THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH DREAM! DO 2091 5/85
1. WE WERE LIVING IN AN APARTMENT HOUSE SORT OF IN THE SUBURBS OF SOME CITY. It had an open field next to it & I was out in a field sitting there listening to radio music. I went inside & then Mother & I decided to dress & walk downtown, I think we were going to go down & get a bite to eat. It's funny, I often dream about my Mother, it's just like she never left!
2. SO WE STARTED OUT FOR TOWN & WE PASSED THIS OLD DESERTED STORE BUILDING, A LARGE OLD-FASHIONED BUILDING. We heard singing so I decided to peek inside while my Mother waited outside for me. The inside was all fitted out sort of like a church, only more like an informal Gospel Hall with the benches around in a circle, just like a Church of the Brethren. The people were all just sitting there like they were waiting for the preacher to come & he hadn't come, & they looked at me just like all of a sudden they expected me to be the preacher, even without a word. So I said to them, "Well, I am an ordained minister."--And I smiled & they smiled back.
3. SO I WENT SORT OF UP FRONT OR OUT IN THE MIDDLE, & I RAISED MY HANDS IN THE USUAL MOTION FOR THE CONGREGATION TO RISE. I said, "Shall we all rise?" The usual custom in most Protestant churches is to rise & sing a doxology, an opening like "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow". So they all stood up looking very happy, & all of a sudden as I started to sing, "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow", I was just starting to get the first word out when they started to sing an entirely different song, some song of their own. They were apparently some weird sect that had their own songs, & they knew exactly everything they were supposed to do, they apparently knew all the words by heart. Then we prayed & they cut loose like a typical Pentecostal church, everybody pray ing & praising the Lord & shouting in utter confusion.
4. THEN WHEN THEY FINALLY SIMMERED DOWN I DECIDED IT MUST BE TIME TO SING ANOTHER SONG. I was trying to fit in, you know. I thought I'd attack the situation a little more cautiously this time, so I said, "What shall we sing?" And some dear lady, a young woman, suggested we sing such-&-such a song. I said, "Well, I'm afraid I don't know that one. What is the number in the hymn book?" And I took the hymn book that was lying there on the pulpit & I opened it. There was sort of a little snicker, a little titter all around the congregation when I asked what number it was, & lo & behold, I looked in the hymn book & it had all these hymns in it but no numbers. I thought, "This is a weird bunch! They insist on singing everything by heart & they're so informal they don't even want to put numbers in the hymn book!" So they just began to sing & she'd call the shots.
5. THEY WERE ALL SORT OF AMUSED AT ME LIKE IT WAS SOME KIND OF A BIG SECRET, like they were playing a joke on me, you know, like it was funny. Here I was trying to lead them & they already knew everything they were supposed to do. They had their own little ritual & ceremony & they had their own little ways of doing things. I could hardly lead them, they were leading me! So anyhow, I just tried to sing along with them even though it was some unfamiliar strange hymn to me & I didn't know what it was.
6. THEN AFTER THE SONG THEY BROKE INTO THAT UTTER CONFUSION OF TONGUES & PRAYER & PRAISE ETC. You've been in Pentecostal churches, you know how it gets loud almost like a storm. So I just praised the Lord along with them & tried to fit in, I was trying to be nice & helpful. It seemed like it was summertime, fairly warm weather, & I'd taken off my coat & laid it over the back of the bench on one of the front seats. But it seemed to me that this time the confusion went on a little too long & it was about time to do something else a little more orderly. So I thought, "Well, I've got some kind of a message I could give them. I've got something to say that might be helpful that they might need. It's about time to bring order out of chaos so they can simmer down"--as Pentecostals finally usually do.
7. SO FINALLY I RAISED MY HAND & SAID, "WELL, ALL RIGHT, THAT'S ENOUGH NOW, THAT'S ENOUGH!" They didn't pay the slightest bit of attention. So again I raised my hands & I called out real loud & said, "That's enough, enough! You've had enough! It's time for the Message!"--And they still wouldn't keep quiet! So finally I said, & this time real strongly, a real rebuke, I yelled out real loud, "God is not the author of confusion but of peace & so let it be in all the churches!"--A direct quote from the Scripture. (1Cor.14:33) And they just looked at me & laughed, like who was I to tell them what to do?
