Volume 17  Number 2                                  March/April 2006

 

 

A New Earth – Now?

Jewel Grewe

 

 

Leith Anderson from Minnesota, leads a mega-church of 5,000 worshippers and is one of 86 evangelical leaders who are challenging the Bush administration on global warming. According to the a radio program on NPR this week,   “Their ‘Evangelical Call to Action’ argues that there's no real scientific debate about the dangers of climate change -- an assertion that many balk at. The group is calling on the government to act urgently, by, among other things, passing a federal law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Some of the signatories have star power, at least in evangelical circles. Among them are Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church and author of the blockbuster book, The Purpose Driven Life; Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College, David Neff, editor of Christianity Today; and Todd Bassett, national commander of the Salvation Army. “

 

Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist also entered the debate that ensued.  In his February 16, 2006 column he said, “This division in evangelical ranks prompted the NAE to pull back from an expected endorsement of the issue after October's statement that mankind has ‘a sacred responsibility to steward the Earth and not a license to abuse the creation of which we are a part.’  A statement issued Feb. 1 by NAE President Ted Haggard recognized ‘the ongoing debate’ on global warming and ‘the lack of consensus among the evangelical community on this issue.’”

 

Global Warming has long been an area for those who have had a new age agenda.  Leaders in the church who have been involved usually also have the Dominion Mandate.  They believe that the church is to set up the Kingdom of God on the earth.

 

This is just one facet of a many faceted doctrine.  If you read the “herescope” blog on our website:  www.discernment-ministries.org, you will be astounded at how “kingdom” doctrine has blatantly infiltrated nearly every denomination, mission group and parachurch organization.

 

It does not seem that the Church believes any longer that she is purified by the Blessed Hope – knowing that her Lord and Savior could appear in His Glory at any moment.

 

Joel’s Army.  One of the many teachings to bring about the Kingdom Now agenda is that of Joel’s Army.  This came directly from the Latter Rain revival of the late 40’s.  For the sake of this newsletter, we will briefly skim the years from 1948-1980’s.  (Our archived newsletters on our web site go into this in much detail).  The Joel’s Army booklet is now also available once again and also the documentation that is the background information for the booklet.

 

Late 1940’s.   The Latter Rain Revival broke out in Saskatchewan, Canada.  It is without a doubt that there was a moving of the Holy Spirit among hungry souls.  The strange thing is that people who are solid and very earnest get caught up in these “revivals”.  They believe that “there must be more” and that gives them the desire to push out into uncharted waters.  Once in these waters one has to trust leadership.  Everything that happens is supposedly taking them to a “new level” of spiritual experience.  What once was the “extraordinary” operation of the Holy Spirit becomes “normal”.  A former member of the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida explains that, “it seemed as if most of the people I knew very well, began to realize that the promise of ‘there must be more’ wasn’t happening as promised.  Also gimmicks and false prophecies obviously didn’t pan out as well.  What happened was that people got messed up…the end effect it had was to ‘ruin’ people for the simplicity of the gospel and ‘normal’ church life.”  These had once been solid people and they became “spiritual gypsies” unable to find a church home.  He then made a startling comment:  “You would be amazed at how many Brownsvillians don’t attend any church regularly right now.”     It was no different in the 1940’s.  Crowds were heading to Canada.  From there the “fire” was distributed in different areas, Detroit being one of the centers.  Out of this “revival” came the Kingdom Now teaching.  In a nutshell it was that God's Army of "Overcomers" will establish the Kingdom of God on earth.  Some believe that when Adam and Eve committed "grand treason" and lost dominion over the earth, that the earth then belonged to Satan, and that God has been looking for a "covenant people of Overcomers" - "God's army" who will believe His Son and be an expression in the earth to take it back from Satan.  In 1948, the Latter Rain Movement announced it was the end of the "church age," and they were ushering in the "Kingdom Age" or "New Age" before Christ could return.  They had a Mandate to restore back the Kingdom.

