Three Inescaable Conclusions
First the presence of abuses and even impurity
in Christian groups where miracles occur does not prove that their
miracles are not from God, any more than they did in Corinth.
Second, the presence of doctrinal error in Christian groups
where miracles occur does not prove that their miracles are invalid.
Third, miracles neither confirm nor support the distinctive
doctrines and practices of individual groups. According
to scripture there is only one message that the New Testament
miracles support or confirm, and that is the Gospel message
focussed on the work and person of Jesus Christ.
Much cessationist literature throughout the last 100 years has
failed to grasp these three conclusions. Wherever miracles appear
cessationists immediately look for moral abuses or doctrinal error
so they can proclaim that this proves the miracles within that
group are not real. They might as well conclude that the gifts
at Corinth and Galatia were not real either.
Noncharismatic Abuses Within the Church
of impropriety in every branch of the church (including
the fighting fundies) are common place today.
People often use charismatic abuses to
prove that the gifts of the Spirit are not given today. But that
sword cuts both ways. There are abuses in all expressions
of Christianity. It’s just that some get used to their own abuses,
and they don’t seem as bad as the other groups. But is that really
What disturbs me most about this aspect is that they value doctrinal
correctness more highly than morality, righteousness and compassion
This priority is the result of something teachers have ignorantly
instilled in all that fail to examine the scriptures for themselves.
They have learned this emphasis (not from the Bible) but from
the religious authorities that made doctrinal authority their
highest value. This emphasis cannot be found in the New Testament.
It in fact perverts the New Testament because it views the mind as
more important than the heart, and claims that believing the
right things is more important than living the right things.
There will be many that go to Hell that believed the right things
you can be sure of that.
If you were to give a man a Bible and ask him to go away and read
it there is no way that he would conclude that miracles are not
part of the gospel message.
I’ve have travelled extensively in the third world over many years
and in all that time where miracles of healing and deliverance
from the kingdom of darkness was proclaimed it always bore
fruit. Where these aspects of the gospel message were ignored,
there was invariably very little, or no fruit.
The Last Words of Christ.
No more important words were ever spoken to the sons of men.
call for our most diligent attention.
have the greatest possible consequences.
them is set forth eternal happiness, or misery.
16:16 "He that believeth and
is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not
shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that
The recipient of a sign, a wonder and miracle, can be a Roman Catholic,
a Protestant of any and every persuasion you care to name, as
well as a Charismatic, it makes no difference what you are, but
in whom you have placed your trust for a miracle.
needs to be reinforced again and again.
Miracles neither confirm nor support the distinctive doctrines and practices
of individual groups. Please get that straight once and for all. He
doesn’t recognise distinctive Christian Denominational Movements. He
doesn’t use them (and never has) either.
God confirms His word; in the hearts of individuals that walk with
Him, believe Him, trust and obey Him
Our Blessed Heritage
We should think long, and hard,
about whom we lend our minds to for our spiritual education. We tend to think
that history is just a thing of the past when in actual fact, it’s recurring
continually. To understand the story of (Religious freedom) and the Open Bible,
we have to take a brief look at the earlier history of the Bible in English.
The story is one of martyrdom and repression. It commences with John Wycliffe's
translation of the scriptures in the 1380s, for which he was denounced as a
The orthodox view was that to make the Bible accessible to the common
people would threaten the authority of the Church, and lead the people to
question its teaching. A scandalized contemporary wrote: “This Master John
Wycliffe translated from Latin into English - the Angle (Anglo-Saxon) speech’-
and so the pearl of the gospel is scattered abroad, and trodden underfoot by
sentiment was echoed by the seventeenth-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who
sourly observed: “After the Bible was translated into English, every man, nay,
every boy and wench that could read English, thought that they spoke with God
Almighty and understood what he said.” So Wycliffe and his dissident Lollard
movement were rigorously suppressed. The comment of Thomas Hobbes seems to be
especially relevant to us today. “How dare ordinary people commune with God?” (Without
permission from clergy I might add).
when William Tyndale published his translation of the New Testament from the
Greek in 1525, he entered into a conflict with Church and State that eventually
brought him to the stake. Translating and publishing God’s word, in the
language of the people, was regarded as revolutionary an act in the eighteenth
century, as advancing the proposition that States should be ruled by democracy, not kings. This Passage taken from R. Crum, W. Cran and R.
McNeil. The Story of the English, Viking Penguin, Inc New York.
seems to me the following scripture is saying the same thing to which we are
endeavouring to draw attention. Like many other things that occur historically,
it’s all happened before.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 “That which has been is that which shall be; and
that which has been done is that which shall be done and there is nothing new
under the sun. Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has
already been in days of old, which were before us”.
