8 GREAT CHARISMATIC DECEPTIONS
Dr. Mike Johnston
Scripture warns about men lacking sound doctrine in the end times (2 Tim. 4:3). I’m not proud to tell you that most Christians I’ve known have never read the Bible through one time. This alone has provided a perfect breeding ground for deception which I’m convinced has caused the church of the itching ears to lift feelings above facts. Not surprisingly, this has also facilitated a bevy of seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1) to lead these ignorant brethren into a cesspool of apostasy that would not have been possible otherwise (2 Thess. 2:3-10; 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; Jude). Those who know the Word also know the Lord Jesus warned at least 4 times about a last days deception (Matt. 24:4-5, 11, 24). His final warning contains my commentary which I ask you to consider in light of what you’ve just read above: For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets (Paul said they’d come from within the church- Acts 20:28-30), and shall shew great signs and wonders (since the days of miracle workers ceased with completion of canon, this is satanic power- 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:13-14; 16:14; 19:20); insomuch that, if it were possible (and it is), they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)
First Deception: We are in an End Times Revival
Joel’s prophecy was directed toward Israel (Joel 2:23-32)!  It was never intended for the church and yet has been glommed on to by those who desperately try to make Scripture fit their experiences. In light of this, the offensive and may I say- obnoxious- manifestations we see today like flopping, flapping, flipping, clucking and barking, are being sold to us under the auspices that we are living in a time of Spirit outpouring called the Latter Rain.  Because of this, anything and everything becomes acceptable to those who “believe.” Everyone else is charged with blaspheming the spirit.
The burden of proof, of course, lies with Latter Rain apologists who are quick to legitimize the notion of revival by citing the well attended gatherings in Toronto, Brownsville, and Lakeland as proof positive “moves of God”.  However, when analyzed and compared to Scripture they appear to be nothing more than an unbiblical, unfettered chaos that magnifies men while mocking the Master. If the Bible is to be our proof text, the inescapable truth is that aside from the skewed teachings from Latter Rain advocates, revival isn’t predicted for the end times. Scripture teaches that it is actually apostasy that is to sweep us into the end of this age. Paul called it a great falling away (2 Thess. 2:3) caused by the mystery of iniquity and spiritual delusion: Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). Does that sound like revival? It’s not. It’s full blown spiritual rebellion leading to the final apostate world religion and its miracle working leaders: Antichrist and his false prophet (2 Thess. 2; Rev. 13-18)!
The only Latter Rain outpouring we see today seems more in keeping with the weird occult manifestations predicted 2500 years ago by Zechariah: Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain . . . For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain (Zechariah 10:1-2).
Second Deception: Christians are gods
Lucifer has lusted to be God for as long as we know: I will be like the Most High (Isa. 14:14). Several years ago Shirley MacLaine came “out of the closet” claiming she had finally come to grips with who she was: “I am god, I am god!” While admittedly strange, her pompous drivel never made much sense until researching my master’s thesis on the New Age Movement in the early 90’s. New Age writer Barbara Marx Hubbard predicted this would be part of the evolutionary process of men and women who enter a new wave of enlightenment called the Age of Aquarius:
“Finally, you start the transition . . . During the transition, millions of members of the body AWAKEN TO THEIR POWER to be natural Christs, full humans in the model of the first person to manifest the next stage in the development of humanity . . .” 
Now put on your shin guards because here’s the kicker. It isn’t just the obvious lunatic fringe leading the “I am god” brigade any longer. It is now being trumpeted by some very famous people you know within the leadership ranks of the Charismatic movement:
- John Avanzini: “[The Spirit of God] … declared in the earth today what the eternal purpose of God has been through the ages … that He is duplicating Himself in the earth” (John Avanzini, “The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God,” Morris Cerullo World Evangelism tape).
- Morris Cerullo: “You’re not looking at (me); you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.” (The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God,” Morris Cerullo World Evangelism tape 1)
- Kenneth Copeland: “Adam is God manifested in the flesh” (“Following the Faith of Abraham” tape # 01-3001 “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” (The Force of Love tape)
- Paul Crouch: “Christians are little gods . . . I am a little god” (TBN-July 7, 1986) 
- Creflo Dollar: We are gods, in this earth, and it’s about time we start operating like gods instead of a bunch of mere powerless humans” (April 17, 2002 Changing your World, LeSea Broadcasting).
