Young Guns or Cannon Fodder?
Mystery Babylon intoxicates her victims, making them feel good and bestowing a heady confidence in her false enlightenment and the power of the flesh. Then comes the ravaging, until there’s nothing left but remorse.
We received a letter about a man’s spiritual journey in religion and various experiences. For all he had learned and encountered, he still didn’t know what salvation is and was wondering what to do. Read to the end of the correspondence to see how Tommy Nelson has no answers, because he is part of the problem and not part of the Solution.
Casey wrote to us:
I believe in Providence so it was no accident (I don’t believe in them) I came across your website. I actually was looking for a website on LRaySmith to discredit MaryKBaxter. From the plethora of papers I read on your site I deduced you indeed have The Spirit of God in a way like I do. A way no one has been able to explain adequately to me. No Church denomination or affiliation has been able to describe what I have, my experiences along this journey or why I believe certain theological tenants from many denominations but an unable to embrace the whole of that particular denominaton’s beliefs altogether.
My testimony is quite long and would take up quite a bit of your time. However you my brother appear to be wheat not a weed so my story I believe you’ll find intriguing. …
As a young child my parents were divorced. My mom raised me Independent Baptist, my dad Charismatic-Assembly of God-Full Gospel-Charismatic-Pentecostal. At the age of six to eight I wanted to be a preacher. I had my whole neighborhood at the age of eleven in my neighborhood preaching end times…rapture, anti-christ, mark of the beast etc, etc. At the age of twelve however my dad’s heavy influence of Pentecostals strictest teaching on the easy way of losing your salvation, coupled with their Phariseeiacal legalism such as listening to "secular" music or saying a curse word before you die then you end up in hell for all eternity, caused me to reflect on my hard efforts of trying to keep my salvation and in the end determine it was futile. So I told God if I was going to hell I was going down in flames. I was going to be a wild teenager who had sex, got drunk, listened to secular music and told Him to look me up when I was about nineteen or twenty and ready to settle down. I ended up an alcoholic at age fourteen, smoking weed and losing my virginity at the same age as well as in gangs, shot at twice before I was seventeen and arrested for public intoxication the same year. Charges were dismissed bc it was first offended.
Though I was trouble I somehow avoided the authorities though in retrospect it was God’s hand on me the whole time even in the midst of my rebellion. I graduated high school and joined the Marines. I wanted to retire in the military. I ended up with stress fractures in both legs and was sent home in boot camp a month later to recuperate for six weeks and return. The weekend I was back I was drinking and driving and hydroplaned into a telephone pole…suffering a collapsed left lung, ruptured spleen, crushed diaphragm, hole in my liver, concussion and broken collarbone with eight minutes to live careflight. That officially ended my career in the military. My alcoholic stepdad was in jail for a DWI again prior to my leave so my mom didn’t have money for car insurance so I totalled the means of transportation we had. On top of that we were losing our house. My life was falling apart. In bed at home from the hospital one night in tears I gritted my teeth at God and said, "Why didn’t you f’n kill me!!! I would rather be burning in hell than living this life!!"
A week later my mom’s Independent Baptist minister came to visit us. Him and I got into a debate about "once saved always saved" and that humble lil old meek lil old man pointed his finger at me and said, "Casey, God saved you from that wreck because you know the truth! That was a warning!" With that he walked out. Then for the first time in my whole life God spoke to me and said, "You asked me why I didn’t kill you." I was terrified! That was around March of 1996. I continued to rebel and my fiancée at the time continued to cheat on me. I was depressed and empty. I found no meaning or joy in anything.
Then on April 6th, 1997 I walked down the front of this Charismatic Church and told Christ He could have my life. He could have anything He wanted, my fiancée, my bestfriend, my brother, job…anything! I realized later that God honored the prayer of a thirteen year old boy. I was now nineteen.
We had a revival at that Church about six weeks later. Pastor Issac Pitre was preaching. Everyone was going to the front but I didn’t understand why? So I went too. He layed hands on them and they spoke in tongues and fell backward. So I closed my eyes and raised my hands. I prayed something like this, "Jesus, when I was a boy I saw this happen. Now I’m a man. I’m not going to fall because I’m suppose to nor am I going to let him push me down. If this is you, I want it." He eventually got to me. He layed his hands on me and The Power of The Holy Spirit came over me. I lost all ability to sustain standing. My muscles, ligaments, bones-everything went limp! I balled uncontrollably and wept over my sins. All I could hear was Jesus saying "I forgive you…I forgive you". It felt like I had just been through a million showers. A cleansing like I never felt. I couldn’t even get off the floor. I was physically too weak to lift my head even.
