Archive for August, 2010

The Judgment of Deception – Are You Deceived?

Posted: August 31, 2010 in False Doctrine, False Teachers
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This is the conclusion Steve Campbells take on Morris Cerullo’s Mission to London

A topic that I don’t have time to cover here but will just say that scripture teaches that Jesus The Son Of God paid the price and suffered as a man and nowhere is it taught that God The Father paid a price or suffered some emotionally strain as He watched His Son take on the sins of all mankind. WOF doctrine teaches that Jesus also suffered in hell and then became the first born again man. Cerullo’s words here echo that of the additional Gnostic teachings of pain and suffering by the WOF and other heretical movements gone by.

Word Of Faith also teaches that the promise of physical healing was part of the Atonement and that salvation is a prerequisite for your physical healing. Cerullo’s words here endorse this teaching.

Isaiah 53:5 5But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

This verse is a popular verse amongst Christians, but does this verse refer to literal physical healing or an everlasting spiritual healing?
The two words transgressions and iniquities both refer to sins. The true disease that needs healing is our sins as physical sickness is just a symptom of the spiritually fatal disease of sin. Peter’s declaration in
1 Peter 2:23-24 says;
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

The original Hebrew word for “transgression” is Pe-sha (peh’shah)
Meaning: trespass, sin, and rebellion
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H6588&t=KJV&page=3
The original Hebrew word for “iniquity” is Avone
Meaning: punishment, sin, mischief.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5771&t=KJV
Biblical usage for the word “avone” is perversity ,depravity, guilt and punishment..
The text in their original language never refers to physical sickness.
The only time when we will be free from all earthly physical sickness and disease is when receive an incorruptible body.

1 Corinthians 15:52-55: 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55″O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Of course this is never explained by the likes of Cerullo and the other WOF teachers leading many to believe in a false teaching on physical healing.
being connected to salvation. Cerullo at this point instructs the crowd to place their hand on the part of the body where there sickness is.

He then states:

“Sometimes when your healing doesn’t happen like that, sometimes its just Jesus testing your faith.”

Sounds like a get out clause to me as Cerullo has been down this path many times before and if someone doesn’t experience healing after he gives the “prophetic” word it will be down to Jesus testing their faith and not Cerullo’s prophetic healing gift.

Cerullo announces that there is an incredible healing anointing about to be
released and once its been released that he wants the first 25 people who have experienced healing under this anointing to come to the stage.
As this “healing anointing” which I presume is falling? The “praise and worship” team start singing again and there are various sections of the crowd engaged in ecstatic worship, some were “binding and loosing” whilst others were “decreeing & declaring”. Cerullo announces that “someone has just got a new kidney in this place.”

This is known as “cold calling”, I mean you have a auditorium of approx 10,000 people its quite obvious that you will have a large variety of illnesses so calling out someone with a kidney problem should have at least one taker so call me skeptical if you must.
After the “healing anointing” decided to stop falling or the song just came to an end? Cerullo announced for the first 25 people to rush to the stage in order to announce their miracles and low and behold one of those miracles was a woman who had a kidney problem.
She declared that she had been healed, Cerullo looked relieved (joke!) as this gave his “prophetic mantle” even more credibility and the 10,000 strong crowd roared and gave thanks to God in celebration.
Cerullo instructed her to go to her doctors first thing Monday morning and let the MTL team know the report.
Not going to debate whether any of the 25 where truly healed or not, but would stress that “signs, wonders & healings” should not be considered as validation of a move of God if the gospel and the full counsel of God have not been preached before hand. Mark 16:15-17 Jesus instructs that signs will follow the preaching of the gospel as this is doctrine and ones doctrine will confirm if the healing’s are an act of God or not.

I will probably have to deal with Cerullo’s doctrine in another article where I will go more in depth and address his Later Rain Theology and also the influence of William Branham and A A Allen on his teachings.
One of the key doctrines of Cerullo’s is The End Time Manifestations Of The Sons Of God, Cerullo made a slight reference to this during his talk where he stated that God brought people to the UK from other countries to be a part of God’s end time manifestation in Great Britain. Embedded in this doctrine are the WOF teachings on Kingdom Now Theology, Dominionism and End Time Wealth Transfer.

At this point and finally the first passage of scripture is read from the bible after approximately 45 minutes of Cerullo’s “pick n mix” style prophecies.

Isaiah 10:27 27And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”

But sadly this text was interpreted to endorse Cerullo’s earlier teachings and was then used as a catalyst for Cerullo to command the crowd to run towards the stage and have the yoke of bondage removed.

“Everyone who wants to have the yoke of bondage removed, I want you to run down the aisles and get as close to me as possible..
The devil knows that he doesn’t have the power but Morris does.”

Did the people really listen and understand what Cerullo was saying as I did that’s why I typed this comment in caps into my phone’s memo pad.

Cerullo had also prior to this comment stated

“If you want the anointing you pull it from the servant of God you take it by force.”

The Anointing is treated by Cerullo and many others in WOF as a kind of spiritualized force that can be dispatched by certain special “anointed” individuals at their will.
But do we control God’s anointing or does the anointing abide in and guide us?

1 John 2:27: As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit- just as it has taught you , remain in Him.”

We are all anointed when we are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

21And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

The true evidence of the anointing in our lives are seen in Galatians 5:22-23 which are the “fruits of the spirit” as the anointing also leads us to all truth John 14:26
The anointing is demoted by Cerullo and those in the WOF to an act of emotion and feelings.