8. THEY KNEW ALL ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE & DO & THEY WERE THE ONLY ONES WHO WERE RIGHT! Whoever did look at me sort of looked & laughed, & they went on louder than ever, just deliberately & rebelliously like they weren't going to do what I told them to do or obey or even listen to the Scripture! So when they did that I figured, "Well, they're not even going to listen to the Word of God, they won't even listen to the Scripture, they won't even obey God's Word. I don't want to have anything to do with these people! I was trying to help them out but they won't listen, they just want to do things their own way."
9. SO I JUST STOMPED OUT!--And by that time Mother was gone, I guess she got tired of waiting, so I started up the street to where we had planned to eat. I figured she'd gone on to eat as sometimes she did. But I remembered I'd forgotten my coat so I went back in & went over to where I'd laid it over the back of the bench & picked it up. I looked around & by that time they'd sort of quieted down, but they were all looking at me as I walked in & as I picked up my coat & turned around to walk out. They looked down mischievously like they'd played a big trick on me, you know, like it was all a big joke that they had done what they'd done.
10. THEY ALL WORE TYPICAL OLD-FASHIONED "HOLINESS" CLOTHES, the skirt hemline down to the ankles, long sleeves, high collars & all that sort of thing, & this teenage girl was down on the floor having a fit, a typical sort of Pentecostal fit. You've seen it happen sometime, they call it "slain under the power", & there were a couple of women working over her. I looked at her eyes & she looked at me, & I discerned that she was absolutely demon-possessed! I thought to myself, "Poor girl, I'd like to help her. But they wouldn't brook any interference. What they're doing they do it no matter what, they don't want anybody to try to help them." I thought, "That poor girl, I'd like to at least try to help her, but they wouldn't let me." So I just took my coat & walked on out & walked on up the street to eat dinner with Mother.--And that was it!
11. (MARIA: THAT SOUNDS TYPICAL OF A LOT OF CHURCHES, DOESN'T IT?) Isn't that a fact? That's really funny!--Ha! I would say that was really symbolic. It didn't matter what I tried, even though I was really being helpful & even postponing my dinner & everything. I thought they were sitting there like sheep having no shepherd & they looked as though they wanted somebody to lead them, to start the ball rolling, so here I was volunteering to help, even though I didn't know them & they didn't know me, because they looked shepherdless. It was mostly women, by the way, as so many of those churches are, in fact as most churches are.
12. BUT WHEN I TRIED TO HELP THEM & TRIED TO LEAD THEM THEY WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT! They had their own set programme & set hymns, you were even supposed to know them by heart. I don't know what they had a hymn book for, they didn't even have the hymns numbered! I don't know how they ever found them, but they seemed to know them all by heart & they seemed to have a set rigmarole routine in which they sang these strange hymns that I never even heard before, & they themselves just led out & the sheep were leading the shepherd. (Maria: That's what they do in most churches, isn't it?) Yes, that's the attitude of most denominations & religions, they know it all. (Maria: They make the pastors knuckle down & do what they tell them or else they don't accept them.) Yes, they know it all & they're in a rut, a set routine & that's the way they want it, they don't want it any other way & they don't want any help, they don't want anybody to tell them what to do or to lead them or guide them or even help them.
13. HERE WAS THIS POOR GIRL LYING ON THE FLOOR DEMON-POSSESSED & THEY APPARENTLY THOUGHT IT WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT, as I have seen in a few Pentecostal churches. I mean, some of those Pentecostals, they want to speak in tongues so bad they don't care what tongues or whose tongues! They'd just as soon speak in the Devil's tongues or demon tongues just in order to speak in tongues no matter what!--Because that's the password, the union card. You're not filled with the Spirit unless you speak in tongues, & you've got to speak in tongues & they seek tongues above all, above the Holy Spirit, above the Love of God, above the Will of God, above anything! That's the sign of righteousness, that's the sign of being Spirit-filled, that's the sign that you have made it & you are one of the club! You are one of the initiated & you can go around then bragging that you have got it all now. I've seen plenty of them who didn't have anything but tongues & I wasn't sure whose tongues they were!