- Kenneth Hagin, Sr. (the late): “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was…the believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth”. (“Word Of Faith” Dec. 1980, p. 14)
- Benny Hinn: “Are you ready for some revelation knowledge? You are God!” (Benny Hinn-“Our Position In Christ”, tape # AO31190-1
“You are a little god on earth running around”. Benny Hinn, “Praise-a-thon” broadcast on TBN, November, 1990
Dear friend, let me ask you not to write telling me I’m being judgmental and I just don’t understand these men. Frankly, I do understand. Besides the extensive documentation included in this treatise, I’ve watched them, listened to them, and studied their materials for almost thirty years. Not only are they in lock step with Lucifer and his lackeys, they are in direct fulfillment of Christ’s end time’s warnings: There shall arise false Christs . . . if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). The reality is if you can’t see it, it’s because they’ve fooled you, too.
Third Deception: Christians are taking over the world
In keeping with false teachings of revival, we find Kingdom Now and Dominionism advocates ready to seize control of evil governments. In response to their quest for world take-over, the Manifest Sons of God  are in place to oversee the battle being launched by Joel’s Army.  Upon close inspection of their rantings and writings we find them to be dangerously reminiscent of the Gnostics who claimed special enlightenment others weren’t privileged to have (read Colossians where Paul refuted them).
Please listen to their teachings carefully. What they are “exegeting” from the Bible is so esoteric no other orthodox teachers in history including but not limited to Paul, JN Darby, Andrew Murray, Spurgeon, Torrey, Scofield, Chafer, Walvoord, Ice, Van Impe, or any others of their caliber—have ever taught. Yet, given the ear tickling penchant in the pew today, I’m not surprised that there are so few that ever catch on to what they’re up to. Instead of exposing them for what they are, by their silence, or worse their purchase of their materials, they support them in wholesaling their heresies as “new revelation” in books, DVDs and on TV they sell to us under the pseudonym “Christian.”
Please know there are tragic corollaries to all of this. First, Scripture is kicked to the curb if it won’t conform to the “word of knowledge” and prophetic revelation spewing forth ad hoc from the new “apostles” and “prophets” claiming equal- or superior- authority with Scripture. Frighteningly, when the doctrines don’t line up with the Bible, or the prophecies don’t come to pass, the leaders remain silent while those who charge them with being false prophets (Deut. 18:20-22) are ridiculed as heresy hunters and threatened ala Paul Crouch and his ill-conceived ilk. Commenting on the baseless retaliation from these ogres in his free sampler for Occult Invasion, Dave Hunt writes: “Today’s false prophets boast of their power and use it to threaten those who would reprove them with God’s Word. To escape correction, they warn critics, ‘Touch not the Lord’s anointed,’ and threaten that those who question them will suffer God’s judgment. With Paul Crouch backing him, Benny Hinn (recently unmasked as a lying, unrepentant, fornicating co-adulterer with Paula White) threatened on TBN that if critics dared to ‘touch Lord’s anointed’ (meaning him), their children would die.” (p. 21)
Secondly, Dominionism has stolen the hope of the church, the rapture, by incorporating a spiritualized anti-Semitic eschatology that replaces Israel with the church, putting us here in the tribulation under the leadership a wise and esoteric group called the Manifest Sons of God- which are in some ways similar to the New Age Ascended Masters- who will ultimately force the kingdom into submission by using spiritual warfare and other means to claim leadership, take over nations, coerce submission to Jesus, thereby facilitating His return. That’s why this crew is doggedly involved in politics,  for purposes of world conquest.  [SIDENOTE: If the notion of the church fighting to convert the world sounds to you a bit like radical Islam or Roman Catholicism, you are an astute student of religious history].
Fourth Deception: Divination and the word of knowledge
Another damnable teaching is the reintroduction of old craft occult practices, like divination. Webster defines this as “the act of . . . foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means.” (Webster 1828).
Occult divination today is masked as a “word of knowledge” and widely accepted around the world by those who refuse to try the spirits (1 John 4:1) to discover their origin.
What does it take to prove there are seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1) operating in the church? And why do so many dabble with darkness when the Bible consistently condemns this as neo-Canaanite spiritualism? There shall not be found among you any one that . . . useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; see also Ezekiel 13:6-7).
I’d like to issue the following challenge to students I mentor, or to anyone who will accept it: Using only the Bible, try to justify the psychic hocus pocus you see on “Christian” television masquerading as the “word of knowledge.” You can’t! The fact is, this corruptible seed was planted by occultist William Branham and Kathryn Kuhlman who both exercised it as part of their mesmerizing theatrics dating back sixty years ago. Sadly, the evil fruit (Matt. 7:17-18) is shared around the world on “Christian” television every single day.
