Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity.Editorial Comments unless otherwise specified are by Philip L. Powell (plp).
From the CWM Blog
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Assemblies of God
http://www.christian-witness.org/blog/?p=24Other interesting posts may be viewed at the following:http://www.christian-witness.org/blog/?p=21#commentshttp://www.christian-witness.org/blog/?p=15#comments
From The Regular Mailer
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Climate Warming –Lord Moncton says “No”:
Many thanks for these. I shall spread the word and the links. Also download the dvd and share it around. In Jesus. Bob Mitchell – UK
This whole thing rather underlines the importance of my piece on Christians in politics. Moncton is right in the thick of it – a Christian engaged in the political arena. He is speaking as a prophet, watchman and peacemaker into the global scene just as I argued Christians should be doing. I presume you have seen his DVD on the global warming issue – Apocalypse No. – Chris Salt, New Zealand.
Claiming that the “The science behind Global Warming has collapsed” is not only complete ignorance on a level of belonging to the flat earth society, it is also completely irresponsible and unwise – not attributes of one who follows Jesus – Another Bob [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Ed: David Lister of Moriel wrote acknowledging the importance of Lord Monckton's action and suggested that President Obama would not attend the Copenhagen Summit (he did attend); and that unless two thirds of the Senate signs it will not be law in USA. Our question was, “Can international treaties over-rule national law if the President signs?
Hello Brother: That's a good question. Unfortunately, in the U.S. we see increasing evidence of people for an assumed security being willing to give up their rights. Consequently, is there enough of a core left in order to forestall the "acquiescence" which some anticipate? Only time will tell.Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity - 2 Timothy 2:19.
Have a blessed day – Ed Newby, Berean Call,USA.
Oral Roberts – Lethal Legacy
15/12/2009 - Oral Roberts, (OR) the legendary American “healing” evangelist died on December 15 in Newport Beach, Calif., due to comp lications from pneumonia, just days after he had been hospitalized near his California home, because of a fall. He was 91. Evangelist and founder of Oral Roberts University (ORU) he is best known by his critics for his “point of contact” and “seed faith” heresies and for the occasion when he locked himself in his “tower” and told the world he wouldn't emerge until God gave him $8 million to get out of debt. A greyhound gambler and owner came to the party and OR emerged triumphant but tarnished. His son, Richard, and daughter, Roberta, were by his side at the time of his death.
Dear friends: As the acclaim for Oral Roberts is seen all over the Internet and all media, let's not forget his true legacy. He is the man who presented the Christian television station owners with their magical spell for fleecing the flock of Christ - the seed-faith heresy. Seed-Faith is a twisted perversion of the parable of the Sower of the Seed in which Jesus identified the seed as the Word of God that would multiply if sown in good soil. Oral Roberts adapted that to his prosperity message saying that anything being sown would be multiplied back, money in particularly. TBN founders Jan and Paul Crouch grabbed onto that false teaching and built their worldwide network on that false message that has not made anyone rich but them and those televangelists who wield the teaching to get riches for themselves while bilking the public. I document this in my new book, The Fleecing of Christianity. Here is a link to a portion of that book in which I spell out Oral Roberts' record on hearing directly from God: http://www.apostasyalert.org/Oral%20Roberts.htmWhile I sympathize with those who have lost a loved one, the damage to the true Gospel continues to go forth on Christian television - Oral lives on - Sincerely, in Christ, Jackie Alnor
Harry Westcott - Earle Paulk
On page 24 of the December, 2009 volume 15.4 Issue 50, there was a remark made about Harry Westcott. Yes we know he went into error one time but he has repented and asked many a person for forgiveness. Maybe the author of that particular item does not know this or is ignorant of " forgiveness ". It always is very unwise to make statements as this author has done as there is forgiveness moments before death e.g. man hanging beside Jesus on the cross - John Hoenen Victoria, Australia
Ed - response
- Dear Brother John: Thank you for writing. The statement that you have questioned is as follows:Bishop Earl Paulk dies March 30, 2009 - Dogged by verifiable accusations of sexual abuse of women mega Church leader Earl Paulk now faces the reality test of the Judgment of Almighty God. We wonder how our own so called Bishop Harry Westcott now views things. Years ago we informed Harry of his bad associations but he wouldn't listen. You read the story now in the religious media http://www.religionnewsblog.com/23375/earl- paul-dead
I am the author of this statement and I stand by it.
