I want to make quite clear the fact that this article is written for Christians, as a warning, and if the atheists on this forum wish to contribute, they can feel free, but they must also understand my freedom not to respond. Atheists are not our problem; it’s clear they are opposed to the Gospel. The problem is those who parade as servants of God.
On Good Friday we went to church, as is the norm for us. It is, after all, the holiest day on the Christian calendar. A friend of mine was also preparing for church, and his wife had put the TV on, and Joyce Meyers was on, prattling about her elation regarding Good Friday.
Elation? On this, the day our Saviour died? Realising that if we had been alive at the time, we most likely have been with the crowd crying, ‘Crucify Him!’? I’m afraid Joyce Meyers, and many like her, are the ones against whom Jesus warned. ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.’
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 1-5-7 NIV
Can there be any doubt that this accurately describes the world on which we live? I’ll pose a rhetorical question: if David Wilkerson, a famous preacher, and Lady Gaga, a pop singer, arrived at the Waldorf Astoria simultaneously and there was only one room available, who do you think would get the room?
Celebrity mania has swept the world to the extent that, when the US Senate was conducting hearings into the plight of America’s coal miners, the called in geologists and miners. Right? Right? No, they called in Sissy Spacek, who had acted in Coal Miner’s Daughter. She was a real expert!
Oprah Winfrey’s opinion counts more on almost any subject you could care to name, than any number of experts in those fields. Celebrity mania.
The Secret was one of the biggest sellers in history and even prompted sequels and its central message was clear: the universe exists for your pleasure and to serve you. Oprah pushed the book on her show, as she has many others. The greatest love of all is the ability to love one’s self, they say, for if you cannot love yourself, how can you possibly love anyone else?
If there were a meteorite strike that wiped out civilisation and only a third of humanity remained alive, they would be forced to fend for themselves. What do you think would happen to those celebrities then? They would be locked out to fend for themselves, as they have nothing of any worth to offer.
Two men, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are justifiably famous for something extraordinary. They gave away their fortunes, or large parts of them, with no strings attached. They had every right to hang onto that money and many people have said it’s easy to give away twenty billion Dollars if you still have ten billion left.
Then why are they so remarkable?
Dick Cheney, a billionaire many times over, could not get enough of the folding stuff and helped to concoct the story of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to get his hands on their oil and get more money. Why? He already had more than he could spend!
There is not enough money in the world for people seeking wealth and power.
Kenneth Copeland has six executive jets and a hundred Harley Davison motorcycles on his enormous ranch in Texas. For his sixtieth birthday, a number of pastors from other churches each gave him a gift of a million Dollars. Where did they get the money? From the poor suckers who attend their churches, that’s where!
Benny Hinn travels to London and takes up three floors of a five star hotel. One for him, and the one above and below for his security detail. Security? For a supposed man of God? Where was Isaiah’s security? Or Daniel’s?
Hedonism is also nothing new, but it’s been turned into an art form, with people finding new and different ways to pleasure themselves, from outright pleasure seeking in the nightspots of the trendy places amongst the beautiful people to extreme sports. All of it comes under the banner of satisfying self.
Paula White appeared before a Senate Committee for spending twenty-five thousand Dollars on a toilet! George W Bush blocked the investigation before it went any further, exposing his friend and mentor, Kenneth Copeland.
Legitimate praise for a job well done can turn the heads of all but the most level-headed. As Christians we have to guard against this constantly, as we seek the approval of those in the world. Everyone wants to be liked; it’s a natural human need. And that is where the devil sneaks in with that little word that seems so harmless on the surface.
What is the harm in idly gossiping with your workmates or just playing along when they ask you about your star sign? You know it’s nonsense, so there’s no harm done. Or is there?
The thin edge of the wedge.
When people say they believe Jesus was a great moral teacher and they believe the Bible in part and we don’t speak up, how is that anything but compromise? We are called to be salt, and salt always adds flavour.
‘You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.’
Matthew 5:13 NASB
What compromise is, is the slow poison that ever so slowly pulls us away from the purity of our relationship with Christ and allows us to view sympathetically the viewpoint of other religions at times. For instance, it is a well-known fact that Islam, as a rule, honours Jesus far more highly than Christianity at large does.
