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Moreleta Park, Bruce Wilkinson and the Amazonic “Jesus”

Moreleta Park, Bruce Wilkinson and the Amazonic "Jesus"

Bruce WilkinsonOn 16 May 2010 Dr. Bruce Wilkinson preached at the Moreleta Park Dutch Reformed Church, Pretoria to 7 000 people. He did not preach from the Bible. Instead he exegeted the revival that started in Andrew Murray’s church.

Before coming to Moreleta Park, Dr. Wilkinson prayed that the Lord would set this church free again. He asked Him what is going to happen to this church in the next five years and “I got an immediate sense of an answer. Immediately He said;  “Well, they will be onto their third service in five years. This will fill, this will fill a third time. [Applause] But they must break through in ways that they have not yet broken through.”

When Dr. Wilkinson heard that Moreleta Park had started small groups, he did not believe it, because it goes against the tradition of the Dutch Reformed Church to do something less formal and new. [Note: According to their handbook for group leaders page 15, group membership is a prerequisite for membership of the church.]  When he overcame his disbelief, he knew that they were in the midst of a growing revival that they have not yet identified. He explained that it is happening all over the world. Once a church has grown to Moreleta’s size, it bursts open into cell groups. And this is God’s doing it with a strategy in mind. The new model is finally here. This is the global new model of what God is doing. Cell groups are the next global move of God.

Not so fast. ‘Moreletas’ should see read The Transforming Church by Tricia Tillin

“Yes, hidden in the fancy rhetoric about the cell structure is the move towards an apostolic reformation of the Church, the leadership of self-appointed apostles and prophets, heavy shepherding, the removal of bible-study and classic bible teaching with a shift towards seeker-sensitive, social programs and self-indulgent “sharing”, and the tracking and databasing of all church members.

It is a shift away from preaching the gospel for individual salvation, and the subsequent teaching, bible instruction and discipline which is needed for individual sanctification; a shift towards “growth” because numbers are all-important in the race to convert the world, therefore anything that does not contribute to numerical growth in your church MUST GO. It is also a shift towards mass conversion of people-groups, and a shift towards what is called “discipling” which is another word for CONTROLLING church members once you have them under your cell roof!

Even the supposedly biblical and attractive proposition of ending the monopoly on ministry that the Pastor and elders have had for many years, transferring power to the people, and showing them the principle of every-member ministry – even this has a sting in the tail, for not only are the members of cells strictly led by shepherds, mentors, disciplers and elders in a pyramid structure to rival that of Rome’s priesthood, BUT the effort being put into the transferal of ministry functions is primarily to “tap the resource” that is in the churches: ie, to train up millions of obedient little workers to go out and harvest “the unchurched”. Put in that light, the “paradigm shift” doesn’t seem so innocuous or benevolent.”

Moreleta Park is committed to achieving results, bring in the ‘harvest’ through their small groups. Their Bible Study Guide for August to December 2009 bristles with instructions on doing just that. As far as I can tell, they only study Jesus Christ as an example and not as Saviour.

In the Bible Study Guide there is a commitment form Moreletas have to sign. Tricia Tillin explains the danger in The Covert Strategies of the False Revival:

“The Cult of Confession: encouragement of self disclosure to members in the group. Often in the context of a public gathering in the group, admitting past sins and imperfections, including doubts about the group and critical thoughts about the integrity of the leaders. This serves several purposes. It provides a ‘release valve’ for the convert to purge the old ways out of his system; and gives the leaders foreknowledge about possible threats to the group. It also gives the leaders a list of sins to hold over the person’s head if there is any threat of withdrawal.”

Here is the first five commitments in the Moreleta Park Study Guide:

My commitment as a care group member

1. Unconditional love – I undertake that I will not allow anything to taint my love for each one of the group members. Even if I don’t agree with someone’s opinion or ways, I will still love him. Even if we have disagreements, I will still care for them and God’s love and grace will take priority. I will lovingly reach out to others who have not yet joined a group and I will endeavour to reach out to them and encourage them to become part of the group.

2. Availability – I will avail my time, energy, insight and gifts to the group. I undertake that the group will be of high priority to me and this will be evident through my willingness to sacrifice and afford my time to the group.

3. Committed intercession – As expected by our loving Father, I undertake to pray for each member of the group on a regular basis. I believe that God hears and answers each prayer and that each person will experience the blessings of God through prayer.

4. Transparency – I promise to share my feelings, struggles, burdens and joy with the group. I will be open and entrust the group with my problems and life goals.

5. Absolute honesty – I undertake to be honest with the group members, even if it is about hurtful and sensitive matters. I will speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15), conscious that the Lord uses us to form one another.

I presume that the Moreletas do sign that form before they study their marching orders as set out in the guide. And march they must. Moreleta Park is committed to reach 10 million souls in 10 years in exchange for for their pastor Elza Meyer’s life:

“During the Eastern Cape conference demons attacked my body. We were unable to break the effect thereof until I phoned my son, Pieter, late that night asking him to pray for me. He claimed 10 million souls, saved and baptized in exchange for the attack on my life. It immediately stopped. The Moreleta Park congregation was led to formulate a new goal for the congregation, namely 10 million souls within ten years. The overriding aim is to reach 10 million souls with the Gospel and to make them disciples of Jesus Christ. (Emphasis added)”

And so, back to the sermon:

Dr Bruce Wilkinson says, “Four weeks ago I was at one of the great churches at Atlanta, Georgia and their minister of music is a young man [Note: unnamed] whose father I discipled for about twenty years. And this young man and his wife with four children are just remarkable, like your worship team here. He is the number one worship leader in all of Europe. He has his own label. He goes throughout Europe leading praise and worship meetings. And as I spoke for a week at this conference, the church almost this size, I had lunch with him and I said to him: “You have been all over Europe. When have you seen the Lord the most? Tell me.”

He said: “It wasn’t in Europe. It wasn’t even in the US. It was down on the Amazon River.”

“The Amazon River?”

“Yes. They invited me to come lead worship. It took us two days on a canoe down the Amazon to find the place [Note: unnamed]. There were people from all over that were there.”

He said: “The worship was so intense. The hearts of people were so hungry for the Lord that”, he said “the worship was beyond anything I have ever experienced and we were pleading with Jesus to come Himself.” [Note: When Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins is not preached, people do starve, just like Bruce’s Bibleless sermon.]

“I stopped eating and I leaned forward and I said: “Did He come?”

“Yes, He did.”

“He did? What happened?”

He said: “It was when the disciples were praying for Peter in prison and didn’t believe that God answered their prayer.” He said: “Here we were for two days asking for Christ to come and just walk among us and He said ‘yes’.”

“He did? What was that like?”

He said: “He showed up at the back of the room.”

“This man is not a, mmm, this man is very reasonable. Just for those of you who is thinking he is wild eyed or something. “What happened to him?”

He said: “He began to quietly walk down the aisle”

He said: “Everybody on both sides of the aisle fell down. Quietly we stopped singing. Everybody, everybody saw Christ. Everybody! We all got quiet. And as He walked, everybody fell down and everybody was healed. Everybody in the building that were sick, were healed. Everyone. He came across the front. He stopped. He went in the back and He said: ‘Continue worshiping’. And He left.”

[Chuckle.] Oh, may He come. May He come again.

7 000 people and nobody corrected Bruce:

The Bible says:

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Mat 24:23-27)

Bruce asked the people to raise their hands if they had a sense that they wanted more of God. The raised hands were confirmation that the Lord has prepared the place for a miracle. But the only way that could happen is if the church will be more obedient and if they would humble themselves by kneeling and crying out to the Lord that they really want it. Bruce wanted to encourage them to break through and said,

“Tonight will be the first major breakthrough. Tonight will be a night of many miracles in this building. But it must be preceded this morning by something highly unusual, because we’re not here talking to you as an individual. I am not talking to you, Bruce to you. It is Bruce to Moreleta Park church, a great body of believers. And God is inviting the church, as a group of people, to break through in a way that South Africa has not seen for 150 years. God does not want the good old days what we talk about. He wants today to be the day in which He breaks through. But you and I must make a choice as a church…”

“It is the church of Moreleta Park that is asking for a revival. Is it not? …

“And therefor I have a question for you. How far will you go in getting prepared for God to come? How far will you go?  How far will you humble yourself? How sincerely will you cry out as the coloured girl did? She shook heaven’s door. One young girl shook the throne of heaven with a plea of sincerity that God couldn’t say no to. He couldn’t say no to the girl. One girl. Will you r e a l l y beg heaven to come? Will you humble yourself? Will you seek the throne of heaven directly, directly in your mind, in your heart, in your imagination? Will you enter the throne room of the Almighty because of the blood of Christ we come boldly onto His throne and will you ask heaven: “God Almighty, I want it. You. I’ll do anything You ask. I will do anything You ask. Just ask, but one thing I will not accept, that You will not come.””

“I believe, therefor, that the first step, that the purpose of this service was simply to one thing. It is to prepare the way for tonight. It is to humble our hearts together this morning and then it is to watch God tonight do the first miracle that He is going to do at this church. And it is going to be a big one.”

At the end of the sermon he coerced the people to come forward, to kneel down and to cry out to the Lord. Soon he had to stop the people in the aisle, as there was no more space left in the front and the crying out commenced. According to his own estimate, 6 000 people threw of the restraints of their heritage and did as they were told to do, with the tantalizing story of Jesus appearing on the Amazon still ringing in their ears.

In Moreleta Park’s June/July Newsletter page 4 we learn that miracles happened all over the place [wonderwerke oral heen]. One person is quoted as saying:

“Wow… Jesus was verseker daar, dalk nie in die vlees nie, maar ek het Hom so ervaar dat daar nie regtig woorde is nie.”

My translation: “Wow… Jesus was surely there, maybe not in the flesh, but I experienced Him in a way that words cannot describe.”

I find it incredible to believe that Jesus Christ would turn up if He were not preached during the sermon or that their newsletter would not report on the big miracle of that night as prophesied by Bruce.

I also find it curious that Bruce Wilkinson chided the congregation as if they were a staunch Calvinist church. Moreleta Park is a platform for Elza Meyer, Stephan Joubert, Angus Buchan, Dion Forster, Tony Campolo and Bruce Wilkinson himself.

