This is a letter I wrote in response to an e-mail I received from an acquaintance of mine. I have changed the name to protect the person, but the letter carries a lot of what worldly Christians believe about themselves and other Christians. I have decided to post it here because of the many accusations of rudeness and intolerance that has been leveled toward myself and others who are doing the work of the Lord boldly in the presentation of truth. I have not put this letter here as a response to my critics, but for those who stand along the sidelines, watching the battle, and who have not, as of yet, chosen a side in this conflict. There is a remnant, even possibly inside the camp of the enemy, who have failed to see the truth, but God is working in all of this to reach His called out ones, and He will not fail.
Every time I write you I tell myself that it will be the last time, but I am, at it again. I think if it were any one else I would have quit. As I write this I am praying that the Lord would give you the spirit of wisdom and understanding. This letter will be a longer one than normal, I hope you read it.
“For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:” Rom. 9:6. Just for a Jew to say that he is of the seed of Abraham means nothing in the final analysis. This truth is stated in different ways throughout the Bible: there is a separating of the sheep and the goats, wheat and tares, (Rom. 9:18, 2 Pet. 2:9, 1 Thes. 5:9, Mat. 11:25; 25:31-46) and there will be many Jews and worldly Christians among those goats and tares, but clearly the best illustration is when on that Day of Judgement the Lord declares, to all the deluded Christians who say Lord, Lord, “begone form Me, I never knew you.” This verse instills no fear in these worldly Christians to examine their lives, to be sure they are in the faith, because they don’t really believe it anyway. What I am trying to say is that not everyone who wears the label of Christian is a Christian. And furthermore, the Bible is plain, that most of those who claim the title of “Christian” are in reality deluded, they are walking in the “broad way” not the “narrow way,” as they think. To distinguish between the two we are told to look at the fruit, and the heart, and their words, and their deeds, and to look for the “old man,” because they will reveal who and what they really serve; so that is what I do, it is called discernment.
All these things mentioned will be different for the true “born from above” Christian than for the Christian born of the earth only. All these Christians of the earth have this kind of unwritten code of acceptance, honor amongst thieves, or brotherhood, that promotes universal tolerance, as long as it is done with what they claim is Christian love. As long as they do something good, it is Christian. They reason something like this: “Good comes from God; evil comes from the Devil; therefore, all good is from God.” That is overly simplified but it gets my point across. Using this example we look at the Freemasons, they build hospitals and help lots of kids, all very good things, so God must be pleased with them, right? We could say this about an endless list of good deed doing organizations also, churches included, all denominations, and lots of people, even the evil and the wicked do some good things, and God is pleased when they do good, right? It’s better to do good than it is to do evil, so God must be pleased, right? But, on the day of judgement they are rejected, their good deeds have purchased them nothing. Why? Because they have already been compensated in the flesh, while on earth, for what they have done. They were fleshly men working for fleshly benefits, hence the Lord’s words, “Be gone from me ye wicked, I never knew you, and I owe you nothing” (paraphrased). This is exactly where we find the Church, trying to win man’s admiration, and a little glory and respect for himself. They want to be approved for the deeds they do, and God allows them this reward in the here-and-now: a little respect from their peers, a little pride of accomplishment, a pay check, or recognition from the leaders, etc. Their great cross-platform ecumenical, unitarian, peace on earth programs will be their sole reward, and it is also the reason they hate the truth, and hate obedience to Jesus command to die to self and to live to God alone. They don’t understand truth nor can they obey truth, because they are creatures of this world only, and have never been born from above, and had the circumcision of their hearts. Their home is here on earth and only desire some better place here. Worldly Christians find no fault with these men or organizations because they think this is what being a Christian is all about.
The Bible tells us that we can know these false Christians by their fruits. It is because Christians can know these fruits that we are able to judge, and discern, and write, about men like Rick Warren and Richard Abanes, who you refer to, but there are many others. It is not that everything they do is bad, it is because they are evil men doing some good things, and convincing ignorant people that that is what it means to be a Christian. By doing this, they are leading many to eternal death. If they were not influential men and false teachers, I would not be sounding an alarm, and by so doing making myself the target of their godless chatter. Is this making any sense to you? I hope so.
I am going to say some things now that may offend you, that is not my intentions, but truth always offends our sensibilities. I will prove all my points by Scripture so you will not think I am just being rude. TRUTH, the word of God, always kills before it heals. I am going to say some things that will probably be painful, but as God is my witness, I will only speak the truth. I am going to take this last letter you wrote to me and examine it in the light of Scripture, where I want you to see that at the very least you lack a grasp of basic Christian teaching, and it may be at the worst that you have not been born from above, and are blind to what I am trying to communicate. I’ll take the time to go over this with you because I want you to see it. Honestly, this kind of sight is rare and most people do not see it, and do not accept what the Bible says when the light is revealing their true nature. So, here it goes.
