Rabu, 24 September 2008
Dear friends and partners in the Kingdom ministry,
Please pray for our coming meetings.
Thailand 22/9 to 27/9/2008 [I am travelling alone]
23rd and 24th Sept will fellowship with like minded pastors.
Sep 25: 09.00-09.30 Praise and worship
09.30-12.30 Seminar End time
19.00-19.30 Praise and Worship
19.30-21.00 Revival Salt and Light
Sep 26: 09.00-09.30 Praise and worship
09.30-12.30 Seminar2 End Time
19.30-21.00 Revival2 Unity
Europe 1/11/2008 to 30/12/2008 [travelling together with Vijaya]
9/11 to 13/11/2008 ministry at Luton Grace Fellwoship –Luton
15/11 to 16/11/2008 ministry at Agape church –Luton
Please pray for more doors of God to open up.
Pray that the Word of God will be taught and preached without hindrance.
Pray for journey mercy as we travel to and fro in between cities and towns.
Pray for God’s provision, protection and the power of God to flow like a river refreshing many.
In His Majesty’s Service
Chris and Vijaya.k
Those who preach
September 14, 2008
In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach
the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
-- 1 Corinthians 9:14
One of the great tragedies of our modern world is that while
some who preach and teach the gospel are charlatans and cheats, the
vast majority of God's servants work just barely scraping by
financially. Why not find some underpaid and forgotten Kingdom
servant and share a little of the blessings God has given you?
Holy Father, I thank you for your servants who share your
message all over the world. Father, I want to especially thank you
for ___ and I ask you that this person will be blessed with good
health, a faithful and loving family, and the proper support to do
your work in a way worthy of your cause. Please use me to bless and
encourage this minister of your grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Rabu, 17 September 2008
Against False Prophets
The Testimony of Jesus Christ is Spirit of Prophecy
Pastors’ and Leaders’ Meeting (23 October 2004)
By Art Katz
Prayer: So precious God, what can we add to the prayer that has been prayed? If You’ll only
fulfil that prayer, You’ll not only have a whimper of complaint from me. So let it be, Lord, that
it be an extraordinary statement not calculated for our titillation but for our repentance, for
bringing down that You might bring up. Stab us my God with truth, things as You see and
understand them, however much they are at variance at our own perception. We desire
Yours. So come Lord and turn this time into an event of an ultimate kind whose time has come
and remarkably in conjunction with the unhappy collapse fall of a notable man, internationally
known Lord that somehow seems to be more than circumstantial but appropriate both to the
time, occasion and the things that You’re already putting in my heart. So do we bless You Lord,
precious God, Living God, You’re great altogether. We love You because You are Truth and
help us my God in our terrible frailty, infirmity to be worthy of you my God to stand for You
and to bear Your words before man. Help us to Your divine integrity Lord, ours is so much
less, we bless You and thank You and we give You praise for the high standard that You are in
Yourself and the great provision for us to need it. Through the excellent power of Your life.
Come now and express Yourself out of that life and move Your ministers to jealousy, not only
what they hear but what they see - the thing in itself to which they also are called, we thank
You and give You praise, in Jesus name. Amen
The Lord’s condemnation of false prophets which might as well be as falsity itself, especially
where it is most painful especially as where it issues out of ministers. May the Lord give us
insight and understanding that what is touched there is much more than prophets who are in
error but who are ministers who are in error. So much so that they don’t even perceive it. It’s
hard to know where they have been but the Lord speaks the horrible thing in v14.
14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and
walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness:
they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them
with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is
profaneness gone forth into all the land.
16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy
unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the
17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and
they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon
18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word?
who hath marked his word, and heard it?
19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall
grievously upon the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed
the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they
should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill
heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed,
I have dreamed.
26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets
of the deceit of their own heart;
27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every
man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him
speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in
30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one
from his neighbour.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them,
and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded
them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
This is more than an appraisal of the prophets of old. It’s profoundly contemporary, I think
especially for the charismatic prophets of our time and generation but that we need to
understand how the whole of society, the whole of the church is affected by what is fraudulent
and casual and light. It brings a profaneness into the whole land, it cheapens the whole texture
of the faith where all adversely affected even if we don’t know these men or even don’t hear
them, somehow the role of the prophet is so central to the sounding of God and His heart that
any false expression of that has adverse consequence that can’t even be measured. How should
I say it, I hope I am not exaggerating, Is the whole of our contemporary Christianity fraudulent?
Is it a whole play-acting? Is it remarkably in error that is so pervasive and perhaps so compelling
and attractive and biblical, at least in its vocabulary that it purports to be true and has been
accepted as true?
But something is rotten in Denmark, if I can quote Shakespeare, that we need to find the root
of that because the stench is rising and the first visible phenomenal of God’s anger and fury is
already being expressed in the public exposure of a man that enjoyed international renown as
the prophet of the hour and the oracle of God for the church in this time, who had never
impressed me personally and yet he impressed many. Could it be that the homosexuality and
alcoholism to which he is being charged is not the root and cause of God’s displeasure and
judgement but is the symptom of deeper malady, a deeper sinfulness that would express itself
horrendously and externally and shamefully in the moral way. The root is deeper, the root is
the willingness to be introduced as the oracle of the hour and the prophet of the hour and not
rise in protest and say you’re saying too much and I’m undeserving of that acknowledge and
for me to sit on the platform and to hear myself described in that way will do serious damage
to the faith because I’m not that, I have the gift of personal prophecy perhaps but to call me the
oracle when I do not bring oraculous statements is a title and an acknowledgement that I
cannot allow to pass for truth and for integrity’s sake. We are not only guilty for what we
speak but we are also guilty of our silences when we should speak.
What do these false prophets say? They always speak this so called positive things, they affirm
us and confirm us and they are pleasant to hear. Even when they make illusions to Israel and it’s
a kind of general way that sounds honorific in the way, they pray and acknowledge the peace of
Jerusalem and they want to see the state to survive its present troubles and they make
conventional sounds with regards to Israel that in my opinion are intrinsically false, but widely
accepted because it confirms the church in a comparable kind of sentimental affinity and
endorsement that is improper, biblically prophetically speaking but is kind, nice and desire
something well meaning but the church is called to so much more than that and other than that
and is doing Israel disservice to affirm it and to encourage it and to think that it is going to pass
this present crisis and somehow gradually by a process of a mere amelioration and progressive
improvement becomes the prophetic fulfilment which we all desire to see and will be saved
from the necessity of having to pass through apocalyptic fury, judgement and devastation unto
death that will be raised out of the ashes of the resurrected death as because it’s calling
pertains to the glory of God forever and that can and must only issue out of resurrection
through death. So to applaud Israel into improvement is only so much more than well meaning
acknowledgement, it is the statement of ourselves. The shallowness of what we are about and
the willingness to agree with generalities of the kind, that are so visibly contradicted in
scripture if we pay attention to it because we don’t have stomach for calamity. We shrink from
apocalyptic scenarios and we want to see improvement and progressive amelioration rather
than death and radical transformation not only for Israel but also for ourselves.
V18 “But who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, Who has really stood?”
The very word “who” rings powerfully to suggest not many. Who, as I rose to and fro
especially to allow themselves to acknowledge prophets and apostles have actually stood in the
counsel of the Lord have perceived and heard His word because His word is something other
than our own, It is really nice and it is really comforting. You’ll know that when His word
comes, it always requires. It is always a requiring word, rather than a comforting and an
affirming word. Occasionally, though the Lord might bestow that. But who has an ear to hear
that kind of thing from God so as himself speak who can proclaim it, not many, if not God
would be saying “who?”, “who had stood?” We’re too fretful there is too much movement,
there is too much activity, we can’t allow silences and waiting and the kinds of things that
would allow us to come in to the place into the counsel of the Lord. We’re too distracted. We
can’t afford early morning devotional times because we have a heavy agenda ahead of us and all
kinds of administrative details to consider because we are more CEOs than we are men of
God. The whole nature of the church and its success militates against being still and being in
the place of quiet, being able to hear. There is an urgency, there is an agenda and there are
some things that needs to be attended. Even if there were time to find the counsel of God by
standing still, our disposition is already ruined. The mechanics of our religion have already so
affected our disposition, that even if we had the leisure and the time, we wouldn’t know how
to employ it. Our mind would be racing. We couldn’t give God the attention that He deserves
in order to stand in His counsel and to hear Him.
And even by some remarkable grace that were possible. Would we have the courage to speak
the words that we hear there? Who has marked His word and heard it? Who has really given
heed to His Word? Because His word is always a requiring Word, radically requiring, drastically
requiring. In fact, none of the exaggeration to say that it is almost invariably an invitation to
That word came forth in this place last night and you need to get the tape. And there was an
appropriate response, people actually shaking at the altar as the pastor himself noted, but it
was almost interpreted more an invitation to a deeper level of consecration than it was an
invitation for death. See how we always avoid the totality of God’s requirement in an honorific
way because a deeper consecration is not a bad thing but it’s not the ultimate thing, that it is an
adjusted thing that we all can afford to accommodate, because it does not require our death
but it only requires our deeper consecration that which we’re only too glad to make that
would ensue in a better quality of ministry and blessedness.
