Rebukes to Antinomianism – John Boruff

JOHN WESLEY: ACCUSED OF “LEGALISM” BY ANTINOMIANS

In 18th century England, John Wesley was confronted more than once by antinomianism. This weird word, along with the word “Antinomian,” which was a pejorative label applied to those who espoused the doctrine, not only was then, but is now, any heretical system of Christian soteriology that teaches Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of not only our past sins, but also of our unrepented present sins and unrepented future sins. Repentance and holiness are totally shunned under this teaching; and it is usually from an antinomian view that godly and strict Christians have had to endure the label of legalism and “Legalist.” Wesley was accused of this very much from the antinomians of his day: they used the words legalness, legal, and legality. Wesley debated in writing with a number of antinomians, first with Count Zinzendorf of the Moravians; and a number of other Calvinists. Today things are really no different. More often than not; I have observed Southern Baptists, or those who have a Baptistic type faith, tend to lean in an antinomian direction. With the EXCEPTION of John MacArthur and Paul Washer lordship salvation supporters, sometimes called Reformed Baptists or New Calvinists.

ANTINOMIANISM DEFINED

The basic ideas of antinomianism can broken down into the following:

1. Antinomianism is viewed as the gospel. Antinomians will not call the teaching antinomianism, they will call it the gospel of Jesus Christ. They think Jesus died on the cross, not only to forgive our sins, but to liberate us from any need to obey’s God’s commandments. This is what they mean by grace.

2. The antinomian view of salvation is anti-law in its ideas. The word antinomianism was first coined by Martin Luther when he wrote Against the Antinomians (1539) directed at Johannes Agricola. The “anti-” part is clear, which means to be against something, but the “nomian” part comes from the Biblical Greek word for “law,” which is nomos. So, the word Antinomian means “Antilawian,” and is a heretic Christian who thinks the gospel of Jesus Christ is something that is against the law of God entirely.

3. Antinomians misuse Paul’s word “law” in the Bible. Many of the apostle Paul’s uses of the word “law,” especially in Romans and Galatians, are difficult to understand without knowledge of Biblical background and context. My personal view is that this was one of Paul’s shortcomings. Especially in Galatians, it seems that he teaches against any use of God’s law. Paul didn’t qualify the word “law” ever; he only used the word “law” in the most general sense of the word. If people have a background knowledge of the first century Judaizer sect, then they will understand why Paul speaks against the “law” so much in Galatians. This was probably one of the reasons, if there ever was a legitimate one, for why the Catholic theologians during the Reformation were against the common people interpreting the Bible for themselves; they were bound to arrive at heretical conclusions, of which antinomianism is the worst, because it overthrows growing in personal holiness.

Antinomians from the time of Agricola, to the time of Zinzendorf, to people today like Zane Hodges, have usually refused to view the “law” that Paul’s gospel frees Christians from, as the Jewish ceremonial law of the Old Testament [John Wesley, “A Second Dialogue Between an Antinomian and His Friend,” The Works of John Wesley (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), vol. 10, p. 279]. Paul usually refers to circumcision when he speaks of the “law” being abolished, because he is referring to the Jewish ceremonial law, the rituals of Jewish life (Rom. 2; 3:1; 4:11; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 2:12; 5-6; etc). Antinomians have always taken it to mean the whole law of God is being done away with by Paul, including both the ceremonial and the moral law of God. It may seem strange to devout Catholics, lordship Calvinists, holiness people, or Pentecostals, but antinomians will vehemently maintain against the use of moral commandments and laws in the Bible as providing any sort of ethical direction for Christian living. Even the Ten Commandments. However, Paul leaves for us a telling Scripture in 1 Corinthians 7:19: “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.” Here Paul makes a clear line between the ceremonial law and the moral law, the latter which Paul considers to be “keeping God’s commands” in the New Testament sense.

4. Antinomians misuse Paul’s word “impute” in the Bible. Antinomians misinterpret Biblical teaching on the imputed righteousness of Christ. They think it means that Christ’s righteousness only covers Christians like a cloak, in an official and external sense; and that no moral transformation ever occurs within the Christian’s heart by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Ethically speaking, they remain exactly the same person that they were before they had that faith in Christ; the only difference now, is that they claim to feel less guilty about their sins; and they feel protected from Hell. It’s theological immorality.

JOHN WESLEY’S REBUKES TO ANTINOMIANISM

“A Dialogue Between an Antinomian and His Friend” (1745)

1. Christians Should Do Theology! “Friend (Wesley)–Do you ever read the Bible? Does not God himself say to sinners, ‘Come now, and let us reason together?’ (Isa. 1:18). Does not our Lord reason continually with the Scribes and Pharisees; St. Peter with the Jews (Acts 2:14ff); and St. Paul both with the Jews and Gentiles? Nay, is not great part of his Epistles, both to the Romans and to the Galatians, and the far greatest part of that to the Hebrews, one entire chain of reasoning?” (p. 267). Wesley is here responding to an antinomian’s insistence on an anti-theological attitude and philosophy. The antinomian has to be unreasonable in order to keep his views, so he tends to shun Biblical and theological study, by labeling those who love theology as relying upon their “carnal reasoning,” “letter-learning,” and “head-knowledge” (pp. 267, 271, 274). Because it is through such study that he would become accountable for his beliefs; and find that those beliefs do not stand up to the test of God’s Word. Antinomians tend to live in fear of two things: 1. Going to Hell for following rules that have been abolished by the cross of Christ, rules which could be mistakenly established on the grounds of Bible study. 2. Missing out on experience of the Holy Spirit, who is perceived intuitively, and not through the faculty of intellectual reasoning. But this actually shows how insecure they are in their salvation; and how inexperienced they are with the Holy Spirit.

