Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Soul Yearns For the Courts of the Lord

The nations reject the law of God and throw off restraint, but I rejoice that this world is not my home. How I long to live under the reign of the Righteous King! Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Psalm 84 (NIV)

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah
9 Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
12 O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Minute Ads Reveal Truth About Obama's Tax and Social Security Plans

This morning on FOX News, political strategist Dick Morris said that anyone wanting to help in a last minute effort to inform voters in swing states of Obama's views on taxes and social security among other issues should consider making a donation to the National Republican Trust PAC at . The PAC will be airing television ads in crucial swing state areas in these last few days before the election, and every dollar given will help inform voters of Obama's radical views. The ads can be viewed at the website. Please consider making a donation and passing this information on to your friends.

Dick Morris Praises National Republican Trust PAC

One of the nation's leading political strategists, Dick Morris,has praised the National Republican Trust PAC.

Morris says: "The National Republican Trust is a very effective organization that can make a huge difference on election day."

Dick Morris, a columnist, bestselling author, and Fox News analyst, has been widely recognized for his help to Bill Clinton in his comeback victory in the 1996 election. Later, Morris became a fierce critic of the Clintons.

Today, he warns that Barack Obama will be a dangerous pick come election day. Morris says Obama's plan to raise taxes will push the country from recession to depression.

"We are pleased that someone as respected as Dick Morris values our group and strategy," Scott Wheeler, executive director of the National Republican Trust PAC said.

The National Republican Trust PAC was created to inform Americans of the truth about Barack Obama and to keep America true to its foundations: a nation that values free enterprise, a strong national defense and moral values.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ten Indictments (A Historical 21st Century Message), by Paul Washer

The latest Paul Washer message from SermonIndex:

"Preached Wednesday, October 22nd at the Revival Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Paul Washer delivers a urgent appeal to the Christians and Churches in North America that many have been believing a false gospel and have false assurance of their salvation. He lists 10 indictments against the modern Church system in America. This is a historical urgent message, tell others and spread the message. We need a reformation and revival of a biblical standard!"

Direct link to mp3 message.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Image Is Everything

For politicians with image problems:
Don't go to all the trouble of really changing your character; just
rent some for a few weeks until the elections are over!

Monday, October 13, 2008

We Are In The Last Days

The signs of the times are all around us. In the following article, Dr. Gary Frazier gives basic evidence for his belief that we are indeed living in the last days.

Reasons I Believe We Are In The Last Days
By Dr. Gary Frazier

Everywhere I go someone asks the question, why do you believe we are living in the last days? I am of the opinion they are right to ask this question. So, why do I believe we are in fact the terminal generation?

I want to share four primary reasons I believe so strongly that the hour of Christ’s coming is so very near.

First is the existence of the nation of Israel. The word of God is replete with promises regarding the re-gathering and return of the Jewish people to their traditional homeland. This tiny strip of land lying between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River surrounded by Muslim countries on the north, south and east belongs to God’s chosen people and no one else! Even a casual look at scripture supports this and serious study of the same validates it beyond question. That is, if one accepts the scriptures as the Word of God.

The very existence of Israel today is a miracle in and of itself. Without a doubt, nothing in history compares with this remarkable fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jewish people that they will return to their land in the last days. May 14, 1948 was the most historic and biblically significant day in world history since the first century and Jesus Christ himself.

I wrote extensively about this miracle in my book, Signs of the Coming of Christ, which may be obtained at my website, or at

The existence of Israel, in their land, is a requirement for the fulfillment of end time bible prophecy.

Second, the return and continuing rise of the ancient Roman Empire known today as the European Union or as former New York Times writer T.R. Reid call it, the United States of Europe.

The ancient prophets foresaw not only the destruction of Jerusalem and the subsequent scattering of the Jewish people into all the nations of the world. They also saw the break up of the Roman Empire and it’s rebirth in the last days. Daniel chapters 7 and 9 are without a doubt the most accurate source in the Bible for this prophetic key to understanding end time events. An understanding of this prophetic passage in conjunction with a working knowledge of world history will provide any interested inquirer a vivid picture of what to expect from Europe in the last days.

Today we have a revived form of this ancient Roman Empire that is flexing its muscles on the world scene especially with regard to Israel and the Middle East. While there are twenty-five member nations, only the first ten, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Denmark, England and Greece enjoy full member status with the remaining nations as associate members. It is glaringly clear from scripture that the shift of the world focus is back to the lands of the bible and ancient history in the last days. An overlay of the E.U. of today and the Roman Empire reveals an almost exact duplication.

Third, the resurgence of Russia! It was on June 12, 1987 when then President Ronald Reagan challenged communist leader, Mikhail Gorbachev to, tear down this wall. Communism collapsed and the wall did come down in 1989. However, Russia did not die nor did she lose her aspirations for world domination. The leadership started dressing more western. Democracy became a common word in the Russian vocabulary and outward changes seemed to be taking place. However, the heart did not change. Today we are seeing a resurgence of Russian influence and power. Russia is on the move once again and this is no surprise to students of scripture.

Ezekiel chapters 38-39 predict an invasion of Israel in the last days led by Russia and a coalition of Muslim nations. While the Bible uses the ancient names of these geographically locatable nations, we easily identify them by their modern names.

Is it a coincidence that Russia is providing the technology to Iran to build a nuclear bomb which they have vowed to use to wipe Israel off the map? Make no mistake, communism lives in a new suit!

Fourth and last is America. Yes, the land of the free and home of the brave. I believe America is a real indicator of the lateness of the hour for several reasons.

Benjamin Franklin called it, the Great American Experiment. This experiment that allowed humankind to worship as they chose without fear of government intervention. This experiment that fostered creativity and capitalism in a free market economy. This experiment for which our Founding Fathers and millions since have and have been willing to die. This great experiment is under attack from without and more dangerously so, from within!

Communism has failed in almost every country in the world yet flourishes in America today. How can this be? The answer is quiet simple really. We the people have allowed our schools to fill the minds of our youth with Socialism. We have permitted teachers and tenured professors to rail against this great land of ours while promoting the perceived benefits of a Socialist/Communist philosophical lifestyle. We have bought into Darwinism and changed the truth into lies. Now, many years later, the students have become the judges, professional politicians, the media talking heads, the teachers and even presidents who openly propagate these falsities and sadly, most Americans do not even recognize what has happened.

Amazingly, our Founding Fathers saw the potential dangers and sought through our Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect us. These sacred documents however are being twisted, corrupted and interpreted in ways our founders never intended. These very documents meant to grant freedom are being used as weapons against Americans.

While I would not dare to speak for God almighty there are two things I know God has never failed to judge in history.

The first is the murder of alive yet unborn children. We the people have allowed the murder of more than forty million of God’s children upon the alter of convenience under the guise of a woman’s choice!

Second, God have never failed to judge any nation or people that have accepted and promoted homosexuality/lesbianism. While hordes of people try to convince us the Word of God is an irrelevant book, we know better. God has called this unnatural! In addition, He consistently forbids this type of behavior throughout scripture. Will America be the first nation in history to survive this perversion of morals and marriage? I doubt it!

