|You are here: Home > Literature > Online Literature > Volume 3|
|Home | Русский (Russian) | About Us | Literature | FAQ | Contact Us | Links|
Thrown Out For Speaking Out!
"They will put you out of the synagogue".
Harry Sullivan continued to seek a way to get rid of Helena and me. He knew we were 'dangerous'. Each week in church services we witnessed his sermons getting ever more devious, and decreasingly spiritual. We knew what we were dealing with, and so did he.
Battle lines had been drawn up. It was not a battle in the earthlies, but a battle in the heavenlies.
Paul tried to alert the minds of the Ephesians to the very real battle that exists for our minds and allegiance. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against [invisible] rulers, against the [unseen] authorities, against the [very real] powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly [spirit] realms" (Eph 6:12).
Mankind is spirit just as much as he is flesh and blood. There is a spirit within us which is the life-force within (1 Corinthians 2:11; James 2:26). This spirit gives us the power of intellect, memory, reasoning, emotions, and will. It enables the physical body and physical brain to function on a plane like God, albeit on a much lesser level. God is totally Spirit; man only partially.
The spirit in man, however, brings man automatically into the realm of the heavenlies, where real life exists – immortal, spirit life. Our mortal physical existence is merely a replica and a type or forerunner of the ultimate destiny for mankind. We are to become like God as freely independent Spirit Beings, living in an immortal spiritual realm. We must become like God in the way we think and behave, or we will not see the Kingdom of God. Our human existence now is a training period for that future.
Man's spirit makes him vulnerable. Without realising it, he is drawn into a spiritual conflict. It is a conflict which began when Lucifer tried to depose God. Lucifer fell; he failed. His pride caused him to try to usurp authority for himself. He rebelled against God. He wanted all that God had, only he wanted it his own way. The power he craved was for his own selfish reasons, unlike God. The Almighty's power is for the benefit of all. He is totally altruistic.
The story of Lucifer's fall is recorded in allegory in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. He is likened to the most secure, rich and envied ruler of the known world at that time – the king of Tyre (in Ezekiel) and of Babylon (in Isaiah).
No-one ever thought these kingdoms could fall and come to nothing. They were unchallengeable. It seemed preposterous to predict that nothing would remain of these kingdoms in the near future. Yet God predicted it.
There are many analogies in the Bible. It is written in such a way to convey a spiritual meaning for us. There are significant spiritual analogies depicted by the physical forerunners. God's wisdom is profoundly spiritual.
The unchallengeable, unassailable fortress that the WCG erected as a monument for the benefit of its own hierarchy is no different from the physical counterparts Tyre and Babylon. Satan's characteristics and marks of identity are clearly seen by any with spiritual discernment. God gives that discernment.
Pomp and pride grace the halls of human achievement. That pomp and pride will be brought down (Is 14:11). "The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled" (Is 2:17). "For you have destroyed your land and killed your people" (Is 14:20).
It happened to Lucifer. It was repeated in Tyre and Babylon. Spiritual Tyre and spiritual Babylon today will not escape either. "'I will rise up against them,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants,' declares the Lord" (Is 14:22).
Babylonish leaders of the Worldwide Church of God – and other churches – take heed! Your days are numbered!
The battle lines were drawn. The year was 1990.
Because of the uncompromising stand I had taken in letters to ministerial superiors in Pasadena, Helena and I were 'called in' to a meeting with Elstree House personnel. (Elstree House was where the UK WCG had its plush headquarters offices in Borehamwood, Herts.)
They were not at all happy that I was still making 'noises' about the delinquent sermon of Paul Suckling's over a year ago. We were not becoming quieter; they feared we were getting more vocal. If they did not take action to silence us, they were afraid of dissent spreading in the ranks.
Prior to this meeting, Harry Sullivan had cleverly imposed on us a restriction, limiting our freedom of speech. He falsely accused us of causing division within the church [he did that] by discussing the phenomenon of geopathic stress with our friends, and ordered us not to talk about this matter with anyone. His ruling was illicit, but the church made no allowances for members to challenge illicit pronouncements or decisions. We had to comply or be 'out on our ears'!
The meeting took place in September 1990 and lasted three hours. Three church ministers were present, Les McCullough, Harry Sullivan, and David Stirk. The conversation was not geared to admitting any error on the administration's part. Rather, it was tailored to manipulating us into a position of submission to the minister whom God had shown us was false.
Harry Sullivan's superiors had no intention of objectively assessing his behaviour. He should have been sacked! He was not a minister of Jesus Christ. His behaviour befitted that of the Gestapo. I mean this as a spiritual parallel, not literally.
We had called a spade a spade and the administration did not like our forthrightness. We objected to the imposition limiting our human rights, but our objections were totally overruled and ignored. Either we submitted to the instructions of the minister, or we would be put out of the church! I retorted: “So if Harry Sullivan tells me that I am not to eat Mars bars, are you telling me that I shouldn’t eat Mars bars?” The answer was a simple “yes.”
That was damnable and I was not going to have it! I got up and left. I hit the door and was out of that room before they had moved from their seats!
Helena and I walked to the exit. David Stirk, for whom I had some respect, followed us out. He knew us personally. We had been in college together 20 years previously. He had some respect for us – not enough, unfortunately. He entreated us to be willing to talk and persuaded us to come back into the meeting. I complied but I was disgusted with their underhand techniques.
They wanted me to retract the fact that I had labelled Harry Sullivan and Paul Suckling false ministers. I was not going to do that; I knew they were! That discernment came as a gift from God, for our spiritual protection. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. As far as I was concerned, the hierarchy would have to go, not what God had given me to counter the arch-enemy Satan!
After some waffle by Les McCullough lasting about 15 minutes, I decided to bring matters to a head by making a politically expedient statement, carefully worded so I did not compromise my conscience, but which sounded good to them. "OK. If that sermon Mr Suckling preached was given in all good intent and was inspired by God [which I knew it wasn't], and if Harry Sullivan's motives have been in our interests [which I knew they weren't] I retract what I have said about them."
I looked at Les McCullough and enquired "OK?" He nodded. He did not know what to say. With that I quickly rose to my feet and made a beeline for the door. As I opened the door, I bade them farewell and was gone. I didn't wait to shake hands.
The shaky 'peace' did not last too long.
My wife had been approached by a lady friend in the church for some help for her deteriorating health. Helena was glad to help in whatever way she could. Her friend knew Helena was knowledgeable in that area and was glad for her advice. Helena gave her, as a gift, some supplements that could help her and she suggested other things. She also recommended, in this instance, countering the strong geopathic influences that Helena was fairly sure were exacerbating her condition. She loaned her a subtle energy device (Dulwich Health’s 'Raditech'), suggesting she try it for a couple of weeks to see whether it helped her condition at all. Helena had good reason to believe it would.
She didn't get a chance to try it for long enough. Harry Sullivan happened to be at her home a week later, to try and advise her husband on some financial matters, when he noticed the device. This couple had been going through severe financial difficulties for years. Things had steadily got worse. We had tried to help them as we were able. I had bought a van for this friend because he had no collateral and was not able to obtain a loan. He was unable later to pay me back the full amount of the cost of the van and he felt bad about it, but I told him not to worry. I knew it was not deliberate on his part. We left it like that; we were on good terms.
