News From The Front – September 2003

Dear praying friends,

Since the issue of our last newsletter a lot of ground has been covered. For just over 3 weeks in July and August, Margaret and I travelled extensively in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada and also crossed into Washington State, USA. We drove some 2500 miles and as well as visiting relatives and sightseeing I also spoke at 7 meetings along the way on the work of ‘Take Heed’. We were much blessed as we met fellow believers who have a passion to “stand fast” in these dark days of rampant spiritual deception. Following our return home I was able, thanks to the response to our ‘Video Projector Appeal’, to purchase the necessary projector, video player and sound speaker. Sincere thanks to all who so generously responded. In our June newsletter I gave provisional details of the upcoming visit of Shaun Willcock. We do thank all who prayed for the provision of a car – the Lord through a brother in Christ has provided a vehicle so we praise Him for meeting this need. Enclosed with this newsletter is a leaflet giving final details of where Shaun will be speaking. Your prayers and presence where possible are earnestly coveted.

Your servant for Christ

CECIL ANDREWS

JOYCE MEYER and ‘HEALING’

From Thursday 29 May until Saturday 31 May 2003, Joyce Meyer ‘ministered’ in The King’s Hall Exhibition and Conference Centre, Belfast. A note on her web site mentioned ‘Joyce’s Product Tables will be open two hours prior to each meeting. Come early!’ I have drawn attention to this statement because in this article I want to deal with something that was included in an advert promoting several of ‘Joyce’s Products’. In her ‘Life in The Word’ newsletter for April 2003 there was a half-page advert for a 4-tape series on ‘Healing’ and for a 144-page Mini-book called ‘Be Healed In Jesus’ Name’. In the body text of the advert we read ‘We have been given assurance in God’s Word that He is the Healer and it is His will to heal everyone’.

In stating, in relation to God, that ‘it is His will to heal everyone’ Joyce Meyer is simply following in the footsteps of a long line of others who have proclaimed the same message on ‘HEALING’. In his little booklet ‘Is Healing in the Atonement’ David Cloud cites the following teaching on the subject of ‘Health and Healing’. Mr Cloud wrote ‘Oral Roberts, one of the pioneers of “faith healing” ministry gave a classic statement of charismatic doctrine in the September 1976 issue of Abundant Life magazine – ‘Sickness is part of the curse and Jesus came to destroy the curse. He suffered in our stead because he did not want us to suffer disease…I know it is God’s highest wish for you to be in health…Sickness is not part of God’s plan and not devised by God’s will…Yet some ministers and many Christians are not quite sure where sickness comes from. I mean they are still asking the question, Is it God’s will to heal? Some ministers are still praying, Father, if it be thy will, heal. I wonder if they could be sued for theological malpractice? Well, it’s a thought’.

Some years ago in an edition of the ‘Believers Voice of Victory’ Kenneth Copeland’s wife Gloria wrote an article entitled ‘You’ll Never Have To Wonder again’ and in the article she stated ‘Sickness and disease are not the will of God…Jesus…came to destroy all the works of the devil – sickness and disease included…The devil has no legal right to kill or steal from the children of God…We’ve got to enforce his defeat by speaking the Word of God in faith…If you believe this good news…I want you to do something…stand up, right there. With this magazine still in your hand, stand on your feet. Now I want you to say out loud…Sickness, disease and pain, I resist you in the name of Jesus. I enforce the Word of God on you. I won’t tolerate you in my life. LEAVE MY PRESENCE…Sickness shall no longer lord it over me…I proclaim my freedom in Jesus’ name. Now don’t ever look back…God’s will is for you to be free’.

In another portion of the body text of the advert promoting Joyce Meyer’s Products [the tapes and mini-book] we read the following ‘There is Power in the Name of Jesus and You Have the Right to Use It to Be Healed…The truths in this anointed series and powerful mini-book will help you build your faith in God’s desire – and power – to heal you!’ These words advertising Joyce Meyer’s Products seem like an apt commentary on the teaching and instruction given by Gloria Copeland in her article ‘You’ll Never Have To Wonder Again’ that I quoted earlier.

