JESUS DIED SPIRITUALLY,
THE WORD OF FAITH, AND
THE ERROR IN DAN PETERS
Have you every asked yourself the question, what is a “false prophet”, or a “false apostle”, or a “false teacher”? Most would say that a false prophet is a person that persists in offering false or erroneous prophecies and teachings. But a false teacher and a false prophet are those who began ministering for the Lord Jesus Christ, but failed to obey God in each and every command that God has spoken to them. Though they have been called of the Lord, the spirit of error will become a part of their ministry, through disobedience and compromising the commandments of God. Error begins to taint their teaching and those who are exposed to their teaching. So the minister of the gospel can quickly become a “false prophet”. A characteristic of a false prophet is that they begin to teach with the spirit of error, yet he or she also teaches the truth of God. Since error rides on the back of the truth, the spirit of error contained in the false prophet’s teachings is deceiving, yes, and very deceiving.
THE WORD OF FAITH
“The Word of Faith” is the name of the monthly magazine produced by Kenneth Hagin Ministries (Tulsa, Oklahoma), who have been leading proponents of the Positive Confession/Faith Movement. We are going to take a look at the Positive Confession/ Faith Movement, and how it has been used to spread error throughout most of our Church – from an insider’s point of view. This particular message has been written by seeking the Lord in prayer, and an entire decade of experience within the Faith Movement (churches that embrace “Word of Faith” teaching).
Too many times the “Word of Faith” is more like the “word of flesh”. That is, due to a lack of balance and obedience in one’s life and teaching, the message promotes and encourages the will of man and the lust of the flesh, instead of the Kingdom of God. Some of the excess, error, and heresy that is addressed in this message and has been conveyed through modern Faith teaching, reaches millions of people that claim the name of Christ, through television, radio, recorded, and printed media. The popular preachers and their mega-ministries are being used for personal gain, and likewise to poison the Body of Christ with demonic doctrine.
When the Lord uncovers an area in ours lives where we have been deceived by the spirit of error, it is overwhelming. But it must be done. We as individuals and as a Body of Believers must be awakened to th truth about God’s will, and the attacks of deception that come upon our lives. It is difficult to believe the level of deception that the modern Church is subject too. The Bible tells us that in the last days, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” - Matthew 24:24 (KJV)
We are making record here, that in the truest sense, the “Word of Faith” is the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the Word that came down from Heaven (John 1:14), and He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith (Romans 12:2). Therefore Jesus Christ is the real Word of Faith.
We will begin by looking at one of the most alarming trends in Modern Faith teaching that the Church has been exposed to, on a worldwide basis. The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is known as the world’s largest religious television network. It has been a platform for popular preachers and teachers both receive and teach the “Jesus Died Spiritually” doctrine, as it is referred to by some.
THE “JESUS DIED SPIRITUALLY” DOCTRINE
The belief that Jesus died both physically and spiritually on the Cross of Calvary, goes way back to Essek William (E.W.) Kenyon, who can be called the “grandfather” of the Faith Movement. Kenyon wrote, “We have sung `Nearer the cross' and we have prayed that we might be `Nearer the cross' but the cross has no salvation in it. It is a place of failure and defeat.” (Advanced Bible Course, p.279) This teaching is a departure from Biblical truth, and reveals the spirit of error in Kenyon’s theology.
Kenneth Hagin followed Kenyon’s teaching concerning the Cross of Christ, saying “Do you think that the punishment of your sins was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God...Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they held him bound, and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence.” Hagin also states, “He (Jesus) tasted spiritual death for every man. And his spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? Physical death wouldn’t remove your sins. He tasted death for every man. He’s talking about spiritual death.” (How Jesus Obtained His Name, tape #44HO1, side 1)
Kenneth Copeland takes this heresy further, in saying, "Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell. He [Jesus] allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell...He allowed Himself to come under Satan's control...every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him...They tortured Him beyond anything anybody had ever conceived. For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer." (The Price of It All, 3)
Copeland teaches that Jesus took on the sin nature, when he says, “Because his physical death was not enough for the payment of sins there was a another way for sins payment. Jesus put Himself into the hands of Satan when He went to that cross, and took that same nature that Adam did [when he became a sinner].” (Kenneth Copeland, The Incarnation (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0402) side 1.)
Copeland continues along this line, saying, “The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in his own spirit. And at that moment that He did so He cried, 'My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?' You don't know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That use to bug me. I said, 'Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there - the sign of Satan? Why didn't you put a lamb on that pole?" And the Lord said, "Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.' He (Jesus) said, "I accepted in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned out." (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened From the Cross to the Throne? cassette tape 1990, Side B).
