In recent months ‘The Vineyard Movement’ has been increasing its influence and representation in various parts of Northern Ireland and a number of folks have expressed concern to me about this.
Back in the mid 1990’s when I was talking publicly about the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ a recording of my talk was made in Randalstown.
In the first 18 minutes of that talk I mentioned the ‘Vineyard’ connection with the ‘Toronto Blessing’ and detailed the doctrinal problems associated with the founder of the Vineyard Movement, the late John Wimber.
If you click on the following Link you will be able to view that portion of my talk and hopefully it will still prove helpful in the light of the worrying increase in Vineyard representation in the Province.
Your servant for Christ
Should you wish to obtain a DVD of the full talk that I gave on this subject in Randalstown it can be purchased from us at a price of £6.00 that includes p&p.
It was during the second half of 2004 that I felt led of the Lord to invite someone to come to Belfast to speak on the topic of ‘GOD [channel] TV: helpful or Harmful’. Initially a speaker and series of meetings were provisionally planned for the end of January 2005 but the Lord over-ruled in both instances [the speaker and timing] and so now this topic is to be addressed by Alan Morrison in a series of meetings planned for 2nd-19th April [DV].
Shortly after his conversion in the early 1980’s, Swedish student Torbjorn Swartling came under the influence of Word-Faith preacher, Ulf Ekman who had just returned from the United States where he had been studying at Kenneth Hagin’s bible school. This was to lead Torbjorn into what he considered to be ‘the last great Christian revival on earth’ [p18]. However doubts began to surface and for the next years his spiritual life was like a yo-yo – a mixture of ‘highs’ and ‘lows’.
Well, after all the hype surrounding the arrival of a new millennium [a debatable point by the way] things are continuing pretty much as before. There is still “a time to be born and a time to die…a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace” [Ecclesiastes 4:2&8]. Nothing has changed because the heart of the natural, unregenerate man has not changed.
The only hope for a change of heart in man is still as it has been for the past 2000 years namely the true “gospel of Christ” [Romans 1:16]. With every passing day the darkness of error that would seek to snuff out “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” [2 Corinthians 4:4] seems to intensify and gain even more ground in the professing church that is supposed to be “the pillar and ground of the truth” [1 Timothy 3:15]. Despite the advances and acceptance of the cults, new age, ‘prosperity peddlers’, non-Christian faiths and especially Roman Catholicism together with false ecumenism the Lord’s promise still remains “I will build MY church” [Matthew 16:18]. Margaret and I want to thank you for all your past encouragement and support and covet your prayers as we seek to encourage people to “take heed that no man deceive you” [Matthew 24:4]
In a short time most of the world will be working itself into a frenzy as humanity prepares to bid farewell to the 1900’s. The world today is not overwhelmed by atheists – most people have an attachment to some kind of spiritual philosophy – but in reality they fall into the category of “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof” [2 Tim.3:5]. What is “the power” they deny – it is what is described as “the power of God unto salvation” in Romans 1:16. Most spiritual people today reject “the gospel of Christ”. Not only are these rejecters found amongst the non-Christian religions, false cults and New Age Movement but also amongst supposed Christian groups such as Roman Catholicism, Orthodox and Protestant denominations and the Word- Faith Movement. A grand coalition of many of these “gospel of Christ” rejecters is taking shape under the Primacy of the Pope and would appear to be gathering momentum and going forward in unstoppable fashion but their fate is assured. Through the preaching of the true “gospel of Christ” Christ’s true church will be built and the forces opposed to Him will one day be destroyed with the brightness of His coming. Until then let us “take heed” to our Lord’s instruction “Occupy, till I come” [Luke 19:13] and may our prayer be as we say farewell to this particular era “Even so, come Lord Jesus” [Rev.22:20].
