Unfair Caricature?

May 4, 2007

As I was reading through old comments on my blog, I saw that one poster said I took the most extreme examples of error on the fringes of the apostolic-prophetic movement and unfairly applied them to the whole movement. I want to respond to this charge.

First, I want to be clear that the apostolic-prophetic movement is a huge, worldwide movement made up of many different people and strands of thought. I don’t believe that all Christians who are part of this movement are equally in error.

I define the apostolic-prophetic movement as a charismatic Christian movement that is seeking to restore apostles and prophets in the church. Historically, Protestant Christians have believed that apostles and prophets who give new doctrinal revelation have ceased and that the Bible is our sole source of doctrine.

While the apostolic-prophetic movement is seeking to restore apostles and prophets to the church, not all people in this movement view modern “apostles” and “prophets” in the same way. Many believe that “apostles” are simply gifted, visionary leaders who have a strong, evangelistic calling to a specific geographical region or people group (like church planters) and that “prophets” simply have the New Testament gift of prophecy. My blog isn’t critiquing people who define “apostles” and “prophets” in this way (though I do think the terms can create confusion when not clarified).

C. Peter Wagner headshot But others in the apostolic-prophetic movement believe that “apostles” and “prophets” are giving new doctrinal revelation to the church (new teachings not found in the Bible) and that all Christians must submit to the “apostles” and “prophets” — in fact, the whole world must submit to them. A well-known supporter of these teachings is C. Peter Wagner (pictured here). He calls the apostolic-prophetic movement the “New Apostolic Reformation.” I may also start using this term to clarify which part of the movement my blog is critiquing — the part that shares Wagner’s unorthodox views of apostles and prophets.

Charisma Cover, May 2007 I’ve talked about Wagner in past posts, so I won’t go into much detail on him now other than to say that he’s a former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, he’s written many books on the New Apostolic Reformation, and he leads several influential organizations of “apostles” and “prophets” — including the “International Coalition of Apostles” (ICA’s Web site) and the “Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders” (see the ACPE’s “Word of the Lord for 2007”). Some of the well-known “apostles” and “prophets” in these organizations include Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, John Kelly, Dutch Sheets and Steve Shultz (founder of Elijah Rain magazine and the “Elijah List,” a Web site that e-mails prophecies daily to more than 130,000 subscribers). These people are becoming very influential in the U.S. charismatic movement and are regularly featured in Charisma magazine. See the current issue (pictured here), which has Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets shown on the cover.

My blog focuses mostly on Wagner’s circle of “apostles” and “prophets.” I realize that some people in the apostolic-prophetic movement are concerned about Wagner’s teachings and oppose them. But his teachings aren’t on the outer fringes of the movement — as the poster on my blog claimed. They represent a prominent and growing force within the movement.

King’s ‘Extremely Prophetic’ Directives for 2007

January 2, 2007

Patricia King headshot Patricia King — host of the television program “Extreme Prophetic with Patricia King” — just released her “Seven Prophetic Directives for 2007” through the Elijah List. Read the directives here. I want to point out that not one “prophecy” in the entire list predicts anything that doesn’t happen every year. So, how can King be considered a prophet?

Directive No. 1, for example, states that in 2007 God is looking for Christians who will invest their talents wisely and bear fruit for the kingdom. My response is: when isn’t God looking for this? He wants this from all Christians, in every year of church history.

Directive No. 2 predicts that there will be a lot of changes in 2007 — including political changes, people moving to new locations, getting new jobs, and switching their college majors. Again, these predictions are laughable. When don’t these things happen?

The funniest of her predictions for 2007 is that people will start finding change (coins) in unique places, like on the ground in front of them and in drawers. She says these finds will confirm her prediction of coming changes. So, now every time people find change, should they see it as a prophetic sign? King also predicts the appearances of butterflies and unusual weather patterns. Again, when don’t we see butterflies and unusual weather patterns?

Directive No. 4 predicts catastrophes and, in response to these catastrophes, Christians reaching out to the victims with compassion ministry and prayer. Again, which year hasn’t the world had catastrophes, and when haven’t Christians responded in compassion and prayer?

Directive No. 6 predicts that biblical teachings will be challenged. But some Christians will rise up to defend those teachings — facing persecution. I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but when hasn’t this happened? (Not to mention that King and her fellow “prophets” are challenging many biblical teachings with their teachings about apostles and prophets.)

