I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. -- Galatians 1: 6-9 (ESV)
At the turn of the 20th Century the modern Pentecostal movement was birthed at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. Testimonies of the power of God led to the formation of such modern day powerhouse organizations such as the Assemblies of God. Now, over 100 years later, it is only fitting that many of the rank heretics that have evolved out of the Pentecostal movement have gathered this past weekend at Azusa Street again. The reports from Azusa now are staggering in their biblical incompetence and spiritual ignorance. They have not been shy about spreading their false gospels from Azusa. No indeed; they are in fact proud of them. When you are able to pack 100,000 people into a stadium to revel in demonic spirits why would there be any shred of humility anyway? The church today seems strangely distracted by the thought of the coming judgment against America. So distracted they fail to see that judgment has already come to the church. Just turn your eyes to Azusa beloved.
Azusa Now is the brain child of renowned heretic Lou Engle. Lou is a prominent member of the New Apostolic Reformation. This group decided one day in the late 1990's that God was reforming the apostles and lo and behold -- it was them! Submitting to no authority but their own, this band of liars and false teachers declared themselves prophets and apostles. Engle teaches and traffics in Dominionism, Joel's End Time Army, Latter Rain and Kingdom Now theologies; all of which are rank heresy. He believes in the seven mountains mandate that teaches Christians are supposed to take over the seven mountains of culture in order to facilitate the second coming of Jesus Christ. Engle is also affiliated with the merry band of heretics known as the Kansas City Prophets who fancy themselves super-prophets and espouse everything from false signs and lying wonders to word faith heresy. This group includes such false teachers as Chuck Pierce, Kim Clement, General Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, Mike Bickle and IHOP, Rick Joyner, and countless others. They are constantly beating the revival drum and that has been a consistent theme at this Azusa Now gathering as well.
One of the persistent pushes for Engle has been ecumenicalism. This is the path that leads to the one world religion Revelation warns us about. The road is paved with pious calls to unity with people who can apparently spell the name of Christ correctly. Doctrine? Not so much. We saw this come full circle at Azusa Now when Engle lay prostrate on the stage to kiss the feet of a representative of the Roman Catholic Church, who then reciprocated. Engle then told the 100,000 in attendance, mostly young impressionable kids, that the division between Christians and Catholics was a "diabolical sin" and that Jesus "doesn't care" that we disagree on doctrinal matters. Really Lou? Jesus doesn't care?
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. -- Romans 16: 17 (KJV)
Sorry Lou but Jesus is very clear here. You are causing division in the body by unifying with false doctrine. Of course since his own doctrine is false this is more like when heresies collide. Make no mistake about it beloved. This is where the ecumenical road is paved. Good intentions are irrelevant. The Catholic Church holds to doctrine that is simply unbiblical. I am not even talking about more advanced concepts such as the transubstantiation of the Eucharist. They believe that salvation is not through faith alone. They believe that we can help ease the suffering of the dead. They believe in praying to idols. I take no pleasure in writing this as I was raised Catholic. But there is only one way and unity without doctrine is ecumenicalism.
Another major player in the Azusa Now event is Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. Bill is one of the most dangerous false teachers on the planet. He claims that angels have dropped feathers wherever he goes. That gem stones have been mysteriously manifested in his sanctuary. That gold dust filled glory clouds appear at his "open mic" prophecy nights. He started a school for the supernatural, where they arrogantly pretend to be able to teach the gifts of the Spirit even though the Bible expressly says they are given out as the Spirit wills. In fact, it was students of this school that scoured the streets of Los Angeles to try and bring people into the Azusa Now stadium. Johnson teaches multiple heresies including guaranteed healing and "grave sucking"; where he teaches that "residual anointing" can be sucked off the gravesites of departed heretics. He founded the international worship outfit known as Jesus Culture who tour the world singing new worship music glorifying self. Their primary worship leader, Kim Walker-Smith claims to have had a waking visitation with Jesus who took her to the throne room where she met the Father face to face. This despite the Bible teaching us that she would be dead if that were actually so. At Azusa Now Johnson had one of his compatriots, Shawn Bolz, engage in either clairvoyance or outright fraud by pretending he was receiving "words of knowledge" for people in the audience, which he was reading off of his cell phone for some reason. This cold reading technique is often employed by psychics and mediums. It also is the scheme of the formerly exposed fraudster Peter Popoff.
Next up is false prophetess Heidi Baker. Heidi likes to babble incoherently, pretend she is drunk or stoned in the spirit, laugh uncontrollably, roll around on the ground, and claim to have seen the dead raised. She is a mystic of the highest order and at Azusa Now she was praying for the fire of God to fall. Not sure if she really understands what she is asking for. Joining her at Azusa was General Cindy Jacobs, a proven false prophetess. Jacobs has routinely "prophesied" things that simply never come to pass. Jacobs introduced one of the newer false teachers in Todd White. Todd was integral in the immensely heretical Holy Ghost movies. In them he performed the extended leg trick to pretend that he was healing someone. At Azusa, White prayed that a "prophetic mantle" be released upon everyone and had the crowd scream out -- "it's mine!" Beloved, this is not Christianity. It is delusion and trafficking in the demonic, pure and simple.
The key verses ought to bring us back to our Lord and His actual heart. It is not this display of nonsense we see in southern California. It is about His Word. How precious does Jesus consider the truth of His Word? He warns us in the key verses about people like Lou Engle and Bill Johnson who would distort His Word. Beloved the Gospel is not some malleable property we can mold and twist to suit our flesh. It is not negotiable. It cannot be replaced with feelings. It cannot be replaced with piety. There is only one version of it and everything else that tries to mimic it is to be accursed! God does not care if even an angel gives you another gospel! Let him be accursed! These are not small matter beloved but large kingdom affairs. Doctrine is not some causal thing we can slip in and out of. Make no mistake about it. When you line up with false religions, your gospel is false and you should be accursed! When you pretend to be a prophet of God but you do not actually hear from Him then your gospel is false and you should be accursed! When you replace the actual signs and wonders of God for gem stones, gold dust, angel feathers, glory clouds, psychic tricks and clairvoyance, false spirit manifestations, including incoherent babble as "spirit language" and imaginary mantles then your gospel is false and you should be accursed! If anyone preaches to you a gospel different than the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ -- let them be accursed! Do not minimize this. Do not think that it is not a big deal to offend the heart of God so casually and callously. The key verses make it abundantly clear how grave a matter this is. We would be wise to pay attention.
Azusa Now preyed on the young in age and the young in Christ. It preyed on those that have been told they are saved but have not actually encountered God. It preyed on people who trade in the truth of Scripture for emotionalism and narcissistic experiences. It gathered together heretics from across the land and called for unity with other branches of heresy. God never promised an end times revival but He did promise an end times falling away. Azusa Now is just such an example of that. Let them be accursed.