(1) Truth Matters
All of Christendom needs genuine revival, but especially the Charismatic Movement needs a revival of truth, a Reformation. We delude ourselves if we think that all we need is the presence and power of God or the anointing; without truth, we will end up with spiritualism, divination, and witchcraft. This is actually happening in some churches. A spiritual experience is not enough by itself. If you want a spiritual experience but reject sound doctrine, you will be led into error faster than those who reject anything spiritual and accept only human reason, but that also can bring error.
Paul said there was a time when God overlooked ignorance of the truth (Acts 17:30), but he now requires people to turn from sin and accept the truth. This applies even more so in these last days. Jesus said, “the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23) (MEV).
Some people only seek after a spiritual experience and don’t want to dwell on doctrines because they say it causes divisions. “Just wait until we get to heaven and we will sort it all out then.” But Jesus spoke of the importance of truth, and the writers of the New Testament considered truth important and attempted to correct false beliefs. Your doctrines can keep you out of heaven, so right doctrines are important.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) (MEV) and “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32) (MEV). You cannot be free if you do not know the truth. The anointing is not enough. To follow The Way of Christ you must know the truth. It is not a spiritual experience that will get you to heaven, but the TRUTH.
While some people believe that “line upon line” of human analysis will arrive at correct doctrine, that also is not accurate. Jesus said, “you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Mat. 15:6) (MEV). Church doctrine itself has obscured much truth. You must be able to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in your study or you will never understand Scripture. The Holy Spirit can give us understanding that is beyond the ability of mere human reason, but sadly, WOF doctrine is nothing but human reason and really bad human reasoning at that.
The truth is in the Bible, but because it does not say what people want to believe, preachers twist the Scriptures and make them say what they do not say. Without the Spirit, they cannot see what it actually says. You must also have a desire for truth.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. (Prov. 8:17) (ESV) (See also Matt. 7:7-8; and Jer. 29:13)
Unfortunately, most Christians do not seek the truth, but merely seek to back up what they want to believe. Derek Prince wrote a great book called Protection from Deception in which he said:
Deception – not sickness, poverty, or persecution—is the greatest single danger in the end of the age. Anyone who denies this vulnerability to deception is already deceived, for Jesus has foretold it and He does not err. (2008 edition, page 6)
The truth of the Christian faith is not hard to understand, it is just hard to accept by American Christians who have been raised to pursue the American Dream. They have become blinded by materialism, which is why the prosperity gospel is spreading like a wildfire, but it is not the truth. And because of the popularity of some of the prosperity preachers on TV, the false gospel is spreading outside the Charismatic and Pentecostal segment of the Church:
Given its departure from the historical, orthodox message of the church, one would think that most Bible-believing Christians would reject the prosperity gospel. However, this is not the case. The prosperity gospel is spreading beyond the confines of the charismatic movement, where it has been traditionally strong, and is taking root in the larger evangelical church. A recent survey found that in the United States, 46 percent of self-proclaimed Christians agree with the idea that God will grant material riches to all believers who have enough faith. Why is this so? The prosperity gospel has an appealing but fatal message: accept God and He will bless you– because you deserve it. (Health, Wealth and Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ? by David W. Jones and Russell S. Woodbridge, Kregel Publications, 2011, page 15)
I guess the Christians in Africa and Asia are not real Christians, because they are very poor. Or perhaps the Bible’s idea of prosperity is different from the view of Christians in America.
(2) Warnings From God
Paul said that the Holy Spirit spoke, perhaps through a prophecy or perhaps an unknown tongue with interpretation, that in the last days before the return of Christ, many people will fall away from the faith by following doctrines taught by false prophets who are influenced by demons:
Now the Spirit says clearly that in the last times some people will abandon the faith by following deceitful spirits, the teachings of demons, and the hypocrisy of liars, whose consciences have been burned by a hot iron. (1 Tim. 4:1-2) (ISV)
This is likely a prophecy about the WOF movement today, and the Toronto outpouring. Of course, they are not the only ones that teach false doctrine and lead people into deception. There is no lack of churches teaching half-truths, but the Bible specifically speaks out against the desire for wealth, calling it idolatry.
The Bible tells us not to accept every preacher or every teaching, but to test them to see whether they are genuine or not, but many Charismatics will swallow anything and follow anyone who comes with signs and wonders. They are just asking to be deceived, and are being deceived. Even though the Bible tells us to test the spirits to see if they are from God, the churches today are literally saying that we should not question, but just accept what is happening as genuine. Here are two important verses:
Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1) (ISV)
For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the Spirit and the gospel you received from us! (2Cor. 11:4) (GNB)
The Bible warns us in many places to watch out for false prophets, especially in these last days. Jesus said:
“For false christs and false prophets will appear and display great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24) (ISV)
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheeps’ clothing but inwardly are savage wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) (ISV)
We now change from verses warning of deception and false prophets to verses about actual deception already in the Church in the first century:
I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you. (1 John 2:26) (ISV)
But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Rev. 2:20) (ISV)
If false teachers were already in the Church, less than 70 years from the death of Christ, you know there are many false teachers today. The wolves in sheep’s clothing will be cast into the fire on the Day of Judgment, if not before. Jesus spoke about these false prophets in Matt. 7:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonderful works in Your name?’ 23 But then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice evil.’” (Matt. 7:21-23) (MEV)
A large percentage of the false teachers are WOF. Based on what we have learned in this section, it is no mystery that we find Charismatic preachers who have many signs and wonders happening, but who also preach the wealth gospel and WOF doctrines of demons.
