Truth Matters July 2014

28 07 2014

The “Up” Side of Heresy

by Rev. Robert S. Liichow

July 2014 Newsletter pdf

Presbyterian Church Leaders Declare Gay Marriage Is Christian

DETROIT — The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by large margins Thursday to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”
The amendment approved by the Presbyterian General Assembly requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year. But in a separate policy change that takes effect at the end of this week’s meeting, delegates voted to allow ministers to preside at gay weddings in states where the unions are legal and local congregational leaders approve. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

This News is GREAT News for Christians!

An obvious and correct response is that the Presbyterian Church USA has departed from the clear teaching of scripture regarding what marriage is before our holy God as well as His universal condemnation of homosexuality. This departure is both shameful as well as sinful. The Presbyterians are not the only mainline denomination to compromise their biblical stance for the culture of our time. In the spirit of full-disclosure I must add that the United Methodists, Episcopalians and ELCA Lutherans and others have embraced the spirit of the age as the chart on the following page indicates:

We are living in the midst of history in the making and we are seeing the mass defection of historic denominations from many orthodox Christian doctrines and practices (The Church of Rome is no better off, but that is for another article). As grieving as this is, there is a positive and exciting side to what is taking place also that we would do well to consider.

Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For
there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. I Cor. 11:17-19

The Apostle Paul’s context is concerning the abuses around Holy Communion and that instead of the blessedness that comes from Christian unity when the Corinthians gathered it was a cause for strife and division. However, I see a principle in what Paul is writing as well —- that of the beneficial nature of heresies.

The Church has witnessed over the last few years a huge falling away from the orthodox teaching regarding marriage and sexuality (a very “bad” thing) however, by taking such an obvious and egregious anti-scriptural position these denominations have given their members a very clear and unmistakable sign as to the LACK of fidelity their group has to the Word of the God they proclaim to love and obey.

The public declaration of support (as voiced by the majority of voters in each denomination) for sodomy by these religious organizations is tantamount to joyfully shouting aloud “Ichabod” (“the glory has departed,” see 1 Samuel 3:1) in their voter’s assemblies and in that shout there is an UNMISTAKBLE clarion call from the Lord of Sabaoth crying out “FLEE these apostate assemblies.

Now allow me to give a very brief biblical overview regarding homosexuality. From Genesis to the Revelation of Jesus Christ homosexuality and all sexual activity outside of the covenant of marriage is sinful, end of story. In Genesis 19:1-11 we read of the denizens of Sodom demanding to have homosexual sex with the “visitors.” We all know the end result of Sodom and her sister city Gomorrah. This catastrophic event should be sufficient proof of our Lord’s hatred of their sin. Not convinced yet? How about Leviticus 18:22 which says:Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” A bit later on in this same book we have — Leviticus 20:13 If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” A tad bit too “O.T” for some? Then, perhaps consider meditating long and hard concerning what the Apostle Paul says in Romans:

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness…. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. Romans 1:18-32

In these words I see a pattern of regression from knowing God, to willfully casting aside what was truly known of Him for their own fallen beliefs about Him. In other words these people have gone from what is sure and certain about God (His Word) into speculation about Him based on their fallen reason (the cultural zeitgeist) and the current societal mores.

The end result of such folly according to Romans is that God ABANDONS them (Ichabod) to their basest desires. Folks, nothing has changed since the Holy Spirit led Paul to pen these eternal words. Homosexuality seems to be about the last stage of a society filling up the cup of the wrath of God which is coming upon all the disobedient:

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Col. 3:5-6

Historically when any civilization/culture embraces and normalizes homosexuality it is slated for destruction and soon falls.

Those who have been partners with DMI from its beginning over 17 years ago know that we have never supported the belief in a huge end-time world-wide soul winning revival prior to the return of Jesus Christ. In fact, from our research of the Bible we have come to the opposite opinion, as the next article will demonstrate.

From the very beginning of our history as a people our God has always chosen the “least” and never the most obvious. Israel was the least of all peoples and God chose them. He chose Jacob over Esau, Joseph the youngest over his brothers, even as He chose David (a shepherd) over Saul (a keeper of asses) and many other examples could be cited (Gideon, etc). Thus, when I read about these huge shakings taking place in the midst of the major denominations (I am not forgetting the Church of Rome or other organizations, they too are being shaken by other compromises) I see the “hidden hand of God” moving just like the eagle stirring her nest (see Deut. 32:11).

God uses the social pressures, stresses and forces swirling around us to purify His people even as silver is melted and heated to a high degree to remove the dross (see Prov. 25:4). The cauldron of culture is burbling away and the true foundations of many denominations are being exposed for what they are —– built on shifting sand:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be likewise man who built his house on the rock.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be likefoolish man who built his house on the sand.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

Every denomination and congregation faces the SAME cultural storms of life. The only determining factor as to who remains standing when the storm passes is whether or not they heard the Word of God and acted upon what they have heard.

The Presbyterians, United Methodists, Anglicans, the ELCA, Quakers and Church of Christ ALL know what God has said, they have willfully chosen to do the opposite. Apart from repentance (which currently does not seem likely) nothing remains for them but the sure judgment of God.

Flee From the Wrath to Come

My best counsel on this matter is that any congregation who names the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord is they depart their apostate denomination. Not every congregation in the Presbytery supported this ungodly measure. Those that did not support the sodomite agenda should leave because if they stay then they are tacitly agreeing with the decision. Those who say “God wants us to stay and change things” are deluded. What if Noah had taken that “pious” stance? Sweet mother-of-pearl people! Martin Luther tried to stay and change the Church of Rome, he had no success. Are these pseudo-reformers going to be more effective than a Luther? I think not.

If I were a member of a congregation which voted in favor of this sin I would leave immediately and never darken their door again. Naturally, I would write a nice letter to all the members I knew telling them exactly why our family left. The time of separation is upon us brothers and sisters and it will become even more evident in the days ahead as to who loves Jesus Christ “more than” (see Matthew 10:37) all else, possibly at the cost of even our very lives.

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Co 6:15–18

Dear friends by the time an entire denomination is brought to endorse homosexuality by a “large majority” of their voters one can rest assured that many other orthodox doctrinal “mooring stones” have been hacked away and their denominational ship is adrift from the secure anchor of their souls, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:19) and are being tossed by every wave of human and demonic doctrine (Eph. 4:14).

The endorsing of homosexuality is simply the last of the poison vomited out by an already moribund patient. Many other errors preceded this latest abomination. Long before this decision, all of these denominations had embraced women as pastors, changed their stances on Holy Communion, altar fellowship and most assuredly the inerrancy of the Bible.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much moreshall notwe escape, if we turn away from him thatspeakethheaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.And thisword, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:For our Godisconsuming fire. Hebrews 12:25-29

The author of Hebrews is writing to believers. He begs them to LISTEN to God and to remember what happened to those that REFUSED to listen (hear and obey His Word). The writer says “hey Christians don’t think you will escape” His judgment if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.

There is a tremendous spiritual “shaking” going on throughout the world directed specifically at the Church. I believe that this shaking is revealing what we really believe. The call is going out “who is on the Lord’s side?” (Exodus 32:26). Those who compromise with this wicked and fallen world are not, they have chosen to become His enemies (Phil. 3:19). Those who stay the course, regardless of the human consequences are those who are on His side.

We are living in very perilous (and somewhat exhilarating) times my brothers and sisters. It behooves each one of us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3) and to take heed lest ye fall (1 Cor. 10:12). We must strive to be sure we are building our spiritual lives on the solid rock of Gospel of Jesus Christ and His work and not the sand of human wisdom and our works.

In the days ahead we will be reading about more examples of defection from the true Christian faith and when we do remember that Paul warned us that there must be these divisions to prove what is genuine. God always preserves for Himself a remnant of believers whom He uses to banish the gathering darkness. Pray for those who must make very difficult decisions and ask that our Lord grant them the courage to trust Him and His Word. May they hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and allow Him to lead them out of religious “Babylon” to green pastures and still fresh waters that will nourish their souls.

Before going further let me state that Dispensational theology is not deemed as necessarily heretical in that it does not deny the Person of Christ, the Trinity, inerrancy of Scriptures, etc. Nonetheless, it is a false teaching and as such should be scrupulously avoided because of its horrendous fruit.

 

D.M.I. has not written specifically about homosexuality, the sanctity of marriage or abortion/pro-life issues for two reasons: (1) DMI sees these issues as self-evident, one does not even have to be a Christian to know that homosexuality and abortion are wrong, but all Christians should know simply by virtue of being a child of God that these things are evil. If readers do not know that sodomy and abortion are great evils, then Truth Matters is simply too advanced for them. (2) There are tons of other groups that deal in nothing but “hot button” social issues, so the information is out there if people are interested in those specific topics.

Presbyterian Church (USA) voted down measure to condemn ‘abortion’ of babies born alive
By Rev. Robert Liichow

DETROIT, MI – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) overwhelmingly rejected motion suggesting the church publicly condemn the killing of babies born alive after botched abortions. The proposal, offered by the Presbytery of South Alabama at the denomination’s 221st General Assembly in Detroit last week, also suggested the PCUSA take two years to reconsider its support for abortion-on-demand. Fully 78 percent of delegates of the 1.8 million–member PCUSA voted against a “two year season of reflection on the plight of unwanted children,” which called on church leaders to “issue statements that denounce the practice of killing babies born live following an abortion procedure, such as was revealed in the Dr. Kermit Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia.” Obtained from http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/presbyterian-church-usa-voted-down-measure-to-condemn-abortion-of-babies-bo.

In the first article we learned of the Presbyterian Church (USA aka PCUSA) endorsing homosexuality. This stance alone is anti-life in that homosexual unions do not produce any children. Now we also see that this same apostate denomination, and make no mistake about it they are apostates, that they are willing to support the murder of children already living outside of the womb! On the on hand they endorse those who cannot produce any seed and on the other hand they accept the killing of the living seed from male/female relationships. Both are completely anti-life stances. It stands to reason that if someone put forth the measure to approve suicide (which is all they have left) it too would be heartily approved.

We have before us a cautionary tale of what happens when a people abandon the Word of God to become “culturally” relevant. The little leaven of compromise enters in and is left unchecked and the end result is that you will murder your own children and I believe eventually yourself. Satan comes with a singular purpose as our Master taught us when He said:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

These sad souls have been taken captive by our enemy and through them he is destroying life behind signs that read “Welcome.” If their agreement with the sodomites was not enough to convince people to leave, then perhaps their willingness to allow living babies to be murdered outside of the womb (murdering them
inside the womb is horrid enough) should be enough to get multitudes to leave in abject disgust. One will have to work very hard to convince me that those who remain are genuine Christians. I cannot see how anyone who bears the name of Jesus can side with death. Selah.

Copeland Rolls the “Dice” With Rome
by Rev. Bob Liichow

I am so Blessed! What Jesus asked the Father for in John 17:21, “that we may all be one in Him”, is finally coming to pass.Pope Francis is a man filled with the love of Jesus. All eight of us in our meeting together with him were moved by the strong presence of the Holy Spirit, and our love for one another was strengthened beyond measure. Like I said, I am so BLESSED!What a time to be a believer! -Kenneth Copeland—- http://kennethcopelandministries.org/2014/06/kenneth-copeland-reports-in-about-his-meeting-with-pope-francis/#.U7CFR_ldV8F

There are two major forces within the Church today; that of the Roman Catholic Church (1.2 billion members) and the Sign-gift/charismatic movement (584+ million members). The Pope himself is a sign-gift enthusiast as well as being a member of the Jesuit order. These two groups comprise the majority of the visible Church.

Discernment Ministries International covered the original outreach that KCM and the Vatican had and the video they shared with one another. Remember Mr. Copeland leading the 1,000’s gathered at his meeting to “pray” in other tongues for El Pappa? That initial overture sent a few nervous ripples through the ranks of the sign-seekers because of the obvious rapprochement between these two men and the organizations they represent.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM ask Kenneth Copeland SINistries) is comprised basically of millions of people who have no “love” for the Roman Catholic “church.” A major people “block” are his classic Pentecostal support base. These folks have always taught that Rome and its Pope(s) are a cult and are not Christians. Pentecostals, like Lutherans in this respect, have always viewed the office of the Pope as the seat of the “antichrist.”

It was around 1978 when I was “filled” with the Spirit and spoke in tongues via the Word of God Community in Ann Arbor. This community was started directly due to the Roman Catholic charismatic renewal which spread around many college campuses. However, the community demanded that all their members be a part of various local congregations (spread the fire that way). I happened to join a Pentecostal Church of God. Upon hearing I was associating with the community aka tongue-talking Roman Catholics in their minds, they urged me quite strongly to leave them folk alone! Which I did and instead of ending up on the “discipleship” end of the sign-gift spectrum, due to my association with the pastor’s son I ended up in the Word of Faith camp. All of the various types of Pentecostals I associated with were united in their abhorrence of the Church of Rome.

Another large support based for KCM is comprised of ex-Roman Catholics. If anyone has encountered an ex-Roman Catholic then you know how uniformly bitter they seem to be towards the Roman system, and rightly so.