No, getting the Moreletas to kneel in the church and to cry out for Jesus Christ to appear bodily, is not pushing the boundaries at all. They are ready to go much further in their blind obedience to their pastors who insist that they need to be like Jesus. That is a pretty tall order, considering that on their mission page, they only have Law, obedience and works, but no Gospel.

————

[Note by DTW:  Bruce Wilkinson is also best known as the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Prayer of Jabez.  Contemplative prayer at it’s best, Bruce teaches people to recite this 33 word prayer from 1 Chronicles 4:10 every day to receive great blessings in their lives.  He apparently has been reciting this prayer over and over and over again for the last 35 years and can report a great blessing in his life as he sold over 22 million books on telling people to recite the Prayer of Jabez over and over and over again.  There have been no reports from other people who bought the book and helped make Bruce a fortune.]

           

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59 comments to Moreleta Park, Bruce Wilkinson and the Amazonic “Jesus”

  • Elmarie A

    Note taken. Thank you for your time and effort to do research about this. May many read this and see the red lights and be on high alert.

    Always the same names poping up again and again Elza Meyer, Stephan Joubert, Angus Buchan, Dion Forster, these leavened teachers/pastors are indeed working towards transformation at the speed and likes of a Tsunami. This year in particular the wave is hitting the African continent big time.

    Yikes ya we are so surrounded by these false churches and believe me when I say Pretoria East is suffocating and choking here. We can only sound the warning bells , watch wakefull and stay wide awake and pray for mercy to our Lord Jesus.

    Oh an update about the latest at Lewende Woord Brumeria also in Pretoria East : Apostolic Prophetic Conference 2010 (this is done yearly by the way)

    This is just to make you aware do not attend this if you are a discerning Christian please!!

    Apostolic Prophetic Conference 2010

    We are looking forward to the coming Apostolic Prophetic Conference that will be held from 18 – 21 August 2010, with guest speakers such as Rob Rufus, Danie Slabbert, Joe van der Berg, Eduart Mbedzi, Dr. Chuck Day and Nevil Norden. The theme of the conference is “The Victorious Church”. This year’s conference will be presented free of charge and there will thus be no need for registrations.

    All our missionaries, affiliated congregations and city congregations will be gathering on 18 August to be apostolically and prophetically equipped.
    http://www.lewendewoord.co.za/newsite/page.php?148

    ___________________________________________________

    Lewende Woord punts Godtv and even give settings for this but then I found this:

    One of the most effective proselytizers drawing Christians away from the faith today is not a minister,
    mullah, or rabbi. She is entertainer and New-Age guru, Oprah Winfrey.

    What I’m trying to say is this. They promote Godtv and then heed warnings about Oprah Winfrey? because she is rich. We all know OW is a heretic also. My point is this about money?

  • I want you all to know this cell group stuff, has gone through the church like wildfire, so why wouldnt it infiltrate Dutch Reformed as well? They call them life groups, cell groups, and they are in every church now of the modern ilk. This is the way the Communists kept control with a village council, everywhere, and the open disclosure {CONFESSION} as it where to the group, helps keep any dissenters from getting too many ideas. I am planning a blog entry probably later this week on Cell Groups. Their inability to discern that false vision of “jesus” too is alarming. Thanks for sounding the warning here.

  • Elmarie A

    Biblebeliever

    Yes and I believe that Rick Warrens Purpose Driven Life, Church false teachings have allot to do with this situation too. It seems that most of the churches are modeling their teachings around Rick Warrens doctrines. Most churches have used Rick Warren’s 40 day fasting teaching also and it would not surprise me if Moreletta Church did this one to.

    Excerpt form here about fasting:
    40 Days Purpose Driven Life Campaign (PDL Campaign)
    Guidelines for PDL Campaign
    PDL Campaign coordinators
    *** We give away “Purpose Driven Life Journal Note” to all volunteers.
    Fasting prayer volunteers (60 people + 4 relay fasting people, our goal was 40 people)
    ** Two obligations as a fasting prayer volunteer
    1) Pray, having only water or salt for 24 hours for one day from 2/12 to 2/17
    2) Look at the pray list in PDL fasting prayer guide. Pray for everything on the list
    Small group leaders (41 people, our goal was 40 people)
    ** Four obligations as a small group leader
    1) Reserve the meeting place
    2) Schedule the meeting date, time, and place for small group meeting
    3) A small group leader can delegate anyone in his/her group to teach each PDL
    topic, but should lead his/her meeting
    4) Report on the small group meeting and group members’ situation to PDL
    campaign headquarter by e-mail after each meeting
    http://hanmaum-church.org/upload/etc/07PDL_Overview_Eng.pdf

    Now if you start to investigate all of this you should come to the conclusion we are indeed in times of the falling away dispensation and not in times of revivals as these type of churches say. We are heading for the ONE WORLD CHURCH AND ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT at a very fast pace. Tony Blair is at the forefront of this and Rick Warren is part of the advisory council for Tony Blair.

    We can only watch and pray Luke 21:36 and heed the warning bells Ezekiel 33:6 Let those who have ears let them hear for we are warned in 2 Timothy 4:3
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

  • Elmarie A

    Oh my goodness I found more info that 40 days Prayer and Fasting is included in:

    read with Caution please:

    40 Days of Purpose Led by Rick Warren.

    Preparation that will Focus Your Campaign
    4. PRAYER EMPHASIS – Including a National Day of Prayer
    Prayer is the most important component of this Campaign. Without God’s power, our labor will be in vain. The Campaign must be saturated in prayer, so we’ll share customizable ideas and tools to promote individual, group and corporate prayer. Often in the Bible, God’s people fasted and prayed immediately before a major victory, miracle, or answer to prayer. It prepared them for a blessing! Join with other churches in 40 Days of Purpose for the National Day of Prayer and Fasting on Saturday, 11th February. This is a significant day of heart preparation and soul renewal that will release God’s supernatural power for the next 40 days.

    Take note : Take extreme caution viewing this above link and the link does NOT express the views of DTW blog. This link is to be viewed with extreme discernment please.

  • Alan

    Hi Debs, Amanda, Elmarie, and others,

    I haven’t posted anything for a while, mainly because I haven’t had anything much to say. For those Rugby fans, I’m looking forward to the Tri-Nations series coming up. The All Blacks are playing The Wallabies in Melbourne YAAAAY!!! I get to see a REAL game for a change!!! (Picture me grinning)
    On a slightly more serious note, I have been pondering the whole ’40 days’ thing lately. All these PDL and PoJ (Prayer of Jabez) people and others, seem to be saying that the number 40 carries some kind of BENEFICIAL significance, whereas from what I can see, the number seems to be always tied up with judgement (or in Jesus’ case:- tempting by Satan), so I am going to do a bit of a study on this ‘magical’ number 40 and see what the Bible has to say about it. I just feel that the importance Rick Warren, et al place on this number is at odds with the scripture. Shock! Horror! Surely not! Rick Warren & co. at odds with scripture?
    Now I know that this is a novel approach, looking in the Bible for answers, but I’m sure I’ll get to the truth of the matter if I seek diligently. :-)
    NOTE: Subtle Aussie humour has started to take effect after 30 odd years! (and VERY odd years they were too!) My apologies, I’ll be sensible again now.
    I will report back to you on what I find, would anyone else like to investigate this also? It would be great to hear from any who do.

    Shalom,
    Alan.

  • Alan

    OOOPS!
    To clarify my last post, the phrase:-

    ” would anyone else like to investigate this also? It would be great to hear from any who do.”

    refers to the number 40 thing, not my warped sense of humour. ;-)
    Just in case you were wondering.

    Blessings,
    Al.

  • Elmarie A

    Alan

    Welcome back :-) lol I’m afraid I am not much of a rugby fan sorry :-( I just find it utterly ridiculous that the SA Springbuck rugby team has to make use of makeup and tanning sessions before a game and for photo sessions during winter. They need to look tanned and plastic for the world? yikes Yes I’m being serious here. Do you know that they use a make up artist before a game to look good for the fans. lol lol aaaghh no man Rugby is not rugby as of the old days any more. Hmmnn yes I’m afraid that postmodernism has also crept into rugby and other sports. Oh and the Blue Bulls team is the most vain team of all, lol lol they are the ones that worry about their looks the most. Haha lol and I live in Blue Bull country. Any way I do hope you enjoy our games you looking forward to :-)

    But I have enjoyed watching a couple of SWC games though :-) I could not see any of the soccer players using makeup lol lol giggles this side…….

    Yes I will also see what I can find on the number 40. Will keep you posted. :-) I will test me nose to see if I can still do some sniffer dog work :-)

    Please also read here :

  • Amanda

    Hi Alan. Welcome back!

    would anyone else like to investigate this also?

    I am in! Done it:

    All in all, there are only a handful of instances in Scripture where a 40-day period could possibly be construed as “spiritually significant.” Scripture does not in any way justify Rick Warren’s fallacious claims that “the Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period,” and that “whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days.” If this latter claim was true, then God has only prepared a handful of people, and everyone else in Scripture (and throughout history) was never prepared by God for His purposes!

    Twisting Scripture to put spiritual significance on a 40-day time period is akin to occultic numerology. The Holy Scriptures are clear that transforming and life-changing power is found through the knowledge, belief, and obedience of the Lord God Himself and His Word. There are no ‘magical’ formulas or rituals that bypass this. Yet regarding his book Rick Warren confidently declares:

    “The next 40 days will transform your life.” (PDL; p. 10)

    Eight examples are given from the Bible in an effort to justify his premises regarding 40-day periods (these examples are listed on p. 10 of PDL). Not one of his examples, which he has removed from their scriptural context, supports his unscriptural premises. However, some of these examples when examined in their scriptural context actually warn against following what the majority is doing.

    Okay, that is taken from the free online book: In The Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity by Tamara Hartzell, 2006 Chapter 3. It is really a worthwhile read. And, Alan, you are correct that the Bible does not give the number 40 the same value as the PDL crowd.

    Now, who is going to be smiling after the All Blacks / Wallabies clash?

