Volume 19 Number 5 September/October 2008
Our hearts are grieved as we see the aspirations of so many dashed as yet again as another “televangelist” falls prey to the seduction of the enemy of our souls. With the advent of the internet there are many voices expressing their “opinions” Bob Johnson (a former Assembly of God pastor) said the following:
“I did not go to Lakeland and stand on the platform with Todd Bentley because he was perfect in character or because we agreed on everything he was doing in Lakeland. I went to Lakeland because of his enemies. The relentless criticism and opposition, coupled with the grueling and sometimes unwise schedule, were bound to take their toll on this young man—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It happened two years ago, and it could happen again. It was my intention to bring a deflection into the mix so that he wouldn't take all the heat by himself. Little did I realize it was too late. He was at the place of burnout again, abandoning his marriage and pulling out of all public ministry. While I will never blame Todd's opponents for Todd's bad choices (Todd alone is responsible for them) their opposition had a greater effect than any of his critics will likely own up to in this lifetime.” http://www.bjm.org/regarding-todd-bentley.html
In September 2002, Todd Bentley was already being promoted by CHARISMA magazine. He was featured and his tapes on the Open Heavens offered included: (1) The Third Heaven- A powerful teaching on the third heaven, prophetic experiences and being caught up into the spirit . . . (2) Third Heaven Activation- On this tape, Todd leads a group of students into experiencing the Third Heaven and how to exercise your spiritual senses, and (3) Ministering Under an Open Heaven- What is an open heaven, how to open the windows of heaven when the Heavens above are "brass" and the earth beneath are "iron". On this tape, Todd will give you the keys to receive spiritual breakthrough and council. (3 audio cassettes).
What If Todd Bentley had been taken then as a young Christian under the tutelage of a wise leader and instructed thoroughly in the scriptures and not sent out until it was certain he was ready. He has remarkable leadership abilities and certainly could have been used greatly of the Lord.
Thoughout the “Lakeland revival” Lee Grady (Charisma Magazine) has expressed strong reservations even though Charisma leads the parade in promoting the plethora of unbiblical teachings that have been abounding in the last 15- 20 years. In a recent commentary on www.fireinmybones.com Lee made this observation from listening to a Billy Graham broadcast from the 1950’s. “ Listening to Graham stirs something deep inside me: a passion to preach, and to be a herald of truth to my generation. My heart cries out for the American church to stop muddling, muffling, cheapening, distorting and merchandising the pure gospel. How we need to return to the simplicity of evangelism that cuts to the heart, produces repentance and reveals the Son of God.”
The cry of how we need to return to the simplicity of evangelism that cuts to the heart, produces repentance and reveals the Son of God has been the cry of Discernment Ministries for the past 20 years!
“Well, revivals can be messy you know”. This is the way the weirdness is excused by some. After all, we want to “move higher” into God. We hear sincere folk saying things like: We have to move into a 'higher place' – a place of intimacy with God. Jesus did the things the Father told Him to do. WE MUST MOVE INTO THAT PLACE. A place of the knowledge of the Lord that the Lord yearns us to come into. Teachings on “intimacy with God” have sold many books. But just stop here a moment. Isn’t that what any “religion” requires? Always striving after something? Bringing offerings to the many gods in Hinduism, faithfully bowing low in the mosques, dancing into a frenzy to obtain “oneness”?
By “commissioning” Todd Bentley, the “Apostles” and their associates exposed their willingness to “align” with someone who already was totally questionable in character and Biblical understanding. The incredible promotion nightly on GODTV made one wonder what the next “level” could possibly be.
The Kingdom. The last 20 years has witnessed the teaching on building a Kingdom here on the earth rising to fever-pitch proportions. The Apostles and Prophets have been making kingdom decrees as they are doing far more than just “aligning” Todd Bentley. They are aligning heaven and earth, angels, governments and powers. At the beginning of 2008, Dutch Sheets held a conference entitled “Starting the Year off Right”. Exact quotes from Dutch Sheets: “So when we begin to emphasize the king and the Kingdom rule of the Lord -guess what happens? The church goes to a whole new level of Kingdom authority and that is what is about to happen. If your emphasis is a local church emphasis first it can be selfish- it can be mine- I can build walls. I can emphasize what is best or what is going to benefit me at the expense even of others but if I am emphasizing a Kingdom- you can’t build walls because you can’t build walls around the kingdom- it’s too big. SO God is going to have to shift our emphasis.”
