-by Andrew Strom.
For many years, even when I was truly disturbed by something I usually avoided "naming names" as much as possible. I do not approve of the 'Heresy Hunters' who seem to take such delight in maligning Spirit-filled ministries across the Internet. There is no delight in such things for me. Only grief and sadness that the name of Jesus is once again being brought down into the mud. We live in very sad times in the church today, don't we?
After my previous article, many people asked me again to "name names" and announce clearly who the leaders were at this conference - even though that info was already at the top of my first email. For this one time, I am actually going to accede to their request - because we need to clear the air about these leaders and also a number of others as well. But I have to tell you, I have been totally heart-sick at having to talk about all this.
The speakers at this KC 'Whitedove' Conference were Bob Jones, Paul Keith Davis, Bobby Conner, John Paul Jackson, Shawn Bolz - plus Jim Goll and one or two others. Sadly, I have to say that I have rarely felt so grieved or devastated as when I witnessed the carryings-on at this event. If you get the 'Elijah' List (-the main Prophetic email List) you will recognize most of the names above as being amongst the top "movers and shakers" of the whole movement.
A number of people asked me about Rick Joyner and Morningstar Ministries. Where do they fit into all this? Well, seemingly Rick has always managed to keep himself at a slight distance from the worst excesses and controversies of this movement. (-Except for when he joined the Knights of Malta - an ancient Catholic Order. -By the way, that is probably what led to the fad of using swords to 'knight' people that swept through this movement a few years ago). I have read some of Joyner's books and enjoy some of the things he says, but frankly, just because he has kept himself at a slight distance does not absolve him from the mess that the Prophetic is in today. The fact is, Mr Joyner is very close friends with almost all of the main leaders at this recent conference. He regularly ministers alongside them - and knows them very well. As a 'father' in the movement, if he had brought correction it would have been heeded, but he has clearly failed to do so. Thus, he has to be held accountable for the state of things as much as anyone else. And it would not surprise me if similar deception is finding it's way into Morningstar conferences. (-A number of the same people are involved). Sadly then, I have had to remove any articles or links to Rick Joyner from my web-site - along with all the others.
And speaking of the sad and grievous state of this movement, I wonder how many of you received the following notice from the Elijah List recently about a forthcoming 'School of the Prophets': "God is releasing a new level of revelation that goes beyond just operating in the nine gifts of the Spirit.... Sessions will cover topics like Hearing the Voice of God, Activating your Spiritual Senses, Third Heaven Experiences, and Exploring Spirit Realms." The advertised speakers are Todd Bentley, Stacey Campbell, Larry Randolph, Paul Keith Davis, and Bobby Conner.
Now, I have come across Todd Bentley's teachings on "How to visit the Third Heaven" before, and I tell you, it is nothing less than 'Guided Visualization' taken straight out of the New Age movement. Nothing less and nothing more. It is exactly the same. And I want you to know that if you attend these kinds of things, or allow these men to 'guide' you or lay hands upon you, then you are opening yourself up to all kinds of spirits and demonic counterfeits. As I have stated before, this movement has absolutely NO DISCERNMENT at all. It has sunk into such deception that it's leaders are opening people up to all kinds of demonic experiences on a daily basis. It has no idea that it is even doing it. -It behaves exactly like a movement that has been "given over to deception" by God. I urge again that everyone reading this would prayerfully consider CUTTING OFF all ties to this movement, lest you yourself become tainted by it.
It is with great sadness that I make the above points. I have refrained from saying such things in the past, but I can no longer do so, because untold people are being spiritually damaged by what is going on. Please understand my heart in this.
For the same reason I also need to warn you about another 'prophetess' who is often featured on the Elijah List. Her name is Jill Austin and I have personally witnessed her ministry in action. I would describe it as one of the most disturbing (by far) meetings that I have ever been in. There was definitely a strange "power" operating, but it certainly did not seem like God to me. She is also an expert at 'hyping' an audience. Please be very careful in such environments, my friends. -You can end up taking part in things that you would never normally do, just because you are part of a large crowd.
Sadly, there seem to be many other ministries in this movement involved in similar deception. In fact, I hate to say it, but a general rule might be that if someone is featured on the Elijah List, there has to be at least an 80% chance that their ministry is "off" in some major way. I will say just one more thing about the Elijah List: I am convinced that they will one day give account to God for taking upon themselves the name "Elijah" and then doing what they have done with it. Literally, by their own words they will be judged.
HOW TO AVOID DECEPTION
What a lot of people don't seem to recognize is the sheer level of 'peer pressure' and "crowd manipulation" that is going on at many of these events. They end up being led into doing things they feel uncomfortable with, just because "everybody else" is doing it. They squash down their discernment. They ignore the "little voice" or the tiny 'alarm bells' inside them that are trying to get their attention. And thus, multitudes of Christians are being led astray - and paying through the nose for the privilege. I urge anyone reading this who has ever squashed down their discernment and participated in such things, to get before God and REPENT of opening yourself up in that way. It is very important that you confess this before God and ask His forgiveness. RENOUNCE all deception in Jesus' name.
One thing we don't have much time to discuss here is the MONEY issue. This is a huge problem in the Prophetic. Now, I do understand that ministries need finances to operate. I run a ministry myself. And as most of you know, about 5 times a year we put out a book or CD (available for any donation - or even just postage) to go towards the costs of keeping this ministry operating. However, the word itself is always free. It is terribly sad to see the charging of 'entry fees' to hear the word today, and the over-bearing emphasis on MONEY in the church. Did not Jesus clearly command: "Freely you have received, freely give"?
Just because I have cut myself off from today's Prophetic movement does not mean that I believe there is no place for prophets in the church. In fact, I believe we need true prophets now more than ever. But you will notice that there has been a subtle shift in the use of the term "prophet" over the last 25 years, and I believe we need to get back to the original meaning. It was not long ago that when you spoke of a 'prophet' you were usually referring to someone like Keith Green, Leonard Ravenhill or David Wilkerson - someone who was crying out to the lukewarm church, "REPENT." And if you look down the annals of history, you will find that there has never been a true Prophetic movement that did not have this as it's core message. Every true Prophetic movement, right from the Old Testament down through every Revival and Awakening that I have ever studied, has been a movement of REPENTANCE. And yet we find today a movement that calls itself "Prophetic" - but with spiritual 'revelations' and words of knowledge at its core. -No piercing word. This is the precise reason why it has gone off the rails. -It has abandoned it's age-old message. It's 'word' has been corrupted.
I am convinced that God IS going to raise up true prophets in this hour to cry to the lukewarm church "Repent". There is a movement coming that is utterly different from that which we have seen. God is coming to clean house. The "shaking" has already begun. And the "John-the-Baptists" whom God has prepared in the caves and wildernesses are about to arise and speak His word - just as in every Great Awakening down through history.
Some people asked me if I was going to shut down our web-sites and email Lists. Not at all. The whole point of what we're doing is to call forth and encourage these "John-the-Baptists" whom God is raising up in this hour. We will not stop crying aloud until we see a great 'Repentance' Revival sweeping this nation from coast to coast.
As A.W. Tozer wrote of all true prophets down the ages: "God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke and exhort in the name of God and righteousness... Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, and these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others and alienated not a few, but he knew who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart."
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An extra big THANKYOU to those who have been praying for us during this sad time. Truly appreciated, my friends.
God bless you all.
Kindest regards in Christ,
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