His Words Were Smoother Than Butter
God’s servants may be deceived, but He is not mocked. See how this false teacher fooled us, and while doing so, laid a trap for himself.
After our correspondence with Otto Gerstmann (now Gershon) in A Matter of Motive, he sent us these letters of apology:
Greetings Brothers Paul and Victor.
I too greet you in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Lord, without whose mercy I am silenced forever. I stand ashamed, but by His grace and His grace alone, I still stand. Thank you for your rebuke. Your love for me made me weep physical tears. It is so rare these days to find such love or such light. I am wet with sweat.
I must confess that I did not show the same love for you. I spoke much in the flesh in my response to you and I knew it before the day was over. After I wrote to you, Victor, I went to your WEB site and began reading your material. I did not stop–I could not stop–until the early hours of the morning. I was deeply humbled and I knew that my word to you concerning your introductory email was wrong. Although I had not send it yet (having pushed the ‘send’ button too rashly the first time), I wrote a second letter to follow up to you and set it aside to wait more on the Spirit. I wrote:
Whoa. Please forgive my arrogance.
I just came back from your WEB site and read A Case for Coming Out, among a few other things. I am afraid I was in error for correcting you about using too much salt and not enough honey.
The Spirit within me likes your salt very much. It is honey to my lips even if it is sometimes bitter in the walking out. Glory. Truly, the sufferings of the present are momentary light afflictions compared to His eternal weight of glory, which He is causing to grow within me as I obey Him by His Spirit.
Thank you very much for sending your email to me, regardless of where you got my address. Such words of truth are gold to me.
Dear Victor, my use of the word ‘vitriolic’, as you revealed, was vitriolic. I am guilty, not you. As I read your response to me, which is so rare to get at all, mind you, I wondered what caused me to choose that word and what caused me to say or think those things in my heart? Upon asking, I knew why. They are the very accusations that Satan has been throwing at me almost continually in recent months through my family and neighbors (I am weeping big tears as I write) as a result of my speaking the truth to them. At first I did not let Satan’s accusations affect me. But over the course of time, they obviously have. I have been hurting inside, and getting confused too, and I struck out at you, the very one who God sent to bless me in His Spirit. Please do forgive me!
Your explanation to me of your own instruction in these lessons–the path that brought you to speak clearly, without mincing words–was given to me so gently and graciously. It is like healing balm to me, as I can hear in them YHVH, as a Father, gently instruction me and reminding me of the very lessons that He has shared with me before, but I have forgotten in my stress and pain. Thank you for sharing from your heart, Victor. Thank you for your gentleness and compassion in love.
You have also demonstrated to me clearly that I falsely accused you both to be making yourselves out to be "great prophets of God." I wrote rashly without checking things out first. There are so many who do make themselves to be more than what they are in Christ, and by your rebuke and my letter, I am clearly guilty as charged. Before writing this, I asked the Lord to forgive me. I am ashamed for letting my flesh speak and bear false and destructive testimony, especially to the LORD’s servants who have spoken faithfully to me. I was wrong. Will you forgive me here also?
Your words in this were also instruction to me. I often get discouraged by the criticism I receive and in my weakness look to man for encouragement and approval rather than to God. This is idolatry, I know. But my faith is small, it seems, and I am embarrassed by it after all that God has done for me and all that He has lead me through. How very long it seems to take for me to grow up! Thus, I accused you of what I myself am guilty of.
Finally, concerning my "holding you to acount": This is interesting. I am guilty here also. My most common experience in receiving emails, especially "Christian" emails–you know–is to have to fight against a spirit of manipulation, whether emotional or mental. It is witchcraft, and it is epidemic first in the church and from there, the world. So, to test you to see if you were walking in the light, I walked in darkness and allowed Satan to use me to try to manipulate you. I should NOT have pushed the ‘send’ button so quickly and rashly. I should have waited as I have been taught, and given the Spirit opportunity to test my words first.
You didn’t need to subject yourself to the spirit of witchcraft that I empowered against you (though at that time I was not really aware of what I was doing); You didn’t need to respond. In fact, perhaps it would have been wise just to avoid me, since I showed myself to be so quick to practice evil. But you were gracious to me again, and reached out to me, if by chance I would come to repentance. Oh I do, I do! I confess that I have practiced witchcraft in this action and enabled the enemy of my LORD an attack against Him and
against His servants! I despise it. I despise his spirit of witchcraft and all his ways! It is a spirit that has abused me and has abused the simple and the humble for so long in my life. There is carnage all around me of his actions and I spend much of my time administering to his hurting victims with the same compassion that He has shown to me. How could I so quickly be used to do the same?! May God have mercy upon me!