When Emperor Constantine in 300bc was converted, Christianity became the
State religion. He built Churches
and established paid
clergy to instruct the people. It was
the birth of Roman Catholicism. It was the union of State and the Church.
King Henry viii became the head of the English Church, the Bible in English
became more freely available, and the common people were allowed to read it. But
when his daughter “Bloody Mary” came to the throne she persecuted the English protestant
Church mercilessly. This state of affairs was reversed during Elizabeth’s reign
as she made the break from Rome final. She placed a Bible in every church in
the realm and people were encouraged to read it. As reigning Monarch however she
maintained control of the Church by the appointment of its Bishops, who in turn
ruled the lower ranks of Clerics.
Bible from which much if not most of the King James Bible was borrowed, never
used the word “Church” but “
Congregation”, nor did he use the titular
terms, “Priest” or “Bishop” but “servant and elder”. The
titular titles came straight out of the Latin Vulgate Bible which was adjudged by
all the reformers as a spurious and inaccurate translation and as such must be rejected.
The Seperation of Church and State
Monarchy in England took control of the church, appointed its own Bishops, and so
divorced itself completely from the Papacy. After Queen Elizabeth died James of
Scotland (who was a papist) sought the throne. To succeed he had to make
concessions to pacify the Protestant Church or face a civil war. He did this when
he commanded that a new Bible in English be printed, but as “King” he kept control
of the English church by appointing “it’s Bishops”. Unlike Tyndale before him, he
retained the hierarchical pyramid of the Latin Vulgate with its titular titles of
Church; Bishop; and Priest in his translation. The King was absolute ruler over
all with title of “defender of the faith” and head over the English Church.
Puritans initially accepted this arrangement until they became fearful that
if Spain invaded England and was victorious, it would enforce the rule of Rome
over the English
Church. Wanting freedom from all State interference the Puritans eventually
migrated to the young colony that was to become the United States. But true
frailty it was not long before they were guilty of the same intolerance, tyranny
and injustices, as those that they had left behind. They would burn 20 witches
at the stake, and several others for adultery. They excommunicated more for
non-compliance with their doctrines. They were religious bigots; they fought
among themselves and quickly split into several factions.
Read about it, it’s
an historical fact. It was the same Spirit of intolerance that Luther resisted
until he eventually set in motion the Reformation which weakened the authority
of the Pope and the Roman Church.
The Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of
This was a
catalyst for Religious Freedom that brought about a “great awakening in
America” in which George Whitfield and Jonathon Edwards played major roles. Its
effect was to bring the blessing of God upon the young nation, and make America
the destination of millions who wanted to live as free men. It truly became the
home of the brave and the land of the free.
US Declaration of Independence:
We hold these
truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
-- Our Freedom Needs To Be Defended --
Every Denomination is a Spiritual
Principality or Power. They
Govern themselves by a constitution drawn up by themselves (but not by God) to
pursue their agendas. They ardently seek to enlist new members to assist them
to grow numerically and thereby increase their power and influence. New members
must comply if they want to move up
the religious ladder. Clergy ideally should be trained in their institutions, or
submit to their Superintendant; Bishop; Apostle; or by whatever other office
that they allocate to themselves. All these Titles take on a life of their own. This pyramid style operates within “Local
Churches” as well as bigger institutions.
Although they pray and call all to unify, they promote division and
mistrust among themselves. They teach their followers to be suspicious of all that
don’t pronounce their “Shibboleths”. Dear ones stand fast in the Liberty
wherewith Christ has set you free, and be NOT entangled with the yoke of
bondage. The Doctrine of Covering is
a doctrine of Devils and comes straight from Rome, (Babylon). Get my booklet on
“Look out they’ve got you covered”.
am of the same opinion as A W. Pink ‘Exposition to Hebrews’
when he said “In essentials I agree with them all, and in
circumstantial details I differ no more than they differ among themselves. They
all confess that they are fallible, and yet decide with an air of
infallibility, and they all in turn expect me to unite with them if I have
any regard to the authority and honour of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of
the church. But the very consideration they propose restrains me from uniting
with any of them.
writer has frequently been asked, “Do you intend to join us?” I do not believe
that I should honour the headship and kingly office of Christ by acknowledging
Him as the Head of a party and subdivision of His people to the exclusion of the rest.
Every party uses fair
words proclaiming their liberty and freedom, but when an explanation is made it
always amounts to the same thing. They will give liberty to think as they
think, and to act as they act, which to me, who claims the same
right of thinking for myself and of acting according to the dictates of my own
conscience, is no liberty at all. I stand firm on the convictions I have on my
understanding of the word and conclude that I will love them and hold friendly
intercourse with them all, so far as they should providentially come across my
I might add so far as they will allow me! But that I would stand fast in the liberty in which Christ has
made me free and bow neither to them or their creeds.
