As He Wills, A Testimony

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.

Karen

The Prosperity Gospel and Suffering Saints

I found this today over on Word on the Word of Faith. The link to the author follows the article.

I found it encouraging and if you have done any reading on my blog you are aware of the death of my daughter and step son. Even tho we know the truth it is wonderful to be encouraged by others and very often that encouragement is done unknowingly. After all, we never know how our words or actions will impact the life of another. All of us suffer loss, trials and persecution at some time in our lives.

At the same time, the article address the distinct differences between Godly suffering of all saints and the false promises of “all is well” given to us by the wolves. So again, if you follow a teacher from word of faith or prosperity gospel, it’s time to check their words with the word of our Lord!

Thank you to WOWOF for posting! 🙂

Blessings to you and may the hope of the return of Jesus Christ be with each of you. Glory to God for His undying mercy that cannot be found in another being!

_____

I have begun a series of messages at Walnut Hill Church from the Seven Letters to the Churches in Revelation.  This past Sunday we looked at the Church at Smyrna, from Revelation 2.8-11.

The Church at Smyrna is most intriguing for a couple reasons.

First, the name Smyrna litterally means “City of Myrh”.  If myrh sounds familiar it is probably because it is one of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus, the new-born king.  We sing about it at Christmas-time.  Myrh is an herb that when crushed emitted a fragrant aroma.  This is an appropriate gift for the young Jesus, who was born to become a martyred prophet. It is also an appropriate name for this church since it endured incessant crushing and persecution.

Second, the Church at Smyrna is one of only two of these churches that received no correction, only commendation. That alone ought to make us take note of them. They received only encouragement from Jesus, who commended them for faithfully enduring seasons of suffering and persecution.

As I considered the Church at Smyrna, and the message Jesus had for them, I could not help but contrast them from the television ministries today that proclaim, what they call, Prosperity Gospel.

The Propserity Gospel, in a nutshell, proclaims that God wants all his people to be Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy.  There are differnt versions of this.  The Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn disciples embrace this clear message.  The Robert Schuller, Norman Vincent Peale disciples embrace a tamer Positive Thinking version.  And Joel Osteen has created a hybrid version, proclaiming you can have the best life now.

In my message Sunday I pointed out the erroneousness of this teaching.  I was pretty blunt pointing out that this message is unbiblical.  But there are words I did not use that now, in retrospect, I wish I had; I think I should have: Heresy, Lies, Dangerous.   That’s what this whole memvement is – no matter the sincerity of those behind it.

See, here the issue: they proclaim that the faithful will not experience hardship on this earth. Jesus proclaims to a church that is in the midst of persecution (not prosperity) that they are being faithful by enduring hardship. Clearly there would be no room for Jesus in the Prosperity Gospel movement.

Further, Hebrews 2.10 says:

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

In some sense, Jesus was made perfect through suffering.  So, the logic of the message of the Prosperity Gospel is:

Be more faithful, be LESS like Jesus.

For those who might counter that the suffering Jesus experienced was the price he took upon himself to free us from the penalty of our sin, I would ask you to consider…

1. Paul

  • When Paul was called to be an Apostle, Jesus said to a skeptical Ananias:

“I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”  (Acts 9.16)

2. Stephen – What do you make of him being stoned for faithfulness? (Acts 7)

3. James, who wrote:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  (James 1.2-4)

4. Peter, who wrote:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  (1 Peter 1.3-9)

5. Paul, to the Romans:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we  also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5.1-5)

I find it somewhat disturbing to think that a church, based on its system of theology, would not embrace Paul, or Peter, or James, or Stephen because of what they experienced and taught.   But all these men are clearly at odds with the Prosperity/Self Help Gospel – which, is really no gospel at all.

While it is true that sometimes our suffering is a consequnce of our own sin and foolishness, it is not always this way. Sometimes we suffer simply because we live in a fallen world. But know this: Those who endure suffering are not second class Christians, but beloved Saints.  And anyone who says differently is telling you lies – and we know where lies come from…

So, as much as I don’t like it, suffering is part of this life.  And like it or not, there is pupose behind our sufferings: Sanctification & Holiness -and God’s Glory.

http://wdennisgriffith.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/suffering-saints/

New Age, New Thought Info

There is a very good article I recommend reading linked at The Word on the Word of Faith –   Thanks Damon! 🙂

BEWITCHED! “The Evil Eye over Evangelicalism”

This is the title of the latest article by Pastor Larry DeBruyn,* just published in the most recent Discernment Ministries newsletter. This is one of Pastor DeBruyn’s best articles. He explains clearly and concisely how the occult-based philosophy known as “New Thought” has come to be part of the doctrines and practices of the evangelical movement.

Word of Faith No More

The following video was recorded a couple of years ago by John Edwards, a fellow blogger aka Junker Jorge. John is an ex Word of Faith Pastor who was trained under Kenneth Hagin. For those whose computers don’t do videos well, I’ve transcribed his message word for word below. Be blessed!

Thanks John! Praise God for your willingness to warn others of this dangerous teaching.

Hey guys! My name is John Edwards.  I’m a Rhema Graduate. I went to Rhema Bible Training Center in 96-98 and I was ordained by Kenneth Hagin and came to Alabama, started a church called The Edge then we changed the name to Hillside Church.

About January of 2008 I decided to leave the Word of Faith Movement. What I want to do is to put together a series of YouTubes; I want to help people out there who are trapped in the Word of Faith.

Word of Faith is a dangerous, cultic movement. And it’s so similar to the new age message that it’s right there beside it – and it sucks you in. Word of Faith – what attracted me to it is that I thought I could have a say in my life. I always had fear of maybe losing my kids or getting cancer or going bankrupt. I heard the Word of Faith message as it was presented by Kenneth Hagin and it gave me hope that I could have a say for my life.

And the dangerous thing about the Word of Faith is that it puts the believer in the driver’s seat and it puts God and His will and His plan for your life in the back seat.  The whole Word of Faith movement is based on one passage of scripture in Mark chapter 11, verse 23, Jesus said “Whosoever shall say to until this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart thou shall believe those things that he sayeth, the things shall come to pass and he shall have whatsoever he said”.

Now what they did – Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi; He spoke in Aramaic. And a real popular teaching idiom back then in that culture was a phrase “moving a mountain”. It meant to cut through red tape, it meant to do the impossible with God. And Jesus was using a hyperbole in His teaching. It was an on- purpose exaggeration. You know where Jesus said if your eye causes you to sin to pluck it out, and He talked about hating your mother or father in comparing to loving Him? He doesn’t really want you to hate your mother or dad or pull your eyeballs out, He’s just using an exaggeration to prove a point on purpose to show how powerful faith is.

When Jesus was talking to his disciples and said “If you say to the mountain move -and it will move if you believe and not doubt”.  His disciples had sense enough to know He was using an exaggeration to show them an example of the power of faith. Now what the faith preachers did- namely Kenneth Hagan whom I love, I went through the school, I’m not mad at him, but he was wrong. What they did is they made a science of every little word that Jesus said as hyperbole; they made a science on it. What the Word of Faith does is that it teaches you that you can have what you say. They take that last phrase that Jesus said “he shall have whosoever he said” and made a whole religion on how to get everything you need from God. And the dangerous thing about it is that it puts fear in the believer.

Word of Faith people are the most legalistic, paranoid, superstitious, in-bondage people I have ever known in my life. And you know what?  I’m part of the problem!  I preached the heresy for eight years. I taught people they could have what they say, and that’s not what Jesus said. At the most what Jesus said that you will have what you say to the mountain.

But Word of Faith teachers and Word of Faith Christians actually believe that whatever comes out of your mouth is actually going to happen. For instance, if you say” oh my back’s killing me”, they believe you’re going to develop cancer of the spine or something. If you say “oh my heads killing me” they’ll think you’re gonna get a brain tumor. They believe that your words will create entities in themselves and they’re not.

Your words are powerful. I can cuss you out with my words and make you mad. I can tell jokes and make you laugh. I can build you up or I can cut you down. But I cannot create things with my words as is taught by the Word of Faith. So the new age message, this humanism message is that man is God, that we all together as man we are God.  We can do anything.  We have our own wisdom and our own life.  The Word of Faith message is very, very similar. It tricks you into thinking you’re in control of your life. You are in control of your destiny. I know because I taught this for many years. It’s a cult. It was founded on cultic principles.

E.W. Kenyon was a Baptist preacher who was very involved in new age and new thought and metaphysics. He went to a school in Boston that was covered up with new age and new thought.  If you’ve heard about the new book called The Secret, if you’ve ever watched that – it’s new age – it’s humanism- it’s garbage– it’s counterfeit Christianity. It’s a counterfeit faith. Okay? And EW Kenyon took the principles of the new age, the new thought, The Secret, metaphysics and he blended it in with the bible to make another gospel – the gospel of me, the gospel of my words.

And the Word of Faith was then picked up by Kenneth Hagin who took Kenyon’s writings and then expanded on them. And the dangerous thing about the Word of Faith is it’s all centered on the power of your words, being the prophet of your own life, you, as a human, being in control of your destiny.

It’s also a very materialistic, money-minded movement. You can go to any Word of Faith preacher or TV or any Word of Faith church and they can’t preach for 10 minutes without talking about money.  They’re obsessed with money, they’re obsessed with wealth, they’re obsessed with cars and rings, and big churches and TV’s and helicopters and jets.  It’s a dangerous movement, folks. There’s a lot of deception there.

The Word of Faith as it’s taught by Word of Faith preachers today, Kenneth Hagin, Michael Murdock, people taught like I did. I’m John Edwards, I know you never heard of me, but I taught it. Its not the new covenant, it’s not the New Testament. It’s a delusion, it is a lie, and it is a twist of scriptures.  It’s designed to get your heart and your mind off of Jesus, off of the kingdom of God and on onto your bank account and on to your words. It produces fear, bondage and legalism. It’s counterfeit. It’s not the New Testament. The New Testament is about God loving you in your sins and sending Jesus His Son to die for you so that you can believe in Him and be borne again. To have all your sins forgiven, removed forgotten, so that you can have a personal Father – son, Father – daughter relationship with Almighty God to help you through life to give you the peace you need, to help you with your problems. And it’s about having eternal life.  When you die you go to live with God the Father and Jesus in heaven forever. That is the good news; that is the gospel.

But the Word of Faith preachers have turned it around into a self help gospel of me. And what I want you to do is get you a New Testament, go to a Christian book store and buy the New Testament on CD and just listen to it. Just listen to the word of God. It’s a new covenant. It’s not a covenant of prosperity, health and wealth.  It’s a covenant of dying to yourself to love others, to serve others. It’s a gospel of spreading God’s love to everyone. When you put others first, you love your neighbor as yourself. You put God first, you put Jesus first. You do have a God that will meet your needs. You do have a God that will heal your body, but Him meeting your needs and Him healing your body- that’s just a small part of the big truth of your redemption.

The Word of Faith is like putting a frog in a pot of water and turning the heat up, just start boiling the water, and he’s swimming around, and kicking around and he doesn’t know anything’s wrong! And before you know it –he’s cooked!  That’s what happened to me!  I started out wanting wanted to get The Faith.  Why? So I could love God more? No. So I could be in control of my life. Look. I learned. I don’t want to be in control of my life, I want Jesus in charge of my life.

So, please come back and have a look at some more of these later.

God bless you.

I’m John Edwards

Bye-bye

*****

Additional articles exposing Word of Faith heresy:

More on Kenneth Hagin by John

Testimony on WOF by John’s Brother Hank

Article on Sweat Lodge Deaths by Jackie Alnor