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25th August 2008, 01:15 PM
Does anyone enjoy reading his little books and/or listening to him preach? Actually, I've never heard him speak, but I gather great encouragement from his literature. Granted, his message and writing is always very straightforward and simple, but I really like that when I'm on a break at work and wanting to relax.
He presents the gospel and healing in such simple terms - I feel so encouraged. I feel like I can go out and heal ANYONE or bring anyone to the Lord.
1st September 2008, 07:43 AM
I don't know much about Norvel Hayes, but I do know a little about his mates, who I have had a question mark against for certain distortion through prophecy and teaching.
Have a read of this article, which is only a warning to be aware of things that go on around us.
We need to be wary, caustious, discerning and as wise as a serprent.
Be blessed in Jesus' Name.
Many prophetic ministries that came forth in the 1980's and 1990's, came forth with no real training. By that, I do not mean that they had no seminary degree. A degree is not required in order to flow in the Spirit. But I mean that they had no long term exposure to genuine prophetic ministry, before they began to be used of God.
In alot of instances, an individual would give a prophecy or two, and based on little more than that, they would go forth from church to church attempting to minister prophetically. And often times this lead to disasterous results. They were attempting to learn by trial and error. They weren't sure what was prophecy and what was not, so they spoke forth whatever seemed to have their attention at the moment, and they added "thus saith the Lord" in front of it. Sometimes, they were flowing in the Holy Spirit. Other times it was the flesh, or their own thinking, and sometimes it was even evil spirits. Many, not knowing any better, spoke out what they thought was prophecy after prophecy. Most of these "words" never came to pass, and they knew it. So they began to tell people that they were "learning to prophesy." They were speaking out various things, hoping to "get the accuracy level up." My brothers and sisters, it is almost impossible for genuine and pure prophetic ministry to develop correctly in that manner. You don't prophesy error after error, until truth comes. You don't prophesy false prophecy after false prophecy until you get your accuracy level up and true prophecy emerges. It does not work that way. Error leads to more error, not to truth. False prophecy leads to more false prophecy, not to true prophecy. But if you have never sat under a genuine prophet for a long period of time, the only option you have is to basically learn by trial and error. And I understand that. I did not learn by trial and error. I learned by example. I saw the genuine prophet's anointing manifest countless times through Sister Goodwin. And then God eventually began using me in a similar way. I don't know where I would be today in the Spirit, without Sister Goodwin'sexample, instruction and mentoring. I suppose I would be out there trying to learn by trial and error. Sister Goodwin and her husband taught Kenneth Hagin Sr. about the Gifts of the Spirit. Brother Hagin patterned his prophetic ministry after what he learned from Sister Goodwin. There were many others that learned from the Goodwins: John Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Norvel Hayes, Marilyn Hickey, and other ministers whose names you would not recognize. Those who developed into prophetic ministries under the Goodwins' oversight, came into strongly anointed and doctrinally sound ministries that stood the test of time. I have desired for many years to find a way to minister the truths and principles to others that were taught to me. I've been able in small group settings to impart and help people understand these things better, and I'm thankful for those opportunities. But the internet allows me to reach out to a broader group of Christians, and to help others to grasp what Sister Goodwin helped me to understand about prophetic ministry.
[FONT='Times New Roman', Times, serif] Allow me to share in this article, the first principle Mom Goodwin taught me, and that you also need to learn in prophetic ministry: the ability to receive a correction.
One outstanding characteristic of Mom Goodwin was her corrections. Saying they were sharp was putting it mildly. If you said anything in Sister Goodwin's presence that she thought did not line up with the Word of God, she would rebuke you in the name of Jesus! And when you had been rebuked by Sister Goodwin, you know you had been rebuked. It just took a piece out of your hide.
She considered everyone that came around her to be her spiritual kids, and with your kids you don't just love them, you also correct them. She didn't care who you were, famous or not, she would give you an earfull if she thought you needed it.
I remember Kenneth Copeland tellling on TV one time of his conversations with Lester Sumrall. Brother Copeland related that if you said something Brother Sumrall thought was unscriptural or in any way off the mark, he would just kind of shout at you, and demand that you straighten up. I've heard that from several people who knew Lester Sumrall.
