarters is Engeltal (German for “angel valley”). One of Mrs. Shaw’s books is titled Our Ministering Angels and contains references from the Apocrypha as well as many totally unscriptural teachings and ideas on angels. Concerning Engeltal – and in light of my experiences there – I do not doubt that it is a valley full of angels – FALLEN ANGELS!

Lastly, Mrs. Shaw’s most significant book, which all cult members are expected to read, is The Law of Angels (currently titled Love: The Law of Angels). I will write more about this book later. When I think of how others and myself were treated while in this cult, I can only feel outrage that this cult dares to make a mockery of the word “love”. It makes about as much sense as a prostitute writing a book on marital fidelity or a cannibal writing a book on cooking!

In the summer of 1982 I attended my first E.T.H.& S. World Convention, held annually over the July 4th holiday in St Louis, MO. These conventions used to last about 5 days and maintain a very busy schedule. Meetings started at 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., sometimes lasting until 11:00 p.m. or later. It is an exhausting schedule (many meetings run past the starting time of the next meeting) and Mrs. Shaw repeatedly reminds those in attendance that feeling tired is an indication of spiritual weakness. Maintaining physically exhausting schedules and a resulting lack of sleep is a major trait of this cult both at meetings and especially at cult headquarters.

Bible teaching by Mrs. Shaw and others, and messages by speakers not formally a part of E.T.H.& S., make up most of the messages delivered at these conventions. From 1982-2004 the following have spoken at this cult’s World Convention: Jim Goll, Dick Reuben, Fuchsia Pickett, Juan Carlos Escobar (V.P. of Assembly of God, Spain), Kelley Varner, Dutch Sheets, Peter Marshall and David Manuel (authors of “The Light and the Glory” series), Benny and Suzanne Hinn (Shaw has appeared several times on Hinn’s “This Is Your Day” program. Suzanne Hinn is herself a member of this cult. Her over 100 pound weight loss in the past few years may be attributed to her change in diet and the fact that one has to fast 21 days on liquids to join this cult.), Ray Harthern (Suzanne Hinn’s father), Steve Brock, Cindy Jacobs, Wes and Stacy Campbell, Tommy Tenney, George Otis Jr., Chuck Pierce, C. Peter Wagner, Michael Utterback (International Director of the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem), Mona Johnian, John Hinkle, Ruth Heflin, Bob Shattles, Randy Clark, John Arnott, Michael Brown, Derek Kuhn, and Derek Prince. Mrs. Shaw is especially fond of having people speak who claim they have been to either heaven or hell, and also anybody who can talk of anything to do with the supernatural – as long as it is Scripturally valid (in Mrs. Shaw’s opinion). These have included Roberts Liardon, Betty Malz, Howard Pittman, Aline Baxley, Richard Eby, and Percy Collett.

The highlight of the World Conventions is the taking of E.T.H.& S. vows. Anyone over the age of 18 who has fasted on liquids for 21 days is permitted to take these vows and become an End-Time Handmaiden or Servant. Anyone under 18 years old fasts 3 days on liquids. Some would consider this child abuse. Those involved in this cult fast frequently and when coupled with the fact that the pace of these meetings is exhausting (the work load at cult headquarters being even more so) it is only a matter of time before one’s physically weakened state places one in a very vulnerable spiritual condition. Deception occurs much easier.

During the vows ceremony, Mrs. Shaw personally prays for and lays hands on each person. The vows taken promise total yieldedness to God; however, Mrs. Shaw uses these vows to her advantage by subtly coercing people into doing her will.
The largest percentage of people involved in this cult are women who are either divorced, married to unsaved husbands, are in rebellion to their Christian husbands, “church-hoppers”, domineering towards their husbands, or are bitter toward men. Their loyalty and admiration for Shaw can be extreme to the point of idolatrous. In a posting under the “Tributes to Sister Gwen” section (no longer available) of the cult’s own site, Alyson Leslie on 12/05/00 wrote “All the space on all the Internet isn’t enough to record all the impact your life has had for furtherance (sic) of the Gospel and the extension of the Kingdom of God.” (Copy on file.)

Mrs. Shaw’s preaching encourages women (and men) to do what they feel God wants them to do, regardless of what marital or familial obligations exist. As a result, divorce and division within families and churches are prevalent. Since leaving this cult, God, through His Word, has helped me to see in exactly what areas this cult strays from the Bible. In regards to the attitude Mrs. Shaw conveys to women and their relationship to their husbands, I would have to say that the complete, exact antithesis of 1 Peter 3:1,2 and Titus 2:3-5 best describes her doctrine. These two passages are totally contrary to her teaching and life-style.

When I was a member, the average attendance at this convention was between 1500 and 2000 people, with the total number of people receiving this cult’s twice yearly news bulletin in excess of 37,000 (circa 1988.)

In the spring of 1983, while Mrs. Shaw was speaking in the Central Ohio area, I attended another of her meetings. She asked me when I was going to do a 21 day fast to join E.T.H.& S., and I agreed to start then. I learned a few moments later that someone else was fasting and praying that I would start this fast. I completed the fast.

On June 18, 1983 I moved to Niagara Falls, New York to help remodel a house to be used by E.T.H.& S. It was during my seven month stay there that I learned of the true nature of Mrs. Shaw’s writings and teachings. While visiting the home of an acquaintance of Mrs. Shaw in Ontario, Canada, I came across the writings of Annalee Skarin. My first reaction to them was they could not possibly be Scriptural since they contained quotes from the book of Mormon. However, I respected the opinions of those who I was with, and reasoned that I would eventually come to the understanding that they were okay. I was told Mrs. Shaw had read all Skarin’s writings and that her book Love: The Law of the Angels was based on them. Less than a year later, Mrs. Shaw affirmed to me that this was true. She also stated that when she first started incorporating them into her teaching in the early 1970’s that many people (who had heard Annalee Skarin speak) said that Mrs. Shaw sounded a lot like her.

The writings of Annalee Skarin (available through DeVorss Publishing Co., “Metaphysical Capital of the World,” Marina Del Rey, California) are theosophical and also incorporate verses from Mormon writings, the Hindu Vedas, and the Bible. Mrs. Skarin wrote 9 books, one of which was written under the pen name of Christine Mercie. After her first book, Ye Are Gods, was written in 1952, it is claimed that she (and later her husband, Reason) received her glorified body and since then she has been able to travel unhindered by “mortal boundaries” and limitations. Her literary agent, George Morris of Salt Lake City, Utah told me in 1988 that Mrs. Skarin never officially left the Mormon Church (Skarin also died in 1988.)

Mrs. Shaw told me that she had sold Mrs. Skarin’s books to a small number of people. She said she was very careful about whom she introduced these books to since, in her words, “not all people can handle the deeper truths.” On her tape, “Share My Burden,” Mrs. Shaw mentions a book she was reading in bed. She claims that God told her as she read that He “did not intend for anybody to go through this life alone.” She told me personally that the book she was reading was one by Mrs. Skarin. I realize now the unlikelihood that it was really God that spoke to her as she read. Mrs. Shaw also told me that The Law of the Angels is based on the writings of Mrs. Skarin, particularly the book “Ye Are Gods.” The title itself is also the name of a chapter from Mrs. Skarin’s book Man Triumphant.” (Gary Peattie of DeVorss, on May 20, 2001, verified that Shaw had indeed plagerized from Skarin.)

Two other books by Mrs. Shaw in which the titles of Mrs. Skarin’s books appear are: Pour Out Your Heart, in which the phrase “beyond mortal boundaries” occurs, and Daily Preparations for Perfection in which the phrase “secrets of eternity” occurs. I have never read all of Mrs. Shaw’s books, but I am sure that there are many other phrases from Mrs. Skarin’s books incorporated into her books. Ex-Mormons who are now Christians have said that Mrs. Shaw’s writings contain Mormon doctrine. No doubt many people who are currently Mormons would agree as some of Mrs. Shaw’s books are sold in Salt Lake City. (Note: This cult’s publishing name is Engeltal Press and they are represented each year at the Christian Bookseller Association’s Annual Convention. One book of note that they publish which is not by Mrs. Shaw is the abridged version of Paradise the Holy City, and the Glory of the Throne. The unabridged manuscript states that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah.)
Shaw’s

“The Tribes Of Israel” asserts that each Christian is a member of 1 of 13 different “spiritual” tribes that correspond to the 13 “natural” tribes of Israel in Old Testament times.

Below are a few examples of Mrs. Shaw’s unbiblical teachings and statements that are either on tapes or have been personally heard by others or myself at Engeltal and other places where no tape was made: ·

  • Her tape “Embrace the Sword in Your Life” repeats themes mentioned in the first half of Mrs. Skarin’s book Ye Are Gods.
  • She stated that “the bride of Christ” will be perfected in Heaven during a morning chapel service at Engeltal.
  • Said that some people’s good works are honored by God for salvation during another chapel service.
  • Personally told me that the spirit of a former E.T.H. visited her in her bedroom for three days following that person’s death, and that she held conversations with this person’s spirit. Proof of Shaw’s necromancy practices were recently obtained in a bi-weekly “Prayer Letter” sent out by the cult’s headquarters. Scroll down to the “From Doreen” section to read of Shaw’s “visitation” by her dead husband, James von Doornum Shaw (born June 15, 1919, died March 5, 2007.)
  • Sarah Wilson (not her real name) told me that Mrs. Shaw told her that she (Mrs. Shaw) remembered being with God before she was born.
  • Stated in a meeting in Niagara Falls in October 1983 that we are all “little gods.” (tape was not released to the public).
  • “Prophesied” in the Spring of 1988 that Ronald Reagan would be the last U.S. President.
  • Said in her office that the last great move of God would be through women.
  • Below are quotes by Shaw from various books and publications:
    “The next city in which the tent went up was Moradabad (India)…When I gave the altar call, many, many came. They had seen the eye of God on the tent wall behind me when I gave the altar call.” (Shaw’s autobiography “Unconditional Surrender”, pg. 184)
  • “God is not only “male”, He is “female”. One of His names is El-Shaddai, which means “Mother-God”…He is both male and female…So when God created Adam, He made him like himself, creating in him the male and female characteristics.” (“Love, the Law of the Angels”, pg.67)“
  • “If God created man male and female, it was because bisexuality somehow belongs to His own nature.” (ibid, pg.165)
  • “Scientists lately have been making an extensive study about blood because they saw there is something peculiar and supernatural about blood. They have come to this conclusion: that blood is congealed light. It is light that has become solidified. In other words, in the body of man there are veins and these veins are flowing with a red substance which is none other than light. Light that has mystically become congealed.” (ibid, pg. 106)
  • “And when God saw this light He said, ‘ IT’S A NEW DAY!’…It was the origin of all God’s creational works…You and I were there that day to see it, but we don’t remember. However, God tried to remind Job when He said, ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? …When the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy!’ (Job 38:4,7) Some day we will remember what we saw on that glorious day of splendor and beauty…” (ibid, pg. 133)
  • “We were created to be ‘gods’ ruling over the universe as joint heirs with Christ…” (ibid, pg. 107)“Do you know, it is strange that Paul never tells a woman to LOVE her husband?” (ibid, pg.73)
  • “Cry out to God to give you an appointment to fast. If Jesus had to fast to overcome Satan in the wilderness so that He could begin His ministry, how much more do we need that anointing that comes through fasting.” (The End-Time Handmaidens and Servants Magazine, March 2004, “The Anointing Breaks the Yoke”, pg. 23)
  • “Jesus learned to know the Father through His suffering while He was a man on earth. It wasn’t in Heaven, where everything was peaceful and beautiful and without pain, but rather, it was while He was on earth, when He suffered at the hands of man, that He learned to know Him in a way He had never known Him in the eternity of the past. So it is with us – it is only through suffering that we are able to be drawn very close to God.” (ibid, April, 1999, “Suffering Helps Us To Know the Father More Intimately”, pg. 4)
    When I compare Mrs. Shaw’s personal descriptions to me about how she wrote her books with what I have read about the book God Calling, I am quite sure that she, too, practices automatic handwriting. She had been told several times about the errancy of God Calling, but continued to endorse and sell it as recently as 1988, and I now understand why.
    I left Niagara Falls in January, 1984 and returned to my parent’s home in Ohio. My mother and I visited Engeltal in early April to attend a wedding. While there, I was asked by Mrs. Shaw if I could stay and help out for a few weeks. She would be traveling to Ohio with her husband and others and they could take me home. I agreed to stay and help. I learned later that she and others had been praying for me to work there.
  • During those two weeks, I observed the way the headquarters operated and I honestly thought it was an active pure work for God. Mrs. Shaw asked if I could stay until the World Convention in July and I agreed to this also. Shortly before the convention I asked her if I could stay on indefinitely and she agreed. I worked at this cult’s headquarters until August 16, 1988.
  • From reading books on cults in the past few years, I realize the similarities E.T.H.& S. shares with them. While at Engeltal, Mrs. Shaw repeatedly stated that all who have spoken out against her or opposed her, have met with “judgment from God.” A favorite Bible verse of hers to back up her statements is in 1 Chronicles 16:22: “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” As far as I know, no one has ever tried to physically harm (“touch”) her and I definitely know that she is no prophet. She repeatedly stated that all who leave E.T.H.& S. are in danger of going into “spiritual darkness.” We (staff size was about 25) were told that we would be in great spiritual danger if we left Engeltal when it was not the will of God for us to do so.
  • On two occasions she had “dreams from the Lord” that one of us would die or be killed if we left. Both of these “dreams” occurred a day or two before people actually did leave. (No deaths occurred.)
    Work went on at least 6 days a week, sometimes 7, and often lasted until midnight or later. We were told when we could and could not fast, and often were advised that we needed to go on a fast by Mrs. Shaw. She liked to know as much about all aspects of a person’s life and also their personal thoughts and opinions as possible. She even probed into the sexual lives of married couples.
  • We were required to let those in authority know if we wished to leave the property, and also had our telephone conversations listened to on numerous occasions by Mrs. Shaw. Secrecy permeated all aspects of operation at Engeltal, especially when Mrs. Shaw was sick. For some reason, we were not supposed to let others know if she became ill. This policy and the secrecy that was so prevalent in general was clearly in line with her tape “Keeping God’s Secrets.”
  • Sin was often dealt with from the daily chapel pulpit or at other times when the entire staff was present. If one had a complaint about someone else’s sin towards oneself, one was told to learn to live with it. Nothing was done to correct the action. I have realized more and more since I left that almost nothing was conducted in a Biblical manner while I was there.
  • Mrs. Shaw’s relationship to the staff members kept us on an emotional yo-yo. Manipulation, flattery, condemnation and guilt were all used by her to keep people under her control. To be psychoanalyzed publicly by the leadership was infuriatingly common. Personal disagreement to this was considered rebellion. The worst thing of all was her ability to somehow know how to find a weakness in one’s beliefs and introduce her own opinion that she felt would be good to accept. Related to this is Mrs. Shaw’s relationship with a staff member named Cindy (name changed), who still stays at Engeltal from time to time. This woman has a familiar spirit (as described in 1 Samuel 28 and Acts 16) and Mrs. Shaw uses her to find out information from people. Cindy was encouraged by Mrs. Shaw in her (Cindy’s) interest in me as a boyfriend. I was repulsed and outraged when I found out the following information: since 1985 (at the very latest) Mrs. Shaw also knew that Cindy is a hermaphrodite! If Mrs. Shaw’s knowledge of this, along with her encouragement to Cindy with regard to me doesn’t say anything about Mrs. Shaw’s perverted nature, then nothing does.
  • I left Engeltal on August 16, 1988. Several other people left the next week. We were all viciously lied about by Mrs. Shaw and it was told to the remaining staff by Mrs. Shaw that we were all demon possessed and, additionally, all the women who left were suffering from menopause! God has ministered to me since then through His Word, prayer, the fellowship of a few caring Christian friends and relatives, and books on cults. I no longer fear this woman, but I am amazed at her deceptive power and control over people, especially considering the fact that she has very few underlings to assist her.
  • Since leaving I have found out that Mrs. Shaw recommended divorce to three of the wives of couples that used to work in the headquarters. I have also learned that one of the people who left heard Mrs. Shaw’s voice clearly speak to them when Mrs. Shaw was not physically present – a common occurrence among Wiccans – and also that another person had Mrs. Shaw appear repeatedly to them in dreams to give them instructions about various situations. Both accounts are demonic in nature to be sure. I have also been told of: eyewitness accounts of misappropriation of monetary donations, the existence of Swiss bank accounts, the fact that all of the buildings and property are under Mr. Shaw’s name and not, as stated publicly, the property of E.T.H.& S.
  • Mrs. Shaw often said that God told her He had given her Engeltal and that if she ever used it for her own use He would take it from her. It may be debated if God ever said this to her, yet part of Engeltal was taken from her in November, 1990. Fire totally destroyed a large building on the property. The entire printing department, offices, warehouse, tape duplicating department, and shipping and receiving departments were destroyed. A former worker was accused by Mrs. Shaw of starting this fire.
  • This cult is still active and has rebuilt its print shop. They also own a house in Jerusalem, Israel, that they have named “House Of Peace”. Until now, no one has ever been able to discredit Mrs. Shaw and reveal the truth about this cult. This has largely been due to the fact that Mrs. Shaw has been successful at ruining the reputations of those who confront her with truth. I hope and pray that as many people as possible will read this report. I do not believe a mentally competent person in this cult could read what I have written and choose to remain in bondage. May those of us who have been set free by the Son pray for the deliverance of those who are caught in this snare of Satan.
  • There is much more that I could tell about Mrs. Shaw and this cult, but I feel that what I have reported is sufficient. Whether or not Mrs. Shaw will ever repent of her sorceries is yet to be seen. Until this ever happens we must pray against the demon spirits that control her and function through her, and for the people that they have under their control. I would appreciate your prayers for my family and myself also.
  • “All in all, with its doctrinal ambiguity, theological aberrations, unscriptural emphasis on the supernatural experiences and prophetical and mystical leanings, the End-Time Handmaidens is an attraction for the spiritually naïve and undiscerning. The foundation of the group is far-removed from the bedrock of Christian orthodoxy. ETH is just another “end time” delusion. It has a confusing message of salvation, with people only committing to Gwen Shaw’s control and her plethora of false teachings and teachers.”
  • (“End Time Handmaidens – A Ministry for the Last Days or ‘End Time’ Delusion?”, by M. Kurt Goedelman with G. Richard Fisher, The Quarterly Journal, vol.14, no.3, from the ministry of Personal Freedom Outreach, P.O. Box 26062, St. Louis, MO, 63136, (314) 388-2648, http://www.pfo.org
    You may also contact Jubilee Radio Network, 85 Founders Lane, St. Louis, MO 63105 (800) 737-0172. Ask for “Issues, Etc.” tape #2-113.
    Churches that Abuse, by Ronald M. Enroth (Zondervan Publishing House) greatly helped me and I cannot recommend it too highly. (The entire book can be read online here).
    As a former member of this cult, the reasons I have written this report are:
    1.To let people know how others and myself were treated while working at this cult’s headquarters.
    2. Because I can no longer agree with or keep silent about Shaw’s unscriptural teachings based on New Age writings.
    3. Because of the pain that Shaw’s cult has caused in my life, the life of my family, my parent’s marriage (now ended in divorce directly because of this cult) and in the lives of untold numbers of people throughout the world.
    4. So that those within this cult and ESPECIALLY those who are thinking of joining this cult will know the TRUTH about this cult.
    May God give all who read this report an insatiable love, hunger and reverence for His Holy Word.
    Author: Mark Scheiderer markscheiderer@hotmail.com
    (This report was originally distributed in February, 1992 and has been updated and reformatted in July, 2000; December, 2002; October, 2004; and October, 2009.)

The 3rd Wave- Charismatic Confusion Cover Up

By Dr. Brook Stockton https://nikeinsights.famguardian.org/forums/topic/the-third-wave-charismatic-confusion-cover-up/

Wretched Subjectivism

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresieseven denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

 All that is wrong with American “Christianity” can be found in the Childish Charismatic Movement. Charismatics are in retreat from the cross and reality. Charismatics are babyish at best, and insane at worst. Holly Rollers are not holy, and Charismatics are not “filled with the Spirit.” This is not part the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is wretched Hinduistic subjectivism. 

This article focuses on the Vineyard Movement and its relationship to the pseudo gospel and the Charismatic Movement.

The 1st Wave of the Pentecostal Movement began in April 1906 at Azusa Street 2nd Baptist Church in California. Many reported being “baptized by the Spirit” which was manifested by speaking in tongues (jibber jabber). The Pentecostal fire spread rapidly across America and the world. As these congregations descended into the indignities of barking like dogs, clucking like chickens, and rolling in the isles, a group of Pentecostal business men formed the 2nd Wave of the movement who wanted the Pentecostal fire without the undignified perversions happening in mainstream Pentecostalism. *(Daryl here. Demonic influences, tho’ present at the time, baptism in H.S. and tongues have Biblical precedent. Cessationist overtones present.)

The 2nd Wave of the Pentecostal movement practiced “speaking in tongues” their private prayer closet (1960’s). These Pentecostals called themselves “Charismatics” meaning “gifted ones.” The Charismatics practiced their aberrations and sought the Spirit’s anointing in small groups. *(Daryl. Aberrations – anything unbiblical)

The 3rd Wave of the Pentecostal Movement was started by John Wimber who broke away from the Calvary Chapel Movement in 1974 in order to Pentecostalize to form Vineyard Ministries International. Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, emphasized the supremacy of the Word of God and self-control among its members while Wimber emphasized sensual experiences supposedly from God. His leading disciple, Dr. Peter Wagner, taught the “signs and wonders” class at Fuller Theological Seminary at the School of World Missions. Desiring a more flammable fuel, Wimber returned to his Pentecostal roots introducing members to “Power Evangelism” through “signs and wonders.” The movement became known as “The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit.”

Some Evangelicals believe all three movements have done more to break down the truth of the gospel and to prepare people for the one-world harlot church than any other movement in history. Because there are so many victims of this heteropraxy, you need to know the fruits of the 3rd Wave of Pentecostalism so you can help restore them with truth and gentleness.

Sensuality

With “anointed” music as a tool, Wimber appealed to the feeling and emotions of his audiences producing sensuous Christians. A Jazz musician, Wimber awed his audiences with variations of Beetle music. A sensuous Christian doesn’t need to study the Word of God because he already knows the will of God by his feelings. He doesn’t want to know God through His Word; He wants to experience Him in his heart. The sensuous Christian is moved by emotion and feelings and regards strict adherence to the Bible as legalism and “child-like faith” as ignorance. As weeping, loud sobbing, shaking, animal noises, physical gyrations, deafening music, jumping, and hysterical laughter often break out Vineyard meetings. Wimber could be heard saying, “It all right folks, the Spirit is at work. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.”

Pragmatism

Wimber believed in a “fierce pragmatism;” i.e., and that the ends-justifies-the means. He tried to find out what works in the realm of healing, prophetic messages, casting out demons, etc. by visiting Pentecostal power practitioners. “If it works, it must be good; If it helps, it must be of God,” reasoned Wimber. Jacob’s deception of his father, Isaac, worked but it did not mean it was right. Pragmatists are concerned about results and the results determine the truth. The pragmatist is not concerned so much about what the Bible says but about whether the “practice” produces the appearance of good or bad (Wimber, “Zip to 3,000 in 5 Years-Part I, “Signs and Wonders”: Christian Life Missions).

False Gospel

The gospel of the 3rd Wave is not about Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection or the marvelous effects of justification, regeneration, and eternal life received by faith, but the gospel of the here and now, the gospel of deliverance, the gospel of “signs and wonders,” the gospel of personal revelations, the gospel of healing, the gospel of the Spirit in the heart.

We are not against deliverance from evil, but in the context of the Vineyard, deliverance is “another gospel” that by-passes the cross (Gal. 1:6- e[teron euvagge,lion).

The 3rd Wave believes in animism; i.e., there are demons in people, over cities (territorial spirits), in trees, in cars, in foods, and things. Wimber believed in casting out demons from believers and emphasized exorcism and healing. F.V. Scott observed “the gospel is more than a disclosure of magic that matches and outdoes the magic of folk religions and cults. Its agenda includes more than relief from the pains of life. The ultimate goal is the fruits of the Spirit, not the gifts of the Spirit. Yet, that is the emphasis of John Wimber’s ministry” (See Wimber, Healing Seminar Syllabus, Section 2, Healing in the New Testament).

Low View of the true

GOSPEL

Wimber does not outwardly deny the glorious gospel of Christ but he did not believe in its power. He believed the task of world evangelism could not be accomplished by emphasizing an accurate articulation of the Gospel, but that it needed to be accompanied by “signs and wonders and miracles and healings.”

This view not only contradicts Romans 1:16, it induces the false notion that Christians have been deceived and deprived of power for 2000 years.

The Vineyard needs to be reminded that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not by seeing signs and wonders (Rom. 10:17).

Duplicity

Though Wimber was a Pentecostal of Pentecostals, Wimber had the audacity to call himself an Evangelical. “I just call myself an evangelical who’s a little more Biblical than I have been before.”

Identifying with Evangelicals gave Wimber respect he would not otherwise have gained and a cloak under which to practice the debasing acts of Pentecostalism. The Vineyard’s close association with Pentecostal, Charismatic leaders in major rallies refute their non-charismatic claims and document their duplicity says M.H. Reynolds (Foundation’s Magazine, Vol. XII, Los Osos, CA).

Childishness

Wimber and his Charismatic brethren a childish false prophets. Speaking in tongues is not of the same character as the gift of languages in the New Testament. Seeing Charismatic madmen rolling in the isles, flopping on stage with laughter, slapping people on the forehead so they fall backward, crawling on stage like a drunk, neck jerking, twitching, and convulsions is nothing but childishness. It is worse than being babyish, it is criminal fraud – pass the offering plate please. This is not Christianity, it is a cult of wretched subjectivism.

Experience Based

The Vineyard Movement is dependent on experience rather than Scripture. Wimber’s use of Scripture is problematic because his starting point was his own experience. Wimber said, “I’m sort of a have-experience-will-travel person” (New Wine, 1.87., p. 7) “Experiencing God” in the heart is more important than knowing God through His Word—a Catholic concept.

To Wimber, the locus of salvation is not Calvary, but the human heart; the Savior is not Christ, but the Spirit; the great necessity is not Christ’s experience on the cross, but the believer’s experience with the Spirit.

The Vineyard folk are deeply subjective, feeling orientated, and introspective. They seek daily illumination and self-authenticating experiences with God, which they believe are of God merely because they have experienced them.

One member of the 3rd wave was telling me about how God had spoken to him with a word of knowledge and how it changed his life. He went on and on about his sensual vision that caused him to tremble and shake and the audible word “God” supposedly spoke to him. He almost impressed me until I found out he was shacking up with a live-in girl friend. He saw no contradiction between his orgasmic spiritual experience with “God” and his fornicating experience with his mistress. What spirit was speaking to him? Not the Holy Spirit!

Wimber believed in “speaking things into existence,” the act of a god; i.e., that Christians can bind the Devil, command spirits, and rebuke diseases. A modern day ghost buster, Wimber believed in power messages, power evangelism, power healings, and power exorcism. Instead of being content with the fact that power is resident in God alone, Vineyard ministers can be seen “breathing in” power, be heard making sucking sounds, and waving hands pushing in the Spirit to the heart to receive power. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul practicing this hocus pocus? In the Vineyard, Spiritual power is a goal in itself. Wimber emphasized the need for his adherents to seize the force and power of the Spirit, the force of grace, and the force of love which separated “dead doctrine” from “living reality.”

