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Churches of God
"I know your works, that you have a name
that you are alive, but you are dead."
Do not quench the Spirit!
(1 Thessalonians 5:19.)
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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In 1995, when I was travelling to meet a group who had come out of the WCG, God spoke to me about them. When the Spirit of God speaks to you, it's generally very cryptic. He tells you something that you need to know – something pivotal, essential, but usually unseen. Then He lets you arrive at your conclusion as you allow His mind to guide you further. He doesn't interfere, nor tell you everything.
On that occasion, He said that there was massive prejudice holding these people down. That prejudice was the biggest single factor limiting their spiritual progress.
I didn't know quite why He was saying that. I knew from firsthand experience that these people were prejudiced. We had come up against stoic resistance to us and our ministry, for various reasons. But, God was saying something which had much greater depth.
With hindsight nine years later, I can see what He was pointing out.
We presented to them, with video evidence, manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. We went through the most well-known gifts one by one, showing why they are authentic gifts of the Spirit, continually operative in the Church wherever believers are taught to expect and experience them. We presented video examples of people speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, prophesying and receiving words of knowledge.
It was there, all in front of their eyes! Undeniable evidence, as real and indisputable as the tongues that erupted on Pentecost in AD 33! Yet, most of these people denied those gifts. They didn't seek God for a greater infilling of His Spirit to be able to move in such power. They later ignored us and rejected all that we brought to them to try and wake them up.
I couldn't believe it, how stubborn, pig-headed, arrogant and resistant some could be to such wonderful spiritual things! These are things of God; blessings from heaven; outpourings of the Spirit! How could such people turn away from such wonders and deny the Spirit?!
It wasn't as though they all apostatised on the spot. Some did. But not all. Some drifted away later.
Only one man received the gift of tongues and began to pray in the power of the Spirit. He smelt a wonderful fragrance of the Spirit in that meeting (literally!). Another elderly person received a healing on their way home – but they didn't tell me directly. I heard about that from a third party. They didn't share any of their blessings with their 'instructor' as Paul exhorted in Galatians 6:6. Sadly, I never heard from them at all.
Another lady, who was healed in the meeting, was 'gung-ho' about all this 'new stuff' to do with the gifts of the Spirit. She and a friend wanted all they could get their hands on to read. They knew this was 'something else'. They had been denied all this in the WCG. But after the initial excitement, they drifted off to do 'their own thing'. I heard that, years later, that woman was overcome by deception through a false prophet. She denied the gifts of the Spirit.
I have related the few who did experience signs and wonders as a result of that 'new' truth we took to them. But most didn't. Why? Because they were too prejudiced against us and against the teaching we brought.
That prejudice was locked in by a stronghold of the devil, a false dogma. And, because they let it rule them, Satan won on that occasion. He later managed to pull each of the others away from the truth they had learned, and drag them back into mediocrity. They did exactly what Paul warned the Thessalonians NOT to do!
Do not put out the Spirit's fire! (1 Thes 5:19, NIV.)
Unfortunately, it's the trend in the Churches of God, just as it was in their 'mother' church, the WCG. Whenever a little ray of light of the Spirit could shine through, it was soon smothered by leadership controls, so that 'this sort of thing' would not 'get out of control'!
Get out of control?! It didn't have a chance to even take root – let alone do anything!
God has given us a number of dreams showing this resistance to His power in the Churches of God. It stems from a root of pride. They don't want to admit that they have been missing something so basic and essential for so long! It's too embarrassing and humbling. So, they hide behind a wall of prejudice. Few are willing to squelch their own ego to be willing to learn from others about what they have lacked for all of their theological experience. They would rather continue to remain ignorant and blind on such issues, and hide from facing them.
So, spiritual deadness prevails!
Of course, those who knew us in the past will glibly dismiss us just as Jesus' relatives and friends dismissed Him in His home town.
"Oh, that's only Malcolm and Helena. We know them! God couldn't be using them! No way! Why, Malcolm was always..." and then they add whatever fault or lacks they perceived in me 15, 20 or 30 years ago, to excuse their lack of response.
Yep, it's prejudice alright. We've had it up to our necks! But it cuts no ice with God! When He chooses a person to do a task; when He chooses a prophet to speak for Him; human criteria and perceptions don't enter the equation as far as He is concerned. He says:
Remember, therefore, how you have received and heard... and repent (Rev 3:3a).
But they don't receive and don't hear. They are too prejudiced. So:
Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you (Rev 3:3b).
That coming is for judgement. God's judgement always follows in the wake of rejection of His truth!
