Summer 1994 Edition - Part Two
DEMONIC ANOINTINGS IN THE CHURCH?
Rodney Howard-Browne ministers "the holy laughter anointing", and Benny Hinn instructed his audience to "breathe in the anointing, quickly" during a TBN service in May. Breathing in the anointing is a practice found in Eastern religions. These unHoly Spirit "anointings" are popular because of the good feelings they bring, but they can be very, very dangerous. Christians must be wary of any and every anointing.
For instance, I know a man who was anointed for revival by a "Christian", but was immediately hit by the spirit of witchcraft that was controlling her. Instead of being ushered into service to the Lord Jesus, he suffered six months of inactivity recovering from the experience. An excerpt from his testimony follows:
"By this time I was almost totally controlled, except for one small area deep within me where I heard these words in whatever was left of me: 'Jesus Christ alone is Lord of lords and King of kings.' The moment she touched me with the anointing material, I heard a voice in the spirit realm shout loudly, 'Witchcraft!' The spiritual power and eerieness in the air was now beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It was falling all over me and trying to totally penetrate my mind and spirit with the terrifying and very real words, 'You are the Christ!' My spirit cringed and I could feel it shrivel some upon hearing this blasphemy...... I had no power to speak or stop what was going on..... During the brief scene just described, I knew if I wanted it and would but yield to it, I would have absolute control over people and anything I wanted. It was terrifying to think that all I had to do was to accept it in my heart and to yield to it."
The good news in this case is that, because the man clung to Jesus, God stepped in and brought deliverance from the effects of this "anointing," though it took a few days. Then it took months to build up trust in people again.
OTHER "SCARY ANOINTINGS"
Others in the Body of Christ are receiving anointings that will bring a deeper power, a new authority and control over the Church that is not of the Holy Spirit. As usual, this has to do with the "revival" that has been long promised and is now here.
Judson Cornwall recently related to Pat Robertson how Glenn Foster had a night vision in January 1994 that concerned himself and Cornwall. He saw them both in a pregnant condition. During this night vision, Foster said that the Lord revealed, "I am now impregnating some of my mature, older ministers with the truth. I'm going to reveal at my next visitation to American. I'm choosing my older men because I can trust them to carry that truth to full gestation and have the patience to raise it up once it is delivered. I will visit America one more time, and I will bring forth truth that is not now being taught and you will be part of it" (700 Club, June 9, 1994).
Cornwall said, "There has come a new authority in my ministry. It's been scary." He then said that shortly after hearing this from Foster, he went to speak in Holland. About fifteen minutes into the talk, Cornwall said, "I was aware I was almost bypassing the minds of the people, going right to their spirits. I felt, had I demanded of everybody, 'On your heads - NOW! (gesturing to show that they would have done so immediately) - phst, upside down.'" He said the presence of the Lord was awesome.
It is evident that the "anointing" gave Cornwall the power to tell people what to do and they would do it, which is not the Holy Spirit given to us by Jesus. The question is not whether or not he used this power, but what was its source? We must question where the anointing came from because IT WAS THERE and wanted to manifest itself over the people. The Holy Spirit doesn't interfere with our free will to obey Him.
"WE HAVE AN ANOINTING"
Jesus has already fulfilled the anointings of the Old Testament, and He Himself is called the Anointed One sent by the Father. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus, now at the right hand of the Father, has sent an Anointing upon His body, who is the Holy Spirit. John said,
I wrote these things to you concerning the ones leading you astray. And the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and as He taught you, abide in Him" (1 John 2:26-27). We don't need to be anointed to receive God's gifts. His anointing, the Holy Spirit, is already within, and He gives gifts and ministries to people according to the Father's will. All we need do is maintain our relationship with Him in the Word and obediently do what He tells us to do according to what He has determined.
Christ has anointed all of His people with the Holy Spirit. This is all the New Testament says about anointings (with the exception, in James, of Church elders anointing the sick with oil). So beware of anointings that sound spiritual but are not scriptural. And beware of people who reject criticism of their teaching with warnings "not to touch God's anointed." I heard a "minister" say that he knew of people who had died because they "touched God's anointed." This is not the fruit of Jesus' anointing with the Holy Spirit. Rather, it's the result of spirits not of God working through false ideas and doctrines.
Devils are currently infiltrating the minds, hearts and spirits of uninformed men, causing them to become participants (or victims) in the New Age/New World Order/Apostate Church. There is certainly enough evidence that spirits are invading humanity at a record rate: unbiblical "good angels" appear, extraterrestials contact individuals and groups, reincarnation is accepted as reality and truth of God the Father as revealed by His Son is perverted.
