Just the other night I was laying down to go to bed and I made a mistake! I started to read through my messages on Facebook and something got me stirred up! I’ve learning over the years not to do this, because I’m the type of person that gets stirred up easily about things pertaining to the Church. This is because my main call is as a shepherd of and a watchman to the bride of Christ, and things pertaining to her move me deeply, especially things which are disturbing and which grieve the Spirit of God. As a minister, in some areas I bear God’s heart and burden, especially in areas which directly relate to my calling. On this night, I became so grieved by what I was watching and listening to on YouTube (a video clip one of my friends sent me from a supposed prophet), that I had to get up in the middle of the night, go out into my living room to be alone, pray, and intercede.
There is much liberty in the Church today because our God is so merciful, so kind, and so gracious. The Holy Spirit dared to inspire the Apostle Paul to make statements like this: “All things are permissible” (1 Cor.10:23), knowing that people would take the liberty given by the Spirit of Grace to sin and bring reproach to the name of Jesus. Paul went on to say that although all things are permissible, all things are not beneficial. But none the less, people allow the Word of God to be taken out of context, because of the defilement of their own hearts, according to the lust of their own flesh and eyes. In some cases, these people don’t even know what they’re doing. The deception at work in their defiled hearts convinces them of their righteousness in the midst of their shameful activity, and what is repulsive to God and the Spirit of Grace seems perfectly fine in their eyes. As the heart is tuned, so the eyes see. Too many ministers today, especially in the Western world, have hearts that are out of tune with heaven, and therefore do not see as God sees, bringing great spiritual poverty and wretchedness to themselves and their followers. I’m praying that God judges this kind of leadership and convicts the hearts of men and women, who day after day do that which makes angels cringe.
This particular minister who I was watching was using the promise of having an open-eyed encounter with Christ to sell his books and his conferences. What a travesty! What horror!! What absolute stupidity, and lack of honor and reverence for God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ!!! May it always be far from me, that I would ever use a false promise of seeing Jesus openly to sell my conference tickets or push my book on Amazon. No man or woman has the right to ever make such a promise to God’s people, for the Word of God is clear about to whom the appearance of Christ belongs. It is not just to anyone who buys a book!
The writer of Hebrew wrote, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb.12:14). This minister is a liar saying that the price to see Jesus is $17.99 after checkout. These kinds of ministers will stand before God one day and I believe they will be among those whom the Lord spoke of in Matt.7:22-23, whom He will say to, “Though you prophesied in my name, cast out demons in my name, and did wonders in my name, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”
This is not the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the work of the mystery of lawlessness and iniquity loosed in the earth (2 Thes.2:7), which makes the laws and ways of God into a joke. These men and women use the guise of grace to bring great reproach to the name of Jesus, and I’m asking God to judge all of it. Yes, I’m asking God to convict these ones’ hearts of their sin and prostitution of the gifts of God; I’m asking the Lord to wield His whip again in the Western church and clean out this den of thieves, which we call Holy Ghost anointed ministries. I stand ashamed to be associated with such insanity, even in being a Spirit-filled charismatic Christian believer today, after what I saw the other night on that video. It’s no wonder we can’t reach our cessationist brothers and sisters in the Lord, who don’t believe that the power of the Holy Spirit has worked since the early apostles were used to establish the faith and give us the Bible. It’s because many of our ministers in the charismatic Church are absolute wolves in sheep's clothing, taking advantage of God’s people, who are wowed by the supernatural they see. Don’t be wowed. Please reserve your awe and shock in seeing their gifting until after these ministers have passed the test, according to the light and Truth of God’s Word.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt.5:8). The Bible says that Jesus was down by the river Jordan praying when the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and rested and remained upon Him in power from that day forward (Lk.3:21-22). So let me ask you… where was these Biblical disclaimers in this so-called prophet’s guarantee that everyone who buys his book will see Jesus? Where is it written in his ad-copy that first you have to pursue peace, live holy, be pure in heart, and have a deep prayer life, before the Father will ever grant such ecstasies to His children? It’s written nowhere in their works because these kinds of ministers are liars and thieves, and they clearly don’t care about Truth. They only care about moving money from your pocket into theirs. What an absolute tragedy that people eat this stuff up in the Church. Jesus, help us!
The truth is that such beautiful things in the kingdom of God, like intimacy with Jesus, which can lead to face-to-face encounters with Him, are not cheap. They will cost you everything. These types of encounters, like everything else in the kingdom, are free gifts of God’s grace. But as you’ve heard it said, freedom is not free. It cost Jesus everything, and quite frankly it costs you everything as well. The deeper realms of intimacy with God are reserved for sons and daughters that are willing to pay the price to draw near to Him and be intimate with Him. This is the truth. You cannot pay for intimacy with God. This is a great tragedy, that this kind of activity is running rampant in the Church.
ATTEMPTING TO BUY OR SELL THE GIFT OF GOD IS LINKED TO SORCERY
18 “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
21 “You neither have part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
How could it be any plainer? How can a God-fearing Christian know of Scriptures like this and say such idiocy. It’s clearly written: Trying to buy or sell the gift of God is the very act of Simon’s sorcery, found in this passage of Scripture. Simon was the local sorcerer who wowed all the people making them say, “This man is the great power of God” (Acts 8:10). The Bible says that all gave heed to him, listened to him, and followed him. He blended right in when Phillip came through preaching Christ and doing signs and wonders as an evangelist (vs.12-13). Simon was even baptized and had fellowship with Phillip and the other disciples.
What do we see here? We see that in many cases God allows the false supernatural to come into the church (which wows people just the same as the real supernatural). In this story, it was only when Peter came into their midst, having eyes that were burning with revelatory fire, that Simon’s source of power and motives were revealed, having a heart “poisoned by bitterness and iniquity.” Peter did not back down from telling the Truth and rebuking this ungodly act of trying to buy the gift of God. Peter told him that “he had no part or portion” with the believers, that his heart was not right, and called him to repentance on the spot.
Where are the ministers in the Western church with influence calling such sorcerers in the charismatic world to repentance? Where is the outrage over trying to buy or sell the gift of God? Where are the Peters who will boldly call this out for what it is: poison, iniquity, the very work of Satan?
GOD ANSWERS MY PRAYER WITH A DREAM OF LOU ENGLE AND THE PAGAN PROPHETS
That night as I prayed being troubled in spirit, I sincerely asked the Lord to speak to me about this kind of ministry and to give me a Word of judgment about this one I had just viewed. I asked the Lord to weigh his ministry on the scales of heaven and to open my eyes to Truth. After I had prayed for quite some time, not only for the truth I was seeking, but also for the soul of this particular minister, I went to sleep feeling at peace that I had broken through and that at some point the Lord would answer me on this particular inquiry. (Note: If we ask for judgment and cannot pray for mercy and that God would change people’s hearts first, then we do not truly love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We must pray for those we are at odds with!)
That night I dreamed a dream through which God spoke His answer. In this dream I was talking with Prophet Lou Engle in a wide open field. The wind was blowing, and the grass was incredibly green everywhere. It reminded me of a scene I had seen of South Dakota, where there was land for livestock to graze on as far as the eye could see.
Lou and I were speaking for quite some time, but my concentration kept being broken by the noise of a white horse in the distance that was making a bunch of noise and commotion. At times I couldn’t even hear what Lou Engle was saying, even though He was standing right in front of me, because this horse was so loud. Then I heard the voice of the Father speak in the dream, “These are the Pagan Prophets, and my spirit is nowhere near them.”
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM & THE TRUTH ABOUT PURE PROPHETS VS. PAGAN PROPHETS
When I looked up the word “pagan” in Webster’s dictionary, here’s what I found:
1) HEATHEN; especially: a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome);
2) one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods:..”
In the past in American culture, the word “religion” was a good term, usually referring to sincere faith in Christ, unlike today where it’s almost a slanderous term. Today, the last thing someone who’s a truly follower of Jesus wants to be called is “religious.” It’s like being labeled a Pharisee. But in this definition, when it says that a pagan is someone “who has little or no religion, it’s referring to someone who does not take faith in Christ seriously, instead opting to pursue sensual pleasures and material goods. Tell me that does this not describe many charismatic ministers exactly?
The “polytheistic” here in this definition refers to “going after other gods.” In the sin of this day, many of these ministers don’t even realize it; they think they’re going after the glory, but they’re really going after other gods, familiar spirits, demonic deceiving spirits, which turn the grace of God into a license for sin and absurdity. They think they’re pursuing the Lord, but they’re really pursuing their own pride and greed, exalting themselves and bringing great reproach to the name of Jesus.
10 “But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
Like the bucking white bronco, looking pure and white, having the appearance of good, these false-apostles and false-prophets have the appearance of godliness; they appear to represent Christ, but they are like “brute beasts,” bucking wildly about, drawing attention to themselves and their own greatness, detracting attention from Christ and God’s true prophets. This is why in the dream, I had a hard time hearing Lou Engle even though He was standing right in front of me. This signifies how these false prophets create confusion and hinder the ability of the body of Christ’s ability to hear God. With their supernatural feats, and clear evident gifting, people gobble up the ridiculous antics and heretical teachings of these false-prophets so easily, and the people’s ability to hear God is greatly hindered, because they have given themselves over to the same spirit of delusion and deception that the minister has. This deception is very strong, indicative of what Paul warned of in 2 Thes.2:10-11, when He wrote, “..because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved, and for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.” They clearly don’t love Truth because they are in such open violation of its principles and precepts. God help us in these days!
LOU ENGLE REPRESENTS THE PURE PROPHETS
In the dream it was clear that Lou Engle represented the pure prophets. Lou drew me close and spoke to me as a friend. He could care less whether or not I gave him anything. He just wanted to be there for me and mentor me in the dream, as a young prophet who was sincerely seeking answers to the questions I had.
21 “”I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in My counsel, and has caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.”
This is one the chief distinguishing characteristics of a pure prophet sent from God; they will use their platform and influence to turn people away from evil and unrighteousness, back to the Living God, His Word, and His holy ways. Lou Engle has been a leading intercessor and prophet in America for some time now, using his platform and influence to organize solemn assemblies in stadiums and to call for fasting and prayer, so God might turn America back to Him. Lou Engle is a pure and holy man who would never use his closeness to God, or the presumption of ungodly promises made to God’s people, to sell himself or his ministry. These are things which are not named among God’s pure prophets and apostles. Many of our so-called apostles and prophets today are greatly disqualified, and they will be judged severely if they do not repent while the Day is still delayed.
The Day of the Lord is coming, the time of the return of our Righteous King and Lord, and the whole world, including the Church, must prepare for His coming. For who can endure His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like a launderer’s soap (Mal.3:2). On that day, they that fear the Lord shall receive Him, rising as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. They will go out and grow fat with prosperity, like stall-fed calves (Mal.4:2). But the proud and all who do wickedly will be like stubble burnt in the fire; they shall become ash on the ground to trample (Mal.4:1&3). Remember these verses, saints. In this day remember the law of God with all its statutes and judgments, to which we will all be held accountable (Mal.4:4). Remember that the Spirit and Power of Elijah will come before this great and terrible day of the Lord (Mal.4:5-6), to turn the hearts of fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Lk.1:17). Remember that judgment first begins in the House of God (1 Pet.4:17). We need to make ourselves ready, clean up our House here in the Western church, and quit following such defilers of the pulpit, no matter how gifted they are. Never forget, that Pharaoh’s magicians performed the same manifestation of the spirit that Moses did, after God had given it to him as a sign from Him. We should not be hoodwinked so easily when we see the supernatural, and neither should we run in fear hiding in cessationism, which has an evil spirit that influences that movement as well. We should be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, just as our Lord instructed us to be (Matt.10:16). Let us draw near unto God in this hour, cleanse our hands as sinners, and purify our hearts, choosing never to be double-minded (Ja.4:8). Let this mind be in us which was also in our Lord; that we consider others before ourselves, make ourselves of no reputation, considering it a joy become a bondservant for Christ, humbling ourselves daily to the death of the cross (Phil.2:4-8). This should be our focus, not what so much of the charismatic Church in the West has made their focus, giving themselves over to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. Prepare yourselves, saints. Judgment is coming to the house of God first (1 Pet.4:17). I pray the Master does not delay this work. How much longer can our nation survive with this kind of filth in the House of God? How can we begin to help the world if our house is so much out of order? Help us God, I pray! Help us God!
In His Service,
"I have known Stephen Powell and his family for many years and I've been absolutely amazed at his growth and maturity in the prophetic ministry and consider him to be a premier voice!"
- Todd Bentley
"You may be surprised at the maturity and revelatory gifting from such a young prophet as Stephen Powell."
- Steve Shultz
"Stephen Powell may be a relatively new voice within the prophetic movement, but it's clear God is using him in a very powerful way."
- Bob Eschliman