The below is taken from CETF.
We print letters from you, the readers. Letters may be edited for brevity. Time constraints prohibit private (personal) response from the editors. - Editorial Comment (Ed) is by Philip L. Powell (PP) or B. Michael Bigg (MB)
From the CWM blog To comment go to: http://www.christian-witness.org/blog. Find the thread (topic) and make your comment at the end of that thread. (Or make a comment on our new forum - webmaster)
What a wonderful opportunity we have to preach the gospel. [It appears] we are really living in Revelation 6 as the twin towers saw “peace taken from the earth”. Communism [was] never so great a threat … . Living in “fortress Australia” I see this more clearly. Australians are proudly independent [seeing] themselves isolated from the world’s troubles. Things happening in other parts of the world, “will never happen in Australia” [they thought]. Yet, today Australia [is] affected by the twin towers fallout, worldwide drought and famine, and the global financial collapse. A people who saw no reason to fear are now living in fear. For 40+ years the part of the church to which I belonged preached that the things the Bible predicts would come upon us. Revelation 6, Matthew 24 and Thessalonians were used to trumpet the message of Christ’s imminent return. Many laughed these prophets to scorn, yet these things happen today, as though yesterday carries tomorrow’s news. I believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ and the rapture of the church because [the same Bible] that proclaimed events which are happening also proclaims these things. There has never been a more appropriate time for saying, “People, get ready.” [Prophecies such as] “The love of many will grow cold”, and “Some will neglect coming together with the saints”, come to pass as more and more are leaving the church for a life of spiritual solitude, declaring that God made them do it. I see no such teaching anywhere in Scripture. Today is the day of the prophetic voice—not those who declare visions and dreams, or ‘personal prophecies’ [these have their place when the parameter remains the Word of God]—but those who proclaim the Word of God. Some of these are the five-fold ministry gifts (Ephesians 4) who faithfully witness to the testimony of the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, because the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful opportunity we have to preach the gospel today. The greatest prophetic declaration that anyone can make is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Prophecy is opening of the Word of God: enlightening darkened eyes to receive the light of the truth. Kerry StevensonNSW, Australia
The Work Spreads
Hello Philip: Our fellowship maintains an average of 30-35 regular attendees. We are looking for a larger venue and have a wide range of ages from 2 to 70 year olds. I’ve had several phone calls from people who have discovered Christian Way’s contact details on your web-site. Each of the callers has been dissatisfied with the spiritual condition of their current fellowship and are hungry to return to “basics” and to place the Word of God in its rightful position. Some of these folk reside over 150km from our fellowship in Ballarat. So, there is a need out there for the correct “food”. Keep up the good work. Christian greetings, Peter Featherston
Interfaith or Evangelism
I am very impressed with the latest email (Sept 2008) and the articles included. It gives vent to my own, now somewhat private concerns about the church in the UK. Seemingly, the views that you and I hold are held by very few others! It is unbelievable. I am thinking back to my time in youth work and how I tried to make the Gospel understood by youngsters, and made some crass errors in the process, but, thank the Lord, He has gently corrected me. There is an issue, however. How to make the Gospel understandable, or, rather, how to tap into those youngsters, or people of any age, whom the Lord has already chosen. To get that right requires knowing the Lord intimately. We have tried to give a ‘blanket gospel’ where ‘all are saved if they come to Christ’. Those who genuinely come to Christ are saved, but the quote we frequently forget is that ‘many are called but few are chosen’. In short, I struggle to get this right. Thanks for your articles that help me keep my bearings! One further comment: I am utterly incensed at these interfaith meetings, particularly with Islam. I think you acted with a great deal more restraint than I would have done had I been there. The poverty of Christian leadership throughout the Christian world (so-called) is unbelievable.