 

J. Preston Eby:   (A Kingdom Now teacher)  "In 1948 -- the very year that Israel became a nation -- another great deluge fell from heaven, a mighty revival then called the 'Latter Rain.' In this Restoration Revival God did a work which far transcended the work started in the Pentecostal outpouring of more than 40 years before. All nine gifts of the Spirit, the five-fold ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, spiritual praise and worship, and the end time revelation of God's purpose to manifest his sons, a glorious church, to bring in the kingdom of God, all of this and much more was restored among God's people." (The Battle of Armageddon, Part IV, J. Preston Eby, Kingdom Bible Studies, September 1976, pg. 10; quoted in Richard M. Riss, "The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening", pg. 197, April 1979.)

 

William M. Menzies, in his "History of the Assemblies of God," wrote:   "In 1947, George Hawtin and Percy Hunt launched an independent Bible School in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. ... They evolved a teaching that emphasized extreme congregationalism with local authority committed to restored order of apostles, who, through receiving a special dispensation derived from the laying on of hands, could in turn dispense a variety of spiritual gifts. Their extravagant claims and their belligerent attack on existing Pentecostal groups brought open conflict. Many sincere Christians followed the new group which boasted of being a fresh revival displacing the 'apostatized Pentecostals.'" (Anointed to Serve, The Story of the Assemblies of God, William W. Menzies, Springfield Mo., Gospel Publishing House, 1971, pg. 32.)

 

Charismatic evangelists arose out of this Latter Rain revival.  Tent meetings and evangelistic crusades became the norm in many circles.  This phenomenon gave rise to new teachings that for the most part went unchecked.  These teachings have spawned a whole new type of Christian that is morphing before our eyes into a monster of unparalleled  proportions.   This beast is intent in one thing – to take over the governments of the world – all in the name of Christ.

 

1950’s.   There was a proliferation of the Voice of Healing evangelists.  Many of these were at one time Assembly of God pastors or evangelists.  For the most part this association was fundamental in their doctrine.  However, there continued to be Latter Rain influences through the books and teachings that started to appear.  Radio played a tremendous part in the spread of the messages.

 

During this time, there were those who were truly sympathetic with the Latter Rain desire to see the “restoration” of the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Shepherds (pastors) and Evangelists.  They kept steadily pacing ahead.  This group was quite unusual for the time as they set up farms and communes and became cult-like with “prophets” within their midst across the country and in Canada.  When the hippie culture hit the U.S. in the 60’s, this alternative blend was ready to adapt to the new changes in society.  The Latter Rain was ready to step into the developing scene.

 

Bill Britton.  A prolific writer who while a resident of Springfield, Missouri started The House Of Prayer.  In his book called Jesus The Pattern Son, he wrote that Jesus was the "Firstfruits among many brethren" and the pattern for many more "sons" to come. In other words, what Jesus was by birth (the Son of God) all believers can become by adoption (sons of God). The identification is total with Manifest Sons. Jesus the Pattern Son was the Anointed One, the “Christ”. Thus, the Manchild Company are also anointed and they have the right to be called Christ!

 

Bill Hamon.  He is considered to be one of the most direct links to the Latter Rain.  In his book The Eternal Church he says that the Charismatic movement is the extension of the Latter Rain Movement (pg. 52).

 

Shepherding Movement.  This was a catalyst in the 1970’s.  The Charismatic Catholic leadership “covenanted” with the Shepherds that had formed within the Charismatic movement.

 

