Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Bethel Church Upgrade

Unholy Signs & Cash Flows

Bethel's example of Church working with Corporate and State


By Pastor Rod Page

“I dedicate this book to my children’s children’s children’s children. Though we will not meet until we get to heaven, I wanted you to know that I had you in mind as I wrote every word of this book, and I continue to hold you in my heart. You will become the answer to my prayers and the fulfillment of my prophecies. By the time you read this book, I will be watching you from heaven (see Hebrews 12: 1).[1] 

This quotation above is the opening dedication to Kris Vallotton's upgraded book called Heavy Rain. Its former title was How Heaven Invades Earth. At the outset it sounds like a way to soften, or even spiritualize, the more militant sounding “invade” language in his book from six years ago. I believe this change is part of a new effort to say the same thing in a more sophisticated, and yet more palatable, way in order to attract a wider audience. 

In this day and age where everything is seen from a marketing standpoint, as far as publishers and agents and business in general, it is no surprise that this would happen from within the headquarters of a now worldwide movement—Bethel Church in Redding, California. 

I am writing this from Redding as it is the closest city to where we live for groceries and doctors. It is also where I lived for several years. It's a pretty typical town in most aspects, with a Costco and an old converted theater downtown, and a mix of working people and retired folks looking for the sun.... It is even sunnier in Redding than Phoenix!

But Redding is actually quite special in regard to what is happening in Christendom. A phenomenon has grown up here. There is something almost “magical” about the effect that Bethel has had on this community. The city has fallen in love with this “church”. Is this even possible in our day of hysteria over “separation of church and state”? It is not separate in Redding. Bethel bailed out the Civic Auditorium and is running it well from all indications. Bethel is also becoming a major property owner. They have bought and improved several commercial properties and hope to increase their School of Supernatural Ministry to 3000 students in the next few years. (It is currently around 1400.) They want to build a museum of revival in Americana and have spent around $40,000 to purchase one man's memorabilia collection of articles from major “moves of God” going back into the 1950s.

Bethel is growing while the city of Redding has endured a decline in many facets. Crime is up. The housing market is flat at best. Homelessness is rampant. But Bethel is doing really well. I believe they know why. I think they have discovered a secret to moving forward at this time in their history. Before I get back to this subject let met tell you why I am writing this report. 

The Bethel "cash flow" agenda, cited HERE

Why I Write 
Before becoming a full time pastor in 2011 I spent over 30 years being a regular Christian, with a regular secular job, raising a family with my wife of 37 years. Before we moved to Redding we attended a church for 10 years beginning in 1994 in Yuba City, California. We noticed after almost 7 years in that church that the teaching was changing. We heard things that shocked us, but because of intense loyalty to the leadership we tried to justify things we should have checked out immediately. We were told that spiritual warfare was calling out demons by name and defeating them in the atmosphere, and thus allowing our city to have a mass revival. We were told it was always God's will for us to be physically well. We were told our children were a chosen seed to bring in the great harvest of all time—that they would do miracles greater than Jesus or the Apostles. These things came in slowly, like a steady drip. We were told that Christians have demons that need to be cast out. We were to go on “prayer walks” that would run the devil out of neighborhoods and out of families as we took dominion over our city.

The problem is it didn't work, and we could not find a good Biblical reason to swallow all of this new teaching. Young people would go to the church's new “discipleship” school and come out on the other end bewildered by a lack of power, not blaming the leaders who taught them but God, who they thought did not keep up His end of the bargain. We looked at our Bibles and saw texts that were clearly meant for the next world being brought into ours, with no concept for context or proper Biblical interpretation.

It took us almost 3 years to realize we needed to get back to the Bible. Then we found the Discernment Ministries’ Herescope blog (www.herescope.net). God led us to this small cadre of folks who had been writing for years about different new teachings, that were really old things wrapped up in new and upgraded lingo. As Solomon says, there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).

Then, because of a job, and a ministry opportunity to take what we were finding about Satan's schemes and warn younger believers, we moved to Redding to start a new job and work with a couple we thought truly were wanting to warn others. Sadly, within a year we found out we were not on the same page with the very people we were supposed to serve with. Shortly after this we began to attend a church where the Bible was taught verse by verse. God put us away in His waiting room where we could get our thoughts and hearts in line with His precious Word.

We began to serve the Lord in humble but useful ways. We helped clean the church each week, emptying waste cans and vacuuming the carpet. Later we taught Sunday School. We truly had many glorious times with our 4th grade class teaching through the entire Bible line upon line. Eventually I was asked to teach in place of the pastor when he was out of town. We were asked to shepherd a part of the congregation and had a “home group” of over 40 people in our home each month. What I found in those days was that God is gracious. When we seek Him and His ways for His glory, He provides all we need. His Word has the answers we need to communicate. We don't need to make up anything fancy to attract attention to it.

I had heard the Lord calling me to ministry when I was 12 years old. I had, because of fear, chosen not to follow His call for many years. Finally at 50 years of age I answered that call. I began to seek the Lord, and asked others to pray with me about going into full time work. I assumed it would be in a ministry to young people, as that was the reason I moved to Redding. I wanted to warn them of what the enemy was trying to do, both within the church and without it. After another year of waiting, just when I began to give up, an opportunity came as the Lord opened up a door for ministry. I have been serving as pastor at a small community church in Lewiston, California, ever since. I live within 35 miles of Redding in the mountains. God is gracious indeed. It is the hardest, and yet most fulfilling job, I have ever had.

But Bethel is still a thorn. I suppose it reminds me of what happened to us in Yuba City. But it is far worse. It is a leader, a worldwide and dominant leader, in a movement rife with error. This is grievous to me personally because it goes after, and actually targets, young people in a huge way. This is why I write. These young people (and old people, too) are precious to our Savior. This movement is swallowing them in ways I never could have imagined even 6 years ago when I lived within a mile of Bethel Church. This church is more sophisticated and more “excellent” in an alarming way. 

Kris Vallotton, Sept. 14, 2016 (source)

The New Upgrade 
A few weeks ago I listened to a message by Kris Vallotton, who is the number two leader at Bethel. Kris is known for saying things that are edgy and even shocking. What struck me about his “message” was the new angle of reasonability and normalcy that it seemed to emulate. Back when the “Toronto Blessing” was inundating congregations with outlandish barking and howling, and people falling out in gatherings, where “holy laughter” was taught as a new thing that the Spirit was doing, Bethel embraced it whole hog. (Pun intended.) At that time in early 1996 there was a mass exodus from Bethel church. They went from two services on Sundays to one. But within a couple of years they began to grow again. Like other churches they didn't divorce themselves from the teachings behind the manifestations. Instead they changed the outward appearances to be more settled, more reasonable, more attractive. (Although I would say that there still are, and always will be, outlandish worship activities that are nothing but sensual in nature and do not bring glory to God within their meetings, it is just not as “out there” as it used to be.)

This new upgrade season, that is indicated by Kris Vallotton's recent message, is just one in a series of attempts to bring legitimacy to a movement that I believe wants to be believable and acceptable, not only to their peers within the charismatic world, but even wider into the evangelical world as well. In the end, I think they want to impress the world around them. They believe they already are a “city on a hill” and that they are defeating the “religious spirit” of the old way of doing Christianity. If you would like to see the documentation and history of Bethel Church, and others they are connected to in the New Apostolic Reformation, there is much written on this movement on Herescope's website. By the way, in Kris' upgraded book titled Heavy Rain, C. Peter Wagner (New Apostolic Reformation) gives a hardy endorsement. For more information on Wagner search Herescope as well.

