Introduction: I have noticed that many of the ministries that
appear to be most open to deception today are also promoting a form of
spiritualism which they are dressing up as Christianity. Some look to the
spirits of departed saints to minister to them instead of God. Others seek
to acquire the anointing of former deceased healing revivalists by giving
them honour instead of honouring God. This clearly isn’t scriptural.
The number of links between these deceived ministries suggests to me that
the devil is orchestrating a major wave of deception based upon this type
of spiritualism in the near future.
These past healing revivalists were not teachers: Many of the past healing
revivalists were caught up in serious deception when they attempted to
become teachers. By looking towards them and honouring them instead of
God some believers today are likely to start buying into the very same
errors that they once promoted. These deceptions included the belief that
deceased Christian could minister to us instead of the Holy Spirit and/or
return to earth to minister to us as angels.
Examples from three former healing revivalists: Here are just three examples
of deceived healing revivalists of the past: The healing minister Alexander
Dowie, (1847 - 1907), fell into serious teaching errors and towards the
end of his life ended up believing that he was Elijah. William
(1909 - 1965), who almost everyone now recognises as involved in huge levels
of deception, taught that the pyramids and signs of the zodiac had as much
spiritual authority as the bible. Unlike the other healing ministries of
his day he also claimed to receive his anointing from an angel instead
of directly from God, (raising the question as to whether his anointing
was in fact occult in the first place). This has encouraged some Christians
to seek an anointing from angels instead of from the Lord today. Derek
Prince, who had met Branham, believed he had another spirit as well as
a genuine gift from God, (I’m not so sure about the gift being from
God myself). Branham also claimed he was the angel and messenger to the
end time’s Laodicean church. His followers, including his family,
refused to bury him for several days after he died because they thought
he was about to be raised from the dead. I think it is likely that this
idea had originated with Branham himself who may have had a messianic complex.
The controversial healing revivalist, John. G. Lake (1870 - 1935), also
came out with many serious teaching errors. Once he also allowed a woman,
who claimed to have come for prayer, to channel a spirit to him whom they
both believed was his deceased wife. This is exactly what mediums do in
the occult and contradicts the scriptures which forbid such things. Lake
clearly didn’t understand some of the most basic aspects of biblical
spirituality and therefore should never have attempted to teach.
A pagan influence: Looking back to the dead for guidance, spiritual blessing
and anointing to heal in this way parallels’ the subtle resurgence
of paganism as part of the New Age within the western world. Therefore
this also now appears to be influencing parts of the church. Paganism was
the original religion in our lands before Christianity arrived. Pagans
used to seek guidance and spiritual blessings from their dead ancestors
who they saw as their spiritual forefathers. They used to keep their ancestors
bones in containers as artefacts to connect with them spiritually. Today
the following “Christian” leaders are paralleling this by calling
for us to honour deceased healing revivalists as our spiritual forefathers.
A museum containing their artefacts is being built as a monument to honour
them. They believe that we can obtain anointing to heal by doing this and
by visiting their graves. Some are already calling upon the spirits of
the past healing revivalists to return to earth to minister to them. The
Christians and early N/T Apostles never moved in this type of spirituality.
This is not only idolatrous it is part of the New Age/occult.
Today’s Ministries: I will list the ministries I have come across
who are involved in this, their particular type of belief in spiritualism
to date and the way in which they are linked together. There must be far
more involved than I am aware of so this is probably just the tip of the
iceberg although I expect I have covered the main ones here. Most of these
ministries are expanding their influence within the church of the western
world which is a very bad sign of things to come.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they
are of God,” (1 Jn4; 1 N.K.J.V).
Todd Bentley and Bob Jones: Both Jones and Bentley seek ministry from an
angel named Emma who they claim looks just like former healing evangelist
Kathryn Kuhlman, (1907 - 1976). Both also claim the spirit of the deceased
Indian evangelist Sundar Singh, (1889 - 1929), returns to earth to minister
to them. During his life Singh never appears to have fully broken free
from his former belief in Hinduism which he claimed was a channel through
which Gods Spirit could move. Singh also taught the error that Christians
could return to earth as angels.
In this video recording
Bentley also prophesies that God is “releasing
it all back to where it all started in 1948... how many of you believe
we need something new.” 1948 was the year William Branham’s
healing ministry really took off as Gordon Lindsay set up “The Voice
of Healing” magazine to promote Branham’s meetings. Todd Bentley
is cited as saying more clearly in 2003 that this angel is named "Healing
Revival" and is the one which accompanied “William Branham” in
his ministry in the past. It is clear that that Bentley believes that seeking
the return of the angel that accompanied Branham and enabled him to heal
is the key for us to move into revival today. Instead we should be looking
to the Lord not angels or man.