Shepherd Conference – 1975.  An important meeting was held in Kansas City, Missouri.  Ern Baxter, one of the 5 Shepherds and former secretary to William Branham, gave an address to 4,500 “Christian Leaders”.   The following are some highlights from that message:  "In speaking to you about the Thy Kingdom Come, I'm going to try on this last night to describe the larger perspective of what God is doing - the significance of the practicalities you heard described by experienced and dedicated men...I have appreciated the men and their message... But I feel that to inspire our hearts to respond to those practical teachings, our faith must be charged and sustained by understanding this fact: we are part of a cosmic scheme inaugurated by God and intended by Him to be carried on until the entire universe acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  We're talking of man coming into the fullness of his self-realization, into his ultimate destiny as the image of God....This beloved One came ...to become the pattern Son, to become the ideal Man after which He would pattern a whole community of redeemed ones...until there came a body of men and women in the earth who could be compared to a corporate, mature man...What He was in His incarnate power and life, they become in their corporate power and life...This causes me to wonder if now, as God is calling us to corporeity and community, we are not beginning to realize Kingdom life and authority…I believe that when Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, the Father meant what He said....I don't think He's going to leave the right hand of God....until His enemies are subdued...I don't know of anything that has paralyzed the purposes of God in the earth more than the teaching that Christ's authority is presently limited and the 'reign of God' in the 'now' on earth is not a possibility...God's purpose is not to redeem a bunch of people to sit at a bus stop and wait for the bus to come along and get them out of the world's mess.  Rather, God has redeemed them and cleansed them and put Himself into them that He may send them back in to clean up the mess...He came in as the King of all those that are redeemed, so that under His authority the redeemed community might become the means whereby He would establish God's sovereign right in His own redeemed earth...we have individual salvation.  But in the nation we have corporate salvation....we need a revival of the concept of Christ's sovereign right to govern His Kingdom.  The Kingdom of God is not a democracy; it's a theocracy..."   Later in the message he proclaimed:  "The apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, teachers of the Acts' church then became - and are still speaking in the context of Kingdom - the delegated governmental authorities under King Jesus for the bringing into being of His Kingdom...God's people are going to start to exercise rule, and they're going to take dominion over the power of Satan.  They're going to bring diabolical princes down.  The dark powers that hover over the parliament buildings of the nations are going to be paralyzed by the corporate prayer of an authoritative community."  (From research files)

 

New Course Set in Motion.  Throughout the 1970’s the Charismatic movement challenged every denominational structure as the new theology caused either assimilation or splits in many churches.  Independent churches started springing up where each developed their own version of Latter Rain thought.

 

1980’s.    One of the most influential “change agents” during this time was Earl Paulk, pastor of a highly influential church in Atlanta, Georgia.  His influence was so powerful that there was a concerted effort by Assembly of God leaders to combat this Kingdom now teaching which was combining forces with the Dominionists.   One Assembly of God pastor who wrote in favor of the new doctrine was Bishop Thomas F. “Tommy” Reid.

 

A “theology of the earth”.   Bishop Reid supported the Kingdom view.  In an article in MINISTRIES, Summer, 1986, pg. 77, Bishop Reid said the following:  "What is the meaning of the Garden of Eden?  Why did God say not only to ‘tend the garden’ but also to ‘subdue the earth?’  Was it not possible that the beginning of the re-creation process only pinpointed the geographical location of the garden, and God’s commission and purpose for the human race was to extend the ‘kingdom’ or the ‘reign of God’ to all the earth?  If this is true, it presupposes that the Bible is the handbook for man’s dominion over the earth. . . Is there not contained in Scripture a theology of the earth that mandates a biblical view of ecology, economy, government, arts and society in general?  The covenant that God made with Abraham had to do with the earth and is indicative of the covenant that Abraham’s seed, the Church, has with the earth.  If this is true, then it is important for the church to bring about a reformation in the sociological structure as well as to recognize a biblical ecological mandate…It seems reasonable that when the capital city (earth) falls to King Jesus, the rest of the visible kingdom (things in heaven) will also be reconciled.  That is kingdom theology in a nutshell…If this is true then one of the great purposes of the church is to infiltrate the fabric of our society and bring a witness of Christ’s kingdom to the kingdoms of this world.  This is what Jesus meant by ‘occupy [or take territory] till I come.’”

 

When studying “new” teachings, it is important to look for what is missing!  In Tommy Reid’s article, I was heart sore to read the following:  “kingdom lifestyle includes a cross.  When Jesus said to take up our cross and follow Him, He was not referring to Calvary but rather to purpose in life.  For Him the cross was His Purpose.  Therefore, our cross in His kingdom is the purpose for which we were born…we are to stand beside the kingdoms of this world and bring productive change to our society, through our demonstration of kingdom lifestyle.”

