The Sick Church

Hello all, I am back. But this time, I had to backtrack extensively. Would you like to know how many words I’ve written on this topic? Ask me in person, maybe I will tell you. Or read to the end, I may tell you. However, I will tell you this for now – it is a lot.


God kept asking me to wait. Just wait. Just be patient. And at long last, God allowed me to write. To finally get all my thoughts put down on to paper. Because, until I write them all down – they are scattered and incomplete. Writing is sort of a sketch pad – I don’t actually consider every single post to be a finalized completely - but finalized enough to share.


This is not really the same. This is finalized. This is complete. But, this article is only a small glimpse. I promise, I am going to do a podcast dedicated just to this topic. I will provide so many resources if you ask me. I want absolutely no one within my sphere of influence to not hear my voice in regards to this topic. God has convicted me strongly, I dare not sweep this under the rug.


This is what I am saying boldly, the American church is sick. But even more specifically, the charismatic church is sick. It is time for a difficult discussion.


Posture of my Heart


There is absolutely no ill-will in this piece. In fact, you will read in to my frustration. I am frustrated. Because, the more you know – the more you see and discern. The more you pray and heed the voice of God, the more passionate you get. I want to assure you, since December, my wife and I have been watching, praying, studying and waiting on this election and the prophetic ramifications. I was dreadfully afraid of the worst and what it meant - a sick church.


I remember asking my wife, “What if Trump doesn’t win? What will that do to the church? What will that mean for the prophets?”


Also, I recall asking close friends if they knew in prayer if Trump was going to win. Because whenever I petitioned the Lord for His will, it was dark. God intentionally withheld His will from me and so, I was concerned Biden might win.


So here is the posture of my heart. I love the gifts of the Spirit. I love prophecy. I love the church. And I love it far too much to remain silent on this issue. It must be addressed. We need to have a discussion about it. My heart is for the gifts, but that doesn’t it mean I am for what is happening in the church today. We are becoming the church in Corinth.


Prophets are Fallible


Prophets and prophecies are fallible. We know many prophets teach that you must sift through your carnal nature, demonic influence and/or even voices from the world to ensure you are hearing the voice of God. Every true prophet knows that it must be grounded in the Logos (Written Word- Bible). Prophets and prophecies are fallible in the same way a man’s teaching could be fallible. Everything must be held up to the Word of God and tested.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Answer me this then – if they are so incredibly fallible, why do they want us to treat them like the Old Testament prophets? They want the esteem of an Old Testament prophet with out the accountability. Do you know the accountability of an Old Testament prophet? Death.


We need to re-establish the prophetic in the church. We need to re-evaluate their role and authority. I have been studying this and I truly believe we are esteeming them like they are Old Covenant prophets - infallible and God's Word. They are NOT! I recently heard someone quote Isaiah 55:11 in reference to New Covenant prophets. I was shocked. Only God's Word returns with no void.


They are New Covenant prophets - which are called to be submitted to their local elders and judged by their words. New Covenant prophecy is meant for upbuilding, consolation and encouragement (1 Cor. 14:3) of the CHURCH. We have a prophet who comes to our church who does just that - and I love him so much! He is submitted to his local church and the authority within ours. He is a genuine blessing and absolutely what New Covenant prophecy looks like.


Let’s continue then, prophets are fallible – they make mistakes. We are, after all, ‘in part’ and in the New Covenant. So what is the charge of New Covenant prophecies/prophets? Well, I know we can’t resent them (1 Thess. 5:20) but I also know we should test them (Matt. 7:15, 1 John 4:1-6, Matt. 24:24, 2 Peter 2:1-3, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 1 Thess. 5:21, 2 Tim. 4:3, 1 Cor. 14:29) – yeah, we really should test the Spirits, teachings and prophecies – it is riddled throughout the New Testament.


So, I want to present this to you - no, we do not stone the prophets. We are not in the Old Covenant. So unless you want to be held to that standard, do not cast the first stone. This is a call for accountability (which is found in the New Covenant). But the Old Covenant lays a foundation for the New. Some crimes were capital crimes, and we should understand that though there is (now) grace, we ought to understand the severity of the sin. I would compare false prophecy with the other capital crimes in the Old Covenant. If you look at that list, these are all pretty evil things. Should we not, in grace, consider the severity of error?