Then he said some amazing things in regard to the Gospel: “EVEN OUR GOSPEL HAS BEEN DEFICIENT. We are always told in scripture to preach the gospel of the what? Do you know we are not told to preach the Gospel of the cross? The word Gospel means what? Good News- s The Gospel of the Kingdom- oh we are told to preach the good news of something. When we preach the Good News of the cross and leave it there- and that’s important- we have to preach the cross but the Good News goes beyond the cross. The cross is the entry point into the Kingdom. He didn’t say preach the Good News just of salvation but preach the Good News that I have come and reestablished the dominion of God in the earth and restored to you the dominion that you lost in Genesis. My Kingdom is now functioning in earth in a people. The cross is the entrance – The Kingdom is the realm. The cross gives us life- The Kingdom gives us something to live for. The cross is about redemption- the Kingdom is about restoration. I want you to think about that- we are not just to emphasize redemption- that gets us in but He’s about restoring everything that has been lost.
We are going to move from a mindset of saving souls and growing churches to producing disciples of the Kingdom. Kingdom disciples have eternity in their hearts and weapons in their hands. They are Kingdom thinkers- difference makers- culture shapers.”
The “Kingdom” teaching has a long history and bodes for a fearsome future. It is this teaching that has undermined the Gospel of Jesus Christ for this generation. The upcoming conference will deal with the roots of the Kingdom teaching and its influences. We are privileged to have special guests at this conference.
Dr. Martin Erdmann is one of the foremost experts in the world on the doctrine and practice of “building the kingdom of God on earth.” This phrase sums up what we commonly refer to as “Dominionism.”
Dominionism is a pervasive heresy with many manifestations. In a nutshell, it teaches that what Christ did at the Cross was insufficient; that man must somehow finish and complete the work of Christ. It arises from a false view of man’s Fall in the Garden of Eden as a “mistake,” something which needs to be worked out in the unfolding of history, and that God’s redemptive plan for humanity involves progressively new stages of revelation until man finally “gets it right.” It teaches that man must DO something to defeat Satan –spiritually, politically, socially, etc. In the end, it corrupts eschatology by focusing on man’s efforts here on earth, teaching that we can bring heaven to earth and restore paradise, become gods, or bring Jesus back.
Dr. Erdmann is an expert on this doctrine historically as well as theologically. He has spent the past several years researching the archives of European church history to uncover the roots of this heresy. He is also an expert on how the medical scientific community and occultists are working to create a “New Breed” genetically. Several years ago Dr. Erdmann wrote a book about the early history of this doctrine’s rise to prominence in the liberal Protestant denominations the first half of the last century. We reviewed his book, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches’ Contribution to Marshal public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945 (Wipf & Stock, 2005) for Herescope on April 17-18, 2006. Below we have reproduced those two columns. You will note the many parallels to today’s efforts by New Apostolic Reformation leaders and Rick Warren to accomplish this same agenda.
The New Order of the Kingdom
"We believe that we see the goal and we believe that men can get hold of that power to move on to that goal. That goal is the Kingdom of God on earth. The Kingdom of God is a new order standing at the door of the lower order. The higher order, founded on love, justice, goodwill, brotherhood and redemption, stands confronting this lower order founded on selfishness, exploitation, unbrotherliness, with its resultant clash and conclusions. . . it [the higher order] will finally replace this lower order, for it is God's order. We shall present Christ as the open door to that era. We shall unfold the possibilities of that era both within the individual and the collective will
.(E. Stanley Jones, Federal Council of Churches, Federal Council Bulletin 19, no. 8 (Oct. 1936), New York 5)
There truly is "no new thing under the sun" (Eccl. 1:9). The quotation above is from the year 1936. It is cited in Dr. Martin Erdmann's groundbreaking book, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth: The Churches' Contribution to Marshal Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919-1945.
