Popular Charismatic Worship Artist, Kari Jobe, Teaching Dangerous Theology
It’s never-ending. The apostasy, the lack of discernment, the gullibility. How can anyone who proclaims the name of Jesus Christ not recognize the dismal state of the professing church? Words cannot even begin to describe the how far away the church is from Christ in these days. The attractions, the concerts, the conferences. People joining hands with those teaching for shameful gain things they ought not to teach. This is not revival, but the falling away in it’s most deceptive and extreme form–a form of godliness that denies its power.
Tickets go on sale in May for Outcry Tour 2016. The music festival will be held in several cities around the nation, and features some of the most lauded names in “worship.” The groups include Hillsong, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Housefires, Urban Rescue, Chad Veach, and none other than Elevation Worship.
Now, I’m not exactly sure who these people are worshiping, but it isn’t Jesus. Yet, thousands of Christians are blindly sending their children to partake in this evil.
In the Charismatic Evangelical church, there is a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). It is a movement that elevates experience above doctrinal truth. Often times you will see many with contradictory beliefs about the basic tenets of Christianity come together in prayer and worship. This is the driving force behind this modern worship scene that’s creeping into once solid churches.
Hillsong United is among the most deceitful and subversive worship music movements. Hillsong music is popular, and is played throughout even some of the most theologically solid churches, deceptively luring people away from doctrinal truth and into an experiential form of idolatry that removes Jesus as the sole object of worship, and places the emphasis on ear-tickling lyrics and music that draws on people’s emotions. Read more about them here.
But another of Outcry’s featured singers, Kari Jobe, is also a popular musician being promoted in churches, especially to our youth. Jobe, out of seeker-sensitive NAR Robert Morris’ Gateway church, is known for popular songs like I Am Not Alone, and Love Came Down. She is also under the leadership of Gateway’s NAR Apostle and elder, Jack Hayford, author of the song Majesty, which teaches the heretical “Kingdom Now” theology. However, she is one of those who are teaching for shameful gain things she ought not to teach (Titus 1:11).
One of her most popular songs, Forever, published by Bethel Music (the same outfit that produced Jesus Culture), contains some really aberrant theology. Besides the fact that she’s a female pastor in a church, her theology alone should be enough to disqualify her as a teacher. Below is a sample of her lyrics:
One final breath He gave
As heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken
Then, In an interview about her song, Forever, she said,
My favorite part of the whole thing is … we talk about the death on the cross and we talk about the resurrection,but that time in between was when Jesus was in hell rendering hell. And ransacking hell. And defeating the enemy – taking those keys to death and hell and the grave to be victorious over that when he rose from the dead.
Of course, we can pick apart almost any song, even some of the best traditional hymns. But the serious error here is that she is teaching a heresy that strikes at the heart of Christian theology, which is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She gets a pass, though, you know, because “artistic license and stuff.”
This idea that Jesus died and went to Hell stems from an old heresy that is prominent in Word of Faith circles that teach that Jesus died spiritually, and was “born again” after defeating Satan in Hell. Popular teachers of this false teaching are Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, and Creflo Dollar. Joyce Meyer writes in her book, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, the following:
Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, “let him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead–the first born again man. (source)
And Kenneth Copeland similarly writes:
For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer. Some people don’t want to believe that. They want to believe that after His death, Jesus just stayed in that upper region of Sheol that the Bible calls paradise, but they’re mistaken! If He had simply stayed there, there would have been no price paid for sin. (source)
This flies right in the face of biblical truth that Christ’s death on the cross was victorious over sin. Jesus proclaimed victory in his final breath on the cross (John 19:28-30). Jesus had no need to go to Hell to finish any work, and he certainly did not die spiritually (John 17:4, Acts 2:31, Col 2:14, etc.).
But if denying the power of the cross isn’t enough to turn your head away from Kari Jobe’s music, perhaps her treatment of Jesus would be enough to make your stomach turn. Another popular song, The More I Seek You, she treats Jesus more like a lover than a savior.
The more I seek you,
The more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you
I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming
Besides the theology in this song just being plain horrible, she displays a total lack of understanding of God’s love for us. God’s love for us is not an erotic (Greek: eros) love, but agape. Agape is a parental, sacrificial, unconditional love, whereas eros is a bodily, emotional kind of love. The lyrics in this song pervert the nature of God’s love.
I don’t see how anyone could worship our sovereign God to music like this, yet the eroticizing of God’s love for us is gaining steam. Hillsong’s Forever Reign is another popular song in evangelical churches that does this, while Ann Voskamp, a popular women’s bible study writer, and author, pushes the same foolishness in her book, 1000 Gifts. Voskamp writes, “I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.”
One of the Hallmarks of NAR worship is to use repetitive phrases and rhythmic cadences to draw people into a trance-like state, believing that by doing so, you can have intimacy with God. In reality, what it does is cause people to zone out, and not really think about what they are saying. Being under the influence of NAR Apostle, Jack Hayford, who has been instrumental in transforming the worship music scene, it comes as no surprise that her music incorporates this tactic. Jack Hayford claims direct, divine revelation from God, and says that while driving by a Catholic church, God directly told him not to judge them. He says God directly said to him,
Why would I not be happy with a place [Catholic Church] where every morning the testimony of the blood of my Son is raised from the altar?
Being that the Catholic Church worships a false Jesus, you can rest assured that Hayford did not hear that from God. Yet, this is a man influencing Kari Jobe, and many other modern worship music artists.
All of this and more is what the evangelical church is feeding its sheep. Wolves, snake oil salesmen, bad theology…and nobody bats an eye. Children are being sent off to church camps and “Christian” concerts to be fed goat’s milk through worship. Sadly, many truly love Jesus, and desire to worship him rightly, but have no idea that their music is leading them down a path of destruction. Music is tearing down doctrinal lines and creating unholy alliances at a faster pace than once thought possible. No longer do Evangelicals, Catholics, and other professing Christians have to stand against each other over “matters of secondary importance…like the Bible,” we can now unite around our new idol of worship music.
This begs the questions, “How long had the board been thinking of changing the leadership?” And who contacted whom? Did Brian Houston contact GCCC, or did the current assistant pastor Steve Dixon (SD) pick up the phone and raise the matter with Hillsong?
Brian Houston became Brisbane’s senior pastor under the guidance, leadership and affirmation of assistant pastor SD and the board of GCCC. So called “campus pastor” Steve Dixon according to a report in the Courier Mail was at the time unsure how long he would remain part of the pastoral team.3
Another question that begs an answer is, “Why did the elders and board members of GCCC unanimously endorse the “takeover” by Hillsong and Brian Houston as senior pastor without investigating Hillsong for themselves?” On the day of the members’ vote, a number of the elders stood on stage and testified that they had never ventured south to attend even one Hillsong conference in Sydney, yet they were backing this change all the way!
Members and adherents of GCCC weren’t given any opportunity to make any suggestions, nor was there any open discussion of leadership alternatives. The decision had been made. GCCC members were simply presented with one leadership appointment, and asked to vote.
There had been only one side of the story told. The information was always presented in a positive light, with little opportunity to question, or linger on doubts. Any questions raised were screened and well managed. I have since learned this is a technique used by the business world to manage change. There had been more spin over the pulpit in God’s name, during these months, than found in your average Colgate commercial.
Once the decision was made, GCCC became an instant “franchise” of Hillsong. The Church is now market driven under the guise of being – “purpose driven”.
GCCC has totally lost its identity!
Without a moment to breathe, the leadership from Sydney suddenly arrived putting their stamp on this new way to “do church”. We were presented with a spokesman for this, and a spokesman for that. We even had a special “Money Preacher” to encourage and remind us of the need to tithe and give generously. Such coercion from a “church” viz Hillsong, which is a juggernaut financially, with a turnover of of $50 million plus a year4 is neither godly nor, in my opinion, acceptable.
We were no longer just affiliated with strong ties to Hillsong, we became Hillsong!
From day one everything had to change, and it did. For example – there was a fairly new coat of paint on the “church” walls from previous renovations, painted to a modern grey. Yet within days of the signs, and the optic fibre going in the carpark, the auditorium was repainted to the colour of the other Hillsong churches. Why spend the money?
As part of the takeover we had the celebrity gala feast; this one, and that one, from Hillsong Sydney visiting to give their counsel, and ideas. All the rich and famous were given a slot, and place of honour. For those who couldn’t get enough of their Hillsong idols they could now have them visit here in Queensland. With every guest appearance, Brian Houston became more like an Amway Diamond, than a pastor.
Hillsong is run as a Corporation not a church in its operation.
There is no New Testament precedent for this model and certainly not for its duplication.
The Church has taken its cue from Wall Street. It has been offered the kingdoms of this world, and yet instead of denying the flesh, it has embraced the path of least resistance, and in so doing, has denied the cross, and the One who bought us.
J. Edwin Orr pointed out that “seldom does God call one who ministers the Word to the ministry of money making. They are two separate callings.”5
By love for the world, we make ourselves an enemy of the cross:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him – 1 John 2:15.
Ambition and Success are the new golden calf.
Warren W. Wiersbe comments;
Few things taint our goodness like covetousness; a desire to be popular, and the ecstatic feeling that comes when we exercise power over the people who give us their idolatrous adoration. When our motives are wrong; our ministry is wrong; and the consequences are tragic for us, for those who follow us and for the whole church.6
This is now playing itself out at Hillsong Brisbane.
Seeking to be Sensitive:
The Hillsong way actually follows to the letter what is known as the Seeker Sensitive or Church Growth Movement model. This model is to help bring “unchurched” sinners into the meetings, and to make them as comfortable as possible with the experience.
