Wednesday, 1 April 2020

CORONAVIRUS AND CLOSED CHURCHES - LET US REMEMBER AT THIS MOST CRITICAL POINT IN TIME WHERE JUDGMENT BEGINS!

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that 
obey not the gospel of God?"
(1 Peter 4:17)


Coronavirus, COVID-19, is a sure sign of the times. A birth pang of such incredibly great and global suddenness and severity. It is, if you will, a very large-lettered writing on the wall, but in the contemporary Church where Biblical literacy has become as rare as an iceberg in the Sahara, I fear it will mostly go unread and unheeded. 

Nothing, absolutely nothing, can happen without the Creator either causing it, or stepping back and allowing it. His Sovereignty is absolute. It's the same with this pandemic as with everything else: there is His judgment, and there is His escape. His will is that men should seek and find Him, and crises and catastrophes can be a very real means to that end. He can and He will use any and every possibility to bring about a person's reconciliation to Himself, and He labours long and hard towards achieving that outcome. But it is critically important to understand that His patience is not infinite; as it is indelibly written, "My spirit shall not always strive with man." (Genesis 6:3). And as much as He is a God of love, He is also a God of righteous wrath and of judgment; those who determinedly reject Him, He will in turn Himself determinedly reject. With this sobering fact very firmly in mind, let us at this most critical and unprecedented point in time remember where it is that God's inevitable judgment begins...

The church doors that were wide open to welcome in all manner of false teachers and unclean spirits are now closed to all and sundry. Is this not indeed a divine judgment upon a salt that has so utterly lost its savour and become good for nothing, fit only to be cast out and trodden underfoot? (Matthew 5:13). No itchy-eared, sign-seeking follower of a counterfeit Christ is now sitting at the feet of a fable-monger in a sullied pulpit, and those disquieted few whose spirit groaned within them at the wholesale abandonment of Truth, but who had not yet found the resolve to leave of their own volition have had the decision made for them.

Nobody knows when - or even if - the church doors will open again. Laodicea is in indefinite lockdown. Who knows whether this may be the final opportunity for those who would claim to be God's people to get right with Him in reality and not in mere illusion? Claiming to be His and truly being His are entirely different things, for of a truth "the heart is deceitful above all things." (Jeremiah 17:9). Who knows if this could be the last throw of the Lord's lifeline to those drowning in the sea of delusion that the Church has become? One thing is certain, it's well past time to wake up and smell the coffee, to stop trusting in sandcastle churches and self-serving hirelings with their make-believe "Jesus," and instead find an uncompromised fullness of genuine faith in the True and eternally unchangeable Triune God. He alone is worthy, He alone able in His immeasurable grace to save us from ourselves!

THERE'S JUST ONE PLACE THAT EVERYONE SHOULD SPEEDILY HEAD TO NOW, AND THAT'S THE PURE PAGES OF THE UNADULTERATED WORD OF GOD!

"For as a snare shall it come on all them 
that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted 
worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, 
and to stand before the Son of man."
(Luke 21:35-36)


Monday, 9 March 2020

BRITISH ISLES COUNCIL OF PROPHETS: THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION MARCHES FORWARD IN THE UK AND IRELAND!

"Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name:
I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them:
they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, 
and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart."
(Jeremiah 14:14)




INTRODUCTION

As in Jeremiah's day, so in ours also. Then, the people were going into captivity in physical Babylon; now, the people are going into captivity in Mystery Babylon (Rev. 17:5), the antichrist final religious system of the Last Days. And at the very forefront of the great apostasy causing this bondage is the global Apostolic/Prophetic movement, a core tenet of which is the taking over and running of all aspects of human activity on the planet - all prior to the Lord's return - which is frequently referred to as 'The Seven Mountain Mandate.' (The mountains being: Business, Government, Family, Religion, Media, Education and Entertainment).

An overview and summing up of these self-appointed Apostles and Prophets and their supposed God-given Mandate, which this article essentially follows on from and fleshes out, formed last month's piece; please see:
https://watchman4wales.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-new-apostolic-reformation-and-seven.html



A BRIEF HISTORY OF "CHRISTIAN DOMINIONISM"

Christian Dominionism/'Kingdom Now' theology is a major and most grievous heresy that came to the fore in the 'Latter Rain Revival' in Canada in 1948, the year that most significantly also saw the re-birth of the State of Israel. 'Latter Rain' adherents pioneered the concept of God restoring the Offices of Apostle and Prophet to the Church and the triumphalist worldview that the Church, having been perfected - with praise and worship ushering in the presence of God - would be victorious over the world and bring in the Kingdom of God on Earth. Jesus's proclamation that "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36) had no place in their utterly unBiblical theology and eschatology. A central plank of their rotten walkway was the teaching of 'The Manifest(ed) Sons of God,' the emergence of an elite corps of super-saints who would be sinless and immortal, becoming as Christ Himself! This great End-Time 'Joel's Army' would defeat the forces of darkness, wielding all the authority and power of the Lord Himself, whose return and reign would have to wait until all things had first been subjugated to THEM!

This aberrant worldview with no divide at all between the spiritual and the secular, receiving right and proper condemnation from a Church which back then could still largely demonstrate Biblical literacy, wisdom, discernment and an orthodox eschatology, went somewhat into hibernation. Never dead, unfortunately, it re-emerged with church growth guru C. Peter Wagner's hand on the helm, alongside John Wimber's 'Power Evangelism' movement - "doin' the stuff" as he called it - which found its particular expression and springboard in his Vineyard churches. From the 1980s, when Wagner and Wimber had joined forces to teach on "Signs and Wonders" at the Fuller Seminary, Dominionism and "Signs and Wonders" were to be pretty much inseparable bedfellows. Subjective experience was IN, objective (and sound!) Biblical doctrine was OUT, and testing the spirits was something akin to a jar of tastebud-troubling jam, to be put at the back of the highest shelf to gather ever thickening dust.

