Hi folks, due to a medical condition, I will be taking a break for the next little while…
Please feel free to enjoy the posts on the blog for now, and I’ll be back with more “goat’s pen” stuff asap…
Here is a list of what all blasphemers have in common, whether or not they claim to be Christian:
That little gem comes to us courtesy of Mykala’s Korner. You can read the rest of this blog at that link.
Special thanks to the original author for sharing this little gem… an excellent breakdown of what false prophets like to say to true Christians.
Original author: http://www.christianresearchservice.com/
SHEARING THE SHEEP…
Years ago, someone put up a parody blog site of Destiny church, calling it “Density church” or some similar name. Eventually it was taken down amidst howls of protest from Destiny church’s members and leaders, but the name somehow or other stuck.
It is not my intention with this article to wrongly attack members of Destiny church. However, their leader – Brian Tamaki ,has certainly made lots of noise, lots of mistakes, and apparently, taught lots of deceptive doctrines, ideas and principles.
Tamaki is not opposed to an oppulent lifestyle at the expense of his congregation. Neither is he backward in coming forward when he wants to be certain of the loyalty of his closest men. He uses ungodly ‘covenants’. Tamaki isn’t the first ‘spiritual father’ I have come across in my travels, that wants to replace the Godhead with himself, and also replace the scriptures with the dreams and visions of his own making.
As one prominent commentator has already said – “to hear from Brian is to hear from God!” So Brians speaks = God speaks. Brian asks for money = God is asking for money. Then there was the problematic ‘commune’ that Brian demanded all church members join, in south Auckland, New Zealand…
ANOTHER ZION CITY…?
Anyone who has studied church history will be well aware of the ill fated Zion City, founded by John Alexander Dowie:
Seeking to give his following respite from the evil temptations of the world, Dowie firmly believed that an actual city with visible boundaries would be enough to ensure their protection. Dowie failed to realise early on, that sin is in effect, rooted in the human heart, and is therefore the cause of all evil in the world. Allowing anyone to step foot inside Zion City would have been its eventual downfall, as even Christian people can succumb to various temptations.
Read the history of Zion City, and see if you think that ‘bishop’ Brian Tamaki had similar goals and ideals, but never think for a moment that pure motives can’t turn sour, or that the best intentions can change because greed and a ‘syndrome of control’ can enter into the heart of man – any man!
“Bishop Brian Tamaki has raised the stakes with his Destiny Church followers, exhorting them to leave behind houses, jobs – even family members – to join him at a “City of God” he is building in South Auckland.
Cult expert Mark Vrankovich said the speech was designed to “soften up” Tamaki’s followers and the real pressure to move to South Auckland would come with one-on-one sessions with local pastors.
“Saying that the church family is more important than your physical family, that you must go with the spiritual family, is a classic cult idea. This will put great pressure on families and break up families.”
Vrankovich was also concerned that Tamaki appeared to be encouraging people to sell their homes. “They’ll be pressured to give the money from the house sale to the church, and they’ll never see it again. He’s extracting money from people for his dream, and something that he will effectively own. He wants to be mayor or king of this ‘city’ so he’s softening them up to get them to move [to Auckland] so he’s guaranteed not to be losing money on the deal.”
Shades of Zion City…
I believe that the Bible is by and large a literal work. Sure, there is a rich symbology that accompanies the practical outworking of scripture, but never forget this one fact – symbols mean SOMETHING – they don’t mean NOTHING! So when the book of Revelation speaks of a city four square – I take it that the New Jerusalem is a literal, eternal city, that will be the home of the saints from way before the flood until now and the near future, however many the Lord shall call, and of that group, those who heed the call.
“8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8, 9, 10
Abraham wasn’t looking for a symbol – he was looking for a CITY – whose builder and maker is God – not John Alexander Dowie – not Brian Tamaki! So the idea of an eternal city is real – but man has come along with his carnal rendition of that, and places like Zion City are the result.
Note that Abraham at no point along the journey, desired to stop and build a city, rather he forsook the city of Ur of the Chaldees, and left on his journey of faith, not knowing where he was going to end up.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE HOUSE???
How many times have we heard this question in modern church meetings? The ‘House’ of course, refers to the local mega church, pastored by some glitzy couple who may look more comfortable on a Hollywood set than on the platform of your local false prophet entity.
This is because it is a mistake to try an ‘build the House’ of the Lord in this day and age. Jesus said “I will build MY ‘House’ and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18. Christ builds His church on the rock like revelation that He is the Son of God, as stated by Peter, in that passage. This is the ‘House’ of the New Testament church. For any man to build an organisation and/or a building (a “church”) and call that ‘the House’ is bordering on blasphemy.
I’m not some silly Luddite, who is opposed to the practicalities of housing a large meeting under cover from the elements, but where do our priorities lay? A man once built a ‘crystal house’ – and ended up being kicked out of it with nothing and no one to keep company with – so much for the ‘House’ and those inside it…
“Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; 46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built him an house. 48 Howbeit the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
So, it is apparent that there was once a time when God did approve of the building of tabernacles and temples, but no more…
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians, just who or what the ‘House’ is:
“16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16
So, it behooves us to take stock of where we are in God, and to make it our priority to be that living ‘temple’. If we become complacent and comfortable in our ‘churchianity’ space, we will be like the ancient people of Israel, who wanted to camp around the wells of Elim, only to finally realise that they would never reach the promised land of ‘milk and honey’ by doing that. They had to go on a wilderness journey first, and learn of the nature and character of God through trials as well as during the good times. True prosperity comes from Godly wisdom and hard work, not “tithing” and living the ‘life of Riley’…
So we’ll leave part 1 right here, and continue part 2 next week… Remember – this is not just about Destiny church – it is about ANY church that seems to start off well, only to end up in multiple errors later on…
Hi folks – I’m back, but only just. I had to be hospitalised for a bit, but now I’m back home convalessing. I had to have an op on a ‘body part’ and so am still in recovery at the moment, but will be back in the saddle ASAP…
My Christmas and New Years break was more subdued, despite the incessant noise and smoke from various local fireworks displays. Thanks to those who knew the details of my ordeal and prayed, as it looks like I’ll be having a speedy recovery, Lord willing…
I did manage to check out some “goats” in the last week or so, and so I’ve got a few in my sites for later on, but for now I’m just relaxing and recovering a little bit more, so that I can give the Goat’s Pen my full attention at the other end…
Lord bless you all for 2016,
Lana Vawser – one of the ‘stars’ of the recent APC ‘summit’ has appeared on Charisma’s website, spurting out another ‘prophecy’. Let’s go through it and see just how much substance there is/isn’t contained within. Her comments in italics:
“I had an encounter with the Lord recently during which He showed me a representation of many of His people standing before the Lord. Jesus was standing before them in a white robe and gold sandals. I saw such purity over the ones that were standing before Him.
A very similar ‘vision’ of Jesus occurs in Revelation 1:13 – 16. So the real Jesus was wearing a long robe, no shoes, a golden girdle and had bronzed feet. In Vawser’s “vision” a fake ‘Jesus’ had on a long robe, golden shoes (just can’t get away from the prosperity doctrine ‘gold fever’ can we Lana?) no girdle and most striking of all, those who stood before ‘Jesus’ were pure and holy…
“I saw Jesus was holding a crown and it was gold and on fire at the same time. I saw Jesus place it on heads. He then spoke:
“There are great mantles, impartations and significant increases of wisdom being released over you as you have been tried by and through fire and you have been proven faithful and are coming out as gold.
The crown represented not only identity in Him, but also the mantle/increase/impartations of heavenly wisdom being released over lives, but also it was on fire, because there has been a “trying by fire” and now you are carrying the fire of God for revival.”
Well these last three paragraphs are total rubbish. Jesus Christ will hand out ‘crowns’ upon His second coming, as rewards for the saints for perseverence and works well done in His name. Nowhere in scripture that I can see, does Jesus hand out ‘fiery crowns’ as an indication of ministry, position, empowerment, anointing or wisdom.
As stated here at “Got Questions” website:
“There are five heavenly crowns mentioned in the New Testament that will be awarded to believers. They are the imperishable crown, the crown of rejoicing, the crown of righteousness, the crown of glory, and the crown of life. The Greek word translated “crown” is stephanos (the source for the name Stephen the martyr) and means “a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally.” Used during the ancient Greek games, it referred to a wreath or garland of leaves placed on a victor’s head as a reward for winning an athletic contest. As such, this word is used figuratively in the New Testament of the rewards of heaven God promises those who are faithful. Paul’s passage in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 best defines for us how these crowns are awarded.” (emphasis mine)
Purity and impartations/mantles/increases of wisdom that are being released now are about to marry in a whole new way. There is going to be a pure form of divine heavenly wisdom into the personal lives and households of many of God’s people, and it will flow through these ones on a whole new level.
So now here are these ‘pure ones’ who are the only channel for God’s “divine heavenly wisdom” – in other words, you can’t seek the Lord for His wisdom with your Bible, the Holy Spirit teaching you and a good read through the book of Proverbs? No! You’ve got to go to ‘Lana’s holy friends’, (NAR proponents?) who are the only means of gaining such ‘wisdom’ – and judging by her last few published prophecies, I think I’ll be giving Lana and friends a big miss…
As the wisdom of God is shared, “suddenlys” will be birthed. There is such a weighty wisdom that is being released across the body of Christ to those who have been positioned, have walked through the fire faithfully and have been asking for His wisdom.
He is pouring out significant increases of this wisdom on many who have “paid the price for wisdom,” as many have walked through the fire of trial, the trial of opposition and the fire of pruning and purging. Yet you have kept your face and heart set toward Him as a flint. The purity of heart that has been maintained through the fire is now becoming a platform for the increase of this wisdom.”
So now this wisdom is a slam dunk because of works and not grace? Such dealings of God as ‘pruning and purging’ are a matter of course for the genuine believer, as is opposition/persecution. To say that some who have experienced such things are now more worthy to be entrusted with heavenly wisdom than others, makes God a respecter of persons, which He is not. This is typical “cult speak” – massaging the egos of the chosen few so that they can form an inner circle, who are privaleged to mix and mingle with God’s anointed “apostles and prophets” is the beginning of massive deception. Avoid this woman and her minions like the plague!
“Many who are receiving the mantle of heavenly wisdom coupled with His fire, not only will you be positioned before many to release significant insight that will bring long-awaited breakthroughs and the breaker anointing released, but I saw a positioning before kings and those of great influence. There is going to be a prophetic sign of the increase of wisdom spreading through the body of Christ as many will begin to see those of influence calling on the people of God for wisdom, insight and strategy.”
Mantles are another NAR deception. They are of no more value than a set of “the Emperor’s new clothes” type of thinking. Deceiving people into believing that they are something special, having received new ‘wisdom’ or power, is akin to chicannery – old forms of deception used by confidence tricksters in times gone by.
“The days of Joseph and Esther are upon us. Those who have been prepared in the fire and now being catapulted into areas of significant influence for the kingdom of God to release heavenly wisdom.”
Certainly, biblical figures such as Joseph and Esther have many lessons to teach us in terms of character development, and trusting God in extreme circumstances, but to take ignorant people and encourage them to believe that they can attain to the same positions and/or measures of success is ridiculous. This plants a false hope in the human heart, and if/when such results fail to appear, doubt replaces hope and fear replaces faith.
