A Letter to Young and Old Christians.
I thought I would take this opportunity to write concerning a few things which have concerned me for some years. Generally speaking I have been quiet thoughtful type of person. It's amazing when you just sit quietly watching in the midst of God's people what you see and learn. The problem is that so few watch and fewer still learn and it is almost impossible to find one who sits quietly.
On my travels I have met many people within the Church. Some of them have been gracious, good, wise friends. Others have almost destroyed me with a vengeance. I thought that if I could maybe describe them to you, warn you and advise you how to act in their company that maybe in my own small way I could help you as we journey together to our final destination at the throne of God. I certainly do not seek to make you skeptical, suspicious or separatist; Oh no, for it is God who planned that I meet each of these persons along the way. It was part of His plan to break me and mould me into the person I will be as I dwell with my Lord and Saviour for all eternity. If you are young in the faith then maybe as yet you have not met such characters but please listen as you can be sure that very soon you will. If you're older in the faith then you will recognise at least a few of the following, maybe all. I hope you learned from those meetings, I hope you are not sitting presently as a casualty of the encounter or influence. But let me begin.
Mr. Evangelically Dead
Now here is one to watch out for. Many Evangelicals are above reproach in doctrine and lifestyle and are often wary of the extremes of religious fanaticism. This is to be highly commended. Now I know they might disagree with us on certain Pentecostal issues but they are to be highly commended for their stand for Truth, Christ, the Blood, the Cross and holiness. They have a long spiritual heritage of good men and women that we all respect in the Body of Christ. But there is one who hides behind their great testimony and orthodoxy and who has through his cunning arguments and strong statements bound many with fear, his name is Mr Evangelically Dead.
Now at those times that I have encountered him (in fact it seems I have always known him) he was always dressed very well like a Christian would. He usually tended to have a Bible in hand and was of a serious composure. His plea was always "What saith the scripture?" yet I can remember so many times with his cunning use of scripture trying to show me that the Baptism in the Holy Ghost was merely salvation and that the gifts were only for the apostles and the early church. All emotion, noise, hand lifting and hand clapping was disrespectful; in fact he believed that it was an utter manifestation that I had no fear of God. When I was young I would sit and listen to him, utterly unconvinced by his arguements I must say, without arguing. It always amazed me that he prided himself in believing the Bible, knowing the Bible and studying the Bible more than believers like myself yet he would work hard to show me why many things in the Bible and the early church were not for me today.
His church little resembled the church I read of in the Bible, yet his reason for this was that we were living in the great falling away otherwise known as the apostasy, that Jesus said "would He find faith on the earth when He returned" that the Bible said the love of many would wax cold, that evil men would get worse etc. He was so good at weaving these scriptures together that I dare not talk to him about revival with faith in my heart, or about a glorious church or about the evangelising of the nations lest he thought I was not an true Bible believer. I later came to see that his prophesyings about the last days were self-fulfilling prophesies that he brought to pass in his own life and church and any other young nieve believers that came his way or under his influence.
Now how did I come to handle him? Well though I could not pride myself on education or my knowledge yet I did make myself a student of the Word of God. I read it, loved it and obeyed it. I soon found that though his arguments seemed strong yet there were MANY other scriptures he neglected to tell me about. I soon found I had a more solid scriptural foundation than he, even though he was thought by many to be a bit of a theologian, or so he told me.
Much later I read of his so-called Evangelical ancestors like Luther who prayed for the sick and they recovered, of Whitefield who lay on his face for days in prayer until the fire of God fell and revival came to nations, of Spurgeon operating the word of knowledge from his pulpit, or best of all that good old fashioned Presbyterian W.P.Nicholson who sought a baptism in the Holy Ghost as power for service and demonstrated it by stirring the whole land with a multitude of converted souls.
It seems Mr E. Dead did not at all resemble them or have their life, zeal or beliefs. As I think back over my encounters with him, he never desired that we spend an evening in prayer, apart from him closing an evening of discussion with one of his eloquent prayers. He never challenged me to fast, or to be on fire, or to seek revival, or to go to the nations with the everlasting Gospel. Having watched him for over 30 years I see little fruit but much religion in him, little joy, peace or true righteousness. Little change of character and conduct.
Well I leave him here for there is no way to talk him round, after all he has always been right, and when he sees life anywhere he will instruct us why it is not scriptural. So, farewell my old friend.
