Tuesday, September 9, 2008



Continuing last article’s quest the following are some of the ways to spot today's “new mystic” false prophets whose delusions and deceptions are often just continuations of American Branhamism camouflaged and re-packaged.


Arguably in special situations some people, especially prophets, should and do make them, but decrees can’t be parroted, rendered commonplace or made into an industry. Patricia King and others have written, recorded CDs and given conferences on a theme which risks finishing little better than witchcraft because, as in magic where one binds the powers to do something, one is virtually telling God what to do. The principle was appropriated by new mystics from another set of questionable guides holding to a prosperity gospel in the Word of Faith movement growing since the greedy eighties. Its main spokesperson is perhaps Kenneth Copeland (who has been under government examination for possible fraud). Copeland makes claims like: "As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because it is His Word." Our Covenant with God [Fort Worth, TX: KCP Publications, 1987], 32
Todd Bentley followers are all for decreeing to God for angels, especially financial angels, to get collecting and delivering for them - which they are convinced they do.


The Third Heaven is where God dwells and St Paul records visiting it at any rate once - like the author of Revelation. In the charismatic worldview the third heaven is God’s. The second heaven is fallen and inhabited by the fallen angels who are a barrier between the third heaven and the first which is our own, also fallen, world which originally reflected the higher heavens.

Historically and biblically no prophets and apostles are on record as visiting heaven repeatedly, still less at will like the Merkabah mystics of Jewish Kabbalistic mysticism in the first and second centuries. That new mystics claim or expect frequent visit owes something to an extension of the empowerment doctrines embraced by Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God (see below) which anticipate intimacy and frequency relative to God in our times. They have especially done this since 1982 when former Catholic, Mike Bickle of the heretical Kansas Street Prophets and chief promoter of the ultra-controversial Bob Jones (see previous article)famously alleged that Jesus told him 'I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation. Celestial travel in our times as encouraged by Bentley’s The Reality of the Supernatural World (2008) or Shawn Bolz’s The Throne Room Company (2004) is also helped along (as for Merkabah mystics) with recourse to certain practices like guided visualizations employed at conferences by the likes of Patricia King and Bob Jones. These emphasize seeing and imaging the Throne Room.

A charismatic best-seller is Choo Thomas’s Heaven is So Real (2003). Choo has been to heaven at least 17 times in the course of which Jesus fished a fish out of the river of life and cooked her the best fish she’d ever tasted. As if! As in much else that Choo claims, one sees the heretical imagination at work in the idea that anything could die in heaven – a vision of Seven Columbians I tried to assess here last year (a version of my Seeing John Lennon in Hell, April/May 07, got into N.Zealand’s Investigate Magazine) has it that when one of their number takes a fish from the waters of heaven they discover it cannot die because nothing dies in heaven. Though I have questioned elements of the Colombian vision also, which of the visions is more likely to be true? A lot of charismatic heavenly experiences are akin to the visions of Swedenborg that John Wesley found interesting but false. As we should too – at any rate in most instances and without careful testing.


Perhaps any real prophet, healer or mystic should do something of the sort - in biblical terms it could simply mean waiting upon and being imbued with the “weight” (kevod/glory) of divine presence. But the often hidden meaning of this talk betrays questionable links to various Latter Rain theories and its more extreme offshoot in Manifest Sons of God.

Latter Rain
began as a praise based movement linked to William Branham’s famous healing mission of the fifties and claimed a degree of power over events, especially in relation to a kind of prophecied Christian future (dispensationlist) that envisages only a decline from faith, an apostasy leading to the times and deceptions of the Antichrist. Instead, even if the Antichrist comes, there can be power prepared against it, even another and last Pentecost. But there are so many minor variations to Latter Rain and Manifest Sons that given charismatic subjectivism and avoidance of “theology” that any summary risks getting lost amid a welter of shifting terminology like “New Breed”, “Joel’s Army”, “Elijah Generation” etc which stand in for Manifest Sons. Some of this name swapping deliberately camouflages the resurgent trends of groups responding to the fact that the Assembies of God church and others have declared against LR and MS as heresies since the 1950s. The resulting confusion recalls Gnosticism in the early church and as with Gnosticism has meant that ideas enter church groups some of them subversive but others, if taken singly and understood a certain way by unsuspecting people, seem regular enough and empowering as for many the LR idea originally was and understandably - after all, why not a bit more intimacy or some healing miracles, everyone knows churches can lose "vision" and become merely formalistic?. So runs a common feeling among those on the fringes of the heretical/radical trends. Whatever…

In some versions of LR, especially as developed into MS doctrines that draw upon statements of Branham, glory bearers are those who instead of undergoing any apocalypse as traditionally understood are a "Signs and Wonders" empowered theocratic elite which is becoming Christ, or the Company of the Man Child of Rev 12 (understood to be Christ). They are destined to leave denominations behind (denominations being the real apocalyptic “mark of the beast” according to Branham) to rule the world, even to have immortality here and now. Manifest Sons accordingly prepare the way for Christ by either becoming him or so changing the world as to hasten a return he no longer initiates or else so becoming Christ there is no need for any Second Advent. There nonetheless usually seems to be a need for Manifest Sons to restore the “Five-Fold ministry” which includes "prophets" and "apostles" (the latter have traditionally been understood to be church founders who personally knew Christ) to rule over the developing “Body” of Christ. Whatever, radical MS are becoming a sort of completely equal Son of God able to perform just anything by saying it. Bill Hamon and Kenneth Hagin have propounded much nonsense in this line like "The believer is as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ" (Hagin, "The Incarnation," The Word of Faith, 12/80, cited in Christianity in Crisis, p. 175,397).

