Banister: I wonder if you might tell me why you felt my explanation of the gospel was defective yesterday.
Deere: I'm not really very prepared to talk about that.
Banister: Well, just off the top of your head what do you think the gospel is?
Deere: I'm not prepared to make a formal statement about that.
Banister: Could you perhaps tell me informally what you believe to be the gospel?"
Deere: I'm not sure.
Banister: I find that quite surprising that you're not sure what the gospel is.
Deere: I used to be just like you...thinking the gospel was simply justification by faith.
Banister: Are you saying it is more than that?...What would you add to it?
Deere: Deliverance, things like demons and healing.
Banister: So, let me get this straight. You would add as an essential part of the gospel things like the exorcising of demons and healing (Deere nodded), sort of like what John Wimber was saying last night at the evangelistic rally that it's the 'complete package' - the word and works of Jesus.
Banister: But you're not sure exactly what should be included?
Deere: No, not yet.
Banister: Would it be fair to say that you're in a state of flux since you joined the Wimber thing?
Deere: We're always in a state of flux
Banister: ...But on the gospel message? You couldn't go back into that pavilion and tell those people the gospel?
Deere: No, not yet.
Banister: ...When do you think you could do it?
Deere: Maybe five years, maybe ten.
(1990 interview of Jack Deere by Graham Banister, "John Wimber: Friend or Foe" see http://www.takeheed.co.uk/jack.html)
Deere isn't even qualified to be a kindergarten Sunday-school teacher, yet he represents the theological head of Vineyard Ministries! He has accused Banister of misrepresenting him in this published interview, and it's no surprise that Deere has published a public rebuttal wherein he claims that the gospel is centered in the Cross. Yet, to justify his comments made to Banister, Deere claims the existence of another gospel distinct from the Cross, which he calls, "the gospel of the kingdom," wherein the miracle working is at issue. But surely it must have been clear to Deere that Banister was after his interpretation of the gospel, not some mystical "good news" that must yet be ascertained and evolved by the Church. You can see Deere's response at http://www.vineyardusa.org/publications/position_papers/briefing10.htm
It wasn't enough that tongues was said to serve as evidence of possessing gifts of the Spirit; now one must also perform miracles to prove possession of the Holy Spirit. This attitude is leading more acutely to what has already been proclaimed by the hysterical branch of charismata, the condemnation of any of us who do not participate in their spiritual manifestations. We are judgmental "hypocrites" because we speak against holy barking. We are Christians stuck in the mud of human tradition because we don't laugh uncontrollably when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. We are "stuffy conservatives" because we don't fall on the back of our skulls at the magic touch of God's "anointed" preachers. And so the stage has been set for a schism in Christianity, and the rip is well under way.
John Wimber, head of the Vineyard churches as of 1982, started his "Signs and Wonders" movement at about that time, en route to becoming one of the most influential charismatics of the late 20th century. While he objected to the term, "charismatic," to define his ministry, I don't see how one who stresses miracles and welcomes tongues could be classified otherwise. Ask the people at Wimber's church who made him famous when, in 1981, they began to fall to the floor and to speak in tongues, afterwhich there was no holding them back from things akin to the Toronto Blessing.
I suppose that we could say his signs and wonders program started in 1977, when for 10 months into 1978, pastor Wimber gave altar calls and prayed repeatedly for healing to occur to his people. One would think that after 10 months without one healing, Wimber would have caught on that God's answer was, "NO." But after 10 months, a first healing was claimed when a women was reportedly relieved of a fever. Soon after this "success," Christians in his church were found casting demons out of one another! I remember attending such a group claiming that burping, or even gas issuing out the other end, was evidence that demons were leaving the Christian!!
If one studies Wimber's early history and late beliefs, it can be seen that Vineyard began as a neo-Quaker movement with a neo-charismatic twist. He not only attended a Quaker school, but pastored in a Quaker church, until he was asked to leave due to his new-found charismatic tendencies. It is noteworthy to discover that a significant portion of Quakers believe in Universalism, the idea that all mankind will be saved, even those who die rejecting Jesus! This belief allows one to embrace ecumenism. After all, if everyone is going to be saved in the end, why not embrace all groups now in a global alliance, and through that partnership save man from the ills of mankind?
