Volume 20  Number 2                              March/April 2009

 

 

A New Breed Arising

Jewel Grewe

 

19 years ago Discernment Ministries published a list of the signs of the New Breed.

  1. “Prophets” that use the Holy Scriptures deceitfully.

  2. Revival of “sorcery” (magic art of manipulating).  People are being manipulated into blindly receiving unscriptural views.

  3. Revival that wants to see the Churches and Denominations crumble and come under the authority, structure and network of the NEW BREED.

  4. The New Breed discriminates against those who do not go along with them.

  5. Rejects the literal Rapture.

  6. Rejects Sound Doctrine as a basis for unity.

  7. Teaches that it is wrong to judge the prophets according to the Word of God.

  8. It says that the Church (corporately) is the literal presence of Christ.

  9. Says “Touch not God’s Anointed” – meaning no matter what is said or how wrong it is – do not question.

  10. Obsessed with a New Breed of people and a political agenda on earth.

  11. Bent on turning the youth into a militant people with a war-like mentality designed to take dominion  of the world and if need be – by force.

  12. Owes its character to a group of specific persons who are misinterpreting the Bible and supplementing it with their own dreams, visions and mystical ideas.

 

In going over recent articles and listening to various speakers there is no doubt that what we witnessed from the late ‘80s until now has far exceeded and moved into areas of so-called “revelation” that defies even the wildest imagination.

 

Various ministries are tributaries, yet they all flow from the same estuary. As the New Breed gather in stadiums, Prayer Furnaces are being established on college campuses, the Tabernacle of David worship on a 24/7 basis is captivating the eager youth who truly believe they are serving God and are hungry for reality.   However, they are being manipulated into unscriptural views that supplant the complete work of Calvary that was accomplished by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  HE is being replaced by the New Breed who is rising to bring in the Kingdom as the invincible Joel’s Army.

 

When Scripture is allegorized and spiritualized the interpretation thereof falls prey to the “winds of doctrine” that tantalize the soul into another gospel.

 

Tabernacle of David Worship

 

Many of the ministries which are focused on the youth involve the 24/7 worship that comes from the Tabernacle of David (TOD) Worship. They believe that this is a model for “spirit-filled” worship. It compares the Tabernacle of Moses with “dead, liturgical worship with ritualistic symbolism” and the TOD as “lively, spontaneous and experiencing the presence of God.”

 

Others have an even more sinister agenda. They believe that this order of worship was used by David to enable him to go out with his army and destroy his enemies, acquire their wealth and expand his kingdom.

 

“There is a Davidic generation today that God is calling forth.  He desires that we follow in David’s footsteps.  This is the generation that has to pay a price and expand the kingdom.  Just as the spoil from Egypt was used to build the Tabernacle of Moses and the spoil David acquired was used to build Solomon’s Temple, so shall the wealth of the Gentiles will be used to build the house of God (the Church) today.

 

“Our Lord is looking for those today with character whom he can entrust the anointing to spoil.  These are those who will expand the kingdom for His glory for the financing of the end time harvest.” (Tim Taylor) www.watchmanministries.org The teaching has a far deeper strategy.  It is part of the Apostolic Reformation to “change” the focus of the church.   This website lays out this plan:

 

Military Unit

Ministry Type

Ground operations

Evangelism, outreach to poor & homeless, signs/wonders

Air operations

Prayer, praise & worship, 24 hours

Intelligence

Prophetic & prayer ministries

Supply & Support

Business professionals, market place ministries, helps

Medical

Healing, Christian health organizations, etc.

Training

Churches, teaching ministries, bible schools, etc.

Communications

CONECT, networking ministries

 

  They say all their references to war are just speaking of “spiritual warfare”, yet it is strange how the New Breed or the youth are being inculcated with military images.  Even mentioned is an “anointing to spoil”.

 

When the Scriptures are mishandled and taken out of context, the Lamb of God is again friendless and forsaken by those He came to redeem from the clutches of Satan.