Wagner it was who coined the phrase New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) as an overarching appellation for the Apostolic/Prophetic movement which he would lead, which was to steadily and stealthily become what is probably the most powerful, the most deluded and the most dangerous sector in what passes for the Church in the USA today. And contemporary culture and spirituality dictates that what happens in America today, the rest of the world will be following suit tomorrow. The NAR epitomizes the great Falling Away from Truth which the Scriptures foretold would occur, and is right now happening before our very eyes. As the Word warns in no uncertain terms:


"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables."
(2 Timothy 4:4)

It should be noted, however, that although the USA was and is a world (mis)leader in the field of the supposed restoration of the Offices of Apostle and Prophet to the Church, as the highest tiers of a fully reactivated Fivefold Ministry, the UK also witnessed the birthing in the 1970s of its own counterpart of the emerging American NAR. Originally widely referred to simply as Restorationism, the various groups that constitute the Apostolic/Prophetic movement on this side of the Atlantic are now collectively known as The British New Church Movement, with an emphasis on the role of the Apostle in their strict pyramid structure of governance. (E.g. in a Welsh context, Keri Jones is the recognized covering "Apostle" of 'All Nations' in Cardiff, 'LifePoint Church' in Swansea and 'Nationchangers' in Merthyr Tydfil, which operate under the banner of 'Ministries Without Borders.')

The British New Church Movement has down the years had what amounts to an elitist, separatist mindset; their focus is on teaching, shepherding and following only their own; one might say that they see themselves as the Premiership, and other Christian churches are playing in a lesser league. But, as the American "big boys" gained ever greater ground globally, it was perhaps inevitable that folks of a similar Dominionist persuasion here in the UK would become increasingly attracted to and influenced by the American way of doing things. Whilst British New Church members continue, for the present at least, in their own way and style, outside of their ranks there has been a groundswell of Dominionist activity, seeing the emergence onto the scene of men and women who proclaim themselves and each other to be Prophets appointed and anointed by God. These are now determinedly organizing themselves along American NAR lines, formulating a power base from which to launch a major offensive here in the British Isles.

The turn of the millennium had witnessed an unprecedented consolidation and careful organization of Apostles and Prophets taking place, centred in the USA, with the creation in 1999 of two select bodies to massively further their aims. One was the International Coalition of Apostles, of which C. Peter Wagner was Presiding Apostle. (This group is now known as ICAL: the International Coalition of Prophetic Leaders). The other was ACPE, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, chaired by Cindy Jacobs, of which Wagner was also unsurprisingly a key member. Structures were now in place to push the Dominionist agenda forward as never before, with their influence just two decades on now reaching across entire continents and even into the highest Office in the land, with Paula White being appointed to the White House staff as President Trump's Spiritual Adviser.


THE BRITISH ISLES COUNCIL OF PROPHETS 

What I wish to particularly draw attention to here, my friends, is that many previously largely independently-operating "Prophets" on this side of the Pond have now banded themselves together in a way that mimics the American NAR model. They have very recently established the 'British Isles Council of Prophets' in a collective effort to promote themselves and their supposed "prophecies" specifically here in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. So, whereas to date there has been a reliance on visiting, already well hyped and well connected "Prophets" to most powerfully further the NAR cause in these Islands, the mechanisms are now being put into place to market home-brewed Dominionist apostasy, and on an industrial scale!

Below is listed the full crew of the 'British Isles Council of Prophets' (henceforth referred to as BICP). These spiritual buccaneers - some three dozen names at the time of writing! - have all firmly nailed their colours to the mast of the NAR pirate ship:

Core Leaders:
Simon Braker                           Louise Reid                           Emma Stark
Rebecca King                           Adele Richards                     David Stark                     

Council members:
Tomi Arayomi                           Dylis Chi                               Moses Rankin
Helen Azer                                Jarrod Cooper                      Sam Robertson
Simon Baddeley                       Rachel Harris                       Marj Rossol
Sarah-Jane Biggart                  Claire Harrison                     Rose Sambrook
Mark Birch-Machin                   Barbara Jenkinson              Phil Sanderson
Rebecca Briggs                        Preethy Kurian                     Sue Sinclair
Melanie Brooks                        Christine Larkin                    Veronika West
Hellie Brunt                              Jennie Pitt                              Liz Wright
Rob Cates        

Advisory council:

Julie Anderson                         Revd. Canon John McGinley
Tim Eldridge                             Dr. Sharon Stone
Rachel Hickson

(Source: https://www.prophets.org.uk/council-members/ )

You'll note Sharon Stone's name above; we should not underestimate the relevance of her being on the BICP Advisory Council, as Dr. Stone is a member of the NAR's Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders and thus forms a bridge between them. I have previously been much moved to write about Sharon Stone and her fellow false prophets of ACPE; you'll find the account here:
https://watchman4wales.blogspot.com/2018/05/apostolic-prophet-to-nations-dr-sharon.html

It is not my intention here to go into detail about each of these 36 individuals, as this would make the article unnecessarily lengthy and off-putting to read. Friends, please research them yourselves, as the Spirit leads. Suffice to say that the NAR buzz-words and links are all there in abundance on the BICP bios and their individual sites: Apostolic/Prophetic Hubs/Centres, Prophetic Networks/Schools/Training/Summits/Conferences, Bethel Redding, Catch The Fire (Toronto Blessing), IHOP (Mike Bickle), Wagner Leadership Institute, Harvest International Ministries (Che Ahn), Apostolic and Prophetic anointing, 'Christian International' (Bill Hamon), pulling Heaven to Earth, spiritual mapping, dismantling demonic structures, apostolic fathers ("Call no man your father!" - Matt. 23:9), destiny, pioneering, igniting, releasing, living in the supernatural, dreams, prophetic art, equipping, impartation, transformation, Fivefold ministry, empowerment, activation, voice to the nations, reformation (of Church and society), new Kingdom paradigms, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

IMPORTANT. All these names are published here with the express warning that each of these individuals should be studiously avoided as being Bible-DISbelieving, Narrow Way bypass-builders. It should also go without saying that the churches they MISlead and the groups with which they are associated should similarly be given a very wide berth. If any are guest speakers invited to your own gathering, the leadership should be alerted as to what it is that they really stand for. If this should fall on deaf ears, do not under any circumstances support that meeting out of a misguided sense of loyalty. We are to follow the real Jesus and Him alone, not the different "Jesus" who these people represent.

