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Refuting the “Gift of Gibberish” Tongues

Dr. Mike Johnston

Charismatics snub correction by claiming those who oppose them do so in ignorance because they haven’t had THE “experience.” That isn’t true here. I understand the spiritual gifts and tongues issue very clearly. I was a practicing Charismatic for the first few years after I was saved (1975) and an avid apologist for the gibberish movement. Since I was a partaker in this experience, I made it my business to ignore any unspiritual oaf trying to correct me with evidence. Frankly, that was easy. I enjoyed very much the special feelings of spirituality that accompanied being a member of what I’d been told was the enlightened few who sought and received the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”. After all, I’d been singled out for a universe of expectation where anything is possible, and the more bizarre the better. Extemporaneous words of knowledge, tongues, and interpretations – even those conflicting with Scripture – flowed constantly from circus like meetings where so called “prophets” stood and almost shouted predictions that were seldom fulfilled.

However, in this “anything is possible” atmosphere, NOTHING was to ever be challenged if it was performed under the “Jesus name tag”.

Then one day, when the inner nagging got the best of me I decided to study spiritual gifts and the Charismatic claims outside of anyone’s influence. My suspicion was corroborated. Here’s what I found.

The Purpose of Tongues

Everything God does is with purpose (Eph. 1:11). Tongues are no different; they were a sign to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor. 1:22; 14:22; see Isa. 28:11-12). My friend, lest we forget, Israel was chosen to herald God’s goodness to the world and Jesus was the promised Messiah of a glorious coming earthly kingdom. However, knowing they would reject Him, the Lord Jesus instituted a parenthetical group known as the church Body of Christ (Romans through Philemon) to carry on His message up until the “fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).

Two facts stand out in the five major passages dealing with tongues (Acts 2; 19:6; 1 Cor. 12, 14; and Mark 16:17): They were always “known languages of the world”, and unbelieving Jews were in view as a sign: Acts 2 tongues are given to validate Peter’s message–Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 10 confirms Gentile salvation which Jews would otherwise reject. Acts 19 validates the conversion of some of John’s disciples. In 1 Corinthians 12-14, they signify Messianic fulfillment to unbelieving Jews attending services at Corinth. Please listen my friend. Nowhere does the Bible state that speaking in tongues is a test of salvation or sanctification as maintained by some groups. While the gospel of John was written specifically to show people how to be saved (John 20:30-31) not one mention of tongues. And while God surely wants all Christians to be spiritually mature, 1 Cor. 12:29-30 clearly implies that not all will speak in tongues. To spin the purpose of tongues in another direction is disingenuous, or worse devious.

The Corinthian Chaos

It’s a bit ironic. Much of what we see passing for spirituality in the church today has been adopted from the antics of the most carnal church in the New Testament: the Corinthians. Paul the converted Rabbi, had become an apostle, missionary, evangelist-church planter preaching and teaching multitudes of Gentiles in multicultural settings (Rom. 11:13).

On his Second Missionary Journey all his skills and gifts were tested when he landed in Corinth for a year and one half. It was the capital of the Greek province of Achaia, located on a narrow isthmus 50 miles west of Athens, and served as the major sea trade route between Asia and Italy. By the time Paul penned his first letter to the church, Corinth was a cosmopolitan melting pot for some 400,000 diverse residents. The Jews had captured the banking industry from the heathen priests which of course brought about a constant influx of Jews into the city where tongues, the sign to unbelieving Jews, were necessary and used extensively to prove God was moving in the Gentile community.

Occult Practices and Ecstatic Utterances

The confusion about tongues in Corinth is easy to understand when you analyze their indigenous make-up. Besides Greeks and Jews, people of all nationalities, languages and dialects lived there or passed through. As a result, Corinth was religiously pluralistic and steeped in idolatry (1 Cor. 12:2) which ultimately morphed into an occult mecca where soothsayers, diviners, and spiritists filled the streets along with 1000 temple prostitutes who facilitated wild orgies at the altar of the sex goddess Aphrodite.

Unintelligible prayer “tongues” was common in the Corinthian community but it is not orthodox or Christian. It is a desperately faulty ruse built upon one verse-1 Cor. 14:14- by practitioners that stubbornly ignore its lack of Scriptural support and occult link. Aside from heretics like Montanus, it was not seen in church until the 1900’s (order New Age Charismatic Corruption).

When the gift of speaking in previously unlearned languages surfaced in Corinth, the reference point for those who heard it was tied to idolatry in two ways: To those who were natives of the area, it sounded like the same old gibberish they heard from occult worshipers at the altar of Aphrodite’s temple. But to Gentile visitors who were ignorant or unsaved it appeared as the ranting of rogue madmen (1 Cor. 14:23). So, in order to maintain authenticity and edification God instituted the gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Cor 12:10, 30; 14:5, 13, 26-28). Let me illustrate.