“Stay positioned for the wisdom of God to be released in significant ways over your life as you have been seeking Him for it. As it flows to you and through you, He is going to amaze you with His insight and strategy that bypass the natural. The awe of God is going to be restored in significant ways across the body of Christ as a new level of wisdom will be released, received and implemented. “
So Lana, creating a euphoric atmosphere, wherein many people are deceived into believing they are experiencing the “presence of God” will allow you to promote your existentially based ‘wisdom’? And just what is this all-new ‘wisdom’ you are touting Lana? Some age old Gnostic heresy, repackaged and rebooted for the gullible peons of 21st century NAR churches? A good time in church, with feelings and visions, is this what you are promising your deceived acolytes and devotees?
“Trust Him as He releases His wisdom to you. For I saw the Spirit of God speaking and releasing His wisdom which was completely opposite to natural, expected ways. Many are going to find His wisdom in the most unexpected ways and leadings of His Spirit, but will lead His people and those they share with to depths of knowing Him and seeing Him move that they have not experienced before.”
How about “trust Him and read His word” instead? Nowhere can I see Lana Vawser encouraging the hearers of this vision to check it out against the word of God. So we’re just supposed to ‘follow the leadings’ of the Holy Spirit without the anchor and baseline of the scriptures as our final authority?
“Don’t fight the leadings. Trust Him completely and go with His flow. It may not make sense as you “step forward.” But in taking the steps forward in faith, following His wisdom is going to help you take more steps forward and break more ground than you would have if you followed your natural logic. “
Ah! Of course – “don’t fight the leadings” – Lana, Lana, Lana how stupid do you think the rest of Christendom is? Don’t fight the leadings – just ignore them. These ‘leadings’ could be from false and deceptive spirits, who could well lead you away from Christ and His kingdom, and straight into the arms of Lucifer. He is a deceiver and wants as many people as possible to join him in his Antichrist kingdom – don’t be a fool! Ignore Lana’s leadings, and check everything out with God’s word. Everything!
I saw many transitioning from the “vein of natural thinking” into the “vein of heavenly wisdom” in alignment with His Word that was flowing from His heart, leading them and those around them to greater life. Many of you may feel as though you are being led into things in a backward way. But by His Spirit, you are moving further forward than ever.
That sounds like Gloria Copeland’s Gnostic teaching on “the Higher Life”. She teaches that if you want “the Lower Life” (by implication, things that are carnal and unspiritual by her definition,) then you can have it. OR – you can gain the “Higher Life” – by attending endless conferences, schools etcetera and by also buying hundreds of books, CDs and DVDs from her, because without Gloria in the mix, you won’t get her (very Gnostic) Higher Life… “Transitioning”, or simply being deceived?
Significant divine ideas, strategies and blueprints carrying the weighty wisdom of God when put into action are going to see some of the most groundbreaking demonstrations of His power and glory released in these days of accelerated breakthrough.
Sounds just like the old NAR/C Peter Wagner practice of ‘spiritual mapping’ doesn’t it? Strategise the demonic strongholds, and then drive the devils out! Just in time for Joel’s Army recruits to take ‘Dominion’ and then ‘Reconstruct’ society along NAR guidelines…
Breakthrough, that’s what we all need… just another altar call and another ‘breakthrough’ (along with tithes, offerings, unpaid voluntary work to the point of exhaustion, the leader’s use up mentality, inner circle elitism, false prophecy, and a handful of Jezebel’s controlling spirits sprinkled on top for good measure.) You are so right Lana – after all of that rubbish foisted on the church by the devil and his willing servants, we sure do need a breakthrough… Amen to that ! 🙂
You may find the going a little tough in reading the other article on “How Cults Work” so I’ve penned this cut down version for you, as a ready reference for cultish ‘churches’ and how they work.
Traditionally, many Christians believed that “cults” were entirely separate entities in regard to their time honoured institutional churches. However, this has not proven to be so, over time.
Many organisations calling themselves a “church” may have all the outward appearances of a normal church in society, but inside the four walls, they operate like a cult.
Hallmarks of a Cult
So what sets them apart and how can you tell pretty well instantly if an organisation claims to be an orthodox church, but in reality, features most, if not all the hallmarks of a cult? Here’s a few keys to identifying a ‘cultish’ church:
(*Excerpt taken from “How Cults Work” Cultwatch New Zealand.)
One of the best ways to defend yourself against being deceived by a cult that claims to be a church, is to demand full accountability upfront, before you join. You can do this on the basis of “informed consent”. After much thought and study on the topic, I came up with a criteria for testing the genuineness of such a group.
It works like this – leaders/members of the group MUST fully inform you of the following things:
Preferably, you should try and get something in writing that makes clear most, if not all of the above points. Many small churches have a pamphlet or regular newsletter, which often states the names of the minsters, how much last week’s offering was, what they believe (brief statement on the back of the publication) with contact details (church phone and email contacts) and this kind of thing would be acceptable to a point.
If you have any further doubts after having read such a publication, then make an appointment and seek to find out the rest in a one-on-one meeting with someone in leadership. If you’re not getting clear answers to your questions, or find someone is back-peddling on important issues (giving/tithing can be a sore point with many church leaders,) then leave that ‘church’ and find another one!
Just one final but very important note! No one knocks on the door of the local cult/church and asks if they can sign up! Unwitting people are recruited into such groups, and the recruiters are often highly trained and experienced in getting past people’s excuses and self defence mechanisms. They can spot vulnerable people and will take advantage of them.
Just remember, that if any group claims to have the monopoly on God, or seems to have all the answers to life’s problems, then they could well be the local cult/church. They may claim divine revelation of a personal nature – just for you, so if you’re a bit sad, or feeling pressured, or at a loose end, avoid making any major decisions about who or what you will commit to, until your issues have settled down…
“IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, THEN IT USUALLY IS!”
Further reading from the Bible: Matthew 7:13 to the end of that chapter.
EDIT/UPDATE: Here’s a link to the Cultwatch website NZ, showing the kind of things that can go wrong and transform a church into a bible based cult. Wrong teaching and pastor worship can wreak a lot of havoc on unsuspecting sheep, so be warned…
Before I launch out into the rest of this post, I want to make one thing abundantly clear – I am not opposed to young Christian people gathering together and praying for our nation and the issues confronting today’s Australian society. What I am investigating, is where this ‘Generation Fire’ organisation comes from, and its real motives are for this seemingly laudable activity. I received an email from them back in August 2015, but when I went to click on the links contained therein, none of them were working not one. G mail popped up a notice saying that the email contained spyware, designed to gather information from my hard drive, but my AVG and MS Firewalls detected nothing. Subsequent scans with Privazer detected no Malware either, so what gives, Generation Fire??? Where are your ‘funny’ emails coming from???
Despite the lofty ideals of the GF leaders, we must be diligent and test the spirits – 1 John 4:1 + – and not neglect to examine all things that come our way, in the light of scripture. My concerns come from some of the buzzwords used by GF leaders in their online media communications. For instance, “prayer furnace” sounds a lot like “fire tunnel”. Also, the apparent loose-knit associations between GF in Brisbane and Glory City Church, (a well known promoter of all things NAR,) could mean that, at some leadership level, serious “cross pollination” could be occurring, without the vast majority of attendees knowing.
These “prayer furnace” gatherings look innocent enough at first, but could become events where innocent attendees get their fingers burnt due to their involvement with other ‘churches’ who may be using the events as a means of funneling ignorant youth and young adults into their fold, via a legitimate looking and sounding activity.
Laugh about this if you want, but you may not want to laugh when you take the time to fully understand just what the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is all about.* Is this Generation Fire organisation just another ‘front’ for the NAR in this country? Is it a genuine, though informal organisation, devoted to prayer for our nation, or is it a means of the NAR movement and its very dangerous doctrines and practices, infiltrating mainstream and independent Charismatic/Pentecostal churches.
By using ‘prayer gatherings’ as a smoke screen this would seem much easier. Is Generation Fire associated in any way with false prophet Mike Bickle’s IHOP cult? We need to appreciate the dangers faced by such involvements concerning young and inexperienced Christian youth…
Below is a ‘word’ from a Generation Fire supporter/leader, expressing some insights that he believes God gave him, on or about August of 2014.
“A Word for Australia Chris Hackett
While in Melbourne as I was waiting on the Lord in prayer, He spoke the word, “Docklands,” to me. He then took me to the coastline of southwestern Victoria where we flew about a 100 feet above the shoreline. We followed a clockwise direction around the coast line of Australia. We flew above the shores of South Australia, WA, NT, QLD, NSW, then Victoria. As I got closer to the town of Mallacoota, I started to sense an intensity grow. When I researched into the history of Mallacoota I found out that a satellite airfield was constructed in this town during World War II for the purpose of coastal defense.
I crossed the Bass Straight where I felt and could see a whirlwind rushing around Tasmania. The whirlwind flow was anti-clockwise. The whirlwind went around Tasmania many times. There was an intensity building. There is a fire in Tasmania that is stirring. The mainland needs coals that will come out of the fires in Tasmania.
The first thing the Lord showed me, was how vast the borders of Australia are. He also said that we needed to set up a defense by speaking to the docklands and the coastlines and pray for His hedge of protection. As a country we have allowed all sorts of foreign gods and pollution into this nation. There has not been an adequate spiritual hedge. Now is the time to set watchmen up around this nation.
Then I saw angels stationed around the coastline facing outwards towards the sea as a line of defense. My impression was that as we prayed for the spiritual protection of the nation, He would raise up His host of warrior angels.
The direction I traveled was significant. The clockwise rotation we traveled over mainland Australia speaks of a low pressure weather system. The significance of an anticlockwise whirlwind over Tasmania denotes a high pressure system. As it is in the natural with the science of weather, high pressure air always flows to low pressure. Like a balloon being let go, the high pressure air in the balloon is released to the surrounding low pressure atmosphere. So it shall be with Tasmania. The high pressure presence of His Spirit will flow into the northern states of mainland Australia.
Tasmania is known by different slogans or nicknames such as, The Apple Isle, and the Island of Inspiration. It’s official motto is Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness).
I believe Tasmania is an apple of the Lord’s eye, a spiritually fertile region, birthing ministries and great men and women of God who will bless the whole of Australia and bring the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. While for a long time, Tasmania has been overlooked or not held in the same regard as the northern states, a season is coming when God will use this island state to bring His fire to the nation.”
Well, if you still have any doubts about links between Generation Fire, Burn 24/7, local, seemingly innocuous ‘prayer meetings’ and NAR churches near to where you live, just read the following excerpt from the GF website:
“As an end times movement – we have been privileged to be apart of move of God that has been sweeping around the world through 24-7 houses of prayer.
Jesus has called us to call forth a generation that would carry his fire and presence – the fuel for such a movement is through day & night prayer.
Today we are responding to such a call to light fires and to return to our first love being Jesus this is done through Prayer furnaces or what we call The furnace.
Houses of Prayer that release His Presence, His fire and Glory.