When Harry Sullivan noticed the Raditech in their home, he knew it must have come through us. His suspicions were confirmed when he asked them about it. Then he made sure they knew what he felt about the device, implying it was a demonic influence, or had demonic connections. These unsuspecting people believed him. He leaned on them to give it back. He told John, the husband, to come and talk to me about the matter and encouraged him to exert some pressure on me about my views concerning such matters.
On December 1st 1990, that friend dutifully came and talked to me about the matter. Little did he know, Harry Sullivan had banned us from talking about it to others in the church, because he claimed it was causing division. (It wasn't; he was the one causing the division by opposing it.) Harry Sullivan watched from a distance. He saw him talking to me; he knew what John was telling me. My reply to him was short and very simple. I dutifully obeyed the injunction not to discuss it.
But I had been 'stitched up'!
Without warning, on 3rd December, the day following my 41st birthday, Harry Sullivan typed a cold, calculated letter. The letter was full of false accusations and duplicitous lies. He conveniently blamed us for the division which the ministry had caused, and accused me of the very sins of which he himself was guilty. It read:
Dear Mr and Mrs Heap,
I am writing to you out of deep concern for your spiritual condition. [First lie!] As you know, I have been working to try to help you resolve difficulties in the areas where you are at variance with the Church's teachings. [Two more lies!]
You will remember that, at our last meeting with Mr McCullough and Mr Stirk, after several hours of discussion, a decision to disfellowship you was reversed. This was conditional on the undertaking which you gave and was done in the hope that you would then begin to sort out your spiritual difficulties.
I am now saddened to hear that you have not kept to the terms of that undertaking. Consequently, with great regret, I have to inform you that the Church has made an ecclesiastical decision to disfellowship you both for cause. [He avoided specifying the cause, both in writing and verbally.] You are no longer to attend the services of the Worldwide Church of God nor to fellowship with members. As you know, the facts of your case have been submitted to, and discussed by, the highest levels of Church Administration in Pasadena.
This decision has been taken after a great deal of counsel and prayer. [Rubbish!] It is being implemented out of a desire to help you realise the seriousness of your spiritual condition and in the hope that you will repent of the attitudes which have led to this incompatibility. [His attitude and approach was the root cause of the incompatibility.] I certainly hope and pray that you will come to see this and be able to return to fellowship with the Church. [They don't want people in the church who think for themselves. They want subservient lemmings!]
I would have preferred to have informed you of this decision personally, but, as you have made it plain that I am not welcome in your home, [because he was trying to manipulate us and subjugate us] it has been necessary for me to write.
If you wish to discuss this decision with me, please get in touch and I will come to see you in the very near future. Alternatively, if, later, you alter your views and wish to return to the Church, please contact me then and we will arrange a meeting as early as mutually convenient.
Yours sincerely, [Oh yes?]
I phoned him immediately to ask what was this "cause" for which he was excommunicating us from the church. He refused to say. He was slimy and evasive. His tone was snidy and gleeful at what he had been able to do.
He had managed to dispose of us at last! He didn't really want us around, although he claimed he did. He was what others colloquially refer to as a 'lying toad'! I felt like calling him that over the phone, but what was the use? It would not have achieved anything. Instead I reprimanded him on his calloused, duplicitous behaviour and warned him of his spiritual impoverishment and blindness. There are times when you blurt out things and wonder why afterwards. I was righteously indignant, yes. But God also uses human mouthpieces to correct others. God desires more than anything else to see us all repent and learn to do right. He yearns to show His love. This man received a stern but godly rebuke. He had his opportunity to change course and seek what was right. He rejected it.
The church administration had refused to correct the misdemeanours of its ministers. Now the misdemeanours were getting worse. As I read his letter I felt a knife go through my heart.
We had been falsely accused, and 'framed' by a man who was a wolf in sheep's clothing. And the administration of the church approved! No one dared to challenge the decision, except us.
History has a curious habit of repeating itself. A similar uprising within the Church in the first century caused John's expulsion. Diotrephes managed to hi-jack the Church back then and cast out the faithful apostle (3 John 9,10). Apostasy had already set in.
The Worldwide was likewise now on a downhill run.
Forsaken By All
"...If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.
If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also".
I was working in the garden one day, doing some inevitable weeding, when unexpectedly God spoke to me. The words of Isaiah 53:3 came clearly into my mind.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised and we esteemed Him not (Isaiah 53:3).
When Jesus was betrayed into the satanically guided hands of man, all His disciples forsook Him and fled (Mark 14:50-52).
Jesus forewarned us to expect the same thing. "Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:20). "They will put you out of the synagogue..." (John 16:2).
Jesus reveals here the astounding fact that the majority who warm the seats of organised churches are not fully committed to Him. Certainly, it was true of the membership of the WCG. No-one would listen to us, let alone submit to the truth of what we said. The fact that our words of correction were from God's Word made no difference. The price for them was too high. They would have found themselves isolated and excommunicated as well! They wanted the praise of men more than the praise of God.
It was all prophesied. "Hear the Word of the Lord, you who tremble at His Word: 'Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of My name, have said, 'Let the Lord be glorified [ostensibly the reason for disfellowship] that we may see your joy!' Yet they will be put to shame" (Isaiah 66:5).
However, God is not mocked. What a man sows, he will reap (Galatians 6:7). There will be repercussions.
Hear the voice from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of the Lord repaying His enemies all they deserve (Isaiah 66:6).
God promises His children, "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back" (Isaiah 54:7). There are reasons why God has to let events take their inevitable course. Without a penalty for wrongdoing, how could people ever learn the value of right conduct? It is no different in the Church. Unless people see the tragic consequences of their blindness and disregard for right spiritual principles, how will they repent?
The weapon of excommunication, which the Worldwide called disfellowship, had divisive, harmful results. It was intended to bring the errant party to his senses, to see how wrong his wrongs had been. However, it was misapplied. There is only one detailed mention in the New Testament of the correct use of this measure. It was used to wake up a man who saw no wrong in his incestuous relationship (1 Corinthians 5).
In the Worldwide, it was used incorrectly to try to control members and bring them into subjection to those in power. I could not see how wrong this abuse was until we experienced it. We, together with many other scapegoats, suffered for the benefit of all. Hopefully, the majority will wake up to the abuse.
After this shattering experience, I noticed certain scriptures in the Bible in a far different light. "All day long I have held out My hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations – a people who continually provoke Me to My very face... who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day" (Isaiah 65:2-5).
The teaching of the church disaffected other members from even talking to us. They felt if they were to contact us or read a letter from us, they would contaminate their minds in some way! They were 'too sacred' for us; they wanted nothing to do with us.
The controlling authorities of the church soured the minds of members against us. It was all done so subtly that the members are unaware that it was abuse. In fact, those leaders themselves are deceived by their own satanic teaching that they cannot see. When the blind lead the blind all fall into the ditch. So so devious is this deception of the devil that Jesus predicted "They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God"! (John 16:2.)