In a report published back in 1996 by Richard Fisher and Paul Belli of PERSONAL FREEDOM OUTREACH [A respected USA based Apologetics Ministry] they wrote ‘Meyer in her new book writes “Words are containers for power” [‘The name, The Word, The Blood’ page 37]…When it comes to the “Name” of Jesus, Meyer admits that she used the “name” for many years without “results” [page 47]. This suggests we can learn how to use the “name” to obtain “results”. What follows is a mixture of truth and error. Some of what she says about praying in the name of Jesus and about His name being a term for His authority is proper. At various points she lapses and transfers all the authority of Jesus directly to the believer. Christians pray in Jesus’ name and have access to heaven through Jesus but it is not true that we, just by use of that “name” have “authority over demons, sickness, disease, lack and every form of misery” [page 70]. It confuses the believer with Jesus and reduces His name to a magic word…Meyer’s teaching on Christ’s “blood” and how to “use” it is essentially a repeat of her teachings on how to “use” Jesus’ “name” along with a repeat of many of the same doctrinal errors. Though Meyer says some things that are right about the blood of Christ, she lapses into a magical use of the word “blood” much like the relic system and fetish worship of the Middle Ages. For example she writes…“We must learn to ‘use’ the blood” [page 109]…“We laid hands on the check and prayed. I went and got all of our checkbooks and my pocketbook and Dave [Joyce Meyer’s husband] got his wallet and we laid hands on them and put the blood on them, asking God to protect our money, to cause it to multiply and to see to it that Satan could not steal any of it from us” [page 111]…“If you are sick in your body, plead the blood over your body. The life is in the blood; it can drive out the death of sickness” [page 111]…Meyer’s evolving, changing Word-Faith views are at best aberrant, confusing, misleading and unscriptural. Magic words, magic names and magic blood should be deplored and seen for what they are – superstition’.

In the quotes from Joyce Meyer’s advert and the two other quotes on ‘Health and Healing’ by Oral Roberts and Gloria Copeland reference is made in all cases to ‘God’s will’. A careful study of the Bible will reveal two ‘dimensions’ to ‘God’s will’. One ‘dimension’ I would title ‘His preceptive will’ and the other ‘dimension’ I would title ‘His permissive will’. When I use the expression ‘His preceptive will’ I am thinking of God’s ideal standards of behaviour for His created humanity in an ‘ideal world’. In an ‘ideal world’ no human being would ever murder, steal, commit adultery etc. They would be living and abiding by God’s ‘precepts’ [rules of conduct] and so would always be living in the ‘will of God’. However, the reality is that humanity does not live in an ‘ideal world’ – rather we live in a ‘fallen’ world where human beings constantly ignore and act contrary to God’s ‘precepts’ [rules of conduct] and so the consequences of such rebellion are everywhere to be seen – these consequences, God not only knows all about in advance because of His omniscience, but He sovereignly allows to happen under what I have termed as ‘His permissive will’. Perhaps the most compelling illustration of God’s ‘permissive will’ sovereignly allowing something to happen, that goes totally against His revealed ‘preceptive will’, is the crucifixion of His own dear Son. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter told his listeners concerning Christ, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, [in accordance with the sovereign ‘permissive will’ of God] ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain’ [contrary to the ‘preceptive will’ of God].

To state as Joyce Meyer, Oral Roberts and Gloria Copeland do, that ‘it is His will to heal everyone’…‘Sickness is not part of God’s plan and not devised by God’s will’…‘Sickness and disease are not the will of God’ is to fail to understand completely what the Bible reveals and teaches about God’s ‘preceptive will’ and God’s ‘permissive will’. Such erroneous teaching can be emotionally destructive to those who have false hopes of guaranteed ‘healing’ given assuredly to them by the likes of Joyce Meyer, Oral Roberts, Gloria Copeland and a host of others who have embraced this aberrant teaching on ‘healing’. It can also damage the cause of the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, not only in the eyes of those who come expecting to be healed but also in the eyes of an onlooking, unbelieving and increasingly sceptical world.

The Biblical ‘foundation’ cited by these false teachers in relation to ‘healing’ invariably comes down to their understanding of several passages of scripture – in particular Isaiah 55:3. Gloria Copeland in her article already referred to quotes it in full “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” and later in the article she comments ‘The Bible says “By his stripes you were healed”. Your healing has been bought and paid for by Jesus Christ. It belongs to you’.

The reality is that Isaiah 53:5 is speaking of ‘healing’ for the consequences of “our transgressions” and “our iniquities’ and in 1 Peter 2:24 when Peter likewise speaks of “by whose [Christ’s] stripes ye were healed” it is framed in the context of “our sins”. These verses are speaking of healing from “the wages of sin” – namely God’s condemnation upon unredeemed sinners of a lost eternity in hell. The true understanding of what Isaiah prophetically looked forward to and of what Peter gratefully reflected back upon is well captured in this quote from an excellent little book by Dr Charles W Mayes called ‘A Look at the Modern Healing Movement’. On page 23, under the heading ‘DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIN and SICKNESS’ Dr Mayes wrote – ‘Dr Alva J McClain had this to say: “Sickness is not sin; it is the result of sin. We punish men for sinning, but not for getting sick. A man may become diseased by breaking the law; he is punished for breaking the law, but sent to hospital for the disease. Christ died for our sins, not for our diseases. He was made sin for us; He was not made disease for us. Christ did not forgive disease. He forgave sin and healed disease. Death is the divine penalty for sin, not for disease. Therefore the death of Christ as our Substitute was penal, not pathological. Christ died in our stead; He did not [I say it reverently] have smallpox in our stead”.

