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Tuesday, 18 January 2022

JAMES WHITE'S POSTMILLENNIAL FALLACY

Sermon: My Journey to Hope for the Future - YouTube

Last year, Reformed Baptist Pastor James White (director of Alpha and Omega Ministries) announced that after many years of being a "pan-millennial" (it will all pan out in the end), he has finally opted to support the postmillennial eschatological position. 

There are essentially four eschatological views: Historic Premillennialism, Dispensational Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism. The summary of each of these positions below is very brief and variations within them are not included. 

Historic premillennialism is so called because it was the view articulated by the early church fathers including Irenaeus, Papias, Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Hippolytus. Historic premillennialism (known in the early church as chiliasm) is the literal futuristic view that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur prior to the thousand-year reign subsequent to the great apostasy. Historic premillennialists deny a pre-tribulation rapture and anticipate that the church will go through the great tribulation. (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Matthew 24:3-21).

Dispensational premillennialism is the view developed by John Nelson Darby and popularized by CI Scofield in the 19th century. This view supports a literal thousand year reign of Jesus Christ after an alleged "seven year tribulation". Dispensational premillennialists make a rigid distinction between Israel and the church, maintaining that God does not work with the Church and Israel at the same time. There are many exegetical problems associated with this view, not least, the popular, but problematic, pre-tribulation rapture theory.  

Amillennialism (non-millennial) is the view that the millennium and the book of Revelation are allegorical. 

Postmillennialism is the view that Jesus Christ will return at the end of an indefinite period of time (the millennium) after the majority of the world has been converted to Christianity. Reformed theologian, Kenneth L Gentry Jr gives a brief summary of modern Reformed postmillennialism below:

"Postmillennialism holds that the Lord Jesus Christ established his kingdom on earth in the first century through his preaching and redemptive work. Since then he has continued to equip his Church with the gospel, empower her by his Spirit, and charge her with the Great Commission to disciple all nations. Postmillennialism expects that eventually the vast majority of men living will be saved. Increasing gospel success will gradually produce a time in history prior to Christ’s return in which faith, righteousness, peace, and prosperity will prevail in the affairs of men and of nations. After an extensive era of such conditions, the Lord will return visibly, bodily, and gloriously, to end history. Associated with his return will be the general resurrection and the final judgment after which the eternal order follows. Because of its worldwide historical implications, postmillennialism generates an holistic worldview touching on all areas of life.." {1}

The aim of this post is to critique the postmillennial view as articulated by James White in the above sermon livestreamed by Apologia Studios on the 14th February 2021.   

It doesn't take James White very long to dismiss what he refers to as "beasts in Revelation" and "obscure passages in Daniel". Like many of us, James White admits to having been negatively impacted by "Left Behind" pre-trib dispensational premillennialism as touted by Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye. While I agree that it is advisable to reject the eisegetical teachings of the pre-trib camp, it would be catastrophic to dismiss explicit eschatological material in the book of Revelation and related Old Testament passages. According to pre-trib scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum, there are over five hundred references to the Old Testament in the Book of Revelation: "Some of these references back to the Old Testament do speak of the very same thing as the Revelation. However, in others, the Revelation merely borrows a phrase or motif for the purpose of developing a new area. This distinction should be kept in mind in the study of those Old Testament references." {2} 

The Gnostic Roots of Postmillennialism

In common with Calvinism, the roots of postmillennialism go back to 4th century philosopher, Augustine of Hippo. Augustine infused Christian doctrine with Neoplatonism and was the primary catalyst that brought about a shift in thinking about the literal one thousand year view of the millennium in the west. Most historians agree that Augustine was amillennial, as was Jerome, his counterpart in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In Augustine's City of God, an earthly or physical millennial kingdom is repeatedly dismissed. {3}In the late 2nd century, a literal thousand years was challenged by Origen and Clement of Alexandria who favoured allegorical biblical interpretations.

The first person to articulate a definitive postmillennial view was Church of England minister, Daniel Whitby (1638-1726). 

Clarence Larkin: "... a new interpretation of the Millennial Reign of Christ was demanded. This interpretation was furnished by the Rev. Daniel Whitby (1638–1726), a clergyman of the Church of England, who claimed that in reading the promises made to the Jews in the Old Testament of their restoration as a nation, and the re-establishment of the Throne of David, he was led to see that these promises were spiritual and applied to the Church. This view he called a 'New Hypothesis.' 
His 'New Hypothesis' was that by the preaching of the Gospel Mohammedanism would be overthrown, the Jews converted, the Papal Church with the Pope (Antichrist) would be destroyed, and there would follow a 1000 years of righteousness and peace known as the Millennium; at the close of which there would be a short period of Apostasy, ending in the return of Christ." 
{4}

A postmillennial (allegorical) interpretation of Revelation 20:1-10 is highly problematic for at least four reasons.

1. Postmillennialism does not align with an exegetical reading of Revelation 20:1-10. There is no indication in the book of Revelation that the events described are allegorical. Revelation 1:1 describes "what must (dei - necessarily) soon come to pass". As such we must take the events literally in order to follow accepted principles of sound exegesis. 
2. The historic premillennial view was the predominant view of the early church fathers e.g. Irenaeus, Papias, Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Hippolytus. We therefore have early church tradition as a powerful witness attesting to historic premillennialism.  
3. Postmillennialism has its roots in Gnosticism.
4. The Enlightenment and the optimism of the 18th century "the golden age of theodicies". More information on this subject can be found at: FULL_TEXT.PDF (manchester.ac.uk)

Revelation discloses definitively what must literally soon (tachos - speedily) come to pass.

This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon come to pass. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who testifies to everything he saw. This is the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3 cf. Daniel 12:1-13).

The book of Revelation gives a stern warning not to change (add or subtract) any part of its contents. (Revelation 22:19-20). I don't know what the consequences are for those who either allegorize or reject this book completely! 

Postmillennials have made a disastrous false assumption i.e. that the evangelization of the world leads progressively into the millennium and that the majority of people will be saved. However, the scriptures are clear that the evangelization of the world is a prerequisite to God's judgement on the wicked (the Day of the Lord), followed by Christ's physical return when His kingdom will be established on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10). And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14). The evangelization of the world is finally fulfilled by the first of the three angels in Revelation 14:6-9.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7).

The worldwide proclamation of the gospel by the first angel is followed by a second proclamation, the impending doom of Babylon (second angel); and a third proclamation, the specific warning not to take the mark of the beast (third angel). (Revelation 14:9-11). In light of such explicit warnings, postmillennialism is left floundering. 

