Wednesday, 14 June 2017

MISSION TO WALES, JULY, 2017 - NEW WINE CYMRU AND 'THE TURNING TEAM' FROM READING - GOOD NEWS, OR BAD NEWS?


"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
(1 John 4:1)



INTRODUCTION

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE PURITY OF THE WATER, FOLLOW THE STREAM BACK TO ITS SOURCE! The Lord impressed this vital truth upon me quite some time ago now, and it's this principle that I'm going to apply here in making my appraisal of New Wine Cymru's forthcoming 'Mission to Wales,' to be conducted in conjunction with 'The Turning Team' from Reading. In doing so I'm going to use primary source material, directly referencing the principal players, both those on centre stage and those positioned behind the curtains whose crucial role cannot be overstated.

In compiling this account, my first of three great concerns is that a lot of well-intentioned Christians are going to get caught in what is a seductively baited trap, snared through failing to distinguish between the genuine and the counterfeit. We need to know, and know in advance, the why's and the wherefore's of it all. We need to know exactly where this is coming from, and equally importantly we need to ascertain its ultimate destination.
IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE REALIZE WHAT THE END-GAME IS!

Trying the spirits. Are they truly of God? Or are they great pretenders? The Lord's primary warning in Matthew 24 about the Last Days prior to His return was that we be not deceived. He does not want His precious flock to have the wool pulled over its eyes; He wants His sheep to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves; He wants us to exercise all possible caution, that we don't stumble and fall in the ever increasing darkness as the end of the age so rapidly approaches. With this firmly in mind, let us firstly look as we must at the events of May-June 2016, frequently referred to as "The Reading Outpouring" but labelled and promoted by its two main protagonists as 'The Turning.'



'THE TURNING'

May-June, 2016. 'The Gate' church in Reading, Berkshire, pastored by Yinka Oyekan who also heads up the 'Barnabas Fellowship Of Churches' (of which 'The Gate' is naturally a part), conducts a street outreach programme. The results are allegedly so incredibly successful that the campaign is quickly nationally hyped as "The Reading Outpouring."

A year on, and 'The Turning' as this much trumpeted "outpouring" was to become officially titled, is steadily making notable inroads into churches and church movements across the UK. Here in Wales, New Wine Cymru under the leadership of Julian Richards (who is also on the Board of the Evangelical Alliance, as well as heading up Cornerstone Church in Swansea) has enthusiastically partnered with 'The Turning Team' under Yinka Oyekan. 'Mission to Wales,' as it is billed, will be using the Reading model for a large-scale street evangelism campaign to be rolled out right across Wales from Thursday 6 July through to Saturday 15 July. A big evangelistic effort has to be good news, right? Let's just remember, as the old saying goes, that all that glitters is not gold. It might be, well... just glitter! So let's proceed to trace the stream back to its source, and then we can determine what might be in the water... and whether it's safe to drink it or we should leave it well alone!




THE GATE'S 'COMPANY OF PROPHETS' AND THE BILL JOHNSON CONNECTION

In investigating the back-story to events in Reading, the first thing we need to take note of is that for a whole year previous to the mission itself, 'The Gate' had already been sending out a team of young "prophets" aged only 11-18 once a month to "prophesy" over the unsaved. This they had reportedly been trained to do in the 'Company of Prophets' run by 'The Gate,' and this is our first real red flag. Prophets cannot learn how to prophesy! Apart from the fact that all gifts of the Spirit are given individually, and not everyone gets given the same gift(s) - be it prophecy or any of the others - prophecy is by its nature a spontaneous utterance of the Spirit; it is not some methodology which any amount of tutoring can effect. It is enabled directly by God, not by any man. He gives, or He does not give, according to His sovereign will. Any contradiction or contravention of such sovereignty will inevitably result in false prophecies which spring only from the flesh. It is today as it was in Jeremiah's day, when he recorded:


"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, 
and not out of the mouth of the LORD."
(Jeremiah 23:16)

A 'Company of Prophets' supposedly training people how to prophesy is, of course, hyper-Charismatic to the core. Yinka Oyekan's predilection for such things becomes even more apparent when we look at the 'Barnabas Fellowship Of Churches,' which as we've already noted also has Yinka Oyekan at the helm. The BFOC runs a 'School of Supernatural Ministry!' Sound at all familiar? Where do you suppose this concept may have come from? Any connection perhaps between Yinka Oyekan and Bill Johnson, Lead Pastor of 'Bethel' in Redding, California, with its infamous 'Bethel School of the Supernatural?' There sure is!

For a number of years now, Oyekan has been mentored by Bill Johnson, recording his gratitude to him and his wife Beni "for investing in me the last few years, it kept me going through very difficult times and kept me spiritually alive. Thanks Bill and Benny (sic) Johnson." (Source: http://theturning.eu/index.php/learning-review/). The warning I gave about the Johnsons and their "church" in a recent article certainly bears repeating here:

This has to be one of the unsafest "Christian" couples on the planet, their "Christianity" having all the authenticity of a paste diamond, with Bethel having far more in common with sorcery and New Age mystical spirituality than with Biblical Christianity. From gold dust to glory clouds, from falling feathers to fire tunnels, from floating orbs to a born-again "Jesus," from waking up sleeping angels to grave-sucking necromancy, absolutely anything goes at Bethel under the Johnsons' (mis)leadership.


Students from 'Bethel School of the Supernatural' engage in 
sucking Evan Roberts' anointing from his grave in Loughor.

This close relationship seems to have stemmed from (or at least been cemented by) Oyekan's very significant attendance at a Bill Johnson Apostolic Conference in 2011, an event at which Oyekan met one Dr. Michael Maiden, who is the Lead Pastor of 'Church For The Nations' in Phoenix, Arizona. As Maiden enters the story, not only will we be able to see how incredibly heavily polluted with spiritual toxins the stream actually is, but also exactly where it's flowing to! But before we examine the Michael Maiden connection in some detail, let's go back to last year's events in Reading to check out another very important ingredient that got stirred into the stew... a man who filed for bankruptcy in 2010 with up to one million dollars in liabilities, but is now riding high again as Lead Pastor of 'Light Fort Myers,' a church in Fort Myers, Florida, which also serves as World HQ of revivalist organization 'The American Awakening' which he founded: Tommie J. Zito, the man who Oyekan brought in to spearhead the Reading mission.