The second kind of antinomians have always tended to be charismatic, or what J. I. Packer calls in his Concise Theology, “Spirit-centered antinomians,” of which there are many today. I don’t think it would be wrong to put Rick Joyner in this category. In an article he wrote in 2012, called “You Shall Be Holy,” he uses no Scripture references to prove his points. He uses phrases like legalism, fear, lawlessness, and unsanctified mercy to explain what he views as a kind spectrum for Law and Grace in the life of a Christian. He says that Christians should seek a middle road between legalism and lawlessness and follow the principle of love in order to avoid bad behavior. I see his view as only partially true; and as too vague. Yes, love fulfills the law (Matt. 22:40; Rom. 13:8-13; Gal. 5:14), but the Biblical specifics of holiness are all too easily forgotten when Christians give themselves over to such vague ideas. What about pornography, profanity, humor, and sexuality? What about movies, music, generosity, and friendships? What about modesty, moderation, evangelism, sports, and jobs? All things like this, and many other specific things in the Christian life, things pertaining to Christian holiness and separation from the world, could be adequately answered if people adopted more of a Puritan and Wesleyan view of holiness. Such a view always consults the New Testament first to see if Christians should behave in accordance with the moral law of God on any issues in life. But if you want to cast aside reason and the Bible, and hold to a general rule of love in the middle road between “legalism” and “lawlessness,” like Joyner does, then well, that’s better than nothing: but its not fully Biblical and doesn’t really help to strap down the body of Christ to any specific set of moral standards, even the standards laid down by Jesus and the apostles.

2. Keeping God’s Law Is Not a Curse for Christians! “Antinomian–Galatians 3:13: ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.’ Friend (Wesley)–What is this to the purpose? This tells me, that ‘Christ hath redeemed us’ (all that believe) ‘from the curse,’ or punishment, justly due to our past transgressions of God’s law” (p. 271). It is not burdensome to keep God’s commandments if you love Jesus (1 John 5:3). So, the antinomian interpretation of Galatians 3:13, kind of assumes that person doesn’t really love the Jesus of the Bible, but an imaginary version of him. It is not a curse to keep God’s law, but a blessing: “He that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Prov. 29:18, KJV). The Biblical Hebrew word for happy is the same one used for blessed, which is the opposite of being cursed and miserable. Jesus’ death on the cross provided a substitutionary atonement and punishment for the sins of the world, which means that the eternally miserable curse of Hell that is inflicted on mankind, due to a failure to conform to the strictness of God’s moral law, has been done away with for every repentant believer in Jesus. This is what Christians mean when they say they have been “redeemed,” or saved from Hell, and hence also redeemed from God’s curse, or the accusing power that the law of God has, which convicts and condemns sinners to an eternity in Hell. So, if anyone asks, “Why are so many people in Hell?” The answer could be given, “Because they failed to keep God’s law, and so are under the curse of God, because they refused the way of escape by justifying faith in the cross of Jesus.” But those who are in Christ, find it a blessing and also a necessity to keep God’s moral law to the best of their ability, with the help of God’s presence. Wesley said, “He redeemed them from the ‘condemnation of this law,’ not from ‘obedience to it.’ In this respect they are still, ‘not without law to God, but under the law of Christ'” (1 Cor. 9:21) (“A Second Dialogue,” p. 281).

3. Christians Must Grow in Holiness! “Friend (Wesley)–Does not a believer increase in holiness, as he increases in the love of God and man? Antinomian–I say, No. ‘The very moment he is justified, he is wholly sanctified. And he is neither more nor less holy, from that hour, to the day of his death. Entire justification and entire sanctification are in the same instant. And neither of them is thenceforth capable either of increase or decrease.’ Friend (Wesley)–I thought we were to grow in grace! Antinomian–‘We are so; but not in holiness. The moment we are justified, we are as pure in heart as ever we shall be. A new-born babe is as pure in heart as a father in Christ. There is no difference” (p. 276). This is totally ridiculous. The New Testament makes it clear that not only should Christians increase in their faith over time, but also in their adherence to the Word of God, and the principles of holiness. John 17:17: “Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.” Jesus said that sanctification comes through Bible study and obedience. This must be progressive and gradual, because nobody can know all the Bible at once. It takes time to learn its doctrines, to understand them, and apply them correctly to your life.

2 Corinthians 3:18: “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” This is very clear. It says Christians who practice contemplation (prayer), who worship God in Spirit and truth, and “see” in spirit the presence of God, that is, the shekinah glory, are also transformed into the image of Jesus–not instantly–but with “ever-increasing glory,” that is, the Christian transformation occurs in an ever-increasing way, progressively, on an upward curve, the more and more we become bearers of God’s presence. Holiness is improved on by learning and obeying Scripture, but also by Spirit-filled prayer; and I would argue it is here contemplative prayer that is the means of increasing sanctification, as the Catholic Church says.

2 Corinthians 7:1: “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” The language of progression is clearly used here. I guess if you were really adamant, you could argue that “let us purify ourselves” is not speaking of a process of purification, but there should be no confusion with the phrase “perfecting holiness,” which is definitely talking about a process of perfection, or moral improvement. To “perfect” (purr-feckt) something, whether you’re perfecting your knowledge of mathematics or history, perfecting your sales skills, perfecting your knowledge of automobiles, or perfecting your personal morals–to perfect (purr-feckt) in this ongoing, increasing, progressive, improving sense, carries a totally different meaning than the word “perfect” (purr-ficht): which is to say a thing has no flaws in it–that it is perfect in every way. A math formula, for example, could be said to be perfect, because it totally lacks errors; certain bodybuilders may be in a perfect physical condition; the angels are perfectly holy (Luke 9:26); and the law of the Lord, which converts the soul, is perfect (Ps. 19:7). So, when 2 Corinthians 7:1 says that Christians should be “perfecting holiness out of reverence for God,” we should understand Paul means that holiness is a thing like math, history, or mechanics–it is something that can be perfected, or improved upon progressively over time, through learning more about it and trying to apply its teachings to your life: teachings which come from Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.

Ephesians 4:15-16: “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” This also is very clear. Paul likens the Christian Church at large to the “body” of Jesus Christ. As we speak the truth, and as we exhibit the spirit of love, we will grow and mature in every respect, to become more like Jesus. This is extremely clear language. This assumes time is a sanctifying factor in the life of a Christian: and that over time, a baby Christian grows holier as it becomes a teen Christian, and then a young adult Christian, and then a middle aged Christian, and then a senior Christian. This does not automatically mean that elderly people are holy, but it does mean that the longer a person has been walking with Jesus, the holier and kinder they are likely to be.

All of these Scriptures abundantly show that antinomianism–the idea that there is no moral improvement in the Christian life–is a complete falsehood. Of course there is moral transformation! The Holy Spirit is supposed to be in the Christian’s heart! (Rom. 5:5). How can this NOT make a change happen? We admit it’s a struggle and a fight with the flesh (Rom. 7), but we are saying that sanctification also assumes the presence of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, love, and contemplative prayer. Its a fight that has the Holy Spirit, the supernatural power of God, as a helper.

