Correspondence with Brian Ward
Greetings in Christ Jesus, Brian,
I have several points to discuss with you, and so I write. Returning home, I took the time to read “Amway,” refreshing my memory after several years. That paper was written about seven years ago, I believe, and I have not red it for some time. It might have been well to read it before seeing you, knowing you wished to meet me because of it.
Amway has not been on my mind for a long time, and my memory is not the greatest. I think you assumed I was reluctant to admit to anything in the paper, particularly of accusing Amway of lying. I am not reticent in admitting to such a thing if it is true or if I was in error. I did not recollect what precisely was said, wanted to verify it before answering, and can answer now.
Amway has been lying. I said it and say it now. Distributors do all they can to get one to a meeting or presentation without divulging that they seek to sponsor one into Amway, even though they are often directly asked if what they have in mind is Amway. It has happened to me several times, over several years, it has been reported to me several times, I did it several times, being coached from above several times, by several persons at several levels.
Amway has set up an edifice to free enterprise. You may read, as a related topic if you will, the Diabolical Doctrine: Democracy Is of God. It is tantamount to an altar, and therefore to idolatry. My paper made it clear that Amway was, in effect, if not explicitly, promoting other gods. Free Enterprise was and is one of them. Is that not lying?
Amway promotes mammon as the way to fulfilment in life. Is that not lying? It, by the active and controlling distributors, if not by specified company policy, makes all kinds of promises, telling people that they can achieve almost anything if they only put their minds to it. That, in essence, is humanism and atheism. Is that not lying?
You ought to know full well that not everyone can be a Gordon Ross or a Brian Ward. Not everyone can be president if they so choose. If everyone could be president, they would not be able to be president because there would be nobody of whom to be president. Does that sound circular or stupid? Think about it.
Amway promises all good things, independent of the mention of repentance and faith in Christ. Is that not lying? Some lies are deliberate, some unwitting, but they are lies all the same. Yes, I say that Amway has been lying.
You suggested (correct me if I am wrong) that I was not forthcoming with any fault on my part regarding Amway. If I failed to convey that I was with fault, it was not because I did not have fault. I do see that I wrote: “I was young, ambitious, dissatisfied, naive, idealistic, covetous, ignorant and foolish. I aspired to make my fortune and to change the world.” I think that may serve to give some balance to perspective. The following words were fulfilled in my involvement with Amway:
Proverbs 7:6-27 MKJV
(6) For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice,
(7) and I saw among the simple ones, among the youths, a young man [in this case, Victor] with no understanding,
(8) passing through the street near her corner. And he went the way to her house,
(9) in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.
(10) And, behold, there a woman [Amway] met him, with the dress of a harlot and a guarded heart.
(11) She is loud and stubborn; her feet do not stay in her house;
(12) now she is outside, now in the streets, and lies in wait at every corner.
(13) And she caught him and kissed him, and with a hard face she said to him,
(14) I have peace offerings with me; today I have paid my vows.
(15) so I came out to meet you, earnestly to seek your face, and I have found you.
(16) I have decked my bed with coverings, with striped cloths of Egyptian linen.
(17) I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
(18) Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us delight ourselves with caresses.
(19) For my husband [God] is not at home, he has gone on a long journey;
(20) he has taken a bag of silver with him and will come home at the day of the full moon.
(21) With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
(22) He goes after her immediately, like an ox goes to the slaughter, or like a fool to the correction of the stocks;
(23) until a dart strikes through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare and does not know that it is for his soul.
(24) And now listen to me, sons, and attend to the words of my mouth.
(25) Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not go astray in her paths.
(26) For she has cast down many wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
(27) Her house is the way to hell, going down to the rooms of death.
Do you not marvel at the parallels as you read those words? Praise God, He delivered me, in spite of myself!
Touching the matter of whether I do or do not sin, you did not have a credible or substantial reply for the Word of God, which says:
“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).
And: “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not continue to sin, but the one born of God guards himself, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18 MKJV).
Your focus is on the flesh, Brian. You cannot conceive of being free of the power of sin. Consider also this:
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:25 MKJV).
You have never been born again and brought to sanctification in Christ. Otherwise, you would know what it is I am saying. Perhaps you think I cannot say this to you, or you may accuse me of “judging.” Here is what Paul has to say on that matter:
“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).
Let us touch on the subject of “hope.” I said to you that the Bible speaks of a “sure hope.” You argued that it did not. I quote:
“So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil, where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:18-20 MKJV).
We do testify to you that there is a place where one knows he is saved, having sure hope. Hope is mentioned with faith and love. Faith is the “substance,” Paul wrote. That is not something wispy or fleeting, as are the things of this world.