 

Entrance into the Charismatic/Pentecostal Churches.  With this explanation we can readily understand how so many have been influenced without realizing they are actually supporting a mandate that could very well bring about the Global Church that is busily setting up a Kingdom here on the earth.  Indeed, it is TRANSFORMATION.  

 

Thankfully, at that time a number of Assembly of God leaders recognized the errors and they published warnings. A report which has many of these article is titled Kingdom Now Theology Report and is now available through  this ministry.

 

General Council Letter April 20, 1949.  In speaking to the excesses of the Latter Rain Revival:  “The true test of any movement is whether or not it will stand up under the light of the Word of God.  We cannot depend alone upon the testimony of spiritual blessing, which many claim to have received under the ‘new order.’  When the ‘Jesus Only’ issue swept over the country in the years 1914-1917, there was a constant testimony that this was a revelation from God accompanied by great spiritual blessing.  The movement was judged, however, not on the testimony of spiritual blessing, but on its adherence to the Scriptures.  When it was found that its claims did not conform to sound doctrine, its message was rejected.  Dire calamities were predicted upon all who failed to ‘walk in the light’ of that ‘revelation’, but all predictions failed of fulfillment.  We have heard similar predictions for failure to accept the ‘new order’ teaching, which we regret exceedingly…These teachings have been weighed carefully and prayerfully and, we believe, have been found wanting. 

 

Responses to the rise of the Kingdom Now teaching in the 1980’s.

 

George Wood.  From a transcript of a taped message on the subject, Dr. Wood, the present (2006) General Secretary of the Assemblies of God said:  “What makes Kingdom Now teaching different from the normal emphasis of the kingdom being present is that the Kingdom Now teachers are saying that the kingdom is going to become externally visible in this age, prior to the Coming [of Christ].  In a further article entitled:  Kingdom Now and missions, Mountain Movers, 1989, Dr. Wood further warns:  “…As its name implies, this theology maintains that God’s kingdom already exists on earth.  This new wave, like the old waves of latter rain, shepherding, demon-casting from Christians, and positive confession is destined to be exported to foreign soil.  But the acceptance of Kingdom Now theology by churches overseas would bring seven significant and disastrous results. (1) All biblical teaching regarding the literal fulfillment of prophesied events would be abandoned….”[This has happened]; “(2) The Church would have a larger mission than that of proclaiming personal salvation through Christ…The political, social, and economic systems of nations and cultures would need to be ‘Christianized’…”[This is happening]; “(3) ..The Church would need to be reeducated to understand that the teaching of the Rapture is a doctrine sold to it by Satan to lull it into an escapist mentality.  Only when the Church is finished ‘Christianizing’ (exercising dominion over) the world could it finally summon the Lord to return from heaven (4) The Church could no longer rely solely on written Scripture for doctrine.  It would have to develop the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, from whom the Church could learn rulership.   These new apostles’ and prophets’ words would be obeyed and not judged or tested by the Church.  The door would be open to ongoing revelation through which God would reveal components of His will and ways not found in the Bible.” [that is happening now]; “(5) The Church would take a new look at worship…it would also become a spiritual empowerment to restore the Church and to raise it to perfection. . . the lively and spiritually restored tabernacle of David.  (6) The revived Church anticipated by the Kingdom Now proponents would demand a new breed of Christians: supermen and superwomen.  Believers would be taught that they are more than human…Some Kingdom Now adherents go beyond being ‘little gods’ to holding to the possibility that we are the ‘manifested sons of God,’ . . the race of Christians whose bodies will be transformed, not by the coming of the Lord, but by His inner secret coming from within themselves. (7) Finally, the Church everywhere would be called to ‘unity.’  Since Kingdom Now teachers do not want their teaching to be challenged, they attempt to silence their critics by suggesting that Christians lay aside their differences and join in common witness. . . “