God’s word reveals that sickness, contrary to the teaching of individuals like Joyce Meyer, Oral Roberts and Gloria Copeland, does serve a sovereign purpose under God’s ‘permissive will’. On page 27 of his book ‘A Look at the Modern Healing Movement’ Dr Mayes himself wrote the following under the heading ‘DOES SICKNESS HAVE A PURPOSE?’ ‘One of the purposes which God has in the sickness of His saints is revealed in Hebrews 12:5-11. Now if healing were in the atonement on the same basis as the forgiveness of sins, our healing would be a finished work of Christ on the cross. Perpetual healing could be appropriated and thus we would prohibit God from chastening His people with sickness, *which he apparently does at times. He chastened Paul with a bodily ailment and it is unlikely that modern believers will always escape. The scriptural teaching on the subject of chastening and a healing which is a finished work in the atonement, would certainly bring confusion to the plan of God in dealing with individuals’.

*Paul, when confronting the Corinthians about their slack and sinful approach to observing the Lord ‘s Supper, told them in 1 Corinthians 11:30 “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep” – Paul was telling them how God’s chastening hand had been and was upon them.

The teaching of guaranteed ‘healing’ as proposed by Joyce Meyer, Oral Roberts and Gloria Copeland is couched in ‘feigned [imaginative] words’ – an expression used by Peter in his warning against “false teachers” [2 Peter 2:1-3]. The reality is that our bodies are day and daily ‘perishing’ and ‘wearing out’. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16 “but though our outward man perish” – Paul was here acknowledging that our physical bodies are subject to all the debilitating ravages of physical life here on earth. Paul then went on to say that, in contrast to what was happening to us physically, spiritually we were undergoing a different process entirely. Unlike our “outward man”, our physical body, which is perishing, our “inward man is renewed day by day”.

Paul certainly did look forward to the time when all believers would have perfect bodies [“incorruptible” and “immortal,” – see I Corinthians 15:53] but he knew that would not happen until eternity would be ushered in by the return of the Lord for he wrote in Philippians 3:20-21 “For our conversation [‘citizenship’] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body’.

It is right that Christians should pray for healing for their friends and for themselves. Paul instructs believers in Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God”. There is no matter or concern that is too small or too trivial for a believer not to bring it to God in prayer. Paul continues in verse 7 “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. This guaranteed “peace”, in the case of a praying, sick believer, comes from knowing that he has laid the matter that concerns him before the “throne of grace” [Hebrews 4:16] and not from ‘banking’ on some guaranteed ‘healing’ promised to him in a tape-series or mini-book.

The ‘products’ offered by these experts on ‘healing’ come at a price – in Joyce Meyer’s case the 4-tape series costs $22.00 [about £14.00] and the mini-book costs $9.00 [about £6.00]. Earlier I referred to Peter’s warning about “false teachers” who would use “feigned [imaginative] words” [2 Peter 2:3] and Peter explains in this same verse the purpose for which they put forward such false teachings – “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”. The fact that in Belfast [and I’m sure at other conferences] ‘Joyce’s Product Tables will be open two hours prior to each meeting. Come early!’ certainly has a ring of ‘making merchandise’ to my ears. [In an email I received from a fellow-believer he passed on this comment concerning a ‘babe-in-Christ who attended these meetings – ‘She went to see her but didn’t like the money raising side of it’].

‘Healing’ in this life is not guaranteed to God’s saints, but God’s grace to cope with each and every situation of life is assuredly promised. To Paul, who wanted the removal of his “thorn in the flesh”, but didn’t receive it, God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee” [2 Corinthians 12:7-8]. And as regards the “throne of grace” referred to above, the full verse reads “Let us therefore [in the light of having a great High Priest in heaven [Christ] who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities] come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” [Hebrews 4:15-16]. God’s “throne of grace” is the location that I would direct people to and certainly not to the Kings Hall Exhibition and Conference Centre, or for that matter, to any other location where Joyce Meyer will be ‘ministering’.

ALF McCREARY and CHRISTIAN INTEGRITY

In recent issues of NEWS FROM THE FRONT [December 2002 page 5 and June 2003 pages 15-16] I have drawn attention to the expressed false ecumenical and erroneous syncretistic viewpoints of publicly professing Presbyterian Elder, Alf McCreary, in his writings as Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Belfast Telegraph. Mr McCreary is really just one example of professing ‘Christian’ people who claim to believe certain things and then by their words and actions totally contradict and refute what it is they claim to believe. They form the ranks of the “double-minded” of James 1:8.

Whilst reading Pastor John MacArthur’s devotional thoughts for 1 June in his book ‘Strength For Today’ I was forcibly struck and challenged by these words ‘Christian integrity has been defined as the absence of compromise and the presence of biblical convictions. In the words of the psalmist it is to work righteousness and to speak truth from the heart (Psalm 15:2). Many people in Scripture demonstrate exemplary integrity. For example Jesus spoke of Nathanael as an Israelite “in whom is no guile” (John 1:47). To be without guile is to be truthful and unpretentious which is another way of saying Nathanael had integrity’.