If you are not willing to accept a further infilling of the Spirit, you are not watching. If you reject spiritual gifts, you are not watching. If you deny the power of God, you are not watching. This is a spiritual exercise.
You can put out the Spirit's fire by neglect or dismissal.
That is happening across the board, not just in the 'old mother' the WCG, but throughout the Churches of God.
To verify that it's not just my 'opinion'. God gave a dream to a Nigerian pastor in the Church of God 7th Day, after he had some contact with us. The dream reveals the spiritual situation concerning him and the Churches of God in his country. It corroborates our own experience and the similar revelations we have received here (in Britain) that the Churches of God are, sadly, spiritually dead and in need of revival!
The question for you, reading this, is "Will you repent and accept what God wants to give you through the power of His Spirit?" Or will you let prejudice continue to hold you in check through demonic fears, dogma, pride or whatever?
If there are but a few names who will not defile their garments in such a way, they will walk with Jesus in white (Rev 3:4). All others will not. They will find themselves shut outside the door when the time comes (Matt 25:10-12), because they did not watch.
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming (Matt 25:13). He's coming here now.
A Dream From God About
The Deadness of the
Churches of God
The dream which God gave to the Nigerian pastor follows. It is recounted in my reply to him, which explains its meaning and implications.
4th May 2004
Thank you for your letter and the dream. It is a significant dream. When you read God's Work CANCELLED For Lack Of Interest! you will see why.
Your dream and request:
I was in the Spirit, when the Spirit of God led me to start planning for a city wide crusade. I was given all the sophisticated gospel equipment I needed for this campaign. Then I started setting up the equipment in preparation for the crusade, which was the first one of its kind in the history of the churches of God worldwide.
After getting the instruments and the stage ready, I then mounted the platform of the stage and started preaching, to the extent that, the echo, vibration and power of the message and the equipment attracted the attention of all the people in the streets. Both the passers-by and motorists stopped, saying to one another, "let us go and see and listen to this message."
As the message proceeded, some things were said which required a response from the members of the church of God. They needed to change in certain areas, and they were required to respond. But unfortunately, there was no response or reply from them. At this juncture, I moved to get down from the stage and entered into the house of the church of God where all the members were staying.
As I went inside the church of God house, I saw that the members of the churches were in different groups. One group was busy counting, sharing and exchanging money. When I came to them I told them to stop exchanging money, and instead to go out over there for a crusade. Another group still inside the church house was busy eating delicious foods put in big dishes. I also told them "Now is no longer the time to be eating, rather you should all go out over there for the crusade is on." Still other groups were busy wearing their clothes upside down. I corrected them and warned them to put their clothes on the right way up and go out over there, for the stage is now set and the crusade is on.
Others were even naked inside the same church. I started telling them to go and put on their clothes and then come out over to the crusade ground.
Please let the churches of God understand this revelation and its interpretation. Austine Mbonu, Nigeria
The Meaning of the dream:
The dream is a wake up call to the churches of God, which you know and with whose people you have contact. They are not in the will of God. Jesus wants them to get ready for His coming. They need to make drastic and swift spiritual preparations.
...the Spirit of God led me to start planning for a city wide crusade.
You are listening to the Spirit of God. He is moving you by His Spirit to want to reach out to others with His spiritual truths.
The dream may not literally mean that you should hold such a crusade. The imagery is figurative. Perhaps that is the way you would normally think of reaching many others. God is probably inferring that He will use you to reach many – but I suspect it won't necessarily be by a public crusade. He often uses different ways that can surprise us. Unexpected ways. (Miracles are a main means.)
I was given all the sophisticated gospel equipment I needed for this campaign.
This depicts the fact that God has given you all you need for the task.
...which was the first one of its kind in the history of the churches of God worldwide
God is doing a new thing. He is bypassing the people He has used before. The traditional churches and ways of evangelism are on their way out. What God is about to do is to raise the dead to create a platform for evangelism the likes of which have never been seen in our age before. It will be a worldwide phenomenon!
[He has already started in your area. David Isaac Ohuoba has raised two people from the dead through God's power.]
I have written about this beginning in 1993. You can read of the brief prophecies to do with raising the dead in various articles in Articles of Faith. These are some of those articles:
Are You Ready? Feb 1994. In Articles of Faith, Vol 1.
Preparing For Revival! Nov 1993. In Articles of Faith, Vol 1.
Jesus Raises The Dead! Aug 1994. In Articles of Faith, Vol 1.
Raising The Dead: Miracles For Tomorrow? Sept 1995. In Articles of Faith, Vol 2.
