18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18, 19)

I have been recently asked what danger there may be in the signs and wonders movement. I have striven to stay out of the controversial topic, in part because I have friends and acquaintances who identify fully with the group which so many evangelicals today call the NAR. I have background with ministers who identify with the group, and recieved some powerful training among some very spiritually gifted people. I have seen/ experienced some genuine power/ revelation/ supernatural among some of these (for some of my experience see: Early Memoirs of a Lay Minister, pt 3). I also learned to attain confidence in operating in the gifts of the Spirit.

As mentioned, I really have no desire to nay-say any who are genuinely in tune with the Lord by a wholesale rejection of a widespread church movement, nor to detract or speak ill of any individuals who are genuinely pursuing, and operating in the Lord (and there certainly are those).

Yet just as I have seen real authentic power among them, I have found an increasing degree of non-genuine theatricality and emulation among many. This I believe to be [some of] the fruit of error that has cropped up through the movement as a whole. But the questions: ‘Is it dangerous to be around the pretenders who are at least striving for deeper things of God? Is the movement as a whole dangerous?’ Are those that I intend to address here.

Elihu, who typified Messiah in the book of Job (see: Elihu, and the Redemption of Job) declared that he was entrusted with the anointing, and could speak from genuine revelation of the Spirit of God because he had no fear of man (Job 32:18-22); if we allow the fear of man to control what we speak, God will remove His Spirit from us (Job 32:22 & Matt 23:8-12). And so, though I hope offend none, and nay-say no minister I will break down some undrstanding that the Lord has given me – not as an expose’, but as clarifying the genuine danger[s] I see in the movement.

To dive right to the point, I will go back to the passage at the header of this post (we will look at both the implication of the passage, and the development – i.e. the fullfillment of this prophecy with regard to the signs & wonders movement):

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18, 19)

While I believe that there are some excesses in the movement, I would not bother to address a folly simply on the side of zeal [generally] as a grave concern. While there my be things that I don’t wholly agree with, it could continue to be accepted as another denomination of Christian brothers, without over much concern. The growth in zeal, and excess has however grown to the degree that the movement has developed a new ‘translation’ of scripture. ‘The Passion Translation’ (TPT) has been developed by a member of the movement, and is being endorsed, and advocated for as viable, scholastically studiable, and true to the original manauscripts.

I’ll add a link to a video of Mike Winger’s study of TPT for reference, as he does a good job breaking down issues. You don’t have to watch the video, but notice that TPT has TONS of content ADDED to many verses, and bear in mind that TPT is not published, advertized, or endorsed as a bible commentary, but as a viable translation of scripture.

The mainline leaders, and ministers of the signs & wonders movement such as (but not limited to) Bill Johnson are those endorsing this ‘translation.’ This bogles my mind – whether they agree, or dissagree with the writer’s theology, it is a clear edit of scripture. To even tolerate that in a church movement, let alone endorse it should be completely unthinkable if we have any respect for God’s Word. The passage quoted from Revelation is not alone in condemning addition to scripture:

2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deut 4:2)

5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Prov. 30:5 & 6)

The translation is both the fruit of – and the fuller promulgation of – excesses in the movement that may not be dangerous by themselves. Yet the very basis of writing a new bible with added content shows that the movement places less value on God’s Word than on their supernatural experiences.

Further, the endorsement of a bible with added content, and its wide acceptance (I have been to churches where TPT is preached from) WILL skew doctrine, and obscure the Truth of God’s Word. It is not being given with caveats that point out added content as such, so relying on it as scripture elevates the added to the place of God’s ultimate Truth. Thus at the same time, the translation both de-values God’s Word, AND elevates the excesses intrinsic in the movement to the same level as biblical doctrine.

The fact that leading ministers who are considered ‘Prophets,’ and ‘Apostles’ endorse it makes it seem acceptable to average members of the church, as though TPT was not an altered version of scripture. Remember I mentioned Elihu, the type of Christ from the book of Job? Let’s look at the mindset that set Elihu apart, that feature to which he attributed his anointing:

Job 32:18-22
18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.