These directives aren’t “extremely prophetic” — in fact, they’re not even slightly prophetic — despite the name of King’s ministry. Visit King’s Extreme Prophetic Web site here.

The ACPE’s ‘Fortune Cookie Prophecies’ for 2007

November 27, 2006

Fortune Cookie

On Nov. 1, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) released their “Word of the Lord for 2007” through the Elijah List. Each year, this group of 33 “prophets” meets to determine what God is saying to the Church for the new year. I want to point out some observations about this latest “Word.”

1. Note that the list of “prophets” in this council includes Steve Shultz, Chuck Pierce and Kim Clement — three people I’ve recently written about. Clement has a long list of false prophecies, and all three of them teach the unbiblical doctrines of the apostolic-prophetic movement (read past posts for more information). I plan to discuss the council’s other “prophets” in future posts.

C. Peter Wagner headshot
2. The council is headed by C. Peter Wagner (pictured here), perhaps the leading proponent of the apostolic-prophetic movement (he calls it the “New Apostolic Reformation”). Wagner teaches that all Christians must submit to the new apostles and prophets. Those who resist are motivated by a high-ranking demonic principality, according to Wagner. He also admits that this movement has the same teachings as the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s that was deemed heretical by most Christians. (See his books Churchquake! and Changing Church.)

3. The introduction to this “Word of the Lord” has lots of caveats — more than I’ve seen in previous years. Perhaps critics of the movement are having an effect. However, keep in mind a couple of things. First, many of these “prophets” teach that they have the office of prophet and, thus, have the same authority as prophets like Elijah and Jeremiah. So, although they seem to be downplaying their role here, they are elevating it in many of their books and other teaching materials. Also, notice that when you add up all the caveats, you’ll find that not one of the prophecies actually has to come to pass for the prophecies to be accurate, according to these “prophets.” (Read the introduction to see what I mean.) Furthermore, when you read all the prophecies, you’ll see that not one is specific enough to actually be proven true of false. They are so vague and nebulous that many things could be pointed to as their fulfillments. That’s why I call them “fortune cookie prophecies.” Consider prophecy No. 1, for example: “Finishing of a building cycle. Time for new building strategies to be released.” What does this mean? What would it look like if fulfilled? Anything could be made to fit this.

4. Notice prophecy No. 2: “Finishing of the five-fold ministry restored. Apostolic and Prophetic moving together.” The doctrine of “fivefold ministry” is the crux of the apostolic-prophetic movement. It’s based on Ephesians 4:11-13, which — according to the movement’s leaders — teaches that there are five ongoing, governmental offices in the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. They teach that apostles and prophets (the highest offices) have been missing since the first century, making the church ineffective. According to the ACPE, these two offices will finish being restored this year. Once all Christians submit to the new apostles and prophets, the church will have power like never before, according to the movement. (Note: Some Christians who believe in the doctrine of “fivefold ministry” don’t view apostles and prophets the same way as leaders in this movement do. They sometimes call missionaries and effective church leaders “apostles,” and they call people with the New Testament gift of prophecy “prophets.” I will talk about this more in future posts.)

5. Prophecy No. 6 has to do with the “transference of wealth.” According to leaders in the movement, God is going to transfer the world’s wealth from the wicked to the righteous (specifically, the apostles). The wealth will be redistributed under the guidance of the apostles. This will give the Church the resources it needs to establish God’s kingdom on earth. The problem is, this teaching has no basis in Scripture. It’s based on new revelation given by new “prophets,” like members of the ACPE. It’s also based on Scripture verses yanked out of context, like Isaiah 60:5 and 11, which speak of the time after Christ’s return.

Chuck Pierce headshot
6. Note, also, that the “prophets” tells us that 2007 is “The Year of the Clash of the Swords.” “Prophet” Chuck Pierce (pictured here) has prophesied that the Church is currently in a “seven-year war cycle” and that 2007 is the year of the sword. (I wrote about this two posts back.) Where did Pierce get this from? Certainly, not from the Bible. But the fact that the ACPE makes this a major portion of their “Word of the Lord for 2007” shows the weight they give to Pierce’s prophecies that have no biblical basis.

7. I think this warning is humorous: “Watch for the trap of fornication and adultery, and beware of seducing spirits.” Since when did we need a special word to warn us of the lure of sexual immorality? There’s a reason prostitution is called the world’s oldest profession. Of course, we should always beware of seducing spirits.

