Posted in false teachers, jentezen franklin, joseph prince, mark driscoll, rick warren, vultures

Rick Warren on the lineup for Hillsong Conference 2015.

A friend on Facebook posted this today:

“Mark Driscoll is appearing at Hillsong along with Rick Warren, Jentezen Franklin, and Joseph Prince. Are you still wondering if there is a problem?”

I wasn’t sure what he was referring to but a 1 minute search on Google brought up the Hillsong Sydney 2015 conference:

Source

Why yes, there is definitely a problem. Each of these men pictured above who lead churches have demonstrated non-orthodoxy either with their conduct and/or their theology.

But first let’s start with the venue, Hillsong Church.

Erin Benziger sums up the issue with Hillsong in this way:

Hillsong Church has been the subject of criticism not just for its seeker-sensitive, pragmatic methods of ministry, but also for its promotion of a form of the false Word Faith gospel. It is not unusual, in fact, for Hillsong’s massive conferences to feature prominent Word Faith leaders such as T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen. Below can be heard a critique of Brian Houston teaching earlier this year on the text of Matthew 7:13–14. This clearly demonstrates Houston’s ability to twist God’s Word beyond recognition:

And after the colon above there is a video demonstrating non-orthodox interpretations of the Matthew text.

Hillsong has also been the focus of financial scrutiny and official investigation.

Hillsong teaches word faith doctrines, prosperity gospels, and more. The church itself is not a solid church in that it can be said they consistently handle scripture incorrectly and teach unorthodox, non-evangelical teachings.

Todd Friel of Wretched Radio said, Be Careful of Hillsong. But he also said that if he was extended an invitation to go, would he go? He said if he was assured he could preach anything he wanted, and after telling the Hillsong organizers what he planned to preach if they still wanted him to come, he would. Why? Because Hillsong people need the Gospel. So are the preachers listed for the 2015 lineup solid preachers going with an intent to share the Gospel to a lost and wandering herd of sheep? No. Given the track record and long-term pattern of Franklin, Prince, Warren, and Driscoll, we cannot give that benefit of the doubt. Let’s take a look.

Joseph Prince is just purely, out and out, a false teacher. (source)

Rick Warren is a pragmatist, indeed, the description under his photo above lists him first and foremost as “a global strategist.” Warren is driven by fads and leads his church that way, prays to false gods, and fails to give the Gospel either totally, or at least clearly.

The issues with Mark Driscoll are so numerous they’d be impossible to list here on a short form, or even to list them all in one blog post. What I find most egregious about Driscoll’s unregenerate life are his demon trials, spiritual abuse, pornographic visions, plagiarism, and fiscal secrecy. To name just a very, very few.

There are problems with what Jentezen Franklin teaches and also with his approach to pastoring. In addition there are issues with who he associates with.

I posted the above about the men Hillsong has invited to their conference to show that is not about a wayward word-faith church trying to correct its course by inviting good men to preach, it is about an unregenerate church inviting unregenerate men to unite their rebellious hearts and minds in darkness.

To this end, a series of scriptures came to mind that to me seem linked.

False Christians are proactive in their self-delusion. The seek out and purposely find false teachers who preach a message that appeals to their craven hearts.

The false Christians with itching ears heap up teachers to themselves so their itching ears can be scratched. (2 Timothy 4:3)

And the false teachers are not innocent bystanders either. They do what they do because they are greedy. (2 Pet. 2:14, 1 Tim. 6:5).

And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:3)

Therefore, seeing an opportunity for dishonest gain, the false teachers and false prophets seek out and gather the false Christians with itching ears who are rushing toward them.

They meet.

And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Luke 17:37)

Now, the Luke verse and its parallel in Matthew 24:28 is a difficult one to exactly interpret. The context is the Tribulation. Jesus is preaching the signs of the times and the coming of the Kingdom. It cannot be specifically applied to a situation of false Christians heaping up false teachers who in turn exploit the false Christians who are happy to buy their false products and listen to their false message. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says of the vultures verse, “If we connect it with Matthew 24:27 the idea will be that Messiah’s judicial function will be as universal as His appearance (Meyer and Weiss).” That seems to be the general meaning.

But what I picture in my mind when envisioning such a conference as Hillsong 2015, is a lot of dead people being picked over by vultures.

Sermon Bible Commentary explains the parallel Matthew 24:28 verse:

The Law of Divine Judgment.

I. When a wild beast falls in the desert, or a beast of burden on the highway, there is no stir in the heavens [skies] for a time. But, far above human ken, the vulture is floating poised on his wings; and looking downwards his eye soon distinguishes the motionless thing—for he hunts by an eyesight unequalled in power among all living things, and like a stone he drops through miles of air. Others floating in the same upper region, see their brother’s descent and know its meaning. One dark speck after another grows swiftly from the horizon, and in a few minutes fifty vultures are round the carrion. That illustrates—and with astonishing power and sharpness—for the disciples had often witnessed such a scene—the suddenness, the usefulness and the necessity of judgment. Inevitable, swift, unerring, as the vulture’s descent on the carcase is the judgment-coming of the Son of Man to corrupt communities and corrupted men.