Quakers are Christian mystics practising "inner light," defined as new knowledge from God outside of the Bible, discovered within themselves through meditation. In fact, the Bible is made secondary to their personal revelations. Yes, God speaks to our minds, but so do our imaginations if we allow them to. I have witnessed abuses in this area. For example, one man said to me, "John, when I say anything to you, such as 'strawberry,' that's Jesus speaking to you...you've got to learn to empty your mind and let Jesus control." This man believed that he was so filled with the Spirit that every thought and word that occurred within him was Jesus.
After Quaker involvement, Wimber joined the charismatic Calvary-Chapel churches. In 1981, while in the process of splitting from these churches, he said: "Calvaryites are sometimes a little too heavily oriented to the written Word. I know that sounds a little dangerous, but frankly they're very Pharisaical in their allegiance to the Bible. They have very little life, and growth and spontaneity in their innards. Sometimes they're very rigid and can't receive much of the things of the Lord."
Say what? Believers who depend on the Bible heavily/rigidly are spiritually dead, "legalistic" Pharisees??? Spoken just like a true Quaker! Indeed, notice the parts about the "spontaneity in the innards" and receiving "things of the Lord," the Quaker method of hearing from God.
As an example of what I believe to be concrete evidence that Wimber wasn't a child of God at all at this point, he said: "...only by startling the world by demonstrations of clairvoyance and powerful healings will the gospel message receive respectful attention, because (apparently) by itself, the Gospel is too weak and powerless to break the stubbornness and rebellion of the human heart" (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/~jkh8x/soc257/nrms/Vineyard.html).
My goodness, did Wimber the insightful, spiritually-alive man not realize that Jesus doesn't want anyone saved who comes to God for the miracles? Surely, all who aspire to be evangelists realize that the Cross isn't going to save everyone because everyone isn't going to appreciate it. But to claim that the Cross is too weak and powerless to break sinful hearts is in my opinion blasphemous. The Cross is the very power of God--LOVE--to do just that, break our hearts! It worked for me and countless others...and has continued to work for us by maintaining our love for Jesus through our many trials.
Wimber was clearly in the business of trying to convert those whom would not be converted by the Cross alone. Shame on him! This is nothing short of manufacturing goats among us through "miraculous" hype. It's no surprise that their "converts" don't last long with Jesus, when they discover that God isn't concerned with turning them into power houses, Who calls us instead to enjoy self-sacrifice. Jesus doesn't want anyone saved who isn't willing to carry His Cross alone as their mark of salvation. No additives allowed!! The apostle Paul curses anyone who adds to the Gospel.
In Wimber's phrase, "Power Evangelism," we not only see that the Cross is not, alone, the power of his evangelism, but we are also to understand the phrase as the embodiment of his ecumenism. That is, he would like to see power evangelism working in ..."Pentecostalism and the charismatic renewal in mainline denominations and the Roman Catholic Church..." These words expose well enough his ecumenism, but he continues after the dots with: "Though I write about power evangelism, the most powerful evangelism will come only when Jesus' prayer for Christian unity is fulfilled." There you see Wimber's plans, to unify the denominations (under a charismatic umbrella) in order to utilize his signs and wonders ministry...which could never be the ministry of God simply because Wimber diluted the Gospel with those signs and wonders.
Was it really the prayer of Jesus, in John 17, that the unity of the Elect should include charismatic infiltration into all denominations...to the point of encompassing the Roman Catholic Church?!?!? Rather, isn't this charismatic "unity" the slaughter of Biblical doctrine?