As I thought in particular of those words ‘the absence of compromise and the presence of biblical convictions’ I thought of many so-called ‘evangelicals’ like J I Packer, Bill Bright, Os Guinness, Max Lucado, Charles Colson and others who in recent years have signed away any Christian integrity they might have had by putting their names to the various ‘Evangelical and Catholics Together’ documents; I thought of someone like Billy Graham who declared to chat show host, Larry King, that he has wonderful ‘fellowship’ with Mormonism and with The Vatican and who in response to a question from British TV personality, David Frost, commended Mohammed for saying that after himself (Mohammed) Jesus was the greatest of the prophets – how could Billy Graham ‘applaud’ this statement when God’s truth declares in Philippians 2:9 “God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus] and given him [Jesus] a name which is above every name” [including Mohammed’s!]

Each of those named and many others not named have publicly ‘demonstrated’ ‘compromise’ and have been ‘devoid’ of ‘biblical convictions’. The wayward thinking of Alf McCreary continued at such a pace that I again wrote to The Belfast Telegraph and the following letter was published on 14 June 2003 –

Dear Editor,

With each passing week the scale of Alf McCreary’s ‘double-thinking’ as a serving Presbyterian Elder becomes breathtakingly painful to witness. When ordained as an Elder he would have publicly affirmed the Bible and the Westminster Confession of Faith to be his Supreme and Subordinate Standards for Faith and Practice. Over recent weeks in his writings he has claimed that Allah and the Triune God of the Bible are ‘The One God’ and that everyone is a child of that ‘One God’.

He has welcomed the presence of the Bahai ‘faith’ in the Province, a ‘faith’ whose founder’s name, Baha’u’llah, means ‘The Glory of God’ [contrary to Isaiah 42:8 & Galatians 6:14], a ‘faith’ that rejects both the inherent divinity in the impeccable life of Jesus Christ and the redeeming value in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. These writings by Mr McCreary contradict the Divine truths found and expounded in Mr McCreary’s publicly declared ‘Standards’.

In his latest article ‘What’s Wrong With Shared Communion’ he bemoans the fact that he couldn’t partake of the supposedly transubstantiated, sacrificial elements at the recent re-dedication of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Armagh. The Roman Catholic Catechism states concerning The Eucharist that in it ‘the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated’ [Para:1382] and that ‘As sacrifice the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God’ [Para:1414].

The Westminster Confession of Faith states concerning the Lord’s Supper ‘In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to His Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself by Himself upon the cross…the…sacrifice of the mass (as it is called) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect’ [Ch:29-2].

How and why Mr McCreary would want to participate in a ritual that his own ‘Standards’ reject and declare to be ‘contrary to the nature of this sacrament and to the institution of Christ’ [Ch:29-4] goes against all honest and rational thinking.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – Ballynahinch

DIALOGUING WITH DONNY OSMOND

In early July on British television a documentary programme was broadcast ‘On being an Osmond’ and in it the lives of the famous singing brothers were traced. The best known would of course be Donny Osmond and in the course of the programme his web site address was given so later I visited it. On the web site there is a BELIEFS section and people are invited to submit a question. I did and set out following, in full, are the email exchanges that ensued between myself and Bev Qualheim, who referred to herself as ‘Donny’s assistant for the Beliefs pages’. Please pray for both.

[5 July 2003]

Dear Donny, In Doctrine & Covenants 130:22 we read “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” yet in Matthew 16: when the Lord Jesus Christ is commending Peter for his declaration [verse 16] to the Lord “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” we read [verse 17] “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven”. Surely Christ’s statement here that His Father is not “flesh and blood” contradicts the teaching of ‘Doctrine & Covenants’. Yours respectfully Cecil Andrews

[11 July 2003]

Hello Cecil, I am Bev Qualheim and I am Donny’s assistant for the Beliefs pages. I will pass this on to Donny also but wanted to answer quickly. God the Father does have a body of flesh and bones, He does not have one of flesh and BLOOD however, those would be earthly bodies, humans, people on the earth right now, and that is what was meant by that statement. Christ was telling Peter that His Father had given Peter revelation, not mere men. Hope this helps. Bev Q

[11 July 2003]

