If there is anything I want you to come away with from this article is to know who the false teachers are so that you can stay away from them and help others to avoid them as well. My general advice is to turn off TBN, get into the Word of God daily, get down on your knees and pray for people in your sphere of influence who may be falling into the Third Wave, and reach out to them to pull them from the fire. Stand firm in the Faith and don’t allow false heresies from the past and present leaven your faith away from a pure and true faith in Jesus Christ. The situation is so dire today in what is left of Christendom, that if you are not careful you can be deceived even if you consider yourself to be one of the elect. That’s what Jesus told us would happen and from what I see going on today many people who claim to be Christians are being deceived to the point where they are changing their very belief system. The Bible says that if we put our faith in another gospel, another Jesus, another Spirit we have believed in vain. If your belief system gets corrupted, at some point you are no longer believing in the true Jesus Christ, but another “Jesus”. This is the whole idea behind all the weird stuff in the church–not to get you to do weird stuff but to corrupt your belief system. There is a great apostasy in the churches right now, a great delusion, and it is the fusion of many old heresies from the past.
There are many roots to the Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation and counterfeit revivals we see today. The churches have been invaded by ideas from other religions and the occult. In some ways all the influences from the past have common characteristics and have been combined by false teachers into doctrines that have cause many to be led into apostasy. The Bible tells us we are to keep the Faith, to guard the church against false doctrines.
Jude 1:3-4 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
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.
1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
If those who call themselves apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers teach against the core doctrines of the Faith, whether explicitly or implicitly, we are to admonish them once or twice and if they do not repent we are to reject them as heretics.
Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
The word for “divisive” in Greek is “hairetikos” from which we get the word “heretic”. A heretic is a person who teaches against the core doctrines of the Faith and divides the church. This is exactly what we see today in the Third Wave. The efforts of Third Wavers are not primarily aimed at non-believers, though they have given it a half-hearted attempt, but are mainly aimed at Christians. They are famous for proselytization, that is getting people from one church to attend their churches or events, and then sending them back to get more. The heretics of our day are the divisive ones and the churches should have renounced them a long time ago. But they have been allowed to continue and that is why we find the Church in the state it is in today.
Heretics can almost always be found to have connections with false systems of belief, other religious practices, even the occult. I want to detail some of the influences on the Third Wave movement and those who have brought these teachings into the churches. There are many influences, but I will try to briefly give you a background on the major influences seen in the Third Wave.
(1) Shamanism (Witchcraft, Sorcery)
Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic magico-religious phenomenon in which the shaman is the great master of ecstasy. A shaman may exhibit a particular magical specialty (such as control over fire, wind or magical flight). When a specialization is present the most common is as a healer. The distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, with whom he or she communicates, all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness. (Dean Edwards, Shamanism-General Overview-Preface, 1997, originally available at http://www.webcom.com/gspirit/Shaman/so.shamanism.html)
One becomes a shaman by one of three methods:
a) Hereditary transmission
b) Spontaneous selection or ‘call’ or ‘election’
c) Personal choice and quest.
The shaman is not recognized as legitimate without having undergone two types of training:
1) Ecstatic (dreams, trances, etc.)
2) Traditional (“shamanic techniques, names and functions of spirits, mythology and genealogy of the clan, secret language, etc.) (Mircea Eliade, The Encyclopedia of Religion, v. 13 , p. 202. Mcmillian, N.Y., 1987.)
Medicine men, mediums and witch doctors in all cultures
Today we have a number of people in the Third Wave who are driven by dreams, visions, special secret knowledge (Gnosticism) and contact with dead people who claim to have powers, such as knocking people backwards and healing. They claim they can summon the power by their own will. They even claim they can create reality by their words, which is a major tenet of witchcraft, but also a major idea in Word-Faith.
Contact with the dead: One of Benny Hinn’s visions
“This is recently. I’m not talking about a long time ago. He was about six feet two. Old man. Had a beard. White-like Norvelles jacket. Glistening white beard. His face was somewhat thin. But, very bold! Eyes – crystal blue. He had on a white garment; whiter than my shirt could ever get. On his head was a shawl, like a, like a covering. He looked like a priest. Every part of him glistened like crystal. And I spoke out and I said, ‘Lord, who is this man I see?’ I know you may, you may think I lost my mind, but the Lord said, ‘Elijah, the prophet!’ I never heard the Lord say that to me you know when that happened? That happened days before the anointing on my life doubled. Literally, the ministries’ anointing doubled after that.…” (Hinn, Blaisdale Arena, Honolulu, HI, on February 28, 1997)
“One of the strangest experiences I had a few years ago [was] visiting Aimee (Semple McPherson’s) tomb in California. This Thursday I’m on TBN. Friday I am gonna go and visit Kathryn Kuhlman’s tomb. It’s close by Aimee’s in Forest Lawn Cemetery. I’ve been there once already and every so often I like to go and pay my respects ’cause this great woman of God has touched my life. And that grave, uh, where she’s buried is closed, they built walls around it. You can’t get in without a key and I’m one of the very few people who can get in. But I’ll never forget when I saw Aimee’s tomb. It’s incredibly dramatic. She was such a lady that her tomb has seven-foot angels bowing on each side of her tomb with a gold chain around it. As–as incredible as it is that someone would die with angels bowing on each side of her grave, I felt a terrific anointing when I was there. I actually, I–I, hear this, I trembled when I visited Aimee’s tomb. I was shaking all over. God’s power came all over me. … I believe the anointing has lingered over Aimee’s body. I know this may be shocking to you. … And I’m going to take David [Palmquist] and Kent [Mattox] and Sheryl [Palmquist] this week. They’re gonna come with me. You–you–you gonna feel the anointing at Aimee’s tomb. It’s incredible. And Kathryn’s. It’s amazing. I’ve heard of people healed when they visited that tomb. (Benny Hinn sermon, Double Portion Anointing, Part #3, Orlando Christian Center, Orlando, Fla., April 7, 1991. From the series, Holy Ghost Invasion. TV#309, tape on file.)
Speaking things into existence: Kenneth Copeland
“Words are the most sacred things….This is a word planet…governed by words…created by words….Words cause it to function…cause life…cause death….Words go on forever….Words are holy.” (Kenneth Copeland, The Abrahamic Covenant, side 1.)
“Words create pictures, and pictures in your mind create words. And then the words come back out your mouth….And when that spiritual force comes out it is going to give substance to the image that’s on the inside of you. Aw, that’s that visualization stuff! Aw, that’s that New Age! No, New Age is trying to do this; and they get somewhat results out of it because this is spiritual law, brother.” (Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 28 March 1991.)