[Links that I’m aware of – Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner are
overseeing Bentleys return to ministry since his adultery and dishonesty
during his 2008 Florida crusade. Bob Jones is also closely linked to Joyner
apparently having left the authority of Mike Bickle and the Kansas City/Metro
Christian Fellowship, where he had to step down from public ministry in
the 1990s after he admitted using his spiritual gifts to solicit sexual
favours from women in that congregation].
Cal Pierce of the International Association of Healing Rooms, (I.A.H.R): Pierce
claims to have dug a spiritual well that gives him access to the healing anointing
of former healing revivalist John. G. Lake. Pierce visited the grave of Lake
every month for a year in regard to this. He is dedicated to promoting the teachings
of Lake who, as mentioned above, believed that Christians should seek to receive
messages from the dead. Pierce uses his Healing Rooms organisation to pass these
teachings on to others. Many people have now linked to this and have been trained
by Pierce in his spiritualist beliefs. These directors have set up Healing Rooms
of their own in thousands of churches across the world. These Healing Rooms are
bound to play a key role in spreading this deceptive trend towards spiritualism
in the future.
[Links that I’m aware of - Cal Pierce was originally an elder and board
member of Bill Johnsons Bethel church which has its own Healing Room linked to
Pierces organisation. The Healing Rooms “Spiritual Hunger Conference” to
be held in September 2011 will also have Johnson appearing as leading speaker].
Bill Johnson of Bethel church: Johnson believes he is called to set up a huge
library and artefacts museum of signs and wonders, called “The House of
Generals,” relating to the same healing revivalists of the last century.
[Roberts Liardon’s library of Christian books on past revivalists has been
purchased for this in accordance with a (false) prophecy from James Goll. Liardon
has had to step down from ministry in the past due to his homosexual activity,
(link)]. This appears to me to reflect the way Catholics use relics to enhance
their spiritual faith and those involved in the occult gather artefacts to connect
with the spirits of the dead. This looking to man is idolatrous and not at all
scriptural. Johnson claims in this video, (link) , that “that if we will
honour those who have walked faithfully before the Lord in the past then in that
honour he will give us access to their anointing.” However it is Jesus
Christ who we should be honouring, as the bible teaches, not deceased evangelists
who were only able to heal because of God’s grace, (Rev 5; 13), and the
anointing comes as we submit to God not by engaging in this practice of honouring
Some of these past revivalists were godly people, others had moral lapses during
their ministries. Kathryn Kuhlman for example, who many claimed to be the purest,
ran off for a season to live with a married man with whom she committed adultery,
before returning to ministry later on. Kuhlman, Lake and Dowie along with Branham
are among the key ministries that Johnson claims we should be honouring, (see
pictures on the same video). I’m sure that the more godly ministers such
as Smith Wigglesworth would warn us against this practice of honouring man and
would not allow us to honour him. Johnson’s museum could become the centre
of this form of idolatry as he and others to seek to obtain the anointing that
was upon these past healing revivalists. Others may even make it a place of pilgrimage
as they seek ministry from the spirits of these deceased ministers who they believe
can return to earth as angels.
Johnson also appears to have a very authoritarian model for the church in the
future. He claims, quite cleverly, (in
this video), that Christians should follow
their leaders on the basis of relationship, as children do their human Fathers,
not on the basis of testing their beliefs. Derek Prince taught that a controlling
spirit is as the spirit of witchcraft and it appears that this is the fruit coming
from Johnsons occult ideas. This will infantilise, (make as children), those
who follow such a person, robbing them of their ability and willingness to move
in discernment or be led by the Spirit themselves as the bible teaches. This
will leave these congregations wide open to the deceptions that Johnson has already
[Links that I’m aware of - Cal Pierce, Todd Bentley, Rick Joyner and Paul
Rick Joyner: I believe that unless Joyner gains discernment and moves toward
a more biblical form of Christianity he will emerge as a leading figure within
an apostate form of pseudo - Christianity in the future. He has ties with, and
is operating in parallel with, Bill Johnson. They must both be aware of this
and have discussed these issues together. Joyner uses Father’s day each
year to subtly introduce the same pseudo spiritualist ideas as Johnson to the
church. This year Joyner held a celebration on the God Channel to “honour” the
male healing revivalists of the past who he claims are our spiritual Fathers.