According to the Belfast Telegraph of 4th December a United Celebration of Christmas being held in Townsend Presbyterian Church on 13th December is to be addressed by a speaker called J JOHN. The July 1997 issue of CHARISMA carried an article on J JOHN and the following are extracts from the article –
‘It’s not everyone whose ministry has been endorsed on the one hand by controversial revivalist preacher Rodney Howard Browne [as the promoter of ‘Holy Laughter’ at the time of ‘Toronto’ he described himself as God’s ‘Holy Ghost Bartender’] and on the other by the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. Yet that’s the broad spectrum of support enjoyed by J JOHN, arguably one of Great Britain’s foremost evangelists…. Recently he preached to capacity crowds at Sunderland Christian Centre [a product of ‘Toronto’]…. J JOHN, who is Anglican himself was one of only 2 non-Catholic speakers addressing last year’s charismatic Roman Catholic conference.
An advert in the Belfast Telegraph has announced that Dr Jack Deere will be speaking at seminars in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church from 12-14 November. [The wife of the Fisherwick minister, Mrs McKelvey spoke favourably a few years ago on local radio of her first hand experience of the so-called ‘blessing’ during her visit to the Toronto Vineyard fellowship].
In a little booklet called ‘John Wimber – Friend or Foe?’ [Published by St Matthias Press, London] we learn some interesting insights into Mr Deere’s pedigree. In chapter 3 called ‘The Signs and Wonders Gospel’ we read details of an interview between Mr Deere and a Christian called Graham Banister who paid $150 [Australian] to attend the March 1990 Sydney Spiritual Warfare Conference. Set out below are some extracts from this chapter:-
We leave a summer marked by a number of unique events. Some happy, some breathtaking and some tragic. In July there was the happy reminder of man setting foot on the moon and no doubt many joined in the memory game of where were you when Neil Armstrong took his small step/giant leap? Then there was the breathtaking total eclipse viewed in wonder by millions around the globe. Not long after that there was the tragic devastation of the earthquake in Turkey when thousands were ushered swiftly into eternity. A pinnacle – man and the moon – a down to earth disaster – man and his mortality. One moment man can be ‘flying high but in the twinkling of an eye, like the one spoken of in Luke 12:20 it may be that “this night thy soul shall be required of thee”. Looking at large religious gatherings, whether held in Mecca, St Peter’s Square, Rugby Union HQ in Twickenham [JW annual convention] or Geneva [the Dalai Lama preached in Calvin’s former church on 8th August] one can see people who are happy and the sight can be breathtaking but the reality is that these are preludes to tragedy. Millions are perishing without Christ and are being eternally cut off from the blessing of God by a “great gulf fixed” – please pray that many will “take heed”.
A lot of miles have been safely covered both on land and in the air since last I wrote to you (thank you for your faithfulness in prayer) and I will be reporting on these travels in this newsletter. It would appear that for the time being I will be reverting back to 4 newsletters per year so as we again approach the end of another year Margaret and I together wish you God’s blessing for the remainder of 1998 and on into 1999.
This year has been the usual mix of highs and lows but through it all our unchanging God has been our constant source of comfort and strength. We are deeply grateful to the many who constantly pray for the work and provide for us in many thoughtful and practical ways. Please pray that during 1999 (DV) we will be sensitive to God’s leading and that whatever is undertaken in His name will bring glory to Him.
In conclusion ponder this wonderful promise to the true children of God “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12;10:17).
This newsletter is being issued now and not in October, as I have been invited to take part in a 2-evening debate in Fresno, California on the subjects of ‘Sola Scriptura’ and ‘The Papacy’ and I will (DV) be partnering Rob Zins against 2 Roman Catholic apologist. YOUR PRAYERS ARE COVETED for this event scheduled for 19th and 20th of September. Upon my return (DV) I will be quickly launched into the meetings arranged for the visit of Frank Eberhardt and the leaflet giving details of his schedule is enclosed. The ministry has received a wonderful gift of a brand new computer/printer and modem [for internet use] and I am currently trying to learn how to best use this equipment and hopefully my next newsletter will be prepared on it so you may see some changes. Already communication and access to resource material has been increased greatly by this marvelous gift. Pastor William Houston has moved on from my own church and 1 want to thank him for his contribution during his time as a member of the Council of Reference and to wish him and his family well for the future.Yours servant for Christ. Cecil Andrews.