Dear Brother Phil: I have been listening to your sermons about The Church—where it is: Structurally, Prophetically and Practically. I am so encouraged and blessed by the truth and spirit that you teach! I have heard of you many years ago in the early 1980’s and will endeavour to pray for you and your ministry. I just want to encourage you brother to SPEAK OUT. I would love to come to the conference on the Gold Coast. I and my family are going through a transition period at this time. I have made some very stupid decisions in the last 12 months of my life and My family and I have suffered greatly because of it. However, in spite of this the Lord is so Merciful and His goodness leads me to Repentance. I would love to sit under your ministry but I thank you that your influence is wonderful and I am sure the Lord will use you to speak the TRUTH to His people. Anyway brother, I will keep in touch with you and I would like to ring you up and speak to you in person some time. Yours in Christ. David Cooper, Auckland NZ
An Interesting Exchange (fairly common)
Oct, 6, 2008: You know if you wanted to be a Christian witness then you would not spend your time running people down and witnessing before the world in such a manner. Please don’t send anymore of your material. Take care. —Ben H
ED—Oct. 10, 2008: I don’t know who you are or how you got on our CWM list. However: 1) If you wish to “unsubscribe” you need to select that option at the top or at the bottom of the Newsletter. It is well advertised. I cannot “unsubscribe” you. You MUST do that yourself. 2) We do as instructed in the Bible ie. WARN and TEACH cf. Colossians 1: 28. If you and others do NOT wish to take the warning that’s your business. Our hands are clean of what God told Ezekiel would be “his blood”. The world is more concerned about HYPOCRISY and in the main are appreciative when Christians expose that hypocrisy. By God’s grace we will continue, notwithstanding the misunderstanding and/or opposition from other Christians and secularists. We plan to publish your letter in our international magazine. God bless you. —PLP
Oct. 10, 2008: Dear Philip Powell, Thank you for the information. I will serve the Lord my God and please Him and will not worry about what ‘the world’ appreciates. I don’t serve the world, I serve God and bring his Good News to the world that they can have peace with God through a personal relationshipwith Jesus Christ by faith in Him and repentance of sin. Empowered by His Grace through His Mercy because of Christ and strengthened by the Holy Spirit to be a witness of His Good News to every person.To Love God and Love People like He loves them which means that what I do to others, I do to Him. Philip, I don’t know if you intend to communicate an angry, bitter tone or not. But, it comes across thatway in print. I’m not judging you, friend. I owe you nothing but to love you in the Lord the same as Paul noted in his letters. I agree that there are some people out there who pose as ministers but are truly ravening wolves. I’ve met a few and they are not people that are good. I’ve fought to defend the truth of His Word for years and have opposed false teachers according to scripture. So, at any rate. All I can do is encourage you to keep focused on Him and love people like Christ loves them. As is noted in Matthew 25, what you do to others you do to Him. In Christ —Ben H
ED—Oct. 10, 2008: I am focused on Christ. If as you say you are not interested in what the “world” thinks then why did you say to me, and I quote: “You know if you wanted to be a Christian Witness then you would not spend your time running people down and witnessing before the world in such a manner.” This is being totally contradictory, my friend. No I am NOT angry. What is there to be angry about. God bless you and have a great day. Sincerely yours in Christ—PLP
Addendum: Ben seems at ease admitting to opposing false teachers according to Scripture, yet criticises CWM for doing that very thing. Comments invited.
Smith Wigglesworth - False Prophet?
