Monday, May 12, 2014

Double Jeopardy - Deception and Bondage of the Bride of Christ - Part 2

Joseph Herrin (05-12-2014)












Morning Star

The image above shows Libby, played by Ashley Judd, being held by the local Sheriff in front of the Morning Star as it is roped off with crime scene tape. There is a tremendous parable in this imagery. The character played by Ashley Judd represents the bride of Christ, the church. At the very beginning of the movie she is teaching her young son how to fish. This is symbolic of the church’s call to train Yahshua’s disciples to be fishers of men. Libby’s symbolism as the bride of Christ is further revealed in the movie’s first scene as we are shown her admiring the Morning Star sailing upon the water. Libby draws her son’s attention to it, remarking upon its surpassing beauty. This signifies the bride of Christ’s attraction to Spirit empowered ministries.

In part one of this writing I gave a general outline of the plot of Double Jeopardy. I mentioned that Libby, the main character in the movie, is deceived by her husband. She is framed for his murder and is sentenced to seven years in prison. Through this movie the Father was addressing my own attraction to Morningstar Ministries which I considered to be very fair in appearance, and something of which I desired to be a part. As I pondered this movie since first viewing it, I perceived that Yahweh was warning me that all is not as it appears with Morningstar Ministries. There is great deception there. Those who climb aboard this ministry will be delivered over to spiritual bondage from which they will have a very difficult time recovering.

After Libby was freed from prison, her overriding goal was to get her life back together. In her mind, this meant getting her son back. True life is lacking if the Son of God is not present. Libby’s single-minded pursuit of her son is typical of the overcomer in Christ who desires to walk in close relationship with the Son of God. Yet, attaining her goal was beset with obstacles, and it was nearly defeated when she once more came in contact with her husband who was now living under a different name in New Orleans.

There is much that is symbolic in this. One of the chief characteristics of false and lying spirits and the servants of Satan who lay snares before the people of God, is their duplicity. They appear to be one thing, but they are in fact something else entirely. They are operating under a false identity.

II Corinthians 11:13-15
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

Having observed Morningstar Ministries from a safe distance during the 14 years since I first watched this movie, I have observed the spiritual darkness that has been increasing there. Symbolically, Morningstar Ministries purchased the property formerly owned by Jim and Tammy Bakker and the PTL Club that was known as Heritage USA. On this property gross spiritual transgressions took place, including Jim’s participation with other men in homosexual activities that took place over the course of many years while his ministry was being conducted; sexual infidelity with Jessica Hahn, a church secretary, and the engagement of prostitutes; Tammy Bakker’s infidelity with singer Gary Paxton, and with a music minister at the PTL Club, both of whom were married men; the embezzlement of millions of dollars of ministry funds for their private use; using deceptive and manipulative means to elicit funds from donors such as proclaiming financial crisis when there was no actual crisis; Jim Bakker having knowledge that staff members were engaging in wife-swapping, but allowing it to go one because of his own infidelity, etc.. All these things, and many more transgressions, are well documented and available for any person to verify as they were widely reported and attested to by numerous witnesses. See the following article as one example:

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20121210,00.html

Jim Bakker was eventually charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, 8 counts of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy. A jury found him guilty of all 24 counts and he was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 dollar fine. His sentence was later reduced to 8 years, of which he served 5 before he was released on parole. Afterwards, Bakker published the book I Was Wrong, in which he confessed his error of preaching a prosperity message, but he has not confessed many of his egregious sins such as the homosexual behavior he engaged in for years.

A large portion of the book consisted of Jim Bakker commiserating about how so many people had failed, or betrayed him. When I observed this I knew that he had not yet owned up to the depths of his own depravity and the tremendous disgrace His transgressions had brought upon the name of Christ. Jim’s sins were so egregious, being such a black mark against the God he claimed to have been serving, that there should have been nothing else in the book aside from a deep, remorseful repentance for his own misdeeds. A truly broken, repentant, and humble man would have spoken ONLY of his own failings, and would gladly have offered free forgiveness to those who transgressed against him. Their heart would have been like that of King David when Nathan the prophet confronted him with his sin of adultery and murder.

Psalms 51:1-4
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of  Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight - that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.