The Furnace is an expression of church which could be a 24-7 House of Prayer or a gathering of believers who have a hunger for Jesus who meet together once a month for 5- 12 hours of back to back Worship & Intercession which would provide a place for the fire of God to burn in the hearts of people. Its out of these prayer furnaces where the mission can happen, new churches can be started – the kingdom purposes of god can be released into communities. We have seen people walk in off the streets – drawn by the the Holy Spirit and not know how they end up in such a meeting – it is wild.
Anyone can start a Prayer Furnace in any place at anytime you can start off with just holding prayer meetings then progress into a small group then you could transition to once a month 24 hour prayer & worship nights.
The Furnace is a bringing together of those with a gift in the arts, the prophetic, worship , evangelism and intercession. Its about seeing a release of the kingdom of God into all over those areas. And being doused with the fire of God so we totally burn for Jesus with a love, a passion, a hunger that spreads like a firestorm over our generation.”
And you can read the rest of that article here:
As I said at the beginning, I have NO problems with young people praying together for the needs of the nation – none whatsoever. However, I encourage you to follow up on this blog post and do your own research – understand that cults and ‘isms’ can hide behind legitimate looking fronts and facades, so that they can cream potential converts/members into their seemingly ‘christian’ cause, only for the newbies to find out weeks/months/years later that they’ve been deceived.
For further reading on the IHOP cult, see the folowng links:
IMPORTANT UPDATE: HEIDI BAKER’S INFLUENCE DETECTED AT GEN FIRE…
Pursuant to the above posted “vision” I have caught up with a very recent post from the Gen Fire website listed here. If you read the first part of that blog, you’ll see that it was posted a year or so after the published vision above, which obviously came from the Gen Fire’s annual bash in Tasmania last year (2014). If you click on this link here you’ll be able to view Gen Fire’s November newsletter, which also advertises their (invitation only) GLOBAL summit! Yes, this organisation has many irons in many fires locally and globally.
One of them is the couple mentioned further down in the newsletter – Ros & Ash Field. A brief testimonial of both appears here. Keynote speaker is Brian Medway, who took over after Harry Westcott left the O’Connor Uniting Church after some eight years as its pastor, to head up Vision Ministries*
Heidi Baker’s video channel has some footage of her attending an outreach in order to’help’ IRIS ministries work with local African people. Link So just how much ‘help’ does Heidi give to these local IRIS missionaries? And what kind of ‘help’ does Heidi recommend?
There’s going to be another conference/bash in December, but this time it will be held in the Blue Mountains hide away retreat, at a place called Kihilla. Kihilla is basically an old style house, set up to accommodate around 40 people for a short term live-in style event. It is also a virtual shrine to the Charismatic movement in Australia, as many well known preachers, teachers and members of Charismatic churches have gone there over many years to ‘get away from it all and hear from God’ since its inception many decades ago.
If Gen Fire is innocent of any involvement with Baker and the NAR, then I say well and good. If not, then be very discerning about any planned or existing involvements. Even indirect links can still introduce false doctrine and existential experiences. NAR doctrine and practice may seem rather innocuous to the casual observer, (“let’s just have a good time in church” attitude) but many young people who got involved with other groups in their innocence (including IHOP) were badly burnt as a result…
NAR in Oz Update
Talking about churches and prayer groups here in Oz that have NAR teaching on the menu, here’s a link to the churchwatchcentral.com site, with some insights into C3 churches’ involvement with the Seven Mountains doctrine. Now, if I remember rightly, there was a certain city in scripture that perched itself on top of seven hills… anyway! 🙂
And here’s a link straight back to Loren Cunningham’s story on how the ‘Seven Mountains’ mandate, was allegedly given by God back in 1975:
Credit for digging this link up goes to M’ykala’s Corner blog. She was once heavily involved in things NAR, but got out and now exposes this and other false prophet organisations and individuals via her blog.
I’m not endorsing the entire blog (at this stage) but I did find this article here to be of some interest for those who are escaping the manifold errors of the NAR movement.
Jesus Christ tells us to ‘Beware of false prophets’ (Matthew 7:13) and that they come to us dressed in sheep’s clothing (seemingly innocuous doctrine and practices) but this sheep’s wool is just a disguise – inwardly, they are ravenous wolves. Wolves hunt in packs and their tactics are to isolate weak and vulnerable sheep, so they can then devour their time, talents, energy and money. So beware… (read Matthew 7:13 to end of chapter)
In that same passage in Matthew, Jesus tells us plainly, that many people are headed down the ‘broadway’ of destruction. It’s a narrow door that leads to life says Jesus, and FEW there be that find it. When you’ve found it, you have to dump off all of your baggage from your former life, as it simply won’t fit through that ‘narrow door/straight gate…
In 1948 a movement was born that remains a blight on the church to this day. It sprung out of a revival that was known as the “Latter Rain” revival. Heresy crept into this movement which shortly thereafter condemned by the Assemblies of God upon which it had a great effect. The erroneous doctrine known as the “Manifest Sons of God” (or Manifested Sons of God) was embraced by these “Latter Rain” proponents. This doctrine teaches an extreme eschatological view that the saints would be “glorified”, even “deified” right here on this earth before the resurrection. Other names by which this system of beliefs is identified include “Kingdom Now”, “Dominion Theology” or “Joel’s Army”. Proponents of this heresy believe that the end-time move of the spirit (prophesied by Joel) started with the Pentecostal movement, then the Charismatic Movement (which is now passé) and is now finally at what is being called “the Third Wave.”
One of the hallmarks of this movement is a de-emphasis on the scriptures and of doctrine. The Bible has become allegorical, and interpretations become subjective (1). Many within the third-wave movement have been conditioned, by the lack of sound biblical teaching, to believe that doctrine is unimportant. Leaders will often state that “relationship” is far more important than doctrine.
“For the last several years people have started to gather around fathers instead of doctrine.” – Bill Johnson, Bethel Church
(Click on link and scroll to the bottom to see references)
(Please note that I do not agree with everything presented in this text, but generally speaking, I agree that the Emergent ‘church’ needs to be exposed)
Over a century ago spiritual liberalism swept through the once-sound mainline denominations, wreaking theological havoc on anyone in its path. Once solid and fundamentally based seminaries became infested with the liberal teachings of the so called “German Enlightenment” and before long heretical intellectualism, which doubted the authority of the Bible, quickly spread to the leaders of the denominations, into the pulpits and finally to those in the pews.
Today, one doesn’t have to look far to see the spiritual disrepair that liberalism has left the denominations in. Because of the longstanding apostasy of the spiritual liberals, untold millions have already entered eternity without Jesus Christ – having previously believed that those entrusted with teaching them the Christian faith were doing so faithfully and authentically. Using much the same modus operandi, Satan is now out to destroy the Evangelicals of our times. It worked well 100-150 years ago in the mainline denominations and it’s working again now. So, with the predicted falling away of the end times in full swing (2 Thess. 2:3), every truth seeking Christian needs to be aware of the “new” liberalism – The Emergent Church.
WHAT IS “THE EMERGENT CHURCH?”
This short piece is not meant to fully educate on Emergent error. Nor will I go into the secondary issues of Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven” philosophy or the “Seeker Sensitive” ideas of Bill Hybels and Willow Creek. There are many fine resources from trustworthy apologetics ministries and others that are shedding light on these troubling teachings as well as on Emergent thought. The DVD our ministry produced called The Errors of the Emergent Church is one such tool. (See http://www.ericbarger.com)
However, for the sake of those who may have never heard the term “Emergent,” let me offer a quick definition. The Emergent Church Movement takes its name from the idea that the culture has changed, and a new church should emerge in response. It appar- ently grew out of discussion groups inside the Young Leadership Network in the 1990’s. To Emergents, Christianity should be:
* Experience over Reason
* Spirituality over Doctrine and Absolutes
* Images over Words
* Feelings over Truth
* Earthly Justice over Salvation
* Social Action over Eternity.
Put bluntly, the Emergent Church Movement is a complete redefinition of Christianity. It is unquestionably the new Liberalism. However, don’t wait for Emergent teachers to use the term “Emergent.” Learn how to spot it for yourself.
HOW TO SPOT THE EMERGENT CHURCH IN YOUR CHURCH
Here is a short list of authors, teachers and areas of concern that may indicate that the leadership of your church is being influenced to varying extents by Emergent Church philosophy.
* Are books or videos by teachers such as Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt or Tony Jones being recommended or used in classes, home groups or church services?
These men began by simply questioning the authority of the Bible and the orthodox nature of Christian doctrine and have now redefined what they call Christianity into a completely cultic, yet loosely defined and identified, religion.
It is a genuine oxymoron that the wildly unorthodox ideas taught by these men could be as readily accepted as they are in supposedly “Evangelical” churches, seminaries and even entire denominations.
* Have biblical doctrines such as salvation by grace, repentance and the reality of a literal Hell been marginalized or abandoned? Is there a constant insistence that the Church must abandon history and orthodox teaching and change our methods in order to be relevant to the postmodern world?
It is a completely flawed concept to believe that postmoderns are somehow different than all generations before them and that if we are to reach them then we must change. Sin in the hearts of men is still the problem and the Cross is still the antidote! God has entrusted us with the ONLY message that can cure the sickness of sin. Who are we to change the message? We must lovingly and accurately deliver the whole Gospel regardless of how it may be accepted and remember that it is the Holy Spirit’s task to draw men to Jesus – not ours.
To edit the Gospel – regardless of how well intentioned – is to thwart the Holy Spirit’s work and merely assures the eternal dam- nation of those we seek to reach. (Romans 1:16)
* Is Contemplative Prayer/Spirituality being introduced and practiced? Is there talk of “Spiritual Formation,” centering prayer and something called “lectio divina” which, in a nutshell, is lead- ing Evangelicals directly into the mystical and sometimes occult-based practices of the Roman Church? Have you heard the term “labyrinth”? (An usually intricate maze to meditate in, with basis in Greek, Egyptian and Cretan Mythology and used in Tantric Buddhism.)
Mystics contend that utilizing a labyrinth will supposedly bring a relaxed mental attitude and end the search for life’s meaning! In reality, this road leads to New Age mysticism and even the occult, as does the popular Emergent practice of Yoga. A few popular contemplative adherents are Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Leonard Sweet, Thomas Keating, Richard Foster and Frank Viola.
* Have buzzword phrases like “Missional Christianity,” “Incarnational Christianity,” “Conversational Christianity” and “Relational Christianity” been attached to the identity of your church? *
Have the teachings of Open Source, Open Theism or Process Theology been embraced? (Open Theism teaches that God knows the past and lives in the present but has no idea of what the future holds. Obviously, this destroys every prophetic passage in the Bible – including the blessed hope of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.)
* Is there a new, uncanny identification with saving planet Earth? Has environmentalism become common pulpit rhetoric? (Brian McLaren contends that it is Earth – and not unregenerate humans – that Christ came to save.)
* Perhaps the most important question to ask is about the authority of the Scriptures. In your church, is the Bible held in utmost regard by those in leadership? Is the inerrancy of the Bible preached faithfully? Is there a complete and unapologetic dependence on God’s Word by those in leadership?
The growth of liberalism and Emergent ideas is directly proportionate to the value placed on the Scriptures by individuals and church leaders. Without an unwavering accountability to the Word of God, every individual Christian, as well as every local church and national denomination, will soon find themselves in jeopardy.