 

William A. Griffin.  In a paper prepared for the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 17th Annual Meeting, November 12-14, 1987, Dr. Griffin  noted that:  “This time around the kingdom debate is taking place in two main arenas - - the familiar territory of religious books and scholarly journals and the more sensational stage of public television and high-profile pulpits.  The latter platform, of course, is one of the happenings of the ‘80s - - religious disputes at the top of public news interest…Arena number one, the so-called scholarly front on which the debate is being conducted, features the resurrection of an eschatological system which has rarely been seen since World War I – postmillennialism.  The dominant feature of the new postmillennialism is a heavy emphasis on theonomy (literally the law of God, in recent years has come to refer to a system of thought which claims that modern governments should be guided by Old Testament laws and penalties when making judicial decisions).  It advocates nothing less than dominion over the earth:  It proclaims that through the exercise of saving faith, and through ethical conformity to God’s revealed law, regenerate men will increase the extent of their dominion over the earth.  It is a religion of conquest - - (Refer to Gary North’s book Liberating Planet Earth, Fort Worth, Texas:  Dominion Press, 1987, p. 45)….In contrast to the blessed hope of the “pietistic fundamentalists” who are anxious to leave this world, the dominion theologians say that our hope is “an earthly future dominated by God-fearing, law-abiding, born-again Christian saints.”  Some of the major writers are R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, David Chilton and Gary North.”

 

Open Dialogue Needed.  Unfortunately at the time when there was debate on the issue, it wasn’t being held in the seminaries.  There were not conferences set up to discuss this important issue.   Through the years this has been a weakness as new teachings and doctrines have flooded the church.  Instead of open dialogue on local levels, unilateral decisions have been made and filtered through the constituency.  As a result a very confusing state of affairs has arisen.

 

Books started being churned out to defend the new thinking.  Pat Robertson stated in an interview in the BUFFALO NEWS that “The Church is moving from a millennial viewpoint to a kingdom-now philosophy”.  He then wrote the book The Secret Kingdom in which he challenged the Christians of America to develop a kingdom mentality that will create Christian servants.

 

Difficult to Define.   One of the main reasons that the networking Pentecostals and Charismatics have jumped on board with the dominionists is that many of them do not define their theology.   Too many, when asked why they support a position, will answer “I feel that it is true”.   Unfortunately too often experience stands as judge over Scripture.  The traditional interpretation of scriptures gets thrown out in favor of the new interpretation or revelation which many believe is revealed to them by the Spirit.  When the scriptures are taken out of their context, they can be stretched to adapt to whatever new theology you want to accept.   According to a Report to the General Presbytery by the Doctrinal Purity Committee, (Included in The Kingdom Now Report) “The position of Kingdom Now advocates concerning the authority of Scripture makes it possible for them to defend any position they may ever want to adopt.  It completely disregards the teaching of Scripture that we are to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good (I Thess. 5:21).  It completely contradicts the position of the Assemblies of God that “the Scriptures. . .are the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15-17; I Thess. 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).”

 

Robert Crabtree.  In 1987 he was the District Superintendent for the Ohio District of the Assemblies of God.  He prepared a remarkable report which he delivered to the pastors of the district on January 13, 1987.  (This 60-page report is included in the Kingdom Now Report).  It is well documented and shows the remarkable understanding of a godly leader who foresaw the dangers that lurked ahead.  He said, “Theology should not be written in the streets.  The Bible should not be rewritten for the sake of society.  Society should change because of the impact of the Scriptures.   It should not be conditioned, reshaped or rewritten as a result of social pressures.  The Scriptures must be the first line of authority. . . . . Those who seek to change God’s Word by either adding to it through “new revelation” or deleting from it by “academic exercises” should have their works judged accordingly. . . An effort to unify the New Wave theologies, especially among Kingdom Now teachers is growing.  Structurally it is similar to attempts to unify the Charismatic movement. . . Watch for the development of new terms and redefinition of old terms with new shades of meaning that will be utilized in an attempt to accommodate the various types of Kingdom Now theologies.   Kingdom Now teachers have redefined the Gospel which requires ‘re-evangelizing’ the church without an emphasis upon Jesus Christ. [emphasis added]  Salvation moves one from the kingdom of sin to the Kingdom Now of Christ on earth.  This new kingdom is being built by waking up the professing Christians rather than reaching the lost.  These renewed Christians are to seek control of the earth and assume stewardship responsibilities of the material world.”