It should be clearly understood that, true to type, this group do not in any way see themselves as operating apart from the other supposedly restored Fivefold Ministries, particularly Apostles; on their website you'll find the following significant statement:


"The BICP leadership will be proactive in relating to apostles and apostolic councils so that these foundational fivefold graces can better partner to build the church."

Note: Apostles and Prophets are at the top of the tree; the other three of the "fivefold ministries" (perched, it must be said, on much lower branches and very much subordinate to the higher echelons) are Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. NAR Apostles are thought of as having equal, if not greater authority than the actual N.T. Apostles, despite the fact that in order to be an Apostle in the first place and to accordingly have any Apostolic authority, then he must have been an eyewitness of the resurrected Lord.


"PROPHETIC RESPONSIBILITY" - THEIR WORDS, AND THE REALITY BEHIND THEM!

BICP pronounces as one of its core values that there are at least five prophetic responsibilities for a nation, which are as follows: 

1) To speak to the destiny of that nation - calling its heavenly future to be established.

Truth of the matter? A NATION does not have a heavenly future; only truly saved INDIVIDUALS have a heavenly future. 
"Take heed that no man deceive you!" (Matt. 24:4)

2) To raise up an army to pray, fight and engage - calling the people into place.

Truth of the matter? We are not called to raise up an army of any description, least of all a 'Joel's Army' of 'Latter Rain' infamy. "Calling the people into place" is actually the bringing of the people into subjugation to their supposed authority.
"Take heed that no man deceive you!" (Matt. 24:4)

3) To open the gates of a nation, that the reign of Jesus Christ may come in - welcoming what God wants now (explaining the present).

Truth of the matter? "The reign of Jesus Christ" actually means that THEY will rule as His anointed and appointed agents on Earth (as they imagine themselves to be). The gates will not be opened to the Lord, but rather for unclean spirits to enter and be welcomed. (As at Toronto, Brownsville, Lakeland, etc.)
"Take heed that no man deceive you!" (Matt. 24:4)

4) To identify and confront spiritual strongholds - setting the nation free of its past.

Truth of the matter? We are not called to confront anything that might be seen as a spiritual stronghold, not to wage spiritual warfare but to preach the Gospel. "Setting the nation free of its past" will include wrenching it away from any residual uncompromising Biblical Truth that it once held to be sacrosanct, in order for it to blindly and passively accept Dominionist overlordship.
"Take heed that no man deceive you!" (Matt.24:4)

5) To expose hidden demonic strategies - setting the nation free in its future.

Truth of the matter? This is so ironic, as BICP is itself a demonic strategy, hidden in plain sight! "Setting the nation free in its future" = conquering the Seven Mountains and planting their flag atop each one. Their concept of freedom is that no opposition to their rule - especially from Christians holding to the fundamental doctrine of Sola Scriptura - will be tolerated. In other words - well, just one word actually - totalitarianism!
"Take heed that no man deceive you!" (Matt. 24:4)

(Source: https://www.prophets.org.uk/2019/09/core-value-4-prophetic-responsibility/ )


THE FIRST "PROPHETIC WORD" ISSUED BY BICP

On 1 February 2020, BICP released their first joint "prophetic word." It is in essence a triumphalist Dominionist manifesto, shot through with deepest delusion which completely flies in the face of Biblical eschatology. It speaks to itching ears, and in itself epitomizes the great Falling Away from Truth which will actually characterize the Last Days, rather than the great and glorious End Time harvest that they promise, with miracles an everyday occurrence and the visitation of angels frequent. 

BICP's NAR worldview and agenda is evidenced and encapsulated in the statement that speaks of unlocking, redeeming and reviving the mountains of influence, but their lengthy "word" makes outrageous claims throughout, which of course readers are expected to accept unquestioningly as being from God because THEY, His appointed prophets, have declared it! Just one example is the assertion that three angels i.e. 'The Angel of Awakening' and 'The Angel of Harvest' and 'The Angel of Deliverance' have been sent into the Earth expressly for this "season of the wrestle and glory," a season when the Church has to start operating at "a higher level of the apostolic and the prophetic," with the restored Offices carrying "a higher level of anointing!" (Now, isn't that a surprise - BICP's "prophets" are to be even more favoured and blessed!) Need it be pointed out that none of these supposed angels is ever mentioned in the Bible, the closed Canon of Scripture? But then, extra-Biblical revelation is of course only to be expected of those with such "a higher level of anointing" that they can freely add to - and just as freely take away from - the Word of God... and be applauded for so doing!

Very interestingly, while Jesus (the real One that is, not the BICP's bogus one) told us to "take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself" (Matthew 6:34), these Scripture re-writing renegades are busily proclaiming what is to happen for the rest of the decade! And while the Word of God tells us that things in the world will get worse and worse and darker and darker, these profitless prophets with lying spirits in their mouths flatly contradict Him, and would have us believe that (under their influence and authority, naturally) things will get better and better and lighter and lighter. Theirs is, quite simply, a doctrine of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1).