II. From all this we now infer the law of judgment. It is this: Wherever there is entire moral corruption then there is final punishment; wherever there is partial corruption, there is remedial punishment. God in His capacity as Governor of the world, as Educator of mankind, is bound to destroy corruption. It is necessary that the vultures should devour the carcase, lest it pollute the air and breed a pestilence. It is necessary that corrupted nations should be blotted out, lest they infect the world with evil which may delay the whole progress of mankind. And our own sense of justice goes with the destruction. Nor, when we are wise, do we think that such justice shows want of love. We know that the weak man who shrinks from exacting deserved punishment is often the most cruel when his own interests are touched; and we can trust ourselves in the hour of our trouble best to One whose justice we are so sure of, that we know that if our trouble was caused by wrong-doing He would make us feel that wrongness before He would relieve the trouble. S. A. Brooke, The Spirit of the Christian Life, p. 57.

It is hard to say who is more alive and who is more dead, this ever descending cycle of false Christians who are dead being the provision for the false teachers to feed on them, or the false teachers selling what the dead Christians want. It is hard to say where the vulture begins and their food ends or where the food begins and the vulture ends.

In Hosea 13:1 Hosea prophesies that Ephraim (Israel) used to be alive and exalted, “but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.

In the New Testament we read of a similarly tragic situation.

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Revelation 3:1)

They look alive. But they are dead. They live, move, and breathe, but they are DEAD. The word dead in the Revelation verse is nekros, “unresponsive to life-giving influences (opportunities); inoperative to the things of God.”

So we see that an entire bunch of people can gather, sing praises to God, move, worship, wave hands, applaud approvingly, and be dead tot he things of God.

labeled for reuse, source

And what do vultures do, but feed on the dead.

A warning to us all:

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Posted in ascetic, gnosticism, gnostics, jentezen franklin

Gnosticism Part 2: Asceticism

In Colossians, Paul warned the believers at that little church to beware the philosophies of the day which were encroaching upon them. Though never named, scholars indicate that the philosophy was Gnosticism. Gnosticism itself is an amorphous amalgam of various elements of many false religions, man-made traditions, and human philosophies. John Ritenbaugh in Forerunner Commentary says, “Here is the earliest indication of Gnosticism as a religion—or at least a philosophy, a way of life that eventually became a religion. … Gnosticism was ascetic and exclusivist, and it relied heavily on magic.”

Ritenbaugh meant exclusivist in that Gnostics claimed the way to salvation was delivered exclusively and uniquely to them, that they alone possessed the higher knowledge which would aid them in their paths to attaining heaven.

Ralphie, upon learning the secret knowledge
is just a crummy commercial

Paul spends time reminding the Colossian believers that man’s philosophy always has a disappointing end, especially when the message is presented as ‘the secret that will finally fulfill you’, as Gnostics claim. In part 1, I brought up the movie character in A Christmas Story, Ralphie, and his disappointment in the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring’s secret message when he finally deciphered it. “A crummy Ovaltine commercial!” he muttered bitterly. John MacArthur has a more eloquent discussion of the emptiness of man’s philosophies:

“Philosophy is empty deceit. It doesn’t give you what you expect. The word “deceit” is interesting in the Bible. One of the words that’s used in II Peter 2 is “guile” or “deceit”. The original meaning of the word is fish hook. And the interesting thing about a fish hook is that it is not what a fish expects. What you see is not what you get in that circumstance. And he’s saying that philosophy is the same thing. It’s a baited hook. You think it’s going to be wonderful ‑‑ it turns out to be deceiving.” (source, sermon, Philosophy or Christ?)

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right):
detail from The School of Athens
by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509

Paul said in Colossians 2:8 that they should not be taken captive by ‘philosophy and vain deceit’. The same notion is seconded in 2 Timothy 3:6, where weak-willed women laden with sins are taken captive by men who are always learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth, captive here meaning hooked on a false doctrine and led away to destruction, as a fish taking the bait. Little Ralphie was hooked for sure, eagerly spending time and money to decode the message that he was sure to bring fulfillment/joy/peace/happiness, when at the end he discovered something about man’s empty and vain ways.

Secret knowledge is the main component to Gnosticism, but asceticism is also a part of it. Paul referred to the element of Gnostic asceticism in Colossians 2:21-23.