If they write about him, it is always in this manner, ‘Jesus (PBUH)…’ Peace Be Upon Him. We fall rather far short of the mark, don’t we? They boycotted a theatre where The Thirteenth Disciple was being shown. Christians ignored it, by and large, or expressed their disgust to each other.
When a popular DJ talks about the fairy tale of Christianity, the Christians complain and then do nothing further. The Muslims threaten a boycott of the radio station and threatened physical violence on the person himself, until he apologises.
And the worst of all is, they know nothing of this Jesus. They Jesus they proclaim is not the Son of God, he is the second greatest of all the prophets. They do it because their laws are extremely strict regarding any slight on any aspect of Islam. And therein lies the problem.
As Christians, we are given freedom. As being humans, we either abuse the freedom we have, or take the teachings of Christ and turn them into another set of laws and furthermore, laws impossible to live by.
‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’
Matthew 5 27-28
Now for the Christians who try to live by the law of Christ, how could they even conceive of it? If the Law was impossible to live by, how much more impossible would this be? We are under grace, and therein lies a problem: as people, we tend to abuse grace, regardless of where it comes from.
In our instance it is the grace of God, and we’ve cheapened it by the way we live our lives. It’s called compromise. We plan to sin, knowing we can be forgiven. Unless I’m the only one who does that?
In the sixties, in the USA, pornography, or an addiction to pornography, was cited as an aggravating circumstance in fewer than 10% of divorces. In the seventies it was as high as 25%. In those bygone days, it seemed that, as sales of Playboy rose, so did the divorce rate.
It currently stands at over seventy percent, with a large number of those marriages breaking down as a direct result of pornography. And that is largely due to the Internet, where you can engage in ‘conversations’ with an online sex partner. But it doesn’t stop there.
Facebook and Skype are wonderful tools and ways to keep in contact with our loved ones overseas or even in another city. We build up a network of friends, many of these people we’ve never met. Therein lies the danger.
Many adulterous affairs have begun on Facebook. It’s not the fault of Facebook, of course, but speaking to them on Facebook can lead to Skype and you can do and show what you want on Skype.
Facebook is a way to get in touch with old friends. It is also a way to get in touch with old flames, whom you haven’t seen since school, and they may be looking a lot better than your spouse. We live for ourselves and the end result of that is that we yearn for things from our past, and think upon these words for a moment.
But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’
Luke 9:62 NASB
Jesus says we can be forgiven anything, but if we plan to go out and sin, we are grieving the Holy Spirit. Is that what we want? And I’m, not speaking here of nostalgia; we all indulge in that. I’m speaking of longing for those lost opportunities and wishing we could have another shot at them.
It seems with Facebook many have.
The Roman Catholic Church offers absolution, but no guarantee of heaven. How does that work? The largest church in the world and, in a sense the most influential, is prepared to absorb parts of the culture of the nations in which they’ve settled, thereby watering down the Word.
We have taken the purity of God’s word and watered it down to the point that in many instances the meaning has changed. Whether we believe the Council of Nicaea was right when they chose the canon is a moot point. It is what we have and, if you live by it, you will not go wrong: that is a guarantee.
The biggest problem facing Christianity is not persecution, for that strengthens the Church. The biggest problem facing the Church is heretical teaching, such as preterism, which teaches, amongst other things, that the Great Tribulation occurred with the destruction of the temple and the diaspora.
Because Paul writes in Galatians that we are Abraham’s seed does not mean we are to take the place of Israel as the Dispensationalists teach. In the Book of Acts, Israel is mentioned nineteen times and the Church twenty times, and they are always treated as being distinct from each other.
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.’ Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Romans 11:17-21 NIV
The greatest danger facing us as Christians is false teaching, and much of it is so subtle that we do not necessarily discern it, but instead propagate it. Jesus and (whatever) or Jesus only, a movement which dismisses the Trinity, amongst the dozens or even hundreds of false teachings flourishing worldwide today. The Church is in the greatest danger it has ever been, and it’s because we have allowed it to happen.