I would leave Sister Goodwin's house, with my feelings just stinging sometimes, because she had given me so many sharp corrections in such a short amount of time. Sometimes, I would leave and think, "I'm never coming back." But then a few days would pass, and the corrections would begin penetrating my thinking. I would think, "Well....She was right about that....And...well, she was right about this too...and this...and this..." Before long, my heart would soften, my bruised feelings would heal, and I would call her or visit her again.
The reason I was able to stand those corrections from Sister Goodwin, and my friend could tolerate them from Brother Sumrall is: One, we knew they loved us. Two, we knew they had our best interest at heart. Three, they knew more than we did. And fourth, the corrections were almost always right on target.
Sister Goodwin lived in Broken Arrow. She told me one time, "You know the Rhema students and the ORU students find out about me and come visit me, but for some reason they don't stay around me very long."
How many Rhema or ORU students never developed into the depth of spiritual ministry that God intended, because they had some sharp corrections from Sister Goodwin, and walked away. It was too hard on their flesh, and on the ego.
I thank God for those corrections, sharp though they were. They have helped me more than I can put into words.
You see, hearing from the Lord prophetically, is like listening to the radio. There are thousands of stations out there, broadcasting 24 hours a day. Some signals are weak, others are strong. Some play all talk, or country music, gospel music, and other formats. If you want to hear a specific type of music, you have to tune your dial to the correct station. And you will have to ignore and tune out a number of stations until you find the right one.
So it is with God, and spiritual things.
There is one Holy Spirit, but there are a multitude of evil spirits, and they are all speaking at the same time. It takes time, training, and experience to learn how to tune out all the wrong spirits, the seducing spirits, and the religious spirits, and identify instead, the voice of the Holy Spirit. The best kind of training you can receive is to sit under a pure prophetic ministry, and learn from that prophet. He or she can give you some one on one input and corrections. Brother Hagin recognized the value of this kind of input and corrections, and he submitted to the Goodwins' oversight for the first 40 years of his ministry. He did not learn by trial and error. He and I learned by example.
You see, in receiving instruction from a seasoned prophet who has stood the test of time, he or she can target very specifically the areas where you need correction, need growth, and need better understanding. He can also reinforce the areas where you are preceiving things correctly. This kind of targeted instruction and mentoring can not be accomplished by reading a book. When someone writes a book, it is a one-size-fits-all operation.
I don't have the nerve to correct people as strongly as Sister Goodwin corrected me, or Brother Sumrall corrected Brother Copeland and others, but there is no way around it--corrections are needed. And they sometimes need to be quite sharp in order to cut through all the religious clutter and wrong teachings that have piled up in our minds and spirits.
If you are so thin skinned, and so touchy that you can't receive a correction without getting offended, then you'll never amount to much in life or in spiritual things.
That's just a fact.
I give sharp corrections on these sites, because they are needed.
They are given, based on experience.
They are given, motivated by love.
They are given, in the hopes of helping you avoid deception.
When receiving instruction and corrections from a prophetic ministry, for you to develop in prophetic ministry, two criteria are also involved. One, God has to call you to this ministry. I don't have a strong evangelistic anointing--that's not my calling. Nor do I stand in the office of an apostle--God has never called me to that. You can do only what God calls you to do.
This is one of my greatest concerns about many of the prophetic books and ministries that came forth in the 1980's and that are floating around today. They make it sound like everyone can be a full-blown prophet, if only they will read this book, go to that conference, or allow this person to lay hands on them.
That simply is not so.
Billye Graham can not lay his hands on you and turn you into a world-class evangelist. Benny Hinn can not lay his hands on you and turn you into a major healing evangelist. Graham and Hinn did not come into their ministry offices through the laying on of hands. First they had a genuine call--from God not man. Second, they trained, studied, and prepared for that calling for years before they entered it. Third, they developed in their preaching ability and ministry anointing over the course of time.
There are no short-cuts.
While at first glance the fact that not all Christians will be fully-developed prophets may seem discouraging, the encouraging side of it is that all Christians can be used to a certain extent in the revelation and utterance gifts.
So if you are not specifically called to be an actual prophet, you can still read these articles, and listen to the recordings we offer (by download for free) of Mom and Dad Goodwin, and you can listen to example after example of genuine prophetic ministry in operation, and this can sharpen your understanding of how God works. And as you understand Him and His ways better, you can understand also how to cooperate with the flowing of the Holy Spirit. This will increase the likelihood that God will choose to use you in some strong manifestations of His Spirit.
