by Jeannette Haley
Someone once said that what is worse than finding a worm in your apple is finding half a worm. Either way, nobody wants to take the risk of biting into an apple that could possibly harbor a nice, juicy worm. When it comes to putting produce on our tables, and in our stomachs, we want the best we can find.
Amazingly, it’s a different story when it comes to what many (and I do mean many) people partake of spiritually. People, who are usually discerning and picky about physical fruit, seem to have lost, not only common sense on the one hand, but any real knowledge and understanding of what God’s Word says about spiritual fruit on the other. It’s beyond me why anyone would rather eat the worm than enjoy the good fruit.
I suppose, however, if people are brainwashed long enough into believing that the real deal is in the worm rather than in the apple, they will gladly check out their brains and go with the flow. It’s a truly frightening thing to behold how easily people can be led astray, and that includes you and me. If you think that you can’t be deceived, you’re deceived already.
If you don’t believe that, consider the millions of devotees and followers of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Ellen G. White, “Reverend” Moon, the Pope, and Mohammed, not to mention Hitler and others of his ilk who liter the pages of history with their bloody atrocities.
We are definitely living in the end days, days when Paul’s prophecies to Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” and, “the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” 2 Timothy 4:3,4; 1 Timothy 4:1. When it comes to the devil and his doctrines, he is the world’s best expert at convincing people that the worm is the genuine “fruit of the Spirit.” Any other biblical definition is, after all, just the “old wineskin” that must give way to the “new.” Obama and Oprah Winfrey aren’t the only ones promoting “change.” It’s been happening within the church world for decades. The question is how many Christians today are truly willing to step outside of their carnal comfort zones and humbly seek God’s perspective about all the ungodly garbage that’s going on?
As for the “old wineskin,” just what do these peddlers of false prophets and doctrines of devils mean anyway? It may sound exciting to those who, for one reason or the other, are always looking for some new, exciting “wave,” but have any of them stopped to define what Jesus was talking about concerning the “old wineskin?” Simply put, the “old wineskin” represented the old covenant (of the Old Testament) giving way to the new covenant, given to us by way of Christ’s blood. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” Hebrews 9:14, 15.
“But” argue the defenders of every false prophet and so-called revival, “look at the power, and all the people, and the fruit!” As touching the power, Jesus warned, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” Matthew 7: 21, 22. (Emphasis added.) The key is not in the supposed “power” of “signs and wonders” but in knowing Jesus (the Jesus of the Bible) and doing the will of the Father.
As for multitudes of people, and even worldwide acclaim, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that God is not impressed with numbers. In fact, Jesus declared, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Matthew 18:20. Note that the condition for Jesus being in the “midst” is coming together in His name. This means that there is agreement as to who Jesus is—the Jesus of the Bible, His work, and character in order to come together in truth and the right Spirit. If people meeting together do not come in the right spirit according to who He is, then they are as those who will cry out “Lord, Lord, in your name…” who shall be eternally damned.
Concerning the exclamations of “fruit” being produced by false workers of false revivals, my question is what fruit? Can we accept this argument at face value, without first determining the essence and validity of such “fruit” in light of Scripture?
John the Baptist minced no words when preaching about fruit. He said, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance…every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” Matthew 4:8, 10b. The basis of true revival always has been, and always will be, true repentance. Jesus gave an example of true repentance in His parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. (See Luke 18:9-14.) True repentance involves brokenness over one’s fallen state, deep conviction of one’s unworthiness before God, humility and lowliness of mind, sobriety and recognition of one’s utter inability to show forth the glory of God, and confession of sins committed and omitted. Bringing forth good fruit that is acceptable to God is only possible through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in and through one’s life as one seeks to walk in obedience to Him. True repentance involves mortifying the flesh (the old man), and through obedience putting on the new man, while working out one’s salvation in fear and trembling. (See Philippians 2:12.)
The evidence of the new creation in Christ is the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” Galatians 5:22, 23. Note that this is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, not our natural spirit. This fruit is the life of Christ being worked in and through our lives, not something that we pretend to possess when others are watching us. The fruit of the Spirit is not an instant or temporary result of an emotional or fleshly event, but it is lasting fruit as long as we walk in obedience to Christ, for it is His life coming forth. And, this life is always in line with the Word of God in Spirit and Truth. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit cannot take place if we insist on defining, and redefining God and His ways according to our own fleshly preferences, ideas, perceptions, platitudes, and imaginations. God is Who He is: immutable (unchanging), omnipresent (everywhere present), omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful). He is the great I AM, and He is not, nor will He ever be, subject to the wicked whims of mere men who refuse to acknowledge Who He is as revealed in the Holy Scriptures while making Him out to be the ringleader of a “spiritual circus” for man’s entertainment and fleshly benefit. There awaits a fiery judgment on all who hold the truth in unrighteousness. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” Romans 1:18.