Kim Clement is regarded as a great prophet and makes prophecies every year, which are recorded and sold to the faithful. The Library of Congress keeps a copy of every piece of recorded material, in whatever format it was recorded, so it has a record of all his prophecies, which number in the hundreds.
Would you like to guess how many of his prophecies came true? Would you be shocked if I said none? If you are a disciple you would be, and accuse me of bad-mouthing God’s anointed, and quote what they love to quote: ‘Touch not Mine anointed.’
God was speaking here of His prophets, saying, ‘Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.’ Would you like to guess what happened to those prophets? With the exception of Daniel, every one died a violent death at the hands of the ruling authorities. They seem to want the reward of being a prophet without the attendant difficulties.
From the prosperity gospel to the Toronto blessing to seeker-sensitive churches and whatever fad comes along next, we follow like sheep and are then surprised when we cannot stand up to trials when they come along. We are not Israel, but we play the harlot to the same degree.
When a church denomination does a survey of an area to see what the needs and wants of that area are before beginning to even plan the construction of a new church, speaks volumes of how far we’ve slidden down that slippery slope. Surely the purpose of the Church is to preach Christ and Him crucified, and not find out what the people in the area desire before beginning construction?
When last did you hear a sermon on sin? Simple, straight and to the point. You are sinners and unless you repent of your sin, you are in mortal danger of losing your salvation. Are tithes and offerings so important to our church leaders that they refuse to offend anyone, lest they leave and take their money with them?
When someone like Joel Osteen says, on Larry King Live, that he does not have a cross in his church, because the cross brings condemnation, what are we to make of that? When Larry King asked him, quite bluntly, ‘I’m an atheist, Joel: if I were to die tonight, would I go to hell?’
Joel Osteen mumbled a bit and said, ‘Well, Larry, I’m not God and I can’t speak for Him, so I can’t say whether you will or not.’ Read that again carefully, for that is what has happened to the largest part of the modern church.
We have a clear mandate, and that is to preach the Gospel, in and out of season, because people are dying and going to hell. Since when did the cross bring condemnation? It brings salvation and deliverance, and if anyone is offended by the cross, he has no business attending the church, because the cross is an offence to many, especially those who are perishing.
Here’s a piece from The Daily Mail, London.
Students shocked as US high school assembly descends into homophobic rant against Sir Elton John and Lady Gaga
By Lyle Brennan
Kicking off with a hard rock performance, it was clear this was not to be your average assembly.
At first students at Dunkerton High School, Iowa, seemed grateful for this musical break from the norm - albeit with Christian-themed lyrics denouncing the evils of drugs, alcohol and violence.
But things took a turn for the worse when the event veered into an impassioned and unfocused rant against homosexuality, abortion and sex before marriage.
After his band Junkyard Prophet left the stage, drummer and preacher Bradlee Dean took the microphone, separating the crowd into boys, girls and teachers.
Mr Dean is the president of the ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, which is listed by civil rights organisation the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-gay hate group
Before a packed school hall he projects a photograph of Sir Elton next to a quotation that reads: 'There's nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. I just think people should be very free with sex... They should draw the line at goats.'
Mr Dean demands of his young audience: 'Is that a good moral standard? Would you allow your son or daughter to spend the night at Elton's house?'
He then picks apart Lady Gaga hits such as The Fame and Born This Way, taking exception to her placing the lyrics 'No matter black, white or beige' side by side with 'No matter gay, straight or bi'.
He says: 'What she's saying is if you're black it's the same thing as being gay. Sexual deviancy is the same thing.
'You're born as a product of your parents. But your actions - listen to this - you do have control over it.'
And after an embittered rant in which Mr Dean claims music videos give a false impression of what love is, he asks: 'Did you know the average age death of a homosexual male is 42 years old?
'Yeah, his actions literally kill him and he lives about half his life out.'
He adds: 'Up until 1961 [homosexuality] was illegal in all 50 states. We protected that institution.
'In 1998 if you were busted in Rhode Island you'd go to prison for 20 years; in 1973 they thought it was a mental illness.
'Now what are they teaching you?'
Junkyard Prophet had previously visited the school without incident and staff were expecting them to return last week with a talk on bullying and making the right choices.
But instead, students found themselves faced with graphic images of aborted foetuses, while girls were instructed to obey their husbands.