How ironic that John Wimber warned of the following: "Today, going about the Body of Christ, we see many who, like these prophets of Ezekiel 13, are prophesying out of their own imaginations. They go in the power of the flesh and are not sent by God. They go in their own initiative, perhaps feeding their own needs of notoriety or success, but they have seen nothing from God" (First Fruits, May 1985). Just a couple of years later, Wimber came into contact with the Kansas-City prophets, who prophesy out of their imaginations, and joined them!! Why did he fall for such a thing? Because he himself was one of those Ezekiel-13 false prophets, going forth in his own initiative, who had not heard from God! The blind and the blind who claim that they see.
In the late 1980s, Vineyard was instilled with the Manifest-Sons teaching of the Kansas-City prophets. And even when Ernest Gruen thereafter openly chastising the Kansas-City crew with an expose of their more-ridiculous activities and beliefs, Vineyard moved in to officially take the K-C prophets under its wings (1990). This shows just how close Wimber and the K-C crew were, that he would sacrifice some of the Vineyard reputation for them.
Then, in the mid 1990s, Vineyard, in another stroke of misfortune, took the Toronto Airport Church under its wings, but for a very short while...until that church's "Toronto-Blessing" phenomena--especially the animal behavior--became too controversial even for Wimber. But even after cutting Toronto loose, he verbally supported the Toronto manifestations, albeit not the methods of its ministers, as a genuine move of God.
At that time (1995), Wimber had been diagnosed with cancer, but died of a brain hemorrhage instead, in 1997.
Is it appropriate for us to ask why all the anointed men of God in Kansas City, all the anointed men of God in Vineyard, and all the anointed men of God in Toronto, were not able to heal John of cancer those two years, with all their prayers and powers combined...not to mention the powers and prayers of Wimber the miracle-worker himself? Why didn't God prove to the world that John and his fellows were operating under genuine power from Heaven? Instead, one could certainly get the impression that his death serves as a Sign that God is not with the Wimber "signs and wonders" movement.
The missionary, Peter Wagner, was teaching a course on church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary when Wimber became his close associate. In 1982, as the signs and wonders movement was off the ground, he and Wagner co-taught, "Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth." By that time, of course, Wagner's anti-charismatic views had changed to the point that he himself was performing miracles, including the leg-growing one. Look it! Look it! Can't you just see that leg growing before your eyes??? No, no one can see it, and that is precisely why the "miracle" is performed. People, please, you're not that naive; anytime you see a leg-growing miracle, you're being taken for a fool!
As Fuller was itself an ecumenical institution (and still is), what sort of church growth was being taught? Was it based on the Church growing in Godly character and sound doctrine? No, but on churches growing in numbers of people. And anytime that numbers are emphasized, holy character and sound doctrine are sacrificed because they are detrimental to growing in the highest numbers possible.
Evangelism can thereby be abused, when it's methods are distinguished only as those which happen to bring about growth in numbers, especially when the real purpose for numbers is of the flesh, such as bringing Joel's Army to fruition, or to reap greater financial intake. There is little that brings in as much money as our being asked to support evangelical endeavors, and don't the church leaders know it?
While Wimber started the miracle-show rolling, it was Wagner who felt that signs and wonders should play a key role in church growth, and who passed the idea onto Wimber. But the miracles of the first century were not meant to enhance church numbers, but to establish the authenticity of "ordinary" men as true apostles of Christ, so that the sheep would unwaveringly follow their teachings--in the New-Testament epistles--unto growth of love, holy character and sound doctrine. Church growth in numbers was to occur, yes, but only to a certain peak and afterward level off, when the number of new and true converts became equal to the number of dying or betraying saints. Never did God intend for the numbers to grow perpetually, because He is interested, as higher priority, in the quality of believers (by "quality," I'm not referring to their station in life prior to conversion). This is why the apostles stress our godly character rather than evangelism in the epistles, and why also false prophets/teachers are denounced rudely and unmercifully.
You will note that the epistles, written decades after the early-Church situation, are not interested in setting up the miraculous early-church situation. Where do the epistles stress our going forth in miraculous powers to convert the masses? When the old man, Paul, passes the torch to Timothy, do we see the young man instructed to take the world by storm in miraculous works? No, but we see Timothy instructed to be a teacher in the godliness of Christ, to watch his doctrine closely, to persevere in good works, to correct and rebuke others if necessary, and not to be hasty in making converts i.e. not concerned with numbers! We see that Paul did not claim, "In the Name of Jesus Christ, let your stomach ailments be healed right now!" Nor did Paul send Timothy a piece of cloth to heal him in return for a little donation!
Nor did Peter and John write to the churches with instructions to grow in miraculous powers or to place emphasis on tongues. Never do we read from them that tongues were granted as evidence of salvation or power from on High to perform miracles. True salvation is evidenced by our good works. And the power of our faith is also based on our good works. Don't ever forget that. The person having good works will be given Power to perform more good works, but he who doesn't have good works, even what he thinks he has in Christ shall be taken away.
And never do we read that baptism in the Holy Spirit is something that converts should seek after (for converts have already been baptized in the Holy Spirit...at their conversion). Pentecostal leaders have been modern sorcerers in the name of Jesus, and as Peter rebuked Simon, so we ought to expose and rebuke those who claim to perform miracles in the name of Jesus but who are cleverly attempting to deceive us with tricks, or else working under the real powers of the evil one. This is why Jesus will say to them, "Depart from me those working destruction" (Matthew 7:23).
In vain do modern "apostles" attempt to set up the early-church situation by their flesh. Consider that Wagner has gone on to announce himself as the "presiding apostle" of an "international coalition" of apostles. It's Edward Irving, John Dowie, Charles Parham and Great Deception all over again!
The Fuller seminary leads the world-missions charge, but if Wagner's evangelistic organizations now represent the full-grown Fuller product, then, clearly, Fuller was not investing in God's brand of evangelism...through our love for one another. God wants people coming into the Church because they wish to love one another as they see the Church loving one another. I remember when I was very short of money, someone would leave cash in an envelope at my door without telling their name. That was such a blessing that I started doing that for someone else in need when I did have extra money. That's the kind of thing we ought to practice and generate unto multiplication. That's what makes people fall in love with God more and more, because, as far as the receivers are concerned, the gifts represent God's love in action.
Let's not feel guilty if we haven't made 10 converts in the past 20 years. For, if we are each directly responsible for making one convert every two years, the Church would double every two years, and the whole world would be saved in less than 20 years...but God doesn't want the whole world saved because the bulk of the world is unfit for salvation in that they despise the Cross. Yes, the Bible says that God wants the whole world saved, but only if the whole world respects the Cross. He is coming to take the whole world by surprise, with destruction, because the bulk of the world despises the Cross.
The charismatics have found a way to make converts that far exceeds in numbers the methods used by other cults. But, of course, most members of charismatic churches in the Western world are not converts at all, but previously-converted believers from other denominations. Isn't it true to say that "sheep-stealing" programs represent the true power of "Power Evangelism." It's the same old Pentecostal game, to make all others churches appear spiritually dead by comparison, and thereby take their people. And, geepers, could this be the reason that other denominations decline in numbers while the charismatics increase?
Is that the promised revival, by the way?
No, it's business...as usual!! Ask the secretaries, filing cabinets, and computers in the church office(s) en route to the sanctuary. Is this what Jesus wanted? Is this the direction to the Garden of Eden? Is it an acceptable expression of the Kingdom come invisibly upon us? One wonders how the apostles accomplished their evangelism explosion without church buildings and offices...and without altar calls amid soft music yet! The Pentecostals have this to be proud of: that they have been more successful than other denominations, in the evils of denominationalism. Indeed, as they are openly proud of their church growth this past century, shall we drink a toast to numbers? If you are a non-church-goer because of disillusionment from charismatic churches, don't give up on Jesus because of it. The two are not the same.