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison…And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” - 1 Peter 3:18-19, Colossians 2: 15 (KJV)
Jesus’ purpose for remaining in hell (“the heart of the earth”) for three (3) days and nights was to fulfill the prophecy that Jesus spoke, saying, “…After three (3) days I will rise again.” - Matthew 27:63 (KJV) – not to be tormented by demons. That would make Satan our co-redeemer. No, it, Jesus “suffered in the flesh” (1 Peter 4:1), meaning His death was physical – not spiritual. Then, during the time He was there, He “preached unto the spirits” (fallen angels) that were imprisoned there. For the Bible says, “And [for] the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” - Jude 6 (KJV)
Jesus dealt with these condemned spirits (fallen angels) openly. On the great Day of Judgment, it shall be this way. Every eye shall see, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” - Romans 14:11 (KJV)
Throughout His life, Jesus prepared his body to take the sin of the world and metabolize (eradicate) it in His Body of flesh, until He triumphed fully and completely over the sting of sin and death. Jesus then cried, “It is finished”, which is translated from the Greek word, “teleo” (From G5056); “to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): - accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform.” “Teleo” literally means “PAID IN FULL”.
Speaking of the Blood of Jesus, Copeland writes, “Jesus went into hell to free mankind from the penalty of Adam's high treason. When His blood poured out, it did not atone. Jesus spent three horrible days and nights in the bowels of this earth, getting back for you and me our rights with God.” (Kenneth Copeland: From a personal letter to D. R. McConnell, dated 12/3/79. Cited in A Different Gospel, p.120)
To the dismay of many Believers, Copeland denies the Blood of Jesus, with his statement, “When His blood poured out it did not atone.” Christian Research Institute (CRI) requested a follow-up statement to be sure that Copeland was not misrepresented in his position on the Blood of Jesus. The requested ministry statement confirms the quote from the personal letter, saying, “...When His blood poured out, it did not atone. It did away with the handwriting of the ordinances that were against us.” (K. Copeland, Form letter, March 12, 1979)
Yet when we read the Bible, we learn the necessity of a blood sacrifice for atonement from sin: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” - Leviticus 17:11 (KJV)
We have looked at what Kenyon, Hagin, and Copeland have agreed upon, concerning the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have maintained that it was Jesus’ suffering in hell and the torture that was inflicted on Him by demons that has set men free. But God shows us in the Bible that it is the Blood of Jesus that cleanses everyone from sin who sincerely repents, and asks God to forgive them, so that they may make a fresh start, and walk in oneness and obedience with the Lord. The doctrine that Jesus suffered in hell and was tormented by demons for our redemption (“Jesus Died Spiritually”) has no Biblical basis. Other well-known ministers who embrace this heresy and those that are teaching it are Fred Price, Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis, Jerry Savelle, and Benny Hinn. This kind of heresy has caused many Believers to embrace another gospel.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [be corrupted by] him.” - 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (KJV)
God has “telegraphed” the message that the sin debt of man has been paid, by the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Therefore, mankind has been granted the power to walk in freedom, liberty, and newness of life. We can see that the Lord’s sacrifice as our High Priest was found acceptable to God, in Christ’s bodily resurrection. The same body that Jesus used to defeat sin became glorified. Jesus then offered up His priceless Blood to the Father in Heaven. “JESUS IS RISEN!”
KENNETH COPELAND: ADAM WAS GOD MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH
A number of prominent Faith preachers and teachers like Kenneth Copeland stress what man is capable of, through the authority we have been endowed with as Believers in Christ, and through confession of God’s word. These things are right and true, but it has become popular to use God’s word to get what man wants, instead of fulfilling the will of God in the Earth. There are conditions that must be fulfilled in order that we may receive the desired promises of the Covenant. We cannot be successful in God’s eyes, without obedience to the word that He speaks to our hearts.
