(Charisma Magazine: October 1999)

In a sermon preached six months ago and circulated widely on cassette tapes, New York pastor David Wilkerson blasts prosperity doctrines, “holy laughter”, and the flamboyance of Evangelist Benny Hinn.

In Wilkerson’s April 11 sermon titled “Reproach of the Solemn Assembly”, Wilkerson warned his 7,000 member Times Square Church to burn books written by any propagators of these doctrines.  He also told his parishioners to stay away from Evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne’s Good News New York crusades that ran from July 7 to August 14…

In his sermon, Wilkerson leveled blasphemy charges at the prosperity doctrine of Bible Teacher Kenneth Copeland with one mention of Word-Faith preacher Kenneth Hagin Sr.  “It’s an American Gospel invented and spread by rich, American evangelists and pastors,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson described how one of the speakers at a Copeland conference bragged about owning a $15,000 dog, a $32,000 ring and was selling his 8,000-square-foot house to buy a larger home. Wilkerson says he takes issue with the notion that “the Holy Spirit cannot be poured out until you first are in the money flow.”

 Wilkerson also attacked manifestations common to modern revivals:  “I weep when I see these videos that are sent to me from all over the country.  Whole groups of bodies jerking out of control, falling on the floor, laughing hysterically, staggering around like drunkards … Anything that cannot be found in Scripture has to be rejected outright  —  totally rejected,” Wilkerson said.

 He (Wilkerson) listed Benny Hinn and Rodney Howard-Browne as examples of those who have perpetrated misrepresentations of the Holy Spirit’s manifestations…”

 (End of Quote from Charisma) 

In a ministry letter dated June 21, 1999 David Wilkerson writes:  “Peter warned that false prophets would arise and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…”

Covetousness is “excessive cravings”.  It is a constant reaching for more, for that which is bigger, more luxurious. It is a trap multitudes of Christians are falling into in these wild times. Peter warned us to beware of covetous ministers who would use the word to exploit believers – greedy preachers who would develop a false doctrine of avarice and greed.

Someone sent me a videotape of a convention sponsored by a well-known prosperity preacher. I was so appalled by what was being taught. I could hardly contain myself.  It was blasphemy!  One preacher boasted, “I just spent $15,000 for a dog. The ring on my finger cost me $32,000. 1 live in an 8,000 square-foot house, but I’m going to build a bigger one — one Solomon would be proud of. When the people in my town see my big house and my Rolls Royce in the driveway, they know there is a God in heaven.”

I wanted to weep because the entire time he spoke people were running onstage and stuffing money in his pockets.

Another speaker warned the crowd, “Do not ever give to the poor — give only to the blessed. You will be blessed yourself only as you give to the blessed. Giving to the poor is a waste of your money.”

These greedy men were boasting about their multi-million dollar homes, jewelry, multi-million dollar jet planes, and luxury cars.  One boasted he had ten million dollars. They all claimed to be rich men. The tragedy was, the people loved it! They were being exploited by a perverted gospel.

God’s word says of these rich, greedy preachers, “Their judgment is near, and their destruction will not sleep” (See 2 Peter 2:3).  They have become blatant and arrogant in their greed.  They now preach that you cannot receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit until you prosper.  That’s blasphemy!

Beloved, do not listen to this false gospel. It is satanic. It comes from the heart of men who are light and frivolous, jokesters, greedy for more.  Isaiah the prophet has their number:  “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter…” (Isaiah 56:11).

(End of quote from David Wilkerson)

 Dear reader, if you are one of the deluded multitudes that sup­port these rich preachers, you need to STOP NOW before you wind up in HELL with them! Contrary to what these MINISTERS OF SATAN say, you will be CURSED if you give money to them!  Proverbs 22:16 promises:

“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches AND HE THAT GIVETH TO THE RICH SHALL SURELY COME TO WANT.”

The word WANT found in this text means – EXTREME POVERTY.

