By prof. J. S. Malan, University of the North, South Africa, and
Ms. Louisa Coetzee, Cape Town, South Africa
Summary: The “Transformations Revival” as championed by George Otis and Peter Wagner is a dispensationally ill-conceived attempt to uproot the kingdom of darkness and visibly establish the kingdom of God on earth.
A false revival based on Peter Wagner and George Otis’ concepts of spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare also practiced in mass rallies on stadiums, has already been established in South Africa. The video, Transformations, by George Otis, has been widely distributed, recommended and showed throughout South Africa to introduce people to this strange kind of spiritual warfare techniques used by ecumenists and reconstructionists.
The seduction of Christianity is often very subtle and various Christian principles are targeted. The devil has already succeeded to infiltrate evangelical and charismatic Christendom through seduction to follow after a counterfeit revival. He follows the well-proved methods against which Paul warned Christians in the first century:
"For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 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 Cor.11:2-4).
Jesus is still preached by these new spiritual leaders, but the message of the Cross is not central to their preaching. Through a reinterpretation of the meaning and significance of the Cross, Jesus is changed into another Jesus. The heart of the gospel message is twisted that the emphasis on sin and the inherent sinful nature of man is shifted to the sin of the community, the city, or nations that are ruled by Satan. The solution to this problem is not personal regeneration but spiritual warfare enforced by a united, ecumenical Christendom against the kingdom of Satan. It is evident that another spirit is manifested during such meetings. It is the spirit of the “angel of light”, who gives new revelations and new interpretations of the Bible, resulting in a new concept of revival. It is the spirit of unity at all cost. This spirit operates in the sphere of feeling, especially during mass rallies where emotions are stirred and a warm, corporate feeling of love binds all people together. These experiences do not depend on any revelation of Scripture. People are not convicted of personal sin and unrighteousness, but the blame for all the problems that exist is rather shifted to communal sins and to the devil and his hierarchy of demons who are viewed as the instigators of every wrong act.
The following six methods or steps are followed in this counterfeit revival:
A new vision for revival as a solution to all the problems of the country and the world originates from one or more key persons. Drastical Christian reforms in the community are necessary to achieve this revival. “New revelations” from God to high profile spiritual leaders, or self appointed prophets, accompany this new vision. They see themselves as God’s anointed to bring about the desired transformation and to take command with great authority, tolerating no opposition or exhortation.
Unity is essential and must be achieved amongst all believers in their town, city or community. All divisions, differences and condemnations must be laid aside. The doctrinal basis for their unity is so accommodating, that evangelical Christians, charismatics, Zionists and Catholics feel themselves all at home. Ecumenical mass meetings and prayer marches are demonstrations of their unity.
A practice of pinpointing the most important methods that Satan can use to obtain power over other people, e.g. unbelief, superstition, sorcery, ancestor worship, gambling, abortion, crime, drunkenness, drug smuggling, murder and war sites, etc. By means of spiritual mapping, trouble points are marked on a map (often with pins) and demons or demonic strongholds may be identified and targeted through spiritual warfare for attack.
The breakdown of demonic strongholds is practiced with the new method of “strategic spiritual warfare”. During prayer meetings the demons are rebuked, bound and cast out in the Name of Jesus. Gatekeepers are appointed to guard the entrances to the city, in order that the exorcised demons may not return. The city is claimed for Jesus, and the demons may not re-enter to mislead people.
The quick expansion of Christianity will occur as soon as the strongholds and power of Satan are broken. There will then be no more inhibiting factors, spiritual deception or stumbling blocks preventing people from joining churches in large numbers and serve the Lord. Christians will also be appointed into key posts, e.g. in municipalities or government departments with local offices. In this way Christianity will thrive and functioning under ideal conditions.
The transformation or reconstruction of the whole community will realize in the political, social educational and economic areas. Prosperity, stability and freedom of crime will prevail and all will be able to live in peace and harmony. The subversive power of darkness will be broken and the children of God will reclaim the power and dominion that the Lord gave to Adam and was lost during the Fall.