  • Elmarie A

    Amanda

    I am in! Done it:

    Thank you :-)

    Sooo there you go this is proof that you have baaaaah baaaah even a better nose for sniffing out goods than Olak. lol lol Of course yes :-)

    Now the story goes like this: Olak is doing his work as a sheep dog and enjoying a day in training with the sheep. :-)

  • Amanda

    Olak! Postman!

  • Elmarie A

    Amanda

    lol lol !!

  • Alan

    Hello again,
    Well, after opening the can, I guess I’d better just start by listing the various references to 40 throughout the Bible and then see what’s what. ;-)

    Before I do that, I want to mention that there are 40 days, 40 years, and 40 stripes (lashes), but as far as I can see, no mention of 40 weeks anywhere. Don’t know if that is or isn’t a big thing, but as my original intent was to investigate what the Bible tells about this number, I thought I’d look at all the aspects of it in the scriptures. Okay, here we go:-

    Genesis 7:12: “And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”
    Genesis 7:17; “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.” Judgement is definitely the theme here.

    Genesis 8:6-7; “And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up
    from off the earth.” These 40 days are after the tops of the mountains were seen and Noah has waited ’til now to send out his raven and dove (v.8) to see if the land is dry enough for them to leave the ark. No reason is given why he waited specifically 40 days, so we can say nothing definite about it.

    Genesis 50:3; “And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.” Er… I don’t know that I could make that evidence for the No. 40 always being connected with good things from God.

    Exodus 24:18; “And Moses went up into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” This is when Moses was given the Law, which Paul says brings death, but in Hebrews it is pointed out that the Law was intended to direct us to Christ and His sacrifice. On balance, the Law is a great blessing, although not directly, as we can’t live by it. R.W. & Co. seem to think we can, so maybe they’d take this as a point in their favour?
    Exodus 34:28: “And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”
    These were the replacements for the ones Moses broke on the golden calf, so this is a repeat of above.

    Numbers 13:25; “And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.” Like Noah’s waiting period, there’s nothing here but an apparently arbitrary number of days. Maybe testing is applicable, because the spies report could influence the people either way. Actually, I think it is an example of God testing his people, because he told Moses to send the spies into the land. When you think about it, there was really no need to spy out the land, because the Lord had promised the people that he would win the land for them. That being so, it mattered not a jot what the spies saw there, it would’ve all been taken care of by the Lord. (Willing to be shot down here by anyone who disagrees, but that’s my current thinking on this incident.)

    Deuteronomy 9:25; “Thus I fell down before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first: because the Lord had said he would destroy you.” Moses is castigating the Israelites because of their rebellion and reminding them how he fasted and prayed for them for forty days and nights to avert God’s judgement on them. Judgement is again the centerpiece here.

    1 Samuel 17:16 “And the Philistine drew near each morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.” An enemy of God spends forty days taunting God’s people, hardly something beneficial. ;-)

    1 Kings 19:8; ” And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb, the mount of God.” Elijah; after eating the food and drink provided by the angel sent by God (after the showdown with the prophets of Baal). An obvious example of blessing, but coming BEFORE the forty days and nights, not AFTER!

    Ezekiel 4:6; “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Again, this is a matter of judgement, not blessing, and the forty days represent forty years.

    Jonah 3:4; “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” Judgement is the focal point here too.

    Luke 4:2; “Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” This is obviously a time of trial for our Lord and as such, could POSSIBLY be worked to apply to the PDL/Prayer of Jabez formulas, because trials bring us closer to God, but it’s not something specifically advocated by the scriptures as being a way to improve our relationship with God, so they are putting words in God’s mouth by REQUIRING adherence to their forty days regimen. Adding to the scripture perhaps? Probably, I’d say!

    Acts 1: 3; “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” Blessings are implied here and this also could be used by the PDL/PoJ crowd to press their point, but the same caveat as I mentioned above applies, as before. There is no directive anywhere to follow a forty day program of fasting, prayer, or anything else, much less a guarantee of improvement in our walk with the Lord, which is what both PDL and PoJ PROMISE in their arrogance!

    Forty is mentioned in connection with punishment (as in forty stripes), in:-

    Deuteronomy 25:3; “Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.” Not really of much help to our ‘friends’.

    2 Corinthians 11:24; “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.” Paul here refers to suffering for his witness. The reason there were 39 stripes, is because of the injunction mentioned above. The idea was that if they only gave 39, it couldn’t contravene the command not to exceed 40. Again, no use to the 40 day fanatics.

    Just quickly, the 40 years references are virtually all examples of judgement (except one). I will list them briefly.

    Exodus 16:35; “And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” This is of course because they wandered about in the wilderness as a judgement for not trusting God to give them the land.

    Numbers 14:33; “And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.” Hardly an encouraging verse to prompt me to go through 40 days of purpose, or praying Jabez’s prayer!

    Judges 3:11; “And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.” Respite from upheaval doesn’t quite get there either, does it?

    Psalm 95:10 “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:” Direct reference to the judgement in Numbers. Again not really applicable in the way Rick Warren and Bruce Wilkinson need it to be.

    Ezekiel 29:11; “No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.” This is a prophecy of a judgement on Egypt. DEFINITELY not one I’d use to try establish some kind of blessing implicit in the number 40, but then, I’m not about to try and lead people astray either!

    I think that should be enough to show that this whole idea of 40 days of repeating a prayer or reinventing the gospel being based in any way on scriptural principles is just wicked lies and deception. Of course, many of us knew that already, but maybe we can prayerfully and graciously show people, from the scriptures, the fallacy of the supposed biblical principles that these teachings are supposedly based on.

    Maybe some will listen.

    Maybe they will begin to question the programming they’ve been subjected to.

    Maybe they’ll start to really search the scriptures.

    Maybe they will hear the voice of the Spirit saying; “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

    I pray that some will.

    God bless you all,
    Shalom,
    Alan.

  • cecilia

    it was very interesting to find “40” being indicated in the Scriptures also as “age”. on this site, it draws the conclusion that : “the biblical number “40” symbolizes maturation”.

    it was great to read all your findings on “40”. and yes, we should head the voice of the Holy Spirit (backed by the Word of God, because HE is true to Himself and His Word), rather than to fall back to “magical numbers”.

  • Dusty

    Hi there Alan, my old Antipodean pal :O)

    I must admit I haven’t studied *all* the relevant passages yet, but my sense is that the number 40 is related to several things, principally to testing and judgment. However, the key thing is that it is something *God* must initiate for a given person or group. It is not for an individual or a church to decide to invoke God in this way. God may well test someone for 40 days, but He will do it whether we want it or not, whereas Warren effectively makes God out to be (as others have beautifully phrased it) a cosmic bellhop who must submit to our timings and to our commands.

  • P.S. It is interesting to me that the Temple was overthrown in A.D.70 – which would have been 40 years after the crucifixion. It’s as if God gave the Jewish People around the world 40 years to work out the truth about Christ and what it meant for the Levitical laws. Likewise, Israel being re-established in 1948, I reckon it was 40 years later that many high-profile anti-Semites stopped denouncing the Jews as a whole but ‘just’ those Jews who supported Israel. It’s like God gave the Jewish People around the world 40 years to work out that the re-establishment of Israel was of Him.

    Just a thort. Please don’t bash me!

  • cecilia

    Alan said above:
    “Maybe they will begin to question the programming they’ve been subjected to.

    Maybe they’ll start to really search the scriptures.

    Maybe they will hear the voice of the Spirit saying; “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

    I pray that some will. ”

    and I said:
    “and yes, we should head the voice of the Holy Spirit (backed by the Word of God, because HE is true to Himself and His Word), rather than to fall back to “magical numbers”.”

    as of just before just more than 1 week ago, I HAD to and DID heed to the voice of Holy Spirit… and as you well know Deborah, I totally DO NOT believe in nor practice the art of numbers.

  • fiona

    Hello. I need some help. Ive been following all this stuff for a few days now. Ive been a christian 15 years. Basically when i was young I met satanists who put a curse on me and my life was a serious mess for many years. after 10 years though I went to a born again christian who had the gift of discerment and prayed for me and broke the curse off my life. My life changed overnight and I gave my life to the Lord; that was 15 years ago. little by little i read wigglesworth, hagin, viewed the big healing revivals and slowly it all impressed me. my husband was big into Copeland but he was also possessed ( thats another story and were separated at the moment)and I can see the poing about word of faith really not being christian but more like a cult. Ive never much cared for the prosperity stuff; it seems to be that following Jesus is more about renouncing what we have and serving others than it is about personal attainment. BUT – I am finding this very difficult. Please tell me this- it seems to me at the moment, that EVERYTHING I thought was truely christian and from the Lord, might be a kundalini spirit? I can see that some of it is, like toronto and todd bentley and quitte a few others. What you say about the false prophets makes sense. But please tell me this- are there ANY christian ministries out there today who are practicing the service of the true Lord? Are ANY of the healings from the Lord? ( I know several people and many friends who were healed but who are very strongly devoted to the Lord) I feel like everything Ive ever been taught has been deception! Please tell me there are some christian ministers who are genuine and churches too. Do you feel that All healing in the name of the Lord is this kundalini spirit? If that were the case, how would you renounce it, and do you believe the Lord is healing people today? And lastly, all these people in the big crusades, do you believe they can be saved if they have received this false spirit for healing- even though they are very committed christians? Sorry this is so long and I have so many questions. I feel very upset. Please help ! Thankyoou, yours, Fiona

  • Amanda

    Fiona

    I don’t have enough time to answer all your questions right now, but please stick around and keep asking. It seems to me as if you have had a strong dose of religion! The first order of business then, is to establish what Christianity is.

    God is holy, good and righteous. He rightfully demands: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (Mat 22:37-38) If we break that commandment even once, we shall be condemned to hell. We don’t keep that commandment. If fact, we are hostile to God and ‘serving the Lord’ does not make up for our rebellion, even if that rebellion is hidden from the world and only exists in our thought life. We are true children of Adam and we are doomed.

    but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Rom 5:8-10)

    The Word of God declares:

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:4-9)

    A Christian is somebody who has faith in Jesus Christ to save him from the wrath of God. A faithful ministry would teach the Law, everything God demands of us and the Gospel, everything Jesus Christ did for us to cover our sins and to declare us righteous, when we are not.