You wrote, "I think you need to consider the possibility of your being quite arrogant and presumptuous, not believing as you think or ought. We hope for better things for you."
Thank you for hoping better things of me. I have believed better things for me and I am ashamed of my words and my behavior. I thought and acted out of arrogance and presumption. I am guilty. How arrogant I am, or how presumptuous, only God knows…
I just got up off my knees…my flesh is unredeemable. It is arrogant and presumptuous. It always will be. Therefore it must be crucified anew. Dear Victor, please forgive me for allowing my flesh to practice witchcraft upon you according to its evil intentions, its arrogance and its presumption. What I wrote was evil, truly. As you wrote, God does not need my permission to speak to me. What have I done, I who love His words and love His voice? As Job, I sit humbled before Him and before you. Please, will you forgive me once again? Please do not hold back on the words of truth. Speak them out to the heavens. Speak them out to all the earth. May all the world be enveloped in them. May His life and His love and His power and His authority be made known to all, especially by His grace to me, His unworthy servant.
Thank you for writing. Thank you for correcting me. Thank you for demonstrating God’s fatherly love to me. My own earthly father hates me as does my mother and each of my siblings, it seems. They don’t hate me as much as they hate the light, I suppose, but it is sometimes difficult for my feelings and even my head and heart to discern the difference. The love that you have demonstrated to me is deeply desireable and agreeable to my soul.
Please teach me about this Father’s love!
Humbled in my sin,
Thank you for answering my question as to where you received my email address. It was not necessary for you to answer. As I wrote to Victor above, it was very wrong for me to ask Victor in the manner that I did. Nonetheless, you showed grace to me when I was wholly undeserving of it.
As I wrote above, I am ashamed. In this, I have not borne a faithful testimony of Christ’s love and character. No, just as you make clear. I bore witness of the character of Satan himself. He is liar, a thief, and a murderer, and that is the character that I demonstrated by allowing my flesh, according to its nature, to act out its way unto death (James 1:15).
Thank you for speaking the truth and for holding me to account of the great and marvelous light that we have been called to bring forth until the day dawns. I am not worthy. I am a Sinner!…as Peter cried out. But even if I am proved to be liar, by my weakness and by my failure I pray that God’s power will be made manifest to all so that some, perhaps even many, may be saved. May God have mercy on me and grant me by His forgivness the gift of repentance truly deep down in my heart so that I may be saved from whatever it was in me…pride, arrogance, presumption, a lust for false love and acceptance…so as to be delivered from the bonds of evil one, who is coming upon this generation with a ferocity that I do not believe the world has yet seen. The LORD knows that I want to found faithful in that day.
Any further word of rebuke, instruction, correction, or encouragement that you may have for me unto my own training in righteousness would be graciously and humbly received with deep appreciation in my heart. Thank you for your rebuke. It was well deserved and thoroughly received.
Pressing on, looking forward,
Your brother and fellow servant,
Very thankful to hear these things, we replied:
Greetings in Christ Jesus, Otto, Victor here,
You are forgiven all, and we are thankful to be able to say so, thankful that the opportunity has occasioned itself by your humble and earnest repentance. Praise the Lord for all His goodness and mercy to each of us!
There are no hurts or regrets on our part. We were not offended. All things do indeed work for good to them that love Him. We have all offended and we are all called upon to exercise the same love and mercy He has extended to us. We can only do so by His grace and power.
It is plain to us that there is a genuine faith with you, and we all are thankful to have met yet another brother, of which there are so few in this world. I hope that we will become thoroughly bound together in the Spirit and thus acquainted with you and your walk in Christ.
Concerning your family and neighbors, Jesus plainly warned us of these things so that we would not be offended at Him when they came. We can rejoice, be excited and thankful at these things because they are a sure token that we have (not will have) a reward in Heaven. These sufferings are common to all the brethren throughout the ages. They are not at all worthy to be counted, compared to the glory awaiting those who overcome to the end. It is truly worthwhile, every bit of it.