CONCLUSION

It is today as it was in Micaiah's day, when the 400 prophets with a lying spirit in their mouths prophesied great victory against the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead, while what actually happened was an unmitigated disaster, with - as Micaiah alone had correctly foretold - "all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd." (2 Chronicles 18:16)I'd very much encourage you to read the BICP's "word" for yourselves, and personally see how it runs completely against what the truly Holy Spirit-inspired prophets of the Bible had to declare about the close of the age, things that are for all time unchangeable:
https://www.prophets.org.uk/2020/02/prophetic-word-feb-2020

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
(1 John 4:1)

* * * * * * *

Some further reading that might help your understanding:

Latter Rain: https://www.gotquestions.org/latter-rain-movement.html

Manifest(ed) Sons Of God: https://reachouttrust.org/manifest-sons-of-god/

Joel's Army: https://www.gotquestions.org/Joels-Army.html

C. Peter Wagner: http://apprising.org/2011/10/09/c-peter-wagner-and-his-dominion-mandate/ 

John Wimber/PowerEvangelism: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/wimber.html  

British New Church Movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_New_Church_Movement

Fivefold Ministries: https://www.gotquestions.org/five-fold-ministry.html

NAR, Seven Mountain Mandate, Dominionism; please see the links posted under:
https://watchman4wales.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-new-apostolic-reformation-and-seven.html


Thursday, 20 February 2020

THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION AND 'THE SEVEN MOUNTAIN MANDATE' - THE TRADING OF THE TRUTH FOR EMPTY VANITIES!


"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. 
The seven heads are seven mountains, 
on which the woman sitteth."
(Revelation 17:9)


The Word of God says one thing about seven mountains, while certain people today are saying something else altogether about seven mountains... 

In these perilous Last Days, the largely hireling-led professing Church of Jesus Christ has been massively infiltrated and immeasurably influenced by an insidious coalition of counterfeit Christians: the self-proclaimed "Apostles" and "Prophets" collectively known as The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Never heard of them? Know nothing of their intentions? If so, friend, then you really need to - and very urgently! They are a spiritual snowball gathering enormous momentum, and they have a very particular agenda, an overarching strategy which is as ambitious as it is apostate. Which is what, exactly? No less than the taking over and control of every aspect of human activity on the planet, engaging and defeating the forces of darkness, and establishing the Kingdom on Earth - all PRIOR to the Lord's return, mark you! They are to triumphantly take centre stage, while He passively watches from the wings; this breathtakingly pernicious and prideful programme of hard-core "Christian" Dominionism they summarize as 'The Seven Mountain Mandate.'

How might I here saliently sum up the NAR's "Apostles" and "Prophets?" Well, maybe something like this:

Thoroughly heretical ear-ticklers; Scripture-diminishing and experience-elevating violators of evangelical orthodoxy; Narrow Way bypass-builders masquerading as ministers of righteousness, usurping authority that was never theirs to hold - and everywhere igniting "strange fire" with not an ounce of accountability; man-promoting and God-demoting, narcissistic and deeply deluded apostates who've traded the Truth for empty vanities!

Or perhaps we could drive the point home like this, by spelling it out in terms of 'The Seven Mountain Mandate' which was so diabolically drawn up for them in the very depths of Hell:

      Thoroughly
       Heretical
        Ear-ticklers;

          Scripture-diminishing and
           Experience-elevating
            Violators of 
             Evangelical orthodoxy;
              Narrow Way bypass-builders

                Masquerading as ministers
                 Of righteousness,
                  Usurping authority that was
                   Never
                    Theirs to hold -
                     And everywhere
                      Igniting "strange fire" with
                       Not an ounce of accountability;

                         Man-promoting
                          And God-demoting,
                           Narcissistic and
                            Deeply deluded
                             Apostates who've
                              Traded the Truth for
                               Empty vanities!



"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, 
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 
Therefore watch!"
(Acts 20:29-31)

"Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: 
I sent them not, neither have I commanded them,
neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination,
and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart."
(Jeremiah 14:14)

* * * * * * *

Some recommended reading on the NAR, 'The Seven Mountain Mandate' and Dominionism, that might aid your understanding: 

https://www.gotquestions.org/New-Apostolic-Reformation.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/seven-mountain-mandate.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-dominionism.html

https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/

http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/

http://www.piratechristian.com/berean-examiner/the-six-hallmarks-of-a-nar-church

Monday, 27 January 2020

APATHY - THE SAD, CONSENTING BEDFELLOW OF APOSTASY!

"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached,
or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received,
or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, 
ye might well bear with him."
(2 Corinthians 11:4)


Another Jesus. Another spirit. Another gospel.
Paul warned that such would be accommodated, unopposed.
Absolutely everywhere we now see that this is so.
Truth has to be contended for, and with earnest endeavour.
Hear me clearly, my friends: Whose responsibility is this?
Yours.


"It was needful for me to write unto you, 
and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith 
which was once delivered unto the saints."
(Jude v3)

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

NEW YEAR MESSAGE: THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF DISCERNMENT

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember...!"
(The stark warning of the Apostle Paul, in Acts 20:29-31)


This is my 2020 New Year message, for those whose ears are still open to receive it:


"For want of discernment, the door lost its lock; 
For want of a door-lock, due caution was lost;
For want of due caution, the Church lost its Way;
For want of The Way, then Truth-teaching was lost;
For want of Truth-teaching, then thousands were lost;
And all for the want of discernment, Hell swelled!"

I hope and pray that this raw re-rendering of the well-known proverb about how the want of a horse-shoe nail, a thing that might seem to be no big deal yet actually triggers a chain of events that ultimately prove to be absolutely catastrophic, will cause people to think about the vital importance of discernment. May it, in the grace of God, prompt them to sincerely seek this precious spiritual gift, and to rigorously exercise it, for when all is said and done it's a matter of eternal life or the second death!



* * * * * * *


A similar cautionary story is that of 'The Camel's Nose.' An unwise Arab allows a camel to poke its nose into his tent, but where the camel's nose goes, the rest of it soon follows until it is wholly inside and can't be ousted. It makes the tent its own comfortable home. As with the proverbial camel and the tent, so with deception and the Church! Give it an inch...