It is true that Harry Westcott (HW) did issue some apology about his association with Kenneth Copeland. In fact Harry spoke to me by telephone, about the matter, while I was in New Zealand several years ago. During that telephone conversation he apologised to me for the way he had opposed me over the issue of Copeland et al, claiming that he had repented of his association with the Word of Faith movement. On this basis he invited Jacob Prasch and me to a meeting at which Jacob spoke. Sadly Harry's "apology" (I would not call it "repentance") was really disingenuous as he continued to have links with Copeland and other Word of Faith preachers.
The matter relating to so called "Bishop" Earle Paulk, while connected was separate. HW, who was pronounced a “Bishop” by Paulk went onto to promote himself as the "first Pentecostal Bishop" of Australia complete with a "Bishop's" mitre on his head. (I commented publicly at the time that it was more like a "Fools Cap".) The whole thing was false. His bishopric was not genuine and the source of it was "evil". I wrote to Harry pointing these things out, also when I was in New Zealand. I offered to put him in touch with a man called Mark Haville who was one of several authors of a book entitled The Signs and Wonders Movement Exposed. HW refused on the basis that he would not accept what he called "muck" (dirt) on his friend Paulk. Hence the reference in the above statement.Repentance dear brother John ALWAYS involves a change of direction. I have never seen an apology from HW about his link with Paulk and certainly I say with deep conviction that there never was a real change of direction over the issue. Please feel free to send this to Harry Westcott. I have copied Jacob Prasch in on this correspondence for verification of the reference I have made to the area of his involvement. I have also included Maureen O'Brien to whom you wrote in the first instance and have blind copied it to Mark Haville. I am more than happy for our correspondence to appear in our magazine CETF. God bless you. Have a Great Christmas and a wonderful New Year
Ed John Hoenen agreed to the above being published.
From Jacob Prasch, Moriel
Their UK `Bishop` Mike Reid was exposed in serious serial sexual impropriety.
Benson Idahosa, their African ´Bishop´ is likewise among the deceased who left this world with his unscrupulous money preaching. I once saw a photo of HW dressed like the pope. It was an absurd spectacle. That entire movement is permeated with sexual predators, necromancers, mystics, religious con artists, and just plain kooks. It is little wonder that Harry fits right in. That whole ridiculous movement is deranged.
I once addressed a bible college commencement ceremony and two of them showed up dressed in the cassocks with the scarlet trimmed frocks of Roman Catholic Monseigneurs. Two Romany Gypsy pastors from Spain, who spoke no English and to whom I spoke in Spanish, were absolutely flabbergasted and disgusted by what they witnessed. They could not understand it and were astounded. I found it nearly impossible to explain to them how supposedly saved Evangelical Christian clergy were garbed in Babylonian head dress and vestments. Even Jonathan Fiddy, former UK agent of the late Barry Smith got caught up with them. He lost most of his church and his ministry as a result. What Philip says regarding Harry is absolutely true. But Harry is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. That whole movement is quite literally immersed in heresy, con artistry, the occult, and immorality packaged in a conspicuously hideous display of religious buffoonery. You would have to see them in action to realise just how ludicrous and utterly warped they are and I am not exaggerating. - JP.
Cessationism is not heresy
CETF writer takes editor Philip L. POWELL to task
Heresy is "doctrine contrary to the orthodox or accepted doctrine of a church or religious system" according to the Macquarie Dictionary. A heretic is one who believes or promotes heresy. Philip Powell has stated that "cessationism is a heresy that strikes at the very heart of the doctrines of the immutability of God." Therefore, he has labelled the vast majority of the people from the history of the church, ancient and modern, as heretics because most of them were cessationists.
These include Athanasius, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Matthew Henry, C.H. Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, and a multitude of current leaders such as John Macarthur and Norman Geisler. Most commentaries on First Corinthians on my shelf, except for the one by Gordon Fee, are cessationist.Cessationist refers to someone who thinks that certain miraculous spiritual gifts ceased long ago, when the apostles died and Scripture was complete."
Another defines it this way:
Cessationism is the view that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practised early on in Church history. The opposition [sic] of cessationism is Continuationism. . . Cessationists usually believe the miraculous gifts were given only for the foundation of the Church, during the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, c. AD 33 (see Acts 2) and the fulfilment of God's purposes in history, usually identified as either the completion of the last book of the New Testament or the death of the last Apostle.
Early historian, Eusebius (AD 265-339), wrote of the heresy of the Ebionites who believed that Jesus was "a plain and common man, who was justified only because of his superior virtue, and who was the fruit of the intercourse of a man with Mary. In their opinion the observance of the ceremonial law was altogether necessary, on the ground that they could not be saved by faith 4n Christ alone and by a corresponding life." This is the nature of heresy in the early church.
I believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today, but I see a major problem in labelling cessationism as a heresy. It is not core Christian doctrine like the Trinity, deity and virgin birth of Christ, the authority of Scripture, justification by faith, salvation by grace through faith, and substitutionary atonement. Cessationism is based on a difference of interpretation, just like beliefs in infant or believers' baptism and the different views of the Lord's Supper.Cessationism is not heresy in the strict sense of the term in English or in the Greek New Testament.
The Greek word, hairesis, ("heresy") has a number of meanings in the Bible including:
(1) a choice (Lev. 22:18, 21 LXX); (2) a chosen opinion where 2 Pet 2:1 translates it with an adjective "destructive heresies" (ESV) caused by false teaching; (3) a sect or party with certain opinions such as the Sadducees and Pharisees (Acts 5:17; 15:5). In fact, in Acts 24:14 Paul refers to the Way (Christians) as a heresy, translated as "a sect" in the English Standard Version.The meaning from 2 Peter 2:1 where false prophets and false teachers secretly brought in "destructive heresies" by "denying the Master" is the one that seems to dominate contemporary Christian thought. Denying the Master is hardly on the same level as cessationism.
Does Mr. Powell have a point that cessationism strikes at the heart of the doctrine of the immutability of God? "By the immutability of God we mean that in essence, attribute, consciousness, and will God is unchangeable." A verse such as James 1:17 supports the immutability of God, where He is declared as "the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (ESV). In Malachi, God says, "I am the Lord, I do not change" (Mal. 3:6). See also Psalm 33:11; 102:26-27; Heb. 1:12; 13:8.My work as a professional counsellor involves helping people change from being domestic violence perpetrators, poor communicators in marriage, poor discipliners of children, people who suffer from depression, anger and anxiety. This change means to an improved situation.change should be for better. Unfortunately some clients change for the worse. But change must be for the better or worse.God is absolutely righteous and just (Ps. 89:14; John 17:25; 2 Tim. 4:8) , so he cannot change for the better or worse under any circumstances. God can't be more truthful, wise or holy.
So there is no way that any interpretation of cessation is m o r continuationism (the gifts of the Spirit will continue until today) can be an attack on God's immutability. God can choose to do one thing in history and not do it in another. That does not mean His essence is changeable.For example, in the Old Testament what was the punishment for a stubborn or rebellious son? "Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones" (Deut. 21:21). God does not advocate that punishment according to the New Testament. Has God changed the essence of his character? Not at all! God's methods may change but his nature (essence) does not.Therefore I believe that Philip's consigning cessationism to heresy is an extreme reaction that is unnecessary if one is to defend the faith with accuracy in gentleness and compassion today. How would he like his and my view of continuationism to be labelled as heresy by the cessationists? Sincerely in Christ, Spencer Gear, Hervey Bay, Q. Australia
Thank you Spencer for pointing this out so clearly. I should have been more careful in my choice of words. However your claim that Paul refers to the Way (Christians) as a heresy is not correct and I am not sure that you are quite right in labelling C H Spurgeon and possibly some of the others, whom you have named, as “cessationists”. I agree that Cessationism per se is not a heresy, though I do think it is unbiblical and an indirect attack on “sola scriptura” as one is forced to argue from a non biblical base in an attempt to establish it in its normally accepted sense. Bob DeWaay wrote: “ The only “cessationism” I teach is that there is no infallible, inerrant revelation after the closing of the cannon.” In that sense I too am a cessationist, but a Pentecostal Cessationist nonetheless.