Otto, Paul here. I ditto all that Victor says. We are of one mind and spirit, and who in heaven does not rejoice over one sinner that repents? The Lord said that there is great rejoicing in Heaven over such, and there is. Praise God for His goodness to us!
We also receive your blessing:
"Please do not hold back on the words of truth. Speak them out to the heavens. Speak them out to all the earth. May all the world be enveloped in them. May His life and His love and His power and His authority be made known to all, especially by His grace to me, His unworthy servant."
The Lord is doing great things today, though what He does may appear small to men, and even despicable. Your words partially serve as a confirmation of what we have already been receiving. We hope and pray for laborers to help us in any way the Lord would have them do so. We look forward to the great things He has for us, if we will continue on by faith.
Otto did not reply, but within several days he unsubscribed from The Issues of Life without a note or comment, after the sending of Bible Worship Used by Men to Cover Evil.
Victor then wrote to Otto:
Well, Otto, even as I wrote that last letter of forgiveness to you, I did wonder. While I tried to encourage you, I thought, "This fellow may not be able to handle our graciousness extended to him so easily and quickly." I have to say that while I am disappointed, I am not surprised. Was our forgiveness too much for you? Did it make us suspect? Many profess, but few truly believe. Those who spring up quickly are the first to go. I am so sorry that you are not given to believe the truth and prevail. Faith must endure.
I see that your "unsubscribe" comes after this sending of The Issues of Life. Perhaps something there threw you. Would you rather worship the Bible than the Lord? That is your tragic choice. If you are not worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth, you are not worshiping Him at all. The harlot is powerful, I know; she also had me for a while but, by the grace of God, I was delivered.
Nevertheless, we are here if ever God should give you the grace to see, hear, and be converted. God have mercy.
Otto replied within a day:
Did I offend you by unsubscribing?
Otto, we wrote, you wrongly criticized, we responded as you described, you apologized, we readily forgave you, and after all that, we didn’t hear from you again. Instead, you sent us a simple "unsubscribe" with no explanation, no trace of consideration or civility. Why? Is that what we deserve, or is that simply how you generally conduct yourself?
And he followed up with this letter:
On Friday morning, February 25th, 2005, the Lord spoke to me saying you were mocking us. How wonderful and very precious a thing you would have, if what you had expressed in your apology and repentance were true and genuine! You have no idea, Otto. It is plain that you can deceive us. After all, we are nothing special. We are mere men with weaknesses and faults, in great need of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua. But because you have used the great and precious things of YHWH to mock and ridicule, you will have the very opposite of what you expressed to us. You are caught in your own trap. As it is written:
"He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands can’t perform their enterprise. He takes the wise in their own craftiness; the counsel of the cunning is carried headlong. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noonday as in the night. But He saves from the sword of their mouth, even the needy from the hand of the mighty" (Job 5:12-15 HNV).
And: "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He has taken the wise in their craftiness.’ And again, ‘The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that it is worthless’" (1 Corinthians 3:18-20 HNV).
Even for the alumni of Stanford, Otto.
As for us: "Therefore since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not faint. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the Word of God, but by the revelation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But also if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those being lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the image of God) should not dawn on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake" (2 Corinthians 4:1-5 MKJV).
Without ceasing to give thanks for, and in awe of, His ways,
Otto never replied.
What has he been doing since then? Deceiving others with a show of piety and religious knowledge. He describes his work in a posting on the net:
"I lead a home assembly in Port Angeles that studies Torah and worships YHVH in Spirit and Truth. We press to know Him as we prepare for these last days, serving Him and fulfilling His purpose for calling us in this significant hour. We are seeking complete sanctification as we come out of Babylon and the practices of the harlot system. May YHVH give us grace as we learn the ways of Melech Yeshua, our Bridegroom."
A religious mask creates an appearance to conceal the reality – the heaven over his head is brass, and the earth under his feet is iron. Instead of mercy, he finds wrath. Instead of comfort, he finds distress.
Otto mocked the righteous ways of God and His mercy, thereby inheriting the reward of proud scorners. Be advised and fear God, whoever hears:
Psalms 1:1-6 HNV
(1) Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers;
(2) but his delight is in the LORD’s Law. On His Law he meditates day and night.
(3) He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper.
(4) The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
(5) Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
(6) For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.
"But You, O God, will bring them down into the pit of ruin; bloody and deceitful men shall not live half their days; but I will trust in You" (Psalms 55:23 MKJV).