* * * * * * *

MAY 2020 FIND YOU EARNESTLY CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH 
WHICH WAS ONCE DELIVERED UNTO THE SAINTS (JUDE v3) -
BUT IN SO DOING, BEING EVER MINDFUL OF DEMONSTRATING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT! (GALATIANS 5:22-23, EPHESIANS 5:9)

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you."
(Matthew 24:4)

* * * * * * *

Sunday, 24 November 2019

ROY GODWIN AND FFALD-Y-BRENIN: A DEADLY COCKTAIL OF COMPROMISE AND A SAD, UNHEEDING UNAPPROACHABILITY.

"... seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
(2 Timothy 3:13)

I don't wanna see... I don't wanna hear... I don't wanna answer!

Most regrettably, such an End-Times seducer as the Apostle Paul warns about here, one who is himself deceived and in turn deceiving others, is Roy Godwin, the Director of the Ffald-y-Brenin Retreat Centre in Pembrokeshire. I do not say this lightly of any man; this statement is based not on conjecture but on irrefutable evidence of his determined departures from evangelical Christian orthodoxy - the Faith once and for all time delivered unto the saints. (Jude v.3). Furthermore, Mr. Godwin exhibits a sad, unheeding unapproachability when these matters of great import are brought to his attention. 

On 1 February 2017 I published a detailed article outlining the concerns. (A second article highlighting the disturbing testimony of a former key member of staff was published 1 March 2017). Recently I was encouraged to give Mr. Godwin opportunity to consider the issues, and to repent as necessary. I confess that I had no great hopes that he would do so, but giving him the benefit of the doubt I did indeed write to him on 12 October 2019 as follows:

To: admin@ffald-y-brenin.org

FOR THE PERSONAL ATTENTION OF MR. ROY GODWIN

Dear Mr. Godwin,

I have been encouraged to bring the very real concerns as outlined in the 2 articles that are jointly linked below, to your personal attention for consideration.

Perhaps you would be good enough to give some thought to and to comment on the issues raised in these articles?


I look forward to receiving any response you would like to make.

Sincerely, in Jesus our Lord and Saviour,
Rob Thomas, 
Merthyr Tydfil.
www.watchman4wales.blogspot.com


After 3 weeks of hearing nothing at all back from him, I wrote again on 3 November 2019:

To: admin@ffald-y-brenin.org

FOR THE PERSONAL ATTENTION OF MR. ROY GODWIN

Dear Mr. Godwin,

Having written to you 3 weeks ago now, and to date received no reply, I am re-sending that email in the hope that you will have the grace to respond to the issues being raised. It would be good to yet be proved wrong in my estimation that contacting you directly would be a fruitless exercise, and meet only with intransigence. I'd like to think that any true brother in Christ would be open to approach, and indeed correction as needed, on such fundamental matters as demonstrable departure from evangelical orthodoxy. 

Here is a copy of my original email of 12 October 2019:

FOR THE PERSONAL ATTENTION OF MR. ROY GODWIN

Dear Mr. Godwin,

I have been encouraged to bring the very real concerns as outlined in the 2 articles that are jointly linked below, to your personal attention for consideration.

Perhaps you would be good enough to give some thought to and to comment on the issues raised in these articles?


I look forward to receiving any response you would like to make.

Sincerely, in Jesus our Lord and Saviour,
Rob Thomas, 
Merthyr Tydfil.
www.watchman4wales.blogspot.com

Another 3 weeks have gone by, with absolutely nothing forthcoming from Mr. Godwin. It's obvious now that he has no intention at all of giving even a basic acknowledgement of my correspondence, never mind any proper reply - which surely any Christian man of integrity would be quite prepared to do? I can only observe that, entrenched in his errors, he very disappointingly demonstrates only aloofness and unrepentance.

CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SUCH THAT THE WARNING PREVIOUSLY GIVEN HERE IN THESE PAGES ABOUT ROY GODWIN'S AND FFALD-Y-BRENIN'S DEADLY COCKTAIL OF COMPROMISE UNFORTUNATELY REMAINS AS VALID AS EVER. 


* * * * * * *

Here is the original article; the documented facts speak loudly for themselves:

ROY GODWIN AND FFALD-Y-BRENIN RETREAT CENTRE - A "THIN PLACE" WHERE CHRISTIANITY AND CELTIC MYSTICISM MEET!


"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
(Colossians 2:8)



A "THIN PLACE"

In the remote west of Wales is a Christian retreat centre called Ffald-y-Brenin, which translates from the Welsh as The Sheepfold of the King. The "mother house" of Local Houses of Prayer, it is held in extremely high regard by many people internationally as a place of prayer and healing (though strangely enough for a location apparently favoured by God as a place of healing, its own website advises that it is unsuitable for the disabled to visit!)

Roy Godwin, its Executive Director, holds it to be "a thin place, where heaven and earth seem to overlap." (Ref. http://www.roygodwin.org/portfolio/ffald-y-brenin/ ). Mr. Godwin's personal perception of Ffald-y-Brenin as a "thin place" should in itself be a rather large red flag for any discerning Christian who holds to uncompromising Biblical truth, as so-called "thin places" are nowhere to be found in the Word of God, actually being a completely pagan concept, a product of pre-Christian Celtic mythology and occult mysticism. Or, as we might pointedly observe with reference to the Scripture above, a "vain deceit, after the tradition of men... and not after Christ."

Roy Godwin's disturbing departure from orthodoxy and entry into the realm of the mystical is intrinsically connected to his great enthusiasm for Celtic Christianity, which it is critically important to observe was simply a branch and expression of Roman Catholicism, with all its attendant elements of paganism in what has always been a deeply syncretic belief structure. Such a concoction was born of political expediency on the part of the Roman Empire, cleverly melding together its diverse cultural religiosity and thereby assisting immeasurably in maintaining the 'Pax Romana' or 'Roman Peace.'

