Where I Thought I'd Be

"My Sacred Anguish"


A while ago, I wrote “Where I Thought I'd Be” in response to an inquiry from a preacher friend who lives in the Gold Coast area of South Florida. When I wrote it, I was in a dark valley of despair. It was fashioned to be blunt and conversational; as if he were sitting across the table from me. I had to bear my soul with someone I could trust. He was the only one in my life beside my wife who I believed I could trust with "My Sacred Anguish" which was palpable.

NOTE: Any time I share these vignettes of our "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" it's not to cry over what was done to us; I've already cried my soul clean over all that. I share it to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ by showing what He brought us through with victory; to encourage others who are in that valley to trust Him to get them through it with victory; to show what an evil enemy we face; and to show how readily some church folks yield their members to our enemy, causing their hearts to wax cold toward hurting brethren, just as Jesus prophesied professing Christians would do at the end. Our experience is a proverbial "street sign" to show where too much of the church in America is today in this unfolding end time prophecy.

While writing it was heart-wrenching for me, and it is intensely negative subject matter, it is a purely truthful portrayal of our ministry/church experience in Tennessee. However, it was toned down and a mere fraction of what we actually experienced.

It was in no way intended to disparage the church, or to indict any individual. While no one did unto us as they would have others do unto them; and no one loved us (neighbors) as they loved themselves; of course, there were a few wonderful exceptions among the Body of Christ. This was not written in anger, but rather with an intensely broken heart. It was actually a combination cathartic exercise and desperate cry for prayer. It presents a thumbnail sketch of our thirty-plus-year experience answering God's call to ministry in Middle Tennessee generally, and Hendersonville specifically, or more accurately "My Nazareth".

Perhaps more importantly, it was a warning that my life is the canary, the church is the coal mine, and an invisible tasteless odorless deadly explosive gas has been loosed into that coal mine (church) and none of the alarms are sounding off.

My friend hails from my home town of Miami. He is now in his eighties, has ministered for most of his life, and he operates in an extraordinary level of the power of God. Further, he holds to a high degree of integrity, and his academic scholarship is remarkable. At the time I wrote this treatise, we had known him, his wife, and staff for over a quarter century. And they knew fairly intimately what we had gone through. He and his wife had gone through a fiery trial in the 1970s; and they seemed to have a special gift of compassion for us. They stood with us through the worst of our trial. Having said all that, I took the liberty to be transparently blunt, and brutally honest with him.

Anyone who's looking for something to criticize here, there's plenty in my life for which to do that. I say that, realizing there will be critics and judges who will have a myriad of opinions as to why I'm doing this. This is the first time I have shared this much of our story publicly. I realize sharing it comes with the risk of being further judged. After much prayer and reflection, I feel that if it will help one wounded soul to find the path to recovery, it is worth that risk. Or if it will stop one critic from wounding another innocent, it will be worth the risk of sharing these intensely personal facts.

The following are excerpts from that very long letter.

Where I Thought I'd Be”

Dear Brother Cxxxxxx,

I apologize for taking so long to respond to your email. This is a painful subject for me to approach. You asked for specific examples of the offenses against us within the body. It is difficult to produce specific citations. Character assassins operate in stealth, and the church tends to offer them refuge and conceal their names and offenses; especially if they happen to be wealthy, or celebrities. Our case is no exception. Ironically, the very ones who scripture commands us to expose, the modern church hides and thus enables and facilitates. Though the tangible evidence may appear scant, there are a few direct citations. However, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. Circumstantial evidence alone, does not necessarily make a weak case.

But you know experientially about some of the unscriptural responses of the church toward us. You may remember when you were here in the late 1990s, you observed a few incidents. We had just returned from more than a year of treatment in the out of state medical facility, after being poisoned. We were homeless, broke, and living out of a mini storage facility here, two blocks from the church you were holding revival meetings in. You saw how that congregation turned a deaf ear to our cries for help, while you were there. I even told you about it the day you came over to the mini storage facility to pray with us. Your disapproval was palpable when you responded, “...they just don't understand....” The following narrative will show some specific citations, as well as general ones. But some are circumstantial evidence. 

You realize that I don't sit around wringing my hands all day, wondering who's slandering me. I realize that I probably seldom cross anyone's mind around here. In fact, I've had former friends who misunderstood me, tell me as much. But when my name comes up in conversation, whether someone shakes their head in silence, rolls their eyes, winces, sighs, hangs their head, shrugs their shoulders, frowns, or any other such gesture it is communicating something that reflects negatively against me. It is by definition communication, or "speech" against me, and intended to be so. 

The vast majority of the evidence may seem anecdotal, but it constitutes "Circumstantial Evidence". I have read the federal prosecutor's handbook issued by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). It states the US Attorney General's directive for how prosecutors should evaluate the viability of its cases. It has an unambiguous caveat that AUSA's should not be too quick to pass on circumstantial evidence cases. Circumstantial evidence can be powerful and persuasive. It describes a fact pattern where a parent finds a child in the kitchen, an empty cookie jar, and no other person could have been in the kitchen. The child can deny eating the cookies. But the overwhelming circumstantial evidence is powerful inference of his guilt, and therefore an indictment against him. You will find a train-car load of circumstantial evidence in our experience. 

But a good part of our past thirty-plus-years here could be summed up in one sentence; in times of our greatest need, they treated us like lepers. But you know, we were not lepers. Not one of them loved us (their neighbor) as they loved themselves. Not one of them did unto us as they would have others do unto them. And not one would dare pray to God to please allow them to reap the harvest from the seeds they sowed toward us. I would challenge any one of them to agree with me in prayer to God for Him to cause them to reap that harvest. While I wish the no ill, I will not stand idly by while anyone does violence to my truthful testimony here.

Brother, you know most of our story. After all you stood with us through the worst of it. But for the sake of recollection and clarity, it seems prudent to present this fresh chronological overview. Therefore, I will write it as if you know nothing of our history, with a few exceptions.

The Seventies

My post-ordination years (early 1970s) were mostly spent serving in evangelistic street ministries, radio teaching ministries, music ministries, and some television appearances. Miami was pregnant with young drug abusers, and I tried to kick-start several ministries to reach out and help them. Back then, that level of funding was only available to large established churches, not some young jail-house preacher.

Radio proved to be a good vehicle during those primative years; before the internet, YouTube, etc. A typical scenario was I would go on a radio station begin a daily teaching series. When I ran the debt up they'd cut me off. I would go out and work in the blazing sun to pay my debt off. Then I go back on the radio and repeat the cycle, over and over. Nearly every dime I could get a hold of, I'd spend on some kind of ministry. That was my only passion.

In 1979, I married the love of my life. 

I had always felt drawn to the tent ministry. I had worked many roles with tent preachers from stake driver, to gopher, and always a supporting minister sitting on the platform. Not the least of these were Brother Schambach, and Brother Epley. Critics told me the days of the tent ministry were over. They said it was impractical, expensive, and would never happen for me. I was not deterred by their unbelief. My response was "...what's impractical, is NOT doing what God puts in your heart to do...."

In 1980, we drove from Miami all the way to Warner Robbins, Georgia to a military auction, just to bid on a Command Post Tent. Those were to be my seeds, sown into my prospective tent ministry, as generously as my finances would allow. The CP tents were canvas, nearly rotten, and too worn out for ministry use. While we were up that way, we visited Gordon Shaw at Valdosta Tent Company, shopping for a canvas tent. Several times I called David Wine, who manufactured the new lighter, cheaper, and more efficient vinyl tents (my preference back then).