The movement that strives for this “revival” is getting enormous momentum – also in South Africa. To better understand the movement's principles and approaches a closer look should be taken of at least two of its leaders, and also to the Transformations video that is used to mislead many people into applying the above methods.
Peter Wagner is the Head of Global Harvest Ministries with their office in the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, USA. He is the leading person in the new movement for Strategic Spiritual Warfare. Wagner defined three levels of spiritual warfare:
1. Ground Level: Person-to-person, praying for each other's personal needs.
2. Occult Level: deals with demonic forces released through activities related to Satanism, witchcraft, astrology and many other forms of structured occultism.
3. Strategic-Level or Cosmic-Level: To bind and bring down spiritual principalities and powers that rule over governments.
Wagner makes a lot of point 3 above. He says that the Satan sends senior demons from of the hierarchy of evil spirits to control countries, regions, tribes, communities, residential areas and social networks in the world. Their main aim is to prevent the glorifying of God in their areas. They appoint demons of a lower rank to strengthen them in their attacks.
This false teaching originates from the sect The Manifest Sons of God. One of their apostles, Francis Frangipane, said: “There are satanic strongholds over countries and communities; there are strongholds which influence churches and individuals.... These fortresses exist in the thought patterns and ideas that govern individuals... as well as communities and nations. Before victory can be claimed, these strongholds must be pulled down, and Satan's armor removed. Then the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit can effectively plunder Satan's house.” The Latter Rain also holds this viewpoint.
Wagner moved through a certain course of compromise and decline to get to his present theological position. He was born in 1930 and began his career as a conservative Christian. In 1970 he joined ranks with Fuller Seminarium where he became professor of World Missions. In 1974 he became a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation.
During 1980, Wagner met John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Movement. The Vineyard church became notorious for manifestations such as slain in the spirit, laughing in the spirit, etc., known also as the Toronto Blessing. Wagner was won over to the signs and wonders theology and its resulting charismatic revivals. He coined the term “third wave”. Wagner says, "The first wave was the Pentecostal movement, the second, the Charismatics, and now the Third Wave is joining them." The Third Wave are those conservative evangelicals now following after the signs and wonders movement.
Since then Wagner moved steadily in the direction of the Latter Rain and Manifested Sons of God theology as a result of his contact with ‘prophets’ like Paul Cain, Bill Hamon and Rick Joyner. He also made close contact with leaders from the Toronto/Brownsville Revival. Wagner wrote the preface for a book by Bill Hamon, “Apostles, prophets and the Coming Moves of God: God’s End-Time Plans for His Church and Planet Earth.”
Wagner is a leading person in the movement he himself describes as the “Post-Denminational Church” of the 21st century. Theological differences will fade and become obsolete as Christians become part of the new signs and wonders oriented apostolic reformation – the so-called New Apostolic Reformation. Prophets will receive divine visions concerning the body of Christ, which they will reveal to the Apostles. The Apostles will then pass the information to the pastors, teachers and evangelists who will proclaim the message to the world. This hierargy will be God’s representatives on earth. No opposition against this divine institution from God will be tolerated. [This sounds a lot like Roman Catholicism!]
George Otis is president and founder of the research group the Sentinel, In Seattle. He also heads the AD 2000 United Prayer Track's Spiritual Mapping Division. He was responsible for the production of the video Transformations and wrote, amongst many other books, Informed Intercession: Transforming your Community through Spiritual Mapping and Strategic Prayer. He visits cities worldwide and help pastors to gather information on the spiritual history and dynamics of their cities. They gather detailed information on the status of Christianity, prevailing “social bondages,” any historical events that caused trauma, religions and philosophies that oppose Christianity, etc. Mass gatherings, prayer watches and prayer marches are arranged to pray strategic prayers against the strongholds of the enemy. When the powers of darkness are broken over the city, the spiritual genes (DNA) of the community are changed and revival can occur. Times of prosperity, growth and abundance will now follow.
There is something drastically wrong with the theology of George Otis, especially with reference to his view on Christ's work of atonement. In lectures given to YWAM in Tacoma on Moral Government Theology, he made the following statements in this regard:
· “God has positionally sanctified you and that you're standing in Christ is something that is different from your actual state… Christ has not redeemed us by giving His life as a ransom for our sins in order that He might release us. If we accept the premise that Jesus literally purchased… our salvation with his blood… and He paid the Father… then this approach, first of all portrays God the Father as being vindictive and blood-thirsty and totally incompatible with biblical forgiveness.”