All of these manifestations are contrary to the whole counsel of God, and all will continue to increase. Why? Because these spirits need to prepare the whole world, mentally and spiritually, to accept anti-christ. But the deception does not exclude the Church. Devils are even now manifesting their power through the Church's "restored" foundation based on the new Christian worldview.
Man alone could not plan and implement such a change in the hearts of millions. These deceptions were inspired by the powers of darkness.
THE CONTROL WORD: "REVIVAL"
These demon spirits have gotten into the Church through a very subtle strategy set up a few decades ago.
But the definition of revival has been revised since the '70s. Today revival is associated with turning America and the world around, for the purpose of establishing the kingdom of God apart from Christ's return. This is a far cry from the hope of His coming to a Church under heavy persecution and personally establishing His kingdom...
Finally, the Restorationists, standing on the revised definition of revival, announced, "A great move of God is beginning - Revival is here!" In their eyes, each Christian had become another soldier for God's end-time army that will march through the land to victory. Power Evangelism based on Jesus' victory over death took precedence over the centrality of the gospel of Christ's shed blood and the cross.
The ground was laid for spirits not of God to manifest their signs and wonders as the dynamic behind the long-awaited revival. And when the proclamation of this revival went forth, Christians jumped on it because it was perceived as the only hope for turning things around. "Revival," redefined and desperately desired, had become the hook that pulled thousands into the boat of Postmillenialism/Restorationism.
There are many good, sincere men who have been deceived in this [move to change society and save the planet], and they are doing what they believe is right, but Paul warned about the signs we are expected to see in the end times: "But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, cleaving to deceiving spirits and teachings of demons... (1 Timothy 4:1).
The teaching that the Church must bring in the kingdom of God before the return of Christ is a departure from the faith. The Restorationist Church is usurping the place of our Lord Jesus Christ in God's plan. (This usurpation is a trait of the anti-christ spirit, which always sets itself next to Christ as Christ, in order to deceive.) Just as Eve saw that the fruit was "good", the western Church, primed by its self-gratifying gospel of health, wealth and prosperity, sees that it would be "good" to bring in God's kingdom right now. But Paul warned against this:
But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which is due to Christ. For if, indeed, the one coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, [one who will come after the church sets up the kingdom], or if you receive another spirit which you have not received [the spirit who inspired Restorationism and complementary doctrines], or another gospel which you have never accepted [one of power, signs and wonders demonstrating "the establishing of God's kingdom"], you might well endure these [because the Church allowed the Christian worldview to be changed]" (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
In the process, the Church is losing its soul in its vain attempt to gain the whole world.
Revival has now become a buzzword that stirs the hopes and desires of thousands of Christians. Speak the word "revival" and Christians will accept any manifestation of power in its name. The desire to bring in the kingdom and rule the world has now overcome the desire to submit to God's will. Revival, even without God, is the cause célèbre of the Church!
Now is the time to heed the watchman's cry! Oh Christians, let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall! Take heed that no man deceive you! Watch and pray! Flee idolatry! (which is the engaging of another spirit for worship and devotion). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you; draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
Don't allow yourself to crave for sensations and experiences, whatever the motive. Yes, you may want to know God in a deeper way, and that is commendable, but the way to approach God is humbly through prayer, through dying to the flesh, through laying aside your emotions of pride and self-will. If you are willing to die to self, you CAN know God in a deeper way.
But, remember, God is already present in your heart and life, if you are truly born again. The Holy Spirit is already within you. For the anointing "abides within you". I Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: The Spirit is not outside of you, seeking to come "upon" you - He is within you, seeking to break out of the cage of your unworthy carnal lifestyle!!
If only you would lay aside all the things that hinder God's move in your life (and you know what most of them are) then you WOULD see an increase of the Holy Spirit's activity. But if you are coming to God full of self-indulgence, seeking experiences and power externally, then you are in danger of receiving "another spirit" which is not from God.
SUBMIT TO HIM
The precious box of ointment that Mary brought to Jesus as a love-gift is like your life, offered to God. But if it is never opened, then the ointment can never flow; the sweet-smelling incense of the Holy Spirit will never be able to break out if you do not let Him open the box. Opening the box is a matter of letting God BREAK your self-life - that is, those things YOU want to do, that YOU desire, that YOU love and cling to.
Are you willing to say: "Lord, I am nothing and I have nothing. I have no confidence in the flesh. I thought I knew what would please you, what was right and good to do, but now I see I have been acting on my own initiative only. Break me open, and let your ointment pour out to the benefit of others. Direct me with Your Spirit, and let Your own nature shine forth through my life. I submit to YOU!"