 

Orrel Steinkamp gives a proper interpretation of the Scripture:

 

The prophet Amos had prophesied that David's rule, with all its glorious promises, would one day collapse and fall being overrun with "breaches" and "ruins." But Amos went on to promise that David's tabernacle (the house of David) would be restored from its fallen state.  James purpose in quoting the passage is to demonstrate to the council that the restoring of David's house refers to the spiritual incorporation of the Gentiles into the New Testament Church.  Indeed, it had been God's intention to include Gentiles in His Kingdom from the beginning.  What Amos had predicted so long ago is now being fulfilled in that Gentiles are coming to faith and being included in Christ's church. After the literal historical fall of David's tabernacle (the Davidic Dynasty) God would restore David's rule by including Jews and Gentiles in the same 'house' or family of God.  James, in quoting Amos is establishing to the council that the inclusion of Gentiles was not something new but was a part of God's plan and was being fulfilled in the Church.  Consequently, James concludes, "Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles" (Acts 15:19).

 

The only way to teach the restoration of Davidic Worship is to snatch the phrase "Tabernacle of David" in Acts 15:16 out of its historical meaning, isolate it from the context and give it a meaning that James, Paul, Bamabus, Peter and the whole NT would not have even recognized.

 

He goes on to conclude:

 

Beyond the fact that "Tabernacle of David' teaching is simply wrong and an example of illegitimate restoration teaching, there are pastoral and practical concerns.  Rather than worship directed to God, simply to express praise, Davidic worship/warfare is practiced in order to produce a so-called spiritual effect.  It hints at a kind of spiritual formula or recipe.  The teaching that restored Davidic worship somehow allows or even attracts the physical manifestations of God's presence seems to border on spiritual magic.

 

Finally, the identification of worship as purely musical is not biblical.  The Apostle Paul teaches that worship touches all the areas of life.  Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices constitutes our "spiritual worship" (Romans 12: 1).  Worship styles and musical preferences should never be put forth as God's unique and authorized form of worship.  Cultural expressions of worship will always be different.  The central point is that worship is an expression of the heart toward God.

 

The River Flows On

 

In the last twenty years we have witnessed what was already called the River” which was a confluence of ministries from the same estuary. As this River made its way throughout the country and spread throughout the world – few stopped to question.  Doesn’t it seem strange that it started as a “laughing revival” where the theme seemed to be “God is having a party?” Pastors (Shepherds of the Sheep) were making their way to Joel’s Place to have another drink. In their state of delirium, they didn’t realize that the door was opening to a deception that has it roots in the Garden of Eden, “Eat this fruit and ye shall be as God”. The results of the “fruit” was an insatiable desire for “more.” The hook was in the jaw of many sincere Christians who failed to check out their experiences with the Word of God.

 

The River of Deception became a mighty force when it was “imparted” to Toronto. Instead of having a drink at the bar and appearing to be inebriated, the barnyard came alive.  The manifestations were roosters, dogs, owls, rototillers, etc.  The Glory of God was reduced to that of animals.  And still the Word of God was not held up as the standard, but rather the experiences of those who were held captive by the deception.

 

When the same River was imparted directly to the Assemblies of God it came with a mixture.  There was a great attempt to sanitize it.  The Gospel was preached in a forthright manner.  Yet, the manifestations were allowed unchecked and soon became that which drew in the crowds and catapulted various ministries into orbit.   Sadly it had become another tributary to what we are witnessing today as mysticism replaces the preaching of the Word of God throughout Christianity.

 

We have written about this subject many times and are sobered when we realize what is happening around us as the result of the lack of discernment.   In false teaching there always seems to be “levels” of attainment and “spirituality.” One is continually striving to be on the next level. To be able to go into the “inner court” is supposedly to be attained.  With the spiritualization of the Song of Solomon, a new level of intimacy is being taught.

 

The tragedy is that this is coming from the “me generation” who are looking for thrills and experiences that give them the sensations they think they deserve – a generation that doesn’t understand authority.  The authority of the Word of God in the life of a Christian who is truly BORN AGAIN of the Spirit of God is not understood.