· “Forgiveness… is the relaxation of a legitimate claim… it would be impossible for God to have, as one hymn put it, "paid the debt and forgave me all my sins."
· “The essence of Christ's Atonement existed in His obedience to the moral law on behalf of sinners. Christ obeyed during his life the moral law for us and that's really the essence of the Atonement.”
· “Christ has not redeemed us by giving His life as a ransom for our sins in order that He might release us. God never kept man captive in sin. The truth is Christ paid no man’s debt.”
· “If we accept the premise that Jesus literally purchased our salvation with His blood… and He paid the Father… then this approach portrays God the Father as being vindictive and blood-thirsty and totally incompatible with biblical forgiveness. It also presents another grave difficulty. If Jesus literally paid for our sins with His blood, and paid a debt that is no longer a debt, and He died for the sins of the whole world, then we [and the theological world] can only come to one conclusion, namely Universalism, which means that everybody will be saved.”
· “The power of the cross, today, does not lie in some vague, abstract, ethereal cosmic transaction but rather in the literal subduing of the human heart. Let's reverse things and let's tell the Lord Jesus that when He comes to us, when He comes to his own, that we will receive Him, that we will take Him down off that cross.”
It is quite evident that George Otis repeatedly, totally and emphatically renounced the basic elements of the doctrine of salvation in Jesus Christ, namely Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross for the remittance of our sins. In books that he wrote since the lectures were given, these fallacies are reconfirmed.
Sin, to him, is to be in demonic bondage or deception without reference to the effect of an inherent sinful nature. As solution to this spiritual bondage and deception, demons and their strongholds in a certain area must be identified, confronted in spiritual warfare, and dispelled from the area. As a result, people will seek the Lord and a great revival will occur.
The essence of Otis’ ministry is the spiritual mapping and warfare needed in the process of deliverance. As proof of for the feasibility and enormous success of this approach, he and his Sentinel Group produced the Transformations video, which is also widely distributed and shown in South Africa.
The transformations video was produced by the Sentinel Group of George Otis. Peter Wagner, head of Global Harvest Ministries, is also a major role-player in the spiritual warfare movement (SWM) who promotes and teaches the techniques of spiritual warfare to thousands upon thousands people throughout the world. George Otis is the presenter of the Transformations video in which four communities are portrayed that were allegedly radically transformed through revivals brought about by the kind of spiritual warfare of the SWM.
In the video it is said that in each of these four communities strategic spiritual warfare was done prior to the revival. The results were big revivals and a total cultural transformation of the whole community. Since the release of the video various groups conducted research in these areas to verify the claims that were made. They found many of the claims exaggerated and often false. One of the best sources thus far concerning the accuracy of the claims, is Tom Smith’s home page in which he reports as follows:
Claim: Drug cartels were defeated. For years, Colombia was the world's largest Cocaine exporter (unstated implication is that this has changed). Cults have decreased. Cali is a "safe" city, where a significant percentage of the population is now safe and revival flourishes. Instead of a city where people lived in fear, people now safely walk the streets.
