The Bible warns that in the Last Days, some will turn away from the true faith and they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. They will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching, but instead they will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths! (See 1. Timothy 4:1 and 2. Timothy 4:3-4)
One such deceptive move – which even I myself at one point was part of – is going on right now, coming from places like the Bethel Church, with its leader Bill Johnson, MorningStar Ministries from Rick Joyner, and Glory of Zion of Chuck Pierce, just to name a few.
In these churches, you will encounter all sorts of New-Age type practices like exploring the mysteries of God in sound, light, vibrations, frequencies, energy, and quantum physics. They practice the waking up of angels by shouting, “Wakey, wakey,” and even the laying prostrate on graves of famous, deceased godly people in order to soak up their anointing. The wife of Bill Johnson is especially known to encourage these things. There is worship of manifestations like gold dust, feathers, glory clouds, and vortex winds.
Then, you have the extreme spiritual drunkenness, the jerking, hysterical laughter, bizarre angel encounters, and frequent trips to the “third heaven,” fire tunnels, spirit travel, mystical portals, and so on and so on.
In these circles, they are also falsely telling the believers that they have to abide by the Old Testament Jewish laws and regulations, including festivals and Sabbaths, as indicated in the book of Torah in order to please God, even though the Bible clearly teaches in the New Testament that,
“Christ Himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations.” Ephesians 2:14-15 NLT
“Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things.” Colossians 2:18 NLT
They obligate the people to tithe 10% of their monetary income to the church as the main condition to be blessed by God, and yet, in the New Testament, it teaches that,
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.” 2. Corinthians 9:7 NLT
These false teachers tell the people that following Old Testament mysticism helps them get into alignment with God for the sake of financial blessings and their ultimate destiny. The Bible says about these false pastors, that they want to be known as teachers and experts of the Old Testament Covenant Law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. (See 1. Timothy 1:7)
It is for this reason, that the New Testament says,
“Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and FIGHTS ABOUT OBEDIENCE TO JEWISH LAWS! These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them.” Titus 3:9-10 NLT
The people in these churches are also being taught how to “unlock” the heavenly spheres in order to receive blessings, and about the upcoming “Great Transfer of Wealth” and how to position themselves to obtain it.
Here is an example of how those deceptive, “revelatory” sermons – as these preachers call it – sounds like. It’s all about how to tap in, and enter into the anointing in order to get all the financial resources you need, and be empowered to capture the attention of the world around you:
“As you being you, it becomes his spirit with you. It is only when you step into and align yourself to this anointing, that you are able to understand this engagement, which enables you to release all the blessings of the heavenly spheres upon your life and surroundings. You are not only able to touch the financial blessings, but you can literally grasp it, and make it yours. You are basically unlocking the safe of the heavenly secrets.”
The Bible talks about this kind of babble, when it says,
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Colossians 2:8 NLT
I have also seen, that the leaders of these churches award themselves with presidential “seals” and “mantels,” which supposedly gives them a new mantle of authority for this nation.
And yet, it was Jesus who said,
“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28 NLT
It is amazing to see how the people in these churches are not able to test whether what these leaders are teaching them is really coming from God. (See Thessalonians 5:19-22 and 1. John 4:1) But instead, they happily put up with whatever anyone tells them, even if they preach a different Jesus, or have a different kind of Spirit or teach a different kind of gospel. (See 2. Corinthians 11:4)
Take the practice of being drunk in the Holy Spirit for instance. People in these churches are getting out control, rolling on the floor, cackling like chicken, touching each other, and transferring imaginary spiritual crowns, jerking, and many times manifesting spirits of lust. All this has nothing to do with what the disciples experienced in the Bible book of Acts, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. (See Acts 2:4)
The crowd was ridiculing the disciples and thinking they were drunk, but only because they were speaking in all different languages. They were NOT rolling with each other on the ground, jerking, or screaming!
“When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!” Acts 2:6-13 NLT
On the contrary to this practice of being drunk in the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures say that we are supposed to be sober-minded and alert, watching for the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour! (See 1. Peter 5:8)
In these circles, the leaders of these churches, and those connected to them, are being worshiped and praised like they are Jesus! The apostle Paul also had to deal with this obsessive behavior among the people, when he told the Corinthian church the following,
“So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.” 1. Corinthians 3:21-23 NLT
After being on the road for 10 years, we have seen countless of Christians who have been involved in this type of deceptive churches and ministries living in confusion, delusion, defeat, and demonic oppression. They don’t realize they are under the curse of the devil.
As for me and my wife, Sophia, we have denounced these “strange new practices” before the Lord, and asked Him to forgive us for being involved with these false ministries.
The Word of God clearly says,
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas.” Hebrews 13:8-9 NLT
Our prayer for you is the same as that of the apostle Paul,
“I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he or she is, who has been confusing you.” Galatians 5:10 NLT
Edwin Christiaan