In this video James White concentrates the entirety of his efforts on Psalm 2, Psalm 110, Isaiah 42:1-4 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-27. These passages are eschatological, but they do not support postmillennialism. In common with the pre-trib rapture theory, not one verse of scripture supports the postmillennial view.

James White's worldly emotional appeal 
 
James White spends some time describing the current global situation as "..a rapid major movement of the entire globe toward a secular anti-Christian mindset and governmental system". He asks: "What is the intention of the church in light of advancing global secular totalitarianism?" I share his concerns about advancing global totalitarianism. However, current events align with the scriptures i.e. things will get worse and worse rather than better. There is no indication in the scriptures that the world will improve, rather the reverse is indicated. (Matthew 24:37; Luke 17: 22 -37; 2 Timothy 3:13; 1 John 2:17). 

James White's concerns for our progeny (the future of our children and future generations) appears to be based on an emotional reaction based on human concerns rather than the concerns of God. (Mark 8:33). As believers, our optimism must be founded on the coming of Jesus Christ, our blessed hope, NOT on some unscriptural assumption that the world will eventually be evangelized and will improve. ..waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (Titus 2:13). 

Look up - or wait for the world to improve? 

In order to be postmillennial you must reject the book of Revelation, Daniel and associated scriptures. You must also reject the explicit warnings of Jesus Christ concerning the end of the age in the Olivet Discourse. (Matthew 24:3). 

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. And let no one in the field return for his cloak.(Matthew 24:15-18).

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.. (Luke 21:10-19).

"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28 cf. 
Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:12-13, Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:31).

For all of James White's protestations that he is scriptural, his soteriology (Calvinism) and eschatology (postmillennialism) are based on Gnosticism and do not reflect either the scriptures or early church tradition.

They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (Titus 1:11).


1. Definition | Postmillennial Worldview
2. revelation.pdf (rebel13.nl)
3. De civitate Dei, 18.52-53; 20.7, 9, 19
4. Chapter 2. Pre-Millennalism - Dispensational Truth - Study Resources (blueletterbible.org)

Friday, 31 December 2021

JAMES WHITE VS WILLIAM LANE CRAIG: CALVINISM VERSUS MOLINISM - THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

William Lane Craig vs James White - Calvinism vs Molinism on the Problem of Evil - YouTube

Molinism is a complex philosophical theory that attempts to explain the compatibility of divine providence and human freedom (libertarianism). Libertarians believe that free will is incompatible with the Calvinist view of divine causal determinism i.e. the view that God unilaterally determines every event that occurs in the history of the world. The terms employed in this debate may present a challenge for those not familiar with philosophical concepts. 

To briefly summarize: Molinism is the theory that in addition to knowing everything that does or will come to pass, God also has "middle knowledge" i.e. He knows what people will freely choose to do in any given circumstance. If I have understood Molinism correctly, these choices aka subjunctive conditionals or counterfactuals concern what would have been true under different circumstances. For a basic understanding of Molinism, I recommend William Lane Craig's video: What Is Molinism? | Short Videos | Reasonable Faith

Molinism was a Counter-Reformation tactic named after 16th-century Spanish Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic theologian Luis de Molina. According to William Lane Craig, Molinism provides comprehensive answers to all issues related to the problem of evil and free choice. Whilst Molinism is an enterprising attempt to debunk Calvinism, it is not based on sola scriptura, the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice. (1 John 4:1). In my view, no philosophical concept can begin to explain God's unsearchable ways. (Romans 11:33; Isaiah 55:9; Job 11:7; Colossians 2:8). On another level, we know that the specific objective of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation was to destroy the gains of the Protestant Reformation and were not a genuine attempt to discover scriptural truth.

James White's objection against Molinism (and other beliefs that favour synergism), is that free will denies God's sovereignty and places limitations on what God can do. However, this argument fails to take account of God's nature which necessitates that He cannot do certain things. i.e. God cannot lie, He cannot tempt anyone, there is no darkness in Him. God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. (James 1:13 cf. Titus 1:2; 1 John 1:5). 

James White confirmed the Reformed/Calvinist perspective as set out in Chapter 3 of the Westminster Confession of Faith i.e. that God decrees whatsoever comes to pass in time:

"God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeable ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.."  {1} 

The conundrum resulting from Calvinism/Reformed theology is baffling. The idea that God predestines all aspects of His creation, including moral evil, thought and will, aligns with the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity. This teaching fails to explain how people have liberty or contingency of second causes when God ordains whatsoever comes to pass?  William Lane Craig points out the inescapable conclusion resulting from causal determinism i.e. that if God ordains whatsoever comes to pass, then He is the author of evil. However, this conclusion flies in the face of God's self revelation in the scriptures i.e. God is good and cannot do evil. The natural objection to Calvinism is that people are blamed and judged for things completely outside their control. 

James White: "The decree of God is not something that results in mankind being mere puppets. Instead that decree is what makes events in time meaningful."

This statement does not solve the conundrum. If the wicked actions of humans are predetermined by God before they are created, and if God has decreed that people are predetermined to do evil and have no choice in the matter, then surely mankind are puppets. According to this theory, God blames people for doing the evil things that they had no choice in doing. I fail to see how this can be meaningful. It seems feasible that God delimits Himself  (to a degree) without compromising His sovereignty i.e. He allows people free will in this present age so that they might perhaps freely seek and find Him: 

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. (Acts 17:26-27).

John Calvin: "God arranges all things by his sovereign counsel, in such a way that individuals who are born are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by certain destruction.”

One proof text James White gives for determinism is Genesis 50:20 Joseph's brothers evil intentions against him: As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 

There is no indication in Genesis 50 that the evil intentions of Joseph's brothers were decreed by God. God uses their evil for good, but to take the leap that God determines their evil intentions is to go beyond what is written. (1 Corinthians 4:6). God's knowledge of what was in their hearts does not signify that He decreed what was in their hearts. This verse confirms free will, not determinism. James White teaches that God limits mans evil and He he accomplishes His purpose through that evil. However, he does not address the core question: Does God use evil for His own purposes, or does He determine evil? James White openly states that the brothers acted upon the desires of their own hearts, but he does not address why they desired evil in their hearts.

James White's second proof text is Isaiah 10: God specifically identifies Assyria as the rod of His anger and sends them against Israel. However, after they have accomplished His will, He goes on to punish them.

Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger; the staff in their hands is My wrath. I will send him against a godless nation; I will dispatch him against a people destined for My rage, to take spoils and seize plunder, and to trample them down like clay in the streets..  
So when the Lord has completed all His work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the fruit of his arrogant heart and the proud look in his eyes. (Isaiah 10:5-6, 12).