At this time, we are standing on the brink of great changes in the world and the Church. We all need to be prepared. Those who have been clinging onto their fellowships, afraid of having "nowhere to go" must now decide whether to trust God for their Christianity, or trust a religious system that is handing itself over to the antichrist forces. Trusting in elders who approve of this present "revival" could lead many to accepting a spirit that is not of God. Are you willing to take that risk?
Secondly, the situation is by no means all bleak outside conventional churches. There will come intense persecutions and even hatred of any who oppose this new move, especially as it escalates. But in the midst of persecution, God will send peace, power, joy and deliverance to all those who honour Him and stand upon His Word.
There IS revival for those who truly love God! It is not a revival of the flesh, ministering to pride and producing intense emotional sensations. It is not the work of spirits who counterfeit God's love and take control of the unwary soul. Nor is it a worldwide revival affecting huge numbers of people in mega-churches. No, it is a true revival of the Spirit, a hidden work - a spring of sweet flowing water in the dry dust of the desert. That is what we have to look forward to.
To conclude, I want to draw parallels between the ministry of the Old Testament Elijah and the present-day "Elijah ministry" that is preaching against the Jezebel harlotry taking over the Church. The big show-down for Elijah and the prophets of Baal took place on Mount Carmel. There he asked the famous question: "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." (I King 18:21)
The Baal worshippers tried to whip up a revival - they danced, they beat their breasts, they howled aloud, they prophesied, they cut themselves with knives to give blood sacrifices to their gods - but all to no avail. It was Elijah who had the real revival. In spite of impossible circumstances, God sent His very own fire, and lit the altar of Elijah.
Afterwards, the drought caused by three years with no rain was ended by the sight of a cloud no larger than a man's hand - a little thing, yet it brought relief to the people of God. This was God's true blessing: "And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain" (verse 45).
For three long years, Elijah had lived a subsistence life, fed entirely by God. (Like some Christians today). God's mercy provided for him during the drought.
Meanwhile, the people were getting more and more desperate. The animals were dying, there was famine, and the land was parched. Can you imagine three years without rain in a hot climate? The people were ready to do anything to get rain. But God, through Elijah, had said that rain would not come, except by HIS word. It had to be of God, or not at all! (How many are prepared to accept what is called "the latter rain" revival, even though it is NOT based on God's Word?)
Thus, the showdown on Mount Carmel came about. How sad it is that, when Elijah called on the people to commit themselves to God as Lord "they answered him not a word". Nevertheless, God honoured His Word for those who obeyed Him.
Now we have a very similar situation. People are longing for spiritual "rain". They are desperate - because world rulership is at stake! Will they turn to Baal and call upon him, because they are not prepared to trust God?
Yet, we know the fate of those Baal worshippers of Elijah's day - failure, destruction and death! And no revival! Their gods failed them - as false gods always do. Satan is incapable of overturning the truth of God, though he will put on a good show. Despite every temptation, therefore, we ought to put our trust in God, through dryness, through persecution, through seeming inactivity - because we have faith that eventually God WILL honour His Word.
EVANGELICALS & CATHOLICS: Declaration of Unity
The most significant event in almost 500 years of church history took place 29 March 1994. Leading evangelicals and Catholics signed a joint declaration, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd Millennium." The document overturns the Reformation and does incalculable damage to the cause of Christ. The news release said:
They toiled together in the movements against abortion and pornography, and now leading Catholics and evangelicals are asking their flocks for a remarkable leap of faith: to finally accept each other as Christians... (E)vangelicals including Pat Robertson and Charles Colson joined with conservative Roman Catholic leaders today in upholding the ties of faith that bind (them)...... They urged Catholics and evangelicals....to stop aggressive proselytization of each other's flocks.
John White, president of Geneva College and former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said the statement represents a "triumphalistic moment" in American religious life.......
Other evangelical endorsers include the heads of the Home Mission Board and Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, and Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ....Mark Noll of Wheaton University...Os Guinness, Jesse Miranda (Assemblies of God), Richard Mouw (President, Fuller Seminary), JI Packer and Herbert Schlossberg.
Robert Simmonds, Southern California chairman of the National Association of Evangelicals," applauded the declaration" and said he hopes it will bring "increased co-operation between evangelicals and Catholics..." But the fruit of such "co-operation" has not been good in the past. Evangelicals working beside Catholics, Mormons, Moonies, et al., for common social or political aims (for example, in Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition) will not witness to their 'partners in action' for fear of offending them and breaking up the coalition. Such compromise laid the foundation for this alliance - a development monitored closely and approved by the Vatican.