Therefore, the answer to the question, “Why do you believe we are living in the last days?” is partially found in the above reasons. The four reasons I have cited are only the tip of the iceberg and it was the tip that sank the Titanic!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Words to the Wise (or Those Who Would Be)

“If you ask me if I believe in the eternal security of the believer, I would say I most certainly do. And I also believe in the insecurity of the make-believer.”
– J. Vernon McGee

“We are playing church. We are so busy trying to be relevant to the world that we have become just like the world….AND the world is not impressed.”
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.”
-C. S. Lewis

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
-C. S. Lewis

“I gave in and admitted that God was God.”
- C. S. Lewis

“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without any signposts.”
-C. S. Lewis

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
-Charles Spurgeon

“Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED?”
-Leonard Ravenhill

“The Bible is either absolute, or it’s obsolete.”
-Leonard Ravenhill

“Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.”
-Leonard Ravenhill

“If Jesus preached the same message ministers preach today, He would have never been crucified.”
-Leonard Ravenhill

“The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil.”
-Leonard Ravenhill

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.”
-Hudson Taylor

“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure so that I may save souls. When I sleep, I dream of them; when I awake, they are the first in my thoughts…no amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep impassioned sympathetic love for human souls.”
-David Brainerd

“We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.”
-William Gurnall

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Then Shall We Live?

What if the Rapture of the Church does not occur when we hoped that it would? Should we hang our heads in shame because we were almost positive that it would happen at a certain time, but it did not? Are we disqualified as watchmen and should we quit looking for answers or for signs of the times?

Maybe some better questions to ask are these:

  • Did the thought of the Rapture being imminent change how you lived your life?

  • Did you grow closer to the Lord in prayer and in reading His Word?

  • Did you reach out to others with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ?

  • Did you search your own heart for areas that are not pleasing to Him?

  • Did you look closely at how you spend the days that God has given you?

  • Did you seek to actually follow Jesus Christ as His disciple rather than just calling yourself a Christian and going your own way?

  • Were you looking for an escape from your life or were you longing to see Jesus?

In Revelation 2:2-5 , Jesus tells the Church at Ephesus,

"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."

Serious words.

Several weeks ago, the Lord showed me how much these verses applied to my life. In the midst of doing good works in His name, testing men's teachings to see if they lined up with Scripture and warning people if they did not and teaching others about the Bible, I had moved away from the Lord and was not even aware of the fact. I was so consumed with my mission and getting things done for Him that I forgot about Him. He said to Peter, "Do you love me? Feed my sheep." My priorities were backwards. I need to love Him first and let everything else flow from that rather than trying to prove by my works that I love Him. My relationship with Him must be personal rather than professional, family rather than business (or busyness!).

Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

There is no commandment greater than these.

I had to ask myself, "Am I being obedient to these commandments? Am I loving Him with everything that is in me? Am I totally His?" I want to return to my first love. I want to do the things that I did at first. When I first met Jesus, I was so in love with Him that I had to tell everyone around me; I could not stay quiet about what He had done for me. So, I need to draw closer to Him, to truly love Him so that my relationship with Him is real and vibrant and alive.

Next, I had to ask, "Am I loving my neighbor? Or am I just being polite? Does my neighbor's life mean as much to me as my own does? Or do I prefer not to be bothered with someone else's problems or the fact that they may be living their life without knowing Jesus?" The closer I get to Jesus, the more I can hear His heart's cry for those who are living without knowing Him. Because I love Him, what is important to Him is important to me. Therefore, I choose to love them and invite them to know Him and His love even if it is not convenient or comfortable for me.

I want to live the rest of my life with my First Love as my top priority. I want to return to the simplicity of loving Him and sharing His love with others. He is my All, my Everything, my Life. And He is coming soon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Test for True Believers

The following messages by Paul Washer challenge each of us to consider if we are truly following Jesus Christ.

Our churches are filled with people who call themselves Christians. But do they measure up to what the Bible says a Christian should be and do? Do you?

Is your Christianity costing you anything?

We Have Forgotten That the Way is Narrow

Are you saved?
Are you sure?
How do you know?

Many people have prayed the "sinner's prayer" and think that makes them Christians, but they continue in their worldly lifestyle; they have not repented (turned away) from their sins. This powerful message by Paul Washer, entitled "We Have Forgotten That the Way is Narrow," addresses the issue of casual, carnal "Christianity."

Many people who consider themselves Christians keep on living in the same way as they did before they "asked Jesus into their hearts"; they have no fruit of righteousness in their lives. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." Fig trees produce figs and orange trees produce oranges. These trees are easily distinguished from each other by their fruit. Those who have experienced true Biblical salvation through a relationship with Jesus Christ, will produce evidence of salvation in their lives--fruit that shows their Christ-likeness.


That's My King

This is part of a sermon preached by S. M. Lockridge.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Survive the Coming Depression

Are you worried about the state of the economy in the U.S.? What should Christians do to prepare for a possible financial depression? Andrew Strom sent out the following email with a link to a message that he preached in November of 2007 concerning finances in the U.S. and God's coming judgment. Please take time to listen to this serious and timely message and PRAY!

Most of us know what has been taking place in the U.S financial world in the last 2 days. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Merrill Lynch was quickly sold to avoid a crisis, the US Stock market plunged 500 points in one day, and AIG and Washington Mutual look very shaky. If the slump wasn't already bad enough, this just confirms how serious it is getting.

In November 2007, Andrew Strom preached in Wisconsin USA on "HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING DEPRESSION". He made clear predictions about when the Recession would turn into a Depression, why it is happening - and what Christians can do in the face of this crisis. -WARNING: This is a very "outspoken" sermon.

There are 2 ways to listen to this audio online:
(1) Click on the following link-

OR (2) Go to Andrew's website and click on the link - 3rd from the top in the center.
Here is the website-

Please pass this on to other Christians who want to "Survive the Depression".

God bless you all.--
Andrew Strom, PO Box 21-904, Henderson, West Auckland 0650, New Zealand.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Indian Bible Mixes Christianity with Hinduism

According to a report from the Christian Post, a new Indian bible has been published by the Catholic Church which mixes Hindu writings, teachings and chants in with Christian scriptures. Many Christian pastors in India are upset because the New Community Bible seems to give equal value to the teachings of Jesus Christ and to the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi and the Bhagavadgita.

Pastor Vijay Thomas, who heads a Bible college in Chennai, told Christian Today, “By making it appear ‘Indian’ with references to Hindu scriptures and great poets, people will not come to the truth. This is a complete turn back from the real Bible."

Catholic leaders in India defend the new bible and insist that it will bring many people closer to God, not just Christians. (For the full story, see the Christian Post website at .)

Sounds like the compromise of the Emergent movement is emerging in India. We need to pray for Christians in India to be able to get the true gospel message to the lost in that country.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Rapture and the Second Coming

Many people today are confused about the connection between the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus. Some, the post-Tribulationists, think that these events will occur together at the end of the Tribulation period, while others, the mid-Tribulationists, think that the Rapture will occur in the middle of the Tribulation. The view that agrees most closely with that of the early Church is that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation period starts and that Jesus will return to earth with His Church at the end of the Tribulation. I believe that one of the reasons for the confusion is that believers today have little or no knowledge of Jewish culture and tradition and thus, have no understanding of the metaphors used in the New Testament writings.