Since when is Biblical doctrine “dead”? When did the Spirit become a “force”? If I remember correctly, “you shall be as gods” was a promise of Satan to the first couple.

Low view of Scripture

Wimber did not believe in the sufficiency of the Word of God declared his advisor (“Wimber Changes His Mind”, Evangelicals Now, p. 15). In criticizing the Calvary Chapel Movement, Wimber is reported to say that, “they’re very Pharisaical in their allegiance to the Bible. They have very little life, and growth and spontaneity in the innards” (Wimber, Church Planting Seminar, Tapes I-V, 3.28.81). He equated those who measure a ministry with Scripture  . . . as unbelieving Scribes.

Wimber believed, “all truth is God’s truth” even “truth” outside of Scripture. The Vineyard movement practices “listening to God” through impulses and feelings. Listeners hang on every word supposedly received directly from God.

In the Indianapolis conference in 1990, Wimber told his audience, “It was amazing and astounding to me when I found out that God also could communicate outside of the Scripture and directly to His children—astounding to me. . .” (Reynolds, p. 7).

Leaders in this sensual movement will claim that God spoke to them, that they have a message from God, or “the Lord said,” or they have a “revelation from God.”

It is reported that Wimber heard a voice from God saying that the “Beetles music” was the sound Wimber should use for his ministry.

Really?

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

Though his experience on the Mt. of Transfiguration was real, Peter said, “We have a more sure Word of Prophecy” –a reference to the Word of God (2 Peter 1:18).

Wimber taught that the church was hiding behind doctrinal beliefs that curtail the work of the Spirit. “The church today is committing evil in the name of sound doctrine,” taught Wimber (Church Plainting Seminar, 3.28.81).

Wimber was wrong!

Sound doctrine will not curtail the work of the Spirit but encourage it and shape it to produce godly character (1 Tim. 6:2-3; Tit. 1:1, 2:9, 10; 3:5-8).

Its members are wrong when they errantly quote, “Knowledge puffs up.”

The Scriptures says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children” (Hosea 4:6).

PERMISSIVENESS

The Vineyard’s low view of Scripture combined with an emphasis on following “the Spirit” as opposed to following the Word creates a climate of permissiveness and tolerance. The Word is perceived in juxtaposition to the Spirit contrary to the teaching of Paul (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:15,16).

Spontaneity is seen as “spiritual” and obedience to Scripture and strict adherence to the Word is perceived as Pharisaical legalism.

When corrected by a knowledgeable Bible student who speaks the truth in love, Vineyard adherents will say, “that is not loving, or “The letter killeth,” or that is “legalistic.”

Since when is obedience to the Word of God legalistic? The great Christians of history have been people of the Book with an iron-clad grip on its truth: “Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it,” declared Jesus (Luke 11:28). The Vineyard movement needs to be reminded that it is not loving or Christian to depart from Scripture.

EASTERN MYSTICISM

Hinduism has invaded the West through the in roads of pop psychology. It is clear that the Vineyard drifted deep into psychology and the occult through Wimber’s leadership. The Vineyard practices “inner healing’ and uses borrowed ideas from the false prophets of John Sandford, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung.

Wimber believed in “healing memories,” “repressed memories,” and the “touchy-feely” world of inner feelings. He saw men controlled by demons. He had his “antennae” into the cosmic reality so he could receive special anointings. The Vineyard forms small groups so they can “call down the power of God” through their “power ministry” so victims can experience “power healing.” Instant relief from the pains and struggles of life is not only commanded in prayer, but paramount to their false gospel.

Wimber taught his followers how to heal, how to cast out demons, and how to bring about deliverance. Instead of exploring Scripture and challenging people to grow in godliness, adherents explore the inner psyche of the victim to detect blame points for present behavior. Instead of teaching truth, prayer warriors seek to somehow manipulate God and control His powers for deliverance—an occult concept.

Vineyard shamans seek innate power inherent in themselves. Advocates believe that taking a person back into the past, using meditation concepts and visualization, Jesus can enter the past traumatic event and heal it.” Inner healing includes: “hot flushes and stiffness in certain parts of the body, tingling sensations, trembling and shaking, falling down under the power of the Spirit, strong electrical current, ripples on the skin, movement underneath the skin, radiance on the face, heavy breathing, moaning and groaning and being in a trance” (Healing Seminar Syllabus: II Observations, p. 74).

“Forgiving self” is often emphasized in the Vineyard Movement. Can you imagine Jesus telling the prostitute, “You must forgive yourself? We have no authority to forgive ourselves, but we can believe that God forgives sin and enjoy its fruits by faith (Lk. 5:24).

The real problem of inner healing is that it shifts the emphasis from Christ and the cross to  a spirit and the heart—thus, the Vineyard undermines the work of Christ turning the Gospel up side down (Gal. 1:4-8). Wasn’t this the heresy in Roman Catholicism that Luther confronted in his day?

More can be said about the Vineyard’s false prophets, false apostles, false gospel, and “damnable heresies”.

The wise Christian will avoid the movement and find a Bible believing church that teaches the sufficiency of the Scripture and the sufficiency of the Gospel. It is more important for the believer to understand the Gospel of Christ and to lay hold of its blessings by faith (Eph. 1:3ff) than it is to tunnel into one’s past or investigate the demonic realm of principalities and powers.

If you have come under the influence of the 3rd Wave or know someone who is under the influence of the 3rd Wave, there is cleansing power in the Word and joy in the true grace of God

“that brings salvation . . . to all men which teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Tit. 2:11-14).

If you are in this vile movement, run away as fast as your sandals can slap pavement! Get out now! Find a solid Bible-based fellowship and recover!

Brook Stockon, Professor of New Testament Theology

Brownsville ‘Revival’- Before The Beginning – A Different Story

Toronto-Brompton-Brownsville Connection

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/ACCT.HTM
Toronto Connection – John K.’s Wife – Steve Hill @  Brompton Church UK
The Toronto blessing was received by Rev Kilpatrick’s wife prior to the beginning of the Brownsville revival according to Rev Kilpatrick himself. She apparently, sometime prior to the beginning of the revival two years ago flew to Toronto and thereupon received it. Steve Hill the Evangelist who was the catalyst for the outpouring of the Brownsville blessing, on a fateful Fathers day 2 years ago, had also received the Toronto blessing by laying on of hands at a church in Brompton UK, prior to his ministering at the Brownsville church. The Brompton church was the center in the UK, for the spreading of the Toronto blessing, the pastor of that church having also received that blessing while attending the Toronto airport Vineyard church. So what we have is a move which began in Toronto moving into Pensacola via people who had received that particular blessing via laying on of hands, (Toronto and Brompton) and expropriating it to Brownsville. This is important to note, as it is really the source of the activities which are ongoing there.

Orchestrated Agenda?

Let me explain. Rev. Kilpatrick was speaking primarily to Assembly of God pastors that night, and he was instructing them to lay everything on the line for this revival, even to the point of going against their church boards, and as an example he shared with them his own experience. Before the outpouring of the Blessing occurred, Rev. Kilpatrick went to his board, and laid the keys to the church on the altar, saying,”If Brownsville, does not go for this revival, I’ll resign.” His wife and another board member made the same commitment. In essence, the Brownsville blessing was planned and orchestrated even before it occurred.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/wed1.htm

Pastors Orchestrated First Revival 

PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 19, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserve
Hill’s persistent urging pushed crowd to react

By Alice Crann
News Journal staff writer 

PENSACOLA – For 2 1/2 years, the Rev. John Kilpatrick, pastor of Brownsville Assembly of God, and evangelist Steve Hill have promoted the Pensacola Brownsville Revival as a spontaneous arrival of the Holy Spirit on June 18, 1995. Kilpatrick also has repeatedly described the arrival of revival that day as “a mighty wind” that suddenly blew through the church. Everyone who was there felt it, he says. 

But videotape and statements of numerous people who were there indicate that nothing like that happened and the congregation in general was far from overwhelmed. 

In addition, say present and former church members, the revival did not suddenly arrive. They knew what Kilpatrick was setting up because in the months before the revival: 

  • He talked persistently about bringing revival to Brownsville and threatened to quit if the church did not accept the revival. 
  • The pastor’s wife, Brenda Kilpatrick, and a number of Brownsville church officials traveled to Canada and observed revival crowd-control techniques and prayer-team methods at the phenomenally successful ongoing revival there, the Toronto Blessing. 
  • Kilpatrick showed the congregation a video of a Toronto Blessing service, in which people fall to the floor, “slain in the spirit,” as they feel the Holy Spirit taking over them. 
  • Kilpatrick had followers of evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne attend a Brownsville service, where they functioned as an example of highly expressive worship. Howard-Browne, a dramatically energetic evangelist who calls himself the “Holy Ghost bartender,” is known for promoting the “holy laughter” phenomenon in which people succumb to hysterical convulsions. His followers did that at Brownsville. 
  • Kilpatrick invited Hill, an “on fire” evangelist whom Kilpatrick knew to be in search of a place to conduct a long-running, big revival to give the sermon on Father’s Day 1995.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/strange3.htm

CLAIM: Brownsville leaders claim the Pensacola “revival” began spontaneously on June 18, 1995.                

FACT: In the weeks prior to June 18 many key members of the Brownsville Assembly, including the pastor’s wife, visited Toronto, and they were earnestly seeking the same experiences for Brownsville. Prior to June 18 a video of the Toronto experiences was shown to the Pensacola congregation to encourage the congregation to desire the same thing. Prior to June 18, Pastor Kilpatrick talked persistently about bringing the Laughing Revival to Brownsville and threatened to quit if the church did not accept it (“Pastors orchestrated first revival Hill’s persistent urging pushed crowd to react,” Pensacola News Journal, Nov. 19, 1997). Pentecostal Evangelist Steve Hill was not randomly selected to speak at Brownsville on June 18. He was selected by Pastor Kilpatrick because Hills was earnestly desiring to be involved in the Laughing Revival and was searching for a place to conduct a long-running latter rain “revival.” Hills had recently sought the Laughing Revival anointing at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, England.

 http://op.50megs.com/ditc/mon2.htm

The Road To Revival 

Taken from – ‘Pastor’s visions launched his career’ 
PUBLISHED MONDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved

It is no secret how the revival came to Brownsville. Kilpatrick planned and prepared carefully. He led his congregation through two years of prayer for revival. He altered the focus of Sunday night services to concentrate on preparation for the revival. He brought in banners, organized prayer teams and assigned his wife, Brenda, the job of leading others in a call for revival. 

ttp://op.50megs.com/ditc/prod03.html

Catalytic ‘Prophecy’

Prophecy attributed to Korean Pastor Cho changed three times- It is interesting how a claim regarding a prophecy attributed to Korean Pastor Cho changed three times, each time becoming more specific until it identified Pensacola as the city where a “great end-time revival” w​ould break out and spread throughout the world. Actually, I had heard of that prophecy years before when we lived in Kentucky, and there was speculation that Evangel Tabernacle would be the church where it was to start. The prophecy didn’t change…the telling of it did. by Dr. Herb Babcock, Former Member of Brownsville Assembly Of God http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/prod03.html

https://www1.cbn.com/spirituallife/what-happened-to-brownsville’s-fire http://www.theremnant.com/June04-29.html

Until Jesus Comes

At one point during the heyday of the movement, Korean pastor David Yonggi Cho announced from Brownsville’s pulpit that the revival “would last until Jesus comes.” Certainly the fruit of this revival will remain that long. But for those in Pensacola who were swept up in the ecstasy of those early years, and then endured splits, resignations, debts, and disappointments, the word “revival” now has a hollow ring to it.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/wed1.htm

The Beginning

Hill’s Persistent Urging Pushed Crowd To React

PENSACOLA – For 2 1/2 years, the Rev. John Kilpatrick, pastor of Brownsville Assembly of God, and evangelist Steve Hill have promoted the Pensacola Brownsville Revival as a spontaneous arrival of the Holy Spirit on June 18, 1995. Kilpatrick also has repeatedly described the arrival of revival that day as “a mighty wind” that suddenly blew through the church. Everyone who was there felt it, he says. 

But videotape and statements of numerous people who were there indicate that nothing like that happened and the congregation in general was far from overwhelmed. 

Contrived Suggestive Manipulation

The video shows what happened after Kilpatrick turned the stage over to Hill. Hill says: “Everyone who would like a refreshing from the Lord you’d like God to touch your life I want you to come forward, just stand right in here.” Hundreds move into the area in front of the stage. Hill: “Now if someone falls next to you, work with me, OK? Just work with me. If someone falls right in front of you, help them down to the ground.” Hill goes into the audience, touches people on the forehead with one or two fingers. In some cases, he uses his whole hand or puts his hands along side of people’s heads as he shouts: “Now Lord! More! More! More! Jesus! Now Lord! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Now! Now Jesus! Fire! Now! Now!” Hill continues this for several minutes. He touches dozens of people. Most stand still. Nine fall down. 

Just a trickle

Hill gets back on stage, gestures to the choir to stop singing and says: “Listen, this is happening exactly like every one of our services. What is happening? It’s just a trickling going on. It’s almost like there’s a river going by and some of us are doing this (he demonstrates treading water). “Stay with what the Lord is doing. We’ve had the Lord move like this gently, and then the power of God hits, friends, and I want to tell you, it is the most spectacular presence of the Lord! “How many of you believe in the power of God? There’s people already down here, receiving from the Lord! Wait on the Lord right now! Go after the Lord!” Hill goes back in the audience and repeats his anointings and chants for several more minutes. No one moves or falls down. He gets back on stage. Hill: “The Lord just spoke to me right here in this section. I want everyone right here to go after the Lord right now. Go after the Lord.” Hill again goes back down into the audience and rapidly moves around, touching dozens of people on the head. Six fall down. Most watch curiously or continue praying. 

Confusion reigns

Kilpatrick takes the microphone from the pulpit and announces he is seeing something wonderful occur. “I’ve never experienced anything like it!” Many in the audience look confused. Hill hurries back on stage and says: “Pastor! Some of you, if you had any idea what the Lord is about to do for you! Just get back! I’ve had God hit people already in this place thrown them to the ground! They’re in heaven right now! They’re not in Pensacola they’re in heaven right now! Just stay open to the Lord!” 

A number of people start to leave the church. Hill shouts: “Don’t leave! Don’t leave!” He hurries into the audience and again begins laying on hands. Four people fall down. He gets on stage again and says: “Hey! It’s getting deeper, friends! It’s getting deeper! Getting deeper! Don’t leave! We’ve had the Lord pour out His Holy Spirit en masse! He just came down in the meeting! Don’t leave! Sweet Jesus! Sweet Jesus!” Hill goes back into the audience. Two men and one woman fall after his touch. He takes hold of a man, puts one hand on his head, the other on his shoulder, and shakes him. 

Kilpatrick falls

It is at this point that Kilpatrick falls down. The videotape shows that he trips as he steps backward up onto the stage. He puts out a hand to break his fall, drops into a sitting position, pauses a moment, then lies back. He does not get up until after the video ends. Hill pays no heed. He goes up to a man who is shaking and shouts into his face, “More, more!” Hill leads the man up onto the stage and backs away from him. He waves his hands at him, and yells: “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! More! More! More! More! More! More! Fire! Fire! Fire!” for several minutes. The man does not fall down. Instead, with his head bowed he walks past Hill toward the steps. Hill and another man grab him and take him back to the pulpit. Hill asks him: “What’s happening?” The man, eyes closed, speaks unintelligibly. 

Hill walks away, and the man leaves the stage weeping. 

Hill then says: “Friends, let me explain something. We may pray with you, and you think, ‘Well, nothing happened.’ “No, no, no, no, no, no! No, no, no, no, no, no! That’s not what God is into.” Hill talks some more, referring to some of his previous services when people did not think anything was happening but “the voltage of electricity was just flowing there.” “Some of you are thinking, ‘The way this thing is going, I’m never going to get prayed for.’ Friends, let me tell you what I’ve seen happen. As the people wait on the Lord as they wait on the Lord there have been times when I have turned to a crowd, and literally just walked through, and everyone was just hit everywhere by the power of God, ’cause they waited on the Lord. 

Hill talks some more, touches a child and she falls down. He immediately lifts her back to her feet and says: “Did you lose all your strength?” The girl nods. Hill gets back on stage and motions the singers to stop. Hill says: “I want all the children! Make room right here for all the little kids. “Now, kids. I want all you children to look at me. …OK, I’m going to be praying for you, OK? Some of you are going to be filled with the Holy Spirit! “One little girl who was 8 years old her parents brought her to me I touched her, she went to the ground, her hands went up, she began speaking in tongues, and her mom and dad went bananas! I mean they just they were sitting there watching her, filled with the Holy Ghost instantly! “I’m going to pray for you, you’re going to fall to the ground. Don’t worry about it. You’re going to love it. The Lord is touching your life. Hill begins touching the heads of the children, occasionally touching some adults. After several minutes, five adults and one little girl fall down. 

Hill leaves the children and goes back to the adults. This time, more people begin to fall. The crowd has thinned. Many have left the building or returned to their pews. Hill suddenly falls down with a loud cry. He moans and cries out, then quickly gets up. After some more anointings he goes back to the platform. He says: “I like it when the crowd starts thinning out. Then the Lord starts coming down. 

Praying for the people

Pointing to his left, Hill says: “God has just moved over here! Lord, have mercy! I want to pray with every single person now! How many of you kids have been prayed for? Did God touch your life?” Nobody responds. Hill points to someone out of view and says: “Reconstructed his life!” Again, he goes back into the audience. Since Hill began, two hours have passed. Most of the congregation has left. The tape fades to black. 

Kilpatrick and Hill’s ecstatic reports about the wonders of that day have gained nationwide attention and since that time have brought hundreds of thousands of people to the revival. Kilpatrick says: “When I fell on the floor, it was the most life-changing experience. Steve was beside himself because he was under a powerful anointing. “It may look foolish when watching the video, but a nation will not come to a place if the Lord is really not there. “Every night we walk into that church we say: ‘Lord. Will you do it one more time?’ If we could manufacture that, we would be really hot items.” 

Nothing Really Extraordinary Happened

Albert James Dager, who writes Media Spotlight, a Christian watchdog newsletter, based in Redmond, Wash., said he closely viewed the video of the Father’s Day service and observed that “nothing really extraordinary happened.” Media Spotlight is nondenominational, nonprofit and independent. For 20 years it has been providing a Biblical analysis of Christian messages appearing in the media. University religion departments, Bible scholars, theologians and some 5,000 pastors of many denominations subscribe. Dager said that viewing the tape, “I felt sorry for Steve Hill. He was working so hard to get something to happen, prompting the people, telling them what great things they were going to witness and experience. “Any objective person would have been embarrassed for him.” 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/strange3.htm

Falsified Exagerations

CLAIM: Brownsville leaders claim that on June 18 a mighty wind blew through the church, that it affected everyone present, that great numbers of people fell to the floor, that it was a mighty supernatural move of God.

FACT: The video recording of the June 18 service and testimonies of people who were there disprove the claims. It is very evident, in fact, that the events were highly manipulated by Evangelist Steve Hill. When he first invited people to come forward for the laying on of hands, only nine people fell, but Hill continued to cajole the crowd. Eventually another six fell, then a few more. It all appears to be manipulated by Hill. In fact, so little happened in spite of Hill’s shouting and demanding and wheedling, it is embarrassing. When people began to leave the church, Hill shouted at them not to leave. In apparent desperation Hill called for all the children to come forward. He told them that he was going to pray for them and they were going to fall to the ground. In spite of his prodding, only one little girl fell down.

The Brownsville meeting seemed clearly obsessed with the Charismatic “phenomenon” referred to as being “slain in the spirit.” Everything in the service that night was preparatory to and subservient to this unusual ritual, which one would have a difficult time defining and supporting from the Bible. The evangelist even mocked his would-be critics, saying that he would spend a few minutes looking at “Three Rules for Daily Living” found in Paul’s letters to Timothy, so that no one could accuse him of not basing his message on the Bible. He thought it was funny…I was saddened at such a de-emphasis of God’s Truth.
 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/grace.htm

A Lot Of “Coaching” Going

“I also noticed that there was a lot of “coaching” going on prior to the invitation. Visitors were told that they needed to have an open mind…that they might not receive anything from the Lord on the first night…that they needed to wait patiently on the Lord even if it meant staying until three in the morning…that they should react without thinking about it (the evangelist called this “immediate obedience to the Holy Spirit” and gave an object lesson to demonstrate what he meant), and that not everyone would necessarily fall down as a sign of God’s work in their life. Add to this mixture an upbeat, loud and hard-driving rock tempo with repetitious words which went on and on, plus the factor of physical and mental exhaustion which sets in after four or five hours (much less night after night), plus the pent-up expectation of witnessing or participation in the “miraculous”–it’s a recipe for deception and misrepresentation.”

Manifestations In The mix

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/pensa3.html

Eye Witness Testimonies: 
REPORT DATE:  4 FEB 1997.

FROM:  MRS BARBARA L. (-USA).

“Finally, the meeting began with worship. My excitement and enthusiasm quickly vanished. Something seemed very wrong to me. I thought maybe I was expecting too much. The worship was very typical of the modern contemporary worship that I had been accustomed to, most of the songs familiar, but something didn’t seem right in the Spirit.

Then the manifestations began. Young girls walking around gesturing as though they were mentally ill. One of the worship leaders, a female, collapsed on the floor during the worship where she remained for a long time. I kept telling myself.. keep an open mind. I kept asking God.. is this you.. if this is you, give me a peace in my spirit. It never came.

As the speakers began to share, I became increasing disturbed. They spoke of the mystical appearance of the river on that fateful Sunday in June of 1995 and how its power swept into the building and changed everything. They went on and on about manifestations, particularly about bizarre behaviors in which they believed they were birthing things through intercession. The pastor’s wife spoke and the entire time she was on the platform she jerked uncontrollably as she told stories of phenomenon. Finally, I could stand it no longer. I looked at my family and said let’s get out of here. They were quick to agree. I left the materials that I had purchased on the church parking lot. I didn’t even want to take them in my car… This is deception and I believe with all my heart that the spirit operating at Pensacola is a religious spirit, a counterfeit spirit…They talked about the river, they talked about manifestations of power… the Spirit of God inside me did not bear witness that this”revival” was of Him.”

FROM: NEAL & DARLEEN H. (-USA). “A group from our church, including our pastor, visited the Brownsville Assembly of God. We had heard about all the lost souls that were supposedly getting saved, and how wonderfully God was supposedly moving. We genuinely thought this was going to be a really great move of God…

As I sat there in the balcony, I couldn’t help noticing all the weird, strange things people around me were doing. I thought “there surely area lot people here with nervous tics, and Parkinson’s disease.” I truly thought that was what was the matter with them. But, I felt so uneasy, like something wasn’t right, yet I couldn’t figure out what it was. Well some of these people whom I thought had a nervous tic began to get worse as the service progressed, and some began to laugh and scream – a blood curdling scream. It was at this point of the service that I decided that all these people were demon opressed, and didn’t have nervous tics at all. It was quite a disturbing thought as there were so many of them, and I thought I’ve never seen anything like this in all my life!!!! I closed my eyes and prayed “Dear Lord please let this be the night these people are delivered from this horrible demonic oppression. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Steve Hill got up to preach, and mostly told stories, showed us his dictionary that he’d bought with scriptures in it, told us not toanalyze this “move of God”, and that we’d better receive it if we didn’t want a stamp of disapproval from Jesus. I sat there as he was speaking thinking “this man’s words are dead, there is absolutely no anointing on him – none.” I was still trying to figure out what was wrong with this whole picture when our pastor got up from the choir where he was sitting, and walked up to the balcony where the rest of us were. It was very obvious that he was greatly disturbed and he said to us “we’ve got to get out of here, there is something really wrong,” we all agreed!! all of us managed to get out to the parking lot where our pastor told usthat the strange, wicked looking movements we were seeing in the balcony were in fact happening all through the audience. Our pastor said that the true Holy Spirit impressed strongly that we should not let them lay hands on us, for the spirit that was causing all the epileptic type symptoms and chicken walking etc. is passed by the laying on of hands. The Holy Spirit impressed strongly that we were not only to leave , but that we were to never go back.

It was like we had somehow fallen into a real life horror movie!!!! still can hardly believe what I saw with my own eyes… Those people are not being saved; they can say the sinner’s prayer all day long, but unless the true Holy Spirit is there to do the work of regeneration they cannot be saved. The Spirit of the Lord must draw a person to Christ, and He was not there… This is the great deception…”

REPORT DATE: 26 FEB 1997.
FROM: MR MICHAEL O. (-USA).
[This is an eyewitness account of what occurred when ‘Brownsville’ began to flood into the church that this gentleman attends]. In September of 1996 the board of elders in our church sent the senior pastor away for a much needed sabbatical (about a month). As best as I am aware, he spent two weeks on vacation somewhere in Florida and two weeks at, you guessed it, Brownsville Assembly of God. He and his wife came back in very jovial moods. His wife testified how God had delivered her from depression. They both testified how they had been slain in the spirit many times during the two weeks they were there. After he returned others began to go to Brownsville. Honestly, Ihadn’t noticed anything strange about these folks. Contrariwise, they seemed to be more open in their worship to God.

Last Sunday (3 days ago), several young people returned from Browns-ville. Three of the young ladies (16 year old range) exhibited “the jerks” and “writhing like a snake” manifestations. Neither one of these girls would have ever acted like this before, and two of them were down right shy! These were manifested in our Sunday evening service and they were not in control of themselves. They sat in their pews looking as though they belonged in a mental institution. Many in the congregation were laughing at what they saw. I confess, I started to laugh also but did my best to hold it in not deeming the situation that funny. On Monday morning during the opening exercises at the church school (grades 1-12, A.C.E.), my daughter told me that the normal 15 minute opening exercises lasted over two hours during which the manifestations of the previous mentioned three girls were passed over to many in the school. My wife, after hearing this, became very disturbed and concerned and requested of me that both she and I would attend the opening exercises on Tuesday, ie. yesterday. The school went through their pledges, etc and then the pastor preached. His sermon dealt with getting more of God but to get more of God one would have to get all their sins under the blood, deny themselves completely, and make themselves or put themselves in the way of a blessing.

He mentioned that a hindrance to the blessings of God would be if the students thought: “What would people think if I started “jerking” or got “slain the spirit”. This was quite emphasized even though all the while the pastor would inject that “this isn’t about manifestations”. He also emphasized how the children would be playing a big part in th revival that was to start in our church. Well, the sermon ended and then the music started and the altar call began with one student after another going up to the altar. One thing that was very disturbing is that only one song was played, a 30 second piece that goes “Anointing,fall on me, anointing fall on me, let the power of the Holy Ghost falon me, anointing fall on me.” Remember that the altar call lasted atleast one hour with this song being played over and over just like a MANTRA! The manifestations began again, beginning with the girls I previously described and then passing from them over to other children. Several began to jerk, especially the girls. Why the girls? The children just went from one to another laying hands on one another. Beyond what I witnessed on Sunday evening, the following manifestations were seen: Uncontrollable weeping, staggering, unable to stand, stuck to the floor, writhing like a serpent, crawling on hands and knees, mooing, exhaustion. These manifestations are given as manifestations among those involved with kundalini/shakti on a chart that I have in front of me. After at least an hour of this, the children went back to their pews, but not until the music had stopped of course, and they just sat there, quiet, not saying a word for at least another 1/2 hour. One of the original three girls stood up and said this was a sovereign work of God, crying all the time. One of the school teachers said that it was good for the kids to be resting now, that it was good to rest after having been in the presence of the Lord.