Yet after thirty-five years, the critics still have it; and I still haven't started that tent ministry. But like old Caleb, I stand ready to take that mountain, if God should ever give me the green light!

Life was Good

Soon after we were married, we started building a landscaping type business. The intent was for the business to support us in ministry. Like Brother William Branham, I've never taken up an offering for myself in my life. I always wanted to keep it that way. The Lord blessed our business.

He led us to a beautiful one acre property with a little white cottage, built in the early 1930s. It had been owned by an exotic plant collector whose sister owned an exotic nursery down the road from us. By all appearance, that was by divine appointment. We both inherited a love for plants and nature, that goes generations deep. She all the back to her great-grandfather who lived in your old neighborhood (Coconut Grove), and was inspired by his next door neighbor David Fairchild, the horticulturist. And I descended from 9 generations of Georgia farmers. So we seemed to have it in our genes to love dirt. We loved our little place, dressed in exotic plants. It had huge passion fruit vines from Hawaii with blooms the size of hubcaps. It had an almond tree nearly 50 feet tall; an orange tree and two grapefruit trees, each around 30-years old. It had Royal Palm trees over 60 feet tall. One acre tracts are rare in North Miami. The entire place was like our very own little Eden. I looked on Google Earth recently, and all those trees still stand except for the Royal Palms. I suppose the hurricanes got to them.

Our little Eden was located a mile and a half from one of the key music recording facilities in the world; Criteria Recording Studios, which was important to me. I had recorded there. Some of our neighbors were notable celebrities like old rockers Dion DiMucci (Dion and the Belmonts), and Jim Sesody (The Legends), of course Angelo Dundee (World Renowned Boxing Trainer), and other affluent locals. Dion and Jim are also brothers in Christ Jesus and in their own ministries. So it was a blessing for us to live in such a nice area with such potential for witnessing and other ministry.

Best of all, we were both in seminary, and part of a sweet little congregation. It was not a spiritually demonstrative group, but it was otherwise doctrinally sound, big on academic scholarship, and I was free to preach and teach there. We weren't rich, but had more than we needed. We enjoyed going out for a steak dinner a couple of times a week, or anytime we chose. Life was good.

In time, the pastor of our little group decided to join with a denomination. He was a wonderful brother and friend, but we didn't feel led to follow in that direction. The Lord opened a door for us to hold meetings in a former Jewish synagogue in Hollywood. With my love for the Jewish people, that was something very special to me.

I was also seeking the Lord for further ministry direction. Should we plant a church in the old synagogue, or one of the other options? Throughout the years I had received scores of prophetic words from reliable men and women I trusted. You probably know some of them. The most consistent recurring theme of these 40 or so prophetic words was for me to pursue ministry full time and live by faith. He was asking me to remove the financial safety net and trust Him.

But Brother Branham (BroBran) was a great role model for me. He was one of the most influential people in my life. He is to me what Paul was to Timothy; he was my spiritual father. He never took an offering for himself. During all his years in pastoral ministry he worked a day job and paid his own way. Not until he entered the evangelistic field did he, to use Jesus' words, “live of the gospel”. Even then, he only received a salary of $100.00 per week for the remaining 19-years of his life.

BroBran could have had a huge televangelistic ministry even in the 1940s. But he chose to intentionally keep his ministry small, and live a humble life. Around 1948, a wealthy donor sent two off duty FBI Agents to deliver a gift to BroBran; a check in the mount of $1,500,000.00. I calculated that sum into today's money, and BroBran was being offered around $15,000,000.00 in today's money. BroBran smiled shyly, and said he could not accept it. He suggested they take it to Oral Roberts, or one of the others who could really use it in their ministries. The story was printed in the newspapers. That was one of many things that impressed me about BroBran.

So I felt safe at least aiming for walking close to the way BroBran walked. My little business was intended to sustain us. This way I would never be dependent on a congregation, and never be subject to "board of backsliders bondage". In hindsight, I am more sure than ever that avoiding the “board of backsliders bondage” was right for me! But the Lord seemed to keep on speaking to me to step out, trust Him, remove the safety net, and truly live by faith.

Well I knew what that meant. I had studied the scriptures not a little. I had also studied early church history sources like Gibbons, Ante Nicene Fathers, Edersheim, Scroggie, etc. I knew that the status quo approach of American Christianity to everything from church government, to evangelism, and about everything in between was flawed. I knew we believers had to grasp why we were created, our purpose for being, and why God redeemed us. Otherwise, we could never fully appreciate or fulfill the purpose of the church. I knew that Christianity in America was currently on a path to extinction, without divine intervention. I saw how early believers' whole lives were focused solely on serving The King and building The Kingdom. They gave their everything, their assets and their entire being, including their actual lives to that end.

For decades I've used the illustration of a bee hive to teach this principle. Every bee devotes their entire being to building and protecting the queen and her hive. Like the bee, the focus of early believers wasn't on building the IRAs of the day, some 1st century 401Ks or Keogh’s. They knew why they were created, why they were redeemed, and they committed their entire lives to fulfilling that purpose. And that purpose was inseparable from serving The King and building The Kingdom. Their passions ran so deep they would spontaneously sell off assets to finance The Kingdom. If God does not truly own everything in one's life, then it is questionable whether He owns anything in their life; and therefore, whether they are truly saved. We can no more be partially committed to Christ than one can be partially pregnant. It's all or nothing! We cannot be half-saved anymore than one can dig half a hole.

I remember in June of 1995, I faxed a letter to Kenneth Copeland, sharing with him how the Hands of Fire sign had just began appearing. But I also shared my grief over the apathy within the American church toward serving The King and building The Kingdom. I wrote how in our meetings we weep and smile and other emotional expressions glorying in the imminent rapture of the church. (Please don't misunderstand me, I long for that glorious day). But as I wrote, if we really believed it was imminent, if we really believed at any moment the books could be closed and we could be facing our creator and having to account for what we did in this life, and how we did it; we would be emptying our bank accounts before the end of business today. We would do all those things we knew He had already commanded us to do in His word: helping the poor, funding ministries, and supporting missionaries. We would get over our fear of witnessing to those who are lost whom we've interacted with for years, and we'd tell them the cold hard fact that Jesus Christ IS their only hope! We'd all get busy doing what we know we should already be doing. Those sexy little retirement packages we devoted our lives to building wouldn't even cross our minds; unless it was to sell them to finance The Kingdom!

So this decision of so-called "Full Time Ministry" was not a flash in the pan kind of decision for us. It was as serious to us as buying a house, or getting married. So we prayed extensively about when to make this transition. But we began preparing as if it was already in progress.

We Held Nothing Back

Finally, when I had an accident in my business and suffered a serious head injury, I came to my senses. As I lay there in the Emergency Room, I took stock of my life. What if this was the end? Am I satisfied I did what I was sent here to do? When I answered the call to so-called full time ministry, we abandoned our prosperous life and WE HELD NOTHING BACK.

It was still the early 1980s, we sold our business, we set aside our educational and career aspirations, turned loose of our beautiful one acre property in North Miami, and left our prosperous lifestyle to move here (Tennessee) for full time ministry to the Charismatics. We even postponed having children so we could devote ourselves wholly to serving our King and building His Kingdom. We put all our assets into it, devoted all our time, all our energy, and our very lives toward that end. God knows and satan knows, we held nothing back from the Lord.