Shamanism: TB Joshua
TB Joshua is a man who Toronto Blessing people are flocking to in Nigeria, including John Arnott the head pastor of the Toronto Airport Vineyard church. TB teachers all endorse him as a “holy man of God”. Joshua has direct connections in his background to shamanism, and he evidences that in his meetings. He claims to heal all kinds of health problems including and especially genital disorders. He then gets people to show their “healed” genitals in the meetings. He claims to turn water running from faucets in the church into the blood of Christ, and people shower in it, roll in it, drink it. I saw part of his promotional video and I would not advise anyone to watch it as it is very demonic.
“In a week I deliver contrary spirit carriers (Ogbanjes), witches and wizards (about 1000 of them). They are not ordinary human beings. Some are half human and half fish. So if you eat fish you can not deliver them.” (TB Joshua, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi and Prophet T.B. Joshua: Are both messengers of God? by Isaac B. Agbaje and Abieye Kalu)
“Faith means the Word of God mixed with God’s Spirit. When you speak the Word of God and it is mixed with the Spirit of God, whatever you decrees comes to pass.” (TB Joshua, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi and Prophet T.B. Joshua: Are both messengers of God? by Isaac B. Agbaje and Abieye Kalu)
(2) Quakers (Friends) & Shakers
“The term “Quaker” refers to a member of the Religious Society of Friends, which is the proper name of the sect. This name refers to people “quaking” or trembling when feeling moved by the Holy Spirit to speak in Meetings for Worship. (Quaker FAQ, http://www.jmas.co.jp/FAQs/Quaker-faq)
These are the doctrines of most Quaker groups, though there are evangelical Friends who are not so far out.
“Quakers beliefs are a little hard to quantify, since Friends do not believe in having a fixed Creed or Dogma, but rather in seeking for the leadings of God within ourselves.
– Doctrines of Jesus’ deity and the virgin birth are nonessential and not accepted as fact.
– Primacy of “feelings” over scripture as source of testing doctrine.
– Acceptance of any document as valid for doctrine (i.e. Tao Te Ching, Koran, etc.)
– Universalists (by their own description) (i.e. all religions and beliefs are correct and of equal value.)
– Great manifestations including trembling and shaking.
– George Fox saw himself as an apostle restoring the true church.” (Quaker FAQ, http://www.jmas.co.jp/FAQs/Quaker-faq)
The Shakers splintered from a Quaker community in Manchester, England (Gidley and Bowles 1990). James Wardley, its preacher, had absorbed the teachings of the millennial French Prophets and his community began to evolve around 1746 (Melton 1992). The members were known as the Shaking Quakers and were viewed as radical for their communion with the spirits of the dead and impassioned shaking that would occur at their services (Horgan, 1982; Robinson 1975).
The Shakers were present at the Asuza Street Revival and the Cane Ridge Revival, revivals that most of the Third Wavers hearken back to as a great revivals of God. However, many false groups such as the Shakers, were present at those and other “revival” meetings and had influence on the “manifestations” that ended up dominating those meetings. Robert Liichow of Discernment Ministries said:
The Shakers were the true forerunners to today’s revival. The Shakers had visions, personal prophecy, they spoke in other tongues, they had “holy” laughter, spiritual drunkenness and a form of spiritual warfare.
The only thing the Shakers did not have was Jesus Christ, they were a Pagan cult! (Robert Liichow, Discernment Ministries, audio interview)
Here is and account of one of the Shaker meetings:
“At the close of the singing, one of the sisters began to rock to an fro; at first gently, then in a more violent manner, until two of the sisters, on on each side, supported her else she would have fallen to the floor. She appeared to be wholly unconscious of her surroundings, and to be moved by an invisible power. The shaking of the subject continued to increase in violence, and it was with great difficulty that she was restrained from throwing herself forcibly to the floor. Her limbs became rigid, her face took on an ashen hue, her lips moved, and she began to speak in a clear, distinct voice, every word of which penetrated every part of the room, which was as still as death. Every eye was on the recipient of the gift, every ear open to catch each word as it fell from her lips. She spoke of the shortness of life, of the absolute necessity of abandoning the world and its sinful pleasures before it was too late; that in Shakerism were embodied all the virtures and none of the vices of mankind; that through her the spirit of Mother Ann was speaking to every Shaker present to remain steadfast to the faith …” (Sears, op. cit., p. 201; as cited in The Confusion Of Tongues, Chrales W. Ferguson, 1927, p. 336)
This is an account that bears comparison what happened in Toronto and in the Brownsville A/G Church of Pensacola, FL, in the early stages of the “revival” there. Third Wave meeting accounts are almost identical to the what the Shakers were doing. It is important to note that this Shaker account shows clearly that they had opened themselves up to demonic influence by the use of mediums and necromancy. What we read about regarding the Shakers and what we see and hear going on in the “counterfeit” revival are clear indications of spiritism. Dave Hunt has noted:
Such questions involving the whole gamut of today’s revival scene, from Toronto to Pensacola, must be seriously faced! Videos of the services show people crawling on the floor, howling like wolves, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, going through bodily contortions impossible without the aid of some spiritual power, unable to speak or even remember their names when they try to give a testimony–and worse. Many of those being baptized at Pensacola seem to lose consciousness or shake so violently that they must be carried out of the baptismal tank or they would drown. Others flail about so wildly as to require several men to handle them. Such manifestations were also found in past “revivals” among the Shakers, the Mormons and many other cults. That such things could now be accepted widely as evidence of the Holy Spirit can only testify to the depths of the delusion! (Revival Or Apostasy, Dave Hunt)
Third Wave teachers with Shaker/Quaker influences: John Wimber
John Wimber began as a Quaker, originally being a member of the Quaker church. George Fox is deemed to be the “prophet” whose teachings tend to be the prime source of guidance for the philosophy followed in the Quaker faith. Gunner Payne was the person who initially had the primary influence in John Wimber’s life.
John Wimber was kicked out of the Calvary Chapel and started the Vineyard. Out of the Vineyard came all the manifestations and “slain in the spirit” stuff that became the Toronto “Blessing”. John Wimber is one of the fathers of the Toronto Blessing movement, which also spawned Brownsville and others, and he started out as a Quaker.
Foster is a Quaker and started a group called Renovare, which had a direct influence at Fuller Theological Seminary where John Wimber did his first experiments in “Power Healing” and “Power Evangelism”. Wimber was a member of Renovare, as well as many others.