Such beliefs may not be apparent to all from popular statements like David Herzog’s Glory Invasion (2007) where they blend with more mainstream Christian and Pentecostal beliefs about the power engendered by praise, or the need to realize the miraculous powers of Christ, or to bring in an “end-time” harvest of souls by tearing down spiritual “strongholds”. But the ideological links are evident from Herzog’s friends in faith from A.A. Allen and the wildly eccentric gold dust lady, Ruth Ward Heflin, to tattoed Todd Bentley and the kind of extravagant (unsubstantiated) claims Herzog makes for his own work which also has a lot to do with Old Covenant attitudes to money he represents…..One of Herzog’s most sublimely silly tales of the glory (Glory Invasion pp 32,33) is how a woman at a church panicked she didn’t have enough sandwiches and water for a birthday party for him but of course with faith high and Herzog around the elements multiplied as people celebrated. But couldn’t his Arizona hostess have turned on a tap? And who is so teetotal they celebrate birthdays with water? A pity the water didn’t turn to wine or at least green tea “in the glory”!


The addiction to dreams allows imposters to claim almost anything as they often interpret what no one should usually even bother to consider (Ecc 5:3). Real prophetic dreams and visions are necessarily vivid and highly memorable and if a person is gifted like a Joseph or Daniel to receive them they likely wouldn’t need extensive manuals to interpret them! One of the worst books I’ve read in years is Jim Goll’s The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams and Open Heavens. It has almost nothing to teach that couldn’t fit into 4 pages of its 175 pages but Patricia King promotes it as unusually insightful and “anointed”. Some pages show only two or three lines of biblical verses. Others are filled out with check list questions like: “Have you ever heard God speak to you something before it happened, or do you know someone who has experienced this?”. Goll, who claims God mostly speaks to him through dreams (surely the most unreliable means to be hearing from God?) passes as a “seer” (one who sees images) rather than a prophet who only hears and declares. You can see him on the Net smoking the Holy Ghost between Crowder and Dunn enjoying what looks like a second adolescence, or perhaps light relief from what’s the horribly tragic situation of he and his wife both suffering from the cancer that prayers have not so far cured nor contacts with strangely named angels like Breakthrough and Awake Israel that Goll reports.

False prophets are also addicted to “mantles”, every healer and prophet and preacher’s mantles from Elijah’s to Branham’s to give you and them power for this and that. They seem to dream, and desire “mantles” - everywhere. Steven Brooks (see www.stevenbrooks.org) who, new age style, seems to think Christians can "work with angels" has had visions of taking "mantles" from a pile of colourful clothes in the second heaven (in effect a hell zone!) when the demons are off-guard because good angels intervene. His "mantle" has the form of a blue tee-shirt. He's so excited because a saint of 1400 years ago had this same mantle. He won't tell you his name but if you want a mantle yourself remember to live pure and don't forget your tithes! PLEASE! One wonders who believes this rubbish? Well he does sound slightly more sane and less fantastic interviewed by Sid Roth. Bentley’s friend, David Herzog, who goes on about living or flying or teleporting and curing “in the glory zone” (supposedly as great and strong or stronger than that of prophets of old) suggests on his website “a love donation” will bring you into the glory and mantle bearing. As if! …..And it seems Herzog can take as much as an hour of a Bentley meeting just going on about “giving”. However all this mantle seeking links to the fact…..


Like dream interpretation, “impartations”, a kind of hand given blessing or “anointing” or healing, could be considered integral to Christianity if to an ignored aspect of it. But since the so-called Toronto Blessing of the nineties impartations are becoming more widespread. They can be passed on like the shaktipat of Hindu gurus at their darshans and often at financially profitable seminars and conferences, held at luxury hotels or even on cruise liners. Some enthusiasts queue up for several impartations in an evening, a far cry from the idea the Holy Spirit descends once and forever although as said this is understood to be more like a blessing or booster injection. But at worst it can become like the “fix” of the addict in less happy circles and it should be noted that some false prophets like Bentley, Rob DeLuca (who misleadingly forecast re Bentley's influence) and Kim Clement have been former drug addicts.

Bentley could never get enough impartation from charismatic leaders for his self empowerment nor pass enough on to people. Toronto, and other revival effects are regularly controversial as when individuals (like Joshua Mills of the oils, jewels and gold dust) couldn’t stop laughing for 4 hours. Others can’t move from the ground for hours. Others keep screaming or shaking helplessly. It has become customary for almost all involved first to fall backwards, “slain in the spirit”. This in itself is a condition not reported before the time of the healer, Kathryn Kuhlmann, and not specifically described in the Bible whose much cited, but almost sole example of falling back rather than on the face forwards comes when the arrested Jesus tells the guards in Gethsemane “I am he” (Jn 18:6). Because this is not just an affirmation he is Jesus of Nazareth but deity (the sacred “I am who I am”) it cannot help but engender a response when uttered. But still this is a response to Christ rather than to the Spirit and it is from those of unprepared unbelief.