That tragedy will occur again, just as it has done in every century since Jesus said those words. Religious deception is one of the most powerful tools of the devil to turn brother against brother and cause mayhem within the Church.
I confided in a close friend I had known in college. He was now an influential minister overseas and directed the church's affairs over a large segment of another continent. His responsibilities included several countries and several churches in those countries. I knew that he had had a skirmish with the UK regional director in the past over some matter. Because he had offered his resignation over the issue, his superior had relented and conceded in some way. I had hopes that my friend would see that the church administration was also wrong in our situation.
I wrote him a 22-page letter outlining the course which I had adopted in order to seek fairness. This long letter of 12th May 1991 detailed chronologically all the letters which I had written to church personnel and to whom. It outlined the whole story, where it started, whom I had challenged, and the main points of the issues concerned.
The letter shocked him!
His reply was fearful. He could see that I had got nowhere with all the administrative personnel. I had knocked on every available door and the doors were all closed now. He saw no hope.
He wrote to me, saying that since I had been disfellowshipped by the administration that he should have no further contact with me. And that was the last I heard from him, despite other later communications from me.
Through the teaching of the church, brother is turned against brother. This was prophesied by Christ, on one of the last occasions He was with His disciples. He predicted the appearance of false prophets who would deceive many people. (Matthew 24:4-5; 24:11.) This deception has penetrated all through the Christian Church. Many deceptive teachings abound in all quarters of Christendom.
In fact, the prophecy in Matthew 24 predicts that the love of the majority in the Church would grow cold. This is a tragic prophecy directed primarily to the Church.
The main reason singled out for people's love growing cold is the tolerance of wickedness (v 12) – the very thing the WCG leaders were prepared to tolerate. Circumstances are predicted to get so bad that many will betray and hate one another (v 10).
If a Christian cannot respond to another brother in genuine distress, by showing the love to even communicate, his religion is worthless (Matt 25:43-46). Jesus condemned the self-righteous Pharisees in His day for being worthless bigots, who had a form of religion, but who didn't lift a finger to lighten the burdens of their brothers and sisters. They didn't show love. They had established human rules and regulations which denied the love of God – "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7, KJV).
The 'Pharisees' of today are no better! They clean the outside of the cup and dish [physical emphasis], but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence" (Matt 23:25). Humanity has not changed its motivation in the last 2000 years. Humanistic religion still operates on the same fundamentally flawed basis. True spirituality is often replaced by a system of rules and regulations of man which emphasise physicality: ritualism and empty faith.
That was true of the religion of the WCG. It established a human code of behaviour which appears to be biblically based. But they have become deceived into worshipping according to the teachings of men, instead of operating in the Spirit motivated by the love of God.
Love has waxed cold, and they don't know it. This tragedy is not limited to the Worldwide, it is a pitfall of all the cults which have an exclusivist pride and show partiality to their own.
God is not exclusive (Acts 10:34,35; Mark 9:37-39). Tragically Christians dominated by organisational thinking, are!
"The Lord confides in those who fear Him..."
By the time of our expulsion from the church, I had written a total of 23 letters, totalling 111 pages, to try to alert someone in the church hierarchy to the ministerial abuse that was taking place. What I was unaware of was that there were many more letters still to come!
Letter number 24 was to David Stirk. I wrote to him because he was the former pastor of the church area which Harry Sullivan was now handling and he knew him on a personal basis. I was still hopeful that he would be able to lean on him to see how wrong he was in what he had done. The 7-page letter written on 6th December 1990 pointed out to him the fact that we had been cast out for doing good to other people. My wife and I had been trying to help friends of ours in the church, responding to their request for help, when Harry Sullivan callously 'framed' us to have an excuse to jettison us.
In fact, I was so 'green' at the time that I was not aware of how cunningly he had engineered the circumstances. How I got to know was by a miracle. God ‘spoke’ it into our minds.
It happened like this. Shortly afterwards, Helena awoke early one morning, and – unusually for me – I awoke early too with the strange and very strong thought in my mind that Sullivan had somehow 'framed' us. Even more amazing for me at the time, I also knew that Helena was thinking the same thing! How could I be so sure? How could I know? Why was I thinking such a thing?
God was giving us words of knowledge to understand what had transpired. This spiritually imparted gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8. It is one of the spiritual gifts that the early Christian Church experienced regularly as a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And all the spiritual gifts which Paul mentions in that chapter are still operational today.
I looked at Helena and asked her curiously, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" I knew she was! I didn't need to ask her, but I told her the thoughts I had been given, and she had been thinking precisely the same thing!
I rarely wake up thinking so specifically about anything, and rarely early in the morning! It was also earlier than Helena usually awakens, too. The presence of God was impressing something upon us that we needed to understand in order to effectively continue our campaign.
Although my letter of 6th December received no reply, I did not give up writing letters to seek justice. I dare say most people would have given up long ago trying to get some 'joy' from a seemingly hopeless situation. I did not take such a defeatist view. Through the response – or lack of it – I was more able to discern the spiritual mettle of the individuals to whom I wrote. God was able to give discernment as a result. This was a training experience. I learned later that the gift of discerning of spirits is necessary in the life of a prophet for him to be used effectively by God.
God was guiding us step by step, even though there appeared to be little result from the copious writings which I had to churn out.
Had I given up, people might have had justified reason to conclude that I probably was guilty of the things of which I was accused. But I knew the truth. And no-one can silence the voice that speaks the truth!
The fire of God burned within me. The Holy Spirit was preparing Helena and me for yet more confrontations. There was much more to be done.
The second world war lasted six years. Battles can rage for a very long time before reaching a conclusion. The faint-hearted never win. God did not want me to give up – for the sake of all those trapped by spiritual deception within that organisation and others like it.
Through the letters I had to write, God led me to apply the spiritual principles in the Bible to the present situation. I learned how wrong hierarchic governmental structures are in what is supposed to be the Church of Jesus Christ. They are the antithesis of what Jesus intended when He said, "I will build My Church."
Too often men have been building their own 'churches', governing and controlling people with their own rules which do not conform to the rules God gives in His Word.
One similar incident occurred a short while later. I awoke one morning as bright as a button. That was unusual. In my mind the words "Jeremiah 22, Jeremiah 22, Jeremiah 22, Jeremiah 22, Jeremiah 22" repeated over and over in my mind. It was not an audible voice, but the words were so strong it was as if a voice was speaking them. There was a compulsiveness to them.
I repeated them aloud. Helena got a Bible and opened to Jeremiah chapter 22. She read that chapter and also the following one. The subject was about evil rulers, and false shepherds, false ministers.
"This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed..." (Jer 22:3).
What was God saying? We had seen much oppression and robbery. Some had been physical, but the most damaging was the more esoteric spiritual robbery. How could we rescue such victims from the hand of their oppressors?
We read on. "Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice... He says, 'I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.' So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red" (vs 13,14). The Worldwide spared no expense on its own lavish facilities. They liked to live like kings.