My daughters are not in school today and they won’t be in school anymore until this thing is settled. This is crazy. I’v experiencedGod’s power, I’ve experienced being baptized with the Holy Ghost, but never in my life did such experiences leave me exhausted or in a state of bewilderment like these young people seemed to be in…

Ambassador Undercover – https://books.google.ca › booksDavid Scott

“At the time the “revival” in Pensacola became the latest fad to follow, our daughter attended a youth group at a church where half the teenagers went to Pensacola to attend the meetings. All of them were genuinely on fire for God before they went. None of them were sinful backsliders. After they returned from Florida, however, all the girls were whores or lesbians and all the boys were whoremongers or homosexuals. All of them were rebellious toward their parents too. We mentioned this to some friends in Christchurch, whose son visited the Pensacola church. They told us their son, who was previously very close to them, returned with such a spirit of rebellion that they wouldn’t allow him to stay at home.”

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/prod03.html

Only Prayers For -“More, Lord!”

I was included in the prayer teams until we disassociated ourselves from BAG. While on the prayer team, we were instructed to NOT pray in Jesus’ name. We were told to NOT pray for the needs of people. The only thing we were to do was touch people on their forehead and say, “More, Lord!” and keep repeating that until there was an “impartation” of the spirit being promoted in the meetings. If the person did not respond in a reasonable time, move on to someone else. Any deviation from the limited procedure would result in being removed from the prayer team, which did happen to a few individuals.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/tue1.htm

Hills Bio Fraught With Fallacies – Revival Leader Admits He Inflated Stories

PUBLISHED TUESDAY NOVEMBER 18, 1997 Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved     By John W. Allman -News Journal staff writer 

PENSACOLA – Working the stage four nights a week at Brownsville Assembly of God, his blue eyes blazing and his right leg pumping like a piston, Steve Hill relates to people by firing off snippets of Scripture interspersed with images from his own life. 

One of his favorite message topics is: “Each man writes his own legacy.” Hill has already endeavored to write his. It is his autobiography, “Stone Cold Heart,” that colorfully details his ascent from a life of crime and drugs. 

Night after night at the Pensacola Brownsville Revival, Hill repeats those same stories about his past, quoting many of the details in his book. 

But the facts of his past often differ from what he says and what he wrote. 

  • The self-proclaimed “former junkie” and “heroin addict” was never a heroin addict. 
  • The man who says that from 1972 to 1975 he was arrested “13 times” has only three arrests on his record in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala. 
  • After graduating from high school in 1972, Hill said he wandered the country for three years, working odd jobs and using and selling drugs. 
  • In his autobiography, Hill says he was expelled from high school and implies it happened more than once. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/tue2.htm

PUBLISHED TUESDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved
By John W. Allman News Journal staff writer 

Hill’s Boasts Often Exaggerate The Facts

Hill’s enthusiasm for his success and his mission supersede that message. The way his eyes gleam as he describes enemies he has attracted through his evangelism, the way his fist pumps as he cites the number of people he has saved, the way his voice resonates as he describes himself as God’s messenger all suggest he is a man who takes pride in what he does and who he is. The stories come fast and furious. His blue eyes often brim with tears and just as often blaze with intensity. He tells countless stories of his past, casting them as freshly recalled anecdotes though they come verbatim from his books and sermons. He also tells present-day stories, casting them in vague details and dramatic references for which he provides no documentation. He says there are businessmen who want him dead because he saved a stripper who also worked as a prostitute. He says covens of witches have threatened him and even sent a gunwoman from Mississippi, armed with silver bullets, to kill him. 

Yet, there is much he does not say. He does not argue when people draw comparisons between him and Jesus Christ. He does not disclose what he has done with one-third of the $2.2 million his ministry collected over the last year. He does not expound beyond his scripted life story unless he is confronted with contradictory evidence. He says no one in the media who interviewed him in the last two years closely questioned his account of his past; instead, he says, each one became a friend and a believer. 

When the News Journal asked him to clear up contradictions between what he says about himself and what police and court records show and between his self-description and others’ description of him he had no ready answers. After the News Journal interview, Hill asked his mother and his attorney to call the News Journal and dispute the record. 

The News Journal, during a four-month investigation of the revival and its leaders, interviewed people whom Hill said played an important role at every stage of his life. Each told a story far different from the one Hill wrote in his autobiography, “Stone Cold Heart.” The young man they remember is unlike the young man Hill says he was. They tell of a bright boy who was an average student. 

They tell of a business-minded teen-ager with a creative flair who was capable of convincing others to follow him, no matter what. 

Steve Hill’s older sister, Marcia Pate, 47, who lives in Huntsville, had already graduated when Steve entered high school, but she remembers him as a typical kid brother. He was closer to his younger sister, Susan, who went from fighting with him on the playground to assisting him on profitable “trash night” expeditions. She says Steve would take her around the neighborhood, picking up “good stuff” that people threw out. “Steve was awesome,” recalls Susan Hill, now 40. “When he was in high school, he was business-minded,” said Susan Hill, remembering a time when her brother ordered a kit to make yo-yos that would glow in the dark. She sat and helped him put them together so he could sell them at nearby Grissom High School. Hill remembers that differently. He says he did make the yo-yos but he put drugs inside them. Yo-yos with drugs cost $10; those without cost $2. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/tue4.htm

Criminal Record Not What He Says It Is 

By John W. Allman
News Journal staff writer 

PENSACOLA – Steve Hill depicts his youth as a troubled time of drug addiction and crime. He tells of frequent problems in school, extended jail stays, random criminal acts and a never-ending flow of drugs. In his autobiography, “Stone Cold Heart,” Hill writes of running wild in the streets of Huntsville, Ala., in the early 1970s, doing all kinds of drugs and getting arrested frequently. 

Hill claims that he was:

  • Expelled from high school. 
  • Arrested at least 13 times between high school graduation in 1972 and December 1975. 
  • Sentenced to short jail terms or probation by a number of judges.

But much of what Hill describes cannot be verified. And his stories differ from what others recall. 

Hill blames the passage of time for that: Since the events happened more than 20 years ago, he says, people have forgotten some facts and specific details. But even the police, court and school records differ from his accounts. 

Hill wrote in “Stone Cold Heart”: 

I was constantly being led down the school corridors to the principal’s office. Expelled from school again!

Hill graduated from Grissom High School in 1972. His senior class, had 547 students. Few of Hill’s teachers are still there. Edna Keel, who taught economics and psychology, said she remembers him only because of his hair, which was longer than most other students. “He always kept it neat,” she said. In the early 1970s, it was not uncommon for schools to have an assistant principal assigned to handle discipline. At Grissom High, that was Ray Reynolds. “I never had any serious problems with Steve,” said Reynolds, 60, who now teaches American history at Sparkman High School in Huntsville. “He was the usual high school kid in the ’70s.” Reynolds used a paddle to enforce the rules. He remembers paddling Hill, but only for minor offenses such as being late for school. Hill said in a recent interview that Reynolds paddled him because he had drugs. Reynolds said he never disciplined Hill for drugs. 

Hill admitted in an interview with the News Journal that he was never expelled from Grissom. But he claims he passed out in the school cafeteria after taking Quaaludes, a depressant, and school officials had to call his mother to pick him up. After the News Journal interview, Hill had his mother, Ann, call the newspaper to verify that she picked him up at school. 

Hill wrote in “Stone Cold Heart”: 

The cycle of drugs-crime-jail, drugs-crime-jail repeated over and over only to be stopped by death itself.

In the early 1970s, the population of Huntsville was almost 140,000. The drug culture of the late 1960s was just surfacing in the northern Alabama city, nestled just below the Tennessee state line. It caught many people, especially local law enforcement officials, by surprise. 

The Huntsville Police Department created a drug unit in 1969 to battle what it said were the three most common drugs: marijuana, LSD and Dilaudid. 

The city did not have a significant problem with what police considered the hard drugs: heroin and cocaine, Huntsville police officials said. 

Hill, however, has described the city of his youth as a haven for hard-drug use. His favorite, he said, was morphine. In his sermons, he has called himself a junkie, but now says the truth is that he tried heroin only a few times. “I don’t ever want to depict myself as what you would call a mainline heroin addict,” Hill said. 

Hill’s depictions of his criminal past also raise questions. He uses vague terms when he mentions his arrests. Though he claims police took him to jail in Colorado, Arizona and California, as well as in Alabama, he can offer no proof that any arrest outside Alabama ever happened. His explanation is that many were for crimes that were never solved. 

Hill’s attorney, Walter Chandler, suggests that some were not actual arrests but were instances in which Hill was picked up for questioning. 

One story Hill has told on stage numerous times is that he and some friends were arrested “for breaking into a drug store” in Madison, Ala. That arrest is not on his record. National law enforcement reports, Huntsville police records and Madison County Court records together show four arrests: two on drug charges, in 1974 and 1975; two on charges of attempting to break into an automobile, in 1973 and 1975. Hill’s record shows he was convicted of only one charge: possession and sale of Dilaudid, a pain-reliever. 

Hill wrote in “Stone Cold Heart”: 

Without any direction, I began to hitchhike around the country. Wherever I could find shelter became my home in caves, under bridges, in the desert, and in street missions.

After high school graduation, Hill said, he took to the road for three years, criss-crossing the country from the East to West Coast and back again. Yet from Sept. 21, 1973 to March 4, 1975, Hill was employed full time in Huntsville at John Blue Farm Equipment Co., making castings for farm equipment in the foundry. The foundry has since closed, but the business is still open. Company employment records show no indication that he missed work. He left he was not fired in 1975, the file shows. Hill said recently he did work at John Blue but spent a majority of the time hitchhiking through Arizona, California and Colorado. He said he worked odd jobs in Colorado and also at a convenience store. 

Hill cannot explain how he was capable of traveling so much while working a full-time job. “I don’t remember all the details. In Stone Cold Heart,’ I don’t say dates. It was a total blur,” Hill said. “I knew I worked for John Blue.” 

Hill wrote in “Stone Cold Heart”: 

No longer did I even try to lie and connive my way to get the judge to let me off from punishment for my crimes. This was partly because I usually didn’t remember what I had done under the influence of narcotics to end up in jail. Yet somehow, the judges seemed not to want to waste the taxpayers’ money on me and usually just gave me a short jail sentence or probation.

Judge John David Snodgrass remembers Steve Hill. 

Snodgrass, 59, was a circuit court judge in Madison County in 1976 when Hill appeared before him on two counts of possession and sale of LSD and two counts of possession and sale of Dilaudid. The judge dismissed three counts and convicted Hill on one. 

Enter Jim Summers. Summers had moved to Huntsville in 1968 and established Outreach Ministries of Alabama Inc. The nonprofit organization was designed to help kids on drugs learn to live a spiritual life. Summers had met Hill once before at a Friday night Outreach service but the two did not become friends until Hill was in jail, waiting to go to court. Summers said he felt a calling to help Hill; he began lobbying Snodgrass to release Hill to his ministry. Snodgrass reluctantly agreed. The county was looking for alternative ways to provide for offenders. “It seemed like a good test proposition for Summers to see if that was going to be a workable situation,” Snodgrass said. 

Snodgrass sentenced Hill to two years in the state penitentiary but changed it to two years of probation with the condition that Hill complete a Christian-based treatment program called Teen Challenge. 

Hill spent 3 months with Summers in Huntsville, then was sent to Cape Girardeau, Mo., for eight months of Bible study in Teen Challenge. 

When he completed that program, Hill entered a one-year program at Twin Oaks Academy in Lindale, Texas, headed by David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge. The school is now closed and Wilkerson has since founded Times Square Church/World Challenge Inc. in Manhattan. When he finished at Twin Oaks, Hill was hired by Summers’ ministry to work with prisoners in Huntsville. He did that for four years, and said he often worked with Snodgrass to find ways to help drug offenders. 

Snodgrass, however, said he has seen Hill only once since the day he sentenced him. That was a few years ago when Hill visited Huntsville while taking a break from his missionary work in South America. Hill cannot explain why the judge’s account differs from his. 

“Whether he remembers it or not is up to him,” Hill said. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/tue3.htm

Money For Missions Fails To Add Up 

PUBLISHED TUESDAY NOVEMBER 18, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved

By John W. Allman and J. Lowe Davis
News Journal staff writers 

PENSACOLA – Evangelist Steve Hill says he has poured money into a multitude of foreign missions and charities. His attorney, Walter Chandler, specifically mentioned three, including an orphanage in San Nicolas, Argentina. But when the News Journal called the orphanage for details, staff members said they have not heard from Hill in 10 years. They asked the News Journal for Hill’s address so they could write him and ask for a donation. 

Many missions that Hill mentions cannot be reached to confirm his giving because he does not provide addresses, phone numbers or other forms of contact. The News Journal reached the orphanage by contacting the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which found contacts and phone numbers that eventually led to the orphanage. 

Hill is fondly remembered at the orphanage he was in a mission group that built it in the 1980s, said Betina Fernandez, executive secretary to orphanage director Pastor Omar de Felipe. Fernandez, who said she has never met Hill, spoke highly of him for helping create the orphanage, the Asociacion Civil Hogar Evangelico El Amanecer. It provides beds, food, counseling, medical treatment and schooling for 70 children. It relies on government funds, Fernandez said. 

Hill’s stories about his ministry’s benevolence help inspire the Friday night Brownsville Revival crowds to give generously $100 apiece is the amount the revival leaders ask. Asked for specifics about his giving through his ministry, Together in the Harvest, Hill and his attorney gave the News Journal two different financial statements showing three different totals for his giving to missions. None of those three totals match the list and total on the ministry’s IRS return. 

The different figures are: 

  • $900,000 – On his ministry’s financial statement, Hill noted: “75 percent of Friday night offerings are allocated for foreign and home missions.” Hill’s ministry receives the entire collection every Friday night at the Brownsville Revival. That amounted to “about $1.2 million” for the ministry from August 1996 to August 1997, so 75 percent would be $900,000. 
  • $789,689 – Elsewhere on the financial statement, Hill provided Hill said that 31 percent, or $789,689, of the ministry’s total budget of $2.2 million went to foreign and domestic missions. It did not list the missions. 
  • $639,383 – Hill’s attorney provided a missions list for the same time period. It said $639,384 went to missions and Teen Challenge centers in 17 foreign countries and two American states. Some missions were named, most were not and were identified only as a country. Some were designated as “Ministerial giving” and “Pastoral.” The list identified three Teen Challenge centers in Florida as receiving $18,260. Officials in the Teen Challenge Florida headquarters, however, said only that Hill has contributed to several Florida centers. They declined to say how much Hill has contributed or where the money went. 
  • $102,212 The IRS return states that Together in the Harvest gave $102,212 about 9 percent of its revenue of $1,187,519 to “ministry/outreach.” By comparison, $421,438, or 35 percent, was the year-end unused balance.

Hill and his attorney both said they did not know whether the IRS return was for the 1996 calendar year or for the same August to August fiscal year as the two other financial statements. The return does not specify the time period, but it was dated Aug. 12 and received Aug. 19. 

Hill has emphatically reassured revival audiences that their donation to Together in the Harvest will be well-spent. He has often said to the audience, “our books are open” and “there is nothing to hide.” “Don’t get blown out of the saddle when someone asks you for a missions offering, Hill said to the crowd at the Friday night revival Sept 26. “You should get blown out of the saddle you should and you’d have every right to if the money is being squandered.” 

In a recent interview with the News Journal, Hill said that in 1984 he asked the Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Mo., to send him into the mission field. In 1985, Hill and his wife went to Costa Rica to learn Spanish. In 1986, they moved to Buenos Aires. While in Argentina, Hill said, he watched and learned from revival leaders like Carlos Anaconda, credited with inspiring the Great Argentine Revival.Hill said he traveled back to the United States periodically to raise money, then returned to Argentina to use that money to build churches. “I was the one. I would go to a city. I would pray over the city. Someone’s got to be leading this thing, and so I was the one doing that,” Hill said. One of his crowning achievements, he said, is the Evangelistic Center in Neuquen, Argentina. 

Hill and Pastor Hector Ferreyra started the church 10 years ago in Ferreyra’s garage, according to The Sheaf Report, a newsletter mailed out by Together in the Harvest. The church now has a multi-use building with a gymnasium, a 3,500-seat sanctuary and eight dining rooms, according to Pastor Oscar Revelino, who said he and Ferreyra are members of an Assemblies of God union in Argentina. Revelino  said the church feeds 800 children per week in its dining rooms and ministers to about 10,000 children on the street. Revelino said Hill has “helped with money,” but said he did not have figures. Revelino said the News Journal needed to speak to the church’s accountant, but he did not identify the accountant. Hill’s financial statement shows his ministry sent $137,084 to Argentina between Aug. 1, 1996, and Aug. 1, 1997. 

On a videotape of the Sept. 26 revival, Hill said he has sent $45,000 to Ferreyra to buy an abandoned movie theater in Cipoletti, Argentina; $30,000 to a Bible school in Argentina; and, he said, he has been sending $3,000 a month to Colombia to help establish a Teen Challenge center. The ministry’s IRS return, however, does not list any of these places as receiving money. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/mon1.htm

Kilpatrick Rules Over Revival 

PUBLISHED MONDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved


Revival provides pastor with luxury lifestyle

By John W. Allman News Journal staff writer 

PENSACOLA – Pastor John Kilpatrick likes to be in control of his congregation. He has said so in his sermons, on revival videotapes and in his autobiography. Whether it is leading his people in prayer for revival or denouncing dissenters from his pulpit, Kilpatrick has made it clear he is in charge. In the 2 1/2 years since the Pensacola Brownsville Revival began, however, Kilpatrick has yielded to a higher power. 

He says he has seen visions — angels, healing bubbles, strange projectiles — that he cannot explain. He has talked to God. God has talked to him. Kilpatrick has found himself addressing his congregation in an unfamiliar language — not quite speaking in tongues, yet not quite English. He acknowledges that God powers the car, but it is clear that Kilpatrick is still at the wheel. He has refused to disclose his salary, not even to his own congregation, although pastors in most other denominations readily make that information known. 

He has used his pulpit to prophesize dire retribution against revival critics. He has told people who left his church they were “devil possessed” even though some were his strong supporters before the revival began. The News Journal, during a four-month investigation of the revival and its leaders, has found other things that Kilpatrick likes besides control: 

  • Privacy — Kilpatrick said he moved his family to Seminole Landing, in Baldwin County, Ala., in 1996 to get away from revival-goers who, he said, constantly drove by his Pensacola home. He has an unlisted phone number and he no longer keeps office hours at the church, opting instead to work in his home, at a location he did not disclose to his congregation until three days after the News Journal questioned him. 
  • Property — Kilpatrick and his wife, Brenda, have taken out a $300,000 mortgage for two acres in Donovan’s Landing, also in Baldwin County, where they are building an expansive home and a towering two-story garage-guest house. The Kilpatricks also have a $200,000 mortgage on their present home. 
  • Possessions — Kilpatrick’s newly created nonprofit corporation, Feast of Fire Ministries Inc., bought him a $310,000 motor coach last year to use for travel because he does not like to fly. 

Kilpatrick dismisses criticism of his lifestyle. 

“I have always strived to set an example by not living above the means of my people,” he said in an interview with the News Journal. 

A number of neighbors, former friends and former church members disagree. While they are willing to talk about his excesses, and in most cases provide documentation, they insisted they not be named because they fear retaliation. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/mon4.htm

Kilpatrick Takes Hard Line Against Dissenters 

PUBLISHED MONDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved

By John W. Allman and Amie K. Streater News Journal staff writers 

PENSACOLA – The magnetic, persuasive pastor of the Brownsville Assembly of God inspires hundreds to hurry to the altar to be saved. 

He wanted revival and he got it — and along with it he received international fame, wealth and adoration. He is revered and respected, but he is also repudiated. He is a man of God, but also a man to be feared and avoided, say neighbors, former friends and members of his own congregation. 

Since the revival began in June 1995, Kilpatrick has seen many members of his church — Brownsville Assembly of God — walk out. 

Some he has cast out, ordering them not to return. Reason: They either did not agree with the revival and its manifestations and impartations — passing on of the Holy Spirit through the preachers’ touch — or they were not living their lives the way Kilpatrick thought they should. “He just has a real critical and judgmental attitude toward people he considers to be in sin — which is not Christ-oriented at all,” said a woman who left after years of faithful attendance. “The message of love is not there,” she said. 

Kilpatrick can be a good pastor and a kind man, another former member said. 

There was one time several years ago that she needed advice and called him. He prayed with her and showed her examples of Scripture to comfort her, she recalled. “He said, ‘This is for you,’ ” she said. “That really encouraged me.” But she has seen the pastor’s other side, which is one reason she asked not to be identified when interviewed. Kilpatrick, she said, is not a man you can “agree to disagree” with. There is one way — his way — that he expects members of his congregation to follow. “There’s no, ‘We’re all part of God’s kingdom,’ ” she said. “There’s none of that.” 

Kilpatrick has taught his flock to think within very strict confines, she said. Anyone with a different attitude is encouraged to leave or change. “If you’re not within those confines, then they’ll pray for you to come back into the fold,” she said. 

Kilpatrick’s dealings with his neighbors also draw criticism. The pastor acknowledges he has been in a property dispute since he moved into a home in Seminole Landing, Ala., last fall. Jeanie Bettcher, who lives in Winnipeg, Canada, owns the lot next to the house Kilpatrick bought last year from a Brownsville Assembly of God member. Bettcher is planning to build her retirement home on her Seminole Landing lot. But she said she has had trouble getting a construction loan because the lot has an encroachment. When she visited her lot earlier this year, she saw that Kilpatrick was parking his 40-foot-long bus on her lot and using part of her land as a driveway for the bus. Kilpatrick concedes that, but blames the person from whom he bought his home — a member of his church. “The detached garage was already there. The previous owner built it over the set back line.” 

Bettcher complains that Kilpatrick not only used part of Bettcher’s land as a driveway and parking pad, he had a crew cut down a stand of oak trees on her property because the trees were blocking his view of a pond, put a concrete picnic table on her property and had landscapers use railroad ties to terrace part of her land. Kilpatrick says he had just one of her trees cut down, and he says the terrace and table were a mistake. “I had some landscapers come out here because the back is steep. I had them put in railroad ties. When they did this, they went in on her property. So I had to get that all moved.” 

Bettcher recently had other Erin Pond neighbors go to her property and put yellow tape along the front and side adjacent to Kilpatrick’s. The tape says: “No trespassing.” 

By coincidence, Bettcher recently learned that she is part-owner of a Pensacola property adjacent to Kilpatrick’s church and that the church may be encroaching on that property. Brownsville Assembly of God is building a large Family Life Center on land next to property that Bettcher and her aunts recently inherited. Construction on the Family Life Center has been at a standstill for more than a month because of the dispute over the property line. Associate Pastor Carey Robertson explained the situation as “discrepancies in the surveys.” He said the church is not encroaching and has turned the matter over to its attorneys. Bettcher is adamant about not giving the church an inch for free, not after her experience with Kilpatrick over the Seminole Landing property. 

“He doesn’t appear to be remorseful,” she said. 

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

If You Want To Be Intimidated And Lampooned, Go To Brownsville

 Question: Is the Spirit manifested bringing truth and greater Spiritual values?
Answer: Truth? Here’s their form of truth:

Steve Hill –“If you want to be intimidated and lampooned, go to the Brownsville Assembly to “try the spirit.” I know because I went. Steve Hill was very upset when he came to the pulpit to preach that night. He said that he had to get something said before he could preach. Then he talked about the “FBI,” which he defined as the “Fault-finding Brothers International.” He spoke so arrogantly about anyone questioning this “move of God” that I had to claim the Blood to resist his criticism. This same intimidation has been reported all across the country. You will read of other similar statements in other parts of this report. A true move of God will invite Bible Bereans to line the walls and confirm the absolute truth of His visitation. It certainly will not offend God when we search the Scripture.” (The End Times and Victorious Living, March/April 1997, Vol. 11 No. 2, page 14.)

Greater Spiritual values? What about humility, servanthood, sacrifice … and above all, love? Would you call Rev. Kilpartick putting a curse on Hank Hanegraaff and the Christian Research Institute a good example of the spiritual value of loving your brother?:

“And Mr. Hanegraaff, I want to say to you, before you get back on national television and start spouting off at the mouth again about something of which you know nothing of, you’d better be careful, because God said, “Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord.” And I want to say something else to you. If you want to keep any kind of a semblance of a ministry, you better back off from this revival and what God is doing. You better back off, because I’m going to prophesy to you that if you don’t, and you continue to put your tongue in your mouth on this move of God, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down. I said, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down.” (Rev. John Kilpatrick, Borwnsville AOG, 4/6/97)

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/mon6.htm

Prophecies Aim To Silence Critics 

PUBLISHED MONDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved
Kilpatrick predicts downfall of others 

By Alice Crann News Journal staff writer 

PENSACOLA – The Rev. John Kilpatrick’s pronouncements of dire divine judgment on those who dare to question the Pensacola Brownsville Revival have caused quite a stir nationwide. 

Luther Edwards, the pen name of an Assembly of God pastor in the Midwest, calls Kilpatrick’s actions: “The Silencing of the Lambs.” 

That is the title of a paper Edwards submitted this year to Contemporary Pentecostal Issues an Internet forum in which Pentecostal and charismatic Christians can discuss and debate issues of their faith, doctrines and practices. 

“A prophecy is an inspired utterance,” Edwards said in an interview with the News Journal. “In Pentecostal circles, we differentiate between primary revelation, which is the Bible and which we consider infallible, and secondary revelation prophetic utterances that we do not consider infallible. “The purpose of prophecy 1 Corinthians 14 is edification, exhortation and comfort. The use of prophecy is not supposed to be for what Kilpatrick did to make a prophecy for the downfall of other people. It is not in the best tradition of Pentecostal history.” 

Kilpatrick made his prophecy about Hank Hanegraaff at Brownsville Assembly of God in a televised revival message on April 6. 

Hanegraaff is president of the Christian Research Institute in Southern California and host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Bible Answer Man.” He was on the April 4 episode of “Larry King Live” talking about his book “Counterfeit Revival: Looking for God in All the Wrong Places” and about how some Christian denominations use sociopsychological techniques to manipulate followers. Kilpatrick, who said he did not see this “Larry King Live” episode, said he became angry after someone who saw the show told him that Hanegraaff compared the revival to the Heaven’s Gate cult. 

On April 6 he made this prophecy against Hanegraaff: 

“I want to say something this morning to Hank Hanegraaff: “You better back off, because I am going to prophesy to you that if you don’t, and you continue to put your tongue in your mouth on this move of God, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down. “I said: Within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down! “And I speak that as a man of God. … This is a move of God and you better leave it alone.” 

Hanegraaff told the News Journal: “Kilpatrick wildly distorted what I said, and he is making pronouncements under the auspices of the Holy Spirit. 

On June 18 — 72 days after he prophesied that the Holy Spirit would smote Hanegraaff — Kilpatrick recanted and apologized. 

Kilpatrick recently told the News Journal that looking back, he thinks he showed poor judgment. “I was wrong with Hank Hanegraaff — I called him and apologized,” said Kilpatrick during a recent interview at his home in Seminole Landing in Baldwin County, Ala. “What I said was not a prophecy.” 