So who has really given heed to His word and really heard it so as to proclaim it with the risk
of loss? Because you can’t proclaim a word that makes ultimate requirement of people and not
pay a price for that. Someone has got to be offended. Flesh has got to be jarred. People will
find the place where that kind of requirement is not made of them, so it is hard to believe that
both to hear and speak the word of the Lord does not come at price and cause agitation and
unrest and disjuncture. How many of you pastors want to avoid that? By all means, the last
time you want to consider that your people should hear the word from God that such a kind
that is not all wrapped up in one speaking, and then though they may be momentarily
challenged, at the end it will be happy, and they will go home rejoicing with a happy mood and
disposition rather than they should to go home in a painful state of confusion and
bewilderment of what is God saying and that they should wait and to look to the Lord and
sifted through their deeps and its the application to the realities of their life that will not be
done in one message. What is it in our time and in our generation that everyone has to go
home happy? Why can’t they go home jarred and agitated and deeply disquieted and compelled
to search? What does this mean? This man is speaking in mysteries and it is not complete? This
now generation has to have it now and immediately. So if that is what rules you as a minister
that wants to make sure that they go home happy, lest they don’t come back again. How are
you going to be given both in the hearing and the speaking of the word of God that cause a
totality, that makes requirement and not be altogether fathomed or understood even in one
So the Lord is not pleased with this deference to man, this accommodating spirit that pervades
our modern-day Christianity even in its best forms. And His fury is going forth and we are
seeing the statement and expression and it will not end there because it shall fall grievously on
the head of the wicked. And don’t think that the wicked always have horns because God is
always contrasting the righteous and the wicked. The wicked implies for me those who should
know better and have had opportunity to know better and even in the face of a better
knowledge or understanding are still acting grievously. Even are opposed to the righteous and
call the true prophet false, the danger to the church and causing unrest and disquiet etc. We
shall know that in the latter days we can consider perfectly. These latter days are now we can
consider the heart of the Lord, in what is expressed in judgement and what is coming forth out
of this piece of dust before you.
V21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they
Presumption doesn’t say it enough, of course it certainly is presumption to think that you are
sent and the word that you are speaking are God’s. It is deception of an ultimate kind. I’ve met
men who don’t know Him as they ought and haven’t sought Him as they ought, and yet they
have an inkling, a disposition, a flair, a certain thing and they are ready to go off with that and
say “Thus saith the Lord”, I don’t know if I’ve recovered from that full gospel breakfast in
Germany or some place with some Swedish man of the hour wearing his Gucci shirt, whose
trademark is quite conspicuous so that we can see how well dress he is. After all, his
prosperity and his affluence is the statement of his faith that he is wearing so that you can see
it. And he began, by saying. “This morning the Lord spoke to me and gave me a word for you.”
Oh, wow, I’m leaning forward in my seat and I want to hear every syllable of the word that has
come to him for us this morning. And as he went on to speak and to share which was that
purported word, I slumped back in my seat and have not recovered to this day. That was no
more the word of God than the cow jumping over the moon. It was a piece of fraudulence. But
the remarkable thing is that I think the man actually believed that it was the word of the God
and that had been given to him. After all, hadn’t that thought come into his head as he was
shaving? Isn’t that God? Because God knows he is going to Full Gospel and that he was going
to be speaking and isn’t that straight, the Lord’s thought? Isn’t it consonant with scripture, so it
must be His? Do you understand what I am saying saints?
There is such a shallowness, there is such a casual air, there is such a lack of the real
knowledge of God is God, so little time spent in His presence for all of our talk about His
presence. The first straight thought that comes – Boom! And that we have the audacity and
gumption, the Jews have a word for this, hustpa, the unbridled arrogance, to say “Thus saith
the Lord, the Lord said to me”. Doesn’t he know that when it comes forth it’s hardly more
than a cliché? It doesn’t have enough weight to be sustained in a paper bag. There is no
weightiness in that utterance, there is nothing oraculous, no freshness, there is nothing that
suggests that it comes from the throne of God that there is a now present statement. It is a
cheapie. And you know what? The whole audience drank it up and loved it and applauded it
because it made no requirement of them but for the certain air of titillation after all it came
from the man of God for the hour who is a overwhelming success because his church has how
many, one, two thousand or more? Do you understand the whole scheme of things stinks.
There is a rotten fraud but it’s amazing how it can be sucked up by God’s people and there is
not one who blinks except Katz and we know that he is queer.
Because you have not kept your heart with all diligence and you’ve not guarded that your spirit,
you have opened it to any intrusion, anything that purports to be spirit, that is really soul, so
much so that the distinction is blur. And anything that comes with spirituality or whatever with
ability to stir and touch emotions is received of you. You don’t know what price you are paying
to be so indiscriminate. So accepting of anything that comes that is anything is from the Lord,
because it ostensibly celebrates Him. And therefore mutes your spirit and dulls it and makes
you less capable on the next occasion for being able to discern between soul or spirit and until
you’re finally so taken up in the whole soulish enterprise and become a functionary in it
Because of my calling, I’m jealous to keep the integrity of my inner man and of my spirit. And
you know what that means? Sticking up like the proverbial sore thumb. Where everybody else
is celebrating and falling out of their seats and whatever, or crying or laughing but I’m just
sitting there like a dumb dumb. You’re completely unmoved because it has not touched your
spirit. And you’re not going to open to something that offers itself as being in the realm of
spirit when it’s soul. And therefore you will remain unmoved, looking un-spiritual. There is a
price to pay for integrity, for guarding your spirit and your heart. And if you’re not wiling to
pay it, you’ll be caught up with the whole stream and be less able to discern its character and
finally to be participant in it.
I have not sent these prophets. Do you love the word “sent”? You know that is the root of
apostolos? If it is not sent, saints, if it is self-initiated, man picks himself up and speaks, man is
full of clap trap and gift of the gab and this is the most voluble of more ages. There’s never
been such a sea of talking, and words and profusion and writings and mailings. We’re swimming
in it but where is the man who is sent? And sent with a word that has its auspices from the
throne of heaven and is the now present truth as it is in Christ Jesus. God did not sent these
men but they ran, think of the arrogance of this. God has not sent you, and you would have
think of a certain sense of timidity and dare to express yourself but they come running because
the whole tempo of the church is running. There is a mechanics and there is something that
must go on with a certain velocity, a certain speed, certain momentum.
I often wonder about these speakers when called on, they ran up to the platform and are right
on the spot, are happy and buoyant and happy and are ready to go. What’s wrong with me? I’m
a snail. My heart sinks when I hear I’m being called upon. The last thing is to come up to the
holy desk and open your mouth before God’s people, let alone His ministers and in His name. I
can’t understand how they can run? The very fact that they can run is ipso facto evidence that
they are not sent. Why can’t we wait? Why can’t we allow a moment of interlude in between
the end of the worship service, so called and the commencement of the speaker? No? There
can’t be a moment silence allowed, lest the congregation be distracted or bored. There is a
tempo that is so fixed, and you’re guilty for it. You’ve not blown the whistle. You’ve not called
the halt. You’ve gone with the rhythm and it’s antithetical to waiting on God. It’s antithetical to
receiving a word from God that you might be sent. There is something wrong with running and
we need to recognize that.
I have not spoken to them yet they prophesied. Audacity. Better if they would have said, “This
is my opinion, after some reflection, I’m offering these comments for your consideration.”- But
I don’t presume to say that God has given me this statement that this is a “Thus saith the
Lord”. Dear saints, in the day that we allow men to use that kind of vocabulary and punctuate
their speakings by freely employing the name of the Lord, to sanction it as having been given
when it is not given, then the church is at its end. We’re at the age of apostasy and fallenness,
when we allow such license, such unmitigated liberty as for men to take the name of the Lord
on their lips so as to authorise, sanctify, validate, something that has its issuance something that
was in themselves and never came from God but freely punctuate their statements by saying,
“Thus saith the Lord” or “The Lord said” or “The Lord told me”. And you sat there like a
bunch of dummies and swallowed that and you don’t know what a price you pay for that
indulgence and for that condescension. You should have gotten up and shrieked and cried out
and blow the whistle and say “This far, go no further, not a word. You’re desecrating the faith
and the name of God from which we will not recover, if this becomes a practice and the
standard that others will equally follow as playing the game. You’ll make of the faith a game, a
charade. The church is the pillar of truth, not a piece of film flam that reflects only the low
standard of the world, only employing another vocabulary. Where’s your jealousy?
They ran, they don’t know him but they are quick to employ him in a utilitarian sense as if it’s a
commodity. Can you believe that? To traffic in God and to use him as an endorsement for
something that has its origins out of your own soul and your humanity? He is not a commodity.
He is the Most High. The church is in lamentable condition, saints, even in its best forms
because we have tolerated such practices and we have indulged in them ourselves. This first
fallen internationally renowned prophet is only a first statement of God and it will not end
there before He unravels the entire fiasco and fraud and makes it known. So we need to
understand and examine and be critical of the condition to which we have come. The kind of
system, the tempo of services, the fear to allow a moment of silence that is not filled by some
activity. Something is already wrong by its very nature that we have come to that nature and
condition that we cannot tolerate silence with the God who said “Be still and know that I am
God”. And there is so little occasion for us to be still. The religion demands activity,
momentum and we’re practitioners and we’re doing it and think we’re doing God a service. So,
God save us from staggering presumption and arrogance.
