Doctrines of Demons: The Coming of the Glory
This eleven-part series by Tricia Tillin is an urgent appeal to reject current teachings on the overshadowing and anointing of the supposed Glory of God in the endtimes. It looks at teachings from the old Latter Rain movement and shows how those teachings and many others have led to a belief that there will be a sealing or anointing for those who have prepared themselves for transformation.
The topics of the ten major sections, together with the appendix, and PDF version for download, are found on the CONTENTS page. Alternatively, each section is briefly linked below:
|Part One - The Sealing & Overshadowing
Part Two - The Sealing & Overshadowing (2)
Part TwoA - Resisting the Overshadowing
Part Three - The Descent of the Glory
Part Four - Transformation
Part Five - The Sword of Judgement
|Part Six - New Church, New Apostles
Part Seven - The Sound of Seduction
Part Eight - The Global Network
Part Nine - The Lighthouse Movement
Part Ten - Appendix A
Part Eleven - Appendix B
- The Lighthouse Movement
- The Lausanne Connection
- Ed Silvoso and his Prayer Evangelism
- Spiritual Warfare
- The non-offensive Gospel
- Lighthouse Methodology
- Embryonic Cell-Churches
- Conclusion: The Hidden Dangers
- (copyright information)
"Now is the time to build a canopy of prayer that will change the spiritual climate over the nation through prayer evangelism. Impact your sphere of influence (neighbors, work place, campus) by becoming a Lighthouse of Prayer." - Founder, Ed Silvoso of Harvest Evangelism
The Lighthouse Movement represents a major coalition of evangelization ministries and projects, effectively aligning the Apostolic movements to the World Evangelization movements and the Revival using computer technology and the Internet, as well as conventional methods to link thousands of churches, denominations and organisations in unity of purpose - to "win the world for Christ".
Winning the world for Christ does not at first glance seem to provide cause for alarm. However, as Al Dager points out in his excellent study "The World Christian Movement: Evangelism vs. Evangelization" the motivation is identical to that of the Revival and the Reconstructionalist Movement. He says "The goal is to evangelize the world by the year 2000 through social and political action on a mandate to alleviate suffering." To that I would add the sonship/restoration mandate to bring the world into a new era of dominion using the Global Church, headed and governed by the very same folks who are now proposing "world evangelization". In short, I smell a rat!
Examining the Lighthouses Movement, we find its foundational philosophy is that of spiritual warfare and "prayer evangelism" combining the evangelistic philosophies of Peter Wagner and Ed Silvoso. We will be examining this shortly.
On the Lighthouses web site [http://lighthousemovement.com] we find a list of subscribers to the project. Already signed up are more than seventy church denominations, and hundreds of organisations as diverse as the American Bible Society and Habitat for Humanity, along with groups such as Women Aglow, Caleb Project and March for Jesus. [Note: this does not mean that an organisation is "heretical" just by virtue of its name appearing on the Lighthouse list.]
There we read: "Under the banner of Mission America, more than 70 denominations with 180,000 local churches and 350 ministries have already caught the vision! In January, 1999, these leaders came together for the Mission America annual meeting, enthusiastically adopting the Lighthouse strategy now called the Lighthouse Movement to reach the vision of Celebrate Jesus 2000 -- mobilizing the church to pray for, care for and share Christ with every person in America by the end of 2000."
For the full list of denominations, ministries and organisations already signed up to Lighthouse, please see the Appendix.
"Light the Nation" on October 16th 1999 was the public, televised, launch event for Lighthouses, and in their advertisement they say:
"National Lighthouse Launch: Light the Nation will be broadcast on the Pax TV channel as well as satellite (Sky Angel 1 & 2, C-band, KU-band), FamilyNet and hundreds of Christian stations..... It is MOST IMPORTANT that each participating church appoints an "Event Host" and registers with Harvest Evangelism. The Event Host will be provided with a 28-page manual complete with checklists and calendars to ensure a successful Light the Nation broadcast and Lighthouse launch."
Clearly, then, they are leaving nothing to chance!
What then is the Lighthouse Movement? From their own literature: "The Lighthouse Movement/Mission America Coalition is an outgrowth of the Lausanne Movement, and is a cooperative effort with the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, plus scores of denominations, ministry networks, servant ministries and local churches."
For those of you unfamiliar with the Lausanne initiative, I should briefly explain that it is a deeply flawed ecumenistic attempt to reach people with what amounts to a social gospel. Set up by Billy Graham in 1974 as a call to win the world to Christ by the year 2000, it quickly became all things to all men and opened its doors to liberals and Catholics as well as adopting some offbeat pentecostal methodology.
On the Lighthouses site, Churches and individuals are urged to sign online to become a part of the Lighthouse scheme. But "Involvement in the Lighthouse Movement/Mission America requires the following: Each member must be committed to Jesus Christ as Lord, and the fulfillment of His Great Commission. Each member must be willing to sign the Lausanne Covenant without reservation."
