Apostle Russel Evans of Planetshakers – are they a cult?

Often when false teachers have speaking engagements in other countries, they don’t expect people to follow what they are saying at these events. Last year, Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith reviewed a sermon by Russel Evans of Planetshakers and caught him speaking on something he would not often reveal in Australia or in his own church.

The mindset he speaks from is frightening as Evans reveals he is accountable to no one. All channels submit to him and his “vision” or “divine direction,” including the people most assume Evans would be accountable: his elders/board. This is classic ‘cult think’.

The sermon transcript is between 1:29:47-1:41:10. What deeply concerned Chris Rosebrough was Russel Evans’ false theology and how incompetent he was in handling biblical preaching. However, we want our readers to focus on the structure of Planetshakers. This structure is based of the new wineskin (aka Apostolic Center) structures of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cult.

The now deceased  leader of the NAR C. Peter Wagner, talks about this type of Apostolic leadership that we are about to see in Russel Evans:

“Unless I’m mistaken, the most radical of all the changes from the old wineskin to the new wineskin is this: the amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals. The two operative words are authority and individuals.”

Source: C. Peter Wagner, Charisma Magazine, http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/church-ministry/15676-where-are-the-apostles-and-prophets, Published 25/06/2014. (Accessed 18/11/2015.)

And it is these same Apostolic leaders who C. Peter Wagner claims are accountable to no one.

Russel Evans does a good job demonstrating that he is this individual who carries this “spiritual authority” in not only his movement but in his leadership:

1. God spoke directly to Evans: “the Lord says to me this, ‘I want next years Conference to be $20’.”

2. He felt God give divine strategic direction, so he called a board meeting: “I felt the Lord say to me, so I called the board out of the meeting”

3. Board member speaks up and is mocked by Evans: “One of the board members … says, ‘in my business we lift prices we never drop them’. I said ‘thank you very much for that encouraging statement’.

4. Board decided based Evans’s divine direction on emotion not on any sound reason: “we couldn’t work it out as in we couldn’t work out the natural part of it, but we said, ‘yes, we feel this is God’.”

This is not a Christian church – this is the New Wine Skin or Apostolic Center of the NAR cult. This apostolic structure centers around and exists solely for the Apostle. All are accountable to him. He gets the revelation and all his ‘yes men’ and members follow. It is this exact ‘apostolic structure’ in the AOG and Hillsong that had them summoned to a Royal Commission. To question their divine visions, directions and revelations elevates them above the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and makes you 100% wrong in your motive.

You will not be tolerated for being a Christian by testing what they say to God’s Word. 

A transcript is below the following Fighting for the Faith episode.


Wakey Wakey

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PROGRAM SEGMENTS:

Dutch Sheets and Jennifer LaClaire on the Upcoming 3rd Great Awakening
Beni Johnson Wakey Wakey
Jennifer Crumpton the Femevangelical
Furtick on Celebration
• Sermon Review: Taking God Led Risk by Russell Evans

Source: Chris Rosebrough, PirateChristian.com, http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2015/6/whats-your-spiritual-theological-authority, Published 10/06/2015. (Accessed 21/06/2015.)


TRANSCRIPT

Russel Evans: […] God wants the Church, His children to start taking God-led risks not man led risks…

Chris Rosebrough: I don’t know where you’re getting any of this, because there’s nothing about God led risks in Genesis 12, no nothing in there about that at all. Yeh God said he made a promise to Abraham and God was the one who fulfilled those promises.

I would go back and listen to the ‘Rosebrough’s ramblings through Genesis’, I actually exegete my way through these passages and pointed out that God is the one who is making  a promise to Abraham not asking Abraham to dream something or dream along with Him, or whatever, or take God led risks.

God had made a promise and that promise God kept, ultimately Jesus was born he is the seed of Abraham, he’s the one through which the whole world is blessed, through the forgiveness of their sins. And what Russel Evans is doing here, I have no idea where he is getting any of this, what’s his source? Cause it ain’t God’s Word.

Russel Evans: …not motivational seminar risks, God-led risks. Let me give you an example, I was at Planetshakers Conference this year, I was in our Conference and our Conference cost 1.4 million dollars to run for just the Conference. The offerings, God had always told me to keep the registrations low and we have tried to do that over the years by hiring massive venues that seat ten, twelve thousand people, costs a lot of money and the production costs a lot of money, but we have never, ever not paid the bills and come out either equal or in front.

It was a Thursday night and I was feeling, I had spoken at the offering and went back to my seat. Our offerings at that point had been considerably very low, the meetings were amazing, the registrations were bigger than the year before but our offerings were lower.

And I’m there and the average price for a Conference registration is $120.00, I’m sitter there, standing there in worship, I don’t know what the offering figure is for Thursday night, um and I was hoping it would be good and I’m standing there in worship and I have my hands raised, the presence of God was so powerful there, that as I’m standing there the Lord says to me this, ‘I want next years Conference to be $20’.

I’m like ‘hello, God have you ever been to school and done maths’? Because we have nine thousand plus people at night, we have seven thousand in the day, seven thousand at an average of $120, ok take the $20 off so it’s $100 less, seven thousand less $100 is $700,000.00, that’s half the budget your just wanting to take out.

But I felt the Lord say to me, so I called the board out of the meeting, I called my board out and I said ‘hey fellows and lady, I want to tell you what I just felt the Lord tell me to do and I just, I’m sort of scared about this because, I don’t know, I got this, uh’ remember when God speaks to you about something scary and you go ha, ha, ha, yeh, It’s called ‘happy scared’.