That Roy Godwin has no real understanding of the true nature of the cult of Roman Catholicism and the deadly deceptive spirit that drives it, is evidenced in a very revealing interview he gave with 'Good News,' which is the magazine of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the UK:


"Although Roy says that he was brought up in a protestant context with a mistrust of Catholics, through his own personal journey, he has come to appreciate the riches of Catholic spirituality."

"This is why we need each other. None of us are it. We bring different gifts and the only way we become the Church of God is to share our spiritual riches." 
- Roy Godwin

Er, no Roy... actually, the only way we become the Church of God is by studiously resisting syncretic fusions and being totally uncompromising on the Faith whose foundation was Rock-solidly laid by the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God and does not descend at the behest of a Catholic priest (blasphemously called Father) at each and every Eucharist. Let's say it as it is. There are NO riches in Catholic spirituality, only abominations like the Mass, the RC doctrine of transubstantiation incontestably holding that the wafer and wine become the actual flesh and blood of Christ, then to be consumed in the pagan rite of god-eating! Truly NO Christian riches in Catholic spirituality, Roy, only heathen abominations...


A FALSE FAITH ON THE SHELVES

The 'Good News' article reveals Godwin's extremely worrying predilection for, and promotion of, the works of Henri Nouwen:


"Henri Nouwen whose books are in the Ffald-y-Brenin bookshop, in particular is a great favourite. He comments, "He could be writing just for me."

Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest, a mystic, panentheist and Universalist whose thinking was formulated by the profound influence of Eastern religious traditions, which led to his great belief in contemplative prayer, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity and everything to do with Hindu/Buddhist meditation. And such meditation is a deeply occult practice, designed to enable one to enter an altered state of consciousness ("the silence") and commune with the "god" that supposedly dwells within us all. 


"The quiet repetition of a single word {i.e. using a mantra} can help us to descend with the mind into the heart {i.e. enter "the silence"}... This way of simple prayer... opens us to God's active presence."
- Henri Nouwen, in 'The Way of the Heart'

Consider if you will these shocking Word-denying and God-defying Nouwen quotes:

"Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God."
- Henri Nouwen, in 'Sabbatical Journey'

"The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being."
- Henri Nouwen, in 'Here and Now'

"Prayer is soul work because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one... 
It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is."
- Henri Nouwen, in 'Bread for the Journey'

The unity of all that is. God is in all, and all is in God. Panentheism. Which makes God one with Satan, and Satan one with God. Blasphemy. And Roy Godwin says that an extreme heretic like this could be writing just for him? The works of a man who denies that Jesus is the only way, averring that we can claim our own way to God in blatant contradiction of John 14:6, are not only lauded but sold at Ffald-y-Brenin? Is it not obvious that something is very seriously amiss here?

 Nouwen galore: a false faith on the shelves of the FYB bookshop

It's more than relevant to note that Nouwen's theology is inseparably intertwined with that of Thomas Merton, a much acclaimed fellow Roman Catholic mystic, who has been hugely influential in bringing Hindu/Buddhist style centering meditation (commonly referenced and sanitized as contemplative prayer) into mainstream evangelicalism. And yes, the Ffald-y-Brenin bookshop is also a purveyor of Merton's similarly deadly departures from the true Faith!



You'll note that on the shelf above and alongside Merton's 'Contemplative Prayer' are volumes on Celtic Christianity by Ian Bradley, including his 'Colonies of Heaven,' a description cited by Roy Godwin in his own book 'The Grace Outpouring' in reference to the liturgical spirituality of the Celtic community: "It was reflecting heaven. Heaven was touching earth. The dynamic of the kingdom was made present. A colony of heaven was being established. The liturgy was priming the pump." (p144-5). So is Ian Bradley an author to be read and trusted by a born-again believer? In answering this question I'll refer to two particular books penned by him.

The first is 'Grace, Order, Openness and Diversity: Reclaiming Liberal Theology' and I'll quote here from Amazon's summary:


"This title presents a powerful re-statement of Liberal Protestantism for the twenty first century, especially alive to the imperative of inter faith dialogue and understanding... Ian Bradley presents fundamentalism... as the great twentieth century heresy and aberration. He identifies and seeks to reclaim for the twenty first century a liberal theological tradition existing in Christianity, Islam, Judaism and the other major world faiths."

The second is 'God is Green: Ecology for Christians' and I'll again refer to Amazon's summary:


"In God is Green, Ian Bradley recovers the green heart of Christianity - a God who clothes wildflowers in splendor; reminds Job of his humble part in the cosmic drama; and sends a COSMIC CHRIST {my capitals} to ennoble and perfect all of creation... By plumbing the Bible, the writings of the early Christians and of the Celtic Christian Church, and the testimony of MYSTICS {my capitals} through the ages, Bradley shows that a sacred world is at the heart of Christian belief."

Reclaiming a liberal theology? The imperative of inter faith dialogue and understanding? Fundamentalism is the great 20th. century heresy and aberration? The testimony of mystics? A COSMIC CHRIST? Clearly, Bradley is about as sound as a plastic pound!

It is important to note that the Ffald-y-Brenin bookshop is also very well-stocked with the works of Bill and Beni Johnson, the Senior Pastors of Bethel "Church" in Redding, California. This has to be one of the unsafest "Christian" couples on the planet, their "Christianity" having all the authenticity of a paste diamond, with Bethel having far more in common with sorcery and New Age mystical spirituality than with Biblical Christianity. From gold dust to glory clouds, from falling feathers to fire tunnels, from floating orbs to a born-again "Jesus," from waking up sleeping angels to grave-sucking necromancy, absolutely anything goes at Bethel under the Johnsons' (mis)leadership. But hey, why worry about little details like that when their books have such glossy covers and look so pretty on the shelves...

"... another Jesus... another spirit... another gospel..." (2 Cor. 11:4)

 A group of students from Bill Johnson's Bethel School of the Supernatural engage 
in sucking up Evan Roberts' anointing from his grave at Loughor in South Wales...