Parent Jennifer Littlefield told the LaCrosse Tribune: 'They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins.'
Her 16-year-old daughter Alivia was distraught when she called her after the event and was one of several to have left in tears.
Appalled parents complained to the school, which has since accepted responsibility. The district authority is trying to recover the fee paid to Junkyard Prophet, who are said to command a rate of $1,500 (£955) per show.
Members of the group have since returned to the area to explain their performance, addressing 75 people at a nearby church.
According to local network KWWL, Mr Dean, who was met by a small group of protesters, took to the stage to hit out at 'offensive' accusations and negative media coverage.
He said: 'When I left, there was nothing wrong with anything. I get home and it's an anti-gay ministry.
'I'm tired of that. It wasn't brought up at all.'
If you speak the truth as a Christian, it’s called hate-speech, but if you mix oil and water, that’s fine. And that’s the way the world is heading and the devil is clever enough to give us Jesus and…( fill in the blanks ). And we go along with it, quite willingly. Such as Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life, which seems fine, on the face of it, but what does it actually teach? Its aims are noble, and so are his, but that doesn’t make it right.
The purpose of the book is to get people of all races and religions to work together to alleviate world poverty. All religions? The book says, in essence, that not every town or village has a mayor or civic leader, but every village, regardless of its size, has a priest, an imam, or some religious leader, and he can galvanise the people into action, in order to work together to alleviate poverty and world hunger.
Surely in Christ we have all the answers? What’s the point in saving them from the ravages of hunger and not giving them the Gospel? What’s the point in saving the body if the soul is destined for hell?
In one of my earlier articles, I mentioned KP Yohannan and the Jesus wells, but here’s another story that more forcefully illustrates this point. He was in Calcutta, in the slums and speaking to a man, an Untouchable, covered in sores and near to death. KP Yohannan told him about Jesus, he preached the Gospel to him and he accepted Jesus as his saviour. An hour later he was dead.
The average western church would have taken him off to hospital, cleaned him up, put him in a comfortable bed in a hospice and he would have died in his sins. Was that why Jesus died?
Mother Theresa and her Sisters of Mercy founded their hospice in Calcutta and she said to many of the sufferers, ‘Whoever God is to you, pray to him, and he will hear and comfort you.’ She had various Hindu idols in her room and had no problem with people worshipping their various gods. She was there to serve, regardless of their beliefs.
Especially in India, there is a term, ‘rice Christians’, which was coined by the American missionaries who went there. They built schools, hospitals, gave them food, clothed them and then, almost as an afterthought, the Gospel. These people then professed Christianity, but merely added Jesus to their overstuffed pantheon of gods. And while I agree you cannot share the love of God with someone who has an empty belly, the Gospel has to be our first priority.
I believe the clock is ticking and we are but seconds from midnight. I’m not writing anything new, as this has been covered in other books by other, more qualified authors, but this is something that I feel has to be written, for the largest majority of Christians are in danger of losing their salvation unless they take note of the signs of the times.
How is it that men and women who’ve been happily married for years have suddenly discovered their true sexual orientation, divorced their spouses and gone to live with a person of the same sex?
Christians are accused of being insensitive, intolerant and hate-filled because we point out their sins. They, on the other hand, blaspheme, sodomise effigies of Christ before Catholic Cathedrals and commit other blasphemous and offensive acts, and it’s labelled freedom of expression.
In 1965 Mel Tari and a group of followers experienced what is now referred to as the Indonesian Revival. These people saw the most astonishing miracles, and I don’t think one of them was financial. We, like Esau, have sold our inheritance for a mess of pottage. There is very little of Christ in most of us, because He is being squeezed out by the world.
Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and won a mighty victory for us, but we are not satisfied with that. Paul said that the love of money is the root of all evil. If we look at the mega-churches today, do we see that happening?
When your very healing depends on the amount of money you give, with their always quoting the example of the widow’s mite, is it any wonder that Jesus will say to them, ‘Depart from me, I never knew you!’?