Mr & Mrs Charismatic
As I grew and avoided the spiritual stagnation of Mr. E. Dead I almost went the other way and fell prey to another almost as convincing. Their surname was Charismatic. Now they stood out when compared to Mr. Dead as filled with life, dynamic, filled with faith and in a more visible way more like the early church or at least it seemed. Now generally speaking (and I can only speak from personal experience) the charismatic movement has many within it who truly read the Word as a source of life, they sure do lack in doctrinal understanding but overall I watched them spend much time in the Word. Also they spent much time in prayer. They were more gracious, loving and peaceful than dead evangelicalism. They rarely gossiped, slandered, or hindered you. Now all this was very convincing and I believe under the umbrella title of Charismatic are those who are the real gold. But in their midst are an overwhelming amount like Mr & Mrs Charismatic.
My first encounter with them left a real impression on me. Here was real Bible Christianity. They believed and lived the Book of Acts. On that first day they shared with great joy and life some testimonies of what God had done in their lives. Mrs. Charismatic had gone to heaven in a vision, Mr. Charismatic shared about people he had prayed for and they were healed. At the end of our first meeting together they asked if they could pray for me, of course I willingly said yes. They prayed great things for me with real life, then before they finished Mrs. C. spoke a word to me from God, she prophesied how God was going to use and bless me.
Now by first impressions (and remember I was comparing them strongly against Mr. Dead) I was very impressed. After a period of time of fellowship with this family I began to note things that disturbed me. They seemed to build a lot on dreams, prophecies, visions and impressions. I began to wonder how they tested these. In their church it was considered that you were legalistic or had a religious spirit if you didn't fall down when prayed for or if you didn't receive and accept a word they had for you from the Lord. Generally speaking you could belong to any church even the Roman Catholic church and others as long as you spoke in tongues and fell down when prayed for.
Often I heard them say in their midst, "don't judge, don't judge" yet they immediately judged all those they thought were judging or even questioning. Increasingly over the years as I have watched this family I have grown more worried. Mr. C., believe it or not, got an earring in. Mrs. C. was promoted in the church to the ministry team with their Pastor. Their daughter Charis who seemed very anointed and sensitive to the 'spirit' used to go friendship evangelising in pubs with other teen Christians, the last I heard she was pregnant. Their son Bizarre formed a Christian rock band which several years later became the worship team in the church. His music and dress style is crazier than the style of the world's music and dress when I was young.
It seems that those who are normal and sound in their midst happily mix with the C's crazy friends. One was heard prophesying that we were going to see a restoration of the Druid anointing in the church. Another said the fillings in her teeth turned to gold (her dentist seemed to disagree) and someone beside her had gold dust fall on him. The list is endless.
This is no mere joke. I have watched the fruit produced in a younger generation of the charismatic church and it's not good. I have a real love for this movement and I am very aware that there is a real spirit of deception in their midst. I have watched a number who have responded to the Truth ministered in love over the years but most have not yet seen or heard of a better way. They look at Mr. Dead and say "no way" and Mr dead looks at them and says "I am happy as I am." Never the twain shall meet and they excuse their own GREAT lack by the deadness or extreme of the other. These two are reactions against each other and feed off each other to content themselves that they are ok.
Farewell such inventions of man I look for that Pentecostal church birthed in an upper room, filled with the power of the Holy Ghost, walking in holiness and guided in all things by the Truth of Gods book. "They that are spiritual test ALL things."
Ms Inner Healing
Now this lady and her kind have spread across the church in the past generation in a most amazing way. One lady from this group who was visiting with us tried strongly probing me for what was wrong with me in my past, in my soul, in my youth, in my family to find hurts, hang-ups and any other dysfunctional attributes. When finally I testified to being in Christ, filled with His love and not hurting she gave up on me, turned her back on me and tried someone else. My worth to her only went as far as my hurts and HER ability to minister to them.
Another lady wouldn't look in my eyes because all she could see were demons. Another time in a meeting as God opened a vision before me of multitudes of lost dark soul
s in Nations; I broke and wept crying out for souls. Two ladies approached me wanting to pray for me for my hurts that the 'spirit' would bring joy. The Holy Spirit was burdening me for lost souls, their 'spirit' wanted to give me joy. One last incident, I was the invited speaker at a church, before I got up the son of the founding pastor got up to share, he was in his 40's. He had just been at an inner healing weekend and now wanted the whole church to go, he spoke for 20 minutes finally sharing how that when he was a young Christian boy his Dad cuffed his ear, all these years later he still had not forgiven his dad and had carried the deep hurt of this all these years until he said the 'spirit' had opened up this wound and set him free that weekend. In all his speaking he never mentioned Jesus even once. I wished his Dad had been there that morning to cuff him again. I got up and preached, what a response but that is for another time.