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How Not to Be a Pastor – John Boruff

I am not a pastor and I don’t claim to be one, but as a Christian that’s been in a number of churches over the years, I think I have a pretty solid understanding of how not to be a pastor. I’ve studied the Bible as long as I’ve been a Christian, going on about 20 years now. And I think what needs to be said, is to at least point out some of the more popular problems that I’ve seen in pastoral ministry. This is not the first article like this that I’ve done, criticizing pastoral behavior, and it probably won’t be the last.

1. The Anti-Theological Spirit. The first thing that I would like to mention is the issue of theological downplaying. If anything should belong to pastoral ministry, it is the ministry of theology. The study of God’s Word and the delineation of Christian doctrine, is the primary task of a pastor (2 Tim. 2:16; 4:2; Tit. 1:9). If he hesitates to teach what is true and sound doctrine, then he hesitates to be a pastor. The primary pastoral function is teaching the Word of God. In so doing, Christians are given direction about how to approach God through prayer; and how to behave towards God and one another. A pastor needs to be a person who has what is called “black and white” thinking. If he’s unclear about any one subject, he needs to go to the Word of God for clarity; and the Word of God will bring that clarity. The pastor should be a shining light of truth in this sinful, dark, and confusing world (John 5:35). He should be the one that’s responsible for helping people to see things clearly, in the light of God’s Word. He should be the one that dispels confusion and darkness. He should be the one that, despite his sinful habits and imperfections, is always encouraging others to strive for perfection through walking after Christ (Heb. 6:1). He tells the truth from his own experience; and he tells it in light of God’s Word. The Bible is always his touchstone for everything that he says. Whether it’s in the pulpit or natural conversation. However, I’ve seen a trend among certain types of pastors that discourage “black and white” thinking. They prefer the grey areas. They prefer an antinomianism. They prefer too much grace. They prefer not talking about right and wrong, morals, ethical clarification. Such things are an embarrassment to them. Such things prevent them from watching their movies, listening to the music they like, having fun the way they’re used to. They don’t want to change these things. They don’t want to change how they approach rest and relaxation. They don’t want to change how they approach entertainment. They don’t want to change how they approach friendship building, rapport building, relationship building. They have a worldly mindset still. All they have learned are a couple of facts about the Bible. They’ve missed the main points. It’s like when Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (Matt. 23:23). These pastors strain at a gnat and swallow a camel (23:24). They tend to emphasize the minor things; and de-emphasize the major things. They emphasize that it’s important to have relationships with people. But they de-emphasize that those relationships need to be holy, and filled with the black and white moral absolutes which are found in God’s law, God’s Word, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. Neglecting the Doctrine of Hell. Hell proceeds from the first issue. Because antinomianism is so prevalent in pastoral ministry today–although it doesn’t go by that name–it goes under the idea of opposing legalism, or it goes by discouraging black and white thinking, or goes by emphasizing the word “grace” a lot. Antinomianism is still very alive today and it is often considered to be the gospel. Jesus is seen as Savior, but not as Lord. With the neglect of God’s law, also comes the neglect of Hell, and confusion about whether Hell is necessary in Christian theology or ministry. The reason why Hell exists in Christian theology, is because the justice of God breaks out in wrath when people break His laws, and Hell is the eternal punishment for impenitence, unbelief, and unrighteousness (Matt. 25:46). Jesus shed His blood on the cross, so that the unrighteousness that was stirred up from us breaking God’s law, inciting His anger, could somehow be atoned for: but because many pastors don’t like God’s law, and they neglect Hell, they can’t really preach the cross of Christ. They don’t quite understand its meaning; and don’t really understand why the blood of Christ is necessary to wash away their sins.

3. Neglecting Deliverance from Demons. The subject of demons and deliverance, is also treated by antinomian pastors, as something to be avoided. The more you delve into the subject of deliverance from demons, the more you will realize that it has to do with God’s law, and breaking God’s law, and sinning, and righteousness, and understanding moral absolutes. Only when people begin to pay attention to the righteousness of God’s Word, do they realize the presence of demons in their lives. Ephesians 2:2: “In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” You will find that the antinomian pastor, turns not only away from God’s law, and from preaching Hell, but also turns away from preaching deliverance. They tend to turn away from theology in general. They know that they have to study it, because it’s a sort of procedure that they have to follow, but they do it while rolling their eyes. It is not serious to them; neither are demons.

4. Adopting Stupid Church Fads. When pastors consistently neglect the law, and the testimony, Hell, demons and deliverance, and other types of moral absolutes in Scripture, what follows is that they will do whatever is right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). What this means is, that they will start to adopt theologians and teachers which are sort of faddish, and popular, whose teachings don’t really chafe against the flesh, like a lot of the older preachers did, like John Wesley, Charles Finney, and the Puritans. But they’ll do whatever they think is right in their own eyes: and what this means, could be a number of things. 2 Timothy 4:3: “The time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

5. Football Attitudes. One of the things that I’ve seen pastors do a lot of, which they think is alright, but it’s only in their own eyes, and does not come from Scripture, is overemphasizing the importance of football. Sure, it’s okay for people to have hobbies, but if pastors are going to choose a hobby, you would think that as Christians, they would choose one that didn’t encourage violence, angry short-tempered behavior, watching cheerleaders, immoral commercials during the Super Bowl, or ungodly rap music which sounds terrible. It’s hard for me to see how football culture, in any way, can relate to pastoral ministry, with all of the competition, arrogance, and egomania that it has about it. It’s hard for me to see how football in any way contributes to sanctification, or to ministry; and yet, how many pastors are bewitched by the National Football League (NFL)? The macho attitude is evident. These men can’t be approached. They’re not relational; they’re arrogant. Whether they’re overtly arrogant, or smugly reserved, they still think that they’re better than you, and that message does come across. 1 Timothy 4:8: “Bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

6. Selling Christian Books in Church. The selling of books seems to be inappropriate, if done in a church. I’m not against writing. I think theological writing is greatly needed in pastoral ministry. Unfortunately, there is so little of this, that random people have to end up being touched by God Spirit to publish books. Back in the days of the Puritans, pastors like Richard Baxter always wrote theology. They were always working on some new some new theological book and getting ready to publish it. But in all of the writing that they did, I’m not aware that any of them sold their books at their churches. If this was the case, it seems to be a transgression against John 2:16: “To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!'” I would think that Christian theology books that are written by pastors, should only be sold in Christian book stores, or offered for free at churches, perhaps in a church library, but not sold there.

