"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
The annual New Wine Cymru (Mis)Leadership Conference is over for another year, and the hundreds of undiscerning and itchy-eared Church leaders from all over Wales have returned to their various equally undiscerning and itchy-eared fellowships, having drunk deeply from the poison chalice.
The special guest at the 2016 Conference, held at Cornerstone Church's Venue 2 in Swansea on the 10th and 11th June, was one Christy Wimber. Mrs. Wimber is Senior Pastor of the Yorba Linda Vineyard in California, and is the daughter-in-law of the late John Wimber, who was a founding father of the Vineyard movement which he led until his death in 1997.
John Wimber's far-reaching influence in evangelical circles cannot be understated; sadly, the seeds that he scattered so widely have steadily grown into tall tares that are choking the good grain. What John Wimber presented to the Church was what has become known as the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit, a term coined by his friend C. Peter Wagner, a man who has become recognized as the leader of the utterly heretical New Apostolic Reformation.
Back in the 80s, Wimber and Wagner co-taught a course at the Fuller Seminary, entitled "Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth." The core teaching of the Third Wave is what has become known as Power Evangelism, or "Doing the stuff" as Wimber flippantly called it. The premise is that the presentation of the Gospel is now essentially ineffectual unless it is accompanied by Signs and Wonders - notably healing and deliverance - and the movement has in consequence taken a key role in relentlessly bulldozing "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" away from a solid Word-based faith to a subjective experience-based one.
What is being propagated is the lie that people have to SEE in order to believe, which contradicts the Bible's clear teaching that people have to HEAR in order to believe. For as it is written in no uncertain terms:
"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
It cannot be emphasized enough that the Gospel has to be orally preached and aurally received; the reality is that it is a visual presentation that is ineffectual. Conviction of sin and the need for repentance is a work of the Holy Spirit accomplished via the EARS, not the EYES! Third Wave adherents have majored on the wrong sensory organ entirely. It is no wonder then that this very basic but enormous error has spawned the likes of the Toronto Blessing, actually one of the vilest Hell-designed curses ever to have been inflicted on the Body.
Let's consider this passage:
"Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."
Did SEEING miracles convict these people that He was the Messiah, and cause them to accept His message of salvation? Absolutely not! They didn't deny the miracles, but they still denied who He was, and to them the Gospel was certainly not confirmed by their witnessing of Signs and Wonders. Again, in the story told by Jesus of the rich man and Lazarus, He made it crystal clear that "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:31). Would not such a thing be the ultimate in Signs and Wonders? But the Lord Himself here affirmed that even this would be insufficient to cause a man to turn from unbelief to belief!
In a nutshell, signs FOLLOW belief; they do not PRECEDE it! (Ref. Mark 16:17)
Jesus made a very sobering statement about those who would focus upon such things:
"A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign."
It has to be said that the fruits of the sign-seeking Vineyard are bitter indeed. The Third Wave/Signs and Wonders movement in essence denies sola scriptura - the sufficiency of Scripture, and determinedly ventures into extra-Biblical practice and revelation. When John Wimber could find no Scriptural validation for the kinds of things he was becoming actively engaged in, he was undeterred, and with his reckless hand on the tiller the Vineyard was steered into very dangerous waters, to be at the forefront of a seismic shift in evangelical Christianity's historical (and correct!) emphases. The Word was no longer to be the essential reference point by which all things are tested and proved or disproved; experience was in itself to become its own unchallengable "proof" of what God was (supposedly) doing; if it felt right, then it was right. In a vigorous shifting from a Western mindset to an Eastern one, mysticism and occult practices were accordingly embraced without question or pause. In a movement so intent on promoting the gifts of the Spirit, the gifts that no-one had any interest in exercising were wisdom and discernment! In this way, hosts of unclean and counterfeiting spirits were enabled to swarm into the Church, where they have made themselves very comfortably at home and become ever more brazen in their diabolical deceptions.
The Word of God is immutable. It houses all Truth, and is our protection against all UNtruth! When its vital importance and relevance is downplayed, we are in serious trouble. EXTREMELY serious trouble! The Satanically-inspired swapping of Word for experience, and the exchange of an EAR-received faith for an EYE-received fallacy, has contributed immeasurably to the Falling Away which the increasingly neglected Word warned would come in the Last Days before the Lord's return.
