by Howard Green
Can you imagine spontaneous showers of gold dust raining down from above? How about soft white feathers floating down from out of nowhere? Picture yourself traveling through a “fire tunnel” amidst the shrieks and howls of fellow ‘worshippers’ and rolling around on the floor like an animal. Are these the experiences of a fantasy movie character or the pagan worship rituals of some remote jungle tribe? Far from it, because what I’ve just described is the reality in worship & church services in a growing number of congregations….especially here in the West. This heresy is what passes for worship in these churches, conferences, and the so called ‘revivals’ of the profiteering prophets.
2 Corinthians 11:12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Before we dig in, I want to address the motives behind these articles. We are living in a day when many people seek ‘experiences’ in lieu of sound biblical doctrine. Showmanship has replaced discipleship, and worshipping in Spirit and in truth has been largely replaced by worshipping personalities and strange manifestations. My motive is a world away from the imperative to ‘judge not’……this isn’t a personal attack on these people. I’m not conjecturing about where these people will spend eternity, judging their individual lives, or personal sins, because I have my own heart, flesh, and self to deal with and die to daily. Moreover….it is my desire that teachers in these movements would step down and resign from ministry, humble themselves, and repent. The Lord is always merciful, gracious, and ready to forgive.
Contending for the faith by testing the spirits in light of what the Bible says about false teachers and the heretical doctrine they preach is paramount. I’m exposing the heretical doctrine of false teachers who are creeping into the church and often unnoticed. I’m not here to pick on your favorite preacher, I’m warning you about people that preach a different gospel. They are causing great harm to the church and your soul if you follow such teaching. With Profiteering Prophets Part 1 and the money preachers we mentioned in focus, let’s turn our attention to the false teachers and so called ‘apostles’ of the Latter Rain and New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.
“If you ask me today, what is the clearest sign for the return of Christ….it is the magnitude of deception within the body of Christ, deception among the elect is the clearest sign for the return of Christ.” – Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries
Men of God and fellow Bible teachers I respect including Jacob Prasch, John Haller, Sandy Simpson and others….are among a growing number of teachers who are calling out this departure from sound biblical teaching. Why should we sound the alarm? Simple…because the teachings of the latter rain and new apostolic reformation are dangerous heresies that take the focus off of Jesus. The focus is placed on false signs & wonders and false prophesies. Heretical teachings abound via extra-biblical experiences & eisogesis (super imposing a meaning onto the biblical text) and putting into the scripture one’s own meaning……instead of employing exegesis (exposition & explanation of biblical text by or from out of the rest of scripture).
Do you understand what I’m exposing here? I’m not trying to entertain you with another laundry list of the baloney that goes on at apostate churches. I’m exposing them so that you can get out if you are in such a church or warn others who are being deceived by these teachers. These self appointed prophets, apostles, and teachers are con men at best and false prophets at their core because they are claiming, “Thus saith the Lord” and prophesying, when the things they do and say don’t come to pass and certainly don’t square with scripture. Jeremiah….a true prophet warned Israel about the false prophets in his day and his warning rings true even today:
Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.
Sadly, these false teachers and apostate churches are very appealing to a wide range of people….especially the youth. That is why it is critical for us to warn people caught up in these movements, to personally get involved in their discipleship, and to get them into a church where sound biblical doctrine is taught. As I stated before, new believers, youth, and people who are on the periphery of the church are especially vulnerable to false teaching. I have seen people devastated and spiritually shipwrecked by the latter rain and new apostolic reformation movements.
2 Corinthians 11:19-20 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
Here’s the thing: God wasn’t done with the church after the 1st century. This is the church age and the Lord is still moving among his true people. God always has a remnant of faithful people throughout every generation including ours. I have attended Charismatic churches for a good part of my life and know the Lord still moves in the lives of people. Cessationism is simply wrong. God did not retire in the first century, nor did He stop supernatural acts and miracles. People are still healed, miracles still occur, and the Holy Spirit still works in the world generations after Pentecost. When God’s spirit moves, some are healed, some are changed, and some come to repentance. The authenticity of these occurrences are in keeping with the word of God.
What is happening in latter rain and new apostolic reformation churches is something completely different. It has NOTHING to do with the Holy Spirit and everything to do with deceiving spirits.
The growing number of churches that espouse these false teachings are mired in dominion theology. Not only do they believe they are going to usher in the kingdom, they believe that they are bringing the heavenly realm to Earth by manifestations of the ‘spirit’ during ‘worship’ services. What happens at these worship services, rallies, anointing conferences, and so called revivals? I will list some of these strange manifestations under the movement’s top leaders listed below.