Dear Bev, Thank you for your reply and perhaps I could refer you to what you said, namely ‘God the Father does have a body of flesh and bones, He does not have one of flesh and BLOOD however, those would be earthly bodies, humans, people on the earth right now, and that is what was meant by that statement. Christ was telling Peter that His Father had given Peter revelation, not mere men’. Clearly you are saying that God the Father’s body is [a] of flesh and bones and [b] heavenly as opposed to humans whose bodies are [a] of flesh and blood and [b] earthly. My problem with that relates to what the Lord Jesus said in John 4:23-24 when He said to the woman at the well “But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall WORSHIP THE FATHER in spirit and in truth FOR THE FATHER seeketh such TO WORSHIP HIM. GOD IS A SPIRIT and THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM [obviously THE FATHER in this context] must WORSHIP HIM in spirit and in truth”. Jesus clearly identifies THE FATHER who is to be worshipped as A SPIRIT. Now, bearing that truth in mind I want to quote what the risen Lord Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 24:38-39 “And he said unto them. Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, handle me and see FOR A SPIRIT HATH NOT FLESH AND BONES [such as the heavenly body you claim is possessed by THE FATHER according to your first email to me] as ye see me have”. Obviously the Lord Jesus does not agree with what you believe or am I misreading your beliefs? I look forward to hearing from you further. Yours respectfully Cecil Andrews

[11 July 2003]

Hi Cecil, We believe that our Father in Heaven does indeed have a glorified body, and it does have flesh and bones. When Jesus died and before He received His resurrected body of flesh and bones, He appeared to Mary and told her not to touch Him as He was not yet ascended to His Father. He was at that time still a spirit and did not have His body. Later He appeared to His disciples and to many others after He was resurrected, and He allowed them to touch Him, for indeed He was no longer just a spirit but had a body of flesh and bones. Spirits do not have touchable flesh and bones. That is what Christ is stating. And yes, when we worship Him and His Father, it must be a spiritual thing, in the spirit. The Holy Spirit bears witness of the truth of all things, and we must seek His guidance to learn and to worship correctly. God is a Spirit, and He also has a body of course, as we were created in His image. Christ has a body also. I hope this helps you understand a bit more about what we believe. Bev

[12 July 2003]

Dear Bev, You have stated ‘When Jesus died and before He received His resurrected body of flesh and bones, He appeared to Mary and told her not to touch Him as He was not yet ascended to His Father. He was at that time still a spirit and did not have His body’. This is most confusing. You say that during this conversation that Jesus was ‘still a spirit’ yet we saw from Luke 24:38-39 that I quoted in my last email that according to Jesus “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” so how could Mary have mistaken what you claim was a non-physical spirit for “the gardener” [John 20:15] and presumably the person she was talking to was wearing clothes so how could a non-physical spirit be clothed? Also from the other gospels we learn that the grave clothes that the Lord was buried in were still in the tomb [John 25:5-7] but HIS BODY was not there and the angelic messengers declared, “He is not here but is risen” [Luke 24:6]. We may ask – ‘what was risen’ and the clear answer is HIS BODY as the Lord Himself prophesied in John 2:19 & 21 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy THIS TEMPLE and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP…But he spoke of THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY”. You have also stated ‘God is a Spirit, and He also has a body of course, as we were created in His image. Christ has a body also’ and you obviously believe that to be made ‘in His image’ refers to our physical dimension but that also poses a problem because according to your beliefs God The Father is ‘flesh and bones’ and not ‘flesh and blood’ and yet that is what we are, ‘flesh and blood’ so to be made ‘in His image’ cannot refer to our physical dimension. Please reflect again upon your stated beliefs, namely ‘God is a Spirit, and He also has a body of course’ for in the light of “God is a spirit” [John 4:24] and “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” [Luke 24:39] the Bible clearly rejects your beliefs. I remain respectfully yours Cecil Andrews

[12 July 2003]

Hi Cecil I feel it is time that you talked face to face with some LDS missionaries as you have many good questions. Their number should be in your local phone book. I do recommend that you read all of John 20:15-17, it’s beautiful. Mary Magdalene is weeping at the tomb, and Jesus asks her why she is weeping. She says: “… tell me where thou hast laid him and I will take him away.” He says her name, and Mary recognizes that it is indeed Christ and calls him ‘Raboni” or Master. We can guess that she reaches for Him and He tells her: “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father…” He was yet to do that, as she was there early in the day. Later that day He has been clothed with His new, resurrected body, and He eats with his disciples, Thomas touches His hands and His hands and His side to feel the wounds. He, as a spirit still was not able to allow Mary to do the same.

We believe that our Spirits are made out of a fine, ‘material’ that we would not be able to touch as humans, but of course could be clothed in non-earthly clothing, not his burial wraps. Apparently, spirits are visible to those who have faith and are able to see, as Mary was with Christ. There was a purpose in His appearing to her at this time. Perhaps to teach us of the nature of Spirits. Please consider contacting the LDS missionaries near you, as I do not wish to email back and forth like this. I am not sure you wish to know what we believe, but only to point out things that we don’t. This is not an efficient way to learn. Sincerely, Bev Qualheim

[12 July 2003]

Dear Bev, Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me once more and I do appreciate that you must have many other inquiries to respond to. In closing I would just like to summarise the differences identified in our exchanges between what you believe and what the Bible teaches, namely

1. You believe that God the Father has a heavenly body of ‘flesh and bones’ even though the Bible teaches that “God is a spirit” [John 4:24] and “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” [Luke 24:39].