One thing I have noted is that those most used in this so-called area of ministry are woman. Now the reason for this is, I believe, that they are born Mothers. They are more emotional, caring and sensitive than men and so more usable for this task. Now to Ms. Inner Healing.
When I first made her acquaintance I was immediately unsure of her. Her teaching though vaguely scriptural seemed to lack the substance of Truth. Now she talked much about knowing the Fathers heart and love. I could see she thought most Christians had stopped short at Jesus and that's why they carried so much hurt around. In fact the whole time I knew her she spoke little about knowing Jesus or her born again experience. As I got to know her I could not deny her devotion as she went of on prayer walks to pray for people and situations. The 'spirit' seemed to reveal things to her which she could not have otherwise known. Her prayers seemed to carry authority, in worship her eyes were closed hands lifted and she was lost in God.
As I love to read books I always browse through peoples bookshelves, now while looking through hers there were books by John and Paula Sanford, Agnes Sanford, Francis Macnutt, and a host of others mostly names I didn't recognise, there were a couple of books on the Jezebel spirit, some on interpreting dreams and visions, and others on deliverance, "Pigs in the Parlour" stood out, and the rest were on counselling. But none on the Blood, the Cross, holiness and none by old authors like Andrew Murray.
Now a good friend of hers I soon met was called by everyone 'the Prophetess' she had quite a testimony. Ms. Inner Healing had a close association with the Prophetic Movement. In one of these early meetings the Prophetess had a vision of someone in the group with a foreign crown on their head sitting on a throne judging others. Well it was only the Pastor and me who were foreigners in the meeting so it had to be me. I left the meeting searching my heart, "Am I being judgmental? Am I critical? Am I looking down on them?" Of course I didn't want to do that. There I was repenting for such things, little did I know that I was casting away my scriptural right to test ALL THINGS by the WORD of GOD. In fact it's a command.
Over the next months Ms. Healing was of great help, she showed me much concern and was always willing to talk with me and pray for me. At times while she prayed she asked me to imagine I was somewhere and that Jesus was there as well. It just seemed different from the faith in Christ I was taught as a child. I'm not sure how many times she told me "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." She explained that this was the truth about me, truth about my past, truth about my family, truth about my hurts. She never did tell me its true meaning that it was the Truth about Jesus and what He done and finished on the Cross.
Her group held a breaking of curses weekend which I attended. We were given a list to fill in and then spent time renouncing many things. For me it was like going through a ritual. Little by little I turned in on myself, centred on my soul, got confused, dejected and emotional. Something was wrong, I thought it was me. Not until I made a strong brake to get back to the Word, to Truth to Christ did my mind clear. I rose early and read the Word, at first my mind was confused then it cleared, really cleared, I had been duped, there was a deceiving spirit in the midst, these people had lost their grounding in God's written Word.
Now I could see that Ms. Healing really responded to the power given her by this spiritual position, she saw herself as important, many wanted to be counselled by her but she must have her time with the Father. I will not go into the details of where this has taken her but it was spiritual shipwreck in the light of God's Word even though she probably would get irate at me saying so. It was purely the Grace of God and the Truth of God's Word that set me free from the emotional and spiritual confusion of this woman and movement.
Inner Healing is one of the most dangerous things I have seen, it does not have a foundation in scripture. The 3000 saved at Pentecost did not go through inner healing, deliverance or breaking of generational curses and soul ties. No where in the whole New Testament do you once see Christ or the Apostles casting a demon out of a Christian, yet in Inner Healing circles it would be normal for Christians to talk about needing delivered. They all need continual ministry, in fact even their leaders have their own counsellors who hear from God for them. This ministry takes the church back to the dark ages and creates a new priesthood between God and man.
This certainly is not the New Testament Christianity that Christ left behind. It was birthed out of psychological theories by men like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung who were atheistic and occultic in their teachings. Be warned "Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death."