This is no loose connection of Christians simply wanting to spread the gospel. No, it is part and parcel of the World Evangelization system, and subscribing to the one means subscribing to the other.
We can see from the two requirements above, without going much further, that all who participate must have a theological vision that incorporates (1) the "fulfillment of the Great Commission" to supposedly "disciple all nations" before the Return of Jesus and (2) the Lausanne Covenant on Evangelization - NB: WITHOUT RESERVATION!
You can read the Lausanne Covenant in the Appendix. See if you could agree with it "without reservation". Meanwhile, I would point out what the Covenant states on:
- SOCIAL CONCERN: We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. ... we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive.
- POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ACTION: We affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty...The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist.
- VISIBLE CHURCH UNITY: We affirm that the Church's visible unity in truth is God's purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation.
- REVIVAL: Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God.
- COVENANTING: we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world.
If you were to get beyond these requirements, you are led to another page containing a statement of belief, then ultimately to a form requiring you to give certain details, such as the names of your "leadership", your YEARLY BUDGET, your Central Office address, telephone and fax numbers, and name of your newsletter(s). At the WPC login: "We also ask that you include your pastor's name and number on our application for a reference."
Requirements seem to differ according to the entry-point, since the Lighthouse site itself offers free membership (at least initially) but "To affiliate with the World Prayer Center as a Lighthouse of Prayer, we are asking for $100.00 annually to cover our operational costs and service to you."
When affiliated as a Lighthouse, you gain access to a network of interlinked websites and resource databases containing precise information about thousands of other Lighthouses, and eventually through the new "Observatory" database you will be able to input and receive more detailed information about your city or area.
"The Observatory is the research center of the World Prayer Center. The Observatory combines services offered through research libraries, prayer networks and Internet search capabilities. Our unique database will provide information on:
- Urgent prayer notices
- Countries and people groups
- Social and spiritual trends
- Religious sites and systems
- Religious pilgrimages and festivals
- Cults and the occult
- Spiritual mapping reports
- And more!
According to those who have researched this movement, "Maintaining a detailed written record of your prayers, including your neighbors' names, addresses, personal problems, "felt needs" and current belief-systems; and e-mailing, faxing or mailing a copy of these records to the World Prayer Center on a regular basis, is a condition of being an affiliated Lighthouse."
Further pertinent comments from the same researchers are:
"Could it be that Lighthouses are actually intended to be embryonic 'cells' of a single global Apostolic (and apostate) church? As crazy as it sounds, the plan is for them to be linked in some pyramid-type, cross-denominational, multilevel network... to the 120 planned World Prayer Centers, and their executive directors are intended to be high-level Apostles, in other words, New Reformation cardinals.
"The World Prayer Center: ...This $55 million structure was designed with the electronic capacity to process and collate much more data than will be generated by the three to six million Lighthouses in the United States that are expected to "affiliate" with it this year.
Initially, individual homes were signed up as Lighthouses, many in what turned out to be successful test markets. Perhaps in part because pastors were afraid of missing out, or because they were easier to reach, the project seems to have shifted to signing up churches (an individual, family, or cell group could then elect to sign up under a church or other "designated group"), and then denominations. There are currently 70 to 75 denominations signed up in the United States, including many of the major denominations like the Assemblies of God (both the US General Council and the International Fellowship) and the Southern Baptist Convention.
"There are references in early Lighthouse material to 'The City Church', a now fully formed New Apostolic Reformation concept - 'The Lighthouses produce in reality a mantel of prayer that opens the heavens over the city so that the light of the gospel begins to shine through to the minds of lost people... Watch for crime rates dropping, favor between the Church of the city and government, neighborhoods being cleaned up and improved economic conditions... all the spiritual IOU's that you have been collecting will be cashed in... putting the Lighthouse people in [a] privileged place of favor to become part of the personal discipleship process.'" [http://www.harvestevan.org/resource.html#7, previous edition (webpage download received by e-mail 07/24/99 on file), reproduced in part at http://www.praytwincities.org/howtobea.htm]
Ed Silvoso and Prayer Evangelism
The Lighthouses of Prayer concept was developed in the 1970s by Ed Silvoso using his model of prayer-evangelism. To understand what is wrong with the Lighthouses Movement, we must see what Ed Silvoso teaches about evangelism. He does not advocate going out onto the streets to preach the gospel, nor does he promote evangelistic events. All of this is much too offensive for Ed Silvoso, and merely puts people off.
Instead, groups of people meet in their homes as lighthouses of prayer to "change the spiritual climate" in their area. Having done so (to their own satisfaction presumably) they advance to meeting the "felt needs" of the people in their locality and telling them they are being prayed for. It is clear from Lighthouses literature that this phase includes signs and wonders and miracles, so that people are captivated by the power of God and led to ask more. Only when it is "safe" to talk about theological things will the gospel be mentioned (and even then, as we know from previous experience, it will be a watered-down people-friendly gospel that shies away from the hard truths about sin and repentance.)
