If you have your Bible, if you have your Bible I'd like you to turn with me to Acts chpt. 20. I'd like to read a few verses from this passage which I believe are very apropos today.
Talking to the elders in the church of Ephesus as he is preparing to go to Jerusalem where he will be bound by the Jews, and later to die. The apostle writes these words or speaks these words and Luke records them. I take you to record this day v.26, Acts 20:26. That is a direct quote from Ezek. 34 where the scripture says if you do not warn the wicked man of his wicked and he dies in his sin, I will hold you accountable for it. So we are suppose to warn the wicked of the wickedness they perform and also of the judgment of God upon them. If we don't we become accessories after the fact of their sins.
So, Ezek. 34 is what Paul is definitely referring to. I want you to know I am free from the blood of all mankind because I am giving you the whole counsel take heed there unto yourselves and all the flock unto which the Holy Spirit has made you rulers. The Greek word episcopos- a ruler to fend or tend therefore the church of God which he has purchased with his own blood. "For I know this after I leave you savage wolves shall enter in among you and will not spare the flock." No mercy and notice this from your own selves men shall arise speaking contrary things to draw away disciples after themselves. Therefore watch and remember for a period of three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day to the point of tears." Now there is a twofold warning to the Christian Church.
Now we are speaking this morning on the warnings of God, the warnings of God. This passage tells you that after the apostles would leave the Church there would be savage wolves, they are characterized as wolves. Ravenous wolves who will enter in, and they will not spare the flock. Which means they will attack the flock from without, they will penetrate the sheepfold and they will chew up the sheep. Now that’s as clear as crystal right here. I know this after I leave, this is going to happen.
We have those savage wolves today. We have theologians in theological Seminaries and departments of religions of schools who literally chew up the flock. They chew up the people who are studying for the ministry and then they spit them out into our pulpits where they can chew us up. These are the savage wolves who come in not sparing the flock. Apostate’s in positions of authority in the Christian Church. Apostate’s who advocate the ordination of homosexuals, forbidden and cursed of God. Apostate’s who deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Apostate’s who will ordain you if you deny the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, and the 2nd coming. Apostate’s who dominate our denominational structures and our educational institutions. Apostate’s who have come in and are chewing up the church. That is very clearly stated here that we are to lookout for these people. Paul said I warned you day and night for three years to the point of tears. Very important.
Now there is a 2nd part of this that is seldom preached on because when you preach on it people get upset in my ministry what else is new. It’s an occupational hazard because you have to tell them the whole counsel of God. Notice Paul’s emphasis here, "I have not avoided declaring unto you verse 27 "all or the whole counsel of God." The whole counsel of God is to warn against the savage wolves, cultists occultists, non Christian religionists, atheistic and skeptical philosophers, psychologists whatever they may be, who have attacked the church from without and some have penetrated and chewed up the church.
Now there's a 2nd warning from God, this warning is one the Church has paid very little attention to and because we have paid so little attention to it, it has thrived and become lethal. Why? Because what's close to you that you don't see, it does you far more harm than something you can get in perspective and easily identify. So let’s take a good look at what he saying here. From your own selves v.30 you ought to mark church itself, men will arise. It does not say possibly, could, he said will arise. They will speak contrary the meaning of the word in the Greek, King James says perversion, the word in the Greek is contrary. They will speak contrary things for the purpose of drawing disciples after them selves.
So the warning of God is against people in the church in positions of leadership and respect. Who will draw disciples surrounding themselves, whose allegiance is not to Christ, but to that person. And they will draw the disciples after themselves from within the church so that there is no accountability for what they say. Now this isn't my message this is the Pauline counsel to the Church at Ephesus. Warnings from the Holy Spirit. Look out for the wolves and lookout for the divisive schismatic leaders who will split and fragment and divide the church by attracting disciples to follow them.
