Along with other spiritual issues, many of our CWC contributors, having come out of a variety of NAR ‘ministries’ such as Hillsong/CLC, Morning Star Ministries, C3 Church, Bethel etc, have also had to de-program their hearts and minds from the notion that other Christian churches and denominations are ‘religious and/or dead’.
We fell for the lies that we were the elite, having a false second ‘baptism’ making us more ‘spiritual’. We had extra-biblical ‘revelations’. We were on board with the ‘new things’ God was doing….. but in truth these strong deceptions were spiritually exhausting. We had much to repent about and by God’s grace this is what we came out of.
This brings us to part 2 of CWC’s series on ‘What is the Charismatic Civil War?’:
THE NAR – WALKING IN THE ‘WAY OF CAIN’?
We were the spiritual elite who considered Anglican, Pentecostal and Baptist denominations as ‘religious or dead’. We were part of the ‘cutting edge’ move of God coming with a ‘cutting-edge sword’ to declare war against orthodox Christianity, demanding they convert or ‘die’. This murderous ideology specifically targets Christians holding to the authority of scripture, the biblical creeds, confessions and the Five Solas. In fact, a teaching within the Seven Mountain Mandate is that the church must control the religious/church mountain. What was taught was that we must dominate the visible church so we can be more in control by bringing ‘unity’ to the body of Christ. Those who resisted would be cut off by God Himself.
This is why their ‘revivalism’ and Bethel/Hillsong/C3/Awakening/Passion Conferences have played such a dangerous role in converting many young people and denominations to their New Apostolic paradigm.
Through the true leading of the Holy Spirit and biblically examining the doctrines and lifestyles of our former Generals/Apostles (Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, Lou Engle, Michael Brown) leading the charge, we soon realised we were actually fighting against the true Christian faith. We had been worshiping God with our own false ‘sacraments’. We replaced biblical baptism with a false spiritual baptism. We replaced communion with experiential worship, and the preaching of the word with unbiblical altar calls. And we were encouraged to look down on the established churches while being fed the belief they envied our success in God.
These new apostolic cults (aka New Wine Skin churches or Apostolic Centers), deliberately target the youth and attendees of other churches to grow their name through their annual conferences. And when local churches struggled to keep its members, movements like Hillsong, C3 and Bethel declared Christianity ‘dead’ and ‘religious’ and offered themselves as the answer to a new way forward.
This despising of orthodox Christianity appears to have led the charismatic movement down the path to a form of spiritual ‘jihad’ against the Christian faith – having invented their own religion, now ‘hell-bent’ in proposing the idea they will be an instrument used by God to eliminate ‘dead religion’. With this in mind, it could be argued that this false movement with its false teachers are walking in the ‘way of Cain’ mentioned in Jude 1:11.
The Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible writes:
“For they have gone in the way of Cain; which was a way of envy, for Cain envied the acceptance of his brother’s gift, and that notice which the Lord took of him; so these men envied the gifts bestowed on Christ’s faithful ministers, and the success that attended their labours, and the honour that was put upon them by Christ, and that was given them by the churches; which shows, that they were destitute of grace, and particularly of the grace of charity, or love, which envies not, and that they were in an unregenerate estate, and upon the brink of ruin and destruction. Moreover, the way of Cain was a way of hatred, and murder of his brother, which his envy led him to; so these men hated the brethren, persecuted them unto death, as well as were guilty of the murder of the souls of men, by their false doctrine: to which may be added, as another of Cain’s ways, in consequence of the former, absence from the presence of God, or the place of his worship…” [Source] [Emphasis ours]
From Ellicott’s Commentary from for English Readers:
“In the way of Cain.–The first great criminal; the first to outrage the laws of nature. Explanations to the effect that these libertines followed Cain by murdering men’s souls by their corrupt doctrine, or by persecuting believers, and other suggestions still more curious, are needlessly far-fetched.” [Source] [Emphasis ours]
It’s not too difficult to biblically make the claim that Michael Brown and his NAR cohorts operate and prophesy under the authority of Satan rather than that of Christ. And while our claim may sound harsh and unloving, it is the very words of Jesus Christ Himself who makes it clear who is of God and who is of Satan – when it comes to scripturally examining their teaching:
“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” 1 John 3:14-15
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.” Matt 23:33-36 [Emphasis added]
God’s word clearly teaches that if you hate your brother, you’ve murdered him in your heart. Jesus’ exposure of the Pharisees and Jude’s letter highlights that there is a type of false teacher that seeks the blood of Christians.