If the mark of being blessed by God is thought to be in how successful a church is in numbers, the obvious result will be in the most-successful churches competing with one another for numbers. Hence, betrayals and hatred one for another. Amid all this competition will be religious alliances, in the same way that corporations merge to put the small guys out of business. But if the small church is viewed as powerless and dead, beware, for small churches just may be the desire of God. Then again, while meeting in homes is quite Biblical, keep an eye out for the home-church programs led by massive evangelism projects, because the Kingdom Now are now in that game, to bring Joel's Army to fruition everywhere.
But what's a church office compared to the offices of huge mission boards and evangelical associations? Peter Wagner is involved in just such a thing--as founder and President of Global Harvest Ministry. The Wagner Leadership Institute is in charge of training/overseeing his many "apostles." Wagner is a member of Coalition for Revival (COR), by the way, a Reconstructionist organization led by Christian luminaries out to form a Theocracy through Christian political powers. Many of the names involved with COR are involved with Council for National Policy (CNP), a "Christian" political tool that I was initially very happy to see, but am no longer thrilled about. Masons have been involved (e.g. Jesse Helms), and, to my dismay, they don't appear dedicated to morality so much as to the standard political concerns. In fact, they appear to use morality as a facade for soliciting funds and votes from the Christian people, only to disappoint them again and again with excuses for not going forth in their said opposition to abortion, porn, and other concerns of God.
One of Wagner's strategies for world evangelism is to keep computer files on everyone and everything in the evangelical Third World, and to somehow achieve greater success thereby. The reason that charismatic denominations are growing at an unprecedented pace is that they have found phenomenal success among remote peoples of the Third World. This off-shore success is now being proclaimed as the promised revival, seeing that the revival is not being fulfilled in America.
A common strategy of world missions into tribal regions is to feed the tribes food. While this is fine and commendable, the problem is, most of the "converts" will come to God for the food, not the Spirit of Jesus. This is why we hear that thousands of converts are being made daily. But sadly it's not true. I guarantee that if your church were to start an evangelism program to the street gangs of your area, offering them gymnasiums and food, you will acquire many "converts" while being praised for your success, but take the gym and the food away, and suddenly the converts are but one or two. Jesus had the same problem; people coming to him for the wrong reasons. It didn't stop Jesus from preaching, of course, nor should it stop us, but it did make Jesus speak some things having the deliberate purpose of causing the insincere to fall away from His following. How many pastors do this today while under pressure to succeed in numbers?
According to the internet site itself, of the huge World Evangelical Alliance (WEA, formerly the World Evangelical Fellowship), the organization had proclaimed to be "a new thing in church history, a definite organization for the expression of unity amongst Christian individuals belonging to different churches" (http://www.worldevangelical.org/history.html). The proclamation, made in 1846, the year that the Alliance was formed, is suspect in that it includes the "new thing." Not long after, the "New Evangelism" was promoted...by an evolutionist. The fundamental purpose of the original Evangelical Alliance--Christian unity--can be understood more clearly when we know that the organization was formed at Freemason's Hall, London, headquarters to the Grand Lodge of England!!!
The WEA site goes on to say: "Today, 150 years after the London gathering, WEA is a dynamic global structure for unity and action that embraces 160 million evangelicals in 111 countries." We do realize, don't we, that the main goal of Masonry is unification of religions at the expense of doctrine? And we do realize, don't we, that there is nothing to boast about in great numbers?
Today, when we see the WEA official mission advertised as, "to disciple the nations for Christ," we are led to think that the mission of Jesus Christ is central. No, but Jesus is being "used." How can Jesus be used? By asking his followers to foot the bills for these "evangelical" organizations and their agendas!
Of the 800 "Christians" who attended at London's Masonic lodge, many of whom were church leaders, how many do you think were true believers? What true believer would want to show up at a Masonic lodge to form a Christian organization? Obviously, Masons/cultists have been working among us as evangelical frauds. We are not naive. In order to exclude the more-Biblical believers from the formation process of the Evangelical Alliance, anyone believing in a literal eternal Hell was not welcomed, meaning that there was an effort to permit only Annihilationists or Universalists! Or worse!! As it turned out, some advocates of eternal punishment from the United States were forced to argue three days against the British and European attendees in an effort to have eternal punishment included in the Alliance's Statement of Faith, wherefore it was discovered that Universalists were at the helm of this "evangelical" organization.