Let me illustrate my point with some quotes from Kris' message, “God, Government, and Prosperity.”[2] 
Promoting the bringing of Heaven to Earth (Source)

On Earth Now
Upgrade #1 - Being More “Biblical” 
In his opening prayer Kris says, “God make a message out of this mess.” But in mixing together “God, Government and Prosperity” he begins in Matthew 28:18 where Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” We believe it is given to Christ alone in that passage. But Kris says, “In Heaven and on earth would have been a revelation to the Hebrews, but not just in heaven, if he had left out on earth.” What Kris is implying is that we in our day have been restored to some kind of dominion over the earth in a physical aspect. We are now Lords of the earth, and we must take control of it, as if this is why Jesus came—not to deal with sin, but to restore our rulership over this planet. The evangelical church has always argued this is to be a reality, but only during the millennium after Jesus returns. Kris, however, is advocating for “Kingdom Now” type theology, but it seems kinder and more “reasonable.” In reality it is the same old thing.

He then says since we were made in God's image we are already “like God.” In Kris's eyes we were little gods, but through our failure in the garden, we lost our god likeness. He believes we lost our authority over the earth, so that Jesus had to go into hell sometime during the crucifixion and take back the keys of authority from the devil. Kris is saying that we have those keys, and that this somehow means we are not to make disciples of the people of the nations but we are to make disciples of “the nations” (countries). This is an astronomical jump in logic!

There is a big difference here from the plain teaching of the New Testament. Jesus said clearly, in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” He said this standing in front of Pilate. If the kingdom was coming in a physical form, why didn't Jesus say, “But in a few hours I will take the elevator down to hell and steal those pesky keys from the devil and then you will see my disciples fight and win!” In fact, we are never told to fight in a fleshly or carnal way. In the Garden of Gethsemane Peter was commanded to put away his sword. Now the only weapon we have is the revealed Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit. Even with ourselves we don't sledge hammer the sin out of ourselves with whips or chains as the Romans Catholics are obliged to do. We take every thought captive with truth, making it obey Christ with the spiritual power and true authority we have, based on the Word and the faith once delivered to us, the saints. Our spiritual blessing in heaven is ours, but that leaves off many physical blessings that will be ours in the kingdom to come.
ElijahList advertisement for Vallotton's book, 6/10/11

Kris loves to spin this old idea of us being little gods, and that being restored to dominion through the keys or the tabernacle of David equals us being restored to dominion in some mystical kind of way. And then, as a result of being restored, having a power ministry as we speak physical realities into existence—all the while calling this methodology “faith” and “power.” They call anyone who does not go along with it all an “another Gospel” proponent. (In fact, Bill Johnson has made the same allegation about all who don't major in miracles and so- called power evangelism.)

Kris makes an upgrade claim right away in his talk. He says that the Muslims are running five nations and Christians are taking dominion over zero nations. All of my Christian friends and colleagues deplore what ISIS is currently doing. But we look at the situation from a totally different perspective. Jesus said that the world would hate us. In fact, He says that evil men would wax worse and worse, up to the very point when He returns. Those that “disciple” nations are bound to fail. Yet Kris demands (and is not below using shame manipulation) that we capture nations and governments for God, and that if we don't we are failures and God's hands are tied.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is blasphemy! Though I fully believe in man's free will and responsibility for his actions, I believe that God, too, has a plan and is executing and using our free choices to bring out His glory-filled end to the existence of this planet and its inhabitants. We play a part, but that will never change God's ultimate plan to bring about the completion of His prophetic Word.
Bethel Church has an outward form of power. They talk about power, write about power and blog about it all day. Their meetings are “powerful” in the realm of music and lighting, drama and artistic creativity. All these things are outward forms. This is the root meaning behind the exact description of the end times apostate church movement described in 2 Timothy 3. After describing perilous times where the culture is in deep bondage to sin, and is described as lovers of themselves (Kris loves to say about his own preaching, “That is a really good word”), lovers of money (Bethel is a money machine, as are most connected ministries and churches in their sphere), boasters, proud, blasphemers, etc., the aging apostle Paul says in verse 5, “having a form of godliness, but denying its power.” True godliness has a spiritual power that defeats sin and brings about holiness, sincerity, humility, and an ability to powerfully proclaim the Gospel in word and deed. A holy life is a powerful life, not a life that twists the promises of God meant for a future time and holds the church hostage with a carrot of constantly changing new things, paradigms, methodologies, and new signs and wonders.

Bethel is saying the same things they and others have been saying since the Latter Rain movement was hatched in 1949, which was soundly refuted by leaders of the Assemblies of God who found it to be spurious and extra-biblical in nature. No “wonder” that Bethel Church broke away from the AOG ten years ago last January. They wanted no real oversight.

Kris Vallotton is speaking the same message that other false teachers have been speaking for at least 68 years. It is nuanced now and made to sound more “biblical.” He quotes from Romans 4:17, saying, “Abraham is not the father of Israel, but the father of nations.” He says this means we are to be fathering nations—that if the church does not father, lead or commandeer (I suppose) the nations, we are not following in Father Abe's steps, as he believes the New Testament teaches. (The New Testament does not, of course, teach this.) Missing the whole point of the reality, the beauty and the majesty of the revelation in Romans about the wonder of our salvation and the righteousness imputed to us by faith, seen in its root form all the way back to Abraham—having missed all that truth for a silly and obtuse vision of a mighty Joel's army now taking dominion by “fathering” nations, Kris devolves into error. But he is attempting an “upgrade” here. He is attempting to be seen as more Biblical so he can drag unsuspecting denominations and individual churches and precious people of God, along with weak-willed, unskilled and struggling Christians into his camp of error. Using Kris' perspectives, you will never come to a knowledge of the truth because you are being tricked by a “form of godliness” that has no power. (See 2 Timothy 3:5-9 please!)
I remember the first time I opened a book by a Bethel leader, titled When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson. I remember the tremendous emphasis, not on the Word of God, but on word of faith, on signs and wonders and so- called power ministry. Now, it seems, they are countering criticism for their neglect of the teaching of God's Word in their church, and are trying to gain acceptance by quoting more verses of the same Bible that they have seriously dissed for years. I have been to their meetings and seen firsthand that most attendees do not even carry a Bible with them because they don't need it very often. Usually they “worship” for an hour or so. Then someone comes and starts with the Bible, and then it is time to share the “new thing God is doing,” which includes testimonies of so-called
miracles and signs and wonders.

I believe in the present work of the Holy Spirit in the earth. I believe in miracles and have experienced them. I believe some have a gift of faith and I have witnessed it being used for the glory of God. But I believe that anything we have or know can be turned into an idol or, at the least, an obsession. Bethel obsesses over miracles. Bill Johnson for years has modeled this emphasis. It is the modus operandi of his church. Kris Vallotton and all the other leaders of the movement have to fall in line or they are out. Nothing has changed at Bethel but they are talking slightly different now.... trying their best to put a Biblical stamp of approval on their tired theories and “new” ideas, many of which have more roots in the New Age movement than in the Gospel of Jesus.

I know these are tough words. They are not meant to be tough but to wake up some. One of the problems with Bethel saying the same thing over and over and over is that people get used to it, and are worn down, and then begin to accept it. Many have in Redding—the numbers don't lie— Bethel is getting bigger and their influence is growing throughout the world. I am concerned and must warn the flock to beware. Do not listen to strung-together verses pulled out of their proper interpretation by those who don't care if it is properly preached, but care more that their agenda is accomplished. Don't be made captive to false teaching, no matter how normal it may sound, by those who use flattery or sophisticated behavioral techniques to deliver their message.