However, we naively believed church folks meant what they said. When church folks in Hendersonville told us they were "sold out" and would foresake everything to follow Jesus, we thought they meant what they said. We thought it meant the same thing it meant when we said it. It was clear what we meant, because we had foresaken everything. But time would prove that the people around here meant something quite different than what they so passionately averred. In fact it was almost diametrically opposite what we meant, and did. 

They surely were not like the "worker bees", and the church here was not like a part of one big hive. It was more like a multitude of hives in various sizes and shapes, competing with other hives for worker bees. Those hives were being built by worker bees with a "not my job" attitude about anything inconvenient, uncomfortable, or unpleasant. In fact, anytime pressure was applied, most workers bees would be quick to fly to another hive where little or nothing was expected or required of them. 

Around here some churches function more like a hybrid of something between an ecclesiastical sports bar, and a religious rock concert. It seems to be all about accommodation and who has the loudest sound system. To this day, I receive advertisements that amaze me. Everything is geared as an inducement to come and be a part of this elite spiritual group. As an old black pastor brother in Nashville used to say, "you don't have to advertise a fire".

By the Book

We did everything we knew to do it the right way. In one of the final Hollywood meetings in the old synagogue, a few elders from around the region were in attendance. They each had known me since I was a child. My old Tabernacle pastor, that is the pastor of the church affiliated with Brother Branham's ministry, even he was present. All were men I trusted. I knew their consecration to our Lord Jesus, and they knew mine. Those men laid hands on me to send me forth into this new phase of ministry and life. When they prayed for God to be with us, a powerful prophecy came forth through a blind man. The entire service was an unforgettable precious memory.

The final service we attended before we left, was an old time Pentecostal church. It was pastored by a dear friend of ours. His parents and several of my family members started the church in a cow pasture in the early 1950s. There was an old prophetess there, whose prophecies tended not to fail. She was renowned among what I called The Everglades Pentecostals; the territory surrounding Lake Okeechobee. Long ago she had prayed for a child with a club foot, who got healed. From then on, when she spoke the people listened. As I finished a special song, which would be my last ever in that church house, this prophetess broke forth in tongues,a dn then the interpretation came. It was confirming God's hand in our move to Tennessee.

Dynamic Start

As soon as we arrived in Tennessee, the Lord began to bless us and doors opened wide. I had a coveted half hour radio program on the clear channel super power station WLAC, as well as a daily teaching program on WNQM; both in Nashville. Suddenly, a support network began to sprout up. The phone number BellSouth gave us was 822-PRAY. A local dentist was selling his defunct restaurant, and rented it to us for $75.00 per week, to hold our church services. He sold us over 75 almost new folding chairs for $125.00. He also offered to sell me the building on 12 acres of land for $125,000.00. Today that property is worth around $12 million dollars. The Lord led one lady to buy me a tank of gas per week. He led a local businessman to pay half my weekly radio bill. The local newspaper did an article promoting our little fellowship.

Delivered to satan

Unbeknownst to me, a young pastor with whom I had developed a close friendship appeared to turn on me. For the purpose of identification I will call him “Pastor John”. He was a few months younger than me, and also with a Pentecostal heritage.

A reliable source in my congregation told me he heard a tape recording of an elder's meeting at Pastor John's church. Their sound-man happened to be testing the equipment one night and serendipitously taped them. Pastor John allegedly led his elders in a prayer delivering me over to satan. The source told me they heard Pastor John on that tape in his unmistakable accent pray, “...Lord, curse his ministry, curse his health, and curse his finances for bringing that awful heresy to this town....”

The doctrinal difference was over "Water Baptism". Can you imagine that? It seems harsh and rather petty to me. I didn't learn of this until Pastor John had left town.

Pastor John also appears to be the one who started a rumor that I was lazy, and that I just wanted to live off the church.

One day while having lunch with Pastor John and his youth pastor, he asked how we were doing financially. When I answered we were living by faith, he responded in an almost scolding tone. He said, “...I think it would take more faith for you to go get a 'real job' than to do what you're doing right now living by faith....” I was stunned at his gall.

Getting a job and taking back control of my finances takes no faith. I am a journeyman in three construction trades as well as tree surgery. I am an ABA certified litigation paralegal with a decade of experience. I am an accomplished songwriter having written for one of the most prestigious music and motion picture brands in the world, namely Warner Brothers Music. But more importantly I am a Spirit Filled preacher, ordained since the early 1970s, and vindicated by supernatural signs, wonders, and miracles since I was four years old, and I'm not a novice handling the word of truth.

That may sound like a lot of “I am's” from some insignificant failure like me. But like Paul, I have been forced into the folly of boasting. At some point I feel I must stand up and speak up!

It would take no faith for me to cave and take matters into my own hands by getting a job. Anyone could do that. That is not living by faith and trusting God. That's trusting in your own strength.

The Lord had already told me not to do that. Before we ever moved here, He told me to remove the safety net and trust Him. When we arrived here, He told me not to get an hourly wage job, or anything that might put a demand on my time that could impede my ability to execute my commission; but to trust Him. Je gave me about a dozen scriptures to confirm His directive. Ironically, I did work jobs, just not hourly wage jobs. I took work that was far beneath my talents, skills, and qualifications, and always low paying; just so I could have a flexible schedule that would not conflict with my ministerial duties.

What takes faith is standing there in the midst of the storm, broke, with your entire church world judging you as lazy and unworthy of their help; trusting only in the God you cannot see, in the storm you cannot flee, believing He will keep His promise, even when there is no hope in sight. That's what takes faith!

Then I wondered, did Pastor John make a Freudian slip choosing the words “real job”?

I was doing exactly what Pastor John was doing, pastoring. Only I was doing it single-handed, and without a salary; and a host of other jobs and duties. On the other hand, Pastor John was fully staffed with four associate pastors, a couple of secretaries, and two dozen elders. Did he really believe pastoring was not a “real job”? Maybe under his circumstances it wasn't.

Well Pastor John left that pastorate less than a year later, and I suppose he got; you guessed it; “a real job”.

I confess, since we had put everything on the line and held nothing back, and since we gave up everything to serve; I did expect my family's needs to be met. And like him, I expected to be paid by the same source who paid his salary. I NEVER once asked for or expected the pay scale the Bible prescribes for those like me who labor so extensively in the word, the “Double Pay”. All I expected was for our needs to be met, to not be treated like beggars, and to not be made to feel ashamed just because we had a need derived directly from being in ministry.

The satanic accusation, or the “Lazy Lie” would have never worked in Miami. I could have produced dozens of affidavits from those who had worked along side me. All my life I did hot hard construction work. Pastor John looked like he'd never had a callous on his hands in his entire life.

NOTE: Regarding the "Lazy Lie", not to toot my own horn; but as Paul wrote, I have been forced into the folly of boasting. When the poisoning struck our family, I was 44-years old. By that time in my life I was a journeyman in three construction trades, as well as in tree surgery; I had been engaged in several facets of ministry for nearly 25-years, pastoral, street evangelism, music, radio, missionary to Appalachia, and more; I was a successful songwriter, signed to the most prestigious music and motion picture brands on earth, Warner Brothers; as well as a host of other achievements. A lazy man would never do that by age 44!