Copeland says,“God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself. I mean a reproduction of Himself, and in the Garden of Eden He did just that. He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even... Adam is as much like God as you could get, just the same as Jesus... Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh.” (Following the Faith of Abraham I, 1989 audiotape, #01-3001, side 1)
“The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, ‘Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.’ He said, ‘Think this way—a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.’ And I threw my Bible down … like that. I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.’ He said, ‘You are the very image, the very copy of that one.’ I said, ‘Well now you don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?’ He said, ‘Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could’ve done the same thing, ‘cause you’re a reborn man too.” (Substitution and Identification, 1989, tape #00-0202, side 2)
Mr. Copeland teaches that God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to “reproduce” Himself. If this were the case, then Adam would be just like God, we would be just like Adam, and we would therefore have God’s power to create matter – even life - at will. It follows that a Believer with the power to create as God does, that we no longer have a need for God, for His wisdom, for His power, or a need to be subordinate to Him. We could create and enjoy an existence of our own choosing, at our own will, having the power to fulfill the carnal lusts of the flesh is attractive to the sinful, selfish nature of man.
Mr. Copeland also teaches that faith is a force, that "words are spiritual containers” (Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, 15; cf. 14), and that "the force of faith is released by words." (Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, 15; cf. 17) He interprets the word "substance" as some transcendent, primary element that makes up the universe; it was and is activated by spoken words at the onset of creation.
This is a fallacy, for man does not create matter by spoken words, for man does not move in the “God-class”. Mankind would quickly be destroyed if this kind of power were available in spoken words. No, God is sovereign and holy, and He alone is the Creator. We are to place our faith in Him, and His will for our lives. It is through obedience to His will, and our walk in the Spirit, that we see the Kingdom built.
The Faith Movement has cashed-in on helping the Church to fulfill her carnal desires. So in order to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, a Believer must constantly be making the choice between being a partaker of the fallen nature of man, or the Divine nature of God. The Lord Jesus set the example with His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, crying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done…” - Luke 22:42 (KJV)
We can see here through this prayer that Jesus prayed, that even with the most dedicated of servants, at times are sorely tempted to give in to the weakness of the flesh. God is creative by His nature, and His highest creation, Mankind, has been gifted with creativity. These creative attributes that may be used in concert with God, or they may be used outside of the will of God.
As believers we are going to be tempted of the devil - to serve our sinful flesh - instead of obeying the Word of God, Almighty. In order to receive instructions for our continued salvation, we must have Scripture quickened to us by the Holy Spirit. Then and only then does that particular “word” contain the life of God. Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” - John 6:63 (KJV)
THE GOSPEL OF PROSPERITY:
“TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT!”
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” - Revelation 3:14-17 (KJV)
We read in these verses that the Laodiceans were rich, increased with goods, and thinking that they had need of nothing. They began to trust in what they could do, instead of looking to God and trusting in Him. This is a good Biblical history lesson that we should regard, for complacency in the life of a Believer can easily happen very easily with a life of material prosperity. For a prosperous Believer does not feel the need to seek the Lord for provision the way that a needy Believer does. A Believer that is experiencing need and hardship is driven into the arms of Jesus faster and with greater intensity than one that is comfortable and provided for. Therefore, when the Church is prospering materially, She is not as vibrant and spiritually healthy as when She has need for provision. We see the church of America being a parallel of the church of Laodicea.
But a bigger issue with the “Word of Faith” prosperity message is that is often fuels the nature of the human heart to lust for wealth and material gain. Just as well as sidestepping the necessity of a life of prayer and a walk of obedience to God’s leading for our lives. Popular television Faith preachers have “primed the pump” and promote a “lust for stuff” by proclaiming that every Believer ought to be prosperous. Some that teach and take part in the Faith Movement look down on Believers (Christians) when they experience lack, sickness, or hardships in their walk – that is a Christian is not enjoying wealth and prosperity, they are living below their privileges as a child of God. Many believe that these things serve as evidence of sin, or a lack of understanding of the truth, in a person’s life. Is a Believer always to be prosperous?
“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” - 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 (KJV)
Far from the excess of prosperity and comfort (self and flesh) that the Faith Movement presents and promotes, the “marks” that we see in the life of the Apostle Paul, are so often the marks of many of the godly men and women who sacrifice everything to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. We, therefore, shall not enjoy perpetual health and prosperity until we receive our glorified bodies in heaven. But at the present time, the Church and her individual members each live in a body of flesh, where the sinful pathways reside, which we sometimes refer to this as the “old man”, or the “sin nature”.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” - Galatians 5:16 (KJV) In simplest terms, Paul has given us the key to overcoming sin with this instruction: “Walk in the Spirit.” The way that he overcame sin his life was through fulfilling his ministry. Paul was a “V.S.P.” - a “Very Successful Person”, that is, because he did what the Lord told him to do. He was also a “Word Processor”, because by exercising a walk of obedience to God’s will for his life, the darkness (sin nature) in his life was overcome by the light (the Word of God). As the Spirit of God takes up residence within us through our obedience to His designer Word for our lives, the paths of sin that have been paved within our flesh are vanquished, tearing down darkness, and building in Light (for more on this aspect of God’s Word, see “You’ve Asked A Hard Thing, LORD!” @ www.fmh-child.org)
Sometimes a Believer chooses not to heed a word of instruction for his life, part of the dark, sinful nature (the flesh) is not being dealt with, as the Lord requires it to be.