On Mother’s Day he held a similar celebration to “honour” the
female healing revivalist of the past who he claims are our spiritual Mothers.
Joyner believes that as we continue to do this we will receive a healing anointing
and revival in the end times. This is surely a form of spiritual adultery though,
looking to man instead of to God for the anointing of the Holy Spirit? As Joyner’s
doesn’t appear to disapprove of some of his compatriots/friends actually
calling upon the spirits of these past evangelists to return to earth to minister
to them it is likely that he holds to the same views. In his book “The
Final Quest” Joyner claims to receive ministry directly from the spirits
of various well known deceased revivalists himself. Instead of them returning
to earth though he claims to ascend to heaven to speak with them.
From his descriptions it appears Joyner is particularly interested in restoring
the ministry and methods of William Branham who we mentioned earlier. This parallels
Bentley’s statements in the link, (audio) about an angel from the past
returning to help us birth revival. The dates for this line up precisely with
Branham’s ministry and his reliance on an angel for anointing instead of
A “Christian” friend of mine was involved with a group of deceived
vicars and New Agers online and became open to their occult teachings. Later
on he started claiming to have moved on from a basic faith in Christ’s
crucifixion for our sins to new more advanced revelations as well. He still saw
himself as a Christian though, remained an elder at his church, and tried to
pass his “new greater revelations” on to other believers. This appears
to me to be the position Joyner and Johnson have taken in the misguided belief
that they now have greater revelation than the original Apostles of Jesus and
the teachings contained in the scriptures. They clearly believe they have greater
revelation than ordinary Christians and are therefore subtly drip feeding us
their beliefs in stages because they don’t think most will yet be willing
to receive them in their entirety. William Branham probably had similar views.
[Links that I’m aware of – Bill Johnson, Todd Bentley, Bob Jones,
Paul Cain: He claims to have worked with former healing revivalist William Branham
whilst he was still alive and is seen by some as the only remaining link to him.
He claims that Branham was the greatest prophet who has ever lived which is hard
to understand considering the level of deception Branham is known to have moved
in. Cain had some very unscriptural visions and prophesies himself that appear
to me to have come from occult spirits. However his accuracy in predictions once
led many to consider him the greatest prophet alive today. This may have had
something to do with the fact that his Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother
were all psychics who had accurate prophesies themselves. These will have come
from demonic spirits though which Cain may have unwittingly inherited. Cain seems
to have disappeared from ministry since he was found to be living an illicit
drug taking and homosexual lifestyle in 2006.
[Links that I’m aware of – Bill Johnson who eventually oversaw attempts
to reinstate Cain, Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley and Bob Jones].
Gwen Shaw: She leads a group called “The End Times Handmaidens” and
assisted Joyner in his Fathers and Mothers Day celebrations which honoured these
healing revivalists of the past. She also believes that deceased Christians’ can
return to earth to minister to people as angels.
[Link that I’m aware of – Rick Joyner].
James Goll: He had the false prophesy/dream that instructed Bill Johnson to establish
the museum and library of signs and wonders containing books, wheelchairs, crutches
and other artifacts to honour the former healing revivalists, see video. This
would not seem such a problem if it were not for their belief in acquiring these
deceased ministers anointing and/or calling for their spirits to return to earth.
[Link that I’m aware of – Bill Johnson, John Crowder].
John Crowder: Crowder is seen in this video attempting to draw the anointing
from the grave of former healing minister Alexander Dowie, link. Crowder is leader
of the growing New Mystics movement who partake in just about every bizarre and
deceptive influence going. This excellent video may also be of interest in relation
[Link - James Goll]
Conclusion: I am only going by my own limited knowledge of the links between
these ministries but writing them down has underlined their common agendas
which they must be aware of themselves. I believe the most prominent is Rick
Joyner, followed perhaps by Bill Johnson of Bethel church and then probably
Cal Pierce of the Healing Rooms. There must be many other influential ministries
that tie in with these already with more who will follow in the future, (I
would be very surprised if, for example, Patricia King did not also accept
these spiritual practices later on). The main thrust of this article was
to underline this deceptive trend of looking toward the deceased instead
of God for ministry and the anointing. This is spiritualism, of the occult,
and not in any way part of biblical Christianity. I expect this will lead
to a wave of counterfeit healings as these ministers tap into occult powers
that will divert many believers away from moving in Gods Spirit in the end
according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders,” (2
Thess 2; 9)
S. Dobbs, September 2011.