There was no blame-shifting, no posturing, no mention of the sins of others by David. He saw only the wretchedness of his own actions and cast himself upon the mercy of God. This same contrition and humility has been lacking in the string of disgraced men who have passed through Morningstar, among them Jim Bakker, Bob Jones, and Todd Bentley. The reproach each of these men have brought upon the name of God exceed that of David, for they feigned righteousness, and invoked the name of God in the very act of carrying out their abominable transgressions. While Bob Jones was at the Metro Vineyard Fellowship in Kansas City with Mike Bickle laying the foundations for the International House of Prayer movement, he was telling women in his church office that they needed to take off their clothes and “stand naked before the Lord” so that he could prophesy over them. Todd Bentley while conducting the “revival” in Lakeland, Florida was committing adultery with a staff member while his own wife and children were back home in Canada. He was getting drunk and living a besotted life as a shameless huckster who promised naive individuals a spiritual impartation of anointing, while fabricating false stories of healing.

When Todd’s sins were exposed, Rick Joyner stepped in at once and told Todd not to speak openly of his sins. Rick wrote an article saying that in time everything would be admitted openly and repented of, but he called for patience from the body of Christ as Todd’s first need was for spiritual healing and renewal. Despite the promise of a full confession, the worse sins that other men like Peter Wagner said were committed by Todd were never confessed. On top of this, the ministers at Morningstar supported Todd in divorcing his wife, the mother of his children, and marrying the staff member with whom he had been carrying on a sexual affair. This is truly mind boggling.

This woman, and Todd, after a year and a half of counseling and restoration were then released back into public ministry with Morningstar. How can a man be said to be restored when he is advised to marry his adulterous partner and divorce his wife? Where is the repentance? Where is the turning away from sin? Yet, in Rick Joyner’s twisted reasoning, he defended the action by saying that God divorced Israel, so the church needed to re-think the entire subject of divorce.

Following is a video of Todd and his wife. Forward to the 3:00 minute mark to see the evidence of the unclean spirits that continue to dominate their lives.

http://youtu.be/XjMYqDHbYtg?t=2m49s



There is such uncleanness at Morningstar that adulterers are given positions of ministry and are set forward as examples of great spiritual men and women. The awe of spiritual manifestations and spiritual gifts has supplanted the call of Christ to be holy and to walk in the fear of God. The call to rule over the passions and desires of the flesh is ignored. As long as a person is deemed to have a spiritual gift, they are accepted and their transgressions overlooked.

Jim Bakker returned to public ministry almost immediately upon his release from prison. He did so without confessing, or repenting of many of the things that he had been accused of by those who witnessed his behavior first hand. These things ought not to be. The sins of Heritage USA have followed Jim Bakker, and this is important to note, for Morningstar is now Heritage International. Jim Bakker has stated that God was merciful for not taking his life for preaching the false message of prosperity, but false teaching has not ended in his life, nor has it ended in Fort Mill, South Carolina where the Heritage property is located. False teaching that was spread to America under Jim Bakker’s oversight, is now being spread internationally by Morningstar. A focus on money has never left the place. It is fitting that in the movie Double Jeopardy that the motive for the woman’s betrayal was money.


















Main Street Morningstar

The photo above is of the inside of the Morningstar Church facility once owned by PTL Club. It is called Main Street, and leads to the atrium where church services are held. Along Main Street are store fronts, and in many of them are actual stores, such as a book store, gift shop, café, etc.. The term Main Street has long served as a synonym for business in America. Does it not seem to be a glaring contradiction that Christ condemned the Jews for turning the Temple of God, which was intended to be a house of prayer, into a place of merchandise, yet Morningstar has embraced a merchandising/business theme on the inside of their facility?











Grace Street Morningside

The image above is of Jim Bakker’s new ministry center in Branson, Missouri. Interestingly, the name of the facility is Morningside, bearing a great similarity to Morningstar. The theme is the same. It is a storefront theme modeled after shops and restaurants. It is here that Jim Bakker tapes his daily broadcast for the Jim Bakker show. On the show there is ALWAYS something for sale. In the reincarnation of his ministry, Bakker has adopted a new focus. Since he has repented of the prosperity message, he needs a new revenue source. He has embraced the survivalist/prepper message, and he always has some new product to sell to viewers to protect them from the woe of the moment.





















