Firsthand Experience at Operation Mobilization
George Verwer makes much of sacrificing for Christ, yet you’ll see in the following excerpts from wHaT tHe LoRd HaS dOnE wItH mE that George withstands the Lord’s Spirit indwelling and leading His people. How can one in Christ be against the Spirit of Christ? This fruit is not of God.
Particle – George Verwer a Billy Graham Proselyte
Here we were in England to work with Operation Mobilization, the founder of which was George Verwer. And George was, we are told… a Billy Graham “crusade” convert. Once personally acquainted with OM, we discovered that they also stood against, and not only stood against, but mocked and scoffed at, the gifts of the Spirit. The Lord was tying loose ends together for us.
George was also a man of works. He took great pride in wearing rags for clothes, displaying his commitment to evangelization and piety. He worked very hard, and had his people work hard, but it was all works of the flesh, not of the Spirit. George had no use for the Spirit. (To this day in 2011, he hasn’t changed.)
We discovered that the books they were selling on the street were anti-Christ and anti-Scriptural. Though these books were very common and popular among evangelicals, not so among those who had truly received the Spirit of God.
Particle – Financial Wealth a Responsibility
I have said, “Wealth is a responsibility – not just a blessing or privilege.” As our wealth increased, I was more and more challenged as to what to do with it. I found it to be a responsibility indeed, one I had no ability to bear or fulfill, as I would learn.
What, under God, is a believer to do with his wealth? Some would say, “Give it all to the poor.” George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization, for example, was a fanatical advocate of being poor to the point of deliberately wearing ragged or old clothing. He saw this not as a requirement on himself only, but on all that call on the Name of the Lord.
He failed to recognize God doesn’t require it by law of every believer to be poor. What the Lord does require is responsible and holy stewardship of possessions, which ever belong to the Giver and Maker of wealth.
While Jesus called on the rich young ruler to sell all his wealth and give it away, He didn’t require so of Zaccheus, Nicodemus, or Joseph of Arimathea. Yet, I expect those men were faithful before God with their possessions, if they continued in the faith.
And what of Paul’s counsel to Timothy concerning wealthy men? He didn’t suggest they give it all away. This is what he said:
“Command those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud, but to place their hope, not in such an uncertain thing as riches, but in God, Who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share with others. In this way they will store up for themselves a treasure, which will be a solid foundation for the future. And then they will be able to win the life which is true life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19 GNB).
On the other hand, there are those rich ones who treasure their wealth above God and argue, “It’s not money but the love of money that’s evil.” These words are most true, but why are those who covet mammon most often found to be speaking them?
The fearful day would come when I would be exposed and severely chastened by the Lord for my covetousness and much more besides, but the results would be very beneficial.
Particle – Base for OM
Landing in Brussels, about a thousand of us from many countries were gathered for a few days’ conference in a huge vacated Catholic seminary, the base for OM’s operations that summer. From there we would be dispersed as evangelistic teams to various European countries.
The dark, gloomy halls in that building seemed two blocks long, or more. It was well built, as is common in Europe (contrasted to much of America’s construction). It had a large garden or park in the center of it, and behind.
We slept in large vacant rooms (formerly private offices or bedrooms) on clay-tiled cement floors. Corrugated cardboard used for padding became a precious commodity. The fare was poor – processed, much of it donated, I expect, not an organic or godly diet – but we didn’t go hungry.
Three days were spent listening to George Verwer and other speakers, learning the operations and our general duties. Teams of four would be formed to take to the streets, preaching, witnessing, and distributing nominal Christian books for donations; the proceeds would serve to finance OM in these operations.
Particle – George Verwer Mocks the Spirit
The director of the Manchester OM office, while praising George Verwer for “walking the talk,” told us a story he thought was quite humorous. George was on a bus, passing out Christian tracts. A passenger asked him if he had received the Spirit. (The idea was possibly to suggest that those who are led by God don’t indulge in various common religious activities such as handing out tracts, unless directed by the Spirit.)
George immediately asked him a question in turn: “Have you received the Spirit?”
The man replied, “Yes, I have.”
George replied, handing him the tracts, “Then you hand them out!”
After relating the story, the director and some people laughed, but not us. It became awkward when he perceived that some of us weren’t amused. We knew he didn’t understand, but we also knew that he wasn’t ready to receive more truth, either.
Particle – OM Supports Devils
On the Ipswich team was a disturbed young woman who took offense to our speaking of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts. We were quite vexed by her spirit. It seemed she had a devil. Though we weren’t free to pray for her or rebuke the devil, we tried to reason with her. She lodged a complaint against us, charging that we were causing division.
Instead of the leadership searching out what we were talking about, if perchance it might be good (which it surely was), we were warned by OM supervisors to refrain from controversy of any kind. The Spirit of Truth, however, can be, and invariably is, very controversial.
Particle – George Resists the Holy Spirit
Because of the woman’s complaint, George Verwer called me to his office and asked me if I was “having problems with the Spirit.” I said, “No, not at all!” He didn’t push it, but assigned us more directly under senior supervision, to monitor our lives while with them.
I wanted to talk to George about the things of the Spirit, but didn’t sense any openness on his part or direction from the Lord to do so. George was intent on avoiding any discussion of the “Pentecostal” experience, which he despised with a passion. Is that the fruit of a true believer? How can one in Christ be against the Spirit of Christ? This is the fruit of Billy Graham, whom George honors.
At one point they threatened to ship us out if we didn’t cease our speaking of the Spirit of God and the gifts, but God kept us there, and eventually we were able to witness to several people. Some we led to receive the Spirit, and some we served to strengthen in their walk in the Spirit.