Please understand that there have been seasons of true revival in North America, the UK, and other places in generations past. What we are addressing today are the counterfeit revivals going on in these movements. True revivals and moves of God among His people are always marked by prayer, fasting, reverence, and repentance. These terms are literally absent from the so called ‘revivals’ of the latter rain and New apostolic crowd.
The un-biblical occurrences of things happening at these gatherings are well documented. So what are we to believe about the ‘miraculous’ manifestations of gold dust, glory clouds, and white feathers during their worship?
There are two possibilities: These ‘manifestations’ are either manufactured and a hoax or it is a counterfeit work of the (spirit) by demons. It could certainly be a combination of the two.
God is not the author of confusion, but confusion is the rule and not the exception in these churches. This worship is setting people up to be deceived by the ultimate deceiver…..the Antichrist.
I’m not implying that all people in these churches are doomed. I am saying that we must warn these people in these churches and under these false teachings. Some of them are sincere people….perhaps brand new believers who have been deceived into this mess and they will be lead astray. To the teachers who promote this garbage….I want to warn you to repent and turn from this evil while there is still time.
Why is the latter rain and new apostolic reformation movement and churches so dangerous? They are dangerous for three reasons: The moves of the Spirit and revivals are counterfeit and are often accompanied by blasphemous statements (toking the Spirit) etc, mimicking animal noises, and total loss of bodily control. People are often criticized for not having enough faith to be healed…..which leaves many of them broken and despondent. I believe in light of the evidence and fruit coming out of the churches….they are a breeding ground for many false converts who have bought into an experience…..not repentance and salvation. The last point alone is saddening and the statement below sums up the eternal tragedy of a ‘religious experience’ without repentance:
“It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting christ, and they have (not) been saved. – A.W. Tozer
We need to recognize that these teachings are more prevalent and in more places then meets the eye. Although there doesn’t seem to be a parent organization linking all of these churches, there is certainly a chain of events, crusades, conferences, experiential and personality worship that ties these churches together.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
On a personal note: I went to Bible college in Lakeland Florida and I witnessed some of this demonically driven nonsense first hand. I remember in 1993, the talk around town began to spread that a ‘great revival’ was taking place and it was happening at Carpenter’s Home Church. So out of curiosity, I decided to check out on of the 1st services one Sunday night.
Let’s look at a few of the leaders in the latter rain-new apostolic reformation movement:
Rodney Howard Browne – was virtually unknown in America, but he took Lakeland by storm. As I sat in the upper section in a back row of the 10,000 seat church, the service began routinely enough with a few praise songs. This guy (Rodney Howard Browne) gets up and starts to preach. Almost instantly he stops, begins to smile, then giggle, then belly laugh. Before I knew it…people in the crowd were starting to laugh, until the whole place literally roared with laughter. I remember telling the person next to me, “This is not the Holy Spirit and has nothing to do with God.” I left during the opening moments of the service because the crowd wasn’t worshipping God. They were worshipping the theatrics of a false teacher….a self proclaimed “Holy Ghost Bartender.” Stay away from the teachings of Rodney Howard Brown. Subsequent counterfeit revivals and inter-related false outpourings took place in Toronto (Toronto Blessing), Brownsville (Pensacola revival), and again in lakeland in 2008.
Todd Bentley – After I moved from Florida, I received a call about another ‘revival’ that was happening in Lakeland. This time it was a wolf named Todd Bentley. Thousands of people came to Lakeland in droves to see Todd punch and kick young and old people at his ‘healing’ services. Todd has stated that he has angelic visitations on stage and ‘Emma’ the angel seems to be a personal acquaintance of his. Since these angels aren’t pronouncing divine judgement and bringing glory to Todd instead of God….we must conclude that these are lying demons, not God’s angels. In one recent service, Todd’s wife was speaking on stage and was literally overcome by…or surrendered to what appeared to be a Kundalini spirit. Stay away from this couple’s teachings including his ministry…Fresh Fire. Todd was banned from the UK. and Australia by government officials and his ‘revival’ meetings were cancelled. Todd is a product of his mentor Rick Joyner.
Rick Joyner – Rick is pastor of Morning Star Church in South Carolina. Worship services at his church are not orderly as the Bible commands, but they epitomize chaos. Loud shrieks, peels of laughter, and wild animal noises are ‘the norm’ here. Rick’s worship band sings “The Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey” during worship. Footage from the ‘outpouring’ at Morning star’s school is sad to watch. High school age children are seen convulsing, screaming, moaning uncontrollably. The room sounded like something out of a pagan worship ritual. This is the exact reason we must warn people about this and contend for the true faith handed down to us. People…. including youth and new believers are being blinded and seduced by spiritual deception.
