Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: January 09, 2018 03:52AM
I believe all of us had a very similar experience when it came to John’s “anointing” and the “revelation” that came from being around him. Some were sustained for several years, and others for several decades by that experience – at least until they could no longer reconcile the discrepancies between John’s teaching and their personal experience in TLWF. John was adamant about our submission to the leaders he commissioned, and it bred nothing but trouble from the very beginning. He was very clear in saying that you could not be connected to him and then refuse to be in relationship to those he placed over you. This forced hierarchy continues today – and so does the bad fruit. The true lordship of Jesus Christ brings freedom - not bondage. It only becomes scary when a human tries to take His place and screws up everybody’s lives.
We all utilized various coping mechanisms, hoping for a better day that never materialized. You could get lost in the “spirit realm” and fantasize that things were happening that really were not (e.g. the kingdom dawning in 1979, the ruling over of governments and economies, and John bringing down Satan with his death from cancer, to name a few). Alcohol very often was the numbing drug of choice, even by John. A leadership position in TLWF salved the insecurity of some and for others, it was the knowledge that they were a part of a chosen few destined to look down of the rest of the world. One thing we all had in common – if you left, you never really did have a revelation in the first place - a fact that was talked up among those that remained. “They went out from us because they never were a part of us”. What we didn’t know was that the guy down the street was saying the same thing to control his followers.
I don’t think anyone is suggesting there never was an experience. The difficult thing to unravel is the legitimacy of it. I would go back to what Reepicheep suggested, and examine the past in light of what Jesus taught. He told us to examine the fruit. For starters, it takes a while for there to be any fruit. I don’t think the glory days paint a true picture – you need to wait a few years in order to see what fruit finally becomes evident.
Over time, how accurate have John’s prophesies been? You could start with, “If they carry me out feet first, then this word was not true.” Did that happen? It takes more honesty and courage to come to the place where you can finally admit that this, as well as many other “prophesies” did not come true, and move on with your life. Besides, the true fruit of the Spirit reveals itself in character traits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – not in lofty revelations and failed prophesies devoid of these traits. It’s who you are, not just what you say, that matters.
“Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.” Matthew 7:15-20 The Message