Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Word from Mark Sandford

A few weeks ago I traveled to John Paul Jackson's Convergence in Dallas, Texas along with my father John, my brother Loren, my sister Andrea Bareither, Robert Fetveit, and local pastors John and Ruth Filler. There we joined 30 or 40 other leaders to discuss the plethora of false prophecies and flaky teachings in the prophetic movement, as well as the lack of ethical standards. John Paul questioned whether we are a stabilizing or destabilizing influence on the Body, and warned that the five-fold ministry is in danger of coming to an end in the not-too-distant future.

Just two examples of the harm being done by false prophecies: a number of well-known prophetic voices have given prophecies to leading politicians—both here and abroad—that have not come true. Now these leaders will have nothing to do with prophecies or prophetic people. Because of false or insensitively given prophecies, many churches are turning away from the prophetic gift.

We discussed false teachings, such as the idea that you don't have to repent (even of adultery!) because it's all "under the blood," and the idea that anything written before the time of the cross (including the Lord's prayer!) no longer applies to us. And we discussed wrongful practices, such as charging for prophecies—affixing prices depending upon the time taken to prophecy (yes, some people are actually doing this!).

Before the conference, John Paul and a committee composed a code of ethics for prophetic people. We hope it will be published in Charisma Magazine. He invited us all to help perfect it. For the last few years I have asked God to prompt someone to spearhead something like this; I even suggested John Paul in my prayers. Thank you, Lord, for coming through! Please pray that this code of ethics is well made, and that God uses it to bring help to a movement that is very much in need of reform.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Memorandum From Satan to His Troops" by Mark Sandford

Sometimes a message comes most clearly into focus when eyed from a disturbing viewpoint. The following is written in the manner of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters (in which an older demon wrote to a younger demon, advising him on how to get his “client” into hell). In this case, Satan is cast as the writer, educating his army about strategies to defeat the next generation of Christians, starting with the prophetic movement.

Lately, around the world, prayer warriors are rising up to pray for the church. But are prophetic intercessors praying for the prophetic movement (and other branches of Christ’s body) that launched them? Let what is written here become a roadmap for prayer. And perhaps it will be a warning for some, In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Memorandum From Satan to His Troops
(7 Strategies to defeat our enemies)