How is that we did not discern this arrogance and this presumption in these international
renowned oracles and man of faith for the hour? Is not just they that are the object of God’s
disfavour but we who have sat there as dummies who have applauded them and run to hear
them so that we can get a personal prophecy and we can be assured that God knows us
because the prophecy indicates details that can only be known to God or to the devil. But we
want so much to hear and to have our ears tickled and maybe there is an experience of some
kind which we desperately need because of the greyness of the church and the terrible
predictability that needs to be alleviated by something of a sensational kind that can be
So already the trap is set by the need to have ourselves confirmed before God by some man of
the hour who can give us some personal word of prophecy and assure us. “Oh, Thank God. I
didn’t know that You know me till I heard.” Whatever happened to “to be accepted in the
Beloved” that does not need this kind of dubious and questionable confirmation that comes
from questionable kind of prophecy that might well be more clavoyance than it is the gift of
Spirit. I’m getting at the root of the matter, you dear saints. It’s not a finished message. This guy
has gotten up bleary eyed this morning and hadn’t had sufficient time to prepare and trusting
the Lord that I’m fool enough just to open my mouth and believe that his heart is finding
expression because I don’t give a rap about my reputation. What reputation or the esteem or
the acceptance of the congregation or any such consideration that permits me of vast freedom
for me to be His fool. May you come to that freedom although the system does not encourage
What is the thought of His heart, the intent of His mind, who has known Him that they can say
with confidence that He had sent me? Thus saith the Lord, but if they had stood in my counsel
and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned their people from
their evil ways and the evil of their doings.
Don’t think that this means to turn them from pornography and vile sensual practices. But the
evil means, evil of self-initiated humanisms in whatever from even that which seems honorific
and moral and ethical and religious and even Christian. It is wicked because it does not issue
from God but issues from man. Let the wicked man forsake his thoughts and the unrighteous
man his thoughts. It’s not because his thoughts are pornographic but it’s unrighteous because
they are his thoughts, they are human thoughts even when they are religious. That makes them
unrighteous because a righteous thought only comes from a righteous God. So these prophets
who themselves are exhibiting their own humanity are encouraging their hearers to do
likewise, which is evil. Of course, I’m giving you the prophetic interpretation. Do you
understand what I’m saying? Which is always more black and white, always more intense,
always focused more intensely. Because you would never have interpreted the word evil here
the way I’m suggesting it to you. You don’t even see this evil because you yourself are
conducting yourself quite like that in that way. You don’t see that what issues from man are in
its essence evil. It’s unrighteous, all the more, because God says forsake your thoughts and My
thoughts are higher than your thoughts and you can have My thoughts if you’ll only forfeit it
and put away your own. But to persist in your thought is wicked, it’s evil. When you celebrate
your thought and have no need for My own and what’s worse, even to interpret that thought
as being God’s when it had it’s issuance and its origin in yourself and even from below. But
your condition is so poor that if it comes in spiritual terms or it quotes scripture, that’s enough
to you to validate it as being God. Spirituality is the last hiding place of self.
But they stood in my counsel and had caused the people to hear my words. Then they would
have turned from their evil ways and the evil of their doings.
It’s evil because it’s their doings even if it’s a project or a program or something ostensibly to
serve the purposes of God and which we liberally use the phrase, His kingdom. If it had its
origins from man or from below, it’s evil, it’s wicked, it’s unrighteous, it’s theirs not mine. And
these false prophets who are active out of themselves are modelling something for the church
to emulate, which is altogether not God.
Can any hide himself that can seek a place that shall not see Him?
You know what the astonishment is? That man can speak and act and do and not think that
they are being observed of God. That somehow that they can get away with it and that the
Lord is not attentive on that. We’re not like Paul, who always lived in the conscious sense of
the Judge and the day of judgement that we shall be held accountable for every idle word that
we speak. And all that we have done in our bodies both good and bad will one day come
before us when we stand before God in the day of judgement. We consciously lack the sense
of God actually as present and seeing and observing not only the things that we say and do but
even the condition of our secret heart when it’s silent. You got the picture? What am I
commending some kind of legalism and rob you of your charismatic freedom and bring you into
some kind of constraint that God is always there seeking and knowing? I tell you dear saints the
greatest malady of the church today is the lack of the fear of God as God. There is no awe, no
sense of fear, no deep respect that God He is a living God that a knowing and a seeing God
and we can’t get away with our “gitchy goo” and the cutting corners as if He doesn’t observe
it. And the remarkable thing is that He lets it go on and is silent and we assume that He has
either condone it or He has not seen it until the day He comes that we find ourselves not only
into homosexuality but also into alcoholism. It catches up with us.
We’re not communicating the sense of God which is the function and the first primary function
of men who are apostles and prophets. It’s not their cleverness to resolve church difficulties
and disputes. It’s to communicate in themselves the sense of God as the fact that He is God.
They should trail clouds of glory with them. Something about themselves, their stateliness,
their stature, how they walk, their talk, their demeanour, their stature as men who have come
out of God’s presence, who know Him, who have waited upon Him and whose meekness and
humility that no man can obtain by any practice is transmuted into them by the intimacy of the
fellowship with Him in His sufferings. We’ve seen shallow pieces of goods, of men without
history in God, who have no origins in the church and in the body.
John-come-lately, boom and they obtain international renown. It doesn’t take much in the
public relations game. This has to be resisted by a Jewish man like myself who was a much
better looking man earlier but always vocal and even eloquent, hey, a man like that can go far. If
you can promote a nothing who is, what shall I say, lacks any solidity, any tensile strength, any
quality of life and history and make of him the oracle of the hour. What can you do with a
Katz, if he’ll allow you some. Moishe Rosen, head of Jews for Jesus, who drafted me out of the
public school teaching and was my instructor in being the missionary to the Jews prophesied,
“By the time you’re 50 Art, you’ll be the Jewish Billy Graham.” I saw him recently, I said, “You
know, you missed it. I’m now 75 and I have yet to become the Jewish Billy Graham and I don’t
think I ever will.” Well, he said, “It’s not that I was wrong in my prophecy, you could have
become it, if you played your cards right. But you fool, you went to Minnesota and you went
up to the boon dogs where even the travel agents can’t find it on the map. And you were there
for 30 years and you’re in hiddenness in the sub-artic zone whose temperatures are colder
than Alaska, because you felt that the Spirit of God said to you, “End time teaching centre,
community refuge” and acted on that still small voice. You intuited such a whisper that if you’ve
chosen to not to hear it, the Lord would not have disqualified you and would have allowed you
to be the greatest success Jewish leader you have become.”
What are we hearing? What are we allowing to be heard when it caused us to sacrifice and to
suffering, to humiliation, to community refuge. Community? Hey, I want to retain of the aura of
the man of the hour under the anointing of God from the platform. But what is it going to be
when I’m living with the same people intensely and intimately, not just on Sunday but Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday? Aren’t there going to be on occasions when my clay
feet will be revealed? Aren’t they going to see the displeasure of my wife and the mistreatment
of my children or the celebration of my dogs over that of the body of Christ? It’s only a matter
of time before I’ll be found out Katz and be humiliated. Because you cannot retain the aura of
the anointed man publicly when you’re living with the same people, day in and day out in all the
vicissitudes of life that are especially demanding in community but it’s the greatest provision
that God has ever made for me and saved me from being phoney baloney and being a hot
house flower fleeting from one Holiday Inn to the other as God’s prophet for the hour.
Hey, there is a price paid, if you’re getting any value out of what I’m speaking because what I’m
speaking is what I am. And that’s what the prophet is called to be. The thing in himself. Not a
promulgator, a mouth-piece with a gift of the gap and a little glitzy aura that captivates the
shallow and the carnal who want to emulate and become just like that but don’t want to go to
Northern Minnesota to obtain it or any comparable form of self-denial let alone self-offering. If
we do not hear that call for ourselves, what then shall we hear for anyone and what then shall
we speak but what is current, what is in season, what is the contemporary fad of what
everybody else is speaking that seems to be so widely accepted and popular.
I’m against the prophets that use that the tongues to say “He saith”. I’m against them that steal
my words everyone from his neighbour that had not gotten it directly from me and
authentically from the throne but gotten it second hand from another who gets it second hand
from that one, who gets it second-hand and second-hand. It’s merchandise. It’s no longer the
holy word of God and become what is current, popular and in season and obtain the applause
of God’s people and their indulgent honorariums to allow a lifestyle that is appropriate and
becoming to the man of the hour. What would have been more appropriate would have been
They steal from each other, they have not gotten that from me because they are not in the
counsel of the Lord, they don’t even know how to get into the counsel, even the time were
provided, even as I have mentioned, their very disposition is not amendable to waiting on the
Lord and seeking him and being heard of Him. They are sense people. They need to feel
something of the presence of God, if it’s not forthcoming in their devotional time, how long
would that devotion be maintained? Would that God test us and withhold the sense of His
presence to see if we will be faithful and abiding to seek Him early daily and not just for the
utility that I need a message for tonight but because He is God and deserves this devotion in
Himself. And if we don’t recognize that in our unwillingness to get ourselves to that and are
willing to come only in hope of getting something that can serve our purposes, we’re in the
spirit of the world, the utilitarian spirit of Singapore and not in the kingdom of God at all.
Because you’ll know if you have God’s word, it’s like a fire, it’s like a hammer that breaks the
rock in pieces, people were shaking last night but our prayer this morning was through the
night hours and even today that the word that went forth that was Your word will continue as
a hammer upon the rock. Because you have no idea how hard the hearts of God’s people are.
How calcified, how hardened that word has got to beat and beat be brought again to their
recall and have its work and until there is a breaking. If it is easy to be received and only brings
us to a few chuckles and enjoyable moments and is biblically valid and doctrinally sound and we
go home no different than we came, then that is a nice message but it’s not the word of God
that breaks, there’s a fire, that’s something that we’ve obtained. We know which way the wind
is blowing, which way to speak that we’ve found acceptable.