Let’s suppose you speak French and attend a multi-cultural Jewish-Gentile fellowship. One morning a gentleman across the aisle begins to preach in German which to you sounds like “gibberish.” However, if someone in the congregation can translate that German into French, you will be edified (1 Cor. 14:5, 13)

Conclusion

The gift of tongues is the miraculous ability to preach the gospel in a specific language and dialect previously unknown by the speaker (Acts 2:11). Corinth was the only church that had a problem with it. As you can see, their confusion stemmed from their multicultural worship and long history of occult experiences. Those today claiming that ecstatic utterances are the same tongues we find in the Bible are doing so at the expense of sound exegesis and a long history of orthodox truth. What passes for tongues, interpretation of tongues and the word of knowledge today is linked to soothsaying and divining in Israel (Deut. 18:14). When tongues are studied in context utilizing the recognized laws of hermeneutics and spiritual wisdom, we believe the serious student of Scripture will quickly see how real Biblical tongues explains itself.

 

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Shamanism in the Church

October 16, 2016 Leave a comment

As demonstrated by native American culture and indigenous people groups worldwide, animal worship has long been a means of contacting and interacting with deceiving spirits. Equally pleased to appear in human or animal form, they often take willing participants on exciting out-of-body experiences or communicate “secret knowledge.”

Modern shamans (who are as apt to wear suits as loin cloths) market seminars where everyday people can “encounter” their personal “power animal.” In public schools, children are encouraged to use their “imagination” and “dreams” for astral travel. Occult relaxation and visualization techniques are reinforced by literature such as the Harry Potter books and Scholastic’s “Animorphs” series, in which hero-children transform into creatures with special powers and abilities.

Fictionalized in popular games and movies, these techniques are based on ancient occult practices that, once widely banned, now flourish virtually unchecked. According to answers.com, “a familiar spirit…obeys a witch, conjurer, or other users of the supernatural, and serves and helps that person….If they look like ordinary animals, they can be used to spy….These spirits [also]…inspire artists and writers.”

Many new age writers and occult practitioners have been assisted or encouraged by animals they perceive as “familiars.” As Patrick Ryan, author of The Eagle’s Call: A Journey of Body, Mind, and Spirit recounts,

When I was writing this book…an eagle often circled the building in which I lived, visiting many times….When I was…doubting my direction, a coyote also came to visit….Across the street, it looked toward me as if encouraging me on….So, led by the spirit of coyote, eagle and the many other guides of the universe, I was able to complete this tale. Its primary message is about following the call of my body, mind and spirit.

Romans 1:18-32 gives a clear account of man’s “call of his body and mind”-a rejection of God in favor of nature worship: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Rom 1:22-23).

Perhaps in part due to the reverence of “animal spirits” by ancient pagan cultures, animals continue to play a significant symbolic role in our world today. School and professional sports teams adopt animal names such as the panthers, tigers, lions, bears, wolves, or eagles-based on popular significance of animal traits. Consumers even purchase “animal” car models and athletic shoes marketed for their perceived attributes of speed and power.

So, what’s the fuss? Is animal symbology inherently evil? No, even Scripture makes generous use of animals as symbols-from love poems in The Song of Songs to comforting analogies of the Lord: “hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Ps 17:8b) et al.

Take the eagle, for example. Revered as a national symbol by various countries, Scripture makes several positive references to the eagle. One of the most popular verses cited for encouragement is “they shall mount up with wings like eagles…” (Is 40:31). Many are comforted by the eagle as a symbol of patriotism and American heritage (which is often equated with Christianity). Fewer though, take note of passages that portray the eagle in a negative light, or realize that the eagle doubles as a Masonic symbol of the phoenix, representing “rebirth through fire” in occult mythology.

In addition to its being an “unclean” animal, Scripture also contains a number of negative references to the eagle (“They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (Job 9:26). Obadiah even contains a reference to Edom as an eagle, apparently as a type of Lucifer: “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord” (Ob 1:3-4).

So why do the neo-prophets and apostles of today use the eagle as a symbol of choice? Many “prophetic” ministries associate eagles with tremendous natural vision and observable qualities of “rising above;” but like shamans and seers-ancient and modern-they err in assigning to eagles spiritual qualities. An occult website declares the eagle’s role is that of an “illuminating force” that rises on the east wind, whose gift is that of “seeing hidden spiritual truths” and “whose strength is by its connection to spirit guides.” The website advises: “One who flies with the Eagle has a responsibility…to operate from Higher Intent, to develop the latent abilities of Illumination, and then freely share this Illumination with Others.” In other words, a seer who channels the eagle is to “impart” this knowledge and “gifting” to others.

A number of prominent ministries use the eagle as a corporate symbol, and most of these do so quite innocently. But research into the testimony of a young prophetess associated with C. Peter Wagner’s self-titled New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) raises great concern. (The NAR, a blended resurrection of several modern heresies-kingom-dominionism, manifest sons of God, new breed, et al.-is spreading like wildfire through a growing number of charismatic and evangelical churches.) Here is just one example of cause for alarm:

Sharnael Wolverton…was called to the ministry at an early age….During [an] incredible period of seeking intimacy with [God] she encountered many dreams, visions, visitations and divine appointments leading to the birthing of Swiftfire Ministries….One divine appointment…was with Bob Jones, who introduced her to a golden eagle named “Swift.” “Swift is sent forth to those in order to carry the purposes of God swiftly.” Another encounter was with Patricia King of Extreme Prophetic, who had also been introduced to Swift.