The history behind this quotation is a fascinating look into the rise of liberal denominations 50-100 years ago. They embraced a dominionist doctrine of building the kingdom of God on earth long before it became a New Apostolic Reformation or Reconstructionist "mandate."
The thesis of Dr. Erdmann's book is that the rising popularity of this doctrine was substantially influenced and perpetuated by the same academic, political and religious intelligentsia who were busily forming the beginnings of a New World Order on earth. These elites seized upon certain doctrines of the Gospel as a mechanism to forge an international consensus on "moral" ideology.
Dr. Erdmann writes that in 1934 the Federal Council of Churches began a grassroots public relations campaign to further its social gospel. The end goal was to create enough groundswell that another international organization could be formed to replace the faulty League of Nations. Erdmann explained:
"A new commitment to the concept of the kingdom of God on earth needed to be generated among the people at large and from the constituencies of the member churches, a commitment that had been notably absent for some time. Unless the Council succeeded in mobilizing a grassroots movement of socially conscious Christians it would never realize the goals set out in the Social Creed. Thus the new emphasis on propagating the principles of the Social Creed was again designed to attain the kingdom of God on earth rather than to reach lost souls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ." (p. 154)
The modus operendi to accomplish such a mass motivation is strikingly similar to the methods utilized with today's evangelicals:
"Without adhering to basic Scriptural concepts. . . the Council's social appeals were couched in biblical terminology. Although mentioning the sin problem frequently, it was usually in the context of sins against society rather than sin against God. Regeneration was masterfully redefined as a new social awareness. The substitutionary atonement of Christ upon the cross was deemed insignificant and was rarely if ever mentioned. The Reformation dictum, that humankind can find peace with God only by being justified by faith, was simply ignored as without relevance. The residue of evangelical concepts which could be found in their gospel messages were mostly based on Arminian theology. . . ." (p. 155)
In order to achieve this organic unity, the reformers of that era proposed that a "sense of urgency" or "crisis" be created. E. Stanley Jones, who is quoted at the top of this post, proposed in 1935 that the various branches of Protestantism "come together on the simple doctrinal basis found in Matthew 16:16-19. He defended his proposal on the grounds of the urgent necessity to unite, in view of the task confronting the church." (p. 147)
Dr. Erdmann notes that "Jones was less than candid in his statements." It was not unlike the call for a Second Reformation that we see today:
"The whole plan rested upon an indifference to the development of Christian theology from the Council of Nicea onwards, and it actually called upon the creedal churches, the Presbyterian and the Lutheran, for example, to surrender the heritage of the Reformation." P.148
The "New Deal" Kingdom" Upon the men of this time is breaking the light of a new social order. The outstanding fact of today is the rediscovery of the kingdom of God. To the world this comes almost as a new revelation from heaven. For eighteen hundred years men have believed in this kingdom and have prayed for its coming; but now at last conception of its meaning becomes larger and more true. We are coming to see that the kingdom of God in Christ's conception never means anything less than a righteous human society on earth. Christ has come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. He has come to reveal a kingdom in heaven and to realize a kingdom on earth. He has come not alone to save people out of the world and fill them for a far-away heaven; but to make a heaven here. He has come not to patch up human society and make the world a little less intolerable for men; but to make all things new and to create a new social order."