Read the description of the Eastern Hindu Mystics version of the “anointing” and see the similarities to the WOF’s version both rely on the practitioner’s ability to conjure or transfer its force, also note how its description is also similar to the “slain in the spirit” phenomena.

Shaktipat or Śaktipāta is a Sanskrit word in the Hindu spiritual tradition that refers to the act of the spiritual energy of kundalini being conferred on a disciple or student, by a guru or spiritual teacher in whom it is already active. Śakti translates as spiritual energy and “pāta” as descent (to fall down). [1][2] Shaktipat can be intermediated by the spiritually enlightened master either by transmission of sacred word or mantra, a look, a thought or by touch. The touch is usually given to the ajna chakra or third eye of the disciple. Shaktipat can be transmitted in person or at a distance, through an object such as a flower or fruit, or via telephone or letter.

So Yep…. “Morris has the power and the devil doesn’t” his words not mine and although his supporters would vehemently disagree with my next statement Morris was also in total control of the nights proceedings. The lady at the registration desk didn’t give a “prophetic word” I believe that she just called it as she’s been seeing it all week.
“Enjoy the show” and it’s a well-oiled and seasoned show too, with Cerullo working the crowd with proficiency and a finesse not too dissimilar to the infamous Maradonna World Cup wonder goal against England in 1986.
If the presence of God was truly in Earls Court 2 and God was doing some “stuff” that night as someone put it then the level of acceptance that Cerullo’s false doctrine received from the crowd must have grieved the heart of God deeply.

Jeremiah 5:30-31 30An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land:31 the prophets prophesy falsely ,and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Cerullo draws his “prophetic session” to a close and then says:

“I’m not going to take an offering tonight as you have to get the financial breakthrough first. Trust me before this conference is over you will give crazily. Anybody believe that Morris is a prophet of God.”

I think his closing statement ended off the night’s proceedings quite appropriately. The scriptures were sadly the side issue here while Cerullo’s every word took centre stage.
People were clearly being “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine”
as Cerullo asserted prophecy after prophecy that were not validated by the scriptures.
One has to ask why are Christians accepting this as Christianity?
If I were a medical student and attended a lecture at my medical school that did not deal with the essentials from the manuals that I am supposed to be learning from which will enable me to qualify as a doctor, then I would have some serious issues and questions for the lecturer after the class in regard to the methodology he employed.
So why aren’t Christians who attend “Mission To London” year after year asking the same kind of questions? Biblical Christianity was not taught at this event neither was it truly displayed.
If the aim of “Mission To London” is to win the lost then what version of Christianity are the lost being converted too?

I stated at the beginning of this article that my aim is to encourage believers to focus on biblical truth and to test all things against the scriptures.
I believe that some will read this article who have been in environments similar to the one examined here and the article may have answered several of the questions and doubts that they’ve had based on their experience.
Others on the other hand will claim that the article is biased and judgmental. They will state that I do not understand or have never truly experienced the power or move of God, they may even claim that I don’t have the Holy Spirit.
Sadly those who find those faults with the article and question my Christianity may well never have a full understanding of what true Orthodox Authentic Biblical Christianity should be as once you have an understanding of this then everything else is a mere shadow of that truth and evidently is therefore a lie. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and in Christ alone. This is the gospel and this must always be presented with no gimmicks attached.
Christ centered Christianity is just as it says “Christ Centered” Christ must be the centre of all our preaching as well as our lives. In order for error to thrive the truth must be kept silent.

Let’s not sleep on this believers as the truth needs to be proclaimed.

“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk,are drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:6-10

As Always

Sola Scriptura

Steve A Campbell.

This is a continuation of yesterdays article

Morris’ next statement:

“Before this conference is over God is going to do something for you
that he’s never done before.”

Hyping the crowd statement number two as once again Morris is telling the crowd what they want to hear and this statement had the usual buzzwords of “breakthrough and new anointing” tagging not too far behind.
This kind of statement is usually tied in with the believer’s expectation of wanting to receive something from God, whether it is healing or a financial breakthrough.
Morris makes the intention of his statement clear when he then states;

“There are three feasts in the scripture, Atonement, Passover and Pentecost.
How you celebrate these feast determines how God’s going to bless us.”

Now you have to ask yourself as a bible believing Christian is God really going to “bless me” based on how I celebrate an Old Testament Jewish feast?

The Day of Atonement feast Leviticus 23:27-28
“Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD. 28And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.

The word Atonement means; the making of reparation for a sin or a mistake.
Cerullo makes no attempt to present where the text comes from or give any biblical reasoning and clarity for his statement.
If I was a non-believer who had no understanding of the word “atonement” in the Christian sense then I would be none the wiser.

The Day of Atonement was done once a year on the tenth day of the seventh year. This would involve the high priest going in to the Holy Of Holies , the most revered holy place. The priest would go through various rituals of bathing and would sacrifice a bull as a sin offering. He would then sprinkle its blood on the altar. Please ref Leviticus 16:1-34 for more of the finer details.

Christ was sacrificed for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 7:27) and completed the finish work on the cross. Hebrews 10:1-12, verse 8 truly summarizes the point that the rituals before Christ are of no use to the Christian now.