When reading the New Testament, we must take into consideration that the great majority of the early believers were very familiar with Jewish traditions and cultural references. For example, Revelation 16:15 says, "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." The Jewish people understood that the "thief" referred to the supervisor of the Temple watch who made unannounced checks on the Levites and priests who were in charge of guarding the Temple. If the supervisor found one of the guards sleeping on duty, he would set his garments on fire at which point the guard would be shamefully exposed. The people knew that Jesus was telling them to stay alert, to be watchful, to take His commandments and commission seriously. If one does not know the metaphoric language, he would not realize the correct interpretation of the phrase. But, one who knows the metaphor has no difficulty making the link.

There was no confusion for the early believers in regards to a Rapture separate from the Second Coming any more than they would mistake a wedding (which must come first) with the birth/revealing of a child (which would come at a later point). When Jesus told His disciples that He went to "prepare a place for you," they knew that He was referring to the groom preparing the bridal chamber (John 14:2). They knew that the Bridegroom would come for His Bride when the Father told Him it was time. They knew that the phrase, "No man knows the day or the hour, but only the Father knows," (Matt. 24:36) was the phrase that a bridegroom would say if someone asked him when the wedding would occur. He said this because the father would watch over the preparation of the bridal chamber, and when it was completed to the father's satisfaction, he would tell his son to go and get his bride. This could happen at any time, day or night. Remember the parable that Jesus told about the wise virgins and the foolish virgins in Matthew 25. He was telling the people to be ready for the wedding departure ("nazal"(Heb.)-catching away, departure= rapture) at any time, just as the bride had to be in constant readiness. They knew that the Father's command to the Bridegroom to go and get His Bride could occur at any instant. The people also knew that immediately after the wedding ceremony, the Bridegroom and the Bride entered into the bridal chamber at the Father's house and stayed in seclusion for 7 days. They did not go out among the people, but rather were hidden away for a week which is a picture of the Church being hidden away or secluded in the heavenly wedding chamber with Jesus for the 7 years of the Tribulation. After this seven-year period, Jesus will return and be revealed to the earth (Second Coming) and will sit on His throne and judge the nations.

Prior to the Rapture and the Second Coming, Jesus said that there would be specific signs in the heavens and in the earth. In Matthew 24:1-35, Jesus spoke about these signs which include the destruction of the Temple, false Messiahs, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and persecution. He told them that the signs of His coming would resemble a woman's labor pains which increase in intensity and frequency as the birth draws near. In Luke 17:26-36, Jesus compares that time to the times of Noah and Lot. On the day that Noah and his family entered the ark, the flood came to destroy the wicked. Likewise, on the day that Lot and his daughters left Sodom, fire fell from heaven and destroyed the wicked. After Jesus takes His Bride away in the Rapture, the Tribulation will begin and destruction will come upon the earth. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells what will happen when He returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. Every eye will see Him as He "comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." At this time, He will bring the righteous into His kingdom and send the unrighteous away to eternal punishment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Day of Salvation


The only day we have. Yesterday has faded away; tomorrow hovers just out of reach.

But do we even have today?

We have no guarantee of our next breath or our next heartbeat. Every moment is a thin thread tying us to this life. We may try to ignore the obvious, but at some unexpected, inconvenient moment, death will sever the connecting cord and bring to a full stop all that we know.

What then?


The only future available. Time will pass away; no end hovers just out of reach.

Where will you spend eternity?

We each must choose our eternal future now, before our last breath or last heartbeat. Before death seals our lips and stops all next moments.

For He says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)

Jesus Is

Jesus is:

the Answer to every problem
the Hope in the midst of despair
the Light in the thickest darkness
the Way to abundant life
the Source of strength and wisdom
the First and the Last
the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Do you know Him? Are you a Christian?

The definition of “Christian” is “one who follows Jesus Christ; a Christ-like one.”

Are you following Him and looking more like Him every day? Are you choosing to live in a way that pleases Him? Or are you going your own way, doing your own thing, living for yourself?

Not everyone who says that he is a Christian really is a Christian.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.
Being a good person does not make you a Christian.
Being born in the United States of America does not make you a Christian.
Repeating a prayer to “ask Jesus into your heart” does not make you a Christian.

How to Become a Christian, a Follower of Jesus Christ

~Admit that you have sinned. If you have ever done anything that you know is not good, you have sinned. For example, have you ever, even as a child, lied or disobeyed or taken something that is not yours? You have sinned. The Bible says, in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

~Realize that the punishment for sin is eternal separation from God, which is also called “spiritual death.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

~Believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and that He willingly took the punishment for your sin. John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.”

~Confess your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you. You must be truly sorry for your sins and repent (turn away) from them. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you-even Jesus.”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

~Accept the free gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”

~Be baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38,39 says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 19:4-6 says, “Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

~Live for Jesus. Read His Word (the Bible) daily and talk to Him (pray) continuously so that you can come to know what pleases Him. 1 John 2:3-6 says, “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A View From the Other Side-A Former Leader's Journey

While reading this post from Barb at A Former Leader's Journey, I couldn't help but wonder what great measure of healing could come to the Body of Christ if all leaders were as open and transparent as Barb. Thank you, Barb, for being willing to speak the truth and to walk in the truth even though it cost you so much.

I am the Person Formerly Known as Your Leader.

I was the supporting cast in our church. I was not one of the “Main” leaders. I was never paid to lead. I had “leadership roles.” I (along with my husband) was viewed as one of the supporting pillars in our community of believers. I tried not to be one of the front leaders. I simply took the vision of the church, supported it, taught it, explained it, fought for it and promised loyalty to it. For almost 20 years my husband and I have been in this role and just recently we have come to see many things we never would have thought possible.

I am the Person Formerly Known as Your Leader.

All this time I worked as your leader. I was at one time or another, your small group leader, your counselor, and your ministry head (nursery, new member development, etc). I helped at various times on the worship team, the prayer team, the nursery, the elder board, the college ministry team, the hospitality team, and I’m sure a host of other teams and positions.

I am the Person Formerly Known as Your Leader.

Because of all this, I need to repent and ask your forgiveness. I was wrong. I thought wrong things. I believed wrong things. I modeled wrong things. I taught wrong things. I was wrong. I have sinned against you and the others and against my grace loving, mercy giving, all powerful, all loving God.

- I repent for teaching and modeling that the “covering” of our church, my leadership, and our network would keep you from going into rebellion or deception.

- I took your private confidences and passed them on to the other leaders regardless of my telling you that I wouldn’t. I told myself that this was an accepted practice to gain wisdom in dealing with your situation. Now I see it was probably mostly to garner, in some twisted way, the favor of my leaders, to show my loyalty and to gain a better placement of myself in their leadership system.

- I taught, modeled and practiced tithing. I taught you that if you didn’t tithe, bad things would happen to you and/or your finances. Now I understand the fallacy of this. It is a fear tactic – and it is not of God.

- I did not stand up and speak up when I heard and saw something wrong being taught, lived, or modeled. In this way, you, as people who respected me had neither voice nor protection. There were many times I should have spoken up gently/humbly to correct other leaders around me. I wrongly felt that it was up to God to correct and deal with them. That it was not my “place” to correct “God’s Anointed.”

- I wanted to be seen by leaders as loyal and mostly I wanted to be in what I perceived as one of the “inner circles of friendship.” I bought their friendship with flattering words, serving them unconditionally, not making waves, not challenging them and being disloyal to what I sometimes knew was wrong. I was a religious whore.

