(Continued from page 215)
Eells has bought into another old heresy that, ironically, is also a major part of the Jehovah's Witnesses teaching - that earth, instead of heaven, is the ultimate home for the church. But, while the Witnesses believe only 144,000 ultimately gain a 'heavenly reward', the 'Kingdom Now' heretics goal is to take over the world and establish the kingdom of God. Only then, they claim, can Christ return - not, however, to take us to His Father's house, as He promised His disciples in John 14, but to reign over the Kingdom which 'we' have established for Him.
However, if the real Jesus Christ is going to catch His bride up from earth to meet Him in the air (1 Thess 4v17), then those who work to build a kingdom for a 'Christ,' whom they will meet with their feet planted on earth, have been under such a heavy delusion that they have been working for the Anti-christ! The deceived often declare that Christ returns only when the church is a unified, vibrant, vigorous, immaculate, Bride (e.g. Harvest Time, Nov. 1986). But there is no Scripture to support such teaching - or to deal with the illogical nature of a suggested heretical doctrine that claims that Christians, who happen to be alive when Christ returns, must attain to perfection in order to join (at that heavenly marriage to the Lamb) millions of Christians from past ages who attained to no such perfection at all!
The only righteousness that any of us has is that of Christ himself. Our works only qualify us for rewards, but not for heaven. Christians from all ages 'must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ' (2 Cor 5v10), and when our works have been tried with fire (1 Cor 3v13-15) and in shame we have confessed our sins and failures (1 Jn 1v9) and He has wiped 'all tears from [our] eyes' (Rev 21v4) then, and not until then, will His bride be without spot and wrinkle, united before the Father's throne in heaven and ready to join in that great feast above!
While we are to heed the call to live holy and faithful lives to His glory, His coming is never dependent upon a small fraction of the church alive at the time reaching some perfection which millions and perhaps billions of Christians already in His presence through death have never attained. This heretical teaching embraced by Eels, and many before him, can be traced back several centuries, with the recent explosion dating from the Latter Rain, or Manifest Sons, movement that began in 1947-8 in Canada in apparent revival. In 1950 the major Pentecostal denominations, such as the Assemblies of God in the United States and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, moved swiftly to forestall the movement's influence among its ministers and churches by declaring it to be heresy. Yet, despite the condemnation, its influence was not easily resisted and its experience-oriented theology helped spark the charismatic revival of the 1960s and 1970s as it re-emerged in the heretical Word-Faith 'positive-confession' (Hagin, Copeland, et al) and discipleship (Mumford, Simpson, et al) movements. For the Hagin/Copeland positive-confession movement 'faith' is a 'force' like electricity that 'God' used to create the worlds and they, as 'little gods', can create with their words and get whatever they want by using the same 'laws of faith' their 'God' obeys. Even their view of 'redemption' is faulty and not through the blood of Jesus shed upon the cross, but through Satan's torture of Christ three days and three nights in hell. Should we ask obvious questions of this false doctrine: if Satan did not torture Jesus enough then can we be sure we are saved? We could also compare this false doctrine to the Seventh-Day Adventist version promulgated by 'Prophetess' Ellen G. White where Satan is to be made a 'scapegoat' carrying our sins (this doctrine is denied by subsequent SDA leaders but clearly shows the origin of the cult in its acceptance of 'doctrines of demons')! Both false doctrines make Satan a partial 'co-redeemer' - and should we thank the Devil for this?! Copeland is so greedy for suckers money that he even tells them how to get their animals 'saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost.' Perhaps the most massive indication that the 'Jesus' who speaks through Copeland in 'prophecy' is not the Jesus of the Bible is that his version denies that he ever claimed to be God. Notice that David Eells' Jesus also fails Scriptural tests, for his 'Jesus' is a created being, not the Everlasting One who claimed equality with God the Father.
The 'Latter Rain' movement adopted its title from its emphasis on the imminent, pre-millennial Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The group expected the Lord's return would be preceded by a final outpouring of the Holy Spirit in accord with the 'former rain' and 'latter rain' (foolishly mis-applied!) prophecy of Joel 2v28. Supposedly, the 'former rain' was Pentecost, the 'latter rain' was the outpouring of the purportedly supernatural power upon its ranks.