Brother Dan Peters is a man who is celebrating 10 years of pastoral ministry this year, and he is also my former pastor, and a man that I have come to love, admire, and respect. Besides being a pastor, a husband, and a father of three (3), Brother Dan has also worked full-time as an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) technician for many years. By way of this work that he has been doing, the Lord has made it possible for him to provide for his family, and also to be a blessing the Church.
On November 26th of last year, Brother Bruce Hallman of the FMH Children’s Club International, was given a word for Brother Dan. The word was, "[Pastor Dan's] life is becoming unglued." I perceived the word spoken as “[Dan's] wife is becoming unglued.” A week later, on December 1st, Brother Bruce gave the word, "His [Dan's] wife is becoming unglued, because his life is becoming unglued..."
On May 28th, the LORD spoke a word to my heart, saying, “He [Dan] hasn’t left his job because he is not willing to change his lifestyle.” Because for Dan to quit his secular work would drastically reduce the level of regular income, which would result in suffering, and suffering in obedience to God’s word.
The Lord prompted me to call Brother Dan two weeks after He spoke to my heart about his unwillingness to leave his secular work. Dan’s reply the word when I shared it with him, was that he has a family [to provide for]. He said he hopes and prays that he will be able to leave that job. The finances must come in to make that possible. He also said, “There is a gift of giving”, and that he is able to give much more for the Kingdom through the work that he does. One of them is helping to build a Bible College in a third-world nation.
These are admirable things in themselves, and I thank God for the giving, loving heart that I have seen in Brother Dan. Having the gift of giving is a great thing, and it is commendable to operate in this gift. But as we read in the Scripture above, it is important that we minister and give in obedience to the Lord, and do all that He has given us to do. Partial obedience will not work. We can see an example of this in 1 Samuel 15, in the life of King Saul, as Samuel the prophet compelled him to hearken to the Word of the LORD:
“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass…And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? - 1 Samuel 15: 1-3, 7-19 (KJV)
When Samuel inquired of Saul concerning the sounds they were hearing, that are made by livestock, Saul proclaimed that he had obeyed the commandment of the LORD. Yet Saul exercised only partial obedience. He went about the assignment his way, instead of what God commanded him to do. He took battle trophies from Amalek (King Agag and the chief of the livestock). Saul spared those things that were pleasant in his sight, and destroyed that which he did not care for, saying that he would use the spoil to make sacrifices to the LORD. But Samuel said, “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” - 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (KJV)
Brother Dan is an example of a person who has been influenced by the spirit of error and the carnality of the Faith Movement. Brother Dan’s carnal nature is being appeased and kept alive in a particular area of his life, for he has been unwilling to obey the Lord God by leaving his secular job and trusting in Him for provision. When we are performing works of the flesh, such as hanging on a job, or delving into other areas that the Lord has not ordained for us, we are not a blessing to those around us, but a curse.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” - Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (KJV)
Brother Dan preaches that, “The anointing is in the instructions…” Praise God. We must strive to do all things that the Spirit has for us to do, in order that we may have the power we need, to do the work that He has ordained us to do. Disobedience can affect any or all of the people that we minister to (to read more on this subject, see “Christians Who Make God A Liar” @ www.fmh-child.org”).
Brother Dan has a very close friend who is also a fellow minister. We know him as Brother Mark Moser. Brother Mark and Brother Dan have not only been good friends, but have often worked together as part of a mighty ministry team. Both of them experienced a harsh circumstance in their lives, when Brother Mark’s wife, Rhea Ann, was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Brother Dan himself informed me of this, when I called to speak to him on his spiritual birthday, which is April 11 (4/11). At the time, he was pulling into the hospital where he was to meet with Brother Mark, and Sister Rhea Ann.
Exactly three (3) months later (on 7/11), I responded to a personal command from the LORD to ask a question of Brother Dan. When he did not answer his phone, I left this recorded message for him: "How would leaving your secular job affect Rhea Ann's life?” A former fellow church member later informed me that Sister Rhea Ann had passed away. According to the time period I was given for her death, she passed away within a week of my phone call to Brother Dan.
