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Churches of God:
You Have A Name That You Live,
But You Are Dead
From MM Newsletter 16, December 2001, Page 8
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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Jesus says to some of those He loves:
I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead (Rev 3:1).
But who in that condition would admit to it?
Indeed, a church which is spiritually dead is not going to perceive its dilemma. Like the virgins of Matthew 25, who are all asleep, people in that category are oblivious to their lack of spiritual life. A sleeping person is unaware of their state until they wake up. Only then, with hindsight, are they able to perceive the condition they were in.
The Dead Churches of God
This is the situation with the so-called Churches of God (CoG) – groups of Sabbatarians who cling to the teachings of the former Worldwide Church of God (WCG), from which they broke away in the nineteen nineties because of the doctrinal apostasy of the mother church.
Although they separated themselves, they have not yet reformed to accept more of the Spirit in their lives. Their 'worship' continues on, spirit- ually lifeless, because they do not accept spiritual gifts or allow Jesus to manifest in power in their meetings. Their low faith level denies the active participation of the Spirit in their gatherings and their lives.
Jesus wants them to wake up and liven up!
Over the years, God has given us a number of dreams about these groups, illustrating their lack of spiritual life. For example, in July 1997 God compared the dead Sabbatarian churches with the more spiritually alive charismatic church:
6th July 1997. Malcolm. Dreams of two women. The first was blonde; the second was dark haired. I had an affinity with the first, although she was not physically attractive like the other one. Meaning: The two parts of the Church which our ministry serves. The first woman represents the Sabbatarians. The second, the charismatic Sunday-keeping part.
In the first dream, I went into this large old open room with wooden floorboards. There was no furniture. It was not an inviting place. It was very plain and drab. I met a blonde woman. She was not attractive, just rather plain looking. I became engaged in conversation with her. She was sad. There were many other people in the room, but they were in the background in this dream. Apparently, I was looking for a place to rest. She told me that the floor in the corners at the two ends of the room were rotten, so not to go there lest the floor give way.
As we talked, I discovered that she was bereft after losing her husband. She was lonely and emotionally distraught. I felt sorry for this woman and hugged her to give her the emotional strength she needed. However, the longer this embrace lasted, the more I realised that I was being drawn into an adulterous relationship. I was married! I had to stop this! It was wrong! I did. I told her that she could not rely upon me for emotional support, but she had to look to God, read the Bible and pray to Him for the strength she needed.
Meaning. An allegory of the Sabbatarian sector of the Church. Some extremities are rotten and can't support people spiritually. The main building is not appealing. It is drab. There is no joy there. Most in the church have been separated from their spiritual Husband through the lifeless teaching. It is as though He is no longer around! Although I have compassion for these people, I do not want deeper in- volvement with them because they are influenced by demons. If they look to me for spiritual support they are looking in the wrong place. They must look to God, and rely on His Word, listening to and following Him, not their teachers.
The second dream involved another woman, physically quite different from the first. This second woman was very attractive, and flaunted a big bust which she accentuated by what she was wearing. During the conversation I asked her if she minded if I asked her a personal question. She said "Go ahead." I asked her if her shape was natural or enhanced. I suspected that she might have had implants, but she said it was for real. Surprisingly, she didn't mind me asking such a question; perhaps she even felt flattered although she didn't show it openly.
I did not embrace this woman like I did the first one. We simply sat side by side talking. I did not want to get involved in any illicit relationship with her. Once again, however, the end of the conversation was the same as with the first woman. I said to her that she couldn't look to me, she must look to the Bible and pray to God.
These dreams were not erotic. The sexual imagery they contained conveys an important spiritual meaning.
Meaning. A pictorial analogy of our relationship with the charismatic church, which is very conscious of the influence of God's power. Like some women flaunt their physical form to lure men, charismatics may tend to display God's power rather openly to attract others. God does not want us to be drawn away by the enticements that spiritually can border on being adulterous. Nor does He want His power to be used with pride, like some like to show off their bodies! There is nothing wrong with God's power, but it must be used properly, not illicitly.
Churches of God should take note, however, that the power in the charismatic church is not false. Much of it is from God! (As I explain in A Message To 'Law-Keepers' (£2.00).)