This admission by a professing Christian “minister” is nothing short of astounding! Aside from this startling testimony, most followers of these seers (and even skeptics) would not think twice about the recurring “eagle” motif on the websites of Sharnael Wolverton (swiftfire.org), Bob Jones (bobjones.org/itinerary), and Patricia King (extremeprophetic.com). But with the knowledge that Bob Jones (a proven false prophet who was removed from ministry in 1991 for sexual misconduct) “introduced” at least two prominent neo-apostolic women to a demonic entity that manifests as an eagle (whom all three know as Swift) the “birds of a feather” mascots they share take on far greater significance.

Other “apostolic-prophetic” leaders who often teach with or promote Bob Jones also use the symbol of an eagle in their ministry logo: Paul Keith Davis, Rick Joyner, Bobby Conner, Cindy Jacobs, and others. Does this mean they also have the spirit of Swift to help them “carry out the purposes of God?” Not necessarily-but the connection between “eagle spirits,” shamans, and today’s neo-prophetic seers is unmistakable. This is the New Spirituality.

Though his mystical teaching remains unchanged, none of Jones’ co-ministers or spiritual offspring seem to mind that his misconduct involved giving private “hands-on” readings to young women-disrobed to “stand naked before the Lord”-or that he was rebuked for other occultish practices. Ironically, he is revered as a spiritual grandfather among today’s rising stars of the Third Wave (neo-apostolic) movement, promoted largely by the much-hyped pseudo-prophetic website, “The Elijah List.”

But, Jones is in good company. Many of his disciples, as well as the “apostles” and “prophets” who endorse or teach with him, claim to have met and talked with angels, with the Lord, and with saints of the past (the forbidden practice of necromancy); and, they all take great pride in teaching others how to have angelic encounters and “third heaven visions.”

Undoubtedly believing they are working divine signs and wonders, could they instead be “deceived and deceiving others” (2 Tim 3:13)? As God’s word declares, “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” (Deut 18:10-11). [1]

[1] By Mark Dinsmore, copied from http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2682

The Strange Fire of Nadab and Abihu

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD (Numbers 26:61).  The account of Aaron’s two apostate sons serve for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1 Corinthians 10:11). 

            Looks are deceiving. All that passes for worship is not from God; neither are those partaking in it. To look at Aaron’s sons, you’d never know the evil lurking behind their otherwise religious façade. Nadab (generous, giving) and Abihu (Yahweh is my Father) were priests by birth who grew up in a privileged home as sons of ministry service. Along with Moses, the 70 elders of Israel, and their father Aaron, these two boys experienced the presence of God as few ever have (Exo_24:1) and were called and consecrated for priestly ministry as few ever are. They received personally specific instructions on anointing all that was holy, presenting offerings to God, burning incense, and maintaining God’s holy and perpetual fire (Ex 29-30). And yet, their evil heart one day caused them to desecrate the eternal flame by offering a fire of worship that dishonored the Spirit of God. And while one might muse- as many do today- that all fire used in worship is holy fire- the grievousness of this act will become evident once I explain the significance of divine fire and how it’s being misused in churches around the world today disguised as anointing. 

Defining Fire

Fire is represented as the symbol of Jehovah’s presence and the instrument of his power, in the way either of approval or of destruction. Exo_3:2; Exo_14:19; etc. There could not be a better symbol for Jehovah than this of fire, it being immaterial, mysterious, but visible, warming, cheering, comforting, but also terrible and consuming. Parallel with this application of fire and with its symbolical meaning are to be noted the similar use for sacrificial purposes and the respect paid to it, or to the heavenly bodies as symbols of deity, which prevailed among so many nations of antiquity, and of which the traces are not even now extinct; for example, the Sabean and Magian systems of worship (groves, images, etc. Isa_27:9). Fire for sacred purposes obtained elsewhere than from the altar was called “strange fire,” and for the use of such Nadab and Abihu were punished with death by fire from God. Lev_10:1-2; Num_3:4; Num_26:61. (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)

The Fire God Ordained

Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. Exodus 30:37  The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out (Leviticus 6:13).

Old Scofield Reference Bible: [1]

Fire is essentially a symbol of God’s holiness. As such it expresses God in three ways:

  1. In judgment upon that which His holiness utterly condemns (for example) (Gen_19:24); (Mar_9:43-48); (Rev_20:15).

 

  1. In the manifestation of Himself, and of that which He approves (Exo_3:2); (1Pe_1:7); (Exo_13:21); and …

 

  1. In purification (e.g) (1Co_3:12-14); (Mal_3:2); (Mal_3:3). So, in Leviticus, the fire which only manifests the sweet savour of the burnt-, meal-, and peace-offerings, wholly consumes the sin-offering. 

The Strange Fire of Worship Nadab and Abihu Offered 

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire [1] before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  (2)  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD  (Lev 10:1-2).

Compare (Lev_10:1-3); two prohibitions was given concerning worship:

(1) No “strange” incense [2] is to be offered. This speaks of simulated or purely formal worship.

