I have noticed that in Rev.16 “three spirits of demons like frogs” come out of the mouths of the Devil, the Beast and the False Prophet, and they perform miraculous signs to gather the “kings of the earth” to the battle of Armageddon. Armageddon is a Hebrew word meaning “the Hill of Megiddo” where good king Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Necho. There was a great lamentation at this event. He shouldn’t have sallied forth to meet the Egyptian king, who had sent him word to say that he was “just passing through.” Hence God’s greatest king since Hezekiah and David, was slain unnecessarily due to disobedience.
What does this teach us today? Men still talk about Armageddon. The popular press often uses the word to describe some final apocalyptic battle just ahead. Christian magazines and books investigate the passage in Revelation, and tell us that Soviet troops will march down from the North and enter the land of Israel, and then we shall see the prophecies come to pass. But the Soviet empire no longer exists, and the theology books are having to be re-written in terms of what now obtains. In any case, why should Russian troops want to move into Israel at the behest of Satan, against a nation that is violently anti-Christian? Some Messianic Jews are even being told that their citizenship in Israel is no longer viable.
We must understand that these old prophecies applied to situations and circumstances that obtained at the time of writing, and with the passing of years new scenarios of events develop which cause the prophecies to take on a wider meaning. Hence Jerusalem in the book of Revelation (and also in Paul’s writings) is a word describing God’s people rather than a literal earthly city. The apostles also speak of believers being “pillars” in the Temple, and “living stones”, with us being “built up into a habitation of God in spirit.” All such language is a clear indicator of how prophecy needs to be interpreted today. A favourite area of interpretation sees God returning to the Jews very soon, and that He will set them up as the kings and priests in the Millennium. But the N.T. declares that God has “broken down the middle wall of partition” and made us (Jew and Greek) one.
Are we therefore to declare that in the coming days God will build up this wall of separation again, and take a retrograde step? As I have said in previous editions of the P.T., all the O.T. prophecies as yet unfulfilled must be interpreted in accordance with Paul’s statement in 2 Cor.1:20 which says “All the promises of God in Him (i.e. Christ) are yea and in Him Amen.” The future holds unimaginable blessings and enlightenment for this world because God never goes back. He always works towards greater expansion and blessing. There is no promise, no prophecy of the future which can be interpreted in terms of Israel, or the Jews, or even of the Church. All promises are fulfilled IN CHRIST and in Him alone. If I, being a Gentile, are by God’s grace “in Christ”, then I shall share those prophecies and blessings. If a Jew is “in Christ” he will share those blessings. We shall share them together, because “there is neither Jew nor Greek” but “one new man in Christ.” Having said this, it makes way for a re-analysis of coming events.
Because believers have been advised of the return to Jewish ascendancy, they have been robbed of the ability to see the spiritual fulfilment of prophecy “in Christ”. Hence they are sitting back waiting for certain national and geographical happenings instead of realising that the spiritual side of prophecy is already being fulfilled IN THEIR MIDST! If Jerusalem represents all of us who have true faith in the Son of God, then we are to be found in every nation on earth. How then can an army descend from the north to invade at the Hill of Megiddo? It cannot LITERALLY, but it can SPIRITUALLY. And I believe that the “three frogs” are already doing their work of collecting the multitudes together to attack. The army is a demonic army. They are unseen but powerful, and they come from the “north” which spiritually is “upwards”, from the “principality of the air” where Satan still rules supreme. What is the purpose of these demon spirits? It is clear that they intend to attack Judah and Jerusalem – God’s people. How do they attain their end? We are told by the use of “miraculous signs.”
What sort of miracles are likely to strengthen and embolden their army? Miracles of deceit. Jesus warned His disciples that in the latter days the Enemy would produce such a display of miraculous power that “even the elect, if it were possible, would be deceived.” That takes a lot of investigation. If the Devil has the ability to deceive to that extent, then we must ask ourselves a lot of incisive questions. What sort of miracles are likely to cause God’s people to be taken in? We have been giving this question much thought in recent days, and have realised that we can dispense with everything that has the merest shadow of doubt connected with it. It has often been said that Satan could never pass off FIFTEEN POUND NOTES to the public. Neither could he make believers accept miracles that on the surface look Satanic. That would never do. And we must not under-estimate his ability. What does the N.T. tell us? That Satan often appears as “an Angel of Light.” That gives us a clue. If an Angel of Light were to appear to a person, then they would be overawed and feel a deep sense of privilege. If God Himself were the Sender, then all would be well. But suppose the Devil dressed up one of his angels to appear in that fashion. How would we know the difference? For starters, that takes some thinking about.
What questions should we be asking if we should hear of such appearances, (assuming that we do not ourselves experience it?) Paul tells us that even if an angel of God were to preach a different gospel to the true one, then we should ignore it. But I do not believe that one of the Lord’s Angels would ever attempt to do such a thing. It is the COUNTERFEIT angel, masquerading as one of God’s Angels, who would be preaching a different gospel. The word “gospel” is EU-ANGELIA in Greek, and it is commonly known to mean “good news.” But we generally associate the word with a particular part of God’s “good news” to man, in other words the “gospel of our salvation” through the blood of Calvary. However, any form of “good news” would come under the heading of the word EU-ANGELIA, such as the expression “the gospel of the Kingdom”, which isn’t the same as the “gospel of salvation.” Hence if an angel approached a human being with some “good news” from an alien source, we should watch out. So what sort of “good news” would Satan’s angels bring? What type of deception would they favour? What brand of miracle would they be advertising to obtain the greatest apostasy amongst God’s people?
Think about it. It would have to be something like healing, which on the surface is ALWAYS considered to be “good” and therefore must always be a true work of God. Let us take this subject of HEALING a stage further. Suppose Satan decides to use healing as a ready means of deception. First of all we must ask ourselves whether we believe that he has the power to heal. If he does, then we should certainly be on the alert. But if not, then we have no need to worry.
I shall quote from Dr.Kurt Koch’s book “Satan’s Devices”, page 235 before making any further comment. “Harry Edwards [a non-Christian spiritual healer] has made the spiritistic character of his activity clear by saying, ‘When my angels are not present, I cannot heal.’ Here an interesting parallel to the healing work of William Branham may be seen. Years ago he told his interpreter, Pastor Ruff, ‘If my angel does not give the sign, I cannot heal.’ Ruff noticed several features of spiritism in the work of Branham, and therefore stopped working with him. These “angels” of whom Edwards and Branham spoke are evil spirits masquerading as angels of light. As in many areas of the occult, we are here reminded again that the devil appears as an angel of light. (2 Cor.11:14) “Another evidence is the fact that neither Edwards nor Branham were able to perform cures when faced with born-again Christians who had committed themselves to the protection of Christ. In the case of Branham, I have experienced this myself. When he spoke in Karlsruhe and Lausanne, there were several believers among the audience – including myself – who prayed along these lines: ‘Lord, if this man’s powers are from You, then bless and use him, but if the healing gifts are not from You, then hinder him.’ The result? On both occasions Branham said from the platform, ‘There are disturbing powers here. I can do nothing.'”
I know this quotation will cause angry reaction from some quarters because William Branham’s books are full of the most amazing miracles of healing, and do we not all want to see people healed? Of course we do! But therein is the character of the deceit. Satan knows that he is on a winning ticket if he pursues this line. And most people are readily taken in by “spiritual healing.” Please don’t misunderstand me. I would like to see people healed as much as the next man. But I am concerned that the power is coming from the throne of God. I am convinced that Satan is not only able to heal, but that he has quite advanced abilities in that field. Why, human surgeons are able to perform quite amazing feats these days in the realms of bodily healing. So why shouldn’t Satan be able to perform feats of an even higher quality? We need to appreciate who he is, and what he was in the beginning before he fell. He was the greatest spiritual being in the heavens outside the Godhead. Read about it in Ezekiel 28 under the heading of the “King of Tyre.”
Yes, we must believe in Satan’s power to heal, and that he would use this ability as his NUMBER ONE TOOL in the art of deception. The next question to be asked is very important as well. What happens to a person who is healed under such circumstances? Are they Satanically bound in some way, even though the body has been healed? And the answer is often “Yes.” In what form does this bondage occur? This is more tricky to answer, because Dr.Kurt Kock has made multiple investigations along these lines, and found no simple answer. Sometimes he has had to deliver a person from the effects, and strangely enough the affliction has re-appeared, from which healing had been experienced. But at other times, the healing has remained, but an antipathy to reading the Bible or praying or receiving communion has been swept away by the command in Jesus’ name. However, I believe that a very subtle factor pervades all these cases, and this may be called “selective spiritual blindness.” The person healed under spurious circumstances may experience no side-effects at all, and declare that he/she is quite happy and content spiritually. But without realising it, there is a blockage to receiving the on-going revelation of the Lord’s will and purposes, and this can only be appreciated by those who have resisted such miracles, or been delivered from their effects.
Now in our own experience, we have been visited by a married couple who belong to the “Branhamites“, who not only accept that Branham was a man sent from God, but also believe that he was the “Elijah to come.” They were kindly souls, and brought us a pile of literature to read, some of which we still possess. But as we talked together, my wife and I noticed that they were wholly incapable of listening to certain things, and presented a zombie-like front. When they had departed we looked at each other in amazement, and realised that they had blinkered vision as a result of their discipleship to Branham. This is an example of the “selective spiritual blindness” of which I spoke. Incidentally, I should point out that Branham believed that the Trinity was an eastern deception foisted on the church. He didn’t believe in the God-hood of Jesus, nor did he speak about the Holy Spirit in his healing campaign, but rather of the angel who always stood by his side. “Please don’t stand there,” he said to a steward on the platform one day, “that’s where my angel is standing.” According to Koch, (in his book already referred to, published in 1978) Harry Edwards was the President of a healing organisation in England with over 2000 healers, and possibly 200 Anglican priests among his clients. I have no more recent information, but these facts are very revealing. Edwards writes of himself that he found the “gift of healing” latent within him from childhood. He never expressed faith in Christ. He used his gift widely on a compassionate basis. And there were plenty of people who flocked to him for miracles.
I find the comparison between Edwards and Branham very constructive especially in respect to the “angels” who gave them the power to heal. And this brings us to a more recent scene, connected with the “Toronto blessing.” One of the leading characters in this new power movement is Paul Cain, who had a healing ministry alongside William Branham when he was still in his teens. Branham called him “Little Brother.” Let us compare these two men as to their origins. (And before we do, I want to say that in no way do I want to attack these men. I desire rather to rescue them, and others, from a very cunning deception. Eph.5 tells us to expose unfruitful works of darkness.) William Branham was born on April 6th 1909. At the age of seven he heard a voice speaking to him out of a tree, saying, “Never drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way, for I have a work for you to do when you get older.” He was afraid, and ran home. He never heard the voice again until he was 21, when it said that he had not taken the Lord seriously enough. He was healed, anointed, and received the baptism of the spirit, and then God spoke to him out of a great light.
This was the beginning of his ministry. Paul Cain was born in 1929 to a 45 year-old mother who was terminally ill will T.B. and cancer of the uterus and breasts. She records the Lord appearing to her as an angel, who said, “Daughter, be of good cheer, you shall live and not die. The fruit of your womb is a male child whom I shall anoint to preach my gospel like the Apostle Paul, and you shall name him Paul.” She was instantly healed, and her health has been such that in 1990 she was still alive and well at 105 years of age! I have no knowledge of more recent days. The child Paul grew up and at the age of seven he heard God calling his name audibly. In fact his sister heard it as well. He was scared. The voice said, “Keep yourself pure and I will give you a ministry to reach the masses.” And like his mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, he found that he had “second sight”, being able to see things which other people were unable to see. Paul embarked on a ministry of preaching very early in life, and his ministry grew phenomenally as a result of certain powers he possessed, whereby he could heal and know hidden facts about people.
This ministry was maintained until he was 21. The last few years were spent very much with Branham, who used to send “Little Brother” to places when he couldn’t go himself. But from 1951 to 1988, Paul Cain became almost a recluse in his own home, until he emerged (as he says) at God’s bidding, and joined up with the Kansas City prophets, and John Wimber. A certain parallel exists between these two men. Some would say that if Branham was the Elijah to come, then Paul Cain is now the Elisha, set to perform double the amount of miracles. He is already occupying a commanding position in the present Christian scene, and has spoken forcibly about the “New Wave” of blessing that is sweeping the earth.
Another man who is at the focus of attention of many these days is Bennie Hin, the Pastor of the Orlando Christian Centre, Florida, claiming some 7000 members. He is hugely popular, and his books sell by the million – with titles such as “Good morning Holy Spirit” and “The Anointing.” There is no doubt that he possesses power, but where did he get that power? In his own testimony he relates that it was at a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting in 1973. In “Good morning Holy Spirit” he recounts how he began to vibrate in that meeting, and said, “I want what Kathryn Kuhlman’s got.” That night and the following morning he encountered a force which was like electricity, and knew that he had met with the power of the Spirit. But unlike the usual experience of a Christian being “filled with the Spirit”, to use Paul’s words, Hin speaks about the Holy Spirit as a person who lives WITH him, whereby he may walk around with him as a partner. Benny Hin was born in Israel in 1952. At the age of eleven he began to receive visions of Jesus walking in his bedroom, causing him to have electric sensations. This was long before he came to know the Lord. He has been recorded as saying that he visits the graves of Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee Semple McPherson to “draw from the anointing that still resides around their tombs.” And the outworking of that “anointing” is felt in all his big meetings, where he watches gleefully as people fall down in a heap when he either touches them or blows on them. And so there appears to be another parallel. Just as Cain follows in the footsteps of Branham, soHin follows Khulman. There is something strange and I would go so far as to say sinister about these happenings.
Kathryn Kuhlman was another great public figure, known for her power of “gifts of knowledge” and healing. And yet she didn’t ask for the gift. It was brought to her notice that she brought healing into the hall during her preaching. Having realised she possessed it, she began to major on it for the rest of her days until her death, February 20th 1976. Now all these personal glimpses have been on the theme of Armageddon, and by now my readers may have lost sight of that fact. But I have given the facts, to investigate how Satan can introduce his deception into the church without people even realising it. And as the Scripture declares, some such will be “deceiving and being deceived” because they have failed to check out the danger signals, and hence be captivated by a love of “power, signs, and lying wonders.” I have spoken about healing as being a major tool in Satan’s hands to deceive people. These days there are other little tricks he performs as well. One of these has been called “slaying in the spirit.” It is a contemptible expression, and deserves no place in Christian literature. But one hears its use everywhere today, and people are dropping on the floor in droves at large meetings. Why? A lot of it began in Kathryn Khulman’s meetings. She would announce that “someone in the fifth row has just been healed of a stomach ulcer” and “would they please come down to the front to be prayed over.” Having reached the front, she would place her hands a few inches above their heads, and down they would go. Stewards would be on hand to ensure that no one was hurt when falling. Why? If someone had already been healed by the Lord, what need of further prayer? What possible effect could this have but to the glorification of the preacher?
I am at one with Dr.Kurt Koch in denouncing the “slaying of the spirit” as being from some other power source than the Holy Spirit. My wife has experienced this effect at the hands of a healer, when she was very unwell with a nervous breakdown in 1981. Although he never touched her, she was literally thrown backwards onto her bed by a force she couldn’t resist. And no healing followed. We do not doubt the presence of the force, but we strongly resist the temptation to assume that God has been at work. Why should God do this? Can there be any logical reason for this to happen? Is there any wisdom attached? And if someone has been healed at the same time, shouldn’t one remember what has already been said about Satan using this weapon in his armoury? A lady was reporting to a friend of ours a trip to a large gathering recently, where there was much evidence of this “New Wave” activity. She was in a large tent, and her daughter was in another tent where young people were being catered for. At a certain point she felt the necessity to leave her tent and see how her daughter was getting on, a perfectly reasonable thought. But at that point she found she couldn’t get up. She was riveted to her seat! “Oh dear,” said our friend, thinking that this was awful, but the lady said it was wonderful! It was the work of the Holy Spirit!
How blind are people becoming these days? Is there no sense of direction, no feeling of awkwardness, no Scriptural background to question what is going on? I have heard of numerous cases of people falling to the floor and becoming like blocks of concrete, immovable for hours. And I have already spoken about the “laughing revival” (as it has been called) where people simply cannot stop laughing, whilst others jog on the spot, perform strange antics of bodily behaviour, and generally create pandemonium in meetings, so that to any sane visitor suddenly arriving, there would be all the evidence of lunacy rather than spirituality. All these things are the signs of Satanic deception, all of them supernatural in origin, and therefore “miraculous” to those who hunger and thirst after power of any sort. Satan started by using healing, and now that he has blinded the eyes of multitudes of people, he is able to get away with such juvenile pleasures and pastimes. I spoke about “three frogs” at the beginning of this paper.
Some years ago, before all these things became apparent, the Lord advised us that three demon spirits would arise and become more and more active, and they could be identified as FEMALE DOMINANCE, JUVENILITY, and PERVERSION. I believe that the Holy Spirit of the Lord was responsible for this revelation, and I can see now the way in which Female Dominance is being practised by the False Prophet, who is Babylon, the Scarlet woman; Perversion is being practised by the Devil, who is ever seeking to pervert all of God’s ways; and Juvenility is now abounding in the “New Wave” as a result of the work of the Beast, or the Antichrist. A number of our readers will resist this identification because they believe the Antichrist will not arise until the Church is taken away in rapture, but this is yet another of Satan’s devices, and an erroneous teaching has advertised it for several decades. But the church NEEDS to go through the Great Tribulation in order to purify her. The Apostle Paul said in one of his speeches, “Through much tribulation we shall enter the Kingdom of God.”Jesus said, “Strait is the gate and narrow (lit. tribulated) is the way that leads to Life.” There is no escape. Tribulation is one of the tools in God’s hands to enable us to crucify the works of the flesh, and become spiritually mature during our lives.
In order to be more positive at the conclusion of this paper, I must ask that we look again at the speeches of our Lord and Master after the last supper. He majored on the person of the Holy Spirit, and the purpose of the Spirit’s coming after His resurrection.
1. “He shall testify of Me.” (John.15:26) In other words, everything that purports to be a revelation through the Holy Spirit CANNOT contradict the character, life, or teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2.“He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) This is an adjunct to the above. Jesus is Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
3.“He will not speak of Himself.” (John 16.13) Now take note of this carefully, because we are in the midst of a dangerous blasphemy today, whereby countless believers ADDRESS the Holy Spirit, PRAY to the Holy Spirit, SING to the Holy Spirit, TALK ABOUT the Holy Spirit, and DEPICT the Holy Spirit by means of doves on all their notepaper. All the emphasis is being diverted AWAY from our Saviour and TOWARDS the Holy Spirit. God cannot allow this. It is against His express command. “He will not speak of Himself – – He shall glorify Me.” Our whole emphasis in meetings should be towards the Person of the Lord Jesus. I once heard someone say, “I looked to the Lord and the Dove of Peace flew in. I looked to the Dove of Peace and he flew away.” There is much wisdom in that statement.
4.“He will show you things to come.” (John 16:13) Indeed the Holy Spirit has spoken through many of God’s children of recent years, and many warnings have been given about the days in which we live, and the necessity of preparing ourselves for the Master’s return. This has been a prophesied part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, and we are the richer for receiving God’s help in these disastrous days. But other voices have been speaking through some recently, saying that Christians need to take the Kingdom of the World by force, and then invite the Master to come and take His place as King. THAT is a lying voice, and not the voice of the Holy Spirit. In my last number I gave the alternative rendering of the beatitudes, as prescribed by today’s “name it and claim it” prophets, just to make a definitive statement of the charismatic force and urge in this world. The N.T. knows nothing of such a plan.
5.“When He is come He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8) Here is the crunch line. What is happening today? Someone is handing out spiritual sweets for the unwary to enjoy. But in all the great revivals of the past the Holy Spirit has brought a great conviction of sin. People used to fall down under the conviction of the Lord’s holy presence. They would fall on their faces, (the way in which the Bible describes ALL who fall down before the Lord) and not on their backs as in this latest counterfeit exercise. The only time the Bible speaks about falling backwards is in Isaiah 28:13 “- – that they might go and fall backwards, and be broken, snared and taken.”
6.. (Mark 16:15-20) The normal way in which miracles and signs were to appear in the apostles’ ministry was to preach the word, and as the Lord said, “these signs shall FOLLOW them that believe.” But in these days, people flock to meetings to enjoy powers, signs, and wonders regardless of the preaching. In some cases there are still true preachers who give a word directed towards salvation from sin, but more often than not one hears of meetings where there is little if any preaching, or even the exposition of any Scripture at all. In some cases a few verses, usually out of context, are thrown out to underpin the errors within the movement.
7.”He shall bring all things to remembrance – -.” (John 14:26) To the one who is well versed in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit assists the preaching or teaching of the Word, by making up for the deficiencies of human memory. When the time and occasion is right, suddenly a verse pops into the mind, and one knows instinctively that the Spirit of the Lord has been at hand to help.
These are seven crucial facts about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They are touch-stones by which any ministry may be tested. It is my considered opinion that the charismatic movement paved the way for the present New Power Source. People who lived within the renewal/charismatic movements have been eating the sugar for years, and now they have made themselves blind to the truth relating to the Master’s most insistent message to all who desire to follow Him – in other words the WAY OF THE CROSS, which is the means that God uses to enable us to crucify our old Adam nature. The current wave of excitement is building up the flesh, rather than breaking it down. The whole labour of our Master with every man is to get him to die as He died, not literally, but a death to self and a growth towards being like Him. All preaching that doesn’t aim at this is wood, hay, and stubble. It is for this reason that I sense we are just beginning to enter the battle of Armageddon. It is early days yet, and we shall see the power-house of deception gaining ground steadily. One wonders just how far the Lord will allow it before descending, as He did before at Babel, and saying “Enough is enough.” But know this. The Lord will even use the deception as a means of purifying His people. The Devil is never the victor. Whatever he aspires to do will end in failure. As the Lord promised to Adam and Eve, he will continually “bite the dust”. Let us always pray for each other, and for the whole of God’s Church, that the work of God may be finalised. (Please note Jesus’ words in Rev.16:15, “Behold I come quickly.” It is connected with Armageddon.)