Dress down in clothing and style. Jeans are the new formal wear;
Low mood lighting similar to a bar or nightclub. In Brisbane campus, it is so dimly lit it appears like night time, yet it’s 10:30 am in the morning. Quite a contrast especially in Queensland when the sun is up at 5:30 am;
Secular music is played as background music prior to the start of the service. eg The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony;
Worship – now accommodates the excitability of the young and the unchurched;
Music is now more about entertainment than the sole purpose of lifting up our God above all other gods;
The lyrics (words) of the songs have progressively become “I, me, my” focused instead of Christ Jesus focused – e.g. In Your Freedom I will live;
Worship is now limited to 20 minutes;
Big screens are not there for the glory of God. It’s not pictures of creation, but the names and faces of those on stage that are lifted up;
Hillsong relies on the quality of programmes not the power of the Holy Spirit for transformed lives;
Preaching is now a standard 20 minute sermonette;
Preaching on the whole is “relevant” and topical. It is now a people based message to “help” the hearer with their felt-needs e.g. happiness, family , finances, relationships, job, career etc;
This type of pop spirituality effectively teaches:
Every human being is divine or basically good;
God’s Word is not really the final authority, but is still useful as a moral guide;
The goal of my life is centred on me;
What I desire determines what happens in my life.
What this type of church model does, is nothing more than increase the numbers of adherents, and leaves the sinner in his sins. The church now has a flock of deceived sheep, or are they in reality misguided goats?
Massaging the Message:
Messages lack any mention of sin, repentance, prayer, obedience, death to self, holiness, sacrifice, suffering, hell, even God himself.
Preaching lacks sound doctrine. Closer analysis reveals it is more based around pop psychology, than biblical truth.
The message has little challenge or need for personal self assessment.
Yet the scripture exhorts us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith – 2 Corinthians 13:5
The preaching frequently includes different Bible versions. This includes The Message, which is a perversion and not a true translation.
Often this is quoted in church to expound or reveal a greater truth. It is normally thrown up on the big screen for everyone to read. The Message was produced by Eugene Peterson, as a simple paraphase, not as a translation from the original texts. Yet without fail, not a Sunday will go by without this Bible version being quoted.
To show the degree we have strayed, the KJV has over 700 references to “Lord” in the New Testament alone. The Message has just 23 verses which mention “Lord”. But the real concern is that “Lord” is never once associated or found linked to “Jesus” in any way in The Message.
Brian Houston frequently preaches a message that is a watered down gospel. He teaches from Bible verses that were never meant to say what he teaches. This is known as Eisegesis.
Eisegesis (from the Greek root εις, meaning into, in, among) is the process of misinterpreting a text in such a way that it introduces one’s own ideas, reading into the text. This is best understood when contrasted with Exegesis. While exegesis draws out the meaning from the text, eisegesis occurs when a reader reads his/her interpretation into the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective.
Verses are used just because they have a certain word or contain a truth that fits with his message.
Brian Houston lacks or is happy to ignore all forms of discernment;
Brian Houston’s preaching could be termed “Heterodox Humanism”
He happily accepts and promotes the following teachers most of whom have personally been at Hillsong Conferences.
You will also find these people’s books as the only books available in the Hillsong Resource Centres (bookshop), along with Brian and Bobby’s material of course!7
Joyce Meyer – Prosperity Teacher/ Preacher. cf. Paul’s instruction about women teachers – 1 Timothy 2:12.
Joel Osteen – Prosperity Preacher and denier of the true Gospel
Jerry Saville – Prosperity Preacher
T D Jakes – Prosperity Preacher and denier of the trinity (advertised as guest speaker at the 2010 Hillsong Conference).
Rick Warren – member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) trained under Robert H. Schuller (a la – The Hour of Power)
Bill Hybels – Pastor of Willow Creek Church – who has admitted getting it wrong with the Seeker Sensitive model. Hybels trained under Robert H. Schuller and is good friends with Rick Warren. According to Schuller — Self Esteem is the new reformation!! He defines sin as a lack of “self-esteem”.
Pearsons – Jeremy Pearsons (wife Sarah) son-in-law of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland—visited Hillsong Powerhouse in Sydney in October 2009 for Encounter ’098
Hillsong United band played for the Pope during his visit to Sydney in 2008.
Sisterhood (a term widely used by Hillsong) is a concept borrowed from the Women’s liberation movement, and the new age.
Finally one of the worst instances of spiritual bankruptcy I’ve experienced was the live performance of the “Hillsong Creation story”, featured at Hillsong Brisbane on 11-Oct-2009.
Aspects can only be touched on here. The play was done in humour, and obviously aimed at a child audience. However the fun and humour ends very quickly, where the creation narrative turns into a sham and a circus. Plants and animals were various members of the congregation, dressed in costumes. More and more characters appeared on stage, and we had six or more of the cast from the pastoral team. Somehow we were meant to make the mental leap, as a congregation, from the bouncing chicken and the freckle faced rat to God’s act of creating our world and the Universe out of nothing!?!
The seven days of creation were played out by various actors and God even created for us – “Superheros”, like Batman and the Incredible Hulk, both making a guest appearance. God is so “great”, that He invented superheros, can openers, and cars!
The Holy Spirit at one stage was taking too long to come –“hovering over the waters”. Towards the end Adam and Eve appeared clothed (minus the fall, sin and satan, and God’s provision). The story ends ….
Steve Dixon then expounded for about twenty minutes the creation story as found in Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
He touched on a few points expressing the view that we are not able to know the exact time frame of God’s creation, whether it was a literal seven days, or a certain period of time which God took to make earth.9
Darwin would have been proud on this 150th Anniversary of his Origin of Species, and Richard Dawkins would be more than bemused.
The Church in the West for too long has sailed along in fair seas. The Zephyr has fluttered at our sails in the height of summer, and has blown comfort upon the people. Our ship has sailed below sapphire skies, the crew sleeps, while the current of the world, and tides of apostasy have taken us off course, and we barely know it.
The worst of it is, darkening clouds beckon on the horizon, bringing a storm of ecumenism and coming persecution with barely anyone to trim the sail of this wayward vessel.
Since the introduction of Hillsong to Brisbane, this once truly relevant and purposeful church has been sideswiped. A church birthed in humility and zeal by its founders, who gave all to the cause of Christ, have now become a people who have lost their way, and now dance to the flute of the musician, whose song is not the song of the Lord.
The love of fame and fortune have been Christianized, and an unsuspecting flock now give their allegiance to a captain who cares “little, if anything, for their salvation”.
It must be said that they who began well have turned aside to follow a shepherd who is no shepherd. The hireling has crept in unawares.
Paul complained in his day:
For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s – Philippians 2: 20, 21.
The way once narrow, now abandoned, has become a broadened highway, opening up to the verdant plains leading on to the gates of a city that arises in the distance. It is that great city, clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! It is a city proud, that city upon seven hills – BABYLON.
about the author
Lance Goodall and his wife Norilyn have both served the Lord in the AOG movement for many years. They have since come out of the Church Growth Movement. They both have a concern for the knowledge of God and His glory. They carry in their heart, a love for Gods’ honour, for His Word, and for the salvation of the lost….
1 Part of the transcript from a sermon preached by Bruce Hills at Legana Church in Tasmania – Easter – April 2009 – DVD can be obtained by ordering from Legana Church.
2) CWM has a copy of a transcript from a tape recording of Bruce preaching in which he make this confession.
3) The meeting was held on Sunday 26th April 2009 to determine the vote from the congregation. 80% of those present agreed to have Brian & Bobbie Houston as senior pastors
Chris Rosebrough reviews Brian Houston’s sermon “When Some Thing’s Done Don’t Stop” on his ‘Fighting For The Faith’ radio program. He accuses Houston of “a damnable sin” by “twisting… God’s Word” and making “a passage about the sufferings of Christ on the cross for our sins… about well you – narcissistic eisegesis”. Why did Rosebrough react the way he did to Brian Houston’s sermon? Are his comments justified by Houston’s teaching and behaviour?
FEBRUARY 20, 2012
PASTRIXES PERFORM VAGINA MONOLOGUES
• Ed Young gives fashion advice to innovative pastors & then denies that he’s gimmicky
• William Tapley explains how Whitney Houston’s death is a warning from God.
• Vagina Monologues performed in church
• Sermon Review: When Something’s Done Don’t Stop by Brian Houston of Hillsong
Chris Rosebrough, “So let’s talk about what we are going to do on today’s edition of Fighting For The Faith I am going to talk about the well the end of the programme first. I am going to be reviewing a Brian Houston sermon from Hillsong in Sydney, Australia. We are going to be reviewing actually it is a two part sermon. If you subscribe to the Hillsong podcast then you know that their podcasts are notoriously short and it is as if every single Sunday they take a sermon and then they chop it up into a couple of pieces and so I mean who knows what he is currently preaching on. But we are going to be doing is we are going to be listening to a two part sermon entitled When Something is Over Done Stop and listen you are going to want to listen to this sermon review.
Here is the reason why it is yet another example of narcigesis. Now narcigesis is a word we have coined here that refers to narcissism and eisegesis. They all kind of stick together. So right rather than saying narcissistic eisegesis, it is narcigesis. Narcissism is self-love. Eisegesis is basically when you read things into the biblical text. No pastor is ever supposed to read things into the biblical text. Somebody who is skilled in handling God’s Word always exegetes reads out what God has put into His Word so that we can properly understand it.
That being the case there is in these seeker driven mega churches and in especially the ones that are flirting with the Word of Faith movement, actually Brian Houston is not somebody who flirts with the Word of Faith heresy. He full on believes it and teaches it. They have this really bad habit of reading themselves into just about every single passage you can possibly think of – even ones that pertain to Jesus. Now until I heard this sermon I had never heard anyone do anything quite like this and that is taking one of Jesus statements from the cross. They talk about Jesus seven words from the cross. Taking one of Jesus seven words from the cross, so that is the biblical context for the sermon, is that he begins in John 19 at the crucifixion and he takes one of Jesus seven words on the cross and he literally makes it about his life and yours. I am not joking I mean this as far as I am concerned any pastor who would take a passage of scripture that deals directly with Jesus especially regarding His passion suffering and death for us on the cross, for our sins and for our salvation and turns it into something about you or about me or about the pastor, that pastor should automatically be defrocked.