14. AT FIRST THEY SEEMED LIKE THEY APPRECIATED MY HELP OR WANTED MY HELP, OR LOOKED LIKE THEY WANTED IT, BUT IT WAS ALMOST AS THOUGH THEY WERE PLAYING A BIG JOKE ON ME, like it was all a put-up job or they had just deceived me into thinking they wanted help or leadership. But all the time they knew what they were going to do, they had their set programme & they knew, even though I volunteered. Instead of being polite & saying, "No thanks, we've got our own way & our own programme", they let me go up there & make a fool out of myself just as though that's what they wanted to do. They wanted to show how smart they were & how they knew what to do, that they didn't need me & they were just letting me make a fool of myself volunteering to help when they had the whole programme cut out & they knew exactly what they were going to do & what song they were going to sing & how they were going to behave & misbehave.
15. SO I JUST FINALLY GOT DISGUSTED & LEFT! I don't know what the significance is about going back to get my coat, they all just kind of glared & grinned at me. It was as though they had another chance & they could have apologised & said they were sorry or changed their tune or their attitude, but they were just the same, they were going right ahead with their own show & kind of happy that they had conquered me & gotten rid of me. So I picked up my coat & walked out! I figured, "They don't want any help, so why try to help them when they refuse?"
16. ISN'T THAT A FUNNY LITTLE DREAM? IT'S SURE SYMBOLIC OF THE ATTITUDE OF THE CHURCHES! They're so set in their ways. You know how set in their ways they are, & if you vary one little bit from their little routine or their ritual or rigmarole or the usual form & ceremony of their services, they're offended. They all claim they don't have any form of ceremony or formality, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty" etc., but they've got a certain routine. Oh, that was another thing! As a parting shot, as I walked out the door & they broke into that confusion again--as though they were almost shouting the victory over me--I turned around & shouted at the top of my voice:
17. "WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS THERE IS WHAT?" And they sort of quieted down & stared at me & looked blank like they didn't know the end of the Scripture! I repeated, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is what?" And they couldn't answer. They couldn't answer! And of course you know what the answer is, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." (2Cor.3:17) Now that is significant! They were just stupefied in dumb silence, they didn't know what the end of the verse was.
18. IT SHOWS YOU THEY DIDN'T KNOW THE WORD, FOR ONE THING, & SHOWS THAT THEY WERE REALLY BOUND! They didn't have the Spirit of the Lord that they thought they had. With all that confusion & that babble & that babylon of tongues, regular babble, they thought they had the Spirit but they didn't have the Spirit at all! It wasn't liberty, it was just absolute confusion, so typical of some Pentecostal churches. So when they wouldn't even answer, they wouldn't even give the end of the verse, I thought to myself, "Ha! They don't even know the Word! What good is it to speak to them? They won't even speak the Word."
19. IT WAS LIKE A TEST! DID THEY KNOW THE WORD? WOULD THEY BE WILLING TO RECOGNISE THE WORD? It did one thing, it got them quiet at least. They fell silent as though they were almost embarrassed or at least sort of mystified that they didn't know what I was talking about. I thought, "Oh, boy, these people don't even know the Word & aren't even willing to confess it. It's no use working with them or trying to do anything for them." So I just walked on out, took my coat & left.
20. SO AS FAR AS I KNOW I WENT ON UPTOWN WITH GRANDMA & HAD A NICE DINNER IN A NICE RESTAURANT.--Which was one of her favourite loves & favourite activities, she loved to go out to eat. She liked to eat in nice places too. We must have gotten there, because I remember sitting there looking around thinking, "What a nice place this is to eat." In other words, how nice compared to what I'd just been through. That's significant too! Here we were out in a Worldly restaurant & I thought, "Well, how much nicer & better it is out here in these nice pretty surroundings in peace & quiet & a good decent meal! This is even better than what they've got in that church!"
21. I THOUGHT, "AT LEAST THIS IS NICE PEACE & QUIET & A USEFUL FEEDING ACTIVITY IN PLEASANT SURROUNDINGS WITH NICE, POLITE PEOPLE instead of that hard, stubborn, uncooperative attitude of those church people!" They were going to do it their way no matter what! Here was a perfect stranger & a visitor, they should have at least been polite to me & at least courteous & tried to tell me where the hymn was so I could have followed it, or showed me or something! But they just seemed to glory in the fact that they were embarrassing me & that they knew what to do & I didn't know what to do & they didn't need anybody to tell them what to do.--So typical of the churches! Isn't that amazing? It's kind of a funny dream but it certainly is symbolic, it certainly is true.