Renovare Board Of Directors: Sister Thomas Bernard was the Director. Also on the board of directors was David Allan Hubbard, President of FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY. On the Board of Reference were such Pentecostals as JAMIE BUCKINGHAM, Ted W. Engstrom, Gary Fawver, TONY CAMPOLO, MICHAEL HARPER, Roberts Hestenes, and DAVID & KAREN MAINS. Speakers at Renovare conferences included: Sister Thomas Bernard, Isaac Canales of Fuller Theo. Seminary. (Fuller had many speakers for Renovare). Eugene Coffin of Crystal Cathedral (Robert Schuller’s “cathedral”), Richard Foster who is President of Renovare, Jack Hayford, Sen. Pastor of The Church on the Way, California.
So you can see the heavy influence of Quakers and Shakers in the counterfeit revival movements today.
(3) Latter Rain Movement
One of the biggest influences on the counterfeit “river” movement of the Third Wave was the New Order of the Latter Rain.
In the mid-1940’s, the enthusiasm and fire of the Pentecostal revival that started at Azusa Street was waning, and people were looking for another move of the spirit, and wanted signs and wonders. (In) 1907-1910 David Wesley Myland began teaching the rudimentary concepts regarding the Latter Rain. (In) 1947 William Branham, Hunt andGeorge Hawtin begin to teach New Order of the Latter Rain codify teachings into doctrines. The movement is based upon William Branham, and therefore his theology formed the basis for the Latter Rain theology. He was seen as the “prophet” (Elijah) of the movement. Latter Rain doctrines caused division in traditional Pentecostal churches. They led to the condemnation of the ‘The New Order of the Latter Rain’ by the Assemblies of God in their general council in 1949. After this action, many Assembly ministers resigned or were excommunicated for their involvement and formed independent Latter Rain churches. Most of these churches were small. Their evolving doctrines became increasingly heretical and, many degenerated into clearly definable cults. (Church of the Living Word, The Body, House of Prayer, etc.) Some of those who kept the Latter Rain teachings alive from that time and are a big influence in the new Latter Rain Third Wave are Bill Hamon and Paul Cain.
Latter Rain teachings today have evolved and now also include: Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology, Progressive Revelation, Revival/Harvest, Joel’s Army, Replacement Theology, Post-Millennial Eschatology, Signs and Wonders, Territorial Warfare, Ecumenism, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, Jubilee/Feast of Tabernacles, and the Post-denominational Church. (The Latter Rain Revival, Tim & Barb Aho, 1997, http://watch.pair.com/rain.html)
In 1949 at the General Council of the Assemblies of God held in Seattle, the Council overwhelmingly approved a resolution that was prepared by a committee that dealt with the Latter Rain Movement. The resolution adopted disapproved of the following practices of the Latter Rain, and the action was made necessary as a result of the movement invading the Assembly of God churches:
1. The overemphasis relative to imparting, identifying, bestowing, or confirming of gifts by the laying on of hands and prophecy.
2. The erroneous teaching that the Church is built on the foundation of present-day apostles and prophets.
3. The extreme teaching as advocated by the “New Order,” regarding the confession of sin to man and deliverance as practiced, which claims prerogatives to human agency which belongs only to Christ.
4. The erroneous teaching concerning the impartation of the gift of languages as special equipment for missionary service. (Interestingly this is the only tenet no longer being promoted. Why? Because it didn’t work the way it was advertised.)
5. The extreme and unscriptural practice of imparting or imposing personal leadings by the means of the gifts of utterance.
6. Such other wrestlings and distortions of scripture interpretations which are in opposition to teachings and practices generally accepted among us.
The Latter Rain featured individuals with “oil in the hands”; congregational singing of “the song of the Lord” singing in the Spirit; the emphasis on “God is doing a new thing”; the manifested sons of God teaching; the placing of experience over exposition; the branding of those who denounced the movement; getting away from what the church had been.
The Latter Rain has now become almost totally mixed together with doctrines of the Manifest Sons Of God movement. Here is a quick understanding of this heresy which is also a big influence on the Third Wave:
Kingdom Theology (combined) with the Manifest Sons of God doctrine (believes in) the ongoing incarnation of God and (that) believers are “little gods” exercising autonomous sovereignty within their spheres of dominion. As this is perhaps the most objectionable and controversial aspect of Bishop Earl Paulk’s teachings, it deserves special attention. (A Critique of “Kingdom Theology” By Earl Paulk by Robert M. Bowman, Jr., with Craig S. Hawkins and Dan R. Schlesinger, 1988, http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0022a.html)
Manifest Sons Of God teachings were as follows:
– A New Form and Standard for Christianity is emerging. It will change our entire understanding of what Christianity is. In 20 years it will be entirely different. Change will be so dramatic, the Christian church as we know it will oppose it. The change will come from outside the church.
– Rapture is for the “wicked” (Not of the saved!).
– God is to be revealed when he takes his throne in the temple.
– Christians cannot be deceived.
– City Churches: One church leadership per city. Other churches are to join the under the apostolic authority of one man or group of men and transfer membership to them (or associated churches in other cities), and ultimately close down their churches).
– Joel’s Army/Kingdom Now/Dominion theology: the church is to conquer and subdue the earth in order to bring in the millennium.
– New Breed/manifest Son’s of God: We will be perfected into our glorified bodies prior to Christ’s return. This will allow us to subdue the earth.
– The restoration of “the fivefold ministry” as enumerated in Ephesians 4:11, with particular emphasis on the offices of apostle and prophet. (Branham was widely touted as the prophet Elijah reborn).
– Christians become “gods”. We have the “divine” nature.
– Christ comes into us as a “seed” and grows into a “prophet”. Christ therefore returns “within us”.
– Jesus was sent as a “pattern” for the corporate church (Corporate church in this context means that the church becomes Christ. Christ is not complete without us because he is the head and we are the body).
– The current churches have the spirit of “Antichrist”.
Major current teacher of Manifest Sons of God:
John Robert Stevens
Myrtle and James Beall
David Wesley Myland
The most prominent current teachers of the tenets of Latter Rain are Paul Cain, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner and all other apostles and prophets in the New Apostolic Reformation.
Paul Cain even advised his audience to wait until they get to heaven to examine his exposition of the `Manchild Company,’ which would never stand the test of Scripture: “I know some of you are going to disagree with this. Don’t you even stop to disagree. Revelation 12:5. If you disagree, just file it in `miscellaneous’ and check it out. And don’t bother with it; when we get to heaven we’ll check it out and you’ll find out I’m right” (Paul Cain, Prophetic Power and Passion Conference, Christ Chapel, Florence, Alabama, August, 1995.)