Reality: Six of the cartel leaders were jailed. The drug cartel reorganized, with two of the original leaders still operating from of Cali, one commanding his operation from prison. Other leaders of the drug cartel set up operations just outside Cali and in other parts of Colombia, and due to this de-centralization, the organization is more resilient. The rebels (who protect the drug trade) are still attacking churches in Cali, shutting down many. The church recently wanted to hold a pastors' meeting in the local auditorium, but the police initially resisted the application because the risk of guerilla attack was too high. The Ekklesia newsletter carries a report in which they say: "FARC guerrillas also may view evangelicals as allies of the United States. The rebel group has closed churches, imposed a 6 p.m. curfew on services where it allows churches to meet, and banned public religious activity in a territory under its control, Esquivia said. The ELN, another rebel group, invaded a Catholic church in Cali and kidnapped 140 members two months ago" New reports are still continually received. This can be verified on www.cnn.com, search for Cali, Colombia. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/traffickers/Colombia.htm and http://www.emergency.com/calipres.htm
Quotes from the US Drug Enforcement Agency: "Colombia-based drug traffickers are responsible for most of the world's cocaine production and wholesale cocaine distribution, although traffickers from Mexico have assumed a much larger role in the transportation and distribution of cocaine. Colombia's strategic location makes it a logical hub for cocaine trafficking…. Traffickers from Colombia have been able to solidify and expand their position in the U.S. heroin market by distributing high-quality heroin and by initially undercutting the price of their competitors. They also use marketing strategies, such as including free samples of heroin in cocaine shipments, in order to build a clientele. Trafficking groups operating in New York and Philadelphia even market their drug using brand names - like No Way Out and Death Wish - as a way to instill customer recognition and loyalty. These marketing techniques have allowed the traffickers from Colombia to expand and ultimately dominate the heroin market. In fact, the DEA's Heroin Signature Program, which determines the origin of the heroin sold on the street, found that 65 percent (356 kilograms) of the heroin seized in the United States in 1998 was produced in Colombia." http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/traffickers/Colombia.htm
Satanists are invading churches to shut them down. A quote from the newsletter of Ekklesia says: "Satanic groups are attacking churches and Christians, especially in Cali. Some churches have suffered repeated attacks, said Consuelo Zuluaga, a social worker of Justapaz." http://www.bijbelnet.org/landen/colombia.html
According to the newsletters of Ruth Ruibal, the widow of the assassinated pastor Julio Ruibal (who is mentioned in the film), the situation in Cali is "a gross darkness", a city where her church must hire armed guards and where the church must be protected by barbed wire (soon to be replaced by a 10-12 foot wall if permission is granted). Recently at another church in the city, a church bodyguard was killed when the church was attacked by guerillas protecting the drug trade. A quote from the October 1999 newsletter from Ruth Ruibal: "The church in Cali confirms the news that we receive through the media in the USA. Naturally speaking the political and economical situations seem to be going from bad to worse. In fact, the Sunday before I left for this trip, there was guerrilla infiltration in our church service." The newsletter of Ekklesia, denomination for Ruibal's church, confirms how bad the situation is. The assassin of Julio is free, and openly claiming to have killed Julio. He owns the land next to the church and is threatening to kill other family members. A quote from the Dec. 1999 newsletter written by Ruth Ruibal: "On the other hand, some days ago the man who continues to threaten us (and boasts in the street about killing Julio) started a new construction right next to our property. In the past he has tried to take over our land. Our simple barbed wire fencing had been knocked down, so we began to replace it. Immediately, the man began threatening the workers and several of our churchmen, shouting that he would “give us problems” with 50 hit men that he claims to have. He asked if we wanted there to be another death, and added that he will get the property (the entrance to our church) and block it. We have had to hire guards just to get the work done!"
Claim: 92% percent of the people are Christian. Large vegetables, increased production of 1000% over past 20 years. Researchers from all over the world are coming to study the produce, but the film doesn't state the reasons for their research and the nature of their findings.
Reality: A spiritual revival occurs in this place. According to an article written by Stephen Sywulka (in Guatemala City) for Christianity Today, the figure of the people involved is exaggerated, and is more likely 65%. In many cases the change is only "skin deep", with former witchdoctors now calling themselves "prophets" but they are doing much the same thing as before.
The war in Guatemala brought agriculture to a near standstill with fields being burned, people disappearing, and farmers being killed. The war, which lasted for 36 years, ended only in the early to mid-1990s and was therefore at its peak 20 years ago. Though we cannot say that this happened specifically to the Almolomga fields, the information that we have was that agriculture across all of Guatemala was impacted by the war. It is thus no wonder that if we compare the agriculture production over that period of time, it would have significantly increased. Secondly, the crops in Almolonga are notable in the health community, not for their size, but for the health problems that were caused by the excessive use of pesticides. This would have the effect of increasing the quantity and size of the produce, but with side effects. Third, the size of the produce depends upon many things, including the variety of seed used, and improved agriculture practices over the years. The film itself states that the agricultural output improved as the people worked harder. None of what they showed required anything supernatural. As one can see just from a quick search on Internet, researchers around the world are coming to Almolonga to study the health problems, which have resulted from the abuse of pesticides used to create bumper crops.