 

No, there is not a New Breed! There is One Anointed Seed, Christ Jesus who said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 13:32 then, the next verse says, “This he said, signifying what death he should die.”

 

He was “lifted up from the earth” when the cross was raised on Golgotha’s hill.  At that moment  in human history, the old Covenant made way for a new and glorious Covenant written in “fleshly tables of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3).

 

But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Cor. 3:18).

 

 

Mike Bickle’s gigolo Jesus

K. Jentoft

 

IHOP’s Bridal Paradigm

 

Recently I was given a CD of Mike Bickle speaking to a group of youth at IHOP’s Passion for Jesus Conference. Mike is full of zeal and passion as he speaks of the “Bridegroom Jesus” that he has found in the Song of Solomon using “spiritual interpretation.”  This message is central to his ministry as IHOP sees this new revelation of the “Bridal Paradigm” being extremely important for individual Christians to grow in God and to fulfill God’s plan for them in the end times. Through his discoveries in the Song of Solomon, Bickle believes he has found new ways to enhance his spiritual passion and IHOP is eager to share his discoveries with today’s youth seeking greater meaning in Christianity. The trouble is that the bridegroom “discovered” in IHOP’s Bridal Paradigm is not the Jesus of the Apostles and their scriptures.  Mike Bickle is asking us to fall in love with an imposter – the spiritual gigolo Jesus he imagines hidden in the Bible.

 

“Jesus the bridegroom” hidden in the Song of Solomon is only found there by “spiritual interpretation” which Mike Bickle describes as, “a symbolic interpretation to see the spiritual truths in our relationship with Jesus behind the natural love story.”[1] Through spiritual interpretation Bickle believes Song of Solomon explains Jesus’ relationship to the individual, Israel and the church. First and foremost for Bickle it “is the relationship between Jesus and the individual believer. This approach gives spiritual principles that aid us in our progression of holy passion.”[2]  IHOP claims that the theme of the Song of Solomon is to receive the kisses of God’s Word as spiritual experiences and misquotes verse 1:2 to prove it, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth (Word).”  While Hebrew words have a range of meanings it doesn’t follow that they can mean anything at any time because someone wants them to.  It is a stretch to make one flimsy verse confusing mouth/word as the cornerstone of an entire revelation of Christ.  Neither the immediate context nor the entire book describes how a woman was ravished about the words of scriptures.   In contrast, passion for the Word of God is central to Psalm 119 but is not described in sexual terms.  First and foremost Song of Solomon is about tangible physical love between a man and woman.

 

Sola Scriptura – scripture alone

 

Bickle’s “spiritual interpretation” is a repudiation of the basic concept of the Reformation, namely Sola Scriptura – the authority of Scripture alone. This error enables Popes, or anyone else including Bickle, to make Scriptures mean whatever they think they should mean.  In addition, while Bickle embraces his own “spiritual interpretation,” he is also tolerant of competing interpretations and states, “We bless different interpretations as long as they exhort others to grow in wholehearted love for Jesus.”[3] That IHOP blesses different interpretations as long as they exhort others to grow in wholehearted love for Jesus is self-condemning – all interpretations are not true nor should they be blessed. Why?  The true meaning of the Scriptures that is valid and binding is only what God intended the passage to mean. The correct interpretations of Scripture actually define the Jesus that we are commanded to obey and to love.  A good Mormon feels a wholehearted love for Jesus but it is the wrong Jesus because they embrace a wrong interpretation.

 

The concept of the “inspiration of Scriptures” is not mystical people using automatic writing to convey God’s words but authors who chose words in their language to convey specific meanings and thoughts to their intended audience. Song of Solomon was a Jewish love poem and a repudiation of the doctrine of demons that forbids marriage[4].  Using it as the basis for a training guide for the individual “bride of God” is misguided and utterly lacking in support.  God in the Old Testament spoke of corporate Israel as a bride.  In the New Testament we find concept of the bride is also corporate.  Ultimately, in Revelation 21:9 the “bride” clearly identified as the New Jerusalem. 