It is noticeable that, in common with many other heresies, what probably began as a well-intentioned gathering of students assembled by former Pentecostal Assemblies ministers who gathered to fast, pray and study God's Word, changed when a young woman prophesied (on Feb. 11, 1948) that an outpouring of God's Spirit was about to occur. The next day 'revival' swept the student body and the school's newsletter published the following account of the proceedings:
'Soon a visible manifestation of gifts was received when candidates were prayed over, and many as a result began to be healed, as gifts of healing were received. Day after day the Glory and power of God came among us. Great repentance, humbling, fasting and prayer prevailed in everyone' ('Sharon Star,' 'How This Revival Began,' Aug. 1, 1949, cited in 'A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America' by Richard M. Riss, pp. 112-113).
Word of this movement of 'the Holy Spirit,' with claims of miraculous healings, spread and attracted people from around the world and many invitations to the leaders of this phenomena to travel and minister throughout North America.
Tellingly, the ministry, teachings and healing campaigns of heretic William Branham helped shape and advance the movement and bizarre 'faith healers' Franklin Hall (who promoted 'bodyfelt salvation,' which he asserted to be '700% greater than ordinary healing power' - and Holy Ghost fire which resulted in total absence of any type of body odour!) and Oral Roberts, also contributed a favourable climate for Latter Rain teachings. Another worrying factor is the input of Agnes Sanford, who took communication with spirit guides into the church as part of 'inner healing' and also proves to be one of the early popularizers of the Manifest Sons heresy, teaching that the Great Tribulation is in the past, we are now in the Millennium and, through 'Science of Mind' techniques, Christians must take dominion over this earth, even removing the effects of the Fall - without the return of Christ! Sanford's supporters have even admitted that she was involved in the Unity cult, spiritualism, and the occult, but then try and claim that she was still able to lead the church into 'the healing of memories'! That her books have ever been found - and selling well - in Christian bookstores and churches in the USA speaks volumes of the extent of this deception in the contemporary church.
When you read the un-Scriptural nonsense of these teachers it is difficult not to notice their many blind-spots, common to those who embrace false doctrine, such as the Word-Faith adherents failure to work out that, if we can get whatever we confess, then we ought to confess healing, immortality, peace, prosperity and salvation for the world. This is where the name 'Manifest Sons' comes from: the last-days over-comers must manifest total victory over all foes in these bodies without a resurrection, even over death.
'Manifest Sons' teachers make statements such as: 'You can study books about going to heaven in a so-called 'rapture' if that turns you on. We want to study the Bible to learn to live and to love and to bring heaven to earth' (Beyond Seduction, Dave Hunt, p244), but other adherents have become more devious in order to present an 'orthodox' view. In a cult-like manner, this heretical movement uses words, such as salvation, eternal life, God, etc., which have a recognised 'orthodox' meaning, but now they gain another terminology in order to confuse other Christians. Words such as 'rapture,' meaning being caught up to meet Christ in the air with the resurrected saints and taken to heaven (in orthodox terminology), are taken by this movement to signify reaching a new oneness with Christ that enables them to fully manifest His power and glory!
Eells has this to say of the way in which he discovered his marvellous gifting:
'When young in the Lord I studied what men taught about prophecy and really thought I had figured out a few things until the Lord spoke to me one day and blew all of those traditions out of my head. After that I lost confidence that I could figure it out with my mind and gave up trying. It was then that the Lord started freely giving me revelations of the prophetic Word. God's power was present in my inability so that the truth would come by grace and not works. (2 Cor. 12v9) And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for [my] power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10)...for when I am weak then am I strong.... God has purposely 'hidden manna' from the carnal mind so that only His Spirit may reveal it to whom He will.
We do not know who Eells studied and which 'traditions' about 'prophecy' (or anything else!) he picked up but, if they were from the men whose circles he still frequents, they would be un-Biblical and indefensible anyway. By testing his 'revelations' against the Word we will discover whether it was really 'the Lord [who] started freely giving ... revelations of the prophetic Word.'
