February 18, 2006

Will the Real Elijah Please Stand Up?
People do the darndest things in the name of Elijah the Prophet. Some claim to be the reincarnation of Elijah; many say they have the spirit and power of Elijah; others assign his name to their ministries as an endorsement; and wolves fleece the sheep of their livelihood using Elijah as their authority. In the book of Malachi we read: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:5). Do you think when Elijah comes back, the first ones he calls fire down from heaven upon will be those false prophets who misused his name? I hope so!
It has become so popular to use the name of Elijah to name ministries after. One quick check on Google and you’ll find a bevy of Elijahs. There’s Elijah Ministries, the Elijah Commission, Elijah House, Elijah's Mantle, Spirit of Elijah Ministries, The Voice of Elijah ministry, the Elijah Project, Elijah Cry Ministry, Elijah Fellowship International and Elijah’s Mantle Apostolic Covering Ministry (EMAC).
And then there’s the endless list of "Christian" celebrities and scoundrels who claim to be the embodiment of the prophesied return of the Prophet Elijah. Here’s a small sampling:
  • John Alexander Dowie (1847-1907) – Founder of the City of Zion, an early Pentecostal center. "In 1901 he claimed that he was Elijah the Restorer, and in 1904 he told his followers to anticipate the full restoration of apostolic Christianity and revealed that he had been divinely commissioned as the first apostle of a renewed end-times church" (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, pg. 249).

  • Herbert W. Armstrong: "a letter in The Journal: News of the Churches of God, Vol. I No. 10 (21 Nov 1997), clinging to the fiction somewhat cynically taught by the Worldwide Church of God ministry that Herbert Armstrong was Elijah. The brethren were also taught that Garner Ted Armstrong was Elisha and the mantle was to be given to him." (From the book, Elijah? (No. 233) ©1997 by Wade Cox http://www.ccg.org/english/s/p233.html
  • William Branham – "By the 1960's, Branham had clearly become convinced that he was the end-times "Elijah" and the true "Messenger of the Covenant" (The Enigma Of William Branham, Andrew Strom).[For further information on Branham, see Mike Oppenheimer’s web site at: http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain26.htm ]

  • Bernard Jordan – False prophet who prophesies to anyone at a set price. He renamed himself "Bishop Elijah Bernard Jordan" tacking on Elijah’s name since he considers himself the modern-day fulfillment of the coming of Elijah. He gives credit to Reverend Ike and Bill Hamon for his coming into his "prophetic gift."
  • Benny Hinn – On TBN’s Spring, April 1999 Praise-a-Thon, Benny related his dream of being visited by Elijah who handed him his rod that could turn rivers into streams of blood. Benny asked fellow guest Marc Chironna to interpret his dream after proclaiming Chionna to be a prophet. Chironna confirmed that Benny Hinn had received "the spirit of Elijah and the essence of the Elijah ministry." Hinn went on to use the new authority to get people to send in a double portion to TBN or they would not survive the coming year.

TBN’s Praise-a-Thons with their cast of creepy cash-collectors have used Elijah over and over again to put fear of the retribution of Elijah into those who might use their Social Security checks to pay the rent instead of handing it off to them. Remember John Avanzini, the now disfavored TBN fundraiser? If I had a dollar every time he brought up that poor old widow woman who made Elijah a cake first, I would be almost as wealthy as the Crouches.

And remember that certified snake in the grass, Robert Tilton? He made a fortune off of Elijah’s poor old widow woman. I hope the other witness in the book of Revelation that comes back with Elijah is that old widow woman. She should have a share in the fiery retribution to be eked out to the false prophets.

And of course, R. W. Schambach has never been outdone in running Elijah’s memory into the mud. During TBN’s Spring 2001 Praise-a-Thon, the speakers all laid on top of the pledges while Schambach began to blow on the pink slips, claiming he could anoint the pledges like the prophet Elijah breathed into the mouth of the widow’s dead son to restore him to life. That way the pledges would be anointed to receive the hundred-fold return.

But the worst of the worst misuse of Elijah’s name and reputation is the "Elijah List" operated by a bald-headed businessman Steve Shultz who peddles the wares of today’s worst and wickedest false prophets. His throng of prognosticators include John Arnott, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Todd Bentley, Wes & Stacey Campell, John & Paula Sandford, Kim Clement, Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Jill Austin, Che Ahn, Mahesh Chvada, Bob Jones, and anyone else who hears voices in their heads. Whatever conference they’re involved in, Shultz advertises them to his "Elijah List" and sells the conference tapes afterwards.

In the context of the last days, Jesus warned us: "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many" (Matt. 24:11).

The false prophecies and false teachings that have come out of these prognosticators are just too lengthy to list here. But their excuses for their failures are getting more and more clever. When what they proclaim as coming from so-called revelation-knowledge turns out to be proven as wrong, they won’t admit that God is not speaking to them – just that they heard wrong.

Benny Hinn deals with it like this: "Man, I remember when God would give me words of knowledge back when I began in this ministry. I missed nine out of ten. Nobody knew it except me. 'Well, Benny Hinn', I thought, 'when the Holy Ghost' - saints, the Holy Ghost is using an imperfect vessel. Are you listening? We're not infallible. Or when you give a prophecy sometimes you can be way off, you have to be open enough to say I blew it. ‘ooo! He blew it; he's a false prophet!’ No, he just blew it. Just because you blow it - men of God blow it all the time. Paul blew it; Moses blew it; even Elijah blew it,- even Elisha blew it! They all blew it. Maybe not with prophecies, but they blew it in all kinds of things…When the gift begins it begins rough, but then as you keep going with it you just get better and better and cleaner and purer with it. So today with the word of knowledge - I'm just being open with - I rarely miss anymore. Why? Because I recognize how to operate in it."

The "Word of the Lord For 2006" gathering of false prophets called "the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders" or the "ACPE Roundtable" released an out for false teachers to supply them with a ready-made excuse for issuing false prophecies. The summary from the Roundtable was written and complied by false prophetess Cindy Jacobs on January 9, 2006. She wrote:

"This is the word given through a compilation of the prophetic releases and consensus of the ACPE. There are differing variables that can affect the timing and/or coming to pass of these words:

1) All prophecy not contained in scripture is conditional.
2) The timing that the prophecy comes to pass may not occur in a one year time-frame.
3)  It is possible that the prophetic warnings given may cause the person or corporate nation to repent and thus turn away the judgment prophesied. Biblically, this happened when Jonah prophesied to Nineveh, and the city repented causing God to relent."

So when anyone’s prophecies do not come to pass, they cannot be recognized as the false prophets they are since they can always say that God changed His mind. They see themselves at the top of the heap in their Kingdom-Now hierarchy and the link between the average pew-warmer and God. They also pronounced that "2006 will be a year of great shifting for the Body of Christ. He wants to shift us into new wine for new moves of God. This shift will require us to re-think, re-structure, and seek the Lord's face as to how He wants us to function in the coming visitations of God."

If the "new moves of God" are anything like the past so-called new wine these false leaders have immersed their people into, get ready for more of the same magician’s tricks. How are they going to top gold teeth, feathers flying in their meetings, oil manifesting on people’s hands, being drunk "in the spirit," or any other pointless expressions of power? What illusions are they cooking up to distract believers from following Jesus? We’ll have to wait and see. But it might not happen this year – remember, just because they say this will happen in 2006, doesn’t necessarily mean it will.

We need to keep in mind that these empty things being promised by these "prophets" are designed to elevate themselves over the people who depend on them to dish out the spiritual highs. A good rule of thumb when the "prophets" boast of their "new wine" is: "If anything is contrary to Scripture, it is wrong. If anything is the same as Scripture, it is not needed. If anything goes beyond Scripture, it has no authority."

♥♥♥

 

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