Kilpatrick’s change of heart is good and bad, Edwards said. “He is admitting that he spoke falsely in the name of the Lord, that he spoke presumptuously. The fact that he has apologized is laudable. “But when he says he wasn’t really making a prophecy –that is disingenuous. The transcript shows he did.” Christian critics also are concerned about some other remarks Kilpatrick made during that April 6 service. Saying that he was addressing “Hanegraaff, and all other devils, Kilpatrick made a number of what he termed proclamations. They included: 

  • “No weapon that is formed against me or Steve Hill or this major outpouring of the Holy Spirit shall prosper. 
  • “I’m not worried about no bomb … I’m going to make this proclamation in the ears of God: Let ’em wire one. Let ’em get ’em Hertz or U-Haul and put it up outside in the front with fertilizer and all that mess. It won’t go off … I’m saying this in the ears of God: Father, let some heathen, let some devil-possessed person load up a truck of explosives or put a bomb in a bag. Let ’em do it … I make a proclamation, Lord, it shall never, ever go off in the name of Jesus. 
  • “The church known as Brownsville Assembly of God shall maintain its integrity and anybody that the devil tries to bring into this congregation for the wrong purpose shall fall away and never be heard from again and will have no effect whatsoever on this church in a negative way. 
  • “The supernatural, divine, Holy Ghost healings and deliverances and signs and wonders begin to drastically increase as to leave no doubts that God is still in the miracle-working business.”

Hearing those statements, Edwards said, he cannot keep silent about what he called Kilpatrick’s false prophecies and threats. Edwards, who has studied the sermon transcript, said: “The implication is clear: Those who voice criticism of any kind are the enemy and could face dire consequences.” As an Assembly of God pastor, he said, “I am concerned that some of what is happening at Brownsville is not representative of Pentecostalism. He said he was not attacking the Assemblies of God leadership or the revival but was raising questions about “the tendency to stifle dissent — the whole idea that if you question this revival God is going to get you.” 

Edwards, who identified himself to the News Journal, said he prefers to write under a pen name because he is concerned about retaliation from the national organization, which has endorsed the revival. “To go against church leadership would be viewed by them as disloyal and divisive,” said Edwards, and that could cause a pastor or church member to be ostracized. 

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/kilpatrick2.html

Kilpatrick’s Deceitful “Apology” To Hank Hanegraaff

– by Sandy Simpson 

Brownsville AOG of Pensacola, FL has been painting whitewash on the walls of this revival from the beginning. This letter from Rev. John Kilpatrick is simply another stroke of that brush. It is a vain attempt, in the “prophesy, repent, prophesy” tradition of Benny Hinn, to back down from a direct proclamation that was made by them where they were crystal clear that they were speaking for God Himself. Here is the relevant quote from Rev. Kilpatrick’s letter which can be read in it’s entirety at the Brownsville AOG “revival” site.  (Since the writing of this article they took his response letter down but you can still see it because we thoughtrfully saved it for posterity on our web site. This is because we knew from past experience that it would be taken down pretty quickly.)
(Kilpatrick Letter 6/17/97:) “When I said, “I’m going to prophesy as a man of God that the Lord bring you down in 90 days,” I was not speaking that as a prophet but as a shepherd putting something in the ears of God. I did not say, “Thus saith the Lord”; it was a “Thus saith John Kilpatrick,” putting these words into God’s ears in the context of the message I was bringing. Let me reemphasize again that was me speaking.

(Kilpatrick Message 4/6/97:) “You’re all gonna have to pardon me for being beside myself, but I got a word from the Lord last night.”If Kilpatrick was not speaking as a prophet, then why did he make this statement in his message? These were the very first words of the message that Kilpatrick delivered where he cursed Hank Hanegraaff. Is this or is this not a “word from the Lord”? Either it is a word from the Lord and Kilpatrick was telling the truth and we will see the results of that prophesy come July 4, 1997, or it is not a word from the Lord and he was lying, therefore He is a false prophet.

(Kilpatrick Message 4/6/97:)”If you want to keep any kind of a semblance of a ministry, you better back off from this revival and what God is doing. You better back off, because I’m going to prophesy to you that if you don’t, and you continue to put your tongue in your mouth on this move of God, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down. I said, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down.”What exactly does “I’m going to prophesy” mean to John Kilpatrick? What does it mean to those in his church that were listening to him? I think it means exactly what it means! You cannot take back this false prophesy now that it has escaped your lips. You are now a full-fledged FALSE PROPHET! I urge all who read this never to listen to the teaching of this man again. He cannot be trusted. Nor do I advise that Christians even go to Brownsville at all. Deception is rampant there. Don’t expose yourself, your children, or your church to this deception!

(Kilpatrick Letter 6/17/97:) “I want to emphasize also that I did not wish you any harm personally. I was talking about your ministry, I was saying, “God bring down your platform for crying out and associating us with a cult.” I did not nor do I wish you any harm. I ask your forgiveness if you thought I meant any harm to you personally. Honestly, before the Lord, I had your platform in mind, not the person Hank Hanegraaff.”

(Kilpatrick Message 4/6/97:) “And I want to tell you something else. If you don’t want your head to start shaking – you make fun of somebody in the choir shaking [Note: Hank Hanegraaff has never made fun of her, but has repeatedly expressed concern due to the physical and mental problems that can come out of shaking one’s head so vigorously for hours at a time for over a year and a half] – come here a minute, girl. Come down here a minute. Hurry up. Hurry up. [Note: Would you want to be spoken to in that way?] If you don’t want your head to do like this, you better lay your mouth off of her. I know this girl. She’s a godly girl. She’s a school teacher, and she lives a godly life.

Does this sound like Kilpatrick “did not wish (Hanegraaff) any harm personally”? He threatens Hank Hanegraaff with the Parkinson’s disease-like shakes that he has so liberally distributed to little girls in his congregation. Doctors have already said that this type of shaking, which occurs for hours at a time, will eventually produce all kinds of neuralogical problems later in life for these young people. This was a threat from a man who cares more about promoting himself as a latter-day apostle and prophet than the welfare and eternal condition of little girls in his congregation. He really ought to start any true repentance letter by asking all the children he has caused to have demonic manifestations and nightmares THEIR forgiveness.

(Kilpatrick Letter 6/17/97:) “This is by no means to be interpreted as an attempt to wiggle out of a prophecy. I would like to grant you the right to continue to count down the days and continue to comment about the 90 days. It’s ammunition that I gave you in April. I only want you to know — it was me speaking that and not a “thus saith the Lord.”You can be sure that Hank Hanegraaff, as well as the rest of the Christian church, will continue the countdown that YOU STARTED. No way to “wiggle out” now! As soon as you said that you were speaking for the Lord, you started an inevitable chain of events that are no longer in your control, nor the control of the Church. Your tongue has spoken “I’m going to prophesy”. Let this be a lesson to every Christian out there. Be VERY careful when you assume to speak for God directly.

(Kilpatrick Message 4/6/97:) … “I want to close by giving ten proclamations about how things are going to be. Mr. Hanegraaff, and all other devils, listen up. … I’m speaking this not just to you, friends, to impress you, but I’m saying this as a man of God from behind this holy desk in this holy environment of a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And I’m not saying this to you, but I’m saying this for the ears of God. And here’s what I’m saying. This revival shall not diminish and this revival shall turn into a national awakening.”This shows the true heart of this man, I believe. He has the audacity to put his money into the big vending machine in the sky and expect to get out a product called “national awakening”. He is not only speaking here to the people in his church or the Church at large, but now he presumes to speak directly to God, ordering Him to “not diminish” the revival. How dare he raise his voice to God! If I were in his shoes, I would get down on my knees right now and beg forgiveness of the Father for presuming to order God around. Yearning for revival and praying for it are one thing — commanding God to bring it is another.

(Kilpatrick Letter 4/6/97:) “What’s going on at the Brownsville Revival is about holiness and repentance. Those themes are the most prevalent characteristics of this visitation of the Holy Spirit. Every revival brings to the surface impurities. It has brought impurities in my life to the surface — and it’s ugly to have to deal with them. In keeping with the spirit of this revival I want to lead the way with public repentance.

I must wrap this commentary up with a comment on the above quote. I have gone much further into the details of this “counterfeit” revival before in my article “A Different Gospel?”, so I won’t get into those details here. But since Kilpatrick assumes that a revival is going on and He is commanding God to let it continue and grow into a “national awakening”, I must point out that, to begin with, there is no “holiness and repentance” revival going on in Brownsville. This is a continuation of a lie they have been posting all over the Internet and national Christian media about the revival. This revival is about getting “slain in the spirit”, “doing carpet time”, “laughing hysterically”, and “shaking and deep bowing”. A revival born of repentance has people crying and sorry for their sins and accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord. There may even be those who fall to their knees in worship and fear of the Lord. But when people start chanting “More, more, more” with their hands on people’s foreheads with catchers waiting to catch them from behind — when the largest part of the messages are devoted to prepping the audience to receive this “anointing” — when people lay on the floor and growl, cry, shake, make all kinds of animal noises, vomit ectoplasm, speak in tongues with no interpretation — when men preach from the pulpit and curse those who disagree with them to hell and call them “devils” — this is no revival of God, it is a circus where the enemy has free reign to come in and deceive even the elect, if that is possible.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/mon8.htm

Sadness, Fear Fill Members Who Left Brownsville

PUBLISHED MONDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved
Worship turned bizarre, frightening

By Alice Crann News Journal staff writer 

PENSACOLA – Hundreds of longtime Brownsville Assembly of God members have left their church since the revival began. 

They don’t know the numbers — though they believe it is about 800 — because most left quietly and kept their reasons to themselves. 

But as each day passes, the exiles learn about others who have mustered the courage to leave. They say that when Pastor John Kilpatrick first brought revival to the church, they were like sheep, attending night after night on his promise that the Holy Spirit was waiting inside — and because of his threat that if they didn’t hurry to heed the call, they would be doomed. 

But everything just became more confusing, they say. The Word, the very basis of their religion, was no longer the way. The leaders kept telling the prayer teams and church members to pay more attention to what they, the leaders, were saying than to what the Bible said. And evangelist Steve Hill’s repetitious screaming of “Fire! Fire! Fire!” superseded worship as they had known it. 

The dissenters say they loved and trusted Kilpatrick, but religion at Brownsville turned bizarre. The pastor’s response to their concerns was quick and harsh, they say. He told them they would “dry up and wither spiritually.” Kilpatrick had established that uncompromising tone when he set the stage for the revival. Several months before the revival began, he informed his congregation that if they did not go along with him, he would leave and find a church that would do what he wanted. 

The church members decided to give Kilpatrick and his revival a chance. Result: Hill and Kilpatrick turned the place of worship into a carnival, the dissenters say. Questions arose, from inside and outside the church. Result: Kilpatrick declared that demons were trying to destroy God’s work. Criticism of the revival’s tactics circulated among Christian leaders around the country. Result: Kilpatrick issued prophesies — the Lord’s words, he said — that the critics would suffer. Ultimately, many devout Pentecostal church-goers now want nothing more to do with the Assemblies of God denomination because it has failed to denounce the revival. They say they are happy in their new churches, but they grieve for the loss of their beloved home church. And they are profoundly fearful of Kilpatrick’s followers. They believe that if they are publicly identified as critics of the revival, they will be persecuted. They say they fear for their and their families’ personal safety, their businesses and their property. 

These are some of their stories: 

Couple A

They are quiet and very still, so close together on the parlor sofa they leave no doubt that they are of one mind. They are heartsick, and they speak painfully of what happened at Brownsville, like parents grieving the loss of a child. It has taken more than two years for them to be able to talk about the revival, to review those days of bewilderment, depression, alienation and fear. “Church members are intimidated and even excommunicated for speaking out against this move,” 

Mrs. A says. “You don’t know the beating we have taken — we have been totally shunned. “What hurt the most when we left was the absolute silence from people in that church who we believed were our friends. “We were called blasphemers.” Just saying that last word hurts. She is a devout, born-again Christian, firm in her spiritual convictions. Mrs. A says that when she saw and heard what Kilpatrick and Hill were doing and saying she urged others in the church to turn to the Bible because their actions and sermon messages did not line up with Scripture. 

“They seldom preach the word of God at the revival — it is mostly badgering and condemnation. But our friends did not want to hear this.” 

She says she is astounded by the number of people who are “still being deceived.” “I can’t believe they say that the revival just happened — that blows my mind. Everybody knows what happened on Father’s Day. Just look at the video.” 

The church members know the revival was planned for months, she says. But in the early days of the revival, Mrs. A succumbed to what she describes as Kilpatrick’s “manipulation and peer pressure.” And worst of all, she confesses, she even pretended to be “slain in the spirit.” “I’m so embarrassed because I faked it. But all I could think of at the time was: ‘What if I’m wrong? What if this is a move of God?'”

A week after she faked the manifestation, her husband fell to the floor during the revival and stayed down for 45 minutes.Was he, too, pretending? 

“I felt total confusion that day,” Mr. A recalls. “I was overwhelmed by my own submission. Today, I know it was emotional sensationalism brought on by the power of suggestion.” He fell, he says, because he wanted to be a part of the movement — the movement Kilpatrick was screaming in favor of from the pulpit. “The pastor I loved and respected was doing this.” When he got up from the church floor, Mr. A says, he cried. They were tears of bewilderment and loss. Back at home, depression replaced the tears. 

About a week later, when they returned to the church, reality cured the couple’s confoundment, they say. “We were up in the balcony looking down at the revival,” Mrs. A recalls. “What I saw reminded me of Moses watching over the Israelites worshiping idols, dancing hysterically and Aaron making a golden calf.” She and her husband looked at each other and knew, right then and there, that they had lost their church and their minister. They left and never returned. The couple says God’s word is sufficient for them. “We who left Brownsville are a blessed people,” Mrs. A says. “The Lord provided each of us with discernment that enabled us to see the truth in accordance to God’s word and leave the teaching of unscriptural doctrine that prevailed at Brownsville.” 

Mrs. B

Her eyes and face say it all. – Anguish. “I have always been very proud of my church, but this move is a threat to the very fiber of the Assemblies of God,” she says. “It is not OK what they are doing at Brownsville. I do not honor it by calling it a revival.” 

Mrs. B, a devout Assemblies of God member all her life, says Kilpatrick’s sermon messages became alarming when he saw that faithful members were beginning to object to the revival and refusing to participate. “When about 30 people left the church, there was a lot of criticism from the pulpit. Kilpatrick said awful things such as ‘the judgment of God will fall on them.’ 

“Sunday after Sunday, he berated those people. “It wasn’t right. What he was saying was diametrically opposed to what he used to say. I didn’t see him as a man of God anymore. “I have seen Pentecostal experiences, and I have had such experiences. But none of what was happening at Brownsville fit in.” “The word of God was no longer a part of our church,” Mrs. B says. “You could not worship there unless you worshiped like them, which was very structured and restrictive: You shook, or fell on the floor, or worshiped to the music.” 

She and her family left Brownsville, dazed and hurt. “My son became very skeptical of church, and, I guess, of God. I felt so awful. I felt like the Assemblies of God had failed me. I was determined not to go to another AG church again. “I wanted to find a church we could stay  with until we died.” And so she has. It is a Southern Baptist church that has welcomed her and her family and has tried hard to help them heal their spiritual wounds. But still she aches for the church she had to leave. 

Couple C

Mr. and Mrs. C were happy and content for many years at Brownsville Assembly of God. Now they are anxious and fearful. They seem to have to pull their thoughts away from concentration on solving a baffling puzzle. It’s hard to analyze what has happened to our church —    it is possible that Kilpatrick is not the man we thought he was,” Mr. C says, looking sadly over at his wife. 

Mr. C says: “I really believe that they believe what they are doing is right. But that’s what deception is.” Mr. and Mrs. C were so faithful to Kilpatrick and the church that they were chosen to serve on a revival prayer team. That lasted, however, only until they saw for certain what Kilpatrick and Hill were doing to the word of God. They were putting Scripture “on the back burner,” Mrs. C says. The prayer teams — who gather around people at the revival who request prayer — were specifically prohibited from praying. “We were instructed to not pray in Jesus’s name or pray for people’s needs,” Mr. C says. “All we were allowed to do was yell: ‘Fire! Fire! More! More!'”

Mrs. C says she turned in her prayer team badge because she could not, in all honesty, do any of that. “I was in absolute turmoil.” 

Mr. C says that when he was serving on the prayer team he just ignored the instructions and did what he knew was right: He prayed the word of Jesus and prayed for Jesus to answer people’s needs. Looking up from his tightly folded hands, his eyes sad, he says: “I should have gotten up and left on the day they told us to not pray in Jesus’s name. “I’m so embarrassed that I didn’t leave then.” 

Couple D

They sit across from each other, she on the sofa, he in a straight-backed chair. Every time his wife gives what he considers too much information, Mr. D stops her. “Remember what we talked about,” he says. “We must be careful.” Mr. D is afraid for his family. He fears retribution from revival followers. Mrs. D agrees. There is too much at stake. But then she breaks the silence by recalling her last day at Brownsville. “I prayed to God. I said: ‘God. I have waited so long to be saved. If this is not you, get me out of here.'” Mr. D says: “We left church that day and said we would never go back.” 

https://www1.cbn.com/spirituallife/what-happened-to-brownsville’s-fire

What Happened To Brownsville’s Fire?

I am wondering why the church that hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors has shrunk to a few hundred members, and now owes millions of dollars for a building they can’t fill. I am struggling to understand why so many people who once were part of the Brownsville church now feel hurt and betrayed. I am wondering if the leaders of this movement mishandled the anointing of God’s presence like Uzzah did when the ark of God almost toppled on the ground (see 2 Sam. 6:6-8).

The pastor of the church during the revival, John Kilpatrick, resigned in 2003 and told parishioners he planned to remain at the church in an apostolic role. Kilpatrick installed Randy Feldschau as the new pastor, then this year Kilpatrick shocked the congregation by starting a new church in Daphne, Ala., 50 miles west of Pensacola.

Feldschau resigned a few months ago and moved to Texas, and Brownsville’s attendance has dipped below 400. One former staff member told me that a large group of Brownsville members now attend a local Southern Baptist church in the city, while many others don’t go anywhere.“

People have been leaving for three or four years,” the pastor told me. “Some are not in church at all, including some who were on staff. I don’t know anyone who has not been hurt.”

At one point during the heyday of the movement, Korean pastor David Yonggi Cho announced from Brownsville’s pulpit that the revival “would last until Jesus comes.” Certainly the fruit of this revival will remain that long. But for those in Pensacola who were swept up in the ecstasy of those early years, and then endured splits, resignations, debts, and disappointments, the word “revival” now has a hollow ring to it.

What happened to Brownsville’s fire? The Florida church that hosted the Brownsville Revival has dwindled to a few hundred people. Did it have to end this way?

I’ll never forget my first trip to Brownsville Assembly of God. It was 1995, the year an unusual spiritual eruption occurred at the nondescript Pentecostal church in Pensacola, Fla.

The rumor was that God had visited the quiet Southern town. I came not only as a reporter, but also as a hungry seeker.

In the early days of the revival, the faithful came by bus, car and airplane from all over the world. Eager worshipers waited for hours in the sweltering humidity to get a seat for 7 p.m. services that often lasted past midnight. When evangelist Steve Hill finished his nightly sermons—in which he demanded repentance from spiritual compromise—the majority of people in the auditorium would run to the front of the church and bury their faces in the floor.

“The Holy Spirit is easily quenched by pride, greed, selfish religious agendas, and broken relationships. ”

Wailing was commonly heard during those meetings. Some people shook under the weight of conviction. It did not matter if you were a drug addict needing conversion or a pastor living in secret sin—everyone found forgiveness, and an unusual sense of refreshing in that holy place.

My life was changed there. I wept in the carpet, and repented for my journalistic cynicism. One night, in the midst of all the pandemonium near the stage, I ran over to where Hill was praying. He grabbed my head and screamed, “Fire! Fire! More, Lord!” I was one of the thousands who fell backward on that floor. I was not pretending. I felt as if God had placed a heavy blanket of His presence on top of me.

I don’t question whether the Holy Spirit was in that place. But today, more than 10 years after the Pensacola Outpouring occurred, I am asking other questions.

I am wondering why the church that hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors has shrunk to a few hundred members, and now owes millions of dollars for a building they can’t fill. I am struggling to understand why so many people who once were part of the Brownsville church now feel hurt and betrayed. I am wondering if the leaders of this movement mishandled the anointing of God’s presence like Uzzah did when the ark of God almost toppled on the ground (see 2 Sam. 6:6-8).

History shows us that revival is always risky. The devil opposes it, and carnal flesh gets in the way of it. The Holy Spirit is easily quenched by pride, greed, selfish religious agendas, and broken relationships.

I can’t be the judge of what brought Brownsville’s demise. But we must face the facts and learn some lessons, or we will repeat the scenario next time.

It is no secret that relationships among various leaders at the Brownsville church were strained to the breaking point. Michael Brown, once the leader of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry (BRSM), was fired in 2000 and then started his own training center that he eventually moved to North Carolina.

BRSM in its heyday had an enrollment of 1,200 students. That number shrank to 120 this year. This week the church announced that the ministry school will relocate to Louisiana, where it will be directed by revivalist Tommy Tenney.

“One of the lasting legacies of the Brownsville revival is the school,” Tenney told me in an interview this week, noting that graduates are doing missionary work in 122 countries. One alumnus, in fact, was instrumental in discovering an unevangelized people group in Indonesia.

That is thrilling news. But my heart is still grieved that the church where this marvelous outpouring occurred is now a burned-out shell.

The pastor of the church during the revival, John Kilpatrick, resigned in 2003 and told parishioners he planned to remain at the church in an apostolic role. Kilpatrick installed Randy Feldschau as the new pastor, then this year Kilpatrick shocked the congregation by starting a new church in Daphne, Ala., 50 miles west of Pensacola.

Feldschau resigned a few months ago and moved to Texas, and Brownsville’s attendance has dipped below 400. One former staff member told me that a large group of Brownsville members now attend a local Southern Baptist church in the city, while many others don’t go anywhere.

“People have been leaving for three or four years,” the pastor told me. “Some are not in church at all, including some who were on staff. I don’t know anyone who has not been hurt.”

At one point during the heyday of the movement, Korean pastor David Yonggi Cho announced from Brownsville’s pulpit that the revival “would last until Jesus comes.” Certainly the fruit of this revival will remain that long. But for those in Pensacola who were swept up in the ecstasy of those early years, and then endured splits, resignations, debts, and disappointments, the word “revival” now has a hollow ring to it.

Still, my heart cries: “Lord, do it again.” Next time He does, I pray we will carry the ark the way God intended—and keep our hands off of it.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/strange3.htm

CLAIM: Brownsville leaders claim the Pensacola “revival” began spontaneously on June 18, 1995.               FACT: In the weeks prior to June 18 many key members of the Brownsville Assembly, including the pastor’s wife, visited Toronto, and they were earnestly seeking the same experiences for Brownsville. Prior to June 18 a video of the Toronto experiences was shown to the Pensacola congregation to encourage the congregation to desire the same thing. Prior to June 18, Pastor Kilpatrick talked persistently about bringing the Laughing Revival to Brownsville and threatened to quit if the church did not accept it (“Pastors orchestrated first revival Hill’s persistent urging pushed crowd to react,” Pensacola News Journal, Nov. 19, 1997). Pentecostal Evangelist Steve Hill was not randomly selected to speak at Brownsville on June 18. He was selected by Pastor Kilpatrick because Hills was earnestly desiring to be involved in the Laughing Revival and was searching for a place to conduct a long-running latter rain “revival.” Hills had recently sought the Laughing Revival anointing at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, England.

CLAIM: Brownsville leaders claim that on June 18 a mighty wind blew through the church, that it affected everyone present, that great numbers of people fell to the floor, that it was a mighty supernatural move of God. 

FACT: The video recording of the June 18 service and testimonies of people who were there disprove the claims. It is very evident, in fact, that the events were highly manipulated by Evangelist Steve Hill. When he first invited people to come forward for the laying on of hands, only nine people fell, but Hill continued to cajole the crowd. Eventually another six fell, then a few more. It all appears to be manipulated by Hill. In fact, so little happened in spite of Hill’s shouting and demanding and wheedling, it is embarrassing. When people began to leave the church, Hill shouted at them not to leave. In apparent desperation Hill called for all the children to come forward. He told them that he was going to pray for them and they were going to fall to the ground. In spite of his prodding, only one little girl fell down.

CLAIM: In their reply to the Pensacola News Journal, the Brownsville Assembly of God claims that the Journal was wrong in stating that there has been a large exodus of old-time members from the church. Following is the exact statement which is posted at the Brownsville web site: “Since the revival began in the Brownsville Assembly of God, less than 150 previous members have cancelled or moved their membership, while 1530 new members have been added. Of those members who were in the church for 25 or more years, none of them have left because of the revival, and only 4 officials out of 27 have left the church since the revival began. Simply stated, there has not been a mass exodus of members, contrary to allegations made by anonymous former members in the Journal.” 

FACT: Though this statement might be true technically, it is an attempt to hide the real situation. The fact is that a great number of Kilpatrick’s closest acquaintances rejected his “revival.” This is admitted by John Kilpatrick. For example, in his message at the National Church of God, Washington, D.C., June 7, 1997, Kilpatrick said: “We lost ALL of our best friends that we had in this world over this move of God. We lost them ALL.” Note the word “all.” The Pensacola News Journal article in question was titled “Sadness, fear fill members who left Brownsville,” Nov. 17, 1997. The Brownsville reply is a smoke screen. It merely dodges most of the assertions of the Journal’s report. The Journal stated, for example, that Kilpatrick claimed those who left were demonized and that he gave prophecies that those who resisted the “revival” would suffer. Those assertions are true. In his message on June 7 in Washington D.C., Kilpatrick mentioned one church member who left because of the “revival,” and he specifically said that she was manifesting demons.

CLAIM: John Arnott of the Toronto Airport Church says the healing of Sarah Lilliman is a key example of the miracles being performed in the Laughing Revival. According to Arnott, Lilliman was like a vegetable, totally incapacitated, paralyzed, and blind. One of her friends attended the Toronto church and after being slain in the spirit had a vision of Jesus telling her to go to Sarah, that He was going to heal her. Arnott claims that Lilliman subsequently “rose up seeing.” 

FACT: In Counterfeit Revival, Hank Hanegraaff exposes this false claim. He says the story is wildly embellished, that Sarah Lilliman was not totally incapacitated, paralyzed, and blind, that her doctors had diagnosed psychosomatic emotional problems underlying her physical problems. “Today, despite the broad circulation of this story by Arnott and his associates as evidence of God’s power in the Toronto Blessing, Sarah Lilliman is still, as before, legally blind. Unfortunately, just as before, she and her family are continuing to struggle with her physical and psychosomatic disorders” (Counterfeit Revival, p. 60). Hanegraaff’s testimony about Lilliman is confirmed in testimony available in the article “Jon Ruthven Admits Hank Was Right,” http://www.geocities.com/Bob_Hunter/lilliman.htm.

CONCLUSION

The Bible warns: “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). Certainly this applies to the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. It has rightly been called the glue of the End Times Apostasy. The only protection from it is to obey the Bible and separate from it.

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/sun1.htm

Secrets Inside The Revival

PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved
Leaders shield finances, make many false claims

By J. Lowe Davis -Assistant managing editor

PENSACOLA – The numbers are amazing: Millions of visitors, millions of dollars, thousands of souls. The claims are heart-warming: crime curtailed, addiction overcome, sickness healed.The leaders are captivating: An ex-convict-junkie converted to evangelism; a visionary and prophet dedicated to revival.But how true is it all? Is Pensacola’s Brownsville Revival all that its leaders say it is? Are the leaders who and what they say they are?