The WEA organization admits to being "a vital force in nation building." That sounds an awful lot like the globalists and the Latter-Rain evangelists, doesn't it? Indeed, in the "Strategy" segment of the site, we read that the WEA strategy is to disciple nations "by uniting churches, denominations and Christian organizations in a unified program of prayer and preparation for spiritual renewal and harvest." Do you see? "Discipling nations" means preparing for the Latter-Rain revival. Thus, the big questions are, are the Latter Rainists sent out from the Freemasons, Rosicrucians and Illuminati, and are they set to convert believers to their world-conquest program?
The Kansas City Fellowship was started by Mike Bickle. In 1982, while Wagner and Wimber were together promoting their evangelism schemes, Bickle claimed that God prophesied the following to him: "I am inviting you to raise up a work that will touch the ends of the earth." This prophecy obviously has the sheer purpose of fueling World-Dominion and Kingdom-Now evangelism. Mike taught, in complete contradiction to Bible prophecy, that when Jesus returns, every city in the world will have 24-hour worship services. How's that for a "successful" evangelism campaign?!
Is Bickle crazy, or does he know something that most don't? Listen to this. He and others started Grace Ministries, a para-church prophetic organization of merely the Kansas City Fellowship, yet with the goal of creating a city-church like their own in every major city of the world!! And every city is to have but one church, with all existing churches from all denominations (including yours) eventually coming in under their own city-church banner. This task is so huge that one is at first tempted to label these men as being nutty for even considering it.
However, it's not likely that they are that crazy. Therefore, these men must be involved in something far bigger than the Kansas-City Fellowship. That is, a large and invisible organization supports the Kansas-City Fellowship, wherefore the leaders of K-C are secretly devoted to that organization. Apparently, there are connections to the Vatican, but how could the Illuminati resist an infiltration and takeover of this and other Kingdom-Now groups? It is the long-standing tasks of both the Vatican and the Illuminati to rule the world from behind Christian facades.
Kingdom-Now churches often call themselves _________ Christian Fellowship, with the blank usually filled in with the name of the city they are operating out of. I attended one of these churches for a brief three to four months until I could no longer stomach their first-Person prophecies. The pastor was an anti-abortion activist, which is why I was there in the first place. But it turned out that he was an amillennialist Kingdom-Now worker who didn't mind calling in Mary-chanting Catholics to be about us at his anti-abortion functions.
This pastor invited me to breakfast on a couple of occasions in an attempt to "shepherd" me; he explained how important it was for me to obey strictly the leaders of his church. He said that God could not move with great works unless all members are in strict obedience. To me, this meant "cult" so that I set myself to walking out of his church.
Note that John Wimber called his church, "Vineyard Christian Fellowship." After the Vineyard organization bailed out the Kansas-City prophets, the K-C church was called, "Metro Vineyard Fellowship." Prior to that they were the "Kansas City Fellowship." It's now the "Metro Christian Fellowship." The Toronto church is called, "Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship." Therefore, beware any church called, __________ Christian Fellowship. And note that the World Evangelical Fellowship was changed only very recently to the World Evangelical Alliance. I'm not sure what the true reason was for this change, but it reverts to the original name used at Freemason's Hall, London: "Evangelical Alliance."
The question is, what sort of trouble are the leaders of these movements planning for us who resist their globalism efforts, especially later, when we retreat into the wilderness during the tribulation period? How will the leaders attempt to brainwash their goat and wolf converts in order to persecute us? Will they send wool-clad wolves among our tribulation retreats to spy on us, and to thereby turn us into the authorities? How easy will it be for them to say, "Praise the Lord, brother...," when in fact they are there to do us harm?