 

1987.   It was at this time that CHARISMA magazine plastered pictures of new “prophets” on their cover.  We started to hear about an end-time army that was being raised up.  Again Kingdom-Now Dominion teachings were being heralded.  It was being declared that the prophetic was here to bring in the Apostles – and the government was to be upon their shoulders!  That was an important year in the life of our ministry because finally the “light-bulb” went on and my late husband and I discovered that the lives of many Christians were going to be affected by what was transpiring in this “kingdom” effort by forces that were determined to bring about new structures and new teachings to the church.   The Word of God became alive within our hearts as we started measuring all the new teachings that we were hearing  with the plumb-line of His Word. 

 

We started  by transcribing tapes from the Kansas City Prophets.   (These were incorporated into a report which can be accessed on our website.)   After hours of transcribing it was clear to quite a few researchers that what the “prophets” in Kansas City were teaching was pure Latter Rain doctrine that was now putting on a new cloak for a new time. 

 

Mike Bickle.  From Kansas City in a tape entitled, “Overview of Corporate Long Term Vision, 1/5/86, Mike Bickle said that “I believe that God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth…in 20 years there will be a totally different understanding of what Chrisianity is from what it is right now.  I believe the understanding of it, the standard of life and the expression of Christianity as we know it, I believe God is going to restore it and change it in the Earth in this generation.”

 

Spiritual Warfare.  One catalyst in pulling together “unity”  has been Generals of Intercession.   Cindy Jacobs writes in Possessing the Gates of the Enemy, pg. 16.  “Today’s praying Church is rising up in militant force to possess the promised land of our nations…we receive reports of intercessors doing things like going to the banking centers.”  The Kingdom Now teaching comes out clearly on pg. 52 & 53, “It is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, a praying army.  This mystery is alive in the earth today, “bruising” the works of the evil one. . . Not only did His death, burial and resurrection give us sonship by adoption into God’s family, it gave us back the authority through the name of Jesus to establish dominion once again.”

 

Apostles.   The apostolic structure is gaining ground as they network across the globe.  Reports are coming from many areas about churches leaving their denominational structure to become part of what they believe is a “Move of God” into new revelation.  Even in desperate Zimbabwe, there is a Bishop Tudor Bismark who “travels extensively functioning in the role of an Apostle, and is sounding a clear voice in this season that it is time for God's people to establish His kingdom in the earth.” (from his website).   Interesting to note this same “apostle” has spoken at the Brownsville Assembly of God.  The former Pastor is now recognized as also having an “apostolic” calling and Bishop Bismark talked about an angelic entourage that follows Pastor Kirkpatrick when he travels.   I noted on his website: www.partnersinrevival.org he is advertising an upcoming conference in March called The Gathering in which he has quite an assortment of the New Apostolics as speakers.  (Paul Keith Davis, Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce). 

 

Assembly of God Churches.   Since my background  has been Assembly of God, I have been particularly burdened for the movement through the years.  I was grieved this morning to discover that two large churches in California have recently made the changeover to the “apostolic”.  One has this on their website:  www.ibethel.org:  We are in the process of inviting several apostolic leaders that have had a long-term relationship with us to be integral in the spiritual covering of our church. . .  We thank you for your interest in the ongoing mutual success and respect of the Assemblies of God and Bethel Church of Redding, CA.

 

We pray that there will be many who will see the error of their ways and return to the “simplicity of the Gospel” as the man below who wrote our ministry last year. 