Pastor Control Everyone
Over the years I have found a controlling manipulative spirit choking and killing real works of God. Best known was the famed Shepherding Movement that set up a doctrine and church structure that for a time spread wide and destroyed many. It was demanded that believers MUST submit to leaders, that everyone needed a covering and for a time blemished beyond recognition the term discipleship. Even today you will find people who have no connection at all with this movement innocently asking "Who are you submitted to" or "who is your covering?"
Now when I first came across Pastor Control he actually taught against the Shepherding Movement, he would not come under such and taught others not to. He was gifted, dynamic, enthusiastic, busy and sound in the Word or so it seemed. I was happy to follow such strong godly leadership, at times things came to my ears but of course I did not believe or receive them as I thought it was just a reaction against good strong leadership. He taught us well against the abuse, deception and extremes in the church, for which I am still glad. He was a true leader.
At one point I thought we were standing on the threshold of revival. It was a long time before I began to see that Pastor Control was only gracious towards those who agreed and followed. Although he asked people to share any weaknesses they saw in the church, if you shared that this structure he had built was lacking in any way you would soon find it was not acceptable to point out blemishes unless it was in other churches and leaders.
Again it took time before I found out that the strong team of Elders (shepherds) around him were not shepherding the flock but were spying on them and gathering information so that Pastor C. could keep a good reign on all. Some of these underlings (Elders) went to ridiculous lengths. Only later did I realise I never heard a message from the pulpit on the requirements of Elders in task and character. A friend who brought a scripture to one of the Elders got told "I don't care what the Bible says, Pastor C. says..." After all he would hardly have them in leadership if they did not submit to his every whim.
Finally things got to the point where I saw anger released on innocent sheep, his face sure went red at these times. Lies were told to those nearest to him about the sheep. Jealousy, suspicion and bondage increased. The pulpit was used to bring accusations, rebukes and intimidation. It seemed King Saul had been birthed all over again. A booklet I found to be a great help but which was banned in this church was called "A Tale of Three Kings." Read it and find out why. When finally all became clear I left much discouraged.
I had mixed feelings of real respect for him and deep sadness that he had missed it. A trail of hurting bruised lives were left behind him, but also many who were blessed and touched. In every area of prayer, worship, evangelism and the preaching he must be in control. I saw that even though control was not in the doctrine or structure of the church yet it was in the heart of the leader and eventually pervaded ALL. I like to think that maybe he was different at the beginning, but maybe it was just covered all the time. Pastor C. and others like him to the amazement of some seem to be able to maintain this cycle year after year. They continue the same and doing the same still sitting on their throne of power. It seems no judgement comes, or is it just withheld in order to give these leaders time to repent?
I still believe in strong envisioned leadership. I am not a reaction against what I have seen and experienced. I myself hope to be a strong leader not letting wolves, lions and bears in amongst the sheep but I want to lead not drive, show not just tell, love unconditionally all even if they don't follow. Oh for a shepherds heart like David. How is it that leader's follow the example of Saul rather than David? I have seen this a few times over the years. When I see a so called strong leader lying and twisting truth in order to protect himself and to blacken a weak, innocent lamb or sheep then alarm bells go off. Men of God are honest and true.
In the book of Revelation Christ calls this Nicolatianism and says he "hates" their deeds and doctrines (2v6; v15). I have seen man's hand kill the work of God and the sheep. May God deliver us quickly. I am not a victim, though my back carries a number of scars from such encounters, I always saw God's hand in it. He took me this way to break me and prepare me for leadership. That I might have a true and compassionate heart for the sheep of His pasture. I believe God has taken many others this way of abuse to prepare them for leadership in His Church in the coming Revival.
Mr Continuous Grumble
There are a few rare animals in the world that can live in any environment and survive. The hottest temperatures or the coldest will not deter them. Scarcity of food or overabundance of the wrong kind will not hinder them in their task. Now there is such a type of Christian who actually seems to live and thrive off being in an environment he utterly detests and disagrees with. His name is Mr Grumble.
Look back to Israel of old coming up out of Egypt with a mighty deliverance from their enemies, their thankfulness barely lasts 10 days and they spend the next 40 years grumbling, complaining and murmuring. God performed signs and wonders in their midst, he provided for them supernaturally before their very eyes. He led them by a pillar of fire through the darkness of night, yet they feared not in holding their tongue when such a Holy God was so close. Even along the way they saw with their own eyes Gods judgement on rebels and slanderers like Korah and others, yet still they could not refrain their tongue. For the next 40 years (the rest of their lives) they would walk in a dry barren wilderness. These men did hear and know of a land and life of good things, a promised land of battles and victories in the purpose of God. Yet they did not enter and did hinder EVERYONE ELSE from entering as well. The main manifestation of their unbelief and wilderness journey was their uncontrolled tongue.