As a Pentecostal from babyhood, my parents being two of the first in Brisbane, (circa 1920), I did hear for most of my life, that Smith Wigglesworth (SW) prophesied Australia would be the last country to be revived before the Lord comes. It was an oft repeated comment in the church. In recent years, I have said to myself and occasionally to others, that even though he was a mighty man of faith, he was wrong in that prophecy. Peter & Irene FaulkesQueensland, Australia
ED – As a young man growing up in AoG-NZ I heard similar things said of SW but always in respect of NZ. Some alleged that SW prophesied that there would be a revival in NZ before the end of last century, which led to all sorts of outrageous conduct and claims as the end of the 20th Century approached. There are two major problems with “legends” and anecdotal recall that may help us come to a conclusion on this matter. 1) SW was not perfect and could have made a mistake; 2) Memory is imperfect and often “lends enchantment to the view”. Sadly today’s Church leaders so often build on straw. For example SW has been appealed to for justification of the bizarre and clearly false movements of our time, Even worse his alleged prophecies about revival in Australasia, which can never be verified, have been used to promote the vision and ambitions of carnal men. In Wellington, NZ Mike Knott pastor of the Elim Church appealed to SW to justify conduct which was in effect fraudulent. It would appear that he may have thought himself to be the next “Smith Wigglesworth.” In 1999 Wellington Elim held a Break Through Conference and raised approximately $70,000 comprised of cash, wedding and engagement rings, watches and clothing on the fraudulent promise of receiving gold dust and gold teeth in return. To this day it remains a mystery what happened to the $70,000. Earlier (circa 1995) the same Elim Church and same pastor received a prophecy from a close friend by the name of Harold Caballeros. Free audio tapes of the prophecy were handed out to the congregation the following week. As a result a huge drive to raise funds for the building commenced. The building never materialised in the way it was “prophesied” neither were the “many, many thousands of people” added to the congregation. These things remain indictments upon Mike Knott and his denomination and should be acknowledged and dealt with at least in public repentance. —PLP
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I found your website whilst looking for those dedicated to prayer. Reading negative material, such as the letter regarding Hillsong, fills my heart with sadness. It is not my place to judge but to pray and earnestly ask God to bless all of His people. I share with you the words of the Lord to Moses: The LORD commanded Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to use the following words in blessing the people of Israel: May the LORD bless you and take care of you; May the LORD be kind and gracious to you; May the LORD look on you with favour and give you peace. And the LORD said, ‘If they pronounce my name as a blessing upon the people of Israel, I will bless them’ Numbers 6:22–27 Therefore as part of the royal priesthood of all believers I bless you and your readers in the name of our precious Lord and Saviour. —Sally
Philip's Swan Song
Dear Brother Phillip, Some long-time friends have recently “come out from amongst them” (former charismatics and Uniting church). We were telling them about your Swan Song message at Paradise some years ago. We have had two copies over the years but have been “lost” in the system. These people are hungry now for the pure Word. Could you send us a copy of your message and advise us of cost/postage. A DVD would be better but if not a tape is fine. Every blessing, W & J I, South Australia
ED – This is a reference to my final message to the big Paradise AoG in 1992 entitled Hating to Win – Loving to Lose based on John 12:25. Paul Newsham introduced me and said this was my Swan Song. I was given master copies of the audio and video. Later people requested copies of my message from Paradise AoG and were told the lie that the recording failed. CWM has now made this message available as a DVD obtainable for the CWM Resource Office in Loch Sport.
Hello Philip: My husband and I have been fellowshipping at an Apostolic New Reformation Church (ANRC). As time went on we slowly disagreed … and decided to research more on the ANRC... and were very surprised to find … that they actually contradict the Word of God. So we left the church. Should we have gone to the pastor to have us released from the church, or write a letter, or is it ok to move on and not say anything? We did share our findings with two church members, who told us they weren’t growing spiritually, and were thinking of leaving. Somehow it got back to the pastor. We’ve heard he is not happy. So back to my question, biblically do we need to do anything? Thank you Philip. We look forward to your response. EM, Australia
ED – Thanks for your email. The brief answer is that morally, legally and biblically you do NOT have to be released by your former pastor or by anyone else from any local church. It is entirely at your discretion. You may feel that ethically you should just tell him, but from what you say it appears that little would be achieved. Sadly many so called “pastors” are so arrogant they think they can control human lives. Apart from the normal courtesy of human interaction you have no obligation. Personally I think it always helps if you first approach the leader with your problems. That seems to be the Berean method—cf. Acts chapter 17. Experience teaches that generally today’s leaders consider themselves to be so much a “cut above” the ordinary people that they will seldom listen and respond in a biblical manner. The spirit of Nicholaitanism prevails and sadly that always leads to Balaamism. (Use our CWM search engines @ http://www.christian-witness.org/search.html for definitions and examples etc.) Also you may care to look at our stuff re the area of your concerns @ http://www.cwmfellowship.org/sermons.html Surf to the bottom of the page for four PDF files regarding the “Apostles and Prophets” false teaching. God bless you —PLP
