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Human nature is carnal, and human response to the truth is disappointing.
This real life story contains several lessons.
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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Near the start of this ministry a lady contacted me. She was a member of a cult. Its leader claimed apostolic status, although he had no miraculous testimony to verify it (2 Cor 12:12). But with his clever rhetoric he had deceived a lot of people, including this lady.
I wrote to her about the failings and errors of the group she was affiliated with, pointing out where they did not live up to their claim of biblical superiority. Their assertion of exclusivism was presumptuous, arrogant, vain – a characteristic of Satan, not of God.
With that basis, I began corresponding with this woman, to point out what was wrong with the man she was following, and with his unbiblical teachings. The letters were inescapably lengthy, because MM literature had not been written back then (1991). But the exercise showed some of the subjects that needed to be addressed in detail for others in future.
After writing a number of long letters to her, by hand, she began to see how she had been duped. She saw her mistake being a part of that unbiblical ‘church’, and came out.
Like most people in that situation, there was no group where she felt she could fellowship, so she kept the Sabbath at home. God had a purpose in that.
Soon her husband began to show an interest in spiritual matters and after we paid them a visit, his mind became receptive to the truth. He repented and was baptised. It was all rather quick and took place over a mere couple of months. (He had read some of the Bible before, and been familiar with the teachings of his wife’s church for a number of years, so his progress was really ‘fine tuning’ to add to what he knew already.)
It was significant that he could not come to God through the teaching of his wife’s church. It lacked the Spirit. It was empty religion – head knowledge only.
As God began to release John’s wife from her bondage, John could also begin to receive from God for the first time. From my letters, she was receiving truth that was setting her free (Jn 8:32). Demons were being put away because the Holy Spirit was finding a home. When you accept God’s truth, you are making the Spirit of truth welcome. As God’s Spirit comes in, wonderful things begin to occur.
She began to hear from God for the first time. He spoke to her about sending me a donation. She sent £30, for which we were grateful. It wasn’t a large amount, considering all the time that had gone in to helping her receive her release, but the intent is the important thing, not the amount. She was contributing from her wage doing a part-time job, not from her husband’s salary.
We have heard from other people similarly, who related that God spoke to them about their need to give us money. One man was told to give us £50 and some food. He did what he heard God tell him. (God usually speaks to your spirit, giving you a strong inner impulse. He doesn’t generally speak audibly. So, don’t expect to hear a voice from heaven!)
As these people followed God’s instructions they were blessed. Their minds could become more receptive to His Spirit, His truths, and His love.
It was up to them, of course, to continue along the same path. What they did not consider, however, was that God’s prompt was not meant to be a one-off, but an indicator of what God intended them to do on a continual basis. He was verifying our ministry to them.
They didn’t see it like that, though. They felt pretty good about their ‘generosity’, and thought they had done all they needed. (They never thought to ask what we needed.)
John’s wife sent one more small cheque, but that was the end of their giving in this direction. Something came along to distract them from God’s ideal. Satan brought a false minister into the situation. (We didn’t know he was a false minister until later. The man seemed laudable enough to begin with, but his evil fruits became apparent over time.) For our friends John and his wife, God was sending a trial.
The minister had written to me from the USA, wanting to visit England and see the tourist sights of London with his wife. Since John and his wife lived near London, I asked them if they would be able to offer accommodation to the American couple. They said they would like to, and so we put them in touch.
I will call the American minister Fred and his wife Freda.
Fred was friendly to us at first, but something soon came up to fatally test that friendship.
Morris Cerullo’s ministry was coming to London and the following weekend we had decided to attend a pre-Mission To London meeting. I asked if Fred and Freda wanted to come along with us. I knew they were very much against ‘Sunday-keeping’ Christians, and I hoped to prove to them that their deep-seated prejudice was not valid nor right.
It all seemed very favourable when Fred and Freda were happy to come along, and John and his wife came too. It got even more positive when God ‘turned up the power’ while we were there!
First He spoke to Fred, who had a heart condition, and told him that he should ask us to pray for him when we got back to John’s place afterwards. (When we prayed for Fred, he was instantly healed of his heart condition and was able to run up and down the stairs without getting out of breath, something he had not been able to do for years!)