 

Paul Daniel.  A former member of the New Apostolic Movement and named an “Apostle” in South Africa writes:  I am writing to inform you and the brethren with whom you work that I have not only resigned from my ministry but also from affiliation with many of the ministries that I was once associated with. The reason for my resignation is manifold and too long for the purposes of this note to you, However the simple upshot of it all is that I became deeply convicted about the system of church life I was involved in, and had become part of, the theology, the  poor expression of the life of Christ it represented, the money making, the politics of the system, the moral-one-upmanship and the 'game’ of man-centered solipsism, the shallow theology, and the constant game of public relations to solicit the hard earnings of many good-hearted Christians. The empty promises of prosperity for those giving to many ministries I could only describe as bogus ministries .etc.  May I say that I have repented before God for my life style, laid down the ministry until God in His Sovereignty decides and directs my future, and although I now have a jaundiced eye to what happens in so many 'church's  in the name of the Lord I still love Him and simply desire a relationship with Him based in a simplicity that serves Him. . .

 

Purpose Driven.  Other churches are being bulldozed by the Purpose Driven Lie.    Formerly strong ministers of the Word of God have left the preaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to latch onto the latest sermon from www.pastors.com.  This new “gospel” makes everyone feel good.  It is based on the wisdom of the world.  An Assembly of God church was recently experiencing a serious dispute.  A detailed report had been compiled outlining the issues.  The board members felt that they needed a leader with spiritual authority to come and give them direction as there was rebellion in their midst.  They called someone in whom they trusted as being a “spiritual leader”.  That day, instead of giving the Church a Word from heaven that was sorely needed, that leader had the audacity to stand there and give them the steps from The Purpose Driven Life and told them that it didn’t really matter what they did – God still loves them!   How sad! 

 

In October, 2005l, my dear friend, Dr. Opal Reddin, shortly before her death, sent out this e-mail which was read at the Dr. Opal Reddin Research Library dedication in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

 

“As you have opportunity, please tell any and of our all of our A/G churches that I for one see Rick Warren and his deceptive "Purpose Driven books and practices"  to be the gradual downfall to each church becoming involved.  Some of my reasons:

 

1. His SHAPE, Jung-oriented spiritual gifts tests destroy the very meaning of "spiritual gifts, and hence all Pentecostal churches will become redundant."   Those taking them as having any degree of value will find (too late) they were grieving the Holy Spirit.  This is one of the main  hindrances today to people receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. 

 

2.  His "Gospel" excludes repentance as a necessary step toward salvation, and it IS necessary, according to Jesus.  Warren's "Gospel" is "another gospel" of works,"  No wonder the Catholics and homosexuals feel at home in his pastor's conferences!

 

3.  Every one who signs the covenant of membership is in the process of disobeying our Lord's commands to swear not.

 

4.  Every A/G minister and memory should read Who's Driving the Purpose Driven Church? by James Sundquist  and Deceived on Purpose by Warren Smith.

 

For these and other well-considered reasons, I plead with every A/G church and member to avoid Rick Warren's beliefs and practices in every way possible.  We must get back to the things that brought the manifest presence of God into our midst, when gifts of the Spirit convinced unbelievers of their need to repent and get right with God.  The Full Gospel will still bring sinners to salvation, and saints to full obedience as we anticipate our Lord's return in Glory. 

   

Opal understood the “Kingdom Agenda” of the Purpose Driven Church and all of the ramifications.  Her heart was broken at the thought that so many that she loved were rushing headlong into this deception.

 

On a positive note, I was blessed several weeks ago to visit an Assembly of God church in Nashville, Tennessee and find the people on their knees at the altar repenting and calling upon the Lord.    I immediately felt at “home” because I sensed the moving of the Spirit and knew that the Lord was well pleased. 