I mean here is the deal I mean if let’s, work with me for a second. Let’s pretend that I own a car that could really go fast. Maybe I went out and brought one of those brand new retro cars that you know dodge and Chevy’s put on maybe like a Camaro or you understand what I am saying or a Mustang you know just and I went out and got the Shelby job put on the Mustang and so I decided that what I was going to do is take the car out to a stretch in the Nevada desert you know on one of those less travelled desert highways and see how far I could get, you know the what speed I could get the car up to. So you know I made the trip out there to Nevada. Let’s pretend I made it out there and you know I found a long stretch of roads straight highway. I mean literally the only thing you could see are rocks and little like shrubs you know if you are familiar with the Nevada desert and so you know I put the car you know in neutral and then into first gear and put the hammer down and just let loose. You know and got the car just flat out you know I was doing 120/130/135 come on you can make to 140 and all of a sudden I look in my mirror.
Yeah so here is the deal there are speeds at which you travel in particular states that if you are clocked at that speed you automatically lose your licence. Just that is the way it goes and so at that point I would be walking home from the middle of the Nevada desert.
Now in a similar way I am absolutely convinced there are certain things that a pastor that if he does it, if he does that with the biblical text he should automatically lose all preaching privileges for the rest of his life. Okay when somebody takes a biblical, takes one of the biblical texts about Jesus especially that is really referring to Him. Especially the ones that are where it is talking about Jesus suffering and death on the cross and they engage in narcigesis using those biblical texts, that is somebody who has no clue what Christianity is about. That is somebody who has no qualifications to be a pastor and if they do something like that they should forever be banned from even publicly reading a verse.
Okay this is one of those things that you know this goes to the point where yeah at this point I am sorry you are not qualified to be a pastor ever. Hand in the keys. You don’t get your parking space. We want your Bibles, your commentaries. Oh you didn’t have commentaries oh okay. Yeah whatever scholarly resources that you may have used for your sermon prep, oh you didn’t have any of those either. Uh okay well just give us your Bible and then we will take the parking lot and the keys to the building. Yeah you are not allowed in the building ever again. Get out of here. If you show up we are going to you know have the police called. You know we will have you arrested for trespassing. You get what I am saying. Anyway so that is hour number two we are going to be looking at that.
[Segment Two – 01:00:31 – 02:09:38]
Chris Rosebrough, “Okay we are back hour 2 of Fighting For The Faith. Sermon review time. The good, the bad, the ugly we review it all here at Fighting For The Faith. We are an equal opportunities sermon reviewing service. Today’s sermon comes to us from down under from Australia, Sydney from Hillsong. Led by Brian Houston. The name of the sermon When Something is Over Don’t Stop.
Now Hillsong in the American Evangelical world is well an influential Christian church. Brian Houston an influential Christian pastor. They have ambassadors flying around the world and preaching in mega churches all over the world. You know well gals like Christine Caine. So we are going to ask a simple question is Brian Houston rightly handling God’s Word here or has he committed an exegetical offence that technically should bar him from ever preaching ever again. Yeah I am not joking when I say that. Alright let me kill the music. So without any further or due. Here is Brian Houston in his sermon When Something is Over Don’t Stop. Here we go.
Brian Houston, “John 19. Jesus said, “It is finished!” Man can you imagine those words and the emotions that they brought to the people who had put all their faith in Jesus? When Jesus said, “It is finished!” and if you want to turn to the verse, it is in John, The Gospel of John – chapter 19 v 28 we will start.”
Chris Rosebrough, “John 19 v 28, we are going to start at v28 in the passion narrative regarding Jesus in The Gospel of John. Really we are going to get a verse. Watch this.”
Brian Houston, “John 19 v 28 (NKJV – New King James Version) It says 28 Jesus, knowingthat all things were now accomplished,”
Man He said, “It is done!”
John 19 v 28 (NKJV – New King James Version)
28 That the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
And v33 it says.
John 19 v 33 (NKJV – New King James Version)
33 When they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
Chris Rosebrough, “Okay let me point something out to you here. Okay if you have your Bible, flip on over to well like 1 Corinthians 2. Now normally when a sermon begins with a passion narrative, phew man usually that is rejoicing time as far as I am concerned, why? Because we are going to hear about well the gospel right?
1 Corinthians 2 v 1-5 (ESV – English Standard Version)
Paul writes, it says, 1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Great stuff right! Yeah and so Paul chose to know nothing except for Christ and Him crucified for our sins. Now you would think that a sermon that begins with well The Gospel of John chapter 19 that we are going to be hearing all about Christ and Him crucified for our sins. Right well in fact let’s add some context to this. Let’s if you have your Bible flip on over to The Gospel of John chapter 19, I will start at v1. You know this is not at the very beginning of the passion narrative but this is part way through Jesus sufferings. He hadn’t been crucified at this point. But He is still before Pilate and but let’s pick up the story and let’s read about this. Let’s see what Jesus our great God and Saviour did for us and find out, see if we can figure out from the text what is meant by the Word, “It is finished!” or TetelestaiΤετέλεσται in the Greek. So The Gospel of John chapter 19 v 1, here is what it says.
John 19 v 1-28 (ESV – English Standard Version)
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jewsanswered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
Chris Rosebrough, “See Psalm 22 v 18, a direct prophecy regarding Jesus crucifixion.
John 19 v 24-28 (ESV – English Standard Version)
So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Now this is important I am going to do a little side note here. Church history tells us that the apostle John cared for Mary as his own mother and when John became the bishop of the churches in Ephesus. Church history tells us that John became the bishop, the head guy of the churches in Ephesus. That Mary Jesus mother was with him. So he cared for her. So this is amazing stuff that we are seeing going on here.
John 19 v 28-29 (ESV – English Standard Version)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
Now I am going to pause here. I just read through the verse. But it is important that we stop for a second and consider what the apostle John wrote here.
John 19 v 28-29 (ESV – English Standard Version)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”
What was finished? What had He accomplished? What was Jesus doing on the cross other than suffering a shameful, horrible, brutal, painful, death? What was He accomplishing? What was finished? What an earth is John talking about here? Well let’s take a look at Isaiah 52 v 13.
Isaiah 52 v 13 (ESV – English Standard Version)
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
Jesus here is high and lifted up isn’t he, is he not?
Isaiah 52 v 14-15 (ESV – English Standard Version) 14 As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15 so shall he sprinklemany nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
So here the prophet Isaiah prophesying about Jesus, says that Jesus is going to be high and exalted and truly He was. Jesus stood naked, bruised, beaten, scourged, and marred beyond all recognition and He was crucified between heaven and earth on a cross, high and lifted up. Right Isaiah 53 v 1.
Isaiah 53 v 1-3 (ESV – English Standard Version)
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejectedby men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Did we not read about just how the Jews despised Jesus and wanted Him crucified?
Isaiah 53 v 3-9 (ESV – English Standard Version)
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Interesting isn’t it? What is it that Jesus had accomplished? Dying for propitiating the wrath of God for the sins of the world. The the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. That is what Jesus was doing on the cross. So when we get to this John 19 v 28.
John 19 v 28-29 (ESV – English Standard Version)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished,
What was finished? Salvation of the world, the propitiation of God’s wrath, Him being punished for all of our sins.
John 19 v 29-31 (ESV – English Standard Version)
29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him.33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
This is important because Jesus is one of his pictures is the Passover lamb. You don’t break the legs of a Passover lamb and sad but true. Jesus died the same time that all the Passover lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover. There is no mistaking who this man is, who He was and well who He is.”
John 19 v 33-37 (ESV – English Standard Version)
33 They came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
So why did John write these things down? So that you would believe, what is it that Jesus accomplished? Your salvation, your sins being laid on God, on Jesus Christ, all of your sins being atoned for. God’s wrath being propitiated all for you, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him or as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5.
2 Corinthians 5 v 18-21 (ESV – English Standard Version)
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconcilingthe world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Now that little mini lesson if you would regarding what Christ was accomplishing on the cross so that we understand the words, “It is finished!” Is necessary for us to know and to understand to embrace and to believe, if you are hearing this programme and you are not a Christian then know this that you still remain under the wrath of God. Scripture is clear you are dead in your trespasses in sins and you know that you stand guilty before a Holy and just God. You have murderous, adulterous thoughts, words, deeds, you are an idolater, you are somebody who has despised and dishonoured your parents. You have stolen. You have coveted. You have done all kinds of wicked and evil things and these things you know and it goes all the way back to your childhood. You can remember the evil things that you have committed all the way from the earliest memories you have as a child and the reason why you have such memories is because you like the rest of us, me included were born dead in trespasses in sins and at war with God.
But here is the good news. The punishment that you earned for your sins, Christ took upon Himself. He was pierced for your transgressions. He was bruised for your iniquities. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. He made Jesus, God the Father made Jesus to be sin for us so that we might be the righteousness of God. God is offering you full and complete pardon of your sins because the price and penalty has been paid in full by His beloved Son Jesus Christ, second person of the Trinity, all for you. So repent of your wickedness. Repent of your evil deeds and be forgiven and be reconciled to God. Because God has reconciled Himself to you, don’t persist in sin and unbelief and send yourself to hell. Those are perditious thoughts that lead to perdition and it is completely unnecessary. God has reconciled Himself to you so be reconciled to God. Repent and be forgiven. Jesus shed His blood for you and lest you think for a second that this good news only applies to an unbeliever.
Dear Christian let me remind you that it is this very gospel that the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2 that he chose to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified four our sins. That we Christians need to hear daily, weekly and constantly, because if you have been a Christian for any length of time then you understand that we are declared righteous. But when you live out your life and you compare your life to what God’s Word calls us to do, you realise that daily you fall short of God’s commands and His high moral standards set for us in scripture. This good news of Christ and Him crucified for our sins what He accomplished on the cross and said and cried out TetelestaiΤετέλεσται “It is finished!”