There are two additional prophecies in other writings that say in the latter days there will be many famous false prophets spreading a twisted form of Christianity. The Epistle of the Apostles says:
And he said unto us: There shall come forth another doctrine, and a confusion, and because they shall strive after their own advancement, they shall bring forth an unprofitable doctrine. And therein shall be a deadly corruption (of uncleanness), and they shall teach it, and shall turn away them that believe on me from my commandments and cut them off from eternal life. But woe unto them that falsify this my word and commandment, and draw away them that hearken to them from the life of the doctrine and separate themselves from the commandment of life: for together with them they shall come into everlasting judgement. (M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1924), p. 503.)
Notice that this teaching is about striving “after their own advancement,” which is the gospel we have today: you can be successful, you can be happy, God has a wonderful plan for your life, you can be rich, and you will never go to hell. I believe the “confusion” refers to the fact that the false prophets teach a different interpretation of the Scriptures, one that is convoluted, or twisted beyond good sense, which is the WOF doctrines, as we shall see in other chapters.
Another prophecy from the Jewish and Christian Sibylline Oracles also puts the time period during our day, which are the decades before the coming of the final Antichrist:
. . . and there will be no consent in doctrines when some deceivers arise in the world with great fame, as prophets, and then shall Belial come, and do many wonders among men. (The Sibylline Oracles; Revised and Updated, Floyer, p. 47.)
The Charismatic false prophets are the most famous false prophets the world has ever known, because their TV programs are broadcast around the world. This prophecy does not call them prophets, but that they have fame “as prophets.”
Derek Prince said:
Never underestimate Satan’s ability to produce power, signs, and wonders. Most charismatics attribute anything supernatural to God, which is why I have identified the charismatic movement as a likely place for the Antichrist to emerge. (Protection From Deception, 2008, p. 148)
(3) An Avalanche of Deception
In 2012 evangelist Steve Hill had a vision of a ski slope that was covered with thick snow that was about to cause an avalanche of deception that was threatening to hit the Church. The snow represented false doctrine. He only named a few false doctrines in the book, but it is clear that the WOF is part of the avalanche of deception that is already hitting the Church, as are the false signs and wonders. Here are a few quotes from his book:
Instead of the true gospel, people are fed a lukewarm, pitiful, watered-down message of the cross of Christ, adding more layers of accumulating snow up on the mountain. More layers added as more liars are given platforms. (Hill, Spiritual Avalanche, p. 26)
This swirling, steady downfall of white powder [false doctrine] can disorient the believer, blinding him as to which direction to go. . . . a spiritual whiteout of unhealthy, unbalanced, and, in some cases, downright unbiblical teaching has blinded the body of Christ in America, and it is quickly spreading around the world. (Ibid, p. 76)
This is another way to test the message: Does it always tell me what my itching ears want to hear, or does it rebuke my flesh? Does it give me a way to avoid the cross, or does it call me to pick up my cross daily? Does it allow me to cater to my sinful desires, or does it call me to die to sinful desires? (Ibid, p. 79)
Many preachers of today, as they continue on in their charlatan ways, deserve to be looked upon as con artists. Where is the brokenness? Where is the deep humility? Where are the tears? Where is the passion for souls? Can anyone find Jesus in this parade of self-promoted piety? (Ibid, p. 89)
And because we preach an imbalanced gospel—emphasizing God’s love and ignoring His wrath, emphasizing His mercy and ignoring His justice—we no longer have room for hell and future punishment in our theology. (Ibid, p. 92)
“Brother Steve, we live hundreds of miles from any other large city. I have a good church of fifteen hundred faithful members. They fight to live out their faith. Persecution is an everyday threat. Please, Brother Steve, tell the American preachers that they are destroying us. Their teaching doesn’t fit here. If they came here and lived here, they would see. Do whatever you can to stop the constant false teaching that is pouring in. It is confusing and destroying our people.” (Ibid, p. 120).
The deceiver and enemy of our souls has slithered into the pulpits of America as he did in the garden and is tempting those with itching ears with fresh snow. (Ibid, p. 143)
Messages on God’s blessings, prosperity, and reward abound. They sell books and fill sanctuaries. But what about God’s discipline, judgment, penalties, and punishments? (Ibid, p. 167)
The WOF doctrines, the prosperity gospel, the false signs and wonders, and the false spirits of the “river” outpouring are all an avalanche of deception from the pit of hell, but they are not the only heresies spreading in the American Church. Universalism, and other heresies, such as a book and movie called The Shack which are full of heresy. The book and movie were promoted by TBN, and the movie by KLOVE radio. Here are twelve heresies in The Shack:
- God the Father was crucified with Jesus.
- God is limited by his love and therefore cannot practice justice.
- God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not.
- All hierarchical structures are evil.
- God will never judge people for their sins.
- God submits to human wishes and choices.
- Justice will never take place because of love.
- There is no such thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.
- It doesn’t matter which way you get to God.
- Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.
- The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.
- Everyone will make it to heaven.
It is ironic that several ministers were contacted and gave their endorsement of Steve Hill’s book, even though they are named here in this book. Hill did not go into much detail about all the false teachings today, or name the false ministers, but not so in this book. I do not just cry out against false doctrine, I examine those doctrines and name many false ministers who teach them. Of course, I cannot include all of them, because there are so many.
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