Toronto's End - Paul Gowdy
Please thank Paul Gowdy for his courage in speaking out about Toronto. The aftermath of Toronto has left a legacy of deception—it is not at all a “dead issue”. God give us the balance in these days between “contending for the faith” and getting on with preaching His word. PS – Central Asia
Todd Bentley - Hillsong - Mike Gugglielmucci (MG)
Dear Philip, A number of years ago I disagreed with you about whether certain things were a ‘move of God.’ While I maintain that God did an amazing work in my life through Brownsville and Toronto, I have [now] realised why there is a need for ministries such as yours. I am gob-smacked at what has happened with Todd Bentley. I am further disturbed that the people he had made himself accountable to, knew about his marital issues and allowed him to minister when he really needed help. How anyone in their right mind can see that as a minor oversight is beyond me. It strikes me even more troubling that the ‘revival’ will continue and they will just stand down its leader for a season. I am even more stunned—numbed—with the events here in Australia. I feel compelled to pray for the guy (MG) because he is mentally unwell. How someone can deceive a whole movement, his family and his wife for two years - and be the piece de resistance of the latest Hillsong DVD goes beyond measure. And then hearing about a high-profile pastor’s wife in Texas ‘thanking God’ for vindicating her from a civil damages trial after assaulting an air hostess over literally spilt milk, has resulted in me not being able to blindly sit there and say that’s ok. So the reason I write to you is simple. To apologise for not seeing the need for your ministry. I apologise for dismissing you as being bitter because of the way the AOG treated you. I apologise for ever attacking you and any words I may have spoken in private against you. I can only pray that you will have the grace to forgive me. I’m an auditor studying law. I know the importance of facts and I appreciate the requirements of evidence. Your ministry is needed—as is discernment. There quite clearly is deception in the church and the devil is having a field day. I conclude by stating that what we need as Christians to be doing is not chasing the latest buzz, fad or high but more than ever lining up with the Word for what God sees as true spirituality: James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world”. Regards
PG – Sydney
Editorial Response: Dear PG, I hold no grudge and from my perspective you need no forgiveness but if it helps you have mine.
Dear Philip: I just read through your latest newsletter (CETF 45 – September 2008) and wanted to drop you a note and say that I appreciated it very much. Judgment is clearly already underway. I am deeply saddened by everything that’s transpiring, and by the blindness of so many. Phil Morgan, pastor 1st AG, Brookfield, CT, USA
From Sri Lanka
Dear Brother Paul Moore, (CWM-UK) We have no words to say how much we thank you for the magazines you send. Sri Lankan churches are being swallowed up by the devil, with all kinds of false teaching. Your magazines have helped us to expose these deceivers and rescue the believers. If you have a book that could help me to teach the book of Revelation to the people , please send it. Please request all the BIBLE BELIEVING believers to pray for us, as there is no one here to encourage us because all these crooks are threatening us with GOD’S JUDGMENT. RF (pastor) Sri Lanka
Holy Spirit Revival Fire and Glory Outpouring - Article by Danny Nalliah
God bless you Philip, your family, and Christian Witness Ministries! Thanks for your comments which are of course important to you as us too! However, we believe in the Heaven-sent global outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s revival, awakening, and radical reformation in Florida and around the world! Truly, Todd Bentley is an anointed and appointed man of God that the Spirit of the Lord has raised up to lead this Nameless and Faceless Revival of the Supernatural Fire, Power, Glory, Presence and Love of Jesus Christ, Almighty Saviour, Deliverer, Healer, Baptiser of the Holy Ghost and Fire, LORD of lords and soon coming King of kings!!! Catch the Fire Ministries is an interdenominational prayer ministry that unites Bible-believing God-fearing Christians from many churches and denominations to pray for Australia’s, Israel’s and all the Nation’s spiritual revival, transformation, and the Kingdom of God to reign on Earth as it is in Heaven! We certainly believe in a global apostasy of many professing Christians, the rapture of the expectant Bride of Christ, a horrific tribulation, and the deceiving world-wide rule of a satanic anti-Christ spirit and the evil person of the Anti-Christ, which is definitely not Todd Bentley, nor the Elijah List, nor the Kansas City Prophetic Movement, nor the Pensacola Revival, nor the Toronto Blessing, nor God T.V. with Rory & Wendy Alec whom I recently met personally in Jerusalem, Israel! As Great Commission focused (Matthew 28:18-20) prayer and evangelistic ministries, we at Catch the Fire Ministries and the above mentioned Holy Spirit anointed ministries are focusing our efforts on preaching the Glorious Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14) that is being proclaimed in all the earth as a testimony to every nation of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death, triumphant resurrection, heavenly ascension, and soon return to rule and reign as the King of kings and LORD of lords from Jerusalem, Israel across the nations of the world! (Revelation 11:15). May the Holy Spirit of Truth lead you in His eschatological knowledge, wisdom, discernment, understanding, and revelation of the Eternal Word of God!
