The Judgment Was Set and the Books Were Opened
The Judgment Was Set and the Books Were Opened
by Philip Powell
(AUG-2008 see below) many will be aware of the two issues relating to the Church that were until very recently everywhere on the internet, Todd Bentley and the “Lakeland Outpouring” are a judgment of God, just as was Toronto and Pensacola. The sad recent occurrences with Australia’s AoG pop-idol Michael Guglielmucci impacting the Hillsong Corporation and its associated “church” and the so called Planet Shakers’ Church (what planet are they shaking?) is the same. The ‘judgment has sat’ and it is imperative that those of us who have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” (cf. Matthew 13:15) realise this and discern what is really happening.
Here comes a time when God intervenes in the affairs of men. Divine judgment inevitably begins among God’s people:
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17 NKJV).
The AV4employs the imperative and the urgent “must begin”. God is sovereign but in His grace and mercy He defers to men to act in righteousness, equity and justice before He unsheathes His mighty two edged sword of TRUTH and JUSTICE (Judgment). This applies in the general affairs of worldly men and women and on this account and because God is just in ALL His ways, He must always begin the “judgment” process among His people.
This applies to “Israel among the gentiles”. Before God directly judges the nations He usually judges Israel His own people; and it applies to the “church” in the earth, which is about to undergo the great end time judgment of Almighty God. Read the book of Revelation particularly chapters 4 to 20 and especially chapters 16 to 20, and tremble. Wonder and stand in awe as all heaven and earth are rendered speechless sitting or standing in contemplation of the seven trumpet judgments of God.
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets (Revelation 8:1-2).
And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! (Revelation 6:15-16).
All human suffering, throughout the entire history of mankind, pales into insignificance before that which is called “Jacob’s trouble” followed by the outpouring of the “wrath of Almighty God”. In line with the principle cited by Peter about where judgment begins, Christians will first face the Judgment Seat of Christ before this wrath of God is poured out upon the nations. The rapture of the church makes way for the Judgment Seat of Christ, where some of God’s people will be rewarded and others will suffer loss. There then follows the great tribulation and halfway through that tribulation the “wrath of God” involving the judgments of God upon the earth.
What we are now seeing in both the Church and the world are precursors to the great End Time Judgments of God. They are warnings of things yet to be and as such further indicators of God’s grace and patience in allowing all people extended time to prepare for eternity. The end time false “anointed ones”, national and international conflicts and the natural disasters (Matthew 24:1-8) are described by our Lord in verse 8 as the “beginning of sorrows”—literally the “principality” (Greek ‘arche’ rendered “principalities” in Eph. 6:12) of “travail” (Greek “odin” = “birth pangs”). The judgment is set and is happening simultaneously in the earth and within Christendom but the real judgment is within the “church”.
Many will be aware of the two issues relating to the Church that are everywhere on the internet, Todd Bentley and the “Lakeland Outpouring” are a judgment of God, just as was Toronto and Pensacola. The sad recent occurrences with Australia’s AoG pop-idol Michael Guglielmucci impacting the Hillsong Corporation and its associated “church” and the so called Planet Shakers’ Church (what planet are they shaking?) is the same. The ‘judgment has sat’ and it is imperative that those of us who have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” (cf. Matthew 13:15) realise this and discern what is really happening.
On August 25, 2008 as I was completing the original of this article there was an additional disclosure in the Adelaide Advertiser regarding the cancer fraud in which Michael Guglielmucci engaged. Obviously Michael and his family need our prayers, but what the Church does NOT need is another lack of total transparency from leaders who practise lies and deceit in an attempt at damage control. Danny Guglielmucci, Michael’s father has a reputation to protect, both his own as a prominent leader of AoG—recently repackaged as the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and that of his mega-Church, Edge Church Reynella South Australia.