Suddenly, Mr. Copeland is making “nice” with the system that is globally known for its child molestation scandals! Now we see Kenny meeting personally with the Pope and taking photos with him, what gives? Has the Pope stopped praying to Mary? Has he declared there is no purgatory? Has he stopped offering indulgences? Has Poppa stopped proclaiming the sinless birth of Mary and her ascent bodily into heaven? NO, he has not and nor shall he. The Pentecostal devotees and ex-Rome devotees of Mr. Copeland have a legitimate concern over Rome’s doctrines (and they should be equally outraged over Copeland’s false CONcepts) and Copeland has gambled big time in drawing near to Rome.

There is no “shock-and-awe” that this Pope is a tongue-talker; after all in 1967 the Holy Spirit “fell” on the priests and students at Notre Dame, IN. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) played a major role in the spreading of the ecumenical charismatic renewal in the 1960’s. The RCC has a long history of recording stories of flying monks, weeping statues, visionaries and all manner of mystical flakes. To them they view Mr. Copeland and his several million enthusiastic devotees merely as “lapsed” Roman Catholics who need to be brought back into the fold. It makes sense on the Pope’s part to accept Mr. Copeland’s overture, he has nothing to lose and his overt support shows his followers that he/The Church support “charismatic” ministry.

Some may ask themselves “why Kenneth Copeland ministries” and not someone else? The best I can offer is my opinion here. Copeland is heard or viewed by someone globally 24 hours per day 7 days per week, in short 24/7. I suppose if the Pope had something he really wanted a lot of charismatically inclined people to hear he might use Copeland. It could be that the Pope actually “likes” Copeland’s preaching, being a sign-gifter himself. Perhaps the old Jesuit has some intricate Machiavellian plan and Copeland is just a pawn (maybe the boy from Texas has similar thoughts)?

Personally, I believe Copeland “zigged” when he should have “zagged” meaning he has miscalculated in uniting with the RCC. Initially he stands to lose a large portion of his financial donor base as well as viewership due to his rank-n-file members stance towards the RCC. Here are just a few comments from KCM’s FB page as of 06-29-14 (these are unedited):

Brother Copeland, take time and commune with God on this…I know He will show you the truth about Pope Francis and his desired “One World Religion”…which is a lie of Satan. There can be NO One World Religion, not without compromising the truths that we know to be evident as Christians.

Brother Copeland, I have watched your program for years and I believe that you have explicit knowledge of the bible. I am devastated that you would actually fall for the deception of the false prophet, Pope Francis. He is truly a wolf in sheeps clothing. Please, take time to pray and seek the face of the Lord about this, before you are led down the garden path…….This Pope is not of God.

I
have listened to you for a long time Brother Copeland; and I’m having trouble believing you could be so easily deceived. Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Pope Francis is a FALSE PROPHET. Matthew 24: 4-5, 24 “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive man.” “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch, that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

I CAME OUT OF ROMAN CATHOLIC 25YEARS AGO, after l gave my life to Christ, because their doctorines does not agree with the word of God. their believe of Mary as the mediator contradicts the bible declaration of Jesus as the only mediator between God and man…..their praying through the dead saints….l can go on and on to mention what made me renounce my membership of that sect 25years ago…..Brother Copeland, i have been in partnership with your ministry for years……BUT IF JOINING WITH THE POPE AND CATHOLICS IS THE INTERPRETATION OF JOHN 17:21……I really dont agree to this….

I believe we are living in the times where we are clearly seeing the final forming of a one world religion before our very eyes. Positions once considered unthinkable (sodomy, abortion, infanticide) are widely embraced. Doctrines saints have fought and died for lie trampled in the dung while FALSE doctrine and practices are embraced by the multitudes of professing Christians.

In keeping with the philosophy of the first article the “up side” of this sad morass of spiritual darkness and death is that now perhaps both Roman Catholics and followers of the cultic Kenny can see that they have been following Blind Guides (the Pope & Copeland) and will leave both cults and be brought to repentance and faith in the biblical Jesus Christ and become a part of His genuine Body. One can only hope and pray — which I strongly advise. Let us pray that our merciful Lord opens the eyes of all people entangled in deception, blinded by lies and wandering far from secure anchor of their souls.

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Truth Matters June 2014

28 07 2014

Coming soon!





Truth Matters May 2014

28 07 2014

Coming soon!





Truth Matters April 2014

30 04 2014


William McLoughlin summarized Finney’s major contribution to revivalism by saying that, both he [Finney] and his followers believed it to be the legitimate function of a revivalist to utilize the laws of mind in order to engineer individuals and crowds into making a choice which was ostensible based upon free will. The rationale for all that Finney did during revival services was the gaining of converts. The numerical success of his methods was his vindication. As he stated in his Memoirs, “Show me the fruits of your ministry and if they so far exceed mine as to give me evidence that you have found a more excellent way, I will adopt your views.1

Charles Finney’s new measures were nothing “new” per se but can be traced to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Finney’s approach can be reduced down to the following statement: do whatever works to achieve your goal in the service. Both the old Serpent Lucifer and Finney place the emphasis on the will of man versus having faith in God and His promises.

Finney was an unrepentant follower of Pelagius in his view of the free will of lost humanity to make a decision (hopefully) for Christ and invite Him into their hearts to be their Savior. Where his “new” measures came into play was in the methods he used and those who have followed him use in manipulating people into making the right decision. Finney and all his followers (most of today’s evangelicals, most mega-ministries and ALL televangelists) believe that people can be either emotionally or intellectually moved into becoming a Christian.

Christians cannot be “made” by force of sword (as in Islam) nor are we born-again by the will of man but by the Spirit of our God (John 3:5). They are not brought into the Kingdom on the wings of being emotionally tricked into “answering” the altar call for salvation. Yet this is exactly what Finney and his predecessors have been doing —- trying to “trick” people by various psychological means into the kingdom. Who among us would welcome into our fellowship people who had literally been hypnotized into receiving Christ, as if such a thing were possible? Would you believe their “conversions” to be valid and the work of God? I would not! Read what the great revivalist had to say about his results at the end of his life and those of one of his associates:

I was often instrumental in bringing Christians under great conviction, and into a state of temporary repentance and faith …. [But] falling short of urging them up to a point, where they would become so acquainted with Christ as to abide in Him, they would of course soon relapse into their former state [cited in B. B. Warfield, Studies in Perfectionism, 2 vols. (New York: Oxford, 1932), 2:24].2

During ten years, hundreds, and perhaps thousands, were annually reported to be converted on all hands; but now it is admitted, that real converts are comparatively few. It is declared, even by [Finney] himself, that “the great body of them are a disgrace to religion” [cited in Warfield, 2:23].3

Finney had to admit in the end that his new measures actually did not produce lasting fruit. What they did produce were (1) great publicity before and during the revival, (2) large crowds of people, many of whom would make a profession of faith for a little while (see Mark 4:19) and (3) funding to take the revival onto the next town. History records the following results of Finney’s revivalism:

Evangelical Christianity virtually disappeared from western New York in Finney’s own lifetime. Despite Finney’s accounts of glorious “revivals,” most of the vast region of New England where he held his revival campaigns fell into a permanent spiritual coldness during Finney’s lifetime and more than a hundred years later still has not emerged from that malaise. This is directly owing to the influence of Finney and others who were simultaneously promoting similar ideas. The Western half of New York became known as “the burnt-over district,” because of the negative effects of the revivalist movement that culminated in Finney’s work there. These facts are often obscured in the popular lore about Finney.4

In spite of Finney’s own admissions of failure and those of some of his co-workers and in spite of the historical record of FAILURE on Finney’s part he is still regarded today as a “great revivalist” and some consider him an excellent theologian.

The Fruits & Family of Finney

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gal. 5:9

Due to Finney’s apparent immediate success his theological beliefs and methodology were received by many others and expanded by them (as leaven does when left unchecked) and today it is virtually impossible to escape some manifestation of Finney’s new measures. All of the emotional singing with loud music, handclapping, waving banners, dancing, liturgical dancers, praise bands, big screens, testimony time, altar calls, and revivals are all the gifts from Finney that keep on giving . . . false hope and broken lives.

Without burdening the reader with those who came after Finney, allow me to cite a couple examples and then move onto the specific ingredients used to manipulate God’s people today. Aimee Semple MacPherson was an early traveling evangelist, possibly one of the first radio evangelists. She used music and huge theatrical plays to try to move people into receiving Christ. She built the first
mega-church in our age of technology (from the first radio transmission to this very day) in Los Angeles, California. Her end? She committed adultery, faked her own kidnapping and later died of a drug overdose. Billy Graham certainly is the “poster-child” for Finney today. Billy held massive revival meetings, scores of decisions for Christ, famous singers moving the emotions and equally famous people giving their “testimonies.” Today? The last time I heard Mr. Graham speak on television with Larry King he pointed to his “good works” as his hope to get into heaven and not the merits of Jesus Christ on the cross for him! Space does not permit me to mention people like Billy Sunday, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, Kathryn Khulman, William Branham and R.W. Schambach, all of whom were master manipulators of souls.

Techniques Used by the Puppet Masters

Music

Music is a wonderful gift that can lift the soul of man and the songs we sing can express our innermost feelings. Music has great emotional power to move us in a wide variety of ways depending upon the type of music being played or the songs being sung. Psychologists have long researched the impact of music on people’s emotional state. Something I have recently learned is that Dr. Martin Luther wrote extensively about music and its role (something I do not think most charismatic song leaders know about either).

For whether one wishes to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate (and who could number all these masters of the human heart, that is: the emotions, inclinations and affections that move people to do evil or good); what more effective means than music could one find?5

Music also can be an effective coping strategy. We can listen to music that elicits emotions we want to feel in a given moment. If we feel lazy and unmotivated, maybe a playlist of up tempo, energetic songs would be a helpful way to change our mood. It could be interesting to create playlists based on various emotions so they’re within reach as desired.6

Because of this “power” inherent in music, whether secular or spiritual, people have long used music to direct the hearts of the hearers in the direction they (the musicians and SINisters) deem necessary for the goals they want to achieve. It is somewhat important to keep a little historical perspective too; back in Luther’s time virtually all the arts were directed towards religious purposes. People painted biblical scenes, sculpted biblical figures and wrote religious music and songs for The Church. There was “popular” music but much of that was broken down into disseminating news events, and a few ballads.

Today’s sign-gift enthusiasts have made music and singing as integral as the proclamation of the Gospel itself. Luther would have no issue with this sentence on its own, in fact he said:

For Luther, the final category of ‘natural music’ was the music of heaven, musica caelestis. Heavenly music offered humankind a glimpse of heaven in the world around them. It communicated something of God and, just as God’s Word was able to direct the human will, so musica caelestis also had the capacity to influence people profoundly. For that reason, ‘music, next to the Word of God, deserves the highest praise‘, Luther famously held.7

Sadly much has changed in the “worship” music in virtually all “evangelical” (a term coined by Luther) gatherings and Luther WOULD NOT be pleased at what he sees and hears. He knew that people would remember the songs much longer than any sermons preached —- THUS the songs people sung had to have THEOLOGICAL CONTENT that would (1) teach them God’s Word, (2) reveal who they are (sinners) and (3) point to whom God has provided as the remedy for their eternal problem(s) — Jesus Christ. Some of these hymns have 10 distinct stanzas that tell the entire story of our fall and redemption. Most early hymns are “sung sermons” contain spiritual meat whereas songs today in most congregations are at best 2% milk, 98% water.

While Tracy and I were members of Jubilee Christian Center (JCC) in Detroit, MI. under the leadership of Rhema graduate and “restored” apostle Ellis Smith we became very aware of the latest role of “music.” JCC was known in our circle (Prophetic movement {aka pathetic movement} at that point in time) for our musicians and our praise & worship.

It was during the Prophetic Movement (approx. 1986-1996) that music became more and more of a tool, a device used to literally create an almost tangible spiritual atmosphere in the services. Music became more solidly codified into two categories (1) praise and (2) worship music.

Praise Music

Praise music/songs are vibrant, declarative, foot-stomping hand-clapping tunes more or less thanking God for what He has done for us. The songs in either category are often described as having 1 or 2 lines and then 25 repetitions of a chorus such as “Abraham’s Blessings Are Mine” or “Satan We’re Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down.”

A major portion of the psychological manipulation occurs during this initial sonic assault (and it is very loud). The songs that are sung are chosen by the music SINister based on what he or she wants to accomplish, i.e. taking the people up “higher” leading them to cause a “breakthrough in the heavenlies,” etc. I’ve witnessed many a music leader make the people (1) stand, (2) clap, (3) dance, (4) shout, (5) be silent, (6) weep ALL based on the type of music being played, the songs being repetitiously sung/shouted at full volume for 45 minutes to an hour non-stop. There is a thing as a crowd
mentality as well as the natural human desire to fit-in, both of these aspects are played upon by these manipulators. After close to an hour of charismatic-calisthenics the people are suitably prepared emotionally to enter into what I’ll call Phase Two of the Psychological Operation —

Worship Music

Tones are equally important as rhythm. A “major key” music piece signifies cheerful communication to our brain, while “minor key” pieces closely mirror the sighs and soft keenings of lamentation. This all has a powerful effect on our brain, which directs our psyche to actually feel what’s being communicated to us.8

The old saying “what goes up must come down” was partially true in our services. We did not consider it “coming down” per se but going deeper in the spiritual realm. Everything changes at this point. The music goes from a loud thumping rock beat to a soft sweet sound best described as either a ‘jazz-fusion’ or ‘new age’ tonal quality. The song focus also shifted somewhat. Now we were to focus on who God is (versus as to what He has done). You might say praise music sings about God and worship music sings “to God.”