The king of Assyria takes the "credit" for his own wicked actions:

By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, for I am clever. I have removed the boundaries of nations and plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their rulers. My hand reached as into a nest to seize the wealth of the nations. Like one gathering abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth. No wing fluttered, no beak opened or chirped. (Isaiah 10:13-14).

William Lane Craig: "How can God punish the Assyrians for something that He causes them to do? ..God, knowing that the Assyrians would freely invade at that time, uses the unrighteous Assyrians to do something that He knew they they would freely do, and then He can justly punish them because this unrighteous act was done of their own free will.."  (48:00 mark).

James White's third proof text: (55:00 mark)

And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ. In Him we were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything by the counsel of His will.. (Ephesians 1:9-11).

The emphasis of Ephesians 1:1-11 is not on individual salvation, but rather the purpose of God for the chosen i.e. believers in Christ. 

Leighton Flowers: "This passage is not about God predetermining which individuals will be in Christ. It is about God predetermining what will become of those who are in Christ through belief in His truth."  {2} 

Numerous scriptures confirm that sinful intentions do not originate with God e.g.

These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. (Jude 1:26 cf James 4:6-7).

They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

 Why do you provoke me to anger? (Jeremiah 44:8). 

James White rejects Molinist philosophy as unscriptural, and yet at the same time he fails to admit that Calvinism is also built upon a philosophical foundation and is not derived from scripture. The source of Calvinism is unequivocally Augustine of Hippo who inflicted untold damage upon on the church by introducing gnostic elements, particularly Manichaeism. Leighton Flowers has exposed James White's hypocrisy in denying the source of Calvinism: Abusing History - YouTube  It is alarming that Calvinists take the word of two very dubious characters as their authority over and above the scriptures (1) Augustine of Hippo, the so called "Father of Roman Catholicism", and (2) John Calvin, the monster who persecuted and murdered rival theologians and abused the rights of citizens during his Geneva regime!

Benjamin Writ Farley:  

"Has Reformed theology wed itself too closely to the classical world's concepts of God's perfection, omnipotence, omniscience, and immutability in its attempts to witness to the God of Scripture? To be certain, such concepts have their place in guiding the church's reflection on the biblical God of providential activity. They enable the church to avoid the pitfalls of defining God in ways that make him subservient to other factors in the universe; they call the church's attention to glaring inconsistencies in its assertions about deity. But they need not 'control' our understanding of God's interaction with his world.

A third problem with Augustine that is not discussed often is his tendency to develop doctrine based on his experience rather than scripture. I have heard it said, "A man's philosophy is dictated by his morals." The same is true for his theology. Augustine wrote an autobiography, considered to be a classic, Confessions, and in it, he discusses his problems with sin. He spends a great deal of time dealing with an incident (as a young teenager ) in which he stole pears from a neighbor's tree, and uses this event to develop and teach the doctrine of Original Sin.

Because Augustine had a problem with promiscuity and lust, and even as a churchman and bishop, had problems with his thought-life, he concluded that no one is able to choose to do good. His problem with the settings and formed the basis for the doctrine of the other depravity of man. This experiential theology, based on his own moral failures, caused him to attack the Biblical theology of Pelagius and Celestius and Julian of Eclanum, who taught man's responsibility to choose to follow God.

A fourth problem area with Augustine is an area that, while well-known among scholars, is not widely discussed, but is absolutely critical in evaluating the truth of the doctrines that he developed and foisted on the Church. This last area deals with Augustine's method of dealing with those who disagreed with his teachings. Since Augustine's teachings became the touchstone for church doctrine, both Catholic and Protestant, it is vital that we examine the process by which Christian doctrine became settled, and was handed down to us.."
{3} 

James White is a seasoned debater and is highly intelligent, gifted and articulate. I do not say this to flatter him, but to point out that he is a particularly dangerous and difficult man to challenge. Nevertheless, challenge him we must! (1 Corinthians 1:27). James White's parting shot: "A lot of the conversation on this subject is not sufficiently deep to address the real issues." I am not sure how we attain this "deep understanding" without violating the scriptures? James White is not averse to employing ad hominem attacks and he often attempts to belittle those who attempt to question his teaching. (Proverbs 16:18). Nevertheless, many believers have managed to grasp the wicked and inescapable inference of Calvinism i.e. that God is the author of evil, and have recoiled from it.   

I have noticed that many false teachers have the tendency accuse their detractors of having a lack of understanding/discernment and/or intelligence. I have been accused of this myself regarding my various objections to the charismatics. It is encouraging to find that even Paul came up against the spiritual pride of those who claimed to have superior revelation/knowledgeI am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. (2 Corinthians 12:11 cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4-6). 

Calvinism is no small problem within Christendom. This onerous doctrine not only misrepresents the very nature of God, it splits churches and shipwrecks the faith of some, putting stumbling blocks in the path of vulnerable or naïve believers. (Matthew 18:6).

Say to them: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked should turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ (Ezekiel 33:11 cf. 1 Timothy 2:4).

James White has recently come to the postmillennial eschatological view. I hope to tackle this subject in another post. 

Monday, 13 December 2021

AZUSA STREET: A DIFFERENT SPIRIT

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4).

Historians consider the Azusa Street revival to be the primary catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century. By 1914, various denominations had sprung up, including the Church of God in Christ, the Assemblies of God, the United Pentecostal Church and the Pentecostal Church of God. {1} 

Charles Fox Parham (1873–1929) was a self appointed American preacher and evangelist known for his pivotal role as the founder of Pentecostalism. Parham was influenced by the radical holiness teaching of Benjamin Hardin Irwin and Frank W Sandford. 

Parham was the mentor of William J Seymour, the African-American catalyst for the Azusa Street Mission. Seymour's early life is very sketchy. He was born in 1870 to emancipated slaves in Louisiana and was raised in extreme poverty with little formal education. Seymour was part of the African American slave culture of syncretistic Catholicism that incorporated Hoodoo, a popular variation of Voodoo. His unfortunate background in the occult may explain reports that he received visions from God in his early life. After moving around quite a lot as a young man, at the age of 30, Seymour moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he joined the Church of God Restoration Movement aka The Evening Light Saints. This group was part of the radical Holiness movement that espoused the false doctrine of Christian perfectionism via a second work of grace known as "entire sanctification". In 1905 Seymour attended Parham's school where he adopted the belief that speaking in tongues was the sign of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Other dubious influences in Seymour's life were false teachers John G Lake and Fred Bosworth.