Because of the differing natures of men of God and men of the world, meaning their DNA is different, they do things differently, like think, reason, believe, worship, and pray. Their difference is not like the difference between two differing breeds of dogs or cats, or like Europeans and Orientals, but more like Earthlings and Aliens, they are two completely different natures. Actually born again Christians have two opposing natures, they still have their old nature which is always in competition with their new nature, this old nature has to die. Those without the new nature have no choice but to obey the only nature they have, their conscience condemns them, which means life only on earth, and eternal death thereafter. Those without the new nature cannot obey God, it is impossible, and can not please God, regardless of their good works. Those with the old nature, who profess to be Christians, do not understand the Bible and think it is hard to grasp because of the conflict they have trying to get it to conform to their old nature. Jesus asked Paul at his conversion why he was kicking against the goad (a spiked stick used for driving cattle)? Before his conversion all his religious activity made so much sense, but afterwards he realized the futility and stupidity of what he was doing. The truth was that he could not have understood it even if he had wanted to, his nature was wrong; understanding is a product of a different life. The world does not understand God’s word and most of the Church is made up of the world. They do the best that they can, but only accomplish programs of men, or pretty buildings, or works, or idol worship.
Mark 8:31-33 “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men .’”
Luke 16:15 “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men , but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”
Rom 1:18-25 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.”
Gal 1:10-12 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men , or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
Eph 4:11-15 “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
1 Thess 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men , but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”
Rev 18:11-13 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.”
You will notice that in all of the verses above there is a common theme, and it is the things “of men.” When I said in the paragraphs above that there is a way to know men of the world, even those who call themselves Christian we only have to look at the heart of their motivation. What is the thing that moves them? Who is it that they want approval from? When, where, and how do they decide to imitate Christ? This thing “of men” is the thing I will focus on to show you that you are not where you should be, and definitely not where you think you are. The goal of this letter is let you know that you do not have to remain where you’re at, but you do have to recognize and know the truth, and that is the love that is spoken of in the Bible; it is to declare with boldness the truth “of men,” their pride, hatred of truth, love of self, and their rebellion against their Maker. Religious men are by far the hardest to reach, because their pride is bolstered by their presumed knowledge of God. Paul said that “through knowledge they knew not God.”
In your first paragraph you said:
“Thank you Steve I do mean well. I read that you have been challenged by a supporter of Mr. Warren to provide facts. This is your chance to quell any doubt that your ministry is a false one. You slapped them in the face and threw down the gauntlet with your statements, they picked it up and handed it back to you and said ” TEACH US THE TRUTH”. How can any one who leads a ministry turn away from a chance to teach where they have left the path?”
I do believe you mean well, but well from an earthly point of view. You make a few statements here that are very much the position that a man of the world would take to protect his ego or pride, or to get the advantage on an opponent. It is not as if I was lying in ambush waiting for some opportunity to destroy my opponent. On the contrary, I would like nothing more than to get word of a conversion in this camp. The ministry you speak of as being mine, I guess it could be called mine, because that is the way it looks to others, so I will not labor the point that it is the Lord’s and that I am merely His servant, trying to do it to the best of my ability. As far as trying to quell any doubt to this ministry, I will leave that in the hands of the Lord. You see, Jesus’ ministry was found, by the religious elite, to be a false, and He told me that if they hated Him, they would hate me also, “Is a student above His master?” Then you said I slapped them and threw down a gauntlet. You are speaking like a man; I did no such thing. I made no challenge to them, although the presentation of truth often looks like a challenge. I spoke to warn, by presenting facts. I neither challenged nor took up a challenge. I have no fear of these men, the Lord told me not to worry about men, only speak the truth, and be bold. 2 Cor 3:12-13 “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” These perverts of truth handed me nothing nor did I take it, and as far as teaching them truth, they never asked that. Their goal is to draw me away from doing the Lord’s work and get involved in defending my honor; sounds like a tactic of Satan. Neh 6:1-3 “Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it(though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, ‘Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.’ But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?’” The men you speak of John have no desire to learn the truth; my ministry is not to them, and my honor is the Lord’s honor.
Next you said:
“I was in good spirits when I read that you took your comments (apology) and sent them to the proper people. Now you must follow thru and answer their questions. Do not ignore the attention that you have now. Provide the truth and it will set you free.”
I made a few errors in my documentation and admitted my mistakes, when it was brought to my attention I apologized, as a Christian should do; it was a minor thing, and happens all the time, and you just simply correct it. Christians should do the right thing, even when they are wrong. The apology was the follow through, nothing more is necessary. Their questions are unending and focus on trivial issues not relating to the problem, can’t you see that? I am not seeking some popularity contest by drawing attention to myself and entering into a verbal battle where the winner takes all. I am a winner already, and have been set free for some time now. The truth you speak of is directed toward them; it is them, who are bound by this world and Satan. These statements are men’s words; I have nothing to lose, but they have everything to lose; I have everything to gain, and they have nothing to gain, but fame and fortune, but only in this world, and that is a great loss.