Some will say that we should not speculate as to whether Danny was telling the truth when he claimed that their son misled everyone, including him and his wife, by Michael’s bogus claim to have terminal cancer, plus the implied suggestion that as parents they did not know, until the disclosure about the bogus claim, that their son had a 16 year obsession with pornography, which has now been confessed. Both claims stretch credulity. Were they naïve, irresponsible as parents, or just totally uncaring? Having parented three sons and a daughter I put myself and my wife in their position. How would we have acted if a son claimed he had terminal cancer? In a video interview Danny admits he dropped Michael off at hospital for what he now knows were non-existent appointments. Is it feasible that he or his wife did not inquire about the report and if they inquired would this not have revealed the true situation? It is admitted that this went on for two years, during which time knowingly or in ignorance Danny contributed to his son’s fraud?
These are questions which really do demand answers. You’d think that the AoG would have learnt their lesson following the attempted cover-up concerning Frank Houston and his paedophilia. Is the Guglielmucci saga just another big con in another attempted cover-up by the AoG (ACC) hierarchy?
In his article in Adelaide’s The Advertiser entitled Show us the money (“The Advertiser” 23/08) chief reporter Kim Wheatley reported Andrew Evans as saying “My gut feeling is that people will forgive him”. The article related to the fact that people had made donations (in some cases large sums of money) based on Michael Gugglielmucci’s tear jerking song. I wrote a letter to the editor on the matter asserting that such a comment, allegedly made by Mr Evans reflects an attitude of support for fraudulent conduct, showing no concern for the victims and that the attempt to align such an attitude with the statement by Jesus about turning the other cheek basically does the same. It twists the biblical instruction as the context immediately makes plain. In the same passage (Luke 6) Jesus taught: “just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (verse 31). What about the victims? Don’t they have “rights” also. Try the boot on the other foot! Maybe Alex Saint and those others who were defrauded by Michael Gugglielmucci should press for a return of their money. The more appropriate statement would then be “from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6:29). Sadly the Bible in the hands of false and/or self motivated “teachers” can be twisted to say or mean just about anything they want. It’s about time the organised Church came down on the side of the offended and the defrauded and stopped manipulating Bible statements to suit their ends.
Shall Not The Judge Of All The Earth Do Right?15
There is no need to claim to be “a prophet or a prophet’s son” (cf. Amos 7:14) to predict what is about to unfold. All you need is to know the Bible, history and have an appreciation of the justice of God to foretell what is about to occur in the unfolding of this world’s history. The portents are there:
1. Judgment will begin in the house of the Lord—both Israel and the Church;
2. The remnant of both will thus be set forward on the path of purity;
3. People will make their choices as they have always done;
4. God’s wrath will be poured out upon the earth.
I have attended only one of the recent so called interfaith gatherings. It was clearly an Islamic showpiece, as are all interfaith events. That evening, in Brisbane, when the Sydney Imam led the Muslim devotees in their prayer I felt incensed and after a while could contain myself no longer. I walked from my seat and stood at the side fuming after inquiring privately what they were chanting in Arabic—“Allah is the one true God and Mohammed is his prophet.” When the chant ceased I resumed my seat in the congregation of some 500 and raised my hand for a question. I was told by the convenor that I must wait until the end to put forward the question.
In the event my question and comments, which denigrated Mohammed on account of his having consummated one of his marriages to a child bride when she was nine years of age, created an outcry and a disruption of the meeting. It was amazing how so called “Christians” attacked me, in their desire to be conciliatory to Islam. At the end of the service I walked to the platform and spoke privately to all of the public speakers, including the Archbishop of Brisbane, the Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall to whom I suggested that we had been presented with a Mt Carmel incident and he had remained silent. He courteously turned away from me with the comment, “That’s your opinion.” One day the book will be opened.
Since 1994 CWM and many other watchman ministries have been warning against the ecumenical trend and against the equally insidious movements known as “apostles and prophets”, “signs and wonders”, “revival”, “Toronto and Pensacola” and the most recent Todd Bentley “Lakeland Outpouring”, which has ended in shame and disgrace. We have also warned against the practices and preaching of Hillsong and similar mega Churches who have perverted the Gospel of Christ and for which they will be judged by God. All through the process, when, dare I say it, we have been proved to be correct time after time, both in our perceptions (discernment) and in our predictions of the consequence of all the nonsense, I and others who carry out similar ministries, have been marginalized, denigrated, scandalised, ostracised and whispered against. In my case even some of those from my former AoG association, who basically agree with my position, have the temerity to tell me and others that they and/or their family can’t be seen to associate with me publicly on account of my stand. What hypocrisy!!