V32 I’m against them that prophesy false dreams and saith the Lord, and do tell them.
One way that you know that they are false is that you can see the rush to tell and publish it and
in hardback and becomes a bestseller. And when you get to Yugoslavia, they are even printing
it off the Xerox machine and stapling them together and telling you that this is the best thing
that has ever come since the bible. If it’s that holy, that sacred, that much of vision, that much
of a visit into the ethereal realms, keep it to yourself. You don’t publish it because it is by
nature sensational and will guarantee sales and celebrate you as a man of uncommon vision and
even the sent one to be the commander and chief of the body of Christ. And to hear Paul’s
apology in your visit that he had made grievous message in his apostolic career which you will
not make that you’ll return and take the place that you’ve taken as commander in chief. Our
Christian bestsellers do condemn us. Better to be obscure and hidden and unknown. Better to
keep the deep revelations of God that were personal to yourself and only such time as the
Spirit of God would give you liberty to express it but never to become a bestseller.
They publish it, the Lord says. Their so-called dreams and they cause people to err by their
lives and by their lightness. Well you dear saints, I can’t do anything more for you, but if I can
inoculate you with what is in my own spirit, despise lightness. Every time I go out of my way to
hear these great figures, the one abiding impression that I get every time is the lightness of the
proceeding, it’s jocular, it’s informal, it’s humorous, it’s cute. Yes, there’s a word given, a little
homily to get to the real thing, which is the gift of prophecy of a personal kind. The word is
only a little thing just to get that out of the way, it is not the word of God but just a biblical
homily and the whole atmosphere is light.
Well, I’m not a Hebrew scholar but the word for glory in Hebrew is kabod, is the same word
for weight. And the word for light is the same word for curse. And we need to despise
lightness and it’s unbecoming to the church. It’s contradictory to the whole tenure of faith and
those that have gone before us and the thing to which we are pointing to. The consummation
of the ages is full of weight, full of significance, full of exclamation of the apostle Paul, “Oh the
depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God”, who has been the counsellor,
men who have seen and understood the mysteries of God and been His stewards. Weight is
intrinsic to the faith. And when the church is characterized by its lightness rather than by its
weight and glory, then we’re already in apostasy because lightness is to be enjoyed and weight
brings responsibility, contemplation, implications. The call the sacrifice, the prospect of
suffering because glory never comes except first be preceded by suffering. We prefer lightness
that makes no requirement.
And cause My people to err by their lightness. Yet I sent them not, nor commanded them,
therefore they shall not profit my people at all. That’s why we are fixed, that’s why we don’t go
on from faith to faith, glory to glory. That’s why immaturity is the abiding characteristic of the
congregations of God’s people. We don’t see growth, maturity. The lightness itself militates
against that. Because I did not sent them nor command them yet they shall not profit my
people at all. It’s not profitable.
V36 They have perverted the words of the living God our God. They have perverted it and the
name of the Lord, to debase the word of God, to diminish the sense of God and the end
thereof is the trivialization of the faith itself. The church becomes predictable. The faith is the
Sunday addendum. Christianity is a culture and not the apostolic presence whose very
presence turns the world upside down, brings them to question those spurious values that all
man subscribes to that are lies. God is being trivialized in His faith by the most notable
ministers and we share in the culpability for we have endorsed them, we have sent for them,
we have given them our platforms. We get excited when they come and we arranged the
biggest extravaganzas. Somehow we don’t even take note that they don’t really bring a
substantial or oracular word but vagaries and high-sounding prophecies of this nation and
relating to this nation that cannot be confirmed but has an aura of suggestion of something
which is good enough for us.
One of these men, little tails out of school whom I really went to visit and to hear and one
message was enough. But I also had occasion to hear the travelling companion, an African with
a real hyped-up presentation of a kind of “rah rah” kind that you would expect at a football
rally but he’s a doctor. And so I couldn’t wait fast enough to say, “Where did you get your
doctorate?” I knew where. The diploma mill, $500 cheque and we’ll do it and all your previous
service will be counted as filling the requirement of study that you need not perform because
your service and serves that end, and so now you’re a doctor. Well, I have enough academic
background to esteem significance titles when they are earned and doctors indeed do deserve
our respect and if not our reverence if they are doctors in the faith and have studied and have
broken their heads and agonized and wrestled with original languages and come up with Holy
Ghost directed insight and revelation of value for the church. The great theologians like Karl
Barth which I admire greatly. For them, that’s a suffering, the title is appropriate but they
themselves don’t celebrate it. But the Johnny-come-lately, the cheapie who wants a little
punctuation at the end of his name because it would mean more invitations, because this is a
doctor. Can you understand, dear saints? To take the man lightly with you in your ministry and
not understand that it is essentially fraudulent and to seek him and God’s people to fill up all
the empty spaces so that you don’t have to do all the speaking. What does that signify in the
character and the integrity of the man who takes such a one as to travel with him and to speak.
I’m speaking symbolically, you have to understand what these things represent, lest we
ourselves be enticed, be induced and seduced and ourselves covet such titles and such honours
and recognition and make that a cheapie because the end thereof is everlasting reproach.
V40 I will bring an everlasting reproach on you, perpetual shame which will not be forgotten.
Go ahead to have your day in the sun and be celebrated as God’s man of the hour and a title
totally undeserved and banquet and take all the honour and the honorariums that go with it
and the day will come and you’ll have to stand before Me and what you’ll receive from Me,
then will be everlasting reproach and a perpetual shame which will not be forgotten. Where is
your eternal sense of judgement? Where is your fear of having to carry into eternity the lack of
integrity with which you allowed yourself to conduct yourself in this life. Why didn’t you
consider what comes after? Why don’t you understand that this life is preparatory to that
which follows, which is eternal? Why haven’t you taken eternity into your consideration? You
might well have hesitated and not been so quick to run and to speak that which God has not
given. Your failure is the failure to understand eternity and the eternal God and the eternal
judgement and the eternal reproach or you would have not acted so lightly and in doing so,
you’re robbing the church of the sense of significance in the sense that it is eternal that they
too will have a certain liberty to conduct themselves in such a way than they ought. Because
we are not aware of eternal consequences which is not to understand God as God for our
every failure comes back to that lack. That our every error is that we don’t know God as we
ought and we’re perpetuating that shallow perception and not encouraging God’s people to
seek Him and be found of Him and know Him as He in fact is.
We need to ask and examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith. What faith are we in? The
shabby counterfeit of present decisional Christianity? Have we come through the narrow gate?
Have we come with trembling? Does trembling characterize our present relationship with God
and before His people? Are we sons and daughters of the Resurrection? Who lived out of
resurrection faith or life or merely subscribing to the doctrine as being correct and to think
that we’re doing God service? We’re living out of ourselves and by ourselves, out of our own
unaided humanity and doing an impressive job of it, having no need of resurrection life because
we have reduced the church to such predictable proportions that it doesn’t need the vastness
of God’s Spirit and power. We can quite perform it ourselves. Reducing the great issue of
death and resurrection merely to a doctrine to approve when it is a death to be obtained?
Because the call of God is beyond our ability. Do you know that? With man it is impossible.
And if it is possible for you, you’re promulgating another faith. It’s not the faith of Paul and the
faith of the prophets and it’s not the faith of the psalmists. It’s some cheapie, contemporary
equivalent thereof but it is not of the faith that honours the God of glory, the Creator of
heaven and earth, the consummate God, the High Priest of our confession, soon coming king.
And if you can do it, you’re in error. We’re called to that which is beyond ourselves, we’re
called to ultimate-cy and until we find it and obtain it, how shall we move the Jews to jealousy?
What shall they be jealous if we’re only replicating what they themselves can perform in their
own synagogues without the Holy Spirit? They’ve got to see something larger than life,
something transcendent, something that issues from heaven that cannot be understood as
coming from man. That means the death to all that is human and all that’s religious and the
coming alive, and the purposes of God but the fulfilment of that which He gives who raises the
dead. I’m trusting for that this morning and even praying, please excuse my little Jewish naivety
that I would not only be an expositor but a demonstration of the very life to which you
yourself are called. And that you’re hearing a sent word from a sent man that requires.
Prayer: Lord, Your forgiveness we pray because we’re sensing even when we are right, we are
wrong. And the things that we have most celebrated are the reasons for our deepest
repentance. The fact that we have celebrated them is itself an indictment. We have not
understood, Lord. We don’t know You as we ought. And we’re promulgating something of a
God of another kind, augmented by our sound systems, the technology of our age to create
feelings, emotions and sensations. We’re lazy. We’re too busy to seek You. Our schedule
would not allow, even if it did, we will not have the disposition. We don’t know what to do if
we stopped running. We don’t know what it means to “Stand still and know that I am God.”
That I AM that I am. Is the gift that I will confer to you if you’ll only be still. But the nature of
the whole religious system militates against that stillness, it calls for running. So my God, do we
have the courage to bring that system to an end?
The very fact that it is system is itself a condemnation and that only difference is someone does
a little better than the other guy. But it is the same predictable thing. We have lost the
spontaneity of God and the sense of God and the originality of God who is a Creator still. We
imitate and mimic one another in our worship songs and services and speakings. We’re a
culture, not the vast and profound thing that is life saving that needs to break into the world of
falsity and lies that purports to be true to which man give their energy and time and have no
sense to what is eternal or what will be judged because we ourselves have not conveyed it.
Because we ourselves do not adequately know it and we ourselves are not living in the
consciousness of it and serving out of that.