Here is a screen shot from Jim Bakker’s website featuring “Today’s Show Offers.” I couldn’t fit them all on the screen, but you get the general idea here. There is a CD and book set called One Second After. This is a novel about life in America after it loses a war and is sent back to the stone ages when an Electro Magnetic Pulse renders all electronics useless. You also get two extreme survival water bottles with this for $100. Next to that you see a product called Silver Sol. This is touted as a miracle healing product that is superior to colloidal silver. Next to that there is a 2nd Generation EMP3 Bag. With this kit you can protect your valuable electronics from being destroyed by an EMP blast. Then there are the buckets and tote baskets of survival food rations. These range all the way up to thousands of dollars, depending on how much you purchase.























Then there is a section for survival power products where you can find anything from 12 volt appliances to solar panels. There are other pages selling jewelry, clothing, books, food, health products, and water products. The Jim Bakker show has become the QVC or Home Shopping Network for the Christian/Prepper/Survivalist. It seems fitting that his studio should be modeled after the business section of a small town.

Morningstar is no slouch when it comes to marketing either. They are, after all, located on the same property that Jim Bakker once developed. There is even a Jim Bakker/PTL Club/Heritage USA Memorial Hallway just off of Main Street at the Morningstar facility.


















Jim Bakker Memorial Hallway

Each of the window boxes contains memorabilia from the PTL Club era, including photos of Jim and Tammy Bakker. Tammy Bakker died in 2007. After Jim was sent to prison in 1989 she filed for divorce. Tammy then married Roe Messner, a former associate of the Bakkers at PTL who is a building contractor. Roe Messner divorced his wife and married Tammy Bakker in 1993. Tammy was not to have any better fortune with Roe Messner, for in 1996 he was sent to prison for bankruptcy fraud, and served three years. Roe Messner boasts of having built more than 1,700 churches, many of them mega-churches. In 2003 he published a book titled Church Growth by Design: A Complete Guide for Planning and Building Churches to God's Glory. Do you see a theme developing here? Adulterers, financial swindlers, and liars seem to have cornered the market on church growth.



















Does not the word “duplicitous” describe well these individuals. They maintain a facade of spiritual gifting and success, but they are full of deceit and are spiritually dead.
















Tammy Bakker/Messner Shortly Before Her Death

The photo above shows Tammy Faye Messner during an interview with Roe Messner on the Larry King Live show when she was dying of cancer. Tammy’s life has in many ways been symbolic of what happens spiritually to those who embrace the false religious movements of this late hour of apostasy. These ministries, churches and ministers speak of life, but they are killing people from the inside out. After decades with Jim Bakker, living a life focused on money and material gain, Tammy married another huckster who was pursuing worldly wealth and acclaim. She ended her life as she lived it, spiritually destitute, and enduring much pain.





















Morningstar Website

The top of the Morningstar’s webpage features a rotating banner that advertises upcoming seminars and retreats. There is always something for sale, and the price is not cheap. Clicking on the link for an upcoming 4 day writer’s retreat that features Rick Joyner and Debra Joyner (Johnson) you are shown the cost of the seminar is $1,250 per individual. There is a great deal of money to be made in hosting seminars. This is why Morningstar purchased the Heritage USA facility. Morningstar now has their own high-rise, 400 room hotel and restaurant. They also have additional retreat facilities located elsewhere. The “prophetic movement” has become a big business enterprise, and the amount of merchandise for sale is staggering.

Some months back I published a series titled Savage Wolves. One of the posts focused on Morningstar’s marketing schemes and bent toward merchandising. Following is an excerpt.
---
Have you not noticed many ministries today who speak of the great anointing that is present at their churches and places of ministry, directing the saints to come to their location to experience the presence of the Spirit and receive an impartation? Of course, they also want you to stay at their hotel, eat at their restaurants, shop in their bookstores, and put your money in their offering plates. On August 8, Todd Bentley went to Morningstar Ministries and Rick Joyner wrote of this event:

Todd Bentley’s Ministry on 8/8/08
We were very excited about having Todd Bentley back with us for the gathering on 8/8/08. Todd has stirred up the church like few others in recent times. There are also very few who are neutral about him. Immediately, unprecedented excitement and threats about Todd were coming. The threats encouraged us even more that this was from the Lord, but in these times, they must be taken seriously, and we prepared for a move of God and attacks from the enemy. As most of us have learned, the greater the move of God, the greater the attacks usually are.