While in turn one can equally question narrow traditionalist critics who maintain there’s nothing in the Bible like impartations and response to them and there’s nothing because the Spirit is interested only in your mind and conveying Truth, not your body (but what about David’s manic dancing or the charge the apostles were “drunk” at Pentecost?) some simple common sense, not high theology, probably needs to be applied here. It’s true that impartation causing extreme reactions could be releasing joy and curing problems (much like an abreaction in psychoanalysis) but undeniably St Paul counsels experiencing the Spirit, at least in public and normally, in order and quiet (1 Cor. 12). What use would (excessive, prolonged) laughter, roaring, screaming, shaking, serve? “Holy” laughter has often been found to disrupt things as when it has started when communion is about to be served, scriptures read or some serious religious issue raised. It was precisely such behaviour that historically leaders of “revival” (Welsh, Wesleyan, Edwards etc) saw as its enemy and its chief advocates today, like Howard Rodney Brown sound suspicious – Brown calls himself the “Holy Ghost Bartender” and says he’d rather be in a church where the devil was active than nothing happening. So, while laughter may have uses – it’s medically acknowledged to have some healing power - clearly Brown is a sensationalist and the question for many since Brown’s Toronto Blessing has been supposing the devil was appearing for him after all?

But once again it’s less Brown than Bob Jones who is behind the current impartation trend because Jones’ hero, Branham was forever “imparting” to people. Instead of teaching, mainstream charismatic style, that the healer is a simple instrument of the Holy Spirit, Jones, who talks more about a “spirit of holiness” than Holy Spirit, teaches that one can bodily pass on the inner goodness the Spirit has already engendered. In practice this could mean (as some maintain who have felt Bentley style healing effects which give them only uncomfortable burning sensations in arms or back), the healer can pass on something more like their own raised serpent fire kundalini earth energies than anything celestial. (In Christianity one is anyway not supposed to lay hands on people in a hurry (1 Tim 5:22); but new mystics seem to have opted for a democratic, ecstatic, free-for-all passing on of body energies). The power passed on isn’t necessarily the Holy Spirit and one can read how in the rather wonder seeking South African churches there have had to be “rebukes” or exorcisms of counterfeit “Holy Spirit” energies.


The last point is a reminder it’s too easy and probably unwise to dismiss false prophets and their followers as wholly lost in imagination and hysteria. There can be as much genuine power as trickery. And there's no need either to heighten tensions insisting it can only ever be from God or devil. Even as respected a traditional Christian thinker as the Chinese, Watchman Nee spoke of the latent powers of “soul” to effect changes. Also, as the gifts of God are said to be “irrevocable” (Rom 11.29) they can be retained and misused if and when someone goes off the rails. This is perhaps how there can be mixed reports of the effects of Bentley healings. Some report complete cure of certain conditions, others are seeking healing from the effects of the so called healings. There have been reports of persons “healed” at Lakeland beginning to hear demonic voices, of suffering irrational fears or feeling burning sensations throughout the body. This situation could depend upon whether Bentley was more God minded one evening or had been drunk at the bar on another – over indulgence around the Lakeland bars had been noted in the tally of growing complaints against him.

What ought to be a rather alarming warning for especially those of the impartation and Joshua Mills gold dust school comes from accounts like Joanna Michaelsen’s The Beautiful Side of Evil (1982) where New Age involvements bring her to ecstatic visions of what proves a false Jesus or Tricia Tilma who alleges there is a type of demonic deception reserved for only quite genuine believers. She claims from experience of Toronto Blessing it can be so subtle there was a time she would have staked her life all she was feeling was love of God and bliss that had been implanted in her by the Spirit.

I can’t comment on such experiences never having received impartations good or bad, experiences which I’m not inclined always to judge from the wholly biblical perspective, (as opposed to psychological) that Tilma offers. But her words should be considered all the same especially by those who take too easily to impartations as automatically gifts from God or automatically protected against by some formularistic use of Jesus name.


False prophets are less given to generalized evangelical threats about the possible consequences of refusing a message than pointing, or letting their devotees point, to the possible consequences of refusing “their” message. Paul Crouch embarrassed his followers back in November ’97 when he declared death upon anyone who should put a hand against the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a stronghold of Word of Faith theory. Mike Bickle who helped (re)launch Bob Jones wouldn’t allow a word against him. One mustn’t touch “God’s anointed” or come to the same church if one had contrary views. The ill tempered Benny Hinn, another wealthy “prophet” (certifiably repeatedly in error with his forecasts) is too good at virtually cursing critics and opponents and Bob Jones is said to have a line in this. I have mentioned how Wendy Alec (herself clearly another false prophet –she actually forecast Jesus would appear at Bentley’s revival in June) has warned people against presuming to criticize Todd Bentley. All this belongs to the elitism of the Manifest Sons heresy.