 

“Then one of the seven angels… spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”

 

The bride of Revelation is not an individual but a city populated by those whose names are written in the book of life – it is a corporate bride clothed in the righteous acts of the saints.  The Bridegroom of this city is the Jesus that Scriptures reveal to us.  He is a man with a glorified human body that is actually sitting on the throne of a tangible city.  The citizens of His bride have real glorified bodies and physically enter and exit the walls of His city.  The Scriptures do not reveal the bridegroom of the individual and that is the primary spiritual interpretation taught by Mike Bickle.

 

Sensual spiritual intimacy

 

By seeking spiritual guidance to increase individual spiritual passion in a book that is about sexual love, Mike Bickle is confessing a different Jesus than the one revealed in Scripture, God who came in the flesh as man.  The Jesus that John describes in 1 John 1:1 is not the passionate spiritual bridegroom of the individual.  IHOP has been seduced by a substitute Jesus imagined in their “spiritual interpretations” and they have wandered from the Word of God. They have even created their own language to describe their “Jesus experiences” and have published an on-line dictionary to explain their terms to outsiders. They have over 63 terms listed[5].  Here are a couple of them.

 

Spirit of burning — [IHOP–KC phrase] This is a cycle of maintaining a passionate desire for Jesus so that you are in a place of emotional pain whenever He is absent; hope and excited expectancy because of the knowledge that He loves to come to the hungry and thirsty heart; real experiential encounters with His beauty and presence causing you to have an even greater intense desire to be close to Jesus.

 

Captivated/fascinated/ravished heart — [literal phrase] In the context of the Bridal Paradigm, this refers to someone who is wholeheartedly in love with God. In the natural, this refers to a heart moved with deep emotion and love due to the actions of their lover.

 

This IHOP “spirit of burning” concept is missing in scripture because Jesus IS absent and will be absent until He returns again.  This “spirit of burning” is simply a description of a deep lust for spiritual experiences and a spiritualizing of 1 Co 7:9. You can also see that IHOP uses terms from physical romance as the goal for their training to deepen their spiritual passion.

 

When we look up the Scriptures Mike Bickle posts on his website as proof of his revelations, these Scriptures also need to be interpreted according to IHOP’s “spiritual interpretation” to be relevant.  It is through this “bait with the Word and switch the meaning” that Mike Bickle discovers a different Jesus, a spiritual sensual Jesus for the individual. Bickle claims his “spiritual interpretations” give us additional power to resist sin and states, “If we do not feel loved and in love, we can still be born again. However, when we feel His love then we resist compromise with greater consistency.”[6] This is the message of the Galatians where they started with the Gospel and then switched to something else for sanctification, a false gospel.  Passion for spiritual experiences of the highest level is what Bickle is after through his spiritual interpretation of Scripture, “We want the deepest things that God will give the human spirit in this age.  We receive the kisses of God’s Word by pray-reading God’s Word or in meditation.”[7] Mike Bickle is using Scriptures describing physical sexual love as the paradigm to teach individual spiritual intimacy with the hidden Jesus he imagines in the Song of Solomon.

 

Bickle’s gigolo Jesus

 