“8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

This verse highlights the act of sanctification, this word and it’s meaning were never explained by Cerullo using the scriptures and I actually don’t recall the word “sanctification” being used by Cerullo at all.
This is a supposed conference that is geared at evangelizing to non-believers and empowering believers to spread the gospel.
If we are to spread the gospel then we must have a full understanding of exactly what that gospel is and this must be based on the scriptures so that we do not rely only on our own personal testimonies. How can a non-believer be expected to receive the gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10) if the message of salvation is not explained and taught using the scriptures? Acts 2:37-41

Lastly, in order to be “blessed” by God we must be living lives that are in complete submission and pleasing to Him. (Romans 12:1-2) This is the doctrine that Cerullo should have taught and not one that claims we are blessed based on the basis of how we celebrate certain biblical feasts.

There were a couple of occasions during the evening’s proceedings that Cerullo would look for affirmation from his followers and for them to confirm his “prophetic” credentials by asking the crowd.

“Does God still have prophets?”
“Yes” replied the crowd.
“Does God still speak through his prophets?”
“Yes”
“Do you believe that Morris is one of God’s prophets?”
“Yes”
“Does God speak to his people through his prophet Morris?”
“Yes”

This particular routine intrigued me as Cerullo needed his audience to accept his authenticity of his self-professed “prophetic office” and authority before he could proceed with whatever he had to say next.
The view held by his followers was that this was God’s servant speaking God’s words. In my view the crowd in their affirmation had validated his statement and had therefore given his “prophetic license” the green light and Cerullo an open door to further say and do as he pleases.
I don’t recall any of the OT prophets seeking validation from their audience before they had to present God’s word. One of the reasons why all the prophets were persecuted and even killed in the OT was due to them speaking God’s words whether they wanted to or not of judgment to a nation that did not accept them.
Take Jeremiah’s lament while he was being tortured for example in chapter 20:8-9

For whenever I speak, I cry out,
I shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of the LORD has become for me
a reproach and derision all day long.
9If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.

Jeremiah was clearly un-liked by those around him because of the word of the Lord that he had no choice but to proclaim.
There is a major difference with one having to say the words that have been given by God as opposed to words that are pleasing to its hearer.

Galatians 1:10 10For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Cerullo establishes through his words and routine the he will not be presenting sound doctrine directly from the scriptures tonight as he goes on to say that God had been speaking to Him in his hotel room for a few hours prior to the conference through several dreams.

“You are going to see the greatest financial breakthrough I saw it in the spirit realm that God is going to do something in the next five months.
I saw hundreds of people carrying yokes, the devil is going to get off your back.”

I’m presuming that the scripture reference for this statement can only be found in Morris’ “God’s Victorious Army Financial Breakthrough Spiritual Warfare Bible” as there are no references in my ESV to the above Cerullo statement.
Cerullo continues by filling his audience with false hope and vague promises by stating

“If Morris is a prophet of God, then God’s going to do something for you before Sunday comes.”

This is what God says through His prophet Jeremiah in regards to the likes of Cerullo and their feel good prophecies and dreams.

Jeremiah 23:16-17 16Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.

28: Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. 29 Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’ 32Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.

We now have God’s word in the completed canon of the scriptures.
Solid doctrine Titus 1:9 and the Holy Spirit are our guides.

Hebrews 1:1-2 1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

The problem with the modern day “prophets” like Cerullo is that they ease from country to country, city to city and conference to conference surrounded by all the excesses of westernized living. They are flanked by bodyguards and have a carefully selected entourage in tow.
A large percentage of their itineraries are filled with speaking engagements that have them presenting their message to a “church friendly” environment where the message is accepted and the ministry is supported financially. Rarely do you see Cerullo teach outside of the confides of a “church” setting whether it’s in a stadium or a conference centre the event has still been organized in conjunction with a Christian organization.
This is a far cry from the conditions of the prophets and the apostles of old whose ministries were besieged with persecution and hardships.

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 4but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7by truthful speech, and) the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Cerullo then makes one factual statement of the night.

“A true test of a prophet is if what he speaks comes to past”

Cerullo refers to a prophecy that he made last year in the UK.

“I was in Westminster and God said you tell my people that economic & political change is going to come. Now look you have a new government and new Prime Minister this was prophesied
Sa ka ba sun da la holi ba????????????????”
(Please apply 1 Corinthians 14:22 & 23 at this point thanks..)

Now if this is the best that Cerullo can offer in terms of the prophetic then I guess God really hasn’t got that much to say as even “Lloyd & Harry” from the film Dumb & Dumber could have predicted that one. Now if Cerullo had prophesied that “Dr Evil & Mini-Me” would be our Prime Minister & Deputy Minister then I would have been marginally impressed but still not that convinced. Once again his followers showed their approval with their exuberant applause.

What Cerullo forget to mention is what the scriptures clearly say should happen to those prophets who prophecies do not come to pass.. Did I hear the words “be & stoned??”..

“70 percent of you here are Morris Cerullo’s partners”

Cerullo states this and thanks them for their support.. I think the true objective of this conference is becoming more and more apparent.

“God said he wants me to prophesy over my people August, September, October, November and December.
Phenomenal spiritual financial breakthrough in these months,
God put a heavy burden on me, God said my people sitting before you are hurting and God said I want my people well.”