2. You believe that when Mary met Jesus near the tomb and believed Him to be “the gardener” [John 20:15] He was apparently, according to what you believe, merely a spirit and not physically resurrected, even though the angels declared “He is not here but is risen” [Luke 24:5].

3. You believe that this non-physical spirit was capable of wearing clothes.

4. You believe that this non-physical spirit was not the resurrected body of the Lord Jesus even though His crucified body was no longer in the tomb, which, at the time of this encounter, contained only the grave clothes in which His body had been wrapped.

5. You believe this non-physical spirit had not yet been ‘clothed with His new, resurrected body’ as you expressed it even though Jesus Himself said in John 2: 19 & 21 “Destroy this temple and in three days [corresponding to the time of His encounter with Mary] I will raise it up…But he spoke of the temple of HIS BODY”

6. You have written ‘Later that day He has been clothed with His new, resurrected body, and He eats with his disciples, Thomas touches His hands and His hands and His side to feel the wounds. He, as a spirit still was not able to allow Mary to do the same’ but the Bible teaches that it was not ‘later that day’ that Thomas had his encounter with the risen Lord but “after eight days” [John 20:26]

7. You have written ‘We believe that our Spirits are made out of a fine, ‘material’ that we would not be able to touch as humans, but of course could be clothed in non-earthly clothing’. The Bible teaches that as humans we are comprised of “spirit and soul and body” [1 Thessalonians 5:23] – in other words we are comprised of physical [visible body] and non-physical [invisible spirit and soul]. If something cannot be touched, like our invisible spirit and soul, it could not possibly be capable of being dressed in material clothes. Please remember that it was the Lord’s BODY that had been wrapped as we read in Luke 23:53 “And he [Joseph of Arimathaea] took IT [the body of Jesus] down and wrapped IT [the body of Jesus] in linen and laid IT [the body of Jesus] in a sepulchre”.

8. You have written ‘There was a purpose in His appearing to her [Mary] at this time. Perhaps to teach us of the nature of Spirits’ but the Bible shows us the purpose for the encounter for we read in John 20:18 “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that SHE HAD SEEN THE LORD and that HE HAD SPOKEN UNTO HER”.

9. You believe that to be made in God’s image means we have a physical body for you believe that God has a physical body. However, to be made in God’s image does not refer to our physical aspect but clearly refers to our non-physical, immortal spirit and soul. Physical matter, including the brain cannot of itself think. Ideas must have an intelligent source that is distinct from the physical. That is certainly true of the Supreme Intelligence, God, who as the Bible teaches “is a spirit”. When the Bible speaks of man created in “the image of God” it refers to man’s God-given ability to conceive ideas, to communicate them and to reason things out [remember Isaiah 1:18 “Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”] . These thoughts have a spiritual source, not a physical one, and when we die our non-physical spirit is separated from our physical body – James summed that up clearly when he wrote, “the body without the spirit is dead” [James 2:26]. This is the sense in which we are made in God’s image – we possess an immortal soul/spirit, the source of our thinking, that lives on even after we die physically – remember the words of Jesus as He died physically “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit” [Luke 23:46].

I believe Bev that our exchanges have shown that many of your beliefs are not based upon what the Bible ALONE teaches but are as a result of additional, non-biblical ideas being introduced into your thinking. The Bible itself warns against such an approach for we read in Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto those who put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar”.

I pray that our exchanges will encourage both you and Donny [and I have a high respect for you both as human beings judging by what I have seen about Donny on TV and by what I have read from yourself during our exchanges] to further study the Bible ALONE for it truly is as the Lord Himself stated in John 17:17 “truth”.

Still, yours respectfully Cecil Andrews

‘ROME, BABYLON THE GREAT and EUROPE’  

New book by Bob Mitchell

Available from us – Price – £9.75, which includes p&p

Although there are diversities of views amongst true believers regarding their understanding of the final unfolding ‘end-times’ scenario referred to in God’s Word there are nonetheless agreements amongst many on how the politically linked religious landscape will evolve just prior to the Lord’s return to destroy Antichrist and his accompanying world-wide religious system. The crucial, pivotal role of Rome and the Pope, the assistance of extreme charismatic experience, the wooing and acceptance of non-Christian faiths thanks to some supposed mediatorial role of ‘Mary’, the reshaping of the political map of the world [particularly in Europe], the ‘luke-warmness’ of much of professing Christendom, the lack of appetite for doctrinal purity and fidelity are all contributing to a situation described by Paul as “a falling away” [2 Thessalonians 2:3]. In this well researched and easy to read and understand book, Bob Mitchell has set out in detail how the 5th Empire of Daniel 2:25-45 [the feet of “part of iron and part of clay”] point to a ‘Revived Rome’. He documents Rome’s past and recent history of persecution of true believers and her skill in manipulating political leaders for her own advantage.