“So my point is this, that there will be a manifestation of the sons and daughters of God. And it won’t be this baloney that we’ve heard of in the past; I mean, there’s been a few people tried to walk through a wall like this over here and knocked their brains loose, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a manifested son of God; if anyone walks through this wall over here, they’re not going to tell you about it–I mean, they’re just going to do it. And sons of God don’t tell you they’re sons of God, they’ll just show you! Amen.” (Paul Cain, “The New Breed,” tape.)
The Latter Rain/MSOG movement today is the New Apostolic Reformation, the counterfeit revivals, TBN televangelists. This set of doctrines has probably had the most influence on the apostate church of any other single influence.
(4) Mystical Eastern Religion – New Age
Mystical Eastern religions have been around since the time of the tower of Babel, when the peoples who dispersed toward the East took their gods and religions with them.
1 : the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality
2 : the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (as intuition or insight) and the possibility of direct and intuitive acquisition of ineffable knowledge or power
“Mysticism in which knowledge of the true self and the true secret doctrines is attained by a mystical experience of the divine.” (Webster’s Dictionary)
The point is that eastern mystical religion does not believe in objective truth, but in that truth can only be had through experiences.
Examples of mystical rites:
– Catholic mysticism, with trances states, levitation and visions of angels
– New Age and eastern mysticism, meditation, trances, sleep and sensory deprivation, etc
– Yoga, chanting, dancing, – tribal rites
– Rock music, other forms of trance-inducing music, disco-dancing, head-banging, shaking, whirling dervishes
– Drugs, especially hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD
– Apparitions, visions, encounters with aliens from UFO’s
– Prolonged fasting and prayer, with meditation (Tricia Tillin, THE NEW THING – Part One. Global Revival as the Key Element In Deception in Twentieth Century Pentecostalism, 1997, http://www.banner.org.uk/res/newthing_cont.html )
So you can see all the influences from Eastern Mysticism in the Third Wave.
MAJOR ADHERANTS – EASTERN
Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh
MAJOR ADHERANTS – CHRISTIAN
John Wimber/Vineyard/Third Wave
“John Wimber‘s teachings about “paradigm shifts” and “worldviews” are very similar to those in the New Age movement, which seeks to draw people into Eastern mysticism. New Age philosophy also attacks Christianity as being a product of Western “rationalism” and “scientism” in its attempts to shift people’s thinking away from rational thought to the non-rational base associated with Eastern religions. It is also comparable in most ways to the blind leap of faith into a non-reasoned religious experience of existentialism. True Christianity never includes the demand for a non-reasoned blind leap of faith. Paul said,” I know whom I have believed in …”. This concept originated with the Babylonian Mystery religions and were require for the initiate to enter into the deeper mysteries of this mother of all false religions and heresy. If you have not had the chance to read Hysop’s “The Two Babylon’s’ “, I encourage you to purchase that book and investigate for your self the bizarre connection with the present day and the days of Nimrod.” (Testing The Fruit Of The Vineyard, John Goodwin, Pastor, Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/KJCVINEY.HTM)
William Branham also had ties to Eastern Mystical Religion. He also taught that the Zodiac was part of the Gospel message.
“The most remarkable “messiah” at (the time of the writing of this book) … is to be found at camp Manujothi Ashram in the desert in South India. It is the extreme American evangelist, William Branham, whom Christians have to thank for this false messiah. His name is Paluser Lawrie Mathukrishna. When Branham was on (a) tour of India, Brother Lawrie became a disciple of his, and Branham described him as the “Son of God” and “Christ returned.” (Kurt Koch, Occult ABC, 1978, p. 66)
This is a very curious situation. Why would the “Son of God” and “Christ returned” be the disciple of a man like Branham? Shouldn’t it have been the other way around? Or maybe it was. Perhaps this is an important connection between hinduism and kundalini and the modern “counterfeit” revival. Perhaps this is where Branham, one of the fathers of the Third Wave movement, learned the ability to pass along kundalini-type manifestations. Perhaps this is where he picked up a demonic spirit, because it is “reported that towards the end, some of his teachings almost bordered on the occult.”
Branham taught that the Word of God was given in three forms, the zodiac, the Egyptian pyramids, and the written scripture. (Al Dager, Vengeance is Ours, Sword, Page 59)
Sheets, a new bright name on the scene and on C. Peter Wagner’s apostle list, has been preaching many concepts that are directly out of the New Age, using the same terminology.
“I believe it’s a fresh word from the Lord for us and the phrase that he gave me was the synergy of the ages and I have been meditating in that ever since asking God what that means and working it into the form that it is in now … it is the marriage of the old and the new and as we do it the synergistic exponential anointing of the ages through the decree and the fullness of the king of the ages is released from generation to generation and from age to age…” (Dutch Sheets, National School Of The Prophets, 2000)
GNOSIS is a Greek work that means knowledge, in particular, “Revelation knowledge”, hidden truths that are revealed supernaturally to the initiate. The Gnostics of old had certain central beliefs and these are now coming to the surface again today.”
The “Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church” defines gnosticism thus:
A religious movement in which central importance was attached to the gnosis, or revelation knowledge, of God and of the origin and destiny of mankind. The source of this special gnosis or knowledge was held to be either the Apostles from whom it was derived by a secret tradition, or by a direct revelation.”
The goal was to attain self-awareness as a spiritual being, and god-consciousness. The true world is spirit, and the material realm is a snare from which we must escape. All men possess a divine spark, a part of the divine being, which fell from the transcendent realm into the material universe, and was imprisoned in human bodies. Reawakened by knowledge, the divine element in humanity can return to its proper home in the transcendent spiritual realm. Gnostics knew nothing of the redemption of the body. Their hope was in the transformation of the soul! Characteristic of the gnostic teaching was that the material creation was antagonistic to what is truly spiritual, but that each man had a spark or seed of the divine substance within (Pelegianism). Through the secret doctrines and the rites associated with them, this divine spark might be rescued from its evil material environment and be reunited with the divine.
– Hymns and magic formulas were recited to help achieve a vision of God.
– Wine and drugs were used to open up the mind to the spirit realm.
Here’s how Christian Gnostics explained the phenomenon of Jesus Christ:
The “christ spirit” simply inhabited the body of the man Jesus. The christ spirit had come to teach man the gnosis whereby he could free himself from bondage to the evil material world. Some even taught that Jesus did not actually have a body of flesh, but was pure spirit. Thus the ideas of physical death and resurrection were denied by the gnostics.
How did so-called “christian” Gnostics deal with scripture, and the reality of God Almighty?
– Gnostics rejected the literal and traditional interpretations of the Gospels
– Gnostics rejected the God of the Old Testament as a despot trying to keep us in bondage to this world.
