This article was originally written and published over three years ago. It would likely have lain dormant and largely unnoticed since that time had it not been resurrected by one of the chief proponents of the movement at Brownsville Assembly of God [hereafter referred to as "BAG"] in the Pensacola, Florida, area. Dr. Michael L. Brown, BAG's apologist and theologian took great issue with the original article, first writing me a four page email critiquing it and then subsequently referencing it in chapter three of his recently-released book, Let No One Deceive You: Confronting Critics of Revival and in his video tape sermon entitled Five Fatal Flaws. Brown has occasionally offered to forward his original email critique of the article to others online in ReaperNet live chat sessions.
Brown's broad-spread criticism of my original article, although he fails, both in his book and on the video tape sermon, to tell his readers/hearers where they may locate the article to read and evaluate it for themselves, brought considerable attention to bear on the old article. Thereafter, a large number of individuals began to inquire as to where they might obtain a copy. In light of the feedback I received with the renewed interest in the original article, in tandem with what has taken place in the three years or so since it was originally written, it was determined that the old article should be updated and republished. This updated version maintains the core and substance of the original article, while incorporating considerable additional related information which has surfaced in the elapsed time since the original was written.
of the Brethren or Good Bereans?
Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth? [Galatians 4:16]
It does indeed appear that anyone who wishes to discuss the current movement has become, at best, a "Pharisee", and, at worst, the enemy. Since the advent of "holy laughter" at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship [formerly Toronto Airport Vineyard] in early 1994, as well as at the revival, so-called, at BAG since Father's Day in 1995, there have been numerous disparaging allegations leveled at anyone who calls into question Biblically any of the peculiar practices presently taking place within the movement. Those perceived to be a "critics" of these movements have been referred to as ignorant, foolish, God mockers, tragic, sad, pitiful, gossips, poor blind guides, pathetic, slanderers of the Holy Spirit, judgmental, prideful and a whole host of other scurrilous terms as well. "Critics" have also been on the receiving end of more than a few imprecatory "prophecies", wherein they are threatened with God's forthcoming wrath and destruction if they continue to oppose the movement.
Let us examine some of the examples of the name-calling and attacks which have been directed at any and all perceived "critics", which practice seems to have reached an all-time high lately.
The following is an excerpt by Vineyard pastor James Ryle, disseminated subsequent to his appearance on John Loeffler's Denver radio show "Steel on Steel":
"There is today a group of people who promote themselves as biblical purist, the faithful remnant who alone preach the Word and who evidently posses the power to judge and criticize anyone who is not like them. This is nothing new, as any student of scripture can attest. It was in fact this very kind of people who crucified Jesus Christ. They are scribes and Pharisees, religious and angry, attacking and persecuting anyone who dares to differ from their exclusive views. Here is where the plot thickens. These watchdogs of doctrinal purity - who themselves ironically violate scripture by their ungodly attitudes their mean spirited commentary and their deceitful reporting have now turned their swords against the Vineyard and it's leaders, why? Since there is no truth to their accusations one must ask then why do they accuse? What motivates them to tear down another church. The answer is pride, jealousy, fear, hatred or ignorance. Take your pick. You can be sure one of these factors is at the heart of this present contention."
Pastor Ryle provides no specifics, gives no documented cases, but merely makes a broad assertion and in so doing makes a few harsh judgments about others himself, specifically:
He likens us to those who crucified Jesus Christ; and calls us:
Scribes and Pharisees
Religious and angry
Attacking and persecuting
In violation of Scripture
Possessed of ungodly attitudes
Issuers of mean spirited commentary
Liars ("deceitful reporting")
Accusers of the brethren
Motivated to tear down churches
Proud, jealous, fearful Ignorant
All of which begs the question: who is judging and accusing whom here? I believe it will be evident to the objective eye who is attempting to evaluate these teachings in light of Scripture in a non-personal manner and who has gone on the offensive with personal attacks. There is quite a difference between assailing the doctrines and theology someone espouses and attacking the person. While we are constrained in Jude, in the love of God, to earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all time delivered to the saints, there is a difference between contending for the faith and contending against others. The latter is inappropriate and we ought not engage in it.
The pattern itself is quite common and well established. Here is but another example of it by Vineyard pastor Carl Tuttle:
"Okay, what about those who are opposed to this? Well folks, there's always been opposition to the work and ministry of God, you know. They opposed the prophets, they opposed the apostles and they've opposed all those that have followed behind them. Now, who has opposed it? Frankly...it's been the religious community. The religious community always gets it back up when God moves, and always starts clicking the tongue and wagging the finger, you know?...Now if you want to read more about this, read Hebrews, Chapter Eleven. There's always opposition to a move of God. There's always opposition to a move of God, and we just don't want to be those who oppose it."
Note several things Mr. Tuttle apparently expects the hearers to take as a "given", a foregone conclusion:
1. This is a work of God.
2. Any opposition stems from that old nemesis and whipping post, the "religious community." Therefore, when anyone attempts to call into question teachings and/or manifestations which are Scripturally incongruent, they're suffering persecution from the "religious community" on par with the OT prophets and NT apostles just like Hebrews 11.
3. This is a move of God, therefore, we don't want to oppose it.
Note further what Mr. Tuttle never teaches on the audio tape:
1. Be a Berean [Acts 17:10-11]:
"And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so."
2. The sufficiency Scripture-in fact, Scripture is never used except in reference to the faith hall of fame, Hebrews 11, and then only to equate their perceived "persecution" with that of dear saints who have long since preceded us.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." [2 Timothy 3:16-17]
"And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."[2 Peter 1:19-21]
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."[Hebrews 4:12]
At Toronto, William DeArteaga made the following comments:
"Phariseeism is the heresy of orthodoxy which is basically correct ideas...ironically, the core problem with the Pharisee is that he cannot recognize the present work of the Holy Spirit....Well, for [John] Calvin, since all spiritual phenomena and powers stopped with the apostles, there is not a category of possibly true from the Holy Spirit, it's all, it has to be of the flesh or of the devil. So if you have spiritual phenomena-you see, that's a non-discerning theology....We all now associate the Great Awakening with Jonathan Edwards and his great books on the Awakening. So, really, Jonathan Edwards developed the Protestant theology of discernment as far as I can see...his theology is probably the best that there has ever come around. So, that's one incident where the Pharisees stopped revival....And every revival has a predominant theologian, you know. Historians say, well in this revival, Charles Finney was the predominant figure here and theologian of that revival, etc., etc. And the Lord has already chosen the predominant theologian of this revival. It's not me! It's Jonathan Edwards. And every book on revival out there, including my book does central chapters on what did Jonathan Edwards say about revival. We're commentators on Jonathan Edwards. That's really true."