(Samuel Z. Batten, The New World Order, 1919, p. 4-5) [emphasis added]
This quotation above is cited on page 151 in Dr. Martin Erdmann's excellent book, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, which Herescope began to review in yesterday's post. Dr. Erdmann explains how, in 1932, the Federal Council of Churches began to revise its outdated Social Creed. This revision bears striking resemblance to current "marketplace transformation" efforts, described last week and in previous Herescope posts:
"Toyohiko Kagawa, a Japanese churchman, asserted in the January issue [of the Federal Council Bulletin] that the propagation of the Christian gospel must include a total reconstruction of society. The Church should aspire to nothing less than the constitution of Christian collectivism. It is evident,' he wrote, 'that we must Christianise industry and get rid of the acquisitive motive in economic life. It seems to me that we cannot solve our problems on the basis of individualism.' His idea was to replace the supposedly defunct capitalist system with a number of Christian co-operatives modeled after the pattern of the medieval guild system. The FCC was enthused about Kagawa's proposal and incorporated it (in a modified form) in its revised version of the Social Creed." (p. 151-2) [emphasis added]
This resultant Social Creed adopted by the FCC in 1932 was part and parcel of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. So much so that eventually the FCC was able to move on to other projects. Many of the tenets of this Social Creed called for a radical restructuring of economic, social, cultural, family, and political order.
This "new social order" was being implemented in a supposed "new age of faith":
"The Commission on the Church and Social Service spearheaded the campaign for a Christian collectivism among the American public by preparing a message which was delivered on Labour Day 1932. This message directly advocated a redistribution of wealth in the United States and also among the nations of the world. It asserted that only by the intelligent regulation and management of finance, credit, and industry could the kingdom of God be advanced for the common good. It pleaded for the extension of minimum-wage laws, and the payment of the highest wages possible in order to achieve the redistribution of wealth and to realize the kingdom of God.
"It became clear that the thinking of a large segment of the leadership of the Council was dominated by political and economic idealism." (p. 153)
By 1933 the "FCC initiated an amalgamation process which in time blurred the distinction between its new social order and the New Deal." (p. 159)
The Truth: Some of the rhetoric has changed. Some of the doctrinal focus has shifted so that it now incorporates the "Great Commission" and Stewardship of the Earth "mandates." Some of the political lessons learned over the past 75 years have changed the initial game plan, the dynamics, and even some of the implementation. And the methods have been updated to use state-of-the-art psycho-social techniques. But the basic "plan" to institute a global "kingdom" in the name of Christ is still the same.75 years ago this plan was a fraud and a sham. It had nothing to do with true Christianity. Today, this same plan -- slightly revised and updated -- is still a fraud and a sham. It is an antichrist kingdom which is being built upon Earth.
Pastor Larry DeBruyn
By Warren Smith
When I realized that I was going to have to quit my great job as a hospice social worker on California’s central coast to write what would prove to be an unpopular book about a very popular pastor, I knew that I would lose not only my job, but also, in all likelihood, a few friends. But as is so typical of the Lord, and as a result of writing Deceived on Purpose, I have accumulated new friends. One of them is Pastor Larry DeBruyn.
Six months after Deceived on Purpose was published, in the late summer of 2004, I received a letter from him. He had read Deceived on Purpose and wanted to make contact with me. He said that he had appreciated my book but also offered a few helpful suggestions. I listened to him then, and I continue to listen to him today, and as a brother in the Lord, he has become a friend and confidant.
Larry DeBruyn is the pastor of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the father of two adult sons and recently along with his wife celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Born into a working class family, Larry surprised himself by going to college and later to seminary. He attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he was a four-year letterman in football and graduated with a B.S. degree in education in 1968. After two years of being a history teacher and football coach, he was called by the Lord into vocational Christian service.
Along with his wife, they moved to Texas, where he enrolled in and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Master of Theology, 1974). From that seminary, Dallas he received the Charles A. Nash award in Church History.
Upon graduation, Larry moved back to his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he served in a Bible church as an associate pastor for five years. In 1979, he relocated to O’Fallon, Missouri, where for seven years he pastored the Hope Bible Church. For the past 22 years he has served as the Senior Pastor of the Franklin Road Baptist Church.
In addition to his ministerial duties, he has also been an adjunct professor at Taylor University and Crossroads Bible College. Since 1990, he has also been extensively involved in a church planting ministry in the former Communist bloc of nations.