– The Creator God, to the Gnostics, was not the Supreme Being, but a secondary being who had fallen from the pure spiritual realm of the Supreme Being. This creator god (the demiurge, or craftsman) was the architect of the universe but his mistake was to imprison men in earth-bound bodies and apply to them the bondage of Law (Very similar to Word-Faith teachings). Gnostics sought to escape, through superior wisdom, the rule of this god, and rise to spiritual intimacy with the Supreme Being, the centre of all being. Thus, they did not accept the Law of God. They were in essence lawlesss. (Tricia Tillin, THE NEW THING – Part One. Global Revival as the Key Element In Deception in Twentieth Century Pentecostalism, 1997, http://www.banner.org.uk/res/newthing_cont.html )
MAJOR ADHERANTS – HISTORICAL
Simon Magus, a famous magician who lived during the reign of Claudius Caesar, possibly Simon The Sorcerer of Acts (Paul Trejo at: http://www.webcom.com/gnosis/simon.magus.bio.html)
Valentinius, the philosopher
Apollonius of Tyana (The Gnostics, Anders Sandberg, http://www.student.nada.kth.se/~nv91-asa/Mage/gnostics.html)
Those who are modern day gnostics in the Church would be people like Rick Joyner and the Word-Faith movement.
Rick Joyner is the most obvious Gnostic in the church today. He has many companions, but he alone epitomizes a pure Christian Gnostic mentality. Joyner was allegedly converted in 1971. He has asserted that from this time on he had an “ability to foresee future events and occasionally could look at people and know details about them.” Nevertheless, he acknowledges he left the ministry in 1980 and “drifted from the Lord” until 1987. In a vision first presented in four parts in successive issues of his The Morning Star Journal and then published in the book, The Final Ouest, Joyner presented his vision of his ascent up the mystical mountain. Along the way he converses with angels and discovers doors leading to secret knowledge that will revolutionize his Christian experience. He also finds the ‘Garden of God’ and is invited by angels to taste of the tree of life. He also encounters many believers and personal friends who have gone on before and when he finally reaches the top he meets Jesus himself. It is much more ambitious than some of the first century Gnostic Gospels that were content to give further revelations of Jesus’ silent years from 1- 12. etc. By any historical standard The Final Quest is an aggressive attempt at Gnostic writing.
Joyner proposes that there are different levels of revelation. Level one is prophetic “impressions”. Level two is described as “conscious illumination” which he says was the level the apostles used when they wrote the New Testament documents. Level three is an even higher level which he calls “open visions” which are viewed externally like the clarity of a movie screen. Finally, the fourth and highest level he describes as the “trance”. It is on this highest level of inspiration that Joyner claims he received his dreams and visions. In other words he claims a higher level of inspiration than the Apostles when they wrote the Gospels and
Epistles. Joyner describes these levels of revelation in The Final Quest, pg 9-10.
Joyner leaves no doubt that he is thoroughly Gnostic. One of the Ancient Gnostic teachings is that God actually dwells within the soul of man and is a spark of divinity deep within the soul that must be sought and experienced. In Joyner’s trip up the mountain an angel tells Joyner: “The Lord dwells within you. You have taught this many times, but now you must live it for you have eaten of the tree of life. The angel then began to lead me back to the gate. I protested that I did not want to leave. Looking surprised, the angel took me by the shoulders and looked me in the eyes. This was when I recognized him; It was Wisdom. ‘You never have to leave this garden. This garden is in your heart because the Creator Himself is within you”. (Climbing Joyner’s Gnostic Mountain by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Valume 7, No. 3, July/August
Word-Faith Gnostic Teachings
The Word-Faith movement is very Gnostic in many ways, and it comes out of the New Thought Movement.
(6) New Thought Movement
The movement originated in 19th Century New England, and is now worldwide. New Thought includes Divine Science, Religious Science (Science of Mind), Seicho-No-Ie, Unity, and other groups. From its early writings to its current use of process philosophy, it consciously has incorporated Eastern and Western insights. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby generally is recognized as the “Father of New Thought.” He transmitted his views to patients Warren Felt Evans, Mary Baker Eddy, and Julius and Annetta Dresser. Essek Kenyon was another New Thought teacher, and Kenenth Hagin the founder of Word-Faith movement used Kenyon’s ideas almost verbatim. Kenneth Copeland and all other Word-Faith teachers trace their roots back to Hagin and Kenyon. Another strain of new thought is to be found in the Norman Vincent Peale adherents of the “positive confession” movement. His followers were Robert Schuller and many others including Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church.
New Thought is a popular application of philosophical idealism, optimistic mental discipline, and the practice of the presence of God in healing and in daily living. New Thought metaphysics in its various forms combines (1) Hindu-like pantheism in the denial of objective material reality and (2) Western, largely Christian, recognition of the reality of the world as divine creation, with matter a name for certain mental experiences. NT was influenced by quantum physics as well as philosophy and Process New Thought. Each new experience co-creates itself with God by blending the influence of the past with individually-tailored divine guidance: PAST + DIVINE PROPOSAL (God’s offer of perfection as expressible in that situation) + CHOICE = NEW CREATION. All creating is co-creating; there was no original creation.
Process New Thought’s panentheism considers everything to be in God. (Alan Anderson, The New Thought Movement: A Link Between East And West, 1993, http://websyte.com/alan/parlsum.htm)
“… it can be shown that Word of Faith does hold to gnosticism in some degree: the true man is spirit, not flesh; we can rise above sin, sickness and even death, to a life of the spirit; we can overcome this fallen world – not by the life of Jesus, the Tree of Life, but by the Tree of hidden Wisdom, through the possession and use of words – which have creative power to release us from the material world; ultimately we become so glorified that we are transformed into spiritual-beings.” (Tricia Tillin, THE NEW THING – Part One. Global Revival as the Key Element In Deception in Twentieth Century Pentecostalism, 1997, http://www.banner.org.uk/res/newthing_cont.html )
“Are you ready for some real revelation knowledge….you are god” (Benny Hinn, “Our Position In Christ”, tape # AO31190-1)
“God’s raising up a new standard, a new banner, if you will, that’s going to radically change the expression, the understanding of Christianity in our generation…God has invited us to have a role in establishing a new order of Christianity…God is offering to this generation something He has never offered to any other generation…beware lest old order brethren rob you and steal this hope from you.” Whatever happened to remaining in the truths that we were taught? Tit 1:9 “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Paul Cain, “You Can Become the Word!”, 1989, Vineyard Prophetic Conference, with comment from Deception In The Church, 1997)
(7) Oneness Pentecostals
A heresy that emerged from the mainstream Pentecostal movement of the early 19th century. Unlike traditional Pentecostals, “Oneness” followers deny the doctrine of the Trinity in favor of Modalism.
