In the world today there is a famine. And that famine is in hearing the Word of the Lord. Sure there are people and groups that claim to be Christians. But Christianity is not for sale, and it is not subject to the will and whim of man. Jesus teaches that if we love him, we will obey him. Psalms 119:11 proclaims “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Yet, sinning against the Lord is exactly what is occurring in these last days before the return of Jesus Christ. Mark 13, Luke 21, and Matthew 24 describe the times in which we are living in today. There are many false Christs that claim to have found the answer to life’s problems and questions that are often left unresolved. Young people are being told that they can go into a healing or prayer room and encounter the Presence. Jesus told his disciples not to go there.
Many leaders are teaching people that they must be trained, equipped, and mobilized in order to be world changers. According to Jesus Culture, “we do this through the ministry of conferences, events, worship, campus ministries, curriculums, resources and now a local church.” At face value, as well as many statements of faith, there seems to be a front of legitimacy to their ministries. After all, who would not want to be an effective world changer? Who doesn’t want to make a difference in life, having a life that matters and counts for something bigger than themselves?
But there are times that an apple looks really good on the outside, and yet on the inside it is rotten and full of worms. It is vitally important that we examine that fruit to determine if it is something that we should eat. And if we find that the fruit is rotten, would we then give that rotten fruit to someone else to eat? Certainly we would not eat the apple or give it to a friend. Perhaps we would throw the apple away, or use it for fertilizer in the garden, or even give it to animals.
Bible-based Christianity is based on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. That work is finished and it is done. There is a simplicity in Christ that seems to confuse the heart of many men. Naturally speaking, we know that if we don’t work, we don’t eat. And in applying that principle to Christianity, we often feel that if we don’t do the work that it won’t get done. In that effort, tools are often developed to shape the stone into an image that is acceptable to God. Yet God says that if we pick up a tool to shape the stone (hewn stone), the offering is polluted and not acceptable before the Lord.
The standard that true Christians live by is the Word of God. And that standard is acceptable and it is good. We can trust that what God says is what He will do. Adding to that standard is not something that produces good fruit. In reading the Word of God, we can know the will of God. And God’s will is that we walk as His children, being set apart from the world and dedicated to serving the Lord in true holiness. God desires that His children abide in the true Vine, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. The children of God worship Him in spirit and in truth, and they produce good fruit of the Holy Spirit. We obey His commands because we love Him.
But there are groups and movements in this world today that exemplify the reference in Scripture to the apostasy of the last days. They have built a magnificent ship to transport their ministries throughout the world, and yet they don’t have a rudder. They have disregarded the standard of the Word of God, and have created their own standards. Floundering in the open ocean of delusion, they have no way of returning to safe harbor, as they have lost sight of the Lighthouse.
False prophets arise and say that God told them. Yet their words don’t lead to safe harbor, only a deeper drift away from shore. Mankind learned long ago that the Sun does not revolve around the Earth, but the Earth around the Sun. He has also learned that the Earth is not flat, but is shaped in a sphere. Yet those false prophets who are attempting to guide the ship, are guiding the ship off the edge of the world into the great unknown. Uncharted waters leads to chaos and travels that often produce circles, as if it were a dog chasing its’ own tail.
In those circles are very deep waters, full of many beasts. There are also strong winds that often rage, and waves that reach the sky. Pounding back and forth, up and down, and side to side, many ships often litter the ocean floor as they could not withstand the reality of life as we know it. Ships that do survive for a time do not carry enough food to eat and water to drink for the crew and passengers. Preferring to drink salt water, many people vomit, hallucinate, laugh, and go into convulsions on their way to death. Many ships often develop holes in the hull, and water seeps in. As fast as one hole is plugged, another hole is formed.
There are times in which the shoreline is almost visible, but there is no reference point to shore. It was all a mirage. Rainbows often form over the waters, and at times there appears there may be hope. But then the rainbows vanish, and the journey in uncharted waters continues. And many of those ships are guided by a crew that is not aware that they have lost their way. Not knowing that they need help, they continue their journey. Other ships passing by offer aid and comfort. Many people abandon the ship and enter another ship, only to find that their problems have only moved from one ship to another.
The Lighthouse continues to do its’ job and project Light throughout the whole world. Many of those people living in darkness and set adrift in a sinking ship don’t realize that there is a way out. The shoreline is only a prayer away. Jesus proclaims, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There have been times that rescue crews went out into the waters on a search and rescue mission, as directed by the Lord. Yet the lifelines were rejected by many of those floating in the ocean. Many of the ships captains, crew, and passengers also didn’t recognize that the rescue boats were able to guide them to safety.
In many ways, the ship that is set adrift in the open ocean without a rudder and the guidance of the Lighthouse is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), and many groups and organizations associated with that group that is off course and in danger of the judgment of God. Those associates of the NAR include such groups as Bethel Church (Redding), Jesus Culture, IHOP, New Breed, Joel’s Army, Morningstar Ministries, Emergent Church, etc. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (II Timothy 3:5).