    This is tremendously Good News! And we are so quick to forget and to fall back on our default position, that is, what we have to do to please God. And that opens the door for false teachers to move in and deceive us, not only with what they say, but often by what they leave unsaid. Sometimes they do it by only shifting the focus slightly. They all use the Bible, so it sounds like truth, but it is twisted.

    Fiona, we don’t have time to listen to them undermining our faith and allowing them to tie unbearable burdens of works to our backs. Ditch them. Only listen to those preachers who will preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins.

    So here is a bit of homework for you. Please read A Listener’s Guide to the Pulpit. Use that as a measure for the sermons that you have listened to or even books you have read. This will clarify why something that you have heard, sounded a little off, but you could not put your finger on it. Just start there.

    Yes, there are some wonderful ministries left, but it might take some serious digging to find one in your area. Luckily we do have the Internet and sound teaching is available.

    Please read the article and see if that helps you at all. Then come back and we’ll take it from there.

  • fiona

    Hello Amanda, thankyou for answering some of my questions, it has helped – but I may ask a few more, if that is ok!

  • Amanda

    Fiona

    You are welcome. And it is weekend, so I will have more time available. Ask away!

  • fiona

    hello again Amanda, well I think my questions are still the same: Does the Lord heal today? I have seen a few healings which were peaceful, no shaking, and permanent and which led to the person giving their life to the Lord and remaining convinced that God is real. So does the Lord heal today and how can I trust that it is the from the Lord and not from this kundalini spirit? Also, I know a very strong believing christian lady of many years who was healed of severe back pain which was so severe she had to lay down on a flat board for months but was healed instantly at a benny hinn crusade. Can the Lord heal in a place like that inspite of Benny hinn? Or do you think this lady would need deliverance? She still believes strongly and is close to the Lord. I feel so confused still – I would like to think the Lord is still doing miracles today. well thankyou again

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    fiona

    Of course God still heals today, but NOT through the hands of a charlatan. If you want healing go to Jesus Christ directly. Do you have a problem going to Him directly? Many do and seek others who display lying signs and wonders.

  • fiona

    hello again. No, I do not mind going to the Lord.If we go to the Lord directly then I understand that He heals. But would people need deliverance, like my friend, if they have been healed at one of these meetings? Im beginning to understand something: that although there are many false signs and wonders and healings and evil spirits in the world today- and we are surrounded by this! – that even though this is the case and even though at sometime we may have been touched by this stuff, if we really press into Jesus and repent of our sins and look to Him as our personal saviour, that these things will have no effect on us. In others word, we do not need to worry about ourselves or our many friends who go to these revival meetings ( many of my friends do) but we need to make sure that each and everyone of them is not there to seek after signs but is a person who repents before the Lord and loves Him above everyone and everything and is fully committed to Him. Because me and many of my friends have been surrounded by this revival signs and wonders stuff for years, but I can honestly also say that nearly all of my friends are truely devoted christians who have given their lives to the Lord and serve Him and reach out to many others with the love of God. It seems to me that the key is not stopping living in the world, but even within this ‘revival atmosphere’ to make sure that our own committment is real and our walk with the Lord genuine. And to pray against and renounce anything which might be a kundalini spirit? Because the Lord could heal in those meetings where the gospel is preached and where there is faith in Him. Is this right? I would appreciate it if you could answer that. Im sorry its so long but its vey important! thankyou !

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    Does the Lord heal today?

    Oh Yes I believe the Lord does heal yes. But not the way the false churches boast about.

    Bear with me please. Before I read your comment, I read a story I have followed from the start and again today in the headline news in Gauteng area. I thank the Lord Jesus for what he has done for this little Baby Girl called Marzanne. It IS only His hand that IS healing baby Marzanne. This is proof to me that the Lord does heal. I also know there are allot of true Christians who is praying for this little one in their hearts. I believe the Lord will heal at his will and when he does heal it is done in the manner that This little girl is being healed by him. You can read more about her here.

    Just a thought I had if some one has to go for a serious life threatening operation and the operation is a success then that was ONLY by the Hand of the Lord healing a person. There are thousands of healings taking place daily by the hand of the Lord world wide daily. If one has flue and feels better after taking some medication and bed rest That is healing done by the Lords hand. We as mere humans have no idea of how many healings take place today by ONLY the Lords hands. He has so much mercy on this sinful world we can not even begin to comprehend how many healings takes place daily even in our own lives. Even a small little thing like bumping your big toe and the pain goes away after 5 of 10 min it is healing by His hands.

    So does the Lord heal today and how can I trust that it is the from the Lord and not from this kundalini spirit?

    Question: “What does the Bible say about healing?”

    Answer: Isaiah 53:5, which is then quoted in 1 Peter 2:24, is a key verse on healing, but it is often misunderstood and misapplied. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” The word translated “healed” can mean either spiritual or physical healing. However, the contexts of Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2 make it clear that it is speaking of spiritual healing. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). The verse is talking about sin and righteousness, not sickness and disease. Therefore, being “healed” in both these verses is speaking of being forgiven and saved, not physically healed.

    The Bible does not specifically link physical healing with spiritual healing. Sometimes people are physically healed when they place their faith in Christ, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is God’s will to heal, but sometimes it is not. The apostle John gives us the proper perspective: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). God still performs miracles. God still heals people. Sickness, disease, pain, and death are still realities in this world. Unless the Lord returns, everyone who is alive today will die, and the vast majority of them (Christians included) will die as the result of a physical problem (disease, sickness, injury). It is not always God’s will to heal us physically.

    Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in heaven. In heaven, there will be no more pain, sickness, disease, suffering, or death (Revelation 21). We all need to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world and a lot more concerned with our spiritual condition (Romans 12:1-2). Then we can focus our hearts on heaven where we will no longer have to deal with physical problems. Revelation 21:4 describes the true healing we should all be longing for: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
    http://www.gotquestions.org/healing-Bible.html

    Question: “Are faith healers for real? Does a faith healer heal with the same power as Jesus?”

    Answer: There is no doubt that God has the power to heal anyone at any time. The question is whether He chooses to do so through those who are called “faith healers.” These individuals typically convince their audiences that God wants them to be well and that through their faith—and usually a financial offering—God will reward their faith by healing them through the power of Jesus.

    By comparing the healing ministry of the Lord Jesus to that of the modern faith healers, we can determine whether their claims have any basis in Scripture. If, as they say, they heal through the same power and in the same way that Jesus healed, we should be able to see marked similarities between them. However, just the opposite is true. Mark 1:29-34 gives us a description of just one day of Jesus’ healing ministry. His power to heal—and to do all kinds of miracles—was evidence that He had power over both the physical and spiritual effects of the curse of sin. He healed those afflicted with physical diseases, illnesses, and injuries, even raising the dead, and He cast demons out of those who were possessed by them. Only God can rescue us from the results of the Fall of man into sin—disease and death, and by His miracles, Jesus proved His deity.

    There are several distinctives in the way Jesus healed that are not characteristic of the modern faith healers. First, He healed instantly. Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:31), the centurion’s son (Matthew 8:13), Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:41-42), and the paralytic (Luke 5:24-25) were all healed immediately. They did not have to go home and start to get better, as is the advice from many faith healers. Second, Jesus healed totally. Peter’s mother-in-law was fully functional after being healed from an illness so severe she was bedridden, but when Jesus healed her, she rose immediately and prepared a meal for all who were in the house. The blind beggars in Matthew 20:34 were given instant sight. Third, Jesus healed everyone (Matthew 4:24; Luke 4:40). They were not required to be pre-screened by the disciples before coming to Jesus for healing, as is the standard procedure with the healers today. There was no healing line they had to qualify for. Jesus healed all the time in many places, not in a studio with carefully-controlled circumstances.

    Fourth, Jesus healed actual organic diseases, not symptoms as the faith healers do. Jesus never healed anyone of a headache or back pain. He healed of leprosy, blindness, and paralysis, miracles that were truly verifiable. Finally, Jesus healed the ultimate disease—death. He brought forth Lazarus after four days in the grave. No faith healer can duplicate that. In addition, His healings did not require faith as a precondition. In fact, most of those He healed were unbelievers.

    There have always been false healers who prey on the suffering and the desperate in order to pad their bank accounts. Such behavior is the worst kind of blasphemy because many whose money is wasted on false promises reject Christ outright because He does not do what the healer has promised. Why, if faith healers have the power to heal, do they not walk the halls of the hospitals healing everyone and releasing them all? Why do they not go to Africa and cure all the AIDS cases? They do not because they cannot. They do not have the power of healing that Jesus possessed.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/faith-healers.html

    I do hope this has helped you in someway. My prayers are with you Fiona.

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    But would people need deliverance, like my friend, if they have been healed at one of these meetings?

    Question: “What does the Bible say about deliverance?”

    Answer: Deliverance is defined as ‘a rescue from bondage or danger.’ Deliverance in the Bible is the acts of God whereby He rescues His people from peril. In the Old Testament, deliverance is focused primarily on God’s removal of those who are in the midst of trouble or danger. He rescues His people from their enemies (1 Samuel 17:37; 2 Kings 20:6), and from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 7:2, 17:13, 18:16-19, 59:2). He preserves them from famine (Psalm 33:19), death (Psalm 22:19-21), and the grave (Psalm 56:13, 86:13; Hosea 13:14). The most striking example of deliverance is the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 3:8, 6:6, 8:10). Here is God defined as the Deliverer of Israel who rescues His people, not because they deserve to be rescued, but as an expression of His mercy and love (Psalm 51:1, 71:2, 86:13).