Now the end is nearly here for these people. They have had many warnings and lots of time to set their own house in order. If they do not act speedily it will be TOO late. The Lord has arisen to unsheathe His sword. How the judgment will proceed only He knows, but proceed it will. The time is near. Take note of what happens from here on in. It will be a guide to you of the truth of what is going on. Hillsong has again been exposed, this time, for their involvement in the self admitted fraud of Michael Guglielmucci the young pop-singer who wrote and sang a song that went to No 2 on the ARIA Charts and generated huge financial returns. As usual Hillsong and other AoG (ACC) spokespeople are running for cover as they go into damage control.
But There Shall By No Means Enter Into It Anything That Defiles, Or Practises An Abomination Or A Lie, But Only Those Who Are Written In The Lamb’s Book Of Life.
In his apostolic appeal to men to love their wives the inspired writer draws a parallel between Christ and His Church, which He will,
...present to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27).
That’s a tall order and must involve divine responsibility—He will present her to Himself—plus human action as Scripture so clearly declares. John the apostle tells us, “he who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure” (1 John 3:3) and assures us in the final setting that Christ’s “wife has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).
We are thus forced to the conclusion that in the unsheathing of God’s mighty sword in divine judgment there must of necessity be a cutting away of those leaders who have brought disgrace upon Christ and His Church through their immoral practices, their lies and deceit, and in their false teaching—the one always leads to the other as we have elsewhere consistently documented and warned. (The order may vary but the link will always be there—false teaching leads to wrong living and vice versa.) God’s judgment of His people is the natural and biblical precursor to the end time general judgment of the earth. I have a sense that we are about to see it unfold. Let us watch for it. It will be another sign that the end is near.
Naming Names So You Know What You’re Looking For!
While Peter Wagner himself is not indicted in immoral practices he is the leader and chief spokesman21 in the false teaching that has preceded and produced this scenario. In addition, by his endorsing of Todd Bentley in the farcical commissioning or credentialing in which he and his associates, including Wesley Campbell, Bill Johnson, Che Ahn, Rick Joyner and John Arnott engaged, he may be perceived by some to have endorsed immorality, from which he is now desperately trying to distance himself. At the very least he and his associates lacked “discernment”. Some who endorsed and commissioned Todd Bentley on separate occasions are known to be immoral men eg. Bob Jones and Paul Cain and others are notorious false teachers e.g. Rick Joyner and John Arnott. All of the above named are indicted. The judgment is set; some of the books have already been opened.
Stephen Strader, is the senior pastor of the AoG Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. He was formerly assistant pastor to his father Karl Strader at AG-USA Carpenter’s Home Church where Rodney Howard-Browne made his start. The name Rodney Howard-Browne is synonymous with the Laughing and Spiritual Drunkenness (have another drink at Joel’s place from the Holy Ghost bartender Rodney Howard-Browne) so called revival that spawned Toronto and later Pensacola.
After a scandal involving Karl’s other son, and then Dan Strader’s conviction for cheating church goers out of their life savings, they sold the Carpenter’s Home Church buildings to scandalized pastors Randy and Paula White who named it Church Without Walls. Dan’s brother Stephen, who was also allegedly implicated in the money-making scheme, then started Ignited Church where he followed his father’s legacy in giving an out-of-town false teacher a stage for drumming up strange manifestations when he hosted Todd Bentley. Both Strader and Bentley quickly became famous (notorious would be a better word), BUT they bit off more than they could chew. It would appear that the Straders are motivated by a desire for money of which their “church” may have been short when the father hired Browne and the son much later hired Bentley to create “revivals”.
Now the judgment is set and the books are open. Stephen Strader called me “wicked and evil” when I challenged him about many things and then he blocked me at his email address. He also called Ray Barnett, who operates a Watchman ministry in New York, a wicked and evil man. Steve Strader may well have gone too far!!
Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20).