Fast forward to today, Bob Jones and Rick Joyner could be considered perfect examples of promoting the ‘way of Cain’. These are the men who claim that God personally revealed to them that there will be a future civil war in the church, a war where the dominionist ‘Joel’s Army’ church will ‘slaughter’ other Christians for being possessed by the ‘demonic’.
This ‘way of Cain’ anti-Christian sentiment developed into a theology that became evident during the revival manifestations at:
- The 1993 Lakeland Revival,
- The 1994 Toronto Blessing,
- The 1995 Pensacola Outpouring,
- The 2000 ‘The Call’ rallies.
All involved in this (including Michael Brown), pit their spiritual supremacy against the historical Christian faith. They are promoting the false ‘God is doing a new thing’ narrative through their new ‘apostolic visions and prophetic strategies’, while at the same time encouraging disdain for the historical orthodox faith ‘once and for all delivered to the saints’.
The best example of this false theology re-emerged at the Lakeland Outpouring in 2008, with even the (charismatic) J. Lee Grady raising concerns about this ‘Charismatic Civil War’. It was being promoted by those who hated anyone questioning Todd Bentley and their NARpostles and prophets at the time.
Background: The narrative of the New Order of the Latter Rain cult (1948) is that they were the true church, bringing the New or restored 5-fold Order back to the church of governing Apostles and Prophets. It was a ‘doomsday’ cult in the sense that they believed God was raising them up as an Army (Joel’s Army), the Apostles/Generals/Joshuas leading this revolutionary end-times army to conquer, subdue and spread the dominion of God through all the nations of the earth to hasten Christ’s return.
Of course this extremist cult was condemned by discerning Christians, mainly through the Pentecostal AOG denomination back in 1949. Nevertheless, when you examine the theology of the murderous Jim Jones of People’s Temple, it becomes evident that this spiritual ‘supremacist’ movement has only repackaged itself through Wagner’s ‘Third Wave’ movement – to then become the New Apostolic Reformation cult.
This war was thought to be inevitable at Lakeland, with J. Lee Grady’s piece on the Charismatic civil war questioning if it’s possible to prevent. Grady pleads with those in his movement to “accept one another, […] admonish one another, […] pray for one another” and plays the NAR unity card by twisting Jesus’s prayer “that we would be one” to experience “true unity.”
Of course, Grady has to label discerning Christians as ‘heresy hunters’, who ‘toss their grenades and label everything in Lakeland demonic’. Note the spiritual supremacy coming from Grady:
“But because I embrace Todd Bentley as my brother in Christ, I must take a higher road even if I don’t agree with his prayer methods or his claims regarding angels.”
According to scripture, Christ rejects Bentley as a true believer with his refusal to submit to any biblical form of accountability or be held responsible for the blasphemous and demonic doctrines he espouses.
The J. Lee Grady article below also points out the NAR’s ‘jihad’ against Christianity is inevitable. When Jesus tells His church that it cannot compromise on the truth of the gospel and his Word, will it be the NAR ‘spilling the blood’ (their words, not ours) of true Christians to further their cause?
Lee Grady writes:
Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?
Some leaders say the controversial Lakeland Revival is forcing us to choose sides. But I don’t believe God wants to split our movement.