Through both dreams God is warning of the dangers of being drawn away from Him by involvement with churches.
The CoG should learn from the charismatic church, principally in the areas of faith, manifestation of supernatural power, spiritual gifts and casting out demons. (As explained in 'our' exposition of the parable of The Ten Virgins (£1.00).)
It is not appreciated that denominations and churches are limited by, and often even governed by demons! As I explain in Why Church Divisions? the devil and his evil cohorts are responsible for the way the Church has been carved up.
Through false concepts, demons maintain their strongholds (2 Cor 10:4) over God's people, limiting them spiritually, and depriving them of the fulness of the Spirit.
One powerful stronghold in the Churches of God has been against prophets of God. Prophets are simply not accepted, not recognised and not wanted. (See the article Why The Scattering of the Church?) So, the benefit of the prophets' liberating messages from God are not received. Satan achieves his objective in such places – the spiritual oppression and poverty of God's people.
Prophets are kept away through rigorous adherence to a wrong form of governance in the Church – a satanic form of hierarchy. (Explained in God's Church – Whose Authority? (GC).) Most CoGs are rigidly governed by autocratic 'ministers'. And, to make matters worse, many of them are false ministers, devoid of the Spirit of God.
When people are submissive to illicit spiritual rule, they shut out the help they could receive from God which He wants to give them. He CANNOT reach them because they reject the avenue of His help.
All these faults and failings were illustrated in dreams which God gave me (MBH) and my wife (Helena), which I recount below.
Restricting Spiritual Freedom
On 1st February 1999, I received this dream about a former friend in the WCG who is now in one of the off-shoot Churches of God.
Lack of True Spiritual Freedom
Xxxxx Xxxxxx (name withheld) was living in a very poky house. There was no 'room to swing a cat around'. He was married to this woman who was the boss. He was very subservient to her. They needed to extend the place, but because of lack of space, I inquired how Xxxxx would achieve this. I asked whether he would build it out of blocks, but he said "No". It would be a temporary structure, of some lightweight fabrication. Thus, it could be put up and then taken down shortly afterwards. It sounded a very strange proposition to me! They didn't have the space for a permanent structure. Apparently, they didn't think of moving!
Meaning. The spiritually restrictive environment of the church Xxxxx now belongs to. He has surrendered himself to that church, Consequently, he forfeits the latitude of real spirituality and freedom because of the 'woman' (church) whom he allows to dominate him. This CoG is temporary and will be dismantled. It is not permanent.
True freedom and spiritual scope lies outside the restrictive confines of a humanly dominated church structures.
Woman in a Coffin
8th April 1999. Helena.
Friends of this woman were standing around the coffin, doing nothing. It seemed like this woman was their mother (the 'Church of God').
Helena was agitated in the dream and wanted them to deal with this coffin, as it was their responsibility. But they were slow to face up to their duties in that regard.
Meaning: Death means the end of one phase and the beginning of another. God is starting a new movement. People now have to come out of the old dead mother church (and breakaway churches). It's hard to make the transition, but it must be done to follow the lead of the Spirit.
The call is to the Bride – to individuals – not to the Church as a whole. These individuals must come out and be separate for God to work with them as He wants.
CoG folks don't realise that their church is DEAD! When I wrote AA 7-3, about WAKING UP THE CHURCHES OF GOD, that was no joke! But most sleepily meander along, fretting over petty issues, ignoring the greatest single disaster in the Church – its spiritual DEATH!! They have shut out the Spirit of God, and are trying to organise things humanly. Hence all the infighting, squabbling, lack of consensus, bickering, and poor outreach to the world, the almost absence of miraculous power, etc., etc..
Miraculous power is the only language the world recognises.
What Does It Take To WAKE UP
The Churches of God?
The above dream was given to Helena shortly after I had compiled Awake! Awake! 7-3 of March 1999. Entitled What Does It Take To WAKE UP The Churches of God?, the 40-page journal contained articles showing why the Church of God is dead and how it can receive new life.
At that time God had moved a friend in the USA to buy us a subscription to The Journal. This newspaper of the Churches of God acted as a sort of forum for news and views of these groups. One day God spoke to me about putting an advertisement in their paper.