Strategy 1: Lower Their Watchmen’s Standards.
I have great news! We have succeeded at persuading our enemy that their prophecies need not be accurate. A few of their prophets have even taught that an 80%, 50%, or even 30% accuracy rate is perfectly acceptable! But what brings me the utmost joy is that without any real standard for prophecies, their watchmen now find it entirely unnecessary to repent for prophesying falsely!
Y2K was a shining example. Several of them proclaimed that the churches must store up goods to share with their hapless neighbors when the world dissolves into chaos on January 1, 2,000. When that blessed event did not come to pass, almost no one repented or even published a retraction! Another example: some of them prophesied that McCain would win the last election through a last minute save. The list goes on and on.
I find it especially gratifying that hardly any of the rank-and-file are the slightest bit concerned about this. Most of them don’t even take note of it; for them, a false prophecy is virtually a non-issue! It pleases me no end that a large number of their prophets have adopted standards no better than those of our own psychics! Better yet, they seem not to care at all that their errors have caused anyone harm.
We should have no trouble getting past their front lines.
Strategy 2: Develop a “Pride Ethic” Among Their Leaders.
In centuries past, our enemy’s mystics were loathe to reveal too much about their own prophetic exploits, for fear of becoming prideful. Blessedly, nowadays we rarely have to contend with this obstacle. Many of their watchmen regularly noise abroad every prophetic “accomplishment.” It is even common for them to report having been “caught up to paradise” where they have seen and heard, as that wretched Paul once put it, “inexpressible things that a man is not permitted to tell” (2 Corinthian 12:4).
Fortunately, they are not as well apprised of the gravity of this as we are. However, lately I have felt some foreboding as a few watchmen seem to be backing away from this, choosing to share with audiences only that which their master deems helpful. But the bright side is that hardly anyone among the rank-and-file cares that anything was ever amiss. They have embraced a sort of “pride ethic,” if you will—they applaud self-promotion, confusing it with promotion of their God’s great works. They stand at attention for anyone who claims a lofty title for himself, such as “prophet” or “apostle.” We must continue to convince their watchmen that this kind of audience approval is a sign from their God that they are on the right track.
Strategy 3: Use Strategies 1 & 2 as a Breeding Ground for False Teachings.
The enemy’s rank-and-file expect their watchmen to regularly come up with exciting “new” revelations. At first, the watchmen’s response to this expectation was fairly harmless to their cause. They brought back to remembrance time-honored biblical truths that their camp had long neglected—for instance, the use of our enemy’s supernatural gifts. I remember that some of you were quite worried about this development.
Worry no more; as they run out of these truths, they are now beginning to look past the bounds of their holy book for new ideas. We must help them! But this must be done subtly, for “heresy” is a hard pill for them to swallow. Start with baby steps. Here’s one: the idea that the “second heaven” (as inferred by Paul’s second letter to those blasted Corinthians—see 12:2) is actually hell. Now of course, we know that Paul only mentioned the third heaven; he did not say there were only three. For all they know, there may be seven, or even one hundred. And even if there are only three, nothing in our enemy’s book identifies any of them as hell. But our enemies haven’t taken note of these thoughts—which is evidence of our progress! We have succeeded in promoting excitement, rather than sound scholarship, as the diviner of truth.
But why, you may ask, should we cultivate a belief that’s so apparently harmless? What’s wrong with speculative theology? Nothing is wrong with it, even by our enemy’s standards. But the belief itself is beside the point. The point is that we have gotten our opponents to take the first step toward heresy by making it alright to proclaim speculative theology as established doctrine. Now that this precedent is set, there is no end to what we may promote. I have heard some of them claim that the Nephalim returned after the flood to mate with humans. A few have even blamed their personal problems on having a bloodline tainted with that seed! A few are now promoting “Christological astrology,” claiming that they need to restore the original purpose of astrology that New Agers stole from God! If we can continue to persuade them that those who object to a plethora of “exciting new ideas” are “legalistic” or trying to “quench the Spirit,” the possibilities are endless!
Strategy 4: Cultivate a Culture of Gullibility.
I have already noted that their rank-and-file lust for “exciting new teachings.” Our spies have reported that they are also largely oblivious to the need to test such ideas. They seem to accept whatever their watchmen say, without question. For instance, one watchman quoted Psalm 86:8: “Among the gods there is none like you, Lord.” When he expounded on this verse it sounded as if he was promoting the idea that there are other gods besides God. He did not in fact believe this. But no matter; the important thing is that his audience thought he did, and that even mature persons received this enthusiastically! The same was true of watchmen who taught that our enemies should recover God’s intentions for astrology, and that they should make use of chakras as they pray for healing!
Lately I have felt worried that a few of their leaders are beginning to speak out in opposition to such ideas. But I have noted that even when alerted about false teachings, their rank-and-file view such errors with little concern. We must continue to affirm this attitude! If we can keep the errors going long enough, some may come to accept the reactions we have cultivated among “apologetics” ministries that dismiss even legitimate prophecies and teachings. For those who don’t accept them, it will hardly matter. The prophetic movement will have become so impotent that their defense of their own movement will be meaningless.
Strategy 5: Go After the Youth.
Having implemented these four strategies, we should have little opposition to our ongoing plan to deprive the next generation of a solid biblical foundation. Even before I devised these strategies, we had already begun to see the fruits of our labors! Many Christian youth have rationalized that oral and anal sex are not really “sex,” and are perfectly acceptable outside of marriage. Acceptance of homosexuality is slowly but surely becoming widespread. Sexual sin is increasing among young Christian leaders. Even those who recognize they are doing wrong are less likely than their elders to regard this as a serious issue. And we have made sure there are not enough watchmen left awake to call them back to their biblical moorings.
I am concerned about a number of disturbingly committed youth who are standing against this trend, but if we do our best to keep strategies 1 through 4 in place, we may be able to prevent them from stopping the hemorrhage.
Strategy 6: Prevent the Elijah Task.*
We have long known that the dreaded Elijah will attempt to incite our enemies to curtail our plans, by “turn[ing] the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse” (Malachi 4:6). There are things we can to do minimize the damage he intends to inflict, and to maximize the curse. Many fathers’ moral base has eroded, and their watchmen are too busy bragging of their own exploits and presenting the latest fad teachings to promote—I shudder to say the word—repentance—or to have much effect on family life.
Some fathers are pursuing inner healing, and with that there is a great danger of reconciliation. When dealing with them, make sure that they stay focused on their own pain, their own trauma and their own healing. Induce those who counsel them to do the same. Encourage teachers of inner healing to focus on the needs of the wounded individual. Dissuade them from teaching how to apply that healing toward reconciling with and healing one’s children.
There is also a worldwide movement afoot to reconcile people groups—Indians and whites, Catholics and Protestants, etc. So far, few have thought to reconcile the baby boomers with the millennium generation, which could become a key part of Elijah’s strategy. Keep them distracted; keep them focused anywhere but there!
Strategy 7: Spring the Trap!
Until now, for the most part we have witnessed a culture of tolerance. The attitude has been, “You’re Christian; I’m pagan. To each his own; live and let live.” I know that many of you have been chomping at the bit, wanting to make a frontal assault against our enemies. Have patience; your time will come! For now, this easy tolerance serves our purpose. They’ll find it easy to live as compromised Christians when no one is persecuting them.
Let’s continue with the first six points of this plan until the enemy’s watchmen are sufficiently neutralized, parents (especially fathers) are out of the way, and law is removed from enough hearts. Then we can make our frontal assault. When persecution finally comes, no one will be able to stand except the few who have not allowed themselves to be swept along with the currents of popular thought that I have just described. Disillusioned, but too weak to return to sound faith, the next generation will be ripe for the picking, and many (especially youth) will fall away. In the face of a lawless prophetic movement, a fatherless generation will welcome our man of lawlessness as the great father and prophet they have been looking for.

