A Voice in the
Recently (Sep25,99) the following was sent to the e-mail subscriber list. It is adapted here for printing.
Instead of our usual Morsels/Tidbits this week, a subject has come to my attention in a new way, which it seems prudent to address briefly, to warn us all to keep alert and vigilant against a particular error that seems about ready to erupt on the scene. It is really nothing new, but there seems to be an increased vigor as 1999 starts winding down into Y2K.
It is the matter of "outpourings". While charismania has essentially been a 20th century phenomenon; there have been "outpourings" of the spirits from Toronto and Pensacola. And more recently the "gold dust" manifestations. As well as the "near-death" manifestations; 1999 seems to be on a "time table" for these folks. And they are vigorously preparing for the "next step" in this "flowing of the spirit". If you're not well-grounded in God's Word, you need to keep alert to recognize their teaching. You need to be enveloped in God's Word now more than ever, as we are truly going into some "grievous [perilous] times" (2Tim3:1) in the very near future. These "times" are truly "upon us."
Within the past couple days I've received some e-mails and URLs about this. And I'd like to share just a bit. There are "prophets" springing up all over, as well as "apostles". In fact, I have been reading from various sources for some time now, that September (this month that is just about over) has been a month for them to get their apostles organized...or whatever it is they are doing. Proclamations are spewing forth. Claims of visions of prophecy. There is a -real- push to proclaim that the "church" is now entering a "new" phase. A phase of "new revelations". And, in context, AWAY FROM Scripture. As though to say that we had Scripture up to a certain point, but -now- we are entering this new phase where the "church" is again receiving revelations -directly- from "God" and the "Holy Spirit".
Here are a few of the things they are saying. I will just include words and phrases here. They speak of various "prophetic streams". I would presume that must be various "streams" of the "flowing" of what they claim is the "Holy Spirit" sweeping across. As they have been "organizing" they speak of apostles and prophets joining together. Pastors 'alone' are no longer sufficient. That prophets are needed "above" pastors. And that, while there will be "apostles", not everyone will be able to attain to such stature. But these would-be apostles and prophets are the "two witnesses". (Scripture out-of-context, of course) But as they get together, the need is for "team players". That they are "covering" one another. They meet and are working on "inventive strategies" and if I can paraphrase their words... as they meet, they are "working out the kinks" of their new strategies before they go 'public' so they don't make any "mistakes". So, they correct "each other" as they learn -from- EACH OTHER "how to" be apostles and prophets.
Now, let's stop a moment here and compare all this to Scripture. First of all, nobody -today- is qualified to be an "apostle" for the Church of Jesus Christ. One of the definitions of an apostle was one who had been with Jesus (2000 years ago) and been a "witness" of His resurrection. (Acts1:21-22) The only way there can be -an- "apostle" today, of -anything-, by definition, is if SOMETHING NEW is beginning. Which this movement certainly is. But it is NOT of God. More on this a bit later.
Also, when the early Church began in Acts, they did not "strategize" what their agenda was to be. They were commanded to "wait" in Jerusalem, and when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were -instantly- "qualified" to proclaim. As Jesus had promised, "it will be given you...what you should speak" (Mt10:19) and it was noted that they "had been with Jesus." (Acts4:13) And it was the Holy Spirit Who gave them direction in what they were to do. (Acts13:2,16:7,etc.) They were not doing "inventive strategies"...and figuring out the 'plan' so they wouldn't "make mistakes". It wasn't -their- "plan".
OK, a couple other items. Their 'prophecies' speak of coming together in the "realm of ideas". Everything I've read thus far involves -man- working with other -men-, making plans, working together. But nothing from God's Word, the Holy Scriptures. Man is preparing to usher in an "outpouring" of the spirit. Again, see Acts 2.
And so, as they are 'preparing' together, they are prophesying about an "EMERGING DIVINE ORDER" and an "EMERGING GOSPEL". (their words)
Question: Isn't God's "Divine Order" -ALREADY- established? He says, "I am Jehovah, and there is none else." (Is45:5) He is the One Who has declared "the end from the beginning" (46:10) He has already proclaimed, "I am Jehovah your God...you shall not have any other gods besides Me." (Ex20:2-3) If something is "emerging", by definition, it is something "new". Something different. If they are calling it "divine", by definition, it is "another god". Do not be deceived!
Question: Was not the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" -ALREADY- given? To the Corinthians Paul had already "preached" (past tense) the Gospel. (1Cor15:1~) He said that he had not left anything out "that was profitable" when he proclaimed "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts20:20-21) The "faith" was already "once delivered to the saints" (Jude3) If the Gospel is only -now- "emerging" how could people have possibly been "saved" for the past 2000 years? If it's -a- "gospel", it is obviously NOT from Jesus Christ.
Paul uses rather strong language against these with this "new" gospel. He says, "But even if we, or an angel out of Heaven, should announce a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed." (Gal1:8-9) These people are claiming a new "spiritual" revelation; as though "out of Heaven". They are proclaiming something "beside" what has already been preached. What is the verdict? "LET HIM BE ACCURSED."
Toward the end of one of these things I read recently, the person makes a claim of "my [his] doctrine". You see, this is it. These new things do not originate from God. God -ALREADY- gave His doctrine. It is found in the Scriptures. (2Tim3:14-17) Everything we need is found in The Bible.
Eight years ago the local "prayer summit" group of pastors used to pray and talk, hoping that an outpouring could start in Spokane and spread to the rest of the country. At the time I was ignorant of what an "outpouring" was, but for a time I sat amongst them, and heard them "pray". Now, somebody has apparently moved to Spokane with the specific idea of being used of "God" for this to be a reality. The "walls" I spoke of recently in the "Prayer Coverings" commentary at my place of business also exist over Spokane. All one has to do is drive out of Spokane and if they are even the least bit sensitive to the Holy Spirit, they will know they are no longer under that cloud. I have noticed this for years. I used to think it was because of the 'satan worshipers' around the area. But now I realize it is these who call themselves the "church", and that this "cloud" over Spokane is that which they pray about continually. Yes, this "church" movement -is-, in reality, "satan worship". Of the most deceptive kind; because it claims to be "christian".
These prophets will continue springing up all over. Probably near your area, too. Do not be deceived by them! You will find that they do not proclaim the Scriptures. That is because God's Word is against them. But their deception is because it -is- "spiritual". From satan. And they will prophesy.
However... "So says Jehovah of hosts, do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they make you vain; they speak a vision of their own heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah." (Jer23:16)