TOMMIE J. ZITO AND "THE HOLY GHOST BARTENDER"

"It has been my privilege to be able to speak into Tommie's life for the last eight years and there is no doubt in my mind that God will use Tommie in the future to shake whole regions of the world. Get ready - because we stand on the brink of the next great Spiritual Awakening!"
- Dr. Rodney M. Howard-Browne, Tampa, Florida, October 2004

This quote is taken from the foreword to Tommie Zito's book, 'A Spiritual Awakening,' showing that Zito has long been closely involved with and endorsed by "The Holy Ghost Bartender" himself, a fact emphasized by Oyekan in his personal review of 'The Turning' in which he references Zito as being a disciple of Rodney Howard-Browne. (See: http://theturning.eu/index.php/learning-review/

A South African now resident in the USA, Howard-Browne was a key figure in the "holy laughter" movement; from a Word of Faith background in his homeland, he rose to prominence when invited to preach at an AOG church in Lakeland, Florida in the Spring of 1993. It was there that the "holy laughter" phenomenon broke out big-time. Notorious charlatan Oral Roberts, inventor of the "seed-faith" scam, and his son Richard went to Lakeland to check this out, and were so impressed by what was being served at "Joel's Bar" that they invited him to hold meetings at the Oral Roberts University, where the same uncontrollable laughter was experienced. 

Even more significantly, while "ministering" at that hot-bed of Word of Faith theology, Kenneth "Dad" Hagin's 'Rhema Bible Training Center' near Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Vineyard pastor named Randy Clark received "the anointing" from Howard-Browne. Hearing of Clark's being tremendously touched, fellow Vineyard pastor John Arnott of the Toronto Airport church invited him to bring the drunken partying to Canada in January, 1994. He did just that, and the rest is history. Dark, dark history. 'The Toronto Blessing' as it became known went global practically overnight, and thousands of discernment-devoid people were soon rolling in the aisles and barking like dogs, laughing hysterically when they should have been weeping with grief for the huge Satanic delusion that had so incredibly infiltrated and overtaken the professing Church of Jesus Christ.

This necessarily brief overview of the origins of 'The Toronto Blessing' is given to emphasize the key role taken by Rodney Howard-Browne in this deeply demonic deception, and that this being so, any disciple of this self-proclaimed "Holy Ghost Bartender" is not a faithful follower of The Way but someone who has embraced "another Jesus... another spirit... another gospel." (2 Corinthians 11:4).

We should well note that both Tommie (who was allegedly born again at the age of 3!) and wife Kimberly graduated in the '90s from the aforementioned 'Rhema Bible Training Center,' then travelling the world as personal assistants to Rodney and Adonica Howard-Browne. Theirs is a long and deep relationship indeed. 

Recommended reading on 'The Toronto Blessing' from The Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/article/the-counterfeit-revival/



THE SCRIPT

In the introduction, I referred to my first great concern about 'Mission to Wales.' We will now move on to what is my second: "easy-believism."

Most significantly, participants in the Reading mission were not encouraged to witness to people as prompted by the Spirit when approaching them on the street, but rather to work instead to a set script. Perhaps, in view of the connection we've just been examining, it will come as no surprise to learn that "the Script used in Reading is virtually identical to the one formulated by Dr. Rodney Howard Brown (sic) in his book "The Great Awakening, Power Evangelism Manual." (Source: http://theturning.eu/index.php/learning-review/)



"I've just got to tell you 2 things REAL QUICK... I've got to ask you a REAL QUICK question... Let me tell you 3 things the Bible says REAL QUICK... I'm gonna say a QUICK prayer for you..." (my capitalization for emphasis)


FRIENDS, THIS IS "DRIVE-THRU" CHRISTIANITY SERVED UP IN A FAST-FOOD CONTAINER, FAITH WITH FRIES AND A PLASTIC FORK! IT'S RACE-TRACK RELIGION; SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT SPEED CAMERAS, FOOT TO THE FLOOR; BLINK AND YOU'LL MISS IT; "SALVATION" WITH SMOKING TYRES!


"If you would like to receive this free gift, Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, JUST SAY THIS with me..." (my capitalization for emphasis)

FRIENDS, SAYING IN ITSELF MEANS NOTHING! IT'S MEANING WHAT YOU SAY THAT MATTERS! THE PARROT-FASHION REPETITION OF WORDS IS NOT CONVERSION: IT'S JUST MIMICRY. HELL'S GATES HAVE LONG OPENED WIDE TO WELCOME THE MISLED MANY WHO SAID THE WORDS BUT NEVER ACTUALLY MEANT THEM, NEVER TRULY REPENTED, NEVER DIED TO SELF, NEVER TOOK UP THEIR CROSS TO REALLY FOLLOW THE MASTER... BUT HAVE GONE TO THEIR GRAVES WITH THE EMPTY HOPE THAT WORDS WERE IN THEMSELVES SUFFICIENT!

Of this woefully inadequate, surface-skimming, "easy-believism" script, Oyekan admits that "one pastor was in tears as he felt it was deficient in its gospel proclamation," then shamefully dismisses this man's passionate and very correct concern with the words, "Emotionally the script touches on everyone's PRIDE particularly when the simplicity of the tool is presented." (My capitalization of the word PRIDE). How the sides of the prideful father of lies must be aching from laughing so heartily at such blind folly!


A QUESTION OF QUALITY


"The messiness of the kind of conversions seen in a normal mission remains but in the outpouring this messiness is multiplied hundreds of times... I am sure the quality of the conversion will improve... "

The quality of the conversion will improve? Either conversion is genuine re-birth in Christ or it is not. There are no degrees of authenticity. Oyekan is effectively admitting that the reality behind the hype is that his "outpouring" statistics - an average of 65 salvation decisions/re-dedications a day - are just so much tosh, and not worth the paper they're printed on. These figures are chalked up as actual conversions or returns to Christ despite Oyekan's own observation that many will not be genuine, remarking that "there will also be a number who on the streets have stopped to pray out of politeness and still others who have prayed just to move the Christians on, and still others who are open to any kind of spiritual experience."
(Source: http://theturning.eu/index.php/learning-review/)

Very sadly, "messiness" is indeed the operative word. And if you should take a look at Tommie Zito's website, you'll immediately see that he is someone who's also very fond of publishing eye-catching but equally meaningless statistics that you can read absolutely anything you wish into. (See: http://tommiezito.com/crusades/)

There is another serious question to be raised here. If any of these street "converts" are subsequently recruited into the participating churches, then what is it exactly that they will be brought into? The Faith that was once and for all time delivered? (Jude v3). Or an experiential, experimental, fleshly faith that is not built on the immovable Rock, but on the soulish sand of "philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ?" (Colossians 2:8). Will they get uncompromisingTruth... or ear-tickling titillation?
WILL THEY BE TAUGHT THE WORD AS GIVEN... OR THE WORD AS RE-WRITTEN?