It applies to you dear Christian so be comforted with the good news that Jesus finished all of it for you. This good news is not just for unbelievers. This good news is the very life, blood and centre of the Christian message itself and when Jesus said, “It is finished!” Well it is done. There is nothing that you have to do to earn your salvation and your sanctification and the sanctifying work of God in your life, of God the Holy Spirit does not. That is not the contingency of your salvation. It is finished! You don’t add to what Christ has done. He has done it all for you and just like the unbeliever we daily wrestle with unbelief ourself and with sin that adheres in our flesh and the devil and his temptations. Repent, be forgiven. Trust in the finished work of Christ for the forgiveness of even your sins because His shed blood saves even you dear Christian. Because He said, “It is finished!” He didn’t say, “It is started!” He said, “It is finished!” Your sanctification doesn’t determine your justification. Christ shed blood on the cross accomplished everything for you. Repent and believe and trust in what He has done.
Now I am going to pause here for a second just to recoup. We are doing a sermon review that begins with part of Jesus passion and suffering where Jesus cries out, “It is finished!” Okay that is the context. I am going to back up the audio just a little bit. We are only one minute into the sermon. Watch what happens.
Brian Houston, “John 19 v 30 (NKJV – New King James Version) He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
And v33 it says.
John 19 v 33 (NKJV – New King James Version)
33 When they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
The two thieves they had broke their legs and normally to carry him away they would break His legs. They didn’t break his legs. But much more important than that they never broke His spirit, He said, “I give up My spirit.” But he didn’t say, “I give up.” He said, “I give up My spirit.”
Chris Rosebrough, “This has taken a bad turn. Really so we are supposed to learn from this that Jesus quote didn’t give up, huh?”
Brian Houston, “When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He never said, “He was finished.” He said, “It is finished!” Sometimes in our life we face things that look like they are finished. Perhaps they are….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Let me back this up. Did you see the transition? He is now engaging on narcissistic eisegesis regarding the crucifixion passage. Watch the transition.”
Brian Houston, “He never said, “He was finished.” He said, “It is finished!” Sometimes in our life we face things that look like they are finished. Perhaps they are. Perhaps….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah I haven’t faced a crucifixion where I was completely innocent where the sins of the world were placed on me. How about you have you done that? I mean at this point talk about missing the whole point. He is now engaging in narcigesis, narcissistic eisegesis – taking the story, allegorizing it and missing the whole point. Do you think that the apostle John wrote this passion narrative of Jesus sufferings and death so that we can draw from it inspiration in our own lives to not give up in tough circumstances, was that the reason? No not at all and the apostle John made it clear. He said, “He recorded these things so that we might believe in Jesus.” So that we would trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins, the thing that He accomplished and said was finished was the very reconciliation and atoning work necessary so that we can be forgiven of our sins and a right relationship with God established by what He has done for us. So what he is basically doing at this point is taking Jesus words from the cross and turning them into a whole mark reading card. Just like Jesus didn’t give up. You need to not give up either. You draw inspiration from His, the way He did things so that you can just you know in your tough circumstances and booboos and setbacks in your life. You can have a stick to it attitude. Talk about missing the point.”
Brian Houston, “He said,“It is finished! Sometimes in our life we face things that look like they are finished. Perhaps they are finished it maybe abrupt. Maybe it even was something that you didn’t expect, that marriage came to an end. You were made redundant in your job.”
Chris Rosebrough, “So you lost your marriage and you became redundant in your job because yeah those are the same things as crucifixion.”
Brian Houston, “You face bankruptcy. Perhaps even….”
Chris Rosebrough, “And all of these things are the fruit and consequences of our sin.”
Brian Houston, “Something is changing, as a loved one’s death and we can be totally ruled by what has ended and not understand. Listen to this there is a huge difference between the end of an era or the end of a time in your life and the completion of a destiny. He was not finished.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you see Jesus was pointing us to the importance of understanding the difference between the end of a thing and the end of a destiny. That is why he was hanging on the cross. Right.”
Brian Houston, “It was finished!” And I just know how easy it is to come to an end of a time in your life. Maybe….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you know come to an end of a time in your life. You know just like Jesus came to the end of a time when His, yeah well He came to the end of His life.”
Brian Houston, “Maybe it was just time for something to end or perhaps even sadly, it is because we sowed in a certain way. What it brought was an end that we never wanted or imagined or perhaps it was completely undeserved. That in Christ.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you are just as innocent as Jesus was. See how that thing happened to you completely undeserved.”
Brian Houston, “It maybe finished, but you are not finished. He is Revelation 22 says, “the beginning and the end.” He is the beginning and the end.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you know because he is the end so that He can point you to how to get through things when they come to an end in your life. Complete mishandling of the understanding that Jesus is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega. It is basically a way of saying that Jesus is everything. He is all in all. Why? Because He is God.”
Brian Houston, “Though when Jesus said, “It is finished!” It was the end. Though He doesn’t just own the end. He is the beginning. So Jesus born on earth.”
Chris Rosebrough, “This is narcissistic eisegesis. I mean completely. I mean it is a crime. It is a crime that should lead to automatic defrocking and drumming out of any pastor who does this kind of stuff. Especially one who takes the crucifixion passage and makes it about you.”
Brian Houston, “Jesus born on the earth were the beginning. Jesus is saying, “It is finished and dying on a cross was an end.” But after the end was the beginning of a much bigger day and a much greater thing. The truth is that the end only ushered in a better thing and that is the life that comes through a resurrected Jesus and sometimes we face an end and when we face an end, just like perhaps the disciples at that moment. There would have been some who were just absolutely bewildered. There would be some who were so disappointed. There would be some who felt abandoned or rejected or lonely. There were those who were involved who would have felt all sorts of guilt. There were all sorts of emotions finished. But because they didn’t necessarily have the complete understanding, the complete revelation Jesus had told them much and because even their Old Testament scriptures told them much. But they didn’t have an absolute understanding that what they saw finishing here, didn’t mean all that Jesus had said would now be possible. No matter what end you maybe facing in your life. Maybe it is the end of a relationship.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Whatever end you are facing you can just plough through it because you know Jesus resurrection shows that the end of the thing in your life well that is just really the beginning. Right.”
Brian Houston, “Maybe it is the end of a season. When you trust God and believe that He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end and you understand that God has for you a God given destiny and if maybe that point.
Chris Rosebrough, “Really? God has for me a God given destiny. This is not the biblical gospel and notice even though he was, he started off with a text that deals with Christ’s cross. He hasn’t preached the gospel. He hasn’t called the sinners there at Hillsong to repentance and faith and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, which was accomplished and finished TetelestaiΤετέλεσται by Jesus on the cross. This is a false gospel, a different gospel. Nowhere does it promise you in scripture that God has a God given destiny for you because you are so special.”
Brian Houston, “Maybe that point in your life is finished. But the destiny is not fulfilled. Then don’t just get ruled by that ending. But understand that God has for you a greater beginning in Jesus name. What an amazing thing that is, but see here is the sad thing. So often people come to an end and they think and they live like it is over and you know the Lord is the beginning and the end. But the devil who is a usurper would love to usurp the end where it finishes, what the outcome is in your life. I would love for you to turn with me just for a moment to Matthew 13 v 37. That is The Parable of the Tares.
Matthew 13 v 37 (NKJV – New King James Version)
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows
Chris Rosebrough, “Now please turn over to Matthew 13 because watch what he does with this text. It is unbelievable.”
Brian Houston, “Matthew 13 v 37 (NKJV – New King James Version) 37 He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom,
Matthew 13 v 38-39 (NKJV – New King James Version)
38 But the tares (which are for the sake of time I guess like weeds) are the sons of the wicked one.39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age…..”
Brian Houston, “So…….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Okay now we are going to pause right here. Okay this is a parable that Jesus taught and Jesus interpreted. He gets, you don’t get to have a different interpretation than Jesus does. Okay plain and simple, when Jesus interprets the parable, the parable and its interpretation stand by themselves and your interpretation doesn’t get to deviate from Jesus’s. So if you have your Bible Matthew 13 v 24.”
Matthew 13 v 24-30 (ESV – English Standard Version
It begins, 24 “Jesus put another parable before them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Okay so Jesus tells the parable and of course the disciples did not understand it. That is important to note. They did not get this so they actually went to Jesus and asked Him to explain The Parable of the Weeds. So Jesus then interprets this parable he told. So here is the right singular correct way of understanding The Parable of the Weeds, are you ready?
Matthew 13 v 36-43 (ESV – English Standard Version)
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Okay so there is The Parable and its interpretation. What is this parable about? In a nutshell it is literally a compressed story of what is going wrong in the world. The world is what God created and the devil sows weeds in among the wheat, even though God planted good seed and there is a day coming, the day of judgement. The last day the day at the end of this age when Jesus returns in glory to judge the living and the dead and He will send His angels out into the harvest field and they will gather the weeds and throw them into the fiery furnace. He will throw them into hell and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and the good seed. The good, the wheat will be gathered together and they will be…..
Matthew 13 v 43
43 The righteous they will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has an ear, let him hear!
That is what this parable is about. Jesus interprets it. There is no other sound interpretation of this passage. If your interpretation deviates from Jesus interpretation you are twisting Christ’s words and you are a false teacher. Let’s back this up. Listen in.
Brian Houston,. “38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom,
Matthew 13 v 38-39 (NKJV – New King James Version)
38 But the tares (which are for the sake of time I guess like weeds) are the sons of the wicked one.39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age…..”
So what the enemy would love to do is replace the good seeds in your life with…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “He is twisting God’s Word. No this is not about the enemy trying to replace the good seeds in your life. If you are a believer you are wheat. If you are an unbeliever, a sinner and a lawbreaker, you are weed plain and simple. So now he is allegorizing Jesus interpretation in order to smuggle in a completely different and foreign interpretation. This is Bible twisting of the worst kind.”
Brian Houston, “Is the end of the age. So what the enemy would love to do is replace the good seeds in your life with tares or perhaps if you like with thinking or with a spirit of defeat, understanding that this usurper for he would love to….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah Jesus never talked about a spirit of defeat. You are usurping Christ’s interpretation of His own parable sir.”