As we can see, DeArteaga defines "Pharisees" as those who "cannot recognize the present work of the Holy Spirit." Which is to say, those who do not agree with DeArteaga about just what Biblically constitutes a great move of the Holy Spirit in these present times are labeled "Pharisees" by him. So, yet again, we see those who have grave Scriptural concerns about the movement called "Pharisees." Perhaps DeArteaga and others hurling the label "Pharisees" at those with whom they disagree do not realize that to call one a Pharisee is to call one a hypocrite, plain and simple. Or worse, perhaps they do and that is precisely what they mean to call us: hypocrites. For that is what evoked our Lord's righteous indignation with the Pharisees, the fact that they were hypocrites:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness."Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. [Matthew 23:27-28]
There is more than just the "Pharisee" label to take issue with in the particular DeArteaga sermon cited above. The most glaring inconsistency is the fact that he neglects to inform his hearers that Jonathan Edwards was both an avowed Calvinist and cessationist himself. Pretty astonishing considering the fact that DeArteaga is supposed to be a well-versed church historian. With that in view, let's have a look at DeArteaga's circular illogic:
Calvinism equals Phariseeism which equals the heresy of orthodoxy, which is basically correct ideas.
Calvin had a "non-discerning theology" because he was a cessationist.
Jonathan Edwards developed the "Protestant theology of discernment."
Jonathan Edwards' "theology", bearing in mind now, Edwards' own Calvinist and cessationist theology, "is probably the best that there has ever come around."
Therefore, because John Calvin was a cessationist, that made him a Pharisee, guilty of the "heresy of orthodoxy", which is "basically correct ideas." More importantly, because Jonathan Edwards indisputably demonstrates in his writings both that he was a cessationist and a Calvinist, William DeArteaga has just inadvertently called the cessationist beliefs of the historical figure he and Toronto point to as the cornerstone of their movement-"the predominant theologian of this revival"- heretical. But I certainly do agree with DeArteaga insomuch as the theology of Jonathan Edwards is concerned in that it is "the best that there has ever come around", although I daresay DeArteaga and I would disagree as to the context of the use of that. I would to God the Body of Christ today would thoroughly, whole-heartedly embrace and rediscover the Biblical, Christ-centered theology of Jonathan Edwards.
Rick Joyner and Bob Jones indulge themselves in the mix through alleged visions, dreams and various other extra-Biblical revelations. Joyner claims:
[Joyner's interpretation of verse 5 in Psalm 97, which Psalm he claims God "gave" him as the Psalm for this year, 1997] "The hills or mountains announced in this verse represent the human opposition that now withstands the working of the Holy Spirit in the church and in the world. This is a prophetic indication that the Lord's manifest presence shall come to destroy the human opposition that has withstood the working of His Spirit among His people. This human opposition in times past have attempted to withstand the Lordship of the Holy Spirit in the church as well as the true revelation of the government of God with Apostolic authority. This year will begin to unfold the destruction of this opposition."
Joyner's visionary co-author of the "Shepherd's Rod 1997", from which these citations are taken, also directs some alleged Divine revelation at opposers of the movement as well:
"Vultures and foxes will devour those who do not move with the Holy Spirit this year....Those who do not properly respond to the Holy Spirit will be like a carcass in the desert, prey for predators....The foxes are a symbol for delusion....Those who do not receive the love of the truth that will be brought to the church by the inspired teachers are going to be marked by this strong delusion and confusion."
Of course, it's Jones and Joyner who determine, during the course of this peculiar document, in just what manner the Holy Spirit is allegedly going to move and who is or isn't receiving their brand of "the love of the truth." Those who don't agree with them are allegedly to be "marked" by "strong delusion and confusion." This is yet another of many "prophetic" threats of God's impending wrath directed toward anyone who opposes them.Don Nori of Destiny Image writes:
"It is amazing that when a portal is finally discovered, a portal that opens eternity in an enormous flood of God's true Presence...men are quick to condemn, criticize, and accuse. It is even more amazing that most criticism comes from folks who have never experienced revival in the settings that they are repudiating....Finally, jealousy is the intruder in the heart that keeps many criticizing revival."
The use of Nori's strange term "portal" in reference to "God's true Presence" aside for the moment, we see that he believes it is impossible to fairly evaluate a movement without having "experienced" it personally. I have never personally "experienced" arsenic, but I understand that arsenic, ingested in sufficient quantities, will kill me. Therefore, I do not need to "experience" arsenic firsthand to understand its inherent danger. I have never been to Salt Lake City to "experience" Mormonism firsthand either, but I do understand that the foundational tenets of Mormonism are grievously flawed and erroneous to the point of being "another gospel" which bears no resemblance to the Gospel truth of Scripture. Nori simply makes a faulty argument when he chastises "critics" for opposing the movement because they haven't "experienced" it for themselves. Furthermore, he presumptuously informs us those who do take Scriptural issue with the movement are motivated by jealousy.These kinds of unwarranted, flawed arguments are becoming all too frequent today, as we see from yet another Don Nori quote:
"The New York Times, the standard in the secular American media, recently published a front-page story proclaiming that the revival at Brownsville and other places is just what America needs. Now, since The New York Times sets the standard for the secular press, no other secular media will oppose this point of view. They may take different angles and talk about the revival from slightly different perspectives, but all will report the same basic fact: The revival is good for America. It seems that the secular media is more willing to see God do the miraculous than our religious brethren. Could it be that these brethren reject fruit-proof because there is no confirming fruit-proof in their own ministries? I wonder."
Has the Body of Christ sunk to having the secular media validate or invalidate the things of God? Are we so anxious to validate a movement by any means that we think it's a good thing when the secular media endorses it and thinks its "good for America"? Does this make sense in light of the fact that the unbelieving, natural mind is not even able to comprehend spiritual things, the things of God, and that our Lord said during His incarnation that the unbelieving world would hate His people just as it had hated Him?Nori implies that critics reject the movement at BAG out of jealousy because, as he alleges, "there is no confirming fruit-proof in their own ministries." Denigrating allegations such as this are all too common today and go hand in hand with contentions such as BAG's Dr. Michael L. Brown's comment that some critics are "ministry nobodies" in their own "home cities and countries." The condescension and deprecation inherent in such statements is regrettably all too evident.