Lord, forgive us, my God, forgive us. Forgive our professionalism. Forgive our secret desire to
be called doctor, to be honoured, to be acknowledged, to succeed beyond the basis and
standards that are contemporary. We’ve lost the sense of connection of what is ancient, which
is original, what came before, the holy men of old. We’re not in the conscious continuum of
those who suffered and bled and died for Your name and for Your honour. We don’t have a
sufficient anticipation of the eschatological climax of the age, the glory of Your kingdom and
Your coming or realise that it is Hebraic that it waits for a Greater David, who alone can
occupy that throne from that holy hill of Zion, out of which will go forth the Law of the Lord
to all nations. Lord, forgive us, we’ve even traduced and deprecated the word Kingdom and
made it a little cheapie as if it is some ethereal, subjective kind of thing rather than the
awesome theocratic rule of God over His own creation Who will restore Israel.
Lord, we’re shallow, mercy upon us my God, for what we have endorsed, what we have
favoured, what we have encouraged, what we have emulated, what have been the models of
our time. Give us a day of new beginnings, Lord. We’re willing to forfeit our best success if it
has any auspices and origin out of ourselves and not from You. Help us to despise what is light
and to have a heart only for that which bears the weight and glory of God which comes at
price. We thank You and praise You that You’ve given us an occasion like this that could have
been an cutesy occasion, a little rah rah time, a little good feeling, a little cheap equivalent of
what is prophetic if one will play the game. But You slipped one on us and sent us the real
My God, we bless You for a love that will not let us go, will not allow us to play games, will not
allow us to make a sham of the faith and turn a holy calling into a career or a profession.
Forgive us my God, to any degree to which that has come into our being. May we spit it out,
may we vomit it out, may we be as dead men who don’t know how to walk and have to go
back to square one. Begin all over to learn what it means to be a servant of the Most High,
who can find Your counsel in the holy place and in the secret place, hear it and speak it without
fear. We don’t have to send their people home happy, we can send them home restless,
disquieted and trust You in the night hours to perform that interior work when the word
breaks as the hammer upon the rock and the word is fire in the bones and it will have a result
of a kind that cannot be measured.
My God, help us to forsake the idols of this age, the cheapie stereotypes, the easy glips,
shallow thing that pervades Your church, which in many ways are less than the world’s
profundity. The world is more serious in its academic endeavours than we are in the faith. So
we bless you Lord. Give us by Your mercy a Spirit of repentance and breaking, not a deeper
consecration that we can perform but a bringing down into the dust of death that only You can
perform for the One who slays makes alive. Thank You for the word that cuts and heals. Thank
You for the word that kills and makes alive. We receive it my God as purest mercy. Give us
the grace also to speak it on the occasions that You will require. We thank You for the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus to which we yield ourselves anew repentantly. In Jesus’ name.
Let that word sink in. It may well be that the first moments after such a statement is when the
real depth of the transaction has its inroad. Let’s not be quick. If we ministers cannot stand
silence and have to have the next act, what shall we expect of our people? Wait there, let that
word sink in, contemplate it. Let it find lodging. Let it do its work. Open yourself to its
penetration into your deeps. Lord, even when I’m right, I’m wrong, even my best intentions are
corrupt. I’m assuming that even though I don’t ever have the evidence for that, I don’t
subjectively find conviction, I’m choosing to believe that even when I’m right, I’m wrong.
There’s something in me as man that I’m acknowledging which is the deepest kind of
repentance that doesn’t wait for confirmation. That David would have been capable to write
Psalm 51 even if he hadn’t gone to bed with Bathsheba or killed her husband. He would know
that he would know that God wants truth in the hidden parts. The only place is the place of
repentance before Him. And you don’t have to wait for confirming acts to persuade you that
you’re guilty and capable and needing that kind of depth of repentance. The very nature of
ourselves, the air that we breathe commands it.
Whatever you pray now will be heard of God. Whatever you say now will be heard and
received especially if it comes with the spirit of repentance, even if you yourself are not
personally culpable, you never ran after the man of faith and power but you’re part of the
generation that did in some way, consciously or unconsciously you have lent yourself to the
fraudulence of the time and you need to identify with the church even in that condition though
you were personally not involved. There’s every reason to let God know that we’re ashamed.
We ask for Your forgiveness and we identify with the Church. Forgive us, Lord, whether we
consciously or unconsciously gave ourselves in any part to that thing which is today so unapostolic,
so un-prophetic, so lacking in the timbre and quality of the book of Psalms, so lacking
in the true sense of Yourself in the awe and fear, so pervaded by the lightness everywhere.
We’re guilty, we’re all part, we’ve all given ourselves if we have not shouted and blown the
whistle and called halt, we’re guilty, forgive us.
Say something. Let the principalities of the air tremble in this Babylonian Singapore, let them
know something is breaking - something is taking place of an earnest and real kind that
threatens their unchallenged supremacy over this city state. Turn this into an event of a cosmic
kind that this Singapore can be the Antioch-al sending base into the world of true prophetic
man who are sent and waits on your cry. Let it come up to the heavens and jar the powers
that be. Jesus we know and Paul we know but who the heck of you? You’re going to take
cities? Ha ha ha, you scare us not a bit. Because we do not see the apostolic depth, we don’t
see the prophetic quality. We see play-acting, charade, fraudulence, performance, manipulation.
Come saints, ministers of God, bear great responsibility. Let God hear your voice, hear your
cry. Turn the morning into an event that will have lasting consequence and save you from
eternal embarrassment, if not shame.
Cornerstone Community Church : : Singapore
Message can be downloaded from our website at www.cscc.org.sg
(Spiritual Food > Teachings)
Kamis, 11 September 2008
LET GO OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD
Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Calling all Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers who are called of God and sent by God to equip [make them fit for ministry].
2677 καταρτισμός [katartismos /kat·ar·tis·mos/] AV translates as “perfecting” once. Complete furnishing, equipping.
Fill them up with what you have received from The Father. Fill them with the love you have received from The Father. You cannot give what you have not received. Come to The Father and receive then you can give.
Only when every one of you [5 ministries] pours yourselves into the saints then they will be completely “furnished” for the ministry of God.
After filling the saints please release them as Jesus did. Jesus gave his disciples the same authority and power He had and released them. Jesus trusted in His disciples [even though He knew them very well]. You too release them and they will come back to you. They will come back to you with much fruit. If not they will remain barren.
Many of your churches are full of barren people because they have not been filled and released with the Father’s Love.
Commanding all those who assume that they are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers- let go of the people of God in Jesus Name, so that the people of God can come and worship and serve The Father in Heaven. I command you to stop oppressing the people of God with your programs and activities and man pleasing messages. Let my people go in Jesus Name.
It does not matter how many years you have been serving –if you have not known the Father’s Heart and received The Father’s Love then stop what you are doing [close shop] come to the Father and rest. If not you will be doing more damage then good to the people of God. No matter how good your intentions are you will be adding to the problem then becoming a solution.
You wear your name tags as Apostle or Pastor so and so to make a name for yourselves. You think the people are there to give you position and lift you up and celebrate you. Repent and lift up the name of Jesus. Your position exists to give freedom to the people of God. Freedom to live, work and minister.
You have set yourselves above the people and made a name for yourselves. You suck the people dry and fatten yourselves. You muddy the water and stop the true men and women of God from bringing the Word of God.
To you I say –Go Back home to the Father’s House and get right your relationship. If not you hurt yourselves and others.
Who sent you? The Heavenly Father or man?
If The Father has sent you then you will seek to please HIM and speak HIS Words and Work together with HIM [using His blueprint] and build lives.
If man [Denominations / NGO’s or some organizations] has sent you then you will seek to please them and speak their message and cause more damage to the body of Christ.
Who are you?
Who sent you?
With the love of the Father
Kamis, 04 September 2008
An ICA 'APOSTLE' SPEAKS OUT on LAKELAND
[With huge thanks to RevivalSchool member 'SoulDan' for his help].
First, let me start by saying that Robert Ricciardelli has been
incredibly bold and courageous in speaking out on this issue in
recent days. He is one of the very few from NAR circles who have
dared to speak up - firstly on blogs and on the radio - and even on
our own Forum at RevivalSchool.com, etc. Robert is a member -
a "marketplace apostle" in Peter Wagner's "International Coalition
of Apostles" (ICA). He is the real deal. For him to speak out
about Lakeland is a very brave act indeed. Plus he is a Charisma
Magazine writer and a friend of Lee Grady.
Last week on July 14th Robert was a guest on Radio KGNW -
where he spoke of how he had just come back from Lakeland, and
told of his deep concerns and the background research that he
had been doing. On July 16th he commented on one Internet blog:
"Truth is there are very few people being healed in Lakeland. I
have worked with Charisma Magazine editor Lee Grady in
discovering how many false reports have been released as facts.
These are our brothers and sisters involved in this, but this move
of God has been a move of men with God still touching some
who come to seek Him."
On another blog he wrote: "Charisma reporters and a few others
like myself have tried to get these verified and cannot... We actually
had offered to help, because any news of a resurrection in my
opinion is world news if it can be validated. But then when the
totals continued to mount which led to hype and embellishment,
they began to ask us to stop asking questions. Hmmmm?
"Friday night, Todd said that God said there were 1000 people that
were to give $1000, and they were to receive a 1000 fold blessing.