Now the Scripture has many statements about false teachings and false prophets. Mat.7 gives one of the most frightening passages in all divine revelation it says and this is the lord Jesus speaking on the subject ( --- dressed as sheep but inwardly or spiritually you are dealing with savage wolves, you will know them by what they produce). Now Jesus has said something else that the Church has forgotten today. Jesus said in my name or if you want the actual meaning of the Greek text, by my authority- name means authority.
When you say "stop in the name of the Law" to criminal fleeing, you are saying stop by the authority of what? The law. The law says you can't do that. Stop! When a King pronounces judgment in Old Testament times and recent times until kings went out of fashion. In the world a ruler person would say open the door in the name of the king….
Alright once you get that concept in you mind Jesus said there will come men who will speak claiming their authority is from me. Now get that in your head carefully. There will come men who will speak in my name. That is, I am supposedly saying this to you, that is a very important phrase. There going to come and say I'm speaking to you in Jesus in my name they will work miracles in my name they will cast out devils… they will prophesy and preach. But when I meet them I will say leave me I never knew you workers of iniquity.
Why? Because they use his authority and his name, because the power was in Jesus name, or Jesus' authority not in them. And God honoured the name of his Son. And they took that as a means of teaching there own false doctrines and false prophecies and because of that they corrupted the faith of the church. But inwardly, spiritually, they really roooaaar! And if you don't know fleece from fur your dinner, dumb drum. And the only way you can know fleece from fur is to know how to test them. You don't test them by Walter Martin, or by Norman Geisler, as good as the apologist and defenders of Christianity might be and as much as you trust them. You don't test them by other people, you test them by Scripture.
Then if your fidelity is the Scripture, and your allegiance is the Scripture, you reject them! But says Paul in the last days, men are going to be drawn away by false teachers and prophets in the church speaking in the name of Jesus. And you’re not going to test them you’re going to go along with them. And there gonna fragment and divide the Church because you wont' test them.
Well its about time that we test them.
Kenneth Copeland delivered the following prophecy during a three day victory campaign held in Dallas Texas. It is reproduced in the Voice of Victory 20th anniversary of his ministry. Found on page 9 his prophecy came from Jesus Christ, Copeland says, He quotes Jesus as saying:
"You remember in my word I said to my disciples this kind comes not out by prayer and fasting." He's talking now about the power of prayer. He goes on "Don't be disturbed (this is Jesus) when people accuse you of being God. The more you get to be like me God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah."
That is a lying spirit. Look at me read my lips. That is a lying spirit. That is not the Holy Spirit. Now for ten years I have warned and I'm on tape and in print on this. That we were heading into the kingdom of the cults with the faith teachers. You are no longer heading there baby, you are there!
Just so you are not mistaken let me give it to you again. Jesus speaking:
"The more you get to be like me (Jesus) the more there going to think that way of you. They crucified me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah." That’s what your doing."
Now this was on TBN this on Christian Television and radio stations. This is tolerated by the Christian Church, particularly the charismatic wing because they will not obey the Lord Jesus Christ and they will not obey; what the Scripture says. They are taken by people and ministries. And by large crowds and jet airplanes and by affluence as supposedly the seal of success. If you’re big and you’re powerful and you’re rich and people come to hear you, automatically it must be from God. No! Automatically it isn't from God. You’re supposed to test what the person says by Scripture. And if you don't test it by Scripture you can be taking in spiritual arsenic or cyanide and it can ruin your Christian life and take your eyes off Christ. The Scripture says it will overturn the faith in the Church.
This is far beyond doctrinal disputes. He speaks it in the name of Jesus. He's a liar, and the truth is not in him. Isa. 8:20 "If they do not speak according to this word they have, what? NO light in them," in fact the Hebrew says there is no dawn.
What deceives people about these false prophets is that out one side of their mouth they preach the gospel and out of the other side of their mouth they deny him who is the core of the gospel. And if you don’t put the two sides together you think you’re hearing Christianity. But you’re not!. The false prophets know that to get crowds they have to preach Christianity. The false prophets know that in order to have financial support they have got to get the church to contribute to them. So they will sound like the Church and they will prophesy in Jesus name, they will heal in Jesus name they will work miracles in Jesus name and then at the proper they will deny him.
