News From The Front – June 2001

Dear Praying Friends,

Since our last newsletter another busy ‘ministry trip’ has passed into history. The conferences and meetings involving Rob Zins, Mike Gendron, Stephen Murphy and myself took place against a backdrop of great ‘national’ uncertainty. ‘Foot and mouth’ was uppermost in the minds of the vast majority of people as we travelled around the British Isles. In England in particular the media focussed much on this virus and the desperation to find a cure for the problem has at times reached fever pitch. No one really seems sure as to the right way to deal with the problem. Government ministers, medical experts and farmers leaders have all had an opinion [usually differing] to express. The last thing that any of them might consider is that the God of Heaven is passing judgment on the spiritual bankruptcy of the nation. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury in his Easter ‘message’ dismissed any notion of that sort – but then he would with his single-faceted ‘God of love’. In 1865 in the midst of a similar outbreak of ‘foot and mouth’ J C Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool wrote a little booklet entitled ‘The Finger of God’. In it he listed 7 national sins [all still relevant today] and went on to conclude ‘I believe firmly that these things are crying to God against England. They are an offence against the King of Kings, for which He is punishing us this very day. And the rod He is using is the cattle plague. The ‘finger of God’ I believe is pointing at our seven great national sins’. Oh that God might raise up another generation of J C Ryles!

Your servant for Christ

CECIL ANDREWS

  • JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

Probably the most active and zealous of the religious groups that come calling at your door would be the members of The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, or as they are more commonly called the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Operating in small groups they select an area and canvas every house offering their society’s magazines ‘Awake’ and ‘The Watchtower’. In Ireland over recent years they have opened quite a number of new Kingdom Halls and are well known for the speed with which they can erect these centres of worship and study. As in our previous studies [see ‘The Mormons’ – NEWS FROM THE FRONT – JUNE 2000] we will analyse this group under the 4 features commonly found in most non-Christian cults.

1. AN EARTHLY HEAD OR FOUNDER

Charles Taze Russell who was born in Pennsylvania in 1852 founded this group. He was influenced in his thinking and theology by the newly emerging religious groups of the Christadelphians and Seventh-day Adventists with the result that he embraced a number of errors that these groups share in common. He devoted himself in particular to the matters of prophecy and end-time events and a careful study of his writings will reveal that he was a documented ‘false prophet’.

Joseph Franklin [‘Judge’] Rutherford succeeded Russell after his death in 1916 and likewise proved to be a ‘false prophet’. In his book ‘MILLIONS NOW LIVING WILL NEVER DIE’ concerning the year 1925 he wrote ‘the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925…Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter 11, to the condition of human perfection’.

.Following his death in 1942 the leadership passed to Nathan Knorr and under his Presidency the Society in 1961 produced its own version of the Bible called the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. In his book ‘The Four Major Cults’ AA Hoekema wrote on pages 238-239 that this translation

‘is by no means an objective rendering of the sacred text into modern English but is a biased translation in which many of the peculiar teachings of the Watchtower Society are smuggled into the text of the Bible itself’.

Today leadership is in the hands of a committee known as the ‘Governing Body’ under its President Milton G Henschel.

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

Deuteronomy 18:22

“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him”.

2 Peter 3:16

“they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also, the other scriptures unto their own destruction”.

2. AN AUTHORITY IN ADDITION TO OR IN PLACE OF THE BIBLE

The Watch Tower organisation has a very inflated opinion of its own position and publications as evidenced by the following quotations from its magazines.

‘The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, identifies itself as God’s sole collective channel for the flow of Biblical truth to men on earth in these last days’

[The Watch Tower, 15 July 1960 p439].

‘That faithful and discreet slave {Matthew 24:45}is represented today by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has as its publicity agent the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Most appropriately, that faithful and discreet slave have also been called God’s channel of communication’

[The Watch Tower 1 September 1991 p18-19].

In a 1943 court case Watchtower Vice-President Fred Franz stated that Jehovah God had been editor of the Watch Tower magazine since its inception. In the same court case Watch Tower President Nathan Knorr declared the Watch Tower magazine to be God’s Word without any qualification.

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

1 Corinthians 4:6

“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”.

Acts17:11

“These were more noble than in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so”.

