I have spent many years researching, studying and writing about the cults. Having spent almost 20 years of my adult life as a Mormon, I found that true joy of real salvation after so many years bound in a false faith, serving a false god.
The calling I received and have served in for four decades has been to those lost in spiritual darkness. Because of my own personal experience and family history, I was particularly drawn to Mormonism and Freemasonry. It was never my calling to bring accusations against others within the body of the general Christian Church. I have had words with some over the years, but always in light of what they have said in error about groups I deal with.
However. Lately, it seems that not a single day goes by without my email inbox filling up with some Christian speaking out against some other Christian, labeling the accused a false teacher or tool of Satan. I grow weary of it all.
Have we forgotten what God Says about this issue in His Holy Word? Are we now better discerners than Christ? Read what is written:
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27 KJV
Recently, we have been expanding the scope of the work at Saints Alive and are reaching many more thousands of people than ever before. But in doing so, we have stepped outside the bounds of what have been more specific areas. That seems to have made a few of our readers uncomfortable.
It seems like no matter what subject I write about lately, about 10% of the responses I get are negative. Not a number bad when 90% are positive. It’s odd, though. The negative, call to repentance emails come from places and people I would not expect to hear this stuff from.
Most of you know me for years; recognize me as a minister who is an uncompromising man who stands firm on God’s Word and solid, biblical doctrine. I am going to deal with these issues immediately and up front.
Following the release of just this last newsletter [June 2016], I was firmly rebuked by a few for being involved in the Azusa Now gathering of one hundred thousand Christians in LA in April. They claimed I have fallen prey to the Dominion theology. They tell me that Lou Engle [the man who led the event] and his followers believe that we must subdue the entire and make it all Christian before Christ can return.
I have listened to Lou carefully and have never heard such a thing from him. I have heard him say that we need to turn our lives and hearts over to the Lord and fully serve Him, seek a deeper closeness with him. I think we were more involved in subduing our own rebellious spirits at the LA Coliseum that day, surrendering our hearts and souls to Jesus.
At Azusa Now, an entire coliseum of Christians called out for that closeness, worshipping and raising Him and weeping openly in our Love and dedication to Jesus.. Another few hundreds of thousands of Christians joining by internet streaming and about 3,200,000 more joined in though their twitter accounts. Didn’t see anything about taking over the world so Jesus could return.
Someone complained that Lou said doctrine did not matter. He did not say that. He said that Jesus and our surrender to Him were more important than the doctrines that have divided the church for so long. That it was the first step in becoming followers of Jesus first and Baptist and Lutherans second.
Someone else said that I had fallen into bad company because we were doing some things with the Louis Palau organization. One lady even brought up his ties to Billy Graham as an example of his going over to the dark side.
Guess I forgot to mention that our family and ministry have worked closely with the Billy Graham organization for many years. We worked at his crusades and attended at least four of his Schools of Evangelism. For a number of years, they sent us all their Masonic and Mormon contacts for spiritual follow-up.
Another email warned me to beware of Todd White, the man who prayed for [and I received] the healing of my acute neuropathy. Said he was associated with a ‘bad’ church in Northern California. Todd White is one of the most humble, sincere and anointed men of God I have met in this lifetime. Said he was a false healer.
That staggered me a bit. I guess the Devil is now in the business of healing in Jesus’ name and giving glory to God for the blessing. Could have fooled me. Everything I heard from Todd White was all about Jesus. Two months later, I am walking freely and without pain. Still praising the Lord for my healing and for that one man who took the time to kneel down beside me and actually pray for me.
I struggled for several days, dealing with the negative concern these friends had for me. I know I have to take a clear stand about some things.
For forty years, I have traveled the globe, speaking in thousands of churches and venues. I have spoken at about every Christian denomination, school, college and university listed in the phone book and then some. In many of the churches, they practiced their faith in ways that I do not.
Some baptize infants, others do it by sprinkling. I prefer being fully immersed. Some churches are controlled by a central hierarchy. Others are controlled locally.
Some practiced closed communion. I do not. I believe that Christians have that blessing in common. Just within the Baptist denominations, I found over a dozen separate divisions, several of them so concerned with the need for exclusion that they deny communion or fellowship to the others. But I move freely among them all.
Some very prominent teachers; far more educated than I am, believe that the spiritual gifts ended with the last of the Apostles. They say the gifts were for the first century church. I went through the Bible on that one, because it is a major issue among many churches.
I could not find a single “ Do Not Use after” expiration date, anywhere. In fact, Paul spoke about the spiritual gifts as though they were a very important part of the active, undated church.
That’s good, because I believe the gifts are as good today as they were back then. I operate in them often. I have experienced them often. I have seen the long-term fruit coming from and through them.
Heaven help the church that uses the word faith in its central message. Although I count 336 time the writers of the Bible used the word, it is anathema among today’s accusers of the brethren. I would like to be a part of a church that believes and teaches great faith than to be in a ‘some faith’ church.
Those that condemn those that preach it often claim that it is a money-gathering scheme. For the most part, I find these brethren to live open, free lives of giving and blessings. Like them, I live by faith, in full sufficiency and by the Word of God that proclaims:
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 2 Corinthians 9:7-9 (KJV)
What I have determined after forty years of living my life in and through Christ, is that He loves us each as much as the other. It is not my call to judge any person or church if they sit on their hands or if they raise them high.
My good friend and fellow servant of the Lord, James Spencer once said, “ In Essentials, agreement and in non-essentials, grace.”
I walked and ministered among the many kinds of Christian fellowships over the years without conflict because the Lord gave me the grace and wisdom not to be an accuser of the brethren. I figured it was His job to sort those things out.
I have enough work to do in dealing with the groups that pervert the truth of the real Christ, the true gospel and have gone after other gods.
I was studying the scripture the other morning, trying to put this run-away criticism of others into His perspective. I was reading in Corinthians and found the answer I sought and I give it to you herein:
4 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 1 Corinthians 4King James Version (KJV)
I think it is time to repent of the need to correct our brethren with whom we do not agree. Let Jesus deal with them and you deal with you. Stop marginalizing them and trying to exclude them from the body of Christ because they do not agree with your specific doctrine. It is time for us to set our sights more on how we are living our own personal lives in Christ.
There was a time many years ago that the Lord rebuked me for stepping outside my calling; making the calling the main thing and not Him. You may be wise to heed these words.
2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelations 2:2-5. KJV