So again, contrary to what these MINISTERS OF SATAN say, THE BIBLE says that if you give to the rich, you will come to EXTREME POVERTY!  I have a friend here in Dallas who was deluded by these PROSPERITY DOCTRINES some years ago. He told me:

 “Carl, I lost my home, my new pick-up truck, my car and almost my family, because I gave my money to the prosperity preachers.”

 Another friend in New England lost his home.  He told me, “I was deceived by the prosperity preachers, and it cost me losing my home.”

 Jesus said:  “Take heed that no man deceive you…And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many…For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect… ”  (Matthew 24:4,11,24).

 The following quote comes from Cephas Ministry Newsletter dated September 1999.   They are quoting with the idea of exposing and refuting a TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK program of August 22, 1999:

 “…Paul Crouch made another interesting comment:  “Force God to perform a miracle by planting thousands of dollars and your last dollar … Do you have a sick child?  Don’t go to Jesus in prayer, plant cold cash into TBN, and God will make your child well.”

As David Wilkerson so plainly stated:  “Blasphemy” pure and simple.  Plant cold cash and God will heal your child???  And people are biblically ignorant and gullible enough to send in money by the millions!  The late P. T. Barnum correctly stated:  “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

ANGEL FEATHERS FALL ON BETHEL (Charisma Magazine — August 1999)

“…At Bill Johnson’s church in Redding, California, small little feathers fall from the ceiling and have been doing that for some time.  Bethel has been the sight of some awesome miracles recently.  The feathers started dropping after a Morning Star Prophet (the ministry of Rick Joyner) visited the church for a series of meetings.  Mr. Kelly, a member of Bethel AOG of Redding describes the appearance of feathers:  ‘The feathers thing has been truly amazing.  I believe it started when we had the Prophet Bobby Conners come to our church for a series of meetings.  During ministry time people would see feathers fall from the ceiling and Bobby explained it as a sign of angelic activity… I’m not sure if he was saying they were angel feathers or not.  But ever since he came, we have seen feathers falling from the ceiling … they are very small and delicate, and not many fall, but you can see them from a good distance. God is always surprising us with new things.'”

 Ooooooooh!  Isn’t that spooky!  Angel Feathers!!!  How FLAKEY can it possibly get?  Now we have angel feathers falling in a California Church. Let’s all book our airline tickets and rush on out to the “Angel Feathers Church” and see the latest “MANIFESTATION”!   No, on second thought, maybe we should just send a Western Union Telegram to the pastor:  “Check rafters for pigeons…”   And if the dear pastor finds no pigeons in the rafters, then maybe the “Bird” to be removed from the church is “Prophet Bobby Conners”!? 

GOOD NEWS!  GOOD NEWS!  If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex you don’t have to run off to Toronto, Pensacola, or California to see the latest in FLAKEY MANIFESTATIONS.  We have it ALL right here in the BIBLE BELT!   I am now quoting from the DALLAS MORNING NEWS dated Saturday, October 9,1999.   The headlines in the RELIGION section of the paper read with Big Bold Letters:  “GOLD RUSH.”   Glitter-Like Dust is latest proof of God’s Presence,” Pentecostals say.

There is a large color picture above the headlines with a preach er laying hands on folks and praying. The caption reads:  “The Rev. Bob Shattles at Christ For the Nations Institute.  Gold dust appeared on the minister’s clothing.”  The article that follows tells us:

“As Pentecostal services go, this one seemed typical:  dozens of people ‘slain in the Spirit’, some falling as slowly as trees, others dropping like rag dolls.  Holy laughter punctuated the prayers, and here and there people shook as with a seizure.  The Rev. Bob Shattles … moved among the 800 people gathered at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, laying hands on … praying everywhere.  And then the gold dust came — a scattering of tiny spangles that appeared on Mr. Shattle’s shirt and pants and soon sparkled on the clothes of those nearest to him.  Several people used black ‘prayer cloths’ to brush at him, gently folding the dust inside.  Still glittering, Mr. Shattles told the crowd how, beginning last November, God began sending gold dust to him every time he prays.  ‘I wouldn’t care if it was bird feathers falling on me as long as God’s doing it supernaturally,’ preached Mr. Shattles, a Southern Baptist pastor visiting from Atlanta.  For a year a handful of itinerant Charismatic-Pentecostal preachers such as Mr. Shattles have traveled North America leaving trails of what looks like gold dust wherever they go.  Benny Hinn, the television evangelist who recently moved his headquarters to Dallas, reported on the September 10 broadcast of PRAISE THE LORD that he had experienced gold dust.  Paul Crouch, his co-host and Trinity Network president, described seeing the dust on Mr. Hinn’s face, hands and jacket.

“I think heaven’s door opened a crack and a little of the street dust came down on you,” Mr. Crouch told him before an international audience…

“Despite pastors’ reluctance to test the gold, some of it has made its way under the microscope.  Charisma, a Christian magazine … had a lab test for samples… In each case, the “gold” dust was found to be plastic, or plastic with a trace of aluminum.”  (End of Quote from the Dallas Morning News)

Actually the article is much longer and gets more SICKENING as it continues. At the end of the article there is a photo of a lady holding a piece of white tape between her fingers. The caption reads:

“Linda Devine used a piece of tape to collect flecks of gold dust from the clothing of Rev. Bob Shattles.”

The large bold headlines on the second page of the same article declare:  “HEALINGS REPORTEDLY ACCOMPANY GOLD‑DUST PHENOMENON”

Let me draw your attention to these words from the gold-dust article:

“Some of it has found its way under the microscope. In each case the ‘gold’ dust was found to be plastic, or plastic with a trace of aluminum…”

So it is also true, dear reader, that many specimens of America’s modern-day REVIVAL have come under God’s MICROSCOPE.  In each case the “gold” was found to be plastic, or some other cheap imitation!  Believe me, when GOD’S JUDGMENT FIRE falls, all plastic and cheap imitations will be melted and reduced to NOTHING.  (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-13; Hebrews 10:31; Hebrews 12:26-29)  But worse than simply cheap imitations, we are now living in the days of SATANIC DELUSION! (See 2 Thessalonians 2; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; 1 Timothy 4:1)  

Up in Toronto, Canada, we have the “TORONTO BLESSING REVIVAL” going on for the last few years.  Thousands of “Christians” and “Christian leaders” have flocked to Toronto from all over the world.  This “REVIVAL” features people barking like dogs, oinking like pigs, jerking like jerks, and many other strange and sundry MANIFESTATIONS.  John and Carol Arnott are the Pastors of Toronto Airport Vineyard Church where the “TORONTO BLESSING” has “fallen from heaven” (or arisen from Hell?). In his book COUNTERFEIT REVIVAL, Hank Hanegraff gives us this insightful glimpse into the “Toronto Blessing”:

” While the Great Awakening was focused on evangelistic priorities, the Counterfeit Revival is focused on egocentric parties. John Arnott even asserts that God accused him of being pushy when he tried to preach evangelistic messages.  As I mentioned earlier, the Almighty allegedly admonished Arnott with the words: “Is it all right with you if I just love on my Church for a while?”

At one Counterfeit Revival party, Arnott recounted one man “got blasted, just totally blasted — there’s no other word — by the Spirit. He fell, he shook, he yelled, he thrashed, he did it all.”   When he returned home, his wife extolled the virtue of the party, enthusing, “I sent this worn-out machine to Toronto and a lover came back home to me.”

Hanegraff continues:  “Rarely is the self-gratifying orientation of Counterfeit Revival more prominent than in Arnett’s book The Father’s Blessing.  In a section titled “Jesus wants a love affair with you”, Arnott describes how Jesus appeared to a woman and fulfilled all her fantasies.  Jesus laughed with the woman as together they ran around with arms stretched out like airplanes; Jesus lay on the ground with the woman and played Legos; then Jesus played with her hair and met her deepest needs and desires.