    In the New Testament, God is always the subject—and His people are always the object—of deliverance. The descriptions of temporal deliverance in the Old Testament serve as symbolic representations of the spiritual deliverance from sin which is available only through Christ. He offers deliverance from mankind’s greatest peril—sin, evil, death and judgment. By God’s power, believers are delivered from this present evil age (Galatians 1:4) and from the power of Satan’s reign (Colossians 1:13). All aspects of deliverance are available only through the person and work of Jesus Christ, who was Himself delivered up for us (Romans 4:25) so that we would be delivered from eternal punishment for sin. Only Jesus rescues us from the “wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

    Another aspect of deliverance concerns the temporal. While believers are delivered once for all time from eternal punishment, we are also delivered from the trials of this life (2 Peter 2:9). Sometimes that deliverance is God simply walking through the trials by our side, comforting and encouraging us through them as He uses them to mature us in the faith. Paul assured the Corinthian believers that “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In these cases, rescue is not immediate, but in due time, after patience has had its perfect work (James 1:2-4, 12). God makes the way of escape simultaneously with the temptation which, in His perfect will and timing, He permissively arranges or allows for His people.

    Deliverance is often sought from evil spirits or the spirit of lust, jealousy, etc. It’s important to understand that, as believers, we already have eternal victory over Satan and demons. But we can be delivered from their influence in our lives by using two weapons God has given us as part of our spiritual armor with which we battle “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12-17). The believer defends himself with the shield of faith and uses the offensive weapon of the Word of God. Against these two, no spirit can prevail. By holding up the shield of faith, we extinguish the flaming spiritual arrows they send against us, arrows of lust, doubt, guilt, jealousy, evil speech, and all manner of temptations. With the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we overcome the evil one by proving his temptations to be lies because he is the father of lies (John 8:44). John’s second letter commends the young Christians whose spiritual strength came from the Word of God living in them. By the offensive weapon of the Truth, we overcome the evil one (1 John 2:14).

    Deliverance from sin, rescue from trials, and escape from the influence of a world in the control of the evil one come only through Christ, the Son of God who has come and “has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:19-20).
    http://www.gotquestions.org/deliverance.html

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    fiona

    But would people need deliverance, like my friend, if they have been healed at one of these meetings?

    Deliverance is just going on your knees and asking Jesus for forgiveness for going to the false teacher. Please don’t go anywhere else just Jesus.

    Im beginning to understand something: that although there are many false signs and wonders and healings and evil spirits in the world today- and we are surrounded by this! – that even though this is the case and even though at sometime we may have been touched by this stuff, if we really press into Jesus and repent of our sins and look to Him as our personal saviour, that these things will have no effect on us.

    So your friend received a genuine healing from God through Satan? Really? That’s a first. Did Satan tell him not to go back to this church afterwards because there was something wrong and wanted to protect him from going to hell? Will GOD send you into the lions den for fun? No ways. Fiona, stop making excuses and stop.

    In others word, we do not need to worry about ourselves or our many friends who go to these revival meetings ( many of my friends do) but we need to make sure that each and everyone of them is not there to seek after signs but is a person who repents before the Lord and loves Him above everyone and everything and is fully committed to Him.

    What’s the point of going to a place where the message that is preached is continuiously false? No point is there? So why go back? And tell me, if you know a gathering is not ok to go too because you have been warned by the Word of God, but you go back, do you think you can keep doing this over and over again because asking for forgiveness is going to fix your perpetual sin of disobedience? hmm??

    Because me and many of my friends have been surrounded by this revival signs and wonders stuff for years, but I can honestly also say that nearly all of my friends are truely devoted christians who have given their lives to the Lord and serve Him and reach out to many others with the love of God

    Really? Can you see inside their hearts? Only God knows who really loves Him and who does not.

    It seems to me that the key is not stopping living in the world, but even within this ‘revival atmosphere’ to make sure that our own committment is real and our walk with the Lord genuine

    Ok, that is a load on nonsense. Have you ever actually read your bible? No really, lets get real here.

    John 15:18-19 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

    John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

    So basically, you want to be in this world and partake of this world. You want to partake in wicked non-christian meetings and think you can pray repeatedly and carry on going and everything will be ok. Well the answer is no.

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    Because me and many of my friends have been surrounded by this revival signs and wonders stuff for years,

    Fiona my advice to you is get outta there as fast as you can.

    Here is the reason and how and where this “RIVIVAL” thing was started in 2008 by none other than mr Todd Bentley. It has since taken the world by storm and it was only 2 years ago. It is still carrying on and will mislead people and lead many astray. You have allot of homework and Scripture reading to do Fiona and please pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. I do not believe these so called revivals are from the Lord as the true Gospel of Jesus is not taught at these mega churches and revivals. They preach another gospel not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Is the Lakeland, Florida revival led by Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries a true biblical revival?

    Answer: Todd Bentley (born 1976), the leader of the 2008 Lakeland, Florida “Healing Revival,” is a Canadian-born ex-convict (convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault prior to his “conversion”) turned itinerant mass evangelist who leads “Fresh Fire Ministries” of Abbotsford, British Columbia. Bentley’s website advertises, “Todd travels throughout North America, sparking revival fire and equipping the body in power evangelism and healing ministry.”

    Todd Bentley’s 2008 Lakeland, Florida “Healing Revival” promoted by self-proclaimed prophet Bob Jones (no connection to Bob Jones University), William Branham (a proponent of a racist-hate doctrine called “serpent seed”), IHOP-KC (International House of Prayer), and other charismatic ministries. MSNBC reported in May 2008, “The meetings have outgrown four venues, including a local convention center that seats roughly 7,000. Now they meet under an air-conditioned tent that can accommodate 10,000 on the grounds of the local airport. Organizers estimate that more than 140,000 people from at least 40 nations have attended meetings here.”

    The focus of Bentley’s revivals is primarily on the manifestation of sign gifts, claiming an ability to generate oil from his palms and to produce gold dust from his pores. Though neither of these gifts correlates to any biblical sign gift or event, Bentley and his followers claim that it is biblical on the basis of John 14:12, in which Christ says, “He that believes on Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father.” This passage is taken out of context when thus applied, however. Jesus did not mean greater works in power, but in extent. They would become witnesses to all the world through the power of the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and would bring many to salvation because of the Comforter dwelling in them. The focus is on spiritual rather than physical miracles. To equate the life-changing impact the Spirit-empowered disciples had on the world to gold dust from one’s pores is ludicrous.

    Among Bentley’s teachings which set him apart from orthodox evangelical Christianity is astral travelling (the practice of leaving one’s body and travelling about disembodied) – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUK7aW4VILA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR_EHWbc9c0. He also practices necromancy (channeling and communicating with the dead) despite the Bible’s prohibitions of that practice (Isaiah 8:19-20; Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Leviticus 20:6). In one of his revival meetings, Bentley announced that God told him it was more important for him to “get them to believe in the angel” who visits him, whom he calls Emma, than to preach Jesus. Further, he claims to be guided by female “angels of finance.” Bentley attributes even his conversion experience to his “angel.” Critics of Bentley have published their observation that Emma-o is the name of a Japanese deity who rules the underworld in Japanese mythology, after which, Bentley removed all references to “the angel Emma” from his websites.

    Todd Bentley’s ministry website states that he places “no limit on further revelation.” Note that the Bible is the revelation of God and the primary way He communicates with His people. For Bentley to put himself on the same level as the biblical prophets (Elijah, Isaiah, John, etc.) is to claim that the Bible is insufficient revelation, that more is needed. Where personal revelation outside the Bible does occur—for instance, in places where the written Word is unavailable—if it is truly from God, it will not contradict Scripture.

    Clearly, Todd Bentley is in contact with spirits of some kind. But what kind of spirits are they? All true believers are in contact with God’s Holy Spirit who dwells within us from the time of our conversion to Christ. Jesus told us that He would send the Spirit to us to “lead us into all truth” (John 16:13). If all truth is available through God’s Holy Spirit and His Word, the Bible, why would God send other spirits to speak to us? He wouldn’t and He doesn’t. John 4:1-3 warns, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (NASB). See also 1 Thessalonians 5:21, “Test everything; hold fast what is good” (NASB).

    Bentley, who in order to add to the power of his testimony had demonic tattoos etched onto his arms in 2005, about eight years AFTER his “conversion,” see – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zMRChoojZo, fails such tests. As Matthew 24:24 warns, “False Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” False prophets are always in the employ of Satan, whether knowingly or unknowingly, who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus warned about the profusion of false prophets in the last days: “And many false prophets will rise and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Do not be deceived by Todd Bentley.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/Todd-Bentley-Fresh-Fire.html

  • fiona

    Hello Elmarie and Deborah. Thankyou for your long and thoughtful responses. Just one quick question- will this writing stay on my screen for a number of days or weeks, or will it disappear as more recent entries are added? ( because I intend to study in detail what youve said)
    But also, quickly, this: I could see todd bentleys crusade was not a bit kooky, but there are some churches here which DO preach the word of God and have committed christians and it is there that people have been healed-and had doctors certificates approving the healings. people have been healed of AIDS, cancer, tumors, paralysis, including many people from other religions, many of whom have converted to christianity because the gospel is preached there. And there are doctors certificates to prove it all. This is why I am confused. This is why I asked if its possible that IF, in such a place someone were healed and it was by chance, not from God (because of this kundalini thing you talked of) then wouldnt God’s providence take over if the person became a true follower of Jesus because of the preaching there? Also, and separate- a friend was healed of very bad back at a benny hinn crusade over 10 years ago and she is STILL healed, and she is still a strong follower of Jesus and goes to an AOG church. I know that benny hinn is wrong, but is the fact that she is still healed AND following the Lord after so many years, because of the fact that She herself, pressed into the Lord and asked the healing from the Lord herself? thankyou!!

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    Just one quick question- will this writing stay on my screen for a number of days or weeks, or will it disappear as more recent entries are added? ( because I intend to study in detail what youve said)

    It will remain on you screen and will not go away. Enjoy the studies and most important point here. Test and prove all things to see whether they proceed for God. That means test everything.

    1 John 4:1-3 (Amplified Bible)

    1 John 4
    1BELOVED, DO not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

    2By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source];

    3And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.

    Will get back to the rest of your comment in while :-)

  • Amanda

    Fiona

    Elmarie has already given you a comprehensive answer about healing and deliverance. I can just add that, even if we are healed from one illness or another, we will all eventually die, should the Lord tarry. We trust in the Lord when we are well, when we are sick and when we are dying. Our hope is not for this world, but the one to come.