3. A WRONG VIEW OF THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST

The Jehovah’s Witnesses radically distort the person of Jesus Christ. They teach that prior to His life on earth He was a created Archangel known as Michael whom Jehovah God used as the instrument through which all the rest of creation was brought into being. In their own Bible, without any textual justification, they add the word ‘other’ in Colossians 1: 16-17 no less than 4 times to teach erroneously that Christ created ‘all [other] things’ [because they teach that He Himself was first created].

.In reality Paul actually declared that Christ had created “all things” [indicating clearly that Christ Himself was not created]. The reason given by the Witnesses for the addition of the word ‘other’ is that it clarifies the meaning of the passage. This is not true – by adding the word ‘other’ the Witnesses have not clarified the meaning but they have changed the meaning [to suit their own false teaching of a ‘created Christ’].

.They teach that whilst on earth Christ was only a man and certainly not God. Having died at Calvary they believe that the man Jesus is dead forever and that after 3 days He was re-created as a spirit creature who is again Michael in heaven.

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

John 1:1-3 & 14

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”.

Matthew 1:23

“they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”.

Luke 24:39

“Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself: handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have”.

Acts 1:11

“This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven”.

Concerning the work of Christ they [JW’s] believe that it was a ransom price paid to undo the problem of death brought in by the sin of Adam. Christ’s work in and of itself does not save anyone but provides the opportunity for people to earn salvation.

4. A WRONG VIEW OF SALVATION

In their book ‘Let God Be True’ we read on page 297 ‘All who by reason of faith in Jehovah God and in Christ Jesus consecrate themselves to do God’s will, and then faithfully carry out their consecration, will be rewarded with everlasting life’.

Former Jehovah’s Witness, David Reed, writes on page 15 of his book ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse’ under the heading ‘Salvation –

Although giving lip service to salvation through faith in Christ, Witnesses actually believe that salvation is impossible apart from full obedience to the Watchtower Society and vigorous participation in its prescribed works program.’

.The organisation teaches that only 144,000 people [‘the little flock’] will be in heaven and that the rest of those who serve the organisation faithfully [‘the great crowd’] will live forever in paradise on earth.

Again on page 297 of ‘Let God Be True’ we read ‘However that [everlasting] life will not be the same for all. The Bible clearly shows that some of these, 144,000, will share heavenly glory with Christ Jesus while others will enjoy the blessings of life right here on earth’.

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

2 Timothy 1:9

“Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began”

John 17:24

“Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am: that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me”

1 Peter 3:18

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”

John 14:2&3

“I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am there ye may be also”

  • BOOKS TO CONSIDER
  •  ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT’
  • [The Church of Rome and the European
  • Union exposed to the light of truth]
  • by Dr Ian Sadler [BSc. PhD]

On the back cover we read the following

‘This book is written as a warning to the Christian churches of the danger of the false religion that originated at Babylon. The true successor to the Mysteries of Babylon is shown to be the Church of Rome…The author takes the classic Reformed position regarding the papacy and its fulfilment of scripture concerning the ‘man of sin’…The conclusions of the book are very solemn indeed but the author believes they are most needful at this time’.

Book available from our ministry: Price £5.00 [includes p&p].

  • ‘ALPHA – THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE’
  • by Elizabeth McDonald

(This is a new assessment of ‘ALPHA’ by the author of the popular and helpful booklet ‘Alpha – New Life or New Lifestyle’.)

On the back cover we read the following

‘Alpha is now being run in every corner of the globe so if it does have any significant problems then the Christian world needs to be aware of them…This book seeks to settle the issue. It identifies the main concerns that have been expressed and examines how fair they are when compared with Scripture and with Alpha…The author is an expert on the subject and offers many insights and behind-the-scenes data on the world of Alpha’.

Book available from our ministry – Price £4.00 [includes p&p]

  • FACTS ON TOMMY TENNEY

As a result of being on a number of mailing lists I receive details of upcoming visits to the Province by many ‘preachers and teachers’. Such a notification informed me of a 2-night visit to Belfast [Hilton Hotel – 21/22 April] by Tommy Tenney who was listed as the author of 2 books called ‘The God Chasers’ and ‘The God Catchers’.

I have to confess that Mr Tenney’s name didn’t mean anything to me and I was about to file the invite away when I opened up the latest issue of VANGUARD [issued by a conservative Pentecostal apologetics grouping] and one of the articles listed was ‘Unmasked – Tommy Tenney’. The author of the article is Mike R Taylor who some years ago wrote the book ‘Do Demons Rule Your Town’ – a very helpful exposé of the false ‘territorial spirits’ and ‘spiritual warfare’ teachings associated with the likes of the Marches For Jesus.