"Something is seriously wrong here. Jesus said that we will know His disciples by their fruit (see Jn. 15:8; Mt. 7:16,20)-not by their family lineage, their proficiency in reading Hebrew or Greek, or their ability to recite the Scriptures. Fruit-proof is the criteria by which the activity of God is to be judged.... Fruit-proof still stands as the litmus test by which we are to judge the authenticity of God's moving on earth. Yet many still try to disprove these things by 'searching the Scriptures' to see if they match their pre-set theology or their narrow understanding of how God is to work. Jesus did not argue with John's disciples. He simply said, 'Go tell John what you have seen and heard.'"Who are we then, to so judge the fruit of God's moving in our midst that we miss the life contained in His presence and power? Jesus' final words to John were, "And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me" (Lk. 7:23). We stumble when we try to fit the move of God into our old traditions and expectations. This was the response of the scribes and Pharisees, who attempted to use the Scriptures to prove that Jesus wasn't the Christ. In His reply, Jesus pointed them beyond the letter of the Scriptures to Himself as its fulfillment: 'You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life' (Jn. 5:39-40). God is doing the same thing today....
"Life is not as complicated as some people would try to make it. It becomes complex only when we try to deny the moving of God in the earth because it doesn't match our presumptions of what God can and cannot do and of how He will and will not act. The true measuring stick of God's presence is fruit-proof that matches the fruit of His Spirit. If the fruit you see and hear matches the fruit of God's life, then run to embrace it. If it doesn't, then beware lest you fall into the folly of those who deny the presence and the power of the living God."
"Fruit-proof is the criteria by which the activity of God is to be judged...Fruit-proof still stands as the litmus test by which we are to judge the authenticity of God's moving on earth."??? I'll say something is "seriously wrong here", indeed, terribly wrong. Nori has coined the phrase, "fruit-proof", which is nothing more than the appalling subrogation of Scripture with experience. It certainly appears Nori is advocating the rejection of Scripture as the absolute, final authority against which all matters of faith and practice are to be measured. Nori himself has supplanted the written Word of God with experientialism, simultaneously equating those who refuse to do likewise with the Scribes and Pharisees, while also accusing them [the "critics"] of denying the presence and power of God.However, perhaps the most direct, specific, ignoble threat incident occurred when, on April 6, 1997, BAG pastor John Kilpatrick issued an alleged imprecatory prophecy, claiming the Holy Spirit would bring Christian Research Institute [CRI] and its president, Hank Hanegraaff, down within 90 days. Seventy-two days later, Kilpatrick apologized to CRI and Hanegraaff for the incident, admitting that he had spoken not in God's stead, directly on God's behalf but, rather, out of the anger of his own heart. Even though Kilpatrick did apologize later, this gives us some idea of just how far some of these leaders have a proclivity to go in striking out at outspoken critics of the movement. And I'd say issuing imprecatory, false "God's gonna get you" type "prophecies" against those with whom one strongly disagrees is going very far indeed.Steve Hill, current BAG evangelist, even went so far as to call anyone who resists the BAG movement a "God mocker." In fact, Hill has written a book entitled "The God Mockers." I urge you to obtain chapter one of the book (see endnote) and to thoroughly read and carefully evaluate it for yourself. All of the following quotes have been taken from throughout that particular chapter:
"Anytime you analyze something and quickly come to the conclusion that it can't be God, be careful. You are not mocking that person you're dealing with Almighty God"...."The Scriptures picture mockers as those who oppose God"...."God mockers...don't realize that they aren't just mocking a person they are mocking the living Christ in that person! That is a dangerous place to live, and an even more dangerous place to die. What do you think when people say they've been set free from bondage? Do you say, 'I wonder how long that will last?' These comments mock the power of the Blood and the cross! You might as well look up at Jesus and taunt Him with the words, 'It will never last.' God mockers scoff and hold in contempt everything they 'don't approve of'. The second mark of a God mocker is a fear of confrontation and change. They are so stuck in religious tradition that they are closed to new revelation....How anyone can come into a revival meeting in Brownsville and fail to feel Jesus is beyond me! I can't imagine it.""Your rejection of the Spirit's work makes a mockery of the things of God. Right now across America, groups of pastors and church denominational leaders are openly mocking the move of God across the nation! If you haven't noticed, God mockers tend to hang out with other God mockers. They not only hang out with their own kind, but they will even feed on one another like spiritual carnivores. Once they find a likely body for prey, they will happily gather in circles like buzzards to eat it. These God mockers are writing 'position papers' about external physical manifestations while totally ignoring the deeper work of God that is saving hundreds of thousands of souls and permanently changing lives. They pompously declare, 'Well, that isn't God,' and sign declarations of mockery for 'distribution to the brethren' for their 'education' (the Bible calls this sowing discord), while many of their church congregations continue to dwindle year after year."
"God mockers have much to fear. God will recall every curse uttered against His revival. He will replay every blasphemy whispered...He will remember every word spoken against the weary pastors...To your shock and dismay, He will say in that day, 'You were mocking Me! Yes, it was Me all along"...."God mockers have disturbed and confused this country"...."We normally never give the time of day to critics or accusers....The Bible says, 'Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm' (Ps. 105:15). That is a deadly warning to every God mocker on this planet"...."Be careful, God mocker. Do you know who you are messing with?....You are messing with God Almighty. When He moves, you had better back off."