Notice that Cerullo’s prophetic words include the infamous financial breakthrough again and the promise of divine health.
So I think its safe to say at this point that we are clearly dealing with the “Health & Wealth Prosperity Doctrine” as none of Cerullo’s prophetic words had included anything pertaining to Holiness, Righteousness, The Sovereignty of God or Justification for example. These are essential subjects that pertain to our faith and I fail to understand how anyone who is professing to proclaim the gospel to the lost chooses to make no mention or teach on these important doctrines.
If Cerullo had covered any of these in his “prophecies” then I would have had no problem presenting them in this article as I made notes of his entire message.
I have documented and highlighted the essence of his message as close to the order that he delivered it that evening. Yes he spoke about Jesus, he spoke about the crucifixion and even spoke about sin, but never in any great detail and he never referred to the texts that covered the subjects.

“The price God paid to bring us what we need, salvation and healing.
We talk about the price that Jesus paid but what about the price God
paid watching His Son suffer.”

This teaching raises both theological and philosophical arguments in regards to whether God is Passible?– God does undergo emotional changes of state, and so does suffer. Or impassible? – God feels no emotional hurt and doesn’t suffer.

To be concluded….

This month, my friend Steve Campbell who wrote the article ‘Slain in the spirit or slain stupid’, visited Morris Cerrullo’s yearly event here in London called Mission to London. It is quite a lengthy article so I will split it over three days but it is VERY informative and would advise those who attend these type of events to read this with biblical lens and not ‘I’m gonna defend my favorite preacher at any cost’ lens.

The battle for truth is something that has been going on since the world began, the first attack of Satan was to attack the word Of God in Genesis 3:1, where Satan asked Eve “Did God say?” This was a clear attempt to challenge what God had clearly instructed His new creations not to do.
Truth has many enemies and in order to maintain error the truth must be contained at all cost. When a believer starts their journey in pursuing real biblical truth they will always encounter opposition. The battle to be free from false Christianity will in no doubt cause some resentment especially from those quarters who maintain that God speaks extra biblical revelations in addition to His word.
There are many prophets around at present who are proclaiming to be God’s voice for the earth and are declaring these new extra biblical revelations to all those who will believe them.
The bible makes it clear that there must be no inaccuracy in the prophet’s words as they are supposed to be speaking the words directly from God.

2 Peter 1:20-21
20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Movements such as The Kansas City Prophets, The New Apostolic Reformation and The Third Wave have pioneered and furthered the “new revelations” agenda and we have seen the influence and effects that these movements have had over the past 30 years for example in the 2008 Lakeland Revival in Florida and prior to that the Toronto Blessing or Laughing Revival in Canada in 1994.
Evidently both of these revivals were deemed as false but were accepted at the time by Christians.

I like this statement by John MacArthur where he states that;
“False Christianity accepted by true Christians is one of the most heinous sins imaginable.” and I totally agree as many are claiming that something is of God when it clearly isn’t. Biblical lethargy on the part of many believers has played a crucial part in ensuring that false teaching in many Christian circles have not only been accepted, but also reinvented, repackaged and marketed as “The New Move of God.” “God is doing a new thing on the earth” is the call, but what’s happened to the old thing?
The “old thing” that many have chosen to negate in the scriptures and instead have embraced the extra biblical “new things” that evidently do not appear in the scriptures?

If we believe the scriptures to be the truth (John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 3:16) then we must be guided by them and them alone at all times (Sola Scriptura- The Scriptures Alone)

The Psalms declare; 5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the daylong.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
We are instructed by the Apostle Paul “not to go beyond what is written”
1 Corinthians 4:6 and that we must “search the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11

Morris Cerullo professes to be a “prophet of God” therefore it is imperative
for believers to search the scriptures in order to substantiate the
words that are spoken from a “prophet”. Its a simple test really but one that many in the Charismatic Christian world seem to be failing to do.
If Morris’ words are from God then they should be in the bible for all
to see as confirmation. The word “prophet” comes from two Greek words pro meaning “before,” or “in place of” and fayme meaning “to speak.” If anyone claims to speak for God then there is no room for error as His words are 100% infallible.

The purpose of this article is not aimed at trying to de-fame
Cerullo’s name as I have no personal or hidden agenda against him. Neither it is an attempt to judge, belittle or attack those who support him as Cerullo has legions of devout followers who endorse his ministry, teachings and his every last word.
This article and my objectives are solely to address what the Christian world is currently calling biblical Christianity.
I will simply be examining what I witnessed and heard that night.
The article will look at some of the key statements made by Cerullo during
his fifty-minute talk and examining those statements against the scriptures.

The aim here is to encourage true believers to ensure that their focus and devotion be for biblical truth and not for any one leader.
As believers we are instructed to test all teaching “and hold close to that which is true.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
My words are not the final authority as I am merely a humble servant of Christ diligently searching for the truth.

Thousands of Christians and non-believers attend “Mission To London”
over its four-day period, there are several keynote speakers for each
day from the US and the UK… The morning and afternoon sessions are
for those candidates who have registered for the teachings sessions
while the evening sessions are for all..

Morris Cerullo’s World Evangelism crusades have been coming to these
shores for 49 years and his “Mission To London” campaign has been
going since 1990’s. He has been ministering worldwide for nearly 65
years in total.
http://www.mcwe.com/about_mcwe.php

On paper his ministry credentials make pretty impressive reading.
I am not here to dispute many of the claims made on the site as a quick
search on google will show many other sides to Cerullo’s ministry and
career over the years.

