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The Joel Meeker
"Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed,
or hidden that will not be made known" (Lk 12:1,2, NIV).
"Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly,
so that the others may take warning" (1 Tim 5:20).
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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In 2000, Joel Meeker, a Church of God minister, contacted me by e-mail. He wanted to know what my involvement had been with the brethren in Kenya, and what support I had given them (if any), in order to ascertain whether he should modify his response to them. He was overseeing the activity of his church in Kenya.
I replied to him cordially and candidly. But as the correspondence progressed, I followed the lead of the Spirit to get stronger with him and I volunteered some more truth to which his church has not been privy. I gave him part of our booklet An Introduction to the Spiritual Gifts (the chapter on dreams and visions), and also a chapter from Miraculous Manifestations, which recounts the appearing of two angels in Isaya's hair cutting salon and some other interesting happenings.
He didn't respond positively to my input, perhaps not surprisingly, given the fact that most CoG ministers are arrogant and don't take kindly to input from outside their borders. Nor do they want cooperation with other ministries.
For those people who would dispute my findings and who want to find fault with me, I reproduce the salient aspects of my letters to Joel Meeker here. The purpose of this is to make the facts clear and to highlight important spiritual issues which he and the majority of CoG (Church of God) ministers don't want to face – chiefly their need to accept a greater infilling of the Spirit, so that they can witness for Christ with manifestations of spiritual power, as the apostle Paul did (2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:4; Acts 19:6; 19:11-12; 15:12), and as all those today who have that belief in the intimacy of the power of Jesus (Mark 16:17).
1. The First Reply
As I said, in December 2000, Joel Meeker wrote to me via an e-mail, asking me what my involvement was with the brethren in Kenya and whether I knew Isaya Ouma Owak. I replied:
22nd Dec 2000
Thank you for your inquiry concerning Isaya Ouma Owak. Yes, he is well known to us and has been 'with us' for quite some time, helping to further our outreach in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
There have been considerable needs, both physical and spiritual, amongst the brethren in these countries, and so when our family came into a legacy in 1999, we used the bulk of that to help them out (and outreaches in other African countries). Some members were starving, others were very deprived, and God showed us that He had separated two people there through whom we could help the poor church members in that region. Isaya was one and Xxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx was the other. [God gave this other man a chance, but he squandered the calling and disqualified himself. He has since fallen away.]
You may wonder how God showed us that these men were appointed by Him. It's rather like some of the things recorded in Acts. God did so through supernatural means. There were several indicators. I will try and chronicle them as best as I can for you:
1. When the ex-WCG believers with Isaya met together one Sabbath, as they were praying, God spoke through an angel (or some way we don't understand) audibly that two men had been appointed by Him. They were His chosen vessels (not that such appointment would exclude others like yourself, because God appoints many, and works through many different people in many different ways). Those present heard this voice. As I say, it was audible, but supernatural.
2. Other matters to do with these men and this outreach in Kenya were confirmed to myself and my wife in dreams. (We have not physically travelled to Africa. My ministry commitments here do not permit that.)
3. On another later occasion, as Isaya was walking down the street, an angel again 'accosted' him, not visibly, but again with a definite audible voice, confirming the association between our ministry and Isaya and the Kenyans from our ex-WCG background. This was after Isaya was given a dream the previous night and after his sick daughter was instantly healed that morning.
Thus, we did not go searching for 'representatives', God sent them to us.
It's quite an interesting story, so if you would like to read the account in more detail, I can send you a copy of our small booklet Miraculous Manifestations in which these things are written up. (In retrospect, since you are probably strapped for time, I'll cut and paste the last part of that account and send it to you via the next email.)
Although we have helped the Kenyans and others as God has shown us, Isaya is not on our 'payroll'. We have no payroll. Midnight Ministries is merely a name by which I can operate as an independent ministry, and provide the written materials God has had us collate over the past decade. (My wife and I exited WCG in 1990 through circumstances that He engineered. He showed us corruption in the house then, and of coming corruption that later occurred in 1995 when they threw out the truths He had used them to promote all through the Armstrong era.)