Claim: People are flocking from Nairobi to live in Kiambu. A revival of Christianity has broken out across the city from "The Prayer Cave."
Reality: A missionary with African Inland Missions (AIM) who returned to Canada in March says that she has not heard of any people flocking to Kiambu because they want to live there.
The Prayer Cave is a "Word of Faith" church, under the ministry of Rudi and Sharon Swanepoel. They do not teach Biblical Christian doctrine, but rather Word-Faith doctrine. On their website Swanepoel indicates that they were impacted by the ministries of preachers such as Rodney Howard Browne and his brother Gil. Rudi is an ordained minister of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. As can be seen in the film, they do support "drunkenness in the spirit" which is a sign related to the "Intoxicating Jesus" (who is not the Jesus of the Scriptures).
Claim: Once 9 metaphetamine labs operated out of the area and most have been shut down. A 75% decrease in drug trade. Unity amongst the churches; Most cults have left town; decrease in crime, church attendance increase to 14% of the population (it doubled in 10 years). The crime rate is significantly lower.
Reality: In 1998, 20 of the 52 labs in the region were large-scale operations that could cook more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine in a day or two, according to state drug-lab statistics. Some labs make more than 100 pounds at a time. As the Central Valley methamphetamine problem grows, agents use new techniques to catch traffickers who change their operations to avoid detection, Pennal said. Investigators follow trails from the clues left behind when meth makers dump lab waste. Now, Pennal is organizing an expanded team funded with federal money received when the region was designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The money will add six agents to fight meth in the Central Valley. Agents will have resources to do more than just react to labs, Pennal said. "We're going to be able to conduct a lot of follow-up to dismantle these organizations," he said (Published 1/23/2000).
Neither the churches contacted nor the authors of an article on the drug trade in S. California were aware of any such drop. Quote from one of the authors of the series on the drug trade in this area when he replied to my email: "I have not heard of the group or anyone in that area, including the police, talking about such a mind-boggling drop in drug use." Quote from an email from a church in Hemet: "I do know there are many methamphetamine labs throughout our two-county area." Newspaper stories on that situation can be found at http://www.inlandempireonline.com/meth" (See article "Inland Drug Empire"). A police contact in Hemet said: "I don't know how they can measure a drop in the drug trade when the criteria for the measurement is not familiar to us. This is a new claim to me."
I checked with a couple of churches in Hemet. One had not heard of any of the claims nor could they support the truth of any of the claims (including increased church attendance, drug use down, 1st street gang members saved, etc). They referred me to a newspaper article on the drug production and use in their area of S. California. The second church said that they had not seen the film but that God had promised to bring revival to the San Jacinto Valley. They did not confirm any of the claims and that wording appears to suggest that they are not aware of any "revival" in Hemet.
Police comment - "Like most cities in our nation, yes, the crime rate is measurably down."
The campaign to promote this kind of spiritual revivals continues and escalates. In many cities of the world prayer marches and ecumenical rallies in big stadiums demonstrate the unity of the deceived people. These rallies cost a lot of money while the real value of its achievements can be questioned. In their book March for Jesus, Kendrick, Coates, Forster and Green says:
"Each summer millions of Christians in 200 countries take to the streets worldwide for the annual March for Jesus. This includes tens of thousands of cross‑denominational church members. In Britain alone churches in over 40 cities will take part in their local March for Jesus (MFJ). Yet, for all of the visible witness and camaraderie of so many professing Christians 'taking the walls off the church' and happily walking the highways and byways of the land 'for Jesus' each year, there is still contention among Christians about the very nature and ethos of the March for Jesus itself."