We see Hill directs a number of allegations at those who oppose the movement at BAG:
We are mocking Almighty God.We are opposing God.We are mocking the blood and power of the Cross.We are taunting Christ.We fear confrontation and change.We are stuck in religious tradition.Those who have attended BAG and still come away with Scriptural concerns in opposition to it have failed to "feel" Jesus. (What does it mean, I wonder, to "feel Jesus"?)We reject the Spirit's work.We make a mockery of the things of God.We hang out with other "God mockers" and feed on one another like spiritual carnivores.We happily gather like a bunch of buzzards moving in for the kill.We ignore the deeper work of God.We sign "declarations of mockery" and disseminate them amongst the brethren, sowing strife and discord all along the way.Our own congregations are dwindling away.We have much to fear.The movement at BAG is [according to Hill] God's revival and we are cursing it. We are blasphemers.We are disturbing and confusing the entire country.We are "touching" the "Lord's anointed." (I want to know who said these men are the "Lord's anointed"? Moreover, the verse to which Hill alludes dealt with David's not literally killing Saul when he had the opportunity and has nothing whatsoever to do with leaders in the context in which Hill is attempting to apply it. It is simply a proof-text, and one which has been frequently used by those who "criticize the critics", obviously intended to manipulate, intimidate, instill fear of God's forthcoming wrath and retribution and coerce those who have grave Biblical concerns about the movement at BAG into silence.)We are messing with God.
We better back off.
I want to especially focus at some length on two critical points Hill raises in the chapter:1. "They [the God Mockers/critics] are so stuck in religious tradition that they are closed to new revelation."What does this mean? The Apostle Paul himself, under Divine inspiration, tells us that we are not to go beyond what is written in God's Word and John reinforces it in his second Epistle as well:Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. [1 Corinthians 4:6]
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. [2 John 1:9]We may be absolutely certain we have found the "teaching of Christ" nowhere but in Scripture. After all, if we do not acknowledge and concede an unchanging, infallible record of the teachings of Christ, to which we are to neither add anything nor take anything from, by which we as Christians are to live, how are we to know with reassurance and certainty what those teachings are and that we are abiding in them?Addressing the issue, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, adjunct professor at Chafer Theological Seminary and founder and co-director of Ariel Ministries, which ministers to Jewish people across the globe, writes:
"The thing you find Scripture emphasizing is that the final authority must be the Scriptures, the written Word of God, and not anyone's experience. Certainly, the Apostles could have related many of their experiences with Jesus in trying to defend their preaching about Jesus. One thing the Book of Acts keeps reemphasizing is that Paul, Silas and the others always made their final authority the Word of God and not their own experiences, as incredible as those experiences were by God's grace."
Dr. Fruchtenbaum continues:
"The Bible itself gives us a major admonition by which we must judge all that claims to be of the Lord: the written Word of God....it should be emphasized [referring to 1 Corinthians 4:6] that Paul says this to a church that had a strong tendency to move towards the sensational and the experiential. Chapters 12-14 make it clear that the Corinthian Church was by far the most Pentecostal/Charismatic of any church we have in the New Testament. They certainly emphasized the gifts of the Spirit in a way we do not read about in the other epistles to other churches. The focus on the experiential showed that they were not spiritual but carnal (1 Cor. 3:1-3). Paul must especially admonish a church of this nature 'not to go beyond the things which are written.' That which is written, of course, is the Holy Scriptures. For any new manifestation or phenomenon, they must go back and test it by the Word of God....something that goes beyond that which is written...must be rejected out of hand."One does not need to take a plane trip...to 'experience' whether or not something is of God. It is sufficient to know that it is not in Scripture: they have gone beyond that which is written and, therefore, it is already evidence that these things are not of God. And what happens to those who go beyond that which is written? Paul declares that they become 'puffed up for the one against the other.' They develop a spiritual pride that is evident when they go around claiming to have a greater measure of the Holy Spirit than other believers. As a result, they divide all believers into two categories: those who have 'it,' and those who do not. I guess I am one who does not have 'it.' [referring to the Toronto movement] For that, I am glad, because the 'it' is not found in Scripture. After observing and talking with so many who claim to have 'it,' I have not been provoked to jealousy to desire it in any way. I am quite content with the spirituality described in Scripture-striving to attain it, using the Word and nothing else.."..Paul, then, issues a warning that as time goes on there will be more and more false teachers, who are truly imposters and will go around deceiving others, many of whom will be deceived themselves (2 Tim. 3:13). They may well believe that they are 'God's anointed' and keep repeating it to their critics, but the fact remains that they have become deceived themselves and, therefore, proceed to deceive others as well.
"So what is it that will protect Timothy from being deceived by false teachers? Paul answers that question in 3:14-17. He encourages Timothy to continue in what he has learned (3:14) and he has been trained from childhood in 'the sacred writings' (3:15). Notice that we see the same emphasis found in 1 Corinthians 4:6 here: the written Word of God, 'the sacred writings'. There will be two things that will keep Timothy from being deceived: his knowledge of the sacred writings, and his continuing to 'abide' in the sacred writings."
The second notable point Hill raises is:
2. "God mockers have much to fear. God will recall every curse uttered against His revival. He will replay every blasphemy whispered...."
Here we see the clear implication that those who speak against the movement at BAG are blasphemers. This ominous threat of either having committed, or being in danger of committing, the unpardonable sin-blasphemy-has been all too frequently leveled at critics as well. Another interesting case in point, BAG's Michael Brown writes:
"Blasphemy of the Spirit. It is a terrifying sin, a horrible sin, a sin of disastrous consequences. It is the only sin specifically described in the Bible as unforgivable. Just the thought of it is enough to send spiritual chills down your spine.
"What makes this sin so severe? Listen to Jesus:
"'I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.' He said this because they were saying, He has an evil spirit.' (Mark 3:28-31)
"To blaspheme the Spirit is to knowingly attribute Jesus' work done in the power of the Holy Spirit to the devil. It is the ultimate offense. And it is something from which we must flee. Why tamper with a sin which can lead to eternal judgment? There is nothing more dangerous than the blasphemy of the Spirit. Jesus could not have stated it more plainly, and we dare not take His words lightly, especially in the day and age in which we live. When revival fire is falling, when the Holy Spirit is moving in power, we do well to examine this portion of the Word afresh. And while it is true that there is debate among Bible scholars as to the exact nature of the sin of blaspheming the Spirit, there is no debate as to its eternal consequences!
"But first I want to make something perfectly clear: I am not saying for a moment that the Christian brothers and sisters who attack the current outpouring are guilty of blaspheming the Spirit. I am not saying that those believers who attribute the whole revival to the devil are guilty of this sin. I do not even entertain such a thought for a moment."