Ed Silvoso heads Harvest Evangelism, and developed his methods of "prayer-evangelism" through that ministry. Silvoso is fully involved in the Toronto/Brownsville revival. Indeed, he is a regular speaker at such events, and relates intimately with the Argentinean revival leaders such as Claudio Friedzon - the man who started off the Toronto revival by praying over John Arnott!
Speaking of the "toronto blessing" Ed Silvoso says "Well, we find the Toronto blessing in every city we go to. I believe that it is a blessing indeed. ... the Toronto blessing has to be kicked out of the church - kicked out of the church into the world! If in each neighbourhood prayerhouse, there is a manifestation of Jesus, which I believe in its purest form that's what the Toronto blessing is, then the entire neighbourhood will flock to that house."
On the subject of Church Unity he says "Our unity is essential for the world to believe."
Ed Silvoso is also the brother in law of another central figure on the revival, Luis Palau, who said "The Bible says the Lord saves us from the pit -- the pit of despair, the pit of low self-esteem..."
Noel Stanton, senior pastor of the Jesus Fellowship (a cult-like heavy-shepherding group based in the UK) interviewed Ed Silvoso about revival and evangelism in Argentina, for 'Jesus Life' magazine, which posted the following undated extract (http://www.jesus.org.uk/es.html):
Noel: What is prayer evangelism?
Ed: Prayer evangelism is basically the implementation of 1 Timothy 1:15 to 2:8. In 1 Tim 1:15 Paul says, "This is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance that Jesus came into the world to save sinners." That word full acceptance means that everybody should accept it. Then in verse 18 he tells Timothy, "I have a command for you that if you keep it, you will succeed." And the implication is unavoidable. You will succeed in making everybody accept the truth that Jesus came to save sinners.
Then in Chapter 2 he tells him how to commence. "First of all then I urge that prayer be said on behalf of everybody, everywhere," because God wants everybody to be saved and Jesus died for all.
We see prayer as a support system for evangelism. We tell people we would like to pray for them. And they say, "Well, I don't believe in Jesus." We say, "Once we're done, you'll believe in Jesus, because Jesus promised anything we ask He will do."
...This is revolutionary. We go to the lost and rather than telling them they're going to hell and praying they'll go to heaven, which is offensive, pray for something that they consider is important.
Here we see that prayer-evangelism is based on the (mistaken) belief that everybody in the world is going to be saved, and if we pray then God is - in effect - forced to make people Christians.
Secondly, the prayer is a form of spiritual warfare to cleanse the heavenlies and "create a climate" for the gospel by displacing the spiritual powers that oppose God.
The concept of destroying spiritual strongholds in order to change cities and entire geographical areas has become popular over the last decade. It is appealing because it's easy to do, demands no particular knowledge of doctrine, needs no missionary expertise and - best of all - offers illusory results that cannot be measured.
Evangelising without ever coming into contact or conflict with real people is the safest method of all! Christians would far rather spend a night in a tower praying than be out on the streets talking to the down-and-outs. But more than this, they can come down from their tower glowing with the "knowledge" that they have kicked the spirit of addiction out of town and therefore have achieved a much greater victory than having saved a couple of drunks!
However, how is such a victory to be gauged? If whole cities can be "taken" by such methods (as is claimed) then where are these golden cities of holiness today, after decades of spiritual warfare? Has even ONE city been "taken for Christ"? Despite the lack of evidence, however, spiritual warfare continues unabated, and often replaces real gospel preaching in the majority of churches.
Peter Wagner's own ambitious project was to oppose and cast down the 'Queen of Heaven' in "Operation Queen's Palace" Wagner says "While we were in Turkey, Doris [his wife] and I...knew that the power of the Queen of Heaven had to be broken in order for the gospel to spread in Turkey." I don't believe you will find the missionaries of the Early Church agreed with that statement, since they went right ahead and preached the gospel to the people of Turkey without knowing anything about spiritual warfare techniques.
Wagner identifies the Queen of Heaven as not only Diana of the Ephesians but the power behind the worship of the Virgin Mary. He quotes Cindy Jacobs as saying, "For several years we have been doing battle against the Queen of Heaven in many parts of the world." So where are the results? If Catholics in your area have stopped praying to the Virgin, do please let me know!
Another scheme, "Operation Ice Castle" in 1997 involved a group of intercessors climbing Mount Everest in a "frontal attack" on a "principal stronghold in Nepal". "God spoke to us that He was going to release judgment upon the iniquity and over the false religious systems of the world. He said that he was going to bring down the foundations of 'Mystery Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots.'"
This will be news to those of us who have seen her rise and activity in the endtimes, in the book of Revelation!