I eventually left that church bc they worked as a cult and the Pastor was stealing money. In time I would leave the Charismatic movement altogether bc they were fixated on experience as oppose to Bible. I told God I wanted to know Him through His Word and not through some Church, book or Pastor. So I threw away all my "Christian books & stuff" and read Scripture from cover to cover. I was confused! I saw God using lying spirits, deceiving people, rods for indignation and choosing to harden hearts for vessels of wrath while choosing to unharden hearts for vessels of Glory while throwing my Bible against the wall after reading Romans 9 and yelling, "that’s not fair!". I was always taught that God was good and the devil was bad. Scriptures showed me something different and I couldn’t reconcile things.
Then as I just finished reading the Bible cover to cover, my now Father in Christ – Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church here in Denton Texas was teaching METRO Bible Study at Prestonwood Baptist Church as he did every Monday night since 1993 though this night was August 31st 1998 and the message was The Sovereignty of God. In that one hour sermon he answered every question I had. Although there were over two thousand young adults there, it was as if he was talking directly to me.
What was still left unanswered was what did I experience at that Church a year prior? I bounced from Church to Church from denomination to denomination studying Church history and that particular denominations roots.
In 1999 I got into a heated debate with a Oneness Pentecostal who told me I had to speak in tongues to be born again. They tried to convince me that my experience I had was being born again. It made sense but I didn’t speak in tongues. Also their position on God being One not Three in One made more sense. I wrestled with Oneness Pentecostalism for three years. I couldn’t cross over to them though because I was too strong a Calvinist. When I say Calvinist I don’t mean I follow John Calvin I mean I follow The Five Points of Calvin: T.U.L.I.P. I don’t believe there is any free will in any creature!
When I first came back to Christ on April 6th 1997 God told me not to go to Bible College or Seminary. He told me I was going to be discipled or trained like Paul did Timothy. I asked Tommy Nelson to disciple me and he has a Discipleship Program called YOUNG GUNS (I’m starting in the fall for nine months) back in 1998 but he told me he only accepts guys who have gone through college first. So two years later I started Bible College at The Criswell Bible College & Seminary starting in 2001. Not bc I wanted to but bc I wanted to be discipled by Tommy Nelson. I went off and on for three years but tuition got expensive and I got burnt out. Also, instead of answering my doubts and confusions it only added more. Over the years I have attended and spoken with just about every Pastor of Christendom there is. Either in person or via the web. I have accrued a strong abhorrence against most holidays as pagan. A conviction that we should honor the fourth commandment but I’m not sure how. That once God has called the elect they cannot lose their salvation.
I have spoken to priests and apologists in the Roman Catholic Church, pastors in: Church of Christ, Church of God, Assemblies of God, Independent Baptist, Southern Baptist, Oneness Pentecostal, Discipleship Brethren, Mormon and read Book of Mormon, read four books on Islam and Quran, Seventh Day Adventist, Multiple Charismatic & Nondenominational Churches, studied with Jehovah’s Witnesses for seven years, gone to a Lutheran Church for three years although it is really the beliefs of Luther’s disciple Phillip Melancthon who finalized The Book of Concord in 1580, 35 years after Martin Luther’s death. I have corresponded with L Ray Smith, Dr. James White with Alpha & Omega Ministries, Dr. John MacArthur and on and on. I have read through the Scriptures cover to cover eleven times using many translations. I have studied textual criticism and understand the difference in all our English Bibles. I have a conviction of using Yahweh and Yeshua.
Now…WHY AM I WRITING YOU?
Like I said, I came across your website accidentally (providentially). Reading for hours and hours I knew I had to write. You don’t believe in the Trinity. Neither do I. You believe in the Old Testament when Yahweh is speaking it is Jesus. So do I. You don’t believe in free will. Neither do I. You believe holidays are pagan. So do I. You believe we should observe the Sabbath. So do I but I don’t know how.