I know that Brother Dan has excuses for not quitting his secular work, because he has given them to me. This prompts me to ask the question, “What does God have planned for Dan and those that he has been ordained to minister to in the days head - and especially - how will the error that is resulting from his disobedience to God’s word continue to affect those around him?
Many have come into agreement in church services that Brother Dan would be able to quit his job. And the Lord has spoken to at least one person (prophet) about this - that Dan is to step out in faith and leave that job - and see God perform miracles in his life, and in the lives of those who he pastors.
Faith is an act. Faith requires us to act at some point along the pathway to the promise, and for us to act like God has told us the truth - stepping out on His word, when you can't see the promise. But trusting that the word spoken through the mouth of God will not return void, but bring forth the fruit of the promise of that which we are looking for, and expecting it to happen in our lives and the lives of others. As Sister Mary K. Baxter, author of “A Divine Revelation Of Hell”, says, “Obedience always brings results.” The following quote gives us insight on faith, prayer, and obedience:
“FAITH AND OBEDIENCE”
“Faith is obedient. Like the man who was born blind, it goes to wash in the pool of Siloam when told to wash. Like Peter on the Sea of Galilee, it instantly casts its net where Jesus commands, without question or doubt. Such faith promptly takes away the stone from the grave of Lazarus. A praying faith keeps the commandments of God and does those things that are pleasing in His sight. Obedience helps faith, ands faith helps obedience. To do God’s will is essential to true faith, and faith is necessary to absolute obedience.” (E.M. Bounds, The Necessity Of Prayer, pp. 11-13)
Brother Dan has a mighty calling on his life. I believe in him – and that he will prevail over fear and the flesh, to do those things which God has called him to do. There is no other good choice in the matter. Brother Dan, I entreat you, repent of disobedience, and seek the Lord for His guidance and wisdom at this critical time in your life, and the lives of those that you love.
One of the members in Brother Dan’s church is a man named Jesse. Jesse has the calling of prophet. He is also the praise and worship leader at Brother Dan’s church, where he ministers in music during all of the regularly scheduled services. Jesse was born blind, and reads the Bible in Braille. He has an amazing ability to quote many passages of Scripture, as he has been able to put them to memory.
Just this past Summer, Jesse and I had a phone conversation, during which time he gave me the news of Sister Rhea Ann’s recent passing. Before we finished speaking that night, I mentioned that the movie actor Mel Gibson had been arrest for DUI, in Malibu, California, during the past weekend. This was the door for which I had been waiting on the Lord, that I may share a two (2) year-old prophetic message with Jesse, on the topic of Mel Gibson’s most acclaimed work as a movie director, called “The Passion Of The Christ” (See “The Roman Catholic Curse In The Passion Of The Christ” @ www.fmh-child.org).
I received Jesse’s response to “The Roman Catholic Curse In The Passion Of The Christ” message, the afternoon that he received it in the mail. He had concerns about the content, and the spirit of the writing. So much so that he doubted that the FMH Children’s Club International ministry has the blessing of the Lord upon it.
That same evening that Jesse and I had spoken, Brother Bruce came to me with an unusual prayer request. He then requested that I pray, “If Jesse were to drop dead right now, would he end up in heaven or hell?” I prayed that prayer to the Lord, and approximately thirty (30) minutes later, the Lord gave me a vision of a postcard that appears on our ministry website, called “Placebo – THE PILL” (See below).
PLACEBO: THE PILL
HOWARD PITTMAN’S TESTIMONY
“Placebo” is a book that was written by Howard Pittman. Howard was a Baptist minister for 35 years, and in “Placebo”, he gives the account of the emergency heart surgery, that doctors were going to perform, in an attempt to save his life. Surgeons began working on him, and while he lay on the hospital operating table, he died and left his body (this is what has come to be known as a “near-death experience”). It was during the time the Howard was out of his physical body, that he saw Heaven and came face-to-face with God Almighty (see Howard Pittman’s book, “Placebo”, for more details on his death experience).
During the time he was in heaven, Howard says that God judged his works that he had performed on Earth. He had preached and testified about the saving grace of Jesus Christ, but when doing so, he had just done it for himself, to sooth his conscience. In essence, Howard’s first love and first works had been done for himself. After his needs and wants were satisfied, he would then set out to do the Lord’s work. Howard’s priorities were out of order and unacceptable. It came as a great shock and surprise to Howard, for God to point out to him that his faith was dead, that his works were not acceptable, and that his labor was in vain. Howard became his own false god, and God tells us that we are to have no other gods before Him.