Ironically, Pastor John and his youth pastor had some indiscretions. Pastor John was enjoined by his elders from leaving the city without a chaparone due to recent moral failures. A couple of weeks after the above referenced lunch meeting, the youth pastor ran off with a young girl in his youth group; forsaking his wife and child. It would be unseemly for me to elaborate further.

Just a few months after that lunch meeting, Pastor John resigned and moved away. He left a faint trail for anyone to track. That made confronting him prohibitive when I was told about the elder's meeting curse; being delivered unto satan.

Life became hard very quickly. But we did our best to adapt and endure hardness as good soldiers.

NOTE: Years later, after we were poisoned, when I was able to get our life sufficiently stabilized, I found a forwarding address for Pastor John. I confronted him by letter regarding the alleged curse. He refused to admit or deny cursing me per the foregoing description, and then ended our communication with the phrase “enjoy your life Gerry”. Once again, he gave no way for further contact. Exasperated and needing resolution, I turned him over to the Lord, asked God to judge the matter, forgave the brother, put it behind me, and moved on. A year and a half later, Pastor John died (in his forties) after a bizarre series of events.

Shame and Ridicule

As the rumors swirled and the Lazy Lie metastasized throughout the local church community, the wolves began to circle closer. They grew brave enough to drop hints like “...if you don't provide for you own your worse than an infidel....” They'd also eventually pull out that little chestnut “...Paul made tents too....” And of course the classic verse “...if he doesn't work don't let him eat....” including the little cherry on that parfait "...mark him and have nothing to do with him that he will be ashamed...." And they diligently did their part in making sure we felt the shame. When they were done with me, I could taste the shame.

I will resist the temptation to exposit the previously cited passages and show their absurdity. But if ever an abortion has been performed on the Bible; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 would be the mutilated fetus.

I had a few scriptures for them regarding their duty to "...know them who labor among you...." and "...communicate unto them who teach you...." And the dozen or so scriptures the Lord gave me. His directive to me was to avoid getting caught in satan's workaholic snare; which in the past, I had been disposed to do. In fact, when I had the accident, it was on a huge job I was contracting that I should have passed on. I was in seminary and needed to focus on that. But I also remembered the recession in the 1970s. So I had trouble saying no to an opportunity for more work. I was doing a job too big for my team, and using rented heavy equipment that had not been properly maintained, and was therefore unsafe. When God gave me that directive to remove the safety net and trust Him, He knew that certain childhood occurrences had left me with a low self esteem. My mother's words would ring in my head, "'re just too damn lazy to get up and go to the bathroom...." That drove me to work harder, for less money, in a vain attempt to prove I was not lazy. Hopefully, you can see, the Lazy Lie has been satan's lie against me since I was four years old. Now the church in middle Tennessee had become satan's new mouthpiece, and the Lazy Lie my “Thorn in the Flesh”.

The most curious thing (aside from my critics running rough-shod over those scriptures) is that I was working. In fact, I probably worked more hours than they. Actually, “they” didn't work hourly wage jobs at all. “They” turned out to be mostly women with nearly grown children. “They” appeared to sit on the phone each day playing “prophetess” with one another.

As for what I was doing day and night, I was pastoring a small church, single-handed. Anyone who has ever done that (single-handed) knows why predicated upon that point alone, I could rest my case. 

But I was also doing construction work, and tree removal work by day; studying for and producing daily radio programs by myself at night, preparing my preaching sermons, and writing songs during my lunch breaks. Let me add also; my studies are expository and tend to be rather exhaustive. As stated, back then I used Edersheim, Scroggie, Gibbons, Ante Nicene Fathers, Kittle, Brown-Driver-Briggs, AT Robertson, et al. A thirty minute sermon was the result of many hours of study!

But to put my pastoral duties first (per God's personal scripturally confirmed directive to me), I did not take on a 9-5 hourly wage job. Since these bionic believers didn't equate pastoral duties with work, the Lazy Lie label stuck and grew like an angry red malignant tumor.

We quickly learned how it feels to be made ashamed simply because you have a need. We felt the sting of rejection when the reality of the bottom line finally sunk in; they had judged us unworthy of their help. I knew the spirit behind this was the Jezebel spirit. I knew it feared the Elijah Spirit getting so much as a foothold in this region. A ministry like mine, teaching what He had shown me regarding Holy Spirit power, the spirit world in general, and those nearly 300 scriptures regarding our duty to the poor; all that made me a threat, and therefore a target. Years ago, I heard a pastor say in an interview on national television, “...God will deal with the church, the same way the church deals with the poor....” I cannot improve upon how he phrased that statement. I wish I had come up with it.

The shame was so toxic that it has taken years to get over it. About five years ago, I had a plan to use the internet and YouTube for my ministry and music. Since by all appearance I had been Black Listed on Music Row, now selling my music online could be my new "tent making" and support us in ministry. I needed a video camera. But we had no discretionary funds. We needed something to make professional looking quality videos, as cheaply as possible, and not worthless junk that renders amateur videos. We could not afford to absorb a financial mistake. 

Kim Komando was on a give-away campaign for her call-in radio show. When I felt an unction to call her, I jumped on it! I wasn't surprised when miraculously, I got through. I was the very last caller of the day. Throughout the program that day, it seemed like every caller had tried to impose upon Kim's generosity. They tried to bait her up to give them some type of electronic gear. That created a dilemma. I needed to stress to her that I was very poor, and the sacrifice of buying a camera was huge for us. Yet how culd I do that without it sounding like the others; like I was baiting her up. My fear of another appearance of shame was so terrible that I began to rattle on rapidly about my dilemma. Suddenly, Kim's interrupted me saying, "Gerry, do you hear that music, that means we're out of time". The show was ending, and I had blown my chance. She did tell me, speaking over the closing music clip, that I needed a "FLIP" camera. I was beyond embarrassed. Eventually I was able to afford a FLIP. It helped, but was still not sufficient for what we needed. We are still believing God for that camera. Someday, God will give me everything I need to do what He has called me to do!

But I cannot describe to you the humiliation I felt when I hung up the phone. The devil began his rant with "...if you had never gone into ministry, today you could buy any camera you wanted...."; "...had those people on Music Row not destroyed your songwriting career and Black Listed yu, you could set up an entire video production facility...." The devil was right on both charges. That's what decades of church folks imposing a disasterously wrong application of scripture did, to a couple who gave everything to serve Jesus Christ. What had my critics sacrificed to serve Jesus?

But when we left our prosperous lifestyle and came to this place, it was a kind of culture shock. This region has a highly concentrated music business community. That was a community I was familiar with. When I cut my first Music Row recording sessions in Nashville in 1967, I believe Hendersonville was a two red light town back then. When we moved here for ministry in the early 1980s, it had become one of the most affluent, rapidly growing, and prosperous cities in the state. So I witnessed hundreds of scenarios like the rich religious elite walking blindly past the beggars at the temple gate. 

How could believers be so cold? How on earth could anyone think they are filled with the Spirit of the Living God, and do that? How could they not hear His Spirit scream out His repeated nearly 300 scriptural commandments to help the poor? They simply do not understand what it means to be “filled with the Holy Spirit”; and their conduct proves they are not, so filled.

I have always been zealous to help those in need. Throughout the early 1970s, my ministry was almost entirely directed toward some form of evangelistic street ministry. This forced me to drill deeper into the Word regarding our duty to the less fortunate. 