The Azusa Street meetings began on April the14th 1906 and continued until around 1915. From the outset Seymour's meetings were viewed with suspicion and were condemned both by the secular media and by Christian leaders due to their unorthodox character. 

There are many stories about the phenomena that occurred during the Azusa Street meetings. I will not go into all the specifics here since the subject is well documented elsewhere. In general, the meetings were characterized by excessive noise, ecstatic spiritual experiences, alleged miracles, dramatic worship services, glossolalia (speaking in tongues), and inter-racial mingling (which was illegal at that time under Jim Crow law). The meetings were very lengthy affairs. They began at mid-morning and continued until 3 or 4am the following morning. Seymour rarely preached and his practice was to pray with his head in a box during the meetings, apparently so that God would get the glory. 

"The meetings in Azusa Street were dramatic. People 'fell under the power', shook violently, jerked, and made loud noises. Fire was seen rising from the building to heaven and returning back down again. The 'cloud of the Spirit' was so thick that children would play hide and seek in the midst of the meetings. Bands of angels were seen at the mission. Tongues given were often interpreted by visitors from other nations who recognized the language. Miracles and healings were common events. One man who had lost his arm in a machinery accident received a new one instantaneously." {2} 

Assemblies of God: "To read the newspapers in 1906, one might have wondered about all the excitement in an old building on Azusa Street in the industrial part of the city. According to the Los Angeles Times, a bizarre new religious sect had started with people 'breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand.' Furthermore, 'Devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories, and work themselves into a state of mad excitement.'
If that didn't grab the reader's attention, the article continued by saying that, 'Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking attitude of prayer and supplication.'  To top it all off, they claimed to have received the 'gift of tongues,' and what's more, 'comprehend the babel.' {3}

The Controversy

Many Pentecostals and Charismatics regard Azusa Street as a genuine move of God that restored the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the church. The gift of tongues was given particular prominence by both Parham and Seymour, although they differed on specifics. Parham was the first person to assert the central tenet of Pentecostalism, i.e. that speaking in tongues was the essential evidence that a Christian was filled with the Holy Spirit. Observers outside the mission were were concerned that the meetings attracted many spiritualist mediums, hypnotists and occultists whose contributions were disruptive. Troubled by the various phenomena and his inability to control the meetings, Seymour wrote to Parham asking for his assistance. After witnessing the pandemonium first hand, Parham was outraged and appalled. He accused the the mission of being overrun by hypnotic influences, familiar-spirit influences, spiritualistic influences, mesmeric influences, all kinds of spells, spasms, and falling in trances. Parham attempted to take over the meetings, but he was quickly rejected and a rift between the two men resulted.    

Parham: "I hurried to Los Angeles, and to my utter surprise and astonishment I found conditions even worse than I had anticipated. Brother Seymour had come to me helpless, he said he could not stem the tide that had arisen. I sat on the platform in Azusa Street Mission, and saw the manifestations of the flesh, spiritualistic controls, saw people practicing hypnotism at the altar over candidates seeking baptism; though many were receiving the real baptism of the Holy Ghost. After preaching two or three times, I was informed by two of the elders, one who was a hypnotist (I had seen him lay his hands on many who came through chattering, jabbering and sputtering, speaking in no language at all) that I was not wanted in that place." {4} 

Putting aside all the stories, the various manifestations and ecstatic experiences at Azusa Street, the real test is whether the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent distinct experience following conversion is scriptural. (1 John 4:1). 
  
Pentecostals generally teach that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is necessary based on Acts 8:5-17. I will attempt to put this teaching into context and put forward evidence that "another spirit" was at work at Azusa Street, and how this "revival" has fueled the excesses of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement aka the New Apostolic Reformation today. 

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. The crowds gave their undivided attention to Philip’s message and to the signs they saw him perform. With loud shrieks, unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, and many of the paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.. (Acts 8:5-8).
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17).

The biblical account that the Samaritan believers received the Holy Spirit some time subsequent to their conversion is not in dispute. Philip the Evangelist converted crowds of people in a Samarian city. (Acts 8:11-12). These converts received the word of God and had "only" been baptized in the name of Jesus. It was not until Peter and John came down from Jerusalem and prayed for them that they received the Holy Spirit. It is important to note that this account pertains to what happened in Samaria and nowhere else. Typically, Pentecostal/Charismatic teachers epitomize the folly of prescribing a blueprint for the church by utilizing a descriptive verse or passage of scripture in isolation. 

Significantly, two further passages indicate that the Holy Spirit was given to believers upon conversion. It is my contention that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the normative experience of anyone who genuinely believes the gospel of Jesus Christ and has repented of their sins as per Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:44-48:

Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38).

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. (Acts 10:44-48).

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-5 cf.1 Corinthians 12:4).

Historically the Samaritans were loathed intensely by Jews and vice versa, so much so that the two groups did not associate with one another whatsoever. (John 4:9). The mutual hatred between the two groups goes back to the split between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah during Rehoboam's reign. The Samaritans were the descendants of the Israeli remnant who remained in the land following the Assyrian invasion in 721BC and their intermarriage with foreigners.

It seems likely that John and Peter were tasked by the Lord to lay hands on the Samaritan believers personally as a special act due to the previous divisions between the two groups. The laying on of hands by John and Peter provided apostolic confirmation that the Samaritan believers were fully accepted by the church in Jerusalem. This act would quell any doubts about their acceptance that may later develop, and it would ensure the unity of the believers. 

You will recognize them by their fruits!

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7: 15-20).

The extremes of charismania and what is referred to as "the gift of the Holy Spirit" is the complete antithesis of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 11:4). This dangerous doctrine divides believers into two classes, those who supposedly have received the Holy Spirit and those who supposedly have not. The manifestations described in the Azusa Street meetings are never mentioned in the New Testament as evidence of the Holy Spirit. These same frenzied manifestations, such as convulsions, jerking, animal noises etc. are common phenomena in many Pentecostal/Charismatic churches today and directly contradict the scriptures regarding orderly worship and self-control. (1 Corinthians 14:33; Galatians 5:23). These groups are known for their false prophecies, false teachings, dubious manifestations such as gold dust, angel feathers, glory clouds etc. and alleged healings that cannot be verified medically. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24).  