“(Modalism is) a second and third century heresy that denies the doctrine of the Trinity, teaching there is only one Person in the Godhead. While the Trinity doctrine teaches three distinct Persons, Modalism maintains that one Person (usually the Father) has manifested Himself at different times under different names (Jesus/Spirit) or modes. Thus, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three names for the same Person. Originally taught in various forms by Noetus, Praxeas and Sabellius. Modified forms of this doctrine can be found in the teachings of William Branham, some Apostolic churches and the United Pentecostal Church. In addition to this heresy, most Oneness Pentecostal organizations also teach that speaking in tongues, baptism (in Jesus’ name only), and maintaining various moral “standards” are necessary for salvation. (The Watchman Expositor, Index, 1997, http://www.watchman.org/cat952.htm)
I have a long paper on the core doctrines of the Church on my site. You can get the URL from me and read about why the Bible clearly teaches the Trinity and not Oneness, and how it is impossible to know many things about God without understanding the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The following are the key doctrinal beliefs that distinguish the Oneness Pentecostal movement:
– Doctrine of “trinity” considered to be demonic
– Speaking in tongues is an essential sign of salvation
– Denial of the pre-existence of Christ
– Jesus was Himself the Father
– Modalism – Jesus is the only person of the trinity, but appears in three modes at different times.
– Baptism “in Jesus’ name” alone is necessary for salvation. (Tom Smith, Background To The “Holy Laughter” Movement, 1997, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/4948/vine3is5.html)
I wrote a letter to James Morroco in Maui asking him why they invited Tommy Tenney, whose family are some of the most prominent Oneness teachers of our day, to come and teach from his pulpit given the fact that the AOG states in their doctrinal statement that they believe in the Trinity. I go no answer. This is a good example of how churches are being leavened away from the Truth into old heresies like Modalism. If you believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person then you begin to treat Him like and “it” and like a force, then you begin to think you can manipulate the force with your will, actions and words. I believe that Oneness Pentecostalism is very much at the core of the slain in the spirit stuff, because they have been doing in for years. This is because they don’t believe in the same Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit as you and I do. This is why UPC has long been considered a cult, but recently have found their way back into the graces of churches via TBN, books, etc.
(8) Word-Faith Movement (Prosperity Doctrine/Positive Confession)
Word-Faith is the fastest-growing movement within the professing church. It has involved two distinct but closely related factions: the Peale/Schuller Positive/Possibility thinkers, with their roots in New Thought, and the Hagin/Copeland Positive Confession and Word-Faith groups, which have their roots in E.W. Kenyon, William Branham, and the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain Movement. (Charismatic Chaos , p. 281).
Though popular today, but it coexisted with, and grew out of the Latter Rain movement. It tends to be predominantly trinitarian, as opposed to the Latter Rain movement, but holds to the primary doctrines put forward by William Branham, and most leaders in this movement uphold Branham as a man of God or prophet. (Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaf, Harvest House, 1993)
Because of the diverse nature of the movement, the doctrines listed below are representative of those held widely or predominantly throughout the leadership of the movement.
– Christians are “gods”, and therefore do not need to ask “in God’s will”, but rather use our own divinity to speak what we want into being.
– We are lacking faith if we are not healthy and wealthy. (God intended for us to be rich and healthy).
– Men are capable of saving themselves.
– Belief in faith as a “force” capable of being used for good or evil.
– Use of faith-force to change reality or to create through visualization
– God is unable to operate within the earth realm without our help
– Use of words (negative) releases Satan’s power, while words (positive) release God’s power.
– See Also Manifest Sons of God; and William Branham. (Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff, Harvest House, 1993)
Names associated with this movement:
Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Oral Roberts, Richard Roberts, John Avanzini, Reinhard Bonnke, Rodney Howard-Browne, Morris Cerullo, Robert Tilton and almost all teachers on TBN.
“D.R. McConnell, in his book, “A Different Gospel,” directly traces the origin the spiritual laws taught in positive confession to the metaphysics of E.W. Kenyon, a man of 50-60 years ago whose theology was that of Pentecostal Christian Science.” ( A Different Gospel, pp. 3-56).
“As we proceed to examine the primary purveyors of Faith theology, we will see living proof of the maxim that “error begets error and heresy begets heresy.” … And with each of Kenyon’s successive disciples, the errors become even more pronounced. Hagin, who popularized and plagiarized Kenyon prolifically, not only expanded Kenyon’s perversions but added to them as well. (See D. R. McConnell, A Different Gospel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), 3-14.)
The progression from bad to worse has continued with people like Kenneth Copeland and Charles Capps, and is now reaching heretical heights that are almost inconceivable through ministry leaders like Frederick Price, Benny Hinn, and Robert Tilton. (What’s Wrong With The Faith Movement, Hank Hanegraaff, 1993, http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/crj0118a.txt)
John Avanzini is billed by his Faith peers as a recognized authority on biblical economics. The truth, however, is that Avanzini is an authority on perverting Scripture as a means to picking the pockets of the poor. He has honed his craft into such an art form that when Faith teachers need money, they inevitably call on “Brother John.” Armed with a bag full of Bible-twisting tricks, he tells the unsuspecting that “a greater than a lottery has come. His name is Jesus!” (John Avanzini, “Praise-a-Thon” (television program), TBN, April 1991.)
” …Crouch refers to the Faith message as a “revival of truth . . . restored by a few precious men.” (Paul Crouch, “Praise the Lord,” TBN, 18 February 1986, rebroadcast on 6 August 1991.)
“On one occasion, (Faith teacher) Cerullo informed his audience, “You’re not looking at Morris Cerullo you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.” Not only is Cerullo a master of make-believe, he is also a master of manipulation. Claiming that God was directly speaking through him, Cerullo uttered, “Would you surrender your pocketbooks unto Me, saith God, and let me be the Lord of your pocketbooks….Yea, so be thou obedient unto my voice.” (Morris Cerullo, “The Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God” (San Diego: Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, n.d.), tape 1, sides 1 and 2., Morris Cerullo, “A Word from God at the Deeper Life World Conference,” “Deeper Life,” March 1982, 15., as cited in What’s Wrong With The Faith Movement, Hank Hanegraaff, 1993, http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/crj0118a.txt)
Faith teachers such as Robert Tilton and his female counterpart, Marilyn Hickey, have copied many of the scams pioneered by Pentecostal preachers such as Oral Roberts and A. A. Allen. In fact, Tilton and Hickey have managed to exceed even their predecessors’ outrageous ploys. This is hard to believe when one considers what sort of schemes they had to outdo. (“What’s Wrong With The Faith Movement Part One: E. W. Kenyon and the Twelve Apostles of Another Gospel” (an article from the Christian Research Journal, Winter 1993, page 16) by Hendrik H. Hanegraaff.)
