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Weird question. Sobering words…

“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” Mark 13:22-23 (NIV)

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks a word against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come.” Matthew 12:30-32 (NIV)

Note Jesus’ words: if we are not with him we are against him. There is no neutral ground.  Especially when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Have you ever wondered why our Lord felt the need to say these words. I used to wonder, but not any more.

(For this post to actually make sense, please read each section and check out the relevant link before moving on. At this stage, I have no idea how to embed videos or other media).

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Film maker Darren Wilson has made a series of films in which he documents the ‘moves of God’ around the world, claiming to reveal the ‘Father’s heart’ to the world. The first three films are Finger of God, Furious Love and Father of Lights. They document and promote the ‘signs and wonders’ charismatic movement and its associated ‘revivals’ (including leaders of the “new apostolic reformation” or NAR). The films are an astounding window into the beliefs, teachings and practices found within this movement and I recommend them as a research tool  (happy to lend them to anyone who is grounded enough in the Word to safely watch them). But that’s not all folks…

Below is a summary of Finger of God from the film website and a link to the relevant media clips:

FINGER OF GOD

Hundreds raised from the dead. Manna appearing in the Pentagon. Gemstones falling from the sky. Teenagers healing perfect strangers on the street. This isn’t old time religion. This is a new beginning. A spiritual revolution. This is the Finger of God.

http://fingerofgod.wpfilm.com/media/

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Then came Furious Love:

http://furiouslove.wpfilm.com/about/

ABOUT FURIOUS LOVE

Furious Love was conceived before Darren Wilson had even finished his first film, Finger of God. He was in Istanbul, Turkey, and Heidi Baker, a missionary from Mozambique, began to pray for him. In the midst of her prayer, she suddenly saw, in her spirit, Darren filming the occult and demonic. The the Lord gave her this word for Darren: “You must go into the darkness to show the light.” Neither Darren or Heidi had the slightest clue what any of this might mean, and the last thing on Darren’s mind at that point was a “sequel” to Finger of God, which he still had yet to even put together!

Two months later, while in an otherwise normal church service, Darren was literally pushed back into his seat with the second part of God’s call to him. He heard, very distinctly, God tell him to do two things with this film:

  1. show the world the reality of the war between darkness and light
  2. show the world that the only way we can win this war is through love

That was it. Darren had his marching orders. But first, he had to make Finger of God.

Finger of God was released in late December, 2007. Darren had no marketing plan, no financial backers, and no distributers who were even remotely interested. He put it online, and word of mouth began to turn his strange, little film into an underground hit in the truest sense of the word. To date it has sold more than 60,000 copies, and has been seen by millions of people around the world.

The success of Finger of God opened up the possibility for Darren to move forward in his next production: Furious Love.

Darren and his faithful crew of two, Braden Heckman and Matt Bilen, began filming Furious Love in July, 2008, in Tanzania. The only direction Darren had for the film was to accomplish the two things he knew the Lord had told him to do. The reality of the war should be easy enough to show, but how does one film love? How does one translate the devastating effects of unconditional love from God onto a screen? This was the question that haunted Darren and his crew everywhere they went, and so they just delved further into the darkness, hoping at each stop that God would prove Himself faithful and that He would show up when the cameras were rolling. They were ever cognizant that if God did not show up, they had no film.

Filming was completed in August, 2009. With a budget pushing $300,000 and a growing expectation from the Finger of God fan base, Darren and his crew knew they had to deliver something that was at least equal to Finger of God. They knew they had some incredible footage and stories (over 200 hours worth), but how to put it all together? From August to October, Darren locked himself away in his studio in an effort to allow the Holy Spirit to guide him through telling the story of God’s immense love for a very dark, very sinful world. It was the most strenuous spiritual experience he had ever gone through. When he emerged, and after his crew had come in to put a polish and sheen on the film, they knew they had just created something very special.

The Lord also put on Darren’s heart in late 2009 to start a new form of distribution for Christian films, with Furious Love being the forerunner. He was told, quite clearly, to “turn churches into movie theaters.” Partnering with Sondra Martin Hicks and Heartstone Pictures, that’s exactly what they did. On February 14, 2010, Furious Love was unveiled to the world in over 500 churches in 19 countries.

The response has been, in a word, overwhelming. Feel free to visit our TESTIMONIES page or ourMEDIA page to find out more about the reaction to this incredible film.

http://furiouslove.wpfilm.com/media/

For some more background, here is an article from Charisma magazine about Darren Wilson, from 2011:

http://www.wpfilm.com/_assets/articles/Flinchbaugh-Furious%20Love%20CM%202-11.pdf

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Finally, Father of Lights:

About Father of Lights

http://fatheroflights.wpfilm.com/about/

Father of Lights is the final film in the Finger of God/Furious Love trilogy. It is big, epic, and above all, challenging. If I were to have to explain what it is about in a nutshell, I would put it like this: if Finger of God is about God’s power, and Furious Love is about God’s love, then Father of Lights is about God’s heart. I went into making this film by asking the simple question: who is God? I wanted to know His character, His personality, and who He truly is. To answer this question, we had to peel back the many layers of religious garbage that has been passed onto him through generations. That He is angry. Vengeful. Wrathful. And in general, that He doesn’t like you very much. The truth, as you will see vibrantly in this film, is that He is the most loving, compassionate, and wonderful Father you can imagine.