If the false prophets actually contact, rather than imagine, angels they are more likely to be fallen ones than God’s. Some of Jones’s angels have surprised even him by oddly calling themselves “beings” rather than angels round God’s throne. There has been a lot of controversy around Bob Jones and Todd Bentley’s angel, Emma, who spread gold dust and promised healing miracles. Though critics seem unaware how even for the Bible female angels do exist (Zech 5:9) there are reasons to suspect from Bentley’s tatts and various associations that his Emma could be linked more to the demonic Japanese Emma-O especially as she does sometimes get referred to by him as Emma-O. But Branham justifies all. A prominent charismatic figure, another deluded false prophet, Che Ahn, absurdly declared back on April 24th at Lakeland "there is a Branham anointing on you and a double portion of it! The Lord is raising you up! And I feel I must say that I must decrease and You must increase!". In the event Bentley has been more wiped out for his failings than increased!"

It is the reputation of Branham as healer attended by an angel and ministering angels rather than real biographical knowledge about the rather tormented, self doubting person Branham was that has allowed so much into diverse charismatic circles that wouldn’t and shouldn’t otherwise be there. As you can see on You Tube, people who should know better like Roland Baker, husband of the saintly Heidi Baker, have actually declared Branhan to be "one of the most anointed men that has ever lived". Such nonsense can only be attributed to either charismatic ignorance of church history or a sensed need to find examples within a very recent movement.

Even one of Branham’s closest associates, another charismatic, Alfred Pohl (see interview at http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/branham.htm
notes that his healings were often brief and illusory. Time and again people died weeks after apparent healings for which Branham was receiving huge thank gifts, helped by the fact he didn’t even have to demonstrate healing often only promise it (“you will feel better in three days”) at which the sick person or their relatives rejoiced and paid up even if healing didn’t occur and then death eventuated a few weeks later. Not noted amid the encomiums is that if the Spirit was really involved in Branham’s life (when asked he regularly declared an angel rather than the Holy Spirit was healing people) it’s unlikely some modern John the Baptist would be born to parents who weren’t religious. They had nonetheless engaged some occult dabbling and the birth was suitably accompanied by a brilliant light and a halo around mother and child, the only reason the parents took a rare visit to church to have the child dedicated. Similarly odd, occult style phenomena like lights and floating orbs was something Branham reported on numbers of occasions in his life.

Another excuse to accept Branham as inspiration today is to maintain he merely declined from his Christian calling and fell into error. Yet arguably his vision was a cultish heresy from the outset. In youth he was tormented by a disembodied voice he either physically ran from or prayed would go away but which eventually manifested as his main angel sometimes called the angel of the Lord but in appearance like a spiritualist healer Branham knew. The angel was rather bullying. Branham was totally governed by him and could do no miracle without his presence and prompting. Branham never especially believed the Bible and maintained he was a mouthpiece of God to give the truth even if this denied the Bible or invented new stories like the seed of Cain produced by Eve’s intercourse with the snake. It’s amazing that those who question elements of the Bible on a scholarly or historical or humane basis will be dismissed as heretics by new mystics while if Branham denied anything from the Trinity to the stated nature of hell, that is kindly ignored. But then….


Pat King represents the fundamentalistically attached kind (though she’s still selective or she wouldn’t be dressed and coiffured in ways St Paul wouldn’t approve!). For King, everything in the Bible must be literally true - apparently even the metaphors and symbols. King proposes that when Isaiah says that those who wait on the Lord will rise up like eagles (Is 40.31) that means we all possess wings to astrally travel! Also almost anything can be true if it doesn’t literally contradict the Bible. This allows King to approve Bob Jones and Bentley on the angel Emma because it doesn’t overtly contradict anything. However such Biblicism hides a refusal to “test the spirits” under the power of the Spirit as one is supposed to do if entities actually start appearing and you have the kinds of gifts King claims. In line with his mentor, Ms King, Bentley, in a conservative moment, proposes no prophet should prophecy outside what the Bible says.

Yet doesn’t prophecy at least occasionally have to do just that as in the case of Jeremiah’s New Covenant claims which run against the Torah; or the vision of Peter who told God he must be mis-hearing and seeing about unclean animals being clean? Would the existing Bible ever have got written if a few variations on a theme weren’t allowed and some prophets have opposed some plausible false prophets? Believers are supposed to hear “what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 3:6) now and a slavish Biblicism won’t do this. It only compromises the declaratory, teaching function of prophecy intended to assist changes.

Obviously however, what the Spirit teaches will need to be within the general feeling and parameters of existing scripture even if and when the message is novel. Deluded Drunken Glory prophet, John Crowder, represents the other and biblically detached kind of prophet. In fact he seems to consider himself in the line of the mystics (including St John of the Cross!) and the Bible hardly comes into the picture except to justify the occasional point. There is no real attempt to keep within the style and spirit of the biblical; one does what one likes or follows gut feeling under the supposed influence of Spirit or angels of whom one scarcely inquiries as regards their nature and origin. Paul Cain, Mike Bickle and others without denying the Bible imply understanding will so enlarge our generation insipiration and vision can take over, as for them it often does.

As against all this true faith should establish balance between scriptural tradition and contemporary inspiration (indeed it's time people stopped the idolatry of talking about the Bible as "The Word of God" when it is Jesus who is supposed to be the Logos, the Word, the embodied "Living Word", not a Bible which clearly has a few errors in it). The existing situation betrays charismatics, in contrast to most other branches of the church, lack any real theology to function as yardstick. So far there’s mostly an all-or-nothing subjectivism even on the part of its more educated members. Some say a “charismatic theologian” is an oxymoron.