I e-mailed their editorial department to find out about costs, etc. Initially I received a cordial reply from the secretary, who informed me that the cost of the advert I proposed would be $200. She also mentioned that the next issue was just about to go to press. If I hurried I could get the advert in their next issue.
I replied promptly with the text of the advert:
WAKE UP CALL
The Churches of God!
Jesus predicted that ALL the Church at this time would be ASLEEP! (Matt 25:5.) When you are physically asleep, you are unaware of physical realities. To be spiritually asleep means you are unaware of spiritual realities. This is the state of the bride of Christ at this time. She is unaware of spiritual realities!
The Churches of God are asleep to God's agenda at this late hour. They need to be alerted. Not all they need to know is disseminated by their church leaders. So, God uses prophets – 'outsiders' to their congre- gations. But are prophets accepted today? Or are they shut outside the door, where Christ knocks? (Rev 3:20.)
Elijah listened to the voice of God. Elijah raised the dead. Elijah was so opposed, he thought he was alone. But against all odds, Elijah contested the ways of the false 'Church'. Would the end-time Elijah be any different?
The prophetic work of the end-time Elijah was not fulfilled by Herbert W Armstrong. He didn't raise the dead. He is dead and Jesus has not yet returned. You have to look elsewhere. God is doing His Work of restoration through many others. And we have testimonies of those whom God has raised from the dead!
If you want to know more, write and request the following:
I then offered these publications, giving a précis about each one:
Sunday Versus Sabbath: The Final World Crisis
Who Is The End-Time Elijah?
Raising The Dead: Testimonies in Our Time
What Does It Take To WAKE UP The Churches of God?
The Imminent Fall of America
The Gospel Now and Beyond (a video).
Instead of receiving a positive confirmation, The Journal's e-mail response contained probing questions: What did I mean by "raising the dead"? Did I mean figuratively or literally?
"Literally" I wrote.
There was a delay before they replied. When it came it was cold and clinical. After referring my advert to the editor, he refused to accept it. I was incredulous! One could sense the devil at work, causing them to be gripped by fears.
Their response demonstrated the accuracy of Jesus' words. They are dead, and they resist being revived. How tragic!
Flying in the Spirit
Rejection by others does not prevent God continuing with His Work. He does not need human acceptance, although He would prefer to have it – for their own sakes!
On 5th June 1999, God gave me this dream of how He would lead us on from there:
On the Wings of the Spirit
5th June 1999. Malcolm. Dream of On the Wings of the Spirit. I was given some sort of gadget like outstretched wings on which you could glide in the air. I went to the edge of a cliff to try this thing out. It was daunting to go over the edge for the first time, but I got hold of this thing and glided over the edge.
As I swooped downwards there was a couple on the beach below. A man was imposing himself on a younger, weaker woman. He was a brute of a man and used his weight and strength to smother and dominate the woman. As I glided over this couple, there was a loud crack, like a bone breaking. Several other loud cracks then occurred later, and the dream faded.
Meaning: The woman is the Church. The overbearing man is the wrong system of government with its false ministers who dominate for their selfish ends. The winged gadget is the power supplied by the Spirit. The cracking is demonic strongholds being broken.
The above dream portrays well what it is like following the lead of the Spirit. God gets you to do things that you could not or would not normally do. But as you learn to trust Him implicitly, He holds you up and carries you on His wings.
Jesus is Tired of Waiting!
On 24th March 2000 Helena received this dream about the CoG:
Jesus Tired of Waiting for the Church!
I was busy cleaning toilets and doing house duties. There was someone outside waiting (like a fiancée – Jesus waiting for His bride). I would go and show Him love occasionally. [Helena was put in the place of the CoG.] But Jesus was worn out by waiting. He was totally loyal and faithful to the woman (church).
Meaning: The church is busy doing its own thing. Jesus is exhausted waiting. Jesus says to the church: WAKE UP, MY LOVE!!
The woman wakes up slowly, smiling as she wakes up, with demons leaving.
Cleaning the toilets and doing chores around the house depict the arduous work that has to be consistently done to clean things up spiritually, in order to wake up the Church of God.
The CoG is Antiquated
Helena received this dream on 23rd October 2001 about the Churches of God:
In this dream she saw a reasonably sized house with timber panelling inside. There were big rooms, with plenty of space, so it could be used for meetings.
The rooms were not defined, and it seemed as though the walls had come down to make it possible for people to mingle or meet. [The current CoG situation.] It was as if the house was opened up and there was more space.
The timber panelling was drab, old fashioned and monotonous, as if it had been there for years. It was functional, but that was all. There was nothing really appealling about the place. Some fixtures [doctrinal dogmas and teaching] needed to be adjusted. People were going about doing different things.
Helena saw a laundry basket abandoned with clean clothes in it. So she took it and tried to deal with it.
The meaning of the dream. The dream depicts the situation in which ex-WCG folks find themselves. The Churches of God are not moving in the Spirit. Hence they are drab, uninviting 'rooms', with old fashioned 'worship', and with doctrinal dogmas ('fixtures') which are in need of adjustment.
They need further truth (about spiritual gifts, the moving of the power of God's Spirit, about prophets and prophesying, etc), and particularly application of this Word to their daily life and church worship.
Members may be reading the Word, but not moving on. There is a lack of spiritual dynamics.
Some areas in need of adjustment are:
1. Listening to God. To put it bluntly, they just don't listen to God. Most CoG folks don't even believe that God would speak to them. Nor do they believe that prophets hear from God today. Listening To God opens up new truth on this for the receptive.
2. Spiritual gifts. Likewise, faith levels are so low that, not only do they not believe God speaks to those who are open to hearing from heaven, they don't believe He gives supernatural spiritual gifts. (Covered in An Introduction to the Spiritual Gifts, and Holy Fire! and The Fire of God.)
3. Life after death. The common old fashioned CoG dogma is that the spirit in man does not live on after death, that it merely goes back to God, but has nothing to do with consciousness. This is in direct contradiction of NT theology. Paul in 1 Cor 2:11 stated that the spirit in man gives us consciousness and thought. Paul described his body merely as a housing for the more important spirit (2 Cor 5:1,4), as did Peter (2 Pet 1:13,14). The truth on this subject which CoG folks are missing is in our booklet Life After Death, also in Spirit, Soul and Body and at the end of Why Human Life? there is an account of one who was given insight into the spiritual realm after death. (Most evangelicals call this 'heaven'.) Listening To God also contains the basic teaching on the importance of the spirit in man.
4. Prophets. The devil has deluded most brethren in the CoG that prophets don't exist today, which limits their ability to receive anything more spiritual that they can't comprehend by themselves. Prophets and Prophesying addresses this lack. I have also enclosed a short one-page summary of why the CoG dogma on prophets is entirely inaccurate.
There are other dogmas and errors in CoG teaching and understanding, but these are the first that need countering for people to come into the light.
The dream also portrayed a basket of clean clothes (cf. Rev 19:7,8) which has just been left. The clothes were not put on. God is saying that the CoG is not moving in the Spirit and is therefore lacking His righteousness which comes from living in union with the Spirit of Jesus (2 Cor 5:15-21).
Until they start to listen to God directly, accept what they can learn from the prophetic gifts to the Church, get baptised in the Spirit and begin harnessing spiritual gifts, they wil remain spiritually inert and an unusable vestigial organ in the Church. This is why the evangelistic outreach in such groups is so minimal or absent. They have a name that they live, but are dead (Rev 3:1).
God has portrayed the overall spiritual problem with the current CoG. The emphasis is physical, not spiritual. There is no real awareness of the Spirit, and there is no moving of the Spirit of God because of lack of faith. I wrote Faith: Raising Our Level of Expectation to try and help redress this imbalance, as well as Principles of True Worship to try and encourage people to expect Jesus to show up in meetings. If there is no expectation, worship is lifeless. When there is expectation (vibrant faith), hunger and thirst for truth and for the things of the Spirit, Jesus shows up and things happen. He has appeared in vision in some of our meetings, and demonstrates His presence every time we meet together through the manifestation of spiritual gifts. We have had healings too.
If these things are accepted and incorporated into CoG belief and practice, worship can be transformed and churches revitalised. Everyone can then learn to truly trust God and have a renewed, ongoing relationship of fellowship with Jesus, not merely a shallow mental acquiescence like we see at present. I would love to see it.
The Stifling CoG Environment
Although I have recounted the following dream in a previous newsletter, it bears repeating in this context.
Regimentation and Control in the Church
25th January 2001. M. Regimentation and Control in the Church. I was shown many people all standing in tightly regimented rows and blocks. They were so regimented that not one was out of line. There was a woman over them who controlled them.
This woman was a lady we knew in our former church association. She was a 'good' woman (or so people thought!). She was always 'serving'. She made the tea after services. She was a Martha in that church. She was kind and friendly. She was a nice person to know. She was submissive to her husband, to the church, to the church's ministry, etc. She really seemed to be a paragon of virtue in the church. What we could not see at that time was her heart. All her behaviour stemmed from a desire to look good in the eyes of others. She operated from the basis of fear of man, not fear of God.
When we were cast out of that church and falsely accused, she knew it was unjust treatment. She went to the pastor who did the dirty deed, and asked him why he had done it. He said little to really enlighten her. He just encouraged her to fall in line with his wishes. She did. She did nothing effectively to follow her conscience which was bothering her about our mistreatment.
Some years later, we tried to contact her. We went to her home, but we got a hostile reception. She had allowed the devil to push the door of her mind open through the false minister who had disfellowshipped us. She had accepted obeisance to him instead of obeisance to God. She lost truth. She lost the Holy Spirit. She lost her salvation. God showed me in a dream that she was not saved and cannot be rescued because she chose to deny God by exalting the church and its human leadership.
Why did God show me her in this dream? Because she represents the religious spirit in people who 'play church'. She was religious. She was 'good'. She did 'good' things. She acted out the part. She was the 'God-fearing' lady. (Appearances can be very deceptive!) But she was subservient to satanic control in the church, and she furthered Satan's aims through hierarchic dominance, and through control. There is a parallel in many churches today.
Where there is hierarchic dominance over others, where there is a situation of "we are the ministry; you are the members", or the "us-and-them" mentality, of ecclesiastics and laity, you have the devil's system masquerading as God's.
In this dream, this lady was shown as taking my keys; my house key and the key to my car. Thus, she was effectively taking away my freedom to go where God wanted me to go, and to live how He had decreed. By doing this, she took God's place in my life (this was in the dream, not in actuality). Every minister must be careful he is not doing that inadvertently with those to whom he ministers. Church leaders who do this, end up being their 'pope'. Through money and power, church leaders can easily get puffed up and elevated.
And when they find themselves in this position of power, they can easily abuse it through regimentation or control.
Spiritual control in the Church is satanic. The spirit behind it is the spirit of witchcraft! [God's Church – Whose Authority? (GC) explains about right and wrong authority. Wrong authority in the CoG has led to its spiritual death!]
Restoring True Worship
I ought to say a little about countering control in worship meetings. Three things will encourage the Spirit of God to guide and prevent human control dominating:
Sincerity, Simplicity, Spontaneity.
Sincerity is essential as Jesus said in John 4:23 – "...worship in [spirit and in] truth..."
Simplicity can go out the window when meetings become either too long, too organised, too erudite, or religious. Simplicity can also mean being plain, without affectation (not false), without put-on airs and graces, without sanctimoniousness, without arrogance or pride.
Spontaneity is most important. The larger the meetings, the greater the problem. Meetings can end up so pre-programmed, so organised, that everyone is doing their bit and the Holy Spirit agenda is overlooked. Most churches are guilty of denying the moving of the Spirit because of this.
It is the spontaneous prophetic word, the spontaneous tongues interpretation, the spontaneous praise and worship song, or the spontaneous message that carries the anointing of God. But it is often too difficult for church leaders to allow this spontaneity, because it disrupts their plans, their schedule or something else which they have established.
Church customs and church traditions are chief culprits in denying the working of the Spirit in meetings. Church organisation and regimentation can often work against what God wants to do. So, God is saying, "Beware human control by church leadership." Beware having exactly the same format or service as previously. Try to vary things as much as possible. And let the congregation take part as much as anyone who is moved to preach. Avoid always having an assigned preacher, or an assigned topic to preach on. Allow the Spirit to show what to preach about (this can occur during the meeting, or a few days before the meeting if God knows the person must do some research before presenting his sermon). Always expect (as much as possible) the unexpected. God loves to work unexpectedly. It gives Him the greater glory.