Hinn is probably the most obvious Word-Faith teacher today. We have many videos, audios and articles detailing his teaching of Word-Faith heresy in his programs. Our video has a number of statements on it as well. We plan to do a Part 2 of that video in which we will include many more clips of Hinn and other Word-Faith teachers.
“RHB’s biography claims that he served as an associate pastor at Rhema (Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema Bible Church) … ” (Tom Smith, Background To The “Holy Laughter” Movement, 1997, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/4948/vine3is5.html) Kenneth E. Hagin was the founder of the RHEMA Bible Church movement, along with being one of the key leaders in the Word-Faith movement. A letter from the Rhema Bible Church, Rhema Ministries, South Africa, shows Rodney Howard-Browne’s background in the Rhema Bible Church movement: “Rodney attended RBTC [Rhema Bible Training Centre] in South Africa from where he graduated in 1983. After that he started a Rhema church at Molteno in North-Western Cape where he pastored for two years. He then came back to RBTC where he lectured from 1985 to 1987.” (Watching The New Wave, Sure Hope SA Inc., 1995, http://www.hutch.com.au/~rlister/charis/newwave.htm)
“You have no business being sick – everyone of you should get well and get up and go to work, huh? Get up and go to work and earn some money and help send the gospel out! Amen! (This Is My Task, A sermon by Aimee Semple McPherson, Given at Angelus Temple, in Los Angeles, California, March 12, 1939)
Paul Crouch, Word-Faith guru and TBN president said: “The first evidence to many of us was the great stirring of the Spirit in Toronto, Canada, about two years ago. Then, spontaneous revival broke out in Pensacola, Florida. Hungry souls sometimes wait in line all day just to get into the services at Brownsville Assembly of God Church(where John Kilpatrick is the head pastor). Signs, wonders and miracles, just like the Book of Acts, are happening there and many other places at home and abroad!” (Paul Crouch, live on TBN, August 1997)
John Kilpatrick said: “I turned on TBN (home of Word-Faith teachers) not long after that, and some of the very people that turned me off, all of a sudden I looked at them with different eyes, because I had repented, and I looked at them with different eyes and they ministered to me and I broke and wept in my living room before the Lord. God touched my heart. And I had to humble myself down like a little boy and learn again to receive from the Lord. I had to learn to receive from people again. (John Kilpatrick, Brownsville Assembly of God videotape, May 30, 1997)
Brother Kenneth Hagen and Brother Kenneth Copeland have done an excellent job along with others on teaching us about the authority of the believer. (Glory on Your House,John Kilpatrick)
There are so many more examples I could give but for time. Visit the DITC web site for details.
(9) Pelegianism – Semi-Pelegianism
Early in the Fifth century, an English lawyer and moralist, Pelagius sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. His concern justifiably centered on the behavior of morally lax clergy and church members who used the fact of human frailty as license for immorality. He and his followers became the life-long theological antagonists of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354-430), who sought to defend the truth of man’s ruin at the Fall as recorded by God in the Bible. By the end of the Fifth century, through a process of compromise and conciliation with the teachings of the Bible, Pelagianism spawned Semi-Pelagianism. It has been described by Dr. Kenneth Good in these words:
“Though it retained much of the philosophical basis of its parent (Pelagianism), as opposed to divine revelation (i.e. the Bible), Semi-Pelagianism compromised with truth sufficiently to gain favorable audience with some Christians. It became, thus, a far more dangerous form of infidelity than its parent. As such, it eventually overcame the Roman Catholic Church and returned it to the very Pelagianism condemned by Augustine. Semi-Pelagianism changed its disguise and further altered its voice at a later date to become known as Arminianism, following some scholastic refinements and adjustments to Christianity. (Good, Kenneth H., Are Baptists Calvinists?, Oberlin, OH, 1975, Regular Baptist Heritage Fellowship)
Pelagius taught that man did not inherit Adam’s propensity toward sin, possessed free will, and consequently constructed a system of rationalistic moralism. While accepting the Bible’s account of Adam and Eve, but relying on reason and experience, he insisted that a good and just God would not command of fallen man that which was impossible and that anyone could live free from sin, if they just chose to. According to Pelagius, man was autonomous, unhindered, and free to choose for or against God. Further, he also erroneously believed that man’s mental abilities were unaffected by the Fall.