I just don’t know now what I must do? You believe God will redeem all mankind in the end. I believe in soul sleep and annihilation of the wicked. But am more than open to hearing why you believe that. Also, just exactly what is salvation? When did I obtain it? What happened to me that day in 1997? … What exactly is the Godhead? Was LRaySmith right?
You say you’ve shared your story with us because you’ve arrived at some similar beliefs that put you on the outs with mainstream “Christianity.” Having this in common with us, you asked us several questions at the end of your letter. We’ll answer those questions, the most important ones first, by the grace and power of God
“I just don’t know now what I must do?”
Doesn’t that show you that doctrine is never enough? Many people have come to us saying they agree with us on doctrine, yet we have no fellowship in the Lord. Why is that? Because they have knowledge but refuse to come to the Lord and take up the cross to follow Him.
The Lord has brought you here to hear the truth in order for you to know what you must do to be saved. Your question reminds me of the Philippian jailer who kept Paul and Barnabas, when God opened the prison by earthquake. “And leading them outside, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’” (Acts 16:30 MKJV) The only difference is that you aren’t confessing you’re lost. You’re saying you’re found and lost at the same time, not quite ready to let go of your misplaced confidence.
“Just exactly what is salvation?”
Salvation is being made in the image of God through Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection life. Here are some writings that go into more detail:
“When did I obtain it?”
You haven’t. By the grace of God, after reading the above writings you might begin to suspect this, if not know it. The sooner you realize the fact that you haven’t been saved, the sooner you’ll be on the way to doing what you must to be saved. Only by His grace will you do it, because there’s nothing you can do right without Him.
“What happened to me that day in 1997?”
You received devils. It was men full of devils praying for and laying hands on you, and you gave yourself over to them. Does God give the power to baptize others with His Spirit to those such as Simon in Acts 8? You even say of the pastor that you realized later on he was a crook, and the church was a cult. So how could you be receiving the Holy Spirit of God through them?
The experience you describe of losing control is not what happens with the baptism in God’s Spirit, but it does happen with devils.
Several weeks before your experience you went forward and said to God:
“Then on April 6th, 1997 I walked down the front of this Charismatic Church and told Christ He could have my life. He could have anything He wanted, my fiancée, my bestfriend, my brother, job…anything!”
Sounds impressive to man, but not to God. That’s not the way we come to Him, offering things in our unclean state as though these will please God, impressing Him with our sincerity as we pay our way into Heaven. That’s a fleshly promise from the carnal man, as much as you have meant it and been disgusted with your life.
You were in no position to offer God anything or to follow through on it, but what you were after, power and glory for yourself, you received several weeks later at your baptism with devils. And yes, they can have you weeping over your sins and feeling cleansed, all of it superficial and ineffectual, just as with Esau’s remorse at selling his birthright.
The only way to healing and wholeness is wholesale repentance, coming out of false religion and leaving behind all the delusions of its false promises that have kept you chained in the pride of knowledge. Only by coming out can you begin to receive the reward of walking in the truth. Until then, your confusion compounds with every new religious authority or doctrinal statement you consult. As you say about your Bible school experience: “Instead of answering my doubts and confusions it only added more.”
I do wonder if you didn’t hear from God about not going to Bible College or Seminary. That certainly has been proven true for you.
“What exactly is the Godhead?”
The word in Greek just means “divinity.” So it speaks of the Nature of God, that’s all. It has nothing to do with men’s philosophical musings on a god that is one being made up of three beings, trying to distinguish this monster’s parts.
“Was LRaySmith right?”
Right about what? He was right about some things, while wrong on others, but above all, he was in wrongness as all unregenerate men are, missing the Essence of Truth and Reality in the Lord Jesus Christ. Haven’t you red our paper on him?
I’ve been very direct here, Casey. May it serve you well. Where there is truth to be obeyed, there is hope. With the truth, all is yours, though you lose everything. Read The Cross – Only the Death Sentence Will Avail.
The Lord has been in control all along and you do have a calling on your life – that’s why you’re here now.
Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk
Casey wrote back:
Paul: I will follow through and and read the articles you posted. You are indeed a man of God who was put here in my life for such a time as this. I am suppose to start a disciple ship course in September four nine months called YOUNG GUNS by Pastor Tommy Nelson of Denton Bible Church. He rebuked me when I sent him the below email [our reply to Casey]. Can you please tell me on what I am right about and what I have veered off course on? Thank you for your time!