After our 22-year WCG experience ended, God led us into this separate ministry to write publications for the spiritual nurture of the Church.
If you care to send me your postal address, I'll send you a list of our publications and a couple of samples. If you care to duplicate any for UCG use, you are most welcome to do so. It is quite simple to add your own address to the back cover of the booklet, if you want to... [In his reply he rejected this offer. He didn't want cooperation.]
....we are all of the household of God, even though we are operating in different spheres, and there should be co-operation and fellowship between us as the Spirit of the Lord directs.
....I do not care about the person of man. We operate independently of any church organisation. We have no church organisation backing us. We have a handful of supporters and God, but it is God on whom we rely for our coming and going. And I have encouraged Isaya and others to follow Jesus' footsteps in that way, without relying upon the physical superstructure that man has constructed to (oft times) complicate the simple leading of the Spirit.
If Isaya wants association with you or with UCG, that will not jeopardise his association with me unless he wants that terminated. (As of now, he has not indicated that he does want that ended.)
You are right that things can get somewhat complicated in Africa, where people all too often look to the physical organisations of men for physical attention and support. But there is only one thing we should all clamour for, and that is the favour of God and to hear His voice giving us direction.
I wish you well. God bless your efforts for Him.
Comment. For the undiscerning, I would like to point out that my response to Joel Meeker was cordial and cooperative. It is only because I have been falsely accused, that I make this defence.
I hold no personal grudge or resentment towards him, nor do I harbour any hostility. I had hoped that he would want to co-operate with our family in the work to which God has called us in that area. But it seems that co-operation in true Christian love is incompatible with the CoG's more exclusivist agenda of domination and control.
2. The Second E-Mail
The same day I sent Joel Meeker the following e-mail:
22nd December 2000
I thought this might be of interest to you, too. It's a chapter from our booklet on spiritual gifts.
All the best,
(With this e-mail was chapter 4 on Dreams and Visions, out of An Introduction to the Spiritual Gifts. I have not reproduced that here. It was followed by another e-mail containing part of the booklet Miraculous Manifestations.) Two weeks passed. When he later replied, Joel Meeker did not comment on either of them. He merely replied as briefly as possible:
Subj: Re: Kenya
Thank you again Malcolm,
That fills in the picture quite well. Thank you for responding.
The brevity of his reply was striking. I have noticed in our dealings with hypocritical church leaders (we have had plenty of experience in that field dealing with the WCG hierarchy in the 1990s), that they often go quiet when they are cornered or challenged. They may maintain a calm, affable and good-looking exterior, but internally they are disturbed or seething, because their corrupt interior has been found out. Their demons are threatened. So, I replied as God's Spirit led me to write:
3. Filling in the Picture
Subj: Re: Kenya - filling in the picture.
In a message dated 12/01/01 you write:
<< That fills in the picture quite well. >>
It might do for you, but it doesn't for me. Since you were not willing to answer my queries that I posed to you, we asked via the Spirit of God to know more about you, and God has revealed some things. Doubtless you will care to know.
We have been totally open with you, but you have not been open with us. Isaya has been willing to admit error in things that he might have done in haste, or by oversight, and to apologise for them. (Admitting openly that if he did say something that was misleading or deceitful – although he cannot remember having done so – to repent, retract it and apologise to you. That he has done.) He has been willing to humble himself, but you have not. [I have omitted that part from the correspondence because it is not directly relevant, and only clouds the main issues which we are addressing here. He was trying to find fault with Isaya.]
You have behaved more deceitfully than Isaya. You have ignored my questions about co-operation. Do you want it or don't you? It would appear that you don't. [It hurt his pride to receive this correction, as you will see in his response.]
I offered you the use of our publications in your ministry to others, but you have made no comment. I have offered to send you some of our publications to explain why we observe the Festivals when we do (at different times to those which the Churches of God, for the most part, observe) and you decline to answer. Like all the Laodiceans in the Churches of God, it seems you don't want to learn any more or have your present understanding challenged.