We had food vendors, different exhibition tents, and bookstores set up and ready early in the morning, and people started coming just after 9:00 a.m., even though the main service was not scheduled to start until 5:00 p.m. By noon, the crowds were getting large, and everyone seemed to be having a great time in the festival atmosphere and the incredible weather...
[Source: Morningstar Ministries - Special Bulletin]

Note, this was just a few days before the first revelations of Todd’s sins became known to the body of Christ. I have noted an emphasis at Morningstar Ministries in creating a festival atmosphere and attracting large crowds. This goes hand in hand with a spirit of merchandising. I truly believe there is spiritual significance to the fact that Morningstar purchased the Heritage International Ministries campus where Jim and Tammy Bakker hosted the PTL Club. Jim Bakker’s ministry was marked by financial transgressions and a focus upon money and worldly possessions, even to having a Rolls Royce on display. Rick Joyner has bought into this same Heritage, and he set a Bentley on display with the same intent of drawing a crowd and enlarging his following.

This type of charlatanism was never more evident than at the Lakeland meetings of Todd Bentley. All who came were charged admission just to enter the building. Then they were hounded by Bentley to give generously that they might receive something from the Spirit of Christ. He would frequently suggest that God had revealed to him that a specific number of people would write checks for thousand dollar gifts, and often larger amounts. He would also bring some book up to the podium and tell people how wonderful and indispensable it was. He would give a few “lucky” people a free copy, whetting people’s appetites as they hoped they would receive the freebie. When they were sufficiently lathered up, and disappointed that they did not receive what they now greatly desired, he would direct them to the book sales tables where they could receive a “special deal.”

These crass attempts to ply money from gullible and non-discerning believers reveal the absence of the fear of God in such men’s lives. No wonder that this same man was not afraid to carry on an adulterous relationship and engage in frequent alcoholic drunkenness during the same period of time he was conducting “revival” services.

The apostle Paul charged true ministers with the following command,

Acts 20:28
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

In this spirit I am going to share some words of warning concerning what I perceive to be further attempts of the enemy to kill, steal and destroy, and I will not shrink back from naming names, and pointing out where I am perceiving wolves to be lurking. This is in keeping with the practice of the apostles.

III John 9-10
I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does...

Many warnings were given to the church about the uncleanness of the Lakeland Revival and Todd Bentley? Yet just a little over a week before Todd’s sins were exposed, Peter Wagner, along with 16 others (including Rick Joyner), laid hands upon Todd Bentley, commissioning him as an evangelist, and prophesying that what had begun was going to continue to grow and intensify. Wagner’s organization, International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), was represented in that 13 people who participated in this endorsement of Bentley were deemed to be apostles by the organization.

If these were truly apostles, then where was their spiritual discernment? Did not any understand that there was great impurity present and God was about to expose and judge it? Were these truly apostles who not only endured this evil man, but who joined themselves to him thereby sharing in his sins?

I Timothy 5:22
Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.

Perhaps they were not truly apostles at all. I strongly suspect the majority are not appointed by the Lord as apostles. Their appointment has come from man.

Revelation 2:2
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false...

People of God, the Lord praised the church of Ephesus for not being willing to endure evil men, and putting to the test those who call themselves apostles. Yet because of the current false doctrine that says Christians are not to judge, I know I will receive criticism from many for exercising discernment concerning these men and putting them to the test.

Even after Todd Bentley was exposed to be in serious sin, Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries wrote that Christians should not be hasty to judge the situation, but should withhold their judgment. I will provide a direct quote:

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been an increasing swirl of controversy regarding Todd Bentley. I have had almost daily contact with him, and he asked me to post the following:

Todd Bentley asked me to convey his appreciation for all the prayers, expressions of love, and concern while he tries to navigate through this present situation. He is grieved by the trouble and confusion this has caused, especially to his friends, coworkers, and all who have trusted him. He wants to make a clear statement about it, acknowledging his responsibility in this and the mistakes he made, but he feels that he should first meet with Pastor Bill Johnson, who is out of the country and will not be available for a couple more weeks. He asks that you would continue to pray for him, and he thanks those who are willing to be patient. He wants to do this right and not hastily or superficially.  

I would like to accept personal responsibility for counseling Todd to wait until he has talked with Bill before trying to make the “full disclosure” of his mistakes. This needs to be done right and in a way that does not unnecessarily hurt even more people (In other words, the right spin has to be put on the matter). In just a couple of weeks, things should have calmed down enough for a statement to be made. Impatience is not a fruit of the Spirit, and I have personally never seen anything done under the kind of duress and pressure that some are trying to exert at this time that ended up not being a mistake.