WHAT TO DO IF EMERGENT IS IN YOUR CHURCH
* Prayer (conduct Spiritual Warfare!)
* Dialog (ask questions)
* Confront (Matthew 18)
* Warn Others!
* Flee! (when all else fails)
What we see happening in the Church today is no shock to those who study prophecy. The Scriptures are replete with warnings about false teaching and false teachers. Jesus alone warns of this an amazing 14 times; Paul and Peter, too. A great end-time apostasy is indeed going to sweep through the Church preceding the return of the Lord. I believe that before the spirit of Antichrist is finished, error will be the norm in allegedly “Christian” circles and orthodoxy will be the oddity.
But as overwhelming as it may seem, I guarantee that you are not alone! If you are alarmed at even the subtle Emergent influences at work in your church, so are many others who are battling for the very life of their local churches and even their denominations. Many biblical Christians are making the same stands that you are faced with making. God will indeed lead you as you hold faithfully to His Word, as you witness and as you pray. Great is the reward for those who walk with Jesus and follow the command to contend for the authentic faith (Jude 3). Don’t quit!
Copyright 2009, Eric Barger, http://www.ericbarger.com
(Taken from a hard printed pamphlet, available online as a PDF download)
Cults, wonderful on the outside but on the inside are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick you into joining. They are after your obedience, your time and your money.Cults use sophisticated mind control and recruitment techniques that have been refined over time. Beware of thinking that you are immune from cult involvement, the cults have millions of members around the world who once thought they were immune, and still don’t know they are in a cult! To spot a cult you need to know how they work and you need to understand the techniques they use. Teaching you these things is what this article is all about.This article exposes the secret techniques cults will use to try and trick and control you. Cult leaders will not want you to read this, but read it anyway. Once you understandHow Cults Work you will be better able to spot and avoid cult recruiters, and protect your family and friends.First let’s eliminate some misconceptions about cults.
Cults are easy to spot, they wear strange clothes and live in communes.
Well some do. But most are everyday people like you and me. They live in houses. They wear the same clothes. They eat the same food. Cult leaders don’t want you to know that you are being recruited into a cult and so they order their recruiters to dress, talk and act in a way that will put you at ease. One cult has even invented a phrase to describe this, they call it “being relatable”.Cults are full of the weak, weird and emotionally unstable.
Not true. Many cult members are very intelligent, attractive and skilled. The reality is that all sorts of people are involved in cults. One of the few common denominators is that they were often recruited at a low point in their life — more about that later.Cults are just a bunch of religious nut cases.
This is a common mistake people make thinking that cults are purely religious groups. The modern definition of a mind control cult refers to all groups that use mind control and the devious recruiting techniques that this article exposes. The belief system of a religion is often warped to become a container for these techniques, but it is the techniques themselves that make it a cult. In a free society people can believe what they want, but most people would agree that it is wrong for any one to try to trick and control people. In the section “Types of Cults” we will examine the various types of cults you may come across.Christians call all other groups cults.
Basically Christians have said that if a group claims to be Christian and yet teaches something fundamentally different from what the Bible teaches then they are a cult. ie. a Buddhist group that claims to be Buddhist is not a cult, but a Buddhist group that pretends to be Christian is. This definition is not used in this article.So what is a cult anyway?
The modern definition of a mind control cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. In other words cults trick people into joining and coerce them into staying. This is the definition that most people would agree with. Except the cults themselves of course!
Cults that use a belief system as their base are very common. Their belief system could be standard Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or any other of the world religions, or they may have invented their own belief system. What makes them a cult is the fact that they use mind control, not what they believe.
Cults that use commercial gain as their base are called “cults of greed”. They will promise you that if you join them and follow their special programme for success then you will become very rich. Often they will hold up their leader as an example and explain that if you do what he or she says then you will be successful too. Commercial cults use mind control to get you working for them for free, and to make you pay for an endless stream of motivational tapes, videos, books and seminars all of which are supposedly designed to help you succeed, but in reality are designed to enhance the cult’s mind control environment and keep you believing in their almost impossible dream of success. Of course they never mention that the primary way the leaders make money are by selling these motivation materials to their group! For more information see below under the section, “Pressure Selling”.
Self Help & Counselling
Cults that use “self help” or counselling or self improvement as their base often target business people and corporations. By doing their courses and seminars they claim you and your staff will become more successful. Business people locked away in hotel rooms are subjected to quasi-religious indoctrination as they play strange games, join in group activities, and share their innermost thoughts with the group. Once you have completed one course you are told you need to do the more advanced course, which naturally costs more than the last. These cults will sometimes request that you do volunteer work and that you help recruit your friends, family and work mates. These groups specialize in creating powerful emotional experiences which are then used to validate your involvement in the cult. The religious overtones are couched in terms which don’t sound religious. They usually come to the surface as you near the end of a seminar. Many people have been bankrupted by involvement with these cults.
Cults that use political ideals as their base are well known throughout history. Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Communist USSR were classic examples of mind control on a very large scale. On smaller scales white and black supremacists, terrorists, and rebel groups commonly use forms of mind control to recruit and dominate their members.
Mind Control is a suite of psychological techniques that cult leaders attempt to control their members with.
Cultwatch does not consider Mind Control to be some magical device which can take away peoples’ free will. In other words it does not turn people into some sort of remote control robot. Rather we see Mind Control as a dishonest influence placed covertly on cult members by the cult. So instead of Mind Control being some sort of irresistible force like the aliens in the movies that take over peoples minds, rather it is more like a gun. The cult leader points the Mind Control “gun” at a member and says, “if you leave us then you will lose all of your friends and family”, “if you don’t conform then you will go to Hell”, “if you don’t give us money then you will fail in business”.
We have broken Mind Control up into a series of techniques that the cults use. Together these techniques make up Mind Control.
A cult needs to recruit and operate using deception. Why?
Because if people knew their true practices and beliefs beforehand then they would not join. A cult needs to hide the truth from you until they think you are ready to accept it.
For example, imagine if the leader of Heavens Gate cult was open and honest about the group and had said to new recruits, “Join us, wear strange clothes, get castrated and then drink poison!” he would not have had many takers.
A cult will have a slick well-rehearsed Public Relations front which hides what the group is really like. You will hear how they help the poor, or support research, or peace, or the environment. They will tell you how happy you will be in their group (and everyone in the cult will always seem very happy and enthusiastic, mainly because they have been told to act happy and will get in trouble if they don’t). But you will not be told what life is really like in the group, nor what they really believe. These things will be introduced to you slowly, one at a time, so you will not notice the gradual change, until eventually you are practicing and believing things which at the start would have caused you to run a mile.
A normal religious organization would not have any trouble with you moving to another similar organization as long as you stayed in that same religion. Because it is the belief system that matters, not membership in an organization. For example if you were a Christian then you could move from one church to another and still be a Christian.
However cult leaders will tell you can only be “saved” (or can only be successful) in their organization alone. No other organization has the truth, all others miss the mark. So it is not the belief system that decides your future, but it the belief system AND your membership with that particular group.
The cult leaders need to make you believe that there is no where else you can go and still be saved, and if you ever leave the “one true church” then you are going to hell. This is a fear based control mechanism designed to keep you in the cult. It also gives the cult leaders tremendous power over you. If you really believe that leaving the group equals leaving God (or means you are leaving your only chance to succeed in life), then you will obey the cult leaders even when you disagree with them instead of risking being kicked out of the group. Exclusivism is used as a threat, it controls your behavior through fear.
Be very suspicious of any group that claims to be better than all the others. A religious group may say that other groups following the same religion are OK, but they are the ones who have a better grasp of the truth and they are superior to the rest. This is often just a subtle version of exclusivism.
This is one of the practices that cults are often very deceptive about. For example, first off they may give you the impression that they think you are a true Christian, Buddhist or Muslim and it’s not until later that their true position is revealed.
Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. If the cult is not a religious group then questioning the leaders or program will still be seen as a sign of rebellion and stupidity.
Guilt, Character Assassination and Breaking Sessions. Guilt will be used to control you. Maybe the reason you’re not making money is because you’re not “with the programme”. Maybe the reason you’re not able to convert new recruits is because “your heart is prideful and full of sin”. It could never be that the programme isn’t working, or those new recruits have valid reasons for not joining. It’s always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for disobeying any of the cult’s written or unwritten rules.
Character Assassination is used to help create the guilt in you. Character Assassination is a type of false reasoning used by people and groups who have no real arguments. The technical name for Character Assassination is “The Ad hominem Fallacy”. This is how it works. Imagine if you will a conversation between two men, Ford and Arthur…
“One plus one equals three”, says Ford.
“No I don’t think so. You see when I have one thing, and I have another thing, then I have two things not three”, replies Arthur.
“I see your point, but what you must realize is that one plus one when calculated in relation to this complex number domain, which I just invented, and then squared by the sum of the ninth tangent in the sequence of the Fibonacci series results in three!”, stated Ford triumphantly.
Ok, Ford is wrong, but that is not the point. The point is that Ford tried to answer Arthur’s reasoning with more reasoning of his own. This is the healthy way people and groups debate subjects. Now lets see what would have happened if Ford had used Character Assassination…
“Arthur I have been a mathematician longer than you. How dare you disagree with me! You are obviously a very smug and prideful person. I think you are disagreeing with me because you are jealous of me, and to be honest with you Arthur your rebellion has really hurt me and a lot of other people too”, stated Ford his face intimidatingly close to Arthur’s.
You see Ford didn’t answer Arthur’s argument, instead he attacked his character. If you are not aware of how Character Assassination works then it is a powerful way to exert control over you.
Breaking sessions are when one, two or more cult members and leaders attack the character of another person, sometimes for hours on end. Some cults will not stop these sessions until their victim is crying uncontrollably.
Cults know that if they can control your relationships then they can control you. Whether we like it or not we are all profoundly affected by those around us. When you first go to a cult they will practice “love bombing”, where they arrange instant friends for you. It will seem wonderful, how could such a loving group be wrong! But you soon learn that if you ever disagree with them, or ever leave the cult then you will lose all your new “friends”. This unspoken threat influences your actions in the cult. Things that normally would have made you complain will pass by silently because you don’t want to be ostracized. Like in an unhealthy relationship love is turned on and off to control.
Cults also try to cut you off from your friends and family because they hate others being able to influence you. A mind control cult will seek to manoeuvre your life so as to maximize your contact with cult members and minimize your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement.
Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is considered evil, especially if it is opposing the cult. Members are told not to read it or believe it. Only information supplied by the cult is true. One cult labels any information against it as “persecution” or “spiritual pornography”, another cult calls it “apostate literature” and will expel you from the group if you are caught with it. Cults train their members to instantly destroy any critical information given to them, and to not even entertain the thought that the information could be true.
Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it not on the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history.
In a mind control cult like in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia you must be careful of what you say and do; “The walls have ears”. Everyone is encouraged to watch out for “struggling” brothers and sisters and report what they see to leadership. Often information given in deepest confidence is automatically reported to leadership. Cult leaders will then use this information to convince their members that they have a supernatural link, the trusting member does not suspect the very natural mechanism behind the supernatural revelations they are given.