(2) No “strange” fire was permitted. This refers to the excitation of “religious” feelings by merely sensuous means, and to the substitution for devotion to Christ of any other devotion, as to religious causes, or sects.

In essence, Nadab and Abihu substituted the presence of God represented by God’s fire- apparently in the spirit of drunkenness– by rejecting God’s fire from the perpetual altar flame (Lev. 6:13; Lev. 10:1-10) and replacing it with a manifestation of their own. As a result of offering strange- unauthorized- fire, [2] God struck them dead with the very fire they refused to include in their worship service.

Strange Fire in Churches Today

Seducing spirits are everywhere. They look good on the outside, but their hearts are filled with deception. Strange fire today is being offered under the guise of “new moves of God” by false apostles and prophets  claiming an “anointing” often manifest through a spirit of drunkenness. As I’ve disclosed in my my trilogy of books [3], these are the last days where evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).

Please hear me beloved friend: When the fire of God falls on these pernicious “prophets”- as it one day will- you do not want to be standing anywhere near them.

[1] The word strange implies an act of spiritual adultery. The Hebrew word is zoor. Strong’s offers this: A primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery.

[2] At least two problems here: Men kindled it, and God hadn’t authorized it.

[3] Charismatic Seed of Corruption. Last Days False Prophets, Latter Rain Manifest Sons of God Heresy

[1] We have these Old Scofield Study Bibles in bonded leather, KJV, available for a gift to PMI of $30 to help us minister to you and others. Please remember, when you order from us, you help support us. Stamps are welcome.

[2] Incense is a type of prayer and while I agree with the broader implication Dr. Scofield makes here, I believe there’s a greater application for strange incense involving Charismatics stubbornly insist on offering the strange incense of ecstatic gibberish when they should be rendering intelligible devotion to our Holy Lord.

Understanding the End Times Signs and the Escalating Wickedness of the World

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston 

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1). It is painfully obvious the world is in a woeful tailspin of wickedness. The rise of ISIS, and the influx into America of Ebola carriers has reminded us just how perilous these times really are. That being said, those of us immersed in the Word of God have much to rejoice over because we have seen this coming for many years. The mystery of iniquity predicted by Paul (2 Thess. 2:7) has now spawned a new breed of post-Christian hedonists raised in a culture where the Bible has been replaced by rights usurping righteousness. This is now evident on the three major arenas confronting all of us: the social front where wickedness is represented as a right; the political front that perpetrates societies’ godlessness through reprehensible legislative acts; and the religious front that is so spiritually anemic it no longer challenges the other two fronts.

We have, as a result, found ourselves ensnared by pernicious preachers (2 Pet. 2:2) winking at political perverts whose depraved lifestyles are not even in question so long as they promise to give them things. Sadly this once Christian nation which was unapologetically founded upon the unchanging truth contained in the Word of God (a monument reading expedition to Washington, DC will quickly convince you) has long since given way to the rogues of relativism who passed laws making evil good, and good evil (Isa. 5:20). What may be even more shocking, practices God deemed abominable in Leviticus 18 are today given the protected status of rights with special protection from slander from the cult of political correctness. For world travelers who even silently applaud attacks against righteousness, this signals the final gasp of godliness which breathes life into the very thing that brought God’s judgment against Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6). For Christians steeped in the Scriptures, there is a striking paradox we must not ignore: the gloom heralds the Groom! The Lord Jesus Christ can return any moment to snatch out His bride (the church) from the earth (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18) thereafter ushering in the 7 year tribulation which is arguably the worst period in the history of the world (Isa. 24; Joel 2; Obad; Dan. 7-12; Rev. 6-19). God the Spirit has precisely documented all these end times events in the Bible as signs of His Second Coming aka the Revelation to set up His Millennial Kingdom in Jerusalem.

May I suggest that you develop a depth of understanding NT end times prophecies by studying the background for them in the Old Testament via the 4 Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel), and the 12 Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).

The following list provides a brief overview of several (not all) Last Day’s NT passages. These all describe the circumstances surrounding Christ’s return to Jerusalem after the tribulation to set up His Kingdom (Matt. 24-25). Bear in mind, the rapture occurs at least 7 years prior to the Revelation which these signs all herald. My comments added to Scripture are in [brackets].

Matthew 24 (33 AD) (See also Mark 13 and Luke 21)

4-5- deceivers and deception [political, social, and religious]

6-7- unrest, war, fear, [look to the Middle East with particular interest] famines, pestilences [epidemics], earthquakes

9-10- growing anti-Semitism

11, 24- false prophets [not only in the world but in the end times church] 2

12- iniquity shall abound, love waxing cold [what is more cold hearted than a mother killing her unborn child- or a husband (Scott Pederson) killing his pregnant wife and baby?]