8. Whatever happened to all the prophecies made in the “Word of the Lord for 2006?” Read it here. I haven’t seen any follow up but, then again, those predictions also were vague, so almost anything could be made to fit them. There are lots of similarities with the “Word of the Lord for 2007,” like predictions of moves of God on university campuses.

These are just quick thoughts about the “Word.” Let me know yours.

Psychics, Prophets and Scripture Twisting

November 20, 2006

Voice of the Prophetic Magazine

I am continually distressed by “prophets” in the apostolic-prophetic movement who twist Scripture to support their teachings. Well, I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to Scripture twisting — until last Saturday, Nov. 18.

Voice of the Prophetic Magazine On this day, “Prophet” Steve Shultz — the publisher of the Elijah List (an e-mail newsletter) — sent out an advertisement for his new Voice of the Prophetic magazine (pictured above). Read the ad here. This ad contained a sample of the teachings you’ll receive if you subscribe to the magazine. The sample teaching, written by Shultz, is titled, “What’s the Difference Between a Prophet and a Psychic?”

Shultz’ 3 Tests for Prophets
Shultz’ answer is that there are three criteria for distinguishing a psychic from a true prophet of God.

1. A prophet claims the source for his or her prophecies is God, not some other power.
2. A prophet’s prophecies are “correct more times than they are incorrect.”
3. A prophet will seek to obey the Word of God at all times, while a psychic will not.

Criterion No. 1 is hardly helpful since many people — even non-Christians — claim the source of their prophecies is God. That doesn’t mean their prophecies really are from God. That’s why the Bible commands us to “test the spirits” to see whether a prophet is really speaking for God. 1 John 4:1

Criterion No. 3 also isn’t too helpful. What does it mean that a prophet seeks to obey the Word of God at all times? This seems rather vague and subjective. Certainly, this criterion should include the expectation that his or her teachings are faithful to the Word of God. Yet, Shultz never mentions the importance of comparing a “prophet’s” doctrines to the Bible — the most important test to apply to anyone who claims to represent God. In fact, 1 John 4:1, cited above, shows that the way we “test the spirits” that are speaking through a prophet is by evaluating the prophet’s teachings.

Blatant Scripture Twisting
Now, onto Criterion No. 2: The prophet’s prophecies are “most often accurate.” Amazingly, this criterion — which allows for failed prophecies — directly contradicts the Bible. The Bible tells us that if a prophet gives a false prophecy, then he or she is a false prophet. Yet, Shultz claims that a prophet will makes mistakes, but that doesn’t disqualify that person as a true prophet. To support this teaching, Shultz twists Scripture, quoting Deuteronomy 18:22:

“If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”

The standard interpretation of this verse throughout church history is that someone who gives a false prophecy is a false prophet. So, there is no need to fear this person’s prophecies because God did not send him or her. But here is Shultz’ interpretation of this passage:

“However, even if a true prophet misses it once in awhile, the Bible tells you not to be afraid of that person. Just because a person makes a mistake doesn’t mean he or she is a false prophet or a psychic. It only means they are still learning to hear accurately.”

Do you see what Shultz has done? He’s made the verse say the exact opposite of what it really says. He says not to be afraid that someone is a false prophet if he or she gets some prophecies wrong. That prophet simply needs to develop his or her prophetic abilities, according to Shultz.

What a bizarre interpretation of this verse! Read it in its larger context: Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Notice that, just two verses above the verse Shultz quotes in the very same passage, the Bible says that a person who gets prophecies wrong should be put to death. Shultz conveniently leaves out that part of the passage.

Elijah List Conference Part of me thinks that such blatant twisting Scripture has to be intentional, but perhaps Shultz is actually that deceived. Either way, God’s people should not be looking to him for teachings on the prophetic. But, sadly, some Christians are. Shultz will be a featured “prophet” at an Elijah List conference in Albany, Ore., Nov. 30-Dec. 2, titled “What is God Saying for 2007?” (Ad shown here)

I know some of my readers will think I’m attacking Shultz, but that’s not true. Keep in mind that he has attacked the teachings of historic, orthodox Christianity. I am simply defending the faith from his attacks.

Crucial Distinction
There’s an important point I need to make. A lot of confusion arises when it comes to issues of prophets and prophecy because many people don’t make a distinction between the office of prophet and the New Testament gift of prophecy. Some people claim that the Bible makes no such distinction. Yet, when we examine Scripture, this distinction emerges.

Office of Prophet
When it comes to Old Testament prophets — like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Elijah — we see that they had great authority to speak God’s exact, infallible words. To disobey them was to disobey God. For example, Old Testament prophets gave new teachings and moral commands that were authoritatively binding on all God’s people. Many of their prophecies were recorded in Scripture and, as such, are still binding on Christians today. They also gave commands to kings that, if disobeyed, brought disastrous judgments on nations. They were sought for divine guidance.

New Testament Gift of Prophecy
In contrast, Christians with the New Testament gift of prophecy are never seen giving prophecies that are authoritatively binding on all Christians. They never give new commands or doctrines that become Scripture. Far from this, their prophecies must be tested by Scripture. They don’t have the absolute, divine authority we see attached to the office of prophet. In fact, their prophecies can be questioned, challenged and, when false, rejected by other believers.

Also, notably, nowhere in the New Testament do we see a prophet being sought out for guidance. That’s because, in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon only specially chosen people. But, after Christ’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit now dwells within every believer — making the mediation of a special prophet unnecessary. The New Testament gift of prophecy doesn’t function to mediate or legislate, but to strengthen, comfort and encourage believers and to expose the sinful hearts of unbelievers so they will be convicted and receive salvation. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 14:24-25

Testing New Testament Prophecy
The difference between the office of prophet and the gift of prophecy also becomes apparent when we look at the tests for each. Those with the office of prophet must never give a failed prophecy. If they do, they are false prophets.

Those with the New Testament gift of prophecy, however, may make mistakes. This seems evident from 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, which teaches a church to test all prophetic words — holding onto the good ones and throwing out the bad ones. Note: This passage doesn’t say to throw out the Christian who gives a false prophecy (like the Old Testament says to kill a false prophet). It says to throw out the bad prophecy. The reason for this difference is simple: someone with the gift of prophecy doesn’t have great authority like someone who fills the office of prophet. This person isn’t claiming to be speaking God’s infallible words (or else his or her words would be equal to Scripture). Since the authority isn’t as great, the consequences of such mistakes aren’t as grave.

Theologian Wayne Grudem defines the gift of prophecy as: “speaking merely human words to report something God brings to mind.” Since these prophecies are filtered through human words and human interpretation, they are subject to error. This is a much-diminished role from those who fill the office of prophet and speak God’s very words. The gift of prophecy, however, is still a valuable gift that we should desire, according to Paul. 1 Corinthians 14:1

The Doublespeak of Shultz’ ‘Prophets’
Yet, Shultz (and many other leaders in the apostolic-prophetic movement) teach that the movement’s “prophets” have the office of prophet, the same as Elijah or Jeremiah. They claim that nations must obey their prophecies or face judgment. They claim they can give new doctrinal revelation and that all Christians must submit to them. These teachings can be found throughout their teachings and books. (See, for example, Bill Hamon’s book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God.)

Even though they claim all this for themselves, ironically — when it comes to the guidelines for testing those who hold this office — they turn around and claim those tests don’t apply to them. For instance, they claim that it’s OK if they get prophecies wrong — even though Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says they are false prophets and should be put to death. This is inconsistent. Shultz and his “prophets” can’t have it both ways. They can’t have the authority of the office without accepting the responsibility of the office.

I can’t address all the issues in depth here, as I would like to. These are complex issues, and we Christians need to think carefully about them. The apostle Paul warns us not to be “unaware” when it comes to spiritual gifts like prophecy because, if we are, then we can be misled into idolatry. 1 Corinthians 12:1-2 He also tells us to have maturity when thinking about these issues. 1 Corinthians 14:20 The nature of these gifts is supernatural and, because of that, they need to be practiced with much wisdom and discernment.

Yet, unfortunately many Christians haven’t thought carefully about these issues. And some leaders in the apostolic-prophetic movement are taking advantage of their lack of knowledge. I am afraid the result is that many Christians are being led into unbiblical teachings that, at the least, will stunt their walks with the Lord. At the worst, they might even be opening themselves up to demonic teachings and oppression — something I plan to discuss in future posts.

The Gift of Prophecy by Grudem For more understanding about prophecy and the role of prophets, I recommend Wayne Grudem’s book The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (pictured here).

Chuck Pierce’s ‘War Season’ and the ‘Year of the Sword’

November 13, 2006

Year of the Sword Graphic In my posts, I keep trying to show how much of the apostolic-prophetic movement is not based on the Bible. Instead, many of its teachings are based on prophecies that have no biblical basis and that even contradict the Bible.

Here’s another example of a current prophecy that is distracting Christians from the Bible.

Chuck Pierce headshot “Apostle” Chuck Pierce (pictured here) has prophesied that, in 2001 — when the terrorists attacked America — the Church entered a “Seven-Year War Season.” Using a Hebraic calendar, Pierce believes we are now in the sixth year of this war season (Hebraic year 5767) — the “Year That Swords Will Clash.” This will be a year when the Church will engage in spiritual warfare and exercise its authority, according to Pierce. For more information, see his Oct. 25 prophecy sent out by the Elijah List.

Other ‘War’ Years
Here is what Pierce has prophesied about the other years of the “war season”:

• Year 1 (starting Sept. 2001) was the “The Beginning of War — 7 Years of Breaking Old Cycles”
• Year 2 (starting Sept. 2002) was a “Sabbath Day Rest Year” (a year for increasing our faith)
• Year 3 (starting Sept. 2003) was “A Year of Secrets, Mysteries and Surprises”
• Year 4 (starting Sept. 2004) was “A Year to Circle, Surround and Plunder the Enemies Camp”
• Year 5 (starting Sept. 2005) was a “Year of Staking Your Claim for the Future”
• Year 6 (starting Oct. 2006) is the “Year That Swords Will Clash”
• Year 7 (yet to be announced by Pierce)

Read his explanations of each year here.

Not Biblical
The whole concept of a “seven-year war season” will sound odd to many Christians. Nowhere do we see Jesus or the original apostles teaching people that that the Church will continually go through different cycles. Yet — according to the apostolic-prophetic movement — the Church needs new “apostles” and “prophets” like Pierce to give supernatural insight into these cycles. Why? If the church knows the current cycles, then it can use the necessary strategies to defeat demonic forces and establish God’s kingdom on earth.

Embraced by Prominent Leaders
Pierce’s prophecy has been embraced by leaders in the apostolic-prophetic movement, who consider Pierce to be a very accurate prophet when it comes to revealing the times and seasons the Church is in. In fact, many of the movement’s leaders are actually scheduling their ministries around Pierce’s timetable. The Elijah List, for example, regularly features updates on the “war season,” and entire conferences have been held to teach Christians how to live during each year of the war season. See this conference held to prepare Christians for the fourth year, which featured speakers Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, John Eckhardt and Peter Wagner.

‘War Season’ Products

Lapel pin, war season Tent Peg, war season Costmary Anointing Oil Pierce has even sold products geared around the “war season,” including this $20-lapel pin, this $20-tent peg, and this $12 anointing oil, all designed to help Christians wage battle in the fifth year.

Pendant, year of the sword This $20-necklace pendant represents the current year of the sword.

The Future War of the Church Cover Art He also has written a book about this war season titled The Future War of the Church (pictured here). In this book, he argues that it’s crucial for all Christians to submit themselves to modern apostles.

Pierce’s “war season” is another example of how he, and other leaders in this movement, are causing Christians to turn their eyes away from the sure teachings of Scripture and, instead, pay attention to their vague, unbiblical and speculative prophecies.

Dream Cards and Psychic Healing

November 7, 2006

Dream Cards Back to magic charms. A few posts back, I wrote about the growing popularity of magic charms and spells in the apostolic-prophetic movement, like a property cleansing kit that’s supposed to rid your property of curses (still listed as a “top-selling product” on the Elijah List). Well, yesterday, the Elijah List sent another e-mail advertising another product that has more in common with the occult than biblical Christianity.

Barbie Breathitt Headshot Dream Cards. That’s right. For $10 a piece, you can buy cards that list the meanings of common dream symbols, like different types of animals, people and places (pictured above). If you buy all 12 cards, you can even get a discount: $96. Brought to you by Barbie Breathitt, of Breath of the Spirit Ministries, Inc. (pictured here). Dream interpretation has never been easier.

If the dream cards aren’t bad enough, it gets worse. One of the cards has a chart that lists areas of the body along with colors and musical notes that are supposed to bring healing to those areas.

What? Where is the biblical basis for this practice?

Ellie Crystal Headshot There isn’t a biblical basis. The Elijah List doesn’t even try to give one in its ad. But there is an occult and New Age basis. See, for example, this New York psychic’s Web site (pictured here), where she lists colors and the areas of the body they heal. Or see the Psychic Healing Room, which also talks about the healing power of colors and music.

Of course, we see throughout the Bible that God does give people dreams, and He gives His people the ability to interpret the meanings of those dreams. But where in the Bible do we see anything like dream cards? The people who interpret dreams in Scripture, like Daniel and Joseph, are given supernatural insight from God. They certainly don’t consult cards to find generic symbolic meanings. Can you imagine Daniel saying, “Just one second, King Nebuchadnezzar. You said a statue? Well, according to this chart here, a statue represents …”?

And we certainly don’t see Daniel or Joseph creating cards with dream interpretations and selling them. This reminds me of Tarot cards.

What we do see is that both Daniel and Joseph make it clear that the source of their interpretations is God. See Genesis 40:8, 41:16; Daniel 2:17-23, 27-28.

As far as healing colors and sounds: well, of course, music and colors can affect people’s moods. For example, music can be soothing, and a pastel-painted room (like a soft blue) might be a more relaxing environment than a brightly painted room (like red). But this is far different than claiming that a certain color or musical note can bring healing to a specific organ or body part.

Steve Shultz Headshot It’s not my goal to pick on professing Christians, but people like Steve Shultz (pictured here) — the founder and publisher of the Elijah List — need to be called to account for their shameful promotion of such products. I believe true prophets of God (which Shultz claims to be) would be appalled by these dream cards.

The Elijah List e-mails are so full of unbiblical (and often harmful) teachings that I’ve decided to add a separate category on my blog that will focus just on this ministry. See the bar on the right side of my blog for the new category called “Elijah List.”

Magic Charms and Spells

October 17, 2006

I’ve noticed a growing trend in the apostolic-prophetic movement toward magic charms and spells — objects and phrases that supposedly give those who use them supernatural power.

property-dedication-kit.jpg One example: On Oct. 1, the Elijah List sent an e-mail advertising a book, titled Portals to Cleansing by Henry Malone, to help Christians learn how to cleanse their houses and property from curses. Malone also sells a “Portals to Cleansing Property Dedication Kit” (pictured here). See the full ads.

The kit includes instructions, scriptures, anointing oil and stakes to drive into your property.

Steve Shultz, the publisher of the Elijah List, promises his readers: “Use it and make the enemy flee!” Shultz said he’s cleansed his own property three or four times, in the past six years, and each times he’s seen “a noticeable change in the atmosphere and circumstances.” Shultz added: “If you don’t believe those curses have power, you’d be hard-pressed to explain certain sicknesses, diseases, and even death that comes upon very anointed and pure-hearted people you know.”

Then, on Oct. 16, the Elijah List published a testimonial from a reader, named Tom Panich, who used the book to cleanse his property. Panich wrote:

Recently, I finished Dr. Henry Malone’s book, Portals to Cleansing. I actually used 3-foot, scripturally-endorsed stakes to stake our property. I utilized the scriptures found in the book, Protecting Your Home from Spiritual Darkness by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema. I also poured our “Third Heaven Vision” anointing oil over the top of the stakes. After I drove the first stake into the ground, I felt the Presence of the Lord come across the yard, hit me, and then I almost fell over. It really surprised me! These spiritual, prophetic acts actually have awesome and powerful effects. Try it.” Read the testimonial.

Third Heaven Vision Anointing Oil For the record, “Third Heaven Vision” anointing oil (pictured here) is another product advertised by the Elijah List, that, “coincidentally,” is sold by Tom Panich. Learn more about the oil. Panich claims it will give users visions of the Third Heaven.

It’s troubling that Christians are devolving to a magical worldview that has more in common with occultism than biblical Christianity. It’s equally troubling that people — like Steve Shultz, Tom Panich and Henry Malone — in the name of Christianity — are seeking to profit from these magic charms and spells.

Kim Clement, a Prophet?

October 9, 2006

Kim Clement One of the most troubling aspects of the apostolic-prophetic movement is its “prophets.”

Yesterday, the Elijah List (which sends out the movement’s prophecies, daily, to over 133,000 subscribers) sent out this prophecy from “prophet” Kim Clement. Read the prophecy here.

Every time the Elijah List sends out another prophecy from Clement (which is fairly often), I think “Gimmee a break!” How many more prophecies does this guy have to get wrong before he is considered a false prophet? And how many prophecies that directly contradict the Bible does he have to give? Many of his other prophecies are so vaguely worded that their “fulfillments” could apply to almost anything (like much of the one I linked to above). Read it, and see what I mean. Yet, Clement — like so many “prophets” in this movement — always finds some way to “explain away” his failed prophecies or to force “fulfillments” to fit them.

