Waging the Worthy War #4: Future Fight
Text: 1 Timothy 4:1 Part 1 The Future is Now
Paul warns Timothy about the fight for the faith in the future. 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
That warning from Paul to Timothy of the future fight, is now our present reality. We are surrounded, silenced, solicited and spiritually slain by those who have departed from the truth of the faith. These are not saved people who have are now lost, the Bible teaches no such thing, these are lost people who pretend they were saved and now pervert the truth to achieve their own selfish, sinful purposes.
Examples of Modern-day Seducing Spirits and Doctrines of Devils
On January 20, 1994, a Pentecostal pastor named Randy Clark spoke at the church and gave his testimony of how he would get “drunk” in the Spirit and laugh uncontrollably. In response to this testimony, the congregation erupted in pandemonium with people laughing, growling, dancing, shaking, barking like dogs, and even being stuck in positions of paralysis. These experiences were attributed to the Holy Spirit entering people’s bodies. The pastor of the church, John Arnott, referred to it as a big Holy Spirit party. The moniker “Toronto Blessing” was given, and the church was famous or infamous depending on your knowledge of the Bible.
They says, that the Toronto Blessing is a transferable anointing. In its most visible form it overcomes worshipers with outbreaks of laughter, weeping, groaning, shaking, falling, ‘drunkenness,’ and even behaviours that have been described as a ‘cross between a jungle and a farmyard.’ Bill Johnson, one of the famous/ infamous teachers of Holy Laughter, attributes these manifestations to the Holy Spirit when he states, “Our new list includes falling, shaking, laughing, etc…we must learn to recognize his move by recognizing his presence.” (When Heaven Invades Earth; chapter 12; page 205)
Angel Dust and Feathers
On Sunday, March 7, 1999, as Max Greiner, Jr. prayed to God about serious problems in his family, the visible “Shekinah Glory” of God, as described in Isaiah 60: 1 – 5, and Exodus 34: 29 – 35, suddenly began to appear, in tangible form in front of his eyes, at home in Kerrville, Texas.
This “last days” amazing phenomenon is happening all over the world, he says, to Christians of all denominations. Many Christians have observed the sparkling substance on themselves, or nearby, thinking somehow, they accidentally encountered glitter. Many other Christians are totally unaware that the substance is on them, until curious observers point it out. The sparkles also form on non-believers, as a means to introduce them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The particles are usually golden, but also come in several colors including silver, red, blue and green. (wow, just like the glitter you buy in stores, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence) They are similar in appearance to fine glitter, or glitter make-up. They range in size from very tiny dust particles, to flakes 3/32” in size, and actually materialize “out of thin air.” Max has watched the particles form at sea level at the beach, and 30,000 feet in the air, as he traveled on a jet. He has seen the sparkling particles form in all temperatures, ranging from well below freezing to 105 degrees. The particles can be observed and photographed as they supernaturally form, on people or objects.
Max continues, “The truth is that the Holy Spirit of God is again working this amazing “Shekinah Glory” miracle in our generation. He is using this supernatural, sparkling substance to bring the “lost” to Christ, and to encourage and build the faith of His own children.”
In Chapter 12 of When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, by Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California writes: I have seen the small gems that suddenly appeared in the people’s hands as they worshipped God. Since early in 1998, we have had feathers fall in our meetings. At first I thought birds were getting into our air conditioning ducts, but then they started falling in other rooms of the church not connected with the same ductwork. (now that is it, Now I am so convinced. Different ductwork, of course) They now fall most anywhere we go – airports, homes, restaurants, offices and the like…He [God] wants to take us farther, and we can only get there by following signs. Our present understanding of scripture can only take us so far. (Page 204, 205)
Word of Faith
Word of Faith movement grew out of the Pentecostal movement in the late 20th century. Its founder was E. W. Kenyon, who studied the metaphysical New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby. Mind science (where “name it and claim it” originated) was combined with Pentecostalism, resulting in a peculiar mix of orthodox Christianity and mysticism. Kenneth Hagin, in turn, studied under E. W. Kenyon and made the Word of Faith movement what it is today.
At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the “force of faith.” It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God’s sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god.
Word of Faith, claims that God created human beings in His literal, physical image as little gods. Before the fall, humans had the potential to call things into existence by using the faith-force. After the fall, humans took on Satan’s nature and lost the ability to call things into existence. In order to correct this situation, Jesus Christ gave up His divinity and became a man, died spiritually, took Satan’s nature upon Himself, went to hell, was born again, and rose from the dead with God’s nature. After this, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to replicate the Incarnation in believers so they could become little gods as God had originally intended.
Some well know modern false teachers of the Word of Faith Heresy
Benny Hinn, famous for his spectacular "slayings in the spirit" and who has claimed to be able to raise people from the dead by his word of faith preached even through the medium of television, radio or the internet.
Kenneth Copeland, who bold declares, “We are God” and claims along with Joyce Myers that Jesus went to hell and there suffered in the fires of torment to pay for our sin, burn off his humanity and then become truly God. They both believe that His shed blood and sinless life given to redeem us from God’s wrath, were not a sufficient sacrifice for our sin. Jesus had to burn in Hell for sin over the course of three days in order to be a worthy Savior.
John Hagee, another Word of Faith heretic, also believes that “Jews don’t need the Gospel” He told the Houston Chronicle, “I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.”
Joel Osteen is the pastor of the largest church in the United States, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. His wife, Victoria, is the co-pastor. (Well there’s part of your problem right there.) Osteen’s television program is viewed by 20 million people each month in almost 100 countries around the world. He is a full believer in the "Word of Faith, Name it Claim it" heresy, “We have to conceive it on the inside before we’re ever going to receive it on the outside,” Osteen writes. “If you don’t think you can have something good, then you never will. The barrier is in your mind. . . . Your own wrong thinking can keep you from God’s best. . . . To experience [God’s] immeasurable favor, you must rid yourself of that small-minded thinking and start expecting God’s blessings, start anticipating promotion and supernatural increase. You must conceive it in your heart before you can receive it. In other words, you must make increase in your own thinking, then God will bring those things to pass” (from his book Your Best Life Now, chapter 1)
These lies, heresies, con games and outright fantasies should not shock or dismay us because as we read in Timothy's letter from Paul, we have been warned about the future and the fight with the agents of Satan, we must wage in order to win.