It’s been more than 10 years since charismatic prophet Rick Joyner predicted in his popular book The Final Quest that believers would experience a Civil War in the church. Joyner’s book, based on a series of visions he says God showed him, describes in graphic detail a turbulent conflict that redefines Christianity as we know it.
Other charismatic leaders have echoed this theme since Joyner’s book was published in 1996. They have predicted that our movement will be divided between “Blues” (those who constantly live in the supernatural realm of dreams, visions and miracles) and “Grays” (those who rely more on their intellect), and that the Blues will win and usher in true revival as champions of the Holy Spirit’s power.
Even in early 2008, before the Lakeland Revival erupted in Florida in April, some charismatic prophets were declaring that a great rift would divide those who believe in “the glory realm” and those who have a more conservative, left-brained approach to their faith. When God TV began its nightly broadcasts of evangelist Todd Bentley’s healing meetings in Lakeland, the Civil War prophecies reappeared overnight on hundreds of blogs and e-mail blasts.
I’ll admit I was not paying too much attention to these Civil War predictions 10 years ago. But I was jolted into reality in May after I wrote an online column in which I raised honest questions about some of Bentley’s teachings and techniques. Even though I celebrated his passion and zeal, and praised God for the healings that were reported in Lakeland, I was immediately branded a revival critic and banished to the Gray camp.
I became the bad guy because, by asking questions, I was “relying on my intellect.” To those in the Blue camp, my skepticism made me an enemy of the Holy Spirit and all things supernatural—even though I believe that all the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today!
I tried to laugh this off at first. Surely, I imagined, my Christian brothers and sisters do not really think it is wrong for a Spirit-filled believer to test the spirits (which we are instructed to do in 1 John 4:1), discern truth (see 2 Pet. 3:17) or evaluate prophecies and angelic encounters (see 1 Cor. 14:29, Gal. 1:6-8).
But now I realize that some people really want a war. They want the charismatic movement to split right down the middle. They imply that all those who do not embrace 100 percent of the current movement in Lakeland are “old wineskins” that cannot be used by God in the coming revival.
I can’t even describe how much this hurts because I love people on both sides of this conflict. I love the Blues and the Grays, along with every other color in the body of Christ. I refuse to believe that God is trying to split us. Division is the devil’s work.
I want to plead with everyone in our movement to reconsider the whole Civil War scenario. Instead of rattling sabers and stockpiling gunpowder, maybe we need to take steps in the opposite direction:
1. Let’s accept one another. The apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians because they exalted certain gifts above others. He reminded them that every member of the body of Christ plays an important role, and that no individual part—whether eye, hand or foot—functions on its own. He rebuked this elitist attitude “so that there may be no division in the body” (1 Cor. 12:25, NASB).
Most of us already acknowledge the importance of supernatural gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues and other demonstrations of God’s power. But in our zeal to recover these gifts, let’s not isolate those whose primary functions may be mercy, giving to the poor, teaching or intercession. We should cherish every spiritual gift—not just the sensational or the exotic.
2. Let’s admonish one another. Christians have not always been the best models of conflict resolution. When tension gets high we either avoid it (usually by saying nothing and hoping the problems go away) or we overreact (by childishly picking up our marbles and playing somewhere else). But the Bible tells us to work things out in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.
In the case of Lakeland, there are some doctrines and methods that have come under intense scrutiny. Heresy hunters are having a field day as they toss their grenades and label everything in Lakeland demonic. But because I embrace Todd Bentley as my brother in Christ, I must take a higher road even if I don’t agree with his prayer methods or his claims regarding angels. Anything I say, even if it is corrective, must be said in love (see Eph. 4:15).
Thankfully a group of leaders from various charismatic camps (both “Blues” and “Grays”!) are discussing the contentious issues surrounding Lakeland—and biblical confrontation is occurring. I trust this process will result in correction where it’s needed, apologies when necessary and more humility on all sides of the debate.
