November 12, 2007

Spiritual Pyromaniacs

You’ve heard the saying, "If you play with fire you’re going to get burnt." Today’s "Christian" Gnostics seem to have an obsession with the elements of earth, wind, water, and fire. When we watch "Christian" television, be it Sky Angel, TBN, or the God Channel, we hear the televangelists and "prophetic" folks scream "Fire"! over people who react with wild jerkings and flailing of limbs as they go down in a heap on the floor. What is this "fire" being thrown around on these platforms in such a showy fashion?

First of all from Scripture we can see where fire has symbolized God’s presence such as in the burning bush and in the pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites across the desert plain. Old Testament offerings were burned and the aroma of the smoke ascended to God in an acceptable sacrifice. Also, in the book of Hebrews it says "our God is a consuming fire." In its context, it is speaking of His attribute of wrath towards evil works.

"And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire" Hebrews 12:27-29.

This "fire" is that of God’s judgment – a judgment that is not sleeping but is ready to be poured out upon a world that rejects God’s provision of a Messiah. This is the fire that is being kindled – the sort of fire that believers hope to escape by virtue of abiding in the Lamb – the Messiah.

And then the Bible speaks of hell’s fire – eternal fire that is also called "the lake burning with fire."

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" Rev. 21:8.

The modern day "prophets" who throw fire around like it is theirs to command attribute this fire to the Holy Spirit. Yet, if they are correct, what is their biblical justification for doing so? Do we really want to "catch the fire" that these men and women are trafficking in? Would you want anything to do with the sort of "fire" that Elijah’s List’s founder, Stephen Schulz is describing in this excerpt from his website?

From the desk of Steve Shultz:

"I would like to recommend a couple of our newer instrumental music CDs, Abide by Paul Ahn and El Olam: Ancient Echoes by John Belt and Barbara Grimshaw. These CDs are designed for times of reflection, meditation, and worship. Open the door and ENTER into an experience in the eternal King's Realm where the fire NEVER dies. Come to the streams of promise and wait until you encounter Him. Fire by Night delivers a powerful and intimate live, prophetic, worship experience that will thrill your spirit and invigorate your senses. This CD is one of our best-selling AND one of my personal favorites!"

Blessings,
Steve Shultz

Where have we read that before? -- "where the fire NEVER dies" – What is that describing? When we look that up in our concordance, what materializes?

"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" Mark 9:47-48.

Or from the Living Bible, the paraphrase many of these televangelists so love to quote: Mark 9:48 – "where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out."

I don’t think I want to serve a "king" whose abode is there!

Other charismatic ministries use -- even over-use the "fire" symbol to describe their emphasis. We hear terms and slogans such as "Touch of Fire Ministries," John Arnott hosts the TV program Catch the Fire, "Fire Evangelism" a book by prophetic leader Che' Ahn , Sacred Fire, a music CD by John Belt, "Wild Fire Ministries", "Blaze of Glory ministry," etc. And then there are conferences called "Let the Fire Fall"--

Chuck Pierce and Wendy Alec’s "5768--A Year of Being HOT! and The WEST COAST OF America--I Am Pouring out the FEROCIOUS FIRE of My Spirit"; Larry Randolph, Doug Addison and Sharnael Wolverton’s conference -- "Mississippi AmpliFIRE: It's Time"), Eff Jansen, Bob Jones, Joshua Mills, David Herzog and Bidal Torrez will be featured at the "Fire & Glory Conference." And Todd Bentley, Jill Austin and friends will "Ignite Fresh Fire in Michigan" at their conference. Another conference boasts, "ENTER into an Experience in the Eternal King's Realm where the Fire NEVER Dies!!"

Scary stuff, isn’t it?

But what fire are these people toying with? It is not a coincidence that the occult throws around the same "fire" term in much the same manner as the charismatics. In the classic occult book, "The Secret Destiny of America," written by occult historian Manly P. Hall, he writes of the special initiates of the flame who pass on secret knowledge from Babylon all the way to modern day, on page 195:

"We are exploring into the mysteries of the atoms and the electrons, and have brought the heavenly fire, electricity, to be the servant of our purposes."

This fire of the occultists can also be shared with others.

Cindy Jacobs, at the 1999 Charisma Women’s conference in Daytona Beach spent quite a while throwing around the fire to the participants, sometimes speaking in a deep voice with a look of evil on her countenance. Over and over again, she waved her hand over the crowd of women shouting, Fire! "Yes for the Lord says there’s a new wave of the spirit coming and the Lord is showing me that Daytona Beach is the gateway for the fire of God… Church of Daytona, put your hands up. Yes, burn up those religious spirits. Here comes more fire!! Take it! More! Fire! Fire! Take it!!"