19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.

20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.

21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

God could trust Elihu with the anointing because he had no fear of man. The promulgation of TPT is on the basis of big name celebrity ministers standing in support of something that is clearly condemned in scripture on the basis of their percieved anointing. Anyone who attempts to correct, who dissagrees is ostracized as ‘religious’ and treated as though they are stirring up petty controversy, while these ‘Apostles,’ and ‘Prophets’ and their prophetic revelations go unchecked because of the reverence they are given by their titles (Matt 23:8-12).

Now, as I have twice quoted, there is a biblical prophecy which plainly states that those who add to scripture will have the plagues of the last days ADDED to them. Let’s see how this plays in real-world application for as certainly as God’s Word is True, this word will indeed come to pass upon any who tamper with God’s Word (I talk about this somewhat in: Signs Wonders & the Last Days Deception):

In the 1800s, C.I. Scoffield was a student of a fringe group called the Plymouth Brethren. The Plymouth brethren had developed a system of theology called ‘dispensationalism,’ they also developed the belief in the rapture. Neither of these beliefs were held in Christianity prior to the Plymough brethren. As a student of the Plymouth brethren, Scofield was one of the first in mainline evangelical Christianity to believe these teachings (he was affiliated with D.L. Moody, and gained fame through that affiliation).

Through his fame by affiliation with Moody, Scoffield wrote a bible commentary which became so widely circulated that the new rapture & dispensational theology became the mainstream theological system of Evangelical Christianity in the West. (Honestly, the history of events seems strikingly similar to the development of TPT: like Scofield was famed by affiliation with, and endorsed by Moody, Brian Simmons of TPT is famous by affiliation with this particular mainline move of Christianity that has become synonomous with Bill Johnson – who also endorses Simmon’s work.)

In all probability, if you grew up in a church in America, you have been taught the rapature, and some form of dispensationalism all your life (so I may sound like a heretic to you to point out that they are unbiblical errors – yet, historically, they were never believed among Christians until Scofield). Scoffield didn’t even re-write the bible, we believe those doctrines because of his commentaries.

Interestingly, the end result of these is a change in eschatology (that is: theology of end-time events); the church came to believe that we will escape the tribulation entirely in the rapture. It also means by logical extension that someone else will be the people of God in the last days, because the church will be removed in the rapture. This is an antichrist conclusion – ONLY those who enter in through Jesus Christ are the people of God. There is no replacement for Jesus, and there is no replacement for those who are purchased with His blood.

The rapture, and dispensationalism lead to Zionism: the belief that God will return on the nation of Israel. These doctrines seem to logically necessitate a return to the Old covenant, because if the church era, or dispensation is ended, the Gospel becomes obsolete for the following [after the rapture] era (which, as mentioned, is an antichrist conclusion in-and-of itself).

Ironically, most evangelicals believe that the temple must be built in Jerusalem before the antichrist comes, so that Zionism is the platform for establishing the reign of antichrist. The irony in this is that because they have believed dispensationalism, and that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation, they seek to assist with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, ushering in the tribulation. Let us speed the days so that we can get raptured, and leave the world in the hands of antichrist (and yes, this is the mentality that this theology develops, I grew up believing it and those I speak to who still believe it take that stance… doesn’t seem very Christian though, does it?).

Imagine now for a momment, if you will, that the rapture is not BEFORE the tribulation, but after. Evangelical Christianity will have ushered in the era of antichrist that they now have to live through. What did the verse in Revelaton say?

If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book

Is that not an obvious fulfillment? Doctrines were added, which led us to unwittingly side with the antichrist kingdom, thinking we have no worry as Christians regarding the tribulation. But Scoffield didn’t actually alter the scriptures, he just ADDED doctrine via his commentaries.