7. Resistance to Lay Ministry. The suppression of lay ministry is another disturbing thing that I’ve seen. With the exception of some very Wesleyan pastors who understand that lay preachers were at the core of John Wesley’s ministry, most pastors seem to absolutely shun the idea of lay people being involved in teaching the Word of God. Some churches are more open to this; and they will allow for cell groups or small groups where this can happen, and genuine Christian conversation, and friendships can develop. But how can it be that with the great majority of pastors, we find spiritual arrogance and an absolute unwillingness for other people in their church to share their thoughts about the Bible? “Stop talking,” they imply in such and so many words. “Just become part of the community,” and implied in this is, “Leave it for us to talk about God.” And so people can’t even process life by talking through their faith experiences. Everyone is just turned into ears and hands (1 Cor. 12:15-26)–listening to sermons and volunteering to clean up or act in some skit; and their tongues are cut out of their mouths. Acts 21:8-9: “Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.” They what? They prophesied: they spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; and they were not pastors.

8. Mean Pastors. Rude, mean, arrogant pastors. I’ve seen this in Assemblies of God frequently.  So ill-mannered. Nothing like Mr. Rogers with his air of kindness. Nothing like that dear country pastor Rev. Alden from Little House on the Prairie. What is wrong with people? Don’t they ever even read the teachings of Jesus! Don’t they ever get the sense that the Holy Spirit is kind? What is wrong with them? I’m not referring to people who are labeled “legalistic” or “strict” about Biblical rules of righteousness. Biblical rules teach kindness, when understood rightly. I’m not referring to people who get mad sometimes. I’m talking about people who are arrogant, because they are self-centered, egocentric, megalomaniac macho men. Arrogant just because they are arrogant men. Not because they have a theological view that makes them that way. Galatians 5:22: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness.” Insulting is not found in the list.

9. Manipulation to Volunteer. Manipulation to be a volunteer or being a consistent, faithful, giving church member, is something I’ve seen across the board in many churches; and I think it is just disgusting. 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.” Sure churches always need more volunteers; sure churches always need more money. But if pastors trusted more in the providence of God for this, then they wouldn’t need to be speaking verbally to people to manipulate their actions, getting people all concerned about their responsibility to the church. Nine times out of ten, most people struggle with even trusting churches at all. It’s a miracle that you even have people attending your church! I say, if people want to volunteer, then put the opportunities out there, but don’t be urging it all the time; and don’t manipulate them into thinking that they’re going to be a leader some day; or even have their own church some day; or some kind of teaching position–when all you know in the back of your head is, you’re just trying to get them to clean up trash for some event. You don’t want to be their friend, but they are waiting for that to happen.

10. Rich People Honored, Not Spiritual People. Too much honor is given to the rich. The Bible says that you honor the man who has gay apparel (James 2:3). True ministry is not going to honor the rich, just because they have a lot of money, and can keep the church’s bills under control. Those people are usually the ones in need of the most spiritual help, because the cares of this world are weighing down upon them; and distracting them from the Holy Spirit. Yet at the same time, these are the people often given authority in the church, because they’ve got the money; and what better way for them to control the pastor: those people who are spiritually sick, usually because they have so much money and such small souls. Revelation 3:16-17: “Because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

In review, I would say that the biggest things that I’ve seen over the past 20 years, that bother me with pastors, are pride, arrogance, down putting, control, and manipulation; to get people involved in volunteering for menial tasks, while at the same time promising them the moon; and giving too much honor to people who have a lot of money, but who are at the same time spiritually sick. I’ve also seen that 90% of the pastors out there, are antinomian their persuasion towards God’s law, Hell, demons, and morals. We all struggle with sin, but it’s even more spiritually dangerous to be in a church, that’s controlling, cult-like, anti-moral, and not going to help you do the right thing when you stumble and fall.

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Sorting Out Teachings on Miraculous Gifts – John Boruff

The books and audio teachings listed below are an eclectic bunch. In my opinion, it is very challenging to teach comprehensively on the subject of miraculous gifts without borrowing from a variety of Christian spiritual traditions. To only focus on one tradition is to confine and limit our understanding of a subject which is mostly comprised of experiential content. But when teaching about experiences, we must also teach what is considered to be Christian orthodoxy. The very idea of borrowing from different Christian traditions begs the question: is this not heretical? Catholics consider Protestants to be heretics and vice versa. Conservative Pentecostals, like myself, generally view charismatic churches in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) as heretics.

If we were only to rely on Catholic teaching for miraculous gifts, we could turn to Augustin Poulain’s The Graces of Interior Prayer, where we would learn of things such as contemplation or listening to the Holy Spirit, and visions, and discernment. But if we stopped at Poulain, we’d end up believing in anti-Biblical things like venerating the dead and taking Mary as our intercessor before God. If we were to only look at what Assemblies of God has to say on the subject, we could go with Donald Gee’s Concerning Spiritual Gifts, which would define what certain gifts do, but little would be said about how to grow in and experience those gifts. There would also be no teaching on dreams and visions. If we were to rely only on what the Vineyard has to say, we could content ourselves with what John Wimber said in his Spiritual Gifts Seminar and Power Healing, but we would find still a lack of teaching on dream interpretation, and the nature of prophetic ministry.

If we were to side with the likes of Mike Bickle and IHOP, and borrow his teachings from Growing in the Prophetic, or buy into what he does entirely, we might be exposing ourselves to a kundalini spirit and drinking into the carnality and lack of spiritual discernment that has plagued charismatics ever since the Toronto Blessing movement happened in 1994. It might, however, be safer to allow John and Paula Sandford’s The Elijah Task to teach us about the nature of prophetic ministry. That book seems to have spawned the idea, and was first published in 1977, long before the Toronto fiasco came with its offshoots like Bethel Church, Todd Bentley, and John Crowder. But even if we were to stop at Sandford on the nature of dreams and visions, we might still find a shade of error, because of his Jungian expressions and use of the word “psychic,” which might lead us to balance that out with John Paul Jackson’s The Biblical Model of Dream Interpretation, which filters out a lot of false, egocentric, psychology interpretations of dreams that entered the church through Morton Kelsey and Herman Riffel.