When we asked God to know who was in the wrong about the allegation that Isaya lied to you about knowing Midnight Ministries, He intimated that you carry the greater guilt on that score. Here is what we asked, and how He replied. (If you don't understand about prophets, or believe that God speaks to them, may I politely suggest you update yourself in that respect. I can send you a publication on the subject Prophets and Prophesying if you care to accept it.)
Question. Is Joel Meeker lying about this incident concerning Isaya?
Q. Has Joel Meeker's memory failed him about this? A. Yes.
Q. Has he got his information from someone else? A. Yes.
So, while you were not deliberately lying about Isaya's alleged infraction, you have come to a misunderstanding about it. Someone informed you. It would appear that you got your information second-hand and, having had it in your mind for so long, you have come to believe that Isaya said it when he didn't.
I have received a fax from Xxxxx Xxxxx this morning which confirms that your facts are not quite correct. So, I trust that you will provide an apology to Isaya, and that your formerly good relationship with him can be restored.
About another issue, we asked the Lord the following question:
Q. Should Isaya seek co-operation with UCG in order to have permission to meet? A. Yes.
Obviously, God wants him and you to get together. Whether you want it, though, I don't know. Up to now you have certainly given the impression that you are open, fair, and willing to have the brethren in Kenya fellowship together across organisational boundaries. Is that sincere or is it a deceit?
I await your reply on that. Thanks.
Finally, I return to this allegation against Isaya, that he has lied to you. I want to get to the bottom of this, because it's a serious allegation. For a while God indicated that there has been some deceit in Isaya's approach, but it was not what you or we thought. He did not lie to you. God has shown us that.
You know Jeremiah 17:9, that everyone's heart contains a measure of deceit, and in those unchanged by the Spirit of God, that deceit is very deep! When Jesus acclaimed Nathanael as a man without guile, he was a rare individual. There was even guile in the patriarch Abram, shown when he coloured the facts about Sara to try and save his neck from king Abimelech. So, the fact that God has shown that Isaya has had some deceit that He wanted to point out to him, should not detract from his character or be used as a slur against him. In fact, the way he has been willing to be totally open and honest with you and me, in case there has been some deceit that he didn't see, confirms his appointment as one of Jesus' appointed ones in Kenya, appointed to take His truth of the hour to those whom God is reaching.
Whatever the deceit is that God has allowed to be made a big issue, He will point out to Isaya personally, and it is not for anyone else to condemn Isaya for that. We all have our own personal lives to deal with, and to confront the deceit that is in each of us, as and when God reveals it.
I hope that you do not misconstrue what I have written here. It is not meant to condemn you either. It is written to point out what it is that God now wants you to confront and deal with, so that you can continue in His will. Correction, while it hurts, is not meant to hinder, but to help.
Comment. Notice in his reply which follows that he DID misconstrue what I wrote. It was convenient for him to do so, because it gave him a ready excuse not to humble himself and repent. He does not know that his church is following false ministers who are observing wrong festival dates and who are keeping their members in ignorance and spiritual mediocrity. It's another case of the blind leading the blind.
Subj: Re: Kenya - filling in the picture.
The tone of your note surprises me. I thought I was being open with you concerning things which had occurred affecting United's involvment in Kenya and Tanzania. I was not aware of ignoring any of your questions and will answer the ones you have posed. [When cornered, people plead ignorance and innocence, but really they are not willing to admit to their guilt. That is the nature of human deceit.]
In the United Church of God, we do not feel we should pass judgements on other religious organizations. That said, we do not use other religious organizations' literature, or generally enter into cooperative agreements, so I respectfully decline your offers. Your organization and United differ on important points of doctrine and practice, to the point where cooperation is not possible. I won't be pressuring Isaya or Xxxxx in any way, they and the members there can make whatever choice they want. However, I do feel Isaya misled me about the nature of what the groups there were doing and what they wanted to do in requesting to become part of the United Church of God. I'm going to Kenya to meet with them in a few weeks and will discuss this situation with them in detail.
