There is a teaching within the born again, Spirit-filled Church going by the name of A Cloud of Witnesses. This teaching, it appears, is based on one verse in Hebrews 12:1. It is a heresy being taught by some fairly powerful ministries – several of them, regretfully, Canadian.
The teaching is simple. You can talk to those who were believes who have died and gone into Heaven. These can be Bible figures like Paul and Abraham or others who have died since the Canon of scripture was formed.
One main teacher of this heresy is Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries who is currently involved in what some are calling a “God-sent revival” in south Florida. Todd has gone on record (DVDs from a Rick Joyner prophetic conference at Moringstar Ministries as well as his own e-newsletter and web site) that he spoke at length to King David who appeared to him in his hotel room one night in Jerusalem. He has also had a lengthy conversation with Paul who spoke of Abraham dictating to him the book of Hebrews which he then wrote. Just two examples.
This heresy is directly connected to another false teaching based on Paul’s comment about knowing a man who “went into the third Heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2). This false teaching, made widely popular by Patrica King of Extreme Prophetic, teaches that at any time or place you can, at your own will, enter into the third heaven and receive revelation from the Lord.
Here’s the problem. Biblically, you cannot take one verse and base a theology on it. You cannot take one person’s experience – initiated by God – and then declare that this same experience is available to all believers at their own initiative.
If what Patrica King teaches about entering the third heaven whenever you want to is true then why don’t we march around our cities and see them crumble to the ground on the seventh day. It would be a great way to get people’s attention and maybe get them saved. If Joshua could do it – so can we. Well, of course not. But the same logic used in the third heaven teaching could be applied to the Jericho story and many others if we were being logical and consistent. Why pick on one experience and say that one is repeatable at our will and not apply the same priciple to other one-time happenings in the Bible?
You cannot go into the third heaven at will. You were not invited. Paul was. He did not initiate it, God did. And, it was for a specific purpose – to receive the revelation that he then wrote down and which now forms a major part of our New Testament scriptures. A ‘not to be repeated’ experience. Because God did not follow the experience with a “and you can do likewise” or a command that we all do so.
So, the way we receive these visits from King David, Paul the apostle, and other dead believers is not biblical. It is New Age and demonic from its very core. And, the revelations received from this “Cloud of Witnesses” are not of God and are heretical.
Question: What is the difference between talking to a dead saint and praying to the saints like Mary, St. Jude, and St. Christopher? If praying to the saints which the Roman Catholics and others do is talking to those who are dead and gone – and it is; then talking to someone from the “Cloud of Witnesses” is no different … you are communicating with the dead which is strickly forbidden in the scriptures.
Question: What is the difference between receiving revelation from a member of the “Cloud of Witnesses” and going to a seance and finding out information from Uncle Orville and Aunt Mary who died 20 years ago? They are the same thing.
It is sad that Christians today are so hungry for the spectacular that they are chasing anything that looks or smells like it may be exciting.
It is sad that believers are being deceived by these teachers and their ministry machines because they lack discernment and have such a poor understanding of scripture that they cannot discern true teachings from false teachings, true prophets and apostles from false ones (see my article on true and false prophets and apostles in the archieves of the main page on the web site under “Prophecies and more/articles re. Apostles”).
Why is it that the born again, Spirit-filled Church is so interested in and hungry for the very things that drove the Reformation and our removal from the established Church of that day?
Why are we now seeking after and embracing the very herecies that we fought so hard against in the days of the early reformers like Martin Luther?
This is a ploy of the Devil to keep the Spirit-filled believers from doing what they are called by God to do – witness to the lost around the world. It takes people away from “seeking and saving the lost”. (see my blog under “Evangelism and soul winning later today).
And, it is the Holy Spirit that was given to us to lead us into all thruth – not Paul, David, or some dead saint of recent times.