If others seek to honour Christ by laying
great stress on doubtful matters then let them. But I will honour Him by
endeavouring to show His kingdom is not of this world. Nor does
it consist in pleading for conformity to tenets and parties, but in
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Neither circumcision nor
uncircumcision means anything with God but a new creature, and the faith that
works by love”.
How quickly we forget that the just shall
live by faith.This is the course that this writer has diligently
sought to follow since coming to Christ. But I find it baffling and even
amusing if it were not so sad, that some of those that I once walked this path
with, have fallen into the same sectarian trap as those they once criticized and
labelled Babylonians. And now we find ourselves having to explain why we do not
wish to join any sectarian group no matter how loudly they may boast of their
broadmindedness and free spirit.
We have found everywhere we have been the ecclesiastical
barrier is as impregnable today as it has always been. That no church circle,
or company of professing Christians is prepared to really welcome into
their midst and extend the right hand of fellowship, (no matter what his
reputation and credentials) to anyone who is unprepared to join and limit to
their party and pronounce all their shibboleths
so far as these matters are concerned “let every man be fully persuaded in his
own mind.” But as far as this writer is concerned he values his Christian
liberty far too highly, and considers it sufficient being joined to the Lord as
a member of His glorious body. I do not see the need to join anything more than
this. Therefore I have no intention of locking myself up in some ecclesiastic
prison to be excluded from fellowship with my brothers and sisters scattered
throughout the world.
In addition to this
matter I am yet to find sinless perfection in any one individual person here on
this earth, so I don’t expect to find it in any group of individuals. No one
party or group has all the light. There are those who are all but paranoid
about allowing their membership to read any publication that does not have
their stamp of approval on it. Some even exercise censorship among their
members setting themselves up as an
authority higher than the Holy Spirit who has promised to lead and guide us in
matters of truth. It would appear that they must feel that their members,
whether they be minister or congregational member haven’t the ability to know
their left hand from their right. Why else would they insist that any
publication should be censored from their administrative headquarters before it
is mailed out to their financial members? It’s no wonder God’s Spirit is
quenched, and His blessing and power rarely
seen where such an unchristian, sectarian, and pharisaic spirit prevails. We
are grateful where this is not the case but sadly this is always the case with
True maturity comes
when we are ready to acknowledge to others and ourselves that we know only in
part. This means that while I don’t know everything now, I do know something,
and on the basis of what I do know, I must act. Following Christ has
nothing to do with success in a worldly sense; it is all to do with obedience.
If you are the member
of a group where unsound doctrine is preached and no scriptural discipline is
maintained your course is clear, just leave
and find somewhere that's true to Christ and His word. If on the other hand you
belong to a group of Christians who honour Christ as Lord, and to the best of
their ability preach sound doctrine and feed and care for your soul, then you
would be wise to continue in fellowship, and listen to those that speak from a
The truth of the Lorship
of Christ in all the affairs of the Christianity is
one of the clearest in scripture.
Should We Enter Into Covenants With Pastors and Their Programs?
A covenant is between two. No
resolution that we might make is strong enough to keep us true. The most
fervent of our vows can fail in the hour of trial. A covenant is permanent only as
long as God is party to it. If Jesus is the co-signatory then
we can be certain that all hell will never be able to overthrow it.
The New Covenant which Christ ratified for us at
Calvary is the only one we are party to.
It is often said, “don’t make
promises you can’t keep”; and that’s good advice, but we should not make
promises to anyone regarding anything, not even to our best friends. We affirm or deny,
but nothing more than that. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus warned that
to say any more than ‘yes’, or ‘no’, is evil. (Matt 5:33-37).
Our word should be our bond.
If as Peter says we are partakers of the Divine nature, what is true of
our Heavenly Father will be true of us His children. God is not a man and
cannot lie, that’s why we can do business with Him, because He can be trusted
to keep His word.
James 5:12. “But above all,
my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other
oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest
you fall into judgment”.
Pastors today want their
people to commit to them personally:
They expect you to pledge money
to them for their expansive programs; and to support them financially,
even if it hurts. Family time that belongs to couples and their children
is stolen from them to work for the church. Why do saints yield to this
kind of pressure? Our time is to be used as God decides; it does not belong
to Pastors. You are deluded if you think that serving the Pastor’s dreams
is the same as serving God? It most definitely is not! And it’s wrong!