The Non-Offensive Gospel
Rather than openly preach the true gospel (including judgement for sin, and hell for those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ) which Ed Silvoso says "is offensive to people" the new idea is to do the work first in prayer rooms and strategy meetings, creating a climate that is supposedly conducive to Christianity. When the time is deemed appropriate to meet people face to face, it is done by coming alongside people in their situations, providing for them, finding out about their "felt needs" and showing them the power of God in praying for answers to their problems. All well and good, but is this the gospel?
Lighthouses do "eventually" tell people about Jesus, but only in a "loving and appropriate way" according to Lighthouse literature, which presumably means soft-pedalling on the tricky subjects of immorality, crime, abortion, drugs, and so forth.
The Lighthouses promotional literature circulated throughout the Internet said:
"What is a Lighthouse of Prayer? - It's an individual or a family that commits to be a beacon of hope in their neighborhood, school or workplace. They pray for others, care for them by meeting their felt needs, and eventually share the Gospel in an appropriate and loving way. In the words of internationally recognized prayer evangelism author and speaker Rev Ed Silvoso, it's 'Telling God about your neighbors BEFORE telling your neighbors about God.' It's simple and it works!"
Sure - it WORKS! People love to be made the centre of attention! They are more than willing to have a bunch of Christians pick up their children from nursery school, do their shopping for them, or visit them in hospital. But what is achieved? Caring for people is good, but not if it's bribery to soften them up. Meeting people's "felt needs" may be good also, but isn't it dishonest to do so with a hidden agenda? Why not be honest about being Christians? Why not love them enough to tell they they are going to hell and need a Saviour? (but maybe that would not be "appropriate" or "loving"?)
Here is an extended extract [denoted by changed colouring] from a report on the Lighthouses Movement.
It begins with quotes about evangelism:
"The unbeliever needs to feel the impact of the gospel (good news that Christ loves people)... One major implication is that our presentation of the gospel must adapt itself to a vastly changed target audience... God has good news for the person who needs love and affection, security or esteem... Extensive research reveals that 'people will not listen to the gospel message unless it speaks to felt needs'... Adapt your presentation to his needs..." [Joseph Aldrich, "Life-Style Evangelism" (Multnomah Press, 1981), pp. 83, 85, 88-89, 232; compare to instructions given in "How to Start and Sustain a Light-House" (Houses of Prayer Everywhere, HOPE Ministries of Mission India, Grand Rapids, MI, 1999)]
"The Bible says the Lord saves us from the pit -- the pit of despair, the pit of low self-esteem... the Bible says He redeems your life from the pit." [Luis Palau, "Hope for the Stressed Out," videotaped broadcast on WGN-TV, Chicago, 10/01/93, cited in his entry in the "Biblical Discernment Notebook" edited by Rick Miesel]
Palau, often called "the Billy Graham of South America," is Edgardo Silvoso's brother-in-law and mentor, honorary co-chairman of AD2000 & Beyond, and member of the honorary advisory committee of its US goliath, Mission America.
Mission America, looking for a pragmatic strategy to save its flagging "Celebrate Jesus 2000" vision, developed the Lighthouse Movement in conjunction with AD2000 & Beyond, from Ed Silvoso's "successful" evangelization methodology.
Let's not forget that when we read the Jesus Life magazine interview with Edgardo Silvoso (http://www.jesus.org.uk/talking.html), we're reading views on world evangelization by an expert with years of experience in the mission field.
We readily accept that his opinions are those of one of the architects of the Argentine revival, which we've been repeatedly told has produced great numbers of "decisions for Christ." But are these opinions consistent with the Scriptures, or even self-consistent?
Mr. Silvoso seems to have concluded that the problem is ...with the Church. Since "telling [the lost] they're going to hell and praying they'll go to heaven... is offensive," a Church ashamed of the gospel would be more to their liking, and aren't numbers more important than anything else for church growth and the successful evangelization of the world?
In Mr. Silvoso and his friends' theology, there just has to be a gospel (or, hey, why not, an assortment of gospels) sufficiently "contextualized" to be acceptable to everyone on the planet.
With the world completely christianized and united, Mr. Silvoso and his friends will have peace and safety (plus plenty of money and clout). The best payoff is that Jesus can then come back (either the real Jesus, or, more to their liking, through a sort of incarnation into the Church's elite corps of apostles and prophets, the manifest sons of God). The Holy Spirit will lead people to true repentance and salvation despite the twisted goals of this movement, just as He always has. But perilous times lay ahead.
You may have seen the following unsigned press release, crafted in the finest Madison Avenue style, that's been spreading throughout the Internet for about the last four weeks:
Dear Friend, I have an urgent message for you today! In just one month there will be an important TV special broadcast to the entire nation that all Christians should watch.
Called "Light the Nation," the TV special will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden on Saturday morning, October 16th.
Light the Nation will be the national television event to launch Lighthouses of Prayer in thousands, possibly even millions, of homes.
Why is this so important?
