Networking the Church: Part 7
[Bob Jones, (Kansas City Fellowship) transcribed from 1988 tape]
"The Lord is preparing the Church to complete its task, and the apostolic ministry is absolutely essential to prepare the Church for this purpose. Without the ministry of the apostle, the Church will lack the necessary grace, power, and authority to finish or complete its mission."
[Hector Torres, The Restoration of the Apostles and Prophets (Thomas Nelson, 2001), p. 154-55, bold added]
There is a next stage to the New Apostolic Reformation!
The next-stage heresy is that the Church can attain immortality, perfection and godhood by taking dominion of the Earth. Its leaders speak of birthing a "Man-Child," a perfect "seed," a "New Breed." There is a "prophesied" end-time Feast of Tabernacles that is yet to be fulfilled, when there will be a perfection of the saints as they take dominion of the earth. And there is a teaching that "Christ and the Church are becoming one in nature and essence, and that the Church, as the 'on-going incarnation of God,' is Christ on earth." Al Dager, in his book Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion (Sword, 1990) explains this disturbing history as "various movements which basically comprise a networking system of individuals and groups" that teach that "man need not die; by taking hold of secret knowledge he can become like God" (pp. 66, 70-71). Dager elaborates:
"A sure sign of religious authoritarianism is a zealousness to rid the world of opposition to one's peculiar tenets. In the minds of many dominionists the authority of the apostles and prophets must not be questioned. Their rulership in the Kingdom of God (as they understand it) must be free from dissent. Therefore it will be necessary that those who challenge their teachings and their authority be removed.
"There are differences of opinion among dominionists as to how dissenters will be removed, but there are essentially five ways in which that may occur: 1) God will supernaturally strike dead those who oppose His apostles and prophets; 2) God will send, or allow satanic forces to send, plagues upon dissenters; 3) the Church (or certain 'overcomers') will pronounce God's judgments upon dissenters, thus moving God to destroy them; 4) the Church will, out of 'necessity,' use physical force by which it will judge, sentence, and execute judgment (including death) upon dissenters; 5) all or any combination of the above may take place.
"According to some dominionists, in order to effect this purging of the earth the overcomers must attain immortalization, thus becoming immune to any physical resistance o their program. Becoming immortal, and thus impervious to injury or death, will be the result of having attained spiritual perfection through obedience to the apostles and prophets." (pp. 96-97)
These heresies are described in the archived newsletters of Discernment Ministries, as it chronicled the rise of these heresies since the 1980s. One can also read about this teaching in the book Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church, written by Travers van der Merwe, founder of Discernment Ministries, before he passed away in 1995. This entire book is posted on-line and is a must-read for those who seek to understand the Gnostic doctrinal roots of the New Apostolic Reformation. (This book also explains Gnosticism in an easy-to-understand manner.)
We excerpt "Chapter 5: The 'Elite' Concept:"
There are certain groups of Christians that fall into the category of "elitism" notwithstanding their affiliations. They use the same catch phrases: "Come out of your man-made systems", "Denominational walls are breaking down", and "Christians need to be 'delivered' from 'Spirits of Religion' and sound doctrine". The guilty groups are primarily among the Charismatics. They go by many names and sometimes no name at all. We spot them by the teachers that are involved and by similarities in their teachings. There may be some variations among the different groups; however the common denominator that ties them together is the "elitism" concept. This is set out as follows:
God is forming an overcoming company within the body of Christ called, among other names, "The Manchild Company", etc. (Revelation 12:5). The Manchild is the true church. Those that are the real Christians are the Overcomers (Revelation 2 & 3) and are becoming more and more perfected so that they will be able to drive Satan from the world. This must be done before Jesus can return. They believe that the church is not ready for the coming of the Lord. They are not looking for His imminent coming. They believe that Christ must come TO His Church before He comes FOR His Church.
All do not necessarily use this terminology, but the premises are the same. The language is becoming increasingly militant as the "Army of God", "Gideon's Army", or "Joel's Army" take shape. A common thread is that they are expecting a "New Order": "In all revolutions there are noisy and dangerous times as the OLD ORDER is replaced by the new . . . after the dust settles, we can proceed to build the beautiful kingdom that the Lord has purposed from the foundations of the world", says Vinson Synan, one of the leaders of A.D.2000. [Fulness, Jan-Feb 1990, Vinson Synan, p. 24]
Gary North, a leader of the Reconstructionists, proclaims:
"We are now witnessing the beginning of a true paradigm shift . . . the Christian community in the United States has at last begun to adopt the intellectual foundations of a new world view, and this is always the first step in the replacement of a dying civilization which is based on a dying world view . . . the rotten wood is ready for burning, and a new civilization is being prepared to replace it." [Dominion and Common Grace, The Biblical Basis of Progress, Gary North.]