Therefore, when people defend false prophets, movements and revivals with the cliché of “check out the fruit,” they hope to silence those who discern differently. Again, the question is “what fruit?” The fruit of the Spirit, as defined by God’s Word, or is there another definition of “fruit?” The souls of people being saved, edified, and established in the faith is real fruit. Bearing the likeness of Jesus Christ is the real fruit of the Spirit. If the real Jesus of the Bible is not being lifted up and honored according to who He is, and “another Christ” is being exalted, what is the nature of this so-called fruit? The answer to that is a substitute or antichrist spirit.
Such a spirit will appeal to the flesh. It is sensual, worldly and unholy. This prideful spirit mocks that which is true, pure and holy while redefining the clear intent and meaning of the Word of God. It seeks to alter people’s perception of God, making Him into a modern, hip, politically correct and congenial being that operates outside of the known perimeters of God’s Word. This counterfeit spirit deceives through psychological conditioning, mass hypnotism, lying signs and wonders, and, much to the horror of discerning Christians, demon possession.
The Bible clearly spells it out that in Christian assemblies, “Let all things be done “decently and in order” 1 Corinthians 14:40. Why? Because “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” 1 Corinthians 14:33. How can 45 minutes or more of ear-splitting music with everyone frantically jumping up and down be glorifying to Almighty God in heaven—the LORD who calls us to peace, decency and order? How can this be the fruit of the Spirit?
Concerning the “new thing” that we always hear about every time another unknown “false Christ” (meaning a so-called “anointed one”) comes on the scene, is what is the spirit behind it, and where is it leading people? Is there really going to be a big world-wide revival in these last days where millions of people turn to Christ? Not according to my Bible. Instead we are told that evil men shall become worse and worse, that truth will fall to the streets, deception will be great, false prophets and teachers shall abound, that the night is coming when no man can work, that the love of many will grow cold, and that Jesus will return to a world with little, if any, faith.
The Apostle Peter tells us what God’s people are to be like. Take heed to what he wrote: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 1 Peter 3:11, 12 (emphasis added). Did you catch that? Holy and godly. There can be no holiness or godliness without having “put on Christ” in all humility, and reverence, with no respect of persons, love for the world and the ways of the world including the defining marks, music and practice of paganism. God is not, never has been, and never can be, in any such perversion, regardless of how “big” it may be, or how “exciting” it may be, or how “popular” it may be with it’s ungodly acts, attitudes, actions, activities and acclaims. God is not in it.
But, Satan is. Consider the following excerpts from an excellent report by Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries, http://www.olivetreeviews.org concerning another of so-called revival that is taking place as I write this:
FOOTPRINTS OF A PROPHET OR TRACKS OF A WOLF?” I am writing the “inconvenient truth” today. I have been blitzed with e-mails about the Todd Bentley “revival” in Florida. Before you fall for his stories and “signs and wonders,” please allow me to make some comments. I realize this will not be received well by many.
This is a Charismatic happening called the “third wave.” The “first wave” was Toronto, and it fizzled out. The “second wave” was Pensacola, and it had the same fate. Now Bentley has brought in the “third wave,” and folks are coming from around the world for the “anointing.” Even the Charisma Magazine editor Lee Grady says — sounding a warning — “My inbox has been full of messages from Charismatic leaders who are concerned about everything from Bentley’s tattoos and body piercings to his claim that he once interviewed the apostle Paul in Heaven. When I called for scrutiny of some aspects of the Lakeland Revival, I was labeled a Pharisee and a ‘religious policeman.’ I had suddenly become the enemy.”
Who is Todd Bentley? He is an ex-Satanist, a pierced and tattooed signs and wonders guy, and a man who gets messages from angels, particularly one named Emma. He does not open the Bible and preach. When he is “under the anointing” he can cause tumors to “explode,” he says. The Holy Spirit told him to kick a lady in the face with his biker boot so he did so. If he tries to deal with someone he thinks might be demonized, he gets nothing short of violent, virtually choking a man he is trying to exorcise. He also gets violent when he uses the word “bam.”
As Mike Oppenheimer from Let us Reason http://www.letusreason.org says, “Instead of people getting saved, they are getting lost–by listening to a man’s experiences of the supernatural that are unbiblical and untrue.”
Oppenheimer continues, “This revival has all the spiritual sensations and activities of the other revivals combined: Roaring, groaning, burning sensations in the body, head, and stomach; shaking, jerking, spiritual drunkenness and uncontrollable laughter and then some new manifestations. People have their eyes rolled back in the back of their heads. There are reports of women gyrating and pulsating like they’ve been ravaged from behind by some unseen force. Holy or un-holy may still be debated by some but to those of us who are knowledgeable of the previous ‘revivals’ and the power of the occult, the jury is in. The source is not the God of the Bible. This may disturb some but if they will use their Bible, pray, and think it through, they will gain discernment and spiritual understanding.”
The shakes, jerks, twitching, frozen stillness, laughter, animal sounds, and more have all been standard in other “revivals.” The Florida Revival is nothing new but it is preying on young and new believers who do not know their Bibles. It is also preying on the desperate: Sick people who can find no medical help.