People probed for the reasons for their participation in the March, could not give satisfactory answers. Many say, “I do it for Jesus.” Others see it as an opportunity to witness or evangelise. But it is not that which is on the agenda of the organizers of the marches. The problem that should alert any mature Christian about these marches, is the main aim of the organizers, namely to involve everyone in spiritual warfare. Christian Research Network says:
"By spiritual warfare the March's leaders mean direct spiritual warfare against geographical, 'territorial spirits' who, they maintain, reign over our cities. Secondly, if the detractors are right, then this kind of spiritual warfare is not only without biblical warrant but is specifically warned against in Scripture. This has real personal ramifications for every marcher. The chief stated objective of the March for Jesus is to change the spiritual atmosphere of the marched areas by claiming victory over the demons/evil spirits in that area. I am not aware of any statement or aim made by the MFJ leadership in Britain over recent years that has changed this central founding ethos.
"MFJ's co‑founder Graham Kendrick's says explicitly, '...direct evangelism has never been the primary purpose of the marches.' So then we are told that evangelism is incidental. The March for Jesus book, written by the MFJ's British co‑founders in 1992, clarifies the main reason for the March in a number of statements including, 'Our objectives were first and foremost spiritual. We wanted to see a change in the spiritual atmosphere over our country.'
"Surprisingly, the co‑founders of the March openly admit they do no know what they are doing when they are engaged in spiritual warfare. Nevertheless, they do it."
The Transformation Celebration held in Cape Town on the 21st of March 2001 in the Newlands stadium had similar motives. This is evident even from the name given to the gathering: Community Transformations Cape Town (CTCT), or the Cape Christian Celebration. This is also the objective of Michael Pierce’s Prayer Guide, God’s New Millenium for your City. About 50,000 people gathered in the Newlands stadium to claim the City of Cape Town for Jesus! But Cape Town’s community exist of people that ought to settle their relationship with God individually, not corporately. When one is born from above, the power of Satan is broken in your life. This is the Scriptural way. An ecumenical mass rally where emotions are stirred is not the ideal place where a repentant sinner can settle his case with God. The impact that such rallies have to change the spiritual climate of a city is also to be questioned.
An organization promoting the cause of this strange spiritual warfare in South Africa is NUPSA - Network For United Prayer in Southern Africa, with Dr. Bennie Mostert as chairman. He is a supporter of Peter Wagner’s spiritual warfare methods, promotes Wagner's books and is affiliated to Wagner’s World Prayer Centre. He also has great admiration for George Otis and his Transformations video.
NUPSA has also become involved with the teachings of the ministry of Cleansing Stream. This comprises the new approach of spiritual warfare, but predominantly on a personal level. The principles are the same – the blame for problems are shifted from an individual to the devil and his demons that must consequently be exorcised – even from Christians! Spiritual problems are therefore not traced back to the flesh (the old sinful nature) with its passions and desires, but transferred to the devil and his demons.
Cleansing Stream found its way from America to us. Among the leading people in this ministry is Jack Hayford and Dr. Scott Bauer from The Church on the Way, and Joy Dawson of YWAM. It is claimed that the Lord will clean his church with wonders of healing and deliverance that will destroy the works of the devil. The view of Cleansing Stream is that salvation is not enough to cleanse people from demonic bindings and that other steps are required for full deliverance. They base this theory on the threefold nature of man – spirit, soul and body. According to them, only your spirit is made free at salvation; consequently demons may still hide themselves in your soul or body. You are then in need of spiritual warfare for full deliverance. According to them, you may also inherit demonic bonds, or curses, from your ancestors.
Of course, people helped by this ministry give wonderful testimonies. This is however not a valid argument to justify their ministry biblically. There are people making the same claims with regard to the blessings allegedly received from participation in the Toronto phenomenon or the Alfa course. In 2 Thessalonians 2:11 we read: "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." That is indeed the case.
Lesson nr. 9 from Cleansing Stream teaches intercessory warfare. This includes the discovery and identification of demons with the aid of "power encounters and spiritual mapping techniques, followed by exorcising them from the people (including Christians), buildings, and even whole cities and nations." If this technique is so efficient, why does it need to be done repeatedly?
This ministry also promotes Word of Faith teachings by suggesting that there is power in our words: "Power is released through our tongue… every word that comes from my mouth is either a blessing or a curse." Under the heading "Words" they say:" We can learn how the mouth of the prophet [that's you] delivers him or herself." This is a self-redemption teaching.