I don’t like to put down good works and if people establish orphanages in India or save street kids from drugs in Thailand (as apparently Patricia King wants to do this September) that’s good. But it’s not good enough if you’re trailing around lies or bad angels otherwise. And even if you can exorcise devils from Satanists (as people have alleged John Crowder has done), that’s good too. But again s not good enough if you’re only misleading trains of other people. Such wonderful deeds may have regrettably to be dismissed as Jesus dismisses those who claim they prophecied, cast out demons and did “great works” in his name (Mt.7:22). One hopes such words wouldn’t apply to the saintly Heidi Baker with her astonishing work for thousands of orphans in Africa but her utter lack of discernment in being associated with the likes of Bob Jones and Kathie Walters at conferences (and the money spinning Elijah List) makes one think she must be a bit stupid amid her good intentions. But Christ does also talk about the Children of Light not being wise in their generation.

The good works of false prophets also have be rejected as tied to Dominionist heresy about Christianizing the world by effort and laws so that Jesus can return safely to earth or simple "emerge". It’s one of the reasons we find those of Manifest Sons and Latter Rain bias like Rick Joyner can be controversially tied to the Knights of Malta or you can see a photo of Paul Cain visiting Saddam Hussein or hear Jason Westerfield describe how he turned up in the Philippines with advice for national leaders how to improve their economy and be rid of hereditary curses - helped of course by angelic inspiration (Jason also claims to have sat in on Bush/Greenspan talks in the White House - teleported there in the Spirit!). These people in fact or imagination are out to change the world en route to becoming equal to, or new manifestations of, Christ. However, one notices these same prophets don’t tend to be interested in subjects like current plans to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem or forecasts regarding the fate of Israel or the Vatican and various issues of at least potentially apocalyptic significance. These could be end-of-era events some argue should develop soon or else in another millennium or not at all but whatever they are not developments dismissable via some Bob Jones type time line which has Dominionists harvesting souls and changing the world over the next half century as though little will happen except an increase of power and “glory” among a theocratic elite who will command the elements if and when quake and climate get out of control.


Their vocal and committed hostility in these areas helps link false prophets to the more conservative elements in churches who might otherwise dismiss them. And it helps make them feel good. Interestingly the initial Christ visions of Bob Jones had to do with “homosexuals” (Jones claims today to have foreseen AIDS back in the seventies though I can’t see that it’s on record he did) and the rising tide of the evil of abortion in America. Perverted in their minds false prophets like to be able to condemn others for perversion, and as destroyers of the beliefs of many they want to point the finger at whoever could seem destroyers at the physical level - interestingly these pro-lifers never seem to bother to speculate or declare when the soul/spirit might enter the foetus. It’s a point on which Jewish and Christian traditions have sometimes varied from the modern view which with suitably fundamentalistic literalism simply takes conception as the beginning of life, regardless of theories of “quickening” etc.

As regards homosexuality (and for the likes of Pat Robertson almost every hurricane hitting Florida is divine judgement for tolerating Sodom!) their attitudes may additionally help hide just how linked they and/or certain prophetic tendencies generally are to the gay orientation. They’ve had enough trouble around the most reportedly gifted of the Kansas City prophets, Paul Cain. They could well yet have trouble around a few others. They don’t want to take into account what is arguably the natural psychism of many gays because they’re committed to their “cure” rather than to (any arguably biblical) acknowledgement that some are “eunuchs” (which can just mean not opposite sex attracted) from birth, still less that others could be bisexually inclined which is what I believe quite a few of the current false prophets mafia are.

The trouble with this noisy, very political intransigence is that it merely helps alienate gays from the church entirely, even to becoming its avowed enemy, while people who believe there are reasonable rights re abortion for especially such as rape and incest are seriously offended, confused in their conscience by the questionable level of imposition involved upon the democratic right of secular members of society to be secular or Christians and some churches to hold any alternative opinions in this area.


The same week that God TV’s self declared (and verifiably false) prophet, Wendy Alec galvanized many with her The Bay the Bay the Bay forecast about the destruction of San Francisco portrayed as a seat of idolatry but also, inevitably, Sodom, another self declared prophet posted a revelation. Judy Bauman, a prophet I know nothing about and so can vouch nothing for, nevertheless offered a message which included the following words, allegedly from Jesus. I fancy they would constitute a rather bold statement for any evangelical in America if the message was less directly from Jesus than she believes:

…..Beloved, I Am not asking the lost sinner to repent, I Am asking My church to repent! For too long My church has told homosexuals and abortionists that they need to repent when it is My church that needs to repent. I Am there to bind up the wounds of the hurting and lost, but My church goes around Me and uses the very Sword I placed in their hands [the Word of God] to cause harm. They further wound the very ones I seek to save by misusing My words as a weapon instead of a scalpel. They have not rightly divided the Word of Truth and have used My words to bring death instead of healing…..

Whether Jesus or Judy Bauman is more behind these words, prophets and new mystics “bringing death” instead of healing is plainly a major problem of our times we had better all find more discernment to deal with.


GMelrose said...