The one hour drama on this giving subject was so deceptively
evident that it was embarrasing to watch. On top of that, those
that would give that money were able to come to the platform to
Concerning the 'Resurrections' in Lakeland, Robert wrote: "We
have investigated the 20 plus "raised from the dead" claims as we
want to report them to the media, and they cannot be verified, but
were only called in, or sent in from an email. This is not responsible
reporting, and leaves many questions, which also adds to the
claims of hype and embellishment." [~Robert Ricciardelli blog
comments - 'jasonclark.ws' & 'stevehickey.wordpress.com']
The hour-long broadcast that Robert did on KGNW is also causing
quite a stir as it does the rounds on the Internet.
On our own Forum at RevivalSchool.com, Robert publicly added
the following comments:
"Peter Wagner and Chuck Pierce nominated me as a marketplace
apostle 6 years ago. I threw the title away before I ever got it. I am
not into titles, but I am into functions. The Lord told us "yes" to
engage, and He was going to show us some truth in the process.
Being engaged has given us a great oportunity to see the good,
the bad, and the ugly of the apostolic/prophetic movements. The
biggest thing along the way is the friends and associates we have
met that have a biblical worldview much the same as we do...
"After this year we will pray about next year and so far it looks
like the Father is giving us a sense that we may not to be a part
of the ICA if Peter and the leadership do not reconsider their
impromptu decision to jump into the Lakeland stream, when many
of us warned him not to. It was a mistake to coronate, when they
needed to father and correct Bentley from the direction he is
heading others into. It just put more fuel in his errant tank.
"I am praying for Todd, because he really is an evangelist, and he
is a gifted evangelist. But he cannot go on embellishing, speaking
untruths, hyping, manipulating, shoving, kicking, slapping, leg
dropping, and bamming his way on the pulpit without consequences.
God will not be mocked, and Todd and others must answer to Him
for everyone led astray.
"The biggest thing about Lakeland is the lack of the fear of our
Awesome God, lack of repentance and humility. Many have
exchanged the truth for a lie and chosen experience over content.
Angels, trances, and 3rd heaven focus has replaced the gospel
as a focus... Lord do what only you can do to bring your divine
alignment to all of us in Jesus name.." [-end quote]
I took note of the fact that Robert said that "many" had warned
Peter Wagner not to jump into the Lakeland stream. I also noted
that Robert seemed to be saying that he himself may leave the
ICA over this issue. I thanked him publicly for his courage in
speaking out, and asked him if there really was a lot of disagree-
ment even within Wagner's own movement?
"To answer your question, yes there is at least a dozen ICA
members that I know of that are extremely concerned at Peter's
endorsement and more to follow as the nonsense continues. The
transferring of anointing, the focus on man bringing anything but
the gospel is amazing and sad.... if Peter Wagner, Bill Johnson,
and some distinguished members of the Who's Who in Charismania
say it is all good, then people just go with it. Some have begun to
see the YouTube and other information and begun to change.
Some go as far as to claim it as deception, others say it is a
move of God that needs correction.
"It is my opinion that it was man orchestrated and demonically
influenced from the very beginning. The worship has been good
and Roy Fields is an awesome worship leader, so many in the
worship and even watching from afar can sense God in the worship
of His people. The truth is God has been engaged in the worship
and has touched and healed some. This is why it has been so
confusing to some. I have heard that Roy Fields has stated a few
times that when the worship ends, God's presence leaves the
platform, and then Todd Bentley operates void of His presence.
That is why most all of what they have claimed cannot be verified,
because it just is not happening.
"We have heard a few people getting well, being touched and so
on. There is a church here in North Carolina that brought 27 sick
down there for a week. Some with cancer, leukemia, diabetes
and such. None got healed and most were worse when they
came back. The emperor is not wearing any clothes and the truth
must be known. Many are claiming that Todd is the new thing
that God is doing. The fact is he is still operating in the old thing,
and operating with less integrity and character than the previous
one man shows.
"God is about nameless and faceless people who are operating
without any agenda but the Lord's. Preaching about the King
and His Kingdom, and moving supernaturally after Him, and as
they do, signs and wonders follow. The problem in Charismania
is that they seek the sign, they seek the thrill, they seek the
craft supply quality gold dust, feathers and gems. They may get
the chills and frills, but leave with nothing more than goose bumps
and really little spiritual change. When they seek the King, the
Kingdom of God and His righteousness, you begin to see
transformation take place at the heart level. This is God's way
and always has been... Bentley is just a product of the Charismatic/
apostolic/ prophetic trending away from Plumb line truth. At the
same time the fact is, none of us amount to much, no not one.
But in Him and dying to self and living His agenda, we can move
mountains... The church is getting there, I wrote an article for
Charisma that everything that can be shaken is being shaken,
and this is what is happening in a great way right now..." [end quote]
Friends, please write to Robert encouraging him if you can for
the courageous stand he is taking.
Selasa, 02 September 2008
Angels, Deception and a Cry for Biblical Truth
by Lee Grady (Charisma Editor) www.themordecaiproject.com
Weird teachings about angels have become the norm in some charismatic circles today. It’s time to demand sanity on the subject.
At a growing Brazilian church in Boston, a pastor told his congregation he was having regular conversations with an angel. Weeks later he set a chair on the stage for the heavenly visitor, whom he said was attending Sunday services even though no one could see him. The pastor eventually wrote a book containing messages he had supposedly received from the angel. The man’s teachings became so bizarre that he was eventually removed from his denomination for promoting heresy.
That scenario may seem extreme, but it is one example of widespread emphasis on angels and angelic encounters in the charismatic movement today. In the case of the Brazilian church, the pastor went off the theological deep end and his church became a cult. It remains to be seen what will happen in other sectors of our movement as leaders promote teachings about angels that range from the mildly weird to downright wacky:
“It remains to be seen what will happen in other sectors of our movement as leaders promote teachings about angels that range from the mildly weird to downright wacky.”
* Evangelist Todd Bentley, leader of the Lakeland Revival, stirred up interest in angels when he wrote about Emma, a female angel he said wears a long white dress, floats above the floor and resembles Kathryn Kuhlman.
* A young evangelist who was preaching in Canada last spring held up a jar with a feather in it and told the congregation it belonged to an angel who visits him. He said the angel was coming to the service to release riches and healing to those who wanted prayer.
* Leaders of the prophetic movement often speak of angels that bring healing, wealth or special anointings. Some have described angels as tall as skyscrapers while others say they have seen tiny angels the size of insects. One prophet spoke of angels who are sleeping inside the walls of churches. Another segment of believers claim that the glowing circles of light that often show up on photographs are angels in the form of “orbs.”
With such exotic teachings on the rise, we desperately need some biblical guidelines. If you believe everything you hear these days, angels can be huge, tiny, spherical, male, female, feathered or non-feathered. What’s next? Yipping dog angels? Mermaid angels with fins? Court jester angels with bells on their hats?
Since my earliest days in the charismatic movement I was always taught that the Bible is our guidebook for doctrine and practice, and that the early church's experience in the Book of Acts should be a pattern for us. This would direct us to assume that if a spiritual experience is not in the Bible, then it should not be considered normative for us today.
When I look at what the New Testament teaches us about angels, and specifically what the book of Acts shows us about them, here’s what I find:
Angels who looked like men told the early disciples that Jesus would return one day (see Acts 1:11)
Angels are actively working behind the scenes to minister to the saints, especially to offer protection (see Acts 12:7-11)
In one case an angel directed Philip where to preach (see Acts 8:26)
Angels sometimes appeared in visions to give instructions, as one did for Cornelius (see Acts 10:3,7,22)
An angel came to Paul to strengthen him and to assure him that he would preach to Caesar (see Acts 27:23-24).
If we look at Paul’s epistles, we find only a few references to angels—and most are actually warnings to the early church about a wrong emphasis on angels:
Paul warned the Galatians that false angels can bring deception (see Gal. 1:8)
Paul warned the Corinthians about 'angels of light' that are messengers of Satan (see 2 Cor. 11:14)
Paul warned the Colossians about misguided people who worship angels and deceive people with their emphasis on mystical experiences that are rooted in their hyperinflated egos (see Col. 2:18).
The book of Hebrews was written to a group of Christians who were considering going back to Old Covenant worship. In the first chapter the author makes it clear that angels have a lower place in God's economy when compared to Jesus Christ.
Many Bible scholars believe the readers of this epistle were being tempted to go back to an Old Covenant paradigm in which angels played a more significant role. The author of Hebrews warns these believers to focus their attention instead on the Son of God, who is more glorious than angels. We can make some basic assumptions about angels in the New Covenant era:
1. Angels help the church fulfill its mission, and they protect and guide the saints. Every one of us has probably experienced the activity of angels in our lives—often without knowing it because they are usually invisible.
2. Angels sometimes intervene with directive messages. But there is no case in the New Testament church in which an angel gave his name or brought attention to himself.
3. Angels don’t teach or explain doctrine. In our movement today, some leaders have suggested that certain angels (such as “Winds of Change”) have arrived to usher in new movements. Emma has been described as a 'nurturing angel' who brings a prophetic movement. But nowhere does the Bible suggest that angels bring moves of God. Jesus commissioned the church to advance the kingdom by preaching the gospel. Angels know this and they are expecting us to do our job.
4. Angels don’t bring healing. The New Testament church was commissioned to bring healing “through the name of Jesus,” and Jesus was always the focus for anyone who was healed miraculously. The story of the Pool of Siloam falls under the Old Covenant system, since this phenomenon occurred before the ministry of Jesus. And when Jesus came to that pool He proved to be a better solution to those who waited for the stirring of the waters.
5. Angels look like people, and in every case in Scripture they appeared to be male. However, in some cases their appearance was frightening because they carry with them the glory of heaven and the fear of God.