How do you know he's a false prophet? It’s easy he said so. I wonder if people who read this THOUGHT! THOUGHT!
"They crucified me for claiming I was God, but I didn't claim I was God." He didn't? That’s strange language, John chapter 8, "your father Abraham rejoiced to se my day coming he saw it and he was glad. But they said your not even 50 years old yet. You saw Abraham?" Jesus said, "before Abraham came into existence I AM." And they reach for stones to kill him. Who'd they think he was? Obviously God. John Chpt.10 "for thy Good works we stone thee not but for blasphemy. That you being a man make yourself out to be", Who? GOD!
Now we are dealing here with the doctrine of antichrist. And its not coming from an apostate professor of a theological seminary its not coming from a Jehovah's Witness that knocks on your door. It's not coming from the Mormon missionary that peddles up. Its coming from Kenneth Copeland on your television set on your radio and in print and if you resist the false doctrines of antichrist elsewhere, why will you not resist here?
The answer is very simple because people hear the gospel being preached and they automatically assume that the person preaching is a true prophet of God. No Jesus said, the false prophets can do it. They only way you can find out is test them. I've not avoided declaring to you the whole counsel of God for the space of ten years. I have told you day and night to the point of rage.
Now it’s come full circle. There it is. Quote on TBN "Dogs beget dogs cats beget cats, and God beget Gods, you are little Gods." Close quote. That’s Kenneth Copeland on your television set. You are Gods!
No you’re not, your sinners saved by grace. And he's not a God, he's a sinner professing to be a Christian, and denying in prophesy in the name of Jesus what Jesus said. That’s a false prophet, I don't care how you spell it, if you say but look at the healings, look at the meetings, look at the miracles. READ Matthew Chapter 7, use your brains. Jesus said that’s exactly what's going to happen, there going to preach and prophesy in my name. They do! In my name there gonna work miracles, they do. In my name they cast out devils, they do! And then they deny Him. Jesus said look out for them, because they’re here! And they are here now. They are on our television sets our radios and print.
Now the question is, will you tolerate it? We should be bombarding TBN and every Christian channel that produces and distributes this stuff. And we should be telling them we will not support the doctrine of the Anti-Christ. You may not do this with my money, and furthermore I'm not going to send any money. And then in addition to that I'm going to actively discourage everybody I know from sending you any money. And when you hold financial support they listen, but not until.
So I'm suggesting over the Bible Answer Man program that we start holding support to people and ministries that do this. And I'm going to get a lot of flak, you’re going to hear a lot of people coming after me, and I want you to know, I could care less. This is the TRUTH, what I'm telling you is the truth and if it is a voice crying in the wilderness it’s the truth. And the Holy Spirit will see to it that they will listen. Because I am a prophetic voice in this and have been for decades, of course I don't for a moment believe I am a prophet, anymore than I believe I am an apostle. I'm a teacher, but you can speak with a prophetic voice, you can exercise apostolic office in given situations.
Believe me we’re in trouble, and if we don't something about really quickly your going to be in more trouble than you know what to do with. Because people keep accepting these as Christian representatives. What we’re getting is the doctrine of anti-Christ. If you deny that you don't know your Bible.
Jesus says through Copeland "I never claimed to be God." That is not the Jesus of the Bible, you want me to tell you who it is, turn in your Bible to 2 Cor.11, I will tell you who it is. V.3 "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, … a different spirit … a different gospel" ….Then he goes on to say that there are false apostles, deceitful workman who transform themselves on the outside to look like the ministers of Christ but inwardly you are dealing with the imitation of Satan.
I don't bring judgment or play God, that is not my role or yours. But if Jesus Christ said it and the New Testament teaches it and it is Biblical theology and we reiterate what the text says we are not playing God, we are being faithful to what God said.