Kris Vallotton says that we are children of Abraham so that all the promises given to him are ours. Is that true in a physical sense? Does everyone who comes to Christ by faith have a baby of promise? God told Abraham he would have a son, but not everyone has a baby, and some have only girls. I know that sounds silly, but is it sillier to make such a blanket statement like Kris does at every turn in his message? Abraham was a rich man. Is every Christian blessed in that way? It sounds good to those who are anxiously wanting physical blessing to be poured out on their failing business, or their empty nursery, but it is false on its face. It is not good doctrinal teaching that accords godliness. I am reminded of this timeless truth from 1 Timothy 6: 3-6: 

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” 


Years ago Bill Johnson was not content with his faith. He had been to John Wimber's place and saw some miracles and realized all he had was “doctrine.” He spent the next several years trying to find the power. He ended up at Toronto and “found it.” It split his church in two as people began barking, howling and crawling on the floor, and calling it worship. But he says it was worth it. I don't think it was. I think it possibly shipwrecked his faith. It certainly has done that for many. I have personally watched many young people be in this movement for a few years but come out so disgusted, and so let down, and so confused that they give up and fall headlong into the world. It has affected some who are very close to me like that. It is because of this that I cry out for discernment in these last days. I am not the only one. There are a few others, and though it is not “cost effective” to speak out, we must. Some think we are just mean or old or jealous. Those are unjust charges. The Old Testament prophets had similar opposition. They were told to prophesy “smooth things,” but they could not because God had not told them to. They had to say the truth. It was a fire in them that boiled with holy zeal. That sounds exciting, but it is indeed a heavy burden to bear. God's Word is being tampered with. It is being used to say things it was never meant to say. Far from being more biblical, though they may appear so to their following, Bethel church continues to move away from the Bible.

In the message by Kris Vallotton, he admits openly that he doesn't like the book of Leviticus. All the killings bother him. Yet it is the death of the Lamb of God that is pointed to in that book. Every lamb points to Jesus and the atonement for sin. But that is not the point of Bethel. The Gospel of the precious blood of Jesus is not the focus of their outreaches or their expansions or of their school. They call it revival, but can there ever be true revival without confession? Is redemption possible without teaching Christ’s blood being spilled? No. It is a waste of time. A biblical church teaches the whole counsel of God. Bill Johnson refuses to answer questions that come from the book of Job, as though sickness is not a reality in a fallen world, because he teaches it is always God's plan to heal everything. This is not a biblical church at all. God's Word deals with all of life, and all of the affects of sin, and still points us to Jesus who died for us a violent death so we may have life eternal. There will be a day when all will be made right but it is not this day. 
Kris Vallotton - "Your Identity as Sons of God" (Source)
The Bold Eschatology - 
Upgrade #2 
Kris Vallotton has been saying for some time that he refuses to accept an eschatology that says things have to get worse in order for Jesus to return. To Kris' credit he loves the story of Joseph. But what he likes so much is that Joseph “profited Potiphar's house.” “If you put a prince in a prison it will become a palace,” he says. He then goes on to dreams and declares, “Pharaoh is dreaming again.” He says Joseph knew how to interpret dreams because “Joseph was raised in a dreaming family, having been taught the supernatural ways of God.” Then he says again, “Pharaoh is dreaming again and the world is dreaming again.” God is not lifted up, but the dreamer is. He says that the light is turned on in a room, but we don't come in the room to look at the light, but you come in to “see.” Friends, the Light is what we are to look at. Jesus is the Light of the world. Kris is teaching that self-realization is the goal. Seeing what is around us is the most important thing to him—so we can “see” the dreams. He says, “If we don't dream then the world dies.” In his eschatology, then, it is all dependent on us. We will save the world if we dream. You must hang with the dreamers here at Bethel, he is implying.

He then moves to the prophecies of Jesus being king in Isaiah 9. This is where he builds his “eschatology now” doctrine. He rips partial verses from the context of the Bible and declares that God's government is on earth now, in our time. He also declares that God is not “ashamed of humanity” because “His shoulders” are us. Secondly, he says that the government now is increasing and we must advocate for this increase. You might think he means to advocate for a spiritual increase of God's kingdom. But, there is a bait and switch coming. He leaps from God ruling in His people to talking about government that “actualizes your personhood.” This sounds like the liberal politicians and psychologists today, as though the government is responsible for making us fully developed people. That is not what Isaiah teaches at all. That is not even good American talk. He is emphasizing a New Age idea, right in the middle of a precious part of God's Word. He has not studied prophecy apparently. He does not realize that God does things in different periods of time. There are two comings, not just one, Kris. Maybe that is why, in another book of the Bible that he does not like, he has not taken this to heart: Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 says: 

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal”

From here Kris continues to “build” an eschatology where he simply justifies the governmental take over, albeit in an altruistic sense, of the “spheres” of the society (i.e., dominion), by people and movements and churches like himself. His case in point is that Bethel is running the Civic Auditorium in Redding.[3] This sounds like it is just the beginning of many “good things” to come. “Great government empowers you,” he says, as though an empowered unsaved person is still a good thing. He then points to Korea as a great illustration of why government is the answer. It is a false argument because he holds up democracy in the south as some kind of an endgame for the church's mission. The only difference is “government” he says. But more government is what has doomed the north, not less. If South Korea is better it is because of “less” government, as we have proved in our own country. But he says, “Government is powerful and meaningful.”


Vallotton then goes on to twist his dominion theology into a misplaced understanding of Isaiah 61, going beyond what Jesus read as He began His ministry there in Nazareth. Jesus stopped reading at exactly the point where He intended to because the rest is for a later time. Read Luke 4:18-20 where Jesus closed the book exactly where it needed to be closed for now. In Kris' eschatology, there is no need for heaven because through Christians taking dominion over the “spheres” of society we can bring it down now. Look at their website, www.ibethel.org. “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” is their motto. What they mean is for the Kingdom to come now, exactly in all of its fulfillment, NOW! It is not according to the timing that God has set forth, but according to Bethel's understanding—ALL FOR NOW!

Is this a place we want to send our children or grandchildren in order to learn the supernatural ways of God? No, this is natural, fleshly, and is man centered.[4] Kris says, “I don't know what your eschatology says, but mine says that ‘God cares about cities.’” Does He? Doesn't He care about individual people in the cities? Isn't it better to be accurate when we make blanket statements? Does God care about sidewalks or paths people take to class at the Shasta College, like Kris declares in his illustration about how we should be smart as we govern every part of our society? This is pragmatism and “kingdom now” theology married together! It is silly talk.

There is no Gospel here except the gospel of man. “Your job when you get well is to help everyone else get well,” Kris confidently asserts. The question is, “Well, from what?” If he were talking about getting well from sin through the shed blood of the cross of Christ, I would be all in for that. But he is talking about the ills of society, and that is just not deep enough to be called Bible! That does not go far enough. That is only scraping the surface and does nothing for the soul of man to be truly well. There is no cure for society in this age, but there is a cure for sin found only in the finished work of Christ at Calvary where He willingly poured out His precious blood for atonement for sin. God is angry with man and his sin but He placed that wrath on Jesus for our sakes. But if we don’t receive that gift we are under condemnation. That is the simple Gospel. It is a good news of love, but it cost our Savior His very life as foretold by all those sacrifices of old, in Leviticus.

1 Timothy 4 is an explicit warning for our times. It is opposed to the cozy picture that Bethel Church preaches that is couched in hope of their “kingdom now” type eschatology. I must end share this warning in hopes that
some caught in this movement will hear its words: 

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times
some will depart from the faith,
giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
speaking lies in hypocrisy,
having their own conscience seared with a hot iron
. (1 Timothy 4:1-2) 

Bill Johnson with leading 7 mountain dominion advocate Lance Wallnau

Years ago a friend of mine developed throat cancer. He had a family and a wife and was in the prime of his life. He loved to serve the church we attended by doing practical help for anyone who was in need. If a car needed repair, he would find a way to fix it. If someone needed a ride, he provided it. He loved the Lord and yet he got very sick. Our church at that time declared that he would recover—that God had told them he would beat the cancer. It did not happen that way. My friend died from the cancer, an agonizing death witnessed by his kids and wife and by all of us. A few months afterwards we were talking with some friends who happened to also be on the church staff. They told us that my friend had given up the battle and his lack of faith was the reason he died. Those words burned in me. They disgusted me. They maligned my friend’s memory and character. The church had lied.

