Monday, February 1, 2016

TGRM Issues and Concerns

People have been directing me to a certain website of a Christian movement in Nigeria, known as True Gospel Revival Movement (TGRM) Worldwide. Until now I kept saying that I did not feel led to go and look at it. But recently I did take a look and evaluated some of the things I read. Here are some issues I discovered that are cause for serious concern:

World Domination
On the TGRM website, it states: In the very words of Jesus Christ, He said, “I, Jesus Christ of Nazareth set up ‘True Gospel Revival movement’ to dominate the world.”

I don’t see that in the Bible where any group of believers is supposed to dominate the world in this present age. This sounds more like “Dominion theology” or “Kingdom Now” theology, which are false. The reign of Christ and the saints on earth does not occur until after His visible return to earth to set up His kingdom.

Dominionism aims to reform all sectors of society, or bring about the renewal of all things, in order to establish Christ’s kingdom on earth before He comes.  However, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  (Mt 19:28).  He taught that the renewal of all things would occur “when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne.” He also taught that He will sit on His glorious throne when He returns, not before He returns: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.” (Mt 25:31).  So it is presumptuous to attempt to renew all things in this world before He comes and sits on His glorious throne. (Also see Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ).

Salvation by Church Membership
The TGRM website states: “Again Jesus Christ said that anybody who wants to see Him on the last day should join this movement He has founded by Himself. Whatever religious or secular position held by any person, if he or she does not join and assist ‘True Gospel Revival Movement’ and pattern his/her life and religion according to all the truth He is revealing through this movement, that person is doomed.”

The apostle Paul reproved the Corinthians for this kind of sectarianism when he said, " What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?"  (1 Cor. 1:12-13). This prohibits divisions in the Body. Yet TGRM is creating divisions by saying they are the only true movement of God on the earth, excluding all others that do not join them.

It literally says, “Jesus Christ said that anybody who wants to see Him on the last day should join this movement… if he or she does not join and assist ‘True Gospel Revival Movement’…that person is doomed.” This means that we must join a movement in order to be saved, and that goes against the Scripture. We are saved by faith in Christ, not by Church membership, or being part of a religion, or group. (Eph 2:8-9).

Working for the Lord vs. Working with Him
The site also says: “I, Jesus Christ raised ‘True Gospel Revival Movement’ to work with me. Others are working for me. The danger in working for me is that they will end up in destruction.”

So this site claims that if we work “for” the Lord we will end up in destruction. But the Scripture says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” (Col 3:23). The Greek word is “tō” meaning “to” the Lord. If it was “with” then the Greek word would be “pros”. The better translation says, “as unto the Lord and not unto men”.  “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (Col 3:23, KJV). Elsewhere Paul said, “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,” (Eph 6:7)

It also states on the TGRM site: “Jesus Christ said that all other people are working for Him but only this movement is working with Him. Any other project or support or assistance governments and people are giving in His name, outside this movement is on a wrong foundation. He, Jesus Christ does not accept it. Therefore whatever project, support or assistance given to this movement 'True Gospel Revival Movement’ is directly to Him, Jesus Christ of Nazareth."

To summarize, TGRM is saying: “only this movement is working with Him” and “Any other project or support or assistance governments and people are giving in His name, outside this movement is on a wrong foundation. He, Jesus Christ does not accept it.”

Husbands are Little gods?
TGRM also states that the Lord said, “When a woman is married, the first father that she has to obey as a little god other than her biological father is her husband…A woman is free to call her husband lord because he is a small god to her.” This prophecy does not even say a husband is "like" a small god, which would have been bad enough, but that he "is" a small god. However, there is no Scriptural basis for any man being a little god. See Are We Really Little gods?

The Authority of the Only Begotten Son of God
TGRM states that the Lord said, “When I came before, I spoke like a child who has no authority. I gave a message to the world before now, that I am not the only son of my father. Adam was a son, Satan was a son.”

However, this has two issues: 1) the Bible says that when Jesus came, “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (Mat 7:29). Also see Mk 1:22 and Lk 4:32. And 2) the Scripture says that Jesus was the only Son of God. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16).

All throughout the New Testament, the Lord Jesus is referred to as “the Son of God” (Mat. 26:63; 27:40,43,54; Mark 1:1; 3:11; 15:39; Luke 1:35; 3:38; 4:41; 22:70; John 1:34,49; 5:25; 10:36; 11:4,27; 19:7; 20:31; Acts 8:37; 9:20; Rom. 1:4; 2Co. 1:19; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:13; Heb. 4:14; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29; 1Jn. 3:8; 4:15; 5:5,10,12,13,20; Rev. 2:18), as well as "His Son" in the singular form (Rom. 1:3,9; 5:10; 8:29; 1Co. 1:9; Gal. 1:16; 4:4,6; 1Th. 1:10; Heb. 1:2). He is not referred to in Scripture as merely “a son of God” or “one of the sons of God,” but “THE Son of God.” His disciples attested to it (Mat 14:33). It was His position as the only Son of God that satan challenged when he tempted the Lord in the wilderness (Mat. 4:3,6). But even the demons, whenever they saw Him, cried out that He was the Son of God (Mk 3:11). And the reason the Jews crucified Him was that He claimed to be the Son of God. “They all said, ‘Are You the Son of God, then?’ And He said to them, ‘Yes, I am.’” (Luk 22:70). This was such a significant claim that they considered it to be blasphemy. By calling God His Father, He was making Himself equal to God (Joh 5:18).