And here's Beni Johnson herself, soaking up the anointing 
off C.S. Lewis's bones by lying on his grave in Oxford. 
She also uses a 528HZ tuning fork for prophetic purposes...

The Ffald-y-Brenin bookshop can thus lamentably be seen to be recklessly disseminating to the unsuspecting an alternative form of faith that is assuredly NOT the true Faith, but instead a deeply fallacious mystical New Age delusion, a cunning counterfeit of Biblical Christianity inspired not by the Holy Spirit but by a subtle and seducing utterly unclean spirit, working stealthily out of the war-camp of the Enemy!


DANCING IN THE MUDDY PUDDLES OF "THE LATTER RAIN"


"The Seven Mountains Mandate" of the NAR
  
It's also unfortunately rather relevant to record here that Bill Johnson is widely lauded as an Apostle of the New Apostolic Reformation, C. Peter Wagner's hot-bed of dire Dominionist deception which claims to have a mandate to take over all aspects of human society everywhere, and establish the Kingdom on earth BEFORE the return of Jesus Christ. It is a worldview in which human endeavour has the victory, and the Lord is relegated to being a mere passive bystander who will not - indeed some say cannot! - come back until His Kingdom is set up for Him! It presents an eschatology which can only be properly described as a doctrine of demons, and yet Roy Godwin has no qualms at all about associating himself with such "Latter Rain" deviancy. He has very close connections with the re-opened Bible College of Wales in Swansea (where he has taught) and their Far Eastern overlords, the Cornerstone Community Church of Singapore (where he has preached), whose Senior Pastor is Yang Tuck Yoong, a man with huge hyper-Charismatic and Dominionist sympathies. He is the organizer of Cornerstone's annual 'Kingdom Invasion' jamboree, which plays host to some of the biggest names in the skewed world of Charismania and the New Apostolic Reformation. This year's 'Kingdom Invasion' in mid-March will be no exception, with the inevitable Bill Johnson headlining alongside Heidi Baker, Lou Engle, Ed Silvoso and Shawn Bolz, who are all some of the most luminous stars in the NAR galaxy. We should also well note that it was Lou Engle and fellow NAR frontman Dutch Sheets who led the celebrations of the re-opening of the Swansea Bible College. 



"A NEW MONASTICISM" AND "HOUSES OF PRAYER"

At the core of Ffald-y-Brenin-style spirituality is "a new monasticism." Formerly known as The Caleb Community, but now re-branded as The Caleb Connection, I'll let them describe it in their own words, as found in the picture below:


OK. If they were really rooted in the Scriptures as they claim, there's no way that they would "dig the wells of the Desert Fathers (and mothers), Celtic Christianity and centuries of Monastic spiritual heritage!" Monasticism, with its attendant "daily rhythm of communal prayer" as adopted by Ffald-y-Brenin, is quite simply a completely unScriptural invention of Roman Catholicism, and Celtic Christianity as we've already observed was just a branch and expression of Catholicism. As for the Desert Fathers, they were RC mystic contemplatives who were the bridgehead for the arrival of Hindu/Buddhist pagan practices in the "Church," utterly unChristian practices which have since flourished in our own times like Japanese knotweed under the likes of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Keating, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Leonard Sweet, Tony Campolo and others; the so-called Emerging Church is thoroughly infested with such practices, as is the NAR's Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Be very careful, my friends, when it comes to 'Houses of Prayer,' for just how prayer is perceived, practiced and promoted in such an establishment could well prove in reality to be way off beam - and quite wildly so! 

It really is food for thought that the Bible references a "house of prayer" only in the context of the Temple in Jerusalem (Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46), a structure which has not existed since 70 A.D. In fact, we would do well to consider that since under the New Covenant it is the born-again believer who is now the temple, the abode of God in the Third Person (1 Corinthians 6:19), then it is actually our own bodies which are a "house of prayer" unto the Lord, and not any external location. 


ROY GODWIN'S TEACHING ON PRAYER AND "RELEASING GOD'S BLESSING"

Quite apart from noting the great impact that contemplatives with their altered consciousness inducing methods of "prayer" have had on him, Roy Godwin's perception of and teaching on prayer as recorded in the Spring 2015 magazine of Anglican Renewal Ministries (Wales) raises further very concerning questions about his approach to this vitally important facet of Christian life:


"As a follower of Jesus you are given the enormous and challenging responsibility of SEIZING HOLD OF HEAVEN, SPEAKING WORDS AND NOT LETTING GO UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED ON EARTH ACCORDING TO YOUR REQUESTS." {my capitals for emphasis}

"One of the prime purposes of prayer is that we might receive what we ask for."

 Here Roy comments on 'The Lord's Prayer' as taught by Jesus:


"In this teaching lie the fundamentals about Christian prayer. We are taught to bring ourselves into agreement with heaven's purposes which are eminently practical. WE ARE TO INVOKE THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM SO THAT THE RULE OF GOD MAY HOLD SWAY OVER THE LIFE AND LOCALITY OF WHEREVER WE ARE, LIBERATING OUR NEIGHBOURS AND NEIGHBOURHOOD TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT IT LOOKS LIKE HEAVEN. AND WE ARE NOT TO STOP ASKING UNTIL WE RECEIVE." {my capitals for emphasis}
(Source: http://www.anglicanrenewalministries-wales.org.uk/Magazines/Spring%202015.pdf )

Is he right? Well... actually... NO! We are not in any sense to seize hold of heaven, never mind not let go until we've received according to our requests. This is not ASKING God, it is COMMANDING Him! Is not a key aspect of the Lord's Prayer, THY will be done? Fact is, He knows infinitely better than ourselves which petitions to assent to and which to refuse. And if the latter applies, absolutely no amount of nagging God will change His mind. He is Sovereign. In point of fact, Jesus Himself taught in no uncertain terms AGAINST doing such a thing, calling such unremitting behaviour a PAGAN practice and expectation:

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
(Matthew 6:7)


Wasn't even the Apostle Paul's petition for the removal of his "thorn" declined three times? Did Paul refuse to let go until He received that which he had requested? No! The "thorn" was for a purpose, and he humbly submitted to the will of His Lord, whose grace as Scripture testifies is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9). Are we to stand in contradiction of such sufficiency, demonstrating by our determined actions that we hold His grace to be INsufficient in our circumstances? 