People in a mind control cult will also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as a perfect cult member. This mask is a defense against being reported to leadership and being punished for not measuring up (cult members never feel like they measure up to the cult’s ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence cult members are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow cult members. Rarely can close friendships form in cults, and if they do the cult’s leaders may see them as a threat and move those people away from each other. Nothing is allowed that can be more powerful than the cult members’ allegiance to the group and it’s leaders.
Mind control cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and too tired to think about their involvement.
Time control also helps the cult keep their members immersed in the manufactured cult environment.
And time control helps keep cult members away from friends and family.
Together they make Mind Control.
Remember, people are not perfect, but if they employ them constantly you are most likely dealing with a cult.
One of the most common forms of commercial cults is the pressure selling organization. These groups ostensibly make money by selling goods via their sales organization, but in reality they make their money by selling goods and motivational materials to their sales organization. Using mind control they seek to enlarge and maintain their sales force, and hence their profits.
Some names along with the bad reputations of these groups are well known to the general public, so their recruiters need to be very deceptive. They will call and ask to come and meet you to discuss a “business opportunity” or new “eCommerce venture”, not once mentioning the organization behind it. In fact if asked they might mention a completely different name. Meeting with them will involve a long intense presentation carefully designed to convince you that you could make a lot of money by following their plan. Only near the end will they briefly mention the real organization behind it.
Here are some key warning signs to watch out for…
Here are some key questions to ask the recruiter…
Here are some key warning signs that may indicate a cult is trying to recruit you.
Rather than explain to you what the group believes or what their programme is up front, they will instead insist that you can only understand it if you come to a group meeting. There everyone around you will seem so enthusiastic that you will start to think there is something wrong with you. They create an environment where you will feel uncomfortable and the only way to become comfortable is to join them. This is an application of controlled peer pressure.
Intense Unrelenting Pressure
They call repeatedly. Meet you on campus or outside your work. Trick you into coming for only an hour and then lead you into a long study, meeting or talk. They have to keep the pressure on, otherwise you might snap out of the mind control environment they are trying to immerse you in.
They tell you that they are not a cult.
This is a preemptive strike against the warnings from friends and family members which they know will come. In fact some cults go as far to tell you that Satan will try and dissuade you by sending family members and friends to tell you it is a cult. When this tactic is used then often a warped form of logic occurs in the recruits’ mind, the “agents of Satan” do come and tell them that it is a cult. So since the group predicted that would happen, the group therefore must true! Basically if any group tells you that they are not a cult, or that some people call them a cult, then for goodness sake find out why!
The Internet should be your first stop if the group you are interested in or involved with has an international scope. Most of the larger cults will be mentioned by counter-cult organizations like Cultwatch, and commonly many ex-members will have posted their cult involvement stories on the net.
Many of the larger cults hate the net since it allows their members access to information they deem subversive or evil. A good place to start is www.CULTWATCH.com, there we have cult information and links to other counter-cult groups. Also go to the search engines and type in keywords associated with the group, like the name of the group, the leaders or founders name, the titles of books they use and any peculiar words that the group uses. If the group is new or too small to have been exposed on the net then read stories of other people who were in mind control cults. The patterns may seem familiar to you. If you are still unsure then email us your story at email@example.com, we will let you know of any thoughts we have.
Old publications by the group. Often the older cults have predicted the end of the world or changed their beliefs significantly, hence their older publications become a danger to them. For some of the older cults people have produced books of photo copies of these changes.
Well, isn’t this a marvelous piece of self promotion if ever I did see one…. Once more, pastor Kaitlin makes herself out to be the one who has “done the hard yards” out there ‘in the wilderness’ – or not. Those who know her past and the number of people she has climbed over the top of and spat out in order to get to the top, know better…
Moses spent some 40 years in the wilderness, as did the nation of Israel decades later. Even the apostle Paul spent time in the wilderness of Arabia, receiving divine revelation for the church, to be progressively revealed at different times, but there were no crocodile tears from him…
Pastor Kaitlin appears to be some sort of ladder climbing ‘animal’, who will stop at nothing to get to where she believes she ought to be. Imagine a small, struggling church in the back blocks of Springwood. It’s getting harder and harder to compete with the likes of C3, Hill$ong and the existing AoG and CoC ‘leftovers’.
So how do you forge your way ahead, right through the middle and beyond all that lot? Easy – you “hitch your wagon” up to much larger ‘horses’ so that they can take you where you want to be. In the context of today’s post modernist, emergent backslidden “church” there would be no better candidate for the role of larger horses, than the likes of NAR at Redding.
Bill Haman, Brian Johnson, Brian Simmons et al, are really at the cutting edge of all that is false, and makes $$$, so why not? Why not, pastor Kaitlin??? Sounds like a plan to me… So she shakes hands with the Redding crowd, then the next thing is that Cindy Jacobs prophesies over her, passing on her “mantle” and thus making Kaitlin a ‘prophet’ too.
Kaitlin gets herself accepted on to the international speaker’s circuit (which brings in wads of extra ca$h each year) and then begins to host several ‘conferences’. She gets herself on Sid Roth, then cuts and pastes together a regular “rogue’s gallery” of local and international NAR ‘apostles and prophets’. Finally, she hits the big time with her own Australian Prophetic Council + annual summit, only to find out that one of her own has failed the character test – publicly and without anywhere to run or hide.
Well, if I was playing ‘snakes and ladders’ with pastor Kate right about now, I’d have to say that all of that ‘ladder climbing’ was for nothing. It can take ten rolls of the dice to get to number 97 on the board, only to slide back down the ‘snake’ positioned at 99 – no prizes for guessing just who that particular snake really is… 🙂
Finally, reading this article can help you please God more, since you will no longer be investing in ungodly works.
Like Judas reaching into the money bag, the sad reality is that a small minority of Christian pastors steal from God’s people. As Christians we hate to face this truth, but I believe we must, because it is our duty to protect our less aware brothers and sisters – keeping them from these thieves.
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. – 2 Corinthians 2:17a
Here exposed are the secret techniques used to fleece money from God’s people. Don’t be naive thinking that these schemes have spread throughout the world by accident. These techniques are talked about and shared behind closed doors by the clique of pastors who employ them.
It’s big business. Some of them laugh at us like con-men laughing at their marks. Seriously, if you don’t believe that there are men like that, then watch the 1972 documentary Marjoe. You’ll soon realize that these wolfs in sheep’s clothing have been a blight on Christianity throughout its history.
I will start by outlining the primary pattern that underpins these modern schemes. Then I will drill down, listing each technique one by one, exposing how they work. Finally, at the end, I will outline the biggest monetary scam of all.
First let’s discover the primary pattern behind their methods…
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up toJerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” -John 2:13-16
We’ve all been approached at some time by a friend caught up in the hope of multilevel marketing. The business they are pushing is simple, sell toothpaste or web sites or whatever, and then recruit people under you doing the same, taking a cut from their sales. Soon you will be so rich that you can buy a flash European car and give stacks of money to Godly causes.
That is the dream. The proof the dream works is embodied in the wealth of the dream’s leaders. Do you see how rich our leaders are? They made all their money by following the dream, proving that you can too. Except, that it’s a lie.
Coming up is the key to the pattern, are you ready? These leaders did not become wealthy by following the dream, instead they became wealthy by building up a group of people who believe passionately in the dream, and then selling dream-promoting wares to this captive audience.
I will say it again, because you need to understand this pattern. They did not become rich by selling toothpaste; they became rich by hyping dream-promoting books, tapes, DVDs, and conferences to their own private market of dream believers.
This same pattern is practiced by some Christian leaders and their churches. The dream is the prosperity gospel. Their captive market is their congregation. The products are, well you guessed it: books, tapes, DVDs, and conferences, and t-shirts, and most ominously spiritual rewards and the prevention of spiritual punishments.
These leaders use their faked “success” to promote a distorted gospel which basically says: “tow the line obeying the leaders buying whatever we tell you to buy, and donate money whenever we tell you to donate, and then God will pour riches into your life.” They tell us that they became successful by following this dream, but in reality they became rich by sucking money out of those caught up in the buzzing environment where this distorted gospel seems real.
Let’s drill in and discuss some of the products and techniques they use to line their pockets with money that ought to have stayed with God’s people or gone to legitimate good works. You are about to discover how these spiritual vampires feed…
Tip: A clue that you are caught up in one of these churches is if you hear things like, “This is your spiritual home, you can’t go to another church. You must be loyal.” They are very jealous about protecting their market, and do not want to lose one of their paying customers to another church. Some even try to prevent their patrons leaving by making them sign contracts or “covenants”, like a mobile phone company locking you into a two year term. But the Bible does not teach that Christians are bound to their local church organization, this idea is foreign to Scripture.
The first product is the leader’s book (often ghostwritten and fraudulently claimed to be authored by the leader). Let’s be honest, many of these books are below par. Like bad business books they have one good idea, if that, and then are padded with motivational sayings and anecdotal stories of how the leader obeyed the dream and so God hosed him down with wealth. The theological content is basically non-existent. These books would tank on Amazon or in a real bookstore, but hyped to their captive market they sell like hot cakes.
Your Counter Strategy: Buy the book if it’s got good reviews or if your friends have read it and liked it. In other words treat it like you would any other book. Avoid buying it if the pastor or speaker has hyped it during his talk and especially if there is a lot of peer pressure from the group to buy. Be aware that conferences and seminars are designed to emotionally hype these products. If you’ve ever been to a high pressure time-share sales session, then you will know what it’s like. If you’re feeling the hype, then cool off for a few days, buying the book later if you still want to.
Next comes the ever popular DVD. Most of which are videos of the leader preaching in his church on a certain topic. Let me ask you a question, is it ethical for a leader who has been paid by his church to prepare and deliver a sermon, to then take that performance and sell it back to his own church members for a healthy profit? I’m not talking here about paying for reproduction costs or the money going into church funds. I’m talking about DVDs being sold at the same cost as a movie DVD and the profit going into the leader’s own pocket.
And like the books most of these DVD’s are awful, not worth the money paid. Minimal content with gallons of fluff. Some are so bad that my friends and I have been in hysterics, like the preacher whose proofs for his latest invented doctrine is to slap the bible he’s carrying and say, “It’s bible, it’s bible!”.
But, these DVDs are hyped and hyped, and the captive audience buy stacks of them. In the worst money hungry churches you’re expected to buy them, and it is noticed if you don’t.
Your Counter Strategy: The same as for a hyped book. Is it good? Do you still want the DVD after the hype has dissipated? Then buy it, otherwise save your money.
The hype for these conferences start months before hand. Other church members look at you strangely if you are thinking about not going. What, you can’t afford the huge entry fee? What’s wrong with you, don’t you love God? Don’t you want to be blessed? Don’t you want to be successful and wealthy? Don’t you want to be part of us? Because you won’t be, unless you go to THE CONFERENCE!
Each speaker is completely amazing. The next best thing to the second coming.
He’s built a church up from nothing to one with thousands of people. She’s the most Godly woman in the universe who is the best wife ever with the best kids and the best lifestyle, and she’s the pastor’s wife too. He’s from overseas. She’s a corporate CEO. Wow. It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be triple awesome! It’s going to be mega massive triply awesomely awesome!
The spiritual reward for going is implied to be life changing. The conference fee is nothing, compared to the fire-fighting-bomber worth of blessings and wealth God will dump on your head from upon high.
