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PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

I remember about 2 years after I had been saved, I felt like I was "called" to preach in the style of David Wilkerson and thunder the same fiery indictments Ravenhill had leveled at the church. The pastor of the small AG church my wife and I attended at the time allowed me to preach to the "youth group" every Friday night. Because of my zeal and fierce preaching, many kids started attending the group and we grew quickly. They loved to hear me rant and rave about evetything that was wrong with the church and the apostate seminary "cemetery" schools. Even some of their parents started attending, and they began to refer to me as "Pastor Paul". This stroked my ego, of course. Eventually talk started going around that our real pastor ought to sit down and allow me to take the wheel Sunday mornings as well.

Many people, even many seasoned believers, do not understand how the enemy works. There is a grave reason Paul warned Timothy about letting new converts into the pulpit. Many well-meaning men of God do not heed this, perhaps either because they think they will be seen as too hard, too controlling, too judgmental. But there is a crucial spiritual reason for not allowing an immature believer a public pulpit (except perhaps to share his or her testimony).

When an immature believer is suddenly granted ministerial authority and blindly endorsed, wrong things begin to happen. Firstly, his or her spiritual pride inflates. This is the normal reaction of witnessing postive results from the power of preaching. Even though the results may be of soul-power, the believer is too young and inexperienced to properly deal with the resulting praise from men. And the enemy is always nearby to reinforce their spiritual prowess and attribute any glory they see to their so-called "anointing" based upon some effort of their own (like prolonged prayer, fasting, etc.) This deception is very subtle, and as long as the results keep coming, they stick to their regiment.

Soon, however, a dawning realization emerges: the reason others are not "anointed" like you is because they are too compromised, too yoked to the world, do not pray enough, or fast enough, or read the Bible enough (usually a combination of all the above). In short, they are not like you. And so, a subtle accusation arises within, that begins to look upon all others who do not preach or live to your standard as lukewarm and/or apostate. Satan is establishes the stronghold, and the believer is completely unaware. The role of the stronghold is to prevent the heeding of wisdom and warning from more mature saints. As soon as a brother more wise tries to reason with them, the castle's drawbridge comes up and you're left talking with a rock wall of lifeless Bible verses and cherry-picked prooftexts.

This is the danger of spiritual pride. I seriously think it less dangerous to become ensnared in pornography or fall into adultery, because at least then you know you're in sin and repentance (if you love the Lord) is inevitable when God brings His rod. But with spiritual pride, there is no repentance, but further castigations, judgments, accusations, brainwashings and all under the assumption of being perfectly obedient at the center of God's will.

This is why Jesus' most acerbic indictments were not leveled at the adulterers, but at those who taught the law in high fallutin ministerial positions. If you think of it, this is a most amazing verse to ponder: "The tax collectors and prostitutes will enter heaven before you" (Matt. 21:31) - black and white, spoken to religious people encumbered by pride in the name of God who saw themselves as perfectly obedient.




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Paul Frederick West

 2014/2/20 11:18Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

In my first post on this thread I wrote:

Quote:
They are very controlling and manipulative. They teach that if you live with unsaved parents or relatives you must leave if you want to be pleasing to God. They divide over non-essentials such as whether or not you watch TV or sports. They are quick to pronounce someone unsaved over such trivial things.


After prayerful consideration, I recant what I wrote there due to realizing I did not take the appropriate steps to verify if those things are indeed true. I based those statements on much hearsay from many sources such as other believers and the media, and listening to and reading some things from the leaders of the Church of Wells. But I realize I could have and should have reached out to them privately first, which I recently did. Part of me wanted to reach out to them first but I assumed too quickly that they would not reply to me. I assumed wrongly on that and deeply regret it. So I thought it appropriate to apologize publicly here after apologizing to one of the leaders privately.

I am not implying that anyone else who posted certain things about the Church of Wells should also recant anything, as my situation in posting those things is unique. I understand that others who have posted have taken appropriate steps to try to reach out to them privately first. And others who have posted have not made certain kinds of statements like I made about them without enough warrant.

Brother Paul West, I deeply appreciate the insights you have shared, as they resonate with me to a large extent, though I've never been in any official ministerial position in a church.

Edit: I also apologize for certain mean things I wrote which could have been avoided or worded differently in a more respectful manner(such as saying their teachings are seriously weird).


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Oracio

 2014/2/20 12:37Profile
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 Re:

Oracio wrote : ///Brother Paul West, I deeply appreciate the insights you have shared, as they resonate with me to a large extent, though I've never been in any official ministerial position in a church.///

They also resonate with me to a large extent, though I've also never been in any official ministerial position in a church.

I find that often times it seems that God brings an extreme caricature of myself to the surface in which I am forced to make judgement about but by doing so, areas of my own life that need improving are revealed

 2014/2/20 13:29Profile
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

I think what brother Paul wrote resonates with many of us because we have all experienced the rashness of our youthful zeal in different ways. Not that youthful zeal in itself is a bad thing. We certainly need the energy and zeal of youth in the church.....if tempered by a respect for mature counsel from Godly fathers in the faith.

"I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." (1 John 2:14).

Interesting that the commendation of young men is their strength and having the word in them, but to the 'fathers' it is that they know God.
Having strength and the word is not enough on it's own. We need to know God and this comes through time, maturity, through testings and trials in life.