If anyone would like a copy of this report by Mike Taylor I will be happy to forward it to them upon request but in the meantime here are some of the facts brought to light in this report on Mr Tenney.

1. Mr Tenney’s father is a leading figure in the United Pentecostal Church. Although Tommy Tenney himself no longer belongs to that grouping it is clear that he regards them as fellow believers and his father openly endorses his ministry and books. The United Pentecostal Church teach the error of ‘Oneness’ and Dr Eryl Davies on page 98 of his book ‘Truth Under Attack’ writes concerning ‘Salvation’ as taught by the ‘Oneness’ groups ‘Baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus alone is essential for salvation. Some groups like the United Pentecostal Church also believe that “speaking in tongues” is necessary for salvation’.

2. Mr Tenney suggests in his writings that God wishes His people to ‘chase after’ a God who is elusive rather than commune with God by the power and presence of His indwelling Holy Spirit. Such thinking and teaching encourages the stampedes that have been witnessed in recent years to places like ‘Toronto’ and ‘Pensacola’ and it comes as no surprise to read later in the report that Mr Tenney has close associations with many of the figures associated with those supposed spiritual ‘hot spots’.

3. Mr Tenney appears to use derogatory language when referring to Scripture – consider phrases such as ‘the mouldy pages of what God has done’ and ‘dusty love letters that were written long ago’. He basically views Scripture as ‘past truth’ that has been overly studied by the Church at the expense of experiencing what he refers to as ‘present truth’. Unlike those who go chasing hither and thither for some ‘blessing’, as encouraged by Mr Tenney, Mike Taylor correctly states ‘There is a powerful blessing for those who actually seek God IN His Word’.

4. Mr Tenney seems to view Scripture merely as an account of where God has been rather than being food for our very soul. He writes ‘Perhaps the masses of people are happy to know where God’s been but true God chasers are not content just to study God’s trail, His truths. They want to know what He is and what He’s doing right now’. This all seems very far removed from our Lord’s petition in John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”.

5. Mike Taylor goes on to cite examples of Mr Tenney both adding to and misrepresenting Scripture. He identifies Mr Tenney’s failure to distinguish between justification and sanctification – ‘Tenney talks about a process of transformation which confuses justification with sanctification, which is also a problem in Roman Catholic teaching’. Mike Taylor concludes, that instead of being ‘God chasers’ as advocated by Mr Tenney, the true reality is that

‘God, who understands us perfectly, has ordained that intense spiritual experience be mediated by His written Word. This pursuit keeps our minds and our spirits active’.

  • UNITY’ – ROME SPELLS IT OUT

During our ministry trip in England in March I was given a copy of a report that appeared in the Yorkshire Post on 20 November 2000. Yet again it records the boldness of Rome in the face of Anglican weakness.

‘The Pope’s chief ecumenical envoy delivered a blunt warning to the Church of England at the weekend that the Roman Catholic Church will never compromise on doctrine in the search for unity. The declaration was made in Lincoln on Saturday by Cardinal Edward Cassidy, [He is the one who pulls the strings with the result that today’s arch-ecumenist Charles Colson dances an “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” ‘two-step’ with ‘Father’ Richard Neuhaus] president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Vatican department concerned with ecumenical moves between all the churches.

It came 3 months after Dominus Iesus, the bombshell declaration by Pope John Paul that only the Catholic Church was truly a church and that “churches” such as the Church of England are merely Christian communities – a claim that angered and saddened non-Catholic leaders including Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey.

Cardinal Cassidy’s weekend “no compromise over doctrine” pronouncement now looks likely to cause further consternation in the Anglican hierarchy. Cardinal Cassidy, in Lincoln for a special service at the Anglican cathedral to mark the 800th anniversary of the death of St Hugh, the 12th century Bishop of Lincoln, said the “fundamental law” of all ecumenical endeavour was “always to speak the truth in love”.

He told a large congregation which included Bishop of Lincoln Robert Hardy “It is certain that in the ecumenical dialogue we are not engaged in finding easy compromises to doctrinal beliefs or a unity that would demand of us to renounce what we understand as essential truths of divine revelation”. And he pointedly added “You may make a damaged wall look good by covering it up with attractive wallpaper – but the time will not be long in coming when the wallpaper will show signs of the situation it was meant to cover up”.