If Brown does not want to instill the fear in critics of the BAG movement that they may be in danger of committing the unpardonable sin-blaspheming the Holy Spirit-by continuing to speak out in opposition to the movement, why does he proceed to spend the opening three paragraphs of the chapter "Scorning the Sacred" discussing that very thing before he states that he is in no way claiming critics are guilty of it? If Brown doesn't believe, as he alleges, critics are guilty of blasphemy, then why bring it up in the first place? More to the point, if Brown doesn't believe critics are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin by blaspheming the Holy Spirit, why does he also write in the same chapter:
"Are you totally and absolutely sure that you are right in attacking the current revival? Are you willing to wager your SALVATION on the fact that you are correct? If not, how in the world can you dare risk the possibility that your zeal is misguided and that you are opposing God Himself? Is there no holy fear in you, no sense of the greatness of the Lord, no awe of His might works, no recognition that it is far better to tread carefully in your public judgments - lest you revile the very One you claim to represent - than to speak rashly about matters in which you are not, in fact, expert?"
I can see no other reason for Brown even raising the point of blasphemy other than the fact that, while he doesn't out and out claim, as Hill appears to have done, that critics are blaspheming, he means to forcefully imply and hint that if we haven't already, we are in grave danger of doing so if we continue to oppose the BAG movement. Which seems highly contradictory to me with his protestations to the contrary that he doesn't believe we are guilty of blasphemy and that he hasn't even entertained so much as a thought of such for even a moment. Brown claims one thing, but his own words seem to bespeak quite another, do they not?
In recent months Brown has been one of the most prolific "criticizers of the critics, although he, like Steve Hill, claims to scarcely pay any attention to us at all. Implausibly, for two men who make such a claim, they both wrote books wherein those they believe to be opposed to the BAG movement are repeatedly addressed.
Dr. Brown (RevivalNow@msn.com): [Tue, Sep 16, 09:17PM EDT]
Adele -- don't get frustrated when and if critics are referred to. Remember, Jesus addressed His "critics" too -- and we only do so for the edification of the Body and for the clarifying of truth. But if we responded to 1% of what the critics said, let alone 10%, we'd spend all our time talking about them instead of reaching the lost and backslidden. That's why they receive only slight attention from us.
Let us review some of Brown's allegations about critics and see if he pays "only slight attention" to us.
"Of course-how pathetic!-the critics continue to raise their voices and attack those things of which they are ignorant. But what would revival be like without the critics? (That's similar to asking what the Gospels would be like without the Pharisees.) When God starts moving, everyone falls into place: The hungry press forward and are filled: the lost are drawn in and the backsliders drawn home: the laborers are raised up and thrust out: and the critics criticize! What else could we expect? Birds fly, fish swim, liars lie, and critics criticize. Actually, we ought to pity those who cannot recognize the glorious fruit....They reject the Spirit because they don't like the style. Pity their souls (think of having a ministry of criticism!) and pray for those whom they mislead. We don't want anyone to be left out. A few months ago the Lord said to me that soon it will be an embarrassment to be associated with the critics. Day by day, the truth of that word is becoming clearer and clearer. I would hate to find myself standing in the path of a divine tidal wave, shaking my skeptical fist and shouting, 'That's not God!' Heaven help the critics."
Brown covers considerable ground in just this one citation alone by alleging:
Critics are pathetic and ignorant, which presumptuously assumes those who have Biblical concerns about BAG haven't taken the time to educate themselves thoroughly about what is being taught and condoned there and prayerfully weighed it in the balance of Scripture.
The critics are likened to the Pharisees, which is a universal allegation with all those who "criticize the critics." He places us on par with the Pharisees and the accusations they leveled at the incarnate Christ in the Gospels. Which is to say, he is implying that we are persecuting those involved in the BAG movement in a manner equivalent to that which the Pharisees did Christ in the Gospels.
Critics are rather pitiful, having ministries of "criticism", or so Brown presumes.
It's an embarrassment to be associated with us, the "critics", or it soon will be.
"We don't want anyone to be left out." Here's the ever-present threat that if one doesn't go along with BAG, one is going to find oneself "left out" of whatever supposed "new thing" God is doing today. After all, human nature being what it is, nobody wants to get "left out", right?
As I noted above, Brown wrote an entire book to address "critics" of BAG. Even the title, "Let No One Deceive You: Confronting the Critics of Revival" is somewhat misleading in that those I know, myself included, are not opposed to genuine, Godly revival, far from it. Brown and his colleagues at BAG just don't seem to get it: opposition to the un-Biblical manifestations and practices at BAG does not constitute our being critical of revival which is Scriptural and genuine. But BAG leadership and proponents have taken the tact that to be opposed to their movement is to be opposed to revival period. It is an erroneous presumption.
Brown claims his chapter "Scorning the Sacred" was written because:
"You see, it is possible to scorn the sacred and despise the divine until the Lord Himself raises His voice in rebuke. I fear that some critics are nearing that place of danger, and this chapter is written to warn them and help pull them back."
I find it rather peculiar that while Brown expresses considerable concern about the plight of critics-quite frequently pointing out that we are in grave danger of God's wrath and judgment-conversely, he seems to have no such concerns for himself whatsoever as he proceeds to level various and sundry derogatory allegations at us. Although Brown claims at the outset of the book in his preface that "this book is not vindictive", it is obvious as one reads it there are many supercilious, pejorative terms used to describe us, most of which are clearly attacking and personal in nature. Consequently, I have a difficult time believing that particular chapter, if not the whole book as well, was written for any other reason than to attempt to intimidate us into silence by instilling fear of God's wrath and retribution, while concurrently endeavoring to suppress any inclination to seriously evaluate the movement by those who presently endorse it.
That notwithstanding, as I stated regarding the Hill chapter, I urge you, wherever at all possible, to obtain at least a copy of the preface and first two chapters (see end note 21), if not the book itself, to carefully read and review it for yourself as well. Unless otherwise noted, I am going to primarily limit myself to dealing with Brown's Preface and Chapters 1 and 2 in the citations below. Browns writes:
"Just the issue of holy living might disqualify many contemporary critics"!
"If we don't claim to be the holy heroes of the hour, the mini-saviors of the moment, the enlightened leaders of the Critical Intelligentsia Association (CIA), the elite members of the Faultfinding Brotherhood International (FBI), if we are quick to hear and slow to speak, recognizing that God is raising up a large and varied army, the Lord can keep us safe from delusion."