It all has such a spiritual sounding ring. One of the modern day prophets, Paul Cain, calls this elitism the "inner court experience". He announces joyfully that there is an empty place on Jesus' bosom for those who can "enter in". The problem with this "elitism" theory is that Christians are to enter into the "inner court" of God, not by the way of the Cross, through faith, but through a subjective experience of a "nirvana" experience.
A Manifest Son adherent says:
"But the purpose of God reaches from before the foundation of the world. It plans the transplanting of his sons and his daughters. It plans the creation of a NEW ORDER (the elite) on the earth and thus it transplanted celestial children to a physical world. It brought them forth into being in the bodies of the Adamic race." [Tape recording by William Swift]
A "prophet" from the Kansas City Fellowship in an interview session in 1988 proclaims that the Lord looked at him and said, "I have called the best of every blood line in earth unto this generation . . . I have elected to bring them forth in this generation . . . the ELECT GENERATION." [Bob Jones transcribed from 1988 tapes]
This "New Breed" does not believe in the Rapture eschatology. According to Rick Joyner, one of the "Prophets":
". . .the doctrine of the Rapture was a great and effective ruse of the enemy to implant in the Church a retreat mentality . . . already this yoke has been cast off by the majority in the advancing church, and it will soon be cast off by all." [The Harvest, Rick Joyner]
The Scripture, Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left. (Luke 17:34-36) is being construed to mean that the imperfect one shall be taken (removed from the earth) and the perfect one left. Since the Elite (The Manifest Sons) are being perfected on earth, the true Church is to become The Christ - the ongoing Incarnation of Christ. Therefore, the Church as "The Christ" is empowered to drive all demons from the earth, perfect the Church and establish the Elect's reign. The emphasis is always on the super spiritual race rather than on the person, Jesus Christ. One well known teacher summed it up as follows: "It is time to take him (Jesus) off and move up into the place God has ordained for us."
This is heresy in its diabolic essence . . . .
. . . .Those who are overcomers believe they will never be sick or die and they will be here when Christ returns. They believe they are now living in the prophetic time when the Church is being restored and perfected by the five-fold ministries (apostles, prophets, etc.). The Elite (Overcomers) are now in the process of putting on immortality, perfection and godhood and taking dominion of the earth. The Church is about to birth the Man-child - the Sons of God, the incarnation of Christ and brotherhood of Christ.
The essence of this concept is pure Gnosticism and actually accords with the following New Age thought (Gnosticism):
"The real object of man's life on earth is primarily his self-improvement and his own ultimate perfection. This perfecting process depends upon the attainment of unity within himself, a harmonising between his physical and spiritual forces; the unity of human with the Divine nature, which is the essence and, in a spiritual sense, the NEW BIRTH. This perfection, or unity, becomes a STATE of the Soul, a degree of being, a SENSING and FEELING rather than a mere belief. This condition or state of being is possible only through the development of the divine nature of man from WITHIN himself and is the result of a process by which whatever is evil and unworthy is transmuted, i.e. changed or SUBLIMATED into the higher or spiritual entity - IT IS A BECOMING; the change from the purely animal-human to the human-Divine.
"The second object of man's life on earth is to lead other men VIA the same path so that ultimately all men shall have developed and brought into manifestation and activity this same nature and thus will God's church or universal Brotherhood become an established fact." [The Sons of God by R. Swinburnbe Clymer, Published by The Philosophical Publishing Company (emphasis theirs)]
Secret Coming for the Elite
The neo-Gnostic believes the manifestation of the Sons of God comes about in a secret inner coming of Christ TO some Christians which would transform them into "Overcomers". "Christ should visit the saints . . . and minister His life 'in secret' before He is openly manifest." [The Feast of Tabernacles, George Warnock, Springfield, MO - Bill Britton, 1951, pp 108]. In doing this they reject the literal resurrection and Rapture (the personal coming of Jesus Christ FOR His Church). It is interesting to note they will acknowledge Christ is coming, but His coming is off in the future. The emphasis is not on Christ's soon appearance but on the great "power" or "new anointing" that is to be manifest in the Church. Again, a subtle change of emphasis.
It is comforting for the humble believer to be reminded of this Scripture:
"The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." (Nahum 1:7)