PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
Prophesies aim to silence critics
predicts downfall of others
The Rev. John Kilpatrick's
pronouncements of dire divine judgment on those
who dare to question the Pensacola Brownsville
Revival have caused quite a stir nationwide.
Luther Edwards, the pen name of an Assembly of
God pastor in the Midwest, calls Kilpatrick's
actions: "The Silencing of the Lambs."
That is the title of a paper Edwards submitted
this year to Contemporary Pentecostal Issues an
Internet forum in which Pentecostal and
charismatic Christians can discuss and debate
issues of their faith, doctrines and practices.
"A prophecy is an inspired
utterance," Edwards said in an interview
with the News Journal. "In Pentecostal
circles, we differentiate between primary
revelation, which is the Bible and which we
consider infallible, and secondary revelation
prophetic utterances that we do not consider
"The purpose of prophecy 1 Corinthians 14
is edification, exhortation and comfort. The use
of prophecy is not supposed to be for what
Kilpatrick did to make a prophecy for the
downfall of other people. It is not in the best
tradition of Pentecostal history."
Kilpatrick made his prophecy about Hank
Hanegraaff at Brownsville Assembly of God in a
televised revival message on April 6.
Hanegraaff is president of the Christian
Research Institute in Southern California and
host of the nationally syndicated radio show
"Bible Answer Man."
He was on the April 4 episode of "Larry
King Live" talking about his book
"Counterfeit Revival: Looking for God in All
the Wrong Places" and about how some
Christian denominations use sociopsychological
techniques to manipulate followers.
Kilpatrick, who said he did not see this
"Larry King Live" episode, said he
became angry after someone who saw the show told
him that Hanegraaff compared the revival to the
Heaven's Gate cult.
On April 6 he made this prophecy against
"I want to say something this morning to
"You better back off, because I am going
to prophesy to you that if you don't, and you
continue to put your tongue in your mouth on this
move of God, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will
bring you down.
"I said: Within 90 days the Holy Ghost
will bring you down!
"And I speak that as a man of God. ...
This is a move of God and you better leave it
Hanegraaff told the News Journal:
"Kilpatrick wildly distorted what I said,
and he is making pronouncements under the
auspices of the Holy Spirit.
On June 18 -- 72 days after he prophesied that
the Holy Spirit would smote Hanegraaff --
Kilpatrick recanted and apologized.
Kilpatrick recently told the News Journal that
looking back, he thinks he showed poor judgment.
"I was wrong with Hank Hanegraaff -- I
called him and apologized," said Kilpatrick
during a recent interview at his home in Seminole
Landing in Baldwin County, Ala.
"What I said was not a prophecy."
Kilpatrick's change of heart is good and bad,
"He is admitting that he spoke falsely in
the name of the Lord, that he spoke
presumptuously. The fact that he has apologized
"But when he says he wasn't really making
a prophecy --that is disingenuous. The transcript
shows he did."
Christian critics also are concerned about
some other remarks Kilpatrick made during that
April 6 service.
Saying that he was addressing
"Hanegraaff, and all other devils,
Kilpatrick made a number of what he termed
proclamations. They included:
- "No weapon that is formed against me
or Steve Hill or this major outpouring of
the Holy Spirit shall prosper.
- "I'm not worried about no bomb ...
I'm going to make this proclamation in
the ears of God: Let 'em wire one. Let
'em get 'em Hertz or U-Haul and put it up
outside in the front with fertilizer and
all that mess. It won't go off ... I'm
saying this in the ears of God: Father,
let some heathen, let some
devil-possessed person load up a truck of
explosives or put a bomb in a bag. Let
'em do it ... I make a proclamation,
Lord, it shall never, ever go off in the
name of Jesus.
- "The church known as Brownsville
Assembly of God shall maintain its
integrity and anybody that the devil
tries to bring into this congregation for
the wrong purpose shall fall away and
never be heard from again and will have
no effect whatsoever on this church in a
- "The supernatural, divine, Holy
Ghost healings and deliverances and signs
and wonders begin to drastically increase
as to leave no doubts that God is still
in the miracle-working business."
Hearing those statements, Edwards said, he
cannot keep silent about what he called
Kilpatrick's false prophecies and threats.
Edwards, who has studied the sermon
transcript, said: "The implication is clear:
Those who voice criticism of any kind are the
enemy and could face dire consequences."
As an Assembly of God pastor, he said, "I
am concerned that some of what is happening at
Brownsville is not representative of
He said he was not attacking the Assemblies of
God leadership or the revival but was raising
questions about "the tendency to stifle
dissent -- the whole idea that if you question
this revival God is going to get you."
Edwards, who identified himself to the News
Journal, said he prefers to write under a pen
name because he is concerned about retaliation
from the national organization, which has
endorsed the revival.
"To go against church leadership would be
viewed by them as disloyal and divisive,"
said Edwards, and that could cause a pastor or
church member to be ostracized.
top of page