“Steve you must accept the responsibility that comes along with your judging of others so openly. Your statements are public, on the net, here for everyone to read. You have the attention and been given a platform on which to stand. Do not turn your back on false teachers when they ask you to show them where they have gone wrong. How can you gain any respect as a teacher if you now “just brush them off.”
What is the Christian responsibility for speaking up against evil? Jesus spoke up against evil and was led away as a lamb, giving no defense. When Peter chopped off the ear of the High Priest, when they came to take Jesus in the Garden, what did Jesus do? He restored the ear and told Peter to put away his sword, then went to the cross. He had the platform, didn’t He? Did He give some great oratory on sin at that point? I’m not looking for a stage, I speak the truth as it comes to me and could care less about “respect.” I just brush them off, just like Jesus did. Here again the world has shown up in your words. You see, they love the darkness, and hate the truth. As you know, if you have read my pages, I have not turned my back on them; I have simply refused to answer them the way they wanted; the Devil is tricky.
This section was probably the most telling of all:
“As for your priest comment I do not understand. I know that to confess and ask for forgiveness is only as meaningful as the sincerity in which it is given. Therefore, a witness is not necessary. However, there is no testimony to the Christian act of repentance. A lesson well taught to me that good deeds are a by-product of being a Christian. Thus, since there is no one to testify of a persons words, actions, behavior of any kind “deeds” there is no reason to believe that a person is in fact a Christian, other than, of course, his unproven word in which he speaks of himself.”
I am very careful who I talk to about things that are private between the Lord and myself. If I have wronged a man, in private, I will ask for forgiveness, in private. If I have wronged publicly I will ask for forgiveness publicly. I will never take a wrong and go to a man (a priest) and have him, a mere man, go to my Father and plead my case. First I go to the man, who I sinned against, then I go to my Father and ask for His forgiveness, and accept any discipline I deserve. Why would I need some sort of testimony to my forgiveness or repentance, unless I was seeking the approval of some man? My Father knows, what more is necessary, unless I have the desire of men to get respect and honor? If we are doing things to be seen of men, we are not Christian. If we make sure that all of our deeds are logged and tallied they count for nothing, you have received your reward. A Christian acting in the world, will not be recognized as “Christian” by the world. If the world acknowledges your act as “Christian” it is very possible that it was being done for the wrong reason. Jesus said not to do “your alms before men to be seen, but do your good deeds in private where only God sees.” The world loves to put on a show. If the world does not see your deeds, you are correct, they will think you to be un-Christian, and we can’t have that, can we?
I will sum up the rest below:
“You commented that ” you don’t mean to be offensive but you get tired of others who do nothing, pretending to be great workers for the Kingdom, You wish I really was in His service.”
“You can tell all that from your desk? That I am not in God’s service? That I only pretend to be a Christian. Perhaps, if you did not separate yourself you also would be able to testify to my Christian walk. Again you judge without knowing any facts my brother. This lesson keeps coming back to you.”
“Well I pray that you are able to stand up like a man, and answer the challenge presented to you by the followers of R. Warren and the like. There is no respect to gain if you choose to hide under a rock on this one. Your ministry rides on your ability to present the facts as you claim. Answer the call Christian.”
in His service. John
I’m sure you are doing deeds, I’m just not too sure if they are the ones that are “good” as counted by the Lord. They may be, I can only go by what I read from your letters. What I see in your letters is a man centered religion. I can tell a lot sitting at my desk, reading other people’s writings. If a person means what they say, and they are not fibbing, then we can all draw conclusions. That is why people write things, to communicate a thought. As a Christian we are given the tools to discern peoples motives for doing what they do, and then directing them to the truth of Scripture for a heart transplant if needed. As far as standing up like a man, that is not a statement a Christian should make, because it is “man” that is the problem, shouldn’t I stand up like Christ? And, when Christ stood up before Pilate “He answered not a word.” Doesn’t that sound more like the Christian response? Again I want no respect from men, and the only Rock I will run to is Christ. My ministry does not ride on my ability at all, but it does ride on my obedience to Jesus. None of your writing is Christian John, I hope you can see that.
I have not said these things to be mean spirited or rude but to wake you up to the facts of the Christ life. You have it all wrong, and that is what stands between us, and it always will. I know you want to be a Christian, and I pray for you, but you must admit that you’re off course and are seeing as a man, and a man only.
I think this letter will either be the end or the beginning of something, we will see.