Cardinal Cassidy said that church unity could only be attained by as Pope John had said “the adherence of all to the content of revealed truth in its entirety” [no prizes for guessing who claims to possess ‘the content of revealed truth in its entirety’!]

But on an up-beat note he added “We are compelled to affirm that our communion together [between Anglicans and Roman Catholics] established by our common baptism [water] into the one Christ is even now a rich and life-giving multi-faceted reality. “What we have in common is so much more than that which keeps us apart” [and regrettably I wouldn’t argue with that!].

  • ‘DOMINUS IESUS’ and ‘SPURGEON’S COLLEGE’

In ‘The Record’ [Issue 119: April 2001], which is the magazine issued by ‘Spurgeon’s College’ there is a response to the Vatican document [‘Dominus Iesus’] of last September. It is written by ‘Canon Tom Smail…a regular lecturer and preacher at Spurgeon’s College’. He states early on ‘Now that things have settled down a little it might be good to think more calmly about some of the issues it [‘Dominus Iesus’] raises’.

In a clearly stated desire ‘to be positive’ Mr Smail writes ‘In our pluralistic world Dominus Iesus reasserts on the one hand the uniqueness and on the other hand the universal validity of what he [Jesus] has done for us. It displays a clarity and lack of ambiguity that cannot but win the consent of all who remain faithful to the creedal orthodoxy which expresses and protects the heart of the biblical gospel. The more evangelical we count ourselves the more clearly we shall see that on this make or break issue we may be in closer unity with the Pope than we are with people within our own denominations by whom that claim is modified or denied’.

Can I remind Mr Smail that this Pope, with whom he claims ‘we may be in closer unity’ because this document approved by him supposedly would find favour with those who ‘remain faithful to the creedal orthodoxy which expresses and protects the heart of the biblical gospel’ is the same Pope that declared the 1994 Catholic Catechism to be a ‘sure norm for teaching the faith’ and in that ‘sure norm’ we are told in paragraph 1129 ‘The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation’. IS THE POPE HERE ‘PROTECTING THE HEART OF THE BIBLICAL GOSPEL’?

On 6th December last year the Pope issued a further statement prompted [many observers believe] by criticism of Dominus Iesus in which he stated ‘Those who have chosen the way of the Gospel Beatitudes…will enter the kingdom of God…Those who lovingly bear the sufferings of life will enter the kingdom…All the just of the earth, including those who do not know Christ and His Church, who under the influence of grace, seek God with a sincere heart, are thus called to build the kingdom of God by working with the Lord’ [even though they don’t know Him!] Again I ask Mr Smail – IS THE POPE HERE ‘PROTECTING THE HEART OF THE BIBLICAL GOSPEL’ particularly in the light of verses like John 14:6; Acts 4:12 and Psalm 115:1-8?

Mr Smail states later in his article ‘We are saved by Christ himself and the faith [fiducia – trust] that relates us to him. Not by correct beliefs about him or by belonging to the ecclesiastical set up that he is perceived to have instituted’. According to this line of thinking the ‘Christ’ of the Judaisers who only needed a little bit of religious ritual [‘circumcision’] and a few other Mosaic observances to be added to His atoning work at Calvary to ensure a persons salvation was in fact the same ‘Christ’ that Paul had faith in alone for salvation. WHAT NONSENSE! Mr Smail needs to consider again the words of Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 7: 13-23 and Matthew 24:23-24.

In the final paragraph Mr Smail writes ‘To me one of the greatest gifts of the charismatic renewal was to get to the point where I was able to sit down with Roman Catholic leaders. To talk about their contentious Marian doctrines in a relationship that gave us the freedom to enquire, to learn and to disagree. Within the safety of the shared experience of the Spirit of Christ we were enabled to regard one another as no doubt deficient but also accepted believers in the Lord’. What was the over-riding unifying aspect when Mr Smail met with these Roman Catholics? It was ‘the shared experience of the Spirit of Christ’. What Mr Smail fails to recognise is that the Roman Catholic ‘Christ’ is one of the “false Christs” the Lord forewarned of in Matthew 24:24 and it is precisely because he is a “false Christ” that ‘contentious Marian doctrines’ [and many other contentious doctrines such as purgatory and indulgences] have been formulated by Rome to ‘bolster up’ the insufficient saving work of their ‘Christ’.

This magazine was sent to me by a former student of ‘Spurgeon’s College’ who wrote to me ‘One can scarcely imagine what Spurgeon would have said if he had known…the college he founded would be giving a cautious endorsement to such a document’. I think he would have repeated forcibly what he said in January 1873 [see the back cover of ‘Geese in their Hoods’]

‘The sooner we let Archbishops and Cardinals know that we areaware of their designs, and will in nothing co-operate with them the better for us and our country. Of course we shall be howled at as bigots, but we can afford to smile at that cry, when it comes from the church which invented the Inquisition. “No peace with Rome” is the motto of reason as well as of religion’.

As for Mr Smail, well I think this is one ‘canon’ that should be ‘fired’!

  •  The Belfast Telegraph’s – ‘Romance with Rome’

Following a change of ownership in recent years it appears that the main Northern Ireland newspaper ‘The Belfast Telegraph’ has regularly gone out of its way to present Roman Catholicism in a very favourable light and on occasions to do so at the expense of the reputation of the Protestant denominations.

In the Easter Saturday edition of the paper [14 April], sandwiched between a photograph [page 2] of a Roman Catholic priest carrying a cross on Belfast’s Ormeau Road [with a female ‘Protestant minister’ and another well known ecumenical Presbyterian minister dutifully following directly behind him] and a photograph [page 18] of the Pope carrying a cross in front of the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday there was the following article by Noel McAdam.

  • PROTESTANT CHURCHES UNDER ATTACK

‘A Belfast priest has accused the main Protestant churches of containing a “virulent antipathy” towards Catholicism. Fr Patrick McCafferty also argued that “excessive individualism” within Protestantism had led to the further tragic fragmentation of the Christian family. And he also defended new Dublin Cardinal Desmond Connell’s recent criticism of the Church of Ireland for allowing Catholics to partake in communion. In a personal letter, he said the latest controversy, which arose in February, was a further reminder that the deep and painful wounds inflicted throughout history on the Body of Christ “must be approached with tenderness, love and reverence”. “There are areas of real contention, particularly our differing understandings of the Eucharist and the nature of authority. These issues must be faced with patience and honesty, without attempting to paper over the cracks [Sound familiar? – see page 10] “. He said it had to be admitted there has been infidelity to God in both Catholic and Protestant traditions and a culture of self-serving clericalism and self-seeking ambition had come into being’.

The inclusion of this article begs one simple question– why were the contents of this ‘personal letter’ [published apparently in the Irish News of 27 February] highlighted [some 6+ weeks later] in such a ’Protestant-bashing’ fashion? In response I wrote a letter that was published in the

  • Belfast Telegraph of Saturday 21 April.
  • REMNANT WILL NOT BE SEDUCED

Whilst the motive for the inclusion of Noel McAdam’s article entitled ‘Protestant churches under attack’ [Belfast Telegraph 14 April] is to say the least ‘baffling’ nevertheless the comments quoted by him from a ‘personal letter’ written by Roman Catholic priest Patrick McCafferty do require a response. Mr McCafferty refers to what he identifies within the main Protestant churches as a ‘virulent antipathy’ [‘poisonous hostility’] towards Roman Catholicism. Perhaps Mr McCafferty should first address the ‘virulent antipathy’ officially expressed by the Roman Catholic Church in documents such as The Council of Trent [an ‘antipathy’ reaffirmed by Vatican 2] towards Christians such as myself. On over 100 occasions [anathemas] Rome condemns me to be cursed by God because of the Scriptural beliefs that I hold in opposition to the false teachings of Rome. Mr McCafferty then refers to ‘excessive individualism’ within Protestantism and cites it as a cause for the fragmentation of the ‘Christian family’. When it comes to excessive individualism’ this extract from Pargaraph 882 – The Pope of the 1994 Catholic Catechism will take some beating – ‘The Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered’. Mr McCafferty is quite right when he mentions the Eucharist and Authority as being areas of ‘real contention’. These are indeed the areas where Rome states [see ‘One Bread, One Body’ and ‘Dominus Iesus’] that true Christian Unity will eventually be a reality when Christians such as myself bow one knee to the Authority of the Pope and bow our other knee to the Eucharistic bread and give to it ‘the worship of latria, which is due to the true God’ [Council of Trent 13: Session 5]. The refusal by Christians of similar beliefs to myself in centuries past to bow their knees in such fashion led to them being mercilessly burnt to death by the Roman Church. In conclusion let me state that there is one anathema that counts – it is found and repeated in Galatians chapter 1 verses 6-9 and today it rests on the Roman Catholic Church that preaches what Paul identifies as ‘another gospel’. This is not ‘virulent antipathy’ on my part but ‘biblical reality’ on God’s part. Despite the betrayal of the true gospel in recent years by so-called Evangelicals in both American and Irish ‘agreements’ God still has His faithful elect remnant that will not now be seduced into Roman error by ‘tenderness, love and reverence’ or by any other tactic for that matter.