So how has the ship gone off course into delusion? Perhaps it’s because they have rejected the knowledge of the truth, loving their own bellies, instead of loving every Word of God. There is a consequence in departing from the Word of God. Bill Johnson has called it going off the map. But what it really is in these last days is apostasy. And why? Perhaps they were never the children of God. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27)”
Going away from the Word of God and establishing one’s own way of living the Christian life is like pulling the plug on one’s own ship, and then wondering why the ship is taking on water. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit does not mean that we don’t need the Word of God. In fact, being baptized in the Holy Spirit is the way in knowing that we are children of God. When a person accepts the gospel of Jesus Christ and is converted, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of the Believer. The Holy Spirit guides us into a deeper relationship with the Lord. And that relationship is based on the Word of God.
How has the NAR departed from the faith? Here are some examples that are very alarming, but which in no way includes every example:
*The word of their prophets supersede the Word of God in their faith and practice.
*They are Dominionists that aim to take over the world for Jesus, under the direction of the 7 Mountains Mandate (Kingdom Now).
*They have adopted many of the practices of the New Order of the Latter Rain heresies developed by the late William Branham, and popularized in modern times by Bob Jones, Bethel Church, and Jesus Culture.
*Promotion of the agenda of the New Breed of super hero Christians that are able to do greater miracles than Jesus.
*Many of those charismatics believe that they are little gods. Consider a statement from Mark Casto, who is affiliated with Perry Stone. He states: “To know Him is to become Him.” I’m a little confused with that one. Perhaps he can clarify his position. Does he mean, to know God is to become God?
*There is also the mistaken belief that Christians are to be in an intimate relationship with Jesus, as if He were our lover. That teaching is often derived from a misinterpretation of the Song of Solomon. But it is also found in the Jewish practice of Kabbalah and the worship of Shekinah.
*Worship of the Presence
*Use of mantras in worship (Vain Repetitions)
*Treasure Hunts and Prayer Walks
*Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare
*Word of Faith doctrines of demons that originate in modern times from E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, etc.
*SOZO inner healing ministry
*Healing rooms, prayer rooms, and other places promoted as being a place to encounter the Presence.
*Transferrable anointings and impartations of the spirit.
*Necromancy and the laying on grave stones of dead people to suck up their anointing.
*Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM)
*Belief that the NAR must re-establish the Five Fold Ministry, with their apostles in charge of the church. Perhaps their apostles are modern day Protestant Popes.
*False signs and wonders
*Manipulating the Church
*Making merchandise of the gospel of Jesus Christ
*Attempting to establish God’s kingdom on the earth
*Bringing Heaven to Earth (As above, so below)(An erroneous assertion of the New Age, Masonry, and Bill Johnson)
*Belief that Jesus Christ was just a man on earth that needed to be born again (Kenosis Heresy)
*Referencing false and abominable versions of the Bible
And the list goes on and on. In those beliefs is the underlying notion that they believe that they must Christianize the world. Until they do Christianize the world, Jesus will not come again. Now, these examples are a clear example of how they have departed from the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are commissioned to take the gospel and proclaim it to the nations. But that commissioning does not begin with BSSM. Haven’t we learned from history that the Crusaders of old produced disastrous consequences for their sinful behavior? We can build Joel’s Army and attempt to be an invasion of locusts on the earth. But all that movement will produce is apostasy, more sons of hell, and an eternity apart from God. There is no Divine Union between God and man to be sought through Contemplative Spirituality, as what is represented and taught at BSSM and the New Age of Enlightenment. God is Sovereign, and He does not share His throne with anyone or anything. Hasn’t anyone in that movement learned from the example of Lucifer, as he was cast out of Heaven for lifting up his head against God?
And it should also be known that these groups are targeting our children. They typically use concerts and conferences to attract the masses. For instance, a local Jesus Culture concert attracts thousands of young people to their concerts from all over the world. From there, many people are guided to Bethel Church and the abominable BSSM. They are also introduced into the realm of the NAR. After all is said and done, the movement expands at an alarming rate, and many people receive another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel, unlike anything that Jesus Christ represents. Another tactic that is used is bringing people together under the guise of social justice initiatives, as what occurs in Passion Conferences. But what are they building but that of the harlot church.
So what is the answer? Jesus is the answer. Hold to the truth of God’s Word, and repent for straying from His Word. Submit to the will of God, and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Take time each day to read the Word of God, and pray without ceasing. Live out the Christian life, and keep yourself from evil. Be led of the Holy Spirit of God, and produce good fruit. Abide in the true Vine, and don’t accept the counterfeit. To be cont.
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Categories: Jesus Culture Apostasy