He refers to many developments in the worlds of ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue over the past half-century or so and shows how a broad, tolerant religious view has emerged to hold sway in the corridors of power [political and religious] and how the narrow, exclusive gospel of salvation through ‘Christ alone’ is increasingly becoming religiously, politically and legally unacceptable. He highlights the new ‘gospel’ that has emerged thanks to ‘genetically modified [doctrinally speaking] churches’ where Jesus no longer “saves His people from their sins” but is presented simply as a vehicle to a more satisfying, hedonistic lifestyle that sits and fits comfortably with the ungodly world at large. Although Mr Mitchell does refer on occasions to his pre-millennial view of ‘end times’ he does not over emphasise the case and he graciously acknowledges that there is much merit in other views. His main concern is to identify and warn of the events clearly unfolding and pointing to the Lord’s soon return and not to push a particular line of what will happen after the Lord does return. For that reason [and turning a ‘reformed blind eye’ to a well-intentioned printed ‘appeal’ near the end of the book] I would thoroughly recommend this book as it is a gold mine of factual information coupled with biblical application that should call and persuade God’s faithful people to a renewed resolve to tread a more separated, yet closer walk with God and to be ready, for surely “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” [James 5:8].

‘ROME and ANTICHRIST’

In the ‘BOOK REVIEW’ on page 15 I referred to ‘the politically linked religious landscape’ and drew attention to ‘The crucial, pivotal role of Rome and the Pope’. To illustrate, with practical examples, of just how The Vatican is central to the Satanic strategy of building a power base for Rome’s Antichrist I am setting out on the ivory coloured page enclosed with this newsletter [text of enclosure follows tribute to Kim Eberhardt] extracts from just a few of the items reported around the time of my BOOK REVIEW by the Roman Catholic ZENIT NEWS AGENCY. My prayer to all who read these items is in the motto text for our ministry “Take heed” [Matthew 24:4].

One crucial item issued by ZENIT that was issued after I had compiled the items for the handout dealt with the Vatican’s views on the way ahead for peace in the Middle East. This item is set out below and there are no prizes for guessing who I think the Vatican has in mind as being a ‘friendly presence’.

“ROAD MAP” NEEDS A “FRIENDLY PRESENCE” IN

MIDEAST, SAYS VATICAN 

VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org) 

The Vatican believes that a “friendly presence” is necessary in the Middle East to make possible the implementation of the “road map” for peace. Israelis and Palestinians must be helped to “talk with one another, and to look at one another around a common table,” the Vatican secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, said on Monday. Among other objectives, the so-called “road map”, sponsored by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, calls for the declaration of a sovereign Palestinian state. The plan constitutes “notable progress, due to the commitment of the United States,” and is an “example of how the international community, when it works in a unitary manner, can obtain results,” Archbishop Tauran said. The archbishop believes that it is important to ensure “respect for agreements” through a “friendly presence, of peace or insertion,” although “it is not up to the Holy See to propose the technical formula.” This would make possible the implementation of the plan in a land where “one must always be conscious of the fact that, at night there is a peace process, in the morning an attack, and in the afternoon the outbreak of war,” he concluded. ZE03070102

KIM EBERHARDT

On 8 October 2002 I gave an update on the health of KIM EBERHARDT, wife of Frank Eberhardt the former trainee Roman Catholic priest who was my guest speaker at many Province-wide meetings in February/March 1997 and again in October 1998. Several years ago KIM had been diagnosed with cancer and in the early part of 2002 friends of ‘Take Heed’ Ministries contributed the very generous sum of £6650.00 to assist Frank and Kim with the cost of her medical treatment. In my letter of October 2002 I wrote ‘Whilst they are encouraged by the present situation they know that there will be an on-going watch kept on Kim’s health and results during the next year will be analysed very closely’.

It is with immense sadness that I have to advise you that KIM’S cancer returned with a vengeance in the latter part of June 2003 and in His mercy the Lord took KIM to be with him in glory just after 11.00pm on Saturday 9 August 2003. I have just spoken on the phone to Frank and he would appreciate the prayers of God’s people as he and his children, Melissa Rose [15] and Daniel [13] adjust to family life without Kim, a much beloved wife and mother. KIM was also an important helper in Frank’s ministry and his elderly mum is currently assisting in the office but again your prayers for the ongoing ministry work will be welcomed.

Should you wish to write to Frank and his family their address is :-

  • Gospel Outreach International, PO Box 905,
  • Taylors, SC 29687-0905, USA.