Also notice how Eells, like all cult leaders, appears to use Scripture to test and support his 'prophetic Word' - and the very fact that he talks of his 'prophecies' as the 'prophetic Word' as if, in any way, they were equal to Scripture!
He quotes 2 Corinthians 12v9, but Paul was writing about a 'thorn in the flesh' and 'infirmities' when the Lord told him that His strength was made perfect in weakness. We do not know what these 'infirmities' were and can only speculate, but they apply to revelations that became part of the Word of God and nowhere imply that Paul was ever relying on 'traditions' or ever ' blew [anything] ... out of [his] head':
'7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.'
When it suits these heretics they will suggest that Paul had a tough time in his ministry (as described in v10 and, further, in 2 Corinthians 11v22-30) because he had persecuted the church before his conversion (i.e. God does not fully forgive us when we are saved/born-again!).
The apostles warned repeatedly of the danger of following vain 'traditions,' e.g.:
Colossians 2v8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
1 Peter 1v18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
and they instructed true believers to walk after the 'tradition' they had given:
2 Thessalonians 3v6 'Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
But which 'traditions' did Eells cling to? His false prophecies and doctrinal errors make it very clear. The very fact that he suggests the suspension of reason ('[I] blew all of those traditions out of my head') points to the typically cultic idea of relying on emotion and 'feelings' and levering the Word of God out of the way - while paying lip-service to the Bible!
The argument that Eells puts forward was applied recently by a Christadelphian who write to us:
'... God calls men and women to Him and their salvation does not rely on the ability of those who teach or how persuasive their argument is rather He chooses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and the weak things to confound the mighty.'
He was really using this tack to try and convince us that, even if we defeated Christadelphian reasoning from the Scriptures, it would prove nothing! If this were true in all cases then nobody could prove the Virgin Birth, Deity of Christ, Triunitarian Doctrine, Salvation by Grace and not Works - or anything else that pertains to the Nature of God, Salvation of man, etc.
The foolishness of this is immediately obvious and even the Christadelphians would deny that this is possible - for what would be the point of them emphasising the doctrines of their founder, John Thomas, if everything he came up with was irrelevant and every man and woman can be saved - no matter what they hear, read, or believe!
This is inferring that any inaccurate or emotional response will do when you are sharing Scripture and God will miraculously transform the erroneous teachings of any person to save those he has chosen regardless of what they heard or believe! This is also the kind of inaccurate and emotion-laden approach applied by many of those of a charismanic-mystic 'emerging church' philosophy where God uses a casual encounter in the street to 'zap' someone so that they are 'slain in the Spirit' (which spirit?) without hearing the gospel but, when they get up, they are saved! We wish we were joking about this, but it has been claimed too many times!
As we wrote to this Christadelphian:
Your statement must be clarified by reading the whole passage, for Paul was inspired to make it clear that (1 Corinthians 1v10ff.): 'ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ... 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
So Paul makes it absolutely clear that these things are extremely important! A clear example of the importance of his words is a cult teaching falsely, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses who do not preach the cross - and they do not even preach 'the stake'! Their gospel is one of 'theocratic government' from their 'Watchtower' headquarters and utterly false and soul-destroying.
No, it doesn't matter if simple English that a small child can understand is used - for the child or adult can both understand it - but, in theological debates, terms and doctrines may sometimes need to involve more complex issues, such as the very important meaning of the original languages, definitions, circumstances, etc. Eells tries to give the impression of the humble Bible student and makes this appeal to Scripture:
'I can assure you that I am not an eminent theologian. The important question is, has the Holy Spirit found a willing vessel? When the disciples were interrogated by the theologians, the Scripture says in Acts 4v13, 'Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.' When you read this, I believe that you will see that I am qualified for the same reasons to be used by the Lord, for His 'power is made perfect in weakness.'
Peter and John certainly had everything they needed to be witnesses to Jesus for they had not just been with Him, but spoke accurately in their witness - this is 'The important question' that shows if 'the Holy Spirit found a willing vessel?' - and Eells' doctrines prove that he is not any kind of theologian.
The use of 'foolishness' and 'weakness' in this context is, of course, in the comparing of the views of the supposed 'wise' of the world for, when phrases such as (1 Corinthians 1v25) 'the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men' are used we know that hyperbole is being used for, obviously, God is not foolish or weak in any way at all!