- I taught you that with leaders, you did not have the right to expect friendship or any sort of loyalty back. I told you that you should become what I had become, completely a servant. They owed you and me nothing. I have learned to watch out for “friendships” where I am the servant only. I have learned my “servanthood” was nothing more than trying to manipulate myself into prominence.

- I taught that the church was an Army and that we therefore needed Generals and Sergeants to lead us. (I of course saw myself as the sergeant – not the head but certainly one of the right arms of the head.) Again, I did not read my Bible.

- I taught you to despise other churches in our city. I taught you that they were not as enlightened as us, did not have as much of the Holy Spirit as us, could not worship as we did, did not recognize the leadership in our church and come under their apostolic leadership, and so many other things. I hinted at their pastors “weaknesses.” I judged their programs, people, leaders and lives as unfit for the true expression of the Kingdom of God and taught you to do the same. It is true that I did see many legitimate problems, and I still do but I had pulled back and decided I was done with the all but the select body of Christ in our area and encouraged you to also “not waste your time.”

- I practiced and taught you “shunning.” This is the practice of not associating with those who have left our body. I taught you to look the other way in the grocery store. To ignore their emails and be succinct and distant when they called you. I taught you that you could be contaminated by a perceived friendship with them, and instilled in you the fear that was in me, that I would be seen as disloyal.

- I taught you that when people left our body, they left their destiny. I thought that the only way they were to fulfill what God had for them was through our particular church.

- I encouraged you in total obedience to our leaders and total submission of ministry to their vision. I often referred to the church as being in the leaders’ “boat.” We were to totally get in this “boat” and leave it up to God and the leaders where and how to navigate this life. We were not to question this boat leader’s vision or direction as they were “hearing from God”. If you wanted to minister it had to be under their direct “umbrella.”

My pride, arrogance, manipulation and disregard for the scripture are detestable to me. In that I was your leader, role model, and teacher makes it doubly serious. I know of nothing else than to remove myself.

I am not beating myself up as to the point where I imagine that I did nothing right. There were many of you that I loved unconditionally. We showed hospitality, we modeled a good marriage, an open and honest life and when I needed to, I have asked your forgiveness. But the scope and magnitude which I see my own heart today is detestable to me.

So today, I ask your forgiveness. I know many of you were not directly under my leadership. So why do I ask your forgiveness? This is why. - Maybe in reading my “confession” you will come to realize that those in leadership above you who have inflicted so many hurts will someday come to realize what they have done. Maybe your prayers for them will result in them walking out of their own deception. Maybe the grace that you show to them will be a signpost for them to follow. Maybe in not hating them you will be able to love and pray for their blinders to fall off. From my heart to you, I am so sorry, please forgive me. And please forgive those who also have been your leaders.

A Person Formerly Known As Your Leader

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Spin Doctors Dissect Lakeland (and Each Other) Part 1

On Thursday, August 28, Stephen Strang issued the following response to news of Todd Bentley's fall. Note that this is not an apology from Mr. Strang even though he promoted the "Lakeland Outpouring" from the beginning. My responses to Mr. Strang's comments are in red.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

When I was in Canada last week on vacation, I picked up a Canadian newspaper with a full-page article about revivalist Todd Bentley titled "Bentley Bends." It appeared in the National Post on August 19, and though it put the typical secular journalist spin on anything having to do with Pentecostals or miracles, it was surprisingly gentle in telling about Bentley's fall.

Meanwhile ministry to Bentley continues. I'm thankful that the Christian leaders who were set over him in the June 23 "alignment and commissioning" ceremony at the Lakeland Outpouring are ministering to him behind the scenes. In an earlier Strang Report I had called on them to step up and intervene in this situation, a day or two after news of Bentley's separation was made known.

(Why didn't Strang call upon these leaders to deal with Bentley's separation from sound doctrine earlier in the course of the Lakeland meetings? And why did he promote these meetings as a new move of God when Bentley was obviously moving away from God? In the earlier Strang Report, Strang said, "Now is the time for Bentley to be corrected. But it would also be good for Arnott, Ahn and Johnson, as well as other leaders such as Wagner, to issue a statement to the body of Christ to help the tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands who were affected by the outpouring understand what is going on spiritually. Because all of these men endorsed the revival, it might even be appropriate for them to issue an apology." Where is your apology Mr. Strang? You endorsed the "Lakeland Outpouring" as a true revival very early on, and you promote yourself as one of the apostolic leaders.)

Two of the three leaders were out of the country and later challenged me via e-mail by saying that I had made it sound as if they would not do their jobs unless outsiders put pressure on them. Of course I assumed that they would do their jobs because I know they are men of integrity.

But in the rush of dealing with the situation quickly I did not contact them other than to send them an advance copy of my Strang Report. So, for what it's worth, I apologize for leaving the wrong impression. My reaction was based partly on past observations of situations in which spiritual discipline needed to be applied and those who were supposedly over the person ran for cover.

(So, which was it- did you assume "that they would do their jobs because...they are men of integrity" or did you think they would run for cover instead of applying spiritual discipline?)

Meanwhile, many people are talking about the situation and wondering why there wasn't more discernment. In fact, I had lunch recently with a Christian leader who watched the Lakeland Outpouring on the Internet for 60 days and said the longer he watched it, the more inclined he was to overlook some concerns he had. He said initially he felt that Bentley's actions, along with his tattoos and piercings, indicated that he was "in rebellion." This leader confessed to me that next time he is going to be more careful to listen to his inner witness when he has a concern about a ministry.

(Earth to Stephen: Hello? There was discernment. Did you even read the message boards at your magazines or the emails that were sent to you? I am glad that your Christian leader lunchmate has decided to listen more carefully to GOD next time instead of telling the Holy Spirit to be quiet so that he could listen to a rebellious false prophet. Unfortunately, many people "overlooked some concerns" because they wanted to have a spiritual experience more than they wanted to draw closer to Jesus. The Lakeland leadership and their cohorts in the apostolic/prophetic movement chastised anyone who was critical of Todd Bentley's messages or practices saying that the critics were judgmental pharisees who wanted to stop a move of God. Many of these so-called "judgmental pharisees" were sincere believers who were using God's Word as the standard by which to measure the message being preached in word and deed at Lakeland. The Bereans were commended for being careful to check that the message preached lined up with the Word of God. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11 The discerning believers who spoke out about Lakeland were condemned, not commended, by the undiscerning leadership.)

Others are e-mailing me what various people have written about the situation. If you have not read Dutch Sheets' very in-depth and thoughtful letter about Bentley and the Lakeland Outpouring, I urge you to do so by clicking here. I agree with essentially all that Dutch writes.

(What do you not agree with? Or are you just leaving yourself some wiggle room in case Dutch gets booted off the apostolic island?)

Someone else e-mailed me an item from the United Kingdom. We tried to get permission to use it but couldn't contact the author, so I am assuming it is all right to make this point. I was taken by the fact that the person who wrote it rightly comments that many Pentecostals believe "if it's odd, it must be God." I had never heard that expression, but I know his statement is true.

The writer also makes a comparison to the emperor in the old fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Emperor's New Clothes. Because he relates the story better than I can I quote him here:

There is an old fable that should serve as a pertinent parable for today's church. The story is told of two unscrupulous tradesmen who offered to sell an emperor a quantity of material that was so exquisite that 'only those with the greatest taste and style' could see it. The emperor, not wanting to give the impression that he lacked such finesse, paid an enormous sum for the non-existent material that was then 'made' into a suit of clothes.