We all agree, prophets are fallible, so we must test them. We must hold them accountable to their prophecies and to the Word of God. What are their doctrines (sadly, I may have to do a piece dedicated to false doctrines in this movement)? What are their teachings? What is their walk with God like? And most importantly, what is their love?


Just Trust the Prophets


I had someone recently come to me and say, “I cant believe Jeremiah Johnson apologized. That is so wrong! Why would he do such a thing?”


My response was, “Well, Jeremiah said he was heart-broken that he was wrong. He spent a lot of time in prayer and God told him that he was wrong and needed to apologize.”


I used this because firstly it was true and secondly I knew, 'God told me' is sort of a trump-card in prophetic circles. The response was rather predictable, “Oh well, if he says God told him than I’ll just stay out of it. You never challenge a prophet when God tells them something.”


Let’s be frustratingly honest - It often feels like hyper-charismatic circles say, “leave your Bible, brain and basic senses at the door, whatever you feel and whatever these prophets say is your new gospel truth.”


Heavens no! Even prophets are exclaiming, "Sometimes we miss it," yet they want to be heralded as above it all?


Kynan Bridges half-heartedly apologized and admitted this, “If you’re saying all the prophets are wrong, and they all missed God. That means there is a deeper underlying issue with regards to prophecy that we need to address. Do you guys really want to dig into that?”


Yes, Kynan. That is exactly what I want to do. I'm done burying these things. Let's dig it up and see the roots. Let's test the foundation. Let's research every thing, test everything, hold it all up to the Word and decide if we keep it or not.


This is not a season of just trust the prophets. This is a season of what in the world happened? Do not silence us. Do not tell us to just have faith. You don’t even know what faith is if you are demanding it from others! My faith comes from the Lord - not hearing what the prophets say. I test it. It is fallible, right? I'm sorry friends, but I am so done with the condescending language. It is manipulative and unfounded in the Word of God. The way so many of these prophets speak have absolutely nothing in common with the God I serve.


I love prophecy, but I am so frustrated with what I am watching unfold in these prophetic circles. This has to be the most manipulative, unbiblical thing I have seen. Even Dr. Brown said this is the sickest he has ever seen the charismatic church. The prophetic movement has been held without accountability for far too long. Teachers resent the prophets and prophets resent the teachers. I’m waiving my arms about – stop the madness!

You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:5-6

But, here we are. Just over 100 years after Azusa street, and there has never been a reformation or a marriage between reformers and charismatics. Reformers hold tight to their Bibles and deep theological books, and charismatics dance around madly in love with the Father. I love these dancers. I love these reformers. I see them both for who they are: people who discovered the love of the Father. Their response? Much different.


I'm studying like a mad man so I can be quick to discern when Scripture is being twisted. I highly recommend you do the same. I've already come across about four prophets who are twisting scripture and pulling it from its context to give it a completely false meaning.


Ravenous wolves lay hold of the stage. Decree and declare financial breakthrough – decree and declare you are made well – but if you’re not made well, it is your fault – you do not have enough faith! You want to know why God isn’t the God of confusion? Study it. There is peace in the Father. There is peace in the Word. But what I am witnessing now is perpetuated confusion by the prophets. So, be careful who you trust, they just might end up being a grave soaker.


Only 3 Options


There are only three options when it comes to what happened with the prophets and Trump. Every single prophet said Trump would win – and usually by a landslide! The only prophet to issue a warning word for Trump was Jeremiah Johnson. He said if Trump didn’t humble himself, God would remove him from office. Below I lay them down, and then we’ll go into each one a little deeper.


1. The prophets were actually right – Trump did win, or will win at some point in the future.

2. The prophets were wrong – every single one of them – so we must assume they are all carnal, worldly, demonic or not of God.

3. God sent a lying spirit to deceive every prophet, so that He may manifest something bigger.


I have been arguing for months now that Biden was actually the better president for the church. Truly, I do believe if Trump won, the church would have slipped back into complacency, a mentality of, Oh good… Trump is in now, I don’t have to fast or pray or worry. God saved America. With Biden, I argued, the church would be forced to speak out more against the liberal ideologies of abortion, LGBTQ and all the in-betweens. Biden was terrible for our country, but probably good for the church.


I don’t want to get carried away on the topic above, Gil Sanders and I will have a podcast out to you soon on this topic. But, of the three options – I want to jump into each one a bit more.