CECIL ANDREWS – “TAKE HEED” MINISTRIES – BALLYNAHINCH

  • “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,  deceiving and being deceived” – 2 Timothy 3: 13

 The pace of visitation to Northern Ireland by what I would term suspect ‘preachers’ and ‘teachers’ is undoubtedly quickening for whatever reasons

[The influence of the satellite ‘GOD’ Channel?]

In recent years people like Ulf Ekmann, Marilyn Hickey, Jesse Du Plantis and of course Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have included the Province on their itineraries. This year is once more going to be a ‘time of visitation’.

Already I have referred to the visit of Tommy Tenney.

A less well-known Anglican charismatic preacher based in Harrow called Bruce Collins was the guest at Russell Birney’s church in Ballymena [see NEWS FROM THE FRONT – March 2000] just prior to Easter. Having listened to the first tape of what Mr Collins said it is clear that he is once more propagating the false teaching of the late John Wimber that not only is the Church commissioned to preach of ‘Christ and Him crucified’ but also to continue the ‘signs and wonders’ ministry carried out by the Lord and His disciples. [By way of practical illustration Mr Collins related details of a conversation he had with a fellow traveller on a plane when he was able to identify problems the young lady was currently confronted with – this is what I would refer to as ‘sanctified fortune telling’.] Mr Wimber basically taught and Mr Collins likewise asserted that the Lord could only carry out miracles through the anointing of the Holy Spirit and their false premise is that believers are ‘likewise anointed’ and so should be able to do what the Lord did. A helpful book that biblically refutes this error is ‘The Healing Epidemic’ by Peter Masters. Later in the year visits by Rheinhard Bonnke, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and John Bevere are scheduled to take place. Rheinhard Bonnke was [along with Benny Hinn] the subject of a disturbing expose on television [‘Miracles’ – UTV – 22 April]. John Bevere [as well as his wife] has written articles for ‘CHARISMA’ magazine. He has spoken at meetings for Ulf Ekmann, in company with John Avanzini and Marilyn Hickey and he earlier shared a conference in 1996 with John Arnott [of ‘Toronto Blessing’ infamy].

  • What can I say but “TAKE HEED”!
  • “Encourage thou him” 2 Samuel 11:25
  • ‘Footprints of Faith’ – April 12

“And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him”  Genesis 37:4

‘To be loved of the Lord is to be hated by the world. To please God means that in many respects we will not please men. Jesus said “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19).

In Joseph we have this enmity foreshadowed in a powerful and dramatic manner. As a young man his character was exemplary. Yet despite this he was hated and despised. The treatment of Joseph by his brethren provides an abiding lesson for all believers, especially those young in the faith. The philosophy of many proclaims that if we sincerely love God and faithfully serve our fellow man, we shall be held in high esteem. This was not the lot of Joseph. Fulfilling the wishes of his father with zeal and enthusiasm, he discovered that the pathway of such devotion was at times extremely difficult and brought down on his head such reproach that it eventually exploded into murderous hatred.

Let us settle in our hearts that come what may, we shall be found faithful to the Lord, to His holy cause, and to His precious Word. There is but one gospel. Let us bear witness to it. Let us seek to defend it and faithfully warn all men that there is no other message of salvation.

We may not gain the plaudits of the world for such obedience to God and His gospel, but we will receive that infinitely greater commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. The knowledge that we have our Saviour’s commendation now, and that we will also have it hereafter, will give us courage to stand for Him, whatever the cost.

  • ‘Christ’s followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had’ Matthew Henry – quoted in ‘Footprints of Faith’ – April 26
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