Likewise, Bethel is lying today when it says the same types of things. If you look closely at the leadership there, they are living a lie. They are living a lie in hypocrisy because their current pastor needs glasses and the son of the pastor is still deaf. So whose fault is this in their scheme of things? People in Redding and at Bethel get cancer and still get sick, so is the problem with God or with their faith... or with Bethel’s defective teaching?

Budweiser furthers the kingdom agenda?!
The ends justify the means in dominion theology.
In 2016 Kris Vallotton rewrote a book from 2010 because he said it was now more relevant than ever. In this book he talks extensively about how the church has failed at transforming society, and how his church has begun to succeed at it. I want to conclude this exposė of Bethel Church’s “upgrade” with a direct quote from Kris’ book and a screenshot (above) from their website. (Notice the advertisement for beer!) Upcoming events at the Redding Civic Auditorium are referenced in the quote below. My question for the reader to ask is this: what does any of this have to do with the Gospel mandate that Jesus so clearly gave in Matthew 28? Is this the “new” goal of Christianity? What government role should the church “take over” next? What further compromises in content and marketing will the church make in order to win the praise of the public and government officials? 

Here is the quote from Vallotton’s book:
“We wanted to run the Redding Convention Center the same way our students beautified our city. Our goal was to make it an excellent experience for everyone who came into the building. We spent $500,000 remodeling the building and installing a state-of-the-art ticket system. We replaced all the seats, installed a new sound system and remodeled the entire interior of the building. We hired an almost entirely new staff, employing only friendly people who had a heart for excellence. It took us two long years to learn the entertainment business, but we were passionate about getting it right. At first we lost money on many of the shows. To make matters worse, in our zeal to make sure the venue stayed secular and not “Christian,” we booked some acts that were pure filth... actually nearly porn. At times things were tough, but we knew we had to climb or die. For the first two years, the community (led by the media) scrutinized everything we did and cut us no slack. But as time went on, their fear of a ‘religious takeover’ evaporated in light of the obviously improved experience our community was having in the convention center. We were hosting as many shows and events as ever, while still meeting the needs of our school there. In our third year of managing the building, we finally began to win the praise of our community. In fact, many of the people who had protested against us that night at the city council meeting came back and apologized to our team. And our city manager and his team have since said openly, ‘This is the best the convention center has been run in 43 years!’”

Where is the truth in all of this? 
It is found in God's Word. It is found in the true God of the Bible and not in god we make according to our own dreams and desires. It's found in the One who has given us His Spirit through the new birth in Christ, who will lead us into all truth. It is found in churches that, though they may be small and are certainly not perfect, are preaching and living the whole counsel of God in humility and by His power. It is found in the holy lives of the people of God who seek not the glory of an earthly kingdom but who are waiting for this one: 

But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for He has prepared a city for them
.
Hebrews 11:16)
 

Much more can be said about this movement that is Bethel Church. Though it is constantly upgrading its message to bring more and more people and churches into its orbit, please beware of the dangers in its teaching. The “upgrade” is really a downgrade—a sophisticated and well- marketed ploy to repackage the old Latter Rain heresy of the 1940s that has roots deep in the darkness of the old Gnostics that were plaguing the church at the time the New Testament was being written. Certainly the preacher of Ecclesiastes was right: “there is nothing new under the sun.” 

Do not let anyone lead you astray to anything less than the glorious truths found in God's Word, even if it sounds innovative and relevant, and has really good music high up on the iTunes charts (Bethel’s rock group Jesus Culture). Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith! Keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh! Beware, beware, beware and don’t settle for anything less! 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
(1 Peter 1:3-5)
 

THE KINGDOM DOMINION (physically) WILL BELONG TO THE LORD at His glorious return! 
I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed. 

 (Daniel 7:13-14)

Then the seventh angel sounded:
And there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
“The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms
of our Lord and of His Christ,
and He shall reign forever and ever!”
 

(Rev. 11:15)

Endnotes:
1. Vallotton, Kris, (2016-08-02),
Heavy Rain: How to Flood Your World with God's Transforming Power, published by Chosen Books - From the Introduction of the Kindle Edition. Emphasis added.
2. Link is https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bethel-church-sermon-week/id76583739?mt=2&i=374737430
3. Screen shot of Convention Center article photo is from:
http://www.redding.com/news/bethel-church-will-run-redding-convention-centerep-375592385-354729071.html
4. Herescope articles about Bethel, Jesus Culture, its youth movement, and its popularity in evangelicaldom include http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-significance-of-youth-filled.html. Also see: the associated article at: http://apprising.org/2013/01/02/louie-giglio-passion-2013-and-jesus-culture/ and the 6 part series that begins here: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-passion-of-presence.html 

This article was originally in the Discernment Newsletter, Vol. 27, No. 4, Sept./Oct. 2016. It is reproduced here in its entirety with additional graphic exhibits supplied by the author, Pastor Rod Page, with comments. Other exhibits added by the editor for the purpose of documentation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Discernment 101

How to Discern Truth from Error

A new teaching series on DVD by Pastor Anton Bosch


A few months ago Discernment Ministries received a special request from a longtime supporter and active discerner. She was invited to teach a woman's Sunday School class in her local church and was in the process of seeking permission from her pastor to talk on the subject of discernment. While she was in discussions with her pastor, she e-mailed us wondering if we could recommend a teaching series on discernment. She wanted something that would address the basics: how to discern, what to discern, the biblical nature of exercising discernment, etc. We realized there really wasn't anything available that we could recommend.

This spurred us on to develop our own teaching series on discernment. We are, after all, Discernment Ministries! Pastor Anton Bosch was particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity to teach on this subject as it is close to his heart. He is well-suited to the task. Pastor Bosch is uniquely gifted in presenting biblical teaching in a style that is easy to be understood. His helpful books include Building Blocks of Encouragement: A Devotional, Building Blocks of the Church: Re-examining the Basics, and Contentiously Contending. (See his website: www.antonbosch.com)

Several of us headed out to Pastor Bosch's church, Sun Valley Community in the Los Angeles area, to spend a few days filming Anton's 7-part teaching series on exercising discernment. Pastor Rod Page volunteered to put together a useful Study Guide to accompany the teachings with an outline and questions for further study.

You will find the Discernment 101 teachings a suitable study series for Sunday School, mid-week or Sunday night services, Bible studies, home groups, or your own private study.


Print out the handy form below to follow the instructions to order. 
Suggested donation for Discernment 101 DVD set
is $45.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

We pray that the Discernment 101 teaching series will be a blessing and encouragement to all of you.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Rise of End-Time Occultism E-Book

THE RISE OF END-TIME OCCULTISM
E-Booklet now available!


The Rise of End-Time Occultism


We have turned another popular Herescope article series, The Rise of End-Time Occultism, into an E-Booklet, available online as a free download at Gaylene Goodroad's blog: http://mylifeintheway.blogspot.com

This book focuses on the rise of a new prophecy eschatology in the evangelical church world that looks NOT for "that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Many endtime prophecy teachers are switching their focus to an anticipated cosmic invasion of monstrous space alien creatures which some teach Christians must battle using spiritual warfare technologies. Many evangelicals are now believing in these dramatic endtime invasion conspiracy scenarios which are accompanied by salacious imagery and sensational hype. But is all of this biblical?

The Rise of End-Time Occultism E-book updates our original 2013 article series with additional documentation, and the addition of Part 8. Below are the chapters in this E-book:


For further research, see our post Spiritual Seduction and follow the many links at the bottom. 