1. Prophets were right


The reason I do not believe this is because God is not the God of confusion. God is sovereign. I would be much more inclined to believe the prophets if they prophesied Biden would win, sign nearly 40 executive orders in the first three weeks and THEN Trump would be re-instated. But none of them said that. In fact, none of them prophesied COVID-19 was going to happen. None of them prophesied the timeline of COVID-19 correctly. Each of them was calling for Easter, then June, then August, then by the election – and here we are, still with COVID-19 as strong as a year ago. They keep getting it wrong.


Use common sense, use basic understanding – the prophets were wrong. Even if you sugarcoat it, I’m not swallowing that pill. They were wrong at every turn – I can remember in January thinking to myself how many more times can the prophets rescind what they say, back peddle and not repent? Apparently, never - I've heard about three prophets in the past 24 hours say they absolutely will not repent for being wrong, because they were not wrong.


2. Prophets were wrong, and they are wicked


They were wrong, this is half true – but they are not all wicked. Prophecy is a real gift, and the office of prophet is a real office. I look toward those that are repenting of their error – Jeremiah Johnson and Dr. Brown. Ironically, these are the two that I agreed with more than any others before any of this happened.

I can Scripturally defend prophets for today. Since I am not a cessationist and witnessed far too many accurate prophecies, I know prophecy is still a gift for today. But that is likely another piece for another time. So this is easy to refute quickly - not all are wicked.


3. A Lying Spirit was sent


This is the only thing that makes sense. And when you dig into it, it makes so much sense – almost too much sense. Originally, I debated the possibility of God doing something like this today. For what reason? I argued with God. It took time to see – but I believe I understand more fully now. God is revealing those who are not in right relationship with Him. He is revealing those that have built a pedestal too tall to dare be wrong. He is showing the church who are true and who are wolves.

And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.” - 1 Kings 22:19-23 [ESV]

God does send lying spirit, but He always sends them to fulfill a purpose.


What is God Doing?


As plainly as I can, I would like to present the perspective I hold in regard to this mess. God sent a lying spirit to every single prophet. Yes, including those who prophesied long ago and also those who have a proven track record. He sent this spirit in order to reveal the sickness of the church. Please tell me you see it!


Here are the sick, broken and ruined parts of the bride today:

· Progressive Christians, liberal in every regard

· Trump Christians, those that think Trump is the savior

· Wrong priorities, those that think politics are more important than the Gospel message

· Those that spend more time researching conspiracy then meditating on God’s Word

· Those that demand God give us what we want

· Those that “won’t serve an unjust God”

· Those that are stuck in pride

· Those that don’t know the Word

· Those that are fake Prophets

· The posture of the church’s heart


But no – God is testing us – testing our faith levels to see if we are willing to usher in His divine will (heresy in some Charismatic circles). Kent Christmas spouting off, “if you don’t have faith for this, you are not in the remnant.”


Or Kat Kerr who went on tirade speaking as God, “those that disagree with me will lose their voice, they will lose their platform, they will lose their property and their finances.”


You tell me, does this sound like the heart of the Father? She is literally cursing Christian brothers and sister who don’t believe Trump won! She is cursing me, my wife, Jeremiah Johnson, Michael Brown, anyone who is disagreeing with this prophetic word. This is witchcraft people. It only took me about 5 minutes listening to Kat Kerr to know she will not have any form of voice for our church.


Let’s be honest. Even if you hold hope, as I do, that Trump somehow gets put back in to office – the prophets were still wrong. That does not mean they are all false prophets, because if God sent a lying spirit, He is testing them – to reveal to us (the Bride) who is given to pride and who is given to a posture of repentance. But if Trump wins within the next three months - I promise I will publicly apologize and admit I was wrong. But here is the thing - even if Trump is reinstated, what I am arguing for here does not change. The church is sick and needs teachers. The church is divided, chopped up and mutilated from within.


Every single Christian should celebrate a posture of repentance, no? Every Christian should honor God and His holiness so much that they are afraid when they are off – prophetically or even doctrinally (Biblically). Do we not fear God? A prophet when wrong about something – should say, “DO I EVEN HEAR GOD?” and weep, begging God to speak and reveal Himself.