Christmas & Easter
From Perth – Western Australia:
Christmas is a continuation of the weekly re- sacrifice of the Catholic/Pagan Messiah for the partial atonement of sins with an emphasis on worshipping Mary. I cannot with a good conscience take part in any celebration built on this foundation. I'm surprised at you Philip, knowing how much you expose the RCs and their ilk - Rug13y
As with Easter, a pagan celebration introduced by Constantine, we disregard Christmas as anything to do with our Saviour. His name is not Jesus, it is YAHSHUA, which means “THE SALVATION OF YAH” something that can never come from the Greek name given Him and carried through many generations. How can our Saviour be the “REASON FOR THE SEASON” when He was not born in the month of December, but on the 15th. Tishre, the Feast of Tabernacles, a forerunner of the Millennial kingdom. Our Saviour Tabernacled with His own for 30 or so years, did the will of His Father and returned awaiting the day of His return, which will be on the FIRST DAY TISHRE ,THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS, followed by the “10 days of awe, the pouring out of YHWH's wrath (Tribulation)” and after this the feast of TABERNACLES (Millennium) on this earth in a year known only to our Heavenly Father, to complete the task.Babylon was the foundation of all so called gods. At the confusion of the languages, the people took their pagan sun god worship with them. Constantine, a worshipper of Mithra, introduced Christmas as the “birthday of our Saviour”, bringing Him into the same category as the sun gods worshipped around this world. It is an insult to even mention YAHSHUA as being the “reason for the season”. December 25th. is the birthday of ALL THE VARIOUS VERSIONS OF THE WORLD'S SUN GODS. It seems that you did not read my last memo to you (no real surprise considering my stand for the truth of Easter), because I did ask you to remove my name from the mailing list, something that was not done because I received the last issue of the magazine. Would you please do so as from receipt of this mail. Thank you. I truly do pray that your work will continue to be a real guide for all your readers and that our Elohim will bless you and all who have a part in CWM. May the New Year be a real revelation from our Creator, to HIS GLORY - Frank
- Following several other email exchanges we discovered that Frank is 85 years old. Obviously he missed my point regarding Jesus being the Reason for the Season, which simply reflects the fact that had there been no incarnation there would be no Christmas. I have made the same point regarding Easter. My point stands irrespective of one's view about both events, whether pagan or Christian. I have two major concerns about some of the above: Firstly quite clearly Jewish teachers and Messianic Christians have a variety of “beliefs” (that's what they are, simply beliefs with disputable evidence) about the Messiah's birth date. According to Frank it's the 15th Tishre, which he says equates to our September. Please compare this with Celebrate Hanukkah pp. 5
These so called agricultural based calculations are predicated upon types and shadows, which, in this connection are speculative. Secondly and more seriously I am concerned about the way that Frank and other Jewish based “teachers” like him play fast and loose with the sacred Scriptures. The Greek word translated “Christ” (Christos) appears at least 569 times and “Jesus” (Iesous) at least 942 times in the New Testament. To argue as they do is to attack the accuracy, perspicuity and inspiration of the scripture. In straining at a gnat they swallow a camel. As an example here is something that Frank wrote to me in support of his argument “The Greek had no translation for MESSIAH YAHSHUA, so they gave him a Greek name, and added Christos for Messiah. ALL Greek deities were called Christos, so in effect, our Saviour was placed with the Greek gods on Olympus.” (email 28/12/2009).
This is effectively a modern attempt to Judaize the Church and is as wrong and as evil as that denounced by Paul in Galatians. It means that every reference in the Greek New Testament to “Jesus” and to “Christ” is idolatrous. Further it means that every translation in every other language based on the Greek sets our blessed Lord Jesus Christ among the Greek gods on Olympus. What nonsense. I reject it totally. This is the same argument that these people use against the modern usage of terms like “Christmas” and “Easter”. Whether people celebrate Christmas and/or Easter is not the point. It is entirely up to every individual to be convinced in his own mind on those issues, but I will have no truck with anything that Judaizes the Church or that attacks the inspiration of any part of the Bible. “LAMED. Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” - Psalm 119:89. – plp.
From Jacob Prasch – Moriel
Greetings Philip: As you know, Jewish believers are like any other - they can come in all shapes and sizes both good and bad. Morris Cerullo and Mike Evans are terrible men and Dick Rubin is a nutter. Arnold Fructenbaum, Mike Oppenheimer and Ray Comfort are good ones as was the late Richard Wurmbrand et al. Unfortunately, most of the people like these who are always on about 'the sacred Name Yahoshua' and legalistic approaches to the Sabbath and feast days etc. are neither Jewish nor married to Jews. They are just largely ignorant. When you talk to them they really have no actual knowledge of the Talmudic Judaism they legalistically imitate and rarely can they speak Hebrew. To be honest, these neo Galatians are mainly non Jews who have bought into a deception they call 'Hebrew Roots' which has no resemblance either doctrinally or theologically to the Hebrew root (singular from the Greek 'Reza') in Romans 11.
Most of them are either charlatans or well intentioned but ignorant Christians sucked in by charlatans. Those impressing you as arrogant may in fact not even be Jews. We have a few articles such as The New Galatians and Satan's Corruption of the Hebrew Root Movement on the Moriel website. Arnold, Mike Oppenheimer and I, among others have warned about such nonsense continually. These people are as unbalanced on one extreme as Replacement Theology adherents are on the other. New Year Blessings - In Jesus, Jacob.