As a result, Howard’s 35 years of ministry had been unfruitful, his works can be likened to chaff, which is good for nothing but to be burned by fire. He was told that the type of life that he had lived was unacceptable for a true Christian. As God told Howard that his life had been filled with dead works, he was shown that there are some people who are not saved, they just think they are saved. Howard said it was revealed to him that 97-1/2% of the world’s population is not ready to meet God. A person found in this condition at the final judgment will be rejected from God’s presence, and condemned to hell, where they will experience God’d everlasting wrath. If these figures are correct, God’s remnant people are represented by only 2-½% of the population, a mere 50 people out of every 2000, who would be found in “the faith”.
GOOD WORKS IN THE CHURCH
Mr. Pittman’s testimony reminds us that many church members today are engaging in “good works”, that are not works led by the Spirit. This produces a form of godliness, which is void of the life-changing power of God’s “designer word” for their lives. This applies to Jesse’s life, who also must allow God to be God, by walking in the Spirit. He must forsake the flesh, and suffer in obedience, if he is going to be found faithful and honorable in God’s sight.
The Lord applied yet another word for Jesse’s life, following the vision of the “Placebo” postcard:
“And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” - Psalms 106:15 (KJV)
The interpretation that the Lord gave me for this Scripture is that Jesse has been rejecting the voice and the leading of the Holy Spirit in his life. By choosing not to process God’s Word to this heart and life – either knowingly or unknowingly - he has sought to avoid the suffering and persecution that comes about as one walks in obedience to God’s rhema, life-giving Word.
We are blessed by God to have the Holy Scriptures, and through them, the ability to know the nature of God, and the name of God. But once we have come to know Jesus (“The Word Of God” - Revelation 19:13) and have made Him the Lord of our lives, we must follow Him, and do His will. Not by following the letter of the law, but by following the Spirit of the law (God’s rhema and living word). For the Bible says “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” - 2 Corinthians 3:6 (KJV)
Jesse preaches that “God will not [and does not] go against His word” (the Bible). He has confessed that by seeking to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, in the past, he has been “deceived” by the devil. So, in order to ensure that he is not led astray again, he says he now seeks to “find safety” in God’s Word (the Bible). He relies on the instructions that we read in the Bible to be a guide for His life. Yes, it is vitally important that we know the truth of God’s word, the Bible. Especially so that the Holy Spirit may illuminate Scripture to our hearts. Yet, we must recognize that the devil knows Scripture quite well, and he will seek to use it to get the Believer that has heard from God, to take a fleshy, carnal word from him, and with it, disobey God. When this happens, sin has occurred. A prime example of the misuse of Scripture can be seen in the 4th chapter of the Book of Matthew – the temptation of Jesus:
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred…And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” - Matthew 4:1,5-7 (KJV)
In this case, Satan was tempting Jesus to sin, by using God’s word. The text was not misquoted, as some have said. This was a true temptation by Satan, for Jesus to sin – to bow down and obey the will of Satan - instead of the will of the Father. The word that Satan spoke was the written word of God, but it was not the living word of God. The written word was not quickened (made “alive and powerful”) by the Spirit of God, and therefore it was not God’s promise or God’s will for Jesus’ life at that moment. Jesus responded with what the Holy Spirit gave Him to speak at the moment – God’s living Word. This is how Jesus carried out his life and ministry, and was able to remain without sin (without disobedience), and become the Saviour of the world. He did it by hearing God, then obeying God, and being completely and continually led by the Spirit:
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God…” “Every word in this verse is translated from the Greek word, “rhema” (From G4483); meaning an “utterance”, or “saying”. It is God’s word for the particular moment in time – the “now” word for one’s life. We must see that what we say and do in Jesus’ name are actions that bring life, not death. We must see that we do not make the Scriptures law. The Bible can be thought of as “The Book of the Law”. That is, that we seek to lead a life led by the living word, and not the dead letter. Thank God for the Spirit of Grace.