Over the last three years, Larry has written many articles on various theological, apologetic and spiritual issues. From a biblical perspective, his incisive writings discuss many complex and deceptive influences facing today's believers. His excellent book Church on the Rise: Why I am not a “Purpose-Driven” Pastor, has almost sold out its first printing. The book has informed many believers and helped them to understand the problems of the seeker-sensitive, user-friendly, and audience-driven methods of church growth. He is a contributing writer to Herescope.com, and is looking forward to launching his new website, Guarding His Flock.com this fall. Currently, he is involving himself in the evaluation of the biblical and theological problems associated with the bestselling novel, The Shack.
I believe Larry is a man God has raised up to expound His truth in these last days, a task that God has literally kept Larry alive to do. Less than two years ago, while teaching at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hungary, he contracted a severe case of the flu, became severely dehydrated, formed blood clots, and suffered a massive heart attack. While on the hour and half ride in an ambulance to the hospital in Budapest, his heart stopped, and he had to be defibrillated, seven times. Literally, he and others believe that God rescued him from death's door and kept him alive to continue to do ministry. While he may not have the stamina he did as a 23-year-old youth who, along with his lifelong friend Pastor Bob Gifford of Dale City, Virginia, bicycled across the United States in 1968, God continues to perfect His strength in Larry’s weakness. I am proud to consider him my friend.
Cordially invites you to attend
TRANSFORMATION of THE CHURCH
October 10 & 11, 2008
10:00 a.m. Dr. Martin Erdmann
The Rosicrucian Vision of a Transformed World (17th Century)
How this esoteric group's doctrine became part of established Christianity, and how it influenced eschatology and theology in a way that is still impacting the church today.
1:30 p.m. Pastor Larry DeBruyn
Was Paul a Mystic? Pastor DeBruyn answers this question by examining Scripture, history, and the influential rise of Emergent mysticism in the evangelical church.
3:00 p.m. Pastor Jeff Whittaker
His firsthand account of his personal experience attending the Emergent church leader Brian McLaren's "Everything Must Change" conference.
7:00 p.m. Dr. Martin Erdmann
The Ecumenical Vision of a Transformed World (20th Century)
How the mainline denominations were used as a vehicle to generate support for a one world government by "building the kingdom of God on Earth" – this links to what is happening in the church today.
9:00 a.m. Dr. Martin Erdmann
The Transhumanist Vision of a Transformed World (21st Century)
There is a growing group of scientists who envision creating an actual New Breed, a physically superior man, by engineering with DNA.
11:00 a.m. Jewel Grewe
The New Breed
A teaching on the rise in Charismatic circles with its influence increasing by the means of parachurch conferences, networking and television.
2:00 p.m. Larry DeBruyn
The Romancing of the Soul: Music and Mysticism
How music is being used to promote mystical experiences and mind-altering states. A frank examination of the roots and fruits of this new wave.
3:45 p.m. Sarah Leslie
Final Session - Synopsis of the Conference
Dr. Martin Erdmann (see article)
Pastor Larry DeBruyn (see article).
Pastor Jeffrey Whittaker is the host pastor of the conference. He has pastored the Michiana Christian Embassy for 14 years. His burden and passion is to see the end time church come into true revival and the nations of the earth reached with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sarah Leslie is a former counselor, publisher, editor and writer. She is one of the writers for the Discernment Research Group which publishes on the Herescope blog.
Jewel Grewe is the founder of Discernment Ministries (with her late husband Travers van der Merwe). Publishes the newsletter, Discernment.
The conference is being held at:
The Michiana Christian Embassy
1922 E. Main Street
Niles, MI 49120
(easy access from interstate 80/90 – near South Bend, IN)
There is a block of rooms being held at the Holiday Inn Express - 1265 South 11th Street, Niles. Rooms must be booked by September 24th for the special rate of $79.99 plus tax. When you book your room ask for "Joan" and then ask for the "Embassy rate". Their phone number is: 269-684-3900.
There is an airport in South Bend. Also bus service to South Bend from the Chicago airports.
There is no registration fee for the conference. Free-will offerings will be taken.
Inquiries: 765-583-4799/ 765-583-4177
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