Having carefully read the 25-page fifth draft marked "Not for general circulation," I appreciate the loving concern for both truth and unity expressed therein. Some key differences between Catholics and evangelicals are noted without compromise. But the most important difference - what it means to be saved - is not mentioned and, in fact, is directly denied.
Amazingly, the document claims that all Catholics are Christians, hold the same faith as evangelicals, and are our "brothers and sisters in Christ." If so, then the Reformation was a tragic mistake which we all must denounce! On this sad juncture in church history, the last words of Hugh Latimer ring in our conscience. Bound back-to-back to the stake with Nicholas Ridley, Latimer, England's most effective gospel preacher at that time, was heard to exclaim as the flames engulfed them, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day, by God's grace, light such a candle in England as I pray shall never be put out." How incredible that the last spark of that Reformation "candle" is now being extinguished by evangelical leaders who owe so much to the very faithfulness of such martyrs!
We are not the first to declare the papacy to be the kingdom of antichrists, since for many years before us so many and such great men (whose number is large and whose memory is eternal) have undertaken to express the same thing so clearly and plainly.
Through the example of these Vaudois, Albigenses, Waldenses and other early evangelicals, and from the Bibles they preserved, a few Roman Catholic priests and monks realised that their Church didn't preach the truth and that they and their fellow Catholics were not saved, but lost. Men like John Wyclif (1329-84), Jan Hus (1373-1415) and Johannes Geiler von Kaysersberg (1445-1510) believed the gospel and began preaching it. The hoped their Church could be reformed. In response, Rome consigned many of these faithful gospel preachers to the flames. Later Luther and other Reformers, all Roman Catholics, also became convinced that neither they nor their fellow Catholics were saved. They began preaching salvation by grace through faith instead of Catholicism's false gospel of sacramental rituals and works. For this they were excommunicated and untold thousands more were martyred.
Such is the heritage of today's evangelicals, which this document now rejects. We are asked to believe that the Reformers were deluded, that like all active Catholics today they were saved but didn't know it; the tens of millions of Catholics who since then have received Christ by faith alone and left the Catholic Church have also been deceived; the whole evangelical church of today is equally deluded about what it means to be a Christian. Colson, Robertson, Bright, et al. have revised both history and doctrine.
Evangelicals would decry the complacent attitude that everyone raised in and/or attending a Protestant church is a Christian. Lost sinners need to be saved. How, then, did leading evangelicals decide that all active Catholics are Christians and must not hereafter be evangelised? The agreement states that both Catholics and evangelicals accept the Apostles' Creed: that Christ "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried." That creed, however, does not express the gospel that saves (Rom 1:16): that "Christ died for our sin (l Cor 15:1-4). Mormons affirm the Apostles' Creed, but they aren't Christians. Nor does affirming it make Catholics (or Protestants) Christians.
Catholicism's false gospel hasn't changed. It diametrically opposes the evangelical view of what Christ's crucifixion and forgiveness of sins mean. Let me quote from Vatican II, Flannery's Edition, Vol l (the same teaching is affirmed by the new universal Catechism of the Catholic Church just released by the Vatican). This is what Catholicism teaches and Catholics believe and practice today:
Christ's death earned "satisfactions and merits" which have been deposited into a" Treasury" to which have been added "the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary (and) the prayers and good works of all the saints (beyond what they needed for their own salvation).
From the most ancient times in the Church good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners... Indeed, (by) the prayers and good works of holy people... the penitent was washed, cleansed and redeemed... Following in Christ's steps, those who believe in him have always... carried their crosses to make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others. They were convinced that they could (by such good works and sacrifices) help their brothers to obtain salvation from God... (pp 64-66)
Out of this "treasury of the Church" salvation/redemption is dispensed in instalments by the Catholics clergy through the seven sacraments. One never passes "from death to life" (Jn 5:24) but is always earning salvation with the Church's help. In fact, excommunication is the penalty for saying one is saved and knows he has eternal life through faith in Christ's finished work. The very heart of the gospel which evangelicals affirm is denied by Catholicism in all its creeds, catechisms, canons and decrees and dogmas, and those who dare to affirm it are anathematised. Vatican II's first page declares,
For it is the liturgy (sacramental rituals) through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, the work of our redemption is accomplished.
So redemption/salvation is in process of being effected by Church sacraments. But Paul wrote: "In whom we have (present possession, and accomplished fact through Christ) redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14). Hebrews 9:12 says, "...by his own blood he entered in once (for all time) into the holy place (heaven), having obtained eternal redemption for us."
Redemption is finished! But that truth is consistently and insistently denied.