What I found was stunning and frightening. Aside from the nearly three hundred scriptures regarding our treatment of the poor, I discovered a direct New Testament link to certain Old Testament destruction. For the first time in my life I could understand how Jesus could say “...many will come to me in that day saying Lord, Lord....” He made it clear that not all who believe they are eternally secure, will be saved. I had taught all those verses for years. I had heard some of the most renowned Bible scholars of the day exposit them. What I discovered is that just like other difficult passages, many of us had missed something in them. I'm not saying that in arrogance, but honestly before the Lord. Just like the Apostle Peter missed it, we had missed it. Doctrines like the unpardonable sin, be angry and sin not, let him not eat, the hem of His garment, Hebrew 6, Hebrews 10, the Great Falling Away, Job's fear, Elijah's so-called pity party, and a host of other passages; these passages had been victims of hermeneutic abortion in varying degrees and on various levels.

When I researched the etymology of “akarthasia” I was floored. Brother, I don't know whether you have ever used Kittle. It is an exhaustive resource for New Testament Greek. And it's equally exhausting to use it. Only about half of it is written in English, the rest is mostly in Greek, Hebrew, and German. But for example, for all the forms of “agapao” Kittle has about 80-pages of data. When you study and understand all that, you walk away knowing what biblical writers meant when they wrote "Love one another". Well when I autopsied “akarthasia”, I was not disappointed either.

I believe I have the Lord's permission to say “Thus Saith the Lord” on the follwoing: it is not the banning of school prayer, banning the display of the Ten Commandments from government property, homosexuality, gay marriage, gays in the military, or abortion that has brought this God's judgment down on America. Rather it is something that looks and feels so philosophically right, it looks so much like the real thing it could “...deceive the very elect if it were possible....” Truly in that day, MANY will not be saved who are absolutely sure they are eternally secure! It will contribute to the fulfillment of BroBran's 1933 vision of the destruction of America.

Brother, it would take a couple hundred pages to develop my thesis on this. But I am not a novice, and you know that I don't sling phrases around carelessly like “God told me this or thator "Thus saith the Lord". In fact, in all my life and the scores of prophetic words He has given through me, not one "Thus Saith the Lord" prophecy has ever failed. I would challenge any critic to prove my claim wrong. Anyone who challenges me on that had better count the cost and know what they are doing before they ascend to meet me on Mt Carmel. It's a long hard road down from that mountain.

And you know that just because I believe God still speaks, heals the sick, and works miracles, doesn't mean I'm just some old ex-hippie wearing a foil helmet chasing UFOs. I am serious about guarding the truth and integrity of God's word; and the purity of His gospel message to the church. And He showed me that the vast majority of church folks in America are headed on a path for certain destruction! He even told me a few years ago that most of the people I know around here are not even saved. He DID NOT name any names, but I know it was Him that spoke! That's not my judgment, it's His prophetic word. The blind are leading the blind, en mass!

Misjudged and Maligned

There is evidence of satan's conspiracy, and soe church folks' collusion. One day a local elder friend told me that people we both knew had judged me earlier that day. But would not tell me who they were, or what they said. So he is another witness that I have in fact been misjudged; and it was bad enough to be unrepeatable by that elder.

A mutual friend of yours and mine saw my wife at church and told her she heard that I had backslidden, had left the church, and that we had gotten divorced. Brother, you know that none of that is true. But that sister denied remembering who told her that. So she could remember the rumor in detail, but has not a clue as to the source? Lying to the Holy Spirit is dangerous!

Also, I felt like the local director of Operation Blessing treated me like a leper, when we came to him in desperate need, proverbially crying out for help. More detail on that later.

Another old pastor friend (who lives near you) told me he had heard about the accident I had in the early 1980s. He recently told me he heard that my injuries were so extensive that if he walked into my room, I wouldn't recognize him. But he wouldn't tell me who told him that. So I know I've been lied about; just not who spread the lie.

Then there's the circumstantial evidence. Recently, I have called, written, or emailed at least a dozen ministry and music business associates, most of whom I've known for decades. In the past they have NEVER failed to respond to me. They each know that I equate friends and associates ignoring my communications as tantamount to slapping me in the face. Now, for no explainable reason, they each deliberately ignore, and avoid me.

When you add this up, do you think so many results are coincidental?

Brother, if you heard my message entitled “Paul's Thorn” you would hear a more detailed and specific account of my thorn. It is a demon that follows me around and tries to poison every relationship I develop. Spiritually discerning people who know me have identified it for decades. Prophetic words have been uttered about it.

And Then Poisoned

As previously stated and as you know first hand, when we were poisoned, we instantly became homeless. My wife was bed-ridden for four years. She was so weak she could not function without help. You were there and saw her with your own eyes. You saw how fragile she was, and how much personal care she required, 24/7. Church friends who once embraced us and told us how they loved us, now no longer answered my calls, or returned my voice mails. They ignored our cries for help. We were a thousand miles from our nearest relatives. So I was her sole caregiver, and was glad to be able to do that. You may remember my jokingly calling it “two people using one body”. You could see I was exhausted!

Men's hearts waxed cold. This was a major attack from satanic forces. We lost our house and virtually everything we owned due to contamination. Just like the victims of floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes we saw nearly everything we had acquired in life piled up five feet high along the street the entire width of our front yard, awaiting trash pick-up. It was heart-rending to see; and it remains painful to recall.

Forced to abandon my songwriting career and ministry aspirations, my royalties quickly dwindled, and suddenly we had very little income.

She had to make 15-trips to ER in a 17-month period. You remember the mask she had to wear. To this day, she is still forced to wear that mask in public places when exposed to chemical cleaners or fragrances.

Ours seemed like just one isolated incident. So no president or governor declared ours a disaster; though it was as much a disaster to our lives as any we have all witnessed on television. Our loss was staggering and not covered by insurance. There were no TV cameras rolling to stir community support. No churches or non-profit organizations reached out to help us. Ours was just one isolated case and drew no media attention.

This was before the “9/11 Terrorist Attacks” and law enforcement's response was anemic. At one time or another, we were forsaken by nearly everyone claiming to be in covenant with Jesus Christ, except for Jesus Himself.

Let me say that of course there were a few wonderful exceptions in the church. You were such an exception. Their were times that God would lead believers to us serendipitously, and they would offer much needed help to get us through the instant crisis. But it never lasted more than a week or two. Then again, we were forgotten and alone again. However, we were grateful for each Good Samaritan that He sent to us. We prayed fervently for God to bless each of them for their loving kindness.

Winter was setting in and out lights were schedule to be cut off. We approached the local family assistance center from where my wife had delivered Meals on Wheels for about a decade. They judged me and refused to help us. We called Operation Blessing (OB) to which I had given a ton of money since the days it started, back when we still lived in our Little Eden.

When the local director heard our plight, he seemed eager to help. He offered to take our application by phone to expedite the process. When he heard my name, the change was palpable. Suddenly, he said before he could render any help he would require us to provide an affidavit from our pastor. He would need proof that we were members in good standing of a local church. A few days later we produced the affidavit. Then he said OB out of money, to check back another time.

Yet a few months later, when tornadoes ripped through this county and destroyed people's homes, I would wager that Operation Blessing never required those people to pass the director's arbitrary “religious sniff test” as a prerequisite for relief. Did he requir them to produce an affidavit as he had done to me? But he sure imposed it upon us. I believe it was unlawful discrimination, immoral, antagonistic to scripture, and despite unto the Spirit of grace!

What I am stating here is true and correct! I fear the Lord too much to make something like this up. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if ANYONE doubts and denies this is true, let them find that man and ask him if he did that to us. If he denies it, have him meet me on Mount Carmel. As long as I own the video rights to the event, I'll do it. We'll see if he denies it there, or we'll see who's lying. The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but mighty through God even to the demolition of my enemy's strongholds! Let God hold us both to the same standard to which He held Ananias and Sapphira; and let the God of heaven answer by fire!

NOTE: I know you are friends with Pat Robertson. I respect him. Since OB is under his ministry umbrella, he should be made aware of this, and get to the bottom of it. If I'm found to be lying, expose me! If not, root this guy out, and publicly expose him! Look what he did to us, to the reputation of OB, and to our Lord Jesus Christ. Be sure of this, one day God is going to do all that and more to that local director!

I know you can still picture my wife's fragile health back then. On another occasion during that winter, we were threatened with a cut off notice from our electric company. We needed our lights to keep warm, to bath, to keep perishable food, and to cook. So as a last resort, I asked a friend who is a local elder to do something he'd seen me do for others many times in the past. He agreed to go around to people who knew me, and takw up a collection to help pay our light bill. It was humiliating, but necessary.

When he returned after dark, his countenance fell. I knew it wasn't good. He had one $50.00 bill to offer. He wouldn't tell me who gave it. But I knew he always carried a fifty in his wallet for such occasions. I told him I knew he gave it. He would not deny that I was correct.

He said, “...I'm really sorry brother...all I can tell you is they've all judged you....” I asked him who judged me. He said he couldn't tell me. When I asked what they said about me, he said he couldn't tell me that either. I thought to myself, so they can misjudge me, malign me, and assassinate my character, and you, an elder conceal their sin and protect their identity? The church should not be providing refuge for character assassins, we should be exposing them.

So you asked for specific incidents', these are a few.

When all this calamity began, we hoped and prayed our unbelieving family members would witness the church's public demonstration of God's boundless grace and love. In the end the church deemed us unworthy of their help or love. Knowing first hand my wife's fragile condition, they were content to allow our lights to be shut off during a cold Tennessee winter. I suppose they did it to teach me a lesson, and make me feel the shame. Most of these people were extremely prosperous families. 

Our unsaved family members paid our light bill. What they did more closely resembled God's unconditional love than the entire local church of Jesus Christ. Imagine what God thinks of that!

I cried out “...Lord, they wouldn't treat their family members this way, they wouldn't say no to helping their kids like this....” If ever I've heard the Lord answer, I believe He did then, and He gave me scripture to confirm it. I believe He said, “It's because they don't view you as real family, but I do...and one day they will cry out to me day and night for deliverance, and I will not hear their cry....

That will come to pass, if it hasn't already. His words NEVER fail. That's "Thus Saith the Lord!"

Atrocious Witnesses

Remember the day you all drove up to visit with and pray for us at our family's home near you? You all could see how we've always done our best to live as faithful witnesses, especially to our unbelieving family. We're not perfect, but God knows we've done our best.

As stated, we hoped all our family would see a massive public demonstration of the love of God. Instead, what our family saw from Hendersonville was patent intolerance, petty selfishness, judgmentalism, and cold hearted indifference. However, they could not ignore how you all stood with us, and each time you came through and helped us. They also noted how you refused to accept any money for making the long trip up to visit and pray with us at their home. God took note of that too! We will never forget what y'all did either.

As you know, we were staying with various family members because we had been poisoned were homeless. We had to regroup. One evening, I was trying to witness to one of them. They were struggling with how a loving God could allow us to go through all this. You know those kinds of questions unbelievers ask when we witness to them. You also met this man when you came to visit us.

But they knew the prosperity we had walked away from to devote our lives to ministry. And they could hear us calling church folks back home in middle Tennessee, leaving voice mail messages, desperately pleading for help. And they also observed how not one single one of them returned our phone calls.

Reflecting on how we had once prospered, and how we had sacrificed to serve God here, this man asked me, “...all the years you both have been going to church, all the money and time you've given, where's the church now when you need them....?” I had no answer.

He then asked, “ do you guys get by....?” I said certain family members help a little, and I still get a small quarterly royalty check. But the core of our income was that we were receiving Food Stamps, and she has a small monthly federal disability check. But mostly we do without a lot of things many people probably take for granted. His grief and frustration were palpable.

This was a man with a proud German heritage. Throughout WWII, his sister was secretary to the Mayor of Berlin. But as a young teenager refusing to serve when conscripted into "Hitler's Youth", he fled Nazi Germany. He hated the injustices he had witnessed throughout his lifetime. But in his eyes those injustices had always come from bad governments, crooked businessmen, or evil people. Now in his old age, as I was presenting him with the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the first time in his life he'd witnessed such evil and cold-hearted indifference come directly from people claiming to belong to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before he realized it he blurted out in his German affected English, “...then the federal government is more reliable than the church.... Sadly, I had to answer yes. But I qualified my answer, saying that the government is not more reliable than my Lord Jesus Christ. But I was forced to admit that the so-called church had failed miserably.

He passed away about seven-years later. It is unfortunate that Hendersonville squandered such a great opportunity to show the love of Jesus Christ to all the hundreds of people who were watching us closely, people who we tried to witness to, and who were struggling to believe. Instead, the church here showed patent intolerance, petty selfish judgmentalism, and cold hearted indifference. God will hold them to account for their response. No repentance will help them. That too is "Thus Saith the Lord!"

Shake the Dust Off 

More than once I've been asked, “...why don't you shake the dust off your feet in protest against them, and just leave....?” Because He sent me here, and He has never told me to leave! Any serious bible student should know why the “shake the dust off” directive has absolutely no application to situations like this. If He sends you to do something, you “...endure hardness as a good soldier....”, you don't quit! You stop because you executed your commission, or because He told you to stop, or because He closed the door and led you away. Hardness is not a closed door. If early Christians had quit when it got hard, I wouldn't know Jesus Christ today. What if Jesus had quit when it got hard?

We never knowingly or purposely did evil to anyone here. No one EVER confronted me with ANY sin. No one came to me in a spirit of meekness to restore me from any alleged sin.

When I cried out to the Lord about this, He reminded me that a servant is not above his Master. What the religious elite did to Him, they will surely do to me. Then He reminded me of how He was treated when the Holy Spirit led Him to Nazareth. He showed me that while He led me to Hendersonville, SHE has chosen to be my Nazareth!

The bottom line is the Holy Spirit knows everything about me. He anointed me, vindicated me with signs, and He sent me here. If my critics heard His voice, they would understand who I am, and not misjudge me. So the voice that speaks to them against me, and drives them like beasts of burden to distance themselves from me is a very different voice than the One who sent me. Yet they believe their voice is the Holy Spirit.

If I Were an Unbeliever

As I have said many times, if I had been half as bad as I appear to have been portrayed, neither we, our marriage, nor our faith would have survived what God has brought us through.

Honestly, if I were an unbeliever, and I witnessed someone treating another human being the way some church folks have treated me, I would avoid them like a plague! If they claimed to be a Christian, I wouldn’t believe them; nor would I want to become a Christian if theirs was a true representaion of what true Christianity is. 

I wonder, how many of my critics could endure thirty some years of what they all meted out to us? How many would still want to serve the same community in ministry, who had so treated them? I wonder how many of them would even want to even go to church anymore?

Not In It For The Money

Since shortly after we arrived here, I have sensed that not so subtle inference that I was in the ministry so I can live off the church, albeit without one scintilla of evidence. Brother, you know, God knows, and satan knows I've never been in this for fame or money. First of all, if it has done anything, it has made me poor and infamous. If I was in it for money, I woud have abandoned it long ago. If I had been in it for the money, as the following article links shows, I would have exploited all those supernatural signs instead of keeping them suppressed from public view until 2014.

Brother you know me, my lifestyle, and my testimony. You know the truth of what I speak. Most people would refuse to live my past thirty-plus-years. You know a lot of what we've been through. You didn't know us when we lost the church, when we were forced to sell our house, when we spent those two years roasting in that run-down hot duplex. We had no air-conditioning, and no stove or oven; just a fan, a borrowed single burner hot plate, and a small toaster oven. During those two years, I worked more hours than any other two years of my life. Yet the "Lazy Lie" spread malignantly, eponentially. And I could wallpaper a house with the late notices I received. Those two years ended in eviction. The only time either of us has ever been sued in court.

Still, I was not side-tracked but pushed forward with fulfilling my commission. 

When we were poisoned twenty years ago, we spent several years with no furniture, plastic garbage bags were our window curtains, and that only scratches the surface. You saw it when you visited us at our apartment. For nearly a third of the past twenty years, I couldn't afford to buy my wife a Christmas, birthday, or anniversary gift or card. I can't remember how many years it's been years since I could afford to take her out to dinner.

It's odd how the funniest dumbest things stand out in your memory. But I love "Egg McMuffins". And I went for about four years without enough discretionary money to afford a single Egg McMuffin. That's almost beyond belief. Last Christmas, I finally broke that cycle and splurged; and treated myself to an "Egg McMuffin".

Do any of my critics really believe that after thirty-plus-years of all that, if I could have done something to change it, that I would not have jumped at the opportunity to do so? Does anyone really believe we have done this for thirty-plus-years just to get attention (as some have alleged)? It hasn't gotten us attention. It caused everyone to ignore us, many to abandon us, and some to even shun us! What kind of fool would keep doing it for attention after decades of those kinds of results? We're not stupid!

Do any of my critics really believe that I wouldn't do everything in my power to change those circumstances; if I could do so without getting out of God's will?

Now if I am lying or even exaggerating this picture that I'm painting, God will surely judge me. With all the supernatural experiences I've encountered, and the awesome power I've witnessed, the photographic evidences of the supernatural, and knowing how real that judgment will be; does anyone think I'd have so little fear of the Lord as to make this kind of stuff up?

Thirty Something Church

As I write this letter, I am now in my sixties, and I reflect over the years. When I moved here, I envisioned myself being at a place today vastly different from where I am. My plan was to have a 30+ year old church that had given birth to dozens of baby churches, with scores of grand, and great grand-baby churches. I was on fire about aggressive evangelism.

I dreamed of having a congregation today that on Sunday mornings at least half would have their Greek texts open following and checking my teaching. I planned to teach them basic Koine Greek, Hermeno-exegesis, Ante Nicene History, Demonology, Bible based Deliverance, true Holy Spirit Baptism, hearing God's voice, walking in the supernatural, trying the spirits, and everything else I knew, and everything I would continue to learn.

I committed to God that when the congregation could sustain us, I would devote up to 6-hours each weekday to prayer and study. Having done that, I knew when I stood at the pulpit I'd have something to say worth hearing.

But gossip, judging, and maligning worked their destruction. The venom from a viper's tongue is just as deadly, whether it strikes from a pulpit, a pew, a phone, or a dinner-table!

These bionic believers called my hard earned scholarship “head knowledge”. In spite of any efforts to rebut, being so out-numbered, the critics prevailed. They are all without excuse. 

As I taught them back then, so I shared with Copeland in June, 1995:

ANY Orthodox Jew who feels called to devote their life to study Torah, can be supported for life by the community. Because to the Orthodox Jew, studying Torah is the most important thing they can do with their life.

ANY Muslim who feels called to devote their life to study the Koran, can be supported for life by the community. Because Muslims believe studying the Koran is one of the most important things they can do with their life.

But as a Christian minister, I wanted to study our scriptures, and then teach them to teach others, to help build The Kingdom. And these hyper-spiritual giants around here responded by treating me like I was an itinerant peddler, hawking some miracle elixir in an old west medicine show.

The bottom line is, the vast majority of American Christians do not hold our scriptures at the level of importance to which Muslims hold their Koran, and Orthodox Jews hold their Torah.

That is especially true of the charismatic church folks in this region. Regardless of what they may say to the contrary, look at what they do! Look at their reckless interpolations of the scriptures. Look at how they treat those who work hard to apply scholarship and integrity to the study of scripture. They hurl perjorative phrases like labeling "scholarship" as "head knowledge", and "seminary" as "cemetery". If Charismatic Christians here had really cared about scriptural integrity, they should've put their money where their mouths were. We did!!!

As you know, recently John MacArthur brought the integrity of the Charismatic Movement into question. I found much of what he averred to be way over the top. But some of it I welcomed because it was warranted. One warranted issue he cited was the lack of “self policing”. He asked why someone from within had not already cried out against the heresies and abuses, and why no one called for Biblical correction. He asked why it fell to an outsider like him.

My response is simple. Just look at what they did to me. Anyone who dares to  question the status quo, or challenge the powers that be within the movement gets dubbed a "Rebel". They run the risk of being ruined, just like they did me. I remember crying out for change on my radio broadcasts on WLAC and WNQM in the early 1980s. I warned against defiling the church with politics, and its destiny of failure. When Reagan was running for his second term, I declared on WLAC that they could elect Hal Lindsey as president and it would not save this country! (Hal had been recently named New York Times Author of the Decade for the 1970s). I screamed out that the only hope for America was for the Church of Jesus Christ to repent for abandoning her first love, and to return to doing her first works! 

I exposed how some ministries were buying cheap imported cassette tapes for less than 45 cents each; loading them with teachings on healing, prosperity, and deliverance; then targeting the sick, the poor, and the demonically oppressed desperately seeking help and relief; then charging the nearly 2,400% hyper-inflated price of $10.00 each. I pointed out how there were laws protecting citizens from con-artists, selling desperate people in adverse circumstances, plastic jugs containing water, for $10.00 a gallon. Yet  some ministries were doing the very same kind of thing. Selling equally desperate people in adverse circumstances, plastic cassette tapes they claimed were filled with the Water of Life, for $10.00, and doing so with immunity. 

So I screamed out that any church/ministry who continued to function as a "for profit" entity, and who was not substantially engaged in expository teaching, evangelization, and helping the poor and disadvantaged, they should lose their tax exempt status.  

Apparently some people were offended.  Because before long, I was off the air, no longer funded, until at last my voice went all but silent. Can you imagine Spirit Filled believers being so offended and responding to an honest and truthful word of correction by destroying the messenger and his ministry? It showed where their hearts were.

Time is proving that I was correct, and the powers that got me expelled from radio will answer for what they did at the judgment. Just wait and see what else happens to prove my prophetic words correct. As I have proclaimed for nearly five decades, "...time is a true prophet's best friend, and a false prophet's worst nightmare...." The best is yet to come!

But what a waste of our sacrifice, gifts, talents, and so many precious years. What a terrible unnecessary price we paid. How sad.

I could serve as "Exhibit A" to make the case that regardless of how big you dream, how hard you try, and how long you endure, sometimes things still don't turn out the way you planned; no matter how noble or sacred your cause. A city can harden its heart and determine to be your Nazareth. If they could do it to Jesus, they can do it to anyone!

Sometimes I do get discouraged and the devil tells me it's all been a waste. It's true, there HAS been too much sacrifice, endurance, and hard work. Honestly, the fruit HAS NOT been commensurate with the sacrifice. But when I resist the devil, he flees. Then I must confess God's truth by audible declaration to the seen world and the unseen world, that doing God's will is NEVER a waste. When God spoke through Elisha the prophet to dig deep ditches throughout the valley, it was not irrational, nor was it a waste. Time proved it would have been irrational, foolish, even suicidal to not dig those ditches. God knew something neither the critics, nor the ditch diggers knew. So He spoke through His prophet. If we trust God and obey His commands, no matter how foolish or outrageous they may appear to be, He will turn our wasted years into treasure. He's done it for me countless times throughout my life. But at this point, only He can restore the years the devourer has consumed.

Finally, regardless of how it may appear I am not bitter, I'm just heartbroken. Nor do I blame every church goer for my adversity. I blame the power of darkness! God will judge the role any brethren may have played; and believe me many did play starring roles in this drama.

But the emotions I feel today are more like what I felt for a prison inmate who was recently cleared by DNA. He was wrongfully convicted by an over-zealous prosecutor, using scant evidence, to prove a despotic theory, to a racially prejudiced jury, on trumped up charges, in a fragmented case. Like me, this innocent man lost 30 of the best years of his life unjustly, except his was by unjust incarceration. I think of all the opportunities that were stolen from him, and the shame and scorn imposed upon him and his family. All the loved ones now departed, and years of memories he should have been able to make with them; those are all now gone, and irrevocably lost.

His preventable injustice was imposed upon him by the state; ours was imposed upon us by the wagging tongues of church folks.

Like him, I rejoice in our anticipated victory and freedom, yet mourn for the loss of our 30+ years, which now appears a wasteland, the broken dreams, and all the loss. Like his, our loss wasn't necessary, it was preventable. It was caused by unbridled tongues, some intentionally, most just recklessly. When someone steals your property he has robbed you. When he steals your time or disparages your name, he has killed a sacred part of who you are, your life, and your very soul.

There is nothing in me worthy of boasting. But anyone who examines my spiritual record will know two things about me: scripturally, I am not a novice, and I know when the Holy Spirit is speaking His Rhema to me. My writings, and the scores of prophecies fulfilled with 100% accuracy substantiate that. Unquestionably, God has vindicated me with supernatural signs, repeatedly over six decades.

In fashioning this letter, I have tried to be cautious, measured, and deliberate. I know if I have lied, misled, or even exaggerated my account of these events, I will account to Him for that; both in this life, and at the judgment.

Yet, and for all that I still keep coming back for more. I still have a heart to minister here. Not because this region deserves it, but because this is my calling. He sent me here. One of these days these people will know the anointing and ministry they've soundly rejected, was really from God. But my burden for this city, even this region still remains. He put that in me. Until He removes that burden from me, I plan to stay. But I must confess, I am growing very weary.

Brother, you know I'm not one who slings phrases around like 'Thus Saith the Lord....', 'God told me this....', 'The Lord Showed me that....', etc. You also know that just because it hasn’t worked out doesn't mean I missed God's will by coming here. Jesus was soundly rejected at Nazareth. If today's critics and analysts examined the Nazareth campaign solely on the merits, using today's standard of success, determined not to consider the Lord Jesus Christ was the central figure, they would likely conclude Nazareth was a failure. But we know it was not a failure by God's standard; and Jesus didn't miss the Father's will by going there. Against all the critics I remain steadfast, God sent me here.

Betwixt Two

As I stated, if I had been the person critics obviously portrayed me as over these decades, I would have never survived. Otherwise, when the devil sifted us like wheat, we would have fainted. 

And I'm no more boasting about my supernatural experiences than Paul was boasting of his. Because as with Paul, I had nothing to do with receiving them, the Lord did it all. But I understand Paul's being Betwixt Two. I have only shared this once, or maybe twice because it is intensely personal and private. But this is how I see being Betwixt Two

I'm living in a rat infested slum (this world) while my mansion is being prepared (in heaven). When my mansion is ready, why on earth would I fight to remain living in the rat infested slum? Only someone who doesn't believe there really is a mansion over there, would be that foolish.

Therefore, I AM "Betwixt Two"; between the indescribable glory of being with Him there; and finishing my course here, and my wife still desperately needing me here. Brother, I am a witness it is so beautiful in His Shekinah presence over there. But you and I know she deserves better than this. When I see her suffer, it's hard to keep turning the other cheek, it's hard to keep forgiving those who wound us. It is especially difficult forgiving those who minimize our suffering, infer we brought this upon ourselves, suggest this was all our fault, or worse, say we did this to ourselves merely seeking attention. Sometimes, I feel the urge to call fire down out of heaven upon them all!

Then to top it all off, there are the Breitbarters. Imagine an attorney using his superior position over me in a law office, to coerce me into sharing private experiences. Then feigning an interest in the spirituals, to lure me into a series of conversations discussing a controversial subject. Then using his position as an inducement to drag me into sharing personal experiences with family, and other law office relationships. Then repeatedly steering the conversations into issues involving colleagues on Music Row, and ministry relationships. 

All the foregoing matters had been resolved more than two decades earlier. Feeling uncomfortable with his invasive questioning, I asked him if he could guarantee attorney client level priviledge. Then he assured me of lawyer-client privilege. Yet the whole time he was secretly recording all of it. 

Then parties collude to take segments from recordings of my iterating what were temptations in my mind, that never proceeded beyond imagination, and then merge them with utterances of literal statements and prayers I actually made, creating a compilation of phrases purposely assembled to make them say something vastly different than what I actually said or meant. Then distributing those artfully excerpted portions out of context. The only logical purpose had to be to destroy me and/or those relationships God had healed. 

I wonder how anyone could intentionally set out to destroy me like that; knowing what all we've been through, and how hard we've worked to recover. It's difficult to believe anyone is that cold hearted and evil; yet someone was. And they're still hiding like roaches inside a darkened wall cavity. 

In other words, they did to me what Breitbart did to our sister in Christ Jesus, Shirley Sherrod. If you Google Breitbart/Sherrod, you'll see what I mean by that.

If they had seen what I have witnessed when the Lord does warfare, they would tremble at their future. Anyone who knows my full testimony knows what I mean. How many has He struck, and how many has He removed from their place for coming against His servant since this "Hands of Fire" anointing came? It was not at all because of my prayers, but because of His promise. Sometimes, I didn't even know anything had been done to me until they were stricken; and I observed the trail of the serpent leading back to them. He will defend me in His zeal. And that IS

"Thus Saith the Lord"!

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ might rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come Revelation 21:17 .

Even so, come ,Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20.



- GERRY PHILLIPS - 1955-2015