THE VIDEO 'TRANSFORMED' & RESULTS OF AN INVESTIGATION
Due to a request for information about the Video `Transformed' from an enthusiast in a foreign country, the following scenerio developed. We requested help in finding this video and received the following: "I have now obtained a copy of the video in question. It is produced by "The Sentinal Group" and "Global Net productions" and a contact number is given as 1-800-668-5657.
The program is narrated by George Otis Junior and describes four communities "transformed" following intercession and "spiritual warfare". It is an impressive video and I believe needs to be taken seriously. Peter Wagner is not mentioned, there are no signs of the "river" manifestations but there is a lot of enthusiastic worship and intercession, an emphasis on unity amongst pastors and one reference to "spiritual mapping".
One community visited is San Jacinto and Hemet in California. The move seems to have started with the commitment of two pastors and their families, Bob Becket of Dwelling Place Family Church, Hemet and Gordon Houston of San Jacinto Assemblies of God. They both speak humbly about what they believe God has been doing in their community.
Hemet, although a retirement area, had very severe gang problems and 9 illegal amphetamine-producing laboratories; San Jacinto had an above-average occult activity and several cults had centres there.
One whole youth gang was converted, a major drug producer was on his way to commit a murder but found himself driving into the church parking lot; he entered the church and asked to be saved NOW! The drug problem has dropped by 75%!
The schools have changed from very poor to very high achievement, church attendance has risen from 7% to 14% and major civil leaders have been converted. One cult headquarters has been burned to the ground (natural
means are implied!) and the police now rarely have to attend fights in the streets.
The other three places are Almolonga in Guatemala, Cali in Columbia (where we are shown a football stadium filled with praying people), and Kiambu in Kenya.
I give the details above in case somebody on the list lives sufficiently near to check it out! It would be very interesting to hear a first hand report. Blessings, James D.
Somebody checked it out and here are the results he produced:
March 14, 2000 - In a film recently released by the Sentinel Group which is titled "Transformations" and which is narrated by George Otis Jr., we are presented with a series of four communities that are portrayed as having been radically transformed by revivals. The film says that each of these communities has been subjected to strategic spiritual warfare, using the approach promoted by the Sentinel Group and associated organizations. The implication is that if you follow their approach, this is the result that you can expect to see.
We decided to do some research into the claims made in the film, and the following chart is a summary of what we have discovered to date. Beacause of the remoteness of these communities from our location, it has been difficult to research all of the claims, and our work continues.
We want to see revival, but there are many movements today which are going around claiming revival that do not stand up to scrutiny of scripture (i.e. Toronto Blessing). We are therefore careful to check things out to ensure that when we do endorse a movement, it is the real thing and not a counterfeit. Many churches are using this film as a means to promote "programs" which are developed to make "revival" happen. Unfortunately, a revival manufactured of man is not a move of God, especially if it is based upon false expectations and teachings. We intend to present the results of this research on this page also as time goes forward, along with a overview of a number of the people involved, and a review of some of the literature used by, or endorsed by such groups.
This page is a work under construction. We intend to be expanding this page significantly as our research continues. Come back often.
Click on the link below to go directly to the information about the community of your choice.