“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”

Man tries to attain higher wisdom and a deeper spirituality by doing certain works. Man also tries to attain higher wisdom by refraining from doing certain other things. In other words, abstinence. The works and the refraining of works are all listed out according to man’s philosophies, and are therefore not holy nor profitable to the body of believers nor do they glorify the holy name of Jesus, as Paul indicated in verse 23.

Source

Wikipedia defines Asceticism from the Greek: “áskēsis, “exercise” or “training”, describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. Many religious traditions (e.g. Buddhism, Jainism, the Christian desert fathers) include practices that involve restraint with respect to actions of body, speech, and mind. The founders and earliest practitioners of these religions lived extremely austere lifestyles, refraining from sensual pleasures and the accumulation of material wealth. They practiced asceticism not as a rejection of the enjoyment of life, or because the practices themselves are virtuous, but as an aid in the pursuit of salvation or liberation.”

Gnostics believed matter was bad, therefore the body was evil and only the spirit was good. They believed in a strict separation of the two. That is why they deny Christ in the flesh, saying that He would never deign to incarnate into a fleshly body. In Gnostic asceticism we see both ends of the spectrum in their treatment of the body. Some Gnostics proposed that severe treatment of the body through rigorous denial of certain things was the way to deal with evil of the flesh. Others said that since flesh was evil but they had already attained the higher knowledge of the spirit, and since the two were separate, they could do anything they wanted in the body. They were libertines.

Wiki also states of Gnosticism: “Evidence in the source texts indicates Gnostic moral behaviour as being generally ascetic in basis, expressed most fluently in their sexual and dietary practice.”

This is not to say that abstinence from certain things is bad. This is the evil genius of Gnostic asceticism. Paul warned the single people to abstain from sexual relations and warned the married people to abstain from relations with others not their spouse. (1 Corinthians 7:1-8). Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18 about fasting, stating “when you fast”, not ‘if‘ you fast, indicating that the activity is good and profitable, an activity that is welcomed by the Lord.

However, Gnostic ascetics went beyond scripture with their abstinence, and actually used it as a weapon of holiness that positioned themselves above others.

Colossian Christians were affected by an ascetic form of Gnosticism that included “ordinances” (KJV) or “regulations” (NKJV) that are not found in God’s Word but were the commandments and doctrines of men (Colossians 2:20-23), as well as demons, the “basic principles of the world.” (Colossians 2:8). [source]

CARM says “Asceticism is a lifestyle that denies worldly pleasures in order to gain spiritual benefit. There are different degrees of asceticism from casual to severe.”

Jentezen Franklin is a Gnostic Ascetic. He claims to have secret knowledge about fasting that if you perform, you will receive a spiritual benefit, such as “experience spiritual renewal and direction for your life . . . restoration of relationship . . . healing . . . release from bondages . . . and so much more!”

He is what modern Gnostic Asceticism looks like. Mr Franklin made up the Daniel Fast and wrote about fasting in his book “Fasting: Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God.” He said in his book:

“When I feel myself growing dry spiritually, when I don’t sense that cutting-edge anointing, or when I need a fresh encounter with God, fasting is the secret key that unlocks heaven’s door and slams shut the gates of hell. The discipline of fasting releases the anointing, the favor, and the blessing of God in the life of a Christian.” [more here]

Franklin’s Daniel Fast lists certain ingredients and foods that one may eat or not eat during the 21 days. It is based on the fast that Daniel asked the Babylonian overseer to allow Daniel to undertake, so that he would not defile his body with meats sacrificed to idols and could remain within God’s commandments.

If you read part 1, you know that the word “secret’ is often thrown around by Gnostics, who, you’ll remember, are the only ones in the know. So, according to Franklin, fasting is a secret key? How is that so, when Jesus talked about fasting in his most famous sermon in the entire bible, (Matthew 6) well-known and available for all to see, and the Holy Spirit to inspire understanding of? Or is the information about fasting from a man-made doctrine is what’s the secret, a secret that Mr Franklin will now reveal? It is the latter.

Release is also another buzz word. Because Gnostics claim they have the knowledge unto salvation, thus the path to heavenly power is contained within us, so all it takes it this practice, that discipline, that knowledge to release what is already inside us. A Gnostic will tell you how, if you buy their book…  

Manifest is another buzz word. Once the discipline is concluded, the power we release will be made manifest.

However, the truth is we have no power, we are weak. Only God has power. (2 Cor 13:4; 1 Cor 1:25; Eph 3:7). We can do nothing apart from God! (John 15:5)

Source

So let’s boil this down into plain language. Say I am a Gnostic seeking after the secrets Mr Franklin writes about. For 21 days I refrain from eating white pasta, potato chips, and hot dogs. According to Mr Franklin, on day 21, I will now have unlocked the heaven’s door. Silly, isn’t it?! Especially since heaven’s door was opened to me the moment I repented and Jesus forgave me! Heaven is not locked to a born again believer! It is that insidious subtlety that pollutes the faith. May the Lord repay Mr Franklin for scaring the brethren like that! (2 Timothy 4:14, Hebrews 10:30).