OYEKAN, THE BARNABAS FELLOWSHIP OF CHURCHES, AND MICHAEL MAIDEN


"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
(2 Timothy 4:4)

At this point it will be appropriate to return to and very carefully consider the Michael Maiden connection, for this has enormous relevance in understanding how 'The Turning' was - and is - a cleverly camouflaged exercise not in turning TO but rather in turning AWAY from Truth in favour of fabrications. Let's look at the importance of the following statement:

"BFOC has been journeying with Pastor Michael Maiden since Pastor Yinka met him at Bill Johnson's Apostolic conference 2 years ago."
(Source: http://barnabasengland.org/bfoc-in-partnership-with-cotri-cftn/ - article of 25/11/13)

Exploring the "divine partnership" as it is described, between the Barnabas Fellowship Of Churches (BFOC) and Michael Maiden's own 'Church For The Nations' (CFTN) in Phoenix, Arizona and 'Church on the Rock International' (COTRI) - a network of affiliated churches of which Maiden is President and CEO - reveals the depth of the Dominionist delusion that Yinka Oyekan has so enthusiastically allied himself with. We need to look at the theology of CFTN and COTRI, noting that Oyekan has accepted the position of European Director of the latter, whose Chairman is Lawrence Kennedy, a known member of the 'New Apostolic Roundtable' whose Convening Apostle was the late C. Peter Wagner, the "founding father" of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). (See: http://europeanapostolicleaders.eu/welcome/history)

MAIDEN'S 'CHURCH FOR THE NATIONS' AND 'CHURCH ON THE ROCK INTERNATIONAL' ARE ORGANS OF THE UTTERLY HERETICAL NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION. ABSOLUTELY CENTRAL TO THE NAR'S MILITANT STRATEGY AND UNBIBLICAL BELIEF SYSTEM IS "THE 7 MOUNTAINS MANDATE," WHEREBY IT IS ENVISIONED THAT ALL AREAS OF HUMAN ENDEAVOUR ON THE PLANET WILL BE TAKEN OVER BY "BELIEVERS" UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF RE-ESTABLISHED APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, IN A GREAT GLOBAL "REVIVAL" THAT WILL USHER IN THE KINGDOM ON EARTH PRIOR TO THE KING'S RETURN.

Does the Bible make any reference to seven mountains? Yes, indeed it does! We will look at this extremely important Scripture in the Conclusion.




"Our mission is to REACH out to all people and nations with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God,
To TRAIN, equip and empower believers by God's word, to grow in Christ-likeness and find and fulfill their kingdom destiny.
To SEND an army of ambassadors into the 7 mountains of culture as agents of kingdom transformation."

To this end, Maiden has written books like 'The Missing Piece: the 7 Mountain Strategy' and 'Turn The World Upside Down: Discipling the Nations with the Seven-Mountain Strategy' which conclusively confirm Maiden's "Latter Rain" Dominionism, with its rejection of Biblical eschatological truth and its replacement with "cunningly devised fables." (2 Peter 1:16). The Bible nowhere speaks of any kind of strategy for believers to transform culture. Rather, it tells us plainly that things will only get worse and worse and darker and darker, not better and better and lighter and lighter as the NAR would have it. It tells us that there will be great apostasy, not great revival as the NAR loudly proclaims. The prophets of the NAR are like the 400 prophets of Ahab with lying spirits in their mouths, who falsely prophesied victory at Ramothgilead while the contrary words of Micaiah the true prophet were spurned. (See 2 Chronicles 18). It says much that Maiden's 'Church For The Nations' is the church of the notorious Elijah List's beloved false prophetess, Patricia King, who is listed as a member of their "Extended Pastoral Staff!" (See: http://cftn.com/our-leaders/)

At this juncture, it will be pertinent to highlight a couple of big names that Maiden's church links to. (See: http://cftn.com/our-links/). Unsurprisingly the first we'll note is Bill Johnson, recognized as an Apostle in the NAR; the second is Bishop Joseph Garlington, a member of the 'Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders' which is a key huddle of NAR "A-listers."

Very revealingly, CFTN's 'Vision' page lists their Top Ten goals, NONE of which are to see sinners saved; the focus is on bigger and better, and enlarging their sphere of influence globally, with "an army of Kingdom ambassadors" sent out to take the 7 mountains of culture. To provide covering for (i.e. NAR Apostolic control over) no less than 10,000 churches worldwide is their Number One goal. On the 'Vision' page is also to be found their self-proclaimed raison d'etre. Is this perhaps to proclaim the Gospel, and feed the sheep that they may grow in grace? Well, actually, no. "CFTN exists to help every person discover the divine destiny God has prepared for their life... we are committed as a church to help people discover God's dream for their life." CFTN is not just Dominionist, but also "Purpose-Driven!" Rick Warren will surely be very proud of his proteges.
(See: http://cftn.com/the-vision/)

It should also be mentioned that CFTN boasts that "must-have" hyper-Charismatic phenomenon of "Healing Rooms," affiliated to Cal Pierce's 'International Association of Healing Rooms' based in Spokane, Washington, a re-birth of the ministry of false teacher John G. Lake. "Apostle" Cal Pierce is another NAR "A-lister," a member of its exclusive 'International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders.' (ICAL's 2017 Annual Congress in Dallas this November is apparently going to be launching "The 3rd. Reformation!")

Tracing the ever more disturbingly toxic flow further upstream, we find that in the '90s Michael "Mike" Maiden was Lead Pastor of 'Eagle's Nest Christian Embassy' in Scottsdale, Arizona, the scene of a major financial scandal. In July, 1996, the 'Tucson Citizen' reported:


"SCOTTSDALE - Two pastors bilked investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars using claims about words from God, the investors allege in a lawsuit. According to the suit, Rev. Mike Maiden of the Eagle's Nest Christian Embassy repeatedly claimed he had divine guidance on important financial decisions. He then used the claims to help the "financial pastor," Frank Luca, defraud investors out of their money. Luca, 52, was indicted earlier this year by a federal grand jury on charges of selling millions of dollars in fraudulent real-estate partnerships in Sedona and in Nevada. Nearly four dozen investors from Arizona and other states filed the suit July 19. The suit seeks unspecified damages and a court order freezing the $3 million the church expects to earn from the sale of its Scottsdale property, said attorney Russell Piccolli. He said he wants the funds preserved to pay any judgment that may result from the suit."

More details of the shocking fraud were supplied by The Arizona Securities Division:


"A pamphlet written by the church pastor describing Luca's "Vision Plan" for funding a new $2 million church building stated:
'For the past year I have prayerfully sought the Lord for the plan and direction he would have us take in regards to the financing costs of the construction and improvements of the new building... The plan and direction God has given us is strategic, sound and safe!... In the love of Jesus, Pastor Mike Maiden."

This purportedly God-given plan which Maiden pronounced to be sound and safe, was in reality a cynical scam. But with such pastoral assurance, many church members were to be devastatingly swindled out of their money, one losing her late husband's $300,000 life insurance pay-out. Luca pleaded guilty, agreeing to pay restitution of $11.4 million, while Maiden managed to successfully put the lurid ashes of 'Eagle's Nest' behind him, and rise to lofty heights in Phoenix and beyond.