*Here at Elijah House Ministries, our foremost task has to do with countering strategy 6. In the past, Elijah House did not promote the Elijah Task strongly enough. We focused on healing individuals. While we did make some efforts to reconcile families, to an extent, we naively assumed that people would automatically use their healing to reconcile with their children. To some extent they did. But especially in today’s increasingly self-focused culture, we cannot make such assumptions.
To rectify this, we have added new talks to our prayer ministry school, including “Reconciliation,” and “Healing Our Children’s Hearts.” Throughout all the talks I have strengthened language that emphasizes personal accountability and awareness of how our bad fruit hurts others (there is also a new talk on the importance of understanding the bad fruit in our lives). And at the end of each talk, I have also added reconciliation as a step in the healing process. After I finish revising our schools, I plan to create an entire seminar on healing our children. And we plan to create teachings on ministering to married couples.
Please pray for us as we continue this work.

H.U.G. Principle by Robert Fetveit

Many years ago while Kathie and I were working as missionaries in Japan, we begin to question why our ministry and the ministry of many others (who were way more anointed and qualified) were not more fruitful. God brought to our attention that there was much competition and jealousy among the different churches and missionaries in Japan (we struggled with our own set of problems as well). In prayer I begin to question God about the root of our divisiveness and strife. I felt the Lord speaking to my heart that there was insufficient healing of hearts among those of us who were leaders, so that unresolved root issues were producing bitter fruit.

Upon our return to the USA in 1980 I was greatly ministered to by John 17: 20–21:

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

Elijah House is first and foremost a prophetic ministry. It is my conviction that one of the main roles of the prophet office is to promote unity in the body of Christ. This was certainly on the heart of Jesus as he prayed for us in his high priestly prayer.

At Elijah House we often state that our goal is to evangelize the unbelieving heart of the believer, but our ultimate goal is healing the church. Any unhealed wound, judgment, lie, or inner vow signifies that part of the heart cannot receive God’s promises and the truth of His word.

Ephesians 4 exhorts us to no longer act like children. We respond like children when bitter roots from childhood are triggered. One of the main roles of the church--often neglected--is to “reparent.” God is raising up mothers and fathers in Christ for the purpose of helping us be healed. He often does this by bringing us into relationship or contact with people who will aggravate us for the purpose of revealing our bitter roots.

Through my experience, my convictions, and my “life verse,” I have developed what I call
The H. U. G. Principal.

H ealing (brings)
U nity (which promotes/produces)
G lobal Evangelism. (If we add the E for Evangelism to HUG, it becomes HUGE!)

As individuals we must be determined to get healed and then walk out our healing, which will cause love to bloom like a flower daily, as demonstrated in communities of faith. As the world witnesses this heavenly phenomenon they will indeed see Jesus! Evangelism will explode! This healing is not just intended for the individual but necessary for the whole body of Christ so that HE can reach a lost world. My personal goals are to see the Church healed, and the world coming to know Christ.

God is passionate about many things, but I believe His Word reveals that there are four major passions closest to His Heart.
First, He has a love for the lost and a desire to see them come to saving faith.
Second, He has a passion for Israel because they are his chosen people.
Third, He loves His church. He wants to see her come into healing and prosperity and radiant beauty as the Bride for His Beloved Son.
Lastly, He is passionate about an intimate personal relationship with each one of His children.

Jesus is the Light of the World! A healed church is the HOPE OF THE WORLD!

Most of the doctrinal and personal issues that are causing much of the division in the Body of Christ are directly related to the need for healing of the heart. Out of overflow of [the] heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45, NIV). As a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7, KJV).

This in turn begs the question: “How do we address and promote the need for transformation and sanctification throughout the Body of Christ?” He desires to reveal His love to and promote those who are willing to be OPEN, HONEST, and BROKEN before HIM.

Will you join me in praying for the HUG principle to become reality, so that the world may know?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Moment to Remember....