The News Journal sought to answer those questions in a four-month investigation into the 2 1/2 year-old revival. The investigation focused on the revenue and the spending, the leaders’ backgrounds and lifestyles, the revival’s methods and messages, and the revival’s claims about healings, crime reduction and charity.Much about the Brownsville Revival is unquestionable: Millions of people from far and near have attended the four-nights-a-week revival Many have had an emotionally and spiritually stimulating experience there.Many have been baptized. Many have made a commitment to change their ways and live closer to God.

But much about the revival, as a business and a community influence, is questionable, and the answers cast it in a far different light.

Among the News Journal findings: –The revival did not begin the way Pastor John Kilpatrick and evangelist Steve Hill say it did. They say it was a spontaneous and overwhelming move of God and that everyone there felt it. But a videotape of the first service, plus the accounts from members who were there, reveal otherwise and indicate the revival was well-planned and orchestrated to become a large and long-running enterprise.

  • Money is flowing, information is not. Brownsville leaders refuse to disclose revenue and spending details, beyond an abbreviated, generalized financial statement that shows the church taking in $6.6 million in 1996. Not even members of the congregation are allowed to look at the books. 
  • Revival leaders are generating fortunes. The top four ministers have set up their own nonprofit corporations selling their own revival-related merchandise, such as books, tapes, T-shirts and bumper stickers. The merchandise is sold both inside the church and via mail order. Only one of the corporations is paying sales tax. 
  • Hill’s autobiography and oft-told stories about his outlaw past are contradicted by facts and by police records. He admitted to the News Journal that he fictionalized parts of his book for “impact.” 
  • Hill’s claims that most of his ministry’s revenue from the revival goes to missions and charities is contradicted in his ministry’s financial statement and Internal Revenue Service return. His assertions that his financial books are open are untrue; he would not share key information with the News Journal and sought to discourage questions. 
  • Kilpatrick has retreated from close contact with his flock while rapidly moving up into a luxurious lifestyle outside Pensacola. His new home, at an Alabama location he tried to keep secret, has barbed wire, a security guard and a metal gate. Months before an injury that kept him at home for weeks, Kilpatrick had ceased to keep office hours and had delegated his pastoring duties to assistants. 
  • Hill and Kilpatrick both have taken advantage of opportunities to conceal financial information. Both put “$10 and other good and valuable consideration” on their deeds as the price they paid for their new properties; Alabama allows people to do that if they wish to avoid public disclosure of the purchase price. 
  • The revival service’s spiritual messages and methods have distressed many devout Pentecostals and given rise to much criticism among theologians and Bible scholars. 
  • Kilpatrick has sought to silence dissent and criticism by prophesying — announcing he is voicing God’s own predictions — that the critics would die or suffer. 
  • The revival’s benefits to the Pensacola community are either overstated or untrue. For example: Top law enforcement officers cite data disputing the revival leaders’ statements that the revival has reduced crime. Social service agencies report having to serve a large influx of impoverished people who were drawn to Pensacola for the revival but who have been turned away by the church. Drug treatment centers report drug problems are on the rise, not dropping. Mental health centers report treating more out-of-town people than ever before, and most of them are people who came to Pensacola for the revival. Residents and businesses in the impoverished parts of the Brownsville community report that the church has done nothing for the area and refuses requests for help. 
  • The revival’s claims about healing are unsubstantiated by medical documentation. The revival touts cases in general but does not provide names or specifics. The News Journal found people who said they had been cured and healed, but none had medical proof from doctors. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/sun2.htm

Church Budget Is $6.6 million

PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All rights reserved
2% is devoted to assist missions

By Amie K. Streater News Journal staff writer

PENSACOLA – The Brownsville Revival is known the world over for leading sinners to God. But the 2 1/2-year phenomenon is not only making Christians out of gang members and drug users, it is making millions of dollars. But for whom? 

Revival leaders talk at length about the souls they have saved, but they rarely talk about the money they have made. They tell expansive stories about the impact of the revival, but they downplay the expensive lifestyles the revival is underwriting. A four-month News Journal investigation has revealed spending practices that sharply differ from the activities worshipers are asked to finance. About 15 percent of the church’s $6.6 million budget -$1,019,406 – goes to salaries and benefits for 107 church employees, according to a brief and non detailed financial statement the Brownsville Assembly of God released to the News Journal. The church will not release specific information about the salaries and perquisites — including housing allowances — for the revival leaders. 

The revival leadership makes an unabashed call for money: “Reach into your wallets and pull out the biggest thing you can find,”Associate Pastor Carey Robertson urges, suggesting that $100 is an acceptable figure. Robertson and other leaders assure the audience that most of the money goes to missions — organizations working to spread Christianity. Yet after evangelist Steve Hill takes his share — the Friday night offering each week goes to Hill’s Together in the Harvest Ministries — the Brownsville church’s donations to missions amounts to 2 percent of the church’s annual budget. Church leaders call for money to cover the “tremendous” expense of keeping the church and revival going. Yet 14 percent of the budget goes to cover such costs. 

By comparison, the revival pumps substantial money — $1.2 million, or more than 18 percent of the budget –into activities that gross big returns: pastors’ conferences, videotapes and music tapes to sell to revival-goers. The church tells the revival audience that “our finances are in order” and “everything is open,” but the leadership refuses to make full disclosure of the budget details. “It’s nobody’s business but ours,” Robertson said. “We are not accountable to the people who come to revival because they are our guests. They are making a free-will offering and therefore should not expect an audit or an accounting. “If you wonder where the money is going, then don’t give. Obviously, we can’t spend money the way people want us to, but once it becomes a gift, it is ours to use. It is nobody’s business how we use it.” 

That goes for the Brownsville flock as well. The church’s membership gets an annual one-page statement, listing revenues and expenditures in general categories. Robertson and church treasurer R.L. Berry say detailed accountings are provided only to the church’s eight-member board of directors. No other church member can get financial answers without getting a two-thirds majority vote from the congregation authorizing release of the information. By contrast, large churches in the other major denominations in the Pensacola community make full financial disclosure. What is most clear about the Brownsville Revival money picture is that the leaders have found many ways to keep the money coming in. For example: 

  • The church videotapes the four-nights-a-week revival services and sells tapes by the thousands, at $15 and $10. 
  • Each of the four major revival leaders started his own individual ministry corporation to sell revival-generated materials and memorabilia. 
  • The revival leaders have published autobiographies and other books sold through the individual ministry’s corporation. 
  • The four top revival leaders have created an unofficial joint venture, Awake America, along with the Brownsville church. Using it as the umbrella organization, they go to big cities around the country to hold stadium revivals and share the proceeds. A recent two-night revival at The Pyramid, a large arena in Memphis, grossed $123,500. 
  • During the revival, sinners are coaxed to get rid of “articles of affection” –rings, bracelets, watches and other jewelry they received in adulterous affairs. Church leaders will not give specifics about how many such items show up in the offerings. 
  • The revival has given birth to a Bible college that in one year has brought in about $604,500. The church rents classroom space in a defunct Bible school on U.S. 98 in west Pensacola and charges its 507 students an instructional fee of $975 a semester, which includes books, but not room and board, for the 120 students who live on campus. The students are mainly young people who tell revival audiences that they were floundering through life before they found salvation at the revival. 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/sun3.htmOn the road:Pleas for money intensify 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/sun7.htmMinistry fails to meet watchdog’s guidelines

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/sun8.htmRevival for sale through merchandise 

http://op.50megs.com/ditc/brownsville1.html )-The Money And The Myths

http://www.mediaspotlight.org/pdfs/PENSACOLA.pdfPENSACOLA REVIVAL OR REVELING?
by Albert James Dager

https://discernmentministriesinternational.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/here-we-go-again/

Hill-Cooley-Kilpatrick Move On Embers Fade

The revival fire sputtered to an end by 2000. It seems that five years is historically about the extent of any Pentecostal “revival.” One can only sustain peak emotionalism for so long and the spiritual junkies seek ever increasing doses of transcendental highs. (6) Once the crowds (and offerings) began to dwindle and the manifestations became passé, Hill was the first leader to abandon ship. Lindell Cooley, the worship leader at BAG was the next to leave and by 2003 Kilpatrick himself resigned (or was asked to leave). Cooley and Hill both became pastors of their own congregations and Kilpatrick started his own “evangelistic” association. I might add that the same thing took place at TACF when the fire turned into cold ashes. John Arnott resigned as senior Pastor and started his own outreach.

Interestingly enough the Brownsville revival website does not mention much about all the controversy surrounding their move of the Spirit. They fail to mention the acrimonious split that occurred between BAG and the revival “Bible School” that had been birthed during the revival:

This group of students is particularly unique. With such a flood of interest in the school’s Fall session, this may be the only opportunity for such a small group of only 120 to commune together with the Holy Spirit and learn under tutors and elders while being in the midst of the mighty outpouring of Revival fire. (7)

The school started with big hopes but shortly became a divisive issue as the school ended up leaving the church and establishing itself down the road. Also these leaders failed to mention the scorching articles written about the revival in the Pensacola News Journal

A series of articles uncovered the following facts about the two main leaders, Kilpatrick and Hill:

The two ministers we investigated were the two who are most in the spotlight: John Kilpatrick, the pastor of the revival church, and Steve Hill, the revival’s evangelist Both live in Alabama, not Florida. Alabama’s records are not easy to access and track, but when we finally got the property records together, we could prove that the revival had provided those two men with dramatically improved lifestyles and successively large and more luxurious homes. Their primary source of revenue is the nonprofit corporation each one created…

We uncovered the ways the ministers turned Brownsville Revival into a million-dollar industry, and we uncovered the facts that contradicted their statements about how the money was used…We found and exposed the falsehoods in the public image that the evangelist [Hill] had constructed for himself…We debunked the revival leaders’ claims that they were performing miraculous healings. We tracked down a number of people the revival touted as “cured” and found none had medical evidence, such as lab tests, X-rays, or doctor’s examinations, to corroborate the cure…We exposed the origin of the revival, showing it was a planned and orchestrated event. A well-edited videotape of the first revival service appears to support the leaders’ claims that the revival was a spontaneous act of God. But close and attentive viewing reveals how it was manipulated to make the public believe the revival was spontaneous. (8)

Mr. Hill’s salvation testimony is riddled with exaggeration and outright lies but it does make for “exciting” reading, after all, God needs our help form time to time…ask Abraham. His claims of divine healing and miracles also proved to be false when given closer scrutiny. Hill reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars from the BAG outpouring and yet provided little if any genuine spiritual adulation began to dry up Hill knew it was time to head on down the road and form his own church, which he did in Dallas, Texas.


Behind The Scenes With Teresa Of Avila- The Real Story!

Her Shocking Story Of Contemplative Prayer

Oh these visions! What tortures I have endured . . . how can I bear it?” she wailed. “I even gave up mental prayer. I . . . I gave it up. I did! First I waited to be free of sin, but they found no fault in me. Not a fault! Yet I was visited again, more visions . . . more revelations . . . to this most miserable sinner as I.”

Teresa eventually began to write about her spiritual experiences, which included hearing voices and experiencing visions during ecstatic states of rapture in which she felt herself being lifted from the ground by a powerful force outside of her control. “It seemed to me, when I tried to make some resistance, it was as if a great force beneath my feet lifted me up. I know of nothing with which to compare it; but it was much more violent than the other spiritual visitations, and I was therefore as one ground to pieces; for it is a great struggle, and, in short, of little use, whenever our Lord so wills it. There is no power against His power.”

As Teresa wrote, the light grew dim. She lit her candle, then continued to write on the parchment set on the window ledge:“Further, I confess it threw me into great fear, very great indeed at first; for when I saw my body thus lifted up from the earth, how could I help it? Though the spirit draws the body upward after itself and that with great sweetness, if unresisted, the senses are not lost; at least, I was so much myself as to be able to see I was being lifted up. The majesty of Him who can effect this so manifests itself, that the hairs of my head stand upright.”

Mere words were not enough to explain the spiritual marriage she had experienced. How could she even speak of the intense pain that accompanied the sweetness of her visions and revelations, the great shocks she would feel when her Lord threw her into a trance, or the indescribable desire, which pierced her soul until it rose above itself. The days that followed such ecstasy never failed to make her feel as if all her bones had been pulled out of joint.

“I have to say that when the rapture was over, my body seemed frequently to be buoyant, as if all weight had departed from it; so much so that now and then I scarcely knew that my feet touched the ground. Yet during the rapture itself, the body is very often as if it were dead, perfectly powerless. It continues in the position it was in when the rapture came upon it—if sitting, sitting; if the hands were open, or if they were shut, they will remain open or shut.”

But she wasn’t the only one. There were others, even in this place, to whom her Lord was granting the same special graces as the ones He had granted her. Others too had experienced raptures so deep that they would appear as though dead or in a trance, sometimes for days.

As she continued to recall her own experiences, she wrote about the priest who told her God had sent her so much sickness because she did no penance, and he had ordered her to practice acts of mortification. During one such time of obedience, her spirit was carried out of her body in such a state of ecstasy that she heard words instructing her not to have conversations with men, but with angels.

She described the angel she had seen in bodily form . . .“He was not large, but small of stature, and most beautiful—his face burning, as if he were one of the highest angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call cherubim. I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point, there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it, even a large one.”

In the quietness of her room, Teresa had often found herself falling into a deep trance, later pondering the exquisite state of bliss she experienced during these mysterious episodes. However, lately, she found herself losing control. For example, she could no longer prevent them, even when she was in the company of others. They all knew. Some were even sworn to secrecy. But did they know how she had recently grown to fear these times? Increasingly, she struggled to resist these frightening instances when her body was raised from the ground as she prayed. Yet it was no use. She was helpless to stop it.

Teresa slowly straightened and rubbed her stiff joints. She turned to gaze at the crucifix hanging on the wall of her cell as it reflected the candlelight. Her pen rolled across the ledge of the window where she had laid it and dropped onto the stone floor as she grabbed her rosary and began counting the beads, repeating the evening prayer. Immediately, a familiar burning sensation began to grow deep within her, welling upward in surges. It was happening again . . . She grabbed hold of the ledge and began frantically to pray that no one would come through the door and restrain her again.

She recalled other times these involuntary levitations occurred. One of the eye witnesses of the favors and levitations of Teresa of Avila was said to be Sister Anne of the Incarnation.One young nun was well acquainted with Teresa’s trances, which she referred to as the “transport of the soul.” She had witnessed some of the most disturbing occurrences in Sister Teresa’s life but had been vowed to secrecy. She hadn’t been the only one in the choir loft that unforgettable day, waiting for the bell to ring, when they saw Teresa’s body rise inexplicably about half a meter off the ground. She’d actually been off the ground! Sister Teresa’s body had hung in mid-air, as Sister Anne had later recounted with fresh incredulity! This incident had quite terrified some of them. Since Sister Teresa’s body had been trembling as well, Sister Anne had cautiously held her hands under the raised feet of Sister Teresa for the duration of the ecstasy. It had lasted nearly half an hour before she’d sunk to the floor and then stood among them, lucid once again. Teresa had turned to her calmly and quietly and asked how long she had been there, watching. It was then that Sister Anne had been sworn to secrecy, but that kind of secret wasn’t the kind that could be kept quiet for very long.

There had been other incidents as well. Teresa’s friend, a bishop, once saw her grab the bars of an altar grill during communion to prevent herself from rising into the air, as she cried out to be delivered from her ecstasy. Numerous times, and on different occasions, many others had also seen her raised from the ground. Sister Teresa had always called these experiences “Favors of His Majesty.”

During the last two months, her superiors had required this writing, yet she had also been expected to fulfill her regular duties, despite severe weakness. Added to that was the torment of living in fear of the next revelation or rapture that would come upon her without warning

Weak from exhaustion, Teresa did not wish to explain. It had been difficult enough writing about these things with the turbulent noise that throbbed in her head: the roaring sound of rushing rivers and oddly, the whistling of birds pulsated continually in her mind. It was most disturbing when she was conscious of her faculties and her soul was not suspended in ecstasy. Whenever an ecstatic experience occurred, she believed it was from the top of her head that her spirit was released and moved out at great speed.

Teresa referred to the final stage of her “spiritual betrothal” prayer process as “rapture.” In this deepest trance state, she experienced “delectable pain” that penetrated the bowels of the soul.

In her latter years, Teresa seemed to be increasingly fearful of these favors, or painful bouts of spiritual ecstasy and levitation which she could no longer control.

“Whenever I have tried to resist the onset of a rapture, it has felt like a powerful force was lifting me from the soles of my feet. I don’t know what to compare this force to. It is far more cataclysmic than anything I’ve experienced in the previous stages of prayer. The struggle is so ferocious that it utterly wears me out. But in the end, fighting is futile. If this is the Beloved’s desire, there is no power equal to his . . .

“Still, I confess that this particular favor terrified me. If you don’t resist, the same force that carries your soul away in rapture will elevate your body with equal gentleness. Yet when you see yourself lifted off the ground and remain conscious enough to witness the event, the majesty of the One who can cause such a thing is enough to make your hair stand on end.”Teresa often used erotic metaphors to describe these violent mystical experiences that overpowered her. She also wrote that it felt like she was being torn apart, and the aftermath of the detachment was so severe that at times she lost consciousness, being racked with torment and her bones disjointed.

 Anyone who practices the contemplative prayer techniques of mystics like Teresa of Avila is stepping into dangerous spiritual territory.After founding the Discalced Carmelites (barefoot nuns), Teresa of Avila fell ill and died at the age of sixty-seven. Even though her writings were controversial and she was interrogated during the Inquisition for heresy, she was later declared a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church for her teaching on prayer and today, she is often looked to as a viable resource on prayer. https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=22685

Ex-Insider’s Analysis of Witness Lee & The Local Church Movement

‘A Future And A Hope’ © 2007 by John C. Myer II Published by Assembly Life This publication may not be altered in any way without the express permission of the author. It may be freely copied and distributed, but not sold. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture references are from the New King James Version (NKJV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB). ttp://assemblylife.com/

Book Review-*(CL)=cultish leanings   (Extreme sectarianism is only one step prior to cultishness.)
http://assemblylife.com/chapter1.pdf

Chapter 1- The Writing on the Wall

Different views and opinions will emerge when talking to people who have been involved with the Local Churches. I have no interest in cataloging and addressing all of them. My belief, simply stated, is that somewhere along the line most of these churches hardened into a movement of religious*(CL) >idiosyncrasies and extremes. Local Church insiders casually refer to their involvement with the group as being “the church life.” Yet my contention is that authentic New Testament church life cannot exist within it to any compelling degree. Over the last few years, many have come to similar conclusions and to varying extents have withdrawn, looking for fresher, saner fields. This book was written for them since they have more than likely heard that upon leaving “the Recovery” (that is, the Living Stream Ministry’s version of it), there is no place left to go except religious Babylon. Happily, the Holy Spirit is not confined by such edicts, which the following chapters will go on to demonstrate. 

A Downward Trend  According to members who long preceded me in the group, Local Church dynamics began eroding at an early stage. The downward trend was so incremental that as usual in church history, the majority barely even noticed it. At some point before they declined to movement status, many local churches had functioned as vibrant communities of prayer, the Bible, and fellowship. It was a setting where believers could taste New Testament church life. This infant book of Acts experience had a kind of raw, unrefined power. It was only a matter of time before someone felt it more efficient to domesticate that power by rigidly defining it. As a result, the spontaneity of yesterday was slowly supplanted, giving way to an “enjoyment” of forms, exercises, ways, activities, and  *(CL)>the strictest kind of systematic theology. Dogmatism crept in. Almost imperceptibly, the simple Christian faith became indistinguishable from the “vision” that defined the Movement. By the late seventies, the group’s informal oneness of the spirit was well on its way to morphing into organizational uniformity (despite vigorous official denials). Purges, politics, jealousy, the rumor mill, and subtle forms of character assassinations surfaced. By the mid-eighties, the entire package was looking very similar to the “fallen Christianity” that the group had often ridiculed. (p.2)

Firsthand Experiences and Observations
In 1984 I experienced a congenial introduction to the Local Church. Being a young idealistic person, I found its brethren-influenced style of Bible teaching fascinating…I began to see extremes in the Movement *(CL)>that went well beyond the mild eccentricities normally found among Christian groups. The most glaring of these was the stress on the group’s central figure, Witness Lee. I understood the concept of appreciation and respect toward ministers, but when *(CL)>titles like “the oracle,” “the minister of the age” and “the apostle” were routinely ascribed to Lee it struck me as being devotion of an unbalanced kind. According to my long-term observations, this issue alone raised red flags in more people than all the other questionable items in the Local Church Movement put together. It is only a matter of time before intelligent people start making uncomfortable, probing assessments. Some of them begin doing it much sooner than later. As a textbook case in point, I remember the comments of a flustered couple after one weekend conference. The entire thrust of that time had been spent promoting a new Movement-sanctioned practice called PSRP that involved praying over, studying, memorizing and reciting *(CL)>Witness Lee’s teachings. “We’re seekers of the Lord,” the couple said. “We came here because we heard that there might be something of Christ in this conference, but now we’re wondering if you people are following Jesus at all. It seems that following Witness Lee is far more important to you.” They couldn’t understand the conference weekend and I knew exactly why. Much of the Local Church experience made no sense without *(CL)>subscribing to beliefs concerning Lee Himself, his ministry, and his alleged special place in the plan of God. (p.3)Local Church members solemnly assured one another that Lee had brought together all the riches of the church age into one neat theological package. Supplemental research was redundant; the heights of revelation had already been reached. Besides, additional input, especially from other sources, might poison the well. (p.4)

Blinded To The Same Sin Of Sectarianism
Their consciences had been trained with an elaborate system of explanations about why Lee and His publishing company were the rightful foundation and fellowship of real churches. These rationalizations involved the idea of *(CL)>a minister (and ministry) of the age, a recovery of the church, a series of up-to-date revelations, and numerous other assurances given through the Movement’s pulpit. Where the Ministry publicly castigated other Christians for polarizing around their favorite ministers, somehow, some way, Local Churches that polarized around Witness Lee were exempt from the same sin of sectarianism. It was a blatant double standard, which made sense only in the minds of the faithful. 

Ministry spokespersons had issued ominous warnings about the spiritual corruption that would occur when receiving help from other Christians. (other resources) (p.5)

If I had become corrupt in any sense of the word, it was only according to a Living Stream dictionary, where corruption meant that a person failed to agree with everything the organization taught. (p.6)

Following Witness Lee’s death in 1997, his replacements assumed the pulpit, but where Lee had been more conservative about making claims and demands, these men had no such reservations. They moved to prohibit Christian books other than those produced within the Living Stream Ministry, *(CL)>announced that Lee had been “the acting God” on the earth, and opposed from the platform anything that disagreed with their peculiar application of Lee’s views. 

Under these circumstances, the atmosphere ripened for a protestant outcry. And when it finally came, it came from the Midwest. By then I had entered the responsibilities not only of a seasoned full-time Christian worker, but those related to church eldership as well. From that vantage point, I was finally exposed to the full extent of the Movement’s dirty laundry, of infighting and slander, broken agreements and “brotherly” disrespect. Not only I, but other church leaders had long felt that the Movement was headed into directions too radical for endorsement. From where we stood, adherence to these directions had negatively affected our spiritual life level, had contributed to dwindling numbers in our meetings, and had made many churches not only a pariah in the Christian world but an oddity in the secular community itself. (p.7)  

Titus Chu’s ‘Apostate’ Dissidents
The only solution (to gaining back control of free thinking assemblies) was to excommunicate Titus Chu (a prominent leader in the mid west). Disavowing him through a very public quarantine procedure would more than likely encourage the churches in question to return to the Living Stream fold. But for the most part, this did not happen. After a lengthy and ugly excommunication procedure with five hours of testimony delivered against Titus Chu, churches that were of a mind for freedom remained that way… 

This led to a further and more invasive strategy. Midwestern local churches were still sprinkled with loyalists—individuals who held to views consistent with the narrowest attitudes of “the ministry.” These little groups could function as “sleeper cells” which could be activated from the inside against uncooperative local churches. With encouragement from persons of repute, these members would disobey local leadership in the name of “standing firm for the ministry” and promote the interests of Living Stream right in the backyards of non-compliant elders. If church leadership then attempted to deal with the resulting upset, lawsuits were pressed against them (as in Columbus and Mansfield, OH) or corporate uprisings would occur to sweep away the boards of trustees and plant elders who were friendly to the Living Stream (as in Rochester, MN). In addition, traveling agitators would go from place to place rallying the ignorant zeal of church people, feigning that terrible outrages had been committed against God’s interests (as in Toronto, Canada). (p.8)

These locally ill-affected members tended to be far less principled than their founder. Although many in the past had admired Watchman Nee’s lamb-like obedience and humility in accepting church discipline, they could no longer point to him as an example. “The ministry” was now producing Christians who were likely to sue their own congregational leaders if they felt misunderstood or if they did not get their way. 
Ecclesiastical lawlessness went into full operation. Eventually anything could be said or done as long as it was in the name of “the ministry” or “the body.” Cutting locks off of meeting hall doors, lying, and backbiting occurred, as well as circulating slanderous letters, video tapes, or recorded telephone conversations. It would do no good to ask any of these people about what Watchman Nee would have done. They had long since abandoned his personal example of a life under the dealing of the cross. Nor were they affected when confronted with the Bible. Ways were found to circumvent the truth of scripture and excuse the outrageous behavior. Yet in the midst of it all, the perpetrators still managed to speak of conscience, albeit a conscience molded by abnormal religious views. 

The Backdrop of this Book – writing was on the wall The Lord traded for the lawyer -searching the corporate resolutions for loopholes-the power of the cross became the power of the vote.  When Living Stream followers sued the church in Columbus, Ohio, bad fruit had become evident to the point that we could no longer pretend that the tree producing it was good. We began to see the situation as it really existed and not as positive “spin” portrayed it. The writing was on the wall. The Lord had been traded for the lawyer. Searching the scripture for answers had been exchanged for searching the corporate resolutions for loopholes. The power of the cross became the power of the vote. (p.9)

Against this backdrop, many of us realized that the Lord was not only moving on, but perhaps already had… Of course not everyone will agree with the conclusions reached. Those who continue happily within the Local Church Movement will no doubt dismiss this volume as evil fiction. Perhaps some will attribute it to bitterness, ambition, or an assortment of other negative influences. For decades such stock responses have been endlessly recycled against persons seeking to remark on the extremes of the Movement. It was easier than honestly listening and of course, a lot less threatening. (p.10)

Having spent almost a quarter century in the Local Church Movement, I am quite familiar with the arsenal of patterned responses used when challenges emerge. Speak of someone who left the Movement and you will get knowing nods and hear the “real” reasons why they departed—that they were too worldly, too religious, or just didn’t see anything. They didn’t get a leadership position in the church, or the boyfriend/girlfriend they wanted. They didn’t exercise their spirit or wanted their own ministry or didn’t see “the body” or were offended by some ridiculous thing. But Local Church apologists assure us that no one ever leaves for a valid reason. There is no such thing as a justifiable cause. 