I came to this site hoping to understand what are 'mantles' and learn counter biblically based explanations about the mis/use of mantles by TV evangelists like Sid Roth who promotes Steve Brooks on his show. But I am disappointed that the author does not make the point. He started of well but ended on a topice that does that is tangentially opposed to his explanation of mantles. I'd hoped to get biblical references but he failed to present evidence to this but spent too much of writing pointing fingers for something else. Can you kindly address my concern? Thanks -

Rollan McCleary said...

My feeling is perhaps there isn't much to address or expound. The concept of having "mantles" seems to be a wholly modern one, a fantastic neo-pentecostal deduction from the mere fact that Elijah inherited a double portion of the Spirit from Elisha in the O.T.

In the NT one is supposed to be given gifts directly by the Spirit, one doesn't go around inheriting other people's powers or angels, so there isn't much to say about mantles unless to describe it as a colourful facet of modern deceptions and false prophecy generally of the kind that alas the well intentioned Sid Roth allows too much of through on his programmes.

There is another companion article here on the modern false prophecy syndrome and false prophets come in all shapes and sizes - my most recent articles April 09 examine the odd and mostly unsubstantiated claims of the popular but often wrong David Wilkerson who however claims no "mantles" at all.

Unknown said...

Long story short. I went to a David Herzog event in Idaho, June 2008. I had approached him after the "Show" to ask if he would pray for my father who had the terminal illness ALS. My father was probably twelve feet away sitting in a wheel chair, next to my mother,sister, and brother-in-law. After I asked him if he would pray, he said "Oh those people over there?" I had said to him "yes, thats my Dad in the wheelchair". David replied, "I already prayed for them" To my confusion, I said "oh, thank you" and left. There were only 100-150 people at this event, so not very many.

Later I had asked my mother if the speaker had prayed with them, she said "NO" he never did that. So to my disapointment, the evangelist had lied to me. To this day, I jokingly think to myself when I remember what he told me "Oh, did you teleport over there while I blinked?"

Thats my story, thanks for reading! :-)

www.earthenvessel.net said...

It has taken me many years to recover from my mis-adventurers as a charismatic active in the Jesus Movement. I, along with almost everyone else involved in what was a genuine awakening, thought that anything and everything supernatural was from God. We did see healings and demons cast out during the period of the Jesus Movement (I was in San Francisco) from 1967 to 1972. Before and after those dates, there were few conversions, and very rarely any healings or deliverances from demons. But plenty of the supernatural continued and have now become normalized among pentecostals. However, there is a big difference and my view of it is that the lot is a distortion of Biblical truth and distraction from the simple proclaimation of the Gospel of Christ. There is great error going on in all of this, which will become plain at some point due to a combination of the failure of the leaders and the failure of their prophecies to come true. Additionally, the lust for power, spiritual or not, always ends in confusion and futility. This that is under discussion here, and I am glad for it, is driven by a lust for power and position and noteriety. Kent Philpott

Anonymous said...

Enjoying reading the posts here, thanks[url=http://forums.ouvaton.org/profile.php?id=4270

Happy Friend said...

Hey, just a thought. I can see why one must be carefull to check whether a Spirit is from God or some other source. However, we believe in a God that raises people from the dead, heals blind people, cures lepers...ect. So perhaps there is a problem in our modern church when we claim to serve the God of the bible...but our god never does any of these things... Sure barking manifestations are odd...but so are NO manifestations! The TRUE God of the bible, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is a God of power...and he will move in powerul and unexplainable ways far to great for our human minds to contain or control.

Also, if God mad some people homosexual or bisexual from birth like eunches...then what about people who are sexually attracted to children? Infants? Animals?
Is that from God too?>
The simple fact is that sexual prefrences is a learned behavior. If you study history and culture you will see this is true. Some people like big girls...some skinny models. It is a choice one makes, and developes. And the bible clearly shows us how we should develope our sexual desire. It tells men not to look with lust upon any woman who is not his wife...and in another place, "may the breasts of the wife of our youth always satisfy you." SO clearly we can train ourselves to do this...TO be attracted to our wives and only our wives! I have trained to averted my eyes from other women, and to long for my wife. If I so desired, I could train my self to be turned on by a pop can....other people have... But I don't want to , and the bible tells me not to. It says: be attracted to your wife, and only your wife. Case closed.

SOrry about all the spelling errors....

Rollan McCleary said...

I think you may be missing some points here. As regards your feeling it might almost be better for believers to be barking like dogs than showing no special spiritual influence at all, one reason those under the Spirit should not be barking like dogs as some kind of sign is because St Paul advises and directs congregations to show some restraint even under influence of the Spirit. Also dogs, though usually delightful, can also be dangerous and savage and under Jewish law were considered non kosher hence can't easily be a higher symbol of anything.

I don't accept the slippery slope moral argument you seem to be introducing namely that if we accepted "eunuchs" we would have to accept sex with children etc. The fact is, as Jesus' acceptance of the eunuch difference implies,some variation of types is to be accepted in life and society, (though not all or we could accept deformity and sickness as natural). At the same time, we can use common sense to perceive if people are being hurt or are likely to be by certain types of person and behaviours. Manifestly pedophilia can damage people for life and incest can produce weaknesses into a hereditary line. Of other variations this is not so evident unless as in the case of homosexuality you are getting at one would say there is heightened risk of disease through deliberate promiscuity. But then this is a controllable area in contrast to the alternative orientation itself and charismatics are kidding themselves and others if they imagine that orientation can or should be totally obliterated. You could perhaps try to use St Paul to suggest as much; you certainly can't use the more important gospels.

