What Are We to Think of the Prophets and Apostles that Exist Today? Part 2
In my first article in this short series – What Are We to Think of the Prophets and Apostles that Exist Today? Part 1 – we introduced the subject of how people tend to go beyond God’s Word as they pursue ecstatic experiences, visitations from the Lord, signs and wonders, and other supernatural manifestations. As noted in the first article, much of what many of these individuals preach is obvious in that it can be gained from Scripture, but it’s always presented with a twist.
We noted last time how at least some of the verbiage highlighted by an individual who claimed to have been taken up to the third heaven and allegedly given direct revelation by Jesus Himself was a bit “off” or severely open to interpretation. Short phrases like “they will be set free” made a person think of specific biblical passages but actually connected with phrases that actually had nothing to do with Scripture.
As I was perusing the ‘Net to find out what’s happening today with the signs and wonders crowd, I was amazed at just how many leaders there are in it, of course, different from my days in the movement. Decades ago, people like Jamie Buckingham, Francis and Charles Hunter, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Harold Hill, Merlin Carothers, John Wimber, Bob Mumford, and many others were the well knowns. At the time, I purchased many books and would attend Full Gospel Businessmen’s Meetings on a regular basis to hear people like these and others speak. The Charismatic Movement was a burgeoning movement then and even though decades have passed, the movement has survived, albeit with numerous changes, and emphasis on different areas.
I wish I had time to go into the background of the Charismatic Movement because it is so varied with numerous offshoots. For a very quick overview of it (which also includes history on Pentecostalism), an article called The History of the Charismatic Movement by Gary E. Gilley offers a great start. Well worth looking into.
I’ve named a few names and I’d like to name more. But naming names is not the actual point. Doing so can become a distraction and can easily turn into an argument over a person instead of their theology. I don’t want a person to take center stage because that’s not the purpose of this series. What I am doing is trying to present what I believe is aberrant theology so that all people who espouse that theology can be avoided, but it’s too easy for people to take sides over a personality rather than deal with a personality’s theology.
This happened when I wrote several articles on Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Because of how people reacted to his teachings, he became a dividing line between many Christians. If what he taught in his books resonated with people so that they deeply believed what he presented was truth, then to disagree with him was to attack him or his character. That becomes the problem because no one likes the person they look up to and respect to be seemingly denigrated.
Cahn’s book were with us for several years as the concept of the “harbinger” took off and gained traction. People who disagreed with Cahn did so vehemently and those who agreed with him also did so vehemently. It is virtually the same for every other personality within Christendom. If the person is likable, intelligent, a good speaker, and even attractive, people will often side with them. How many women in the south resonate with Beth Moore, in spite of the numerous theological inaccuracies she has espoused over the years? It can be a real point of contention for many. Instead of comparing a person’s teaching to Scripture, the integrity or validity of someone’s teaching is measured by how they come across, whether they seem compassionate, etc. This is not how we are to do it, but it is the norm for today.
If you stop and consider it, much of what is happening today within Charismatic/Pentecostal circles has to do with the belief that God wants to save America. It doesn’t matter if it’s Jonathan Cahn, Mark Biltz (or others from that time period a few years ago), or now with people like Mark Taylor, Mike Thompson, or many others. They all have the same message and it is some form of “time for America is running out but God wants to save it if only America will repent!”
That’s the general theme presented repeatedly and it has become a rather heated political movement largely due to incorporating aspects of the Charismatic Movement/Pentecostalism and the tenets of the old Moral Majority (MM) phenomenon with a charismatic twist. Though MM has declined to the point of being non-existent, other groups like it have come to the fore with the same message for America: God wants to save America.
People like Cahn, Biltz, and others mentioned use a form of Postmillennial/Amillennial theology. This is the belief that as Christians work hard to turn America around (by electing the “right” politicians, etc.), God will honor those efforts and America will once again become a nation under God. Meanwhile, 150,000 people are thrown into eternity daily and many of them have no salvation. It’s disconcerting to me that for many Christians, the main push is to turn America around rather than fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28. Do you think God is grieved by this? Personally, I believe it is a very subtle deception by the enemy of our souls so that we ignore our true calling, exchanging it for political involvement.