To have a full and complete teaching on miraculous gifts, what you need firstly, is a definition of the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Both Gee and Wimber did this. After all the definitions have been made; and the theory of what the gifts can accomplish for the Church has been solidified, the next step should be to explain what it is like to actually experience those gifts; and the final stages would involve interpreting, understanding, and using those gifts for personal direction from the Holy Spirit and for the edification and comfort of the body of Christ. Too many books only stop at defining the gifts in a theoretical way; especially Assemblies of God or Gospel Publishing House books; they take it from the approach of a detached Bible study and leave you with little to no guidance about how to receive these gifts into your life. The charismatic and the Catholic books will take you into the deeper waters of spiritual experience, but they often lack the theological orthodoxy that you get from the Assemblies of God books. Wimber, for example, taught against the Pentecostal understanding of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, 10, and 19. I feel that Poulain, Gee, and Wimber provide a solid understanding of miraculous gifts. And anywhere that Wimber left off at, namely dream interpretation, you may find that John Sandford, Ira Milligan, and John Paul Jackson hammered out.

But it’s important for me, as a Pentecostal, that in reaching out to both Catholic and Vineyard theology, and some dream-and-vision teachers that associated with Wimber for a time, to in no way lean to Catholicism as a means of salvation or to the charismaniacs of the Toronto Blessing, which end up flapping like seals and barking like dogs! I believe that the Holy Spirit and Biblical orthodoxy always agree with one another, but neither do I take it to mean that there are no dreams and visions today. Such things have to be rooted in the old evangelicalism—Wesleyan, Finneyite, Puritan revivalism. Not the watered down Southern Baptist type we see today, the kind that has “once saved, always saved” as its only creed.

I distrust any preacher that does not have a 17th or 18th century understanding of the Bible. Today, there is so much antinomian, universalist, no-lordship nonsense out there mixed together with pluralistic Hindu gurus, Native American shaman quotes, and New Age pop psychology, and gay theologians, together with tongue speaking, all jumbled together in confusion. It’s just heresy! Charismatics need all the miracles they can get, but they also need all the Bible they can get. Who will point them in the right direction? Anyone teaching on the gifts of the Spirit, coming from Bethel Church, or IHOP, or MorningStar Ministries, or Catch The Fire Toronto is highly suspect in my opinion. These movements have consistently shunned orthodox evangelicalism in favor of the vanity and attention of heretical enthusiasts. Sexually immoral teachers have been honored in their midst. The only exception I would make is Steve Thompson’s You May All Prophesy, which was published just before the Lakeland Revival; and after Bentley’s moral failure, Thompson had the integrity to leave MorningStar. Being that it is 2019, I would like to lay a special emphasis on warning against anything coming from Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. There is a lot of antinomianism and universalism coming out of that ministry; and because, through their Bethel Music, they are reaching into churches through praise and worship leaders, they are very popular and influential right now in charismatic churches. Although Bill Johnson’s God Is Good speaks against universalism in passing (p. 104), there is no doubt that many within his stream lean in that direction. Beni Johnson practices Christian yoga (Healthy and Free, p. 71), Judy Franklin thinks that the New Age movement has some pretty good ideas (The Physics of Heaven, p. 15), Heidi Baker and Jake Hamilton downplay the John 14:6 gospel message in the film Holy Ghost, and they continue to befriend John Crowder who is an outspoken “trinitarian” universalist, whatever that is supposed to mean. Clearly universalism is somewhere in the waters of Bethel Church’s reach, but so also are antinomian ideas. Jenn Johnson teaches against “black and white” thinking in one video, claiming that moral truth can operate on a gray scale: once again, pointing people away from Biblical law as the black and white absolute moral standard of right and wrong. Kris Vallotton admittedly does teach prophetic ministry there, but also borrows from Steve Thompson’s work, so there is no need to resort to Vallotton where Thompson has already succeeded. Bethel Church pushes an impure form of charismatic Christianity. I’d recommend being respectful and pick your battles with people ensnared by Bethel ideas, but I would personally urge people to avoid their teachings on YouTube, in books, etc.

True prophets shun such movements. Men like Andrew Strom, who explains in Why I Left the Prophetic Movement, that the lack of repentance preaching and holiness preaching combined with bizarre behavior, is what turned him off from what is now called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Andrew Strom points us to men like John Wesley, Charles Finney, Smith Wigglesworth, Leonard Ravenhill, and David Wilkerson as men of God to frame our spirituality around. I tend to agree with him about this. But to add one additional observation: there is little to no teaching on dreams and visions, dream interpretation, prophetic ministry (receiving and giving words of knowledge) in the writings of these men. You have to look to John Sandford, John Paul Jackson, Ira Milligan, and John Wimber to get teaching on that.

You have to borrow to a degree, outside of your comfort zone of perfect evangelical revival theology; otherwise, you’re not going to get the full view on miraculous gifts. A lot of what Strom is pointing to is evangelicalism, which is Gospel-centered salvation theology. But when it comes to miraculous gifts, we are dealing with things such as stillness, quieting the mind, journaling dreams and visions, interpreting prophetic symbols, and sharing supernatural information with other Christians in order to encourage their faith, sometimes to the point of praying for physical healing and casting out demons. Smith Wigglesworth is the only prominent teacher mentioned by Strom that really straddled both evangelicalism and prophetic charismatic experiences. His writings are helpful, but I think he does not describe enough about how to experience the gift of prophecy for yourself. A lot of what he writes comes across like the book of Acts or a succession of miracle stories. I also think that a lot of the Catholic saints had miracle experiences that went much further than Wigglesworth describes; and any study of the miraculous gifts should take them into consideration as well. Although the Catholic Church is wrong about Mary and a few other things—a lot of their teaching is rooted in the church fathers, is orthodox, and agrees with the Bible.

FURTHER READING ON MIRACULOUS GIFTS

Alexander, Archibald. Thoughts on Religious Experience. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967. Chapter 7: “Considerations on Dreams, Visions, Etc.”

Boys, Thomas. The Suppressed Evidence: or, Proofs of the Miraculous Faith and Experience of the Church of Christ In All Ages, from Authentic Records of the Fathers, Waldenses, Hussites, Reformers, United Brethren, &c. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., 1832.

Cruz, Joan Carroll. Mysteries Marvels Miracles: In the Lives of the Saints. Charlotte, NC: TAN Books, 1997. As with the books by Poulain and Devine, I will have to disapprove of Marianism, or devotion to dead saints; but while ignoring that, I think there was some genuine activity of the Holy Spirit among the Catholic saints.

Deere, Jack. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993. Debunks cessationism; and argues for the continuation of miraculous gifts, apostles, and prophets in the church today.

Frodsham, Stanley. Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1948.

Gee, Donald. Concerning Spiritual Gifts. Revised. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1980.

Gordon, A. J. The Ministry of Healing. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2020.

Jackson, John Paul. The Biblical Model of Dream Interpretation. North Sutton, NH: Streams Publications, 2006. CDs.

Jennings, Daniel. The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley. Sean Multimedia, 2012.

Howie, John. The Scots Worthies. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1995. Protestant reformers that experienced miracles while being persecuted.

Lewis, David. Healing: Fiction, Fantasy, or Fact? London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1989. Found that John Wimber had a 30% hit rate for dramatic healings.

MacNutt, Francis. Healing. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1974. This impacted Wimber’s views on healing.

––––––. Deliverance from Evil Spirits. Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 1995.

Milligan, Ira. Understanding the Dreams You Dream. Shippensburg, PA: Treasure House, 1997. The best book I know of that can help evangelical charismatics to interpret dreams and visions with Biblical prophetic symbolism.

Poulain, Augustin. The Graces of Interior Prayer. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1950. Catholic mystical theology on contemplation and visions.

Sandford, John and Paula. The Elijah Task. Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2006.

Strom, Andrew. Why I Left the Prophetic Movement. RevivalSchool, 2007.

Thompson, Steve. You May All Prophesy. Fort Mill, SC: MorningStar Publications, 2007.

Wigglesworth, Smith. Ever Increasing Faith. Revised Edition. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1971.

Wimber, John. Power Evangelism. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1986.

––––––. Power Healing. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1987.

––––––. Discover Wimber. 2 vols. MP3 audio files from vineyardresources.com on a USB drive. Teachings on physical healing (10 hours), miracles and church growth (14 hours), miraculous gifts (10 hours), and casting out demons (14 hours).

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A Biblical View of Politics – John Boruff

My kingdom is not of this world.  –Jesus

I’ve recently got into the habit of reading the daily newspaper online. Political and football news always seem to take center stage. In response to that, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” The meaning of this statement is pretty simple. But so many of the Religious Right Christians out there fighting the battle against abortion and gay rights, which are both extremely bad sins that need to be done away with, I think often lose sight of the larger issues: such as living by faith in the Gospel, experiencing life in the Holy Spirit, and developing personal ethical standards. They get wrapped up in politics, and they forget the words of Jesus, which in effect were, “Politics are not My thing,” or “the U.S. government is not of the Gospel,” or how about, “My heavenly kingdom is not of the world of politics.”

Jesus wasn’t into politics. They tried to make him a king once, but he ran away into the mountains. The only times he said anything about government leaders, it was was either satirical, disinterested, or rebuking. Herod he called a fox: a predatory animal that only comes out at night, often a symbol of a sly deceptive person. Pilate he corrected, saying that all of his political authority was given to him from God up above. And he’ll admit that, with Paul, that governmental authority does come from God (Rom. 13). But that’s about it. He does not go to say that world governments are of God, or godly, or even suggest that governments have anything to do with the Gospel or life in the Holy Spirit.

Separation of church and state? Was Jesus about that? You kind of get the idea that he was—if not legally, then at least practically so far as what Christians should be dwelling on, on a day to day basis. I’d think that today, Jesus would be focused more so on what the Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, United Methodist, and other evangelical churches are doing right now, and how their missions are being carried out. I think Jesus cares about that 90% more than he does about what is going on in Washington D.C. Not that he doesn’t care about the government at all. Sure he does, but it definitely comes out as a secondary or maybe even tertiary issue in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Jesus cares more about missionaries than politicians. Of that I can be sure. Does he love them more? Maybe. Did he love John more than the other disciples? Maybe. Peter, James, and John were in His inner circle. What about the other apostles? Or about Judas Iscariot, whom he called a devil? God loves everybody. Jesus died for everyone. But not everyone repents from their sins and puts their trust in the cross for their salvation. Not everyone embraces their own cross either. I think God feels more of an affinity for those who care about His evangelistic cause on the earth: living out and preaching the Gospel. Not so much for those who lobby for Republicans and Democrats. Not at all. I don’t see Jesus having much in common with those types of people at all.

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Review of Leonard Ravenhill’s “Why Revival Tarries” – John Boruff

Image result for ravenhill why revival tarries bethany 1986

“Unction is God’s knighthood for the soldier-preacher who has wrestled in prayer and gained the victory” (p. 18). This really sums up the message of Ravenhill’s signature classic Why Revival Tarries. That is, the Holy Spirit will fill the man who strives against his lazy flesh and fights his way through hours of intercession for lost souls. The school of thought that he is coming from is that of E. M. Bounds, as expressed in his Power Through Prayer. Its also evident that William Booth was a huge hero to Ravenhill, who’s spiritual influence stood in a fairly close proximity to his family while growing up in early Salvation Army meetings in England. This was a military type of approach to Christian spirituality; and it seems fitting that Ravenhill served as a chaplain for a while, when Teen Challenge was just starting out, offering a firm sense of discipline to gang members and drug addicts. Ravenhill’s brand of spirituality was one that required toughness and discipline; a manly “get on your knees and pray it through!” attitude. Smith Wigglesworth, with his curt, gruff expressions, often had the same approach towards sin and the flesh.

While he hops around a lot on the nature of revival, it is clear that more than anything, Why Revival Tarries is a book about intercessory prayer. He asks the reader with the title, “Why does revival tarry or delay from coming?” Eventually his answer is, “Revival delays because prayer decays” (p. 83). By the word prayer, he usually means one thing: solitary, fervent, holy intercessory prayer for lost souls to be saved–the prayer of an evangelist (p. 16). He saw Jonathan Edwards’ The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, as the perfect biography of a missionary, whom had exemplified the prayer life that Ravenhill is preaching about in this book. What Ravenhill was aiming at by topics and chapters, David Brainerd’s life story had already fleshed out by application (pp. 84-86). Ravenhill does not really preach about contemplative prayer, although he hints at it in Tried and Transfigured, even quoting from Evelyn Underhill’s The Mystic Way. Ravenhill fixates on private intercessory prayer for lost souls to be saved from sin and Hell. He was not at all like Richard J. Foster, who enumerates 21 different ways of praying in his book on Prayer. Ravenhill was really serious about PRAYING, PRAYER, and PRAYER WARRIORS or intercessors. To him there was really only one kind of prayer: INTERCESSION and only INTERCESSION that was Spirit-led, Spirit-filled, and FILLED WITH GRIEF OVER THE POWER OF SIN IN OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES. You could call it prophetic intercession: the prayer of a prophet, a go-between, a Christlike man to stand in the gap between God and lost sinners, an intercessor, a pastor, and an evangelist; a man who prays fervently, and seriously, and sorrowfully for the souls he is going to preach the true Biblical Gospel to in the next 24 hours. He sees demons attacking them, he sees emaciated spiritual beggars, he sees these poor people just hanging by a thread over the fire of Hell. To take prayer in this direction, accented by burden bearing, travailing (laboring), and genuine sorrow producing crying, weeping, and tears, is to GET ON THE CROSS and experience UNION WITH JESUS IN HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION. Thereby embodying the very principle of salvation within oneself, and becoming a REVIVALIST, a carrier of the spirit of salvation, a power that is built up in private prayer, and then publicly released by evangelistic sermons, and sparking revivals.