22. IT'S SO DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN FAMILY WHO ARE SO HUNGRY & EAGER TO LEARN & KNOW, COOPERATE & OBEY & FOLLOW, just the total absolute opposite of the stubborn, hard-hearted, wilful attitude of the churches! Just like the Lord told me in the Call of Ezekiel, "The House of Israel are a stubborn & rebellious people, they will not listen to Me, they will not forbear for they are a stubborn & hard-hearted people." He said to Ezekiel, "Nevertheless you are to give them the Message anyhow, set thy face against them as a flint, hard as a flint!" (Eze.3:4-11) Think of that! He was telling him to set his face against the church of his day hard as a flint & give them the Message anyhow whether they liked it or not! But I guess even Ezekiel, after he delivered the Message, finally gave up & then God destroyed them! But the Lord was faithful anyhow, He gave them the Message. I tried, but they wouldn't listen. I tried for nearly 49 years but they wouldn't listen. The last 16 have been better than all the other 49!
23. IT'S FUNNY HOW WHEN I JOINED MY MOTHER AT THAT RESTAURANT IT SEEMED LIKE SHE UNDERSTOOD WHAT HAPPENED, LIKE, "WELL, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?" It's almost like she was in the Spirit, she was hearing it. Here I was trying to help a church again & it was no use, they just wouldn't listen, they were determined to do things their own way. They weren't even polite, they weren't even courteous, they wouldn't stop & listen just to give an ear to see what I had to say. They wouldn't even respond to the Scripture. I shouted one Scripture at them, "God is not the author of confusion but of peace & so let it be in all churches!"--And they just almost laughed it off like, "What is this guy? Who is he, trying to tell us what to do?"
24. AND THEN I REALLY SORT OF DUMBFOUND ED THEM A LITTLE WITH THAT LAST SCRIPTURE AS I WAS WALKING OUT THE DOOR! Just before I walked out the door I turned & said, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty!" And if there is anything Pentecostal people think they've got it's liberty, because of all their yelling & shouting & screaming & praying out loud & everybody talking in different tongues & praising the Lord in just total utter chaotic confusion, loud, uproarious confusion, & they think that is liberty. So I just turned & I said, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is what?" And I pointed my finger at them like that, & they just fell silent like they didn't know what liberty was. They didn't know what it was like to have the Spirit of the Lord. It showed their total ignorance of the Word & ignorance of the Spirit. The whole thing was a total absence of the Spirit when here they thought they had the Spirit. This one girl was definitely demon-possessed!
25. WHAT A PICTURE OF THE CHURCHES!--ESPECIALLY THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES IN THAT CASE, THE ONES WHO THINK THEY'VE GOT IT ALL & KNOW IT ALL. Talk about spiritual pride, self-righteousness & hypocrisy, the Pentecostals are almost the worst when it comes to thinking they've got everything. They look down on all the other churches & deplore & deride the other churches as having nothing because they think they've got it all: They've got the Spirit, they've got tongues, they've got this, they've got that, they've got all this beautiful confusion of so-called liberty!--When a lot of them apparently don't have anything, like this little church I walked into! I walked into a hornet's nest instead! So I just walked out & left them & went on down & had a nice meal in a nice restaurant. At least I knew that was good food anyhow, thank the Lord!
26. AND MY DEAR MOTHER, SHE JUST SEEMED TO UNDERSTAND, AS THOUGH, "WELL, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?" Her attitude was sort of like, "Well, now are you convinced there's no use to try to go to them?" That's what Fred Jordan told me when I wanted to leave TSC & go back to the "tell the churches" witness. He just sort of chuckled & said, "Dave, they won't listen. I've tried for years. They won't listen. There's no use. You're just wasting your time." But I wouldn't listen to him, I had to find out for myself. So I went back for three more years trying to get the churches & the Christians to listen, & he was right, they wouldn't listen, very few at least. There were a few, a Christian here or there, you know, a pastor here or there.
27. ONE POOR PASTOR LOST HIS CHURCH BECAUSE HE HAD US COME IN & TEACH WITNESSING CLASSES.--A little Wesleyan Methodist church down in South Miami, poor fellow, an old man. Everything went fine as long as all they had to do was sit there & listen, but when I told them that one night we were going to go out witnessing, nobody showed up but about two or three of his members & he was embarrassed. I'd been used to that happening before, so I wasn't surprised. In big congregations usually only two or three people would show up to go witnessing. Then he asked me to pray for him. He said, "Dave, my District Superintendent is threatening to move me if I don't stop having these classes."