The night before this dream, Helena had a dream about a lot of people having their picnics. What this means is that people are all engrossed in what THEY are doing, concerned about their little area of activity. It is the product of a selfish spirit. It is idolatry. It blinds people to the bigger picture. They don't see what God means to achieve through the literature which He has moved us to write. They may see the publications, but what is inside them is lost on them. They fail to see how God wants to give this truth to the Church worldwide and how it could totally reform the entire Church around the world. This selfishness causes blindness which keeps them out of the revival which God means for many many more to share in.
In the previous explanation, some people will find my statement rather strong that the Churches of God are dominated by a spirit of witchcraft. Anyone who exercises spiritual control over others, to dominate them, to oppress them, to limit or control them is being governed by, and exercising this evil spirit of witchcraft. You may call it by another name if you think the term is inaccurate, but it does not change the evil nature behind it.
The following should prove my point.
In May 1999, I reached out to a number of CoG people by sending Awake! Awake! 7-3 (Just What Does It Take To WAKE UP The Churches of God?) and some other materials which exposed the spiritual penury of the CoG.
I received no positive response. The reason why is illustrated by an e-mail from Rick Stanczak, who demonstrated how much these people are in the grip of Satan. His reply is included in my response to him which follows:
Subj: Re: What a HEAP! followed by "Just What is 'The Work'?"
Date: 15/05/99 19:27:05 TST
In a message dated 15/05/99 11:51:48 TST, email@example.com writes:
<< Ah Malcolm...... What a HEAP!......
Of course, your side-stepping the prima facie issue with mumbo-jumbo distortions of focus would be expected coming from a false profit and glory seeker like you. (Has Lady Di come back to life as you prophesied, among many other false prophesies?? What is the fruit of your nonsense?!)
Someone mailed me some of your tapes a few years back, and I have never heard so much self-aggrandizing and fawning support for deceitful snake oil pushers like Benny Hinn and other charismatic goof-balls. Oh they've got a spirit all right!
I'm sure it would be wishful thinking on my part that you would hit the road and take your spirit with you too.
Rick Stanczak >>
DISCERNING THE SPIRITS (my reply)
For those who want it, here is a Sabbath lesson on discerning the spirits. We'll take the above message, and I will give you a Holy Spirit analysis on the evil spirits infesting the writer's psyche, which give rise to the following evil fruits.
1. Rude, insulting:
Firstly, our 'friend' starts with rudeness. Rudeness is not in the catalogue of virtues supplied by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 13:5).
2. Hostility and disparagement:
I would like to call him my brother in Christ, but his attitude and approach is denigrating and hostile. Two evils in one.
3. No love, only hate:
He doesn't come in love towards me or towards any others with whom he disagrees on doctrine or other Christian practice. He thinks he runs ahead of all the others, and does not need to practice loving others. Love is the greatest Christian doctrine and virtue. But clearly Rick doesn't have it. He has departed from the faith! John would not have welcomed him into his home (2 Jn 10).
Rick mocks the prophecy about Princess Diana's return to life, which God has given us. Has Jesus returned yet? Are we to mock those prophecies in the Bible, too? Mockers and scoffers have a wrong spirit. I shouldn't have to quote to any of you what Peter said about them!
5. Falsely accusing:
Rick falsely accuses me that I have had many other false prophecies, which failed to come to pass. That is untrue. He knows next to nothing about my work, nor about what prophecies God has given us. For those who want the truth, we have had prophecies come true.
Here is the first one: Early in our ministry in 1993 God told us to go to a local car dealership and tell them some things. We did as God said and told them what God had instructed. They mocked. Then God spoke again. He said their garage would close.
13 months later it did.
False prophecy? No! True prophecy. If any want further corroboration from us I can supply it. But by the tone of the objections, the fault-finders don't want the truth, only to slander us.
Those who don't seek truth or to be objective are guided by demon spirits. Satan's minions all have that quality of fault-finding and accusing.
