“Churches That Abuse” by Ronald Enroth is the best book I know to help peel away the destructive layers caused by TLWF. For an online reference, see [www.reveal.org
] The defenses that most people build up against the truth, will not allow them to see their own blindsides so they can make healthy changes for their good. In this text, there are many examples of other groups whose errors are easy to see – because it’s the other guy, not yourself. Without exception, the abusive behavior of TLWF is evident in every example. In some cases, it’s uncanny how similar it is across the board.
People need to know that their wounds are a shared experience – they are not alone – and not just as a result only of TLWF. More importantly, they need to know that it was men and women on a power trip, many times with demonic input, that hurt them, not Jesus. Jesus came to impart life and healing and to bring us into oneness with the Father. Jesus warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing and those who would come saying they were the Christ. Paul warned about those who like wolves, would draw men after themselves, preaching a different Jesus. He also warned about Satan, who would come as an angel of light.
John Robert Stevens is only mentioned once (Pg. 83), but the many other groups share a remarkably similar MO. Chapter 3 deals with a group called “Shiloh” led by a man with an anointing of the “prophet Elijah” – just like TLWF - except it’s from 1920. There’s nothing new under the sun, although each group is certain they have new revelation teaching that nobody else has - giving them an elite status to salve their insecurity.
The word for antichrist actually means instead of Christ – not just against Christ. Those that seek to take the place of Christ or become mediators between God and man have been a problem from the very beginning of the church. The Nicolaitans, warned about in Revelation, were those who had overpowered the laity and set up a hierarchy to control them. The nonscriptural teaching about the leadership being a covering for everyone (except of course for the leader at the top of the pyramid), is taken out of context from Paul’s directives for women praying. They always seem to fail to mention that it is a sin for a man to pray or prophesy with his head covered – as if that had anything to do with submitting to his shepherd whether he should buy the red car or the blue car.
Whenever man takes the place of God, it is simple idolatry. Men have been promising that which they could not give as a means to control others since the beginning. They rise to influence, eventually die, and that movement fades away as people finally realize the promises were never true. False leaders come and go, leaving the wounded in their trail, but the word of God abides forever.