TGRM is teaching that satan was a son, too. It says, “Satan was a son.” Why would Jesus say such a thing? Granted, one might find Scriptural basis to say that satan was one of the many “sons of God” in the sense that he was originally an angel, and angels were direct creations of God, known as “sons of God” (Gen. 6:2,4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). But that does not put satan on the same level as the only begotten Son of God, nor does it make him the brother of Jesus as some cults teach. When TGRM says that Jesus is not the only son of His Father, and that satan was also a son of His Father, it puts Jesus and satan on the same level as brothers, which is false. Satan is a created being. Jesus Christ is the Creator -- God, not a created being (Col 1:16)! Also see Is Jesus God?, The Eternal Firstborn of All Creation, Jesus is Yehova, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music and The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the Musician.

Property Ownership
About ownership, TGRM states the Lord said:

“The idea of ownership is from hell. In heaven there is no claim of ownership. I and my father and the Holy Spirit are one. I made this world in such a way that anywhere somebody finds suitable he can build and live. I want to tell the world that this world was created before man was created. My programme for man is to replenish the earth and not to claim ownership of it. I have come to tell those who claim ownership of land that, right as I am speaking now, no man should own more than a flat. Every document of land ownership is fake. These are things Satan is using to confuse the world. Nobody in the world is qualified to own more than a flat. As I’m giving this order the governments of the world should adopt it. If they cannot, I will achieve it with True Gospel Revival Movement. That is why I said, this is the only movement I have raised to dominate the world… Those who claim they own lands are working against me, for this reason, I declare to the world that my plan for the whole earth is that any where people find space they should build and live… Tell the world that I, Jesus Christ of Nazareth said that even the car owner seat, people sit on, is a seat of pride. So, tell my children who really want to obey me that they should avoid the car owner seat because it is the seat of pride.”

On the one hand, the Lord did say in His Word, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luk 14:33). But is all ownership evil? This prophecy says that “the idea of ownership is from hell,” which effectively means all ownership is evil, except for owning a flat (apartment), which TGRM says that believers are allowed to own.

It says, “my children who really want to obey me that they should avoid the car owner seat.” This means that it is disobedience to own a car.

It also says, “Any where people find space they should build and live.” So if a believer builds and lives in a place, does he not then own what he built? Is it not a house, rather than a flat? Does this mean that he can build on property that someone else claims to own? It seems to imply this, because it says, “Every document of land ownership is fake.” So if a TGRM member finds space and builds on it, and the owner of that space (another private citizen, corporation, or government) claims ownership of it, what will be the deciding factor to settle the dispute? If the owner produces their ownership documents, perhaps the TGRM member will claim that the documents are fake and he has right to live there.

This means that in the Bible, when God told the prophet Jeremiah to buy land, that was a sin (Jer 32:6-15). In that same passage, the Lord commanded the use of property deeds to prove ownership. Were those deeds fake or illegitimate? What about when Boaz bought the field of Naomi (Ruth 4:1-10)? What about the field he already owned before he bought that one (Ruth 2:3)?

In the New Testament, the disciples all had their own homes. It says, “So the disciples went away again to their own homes. “ (Joh 20:10). Peter and Andrew owned a house, in which it appears that Peter’s mother-in-law also lived, so it could not have been too small (Mk 1:29-30; Mt 8:14). Martha welcomed Jesus into her own home (Lk 10:38). Jesus ate at the house of Matthew (Mt 9:10), and He said to Zaccheus, "I must stay at your house today" (Lk 19:5). He was anointed at the home of Simon the Leper (Mt 26:6). In making arrangements to eat the Last Supper, He instructed His disciples to ask permission from the "owner" of a house to use a guest room (Lk 22:11). He sent out His disciples with instructions to stay in the home of a worthy person, whenever they entered a town or village (Mt 10:11). He referred to a prophet having his own home (Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4). John took Mary into His own home (Jn 19:27). Peter once stayed at the home of another disciple named Simon the tanner, who owned a house by the sea in Joppa (Acts 9:43; 10:6,32). Paul once stayed at the house of a disciple named Judas on Straight Street in Damascus (Ac 9:11). The saints gathered together and prayed at the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark (Ac 12:12). Yet not a word of condemnation is spoken against any of these disciples for owning homes.

If ownership were evil, then stealing would not be a sin. Yet the Lord commands us not to steal (Eph. 4:28). This means that there is such a thing as people owning property.