Over the years Mr Continuous Grumble has moved around a bit, I have bumped into him in lots of different church groups, denominations and conferences. I always found this hard to understand as he always very quickly got to telling me what he disagreed with. Why go somewhere or be some where that you so totally disagree with? We once left a meeting together where the preacher in closing his message on unity in the body warned the people that in 40 years he had never seen anyone blessed or prospering that caused divisions with their critical tongue. We were hardly out of the meeting before Mr Grumble started. All I could do was remain quiet, sad at this barren soul.
Another time as we travelled along he began to inform me that of course you couldn't get all worked up about praying for revival as it was God who moved you to pray, so why pray if He doesn't move you to? I was amazed at such barrenness and lack of wisdom in this old dried up prune at saying such things to a young man like myself. What damage such sentiments can cause in young believers. But I had an answer for him on this one. "Praise God" I said, "God must be going to send revival because He sure is moving me to pray." This time he sat quiet.
I rarely can remember him commending people though he definitely did and many thought highly of him as a great encourager in the church. I must admit at certain times I perceived a moving of the Holy Ghost upon him and at those times, oh what faith, what prayers, what encouragements came forth from him. This seemed to be a token of what he really was many years ago and a token of what he could be if he got sanctified in heart again. Oh what a walk with God he would have if he prayed and walked in the Spirit. What a tool in Gods hand he would be. Yet sadly these were very temporary bursts. His normal state was that he didn't like the songs, the people who sang, the style of music etc etc etc, on it would go.
He really believed he especially had the "Gift of discerning spirits" though to tell you of his blunders that I have watched would take a page. He really thought he had authority over the demons of hell, but I thought a man who has no authority over his own tongue will hardly have authority over hell. Very often I remember him slandering someone terribly. Then shortly after praising them to high heaven. I would sit mystified, thinking what a short memory he had. There seemed little of consistent pattern as to how he judged things and people. His convictions were built on present whims and his own perceptions.
I have taken long note that he is the sort that if ever you got in trouble you would want him around, but when God began to bless, you would want him to leave as quick as possible. I have watched that when some man of God would come to bless Gods people he would draw alongside the sheep and lambs warning them from his wisdom gained in his long wilderness journey. Sadly they often seemed impressed. He is much talk but little action. He will never go plant a church, he will never head off to some country to break ground, he will never step out of the boat at the Word of His Lord. But he will tell you everything there is to know of why things do work and don't work in Gods work. He sure does know it all but will never say "let's go in and possess the land." He will always criticize leadership but never carry the heavy load of responsibility in guiding Gods flock. Those who fight the Lords battle have no time for slander, gossip, ridicule, moaning and grumbling.
Why does he do this? Because this is what he is.
Now Friend how do you handle such a one? Just live in prayer, always talk the Word of God and you shall soon ware him out. If you keep turning fellowship times into times of prayer he will soon make himself scarce, but if you give him a pulpit in your living room, a place to make known his opinions he will fill it. His wisdom is from below so yours must be from above. Follow old Caleb's example whose voice was not heard once in 40 years amidst the rebellions, uprisings and grumblings in the wilderness, but watched such ones as Mr Grumble die in a wilderness unfulfilled, never finishing the race, never entering the land of promise. But at the end out of long silence Caleb broke out of the wilderness into the land of promise with full strength and a loud shout of "Give me this Mountain."
Ask God for a different spirit like Caleb and the wise tongue of Stephen and you will see the Glory of God though you be surrounded by ravenous tongues.
Brother Knot Legal
Every time that the church settles down and looses its revival spirit, God will always seek out and find some weak individual or band of people to bring the church back to a revived state and to a New Testament pattern. As soon as this stirring begins to be seen it is immediately called names, ridiculed and given a title of description by its enemies. In Ezra's day when they began to lay again a solid foundation for Gods city and build its walls their enemies said "this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein." In Paul's day when he began to preach and raise up churches his enemies said "we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:"
George Fox and his band were called Quakers because when he preached sinners quaked with fear. Wesley and his Holy Club were nicknamed Methodists because they returned to an ordered way of living according to scripture. And so it can be traced throughout church history. So what of today? What about that band of believers across the world today who are standing against a flood of iniquity, compromise and apathy? What about that remnant who are desiring to return to New Testament purity, power, simplicity and obedience? What are they being called? The LEGALISTS.