21- unprecedented tribulation (including terrorism)

24- Antichrist indoctrination thru appearance and acceptance of signs and wonders “ministries”

2 Thessalonians 2 (54 AD)

3- falling away [Bible and Christianity under attack; international apostasy]

4- deification of a man [this blasphemy maintained by New Age and Charismatic heretics today]

7- mystery of iniquity [unprecedented spread of legalized promiscuity and perversion]

9- signs and lying wonders [Charismatics and other occultists at the forefront. This deception ultimately to allegiance to Antichrist and the assemblage at Armageddon- Rev. 16:14]

10-12- deceivableness of unrighteousness [those who reject the truth will buy into the final lie and eternal damnation 

1 Tim 4 (65 AD)

1- many who depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (rise in cult and occult interest,

2- lying hypocrites who have no morals, no feelings, and no conscience (elected and assisted by ruthless politicians in America and around the world)

3- Forbidding to marry (the Roman Catholic church led with this restrictive heresy around the 13th century AD), and commanding to abstain from meats (P.E.T.A.)2 You can order our booklet LAST DAYS False Prophets for a full discussion.

2 Timothy 3 (66 AD)

1- perilous times (terrorism) fills men’s hearts with fear today as does a falling stock market

2-5 men shall be lovers of their own selves (rise of pornography, homosexuality, hedonism, obesity) covetous,

boasters, proud, blasphemers (pay attention to many “ministries” today), disobedient to parents (family unit has all but disintegrated), without natural affection (abortion, sodomy), truce breakers, false accusers or malicious gossips (godless political liberals are well schooled in these tactics) incontinent or without self-control (alcohol and drug abuse, obesity), fierce or brutal (terrorism, husbands killing wives and children, “mercy” killings in nursing homes, etc), despisers of those that are good (the ACLU, the NY Times, LA Times, etc and the nightly news bear ample witness to this),  treacherous traitors (all those who legislate against America’s Christian heritage and love for Israel), high-minded or conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (notice how many school sports events are now scheduled on Sunday), having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof

13- deceivers bringing deception will be worldwide 

2 Timothy 4 (66 AD)

3- ear tickling spiritual rebels who lust after things and those who promise they can have them (turn on “Christian” television and count the carnival barkers preaching “formula faith.” Prosperity and “the good life now” are topics of best selling subjects at most Christian book stores promoted by the followers of Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and others)

4- And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (much of what is being taught on “Christian” television and radio today is religious ruse. The only way you can discern the fake is to know what is real. That comes from studying God’s Word every day of your life. Believe me, you won’t learn it sitting in front of the boob tube. You need to mine for these treasures! I have for years studied Clarence Larkin, CI Scofield, LS Chafer, John Walvoord, Harold Willmington, Noah Hutchings, Jack Van Impe, JR Church, Hal Lindsey, etc. These men are sound)

2 Peter 2-3 (66 AD)

1- false prophets/teachers and blasphemous Christ deniers run rampant in the church today (“Christian” television is filled with hucksters predicting things that don’t come true, yet are not held accountable [Deut. 18:20-22]. Order our booklet LAST DAYS False Prophets for a jaw-dropping expose on these deceivers)

2-3- way of truth is evil spoken of (by those on the outside who watch the godlessness, gluttony, and greed of so called Christian leaders flaunting their covetous lifestyles which they extract in the name of prosperity from those they have duped); also includes the perversion of political correctness

3:3- scoffers walking in their lusts (repeats much of what has been discussed previously here)

Jude (66 AD)

3- an urgent plea to contend for the faith by revisiting our Biblical roots (Much of what is happening in the name of Jesus these days has absolutely no connection to orthodoxy)

4- condemned men creep into churches proclaiming blasphemous and lascivious doctrines denigrating the Lord

Jesus Christ (one in particular is by Copeland who claims Christ, went to Hell in sin and had to be “born-again”)

7- resurgence of homosexuality

8-13- godless, filthy, brutishly deceptive men disguised as Christians

18-19- mockers living lustful lifestyles, devoid of the Spirit

Rev 11-19 (96 AD)

Rise and unprecedented spread of the Beast of Islam (carefully study Daniel 7-12; Revelation 11-19)

In view of the above facts we are wise to heed the following exhortations from the Scriptures: But the end of all things is a hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (1 Peter 4:7). He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20). Those who still do not know the Lord Jesus as their own personal Saviour need to realize that now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Tomorrow may be too late.

 

Signs of the End Times Seduction

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (Mark 13:22; 1 Timothy 4:1)

Miracle workers- so called- will be the vehicles used in the last days to deceive the world- including professing Christians. The Bible is clear about an end times deception and gives exact details surrounding it as well as the personality traits of those promoting it. So why are so many being swept away in it?

Confusion results from failing to distinguish between a miracle working God, and men with sign gifts performing miracles on behalf of God. Those of us who study Scripture from a dispensational [1] perspective are often charged with limiting God by putting Him in a box. Let me set the record straight: from Genesis to Revelation the Lord presents Himself as the Sovereign Omnipotent miracle worker Who can do anything, any time He chooses. That being said, when we study how and why He used signs and wonders throughout history, we can’t help but notice a vast difference between His original intention and how they’re used today. In the Bible, signs and wonders serve one of three purposes: [2]

·         God used signs and wonders to confirm His message and His messengers

·         God used signs and wonders to transition from the Old to the New Covenant

·         God will use signs and wonders in the last days to deceive the world

Since two of the three have already been accomplished, that leaves only one final and ultimate purpose left which we believe is happening all around us.