WAIT FOR IT! Sept 1997. In Articles of Faith, Vol 5.
Resurrecting The Dead Jan 1999. In Articles of Faith, Vol 5.
Acts 29 Coming Up! July 1999. In Articles of Faith, Vol 5.
...attracted the attention of all the people in the streets
Raising the dead will get people's attention. Other things God will do and say through His servants will have the same dramatic effect. That creates a 'platform' for God's truths and end-time message to be preached.
...some things were said which required a response from the members of the church of God
God wants to wake up these sleeping churches. He is presenting more truth to people through what we have written, that requires them to make changes in their lives. He is calling people to repentance, deeper repentance, greater commitment to Him.
...unfortunately, there was no response or reply from them
The Church of God is asleep! It is unaware of spiritual realities! It is not responding to the Spirit of God. (The churches of God are dying. Why? Although this is not the specific intent of the dream to convey this, I am adding it. They are dying because they reject the prophets God sends – they follow their church leaders instead. They have not been taught 1) their urgent need to listen to the Spirit individually, 2) to heed God's true prophets, 3) to come out of organised 'churchianity' where Jesus is occluded from full view, and 4) to prepare for hard times coming.)
They have been lulled to sleep by teachers and preachers who want to maintain the present order as it is; to maintain their positions of power over the people so they can draw their wages from them. Church leaders don't preach an urgent message of repentance and change but of continuing more or less as things are. In the worst situations, they fill their listeners' ears with a soporific smooth message of complacency, that they are the remnant of the only true Church, God's chosen ones, perpetuating the line of His faithful, and that they are in the will of God. It is this gross (but subtle) deception that has blinded them to spiritual realities.
As I went inside the church of God house, I saw that the members of the churches were in different groups
This depicts the segregationism or splintering of the churches. Corinth was an example of this division that the devil loves to cause. "I am of Paul. I am of Apollos. I am of Cephas..." (1 Cor 1:12). Our booklet Why Church Divisions? explains who is at fault.
One group was busy counting, sharing and exchanging money.
This portrays their carnal preoccupation with the physical things of this world instead of the spiritual things of God.
Another group still inside the church house was busy eating delicious foods put in big dishes.
An allegory of the wealth of some of these groups. By comparison, MM has so little. We have large debts; they don't. They have captured members so that their coffers are full and they can enjoy being self-indulgent with it. But their emphasis is physical, not spiritual. That's the problem.
I also told them "Now is no longer the time to be eating, rather you should all go out over there for the crusade is on."
They should heed the message of repentance and reform, but they don't.
Still other groups were busy wearing their clothes upside down.
Their teachings are upside down. They have much to unlearn and change to bring their teachings into line with the purity of the Word of God. But they are busy doing things the way they have always done. They will carry on believing the lies and half truths that they have traditionally believed.
Others were even naked inside the same church.
These are the wicked inside these organisations. The ones wearing their clothes upside down are deceived, but the naked ones are the wicked who don't really want any of God's righteousness and truth. They only want their own ways.
I trust that this interpretation helps you and all who will listen and heed God's end-time message of repentance.
<< I am led within my spirit to come over there and stay together with you, so that you will lay your hands on me that this excellent Spirit of prophecy will be made manifest in me >>
I appreciate your love for the truth, your desire for more of God's Spirit, and your zeal to do His will. That is all evident. God is pleased with all who have such fire in their spirit.
But you don't need me to lay my hands on you. Jesus has laid His own hands upon you. Mine are nothing in comparison. I know what you mean. And God has heard your prayers and answered them. The dream is part of that. It is the beginning.
You don't need to come here physically. If you read The School of the Prophets in Newsletter 18, page 17, you will understand why.
<< And pray specially for me that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you who I am, both my burden and vision to work for God. >>
That is clear. He is going to use you. He has already been using you and preparing you. The literature we provide is the basis for the promulgation of God's truths now in this end-time hour. It is part of the platform that He is creating upon which you can stand to do the works of God.
What I suggest is that you glean as much as you can from that. If you do not have all our publications, please request the ones which you don't have.
In Guidelines For Evangelists there is a short list of guidelines to help you and other evangelists like you, so that you can benefit more from the guidance of the Spirit which God offers all who will follow Him completely. More of that is also in the booklet Witnessing For Christ. If you have not read that, please do. It will help you, particularly chapter 5.
<< I want you to send the following books in thousand copies for distribution and our Evangelical outreach programmes. >>
We don't have funds, as I have said before. We have debts. We have borrowed heavily to be able to provide the literature that we have done so already. The list of guidelines to follow (in Guidelines For Evangelists) should help you understand where and how to go from here.
God bless you in your work for Him!
What Is Wrong With CoG Ministers
God gave the following dream to illustrate a deep-seated problem:
29th July 2004. M. John M visits us.
We were beginning our fellowship meeting (although the venue was not our home, but an old place somewhere) when a former friend pulled up in his car with John M. After they came in, I wanted to get on with the spiritual stuff in the meeting by getting into reading the Word and then communing with God afterwards, as we normally do. But that was not possible with him present. He didn't say anything, but his presence just made that impossible. (This man's manner and approach is alien to true worship.)
I went upstairs in this old house to try and find a praise music CD that we could play. I wanted something really anointed like we have in our worship meetings. It was a lot of effort for me to walk up these 2 or 3 flights of stairs to get to where the praise music was. But there was nothing there that was any good. I came back down exhausted and disappointed.
Meaning: John M is a minister from the WCG, who left when they apostatised doctrinally. Now a minister in one of the CoG groups, he still has the same arrogant dominating approach. This lack of humility prevents him participating in true worship, and prevents true spiritual fellowship taking place in the CoG of which he is a part.
This is a widespread problem in the Churches of God, where ministers are overlords not overseers. They rule and dominate, instead of love and spiritually serve.
I wrote to this man a few weeks ago, sending him some items of our literature, but he didn't reply. Prejudice against me rules his mind.
The dream may be a prior warning that when he does get in touch (after the resurrections), these people will be so set in their wrong ways that they won't be able to join in with us in true worship, and could hinder such meetings.
If you have been loyal to the Churches of God, or the old WCG, you won't know what true worship is. You will never have experienced what it is like, because 'worship' in such groups is man-dominated, and humanly led. It's not Spirit-led. Principles of True Worship and Meetings With Jesus explains more (see later).
Two other recent dreams illustrate the problem:
27th June 2004. M. The Dead SDA or Sabbatarian Church.
In this dream I was in a large building being used by the Seventh Day Adventist church or others who were Sabbatarians. A meeting of hundreds or even thousands was in progress, but not much was happening [a spiritual allegory]. I was standing at a higher level, looking down upon all this. It was clear that the Holy Spirit was not present.
I wanted to blurt out aloud for everyone there to hear, "You need the Holy Spirit! You need to be baptised in the Spirit!"
As much as there was a desperate need among them for the Spirit of God, which they were not even aware that they were lacking, I knew that any such outburst would not achieve its object. The people aren't listening and the leadership would have smothered my attempt to wake them up. It would have had the opposite effect to that desired. On the other hand, I knew that if I was invited to speak on their platform, that I would stand a far better chance of getting through to them. So I desisted from any proclamation on that occasion.
Meaning: The dream portrays the deadness of the major Sabbatarian churches, who are here all lumped together as one. They don't accept the baptism in the Spirit to bring spiritual gifts to all the people. And they are so tightly controlled, that the leadership don't permit any such new truth to penetrate and benefit members. [Hierarchic domination is an evil that prevents God working amongst His people. The truth on church government is explained in God's Church – Whose Authority? (There was more to this dream; see Dream Diary 27.)
3rd July 2004. M. Old friends slow to accept us.
I offered our caravan to two former friends (in a CoG). It was a 14 footer, but was secondhand, of course, and there were some signs of wear and tear inside, but it was still a very worthwhile gift. But they didn't jump at the prospect. In fact they hadn't decided whether to accept it or not. I was still waiting for their decision.
Meaning: We are still waiting for them to make a decision to accept our ministry and the truth we bring. Admittedly, it's 'old' in that others have had gifts of the Spirit and the power of God to raise the dead before. But the evidence is there that God is raising the dead in connection with MM's work (hence the 14 – twice 7) but still they refuse to accept it. Malcolm B Heap
Principles of True Worship (also contained in the book The Woman Question) gives the basics of how to let the Spirit 'rule' in your worship.
Meetings With Jesus (MWJ) explains how believers should meet with Jesus, to worship Him in the Spirit, not merely in 'the flesh'. The so-called Churches of God are 'dead' – spiritually lifeless, because of Spirit denial. Read more about this in:
Churches of God: You Have A Name That You Live, But You Are Dead!
Also helpful to those from a Church of God background are the booklets:
God Speaks To The WCG (GSW). Dreams From God About The WCG (DrW).
Understanding The Mind of God: A Message To Worldwiders (MG1).
Understanding The Mind of God: A Message To 'Law-Keepers' (MG2).
Understanding The Mind of God: A Message To Sabbatarians (MG4).
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