Cecil Andrews – 28 August 2003

ROME: MAY 27, 2003 (Zenlt.org).- Because of her special place in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Mary is regarded as a meeting point in inter-religious dialogue. So says Archbishop Francesco Giola, president of the Holy See’s institution for pilgrimages to the See of Peter, in his book “Mary, Mother of the Word, Model of Dialogue Between Religions,”… While for Christians Mary is the Mother of God and Mother of the Church, for the Jews she is ‘the exalted daughter of Zion,”’ the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze*, says in the book’s introduction. “For the Muslims, Mary is the Mother of Jesus,” the cardinal continues. “The Koran mentions her 34 times. Moreover, she is a ‘sign for creatures’ (Sura 21, 91), and is presented as a model believer,” “Although Jews and Muslims do not accept the central truth of the divinity of Jesus Christ, they honour Mary greatly,” Cardinal Arinze says. In “many other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, even though there is no explicit reference to Mary, analogies can be found between the Mother of Jesus and relevant persons in the ambit of their creed,” he notes. “Mary has a special place in religions stemming from Abraham, as, for example, Judaism, Islam and some movements of contemporary origin that express themselves using Christian language,” Archbishop Giola continues. “Moreover, Mary is the most exalted example of a person of faith and is in a position to offer valid elements for a fundamental discernment of Christian Identity in religious pluralism,” the author says. * This same Cardinal Arinze [a possible future Pope] when asked In Dallas in .1999 to comment on John 14:6 said ‘If a person were to push what you said a little further and say that If you’re not a Christian you’re not going to heaven, we’d regard that person as a fundamentalist,,.and theologically wrong’ and later when asked ‘Can you still get to heaven without accepting Jesus?’ his answer was ‘Expressly, yes!’

ROME: MAY 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is a world power — a moral power that gives voice to the conscience of people, says a Vatican official. Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states, made that observation Saturday at the conclusion of a congress on “The Church and the International Order,” held at the Gregorian University. As a moral power, the Holy See has, “if one can put It this way, a strategy: to give voice to the conscience of persons and peoples, constituting a sort of international moral corpus,” the archbishop said. ‘The raison d’être of the Holy See at the heart of the community of nations is to be the voice that conscience expects, without diminishing … the contribution of the other religious traditions,” he said. Conferees at the event included Anglican Archbishop Emeritus George Carey; Orthodox Metropolitan of France Emmanuel, who represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople; and Lutheran Bishop Bela Harmati, president of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Hungary, representing the World Lutheran Federation. The congress studied how Churches and Christian communities might promote a more just international order. In his address Archbishop Tauran emphasized the principles that the Holy See defends and promotes: “the central character of the human person and his rights, human development, defense of peace, and appreciation of democracy.” The “Holy See has always defended the freedom of conscience and religion*, not only as freedom of worship but also as a possibility for believers to participate in the social and political life of the country of which they are citizens,” he said.

*Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs’ would tell an altogether and truthful story!

BERLIN: MAY 27, 2003 (Zenite.org-Fides) – Lay representatives of the Catholic and Lutheran churches in Germany will hold a first-ever Ecumenical Day. This is the first time that they are organizing a joint church-day together. The five-day event begins Wednesday and will include round-table discussions, debates and conferences, as well as prayer, Masses and other church services. Among the Catholic guests for the occasion are Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the bishops’ conference; Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky, archbishop of Berlin; and Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, apostolic nuncio to Germany. Representatives of the Lutheran Church Include Konrad Kaiser, secretary-general of the World Council of Churches, and the Reverend Wolfgang Huber, bishop of Berlin. Civic personalities who will attend the opening include German President Johannes Rau and Premier Gerhard Schroder.

KRAKOW. Poland: JUNE 1, 2003 (Zenit.org) – U.S. President George W. Bush described John Paul 11 as “one of the greatest moral leaders of our time,” on the eve of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit to the Vatican. On Saturday, while visiting Krakow, the city of which Karol Wojtyla was archbishop, the U.S. president said amid applause: “At Wawel Cathedral in 1978, a Polish cardinal began his journey to a conclave in Rome, and entered history as Pope John Paul II — one of the greatest moral leaders of our time.”…,“ the president added. “To this very hour, Pope John Paul II speaks for the dignity of every life and expresses the highest aspirations of the culture we share,” Bush Is in Europe for the Group of Eight nations summit in Evian, France. Colin Powell will be received In audience on Monday by John Paul II to speak about the renewal of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as about the Mideast in general, in the wake of the Iraqi war. The U.S. secretary of state is expected to report on the provisions of the application of the “road map” toward peace. supported by the United Status. Russia. Europe and the United Nations. During the visit, there will also be discussions on the process of reconstruction and pacification of Iraq after the war. which Rome and Washington disagreed over. Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” celebrated Mass today in Baghdad’s cathedral. He is in Iraq at the request of the Pope, to coordinate Catholics’ contribution to the country’s reconstruction.

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