My personal experience with reading this book during a time of spiritual dryness was one of personal revival. I had truly supernatural moments where I was filled and led by the Holy Spirit to pray for others to be delivered from sin and demons, with genuine grief and feeling. I believe Why Revival Tarries is an inspired book, in a non-canonical kind of way, not on the level of the Bible; but a book that was just bathed in the spirit of prayer and the Holy Ghost. Its hard to read it and not be spiritually affected in a good way. There are not many Christian books I can say that about; books that made me feel God’s presence or made me see angelic lights while reading them. Books that have really increased my faith in God. I can only put a few in this category: Kenneth J. Collins’ Wesley on Salvation, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, Martin Luther’s Commentary on Romans, A. W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God, and Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God.

Leonard Ravenhill preached against sin and heresy. This will translate to a hatred of sin the more you muse on it; and the hatred of sin was a virtue to him. Hebrews 1:9: “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity.” If he hated sin while he prayed, to be sure he hated sin while he preached. To hate sin is to love God. To hate sin is to love mankind. To hate sin is to fear Hell and love Heaven. To hate all sin, and to shine a blazing light on its hideous ugliness, is to be a Biblical preacher. To most people today, Ravenhill’s sharp and denunciatory preaching against Catholicism’s idea of Mary as a mediatrix, cult members, antinomians (easy-believism people, p. 58), cessationists, dispensationalists, lukewarm fundamentalists, communists, universalists, greedy materialists, liberal theologians, agnostics, science-worshipping atheists, gamblers, drunkards, and the sexually immoral, would be considered “hate speech.” But for him it was just preaching the Gospel, preaching holiness, and preaching against sin. Preaching the doctrine of repentance: turning away from sin. The only real antidote to backsliding. As in ch. 4, he saw the task of a revivalist as one like Elijah or John the Baptist, ready to publicly preach against the false prophets of Baal and the Pharisees. The man was a demon hunter. This was his view of the ministry:

In the light of the judgment seat, we had better live six months with a volcanic heart, denouncing sin in places high and low and turning the nation from the power of Satan unto God (as John the Baptist did) rather than die loaded with ecclesiastical honors and theological degrees and be the laughing stock of Hell (p. 104).

God-gripped prophets of old had a sensitive awareness of the enormity and unpopularity of their task (p. 151).

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Arminian Comments on Romans 9 – Richard Baxter

Taken from Richard Baxter’s Paraphrase on the New Testament

No photo description available.

vv. 17-18: And that He giveth not his free mercies equally to all, is proved in His words to Pharaoh. As if He had said, I well foreknew all your sin and stubbornness, but I will serve the honor of My name by it all; for I have raised you, and made you king with this intent, to manifest My power in triumphing over all your rebellion, and to proclaim the fame of My works against you, through all the Earth. Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens.

v. 22: Shall man accuse God, because He resolves to show His punishing justice and power on those self-hardening, willful sinners, who made themselves vessels of wrath, and fitted to destruction, when He has in long patience and forbearance endured them, while they abused mercy?

v. 33: So that the cause why Israel is cast off, is not because God sent not His Son and Gospel to them, nor invited them to believe, nor gave them evidence of the truth of Christ, which was sufficient to convince a well-disposed mind; much less, because He hindered them from believing, or because He showed mercy to the Gentiles; but because by error THEY HARDENED THEMSELVES against Christ, as not answering their carnal erroneous expectations. For though God would glorify the riches of His grace by Jesus Christ, yet IT WAS NOT HIS WILL to reveal Him in such visible majesty and glory, as should of itself necessitate and FORCE MEN TO BELIEVE IN HIM: for then faith would have been no work of trial, nor fit for a reward, but such as the wicked and sensual might perform. But God would so reveal His Son, as that faith might have sufficient encouragement and help, and yet such difficulties as might make it proper to honest souls, and fit for a reward; so that those that will be biased by prejudice and worldly interest, will stumble and fall on the Rock which they should be built on; but to THEM THAT SINCERELY TRUST AND OBEY HIM, He might be the author of eternal salvation, and be the power and wisdom of God.

Annotations.

It is evident, that St. Paul is but proving and justifying God’s free mercy in calling the Gentiles, while He permitted the obstinate part of the Jews to cut off themselves by unbelief, and willfully rejecting Christ.

As to THE HARDENING OF PHARAOH AND OTHERS, it being agreed by all sober Christians, that God causes not sin, we need to debate it no further, whether the sense be, that He denies them softening converting grace when they have forfeited it by willful resistance, and so permits them to be hardened; or, whether it be, that He does those good and righteous acts which He knows they will be willfully hardened by, as occasions and objects: or both these.

Here is not the least hint, that God damns any, or decrees so to do, merely because He will do it, without any reason taken from their own deserts: or, that He makes some men sinners, or damns them, merely as the potter differentiates His vessels of clay: but only, that WHEN ALL HAVE DESERVED to be forsaken and condemned, and He gives common grace for their recovery to all, why He freely gives more, which shall be infallibly effectual, to some, rather than to others, when those some were no better than the rest.

WHOEVER TRULY REPENTS AND BELIEVES, may be sure of his justification; and it’s sinful to doubt of it on pretense that God may condemn whom He will, when He has told whom He will not condemn: and whoever is unregenerate and ungodly, may be sure he is unjustified, and unforgiven, and in a damnable state; for God hath assured us of this in His Word.