    For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:15-28)

    It is hard to watch the suffering in the world, but we can trust that the Lord will achieve His purposes, even if we cannot understand it all now. You said:

    Because me and many of my friends have been surrounded by this revival signs and wonders stuff for years, but I can honestly also say that nearly all of my friends are truely devoted christians who have given their lives to the Lord and serve Him and reach out to many others with the love of God.

    Fiona, I have my doubts about this. How many revival meetings do you need in order to be revived? Could it be that you or your friends attend it for the buzz, the excitement, the vibe? Do you or they have to keep on going back to get a spiritual boost? What do you get out of it?

    Below is a link to an article and video of Benny Hinn. Is this the type of thing that you are talking about? In the video people are actually lining up to be pushed, some of them quite roughly, by Benny. Then they get dragged around by the catchers. It grieves me to see those poor people allowing themselves, wanting even, to be handled in this ungracious manner. All the while Benny is singing that the Holy Spirit should breath on him. I don’t think so, not with what he is doing to others.

    Fiona, if you or a loved one is sick, you can pray at home and visit a doctor. There is no special meeting that you can attend or a formula that you can use to manipulate God in granting you a healing. You may plead with God, but the answer is up to Him and not your effort or the size of your faith. Even if He does not grant a healing, we can still trust Him and His promises:

    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:1-4)

    Benny Hinn: Video Proof He’s a Charlatan

    In the video below, you will see people who behave like trained seals. They approach Hinn and mistakenly believe they are going to get zapped by the Holy Spirit. When he touches them or waves his arms, they fall on cue. But they don’t stay down because Hinn’s ushers are jerking them up off the floor and are very brusquely slinging them towards the edge of the stage. It’s quite a spectacle to watch!

    The following video is from a Miracle Service in Atlanta, Georgia. Some of the unscriptural things you will see in this video are as follows:

    * Benny Hinn swinging his designer jacket around to supposedly distribute the raw anointing of the Spirit.
    * Hinn swinging his arms as if he possesses the anointing of the Holy Spirit and can release it to people by merely waving his arms.
    * Really bad singing. (Okay, that’s not unscriptural, it’s just really painful to listen to.)
    * Hinn pushing some people down.

    At 4:20 into the video, Hinn lays hands on a couple and the lady touches him. He points at the usher and shouts, “Don’t let them touch me!” (My guess is, he professes to be so full of the anointing he can’t be touched. I’ve heard this from other Charismatic teachers.)

    Fiona, please do not be a part of this. I do hope you can tell from the video how wrong it is. I would not want my pets to be treated like that, let alone people. Please reject all of this. You do not need it and it is dangerous.

  • Elmarie A

    Fiona

    Phew ! you have some homework to do from myself, Deborah and Amanda. :-) Please take your time working through it all. My prayer is that you find the truth and learn to test and prove all things.

    You must also go and read this post please. From Darkness to the Light… by Prof. Johan Malan, Middelburg, South Africa. You can read it here:

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    fiona

    This writing will stay here forever, but will move down as more people add comments of course. Nothing is deleted.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    fiona

    I really do pray you sift through everything slowly and more importantly I urge you to open your bible and start studying it. The best place to start to look at topical references and study the bible that way. It’s long and hard work! It’s not easy. But if you love Jesus the way you say you do you will want to learn, and baby steps will lead you from one little bit of truth to more truth to more truth and so on and so one and soon because of your obedience to listen to the Holy Spirit He will open up and show you a whole world of understanding on the Bible unlike you have ever imagined.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I could see todd bentleys crusade was not a bit kooky, but there are some churches here which DO preach the word of God and have committed christians and it is there that people have been healed-and had doctors certificates approving the healings

    Nonsense. Total Rubbish. Ask them for the proof and you will not get it. In fact go and read the fantassssticccccc episode of “days of a profit’s life” here: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2009/11/06/what-a-tragedy-prophet-kobus-van-rensburg/ read all the comments and see how when we ask for proof, the excuses are enough to make a grown man cry.’

    PS, also take note of the lovely curses they throw our way.

    More on Kobus here: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2009/05/06/kobus-van-rensburg-self-anointed-prophet/

  • fiona

    hellO Deborah, I really thankyou for all the stuff you have posted and written for me. Especially that excellent article by Johan Malan is very helpful. But I think we are getting our wires cossed now! I was getting the impression that you all do not believe that the Lord heals at all- and never in public in a revival type church, and that if healings do go on in a church like that, it can only be demonic or this kundalini spirit.
    But I think the Lord DOES heal in some churches. In the church near me, in the midlands in the UK has a very good bible believing church where scores and scores have been documented as being healed, with the result being that people have given their lives to the Lord. No barking or funny behaviour or toronto funnies! But more and more come to the church because the healings are documented and are genuine and people from other faiths are becomming christians.( also they refuse to advertise; people only come by word of mouth!) I know about 5 years ago that 19 sikhs had cut the turban and been baptised to follow the Lord. and many muslims also, a great miracle!! Ive gone to the tuesday evening “Ministy of power” healing service for about 5 years and seen people be healed. My own father in law was an atheist at 79 but he was so unwell he came to the church- at our insistence! – and the ulcers which he had had for 2 years and which the doctors said COULD NOT be healed were prayed for on tuesday night. He came back from the front of the church with tears in his eyes ( very unusual for him as he was quite a violent and angry atheist!) and by thursday his two rather massive ulcers on his legs were gone! The result was that he gave his life to the Lord and made peace with those he had fallen out with. When he died a year and a half later- he was a believer! I have other christian friends who were healed and are still strong believers, reaching out to others.
    I do very much take your point that there is a counterfeit spirit ( the devil loves to beguile and deceive) but I have seen these miracles and the devotion to the Lord in this church abd the way they reach out many many broken people in out community and overseas. I believe there is a need for discernment, but why shouldnt the Lord reach out to the lost in a world of such darkness and hopelessness. I do appreciate your prayers but my concern in coming on this website was that I heard it said that ALL healing and words of knowledge were from the devil. I think its far more like likely that there is a little of each, which is why there is such a need for discernment.

  • fiona

    also, I would add that I have learned a lot from this website and am grateful for the good work you do!

  • fiona

    I do have one more question- do you believe that when we pray for people and they are healed, that if there is anything not good in us, that that is the thing which does the healing? Because I have seen healing! Cannot the Lord override what is going on, if His name is used??
    as happened with my friend who was definetly healed at a benny hinn meeting years ago.I agree that Benny hinn is probably in error, but She is still healed and still believes in the Lord and goes to a bible believing church to this day- and gives glory to God for her healing! so what is going on there? This is where the confusion comes in! Is she saved or not? She believes she is and walks closely with the Lord Jesus. But IF (IF!) a kundalini spirit healed her then, why is she still healed, why is she still at peace, why does she still believe? Or, because of her own personal BELIEF in the Lord Jesus and because she went with faith to that meeting, was it the Lord who healed her, inspite of Benny Hinn, because He, the Lord, is sovereign, and responds to prayers in the name of Jesus when real faith is used.?

  • Elmarie A

    fionafiona

    This is where the confusion comes in! Is she saved or not? She believes she is and walks closely with the Lord Jesus. But IF (IF!) a kundalini spirit healed her then, why is she still healed, why is she still at peace, why does she still believe?

    I think you need to understand what the kundalini spirit is first before we go further.

    What Is The Kundalini Spirit? Please follow link : http://www.thebereancall.org/node/6100 you can listen mp3 to what Dave Hunt says or read the transcript at the link.

    and more info :

    Holy Spirit or Kundalini?
    By Mishel
    Record numbers of Christians have been flocking to Lakeland Florida to experience the supernatural. They yell for fire with all the exuberance of a college football game, however nowhere in scripture are we admonished to seek a supernatural experience or demand God’s presence. Certainly the Holy Spirit was not given for our entertainment, nor was He given to fulfill our lust for fleshly thrills. Fire Fire! More Lord! We have become a people so driven to seek after the experiences of God ; to make Him real to bring Him down to us. However, God has called us to live by faith. Remember Jesus said that it is a “a perverse generation seeks after a sign.”

    In the book of Revelation at the time of the end, in the last few years of Satan’s dominion, a charismatic religious personality will arise and deceive the whole world by means of miraculous signs and wonders. If signs and wonders are the fruit by which we judge whether a ministry is from God, then we are indeed on very shaky ground, and ripe for deception. So how are we to know? Revelation clearly tells us that the false prophet will be able to call down fire from heaven! However, Elijah, who was a true prophet of God, called down fire from heaven! So how is one to know the real from the counterfeit? The end time is prophesied to be a time of great deception; however Christians seem to feel that they are somehow immune to it. I have to ask myself why any blood-bought Christian would want to indulge themselves in supernatural experiences that have no Biblical precedent but yet parallel occult experiences in every way. Most alarming to me personally, are the unmistakable similarities between this fire they are calling down, and the fires of Kundalini.

    One can read about some of these manifestations here http://www.deceptionbytes.com/Todd-Bentleys-Fire-of-Kundalini

    When New Agers, Gnostics, Mystics and Occultists refer to a “Baptism by Fire” they most surely do not mean what the Christians mean when they use that same term. However, there are striking similarities- so again, how are we to know? The esoteric meaning of “Baptism by Fire” is the moment of arousal of the Kundalini power, or simply “the awakening” as the mystics call it.

    Kundalini is an Eastern concept of enlightenment in which, through meditation, electrical energy moves up 7 chakras and impacts the pineal gland bringing forth spiritual enlightenment. When the Kundalini awakens it causes certain manifestations. If you compare the manifestations of the rising Kundalini with the manifestations in Lakeland Florida you will find that they are identical in every way. When we openly accept manifestations that have no biblical precedent yet mimic those of the Eastern religions in every way, we have to seriously re-examine our doctrine.

    The following quote came from a website that supports a world wide awakening of Kundalini. It shocked me that even the Mystics see it clearly! “So if you call it Kundalini the people in Christian circles will run from it. If you call it the Baptism of the Holy Spirit the same people will run to it.”

    read more here: http://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/holy-spirit-or-kundalini/

    Once you clearly understand what the kundalini spirit is it will become clear that it is a false spirit and not the Holy Spirit. One thing I can say it is dangerous for any Christian to even think that he or she could be healed at a Benny Hinn crusade !!!!