At JCC and other places, during the worship phase not only is the music lowered down in tempo and volume but the lights were also lowered down at this point, to the degree the room looked like an almost like a movie theater. The songs are just as repetitious but slower and these songs also contain no solid doctrinal content. This portion may also go on for a protracted amount of time; it really just depends on how the people respond.

During the “worship” portion is when the BIG SCREEN(s) really does its work. Virtually every charismatic group and mega church makes use of some form of television/video projection throughout its production.

The Big Screen(s)

Kudos to the sign-gift folks for being willing to make use of all the most advanced technology to spread the Gospel. I’ve heard more than a few Lutheran pastors says “the charismatics are ten years ahead of us when it comes to technology.”

They were among the first to use radio, later television, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassettes, CD’s and DVD’s to get out their message. They were among the first to use computers to compile huge money-making mailing lists, to incorporate electric instruments in their services, to broadcast their services “live-time” via satellite (Robert Tilton was the first, I attended his “Bible School” live via satellite back in the 80’s, graduated with a 4.0 GPA in heresy, I kid you not). Charismatic congregations were the first to enable their people to “swipe” their credit cards at the offering time and/or ATM kiosks in the ‘narthex’ (naturally they make $1-2 off the fees these machines change as well, sweet deal for the money hungry). The problem is, they have great technology but what does it profit them and The Church without a solid biblical message? All they have done is export their aberrant beliefs and practices to the world via high technology.

Allow me to for a moment attempt to put ‘the best construction’ on the use of Big Screens in sanctuaries. Many congregations do not have their own property, so they set up and tear down each week. It is easier to set up some screens in a gym then it is to haul 200 hymnals (if they had such books) 2-3 times a week. It allows for instantaneous change on the part of that group, new songs, and announcements, whatever can be projected. Big Screens are what many “Americans” have come to expect in their meetings places; hymnals are seen as “religious” and or even worse “traditional” versus trendy hip and contemporary. Hymnals by their very presence seem to say “I am stolid, unchanging and boring.” Whereas Big Screens shout out “we’re cutting edge, exciting, obviously tech-savvy and somehow participatory.” Americans (because of the manipulation of advertisers) always want what is judged as new, trendy, hip and contemporary.

Now allow me to explain to you the far darker side of watching any televised images at all. From its inception “motion pictures” (they are not really moving at all, they merely appear to be) were used for propaganda purposes (one of the first movies was the 1915 “Birth of a Nation” which was originally titled “The Clansman”). The early attempts were flawed and the technology was just getting started but from the very beginning people realized the power to move large groups of people through the use of both sound and motion. Early films seen today show us the slower flicker rate making the “movie” appear to be a “flip-book” series where each still image when flipped faster “seems” to move. By 1927 the first talking film, “The Jazz Singer” was released and the flicker rate was increased to give the appearance of seamless motion. “The FCC adopted NTSC television engineering standards on May 2, 1941, calling for 525 lines of vertical resolution, 30 frames per second with interlaced scanning, 60 fields per second, and sound carried by frequency modulation.”9 This became the standard for American television.

Danger #1 Subliminal Manipulation

What scientists learned very quickly was that the human eye does not actually transmit to the conscious part of the brain everything it sees. They learned that even though we visually “take-in” everything presented before our eyes a portion of what is “seen” can be hidden from the person watching and yet the unconscious mind has received the message!

This new psychological/physiological discovery began a whole new field of endeavor in advertising and the government called “subliminal” research and programming.

A subliminal message is a signal or message embedded in another medium, designed to pass below the normal limits of the human mind’s perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious mind and importantly, the unconscious mind, and can negatively or positively influence subsequent later thoughts, behaviors, actions, attitudes, belief systems and value systems. The term subliminal means “beneath a limen” (sensory threshold). This is derived from the Latin words sub, meaning under, and limen, meaning threshold. You can see it but not notice it.10

People in control of the motion picture industry learned that they could sell more popcorn or Coca Cola during movies by simply adding in a film frame that said something like “buy a coke” or “eat more popcorn” and sales went up! The people never knew they were being manipulated. Ever since then various messages have been placed overtly, covertly and subliminally in virtually all “moving” pictures, whether it is a Hollywood movie or your local T.V. news. Various politicians, as recently as Senator McCain’s11 last run for President, have been caught placing subliminal statements in their political ads, so yes this secret manipulation is ongoing. The thing is, you and I will never see it when it is done to us. You would for example never see “give more” or “tithe” on one of Joel Osteen’s or The Potter’s House of T.D. Jakes big screens but it could be there. Subliminal messages do explain a great deal of our personal buying habits and may explain why some televangelists are so seemingly successful in fleecing the flock.

Danger #2 Flicker Rate & Hypnotic Suggestibility


Believing the best (1 Cor. 13:7) let us hope that people are not abusing the sheep of Christ’s flock via encoded messages being flashed on the Big Screens for several hours during each service. Nonetheless, psychological manipulation is still taking place. It begins as soon as the projector is turned on. With over fifty (50) years of television and closer to 100 years of motion pictures experience the social scientists and global elitists have mastered this medium. Here are just three comments by experts in this field:

Dr. Ernest Hilgard, from Stanford University’s research program in hypnosis and the author of the most widely used texts in the field, agreed that television could easily put people into a hypnotic state if they were ready for it.12

Watching television is participatory only in the way the assembly line or a hypnotist’s blinking flashlight is. Eventually, the conscious mind gives up noting the process and merges with the experience. The body vibrates with the beat and the mind gives itself over, opening up to whatever imagery is offered. — He said that, in his opinion, the condition of sitting still in a dark room, passively looking at light over a period of time, would be the prime component in the induction.13

A team of researchers headed by psychologists Merrelyn and Fred Emery at the Center for continuing Education, Australian National University at Canberra reported decades ago showed that when we watch television, our usual processes of thinking and discernment are semi-functional at best. The report says: “The evidence is that television
not only destroys the capacity of the viewer to attend, it also, by taking over a complex of direct and indirect neural pathways, decreases vigilance, the general state of arousal which prepares the organism for action should its attention be drawn to specific stimulus.14


One does not need to insert hidden messages into the messages being seen in order to manipulate the viewers. The simple act of watching the screen for just a few minutes (in our over televised society experts say it takes less than 2 minutes to become entranced) will change the actual brainwave patterns in the viewer’s physical brain from the awake “Alpha” state to the more passive and receptive “Beta” level of wave pattern in mere moments. The mechanism that causes this is the flicker rate being projected:

The light emitted from computer screens and TV’s is not steady, but has flicker. This is true for all monitors, of all types. The flicker is usually invisible, at least to the conscious mind. Flicker is invisible when it consists of pulses or waves of light that repeat one after the other so rapidly that they appear to fuse together into steady light. Our flicker fusion frequency (the frequency above which we no longer consciously see flicker) ranges from about 25 to 55 Hz (Hz means times per second)…
Optic nerve signals proportional to flicker at frequencies far above the conscious flicker fusion frequency do reach our brain from the eye (as shown by EEG and other studies)15

It does not matter what the content is (although content does help in manipulating the viewer) because the hypnotizing effect comes from the devices themselves.

Combine the well documented effects of the flicker rate with very loud music, clapping, shouting, dancing and verbal encouragement from the music leader the participant and it becomes very clear that the poor sheep is being manipulated by sensory overload on several levels simultaneously and does not even recognize the manipulation.

The level of hypnosis deepens during the worship portion of the song service as I alluded to previously. Now with the lights down the Big Screen becomes the focal point. The musicians can’t generally be seen; perhaps the song leader may have a small Klieg light on him or her. The flicker rate is still working its magic. However, the tonal quality of the music has changed, the images on the screen have changed to bucolic scenes, and even some Bible passages may be thrown up on screens.

The darkening of the room acts psychologically on the people’s minds. It helps “create” an atmosphere that is more hushed, mysterious and mystical. It was always during this worship portion of the song service that people would as a group sing in “other tongues.” This singing in the spirit could go on for a few minutes or longer, it just depended on the service that day. Whether for a long or short time speaking/singing in other tongues is an activity of the subconscious mind and it demands a shutting down of rational abilities while so engaged. This is another ingredient in the manipulation process. After close to 2 hours of singing, dancing, clapping — all while seeing/being led by the leader via the Big Screen(s) the lights slowly are brought up to a certain level [never too quickly or the trance is broken just like at the movies] and presto there would be our SINister, apostle Ellis Smith standing behind his Lucite podium with the brighter light on him (draw your own conclusion as to why). We the sheeple would be sitting there literally in a numbed state of mind, our minds vacant and open to “receive” whatever the speaker had to say.

The flickering rate of TV effects the brain in a negative way, causing brain activity to drop somewhere between the alpha and theta state (2). This change in brain activity puts the mind in a dreamlike state and thus it turns off the higher critical functions of the brain. Being in this trance state can be disempowering, because your mind can easily be manipulated into accepting any message as truth. This is why TV is so effective at manipulating your mind. (P.I. Chang)

The Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Holy Spirit did not say “faith comes by seeing.” In fact, we are told the opposite, that which we SEE is temporary (2 Cor. 4:18) and that we “live by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). I admit that Paul did not have television in mind when this was written, but I believe it can be fairly applied to Big Screens in general.

Preaching requires only a man with a message. Televised anything requires some form of electricity (gas generators, solar, etc.), projectors, suitable screens, programming to show and vast amounts of money to pay for all of these extra devices which does not seem like a wise investment of our time or money.

Televised anything on a screen has no place in Christian worship. It is by nature a manipulative device that directly effects our mental discernment. 1 Peter 4:7 tells us to be sober-mindedBut the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” so it seems antithetical to me to use a device which places you in an altered state of mind. Perhaps a screen may have some limited value in adult education (I would not use television to show the kids “videos” etc.) but it can easily become a “crutch” for the pastor. It’s easier to show a film than prepare an in-depth teaching. Truth Matters and as for me I am not into any form of deception being used in the Church and projected images on Big Screens are manipulative and deceptive.

The first effect of this is to create a passive mental attitude. Since there is no way to stop the images, one merely gives over to them. More than this, one has to clear all channels of reception to allow them in more cleanly. Thinking only gets in the way. There is a second difficulty. Television information seems to be received more in the unconscious than the conscious regions of the mind where it would be possible to think about it. The retina collects impressions emanating from dots. The picture is formed only after it is well inside your brain. The image does not exist in the world, and so cannot be observed as you would observe another person, or a car, or a fight. The images pass through your eyes in a dematerialized form, invisible. They are reconstituted only after they are already inside your head.16

The Deepest Cut of All – The Bible in Manipulating Souls

Everything written about thus far can be used by any group on any group of people. The use of sound and flickering lights, darkened rooms and emotionalism are psychological techniques that “work” on human beings regardless of their religious proclivities and beliefs. Thought control and brainwashing procedures have been honed to a high degree by non-Christian public and private entities.

Yet the “bedrock” of spiritually controlling a group of professing Christians is to use the Bible to place them in bondage. DMI receives reports on a regular basis on spiritual manipulation; here are two that became international “news.”

In a wildly unorthodox demonstration of how humans can be controlled by the Holy Spirit and eat just about anything to feed their bodies, a South African pastor made members of his church eat grass. A video of him commanding a demon out of a woman’s stomach might also give you the chills. According to a report in African Spotlight, Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries had his followers eating grass after explaining in a sermon that Jesus had many other disciples other than the 12 listed in the traditional Bible who were doing new things which were considered unconventional at the time as well. “There were many disciples and you don’t know others. Let God show you as they were deliberately not revealed in the Bible because God wanted someone to do them, new things. Nathanael was a disciple yet there is no book of Nathanael, what about the miracles, signs and wonders, what about how they them who were not mentioned, taught,” said the pastor.17

In the case of the SINister actually having his people go out and get on all fours and eat grass like an animal, the people all got very sick from doing this. You might wonder how is it that people can be so manipulated (take heed lest ye fall, my friends) as to be made to eat grass? Who would do such a thing? What we have is an example of the power of the Word of God in the hands of evil people who seek not to bless the people of God but to control their lives. All the leader needs to do is preach about being “obedient” to God’s anointed leader and the consequences of not obeying him/her. Consequences are usually preached from O.T. examples such as fire coming down and consuming rebel sons (Lev. 10:1), the earth opening up (Num. 16:32) or worse. A simple technique to use on people is to tell them that to NOT OBEY is THE sin against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). This false shepherd might have used the example of King Nebuchadnezzar, whom God PUNISHED and made to “eat grass” like a cow until he acknowledged the God of Heaven (see Dan. 4:33) as biblical precedent. The point here to recognize is that these people were manipulated and humiliated via nothing more than a man using his usurped biblical authority and the writings of Holy Scripture.