Along the way we will look at a number of things. Aside from dealing with some of the misconceptions surrounding the Father, we’ll journey through the nature of grace, take on the religious spirit, and see some of the most amazing God encounters ever put on film. You’ll meet people who love more extravagantly than you thought possible, will watch God deal with witch doctors and gang leaders and Hindu holy men, and you’ll see and ending that…well…let’s just say you’ll need to see it to truly believe it.

I am constantly amazed by the genius of God, and putting this trilogy together has only increased my amazement. It was strange, because even as I was putting together Finger of God, thinking how much of a miracle it would be if even 1000 people ever saw this movie, I somehow had the suspicion that I was going to be making a trilogy. I had no idea what the other movies would be about, but simply had a sense that this was the first part of a much larger story.

I find it interesting how God started my story, and the story of these films, kind of on the periphery, with the signs and wonders phenomena, and has slowly moved me closer and closer into the very heart of the gospel. Gemstones and gold dust are great and all, but they aren’t smack in the center of God’s heart. Neither are miracles. With Furious Love, we’re getting closer, moving into His love for the lost and the broken. But with Father of Lights, we hit the center of all things, and it’s going to make some people very uncomfortable. Especially religious people.

This will be a monumental call to the church to stand up and finally do what we have been called to do around the world. If we aren’t going to love the world around us, then we might as well pack it all up and go home. If we don’t love, and if we don’t bring freedom with us, then we are simply another religion, lumped in with the rest of them. But first, of course, we need to understand who we truly are and what we have at our disposal.

The truth is, the light of the world resides within us. And we have but one Father.”

http://fatheroflights.wpfilm.com/media/

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The reason for the timing of this post is that Darren Wilson has commenced making his fourth film, called Holy Ghost. Following is a brief summary of the film from Wanderlust Films website:

ABOUT HOLY GHOST
http://holyghost.wpfilm.com/about/

Since 2008, the world has come alongside filmmaker Darren Wilson as he journeyed out of his comfort zone and hesitantly (and sometimes comically) inched his way into the supernatural and, ultimately, a full blown friendship with the God of the Bible. His awakening has mirrored a greater awakening around the world of people coming alive in their relationship with their Creator.

But Darren’s movies have always been about a journey, and they have always come from his innate curiosity and desire to know the truth, no matter where that truth might lead him. Holy Ghost will be a landmark film for Darren and his entire team at Wanderlust Productions, because it marks the true beginning of a new, wholly different journey of friendship and partnership with God. Before, Darren always wondered if God would do anything when he went to film. Now, he sets off knowing that God will move in grace and power. Every time.

Holy Ghost will take Darren and his team around the world as they go in search of the nature and evidence of the Holy Spirit. They will explore the role of the Holy Spirit in the arts, ministry, and the Christian life. But as with all of Darren’s films, it will be the encounters of ordinary people with the God of the Bible that will take center stage. Darren feels that God is directing him to approach some of the religions of the world and “introduce them to the Holy Spirit and see what happens.” This will be a film with no script, but will be a visceral, authentic, and wholly unique experience for the viewer.

In Darren’s own words: “Growing up in a fairly traditional evangelical church and community, I always viewed the Holy Spirit as this almost unknowable, vapor-like being that I could never relate to. But if He is truly a Person of the Trinity, then it stands to reason that the Holy Spirit has a personality, and that is ultimately what I want to explore in this new film. Can we take away some of the mystery and honestly explore who He really is? Can we be honest that some of the church has wholly ignored Him, while some of the church has been somewhat abusive with Him? Can we cut through much of the misunderstanding and fear people have of the Holy Spirit, and learn to embrace Him no matter what might come out the other side? Can we learn to truly partner with the Holy Spirit in love, power, and grace for a world that is dying for something real? That’s what we’re going to try to accomplish with this film.”

Who’s In The Film?
Darren’s films always contain a large cast and a wide variety of voices and opinions, and Holy Ghost will be no different. While the cast is still in the process of being finalized, some of the people already confirmed include: Bill Johnson, Todd White, Randy Clark, RT Kendall, William P Young, Kris Vallotton, Will Hart, Jamie Galloway, Robby Dawkins, Jake Hamilton, Jeremy Riddle, Banning Liebscher & Jesus Culture, Shawn Bolz, Lee Grady, Devon Franklin, Kobus Van Rensburg, Heidi Baker, and many, many more!