It takes only a brief review of national and local news to understand that our nation is in decline in many ways. At the same time (but not by coincidence) God has brought national focus to prayer. Denominations, Christian leaders, national ministries and thousands of pastors have all embraced prayer, and more specifically Lighthouses of Prayer, as key to changing the spiritual climate in America and bringing millions more to Christ.
What is a Lighthouse of Prayer?
It's an individual or a family that commits to be a beacon of hope in their neighborhood, school or workplace. They pray for others, care for them by meeting their felt needs, and eventually share the Gospel in an appropriate and loving way. In the words of internationally recognized prayer evangelism author and speaker Rev Ed Silvoso, it's "Telling God about your neighbors BEFORE telling your neighbors about God." It's simple and it works!
Tell your pastor about Light the Nation.
It's a great opportunity for churches to gather together for two hours, listen to inspirational Lighthouse testimonies, hear motivational speakers urge unity, holiness and reconciliation, and receive valuable Lighthouse training.
If you've heard about Lighthouses but didn't know quite when or how to start, now's the time! To find out more about Light the Nation and when and how to tune in, visit www.HarvestEvan.Org and www.LighthouseMovement.com or call 1-800-898-8004.
One last thing -- PLEASE forward this message to everyone in your e-mail address book! Before we blanket the U.S. with prayer, we must blanket it with E-mail messages in order to spread the word!
God Bless You, and God Bless America!
Mark Kass writes, "It works to what end? I am trying to figure out how telling God something God already knows, while we pretend God doesn't know it, serves any function."
But doesn't "prayer evangelism" sound so much nicer? In this dark and dying world, what Christian wouldn't want to be a "Lighthouse" to the lost?
Mark Kass continues:
"We are to pray constantly. The function of prayer is to help mold us into the will of God in our life. The Lord's prayer is the paramount example of this, and it would take a much lengthier post to exposit all of the richness that lie therein. Silvoso however, seems to believe that there is something pragmatically functional about the timing of prayer.
As if the fact that you tell God about your neighbors before you witness to them will insure the success of your witnessing endeavor. My point is, that God already knows this information, and will do what He wishes with whom he wishes regardless of the timing of our prayer. This is but another example of some magical formula, that has nothing to do with the reason or function of biblical prayer."
This is an important point in understanding all projects that come out of the new paradigm, no matter how good they look on the surface. This kind of thinking is common to leading River Revivalists, World Christians, and New Apostolic Reformers....
This common pattern presents an understanding of prayer that cannot be found in the Bible. It requires you to do things that would never otherwise occur to you, which include:
- Describing what you ask for in as much detail as possible.
- Clearly identifying the "targets" of your prayer (names and addresses are best).
- Placing yourself in close spatial proximity to your "targets" (prayerwalking), or using as detailed a map as possible (spiritual mapping).
- Praying the exact same thing simultaneously with as many people as humanly possible. (This seems to be the new definition of intercessory prayer. The largest number claimed to date that we remember seeing is the 50,000,000 people praying in unison this month under the direction of Dr. C. Peter Wagner. New Agers call this synchronous prayer.) ["Praying Through The 10/40 Window IV: A Message From Peter Wagner" (http://www.ad2000.org/ptw4wag.htm, posted 07/21/99)]
- Praying in opposition to the fallen angels (it helps to identify them and command them by name), claiming specific territory (it helps to be physically there, or at least have a detailed map or 15-foot slowly spinning globe), and asking for a "window" or "gate" to be opened. (This seems to be the new definition of spiritual warfare).
- Praying from high places (hills, prayer towers, the roofs of tall buildings, mountains -- Yonggi Cho has his own Prayer Mountain).
- Praying from the geographic center (or the four corners, that is, the furthermost cardinal compass points) of municipalities, states or provinces, nations, and continents.
- Arranging with others to pray the same thing around the clock.
- Claiming the answer you want, before seeing any results.
- Maintaining a detailed written record of your prayers, including your neighbors' names, addresses, personal problems, "felt needs" and current belief-systems. E-mailing, faxing, or mailing a copy of this record, on a regular basis, to the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, or, when all 120 global World Prayer Centers are up and running, to your assigned Center.
I would further point out that, if you join a Lighthouse program, you agree to "tell God about your neighbors" for three months to fifteen weeks "before telling your neighbors about God," although affiliated Lighthouses (that's you) are to continue prayerwalking and sending in those detailed reports mentioned above. (You can buy a pocket journal to use while prayerwalking.)
Various sets of Lighthouse instructions warn participants, once you finally reach the point of "telling your neighbors about God," not to use certain words -- words like gospel, born-again, saved, sin, conviction, or salvation!
The Lighthouse handbook cited above suggests (after 15 weeks) only that you invite your neighbors "to events like worship services, crusades, Promise Keepers meetings, and Women's Club luncheons, where they will hear the gospel."
Crusades? Promise Keepers? Women's Club luncheons? Does this sound like an improvement over pre-Lighthouse methods of sharing your faith?