Charles Parham's Character and Doctrinal Deviations

Parhams theology was riddled with errors, some of which are mentioned below:

* Annihilationism - Parham denied that unbelievers will suffer eternal torment. 
* Divine healing is included in the atonement. 
Parham: "The healing of the sick is as much part of the gospel as telling them of heaven.. a gospel that heals the body as well as saves the soul." {5}
Parham believed that God would restore xenolalic tongues (known languages). Parham: "..speaking in tongues is an inseparable part of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit distinguishing it from all previous works." {5} Parham based this on Acts 2:4 and Acts 10:46. However Paul contradicts this in 1 Corinthians 12:10, 30 cf. 1 Corinthians 14:5).
* Two separate creations. Parham taught the fringe two-seed theory i.e. Adam and Eve were of a different race than people who allegedly lived outside of the Garden of Eden.
* The imminent premillennial return of Christ. 
* In 1906 Parham faced allegations of sexual misconduct followed by his arrest in 1907 in San Antonio, Texas on a charge of "the commission of an unnatural offense" together with 22-year-old co-defendant, J.J. Jourdan. Parham repeatedly denied being a practicing homosexual and the District Attorney eventually dropped the case.
* Parham actively endorsed the Ku Klux Klan. 
* Various allegations of financial irregularities and doctrinal aberrations: 
"..allegations of financial irregularity and of doctrinal aberrations. In the aftermath of these events his large support base in Zion descended into a Salem-like frenzy of insanity, eventually killing three of their members in brutal exorcisms. Members of the group, who included John G Lake and Fred Bosworth, were forced to flee from Illinois, and scattered across America. As the focus of the movement moved from Parham to Seymour, Parham became resentful. His attacks on emerging leaders coupled with the allegations alienated him from much of the movement that he began. He became "an embarrassment" to a new movement which was trying to establish its credibility. {6}

A significant influence on Charles Parham was cult leader Frank Sandford. During a sabbatical, Parham spent much of his time at the ministry of Frank Sandford in Maine, and also at a religious campaign of Sandford's in Ontario. From Parham's writings it appears he assimilated some of Sandford's ideas into his own biblical paradigm.

Below ~ Lutherans Daniel Long and Steve Kozar ask some searching questions regarding cult leader Frank Sandford. Kozar: "If the Pentecostal Movement is this really unique movement in all of Christian history where the Holy Spirit started doing something again that He had stopped doing for almost 2000 years.. (allegedly) an end time renewal of the Christian church by the Holy Spirit. Who are the people who founded it, and why would they be frauds, crooks, con-artists, cult leaders, heretics? Why would the Holy Spirit use those people if this is the movement where people finally started really leading holy lives and being empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead holy lives.. Wouldn't it be led by people who are living out the claims that the move makes? 

Sunday, 21 November 2021

DALTON THOMAS # JOEL RICHARDSON: SEVENTH TRUMPET DISTORTION AND MORAL CORRUPTION

The Greatest Moment in Human History: Maranatha Global Bible Study 31 - YouTube

There has been a fairly long break since Dalton Thomas' and Joel Richardson's last bible study. I was hoping that this was due to the fact that they saw the need to make some radical adjustments to their skewed views. I also wondered whether they had been honest enough to question their legitimacy as bible teachers ~ but apparently not. I will go into this in more detail at the end of this post.

In my previous post I questioned Dalton Thomas' distortion of the book of Revelation and his warped teaching regarding the fifth and sixth trumpets (the first two woes) in Revelation chapter 9. I observed that he had invented his own bizarre scenario for the first six trumpet judgements. {1} The above episode reveals a number of further problems relating to Dalton Thomas' eschatology, in particular his distorted "seventh trumpet" rapture view. 

The belief that the "last trumpet" in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 is the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation is highly problematic. 

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15).

Dalton Thomas' theory does not match the context or the chronology of the book of Revelation. 

Dalton Thomas: "There is a 'great trumpet' described.. Isaiah 26 says that right before a great wedding feast in Zion there is going to be a great trumpet blast." There is no "great trumpet" in Isaiah 26. The verse he refers to is Isaiah 27:13 which applies to the return of the Israelites from Egypt and Assyria. Isaiah 26:19-21 confirms that God's wrath follows the resurrection of the dead i.e. the prewrath position. 

Dalton Thomas begins with the presumption that Paul's "last trumpet" coincides with the seventh trumpet of Revelation. He resorts to eisegesis in order to justify his presupposition. One problem with this view is that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in about 53–54AD and John wrote the book of Revelation in about 96AD, leaving a gap of about forty years between the books. As such Paul was probably unaware of the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15 (cf. Revelation 8:2-6,12; 9:1,13; 10:7). Dalton Thomas claims that this is a "goofy argument". The forty year gap between Paul and John would not be a convincing argument in isolation, but this is only one aspect of the problematic seventh trumpet/post-trib rapture view. Dalton Thomas fails to grasp the concept that Paul was alluding to the imagery of the shofar in the Old Testament rather than the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15. This explanation fits the context and is more compelling since the shofar was sounded in order to summon the assembly. (Exodus 20:18Psalm 81:3Isaiah 18:3Isaiah 27:13). 

Dalton Thomas appears to be teaching a distorted version the classical post-trib rapture view. This view generally promotes the idea that the trumpets and bowls correspond with one another, and that the sixth seal, the seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl are the same events. However, there is convincing evidence that the seals, the trumpets and bowls in the book of Revelation are sequential. In a general sense, the rise in the intensity of judgements suggests a sequential rather than a simultaneous view. More specifically, when the fourth seal is broken, Death and Hades are given power over one fourth of the earth (Revelation 6:8). However one third of the earth is the specific figure relating to the first four trumpets. (Revelation 8:7, 9,10-12, 9:15). The intensity of the judgements culminate with the seven bowls ~ for with them the wrath of God is finished. (Revelation 15:1). The trumpet and bowl judgements are not a close enough match to draw the conclusion that exactly the same events are being described. For instance, at the fourth trumpet the sun and moon are struck causing a reduction of the light by one third (Revelation 8:12), whereas when the fourth angel pours out his bowl on the sun, it is allowed to scorch people with fire. (Revelation 16:8). The river Euphrates is mentioned in the sixth trumpet and the sixth bowl, but their purpose is totally different. (Revelation 9:13-14; 6:12). Furthermore there are contextual considerations that Dalton Thomas ignores. For instance, Revelation 7:1-8 describes the sealing of the 144000 Jews which necessarily precedes the fifth trumpet judgement of Revelation 9:4. The sealing of the 144,00 Jews in Revelation 7:1-8 takes place during an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals, but its relationship to the seals and the chronology of the events is indisputable. Similarly Revelation 16:2 (the mark of the beast) presupposes Revelation 13:16-18. This event occurs between the conclusion of the trumpets and the beginning of the bowls. 