The only thing that I have received from the Lord about this matter directly is that “those who rush to judgment will be exposed.”
[Source: Morningstar Ministries Prophetic Bulletin]

People, let me share something with you that is a neglected truth in this hour. Judgment is not defined as only those judgments that are negative. Judgment also includes endorsing a person or event, for this is a positive JUDGMENT. I believe Rick Joyner may have clearly heard the Lord say, “Those who rush to judgment will be exposed.” All those men who participated in the alignment ceremony of Todd Bentley “rushed to judgment.” They failed to test the matter according to scriptural command, and to “lay hands on no man suddenly” and they became partakers of the sin of Todd Bentley.

God is exposing at this time those who have not been exercising spiritual discernment. He is exposing those who have been embracing impure men and impure movements, and He is showing forth their great error in doing so. It should be noted that Rick Joyner was present at Todd Bentley’s endorsement ceremony (called by them “an alignment ceremony”) and he has made much of the fact that the Lakeland “revival” had been carried to Morningstar, making numerous entreaties for Christians to come and join in their meetings and to book rooms at their hotel (the largest in South Carolina).

Note: The website for Morningstar’s hotel has a page encouraging the body of Christ to invest in the restoration of the hotel. It states:

To sponsor the restoration of a hotel room is only $5,000. You can also join the Nehemiah Project with a gift of just $1,000 or more for the general restoration of the facilities. These gifts will be named on our specially designed Nehemiah Wall that will be a permanent memorial at Heritage. All who donate any amount to The Nehemiah Project will be included in our permanent Register of Donors.

There are also many new areas available for sponsorship, including the Main Street suites, apartments and shops. Now is the time. Establish your name as a part in Nehemiah’s Wall in the restoration of Heritage.

Also, you can donate stocks, appreciated assets, IRA gifts, and property. Donating these can save you significant amounts on your taxes and have your finances distributed into the Kingdom instead.

It must seem a small thing to violate the command of the Lord to not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing when you sow money into God’s Kingdom. Are they not as the Pharisee who blew a trumpet before him when he made a gift to the temple treasury? Morningstar is leading Christians into this same error.











Nehemiah Project at Morningstar

Matthew 6:5
“Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”

Using the Holy Scriptures to come up with sales gimmicks like a "Nehemiah's Wall" is reprehensible. It is also deceptive. It leads the naive to think that giving money to Morningstar to build a massive hotel is akin to the Jews returning from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem. Morningstar may put your name on a plaque on a wall, or enter your name into their permanent register of donors, but in doing so they are merely using the carnal methods of the world to build a kingdom according to the principles of a fallen world.

Charisma magazine, in an article titled, Leaders Commission Todd Bentley at "Lakeland Outpouring," stated that, "The special service was billed by leaders as one of the greatest moments in revival history." Peter Wagner, "presiding apostle" of the International Coalition of Apostles, was one of those who endorsed Bentley that evening, publicly stating,

“This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.”

You can view Peter Wagner speaking these words in any number of YouTube videos that portray this event. Yet, having endorsed Todd Bentley so clearly, I found Wagner’s words after Todd’s sin was exposed to be far from apostolic. In another YouTube video he states that he did not “lay hands” on Todd Bentley, that only three apostles present did, and so his involvement should not be viewed as a commissioning of Todd. I am reminded of Adam hiding behind Eve after having eaten the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Peter Wagner arranged the event. He had twelve other ICA members invited to stand with him, yet after it was exposed to be a tragic lapse in judgment he has sought to distance himself from responsibility in the matter.

Compare these two statements of Peter Wagner together.

This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase."
[Peter Wagner]

“I want to make it clear that I did not commission Todd as some wrongly think. I didn’t lay on hands. I didn’t anoint with oil. In fact, I moved to the back and neither my wife Doris or I prayed or prophesied.”
[Peter Wagner]

A YouTube video including these remarks can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sCRk6rnw2w

There is clearly a lack of integrity in Peter Wagner’s actions since Todd Bentley was exposed. At the same time he has admitted that what has been revealed about Todd Bentley’s sins so far is but “the tip of the iceberg” and there are far more serious things going on. I am sure some of these sins involve inappropriate use of funds donated to Fresh Fire Ministries, and I would not be surprised to learn that there was even homosexual sin present as Todd Bentley brought Paul Cain to Lakeland and allowed him on the podium to address the crowds. Paul Cain was removed from ministry by Mike Bickle after it became known that this elderly prophet was engaged in homosexual activity with young men.