TGRM says in this prophecy that “Nobody in the world is qualified to own more than a flat. As I’m giving this order the governments of the world should adopt it. If they cannot, I will achieve it with True Gospel Revival Movement.” This means TGRM is claiming divine authority to defy the governments with regard to property ownership. However, this seems to contradict the Scripture that says, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.” (Rom 13:1ff)

One last thing I would like to say about ownership is this. If a married man and his wife have a large family together, a flat (apartment) may not be big enough for them to live in. If so, then what are they to do? Since TGRM says they are not qualified to own anything more than a flat, does that mean their only recourse is to squeeze into a flat that is too small for them? Or if they must move into a home, does it mean that they are only allowed to rent a home, even though it may be more expensive than for them to own one?

Financial Support of TGRM
It is interesting to note that the matter of ownership presented in this last TGRM prophecy is directly connected with financial support of their ministry. The obvious implication is that to be a member in this movement, you must sell everything you have and bring the money to them.

About financial support of TGRM, TGRM states the Lord said: “Tell the world that I, Jesus Christ of Nazareth said, since I announced to people to bring their resources into True Gospel Revival Movement and use it to achieve my project, they are finding it difficult because Satan has filled them with the idea of ownership. But I want to tell them that if they keep it to themselves because of their plans to build, own lands, train their children and so on, I will come and do it myself but they will end up in hell fire. Thus, said Jesus Christ of Nazareth. So I am calling them to unite and do as I commanded them for their own good. Tell them that with this movement I will introduce my own money which will not have the head of Caesar, when I said “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar”, the money of the world has the head of human beings on them. With this movement I will introduce my own money which will not possess the heart of my children. Thus, said Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Who has ear let him hear what Jesus Christ of Nazareth said.” 
   
These statements have several issues with them: 1) First of all they imply that anyone who does not support TGRM financially is going to hell. 2) It also states that there will be a currency especially for those in TGRM that is not one of the currencies produced by any government. When Jesus was on earth, He did recognize the Roman denarius and Caesar’s image on it, and He said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s (Mat. 22:19; Mark 12:15; Luke 20:24). There is no place in Scripture where it says the Lord will introduce a new worldwide currency for the saints. 3) If ownership is from hell, then wouldn't the Lord want to abolish it completely?  Why then would He want to generate another new currency to help support the practice of ownership?  One would think He would want a world where everyone just shared everything they had and there was no need for currency.

Moreover, after Barnabas sold his tract of land and gave the full proceeds to the apostles (Act 4:36-37), another disciple named Ananias sought to imitate it, while secretly and deceptively keeping some of the proceeds for himself (Ac 5:1-2). Peter told Ananias, "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?" (Act 5:4a). He said the field remained the property of Ananias until it was sold, so he acknowledged that Ananias was the rightful owner of it. Moreover, he said that after it was sold, the proceeds from the sale remained under the control of Ananias. Peter did not say it was evil for Ananias to own the property, or that the Lord required him to sell it and give the resources to the projects the apostles were working on. Yet TGRM states the Lord is announcing to the world that people should “bring their resources into True Gospel Revival Movement and use it to achieve my project.”

King James Version Only
On their website, it also says, “MESSAGE OF JESUS CHRIST ABOUT THE HOLY BIBLE. I, Jesus Christ of Nazareth tell the world that they should not go with or interpret my word from any other version of the Bible except King James Version (KJV), both English and any other language. Other translations are arranged by the kingdoms of darkness, to water down my word. All who buy and use those other version are partakers of the harm those versions are doing to my word and they will perish with the translators. I tell those who join me in TGRM not to go with any other version except KJV.”

This is a major concern for a few reasons:

1) The King James Bible has undergone three revisions since its inception in 1611, incorporating more than 100,000 changes. So which King James Bible is inspired?

2) TGRM prophesies that Jesus Christ of Nazareth said, "tell the world that they should not go with or interpret my word from any other version of the Bible except King James Version (KJV), both English and any other language." The problem with this statement is that Bible translations into non-English languages are not the King James Version. Moreover, there are no translations into non-English languages based on the KJV that I am aware of. Just to be sure of this, I asked Wycliffe Bible Translators, and their contact person replied to me after researching it, saying, "I didn't find any non English translations that said they were translations of the KJV." If any such foreign translation exists that is based on the KJV, it must be very rare. If so, that means most nations are using a Bible that is arranged by the kingdom of darkness, and the people who read it are doomed, according to TGRM.

3) The KJV Preface asks, “How shall men meditate on that which they do not understand?” They sought to put it into the language that common people used every day, so that they could understand the Bible. However, what was common language 400 years ago, has become outdated and difficult to understand for most English-speaking people today.

4) In his Critical Analysis of the King James Version, Al Maxey points out that for all its flowery language and other positive characteristics, the KJV has doctrinal problems, textual manipulation, lack of uniformity, archaeological inaccuracies, textual inaccuracies, and paraphrasing.

5) Factual evidence reveals that the KJV is not the most accurate and easy to understand version of the Bible.

6) Other English versions existed before the KJV, such as Tyndale's New Testament, the Rheims New Testament, the Great Bible, the Bishop's Bible, and the Geneva Bible, so it is not the original English version. The Geneva Bible was the Bible of the Protestant Reformers; it was the people's choice for seventy-five years before the King James Bible was produced, and was the preferred Bible of the common Christian household. In fact, it was the Bible used by the Puritans who migrated to America. However, based on the prophecy above from TGRM, we would have to conclude that the Geneva Bible translation was arranged by the kingdom of darkness and all those who read it perished with the translators.

7) The KJV translators used more than just the original Greek and Hebrew texts of Scripture to produce the English text found in that version. They also used the Bishop's Bible as their source text, as well as the Geneva Bible, along with other versions already in existence. So it is a real hybrid of many sources.

I can understand if some individual or some church prefers the King James Version over all others, but it is wrong to require its use by prophecy as a commandment of the Lord, under penalty of hell fire. That's what TGRM has done, making this a requirement for salvation, thereby condemning billions of people who cannot read the King James Version or prefer not to do so.

Dietary Laws
Another major concern with this movement is that they teach that Christians should not eat foods that were forbidden in the Law of Moses. They claim that Jesus Christ of Nazareth has now released to the world the message that anyone who eats such foods is condemned to hell. However, these are dietary laws, and Christians are not under any dietary laws. Jesus declared all foods clean (Mk 7:19), and Paul did, too (Rom 14:14,20). Anyone who puts Christians under dietary laws is preaching another gospel and is eternally accursed according to the apostle Paul (Gal 1:9).

Paul warned us about teachings like this in his letter to Timothy: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (1Ti 4:1-5)

To use Paul’s words, TGRM advocates abstaining from certain foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. Paul said these are doctrines of demons. Based on what he wrote, as well as the Lord's own teaching, we can be assured that nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.

Observing the Law
Not only does TGRM want to bring the Gentile disciples of Christ back to the dietary laws of Moses, but they teach that we must obey the entire Law of Moses. In the context of the message about dietary laws, they prophesy, "I have come to tell the world that this message I am giving now, is with heaviness of heart.... Every law My Father instituted must be obeyed...No commandment of My Father should be disobeyed." (capitalization and underlining added by editor for emphasis). This means that in the name of the Lord they are requiring Christians to obey all dietary, ceremonial, ritual, and sacrificial laws. That includes circumcision, wearing tassels on their clothing, and observing all Jewish days, months and years.

I can assure you that the Lord is not calling the Gentiles to come under the Law of Moses. This fact was firmly established in the first century, when certain Judaizers insisted that the Gentile Christians must be circumcised and observe the Law of Moses. The apostles and elders in Jerusalem discussed this, and Peter asked, "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (Ac 15:10-11). James concluded, "Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (Ac 15:19-21).

We are not justified by observing the Law (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16). Paul said, "For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.'" (Gal 3:10, NIV). He said that every man who lets himself be circumcised is obligated to obey the whole Law (Gal 5:3). Brethren, we are not seeking to keep up the Law of Moses in conjunction with the gospel. Please see my articles What Then Must We Observe? and Righteousness by Faith not Law. Also see Zipporah Mushala’s Second Testimony of Hell, in which sister Zipporah saw a man of God in hell for observing the Law of Moses.

The Return of Christ
TGRM states the Lord said, “This is why my word says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Does not the world see my wisdom in these mysteries? Therefore, I, hereby announce to the world that I have returned, to rule and to destroy whatever the idiot has done all this time. I have come to take back to my kingdom that which belongs to me. Thus said the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”

TGRM states the Lord said, “Satan devised another means of using a Roman emperor to merge Christianity and the world together in order to stop my own vision. Since then I allowed him and he started introducing a lot of things into Christianity through churches and their founders. I have been warning people but they would not understand me. So, I have come again by myself to re-establish my standard.”

TGRM states the Lord said, “No body has the power to kill my own people again. I am coming like a king to claim what belongs to me. If a king goes on a long journey that will take him many years away from his domain, his coming back will be announced so that things will be put in order before his arrival. Now I am announcing my return, so that things that are not in order will be put in order.”

“So, my children who obey me and do what I command, I am coming to reign. As I promised Israel of giving them a land which was not their own, so I promise to give you a land flowing with milk and honey. Thus said the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”

These statements have three main issues:

1) They state that the Lord has returned by using the expressions, “I have returned;” “I have come,” and “I have come again.” Then they contradict those statements by putting it in the future tense with expressions like “I am coming” and “I am announcing my return;” So has He come again or is He announcing His return? Which one?

2) They state that the Lord said, “No body has the power to kill my own people again.” This means there will be no more martyrs from this time onward. Yet we know that Christians are still dying for Christ around the world, and in the Bible we see that martyrdom will continue until the end, when His angels gather His elect from the four winds. Jesus Himself said persecution of the saints is one of the signs of the times before His return. “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” (Mat 24:9). The book of Revelation has much to say about End Time Saints being killed, and even says it is the destiny of some to be killed (Rev 13:10). The Lord requires faithfulness until death (Rev 2:10). Anyone who will not worship the beast will be killed, including saints (Rev 13:15; cf., 14:11; Rev 20:4). See my articles The Glory of Martyrdom for Christ and The End Time Saints.

3) They state that Jesus called satan an “idiot”. Yet we find no place in Scripture where Jesus ever called satan or any demon an “idiot.” He called the devil “satan” (Mat. 4:10; 12:26; 16:23; Mark 3:23,26; 4:15; 8:33; Luke 10:18; 11:18; 13:16; 22:31). In Revelation, he is referred to as “the great dragon,” “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (Rev 12:9). He is also called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev 12:10). Jesus called the demons “unclean spirits” (Mk 5:8) or simply demons (Mat. 7:22; 10:8; 12:27,28; Mark 16:17; Luke 11:18,19,20; 13:32). And when speaking to His enemies, the Lord may have called them by names of beasts like fox or viper (Mat. 12:34; 23:33), but He never called anyone an idiot. In fact, it says in Jude, “Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.” (Jud 1:8-10)

About the statements that the Lord has already returned, we have the following Scriptural warnings against such claims:

The apostle Paul said, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” (2Th 2:1-4). Paul warned the Thessalonians not to believe any spirit or message or letter as if from him to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. In Paul’s concluding remarks to that epistle, he states, “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (2Th 3:14-15)

The Lord Himself also said, “Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Mat 24:23-28). You will know it when the Lord has returned, just as a flash of lightning in the sky cannot be kept secret from those on the earth. But when you see a lot of vultures circling in the sky above, rather than a flash of lightning, that should tell you something. You may not be able to see what they are all gathering around for, but you know it is some body that is sick or dead. Beware of anyone who says the Lord has come back and any group that gathers around such claims. See Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ and Synching Up the Seven Seals with the Gospels.

Confusion
There is confusion in this movement, and confusion is not of God. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." (1 Cor 14:33, KJV).

For example, TGRM contradicts itself. On the one hand, they prophesy that it is disobedience to own a car. On the other hand, they prophesy that the car was made with wisdom, and that those who say it is useless will suffer for their foolishness, since their travels will become more difficult. They state that the Lord asked, "Can an African tell the white man that the wisdom he used in making a car is useless? If he avoids him, his movement becomes difficult and he will suffer because of his own foolishness."

Another example that I have already mentioned is the matter of the Lord having already returned on the one hand, yet on the other hand He is coming to reign.

Another example is the matter of working for the Lord versus working with the Lord, as I have also  mentioned. On the one hand they prophesy, "The danger in working for Me is that they will end up in destruction.” On the other hand they prophesy, "...the matter is that after working for me, they get their reward in heaven.” This is confusing. Do people working for the Lord get their reward in heaven or do they end up in destruction?

To further emphasize my point about confusion, here is an email I received from a brother named John A. from Nigeria, which I received over a year and half after I posted this article. He stated:

"I started reading the doctrines of True Gospel Revival Movement, and I contacted them through my phone and introduced myself to them. And the next thing they told me was to start a fellowship wherever I am, and teach the doctrines on their website. I began to wonder when they later called me and told me that my name is not supposed to be John, that my name is Yahchana. I accepted the name [initially], but I later began to question myself and I became confused. In the process of visiting their site, I saw your article that pointed out certain things that caused me to [contact] a pastor to pray for me to renounce the name I accepted without knowing the source or the meaning. And I became afraid from that moment. What confuses me most is that their teaching sounds like true teaching, so I am still confused even till this moment. "

As you can see, this group is causing confusion, and they need to be held accountable for what they are doing to people like this man John in Nigeria, which brings me to my next point.

Lack of Accountability and Directive Prophecies
TGRM seems to lack accountability. What I mean by that is that they are primarily issuing directives via prophecy, which nobody is allowed to challenge or question. Over and over again you see prophecy after prophecy setting forth these new rules, new standards, new commandments, usually ending with the phrase, “Thus said the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” We need to be careful of directive prophecy, since the biblical purpose of prophecy is to edify, comfort, and encourage us (1 Cor 14:3), not to direct us.

The TGRM site states, "In True Gospel Revival Movement the Lord Jesus Christ speaks direct to men and not through his spirit alone. He speaks through his chosen mouth piece and his ordained oracle." This is talking about the person who initiated this movement. It also states that  "...nobody ever attempts to doctor or amend his messages before releasing them to the world, but they are handed raw to the world."

This is leading by prophecy, which is dangerous. Many cults have been created this way. Things may start off seeming to be fairly innocent with only a few, apparently minor deviations from the Word, but then it can gradually become more and more obvious that it is unbiblical. The problem is that by then it is too late, because you have been completely deceived, and you cannot get yourself out.

No matter who gives a prophecy, it must always be tested and judged, not only by the individual who gives it, but also by others. Yet these TGRM prophecies are being "handed raw to the world" without anyone being allowed to judge or amend them. Paul said, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.” (1Co 14:29). He also said, “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” (1Th 5:19-22). In fact, Paul himself, who wrote half the New Testament, went up to Jerusalem to submit himself to the apostles there and ensure that his gospel message to the Gentiles was valid. He wanted to ensure that he had not been running in vain. He said, “Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.” (Gal 2:1-2)

The apostle John warned us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1Jn 4:1). The Berean disciples were commended for seeking to find out if Paul’s messages were Scriptural. It says, “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Act 17:11). We must always be free to examine everything carefully, test it, and pass judgment on every single prophecy. If anyone puts themselves above that process, threatening anyone who attempts to do so with hellfire, then that is dangerous. That person is not accountable to others in the Body of Christ.

Prophecy is not the only gift and prophets are not the only ones the Lord uses to prepare the Body for works of service. “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:11-13). There needs to be these others, such as apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, in order to maintain accountability and keep the Church from error. But when a group relies mainly on prophecy to equip the saints, and defies any challenges to these prophecies, the enemy can easily get in and bring deception. Please see Judging Revelations, Visions, and Prophecies, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, and Accountable, correctable, and teachable.

The core members of this movement, who are giving these prophecies, seem to be rather young in the Lord and spiritually immature. They need to submit to authority and make themselves accountable to others in the Body of Christ. They must also be correctable and teachable. But who will correct them or teach them if all other churches and movements are deemed by prophecy to be apostate or illegitimate?

Extra-biblical Writings
If these prophecies cannot be challenged, judged, or tested by other disciples using the Word of God, then that means these messages are inerrant and become elevated to the level of Scripture. This means each prophecy posted on the website becomes like another book of the Bible and holds the same authority as Scripture. Or else it is regarded as another book that Christians must obey, besides the Bible. The end result is that such a book or such extra-biblical writings on the web end up superseding Scripture, because they are regarded as authoritative and binding upon all Christians, even if they contradict the Bible. This essentially nullifies the Word of God, as TGRM is doing with their laws that contradict Scripture. The fact is that no prophecy or extra-biblical writing carries the same authority as Scripture, and must either conform to the Word of God or be ignored.

Also see my articles Scripture Alone and The Bible is the Word of God.

One Group with All Truth 
TGRM states that the Lord "has decided to reveal all truth and mystery of Heaven through this movement." They also state that the Lord said He "will reveal all mysteries through this movement." Those are the exact words from their website. That also presents a problem, since it is unbiblical.

The apostle Paul said, "We know in part and we prophesy in part." (1 Cor 13:9). That means none of us have the whole, but only a part. None of us, except the Lord, have all knowledge. The Lord does not reveal all mysteries to one individual or group, but only some. That is the way a healthy body functions. Otherwise one part of the body could say to another part, "I don't need you." As we all function together in unity, each one doing their part, then we receive the fullness of all that the Lord reveals to the Church. As the whole body is fitted and held together in Christ "by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part," then He causes the growth of the body (Eph 4:16).

As the apostle John said, "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth." (1Jn 2:20-21). Every true disciple has an anointing from the Spirit of grace, and by this unction we all know the truth, as well as discern the lies.

If the Lord gave all knowledge to one individual or group, and everyone looked solely to them for guidance, then the enemy could easily deceive billions of people at once, simply by deceiving that single individual or movement. So if the enemy has already deceived the founder of TGRM and introduced error into this movement, as I have proven in this article, then the potential for mass deception not only exists, but is already happening at some level internationally!

Condition for TGRM Membership
The ten rules that all TGRM members must obey are listed on the home page of their website, which are basically like the new, Ten Commandments. Of course, as usual, they claim these rules were set by Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The ninth rule states: "Membership is by believing every bit of these messages of our Lord Jesus Christ and joining in our fellowships and programmes to both do and teach others nothing but this truth." They said you can do nor teach nothing but what they claim is "truth." So if you are a part of that organization, you must do and teach others only what they teach, including all the heresies I have highlighted above, and others I have not yet discovered. In other words, you are not allowed to teach others anything else, except what TGRM dictates. This essentially means you are not allowed to teach anything found in the Bible that they do not teach.

And their tenth commandment states, "membership of this movement is one of the unavoidable conditions for seeing God at last." This means that their ninth rule that I just mentioned is a condition for salvation, along with all their other conditions.

If you are a member of TGRM, I call upon you to repent, because in order to be a member of it, you must do and teach everything they say. That requires that you embrace doctrines that I have just proven to be false, according to the Word of God. And you will have to teach others that they will burn in hell, unless they embrace these false teachings.

Mind Control
In case you did not already reach this conclusion yourself, the practices of TGRM resemble the mind control techniques commonly used by cults to control their members. If you would like to educate yourself about that, please see the article by Cult Watch entitled "How Cults Work."

Similarities to Armstrongism
Based on what I have seen thus far of TGRM, it is similar in many ways to Armstrongism, which refers to the beliefs of a cult formed by Herbert W. Armstrong in 1934 that eventually came to be known as the Worldwide Church of God. According to Wikipedia, he taught that "God had restored the full Gospel message of the Kingdom of God...to the Church through him (Armstrong) by opening his mind to the plain truth of scripture. He taught that all other churches calling themselves 'Christian' were not merely apostate, but actually counterfeits..." His worldwide church was supposedly the one group with all truth. He taught that Christians must observe the dietary laws of Moses, celebration of high Sabbaths, and annual Jewish festivals. He claimed that these and other teachings of his were the true gospel restored. Therefore, I think that the True Gospel Revival Movement Worldwide bears many resemblances to the Worldwide Church of God.