Actually I have looked over the reasons given for using a calendar other than the Jewish one to calculate the Holy Days. As I'm sure you know, there are many theories circulating now on the one "correct" way of calculating months apart from the Jewish calendar. None of the arguments presented have convinced me that we should change to a different method of calculation. As far as I'm concerned it comes down to either: 1) we accept the Jewish calendar or 2) we make up our own calendar method with no true biblical authority. I'm convinced the first is what God would have us do. [That's where you're wrong, and I can demonstrate it.] We have published quite a bit of research on this topic which can be found on our ucg webpage.
As to the answers you feel you received from the Holy Spirit, that is obviously a very personal and subjective thing. It would be of no use for me to try to convince you that is not happening. For my part, I don't believe God is speaking through prophets at this time. The Bible certainly does indicate that will happen at the time of the end. When that does happen, however, I'm convinced that like in the early New Testament period, the men and women God will choose to use as prophets will be members of the church, not "independants". That said, I don't dispute the fact that God can certainly do whatever He likes. One thing is certain: "by their fruits you shall know them." So I view you like Gamaliel viewed the nascent church: if it be of men it will fail; if it be of God it will succeed and that will become clear.
I hope this answers all your questions and makes my position clear. Please let me know if I overlooked a question or if you have others.
4. Contention Comes Out Into the Open
Subj: Kenya - filling in the picture.
14th Jan 2001
Thank you for your response. I shall reply to your points, in order.
[He wrote] <<The tone of your note surprises me. I thought I was being open with you.... I was not aware of ignoring any of your questions. >>
Either you are a nincompoop, or you are being deceitful again. And I hardly think you are a nincompoop, so what God said to me about your deceit has proved true.
The reason you ignored my questions was because you don't want to find a meeting of minds with me. You resent my input for the Church, and despite all you say to the contrary, you do not want co-operation or harmony except as it is achieveable through United's corporate structure. So, rather than admit that you tried to avoid my questions, you lie by pleading 'ignorance'. It is a convenient cover for your hostility which lurks underneath your polite and polished exterior. Like one well-known church leader was often heard to say: "Human nature wants to look good, but it doesn't want to do good."
The very serious sin of hypocrisy bedevils the church leadership. It covers a multitude of other sins. And one task of the prophet is to expose this deceit, duplicity, humbug and sham.
Jesus said: "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known" (Matt 10:26). That was in the context of hypocritical religious leaders (Luke 12:1,2), who stood before the people as if they represented God, when, in fact, those 'churchmen' were representing Satan. Jesus commanded: "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops" (Matt 10:27). I will fulfil His injunction here.
<< In the United Church of God, we do not feel we should pass judgements on other religious organizations. >>
If that is so, then how do you teach brethren to test the spirits, to discern between true and false, and to beware wolves in sheep's clothing? How are you able to recommend to brethren those who are approved of God and those who are not? Paul told the Corinthians that we are to judge in the Church (1 Cor 5:12), otherwise we cannot oppose the working of Satan within the body of Christ. I hardly think your self-righteous statement is a convenient ruse to hide behind.
This is another example of your hypocritical approach. You say one thing, but do another. You have already passed judgement on Midnight Ministries. Your unwillingness to truly 'come clean' with me, your unwillingness to co-operate with the promotion of truth which God has given us, and your carefully guarded responses demonstrate that you do not consider me a brother in the faith and you don't want fellowship with me. I haven't seen any willingness on your part to want to heal that breach and division between us. All I have seen up to now is that you are content to let it be.
<< That said, we do not use other religious organizations' literature, or generally enter into cooperative agreements, so I respectfully decline your offers. >>
I was not asking you whether you wanted to make a co-operative agreement when I asked you whether you want to co-operate with me? I was asking whether you want to be part of what God is doing in Kenya, in reviving the Church through the introduction of new aspects of truth to which your organisation is not privy. But if you don't want to participate, that's your choice. I was offering you participation in what God is now doing amidst His people, which He has used us to spearhead. I was offering you our literature, which God has used as the first means of this revival. But you don't want to know! Your aloofness is a characteristic symptom of arrogance. This arrogance was first bred in the WCG and has been perpetuated further in most of the WCG offshoot churches with their own brand of sectarian pride. The fact that you don't use others' literature is a throwback to WCG exclusivism, which you have not left behind.