"What is one of the roots of spiritual deception? Pride. I have special revelation; I am right; I know. And this reveals one of the strongholds of this destructive, critical spirit: Truth doesn't matter. Evidence doesn't count. I have an opinion! That's what really matters. After all, I am a critic....How dare you question me?...This kind of attitude is all too common among many of the contemporary critics of revival."
"Yes, all too often, the real issue is not truth, facts, and evidence, but rather the critic's opinion....It is frequently self-anointed, generally self-appointed, and virtually always right. How can the critic possibly see clearly?"
"The critic is often more influenced by what he thinks and discerns than by what the evidence, the clear and powerful evidence, says...no matter what Scriptural proof you provide, no matter what other proven leaders believe. As Judith Crist once remarked with reference to art and literary critics, To be a critic, you have to have maybe three percent education, five percent intelligence, two percent style, and ninety percent gall and egomania in equal parts. This applies to some spiritual critics too!"
"Careful, dear critic! Do you really want to know the truth, or have you merely painted yourself into a corner from which you cannot escape....If you really wanted to know the truth, you would go and find it out for yourself...."
"Once the critic has made up his mind, he seeks out confirmation to prove that his negative suspicions are true. In fact, he will give more credence to one negative report that agrees with his position than 1,000 that contradict and refute it....But that is the blinding deception of a critical spirit."
"Yes, there is a cozy cocoon of criticism that feeds on itself and draws strength from its rumormongering. May God's light penetrate this darkness, and His truth pierce these lies! This kind of junk repeating libelous falsehoods about our brothers and maligning faithful servants of the Lord is as far from constructive correction and godly rebuke as Death Valley is from the Arctic Circle. It not only misses the mark, but instead of shooting at the enemy's target, it fires at its own side."
"How do you want to be remembered? On which side do you want to be? On the side of the critics...or on the side of those who are bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God...?"
Brown makes quite a number of presumptions and predilections where critics of the BAG movement are concerned in just the Preface and first two chapters alone, specifically:
First and foremost, we are ignorant.
We are "enlightened leaders of the Critical Intelligentsia Association (CIA)."
We are "the elite members of the Faultfinding Brotherhood International (FBI)."
We are likely to be disqualified because we do not live holy personal lives.
We are frequently self-anointed and self-appointed.
We elevate traditions made of man over God's Word.
We scorn the sacred things of God.
We liberally speak ill of those who have a particular, extraordinary "special favor and blessing" of God. (Depending on the clear intent, some might even be view Brown as walking a tightly-strung rope over a perilous pit called Gnosticism here with these kinds of statements.)
We are tragic, sad, pitiful gossips with biased opinions, spewing garbage and spreading baseless accusations, to whom nothing, absolutely nothing, not even the things of God, are sacred.
We are poor blind guides, deluded into believing we are heroes of the faith.
We hold our standards as critics higher than angelic majesties.
We're 90% gall and egomania in equal parts.
We are rumormongers.
We are in darkness.
We spread lies.
We repeat libelous falsehoods about our brothers.
We malign faithful servants of the Lord.
We have no accurate understanding of what is really happening in God's kingdom today.
We have very little of the presence of God in our own personal lives.
We are wagering our very salvation on our criticism of Brownsville.
We are quick to criticize and eager to be opinionated.
We are pathetic and foolish.
We are ignorant speakers.
We are ignorant slanderers of the Holy Spirit.
We have a pattern of acting in ignorance and unbelief. (Frankly, the book itself makes us out to be quite an ignorant lot overall, period...at least in Brown's estimation anyway.)
We speak vilely.
We are crass judgmentalists.
We are prideful.
We fear man more than we rightly fear God.
We are foolish talkers.
We are criticizers of Christ.
We are scorners of the Holy Spirit.
We are mockers of God's mercy.
We are vilifying God's manifest presence.
We are kicking against the goads.
As you can see, that's quite a list of invectives. Throughout the book, and particularly in these two chapters, Brown's prevailing presumption is that those who oppose the BAG movement are ignorant of exactly what the movement entails and that we don't know what we're talking about when we voice critical concerns. Another common presumptive thread which runs throughout the book is the fact that Brown paints critics of the BAG movement as critics of revival in general, which simply isn't true. He grants no latitude whatsoever to those who have carefully, prayerfully evaluated the BAG movement in the light of Scripture, with the collateral enlightenment of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and yet still do not believe it to be a viable move of God. We must agree with him and believe as he does, that BAG is a genuine God-sent revival, or else we're foolish, pathetic, prideful, ignorant, self-anointed, self-appointed, libelous rumormongers and egomaniacs with a considerable amount of gall.
While Brown claims in the book that he and the other leaders at BAG are perfectly willing to accept constructive criticism and that they consider it carefully, it is patently obvious they are only willing to do so if the ultimate outcome is that the individuals raising the cautious concerns and criticism come around to embracing and endorsing the movement. He allows no place at all for those who, having thoroughly evaluated the movement, still do not believe it is of God, precisely because he writes the entire book from the presumption that BAG is a viable move of the Holy Spirit and that critics are wrong for refusing to accept that. Beyond offering the usual "fruit" as validation he does not offer any substantial, sound Scriptural underpinnings for the movement. One of my colleagues, Robert Hunter, put it quite succinctly and cogently when he wrote:
"Again, without proving his [Brown's] point, he makes assumptions about those who examine and reject Brownsville. They issue bogus reports and mislead others. Dr. Brown's techniques should be called what they are: brainwashing. He is conditioning his readers to dismiss all criticism without any consideration whatsoever....Throughout the [chapter], Dr. Brown speaks out of both sides of his mouth. A very strong feature of the Toronto Blessing was the ability of its leaders to say totally opposing things at the same time, and that has carried over to this movement as well....the critics are accused of 'scorning' testimonies, 'ridiculing' reports of parents, educators, and law-enforcement agents, and 'mockingly' rejecting the words of Christians. Dr. Brown says all of this without bothering to prove his point. Who is doing the stone-casting here? It appears that he is doing quite a bit of it himself!"
While throughout his book Brown has done a considerable amount of name-calling and made innumerable allegations insomuch as any and all "critics" of BAG are concerned, it is at the close of the book's Appendix for which he has reserved perhaps his most direct, specific ominous threat. Brown writes:
"And now for a bit of history. On April 20, 1653, Oliver Cromwell dismissed the Rump Parliament with words that became famous in England, especially when they were repeated on May 7, 1940. It was then that L.S. Amery shouted these words at Neville Chamberlain from the back benches of the House of Commons, after which Chamberlain left in disgrace and Winston Churchill soon came into power. Cromwell said (and Amery repeated): 'You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!'"