This is where Brother KNOT Legal comes in. Now he really is a good Brother in Christ and would hold to much the same as myself. But it dumbfounds me when I remember the times he has got embarrassed about me and though not half as strong to my face as behind my back has called me something of a legalist. Now in the early days of knowing him we walked along happily together talking about many things in the Bible and standing against sin in the church. Back then we had heard a voice come out of New York that seemed like a voice crying in the wilderness. Not many spoke like this, in fact we knew no one else. The voice was clear, pure and simple, to my heart this was Truth uncompromised. You see all I was seeing on the whole around me in the church was apathy, conformity to the world and a departure from the Word of God. But this voice was like that written in scripture. He spoke of a pure Holy Remnant that would preach the Gospel again throughout the world before Jesus came. Now we heard many call him legalistic. They said he had no love. They said he was to hard (sounds pretty like what the early multitudes of followers said of Christ when he began to teach and deal with their hearts). Did John Baptist preach this clear? Have the revivalists and prophets of every age spoke this clear? Of course that's why they stoned them.
Although Brother Knot walked with me happily in the light of some of these stirring messages it became apparent with time that he didn't like the title legalistic, in fact who does? When someone starts calling you legalistic you quickly want to get rid of it by showing you are gracious, loving, meek and kind. So a lot turn aside simply because of being called "a devil." You will remember Ahab called Elijah names, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he (Elijah) answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim." Its amazing that as soon as anyone stands for truth and calls the church back to the divine pattern they get called names.
During this century they called George Jeffreys, A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill and a host of others Legalists. Why? Because they wanted the Church to return to New Testament life, purity and power. No man, Denomination or ministry has the right to depart from the heavenly vision and the written Word. But every time someone stands and calls us back they will be called all sorts of names including LEGALIST.
With time Brother Knot let me know clearly that he did not want to be called a legalist. In fact he warned me strongly with many thoughts and arguments that I need to be careful about being legalistic. He never clearly told me what he meant by this, I wonder if he really knew himself. He did take note of the fact that because I was getting up early to pray and read my Bible, also the fact that I regularly went out on the streets to tell people about Jesus, all this could be legalistic. Also to talk seriously about the things of God, or to stay away from things that my conscience would not allow me to be involved in, all this was being in danger of legalism.
I really did not take this serious; in fact it was downright ridiculous. I just thought Brother Knot is going through a faze, he will be back to being himself again soon. Sadly as time went on I found out that my friend was talking about me to others and showing them that such terrible extremism was legalistic. Thank God that George Whitefield, David Brainard or Evan Roberts didn't listen to such foolish talk. These men wept, cried allowed, crucified the flesh, deplored foolish jesting and brought REVIVAL.
As time past Brother Knot Legal entered the ministry and raised up a church. He sure preached the Word, had a good church but seemed terrified of the reproach of this name Legalist, so any one who seemed to him to be so came under terrible pressure to NOT be LEGAL. Soon young believers in that church came to understand that to simply do what the Bible said made you legalistic, but to do what the Pastor says makes you Not Legalistic. So a pattern was established. I found that Brother Know could not tell the difference between conviction and condemnation and that is a terrible confusion to mix these two up.
Much more could be said about this, in fact needs to be said about this, but this will suffice for now. All I can say is will we follow the example of Paul, the scriptures and the Prophets of every age, or will we follow a weak, nervous, fearful middle of the road church? Are we scared to take the reproach of a false name for Christ's and the Gospel's sake or will we turn aside because of the words and fear of man?
Over the years people have called the wearing of a tie legalistic, they almost begged me not to wear one. They insisted on dressing down casual in fact YOU HAD TO or you were legalistic. Others warned me about fasting that it could be legalistic. Wanting to obey the Bible that is legalism. Wanting to follow the example of godly men, that is legalism. Where does it end, all it is, is a threat. Such accusations do not take account of a pure heart or motive. I do know that Legalism is a danger in the church, we see it in Galatians, but the answer to true legalism is to come back to the Word and pattern of Christ. In being scared of being legalistic we have become legalists of another sort.