Brian Houston, “Understanding that this usurper for he would love to be able to change the end of the age when it comes to eternal things. But bring it all the way down to our own lives. What he would love to do is really be able to change what is your God given end or your God given destiny or your God given outcome and we have to decide who we are going to cooperate with, are we going to co-operate with the one…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Notice the text doesn’t say anything about your God given destiny. This is how Satan twists God’s Word.”
Brian Houston, “Are we going to cooperate with the one who sows the good seed or are we going to cooperate with the one who brings the tares in our life not tears? Although sometimes that is what is involved, is lots of people who could tell you why sour wine. But one thing I do know is that the last thing Jesus said before He said, “It is finished!” Or the last thing that He tasted was sour wine and the truth of it is sometimes people here have been confronted even in recent times when the end of something where perhaps the finish of something and it has been a little like sour wine. It certainly left a sour taste in your mouth. But don’t ever get looking at your life just from the perspective of what is happening now and see the end where you see the end, because we don’t determine the end. He determines the end. We can decide by our attitude that we are going to give up the end and allow the one who would love to usurp the outcomes or the purpose of God in our life. He would love to steal it from you and rob it from you.”
Chris Rosebrough, “This is a narcissistic litany of nonsense that we are hearing at this point.”
Brian Houston, “But let’s not allow the finish of something to be an ending. I was in Dubai at the airport transferring to Uganda and there was a huge long escalator walking path, walking sidewalk. You know what they are. But right in front of us was a woman who hadn’t ever seen one of those before and she got to the end and with dozens and dozens of people behind her and when she got to the end of this moving pathway, you could actually see her beginning to panic and she got to the end. Took one tiny step off the end and stopped and do you know literally it was chaos because everyone else couldn’t stop they were on a walking pathway and so they were trying to walk backwards. It was chaos, you had to see it.
You couldn’t believe that someone would get just to the end and just take one tiny step off and stop. No one else had anywhere to go and yet I think sometimes we can get so overruled in our minds by what maybe right now. It looks like the finish of your dreams or the end of an era and we stop there and you are not supposed to stop there. Because maybe it is over, but you are not finished. God has your hand and your life in His hand and if we will just learn to trust Him at that time. Obviously we don’t see everything that is right in front of us. But everyday has a transition to the next day, the new day, it is called night and sometimes we are in that moment like night and we can’t see what is right in front of us. But it is just critical that at moment we can believe there is an eternal God who sees things greater than we see things and we believe Him and that we don’t stop there. Many people’s lives stop where it was never supposed to stop and if we would just trust God and take a hold of Him and believe His Word and commit to the future and accept that God is going to be true to His Word then you can be the storyteller of great miracles. You see I have now been pasturing this church for twenty six years.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah see you can be the storyteller of great miracles of your life, the one where it has the big God destiny thing going on. Not the story of the miracles of Jesus life. Narcigesis making yourself the centre of the biblical text, because you have got to love yourself, you are the most important person ever right? Way more important than Jesus who is really you know just your life coach, your co-pilot, you know the guy giving you the tips on how to make your life successful.”
Brian Houston, “You see I have now been pasturing this church for twenty six years. But I have been in ministry overall for more like thirty five years and had enough experience in my own life and to witness in other people’s lives to be able to tell you how many times I have seen what looked like a tragic end in people’s lives become a tremendous testimony to the grace of an almighty God because they didn’t stop. They didn’t stop. So believe for the best for the future.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah just believe for the best for the future. That is what the gospel is all about. You show God how much faith and positive thinking you have by believing the best for your future.”
Brian Houston, “Believe for the best. Here listen to some verses. Write that down. Believe for the best about the future. It says hold the beginning of your confidence until the end. We can start off confident…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Huh?”
Brian Houston, “You know so often we can start with confidence but life itself can attack and hit that confidence and The Bible says hold what was the beginning of confidence until the end. Hebrews 12 v 1 says.
Hebrews 12 v 1 (NKJV – New King James Version)
1 Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah and in Hebrews 11 it is all about the great things that the saints have done by faith, including being eaten and torn apart by wild beasts. They did that by faith too. Yeah read the tail end of Hebrews 11.”
Brian Houston, “That is why we have got to believe for the best for the future. That is why we need to look at what is before us. So often we don’t know. David said Psalm 39. He says, “Let me know.” He is talking to the Lord.
Psalm 39 v 4 (NKJV – New King James Version)
4 “Lord, make me to know my end.”
We don’t know.
Psalm 39 v 4 (NKJV – New King James Version)
4 “And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.
He says, “Help me to know.” In Psalm 90 v 12 he says.
Psalm 90 v 12 (NKJV – New King James Version)
12 So teach us O Lord to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Chris Rosebrough, “Notice he is ripping all these verses out of context fortune cookie style.”
Brian Houston, “He talks about wanting to know His end and recognizing the frailty. He just wanted to know how much time he had left and I think often times we just don’t know what is ahead of us. We can feel frail. We don’t know what is out there. Faith is an adventure. I think sometimes if could just see the first from the last we would go, “Huh this is okay. Thank you Lord.” Sometimes we just don’t know, but if we did know, if we did understand the greatness of God, the faithfulness of an almighty God.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah and that cross would be the supreme example of it. Don’t you think you might want to really unpack what happened there?”
Brian Houston, “We need to always believe for a better day.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah so there you go. That is part one here, we are going to do part two in just a second. So yeah the gospel is all about believing for a better day. This isn’t the gospel. This is a different gospel. This is a false gospel and it is not based upon a sound reading, an exegesis of any passage whatsoever. This is just all just a good motivational pep talk from a guy with snappy clothes and an Australian accent out there in Sydney who has a mega church. But he is not preaching God’s Word. He is not preaching the gospel. He is twisting God’s Word, completely mangling it and basically smuggling in a false gospel, distracting you and pointing away from the biblical message from the biblical gospel and a real hope and a real salvation. Very dangerous indeed. We continue……”
Brian Houston, “I have got lots of things I have to do. Lots of responsibilities and I don’t think I am the type of person who tries to hold onto things. So I prayed about it a lot but earlier this year I let go of being the president, the overseer of what is our denomination, our movement Australian Christian churches and I didn’t think that would be all that big a deal at all and we got to the actual conference and it was great and one of my best friends became the next president I was excited for him and it got to the actual night and you know I literally almost sensed everybody’s attention on that night and in that conference go like this, “whoop,” and I went to bed that night feeling flat and I am thinking why am I feeling flat? This is what I wanted. It is kind of like what is ahead and I woke up in the morning and I pulled out the piece of paper where I just began to write some of the things that were in my spirit for the future and I just started to get it in my spirit and you know within….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Just started to write the things that were in my spirit for the future. Uh huh and where does The Bible say to do this?”
Brian Houston, “You know within a very short period of time I just started to get this faith for the best for my future into my heart from that day to this rarely not a single regret. I believe that we should believe for a better day. I believe you ought to talk to your future. Psalm 23 v 6 you know
Psalm 23 v 6
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah Psalm 23 v 6 doesn’t say anything about talking to your future. I don’t know what I would say to my future. Hi I am not there yet. It seems like I am always chasing you. Could you slow down a little bit you know. You know you always seem to be just right outside of my grasp you know but never mind.”
Brian Houston, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
Talk to your future. Psalm 45 the Psalmist there says
Psalm 45 v 1
1 My heart overflows with a good theme;
I write my composition concerning the King;
I love this Psalm.
Psalm 45 v 1
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
And sometimes I think it is not as though God doesn’t know the first from the last, the beginning from the end and isn’t working to His eternal purpose. But we need to make sure that we allow our tongue to be the pen of a ready writer. Because sometimes what we are writing in our own life with our own confession is not helping us to stay on course with….”
Chris Rosebrough, “That is the Word of Faith heresy. You speak your future into existence. The power of your words which is a magical worldview, not a biblical worldview and that is not what that text says.”
Brian Houston, “Sometimes what we are writing in our own life with our own confession is not helping us to stay on course with the process of seeing the will of God established in our lives amen. Believe for a better future. Talk to a better future and then just commit to your future. By commit to it I don’t mean just hanker after what has been left behind. Just go after it. Looking forward is the very best way to live our lives and that is why the world is full of hopelessness.
It loves to just take hope away from people. When I say love I don’t think people necessarily just love to take hope. It is just that many people don’t have any hope themselves and if they don’t have any hope themselves, when they hear hope well then they often say, “You are just giving people false hope.” Because they have no hope in God, they have no hope in Him who knows the beginning from the end. Many times you start to pray for somebody whose sake and believe for them and the spirit that will come from people is you are giving people false hope. But if you just have this belief that God is in charge of my life and you commit to the future and you just trust Him, many times it is the fact that we can’t let go of the past that actually inhibits what is ahead for you.”
Chris Rosebrough, “So my future is inhibitive. I can’t let go of the past. Okay yeah maybe sure whatever but have you got any biblical passages that bear this out clearly? This isn’t a biblical teaching and it has absolutely nothing to do with John 19.”
Brian Houston, “So let’s decide we are going to commit to all that is ahead of us and one of the saddest things that people do is end something that isn’t over yet. That is why you have got to guard your heart. You know sometimes we can let offences get into us. We can let just let distracted thinking get into us. We can get…”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you know that is stinking thinking. You know it can totally short circuit your future, especially if you start speaking negative words over your life. Wow yeah uh huh. Right this is Stuart Smalley stuff.”
Brian Houston, “We can get the spirit of the world inside of us and not guard our heart and if you are not looking after your heart, you are not looking after your future and if you are not looking after your future often times…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah if you are not looking after your heart, you are not looking after your future. What does that sentence even mean? Diagram it for me.”
Brian Houston, “You can allow tares to you know basically get into our thinking which means we are cooperating with the enemy whose goal is the end of the age or bring that right down to a practical level, whose goal is to sabotage the end when it comes to the will and the purposes of God in your life.”
Chris Rosebrough, “No the goal of the enemy is to send you to hell, to destroy you, to kill, steal and destroy and ultimately send you to hell, not to oh yeah is he sitting going, “Oh no is there a bunch of Christians out there who are experiencing God’s grand vision for their life ah.”