Stephen Strang and Lee Grady of Charisma magazine have tended to sit on the fence until they see which way the wind is blowing then they have tended to angle both sides. They have talked what sounds like sense, but really is no sense at all. In their most recent ploys both appealed to their revisionist views of the history of Pentecostalism and of leadership. To me Grady’s comments made no sense until I realised that he was one of the so called “apostles” linked to Wagner whom he lauds. He described the group as being men of reputation. Talk about blowing one’s own trumpet! I remain convinced that Charisma could achieve much for God and His righteous kingdom if either or both Grady and Strang would come clean, admit their own contribution to the malaise in today’s Charismatic and Pentecostal Church and turn and follow a firm and true course of honesty, integrity and righteousness. An alternative would be for either or both of them to be replaced, so the Charisma vehicle could be used by someone with a clear godly vision and ambition.
AOG Inter Alia – Passive Endorsement Extraordinaire
I have written extensively on this outrage. You can read my article at: http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/uk_aog.htm.
How sad that AG-USA Superintendent George Wood failed to take action against the AG Church and/or its pastor where this Todd Bentley “revival” fraud was perpetrated. But that’s typical! Religious hypocrites will hound the weak and those who appear to be insignificant and turn a blind eye when it suits. They are always more interested in “assets”, money and supporting the rich and those who are perceived by them to be influential, while they allow others to go to the wall. Passive endorsement is the name of the game that they play and they play it well, “but what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:31).
Why Do Christian Ministers Fail?
This is the title of an article written by Mal Fletcher who, among other things, is touted on the internet as “an author, business and media consultant, media commentator, global conference speaker and broadcaster based in London”. On Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, we read:
From 1985, Fletcher was the founding National Director of Youth Alive Australia a large faith-based organisation teaching positive values to young people. At a time when Australia had one of the highest teenage suicide rates in the world, this movement grew from a few thousand in Melbourne to an estimated 60,000 young people across the nation in just ten years. Since that time, the movement has grown even further, and has helped to spark other youth movements including Planet Shakers and Hillsong United. The model has also inspired similar movements in Europe and South-East Asia. Pardon my cynicism. What is the link between the incidence of teenage suicides and the numerical increase of Youth Alive in the ten-year period? If there is no link, then why link them? I was most interested to learn where Australia is now positioned in the world rating on suicide after all Mal Fletcher’s grandstanding?
These things aside, Mal Fletcher in his article, which is basically about Michael Guglielmucci, in a rather clever manner, actually justifies moral failure. Most people won’t see it, but if you think for even a few minutes you will see that this is the end result. When you’ve wrung out your tears of sympathy for Michael Guglielmucci from your handkerchiefs, just read and think about what Mal Fletcher actually says:
Finally, I think, when a minister falls we are presented with a marvellous opportunity to demonstrate the meaning of grace, that most precious of all divine gifts. Many people will look at the fall of a leader or prominent voice and feel great disappoint¬ment and even anger. That’s to be expected. That, however, is grace’s opportunity to shine. Grace signifies the inclusion of peo¬ple who were previously excluded, which is the core of the Christian faith.
REALLY! I always thought that grace has forever been demonstrated not in what we do at our high moments or at our low moments but what Christ has done and that it is through Him and particularly through His cross work that grace shines out brilliantly and best.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. (Certainly not). How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Don’t you know, that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4).
Where is the cross and the crucified life in all of this? And where is the teaching of scripture as opposed to the rationalisations of self promoting men such as Mal Fletcher, who, for the record, coined the expression we are “making God famous”! No Mal you’re trying to make yourself famous and you will pay the price.
My Bible teaches that it is by GRACE that I am saved and that means I am saved from sin. If I fall into sin I must not excuse myself on some philosophical idea about grace. This is one of the saddest things that has happened to the leadership of a one time godly movement that has largely been high jacked by psychologists Mal Fletcher and Alun Davies et al.
What then is the remedy, dear brethren? I do not write to condemn. I write to correct and by God’s GRACE to institute a remedy, if the Lord wills, not for the symptoms but for the disease. What happened to Michael Guglielmucci and to Todd Bentley is symptomatic of a deep rooted disease.
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves”. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he who believes shall not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place” (Isaiah 28:15–17).
Through which are given to us exceedingly great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control endurance, to endurance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness, love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he who lacks these things is short-sighted, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. therefore rather, brethren, be diligent to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall NEVER STUMBLE (2 Peter 1:4–10).