If his deviant Dominionist worldview, and his hyper-Charismatic and Purpose-Driven proclivities were not in themselves spelling it out in very large letters, what the 'Eagle's Nest' episode tells us in no uncertain terms is that Michael Maiden is not a man to be in any way trusted. But if all this were not enough, there is more. We've looked at where this stream is coming from, and the point it has currently reached, which brings me now to document my third great concern, which is where this stream is inexorably heading: the kingdom and the global religion of Antichrist.


MICHAEL MAIDEN, BETRAYER OF THE FAITH

What other toxins might be in the water? Ecumenism perhaps? 

Ecumenism is in the spiritual what the mercury compound, dimethylmercury is in the natural: the most deadly of poisons. It has one inevitable final outcome, and one alone: the reversal of the Reformation and unification with Rome. Spiritual death. Anyone who has just a modicum of knowledge of Church history and awareness of the doctrines and practices of Catholicism, will know full well the utter incompatibility of the Roman religion and Biblical Faith. But lauded evangelical leaders with large followings, in reality Truth-rejecting renegades, have been falling over themselves the last 2 or 3 years in their haste to visit the Vatican and get pally with the Pope! Kenneth Copeland, the Arnotts, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, the UK's own David Carr, Michael Maiden... STOP. REWIND. Michael Maiden?

The Twitter account of Michael Maiden shows conclusively what the end-game is; his Tweets and photos for June, 2016 say it all:

Item 1)
Michael Maiden @drmichaelmaiden 6 Jun 2016
We're on our way to Rome for a time of prayer and sharing with the Pope. Thank you for your love, support and prayers



Shouldn't the alarm bells now be ringing so loudly that blood is running from your ears? Or are you stone deaf to what The Word declares about the whore drunken with the blood of the saints and the martyrs? "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" asks the Word, "What communion hath light with darkness?" And again, "What concord hath Christ with Belial?" "Hey - no problem! I'll have fellowship with unrighteousness, I'll have communion with darkness, and I'll have concord with Belial!" is Michael Maiden's obvious reply!  

Item 2)
Michael Maiden @drmichaelmaiden 10 Jun 2016
Great leaders meeting in Rome in the morning and a private tour of the Sistine Chapel in afternoon



Ah - the sensational ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo. And paid for by Pope Julius II by the selling of indulgences - the most lucrative financial scam ever perpetrated in "Christianity," matched only in modern times by Oral Roberts and his dollar-delivering "seed-faith" swindle. Something to smile about, Mr. and Mrs. Maiden?

Item 3)
Michael Maiden @drmichaelmaiden 11 Jun 2016
Incredible time with Pope Francis. He humbly shared his heart with us and I humbly shared a prophetic word for him



A picture that paints a thousand words: Michael Maiden literally standing shoulder to shoulder with the Pope, who "shared his heart." His Jesuit heart to bring back the "lost brethren?" i.e. to get all that calls itself "Christian" melded into the "Mother Church" and under Papal authority? And what "prophetic word" for Francis was "humbly shared" with him by a peacock-proud Maiden? He omits to tell us, but somehow I don't think it was along the lines of Revelation 13:11: "I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." Just a thought...

Items 4) and 5)
Michael Maiden @drmichaelmaiden 26 Jun 2016
The prayer of the church is for REVIVAL. The prayer of Jesus is for UNITY.

Michael Maiden @drmichaelmaiden 26 Jun 2016
When we give God what He wants, UNITY, He'll give us what we want, REVIVAL.

UNITY. One of THE buzz-words of what passes for Christianity these days. Meaning the bogus "unity" of ecumenism that Maiden speaks of here: "churches together" in fellowship with unrighteousness, in communion with darkness, in concord with Belial. (That's Satan, by the way, just in case anyone was wondering!) We can only have true unity in Truth. Period. Any other type of perceived and promoted "unity" is a sham. A mockery. Apostasy, impure and simple. 

IF WE DARE TO GIVE GOD A FALSE UNITY FORGED IN HELL, HE WILL ASSUREDLY GRANT US A "STRONG DELUSION" - A BELIEF IN THE VALIDITY OF A COMPLETELY COUNTERFEIT REVIVAL!  (Ref. 2 Thessalonians 2:11)

As it is written:


"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, 
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the 
ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)




CONCLUSION 

The 7 mountains as referenced by the Word of God? As opposed to the 7 mountains as defined by Michael Maiden and his NAR cohorts?


"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are SEVEN MOUNTAINS, on which the woman sitteth."
(Revelation 17:9 - my capitalization)

And who is the woman who straddles the seven mountains? None other than:


"MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH... drunken with the blood of the saints, 
and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
(Revelation 17:5-6 - the Bible's capitalization)

Small wonder then that the New Apostolic Reformation tramples upon the teachings of the Book of Revelation, with its very clear association of "seven mountains" not with the Kingdom of God but with the false religious system holding sway over the Earth at the time of Antichrist's governance. Friends, it can be no mere coincidence that the Bible's one and only reference to "seven mountains" is given in this context. Revelation 17:18 further identifies the woman as being a "great city," and there is no question that this great city is Rome; the original old walled city itself famously sits on 7 hills. Just across the Tiber from the old city is Vatican Hill, HQ of the largest, wealthiest and most powerful pseudo-Christian cult on the planet, the Roman Catholic Church with its fantasy Eucharistic Christ.

I've stressed the very real concerns about Michael Maiden, especially because Yinka Oyekan is Maiden's appointed man in the UK and Europe. 'The Turning' I could maybe best describe as a vehicle for the transport and delivery of toxic waste... extremely hazardous material like Dominionism, Charismania, Purpose-Driven Warrenism, Toronto's still burning "strange fire," and the contemporary counter-Reformation that is the evil essence of ecumenism. And behind it all? THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST!


"Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: 
for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."
(John 12:35)

"Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness."
(Luke 11:35)


* * * * * * *



There is so much more that could be said; I've endeavoured to encompass what was perceived to be perhaps the more salient points as things stand, and would encourage anyone to do their own research. To this end a string of relevant links is provided below, and information in this article can be verified via these primary sources.

Yinka Oyekan and The Turning:

http://theturning.eu/index.php/learning-review/
https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Unprecedented-openness-to-the-gospel-reported-in-Reading-as-1-200-make-commitments-to-Christ
http://barnabasengland.org/the-turning/
http://barnabasengland.org/what-to-do-when-god-blesses-you-but-you-werent-expecting-it-the-turning/

Tommie J. Zito:

http://tommiezito.com/
https://www.yatedo.com/p/Tommie+Zito/normal/54d0012528ae42ba39e3ec56f2753814
http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Kimberly-Sue/74152763
http://theturning.eu/index.php/learning-review/
http://injesus.com/messages/content/13958 
http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/giving_guide/2010/04/south_florida_evangelist_files_for_bankruptcy.html

Michael Maiden:

http://cftn.com/our-leaders/
http://cftn.com/about-us/ 
http://cftn.com/the-vision/
http://cftn.com/our-links/
https://twitter.com/drmichaelmaiden?lang=en
http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue2/1996/07/26/190123-suit-claims-church-defrauded-investors/ 
http://www.in.gov/sos/securities/2543.htm

Barnabas School of Prophetic Ministry:
http://barnabasengland.org/training/barnabas-school-of-supernatural-ministry/
http://barnabasengland.org/bssm-the-journey-so-far/

Friday, 12 May 2017

A WELL-CONSIDERED REFORMED RESPONSE TO MY PLEA OF 5 MAY 2017 FOR HEALING BETWEEN ARMINIANS AND CALVINISTS.