Brian Houston, “Let’s just be people who we just got this determination and I want to hold onto whatever we lost. Looking back is such a dangerous way to live. I can start reminiscing on a building right next door to here and it was too small and often times the sound bounced around something crazy. There was far too many people. Many times people would literally line up around the buildings. In all of that it is so easy to start going back and human nature is terrible at that and the older we get the worse we get at that. I just don’t want to live my life that way. I want to wake up when I am ninety seven years of age just believing for a better future, not mean and angry and not happy about the way…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah when you are ninety seven years of age. Expecting and waiting and hoping for a better future. Yeah if I hit ninety seven I am going to be hoping for a better future alright, one that includes dying and being raised again….ah man.”
Brian Houston, “I want to wake up when I am ninety seven years of age just believing for a better future, not mean and angry and not happy about the way these young people messing up all the good work we did. I want to wake up with a spirit of somehow you know even though, maybe I am on my last breath but somehow what is inside of me is full of dreams and full of vision, full of days. Just want to live committed to the future.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Full of dreams, full of vision. I want to be committed to the future and not a single verse talks about this. This is a false doctrine. This is Bible twisting narcissistic eisegesis and a false gospel to boot. Yeah I am sorry Brian Houston is not an orthodox or sound biblical teacher. He is a wolf and anybody who partners with him in ministry probably is a wolf as well.”
Brian Houston, “Committed to the future. I don’t think you will ever hear us get up here and say, “Look we have just run out of vision. We just don’t know what to tell you anymore.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah I mean yeah no biblical teacher would ever run out of quote vision because we have The Bible. I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Brian Houston, “Times are tough. Recession has hit. I don’t think you will ever hear that. More than that I don’t think you would ever want to hear that. But in our own lives let’s live with this commitment to the future and to do that you have to guard your heart. You have to make sure that you don’t allow yourself to get into a situation where you live in a way where you bring to an end something that is over and on the other hand let things get into our heart which would cause us to start something which only has one inevitable end and that is pain or hurt, or to ignore the fact that everything in fact has an end and live without that sense of urgency that understands the frailty of our days. If we commit to the future, you have got to commit to stay fresh. Listen to this. It is the wisdom of Solomon that he says.
Ecclesiastes 10 v 10 (NKJV – New King James Version)
10 If the axe is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;
But wisdom brings success.”
You think about that if the axe is dull you have got to swing it harder and harder and push more and more and strive more and you know you have got to swing that axe so hard. You are going to wear yourself out because the axe is dull and if we commit to the future. Got to look after the inner man, not allow the axe to be dull. Man if the axe is dull when it comes to our relationship with God or if perhaps we don’t have the competence that we began with. You know we are sort of trying to hold on to the end but we are not doing so with the confidence. We have just had our confidence knocked once too much. That the axe is dull, we can come into church and we are faithful people. We love God and now we are tithing and we are putting God. But the axe is dull and….”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah we are faithful people. We are tithing. We are good people. We are obedient but our axe is dull we just need some wisdom. Hmmm our problem is we are all sinners and we need a Saviour. The one who bled and died for us on the cross, notice he mentioned the cross but no repentance, no forgiveness of sins, no penal substitution, no Christ propitiating the wrath of God. None of that I mean he was just setting a good example for us of what it is like to be determined in the face of an ending. To face and have good thoughts for the future, pretty much what it boils down to.”
Brian Houston, “And if you live like that you are not really living with a commitment to your future. It comes out of determining that you are going to allow your spirit to be renewed, your soul to be restored, your body to be well. You are just committed to keeping the axe sharp because then a whole lot less effort goes a long way further in life and I know whenever my spirit has got dull and my soul has been jaded. I start striving harder and pushing more and working harder to try and do it in my own strength. It never accomplishes the purpose of God, out of a commitment to a future the very best thing that I can do sometimes is look after my own spirit. Look after my own soul.”
Chris Rosebrough, “I don’t know what any of this means. I mean we started freewheeling off-roading a long time ago. This stopped being a biblical sermon well like at the beginning.”
Brian Houston, “Make sure that I am looking after me because when the axe is sharp you just seem to with a whole lot less effort see the blessing of God working in your life. So is the axe dull and maybe you got a little jaded. Has your confidence taken a hit? Have you found that maybe you are just in a state of flux and one part of your life has come to an end and you really don’t know what the next season is, let’s just have a commitment to the future and that is where…..”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah let’s just be committed to the future. Yeah has your confidence taken a hit? Yeah that is what Jesus died on the cross for to help you those whose confidence has taken a hit. They just need to have faith in the future.”
Brian Houston, “That is where and I will finish with this sometimes just determine to watch people. Watch the people who what they believe when it comes to the Word of God, what they believe they are living and it is actually working in their lives. There is various words in the scripture that are translated end. But they pretty well are talking about outcomes. The way it works out, where it ends.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you know how do things work out for you? You know that is what is talking about you know like talking about the eschaton. How did things work out for you?”
Brian Houston, “What are the outcomes? Hebrews 13 v 7. Listen to it again it says.
Hebrews 13 v 7
7 Imitate those who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
Did you hear that?”
Chris Rosebrough, “The salvation of their souls.”
Brian Houston, “Considering the outcome of their conduct. In other words watching the way they live, affecting the outcomes in their life. You start watching the wrong people. That is not going to help you to commit to the future. Start listening to the wrong voices. That is not going to help you to commit to the future.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you know may I recommend committing to your eternal future by getting rid of this false doctrine, yeah have the eternal end in mind here because false doctrine sends you to hell. Something just to consider.”
Brian Houston, “Start entertaining wrong thinking and it is not going to help you to commit to the future.”
Chris Rosebrough, “I agree false doctrine is not helping to commit to an eternal future with God. It is leading you to hell, an eternal future in hell in the fiery furnace. So you don’t want to listen to the wrong voices like Brian Houston.”
Brian Houston, “There is a better day ahead. Praise God He is the beginning and the end and the beginning. Maybe an era has ended. But if a destiny is not completed then never ever confuse the end of an era in your life for the completion of a destiny.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah whatever this is just gobbledygook.”
Brian Houston, “If your destiny is not complete. Then you should not be ruled by the end of any season.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah you are just spinning out your own absurd statements now.”
Brian Houston, “You should not be ruled by the end of any season or any era because as long as God is God and He is eternal and the Lord is Lord and you have got breath God can fulfil His promise in your children, in your finances, in your wellbeing, in your life.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah what about your eternal soul? Everything you are talking about is really temporal don’t you think?”
Brian Houston, “If you believe it say amen.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah I didn’t say amen I don’t believe any of that.”
Brian Houston, “Amen amen.”
Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah none of that was based on sound biblical hermeneutics. It was a twisting of God’s Word and a wrestling of a passage about the sufferings of Christ on the cross for our sins wrestling that away to making it about well you – narcissistic eisegesis. It is a damnable sin. It is the worst poison in all of the poisons of the false teachers. This is the thing that will keep you in a drunken stupor as you sit there and you imbibe and get intoxicated on this grand vision and dream that God supposedly has for you. But believe me when I tell you when you sober up, if you don’t sober up before you die you will sober up in hell. This is a false gospel based on Bible twisting and narcigesis. This is not how a Christian pastor should handle any text. In fact going back to what I said based on what we heard in this sermon. I am sorry Brian Houston needs to hand in his preaching licence. He should never be allowed to teach the Bible ever again. That is how extremely horrible and sinful what he just did is and I won’t back down from it.”
We found this article from Diakrisis to be a decent summary of the Hillsong movement. Some information about Geoff Bullock’s involvement with the movement has been corrected accordingly. It is important to retain the story of Pat Mesiti’s involvements and restoration process in this article. We will be looking at his involvement between the Hillsong and the C3 churches.
We hope you find the below information insightful.
The Hillsong Phenomena Revisited
Increasingly we are being asked ‘should we be encouraging people to attend Hillsong events or sing their songs in our churches?’ The answers lie in the foundations, theology and now the fruit of this ever-growing movement.
In 1986 husband and wife team, Mark and Darlene Zsech, along with a Pastor Pat Mesiti were leaders in a ‘band’ that outreached to high schools. (Mesiti founded Youth Alive and in later years was Executive Director of Teen Challenge NSW and National Director of the Australian Christian Churches). During those early years the Zsech’s were introduced to Brian and Bobbie Houston’s Christian Life Centre in the Hills district, Sydney (an offshoot of CLC Darlinghurst, Sydney). There a Geoff Bullock was the director of the music ministry. They combined writing and singing talents and ‘Hillsong’ was born. The music gained great acceptance with young people and then in an increasing number of churches throughout Australia. Today there are few churches that have not adopted some Hillsong Music.
In the early nineties Geoff Bullock [left Hillsong]. Darlene Zsech took over his position as ‘worship leader’ at the Hills CLC.
In an interview in May 2006, more than a decade after the event, Bullock claims ‘they stole my soul’. The interviewer, Jennifer Sexton, of the Australian, wrote:
‘Christmas Eve 1994 was the end for Bullock. He had rehearsed the choir and band to play the standard church repertoire for three Christmas services. Just hours before the first service, Houston discovered Bullock had not rehearsed traditional Christmas carols. ‘He just tore me to shreds and then left me to do three services’, Bullock claims. The partnership ended that night…Bullock claims that when he departed, a campaign of whispering about his morality and sexuality filtered throughout the church. When he broke up with Janine a few months later, his subsequent relationship with a married woman (whom he later married) was, he says, twisted to become the reason he had been forced out. At the same time, Houston preached about dark forces intent on undermining the church. ‘They ran a huge campaign to discredit me’, fumes Bullock’. (1)
The problems for Hillsong continued – in 2002 Pastor Pat Mesiti was asked to leave the ministry during a highly publicised exposure of his adultery. Brian Houston, Hillsong’s senior pastor, at the time said, ‘This whole area of sex abuse and predatory behaviour is devastating…’ (2) But Mesiti is only one of many in such organisations as Hillsong and Youth Alive who have fallen. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper Brian Houston admitted to disciplining up to five of his pastors each year for sexual misconduct.