Deception thrives on the rejection of truth: (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)  (10)  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  (11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  (12)  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (see Rom. 1:18-32).

God’s Word (66 Books of the Bible) is to be accepted by faith alone (Rom. 10:17; 2 Cor. 5:7). Those who demand signs as confirmation are essentially rejecting Him and His truth (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 2:15). (Matthew 16:4)  A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.  (John 4:48) Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

Satan is the master deceiver: (Revelation 12:9)  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Satan’s servants are grievous wolves disguised as evangelists, pastors and Bible teachers: (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

(15)  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (see Matt. 7:22-23; Acts 20:28-30). 

Scripture warns of a worldwide deception in the Last Days: [commentary is mine]

Jesus warned of a coming deception 4 times in Matthew 24, pointing out that it would feature signs and wonders purposely designed to fool God’s people: (Matthew 24:24)  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. [3]

Paul warned the deception would intensify over time, be a direct departure from orthodoxy, [4] and would involve evil men with a Satan inspired message: (2 Timothy 3:13)  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (1 Timothy 4:1)  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

Peter warned the deception would arise from within the church involving failed predictions, damnable heresies, and the gospel of prosperity: (2 Peter 2:1-3)  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 [Copeland claims Jesus had to be born again in Hell; Latter Rainists are now claiming they are little Christs] that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2)  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth [remember what happens to those who reject God’s truth] shall be evil spoken of.  (3)  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you [this is clearly the prosperity gospel]. . .

These deceivers [5] using signs and wonders can only delude those who have rejected God’s truth: (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  (9)  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  (10)  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  (11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  (12)  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Since God’s purposes of confirming His messengers and His message was completed at the turn of the first century with the finalization of the 66 Book canon of Scripture, the ultimate purpose of the Last Days signs and wonders movement is to draw men and women away from Christ and into international worship of Satan’s son, the Antichrist:  (Revelation 13:14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Do you know the real Truth- Jesus Christ? Are you saved from the wrath to come?

First, believe that you are a Hell-bound sinner that is totally unacceptable to God in your present condition: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

Second, believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins so you could be acceptable to God through Him:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Third, believe that Jesus Christ will save you if you will simply believe in Him with your whole heart and call on His name right now: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation . . . For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

[1] In its simplest form, if you attended worship service the past Lord’s Day without taking a sacrificial Lamb with you, you are a dispensationalist.

[2] For a more in depth study, please order our tract: Signs and Wonders

[3] I see this warning at work whenever I receive an angry letter denouncing my salvation or spirituality.

[4] There is much heresy in the signs and wonders movement covered in our tracts.

[5] There are only two options to describe these deceivers: they are passively delusional, or they are purposely deceptive. Frankly, we may not know the truth until Christ judges them.

THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

September 13, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Many people [1] have questions about a relatively new movement which teaches that believers should speak in tongues, be baptized in the Holy Ghost, and exercise the nine spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.  A small minority of Protestant churches have been associated with the modern Pentecostal Movement, beginning with the “Catholic Apostolic Church” led by Edward Irving about 1830 and more recently in what is known as the “Azusa Street Revival” [2]in southern California.  People from mainline Protestant churches and Roman Catholic churches have been involved with this movement since the 1950’s.

NAME AND EMPHASIS

The Charismatic Movement gets its name from the Greek word charisma which means “a gift of grace; a favor which one receives without any merit of his own.”  The plural of this word, charismata is the technical word for spiritual gifts indicating the power of divine grace operating in them for some specific service.  The Bible teaches that every Christian has some spiritual gift with which to serve the Lord (1 Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12:3-8).

The Charismatic Movement has a strong emphasis on these gifts, especially the gift of tongues which some feel is the “sign” or indication that a person has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Mk. 16:17,18).  A small minority teach that a person is not really saved unless he has a baptism in the Spirit and speaks in tongues.  The majority of evangelical believers are not in agreement with this movement because of its over-emphasis on subjective experience, the sign gifts, and some doctrine’s regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

It seems that the Charismatic Movement has become an established phenomenon and includes evangelicals, liberals, and Roman Catholics.  It has become a “movement” somewhat like the “holiness movement” which involves a doctrinal emphasis held by some believers and not by others.  Most movements have a strong emphasis of some kind which tends to ignore other doctrines.

One will find that this movement is “experience” oriented, and anyone having this experience becomes a part of the movement regardless of his theological position.  People differ in their emotional make-up and some are more prone to have an “experience” than others.  The world has seen some strange experiences such as “swooning” at concerts by popular musicians and at rock  concerts.  Many young people have had unusual experiences because of involvement in the drug culture. People with little spiritual knowledge and discernment have had an experience of some kind in a religious setting which may not have been from God.  The Bible clearly teaches that our salvation depends on faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, not on some indefinable “experience” (Jn. 6:28,29; 14:6).