She seemed to be emulating Benny Hinn, who has been using the "Fire!" shout for over a decade. When this "fire-anointing" comes over him, he says even his children are afraid of him. On October 19, 1999 during a guest visit on the Praise the Lord program on TBN, he told a frightening story to host Paul Crouch.

Speaking of a perceived attack on his ministry by the secular media, Hinn says:

"Right before that happened, my dear sweet Suzanne (his wife) gets attacked… 2 o-clock in the morning, I wake up and my wife is choking in bed. The devil trying to kill her. My wife wasn’t acting like my wife. I saw my own wife attacked. It was like the last thing I could handle, I think."

False prophet Kim Clement on the Praise the Lord program on July 5, 2007 described the spirit that he mistakes for the Holy Spirit in terms that can only describe an unholy spirit such as the ones taking control of these men and women.

He said to hosts Matt and Laurie Crouch, "The prophetic word opens up a whole new world out there for you to be enticed. God entices you with a future. That’s the glory of the future, he entices you. Remember something, he wants you there, he says he’s gonna get you there and he’s going to lure you there."

Who is this "he" that is going to "entice" and "lure" people to enter this "new world"? I believe this is the same "he" that entices the fire throwers to spread his false anointings. It is said in Scripture that in the last days (and I believe we are in those days) God will remove this evil spirit that masquerades as the Holy Spirit.

Zechariah wrote: 

"It shall be in that day," says the Lord of hosts, "that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land." Zec 13:2.

That same unclean spirit gets mentioned in the New Testament as well: 

"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none." Matt. 12:43.

Benny Hinn used the same terms to describe the spirit that directs him – the one he passes around with the exclamation "Fire on you" to those who attend his crusades. 

Back when Charisma Magazine had its own program on TBN, host Stephen Strang interviewed Benny Hinn. The date was April 25, 1995. Strang asked Benny what he thought of the current Toronto Blessing that was going on at John Arnott’s church. "Well, where do you think this is leading?" Benny responded, "Well, I can tell you; it’s like a river. The minute it starts moving, it goes into dry places. . . I mean the Bible says that God will bring rivers in the wilderness."

Now where did we hear that before? Jesus spoke about the spirits that go into dry places:

"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none" Matt. 12:43.

And now in Toronto John Arnott’s young people are involved in some of the scariest spreading of this fire onto other young folks who come looking for a spiritual jolt. They call this ceremony "fire tunnels" in which two rows of young people line up while a group of blessing-seekers go single file down the middle. As they proceed into the tunnel, shouts of "Fire" and "Fire on you" come out of the mouths of the imparters as they touch the seekers’ heads and foreheads in order to spread the fire. As they do, the recipients of these fire spirits jolt and jump around with some pretty scary looks on their faces. (To see this in action – go to these links at TACF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-4pyiYAlzg ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_ErxBdAm8M )

I will end this look at the unholy fire of the unclean spirit with a testimony of one who has been burned by it. Her name is Amy and by the grace of God she and her husband were delivered out of the fiery pit.

"We had went to Toronto Airport Fellowship twice and had experienced manifestations and we believe a Kundalini experience. We have never been the same since going through this experience. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after having weird manifestations that happened to me. I have experienced jerking movements where my body had gone back and forth from rapid movement and also experienced a manifestation as if I was an eagle and had actually felt as if I had wings on my back. Also had been drunk in the spirit. I now believe none of this was God! My husband had actually been glued to the floor for 8 hours at White Horse Christian Fellowship in Lafayette, In. He had visions and had seen heaven and hell. He has also had astral projection of flying over a city. He has also had muscle involuntary movements in his throat. Again we know this was not God! It has been a nightmare for us."

Amy and her husband were rescued from the clutches of this unclean spirit of fire. I do not think it is a mere coincidence that we’re told in Jude, the epistle right before the book of Revelation, to snatch people out of the fire, while today’s false prophets are telling people to jump into the fire. Those who follow these spiritual imposters do so at the risk of being burned beyond recognition.

Pray for the young people who are falling for the fiery bait.

♥♥♥

Mt 3:12 - "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
 
Mt 13:40 - "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age."
 
Num. 26:61 - "And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD."
 
Jude 1:23 – "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
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