28. APPARENTLY THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW WHEN I INSISTED THEY COME TO WITNESS, & THE BOARD MEMBERS HAD COMPLAINED. They're embarrassed, they're always put on the spot by that when you actually ask them to go out & witness. That's the last straw. Some of them don't like what you're preaching about anyhow but they'll come & sit like they do with the preacher. But when you really insist that they show up & actually go witnessing, then they don't come! They're furious & they've got to defend their reluctances somehow, so they usually go complain to somebody or to each other or some higher authority that their pastor is getting out of line & having some fanatic come in who is not a member of the denomination, blah blah. It was a Friday night as I recall, & he said, "If I don't stop having these classes he's going to move me"--in other words, take his church away. I said, "Well, OK, we've done the best we can. This is all we've got anyhow." There were just two or three old folks there. I said, "OK. I'm sorry." But then later I heard they took his church away anyhow, even though I stopped having classes there.
29. SO THAT'S THE WAY WITH THE CHURCHES, THE HARD-HEARTED CHRISTIANS, THE REBELLIOUS STUBBORN ISRAEL! They don't want to know the Truth, they don't want to be shown, they don't want to do anything different. They're satisfied, self-satisfied, self-righteous & they prefer their own way. They don't like anybody telling them anything different or that it's not the right way. So I finally just gave up on the churches & confessed that Fred was right. They'd thrown him out just like me, so he quit trying.
30. BUT THEN AFTERWARDS, SORT OF LIKE SAUL, HE BEGAN TO COMPROMISE AGAIN WITH THE CHURCHES IN ORDER TO GET THEIR FAVOUR & to sort of pamper the church people so they'd give to his TV show. I knew that he compromised then & I'm sure it was at Willy's behest that he did it. He finally even went back & joined the Baptist church in his suburb where he lived & had a big hubbub of show about it, that his family was joining the church & becoming church members, that they were not rebels, they were good church Christians & all that. But it's just like Judas going back to the Scribes & the Pharisees, they didn't believe him, it never did the trick, they never received him anyhow. He just sort of betrayed the Lord & his own message by going back to the church.
31. HE COMPROMISED & PLAYED FALSE TO HIS OWN MESSAGE & HIS OWN ORIGINAL CONVICTIONS THAT YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITH THE CHURCHES, they wouldn't listen, they knew it all, nobody could tell them anything. But he tried. He went back again, but he went downhill from then on. He even tried playing politics then with Governor Brown in California, had him on his TV show & everything. He compromised not only with the churches, but with the World, just like King Saul did, until finally he just seemed to go completely back on his own message. Even his TV show got to be just like a church service, nothing new, nothing radical, nothing fanatical, nothing revolutionary any more in his message, just another church service, going through the motions.
32. WHAT'S THAT VERSE?--"HAVING THE FORM OF GODLINESS WITHOUT THE POWER THEREOF!" (2Tim.3:5)--So typical of the churches, all forms & ceremonies & a form of Godliness without any power, "without the power thereof", which means without the Spirit, without the Lord! They're just going through all the motions & God isn't even there! He doesn't even care because they won't even listen or pay any attention to Him, not even if He Himself appeared in the midst of them just like Jesus did. Did they care? Did they pay any attention?--No! They crucified Him! They hated Him! They killed Him! They don't want to know the Truth or the facts. Their mind is made up, don't confuse them with the facts!--And especially don't expose them with the facts. That they cannot bear, they'll kill you first!
33. SO THANK GOD WE WENT OUT & GOT THE HUNGRY STARVING SHEEP THAT WERE HUNGRY & NEEDY & WANTED TO KNOW THE TRUTH & WANTED TO BE LED, WANTED TO FOLLOW, DRANK IT IN THIRSTILY & FOLLOWED THE LORD! Just like the Gentiles did in Paul's day. He said, "From henceforth I go to the Gentiles!" (Acts 18:6) He got fed up with the Jews. But why should the Lord be giving me that kind of dream now when we've already abandoned the churches? Maybe there are still some people in our Family who haven't given up on them & still are trying to compromise with them. You can go & give them the Message without compromising with them, but "Be ye not conformed to this World, but be transformed." (Rom.12:2) I guess the Lord is still trying to tell some of us that the churches are a hopeless case. Well, anyhow, it's our duty to tell them at least once even if they won't listen, as I did, but then if they won't listen, walk out! There's no use wasting time!--Amen?
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family