Critic Jacob Prasch http://www.moriel.org says, “The crowds following Bentley are seen being overcome by ugly spirits of drunkenness and stupor. It reflects the faulty theology of those in ‘the river’ movement popularized by the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing.’ Song lyrics reflect Kingdom-Now visions of the church taking over all the elements of society and setting up a kingdom on earth before the Lord returns which the Bible contradicts.”
Todd himself talks about the mad chaos–totally uncharacteristic of God. He says, “During a visitation, the pastor’s wife got totally whacked by the Holy Ghost. She began running around barking like a dog or squawking like a chicken as a powerful prophetic spirit came on her.”
The research site “Lighthouse Trails Research Project” http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/charismatic.htm reports that, “The following information will show Bentley’s spiritual resonance with a man named Sundar Singh (1829-1929). At one point in Bentley’s ministry, he had a vision of Sundar Singh. This vision influenced Bentley. According to the biographer of Singh, Singh spent much of his life in deep trance-like states communicating with spiritual beings.” Through this he saw the “glories” of the spirit world. He combined East and West in his meditative disciplines. He had long hours of meditation and days of silence.
Bentley talks about himself being possessed by demons, undergoing a deliverance, his past Satanic worship, his mother levitating, and demons writing 666 on his cupboard in his kitchen. Go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtSK9TyduR4&feature=related
It is hard to tell the difference between the words of Bentley and those of Satan! Todd says: “You see, I want to be fruitful; I want to be far above. I want to be a conqueror; I want to be a mountain of strength; I want to be greatness. You know, we like that word greatness. Well, he who dwells in the secret place of the Most High automatically comes into everything that the Almighty is. It happens.” Sounds like Isaiah 14:12 – 14 to me.
Angelology plays a large role here. He talks to an angel named Emma and he says, “So when I need a financial breakthrough, I don’t just pray and ask God for my financial breakthrough. I go into intercession and become a partner with the angels by petitioning the Father for the angels that are assigned to getting me money: ‘Father, give me the angels in heaven right now that are assigned to get me money and wealth. And let those angels be released on my behalf. Let them go into the four corners of the earth and gather me money.'”
As reported by Jacob Prasch, “Bentley refers to his angel as ‘the angel of the Lord’ and also waits upon Emma for the signs and wonders to manifest. However, according to Bible scholars, the term ‘the angel of the Lord’ is an Old Testament reference to the pre-incarnate Christ, also called a Theophany. It seems that Emma is really overstepping her bounds to be referred to as ‘the angel of the Lord.'” She is most likely a demon.
Bentley and his close friend, the exposed false prophet Paul Cain, look to disgraced “prophet” William Branham. Pentecostal pastor Bill Randles says, “The only problem was Branham’s teaching. He had a few quirks, such as his belief that the doctrine of the Trinity was of the devil, his belief that the zodiac was as valid as the Word of God, and his unfortunate belief that he was the angel of the Church of Laodicea! When he died in a head-on auto crash in 1965, his followers were so obsessed with his ‘works of power,’ they delayed burying him for several months, hoping that he would be resurrected the following Easter! He was that GREAT!”
We are warned in the Bible that the devil will “transform himself into an angel of light,” and that in the last days will come “lying signs and wonders” that will deceive, if possible, the very elect” (II Thess. 2:9). Doesn’t the Bible tell us that the devil is capable of the supposed “miracles” at the Bentley meetings? Tragically, many pastors are having hands laid on them to receive this “Florida anointing” and further spread this chaos.
So what started April 2, 2008, at Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, is now spreading everywhere. With today’s death of discernment, guys like Bentley flourish and prosper. We are in a season of weak gospel-preaching as well. This longing for the signs and wonders of one man is but paving the way for the “man of sin,” the “lawless one,” the Antichrist. What many believe is the anointing of the Holy Spirit is really nothing but “kundalini power” which in sanskrit means coiled as a snake. You can watch Todd exercising that power here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUJAaThoH7w&feature=related. You can learn much more in Caryl Matrisciana’s brilliant film, “Yoga Uncoiled” as well as her film “Supernatural Powers” which deals with God’s angels and fallen angels. Learn more about “kundalini power” at: http://endtimesdeception.com/?p=515
It says in II Timothy 3 that in the last days evil will wax worse and worse with men seducing, deceiving, and being deceived. Todd Bentley is a deceiver who is himself deceived. He will likely stand before the Lord some day and say, “But Lord, I did this all in Your Name.” But he is exercising serpent-power, not Holy Spirit power.
Pray for Todd and the legions following him and believing every word out of his mouth. Pray that their eyes would be opened before they are further spiritually damaged. We are not trying to demonize Todd; rather, we hope to protect some sheep, which our pastors should be doing but many are not.
The day is coming when “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” Romans 14:12. Therefore, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” 1 John 4:1.
Are you ready for that day?