Fifth Deception: Modern day prophets are allowed to be wrong
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 . . . These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Peter 2:1, 17-19).
If God is really speaking through a man, how can he ever be wrong? HINT: He can’t or He was to die (Deut 13; 18). However, when the Kansas City Prophets (KCPs) were asked about their prophecy success rate, Bob Jones (not BJU) bragged that it was about 65%. When a few men of God rose up to expose them as false prophets- which this paltry percentage proved- Rick Joyner, of course was quick to dance to their defense with the following deceptive doctrinal dalliance (italics mine):
“One of the greatest hazards affecting maturing prophets is the erroneous interpretation of the Old Testament exhortation that if a prophet ever predicted something which did not come to pass he was no longer to be considered a true prophet (see Deut. 18:20-22). The warning was that if this happened, the prophet had been presumptuous and the people were not to fear him. If one predicts something in the name of the Lord and it does not come to pass, he probably has spoken presumptuously and needs to be repented of, but that does not make him a false prophet. No one could step out in the faith required to walk in his calling if he knew that a single mistake would ruin him for life.” (Joyner Vol 3, No. 2, Paulk 1987)
That’s a lie Mr. Joyner. Here’s what the Word of God says:
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
Mr. Joyner, I can understand with your paltry 65% KCP accuracy rate how you would need to thrust your corruptible theology upon the incorruptible Word. But the fact remains, our Almighty God—whose error-free Word exposes you—has never blinked from demanding one-hundred percent accuracy and condemning all those who fall short (Deut. 18:20-22), including you.
In all honesty, “God told me” is by implication an intimidating self aggrandizing statement. Pastor Jim Cymbala wrote: “I know that some unscrupulous preachers today claim that ‘the Lord told me’ when no such thing occurred . . . such behavior is an abomination” (see Jer. 23:31-32, 38-39). Yet this has become a compelling component in Charismatic and Latter Rain circles today- especially when raising funds on their telethons. You can treat this however you want, but remember, Moses labeled it taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain (Ex. 20:7; see Prov. 30:9), and Paul called it speaking lies in hypocrisy (1 Tim. 4:2).
Here’s a short list of men- each having a long list of failed predictions- who would be appearing in God’s obituary column instead of on television- if they were held to OT standards of flawless prophetic fulfillment (Deut. 13; 18). Each of these prophecies were publicly given to God’s people as “thus saith the Lord” and yet none of them came true and none of these “prophets” were ever questioned by their Charismatic leadership:
Kim Clement: prophesied a cure for AIDS by the year 2002 (12/26/2000 edition of Praise the Lord on TBN).
Kenneth Copeland: claimed America would be fully led by leaders following the Holy Ghost during the Clinton presidency. Enough said. Copeland also predicted in a dedication service on 12/02/01 for the new 2000 seat Word of Life church auditorium in Honolulu, that one billion Muslims would be saved in the next few months.
Kenneth Hagin: (the late) lied that he received his teaching, not from any man, but directly from God. Yet, years later it was discovered to be plagiarized almost word for word from fellow word of faith occultist E.W. Kenyon.
Benny Hinn: appears often on TBN claiming weird things the Lord showed only him, like the trinity of God consists of 9 manifestations, or that men in Adam’s day could fly, and women gave birth out of their sides. Hinn also claimed with authority that Fidel Castro would die in 1990s, and that God would destroy the homosexual community of America. On a TBN praise-a-thon April 2, 2000, Hinn brashly stated the Lord told him He would begin appearing physically on the platform of his crusades, which of course He did not.
Rod Parsley: Parsley, the hokey handkerchief handler claimed in an April 1999  mailing God spoke through him to the distraught mother of a drug addicted, AIDs infested, homosexual son she hadn’t seen in over 12 years- (Parsley’s speaking for God) “Anything you ask Me today, I will grant it.” She asked for her son to be saved, healed, and restored to his family. Parsley claimed in his newsletter that 3 months later the miracle was confirmed when the son called with the exciting news that her prayers were answered. Inner City Christian Discernment Ministry (ICCDM) became suspicious and requested verification NINE YEARS ago. Still nothing! What is Parsley hiding? Why won’t he provide this info, unless of course it is . . . mythical.
Oral Roberts: In 1977 Roberts said he had received a vision from God telling him to build the City of Faith. He later claimed to have seen a 900- foot-tall Jesus who told him that the vision would soon be realized and that the hospital would be a success. The City of Faith opened in 1981. He later closed it down for financial reasons. All of this info is in my booklet The New Age Charismatic Seed of Corruption.