When we are so desperate for a sign that we go to churches where a spirit of some sort is being displayed, where people are crawling around on all fours, barking like dogs, is it any wonder the world doesn’t take us seriously? These churches, by the way, are all wealthy churches and the people are looking for a sign, but I quote Jesus here. ‘An adulterous generation seeks a sign…’
What we, as Christians, do not realise, is that mostly God cannot use us as we are. Jesus promised that rivers of living water would flow out of us, but it cannot flow out of us in our current state. We have to first be broken for those rivers of living water to flow from us. And if we’re serious about serving God, He will break us. And it’s always better to seek to be broken, rather than have God force it upon you.
Angus Buchan, in his book Faith Like Potatoes, relates an incident where a woman died and he laid hands on her and she was restored to life. His ministry was still in its toddler stage, if not its infancy, and things were going better than he could have hoped for. And he was faithful to God in all of this, never claiming for himself the glory due to God.
A while later, his nephew was riding on his tractor with him and they hit a bump and his nephew fell off and the tractor wheel rode over him, seriously injuring him. Angus prayed and prayed, but his nephew died and he blamed himself, even if his brother didn’t.
None of us can imagine the pain and heartache he went through when that accident happened and that little boy died, but God used that mightily and Angus Buchan has become a mighty servant of the living God and devotes all his time and energy to serving, and loving this God who saved him and brought him through this awful trial.
See the difference between them and us? They have found salvation and for them nothing matters but sharing that message of salvation with the world. Why do people like Rodney Howard-Brown thinks it’s alright to point a finger in God’s face and admonish Him, while at the same time complaining that there is no more fear of the Lord?
Mike Bickle, one of the progenitors of the Toronto Blessing, as it is called, has this to say:
‘The Hebrew and Biblical model of the unity of personality implies that the Spirit affects the body. At times, the human spirit is so affected by the glory of God, the human body is not capable of containing the intensity of these spiritual encounters and strange physical behaviour results. Sometimes, though certainly not always, the bodily responses are human responses to the spirit's activity and not directly caused by the Holy Spirit. However, this does not imply that they are therefore carnal and should be forbidden.
Following are phenomena that have been observed in contemporary experience: shaking, jerking, loss of bodily strength, heavy breathing, eyes fluttering, lips trembling, oil on the body, changes in skin color, weeping, laughing, ‘drunkenness,' staggering, travailing, dancing, falling, visions, hearing audibly into the spirit realm, inspired utterances, i.e. prophecy, tongues, interpretation, angelic visitations, and manifestations, jumping, violent rolling, screaming, wind, heat, electricity, coldness, nausea as discernment of evil, smelling or tasting good and evil presence, tingling, pain in body as discernment of illness, feeling heavy weight or lightness, trances, altered physical state while seeing into the spiritual world, inability to speak normally, disruption of natural realm, i.e. electrical circuits blown.’
Now I may be naïve, but I do not see how this is helping us reach the lost for Christ. If you do not have a burden for the lost, ask God for one, and He will honour it. Jesus died that we might have life, not that we might get drunk in the spirit, with Rodney Howard-Brown calling himself ‘God’s bartender’.
‘In the early days of the apostles, as they were searching for a word that would communicate to the Gentiles the ecstasy in having their sins forgiven and being in right relationship with God through the atoning blood of Christ Jesus, they chose the word evanggelion, which we now translate, "gospel" or "good news." It was a completely secular word that was used in reference to the emperor's birthday. It was a holiday, a day of good news. The apostles traveled through the ancient world preaching that the day of God's party had come... We are learning to party in God again...’
So, after two thousand years, the Church has matured enough to ‘please God again’. How is it pleasing to God when self is exalted above His sovereign will? Where are the missionaries, either inner-city or overseas that emanate from this culture?
Instead, one of their number, Bill Hamon says, ‘The earth and all of creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, the time when they will come into their maturity and immortalization...The church has a responsibility and ministry to the rest of creation. Earth and its natural creation is anxiously waiting for the church to reach full maturity and come to full sonship. When the church realizes its full sonship, its bodily redemption will cause a redemptive chain reaction throughout all creation.’
These people actually believe that they are amongst the ‘special chosen’, who will usher in a new age of peace and prosperity and, when that has happened, Jesus will return. Take your time and read that again.