"Tragically, these words may find application yet again...On the other hand, the 'jury' is still out on Hank Hanegraaff. If his main focus continues to be the dissemination of destructive and divisive material such as Counterfeit Revival, then he will have outlived his usefulness. This, of course, would be a terrible shame...."
When he levels the threat at Hanegraaff, alleging that Hanegraaff "will have outlived his usefulness", it is somewhat difficult to ascertain the exact context in which Brown means to apply it. There are one of two possibilities:
Brown means, at least in his own estimation, to allege that Hanegraaff has outlived his usefulness in CRI's ministry and that, therefore, God will remove him from it; or
Brown means to imply that Hanegraaff has outlived his usefulness period and that, perhaps, God will take him home.
Either way, it is an apocalyptic, portentous threat directed specifically at Hank Hanegraaff. And it has likely been directed at him because, with CRI's nationally-syndicated Bible Answerman [BAM] radio show, Hanegraaff has been by far the most visibly outspoken critic of BAG. Brown may fancy himself the equal of Cromwell and Amery in directing the statement, "You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!", at Hanegraaff, but that is a far, distant cry from making it so. Rather, it reeks moreso of what might be considered by many as nothing more than a childish lashing out at Hanegraaff because he has taken an outspoken position diametrically opposed to Brown and BAG. Therefore, instead of refuting Hanegraaff's Bible Answerman contentions from the surety of Scripture if he can, Brown has taken the tact of issuing unwarranted threats and indulged himself in name-calling and the leveling of a whole host of other insubstantial allegations.
It seems all too fashionable in these present times for men to turn to issuing inauspicious, threatening comments such as this. This usually occurs with great frequency when they know their practices and teachings are not substantiated by the contextual, accumulative evidences of the written Word of God. Being confronted with this inescapable fact, there seems little else for them to do except appeal to God to rain fire down upon their opposers. One wonders if they ever reflect on just what manner of spirit it is which might be driving them to do so and why?
Does He not see my ways, and number all my steps? If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hastened after deceit, Let Him weigh me with accurate scales, and let God know my integrity. [Job 31:4-6]
Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed. [1 Samuel 2:3]
A just balance and scales belong to the LORD; all the weights of the bag are His concern. [Proverbs 16:11]
Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights? [Micah 6:11]
The attempt to instill fear by insinuating that anyone who continues to oppose these movements is in danger of opposing a "move of God" in order to side-step genuine Scriptural concerns about aberrant practicies and teachings is becoming an all too common manipulative ploy. Any viable move of God will withstand careful Scriptural scrutiny of the highest order. Godly men generally welcome and even invite and encourage careful, intense Scriptural scrutiny and examination of the truths they profess to preach and teach. On the other hand, the proponents and leaders of Toronto and BAG attempt to manipulate, intimidate and frighten by telling their hearers, and putting their critics on notice, if they question the movement, they are ignorant God-mockers in danger of grieving, or even blaspheming, the Holy Spirit and are in jeopardy of missing out and being left behind by the Holy Spirit.
"But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."[John 3:21]
"But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light." [Ephesians 5:13]
What is the "light" which exposes and discerns these things? How are we to know what is and what is not a "move of God"? It is certainly not through experiential "fruit-proof."
Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.[Psalm 119:105]
"For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life,"[Proverbs 6:23]
"For with Thee is the fountain of life; In Thy light we see light."[Psalm 36:9]
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."[John 1:14]
That is the ageless magnificence of God's Word-it is as applicable to your life as it is to mine and has been throughout the years to countless others as well. The Bible is infallible, objective truth which the indwelling Holy Spirit subjectively applies to the hearts and lives of individual believers. The written Word of God is living and active and everlasting and sufficient for reproof, correction, training in righteousness and for equipping God's people for every good work.
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to conclude anything other than the fact that, however much and emphatically it may be denied by leadership and followers of Toronto and BAG, we are faced with a movement which is asking us to deny the absolute sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible is being displaced as the practical, authoritative absolute for God's people by a capricious, fickle, experience-oriented faith. As Don Nori tells us, the "litmus test" for judging whether something is or isn't of God is no longer the whole counsel of God's Word, but, rather, "fruit-proof."
Why have God's people become so discontent and dissatisfied with their Christian faith that many have now reached the point of exchanging the absolute sufficiency of Scripture for experientialism? What more can God do for us that He has not already done through the plenary atonement on Calvary's Cross? What more do we want or need which God has not freely given us?
I believe the answer to those questions is, simply, the "power", whatever reasons may be given in justification thereof. It leads right back to the Garden: ."..and you shall be like God." And I do not mean "power" in same sense that we must be endued with power from on high for effective ministry either. This goes far, far beyond that. Once a movement, any movement, slips the bounds of what is normative and revelatory in Scripture and goes after new revelation, no matter how much its proponents profess to venerate and revere the written Word of God, we inevitably see Scripture overthrown by experientialism.
It seems no different spiritually today than it was in the natural during the Hebrew nation's wilderness wanderings. They wearied of the manna God provided daily to sustain them in their journey through the wilderness. They began to grumble and complain against God, bemoaning having ever left the bondage of Egypt. Unsatisfied and discontent with God's provision, they cried out for something different than that which God had already prescribed for them. Today, I do not believe the great hue and cry for "More! More" means that these people really want "more" so much as it means what they really want is something different than that which God has already provided.
As we have seen, the type of experientialism ("fruit-proof") Don Nori, and others, are advocating is the practice of omitting and ignoring the objective truth of God's written Word when that objective truth contradicts their personal, subjective experience. As opposed to allowing the contextual, accumulative evidences of Scripture to interpret their experiences, Scripture is now to be interpreted through their subjective revelations and experiences. Evidenced by Nori's attempted Scriptural exegesis, we can plainly see that this kind of experientialism inevitably leads to proof-texting and inferring and ascribing erroneous and ambiguous meanings to Scripture passages. Nori's statements are a clear indication that where there is more and more emphasis placed on subjective experience, the authority, relevance and practical application of the objective truth of Scripture for God's people today is contemporaneously de-emphasized.