Unable to Refute this Article
One last thing I would like to say is that shortly after writing this article, I sent it  to TGRM, and asked them to respond to it. They initially requested phone contact, which I refused. They deleted my comment from their site and said they were preparing a response to this article, but they never followed through with it.

Then five months after writing this article, in July 2016, a sister in the Philippines began to read their website, and when she asked if they had a branch congregation in her country, they wanted her to establish one. They even gave her a prophecy that they claimed was directly from the Lord that He wanted her to start such a group. However, she wanted to make sure she was not being misled or deceived, so she read this present article of mine. Then she brought it to their attention, to which they replied with another prophecy supposedly from the Lord Jesus to her. In this prophecy, they quoted the Lord saying that when they were making arrangements to answer my article, He stopped them, saying that He would answer me by Myself, and He said that He has already answered me.

She wrote to me to find out if in fact the Lord did answer me about TGRM after writing this article. I responded by saying that I have received no such message from the Lord that would validate this movement, and that in fact I have received further information that only validates what I have written.  Therefore, let it be known that I stand by what I have written in this article.

Two weeks after that sister in the Philippines corresponded with me and I added this new section to my article, here is what happened. On July 17, 2016, TGRM sent me a prophecy allegedly from the Lord to me personally, and they copied 59 other people on the email. The only way they had my email address was from when I left a comment on their website five months ago, but I never gave them permission to copy other people on an email to me, since I do not want my email address publicized. When I received their email, I did not read the attachment with the prophecy, since I assumed it was not favorable toward me unless I agree with their doctrines. They also sent attachments with their revised calendar that all Christians are supposed to use now, which seems to be part of what they have supposedly been commissioned to do. 

As they told the Filipino sister recently, the Lord advised them NOT to answer me regarding this article, because He Himself would do so and I had supposedly already received His message. Yet now they have in fact responded to my article by sending the following to me personally and copying others whom I do not know: 1) the supposed prophecy they believe the Lord has for me, which I was supposed to have already received; 2) a document they have written justifying their KJV-only position; and 3) a document they have written supporting their revised calendar with new names for the months of the year and days of the week. That action on their part completely contradicts what they previously claimed the Lord commanded them. Now it seems they are going against what they claim He commanded them, and they are responding to me. It is confusion.

Finally, to further validate a point I made earlier in this article about directive prophecy, please note that in this instance, TGRM used a directive prophecy to tell the Filipino sister to start a church for them in the Philippines, then they used directive prophecy to tell her why they never responded to this article of mine when she asked about it, and finally they apparently used a directive prophecy to me to respond to this article.

Putting it All Together
I tried to keep an open mind about the True Gospel Revival Movement (TGRM), and was willing to believe they were genuinely from the Lord. However, my conscience is bound to the Word of God, and it is neither wise nor safe to go against conscience. We must prove all things from the Word and confirm that they are truly so.

As I have examined the Scriptures to see if these things are so that TGRM is claiming, I have found numerous issues, including the following: claims of world domination, sole possession of all truth and revelation of all mysteries, Christian currency, property ownership, cessation of martyrdom, salvation by membership in a movement, lack of accountability, confusion, claims that Christ has already come back, working for the Lord vs. working with Him, husbands being little gods, the authority of the only begotten Son of God during His earthly ministry, satan being referred to as an idiot as well as a son of God, King-James-Version-only, and observing the Law of Moses, including dietary laws.

Therefore, I would caution anyone who is considering joining this movement, or who is listening to its prophecies. According to the Word of God that I have just presented to you, some of their teachings are doctrines of demons. Please do not be deceived by them. You have been warned. And I have warned you not via my own prophecy or opinion, but via the Word of God, which is our sole rule of faith.

"I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him." (1Jn 2:26-27, NIV)

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB,except where noted otherwise. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted.

Author's Note: I also recommend reading What Then Must We Observe?, Are We Really Little gods?, Scripture Alone, Judging Revelations, Visions, and Prophecies, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, The Nature of False Prophets, A Tale of Two Kings, Is Jesus God?, Accountable, correctable, and teachable, Accurately Handling the Word of Truth, Exposing Heresy, The Rise of Antichrists, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music, The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the Musician, Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, Scripture Alone, By Grace Alone, Righteousness by Faith not Law, No Flesh Will Be Justified by WorksIn Defense of the NIV, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, The End Time Saints, and The Glory of Martyrdom for Christ. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

15 comments:

  1. Dear brother Len, I remember I told you of this movement some months ago. I read about them online and initially believed everything they wrote there. I had stopped using my belt and tie as I wanted to do away with whatever the Lord was not pleased with. The testimony contained some truth about the church that one could see with one's natural eyes. Then I contacted them and was even willing to help distribute their materials in Lagos. One day i received a broadcast mail saying that wherever the recipients are, they should endeavor to find one or two people to start a fellowship with as this was the command they received from the Lord. I then said a short prayer asking the Lord if He wants me to join them. Some hours later, I picked my phone from my pocket and saw "666" on my screen. I unconsciously returned my phone back into my pocket and then immediately it dawned on me that I just saw something strange, and then i brought out my phone from my pocket and saw that number on the screen. I took it as an answer but I wasn't sure if it was from the Lord. When I told you and you said you do not feel lead to check it out, I felt something must be wrong. I decided to repent of believing a prophecy without testing it. I went back to using my belt etc and decided to seek God on my own, telling Him to reveal the secrets behind this revelation, after some days I started noticing that some things from this revelation, to my understanding of the scripture, don't align with the Word of God; an example is when they said that Christians should not eat foods that were forbidden in the Law of Moses, and that those who eat such foods are condemned. But I still had an open mind as I didn't want be too hasty in labeling it false. Yesterday I remembered them and just this evening I had the opportunity of reading this article.

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    1. Dear Bro. Deji, thanks for boldly sharing your personal TGRM experience and how the Lord got you out of it. I think it will be beneficial to others caught in this movement. I just want to acknowledge that your comment here to me today was actually adapted from your email to me yesterday in response to an early draft of this article that I had sent to you, before I realized you had ever been involved with TGRM. This may be subjective evidence, but it is a confirmation by the Spirit in my opinion. Shalom! Len

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  2. Dear Brother Len,
    I read through your evaluation. There must be a lot of frustration in Nigeria now. Better would be to have a True Holiness Movement.

    When a group:
    Claims all private possessions
    Leaders have no accountability
    Are the Only true ones

    Indeed it seems deviating is near or has already occurred.
    I would stay away.

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    1. Dear Brother Dennis, I appreciate you taking the time to read it and comment back to me. Your comment is wise and insightful, yet concise. If people will think on what you've said, I believe it will help them to see this situation more clearly for what it is, and accept your warning. Thank you! Shalom!

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  3. "Indeed, these guys are funny. The enemy's aim is to scatter the sheep and bring confusion. we must be sober and pray. And the doctrine of little gods is what people want. The Holy spirit will expose them all. In my village in Africa there are many such doctrines and such kind of churches. There is one man who was declaring himself to be god, who named himself jehova, jehova wanyonyi. He died last year. he told his congregation he will rise again after 3 days. To be his member in the church you had to sell everything you have and bring money to him. I pray TGRM will repent before its too late. Thank you. i will share.

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    1. Sherry, thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing this with others on social media, which I am sure will help warn others. You made a great point that "To be his member in the church you had to sell everything you have and bring money to him." Now he is dead, and it is obvious he is not God, but he must stand in judgment before Jehova. Hopefully the people who were following him woke up to that reality and repented when they saw that he did not rise again on the third day! Shalom!

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  4. his church members believed totally in him, i hope nobody has joined TGRM.

    Acts 20:29 Also from among yourselves, men will rise up, speaking perverse things to draw the disciples after themselves.

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    1. you are exactly correct with that verse. It says these men rise up even "from among yourselves" and their purpose is to draw disciples after themselves.

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  5. I refuse to join them. as a matter of fact I was in the proving all thing stage when I got a message on whatssapp to check your blog. Thanks for allowing God to collaborate what insinuations I have about them God bless you.

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    1. Dear Williams. You're welcome. My pleasure to assist you. God bless you, too.

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  6. One of their leaders is my neighbor and right from when he moved into the estate, he began by commending my dedication to my church (which to me he was wrong because I am not dedicated to a church but to God, but I am serving in a church)only that he wishes my dedication was channeled in the right direction; by this he meant that he wished I was in their church. Recently they had a crusade and their leaders came. I could listen to them from my apartment and I heard many doctrines that conflict with biblical principles. It is obvious that these people are agents of darkness sent to distract the children of God and keep them in bondage.

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  7. Hello brother Len I am wondering if you have any insight about prophet TB Joshua I have been watching his tv ministration. I just want to know if his ministry is of God and I want to be careful. If the lord reveals anything to you concerning him please kindly reply
    Thanks for the great work you are doing. May Jesus Christ continue to bless you. Amen.

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    1. Dear Christiana, thank you for asking. I most certainly do. Please stay away from him! See the following two articles of mine:

      http://eternal-destinations.blogspot.hu/2012/12/ibrahim-experience-in-hell.html

      http://wordistrue.blogspot.com/2013/09/whats-wrong-with-prosperity-gospel.html

      I have also see documentaries on YouTube with some very disturbing information about what is going on in that synagogue. I hope you will heed the warning. God bless you.

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    2. Oh wow!Thank you brother Len may Christ continue to enrich you in your ministry. This is absolutely amazing information and I will do best to warn others as well.

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    3. You're welcome, sister Christiana.

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