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Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire USA: A False Charismatic Movement – John Boruff

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.   
–Ephesians 5:11–


You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler.
Do not even eat with such people.
–1 Corinthians 5:11–

In light of recent extremely negative findings about Todd Bentley and Rick Joyner, (underlined links can be clicked for further information,) I would like to present this list of ministers currently associated closely with their ministries, Fresh Fire USA and MorningStar Ministries, respectively. And for myself and other Pentecostals who want the “real thing,” to be wise to avoid them…

FRESH FIRE USA MINISTERS – taken from freshfireusa.com

Image result for todd bentley
TODD BENTLEY (2019)

1. Todd Bentley
2. Pete Garza
3. Peter Garza
4. Travis Potts
5. Rick Joyner
6. Kevin Basconi
7. Doug Addison
8. Andrei Baicus
9. Timothy Snodgrass
10. Westley Roderick
11. Adam Thompson
12. Adrian Beale
13. Fiorello Giordano
14. Charlie Shamp
15. Alex Parkinson
16. Brad Elijah
17. Tito Caban
18. Kat Kerr
19. Robbie Dawkins

MORNINGSTAR MINISTRIES MINISTERS – taken from morningstarministries.org

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RICK JOYNER (2019)

1. Rick Joyner – greasy grace contradicting the Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus).

2. David White – this MorningStar Ministries pastor took a stand against Bentley (he might be looking for a new ministry position):

A Response from David White on
the Revelations Surrounding Todd Bentley
Change Your Conduct or Change Your Name!
(Where Judgment Must and Will Begin)

Numerous leaders have written public statements, posted online video messages, tweeted, etc., regarding the exposure and subsequent response to the reports of sexual immorality committed by Todd Bentley.

R. Loren Sanford, Patricia King, Rick Cantor and others have done a great job helping the body of Christ deal with what again has shaken and brought shame and confusion to a large segment of the church. There is no doubt this has and will have world-wide implications. Once again we have discovered how the faith of some of the most impressionable has suffered and in some cases was overthrown because of unchallenged, unexposed and unrepentant sin among those who are called to live a life beyond reproach.

As mentioned Sunday, Stephen Powell had what he described as a “courts of heaven encounter” while he was with us in Moravian Falls at the beginning of June. In Stephen’s encounter he saw in a dream what Todd was currently facing and what was at stake. Almost immediately after his leaving, Stephen began to be approached by some whose lives and faith had been shaken by their personal experiences involving Todd Bentley. It was obvious God had given Stephen a mission.

Expressing great concern and grief for the ones whose faith had been overthrown, (by those in leadership) who had (themselves) strayed concerning the truth, the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His’ and, ‘let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’ (2 Tim 2:19). In other words the Lord was saying then and He is saying to those in leadership and of influence in the church today to “change your conduct, or change your name!” Someone’s character and personal integrity is far more important to God than his or her gifting, popularity and position.

I have mentioned before about a young man named William I believe has an amazing calling on his life. He currently lives in Bogota, Colombia but believes God is leading him and his wife to one day move to Moravian Falls. He is a powerful and anointed young preacher who is not afraid to sound the alarm calling those who say they believe in Jesus to a life of purity and holiness. He is one of my spiritual sons and one of many young men, like Stephen Powell and others, God is raising up to shake nations as well as the status quo in this hour.

I want to share a dream William recently sent to me. It is a wakeup call to all of us, but especially to those in positions of leadership in the church at large. It is a further reminder that Jesus is not coming for a bride in bed with the world, but one that has made herself ready and is without spot or wrinkle. Additionally the dream confirms how we should remember how Numbers 32:23 confirms that all of us can “be sure your sin will find you out.” It is much better our sins be found out, confronted, exposed and dealt with (full repentance) now in this life than at the judgment to come. Judgment beginning in the house of God can actually be redemptive if responded to correctly. In Todd Bentley’s case, it is a testimony of God’s love for him and can literally save him from eternal destruction.

“Blessed are those who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves (covers up or excuses) and practices (participates in) a lie” (Rev 22:14-15).

William’s Dream:

During a dream on August 9th, 2017, I saw a huge stadium with millions of people. The seats were divided into areas and every single seat was reserved but one specific area. This area caught my attention because it was empty and dirty. In the dream, I proceeded to ask the Father why that area was empty. He replied, “THOSE SEATS WERE FOR MY MESSENGERS, BUT THEY ARE NOT HERE.” I started to cry and weep while a great burden was released within me. Then God said the following, “THEY SPOKE WORDS I NEVER SAID, THEY PREACHED ABOUT HOLINESS AND REPENTANCE WHILE SINNING IN THEIR ROOMS. THEY ASKED ME TO SHOW UP BUT THEIR EYES WERE NOT PURE. THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING BUT THEY DID NOT REPENT. WILLIAM, BE HOLY AS I AM.” As soon as I heard this in the dream, I woke up just like (Daniel 10:8-9), I had no strength remaining and I fell on my knees with my face on the ground, asking God for forgiveness and cleansing.

If you missed the Gathering this past Sunday, I touched on some of what I believe the Scriptures teach about “Judgement in the House of God.” I hope this word, (see the link below), helps us understand and gives hope for what God is saying and doing in this hour.

As a pastor, and for further study and understanding, I encourage you to search the Scriptures on your own. Find out what God is saying to you through all that has and continues to transpire before the entire world. Read where the Bible refers to the workers He approves and those He disapproves. Look at 2 Timothy 2:14–3:9. We can no longer be more influenced by what Paul calls in this text, “idle babblings” or the rants of men than we are by the Word of God. God’s Word still has the answers to every question any generation will ever ask.

To watch the message in its entirety CLICK HERE!

Together in Him,

Pastor David

…BUT EVEN WITH ALL OF THIS, IT MAKES YOU WONDER HOW RICK JOYNER’S NON-JUDGMENTAL APPROACH TO ALLEGATIONS ABOUT TODD BENTLEY FOR YEARS HAS LED TO THIS OUTCOME. JUST TO BE SAFE, I WILL CONTINUE TO LIST RICK JOYNER’S MOST RECENT MINISTRY ASSOCIATIONS…

3. Tom Hardiman
4. Bobby Conner
5. Dave Yarnes
6. Lance Wallnau
7. Jerry Boykin
8. David Noland
9. Jennifer Heidel
10. Rafael Fidelis
11. Gary Keesee
12. Rick Eldridge
13. Rob Robinson
14. Leonard Jones
15. Marc Nuttle
16. Wellington Boone
17. David Vallier
18. Luke Laffin
19. Lou Engle
20. Daniel Kolenda

Once again, as in 2008, Patricia King has taken a stand against Todd Bentley’s ministry; and I can thank God for that.

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