Oracio, Did you manage to get through to these young men in any way?Would they consider sitting down with some 'fathers in the faith' to listen to some correction? This is my prayer for them. My wife and I feel for them as we can sense their zeal and passion.


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Dave

 2014/2/20 15:31Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2094
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Heydave wrote

Quote:
Oracio, Did you manage to get through to these young men in any way?Would they consider sitting down with some 'fathers in the faith' to listen to some correction? This is my prayer for them. My wife and I feel for them as we can sense their zeal and passion.



Brother, I only briefly managed to contact one leader to the best of my knowledge(I sent a message to two leaders but only one leader responded). I shared some brief words with him and he replied briefly and that was it. Let's continue to keep them and everyone involved in prayer.


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Oracio

 2014/2/20 16:00Profile
mattf12486
Member



Joined: 2012/9/3
Posts: 41


 Re:

Thanks for this post brother. Through this whole experience I've realized that I was being deceived by the enemy through the knowledge I was obtaining from listening to some of the preachers you've mentioned. My friends, in their zeal for the truth, have been deceived. I now see that Satan is most effective when masquerading as an angel of light. My friends really were seeking the Lord but they weren't grounded enough in their identity in Christ. All the messages we were hearing were about sanctification and what our walk should look like. I'm convinced they became to focused on their walk rather than on Jesus.

 2014/2/20 17:14Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 801


 Re:

I live less than 20 miles from Wells, TX.

I believe that a few (and very few, I might add) of the things they say are the truth, but most are cultish and a lie.

The enemy is accomplishing 2 goals:

1) If a brother listens to them and begins to follow them, then it hardens them against the Gospel because they believe they have already heard the truth and have no need to hearing anything else. Also, it takes their eyes off of Jesus and puts them on themselves. They look within to find their security or they look to the leading men to find their security. They start reading all kinds of preachers and teachers from the past and look to them to find their security. They grow in knowledge, but their love grows cold.

2) Those who are actually lost will hear their version of the Gospel--which is no Gospel at all--and become hardened to anything that will call them to repent. I have seen it first hand, especially at SFA campus. You can't tell anybody there that salvation requires repentance because they always remember these guys from Wells or Jesse Morrell and the rest who keep showing up. But fortunately, it doesn't depend on us. The Lord promised that His Word would not return void and it would accomplish the purpose that He set forth for it.

Edit-------------------

Okay, there is probably 1 more goal that could be added. A lot of well meaning Christians on the SFA campus see what these guys do, so they change up their tactics in order to combat them. Rather than calling people to repent and believe the Gospel, sometimes they kind of work lost people in to Christianity through "discipleship". I remember one time there was an apology booth so that Christians could apologize for how bad other Christians were acting. Either way, in an effort to seem less confrontational and more loving than the guys from Wells, they have softened to Gospel so that it is much more appealing. It makes me sad, because the Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.

 2014/2/20 17:18Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 801


 Re:

That is why imperitive that everything we do be rooted in love. I don't do this perfect, but it is always a good reminder. The truth is important, no doubt, but never at the expense of loving one another.

But at the same time, love is no excuse for rejecting truth.

By keeping our eyes focused on Jesus, both can be obtained in the right balance, and when we stumble or are stumbling, we can always approach the throne of grace to find help in our time of need.

 2014/2/20 17:44Profile
sermonindex
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Saints I do understand the caution and I personally have repented over being over zealous in my walk that is the main reason I invited them to come out with me to the UK because I could share with them from experience some of my over zealousness and lack of submission to any authority etc.

So I do repeat that this group is quite dangerous and will cause great confusion and hurt in saints lives who get involved with them. I know personally many families that have been deeply hurt.

Here is 1 video of people also hurt and witnessing to this, there are MANY more stories:

Cross Encounters Radio: Is The Church of Wells a Cult?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe6uzPs38xY


I do believe the Lord can bring them to a place of repentance and healing. I have prayed much that they are humbled by the Lord in His grace.



===

We have taken off that short devotional message that he was allowed to share in an impromptu fashion. I personally had time to travel with 2 of the young leaders of this group many years ago. From the fruit I have seen and from testimonies of other elder brothers they are not able to recieve any correction or guidance in the ways of the Lord. They feel superior and elevated in their standing of truth and will not humble themselves to realize they have erred.

I would strongly counsel any brethren to not associate with them and to encourage anyone they know in the group to leave the group. When you have all of the true brethren in America warning against them then you know something is wrong, but sadly these 3 leaders have not seen this. They recently spoke out against Carter Conlon in a false prophetic way.

Many godly men have clearly warned and shared not to associate with them: Keith Daniel, Paul Washer, Don Courville and others.

It is sad that they "use" Ravenhill, and Rolfe Barnard to support what they do but these men would reject them in their prideful stance on themselves being right and any other assembly them theirs is wrong.

They are self-appointed Elders who are closed themselves off from the rest of the body of Christ. The most alarming is their stance to control the people who are converted under them to dis-associate with all other believers and especially family calling them all "unbelievers" even if they have a profession of faith.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2014/2/20 18:47Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

From Paul Washer's recent Twitter postings regarding the Church of Wells:

"WARNING: The men of history that are on the Church of Wells homepage would not agree w/them & would oppose their name being used by them."

"WARNING: Understand that if anyone associated w/ the Church of Wells uses my name or ministry it is against my will & proves their deception."

- Paul Washer

https://twitter.com/paulwasher


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/4/18 12:19Profile





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