DANGERS RESULTING FROM DIFFERING DOCTRINES

A serious problem of the Charismatic Movement is its emphasis on the gift of prophecy which involves an extra-Biblical revelation in contrast to the Bible teaching that the Word of God is complete as we now have it (Rev. 22:18,19).  Some real difficulties can develop when people give more emphasis and attention to these “prophecies” than to the Word of God. Why bother to take the time and effort to study the Bible when a fellow Christian has a message directly from God?

A problem has arisen over leadership and authority when several people claim to  have a prophecy or message from God. Who is right when “revelations” are contradictory?  Who leads the assembly when all claim direct messages from God.

The Charismatic Movement also places great emphasis on healing and miracles and looks upon such an experience as a basis for validating a person’s message or practice.  If a person has had a supernatural healing, he will often be accepted as a spokesman in the Charismatic Movement.  The Bible warns that Satan is transformed into an angel of light that he might more effectively deceive God’s people (2 Cor. 11:13-15).  Satan has power to perform miracles (2 Thess. 2:9,10) and will, deceive many when the coming antichrist will perform miracles by the power of the devil (Rev. 13:2-15). 

THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Charismatic Movement differs with most evangelical Bible teachers on the doctrine regarding the work of the Holy Spirit. Charismatics teach that believers do not receive the Holy Spirit until they have a “baptism” experience which is usually accompanied by speaking in tongues and which occurs sometime after a person receives Christ as Savior.  Most evangelical scholars agree that all believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit from the time of salvation (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19,20); that they are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13,14; 2 Cor. 1:21,22); and that they are baptized in the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-27).  However, not all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit which gives power for service (Acts 4:31-33; Eph. 5:18). Most Charismatics look upon the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the filling with the Spirit as one and the same.

SPIRITUAL GIFTS RESTORED TODAY?

This is a question which has concerned many of God’s people as they evaluate the Charismatic Movement which teaches that the spectacular gifts of the Holy Spirit are being restored in this generation.  First of all, God is sovereign in the bestowal and/or withdrawal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7,11; 1 Sam. 16:1).  We also would point out that three specific gifts of the Holy Spirit were not to be permanent (1 Corinth. 13:8-13).  The difference of conviction among God’s people is over the meaning of the word “perfect” in verse 10 of this passage.  Some believe that this refers to the completion of the Word of God and that the gifts were in operation until the canon of Scripture was completed in around 95ad with the Revelation.

God’s written revelation was finished (Heb. 2:1-4; Rev. 22: 18,19).  Others believe the word “perfect” has reference to the coming of Jesus Christ when these gifts will no longer be given. Since the various gifts of the Holy Spirit are for edification of believers in the church, it would seem that there would no longer be the need for any gift of the Holy Spirit after our Lord returns and we will then be in His likeness -(1 Jn. 3:1,2; 1 Cor. 15:35-57; Phil. 3:20,21).

Others point out that in this passage Paul is contrasting spiritual childhood with spiritual maturity (“that which is perfect”).  During childhood there is a need for a specific type of instruction limited to the understanding of a child, but when a person becomes mature, he will put away childish things.  The examples of the sign gifts are found in the early days of the church during the spiritual immaturity of believers. However, with spiritual maturity and the completion of the written revelation in Scripture, there was no more need for sign gifts.

EVALUATION OF THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

A number of letters have been written to us by people in the Charismatic Movement and the majority of them were gracious and kind.  I believe this would indicate the ministry of baptism of the Holy Spirit uniting believers into the body of Christ with a mutual care and concern for one another ..(I Cor. 12:12-27). It is also instructive to notice that the apostle Paul wrote his great treatise on love in this same context (1 Cor. 13). Many who have written to us have glorified speaking in tongues as the very acme of Christian experience.

I do not believe this would be in keeping with the emphasis placed on this gift by the*apostle Paul.  Somehow, people today claim more for this gift than it accomplished for the Corinthians.  The apostle Paul recognized that this church was “enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge” (1 Cor. 1:5), indicating, that they had an abundance of spiritual gifts.  However, this was a carnal church torn by strife and division (1 Cor. 3:1-8) in which they went to law with other believers before the unsaved (1 Cor. 6:1-8); and were guilty of drunkenness and other disorders at the Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 11:17-22).  In other words, the spiritual gifts did not produce spiritual maturity and godly living as some seem to claim.

In an extensive study of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for a seminary thesis, there was found an interesting statement by one of the early church fathers.  He said that the changed life of believers in the fruit of the Spirit was of more value in convincing the heathen of the truth of the Gospel than the spectacular gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Some pagan religions produced similar experiences but could not duplicate the changed lives of believers (2 Cor. 5:17). The Radio Bible Class is not in agreement with the Charismatic Movement and its strong emphasis on subjective experience and the gift of tongues.  The Bible gives the proper balance and sequence when it teaches that sound doctrine precedes experience.

In his lengthy discussion of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14, the apostle Paul does not encourage the use of this gift, but rather demonstrates the limited value of tongues compared to the gift of prophecy.  There is no scriptural example or command for believers to seek the gift of tongues.

[1] This is a paper originally produced by the counseling department of Radio Bible Class.

[2] Please send for our booklet The New Age Charismatic Seed of Corruption from PMI.