It was later announced to his subjects that he would be leaving the palace wearing clothes of such wonder that 'only those with the greatest taste and style' could appreciate it. The crowd, falling into the same trap as the emperor, cheered and shouted at the non-existent apparel.

The ecstasy and applause continued until a small child, who had come to the gathering late and had not heard the intimidating preamble, joined her mother and, pointing to the emperor shouted out loudly, 'Look, Mummy, the emperor is not wearing any clothes!' Only then did the bubble burst.

The e-mail I was sent is so good that I want to share some of the points the author made since I couldn't say it better myself. I wish I had been able to discover his name to give proper credit. He says, in relation to the fable:

We need the simplicity of that childlike voice in today's church.

It is the voice of people [who] refuse to accept that spirituality is "less than" if it is not accompanied by uncontrollable shaking. It is the voice of leaders who, when they see manifestations of the flesh, refuse to be intimidated by the voice of a crowd that declares that "If it's odd, it must be God" and have the courage to say, "Please stop doing that; it's silly."

Those who operate in this gift are almost universally considered to be the party-poopers of Pentecost. Their voice is universally seen as negative, and the body language of those who do not want to hear their message is always, "Why are you trying to stop us when we are having so much fun?"

(And weren't you one of the ones telling the childlike voice of discernment to be quiet? You endorsed Todd and Lakeland.)

Yet the Bible tells us to "test the spirits" and "weigh prophecy."

Why, with so many mature leaders present at Bentley's endorsement, was the gift not used or, given what we now know, why was there not a word of knowledge? Why was it that, as millions listened and a prophecy was given that Jesus would appear in person on the platform on a specific date, not one person expressed a word of caution? (Mr. Strang, you reach a nationwide audience with your magazines. Why didn't you express a word of caution? Couldn't you have at least sent us an email??) Could it be the intimidation of crowds, the awe induced by Christian celebrity or the absence of the childlike voice that needed to burst the bubble? What the church should be hungering for today is not "extreme prophetic" but "accurate prophetic."

Why is it then that some people who have gone to Lakeland are seeing things occur in their church that they had not encountered before? The answer is simple. God recognizes and responds to hunger. (Or demonic forces go where they are invited?) Leaders heard there was a fire and wanted to be warmed, heard of a well and wanted to be refreshed, and heard there was food and wanted to be fed. That God met them on their journey is yet another expression of His amazing grace.

Please share your thoughts with me about the situation. Meanwhile, pray for Todd and his wife, Shonna. Let's especially pray for Shonna, who received none of the adulation but is experiencing most of the pain. (And for their children who will suffer, too. And for all who were exposed to and accepted false doctrine from the mouth of Todd with the silent approval of undiscerning leaders. Lord Jesus, please help your Church to follow You and not be deceived by the next false prophets that come along.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Musings

My dear grandfather, Howard, lived to be 100 years old, and he used to tell me that time seemed to speed up the longer he lived. He said to value each moment because it will be gone far too soon. Often I find myself living in the future and missing the now. I am so busy planning and scheduling and trying to figure out what to do tomorrow that I tend to ignore what is going on around me today. I have to remind myself to "stop and smell the roses" as often as possible.

My husband and I have spent the last few days helping our oldest daughter get settled at college. Where did the years go? Yesterday, we welcomed her into the world, and tomorrow, we will leave her in a city far from home. We must make the most of our time while it is still today, in this and every situation. (James 4:13-15)

Go with God, Brianna. He will direct your path, and don't forget to enjoy the flowers along the way!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Warning About the "New Mystics"

Once again, I felt the need to post an email that I received from Andrew Strom. He has vital information about some ministries connected with Todd Bentley of which the Church needs to be aware and wary. (See the section titled, "WHO ARE the "NEW MYSTICS"?")

by Andrew Strom

Let me start by saying that there is no-one who would enjoy "moving
on" from the topic of Lakeland more than me. When I first heard
of what was going on there, my immediate reaction was "OH NO!"
because I knew we were going to have to use this List to expose
certain things - a task I dreaded at the time. But overall I think it
has been a good thing. I have received huge numbers of emails
from all over the world from people who were caught up in that kind
of deception - who are now breaking free from it - Glory to God!

Also, it is important to realize that even though Lakeland is
closing down on Aug 23rd - and God TV will stop broadcasting it -
Todd Bentley will still be travelling to other cities and nations
holding what he calls a "One Night Revival Impartation with Todd
Bentley". So it is not completely over - but yes - I am very keen to
"move on" from Lakeland and get back to the things we normally
emphasize - "Personal Revival" and the 'True Gospel' and massive
Reformation and Change in the church, etc.


And now onto the topic of my 'Open Letter' to Rick Joyner and
Peter Wagner earlier this week. I received literally hundreds of
supportive emails over it, but also a few where they obviously
thought I was being sarcastic in my use of the word "sir", etc.
Please realize - there was no sarcasm intended at all. I used the
word 'sir' to try and inject some "respectfulness" into quite a hard-
hitting letter. Please go and read it again, taking the sarcasm out,
and hopefully you will get a different impression of what I was trying
to convey. I certainly apologise for any misunderstanding, my friends.

Others felt that I was "exceeding my bounds" in writing such a
letter to men of stature like that. After all, David did not throw rocks
at King Saul. I can totally see this point. And so, if I exceeded my
bounds in any way I am truly sorry. I apologise unreservedly for
doing so. It may be that in my zeal for protecting the sheep and
rooting out deception I went "too far" with that letter. God forgive me.


Some say that Lakeland would have fallen apart by itself without
any need for all the emails or blogs, etc. As someone with an
inside view of events, I have to say that this is not true at all. The
people posting information via blogs, emails, Youtube videos, etc,
have been utterly essential to what has happened. When Charisma
started publishing about the Revival, I know for a fact that when
they found out certain information through the Internet it changed
their stance from "total support" to 'questioning'. I'm sure that ABC
Nightline would say the same. And I know for a fact that ICA
apostle Robert Ricciardelli's opposition to Lakeland would not have
become widely known at all if it weren't for blogs or email Lists like
this one. All of these factors have been utterly crucial. I think some
blogs may get a little bit harsh or "personal" at times, but overall
I want to say- Kudos to the bloggers! You've made a real difference.
You have protected multitudes of sheep around the world from
being further deceived and destroyed.

When you think about it, isn't it amazing that this is the first 'revival'
in history that has played out almost entirely on the Internet and
the "new media"? -A sign of things to come, perhaps?


Since I am hoping this may be our last post about Lakeland for
awhile, I need to put forth a very specific warning about certain
ministries while I have the chance. Todd Bentley has long been
numbered among the 'New Mystics' in the Prophetic movement -
but there are others that I need to warn about also. These are
literally the most dangerous ministries (operating in a strange
"power") that I have ever come across in the Christian church.
That is the only reason why I feel I must "name names" in this
email - and I do so with great sadness.

