IN THE NEWS
EXPOSING THE LIES
An event called “The Gathering” is taking place today, Sept. 21, at Gateway church near Dallas, Texas. Pastors and leaders will meet from 12-3 pm. Some of the sessions are as follows: Session 1 - Setting the Stage for a Solemn Assembly; Session 2 - Sharing a Vision for Corporate Repentance as Spiritual Leaders; Session 3 - Repentance Experience & Communion; Session 4 - A Call for Corporate Unity and Intentional Impact. Then, the evening event will last from 7-9 pm, featuring the following: A Call to Solemn Assembly; Session 1 - Focus on our Personal Lives; Session 2 - Focus on our Families; Session 3 - Focus on the Church; Session 4 - Focus on our Nation. The entire event will be simulcast to churches across the nation.
In order to understand the serious errors inherent in such an event the following points must be discussed: false unity; the false designation of America as Israel; and, the false belief in a great, end time revival.
Many are preaching a “unity-at-all-costs” gospel. Basically, God won’t hear us unless we are unified across all spectrums of the church world. At the about link of the website for “The Gathering” in big, bold letters we read: One Vision One Voice One Agenda. More clues to the goal of the event are found in the following statement on the main page of their website: “The Gathering has one purpose: to unite the Body of Christ in America – all believers, regardless of race, age, or denomination – in prayer for forgiveness, wisdom, and provision for our nation.”
So, let’s address this concept of uniting the Body of Christ. Philippians 1:27 says, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel .” True believers will have the same spirit, have the same mind, concerning “the faith of the gospel.” What is the essence of the gospel around which true believers will unite? 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Therefore, if an event or movement calls for unity, or prayer, or even repentance, but does not have Christ and His Finished Work at its center, it is not of God. The true gospel reconciles sinners to God through the atoning, mediating Work of the Cross. This is the gospel preached by Paul and this is the “faith of the gospel” around which Paul told the Philippians, and all Christians by extension, they should strive to unify. Any gathering, or event, that does not loudly and strongly preach this message, yet speaks of “unity,” is promoting a false and man-made unity that is unbiblical.
The ultimate goal of every so-called Christian event featuring unity is the establishment of the one-world religion. If the reader is unfamiliar with this term, it is described in Revelation 17:1–18 as “the great whore”. This religion will be in effect during the Tribulation. These scriptures give us several characteristics of it. Verse one says the “great whore who sits upon many waters.” The term whore or harlot is used symbolically to describe false religion many times in the Bible. Great whore refers to all the religions of the world that have ever been, which are devised by men as a substitute for Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Waters refers to the phrase “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” from verse 15 meaning that it will have universal authority, no doubt given by the Antichrist, who rules the world at that time. The alliances forged by the false religion will unite church and state as never before. And, what some people don’t seem to understand is that this unity won’t just magically appear one day. The groundwork will have been laid by events such as “The Gathering.”
To their own detriment people may feel they don’t have to worry about unity, or the one world religion, because they will be raptured before the actual establishment of the one world order. However, if a person is deceived to the point of unifying with groups that believe and preach another gospel, that person will lose his or her faith, and will not be raptured. So, researching and being aware of events which promote false unity is very important.
Sadly, many will be excited about this event because their favorite teacher/preacher is speaking and they will fail to research some of the false beliefs of the speakers. The reaction of many will be: “Oh, they said they’re going to lift up the name of Jesus, so it must be biblical.” However, Elijah made it very clear that we do not unite with false prophets when he told Israel in 1 Kings 18:21, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” True believers do not unite with just anyone who names the name of Jesus. This will be an event in which the blind are leading the blind, sad to say.
Here are a few of the speakers scheduled to appear:
Max Lucado – serves the people of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has been on staff since 1988. A proponent of contemplative prayer for years, he was part of the 2006 “Be Still” DVD project which promoted this unbiblical type of prayer and also featured Beth Moore. He is the author of 32 books, one of which is the Cure for the Common Life in which he quoted Richard Foster and Thomas Merton, well-known advocates of contemplative prayer, and Eugene Peterson, author of the Message “Bible.”
Rev. Ray Sutton - serves as Dean of the Province and Ecumenical Affairs of the Anglican Church in North America. He is rector of the Church of the Holy Communion in Dallas. In August 2010, the executive committee of the ACNA approved the creation of a task force on "Islam and interfaith engagement". Sutton met with Pope Benedict XVI, in Rome, in November of 2012, as just a couple of examples of the work with which he is involved. The interview at this site discusses Ray Sutton’s visit with Pope Benedict. The following statements reveal a completely ecumenical outlook on the part of Bishop Sutton. “As for what it means in the future, I think that of course Anglicans view the Roman Church as part of the faith, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Anglicanism has always been committed to trying to bring Christians together. We especially have a historically close relationship with the Roman Church in our own past. We want to seek ecumenical dialogue with them to the greatest extent possible.”
Ronnie Floyd - has served as the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, in northwest Arkansas, since 1986. He has been a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention for decades, serving as President from June of 2014 to June of 2016. He was one of the speakers at the ecumenical “Together 2016” event held on July 16, 2016.
Click here for more information.
In December of 2015, he spoke at Mike Bickle’s OneThing IHOP conference to a 20,000+ crowd which included Baptists, Catholics, NAR adherents, etc.
At the 8:24 mark of this video one hears him say: “I’m not here tonight to highlight our theological differences, but to bend my knee, next to yours, and to ask God to have mercy on America."
Tony Evans - he has served as the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for 40 years. His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on nearly 1,000 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 130 countries. Through his local church and national ministry, Dr. Evans has set in motion a Kingdom Agenda philosophy of ministry that teaches God’s comprehensive rule over every area of life as demonstrated through the individual, family, church and society. He spoke at the Together 2016 event, and at the 6:23:13 mark of the video below we can also hear him praying a “commissioning prayer” over those attendees 30 and under, apparently with no consideration given to the ecumenical nature of this event.
Dr. Jack Graham - pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church. He recently served as Honorary Chairman of the 2015 National Day of Prayer and he has served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country. He revealed his ecumenical leanings when he promoted Roma Downey’s “AD: The Bible Continues” series, by having her speak at his church.
Anne Graham Lotz – she is a delegate to the Davos’ Economic Forum, a commentator to the Washington Post, a speaker on platforms throughout the world, and President of AnGeL Ministries. In addition she has authored 16 books, the newest of which is entitled The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. Apparently Lotz believes the prayer of Daniel is some sort of secret weapon to motivate God to save America. In addition, she has recently promoted the pagan practice of circle making as described by Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker.
James Robison - the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International. James has preached in over 600 citywide evangelistic crusades attended by more than 20 million people. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Indivisible (co-written with Jay W. Richards who is a Catholic). Here is one account of his ecumenical leanings in his own words. Click here
James Robison also traveled to the Vatican with Kenneth Copeland in June of 2014. Here is his account of the trip.
Samuel Rodriguez - Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez founded New Season Christian Worship Center in September of 2010. In addition, he serves as the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. He is considered a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation being a member of the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL). He is part of a unity movement involving pastors in the greater Sacramento area as described in this article.
One can hear Rodriguez’ message at the Together 2016 event at the 46:49 mark of this video.
Nick Hall – the founder and chief communicator for PULSE, a student-led prayer and evangelism movement. His passion is to “awaken culture to the reality of Jesus.” He wrote a book entitled Reset: Jesus Changes Everything which presents the concept of a reset button as a spurious substitute for heartfelt, biblical repentance. He was the organizer of the ecumenical “Together 2016” event.
Marcus and Joni Lamb – co-founders of Daystar Television Network. The network reaches over 108 million homes in the U.S. over all major cable carriers and satellite systems. Globally, Daystar reaches over 2 billion viewers in 200 countries around the world on a daily basis. Daystar is the fastest growing faith-based television network in the world. However, the network’s schedule includes of some of the most well-known Word of Faith teachers including Brian Houston, Joseph Prince, James Robison, Andrew Wommack, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and Kenneth Copeland. http://www.daystar.com/schedule/ So, they are doing far more harm than good since they are spreading heretical Word of Faith teaching all over the world.
Greg Laurie - senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship® in Riverside and Irvine, California. In 1990, Laurie began holding large-scale public evangelistic events called Harvest Crusades®. Since that time, more than 5.2 million people have attended Harvest Crusades across the United States, in locations ranging from the annual event at Angel Stadium, Calif., to Madison Square Garden in New York City to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Harvest Crusade events have also been held in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Nearly 1.7 million people have attended Harvest events virtually, via live or archived Internet webcasts.
This article, however, will reveal his connections to some emerging church heretics.
In addition, since the event will be simulcast, members of at least 170 churches all across America will be, in effect, worshiping and praying together. Some of those listed include Baptist, United Methodist, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Holiness, and Mennonite. When we are not personally familiar with the teachings of a particular church it is unwise to join together at such an event.
Besides the false gospel of unity a second spurious gospel will be preached. The other one states, in so many words, that Christians must repent so God will bless and save America. This gospel, along with other similar false concepts, will be discussed in the next section.
America is not Israel
Many people have been deceived by the unscriptural teaching that America is somehow the new Israel. However, God’s Word reveals that God draws the boundaries of all nations: Acts 17:26 - “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Paul’s instructions in Romans 13 were given in order for Christians to understand how to live under civil governments during his day up to the present. Israel alone was established by God and maintained a binding covenant mediated through Moses. From its inception to now, America has never possessed a Moses or a binding covenant. Biblically speaking, it is impossible for another nation to enjoy the status Israel alone has been blessed to retain. The Bible does contain the moral laws of God and these apply to all people in all nations.
At the about link of “The Gathering” website we see 2 Chron. 7:14 underneath the purpose statement of which we have discussed the portion concerning unity. Concerning the specific belief that 2 Chron. 7:14 may be applied to Christians living in America today we must realize and admit that the promise of this verse is based on the covenant between God and Israel; it is not based on God and any other nation or people. While the United States has definitely had a Christian influence, only the nation of Israel can be designated as God’s people. Christians are indeed God’s people, but not as a nation.
Additionally, these words were spoken to Solomon, the king of Israel, and God promised Solomon that when the land suffered from drought or pestilence, that if the people would humble themselves and pray, then God would hear those prayers and heal their land. The Lord specifically said that His eyes and ears would be attentive to the “prayer that is made in this place” (vs. 15), a reference to the temple in Jerusalem.
Also, verses 19 and 20 say this: “But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.” I believe if we’re going to apply verse 14 to America we would have to claim this part of the passage, too. And if we do claim this for ourselves, are we to believe that God is warning us that we could be uprooted from America and taken to a foreign land? It is interesting that no one warns us of this possibility. If a preacher wants to claim the beneficial part of praying and repenting, he should make the promise apply across the board, both positively and negatively.
According to 2 Tim. 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” So, we know we should read and study the Old Testament. However, not every promise in it applies to Christians today; many applied only to specific to individuals and incidents. We see this is true concerning 2 Chron. 7:14 when we study the verse in context. This was written for the Israelites in Solomon’s time who were under a different covenant than Christians are today. Christians cannot claim any part of this promise.
The second part of the purpose statement says believers are uniting “in prayer for forgiveness, wisdom, and provision for our nation.” However, if Christians pray for forgiveness for unbelievers they are asking God to forgive people who haven’t repented. They expect God to deal with these people when they haven’t had their sins forgiven; when they haven’t come to God by way of the Cross. Additionally, these Christians are asking for God to not follow His own Word concerning the judgment of sin and how God will give people over to their own desires (Rom. 1).
Some would point to examples in the Old Testament of prophets (Nehemiah 1:6-7 and Daniel 9:4-5) who interceded for the people and confessed the sins. It is factual that the Old Testament prophets were sometimes called to stand between the people and God. However, in the New Testament, believers may approach God directly to confess our own sins. We may do so because of Jesus’ Finished Work on the Cross.
From the National Solemn Assembly Fact Sheet at the Gathering website in a PDF file entitled “National Solemn Assembly Historical View” we read: “A solemn assembly is a sacred gathering calling God’s people to renew their covenantal relationship with Him and to repent – namely a turning away from sin and a turning back to God. Whenever a solemn assembly or sacred gathering was called in Scripture, it was often called by those in leadership – whether that be a priest, prophet or king. In a number of the major occurrences of national revival recorded in the Old Testament, they were preceded by a solemn assembly, or a time of prayer and/or fasting.” Here are the scriptural references they list: 12 Chronicles 12:1-8, 2 Chronicles 15:1-19, 2 Chronicles 20:1-29, 2 Chronicles 29-31, 2 Chronicles 34, Ezra 10:7-9 Nehemiah 8-9, Joel 1-2, Deut. 29:10-29; Judges 10:10-19; 1 Samuel 7:5-6; 1 Samuel 10:17-27; 1 Kings 8:1-66; 1 Kings 18:21-40; 2 Kings 11:17; 2 Kings 23:3; 1 Chronicles 13-18; 2 Chronicles 5-7; 2 Chronicles 15:9-15; 2 Chronicles 20:3-13; 2 Chronicles 23:16; 2 Chronicles 29:3-36; 2 Chronicles 34:31-33; Ezra 6:6-12; Ezra 8:21-23; Nehemiah 8; Esther 4:5-17; Joel 1:13; 2:12-17.
The authors of this document make a biblically unsupported attempt to link the concept of a solemn assembly to the New Testament church by describing the meeting in the upper room as such. However, the author’s premise of a “national solemn assembly” is rendered ineffective due to the fact that in the New Covenant disciples are to be made of all nations (Matt. 28:19). God is no longer dealing with people according to their nationality (Gal. 3:28). This is yet another example of the organizers of “The Gathering” blurring the lines between the Old and New Covenants.
When listening to the webcast found at the resources link of the website we hear Tony Evans make the following statement: “God is not going to bring revival to a divided church…If there is no revival, there is no saving the nation.” So, here we see the second false gospel that is expressed by those involved with this event.
End time Revival?
Even though the concept is preached quite regularly, nowhere in Scripture do we see any mention of an end-time world revival! This teaching is unscriptural and stands in direct opposition to many passages of God’s Word. However, scriptures that speak of a great falling away from the faith are numerous. Here are just a few: 'Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy’(1Tim. 4:1); ‘Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling way first’ (2 Thess.2:3); ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...and they shall turn away their ears from the truth' (2 Tim. 4:3,4). The Bible clearly predicts 'false christs and false prophets' (Matt. 24:11,24); false and 'lying signs and wonders' (2 Thess. 2:9,10, Matt.24:24); increasing 'deception' (2 Tim. 3:13, Matt.24:11,24, Rev.6:4); and 'iniquity' (Matt.24:12).
How then have some reached the conclusion we are about to experience a great end time revival? Some are guilty of taking scriptures that apply to Israel and making them apply to the church. This is called Replacement Theology and is connected to the false teachings of Dominion Theology.
We are obviously living in days similar to those of Noah and Lot (Lk. 17:26,28); we are living in the last of the last days and things are not going to get better until Christ returns to rule and reign. This world is preparing itself for the reign of the anti-Christ; as previously described, the groundwork is being laid through the efforts we see all around us such as this event. The word of God is being fulfilled as prophesied. People are desperate to save the nation which we are never told to do, but rather preach the gospel to a lost and dying world.
Mrs Connie Wright - USA
Miss Tammy Cheetham - UK
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