The last time I attended a Cerullo crusade was in the early
1990’s and prior to that back in the 1970’s. Back then I had no choice as
my mother was an ardent follower of his ministry, as soon as she got
notification that he would be attending these shores plans were put
into place to ensure that she could attended the services for their
duration and all regular weekly activities were put on hold..

My father wasn’t a Christian and evidently the best place for me was
to be by my mother’s side rather than at home with my cigarette
smoking foul-mouthed father. I was therefore submitted to a week full
of being pulled backwards and forwards in protest to the crusades each
night.
Over the years I’ve watched my mother put a lot of time and effort and
let’s not forget money into supporting Morris Cerullo’s ministry and
listening to her claims that Cerullo was a true man of God.
As I have matured as a Christian and my pursuit for real biblical
truth (Sola Scriptura), a better understanding of what I believe and
why I evidently believe it, I’ve found that many of my beliefs in the
traditions of men have been gladly shattered and the veil removed from
my eyes (2 Cor 3:14) as they were not truth at all.. It’s been a long
road and I’ve grown along the way and have learned not to accept
anything now that is not based on Sola Scriptura…

I arrived at Earl’s Court 2 and was directed to the registration desk,
I ended up not going with my mother after all as she informed me that she had registered for the day session and would be there from 1pm.
At the desk I was asked to fill in a small registration slip with my name and address and was then given an entry ticket it, I’m gathering that Morris would like to extend his pastoral care to me also.
The young lady behind the desk said thank you and then
remarked “enjoy the show”, was this a prophetic word?
No!… God forbid..

Before I could enter the arena I had to walk through the strategically positioned merchandising section. I glimpsed several well-known book titles written by prominent authors and teachers of The Word Of Faith movement and decided to breeze through even more swiftly and made my way to the arena.

I entered the arena and took my seat. The praise and worship team
were singing, the worship was lively and energetic, the people around
me were engulfed in the sounds and the vibrant atmosphere as many seemed ready in their actions and anticipation to receive something from God tonight. This was emphasized by the rapturous applause and shouts when the worship leader proclaimed “are you ready to hear from the Lord tonight?”. To be quite honest I personally try not to get caught up in the emotional side of “praise & worship” these days as music in some environments can be used as a way of conditioning the emotions.
It is assumed “that we need to be “ushered” into His presence even though the scriptures say in Matthew 18:20 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” and if the Holy Spirit resides within us. (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 3:16 & Ephesians 1:13-14) Then why are people singing songs that repeatedly ask for Him to “fall down on them”??
Furthermore. It seem that this “presence” can only be sustained during the sermon by having music in the background? Or worse still the insensitive accentuated screeches of a Hammond organ emphasizing every last line of the preacher. Maybe it’s just me….?

A few more “praise and worship” songs, two songs from the Ruach Choir and it was now time for God’s prophet Morris Cerullo to bring the message.
A rather theatrical voice over introduction was backed by a highly dramatic musical accompaniment. The stage was now set for one of the longest serving prophets of our time to speak forth God’s words.
Cerullo walked apathetically to the podium from the rear entrance of the stage.
He stood with microphone in hand and then proceeded with his message.
There were several statements made by Cerullo, I have chosen to highlight a few of which I believe were his key statements.

Please note that Cerullo did not introduce the bible for approximately
45 minutes into his sermon so there were no initial texts or subject matter.
He quoted various stories from the scriptures but gave no reference text to where those stories were taken from. This would not have been very helpful for anyone who did not know the stories or scriptures,. He later stated,

“I’m not going to preach I’m just going to prophecy.”

This would explain Cerullo’s lack of structure and context to his sermon.
The fact that Cerullo chose not to start with a reading of any text goes clearly against what Paul instructed Timothy to do or anyone else who has been given the honour of delivery God’s word to a crowd of people.
Timothy 4:13”Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”

As a public speaker myself I allow at least five minutes to give a brief introduction, acquaint myself with the stage or platform, settle and compose myself and then finally commence in delivering the message.
Never in my entire time of teaching have I taken 45 minutes to even read one verse or failed to give information about the text that I am going to present.
This should have been an alarm call for what was going to follow, but sadly
his followers foresaw no problem with this.

Cerullo’s introductory statement was as follows..

“You can feel it in the streets of London that something is happening here..”

The crowd cheered and applauded in agreement to this statement.
This was one of several hyping the crowd statements that were randomly made by Cerullo throughout his talk. Were the unbelievers on your road or at your place of work all talking about “Mission To London” last week?
Did you see it on the news or in your local press?
Did the “mans dem on road” ponder putting a halt to their illicit activities and then decided that all roads led to Earls Court 2 last week as they felt that “something was happening there?” In all cases I think we can say No!
So how does Morris justify making this statement? He can’t.

To Be Continued…..

Courtesy of  Ask the Chaplain

2 Peter 2:1,”… but there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

What do you think it means to deny the Lord? Many would say that any person or group that doesn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God would be denying the Lord and that would be true enough. False religions like Islam and Hinduism would fall into this category. Most orthodox Christians would include the pseudo Christian cults like Jehovah’s Witness’, Mormons, and others of that ilk. And they would be correct but are these false teachers Peter is referring to here?