Zion is a normal three year old boy; he has the kind of energy people always want to bottle up and sell. He is very sensitive and loving, and also very rough and tumble. I often hear the phrase, “Kids say the darndest things!” This was an understatement for me the other day, and here's why:

I work from home. I mostly do administrative duties on the computer, set up in the corner of the main living space of our quaint two bedroom home. I was attempting to get a bit of work done on a busy Monday morning. Zion was roaming the house, playing with toys, watching TV, etc. Every so often he would attempt to connect with me. I was very distracted, trying to work and be a mom. On that particular day I wasn't doing either as well as I would have liked. Frustration began to build up in me. I was attempting to get out of the house while multi-tasking all my morning duties. Again, I was not doing any of them very well, and Zion was not doing as I asked. He sensed my distraction, and knew he could get away with not listening until the last possible moment. Frustration continued to build until it burst out of me.

In my anger and frustration (at myself more than him) I disciplined my little boy. His cry turned from the sound of pain to the sound of a wounded spirit. I knew immediately that I had done wrong. I left the room and cried. As I attempted to collect myself, I prayed and asked God to forgive me for wounding my son’s spirit and not disciplining him out of love, the way Jesus taught us to.
Zion’s whimpering drew me out of the bathroom. I sat on the couch, and pulled him onto my lap. He asked, "Why are you sad and crying?" I hugged him and said, “Zion, I am so sorry. I was wrong to be so angry. Will you forgive me? I am trying to work out how to work from home and be a good mommy.” And he said, “But you already are a good mommy!”

1 Peter 4:8 (NASB) - Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Mark 10:13-16 (NASB) - And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them (emphasis added).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Elijah House Update

A quick report from Robert & Kathie,
Kodiak, Alaska, Oct 21-28, 2011.....
We arrived in Kodiak Friday afternoon the 21st of October and were met at the airport by Pastor Tracy Hodges of Kodiak Assembly of God Church. He told us it would be about a 20 minutes wait for our luggage and that we should go with him because he wanted to show us something...??? We didn't know quite what to think! Then he took us on a five minute drive down a bumpy road to a river where a number of very large silver salmon were spawning! Then from the bridge we looked a few hundred yards up river where a mama Kodiak bear and two cubs were enjoying their lunch. They reminded us of customers at a sushi bar who sit and wait as the raw fish goes by on a conveyor belt! It was quite a welcome to Kodiak Island!
Friday night we spoke to about 75 people. We taught the first lesson from our new study, “Why Haven't I Heard This Before?” called “Can I change?”- a lesson on relationships that deals with the law of honoring parents. People were all so excited - welcoming - receiving. The next day we did a lesson on Bitter Roots that we call “What Lies Beneath.” People really took hold and there was such hunger for more. Many of them told us they want training and a number of them will probably come to the Basic I school in Spokane, spring 2012.
One man was so excited about it he phoned his brother in North Dakota and asked if he had ever heard of Elijah House. The brother said, "Are you kidding? If it were not for Elijah House my marriage wouldn't have survived!"
On Saturday the Pastor arranged for us to have prayer ministry with several people. In all of the sessions, the Spirit of the Lord was there to heal and to bless. In fact, there is such hunger and passion in the people here we told them, “The Healer is in the House!!” Later we heard that one of the church members woke in the middle of the night needing prayer. She and her husband prayed together and the Lord showed them a bitter root. They prayed through the five R's together and the Lord healed her! These folks "caught" it and are already doing the "stuff!"
Sunday morning Robert shared a message called Healing the Church. The pastor was so excited about it that he told the congregation that the church is giving everyone who attended a free copy of the message on CD and that he wanted them to listen to it several times that week!
We each had another three hour prayer ministry session Sunday afternoon. For the Sunday evening service, at the request of the pastor, we shared a lot of our testimony of how we got involved with EH. That was followed by another hour of altar ministry.
Monday was sort of a day of rest. Robert went fishing with Pastor Tracy in hopes of catching one of those large silver salmon we saw the first day. Later that day they have Monday Night Football in their home. The guys from the church are invited over every Monday to hang out and watch the game with devotions at half time! The people at Kodiak Assembly of God are very relational and family oriented.
The need here in Kodiak is great and people are ripe for healing and renewal and I believe that God is equipping KAOG to be a place of healing that will reach the community! We were told that every family in Kodiak has been affected by alcoholism or abuse or both. The church runs a Celebrate Recovery program and wants to offer EH ministry to enhance that program.
Thanks for your prayers. We've had a great time of ministry here and just stand in awe at what God is doing in Kodiak! The presence of the Lord is welcome in the church , the people are passionate, loving and want everything that God has for them so that they can experience healing themselves and then reach their lost families and communities and some even the nations.
Thanks and God Bless!
Robert & Kathie Fetveit