We sometimes worship the word of God, more than we worship the God of the word. Consider the following one-liner from the LORD: “Don’t Use The Word Of God To Tell God That You Can’t Do What He Is Telling You To Do”. The Bible serves to reveal to us who God is. We then need to seek God for His life-giving instructions, and allow Him to be the Source for the situations of our lives. It is necessary that God speak His fo our walk with Him. Again, Scripture can be used in a fleshly manner, which results in disobedience, or manipulation and bondage, instead of liberty in Christ. For all that we do is either a work of the flesh (man), or is directed by the Spirit (God). For “…Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” - Romans 14:23 (KJV)
SPIRIT OF PROPHECY
The “Spirit of Prophecy” is the ministry of Faith Tabernacle (Prophets Bill and Marsha Burns). Spirit of Prophecy is a prophetic message can be received every weekday, through a free e-mail subscription (ft111.com). The following message was given within a week of my move to El Paso, which the Lord required me to give to Brother Dan, who is Jesse’s pastor. I forwarded it to Dan by e-mail on 1/1/05:
Small Straws In A Soft Wind
By Marsha Burns
November 25, 2004: “This is the year of release, a time to be released from all fear and bondage. Rejoice in this special season of Jubilee when you can come again to your inheritance and have a fresh start. But, this is also a time when you must release those who have been held captive by your selfish motivations and manipulation. My people, you cannot enslave anyone through possessiveness and jealousy. Relinquish control and liberate those who have been bound and oppressed. This is the year of My favor, and it is My desire that My people be set free, says the Lord.”
“2004 is the year of release” is a word that was given to Brother Dan, straight from the Lord, the morning of December 7th, 2003. Brother Dan shared this word the Lord spoke to his heart, during a Sunday morning worship service, just days later.
In May of 2003, the Lord called me to become an integral part of the FMH Childrens’ Club International prophetic ministry (named after the founder’s mother, “Francis Mitchell Hallman”). In order to this, I would have to leave Brother Dan’s church, and move to El Paso, Texas, where FMHCCI is based. That is when the “tug of war” began in my soul. I knew I had this calling to the Children’s Club ministry, but since the ministry’s founder, Bruce Hallman, was not submitted to a church pastor, Brother Dan told me that he could not give me his “blessing”, if I were to leave to be part of FMHCCI.
I was told by Jesse and Brother Dan that “To have authority you have to be under authority.” God called me to step out into full-time prophetic ministry, yet I found myself in bondage, as the leadership of my church could not condone me being without the covering of a church pastor. A prophet cannot fulfill his calling in God when he or she is submitted to a church pastor, any more than an apostle can fulfill his calling, while at the same time seeking to please his church pastor, and gain the the pastor’s approval. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” - John 7:24 (KJV) We must judge righteous judgment (by the Spirit), and not just by the appearance (or the scripture).
A prophet is God’s man for the “emergency hour”, who arrives on location to administer “life-saving procedures. Those that are called to faithfully serve God must receive “shock therapy” through the prophet, in order that they may be awakened to the disobedience in their lives. Jesse has also been called to minister for the Lord as a prophet. The Lord has confirmed to me that a prophet must preach repentence, through conviction of sin. The Lord gives the prophet the words to preach: “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” - Matthew 10:27 (KJV) “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, KJV)
Two days following my last conversation with Jesse about walking in the Spirit, versus the safety of the Scriptures, the Spirit of Prophecy published the following prophetic word:
Small Straws In A Soft Wind
By Marsha Burns
August 24, 2006: “I call forth the prophetic voice in the land, says the Lord. For surely many of you once yielded to the moving of My Spirit and the gift of prophecy, but the enemy has shut your mouth and taken away your prophetic voice. I say to you, arise from your sleep. Shake off the dust of rejection, and remove the bonds of infirmity that have disabled you. Sweep away the cobwebs of confusion, and become alert to My still small voice. Listen closely, and you will once again hear and speak the words that I give you.”
When I asked Jesse how a person would learn to walk with the Lord by hearing His voice, he replied that learning to discern God’s voice is a process. It is by seeking to hear God’s voice and His direction, and daring to walk by faith - “in concert“ - with the Holy Spirit, that we can have our paths be led of the Spirit.
Brother Dan and Jesse, both, must come back to the place where the Spirit of God is allowed to lead, and direct their steps. The alternative to stepping out in faith on God’s living Word, which is a "word of judgment", which “judges” that one has yet retained the “sinful flesh” (the sin nature) that God intended to deal with. But continuing down the path that God has designed for us is going to root out and destroy indwelling sin, and it is through this process that we are overcoming the flesh, the devil, and the world. The “strait gate” is the path that God has designed for each of us to travel on, and through it is the way to life: “Enter ye in at the strait gate…Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…” - Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” - Hebrews 12:5-6 (KJV)
We see many in today’s Church world that are on dangerous ground when they teach such things as the “Jesus Died Spiritually” doctrine. It is an amazing, and yet shocking thing to see men and women who are used mightily of God to preach the prophetic and life-giving Word of God, also preach the spirit of error because they compromised in their calling. They were not willing to do all that God had for them to do, the way that He wanted them to do it. Thus, they become subject to the spirit of error.