These are the New Apostles, thirty five of them, who will usher in the Great End-Times Revival. Jesus, on the other hand, said, ‘When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith in the earth?’
Contrast that with Morris Cerullo:
‘Jesus being the brightness of all that God has and is. He was the reflection, image, and manifestation visibly of all that God has and is. What is God's purpose and plan and objective? Sons and Daughters who will manifest all that God has and is. Can you imagine the power in your being when you face the devil? You represent all that God is and all that God has!’
‘Everyone repeat after me... God is duplicating Himself in the earth... At last, the time has arrived, God is releasing His life through the Body [2 times]... Today, I am a Son of the all powerful Almighty God... The fullness of the Godhead dwells in me... God has planned for me to be Christ's image on earth.’
Rick Joyner, one of the modern-day prophets has this to say:
‘The doctrine of the rapture was a great and effective ruse of the enemy to implant in the church a retreat mentality, but it will not succeed. Already this yoke has been cast off by the majority in the advancing church and it will soon be cast off by all.....’
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Who would you believe? And do you see how the way is being prepared, or is it just me? Am I being paranoid and seeing things that are not there?
‘The feet of the body of Christ will carry the credentials for all of those who have gone before them. They will be joined to each other like no other body of people have ever been joined, but they will be also joined to the true believers of all ages who lived and prophesied of this day. As Jesus promised, the things that He did and even greater things will be done in His name, because He went to the Father. His faithful will soon walk in unprecedented power and authority. In the near future, the church will not be looking back at the first century church with envy because of the great exploits of those days, but all will be saying that He certainly did save His best wine for last. The most glorious days in all of history have now come upon us. You who have dreamed of one day being able to talk to Peter, John and Paul are going to be surprised to find that they have been waiting to talk to you!
The magnitude of this harvest will ultimately astonish even the most optimistic believers. Congregations of less than a hundred will be adding a thousand believers a week for periods of time. Meetings which begin spontaneously will stir entire cities, continuing until they fill the largest stadiums night after night. Previously popular sporting events will be abandoned in many regions for lack of interest. Whole towns with populations of thousands will swarm on neighboring towns to evangelize them... News teams will follow apostles like national figures... large cities will experience periods of zero crime... pornography, prostitution, illegal drugs, abortion, and drunkenness will cease to exist in many areas without passage of a single law... Whole nations will give themselves to periods of fasting and prayer.’
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons
1 Timothy 4:1
Kim Clement made this prophecy in 1994:
‘The Spirit of the Lord says, I will raise up a brand new and a fresh and powerful anointing that is going to destroy and expose hidden works of darkness... Thus says the Lord, get ready, for even as the enemy tries to destroy and bring addictions and witchcraft upon the nation, so liberty and revival is about to take place as you have never seen. For this is the final move of my spirit. This is the final thing that I am preparing for your hearts to do. Therefore, get ready, says the Lord, I am about to change you with my power and anointing... Surely I am about to judge from the very top, says the Lord, and this judgment has already begun and will not go by June before it is absolutely done, says the Lord... Therefore, take it now, take my word and rejoice for I will bring about the greatest move of the Spirit that this nation has ever seen...’
Still in 1994, Kenneth Copeland tells us:
‘Can you imagine somebody walking around with the power that Elisha and Elijah had and the power that Peter and Paul had -- all at the same time? It's about to happen! If you'll get your act straightened up and get yourselves moving in the Spirit of God, it will happen to you!... I asked the Lord one time, "Lord how will you do that? How can you make the sun not shine?" He told me He will block out its light with the cloud of His glory... God said to me, "I'll make that cloud get so thick on whole cities, that people can't see the sunshine." Then, He added, "That's the reason you need to get ready"... Learn [how to win souls] because when God's power falls and His glory cloud hits a whole city at one time, men and women will fall under the power of it, crying out to God.’
‘The Lord said to me, “I've been manifest as the rain, I've been manifest as the fire, or lightning. I've been manifest as the wind, but I've never been manifest as all four at the same time. Now, in the time of the former and latter rain, you're going to see all of me for the first time ever."’