And Jesus had conferences too, don’t forget, like the Sermon on the Mount, where He charged, oh, he didn’t charge anything for that spiritual teaching. In fact it was free wasn’t it? Hmmm. Well, often the first-movers can’t figure out how to monetize their success, we can’t blame Jesus for that, can we? Gosh, if only He had some books to sell at the back…
Understand, I’m not against conferences. I’m against overly expensive hyped conferences that deliver hardly any lasting value to their attendees; Conferences that are linked to your standing in your church, and supposedly what God thinks of your commitment to Him.
And why are they so expensive? Where does all that money go? Well, in the next section you’re going to find out…
Your Counter Strategy: Hire a hotel room, and sit there reading your Bible with a few Christian friends – trust me, spiritually you’ll get more out of it and it’ll cost less. Realize that you don’t need the sugar high of a conference to get closer to God. De-program yourself from the idea that conferences are like a spiritual hot-point you just have to be at. See the hype for what it is. Be led by the Spirit to conferences, not pulled by the fear of losing your church friends and God’s blessing.
If you have a big market (congregation) and are willing to let others come and sell there, then your fellow pastors will invite you to come and sell into their markets (congregations) too. The bigger your own market, the larger the markets that will open their doors to you – as long as you are willing to reciprocate. Quid pro quo.
There is a Christian speaking circuit, just like there is a motivational speaking circuit. The circuit has no formal structure like say a football league, but rather is like an exclusive network or an old boys club.
Young speaking-cubs sweat blood to be allowed into the circuit. These wannabes practice hard and desperately seek in-circuit patrons because the financial rewards are significant. Revenue flows in four ways: from sales of products, from special “love offerings” taken for the speaker, from various perks, and from the formal payments (honorariums) for speaking.
Not all visiting church speakers are on the circuit, the difference is in the amount of money their visit extracts. There is nothing wrong with a speaker’s flights and accommodation being paid for, along with the speaker receiving a fair payment for his time. But if the amounts are excessive and the perks extravagant, then that is an unacceptable waste of the Lord’s money.
Some speaker’s egos are so ripe that they demand business or first class flights, expensive chauffeured cars, five star hotel accommodation, gourmet dining, and the right to bring a small entourage along with them (at the church’s expense). Their fees can be enough to buy a family car, and then they have the audacity to expect a special “love offering” to be made for them. The sales of their books and DVD’s are carefully planned, and the hosting pastors are expected to hype their products.
Of course the hosting pastor will then get the same treatment later at the visiting speaker’s church, including his own big fat love offering. If the visiting speaker does not have a church, then the hosting pastor will expect a cut from the speaker’s product sales.
These Sunday service speaking engagements are the bread and butter, to the glamour and super-liquidity of the hyped conferences. Only the true speaking-circuit superstars get to keynote at these hype-fests. The speakers at these conferences are like sharks in a feeding frenzy, seeking to boost their profit margins with the over inflated prices of their products. Their speaking fees and perks are why these conferences cost so much, and can sometimes even run at a, ahem, cough, “loss”.
It is unbelievable what some of these speakers expect from the Body of Christ. I would not like to be in their shoes when they finally meet our Lord, or for that matter anywhere within the blast radius.
Your Counter Strategy: Don’t go to these conferences. Demand transparent accounting to the whole church of all costs of visiting speakers, and for that matter transparency about any income your pastor is earning while speaking at other churches and conferences. No pastor earning reasonable fees from away engagements would have a problem with this, assuming of course he is on leave when he speaks and not double dipping.
Another way bad pastors extract money from their captive market is to set up a business, and then get their congregation to patronize their business.
Businesses like: bookshops, counseling, gyms, production firms, computer consulting, cinemas, business coaching services, supermarkets, building firms, music festivals, music studios, real-estate firms, and many more. The bookshop is the most common, often located inside the church itself.
Members in the church who show loyalty to their pastor’s businesses are rewarded, often with increased standing in the church. Members who refuse to use the pastor’s businesses are frowned upon.
Your Counter Strategy: Don’t frequent these types of businesses. Ask questions about who owns them, and where their customers are from, if eighty percent or more of the customers come from the pastor’s church then that indicates where its marketing is targeted.
Money focused churches tend to be run on cultic patterns. One of these cultic patterns is the division of the church into exclusive rings: the all-powerful pastor perched at the center, the inner-ring of sycophants around him consisting of the pastor’s lieutenants and the church’s privileged class (the rich, the famous and the very pretty), and the outer-ring of the ordinary folk who would love to be in the inner-ring, but are not.
The power of those in the inner-ring is determined by the amount of favor the pastor bestows upon them.
To get more favor the inner-ring will employ many favor-currying measures, one of which is a scam called “Honoring the Pastor”. It works this way, the inner-ring will figure out what the pastor would like, say for his birthday. Then the inner-ringers will squeeze the outer-ringers for the money to buy this item.
Using this method pastors have been “given”: diamond rings for their wives, cash gifts, jet skis, luxury cruises, motorbikes, cars, holidays, boats, and a myriad of other expensive luxury items.
Are the pastors complicit in this game? Of course they are. They couldn’t demand the gift openly themselves, but seek plausible deniability by having their inner-ring lieutenants do the work. Of course they could refuse the gift when it is presented, and make it clear that they don’t want the Lord’s money spent on such things again, but they never do. These pastors exchange their favor, for cash from their congregation.
Your Counter Strategy: Unless it’s something reasonable like a bunch of flowers for the pastor’s wife, don’t give to this sort of fund raising.
Another way the pastor uses his inner-ring to extract cash, is via high pressure offering talks in the church services.
One of the church’s inner-ring will take the Sunday offering, which in these money focused churches can turn into a mini-sermon. These inner-ring members are competing against each other’s past high scores. At stake is their standing with the pastor and hence their standing in the church. If they rake in the cash then their position is secure, but if they score low then no matter what excuses they have they know the pastor will blame them.
In the extreme money focused churches it is made known who gave the most and who gave the least, and in these churches the giving will not be in secret but people will be expected to come up the front so that everyone can see how much they give. Or people will be watched to see if they put anything in the offering container as it is passed down the aisles.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
Your Counter Strategy: If you feel you are being compelled to give then don’t give a penny, no matter how much pressure is applied.
Like the cathedral building wars in the middle ages where cities and countries vied against each other to build the most impressive cathedral. The pastors of these money focused churches fight to own the most impressive church to top their rival pastors – their egos demand that they are the king of the heap.
The most impressive churches require the most magnificent buildings, the most professional entertainment in their services, the best church programs, and the best conferences, the best websites, the best radio and TV programs, and the most members. All this costs a lot of money.
And just like in the days of old these self anointed church kings seek to tax their subjects to fund their private war.
Understand that these cultic churches ultimately exist to serve their pastor’s insecure egos, and their congregation suffer under their madness. This type of church culture breeds a harsh environment where people are discarded as soon as they are no longer useful. This is a dysfunctional ethos entirely alien to that of Jesus’s teachings.
Your Counter Strategy: Don’t help fund these monuments to the pastor’s pride and prestige, these pet projects, these grandiose visions. Realize that these churches are not focused on Jesus, but are centered around the narcissistic pastor and what he desires most. Don’t be part of this game. Surely we are accountable to God to how we spend our money. Surely then it is our duty as Christians to give that money to true Godly works that bear real fruit for the Kingdom.
Is it ethical for the pastor (or his company or trust) to own property that the church is paying for? Of course not.
Another variation on this scam is the church trust being controlled by the pastor and his family, so they control both the church’s cash and property.
Some of these pastors are very clever in how they hide the money trail. But ultimately if church money is paying for an asset the pastor owns, except via his wages of course, then it is almost certainly wrong. Imagine the furor if a politician was caught siphoning off government money into property or assets owned by himself.
Your Counter Strategy: Check who owns your church’s property. If it is a trust or company then find out who owns and controls that entity. Then look at what your pastor owns directly or indirectly, and who is paying for those assets. Stop giving to that church until any unethical dealings like these are stopped and the money repaid.
The Bible teaches that the spiritual worker deserves to be paid:
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” – 1 Timothy 5:17-18
I believe it is reasonable to assume that Paul the Apostle meant only fair wages, not excessive wages, and that Paul would have agreed with what Peter the Apostle wrote:
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. – 1 Peter 5:1-3
Obviously one of the ways greedy pastors can extract money from God’s people is via excessive wages. The amount of which they will often decide themselves, or have conferred on them by their sycophants (via the church board, or the church wages review committee, for example).
No honest pastor would have a problem with his congregation knowing how much their church pays him, or at least what range his wage fell in, like say “between $50,000 and $60,000”. This is normal. Openness regarding the pastor’s stipend has been a practice of the Christian church for hundreds of years, and continues today. Only those pastors who have an excessive wage would be reluctant to let the amount become public knowledge.
If your pastor refuses to be open about his wage then be very suspicious. It is likely he knows that the amount would be considered excessive. If it is excessive, then watch him dodge the issue like a sweaty politician.
Be even more suspicious whenever you hear a pastor’s wage being justified by comparing him to a CEO. If you hear this CEO nonsense then you can instantly know two things: first, the pastor’s wage is massive; second, you are being scammed. A pastor is not a CEO no matter how big his church empire is; a CEO runs a for monetary-profit organization, a pastors serves the people of God – they are not the same thing.
By the way, if the pastor claims to be a CEO, then you must be a shareholder. Shareholders have full rights to the accounts, including how much their “CEO” is earning.
Your Counter Strategy: Find out how much your pastor is paid. If he will not reveal the information then stop giving to that church until it is revealed. Especially stop if you hear any of this “CEO” rubbish.
Expensive leased cars, holidays, clothing allowances, spending money, restaurant meals, hotels, flights, and expense accounts, are some of the perks demanded by these luxury smitten pastors.
Some say that if they are preaching the “prosperity gospel”, then they have to appear prosperous to “walk their talk”. But of course that is a deception. They are using God’s money to misrepresent how wealthy they are, to help prove their false teaching works. Despicable.
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. – 2 Corinthians 4:2
What is worse, many of these churches make their members complicit in this deception. Members are instructed to wear expensive clothes and groom themselves in the manner expected of the rich. They are encouraged to buy (or lease) the most impressive car they can afford. Members are required to appear happy and successful. The excuse given is that the appearance of success breeds success, but this is nonsense, more likely it breeds significant debt. The real reason the leaders want their church members to appear successful is to trick others into thinking that the prosperity dream that they preach really works.
Your Counter Strategy: Stop giving money in protest, until the excessive perks are removed. Ignore any pressure to live beyond your means.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:3-10
A church isn’t a family business you know; it is a family, but it’s not a business.
Are the pastor’s relatives high up in the church? Are they the ones with the most powerful positions? Then that is nepotism. A good church will choose the very best people for the job, while a bad church will reward those closest to the pastor with the lucrative positions of power.
If you see nepotism, then that is a sign that something is very wrong.
Your Counter Strategy: Yup, you guessed it – stop giving to that church until the pastor’s little family fiefdom is disassembled.
This is the big daddy. This is their sacred cow. This is the beating heart of their evil empire. The crown jewel. The Death Star. The one ring to bill them all. The pot of gold. Their matrix (into which they want to plug you). Their Wizard of Oz. Their magic spell. Their special power. Their secret recipe with the eleven herbs and spices. Their Golden Goose. The very air upon which they breathe!