The organisation was always very conscious of the appearance it presented to the outside world. It was as if they secretly knew they were not all they ought to be on the inside. Status and appearances were always psychologically important to the leaders.
Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know Me? But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion (Jer 22:15-17).
God was conveying a spiritual message. We must all have the eyes to perceive.
God does nothing without first revealing it to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
Pride always comes before a fall. The Worldwide will fall because its administration were too proud to admit the need to change. They rejected the words of the prophets and threw them out of the church. Instead, they were content to tolerate detestable evils within.
People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, 'Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city? And the answer will be: 'Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshipped and served other gods' (Jer 22:8,9).
'Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!' declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend My people: 'Because you have scattered My flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,' declares the Lord (Jer 23:1,2).
Control Is Satanic
"The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice".
Following our disfellowship, amazingly our children still wanted to attend church! So we arranged to take them and Mrs Stella Smith to the week-end service. Mrs Smith is an elderly friend whom Helena had become especially close to during our years in the church. She lived five miles away and Helena would take her shopping and run errands for her whenever she was in need.
Since our children wanted to go to church, we had planned to drop them off shortly before the meeting and collect them afterwards. During the interim, we had arranged to visit the home of another WCG member who had been prevented from attending by Harry Sullivan.
The evening before, however, those plans were destroyed. Harry Sullivan found out through the grapevine that our children intended to come to the meeting and he phoned us. Our answerphone happened to be switched on that night and he left a recorded message on it ordering them not to attend.
Although Stella Smith had already asked us to take her, Harry Sullivan made his own arrangements. He organised other church members to come all the way from their home over 15 miles away in the opposite direction to pick her up. They had to travel 15 miles the other way to collect her, then drive back past their home and beyond to the church meeting place. Then they had to repeat the procedure all over again to take her home, and do so every subsequent week. The logistics of it were crazy, but the intent was carefully planned.
Harry Sullivan did not consult Mrs Smith. He did not ask her if that was what she wanted. He organised it for her against her wishes, without her permission and got the others to phone her themselves to tell her of the arrangements he had made! Because he had now altered the arrangements, she did not want to offend him by taking a stand against the imposition, even though she objected to it. She meekly complied with it. Most people in the church behave in a similar way. They do not dare to stand up against a dictatorial 'minister'! The outcome was that our children did not go with her.
When she got to church, what disturbed her even more was to find 'sentries' who had been posted at the door to make sure our children were not allowed in if they had come! Full grown men were acting as 'bouncers' to turn away our son, then a slight 15, and our daughter, only 13! Mrs Smith could hardly believe the level to which they would stoop! This was supposed to be a place of worship, not a Mafia meeting! Our children had done nothing to warrant being barred entry. Their only 'sin' was that they knew the truth of what had transpired. Harry Sullivan was intent on keeping that quiet.
I sent a letter of complaint to an influential minister in Elstree House, requesting permission for our children to attend. Francis Bergin had up to now not been involved in our dispute. He was a helpful man, who always tried to be encouraging. However, he was unable to obtain permission for them to attend.
Harry Sullivan was consolidating his power. Compassion was not on his list, control was number one!
Sullivan soon turned his attention to Stella Smith and another elderly lady who was a very close friend in the church, Miss Barbara Jackson. He started pressurising them to sever their connections with us. It was very painful for them to be subjected to his clever, devious talk. He cast aspersions on our character. He made subtle insinuations that we were "against church teaching", or "against God's ministers"; that we had caused all this upsetting upheaval. His twisting of the facts and blurring of the truth was very confusing to them. They found his words very hurtful and, at first, they could not understand why we did not get the division sorted out with the church leadership. Why could we not sit down with them and amicably solve the discord?
We wished we could; but what they wanted of us was illicit. There could be no meeting of minds. Oil does not mix with water. Light and darkness simply cannot co-exist side by side. Satan will never accept God's ways.
At first, Harry Sullivan employed two other members of the church who lived in the same town to act as 'spies' to ascertain how much Stella saw of Helena. He had put some pressure on them to try to influence Stella to have no contact with us. Helena would take her shopping twice a week. From now on, Sullivan arranged for the wife of this local couple to take her shopping instead. Stella would then no longer be needing Helena's help and he could cut us off from any contact with the church.
He had it all cleverly worked out, or so he thought! But Stella soon balked at the way Sullivan was cleverly manipulating her. She took a stand and refused the new option. He was separating friends, violating friendships.
Not long afterwards, Harry Sullivan insisted on coming to visit Stella. When I heard of it the meeting was already arranged to take place in two days' time. 'Alarm bells' began ringing in my mind. For some reason, we had been discussing 'bugging' devices only a day or two before. When I heard of Sullivan's next move, the first thing that came into my mind was: "We need to get a 'bug' and tape record his devious conversation!" We felt concerned for Stella's safety. We knew he was coming to manipulate her to sever her relationship with Helena! We explained the situation to her and she agreed to have the conversation tape recorded, in case there was anything untrue said about us. We would then be able to give her the true side of our story. We knew Sullivan was a liar, but we had never been able to record his falsifications. God was setting up a trap.
"If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him" (Proverbs 26:27).
The next day, we obtained a suitable 'bug' and installed it in her living room. (A friend, Paul, who was staying with us at the time, was knowledgeable about such things, and he obtained it and installed it.) When the meeting took place, the conversation was transmitted upstairs to a tape recorder, where Paul was taping all this malicious manipulation. Every word was logged.
Afterwards we transcribed onto paper every word from the tape and sent a copy of the transcript to WCG headquarters in Pasadena, to be actioned by higher church administration. The action they took was to ignore it! They did not deign to even investigate! Instead, they accused us of underhand, deceitful behaviour! We were accused of evil tactics for having the audacity to record a conversation without their permission!
This is the typical way white is made to look black, and black appear white, by church administration. Their methods are utterly duplicitous. Members cannot see how corruptly the administration often behave until they find themselves in an affray such as this.
In the meeting with Stella, numerous lies and half-truths were uttered by Harry Sullivan and his accomplice Francis Bergin, both about us and about others they had dispensed with. They painted the church administration in a good light and us in a correspondingly bad light. A letter I had written earlier to Elstree House was brought out during the conversation. In it I expressed my annoyance that they had deliberately evaded the issues. He quoted a couple of excerpts out of context. I was made to appear in a 'bad attitude'. They persuaded Stella that I had no right to be criticising 'God's ministers' or 'God's Church'. They did not tell her the underlying cause of the dispute nor the reasons for the deadlock! They merely manipulated her to accept their viewpoint that I was wrong to criticise them. They cajoled her into mental submission.
My campaign for justice was interpreted as unwarranted criticism, and she believed them. Had Paul not had that 'bug' and recording, their clever, devious, duplicitous talk would have totally beguiled this unsuspecting lady.
Their rules permitted them to slander me, but I was not allowed to defend myself and point out their lies and indiscretions. In the WCG there has consistently been one set of rules for the membership and another for the hierarchy. As another abused former member succinctly pointed out to me one day, whenever the position of the administration is threatened, the 'goalposts' are moved. I now understood what he meant.