Note from author: On the Promise Keepers official website there is now a section promoting Lighthouses, with the aim that "every promise keeper make his home a Lighthouse of prayer and outreach." PK are fully participating in integrating PK groups into Lighthouses and "uniting leaders for strategic local ministry". The PK initiative, named Vision 2000 "is a two-pronged initiative during 1999 and 2000, aimed at preparing for revival and achieving national impact in the areas of evangelism and biblical unity."
Combine this with the World Christian Movement concepts of "corporate salvation" and "world evangelization" (as opposed to individual salvation, which they have for many years belittled as inefficient "extraction" evangelism), and you begin to see a deadly combination of church growth techniques at work.
What's that, you say? This is not the River Revival, not the World Christian Movement, not the New Apostolic Reformation -- this is the Lighthouse Movement! It's not a program, it's a grass-roots movement to win America and the world for Christ!
If that is what you believe, haven't they done their job well? We don't expect you to make up your mind now, but we think we've raised a few valid questions. We need to examine the source of this project, review its methodology in light of the scriptures (noting also how they twist those scriptures), and consider what its underlying agenda will spread throughout the church.
Let us look at the instructions given for "How to Get Your Lighthouse Started" from the Lighthouses entry-point on Ed Silvoso's Harvest Evangelism site http://harvestevan.org/lighhouseinfo.html:
1. Define your Target Area
A. Determine the scope of your target area using the following grid:
- Measure of faith - Ask the Lord for the number of people or homes that He wants you to be personally influencing for His kingdom, and ask Him for the faith to do it.
- With whom are you in daily contact? How far apart are the houses/people in your neighborhood? How many people do you supervise?
- Geographical area -Your target area needs to be small enough so that you can "reach out and touch someone" to get results. Tracking the results of the prayer effort is important to the process.You need to be able to monitor what's happening in your target area.
B. Translate your target area into a map.
- Conduct a "reconnaissance" walk.
- Plot buildings and places using a simple legend where necessary. Note addresses and names where available.
- Use the map as a prayer guide for "rainy-day" praying inside your home and to record additional information as it becomes known.
2. Gather your Strategic Tools
a. Prayer Journal. Keep a prayer journal of burdens and expressed needs, with places for prayer requests and answers to prayer to be recorded. This notebook helps to keep your prayers specific, and becomes a faith-builder as you see Jesus affecting lives in your neighborhood.
b. Window Poster: It has proven very effective to print some reasonably-sized posters (more or less the size of a sheet of paper) with an attractive, identifying logo that identifies the Lighthouse as a place of prayer. The same poster should be used by all the congregations participating in the city-wide effort without modification and without identifying any local congregation. In this way, the concept of the "one Church, many congregations" is reinforced and the message of unity is displayed. It sends a message that the neighborhood is being prayed for, and attracts people to the anchor point.
c. Praying the Promises, Not the Problems Guide: This guide to helps you speak the word of your testimony (Rev. 12:11), declaring the intentions of God rather than advertising the purposes of Satan.
d. Door Hangers or personal note: The objective here is to make non-threatening contact with the people for whom we are praying. One method that has been used with success is the Door hanger that asks the question on one side, "Can Prayer Really Make a Difference?" On the reverse side, the answer shouts, "YES! And we've been praying for you! If you have any particular needs for which you have no human resource, please feel free to call us." A space follows where each Lighthouse can insert their name and phone number. The design of the door hanger should be coordinated among all the congregations participating in reaching the city through prayer evangelism. A personal friendship note can accomplish the same purpose.
e. Newspaper: It's a ready-made list of prayer requests that will give you insight into the felt needs of your city.
f. Prayerwalking: The Lighthouse family should walk through their target area as often as possible, speaking peace and praying promises from God's Word over each home and praying as the Holy Spirit leads.
3. Achieve a Prayerful Presence
You should maintain the discipline of a regular prayer time on a daily basis with the goal of praying through your target area at least once a week. The model and sequence described in Luke 10:5-9 is the most effective strategy.
Phase 1: Prayerwalking ("Speak peace to each house.")
Begin talking to God about your neighbors before you talk to your neighbors about God. The purpose of this Phase is to pray for the Holy Spirit to begin to soften the ground of the hearts of non-believers. This is the groundwork for the platform upon which subsequent evangelism will take place. This phase often takes approximately three months. It is essential that this time not be shortened except by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Prayer must be given a chance to do its work.
Phase 2: Fellowship ("Remain in the same house...")
The purpose of Phase 2 is to make contact with your neighbors and to let them know that they are being prayed for. The doorknob hanger strategy can help at this point.
Phase 3: Praying for Felt Needs ("Heal the sick...")