The first of them is Jill Austin - from 'Master Potter' ministries.
I have seen her live in person, and sadly I regard her as one of the
most dangerous of all. A minister from England described one of
her meetings as follows: "The weirdest three hours I have ever had
to endure... she spoke of the times that she meets with the Angel
Gabriel and other spiritual beings, next we moved on to portals
between this world and the next and then finally to how she was
going to open up a portal to Heaven in the room that we were all in.
Now things started to happen, really crazy things and strange
noises... As [she] moved around the room ministering to individual
people they were crashing to the ground, bouncing up and down,
running around as if on fire and making all sorts of sounds... My
Vineyard friend was the first to crash to the floor. Since that day
his church has taken on a different guise, it is not the same
church any more."

In a very similar vein is Patricia King - who operates in the same
area of "portals", jewels, 'angels', drunken jerking, etc. There is
real power in a lot of this - and I urge people to stay well clear.

John Crowder is another one. With his 'Drunken Glory' tours and
his "toking the ghost" and every other deceived thing - you cannot
even imagine how "off-beam" this guy is. Words sadly fail me.

And then there are the "fellow travellers" - men like Ben Dunn, Dave
Vaughan, Justin Abraham, Joshua Mills and many others who have
imbibed of the same weird spirit out of Toronto and the Prophetic
movement. It is just awful what is going on out there. So sad.

It is tragic to have to put out warnings like this, but my hope and
prayer is that it will prevent great harm from coming to Christ's
precious sheep. I hope you can hear my heart in this, my friends.


A lot of people have commented that we should be PRAYING for
all these leaders who have been caught up in these various
deceptions. I totally agree with this, and I would like to devote a
large portion of our Friday night Phone Prayer to exactly that. And
we will not be praying "against" them either - but rather for God's
grace and truth and mercy and blessing to prevail in their lives and
ministries in a powerful way.

Please help us pray for these ministries, my friends.

God bless you all!

Andrew Strom.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Andrew Strom Questions Wagner and Joyner

Andrew Strom brings up some very pertinent points in the following letter.

by Andrew Strom

I write this as a tongues-speaking, Spirit-filled, prophesying believer.

Dear Rick Joyner and C. Peter Wagner,

I will do my utmost to avoid disrespect in this letter. But I cannot avoid the hard questions which must be asked.

I hope my comments here are not construed as "arrogant". This is certainly not my intent. But I'm sure you have heard the news by now that the tide has turned in what you call your "Civil War". I'm sure you have heard that the Lakeland meetings have dwindled,and the "big tent" has been abandoned in favor of the 700-seat Ignite church once again. I'm sure you have heard that your man Todd Bentley's meetings in England have been cancelled, and that respected leaders even within your own movements have found vast evidence of falsehoods,fraudulent claims, manipulation and hype of the most blatant kind. The news of it is worldwide. It is not just ABC Nightline. It is your own people saying these things.

I'm sure you have heard the news that has even shocked and saddened me -that the British press is calling Bentley "A US child sex offender turned church minister who tries to cure cancer victims by kicking them" - and that 79% of Britons polled want to keep him out of the country. Where is the glory to Jesus in this? How could Todd even set foot in England under such a cloud? Sirs, if this really were a 'Civil War', aren't you living in Gettysburg?

Mr Wagner, I am sure you are aware that because of your open endorsement of Todd Bentley, numbers of your own ICA 'apostles'(some very well-known) are already planning an "alternative"network without all your 'Dominionist' trappings or NAR hierarchies.Sir, they are leaving. Are you sure you were right to endorse the Lakeland movement in the very face of your own apostles like that? Wasn't this one of the most crucial tests of your leadership? Sir,if your discernment is such that you could get on a stage and openly endorse one of the most deceptive movements in the history of the church, then - with all due respect - should you really be heading up the apostles of the entire Charismatic world? Are you aware that you have greatly endangered God's precious sheep all around the globe?

And Mr Joyner, are you conscious of how terribly the Prophetic movement has deteriorated on your watch, sir? As the most influential 'father' in that movement, why have you stood by while the "New Mystics" have taken over - with their gold dust, their portals, their 'orbs', their drunken jerking, their strange "angel" encounters and 'visualization' techniques, etc? In fact, why have you actively encouraged and participated in these very things yourself?

Isn't it true that Bob Jones has been a big mentor for you in these things, just like he was for Todd Bentley? Wasn't it Bob Jones who taught you how to "visualize" your way into the 'Third Heaven',Mr Joyner? Isn't Bob Jones one of the major hidden influences behind your ministry? Where do you get your visions? How do you write your books? How can we ever again trust the "angels" that you see? Sir, what were you thinking - to openly endorse the"New Mystics" as you did with Todd Bentley? Did you not see that it could end so badly?

We all know what Bob Jones said when he stood on the stage with Todd Bentley in front of the whole world:
BOB: "I released my angels to him... this man from Canada asked for my angels; this Wind of Change is most powerful. Except for the arch angels, this 'Winds of Change', this is the most powerful angel..."
BOB TO TODD BENTLEY: "As I watch you, you VIBRATE. You know there are two portals, clockwise and counter-clockwise.When you vibrate you close demonic vibration. Counter-clockwise vibration is demonic. The vibration is healing. Does it seem peculiar?"[He waves his hands]... "I’m releasing it to you."

A very basic question here: Is there anything even remotely biblical about any of this?

Mr Joyner, since Bob Jones is your major mentor, and since you stood on the stage and openly endorsed that whole movement, I guess we have to assume that this is the kind of "Prophetic" that you now represent? Isn't that fair to say, sir?

And now I need to ask some questions of my colleagues overseas:Isn't it true, my friends, that almost every deceptive fad or heresy of the last 25 years has come out of North America? (ie. The USA and Canada)? And hasn't it been growing worse and worse?

When I travel to Africa I find deadly "Prosperity" teaching rampant in the most poverty-stricken of nations. When I travel to Europe I find them bombarded with flakey 'prophets' from the States. When I travel to Australia I find them enthralled with 'Mega-church-Itis' imported from the USA. In every way, North America has become a source of utter pollution, sickness and compromise -both in the church and the world. And I believe God wants to put an end to it.

Personally I love Americans. I lived there for four years, and I have many dear friends in that part of the world. But I do not believe that God is going to allow this pollution to spread any longer.

Why do leaders in Australia or Europe think that their movements must be led by Americans? What nation is most of this pollution coming from? Why do African leaders allow sick money-grubbing telecasts from the USA to be beamed to their people via satellite?Why are any of us allowing any of this garbage? When are we going to stand up and cry, "ENOUGH"? When are we going to cut off this pollution - not just for ourselves - but for the sake of God's precious sheep? Why should we be led by America if they are leading us into deception?

Should North America even be allowed to lead the worldwide church any more?

And finally, let me return to Mr Joyner - who once intimated that it is time to "drive" out those who want to "test the spirits" in the church. Sir, let me say to you that indeed the time has come to drive a particular spirit out. It is the spirit of rampant "Charis-mania".And sir, I have to say with all due respect, that your very own movement strikes me as the primest of prime places in which to start.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quack, Quake and Quiver

The following is a transcript of a commentary from the radio show "Stand to Reason," with Gregory Koukl.

Howling in the Church
Gregory Koukl

What is wrong with the "Holy Laughter" movement.


I listened to a show on KBRT in Southern California yesterday and the discussion was about this new manifestation of the Spirit. I hate saying that, by the way. This supposed manifestation is roaring. It's called roaring in the Spirit. I don't even want to call it that, frankly. Roaring in the Spirit gives too much credibility to it, but that's what it's being called--Christians who allegedly come under the influence of the Holy Spirit and they start making animal noises. Roaring like a lion is an example of it, but I think there are other bizarre manifestations--people who shake and quake and fall down and quiver. I've had a number of calls about this, although the first call that I got I couldn't believe, to be honest with you. I thought, "No way is anybody going to take this seriously."