I am not claiming that IHOP intends to promote a sexual Jesus.  Their motives may be pure.  It is inescapable, however, that Mike Bickle paints such a sensual picture of Jesus through his allegorizing of the Song of Solomon that he feels obligated to warn us saying, “We are not to think of kissing Jesus on the mouth[8].” This warning is like the legal statements following television drug commercials – this may cause death or injury and the cure may be worse than the disease. The warning itself paints the picture.  The Bible doesn’t need to warn Christians “not to think about kissing Jesus on the mouth” because the true teaching of Jesus doesn’t provoke these lusts. True biblical intimacy with God doesn’t provoke these lusts either. The fact that IHOP feels it necessary to give this warning is proof that their teaching is doing exactly that – creating lustful appetites for a sensual Jesus.  Their Jesus is an imposter and the spiritual experiences they enjoy are not “intimacy with God” but spiritual fornication. Let us be clear: passions, desires, emotions, and feelings are sensual and creating an appetite for sensual spiritual experiences is the goal of IHOP’s Passion for Jesus Conference. This passion is directed at some spirit Mike Bickle believes hidden in the sexuality of the Song of Solomon; not the man Jesus that John knew and described in 1 John 1:1. The bridegroom of Mike Bickle is not the Jesus of the Apostles.  It is not the Jesus that Peter preached to the Jews in Acts 2, nor it the Jesus that Paul preached to the Gentiles later in Acts and throughout His epistles.  Mike Bickle is confessing a different Jesus than found in the Bible, his own sensual Jesus, a gigolo Jesus.

 

Prom with a gigolo?

 

Mike Bickle’s campaign to teach Christian youth spiritual intimacy with his “Bridal Paradigm” carrying a muted warning “not to think about kissing Him on the mouth” is like a father sending his daughter to the prom with a seductive gigolo and hoping they don’t kiss. Tragically, this is exactly what is happening as parents send their youth to Bickle’s conferences to learn how to become intimate with God. The method of growing in intimacy with the true Jesus is to read about what those who knew him on earth have to tell us and believe what they wrote.  We come to know the “Jesus come in the flesh” through the words of those who walked and talked with Him. As we come to understand and believe, we love this true Jesus seeing His death on our behalf and the love that He demonstrated in coming to save us. Through the words of His apostles we have true fellowship. We change and we become conformed to His image.  The apostle John was not kidding when he wrote of the true Jesus in 1 John to warn us of defective teaching.

1What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

 

John also explained how we are to know and avoid any gigolo Jesus impersonating the true one in 1 John 4:1.

1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist.

 

IHOP fails this test. The Jesus confessed in Mike Bickle’s “spiritual interpretations” at IHOP is not the “Jesus Christ come in the flesh.” Mike Bickle’s “Bridal Paradigm” Jesus is not the Jesus of the Apostles but a substitute Jesus of his own imagination and found only in imaginary interpretations and not the Bible. Those who embrace and love the Jesus of Mike Bickle’s imagination are cultivating intimacy with an imposter. Their feelings of love may grow and be sincere but they are misplaced because God’s word does not give us the Jesus that Mike Bickle is asking us to worship.

 

Used with permission from the author.

 

[1] IHOP’s View of the Song of Solomon      http://www.ihop.org/Mobile/default.aspx?article_id=1000010560

[2]Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] 1 Tim 4:1-3

[5]Learning IHOP-ese http://www.ihop.org/Mobile/default.aspx?group_id=1000008264&article_id=1000002954

[6]International House of Prayer- The Bridal Paradigm http://www.ihop.org/Mobile/default.aspx?group_id=1000008264&article_id=1000010559

[7] IHOP’s View of the Song of Solomon      http://www.ihop.org/Mobile/default.aspx?article_id=1000010560

[8] Ibid.

 

 

Thank you for the continuing donations for Zimbabwe Relief.  Every contribution goes directly to help the needy in that land.

 

 

 

Evangelism Highjacked by Closet Theological Liberals

 

A recent article by Peter Jones (Feb. 26, 2009)

 

My colleague, Mike Horton, has just published a book, Christless Christianity. I write, so to speak, from the belly of this beast, attending the National Pastors' Conference, sponsored by Zondervan and Intervarsity Press, which is taking place in San Diego, February 9-14, 2009. It is amazing to see how these once faithful publishers of evangelical orthodoxy are now consistently and deliberately launching a massive but subtle attack against the "Fundamentals" for which Evangelicalism stood courageously against liberalism in the past.