Have we the ability to control God? Do we really have the power in prayer to "release God's blessing" over people and indeed the land also, a concept which has become such an essential constituent part of Ffald-y-Brenin's spiritual make-up?


"On Fridays blessings are prayed over the neighbourhood, the flocks and the herds, the teachers and pupils and marriages... For Roy this was a revelation and a totally new understanding of the calling of the Christian and this idea of the priesthood of believers, ministering to God first and then RELEASING GOD'S BLESSING ON OTHERS." {my capitals}

Is it not the Creator and He alone who decrees that the blessing of each day's sunrise is upon both the evil and the good, and that the blessing of the life-giving rainfall is upon the just and the unjust alike? (Matthew 5:45). It is the Almighty Himself who releases blessings - or withholds them as the case may be - and He has no need of our human input whatsoever to release anything at all! Yet Godwin insists:


"The Lord is raising an army of prayer warriors {a concept found nowhere in the Scriptures} who are becoming effective at releasing heaven on earth wherever they are." 

Do we really possess the power to release Heaven? The power to decide for God, and direct His resources? To overrule His Sovereignty, and bend His will to ours? Is it He who is to submit to us, or is it we who are to submit to Him? He will bless, or indeed He will curse, as pleases His holy purposes, and any presumptions on our part about such things are just that. Presumptions. Born of a subjective human rationale. As He has unanswerably declared:


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55:8-9)
Such teaching on prayer has much more to do with "Kingdom Now" eschatological handstands and "Word of Faith" theological somersaults, than with how we are truly meant to approach God in prayer. "To invoke the coming of the Kingdom so that the rule of God may hold sway over the life and locality of wherever we are, liberating our neighbours and neighbourhood to such an extent that it looks like heaven" is neither within our brief nor within our reach as believers in this present age. Any idea of our here-and-now neighbourhoods looking remotely like heaven prior to Christ's establishment of His millennial reign on earth is quite simply Dominionist delusion. And our neighbours are only in any real sense liberated quite individually, by their personal sincere repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour; no amount of "invoking the coming of the Kingdom" will achieve such an end, only the honest and humble, faithful preaching of a pure, totally uncompromised Gospel which brings the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Our real brief? Within our reach? The presentation of Christ come, crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended, sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us, and coming again soon to put all things under His glorious feet! We the Church are not about bringing heaven to earth as Bill Johnson boasts, but rather Hell-bound sinners to the foot of the Cross. And this is the Cross of Calvary, the only one that matters... not the alternative High Cross at Ffald-y-Brenin...
Am I questioning whether miraculous healings have occurred at Ffald-y-Brenin? No, I am not. I fully believe that God can and does heal, when it is His will to do so. But the idea of Ffald-y-Brenin being a special "thin place" as claimed by its Executive Director, where Heaven and Earth are in some way closer together, is not just error, but dangerous deception. God is omnipresent, and everywhere on this planet is exactly the same distance from the One who created it. No matter where you are, He is always as close (or indeed as far away) as an individual chooses to place Him. It is extremely important to recognize that God can and does work in any set of circumstances in any geographical location. His grace is so infinitely great that He will work out His purposes no matter what. And so, often despite what we might consider to be how a particular person, or place, is particularly "right" with God, when in reality things are demonstrably wrong and Scripturally unsupported, His grace can still be seen to prevail. DESPITE, and NOT BECAUSE OF that person or place! This is something I feel I can't emphasize strongly enough!

Am I questioning the sincerity of Roy Godwin? No, I am not. The point is that you can be sincerely wrong, all the while sincerely believing that you are right. And sincerity in error is infinitely more powerful than insincerity when it comes to transmitting such error to others, who all too frequently neglect to do as Scripture urges and test the spirits (1 John 4:1). We urgently need to be good Bereans, for the Word of God is the proof or otherwise of all things, and we would do well to remember that even Satan can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and is the master of subtle spiritual seduction. (Genesis 3:1)


CONVERGENCE: THE GREAT RIVER OF ECUMENICAL COMPROMISE

We dine at the same table... Pope Francis, Palmer and Copeland

As is so often the case, error begets error and deception spawns deception. I don't know if Roy Godwin ever met the late, similarly Celtic Christianity-loving Tony Palmer, who was a Bishop in the CEEC (Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches) and a personal friend of Pope Francis, and who was instrumental in creating a close bond between the Vatican and evangelical renegades like Kenneth Copeland and the Arnotts of Toronto Blessing infamy. But if there is one word which would best describe the theology of them both, that word would be 'convergent.' Without wishing to digress too much, 'convergent' would also describe David Carr of Renewal in Solihull and the Order of St. Leonard, the subject of last month's article and earlier pieces, a man who has also long drawn water from the lead-lined well of Celtic Christianity. Convergence is the meeting and mingling of all the various streams of everything that calls itself Christian into one great river of ecumenical compromise, a most unholy uniting of purity and poison. Such men as these quaff deeply from any flow that looks good to them, and lead others to likewise drink from it, with a cavalier unconcern for where its source might lie or what sea may be its destination. It is folly indeed to pay no heed to the Word of God's urgent and timeless warning:


"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
(Proverbs 16:25)


* * * * * * *

Some further reading:
'A Time of Departing' by Ray Yungen
'Faith Undone' by Roger Oakland
'The Light That Was Dark' by Warren Smith
http://watchman4wales.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/beware-of-contemplative-prayer-part-one.html
https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=20820 (on Bill Johnson and Bethel)