First it started with laughing in the Spirit. Then it moved now to the roaring in the Spirit and other animal sounds. I'm kind of curious where this is going next. I'm kind of curious to see how much can Christians take. How much will they be willing to label bizarre behavior as from the Spirit? I'm curious.

I listened to a show yesterday and the host was sympathetic, and beyond that a bit defensive--challenging those who would question such a thing. After all, as he mentioned, in Acts 2 people acted in such a way so that others thought they were drunk. You have the Azusa Street revival and other revivals in which there was bizarre behavior going on so, gee, who are we to suggest this might be weird? That seemed to be his response. Maybe he was just asking questions and trying to get the conversation going, playing devil's advocate, I'm not sure. I'm willing to grant that I may have misunderstood it.

But even if that isn't what he meant, there are a lot of people who have called me with these same ideas. Some have defended this thing in the same way. Some have told me about others who have defended it. And the irony is that the burden of proof is somehow pushed and thrust upon those who are a little concerned that this isn't really right. It's kind of like if you think there's something wrong with this then it's up to you to prove it. Ladies and gentlemen, if you make a bizarre spiritual claim the burden of proof is on you, frankly.

It strikes me that saying that howling and roaring and making animal noises "in the Spirit" is an unusual claim. If you are claiming that God is involved with that then it seems to me that it's up to you to prove it. I'm a bit uncomfortable talking about this because even discussing it like this lends some legitimacy to it. It's kind of like saying, Well, let's reflect on this for a moment and see whether this might be okay. Ladies and gentlemen, why would anybody even be tempted to say that people thrashing about making animal noises is an evidence of the movement of God? What has the Body of Christ come to that we look at this kind of behavior and we call it the Holy Spirit? Just on the face of it, doesn't it seem--think, please think--doesn't it seem that if anyone was going to turn people into animals it would not be God? It would be Satan. I mean if I had a choice. Remember the Gadarene demoniac? Thrashing about in the tombs, demon possessed, cutting his body, living like pardon me, an animal? That was demons. Not God.

The only time I can think of God making someone like an animal was Nebuchadnezzer--and that was a judgment of God. If you recall, it was when Nebuchadnezzer came to his senses that he was released from his bovine behavior. Read it in the book of Daniel. He was taking all the glory to himself, not giving praise to God, so God made him into a cow. I mean, he was still Nebuchadnezzer, but he lived like a cow. He went out in the field for seven years (Daniel 4), I believe, and ate grass. His nails grew long. He was an animal. He bellowed and mooed, I imagine. And then he came to his senses, gave God the glory and was restored to his position of authority. Read it, it's right there in Daniel.

Now someone might say, Well, this roaring in the Spirit is giving God the glory. Ladies and gentlemen, doesn't that strike you as bizarre? I'm at a loss for words here. Doesn't it strike you as bizarre that someone says, I give God glory by howling at the moon, roaring like a lion, rolling around and barking. Doesn't that strike you as strange?

What is really stunning about this is it's called "revival". Do you get this? A revival is to return life to something. That's what it means to revive it. In other words, this is an example of us being revived in the Spirit. Our Christian lives were spiritually dead and now we receive spiritual life when we get revived spiritually. Then what happens? We act like animals. That's an evidence of our spiritual revival. That's what Christianity has come to. The Spirit turns you into an animal.

We've talked about this before and I've discussed it a little bit sanely, calmly, intelligently reflected on it. And then I asked myself, What the heck am I doing? Why am I treating this like it's something sane? Let's go back to the Bible for a second. All right? When I read my Bible I find as evidence of spiritual vitality--balance, sanity (remember the Gadarene demoniac). They regained their sanity and became like people rather than like animals once the demons were cast out. I'm not saying here, by the way, that those who do this are filled with demons, I don't know. I'm just saying that it seems like demons are the ones who would be more likely to make us act like animals than God.

In the Bible I see as examples of spiritual vitality thoughtful, careful, meaningful, culturally relevant proclamations of the gospel. I see renewing our minds, order, reasonableness, attractiveness, patterns of submission, faithfully running the race. That's all in there. But now I'm being asked to believe that genuine revival may entail me being overwhelmed so much so that I act like an animal or fall into epileptic fits thrashing about and out of control. Good night! What next? This is all we need as a church. As if the world doesn't have enough to point at to object to, to discredit our witness, now we've got this. Another lunatic fringe to move towards because the simple basic ordinary Christian life is not good enough.

Okay, here is something really bizarre. I'm struggling to find an illustration here that will make the point because bizarre illustrations don't make the point. What is going on is so bizarre but still people accept it. I'm not going to be vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. What if a group of Christians got together and began to urinate in the middle of the church? Every Sunday. After all, the scripture says that from our inner most beings will flow rivers of living water, right? Now, some screw ball is going to find some justification for that kind of thing. I mean, do we really need to call an expert in on this? Does the Bible actually prohibit whizzing in the Spirit? I mean, there is no verse against it. God moves in strange ways. What next?

The problem with giving illustrations like this is that some goof-ball is going to go out and do it, and then he'll give me a phone call and tell me I'm grieving the Spirit, I'm quenching the Spirit. I know people are going to be offended by that illustration--and my apologies--but I choose this bizarre picture to make a point because, frankly, if you choose anything less bizarre somebody might say, Well, maybe. It doesn't sound so bad to me. You have to choose something utterly bizarre to give a clear case example anymore. We used to joke about extreme spiritual manifestations, and our extreme, clear case example was swinging from the chandeliers and barking like dogs because everybody knows that if anybody swung from the chandelier in church and barked like a dog then it would be unacceptable. Now somebody is asking me to accept this.

If we stand back for just a minute, if we just think a minute, if you are offended by that last illustration, why aren't we equally offended when we go to church and people are roaring and yowling and howling like animals and having epileptic fits, and they are attributing this to God. Instead there are some of us who say, boy the Holy Spirit is really moving. Wake up!

Sure, God can do whatever He wants. He even had Isaiah preach nude. Are you going to use that as a proof text for giving a message in your birthday suit next Sunday in church? It seems to me that a reasonable, mature, biblically literate Christian is going to look at this and say, Don't be ridiculous. Don't even suggest that's from God. I hope you're reacting in the same way to my suggestion that there might be something called whizzing in the Spirit. That's offensive. That's blasphemous. If you are concerned about me being a little bit direct or sarcastic, I think it was Paul who said if you want to circumcise yourself to show your spirituality why don't you just cut the whole thing off? That's Galatians 5:12, I believe. So I've got some biblical basis for being a little bit direct.

If you're bugged by the whizzing in the Spirit illustration you ought to be bugged by this because they are both bizarre. Why not snake handlers? What about that? Snake handling is more sane than this. At least you have a verse that directly suggests such a thing in Mark 16. I think the verse is misunderstood and there is some question as to whether it is authentic, but at least you've got a case. You'll handle snakes and not get bit, remember that verse? But the scripture doesn't say that one of the marks of spiritual life, of revival is howling like an animal. I think it's time for Christians to regain their sanity.