6. False angels preach a different gospel. One of the devil's strategies is to send counterfeit angelic messengers who bring teaching that is contrary to biblical truth.
There are many flaky, weird and foolish concepts being circulated in our movement today that must be corrected. If we don't hold tightly to Scripture, we might unknowingly give birth to a cult that could bring great damage and division to churches worldwide. It’s time to get back to the Bible!
by Terry Somerville www.totalchange.org
Jeremiah 23:16 'Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they teach you vanity; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Jehovah.'
In both the old and New Testament we are repeatedly warned about idols and false prophets. Today, both are in the church. The idols look Christian,and the prophets may do miracles and signs! They may even speak true words like Balaam. But he was a false prophet because he did not lead the people into faithfulness to God.
The issue here is not the power to prophecy, signs etc, it is the heart of the prophet, his character and teaching. The true ministry of a prophet is to bring fidelity to Christ, but as we shall see there is much false prophecy when idolatry increases in God's people.
Jeremiah 23: 21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
Mt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves
Mt 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.
True and False Sources of Prophecy
True prophecy is inspired by the spirit of the Lord. But the scripture makes it clear that God's prophets may speak from other sources! Note carefully how prophets can speak from their own heart and spirit but think it is the Lord!
Sources Of Prophecy
1. The prophets own heart
Ez 13:2 …say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
Jer 23: 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets. They are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
2. The Prophets Own Mind
Jer 23:16 They speak a vision of their own minds, and not from the mouth of the LORD.
3. The Prophets Own Spirit
Ez 13:3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
4. A Demon
Jeremiah 23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err'
Micah 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
Idols In The Heart Of Christians and The Prophets
Idol worship still tempts Christians converts in India. They believe certain fears, needs or desires may be answered by these false gods. Why do we think our spiritual life in the west is any different just because we don't bow to a graven image? Idolatry of the heart is rampant! As far as the Lord is concerned it is real idolatry and serving an image in the place of God!
Here is how it idolatry of the heart works.
1. Our Heart Is Gods Temple
I Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
2. Idols Can Be Taken Into The Heart
Ezekiel 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
3. Images and Pictures In The Heart Are The Idols
Ezekiel 8:10 behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
4. Covetousness (Desiring These Images) Is Idolatry
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
5. The Flesh Serves The Idol Resulting In Unrighteousness
James 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
The Question is, what are the pictures, ideas and images portrayed in your heart? What desires possess you? Are they Kingdom ideas or western culture?
My Own Experience
Many years ago the Lord confronted my about my idol worship. It was a revelation. I had three idol-pictures in my heart, covetous desires that I served. He revealed them by putting me through difficult circumstances. I needed to smash them down!
1. The Idol Of Ministry
I had a picture in my heart of 'successful ministry'. Even though it was all about REVIVAL, the pictures on the walls of my heart were created by the idols of our culture. Success, fame, youth, size, power etc. I prayed for it, prophesied it, and preached it. Because it was religious I could not see that my ministry had become my idol. My flesh served the idol. I was glad or depressed depending on the results.
2. The Idol Of My Wife
I also had an idol-picture in my heart of what I wanted my wife Karen to be like. It was an image of how I wanted her to look and act. I had fallen in love with this picture in my heart I coveted, instead of loving her. My flesh served the idol because I was glad when Karen was like the image, and upset when she was not.
3. The Idol Of My Home
God used our circumstances to expose this one. We moved to Campbell River from a water front home in Bermuda. For several years I would see images of the home we left behind every morning when I put my contact lenses in. I rebuked the devil but it was not him, it was my idol controlling my heart! I was miserable and tormented but could get free in my heart until I smashed this idol.
The Idols Of The Church Are Producing Todays False Prophets
The idols of our culture are being served in the church. But we don't see them because they are often equated with Christianity. Perhaps the greatest one is the idol of revival! I believe in genuine revival. But what the prophets are prophesying and what the people are chasing is NOT revival. It is an IDOL OF REVIVAL.
Success and fame. Everyone will come!
Size - We'll 'catch it' and our church will grow.
Money - the offerings will bring financial blessing
Power and Influence. We will be respected as leaders
Spectacles of spiritual power
THE PROPHETS OF REVIVAL
The idolatry around the church today has produced many prophets of revival who speak from their own minds and spirits. They serve these idols in their hearts. They rely on spectacular revelations to boost their ministries. The draw is signs and wonders and spiritual experiences. Believers serving the gods of the land will run because of the name and fame of these ministries. They say 'Iam of Paul, I am of Appolos', it is not the Lord.
Check Out The Prophets and Their Prophecy
1 Thessalonians 5:21 but test everything; hold fast what is good,
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Here are Some Tests for Prophecy and Prophets
1. The Word Of God – does it fit the Word of God ?
Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
2. The spirit of the prophecy – does it bear witness of Christ in word and spirit?
1John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
3. The character of the message – Does it lead to holiness?
Jer 23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
4. Confirmation - Do other prophets and prophecy agree?
1Cor.14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh(discern) what is said.
5. The character of the messenger
Jer 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness:
21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
Conclusion - The Church Must Repent Of Her Idols
The great need of the day is cleansing of the church from the idols of the land. We should not be surprised at the behavior of ministries in our day. We are in the grip of a terrible idolatry that rules much of the church and inspires many prophets. Most faithful Old Testament prophets could not convince God's people they had a problem with false gods. Many prophets ended up serving those false gods in the name of Jehova! The same is true today.
It is time for a great repentance, and abandoning of the idols of our time. We pray that God will give us eyes to see.
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Revelation of John 3:18
Appeal Regarding Lakeland
by Dutch Sheets
A STATEMENT and APPEAL REGARDING LAKELAND
-Dutch Sheets. (Aug 21, 2008).
It has now been a couple of weeks since I heard about Todd Bentley's plans for separation and divorce. Like everyone, I have had a variety of emotions including anger, sadness, and grief. Every time I see this scenario repeated, I grieve: for the husband and wife involved; for the family that will be scarred in so many ways; because of the incredible reproach it brings to Christ; and the distortion it gives concerning God's heart and ways. I am praying for Todd and his family.
I was asked numerous times to write my position on Lakeland while it was happening, but always felt checked by the Lord—the waters were too muddy and emotions too high. I now feel strongly that the Lord wants me to do so. It will be arguably one of the greatest risks of my ministry to date, but one I feel must be taken. Fathers, when given the voice to do so, bear the responsibility of giving correction and wisdom. I hope mine qualifies for the latter. I assure you I have spent many hours praying and thinking through the situation. The risks are broad: with some of my dearest friends and co-laborers, I risk harming those relationships; with many in the charismatic body of Christ, I risk appearing to be an arrogant, 'self-appointed' spokesperson for them; to the 'I told you so' crowd, I risk the accusation of 'spinning' the situation. (As far as the heresy hunters and revival police—not those who raised legitimate questions about Lakeland, but the attack dogs who make their living and build their ministries criticizing everyone else—I lost respect for them long ago and couldn't care less what they think.)
My purpose and sincere prayer in writing this statement, however, is three-fold: to see healing begin for the body of Christ; to initiate a process that can remove the reproach brought to Christ and the Church; and to do these things while preserving and honoring my current relationships. I pray that these desires, along with my heart, come through loudly. And I hope I'm writing this with true humility— who among us clearly sees all hidden in our own hearts? Let me also preface this statement by saying that what needs to be said cannot be done quickly or carelessly. I do not want my heart to be missed and am not willing to run that risk for the sake of brevity,
so please bear with the length. (Incidentally, I think it will be obvious no one involved in the Lakeland situation has asked me to write this; and for the sake of integrity on my part, none have been consulted concerning what I'm stating.)
Mistakes at Lakeland
Did leaders handling the Lakeland situation make mistakes? Yes— huge mistakes. Beyond the obvious fruit of salvations and healings, can good come from Lakeland, as some have suggested, even with the recent revelations concerning Todd Bentley? Yes, but only if there is complete honesty and transparency, the removal of all attempts at self-preservation, and absolute humility from all sides.
Did I endorse the Lakeland meetings? No, I did not, nor did I condemn them. I acknowledged that healings were occurring and some were being saved, which I still believe and rejoice over. I realized and stated that the thousands of people attending were hungry and sincere, as were those involved in leading the 2 meetings. The worship was regularly good. But looking past some of the immediate and positive results, I, like many, also looked
ahead to the possible fruit from questionable doctrine and experiences, exaggeration and hype, youthful pride, character issues and the frightening potential of a 32 year 'young' man leading a movement that could shape the future of the Church.
These things were frightening, very frightening, to others and me. When something has the potential of setting precedent, birthing a movement and being reproduced as a prototype, we are no longer simply endorsing good brothers, good intentions and miracles. Doctrine and foundations will be built on these events. Teachings and paradigms for future ministries will be formed—in short, the next generation of the church and the move of God in the earth could be greatly impacted. This is why I stopped short of endorsing everything at Lakeland. Just as importantly, I could not ignore the 'check', the uneasiness, the sickening feeling deep in my spirit telling me something else was wrong—terribly wrong—in this situation. Like other leaders I tried to push past my uneasiness with the showmanship, the 'bams,' the head butts and kneeing, along with certain experiences and doctrines, all in order to embrace the good. Like many of my friends I tried to be—and believe I was—gracious, accepting, ready to think 'out of the box', etc. But try as I may, the uneasiness in my spirit just wouldn't leave.
