We received this letter:
My name is Daniel and I have also met and worked with Philip. I was reading yours and Paul’s e-mails and I noticed where you say, “This I know, that in the ‘Christian’ world, there is much literature that is not good, teaching lies, like, for example, the doctrine of eternal torment for the lost. Never has there been an uglier lie told. It is slanderous to God’s nature and character.” Are you saying that you do not believe in Hell or eternal damnation? I did not understand what you were saying. Also in your e-mails I notice a tone of frustration, almost to the point of scolding, in your emails to Philip. Do you think this tone is one of love and caring and for the edification and building of Philip?
We live by faith, not by sight.
Victor’s & Paul’s replies:
Your sign off (“We live by faith, not by sight”) is, in essence, what we were telling Philip. Can you not recognize that? I take it you are sending that statement as a result of our letters to him. I could be wrong, but, if right, it is ironic that you should send that to us.
I take it you believe in an everlasting, tormenting Hell. While the Bible is clear that Hell exists, it is not the Hell that is preached in most Protestant or Catholic circles. The Hell most find, or will find, themselves in is a state of darkness and obscurity, the place of the dead, who “know not anything” (though they may think they do). They are spiritually unconscious of God.
Of course, in darkness and separation from the Spirit of God, there is ignorance, fear, lack of understanding, idolatry, and bondage, not to mention torment. But is there a literal, physical punishing fire in the afterlife? No. Does Hell last forever? No (Revelation 20:14). Is there such a thing as “eternal damnation,” a separation from God that lasts “forever and ever” as the KJV translates it? No. Read The True, Scriptural Meanings of “Forever” and “Hell”.
Only God is immortal, and those to whom He grants it. Eternal damnation and torment are concoctions of wicked, heathen minds seeking to instill fear in people, in order to control them. The Catholic Church, starting with Constantine, uses this horrid doctrine, and the Protestants continue it. God does not win by fear.
If you look at the Hebrew and Greek for the word translated into English for “Hell” and “forever,” they say nothing about a state going on without any end. I have much I could send you on these matters. For now, read our section, The Restitution of All Things, and you may also peruse Diabolical Doctrines; you should particularly read Never-ending Torment.
Another paper you may want to read (or not) is: The True Marks of a Cult, and consider your position.
Daniel, I suspect that by the time you barely get into our writings, you will not agree with them, but they are true, Scriptural, taught by God, and those who disagree with these doctrines are not sent of God to preach. They are preaching out of their own righteousness and presumption, ignorant of the One they claim to represent.
After judging the tone of my words to Philip, you ask, “Do you think this tone is one of love and caring and for the edification and building of Philip?” To that question, I answer, “Yes,” knowing full well that you do not understand the love of God that way. To another, just today, I wrote (in part):
“In fact, the act of men drawing others to God happens to be a significant characteristic of the antiChrist spirit. Men presuming to be in Christ think they can “love” people to God by the “light that is in them,” and so “witness” with “power.” The truth is that they are witnesses unto themselves of their own love while declaring His Name. Nowhere in Old or New Testaments is it recorded that the saints won anyone to God by loving them…nowhere, not even with Jesus. This is the antiChrist spirit.”
Writings you may read on that subject are:
Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints,
Daniel, Paul here.
I would like to add something.
It is interesting that you ask about hell and love in the same letter. We often find that those people who accuse us of not being loving believe and preach that God, Who is all-powerful and love personified, created people who are weak and helpless (next to Him), and will send many, if not most of them, with full previous knowledge, to a place where they will be tormented time without end. In a million years the pain will just be beginning.
He will do this to many of the people we have loved and cared about. He will do it to the enemies He has told us to love, and who we do, in truth, love. He simply cannot and will not be able to do anything for them after physical death because they rejected Jesus (or never heard of Him), or so the reasoning goes.
The same people who accuse God of this kind of action say that they cannot take any credit for their own salvation. Daniel, if He did it freely for you, without any righteousness on your behalf, how is it He cannot do the same for another sinner? Do you not see a contradiction between your talk of a God of love and your doctrine of hell?
These people, who preach and believe in this “loving” god of endless punishment, are the same ones who tell us we are not loving because we correct someone about his or her poisonous beliefs and ways, while these things are bringing spiritual death to all those who partake of them. Talk about contradiction! Talk about darkness and hell! Can anybody hear what we are saying?
I know you don’t know me and that is fine. I have been reading your emails to a man you’ve never met, whose Gospel you haven’t heard, and judge him according to the way he serves God and yet you’ve never even talked to the man. Sure we can judge Hitler and Judas according to the acts of evil but you are judging a man who you merely think you know. First of all Philip is Burmese, therefore, English isn’t his first language so how can you judge him only by emails that are constantly full of grammatical error. It seems you are trying to encourage him with words but you are using words that are full of anger and condemnation. First of all, if I was him, I wouldn’t listen to someone who “comes in the way of love” just to beat down those whose theological know-how is inferior to yours. If you feel Philip is preaching a Gospel contrary to Scripture and you truly love him, why don’t you fly to Burma see the faces of the people he ministers to and guide him in “truth.” I am sure it is easy to judge someone when the only evidence you have of that person is typed words (with many grammatical errors) in emails. For all you know, Philip could be a 13 year old boy in Vermont! I appreciate you taking the time to read this email and I don’t mean to anger you but I want you to realize that judging a man whose voice you’ve never heard and whose ministry you’ve never seen is a dangerous thing. Are you praying about all this? Has God given you authority to tear apart for all you know a brother in Christ?