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
(Galatians 5:22-23)


I received this response to my article of 5 May 2017 from my very dear brother Andrew who is of a Reformed/Calvinist persuasion, and whilst submitted via the comments section on that article I felt it relevant to publish it instead as an article in its own right, giving a more rounded airing to this most contentious of topics. He has graciously agreed for me to do this.

Original article:

http://watchman4wales.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/grace-is-much-greater-than-resistible.html

Hi Rob
Thank you for bringing this issue to the table, and I have no doubt that the cause for you to do so is firmly grounded in love. Like yourself, I wish to state from the outset that I have very dear Christian brothers and sisters in both camps. Confronted with the conviction to ‘come out of her my people’ in regard to leaving their Arminian or (NEW) Calvinist church alike, saints today due to the apostasy are faced with the dilemma of…what to do next.
As you know Rob I come from/hold to a Reformed perspective on the doctrines of salvation and sanctification. I say this for the benefit for those reading this who don’t know me. I was brought up Arminian and like a good ol Pastors son I played the piano/drums in the Pentecostal church. The comments I make are made from conclusions only, and in no way are intended to cultivate debate over the issue, as I believe there is a God given time and opportunity for such. I would like to point out at this early stage that I agree with your premise that we as the family of God can unite as house/underground groups at this point in church eschatologyFirst, I wish to state that, now that the church faces unprecedented times, it is possible that the debate now shifts away from Calvinism V Arminianism to those of the narrow way v those of the broad way. The former still stands, but it is perhaps now a case of priority. Just like the political landscape has changed from Labour v Conservative to Nationalism v socialism ‘ ‘Third Way’ (or better put Globalism).
So in agreement with you, I believe the source of these doctrinal rifts in churches are simply down to mans pride and self-will. Pride in needing to prove that he/she is right, and self-will providing the fuel to the pride. I have seen both Calvinist and Arminian guilty of this evil, and this ugly behaviour in my eyes immediately removes the strength of their argument, forgetting that ‘The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.’ Proverbs 11:30. With my own eyes I have several times witnessed sincere, though sincerely wrong Calvinists bring schism within an Arminian church, and likewise witnessed (though arguably seen more) Arminians spew venomous words against the leader of a Reformed church. Right now I know of a church located in England which is theologically Arminian, and has a Calvinist attendee pridefully showing off his knowledge of doctrine, while also forming a schism. Likewise, my dad (Reformed) has experienced the butt end of the same venomous spirit from an Arminian fox sent into the church to cause strife. He displayed the same prideful and aggressive character traits as the Calvinist in the first example.
Now, in agreement with you, I believe that applying the relevant scriptures, we as both Calvinists and Arminians can (and perhaps will have to) unite together in worship and prayer in the house/underground group context mentioned. I believe that the persecution coming with be so great that our pride and self-will won’t get the chance to become a priority for discussion. After all we must differentiate between errors in doctrine v heresy. There won’t be enough time to call it ‘The Arminian/Calvinist Underground Church…sorry I left out the ‘Community’ in that title.
However, while I agree with you that we can unit in the house/underground context, I don’t believe we can establish a church outside of the said context. While I agree that both Calvinist and Arminian are all saved, I don’t agree that they share the same fundamentals. It is for this reason that church tenets are established in a church. Perhaps we could learn from Wesley and Whitfield who had to agree to disagree. Wesley went on to establish Arminian Methodist churches while Whitfield established Calvinistic churches. However, at Whitfield’s funeral he would have nobody else to preach at his service except John Wesley. 
To quote you self, after mentioning the total depravity of man you state ‘Then in the essentials we are indeed perfectly joined together in the same mind.’ I am not convinced of this, but I feel that I need to bring the acronym of TULIP into the text. For those who don’t know TULIP was developed in the Reformed/Calvinistic tradition to cement they’re doctrine in the fight against the Counter Reformation. The acronym TULIP stands for (I know your fully aware of this Rob)
T = Total depravity of man’s spiritual condition before God.
U = Unconditional Election of certain individuals to salvation, while passing over others.
L = Limited Atonement i.e. Christ died for the elect only.
I = Irresistible grace (as afore mentioned by Rob in the original article) i.e. that the gift of faith in Christ to the elect the power of God unto salvation as irresistible.
P = Perseverance of the saints i.e. the elect must persevere.
While both Calvinists and most Arminians will agree on T and P, the points in between would be denounced by most Arminians. Points U, L, and I are both serious and precious truths to the saints walk in the Christian life, and could therefore not possibly be expected not to preach/teach these special truths to other struggling saints. Id have to disagree with you Rob with the assertion that ‘in the essentials we are indeed perfectly joined together in the same mind.’ For example it would not be possible for a Calvinist to tell someone on the street who needed evangelism that Christ had died for them. We can tell them that Christ died for sinners, but that wouldn’t necessarily be for them.
In summery the point I’m making Rob is that I am with you all the way that both Calvinist and Arminian can and should unite in home/underground groups in these last days of apostasy, and I’m looking forward to worshipping together with you. As you said in the article there will needs be humility for the different views and convictions of other saints. However, the idea of setting up a church beforehand drawing on the idea that we can’t infringe on these issues discussed is not only impossible, but I don’t think the Lord expects us to do away with the denomination system which has proved successful for the last 500 years since the reformation. The way I see it, there are much brighter and godlier men than myself in history who settled for the denomination system. However, there is a day coming, and is oh so near, that those who follow the narrow way (both Calvinist and Arminian) will I believe be glad to merely enjoy the company and fellowship of praise and prayer with those of the other camp of doctrine. Some of the Godliest men I know are Arminian. On that day of persecution, I shall be proud to share that bitter cup of persecution experience with my Arminian bother/sister.
Every blessing bro

Andrew


I am grateful for Andrew's honest appraisal, and his integrity in pointing out the areas where we would agree and would differ in our respective convictions. My hope and prayer is that in not shrinking from but confronting this divisive issue head-on on this blog - but at the same time being vitally mindful of exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit - then at least one small but positive step will have been taken towards replacing soulish stand-off and sniping with graceful accord in Christ.