In less than three years Mesiti was back in ministry being advertised as a motivational speaker. Today he tells thousands that gaining money and fame is a Godly pursuit.
The formation of the Assemblies of God (AOG) Christian Life Centre movement, where Hillsong originated, was arguably formed in deceitful circumstances. Letters issued by AOG New Zealand (21/12/01, Wayne Hughes, General Superintendent) and AOG Australia (24/12/01, John Lewis Assistant President) disclose that Frank Houston, formerly head of CLC Sydney, was disciplined in 1999 for ‘serious sexual offences’ (NZ letter) that occurred 30 years ago. At least one offence was against a teenage boy. Frank denied the charges for more than 20 years before admitting his guilt. The New Zealand letter banned Frank Houston from AOG platforms in that country. While the matter of Houston’s fall was known in 1999 it had only been openly acknowledged by the AOG at the time when Pat Mesiti’s moral fall was publicised.
In 1977 Frank Houston moved permanently to Australia from New Zealand. . . The problems in New Zealand, the sexual offences and charges of paedophilia
were not made known to the ever increasing number of his congregants. In 2002 after having risen to prominence in the Australian AOG, this information surfaced and was openly reported. It was left to his son, Brian Houston, by now the National Superintendent of AOG, to publicly discipline his father and relieve him of his duties. (3)
What Do They Teach? Hills Christian Life Centre is known by many as ‘Hillsong’, as the music being produced and recorded there has developed into a great commercial success. The theology emanating from this Pentecostal movement is also unashamedly ‘Word of Faith’ and ‘Prosperity’ teaching.
‘Word of Faith’ was initially founded by Kenneth Hagin and propagated by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. These people are demonstrably false teachers and false prophets.
The false teaching includes heretical teaching on the Deity of Christ and the Atonement. (4) The false prophecies of these leaders are too numerous to mention in this short article but documentation of many of them are freely available. (5) The Word of Faith ‘jesus’ is manipulated by a force of faith contained in words to give healing, money and success. Its leaders, (Copeland, Hagin, Joyce Meyers, etc), many who have been speakers at Hillsong, teach that their jesus went to hell and was tormented by demons for three days as part of the atonement. They also confuse or deny the deity of Jesus while on earth. Of course they may not teach these things while speaking at Conferences such as those held at Hillsong but they nevertheless have taught these things in their books and audio tapes.
As head of Hillsong, Brian Houston also teaches a full blown ‘prosperity’ doctrine that holds to the belief that God is willing to be controlled into blessing His people with large amounts of money commensurate to their giving. (6) His sermons spend much time in teaching a ‘giving to receive’ theology. The outcome of this is great accumulation of wealth amongst the leaders and thus Hillsong has become a multi-million dollar enterprise.
There is no doubt that Hillsong (or the attendees that give the money?), perform many good deeds. The church has numerous charitable ministries such as Mercy Ministries, (a home established by Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech for pregnant girls or those with eating disorders) and Hillsong Emerge – to help people find jobs and recover from addictions. Thousands of children in Uganda are also sponsored; and Hillsong gave $500,000 to victims of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
On the negative side – Hillsong Emerge has been accused in Federal and State parliaments of misappropriating millions of dollars worth of Commonwealth grants. Also Houston failed to declare that he and his wife Bobbie had sold some personal property holdings to a Hillsong’s Leadership Ministries Incorporated (LMI), of which Brian is a director. LMI is the tax-free entity Hillsong set up to help pay the Houstons’ income. In breach of Office of Fair Trading reporting rules, no financial statements had been lodged since its inception in October 2001. Only after the property deals were uncovered by The Australian were the accounts filed in August 2005. The Houston’s incomes did not show how they as a family could afford property worth $1.738 million over 12 months. (7)
At Hillsong much time is spent on teaching about prosperity and giving. Brian wrote and published a best selling book titled . . . [Why You Need More Money]. As the money buckets are passed around at each meeting, the audiences are informed that credit card facilities are available, and cheques should be made out to Hillsong. The Australian wrote: ‘The buckets have holes in the bottom, presumably to discourage parishioners from giving coins…[But] the rivers of cash keep flowing: donations and salary tithes to Hillsong were $15.3 million in 2004; merchandise, CDs, books and DVDs, returned a further $6.93 million, while total church revenue has now passed the $50 million mark – all tax-free thanks to Hillsong’s charitable status. The message of Hillsong’s prosperity gospel is: the richer you are, the more you can help others’. (8)
Hillsong has become a platform for a wide range of ecumenical church leaders, faith healers and prosperity teachers, many who are heretical and false prophets. The wide scope was evident at a recent Conference (July/2006) when neo-evangelical Rick Warren took the stage, and was followed by radical Pentecostal Reinhard Bonnke, sharing the same event with his blazen display of ‘tongues’, prophecies and healings. At this Conference Bonnke ‘promised married couples who were barren that they would be holding their own baby in their arms in nine months time. He promised cures for cancer, for people with damage to their spines, and those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. He asked us to stand and place our hands on the parts of the body where we were sick or on the top of our own heads, and promised that we were healed and that our life spans were returned to normal. The fact that he himself wore glasses at all times before, during and after these sessions seemed to matter little to him or the audience’. (9)
This same evangelist has fraudulently claimed to raise people from the dead and healed thousands. Investigations by various ministries and by Christian doctors have exposed this man as a signs and wonders fraud. (10) Then there is Darlene Zsech, who no doubt is an attractive and dynamic song leader, singer and motivator for Hillsong.
However, her presentation has been described by one Christian magazine as ‘sentimental, incoherent, and rather light on content – that it was all anecdote, misquoted Bible verses, oversharing and assertion…’ (11) This quote sums
up much of Hillsong teaching which majors on topical sermons with a shotgun approach to the use of scripture.
Very often the scriptures used simply do not convey what the preacher is emphasising. The pre-sermon repetitive beat music also minimises the level of discernment of the hearers. The music captures hearts and emotions well, but
does not well prepare the mind to discern truth from error. We in this ministry are increasingly noticing youth who are copying this Hillsong style of presentation and whose speech is fast, erratic and jumping from one thought to another. This ‘hype’ of Hillsong may have youth jumping and proclaiming ‘jesus’ but where is the depth that is needed when the tribulations and trials of this life hit home?
The lack of a doctrinal base is worthy of serious consideration! Such doctrines as the Cross, the Blood, the Judgement of God, the Sinfulness of Man, the pursuit of Holiness (and thus Separation) and the systematic exposition of the Scriptures – all these are hardly evident in Hillsong. When sin is spoken of, and this is not often, it is spoken in psychological terms such as negative thinking and attitudes that destroy God’s purpose in our lives, and limit our potential. There is little or no message that sinful humanity is under God’s wrath and condemnation because of our personal rebellion against Him. Hillsong’s doctrinal foundation does not allow for the Biblical connection between sin, death and judgement. One writer who went to the 2006 Conference stated: ‘…not a single example was found expounding Jesus’ death as taking the penalty for sin on our behalf so that we might avoid God’s wrath on judgement day…They do not proclaim Jesus death as a substitutionary atonement, turning aside God’s wrath so that I can receive forgiveness and be saved on the day of judgement. The Gospel is not preached. Its content is not expounded. Its great terms and concept are not taught or explained. Whatever is driving the bus, it’s not the Gospel’. (12)
The Music – Is There a Link?
Is there a link between the Hillsong music and the sinful lifestyles and aberrant doctrine amongst the leaders? We have always been sure there is. There is a rising tide of voices expressing concern over a rebellious attitude reigning in many of our youth who frequent such events as Youth Alive, Hillsong and other Contemporary Christian music events. Australia’s youth in general are already rebellious, self-centred and hate authority. Rock music reflects and fosters this rebellion. Hillsong ‘worship’ services at times resemble a nightclub and the sensuality displayed from the platform is hardly Godly and holy. Many of the lyrics are about ‘us’ and not God and promote a worldly ‘love affair’ with Jesus. The ‘mosh pit’ at the foot of the stage of some events would do credit to a Jimmy Barnes concert. Any ‘gospel’ that might be preached at these events is nullified by the effect of the emotional and worldly music which affects the flesh.
Just how close the music and the performances of Hillsong Conferences are to the world is illustrated by this testimony: ‘The sound hits you like a wave. The bass is throbbing. The drums kick through your diaphragm with each beat. The guitars thrum and swell. The lead singer is a good looking guy with unkept hair and stubble. He stands arms raised, head thrown back. The crowd moves and sways like a rippling sea. We roar. We sing. We stomp. Two guys stand next to me in leather jackets and dreadlocks, repeatedly pumping the air with their fists. They look at each other, and one mouths the word, ‘awesome!’. Loudspeakers flank the stage and rise up above the crowd in curved banks. Images flash and morph in sync with the music on billboard sized video screens. As each verse of the song leads towards the anthemic chorus, the momentum builds. The rhythm drives us forward. The chorus arrives in a rush of sound, and sweeps us on. The singer holds his mike towards us and gets us to sing. We belt it out. The year is 1988 and U2 is wowing them at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Bono is on stage telling us how much he loves this town…[Now] Almost every detail is the same, except that the lead [Hillsong] singer is saying how much he loves Jesus…[this] at the Hillsong conference at Sydney…’ (13)
There is clearly a lack of distinction from the world, (Rom.12:2; Eph.2:2; 1Jn.2; James 4:4). We would challenge anyone to listen to the music, watch the performers and read the lyrics of Hillsong music and honestly say that it does not mimic the beat, the fashions and even the thinking of this world. If that is not evident to Christians who would read this, then why is it that the secular world sees Hillsong ever so clearly as their own, as is shown in the following quotes?:
‘Every weekend at Hillsong churches in Sydney 19,000 people sing, clap and jump through a two-hour tribute to a God who rocks’ (Jennifer Sexton, senior writer The Australian) (14)
‘…Most people attending, and everyone appearing at the conference, looked irredeemably ‘hip’. The young Asian woman in front of me in Bonnets workshop actually wore a clinging, rather revealing outfit as did many of her fellow delegates…she nodded approvingly as Bonnet said he would happily borrow from Kylie Minogue’s latest CD cover for ideas on how to promote Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech, the music pastor whose Christian rock CD’s have sold more than five million copies worldwide…A men only workshop did hear about how men need to control their sex drive and that masturbation is the first step to sexual dysfunction, but most of the presentations were…not especially heavy on theology either. Instead they tended to be of the motivational, self help, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ type, as easily applicable to those building an environmental organization as to a church…’ (Weekend Australian, 9/10 July, 2005).