Let’s take a look at one of Clement’s failed prophecies. In Utica, New York, on Jan. 10, 2004 — and then two days later televised on TBN, Jan. 12, 2004 — Clement prophesied that Osama Bin Laden would be captured within 35 days and that, as a result, Easter 2004 would be one of the greatest Easters for America. He also prophesied that March 11, 2004, would mark the beginning of the end of terrorist activities. Read his prophecies here, from the Elijah List.

When 35 days passed and Bin Laden wasn’t captured, Steve Shultz, the publisher of the Elijah List, contacted Clement for a response. Shultz was pleased with Clement’s response, calling it a “very mature response” that should “both encourage and train” the Elijah List readers on how to discern prophecy. (It’s disturbing that Shultz was satisfied with Clement’s response. It shows that Shultz can’t properly discern prophecies.) Read Shultz’s comments and Clement’s response here. In short, Clement responded that he never said the 35-day time period would begin on Jan. 10 or Jan. 12 (although he, conveniently, waited until after the prophecy failed to come to pass to make this clarification). Then he suggested that Bin Laden’s capture would occur, instead, by March 11, 2004, or Easter 2004.

Well, March 11 came and went — and still no Bin Laden. But something significant did happen on March 11 — the Madrid bombing of four commuter trains in Spain, that killed 191 people and injured over 1,700. This attack was a major victory for terrorists — quite the opposite of Clement’s prophecy.

Then Easter passed and Bin Laden, of course, hadn’t been captured. Yet, Clement still defended his prophecy in another e-mail released by the Elijah list, saying that people, including himself, mistakenly interpreted God’s statement “bring out your greatest enemy,” to mean “capture.” Instead, he said, the prophecy should have been interpreted as saying that, during Easter, God would begin to expose something that would reveal Bin Laden’s hiding place. He said:

For a time, I too felt that over Easter we would see the capture of bin Laden, however, when I read the prophetic word that I had given, I understood that it meant “revealing his whereabouts,” and this would bring him out. This could be the beginning of the 35-day period.

“Prophet” Bob Jones also came to Clement’s defense, saying that the March 11 date had some kind of prophetic significance in “Heaven’s timetable” (whatever that means!) Read Jones’ and Clement’s defense of the failed prophecy here.

So, to review, Clement prophesied that Bin Laden would be captured in 35 days, and then changed the date of the capture to Easter, then — after Easter passed — he said Bin Laden’s whereabouts had started to be exposed and that he may be found in the 35 days following Easter. Yet, over two years later, Bin Laden remains in hiding.

This is just one example of a failed Clement prophecy. He also prophesied that a cure for AIDS would be found by 2002. I could go on and on. Do an Internet search to learn more of them.

Clement has also prophesied things that directly contradict Scripture. For example, when I heard him speak at Regency Christian Center International in Whittier, Calif., on Sept. 3, 2005, he prophesied that aborted babies were going to start to be reborn to other women. (The reincarnation of aborted babies, of course, goes against the Bible’s teaching.) Read the prophecy here.

And, in yesterday’s prophecy (which I linked to above), Clement quoted God telling Clement and his followers, “I want you to command Me” [in essence, command God to bless them]. This is a scary teaching. What in the world is Clement doing, telling Christians that they are supposed to boss God around? This teaching, of course, is not supported by Scripture.

Furthermore, Clement’s prophecies and teachings don’t point attention to Jesus or His gospel. Read through some of them yourself to see. At his meeting I attended in Whittier last September, Clement rarely mentioned Jesus’ name. But a major focus of his meeting was to urge the attendees to give finances and support to the modern prophets (which, of course, included himself) in order to receive rewards from God. Clement equated Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, with modern prophets, like himself (though, he didn’t advocate stoning modern “prophets” whose prophecies fail, as the Old Testament prophets would have been). He also kept shouting “the prophets are coming,” receiving cheers from the attendees.

The fact that the Elijah List keeps releasing prophecies from Clement — and other equally troubling “prophets” like Bob Jones (whom I will discuss more later) — shows that it disregards the biblical criteria for detecting false prophets. Yet, for some reason, the number of subscribers to the Elijah List keeps growing. (The Elijah List also recently started a magazine, called The Voice of the Prophetic.) I plan to follow the Elijah List’s prophecies in future posts.