So be discerning about whom you listen to on television, radio, and even take it very seriously where you attend church. Be led of the Spirit in the places you go, and the things that you do. Keep your eyes and your ears open, for the Bible tells us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” - 1 Peter 5:8-9 (KJV)
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” - Hebrews 5:8-9 (KJV)
So in order to keep the faith, see that “…Whatsoever he (Jesus) saith unto you, do it.” - John 2:5 (KJV)
Additional recommended reading:
A Different Gospel, by D. R. McConnell
Dead Liver-less Frogs And The Word-Faith Movement @ www.fmh-child.org
The following letter is in response to Jesse Ayala’s claim the FMH Childrens’ Club International is a “bastard” (or fatherless) ministy. The Lord gave Scripture to satisfy Jesse’s need for there to be “spiritual authority” (a “covering” of a pastor) over each Believer in Jesus Christ.
I am writing you at this time to share the account of King Saul, when he was anointed by Samuel the prophet, regarding a “school of prophets”. Beginning with the last three (3) verses of 1 Samuel 9,we read:
“(Vs. 25) And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. (vs. 26) And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. (vs. 27) And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God. (Ch. 10, vs. 1) Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? …(vs. 6) And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (vs. 9)… And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. (vs. 10) And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. (vs. 11) And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? (vs. 12) And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets? (vs. 13) And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.” - 1 Samuel 9:25-27; 10:1, 6, 9-13 (KJV)
The following is Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Bible on 1 Samuel 10:11-12:
“Now, (1.) They all wondered to see Saul among the prophets: What is this that has come to the son of Kish? Though this school of the prophets was near his father's house, yet he had never associated with them, nor shown them any respect, perhaps had sometimes spoken slightly of them; and now to see him prophesying among them was a surprise to them, as it was long after when his namesake, in the New Testament, preached that gospel which he had before persecuted (Acts 9:21). Where God gives another heart it will soon show itself. (2.) One of them, that was wiser than the rest, asked, “Who is their father, or instructor? Is not God? Are they not all taught of him? Do they not all owe their gifts to him? And is he limited? Cannot he make Saul a prophet, as well as any of them, if he please?” Or, “Is not Samuel their father?” Under God, he was so…”
As Matthew Henry writes, “One of them, that was wiser than the rest, asked [concerning the prophets], “Who is their father, or instructor? Is not God? …Is not Samuel their father?” And the answer given is: “Under God, he [Samuel] was so [their father]”.
So, Jesse, though you were not willing to seek the Lord on the matter of the prophetic messages that I sent you being of Him, through this Spirit-filled commentary He has given us insight into who the father of the prophets was at the point and time of Saul’s ministry. Just as Samuel was the spiritual father and overseer of the school of the prophets, so is Brother Bruce Hallman is the spiritual father of the FMH Children’s Club International ministry (under God).
This word is given to you to correct your statement that the FMHCCI ministry is a “bastard ministry” (being without a father). And once again, you have a legalistic approach to building God’s kingdom: You tend to perceive things the way that you want to perceive them. You serve the dead letter and the commandments of men, instead of seeking God for His Living Word. As I began sharing with you in August through the “Placebo” postcard that the Lord had me send you (Howard Pittman), your works are deemed to be dead, your labor in vain, and and your ministry unacceptable. By compromising God’s word, you only serve self - not God. As Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” - Matthew 7:21 (KJV)
I have placed one of our “No Compromise” stickers on the outside of this letter, as a reminder that as amazing as Saul’s beginning was with the prophets, he lost his way due to his disobedience, as I related in the prophetic message that I sent you last week. And as you stated during on conversation last Monday, God will not force someone to change (though He can make them very uncomfortable, when they do not). He will bring correction to them, but there comes a point in time where He will leave them to their own devices. What you have said about this is true. God will not force a person’s will.
My hope is that this will not come to pass in your life - but that you will seek to conduct yourself and your ministry as the Lord would have you to, by being freed from legalism (using Scripture as bondage and law) – that has led you to bow to desires of the flesh and the will of man (Galatians 2:21) – instead of walking in the Spirit of Life and Grace (Galatians 5:16). If you are willing to receive God’s words of concern and correction for your life, and seek Him for daily direction in your walk, you can have life:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” - John 5:25 (KJV)
I love you, old friend
[Note: "Legalism" is defined as "a strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code in such a way that free choice is restricted."]
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