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The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Identifying False Converts in the Church

Cultures have cycled through 2-4,000 religions to date from Babylon to today's society. Counterfeit doctrines have become more sophisticated. The culture has swallowed the church. Discernment has been replaced by fear and disregard. This post is going to focus on one particular movement known as the charismatic movement.

The Occult History: The First Wave

The modern-debuted charismatic movement was first titled Pentecostalism. The first wave lasted from 1906-1960, starting with the Apostolic Faith Movement in Los Angeles. This movement claimed an outbreak of the ability to speak in tongues. In 1909, William Seymour and Charles Parham had theological differences over seances and trances in the services. The theological roots stem back to the "Holiness Movement" spearheaded by John Wesley. "Christian Perfectionism" was born out of this movement. It is a "freedom from self will." Charles Finnley later equated it to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This was the first change in the counterfeit theology.

Second Wave Reformation

1960-1982 was the prime time for the new awakening of the movement. The movement began when Demos Shakarian launched The Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship. On April 3, 1960, this private mainstream occult became infamous. Father Dennis Bennet told his congregation that he had spoken in tongues and he had belief that it was the pattern of the church.

Pastor David C. Forsyth wrote an article about the Charismatic Movement. Below is a link to his website.

  • Experiencing Jesus in a personal encounter puts one into the position of receiving the baptism of the Spirit

  • Power gained (also equated to "fire") promotes successful living

  • Worship is on an elevated dimension due to the baptism of the Spirit.

  • Prayer is more fervent and successful

  • New revelation exists

  • The are levels of anointing

  • High demonic activity

  • Evangelism practiced in this belief misrepresents Pentecost

The Third Wave and the Spiritual Poison of Today

John Wimber created the third wave of the Charismatic Movement when he left Calvary Chapels. He began teaching at Fuller Seminary. The class was titled "Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth." It consisted of faith healing and casting out demons. It was at this Seminary that he attracted the workings of C. Peter Wagner. Wagner coined the term "Power Encounters" to describe the supernatural manifestation of God in Jesus' ministry. This completely disregarded the doctrine of the Trinity. Wimber grew the Anaheim Vineyard Church to thousands. The movement entitled the "Toronto Blessing" was created out of this church. This is the modern infiltration of a counterfeit Gospel.

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothes: What Are the Effects Today?

The effects today include witchcraft and seances performed in churches. The International House of Prayer is nothing more than radical witchcraft. The gifts given to the apostles were just that--only intended for a select group. It's the same argument for animal sacrifices. God commanded sacrifices in the Old Testament as a foreshadowing of the New Covenant. The sign gifts of prophecy, healing, and tongues (with interpretation) were evidence of the old church history and necessary for the Holy Spirit's demonstration then. Allowing scripture to interpret scripture is the best way to destroy counterfeit theology.

counterfeit sheep have always infiltrated the church (the body of Christ and the organization). It will continue to be this way until God comes back and establishes a new heaven and a new earth. The main conflicts that heighten the spiritual danger of counterfeit sheep in the church are

  • unwillingness from pastors or elders to address lofty and faulty theology

  • apathy with or without church hurt

  • spiritual abuse

  • lack of discernment amongst the body of Christ (with or without pride)

Further Reading of The Wolf in Sheep's Clothes

". . .all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." Acts 2:4. Take note here how it says as the Spirit enabled them.Divine interaction always accompanies sign gifts.