This online e-book continues our new project to begin posting our many lengthy article series online as downloadable free e-booklets. Prayers and support would be much appreciated. See our previous online E-booklet: Mainstreaming The Mystic 'Force' .
~The Discernment Research Group

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The Broad Way Unity Bridge

Resetting the Reformation: Part 4

Part 1: TOGETHER 2016: Unbiblical Unity on the National Mall
Part 2: Betraying the Reformers - Betraying the Gospel
Part 3: Unholy Alliances to the Apostate Bridge




“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets,
 which come to you in sheep's clothing,
 but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
(Matt. 7:13-15)
 
Ecumenical evangelical preacher Billy Graham meets
with Pope John Paul II in 1993[1] 

“I am far more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than I once was. My contact with Catholic, Lutheran and other leaderspeople far removed from my own Southern Baptist tradition—has helped me, hopefully, to move in the right direction. I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance….”
~Billy Graham[2]

“500 years are enough.”
~Pope Francis*


By Gaylene Goodroad
PASSING THE ECUMENICAL BATON
From Broad Way Billy . . .
Just as Pope John Paul II was the catalyst for the current ecumenical movement, evangelist Billy Graham was the inspiration behind many leading evangelical leaders flocking to Rome today in ecumenical solidarity.

In his book, On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome, Robert M. Zins quotes Billy Graham, who was asked by a Christianity Today reporter in 1981 what the most significant changes in the Church were the previous 25 years:

…the new understanding between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Twenty-five years ago we could hardly speak with each other openly. In Crusades today, thousands of Catholics feel free to attend. I have preached in Roman Catholic schools and have received honorary doctorates from them. This could not have happened twenty-five years ago.[3][bold added]

Zins commented on Graham’s unbiblical ecumenical stance and tragically impotent gospel:

How is it that the apostle Paul had a death sentence upon his head when he spoke the Gospel to the Jewish community, and Mr. Graham receives honorary degrees? Could it be the message? We have no doubt that it is. Somewhere early on Mr. Graham lost it, and there is not one indication today that he has retrieved the cutting edge of the Gospel.[4][bold added]

Billy Graham and Reset/Together 2016 founder, Nick Hall[5]

. . . To Broad Way Nick
Unfortunately, Graham has passed his all-encompassing ecumenical gospel down to many idealistic millennials. Nick Hall, the Reset Movement/Together 2016 founder, has been called by some the “Billy Graham of the next generation.” In an interview with the Christian Post in March, Hall could scarcely conceal his robust admiration for the elderly Graham, and for Graham’s model of large public (often national, patriotic) gatherings calling for Christian unity:

"Moments of historic change [are] often marked by historic gatherings, and so, for us, we really believe that this is a time to shift the nation back to what matters," said Hall, citing other "defining moments of faith" as the women's suffrage and Civil Rights movements.

Regarding the increasing division of the nation during contentious presidential elections, Hall added that while it's easy to be critical and negative during election cycles, people really long to come together. "We can still unite, regardless of our differences, and we really believe that Jesus is the one that can bring us together."

Hall sits on the leadership team of the National Association of Evangelicals and on the student advisory team for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He's even been dubbed by some as the "Billy Graham of the next generation," and admires the famed evangelist's ability to bring people together.

"Billy Graham is obviously a hero of many people. I think the way that he brought people together, the way that he always talks about hope and life, and kept the message on something that could unite. And so, obviously anybody's going to be humbled and honored to even be mentioned in the same breath as somebody like Billy Graham," he told Fox News.[6][bold added]

Hall has even posted his “commissioning” video online[7] that begins with footage of Billy Graham’s preaching at Explo ’72[8] at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has also promoted Hall and his reinvigorated ecumenical message on its website—comparing Hall to a young Graham:

Hall is intentionally crossing ministry and denominational lines, calling on Christ followers to come together to reach the next generation.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is one of several ministries partnering with RESET, which Hall says resembles the early days of Youth for Christ—a ministry that was born in the 1940s, with Billy Graham as its first full-time evangelist.

“At the beginning of Billy Graham’s ministry, he would go across the country and he was calling youth for Christ,” Hall said. “We were like, ‘What would it look like for a modern day movement to unfold today—a generation-defining moment in our day, with young people going ‘all in’ for God?’ That birthed the concept and the dream and the vision for RESET.”[9][bold added]

But Hall’s “generation-defining” movement called RESET is a false gospel, (see Part 1), that is leading multitudes onto the Broad Way apostasy bridge and away from the saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Broad Way Joel
Screenshot of news broadcast reporting that Prosperity Preacher
Joel Osteen met with Pope Francis in 2014[10]

BROAD WAY SHEPHERDS FLOCK TO ROME
Besides Rick Warren (see Part 2), Pope Francis has also recently met with several other popular American evangelical leaders hoping to entice them, and their enormous flocks, onto the ecumenical and interfaith Broad Way Bridge to apostasy, including Joel Osteen (Positivity Gospel),[11] James Robison (ecumenical televangelist),[12] Kenneth Copeland (Word Faith),[13] and John Arnott (Toronto Blessing).[13] Charisma News reported some of the details concerning these recent Vatican visits:

The televangelists are among some wealthier U.S. evangelicals who have recently met with Francis, who has called for a focus on the poor and a simple lifestyle for clergy. In March, the pope met with members of the Green family, the Oklahoma billionaires whose company, Hobby Lobby, won their challenge to President Obama's contraception coverage mandate at the Supreme Court last week….

[Joel] Osteen's meeting with Francis on June 4 was part of a larger gathering coordinated by the International Foundation, also known as "the Fellowship." Osteen was joined by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Mormon; California pastor Tim Timmons; and Gayle D. Beebe, president of evangelical Westmont College.

The June 24 meeting leaned particularly toward charismatic Christianity. Other guests were Anthony Palmer, a bishop and international ecumenical officer with the independent Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches; Geoff Tunnicliffe, the outgoing head of the Worldwide Evangelical Alliance; and John and Carol Arnott of Catch the Fire Toronto, which grew out of a Pentecostal revival 20 years ago.

The pope met with more than 50,000 Catholic charismatics in Rome last month, admitting he was not always comfortable with the way they prayed….[16][bold added, links removed]

Positivity Preacher, Joel Osteen, gushing about his 2014 visit with Pope Francis said, “I like the fact that he’s trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He’s not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me.”[17]

But the Lord Jesus said to beware of false teachers pointing to the broad way that leads to destruction for many (Matt. 7:13). Instead, He taught His sheep to enter through the narrow doorway of the Cross.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out…. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.”
(John 10:1-3, 7)

Even a casual observer to these recent Vatican visits can see that this wayward cast of shepherds hosted by the Roman Pontiff hold to various strands of aberrant doctrines—erroneous teachings that even compete with Roman Catholic dogma. On what basis could all of these so-called Christian leaders unify? Certainly not upon the Word of God or the Lord Jesus Christ it proclaims.

“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
(Acts 20:27-31)

Broad Way Kenneth
Prosperity Preacher Kenneth Copeland lays hands on Pope Francis in 2014
[18]


THE BROAD WAY RESET
Nick Hall, the young catalyst behind the Reset/Together 2016 movement and eager apprentice of Billy Graham, also met with Pope Francis in 2013. He presented the Pope with a copy of his book, Reset.
Broad Way Nick
Nick Hall meets with Pope Francis in 2013
[19]

Although the Pope was not directly involved with the OneThing Catholic Ecumenical Track event in 2015,[20] the youth gathering demonstrates the concerted push for unification from all streams of Christianity, including the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Husband and wife team Iwona and Keith Major started a nonprofit called MajorChange,[21] a Catholic ecumenical organization, that now collaborates with Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.[22] Francis Chan was the event’s keynote speaker last year.[23] Chan was also a featured speaker at Nick Hall’s Together 2016 event in July.
Broad Way Chan
OneThing 2015 Catholic Ecumenical Track video featuring Francis Chan
[25]
Broad Way Mike Bickle hugs Francis Chan during the
OneThing 2015 Catholic Ecumenical Track on YouTube.