Question this doctrine and watch these money hungry pastors bare their fangs. This is a teaching that they will bear no compromise on. Tithing, or at least their own version of tithing, is their one true love.
Here are some bullet points about tithing that these money hungry pastors don’t want you to know:
It may come as a surprise to learn that their tithing doctrine is a combination of twisted scriptures and wishful thinking, as opposed to solid Biblical exegesis reflecting a central thrust of New Testament teaching. Here is their tithing doctrine stated in a nutshell:
“Christians must give ten percent of their gross income only to their church organization. If they do, then God will bless them for any offerings they make to the church organization beyond this ten percent. But if they do not give ten percent gross, then they are stealing from God and God will curse them.”
There are variations of this teaching, and sometimes it is called a “principle”, but the above definition contains the core essence of this doctrine.
It is vital to grasp that tithing is not for Christians. Tithing was part of the old law (of Moses) which was fulfilled (completed) by Jesus. You know that Christians are not under the law of Moses don’t you?
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. – Romans 7:6
know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. – Galatians 2:16
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” – Galatians 3:10
New wine should not be put into old wine skins, nor should new unshrunk cloth be used to patch an old garment; if you think you need to obey the law of tithing then you need to obey the whole law (or you will be cursed, Galatians 3:10).
What is more, this tithing doctrine they teach isn’t found in either the New or Old Testament. Tithing in the old testament does not match what these pastors preach – this unique tithe teaching is of their own invention.
This is such an important subject that Cultwatch has a special website TithingDebate.com dedicated to setting Christians free from this fake doctrine. There are free books to download and articles to read. Make sure you read our article “Should you give? New Testament Giving Supported!”, because Cultwatch is not anti-giving. If you think tithing is for Christians today, then you need to read TithingDebate.com
Tip: If you are struggling to feed your family or buy them clothes, then understand that you do not need to give to the church. You can still do so if you choose, but you should not feel under compulsion since your family is more important. Also understand that if you are poor then that does not mean God is cursing you, or that you have done something wrong; this is an erroneous teaching these greedy men promote to guilt you into giving. Remember, your duty is to your family first. If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8
Tip: Churches that push this erroneous tithing doctrine will often try to enforce tithing via written agreements (called covenants), and also by monitoring what people give (so they can compel them to give more if they are not meeting the ten percent target). First, grasp that these “covenants” are illegitimate and not worth the paper they are printed on, because they contain false doctrine (like tithing) and set up the pastors as a false authority over you. God would not be party to a covenant that contains falsehoods, therefore God was not party to the covenant you were pressured to sign, therefore you are free from this burden. It is as if you never signed it. Second, recording what you give and using that information to pressure you to give more is wrong, the Bible implies that our giving is best done in secret so that only we and God know what we gave. Don’t go to a church where they monitor what you give. (note: some churches voluntarily let you record what you have given via a numbered envelope system for tax purposes. Done correctly, no one in the church will know what you gave. There is nothing wrong with this kind of recording.)
Your Counter Strategy: Stop giving to that church until they change their ways. That doesn’t mean to stop giving to Godly works, we would encourage you to give as the Holy Spirit prompts you and as you decide. But it is valid to protest false doctrine by refusing to fund the system that promotes that false doctrine.
These pastors are not only money hungry, but often power hungry too. They want to be both pastor and master. They commit the sin of the Pharisees and appoint themselves as middle men between God and you. They seek to replace the Holy Spirit in your life. They “lord it over” their flocks. Read Cultwatch’s articles on the “Super Apostles” here if you want to find out more.
Using the connection they claim to have with God they threaten you with the stick of spiritual curses if you disobey them, and dangle the carrot of spiritual blessings if you comply. They seek to dominate your life; often implying that they have say in where you work, where you fellowship, who you marry, and of course, when, where, and how much you should give.
This is a false spiritual authority not supported by Scripture. In fact I believe it to be quite devilish (the desire to control and dominate others).
In these pastor’s prosperity teaching, obeying the pastor and giving money are the two pillars necessary for a successful Christian life. If you sit back and think about it, you will quickly see what a con it is.
These men want to be at the head of everything, they want to dominate you, they want to be seen as the big man, and some even secretly desire adoration (almost worship). This is the opposite of true Christian leadership:
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. – Luke 22:24-27
I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return toCorinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm. – 2 Corinthians 1:23-24
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. – Mark 10:42-44
Threatening people with curses if they do not obey or donate is spiritual extortion. It is contrary to the nature of grace and the person of Jesus.
Your Counter Strategy: Don’t be afraid of these men. Ignore their bluster. Grow a backbone and stand up to them. And if you give, then give to honor God and not out of fear of punishment or greed for financial gain. Memorize this verse: Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
I believe many church goers would be shocked if they could comprehend the real attitude their pastor has towards them. From my experience with both the cults and these money focused churches, it is my impression that instead of being looked upon with love, these pastors see their congregation as farm animals to be milked.
It is my prayer that this article will set you free from this kind of spiritual bondage. I hope now you will be able to spot this counterfeit Christian life and be able to transition into a closer walk with Jesus; a walk built on love, trust and grace, not fear.
To summarize what we have learnt about the methods money hungry pastors use to feed off their flock: We discovered the multilevel marketing pattern that these often ex-salesmen (not theologians) model their churches. We examined some of the products they sell into their captive market like books and DVDs. We unhyped the hyped conferences, and exposed the christian speaking circuit. Next we talked about how spiritually dishonest pastors set up their own businesses that their followers are expected to patronize. After that came the scam of “honoring the pastor” with gifts of luxury items. We delved into the high pressure offering mini-sermons that are designed to guilt people into giving. We examined how most of the money gained is used to build the pastor’s modern day cathedrals, projects that their fragile egos demand. We exposed the scam of siphoning the church’s cash into properties and assets owned by the pastor. We covered the obvious points of excessive wages and extravagant perks, and that was followed by the not so obvious problem of nepotism. Their big daddy came second to last – their fabricated tithing doctrine was exposed for what it is, a fraud. Finally we discussed the spiritual carrot and stick of the false authority that the pastors claim.
There are other methods these guys use to extract money from churches. Revisit this article regularly to discover these methods in future updates.
Realize that a number of churches follow the patterns that this article exposes. However there are many good churches who do not practice these methods. If you have been hurt by these practices then feel free to give up on these twisted money-focused environments, but please do not give up on Jesus.
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. – 2 Corinthians 2:17. Therefore, can we conclude that men who peddle the word of God for profit are not sent from God?
Feel free to think this one through for yourself.
Please link to this article, and email the link to your friends and family. Help us get the word out there.
Well, these look like the happiest half dozen eggs you’ve ever seen – or not. They were keynote speakers at last weekend’s Australian Egg Council summit, where all the local and international ‘eggs’ were placed in the one basket – and what a big mistake that was. 🙂
A number of well known ‘egg inspectors’ visited the egg factory on the weekend, and had a very close look at several of the ‘eggs’ up on the wall, only to see them crash onto the floor, one by one, as they failed the Biblical tests of being bona fide hen’s eggs.
One of the eggs turned out to be an Ostrich egg, because he’d buried his head in the sand, and couldn’t see the writing on the wall below him, despite being warned that the wall itself was rather unstable.
Another egg turned out to be from a goose. She squarked and fluttered and carried on, causing other eggs to fall from the wall too. Splat, splat, splat, and down several more went.
Of course, the local blond haired egg avoided such a bad ending by letting all the other eggs fall, while she hid behind the cover of an egg box lid, but there was one last ‘egg’ left standing, until the senior “egg inspector” had his say:
“If it walks like a duck (egg) and squarks like a duck (egg) then maybe it’s a duck (egg)…”
So this particular ‘egg’ is now very busily shutting down her Facebook page, and ‘ducking’ for cover, before she gets “egg” all over her Face(book)… and if you have a hard time believing me, then just follow the link and see the “egg inspector’s” report:
Part 2 – HOW DID THE APC COME INTO BEING?
That’s a very interesting question, and the following post could be an answer…
“Hi folks – this piece comes straight off the pages of New Day Ministries – an old website set up by ‘pastor Kaitlin’ some years ago. And the ‘word of the Lord’ to her back in 2010? It came through none less than Cindy Jacobs:
“Cindy Jacobs at Rim of Fire Conference Brisbane Austrlaia, September 2010:
“You have a double portion. Lord I give Katherine my mantle.
The stadiums will open to you says the Lord, and I will give you not only signs but the wonders, and you will prophesy to Presidents and Kings and Rulers…. for I have put my word in your mouth and you will be a prophet to the nations says the Lord. Ask of Me the nations…don’t think how you will do it.
And the Lord says I will send you to Iceland and fire will come out of that icy place. I will send you to the places of the north; I will open the door to the Laplanders. I will open the door says the Lord to the places others don’t go, saying even those…the Lord says fire out of ice. There will be fire out of St Petersburg, there will fire in the places of the north says the Lord.
And the Lord says I cause you to write. I am giving you the anointing to write the vision and make it plain. And the Lord says you will multiply and multiply and multiply as a Deborah of God.”
As you can see, pastor Kate has been labouring under an illusion (a big one,) for all these years, falsely believing that she can receive a “mantle” just like when Elijah gave his mantle (coat) to Elisha, when he ascended to heaven in the fiery chariot.*
This was a once in a lifetime event for both prophets, and has never been repeated in human history (unless I missed something, of course,) but these NAR wags feel that they can go around swapping ‘mantles’ like people swap batons in the tag team race!
That event (Cindy Jacob’s ‘prophecy’) may well have been the impetus for the formation of the ‘Australian Prophetic Council’. So one false prophecy, spoken over someone who desires a man made appointment towards being a recognised ‘apostle’ was maybe just enough to ensure that a whole gaggle of false apostles and prophets now meet regularly as in the APC ‘summit’ and other nefarous and highly doubltful associations each and every year.
Well done Cindy – such mayhem and disorder could only spring forth from your mouth, in the name of the Lord…
What really happened when two bona fide prophets of God interacted:
*”And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing:nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. 11And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 13He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan” 2 Kings 2:9 – 13
PS: After Googling around the Internet for 10 minutes or so, I couldn’t find ONE reference for pastor Kate having travelled to Iceland, Lapland or St Petersburg either – not one! But then again, maybe Cindy’s ‘prophecy’ has no “use by” date on it…? Or perhaps those dates for that ministry tour have been removed…
Latest news in: Amanda Wells initial response to her being exposed on the http://www.weedingoutwells.com blog site:
PART 3 – WHO FOUNDED THE APC???
Tom and Katherine Ruonala – that’s who! And in their own words:
“Who Are We?
From time to time prophetic words have spread through the Australian church that produce reactions of fear and panic in the hearts of many believers. It is our opinion that by creating a platform by which the word of the Lord can be weighed and amplified (2 Cor 13:1, 1 Cor 14:29, 1 Cor 13:9) by respected apostolic and prophetic leaders, words of hope and strategic vision can be circulated within the wider Christian Community. Australia can then start to receive the “prophet’s reward” that comes from recognising Australian prophets with confidence.