Cali, Colombia Claim Reality Reference Drug Cartels have been defeated Six of the leaders were put in jail. The drug Cartel re-organized, with two of the original leaders still operating out of Cali, one commanding his operation from prison. Other leaders of the drug Cartel have set up operation just outside Cali and in other parts of Colombia, and due to this de-centralization, the organization is more resilient. The rebels (who protect the drug trade) have been attacking churches in Cali, shutting down many. The church recently wanted to hold pastors meeting in the local auditorium, but the police initially resisted because the risk of guerilla attack was too high. A quote from Ekklesia newsletter "FARC guerrillas also may view evangelicals as allies of the United States. The rebel group has closed churches, imposed a 6 p.m. curfew on services where it allows churches to meet, and banned public religious activity in a territory under its control, Esquivia said. The ELN, another rebel group, invaded a Catholic church in Cali and kidnapped 140 members two months ago, he said" New reports continue through to today. This can be verified on www.cnn.com, search for Cali, Colombia. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/traffickers/Colombia.htm http://www.emergency.com/calipres.htm For years Colombia was the world's largest Cocaine exporter (unstated implication is that this has changed) Quotes from the US Drug Enforcement Agency: "Colombia-based drug traffickers are responsible for most of the world's cocaine production and wholesale cocaine distribution, although traffickers from Mexico have assumed a much larger role in the transportation and distribution of cocaine. Colombia's strategic location makes it a logical hub for cocaine trafficking. " "Traffickers from Colombia have been able to solidify and expand their position in the U.S. heroin market by distributing high-quality heroin and by initially undercutting the price of their competitors. They also use marketing strategies, such as including free samples of heroin in cocaine shipments, in order to build a clientele. Trafficking groups operating in New York and Philadelphia even market their drug using brand names - like No Way Out and Death Wish - as a way to instill customer recognition and loyalty. These marketing techniques have allowed the traffickers from Colombia to expand and ultimately dominate the heroin market. In fact, the DEA's Heroin Signature Program, which determines the origin of the heroin sold on the street, found that 65 percent (356 kilograms) of the heroin seized in the United States in 1998 was produced in Colombia. " http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/traffickers/Colombia.htm Cults have decreased Satanists are invading churches to shut them down. A quote from the newsletter of Ekklesia says: ".Satanic groups are attacking churches and Christians, especially in Cali. Some churches have suffered repeated attacks, said Consuelo Zuluaga, a social worker of Justapaz. " http://www.bijbelnet.org/landen/colombia.html Cali is a "safe" city, where a significant percentage of the population is now safe and revival flourishes. Instead of a city where people lived in fear, people now safely walk the streets. According to the newsletters of Ruth Ruibal, the widow of the assassinated pastor Julio Ruibal (who is mentioned on the film), the situation in Cali is "a gross darkness", a city where her church must hire armed guards and where the church must be protected by barbed wired (soon to be replaced by a 10-12 foot wall if permission is granted). Recently at another church in the city, a church body guard was killed when the church was attacked by guerillas protecting the drug trade. A quote from the October 1999 newsletter from Ruth Ruibal "The church in Cali confirms the news that we receive through the media in the USA. Naturally speaking the political and economical situations seem to be going from bad to worse. In fact, the Sunday before I left for this trip, there was guerrilla infiltration in our church service.". The newsletter of Ekklesia, the denomination for Ruibal's church also confirms how bad the situation is.The assassin of Julio is free, and is openly claiming to have killed Julio, owns the land next to the church and is threatening to kill the other family members. Here is a quote from the Dec 1999 newsletter written by Ruth Ruibal: "On the other hand, some days ago the man who continues to threaten us (and boasts in the street about killing Julio) started a new construction right next to our property. In the past he has tried to take over our land. Our simple barbed wire fencing had been knocked down, so we began to replace it. Immediately, the man began threatening the workers and several of our church men, shouting that he would give us problems with 50 hit men that he claims to have. He asked if we wanted there to be another death, and added that he will get the property (the entrance to our church) and block it. We have had to hire guards just to get the work done! " http://www.Ruibal.org/1999oct.htm http://www.ruibal.org/1999nov.htm http://www.ruibal.org/1999dec.htm http://www.bijbelnet.org/landen/colombia.html
Almolonga, Guatemala Claim Reality Reference 92% percent of the people are Christian. According to an article written by Stephen Sywulka (in Guatemala City) for Christianity Today, the figure is exaggerated, and is likely more like 65%, and in many cases the change is only "skin deep", with former witchdoctors now calling themselves "prophets" but they are doing much the same thing as before. http://www.christianity.net/vt/9T4/9T423c.html Large Vegetables, increased production 1000% over past 20 years. Researchers from all over the world are coming to study the produce (but the film doesn't speak about why or the findings) The war in Guatemala brought agriculture to a near standstill with fields being burned, people disappearing, farmers being killed. the war, which went on for 36 years, ended only in the early to mid-1990s, thus would have been at its peak 20 years ago. Though we cannot say that this happened specifically to the Almolomga fields, the information that we have was that agriculture across all of Guatemala was impacted by the war. It is thus no wonder that if we compared the agriculture production over that length of time, it would have significantly increased. Secondly, the crops in Almolonga are notable in the health community, not for their size, but for the health problems that have come from excessive use of pesticides. This would have the effect of increasing the quantity and size of the produce, but with side effects. Third, the size of the produce depends upon many things, including the variety of seed used, and improved agriculture practices over the years. The film itself states that the agricultural output improved as the people worked harder. None of what they showed required anything supernatural. As one can see just from a quick search on internet, researchers around the world are coming to Almolonga to study the health problems which have resulted from the abuse of pesticides used to create bumper crops.