I will probably tell you less about this little lady than the rest purely because I have not studied her as the rest. I tend not to hang around her too long, but following the example of Joseph I make myself scarce. Her female God given attributes are exalted, gloried in and made central in all things. She is female and she knows it. It used to be that in the church she had to disguise herself and work undercover, but in today's church she is put in the worship team for all to see. Today's church leaders would look at you mystified if you pointed out her scanty tight clothes, and her practices around the men.
Now when I first encountered her she was centre stage singing in the praise team of a church I visited. I must admit I kept my eyes closed during the praise time, half out of embarrassment and half out of virtue. The church was using her looks, voice and age to make it known they were not old fashioned, they could reach the youth, they were contemporary. The Pastor was so holy that he would think it a deep sin if anyone even doubted her sincerity. It was not long before she got a stud in her belly button; some of her English friends who led worship had studs in their tongues.
Now, just ten years ago I would have thought this impossible, unbelievable and unacceptable in the vast majority of churches. But these are changing days. In reality she is the result of a change in the messengers in today's pulpit and the message they bring. Miss Sensual attends all the main worship conferences, hands raised, eyes closed and sings hallelujah. Now I know how I am talking is denounced as 'legalistic' by leaders today, but I have watched carefully the fruit that has been produced. They have been told "It does not matter how you dress, where you go, or what you do, it only matters that your heart is for God. God looks at the heart but man on the outside. God accepts you just as you are." Now this has been preached and is now being produced on such a wide scale that it almost covers the whole ground. The Bible says "He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Miss Sensual in her openness is a product of today's church sowing to the flesh and now that's what they are getting back.
While at her church on the back table I looked through the Pentecostal magazines that were birthed in Wigglesworth's day. Back then there were articles on holiness, prayer, fasting, hell, missions, miracles, godly dress and conduct. Today you have pictures of worship leaders looking cooler than pop stars. Adverts that would hardly get in secular magazines, articles on new outreach pubs opening in order to reach the youth. Of course this Christian bar is run by the young Pastor Apostasy, who gets in the latest youth Rock worship group and has installed the latest technology in flashing lights and loud speakers.
Not long after this I was out on a Friday night with friends in the town evangelizing the youth going into the bars and disco's. Most were responsive willing to talk and banter a bit, some had a bit of drink on them. Then a group of girls crossed the road, as I tried to give them a gospel tract they looked at me horrified and would not take one. At first I wasn't sure why, so continued to challenge them. Then I recognized one or two of them, they were from Miss Sensual's church. They started to assure me that they were just out for the night, they were Christians, and would be at a youth worship night on Saturday that drew young people from across the whole county, and would be at church on Sunday. In fact they were Sensual's best friends. When I asked them why they were out drinking in bars, dancing in clubs and not warning those around them that they were lost and needed Jesus, I thought they were going to be sick. They quickly rushed past me and down the road. Sensual also has a brother and he is as bad if not worse, but I think you get the idea.
I have talked to Pastors who have said they don't talk about sin they leave that to the Holy Ghost, they just deal with the positive. But God has always anointed men in the pulpit with the Holy Ghost who have rebuked sin and called the Church to deny itself, take up its cross and follow Christ. That is Gods answer for this problem of a sensual church. Now I talk by personal experience of what is happening as a trend across the church in many different countries. The church has become sensual, fleshly, moulded to the world, like the world and so draws the world. Yet the Bible says "Be not conformed to this world." Be not pressed into its mould, yet it is being preached and practiced that we ought to be molded into the world's image, trends and fashion's. I really dread to see the generation that comes after Sensual unless a mighty Holy Ghost revival comes to the land.
Mr. J. Rome-ward
One of the great mysteries I have seen in these last days of this age, which has spread wide and far across the church, in every denomination, country and creed is the acceptance of Rome as a true Christian church, a pure Bride, a descendant of the New testament Church. It baffles me, confounds and disturbs me. When young I always wondered how that firebrand Methodist Movement ever became the compromised, dead, backslidden machine of today. It never would have happened in Wesley's day. But when Holy Ghost men of conviction go then religion dominates. The past, present and future of that Roman woman is shown to us in the book of Revelation, especially in chapter 17. She sits on seven mountains, ruling over kings of the earth and their peoples. When the last Pope died the world leaders from every part of the earth came to show respect and sing his praise. But worse still, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders the world over sang his praise. John Paul the man dressed in white who worshipped Mary making her a co-redeemer with Christ, who gathered all religious leaders together in Rome (Hindu, Buddhist, etc) and worshipped with them in unity THEIR one god. This man who questioned creation as taught in Genesis and hell as taught in the gospels was called by these accepted Christian leaders "The greatest Evangelist of this age" another called him "The most Pentecostal Pope yet" and still others many others statements of homage.