Love? God is love. If He is not sure and substantial, then what or who is? Hope is with these two. Therefore hope is sure. Those who know the Lord know what I say, not only by the testimony of Scripture but more importantly, by the experience of it from God, which is verified and borne witness to in Scripture. Therefore, when Scripture speaks of a “lively hope,” it speaks of a sure, real, living, substantial thing. You do not know this, Brian. This is not a condemnation of you, though your own unbelief condemns you (John 3: 18). It is a matter of fact. I tell you this not to vaunt myself or to argue, but to tell you that you have yet to have the reality in Jesus Christ. As clever, knowledgeable and intelligent as you find yourself, you do not know Him. It is recorded:
“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and have revealed them to babes. Yes, Father, for so it was pleasing before You” (Luke 10:21 MKJV).
1 Corinthians 1:19-31 MKJV
(19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
(22) For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;
(23) but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.
(24) But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(25) Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.
(26) For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
(27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
(29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
(30) But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
(31) so that, according as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
I hope you read all those words, Brian. They apply. You do not glory in the Lord. Yet whether you receive these things now or not, you will. You too will know the Lord, for it says:
“And they shall not each man teach his neighbor, and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest” (Hebrews 8:11 MKJV).
Thank you for helping me to pick up the bread. I enjoyed my visit with you, Brian, and would love to get together with you again. I am curious as to what your relationship is with Gordon Ross, how and why you shared the paper with him, and more. I am hopeful that the paper will be shared with those who need it. God has already used you in this matter, as He does with all of us in everything. I am thankful that both of you have red the paper. As I read it again, though it is rather rambling, as Cody declared it to be, I know and am thankful that God did give it to me to write, and if so, it will do all the work of conviction and healing that it was purposed to accomplish. God bless those who read it, and God bless you for sharing it.
Brian, in our conversation today you brought up the words I used in the Amway document, judging it not appropriate, but offensive that I should refer to “filthy rags” as menstrual. I pointed out to you that translators used those terms in Scripture. You countered that I ought not to follow the example of translators. Granted.
You countered that the words “filthy” rags does not necessarily apply to “menstrual” rags. Granted.
When I formerly pointed out that Isaiah used those words with the meaning as “menstrual,” you argued that he did not. I then pointed out to you that the Strong’s Concordance cited the original Hebrew as meaning “menstrual rags.” You then argued that while it might have been appropriate for Isaiah to use those words in his day, it is not appropriate today, that the KJV uses several words (or expressions, I suppose) that we do not use today, that those words are unacceptable in today’s society (not those very words, but the general idea is accurate, I believe…correct me if I am wrong).
Who is to say they were appropriate in James’ day? Who is to say they were appropriate in Isaiah’s day? Who is to say that God chose to inspire Isaiah to write His Word only for Isaiah’s day? You? I believe you also expressed that in any event, those words would not apply to Amway or its principle players. I meant them the way Isaiah used them.
My point is this: While you tell me repeatedly that I am wrong, that I will not stand to be corrected on any matter, I find that “you are the man” in these very accusations. Whatever argument I give you, you find a way to counter it, as though programmed to disagree wherever the information does not match your data bank. You have your own personal “spam filter” set up to fight anything that does not suit your opinions, perspectives, and judgments, yet you accuse others of that very thing.
When I give you Scripture, you call it my “opinion.” When I refer you to my writings, you object, calling my papers opinions, declaring that your source of authority is Scripture. Yet I simply refer you to what I see in Scripture. I must listen to what you see in Scripture, but I am not allowed to have the same right. When you give me opinion, you speak as though it is Scripture, professedly well thought out, and studied; yet you reject the testimony of the Scriptures. For example:
I tell you that people can know that they have received and do have the Spirit of God, even point to the time they received Him. I furthermore said that they not only can, but also do know they have received the Spirit. You disagree. So I give you Scripture. I point out to you that at Pentecost, they all knew that they had received the Spirit. As it says:
Acts 2:1-4 MKJV
(1) And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place.
(2) And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven as borne along by the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
(3) And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed; and it sat upon each of them.
(4) And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
I ask: Did these not know they had received the Spirit? Will you deny it?
In our conversation by phone, Heather took the tangent in reference to tongues and the tower of Babel. The point was not tongues; my point was that people could and did know if and when they received the Spirit. However, if Pentecost, in the minds of the unbelieving, points to a reversal of Babel, as though some special isolated and unrepeatable event, in essence, then let us take yet another example in Scripture, the Samaritans:
“And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ to them. And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the many miracles which he did. For out of those having unclean spirits, many came out, crying with loud voice. And many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:5-8 MKJV).
Then it says:
“But when they believed Philip preaching the Gospel, the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12 MKJV).
God records, by Luke, that these people heard and saw miracles, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom Philip, full of the Holy Spirit, preached unto them. Many were delivered of devils and healed, there was great joy (which we also discussed), and they were baptized. All these wonderful things happened to the Samaritans! Their lives had been dramatically changed. However, they had not received the Spirit! This is our point of discussion now. How was it known that they had not received? You accuse me of falsehood and arrogance because I declare to you that one can know if someone has received the Spirit or not. Who knew they had not received the Spirit? Someone knew, because it says:
“And the apostles in Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them; who when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had not fallen on any of them, they were baptized only in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-17 MKJV).
Peter and John knew they had not received the Spirit by Philip’s ministry because they made the trip and laid hands on them in order to receive. They then also knew that the Samaritans had received. Even Simon, a covetous conjuror knew. He was ready to “put his money where his mouth was” and purchase this gift that so impressed him. Obviously, if he knew, the Samaritans who received knew, and if they knew, the event or experience of receiving the Spirit at a given time is “knowable.”
Paul testified that after the Lord stopped him en route to Damascas, he was instructed to go to a home where someone would meet him. Ananias obeyed:
“And Ananias went and entered into the house. And putting his hands on him, he said, Brother Saul, the Lord, Jesus, Who appeared to you in the way in which you came, has sent me to you that you might see and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17 MKJV).
Are you telling me Saul could not tell or know whether or not he had received the Spirit? Ananias also knew; he obeyed the Lord’s command and was the instrument used in Saul’s receiving the Spirit. Would he not be able to know? Was Saul’s life changed from there? It says:
Acts 9:18-22 MKJV
(18) And instantly scales as it were fell from his eyes, and he instantly saw again. And rising up, he was baptized.
(19) And taking food, he was strengthened. And Saul was certain days with the disciples in Damascus.
(20) And immediately he proclaimed Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
(21) But all who heard him were amazed and said, Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this Name in Jerusalem and came here for that reason, that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?
(22) But Saul increased the more in strength and confounded the Jews who lived at Damascus, proving that this One is the Christ.
How could he be so dramatically and suddenly changed? How could he know what he knew from Scripture? He received the Spirit. Could he know he received the Spirit? Was he, as you declare of yourself, only in hope that he received? Where do you find the word “hope” in these examples, Brian? When I spoke of a “sure hope” as mentioned in Hebrews 6:18,19, you argued that the word was not in the original texts, that it was in italics, that therefore the word “sure” was not referring to “hope.” Yet you stick the word “hope” in as though it legitimately belongs. Is there any reasoning with you? Here is the passage, for your convenience:
“So that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope (not in italics in my KJV Bible) set before us, which hope (in italics) we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil, where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:18-20 MKJV).
The reason for the italics is simple. The word “hope” was already used, then it was referred to in the same sentence, so not used again, but the translators put it in again for clarification. You did not bother to check that out when we discussed it. Your immediate reaction was one of argument. You are, Brian, guilty of the very things you accuse me. You are without knowledge or justification. You argue carelessly, irresponsibly, not even knowing that you speak against the testimony of the Lord and His Word. You do this not only with the subjects I now bring up but also with others. Not good. You are yet in your sins. That in itself is not as bad as presuming to be otherwise.
Back to being able to know, and knowing that one has received the Spirit. Here is the Lord’s record, not my opinion, and it serves, not as an isolated passage, out of context, neither in disagreement with the rest of Scriptural testimony, but as yet another sure testimony. As it is written, let a thing be determined by two or three witnesses. Peter preached Christ to Cornelius and his household. Here is what happened:
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those hearing the Word. And those of the circumcision, who believed (as many as came with Peter), were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the nations also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, Can anyone forbid water that these, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we, should not be baptized?” (Acts 10:44-47 MKJV)
You do not know that you have received the Spirit, Brian, and argue that one cannot or does not know simply because you have never received the Spirit of Christ yourself. If you did have the Spirit, you would KNOW, with no doubt. It would not be only in the realm of “hope.” You would know when and how you received, as did the disciples at Pentecost, Saul by Ananias, the Samaritans, and Cornelius and his household. Ananias, by the way, was not an apostle (some claim that only apostles could lay hands on people to receive the Spirit, which notion the Scriptures prove false). Here is another example:
Paul directly asked the Ephesian disciples if they had received the Spirit. Obviously, he expected a “yes” or a “no,” something you are quite reluctant to give, though you accuse me unjustly of same. Here is the record:
Acts 19:1-7 MKJV
(1) And it happened in the time Apollos was at Corinth, Paul was passing through the higher parts to Ephesus. And finding certain disciples,
(2) he said to them, Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? And they said to him, We did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit is.
(3) And he said to them, Then to what were you baptized? And they said, To John’s baptism.
(4) And Paul said, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe into Him coming after him, that is, into Jesus Christ.
(5) And hearing, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
(6) And as Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
(7) And all of the men were about twelve.
They knew they had not received, and admitted it, unlike you. They were honest and humble, though only having known John’s baptism. Paul then laid his hands on them and they received the Spirit. They knew it, and Paul knew it. They knew. One can know. Furthermore, when the Spirit of God does enter, one cannot help but know! There is a bit more to God than you give Him glory for. You take glory from Him because you have never received His Spirit. Neither have Heather or Gordon received the Spirit, and you can tell them I said so.
Is that a condemnation? No. Is it wrong for me to say it? No. Examine yourselves, whether or not you are in the faith. You are told to know, not to be condemned. I tell you what I know, and not giving you mere opinion. Those who have the Spirit have the gift of discerning spirits.
Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints,