Azusa Now and The Call are events that occurred as part of a movement where an ecumenical voice beckoned for unity. However, this is not the same unity that was in the upper room in the book of Acts (chapter two). Those in the upper room were in one accord because they believed one and the same gospel; not preaching a different Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4). To understand this movement of “unity” and where it’s headed, we are obliged to examine the genesis of its undertaking.
It was an address given at the annual Kenneth Copeland Ministries Ministers’ Conference in January of 2014 that marked the beginning of the movement towards false unity within the church. An Anglican Priest, Tony Palmer, was sent on behalf of Pope Francis as a forerunner, in the spirit of Elijah to come and bring the message “put doctrines aside to come under the name of Jesus.” That statement alone is an offense. Palmer went on to say, “It’s the glory that glues us together, not the doctrine… God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs.” This completely contradicts the Divine Scriptures and the teachings of the Early Church. What makes these statements even more intriguing, is that Tony Palmer had knowledge of the Early Church. His website, called the “Ark Community”, states that they draw from the Early Church’s writings dating from 33-600 AD. This hits eerily close, however, comprehending what Tony Palmer knows from the Early Church, makes this passage from Tertullian all the more chilling.
For he shows us that it was owing to the prospect of the greater evil that he readily believed the existence of the lighter ones; and so far indeed was he from believing, in respect of evils (of such a kind), that heresies were good, that his object was to forewarn us that we ought not to be surprised at temptations of even a worse stamp, since (he said) they tended “to make manifest all such as were approved;” (1Co 11:18) in other words, those whom they were unable to pervert.22 In short, since the whole passage points to the maintenance of unity and the checking of divisions, inasmuch as heresies sever men from unity no less than schisms and dissensions, no doubt he classes heresies under the same head of censure as he does schisms also and dissensions. (1)
How can one who claims to draw from these saints stand before thousands of Pastors and religious leaders, and claim doctrinal discrepancies will be resolved by God in Heaven? Doctrine is the very thing that either unites or divides the church – without the true doctrine of Jesus Christ there is no unity. Another intriguing statement Palmer made was concerning his coming in the spirit of Elijah, on behalf of Pope Francis. He acknowledged this would mean to be coming as John the Baptist did, in turn, declaring that he was coming as a forerunner. Hippolytus (170-235 AD) prophesied that the Antichrist would have his own counterfeit forerunner: “as if he who was the first should also be the last persecutor, and thus prove the forerunner of Antichrist!” (2)
Some have had a hard time accepting that the whole point of Azusa Now and The Call was truly about the Evangelical church being invited to unite with the Roman Catholic church. Palmer had confessed that during a celebration of Pentecost, Pope Benedict had specified that the charismatic’s (among the Roman Catholics) were the hope of the church and that they needed to evangelize within the church. The intention was to evangelize across denominational lines within the church to bring a unity to the Roman Catholic church. Moving on to when Pope Francis had come into the throne of Rome, Palmer openly confessed that they had made a covenant together to bring an ecumenical unity. Palmer openly exclaimed with excitement, in his address in 2014, at the idea of all the “big fish” eligible at Copeland’s church; those with jets (and the like), enormous churches, and deep pockets, that they had an opportunity to evangelize to. Additional to his personal speech, Palmer, on behalf of Pope Francis brought a video recorded message to Kenneth Copelands church. In his personal video message to Copeland’s church, Pope Francis expressed his desire to bring unity to the church, under the pretense of reconciliation.
Mario Jorge Bergoglio, when becoming the Pope, chose the name Francis, in reference to St. Francis of Assisi, who was well-known for being a charismatic. A theme lies here- to target the charismatic evangelicals. All of this constructing what Jesus and the Apostles forewarned- that many in the church will be deceived and seduced by the lying signs and wonders, no longer upholding sound doctrine (Matthew 24:11, 24; 2 Peter 2:1; Deuteronomy 13:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3). The Apostle Paul prophecies the condition of the people that will cause them to be led astray at the end.
The coming [of the lawless one, the antichrist] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels–[all of them] lying wonders– And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved. Therefore, God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false, (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 AMP)
The plan was conspired, set in motion and now there are famed leaders in the charismatic evangelical churches that have joined this crusade. One example is Todd White openly declaring that it was time for the church to unite with the Roman Catholics.
The Word says that we are not to be “unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14) and The Messiah instructed us to “take My yoke and learn from Me” (Matthew 11:29). The yoke is symbolic of teaching or doctrine, therefore we cannot ignorantly “put doctrine aside” to simply come under “the name of Jesus.” Jesus is the Word (John 1:14). We are to be united under the same yoke (teaching). Perhaps the most striking blow, to those who think they can down play the importance of doctrine, would be in reading the Apostle John who stated,
“Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement. For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.” (2 John 1:9-11)
The Apostle John names those who do not bring the correct doctrine of Christ, godless! That is a profound assertion. The plea from that camp who professes unity for the sake of love and put doctrine aside, is truth promoting godlessness according the Apostle John.
Pope Francis made another video, with Muslims, Catholic, Jews, and Evangelicals to promote unity in love. There is a so much more than what is being said on the surface, an agenda lies within these cryptic messages, watch for yourself here. The prophet Amos stated, “Can two walk together unless they are in agreement?” (Amos 3:3). We can see here that to be in “unity” with all denominations and even other religions, would mean that there is an agreement. This completely contradicts the scriptures. This defection from truth was prophesied by Monk Malachy in the late 16th century. He prophesied concerning all 112 popes, precise and detailed. The 112th Pope was prophesied to lead the church into apostasy. Even with this prophesy, there are famous leaders who have joined this pursuit. Kenneth Copeland, Kris Vallotton (Bethel), Todd White, Lou Engle, and Mike Bickle, to name a few. This is what happens when doctrine takes a back seat.
Lactantius puts the nail in the coffin. He writes regarding the name this movement is attempting to come under the banner of, stating it is denied by turning away from the true doctrine and the traditions that were passed down by the Apostles. Tony Palmer, who professed to be Catholic, had departed from the original church he claimed to be a part of.
Lastly, that He should even endure tortures, and be affixed to the accursed cross; and when they could defend and refute all these things neither by talent nor learning, for they did not thoroughly perceive their force and meaning, they were perverted from the right path, and corrupted the sacred writings, so that they composed for themselves a new doctrine without any root and stability. But some, enticed by the prediction of false prophets, concerning whom both the true prophets and he himself had foretold, fell away from the knowledge of God, and left the true tradition. But all of these, ensnared by frauds of demons, which they ought to have foreseen and guarded against, by their carelessness lost the name and worship of God. For when they are called Phrygians, or Novation’s, or Valentinians, or Marcionites, or Anthropians, or Arians, or by any other name they have ceased to be Christians, who have lost the name of Christ, and assumed human and external names. Therefore, it is the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. (3)
This is precisely why that Apostle Paul warned the church concerning the end, that we are to hold fast to the traditions (interpretations of the Divine Scriptures) so that we would not be seduced by the cunning doctrine that the false prophets would bring. We can confess Jesus with our lips all day long, it does not mean that we have His name. It is as the Early Church Fathers believed, in agreement with His Word, that His name is His doctrine, His teaching, His character. Amen!
1. Tertullian-Prescription Against Heresies Ch. IV, Vol. 3
2. Lactantius-How Persecutors Died Ch. II Vol. 7
3. Lactantius-Divine Institutes Book IV Vol. 7