(Continued from page 123)
What are the problems with Søndergaard's teaching and healing?
What does Scripture inform us concerning 'speaking in tongues'?
His 'Last Reformation' is supposedly a movement returning the church to the "true gospel" which he bases on the practices of the apostles found in the book of Acts. This is supposedly done through discipleship training at its 'Pioneer Training School' and 'Pioneer Leadership School'.
The arrogant assumptions that Søndergaard makes in using the name "Last Reformation" are clearly expounded further in a book supposedly given to him by God - hence its modest title: 'Sound Doctrine'.
In the Preface to his book he writes:
'It is a great joy to be able to present Sound Doctrine in English. This is a different and prophetic book that has not been written on the basis of a good idea, but out of a call from God. At the beginning of 2001, God gave me the message of Sound Doctrine one chapter at a time each day for almost two weeks. After that, I waiting [sic] for God to tell me when it was time to publish the book, or if it was even to be published. He did that almost three years after I had completed the writing and, at the same time, told me to write a preface telling how it came into existence and a postscript titled "Three Years Later." Sound Doctrine is not just a book with a message. It is also a testimony of how the true Word of God has changed my life. I am sure it will change the lives of many others when they receive this message.' (Søndergaard, Torben. Sound Doctrine, Laurus Books, Kindle Edition).
Anyone familiar with the Bible will quickly discern the uninspired nature of 'Sound Doctrine'. Fortunately, a website search finds that enough Christians have already perused Søndergaard and his 'Reformation' - one example is the Kindle book - 'The Last Reformation and Torben Søndergaard's False Teachings Exposed' by Jim Johnson (available from Amazon). Johnson writes - in his Preface:
'Over the past few months I have been reviewing the teachings of Torben Søndergaard and the movement he leads called The Last Reformation. My review has included watching more than 36 hours of videos from his Pioneer School and reading Torben's book, The Last Reformation. I did not begin this review with the intent of writing a book. I simply wanted to know what he taught. I was surprised in the first video by the number of times he said things that I knew were false , so I then began taking notes and doing my own research related to what he was teaching. The result is this book.' (Johnson, Jim. The Last Reformation and Torben Søndergaard's False Teachings Exposed (Kindle Locations 40-45). Kindle Edition).
What did Johnson discover through his admirable labour to determine the truth about Søndergaard and his doctrine?
Here are his major observations and comments (although there are many other errors of fact and truth by Søndergaard) and we include his quotes from Søndergaard's recordings with his coding (e.g. (V# 07, 0: 18: 18):
My love and concern for sincere believers and future believers who may be led astray and damaged by The Last Reformation and Torben Søndergaard's teachings is the reason I am releasing this book.which he adds in blue - as below) to explain why I think these places are changing the Bible or adding to the Bible.
In the last church (like the first)…everybody is going to be healing the sick and casting out demons. (V# 07, 0: 18: 18)
It is so clear to see that everyone in the book of Acts who came to faith got baptized the same day. Everyone repented and received the Holy Spirit. EVERYBODY. (V# 01, 0: 55: 00)
We are supposed to have all three [repentance, water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit] on the same day. This was the normal church. (V# 10, 0: 10: 25)
While Torben says that people "cannot build theology on the book of Acts" (Video# 07 42: 30), that is exactly what Torben has done.
Furthermore Torben teaches that it is possible that a person can lose their salvation if they do not always follow the Holy Spirit.
Torben teaches a works based salvation that says, if a person will properly do x, x, x, x and x, then maybe they will be saved. That is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Torben's gospel is a very different gospel than the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Torben also contends something rather strange : the love of God is only for believers and Christians should not speak to unbelievers about the love of God.
We have to change our way of Salvation. (V# 10, 0: 09: 00) What churches teach today is not the whole foundation for Salvation that we see in the book of Acts. (V# 07, 0: 12: 34) A Christian is someone who repents, is baptized in water and is filled with the Holy Spirit and lives the same way that Jesus did by going around and preaching the Gospel, healing the sick and casting out demons. (V# 08, 0: 0: 37) If someone asked Jesus what to do to be saved (after the cross), He would say; repent, be baptized in water and be baptized in the Holy Spirit. (V# 07, 0: 52: 32)
The condition of the New Covenant is that we; continue in faith, are baptized in water, and are baptized in the Holy Spirit. (V# 16, 0: 55: 46) We are supposed to have all three on the same day. This was the normal church. (V# 10, 0: 10: 25)
If you are filled with the Holy Spirit then you have personal speaking in tongues because this is for everybody. (V# 11, 1: 28: 22) You will hear something you have never heard before. We, the Body, have turned everything upside down when it comes to what it means to be under the New Covenant. (V# 15, 0: 00: 19) It's almost like I can be so bold to say that everything you have heard about the grace of God and about the New and Old Covenant has been a lie. (V# 15, 1: 07: 39) Everyone of us has an understanding that everyone who is under the new grace of the New Testament [that] we have a God who is not holy and fearful. (V# 15, 1: 08: 04)
God is not going to look at the good things in your life, he is only going to look at the crime. (V# 08, 1: 03: 56)
Do I believe once saved always saved? Yes. For those who are really saved when we eat of the tree of life in the last chapter of the Bible. (V# 08, 1: 12: 17) One day we cannot loose it [salvation], that is the day we eat from the tree of life. (V# 15, 0: 37: 54) In the book of Acts they were never preaching the love of God, they were preaching the righteousness of God. (V# 14, 0: 31: 14)
We have preached the love of God instead of the righteousness of God. That is why the world is against us. (V# 14, 0: 41: 23) If you speak about love, people won't see the need of repentance. (V# 14, 0: 42: 29) They preached …He is the judge; He is going to judge the world… (V# 14, 0: 42: 56) The Gospels of John and Matthew were written for believers. If we bring the Gospels of John or Matthew to unbelievers they will misunderstand them. (V# 14, 0: 43: 39) The Bible makes it very clear that the love of God is for us who believe [not the unbeliever]. (V# 14, 0: 44: 27)
At Location 294 of 1431, Johnson comments: The problem is, Torben consistently does exactly what he says is wrong to do. Here are just some of the places I have noted where he has either changed what the Bible says or he has added something in his teachings that the Bible doesn't teach. I have also added my own comments (
In Rom. 7, Paul was not speaking about himself when he said "I"… (V# 10, 0: 57: 07) Torben is completely changing what Paul wrote in Romans Chapter 7 when Paul referred to himself many times.
In Revelations 1: 16 when John saw Jesus in heaven he fell down as dead because of His holiness and he could not see His glory. (V# 15, 0: 29: 37) Torben begins his teaching about the fear of God using this verse that he does not completely quote. The later part of the verse completely changes the point Torben was making. Torben says when we see Jesus we will be so overcome with fear at His holiness that we will not be able to stand and we will fall in fear before Him. But the full Bible verse shows something very different. Even though John initially fell at Jesus feet, Jesus immediately told him not to be afraid. Rev. 1: 17-18, "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
Throughout his teachings Torben stresses repentance and de-emphasizes belief.
We are supposed to have all three on the same day. This was the normal church. (V# 10, 0: 10: 25) The Bible never says or shows that is normal. If it were the normal way to do things then there would be more mentions of it in the further writings by the Apostles to the churches. When they always preached the Gospel the response they got for the Gospel preaching was, "There is water, can I get baptized". (V# 10, 0: 23: 42) This is simply not true. There were many times the gospel was preached and there is no mention of water baptism. In Study #1 there are 48 times the Gospel was preached in Book of Acts and only 9 times water baptism was mentioned. Every time in the book of Acts when they preached the gospel the response was always baptism. (V# 10, 0: 24: 46) As stated in the previous comment, this statement is simply not true. See Study #1.
You can be sure of one thing, if we preach a Gospel where the response is not to be baptized in water - this is not a Biblical Gospel. (V# 10, 0: 25: 50) This is simply not true. The Bible is very clear that water baptism was not mentioned every time the Gospel was preached in the Bible. If you can't see it go through the book of Acts and see that the response was always water baptism on the same day. It is so clear. (V# 10, 0: 26: 16) I have done exactly what Torben suggested. What he says is simply not true. See Study #1. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit then you have personal speaking in tongues because this is for everybody. (V# 11, 1: 28: 22) There is no Bible verse that says speaking in tongues is for everybody. (I personally think it is available to everyone but the Bible does not say that everyone believer will speak in tongues).
The first Disciples were not allowed to go out and preach before they had got the Holy Spirit. (V# 14, 0: 51: 27) This is completely false and there is no evidence in the Bible or history to support this statement. Jesus sent out the 12 and the 70 to preach. That happened before the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost.
Further, Torben teaches we are 'really saved' only when we eat from 'the tree of life'!
TCE: We would disagree that every Christian will always speak in tongues (example 20 above) - which would contradict these Scriptures:
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NASB) - 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
Paul makes it clear that there are 'varieties of gifts and effects' and 'to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good ' and then, in verse 8 to 10, the inference is that they are spread throughout the body of the church (each member receiving one 'variety of gift'). So, while we can easily see that all of these gifts should be operating in every ekklesia ('church') in the world, it is possible that the Holy Spirit - 'distributing to each one individually just as He wills' - may give some believers more than one gift ('the manifestation of the Spirit ') on occasions 'just as He wills' because it will be 'for the common good '.
Anyone believing that ALL Christians from the time of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles to the present day must speak in tongues, heal, cast out demons etc. needs to familiarize themselves with the verses that follow:
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (KJV) - 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The two Greek words translated 'Are all' in verse 29 are:
[Greek: μή - mē - may - a primary particle of qualified negation (used in questions when a negative answer is expected); (adverb) not, (conjunction) lest; also (as an interrogative implying a negative answer; whether:--any but (that), forbear, God forbid, lest, neither, never, none, nor, (can-)not, nothing, that not, un(-taken), without]
In a nutshell - the Greek word used here - μή - mē - expects a negative answer with each group so the KJV translators could have put an emphatic 'NO!' after each question asked, but they chose to put a question mark instead.
[Greek: πς - pâs - pas - an adjective including all the forms of declension; each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything].
The Greek verse at the beginning of verse 30 and translated 'Have' is:
[Greek: ἔχω - échō - ekh'-o - a primary verb; to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession; ability, relation, or condition):--be (able, possessed with), accompany, can, have, hold, keep].
Thus the NASB puts the meaning expressed in the Greek into the text so that no one reading in English can miss the emphasis that, just as not everyone is an apostle, a prophet, or a teacher (the same Greek words - pronounced: may and pas - are used to state this!) - then, equally, not everyone works miracles, heals people, speaks in tongues, or interprets tongues:
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (NASB) - 27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
We also know that, while Paul was extraordinarily gifted by the Spirit in knowledge and wisdom for the good of the worldwide ekklesia ('church') throughout history, he also made it clear that he had at least one more gift when he wrote:
1 Corinthians 14:18 (ASV) - 'I thank God, I speak with tongues more than you all'
but then made it clear:
1 Corinthians 14:19 (ASV) - 'yet in the church I choose rather to speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.'
Reading the whole of 1 Corinthians 14 makes it clear that interpretation of tongues and genuine prophesying are more edifying to the ekklesia ('church') than just 'tongues' alone (as are the other gifts) - yet, today, people are babbling in tongues at meetings with not even a pause or call for an interpretation. And people are blurting out 'prophesies' with no idea of 'testing the spirits' (1 John 4:1 (ASV) - 'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove [Greek: δοκιμάζω - dokimázō - to test (literally or figuratively), to approve, allow, discern, examine, approve, try] the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world') - which is a large part of the Bentley/Søndergaard problem - those following them are too ignorant to recognize deceiving spirits and thus they have accepted 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1-3)!
So, while it may be that all believers are capable of speaking in tongues at the time of demonstrating saving faith in Christ, or at the time they are baptized, nonetheless, Scripture certainly does not inform us that baptism in water and speaking in tongues always occurred every time someone was saved in The Book of Acts!
Here in the UK we have witnessed ignorant 'pastors' teaching that everyone can prophesy and that 'you should just blurt out what the Holy Spirit has put in your mouth'. The result? Damaging claims have been made, such as one member of the church telling another that the Holy Spirit had told them that 'their life was not pleasing to God'; the 'pastor' had the revelation that the church should go and witness to 'curry houses' because they are open for long hours (this is obviously true, but they are open to sell food and make money and may take offense at you distracting their staff!). Of course, if the pastor had a revelation akin to an angel speaking to Philip with the result that the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) heard the gospel and, tradition teaches, was mightily involved in the foundation of the Ethiopian church, we could all understand it. Of course, the 'pastor' could have found out if he was really hearing from God by asking God where to go and discovering whether it was the 'Holy Spirit', a demonic spirit, mental illness, or strong cheese or wine talking to him! But the result of both examples was that growing divisions (heresies) led to church splits.
Jim Johnson gives a very telling list of Torben's claims ('In the list below are some of the things Torben says about how Christians should live and what should be happening in and through their lives. In this list you will see that Torben teaches') with a clear and accurate conclusion:
- The Book of Acts is THE example for Christian life today.
- Discipleship is; healing the sick, preaching the gospel and casting out demons.
- That all Christians should be healing people.
- The reason Christians experience sickness is because of sin or spiritual immaturity.
- Christians should live in fear of possibly losing their salvation if they do not follow God properly.
- That people who are truly saved will not need any follow-up.
There are some very serious problems that these teachings create. First, they ignore the majority of the Scriptures that actually deal with Christian living found in the Gospels (taught by Jesus) and in the Epistles (letters written directly to churches about Christianity). They place unrealistic expectations on Christians. Christians are expected to heal people and if people are not healed then there is something wrong with them (sin or spiritual immaturity). Along with this, if a Christian is sick, something is wrong with them.
With such teachings a Christians will live in a constant state of pressure and insecurity concerning their relationship with God because they can lose their salvation for not following the Holy Spirit properly. Finally, if they and others are truly saved, there is no need for them to be cared for.
Further, Johnson examines 'Torben's Statements (again, with comments in blue)' - these are a small selection:
The Book of Acts is the normal Christian life. (V# 01, 0: 00: 56; V# 01, 1: 03: 00; V# 01, 0: 16: 45; V# 03, 0: 02: 52)
It's God's will to heal everybody every time. (V# 05, 0: 39: 31; V# 05, 1: 13: 16) Jesus could not heal in his own hometown? NO! Mark 6: 5 [says] He healed everyone they brought to him, but "compared" to other places it was not great. Everyone who came to Him He healed. (V# 05, 1: 03: 40) That's not what that verse says but it seems that the reason Torben teaches this is to reinforce his teaching that everyone should be healed every time. In 1 Timothy 5: 13, wine for his sickness - that word "sickness" can also be "weak". (V# 05, 1: 12: 01) When we become perfectly trained we will become like our Master and we will heal everybody. (V# 05, 1: 14: 02)
Jesus has commanded you to heal the sick and preach the Gospel. (V# 06, 0: 12: 39) If someone among you [in the church] is sick then you are not mature yet, you don't understand what Jesus did on the cross. You are not able to heal the sick. (V# 06, 0: 34: 09) They weren't able to be healed because the person praying had sin in their lives so instead they need to call for someone who is righteous. (V# 06, 0: 36: 03) In the last church (like the first)… everybody is going to be healing the sick and casting out demons. (V# 07 0: 18: 18)
[TCE: see our comments on what Scripture really says about healing those who are sick!]
You don't need to follow-up on people if they are truly saved. (V# 07, 0: 30: 12) Did Jesus follow-up on people, on the first disciples? (V# 07, 0: 30: 20) The answer to Torben's question is YES, Jesus followed-up on all His disciples. He spent personal time with them. One clear example is Jesus' conversation with Peter after he had denied Jesus. This statement completely ignores all the Bible verses that speak about a believer's responsibility for "one another".
Conclusion About Torben's Teachings
Torben teaches so many false things about the Bible that I must call him a "false teacher." I am seriously concerned that anyone who follows his teachings will be led away from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though Torben declares; the importance of not using Scripture out of context, that only what the Bible says really matters, and that what he thinks doesn't matter, he constantly violates those points. ... My overall conclusion is that no one should follow Torben's teachings. They are simply too dangerous and threatening to a healthy Christian life.
TCE: Johnson supplies useful studies to help clarify Søndergaard's errors - and his summaries make them utterly obvious:
SECTION II - Biblical Studies In this section I have provided the reader with Biblical studies that address some of the topics that Torben and The Last Reformation teach.
STUDY #1 - Preaching in the Book of Acts
STUDY #2 - Early Christian Sunday Worship Services Torben teaches that prior to the year 320AD Christians only met for worship in homes, did not meet on Sundays, did not have a leader during the times they met and did not have a structured plan for their church services. These historical records verifying that throughout church history, Christian worship services were conducted on Sundays, that those church services had a leader (president) presiding over the meetings and that they had a structured order to their services.
STUDY #3 - Water Baptism and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
SUMMARY: The overwhelming majority (77%) of the places where water baptism is mentioned in the New Testament there is no mention of the Holy Spirit plus 15% of the times the Holy Spirit is mentioned with water baptism it is John's statement that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit when He comes. 93% of the times when water baptism is mentioned it does not say the baptism of the Holy Spirit happens during Water Baptism. Of the remaining 7% of the mentions, 3.5% are describing the Holy Spirit coming on Jesus when He was baptized. There is 1 verse where Peter said, "if you repent and are baptized you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". There is also one verse that describes the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurring during water baptism. This brings me to the conclusion that it is possible that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can occur during Water Baptism but that is clearly not the norm.
STUDY #4 - The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues
SUMMARY: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all Christians. When and how the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs varies. Speaking in tongues most likely is a part of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Half of the times the baptism of the Holy Spirit is mentioned, people spoke in unknown tongues. The other times when the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs speaking in tongues is not directly mentioned but it is possible that it also happened. In later teaching Paul encourages praying and singing in the spirit - in tongues (1. Corin. 14: 14-15) and he states that he does speaks in tongues (1. Corin. 14: 18). There is no evidence in Scripture to support a doctrine that a person must speak in tongues to be saved.
Søndergaard builds his false theology by mis-applying the Book of Acts!
TCE: Johnson has shown what any honest Bible student will find if they read Acts carefully - and we have high-lighted in bold how Søndergaard's claims have been refuted. Johnson also refutes Søndergaard's claim that believers are '... those who are really saved when [they] eat of the tree of life in the last chapter of the Bible. (V# 08, 1: 12: 17) One day we cannot loose [sic - lose] it [salvation], that is the day we eat from the tree of life. (V# 15, 0: 37: 54)
No orthodox Christian would ever try and teach as Søndergaard does and he may have thought he was clever in linking the following Scriptures together in order to come to the conclusion he desired:
Genesis 3:22-24 (NASB) - 22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
Revelation 2:7 (ASV) - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.
Revelation 22:2 (ASV) - in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:14 (ASV) - Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:19 (ASV) - and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
Not one word is written about 'the tree of life' being the seal of eternal life but, since Søndergaard is using the methods of cults and heretics, doubtlessly he will not be bothered in the slightest since he has also convinced himself that he now has the means to live a sinless life. Sadly, since he now takes away and adds to Scripture, his fate will be as the last verses of Revelation 22:19 declare.
The most that can be gleaned from the passages in Revelation is that the fruit and leaves of 'the tree of life' will be consumed in heaven (Revelation 2:7, 22:2, 22:14) which, in some way, bring healing - and that is something believers can look forward to joyfully!
'Saved at the point of Faith!'
The Gospel & Salvation
I agree with Torben when he says, "You cannot build theology out of the Book of Acts" (V# 07 42: 30). Sadly, that's exactly what Torben does. As a result he has taught about salvation in a way that is completely contrary to the Bible. Torben has based his idea about salvation primarily from one statement in the Bible made by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost to Jewish people who were directly responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.
Torben proceeds to teach that salvation can only be realized if a person does the three things mentioned by Peter. Repent, be baptized in water in the name of Jesus and be baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (this third item is not what Peter actually said but it is what Torben says about that verse). Torben says that this is the message that Jesus preached, that Peter preached and that we should preach. Therefore Torben has built his theology on the book of Acts.
By examining all the times preaching in the New Testament occurred after the resurrection of Jesus, and by looking at what the followers of Jesus actually said they preached, it is possible to understand what the primary message was when preached to those who did not know Christ. One word stands out when doing such an examination. The word "Gospel". It is said over and over that they preached the "Gospel". Jesus said to his disciples to go into all the world and preach the "Gospel".
Paul warned the Galatian believers about people who were presenting "another Gospel" (which he said was not really another gospel but rather a false gospel). He went on to say, "Let anyone bringing another gospel be cursed". Dear friends, please don't believe that the gospel is something other than what the Bible says it is. Jesus is enough, and through faith in Him our lives can be transformed.
TCE: Although Johnson has pointed out the serious errors in Søndergaard's views in using Acts to expound 'another gospel' he also reveals grace in his comments on:
... Torben spoke often about the need for discipleship. His call for better discipleship in the church is on target. There is no question that true discipleship is a great need and great weakness in many if not most churches in the Body of Christ. If a church only has "Sunday Christians," who don't reflect the life of Christ and who don't follow Him everyday, they are not producing disciples of Jesus. Torben correctly points out that one of Jesus' instructions to His followers is to go and make disciples. Torben's hands-on approach of working with people is very good. Discipleship must be personal. But Torben's limited definition of discipleship is extremely dangerous. He has said he can make disciples in 40 minutes by taking them out and teaching them to heal people, to preach to people and to baptize people. He adds that, if a person is truly saved, no one needs to follow-up on them because God will work in them and make them grow. True discipleship is so much more than what Torben has taught.
TCE: Johnson makes many other Biblical points (which many disciples of Christ could benefit from reading), including this final one:
'My Biblical position is that God desires every believer to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. My position is also that the weight of evidence in the New Testament is that all believers have the possibility of speaking in tongues as a personal prayer and worship language between them and God. But the Bible never says that speaking in tongues is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (we know Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit but there is no evidence that He spoke in personal tongues between Him and the Father). The Bible also never says a person is not saved if they do not speak in tongues. I would never judge the spirituality of anyone based on whether or not they speak in tongues.
TCE: While we cannot find 'speaking in tongues' ever described in Scripture as 'a personal prayer and worship language between them and God' (this is a view that has crept into use), there are many other Scriptural errors that Johnson points out, some seemingly caused by Søndergaard's obsession to make his 'Acts Alone the Gospel' stance, but others are simple ignorance of Scripture and we have left those out to try and avoid over-quoting the writer who has done the Christian family a great service in Jesus' Name.
Regarding the claim of the 'Last Reformation' that water baptism is part of salvation, all orthodox Bible-believers will object for the simple reason that the Bible makes it clear that adding any religious work - such as water baptism - undermines the very concept of grace (Romans 11:6) and cults who believed this long before Søndergaard, such as the Papal Roman Catholic Cult (see this page) and the Mormons ('The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints'), have been answered by us, beginning at the top of this page with this heading:
Søndergaard believes the 'Word-Faith' cult doctrines on sickness and healing!
The fact that Søndergaard has copied a 'doctrine[s] of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1-3) from a cult speaks volumes about his influences!
Søndergaard also teaches false 'Holiness' doctrine!
Another unbiblical teaching in the 'Last Reformation' is the teaching that all Christians need to be taught "to heal the sick, preach the gospel, cast out demons, etc. by taking them out and showing them how to do it". In typical Charismanic fashion those who are ill are told to "command the pain/disease to leave." Try to find this teaching in Scripture! The idea that every Christian can and should heal the sick stands in stark contrast with Biblical teaching and, if Søndergaard had only read a little further than Acts, he could have read Paul's words to Timothy which make this fact perfectly clear:
1 Timothy 1:2 (NASB) - 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 5:23 (NASB) - 23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
2 Timothy 4:20 (NASB) - 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus.
The New Testament makes it very clear that believers do suffer sicknesses, sometimes frequently, and believers were to pray for healing, and not every sick person was healed despite very righteous and mature believers (e.g. Paul!) praying for them!
James 5:13-16 (NASB) - 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
A text regularly quoted as a 'proof text' by those who want to support their theology of healing still being widely available today is Isaiah 53:4-5:
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
But it should be noted that this text is referring primarily to the redemptive value of the atonement. Its major emphasis is on sin not physical sickness and the Hebrew word translated 'healed' in verse 5 (raphah) is commonly used elsewhere in the Old Testament to refer to spiritual healing, not physical (eg. Jeremiah 3:22).
Although verse 4 refers to physical healing, it is given an important qualification in the Gospels. Matthew writes how the sick and demon possessed were brought to Jesus and He healed them 'so that what was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah would be fulfilled' (Matthew 8:16-17). Therefore the healing that Isaiah was speaking of was fulfilled during Christ's earthly ministry, before the atonement, and so cannot be used as a proof text to automatically guarantee a Christian's healing today.
So, despite Søndergaard using the book of Acts to emphasise the obvious fact that healings did occur, he misses the deeper purpose that God has revealed throughout Scripture - when God performs miracles it isn't about the miracle but about the Miracle-giver. The miracles in Acts were about verifying to the lost world the truth of the apostles' message about Christ - culminating with His astounding resurrection from the dead. The gospel has never been about miracles but about being justified by God through Christ's death and resurrection and people fail to recognize the Words of Jesus in regard to people who are unbelieving but demand miracles:
Matthew 16:1-4 (ASV) And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and trying him asked him to show them a sign from heaven. But he answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the heaven is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day: for the heaven is red and lowering. Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of Jonah. And he left them, and departed.
In his response, Jesus referred to these unbelieving Pharisees and Sadducees as being part of a "wicked and adulterous generation." They were wicked in rejecting the evidence of God's power operating through Christ and attributing it to a demonic source. When persisting in unbelief, they proved themselves to be unfaithful to God, to whom the law covenant bound them like a wife to a husband and thus their unfaithfulness constituted adultery.
The refusal of the unbelieving generation to accept the abundant evidence that could have led to their being divinely approved greatly grieved Jesus. In his "spirit" (or within himself) he sighed deeply and then said, "Why does this generation seek a sign?" As on an earlier occasion, Jesus solemnly declared that they would not be given the sign they were seeking. The only sign to be given them was that of Jonah for, just as Jonah came out of the belly of the great sea creature after three days and three nights, so Jesus would come forth from the tomb after three days. With his disciples, he then left (Matthew 12:38-40;16:4; Mark 8:12-13).
Although God heals today under the New Covenant, and responds to faithful prayers, the error of the 'Word-Faith Movement' and other deceived people is that they deny God's sovereignty and have attempted to reduce Him to a puppet who must always respond with healing - after all, the arrogant and heretical 'little gods' doctrine of Word-Faith can only lead to such presumption.
At the onset of his ministry, Jesus described his mission in terms of Isaiah's prophecy of spiritual and physical healing (Matthew 8:17; Luke 4:18-19) and, throughout the Gospels, He was preaching and healing. The Greek word sozo, usually translated 'save', also means 'heal' and Jesus sent out his disciples to preach the kingdom and heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2; 10:1, 9). We fully accept that the early church reaffirmed that commission with 'gifts of healing' (1 Corinthians 12:9) and anointing with oil (James 5:14-15) - and these gifts have not ceased to exist. Nevertheless, although Christ's atonement is the basis for making people whole, complete healing clearly doesn't always take place in our fallen world. Contrary to the teaching of such as Søndergaard, healing is not 'a universal, immediately available privilege' and evil, falsehood and illness persist, and will not finally be eliminated until we enjoy our resurrection body.
The religion of the 'Word-Faith' and 'Signs and Wonders' groups does away with the need for unnecessary affliction but further burdens us with lacking faith if the 'demon' of lack of material things (for 'Word-Faith') and demons and suffering (for Søndergaard and his 'Last Reformation' - et al) cannot be quickly cast out. As well as being un-Biblical, these false gospels also reveal an aversion to Christianity in which the gospel is not sufficiently powerful to produce mature Christian faith, the Scriptures are not sufficiently revealing for the life of faithful obedience to God, the finished work of Christ is not sufficiently relevant for effective evangelism, and the hope of Christ's coming is not sufficiently comforting for those who are suffering! However, the Bible declares that the saints overcame Satan 'by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony' (Revelation 12:11), not by 'naming it and claiming it', 'power evangelism', or 'The Gospel of Søndergaard and the Last Reformation'!
Obviously, Christians should seek whatever healing we need as a gracious gift from our loving Father and received when and how He chooses to provide it - whether through prayer, laying on of hands, anointing with oil, medicine, surgery, counselling, or a combination of methods. Sometimes a physical illness is caused by sinful attitudes, fractured relationships or harmful habits, but the 'Word-Faith' Movement's emphasis on the individual's right and responsibility for healing places heavy guilt on the sick person and the 'gospel according to Søndergaard' is likely to do the same to disciples who fail to consistently heal or perform demonic deliverance, as Jim Johnson has pointed out.
Søndergaard also teaches 'Holiness' doctrine, claiming that it is possible to live sin-free once you rediscover the 'fear of the Lord' - as he has - and that freedom from sin is a product of baptism by immersion, for those who have been so baptized have the ability to live completely above sin. While we recognize that genuine 'fear of the Lord' (Job 28:28) is a Bible truth that is sorely missing from contemporary Christianity, it is certainly not a truth that has been missing from the church until the gifted Torben turned up with his 'movement'. Scripture also makes it clear that a believer has this on-going struggle with sin even when perfectly grounded in the faith and extremely mature - as the apostle Paul makes clear in writing (Torben clearly misunderstands this passage) about his own struggle against his sinful nature in:
Romans 7:14-25 (NASB) - 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
John speaks further:
1 John 1:5-10 (NASB) - 5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
We can deceive ourselves that we have no sin but, Biblically, we have no choice but to acknowledge that we still sin - as these Scriptures prove! To deny that we have any sin in our lives is a clear sign of spiritual pride.
Søndergaard's emphasis on all disciples healing, casting out demons, speaking in tongues, coupled with his teaching of what is essentially 'baptismal regeneration' with an apparent rejection of genuine Biblical ekklesia ('church') leadership and the acceptance of Bentley's false 'revelations/prophecy', reveal his 'Last Reformation' movement to be dangerously un-Biblical.
There are other errors in Søndergaard's work but we have compiled enough Scripturally supported facts to warn all true believers to steer clear of him and his fake ally, Todd Bentley:
Romans 16:17-18 (NASB) - 17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 (NASB) - 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
In Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians. 11v4; Gal. 1v6-9)