Even Christ's death is an ongoing process, so the Mass is not a remembrance of a finished work but a sacrifice which obtains forgiveness of sins and from which "graces and merits" flow in partial instalments. This is from the Pocket Catholic Dictionary:
The Mass is a truly propitiatory sacrifice (by which) the Lord is appeased (and)...pardons wrongdoings and sins... Finally the Mass is the divinely ordained means of applying the merits of Calvary. Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification. But these blessings are conferred gradually and continually...mainly through the Mass... The priest is indispensable, since he alone by his power can change the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ...the more often the sacrifice (of the Mass) is offered the more benefit is conferred (i.e.; Calvary wasn't enough) (pp 248-9).
The Mass continues to transmit instalments of grace even after one has died, as relatives buy "Mass cards" which are laid upon the altar during Mass in the name of the deceased in order to shorten purgatorial suffering. Christ's death couldn't get us to heaven, but Masses, Hail Marys, good works, "bearing one's cross" for others, etc., will do so. Earned "indulgences" also shorten time in purgatory. Charles Colson says indulgences are no longer part of Catholicism (The Body, p 271). In fact, Vatican II devotes 17 pages to indulgences (pp 62-79) and anathematises anyone who rejects that doctrine (p 71)!
THE FALSE GOSPEL
Paul declared that "all have sinned" (Rom 3:23) and need to be "saved" from God's eternal judgement upon sinners. He also insisted that one can be saved only by believing "the gospel of Christ" (Rom 1:16). The early church "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6) with the preaching of this gospel, a gospel which Roman Catholicism has denied for 1,500 years.
I have been in contact with thousands of Catholics who were saved and left that Church. Not one ever heard the true gospel preached there. Not one was saved by being a Catholic, but by believing a gospel which is anathema to Catholics. In a recent survey of 2,000 homes in Spain only two Protestants knew the gospel, while 1,998 Catholics thought good works, church attendance, etc., would get them to heaven. In their 15 years of evangelising in Spain, missionaries with whom I spoke had never met one Catholic who was saved or who knew how to be saved. Knowing that these millions of Catholics are lost causes evangelicals there ought to work day and night to bring them the gospel!
And now we are asked to refrain from sharing the gospel with those who desperately need it and to assume them already saved, when their own doctrines forbid this assurance. It is outrageous that leading evangelicals have placed nearly 25% of the world's population off limits for evangelisation! Missionaries must now leave Catholic countries such as Spain, Italy and those in Latin America - such is the tragic implication of this document!
That being "saved" was a once-for-all transformation effected by placing one's complete trust for eternity in the finished work of Christ alone has been proclaimed by generations of preachers such as Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon and Moody and by missionary giants such as CT Studd, Hudson Taylor and David Livingstone. We are now being told, however, that such men and women who gave their lives to bring the gospel to the lost wasted their time if they preached to Catholics. Tell that to the millions of ex-Catholics who thank God with tears that someone loved them enough to tell them the truth!
Instead of rejoicing in these souls being saved, Colson says he and others had become "distressed by the clashes arising from the growth of evangelical Protestantism in traditionally Catholic Latin America and, more recently, in traditionally Catholic or Eastern Orthodox areas of Central Europe and Russia." Go to Latin America, Mr Colson, and see the paganism and spiritism mixed with Catholicism! See the tragedy of souls by the millions going into a Christless eternity because they have been deceived by Roman Catholicism! Thank God that millions of Catholics are accepting the gospel and now know they have eternal life (l Jn 5:13)! Yet the signers of this treacherous document denounce the conversions of Catholics and ask us to stop rescuing them from hell!
We have warned of growing ecumenism, explained the difference between the false works of gospel of Catholicism and the Biblical gospel, and exposed the growing unity between Catholics and the very evangelicals who have signed this agreement. I have sent photocopies of pertinent sections from Vatican II, Trent and catechisms to some of these men, with no response to the issues. They cannot be excused on the ground of ignorance.
The most tragic result of this historic development will be to prevent the gospel from being presented to lost millions who have now been wrongly reclassified by evangelical leaders as Christians.
A disaster of almost equal proportions will result from this document's endorsement of Catholicism's false gospel, thereby encouraging multitudes to believe it. Unless we speak up boldly, the much needed warnings against some of Satan's cleverest lies will be silenced.
If we truly love lost souls about us, no matter what their religious affiliation, we will increase our efforts to bring them the truth of the gospel before it is forever too late. Pray with us that TBC [The Berean Call] will be used mightily to bring lost souls everywhere into the light of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us together stand firm against the spiritual darkness which threatens to extinguish the candle that martyrs like Latimer and Ridley so faithfully lit.
[This article appeared in "The Berean Call", May 1994, PO Box 7019, Bend, Oregon 97708, USA]