In Mom and Dad's church, they were not the only ones flowing in the Spirit. Mom said that approximately 100 church members were regularly used in tongues, interpretation, and various other gifts. Yet the Goodwins never held a single "How to Prophesy" class. They never said, "Now stand up and just prophesy by faith." Other ministries of the time and later used those tactics, and just about all of them crashed and burned.
The Goodwins approached the matter in an entirely different--and safe--way. They flowed and flowed and flowed in the Spirit in front of their congregation, year after year. And they kept a sharp eye out. When they began to perceive that God was starting to move on an individual, they would pull them aside, help that person to recognize what was happening, and encourage them in their calling.
For example, Mom pulled aside their praise and worship leader one time. She said to him, "You know when [this] happens during praise and worship, and when you [react in this way]--that is a message in tongues coming upon you. Why aren't you giving that?" He replied, "Oh, is that what that is? I knew it was something, but I didn't know what." And within a short period of time, he began yielding to it, and giving messages in tongues and interpreting them also. After Dad died, this man travelled with Mom and interpreted for her when she spoke in tongues.
Now, notice something important in that situation. Mom didn't hold a "speaking in tongues" class. She didn't tell everyone that they can do that at will. Nor did she pick someone at random and try to teach them how to give a message in tongues.
It simply does not work that way.
She simply recognized what God was doing, and helped an individual to better understand and cooperate with the moving of the Spirit of God. That is what these articles seek to do also.
I wrote earlier that two things are needed in order to develop in genuine prophetic ministry. The first criteria is that God has to call you to it. All Christians though, can be used to a certain extent in the Gifts. The second criteria is that the prophetic ministry you learn from must be pure.
This was another tragic mistake made by many of the new prophetic ministries of the 1980's and 1990's. Much of that prophetic flow came from William Branham to Paul Cain to the new prophets. Branham's prophetic ministry was genuine, and probably the most powerful one seen in modern times. But eventually, Branham's ego got the best of him, along with his ignorance of sound doctrine. Kenneth Hagin prophesied his death, saying that Branham had gotten off into so much error that he would be suddenly removed from the scene "before the year is out." And sure enough, Branham was kiled one night by a drunk driver--before the year was out.
One of Branham's closest sons-in-the-ministry was Paul Cain. He ministered quite a bit in the Healing Revival of the 1940's and 1950's, then went into seclusion for many years, emerging in the 1980's to attempt to mentor new ministers in the prophetic anointing. But sadly, behind the scenes, Paul Cain struggled with homosexuality and alcoholism. Many new prophetic leaders were fully aware of Cain's problems and turned a blind eye to it for years. Eventually they confronted him publicly. Cain's ministry collapsed. As of this writing, I hear completely contradictory reports. Sometimes I read that he is blind and dying of cancer. Then later I read that he is restored and making a triumphant return to ministry.
Regardless, my point is that the prophetic stream that came from Branham to Paul Cain to new prophetic leaders in the 80's and 90's, was a genuine stream that originated from God, but that men had polluted with deep error and gross sin.
Would you go fishing in a polluted lake or river, and eat the fish you caught there?
Because the polluted water would have been absorbed into every fiber of that fish's body. You can't clean it up enough to make it safe to eat.
Similarly, the things Branham and Cain taught were so saturated with error and extreme teaching it is extremely difficult to pick out any particular truth from their teachings and safely assimilate it into your spirit.
I've read some of the writings of Branham and Cain, and I immediately see not just error, but absolutely outrageous error. I see teachings that are in direct contradiction to Scripture.
Allow me to use an example that Paul Cain has qouted many times.
Paul had fallen in love with a Christian girl and was driving to her house to propose to her. Suddenly, the Lord Jesus appeared to Paul in the car. He supposedly said, "I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. I don't want you to ever marry." And this supposed-Jesus disappeared.
Paul, unlike Kenneth Hagin and others, submitted his revelation to no seasoned prophet or pastor. He just informed the girl that the wedding was off.
Had I been Paul's pastor or counsellor, and had he brought this "revelation" to me, the conversation and my advice would have gone like this:
Paul tells me the experience, and asks my opinion.
I would have said, "Paul, I have two questions for you. One, is the girl a good Christian and do you love her?"
If he said, "Yes she is, and yes I still love her."
