"And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, of which you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:3 John Henry Newman writes that the first great heresy to tear at the Church of Jesus Christ was Arianism. This heresy arose about forty years before Julian became Rome's emperor. Arianism denies that Christ was God, and Newman observes that
"it ate its' way among the rulers of the Church like a canker (and) at one time it was all but dominant throughout Christendom." Emperor Julian embraced Arianism and in due time "fell away into paganism, became a hater and persecuter of the Church...." (A Confederacy of Evil, Newman, p. 17)
Another heresy arose which in its consequences has been far more lasting and terrible. Newman describes it as possessing a twofold character "with two heads...Nestorianism and Eutychianism," and though it appears as if they are opposed, they yet act towards a common end, said Newman. Both in one way or another deny that Christ is God and tend to destroy Christian faith. This two-headed heresy spread through the East and Egypt, "corrupting and poisoning those Churches which had once, alas! been the most flourishing, the early abodes and the strongholds of revealed truth." (p. 18)
By means of this heresy, the "imposter Mahomet sprang, and formed his creed" and for over two hundred years tore at the soul and body of the Church.
At the 2009 inaugural of Barack Obama, the official prayer was offered by Emergent Church leader Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of "The Purpose Driven Life," which has sold thirty million copies.
Bending his knee to Allah and the two-headed heresy that gave birth to Islam, Pastor Warren identified Jesus Christ by his Muslim name Isa. As the product of the ancient two-headed heresy, Islam naturally denies that Jesus Christ is God, for God has no son, thus Isa is not God but a mortal prophet superceded by Muhammed and pastors like Warren.
Following Warren's denial of Jesus Christ, President Obama immediately repudiated America's Christian heritage:
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers." (Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, Patrick J. Buchanan, pp. 46-47)
Though the age of Obama marks the official advent of post-Christian America, it is the case that America had long since fallen away from true Christian theism. Contemporary America is tightly controlled by a Progressive atheist "elite-caste" while what is left of true Christian faith exists mainly on the fringes of society leaving the field open to the false teachings of post-modern Emergent pastors such as Warren and Hybels, Third Wave Gnostics like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Richard Foster and John Wimber and modalists such as TD Jakes:
"(Modalism is) a second and third century heresy that denies the doctrine of the Trinity, teaching there is only one Person in the Godhead. While the Trinity doctrine teaches three distinct Persons, Modalism maintains that one Person (usually the Father) has manifested Himself at different times under different names (Jesus/Spirit) or modes. Thus, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three names for the same Person. Originally taught in various forms by Noetus, Praxeas and Sabellius. Modified forms of this doctrine can be found in the teachings of William Branham, some Apostolic churches and the United Pentecostal Church. In addition to this heresy, most Oneness Pentecostal organizations also teach that speaking in tongues, baptism (in Jesus' name only), and maintaining various moral "standards" are necessary for salvation. (The Watchman Expositor, Index, 1997, http://www.watchman.org/cat952.htm)
Modalism emerged from the mainstream Pentecostal movement of the early 19th century and today is known as the Oneness Pentecostal movement. Key doctrinal beliefs include:
1. Doctrine of "trinity" considered to be demonic 2. Denial of the pre-existence of Christ
One of the biggest influences on the Third Wave movement was the New Order of the Latter Rain. Latter Rain holds to the erroneous teaching that the Church is not built on Jesus Christ but on present-day super apostles and prophets who claim powers which belong only to Jesus Christ.
The Latter Rain is now almost totally fused with the doctrines of the Manifest Sons Of God movement and with Kingdom Theology (dominionism). This movement believes in the ongoing incarnation of God within creation and man, making believers into little gods who exercise sovereign autonomy within their spheres of dominion. Among other false teachings:
1. Joel's Army/Kingdom Now/Dominion theology: the church is to conquer and subdue the earth in order to bring in the millennium. 2. Christians become "gods". 3. Christ is in us as a "seed" that evolves into a "prophet". Christ therefore returns "within us" so we are Christ. 4. The current churches have the spirit of "Antichrist". (The Third Wave, New Apostolic Reformation, Sandy Simpson)
The most important teachers of the doctrines of Latter Rain are Paul Cain, Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner and all other apostles and prophets in the New Apostolic Reformation.
Simpson writes that Word-Faith is another fast-growing movement:
"It has involved two distinct but closely related factions: the Peale/Schuller Positive/Possibility thinkers, with their roots in New Thought, and the Hagin/Copeland Positive Confession and Word-Faith groups, which have their roots in E.W. Kenyon, William Branham, and the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain Movement."
Word-Faith is as diverse as its' doctrines. A representative sample includes:
1. Christians are "gods" divinely empowered to not only 'speak' what they want into being but of saving themselves as well. 2. Faith is a "force" capable of being used for good or evil, to alter reality and to create through visualization 3. God is helpless to operate within the temporal sphere without the help of god-men
Simpson identifies well-known false-teachers associated with this movement:
"Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Oral Roberts, Richard Roberts, John Avanzini, Reinhard Bonnke, Rodney Howard-Browne, Morris Cerullo, Robert Tilton and almost all teachers on TBN."
Spiritism is yet another fast-growing movement. The Watchman Expositor describes spiritism:
"Specifically the belief found in many primitive Cultures that inanimate objects, plants and/or animals are possessed by spirits (good or evil) which must be appeased through Occult practices. More generally, the term can refer to any alleged contact with spirits through Occult techniques(including) trance-mediums, New Age channeling, Edgar Cayce, seances, and Ouija (as well as) Satanic groups that worship Satan and who attempt to gain supernatural power by contacting, worshipping, or appeasing Satan and/or his demons. The Occult practice of Spiritualism (Spiritism) is given a new name in the New Age Channeling or trance channeling. Spirit beings, "ascended masters," deceased humans, or animal spirits allegedly communicate important messages by temporarily entering the body and controlling the voice of a host (channel or medium). Most channelers give the same basic message, man is God."(The Watchman Expositor, Index Of Cults, 1997, http://www.watchman.org/cat953.htm)
Among practicing spiritists today are New Age channelers and Third Wave faith-healers such as William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, and Benny Hinn.
C. Peter Wagoner and other popular teachers are fusing the many ancient heresies and occult practices of other religions into one new "paradigm shift," a type of Christianity that makes gods of men and,
"confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" therefore is not of God, but "this is that spirit of antichrist..."