I'll close with my words to Andrew, when asking if it would be OK with him to have his response appear in a new article:

I think it could shine a ray of hope into this dark divide, that there is indeed potential for a way forward together - a way forward that is ever more pressing with every passing day, as the writing is on the wall for anyone with understanding enough to read it! (And the willingness!) When the persecution comes, as it inevitably will, the question on the persecutor's lips will not be, "Are you a Calvinist or are you an Arminian?" The question will only be, "Are you one who says that Jesus Christ is Lord?" And our answer to that question will not be, "Yes, I say that Jesus Christ is Lord because I'm an Arminian!" or "Yes, I say that Jesus Christ is Lord because I'm a Calvinist!" Our answer will only be, "Yes, I say that Jesus Christ is Lord because I'm a Christian!"

Friday, 5 May 2017

GRACE IS MUCH GREATER THAN RESISTIBLE OR IRRESISTIBLE! - A PLEA FOR HEALING BETWEEN ARMINIANS AND CALVINISTS.

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye 
all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that 
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
(1 Corinthians 1:10)


OK. I'm going to grasp the nettle, and if it stings, so be it. Writing this, I feel a certain empathy with Jude, who when intending to write about one thing found himself having to change horses in mid-stream so to speak, and to write instead on a quite different topic. I am prompted to make a plea, based on what I firmly believe to be the vital premise that grace is much greater than "resistible" or "irresistible" - and so much so that the hand of true friendship and fellowship can yet be extended across the great historical divide of Arminianism and Calvinism. My pressing plea is for those on either side, in a spirit of Godly reconciliation, to unconditionally extend their hands across that unnecessary divide.

Unnecessary? Yes, absolutely! Call me naive if you will in insisting that this division is unnecessary, but I will resolutely maintain that the grace of God is infinitely greater than putting it into "resistible" or "irresistible" boxes will even remotely begin to allow for its complete human understanding. Let us all humbly remember that in this life we only ever see through a glass darkly; we can only ever attain partial knowledge. (1 Corinthians 13:12). Complete comprehension is firmly future tense. Right now the image in our lens is blurred, and it is only "when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:54) that everything will at last come firmly into focus.

Me? For what it's worth, if you really want to know, I lean towards the Arminian position... but so what? Is my lens any less fuzzy than anyone else's? Is yours? At the risk of being dismissed as taking a far too simplistic approach to a very complex subject, I'm going to boil this centuries-old controversy down to one basic way of looking at it all. I'm going to concentrate on the central issue of how we perceive what I might term the "spiritual mechanics" of salvation.

The Calvinist will aver that salvation is by grace alone. And the Arminian will nod vigorously in total agreement. But whereas the Calvinist will say that his or her salvation has come about due to irresistible grace, the Arminian will declare that their salvation has come about via resistible grace. But both are saved, and saved by grace alone; ergo grace is greater than our inevitably limited perceptions of the underlying "spiritual mechanics!" The understanding may be different, but the reality is the same! And surely the reality is of infinitely greater importance than our attempted rationalization and categorization of it?



DIGGING OURSELVES INTO DEEP TRENCHES, WITH A BARBED-WIRED AND BOOBY-TRAPPED NO-MAN'S-LAND BETWEEN THE RANKS OF SHARP-BLADED BAYONETS, IS SIMPLY NOT AT ALL HOW IT SHOULD BE! HONESTLY HELD OPINIONS THAT DO NOT CONTRADICT OR CONTRAVENE THE ESSENTIALS OF THE FAITH SHOULD BE TREATED WITH RESPECT, NOT CONTEMPT. SUCH THINGS ARE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DEBATE, NOT DESTRUCTIVE DIVISION. PERIOD.

Why have I personally adopted an Arminian view? Sorry, but I'm not telling you! Why so tight-lipped? Yes, of course I have my reasons for my own line of thinking, just as a Calvinist has his own reasons for seeing things as he does, but this article is emphatically NOT about standing on a soapbox with a loudhailer to out-shout the other side. As far as I'm concerned, it's NOT another side. We are one in Christ; we just happen to have a different angle on how we got to where we are. And we are where we all absolutely undeservedly are because of the awesome mystery of God's grace.

I will, however, make one proviso here, if you'll forgive what might seem a contradiction to the foregoing. I believe the HYPER-Calvinist position on the preaching of the Gospel to be completely wrong, and unacceptable. A hyper-Calvinist holds that "evidence of election" is to be the precursor to giving the Gospel to that individual. Other than for this distinctive extreme grouping, those of a Calvinistic persuasion will completely agree with an Arminian that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all men indiscriminately. 

AS (NON HYPER-) CALVINISTS AND ARMINIANS ARE EQUALLY AGREED THAT THE GOSPEL IS TO BE PREACHED UNIVERSALLY AND NOT SELECTIVELY, AND THAT THE GOSPEL MUST BE ACCEPTED WITH THE ADMISSION OF AND THE SINCERE REPENTANCE OF SIN FOR A PERSON TO BE BORN AGAIN (WITH BOTH CAMPS TEACHING THE DOCTRINE OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY), THEN IN THE ESSENTIALS WE ARE INDEED "PERFECTLY JOINED TOGETHER IN THE SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGMENT" AS WE ARE URGED TO BE IN THE SCRIPTURE WHICH HEADS THIS ARTICLE!

And so, my friends, I rest my concise case. Too simplistic? Maybe. But is there not a most regrettable soulish tendency for us to complicate, even corrupt "the simplicity that is in Christ?" (2 Corinthians 11:3). I count it my immense privilege to have friends who are Arminian, and friends who are Calvinist. They are my siblings in the Lord, and I can't say how much I cherish them and how indebted I am to them for all the support and encouragement they have so freely given me. Recognizing that the hour is late, and the Falling Away is biting ever deeper into both schools of thought alike, we cleave together in a common cause. And surely this is how it should be?


"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
(John 13:35)


Up-date: For a well-considered Reformed response to this article, please see:

Saturday, 1 April 2017

FLEECING THE FLOCK - THE INIQUITOUS IMPOSITION OF TITHING IN WELSH "WORD OF FAITH / PROSPERITY GOSPEL" CHURCHES.

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, 
shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, 
that we might be justified by faith. 
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
(Galatians 3:23-26)

But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."
(Galatians 5:18)


One of the most far-reaching and malignant of maladies in contemporary Christianity has been the gangrenous growth of what has become known as the Word of Faith (or simply Word-Faith) movement, which preaches the so-called "prosperity gospel." This, it is critically important to observe, is "another gospel" and so no Gospel at all! (Galatians 1:6-8). Not Good News for sure, but exceedingly Bad News!

Many are the spiritual deviances promoted by Word of Faith adherents, but one particular practice that is the nefarious norm in such churches and which I want to focus on in this article is the iniquitous imposition of tithing.

Iniquitous? Yes, indeed! Any teaching that runs contrary to Biblical truth is iniquitous! Firstly, I must emphasize that I am in no way speaking here against the principle of giving, for righteous and proper purposes, which is something that the New Testament most certainly supports and encourages. What I am highlighting here is the legalistic and completely unscriptural application of a church members' taxation system.