What Cahn and others pushed is happening once again, though we are seeing new players, new names. The old ones have been shown to be untrue, so new leaders must be trotted out with something slightly “new” theologically but the push is still the same, politically.
We have Mark Taylor – believed to be God’s anointed by many – who has clearly and without equivocation stated that God’s man to become the next president of the USA is none other than Donald Trump. One individual who recently wrote me likened Donald Trump to Cyrus and said that just as Cyrus was God’s chosen man – Isaiah 45 – Trump is chosen by God to become America’s next president, the 45th. He probably wouldn’t care that when Isaiah was originally written, neither chapters or verses were included. Those were added later. He’s convinced about what he believes. End of story.
I did a brief search on Amazon and learned that there are many, many books available that teach people how to develop a prophetic word ministry for today. I’ve included an image of the cover from just one of them. I don’t have this particular book shown by Vallotton. I don’t have the money to buy every book I’d like to have and even if I did, I don’t have the time to read them all.
However, I noted on the back cover the following text written by the author (emphasis added):
The gift of prophecy is not reserved for a super-spiritual, elite group of Christians. Scripture promised that in the last days, the Holy Spirit would be poured out and the people of God would prophesy. This is the hour. This is your time.
This study guide includes group activities, engaging devotional readings, and space for interactive journaling to help you activate the gift of prophecy in your everyday life.
Get equipped to:
- Tell the difference between Old and New Covenant prophecy—and correctly operate as a New Testament prophetic voice
- Learn the languages of God and hear His voice like never before
- Discover and develop your prophetic gifts in a safe environment
- Step out and confidently share words of knowledge, wisdom, and prophecy
- Recognize a true prophet from a false prophet
First of all, the “last days” that Vallotton references began with the physical life of Jesus and continues now. The last days will continue until Jesus physically returns to this earth. When the Holy Spirit was poured out, it happened the same day the Church was born (Acts 2). From that point onward, the theological truth that Paul and others taught was that each new believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit the moment they embrace salvation. Yes, initially – while the Canon of Scripture was still be written and completed – new believers had to be told about it because they hadn’t heard yet. That is not the case today and certainly was not the case once Paul’s letters were written.When a person receives salvation, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit takes place automatically and it is the same as being baptized into His Body. I fully realize that Charismatics and Pentecostals do not agree with that and many books have been written from people on both sides of the aisle. The issue will not be resolved but refuses to go away.
Another thing that individuals like Vallotton either do not get or refuse to acknowledge is that while the title “prophecy” in Scripture is at times used to reference prophets who foretell something from the Lord, it also has a more pedestrian meaning of a person who teaches the truths of Scripture. These people are literally pushing signs and wonders in spite of whether or not Scripture actually supports that notion. Of course, they believe the Bible does support their theological positions. Unfortunately, so many of their “prophecies” can be pulled apart and seen for what they are, but that does not stop them. There are other issues with Vallotton’s concepts he mentions on the back cover as noted above and maybe we’ll get into some of those in a future post.
If Christians would spend more time evangelizing the lost – thereby fulfilling the Great Commission – we would have less time to be concerned about whether America is a Christian nation or not and/or what we can do to return to that alleged time. The Christians who are chasing after signs and wonders, eager to hear the next “prophetic word,” and essentially seeking after this, that, or the other thing have little time to be about the Master’s business. Whether they want to admit it or not, the emphasis is on them and their perceived needs. They don’t want to deal with persecution. They’d rather listen to liars and charlatans about what God is supposedly doing and they’d rather get their American history from people who are known to redact historical truth.
We’ll continue this series next time.
Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, Global Elite, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: amillennialism, beth moore, blood red moons, bob mumford, charismatic movement, david barton, harold hill, jamie buckingham, john wimber, jonathan cahn, kris vallotton, mark biltz, mark taylor, merlin carothers, mike thompson, moral majority, pentecostalism, postmillennialism, prophecies, signs and wonders, the happy hunters, word of knowledge.