I submit to you that there is not a single movement which has departed the purity of the Gospel truth and ultimately moved into spiritless apostasy save they did it by elevating subjective revelations and personal experiences above the objective truth of Scripture.
Why is that? Because once we remove the Divine standard by going beyond the bounds of what is clearly revelatory and normative in the written Word of God, we no longer have an accurate point of reference for discerning what is or isn't of God. We then find ourselves wholly at the mercy of fallible mortals, whether ourselves and our own peculiar, subjective inferences and interpretations of Scripture or that of others, or a combination of both. After all, once the standard of the written Word of God is practically removed as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice and subjugated by experientialism and new revelation, who is to say that what each man or woman deems to be right in his or her own eyes isn't? Without the touchstone of Scripture we have no absolute, inerrant frame of reference.
Paul did not call the Bereans denigrating, deprecating names for searching the Scriptures daily to see if what he preached was so. Instead, commending them he called them noble-minded. As I noted at the outset, name-calling and verbal attacks directed at anyone opposed to the movements at BAG and Toronto have reached an all-time high. We have been accused of being not Bereans but, rather, negative brethren, among a whole host of other invectives as well. I believe it is obvious in the citations noted herein just who is attacking, criticizing and judging whom. Do you not find it paradoxical that those who have expended so much time and effort threatening the critics with God's impending wrath and retribution seem to have no such concerns in that regard for themselves when they relentlessly judge, attack and "criticize the critics"? Be that as it may, in the face of it, leave us continually pray as did Augustine, "Lord, deliver me from the lust of self-vindication."
The certainty and objective truth of Scripture depends only upon God Himself and His very character for validation, whereas subjective experience and revelation which are not normative and revelatory in the Bible depend completely upon fallible man and his ability to accurately discern what is and is not of God. Are you willing to stake your eternal destiny on your ability, apart from Scripture, to accurately ascertain and discern what is or is not of God based on personal, subjective experiences and new revelation?
"To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." [Isaiah 8:20]
"This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles." [2 Peter 3:1-2]
"Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." [2 Timothy 1:13-14]
"You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned themand that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." [2 Timothy 3:14-17]
1. ReaperNet (Destiny Image) hosts live weekly chats with Dr. Michael L. Brown and/or his assistant, Scott Volk, every Tuesday evening at 8pm EST. What has come to be referred to as the "critic's corner", where Brown and/or Volk answer questions submitted by "critics" of the BAG movement, begins at 9pm EST. Previous live chat transcripts may be downloaded from Web URL: http://chat.reapernet.com/index.html.
2. A copy of my original Accusers of the Brethren or Good Bereans? Article appears at Robert W. Hunter's The Contenders Web site: http://web.idirect.com:80/~bhph95/. A "sister", mirror-image of The Contenders Web site may also be accessed at: http://www.contenders.com/.
3. James Ryle wrote his tirade and subsequently faxed it to John Loeffler after the radio broadcast in February, 1995. Loeffler no longer hosts the old "Steel on Steel" radio show in the Denver area, but has moved on to host another radio show in another part of the country. Copy of Ryle fax on file.
4. Carl Tuttle, Anaheim Vineyard, transcript clip from tape #00363.
5. William DeArteaga, Toronto Airport Vineyard [now Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and, at this time, no longer a Vineyard affiliate church], October 13, 1994, audio tape transcript.
6. Rick Joyner and Bob Jones, "Shepherd's Rod 1997." It can be found at Internet Web URL: http://www.eaglestar.org/calltoarms/srod1997.html
7. Destiny Image Prophetic Digest, "Portal in Pensacola" by Don Nori, Winter 1997. Original article may be viewed on the Internet at URL: http://www.reapernet.com/di/did/index.html. Or, a hard copy of the "Portal in Pensacola" issue may be ordered from Destiny Image, PO Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, 800-722-6774.
8. Don Nori, "The Plumb Line: Fruit-Proof", Destiny Image Digest, Summer1997.
9. Dr. Michael L. Brown, "Let No One Deceive You: Confronting Critics of Revival", Destiny Image's Revival Press, PO Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, Preface.
11. In previous CC issues, in two separate articles, I have thoroughly discussed both the original Kilpatrick Hanegraaff/CRI false prophecy and Kilpatrick's subsequent apology.
12. Steve Hill, "The Solemn Assembly", March 1997, Springfield, Missouri, video tape transcript.
13. Except as otherwise specifically noted, all Hill quotations taken from Chapter One of his book "The God Mockers", Destiny Image's Revival Press, PO Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310. Please note, if you do not have access to the entire book, you can download Chapter One at Destiny Image's Internet Web URL: http://www.reapernet.com/di/new_product/god_mo_1.html. I encourage you to do so and to thoroughly read and evaluate the chapter for yourself if at all possible.
14. Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, "The Toronto Phenomenon", part 2 of 2, Chafer Theological Journal, Chafer Theological Seminary, Fountain Valley, CA. Copies of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's two-part article may also be found at Chafer's Internet Web URL: http://www.bible.org.
16. Dr. Michael L. Brown, "Let No One Deceive You", pp. 13-14.
17. Ibid, pp. 19-20.
18. Dr. Michael L. Brown, ReaperNet live chat transcript, Tuesday, September 16, 1997, may be viewed at Internet Web URL: http://chat.reapernet.com/index.html.
19. Dr. Michael L. Brown, Destiny Image Prophetic Digest, "Testimonies Pour In", Winter 1997. Original article may be viewed on the Internet at URL: www.reapernet.com/di/did/index.html. Or, a hard copy of the "Portal in Pensacola" issue may be ordered from Destiny Image, PO Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310, 800-722-6774.
20. Dr. Michael L. Brown, "Let No One Deceive You", p. 14.
21. Please note, if you do not have access to a copy of Brown's book, "Let No One Deceive You", you can obtain a copy of the Preface and Chapters 1 and 2 at Destiny Image's Web URL: http://www.reapernet.com/di/.
22. Robert W. Hunter, "A Review of Scorning the Sacred: When Critics Enter the Danger Zone." This review may be found at Hunter's Web Site: http://web.idirect.com:80/~bhph95/.
This web site copy of the article and its appendices are a more extensive version than that which has been edited for publication.
Except where otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1988, by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.
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