Daniel, you are in great error because you are in the flesh and not in the Spirit of God. You are utterly bound in darkness. Did you or did you not read my letter to Philip, to which you respond here? If you did read it, how can you possibly ask the questions or make the comments you make? Here is a portion of that letter pertinent to our conversation:
“Philip, you suggest we have no right to say what we say because we have never seen you. We have never seen Judas, or Hitler, or millions of others, many upon whom we can exercise judgment based on the knowledge of God, not on what they look like or do. We know you by your spirit and words. If you had the Spirit of Christ you would know that, and, therefore, you would not be able to say what you do. We see you by the Spirit. As it is written:
‘But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 2:15-16 MKJV).
Did Jesus have to see Nathanael to know he was sitting under a fig tree? If we have His mind, we can know without seeing with the carnal eye. If you knew the Lord, you would believe those Scriptures, but you do not believe their plain meaning because they are not plain to you. You do not know Him, do you, Philip?”
Do you not see the answers to your objections in that portion? Those who walk in the Spirit know others after the Spirit and not after the flesh. While I have not met Philip in the flesh, I have met him, I have heard his gospel, and I have talked to him. For one who professes to believe in Jesus Christ to say that I have not done so is foolishness and ignorance. Daniel, I do not condemn you, and I do sound hard, but I do not feel hard towards you. However, I must speak plainly. You say I don’t know you, but I do, and I reason with you, so that you may believe and come out of your darkness.
That Philip is Burmese, that his English is poor, and that his letters are full of grammatical error have nothing whatsoever to do with what I have had to say to him; nothing. Why would you assume otherwise, and judge me for judging him in those matters?
If there is anger, and there is, it is not mine. God is angry with him and his ways, and with those encouraging him in those ways. I have no personal ill feelings for anyone, you and Philip included. God has given me to see the falsehood, its wickedness and the evil effects it has on those involved. You people are steeped in works of unrighteousness, but presuming righteousness, truth and love in Christ’s Name. If you find condemnation in our words, it is condemnation of your works, which certainly are to be condemned. God condemns them, and if He does so, why should not I, who stand one with Him? It has nothing to do with “theological know-how,” yet while you do not find saints proclaiming credentials, those in your circles, Philip included, earn, bestow, and make mention of PhDs or other degrees. If you or Philip has the right to do what is not good in God’s sight, do you not think I have the right to identify the error? Who has more right?
Love? Do you know what love is? If you did, you would speak and preach the truth. The love to which you refer, however, is the love of man, and not the love of God. The love of man compromises the truth and seeks its own benefit, while showing that it seeks another’s benefit. Evangelical and other religious circles are full of people serving themselves, taking upon themselves the Name of God in vain, and deceiving themselves and those about them.
How loving was God to Ananias and Sapphira, or to the Jews of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?
I do not “feel” Philip is preaching a gospel contrary to Scripture. I do not even “feel” that all that he preaches is wrong, but I do know he is preaching falsehood, as mentioned previously. However, the real problem is not what he is preaching so much as his focus. It is not on the Lord, as much as he and you may think otherwise. He focuses on money, on works, on himself, on his carnal piety and righteousness…anything but on the One he professes to serve, and that is why we have addressed him. He is wrong, needs to be told, and unless he really has the heart for God he claims to have, he will not listen, though I speak ever so lovingly and softly. This I know; this have I learned. Those bent on serving and glorifying themselves are not interested in rebuke or reproof or any form of correction. They are only interested in their secret agendas, often secret even to themselves.
What is your agenda, Daniel? Do you know? I know that you are in darkness. Darkness is not there because you walk for and in Him, Who is Light; I can guarantee you of that. However, somehow I detect in you a hint of searching. You are not happy or at peace within, and may even be coming to the place where you are willing to be honest enough and admit it. Am I right? Maybe not.
Why must I fly all the way to Burma or to anywhere else in the world to look after the flesh, when I see, hear and understand what is happening in the Spirit, as the Lord shows me? I am not in darkness, Daniel, as you surmise.
You write: “I want you to realize that judging a man whose voice you’ve never heard and whose ministry you’ve never seen is a dangerous thing. Are you praying about all this? Has God given you authority to tear apart for all you know a brother in Christ?”
Daniel, if I were judging after the appearance, it would be wrong, with attending consequence, particularly if the person judged was the Lord’s. However, I judge righteous judgment, as commanded by the Lord (John 7:24). What is the purpose? Is it to condemn, even if angry or hard? No. It is to help and to save.
Prayer? It is our blood and breath.
God has given me no authority whatsoever to tear apart, “for all you know a brother in Christ.” He has given me authority to expose and to tear apart the works of men, to convince the ungodly (Jude 1:14-15), to reprove the works of darkness, to not spare, but to tell people their sins (Isaiah 58:1). He has given me authority to do those things. Tell me, Daniel, do you know if Philip is a brother in Christ or a tare? If not, why not? Are you a brother in Christ or a tare? Do you know? Are you given authority to fault or to question me, my doings and motives? If you are of God, you will hear and receive the words we speak (John 8:47; I John 4:1-6).
Though in darkness and doubting, you are at least civil. I have to grant you that. I appreciate it, and hope that you will cease to scatter and begin to gather with the Lord and with us. Philip could use others to lead him from error. So far he has nothing but those who lead him in error. They are guilty of his blood.
Knowing Him, the Lord Jesus, and knowing whereof we speak,