I have decided to do a book review section of my blog since I read through so many books and am always interested in sharing them with those of you who love to read as well. Why not start with the first book that prompted this desire in me, the controversial Counterfeit Revival by, Hank Hanegraaff. This book is a compilation of years and many hours of research Hanegraaff as done on the new movement in Christianity that arose in the late 1980s. He terms this movement as the “counterfeit revival”. The movement consists of men and women calling themselves prophets who lead revival meetings all throughout the United States. At these revival meetings they claim to have direct power from the Holy Spirit to be able to slain people in the Spirit (this is defined as a state of being where the Holy Spirit comes on the person with such strong force it knocks them down to the ground – the most prominent example of this is Benny Hinn on TV). At these meetings the attendees are able to fall into a connection with the Holy Spirit that can leave them laughing uncontrollably for hours on end or also “stuck like glue” to the ground where they are essentially paralyzed by the Holy Spirit and unable to move.
This movement is mainly characterized by emotional experiences. Some of the prominent leaders of this movement in regards to people not experiencing the effects of the revival meetings (i.e. slain in the spirit, etc.) go as far as to say that “the mistake people make is as simple as ‘praying in the spirit’ instead of ‘soaking in the power’” … instead of praying “he encourages people to be completely open… ‘all you gotta do is be a sponge and just get down into the moisture and just [slurping sound] soak it up’” p.50. “Another reason for failing to receive is people’s fear of deception. The antidote, says Arnott, is not to become a good discerner, but instead, when you come ‘asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, I don’t want you to even entertain the thought that you might get a counterfeit’” p.50. This is so contradicting to the Word of God and I find it really sad that this growing movement emphasizes not praying… it sounds like concepts straight out of Satan’s mouth… not our God’s mouth. God’s Word also says to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1). This is a direct contradiction to what these leaders (Arnott) is telling his followers to do.
These new age prophets have been known to prophesy false prophesies and when it is brought to their attention their defense is that, “seers should not be tested by the accuracy of their predictions but by the character of their lives: ‘I believe the test of a prophet is not whether his word comes to pass; it’s his lifestyle. It’s the character of the individual. That is how you test a prophet … It’s not a matter of whether the word comes to pass or not; it’s the nature of that person’s life’” David Ravenhill p.89. “Counterfeit Revival prophet Bob Jones says, ‘I figure if I hit two-thirds, I’m doing pretty good.’” p.89. The Bible is clear about false prophets: “ ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
I find myself so disgusted in this movement and I encourage every believer to spend a significant amount of time reading God’s Word and praying so that we as true believers are able to recognize when someone is preaching something contradictory to God’s Word. God’s Word is the ultimate source of truth and everything in it is filled with purpose, hope and redeeming love. Anything that turns a person away from God and towards a human being or towards themselves as a source of power and faith is clearly not from God but a scheme of the Devil.
I could go on and on and on in regards to this and that would essentially require me to just copy and paste the contents of this book into my blog… I think I’ll save you all the time and just suggest reading it yourselves if you have the time. Also if you want a quick link to some of the prominent leaders of this movement please go to http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/page3.html there you will find the leaders names and links to some of the articles and quotes from them. The next book I will endeavor is Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaff. This book focuses on the Word of Faith movement that is dominating Christianity even more than this Counterfeit Revival movement has. From the small amount I know about the Word of Faith movement it is clear that Satan has become his craftiest here and is taking the Word of God and tweaking just the smallest part of it to influence self-directed faith among believers instead of faith in the one true God and is using popular Christian influences as his platform. More to come in the next month…