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    But I think the Lord DOES heal in some churches. In the church near me, in the midlands in the UK has a very good bible believing church where scores and scores have been documented as being healed, with the result being that people have given their lives to the Lord. No barking or funny behaviour or toronto funnies! But more and more come to the church because the healings are documented and are genuine and people from other faiths are becomming christians.( also they refuse to advertise; people only come by word of mouth!)

    Fiona can you supply us with one medical proof of one of these healings that took place please ?

    Fiona have you read my posts to you about? : “Are faith healers for real? Does a faith healer heal with the same power as Jesus?” and also “What does the Bible say about healing?”

    by only reading these two articles you should by now understand that you are being lead around by your nose by false spirits in believing that heallings takes place when man says is does. GOD DOES HEAL IN HIS OWN TIME AND AT HIS WILL NOT MAN’S WILL. Please understand this clearly. Sorry but you are asking the same Q’s over and over and i’m getting a bit frustrated and wondering what is the real point to your Q’s. One should test everything to see whether it proceed from God. Fiona it is my prayer that you Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in these matters you are having problems with. The Holy Spirit will always reveal the truth to us as true born again Christians He will never never leave us with doubt about anything we question in our live. A wise thing to remember is that when you have doubts about something it could very well be the Holy Spirit prompting you to move away from something that is false.

    Another question: Please give me one Biblical reason as to why faith healings should take place today? please don’t provide me with an opinion but Scripture to this question.

    Luke 8:8 (Amplified Bible)
    8And some seed fell into good soil, and grew up and yielded a crop a hundred times [as great]. As He said these things, He called out, He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him [a]consider and understand by hearing!

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    I do have one more question- do you believe that when we pray for people and they are healed, that if there is anything not good in us, that that is the thing which does the healing? Because I have seen healing! Cannot the Lord override what is going on, if His name is used??

    I will post this again for you :

    “What does the Bible say about healing?”

    Answer: Isaiah 53:5, which is then quoted in 1 Peter 2:24, is a key verse on healing, but it is often misunderstood and misapplied. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” The word translated “healed” can mean either spiritual or physical healing. However, the contexts of Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2 make it clear that it is speaking of spiritual healing. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). The verse is talking about sin and righteousness, not sickness and disease. Therefore, being “healed” in both these verses is speaking of being forgiven and saved, not physically healed.

    The Bible does not specifically link physical healing with spiritual healing. Sometimes people are physically healed when they place their faith in Christ, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is God’s will to heal, but sometimes it is not. The apostle John gives us the proper perspective: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). God still performs miracles. God still heals people. Sickness, disease, pain, and death are still realities in this world. Unless the Lord returns, everyone who is alive today will die, and the vast majority of them (Christians included) will die as the result of a physical problem (disease, sickness, injury). It is not always God’s will to heal us physically.

    Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in heaven. In heaven, there will be no more pain, sickness, disease, suffering, or death (Revelation 21). We all need to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world and a lot more concerned with our spiritual condition (Romans 12:1-2). Then we can focus our hearts on heaven where we will no longer have to deal with physical problems. Revelation 21:4 describes the true healing we should all be longing for: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
    http://www.gotquestions.org/healing-Bible.html

  • Elmarie A

    fiona

    The result was that he gave his life to the Lord and made peace with those he had fallen out with. When he died a year and a half later- he was a believer! I have other christian friends who were healed and are still strong believers, reaching out to others.
    I do very much take your point that there is a counterfeit spirit ( the devil loves to beguile and deceive) but I have seen these miracles and the devotion to the Lord in this church abd the way they reach out many many broken people in out community and overseas. I believe there is a need for discernment, but why shouldnt the Lord reach out to the lost in a world of such darkness and hopelessness. I do appreciate your prayers but my concern in coming on this website was that I heard it said that ALL healing and words of knowledge were from the devil. I think its far more like likely that there is a little of each, which is why there is such a need for discernment.

    Just an excerpt posted please read complete article at the link provided.

    Instant Conversions and the Absence of Sanctification
    Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (July 2010)

    Superficial conversions

    During short mass-meetings, and also on television, solutions are offered to successful modern people for their moral and spiritual problems. A good life on earth, as well as eternal life in heaven, is offered as a bonus to the “good people” of modern times. These blessings are easily obtainable by merely raising their hands and praying a short prayer after the preacher. Following that, they are declared to be saved and are ensured of eternal security.

    At times, instant conversions of this nature are accompanied by the confession of sins, but very few preachers insist on that. In Rick Warren’s non-offensive gospel, for instance, people are not branded as sinners, as the emphasis in the gospel message is directed towards the big advantages of being a Christian. The crowds receive it with joy without counting the cost of repentance. The things which people have to abandon are not highlighted – only those things which they will receive towards a happier and more prosperous life, as well as improved self-esteem.

    The Lord Jesus described false conversions of this nature when He said: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away… He who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” (Matt. 13:3-6, 20-21).

    These instant converts received the word with joy and consequently regard themselves as Christians. But joy is a positive emotion which the Bible does not present as the first reaction of salvation. A person who repents is under deep conviction of sin and experiences remorse because of his sin (1 John 1:9). “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18). Only after the sins which were dragging a person to hell were confessed and forgiven, a feeling of relief and joy will be experienced by the saved person.

    If the matter of sin, as well as confession thereof and being cleansed from it, is bypassed by only emphasising the advantages of the Christian life, the door is widely opened for false conversions. Many people would like to hear that they will go to heaven one day and rule with Christ if they only raise their hand, join a church, and regularly offer contributions to one or other preacher. The problem is that the lives of such “converts” did not change fundamentally and permanently. Subsequently, they again yield to temptations to sin and then continue with their old life. They don’t make any spiritual impact on society or on their churches, and everything just continues as always. It is highly deceptive to refer to situations where hundreds or even thousands such instant conversions occur, as revival. The Bible does not do it.

    Conclusion

    Very few Christians live holy and victorious lives under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is much easier to seek after supernatural experiences, or to sit back in an easy chair and hide behind the excuse of positional sanctification which you allegedly received with your salvation. Such people do not know what it is to be a co-worker of God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Because this power is absent in their lives they later reach the point where they reject the doctrine of sanctification as a second work of grace. Then they try to serve the Lord in the power of the flesh. That is a futile exercise as they cannot really edify other Christians and build them up spiritually if their preaching is not in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. They first need to be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:46-49). Carnal preachers offer instant solutions to salvation and sanctification, without any emphasis on counting the cost of a complete surrender which the Lord expects from us.

    We should not be followers of other people, as the chances are good that we will be deceived. Rather do intensive Bible study and allow the Holy Spirit to be your Tutor. Spend much time in prayer, so it can become quiet in you heart to hear the voice of the Lord. The Spirit of God will guide you into all truth – not only about salvation but also about a pure, holy and fruitful life in His service. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification… He who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:3,8).

  • Grant C

    “Pressing into Jesus”

    I have not read any of the above posts with care as yet. While simply just scrolling down through the above, I noticed the use of the emergent term “pressing into Jesus” . Please, could we refrain from the use of that term as it is simply belittling of our Lord Jesus, it makes absurd claims and displays irreverence for the sacrifice which was made by Jesus.

    While I do know what the term intends to portray, the very nature of the intent is questionable. We can humbly go onto our knees and beg Jesus to accept us, forgive us and keep us from further error, but we certainly do not have the ability to press into Jesus. It’s like saying we can put God into a box and from similar sources.

    These are among the most irreverent terms coined by mostly non-Christians. We can press into a queue, but not into the Lord.

  • Amanda

    Fiona

    She is still healed and still believes in the Lord and goes to a bible believing church to this day- and gives glory to God for her healing! so what is going on there? This is where the confusion comes in!

    I am curious. Does your friend encourage other sufferers to attend miracle healing crusades to receive their healing?

    I was healed at a miracle crusade

    There are those who claim Benny Hinn must be of God because people are getting healed at his crusades. Now I want you to take notice of something, the evidence that is almost always cited for the validity of Hinn’s ministry is that there are individuals claiming they were divinely healed at his crusades. Rarely do I ever hear a person say well Benny must be of God because his teachings are so biblical. Its usually people with Benny Hinn and there feelings concerning him, that they draw there conclusions from and not the Bible. So the question we face is what of those people who testify they’ve been healed at these crusades; well I’m of the opinion that there are people that have been healed at Benny Hinn crusades in the same way there have been people healed in hospital rooms, in there cars, in there living room, at work etc. God doesn’t stop healing believers simply because their at a Benny Hinn crusade, nor does He stop healing if they do not attend. The problem arises though when people begin attributing the healing to Benny Hinn’s gifting and ministry. But remember by God healing someone at these crusades doesn’t mean he’s validating Benny Hinn’s ministry. Consider this, because God is sovereign He heals whomever, whenever or however He chooses, God doesn’t only heal individuals who give him the credit for it. Even when Israel was steeped in idolatry and didn’t acknowledge the true God, He provided for them. “When Israel was a youth I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son.” The more He called them, the more they went from Him, they kept sacrificing and burning incense to idols yet God says, “I taught Ephraim to walk I taking them in my arms but they did not know that I healed them.” Hosea 11:1-11. God can grace someone at any time for his purpose with or without faith. The 10 lepers were healed by Jesus but only one acknowledged Jesus as his source and thanked him. Yes Jesus healed and He also said not to tell anyone, He asked the leper to verify this healing by going to the priest first (Mt.8) according to the law. People who think it is unscriptural to verify a healing are completely wrong, this was Jesus’ advice, have a witness. Those who think by scripture are not fooled by bragging testimonies, and the constant parading people as trophies to gain support.

    Fiona, explore the links at the bottom of the article linked to.

  • Burning Lamp

    Grant, thank you for pointing this out. I am always glad to see your postings. I think that the intent of this usage is well-meaning, but we should examine our words and expressions to be sure they line up with Scripture. I do like the exhortation to “press on” in the midst of adversities and disappointments.