Without that tape recording, Stella would have continued to believe their lies as we all did through the years. She was horrified to learn later how much they twisted, and how subtly devious the misrepresentation was. She later withdrew from church membership because she realised the need to support us in our fight for justice and freedom against a regime that had become a monster, devouring and wounding the weak and helpless.
Another friend in the church, Miss Barbara Jackson, likewise officially severed her connections when she had had enough of Harry Sullivan's manipulating rhetoric. The last straw came for her when she lay at home sick one day and not in a fit state to want to see anyone. He arrived uninvited on her doorstep. He insisted in imposing himself upon her to pressurise her. He didn't come to encourage her or pray with her. He told her she was "being very disobedient" by continuing to see us. He wanted us totally isolated from members of the church, so he could control their minds, and make us look the guilty party.
Many ex-Worldwide members can relate more bizarre stories like these. Many others are documented in Ambassador Report. It is not uplifting reading, but it is substantiable. The horrors of Worldwide ministerial abuse would make 'excellent' tabloid features in the gutter press. It's a wonder they have escaped more widespread publicity up until now.
If you are a Worldwide member reading this and find it hard to accept that I am telling the truth, request some pertinent issues of Ambassador Report. If the editor of that report (who is an ex-Worldwider with experience) were not being factually correct and accurate, he would have been sued out of existence! [This was originally written in 1994. John Trechak, the editor of AR, has since died.]
They say that seeing is believing. It certainly was for me. Not until I experienced it, would I have believed the negative stories of others who had suffered similar abuse. I would not have believed such stories had I not been through an equal nightmare. Experience is an eye-opener. It can be a very painful teacher. It has not been easy for any of us. But often it is the only way.
The story is too bizarre for most ‘loyal members’ to believe. Only when the organisation falls apart will many members be willing to have their eyes opened. Even then some will have been so brain-washed that they will continue to believe the lies they were always told! How strange it is that the last thing people will believe is the truth!
Judgement Begins At Home
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift,
who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God
and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance".
The great God is very long-suffering. He waits patiently for the spiritual fruit of the earth. He does not want anyone to perish, but yearns with all His heart for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
He will give chance after chance, patiently waiting to see a person turn away from their wickedness and begin to do right. Through Isaiah, He says even to those whose hands are full of blood: "Come now, let us reason together... though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Is 1:18).
God's nature is to forgive; His love is seemingly limitless. Man, by contrast, is often so unmerciful and implacable.
Despite God's immeasurable grace, however, there is one thing He cannot do. He cannot forgive an obdurate, hardened sinner who refuses to come to repentance and accept His forgiveness. The old saying is true: you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
The life-giving waters of the Holy Spirit are of no benefit whatsoever to the stubborn, self-willed or proud. Those who resist the hand of God and who reject His Words cannot be saved, despite God's intense desire to save them. Their lot in the final Judgement is the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:6-8).
Jesus spoke a warning which we should all heed:
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the Master has put in charge of the servants in His household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose Master finds him doing so when He returns. I tell you the truth, He will put him in charge of all His possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My Master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The Master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect Him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 24:45-51).
That hour came for some of the administration in Elstree House on 3rd January 1991.
He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives the One who sent Me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward (Matt 10:40-41).
Another meeting was arranged for us to meet at Elstree House with the rulers of the WCG to try to effect a just settlement of the dispute between church administration and ourselves. I had requested the meeting. The date was 3rd January 1991.
I was neither received as a prophet, nor as a righteous man. The church administration knew they were behaving deceitfully, just as the Pharisees knew when they preferred to hold on to power and prestige than to admit that Jesus was the Christ. They denied truth, and they denied the Author of truth – Jesus, the Son of God. They had Him cast out of the city and killed. The church administration had me cast out and 'killed' too.
They didn't at that time take my physical life. They did not have to. Murder starts with hatred in the mind. Once the decision is made, sin is alive.
The Word of God is the Judge, and Jesus comes at an hour that you think not. He is not talking about a physical coming in this instance. He is describing the moment of final decision in your life when you either choose to submit to Him, or to submit to Satan. Everyone is tested. Everyone must choose; just as Adam and Eve had to choose, and Cain and Abel had to choose. They had to choose whether they wanted to do good, against the natural desire, or whether they preferred to take the easy option, the expedient route.
The devil comes as an angel of light, so it will look like you are fully justified in adopting your stance to do wrong. There is always great temptation to do what is expedient rather than what is right.
Jesus was present in the meeting we had at Elstree House that day, 3rd January 1991. He was present with us. As we stood before a firing line, we were denied justice and 'sentenced to death' by a kangaroo court; the men who ran the church decided to execute us before the church. They did not just condemn us that day; they condemned Jesus. He walks amidst the lampstands (Revelation 2:1) showing Himself strong on behalf of those who are fully committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9).
He answered those men through our lips, but they refused to listen. They rejected His words. They rejected the prophets He had sent at that time.
He wanted them to repent and admit their guilt; but they preferred their power to the forgiving hand Jesus was extending towards them. They made their choice. They closed the door on Him.
The final chapter in the history of the organisation which began on radio in the USA in January 1934, and came to Europe in January 1953, closed for good. They sealed their fate that day. They let Satan in and shut the Holy Spirit out.
God says through the prophet:
You – come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars?
You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the grave itself!
Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to Me, and have neither remembered Me nor pondered this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear Me?
I will expose your 'righteousness' and your works, and they will not benefit you.
When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes Me His refuge will inherit the land and possess My holy mountain (Isaiah 57:3,4,9,11,12,13).
God is now exposing the works of these spiritual adulterers and prostitutes. (The metaphors are biblical. See Revelation 2:14, 20-22; 17:5.) It is a sordid tale.
"Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of My people".
At this point I must interject. I should explain where the true Church of God exists today. There has been much misunderstanding on this subject.
The members of the WCG have for decades been fed the notion that their church organisation represents the True Church of God on earth. In the fifties and sixties it was commonly assumed that the Worldwide (or as it was then, the Radio Church of God) was the one and only body of Christian believers through whom God was operating to reach the world with the true Gospel message. This false notion was accompanied by the assumption that their understanding on everything biblical was doctrinally correct, and that other churches or believers were simply deceived. Christians in any other churches were effectively false Christians – tools of the devil. Those ‘professing Christians’ had 'wrong doctrine', therefore they were not being used by God. Such was the immature and myopic reasoning in that church a few decades ago.
Experience caused that arrogant and presumptuous approach to mellow somewhat in the minds of some. Yet, the thinking still prevails in many quarters. The indoctrination ran deep – that the church they are a part of is the one and only True Church on earth today, ‘faithful to all the commandments of God’ (Rev 12:17).
Today that basic exclusivist philosophy still predominates in the minds of many former WCG members, infecting most of its offshoot churches! Even though WCG folks may have been ‘persuaded’ that true Christians do exist in other churches, there is still a blind loyalty towards their church. If Worldwiders profess that God does work with some Christians outside their boundaries, many still retain a prejudicial approach to other believers, and hold onto false concepts which they have little desire to change.