Even the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, called for Christian unity when he spoke at Liberty University in January.[26] But a short month later a public sparring match ensued between Trump and Pope Francis bringing an instant prickly disunity between the two of them. The discord began when the Pope questioned Trump’s Christian faith due to his border-securing immigration policy.[27] Trump promptly responded to Pope Francis[28] by issuing a statement[29] calling his critical remarks “disgraceful.” A Trump social media advisor later tweeted a barb (with a map),[30] suggesting that the Pope’s statements were hypocritical: “Amazing comments from the Pope-considering Vatican City is 100% surrounded by massive walls.”

There is no sign that the feud between the two men has been resolved, but among Trump’s cache of spiritual advisors[31] include Broad Way-ers James Robison and Kenneth Copeland. Will they will counsel the POTUS candidate toward reconciliation with the Pontiff in the weeks leading up to the election in November?
Broad Way-ers James & Betty Robison, Kenneth Copeland,
John & Carol Arnott, et al, pose with Pope Francis in 2014
[34]

BROAD WAY BETRAYAL OF CHRISTIAN MARTYRS
On June 26 2014, James Robison posted a glowing review[32] of his visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican titled, “Witnessing the Miracle Jesus Prayed for,” citing the Lord’s prayer for unity in John 17. The article is embellished with a photograph of Robison exchanging a “high five” with the Pontiff (posted at the top of Part 3). A few of the comments posted beneath the article were critical of Robison’s embrace of the Pope. One respondent rightly cited atrocities leveled against Protestant reformers because they refused to relent to Rome’s false doctrines. Note Robison’s glib and dismissive response to this concerned reader:

“Fortunately, we are not dealing with those people today. Nor the Jews who persecuted Christians. Or the Egyptians who slaughtered children. Or the Romans who beheaded the disciples. It’s nice to be in the present, with the old ways left behind.”[33]

But these reckless and insensitive sentiments not only betray the import of John 17, they also betray our Christian brethren who perished for the sake of the Gospel.

“I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because…. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” (Jn. 17:14-17)

No one can be justly sanctified by Christ or truly unified with Him by aligning themselves with enemies of His Gospel, His Word, or His Body.

The Scriptures tell us that the Lord God remembers those killed for His sake, even if men posing as God’s workmen like Robison do not. The Harlot Church, “drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs,” will one day give an account to Him for her abominations against God (Rev. 16:5-7; 17:3-6, 15-18; 18:4-8, 20; 19:1-2). The Bible also warns us that this ‘Whore of Babylon’ will be led by a religious global leader—a False Prophet—in cahoots with the Antichrist (Rev. 13:11-17; 16:13; 19:19-20; 20:10). God’s Word tells us that this unholy trinity, led by Satan (the Dragon), will ravage and attempt to destroy God’s Bride before Jesus Christ returns to the earth (Dan. 7:19-26; Rev. 12:17; 13:1-8; 16:6; 17:6; 18:24). Are we in fact witnessing the coalescing of the Harlot Church in this hour shortly preceding a day of inordinate tribulation on earth? Is persecution looming on the horizon for the faithful remnant—those who refuse to unify with apostasy?

“For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
(Heb. 13:5-6)

Broad Way Samuel
The Gathering promo featuring NAR leader Samuel Rodriquez
[35]


THE BROAD WAY GATHERING
James Robison and Nick Hall were among a popular cast[36] of evangelical and NAR leaders, pastors, teachers, and authors who came together for a National Solemn Assembly September 21st in Dallas, called The Gathering, “to unite the Body of Christ in America– all believers, regardless of race, age, or denomination – in prayer for forgiveness, wisdom, and provision for our nation.”[37] Anne Graham Lotz, the undiscerning daughter of ecumenical evangelist Billy Graham, was among the many scheduled speakers.

Life Today (Robison) and Together 2016 (Hall) are listed as partners[39] as well as speakers for The Gathering event. Other speakers on the roster for The Gathering were also scheduled to attend Together 2016. Discerning readers might also notice that the chosen date for this Christian unity coalition event was on the same day as the United Nations International Day of Peace. Coincidence? The graphics below depict an unbiblical collusion:
Broad Way One World
LEFT: The Gathering trailer
[41]
RIGHT: The U.N. International Day of Peace website[42]

FROM ECUMENICAL TO INTERFAITH GLOBAL ONENESS
Pope Francis appears to be ramping up his efforts to unify Protestants and Catholics in recent months.[43] Zenit News reported that the Pontiff gave an address to the World Communion of Reformed Churches in June. In it he quoted his now familiar refrain also being sung by accommodating evangelicals like James Robison:

Our meeting here today is one more step along the journey that marks the ecumenical movement, a blessed and hope-filled journey whereby we strive to live ever more fully in accord with the Lord’s prayer “that all may be one” (Jn17:21)…

There is urgent need for an ecumenism that, along with theological dialogue aimed at settling traditional doctrinal disagreements between Christians, can promote a shared mission of evangelization and service….

Dear brothers and sisters, in renewing my gratitude for your visit and your commitment in service to the Gospel, I express my hope that this meeting may be an effective sign of our resolution to journey together towards full unity. May it encourage all Reformed and Catholic communities to continue to work together to bring the joy of the Gospel to the men and women of our time. God bless you all.[44][bold added]

In order to unify all religions—and indeed the world—the Pope must first unify those identifying themselves as Christian under his authority. As a political[45] and governmental leader[46] with religious power,[47] it is imperative that the Roman Pontiff succeed in his ecumenical and interfaith endeavors in order to secure global religious control[48] and ultimately cross completely over the apostate Broad Way Unity Bridge.
Broad Way Pope
Is Christian Unity Coming through Pope Francis?
[49]

Lamont Colucci, a political writer for U.S. News & World Report, posted an astute article on the ramifications of Pope Francis’ ecumenical initiative in June. Below are some highlights:

Those of us involved with foreign policy, national security and international relations tend to focus most of our attention on the immediate threat or short-term trend. Some of us involved more on the military or diplomatic wing rarely look at religion, except for the contemporary focus on jihadism emanating out of the Islamic world. Lost in this is the planetary view that attempts to identify titanic, or potential shifts, in world politics.

On Sunday, Pope Francis attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the patriarch at Etchmiadzin, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He reiterated his much used word, "scandal," to describe Christian disunity. Much has been written about Pope Francis' attempts at reform, his possible views on immigration, climate change and economics. However, far above all of this are indications that this pope has a renewed interest in Christian unity. Those who watch and study this know all too well that we have seen this before, and it came to naught. However, there are signs to indicate that we may be witnessing a more fundamental desire…. Some have reported that a meeting and declaration like this has not happened since 1054 AD….

Should Francis' efforts begin to prove successful and palatable to Orthodox and Protestant Christians, there will be no greater story in international relations in the 21st century. Those of us wired to the hard politics of war, diplomacy and trade forget that all of this pales in comparison to the power of God and the church. If Christendom were once again to have unified positions on all of these ideas, it would be an unstoppable force for good in a world rent by the evils of terrorism, human degradation and political tyranny. The shift would be incalculable to the current mindsets of international relations, to both theoretical academician and political practitioner alike. Perhaps we are bearing witness to the truly most transformative political story in centuries….[50][bold added]

While Colucci is correct to say that the Pope’s ambitious plan to unify Christians would potentially be a “titanic shift in world politics,” biblically, his conclusions are tragically wrong. When—not if—Christendom unifies in this way, it will not be “an unstoppable force for good,” but a deadly vehicle for the Antichrist.

In his article, Colucci also briefly mentioned Pope Francis’ public apologies to “various protestant groups for sins committed against them.”[51] These recent apologies will also facilitate bridge-building in order to “leave the old ways behind” (in the words of James Robison), and push on toward global unification. The next historic gathering[52] to this end for Pope Francis will be a Joint Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation on Oct. 31st in Lund, Sweden.[53]
A Broad Way 2nd Reformation?
500th Anniversary of the Reformation - Oct. 2017[54]

CROSSING THE BROAD WAY UNITY BRIDGE
TO “RESET (REVERSE) THE REFORMATION 
But this 2016 event in Sweden and other events held this year are merely a precursor to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017:

Joint Ecumenical Commemoration
The Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church will hold a joint ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation on 31 October 2016 [Halloween, ed.] in Lund and Malmö, Sweden.  It will begin with a liturgy in Lund Cathedral and continue with a public event in Malmö Arena that will be open to wider participation.

Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge will lead the common prayer service in Lund and the event in Malmö in cooperation with leaders from Church of Sweden and the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.

The event will take place in anticipation of the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017. It will highlight the solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans and the joint gifts received through dialogue.[55][bold added, links removed]
Broad Way Europe
Screenshot of ‘Together for Europe’ trailer
[56]


Not so coincidentally, 1,700 representatives of 300 Christian denominations met in Munich, Germany (Martin Luther’s home country)[57] as part of the ‘Together for Europe’ congress from June 30 to July 2.[58] Pope Francis sent a video message[59] to the participants encouraging the historic gathering,

“…Together for Europe? Today this is more than ever necessary. In a Europe made up of many nations, you bear witness to the fact that we are children of one Father and brothers and sisters to one another. You are a precious seed of hope, so that Europe can rediscover its vocation to contribute to the unity of all….”

The prevailing theme of the ‘Together for Europe’ gathering was that ‘unity is possible’ and that after five hundred centuries of ungodly separation, Protestants and Christians must come together. Gerhard Pross, organizer of this event opined,

“The division amongst Christians in Europe is a wound, but it does not have to be open forever.” Looking ahead to the 2017 commemoration of the Protestant Reformation, he concluded: “500 years are enough.”[60][bold added]

The Wittenberg 2017 Summit, scheduled to be held at the Castle Church in Berlin next year, will include Christian luminaries such as Leonard Sweet (Emergent),[61] George Wood (Assemblies of God),[62] and Samuel Rodriquez (New Apostolic Reformation)[62] cited above. James O. Davis, founder of the Billion Soul Network, which is sponsoring the event, will also be a presenter.[63]
A Broad Way Reinvented (Reset” of) Luther?!
Wittenberg Summit 2017 poster
[64]

THE TRUTH:
On October 31, 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, it is possible that Pope Francis might publicly apologize on behalf of his murderous Roman Catholic predecessors for the brutal atrocities committed against the martyred Christian Reformers (who suffered and died for the sake of the Gospel of Christ). But if he does this, it is likely he will do so without completely repenting of his false Gospel, false Christ, and the multitude of other false doctrines taught in his church. Will he posture global unity while affirming the title “Vicar of Christ”?[65] This appears to be the Pope’s modus operandi. By treacherously striving to undo (“reset”) the Reformation with feigned confession, counterfeit doctrinal transformation, and false promises for enduring global harmony the Pope, with his Broad Way ecumenical evangelical associates, may precipitate the greatest falling away from the truth the world has ever known (Lk. 18:8; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1).

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
(2 Thess. 9-10)

The late Dave Hunt sounded a sobering alarm to the Church back in 1994 after the signing of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) accord. His statements are even more relevant today as we witness the wholesale betrayal of the Christian Reformers, the sweeping betrayal of the Gospel, and the swift formation of the Harlot church:

A Flickering Candle of Truth

If we truly love the lost souls about us, no matter what their religious affiliations, we will increase our efforts to bring them the truth of the gospel before it is forever too late. Such was the passion of Bishop Hugh Latimer, England’s most powerful preacher in his day. He had dared to explain the errors of transubstantiation and of Rome’s false gospel even during the reign of Henry VIII, for which he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Released when Edward came to power, Latimer continued his passionate preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ until, under Bloody Mary, he was imprisoned again and burned at Balliol college on October 16, 1555.

Bound back-to-back with iron chain at the same stake with Bishop Nicholas Ridley, Latimer was heard to call out to his companion in martyrdom as the flames engulfed them:
Be of courage, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day, by God’s grace, light such a candle in England as I trust will ever be put out!

Such is the heritage of today’s Protestants, which evangelical leaders are now dishonoring and even repudiating. Christian leaders who likely would not have known the gospel but for the martyrs who bravely stood up to Rome are now joining in an unholy partnership with that very institution which shed the martyr’s blood!

Yes, the woman rides the beast, and part of that ride is an unholy alliance with those who ought to know better. Let us stand firmly against the descending darkness as that candle ignited by the immolated bodies of countless martyrs flickers ever more dimly in our day.[66][bold added]
The Broad Way Gathering

Behold, they shall surely gather together,
but not by Me:

(Isaiah 54:15a)