Jason Golden, Catch the Fire Ministries www.catchthefire.com.au
ED – I have responded to this on our CWM blog which can be viewed at: http://www.christian-witness.org/blog There are 80 comments on the topic about the PLAGUE of the Pensacola Healing Revival a la false prophet and false signs and wonders man, Todd Bentley (TB). The one by me relating to Danny Nalliah (DN) and Catch the Fire is down the list. (In fact there are NOW at least two there about this group.) One must wonder what Jason Golden (JG) and DN now think of the man and movement that they supported and promoted in such glowing terms. Some of the false movement’s supporters are actually saying that it was NEVER anything to do with TB in the first place. Based on the words underlined above Catch the Fire cannot really back out that way. NOW just a minute, how many times is it that JG, DN, and Catch the Fire got it wrong? Hmm – First they honoured the late Frank Houston a self acknowledged immoral man, who was disciplined by AoG for his immorality, though, because of Frank’s high profile AoG initially “covered up” the true nature of his moral fall. Then DN predicted the re-election of John Howard (JH) as PM. JH actually lost his own electorate. DN also prophesied the passing of the PM mantle to Peter Costello. Now the latest—the eulogizing of Bentley and his “revival”. Looks like four “prophecies” and NOT one success. How many times does a man need to prove he is a false prophet? Feel free to add a comment on the blog.
The UK Assemblies of God - a different movement with the same name
Hi Philip, I know what you mean and I agree. I was saved from a RC background in Feb:1970 and entered an AoG church in Glasgow where I still attend. Being a babe in Christ in the 70s I subscribed to our church magazine The Redemption Tidings hoping to learn something, and I did, for it was then that it happened. The alarm bells started to ring. RC priests, nuns, were referred to as “Brothers and sisters in Christ” in one article Pope John was referred to as being a saved man, etc. I was left wondering just why the Lord had bothered to take me out of Rome. It became so bad that I cancelled my subscription, but it would take another six years or so for the minister to follow suit, needless to say the congregation were influenced by his action that they too cancelled their subscription. I belong to a good Bible based church, nevertheless, I am left wondering why we have not abandoned the Aog in its present form, because those at the helm have long since ran the ship onto the rocks. Psalms 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” A few years ago, I read an article in the CWM about the antics of Paul Weaver at one of the AoG conferences so I decided to write to him in the hope that he would clear things up, but instead, I received a letter from him saying that he had me investigated, and that his investigation showed that I was not, or ever had been a member of the AoG, so he was not obliged to answer my questions. This was the straw that was to break this camel’s back. Although I still attend the AoG In Glasgow I refer to myself as “nondenominational”. I would urge all Bible believing assemblies to consider coming apart from the AoG in its present form, and to abandon the madness that seems to have infected certain of its hierarchy. Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
Brother Alexander Lennox Scotland
I pray you continue your good ministry. All you need is faith, a Bible and prayer to Jesus daily, and fellowship of course. Thank you for your site—just came on to it for the first time today. We have a small Bible study group, in its third year, not connected to a local church; it’s a church on it’s own I guess! We met last night and it was a blessing for all of us. We shared our favourite or poignant verses. As John Piper said, “Bible verses are not a string of pearls, but links in a chain.” We talked of God’s promises—what He does AND HAS DONE for us—about the end times and our Faith in the Lord. We all pray for each other; specifics and for the world. God Bless you and your efforts to show the world the Gospel message and what your organisation stands for. Love in Christ,
Sarah Baskerville, Pump House Farm Cheshire, England