It used to be believed that other Sabbatarian believers outside the Worldwide represented 'Sardis' or 'Laodicean' elements. They regarded themselves as of a more pure 'Philadelphian' spirit (Revelation 2 and 3). They cannot see that Satan has blinded their minds through his subtlety; that they have become puffed up with spiritual pride and exclusivism.
Likewise, breakaway organisations who have separated from the Worldwide over various differences, such as the Philadelphia Church of God, were conditioned by the same false notion. They simply perpetuated the prideful dogma. They maintain that they alone represent Philadelphian purity and that the mother church has fallen into Laodicean decadence.
False concepts like these have captured the minds of members, causing untold spiritual damage. They are huge obstacles before them which prevent them moving on in the lead of the Holy Spirit. God tells the prophet to do his job:
Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of My people (Isaiah 57:14).
It is a huge task, trying to help people see where they are so blinkered by false damaging concepts.
The True Church is not one organisation of people calling itself a church.
The English word 'church' is translated from the Greek ekklesia. It means those who are called out, or the called out ones. This is in direct contrast to a synagogue of people, which implies in the Greek, those who are led together, who worship together in one place, but whose hearts may not be knit together by one Spirit.
The true Church is a Spirit-led body of believers whose avowed aim in life is to unequivocally serve God in the spirit, irrespective of misunderstandings arising from the doctrinal confusion out of which they have been called.
It is composed of those Christians who are being led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14), who are coming out of error and into truth. This is a process. It cannot be achieved all at once. It is not accomplished in one step by 'joining' any particular 'church' (the word 'church' in this context is a misnomer). It is a life-long process of being guided (John 16:13) by the Holy Spirit, into greater holiness.
The Worldwide made the erroneous assumption that the Holy Spirit would lead every Christian into the same truth, or in the same way. Thus, they reasoned, all being led by the Holy Spirit would believe the same thing. Not so, necessarily. The Holy Spirit decides what to reveal, to whom, and when. That is all according to God's grace and the purposes He is working out. Not all Christians necessarily will come to believe precisely the same thing at this time. Total restoration of all truth occurs in God's time and will not be complete until the work of the Elijah is finished and Christ assumes rulership of the earth.
Unity does not always infer uniformity of view. In families, there can be differences of opinion or view, without necessarily disrupting the love and cohesiveness within the unit.
The Worldwide – along with many other churches and cults – fell into the trap of thinking that because others had not been led to perceive the same truths the Holy Spirit had revealed to their minds, that they must be the sole beneficiaries of God's complete truth. The devil can exploit that thinking to great advantage!
They assumed that the narrow way which leads to life, spoken of in Matthew's gospel (Matt 7:14), was the doctrinal understanding they had received. They failed to see that Christ is that way (John 14:6). Also, because we only see partially at this time (1 Cor 13:12), we are only seeing part of the picture. No-one has complete understanding at this time. All are in error, to some degree. Some are more trapped than others – and ironically, those who think they are wisest are generally the ones most deluded!
People can only worship God according to the understandings which they have been given. Lesser doctrinal error and misunderstandings do not prevent us having personal contact with God through Jesus Christ. So, we must not allow doctrinal differences to blind us to a more important underlying unity in the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). This is a unity achieved through a correct approach and attitude. This comes from deep within the heart of man – through God's love.
God is primarily looking on the heart, not on the head. He is observing our desire to obey. It is not important whether we appear to do so in the sight of others. Our inward desires are not always obvious to others (Eph 6:6). So we cannot always assess a true Christian from an outward appearance. Righteous judgement (Jn 7:24) is only achievable if we are given spiritual discernment to perceive by a person's fruits what is in their heart. And spiritual discernment is given those who submit fully to God. They are the wise who shall understand (Dan 12:10).
There is a marked contrast between the synagogue and the ekklesia. Synagogue implies human organisation, whereas ekklesia implies spiritual organisation. It is important to realise that the true Church will transcend denominational boundaries. The Spirit of God is not confined within the walls of any one humanly organised denomination or ecclesiastical organisation.
The Bible speaks very unfavourably of human-dominated synagogues or 'churches'. The term synagogue in the Bible does not merely refer to the meeting place of Jews, although it has that connotation for most of us today. True Christians today do not meet in synagogues. Yet, Jesus warned His followers that it is from the synagogues that His disciples would be forcibly ejected!
All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God (Jn 16:2).
A synagogue is a place or organisation of humanly arranged worship, where the majority meet together.
The word synagogue in John 16:2 is, in fact, in the plural. Both the Williams translation and the Concordant Literal New Testament render the Greek more accurately: "Men will turn you out of their synagogues" (Williams). Notice the emphasis – their (human) synagogues. They are not God's. God does not regard any human denomination or 'church' as His! Many may bear the hallmarks of His Church, the true ekklesia, but they are not all His own within those humanly-defined boundaries. All churches of men contain wheat and tares: children of light and children of darkness.
No human can put a child of God out of God's true Church (Jn 10:28,29). Men can put Christians out of their organisations which are misleadingly called 'churches'. They are not the Church in the true sense of the Greek word ekklesia. The Bible speaks of them as synagogues. Synagogues are highly influenced by Satan (Rev 2:9; 3:9).
Those led by Satan within the churches are blind. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day: "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8:44). "You blind guides!" (Matt 23:24.)
Because they had hardened their hearts, they had become blind (Eph 4:18). It is no different today. Because of the hatred in the hearts of men, and motives of self-seeking and wanting power, stooges of Satan and those who control denominations are often spiritually blind.
The Pharisees excommunicated those they resented (Jn 9:34). Likewise, today, true Christians who stand up for Truth are often victimised and put out of organised churches (Is 66:5).
In satanic 'synagogues', some of the chosen will be ejected because those controlling such churches will feel threatened by the presence of light. Excommunication is a favourite tool of the devil to make white appear black, and black appear white. Many sleeping Christians are deceived by such clever tricks. The elect who are spiritually awake are not!
It is significant that the Church is correctly referred to as a flocklet (poimnion) in the Greek New Testament (Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28,29; 1 Pet 5:2,3). It is not a large flock (poimne), or many large flocks. Large denominations or church organisations do not, as a whole, accurately represent the Church of Jesus Christ.
A larger flock is identified in John 10:16. It is referring to the time after Jesus returns, when all true believers will be 'physically' amalgamated under one Shepherd. Until then the true Church is spiritually led by the Good Shepherd, but scattered as small flocklets.
In the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew chapter 25, Jesus depicted His future Bride – the Church – as a number of virgins.
The ten virgins represent the 'humanness' of the Church (10 represents mankind). It helps us identify it in human society. It is significant that the parable does not represent the Church as one virgin. Plurality is intended. There are many Christian organisations, not just one.
Ten represents mankind's number. God gave mankind ten commandments as a guideline for living. The final government of man predominating in the West at the very end is symbolised by ten toes (Dan 2:41). The number ten is used frequently in representing the kingdoms of man which rule peoples (Dan 7:24; Rev 12:3; 13:1; 17:12).