Really? In all my interactions with atheists, I’ve yet to meet anyone of them who is as blatantly self-serving as the so-called prophets of God. The atheists have an agenda, and it’s driven by Satan, but people like this are just helping Satan’s cause, and making themselves rich into the bargain.
John Wimber, one of the new breed of prophets, believes modern revelation to be at least as valid as Scripture:
‘Many of you and myself included, have committed that sin. We have been theologically correct as we've attempted to conform something to scripture, saying, "At this point the teaching is..." Many fundamentalists do exactly the same thing today about the works of the Spirit. They take the Word of God and chisel at a practice or a ministry or a flow, without recognizing it's God moving. Not recognizing that God is bigger than His written Word. (Italics mine)
Jesus, knowing their hearts, said, "Why are you thinking evil in your heart?"...I said, "Lord they're not thinking evil...they're just operating under sound doctrine"...But, you see, it's evil when you don't recognize God. It's evil when you don't see Jesus in the things that are going on. It's evil when you hide behind doctrinal beliefs that curtail and control the work of the Spirit...The church today is committing evil in the name of sound doctrine. And, they are quenching the work of the Holy Spirit. And they are turning against the work of the Holy Spirit.’
Rodney Howard-Brown challenges God, dares Him, in a sense to prove Himself.
‘I knew that there was more, much more...In July of 1979, I cried out to God in sheer desperation. I wanted Him to manifest Himself to me and in me. I was hungry...As I prayed that day, I told the Lord, "Either you come down here and touch me, or I am going to come up there and touch you." I was desperate. I must have called out to God for about 20 minutes that day. Suddenly, the fire of God fell on me. It started on my head and went right down to my feet. His power burned in my body and stayed like that for three whole days...I was really praying, Lord, I am too young to die." In the fourth day, I am not praying, "O Lord send your glory," I am praying, Please lift it off me so that I can bear it." I was plugged into heaven's electric light supply...my desire has been to go and plug other people in. My whole body was on fire...Out of my belly began to flow a river of living water. I began to laugh uncontrollably and then I began to weep and then speak with tongues. I was so intoxicated on the wine of the Holy Ghost that I was beside myself...Because of that encounter with the Lord, my life was radically changed from that day on.’
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells
2 Peter 3: 11-13
Jesus has not asked us to follow Him for a cause whose outcome is uncertain or questionable. Instead, He has already won the victory over Satan, sin and death through the cross and His
resurrection. With His life, He portrayed the elements needed to win any kind of spiritual victory: total commitment to God and His purpose, and unrestricted willingness to sacrifice everything to accomplish victory.
Jesus not only lived this truth, but over and over, He also taught it to His disciples and anyone who considered following Him. He wanted to make sure that we clearly understand that there is no other key to spiritual victory and no other way to fulfil our responsibility to proclaim His kingdom here on earth.
To choose Him above all else and to love Him more than our own lives—this is the commitment required to be able to do His will. The sacrifice needed to accomplish His cause is none other than what Jesus told us in John 12:24: ‘Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.’
When we read the New Testament, we cannot overlook the most direct application of this teaching in the lives of the apostles and the early Christians. As they took the Gospel into all the world, it caused them to regard suffering, agony and even martyrdom as privileges. They knew that tremendous victory and fruit would be produced for eternity as a result.
Think what Christ could accomplish through our churches— and in our lives—if we would accept such commitment and sacrifice as the means to victory! What is the result when a church joyfully decides to be satisfied with a modest building and simply the essentials, instead of spending millions on a palace of comfort and prestige, and then uses the money to help reach those who have never heard the Gospel before? And all out of love for Christ? I believe they discover that their sacrifice brings them greater joy sitting in a simple church than they could ever experience in the most costly building.
What happens when we first run our plans and wishes for a comfortable, secure life through the filter of commitment and sacrifice? Think about the time and money spent on entertainment, trips, cars, home decorating and clothes. Could it be that we would discover greater joy and satisfaction without these things if we chose instead to pray and fast for a lost world or to spend our resources to help win souls in the most unreached areas? We actually deceive ourselves when we think that our clever strategies, conferences and token offerings of time and money will win this world for Christ.
There is no substitute for sacrifice if we care to follow the Son of God, who set His face to the cross and its shame.