So of course nothing man can do will unleash the power of heaven, but if you were hooked into the Daniel Fast or another kind of Gnostic, ascetic practice and your “power” was not “released” nor made “manifest,” maybe you wondered if you had done it wrong. Maybe you were jealous of all the other, more successful people who claimed to have grown close to God. Maybe you just felt left out, and wondered how or what you could have done to ‘ascend’ on the higher, holier paths that others seemed to have attained. That’s Gnosticism’s subtlety in using ascetic practices as a weapon, and that is why it is wrong. For Paul wrote-

“The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.” (Romans 14:3)

Lest you think I took a tiny portion of his man-made ascetic fasting discipline out of context, let’s look at some more. On Rick Warren’s ministry page, Mr Franklin is speaking of the Daniel Fast again. He discussed reasons for starting this fast. He said that it is good to begin it in January, “after overeating at holiday season, after Christmas, people are looking for more discipline in their life.” Franklin says that Jesus said seek the kingdom first, and this means the first of the year. He said starting the fast at “the beginning of January is good, after getting through all the ball games and the parties.” But Paul said in Colossians 2:16

“Let no man disturb you about food or about drink or in the distinctions of feasts and beginnings of months and Sabbaths,”

And Paul said as far as indulgence goes, (or holiday over-indulgence) in Colossians 2:23, “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” In other words, will an ascetic fast stop you from overindulging at 4th of July? Or a family reunion? Or the Next Christmas? No? So does that mean the power of heaven was not released through your practice nor made manifest in the world? Did God fail? Or did you? How defeating it is to be on that hamster wheel!

Daniel Grabbe wrote, “This third [Gnostic] heresy is easily seen in the antinomianism (literally, “against law”) of the Gnostics, who may not have been against every law, but were certainly against any law—any standard of conduct or requirement of righteousness—that impinged upon their standard of conduct. Thus the ascetic Gnostics who grieved the Christians in Colossae held to manmade regulations of “do not touch, do not taste, do not handle” (Colossians 2:20-21), while rejecting the command to “rejoice” with food and drink during the God-ordained festivals.”

Look how big this church is.
They must have done the Daniel Fast!

Mr Franklin further stated, when his church does the Daniel Fast in January, “the church explodes numerically. Numbers go straight up through the roof. … Every year we’ve done this our church has grown and grown and grown, and we do it corporately.”

In attempting to meld man-made ascetic practices with holiness, Mr Franklin uses numbers to try and cement the success of his Daniel Plan. But Paul said in Colossians 18 and 19 in part:

“Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism … and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” In other words, a private, individual, Holy Spirit inspired growth of a person who then increases in fruits for the benefit of the body. Everyone wants to seem holy by doing a fast or completing some such ascetic dicipline, but that does not mean the church is growing disciple by disciple. It likely means the opposite.

Mr Franklin even goes so far as to say if you read his plan of asceticism contained in the Fasting book “I believe [you will] even hear the voice of God speaking through the words to you in a personal way…”

But the writer of Hebrews 1:1-2 said, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

Mr Franklin is really saying that ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us through me, in my fasting book.’

Live a crucified life, but not an ascetic one. Brothers and sisters, fast as the Holy Spirit prompts you for the purpose of glorifying God, not as an antidote to holiday overindulgence, church growth or releasing personal power. Develop abstinence in the various things according to the bible’s outlines, not according to people who make up lists of approved foods and then claim if you adhere to them you will unlock heaven! Denial of the flesh is good, because in the flesh is sin, (Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:13-14) but not according to man-made philosophies, but only according to the Spirit.

Paul said to the Colossians, “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)

Note: In listing the buzzwords, understand that the words themselves are neutral. It is only using them in context of a Gnostic sermon or ascetic practice that one should have their antenna raised and investigate further, using the bible as your barometer. For example, fasting to commit something to God is good. Fasting to get a blessing or release power is bad.

Ascetic Buzzwords: release, power, seed, spiritual formation, fasting, consciousness, transformation, spiritual therapy

Note: as above.

Ascetic Practices: yoga, contemplative meditation or centering prayer, labyrinth walking, fasting, Lectio Divina
———————-
Gnosticism series:

Introduction
Part 1: Secret Knowledge
Part 2: Asceticism
Part 3: Depreciation of Jesus
Part 4: Ceremonies & Rituals
Part 5: Worship of Angels
Part 6: Human Traditions 
Conclusion

Posted in beth moore, discernment, false teachers, james murphy, jentezen franklin, Joyce Meyer, osteen

It is important to be discerning!