You use the name 'United' but it has been patently obvious that 'United' has been far from that! When it was formed, there were other ex-WCG groups which had left the parent church, but David Hulme did not want to team up with them. Instead, he preferred to pursue his own egoistic path and form his own church organisation. Politics and personalities figured prominently in the decisions which have caused the formation of offshoot churches. (The antithesis of what Jesus wants. He doesn't want you following men, Acts 5:29, nor forming human organisations where spiritual matters are dictated by men who lord it over their followers, Matt 20:25,26.) After McCullough came into UCG through the back door and cleverly gained a seat in the governing body, your church split again. (Who tested the spirits in your church to ascertain whether McCullough was a false minister? I doubt if anyone did. Most only know how to look to the personality, not the spirit behind the man, as shown by the 'fruits'! 1 John 4:1.)
And, rather than seek unity with all these groups, United goes it alone. My invitation to you was an invitation to seek unity rather than division, but you prefer to want division, because that is the party line
So, 'United' is a misnomer, and so is the 'Church of God' bit. If it were part of the true Church of God, you would not shut your door on me. You would welcome me, and accept the truth of God that I bring you.
<< Your organization and United differ on important points of doctrine and practice, to the point where cooperation is not possible. >>
If you differ with us on some important points, I would ask you to state what they are, and according to the admonition in Galatians 6:1, show me my doctrinal error. Then, I can address those matters, alter my teaching to come into line with the Word of God, and we can find harmony.
Or, perhaps it is your doctrine in United which is out of 'sync' with pure biblical teaching and practice? And being part of an organisation hamstrung by dogma and tradition, you are powerless to change it, for fear of stepping out of line?! Hence your reluctance, even fear, to receive any of our publications, which might expose your ignorance, and wrong practice.
<< I won't be pressuring Isaya or Xxxxx in any way, >>
It wouldn't make much difference if you did. They don't want to follow men any more. They want to receive direct guidance from God in dreams, visions and prophetic words. Jesus has appointed them to be evangelists, and that calling comes with an anointing from the Almighty, which is demonstrated in supernatural events, signs and wonders, as the Word goes forth. (Some of which I have tried to relay to you, but you appear to take no notice.) So, it's not a question of them falling in line with you, but you showing your willingness to fall in line with them, as they demonstrate the power of God upon their ministry.
How do you explain the appearance of angels, the audible supernatural voices confirming their appointment, the miracle of Isaya's daughter's healing the morning after he received a dream from God, and the various other miraculous events that have occurred?
If our doctine differs from yours, perhaps we have moved on from the cloned points of view and prejudices which restrict UCG folks, who are still conditioned by a cultic and exclusivist mentality. You rightly say we should look at the fruits, but you are not even doing that. You are not opening your eyes sufficiently to even read the material in which some of our fruits of our ministry are laid out. Why not? The usual reason is pride and arrogance. If that is going to continue to be the case with you, then we are not going to get very far, but if you can swallow your pride, humble yourself to concede that you might have some more to learn, we can move on and find a meeting of minds. That is where I come from, and I hoped you would be of the same mind.
<< Actually I have looked over the reasons given for using a calendar other than the Jewish one to calculate the Holy Days. >>
<< As I'm sure you know, there are many theories circulating now on the one "correct" way of calculating months apart from the Jewish calendar. >>
Yes, but only one IS right, despite the fact that it sounds presumptuous to claim it. The truth is not shared by the majority. The majority viewpoint is usually the wrong one. And, if God has promised to send 'Elijah' AT THIS TIME (which you don't seem to appreciate), and he is restoring truth that has been lost, that truth must be here somewhere. It's obviously too much for you to believe that we could be that voice, at this hour, for you and for all the churches of God from the WCG background, restoring the 'lost' truth they need. I suppose you would classify such a claim as arrogant and preposterous.
<< None of the arguments presented have convinced me that we should change to a different method of calculation. >>
Then, you haven't read far enough yet, because there is no biblical authority for deciding to begin months when the moon is never visible, as the Jewish calendar does! Nor is there biblical authority to postpone the start of months for various subjective and expedient reasons.
<< As far as I'm concerned it comes down to either: 1) we accept the Jewish calendar or 2) we make up our own calendar method with no true biblical authority. >>
Well, that's where you're wrong. There IS biblical authority for a certain calendar, which is what I explain in God's Calendar Revealed To Man and The Festivals of God, but I would be too naive to think that you want to read those!
One question I have for you. Paul mentions the new moon observances in Colossians 2:16, which clearly the NT Church was keeping on a par with the recognised holydays. What were those? If you don't know, you should find out. That is one reason for reading what I have written in The Festivals of God.
<< As to the answers you feel you received from the Holy Spirit, that is obviously a very personal and subjective thing. >>
You might think so. But was it subjective when Jeremiah was told by God that he had been separated to be a prophet? Had he not been separated to be a prophet or hadn't he? Or when Isaiah was overcome by the power of God? (Is 6.) Was that a purely subjective experience? Aren't their writings clear evidence that their experiences were not merely subjective? And if you had the humility to investigate, perhaps you would find that my writings confirm that what God has been doing with us is no more subjective than my letter to you now.
Have you read our publication Dreams and Visions About the Worldwide Church of God or God Speaks to the WCG? Not by the sound of it. Nor would it appear that you want to! So, like the superior Pharisees in Jesus' day and all the self-willed rebels in Israel who disdained the prophets God sent, you don't even care to look into what I am challenging you to consider.
<< I don't believe God is speaking through prophets at this time. >>
So, then you don't believe the Church of God exists?! I thought Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-13 that there ARE prophets in the Church, along with apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers. If the Church exists, prophets must exist too, because he says that they are a necessary part of the structure, to help bring the saints to perfection (v 13). If you think prophets are no longer around, then either you believe that the Church no longer exists, or that the saints have been perfected already, or my Bible is in error! Please let me know which version I should be reading and where I have got it wrong.
I thought Paul said they would be part of the Church UNTIL we all reach unity in the faith. I would have thought it was pretty clear there is little unity in the faith between us!
Why has Jesus' method of perfecting His Church apparently changed, according to what you are saying? Why do we no longer need prophets? And when did this need cease? Why, if they ceased, are they to reappear at the very end, as you say? Isn't that very claim totally inconsistent with Jesus' consistency, promised in Hebrews 13:8?
And since you claim to be such an authority on prophets by your dogmatism against them (when, ironically, you say you can't pass judgement on other church organisations – which doesn't seem to be consistent with your philosophy) why did Paul list this ministry function or office along with the others in 1 Corinthians 12:28, which is equally relevant as the other offices of five-fold ministry?
Jesus said He is the same yesterday today and forever, but you're saying He's not, because He no longer uses prophets to perfect the saints. That is a denial of Christ, by denying an asset and office in His body which was one of the most important functions of any He raised up to do His spiritual Work.
I'm sorry, Joel, but you are right out of line with contemporary happenings of the Spirit of God in the Church. Your teaching is limited by your experience. You are reducing God's Word to the level of your inadequate experience. When your experience is raised to the level of God's Word, then you will believe. That is what I would wish for you, but whether you are willing to accept my challenge and read what I have written on these important subjects, well, that's your choice, and it doesn't look like you are going to accept my offer.
Jesus said that the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus in the Church (Rev 19:10). That is the very thing that bears witness to Jesus' living presence among His people. Yet you are denying it! The most vital spiritual gift in fellowship and equally vital spiritual office in the Church!!! (1 Cor 14:5.) We do not deny tongues, but we emphasise the superiority of prophesying for building up the body. You reject tongues, AND reject prophesying! What a satanic teaching you promote! No wonder there is division between us!
