It must have been more than 20 years ago that I got an invitation to attend a small meeting in Anaheim, California. This meeting was a very special meeting of all the most holy men in the world who found it became fashionable to call themselves “Apostles”, so they called the meeting “The Apostles Gathering”. I did not call myself an Apostle, I made that clear, but I have angered quite a few religious men in my life telling them this, I thought my calling was to one day fill the shoes of an Apostle. Well I have gotten wiser, so today I call myself a brother, a follower of Jesus, a servant of the Lord, a spiritual man, but I no longer tell folks that I will be an Apostle at a future date. See the distinction between the two?
At the Apostles Gathering there was a young Jewish man who showed up and gave a very authoritative sermon to the gathering of men in the room and prophesied to individual men, as it usually is, this was quite a seen! At the time I was still young in my understanding, but I was becoming bolder in my stand for Christ. I ended blowing up the whole meeting and rebuking them all and calling them false prophets and false apostles, so I was asked to leave. Later on I was contacted by the young Jewish man and he prophesied over me that I was John The Baptist and one of The Two Witnesses spoken of in the book of Revelations and Mal. 4:5 & 6. Now I want to tell you how it has effected my life from then to now.
I knew the man was a false prophet, so I didn’t believe the word. I also know other things, like the fact there was a false prophet named Balaam who blessed the children of Israel with true words from the Lord. So for many years I had this nagging feeling in me that just maybe what this false prophet said about me was true, it scared me, I didn’t know how to handle it! So I have lived with this feeling now for many years, having no one to talk about it with, feeling too embarrassed, just dismissing the matter in my mind over the years. Why should I expect anyone to care enough to actually pray for me and search for wisdom on the matter? I was already pretty sure I had made my mark on society as a religious nut, that was my reality, I was listening to the wrong words, not realizing it!
So here is what happened, this last year around Christmas time I was seeking the Lord, fervently praying over somethings that were troubling me. I desperately wanted answers, I knew that down deep inside of me something just wasn’t right. During my time of deep prayer and seeking the Lord I was being shaken, sometimes not even knowing what was troubling me. I was in deep despair and then right back into victory and rejoicing, in deep despair and right back into victory. Since then the Lord has given me many words that I know are from him. I am seeing victory like I never have before in my relationship with Jesus Christ! I am back to offending men and women with a religious spirit, I am now speaking with such boldness, things that are sound, things I can prove with scripture, things I could defend in any court of law, no matter how smart or godly the judge is, I HAVE STOOD FOR TRUTH and still do today. As far as God’s Word, it’s still the same in me, my faith has recently grown inside of me in a big way!
Now let me explain this one aspect of the shaking I endured, Satan had used the words of the false Jewish prophet to place a doubt and a fear in my heart. Satan was using this false prophecy to place my focus on martyrdom, rather than on the glory of the Lord! I have always known somehow or another that I had a special calling on my life and the devil had secretly convinced my heart to fear death, rather than look for glory. This prophecy was not only false, it was an attack on me personally from hell, and unbeknownst to me, it has deeply affected me. I now understand a powerful stronghold of lies Satan had used against me many times, many times driving my heart to despair, fear, even without my understanding. I struggled, prayed, I read my bible, quoting scriptures, meditating on them constantly, sometime in all hours of the night! It is only by the grace of God that I stand here today, so I can tell you somethings, perhaps you have never heard before!
Now we move from the Introduction of this piece, to the matter of
THE WONDERFUL GOSPEL OF SUFFERING
Simply put, the gospel of suffering is a gospel that teaches one obtains salvation thru suffering. The reason that I explained the struggle I had with the lies of the Devil above, it’s because without me getting it, the Devil had me believing that I was chosen and called to suffer and die. The Devil had somehow or another without me noticing it, convinced me that my life was not for the glory of the Lord, but for my suffering and eventual death. Sadly this is a sinister and cleaver trick that has ensnared many well meaning, bible believing Christians, and I am here to shed the light on this most wicked plot. I can assure you it’s much more wide spread than you could possibly imagine and more deceptive than anything, it almost matches the teachings and life of Christ and his Saints. Then and even now, over the last 2000 years this false doctrine from the pit of hell has taken it’s toll! We are told that godly men suffer and die and are made perfect (they mean saved) by suffering and ultimately death.
The demeanor and countenance of the people who teach this lie are always somber, never rejoicing, always suffering for Christ, always forever sadly awaiting their final doom – death! The only reason you don’t see this as much or hear about this more, is due to the effects of the preaching of the gospel of suffering, it really isn’t very good news at all to a sinner, few would heed the call to such a life of despair and defeat. Try go and preach this gospel to the Jews, none of them will be jealous, they probably will feel more sorry for you than anything else, to persecute you because of jealousy would be silly, yet that is exactly what Paul the Apostle said salvation to the Gentiles would cause, jealousy. Rom. 10:19; Rom. 11:11 If the early Apostles would have taught the gospel of suffering, they never would have endured the opposition and persecution they endured.
Please Brother, Sister, don’t think my tone is to mock here, this is a very serious error and is leaving shipwreck many professing Christians all around the world, when the focus is on suffering, the focus on the power of the Resurrection and the life of Jesus Christ becomes just a word with no meaning or power. Can you imagine if Paul the Apostle taught this? “That I may know him, and the power of his suffering and the fellowship of his resurrection?”
Here is what he really taught: (Php 3:10) “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” That is a huge difference Brethren!
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is about power, riches, glory, honor, strength, it’s not about suffering folks! These scriptures are so easy to find, following are just a few of them:
(Rom 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(Rom 9:17) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
(Rom 15:13) Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
That’s just a few easy targets in the book of Romans alone, the scripture is full of the wealth that God has given his people. The scriptures clearly teach that neither Jesus nor Peter wanted to die, that was not their hope, the resurrection has always been the hope of the Saints, this has always been the “good news”.
(Mat 26:37-42) And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Yes the scriptures do say that Jesus was made perfect by the things he suffered, but Jesus never sinned, be careful brother when you attempt to explain spiritual matters with a carnal mind. Yes, the scriptures say that everyone who lives godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. I have suffered persecution for saying many of the things I say on this site and facebook, look around, I was once even declared a cult leader because I taught my own family from home! Should we compare notes? Are you more perfect brother because you had a harder time than I did? Think about what this false teaching is doing, such religious pride and superficial holiness, with NO VICTORY, NO REAL HOPE! They come together not to build one another up in the most Holy Faith, but the most holy suffering? Please stop this lie now, it grieves my heart and should grieve the heart of every person in whom dwells the Holy Spirit of God.
I will end this talk with the following video from Paul Washer’s church, I am posting it here because I think it is a teaching tool. It is not because I am against everything that Paul Washer teaches, but just look at the following video, DO YOU SEE THE EFFECTS OF THE GOSPEL OF SUFFERING? I DO!