This is a great testimony that a reader sent in as a comment.
I got saved in’ 78 on Valentines Day. What a love gift! But I immediately entered into the teachings of the Health and Wealth Gospel. After about 8 years of indoctrination and feeding on Kenyan, Hagin, Copeland, Capps, Hayes, Hickey, the Hunters, Savelle, Avanzene, Price and on and on to you know who -that would be Joyce of course- I had a good friend who had been just as steeped in the teaching who had moved away and who had begun to call me, dropping bombs in my spirit about it all being a lot of error. I would argue with her at first, but eventually the truth of it all began to chip away at what I had been taught.
Part of the chipping came while I was reading one of Watchman Nee’s books, “The Latent Power of the Soul. I remember reading “The Balanced Christian Life”, “The Spiritual Man”, “Sit, Walk, Stand”, “The Release of The Spirit”, “Christ:The Sum of All Things”, and” Spiritual Authority.” His books came highly recommended in Charismatic circles, but when I read “The Latent Power of The Soul” it did something to me. It startled me when Nee began to elaborate on the type of deceptive signs and wonders that would enter the Church in the last days. I, for one know I am saved; but unlike my Christian friends at the time, I always felt that I could be deceived if I was not careful. Like me they did not believe in “once saved, always saved,” but when I shared the thought that the deception coming would be so intense that if possible even we could be deceived with another of my best Christian friends at the time, she assured me I had nothing to worry about, that the Lord would never let me be so deceived. How could she be so sure? And she was positive! Even though I could not at the time explain it, something seemed suddenly very wrong. Shocked that she would think that way, I began to pull away from everyone and reevaluate what I was learning in the faith and wealth gospel. I remember deciding not to call any of my friends and just read and seek God about it all.
As I did, I was blown away that in James we are taught that it is the poor (and the context is not talking about “poor in spirit” but is obviously talking about poor with little finances) who are rich in faith. Certainly not the message of the Copelands! I also remember we were taught not to say “if it be they will” because that showed doubt and doubt and unbelief would hinder your prayers. We were taught to learn through the Word what the Will of God was and not pray “if it be thy will.”
Then I read in James 4, thank God, “13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
Oh, my. What we were being taught was boasting and evil. I was flabbergasted. How in the world could we possibly know the Lord’s will 100% of the time. How arrogant! Then I remember being taught that we really did not want to be like Job, because Job had a lot of fear and doubt and because of that, what he feared came upon Him. We were led away from considering Job and his sufferings. It was a place we did not want to go. We were to be stronger and more steadfast in our faith than he was and so it was not a book we loved or studied.
Finally, I got real sick. I had been a Flight Attendant for 24 years when after years of lifting and such, over a period of a year, my back began to hurt to the point that finally I just had to give in and go out on LTD. With extra time on my hands, I flew to have Ernest Anley pray for me, as well as other “men of faith.” Believeing we were to “call those things that be not as though they were”, I also made a tape of healing scriptures and left a blank spot after each scripture so that’ as I listened to it I could “say it out loud” before the next scripture, in order to get them down in my spirit and to build myself up in my faith that I was healed etc. Daily, I would play the tape and confess the healing scriptures. I did everything I had been taught to do and more, but no dice! I could not get the Lord to heal me. Finally, while I was in bed for a month at the orders of my neursurgeon, I broke down, desperate for answers and in lots of pain, and opened my Bible to Job. As I read it, tears flowed and I could not believe how wonderful it was.
God’s wisdom far exceeded mine and always would. After all where was I when He decided where He would store the hail? Wow, He stores the hail somewhere. And where was I when He told the waves “this far and no more!” Who in the world did I think I was to be able to know His will and never have a doubt about it. But my freedom came when I heard Job say, “though you slay me I will serve you.” I had so much pain, I did not know how I could endure it for long, even though I knew there were others who lived with even more pain than I. But when I read that, I began to cry and asked the Lord to forgive me and told Him that “even though it felt like I was dying, it did not matter when or how or even if I never got healed and that Satan would not win, that I would serve The lord all the days of my life, no matter what happened! Then and only then could I relax and as I did over the next months, I got better and better.
Today, I am not totally healed, but that does not matter. I am able to function and I am productive and I minister to others and I am happy and I even thank Him today for my healing me. And on top of that, I believe a good part of getting better came when I did what God told Job to do. He told him to pray for his friends (many of his accusers) and when he did the tables changed for Job and the Lord says He “turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends.” Then (secondarily) He says He then gave Job twice as much as he had before. What a pity that people are led away from this book for fear it will undermine their faith.
But back to the reason for my writing you. Back to that tiny little book, “The Latent Power of the Soul.” Interesting that someone who grew up in China and who most likely had seen many,many false miracles that originated in the soul of man (I think of the religions of India where so much soul power is used), would see ahead to the last days that we live in and be able to articulate the false signs and wonders that are in the Church right now while so many Christians are clueless that they are false. I just wonder how many Charismatics have read this book and have just skipped over the pages or torn them out so to speak, as they accuse the Baptist of doing when it comes to the scriptures on tongues. He describes the laughing revival and how false it is. He describes many things that will blow to smithereens the Modern day Faith Movement. But why can they not see it? I can only conclude that the teaching causes such arrogance that they truly think they cannot be deceived and so are just that=very deceived. And do not, do not, do not want to hear otherwise!
I do want to clarify that I do not agree with everything that Watchman Nee teaches in his books. My point is mainly that many Charismatic like his teachings and yet they do not hear what he said years ago about the end times concerning things like laughing uncontrollably on queue and singing lines of songs over and over and over until you are in an altered state, and preachers repeating sermons in a heightened emotional state with the assurance it will bring about certain reactions, etc.
My point is that some of what he teaches is accurate concerning the types of false signs and wonders of in the Church today, yet those that like His teachings ignore what he has to say about them in his book. There is enough truth in the “The Latent Power of the Soul” concerning signs and wonders in the last days that it should alarm the reader to the point that they would pray that the Lord keep them from falling for them. However, I do not believe many of his readers even think they could be the one’s to be deceived.
One day, the Lord will tell us exactly how all the false signs and wonders are performed and how to more accurately detect them. Until then, he has given us enough information to discern them. Surely, it is not exactly as Watchman Nee has said. However, it is certain that the power that God talks about is an abomination and that we need to shun this power that has to do with the mind, the soul, our emotions and demon spirits. I do not see a totally valid basis for Nee’s saying Adam had tremendous Soul power before the fall, but it does seem to be evident that there is some kind of power that is easily triggered through our minds with the help of demon spirits and that the Church will fall for it and operate in a lot of it in the end times.
Any way you look at it, many today are more interested in feeling something than trusting that God is with us. As I write, I remember as a child I did believe what I was taught in Catechism about the Holy Spirit. As a little girl we were expected to memorize and quote big words like the The Holy Spirit is “omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.” Omnipresent means He is present with me. Once we are saved, and we know He now lives in us, why is that so hard for us to understand.
Why do we have to feel something to believe that He is with us? Why can’t we believe we can be healed without lying down on the floor with our pillows, while the lights are out and beautiful music is playing, while a facilitator is hovering over us or stroking us to comfort us that Jesus is here and Jesus wants to speak to us and Jesus wants to heal us? Why do we need to break out in laughter to be assured that we really have Joy. I am sort of offended at that premise. If the joy of the Lord is my strength, it is sad to think that I would have to break out in laughter to have that joy. It is sad that I have to go to those lengths to be strengthened. It is a shame that I cannot have it quietly, individually, moment by moment , as I meditate on His Word or I think about the wonderful things He has done for me and others. Laughter is a good medicine! But it is not the only way for me to have joy! And to be honest, I think that joy goes much deeper than laughter. Deep calls unto deep! My strength is anchored in something much deeper than laughter. My joy is anchored in something much deeper than laughter.
Now that I am saved, the deepest place in me cries out to the deepest place in God for what I lack,for what I need, for what I want to understand and when they touch, “my deep and His deep,” I experience in my spirit the Giver of Life, the Healer, the Comforter, the Lover of My Soul. And alone in those moments I am strengthened and I receive the answers or revelations that “He decides” to give, “as He will”. We need facilitators to bring me to this place? I believe if we truly love God and are seeking Him we will come to this on our own by His Spirit. Do we really need facilitators to bring us to this place or are they operating in a different spirit to make it happen. I believe whenever the Holy Spirit does something, it is wrong for us to try to duplicate it. It no longer is “as He wills”, but rather we have introduced something else into the equation to reproduce the experience and it becomes mixed. If it is mixed it is no longer purely the Holy Spirit’s doing but rather it is now the flesh, the soul, a work of man rather than God. A false sign. A false method. And if we continue to move in that method we get farther and farther away from the Spirit of God, while the devil cloaks the method in deception and feelings and emotions and the ignorant believe it is truly the Holy Spirit while the facilitators revel in the results. And the truth is the results are not what the Lord willed, but rather a result of a fleshly method and manipulation.
Gee, I know the Political Liberal’s new name for themselves is Progressives and apparently they cringe at the older folks who stand in the way of their new progressive thought. I suspect these facilitators, like the soaking and contemplative ones, must be the new Christian Progressives who cringe at people like me who won’t buy into their new thought. I believe in signs and wonders, but as the Lord wills! The truth is they are false teachers tickling the ears of many who HEAP them to themselves!
My sister is a New Ager. She is an Ordained Minister in the New Age. She started out going up to the Edgar Casey Foundation For over 30 years ago and that led to getting involved with EST training, teaching a “Course In Miracles,”, walking on coals, reading Tara Cards, charting Astrology Charts for engaged couples and on and on it goes. I have known in my heart that the New Age would be at the heart of the Great Falling Away. I talked to my sister tonight. And just like those in the Faith Movement and all that it has evolved into today, she is as hard a case to crack. It is apparent to me that they all could fall for the same false signs and wonders in the end. Who would have thought.
We cannot say we have not been warned.