Did I voice my concerns to the appropriate people? Yes, including stating my concerns for Todd's marriage to the Lakeland Outpouring Apostolic Team. Did they listen? Some did, some didn't. But I want to state emphatically, this is not an 'I told you so' statement. In fact, much of what I want to address goes back several years into our charismatic Christian history. And I assure you that concerning our present weaknesses in the charismatic church, there is plenty of blame to go around. Personally, I've been right at times with my discernment and decisions, wrong at others. It would be worse than hypocritical for me to point the finger of accusation—I have no stones of judgment to throw. Nonetheless, mistakes were made and must be acknowledged and learned from in order for us to heal, grow and move forward.
Some of my closest friends endorsed and participated in the Lakeland meetings. For them I have both criticism—all of us lose credibility at this point if we're not completely honest—and affirmation. Should they have been more discerning and have listened to the warnings they received? Obviously. Should those who 'aligned' Todd with spiritual fathers (which was a good thing and positioned him to receive help if he chooses to accept it) have
realized to do so publicly was a mistake and could be interpreted by those watching in no other way than as a complete endorsement? Yes, they should have, especially when the event became a commissioning ceremony, complete with decrees and prophecies of going to higher levels, predictions of Todd's increasing world-wide influence and leading a world-wide revival, emphatic and prolific endorsements of his character, etc.
How could those watching believe the evening was anything but an aligning, endorsing and commissioning ceremony? It was. It really doesn't matter who laid their hands on Todd—all share responsibility. This was unwise at best, naïve at least and at its worst, foolish. And should the leaders involved have realized that those of us connected to them relationally, ministerially, and as movements—some even in alignment with them apostolically and
as sons and daughters—would feel minimalized, if not betrayed, by the fact that they were in essence taking us onto the stage with them? Yes. These feelings were inevitable, especially when we had such uneasiness and asked them not to. Should there be an acknowledgment of these mistakes to the body of Christ for the sake of accountability and in order to rebuild trust? I believe so, and remain hopeful this will happen.
With such strong statements of disagreement, what is the affirmation toward my friends who led, participated in or endorsed this ceremony (and the meetings in general)? Simply stated, I know their hearts. It is not a contradiction of my criticisms toward some of their actions to, at the same time, defend and endorse their hearts and character. It is completely appropriate — when true—to defend a person's heart and integrity while
disagreeing with their actions.
I think the blunder of that night was huge and very damaging to the body of Christ, but I also realize that in their hearts, those involved honestly felt they were doing the right things. Again, while not defending the action taken, I would defend the character and integrity of Peter and Doris Wagner as vigorously as anyone I know, and do so with absolute confidence. There are no two people, and I mean that literally, who embody the qualities of humility, integrity, holiness (no compromise!), sacrifice, unselfish kingdom-thinking, the tireless giving of themselves to Christ's cause and the body of Christ—and do I need to add risk-taking?— as much as Peter and Doris Wagner. It remains my great honor to be associated with them and call them a spiritual father and mother. And again, while not minimizing or 'sweeping under the rug' any wrong decisions, I remain steadfast in my belief that
similar affirmations could be made of others involved—either directly or indirectly—in the ceremony. And some of them still see their endorsing of Lakeland as an endorsement of revival generally, not of Todd personally.
The Bigger Picture
It may come as a surprise, however, that my real purpose in writing this is not to only state the above, as important as I believe saying it is. My primary purpose, and I believe my assignment from the Lord, is to identificationally repent on behalf of the leadership of the charismatic body of Christ (see Nehemiah 1:4-7; Daniel 9:1-19). In doing so, I do not have a pompous, 'no one else will, so I'll do it' attitude, nor am I arrogant enough to think I have become the spokesperson for the charismatic church. But in the same way that I can identify with the racism of white predecessors and repent to blacks, Native Americans and other races, I can
represent the leadership of the charismatic body of Christ and identificationally repent for our sins and weaknesses. I encourage leaders who find my statements true and appropriate to join me.
Beyond the simple fact of it being appropriate, I firmly believe it is the only way to begin the process of rebuilding trust with those asked to follow us and to remove the cynicism of the world we ask to listen to us. As you know, regaining credibility is much more difficult than attaining credibility. Concerning what I'm about to say, I don't believe I have a critical spirit, nor do I want to diminish the sacrifices, faithfulness, and hard work done by so many in ministry. The fact remains, however, that we have failed the Lord and His people in many ways—not just with Lakeland but in countless other situations—and must repent if we are to be trusted in the future. And as you also know, no repentance is effective if watered down and couched in excuses, therefore, I intend to be brutally honest:
1) We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don't even try to discern. We assume a person's credibility based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person's character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in the Church have become no different than the world around us in our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to become influential leaders—even to lead movements, allowing them influence all the way to the White House. Through our lack
of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms.
We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing gullible sheep. When a spiritual leader we're connected with violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply to say we don't condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to let them know whom to trust. We have failed them miserably in this regard. For this lack of discernment, and for employing and
passing on inappropriate standards of judgment, I repent to the Lord and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.
2) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall— all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of the spin—we're no different than Washington, DC. Every time another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the dancing begins. It seems that no one bears any real responsibility except the man or woman who actually commits sin. Incredibly, we even blame 'revival' itself—the pressures, attacks, weariness, the 'revival is messy' argument, etc., saying it is responsible for the failures. This is disgusting. Those of us on boards of fallen leaders, those who helped give them a voice, put them on TV, published and endorsed their books (yes, I have), etc., are not exonerated simply by saying we don't condone the wrong behavior or that we didn't know. We're supposed to know. I don't believe anyone is expecting perfection from us—I know I'm not. We're far too human for that. But we are expected to have enough humility to look the world and those who follow us in the eye when we miss it and say, 'we were wrong and we are sorry.' Our careless accountability has caused the body of Christ to be spiritually raped and abused. It has produced disillusionment and brought immeasurable reproach to our God and cynicism to His message. Concerning Lakeland, what was called the 'greatest revival since Azusa Street' has become possibly one of the greatest reproaches. We, the leaders of the charismatic church, are responsible. For not accepting and acknowledging our responsibility, for caring more about our own reputation than Christ's, I repent to God and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.
3) Our procedures and standards of accountability are incredibly inadequate. We have provided camaraderie, not biblical accountability. For those on Todd Bentley's board who had previous knowledge of his marriage problems and said nothing, it was more than a mistake—it was reckless, foolish, and irresponsible. For those on the stage the night of his aligning and commissioning who knew and said nothing—ditto. For those there
who didn't know, my question is, 'why didn't you?' You were trusted to know. That is one of the purposes of public commissioning and the purpose behind the concept of endorsement. I'm not trying to point the finger; I'm endeavoring to get us to be honest about our failures—we have serious credibility issues. Have I ever laid hands on, commissioned or endorsed anyone without adequately checking them out? Yes, but you better believe I'll be more careful next time! And we must not single out Lakeland. We're all guilty. What about the leader in my city who ran with some of the leading spiritual fathers in our nation— sincere and good men, I might add, and not all 'charismatic' leaders—who sang his praises and helped build his stage—all while he was doing drugs and having sex with other men? But we shouldn't blame only the high profile cases—what about those of us who unknowingly have had adulterers on our staffs or appointed elders that turned out to have compromise in their life? Sounding familiar yet? This is so epidemic that every member of the body of Christ stands guilty—what pastor or leader did you follow that turned out to have sin issues? What ministry did you support that was unworthy? There is plenty of blame to go around. The big question becomes not 'who do we blame' but 'how do we fix this mess?' Leaders can live in sin—adultery, homosexuality, financial wrongdoing, drugs, etc.—for years without it being realized. They can offer completely unacceptable lifestyles for the body of Christ to follow and still keep their TV programs and lavish lifestyles. In the name of grace, compassion and forgiveness we have lowered the standard so much that often there isn't one. We have bought into the lie that true discipline is 'shooting our wounded.' We have made a mockery of biblical restoration, making 'ministry'—not healthy individuals, marriages and families—its ultimate goal. The fact is, integrity matters. No, we don't need legalistic, pharisaical standards, but we must have standards. For this lack of biblical accountability, I repent to God and I ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.
4) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype, sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders— gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of God's word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom- centered churches and ministries; competition rather than cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don't
understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel; prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical of it all. We are responsible, not the devil; he takes what we give him. For this compromise in the way we build, for giving the Church watered down wine, commercial Christianity, a flashy but
weak Church and hype disguised as anointing, I repent to God and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ. Galatians 6:1-5 is an appropriate reference with which to end this statement: 'Brethren, even if a man caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one shall bear his own load.' NAS
My passionate prayer is that God honors this repentance — I believe He led me to do it and therefore, will—and uses it to begin a process of cleansing and healing for all of us. In order for the coming great awakening to bear maximum fruit we must have both, as well as a course correction that sets us on a path of wisdom leading to life. There is no doubt that past moves of God have been aborted, ended prematurely and contained error or heresy that have wounded, if not destroyed, many. The healing revival of the 40's and 50's, the charismatic movement, discipleship movement and Jesus movement are all examples. My heart is to help shape a movement, the fruit of which will last for decades — better yet, forever. And I have great expectations for us—I am not a cynic.
My passionate prayer is also that Todd Bentley's marriage survives and thrives…that he turns his heart fully toward Christ and toward those with whom he is aligned, and allows them, as God leads, to put him on a path of complete restoration. I thank God for those who were touched by the Holy Spirit at Lakeland and while watching it on God TV and the web. May we all move forward into all God has planned for us in this awesome season of endless possibility.
With great hope—Dutch Sheets.