It is sad that the secular world sees Hillsong as it really is and often describes it accurately, yet Christians are blind as to just how much Hillsong is of the world! Sadly in many things ‘…the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light’, (Lk.16:8).
Paul put no emphasis on worldly methods but on the power of the message itself, (1Cor.2:1,4; 1Thess.2:3-5). We in this ministry are not against all ‘charismatic’ or lively music, such as ‘choruses’ that present sound doctrinal lyrics. However, when the rhythm dominates the music, when the noise level is so loud as to drown out voices, (is God deaf?), and when it becomes sensual, fleshly, repetitive (hypnotic) and worldly, then the line between flesh and spirit has surely been crossed! Yes, such organisations as Youth Alive, Planet Shakers and Hillsong will bring in the numbers and many will make ‘decisions’. However, these ‘results’ do not prove anything! Our music and our youth meetings should be distinct from rock music and the ways of the world. They should be holy and uncompromised.
Some years ago the Christians in the Soviet Union issued a plea to the west: ‘…freedom is bringing another great harm to our churches. This damage is coming from Christians who are sending rock music and evangelists accompanied by rock bands…We are embarrassed by this image of Christianity…We abhor all Christian Rock music…it is true that rock music attracts people to church but not to Godly living…do not desecrate our teenagers with it. Even the unbelievers recognise it is unholy music and they cannot understand how American Christians can be so much like the world. We call this music from hell.’ (15)
Godly music is predominately melody with minimal beat or at least beat that does not override the melody – this music feeds the spirit; but Hillsong emphasizes the rhythmic beat, which will naturally lean more towards the flesh. (16)
With the music there is too an ‘image’ that is portrayed by Hillsong and its performers. Many believe there is an overt sexuality. This is well underscored by the teachings of ‘Pastor’ Bobbie Houston. Her three audio tape series ‘Kingdom Women Love Sex’ (later renamed ‘She Loves and Values Her Sexuality’) have been popular in the largest Christian bookstores. These teachings set out to explain why she feels Christians should be good at ‘it’. Such things as ‘pelvic floor exercises’ and ‘orgasms’ are discussed.
Those who carry too much weight to be attractive she sees as ‘retards’. She says: ‘We need to be good at sex ourselves so that if the world happens to come knocking we can tell the story of God in our lives,’ Bobbie says, on the tape.
‘Without being lurid or untruthful – hello! – we can say [she whispers], ‘I have a great marriage and a great sex life’ – wink wink, nudge nudge. Yeah, truly.’ Bobbie also offers some practical advice. Fat is out… ‘If I carry weight I feel like a retard…How are you going to do anything to surprise your man when you need a hydraulic crane just to turn over in bed?’Have plastic surgery, if it makes you feel better and it is for the right reasons, and ‘girls, pelvic floor exercises – can you believe I am saying this? – you know, I have heard that orgasm is not as strong if you are really sloppy in that area’.
The primary market targeted for the Hillsong merchandise and concerts is our precious youth. On questioning a group of young people who attend Hillsong,
the unanimous answer to our question ‘How did you become involved in this Church?’ was – ‘the music!’. The authors have personally met non Christians who frequent Hillsong events because of the music and entertainment factor alone.
The most frightening thing about what Christians think of Hillsong is that many simply do not see the music as pandering to the world or the flesh. The doctrine is accepted as it stands – a toxic mixture of truth and error. One only has to listen to their CD’s or read the lyrics to discern that much of the music and the live performances are so close to the world and far from ‘holy’. Again, the proof of this is that many of their recordings reach the top of secular charts and are regularly advertised on commercial radio and television. One observer at the 2006 Conference stated: ‘Of the two hours or so each of the 14 rallies throughout the week, around half the time was a rock concert, led by Darlene and an array of special guest singers…The crowd seems to thrive on it. As each rally opened, an impromptu mosh pit would form at the front’ (17)
One reader wrote to us about such a typical Conference and highlighted the need for discernment: ‘I was attending a four day ‘Planet Shakers’ Conference in Adelaide with my church’s youth group, eager to learn more about God and to grow in my relationship with Him. At first, the conference seemed to be like many of the Christian functions that I had attended in the past: loud music, dynamic preachers and young Christians like me coming together to worship Jesus. However, as the conference progressed I began to notice certain things that didn’t ‘sit right’ with me. I noticed, for instance, that there was a nightly half-hour ‘sermon’ emphasizing the importance of giving as a primary means of obtaining material blessing from God….the worship was unashamedly ecstatic and repetitive, and there were altar calls and mass ‘conversions’ or ‘healings’ in nearly every session. Even more unbelievable, though, was the attitude of the conference’s director, Russell Evans: at one stage he said that he could ‘demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit’ simply by throwing a towel at someone who would subsequently fall over! I was shocked at this outright blasphemy, but I was even more shocked at the response I got from my youth pastor, who, when told of my concern, said that Planet Shakers was a ‘perfectly normal Pentecostal conference’ and that I should just ‘chew the meat and spit out the bones’. I was also deeply concerned about the fact that I was the only one out of my entire youth group who had a negative experience of the conference! In fact, I was so distressed about being the only one that I no longer felt like a part of the group, and as a result I began to question my faith. Did I really know who God was? If this was the one true God, then why did I suddenly feel so distant from Him? Why did I no longer want to worship Him? It was at this point that I decided to search for the truth: I took a break from church and began to earnestly pray and study the Word of God for myself. However, I was still pretty upset by the Planet Shakers experience, and so found this to be incredibly difficult: so much so that I came dangerously close to giving up on the faith altogether. The only thing that gave me hope was, in fact, an http://tape testimony from your ministry of being delivered from the movement…I identified with so many of the things mentioned, and was relieved to find that there was someone else out there who felt the same way. You confirmed my suspicions about the movement…I worked up the courage to leave the offending church, which I now realise is deeply involved in both extra-biblical revelation and the ecumenical movement. I am currently seeking a new church…I admit my reluctance in committing for fear of being contaminated by false doctrine all over again…’ (18)
Many readers might say of Hillsong music that ‘some songs are OK’. But is this to accept ‘leaven’ in the lump of truth about which Scripture has much to say? ‘Leaven’ is a New Testament symbol of sin and error, (Matt.16:12). Paul warns: ‘…Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened…the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’, (1Cor.5:6-8).
Why is the church seeking to ape the world? The very word ‘church’ comes from the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ which means to be ‘called out’ of the world. Why does the world increasingly love the music being played in many churches today? Why are many Christian singers recently making it big time on the world’s music charts and being signed up to the world’s best secular record companies?
In the middle of the 20th Century, Tozer wrote: ‘Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches have become little more than poor theatres’. When Tozer wrote this the entertainment factor in churches had only just become noticeable on a broad scale. Would Tozer be able today to tell the difference between the world and the church?
Should we sing Hillsong songs? Do we not promote Hillsong in some measure when we sing their songs? Does not Hillsong benefit financially when we do so? Is not the music the entry point into Hillsong’s aberrant philosophy, doctrine and teachings? Do we not compromise God’s theology when we sing the songs? Is it not enough that the fruit of Hillsong has been adultery, sexual deviancies, broken marriages, thousands of spurious conversions, making merchandise of their hearers and false doctrinal teaching? How can we willingly allow our children or ourselves to attend these events such as Hillsong?
Hillsong is taking our youth and the church closer to the world and Rome with it’s thinking and methods. Brian Houston recently spoken at a US conference at Robert Schuller’s apostasy riddled church – and shared the platform with Roman Catholic priests speaking there. The church is called to be separate, holy and ‘the pillar and ground of truth’, (1Tim.3:15). We urge parents, teachers, Pastor/ Elders and readers to stand against Hillsong where necessary.
This article will be seen by many as ‘blunt’, ‘unloving’ and ‘judgmental’. It is indeed one of our strongest articles to date. But it is time to publicly warn people of a movement that at best is shallow ‘feel good’ Christianity and at worst a movement that is taking the church into grave apostasy and ecumenism. Hillsong has degraded moral standards, it has changed the face of Christian music and presented songs that barely have any sound doctrine in them, it has altered the attitudes of our youth and it is a melting pot of false teaching and false prophecies.
The ‘jesus’ that Hillsong presents is not the Jesus of the Bible. He does not teach, as Hillsong does, that miracles will be the forerunner of a world wide end time revival; or that unknown ‘tongues’ is the evidence of the ‘Baptism with the Spirit’, (Hillsong adheres to this error as an Assembly of God church).
The ecumenical jesus that Hillsong encourages focuses on love and avoids truth, doctrine, sin and the wrath of God – all vital ingredients of the gospel. The ecumenical jesus is into union at the expense of truth. It says Catholicism is Christian and counts ‘decisions’ as salvation. But the real Jesus is non-negotiable on holiness and separation from the world, sin and error. He does not accept mixtures (‘leaven’) or false teachers and prophets.
The real Jesus teaches us to ‘present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God’, (Rom.12:1,2).
Once again, Chris Rosebrough from ‘Fighting For The Faith’ did a solid biblical critique of Brian Houston’s teaching. He clearly reveals that one of the fundamental flaws of Hillsong’s ministry is Brian Houston’s incompetency in handling God’s Word correctly.
How can a man like Brian Houston lead thousands of Christians into error and not be held accountable to the false teachings he peddles? How can people sit and hear this unscriptural teaching?
Hear the sermon review below:
JANUARY 18, 2011
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• Sermon Review, “Momentum Attracts” Brian Houston, Hillsong, Sydney, Australia