By Elizabeth Prata

A warning from my heart. One thing that strikes me is how few (seemingly) Christians really know how late the hour is. I’m still struck by Pastor James Murphy’s sermon, the raw and pointed one he delivered last Sunday in Johnson City NY. He said that the time has come to stop fooling around. Knowing the Word of God through diligent study and practice of discernment is too important. And he said, shame on them if they didn’t think it was important. It is.

And if we know the word of God we know how late the hour is. Paul said that we are children of the Light and will not be surprised as we see the Day approaching. (1 Thess 5:4.) The writer of Hebrews said that we should not stop assembling together, we should do it all the more as we see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25). Not as we believe the day is approaching. Not as we pray that the day might be approaching. As we SEE the day approaching.

Knowing the lateness of the hour ties in with this verse: “For where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also.” (Matthew 6:21). Is our treasure Jesus? Or is it this world? At this late hour are we part of a Laodicean church? Jesus had charges against that church-

‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” (Rev 3:15-18).

The Worship of Mammon, E. DeMorgan, 1909

Are we buying gold from Mammon? So that we may be comfortable and rich and have need of nothing? And so not have need of Jesus? Are we walking in self-confidence (Beth Moore), satisfied with our best life now (Joel Osteen), doing lukewarm works with Jesus as a footnote (Rick Warren), manipulating God so he will be forced to release the blessing (Joyce Meyer), begging for ‘seed money’ (Jentezen Franklin) and throwing people who “hinder” us off the bus where the bodies are piling up? (Mark Driscoll)?

Or are we the church at Philadelphia, where Jesus said we “have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” ?

That is the main problem with the global church body today, but especially UK, Canada, Australia and US. We deny Jesus. Oh, sure, a name of Jesus is preached from pulpits, if they even dare to call it a pulpit, some just call it a podium, but it is from a different Gospel and it refers to a different Jesus. THE Jesus of the Bible is denied again and again.

Over 120 years ago Charles Haddon Spurgeon predicted, “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” Oh, how right he was.

Our generation is “Sacrificing biblical truth for the cause of ecumenical unity and promotion of carnal methodology in churches are the norm of our age” wrote Chris Lawson in his April newsletter, “Clowning around in the pulpit.” He wrote, “Instead of playing fast and loose with God’s church, Christian leaders ought to be discussing Bible prophecy in light of global events and teaching biblical discernment in light of the end-times apostasy.”

Oh how right he is. Are pastors, teachers, and leaders teaching biblical discernment? A few. Praise them, and thank you Lord for raising up the pastors and teachers who are. But they are increasingly few…Grant Jeffrey is home with the Lord now, as is David Wilkerson, Adrian Rogers, and others. I see few discerning elders on the near horizon to take their place. And increasingly, the ones who are still teaching and preaching biblical discernment are not listened to. I wonder what the fallout has been for Pastor James Murphy up in Johnson City.

Thus, today, instead of the norm in our Bible-believing churches being the Prince of Preachers warning 120 years ago about the coming clown parade,

Believers are warned again and again throughout the Old Testament and the New about the dangers of idols, false teaching and false prophets. Are we, in the twenty-first century so smart that we can afford to ignore these? No. Are we who are the generation living in the latter days so advanced that we can ignore the warnings of end of times apostasy? No.

So what are we to do? John MacArthur preached on the verses from  Thessalonians 5:21-22, in a series titled “A Call for Discernment.” In part 1 he said, “We cannot for a moment believe that every one who claims to be in Christ and to speak on behalf of Christ is speaking the truth.” But yet so many people do. In 1 Thess 5:16 “starting with verse 16, Paul has been listing the basics of Christian living…rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus, do not quench the Spirit, do not despise Scripture or the revelation of God. And now he comes to this one, examine everything.”

Just because a person says they come in the name of Christ, they may not. Just because they are popular or long-lasting, doesn’t mean they get a pass on whether they should be examined. The Bereans were called noble for examining the scriptures to see if they lined up with what Paul said. And Paul loved it.

Here are some discernment resources:

MacArthur Sermons-
A Call For Discernment Part 1
A Call for Discernment Part 2
A Call for Discernment Part 3

Books-
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies
A Call for Discernment, Jay Adams

Study-
Discernment is a Commandment
Discernment in the Church
Discernment and the Watchman

The best Resource of all is the Holy Spirit! And the Bible itself.

Brethren, the hour is late. The watchword of the day is not our pits or self or confidence or release or seed or seeker. Repentance is the watchword, because after that, comes wrath.

Posted in jentezen franklin, the daniel fast

Jentezen Franklin, and his false teachings on fasting

“PART 1: The Daniel Fast, here

There are many churches today participating in the current fad known as The Daniel Fast. This is a man-made so-called spiritual activity that is supposed to automatically draw you closer to God by eating things that are on a list and not eating things that are not on a list.

If you partake of this fast, other benefits mentioned on The Daniel Fast website are winning the battle over the flesh (hard to do when we are still flesh when the fast is done), losing weight and healings from diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer. Another benefit is said to be putting our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us, the soul and the body. It must be news to the Holy Spirit that we can put Him in charge of things. (source). Here is what others have experienced by fasting along with Jentezen Franklin: healed relationships, spiritual growth, physical healings, financial breakthroughs, and other blessings. Wow.

If that is the case, you have to wonder what blessings aren’t being released, Franklin writes, what answers to prayer are not getting through…what bondages are not being broken…because we fail to fast.” The Word-Faith crowd always makes a point to say that we will lose out on something if we don’t do it their way. This is an example. Fasting is a voluntary activity we engage in at the prompting of the Spirit or when we feel we need to humble ourselves in grief or repentance, or to focus on Jesus in a more pointed way. More on fasting in previous post.

Jentezen Franklin is the guru of fasting. He has written two books on it and is the one who championed The Daniel Fast. His statements about why we fast include fasting to get a blessing, to earn God’s favor, to get a public reward, to get our greatest breakthrough, to “release” a hundredfold return. (source).

So the lesson from The Daniel Fast and Jentezen Franklin is that we fast to get something. I do not believe we fast to get something, and I do not believe we should expect something and I do not believe we have the power to cause God to do something if we fast. More on what fasting is all about in the previous post.

Secondly, if we fast, Franklin says, it causes God to “release” these things into our lives. My understanding is that fasting is a private expression of a deeply felt spiritual need and a way to humble myself before Almighty God.

All this elevates fasting to an importance the bible does not give it nor did Jesus give it. So who is this Jentezen Franklin?

Franklin is pastor of a Holiness church in GA but he is also pastor of a Holiness church in CA. How does he do it? This article from Charisma Magazine explains:

“Every Sunday, Franklin arrives at Free Chapel in Gainesville (GA) by 5 a.m. for prayer, preaches two sermons and shakes hundreds of hands before boarding a private jet at 2 p.m. with his family and two staff members. They arrive at John Wayne Airport, located five minutes from Free Chapel Orange County (OC), and by 6 p.m. Franklin is in the pulpit. The next day is filled with Orange County staff meetings, and the group returns to Gainesville on Tuesday. “This may sound like a crazy schedule, but it is actually exhilarating,” Franklin says. … “My family comes first, and what shows me that this is of God is the way they can be with me more now than ever,” Franklin says. “The school systems have actually worked it out that my children can be off the two days so they can be with me.”

Is this a biblical model of pastoring? Pastor means shepherd. How can he shepherd his flock if he has one pasture in Judah and one in Persia? He can’t. It is not a biblical model of shepherding. As for his family, is taking his children out of school for two days a week the best, most stable life for them? Is his ambition so great he plunks his children in the middle of his “crazy schedule” so he can enjoy the ‘exhilaration’? And a private jet??? He had a choice to stay in GA. He chose the jet set lifestyle. Is this the proper Christian pastoring and fathering model we want to buy into? It isn’t for me, and I refuse to spend money buying his book.

His friends tell us a lot about who Franklin is. This weekend he is preaching from the pulpit of false preacher Joel Osteen’s stage at Lakewood Church! (source here and here). There is no worse false church in America than Lakewood. There is no worse false preacher than Osteen! Osteen denies the Gospel in favor of becoming a motivational guru to have “your best life now”. The only way you’re having your best life now is if you’re going to hell. (that was John MacArthur’s wit). This Jentezen Franklin will be preaching from Osteen’s stage for two days. That should tell us a lot.

FALSE PASTOR ALERT.

If that is not enough, after this weekend Franklin will be hosting the “Praise the Lord” show with Jan and Paul Crouch on TBN. There is no deeper of a snake pit of false doctrine than Praise the Lord show on TBN and Franklin will be promoting it. (source)

Franklin should be excised from any bible-believing church on these bases ALONE.

But wait, there’s more.

As for his teachings, they are false doctrine too. He said in one sermon as he appealed for money, lots of it for over ten minutes, over sentimental music blared from loudspeakers, “I’ve never come to Hillsong Conference where I haven’t sown at least a $1000 seed…”

Yet the bible says, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Mt 6:2

and Franklin goes on, “$1000 seed…into this place, because if I sow now, the rain of now will fall on my life.” NAME IT CLAIM IT! Tithe big, you get big. And what is “the rain of now” for heaven’s sakes? His hands were fluttering down as rain, and the audience looked up as if expecting manna or Armani suits or money to fall from the sky right then.

He is a Word-Faith preacher and we know those are false. The Word-Faith crowd is big on “if you do this, you get this.” “If you do this it will cause God to move.” They talk about ‘releasing’ power into your life, but in fact the only thing we have the power to release is a fart after dinner. He elevates to us more power than we have and diminishes Jesus in the process.

“It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of ministry,” he says. “It’s dangerous to have a growing ministry and a shrinking passion for God; something gets out of whack. When I find myself becoming mechanical in my preaching, even a one-day fast fine-tunes me and makes my heart sensitive. For me, fasting is the key.”

Fasting is not Jiffy Lube. It is the Word fine-tunes you. Sigh.

But most telling, is the following:

He said, “When I feel myself growing dry spiritually, when I don’t sense that cutting-edge anointing, or when I need a fresh encounter with God, fasting is the secret key that unlocks heaven’s door and slams shut the gates of hell. The discipline of fasting releases the anointing, the favor, and the blessing of God in the life of a Christian.”

Don’t gloss over this.

It is the most abhorrent statement imaginable. It is sacrilege. Jesus has the key to heaven and hell. Nothing we do unlocks it. How sacrilegious to say that any activity we do unlocks heaven or shuts hell. This is wrong! On just that statement, he should be booted from every bible-believing pulpit, our churches, and our bookshelves!

And why is fasting characterized as a “secret”? It is not, at least not to anyone who reads the bible. And what is a ‘cutting edge anointing’? Is it different from a regular anointing? Franklin distinguished the “normal seed” from the “precious seed” in one ‘name it claim it’ sermon I’d listened to. I guess I am missing out on the “cutting edge” anointing and I just have to settle for the regular anointing we get when we’re saved. (1 John 2:20).

See, that is the dangerous heresy in Word-Faith preachers like Franklin, they subtly elevate themselves and their teachings above what the bible says, making everything else seem humdrum by comparison by using sexy words like cutting edge, fine-tune, heart sensitive, breakthroughs, hundredfold return, precious seeds…. it is all very exciting in Franklin’s world, exhilarating, even. By comparison, the staid old faith, prayer, service, obedience seems dry as yesterday’s toast.

The Word-Faith doctrine “puts confidence in the nature of faith rather then in the object of faith. It assumes that there’s something inherent in believing that enacts [or “releases”] something when it isn’t true at all. It is not the nature of faith that is effective, it is the object of faith. It is my faith in God that gets results not my faith in my faith.” (source: A biblical answer to the prosperity Gospel)

Franklin Jentezen is a jet setting, TBN hosting, Osteen partnering Word-Faith prosperity preacher who has no business being in any biblical church. He is a wolf. Avoid Jentezen Franklin and The Daniel Fast. Rely on the Holy Spirit to direct your steps. Pray, fast when the Spirit prompts you, read your bible so you will have the discernment to spot a false teaching when you come across one. Go have a good lunch, and don’t forget to thank the Lord for it!
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The Daniel Fast and Jentezen Franklin

Part 2: Jentezen Franklin and his false teachings, here

It is with heavy heart I write this today. I have been called by our gracious and Holy Spirit to write this. Out of sincere duty to Him who reveals truth and obedience to Him who saves, I must say some things about the Daniel Fast and about Jentezen Franklin of the Fasting books. This is part 1, about fasting and the Daniel Fast

First, a parable. Picture a large house, in which you and I live with a family. We are all busy, doing things, and happily dwelling there. In November I awoke one morning and went into the baby’s room, and as I opened the door I saw with horror that there was a wolf curled up with the baby, snarling and drooling. There are two things I could do. I could close the door and go downstairs to make breakfast, not saying anything about the wolf in the house. Or I could flip on the burglar alarm, call 911, and get my shotgun. Of course I opt for the latter. I am going to make a warning that there is a wolf in the house, I am going to make a ruckus about it, because wolves are dangerous and there are babes to protect.

The house is Your Church. The wolf is The Daniel Fast and/or Jentezen Franklin, the promoter of the current fasting fad. We make a ruckus to let everyone know that there is a wolf ready to pounce on the babes of our faith.

FASTING

There are many churches today participating in the current fad known as The Daniel Fast. This is a man-made so-called spiritual activity that is supposed to automatically draw you closer to God by eating things that are on a list and not eating things that are not on a list. Other benefits touted if you partake of this fast are winning the battle over the flesh (hard to do when we are still flesh when the fast is done), losing weight and healings from diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer. Another benefit from doing the fast is said to be putting our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us, the soul and the body. It must be news to the Holy Spirit that we can put Him in charge of things. (source)

Fasting is in the bible, but the way it is being taught in the Daniel Fasting plan and in Franklin’s book it is off center. That is the genius of false teaching, take a biblical thing and twist it.

Let me say that I know good pastors have a heart for their people. I can’t imagine the stress and difficulty of being a pastor in the last days, and the mourning they do for the sheep who are sleeping and at such risk! I want to shake them myself, out of complacency, laziness, or apathy, and get them to see that every moment for Christ counts. I know they want the best for us. But the Daniel Fast and the Jentezen Franklin books are not the way to wake them up and this isn’t the best for the congregants of a church.

About fasting: it is good. I fast. Fasting is biblical. However the only New Testament direction we are given is from Jesus’ sermon on the Mount, and in that, the only specifics we are given about fasting is as a voluntary activity prompted by the Holy Spirit TO DO IT IN SECRET. Jentezen Franklin’s model calls for the opposite. Otherwise, Jesus said, the temptation to lean toward pride and hypocrisy is too great. We are told in Romans 14 that the kingdom of God is not what we eat or drink, but the Daniel Plan contains a long list of what we may eat or drink.

If a person engages in it for the wrong motivations, such as it being a promoted activity from their church leadership, or as a weight loss plan, or as a healthy lifestyle, then it is a fad of no worth!

“Fasting in and of itself is unknown in Scripture as an end in itself. All of the benefits of fasting in the Scripture are indirect, not direct. Fasting is never isolated to create some virtue in and of itself. You don’t just say well, I’m going to be spiritual, I will not eat. You are no more spiritual because you don’t eat than because you do eat.” (source)

“Fasting is to deny self, but it is not done in a vacuum. You don’t just say well, I’m going to deny myself. I’m going to say no to myself and stop eating for no good reason. There is a reason to humble yourself in that manner. There is a reason to deny yourself in that manner. There is a reason to inflict yourself in that manner and the reason is a consuming one. [F]asting never occurs in a vacuum. It never occurs biblically without a corollary. So, fasting is almost not something you choose to do, but something you cannot avoid.” (source)

What is the reason people would go on a Daniel Fast, which strictly is not the definition of fasting, because fasting is avoidance of food? Is it just to do it? Because it will make you grow spiritually? It won’t, if that is your sole reason. It’s not an activity that causes growth, it is an outward expression of an interior spiritual need or circumstance.

Here is an excerpt on the Daniel Fast and fasting in the New Testament from John MacArthur’s site, Grace To You:

“What’s sad is the effect these self-appointed authorities have on those who follow them. They bind consciences with false guilt. Setting themselves up as judges of what goes into your mouth, they oppose our Lord Jesus Christ, who declared all foods clean and said that nothing should be rejected if it is received with gratitude (Mark 7:19; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).

“The New Testament leaves the details of fasting to the discretion of the believer and even de-emphasizes fasting in the progress of revelation. When Jesus taught against hypocrisy in Matthew 6:1-18, he taught us to give, pray, and fast privately. If you do, your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

[As opposed to praying, fasting is a] “Different approach altogether. Yes, he tells those who fast to fast in secret (Matthew 6:18). But he does not say, “Fast, then, in this way.” He does not give any instruction on fasting. He does not address frequency. He does not address diet. He does not address drinking liquids while fasting. He most certainly does not address whether the starchy endosperm in semolina vitiates the purpose of the fast!”

“His silence shows that Jesus de-emphasized fasting in comparison to prayer. If you needed such details to live your Christian life, He would have given them (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). His silence shows you shouldn’t preoccupy yourself with the matter. Teachers today should not regulate fasting or elevate it to prominence when Jesus left it in the shadows.”

Fasting is a private, Holy Spirit inspired activity usually and traditionally associated with grief, repentance, or for a specific purpose that Jesus Himself relegates to a private matter between a believer and God, vertically. The Daniel Fast promoters and Franklin have made it an activity on some name it-claim it spiritual check-off list, a horizontal display of public piety laden with potentials for hypocrisy and pride, exactly what Jesus said not to do. I’m sorry to be harsh, but someone has to say it.

A short series of essays on the proper approach to fasting can be found on John MacArthur’s blog below, and in part 3 he deals with the Daniel Fast specifically. It is not long, each part is only 2 pages. I encourage you to read this four part series from a senior pastor of our faith to get an understanding of the theology behind fasting from which any discerning person can go forward on making good decisions on determining if their urge for fasting is a spiritual need or a church activity, and whether or not to take part in any program or plan set before them.

The Heart of Christian Fasting, Part 1. The Old Testament.
The Heart of Christian Fasting, Part 2: Sermon on the Mount
The Heart of Christian Fasting, Part 3: The New Testament (it is this part he deals with the Daniel Fast)
The Heart of Christian Fasting, Part 4: Fasting Today

If someone wants to listen to or read a good sermon series on fasting, again I direct them to the Grace to You website and the series entitled Fasting Without Hypocrisy, Part 1

I condemn this Daniel Fast as a fad, a gimmick based on flawed teachings, and man-made motivations and well apart from proper biblical moorings.

I exhort with all possible urgency that any church practicing it is dangerously adrift!

Part, 2, Jentezen Franklin next
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