In saying this, I do not think that all past criticisms of the Local Churches were fair.  *However, in the history of the Movement, valid objections have just as quickly been lumped with all the rest as blindly negative. Genuine spiritual discernment, which would have revealed the difference, has largely been shelved. Now what passes as discernment in the group has far less to do with the Bible and life than it does with the effect of slow-drip indoctrination. That is why I cannot expect a fair appraisal of this book from the group’s rank-and-file membership. Ultimately only the Lord can judge, but I must also trust those more objective, fair-minded readers who will be able to decide whether I sound fleshly or unreasonable in these upcoming pages. (p.11)  

http://assemblylife.com/chapter2.pdf

Chapter 2 -Church Life Beyond Bitterness

Although no corroborative records are likely to exist, it is probable that many thousands of disillusioned Christians have departed the Local Church Movement… few Christians who casually change their place of meeting were assured that the group they were leaving was the sole move of God, the one true recovered church in a world brimming with religious Babylon. It is doubtful that anyone leaving some innocuous little congregation was told that their group alone would consummate the New Jerusalem and close the age. Those who depart typical denominations everyday looking for greener pastures, were not likely to have been indoctrinated over years of time with the thought that they were the unique overcomers who alone possessed the ministry of the age. *(CL)> It is also unlikely that these Christians were warned that upon leaving their congregation, the Lord might punish them with personal calamities and then at the judgment seat of Christ cast them into the outer darkness. Obviously, leaving the community church down the street and leaving a Local Church are two very different things. (p.15)
A powerful disillusionment can occur where people were assured that they were blessed with superior revelation and whose congregations were the only places the Lord would call “the church.” After years spent building up faith in Local Church ideology, emotional distress of some magnitude is certain to occur in the lives of those departing it. People whom I have known spoke of experiences ranging from outrage at being cheated, to mild disillusionment, to (tragically) suicidal depression. 

Freeing the Bible from a Canonized Interpretation
Sometime during the long avalanche of ministry tapes, books, and messages, the idea began to grow in Local Church circles that the Bible had a canonized interpretation. Nearly every passage and theme had a definite systematized explanation. These were put to music, memorized, quoted, placed on banners, and later turned into “shibboleths,” a language of theological utterances whose regurgitation became proofs of loyalty (c.f. Jud. 12:6). Slowly, real unanswered questions disappeared and where any seemed to arise, a footnote or commentary would quickly dispatch them. In the wake of confident, hermetically sealed interpretations, the Bible began to look as though it had been mastered and exhausted. Anything that anyone needed to know could be found in the “Green Volumes” or “the Gold Bar” or “the High Peak Truths.” Few if any noticed that the principle of “Ye search the scriptures” had become “Ye search the ministry.” As a result, the “plain old Bible” faded from prominence as the sole rule of faith and conduct. Supplanting it was an “interpreted Word” sprinklings of scripture accompanied with dense ministry teachings. Now the Bible, as it sits in the hands of today’s Local Church Movement, largely functions as proof texts for Living Stream teaching and as a platform to present that ministry’s doctrinal views. (p.26)

Wandering outside the fixed system of interpretation offered by the Living Stream Ministry, you will find more than a few Bible scholars offering different ideas. 

The problem with speculative theology is that when the Devil comes along, asking “Has God said…?” many saints not only confirm it but add the extra, speculative element that they have been assured is also the truth. Based on an accumulation of these special views and thoughts, they have burned bridges, taken stands, alienated others, and undergone tremendous personal sufferings for the sake of things that the Lord never really required of them. It may take decades for them to finally wake up and realize that much of what governed their lives was someone else’s private convictions. (p.27)

Be Done With What “They” Are Saying
*(CL) >Over the years, volleys of religious anathemas have been launched at those departing the LSM fold. In melodramatic fashion anyone perceived as an opponent of the Ministry agenda was (and is) often characterized in the darkest possible terms. Witness to this is borne in slanderous books and websites about specific persons and their alleged sins against the cause. Factor in negative public innuendoes, global campaigns, and local rumors and it will become clear that the Local Church Movement spends enormous amounts of energy trying to annihilate foes, mainly through the force of negative words. In the midst of it, the victims are unfortunately all too inquisitive about the sinister spin being placed upon them. It is human nature to want to know what terrible things others are saying about us even if we are personally revolted by what we hear. This is similar to the morbid curiosity people have with carnival freak shows. (p.31)(The ‘christian science’ and other cults and extreme sectarianist behave this way.)

And the info seems to leak in from everywhere: the internet, e-mails, the latest reports from trainings, negative letters, and the dirt from phone calls. None of the talk will be good or even fair, but neither should that come as a surprise. Accusatory tirades are very effective in winning majority support in an organization. They will always be the tool of choice in an atmosphere where leaders must vindicate themselves at all costs while utterly crushing any difference of opinion. Therefore, expectations of a fair trial in absentia before LSM-influenced audiences are completely unrealistic. Knowing this, we can dispense with hopes of being understood and go on to the more important task of protecting our inward condition from becoming embittered. For starters, disconnect yourself from that world. Delete emails. Tell well-meaning zealots not to bother you anymore. Of course, complete insulation will not be possible in all cases, especially if you have relatives still in the Movement, but you can neutralize considerably how much maligning chatter that you hear. You will not be missing anything. Judgmental gossip from the bowels of the Movement will never improve your spiritual life level. It will only create hate within you for others. After sapping huge stores of emotional energy, it is doubtful that you would even want to follow the Lord at all. Those manipulative emails, “burdened” phone calls, and the bizarre, fanatical insertions into youth Xanga sites and face books should be seen exactly for what they are: messages of death. (p.32) 

http://assemblylife.com/chapter3.pdf

Chapter 3 – Church Life Beyond “Men”

While W.Lee’s confident words to Watchman Nee became an oft-quoted bit of lore in the Local Church Movement, it would lose all meaning to the typical followers who later congregated around him. The possibility of W.Lee himself straying from established spiritual blueprints or patterns never seriously crossed the minds of typical members. After all, how could W.Lee depart from “this way” when everything he said and did was “this way”? Once such logic found subconscious acceptance in the minds of church members, it served to elevate their appraisal of W.Lee to dizzying heights. 
Nowhere was this more obvious than in the public forum, where speakers made constant references to W.Lee. According to one observer who conducted random counts, these outnumbered references to Jesus Christ four to one.Yet, name-dropping was not where it ended. In a greenhouse of Witness Lee fervor, stranger concepts and habits were free to roam about safely, some of them aired by W.Lee’s senior coworkers themselves. Stories were heard of *(CL)> one praying at Witness Lee’s tomb and of another receiving messages from him in dreams. Often, ministry aficionados weirdly spoke of the deceased W.Lee in the present tense, as though he had never died. Others expressed concerns over what W. Lee would say to them in the next age, as if in the resurrection of the dead they would give an account to him of their life and service. < *(Occult)*
Not far behind these attitudes were teachings. Church members began to hear from the Living Stream podium that, without dominant input from W.Lee’s ministry (through his lieutenants), divine blessings such as sanctification would all but cease in their lives. Eventually these and many other intemperate opinions found expression in the “One Publication” policy—a legislative measure denouncing all Christian ministries except those specifically approved by Living Stream. With the exception of some Midwest churches, the document was inaugurated without so much as a murmur of protest. Instead, enthusiastic sub-leaders carried it in on their shoulders, oblivious to the fact that this newest measure, which alleged to prevent division, was itself a fatal error. As these men endorsed the policy, thus eliminating any potentially competitive ministries, they also at the same time gave assent to the Movement’s final step into sectarianism. (p.37)

A Simpler Proposal In earlier days, Witness Lee’s status received considerable boosts by followers who claimed that he had never made a mistake in handling the Bible— another reason why church members tend to validate their personal beliefs by prefacing them with “Brother Lee said….” “Brother Lee said….” The legacy of this reckless credit can easily be seen in the skirmishes swirling around today’s Local Church Movement, where it is assumed that the arbitrator of all disputes should be the words of W.Lee. Dozens of quotes can be marshaled, however, for either side of any issue. Since they were originally delivered in differing times and contexts, and since W.Lee himself could be found saying things at various times that reflected his own understanding (or lack thereof), often these excerpts hopelessly contradict one another. The idea of W. Lee’s doctrinal infallibility goes hand in hand with the belief that he and Watchman Nee were successive “ministers of the age.” Like Elisha inherited Elijah’s mantle in Old Testament times, W.Lee was portrayed as W.Nee’s successor. The term “minister of the age” has therefore been used by the Movement to designate God’s specially chosen vessel who has a unique word for the entire present generation of believers. It is the common hope among those in the group that outsiders will recognize W.Lee’s superiority over all other ministers and come into “the Lord’s Recovery.” Much money and manpower has been put toward this end. (p.38)

Thus, aberrant religious systems often develop out of a dance between the dynamics of a leader’s ego and the accolades of his followers. Having observed this tendency at work in certain Christian groups, an old seasoned brother once warned me with a sardonic grin, “Never believe your own press.”(p.42) 

 Leave inventive, daring, startling theologies at home
Theological concepts that sound rather arcane will alert a reader that your group holds unusual, if not heretical views. It is better to err on the side of conservatively describing a truth than to sound clever and profound. I think it safe to say that no one will be found guilty at the judgment seat of Christ for confining himself to the clear wording of the Bible, however plain that it might have seemed (though some will be charged with going “too far”—2 John 9 NASB). Ask yourself what is to be accomplished by casually telling someone [that] “you are becoming God”? “But,” you solemnly add, “not in the Godhead.” Almost certainly the qualifier will not be heard and you will have sent up a platoon of red flags in the mind of the person with whom you’re talking. My advice: Stay with the truth the way the apostles described it. Leave inventive, daring, startling theologies at home. (p.53)

http://assemblylife.com/chapter4.pdf

Chapter 4-Church Life Beyond “Uniqueness”

“If anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”(Gal. 6:3)
The sense of being special is an integral part of any group that is headed down the road to aberrant status. According to Stephen Arterburn in his bestselling book, Toxic Faith, there are ten characteristics of a flawed faith system. Occupying the number one spot is a group’s effort to create an aura of uniqueness about itself. “Members of toxic faith systems reach a point in their addictive progression where they make claims about themselves to set themselves apart from others.” (163)

Johnson & VanVonderen concur: First, leadership projects a “we alone are right” mentality, which permeates the system. *(CL)>Members must remain in the system if they want to be “safe,” or stay “on good terms” with God, or not to be viewed as “wrong” or “backslidden.” <(76)

This strategy is effective in keeping the membership roster intact, even if members notice things amiss about the organization itself. Fear in departing the group then becomes an almost palpable force. Johnson & VanVonderen continue: (p.56)

“We have counseled many Christians, who, after deciding to leave their church, were told horrifying things. “God is going to withdraw His Spirit from you and your family.” “God will destroy your business.” “Without our protection, Satan will get your children.” “You and your family will come under a curse.” This is spiritual blackmail and it’s abuse. And it does cause people to stay in abusive places.” <(77) *(This could be considered witchcraft, control, manipulation, intimidation.)

Unfortunately, Living Stream authorities have not been above these tactics. Threatening insinuations have been made from their pulpit about departing LC members who later died or whose usefulness to God was neutralized. Members are thus duly warned, lest the same things fall upon them if they try to leave the Movement. (p. 56)

Assuming the Mantle of Recovery – Unique, Elitists The most powerful of all images in the consciousness of Local Church members continues to be the idea that they are the virtual equivalent of “the Lord’s Recovery.” So pervasive is this belief that when speaking of the date when someone joined a Local Church, it is referred to as when they came into “the Recovery.” If someone leaves a Local Church, he is said to have left “the Recovery.” Once inside, members are charged to preserve “the uniqueness of the Lord’s Recovery” by guarding its borders from influences on the outside.

The word “unique” leaves no room for comrades, friends, or cousins. It means one and only, unparalleled. Yet Exclusive Brethren circles also claim to be the unique recipients of recovered truth, even down until today. For instance, A.J. Gardiner, a notable teacher among the Taylor Brethren said, “The great thing is to be in the current of what the Lord is giving at the moment…to live in the day in which the truth of the assembly in all its features is being recovered” (Shuff 113). No doubt Gardiner was not referring to some generalized recovery among God’s people, but a recovery clearly delineated by the practices, doctrines, and persons in his group. Another strain of Brethren called “Needed Truth Brethren,” also “regarded themselves as a remnant after the pattern of post-exhilic Israel” (Shuff 45). Due to these and other extreme attitudes, they would eventually be labeled as “the most narrowminded and fanatical of all believers” (Shuff 45)

This is the claim of many legal, hyper-spiritual, and even heretical groups who all doggedly believed in their uniqueness. p.61

Most of the Movement’s scriptural basis for the recovery ideal lies in the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah. There, the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is considered a foreshadowing of “the Lord’s Recovery” of the church. Local Church enthusiasts add as an extra ingredient the ministries of W.Nee and W.Lee as the highest and consummate “recovery” pinnacle. 
There are many dangers in basing a group’s corporate identity and mission upon the interpretation of an Old Testament picture. This is especially so when that picture lacks confirmation by any corresponding New Testament truth. Without apostolic guidelines that limit such interpretations, imaginative minds will find in every Old Testament passage new binding doctrines, church principles, and restrictions on Christian liberty. Before anyone knows it, a religious system could be raised up that is occupied with things that seem foreign to the mission of the New Testament church. p.62

Extreme Profound Elitism Yet another justification for claiming Recovery status lies in the LC Movement’s particular understanding of church history. *(CL)> Most any serious LC member can chronicle the steps God has allegedly taken until reaching the zenith of His recovery with his two “faithful servants,” Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. According to this version of church history, all the important spiritual contributions for the last two thousand years lead unerringly to southern California. The problem with this approach is that many other groups have also attempted to trace a “silver thread” down through the centuries from the twelve apostles to themselves. This highly selective form of interpretation appears convincing to the layman. But when factoring in events considered important by the rest of the Christian community, church history looks anything but simple. (p.63) 

Yet, such is the incredible hubris of men who without hesitation refer to themselves as “the Lord’s Recovery” as though it had nothing to do with anyone else. Paul warned of certain self-assurances as being potentially delusional when he said, “if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal. 6:3). 

We can safely say that Jesus Christ is unique, along with His work, His covenant, and His Body. What is objectionable is the idea that a group of Christians within that Body is unique in that God counts only them as integral to His eternal purpose. (p.65)

The Negative Fruit of Uniqueness  A very popular claim in the Local Church Movement is that “the oneness of the Body” is being recovered…Unfortunately, groups that focus upon their unique “oneness” almost always attain it at the price of brotherly love. The Brethren were believers touted as standing for the primitive simplicity and oneness of God’s people. Yet paradoxically, they became famous for their loathing of those not among them. (p.66)

In an even stronger way, we find among LC Movement Churches a membership saturated with the foulest attitudes toward other Christians. In fact, “Christianity” is one of the most insulting words in the Local Church vocabulary. It is considered the roost of false or unclear teachers, the fulfillment of every filthy Old Testament type, and a mixed source that will ultimately dull the vision granted through Witness Lee. (p.67)

One does not need to search very far in order to verify this attitude. Judgmental opinions against outsiders fairly pepper Movement literature. They surface so often that a receptive reader could easily be influenced over a brief period to develop serious problems with his Christian neighbors. Interwoven with positive elements are numerous innuendoes and direct criticisms portraying the redeemed of God as “poor, poor Christianity.” Ultimately, out of all this, a warped belief becomes evident that the Lord’s enemies are His own children, His own household, His very own Body (except for those few who meet with the Local Churches).   

*Crowning the mean-spirited rhetoric is the now infamous “Protestantism is Christless” judgment, spoken by W.Lee himself. This is very likely the most serious of all the Movement’s charges against others, since the majority of the world’s born again Christians occupy that category (though they would not necessarily label themselves as Protestant). That incendiary remark has generated so much controversy that efforts have been made to decode what it “really meant.” One explanation maintains that the Local Churches are not against Christians; only the Protestant religious system that Christians occupy. However, this simplified distinction is far more challenging than what we would believe. It is like saying, “We hate sin, but not the sinner.” While believers repeat this handy little mantra, in real life they often find it too difficult to sort through, and just end up hating the sinner as well as his sin. (p.67)

No matter how one tries to dodge the issue, the Christians in a system eventually reflect and even become the values and beliefs of that system. So, if simple LC members have been helped to hate the Protestant system, the odds are that they will also hate the people in it. Ironically, Christians who steadily maintain that the Local Church is a cult also say that they are against the LC system, but not the people in it. So, the same reasoning that the LC Movement uses to justify its bias against Christianity has also been used against them. Of course when faced with their own logic, Movement leadership was not consoled by this “separation of people and system” rationale and decided to sue the offending parties in court! (p. 68)

These examples, unfortunately, tend to be typical. Fancying themselves to be caretakers of unique truths, sect members will experience difficulty having peaceful feelings toward those on the outside, even if they leave the group in question. In the LC Movement, so much enmity and suspicion is sown through so many different avenues, that departing members report still having trouble associating with other Christians, much less worshiping together with them. (p.69)

Toward the end of his life, W.Lee made a statement of repentance concerning his condemnatory stance against Christians. However, it was far too little, far too late. After decades of fiery rhetoric aimed at those outside the camp, it would have taken another lifetime of teaching to reconstitute his listeners to more moderate attitudes. It is probably a moot point, anyway. The present day leaders of the Living Stream Ministry deny the force of W.Lee’s pulpit apology. They evidently know that such words taken at face value could undermine the “uniqueness” so painstakingly built into their membership mentality. So, where censure upon outsiders might soften, or where a “Christianity influence” begins to encroach, Movement lieutenants will remind members to avoid the contamination of other Christians. This zero tolerance approach continually stirs fear and hatred against those on the outside. At the same time, it minimizes any dynamic that might lead to change in the camp. 

Obviously, this is not the oneness described in the Holy Scriptures. It is another man-created separation in the Body of Christ, once again emphasizing “purity” and “uniqueness.” (p.70)

http://assemblylife.com/chapter5.pdf

Chapter 5-Church Life Beyond “Oneness”

The LC Movement and other groups of the same ilk habitually assert that their oneness is of Christ alone. But one man’s claim is as valid as another man’s. Therefore, we don’t stop with asking what is taught about oneness. If oneness really is of Christ, there will be fruit of it—something visible, measurable, and verifiable. Alternately, if the advertised “oneness in Christ” is false, if it grossly contradicts His truth or virtues, then fruit will tell us that, too. Produce always reveals the nature of a tree, even if the decorative sign hanging on its branches tells another story. In recent times, LSM-inspired attacks upon Midwest churches became a blunt unpleasant blessing to those of us who had been praying for clarity. In our particular situation here in Columbus, I recall looking across a courtroom at LSM followers who were hoping to win a judgment against the church here. I was struck with the blind mockery of voices softly chanting “O Lord Jesus” to a God whose written word clearly condemned what they were doing—brother going to law against brother (1 Cor. 6:6). But in all of this, fruit was borne, rendering unnecessary the need for reasonable doubt, long continued seeking, or discernment on our part. We became clear that we were not dealing with the Body of Christ but with something else, an entity whose oneness was not divine.

If we had not been certain enough, more evidence was forthcoming. For in order to explain the shriveled, rotten fruit they had produced, more untruths were to come. The group tried to say that it was only suing the corporation of the church, but not the church itself (although it wasn’t a disembodied corporate entity that ended up paying the legal expenses). In further attempts to establish the legitimacy of the group’s methods, allegations were made against the eldership of the church about mismanagement of funds (without which there could be no future for their lawsuit and no justification in front of others). And when all of that didn’t work, the most outrageous nonsense—saying that there had never been a lawsuit at all (this one got big laughs from the lawyers). 
No limits seemed to exist as to how much these people would feign ignorance, use exaggeration, play “nicey-nice” with prospective recruits in the church, utilize hollow piety, and spin the truth (both of the Bible and of the events going on in the church), while pleading their innocence. The “tree” eventually bloomed with this kind of fruit on every branch. We were fully convinced that it was not the oneness the Lord spoke of when He prayed that “they all would be one, as you Father are in Me and I in you.” (pgs.3-4)

http://assemblylife.com/chapter6.pdf

Chapter 6- Church Life Beyond “The Work”

An Estrangement Arrangement
It’s hard to imagine any cliché getting more mileage in the LC Movement than that of being “one with the ministry.” Lives have been altered forever based on the strength of those four small words. Nor is this too melodramatic an assessment for LC members who have been hurt by “ministry mania.” Talk to the young person whose engagement was dashed because of loyalty issues related to “the ministry.” Worse, listen to the morose saint whose long-standing marriage has been estranged or terminated because he or she was not enough “for the ministry.” Now add the stories of those in embattled churches and others whose reputations have been permanently impugned, again, over ministry issues. Even dismissing half of these complaints as illegitimate (which is a very generous percentage), the other fifty percent still demand an explanation. 

Does being one with the New Testament ministry of Jesus Christ cause all of these problems? Of course not. But then, being “one with the ministry” as it is used in the LC Movement, does not mean standing with and supporting the work of Jesus Christ. It refers to exclusive devotion to the Living Stream Ministry, the personal incorporated work of Witness Lee. (p.1)

Originally the LC Movement’s conference culture caught on because of its inherent power. Now the events that pass for conferences are a ghostly remnant of what they once were. For the most part they still manage to occupy calendars because of the dreadful condition of member churches. Congregations that continually participate in this extra local Church life are driven by a sense of isolation and idleness. They cannot get along with local Christians because of their obvious religious bias against them, so they are alone, marooned in a tiny exclusive group. (p.16)

http://assemblylife.com/chapter_15.pdf

Chapter 15-Church Life Beyond the Movement

Churches of the Living Stream Ministry  The “Cult” Label Will Most Likely Not Go Away  For reasons already discussed at length in this volume, the Local Church Movement has a habit of generating suspicion. Wherever the Movement has gone, area Christians quickly use words like “cult” to describe it. Nor has this been confined to North America. China, which claims some 75% of the total LC Movement, has long since formulated opinions about the group both at the governmental and now at academic levels: 
“One of the earliest cultic groups to spread rapidly was ‘the Shouters,’ a heretical offshoot from the ‘Little Flock’ founded by Watchman Nee. In the early eighties, large quantities of literature produced by Witness Lee, based in California, began to circulate in China. Some of the followers of the ‘Shouters’ elevated Nee [Lee?] to the position of Christ in their prayers. The aggressive evangelism of the sect combined with their vociferous, mantra-like shouting of Bible verses led to a head-on clash with the State- controlled ‘T’hree Self church’ and the communist authorities. By 1983, the sect had been declared counter-revolutionary and was everywhere vigorously suppressed, and its key leaders imprisoned. However, it continues its activities underground, and the death of Witness Lee in California appears unlikely to curb the group.” (Missionary Atlas Project, ASIA, China,<p.58).p.2

A number of books recently published by Chinese scholars in English document the growth of Christianity in China (including its rapid growth in recent decades). One is Redeemed by Fire by Lian Xi, Professor of History at Hanover College. Xi reports that “In Henan [province] where the influence of the Shouters remained strong throughout the 1980s, many were baptized in the name of Li Changshou [Witness Lee], who they claimed was the ‘victor from the east’ prophesied in Isaiah, the ‘successor to Jesus’ and the one foretold in the Book of Revelation who would open the scroll and its seven seals” (p. 217].
 According to Professor Xi, “The Shouters,” were branded “an evil cult” by the Chinese government. Therefore, the LSM-Taiwan Gospel Bookroom church associated with them was labeled a “counterrevolutionary organization.” In 1983, there was a crackdown on “the Shouters” with up to 2,000 arrests. (p.3)

In addition, indigenous academic writers have begun to record the recent history of Christianity in China and they are not giving any strain of the LC movement [such as “The Shouters” of Witness Lee] a free pass, or a clean bill of health. Much to contrary, they are seriously questioning whether it is indeed a cult. (p.4)

No doubt, Living Stream spokesmen would disavow extremes of thought by any of its manifestations in any country. But one can clearly see how attitudes and beliefs already highly questionable only need be coaxed a little before morphing into more bizarre ideas. For years in this country, odd myths floated around the LC Movement, claiming that Witness Lee had a “golden finger.” His Bible translation was a “gold bar.” He was called the “Acting God” and to many, at least in sentiment, his writings were on a par with the canonical writings of scripture. The Chinese proselytes who received his literature and visits from LSM representatives were not stupid. They quickly read between the lines, seeing that Lee was something of an elevated issue, and took it all an extra step. 
 

An article on House-Church Networks in China edited by Tony Lambert, an expert on Christian groups in China and author of China’s Christian Millions (2006), provides information on the Little Flock and the Local Church in China. He notes that in general, older Little Flock leaders on the Mainland have kept to the milder ways laid down by Watchman Nee and denounced Lee’s teachings as divisive, even heretical. He also pointed out that “the Shouters have proved a fertile seed-bed for more extreme cults such as the Established King, The Lord God Cult and Eastern Lightning.” Kupfer adds, “Within some branches of the “Shouters” Li [W. Lee] has been worshipped as the second person of the Trinity, replacing Christ.” (2009). (p.4)

And as long as Movement officials keep their new tenuous friendships at a safe distance, they may well succeed. Cleverly worded documents will satisfy many who are too busy in their own ministries to check the truth of what they’re being told. The real situation in the LC Movement only comes to light by being in it (as an undetected researcher) and finding out what beliefs and attitudes are actually held there. 
 

Given the Movement’s continued efforts to get attention though, eventually investigators will discover its errors and begin to write about them. They will not merely deal with alleged mistakes in Trinitarian doctrine, but with the appalling arrogance and sectarian spirit that exist inside of LC environs. 

Naturally, this will trigger further defensive waves from within the Movement, mandating the continued flow of apologetics for new or shaky recruits, as well as court actions against those who won’t buy it. The trickle down effect essentially guarantees that LC folk will go on living under the albatross of the cult label. (p.6)

It would be very difficult to say how much spiritual desolation has already happened in LSM churches, but it has occurred to the extent that outsiders notice it. On a regular basis I receive emails from individuals and on some occasions, entire ministries. They wonder why LC people fight so hard for mainstream recognition in the media and yet conduct themselves so poorly in actual fellowship. They wonder if this group is a ministry, a church, or a cult. 

Many have assayed to define the Local Church of Witness Lee. As an ex-long term member and leader in the group, I will also attempt a final opinion: The Local Church of Witness Lee is a splinter sect of the Closed Brethren, modified by Asian culture and peculiarly developed because of its isolation from the rest of the Body of Christ. 

Apart from changed attitudes and a spirit of repentance, the LC Movement will continue hardening into the cast of a strange, quasi-Christian sect. Some have argued that this has already happened in full—that the sunset of the group occurred long ago with the introduction of legalism and various mistakes made. Regardless, our hope is not the recovery of a system, but for the many dear and true believers within it, whose sincere commitment, even if misplaced, is admirable. After all, they are our brothers and sisters. The system is not. 

How Saved Are We?

A friend mentioned to me the other day, a book by Dr. Michael Brown, the title of which came to mind, in preparing this blog. I can’t even put into words the grief, frustration, disgust and other emotions that I will not mention, as I peruse the spiritual landscape. Many have been saying for several years, that the church will soon become unrecognizable. By Paul Young’s and Kris Volloton’s standards, it’s a ‘reformation! That’s scary! I understand this in a completely different context now! I will let these articles by ‘thewordlikefire’ speak for themselves. I’m at a loss for words!

The Shack author brings new “Reformation” to the church

https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/the-shack-author-brings-new-reformation-to-the-church/

In an interview with The Shack author Paul Young several years ago,  Bethel Redding’s Kris Vallotton asked, “Do you think that this book is really a catalyst for Reformation in the church?” [1] (27:13 in video)

Paul Young replied, “I think this is part of whatever this is that the Holy Spirit is doing in the world.” [2] (27:23)

In another interview, given around the time the movie was released, The Shack author said, “I think that’s a move of the Holy Spirit. … I think we’re on the cusp or inside the beginnings of a Reformation.”[3]  (emphasis mine)

Great changes have indeed occurred within the visible church due to his books, beginning with The Shack, and now with Eve and Lies We Believe About God. Yet, this is not a Reformation, but a Deformation. This is not a move of the Holy Spirit as the author claims, but an infiltration of unclean spirits.