The context of the trumpets in Revelation is specific in that they implement the day of the Lord i.e. the wrath of God following the breaking of the seventh seal. (Revelation 8 ff.). 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 refer exclusively to the rapture, there is no reference whatsoever to judgement/wrath in these passages.

Dalton Thomas explains the forty year gap between Paul and John as "progressive prophecy continuity". Dalton Thomas: "There are not multiple 'last trumpets', the seventh trumpet is the last trumpet."  This naïve viewpoint fails to take account of the complexities of the subject and the unresolvable problems related to the seventh trumpet argument. If we take the trouble to examine the scriptures, we discover that the rapture precedes the seven trumpets and occurs immediately after the tribulation:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31 cf. Revelation 6:12-17).

The above event describes the sixth seal cosmic disturbances. Chronologically the trumpet judgements follow the opening of the seventh seal. (Revelation 6:12-17).

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them... Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.. (Revelation 8:,1,2,6).

In Revelation 7:9 there is a great multitude that no one could number before God's throne clothed in white robes. This indicates that the number of the resurrected saints is now complete and that the rapture has occurred.

These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. (Revelation 7:14). In Revelation 6:11 the martyrs are given white robes and are told to wait a little longer. In Revelation 7:9 the great multitude are clothed in white robes:

Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:11).

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.. (Revelation 7:9).

One has to throw out all pretense of sound hermeneutic in order to justify the Revelation 11:15 seventh trumpet rapture view. Despite this, a number of post-trib rapture teachers are determined to hold fast to their "seventh trumpet". Dalton Thomas refutes the pre-trib rapture view, but problematically his own view is appallingly deficient. This effectively generates further confusion concerning the timing of the rapture and defeats his alleged object of providing clarification. 

Alan Kurschner: "..the 'seventh trumpet is when the rapture occurs' interpretation is a skewing domino affect where posttribulation interpreters get almost everything wrong on their interpretation of the book of Revelation." {2}

Dalton Thomas' parting shot - Do not study

"This is how revelation is given, it is not by studying -- you can study all day long and be a demon. Studying doesn't do anything. Studying is not the same as hunger and humility.. Lots of people study for other motivations.. to get certain things and to be something else.. Hunger and humility is the only way.."
 
I would not argue that hunger and humility are not essential ingredients in order to grow in the Lord. However by denouncing study, Dalton Thomas appears to actively discourage anyone who would test his skewed teaching against the scriptures. 

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8).

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; (Hosea 4:6).

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15).  The KJV has ~ "Study to show yourself approved.."

Strong's: "From spoude; to use speed, i.e. To make effort, be prompt or earnest -- do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study." {3} 

In isolation "knowledge puffs up". (1 Corinthians 8:1). However, the notion that we do not need to study the scriptures is to resort to reductio ad absurdum. We do need to study in order to be properly equipped both to understand the scriptures and to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11). I suggest that Dalton Thomas' examines his own motivations for saying such a foolish thing. 

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1).

Both lifestyle and doctrine are essential requirements for anyone purporting to be an elder or a teacher. (1 Timothy 4:16). 

Dalton Thomas does not fulfil the scriptural requirements of a teacher/elder due to his extra marital affair with a single woman on the team of FAI under his leadership. I will not go into details here, but I advise anyone who follows FAI to read the following article by Mike Reynolds: mikereynolds.org The scriptures state that elders should be above reproach. (Titus 1:5-9). Dalton Thomas markets himself as something of an expert, but much of his teaching is based on his own opinions and forced eisegesis, this is what the bible calls "empty talk". (Titus 1:10; Proverbs 18:2; 2 Timothy 1:13). In addition, he has known associations with IHOP, a questionable ministry associated with the New Apostolic Reformation. The above factors constitute more than enough evidence for believers to mark and avoid this man. (Romans 6:17).

I know nothing about Joel Richardson's personal morality, but I do know that a "prophetic endorsement" by "Latter Rain" false prophet Paul Cain was the catalyst that kick started his "ministry". Paul Cain's lifestyle was tarnished by spiritual deception, homosexuality and alcoholism. (Galatians 5:19-21). A "prophetic endorsement" from Paul Cain is a contraindication, not a recommendation ~ and yet Joel Richardson actually boasts about it! {4} Joel Richardson also has associations with TBN and other questionable neo-charismatic "ministries". Richardson is the only person in "ministry" I know of that goes under a pseudonym. Apparently this is because he believes that his family are at risk from harm from Islamic activists due to his questionable Islamic Antichrist theory. If his "ministry" really is legitimate, what would prevent him trusting the Lord regarding possible outcomes? (Psalm 118:6).


Monday, 8 November 2021

SIMON BRAKER AND PREETHY KURIAN: WINEPRESS IMAGERY!

LegacyLIVE - YouTube

NAR prophets prophesying their own judgement?

NAR "prophets" Simon Braker and Preethy Kurian discuss what God will do "in the next season".

The false NAR prophets have noticeably changed tack since the failure of so many of their prophecies, the re-election of Trump being their most spectacular and humiliating failure. Their focus on a worldwide revival, an event that is unknown in the scriptures, has also been touted ad nauseam by many "prophets" over the years. However, the only "revivals" we have seen are horrors such as Toronto, Brownsville, Lakeland etc. 

Emma Stark, Simon Braker, Preethy Kurian and other NAR false prophets are now predicting that there is going to be a squeezing, or a pressing, or a crushing, or a shaking that will precede, or give way to, worldwide revival. The frequent chats that Simon Braker allegedly has with "the Lord" are highly questionable. Modern NAR "apostles and prophets" have a nasty habit of contradicting the scriptures; their prophecies are often inaccurate, and their "miracles" are contrived, as we have seen with Todd White's infamous leg lengthening trick and other false "signs". {1} Tragically, their false teachings are spreading like gangrene and are infiltrating many churches whose leaders are bereft of spiritual discernment. (2 Timothy 2:16-17; 1 John 4:1).

Simon Braker began this video by quoting half a verse of scripture, a common trait of NAR "prophets". "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God."

The whole verse:  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. (Psalm 46:4).

Like many OT passages, Psalm 46 has layers of meaning. 
 
The immediate application of Psalm 46 is Jerusalem's deliverance from an enemy invasion (probably Jerusalem's miraculous deliverance from Sennacherib the Assyrian). (2 Chronicles 32:1-23; Isaiah 37:36-37). 

On a different level, Psalm 46 is an exhortation to trust God and not to be afraid no matter what disaster befalls us. 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth is transformed and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas, though their waters roar and foam and the mountains quake in the surge. (Psalm 46:1-3).