Somebody asked me this morning, "What do you think draws people into this?" Desire for the dramatic? The ordinary Christian life is boring. That's why. It's work. The ordinary Christian life is too ordinary. Instead people want to have this dramatic experience allegedly with God. People want to be different. The irony, ladies and gentlemen, is if Christians led the ordinary Christian life they would be different in all of the ways that really matter. When believers get off on tangents like this they are no different than the rest of the world doing loony-toon things. That's just what this is. Loony-toon. You can quote that.

Then you wonder why people think we're nuts! Can you believe it?

(Reproduction permitted for non-commercial use only. ©1995 Gregory Koukl)
Mr. Koukl wrote this article in 1995 in response to unusual manifestations occurring at the Toronto Blessing(?) meetings which were going on at the time. Looks similar to what goes on at the meetings in Lakeland, FL with Todd Bentley and at MorningStar with Rick Joyner as well as at other places influenced by their group of propheteers. TB and the rest keep saying that God is doing a new thing. It doesn't look new to me (and it doesn't look like the God I serve either.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

To Fight or Not To Fight?

A few days ago, my oldest son, Timothy, and I had a discussion about pacifism that was prompted by a blog he posted back in May on The Time of Day. He said:

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine and I were having a good natured argument about pacifism before a Sunday morning church service. I made some suggestion that Jesus would never have taken up the sword, to which my friend responded (in good humor) "Jesus didn't use the sword because he didn't have the opportunity to."

My first thought was, " 'Jesus didn't use the sword because He didn't have the opportunity to'??? Sure He had the opportunity, but He didn't need to. It was not part of God's plan." But was Jesus showing us that pacifism (which for the sake of our discussion meant "not using force") was better than militarism/use of physical force?

The books of Matthew, Mark and Luke all record that some who were with Jesus at the time of His arrest had swords, and Simon Peter used his to cut off the ear of the high priest's servant. Jesus healed the servant and rebuked Peter saying, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" (John 18:14) Obviously, from this statement, using physical warfare was not what the Father had planned for Jesus to do at that time. Could Jesus have grabbed a sword and successfully defended Himself against being arrested? John records that the soldiers and officials fell to the ground because of the power of His words! He gave convincing evidence that these fully-armed soldiers were not "taking" Him because of their great strength, but that He was "giving" Himself willingly into their hands in spite of His greater strength. So, physical dominion was not His plan for that time.

Are we supposed to follow this example and never fight in the physical realm? What about our country's military forces-are they rebelling against Jesus's example? Pacifism might answer "yes" to these questions, and say that the use of force, warfare, is not right according to the New Testament which records that Christians suffered under occupying forces but did not pick up arms to retaliate. But, what about aggressors like Hitler's Germany or the terrorists of this day? Should we just sit back and allow evil to run rampant when we can do something about it? Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing." What about police forces? They are armed. Do we make them like Barney Fife and take away their bullets? I don't think anyone would see that as a good idea.

So, maybe what we are looking at here should not be pacifism vs. militarism, but spiritual dominionism vs. physical dominionism. There are sectors of Christianity that believe that the Church is supposed to take physical dominion over the earth right now. Some even say that Jesus will not or can not return until the Church is ruling on earth. (For more information, go to ) Some of these physical dominionists are very outspoken about their ambition to rule the world for Jesus regardless of what it takes-which means, 'if anyone tries to stop us, they are stopping the move of God and we will do what we have to do, even killing those who oppose us, in order to reach our goal.'

I don't think that Jesus told us to conquer the world. He said to go out and make disciples, that is, take spiritual dominion. There may be times when we have to defend ourselves against men of evil purpose, but I do not think Jesus wants us to be the aggressors or to physically take over the earth. As a matter of fact, I think He can handle that all by Himself:

Revelation 19:15,21 "Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations... The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse..."

When Jesus is ready to take physical dominion of the earth, at the time planned by the Father, He will take up His sword and use it! Amen, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Search for The Truth: Links to Critical Information the Church Needs to Know

Several people have asked me for links to websites providing research on the Lakeland meetings with Todd Bentley and also to other issues/topics that are of critical importance to the Church. I have some links in the sidebar of this page which I have found to be very helpful. I do not always agree with everything that the blog authors listed have to say or with the tone in which they deliver their information. I suggest that you pray before watching any video links of Lakeland meetings and ask God for discernment as you study and research.

Also, be aware that some information on Todd Bentley's Fresh Fire ministry website ( has been changed--articles removed, names changed in documents, etc. Some of the researchers who have watched the Lakeland saga from the beginning have copies of the original documents which are proof of TB's deceptive practices.

I have not had time to go through each of these sites to check the links that they supply. I may have missed some excellent information or some that really needs to be avoided. Please do as the Bereans did and check the Scriptures to see if the messages/doctrines presented line up with the Word of God.

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11(NIV)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


GREAT QUOTES-Mostly (from email sent by Andrew Strom at

"Some say that faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you have to breathe it; so is bread, but you have to eat it. Some are wanting some miraculous kind of feeling. That is not faith. 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God' (Rom 10:17). That is whence faith comes. It is not for me to sit down and wait for faith to come stealing over me with a strong sensation, but is for me to take God at His Word." - D. L. Moody

"Showing mercy to the wolf is showing cruelty to the sheep." - Puritan.

"Adversity doesn't build character; it reveals it."- Anonymous

"I am not permitted to let my love be so merciful as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order.... when these are concerned, neither toleration nor mercy are in order, but only anger, dispute, and destruction -- to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon." - Martin Luther.

"To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, that they may be one, even as we are one"? (John 17:22). A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless... Unite, unite!" Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context. Look at verse 17: "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." Only those sanctified through the Word can be one in Christ. To teach otherwise is to betray the Gospel." -Charles H. Spurgeon.

"It is our solemn conviction that where there can be no real spiritual communion there should be no pretence of fellowship. Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin." -Charles Spurgeon.

Conspiracy Theory?

So, for those who haven't heard, after a rapid departure due to being exposed as a liar on national television, Todd Bentley is now coming back to the Lakeland meetings for more tall tales and fruitless fables. Before Todd left for his "sabbatical," I wondered if his prophetic apostolic friends had a different agenda in mind. (I know, this will probably sound like "Conspiracy Theory," one of my favorite movies.) But, I really had a feeling that these prophetic apostolic movers and shakers were setting Todd up for a fall. Their behavior at his coronation ceremony seemed too detached for them to really have Todd's best interests at heart. That he left the scene early was not on their agenda, so he is coming back to continue the scripted drama. My theory, for what it's worth, is that the afforementioned p.a.m.s. were letting Todd go extremely far out in the prophetic river to do and say outrageously ridiculous things that even the most naive person could see through, and then they were going to let him sink saying that he was in great error and would not listen to their correction. Of course, they would then be available to pick up the pieces and bring healing to the Body as those who were rooted, grounded and trustworthy in the prophetic, not inexperienced and power-hungry as Todd was. They would be able to offer a "real", deep experience in the "true" river of god and teach about the "authentic" mystical, spiritual, new encounters that god wants the church to come into. They would set themselves up as the ones who could really be trusted with the leadership of the church in the last days. They want to be seen as the knights in shining armor who will rescue the church from the deception of the enemy and lead her to victory and dominion over the world.

(Watch out for the wolves who know how to wear their sheepskin clothing without showing their slips.)