Bill Johnson – Bill is the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding California. Strange manifestations are the norm at Bethel. Bill has witnessed feathers falling from heaven. Glory clouds appear and gold dust falls miraculously during select worship services at Bethel Church. People walk through fire tunnels which consist of walking between ‘worshippers’ who are moaning, chanting, and yelling as you walk in between them. Deceiving spirits are present in this church. Bill has made biblically illiterate statements such as. “Jesus was emptied of His divine capacity here.” Bill Johnson is another false teacher and must be avoided at all costs.
Mike Bickle – Mike is the pastor of IHOP (International House of Prayer) Church in Kansas City. He’s another dominion theology guy who teaches that a triumphant church will defeat god’s enemies….not a conquering Christ at His return. He also believes a great revival will run concurrently with the Great Tribulation. False prophesies and visions are synonymous with the International House of Prayer Church. The worship services are often a collection of dreams, visions, hypnotic music, and repetitive singing of un-biblical courses. IHOP and the teachings of Mike Bickle need to be avoided.
Joshua Mills – (Gold dust is his specialty) Joshua is a well known ‘worship’ leader, musician, and teacher in the latter rain movement. Gold dust ‘miraculously’ appears occasionally as he sings and plays the piano. In his teaching CDs and books, Joshua gives practical keys for opening up the heavenly dimension. He has a ‘spirit soaking’ CD entitled: Spirit Spa and a book entitled: Atmospheres where he teaches how to create a realm for miracles and success. There is a living book that teaches true success is dying to one self…..it’s the Bible. RUN from the false teaching and deceptive spirits that are present in this man’s ministry.
Benny Hinn – The multitude of antics, false prophesies, and lying wonders present at Mr. Hinn’s ‘miracle crusades’ and gatherings are too numerous to list here. What happens at his services are nothing short of demonic manifestations mimicking genuine work of the Holy Spirit. I attended one of Hinn’s services while in my early 20s at the Orlando Christian Center back in 1993. What I witnessed was nothing short of a display of either mass hypnosis or demonic manifestation where people fell in droves whenever Benny blew into the microphone or waved his jacket around on stage. I knew then as a young man who studied the Bible……..what was happening at this service was something anti-biblical. Based alone on Hinn’s false prophesies and outlandish theology including tritheism (belief that the trinity consists of three distinct gods) …..this man and his ministry should be avoided at all costs.
Peter Wagner – Mr. Wagner is a false teacher and the founder of the Wagner leadership Institute. Wagner is the figurehead of the dominion theology movement which is basically repackaged in the latter rain and new apostolic reformation movements. The Wagner Leadership Institute’s vision: WLI is an international network of apostolic training centers established to equip saints for kingdom ministry. Wagner is the mentor for many of the New apostolic reformation’s leaders and he believes that they are in a new apostolic age that will usher in the kingdom. He teaches that they are going to change the shape of Christianity around the world. He is partially correct because his false doctrine of dominion theology is being accepted and proliferating in churches at an alarming rate.
More organizations, teachers, preachers, and so called ‘prophets’ or self appointed apostles to avoid:
Cindy Jacobs, Patricia King, John Crowder, Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Michael Pierce, Paul Cain, Kim Clement, Bill Hamon, Steve Hill, Chuck Pierce, Che Ahn, John Arnott, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville (Pensacola) Revival, Lakeland Outpouring, International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL), Elijah list, Fresh Fire Ministries, Joel’s Army, Jesus Culture Movement, Hillsong, Much (not all) of the teaching and teachers on God TV and TBN.
2 Corinthians 11:2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
Paul sincerely loved the body of Christ….the church. Love for God and other believers was his sole motive. With the article you have just read in mind, we must ask the question: What are the heart motives behind today’s self appointed super apostles and self anointed prophets? If their teachings are unbiblical and don’t produce godly fruit, their motives are from the enemy……..not Jesus.
Remember, the widespread apostasy we are witnessing in the church is indicative of the soon return of Jesus. Lovingly warn people who are deceived by these false teachers, pray for them, disciple them, and direct them to a solid bible teaching fellowship. God bless you as you contend for the faith.
Click here for our links to many apologetics and discernment ministries for further reading on the latter rain and new apostolic reformation movements. Please write to us if you need prayer, access to a Bible, or are looking for a church that is biblically sound.
God bless you as you love others, proclaim the gospel, and boldly contend for the faith.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
All for Him, Howard