If you look closely you will see that Peter says these false teachers will be “among you”. Since he was writing to a group of born again, Spirit filled believers, we must conclude that he is not talking about the obvious false religions or even pseudo Christian cults. The false teachers he is speaking of will be found within the Body of Christ.

Now how do you suppose that false teachers will get away with denying the Lord among a group of believers?

The word denying as it is used here is the Greek word arneomai {ar-neh’-om-ahee}. It is the same word used in Titus 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him….” Used in these contexts, the word means to contradict.

So a teacher that contradicts the Lord is in fact denying Him. He may say that Jesus is Lord. He may speak right sounding words claiming to be born again and he may have the biggest Bible you’ve ever seen but if his works or teaching contradicts the words of Jesus he is denying Him.

For example, when Benny Hinn claimed in 1999 that Jesus would physically appear at one of his upcoming crusades, he was contradicting the specific words of the Lord Jesus.

Math 24:23 -26
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 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. Behold, I have told you before Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

By making the claim that Jesus would physically appear at one of his crusades Hinn contradicted (denied) the words of the Lord and proved himself to be a false prophet and false teacher according to 2 Peter 2:1.

The so called principle of seed faith giving was first popularized by Oral Roberts almost 50 years ago. It proved to be so profitable to him that he essentially based his entire ministry on it. As with any other profitable venture others soon followed. Today it is used by virtually every “Faith” preacher, the majority of Christian television networks, and almost all TV preachers in general. It has even found its way into many mainstream and denominational churches.

How does seed faith giving work. It is loosely based (very loosely as we will see) on the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Using the illustration of sowing seed, people are instructed that if they will give money to the church, the ministry, the TV network, the man of God, etc, God will multiply it back to them 30, 60, or 100 times more than they gave. In fact now days, about all you ever hear about is the 100 fold return. The 30 and 60 fold returns have pretty much been dropped altogether.

That’s a pretty good deal wouldn’t you say? Give God $1 and get back $100. Give God $100 and get back $10,000. Give God $10,000 and get back a cool million. And not only that, but you can also sow money and get back other things. Things like salvation for relatives, healing for incurable diseases, and deliverance from various demonic influences! That’s right; all you have to do is send your seed (meaning money) to the man of God!

Is this really what the parable of the sower is all about? What do you think? Let’s examine this important parable.

Luke 8:4-8 NASB
When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus explains the parable

Luke 8:11 NASB
Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.

Now right here anybody with even a minimal level of reading comprehension should be able to see that this parable has nothing to do with money. The seed is the word of God. Even a brand new baby Christian should be able to look at this and say “I don’t think these fellows are teaching this correctly”

Let’s continue with Jesus’ explanation

Luke 8:12-15 NASB
Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

This parable is about what happens when the word of God is sown or revealed in the heart of a person. It may be the most important parable Jesus taught. Why do I say that? Because Jesus said this:

Mark 4:13
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

Jesus is saying that if you don’t understand this parable you won’t understand any of the parables he taught. This is a foundational teaching!

By misapplying the parable of the sower, these false teachers do great damage to God’s people. First, by falsely claiming that God works like some kind of cosmic slot machine, but the real damage is in the fact that believers are robbed of the true meaning of this teaching.

The parable of the sower is at work every time God’s Word is revealed to you. In fact it is at work right now in many of you who are reading this.

I know that many of you will read this and say “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that my favorite preacher would preach a false message” You’ll reject what I’m saying. You’ll actually be rejecting the words of Jesus.

The devil has come already to steal this word from you.

Some of you will hear what I say and receive it gladly. “Glory to God” you’ll say, “preach it brother…. Hallelujah” But you won’t take the time to really meditate on this word. You won’t really apply it.

And then a testing will come, a test to see if you really believe, trust in, rely on, and adhere to what you claim to believe. Testing is because of the word sown in your heart. You’ll be challenged. God Himself will allow that challenge, that test.

Will you pass the test? Or will you revert back to your traditional thinking?

And of course some of you will hear and believe but you won’t give this word the proper place in your life. You’ll think about it for a while. You’ll decide that it’s right but then you’ll get on with your life. You’ll get busy with your job, your family, your daily responsibilities and it will recede further and further into the recesses of your heart until it has no real value to you.

A lot of people think that today’s “Prosperity” teaching only affects those in the ‘Word-Faith’ movement. But it’s effects are felt far more widely than that. Jesus said, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” and we find that this insidious teaching has infected large sections of the body of Christ in all kinds of ways. -Especially in America. One of the main reasons for this is because it has aligned itself so successfully with CHRISTIAN TELEVISION.

The fact is, Christian TV can be costly, so it helps to have lots of money. And the “Prosperity” teaching is a proven money-maker for preachers. It really gets people giving! And so these kinds of preachers thrive on television. But it sure is a sick kind of “Christianity” that is presented. And totally unscriptural, as we shall see.

The Prosperity gospel basically teaches that not only does Jesus want to take away your sins and heal your body, but He also wants you to be prosperous and even “rich”. -Not just ‘SPIRITUALLY’ rich, but actually blessed with all kinds of possessions, cars and houses, etc. Because, of course, any kind of poverty and suffering is a “curse”, and we know that Jesus came to set us free from the ‘curse’.

Now of course there is some truth in this. If there wasn’t, then this false teaching would never get off the ground.