Endnotes:
1. Graphic exhibit taken from Carol Brooks, “Billy Graham,” In Plain Site website; see: http://www.inplainsite.org/html/billy_graham.html
2. David Cloud, “When Did Graham's Compromise Begin?” Fundamental Baptist Information Service, Port Huron, MI, Updated December 5 2013 (first published August 5, 2008). The following was first published in the out-of-print book Evangelicals and Rome in 1999; see: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/grahamcompromise.html. Bold added.
3. Robert M. Zins, Th.M., On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome, White Horse Publications, Huntsville, AL, 1998, pg. 241. 
4. Ibid. Zins, pg. 241. 
5. Graphic exhibit taken from Lance Goodall, “Together 2016 – Nick Hall Meets Pope Francis – Revisited,” Coercion Code website; see: https://coercioncode.com/2016/06/18/together-2016-nick-hall-meets-pope-francis-revisited/
6. Kevin Porter, “'Billy Graham of the Next Generation' Calls on 1 Million Americans to Unite in Prayer in Washington This Summer,” Christian Post online, March 28, 2016; see: http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelist-nick-hall-together-2016-1-million-americans-unite-prayer-washington-160270/
7. See Nick Hall’s Together 2016 “Commissioning” video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB6wqfpMahE
8. See Wikipedia “Explo ‘72”; see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explo_%2772
9. Kristy Etheridge “RESET Movement Calls Next Generation to Go ‘All In’ for Jesus,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association online (BGEA), October 22, 2013; see: https://billygraham.org/story/reset-movement-calls-next-generation-to-go-all-in-for-jesus/
10. Exhibit is screenshot from YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49ItTjxe0ZQ
11. CBS News, “The Positivity of Joel Osteen,” March 27, 2016; see: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-positivity-of-joel-osteen/
12. James Robison Life Today website, “Pope Francis on Life Today”, May 2, 2014; see: http://www.jamesrobison.net/pope-francis/
13. Ken Silva, “Arrogance and Blasphemy: The Faith of Kenneth Copeland,” Apprising Ministries, Sept. 6, 2008; see: http://apprising.org/2008/09/06/arrogance-and-blasphemy-the-faith-of-kenneth-copeland-2/
14. Ed Tarkowski, THE LAUGHING PHENOMENA: Its History and Possible Effects on the Church Part 1, Deception in the Church; see: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/Laugh1.html
15. See Bill Randles’ book, Weighed and Found Wanting, (1995), documenting the so-called Toronto Blessing/Holy Laughter movement and leader, John Arnott; see: http://web.archive.org/web/20040703040810/http://www.geocities.com/Bob_Hunter/1.htm
16. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “Pope Francis Meets With Kenneth Copeland, James Robison—High Fives Ensue,” Charisma News online, July 10, 2014; see: http://www.charismanews.com/world/44601-pope-francis-meets-with-kenneth-copeland-james-robison-high-fives-ensue
17. Kathy Schiffer, “Joel Osteen Attends Mass in St. Peter’s Square, Meets With Holy Father,” Patheos website, June 7, 2014; see: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2014/06/joel-osteen-attends-mass-in-st-peters-square-meets-with-holy-father/
18. Graphic exhibit taken from Kenneth Copeland Ministries, “Kenneth Copeland Visits the Pope, June 2014,” KCM; see: http://www.kcm.org/slide/kenneth-copeland-visits-the-pope-june-2014
19. Graphic taken from Waterbrook/Multnomah website, Nick Hall’s book, Reset; see: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/536780/reset-by-nick-hall-foreword-by-josh-mcdowell-luis-palau-and-ravi-zacharias/
20. Robert Barbry II, “Ecumenism In Action: An Interview with Iwona Bednarz-Major,” Epic Pew, Feb. 4, 2016; see: http://epicpew.com/ecumenism-in-action/
21. See Major Change website: http://majorchange.org/onething/#catholic-track
22. For background on Mike Bickle’s Latter Rain cult teachings, ‘The Passion and the Presence,’: “Bridal Eschatology Part 3,” Herescope, March 08, 2014; see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/03/bridal-eschatology.html. Note this is a 6 part series, a comprehensive overview of the old Latter Rain cult doctrines found in this youth movement.
23. For Chan’s unbiblical connection to Bickel see: Ken Silva, “Francis Chan Declares ‘I love Mike Bickel’ of IHOP”, Apprising Ministries, Jan. 2, 2014; see: http://apprising.org/2014/01/02/francis-chan-declares-i-love-mike-bickle-of-ihop/
24. See Chan’s website: http://crazylove.org/events
25. Graphic exhibit taken from the MajorChange video on YouTube: http://majorchange.org/onething/. Also, see the OneThing 2015 Catholic Ecumenical Track video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2muxxpAc-8&feature=youtu.be
26. Ben Schrenkinger, “Trump calls for Christian unity at Liberty U.,” Politico, Jan. 18, 2016; see: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/trump-liberty-university-217942
27. Hayley Hoefer, “Views You Can Use: The Pope Vs. the Donald,” US News and World Report, Feb. 18, 2016; see: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-02-18/pope-francis-says-donald-trumps-views-on-immigration-arent-christian
28. Ben Jacobs, “Donald Trump calls Pope Francis 'disgraceful' for questioning his faith,” The Guardian, Feb. 18 2016; see: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/18/donald-trump-pope-francis-christian-wall-mexico-border
29. “Full text: Donald Trump responds to Pope Francis,” Politico, Feb. 18, 2016; see: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/full-text-donald-trump-responds-to-pope-francis-219435
30. See Dan Scavino’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/DanScavino/status/700368610322206720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
31. Kate Shellnutt and Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, “Who’s Who of Trump’s ‘Tremendous’ Faith Advisers,” Christianity Today, June 22, 2016; see: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/june-web-only/whos-who-of-trumps-tremendous-faith-advisors.html?start=1
32. James Robison, “Witnessing the Miracle Jesus Prayed For,” James Robison website, June 26, 2014; see: http://www.jamesrobison.net/witnessing-the-miracle-jesus-prayed-for/
33. James Robison, “Witnessing the Miracle Jesus Prayed For,” James Robison website, comments section, Sept. 18, 2014; see: http://www.jamesrobison.net/witnessing-the-miracle-jesus-prayed-for/
34. Graphic exhibit taken from Parables website, Oct. 7, 2014; see: http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2014/10/tony-palmer-and-covenant-of-blood.html
35. See: http://thegathering2016.com/national-solemn-assembly/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljR6pOifHoY. See Part 1 of this series for a background on Pastor Rodriguez: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2016/07/resetting-reformation.html
36. See The Gathering website: http://thegathering2016.com/speakers/
37. See The Gathering website, “About”; see: http://thegathering2016.com/about/
38. For further background on Anne Graham Lotz’ unbiblical teachings see: Marsha West, “LOTZ of nonsense,” Berean Research , April 18, 2016; see: http://bereanresearch.org/lotz-of-nonsense/
39. See The Gathering website, “Our Partners”; see: http://thegathering2016.com/our-partners/
40. See the UN I nternational Day of Peace website: http://internationaldayofpeace.org/
41. Graphic exhibit taken from The Gathering video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeKeZVdwQWY
42. Graphic exhibit taken from the UN International Day of Peace website: http://internationaldayofpeace.org/
43. Ines San Martin, “Francis if proving to be a very ecumenical Pope,” Crux, Jan. 25, 2016; see: https://cruxnow.com/church/2016/01/25/francis-proving-to-be-a-very-ecumenical-pope/
44. Zenit, “Pope’s Address to World Communion of Reformed Churches,” June 10, 2016 (translated from Spanish); see: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-world-communion-of-reformed-churches/
45. Samuel C. Baxter and Stacey L. Palm, “Politics, Power and the Pope-The Vatican’s Rising Diplomatic Clout,” Real Truth Magazine online; see: https://realtruth.org/articles/150122-002.html
46. New World Encyclopedia online, “Papal States”; see: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Papal_States
47. See Wikipedia, “Papal Supremacy”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_supremacy
48. Rebecca Terrell, “Pope's Environmental Encyclical Calls for World Government,” The New American, June 19, 2015; see: http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/item/21092-pope-s-environmental-encyclical-calls-for-world-government
49. Graphic exhibit taken from US News website: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-06-28/could-pope-francis-bring-about-christian-unity
50. Lamont Colucci, Is Christian Unity Coming?” U.S. News & Report online, June 28, 2016; see: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-06-28/could-pope-francis-bring-about-christian-unity
51. Reuters, “Why Pope Francis Just Asked Protestants for Forgiveness,” Newsweek online, Jan. 25, 2016; see: http://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-protestants-forgiveness-persecution-419512. This theology of repenting for the sins of one's ancestors is called Identificational Repentance.
52. Ibid. Ines San Martin, Crux: https://cruxnow.com/church/2016/01/25/francis-proving-to-be-a-very-ecumenical-pope/
53. Graphic exhibit taken from Lund, Sweden website: http://www.lund2016.net/
54. Graphic exhibit taken from the Luther 2017 website: http://luther2017.tv/. Be sure to notice Leonard Sweet's leadership in this endeavor.
55. See the Joint Ecumenical Commemoration website: http://www.lund2016.net/
56. Graphic exhibit taken from the ‘Together Europe’ video trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CyLm0Nrkko
57. See Martin Luther bio, Biography.com: http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-9389283
58. See the ‘Together for Europe’ website/video: http://www.together4europe.org/en/
59. Vatican Radio, “Pope Francis: video message to Together for Europe 2016”; see: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/07/02/pope_francis_video_message_to_together_for_europe_2016/1241550
60. “Ecumenical Congress promoted ‘unity’ between Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals,” Evangelical Focus, July 4, 2016; see: http://evangelicalfocus.com/europe/1757/Ecumenical_congress_in_Munich_promoted_unity_between_Catholic_Orthodox_Protestant_and_Evangelicals
61. For more information on Leonard Sweet, see the new Lighthouse Trails booklet by Warren B. Smith, “Leonard Sweet – A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?”; see: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=21371
62. Ibid. Luther 2017: http://luther2017.tv/
63. See Davis’ website: http://www.jamesodavis.com/new/meet-james/. To see the dominionist connections between such men and Sweet and Davis, see the 2010 Herescope article, “Mainstreaming Dominionism”: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/05/mainstreaming-dominionism.html and the 2012 article, “Ca$h Cow$ & Fat Cat$ - the Cult of Evangelical Leadership, Part 2”: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/10/cah-cow-fat-cat.html
64. Ibid. Luther 2017: http://luther2017.tv/
65. Dictionary.com, “Vicar of Christ”; see: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/vicar-of-christ
66. Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1994, pp. 409-410. 

*Pope's derisive comment regarding the Reformation, made “Ecumenical Congress promoted ‘unity’ between Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals,” Evangelical Focus, July 4, 2016; see: http://evangelicalfocus.com/europe/1757/Ecumenical_congress_in_Munich_promoted_unity_between_Catholic_Orthodox_Protestant_and_Evangelicals
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