God Himself is our refuge and strength. Psalm 46 is not a "deliverance formula", although God may deliver us from many evils during this lifetime. (John 14:27,16:33). There is tension, but there is ultimate assurance. 

Ellicott: "The river, flowing calmly and smoothly along, may be only a symbol of the peace and blessing of the Divine presence, as the tumult and tempest of the sea in the last verse are of the world's noisy troubles." {2}

Pulpit Commentary: "In contrast with the scene of tumult and disturbance in the world at large, which the writer has presented to us in verse. 2, 3, he now shows us, resting in perfect peace and tranquility, 'the city of God,' threatened, indeed, by the nations, but undismayed by them, and calmly trusting in the protection of the God who is 'in the midst of her.'" {3}

Psalm 46 shifts focus to a distinctly eschatological perspective in verse 4, lifting us out of the raging tumult of the nations to the prophetic city of God, the city where God dwells. (Psalm 9:11; 132:13; Joel 3:17; Zechariah 8:3). The raging sea is a picture of the turbulent nations which are contrasted to the delightful river in the city of God:  ..a river whose streams delight the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her; she will not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns. (Psalm 46:4-5).

Coffman observes: "..there seems also to be a prophecy of that Eternal City of God that cometh down out of heaven, the New Jerusalem, described in the last chapters of Revelation. The River of Life flows out of the throne of God in that City; and the Tree of Life grows on either side of it, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations." {4}

The entity claiming to be "The Lord" asked Simon Braker: "Simon how do you make wine?" 
The entity continued: "You make wine by making grapes go through narrow places and they lose their individual identity and they get squashed and blended together."  According to Simon Braker, the imagery of the winepress is the interpretation of Psalm 46:4. 

Simon Braker: "I asked the Lord: 'What is the word for this next season Lord', and He said 'You are coming into the season of the great squeeze.'  ..the squeeze that brings forth a birth, whether it be the birth of new wine, the birth of a baby, whatever language you want to use. In the birth of a baby there is a squeeze, in the making of wine there's a squeeze. It seems generally speaking that if something good is going to be produced it is preceded by a squeeze or a press or a crush or a shaking.."  

Ironically, both Simon Braker and Preethy Kurian apply winepress and birth pain metaphors, involving shaking, crushing, pressing and squeezing to the church. In the scriptures, this particular combination of metaphors indicates eschatological wrath against the nations at the end of the age. These metaphors are not applicable to the church, rather this is the wrath of God against the godlessness and wickedness of the nations. These false prophets will indeed suffer wrath unless they repent. (2 Peter 2:1,17).

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. (Revelation 19:15 cf. Revelation 14:19-20; Isaiah 63:2-6).

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Matthew 24:3-8).

Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:13 cf. Isaiah 2:19, 13:8; Psalm 18:7 Matthew 24:29).


For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 cf. Matthew 24:24).


Monday, 1 November 2021

TRINITY LIFE CHURCH LEICESTER: HEROES OR VILLAINS?

TLC Online | 24th October, 11am - YouTube

Listening to Susan Hind teach on Nehemiah 4 at Trinity Life Church in Leicester (Assemblies of God), reminded me of their previous pastor, Brian Niblock and his admiration for Smith Wigglesworth. It makes me wonder if any of these teachers really do their due diligence in researching their supposed "heroes of the faith". Some years after I left TLC I did some research on Smith Wigglesworth, and the results were horrifying. {1}

Susan Hind's heroes apparently include Freemason Billy Graham and his mentor and close associate Raymond Edman who was a missionary in Ecuador for a time. Susan related the story of Edman's alleged miraculous healing from typhoid. Edman went on to become the fourth President of Wheaton College in Illinois in 1940, a position he held until he became chancellor in 1965. {2} Raymond Edman was a personal friend of Billy Graham and often worked with him on his crusades. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was not so easily diverted from the gospel, and he went to great efforts to reason with Billy Graham about his compromise with Roman Catholics and liberals. However, after a long discussion, he failed to convince Graham that inclusivism with false churches was sinful. The outcome was that Martyn Lloyd-Jones refused to endorse or share a platform with Billy Graham. Apart from Graham's obvious disloyalty to the gospel, the seed sown was almost guaranteed to be snatched away by the false churches he sent responders to! (Matthew 13:19 cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3).

"In 1963 Billy Graham asked Dr Lloyd-Jones to chair the first World Congress on Evangelism (eventually held in Berlin in 1966; predecessor to Lausanne). Dr Lloyd-Jones told Billy Graham that if he would stop having liberals and Roman Catholics on his platform and drop the invitation system he would support and chair the Congress.
Billy Graham would not change his views, and Dr Lloyd-Jones declined to endorse or commend or work with him. No doubt the meeting between them was courteously conducted (it lasted three hours) but the outcome was a firm application of secondary separation.
Dr Lloyd-Jones adopted the same attitude to Billy Graham's London crusades. He took the view, and stated it publicly, that to have visible unity with those who are opposed to essential matters of salvation was sinful. (He also believed the invitation system was a source of mass-delusion and harm to churches.)
Despite Billy Graham's high standing with most British evangelicals, the enthusiastic support he received from the secular media, the fact that his name was a household word, and despite the significant place in world evangelicalism that he was offering to Dr Lloyd-Jones, the latter stood by his biblical principle, and declined all the overtures. He would not commend or work with Dr Billy Graham. This is true loyalty to God’s Word, and protectiveness of one’s congregation." 
{3} 

Billy Graham showed his true colours in 1997 during his interview with Robert Schuller when he denied the gospel and said that all people are saved whether or not they have heard the gospel. Those who insist on portraying Billy Graham as a "hero of the faith" sugar coat the real issues and are dishonest. 

Billy Graham: "..whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven." {4} 

What foundation are TLC building on?

No one who is truly saved should have anything to do with the false gospel of Roman Catholicism. (John 4:24). The very first injunction to church leaders is to hold the line doctrinally and to protect believers from spiritual deception. All the nice sounding advice and all the pep talks in the world from Susan Hind do not alter the fact that the primary obligation of leaders is to teach sound doctrine - this is the foundation of the church. TLC are not particular about associating with false teachers, and their ungodly actions are a contradiction and an offence to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The bizarre episode of their Coffee House and its association with 666 is still something that I find inexplicable! Without sound doctrine, TLC are wasting their time trying to build anything of real value. TLC is a superficial church that has been badly let down by its leaders. (Matthew 5:13).

if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3-4).

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16).