 

 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Ps. 34:18

 

Yes, indeed the last 20 years have brought about a change in the understanding of Christianity.   The change has reached such dizzying proportions that one does not know where to start.  The last 100 years has produced a totally “new breed” of  Pentecostals.  In looking at the celebrations planned in Los Angeles on April 22-29, 2006 for the 100th year celebration of the Azusa Street revival, I can’t help wondering what William Seymour and Fred Bartleman would think.   (www.azusastreet.com)   The mixture of Jesus Only, Kingdom Now, Positive Confession, Apostles, Prophets and Ecumenists all uniting together with one vision?  What is that vision?   May we have ONE VISION only!

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Philippians 3:10

 

* * * * * * * *  * * * * * *  *

 

The Opal Reddin Research Library Update!

 

It has been a few months since the library dedication but the work is steadily going forward.  Dr. Reddin was so thrilled in knowing that her work would continue.  We are determined to complete the task that we have set out to do.  A few weeks before the library dedication, I spent almost a week at Opal’s home packing up her books and teaching notes and shipped them to Connecticut.  During that time we had a wonderful time of fellowship knowing that it would be our last time together on this earth.    We spoke of the needs for the library and of our desire to be able to have the equipment in order to have the library function in such a way that the materials would be available literally around the world.   She suggested that for donations of $500.00 or more we have a plaque on the wall with the donors name inscribed on it.   We certainly would like to follow through with that suggestion as we know Opal had dear friends who would like to honor her in such a way.   The first piece of equipment we would obtain would be a high-speed scanner.  In this way the materials can be easily put onto a CD Rom and sent anywhere at a reasonable cost. 

 

A missionary from Africa has written me saying that Opal was his teacher at CBC and he has used her notes in teaching at a Bible College in Africa and sends those notes out with the students to use in their ministries.  This little lady’s ministry is far reaching.  She said that she had taught 30,000 students during her 26 years of teaching at Central Bible College.  That is a tremendous impact! 

 

We are grateful to the following volunteer helpers at the Pinebrook Assembly of God in Naugatuck, Connecticut:  Mark & Katy Bellows, Robin Andrews, Helga Botelho, Lyn Tenney, Joan Miles, Patricia Colon, Melvin Medina, Kanagaraj (Raj) Dhamodaran, Isabel Silva, Barbara Simons, Shaun (Cookie) Small, Monica Monsaldo.  Pastor John Marston has been so encouraging and always willing to assist in many ways.   Also a special thanks to Hester van Boven who spent a week there last fall giving of her time so unselfishly to further the work of the Kingdom.  (Hester was also in Springfield helping me box books).

 

While we were in Springfield with Opal in October (she went to be with the Lord in November),  she made a DVD for the Dedication of the Library.  This is her very last “video session” – but it was remarkable.  For donations to the library, we will be happy to send  you a copy of this DVD.

 

In our catalog we have other tapes and videos from previous conferences with Opal Reddin as one of our speakers.   We thank God for her perseverance for Truth.  All that mattered to her was the Glorious Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!   She can certainly say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  Phil. 1:21

 

 

* * * * * * * *  * * * * * *  *

 

 

Ordering Information

 

Reprinted

Joel’s Army by Jewel Grewe                                                                     $3.00

Background transcripts to Joel’s Army                                                       8.50

Kingdom Now Theology Report                                                                20.00

   Assembly of God leaders, etc. giving warning

   About Kingdom Now teachings

Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism by Sarah Leslie

      (Order 10+  for $2.00 each)                                                              $3.00 each           

Vengeance is Ours The Church in Dominion by Al Dager                       12.00

Come Out of Her My People by Paul Shirk

   Study of the relationship between Church/State                                    12.00

 

Purpose Driven Materials

Deceived on Purpose by Warren Smith                                                   12.95

Whose Driving the Purpose Driven Church by James Sundquist           12.95

Pied Pipers of Purpose by Lynn & Sarah Leslie & Susan Conway           3.50

 

Order ahead complete sets from the 2006 conferences                $30.00 per set

 

____  Fort Worth, Texas             ____  Kalamazoo, MI

____  Burbank, California            ____  Eastpointe, MI

 

For a complete list of materials, order the free catalog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hit Counter

 

 

© 2004-2010. Discernment-Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved