You Have A Name That You Live, But You Are
Jesus says to some of those He loves:
I know your works, that you have a name
that you are alive, but you are dead (Rev 3:1).
But who in that condition would admit to it?
Indeed, a church which is spiritually dead is
not going to perceive its dilemma. Like the virgins of Matthew 25, who are
all asleep, people in that category are oblivious to their lack of spiritual
life. A sleeping person is unaware of their state until they wake up. Only
then, with hindsight, are they able to perceive the condition they were in.
The Dead Churches of God
This is the situation with the so-called
Churches of God (CoG) – groups of Sabbatarians who cling to the teachings of
the former Worldwide Church of God (WCG), from which they broke away in the
nineteen nineties because of the doctrinal apostasy of the mother church.
Although they separated themselves, they have
not yet reformed to accept more of the Spirit in their lives. Their
‘worship’ continues on, spiritually lifeless, because they do not accept
spiritual gifts or allow Jesus to manifest in power in their meetings. Their
low faith level denies the active participation of the Spirit in their
gatherings and their lives.
Jesus wants them to wake up and liven up!
Over the years, God has given us a number of
dreams about these groups, illustrating their lack of spiritual life. For
example, in July 1997 God compared the dead Sabbatarian churches with the
more spiritually alive charismatic church:
6th July 1997. Malcolm. Dreams of
two women. The first was blonde; the second was dark haired. I had an
affinity with the first, although she was not physically attractive like
the other one. Meaning: The two parts of the Church which our
ministry serves. The first woman represents the Sabbatarians. The
second, the charismatic Sunday-keeping part.
In the first dream, I went into this
large old open room with wooden floorboards. There was no furniture. It
was not an inviting place. It was very plain and drab. I met a blonde
woman. She was not attractive, just rather plain looking. I became
engaged in conversation with her. She was sad. There were many other
people in the room, but they were in the background in this dream.
Apparently, I was looking for a place to rest. She told me that the
floor in the corners at the two ends of the room were rotten, so not to
go there lest the floor give way.
As we talked, I discovered that she was
bereft after losing her husband. She was lonely and emotionally
distraught. I felt sorry for this woman and hugged her to give her the
emotional strength she needed. However, the longer this embrace lasted,
the more I realised that I was being drawn into an adulterous
relationship. I was married! I had to stop this! It was wrong! I did. I
told her that she could not rely upon me for emotional support, but she
had to look to God, read the Bible and pray to Him for the strength she
An allegory of the Sabbatarian sector of the Church. Some extremities
are rotten and can't support people spiritually. The main building is
not appealing. It is drab. There is no joy there. Most in the church
have been separated from their spiritual Husband through the lifeless
teaching. It is as though He is no longer around! Although I have
compassion for these people, I do not want (indeed, I must beware)
deeper involvement with them because they are influenced by demons. If
they look to me for spiritual support they are looking in the wrong
place. They must look to God, and rely on His Word, listening to and
following Him, not their teachers.
The second dream
involved another woman, physically quite different from the first. This
second woman was very attractive, and had a big bust which she
accentuated by what she was wearing. During the conversation I asked her
if she minded if I asked her a personal question. She said "Go ahead." I
asked her if her breasts were real or if they were false. I suspected
that they might have been implants, but she said they were real.
Surprisingly, she didn't mind me asking such a question; perhaps she
even felt flattered although she didn't show it openly.
I did not embrace this woman like I did
the first one. We simply sat side by side talking. I did not want to get
involved in any illicit relationship with her. Once again, however, the
end of the conversation was the same as with the first woman. I said to
her that she couldn't look to me, she must look to the Bible and pray to
These dreams were not erotic. The sexual
imagery they contained conveys a spiritual meaning.
A pictorial analogy of our relationship with the charismatic church,
which is very conscious of the influence of God's power. Like some women
flaunt their physical form to lure men, charismatics may tend to display
God's power rather openly to attract others. God does not want us to be
drawn away by the enticements that spiritually can border on being
adulterous. Nor does He want His power to be used with pride, like some
like to show off their bodies! There is nothing wrong with God's power,
but it must be used properly, not illicitly.
Churches of God should take note,
however, that the power in the charismatic church is not false. Much of
it is from God! (As I explain in A Message To ‘Law-Keepers’
Through both dreams God is warning of
the dangers of being drawn away from Him by involvement with churches.
The CoG should learn from the
charismatic church, principally in the areas of faith, manifestation of
supernatural power, spiritual gifts and casting out demons. (As explain
in ‘our’ exposition of the parable of The Ten Virgins (£1.00).)
It is not appreciated that denominations and
churches are limited by, and often even governed by demons! As I explain in
the devil and his evil cohorts are
responsible for the way the Church has been carved up.
Through false concepts, demons maintain their
strongholds (2 Cor 10:4) over God’s people, limiting them spiritually, and
depriving them of the fulness of the Spirit.
One powerful stronghold in the Churches of
God has been against prophets of God. Prophets are simply not accepted, not
recognised and not wanted. (See the article Why The Scattering of the
Church?) So, the benefit of the prophets’ liberating messages from God
are not received. Satan achieves his objective in such places – the
spiritual oppression and poverty of God’s people.
Prophets are kept away through rigorous
adherence to a wrong form of governance in the Church – a satanic form of
hierarchy. (Explained in God’s Church – Whose Authority? (£3.00).)
Most CoGs are rigidly governed by autocratic ‘ministers’. And, to make
matters worse, many of them are false ministers, devoid of the Spirit of
When people are submissive to illicit
spiritual rule, they shut out the help they could receive from God which He
wants to give them. He CANNOT reach them because they reject the avenue of
All these faults and failings were
illustrated in dreams which God gave me (MBH) and my wife (Helena), which I
Restricting Spiritual Freedom
On 1st February 1999, I received this dream
about a former friend in the WCG who is now in one of the off-shoot Churches
Lack of True Spiritual Freedom
(name withheld) was living in a very poky house. There was no ‘room to
swing a cat around’. He was married to this woman who was the boss. He
was very subservient to her. They needed to extend the place, but
because of lack of space, I inquired how Xxxxx would achieve this. I
asked whether he would build it out of blocks, but he said “No”. It
would be a temporary structure, of some lightweight fabrication. Thus,
it could be put up and then taken down shortly afterwards. It sounded a
very strange proposition to me! They didn’t have the space for a
permanent structure. Apparently, they didn’t think of moving!
The spiritually restrictive environment of the church Xxxxx now belongs
to. He has surrendered himself to that church, Consequently, he forfeits
the latitude of real spirituality and freedom because of the ‘woman’
(church) whom he allows to dominate him. This CoG is temporary and will
be dismantled. It is not permanent.
True freedom and spiritual scope lies
outside the restrictive confines of a humanly dominated church
Woman in a Coffin
8th April 1999. Helena.
Friends of this woman were standing
around the coffin, doing nothing. It seemed like this woman was their
mother (the 'Church of God').
Helena was agitated in the dream and
wanted them to deal with this coffin, as it was their responsibility.
But they were slow to face up to their duties in that regard.
Death means the end of one phase and the beginning of another. God is
starting a new movement. People now have to come out of the old dead
mother church (and breakaway churches). It's hard to make the
transition, but it must be done to follow the lead of the Spirit.
The call is to the Bride – to
individuals – not to the Church as a whole. These individuals must come
out and be separate for God to work with them as He wants.
CoG folks don't realise that their
church is DEAD! When I wrote AA 7-3, about WAKING UP THE CHURCHES OF
GOD, that was no joke! But most sleepily meander along, fretting over
petty issues, ignoring the greatest single disaster in the Church – its
spiritual DEATH!! They have shut out the Spirit of God, and are trying
to organise things humanly. Hence all the infighting, squabbling, lack
of consensus, bickering, and poor outreach to the world, the almost
absence of miraculous power, etc., etc..
Miraculous power is the only language
the world recognises.
What Does It Take To WAKE UP The Churches of God?
The above dream was given to Helena shortly
after I had compiled Awake! Awake! 7-3 of March 1999. Entitled
What Does It Take To WAKE UP The Churches of God?, the 40-page journal
contained articles showing why the Church of God is dead and how it can
receive new life.
At that time God had moved a friend in the
USA to buy us a subscription to The Journal. This newspaper of the
Churches of God acted as a sort of forum for news and views of these groups.
One day God spoke to me about putting an advertisement in their paper.
I e-mailed their editorial department to find
out about costs, etc. Initially I received a cordial reply from the
secretary, who informed me that the cost of the advert I proposed would be
$200. She also mentioned that the next issue was just about to go to press.
If I hurried I could get the advert in their next issue.
I replied promptly with the text of the
WAKE UP CALL
The Churches of God!
Jesus predicted that ALL the
Church at this time would be ASLEEP! (Matt 25:5.) When you are
physically asleep, you are unaware of physical realities. To be
spiritually asleep means you are unaware of spiritual
realities. This is the state of the bride of Christ at this
time. She is unaware of spiritual realities!
The Churches of God are asleep
to God’s agenda at this late hour. They need to be alerted. Not
all they need to know is disseminated by their church leaders.
So, God uses prophets – ‘outsiders’ to their congregations. But
are prophets accepted today? Or are they shut outside the door,
where Christ knocks? (Rev 3:20.)
Elijah listened to the voice of
God. Elijah raised the dead. Elijah was so opposed, he thought
he was alone. But against all odds, Elijah contested the ways of
the false ‘Church’. Would the end-time Elijah be any different?
The prophetic work of the
end-time Elijah was not fulfilled by Herbert W Armstrong. He
didn’t raise the dead. He is dead and Jesus has not yet
returned. You have to look elsewhere. God is doing His Work of
restoration through many others. And we have testimonies of
those whom God has raised from the dead!
If you want to know more, write
and request the following:
I then offered these publications, giving a
précis about each one:
Sunday Versus Sabbath: The Final World
Who Is The End-Time Elijah?
Raising The Dead: Testimonies in Our Time
What Does It Take To WAKE UP The Churches of God?
The Imminent Fall of America
The Gospel Now and Beyond (a video).
Instead of receiving a positive confirmation,
The Journal’s e-mail response contained probing questions: What did I
mean by “raising the dead”? Did I mean figuratively or literally?
“Literally” I wrote.
There was a delay before they replied. When
it came it was cold and clinical. After referring my advert to the editor,
he refused to accept it. I was incredulous! One could sense the devil at
work, causing them to be gripped by fears.
Their response demonstrated the accuracy of
Jesus’ words. They are dead, and they resist being revived. How tragic!
Flying in the Spirit
Rejection by others does not prevent God
continuing with His Work. He does not need human acceptance, although He
would prefer to have it – for their own sakes!
On 5th June 1999, God gave me this dream of
how He would lead us on from there:
On the Wings of the Spirit
5th June 1999. Malcolm. Dream of On
the Wings of the Spirit. I was given some sort of gadget like
outstretched wings on which you could glide in the air. I went to the
edge of a cliff to try this thing out. It was daunting to go over the
edge for the first time, but I got hold of this thing and glided over
As I swooped downwards there was a
couple on the beach below. A man was imposing himself on a younger,
weaker woman. He was a brute of a man and used his weight and strength
to smother and dominate the woman. As I glided over this couple, there
was a loud crack, like a bone breaking. Several other loud cracks then
occurred later, and the dream faded.
The woman is the Church. The overbearing man is the wrong system of
government with its false ministers who dominate for their selfish ends.
The winged gadget is the power supplied by the Spirit. The cracking is
demonic strongholds being broken.
The above dream portrays well what it is like
following the lead of the Spirit. God gets you to do things that you could
not or would not normally do. But as you learn to trust Him implicitly, He
holds you up and carries you on His wings.
Jesus is Tired of Waiting!
On 24th March 2000
Helena received this dream about
Jesus Tired of Waiting for the Church!
I was busy cleaning toilets and doing
house duties. There was someone outside waiting (like a fiancée – Jesus
waiting for His bride). I would go and show Him love occasionally.
[Helena was put in the place of the CoG.] But Jesus was worn out by
waiting. He was totally loyal and faithful to the woman (church).
The church is busy doing its own thing.
Jesus is exhausted waiting. Jesus says to the church: WAKE UP, MY LOVE!!
The woman wakes up slowly, smiling as
she wakes up, with demons leaving.
Cleaning the toilets and doing chores
around the house depict the arduous work that has to be consistently
done to clean things up spiritually, in order to wake up the Church of
The CoG is Antiquated
Helena received this dream on 23rd October
2001 about the Churches of God:
In this dream she saw a reasonably sized
house with timber panelling inside. There were big rooms, with plenty of
space, so it could be used for meetings.
The rooms were not defined, and it
seemed as though the walls had come down to make it possible for people
to mingle or meet. [The current CoG situation.] It was as if the house
was opened up and there was more space.
The timber panelling was drab, old
fashioned and monotonous, as if it had been there for years. It was
functional, but that was all. There was nothing really appealing about
Some fixtures [doctrinal dogmas and
teaching] needed to be adjusted. People were going about doing different
Helena saw a laundry basket abandoned
with clean clothes in it. So she took it and tried to deal with it.
The meaning of the dream.
The dream depicts the situation in which ex-WCG folks find themselves. The
Churches of God are not moving in the Spirit. Hence they are drab,
uninviting ‘rooms’, with old fashioned ‘worship’, and with doctrinal dogmas
(‘fixtures’) which are in need of adjustment.
They need further truth (about spiritual
gifts, the moving of the power of God’s Spirit, about prophets and
prophesying, etc), and particularly application of this Word to their daily
life and church worship.
Members may be reading the Word, but not
moving on. There is a lack of spiritual dynamics.
Some areas in need of adjustment are:
1. Listening to God.
To put it bluntly, they just don’t listen to God. Most CoG folks don’t even
believe that God would speak to them. Nor do they believe that prophets hear
from God today. Listening To God opens up new truth on this for the
2. Spiritual gifts.
Likewise, faith levels are so low that, not only do they not believe God
speaks to those who are open to hearing from heaven, they don’t believe He
gives supernatural spiritual gifts. (Covered in An Introduction to the
Spiritual Gifts, and Holy Fire! and The Fire of God.)
3. Life after death.
The common old fashioned CoG dogma is that the spirit in man does not live
on after death, that it merely goes back to God, but has nothing to do with
consciousness. This is in direct contradiction of NT theology. Paul in 1 Cor
2:11 stated that the spirit in man gives us consciousness and thought. Paul
described his body merely as a housing for the more important spirit (2 Cor
5:1,4), as did Peter (2 Pet 1:13,14). The truth on this subject which CoG
folks are missing is in our booklet Life After Death, also in
Spirit, Soul and Body and at the end of Why Human Life? there is
an account of one who was given insight into the spiritual realm after
death. (Most evangelicals call this ‘heaven’.) Listening To God also
contains the basic teaching on the importance of the spirit in man.
The devil has deluded most brethren in the CoG that prophets don’t exist
today, which limits their ability to receive anything more spiritual that
they can’t comprehend by themselves. Prophets and Prophesying
addresses this lack. I have also enclosed a short one-page summary of why
the CoG dogma on prophets is entirely inaccurate.
There are other dogmas and errors in CoG
teaching and understanding, but these are the first that need countering for
people to come into the light.
The dream also portrayed a basket of clean
clothes (cf. Rev 19:7,8) which has just been left. The clothes were not put
on. God is saying that the CoG is not moving in the Spirit and is therefore
lacking His righteousness which comes from living in union with the Spirit
of Jesus (2 Cor 5:15-21).
Until they start to listen to God directly,
accept what they can learn from the prophetic gifts to the Church, get
baptised in the Spirit and begin harnessing spiritual gifts, they will
remain spiritually inert and an unusable vestigial organ in the Church. This
is why the evangelistic outreach in such groups is so minimal or absent.
They have a name that they live, but are dead (Rev 3:1).
God has portrayed the overall spiritual
problem with the current CoG. The emphasis is physical, not spiritual. There
is no real awareness of the Spirit, and there is no moving of the Spirit of
God because of lack of faith. I wrote Faith: Raising Our Level of
Expectation to try and help redress this imbalance, as well as
Principles of True Worship to try and encourage people to expect Jesus
to show up in meetings. If there is no expectation, worship is lifeless.
When there is expectation (vibrant faith), hunger and thirst for truth and
for the things of the Spirit, Jesus shows up and things happen. He has
appeared in vision in some of our meetings, and demonstrates His presence
every time we meet together through the manifestation of spiritual gifts. We
have had healings too.
If these things are accepted and incorporated
into CoG belief and practice, worship can be transformed and churches
revitalised. Everyone can then learn to truly trust God and have a renewed,
ongoing relationship of fellowship with Jesus, not merely a shallow mental
acquiescence like we see at present. I would love to see it.
The Stifling CoG Environment
Although I have recounted the following dream
in a previous newsletter, it bears repeating in this context.
25th January 2001. M. Regimentation and Control in the Church. I
was shown many people all standing in tightly regimented rows and
blocks. They were so regimented that not one was out of line. There was
a woman over them who controlled them.
This woman was a lady we knew in our
former church association. She was a 'good' woman (or so people
thought!). She was always 'serving'. She made the tea after services.
She was a Martha in that church. She was kind and friendly. She was a
nice person to know. She was submissive to her husband, to the church,
to the church’s ministry, etc. She really seemed to be a paragon of
virtue in the church. What we could not see at that time was her heart.
All her behaviour stemmed from a desire to look good in the eyes of
others. She operated from the basis of fear of man, not fear of God.
When we were cast out of that church and
falsely accused, she knew it was unjust treatment. She went to the
pastor who did the dirty deed, and asked him why he had done it. He said
little to really enlighten her. He just encouraged her to fall in line
with his wishes. She did. She did nothing effectively to follow her
conscience which was bothering her about our mistreatment.
Some years later, we tried to contact
her. We went to her home, but we got a hostile reception. She had
allowed the devil to push the door of her mind open through the false
minister who had disfellowshipped us. She had accepted obeisance to him
instead of obeisance to God. She lost truth. She lost the Holy Spirit.
She lost her salvation. God showed me in a dream that she was not saved
and cannot be rescued because she chose to deny God by exalting the
church and its human leadership.
Why did God show me her in this dream?
Because she represents the religious spirit in people who 'play church'.
She was religious. She was 'good'. She did 'good' things. She acted out
the part. She was the 'God-fearing' lady. (Appearances can be very
deceptive!) But she was subservient to satanic control in the church,
and she furthered Satan's aims through hierarchic dominance, and through
control. There is a parallel in many churches today.
Where there is hierarchic dominance over
others, where there is a situation of "we are the ministry; you are the
members", or the "us-and-them" mentality, of ecclesiastics and laity,
you have the devil's system masquerading as God's.
In this dream, this lady was shown as
taking my keys; my house key and the key to my car. Thus, she was
effectively taking away my freedom to go where God wanted me to go, and
to live how He had decreed. By doing this, she took God's place in my
life (this was in the dream, not in actuality). Every minister must be
careful he is not doing that inadvertently with those to whom he
ministers. Church leaders who do this, end up being their 'pope'.
Through money and power, church leaders can easily get puffed up and
And when they find themselves in this
position of power, they can easily abuse it through regimentation or
Spiritual control in the Church is
satanic. The spirit behind it is the spirit of witchcraft!
[God’s Church – Whose Authority?
(£3.00) explains about right and wrong authority. Wrong authority in the
CoG has led to its spiritual death!]
Restoring True Worship in the Church
I ought to say a little about countering
control in worship meetings. Three things will encourage the Spirit of God
to guide and prevent human control dominating:
is essential as Jesus said in John 4:23 – “...worship in [spirit and in]
can go out the window when meetings become either too long, too organised,
too erudite, or religious. Simplicity can also mean being plain, without
affectation (not false), without put-on airs and graces, without
sanctimoniousness, without arrogance or pride.
is most important. The larger the meetings, the greater the problem.
Meetings can end up so pre-programmed, so organised, that everyone is doing
their bit and the Holy Spirit agenda is overlooked. Most churches are guilty
of denying the moving of the Spirit because of this.
It is the spontaneous prophetic word, the
spontaneous tongues interpretation, the spontaneous praise and worship song,
or the spontaneous message that carries the anointing of God. But it is
often too difficult for church leaders to allow this spontaneity, because it
disrupts their plans, their schedule or something else which they have
Church customs and church traditions are
chief culprits in denying the working of the Spirit in meetings. Church
organisation and regimentation can often work against what God wants to do.
So, God is saying, “Beware human control by church leadership.” Beware
having exactly the same format or service as previously. Try to vary things
as much as possible. And let the congregation take part as much as anyone
who is moved to preach. Avoid always having an assigned preacher, or an
assigned topic to preach on. Allow the Spirit to show what to preach about
(this can occur during the meeting, or a few days before the meeting if God
knows the person must do some research before presenting his sermon). Always
expect (as much as possible) the unexpected. God loves to work unexpectedly.
It gives Him the greater glory.
The night before this dream,
had a dream about a lot of people having their picnics. What this means is
that people are all engrossed in what THEY are doing, concerned about their
little area of activity. It is the product of a selfish spirit. It is
idolatry. It blinds people to the bigger picture. They don't see what God
means to achieve through the literature which He has moved us to write. They
may see the publications, but what is inside them is lost on them. They fail
to see how God wants to give this truth to the Church worldwide and how it
could totally reform the entire Church around the world. This selfishness
causes blindness which keeps them out of the revival which God means for
many many more to share in.
Malcolm B Heap, December 2001