6. More false accusing:
<< Someone mailed me some of your tapes a few years back, and I have never heard so much self-aggrandizing and fawning support for deceitful snake oil pushers like Benny Hinn and other charismatic goof-balls. >>
Ask others who know me whether I am self aggrandizing. What tapes are you referring to? I bet you don't even know! If it was the set of 3 tapes about Jim Rector's misdemeanours against me, plagiarising my publication "God's Church – Whose Authority?" on a tape he made on 10th August 1996 entitled "Who Is The Greatest?", let others hear those tapes and judge. You have arrived at your conclusion. If we are to take any objective note of your accusations, we need to have independent witnesses assess whether what I said was self-aggrandising and fawning as you falsely accuse. Otherwise, keep your accusative mouth shut. No demon should ever be allowed this much latitude in a church which claims to be part of God's Church!
7. Mock & speak evil of what you don't understand:
As for Benny Hinn and charismatics whom you insult, have you cast out demons? NO! Clearly not! They are running rampant throughout your brain! Benny Hinn, for all his mistakes and aspects of false doctrine, HAS cast out demons. Two of the participants on this forum have seen this with their own eyes.
Let me ask all you folks participating in this discussion (which is fast developing into outright war between those who stand for Light and those who stand for Darkness), which of you have cast out demons? [No one replied!] If you have not, then don't judge just because you don't understand what others do in their worship. That is illicit, a demonic trait (Jude 10).
If my wife and I have cast them out (and she does so frequently, she is an intercessor also) are we not qualified to be heard in the assembly? Is not the Holy One moving in us and guiding our work? Yet all who don't understand, mock and try to find fault.
I have spent time to highlight the falsity and demonic nature of this man's attack on me. I hope that it proves useful to you on this forum to learn the need to test the spirits as John commands (1 Jn 4:1). Spirits work through others. They bequeath bad traits, chief among which is that of accusing falsely.
You are to assess others by their spiritual fruits, not by their doctrine. Many from our background have not yet come out of the deceptive approach (of Satan) of judging another on the grounds of their doctrine. "If they don't keep the Sabbath, or if they don't believe like we do on this or that... then they're false.." This is a false notion itself! When the Spirit of Christ lives in a person, they are Christ's, even if they still have not come to see where their doctrines may still be in error. So, beware coming to wrong conclusions.
All who want to examine Xxxx's emphasis on praise should first read Merlin Carother's book "Prison to Praise", before they try judging him on that one!
God bless you all – all, that is, who want to learn more and move on in the power of the Spirit of God. (The ALLmighty!)
Are you ready for miracles? Are you ready for the dead being raised. It's coming. It's not far away. But when it does, are you ready to preach about Jesus and not merely about your own petty doctrines? People need setting free, not trapping again by the dogmas of men!
Sincerely, in His love,
PS What follows is an article which I hope you find helpful.
In that e-mail I also included the article Just What Is 'The Work'? Here is an excerpt from it:
.....Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem until that happened (Acts 1:4). They were to be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5). That occurred (Acts chapter 2). You know the story. That's when they became witnesses for God:
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
They didn't reach the ends of the earth. That commission is still continuing today. Jesus prophesied that the gospel WOULD go to the ends of the earth before He came again. I'm sure you know the scripture well! (Matt 24:14.)
We are now very close to the time of Jesus' return, and the gospel IS going to the world! But WHO is preaching it? Do you see, or are you blind?
It is not the Worldwide Church of God, nor its offshoots, although some may lay claim to that honour. Their impact is so minimal it is almost not worth considering! I will come to who is preaching it in a minute. First, let's notice something else that was hidden to you in the Worldwide Church of God.
There are two points about the Work which emerge from a careful examination of these verses:
1) The Work is carried on by the Holy Spirit, not just by men.
2) The Holy Spirit provides supernatural POWER which gains people's attention and inspires the preaching.
How is 'the Work' Done?
The Work of God is carried on through the agency of the Holy Spirit. It is not a work of man, although men (and women) are directly involved.
It is conducted by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Paul talked about the uselessness of trying to reach the minds of men with human speech alone (1 Cor 1:17). You can be the greatest orator the world has ever seen, but if the Spirit of God does not lead you, your words will do nothing to bring true life to your hearers.
This was part of the problem with all that transpired in the Worldwide Church of God, and why its work is finally disintegrating. Its operations were humanly directed, humanly governed, and humanly led. The presence of dominant hierarchy was one major indicator of this fact.
Seldom did evangelism occur under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
That may sound shocking to many ears, but there is much with which we should be shocked about our former association!
Paul's preaching was much different. He stated:
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT'S POWER (1 Cor 2:4).
When have you seen a demonstration of the Spirit's POWER? I bet you haven't if all you have been exposed to is the preaching of the Worldwide Church of God or any of its offshoots!
When have you seen blind eyes opened at public meetings when the gospel is preached? When have you seen deaf ears opened, lame people walk, cripples get up out of wheelchairs, various sicknesses miraculously cured, demons cast out of demoniacs, or even (dare I suggest it?) the dead raised?
You probably haven't! Well, sorry if this shocks you! I have! I have seen all those things occur at evangelistic meetings when those who preach also have the faith to rely upon Jesus to back them up. That is, I have witnessed all those miracles occur except one. I haven't yet seen dead people raised, but I have read several authentic accounts to know that it has occurred. Jesus said it would, and He gave the command to do so (Matt 10:8).
The trouble for us who keep the Sabbath is that all these miracles have been occurring mostly through the preaching of those who don't keep the Sabbath in the way we do. For want of a better description they are 'Sunday keepers'.
And these are the ones who are preaching the gospel to the world for a witness. They are taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the former communist lands of the USSR, eastern Europe, South America, Africa and around the world, even in the farthermost corners and underground in red China.
The Baptism of the Spirit
You have probably been baptized in water, but there is a baptism you have not been told about which is more important if you are to do the Work of God.
Jesus told those whom He had first commissioned that they would be BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 1:5). That phrase usually falls on deaf ears. It means little to the uninitiated. But Jesus was telling them that when He baptized them in His Spirit, they would be clothed with power (Luke 24:49).
Paul was clothed with this power. When he preached, Jesus backed him up by performing miracles that convinced many of the presence of God. At Iconium:
Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of His grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders (Acts 14:3).
The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them (Acts 15:12).
There are many other places in the book of Acts describing the miraculous witness that accompanied the preaching of the gospel. That is because those who preached were baptized, as Jesus was, in the Holy Spirit AND power (Acts 10:38). You can have the Holy Spirit without the power, or you can have it with power. Miraculous signs and wonders will only follow if you believe for them. You've got to ask, and expect (Matt 7:7,11).
What is not generally realised in Sabbatarian circles is that the same miraculous signs and wonders have not ceased occurring where the gospel is preached and those preaching it have faith to receive demonstrations of miraculous power.
It is the power of God which authenticates the divine source of the gospel message. That is what it means to preach the gospel for a WITNESS!
Supernatural power convicts more than words alone.
When the Holy Spirit came on that first N.T. Pentecost, it brought power. The Holy Spirit has not left. It/He is still with us today. How much is God's power utilized? It has been neutralised too often by false teaching that has elevated unbelief above faith!
Faith clothes us with power from on high. Unbelief undermines it. When the Spirit descended on the disciples in that upper room, manifestations of power erupted. If they had been as unbelieving as many of the onlookers, do you think God could have done so much through them? No. It was because of their expectancy, as well as their desperate need for help, that they were recipients. They were expecting something dramatic. Jesus had told them to wait and see what He would do (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5). Coupled with that, they felt vulnerable and knew their need for God after what had transpired. God could work so mightily through them because they were open to His Spirit.
By contrast, the self-righteous, smug, complacent climate engendered in a comfortable arm-chair church does nothing to aid the manifestation of the Spirit's power. It stifles it. But that is the tragic legacy the Worldwide culture has spawned.
The WCG Legacy
If you have been a part of the Worldwide Church of God and thought that its doctrines and spiritual experience were more or less complete, you won't have received this 'clothing' of the Spirit Jesus mentioned in Luke 24:49 – this power from on high. Why not? Because you were not taught to expect it, or to accept it.
And what you don't believe you should receive, you won't. We all receive according to our faith. We were actually taught to distrust any 'Pentecostals' who promoted this baptism!
The Signs of This Baptism
Mark wrote Jesus' words about what it meant to be baptized with His Spirit. He wasn't just talking about receiving a small dose of the Holy Spirit, an 'earnest' or downpayment. One talent, if you like. He was talking about an OUTPOURING that would demonstrate visible POWER through supernatural signs and wonders...
(If you 'itch' to know the rest, request the entire article.)
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