    Philippians 3:12 NKJV
    [ Pressing Toward the Goal ] Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

    Philippians 3:14
    I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Your comment got my curiosity up. I found this reference to “pressing in”.

    Luke 16:15-16 (New King James Version)
    15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
    16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.

    I am not sure what is meant here by “pressing into the Kingdom”. Do you?

  • Grant C

    Burning Lamp

    Likewise, it is always a privilege to share thoughts here with you. As you mentioned, I also presume that the usage of the term here, had good intent at it’s root. However, used in the manner for which it is intended by the New Agers, it assumes a surreptitious motive.

    I think you have attached the precise scripture in Luke 16:16. Here Jesus is warning that, since the advent of the New Covenant, ever increasing numbers of those who had formerly been under the Law and now were aware of the fate awaiting them, were using any and all manner to force their way to salvation. His discourse was particularly directed at the Pharisees and the like, who were covetous of any form of godliness. They assumed that they could to press their way into God’s favour, force God’s hand, by means of self justification and self importance.

    It is interesting to note the various translated versions of the word “pressing” in Luke 16:16.
    NIV: “..and everyone is forcing his way into it”
    ESV: “..and everyone forces his way into it”
    NASB: “..and everyone is forcing his way into it”
    ASV: “..and every man entereth violently into it”
    Douay-Rheims: “..and every one uses violence towards it”
    Weymouth: “..and all classes have been forcing their way into it”
    Bible in basic English: “..and everyone makes his way into it by force”

    I am in full agreement with “pressing on” in terms of perseverance. “Pressing into Jesus” however, is hard for me to type and weighs heavily on my conscience…

  • Grant C

    Burning Lamp

    I forgot to add the first version which I checked, which puts it into even clearer perspective:

    Luke 16:16 (Amplified Bible)

    Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his [a]own way rather than God’s way into it].

  • Burning Lamp

    Enlightening – coming into the Kingdom of God by our own efforts – man’s way. In reality, we come to God’s Kingdom in surrender, knowing there is no righteousness in us. What a twisting of truth. Thank you for ripping the mask off of this.

  • Paul

    To all

    Jesus said on that day many would come and say,’Lord didn’t we cast out demons in your name didn’t we heal in your name’ yet He shall say depart from me you workers of iniquity I never knew you.

    Based on this my opinion is that it doesn’t matter that one prayed for you in Jesus’ name and you got healed, it doesn’t count one bit that the person is a christian.

  • Grant C

    Paul

    Are you saying that it doesn’t matter whether the person doing the praying is a Christian or not, or are you saying that it doesn’t matter whether the person being healed is a Christian or not?

    It is important to remember that in Matthew 7: 22,23, which you mention here, Jesus is speaking about people who are not true Christians, but those who falsely try to cast out demons or heal using His name. Among these are the multitudes of false preachers and false healing ministries who will be turned away from the presence of the Lord.

    Therefore, you are correct if you are saying that a Christian cannot cast out demons or perform healings, and claims by people to these things are false or attributable to their false gods. The circumstances and instances where these things actually do take place, are exclusively through the mercy of God, by His hand alone.

    Jesus would never turn away true Christians. True Christians would also not be the workers of iniquity, who would be trying to cast out demons or perform healings on behalf of the Lord.

    If this is what you are saying, Paul, then of course, you are in agreement with Biblical teaching.

  • Moemsie

    Just for interest sake -google Peace Palace Astana or `Palace of Peace and Accord…..`The World interfaith movement meets there in a perfect pyramid!

  • Leon Williamson

    I cant believe the rubbish spoken about Angus Buchan he is a true man of God I dont see anyone else going out in faith to reach the men of S.A Shame on all the peole who spoken negatively about him,thank you Jesus for men like this who preach the gospel the truth .Go to his farm and see what he lives in yes the same house that the zulus helped him build no mercedes no porches just a humble man .If it were not for Jesus giving this man the ingenuity to make a film on how he was saved and the miracles he performed i would still be in a deep dark pit the Holy Spirit touched my heart and now i belong to Jesus Christ Hallelujah we love you Oom Angus continue being an instrumen for God.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Leon Williamson

    Oh there are more articles if you would like to read them: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/category/1-people/angus-buchan-shalom-ministries/

  • Burning Lamp

    Leon, I suppose you follow Angus on all the wicked networks he is involved with such as TBN, God Channel, etc. Yeah, that really edifies you and helps you in your Christian walk. If he cared about the truth he would not be in bed with all those false teachers.

    You obviously don’t know what the Gospel truth is, only his version of it. How about getting out your BIBLE and just allow the Holy Spirit to teach you?

    Oh by the way, it would be fine for Angus to have some porches on his house down on the farm – that would not be too extravagant.

    Please open your mind to what Deborah is trying to warn you about – don’t follow blindly – and it sounds like you are more thankful to Angus than the Lord drawing you through His Holy Spirit. God has used many instruments to reach people – it does not always mean that they are those He would prefer.

  • Watchman

    We are truely greatful for this website and your wisdom! I hope I am not too late for a comment on this topic. I forwarded this article to a friend in Moreleta to warn them, but they were furious to say the least. They said that they are definitely not studying Jesus only as an example, but as true saviour. I know them well and I know that they completely believe in Christ as their Saviour. I am however concerned that they will fall for anything that is dished up in that church as that is their tradition and she is so afraid to break with the NG Church as we grew up in it. On the other hand, I also know that she is very much afraid of going the wrong direction and that is why she is not willing to try other churches. She sees clearly what the other cell group members are trying to follow incorrectly and she has lost against them and now just keeps her mouth shut. She is not a fighter and would rather go alone to her room than to debate something, which is very dangerous for her own salvation as she is only holding on to our teachings in the NG Church and that is it. I do not know if this is really good or bad.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Watchman

    Thank you for your comment and it’s never to late to comment.

    Moreletta is a lost church; they have been preachiing New Age teachings for quite some time now. It would be better to leave, or better yet OPEN your EYES to what is really going on there and let the HOLY SPIRIT guide you :) You can NEVER go in the wrong direction if you listen to the Holy Spirit.

    As for her personality. We all have different personalities, she might not be a good fighter because confrontation scares her – she gets stuck trying to search for the right answers, but if she is meant to debate the Holy Spirit will find her an aveneue in which to do it. Maybe the she is not meant to say anything. However, staying in false teaching for the sake of not wanting to cause an argument is dangerous. Rather just leave, in fact run!

  • Stephanie

    Deborah, I am on your side. I cannot find any person at Moreletta NG Church who can forward me the news letter reporting on this incident. Could you PLEASE forward it to me?

  • Martin Horan

    Deborah, I keep returning to your site and it’s a really great work you’re doing.
    I despair at friends of mine who have followed some of those “Christian” charlatans–such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Todd Bentley. I mean, they do not even come remotely near to being biblical.
    I had a sister who went to a charismatic church. My wife and I occasionally went there too. It astonished me the drivel that people there believed. Though, I have to admit, some of those deceivers are quite credible. I swallowed the guff of two or three of them myself because I didn’t believe anyone would dare to represent the true God knowing they were ripping people off.
    Naive or what? The Bible makes it clear that such people will make MERCHANDISE of us [2 Peter 2:3]. Jesus warned us more about deception than anything else.
    I know people who think they themselves are soundly biblical and yet they believe stuff which is anything but biblical. They are signs and wonders seekers thinking by being so that they are seeking Christ.
    Anyway, my sister contacted a particularly virulent cancer and ran after all those so-called healers, virtually throwing money into their ministries. She raved on to me especially about Jesse DuPlantis who I thought, by her constant praise of this man, had to be some great Christian. That was until she gave me a video of DuPlantis in action.
    When I saw it, I was dumfounded that any half-sane and quarter sensible person could believe a sentence of what that ridiculous quack was “preaching.”
    One friend of mine became furious with me when I ridiculed DuPlantis’ teachings. Even now, I am at a loss for words at how an intelligent person could defend such a blatant rip-off merchant. How can people who believe in Jesus Christ, and in the inerrancy of the Scripture, fall for the bilge that comes out of the mouths of these charlatans?
    Anyway, my sister not only ploughed money into the DuPlantis ministry but she did so into other equally wacko groups.
    A couple who were called Rory and Wendy gave one of their shows at the charismatic church we were attending. Though my sister told Wendy she had cancer, Wendy told her (after “listening to the Lord”) that she was going to be okay. Yeah, right. My sister’s cancer got much worse and she died in terrible agony. Had she not been listening to those healing merchants and listened to the doctors when she could easily have been operated on, she may have lived to be with us today.
    I know a lady who truly wishes to follow Jesus Christ–or so it definitely appears to me–who, when I was telling her some easily checkable facts on Billy Graham, told me that she didn’t want to hear them. But this hero worship is not unusual. If people would just heed 1 Thess 5:21 and I John 4:1 rather than make gods out of men, they would have less chance of being deceived.
    Sadly, when people put any man or woman above the Word of God, they are virtually making a god (even God) of that person. That means they are idolaters.
    I once read, “A man who makes a god out of his religion won’t have God in his religion.” It, of course, is true but the same applies if he makes a god out of a person or anything else. And it will cause him to stumble.
    We all make gods of things in our lives (at least I have). But as long as we realize that we do and keep on our spiritual toes by constantly going to the Scriptures and asking God for guidance, we don’t have to worry too much.
    You honour God, Deborah, by contending for the faith as you do. Keep fighting the good fight.

  • Noel studt

    Understand that Dr. Bruce Wilkenson is a Freemason of the highest order. Google him in this respect and you will be amazed at what you uncover. His “prayer of Jabez’ is an attempt as a substitute to Christ. Remember that “anti Christ’ means instead of Christ, not just against Christ…..very subtle and very dangerouse……looks so innocent on the surface….but fraught with deception. Don’t be fooled by this pridefull wolf in sheepskin clothing with his hidden agenda. The Lord warns us that in the last days even his own elect will be deceived by satin appearing as an angel of light. As the word says, be as wise as a snake but as gentle as a dove.

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Moreleta Park, Bruce Wilkinson and the Amazonic "Jesus"

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