Also in that meeting, God decided to slay some people in the Spirit to demonstrate His presence in power. Fred’s wife was ‘slain’, and John also. After the meeting, Fred went to talk to the minister who was ‘officiating’. Fred commented that he had never before experienced the love of God from anyone like he did from that man!
God did all that to prove to Fred and Freda that they were very wrong to hold prejudice against others on the basis of their belief alone.
Ironically, the man whom God used to exude His love to Fred turned out to be a false minister later. He attacked Helena and me, falsely accused us, and wielded authoritarian power over us to get us expelled from MTL. But for that moment, God was using that false minister to witness to another one – Fred. And Fred commented ebulliently that he now did indeed accept other Christians even though they didn’t see eye to eye with us over the Sabbath issue.
-240You can imagine how ecstatic Fred was to receive healing after enduring a ‘dodgy ticker’ for so long! And the miracle was a witness to John and his wife that God was working through us. It wasn’t Morris Cerullo whom God used for that occasion. God had a point to prove to them.
Unfortunately, humans are forgetful and not very discerning. They soon forget what God means them to remember, especially what they don’t want to.
We arranged to all meet at our place next week for fellowship. When the time came, Fred had lost his healing and he was different. He was mouthing his old criticisms of Sunday-keeping Christians and saying that Morris Cerullo was not used by God at all.
He even denied, or could not remember, that he had received healing the previous week! I was astonished that he had completely about-faced. I had to realise the power of the devil to deceive and steal away whatever you let him. It was early in our ministry and we were learning about falsity in people.
We fellowshipped in our lounge, and John told of a dream he had had shortly before. I believe the dream depicted the spiritual impact of our ministry, but we didn’t understand it at the time. He saw streams of light flowing down mountainsides into the valley below. Then he looked closer and could see that the streams of light were many, many people. They were all converging onto one area in the valley and seemed to be part of a whole living ‘organism’.
As we prayed in that meeting, God manifested His power through various gifts of the Spirit. Richard received words of knowledge for John. He told him that God wanted to heal him of his inner wounds that he had sustained in war decades earlier. When you kill others in war, the evil spirits released at death often latch onto you. John was carrying some hefty ones from his time in the army.
As the Spirit moved in that meeting John was brought to tears, but he tried not to show it. He got up and left the room, and went for a walk in the garden.
He didn’t want to acknowledge that this was the place where God had chosen to reveal Himself to him. Why not? Pride. Diotrephes had the same problem. He wanted to be number one. It hurt his ego to acknowledge that God was using someone else.
Although I understand it, I find that amazing. To me it was either natural or a joy to acknowledge others whom God was using. It was to acknowledge God and His Son (Matt 10:40-41). Not to do so would be a denial of the One who is at work.
After that fateful meeting, John and his wife drifted further away from us. They adopted Fred’s prejudices. Later, Fred asked John to write articles in his little magazine or journal. I suppose that appealed to John’s pride also. It made him feel ‘important’ and special. So he didn’t need us; he had what he sought.
The trouble is, by rejecting the light-bringer he rejected the One who gave the light, and also became blind to the light.
A few years later, someone invited me to speak to a small group of believers in Wales at their Feast of Tabernacles. We heard that John and his wife were also planning to attend. I thought how good it would be to meet them again. But when John and his wife heard that we had been invited, they refused to come, and so did a number of others likewise.
Darkness will not tolerate light and does not want to be near it.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed (Jn 3:19-20).
John initially received the Spirit through our ministry. His wife had been delivered from a cult, and from the demonic bondages associated with it, as a result of what I had written. God had come directly into their lives because of what God did through MM. Yet, they let an impostor steal away all the value of our work and turn their gold to dust, in spiritual terms.
Many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ (Jn 6:66,67.)
The sad fact is that many do.
John’s story is only one of many, illustrating that carnal people cannot enter the Kingdom of God. They have wrong motives. They are not surrendered to doing all that God says. Self still rules supreme. Malcolm B Heap
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise stated
Understanding The Mind of God: A Message To Worldwiders (MG1)
Understanding The Mind of God: A Message To ‘Law-Keepers’ (MG2)
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