Ten also signifies a fact of completeness in relation to matters pertaining to man. For example, Abraham endured ten trials during his life, which completed and perfected his faith in God. His covenant possessions comprised ten nations (Gen 15:19). It took ten plagues to secure Israel's complete release from Egypt. There are many other proofs that God uses ten to indicate completeness appertaining to man.
The ten virgins biblically represent the totality of Christians inside the various denominations of man and scattered groups of believers. They may have differing ideas and beliefs, although the fundamental basis of all is the divinity of Christ, who died to pay the price for sin so that man can be reconciled to God.
Within all these human organisations which call themselves Christian, God has His children. However, not everyone within each human organisation ('church' in our vernacular) is His own. Some are tares sown by the devil in God's field (Matt 13:27-28). Jesus knows His own; they are all those who hear His voice (Jn 10:3,14,16), who follow the lead of His Spirit (Rom 8:14), whose heart is right before Him (Acts 1:24).
It ought to be a little clearer why Jesus chose ten virgins to represent His own at the end. This is why Jesus walks among the candlesticks (Rev 2:1). The candlesticks or lampstands represent the Church in all its characteristics and different segments (Rev 1:20). They are seven in number (Rev 1:11), representing God's perfection and leadership through His seven-fold Spirit (Rev 1:4).
Recognising A Synagogue Of Satan
"He who receives you, receives Me".
We all live in a very physical world. We are physical beings; we live physically and perceive physically. Few stop to consider how a physical 'object' with arms, legs, muscles, nerves and all the organs of the body, made of the chemical constituents of this earth, actually lives. I mean, what gives it life? When a physical body is dead, what has gone that was there before? The difference between a corpse and a living person is most marked! A corpse has the same arms, legs, muscles, nerves and organs, yet it is dead. Why?
The Bible gives us the answer. Life can only come from God. There is a spirit entity 'within' us all which imparts life to us. "The body without the spirit is dead" (James 2:26). When death comes to the human and animal body, the spirit which made it alive, leaves. It returns to its Maker (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
It is that spirit which gives mankind intellect, reasoning, memory, will and emotions to his physical brain. Without that godly entity, human beings would be no different from animals, behaving in a far less intelligent manner. The experience of Nebuchadnezzar becoming insane illustrates what happens to a man when God removes a part of that spirit from him (Daniel 4:23-37). It is possible scientists are getting very close to perceiving that spirit 'in' man. Some claim much evidence for the existence of an 'energy body', a spiritual counterpart to the physical body. (See my book The Mystery of the Invisible.)
That spirit which gives us all certain spiritual capacities on a much lower level than God's, enables us to understand spiritual information to a certain extent. However, man is not capable of knowing the deep things of God – spiritual mysteries – without the aid of His Holy Spirit, a powerful personal presence of God which imparts much richer spiritual insight only to those who want to live by His holiness.
Because of the spirit in man, a person is also drawn automatically into union with the spirit world. People generally are unaware of this. Spirit connects with spirit. These may be good spiritual forces or bad. There are two kingdoms in the spirit realm: one motivated by good, the other motivated by evil.
It is because of the permission which God has temporarily granted to the evil spiritual kingdom to dominate this earth before the second coming of Christ, that so much evil pervades this earth. Tragedy follows tragedy. Strife explodes into war. Famine, disease, suffering and death oppress the peoples of the earth. Anguish, misery and woe torment mankind. It is all because of the invisible domination of evil spiritual forces (the devil and demons) over people's thinking and behaviour.
It is because of people's ignorance and obliviousness to spiritual evil that so much misery goes unexplained. People naturally wonder why God allows it, and many even question the existence of an altruistic God, based upon what they see and hear in the physical dimension. They do not know that it is Satan, the invisible evil ‘king’ who holds the world captive at this time (Eph 2:2; 1 Corinthians 4:4).
Even the Church is not exempt from these evil influences. In fact, the main target of Satan is the Church! That is where he wants to do most damage. As we explained briefly in chapter 23, Paul wrote to the Ephesians warning them of the spiritual warfare they were involved in. All of us are involved, whether we like it or not, and whether we are aware of it or not. Either we are submitting to the devil and his powers, or we are submitting to God and to His powers. Submission to the devil can be very subtle and difficult to detect. No-one deceived by him is aware of how he or she has been 'hooked'. The only evidence will be in the evil 'fruit' manifested in the person's life. Such evidences can be pride, hostility, resentment, jealousy, strife, manipulation, control or domination, deceitfulness, lust, selfishness, greed, etc.
False ministers exist as much as, if not more so, than those who truly represent God (2 Corinthians 11:1-15). Paul warned the early Church:
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and will distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! (Acts 20:29-31.)
The Church as a whole is asleep at this time to the dangers of false ministers, false prophets – wolves in sheep's clothing – feeding on the flock (Ezekiel 34), making themselves fat and deceiving unstable souls. Virtually the whole Church is asleep at this time (Matthew 25:5). This matter of recognising false 'shepherds' is one area in which the Church is asleep.
The prophet Ezekiel wrote: Woe to the shepherds of Israel [the Church is part of God's spiritual Israel – Galatians 6:16] who only take care of themselves! Should not the shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals [the spiritual analogies ought to be obvious], but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals (Ezekiel 34:2-5).
After our final meeting in Elstree House with church personnel on 3rd January 1991, there was one individual in the church hierarchy whom I still had high hopes would see the spiritual pit into which all the others had fallen – Francis Bergin. I had high hopes for him, so I appealed to him.
Previously, he had had equal regard for us. He knew us. He had been in our home on a few occasions and we had enjoyed one another's company.
He had written several letters in reply to mine up to this point. He seemed well-meaning and wanted to see this sordid mess (he used the word "mess" himself) cleaned up. He knew the way we had been handled was far from ideal, but he thought with patience and willingness to concede to the wishes of the ministers in power, that the matter could be resolved.
He was not aware of the depth of evil of these men who controlled the fortunes of the church and of how wrong it is to comply with the wishes of men if those wishes are unbiblical.
He had previously written to me on 21st September 1990:
Dear Malcolm and Helena,
While I am not aware of all the details, I do know that you have been in discussion with a few ministers recently regarding a number of issues to which you attach some importance.
We can all at times get side-tracked and indeed occasionally regard ideas as being more important than they really are. We can also be mistaken! Resolving issues satisfactorily is not always easy nor indeed do any of us find it easy to admit we may be wrong!
The purpose of this letter is to remind you, if I may, that there is an important place for families such as yours in the Church. You have always been an excellent example in family matters, have been hospitable to a very large number of people, and I suspect there is hardly a family or individual in the [local] Church whom you have not helped at one time or another.
As an old friend, I appeal to you to remain steadfast within the body of Christ. There is a lot of work for us all yet to do. (Emphasis mine.)
Perhaps he meant well, but little did he realise how much he himself had been deceived! The words in bold type, he obviously thought applied to me. He assumed I had become side-tracked by matters of lesser consequence. He did not perceive that false ministers were controlling and abusing the church. Such issues have massive consequences! The ruling junta had deceived him, too!