Your neighbors may be ready for a face-to-face visit. As the Holy Spirit gives direction, begin to ask your neighbors for a specific prayer request (felt needs). Enter those requests with the date into your Prayer Journal. This is when the excitement begins! "When Christians begin to pray for the felt needs of the lost, God surprises them with almost immediate answers to prayer." (That None Should Perish, p. 84) Based on the principle shown in the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7), meeting the felt needs of the unbelievers is the primary method that Jesus modeled to reveal God's love for the lost.
Phase 4: Proclamation ("Proclaim, The kingdom of God is near you").
As the result of the first three phases, people's awareness of the presence of God, the love of God, and power of God become evident. An opportunity now exists to proclaim the gospel. This will most likely happen in two ways:
- Expect the Holy Spirit to give you increased numbers of divine appointments and creative ways to share the gospel with the people in your target area.
- Watch for the Holy Spirit to give a city-wide evangelism strategy to the pastors in the city.
What effect do Lighthouses have on the city?
a. The Lighthouses produce in reality a mantel of prayer that opens the heavens over the city so that the light of the gospel begins to shine through to the minds of lost people.
b. Praying in this way will dramatically change the quality of life in your city. Watch for general blessings upon the city, such as crime rates dropping, favor between the Church of the city and government, neighborhoods being cleaned up and improved economic conditions.
c. This kind of grass-roots prayer evangelism will create an atmosphere for effective evangelism. Your city will be prepared over a period of time for an effective proclamation of the gospel where all the spiritual IOU's that you have been collecting will be cashed in.
What effect do Lighthouses have on the church?
a. Lighthouses of Prayer have the effect of creating spiritual burden and responsibility for the lost at the most basic and most effective level with the result of building a city-wide team of individually strong players.
b. People are going to become saved, and the Church of the city is going to grow. Many of the new converts will have as their closest friends in the faith the people who prayed for their felt needs, putting the Lighthouse people in privileged place of favor to become part of the personal discipleship process. The local church will determine the method of nurture, but the Lighthouse person will provide the vital link.
c. Prayer evangelism will change your heart.
For additional tools, (they add) may we recommend:
Register to be Lighthouse through the World
Ed Silvoso - That None Should Perish
Steve Hawthorne - "Prayerwalking and eeeee Prompts" (?)
John Dawson - "Taking Our Cities for God"
Ted Haggard - "Primary Purpose"
Astute Christians reading the above will have spotted some statements that go beyond ordinary prayer and evangelism.
The exercise seems to be setting up some kind of neighbourhood watch that says "How many people do you supervise?" and "Plot buildings and places...Note addresses and names where available." and "You need to be able to monitor what's happening in your target area." These monitoring activities are, as we said before, then relayed back to the central Lighthouses database.
A "prayer journal" is to be kept. I'm not sure I'd feel happy about being included in it. And am I the only one would would feel faintly unsettled waking up to find a door-hanger had been hung on my front door by a group of people who say they are "praying for me"? Just who are they, and what are they praying?
Note the the length of time it takes before ANY attempt is made to speak to the people. Much time is taken up by spiritual mapping, drawing grids and plans of the area, keeping notes of the names and addresses, and "speaking peace" to the houses as you "pray-walk" round and round, but only after months of this treatment is the "ground softened" sufficiently to dare to speak about the Lord Jesus to the people! (Even then, a period of praying for people's needs comes first.)
According to the above instructions, "Your city will be prepared over a period of time for an effective proclamation of the gospel where all the spiritual IOU's that you have been collecting will be cashed in."
Here, making proclamations into the atmosphere and repeating God's promises (Word of Faith doctrine!) for several months on end obliges God to save people because he then OWES you the answers to all those prayers. Once you have made sufficient proclamations, you can "cash in" your IOUs and demand that people respond! Anything less like biblical evangelism I cannot imagine.
The prayer-evangelism approach is further explained by the phrases "The Lighthouses produce in reality a mantel of prayer that opens the heavens over the city so that the light of the gospel begins to shine through to the minds of lost people" and "This kind of grass-roots prayer evangelism will create an atmosphere for effective evangelism".
Is is noticeable from the above Lighthouse literature that UNITY is vital. (The PK site stresses this aspect more than most.) All logos, posters, door-hangers and other identifying signs of the groups are to be IDENTICAL throughout the city, no matter what denomination. A front of visible Church unity is important to this scheme. We shudder to enquire whether the local Catholic churches will be involved, but I suspect the answer is YES, and how would we know that, because we certainly could not identify them from the Lighthouses posters.
People being prayed for, if they do respond, may end up being pastored and discipled by the local Pentecostal TB-mad leadership, or they may end up being initiated into Rome, but it's really the luck of the draw, isn't it? Certainly, unbelievers know no difference and are not going to be interested in the finer points of church doctrine!
The ultimate aim, I believe, is to circumvent the local established churches entirely, especially if they are not compliant, and to use the Lighthouse groups themselves as cell churches.
As one researcher states:
"Dr. Wagner and the late John Wimber, as you may know, worked closely together and influenced each other greatly. Wimber seems to have introduced Wagner to his aberrant demonology, and this is far from insignificant.