 

While I am struck by the sincerity of the brilliant public speakers (named below), who still have evangelical piety and passion, their openly-stated theology is turning large swathes of the evangelical church into various new forms of old-fashioned though very cool liberalism.

 

1. UNDERMINING OF SCRIPTURE: Brian McLaren is still widely featured here. He believes that the age of sola scriptura is over. Rob Bell, a plenary speakers, believes the Bible is a "human product...not the product of divine fiat" Little wonder Mr. Bell's former colleague at Mars Hill of Grandville, MI, Ron Golden, now Senior Vice President of World Relief, a ministry of the National Association of Evangelicals, in a seminar I attended, openly boasted, "Karl Barth is my theological mentor." Barth undermined the classical orthodox doctrine of Scripture. Is it surprising that in all the plenaries except one, there was no biblical exposition?

 

2. THE ABSENCE OF CHRIST: Christ's atoning death was passed over in silence. A few examples:

 

--In the middle of a "worship service," Andy Crouch of IVP interviewed A.J. Jacobs, an editor at Esquire magazine, about his book, The Year of Living Biblically. Jacobs, a non-practicing Jew, lived for one year according to OT laws, letting his beard grow, wearing Kosher clothes and practicing Sabbath and the Ten Commandments. Crouch did not remind him that the New Testament was part of the Bible, nor that Jesus saw himself as the very center and goal of the Old Testament (Luke 24:27). Jacobs concluded, to applause, that he had become a "reverential agnostic."

 

--Christ is absent but "Jesus" is here, as the architect of a socio-economic revolution that he began while on earth that we must finish, with the help of all religionists and globalist socialists of good faith. Shane Claibourne (30), who looked like a youthful throw-back from the Sixties, with tee shirt, very baggy slacks and very long hair constantly exhorted people to get serious about non-materialistic living. His model was Mother Theresa with whom he worked in India, but never once did he make any attempt to include the Gospel of saving grace as the motivation for Christian service. McLaren summed it up: "Jesus teaches a way of life rather than a set of beliefs."

 

 Every video clip from World Vision and other ministries was exclusively about digging wells in Africa. Not a word was uttered about preaching the Gospel to Africans bound in pagan practices or Moslem darkness. We are losing our nerve and closing our mouths! Sooner or later, we will endorse all "valid" spiritualities, as do McLaren and Bell.

 

A GLOBALIST FUTURE

 

The other half of the very center of the Gospel-Jesus's physical resurrection-was also absent. A miraculous divine transformation of the physical universe really does not fit this new liberal social gospel of the kingdom, which comes incrementally through our works of social justice. Certainly, eschatology is not a   Left Behind "board game figuring out where we are," but when asked about the Early Church's expectation of the imminent final coming of Christ, McLaren rejected Christ's final coming out of hand, Ron Golden said it was an image of being open to the kingdom coming now, and New Testament scholar Scott McKnight spoke of New Testament eschatology as "metaphorical rhetoric." This is pure liberalism gone wild, at an evangelical pastors' conference!

 

DE-PERSONALIZATION OF GOD

 

With all the emphasis on the earthly Jesus, on our human efforts to bring in the kingdom, and on "Human Flourishing," God as personal savior is vague, even absent. God was referred to in a large plenary session as "God revealing ‘godself,'" thus successfully avoiding any gender-specific language for God but successfully depersonalizing Him. The absence is filled by seeking God's "presence" through mysticism and so-called "spiritual disciplines," so widespread in impersonal pagan spirituality.

 

Both the bold-faced audacity but more, the naiveté of this project is quite stunning. There is no mention anywhere of the vastly superior pagan project, already well-developed, to construct a this-worldly socio-economic utopia, very similar to neo-evangelical's this-worldly "kingdom of God." Will this "shovel-ready eschatology" of human justice be digging the church's own grave? Will the two meet one day, and then, as Jesus asked (Luke 18:8), "Will the Son of Man, when he comes, find faith on the earth?"

http://www.truthxchange.com/article/55-evangelism-highjacked-by-closet-theological-liberals/#header

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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