It is certainly going to be difficult, if not humiliating, for him to acknowledge that he was the one mistaken! My heart goes out to him in such difficult circumstances. After our expulsion, I wrote to him on 12th January 1991:
With all due respect... (and I have great respect for you), you preach sermons on man's total lack of qualification to rule (Brighton 1980), Satan's unbelievable subtlety and cunning deception, and when it comes to the crunch, you fall for it too. Satan comes along in a pin-striped suit as an angel of light (2 Cor 11) and you believe him!
It was thought at the time that the matter had not gone too far to be resolved and a further meeting was arranged for 22nd January 1991. Elstree House hierarchy thought that we could be made to submit to Harry Sullivan's authority. We were not prepared to submit to the devil. The Bible commands us to submit to God and resist the devil, not submit to him! (James 4:7.)
We would have submitted to rightful authority, if it was valid. However, the issues which were at the heart of our dismissal had been consistently ignored and glossed over. The administration refused to address the relevance of the behaviour of the minister. His actions were never called into question. I insisted upon an investigation into the ethics of the original reasons for our dismissal, and until that was forthcoming I refused to concede to a further meeting.
They were trying to cover up for their abuse and were not willing to admit guilt. Had they done as the New Testament instructs, the matter could have been resolved: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). But they did not want to repent. They wanted to hold onto power. They thought that their power would be undermined by admitting to guilt.
I had asked three pertinent questions in a previous letter to Francis Bergin of 4th January 1991. We had not been allowed to discuss with our friends in the church the trivial matter of Geopathic Stress whereas another woman in the church was allowed to do so. I asked why.
Question 2 was: "In what way does Geopathic Stress contradict church teaching as Harry Sullivan claims?"
Sullivan had also claimed that the church took a stand against dowsing; that church teaching was against dowsing in all its forms. I asked for proof of that statement in black and white.
These were the issues in which he had claimed we were against church teaching and over which he had church 'authority' to expel us. No-one in the church hierarchy ever answered my questions. So I refused to be brow-beaten any more until those questions were answered.
Francis Bergin replied on 17th January 1991 saying:
"It seems to me, therefore, that we have come to the end of the road in this unhappy saga. I believe every effort has been made to achieve a reconciliation but in the present circumstances that object seems to be quite simply impossible..."
And with that, too, he conveniently ignored our plight. He had become corrupted by the same unwillingness to seek justice. He was unwilling to do what was right. He preferred to protect false ministers in office, abusing loyal Christians, for the sake of organisational expediency.
"Do not be misled," Paul said. "Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Cor 15:33). Now FB’s character had become tarnished. He had become deceived by the arch-deceiver. He had allowed himself to submit to the devil.
If these men who fought against us were humble, just and true, they would have admitted they were wrong on two counts:
1) that they had no right to dictate what we should believe, and
2) that they had no right to keep us out while they did not prove the correctness of their claims with accurate biblical exegesis.
Following their refusal to admit to guilt, the abuses multiplied as they tried to cover up their sins. They refused us a defence. They then resorted to lying about us. They slandered our character. They imputed evil motives to our behaviour. They infected the whole church – administration and members – with their venom against us and caused other members to become hostile towards us or suspicious of us. They caused division in the church and filled the minds of the people with negative thoughts or moods against us.
Satan was now in full control of the church system. Hostility and fear now gripped the minds of members. Those who formerly knew us and were our friends had become hostile towards us. Our best friends refused to even talk to us or contact us in any way. We got no replies from our letters to them. They were fearful of us, thinking that we were bent on destruction or some evil path. They thought they would become spiritually 'tainted' if they were to make contact in some way with us. How deceived they had become!
Every letter I wrote to Francis Bergin was copied and the copy sent to HQ in Pasadena. I did not know the reasons for this at the time. God makes you do things which you don't always understand. The contents of the letters gave the church administration both in this country and at headquarters, no excuse. They knew the issues; they knew of our just grievances, but they chose to do nothing to effect justice. They preferred to allow us to be sacrificed on the altar of their false god of church authority.
They regarded the hierarchic set-up of church authority as inviolable! That always came first. Ministers had to be obeyed, come what may! Ministerial 'authority' – authority over the members – was sacrosanct.
I challenged that ridiculous and unbiblical thesis, not only in my numerous letters, but also in the meetings we had in Elstree House. I maintained that the minister had no rights of jurisdiction or imposition over the members. I maintained that I had a right to believe something contrary to the views of the ministry if I so chose. That concept was rudely challenged. I was told by David Stirk that the minister's views should always be heeded by the members. I was told that ministers' views should always be respected and complied with, no matter what the subject – even if it concerned Mars bars!
I was hearing the most inane heresy!! They were trying to tell me that if a minister insisted I should not eat Mars bars, I should comply with his wishes!!
What utter bunkum!! Worse still, he was blaspheming – elevating a man to the level of God. What papal heresy! I couldn’t believe it!!
He did not back up his claims by using any biblical text. Indeed, they never opened the Bible in those meetings. I had one at my side and at one time referred to it, and another time I thumped it violently when they refused to listen to our words! Their failure to refer to it was noticeable!
They totally failed to see the importance of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the members' decisions. They failed to see the point John made in the first century:
As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in Him (1 John 2:27).
They were not remaining in Him! Nor were they being taught by Him! They were not following the lead of the Holy Spirit! Behaving like that, they simply are not Christians (Romans 8:14). With that sort of high-handed approach, they are tools of Satan, wolves in sheep's clothing.
This sad conclusion has been borne out since. More than two years later, as I write [written, 1994], they refuse to communicate with me, though I have written to the administration, seeking reconciliation. They don't want it; they don't want reconciliation. They don't want true unity; they want their own way. They want their own power, not God's.
 Ambassador Report, formerly of PO Box 60068, Pasadena, California 91116, USA, documents the many true but corrupt and duplicitous practices which have transpired continually in high WCG circles. Historic and authentic reports of WCG ministerial abuse, corruption and hypocrisy go back decades. Had they been untrue, the author would have been sued out of existence by now. However, the allegations of deceit and corruption in WCG leaders (which have been verified by reliable witnesses) have not been challenged in court for fear of further damaging exposure. They are for the most part true. Jesus said you will know a tree by its fruit. If you refuse to look at the fruit, you will continue to be deceived.
ARs are still available on the internet. The complete archive is on the Painful Truth website. You can get to the archive directly using the following link: http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ar/index.htm They also have some other interesting stuff that you can get to from their home page: http://www.hwarmstrong.com
You can also download the entire Ambassador Report (in PDF format):http://www.hwarmstrong.com/ambassador-report.pdf
Finally, there is a website that has done similar reporting. You can have a look and see if it is worth your while by using the following link: http://ambassadorreports.blogspot.com/
 For a more complete explanation about the end-time Elijah, request the booklets: Who Is The End-Time Elijah? and MORE THAN A PROPHET.
Copyright © 2006-2020, Midnight in America
All Rights Reserved