A few further questions. Perhaps you can answer these queries about prophets, if, as you claim, they are no longer around:
1. Numbers 12:6 states that God speaks to prophets, primarily by way of dreams and visions. Why, then, have I and my wife and family being receiving dreams and visions for the past 7+ years if this mode of God's communication is supposed to have ceased?
2. Why did this take place after a prophet from the USA, who had never met me before, laid his hands on me and prophesied over me?
3. The things he prophesied have been coming to pass. Why is that if the prophetic office has ceased?
4. One of the things he said was that many have been coming against me in criticism of what I am doing in God's service. You are continuing to fulfil that very prediction, which demonstrates the efficacy of his prophecy. Why is that if prophets are no longer around today?
5. How come Jesus has appeared to us in a couple of our meetings, that angels have also appeared, that we have received countless prophetic words which we record in our regular newsletters, that we receive dreams constantly each week (which we record in our newsletters), that God reveals things to us about others, about their attitudes and approaches, and some hidden things about their character, just as Paul said would occur when true prophecy operates in the Church (1 Cor 14:25), and that I dare to write such 'pugnacious' letters to those who are defying the moving of the Spirit of God??!! How come, if, as you claim, the office of prophet has ceased?!
6. And as for the prophetic anointing that God promised would come with the advent of the NT Church (Acts 2:17, etc), are you saying that that has now ceased, too? It has in your church. That's true. But it hasn't where there are believers who truly believe in the power and moving of the Holy Spirit NOW! Their faith, their expectation, their simple belief permits God to work in those miraculous ways. But where unbelief rules, God cannot come through with His power (Mark 6:5,6).
I am glad that God brought us into the company of the brethren in Kenya, who have had the hunger for these things of God. I feel privileged to have been used to bring more of God into their lives. These people of God don't want the dry, stuffy, old religious dogmatism and prejudice of the churches of God that the WCG cultic mindset has bred. They want true religion, in which the power of God manifests at certain times to bring joy, release and comfort to God's people. And Isaya, and the others with him, who have been willing to learn from our literature, will testify to you that this is no 'con job'. This is the real thing! Jesus (not just the pastor, with a few he preaches to) promised to be present in meetings where two or three gather in His name (Matt 18:20), and He still comes. He demonstrates His presence in signs, wonders and spiritual gifts – principally those of tongues, interpretation of tongues, and especially prophesying (His testimony in the Church, remember, Rev 19:10). Such things come in our meetings all the time. So, it's not imaginary, or 'subjective' as you claim. I know whereof I speak. I'm sorry that you don't.
<< The Bible certainly does indicate that [the coming of prophets] will happen at the time of the end. >>
You speak as if we had another 50 years to go before Jesus' coming! Man, we're only a handful of years away! This is the Midnight Hour! We are in the last days, and Elijah is here. True to Jesus' prophecy of the end in Matt 25, the virgins are all asleep and unaware of what Jesus is doing!
<< When that does happen, however, I'm convinced that like in the early New Testament period, the men and women God will choose to use as prophets will be members of the church, not "independents". >>
Good night! The major prophets have always been 'independents'. John the Baptist was the prime example. Prophets are rarely part of organised church structures, because their witness is invariably spurned. They are rejected, and the people to whom he is sent generally deny his message.
If every prophet had to be under the authority structure of the organised church (which structure is ususally unbiblical!) he wouldn't last long in the church to whom God uses him to correct! Which is why, when prophets arise in churches, they get thrown out pretty quick, and when they try to deliver their message they are told where to jump!
You said to Isaya that you believed the Church to be a spiritual organism, not a physical organisation. Here, you are saying the opposite – that the Church is an organisation. If so, which human organisation is the true Church? I suppose it must be United, eh? What a joke! One pipsqueak little offshoot of the arrogant, exclusivist, cultic WCG, without testimony of miraculous power, without the living and active testimony of Jesus (I don't mean His written testimony from 2000 years ago), without supernatural spiritual gifts, without prophets, without apostles, denying the revelatory agencies Jesus said He was appointing in His Church, and with a small number of members whose 'evangelism' generally amounts to nothing more than meeting for regular 'worship', which is itself dry and devoid of the Spirit, where the appointed pastor has never met Jesus because he was appointed by other men who never knew Him either.... and so the sorry saga continues.... "denying the power of God, from such...." (2 Tim 3:5)
Your spiritual appreciation of what the Church is and how the Church operates as a spiritual organism is grossly lacking, evidenced by what you have written to me. [This is expounded in our book God's Church – Whose Authority?]
<< That said, I don't dispute the fact that God can certainly do whatever He likes. One thing is certain: "by their fruits you shall know them." So I view you like Gamaliel viewed the nascent church: if it be of men it will fail; if it be of God it will succeed and that will become clear. >>
But you don't want it to become clear to you, just like Gamaliel didn't. Did he join the ranks of the early Church? No. Did he have his eyes opened to God's truth at that time? No. He was just playing political games to retain his seat of power.
Do you mean to imply that Gamaliel – who was being non-partisan and non-committal here – was adopting the right approach!!? He was expediting a clever political manoeuvre to avoid the wrath of those people who believed the apostles, and the wrath of God (if the apostles were of God), and the wrath of his religious party (if he were to approve of them).
Gamaliel didn't join the Church, nor did he properly stand up in defense of the apostles. He had them flogged (Acts 5:40). And you are adopting the same wishy-washy, "I-don't-know" approach – which is useless for a man who claims to champion the truth.
Ignoring truth is not being zealous for God. It's doing the devil's work in complacency and compromise. The Bereans seem to have had no pride to swallow. It's a pity you still do.
<< I hope this answers all your questions and makes my position clear. >>
Yes, your position is quite clear. It's one of unbelief over the more important matters on God's agenda for the Church at this time. You just don't want to move ahead. You would rather stay put with the Laodiceans and Sardisians. Right? Or wrong?
The answer at the moment is "Right". But I would prefer to be proven wrong. And to add one further piece of revelation from God to expose your humbug, God gave my wife a dream a few nights ago that a man tried to break in through our window. He didn't use the front door (He didn't come via Jesus). He tried to come in as a thief would (John 10:10). He didn't succeed. His face was affable when he arrived, but when his way was barred, he turned hostile.
This is this a true prophetic dream, and it could concern you. However, my desire is to find unity between us. But that can only come about if you are willing to put all your prejudices behind you, humble yourself to be willing to learn from us by studying the publications we have written for the Church on various subjects where it needs to change, and then to do just that – change.
I wish you well. Sincerely,
Malcolm B Heap
5. The Prophet's Correction is Rejected
Joel Meeker finally replied on 6th Feb 2001 in a caustic and sarcastic vein:
Your attitude and language show your "fruit" as far as I'm concerned. There is no doubt in my mind that much of what you are bearing is not of God. But of course I'm only a lowly field minister, not a "prophet" like you. Rather than judging others and name calling, I suggest you step back and take a more realistic look at yourself. Based on your approach, I've neither the time nor the desire to continue this exchange.
A Prophet Seeks Reform & Restoration
So, that is where Joel Meeker left off. He didn't want to be corrected, to be shown that his theology and Christian practice have need of revision and repair. He would rather try and shift the blame by pointing the finger at me. (Those who do that should remember that more fingers point back at themselves!)
God 'sends' prophets to sound an alarm, to call for repentance and reform. If the body of Christ listens, believes their message and repents, they can enjoy restoration and revival. However, if the prophet's message is rejected, punishment follows.
This episode of correspondence was all set up by God to expose the mindset of CoG ministers. Joel Meeker is not alone in his complacency. It is rife throughout the ministry of the Churches of God. Laodicea says "I don't need to learn from anyone else. I have all I need. I don't want any more. Thank you very much! Please go away."
They shut the door on Jesus and do not allow Him to correct and guide . It's no wonder that Churches of God languish in a sea of mediocrity, sectarianism and confusion. They need not – if only they would humble themselves and change!
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