THE BIBLICAL TITHE

"And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham."
(Hebrews 7:5)

So what exactly was the tithe, from a correct Biblical perspective? Well, the first thing to take note of is that MONEY did not come into the equation! The tithe was all about EDIBLE assets! The Levites, comprising the Kohanim (the priests) and those of the tribe who were not Kohanim but had other religious or political duties, were not allocated any territory of their own as was the case with all the other tribes. They were instead granted a total of 48 cities across Israel, each set within a narrow verge of "borrowed" land extending a mere 1000 cubits - approximately 500 yards - around the walls, a small area which would allow some grazing space for the tithed animals brought to them. (See Numbers 35 and Joshua 21). Being thus unable to produce their own foodstuffs, God instituted the tithing system whereby the farming tribes were to give a tenth part of their meat, fruit and crops to sustain the Levites, who were not to be distracted from their designated duties by more mundane considerations. Tithes were taken to the Levite cities, from where a portion was delivered to Jerusalem to feed those engaged in Temple activities. (See Nehemiah 10).

Please don't take my word for it. Follow the Bereans' good example, and search out the Scriptures for yourself. Fact is, ALL Biblical references to tithing confirm it was FOOD! Here are a few examples to prove this important point:

"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, 
or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD." 
(Leviticus 27:30)

"And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD."
(Leviticus 27:32)

"Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, 
that the field bringeth forth year by year."
(Deuteronomy 14:22)

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, 
that there may be meat in mine house..."
(Malachi 3:10)



QUITE APART FROM THIS CONSIDERATION THAT THE TITHE WAS ONLY FOOD, WE SHOULD WELL NOTE THAT TITHING ONLY EVER APPLIED TO THE HISTORICAL NATION OF ISRAEL. IT HAS NEVER BEEN APPLICABLE TO GENTILES OF ANY ERA. 

Nowhere in the New Testament is to be found any justification whatsoever for transferring this Israelite, tribe-specific arrangement to the Church. Nowhere. The plain truth of the matter is that with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. and the Diaspora, tithing had become a completely redundant institution. It had served its purpose, until that purpose ceased to exist. A New Covenant had been established, and post-Calvary the Mosaic Law of tithing had no place.

We pay tax to the Government of the land, a statutory obligation; we render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. The imposition of a second income tax payable by church members to the church leadership is a very convenient and most lucrative fund-raising contrivance, a word we might just shorten to con. I'm not mincing my words here; I'm saying it as it is. Anyone who teaches that tithing is a requirement of members of the Body is not upholding Scripture but perverting it, and no, that is not too strong a word to use. This is a different gospel, a most incredibly serious matter!

THERE IS NO LEVY ON BELONGING TO THE LORD!

Give by all means, from your means, as you are so led and able. But it must be clearly understood that such contribution is firmly a free-will offering, which when given in the right spirit for correct Christian purposes is pleasing to God and fully in accordance with His Word. Tithing is something altogether different: it's symptomatic of the empire-building of today's Laodicean leaders, and alien to the Kingdom-building of Christ. Any church that is misappropriating funds from the flock in this way should be studiously marked and carefully avoided.


THE TITHE IN WELSH "WORD OF FAITH / PROSPERITY GOSPEL" CHURCHES

Newport is undoubtedly the epicentre of the Word of Faith movement's alternative gospel in Wales, with notable tremors extending along the M4 corridor at least as far as Bridgend, which we'll come to presently. Firstly, though, we need to look at the central role played by King's Church and the man who was its long-time Senior Pastor, Ray Bevan, in the advance of Word of Faith concepts here in Wales. (His then Associate Pastor Dave Edwards has now taken charge, while Mr. Bevan has gone on to broadcast his own show with TBN, which is without a doubt the loudest echoing voice of the so-called "prosperity gospel" on the planet).

I'd like for a moment, if I may, to digress slightly from my focus on tithing in order to emphasize Ray Bevan's proven embrace of and regurgitating of Word of Faith beliefs, by reference to his recent book, 'Grace Shouts Louder.' (Rayla Ministries, 2015). Whilst I'd like to quote directly from this work, I have to avoid the possibility of being charged with copyright infringement. (Mr. Bevan has previously impressed upon me that - regardless of 1 Corinthians 6:1 - he is not averse to threatening people with legal action!) But I can refer my readers to an online source where his exact words can be found, if you would wish to verify the facts of the matter:


In a nutshell, the author here teaches one of the central tenets of Word of Faith theology, that when Adam sinned in Eden, Satan was thereby given legal right to rule the earth. Satan now had very much the upper hand, and God had completely lost His authority and somehow had to find a way to reclaim it. And so He devised a cunning plan to win his sovereignty back, kicking off with the Incarnation...

FRIENDS, IF FOR EVEN ONE NANO-SECOND GOD LOST HIS AUTHORITY, HE WOULD NOT BE GOD! IF HE WAS FOR ONE NANO-SECOND PUSHED INTO A CORNER, HIS BACK UP AGAINST THE WALL, AND FORCED TO DREAM UP SOME SCHEME TO RECLAIM LEGAL RIGHT TO THE EARTH AND HUMANITY, HE WOULD NOT BE GOD! HE IS THE ALMIGHTY, OMNISCIENT, TRANSCENDENT CREATOR AND PERMANENT LEGAL OWNER OF ALL THAT IS, AND WAS, AND WILL BE! HIS WORD UNEQUIVOCALLY PROCLAIMS THIS GREAT TRUTH:


"The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein."
(Psalm 24:1)

To declare that it has ever been otherwise, is quite simply a denial of the eternal complete Sovereignty of God, and a most heinous heresy. Did the Psalmist, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the period between the Fall and the Incarnation, record a LIE when he wrote this testimony? For if Mr. Bevan's WoF theology is correct, then the wording should have been, "The earth is SATAN'S, and the fulness thereof..." 

But playing fast and loose with the Scriptures does not trouble such a man as this. He goes on to declare, in respect of the supposed power of believers, that we can call those things which are not as though they are. No, Mr. Bevan, only God Himself can do that! Besides which, to make this assertion, you have wretchedly twisted the relevant verse, which actually reads:

"And base things of the world, and things which are despised, 
hath God chosen, yea, 
and things which are not, TO BRING TO NOUGHT things that are."
(1 Corinthians 1:28 - my capitalization)

Having so blasphemously demoted God to the position of being an impotent mere spectator of world affairs until He was able to concoct a cunning plan to regain control, Ray Bevan proceeds to teach the validity of tithing and to slur anyone who would dare to challenge this. The point here is that if Ray Bevan cannot be trusted to even teach properly on the eternally immutable nature of God Himself, how can he possibly be trusted to teach properly on the things of God? The sad and simple answer is that he can't be.

More wrong teaching pours from the pages of 'Grace Shouts Louder' as the author attempts to synthesize grace and law, calling tithing grace-based which is an utter contradiction in terms. Tithing is law, and binding. Grace is, well, grace, and liberating... allowing one to give freely according to the decisions of one's own heart, not the dictates of a leadership which thinks nothing of abusing the Word of God to re-activate rules which were completely superseded  by the Cross! 

Notable is Mr. Bevan's scathing and self-righteous condemnation of those who would rightly question the correctness of 21st. century tithing, as being Word-ignorant misers who do not trust God. This is pure - actually IMpure - emotional blackmail. For who would wish to have their Pastor and fellow-worshipers see them as being mean and immature Christians? To avoid being branded as such, folks are thus cynically manipulated into doing something to please men rather than to please God, the absolute reversal of how things should be. (See Galatians 1:10). If truth be told, this is not grace shouting louder; this is Ray Bevan shouting louder than grace!

Oh, and BTW Mr. Bevan, true grace never shouts. True grace speaks only in a still small voice... no thundering, just the gentlest of whispers...


ROBBIE HOWELLS AND HEATH VAN STADEN - TWO "PROSPERITY PIPPINS!"


I have given some emphasis here in this article to the skewed teachings of Ray Bevan, not just to draw attention to how King's was shaped under his controlling influence, but to alert people to how this has birthed two other similar operations in the same city.

As the old saying goes, the apple never falls far from the tree, and two such apples dropped off the King's bough, only to land elsewhere in Newport! The first such apple to feel the gravitational pull was Robbie Howells, who established his own Word of Faith operation called Newport City Church, to all intents and purposes a clone of King's complete with the inevitable tithing policy. An article on Robbie Howells and NCC, highlighting the very real concerns about them can be found here:

The second "Prosperity Pippin" to more recently branch out on his own (if you'll excuse the extended apple tree metaphor) was Heath Van Staden, who had been the Youth and Children's Pastor at King's. His Liberty Church was launched 31/1/15 with himself and wife Leah installed as Lead Elders, an outfit again aping King's and rather unsurprisingly implementing tithing as the essential basis of its finances.

(Who someone follows on Twitter can be very revealing as to their theological leanings, and when Mr. Van Staden follows the likes of Mark Driscoll, Bill Hybels, Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, Richard Branson (!), Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Casey Treat... need I say more?)


ALEX ASHTON AND THE VINE CHRISTIAN CENTRE IN BRIDGEND

A little way west along the M4 and we come to Bridgend and The Vine Christian Centre, Alex Ashton's own bastion of the Word of Faith/Prosperity gospel. I have had previous occasion to write of Mr. Ashton's apostate partnering with Kenneth Copeland - probably the biggest name in the whole "name-it-and-claim-it" brigade - and his complete lack of any response to my approaches to him on the subject. Please see:

http://watchman4wales.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/a-compilation-of-shocking-kenneth.html


The Vine operates tithing, and the "give-to-get" ethos typically engendered by Word of Faith false teaching on "health and wealth" is so very sadly evidenced here in The Vine's 'Tithe and Offering Confession,' this information being garnered from a visitor who personally witnessed a congregational chant along the following lines in a service there a few years ago:

Tithe and Offering Confession:

As we give today's offering,
We are believing the Lord for:
Jobs and better jobs,
Raises and bonuses,
Benefits and settlements,
Sales and commissions,
Estates and inheritances,
Interests and income,
Rebates and returns,
Cheques in the mail,
Gifts and surprises,
Find money,
Debts paid off,
Royalties received.
It's offering time -
Hallelujah!

Nothing whatsoever of believing the Lord for the advance of His Kingdom, only for the furtherance of one's own self-interests; the Gospel of grace has here grotesquely morphed into a gospel of greed.


JERRY SAVELLE AT THE VINE, BRIDGEND AND NEWPORT CITY CHURCH

As the guest of Welsh Word of Faith frontmen Robbie Howells and Alex Ashton, one of the Prosperity wolf-pack's hungriest wool-wearers is about to trot through the wide open doors of their respective sheepfolds. As part of his UK tour, Jerry Savelle will be at Newport City Church on 3rd. April, and at The Vine on 4th. April. If I might resort to using a musical analogy, Savelle is a one man Copeland tribute band, playing all the superstar's tunes with great gusto; if you can't get to a Copeland gig, Savelle would be the next best (worst!) thing.

If you should doubt for one moment Savelle's allegiances, see his fawning "Beautiful Are Their Feet" December 2016 tribute to Ken and Gloria Copeland here:

Birds of a feather indeed flock together, and that includes vultures...


It's more than interesting and relevant to record that Robbie Howells (full name Robert George Howells), like Alex Ashton before him, can now record on his CV a close collaboration with Copeland. He has been a Director on the Board of Kenneth Copeland Ministries (UK and Europe) since June, 2015. He also holds a Directorship in John Bevere's Messenger International Limited (UK and Europe); Mr. Bevere, it goes without saying, also perches on the selfsame rotten Word of Faith/Prosperity gospel branch. Mr. Howells' CV, you will find, tells us that he's a graduate of a certain Bible Institute and School of World Evangelism. Yes, it's the one run by Jerry Savelle Ministries International... 'Nuff said!

Very interesting to note too is that Jerry Savelle's UK and Europe office is located just a few miles to the east in Chepstow, and banks in Newport. The Administrator and UK Senior Pastor is Geoffrey Howard Rouch, a one-time business partner of Ray Bevan. One of the 5 trustees is Damian Pugh, who plays drums at Robbie Howells' Newport City Church. In such ways it can be glimpsed how the strands of the same WoF web interconnect, both historically and contemporaneously.


CONCLUSION

Of course, it's not only Word of Faith churches that have implemented tithing. In the Restorationist camp, for example, churches like the grandly-named 'Nationchangers' here in Merthyr Tydfil, have taken the same wrong route. We might note that none of these leaders who are so avidly applying the Mosaic Law of tithing are anything like as keen to apply the Mosaic Law of circumcision. Somehow, persuading people to part with their foreskin doesn't seem to have quite the same attractiveness as persuading them to part with their cash!

Through Christ's finished work on the Cross, we live under grace and not under law. The old has been superseded by the new. As the Scriptures gloriously declare:

"For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; 
by the which we draw nigh unto God...
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."
(Hebrews 7:19, 8:6)

AND SO, MY FRIENDS, LET US REJOICE IN AND CLEAVE TO THAT WHICH IS BETTER! FOR THE LAW IS OUR PAST CONDEMNATION, BUT GRACE IS OUR PRESENT ABSOLUTION. AND IF THE SON HAS MADE US FREE, THEN WE ARE FREE INDEED! (John 8:36)

* * * * * * *

One final thought. I could suggest referring to Word of Faith as Word of LAODICEAN Faith, from which accurate appellation we'd derive the most appropriate acronym:


         
    
"WOLF!"

* * * * * * *