"Silvoso’s 'prayer evangelism' is in almost every respect the same thing as John Wimber’s 'power evangelism'. He has always visualized 'lighthouses' as embryonic cell churches.
The following relevant excerpt is from Victor Lorenzo’s "Evangelizing a City Dedicated to Darkness," which is included as a chapter in C. Peter Wagner’s book, "Breaking Strongholds in Your City" (Regal Books, Ventura, CA, 1993). The parenthetical comments are in the original.
"Silvoso bases his strategy on four fundamental principles:
- The spiritual unity of the churches of a city
- Powerful intercessory prayer,
- Strategic-level spiritual warfare,
- Multiplication of new churches.
"Peter Wagner says, 'The most sophisticated strategy for evangelizing a city we have at the present time is Edgardo Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism.’ To see how spiritual mapping fits into the whole evangelistic design, allow me to summarize Ed Silvoso’s six steps for taking a city...
"[Step] 4. Infiltrate Satan’s perimeter. Launch the ‘air attack’ of specific and strategic intercessory prayer through hundreds of thousands of prayer houses (prayer cells), having the objective of weakening Satan’s control over the unsaved, claiming instead a favorable disposition to the gospel. At the same time begin to plant embryonic churches (‘lighthouses’) in anticipation of an abundant harvest.
"[Step] 5. Attack and destroy Satan’s perimeter. Begin the ‘frontal assault.’ Launch the spiritual takeover of the city, confronting, binding and casting down the spiritual powers ruling over the region... Disciple new believers through the established lighthouses."
"There is a direct connection between the Lighthouse concept and the cell-based church system....."
To that statement I would add that Silvoso's Lighthouse instructions plainly state that the benefits are those of "building a city-wide team of individually strong players" and that "many of the new converts will have as their closest friends in the faith the people who prayed for their felt needs, putting the Lighthouse people in privileged place of favor to become part of the personal discipleship process."
The aspects most likely to be overlooked in opposition to the Lighthouses scheme are the opportunities for setting up citywide cell-churches of the sonship/revival pattern, and for influencing people's minds by love-bombing and spiritual "overshadowing" - which is to say, sending out demonic spirits of deception and religious bondage to draw people to the revival, and to create the new mind or "new paradigm" so valued in revival circles.
Certainly, God does not cause people to accept his salvation by speaking peace, proclamations, prayer-walking and spiritual warfare! Then what IS achieved? The goals are denominational unity; infiltration into churches of every kind within a locality and the input of doctrine into those churches; leadership control of prayer cells; the setting up of cell churches; feedback on people and churches in each locality, and a powerbase for the revival being established in each locality.
Add to this the demonic aspects of "changing the spiritual atmosphere" by supposed prayer that is not in God's will, and gaining a profound influence over an entire neighbourhood for the purposes of implanting a flawed gospel - and we see that Lighthouses are a coup for the Global church.
The End Result
What do we have here? Are the Lighthouses (and other such evangelization projects) really innocent attempts to bring people to Christ? Or are they part of an ongoing and much more ambitious scheme to harvest the world for a false doctrine, within a Harlot Church structure that "rules with a rod of iron" like the predicted Manchild?
I willingly concede that many, if not most, people involved in neighbourhood schemes and Lighthouses will do so through a genuine desire to see people saved. More's the pity, for they lend an air of credibility to what is in fact a low-down deception being perpetrated by dominionists.
Few will make the connections that I have done in these articles. Few will take heed to the methodology, the spiritual warfare aspects, the networking between all sides of the false Church. Most people will overlook the more glaring errors of "evangelization" in order to "do a good work for God". Sadly, the leaders do not care how many innocent people come along for the ride so long as their own agenda is on target.
Not many establishments and non-charismatic churches are fooled by the Toronto blessing and its manifestations, but the evangelization movement is the acceptable face of the coming apostasy. Evangelical churches will have no real basis for rejecting World Mission unless they grasp the overall concept, and know where it's heading - and I must say that pitifully few see the global aspect or perceive the deception at its heart. Most are content to live out their local church experience as if the book of Revelation had never been written.
Reformed churches and those who dismiss the endtimes prophecies of apostasy will of course have an ever harder time understanding why World Mission is a snare! We must pray that God will instruct and care for his own, and by any means guard them from error.
For those who do "take heed", for those with "an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying" the Lighthouses Movement is yet another torch-bearer of false light, adding to the many "points of light" now springing up across the world.
Yet true believers know and boldly testify that our true Light, Jesus Christ, will never be extinguished.
[Note: For much of the above research I am indebted to my colleague Gary Clem]
CONTINUE TO PART 10 Appendices and Notes
- APPENDIX A
- Historical Forerunners of the latter-rain/sonship doctrines
- The True versus the False doctrines
- A Glossary of terms
- APPENDIX B
(c) Tricia Tillin 2001
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