“Similarly, in one of Carol Arnott’s visions, Jesus brings her a bouquet of lilies after which they ‘run and play and have a wonderful, intimate time together.’  Carol and Jesus then get married.  At the wedding feast Carol said she was standing in an open spot when Jesus walked up and said, ‘Carol, may I have the first dance?’  Carol exuded that cardinals and blue jays ‘picked up my veil, and I danced with Jesus.’”  (Quote from Counterfeit Revival found on page 114 of the book. Documentation comes from John Arnott’s book The Father’5 Blessing, pages 20,26,163-165 and also from an audiotape, John Arnott, Discovery Church, Orlando, Florida, January 29, 1995)

The above so-called “Visions” that these two strange women had of themselves with Jesus is nothing less than pornographic blasphemy!  Maybe we should re-label this “REVIVAL — THE TORONTO CURSE”.

Money-Grubbing, Money-Loving, Rich Preachers — Feathers, Gold Dust, Parties, Animal Noises, Pornographic Revelations of Jesus — “Oh, we are having a REVIVAL”  The TRUTH is that not only are we not having a REVIVAL, the so-called REVIVAL LEADERS don’t even know God, nor the attributes of His HOLINESS.  The “Revival Leaders” tell us, “REVIVAL IS HERE’!”  God tells us through His Prophet Jeremiah,  “…I will destroy My people, since they return not from their ways…”

“Oh, Brother Carl,” someone squeals, “God won’t DESTROY us – people of God, the people of God, the people of God are we!!”  To which God Himself replies: 

 “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, the Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD, are these.

For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings (REPENT) …Then will I cause you to dwell in this place…Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not, And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 

Is this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.  But go ye now unto My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel.

And now because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by My name, wherein ye trust … as I have done to Shiloh.  And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.” (Jeremiah 7:4-15).

 In Old Testament days God threatened His own people Israel:   “I will destroy My people…” (Jeremiah 15:7).  “I will cast you out of My sight. . . (Jeremiah 7:15).

In these New Testament-Last Days, again He thunders:  “I will spew thee out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:16).

I recommend two excellent books that all American Christians should read:

 #1 HOW SAVED ARE WE ? by Dr. Michael L. Brown

 I quote from the back cover, “We don’t need a “Great Awakening”.  We need a RUDE AWAKENING!  For years we have preached a defective message and now we have a defective Church.  This unsettling book challenges us to ask ourselves what kind of born-again experience we have had if it calls for almost no personal sacrifice, produces virtually no separation from the world, and breeds practically no hatred of sin.  Read this book and find out just how saved we are. It is time for a rude awakening!”

 #2  THE END OF THE AMERICAN GOSPEL ENTERPRISE, again, written by Dr. Michael L. Brown.

 In the “FOREWORD” of this book, the late Leonard Ravenhill wrote:

 “…I recommend that this book be read publicly, two chapters at a time without comment, in the mid-week service of every evangelical church in the nation.  If they will do that in each church, it could shake the whole country.”

Both of these books are published by: 

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.

P.O. Box 351

Shippensburg, Pa. 17257-0351

Or call toll-free: 1-800-722-6774

Note by Editor.  We have been warned that not all of Dr. Michael L. Brown’s books can be recommended, particularly those written after 1993.  The exception, we are told, is Our Hands Are Stained With Blood, written in 1994.

I close with the words of Dr. Michael L. Brown taken from his book, HOW SAVED ARE WE, Chapter 15, entitled “The Rude Awakening”

 ” … today the Church of America does not need a Great Awakening. We need a Rude Awakening. A spirit of slumber is over the Body and we are under a great deception. We think we are in a last days revival, but we are really in a fight for survival. We think we are ready to take the whole world, but it is the world that has taken us.

 It is now or never for the people of God. Either we dream on or we face the facts. But one way or another, we will be aroused from our stupor by an internal stirring or by an external shaking; by inward perseverance or by outward persecution; by judging ourselves or by being judged.  Either way, our peaceful sleep is about to come to an abrupt end.”