Kenyan pastor bans females from wearing underwear to Church. According to The Kenyan Daily Post, the pastor’s reasoning was that the undergarments are “ungodly” and people need to be “free in ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ to receive Christ”. The pastor added that women who continue to wear undergarments to church will suffer “dire consequences,” and encouraged mothers attending his services to check their daughters to make sure they had obeyed the new rule. The GuardianLV.com one eyewitness who attends Njohi’s church reported that many of the women who were in attendance did obey the rule of their pastor and showed up without any undergarments on whatsoever. Many people are questioning why the women in worship need to be “free” in their body and spirit when coming to church while the men are not required to do the same.18

Next we read of a pastor who has convinced the women in his congregation to stop wearing panties and brassieres to worship! What I find interesting about this account is that (1) the men were not told to do the same and I wonder why this is and (2) that the women obeyed their shepherd and submitted to this demeaning manipulation.

Women are often the target of spiritual manipulation due to their submissive role in marriage and most cultures. A SINister can always point to mother “Eve” (Gen. 3:12) as the reason for mankind’s ills (scripture twisters capitalize on the biblically ignorant) or the prostitute/adulterous woman in the Proverbs (see Prov. 5:20; 7:5; 23:27). Naturally St. Paul telling women to “keep silent” in the church (1 Cor. 14:34) can become a real spiritual “bludgeon” in the hands of a manipulative leader. A leader can always control questioning sheep by pointing them to Romans 12 and remind them that this is a “new” understanding/practice and they need to renew their minds and submit to God’s direction through His anointed leader.

In closing this short article out we must not forget the tragic example of Jim Jones and The People Temple mass murder. Clinical studies and several books have been written about Mr. Jones and the consensus is that he was a master manipulator. He used fake sign-gifts, including speaking in other tongues, being slain in the spirit and fake healing miracles along with “charismatic” preaching using the Bible to secure his role as a pastor in the minds of the members. He also used other mind control techniques including sexual abuse of members, public humiliation, deprivation, etc. to mold the wills of his followers to his. The end was 913 people dead by suicide and outright murder (although all were brainwashed to a tremendous degree when they assumed room temperature).

Had I space I could have included some insights into NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) — which is also commonly used by mega-church and small fry’s alike; here is a quick definition:

while classical hypnosis depends on techniques for putting patients into suggestive trances (even to the point of losing consciousness on command), NLP is much less heavy-handed: it’s a technique of subtle meaning into spoken or written language so that you can implant suggestions into a person’s unconscious mind without them knowing what you’re doing.–Go to: ultraculture.org/blog/2014/01/16/nlp-10-ways-protect-mind-control/#sthash.rVQ7pc8n.dpuf.19

This is now commonly known in some circles as the “NPR radio” voice, or one might say the soft winsome “Joel Osteen” voice is a vital ingredient to those who use NLP techniques and many pastors are experts at the techniques involved. [If you have time I would advise you go online and LEARN about NLP, especially if you watch television]. Satan plays upon the Christian’s sincere desire to please their Lord and that does involve obeying those He has placed over us as His under-shepherds. The same texts can be used by godly and ungodly men. One produces life and spiritual fruitfulness in the lives of those who hear and do the Word proclaimed. The other produces bondage and human works. The first is when the Gospel is rightly taught —- liberty reigns in our hearts and lives. Yet when twisted the Gospel can quickly be turned into Legalism, an aberrant misuse of God’s holy Law.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many
shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1-3

The Bible warns us abundantly of those who would “make merchandise” of the people of God. Many preach the Gospel as simply the best way to get rich and exercise power over others:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Timothy 6:3-6

From the research I have just begun to do combined with our own prior sign-gift enthusiastic experiences there is no doubt in my mind that multitudes of God’s people are being manipulated spiritually and mentally by unscrupulous men and women and the results are never good. Whether they have purposefully studied mind control techniques or not remains unknown. The results are well known and easily observed. How does a Christian known whether or not they are sitting under a “controlling” and “abusive” pastor? As I have shared many of these techniques are covert and thus hidden from us and so how can we know if we are being “played” or not by our leaders? That is an issue for next month. STAY TUNED CAMPERS!

End Notes

1.Obtained from http://www.founders.org/journal/fj09/article4.html

2. Obtained from http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/finney.htm

3. Ibid. Underlining added for emphasis.
4. Ibid.

5. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/26/how-music-impacts-helps-our-emotions/

6. Obtained from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/26/how-music-impacts-helps-our-emotions/

7. (WA 50: 371, 1-2: ‘Musicam esse vnam, quae post verbum Dei merito celebrari debeat'; 370, 36-38: ‘Das nach dem heiligen wort Gottes nichts nicht so billich vnd so hoch zu rhümen vnd zu loben, als eben diese Musica’.)

8. There are no real hard and fast dates to exactly when some of these sub-movements within the big tent of charismania began. Certainly William Branham was considered to be one of the first genuine restored prophets and his dates were pre-WWII barely. Until Branham Pentecostalism did not express much of a belief in restored prophets or apostles. This phase of restorationism did not really take hold until the charismatic movement (say 1950 via Episcopalian Bennet) became ecumenical and by the 1980’s many began to claim God was restoring the prophetic office, naturally after God restored prophets He had to finish up by restoring apostles. Now there is nothing left for us to do apart from swallow N follow these restored leaders directives and usher in the Kingdom and hand it over to Jesus — that is what is taught in a nutshell.

9. Obtained from http://bestbinauralbeats.org/how-music-affects-our-mood/

10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_television

11. Obtained from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Definition_Subliminal_Messages.html. Bold type and underlining added for emphasis.

12. Xi http://www.innermind.com/outerlimits/info/olopen.htm

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2008/051308_mccain_subliminal.htm

http://www.numbers1317.org/file_23_television_01.html

13. Ibid.

14. Dr. Richard Conrad SUBLIMINAL FLICKER Part I: Computer screens, TV’s and Flicker Sensitivity

15. http://www.numbers1317.org/file_23_television_04.html

16. http://www.christianpost.com/news/south-african-pastor-makes-members-eat-grass-watch-him-command-demon-out-of-womans-stomach-112320/

17. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/world/2014/03/07/kenyan-pastor-bans-females-from-wearing-underwear-to-church

18. http://ultraculture.org/blog/2014/01/16/nlp-10-ways-protect-mind-control/





Truth Matters March 2014

29 04 2014

Speaking In Other Tongues
Blessing or Babble? (Conclusion)
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

 

    Several months ago I embarked in attempting to answer a seemingly simple question regarding whether or not mainline Pentecostal congregations were not speaking in tongues as much as they did years ago in their services. In order to arrive at a simple “yes” or “no” answer it was necessary, and hopefully somewhat profitable to you as the reader, to explain how all nine of these supernatural gifts worked in the life of the nascent Church. This has been in keeping with Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Cor. 12:1).

 

to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor. 12:10-11

 

This is the only spiritual gift that requires another gift to be in operation to be rationally understood. Giving a verbal message in other tongues must be interpreted by someone who has been gifted with the gift of interpretation.

The Gift of Other Tongues defined

Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor necessarily always understood by the hearer. Speaking with tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with linguistic ability; it has nothing to do with the mind or the intellect of man. It is a vocal miracle of the Holy Spirit.

Supernatural utterance in languages not known to the speaker; these languages may be existent in the world, revived from some past culture, or “unknown” in the sense that they are a means of communication inspired by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 28:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; I Corinthians 12:10, 13:1-3, 14:2, 4-22, 26-32).The spiritual gift involving ability to speak in foreign language(s) not previously studied or to respond to experience of the Holy Spirit by uttering sounds which those without the gift of interpretation could not understand. At Pentecost the church [Apostles initially] received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages (Acts 2).

The enthusiasts have their definition mostly correct. In the Greek texts the word “divers” is not there, the text actually reads “to another kinds of tongues” (αλλω δε ερμηνεια γλωσσων). Tongues are translated from the Greek word “glossa” from which we get our words glossolalia and glossary. The word glossa (γλωσσῶν)
simply means languages.

    This gift, as with all the others is a supernatural endowment by the Holy Spirit which enabled the individual to speak languages that were completely “unknown” to the speaker.

    These were real languages being supernaturally spoken we know this from the written testimony in the book of Acts. On the day of Pentecost the men gathered outside the upper room heard the apostles declaring the works of God and giving Him glory in known languages to those assembled:

They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each
hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabswe hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:7-12

Note that the apostles were given the ability to communicate in languages
known to the hearers, not ecstatic gibberish that made the hearers scratch their heads in wonder. What made them wonder was how these (later to be noted as “ignorant and unlearned” see Acts 4:13) Galileans were able to speak any language but their local dialect and/or Aramaic. Why make note of this event? Simply because there is no biblical reason to believe that this gift changed over time. The apostles were gifted to speak real languages that were known to the hearers or could have been translated/interpreted by someone of their time.


 

 

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues

Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue. The interpretation of tongues is the supernatural showing forth by the Spirit the meaning of an utterance in other tongues. Also, it is not translation of tongues; it is the interpretation of tongues.

By definition the Interpretation of Tongues is a supernatural utterance inspired by the Holy Spirit, which interprets an unknown Tongue.

This is where Pentecostal equivocation begins. Hagin, and most sign-gift enthusiasts teach that this gift is not the supernatural ability to translate what is said in an unknown tongue into the vernacular of the locals. Hagin is guilty of simply taking the KJV translated word “interpretation” and redefining it to mean something it does not. The Greek for interpretation is as follow:

1448 διερμηνεία (diermēneia), ας (as), (): —interpretation, translation, explanation (1Co 12:10) not in
1449 διερμηνευτής (diermēneutēs), οῦ (ou), ὁ (ho): — interpreter, translator (1Co14:28)
2058. ἑρμηνεία hermēneia, her-may-ni´-ah; from the same as 2059;translation:—interpretation.
2059.    ἑρμηνεύω
hermēneuō; from 2060; to interpret:—translated(2), translation(1).

    Interpretation and translation are synonymous terms. When you go to a foreign country to speak you use an “interpreter” a person who understands and reveals your “foreign” tongue being spoken to the listeners.

    Modern practitioners of speaking in tongues believe that the gift of interpretation is akin to “interpretative dancing.” The message is spoken by one person with the gift of other tongues. Someone else, hearing the message is quickened by the Holy Spirit with the interpretation of the message. The interpretation will be based on “where” that individual is “at” in the Lord, i.e. their maturity, their experience in the gift, etc. Charismatics view translation as sort of a hard-and-fast precise scribal activity whereas interpretation does not necessarily have just one exact meaning.

    Making this false distinction in terminology allows the sign-gifter to try to explain away the problem of various completely different interpretations. Messages in other tongues and their interpretation have been recorded and played back to others without the interpretation and those claiming the “gift of interpretation” gave completely different interpretations of the message in tongues! My dear friends, our God is not a God of confusion (see 1 Cor. 14:33). Our God does not say one thing to this group and then through the same message something completely different to another. This makes God out to be a liar (see Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Our God is not a liar, He does not mislead His people, nor does He deceive them or send them false shepherds. He means what He says and He says what He means —- and He does not leave it up to “interpretation.”

Both Gifts Operate Together

    Things get a lot murkier and confusing from here on out (or in). Somehow these gifts become bifurcated into (1) public and (2) private ministry. Sign-gifters divide the use of tongues into corporate use (public) and private prayer times (private). Is this a sound biblically based understanding of these two gifts?

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Cor. 14:4-5

NEVER FORGET THIS — the gifts are for the profit of others, not the individual gifted by God.

The main purpose of tongues, as already pointed out, was to give a sign to unbelievers. Self-edification was a side effect that the believer enjoyed for merely exercising his gift of tongues (true of every believer who exercises his gift). The modern day Pentecostal movement, on the other hand, stresses edification for the individual believer and the Church never as a sign to unbelievers.

Most people who are advocating tongues for today have quoted 1 Corinthians 14:2: “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” There are some problems here. In chapter 12, the purpose of the gifts in general is edification of other believers. God does not need to be edified (built up to further maturity).

First Corinthians 14:2 is not encouragement to speak to God in tongues (a different language), for He will understand whatever language I use, including English. The advantage of my using English is that you and other believers will understand and that is the purpose of spiritual gifts — to communicate, to serve and to build up other believers.

    God’s gives us each gifts to bless and benefit the household of faith first (see Gal. 6:10) then our neighbors. Paul entire emphasis is on building up the church not the individual whom God has given a gift of grace to.

Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Cor. 14:13-19

It seems that one who does possess the gift of other languages ought to pray for the accompanying gift of translation. Both gifts must be in operation or the Church will not be built-up. Every commentator I have researched on the above pericope agree that when Paul is speaking of spirit he is not referring to the Holy Spirit.

Paul first applied the principle of understanding to the speaker himself (1 Cor. 14:12–15). Again, he reminded the Corinthians that it is better to be a blessing to the church than to experience some kind of personal “spiritual excitement.” If the believer speaks in a tongue, his spirit (inner person) may share in the experience, but his mind is not a part of the experience. It is not wrong to pray or sing “in the spirit,” but it is better to include the mind and understand what you are praying or singing. (Note that the word spirit in 1 Cor. 14:14–15 does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the inner person, as in 1 Cor. 2:11.) If the speaker is to be edified, he must understand what he is saying.

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1 Cor. 14:20-22

The apostle tells the Corinthians basically to “grow up!” “In selfishly exalting unintelligible tongues assign for believers, they were babes in understanding, babbling like selfish infants. The unbelievers were not being convicted, and the believers were not being edified–the Corinthians had only been “mature malice”–albeit unwittingly.”