NUPSA uses the error of Cleansing Stream for their approach to small groups. They are working on national strategies for the spiritual cleansing of the country and to organize worship-marches to neighbouring countries.
A lady from Cape Town, who knows about the non-biblical teachings and undecurrents in the NUPSA stratagems due to their association with Peter Wagner, George Otis and others, contacted Dr. Bennie Mostert via e-mail. (For more information you can contact her at <firstname.lastname@example.org>). Dr. Mostert must have had good intentions initially, but how was he caught up in these "new teachings" and non-biblical methods? Relevant, basic information concerning the teachings of Otis and Wagner was submitted to him, and he reacted as follows:
"I do in no way agree with the accusations against Wagner… As for Otis I will have to read the material again, but that George denies the power of the blood and the atonement of Christ, is not correct… My advice to you is to destroy this material and not to distribute it. For a while I tried to defend and explain, but the problems only increase. I now concentrate the little strength that I have to build and to motivate people to pray for our country. I assure you that the statements about Wagner and Otis are not true – irrespective of the number of websites people are quoting - Bennie."
It is unfortunately evident that Bennie accepts these two men blindly and that he also approves of their theology – and that in spite of the gross errors in their teachings. If a person does not want to accept a warning given with good intentions, then he simply does not want to be warned. It is necessary that the people of South Africa must be aware of his position because we are the target group for these new teachings!
The following commentary by Tom McMahon concerning our strife against evil, is very relevant:
The strongholds of the devil to be pulled down are not literal “territories ruled by demons,” but Satan’s lies, which captivate the minds (“every thought”) of the lost (2 Cor. 10:4-5); and can even deceive God’s “very elect” (Mt. 24:24). Scripture tells us clearly and simply how we are to deal with such strongholds: "…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31-32).
The Spiritual Warfare movement missed the mark with its unbiblical mission; its militantly aggressive strategy is also dangerously erroneous. The Scriptures determine the manner and mode of dealing with Satan:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7). Again, that’s just what Jesus did (Lk. 4:1-13). Over and over again the Word of God exhorts believers, not to power encounters with demons, but to steadfastness in the faith. Peter, who was no stranger to casting out demons, nevertheless wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith” (1 Pet 5:8-9).
We are not to negotiate with the devil or order him to leave our city or town. In cases of demonic activities we are to stand firm and pray to God that He will deliver us from the Evil One. Even the archangel Michael did not judge Satan in a confrontation, but said: "The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 1:9).
The question is whether the devil will hear us at all if we speak to him! Rev Denzel Dick of Pretoria says:
· Omnipresence and omniscience are characteristics of God – not demons! To bind the strong man of South Africa, or of towns, is to go beyond biblical prescripts. Doing this is giving unnecessary and undeserved attention to the devil. Since he is not omnipresent and omniscient, it is questionable that he will take note if he is being exhorted from a distance – even if it is in the spiritual realm.
· Sin gives place and influence to the devil. To bind the strongman of an area or to rebuke him whilst people are still hardening their harts and living in their old nature of sin, is clearly to go further than God has allowed us. We should rather pray for revival, for the conviction of sin and for the conversion of people in an area. For those reacting positively to the preaching of the Word, God will give deliverance from Satan's power.
As Christians, we have the Lord Jesus who is our Guide, the Word of God that is a light on the way and the Holy Spirit to lead us into all Truth. If we trust Him, He will have the eyes of your understanding enlightened, so that you will understand the mystery of His counsel. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). Do you know the liberating power of the Word of God? All iniquity and error will be revealed in the light of God's Word.
Do not allow yourself to be deceived by self-appointed spiritual leaders. People seek after money and power nowadays, and will sacrifice anything in the manner of Esau who sold his birthright for temporal gain. Led by the spirit of Antichrist, there is a movement today that aims to adulterate and structurally unify the church. As soon as the purpose of "Christian Ecumenism" has been achieved, they will also take hands with the false religions of the world.
All movements that participate in this dangerous unification process, for instance Promise Keepers, Alpha and others, must be rejected. The Signs and Wonders movement must likewise be rejected as a deception.