Kathleen Malligan said...

Here's to you Rollan McCleary,
I am happy to read your writings and thanks for taking the time to open the minds of those who take all spiritual manifestations as truth and from Yahweh.
Well done
regards Kath

authenticed said...

Let no one deceive you.

Good read by Michael L. Brown

confronting the critics of Revival.

Rollan McCleary said...

I think the answer to this suggestion is included in my recent June article on Sid Roth with whom Michael L. Brown is associated though he should know better.

I have not read the book, but seen the Amazon reviews and got the idea. One cannot and must not wave biblical justification in Brown's way over the dubious, like laughing uncontrollably for hours or experiencing being held down for long periods by spiritual beings, hopefully angels, since pinioning in this way over long periods is itself much associated with the demonic.

Perhaps you should order the recently issued "Kundalini Spirits" by Andrew Strom (you can go to his site and order free save for postage). I've not read it yet, but it seems to be along the lines I am suspecting and proposing.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog here!! Keep up the good work. I have found it to be very informative, Thanks for all the help

Anonymous said...

pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you published this! I was just at a Herzog gathering and It felt just like my old new age "stuff" that I used to practice. I am a new Christian with a background in witchcraft, self proclaimed new age manifestation,yoga and Buddhism (in that order). I was blown away at the parallel's between Herzog and New age quantum manifestations (that are actually alive and well in yoga, thus not so new age) that are being practiced. The only thing different from Herzog was the, "in Jesus name" tacked to the end of it. I found it to be based out of a "self-willed" miracle experience rather than a "God's- will" patience and faith perspective. I was thinking to myself that this guy is either introducing something the christians need or he is the anti-christ. I couldn't make the distinction while it was happening due to the fantastic energy happening in the room, that is undeniable. After returning home I was able to be alone in meditation and realized that it was too small of a message to be from the highest, hair growth and gold teeth??? He did have the same quotes of "unpaid actors" and the same miracles over and over. I am a miracle, I have survived disasters and a life of oppression, to come out a free loving believer in the power of God. There is no way the people who attend his rallies who have no experience with witchcraft or new age manifesting could see or feel the parallel. I feel like I want to do something to warn them but I am not quite sure what. I was comforted to read your BLog, you put the words there I was looking for... Thanks JS13

Rollan McCleary said...

Thanks for your message. I hope indeed that you can bring your experiences and insight to bear to warn people. A very major, widespread illusion is out there and just isn't being sufficiently addressed. Andrew Strom's recent little book "Kundalini Warning" available on Amazon could interest you. I myself will be putting out a book I'm currently editing and which should be out December called "Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency". Chapters of this book will deal with some of these issues of prophecy, spirits, exorcism etc and may interest you so you could look out for that and maybe even give it a review.

Anonymous said...

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John said...

Rollan, thanks for the good work in trying to help people. My wife is into this whole movement and it has put a big strain on our relationship. Everything is fine unless I bring up my objections to these false teachings. The latest conference this weekend she attended was a Rob Deluca conference. I've gotten to the point where I don't even go to church anymore. Between the crazy things taught in pentacostal churches and the lack of moral compass and gossiping in other churches, I have been struggling to find my bearings. My wife goes to her brother-in-laws church, who is a anything goes, kind of pastor. If I object, I'm considered a Judas or I'm putting God in a box and I lack faith. Please give me some advise. Thank you, John in Hawaii

Rollan McCleary said...

You haven't given any address to reply to you. The question is a tricky one and in effect private. You can write to me at
rollanrm@yahoo.com. I am just off to a conference but will think about this if you give somewhere to write.

Anonymous said...

Hi John
If you are struggling to find your bearings maybe you should stop following your wife around, stop listening with you natural ears(to crazy Pentecostals) and ask for God to show you the Truth. If you believe that Rollan can give you a straight answer, i would be led to believe he false into the category of false prophet also.
Nevertheless, ask the Father to reveal himself to you. God bless you mate...

Rollan McCleary said...

Anonymous......If you think I am a false (sic) prophet, address that issue to me, give your reasons and have the courage to put your own name to what you write. Barging your way across this Blog to speak to someone else is downright rude and presuming. Before you start up "God Bless you" to people, perhaps you should learn some Christian good manners.

Kathleen Malligan said...

Rollan, keep up the blogging, I have written a teaching called " "False Signs and Wonders" and is available for free download on the ministry site http:/triumphantministriestoowoomba.com.au and has a prayer strategy for freedom from such counterfeit meetings and ancestral doors.
Stand brother and keep up the fight, In Christ's service Kath

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I am saddened to see your blog. You seem to critisize Christians you have never met and offer no grace to them. Very unlike our Heavenly father.
I also dont see any details in your blog of how God is moving in your life and how the sick are healed, miracles happen around you and you are blessing others around you.
I would favor believing Christians that are actually doing the work and putting themselves out there.

Lets love & edify each other instead of putting other brothers and sisters down.
You may be a different part of the body that has no understanding or revelation of what God is doing in another organ or part of the body. We should therefore be very cautious in opening our mouths critizising the bride of Christ!!

Rollan McCleary said...