The Corinthian believers were formerly pagans and thus unfamiliar with the prophetic text that Paul is citing and possibly do not get the connection that Paul is making. Isaiah 28:11 reads “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”

He is basically saying, “You are just like the rebellious drunkards from Isaiah’s time. You speak to each other in incoherent babbling, and none of you can understand it. Instead, you should listen to the clear message of Scripture.” God can speak through any tongue that he wants—either tongues in Corinth or foreign tongues in Isaiah’s day. But, God desires that we understand his clear message in our own tongue first. Like the Jews of Isaiah’s day, Paul is pointing out that the Corinthians are not listening to the clear teaching of Scripture. Instead, they want to hear an even more difficult message through strange tongues. Paul is rebuking this attitude.

Paul, by quoting Isaiah 28:11-12 in 1 Corinthians 14:20-22, rebukes the Corinthians for not understanding the Old Testament Scriptures in their use of “the gift of tongues.” Charismatic “Christians” today should tremble in fear of the Lord as they read the passage Paul used to instruct the first generation of Christians. It seems the worship services of the Corinthians were very “free” in that we get the idea that people were gathering together speaking out in tongues together, with no interpretation, women shouting questions across the aisle to their husbands, folks getting drunk at communion, etc. Paul brings correction in all of these areas in his letter.

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27–28

Paul sets the bounds for them, if some people have this gift let it be no more than 2 or 3 messages and someone must interpret what is spoken. If no one has the accompanying gift of interpretation/translation then, obviously, the foreign language speaker MUST remain silent, because both gifts must operate together or not at all in the church. What is more Paul sets the same limit on those gifted with the prophetic gift, 2 or 3 utterances and then these are to be JUDGED. Paul’s directives regarding the use of these 3 spiritual gifts in the church are very straight forward.

Two examples of the abuse and foolishness that masquerades as the gift of other tongues can be seen and heard via the lips of Mr. Kenneth Copeland on YouTube videos. The first case shows Mr. Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne (RHB) God’s Holy Ghost Bartender in a conference. Mr. Browne comes up to Mr. Copeland and begins to speak in gibberish to him. Copeland looks at him, then he begins to chuckle and speak in gibberish back to RHB. We see RHB sagely nod his head as if UNDERSTANDING exactly what Copeland is saying, he responds in gibberish, they both laugh and then Kenny lays hands on RHB (the greater laying hands on the lesser light) RHB falls down.

 

The whole episode was an INTENTIONAL fraud from start to finish and virtually NONE of the people there saw it for what it was. Tongues MUST be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:28) or KEEP SILENT. This never happened. There was no interpretation. No other person understands what is uttered apart from the subsequent gift of interpretation. NO MAN understands what is being said (1 Cor. 14:2). These two men, in front of 1,000’s of people perpetrated a fraud on those assembled in an attempt to make themselves appear to be on such a supernatural plane that even their communication was transcendent. Naturally, this act reached its zenith when Mr. Copeland laid his highly charged hands on RHB who swooned under the might deluge of demonic delusion into the waiting arms to the “catcher” behind him.

The next example is with Mr. Copeland again in February 2014 in a conference. He had received a video letter from the Pope of the Church of Rome. The Pope is also a sign-gift enthusiast along with being a member of the Jesuit order. The Pope actually reached out to Mr. Copeland and asked him to pray for Christian unity and his “eminence.” So what does Copeland do? He shows the video to the 1,000’s gathered and he leads them in prayer for their new buddy. How? He lifts his hands and begins to “pray” in tongues and he has all those gathered to join him. A cacophony of voices begins to shout out passionate drivel. Again, no interpretation was given or expected. This was public, but everyone was encouraged to use their personal prayer language together, ergo no one had the slightest idea of what was being said, to whom (other than a hopeful thought it was reaching God). Truly if an unbeliever had entered in at that part, as in Paul’s day with Corinthians —- they would have thought these people “mad” and rightly so for all their speaking was indeed only “into the air” (1 Cor. 14:9).

Linguists have studied recorded examples of glossolalia for years and they have yet to come across legitimate examples of languages being uttered. No examples of someone speaking perfect Urdu, Hittite, Hebrew, Croatian, etc. How do the enthusiasts respond to this?Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). When challenged by the COMPLETE LACK of any legitimate languages being spoken they simply respond “it is an angelic tongue.” In EVERY biblical example of men encountering angels (even fallen angels) they angels ALWAYS converse in the known language of the person they are addressing. There is not one example anywhere of angels speaking anything but known languages. Paul was speaking hyperbolically in vv. 1-3, his point was that the love of God trumps all the gifts, because as we know folks, God is love and the gifts are not “God.” There is absolutely no biblical support whatsoever for any human being to claim they have an “angelic tongue.”

While exhorting these enthusiasts on the excellences of love the apostle goes on to tell these super-saints that “guess what, these gifts you exalt are passing away.”

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 1 Corinthians 13:8–10

I find it interesting that sign-gift teachers all agree that tongues + interpretation = prophecy and in this passage we are informed that both of these gifts are temporary; however the love of God (agape) never fails.

Prophecies they shall fail2673. καταργέω
katargeō; from 2596 and 691; to render inoperative, abolish:—abolished(4), abolishing(1), bring to an end(1), did away(1), do away(1), done away(4), fades away(1), fading(1), fading away(1), nullified(1), nullify(4), passing away(1), released(2), removed(1), render powerless(1), severed(1), use(1).

Tongues they shall
cease3973. παύω
pauō; a primitive word; to make to cease, hinder:—cease(4), ceased(4), finished(2), incessantly, keep, kept right, stopped(2).

Knowledge it shall vanish away
2673. καταργέω katargeo, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally:—abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.

Love is eternal, the gifts are temporary and when their purpose has been fulfilled they will cease altogether. This fulfillment is achieved with the coming of the perfect.

13:9–10. As Paul explained it, the gift of knowledge (v. 8), and essential as it was, was not exhaustive. The ability to prophesy, however crucial for the church’s life, was of limited scope. The gifts were temporary blessings in an imperfect age. One day they would give way to perfection, toward which all the gifts pointed.

There is debate over what exactly was Paul referring to when he mentioned the perfect. Enthusiasts parse this to refer to the return of Jesus Christ, since He has not yet returned these gifts are still in operation. Others view this in the light of the completion of the revelation of God through His apostles.

I agree with the latter view because it makes sense and fits in with the history of the Church. Tongues+interpretation = prophecy. What was the purpose of prophecy? To reveal to His people His will for their lives. Once the last word was put to paper by the last apostle (or his scribe) the canon was closed and the revelation complete.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge
of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:2-5

My dear brothers and sisters we have no need of any man or woman standing up and declaring “thus saith the Lord” from their own impassioned darkened hearts. God gave us His Word in a written form so there would be no confusion as to exactly what He said. It is His record of objective truth versus what flows out of the hearts and minds of sinful people who presume to stand in an office where their words are actually God’s!

We do not need to run hither thither and yon to hear the “now” Word of the Lord. Those who do so PROVE by their very seeking after more than has been divinely revealed in the Bible their lack of faith in God. The Bible is NOT sufficient for such as these, no they need their ears tickled and they need to hear some great swelling words of glory proclaimed over their faltering lives.

From Montanus to this very day of your reading these words —- I can testify that nothing of theological consequence has come from those declaring themselves recipients of restored gifts and offices. In our time today in America and around the world the vast majority of heresy, shocking falls from grace, aberrant practices are the “fruit” from so called sign-gift enthusiasts. Let us remember them in our prayers this Lenten season and humbly thank our merciful Lord for opening up our eyes and granting us faith in Him through His Word alone.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2

 

Works Cited

1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 129

2. Obtained from https://www.christcenteredmall.com/teachings/gifts/diverse-tongues.htm

3. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 137

4. Obtained from http://www.johnhamelministries.org/gifts_of_the_holy_spirit_interp_tong.htm

5. James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

6. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 32.

7. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

8. Obtained from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/char/areview.htm

9. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 613–614. Underlining and bold type added for emphasis.

10. David E Lanier, With Stammering Lips and Another Tongue: 1 COR 14:20-22AND ISA 28:11-12, Criswell Theological Review 5.2 (1991)

11. Obtained from http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/nt-difficulties/romans-2/1-cor-1421-why-does-paul-quote-isaiah-2811/

12. Obtained from http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/char/biblical.htm

13. Mr. Browne is responsible for much of the sinful excess, fraud and abuse of the saints that transpired as a result of his “Holy Laughter” revival that he brought over to America from S. Africa, after he had received this “new gift” via the laying on of hands by Benny Hinn.

14. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

15. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 536.

I created the word “gifter” okay, non-standard English, but Paul did it on occasion too.

 

A Refutation
of Kenneth E. Hagin
Ten Reason Why Every Believer Should Speak in Tongues

by Rev. Robert Liichow

The now deceased pseudo-founder of the Word of Faith1 cult false prophet and false teacher Kenneth E. Hagin gave the Church ten reasons why we all should speak in tongues. Each numbered “point” is quoted from Mr. Hagin’s book “The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.”

#1Speaking in tongues is an initial evidence or sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

Speaking in other tongues supernaturally by the Holy Spirit IS NOT evidence that one has received the Holy Spirit, a subsequent “baptism” after salvation. The verse Hagin abuses we covered in the first part of this series several months ago. The text is referring directly to the apostles NOT the 120 gathered. The apostles were the ones who initially received the Holy Spirit not anyone else. Through the apostles ministry, the gifts of the Spirit were administered and as the Spirit willed, distributed to other saints.

How does a Christian know they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Simply through the free exercise of their faith in God’s Word. The Word of God informs what we believe, teach and confess. James 4:5 says “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” Romans 8:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Ephesians 5:18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” At the moment of redemption the Christian receives the Holy Spirit and is sealed by Him unto the day of their full redemption (see Ephesians 4:30).

#2He also encouraged them to speak in tongues in their individual prayer lives as a means of spiritual edification or building up. The Bible says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongues edifieth himself . . .” (1 Cor. 14:4).
The primary use of this pseudo-gift today (I say pseudo, because what takes place today is simply not the biblical gift) is as a means of private devotion and prayer. We covered in this issue the fact that Paul was not encouraging private edification. This was an abuse. Every tongue uttered was to be interpreted by the individual or someone else who possessed that gift. The gifts are to profit others who are in need. The “edification” comes from simply being used by God to meet those needs —- it IS more blessed to give than to receive. I am not exaggerating when I write and tell you that I used to “pray” in other tongues for anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours straight at times. Easily 95% of our prayer time privately or corporately was in other tongues. This was all wasted time. To begin with I now admit to not ever having any recognizable language nor did anyone else I have encountered, so I was at best gibbering away. Secondly, I and no one else had any idea what we were gibbering on about. Thus, thirdly, I had no way of knowing that whatever it was I was gibbering about was answered.

Lastly, the most harmful aspects of this practice were manifold. When you pray for a protracted period of time in such a manner, virtually shutting off your conscious mind you release endorphins (feel good chemicals in your brain) and you “feel” super great, i.e. proud. We were told when we prayed in tongues we were “speaking mysteries” to God that the devil could not understand; ergo he could not interfere with the tremendous inroads we were making in the heavenlies. People who speak in tongues all feel a secret degree of “pride” or being just a little cut above the non-spirit filled saint. No genuine fellowship with the Lord is developed through this type of prayer. Your conscious mind is disengaged, it is incapable of communicating fully with God, but our spirit with the Holy Spirit can . . . .or so they say. The reality is that it was not until seminary and going through 1 Corinthians line by line that I was delivered from this spurious practice. I went into a slight depression for a while upon learning that I had (1) wasted years of my life saying nothing to God, (2) if I did say anything I had no idea what it was, I was never given the gift of interpretation and I have met only 2 people who publically exercised this gift. (3) Thirdly, I realized I really did not “know” my Lord nearly as well as I thought I did. I mistook feelings for reality (always a DANGEROUS mistake). (4) I learned that it is much more difficult to pray to our Lord with my conscious mind, it is far more demanding of my concentration, focus and calls for discipline. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians encouraged to pray privately in other tongues to God.

#3The third reason people should speak with other tongues is that tongues keeps us continually aware of the Holy Spirit indwelling Presence.”

Early Pentecostals believed that once they “received” the Spirit, spoke in tongues once, that was enough. The emphasis on praying and singing congregationally in other tongues did not become popular until the charismatic renewal movement back in the late 1950’s. I know that my Lord is with me because HE SAID He would never leave or forsake me (see Hebrews 13:5). I am a Christian, I have been baptized in water (1 Peter 3:21), I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13), I am one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). I need no experience beyond God’s Word to assure me that I am His dear child and am filled with the Spirit.

#4 Hagin says that “speaking in tongues eliminates the possibility of selfishness entering our prayer life.

It is the very height of self to “pray” on your own in gibberish, it is nothing but spiritual masturbation in that you have done nothing but excite your ignorance and feel good about it.

#5 “. . .believers should speak with tongues is that it helps them learn to trust God more fully. . .Speaking in tongues stimulates faith and helps us learn how to trust God more fully.”