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Some of you will be very familiar with some of the above names (Bill Johnson in particular!!). However, if you don’t know any of the people mentioned above, I encourage you to Google them and check out their ministries. I have personally researched every single ministry shown in these films individually. They include some of the most influential leaders of the ‘signs and wonders’ revival (NAR) movement. I have included some links below so you can see some of these people talking about Darren’s films:

http://holyghost.wpfilm.com/media/

Below is the link to the film’s project fundraising website and Darren Wilson talking about the film:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wpfilm/holy-ghost-experience

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Let me be very clear about my concerns. These films do not preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ministries shown in these films do not preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. They preach a different Jesus, a different gospel and a different spirit. The Holy Spirit is not an evangelistic party trick/tool who will ‘show up’ and do signs and wonders to convince the world he exists. The Holy Spirit cannot be ‘introduced’ to pagans to ‘see what happens’. The Holy Spirit dwells in believers, having drawn them to faith in the Lord Jesus by God’s grace.

It seems to me to be blasphemy to do what Darren Wilson is proposing to do, yet again…to treat the Holy Spirit like a ‘power’ or ‘force’ that can be tapped into at will. Despite his claims that he hopes to discover the ‘personality’ of the Holy Spirit, he ignores the basic truth that everything we need to know about the Holy Spirit is contained in the Scriptures and experienced in our everyday walk as Christians. He also refrains from teaching this truth to anyone else. Even more sobering is this thought…to attribute the work of deceiving spirits (or even Satan himself) to the Holy Spirit is a dreadful thing indeed.

So why am I telling you all of this?

When I first watched these films late in 2012, I had no reason to believe they were not genuinely representing God’s work. They were shown at my church over a period of three weeks. I was unable to attend the church showings, so ordered the films from the filmmaker and watched them at home. Initially I was very moved by what I saw. Clearly however, the Lord had a different view, and within a couple of weeks of seeing them He had opened my eyes and prompted me to test what I was seeing against His Word. I also felt strongly led to examine many of the teachings my church was embracing, with an increasing conviction that something was awry.

This was the catalyst for the 6 months of research I have done since then on the false teachings within the Christian church. Whilst I believe this film maker, Darren Wilson is genuine in his desire to find God, I believe he is unwittingly spreading the false and spiritually dangerous signs and wonders gospel through his films. I am deeply saddened by this cruel deception, which I believe to be the work of a spirit that IS NOT the Holy Spirit. I say cruel because millions of people all over the world are being caught up in waves of these ‘revivals’, believing themselves to be saved. I believe there is strong evidence to show that many are not.

I realise this is a controversial subject. Fearful of quenching the Holy Spirit, many are reluctant (or are not sure how) to test the spirits in these movements.  However, the Holy Spirit through Paul instructs us to test everything, holding on to the good and avoiding EVERY kind of evil (1 Thes 5:21-22).

To understand how far into error these groups have strayed, we need to know our Bibles extensively (yes, we can actually do this by ourselves); compare the teachings, behaviors and manifestations found in these movements against what the Scriptures teach; seek advice from discerning, mature Christians; and most importantly, pray and ask that Holy Spirit would give us wisdom and discernment. The Lord, in his great kindness, generously rewards us with a clear view of the truth when we submit to the guidance of his Holy Spirit.

If you wish to find out more about these films, the signs and wonders movement, their teachings, and their leaders there are many excellent links on this blog that can help you get started. Once convicted of the truth, I encourage you to be bold in speaking out against false teachings/teachers and deceiving spirits. Be ready to warn and encourage others who may be interested and involved in such movements, either through their local church or other avenues.

I believe this is part of truly loving our brothers (and sisters) in Christ. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our life for our brothers” John 3:16. We need to be willing to be unpopular, even lose friends, by speaking the truth in love. We may never be called to actually die for a brother, but we can sacrifice in other ways to save the lives of others through ensuring they are trusting in the one true Jesus Christ, the one true Gospel and the one true Holy Spirit.

It matters that millions of people around the world are being falsely led to believe their salvation is secured. A different Jesus, a different gospel and a different spirit cannot save. Make no mistake…this is part of the all-out assault on the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ and on the true body of Christ. Christ’s church will prevail just as he promised it would, but many souls are being deceived or lost in the process.

Sadly, Darren Wilson is caught up in this deception, however unwittingly. Join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will convict Darren of his error, and bring him into relationship with the real Lord Jesus. That would certainly make for a God-honouring film!

I welcome any feedback or questions you have regarding this post.

Blessing in Christ Jesus,

Sherryn

Update from Sherryn @ The Narrowing Path: August 2013

So I have now seen the film. I watched it three times. It was as bad as I expected. In fact that I have been unable to write a review of it as I hardly know where to start. Thankfully other Christians have saved me the trouble, at least at this stage:

Movie Review of ‘The Holy Ghost’ by Pastor Gabriel Hughes

Holy Ghost Movie Review from Defending. Contending.