“Just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.” Todd Bentley
The Spirit of God expressly and specifically revealed to the Apostle Paul that, “... in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;..’
In addition they will gravitate to more mundane, human expressions flowing from their own desires and ideas in an attempt to improve upon The Gospel by imposing legalistic standards which would mark them as ‘spiritual.’ At least more spiritual than others. I Tim. 4:1,2
That day is here! It has been ‘here’ since Jesus left this planet for Home, due to the fact that this entire Church Age is what The Bible calls ‘the latter days,’ and because men are always going to be men!
However, as the days grow shorter and the enemy of our souls grows more bold [God’s restraining hand being lessened, as we move closer to The End], he is able to influence men in ever greater ways to leave ‘The Faith,’ and cling to their own designs and devices.
Early efforts included overt persecution and horrible executions, at the hands of both civil governmental and ecclesiastical authorities. Today, things are quite different. The pressure is coming from a people who hate God and want no part of His moral standards. They have become a powerful force to limit and even thwart Christian principles and godly behaviors….globally.
The list of morally degrading and socially destructive practices is too long and too disgusting to rehearse. The most recent may be the casual and lighthearted discussion of bestiality on the TVLAND show called “Younger.” After which, I read, Whoopi Goldberg sings a Hymn.
These are social events and developments The Church exists to prevent (by her presence in society and her willingness to speak against), as her members reflect both ‘salt and light.’ However, this Institution has been thoroughly corrupted and co-opted by worldliness and pride!
Consider: Evangelicals are gravitating to a Presidential candidate who’s life and lifestyle represents everything they stand against! Now, the polls are showing that the more an Evangelical voter attends Church, the less likely he/she is to vote for him. What does that say?
It says The Church of Jesus Christ exists….just not out in the public eye! The public face of The Church has been swallowed up by greed, pride, avarice, popularity and spiritism. An Institution based on Spirituality is now either groveling at the feet of earthly ‘mammon,’ or dancing to the tune of spiritual deception.
Let me explain: In my book, “Frontal Assault!” I seek to highlight the doctrinal battles The Church has faced since it’s inception. Battles which have been largely the same, generation after generation, for almost 2000 years. That Battle is no longer being waged! At least not the way it has always been waged.
Today, The Battle is more spiritual. Instead of tackling the issue of how a person is saved, the New Tactic is simply to distract people with shiny trinkets and dark secrets. I speak of the ever-evolving nature of what we call The Charismatic Movement.
The Bible makes The Case that IT is the foundation upon which our Faith rests. It encourages us to ‘study (that Word) to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [II Tim. 2:15]
To illustrate, the Spirit of God provides a beginning list: profane [things on the other side of the door from holiness] and vain babblings [empty sounding & useless discussions] about things which only lead to more ungodliness.
We are then given an illustration, in the lives of two men: Hymaenaeus and Philetus. Men who strayed from The Truth of God’s Word, saying the resurrection has already past, meaning what we call ‘The Rapture.’ Christians [The Bride of Christ] being called up to Heaven and given their reward.
Harmless misunderstanding? No. They were seeking to create New Doctrine! A doctrine that would subvert and destroy the faith of some. As you might imagine, God takes this sort of thing seriously! Men and women tampering, not only with His Word, but with His Bride!
The instruction from God is: shun these men! Literally, stand away from them; avoid getting involved with them AND their teachings. Do not follow their doctrine, it is Wrong and it is Destructive of your faith!
Good Counsel? Obviously, but the Western Church has not followed that counsel…to her shame and hurt. Each one, claiming to follow God’s Word, yet carving out religious systems which either clearly deny the Scriptures or The Christ upon which they claim to stand!
If that’s not bad enough, now we have religious groups, claiming to stand opposed to these aberrant systems, seeking to join with them in religious ministry and purpose! Of course this is not really New. What’s New is the way they go about it.
They reduce the Gospel to a general message of religiosity, or worse; reduce the ministry of the Holy Spirit to a Parlor Trick, all the while exalting Him above Jesus!
Harsh? Have you ever seen these people in action? Barking like dogs? Staggering around ‘drunk in the Holy Spirit?’ Telling people who are seriously ill and desperate that all they have to do is send them money and God will heal them or make them rich? Kicking a woman in the mouth in order to heal her….because God told him to do it?
Where are the godly, biblically informed, decent /rational men and women, in this movement, standing up against all this?
Of course, there are some. One man (a leader in this movement) wrote: “…during a season of spiritual coldness and intellectual pride, I tried to deny the things of the Spirit, wanting to distance myself from what I felt were the abuses and errors of the Pentecostal movement. But the testimony of the Word was too clear for men to deny and the Spirit’s work in my life too strong for me to resist.”
This is a man ashamed at the “..folly and gullibility, the lack of discernment and the failure to test all things by the Word….the carnality and ease with which these people are duped and defrauded.”
How are they defrauded? By accepting the notion that either a person is saved when they speak in gibberish or hear voices or see visions, or that the proof of their salvation is found in these same experiences!
What was once a small, marginalized religious movement has become A Force To Be Reckoned With! The last three Presidential Elections have featured men and women on the Ticket who represent this philosophy! They are seeking to conquer the “Mountain of Government” so Jesus can come back. The world being too evil for Him, as it is.