Bethel Redding’s Kris Vallotton is not alone in his admiration for Paul Young. Popular Bethel Redding speaker Abi Stumvoll frequently promotes Paul Young, his book, or his movie. [4] Young’s heresies are apparently irrelevant.

On Mother’s Day, the influence of The Shack was very clear when a congregation worshiped “Mama Ghost” and the “Mother”. A church leader spoke about the “Mother Heart of God” [5] which is also the title of a Paul Young teaching. [6] Reformation indeed.

Shawn Bolz Features Paul Young

One of the heavy hitters within the Bethel Redding sphere is Shawn Bolz, who has featured Paul Young on his podcast. Incredibly, Bolz plugged Young’s latest book, Lies We Believe About God, a book where The Shack author confirms his belief in universal reconciliation, also known as Christian universalism!

This is the belief that Christ’s death means all can enter heaven–every atheist, Buddhist, and New Ager, anybody and everybody, whether Christ has been accepted as Savior or not. In other words, heresy. Yet Shawn Bolz blithely mentioned the book at the beginning of the podcast. He said:

So today we’re talking to William Paul Young, he’s the author of The Shack, Crossroads, and Eve, and he recently released a non-fiction book, his first one, called Lies We Believe About God. [6] (37 seconds in video)

It’s also there in print on Bolz’s YouTube channel (July 9, 2018) :

In this Episode, Shawn Bolz interviews William Paul Young, who is the author of The Shack and his newest book, Lies We Believe About God[7]

How is this even possible? By the time of this interview, Lies We Believe About God had been out for months. In the book, Young states, “Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying!” (pg. 118)

Far from confronting his guest, Bolz also brings up the “R” word:

And what I love about this is you not only wrote this book [The Shack] but you’ve been defining a thought pattern, I think I don’t know if that’s the right word, but you’ve been defining a Reformation of connection to God, and I think it’s very beautiful. [ 8] (23:06 in video)

Paul Young is being used to hollow out the church from the inside. By the time this is all over, there may be a Christianity that appears biblical on the surface, but is lost in heresies and errant teaching.

James B. DeYoung, a retired seminary professor, has been warning about the effect of Paul Young’s books on the Body of Christ for years. He has written a book exposing the heresies in Lies We Believe About God.

This book of DeYoung’s should be in the hands of  pastors and church members everywhere. It is badly needed.

The Shack author has been used to bring far more than the Mother Goddess into the church. Here is the link to James B. DeYoung’s Exposing “Lies We Believe About God”: How the Author of The Shack is Deceiving Millions of Christians Again.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Bethel Redding sister church that worshiped Mother Goddess to feature speakers aligned with “The Shack”

https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/church-that-worshiped-mother-goddess-to-feature-speakers-aligned-with-the-shack/

And when we burned incense to the Queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? (Jeremiah 44:9)

If there is one church that absolutely doesn’t need  any more confusion about the biblical God, it is Bethesda NW. On Mother’s Day, the congregation worshiped the Mother Goddess. (Read) The blasphemous idea of El Shaddai as the Double Breasted One was introduced in early January of 2019. (Read)

It was stated in an earlier article:

The unclean spirit behind the goddess of The Shack, the novel written by Paul Young, is still at work. It seems more than coincidental that Bethesda NW, a Bethel Redding sister church,* uses Young’s hellish interpretation of El Shaddai; and just like in the novel, the Holy Spirit has also been feminized, addressed in the service as “Mama Ghost.”

Incredibly, scheduled June 22 as speakers at Bethesda NW’s Fully Alive Conference, are Bethel Redding heavy hitters Justin and Abi Stumvoll, a couple closely linked with Paul Young, author of The Shack.  In the following video, Abi teaches not from the Bible, but from….Paul Young, whom she refers to as “an incredible mentor and friend to me.” (Watch)

In April 2019 the Stumvolls spoke at Catch The Fire where Ash, the woman speaking,   acknowledged them as “part of our Bethel family.” (59 seconds in video, link in paragraph below ) Justin has served as pastor at Bethel Redding and Abi has served as pastor at Bethel School of Supernatural Minstry, and as staff member at Bethel Redding.

At 5:09  in the video, Abi states: I also want to say, Ash is more like God…have any of you seen the movie, The Shack? They cast the Holy Spirit wrong, it’s Ash. You want to know what the Holy Spirit looks like, it is her. (Watch)

The Stumvolls and Paul Young, author of The Shack, have even collaborated on “The Father Series” described as a “transformational audio e-course” to “help you get healing from your past and empower you to step into a great future.”(READ–scroll down, Paul Young is #5 in the teaching in the 12 Part Audio E-Course)

In March of 2017, Paul Young came out with his book, Lies We Believe About God. After publication there could be no doubt about Young’s heretical view of God, because he admitted what many of us have known all along.

In the words of one reviewer:

The Lies We Believe About God would be a great read if it weren’t for, well, his heresies. Yep, heresies such as universalism, no hell, God submits to us, denial of our sinful nature, denial of God’s sovereignty, and a denial that sin separates us from God. (Link)

The information is readily accessible. Why, then, is this Bethel Redding couple going the way of the Mother Goddess? Why do they keep promoting Paul Young, his book, and his movie?

Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

From the time Paul Young first published his book, The Shack, with the goddess character in the place of the Father, the visible church has been suffering from this heresy. And please, don’t tell me it’s just a book.

Here is what I believe is happening. The Lord is allowing this The Shack/Mother Goddess/Bethel Redding confluence to become evident. He is warning His people. We should be praying for those who are under this deception–but it is also time to draw some boundaries.  It is time to understand this thing is in the visible church.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)

Mike Oppenheimer, a researcher/writer, recently informed me that the demonically influenced William Branham taught this unholy double breasted version of El Shaddai decades ago. Branham, associated with Latter Rain, a movement determined as heretical by Assemblies of God in 1949, is nevertheless admired by Bethel Redding’s Bill Johnson.

Interestingly enough, Tisha Straup in her Bethesda NW sermon of 5/26/19, spoke of El Shaddai, the Double Breasted One, and discussed a dream that Latter Rain preacher Ma Beal had testified about decades ago.

Mike Oppenheimer writes, “Speaking of God as El Shaddai Branham used the many breasted God as his interpretation.” He then provides these quotes from Branham:

“Actually the Name was “El Shaddai.” I may not pronounce that word just right: El Shaddai. Now, “El” is God, like Elohim. “Shad” is “a breast like on a woman.” “Shaddai,” is plural, “breasts, breasted.” Then He is the breasted God.” (59-0423, Abraham’s Seed, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose, CA)

And God called him out, and He said, “Abraham, I am El Shaddai. I’m the Almighty.” Now, the word, “El Shaddai” comes from the word, “bosomed,” means like “the woman, the breast.” “I am El Shaddai,” the breasted God, God with two breasts, like the woman.” (57-0106, Jehovah-Jireh, Arnold Memorial School, Cleveland, TN).

Speaking of Abraham, “He was what? El Shaddai, the Breast. So in other words He would be the mother to God–or to Abraham. Is God a Mother? Sure He is. We are borned of God. Is that right? So that makes God our Mother. God is our Father. God, in Christ is our brother. Is that right?” (56-0816, The Working Of The Holy Spirit, Prince Albert Arena, Prince Albert, SK).

Here is the link to Mike Oppenheimer’s well researched website. 

The Paul Young/William Branham/Bethesda NW misunderstanding of El Shaddai, as Breasted One, Double Breasted One, Many Breasted one etc. is refuted here.

Can you imagine Abraham or Paul believing this of El Shaddai?

Let’s close here, for now. There is more to be said regarding Branham and The Shack, and also more on Bethesda NW and the misuse of El Shaddai.  The spirit behind the Mother Goddess is influencing many, and this seduction is only going to increase.

The Send conference features Bethel Redding speaker known for “grave soaking”

https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/the-send-conference-features-bethel-redding-speaker-known-for-grave-soaking/

thewordlikefireUncategorized  December 9, 2018 4 Minutes

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Tim 4:3)

Sixty thousand people are expected at The Send stadium event, scheduled for February 23, 2019. According to the organization’s website, it is “A NEW ERA.” We may indeed be entering a new era, but not necessarily one of increased evangelism or missions, which is the purported goal of The Send.

Something is very different in the visible church these days. According to a recent PEW survey, many Christians now accept concepts associated with the new age, such as “belief in reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees.”[1]

One of the speakers scheduled for The Send is Ben Fitzgerald, now a Bethel Redding pastor.  Bethel Redding leader Bill Johnson will be speaking as well. Readers may recall that Fitzgerald was one of the Bethel Redding people who tried to absorb or soak up the “anointing” from the bones of  the controversial evangelist, Smith Wigglesworth.

Most grave soakings involve touching or lying on the grave of a deceased saint. Whether Fitzgerald and his group did this is unclear.  The video shows Fitzgerald and others at Smith Wiggleworth’s grave where Fitzgerald, in the role of spiritual middleman, tries to transfer the “impartation” into those viewing the video. He states:

And God can release this same impartation to you. (1:23 in video)

We release the anointing of God that’s in this place … we release right now the anointing. (2:15)

Thank you Father that what was on Smith Wigglesworth’s life, let it come on us. (2:52)

Later in the video, there is a similar effort at Moriah Chapel in Wales, where evangelist Evan Roberts is buried. (3:08)

Fitzgerald has recently “responded to commentary about ‘grave sucking’, suggesting that he had acted unwisely but that he was not attempting to draw out the spiritual powers of dead saints. Instead, he visited the tombs for inspiration and prayer (to God, not to these dead saints).” [2]

That is not entirely accurate. The video makes it clear he was attempting to summon and transfer the “spiritual powers of dead saints,” as writer Murray Campbell puts it. [3] Why? Why would Fitzgerald believe he could do this?

Bethel Redding’s Bill Johnson has belatedly stated his church does not teach or accept grave soaking. Here, however, is Johnson’s statement about anointing and mantles in the book, The Physics of Heaven:

There are anointings, mantles, revelations and mysteries that have lain unclaimed, literally where they were left, because the generation that walked in them never passed them on. I believe it’s possible for us to recover realms of anointing, realms of insight, realms of God that have been untended for decades simply by choosing to reclaim them and perpetuate them for future generations. [4] (emphasis added)

And here is a screenshot of Beni Johnson, Bill Johnson’s wife, lying on the grave of C.S. Lewis. Note that one comment states, “Grab some for me.” This would seem to indicate that grave soaking is familiar to Bethel Redding people.

Image result for picture of beni johnson on c.s. lewis grave

In an interview with Michael Brown, Bill Johnson rejected the idea of seeking impartation of anointing from the dead. Then, a little later, he said this:

We’re actually building a library museum with various artifacts from past revivals. Not to go backwards but to just try to give honor. I really felt that the Lord put it on my heart several years ago that if we honor the moves of God in the past, he would release those same anointings again. [5 ]

What is this supposed to mean? When the museum library is built, are we going to  hear about people who pray over artifacts for impartation of a dead saint’s alleged anointing?

According to Bill Johnson’s own website:

The Lord has made it very clear to us that a practical way we can do this is through what we have called The House of Generals. It is both a library and museum containing a collection of historical literature and artifacts from past revivals and revivalists. I have no desire to move backwards. But God has let us know that if we will honor those who walked faithfully before us then He will give us access to their anointings. [6] (emphasis added)

This is not the first time Bethel Redding people have misinterpreted the Word of God  to justify an unbiblical practice. (2 Kings 13:21, 2 Kings 2:14) There is much more to this grave soaking saga, so for those interested there are links to well researched articles at the end of this post.

As the PEW survey showed, New Age concepts are already in the church. The Send, where Bill Johnson and Ben Fitzgerald are slated to speak, represents a false spiritual movement, one that is rapidly coalescing.

With Bethel Redding leading the way, biblical terms such as “anointing” and “mantle” have been hijacked, and seem to have taken on a meaning that is more akin to the spiritual energy of the New Age. Bethel Redding undeniably has a real propensity for aspects of the New Age. (Read)

In Dreaming with God, Bill Johnson writes:

Many prominent pastors and conference speakers add fuel to the fire of fear by assuming that because the New Age promotes it, its origins must be from the devil. I find that form of reasoning weak at best. If we follow that line of thought we will continue to give the devil the tools that God has given us for success in life and ministry. [7](emphasis added)

So…there are New Age tools given to us by God? That can only be called delusional.

As previously noted in Part 1 of this series, The Send speaker/artist list is dominated by: New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) advocates; contemplative prayer practitioners; and those who push for Protestant/Catholic spiritual unity.

“Behind the music: The baffling views about God held by Bethel Music’s Amanda Lindsey Cook” by Holly Pivec

https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/behind-the-music-the-baffling-views-about-god-held-by-bethel-musics-amanda-lindsey-cook-by-holly-pivec/

According to Holly Pivec over at Spirit of Error:

I was baffled and dismayed by the responses in an interview the Christian Post conducted, in April, with Amanda Lindsey Cook, a prominent worship leader and songwriter with Bethel Music. The interview was about her most recent album, House on a Hill, and about what Cook was thinking about God as she wrote the songs for this album.

I was baffled because it is very difficult to make any sense of Cook’s words. And I was dismayed because she makes a number of statements about God that raise many serious questions, including, most basic, what is her view of God? You can read excerpts of her statements below, but the bottom line is she seems to have some very confused and unbiblical views of God.

Yet, despite her muddled and misleading statements about God, her music is very popular. Some of her songs that you may have heard include “You Make Me Brave,” “Closer,” and “I Will Exalt.” They’re played on Christian radio stations and sung in churches throughout the nation. But the combination of Cook’s half-baked theological views and the popularity of her music raises the question: does the songwriter’s viewpoint or intent matter when it comes to writing songs for others to worship God?

Consider that question as you read some excerpts from her interview, below.

Amanda Lindsey Cook’s peculiar statements about God

  • “Every day I increasingly felt like gravity and the great beyond, called God, was working in my favor.”
  • “I love this divine essence that we so commonly refer to as God. I think it becomes this common, almost familiar thing that it has connotations because we basically impose our belief system on whatever we think God is when we say the word ‘God.’”
  • “I love the names that this essence and this divine presence gives itself. In the Old Testament, where God describes themselves as ‘I am,’ also the name Yahweh, ‘the intake and the exhale of breath.’”
  • “It’s this common acknowledgment, this communal aspect of living, where we’re all connected, we’re all part of the common thread … to be connected at the source to this divine presence, this Christ consciousness…”

If that interview isn’t cause enough for concern, Amanda Lindsey Cook also teaches at Bethel Church in Redding, California, home to Bethel Music. Given her unclear and curious responses during the interview, one may wonder how she ever was approved to teach at any church, let alone one as large and influential as Bethel Church.

Trumpet Sounds

“If the trumpet gives an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle.” 1 Cor.14:8

Going After Other Counterfeit gods

“Will you..make offerings to Baal..going after other gods that you’ ve not known..then come before Me..saying,”We are delivered.”? Jer. 7:9

There are other gods, other spirits, counterfeits, that some have entertained, assumed to be the Holy Spirit, angels, spirits of the departed, by those seeking manifestation, encounters, experiences, giving them precedence over Jesus Christ and His Word, violating Scripture, yes even creating idols of them, offering themselves to these unknown gods, then coming before the Lord, saying, “We are delivered.”

The Lord, surprisingly, says to Jeremiah in v.16-17, “do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me, for I will not hear you…And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke Me to anger.”

Is it possible that a point could be reached where the Lord would say; “Pray no longer, for this people?”

“If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.” 1John 5:16

Sadly, there will be those who persists to resist all warnings and correction, continuing to practice spiritual deviancy, pursuing error and heresy that will lead to apostasy, maintaining many outward trappings of spirituality, yet fully deceived, following false, counterfeit gods, given over to delusion because they rejected the truth.

This rejection of truth is very clearly seen in many ways. The Lord, not willing that any should perish, has been long suffering with the truth rejectors, but the persistence has deepened the deception, and the Scriptures say; ” The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 1 Thess. 2:9-12

We all know Jesus warned His disciples not to be deceived, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 There counterfeit spirits masquerading as false christs, false ‘jesus, ‘ even counterfeit holy spirits, as well, as actual people claiming to be christ.

This is why I continue to trumpet warning sounds, before the Lord’s judgment trumpets! To any one desiring Biblical truth, error becomes very apparent. When Scripture is slighted, questioned, undermined, treated as less than the inspired, inerrant (in original), trustworthy, Word of God to His people, when interpretation is careless, unorthodox, disingenuous, deceitful, then error becomes blurred and obscured.

There are other various reasons for rampant error arising. We need the grace of God, and the Holy Spirit, to walk in truth. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Pride will blind and block the grace of God. Grieving the Holy Spirit, hinders His grace and truth. Embracing and defending error will allow deception to increase, then spiritual myopathy, vision impairment, sets in, and in the specific areas of deception, Scripture becomes ‘hidden,’ obscured, blurred.

“Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but My people know not the judgments/ ordinances/ requirements/ decisions of the LORD.” Jer. 8:7-8

The Watchmens’ Trumpets Are Sounding

The Watchmens’ Trumpets Are Sounding, Who Will listen?

“I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.”

16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.But they said,‘We will not walk in it.

17 I set watchmen over you, saying,‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’

18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.

20 What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.

21 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.’” Jer. 6:16-21

The Lord has always set watchmen amongst His people, as part of His Divine order, trumpeting what they see. Here we see the response is; “We will not listen.” The Lord’s response is; “Disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices.”

He goes on to say; “your frankincense…sweet cane…burnt offerings (worship) are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to Me.”
This is scary stuff! How much of this is transpiring today? How much ‘worship’ takes place where there is a refusal to listen to watchmen the Lord has establish for the sake and safety of His people?
“Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.”

A stumbling is already occurring, even amongst ‘signs, wonders’ and manifestations, in unacceptable worship, and many will perish, “the fruit of their own devices.”

The Lord Has Always Set Watchmen Amongst His People

The Lord has always set watchmen amongst His people, as part of His Divine order, trumpeting what they see. Here we see the response is; “We will not listen.” The Lord’s response is; “Disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices.”

He goes on to say; “your frankincense…sweet cane…burnt offerings (worship) are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to Me.”

This is scary stuff! How much of this is transpiring today? How much ‘worship’ takes place where there is a refusal to listen to watchmen the Lord has establish for the sake and safety of His people?

“Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.”

Prophets Prophesy Falsely, And The Priests Rule At Their Direction

“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction / by their own authority.; My people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?” Jer. 5:30-31

Many are beginning to re-evaluate the present functioning of much ‘apostolic’ and ‘prophetic’ ministry. Serious doctrinal error and practice has opened the way for prophetic ministry in some parts of Body of Christ to become flushed with demonic influence, resulting in false prophecy. Erroneous apostolic applications have created illegitimate authority scenarios, never intended by God, men “ruling at their direction / by their own authority.”
Numerous voices are arising, to challenge these erroneous mindsets and applications. Great transition and corrective transformation must come, and it will be at the cost of much conflict. I have reiterated before; “in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Lk.12:52-53

This conflict will arise over convictions regarding truth and error, light and darkness, counterfeit and genuine. New age/ occult agendas, for years have revealed a cunning approach to overcoming Christianity, by infiltration, and becoming the ‘church,’ and it’s taking place now, as incredible as it may seem! Test, examine, study, to see if these things be so!

Visiting ‘Heavenly Places’

‘Shinning Ones’ -enlightened, ascended human’s spirits-
-astral/ projection – visiting “heavenly places.”

Since looking into the ‘heavenly visitations’ phenomenon, I’ve been wondering what was really going on, as I questioned the validity of these exp.’s. When I came across work done by two women, Carolyn and Loren, (both whom were previously involved in high level occult activity) I got a greater view of the demonic spiritual mechanics behind this puzzling phenomenon.

The ‘shinning ones’, are referenced to by the occult/ new age, and some ‘christians.’ They are supposed super advanced, enlightened humans, who’s spirits have ascended to full mastery. There are ‘christians’ practicing some of these activites.
“The process of gaining enlightenment (‘manifesting the spirit) involves “the exercises of opening and cleaning the doorways/gateways of the spirit and soul, also using visualization. This is a well-known and well-used precursor to astral/travel, projection and remote viewing, occult activities that are performed through demonic assistance and control. How? Because by opening up their mind through visualization, the individual is opening the “gateways” to their heart — the spiritual space inside them — and the demonic is flooding in. And because the individual has opened up their heart and their mind to the demons, they are able to further manipulate the individual’s mind to have visions of things that are not truth, or take them to places that are not truth, such as so-called “heavenly places.”The visions they see or the places they visit in the supernatural may be real, but they are not truth from God.”  https://carolynandloren.com/…/fbclid=IwAR2poccd0u0nfr7oG083…

Motivated by earnest desire to exp. deeper spiritual realities, many are unknowingly participating in occult practices, as they validate their practicing beliefs with spiritualized texts, and gnostic rationalism. I have posted quite a bit lately regarding these dangerous and demonic trends.

Doctrines Arising From The Imaginations Of Men

I woke up this morning with this burden in my heart. Many doctrines arising from the imaginations of men, developed from speculations rec’d, perceived, read; Doctrines of demons, occult philosophy, aimed at motivating man to pursue becoming divine, systems of spiritual truth, spiritual realities, entering spiritual dimensions to supposedly co-operate, co-reign with God ‘s scheme for the universal cosmos.

The simple truth is that; “the gospel…is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed…For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Rom. 1:16-18

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths/fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16

“in order that we may be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of that teaching [which is] in the sleight of men, in unprincipled cunning with a view to systematized error;” Eph.4:14

2 Peter 1:16 Cleverly devised– #4679 – sophizó: to make wise, instruct; pass: skillfully devised. cleverly devised, give…wisdom, cFor we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.unningly devise.
From sophos; to render wise; in a sinister acceptation, to form “sophisms”, i.e. Continue plausible error — cunningly devised, cleverly-imagined fables (Bible Hub)

Fables – # 3454- muthos: an idle tale, fable, fanciful story.-3454 mýthos – a myth; a false account, yet posing to be the truth; a fabrication (fable) which subverts (replaces) what is actually true. – a fiction, a fable; universally, an invention, falsehood: 2 Peter 1:16;

“the fictions of the Jewish theosophists and Gnostics, especially concerning the emanations and orders of the aeons, are called μυθοι (A. V. fables) in 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:14.” (Bible Hub)

Eph.4:14 Clever – # 3834- panourgia: cleverness, craftiness, shrewdness, skill; hence: cunning; properly, every (evil) work; (figuratively) crafty behavior; unscrupulous cunning that stops at nothing to achieve a selfish goal; contextually equivalent to a specious or false wisdom; adroitness, i.e. (in a bad sense) trickery or sophistry — crafty, cunning, subtilty.

Cunning – #2940- kubeia: playing with dice, gaming, hence) trickery, sleight; with a “sleight of the hand,” implies the use of trickery and cheating; fraud

Deceitful – #4106- plané: a wandering, a straying about, whereby one, led astray from the right way, roams hither and thither; fig: deceit, delusion, error, sin; deviant behavior; a departure from what God says is true; an error (deception) which results in wandering (roaming into sin); error, wrong opinion; error which shows itself in action, a wrong mode of acting; objectively, fraudulence; subjectively, a straying from orthodoxy or piety — deceit, to deceive, delusion, error.
Scheming – #3180- methodeia: craft, deceit; a way of search after something, an inquiry; a method), scheming, craftiness, deceit; the root of the English term, “method”) – properly, a predictable (pre-set) method used in organized evil-doing (well-crafted trickery). cunning arts, wiles. From a compound of meta and hodeuo (compare “method”); travelling over, i.e. Travesty (trickery) — wile, lie in wait.

Spurious doctrines cunningly crafted from spiritualized texts, spiritual narcotics, intruding into drugged, ‘spiritual realities.’

Speculation Any discussion that goes beyond the Word of God, even tho’ it may have begun in the Word of God, is speculation.

Entities Invoked- In Fact Demons, Rather Than Angels

“Any such contact with demons no matter for what goal should be considered unlawful and dangerous.”-Thomas Aquinas

From the Middle Ages onward, this was realized!

“Ever since the early church fathers, theologians had more or less agreed that magic generally worked by the aid of demons, whether explicitly or implicitly. From the Middle Ages onward the perceived powers of the devil and his legions came to be seen as formidable in the theologians’ eyes; devilish feats of trickery and illusion were especially emphasized. When condemning the increasingly popular Ars Notoria of the thirteenth century—a system relying on prayer and invocation of angels and other presumably benign mediators for bringing knowledge and illumination to the practitioner—Thomas Aquinas wrote that the use of verba ignota, or unknown angelic names, in these practices should warn the good Christian that the entities invoked were in fact demons rather than angels. And any such contact with demons, no matter for what goal, should be considered unlawful and dangerous.

Worries about infernal tricksters only increased in the coming centuries.So much so that by the early modern period the question of how it was even possible to distinguish a demonic illusion from a real divine miracle was considered one of the most difficult epistemological problems in theology and natural philosophy alike.” Introduction pgs.1,2 Egil Asprem https://www.academia.edu/…/False_Lying_Spirits_and_Angels_o…

May the spiritual insight of modern Christianity return back to this level, and step out of encroaching spiritual darkness!

We’ve got to get this right! The living cannot and are warned, to not, try communicating with spirits of the departed, not Enoch, not Elijah, no one. Any one doing so has encountered a demonic spirit, and this is occult spiritual prostitution!
In this age of great ‘spiritual enlightenment,’ I believe we may be descending into another dark age!

Know The Lord

We’ve got to truly begin to know the Lord, His holiness, righteousness, His justice and understand His ways!

“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” Rom.11:22

1 Samuel 3:11-14
11 “Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God,[a] and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

We continue in the kindness of the Lord by continuing to follow Him, surrendered and obedient to Him. We are in covenant with Him, and are required to remain in covenant with Him, for the covenant to operate.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

“Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” 1 Cor. 10:6

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.” ‎Rom. 15:4

“Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:6-12

I feel I have to preface every reference to Old Test. Scripture with these admonitions from Paul, because to often, Old Test. references are ‘written off’ as irrelevant. Paul corrects that attitude.
“Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” 1 Cor. 10:6

That’s the preface! Here’s the point I wanted to make! God’s view of sin and His just response has not change. The former things recorded are still examples and instruction for today!

2 Samuel 12: 13-14 “David said to Nathan,“I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”

The Justice Of God In Response To Sin

This example reveals the justice of God in response to sin. Of course in this dispensation of grace thro’ Jesus Christ, God’s response varies, thro’ His mercy and forgiveness, but again Paul said; “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Rom. 2:4

We must allow the Old Test. to speak to us, or we are in danger of missing what the Lord is saying, and lacking perspective in our knowledge of Who He really is!
Now back to 2 Sam. 12:9-12 “Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”

God’s justice toward serious sin by one in leadership is seen here. There has been much conversation lately about how people’s sin in leadership is discussed openly. Look at what the Lord said thro’ Nathan to David!

V.11 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”

May we re-examine, in the light of Scripture, how the Lord views and responds to sin, esp. in leadership, letting the Scriptures of old be our example and instruction!

Book Of Enoch Violation Of Scripture

Intruding into unseen realm, enticing followers.
“Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,”
Speculations: Col. 3:18 – ‘#1687. embateuó – enter, set foot on, intrude, pry into, taking…stand, to invade, make a hostile incursion into, to go into details b. to investigate, search into, scrutinize minutely = going into curious and subtle speculation about things which he has seen in visions granted him;’ This describes many, who are speculating, concerning the unseen realm = intruding into, scrutinizing minutely, curious and subtle speculation about things which he has seen in visions granted him;’

“An old pastor friend who started to get into new age and esoteric things was quoting from Book of Enoch.” Testimonial 

Shun Idolatry – Beware of ‘Prophetic’ Lying Signs & Wonders – To Deceive!