Back to the Passion translation: Brian Simmons’ (the author’s) interpretation of the beast from the sea, is not that it is the antichrist Kingdom at all, but rather that it is the universal flesh of man. In fact, the movement seems to entirely dismiss the concept of end-time events. In my experience, they seem to do this under the auspices of choosing not to discuss controversial theology (which seems somewhat noble… unless God wants to communicate with us, and we avoid going there because of controversy; in which case, it’s not noble, its taking away from God’s word). As Scoffield added the rapture doctrine via commentary, Simmons seems to have subtracted the doctrine of the future fulfillment of an antichrist kingdom with his.

The signs and wonders movement doesn’t (as far as I’ve seen, or experienced) discuss eschatology at all, except to bring ideas out that seem to negate the tribulation entirely. Simmons’ beast from the sea is not the antichrist kingdom – its the flesh. Well, no need then to watch and pray with discernment regarding the end of the age despite Christ’s commanding us to (Matt 24:32-35 & 42), this TPT movement seems to have a theology that emphasizes only victory and that excludes tribulation.

This is dangerous in that it pacifies its adherants that the future only entails revival; it proclaims peace and safety even as we draw nearer to the end of the age. Paul prophesied this very mentality would crop up in the last days:

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thess. 5:2-6)

Yet avoiding controversy and insinuating the prophecies of the antichrist kingdom are rather to be interpretted as the standard struggle against sin, they deny the message of the last days:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:3-4)

Like the preceeding mainline evangelical movement that culminated in doctrine supporting Zionism, one of the central themes of the Signs & Wonders movement is Israel, and the types of the Old Testament. Yet now, there is added an interpretation that puts off the tribulation indefinately, thus passing by all possibility that we could be decieved by the antichrist as the scriptures clearly declare many Christians will. This puts believers who adhere to their theology into a pacified condition, with the sense they are immunized from deception because the Holy Spirit power proves they are in God’s will – not because they are standing on God’s word.

The signs & wonders movement, elevates he miraculous above the Gospel – I’ve already discussed how their translation shows, and reciprocates this. That is the theology thet needs to be in place for the antichrist to rise according to the Apostle Paul who declared of the antichrist: ‘Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all decievableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE THEY RECIEVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved.’ (2 Thess 2:10 & 11)

If it could be said of any Christians that they had not the love of Truth, would it not be of those who believe the miraculous is of greater import than God’s Word, comparing things spiritually impressive against love of God’s word?

I mentioned in my Memoirs post (linked above) that I have heard ministers from the signs and wonders movement of my own acquaintence declare from the pulpit that the orthodox Jews truly, deeply love God “Not Jesus mind you, but they really love… the Father.” Iterestingly, this is a direct contradiction of 1 John 2:23.

Let’s bear in mind that the Jews believe that Jesus was not the Messiah; yet they are waiting for, seeking, and praying for the Messiah – a DIFFERENT Messiah, who’s not Jesus – to come. More than any other people on earth, they speed the coming of antichrist. The problem with theology that the Jews remain God’s elect is that it plainly denies New Testament teaching (see post: Romans 9), IT DEBASES SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST. If the Jews are the elect of God without accepting Christ, then Christ is not the only gate, and Way to the Father as He claimed to be.

But the signs and wonders movement elevates the supernatural above the Truth of scripture – as evidenced by their ‘translation’ – and elevate the Old Testament typologies as though they were still anointed. I have personally had people try to convince me to Zionism by showing me presumed miracles – not scripture, miracles. What did Paul say? ‘…with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all decievableness of unrighteousness… …BECAUSE THEY RECIEVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH…

Believe a miracle above the Truth?

The theological perspective of the signs and wonders movement, just like dispensationalism ends with Zionism; idolizing a nation that will produce – sooner, or later – the antichrist.

Of Babylon it is written: ‘Come out of her my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, AND THAT YE RECIEVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES.’ (Rev 18:4)

And of adding to scripture it says: God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book

Of those who deny the tribulation, and say ‘peace and safety!’ it says: sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Of those love not the truth of God’s word it says they shall perish – even in the rising of the antichrist – becuse they recieved not the love of the Truth.

Be warned: the people who change scripture, and side with the antichrist kingdom are in grave danger.

‘Come out of her my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, AND THAT YE RECIEVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES.’ (Rev 18:4)