Pat Robertson: Last but certainly not least, Pat Robertson, a man I find spiritually reprehensible. He features New Age teachers and practices on the 700 Club as well as regularly practicing , mind over matter and occult divination (word of knowledge). In 1982 and again in 1984, Robertson predicted the Tribulation would take place in those years.  January 2007 he predicted a terrorist attack on the US causing death and destruction equivalent to that of a nuclear war by the end of the year 2007 (CNN.com).
My friend, may I ask you something here? Can you now- in good faith- ever listen to or support the teachings of these scurrilous bandits again? Before you answer, please pray as you read the following warnings first: Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22; Jer. 5:31; 14:14; 23:16, 32; Matt. 7:15-16; 24:11, 24; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 4:1.
Sixth Deception: Laying on of hands and spirit impartations
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 19:31). Webster defines familiar spirits as “a demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at a call.” This is no longer confined to darkly lit rooms with squeaky doors and Ouija boards. It has actually become somewhat fashionable in fellowships regularly attended by those who are willing to believe any person or spirit claiming to be from “Jesus.”
One method of “transferring spirits” is called impartations, recently popularized by the KCPs and one of their devotees, a stud-pierced, tubby tattooed drunken fornicating Canadian “healer/huckster” named Todd Bentley. Bentley who purported to have raised (unconfirmed) 30 people from the dead was the featured “evangelist” in the summer Lakeland “revival” fiasco of 2008. During his relatively short stay- which swiftly ended after his affair with a staffer came to light-  he taught about angelic meetings with Bob Jones’ familiar spirit Emma.  On these visits, Bentley was given messages to share with the thousands who gathered nightly under the tent or around the world in front of their computer screens via God.tv. Occult expert Caryl Matrisciana  attended a special meeting in LA where she saw 500 pastors line up in front of Bentley who imparted “a spirit” by smacking them in the middle of their foreheads (the occult third eye) thereby sending them crashing to the floor flopping, howling, and laughing hysterically “in the spirit.” Excuse me, but aside from telling me this just has to be a work of God, I challenge you to take the Scriptures alone and validate any of it (1 John 4:1).
Seventh Deception: Necromancy and speaking to the dead
As crazy as it sounds beloved, many of today’s so-called apostles and prophets are walking in such utter darkness they claim to have conversations with the dead. The Bible calls this necromancy and forbids it. And when they shall say unto you, Seek . . . unto wizards that peep, and that mutter . . . Should they seek for the living to the dead (Isaiah 8:19)? Benny Hinn claims:
“I’ve walked in the supernatural world. I’ve seen things you would never be able to understand…I’ve had individuals appear to me in my room. Not only angels” (HONOLULU CRUSADE Feb. 28, 1997).
Hinn relates another vision he had “I saw myself walk into a room and there stood Kathryn Kuhlman. And I’ve not seen Kathryn in a dream or a vision [in] years. I knew she had died and it was on the news that same morning. … And there she was standing in this room… And she said, ‘Follow me.’ … And I followed her . . . ” 
Do you still think I just don’t understand these men, beloved?
Eighth Deception: The weirder the manifestation, the greater the anointing
I’ve reserved the unprecedented, ungodly, and virtually unbelievable- for last. The fact is, I have asked myself a hundred times: “Is there a door of toleration that will eventually slam shut against the onslaught of heresy hammering the church?” I’m convinced by what I see in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches today there is not. They are determined to believe anything goes if it can somehow claim to be a spirit manifestation. And all of them do! Paul must have considered this same thing when addressing a chaotic group of Charismatics he had to spiritually joust with: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Most of my Christian life, I have taught that Peter and Jude’s warning about last days mockers (2 Pet. 3:3; Jude 1:18) referred to unbelievers. Now, a new breed called the “new mystics”  has frankly forced me to reconsider my thinking. Whether they know it or not, their disgraceful antics such as the “drunken glory”  and “toking the Ghost” now captured on video  have boosted blasphemy to an act of comedic corruption. So, why in the Name of a Holy Lord are their calendars filled with speaking engagements and their coffers brimming with cash instead?
Scratch your ears. It gets worse. Ex-witch Patricia King hosts a show on youtube called eXtremeProphetic. On a regular basis, she and her patently peculiar guests seem to be on a journey to “out weird” one another through all manner of bizarre Biblical baloney like astral projection, bilocation, meetings with “Jesus,”  conversations with dead saints and angels, the manifestation of gold teeth,  oily hands, and any other strange fire (Lev. 10:1; Num. 3:4) they care to burn. I was hardly even shocked watching King interview Jones and Bentley who discussed holding hands in a public restaurant and taking a spiritual trip to heaven. My friend this is new age astral projection at its dead devil best.