Then I would have asked, "Paul, do you still have sexual desire or is that part of you completely dead?"
If he said, "I still have desire."
I would then have said, "This experience is not of God, because it clearly contradicts God's written Word in three instances. I have three objections to this experience.
My first objection is: The scripture this 'Jesus' quoted to you does not refer to physical virginity. Being "jealous with a godly jealousy," is taken from the Apostle Paul's writings in which he wrote:
'For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.'--II Cor. 11:2,3.
Paul is not speaking of keeping the church members at Corinth in a state of physical virginity. He was speaking of keeping their minds from being pulled off into error, false teachings, and a false gospel. If this spirit that spoke to you was truly the Lord Jesus Christ, He would not have taken God's word out of its obvious context.
Here is my second objection: God created marriage. And it is His will that people marry. To the same Church at Corinth where Paul wrote about "godly jealousy," he also wrote:
"...let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."--I Cor. 7:2.
"But and if you marry, you have not sinned."--I Cor. 7:28.
'Every man' includes you, Paul. Marriage is a blessing, not a sin.
My third objection: The Bible calls celibacy a 'gift.'
'For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.'--I Cor. 7:7.
And Jesus himself said:
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.--Mat. 19:12.
Paul and Christ both make it clear that celibacy is not the normal state of affairs for a man or woman. If the spirit in this vision had truly been Christ, and Christ had asked you to go outside the Bible norm and be among those few to live a celibate life, he would have also given you the gift of celibacy. Yet you say you still have sexual desire. Obviously, you have not been given the gift of celibacy. In the absence of that gift, it is God's will for you to marry.
Paul, forget this vision. It is not from the Jesus Christ of the Bible. It is from the Enemy. Go ahead and marry this girl and take care of each other's needs in the way God has ordained. And don't ever give this vision another thought."
Paul had no such advice. Or if someone gave him this counsel, he refused to listen.
The result of this false vision?
The loneliness drove Paul to alcoholism, and the sexual desire drove him into homosexuality. And this prophetic stream became further polluted. And many Christians are searching through the writings and recordings of Branham and Cain and are trying to sift out balanced, doctrinal truths, out of this polluted stream.
To develop in prophetic ministry requires not only that you be mentored, taught, or in some way trained but also that the prophet you are learning from have a pure anointing. Purity begets purity. Corruption begets corruption.
This was the outstanding characteristic of the Goodwins and Brother Hagin--their anointing was pure. Oh yes they had their flesh to deal with, and ego, and all that. Every human being has the same things to deal with. But these prophetic ministries were able to deal with their flesh, the attention of men, and all the other temptations that come with ministry, and they stayed pure doctrinally and morally. Theirs is a safe spiritual well to drink from.
Notice also the ministers who developed under the Goodwins directly or indirectly: John Osteen, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Marilyn Hickey, Norvel Hayes, and others. These have all also stayed pure doctrinally and morally.
Yes, we can miss it and stumble and fall and be restored.
But when you look at the fruit of these two different prophetic streams--the one that came through the Goodwins and Kenneth Hagin, and you compare it to the one that came through Branham to Cain to other prophets, the difference is outstanding. In one you have sound doctrine. In the other you have a great deal of false doctrine. In one you have moral purity. In the other you have numerous examples of substantial and repeated immorality. In one you have strong ministries that have stood the test of time. In the other, you have many shipwrecked lives and ministries.
By their fruits ye shall know them.
Frankly, if you learned from this other prophetic stream, so much of that stream's teachings are so wildly out of balance and unscriptural, that there is a great deal you need to un-learn.
These articles will help you to do so.
Read these articles, and think deeply on them. Pray on the things you read here. Much of what Sister Goodwin rebuked me about, I couldn't agree with them the first time I heard them. It took time. In the meantime, the things I didn't understand or agree with, I put on a shelf, and kept on listening to her. I have come to completely embrace nearly everything she ever taught me. There are still a minor issue or two about which I think she was wrong.
She told me one time, "Mel honey, you write me real intelligent letters. And I can tell from them that you embrace some things that I do not embrace. But....that's ok."
Glean from these writings and corrections what you believe you can apply in your own life and ministry. But be mature enough to hear me out, sharp though my corrections may be.
If you listen, they will do you a world of good.
Copyright 2007. Mel C. Montgomery. All rights reserved.
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