Hagin’s fifth reason does not make any sense biblically. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith does not come or grow by speaking in other tongues. That was NEVER the biblical purpose of this gift. Again, this and all the gifts are for others — not the one possessing the gift. As one who prayed in tongues for several thousand hours, I can attest it does not build up your “faith” in God or His Word per se at all, since there was no direct communication with Him in tongues and He uses His Word as the instrument through which He imparts and grows our faith in Him!

#6 “. . .is that speaking in tongues is a means of keeping us free from the contamination of the ungodly and profane elements of the world.

Some of the most egregious and horrendous tragedies to impact the Church has come through the SINistries of so-called sign-gift restorationists. Here are just a few examples of tongue-talking cults: The Shakers; Father Divine, Daddy Grace, The Way International, Jim Jones, The Family of Love and all Oneness Pentecostals. The sad history of Pentecostal “super-stars” is that upon even a half-hearted glance at their lives indicate the grossest of sinful behaviors. Speaking in other tongues does not create some sort of “divine shield” of protection around the speaker. They believe that by speaking gibberish (turning off your active mind) you can keep yourself from being effected by sin around you. Their own lives prove this to be a false path to take when it comes to living the “sanctified life.”

#7In addition, the Holy Spirit, who knows everything, can pray through us for things about which our natural mind knows nothing.”

Yes, this much is true but what Hagin did not understand is that when the Bible speaks of the Spirit “groaning” in us it is not a reference to other tongues:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26.

Nothing is mentioned about praying in tongues here or in the entire chapter for that matter. We do not always know what we are to pray for as we should, we do not know the fullness of any given situation but our God does. Note that the Spirit makes intercession for us; He is called alongside to help us and He does so at times in a manner that cannot even be uttered (ἀλάλητος) in words — tongues are “words” of some variety. We can trust that even if our prayers seem weak and ineffectual we can rely on the fact that the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf —- based on our speaking in tongues? No. Based on the fact that God does not lie (Number 23:19).

#8And this passage in Isaiah gives us the eighth reason that every Christian should speak in tongues.”

Hagin again demonstrates his willful ignorance of the context of Isa. 28:11-12. Every accepted Bible commentator interprets the Isaiah 28 as evidence of God’s judgment on His backslidden children. Tongues were a sign of judgment, they were not a blessing.

#9The ninth reason we are to pray in tongues is to give thanks to God.”

The emphasis of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 14:17 is that the other person
IS NOT EDIFIED (you are just playing with yourself). Hagin says praying in tongues is the “best way to give thanks” —- if this were true way doesn’t the Bible emphasize it as such?

#10The tenth reason why every believer should speak with tongues is found in James 3:8. . .Yielding your tongue is a big step toward being able to fully yield your members to God;”

Hagin thinks that if a believer can speak in tongues then he can control his whole body. James seems to be under the impression that “no man can tame” their tongue, yet Hagin believes yielding our tongue to the practice of gibberish will enable us to control our whole bodies. If this were the context of James 3:8 then why didn’t James follow through and tell us “control your flesh by speaking in tongues.” In fact, James never mentions these sign-gifts in his letter at all.

Hagin is desperately wrong in all of his ten reasons why every believer should speak in tongues. To begin with not every Christian in the early Church spoke with other tongues as the Bible clearly states. This gift was not common. It was approximately ten years after the Day of Pentecost until the event at home of Cornelius and when the Gentiles spoke in tongues it surprised the Jews in attendance. As far as the gifts went, Paul considered it the least, yet the Corinthians exalted it above the others. Paul said this gift would cease, it was temporary in nature. From the letters of the New Testament these specific gifts may have ceased very early on. THINK ABOUT THIS — only Paul deals with these sign-gifts no other writer mentions them. Why not? Did everyone except the Corinthians understand the proper use of the gifts, thus they needed no instruction? I think not.

Lastly, we have the written history of the Church. Tongues “shall” and did cease and logically so. We learned previously that it was through the hands of the apostles that these supernatural gifts were imparted. So if John the beloved, was the last apostle to die, say approx. 90 AD (give or take). On his deathbed John is laying his hands on disciples to the end. These would have probably been (1) males and (2) elders. So if these folks received the “gift” and spoke in tongues when they died that was it — zip, nada goodbye. With the death of the last apostle there was no one left who was divinely authorized to bestow these gifts and NONE PRESUMED to do so until the Church’s first restorer of the sign-gifts a monk named Montanus!    

For over fifty (50) years linguists have been tracking the phenomena of speaking in tongues. To date from my research I have yet to come across a scientist who has recorded someone speaking in a genuine language that they did not learn or have any exposure to. In all their studies they have yet to find a biblical example.

What they did discover was really nothing new, beyond some gleanings into some of the mechanics of the mind itself. What they discovered is the ability to utter gibberish or ecstatic speech is universal to all human beings who can vocalize. In this sense everyone can speak in ecstatic speech — BUT — this is not the biblical gift at all.

Ecstatic speech has been found in a wide variety of pagan religions and cultic groups. It was not even uncommon in the entire region of Phrygia where Montanus came from, and ecstatic speech was a long held practice by the Sibyls (female soothsayers).

The fact that these “unlearned” Jews were speaking fifteen different dialects was astounding to those gathered. Had the disciples gotten up and did what transpires in charismatic services today under the guise of “other tongues” it would not have impressed those gathered, the pagans did that stuff, big deal. Everybody knew something out of the ordinary and supernatural was taking place and in the end souls were added to the Church with Peter’s preaching (in a known and understandable tongue).

My brothers and sisters I openly acknowledge that there are many dear and devoted Christians who think they have the ability to communicate with God via a private, personal prayer language. For many years I thought I was one such saint. I’ve laid hands on around 1,000 people specifically to impart to them the “baptism in the Holy Ghost.” The majority left the prayer room smiling and uttering a smattering of syllabic nonsense. My advice was “keep praying in tongues, you’ll see as you use what God gives you He will give you more” (I meant in reference to an expanded prayer language). In this life, I will never “get over” the fact, well intentioned as I was; that I led people astray.

In dealing with people who are currently ensnared (look, the Lord delivered Bob Liichow, and I actually believed their lies and became more extreme than my ‘Rhema’ breed of teachers; I was of the Dr. Hobart Freeman and Elbert Willis sect of the Word of Faith cult, He can deliver anyone) go gently with them. As brothers and sisters let us present God’s Word in context and in love (Eph. 4:15) to those who have been misled.

In closing this series out please remember this — only the Word of God in its proper context has the power to set us free. Our Master said, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word,ye my disciples indeed;ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you freeJohn 8:31-32. Only The Word when properly delivered has truly supernatural power to redeem and liberate the soul of fallen man. This same Word when it is twisted and made to mean something unintended by the Author can place one into the deepest of bondages (because after all “it’s in the Bible”).

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God

peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; Andthatthey may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Timothy 2:25

End Note

1. E.W. Kenyon is the actual “father” of the Word of Faith cult, Hagin plagiarized extensively from Kenyon and other earlier writers. It is sad enough for a writer to steal from another without citing them; but when a “Christian” author steals heretical material and claims it as his own now that is really really sad.





Truth Matters February 2014

23 03 2014

Prophecy, the Gift that “Says” Something Part Five

By Rev. Bob Liichow

1 Corinthians 12:10 (KJV 1900) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: Of all of this listing of nine spiritual gifts the vocal gifts are the easiest to be abused and frankly “faked” by people.  When it comes to the working of miracles or divine healing either things actually happen that can be quantified or they do not.  For example, when Benny Hinn commands people to “be healed” or “rise and walk” and the people do not (nor have they ever done so due to Hinn’s SINistry) then a decision must be made; either Hinn is to blame or the sick person.  If someone stands up and declares that the Lord has “shown them” three people in the audience that need deliverance (a word of knowledge) — and no one comes forward or if someone does and they are not “delivered” what does that demonstrate?  It is impossible to fake a healing (apart from the use of shills, which does happen), just as it is impossible to reveal something about someone to the individual that is not true, i.e. “The Lord says you have a daughter” and the person is not married and chaste. However, when it comes to the vocal gifts can people discern if in fact: (1) they actually possess such vocal gifts and (2) that others are genuinely being used by the Holy Spirit to speak?  After all, if a person is speaking in an “unknown tongue” how is anyone else supposed to be able to understand it?  Thus, who is to say authoritatively that one does not have the genuine gift apart from knowing all languages? Concerning these specific gifts the apostle Paul goes to greater lengths to bring correction to the people regarding speaking in tongues because it seemed to be problematic to the congregation whereas the other gifts are simply cited.  For some strange reason these vocal manifestations have proven “problematic” throughout the entire history of the Church.  As has been the pattern let’s begin with some definitions.

The Gift of Prophecy

Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in a known tongue. Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue.  Interpretation of tongues is a supernatural showing forth of that which has been said in an unknown tongue.1 But the gift of prophecy is when words of English are given to an individual’s spirit, by the Holy Spirit—as the Spirit wills.  And words of English in a known language begin to boil up out of your spirit, supernaturally.  That is when the gift of prophecy comes into operation. . .The spiritual gift of prophecy comes boiling out of an individual, and sometimes, it will nearly lift you out of your seat.  It builds up, and it comes to you supernaturally. . .Brother Kenneth E. Hagin was sitting in the congregation, and he said, ‘Boy! Norvel, I tell you, that blasted against the wall.  I said, ‘I know it, Brother.  It didn’t even sound like me.  I could not believe what was coming out of me.2 DMI has covered in prior writings that according to the sign-gift enthusiasts there are various degrees of the expression of the prophetic gift.  Hagin, Hayes, Copeland et al. declare that there is the so-called “simple gift” of prophecy, which any Spirit-filled Christian can utter to one another personally or maybe in a small group.  Also there is the gift as expressed by a pastor and/or one in the “prophetic office.”  In their belief system both types of prophecy, personal and corporate come from the Holy Spirit but it is only the secondary type of utterance by “God” that carries true gravitas.  Is this what the Bible teaches regarding the prophetic gift?  Is there a lessor and greater manifestation of prophecy depending upon the human mouthpiece?  What does the apostle Paul have to say about this gift? As we have covered in the previous issues Paul’s approach in this letter is one of correction.  The Corinthian Church was a carnal group in every area whether it was having a divisive spirit, suing one another, sexual immorality, and abuse of Christian liberty causing weaker brethren to stumble.  For some reason most sign-gift folks seem to think the Corinthians got it “right” somehow when it comes to these spiritual gifts.  Paul’s tone in his writing does not change one iota (or any “alphas” either I suppose, a little Greek humor) and after listing the gifts he brings yet further correction to the Church at Corinth. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:11–12 (KJV 1900)

GIFTS DO NOT EQUAL MATURITY!

The people in Corinth ranked people’s value and/or spirituality by the charismata he or she manifested.  Some people desired the gifts that others had (envy), those possessing such gifts saw themselves as superior (pride) and others felt of no value at all (despair).  Paul addresses all of these attitudes when he describes the Church as a body in 1 Cor. 12:27-30. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:27–30 (KJV 1900) The Church is one Body but many diverse parts.  Just as in the human body each part is vital to the overall health of the body, even so in the Church.  The gifts and callings are initiated by God (Romans 11:29).  It is God who calls a man into the holy ministry, the role of the people is to validate that divine call by acknowledging and accepting the ministry of Christ through that servant.  The Church is built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner stone (read Ephesians 2:19-22).

The fact that Paul assigned ordinal numbers (first … second … third) to the first three gifts suggests that these may have been relegated to a lesser role by the Corinthians (cf. 1 Cor. 12:21–24). Those three kinds of gifted members—apostles … prophets … teachers—probably were rated lower than those who had the more spectacular gift of tongues. But the first three gifts may have been greater (v. 31) because of their extensive value to the whole body of Christ. This may be why he listed them first and then said that the church should eagerly desire (v. 31) the exercise of those gifts in the assembly (cf. 14:1–5). Gifted apostles, prophets, and teachers characteristically ministered to a whole church, and so would engender unity and mutual edification. The gift of tongues, on the other hand, suited the Corinthian penchant for self-expression and the pursuit of personal freedom. This self-centeredness also afflicted the church in other areas (e.g., eating sacrificial foods, women in worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper). Love for others was an essential need in the Corinthian church, and to that fundamental attribute Paul then turned to pay eloquent tribute.3

It seems the Corinthian’s were exalting some gifts and gifted people are downplaying others.  Paul continues his exhortation by asking a series of rhetorical questions — “Are all apostles? Are all prophets . . .?”(v.29) NO.  “Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (v. 30) NO.  As the citation by Walvoord and Zuck states it seems the Corinthian’s were coveting what was dramatic and self-directed over the gifts which were really needful, such as the foundational work of the apostles and prophets.  Paul tells them if they must “covet” spiritual gifts, at least covet the “best” (most profitable for the church) gifts.  Higher than all these gifts is manifesting the love of God. Some Bible commentators try to “punt” on the issue of prophets by simply relegating them to the Old Testament and the Apostles to the New Testament birth of the Church.  As tempting as this approach may seem (it does simply things a lot if you go that route) it does not represent the plain teaching of the New Testament concerning the prophetic ministry. Paul tells the Corinthians that God has placed in the Church first apostles and then prophets (v.28).  To the Ephesians he writes:

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20 (KJV 1900)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Ephesians 3:5 (KJV 1900)

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:10–12 (KJV 1900)

At the beginning of the Church there were recognized God-sent prophets, such as Agabus who is the only named “prophet” in the N.T (Acts 21:10).  We also read of an example of some young women who prophesied (Acts 21:9) but were not designated as female prophets per se .  The only N.T. reference to a female “prophetess” is found in Rev. 2:20, and she is a false prophet whom the church is rebuked for listening to! The two specific “ascension gifts” of apostle and prophet were given by our Lord to lay the foundation of the Church.  Once the foundation of a “house” has been laid what happens next?  The superstructure is then built upon (up on) the foundation that has (past tense) been laid.  There is no longer any need to rebuild the foundation once it has been laid.  This is exactly what every restorationists group, sect or cult has attempted to do —- re-lay the original foundation, as if this was even possible! We know from the O.T. what the role of the prophet was and there is no reason to believe that it changed in nature during the founding of the Church. What is fascinating in the N.T. is that the prophetic ministry was not written down for us.  Unlike the O.T. the Church does not have any “major and minor” prophets.  It seems that a portion of what the prophetic gift did was to reveal things to people that only God, certainly not some “stranger” would know:

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 1 Cor. 14:24-25

At this point in time there was no canon of scripture collected for the Church; apart from the O.T. writings which Corinthian Gentiles would not be familiar with.  This fact may help explain the supernatural manner in which God was working by His Spirit in and through His servants. The Bible tells us the prophetic role was indisputably foundational and important but it is the writings of the apostles that were preserved by the Holy Spirit and nothing remains of anything (apart from Agabus) of the N.T. prophets. Of all the three categories of gifts here (basically, those that do something, reveal something, or say something) it is the vocal gifts that Paul spends the most time on correcting.  The gift of prophecy garners much of his attention:

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 1 Cor. 14:29–34

In this pericope Paul is addressing the public use of the gift of prophecy.  If several people have been graced with this gift, fine and dandy, but the underlying principle is the revealing of God’s will, the instruction and comfort of the people gathered. Note also that just because someone may have the gift of prophecy does not give them carte blanche to say anything and mislead the people.  Whatever is prophetically spoken is to be judged (30.109 ἀνακρίνω; διακρίνω: to make a judgment on the basis of careful and detailed information—‘to judge carefully, to evaluate carefully.’)4 as to whether or not what is being shared is from the Lord. As to the who are the “ye all can prophesy” refers to is simple — Paul is still speaking of those prophetically gifted NOT all Christians.  We know this because he continues to speak to prophetic “order.” In v. 32 he lets them know that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. This is a crucial point to keep in mind.  In the pagan world then and now people worked themselves up into ecstatic frenzies and while out of their minds but into the spirit they would speak.  The Corinthians were no doubt influenced by the various cults and oracles in their city and may have believed that those who had a prophetic gift were “expected” to behave in certain ways under the influence of the ‘gods.’ Paul says not so, The Living God is a God of order and not confusion.  He does not speak through His vessels giving conflicting messages (as is very common today among the so-called restored prophets), nor does He shout over the top of several others engaged in “revealing” something.  God’s ways are those of order, clarity/certainty and peace in ALL church congregations. The comment regarding the role of women is also still within the context of prophesy and public ministry.  The women simply were to keep silent during the service.  They were not to prophesy publicly or teach the men of the congregation.  Paul mentions the women because the Corinthians had problems understanding their proper roles as men and women in the totally new social family called the Church. We are told of the future of the gift by the apostle when he states: Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 1 Cor. 13:8-11 After showing the excellency of walking in love (God is love) over expressing the gifts of the Spirit we read that these gifts are temporary in nature and they will come to an end when they no longer serve the purposes of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (Col. 1:18). Prophetic utterances in the Church will be done away with —- 2673.  καταργέω katargĕō, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless) –abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.5 The purpose of prophecy (and to some degree other tongues + the interpretation) was to reveal a portion of the mind/will of God to those gathered.  At that time they had no canon of scriptures; at best they had Paul’s letter(s) and their own leaders.  What the Corinthians had then was a partial revelation, which Paul did not denigrate, but he tells the people they are moving towards (teleos) the “perfect” or full revelation and when that has come, all these partial bits of understanding will cease.  We know that Paul was speaking of the time when God’s revelation would be a complete record.  How do we know this?  Because of what Peter says in his second letter the following: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:16-20 The more sure word of prophecy is that which is recorded for all time and for all people in the writings of the Holy Bible.  Personally I believe the perfect (complete revelation) ceased the moment the last word was spoken & transcribed by the last living apostle.  True, the letters were not gathered and agreed upon until many years later, but they were completed much earlier and I believe that was all that was necessary.  The chart on page nine gives us a little idea of the various gatherings of the writings of the New Testament. Paul makes it abundantly clear that these dramatic gifts will cease but that the power of God’s love, which is superior, will never cease. Love will always “trump” gifts because love is the fruit of the spirit.  Fruit is produced over time, it requires patience, pruning at times and fertilizing and it is FRUIT that we have been appointed to bear (see Matthews 13:23; John 12:24) in our lives: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-24 God has commanded all of His children to be fruitful and multiply, both literally and spiritually.  He does not command us to be “gifted” supernaturally.  Jesus said that the world would know we were His disciples by our love (John 13:35) not by our alleged giftedness. When it comes to the prophetic gift/office the New Testament has more to say to the Church by way of warning us about the inherent danger associated with the pseudo-prophets. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15–20 (NASB95) Jesus warns His disciples to beware, i.e. BE AWARE of the reality of false prophets. They dress up just like the followers of Jesus, they will look like sheep not something else.  How will we know them?  Discerning these frauds does not come by looking at their gifts which can be counterfeited to some degree by Satan but at their fruit, which cannot be faked because it comes from within the heart, which is either dead or alive unto God.  Death produces nothing alive, it produces only more death.

The Inherent Danger in the Restored Prophetic Voice

If I can get you to believe that I have been called to hear from God on the behalf of the Church and individuals such as your “needy” self then I can (and often will) absolutely control your life.  Some of the most tragic events in the history of the Church have occurred when people relied on people claiming to be restored prophets sent to guide their lives.

All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:8–12 (KJV 1900) In speaking of the end of time our Lord reinforces His earlier message concerning these tares among the wheat —- “and MANY false prophets SHALL rise.” ‘Many’ in the Greek (πολλοί/polloi) refers to a great number and He uses the same word regarding those who will be led astray.  From these two statements alone the Church it seems should expect numerous false prophets and that hosts of people will be deceived by them. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before.  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. Matthew 24:24–26 (KJV 1900) In the same discourse our Master gives further insight regarding the danger these SINisters (pseudo-Christs and pseudo-prophets) will pose for His people.  Not only will there be a whole bunch of these frauds released upon the Church but they will be fueled with demonic powers.  The word for ‘great’ is megas in the Greek from which we get our word “mega” — mega signs and wonders will be such an astounding nature that they could potentially deceive even the elect (but they will not). I think it is fair to translate “false Christs” into meaning more than just individuals who proclaim themselves to be Jesus Christ (DMI has covered several of these blatant idiots in the past) but it also can refer to those who are “falsely anointed,” i.e. the unseen power operating in and through them is not from the Holy Spirit but a demonic influence. Jesus has warned us repeatedly that these counterfeit ministry “gifts” are coming (beware 7:15, I have told you 24:25, believe it not 24:26) and not to fall prey to them.  Our Lord’s warnings have largely gone unheeded by the Church from its inception. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1–3 (KJV 1900) Here the Holy Spirit through the apostle Peter warns of false prophets and false teachers (I have yet to meet a restored prophet who does not also teach).  As his Lord told him “many” polloi, SHALL follow their direction.  Their words will drip with honey and they will teach the people doctrines the people want to hear for the purpose of transferring the hearer’s money into their pockets.  It is because of these tares and their way of life/lifestyles that the Gospel is spoken evil of.  The world sees people like Paul Cain, Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn and Rev. Ike (all call themselves prophets) and wants nothing to do with the “Church” because of their foolishness.  Isn’t it odd how the world does not seem to be fooled by these people, only the Christians? Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (KJV 1900) At the end of his life on earth John the beloved warns His Master’s flock not to blithely believe everything that is being proclaimed.  We are told to test, to examine what is offered as to whether or not it is genuine (remember Paul’s exhortation earlier for those “sitting by to judge” the prophecies).  Why does he tell us this?  Because MANY false prophets were already alive and active in the world and attacking the Church at the time of John writing this letter. John’s direction was for the Church to test the prophecies and do not believe what every spirit is saying through whatever yielded/gifted vessel.  How were they to test the spirits and the words delivered?  Does what is being shared agree with the teachings that have been handed down?  When he penned this letter John’s life was almost over and the “faith” had been delivered to the saints. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3 Jude, often considered the brother of James the Just was not an apostle and wrote this letter later on when the foundational doctrines of the apostles were in place.  How were people to test “prophetic” utterances and those bringing them?  They were to look to the teaching of the apostles which the people had an understanding of or some access to the texts.  I believe my argument is buttressed further by the example of the Bereans: These were more    noble   than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11 Once the cannon of scriptures was set down there was and is simply no need for a “prophetic” word from the Lord.  God has already spoken what more needs to be said? God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1–2 (KJV 1900) Yes, God once spoke through the prophets, but now He has spoken to us directly through His Son and the apostles have recorded all that the Spirit brought back to their remembrance to share (see John 14:26) with the Church.  The eternal Word of God is totally sufficient for the Christian to live a fruitful life of godliness in service to their neighbors. The Church does not need anyone to stand up and declare “thus saith the Lord” when we have in our laps, the complete revelation of what God has “said” to humanity. The gift of prophecy and the role of prophets are over.  The foundation has been laid 2,000 years ago and God, the Master Builder, has been building on this foundation ever since. In closing, The Church does not need a “now word” or a “new word” from the Lord.  The Church needs simply to be faithful to the faith that has been delivered unto us.  We need to be doers of the Word, not chasing after some other highly suspect and uncertain proclamations.

Athanasius (b. 296) Origen (b. 185) Irenaeus (b. 130) Marcion* (b. 85)
Matthew Matthew Matthew
Mark Mark Mark
Luke Luke Luke Luke
John John John
Acts Acts Acts
Romans Romans Romans Romans
1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Galatians Galatians Galatians
Ephesians Ephesians Ephesians Ephesians
Philippians Philippians Philippians Philippians
Colossians Colossians Colossians Colossians
1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy
2 Timothy 2 Timothy 2 Timothy
Titus Titus Titus
Philemon Philemon Philemon Philemon
Hebrews Hebrews Hebrews
James James James
1 Peter 1 Peter 1 Peter
2 Peter 2 Peter 2 Peter
1 John 1 John 1 John
2 John 2 John 2 John
3 John 3 John 3 John
Jude Jude Jude
Revelation** Revelation Revelation

End Notes

1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.  Faith Library Publication, Tulsa, OK. 1991, p.121

2. Hayes, Norval. The Gift of Prophecy. Harrison House Publishers, Tulsa, OK. 1980, p. 6, 7, 8

3. David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 534.

4. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 363.

5. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament

A Current Example of the Prophetic Madness

This deluded soul, David E. Taylor told his congregation and the world that “God” had revealed to him the winner of the Super Bowl.  Even with a fifty-fifty chance he guessed wrong and ended up (1) lying in the name of the Lord he says he serves, (2) embarrassing the Church which he represents as a public minister by being exposed as one deceived and deceiving others. For whatever reason he decided to promote this specific revelation from “God” on a global basis.  One can only surmise that he did so in the hopes of expanding his influence among the hugely competitive prophetic marketplace.  Here is a statement from his website: David E. Taylor is first and foremost, a friend of Jesus Christ, which allows him to serve in all the five-fold ministry offices, in which the offices of apostle, prophet and healing evangelist are the most notable. These offices enable him to conquer spiritual territories and dethrone demonic princes and their principalities in different cities and regions he goes to on behalf of a breakthrough for God’s church the Body of Christ.  They serve to equip, empower and launch sons and daughters into God’s vineyard, to minister Jesus Christ and demonstrate His Latter Rain Glory to this generation. This man, who was completely wrong about his word from “God” would have people believe that he is an omni-competent healing evangelist!  Folks, it is people like this who bring shame and ridicule upon the Body of Christ and rightly so in cases like these if we, the Church, do not do all we can to rebuke this man in love and bring correction to him. Much of the foolishness taking place in the Church today is due to the tolerant attitude and silence on that part of those who are orthodox Bible believing Christian leaders.  Many solid pastors vacillate between on of the following three men: Wonderfully pious words to try to live by if you are an ostrich.  The love of God compels us to warn our brothers and sisters of the grave spiritual danger they are facing by listening to the myriad of false teachers and false prophets. ious words to try to live by if you are an ostrich.  The love of God compels us to warn our brothers and sisters of the grave spiritual danger they are facing by listening to the myriad of false teachers and false prophets.  Pastors especially are charged with guarding their portion of His flock by feeding them the pure Word of God.  It is only through a steady diet of sound teaching that we will become equipped to discern truth from error.  This implies first that pastors must teach sound doctrine and secondly, that the flock will be faithful not only to hear but to act upon the glorious truths shared!





Truth Matters January 2014

9 03 2014

Part Four on Ecstatic Speech
by Rev. Robert Liichow

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles…”
The Apostle Paul

This has been somewhat of a longer rabbit trail than I usually take our readers down but it is important to have some working knowledge of the so-called “sign gifts” of the Holy Spirit, since so many people are claiming divine abilities on a global basis. As Christians we are called to give an answer (apology) for what we believe (see 1 Peter 3:15). I admit the context of Peter’s statement is directly pertaining to our hope within us, eternal life; however, we should be able to defend all of our beliefs regarding our faith. Last month we briefly considered the three gifts that supposedly “reveal” something, yet as we discovered two of these three gifts are never defined for the Church and thus no one can honestly claim to possess gifts which we cannot even define according to the Bible itself.

The Gifts that Do Something

    The next triumvirates of gifts are often referred to as the “power gifts” or supernatural abilities to perform various tasks.

The Gift of Faith

As with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, these are supernatural abilities and not mere human abilities on steroids or something. Thus the “gift of faith” is not the gift of believing the Gospel; although the ability to believe is not a human endeavor either (see Eph. 2:8) it too is a gift. Yet the gift of faith to receive Christ Jesus is not the same as the gift of faith spoken of here by Paul. All Christians are recipients of the gift of faith in Jesus Christ by God’s grace. This gift of “faith” is an additional gifting that enables the recipient to believe God with an unshakable resolve. The enthusiasts among us define this gift as follows:

The gift of faith is a gift of the Spirit to the believer in order that he might receive miracles . . . Those who operate in special faith, the gift of the Spirit, can believe God in such a way that God honors their word as His own, and miraculously brings to pass the desired result.

God gives a believer a gift of power because there is something that He wants to do. It is always to bless somebody or help somebody. Or, God can give a believer the gift of power to stop something that is evil . . . He will give you the gift of faith: the amount of power to get the job done. . .

The gift of faith may be defined as the special gift whereby the Spirit provides Christians with extraordinary confidence in God’s promises, power, and presence so they can take heroic stands for the future of God’s work in the church. The spiritual gift of faith is exhibited by one with a strong and unshakeable confidence in God, His Word, and His promises.

Πίστις is the Greek word for faith in this text and it simply means to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance in God and His promises. The book of Hebrews the eleventh chapter gives us a plethora of examples of Old Covenant people who overcame through the gift of faith. In simplest terms the gift of faith would be the divinely granted ability to believe the unbelievable in the face of all adversity based upon nothing more than faith in God and His promise(s).

The Gifts of healing

    This gift, like all the others, is supernatural and has nothing to do with medical science or serving in the vocation of a doctor or nurse. The reason I stress the supernatural facet of these charismas is because there are those among us who would relegate these gifts and many supernatural biblical events to really “natural” occurrences, i.e. there is an anti-supernatural vein in our Body.

    The gifts of healing —

The gifts of healings are manifested for the supernatural healing of sickness and disease without any natural source or means.

It’s a plural gift because many things cause sickness. Some sicknesses are caused by accidents. Some are caused by personal neglect. Some sicknesses are caused by bodily abuse. Some sicknesses are caused by organic ailments. Some are caused by a spirit of infirmity or actual satanic oppression.

Tracy and I were taught by Mr. Hayes (above), Robert Tilton and many others that there was a specific “gift” of healing for every disease and ailment afflicting mankind. Robert Tilton claims to have a “gift” for healing people’s back problems. T.L. Osborn claimed to have a divine healing gift for people with deafness. He once claimed to have healed 99 deaf people in one village (naturally this occurred somewhere overseas). The gifts of healing is the second most abused of these nine gifts cited here by Paul, the first being speaking in other tongues (I promise we will get to this gift eventually). The following is a more theological consideration:

23.138
ἴαμα, τος: (derivative of ἰάομαιa ‘to cause to be well again, to heal,’ 23.136) the capacity to cause someone to become healed or cured—’the power to heal, the capacity to heal.’ ἄλλῳ δὲ χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ πνεύματι ‘and to another man the same Spirit gives the power to heal’ 1 Cor 12:9. In some languages it may be difficult to speak of ‘giving the power to heal.’ A more natural form of expression is ’cause to be able to heal.’

The Bible is filled with examples of how our God healed people supernaturally. We naturally read of our Lord Jesus Christ HEALING ALL who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Peter and John on their way to the temple to pray healed a lame man who was over 40 years old (Acts 4:22). In Acts 5:12-16 we read the account of the people in Jerusalem and surrounding towns bringing their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits — and ALL of them were healed. Acts 9:32-35 shares the account of the man with paralysis whom God healed via Peter. Paul healed the father of Publius of a fever and dysentery in Acts 28:7-9. We see in the founding of the Church a great display of the power of God and a careful examination of the healing accounts will demonstrate that many of them were part of the redemptive history of God towards a specific people group. For example the people of Lydda and Saron “turned to the Lord” through the signs confirming Peter’s preaching. Healing(s) as with everything our Lord does is not without a purpose, everything that happens is a part of the tapestry of our existence in this life, including sickness and healing.

Why This Gift Is Abused

Two forces work together to cause this gift to be abused by unscrupulous people. First, sickness and death are universal to us all. There is absolutely no one born of man that has not suffered the ravages of sickness and eventually succumbed to death itself. Secondly, the Bible seems to be replete with examples of God’s divine healing and miracle power setting people free from the ravages of sickness and death.

People who are very ill or have dying loved ones will virtually do almost anything, believe anything and give whatever is asked of them in order to receive their healing. What is it worth to see your wife healed from Lyme’s disease or your child delivered from leukemia? Is a donation of $50, $100, $5,000 enough to “prove God” of the sincerity of your faith when the healer asks for it?

    By taking biblical examples and inserting stories (lies) of the tremendous outpouring of healing in the last meeting in the other town the SINister works the people up into an altered state of consciousness rendering them devoid of critical thinking. Loud music, lighting, the psychological dynamics of masses of people in confined spaces, the subtle manipulation of wish fulfillment and the natural smarmy charisma of the SINister him or her all work together forming a synergy of deception on those in need and a huge payday for the fake healer.

    The question really is, does God still heal people today? My answer is, simply yes He does, but He does so according to the sovereign good pleasure of His will and not at the command of any man or woman. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

    Does God heal through healing evangelists? No. To begin with there is no such ministry in the Bible. There is the ministry of an evangelist (see 2 Tim. 4:5), but even Timothy, the evangelist, needed to take some wine for his stomach ailments (see 1 Tim. 5:23) but there is no such designation as “healing evangelist.” Aimee Semple MacPherson, Kathryn Khulman, A.A. Allen, William Branham, Oral Roberts, T. L. Osborn, Peter Popoff, W. WV. Grant, R.W. Schambach, Benny Hinn, etc. are ALL FRAUDS, LIARS and DECEIVERS. They possess no healing gifts at all.

    What is miraculous about the so-called “healing” evangelists is that NONE of them can offer any independent verifiable PROOF that people have been or are being healed under their SINistries and yet still have huge followings and reap millions of dollars each year they are in existence! One would think after a year or two of non-miracle crusades people would have quit listening to Mr. Hinn or others. Yet almost 20 years later, they still flock to his false promises and lies, leaving sick and much poorer spiritually and financially.

The Working of Miracles

One can “fake” healing by simply paying shills to claim they have been healed in the meeting. Miracles are a different manifestation altogether.

Although they are often lumped together healing and miracles are not the same. A healing is when someone is sick, say with cancer and after prayer it is totally gone, no trace, nothing on the X-ray. A miracle might be someone without an arm or a leg that suddenly has a new arm or leg appear on their body, they were not sick, merely missing a limb in this hypothetical case. A better example might be when the dead are raised. Paul raised a young man (Eutychus) from the dead who fell out of a third story window due to Paul’s long sermonizing (see Acts 20:7-12). Eutychus received a miracle, not a healing.

When the working of miracles is in manifestation, there is a divine intervention in the ordinary course of nature.

What is the working of miracles? Well, there are a lot of different kinds of miracles, but it’s a power gift, where power from God is sent from heaven down to earth to do something that’s beyond the natural, beyond the natural thinking of a man.

BUBBLE BURSTING ALERT!!

Very few people were ever used by our God to work miracles, the list is very short. Start at Genesis and go through to The Revelation and jot down: (1) who God used and (2) what was the miracle about, you end up with a pretty short list. What is more, when you consider the nature of the miraculous events in the Bible they are all of significance to the redemptive history of God’s people.

If you listen to any of the “purveyors of power” on the circuit today you will be given the false notion that miracles were occurring left and right in the daily lives of the believers. There are many books in circulation concerning miracles, let me cite just a few:

“I Believe in Miracles” – Kathryn Kuhlman
“Miracle Signs & Wonders” – Marilyn Hickey
“The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power” – A.A. Allen
“Chaos of Miracles” – LaDonna C. Osborn
“Miracles Just Don’t Happen” – Lester Sumrall

What the above books attempt to do is basically to reduce the definition of what is a miracle according to biblical standards, by watering down the definition the miraculous becomes commonplace. I have heard Marilyn Hickey say many times how she “prays” for a closer parking space at the mall and then when a space opens up close to the door she proclaims it a “miracle.”

Bible miracles include manifestations like parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), blindness coming on a blasphemer (Acts 13:11), etc. Can Mr. Hinn, Dollar, Copeland, Meyer, Price or anyone else point us to an actual miracle in their SINistries? NO, they cannot do so because despite all their testimonies of the great things “God” is doing through them, they can produce NO evidence of any divine healing or miracles.

In the New Testament miracles either validated the personal ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ or authenticated the ministry of the apostles:

I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in
all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 2 Cor. 12:11-12

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:4–5

But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.  For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:19–20

Only those divinely authorized by God can perform miracles. I agree with what fellow I.O.H.H. member, Dr. R.C. Sproul says on this topic:

If anybody can perform miracles, if a person who’s not an agent of divine revelation can perform a miracle, then obviously a miracle cannot certify an agent of revelation. Let me say it again. If a non-agent of revelation can perform a miracle, then a miracle cannot authenticate or certify a bona fide agent of revelation. Which would mean that the New Testament’s claim to be carrying the authority of God Himself, because God has certified Christ and the Apostles by miracles, would be a false claim and a false argument.
So what’s at stake here is the authority, the authenticity, and the truthfulness of the Bible itself. That’s why I have this tight definition, and why I don’t expect miracles, because I don’t expect to find Apostles running around today. So the narrow miracles, they stopped at the end of the Apostolic age.

This is why we are warned several times about the danger of being misled by those proclaiming the ability to work miracles which are really nothing but false signs and wonders:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22–23

And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:21–22

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. Acts 8:9–10

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:13–16

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9–12

What is truly amazing to me is how desperate the extremist “faith” people are in seeking to either feel or see something or be involved in doing something phenomenal and sadly, they often base their faith on these tangible experiences. Yet the Bible plainly teaches that our faith is based on what we have not
seen or felt. I agree with Sproul that the time of those performing biblical miracles ended with the death of the apostle John.

As was stated earlier miracles were performed to validate Jesus earthly ministry and those of His chosen apostles. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven; He sent the 12 and at the death of the last apostle there is nothing more to validate miraculously.

How can anyone hold a “miracle crusade” due to the divinely sovereign act in manifesting a miracle? It is the height of PRESUMPTION (not faith) to declare what the Holy Spirit is going to do on any evening or moment for that matter. The Spirit gives His gifts as HE WILLS (1 Cor. 12:11) not when Mr. Hinn or Copeland demand an appearance or manifestation of them.

I openly challenge any of the living self-proclaimed miracle workers to please provide DMI with just one independently verifiable example of a miraculous event tied directly to their organization. I know the atheist James Randi has a $1,000,000 prize for the first person who can perform a miracle in his laboratory, as of today (12-30-13) the money still sits in Randi’s account.

In closing this section out, please understand I am not saying that our Lord does not move supernaturally on our behalf or in our lives, He most certainly does. When my daughter and I were T-boned by a semi at about 60 mph, destroying our very small Saturn and we got out without a scratch that was the mercy of God. That was not a “miracle” it was an answer to prayer as I cried out to our Lord immediately and He spared our lives. If we loosen our definition, then we lose biblical authority. So yes, our Lord answers prayers, heals people, grants faith in the impossible at times, but there are no godly miracle workers roaming the land today, only wolves in sheep’s clothing. Selah.

Endnotes

  1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publications, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 102
  2. Hayes, Norvel. The Gift of Faith. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 16
  3. Obtained from http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-faith.html#ixzz2oyhSZ27l
  4. One of the almost impossible positions to attain in this life is that of BALANCE!  We tend to make everything supernatural (charismatic extremists) or we deny the power of God and make everything natural (some neo-evangelicals).
  5. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publication, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 115
  6. Hayes, Norvel. The Gifts of Healing. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 5
  7. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 268.
  8. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publication, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 108
  9. Hayes, Norvel. The Gifts of Healing. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 5
  10. The International Order of Heresy Hunters, is a small elite by invitation only cadre of truth-tellers.  One can be invited by submitting a check for $25 to DMI and a certificate suitable for framing will come your way.
  11. Obtained from http://www.ligonier.org/blog/does-rcsproul-believe-miracles/. Bold type added for emphasis







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