Is Kenneth Copeland a Christian? If he is a Christian let him repent! Let him apologize to the church, let him forsake these false doctrines. He is not a God, he lies when he says anyone in the Church is a God. He lies when he says Jesus Christ gave him this prophesy, this did not come from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul calls Jesus our great God and savior Titus 2:13. Acts chapter 20 which I just read says, God purchased the Church with his own blood. Well who died on the cross? God in human flesh and purchased the Church with his own blood. The whole new testament declares the deity of Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the word and the word with God and the word was God." And Kenneth Copeland knows it as well as I do! But he's denying it, when you take your eyes off Scripture as the criterion for authority and you place it on experience and on people, and on revelations, and on messages that allegedly come from God, you are a set up for deception, you’re made for it. Because you don't have any way to check it. But you must check it.
The title of his article is "Take time to pray." That’s the title "Take time to pray." No take time to obey, take time to obey Christ and to obey him is to proclaim him Lord of all. I am the alpha and omega the beginning and the end the first and the last the Almighty Rev. 1:7-8. Who is He? "He is coming with Clouds and every eye shall see him and he is the almighty." Well that’s what Christ said about himself. Thomas said my Lord and my Jehovah. And worships him and Jesus said because you have seen me you believe Blessed is they that have not seen and believe.
Kenneth Copeland quoted every one of these verses and then in a prophecy originating with Jesus Christ he can deny the identity of Jesus Christ. You are now dealing with false prophets. I don’t presume to judge the eternal destiny of men that is not our task but I will tell you one thing Biblically speaking If you say you are Christ’s property then you have Christ’s spirit. Romans 8:9. And whoever does not have Christ’s spirit is not Christ’s property. Christ’s spirit does not deny Jesus Christ. Christ’s spirit exalts him. This is a denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Jesus speaking "I never said I was God, never claimed to be God." No that’s a lie, "let God be true and every man a liar."
I want a repudiation of this and a removal of these men from the Trinity Broadcasting Network station until they apologize to the Christian Church and repent of this evil. And if they won’t, then it must be the task of the Christian Church to oppose them vigorously, publicly. And tell it to the whole Church. And read this until people can’t stand to hear it anymore. Until they will act on it. Don’t you dare talk about fidelity to Jesus Christ, and love to Jesus Christ and allegiance to Jesus Christ and sit by while men deny him! You’re gonna be consistent then be consistent in obedience.
You may sit here and say "You sound very angry!" I am. I may be one of God’s last angry men, but I’m angry for the right reason. I’m in the presence of the doctrines of the anti-Christ and I plan to be angry that way the rest of my life. And if you don’t hear me angry about those kinds of doctrines please come and tell me as quickly as possible, because I have defected from the ministry.
So I’m going to ask you to covenant with me in prayer that God will bring Kenneth Copeland to repentance for this blasphemy and there may be a open apology and repudiation of it in the Christian Church. And then until this is done we will remain constant in prayer and we will not support what we know to be evil doctrine. If we do that God will bless us and honour us, if we don’t do it were gonna reap an awful harvest.
This morning was a very difficult message to preach, the warnings of God. Because whenever you talk this way you bound to be misinterpreted and people are bound to think somehow or another you’ve got some ax to grind and your after somebody’s neck. I’m not but if I sit still in the presence of the doctrine of antichrist I’m an accessory to those doctrines and I fall under the condemnation of Acts chpt.20.
If you go further into revelation chpt.2 later on, you will find that the Holy Spirit commends the Church in Ephesus, above all the seven Churches because they tested these people, just as Paul told them to and they found out they were liars. And the Spirit says, good job, you did what you were suppose to do and he commends the Ephesians for it.
May God make us faithful in the tradition of the Ephesians. The lord Jesus Christ paid the price for all sin on the cross. The Lord Jesus Christ rose victoriously from the dead for our redemption we are saved by his life. The Lord Jesus Christ has given us spirit so we can walk with him, he has also given us his spirit so we might discern evil, as well as good."