By interacting with national prayer groups and initiatives, it is the hope of the APC that respected prophetic words will be declared, proclaimed and circulated, producing hope and vision for the nation.
The APC is made up of prophetic voices that already have some level of national or international recognition and influence as well as of apostles, national prayer leaders and emerging prophetic voices. While we acknowledge that there are no doubt other significant prophets in the nation, the APC has begun with those with whom we are relationally connected. By fostering these important relational connections across denominations, we hope to encourage and support the recognition of Australian Prophetic Voices.
Katherine and Tom Ruonala – Council Coordinators” (emphasis mine)
To the people of City Harvest Church, my heart goes out to you, that you find yourselves in this awkward position. There must be many of you suffering from doubts and fears about the future. I can say in all honesty, that it is the Lord who holds your future in his hands, if you obey the leading of the Holy Spirit and His word in relation to this matter.
The case of Kong Hee has finally been resolved, and it appears that any appeal to a higher court may not succeed for those found guilty of financial fraud. To maintain a view that Kong Hee will ‘get off’ or receive a light sentence, is unlikely, according to your own legal experts, both saved, and unsaved. It could be tantamount to a false hope.
I’m not prone to giving advice to people I’ve never met, but in this case, I believe it is safe for me to say, as loudly as I can:
“PEOPLE, IT IS TIME TO MOVE ON…”
Whether you choose to stay and try and amend the situation with those who have remained, or choose to leave and join another church or even form one amongst those who have left, that is up to you. The “fallout” of this court ruling may have a much larger impact on the church in general in Singapore and the Gospel of Jesus Christ than might have been expected. I’m not saying that the government will persecute Churches because of what happened at CHC, but they will certainly be paying closer attention in relation to how churches handle money, given in good faith.
To those of you who have already left, I pray that you have found a safe and decent church to grow in and get on with your Christian walk with God. That is the most important thing for all of you to do, regardless of whether you have stayed or left. Satan would want to use this whole episode as a distraction which will cause discention over time, and hinder the cause of Jesus Christ – don’t let him do that. Rest assured that there are many people world wide who are thinking of you and praying for you.
Paul says in Romans 13:1 – 4:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
God allows the various judicial and governing powers in each situation where believers live, work and have their being. As it says in verse 3, “rulers are not a ‘terror’ to good works” and that they will give praise to those who perform good works in the community.
This begs the question – “What should a Christian do in such circumstances?”
I believe that the answer lies in the next few verses of this chapter:
“5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
Respect for the court process and any further dealings in this matter is a good place to begin. God’s people have lived under secular governments for thousands of years, including many Old Testament saint too, so it is not unusual for many believers to find themselves in this situation down through history and even to the present.
So, people of God, accept that this is the way of things, and reconcile yourselves to God as to how He would lead you, and be encouraged that God is with you, as you exercise your faith in him for the future. I want to leave you with two short passages from Hebrews.
The first one is 6:9 – 12:
“9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
And the second one is 10:19 – 25:
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
I hope and pray that these few words of mine will be an encouragement to you, and that God will confirm these words by the witness of His word and His Holy Spirit.
God richly bless you all,
Apollo, your brother from Australia…
PS: If you want to talk privately, then use the ‘Contact’ form at the top of each page. Your comments wont be posted unless you want them to be. Contact details will also be kept in confidence.
UPDATE: Kong Hee sentenced to eight years in jail for “abuse of trust” and financial fraud…
See http://www.churchwatchcentral.com for details
Sometimes, I’m really tempted to give these goats a complete miss. I don’t need their phony ‘words’ or their false (never-come-true) prophecies, but then I remember that there are literally millions of poor souls who are completely duped by these people.
So here’s another round of rubbish from ‘prophet’ Lana Vawser – and no, I’m not giving her any ‘free’ air time. She’s done enough harm to frail and vulnerable people with her foolish claims re being a prophet, so I’m exposing her folly, so that others may learn what comes from the mouth of such a foolish one, who has no mandate to speak on behalf of God or the church:
“This morning I had a vision where I saw sailing boats and they were in the midst of the storm. They were being blown around by the wind and the waves. There was such turbulence around these ships, and at times they felt like they were going to get ‘tipped’ over and just when they hit “steady seas”, another wind and wave rose up and began to cause more turbulence.
In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul warned Timothy that in the last days, certain characteristics of human nature would emerge in mammoth proportions. I believe we are at that tipping point, and especially within the confines of the church per se.
“1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.” 1 Timothy 3:1 – 9
Jannes and Jambres were Pharoah’s two court magicians, who sought to oppose Moses and Aaron when they presented their demands to let the people of Israel go. In comparison we have today a multitude of “court magicians” masquerading as Christian ministers, who claim to be in good with the Lord, but in reality, oppose Him at every turn.
Not satisfied with a few magic ‘tricks’ (fake healing revivals and excessive laughing/disorderly conduct) to keep the crowd entertained and the money rolling in, these people go out of their way to enslave the people of God to their pernicious ways (through tithing and other money scams – by allowing loose morals and promoting false teaching.)
Those who escape their clutches and expose the false religious system of our day (churchianity) are then labeled as ‘malcontents’ and ‘trouble makers’. Well, the only people I ever cause trouble for, are the Devil and his henchmen – Jannes and Jambres type characters, who knowingly and willingly have sold out the Kingdom of God for a mess of pottage. Like Esau, they have come in hungry, and have lusted after their favourite “food” – the false prosperity ‘gospel’, which is no Gospel at all, but promises material success at the expense of godliness, through tithing and lavish “building fund programs”.
I’ve heard it said that:
“If you don’t give $1,000 to the church, your children will be cursed”!!!
But what did Jesus say? This:
“But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16
See the difference here folks? Jesus never taught a doctrine of children being cursed because there was no money placed in the tithe bucket by their parents – never, never, never! But ‘pastors’ Jannes and Jambres teach that false doctrine every Sunday morning, somewhere in the world…
Yes, they surely are “magicians” – conjuring up ridiculous ideas and memes, just so they can hold the crowd in fear and adoration. You can see why Pharoah (a type of Satan in the OT) employed them, can’t you? You can also see why post modern (= backslidden) ‘churches’ have them out the front as well. They use their ‘magic’ in creating images, atmosphere, opportunity for some and giving the rest of the crowd a false comfort. It’s almost like the “incense and nonsense” or the “bells and smells” of the so called high church scene, as those things (stained glass windows, etcetera) are designed to allay the fears and insecurities of those who have doubts about their own salvation.
Paul goes on to say further down:
“10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them…”
Paul evidences the true nature of a man called by God – he is humble, yet not weak, he suffers trials, but is not defeated by them and he is also a very discerning individual, to the point where he can identify and call out false ministries for what they are.
No amount of ‘magic’ by ‘im-pastors’ Jannes and Jambres will fool a true man of God, and if he is really worth his salt, he will expose them at every opportunity…
Well folks, it’s been more than a month since I hung up my typewriter keyboard (temporarily) and took some time out for some medical care and a rest. So that’s behind me now, and I look forward to writing some more interesting ‘Goat’s Pen’ stuff this year.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me, is the fact that, no matter how hard or how long you attempt to warn people about deceivers and deception in the church, the vast majority just seem to ignore you, and go on their merry way. They will end up being “sheep soup” one day, but many prefer ignorance than truth and therefore have no idea about the wolves in their midst.
Jesus Christ often spoke in parables, so that the unbelieving wouldn’t understand His true teachings, and could not therefore misconstrue their true meaning, and use them as a smokescreen to hide behind. Of course, we can’t just ‘talk in parables’ fulltime, as eventually that could well lead to confusion and God is not the author of confusion, but of truth, grace, peace etcetera.
But there is something to be said about “not casting your pearls before swine” – not showing all that God has revealed to you, to those who do not appreciate it, so that may well be the better course of wisdom for us in 2016. We have this treasure in earthen vessels (the ‘treasure’ being the Gospel and Bible truth, hidden in our hearts, but manifest at ceretain times), so that God can be glorified despite His imperfect servants.
The main focus of any online ministry must be twofold – the preaching of the Gospel of salvation, and the edifying/encouragement of the church and so it is with those two goals in mind, that I once more begin to type away, seeking the Lord for encouraging words for the brethren, whilst also warning those who are going down that ‘broad way’ to destruction – whether they hear and obey the warning or not… Matthew 7:13 to the end…
(Posted 2 hours ago – 09:30 am Friday 20-11-2015)
Another ‘prophet’ from the APC stable…
Vine, Wine and a Matter of Time – Isi DeGersigny – Sydney, Australia.
This is a word I feel stirring for us all. The impression with which I received this in a vision, was both of effortless unification of Christ and the individual and Christ and His body. Whenever there is trauma on the earth, the body of Christ feels the shockwaves – and we are meant to – but more so – we are created to feel the currents of His constant assurance. It is what I love best about God: His consistency – that we are never apart from Him and neither can anything or anyone separate us from Him. Beloved – nothing is as constant as the blood that flows in our veins, the air that we breathe or the words that come from His mouth.
In a vision I saw the entire body going through an amazing transformation: it looked as though our veins were becoming vines that were becoming a network throughout the body, with the flow of His life pulsating steadily and constantly. The vine was winding its way all around and our whole being was being renewed – even while we were asleep. In John 15:5 “I am the Vine and you are the branches” – I saw Him as our entire source and we were receiving His benefits. It looked like: joy – on – tap, instant anaesthetic and courage-on-the-grape-vine. We were being as unified as this ‘sap’ flowed through branches. It was also a ‘rewiring’ of internal systems, as we experienced the rejuvenation of soul that so many have been crying out for. Even as our blood flows through our veins, so His vintage flows through all our systems, never stopping – even while we are sleeping. He will refresh us even as He is refreshed by us.
We were entering an era of the greatest display of extreme peace, joy and rest. I saw that by loving His Words, we were waking up with a word that sustained us through weariness and that same word was sufficient to sustain the one or the multitude.This snapshot cycle of resting, waking and words on tongues, was as smooth as drinking, as effortless as resting and as unified as water. Life will flow more easily as we grow in the awareness of the One are living IN – this awareness was our meditation and our meditation became our medication. As the thoughts grow heavy with intoxicating oneness, just as bunches of grapes on the end of branches weigh heavily – our internal worlds will expand so that our veins bulge with new capacity. God’s body on earth will become the vibrant display of His constant passion. This is such a picture of hope, vitality and longevity. This is the vision of the body of Christ, living within the reality of Life Himself – the Loving Vine.
He has kept the best wine till NOW, just like at the wedding of Cana. We are eternally grafted into the source of all pure joy, that will mature with time as it matures with wine – and the time is NOW. His Vine and our veins are entwined, bringing oxygen to the whole body so that the fruit of our lives will be sweet, heavy and enduring. We are in the best time of our lives and it is just a matter of time before the wine flows more freely throughout the whole body. His Vine-love is like the drawstring of Hope, gathering us all into His heart and allowing us to rest on His shoulder. This is the di-vine romance – the wedding wine is within us and we need not wait for the harvesting of grapes, for the time is NOW. Drink lovers heart emoticon
Our beloved has wine eyes for us, drenched in the longing He has always had for us. You are a delightful vineyard for Him – drink and enjoy the free flowing wine – for there has never been a day like this before.
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22nd November, 2015