But the Bible makes it very clear that Jesus’ followers can expect to SHARE IN HIS SUFFERINGS (Rom 8:17, Lk 14:27, etc). The Scriptures also speak again and again of Jesus’ affinity with the POOR and His opposition to those who are rich. In fact, the sheer weight of Scriptures on this subject is staggering. It is amazing to me that the Prosperity teachers can get away with the things that they say. Doesn’t anybody read their Bible any more?

The fact is, these people can find only ONE verse that mentions “Prosperity” in the whole New Testament (-and it is of dubious help, as we shall see). And there are dozens and dozens of verses in opposition! But which one do they choose to quote again and again? Here it is in the King James version (-which is the only translation that helps them in any way): “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2). Now, it is interesting to note what this word “prosper” really means in this verse. Renowned Greek scholar W.E. Vine says that it simply speaks of “the prosperity of physical and spiritual health.” So it’s not about MONEY at all!

And thus we find that in all the later translations, this meaning is made clear. For example, the NIV translation says: “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 2). Isn’t that interesting?

As I said, this is one of the ONLY VERSES that these Prosperity teachers quote in the entire New Testament. If they are honest, they will admit that most of the rest of the NT is squarely AGAINST THEM.

What I would encourage anyone to do, who wants to research this subject, is to get a Concordance and look up EVERY VERSE in the New Testament that contains these words: (1) Rich or Riches, (2) Money, (3) Poor, (4) Mammon (5) Possessions, (6) Treasure, (7) Sell or Sold, etc.

You will be absolutely amazed at how strong the NT Scriptures are on this subject. I did this exact search years ago, and was astonished at what I found.

When you look up the word ‘Rich’ you find Scriptures such as this: “Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation” (Lk 6:24) and “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Lk 18:24-25, NIV) and “People who want to GET RICH fall into temptation and a trap” (1 Tim 6:9) and “You rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you” (Ja 5:1). There are many more along similar lines. Go and look them up, and you will see!

We find that when Jesus was preaching kingdom principles he was very strong in this area. When the ‘Rich young man’ came to him, He told him: “SELL your possessions and give to the POOR, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mt 19:21, NIV). He also told his own disciples to “SELL your possessions and give to the POOR” (Lk 12:33).

In my recent article on “Tithing” we discussed the whole issue of ‘Giving’ in the New Testament. The fact is, there is no “law” telling Christians to give 10%. In fact, what the NT makes clear is that EVERYTHING we have literally belongs to God. Many people claim that “All I have is God’s” but they do not act like it! In the New Testament it is clear that it was EXPECTED for Christians to sell any spare possessions, land or houses, to give to their needy brothers and sisters – especially widows and orphans. They certainly weren’t giving their money to wealthy preachers on TV! And neither were they giving it to erect a new church building on the corner! (-Such things did not exist). They were giving from their HEART – and while some of it went to support the ministry, MOST of it clearly went to feed and clothe the POOR. (See Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:34-37).

Some people today want to go back to the Old Testament and use people like Solomon and Abraham as examples of RICH people to emulate. But what they fail to realize is that the Old Testament is a ‘type’ or a “SHADOW” of the New. (Col 2:16, Heb 10:1). The Old was a “physical” covenant, with a “physical” temple and rituals, etc. The “blessings” of God were also mostly PHYSICAL and material. But today we have a “spiritual” covenant – a “heart-based” covenant, with mostly SPIRITUAL blessings. That is why we should not seek Old Testament wealth today. -We live under a different covenant.

It is very obvious from the New Testament that there is NO SUCH THING as a ‘Prosperity’ gospel. In fact, it is the exact OPPOSITE. Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are POOR, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20). And James declared: “Has not God chosen those who are POOR in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (Ja 2:5, NIV). Jesus clearly stated that you “CANNOT serve God and Mammon” (Mt 6:24) and yet it is obvious that many Christians today are trying to serve BOTH. The ‘Prosperity’ teaching clearly encourages this. It is a very dangerous and harmful fallacy.

So does God want to bless His children or not? Of course He does! But He wants to bless us so that we can GIVE MORE AWAY – NOT so that we can hoard more luxuries to ourselves. How can it be right for some Christians to be wealthy and rolling in money and possessions, while just down the street there are Christians who barely have enough to eat? And what about our needy brothers and sisters overseas?

There is a prophecy about the coming move of God that one thing it will be built on is “Extravagant giving to the poor.” I truly believe this. I am convinced that it is something that is very high on God’s agenda.

“SEED-FAITH” GIVING

It is important that I make a few comments about the ‘Seed-Faith’ teaching here, because so many TV preachers use it to pressure people to give to their ministry. What it amounts to is a “Give-to-Get” doctrine that blatantly twists Scripture.

When a preacher says something like, “Sow a seed of $100 into my ministry today, and God will give you back 100-fold,” then they are operating out of this “Seed-Faith” doctrine. What they are really saying is, “Give to get”. The motivation for giving is not so much to bless that ministry, but to GET SOMETHING BACK from God. The motivation is all twisted. Do they really expect God to “bless” something so wrong-hearted?

But the TV preachers love this doctrine, because it enables them to gather huge sums of money. And surprisingly, studies have shown that it is the poor and needy who give most often to these TV preachers. Why is this? -Because these people often feel that only a financial “miracle” can save them. It is not uncommon for desperate Christians to give and give, well beyond their means, in the hope that God will rescue them. Some will even lose their homes. And the elderly and the sick often give sacrificially in the hope of some kind of improvement.