How in the world do Christian people buy into this? Simple! They have a vested interest in being Charismatic which makes everything acceptable if it’s endorsed by one of their leaders and labeled by them as legitimately Christian.
Where will you draw the line my friend? The fact is, when you open yourself up to these kinds of possibilities, nothing is too bizarre to believe as long as Jesus’ nametag is attached to it.  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5:6)? The work of seducing spirits for sure.
My advice is to avoid all of it (1 Thess. 5:22)!
Write if we can help you, or if you are interested in Bible studies leading to degrees in Theology and Ministry.
 Please read this prophecy carefully. It was directed toward and given to Israel. Jews were taught to require signs confirming God’s work (Ex. 4:8; 13:9; 31:13; 1 Cor. 1:22) as well as allegiance to the Word and fulfilled prophecy (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22). Peter (apostles to the Jews) preached that it met all these requirements on that particular day of Pentecost in the first century (Acts 2:15-21).
 Further discussion available in our booklet: The Latter Rain Manifest Sons of God Heresy.
 All can be directly or indirectly traced to the KCPs.
 These quotes are not isolated in the least and are easily available from a google search. Also, many are cited in Christianity in Crisis by Hank Hanegraaff. For our latest listing of who said what, write for our report: Holy Heretics- Quotes and Notes.
 A September 18, 2004 edition of the LA Times reported that this “little god” paid out $425,000 in hush money to silence a man he was involved with sexually in 1996.
 Sounds like New Age Ascended Masters. The claim was that certain elite (aka new breed) of Christians would obtain the promise of immortality (as promised in Romans 8:19) now rather than at the rapture. These men call themselves little gods- and were exposed by Christ as a sign of the end times (Matt. 24:24).
 Based on Joel chapter 2, hyper-Charismatics prophesy Joel’s Army is an Armageddon-ready military force comprised of teens and young adults with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian “dominion” upon the world of non-believers. Joyner (who else) helped popularize this nonsense.
 Paul Crouch on TBN used this term for those who caught Benny Hinn in another of his fraudulent predictions (TBN, 4/2/91), going so far as wishing them dead (TBN, 11/7/97).
 It is called Replacement Theology meaning they replace Israel with the church.
 While I applaud the work they have done in pro-life causes, etc, their motive for electing officials is self serving and unbiblical.
 Jesus said His Kingdom was not to be seized by force (John 18:36).
 I am appalled by the way he has compromised time and again for power and money. My parents gave thousands to CBN and the Family Network during the 70s and 80s which Robertson used to set up Int’l Family Entertainment. They were all bundled and sold to Rupert Murdock for $1.9 billion that mysteriously left Robertson and son Tim extremely wealthy. When running for president in 1988 he swore publicly he was not an evangelist. In 2008 election he gave the wholehearted endorsement of known pro-abortion, adulterous Rudy Giuliani for president. I wasn’t surprised when Robertson- who provably lacks discernment- endorsed legalizing pot in 2012.
 From the following website: http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/ pat_robertson_false_prophet_again.htm
 His “ministry” was rescued by none other than the infamous Rick Joyner. Although Bentley traded in his slightly crippled wife for the younger, more “attractive” staffer he was drinking and fornicating with, Joyner never held him publicly accountable to repent and be reconciled with his wife. He merely “restored” him to his original “ministry” with the new woman by his side. Business as usual for the Charismatic conmen.
 Some have compared this occult odyssey with both Branham and Jones.
 She reported this on a Southwest Radio Church broadcast Sept. 22, 2008.
 Taken from new breed false prophet John Crowder’s book by that name.
 This is a sure sign of impending judgment (Isa. 29:9). Lord forgive us please.
 Unfortunately, youtube.com presents them for all the world to mock.
 Bob Jones claims to regularly spirit travel to the 3rd Heaven and teaches others how to do it, too. Another example of New Age Mysticism 101.
 Until recently most of these instances had to do with Catholics. Now you have kooks like Jason Westerfield promoting this occult balderdash.
 These appearances are false according to the Savior: If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not (Matt. 7:23).
 This is necromancy and is forbidden in Scripture (Deut. 18:11-12).
 John Arnott of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship claimed this was proof of God’s blessing. Afterwards a smattering of Vineyard churches associated with Toronto reported the same thing, including Todd Bentley from the Lakeland revival.
 Jesus warned against this (Matt. 7:22-23).