But Wimber's wilful betrayal of the Faith once and for all time delivered went even further than that! We should also carefully note that he was of a heavily ecumenical persuasion, and thought nothing of sharing a platform with Roman Catholics. His pro-Vatican stance is breathtakingly illustrated by his declaration that "the pope, who by the way is very responsive to the charismatic movement, and is himself a born-again evangelical, is preaching the Gospel as clear as anyone in the world today." Say what???!!! That his daughter-in-law shares such cockeyed veneration for the Vicar of Rome is evidenced by this following Tweet:
Christy Wimber @ChristyWimber 24 Sep 2015
I love this Pope! I love how he breaks protocol: no limo, visits the nuns, eats with the homeless and causes world leaders to cry.
Let's say it as it is. To love the Pope is to love the spirit of antichrist. Period.
While on the subject of her Tweets, here's another real eye-opener:
Christy Wimber @ChristyWimber 22 Oct 2015
I think u accidentally blocked one of my friends @billjohnsonBJM He's very safe, I can vouch for him! Lol
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Not only does this desperately discernment-devoid lady love the Pope, she also declares that Bill Johnson of all people is not just safe but VERY SAFE, and she can vouch for him! Again, let's say it as it is. Bill Johnson is one of the UNSAFEST "Christian" leaders on the planet, with his Bethel, Redding "church" being an End Times epicentre of all things apostate!
Very ironically, while Christy Wimber is dedicated to continuing to promote her late father-in-law's theology, in one key area of her life is to be found a very conspicuous contradiction. John Wimber was a complementarian, that is to say that he believed in a traditional (and Biblically sound) understanding of men and women having God-given complementary roles in matters of marriage, family and ministry, with men having the headship; he did not approve of women holding positions of church leadership.
Yet Mrs. Wimber is herself the Senior Pastor of the Yorba Linda Vineyard, actually having a higher degree of authority than her husband Sean!
In an area of the Faith where John Wimber to his credit did not deviate from orthodoxy, his daughter-in-law has no problem with such a departure. So what was this leading lady teaching the attendees of the NWC Leadership Conference? No prizes for guessing... it was on how to lead effectively! Only in a gathering of an apostate Church could she have got away with that... an apostate Church that has Tippexed out the Spirit-inspired words of the Apostle Paul:
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man,
but to be in silence."
(1 Timothy 2:12)
But then, is not one Sarah Richards a leader of New Wine Cymru, and a senior leader of Cornerstone Church in Swansea whose Venue 2 facility was where this Conference was held? Is not "Women Who Lead" one of their other major events? Is not Sarah also part of the Pioneer leadership team and on the Board of Willow Creek UK, "helping to bring leadership training to leaders and churches across the UK?" Truly, error begets error, and as Biblical teachings are abandoned, apostasy ever accelerates.
These are wretched days indeed. Days of unquestioned compromise and cultural conformity. Days of church growth, where that growth proves to be a malignant tumour. The Body is dangerously diseased, and doesn't even know it. Blissfully ignorant people are being offered a gospel that's claimed to be the real thing when it is but a worthless counterfeit. Recently I was shown a forged banknote, so well done that you'd have to be really clued in to know the difference. When we're dealing with spiritual fakes, we have to be similarly equipped to be able to spot what's right and what's wrong. And how do we get so equipped? The answer is very simple, yet most folks now seem to find it incredibly hard:
"Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read."
We desperately need to blow the thickening dust off our Bibles, and feed upon the Heaven-sent bread of life contained within its covers. It's the only thing that will sustain and nourish us, and fill us so full of wholesome Truth that any delusion - however delicious-looking it might be! - becomes a complete dietary no-go! The junk food of experiential Third Wave "Christianity" that's being served up by the bargain bucketful needs to be completely consigned to the waste bin where it belongs. Only then can the Body be truly healthy.
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
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Some further reading:
John Wimber's false teachings:
What is theThird Wave?:
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