In v21 we read:
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Obviously, there is nothing foolish about preaching the Gospel and, again, we see the wisdom of God compared with the wisdom of the world.
Reading on (1 Corinthians 1) we see this comparison continued: '27 ... God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.'
Paul thus makes it clear (1 Corinthians 2v1ff.): '... I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.'
We can agree that none of this infers 'ability ... or persuasive ... argument' in worldly terms, but clearly reveals that Paul spoke 'in demonstration of the Spirit and of power ... in the power of God' - and certainly instructs accuracy ('all speak the same thing ... no divisions among you ... be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment') which will bring conviction to those whom God has 'quickened' through His Spirit, but will remain 'foolishness' to those who are perishing!
There simply is no excuse for gross inaccuracy and we obviously believe that anyone examining Christadelphian doctrines (or other false teaching) against the clear teaching of the Bible will recognise the truth unless they are of the group clearly described by Paul (1 Corinthians 2v9ff.):
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Doubtlessly Christadelphians and others will think they are of the group that have 'the mind of Christ' but our argument is that they have joined the group(s) of whom Jesus said (John 5v39ff.):
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Some have accepted Joseph Smith, others Charles Taze Russell - and it is obviously our belief that Christadelphians have chosen to follow John Thomas and David Eells has also attracted his own group of deceived followers! Each of these men come 'in his own name' but feign being true followers of the Biblical Christ.
'At least three prophets, without knowledge of one another, came to me in those early days prophesying that I had the spiritual gifts of the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom.'
Following the recommended example of Mormon 'prophet' Joseph Smith, Eells applied James 1v5:
'But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him'
Eells confirmation about his abilities from God is as invalid as that of a potential Mormon convert who is told to pray about the Book of Mormon and then receives the 'burning in the bosom' that the missionaries tell him is a sign that the book is true! God encourages us to pray, but he does not expect us to ask him questions about every little thing in life, for He has given us the ability to reason out things for ourselves, or has already spoken through his Word, the Bible. He will not give us personal answers to every question when the Bible has already given the path we should choose. How did the Jews in Berea evaluate the message preached to them by the apostle Paul - they 'searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so' (Acts 17v11). They compared what Paul preached with what the Old Testament said about the Messiah, and this solid evidence led them to accept Jesus as the Christ. We are to do the same and if the message anyone brings (even an 'apostle' or an 'angel' - Galatians 1v6-9) contradicts the Bible we are to reject the message and the messenger who is 'anathema' (cursed!).
The Bible warns us:
'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world' (1 John 4v1).
And we are encouraged (1 Thessalonians 5v19-22):
'Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Examining the supposed leading, gifting, doctrines, and prophecies of the Spirit demonstrated by Eells and his fellow workers we will see whether they are consistent with the Bible and are, indeed, free 'from every form of evil.' Eells has already demonstrated his belief in 'doctrines of demons' in saying Jesus was 'created,' so we really need look no further, but we now consider another gross error that he leads onto .................!
'I know that every revelation that we receive must be totally proven by Scripture, for to add to or subtract from them brings us under the curses that are written therein (Gal.1v6-9; Rev.22v18,19)'
while he tries to add his 'words of revelation' to the Word of God which 'must not be added to or subtracted from' he then ignores clear evidence for the Rapture and claims:
'In those early days I asked the Lord concerning opposing views of the rapture. I was in my living room, with the Scriptures before me, praying to God for understanding to coordinate what appeared to be contradictions. Suddenly understanding flooded my mind in what I knew later was the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom. God made the Scriptures fit together in a moment.'
Eells knew 'later' that this understanding was 'gifts of the Spirit'? What convinced him of this? It was the 'revelations' of his colleagues, not correctly applied Scripture:
'At least three prophets ... came to me ... prophesying that I had the spiritual gifts of the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom.'