Azusa Street and Modern Pentecostalism

September 10, 2016 Leave a comment


Dr. Mike Johnston

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

Kind produces after kind. Therefore, evil seed never produces good fruit. Keep this in mind as you read this tract. While all neo-Montanists- aka Pentecostals and Charismatics- proudly claim the Azusa Street Revival as the birth of their movement, very few of them know it was born from occult practitioners.

The recognized founder of modern Pentecostalism was a gibberish speaking sodomite  named Charles Parham. Parham had a contemporary named W. J. Seymour to whom he taught a new theology of “spirit baptism, tongues, and accompanying manifestations.” Armed with this strange information, Seymour haphazardly launched the Azusa Street Revival in the spring of 1906 in a former stable in downtown Los Angeles.

 

Attendance at these events grew and soon rose to 1,000 or more a night as curious men and women sought the ecstatic experiences in Seymour’s meetings. Attendees included spiritualists, hypnotists, and mediums from the L.A. occult community who gladly added séances and trances to the chaotic services. [1] Non partisan historians reveal that the reason Azusa Street attracted the attention of occultists wasn’t that God was present in the movement, but the fact that He was NOT! As word spread of the bizarre meetings, well known fundamentalists began to weigh in. R.A. Torrey declared that the new Pentecostal movement was “emphatically not of God, pointing out that it was founded by a Sodomite.” G. Campbell Morgan called it “the last vomit of Satan.” H. A. Ironside labeled it “disgusting . . . delusions and insanities. Pandemonium’s where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes (were causing a) heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity.” Clarence Larkin wrote:  “But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement’s of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in ‘Perilous Times,’ and that all about us are ‘Seducing Spirits,’ and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray.” At some point, even Seymour himself became a bit troubled, lamenting that the weird manifestations seemed to have provided an open door for witches and spiritualists. [2] In lieu of that, he pleaded with his mentor Parham to come to Azusa to help him distinguish which manifestations were of God and which were not. When Parham [3] arrived, he exposed the meetings as satanic which ultimately caused him to part ways with Seymour.

 

Nothing lasts forever and by 1913 divisions within the camp were so great splinter groups of Pentecostals were formed that are still infecting us today: The Church of God in Christ  (COGIC) formed in 1907; The Assemblies of God formed in 1914; The United Pentecostal Church (UPCI) formed in 1914; The Pentecostal Church of God formed in 1919 at the Sharon Bible school which later became the area of the Latter Rain in 1948 through William Branham’s [4] “anointing” (another man who denied the pre-existence of the Son of God and the Tri-unity of God).


Pentecostal Leaven

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). The far reaching impact of Parham and Seymour’s leaven can be seen nightly on “Christian” television. While most of the Pentecostal and Charismatic teachers still maintain the original heresies, their depraved teachings have sunk to new depths of unorthodoxy that Parham and Seymour both would no doubt recoil from.

 

False prophet Kenneth Copeland [5] claims Jesus never asserted His deity, and that He died spiritually and had to be born again. Add to that the fact that Copeland also completely distorts God’s nature and man’s by assigning deity to Adam: “Adam was just as much the Son of God as Jesus, “God’s reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself.” Adam was as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus when he came to earth;  Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh.” Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg as “new truth” is allegedly being revealed to Charismatics claiming they’ve held personal conversations with the Lord or His angels. As I close this section it’s important to note that all the occult manifestations Seymour was terrified of, have now risen to become desirable manifestations of the spirit expected to be present in the life of God’s most “anointed” servants.

 

Last Days Deceivers

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect  (Mark 13:22). When Shirley Maclaine goes public with “I am God, I am God!” the church rightly proclaims her a sign of the end times.

 

Yet when well known “Christian” leaders say the same thing, we smile and applaud their heresies as new light. When are we going to wake up and try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1)?

 

  • 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)
  • 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: “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!” (“Our Position In Christ”, tape # AO31190-1). “You are a little god on earth running around”. (“Praise-a-thon” broadcast on TBN, November, 1990).

 

Please, please, listen. These “mini messiah’s” appear nightly on “Christian” television bragging about “new moves” of God that simply cannot be supported by Scripture. They are provably Azusa Street false prophets and teachers; deceptive, deadly, and dangerous. If you can’t see them for what they really are, it is because you too have been deceived (2 Cor. 11:3).

 

Now you might try apologizing for them by saying: “Well you just don’t understand them or what they really meant.” Well, let’s cut to the chase with Someone who knows full well, the Lord Jesus:

 

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ . . . go ye not therefore after them (Luke 21:8).

 

It’s time for us to try the spirits (1 John 4:1) and warn the saints: The seed from the Azusa Street Revival has produced a forest of bad trees and rotten fruit- avoid it at all costs.

[1] The Holiness Pentecostal Movement in the United States’ by Vinson Synan. Grand Rapids. 1971.

[2] Dictionary of P & C Movements.

[3] Pentecostal’s father Charles Parham lost all credibility when arrested in Texas in 1907 and charged with sodomy.

[4] Write for info on Occultist William Branham.

[5] For more info, write for our tract on the Heresies of Kenneth Copeland.

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