Casey, Victor and I are telling you that you’ve never been on course. As for things you’re right about, you know what doctrines we teach, but that isn’t where it’s at for those taking up the cross and walking with the Lord. The Pharisees also agreed with Christ on many doctrines, and where did it get them?
Read the writings we’ve given you and seek the Lord for understanding, faith, and obedience. He will supply you with all you need to know for the way to go.
As for “Pastor” Tommy Nelson, what specifically does he find fault with in our email? Have you asked him? We have laid out the facts that verify what we say. On what basis does he rebuke you for asking of us and receiving our counsel? Ask for specifics, and if you get any, send them to us. We may have things to say, Lord willing.
We don’t need to see Tommy’s site to know that anyone who teaches a “discipleship” class called “Young Guns” is a phony. Can you honestly see Paul or Peter holding such a class? How about the Lord? They are all one.
Furthermore, God doesn’t raise up His ministers by accomplishments and credentials from earthly institutions. Wherever do you find such a thing in the Scriptures? Nor does God have His men in formal religious denominations and their schools. For example, once Saul was converted by Jesus Christ, he left his denomination behind as dung (Philippians 3). None of the disciples belonged to any formal religious structure. In fact, they became hated by those who were formerly their close spiritual companions, as with the apostle Paul.
Again, Tommy Nelson has nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Know it. Tommy is just another cog in the wheel of Mystery Babylon the Great. Read The True Marks of a Cult and you will see many more indications that what we preach is the truth, by God’s grace. He is the One opening your eyes.
Paul and Victor
Addendum: Here is an allegorical depiction of Casey’s journey in false religion:
Proverbs 5:1-17 MKJV
(1) My son, listen to my wisdom; bow your ear to my understanding;
(2) in order to keep discretion, that your lips may keep knowledge.
(3) For the lips of a strange woman drip honey, and her palate is smoother than oil;
(4) but afterward she is as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
(5) Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell,
(6) lest you should meditate on the path of life, her tracks are movable; you cannot know them.
(7) And now hear me, O sons, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
(8) Remove your ways far from her, and do not come near the door of her house,
(9) lest you give your honor to others and your years to the cruel;
(10) that strangers not be filled with your strength, and your labors be in the house of a stranger;
(11) and you moan when your end comes, when your flesh and muscle are eaten away,
(12) and say, “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction;
(13) and I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor bowed down my ears to those who taught me!
(14) I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.”
(15) Drink waters out of your own cistern, and running waters out of your own well.
(16) Should your overflowing spring be scattered abroad as rivers of waters in the streets?
(17) Let them be only your own, and not strangers’ with you.
Touching on a few of many points concerning Tommy Nelson’s falsehood:
He is a Calvinist – John Calvin was a persecutor of the saints and murderer; still is!
Nelson doesn’t believe all the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 are for today. How can that be?
1 Corinthians 12:6-12 MKJV
(6) And there are differences of workings, but it is the same God working all things in all.
(7) But to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit.
(8) For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom; and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
(9) and to another faith by the same Spirit; and to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
(10) and to another workings of powers, to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues.
(11) But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing separately to each one as He desires.
(12) For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.
If the Body of Christ is still indwelt by the same Spirit (and it is), then the same gifts He distributed among its members yet exist. Nelson hasn’t received the Spirit of God; otherwise he wouldn’t deny God’s gifts meant for the edification of the Body of Christ. And who can be a minister of God without His Spirit?
Nelson believes in the trinity, an abominable doctrine confounding everyone that tries to understand it. Why? Because it’s diabolically convoluted and complicated (read The Asininity of the Trinity). The simplicity in Christ is countered by the complexity of the trinity doctrine of anti-Christ.
As do so many others, Nelson majors on dispensationalism, which is a doctrine manifesting the unbelief of nominal Christendom. Were Nelson to experience the reality of Christ, he would see the dispensations as an internal spiritual reality. A minister sent of God to feed His sheep would know these things.
Nelson preaches the carnal and diabolical doctrine of the Second Coming (Christ returning in a physical body).