3. Let’s pray for one another (see James 5:16). Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine. So why in the world would any of us hope for a Civil War?
Please pray for Bentley—and for the leaders who are speaking into his life during this season. And pray that the church will not only experience genuine spiritual revival but also true unity. Let’s work out our differences, support one another’sministries and focus all our efforts on one common goal: To tell a lost world about the love of Jesus.
Source: J. Lee Grady, Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?, http://fireinmybones.com/index.php?col=070908~Can+We+Avoid+a+Charismatic+Civil+War%3F, Fire in My Bones, Published July 9, 2008. [See copy of article here]
Cerulean Sanctum writes:
The Coming Charismatic Civil War
On Wednesday, Lee Grady of Charisma magazine posted “Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?” I would ask that those of you who have some stake in the charismatic movement read it. Just follow the link in the title.
Done? Okay. Here’s what I have to say.
While I share Grady’s powerless feeling as I watch the errors compound in large swaths of the charismatic movement, regardless of what anyone thinks of Rick Joyner’s prophetic powers, it always had to lead to this confrontation. You get on a road that forks, at some point you have to decide which way to go. Sadly, one side chose experiences, ecstasies, armies, dominion, and the age-old whisperings in the Garden while the other chose Jesus.
The answer to Grady’s question is a simple no. No, we can’t avoid a civil war within the charismatic movement because one side chose truth while the other chose error. One side chose the Bible while the other chose untested prophetic revelation. One side was satisfied with Jesus alone while the other wanted more.
You can’t make those two sides fit together. They practically define mutual exclusivity.
Here’s a simple question: “What portion of the gold in the old temple contained impurities? Answer: None of it. The gold in the temple, the gold God took great pains to describe, was pure gold.
If God went to such pains to ensure that an item as simple as a gold cup used in His Old Testament temple was free of all alloyed taint, how much impurity will He tolerate in the teachings and preachings delivered by the New Testament temples of His Holy Spirit?
And that’s all you have to know here. We may see through a glass darkly, but that doesn’t mean we tolerate impurities and pretend they aren’t there. Yet how much doctrinal foolishness must pass in some sectors of the charismatic movement before it draws God’s wrathful fire?
Just a glance at the fully ripened fruit on the Blue side of Rick Joyner’s vision should be enough to disqualify that army entirely. Please, just open your eyes. Even a little.
It had to come down to this.
Rick Joyner prophesies a great end times revival as the Blue army advances under a banner of dreams, visions, miracles, and prophetic words. He sees The Blues triumphing over the more “intellectual, but less spiritual” Grays, redefining Christianity, for the better, in the process.
Here’s what the Bible sees:
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
—2 Thessalonians 2:3-15
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
—2 Timothy 4:3-4
Now I ask you, does this support Joyner’s Blue army prophecy in any way? Even the slightest?
Well, perhaps it does—by exposing it!
I could get into Latter Day Rain, Joel’s Army, The Manifest Sons of God, The New Breed, Lakeland, Toronto, Brownsville, Pensacola, the Kansas City Prophets, and a million other Blue army buzzwords, but the time is short. Honestly, it’s very, very short.
Read enough about this civil war “prophecy” and you’ll even have some saying it will come down to bloodshed. With Blue proponents claiming that some Blues will be immortal this side of heaven, I guess it’s clear whose blood will be shed.
It’s time for the civil war. It had to happen. No one asked for it, but here it is.
If you’re a charismatic who believes that we need to test the marching orders and practices of the Blue army and are grieved by the blatant doctrinal fallacies and outright myths erupting like sores on some sectors of the charismatic movement, understand this: You are the new enemy. You are the Gray.
Source: The Coming Charismatic Civil War, Cerulean Sanctum, http://ceruleansanctum.com/2008/07/the-coming-charismatic-civil-war.html, Published July 11, 2008. (Accessed August 20 2018.)
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