We will not be persecuted by a Sanballat, a Tobiah or "Arabs Ammonites and Ashdodites" if the temple we are building is devoid of sound doctrine. (Nehemiah 4:7). 

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.(1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

1. WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING: FALSE PROPHETS AND BIBLE TEACHERS IN THE LAST DAYS: TRINITY LIFE CHURCH LEICESTER – SMITH WIGGLESWORTH FALSE REVIVAL (bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com)
2. Edman, V. Raymond (Victor Raymond), 1900-1967. | Archives of Wheaton College
3. Secondary Separation | When to Stand Apart - Metropolitan Tabernacle

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

EMMA STARK / REBECCA KING: LAND AND WEALTH TRANSFER HERESY

 Conversations - Episode 140 with Emma Stark, Rebecca King and Helen Azer - YouTube

The great transfer of wealth heresy

The "great transfer of wealth" heresy associated with Dominion Theology is based on the false premise that power and wealth must be redistributed to the church in order to establish God's kingdom on earth in order to facilitate the return of Jesus Christ. The scriptures do not teach that the church will achieve millennial conditions during this age. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) aligns itself with postmillennialism, the faulty view that focuses on the progressive defeat of satanic forces and the expansive influence of Christianity, culminating in the return of Jesus. Postmillennialism is plainly contradicted in the scriptures, which indicate that the Antichrist, not the church, will establish control of the whole earth prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 13:1-18 cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). Postmillennialism stands in stark contrast to the biblical premillennial position, also attested to in the writings of the early church fathers. 

Rebecca King: "What I am seeing before me is storehouses behind people. I see the Spirit of the Lord coming and opening your eyes to see the storehouses behind you, and the angel of the Lord coming and handing you keys and saying 'this is for this.. now is the time, there is plenty here for this.. open this door..' We are finished with stopping the flow of goodness of God in our nation."  (20:00 mark)

Emma Stark: "I hear the Spirit of the Lord say this: 'Did I not promise land to the Israelites in the wilderness, and did I not provide for them a portion and an inheritance?' And the Spirit of the Lord says 'As I have grafted you Gentiles in, you too are inheritors of the promise of possession of land.' And the Lord says 'I gave it to the Israelites, and then I gave it to the early church.' And the spirit of the Lord says 'Even the early church in Italy owned most of the land mass of that nation because of what the Emperor had handed to them'..  The Spirit of the Lord says 'I will give back like I gave to the Israelites, I will give back like I gave to the early church when the Emperor Constantine was in place...  receive your inheritance, receive your resourcing' says the Lord.."

When tested by the scriptures, both Emma Stark and Rebecca King provably do not receive their visions and messages from the Lord. (1 John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). NAR "prophets" are false teachers operating in a spirit of error disguised as the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. (1 John 4:6). As previously reported, the NAR "seven mountain mandate" has an uncanny likeness to the theosophical "seven rays of light" promoted by Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey. {1}

What and when is our inheritance?

..to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:4).  

Barnes: "To an inheritance - Through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus we now cherish the hope of that future inheritance in heaven. On the word inheritance, see the Acts 20:32 note; Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:14, Ephesians 1:18 notes; Colossians 1:12 note. Christians are regarded as the adopted children of God, and heaven is spoken of as their inheritance - as what their Father will bestow on them as the proof of his love." {2} 

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40). (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:29)   

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4).

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24).

Bengel's Gnomen: "Colossians 3:24. Τῆς κληρονομίας, of the inheritance) Although you have no inheritance in the world, but are part of an inheritance passing from your Master to His children.—Χριστῷ, Christ) who rewards them that serve Him.—δουλεύετε, ye serve) while you thus serve." {3}

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10).

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17).

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36).

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:33-41).

The inheritance is kept in heaven - it is future. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5 cf. Matthew 5:12).

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory..  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. (Colossians 3:1-4, 23-24).

Kryas and demonic possession

In the above episode of "Conversations" you will see Rebecca King and Helen Azer manifesting kriyas. Kriyas are spontaneous body movements manifesting as muscle twitches, jerks, shaking, muscle cramps, spontaneous vocalizations etc. Kriyas are a relatively recent development within charismatic circles and are prevalent in places like Bethel Church Redding. These manifestations are identical to those exhibited by practitioners of Kundalini Yoga taught by Indian mystics.

Truth in Reality: "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who set up shop in Oregon for a few years in the 80s and led many Americans to demon-possession, whose followers dressed in red, is shown in this film administering ‘shaktipat’ to one of his disciples. Rajneesh is what he used to be called anyway, although as I recall he changed his name to something like Oshi(?) after his criminal activities in America got him deported. ‘Shaktipat’ is most probably the touch of a demon-possessed person being given to another person to ‘impart’ the demonic phenomena to the recipient, the ‘kriyas’ or the jerkings and laughing and shakings and barkings and falling down and so on. The Hindu understanding is that it’s ‘awakening’ the ‘Kundalini,’ which is supposedly some sort of ‘energy’ that’s latent in the body, built into the human frame. In either case it’s clearly something that goes on in pagan religions and doesn’t belong in Christian churches.. They are doing exactly the same thing in the ‘Christian’ churches only not calling it ‘Shaktipat’ or the phenomena ‘kriyas’ but promoting it as ‘the power of the Holy Spirit.’" {4} 

The only manifestations comparable to kriyas in the scriptures were exhibited by those who were demon possessed.   

And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. (Mark 5:15).

But all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40,33; Colossians 2:5).
Pulpit Commentary: "Decently; that is, 'with decorum.'" {5}

..for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7).

CONVERGENCE21 HOLY TRINITY CHURCH LEICESTER 

Emma Stark and Rebecca King are two of the false prophets who will be speaking at CONVERGENCE21 at Holy Trinity Church Leicester in November. {6} Other speakers are "prophets" Simon Braker, Larry Sparks and Preethy Kurian. Frankly it would be just as dangerous (and less expensive) to attend the local spiritualist church! 

Those who should have been guarding God's flock are responsible for the current infiltration of false doctrines into the church. If your pastor/minister/elders are recommending these false prophets, they are failing in their duty to guard believers from spiritual deception. The warnings and judgments in Ezekiel 34 and Jeremiah 23:1-8 are equally applicable to todays hirelings. (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:11,16; Romans 16:17).

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. (Ezekiel 34:1-6). 


1. WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING: FALSE PROPHETS AND BIBLE TEACHERS IN THE LAST DAYS: DOMINION THEOLOGY IS THE OCCULT IN DISGUISE: A WARNING CONVERGENCE21 LEICESTER (bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com)