Rick Joyner wrote of Paul Cain’s transgressions back in 2004:

In February 2004, we were made aware that Paul had become an alcoholic. In April 2004, we confronted Paul with evidence that he had been recently involved in homosexual activity. Paul admitted to these sinful practices and was placed under discipline, agreeing to a process of restoration which the three of us would oversee.

However, Paul has resisted this process and has continued in his sin. Therefore, after having exhausted the first two steps of Matthew 18:15-17, we now have a responsibility to bring this before the church. Our sincere hope remains to see Paul restored...
Letter Signed By: Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, Mike Bickle

In a recent post from 2008 Rick Joyner wrote the following:

When Paul Cain appeared on the platform of the revival in Lakeland it caused quite a reaction, jamming my personal emails to the point where I thought for a while it might be impossible to answer them all. Some were disconcerted about Paul’s appearance, others by some of the things he said, and others were simply asking if Paul had been restored yet.

The reason why Paul was invited to the Lakeland revival was that he had prophesied that “the last-day ministry” would begin in Florida. I have personally heard Paul say this many times over the years and questioned him about it in depth. I believe it is a true prophecy, and when I heard that Paul was saying that what was happening in Lakeland was the fulfillment of this prophecy, I was very interested to hear what he would say about it.

I also felt that Todd Bentley was right to honor Paul by bringing him to that meeting and letting him share the vision he has carried for so long...
[Source: Morningstar Ministries - Special Bulletin]

Is it right to honor a man who has brought shame to Christ by engaging in behavior that God describes as “an abomination”? It would be a different matter if Paul Cain had confessed, repented, and been restored, but Rick Joyner made these statements knowing that Paul Cain was still practicing homosexual behavior, and was now denying that he had ever participated in it. Rick Joyner stated these things in the same bulletin cited above...

The apostle Paul gives clear instructions in such a matter.

I Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves!

If we are to test men such as Peter Wagner and Rick Joyner who call themselves to be apostles, by what criteria should we test them? Should we not examine them to see if they are men of spiritual discernment, teaching things which are right to the body of Christ, and guarding both themselves and the flock against the encroachment of evil? On all accounts these men are falling short.

Rick Joyner has consistently misjudged Todd Bentley, giving him glowing endorsements, as indicated in the following words.

I have known Todd Bentley for about a decade, and he is a man of exceptional theological depth, revelatory gifting, and the leader of a large and growing multi-faceted ministry that has had a significant impact on many nations. I have been to Abbotsford, B.C. a few times to speak at Fresh Fire Conferences, and I always marvel at the substance and excellence of what Todd has been able to build in such a short period of time as well as the quality of people on his team.

I am saying all of this because there is much more to Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire Ministries than has yet been revealed through what is now happening in Lakeland. I know Todd as someone who can teach or preach with a rare depth and clarity, but Lakeland is not really about that, at least not yet. It is about an impartation of faith, power, and fire. Right now we, the body of Christ, need these more than we need more teaching and strategy...

They came to get me to sit on the platform, and it was interesting how the anointing seemed different there. It was still good, but different. Even so, I enjoyed seeing Todd and a number of other friends I had not seen in awhile. When Todd came over and put his arm around me, it was a hug, but I also felt that I kind of needed to hold him up. He is under the kind of anointing that does stagger you and actually makes you feel drunk, which is why they thought the disciples on the Day of Pentecost were drunk with wine. Under this kind of anointing, I knew Todd might not be able to do some of the in-depth teaching and preaching he is capable of, but I don’t think that is really the purpose of Lakeland anyway...

Todd has an amazing depth, maturity, and wisdom for his age, but he is still young. He might say some things wrong occasionally and say or do things that are hard to understand. His tattoos are real hard for some people to take, but those tattoos seem to be the very thing that have attracted many, especially the emerging generation, to him and his message. I have heard numerous reports of people who have become almost addicted to watching the revival on God-TV because they were channel surfing and were so captivated by Todd’s appearance that they could not stop watching. Then they started listening. Now they are on fire for God.

Even those who would never get a tattoo at least view him as a genuine person with no facades. My opinion of Todd for the years I have known him is that he is one of the most genuine people I have ever known, still untainted by religion, but one of the greatest lovers of God and His truth...

Todd has been sent to offend the religious spirit and to be an offense to the complacent, and thank the Lord it is working...