And so I’m there and I’m like I don’t really want to do this, but I feel so strong about it, and I said, ‘but I want the counsel we have to make a decision together’ and so we were talking and one of the board members who’s a successful business man says, ‘in my business we lift prices we never drop them’. I said ‘thank you very much for that encouraging statement’. We began to talk and at the end of the day we couldn’t work it out as in we couldn’t work out the natural part of it, but we said, ‘yes, we feel this is God’.

As we were sitting there I get a text, as we make a decision on the offering figure of that night and it was low. I turned to them and go this is the offering figure and said look we are way under budget we are about $250,000.00 under budget, we need an extra $250,000.00 tomorrow night on top of what we budgeted to even break even. I’ve just sold my house and I’ve got money sitting in an account so I can give the church a loan, this is what I said to them. They said no, no we don’t think that will be necessary, God will come through.

So I walk out of that meeting and go into the meeting, Chris Hill was preaching, by the way he’s going to be preaching here, he is off the Richter, he’s T.D. Jakes in a younger version and he is powerful so you don’t want to miss Chris Hill. He took a church of two thousand people dying and it’s now ten thousand people in five years, he’s incredibly powerful…

Chris Rosebrough: A church of two thousand people and he described that as a dying church, oh my goodness! Whatever we are listening to it’s completely disconnected from like reality. Do you think it was God who told him to make it so the Conference registrations for the Planetshakers Conference should be $20? Do you think it was God who told him that? No. Do you think it was God who told him to do the Planetshakers Conference? No.

And how would you know that it wasn’t God? Real simple, he doesn’t handle God’s Word correctly and he doesn’t preach Christ crucified for our sins and he doesn’t preach Law and Gospel, sin and grace, repentance and the forgiveness of sins. He just teaches his own experiences, his own spiritual journeys. We are just listening to a man claiming he’s on a spiritual journey and where getting all the details of it and all the doctrine that we are being taught is coming out of this man’s so called spiritual journey. He is, well, to put it bluntly, no different than the Evangelical Jennifer Crumpton. Same thing. They are two peas in a pod because the standard is not the written Word of God. It’s their life experiences. Their journeys. What they claim is direct revelation. Things like that. Stuff that comports with their inner being. Things like that. But not the objective written Word of God.

Russel Evans: … I don’t even know what he preached on because I was thinking $20. Now also to understand when we were doing five Conferences in Capital cities around Australia, we were getting thirty thousand people at night and twenty three thousand people in the day. But God told me to go back to one venue and do it in a larger venue. So we had been doing that and our Conference had grown incrementally but not really that much, it had just grown two hundred here or three hundred there and to some people that’s a lot but to me it’s not that much.

And so we were there and the trend in the Western world for Conferences are they are all in decline generally most of them are in decline, so to even just go forward just a little bit was against the trend anyway and I was like yeah that’s alright, where’re doing alright.

But I wanted to go to a whole other level, I couldn’t work out why I actually said to our staff before that I said, ‘we got to things differently, where’re doing the same things all the time, we got to get up with different ideas’.

So Chris Hill finished, comes to me and we go to supper upstairs. Pastor Glenn and Sophie were there and there were other Pastors in the room and this little Latin Pastor from America comes up to me and he says, ‘I need to speak to you’, and I’m thinking he’s going to tell me he’s going back to America tomorrow cause it was Friday morning and he had to get back and I knew that and he did actually want to tell me that but he said ‘I really want to do this for you’ and he called his wife over and he’s got a credit card slip that he’s filled in and he says, ‘the Lord told me that I was to personally give this to you for the Conference’ and it was a ten thousand dollar credit card slip.

My accountant Graeme Kirkwood – he’s a man of God – I said ‘look at this Graeme’. He was a board member and I said, ‘look at this, this is a little sign to me’ and Graeme goes ‘yeh, yeh’ and he goes over to Jason cause he knew him and he said, ‘hey Jason is that then thousand Australian or American’? He said ‘that’s American’ and he said ‘Russel its fourteen thousand’ and I’m like God your good, I love America.

Next morning I got up and I said to people, ‘ahh hey everybody, the Lord spoke to me that next year Planetshakers ‘Awakening’ is going to be twenty dollars’ and I said, ‘I don’t know how it’s going to work out but I just know that God told me’.

You know within 48 hours we had registered twelve thousand people for next year, do you know that we are on our way to get twenty thousand, so double in a year. You know that night, what happened that act of obedience released a ‘generous spirit’ into the Conference and that night we took an offering ….

Chris Rosebrough: ‘Act of obedience releases a generous spirit’? Which Biblical text says that? I don’t know of any text that says that, where is he getting this from? What is the source of his authority? Answer, his own personal life journey, experiences and what he thinks is direct revelation from God. Not the written Word of God because we’re learning nothing about what God’s Word really says.

Russell Evans: …so great that we walked out of the Conference with one hundred thousand dollars profit. God-led risk.

Chris Rosebrough: So his Conference story, it’s just like the story of Abraham, yeah-no it’s not.

Russell Evans: See some of us are saying, ‘God I need the break through’ and God’s telling you what to do and ohhh ha ha, that doesn’t make sense. I’ve discovered with God and faith one plus one does not equal two…

Email all comments and questions to c3churchwatch@hotmail.com.

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