Amos Scaggs - 11/02/2007
I saw this vision a few days before the Senate investigation of the church ministries who are plundering God's flock for their own greedy lifestyle.
I saw a red heifer being burned to ashes. As it burned for a period of time it turned into a swine. As it burned for another period of time the swine turned into a man. The man turned into a pirate's face with a patch over the left eye. As the man's face burned it turned into a crab.
The red heifer, symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus, is burned to ashes and then sprinkled in the waters for the priests to be made clean in preparation to serve the temple of God's people.
Instead of offering their bodies as a living sacrifice, the priestly ministry of the church today is largely offering up a life of unclean overindulgence of their flesh. As a swine they are unholy and unfit for their position.
A large percentage of churches today are robbing and plundering God and His people like a pirate. They are just after the money.
The crab is an unclean creature that multiplies and scavenges everything it can, feeding on the flesh of dead fish; so it is with the apostate churches.
Then a large mountain of consuming fire fell on the crabs and consumed them all; so it will be in the day of the Lord's wrath.
There are some drastic changes coming to the churches as we know them today. The image and face of the church will change for all to see.
(Isa.56:11) Yea, the dogs are greedy, they can never have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand: they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from every quarter. (12) Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this day, [a day] great beyond measure.
by J. Lee Grady - 12/10/2007
Six charismatic ministries are under the microscope as a U.S. Senate committee scrutinizes their spending practices. Is this from the devil-or God?
Depending on how you look at it, Sen. Charles Grassley is either a crusader for righteousness or a devil with horns. Some Christians feared he was the latter this week when the Iowa lawmaker, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, announced that he has launched an extensive investigation into the spending practices of six prominent charismatic ministries. As soon as news of the probe broke on Tuesday, I started getting calls from people who are worried that Grassley is plotting to take away the tax-exempt status of all evangelical churches in America.
I have been assured by one of Grassley's top associates that he does not have a hidden agenda, and he is not conspiring to deny anybody of religious freedom. What the senator does want is assurance that these six organizations are not taking money that was donated to charity and misusing it to buy mansions, plastic surgeries and other lavish perks
In letters that were made public on Tuesday, Grassley told Kenneth and Gloria Copeland; David and Joyce Meyer; Randy and Paula White; Creflo and Taffi Dollar; Eddie Long; and Benny Hinn that they have four weeks to send him a boatload of paperwork to prove they are in compliance with U.S. tax laws.
Grassley has been applauded in the past for blowing the whistle on financial abuses among secular nonprofit organizations including the American Red Cross. Now, because of complaints he has received from the public, the senator is turning his attention to these six ministries, demanding that they send him receipts for expensive purchases, minutes from board meetings, audited financial records and detailed compensation figures, among other documents.
Each of the ministries received a letter asking about specific expenditures or questionable practices. Among Grassley's requests:
** A receipt for the Bentley convertible that Florida-based television preacher Paula White reportedly gave to Texas pastor T.D. Jakes
** Information from Bible teacher Joyce Meyer about expensive furnishings in her Missouri headquarters-including a $30,000 malachite table, a $23,000 toilet with a marble lid and a $19,000 pair of Dresden vases.
** Paperwork explaining how Benny Hinn's ministry purchased his $3 million home in Dana Point, Calif.
** Receipts and other records explaining how Eddie Long paid for his $1.4 million estate on 20 acres in suburban Atlanta
** Records about vacation trips to Hawaii and Fiji that Kenneth and Gloria Copeland took using their ministry plane
** Clarification from Atlanta faith preacher Creflo Dollar about his role in raising a hefty portion of a $2 million gift donated to Kenneth Copeland.
We charismatics certainly are in an awkward spot these days. At the same time that Oral Roberts University (ORU) is under the microscope for alleged financial mismanagement, some of the biggest names in our movement are now accused of bending tax rules and spending God's money on themselves.
I am not going to rush to judgment in this case. I know that Meyer pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into missionary outreach projects in many parts of the world, and the IRS recently notified her that Joyce Meyer Ministries is operating in compliance with tax rules. Hopefully her answers to Grassley's questions will satisfy the Senate committee so she can continue her programs without interruption.
At the same time I can't understand how some preachers can take their offerings with a straight face. How can anyone, for example, think that it is a wise use of God's money to pay $10,000 a night for a hotel room on the way home from a foreign ministry trip?
Something needs to be said. Questions need to be asked. That's why I refuse to demonize Grassley for launching this probe.
What is unfortunate about this investigation is that it had to be initiated by someone in the federal government. The Christian public should have demanded a higher level of accountability a long time ago. Why have we been silent when we know certain ministries are operating without a proper board of directors or without any accountability?
I've been praying about all the uncomfortable shaking that is taking place in the church today-from the embarrassing moral failures to the cavalier ministry divorces to the ORU scandal-and I sense that God is the one who is orchestrating these events.
I believe He is raising His holy plumb line over the church today. He is demanding that we come in line with His higher ways. He is decreeing: "I will have a holy people. I will expose greed, arrogance, larceny and corruption, and I will correct theological error that has led My people into materialism, selfishness and idolatry. The process will be painful, but in the end My people will be purified".
I hope every one of these ministries can prove they've done nothing wrong. But if God wants to use a senator to help the American church clean up its act, then I say bring on the reformation.
J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.
We are seeing many prophecies about this judgment that is now ensuing, starting with those who have lifted themselves up to lofty places of visibility and influence, who have proudly received adulation from many and have taken full advantage to enrich themselves.
Isaiah 56:11 Yea, the dogs are greedy, they can never have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand: they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from every quarter.
I believe that after these most visible ones are judged, the investigation will expand to include many thousands of smaller players and eventually to the rescinding of tax exempt status for all of the works of men that we call "churches" and "ministries".
For some time now, the Holy Spirit has made me aware that we are entering the time of the fulfillment of the judgment upon the shepherds that is prophesied in Ezekiel 34 and also upon the prophets in Jeremiah 23. But there is hope for His true sheep in these scriptures, as we see that the Lord Himself intends to gather and minister to His sheep who have been so scattered, mistreated, sheared and thrown to the wolves by the unrighteous shepherds and prophets.
Knowing what I know by the Holy Spirit, it is not hard to see the day approaching when those who are truly God's remnant will hear the voice of their Lord saying, "Come out of her, my people", because these works of men comprise the great whore, which is Babylon. Indeed, many are hearing this call and are coming out in growing numbers, as evidenced by George Barna's surveys revealing the growing number of "un-churched" Christians.
Revelation 18:4-5 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues: (5) for her sins have reached even unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Those of us who want to be found standing with the Lord in these last days must humble ourselves, repent of all known sin, of all pride, all selfishness and self-sufficiency, all love of the world, all adulation of men and all religion, which is the essence of Babylon. We must learn to hate her and cast off her chains, as well as her baubles.