I am appalled at the statements of Rick Joyner pertaining to this man. Not only are they examples of bad judgment, but they are manifestations of unsound doctrine. To declare that Todd is a man of “exceptional theological depth” is a grotesque distortion of the truth. This is the man who introduced the church to the angel Emma, Winds of Change, Financial Blessing and other spirit beings that Christians were instructed to embrace and send forth on their bidding. This is a man who turned on the air conditioner at a church he was visiting when he had been instructed not to do so, for birds were nesting in the vents. When feathers began flying down on people he declared them to be feathers of angels. This is a man who practices all manner of lying and deception regarding physical healing, and who has covered his body with tattoos to such great excess that even worldly people view him as bizarre.

Rick Joyner was right when he said there was much more to Todd Bentley than had been revealed. Todd is a deceiver, and even Peter Wagner has stated that Todd deceived them all. Yet Rick Joyner confidently asserts that Todd is "a genuine person without facades." Was he genuine when he was carrying on revival meetings when getting drunk and being unfaithful to his wife?
[End Excerpt]

Brothers and sisters, there was a great deception that took place aboard the Morning Star in the movie Double Jeopardy. Things were not as they appeared on the surface. Personal ambition and the love of money led Libby’s husband to betray his wife and send her to prison for seven years. Even so, in the prophetic movement today there are men (and women) who are driven by selfish ambition and covetousness. You can recognize them by their great merchandising.

One can readily observe this emphasis on financial gain on nearly all of the websites that are hosted by “prophetic ministries.” One of the most trafficked, and egregious transgressors in this regard, is the Elijah List. This website serves as a forum for a large number of men and women who promote themselves as prophets, or ministers with spiritual gifts. Every page of this website is loaded with advertisements for the myriad of products that are being sold.






















It is indicative of the merchandising that takes place on this site that Steve Shultz, the founder of the Elijah List, has to add a large red tag above his photo advertising the fact that there is actually something “FREE!” be offered on this site. What you get free, however, is a subscription to The Elijah List newsletter that is peppered with products for sale and pleadings to donate money to the ministry.

Note that right under the site banner in the most prominent position on the page is a block devoted to products for sale. Below Steve’s image is another advertisement, this one being for an “Exclusive Wellness Retreat in COSTA RICA.” (Prices BEGIN at $1,777, pre-paid.) I counted ten additional advertising blocks on the front page of this website, and this is not even its STORE page. The store page is subdivided by categories, which are further subdivided, because there is so much stuff being marketed through this website. The visitor can purchase anything from the latest prophetic message on CD to “Sea of Galilee Body Butter.”

The Morningstar Church at Heritage International contains a Main Street as its centerpiece, complete with functioning stores, a café, theater, and restaurant. Jim Bakker’s Morningside shares the same theme. The websites of all of these ministries are marketplaces, tempting the Christian with promises of spiritual blessing, revelation, and impartation if only they will open their wallet and ante up.

We have looked at the words of the apostle Paul where he warned the church of the presence of “false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” Yahshua gave a similar warning to His disciples.

Matthew 7:15-23
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”

What is the fruit that you see among these men and women? Adultery. Lying. Homosexuality. Embezzlement. Fraud. Covetousness. Deceit. They may prophesy. They may perform miracles. They may even cast out demons, yet the Lord will say to these workers of lawlessness, “Depart from Me. I never knew you.”

People of God, these men and women are duplicitous. They are beautiful on the outside, even as the sailing boat the Morning Star appeared beautiful. Inside, however, there is deceit and corruption. Do not be enticed by the promise of intimacy. Do not suspend your critical faculties of discernment. Test all things closely. Will you gather grapes from a thorn bush? Will you harvest figs from thistle? Do not go to the ungodly and the unregenerate to find that which is HOLY.
To be continued...


Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

3 comments:

Kurt Thompson said...

Great post. One song I really like that talks about false teachers is titled "false tracher" by shai linne. Unfortunately, you won't find this song played on main stream christian radio show.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/april/reformed-rapper-calls-out-12-popular-pastors-as-false.html?start=1

Joseph Herrin said...

Hello Kurt,

Thanks for sharing the song link. It speaks the truth!

brad said...

My spirit bears witness to this article. I am skeptical when my brothers and sisters are trying to make a buck off of me for my own good. Freely you have received, freely give. I am in retail for years and years. I know about merchandising. Very much a trap. And driven by the desires of the flesh. This is not of God. Joseph, thank you for this article. We need people to stand up and say what is the truth. God bless.
Arlette