Jeremiah came out and issued a public apology. Do you know what happened? Have you read what happened? He was scorned, not only by the prophets, but by everyday people. He received death threats. He received hate speech. He received e-mails calling him a false prophet. He lost sponsors. He lost contributors. He lost his platform. From who? Charismatic Christians! And why? Because he apologized for being wrong? His entire tone was: I wont do it. I wont blame the church for not rising up. We prayed for this election more than any else. I wont blame it on the election being stolen. I wont blame it on everyone else. I blame it on myself. I missed it. I was wrong.


This is a sick church. A church that loves when prophets prophesy wrongly and despise those who turn from it (Jeremiah 5:31). Jeremiah also said he felt God could not give the American church Trump again, because we had made him an idol. Oh how true it is!


And now, you have Kat Kerr and others like her who are openly mocking Jeremiah and Michael Brown. For what? For apologizing? For repenting? What in the world is this? Even if you do believe Trump is going to win – would you not at least say, I respect their decision, but I disagree. Rather, they openly mock, scoff, rebuke and recommend avoiding the “defectors” from the “one true faith.” I don’t know about you, but Jeremiah apologizing for being off and speaking incorrectly seems more like the God I know than Kerr’s curse prayer.


In Conclusion


I wrote this article three times trying to pair it down. The first one was nearly 10 pages, the next was 7 before I stopped. This one is going to end at about 5 pages. So before you judge this and push it off from you. Please, e-mail me. Talk to me. Pray with me. Understand with me. I love prophecy too much to watch these modern-day prophets use it to manipulate and abuse the church. The church is sick enough, but the pride laced up in to these prophets is damaging the church.


I encourage you to distance yourself from QAnon conspiracy. Distance yourself from the media. Distance yourself from the prophets. Find yourself in love with God’s presence. Find yourself in love with the Bible. Find yourself singing hymns and smiling because you just cant help thinking how blessed you are that the God of all loves you!


I’m at peace. I am so eternally blessed. My heart is glad. My heart is full. My joy overflows. That doesn’t mean I am not stressed about this issue – or the issues that weigh us down normally. But God’s goodness carries me through – whatever is of good report, that is what I dwell on.


Here is my call to anyone within my sphere of influence –

  • Distance yourself from things of the world – to include these prophets.

  • Find yourself in God’s presence – praying, worshipping and reading His Word.

  • Meditate on His goodness. Ask God earnestly, what are you doing in all of this?


And finally, to those that read this far – as simply as I can, this is what I see –

  • God sent a lying spirit for His glory; it is now manifested as a spirit of confusion

  • God cares much more about the health of His bride than that of America

  • Trump's removal was two-fold: 1) He was too proud and 2) the church idolized him

  • The Prophetic/Charismatic movement needs reformation, or we will die

  • God is raising up teachers who embrace the Pentecostals (see Dr. Brown, Sam Storms, Matt Chandler, Dr. Craig Keener and many more!)

  • God is exposing the prophets who are addicted to the spotlight and being right over being righteous

  • God is exposing the errors within the charismatic movement

  • God is exposing the sickness of the church (not politics! It’s so much bigger than politics)

  • God is calling for peace, justice, truth, and righteousness to prevail in His bride before it can prevail in this country

  • Show prophets and others drawn in to the movement lots of love in truth

I would be not operating in love if I didn't plainly speak the truth I see. I'm not trying to name call (I left out many prophets I researched). I am merely trying to tell those around me what I plainly see. Love is found in truth, and I do this in love.


So what is the hope? The hope is a pure and spotless bride! What a beautiful sight! I know you may want me to say, "If we do all of this, a revival will come." But I can not. I really have not heard that. I long for that. I want for that. But that is not something God has spoken. It would simply be my desire. We must purify ourselves, take a long hard look in the mirror and realize that we need some cleaning up, we are after all, God's bride.


This is all for His glory! He is revealing in order that we may be made well. Enjoy this quote I pulled for you during my study:

You have some churches today where they’ll amputate certain members of the body and then you have other churches that collect all the amputated parts, stack them together and say ‘this is a body.’ We need a whole body. – Dr. Craig Keener

Think on it,

-RP



PS. I long held this as a promise for me. I always, always assumed good. But contextually, it is actually of an evil that would come (the Chaldeans). I am beginning to wonder if my life wasn't destined to behold greatness, but it was destined to be a light in the vast, overwhelming evil and darkness.

Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. - Habakkuk 1:5

Useful links:

https://www.gotquestions.org/lying-spirit.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_capital_crimes_in_the_Torah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYCOAR2zuZ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgE85J1mF9s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA3tl1d6DaY






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