Many preachers are fully aware of the kind of people they are exploiting. How sick it all is. As Jesus said in Mt 23:14, ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses.? I shudder to think of the fate that awaits some of these preachers on Judgement Day.

Much of the reasoning behind this “Seed-Faith” teaching is a distortion of ‘Sowing and Reaping’, which is a biblical concept. But when it is distorted by preachers and sold as a means of “Giving to get” then it has gone well beyond the Scriptures. The purity of simply “giving from the heart” is lost and replaced with selfish motives. People give because the preacher “guarantees” they will get a ‘big return’ on their investment! The motivation is so wrong that it is no wonder that this doctrine has produced disastrous fruit in the church. It is one of the sickest things around.

So next time you hear a preacher using this kind of manipulation to get you to give him $100, make sure you rebuke the deception in the name of Jesus, and turn the television off!

We would all be far better off giving to the poor.

I have already expressed my disdain for a lot of so-called Christian TV these days especially when it comes to the Praise Tel Beg Fleece-A-Thons. I have talked especialy how biblical numerology is abused to manipulate the minds. I for one will continue to talk about these things that a lot of Christians want to sweep underneath the carpet at the expense of the poor and the desperate. These things are nothing more than a spiritual pyramid scheme where those at the bottom never really benefit but those at the top do. They add ‘testimonies’ on their website to show you that these principles ‘work’. They promote things such as prayer shawls and prosperity shawls but funny enough, these things never seem to work when they need money themselves, so who do they come to? The same gullible christians. J Lee Grady who also wrote the article, Say Goodbye to the Untouchable Preachers, exposes some of the gimmicks that are used.

Let’s stop the hypnotism, the guilt manipulation and the high-pressure gimmicks. It’s time to reclaim our lost credibility.

Normally I’d rather go to the dentist for a root canal than watch a telethon. But while channel surfing a few nights ago I tuned into PBS and discovered that Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, was hosting a fundraiser for the network. Seated at a piano, she was offering a 5-CD collection of classic rhythm and blues hits in exchange for a donation to public television.

It was simple. There were no gimmicks, no games and no strings attached in Aretha’s offer. If you gave the suggested gift, she explained, PBS would mail you a big slice of American pop culture—including songs by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops, Al Green and Aretha herself, singing her classic “Respect.”

My respect for PBS was still intact when the telethon ended, thanks to this low-key, no-pressure approach to fundraising. I can’t say that for some Christian networks, which have shamelessly extorted money from viewers over the years using heavy-handed guilt manipulation, hypnotic control and bizarre Scripture-twisting.

During the PBS telethon I wondered why Christian networks couldn’t simply offer music, books or other premiums instead of resorting to the typical arm-twisting and tear-jerking that we’ve come to expect. We need an overhaul in this area. Somebody needs to lead the way in pioneering a new style of on-air fundraising that doesn’t treat people like brainless zombies.

Here are five of my least favorite fundraising tactics. I wish all of them could be banned from the airwaves.

Gimmick #1: The magic Bible verse. You know the drill. The evangelist quotes Psalm 37:37 and then announces that if you will send $37.37 (“No more, no less!”) God will unleash all the blessings of King David upon you. (Hint: The phones seem to ring more frequently when the number seven is included in the Bible reference.)

Gimmick #2: The urgent, time-is-running-out plea. Before the preacher asks you to reach for your wallet, dramatic music is piped in. Then “Reverend Cheatem” talks about how the crippled man waited by the pool of Siloam, hoping that the angel would trouble the waters so he could be healed. “God is troubling the waters right now, my dear friend,” the preacher says with his eyes closed. “Go to the phones now, before it is too late. Only those who give in this holy, anointed moment will receive a supernatural blessing in return.”

Gimmick #3: The memorialized gift. One popular evangelist announced on-air that she needed thousands of dollars to build a prayer room. She promised that those who funded this noble effort would receive recognition with special brass nameplates that would be mounted on the wall of the facility. The implication was that people could buy prayer coverage, sort of like a spiritual insurance policy. (I’m not surprised—since this woman offered her loyal followers the status of “spiritual son” or “spiritual daughter” if they paid a $1,000 annual fee.)

Gimmick #4: The debt-breaking anointing. One preacher who specializes in telethons has raised millions by telling audiences that they are just one donation away from eliminating all red ink. All they have to do is give a sacrificial gift (usually four figures) to the TV network in the next few minutes. If they do this, God will wipe out their debts, no questions asked. No lifestyle changes necessary. (This technique was especially popular before the mortgage crisis.)

See how many times you hear the buzz word ‘anointing’ in the video below

Gimmick #5: The Day of Atonement offering. This particularly odd strategy has been popular in the last couple of years, especially among gullible Christians who believe God blesses anything and everything that has the word “Israel” attached to it. The preacher announces that if you write a check to their network, and wave it in the air before you mail it (preferably while wearing a Jewish prayer shawl), God will forgive your sins, restore your health, bring back your wayward children, provide angelic protection and bless you with more than a dozen other special favors.

I still don’t know what is more outrageous: That programmers allow such insanity on Christian television, or that gullible Christians fall for it year after year. Hopefully, emerging leaders in the religious broadcasting industry will restore our lost credibility by insisting on integrity, authenticity and good taste.