Kiambu, Kenya Claim Reality Reference People are flocking from Nairobi to live in Kiambu A missionary with African Inland Missions (AIM) who returned to Canada in March says that she has not heard of anyone flocking to KIAMBU because they want to live there. Revival of Christianity has broken out across the city from "The Prayer Cave" The Prayer Cave is a "Word of Faith" church, under the ministry of Rudi and Sharon Swanepoel. They do not teach sound Biblical Christian doctrine, but rather teach Word-Faith doctrine. Swanepoel, on their website indicate that they have been impacted by the ministries such as Rodney Howard Browne and his brother Gil. Rudi is an ordained minister of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. As can be seen in the film, they do support "drunkenness in the spirit" as shown by a sign which speaks of "Intoxication in Jesus". http://www.godsglory.org/main/frames.html http://www.godsglory.org/prayercave/index.html
Hemet, California, USA
Hemet, California Claim Reality Reference Once 9 metaphetamine labs operated out of the area and most have been shut down. The following is a quote from an article on the "Inland Drug Empire", printed in a local paper. The entire series of articles can be viewed at the link provided. "In 1998, 20 of the 52 labs in the region were large-scale operations that could cook more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine in a day or two, according to state drug-lab statistics. Some labs make more than 100 pounds at a time.As the Central Valley methamphetamine problem grows, agents use new techniques to catch traffickers who change their operations to avoid detection, Pennal said. Investigators follow trails from the clues left behind when meth makers dump lab waste.Now, Pennal is organizing an expanded team funded with federal money received when the region was designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.The money will add six agents to fight meth in the Central Valley.Agents will have resources to do more than just react to labs, Pennal said. "We're going to be able to conduct a lot of follow-up to dismantle these organizations," he said."(Published 1/23/2000) http://www.inlandempireonline.com/meth/meth5.shtml Decreased Drug Trade (75%). Neither the churches contacted nor the authors of an article on the drug trade in S. California were aware of any such drop. Quote from one of the authors of the series on the drug trade in this area when he replied to my email" . I have not heard of the group or anyone in that area, including the police, talking about such a mind-boggling drop in drug use." Quote from an email from a church in Hemet ". I do know there are many methamphetamine labs throughout our two-county area -- newspaper stories on that situation can be found at http://www.inlandempireonline.com/meth" (See article "Inland Drug Empire"). A police contact in Hemet said "I don't know how they can measure a drop in the drug trade when the criteria for the measurement is not familiar to us. This is a new claim to me." http://www.inlandempireonline.com/meth/ Unity amongst the churches; Most cults have left town; decrease in crime, church attendance increase to 14% of the population/ (double in 10 years). I checked with a couple of churches in Hemet. One had not heard of any of the claims nor could they support the truth of any of the claims (including increased church attendance, drug use down, 1st street gang members saved, etc). they referred me to a newspaper article on the drug production and use in their area of S. California. The second church said that they had not seen the film but that God had promised to bring revival to the San Jacinto Valley. They did not confirm any of the claims and that wording appears to suggest that they are not aware of any "revival" in Hemet. http://www.antioch.com.sg/events/hei/ Crime rate is significantly lower. Police comment - "Like most cities in our nation, yes, the crime rate is measurably down."
[Source: Tom Smith - http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/4948]