Deuteronomy 13:1-5,7

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.”

>v.5 “he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God…to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk.”

>V.7 “namely of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth,”

How many time has this been seen: Signs & wonders given by ‘prophets’ that entice, convince, to go after other questionable, spurious, spiritual exp’s, practices, beliefs, suspect movements, that become ‘other gods,’ supernatural signs and wonders, that sway to believe the ‘prophet,’ what is ultimately untrue, demonic, deception! It’s has happened, establishing large, prominent movements, and is still happening today!

God’s Perspective On Sin, Repentance, Restoration And Justice.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction” Rom.15:4

“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they
were written down for our instruction” 1 Cor.10:11

“‘O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the LORD was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the LORD said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan.” Deut. 3:21-27


What is the ex. and instructions to be gleaned from this account? There is a mindset to be corrected.

Another ‘ex. written for our instruction,’ is found in Numb.12.
“And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed. When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned…And Moses cried to the LORD, “O God, please heal her—please.” But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” Numb.12:9-12,14

What exactly is God’s perspective on sin, repentance, restoration and justice? Consider this! –

“Though Jesus died to remove the eternal penalty of justice required for our rebellion, His death was never meant to remove the temporal penalty – or our obligation to seek and serve justice. If we want His eternally justifying work, then we must both accept God’s temporal justice (or discipline) and (once more) commit to a life of seeking and serving justice (Deu 16:20; 1Co 6:8-11). This is why then Christians are not excluded from suffering in this life – including physical death. As a matter of fact, Christians are guaranteed to receive such temporal justice (or suffering or discipline) for their sin since without it, there is no hope of being eternally just or in the eternally just place of heaven (1Co 6:8-11, 11:28-32; Heb 12:3-14; 1Pe 4:17-19; Pro 11:31, 16:6, 20:30, 24:12). Hence, the way to avoid additional suffering in this life, is by avoiding additional sin” (Pro 13:21).
http://www.christcovenantcolorado.com/understanding-justic…/

Hebrews 12:5 “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.”

Over the past several months esp. and ongoing for many years, a mindset has developed in the Church that repentance and forgiveness eradicates all effects and repercussions of sin, ‘as if it never happened,’ in many cases, eradicating, or minimizing repercussions, taking lightly the discipline and justice of the Lord, violating Biblical protocol, in pursuing restoration.

We, the Church, have to get this right! In repentance, redemption, and restoration, (mercy), God’s perspective includes justice. Yes, there are repercussions for sin! God’s temporal justice includes discipline, which cannot be taken lightly!

“Those unwilling to do what justice requires are considered unrepentant by God. Justice is not determined by us (e.g. what we think is just/righteous), but rather by God’s Word/Law, it is to God’s Word/Law that we must look when determining what qualifies as justice in our repentance.” – ibid

“Though Jesus died to remove the eternal penalty of justice… His death was never meant to remove the temporal penalty – or our obligation to seek and serve justice. If we want His eternally justifying work, then we must both accept God’s temporal justice (or discipline) and (once more) commit to a life of seeking and serving justice.” – ibid

WHEN JESUS IS ENOUGH

 September 25, 2019  Lovesickscribe Comments 11 Comments

When the thrill of the experience has waxed cold and the fog lifts and the glow of the ambient light has dimmed in the presence of offending fluorescence, there is a questioning of the longevity of this sacred romance called Christianity. As a Christian, I realize that encounter and experience once took precedence in my life. It was the thrill of God seeming to chase me and give me a word, to have the “man or woman of God” call me out and declare greatness and mighty exploits. Hot tears and those euphoric goosebumps were my litmus test that He had touched me through the years. Is this how many of us have operated with God?

It was not until this year that I came to grips with the truth. I was a starving sheep, feasting on encounter and messages with fillers and lacking true sustenance while snacking on His Word. Yes, I love Jesus Christ and have from the day that He became my Lord and Savior eighteen years ago. But without realizing it, this relationship had become “Jesus plus”. This is where many are in the body of Christ right now if there is brutal honesty. Either the plus is works based to win favor with God, which is not possible, or the plus is the experiences that trigger emotion and excitement. It seems that Jesus is not enough. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the call to be holy and sanctified is not enough. His Word is not enough. It has to be something new and fresh, something that is not even in His God breathed, Holy Spirit inspired Word.

A simple question lurks in the background that beckons to be answered but desperately hides in the recesses of the heart to evade this offensive truth. If you and I never felt tingles or euphoric goosebumps all in the name of the Holy Spirit, would Jesus be enough? If we never received a personal prophetic word, would His Word be enough? If He didn’t answer our prayers the way we expect or command, and yes I said command because supplication is no longer recognized as true prayer, would Jesus be enough to bring contentment? It seems that “our truth” lies dangerously in fleshly manifestations and the words of men rather than the truth of His written Word. There is a wooing, but it is the sound of the Beloved calling us out of spiritual sugar slumber. There are many true sheep waking up right now and they are looking for the meat of the Word. They are tired of fluff and fanfare. When they hear the spiritual circus is in town, they do not run for the meetings, but they run to the place of prayer. They open their Bibles and they feast. There is no famine when the Word of God is present.

Paul said,

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:8-9, 14 ESV

The upward call is to be with Him and to worship Him. Paul knew that all else paled in comparison to knowing Christ. The gain He had was counted as loss. Beloved church, Jesus is enough. That may sound real simple and trite, but it is true. I encourage you to read the Word of God every day. This is how we build this “sacred romance” with God. We are to know what the Holy Spirit inspired in the writings. We hear the testimony of our Beloved in the pages of the Bible and we see the scarlet thread of the spotless Lamb coursing throughout the Testaments. When is Jesus enough? I will tell you. When you feel nothing and yet you know that you are alive in Him and because of Him. When you long for eternity as a sojourner in the earth and nothing else satisfies or consoles you. When you rejoice in the victory as well as the trial and the suffering. When all else pales in comparison to His majesty and splendor, that is when Jesus is enough. He is not a consolation prize or an extra in the movie of our lives. He is the prize and He is the One we have come to see and to know. May we know Him more fully by His Word and by His Spirit.

I just got a revelation! ‘Revelation’ that lacks revelation of the cross, is not revelation- but fascination of ‘illumination.’

Mark & Avoid Those Who Create Obstacles/ Snares To Sound Doctrine

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.” Rom.16:17-19

“CREATE OBSTACLES”:
Strong’s Greek 4625: A snare, stumbling-block, cause for error. Scandal; probably from a derivative of kampto; a trap-stick, i.e. Snare.

4625 skándalon – properly, the trigger of a trap (the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim); (figuratively) an offense, putting a negative cause-and-effect relationship into motion.

4625 /skándalon (“the means of stumbling”) stresses the method (means) of entrapment, i.e. how someone is caught by their own devices (like their personal bias, carnal thinking).

Savage Wolves

“Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will rise up and distort the truth/ speaking twisted things, to draw away disciples after them.Therefore be alert and remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31

Those On Detox Journey, Hold Your Course Steady

Those on detox journey, hold your course steady, was the impression left with me as I read this word from Lana Vawser. The Lord, I believe, is working all things after the counsel of His own will, bringing corrective alignment, and purification to many areas that have been reasons for spiritual detox. Hold true to your convictions, looking neither to the left or the right, refusing cynicism, skepticism or suspicion. Some will refuse God’s ‘hand of fire,’ and grievously go the way of destruction, but the final analysis and judgements are the Lord’s alone. Speak the truth in love, and pray. Be prepared tho’, for the one’s refusing to obey, may become our enemies!

Lana Vawser-Prophetic Word

“I am removing many leaders and five-fold ministers from thrones they have placed themselves on and I am taking My rightful place.”

“The Lord spoke to me recently for leaders in the body of Christ and also the five-fold offices. I heard the Lord say, “There is an intense firing of My hand upon the hearts of My leaders and the five-fold right now and it is important that you yield to it and embrace it, for I am preparing them to partner with Me to see the greatest move of My Spirit that they have ever seen.”

The Lord showed me that this intense firing of the heart is taking place right now. The fire of His purifying has increased significantly and the Lord is purging deeply. It is a time of deep consecration to the Lord right now and a time of deep surrender and deeper yielding to His ways and His agenda. The Lord is about to do WONDERS amongst His people. There is a MIGHTY move of His Spirit that is building where the King of Glory is going to step in (Psalm 24:7-9) and when He steps in, I heard the Lord say “When I step in, it’s going to change the way things are done.”

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5 – ESV)

The Lord is removing impurities, purging mixture, dealing with complacency and compromise. His firing of His hand is out of His love to see the body of Christ walk in holiness. There is a mighty move of His Spirit upon the Church where holiness will be seen like never before. It’s not something that is found in a place of “striving to be holy” but in a place of deep intimacy with the King.

Things are about to change rapidly in the body of Christ. Things are not going to remain as they have. It doesn’t mean that all the ways things have been “done” in the body of Christ are bad. It means we have entered a new era and God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19) and it requires a laid down leadership and five-fold ministry that is completely surrendered to His way and His process. As I sought the Lord’s heart, I felt the urgency of the hour and I felt a strong invitation from the Lord for leaders and the five-fold to “get your house in order”. It is time to really prepare with the Holy Spirit for the next move of His Spirit. It’s time to “do business” with the Holy Spirit and allow the firing of His hand upon your heart to remove the troubling foxes that have come to spoil the vine. (Song of Songs 2:15)

The firing of His hand is not for your harm, it is for your GOOD. The Lord’s heart is to strengthen you, to remove the things that hinder you, to bring you into a deeper place of intimacy and cause you to continue to increase in revelation of His ways and sensitivity to His Spirit.

The firing that is taking place is for the purpose of increase, growth and to see the Kingdom established upon the earth like never before and His Glory revealed.

The firing has been intense and in some ways it is going to increase, but the heart of this word is, do not RUN FROM the fire. Allow the fire to do what it needs to do. Allow the Master potter to do the moulding that He needs to. (Isaiah 64:8)

As you yield to His fire and embrace the fire of God upon your heart and life, He is fortifying you and causing you to be strengthened in Him like never before. In the firing, He is purging the fear of man, the fear of failure, and the compromise that can come when the Lord speaks to do something “outside” of the box, because “it’s not the way it’s done” and “what will other think”. In the embracing and yielding to the firing of His hand, He is increasing the fire within that says, “I will not give the Lord half-hearted obedience, but I will obey at all costs.”

The Lord showed me that there are some leaders and five fold ministers who are experiencing this deep firing and feeling like they have done something wrong. That’s not the truth. This firing is not punishment, it’s preparation to partner with Him in the greatest move of His Spirit and harvest that you have ever seen.

Don’t rush His process, don’t try to shortcut the fire, invite the fire, invite the firing, embrace it, knowing that He is a good Father and knows what He is doing and you shall come forth as pure gold.”

Spiritually Elite Rhetorical Phariseeism

Rhetorical, rationalistic questions, to skirt around Biblical truth in order to justify one’s unScriptural agenda.

Lk.10:25, 29 “A lawyer stood up to put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”


A lawyer tests Jesus with a question. Jesus directs him to Scripture, eliciting Scriptural response from lawyer. Jesus affirms his response. Lawyer poses rhetorical questions in response to Biblical truth, “TO JUSTIFY HIMSELF”!

– Rhetorical, rationalistic questions skirting around Bible truth, with the appearance of wisdom, (philosophical eloquence…= foolishness!)

After self justifying rhetorical question, interestingly, Jesus responds with a parable, = wisdom.

“For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the practical discernment/ intelligence/ synthesized reasoning that joins implicit (indirect) truths for comprehension/ synthesized understanding/ inductive reasoning/ insight/ cleverness – I will thwart. Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” 1 Cor.1:19-20

Good example, of self-justifying rationalism
Question posed to prominent charismatic leader:

Does God give sickness?
Leader’s response: God can’t give what He doesn’t have.
This is rationalistic reasoning, skirting around Biblical truth, to justify one’s ‘doctrinal’ agenda,=narrative.

Scriptural Response: Numbers 12:1-10
Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses
12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife,…4 At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; 9 The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]

Spiritually elite pharisee ism, using rationalistic, philosophical rhetoric, to skirt around Biblical truth, to justify one’s agenda.

Rhetorical Phariseeism & The Broad Darkened Road

Rhetorical phariseeism sugar coated poison is being spoon fed spiritually sugar high, hyper, charismatic, Scripturally illiterate, anemic children, ‘bouncing off the ceilings,’ in counterfeit revival manifestation, false euphoria, travelling down a broad darkened road, the light far behind, as a false light looms large before them!

Grieving The Holy Spirit

Don Pirozokhttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2453960411324655&set=a.499875916733124&type=3&theater

“One of the most overstated beliefs happening inside the Charismatic Movement is the belief of quenching or grieving the Holy Spirit. Here’s the problem, if you don’t error on the one side, deception will come from over correcting on the other side. In an attempt not to stop the move of God, Charismatics have fallen into the deception that holding the Church accountable to proper doctrine quenches the Holy Spirit. In fact it is just the opposite, the Holy Spirit would never confirm false doctrines with power or manifestations. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, He will only lead and guide the saints into all truth, and bring to our remembrance the things which Jesus Christ has spoken. The Holy Spirit will expose false doctrine and teachers. As false doctrine is like leaven which can corrupt the whole Church.

What is the danger? God has given the saints an anointing the presence of the Holy Spirit to overcome the false prophets. For greater is the presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling the saints, than those teachers, prophets, and apostles who have departed from sound doctrine to-teach doctrines of demons. A abundance of Scriptures are given warning of end time deception coming from doctrines of demons and false teachers. What is the real warning? The Holy Spirit is grieved by doctrines which lead men away from the teachings of Jesus Christ. When the Church confronts Charismatic teachers, and they defend their teachings which are contrary to God’s Written Word, the Holy Spirit is completely grieved. If the teachings continue the Holy Spirit will be quenched, and evil spirits will imitate the presence of the Holy Spirit.

A Movement which prides itself on sensitivity to the Holy Spirit has fallen into deception by not seeing the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are in “complete agreement.” You will constantly hear some high profile apostle “down play the Written Word of God,” as if holding to sound doctrine limits the Holy Spirit. These men draw from some supernatural encounter, which has convinced them their walk in the Lord before was not as “powerful.” So now they pride themselves on “”hosting the Holy Spirit,” however their doctrines are man made and philosophical. The Holy Spirit would be actually hindered, limited and even grieved by their ignorance and deception. The hosting of “Spirit,” ends up hosting the presence of evil spirits who are providing sensuous supernatural experiences which do not come from the Holy Spirit. In actuality the Holy Spirit has been grieved and quenched, by the preaching of a false Gospel.

How bad is the problem? How in grained are Charismatics in thinking revival comes from manifestations independent from preaching the doctrines of Christ? In the Azusa Street Revival, the belief was all doctrine revealed the person of Jesus Christ, and was the central theme of the revival. Manifestations were not viewed independent of the Gospel, and would be tested by the Word of God. The revivalist knew authentic revival magnified the person of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Do we not see manifestations in themselves are “not revival,” as the Holy Spirit will only magnify the person ofJesus Christ. Fake revival abounds today, with false doctrine, mainly drawn from New Age and psychic counterfeits. The revivalist’s themselves are often bound by deep deception and lusts and addictions. The Holy Spirit has long ago been grieved, but they continue without the Holy Spirit anyway.

Final thoughts. When a ministry is exposed from preaching a false Gospel. Charismatics hit the default button with this belief, “ touch not my anointed.” Charismatics have been trained to “not test their teachers according to the Word of God.” A deadly and foolish practice which “grieves the Holy Spirit.”

A Recipe For Deceptive Disaster!

Troubling Trends:

Highly subjective spiritual exp.’s & encounters, loosely based on spiritualized or isolated texts.

A recipe for deceptive disaster, that plagues the hyper charismatic movement. Throw in over dependence and focus on ‘prophetic utterance’ and ‘prophetic revelation,’ the Scriptures dishonoured, displaced as primary, twisted deceitfully, misunderstood, and the journey on the narrow way to eternal life drifts and turns toward the broaden road to destruction!

This recipe feeds into counterfeit vulnerability. Shockingly, spiritual experiences are seemingly, not judged, discerned, tested, to determine ‘what spirit they are of,’ particularly encounters with ‘spirit beings,’ (‘angels’?) dreams and visions. Prophecy and extra-biblical, prophetic revelation, lack Biblical scrutiny as well.

Look at what Dutch Sheets acknowledged:
“Dutch Sheets Admits To Charismatic Shallowness”
(Excerpt From Sheets Letter On Website)

1) “We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc… Through our lack of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms. We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing gullible sheep. “https://www.facebook.com/don.pirozok/posts/2425176210869742

“Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” Is.21:11

Faith That Rest Not In The Wisdom Of Men But In The Power Of God.

Faith that fails, is faith that’s put in the eloquent, possibly deceitful, futile wisdom of men.

Does your faith rest in the wisdom of men, or in the power of God, the eloquence of men, or the Word of God? 1 Cor.2:1-5

“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Cor.2:1-5

There may be much eloquence of speech, witty remarks, rationalistic reasoning, intriguing philosophies, ‘deep tho’t’, most of which would be soulish humanistic, or even demonic ‘wisdom,’ which is based on lies.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say…For God knows that when you eat of it (tree of the knowledge of good and evil) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen.3:1,5

Don’t lean on the eloquent wisdom of men, who are partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, twisting Scripture, causing doubt as to what God has really said. Faith that fails, is faith that’s put in the eloquent, possibly deceitful, futile wisdom of men.

Destructive Heresies – Introduced Surreptitiously

“there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly/ stealthily/ cleverly/ cunningly/ covertly/ privately/ Introduce surreptitiously/ introduce from close beside/ infiltrate your midst/ bringing in destructive heresies.” 2 Peter 2:1

An important function of the Church is to preserve the truth, above establishing a united front. If we have not the truth, we have nothing. In losing the truth, we lose every thing!

Revelation Idols

‘Revelation’ based on speculation transgresses to mysticism, excessive spiritualization of Scripture, the tool!

“For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” 1 Tim. 1:3-4

Summary of texts above:
2 Tim. 4:3-4 – men not tolerating sound doctrine, but having itching ears, (craving) for what suits their desires, (personal agendas, narratives) turning away from the truth & wondering off into myths.

1 Tim. 1:3-4 – admonishment to not teach any other doctrine, nor devote themselves to myths & endless genealogies = (seemingly without end, unceasing), which promote speculations.= (question, debate, controversy; a meaningless question to investigate a specific practice (as the outgrowth of a principle)

‘Revelation’ idols, would be both general craving after revelation and specific revelation narratives, (pet doctrines, agendas, etc.).

I posted my perspective on genuine revelation here: https://www.facebook.com/daryl.giffin.35/posts/487981892001719

A problem arises when extra-Biblical revelation becomes more important than ‘sound doctrine,’ esp. when it is derived from speculations drawn out of isolated texts, (proof texts) or ‘spiritualized’ texts. Even more threatening, is ‘revelation’ ‘rec’d’ without any Scriptural precedent.

These ‘revelation’ narratives, can become agendas that supersede the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, and the prominence of the Scriptures, becoming idols devoted to. (“And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He may have preeminence.) Col.1:18

When this happens, speculations can degenerate into myths, paving the way for demonic delusions, mythology, superstitions, every dark and unimaginable scenario, producing a false spiritual reality.

An addendum here includes supernatural encounters/ manifestations (angelic visitation, dreams, visions,) experiences, physical, emotional, mental, euphoria, that supplants the Word of God, sound doctrine and the preeminence of Jesus Christ and the place of the Holy Spirit.

I do not despise the supernatural, but test all things now, holding fast to what is good. (1 Thess 5:21) This includes doctrine as well.

Test – #1381 – put to the test, prove, examine; scrutinize, distinguish by testing, approve after testing; prove fit, to show something is acceptable (real, approved); put to the test to reveal what is good (genuine) – deem worthy:- is done to demonstrate what is good, i.e. passes the necessary test. 1381 (dokimázō) does not focus on disproving something (i.e. to show it is bad).

Finally, notice the last description of ‘test’;- is done to demonstrate what is good, i.e. passes the necessary test. 1381 (dokimázō) does not focus on disproving something (i.e. to show it is bad) This must be understood regarding all of the reactions being thrown around about judging.

New “Revelations” Being Released – Dark, Sinister Connection To The Occult.

“The truth is, these “new revelations” have a dark and sinister connection to the occult.

As an alleged “channel” for Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul, famous occultist, Alice A. Bailey penned the following.

“Christianity will not be superseded. It will be transcended, its work of preparation being triumphantly accomplished, and Christ will again give us the next revelation of divinity . . . Can there not be revelations of God utterly unprecedented, and for which we have no words or adequate means of expression? The ancient mysteries, so shortly to be restored, must be re-interpreted in the light of Christianity, and re-adapted to meet modern need . . .” Bailey, Alice A. “Introduction to Initiation.” From Bethlehem to Calvary. Lucis Trust; copyright 1937 by Alice A. Bailey,

Imagine!

Humanistic, intellectual rationalism, under the guise of ‘reason’, raises it’s childish rebellious voice in defiant tantrum, screaming, why, why, why, not content with, ‘Father knows best,’ deviously developing excuses for not believing, straining for reasons to justify saying; “Not so”! Creating their own reality, fashioning a god, (idol), in their own likeness, from the left over gold of their own ‘intellect’, a god of humanism, corrupted by the enemy from the very beginning, accepting as their own tho’ts, deceiving lies, drifting further and further from truth, into unimaginable darkness, where no truth exists!

Imagine a world without truth! Be prepared! Walk in truth, be established, grounded in truth. Contend for truth, for a day of great darkness is coming, a second dark age. Imagine there’s no heaven! A world without God, only cosmic consciousness, all as one, we’re god! NOT! https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/john-lennon/imagine

Will Judgement Come For Fear Of Judging?

Judge not lest you be judged? Will judgement come for fear of judging, where judgement is required!? Look thro’ the context lens!

Are there any voices decrying, denouncing the dangerous, destructive, mega church, emergent church, false gospel trends, examining, exposing hyper-charismatic, aberrant excessive, extremism, heresy, & speculative myths? Where are the voices confronting, ‘progressive’, post-evangelicalism, neo-orthodoxy, modern liberalism, rationalism, humanism, and new age philosophies, prevalent in the church?

Where are the voices, crying out in the spiritual wilderness, to prepare the way of the Lord?

New Age Regeneration Of The Churches

“Alice Bailey, whom I consider the mother of the New Age movement, predicted that New Age (or occultic) spirituality would not go around the Christian church but rather through it. She called it the “the regeneration of the churches.” p. 124.By David Dombrowski
Chief Editor, Lighthouse Trails Publishing
In explaining this, Ray Yungen says:”[I]nstead of opposing Christianity, the occult would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness!” Ray Yungen,’A Time of Departing’ (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd edition),

“she (Alice Bailey) desired the time when the “Christian churches” would embrace the New Age concepts of illumination and self-realization. The New Age plan to bring in world peace cannot fully establish the Golden Age of Aquarius until Biblical Christianity is outlawed or destroyed.”
https://www.jesus-is-lord.com/mysticis.htm

Mysticism will be the new false gospel!

Quantum New Worldview – Rick Warren & The New Mystics

Leonard Sweet is definitely one of the point men for today’s emerging/postmodern/ Purpose Driven Church. As Rick Warren has aligned himself with Sweet, it is important to remember that Sweet has described former and present New Age figures as his “heroes” and “role models.” He has openly acknowledged that his quantum “new cell theory” understanding of “new light leadership” was formulated with the help of veteran New Age leader David Spangler. Additionally, Sweet describes mystical New Age priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”12 And while Sweet’s almost “in your face” New Age sympathies are there for all to see, Rick Warren, and other Christian figures continue to hold him in high esteem. But it is just business as usual as Warren’s apologist tells us that “Doctrinally/theologically, Leonard Sweet is about as Christian as anyone can get. ” 13 -13. Richard Abanes, “Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and the New Age,” http://web.archive.org/…/www.lighthousetrailsresearc…/blog/…

How The Mighty Are Fallen

 “How the mighty are fallen, those who had been declare as world changers, are now reduced to eating grass. Instead of great sweeping international revivals, God is sweeping house and the level of hypocrisy and cover up demonstrates the true character and fruit of man made glorification. The presence of the Lord is near by, only almost unrecognizable, as Judgment has begun with the house of God. Instead of Gods honor and glory, sin and hypocrisy is exposed in the light. What was declared to be Gods glory and presence is exposed as New Age, and angels of light. A Movement which now celebrates the use of Christian tarot cards, yoga, mysticism, fortune telling, astral projection, fasting on light and air, psychic predictions, communication with the dead, communication with angels of light, and now even time travel. Who teaches Charismatics to recover New Age psychic phenomena, which they say has been stolen from the Church. A super spiritual Church of man made magic, self glorification, which worships its own image. Has like the Greek God Icarus lifted himself up flying to close to the sun, has fallen under the power of the light and judgment.” Don Pirozok  https://www.facebook.com/don.pirozok/posts/2433850606668969

Tho’ts of Shaking & Revival – Begging Questions

‘Waiting for the other shoe to drop.’ Observations are made about difficulties, issues, problems arising around us and determination is made that a shaking is taking place, suggestions offered as to a correct response, meanwhile, perhaps just ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop.’

The correct response to coming shaking from the Lord, must include examining ourselves, our ministries, everything, coming transparently before the Lord, willing and quick to repent, change, adjust, sincerely desiring the Lord to speak into our lives. Any response lacking this, will leave one unprepared when shaking begins.

Revival is another word echoing thro’ the halls of christendom. ‘Revival’ is sought, taught, proclaimed, even apparently caught, and sadly even bo’t.

These two tho’ts, shaking and revival, as I have traveled this detox road, are stirring questions within me, like, why, how, what, where, when?

Why is shaking coming? 1. That that which cannot be shaken would remain. 2. Is shaking at times judgement from God? If so, what is the judgement/shaking, and why? What will it look like? How is it coming, where and when? What is being shaken, what in my life needs to be or is being shaken, in the Church, in ministries, in the earth, in society?

We, the Church, cannot just ‘wait for the other shoe to drop.’ We must proactively, absolutely transparently, pursue the Lord, relationships in the Body and honesty with our selves, as we seek God’s perspective, and the applications required.

These poignant tho’ts must be considered, and appropriate responses made, as we seek the Lord with all of our hearts, so that we will be where we need to be, when shaking comes, nothing less will see us thro’!

Careful consideration of revival needs to be soberly pondered. All tho’ts, views, theology, convictions, teachings, pursuits, proponents, participants of ‘revival’ need to clearly distinguish between Biblical precedent, and prophetic utterance, being honestly observant to recognize spiritualization of supportive texts, as subjective secondary source, susceptible to bias, (human desire, etc.) – What does Scripture clearly say, about any thing like revival, end time harvest, etc.? Prophetic revelation regarding ‘revival,’ does not not stand alone, apart from Biblical precedent.

A further question begging consideration, is; What do we identify as ‘revival’? A current concept of subjective, emotional, experience, and manifestation, is an unreliable, inaccurate, superficial indicator, indicative of anything but genuine revival, begging a further question; Can there be such a thing as a false, counterfeit revival, if subjective manifestation are considered and sought after as evidence? Selah!