How do we know this? Because Eells applied a 'Gideon's fleece' test of the mystical variety! A 'fleece' test is ever the way of immature and ignorant people, but this was the test he applied:
'I jumped up very excited and ran into the kitchen to tell my wife what happened. I had never received revelation in such an obviously supernatural way before. It was not a revelation that agreed with my tradition, so I asked the Lord to give me a sign to confirm it. The sign that I asked of Him was that He would send someone to me who would tell me exactly what He had shown me. For about a week, I told my friends at the local assembly that I attended of my revelation. I was told more than once that I had missed God. Then a minister showed up at a school dedication that the assembly was having on a Friday. Some of the more mature brethren drew the minister aside to convert him to their way of thinking. I left that evening not knowing what had happened but was later contacted by brethren who told me that this minister had told them the exact thing that I had been telling them.'
This is proof of nothing! Eells does not know exactly what his 'mature' brethren shared with the 'minister' or to what extent he was primed with Eells 'revelation,' so his 'fleece' test is the easiest thing in the world for someone to pick up on in the same way stage magicians and the fraudsters of the charismanic movement do in their staged 'words of revelation/knowledge.' This is a known fact shown many times by investigators such as James Randi. It does not even require supernatural methods of the occult kind to bring to fruition.
The rest of this 'bonding' with 'Bolivar' is of a similar nature:
'I invited the minister, whose name was Bolivar, to my house along with some of the other brethren. When Bolivar heard my name he became excited, and began to share with me recent happenings that brought him to our assembly. When he was in Opelousas, Louisiana, he was given a vision of Route 61. In the vision he saw a sign on Route 61 that said, 'three miles to three L(s).'He felt led to follow this road to Baton Rouge where we lived, but he still did not understand the vision. In the hotel he looked in the phone book for an assembly to visit. Even though our denomination was his last preference because of its narrow-minded sectarianism, he felt impressed to go. Our city was full of assemblies but he was led to ours on a Friday when we usually did not attend except for this particular time. After he had been to my house, and realized that my name was Eells, pronounced by many 'L(s)', and that there were three of us, he decided to check the odometer. He found that it was exactly three miles from Route 61 to my driveway! The sign 'three miles to three L(s)' was right on.'
Eells account carries on in the same vein and contains nothing that stage magicians could not mimic, including a move to Florida that occurred later - after 'Bolivar' had put this thought into his head: 'He also told Mary and me that one day we would move to Florida'.
Eells, et al, come up with 'revelations' and 'visions' that remind me of a time, soon after I became a Christian, when I was working on a car engine in front of our house. A casual acquaintance walked by and stopped to converse. I mentioned how doing the mechanical maintenance myself was the only way my family could afford our own transport (like Paul, the occasional 'tentmaker' - Acts 18v3 - I was an occasional mechanic!) and my acquaintance replied: 'I thought of getting my own car a little while back and asked God about it while out walking by the river and the thought came to me - if I see a fish jumping the weir I'm not to get a car! Sure enough, I saw a fish jumping the weir - so I didn't get a car.' I knew the river and the weir, and the regular frequency of fish jumping the weir, so I asked him how many times he had seen fish jumping it? He gave me a hard stare and smiled before walking off without another word! He and his wife - who had spent many years in the Jehovah's Witnesses before claiming to know the Biblical Jesus - were renowned for mystical interpretations of dreams and visions, bizarre doctrines, and use of New Age healing methods.
If every co-incidence and nebulous connection to the everyday occurrences of life was attributed to God we would have reports very similar to those available on Eells' website - as the continuing account demonstrates:
'A close friend from my youth and the man who witnessed to me, Don Robertson, was there. He had a vision some years before in which he saw a brown-skinned man, dressed in a particular way, sitting before him telling him the truth about the rapture. When he came in that day he saw that Bolivar was that man, and he was dressed the same as he was in the vision.'
Amazing how many 'facts' gel together in the world of the Latter Rain heretic for whom the Bible is not enough but for whom the 'puzzle,' which previous generations of believers struggled with helplessly, will be put together (with the familiar psychological rider: 'If we stay humble'):
'I know that God has given to me some wonderful pieces to this puzzle and He has probably given you some, too. If we stay humble, first to the Word and secondly to one another, God will put this puzzle together for us.'
>>> Eells and his followers claim 'Rapture Delusion'
(Continued on page 217)