Look at what happened in the discipleship movement. Absolute submission
to the leaders was mandatory. Women were to be seen and not heard. The
big 5, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, Ern Baxter, and Howard
Carter, insisted that every one must submit to come under a personal shepherd
if they wanted to join their movement. Submit or split was their motto.
The tithes were passed up to the top. Their subjects could not move, work,
buy or sell without their express permission. This suited lazy Christians
because then they didn’t have to make decisions; they were made for them.
But these decisions were not made by God, but fallible men. The followers
were told that God would not hold them responsible as long as they we under
the covering of their shepherd, so when anything went wrong (and plenty
did) they had a scapegoat, but that does not wash with God. Every man must
bear his own burden of responsibility. To be sure it’s an extreme case,
but multiplied thousands of people took to it like ducks to water. In hindsight
it’s amazing to see how many supposedly mature saints that I knew personally
got caught up in this charade, many of them are still around licking their
The New Covenant was designed
for our total benefit
It is irrevocable. He voluntarily
bound Himself to each one of us. Then by an oath He sealed it with His
blood at Calvary. It is personal. There is no room for a third party.
We should never foreswear to any man, (especially a pastor) for that would
be in violation of our covenant with Him to whom we now belong. Find out
exactly what redeemed means. When I married I made a vow to God to
love, cherish, protect, and provide for my bride. All who were present
witnessed it. God heard it, and accepted it, and 50 years later I am still
by His grace lovingly abiding by it. My bride made the same commitment
to the Lord regarding me. From that moment we belonged to each other, body
soul and spirit. What condition is your covenant with the Lord in? The
first thing that happens when a covenant comes under pressure is intimacy
Galatians 5:1 “Christ has truly
made us free: then keep your free condition and let no man put a yoke on
you again”. (BBE)
As oft as we come together we
have been commanded to gather around a table upon which are two elements,
bread and wine. It is for the purpose of remembering the covenant
He ratified that fateful day when He offered Himself by the Eternal Spirit
unto God for our redemption. He has fulfilled His part, and by His obedience
has drawn us into union with himself. When we accepted Him as Lord and
Saviour we became party to this covenant with Him.
All our relationships are predicated
upon this covenant. What we are doing when we eat the bread and drink the
cup is reaffirming our covenant with Him. It is a table of remembrance.
As we come to this “Altar” (Heb 13:10) we will find forgiveness and grace
to readjust our lives. The cup we drink, “is it not the blood of the everlasting
covenant”? The bread we eat isn’t it His body broken for us? It is only
at the foot of the cross that we will find true union with Him, and unity
among ourselves. We show it whenever two or three come together to break
bread in His name. It is personal! “Let a man examine himself, before he
eats”. If he has violated the covenant he can by confession, not only find
forgiveness, but grace and strength to enable him to go forth renewed in
spirit as he continues to walk with Christ.
It is a feast with consequences
that are negative as well as positive, and so we must examine ourselves
before we eat. Sadly many pastors fail to exhort their people to do this,
and for this cause many of them are weak and sickly, and some even die.
Often the pastor overlooks this table of remembrance altogether because
he believes the sermon he has prepared is more important than Christ’s
desire to sup with us. Besides he wants the people to keep coming back,
so he must give them a service that leaves them feeling warm and uplifted
by his message. Moreover mentioning the subject of sin, or holiness, and
the need for forgiveness in our lives would be detrimental to his goals.
Teach topical things pastor! Most churchgoers are like the Greeks in Paul’s
day, they love to have their ears tickled. P.S. If you avoid truth and
ignore heart issues and the leave people with warm and fuzzy feelings it
will open many doors for you on the pastor merry-go-round.
An article printed in “House2House”
magazine (the official organ of Tony and Felicity Dales) made light of
the way the Lord’s Table is observed in traditional circles, in an article
entitled “The Lord’s Snack”. In so doing it tarnished the memory of our
Saviours death, which He commanded us to memorialise oft. I’m not saying
the way many observe it is perfect. It really matters little whether it
is a cracker or a whole loaf; the main point is that we should observe
it oft. The bread, which we eat, “is it not the Body of Christ”? Lying
around on the carpet eating sandwiches as could be seen in a photo that
accompanied the article is a poor substitute. He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon
Him, and by His stripes we are healed. How could we who owe everything
to Him treat the memory of His sacrifice with such indifference?
P.S. I wrote to the Dales about
the article and sent tem a copy of “The Lord’s Supper”. They acknowledged
receiving it and said they would get back to me, but they never did.
When someone has a personal
conviction about an issue it’s their business, and they are entitled to
it; but if they go public with it then it’s every bodies business.
“If we can’t take the heat,
then we should stay out of the kitchen”. Harry Trueman