Pelegius, originator of this doctrine
Roman Catholic Church
MODERN ADHERANTS – Semi-Pelegianism
Many Third Wave teachers
“He holds a radical Arminianism (some might well argue it is Pelagianism). Wimber seems to have little or no appreciation of the doctrine of the Fall and speaks of being involved in “restoring the Edenic state” in and through his ministry.” (Assessing the Wimber Phenomenon, Dr. Don Lewis)
Specifically the belief found in many primitive Cultures that inanimate objects, plants and/or animals are possessed by spirits (good or evil) which must be appeased through Occult practices. More generally, the term can refer to any alleged contact with spirits through Occult techniques. (The Watchman Expositor, Index Of Cults, 1997, http://www.watchman.org/cat953.htm)
Spiritism includes trance-mediums, New Age channeling, Edgar Cayce, seances, and Ouija. This form of occultism would also include Satanic groups that worship Satan and who attempt to gain supernatural power by contacting, worshipping, or appeasing Satan and/or his demons. The Occult practice of Spiritualism (Spiritism) is given a new name in the New Age Channeling or trance channeling. Spirit beings, “ascended masters,” deceased humans, or animal spirits allegedly communicate important messages by temporarily entering the body and controlling the voice of a host (channel or medium). Most channelers give the same basic message, man is God. (The Watchman Expositor, Index Of Cults, 1997, http://www.watchman.org/cat953.htm)
Harry Edwards – The Harry Edwards Spiritual Healing Sanctuary
Allan Kardac – “The Spirit’s Book” and “The Book Of Mediums”
New Age channelers
Years ago (William Branham) told his interpreter, Pastor Ruff, “If my angel does not give the sign, I cannot heal.” Ruff noticed several features of spiritism in the work ofBranham, and therefore stopped working with him. These “angels” of whom (Harry) Edwards and Branham spoke are evil spirits masquerading as angels of light. As in many areas of the occult, we are here reminded again that the devil appears as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) Another evidence is the fact that neither Edwards nor Branhamwere able to perform cures when faced with born-again Christians who had committed themselves to the protection of Christ. In the case of Branham, I have experienced this myself. When he spoke in Karlsruhe and Lausanne, there were several believers among the audience including myself who prayed along these lines: “Lord, if this man’s powers are from You, then bless and use him, but if the healing gifts are not from You, then hinder him.” The result? On both occasions Branham said from the platform, “There are disturbing powers here. I can do nothing.” (Kurt Koch, Occult ABC, 1978, p. 235)
There is a long report about Kathryn Kuhlman’s appearances in Vancouver and Seattle. Lack of space again compels me to mention only the main points. This observer writes, “Kathryn Kuhlman calls herself an instrument of the Lord. In reality, she is a medium of the lord of this world. A person cannot receive a second birth from the Holy Spirit when someone touches his face and says a few words to him. I believe in the charismata gifts of the Spirit. But what Kathryn Kuhlman displays is not a gift of the Holy Spirit of God, but a gift of the spirits who rule in the air. These spirits make use of her, herself deceived and deceiving others … She is a medium of Satan.” (Kurt Koch, Occult ABC, 1978, p. 118)
A well-known professor of theology at the University of Tubingen who has the reputation among believers of being a born-again Christian … wrote to me, “Kathryn Kuhlman is a spiritist. Twenty years ago you would have said so yourself.” (Kurt Koch, Occult ABC, 1978, p. 118)
Benny Hinn claims to actually be a channel for God that God enters him and takes over his mind and tongue to the point where he is unaware of what he has said. After his sermon on December 31, 1989, at Orlando Christian Center, during which he gave several future prophecies, Hinn expressed that he was drunk presumably on the Holy Spirit and asked someone to tell him what he had just said. (Biblical Discernment Ministries – 5/92)
(11) Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology (Kingdom Theology)
Within the “Kingdom Theology” camp are several movements whose teachings are remarkably similar over all, yet divergent on some points. These movements – though to a greater or lesser degree disavowing association with each other – are sufficiently homogenous in their eschatological and theological viewpoints to place them all under a common banner: what I refer to as “Kingdom Theology.” These movements are built upon the same foundation: the neo-Pentecostalism of the mid-twentieth century. They draw from one another the support needed to develop their strategy for gaining preeminence among Christians. All zealously propagate their “new revelations” which allegedly are to prepare the Church for “the next move of God,” bringing us closer to the Kingdom Age (the rule of God on earth). The most prominent of these movements are: Latter Rain, Identity, Manifest Sons of God, Restoration, Reconstruction, Charismatic Renewal, Shepherding/Discipleship, Kingdom Message, Positive Confession. (Kingdom Theology by Albert James Dager , 1992, http://www.contenders.com/kingdom1.htm)
The basic premise of Kingdom Theology is that man lost dominion over the earth when Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan’s temptation in the Garden of Eden. God “lost control” of the earth to Satan at that time, and has since been looking for a “covenant people” who will be His “extension,” or “expression,” in the earth and take dominion back from Satan. This is to be accomplished through certain “overcomers” who, by yielding themselves to the authority of God’s apostles and prophets for the Kingdom Age, will take control of the kingdoms of this world. These kingdoms are defined as all social institutions, such as the “kingdom” of education, the “kingdom” of science, the “kingdom” of the arts, and so on. Most especially there is the “kingdom” of politics or government. This naturally implies the concentration of military and police power in the hands of those in control during the Kingdom Age. They are referred to as the “many-membered man child,” whom Kingdom Theology adherents believe will be the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-5. (Kingdom Theology by Albert James Dager , 1992, http://www.contenders.com/kingdom1.htm)
Kingdom (Now) Theology is … combined with the Manifest Sons of God doctrine, according to which the church is the ongoing incarnation of God and believers are “little gods” exercising autonomous sovereignty within their spheres of dominion. As this is perhaps the most objectionable and controversial aspect of Earl Paulk’s teachings, it deserves special attention. (A Critique of “Kingdom Theology” By Earl Paulk by Robert M. Bowman, Jr., with Craig S. Hawkins and Dan R. Schlesinger, 1988, http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0022a.html)
Most Third Wave teachers
“In Latter Rain doctrine, Pentecost was the “former rain” or outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the Church must yet receive a second Holy Spirit visitation. At this time, the Sons of God will be glorified and manifested to all as they establish the Kingdom on earth before Jesus Christ returns bodily … Benny Hinn fills convention centers worldwide preaching a similar message …” (“Joel’s Army,” Jewel van der Merwe, Discernment Ministries, email@example.com; cited in The Latter Rain Revival by Tim Barbaho, 1997, http://watch.pair.com/rain.html)
” … as pointed out by Gruen in “Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship”, Cain has often referred to Joel’s Army of god-men and the Manifested Sons of God as the man child of Revelation 12:5. This is classic Kingdom Now theology.” (Misplaced Faith, 1996 Living Word Church, http://www.livingwrd.org/misplace.html)
You might have noticed a few names popping up over and over again through this presentation. Benny Hinn and many other popular teachers have now managed to combine all the heretical doctrines and occult practices of other religions into one new “paradigm shift” religion. This religion has about as much to do with classic biblical Christianity as Mormonism or any other cult. In fact may of the Word-Faith doctrines are identical to Mormonism because they come out of New Thought. If you know the root you can discern the branches. This is why it is important for every Christian to at least have a rudimentary understanding of the heresies of the past, as well as a major understanding of the Word of God. If you know your history you will be far less likely to repeat the same mistakes. I can sit and watch TBN now and spot heresy within about five minutes. I know the language, the terminology, and the background doctrines. So I am not fooled by slick presentations, by so-called new improved ideas, by manifestations that have nothing to do with Scripture, by lying signs and wonders, by false prophecy. The materials I presented in a very cursory way are available in ultimate detail on my web site. My organization is called “Apologetics Coordination Team (ACT)” and my web site is called “Deception In The Church”. If you run into teachings, teachers, or situations you have a question about, my web site is an excellent resource with more than 900 articles by pastors, teachers, professors, missionaries, and other biblical believers, as well as hundreds of materials that you can get for free. We also have videos, audios and books and we sell them for the lowest price we can offer them.
Study to show yourself an approved workman unto God who does not need to be ashamed. Stand firm in the Faith once for all delivered to the saints. Pray for those who are perishing and try to pull them from the fire, being careful not to fall in yourself. Protect your loved ones. Preach the gospel. Share with everyone the truth in love.