This Roman woman is called THE MOTHER of HARLOTS, in other words she makes harlots, or mothers harlots of the other churches. Just stop and look back, first the Anglicans, then Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Salvation Army, and now the Pentecostals. And mystery of mystery she joins in fellowship with these with one hand while the other is extended to the world's Pagan religions. She is called by the Holy Ghost "MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT."
Now Jimmy Rome-ward is typical of a great many across the church today. They and he really mystify me. Any time I have met with him and fellowshipped there is little I could challenge about his character and conduct. His testimony seemed sound, his knowledge of Christ and the Word clear. His parents who were called No and Never were old time Pentecostals, from what I have heard of them they had no time for the Roman woman.
One thing I noted about him was the preachers he seemed to follow. He read the books, listened the tapes and attended the conferences of the most well known Pentecostal/Charismatic leaders of our day. One disturbing thing I found out was that these big time preachers all seemed to love the Roman woman, some were especially notorious for believing the Pope was a man of God, a Spirit filled Pope, a Pentecostal Pope and at every turn praised and loved him. Now I talked to Jimmy about this but he stressed that these men were really Anointed of God and of course he himself did not accept the Pope or Rome but now and again in conversation he would say that he had heard of a Priest or Nun who had got saved, filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues. Now of course he knew the system was wrong but the people could truly be saved in this system without it affectibg their traditions and heresies.
When I would bring these issues up it just did not seem to register in his brain that Baal and God, light and darkness have no fellowship together. More and more I have noticed over recent years that the popular worship songs came from churches whose pastors loved the Pope. The biggest conferences were run by Pentecostal preachers who loved the Pope. The latest so called Bible courses that spread like fire through the churches have been promoted by leaders who love the Pope. Recent revivals have been promoted by the same leaders who love the Pope.
Now it seems that generally speaking that Rome has kept Mary, the Rosary and the Mass but just added tongues to it and a few other things like lifting of hands and that has been enough to Mother the Pentecostals into Harlotry. Most of the main Evangelical Evangelists and authors have signed agreements with the Roman woman not to evangelise her members, speak against her or to work apart from her. She usually has a representative at leaders churches together meetings held across numbers of cities and towns. They accepted it hook, line and sinker. Some of Jimmy's cousins actually blew up on me when I told them Mother Teresa wasn't saved and wasn't in Heaven. They said if she wasn't in Heaven then none of us would be there. I have noticed her testimony slip into Christian literature and bookshops. Never once have I heard any of Jimmy's cousins tell me how she trusted in Christ's Blood and work on Calvary or about a real Born again experience. No, they all say the same thing, "she was a good woman, just look at her good deeds."
Have we so lost our way and forgotten the Gospel as written in the Bible that we accept this? Although Jimmy seemed happy to sit and listen to me and fellowship with me yet there was little response or change in his ways concerning this Roman infiltration. It's not that Jimmy argues for the Pope or this woman, or even that he agrees with her, No, it's the fact that he sees no need to expose her, resist her or warn against her as the scriptures and Apostles do. The Pope and the Woman are descendants of Balaam and Jezebel, but Jimmy is descended from Eli that good man of scripture who would not bring an end to the vile abominations being brought into God's house by his sons. Yes he himself was pure and free from idolatry, apostasy and immorality but he tolerated it in his own house. I'm afraid Jimmy is one of many who simply tolerates "THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
It also seems strange that 150 years ago that the Roman woman offered an ancient manuscript from her library to the new Bible translators who were the fathers of all new versions. It is said that the Roman Emperor Constantine ordered it from Egypt in the 4th century. When I think how hard for centuries she has worked at destroying the written Word, hiding it in the Latin language and killing its preachers and prophets, I stand amazed that the church now accepts manuscripts from her hand in exchange for those authentic manuscripts protected and preached by the Martyrs, Reformers, Revivalists and great Missionaries for 2000 years. Its Interesting that in her manuscript that she handed over, Revelation 17 was missing! We are told in verse 6 of that chapter that when John saw this woman he "wondered with great admiration." So do I.
More To Come...