If there is one thing that is seriously taken and repeatedly through the Bible it is surely the issue of false prophets and prophecy. There is no point rejoicing in healing and miracles which are not genuine from the right source and which even, as in various reports, prove so negative the unfortunate recipients later need virtual deliverance or exorcism from the effects.

It's true my own spiritual life and developed opinions are not on this Blog. You can read them in available books such as "Cosmic Father" and "Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency", (blurbs and excerpts on my website, www.rollanmccleary.com) a book a recent reader described as scary, which it probably true.

It's true I don't have the gift of healing. Let's say I have the gift of discernment and I discern much that's very troubling. In fact, in my latest book "Christianity's Destiny" which it would be nice if all Christians could read, I give about as strong proof as possible that the Toronto Blessing was no blessing whatsoever but utmost deception. Among other things, at the reported inception of the Blessing, Charis (grace and charismata) was conjunct Lucifer in the heavens. Enough said, here at least.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the article.

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peggy said...

I had cancer and has a lot of pain. when my friends told me about Heidi Baker, I thought: alright my pain meds are wearing off, I will go and see if it will take away my pain, that will be the "fleece". I notice those people who came forward during the show were their own people. They claim to been cured of their pain, while I am sitting in the congregation in more & more pain. The other disgusting thing Heidi was boasting about was how she contracted MRSA in M'sia, with oozing sores she flew back to to wherever she was. Did she not care about others, how many people probably got the disease from her infecting the plane seat and every other item she touches. May the real God have mercy on her. I obviously left in pain, never to return again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brother, I appreciate your sincerity.. I have been in your shoes.

Let me share my observation, thus far. I am convinced people abuse their gifts as you have mentioned. The fact may is that only 10-15% of the Pentecostals/charismatics are true to their calling and humble and servant-hearted and heavenly minded. No wonder, we are so disappointed by them, especially when their talk does not match their walk, and many outlandish claims with their lives not necessarily proving it biblical consistency.

*It is biblical to pray to God for help and then God will send angels. He is your Father - the mandate is ask.
*Paul visited third heaven- the Lord still grants that priviledge for some believers, for reasons He knows best.
*The presence of God (AKA glory) is real. We all should seek it, if we want more of God. (all things in balance, though)
*Who is to say there is no annointing passed on to new Elisha from new Elijahs, now. (every one's calling/annointing is appointed by God)
*Impartation- same as above point. As needed, God will allow and sanction it.
*Where there is true flow of the Holy Spirit, miracles happen today. Amen!
*True prophets are humble!!!
*angels are not be afraid. The bible recommends we may encounter them in this life. But they are ministering spirits. They have a part in a Christian's every day life. They collect prayers and deliver answers. This is pure plain biblical.
*True prophets honor the Word of God to the highest regard.
*True prophets flow with fruits and good works according to their calling/annointing they received from life
*True prophets hate sin that God hates.
*A prophet of God speaks God's mind and not his. (example.. read the 10s of different kind of prophecies Isaiah or Ezekial made).

Brother, true prophets of the living God live around in 2012. You may not have seen them yet. But be faithful to God. Seek Him with all of your heart. Then He will meet you. If there is a purpose for you to meet a true prophet, He will make it happen. If you have that calling, God will give it to you. (Bible says "Desire the gifts").

Love the giver, not the gift, and remember who you were before God saved you and honored you with salvation- that humility will keep you.

So, I appreciate this article, but I am sad the author has not yet met a genuine prophet or not understood one.

Remember that in Isaiah's time, well intentioned believers rejected him. In Jesus' time, well intentioned believers rejected Him; rather did not have eyes to see Who they were beholding.. It still happens today...

Honestly, unless God opens our eyes, we will fight God's foundation with God's own words.. It happens all the time...

Deception is rampant.. but sadly, on the other hands, sincerity is also scarce.. that is why very few are finding God in the intimate chambers of their hearts.. People are trying to be good Christians through doctrine alone without abiding life. Sorry, won't work from heaven't view point. (it may from your and your "biblical" church)

I recommend this book for starters "http://www.amazon.com/Miraculous-Gifts-Today-Wayne-Grudem/dp/0310201551"

Also check out speaker Keith Daniels in sermonindex.net and writer Andrew Murray from 19th century and Rees Howells the intercessor from wales; Derek Prince from 20th century for again, starters.


Bort said...

Kenneth Copeland challenges a captivated audience you don't have God in you; you are God. He says he received this revelation from the Holy Spirit. Tragically Copeland has brainwashing many pastors in teaching this heresy called, the Manifest Sons of God.

[YOUTUBE Kenneth Copeland False Prophet, T. 0:01-8:26]

Bort said...

Kenneth Copeland challenges a captivated audience you don't have God in you; you are God. He says he received this revelation from the Holy Spirit. Tragically Copeland has brainwashing many pastors in teaching this heresy called, the Manifest Sons of God.

[YOUTUBE Kenneth Copeland False Prophet, T. 0:01-8:26]

Anonymous said...

Heard Joyce Meyer say recently, during one of her conferences on TV, that she is not a sinner! She boldly confesses she does not sin anymore. These are her exact words. Such heresy is being sown into the body of Christ, beware saints of those coming in Christs name deceiving many (Mat. 24:4-5)