Can a Man Actually Call Forth Angels, Even God?

I have been away from the Pentecostal church for quite a few years. I was driven out by bad doctrine, and it appalled me, so my wife and I went on to greener pastures, where once again we were met with bad doctrine, that shocked us to our core. We went where? To yet another Pentecostal church, where the minister declared, week after week, “Do you know why the early church gathered together to meet once a week on Sundays? It was so that they could take up offerings.” You guessed it. That preacher was into money. Well, we left that church, and went on to find “greener pastures,” still. We went to the non-Pentecostal church altogether. Surely, we were safe. Surely, we would not run into problems. Surely, we could relax.

We certainly did relax.

That church was the “safe” church. They didn’t practice speaking in tongues. They didn’t practice the other revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well, like prophecy, and the interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom and of knowledge, the discerning of spirits, gifts of healing, miracles, or the gift of faith. Thus, we relaxed. And almost died of non-exposure to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In short, it was a miserable time, because the Holy Spirit was censored in that church. He could not act at all. He was, simply put, not allowed to do certain things. Yes, that is really the “right way” to put it! The Holy Spirit was not permitted to do certain things. And do you know what? He didn’t do them, either. In that church.

He did them at other churches.

Now that’s an unfortunate thing.

My wife had a friend. We heard that she had “gotten into” the Holy Spirit. Somehow, she had had an encounter with God. Now that’s a good thing. It’s good to have an encounter with God. It’s good to get into the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s good to believe in the Holy Spirit, and in His gifts. This woman was “into” the Holy Spirit. What I am trying to say is that God genuinely touched her, and revealed Himself to her in a way that was, well, revelatory. Those gifts that I mentioned (which are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10), they are all revelatory. Many (but not all) non-Pentecostal churches do not believe in the revelatory gifts, that they are for today. I’m not saying they do not believe that these gifts were ever active. However, they do not believe they are active for today.

Now in all of these churches, you find good people. But good people are not necessarily right people.

One day, I had a dream. This dream was revelatory. I didn’t really know it was revelatory until what I saw in the dream actually happened. Here is what I saw in the dream. I alone, in the entire church of over 1000 people, was standing and clapping, welcoming the new pastor of our church. Everyone else was sitting down.

Was that a revelatory dream? Was it demonic? Was it last night’s supper, or a “pizza dream”?

Shortly after that, I went to that church. I arrived late. I was ushered in upstairs. I stood at the back, unseated. I was waiting at the back, unseated, for I had arrived late. I was going to find a chair, but had not quite done so, yet. Everyone else was sitting.

Suddenly, an announcement was made, welcoming the new pastor, pastor Jay. Everyone started clapping. Everyone was still seated. There was no standing ovation. I alone remained standing. It was not that I suddenly “got up” to welcome the new pastor. It was that I had arrived late, and was, as it were, by chance, standing at the time. Thus, the dream came true. It was revelatory.

I thought to myself, “OK, God showed me this already.” Why would God do such a thing? It boggles the mind, sometimes, doesn’t it? But I suppose God wanted to show me that He was still with me. Perhaps He wanted to encourage me. I was encouraged. Sort of.

I was a little discouraged, because that church did not believe that dreams and visions were for today. Or, if they did, it was a “well-kept secret.” Now earlier, a woman leader of an adult Bible study at that church had told me, “Dreams and visions are where cults come from.” I knew she was wrong, but she was pretty much giving the “party line” on what that church believed, in a practical way, on the topic of dreams and visions. They basically did not believe that they were for today at all. They did tolerate the mention of them in some missions conferences, I noticed. For example, when a guest speaker came to say what God was doing, he mentioned God speaking through dreams, and no one seemed to flinch. They just let it go by. But they did not promote it for their own church. It was pretty much a “taboo” topic.

There was really no mention of them at all from the pulpit, in terms of their practical application for today. This church was a non-tongues-speaking, non-charismatic, non-revelatory-gifts, church. I guess that might be the best way to describe it.

Now I wrote a book on demons. This book is called, “Recognizing Demonic Deception and Breaking Free, Volume 1”. It is a short book of about 66 pages. It is a book that I believe God gave me to write. This book is Scriptural, but does not adhere to the teachings of this particular church. I knew that already, before I wrote the book. In fact, I was well aware of the anomalies of this church, in regards to the Holy Spirit, while we were with the church. And that is what entirely grieved me about this church. We were on a hiatus, I guess you could say. We were on a hiatus from the Pentecostal church, and from non-tongues-speaking churches, for at least a little while. Until we became so grieved that we just had to get back on track.

Thus, it was, that one day, the Lord led me to give a copy of the first manuscript of this book to one of the board members of this church. This man was a very nice man (as almost everyone is at that church). I gave him a copy of this book for providential reasons, not because I really planned to. Thus it was that I gave him a copy of the book, and asked him if he could “endorse” it. Now the word “endorse” is a big word that really means “publicly approve,” and so I was asking for his explicit, public, approval, of this short little book on demonic deception. The man said he would read it. Thus it was that about a week later, the man responded. He said he could not endorse the book. In his response, he included something called a “position paper” on the topic of demonization. The position paper stated that Christians could not have demons, and essentially explicitly denounced “deliverance ministry,” which is all about casting demons out of people. The paper was very critical against “deliverance ministry.” The paper was about 6 or 7 pages long, and had been written by someone who was uninformed. Since this paper was a “position paper” of the church, it actually governed, at the very top levels, how this church would practice ministry.

All of a sudden it made sense as to why there was a virtual silence on the topic of demonization from the pulpit. It was as a result of this position paper (which no one got a chance to read). Position papers, which governed the church, were not generally made available to the public. They governed the church’s positions on controversial topics and were well-known by the leaders of that church, but those attending did not know about them. I’m not saying these positions papers were a secret. I am saying that for all intents and purposes, they were a secret. They were certainly not posted on any walls, and in the many years that I was at that church, I had not even heard of a position paper. This position paper was entitled, “DPP #4” (meaning “Doctrinal Position Paper #4), and so there were obviously other position papers. After reading this position paper, I realized one of the reasons why it was not made explicitly public, and why all the many words in this position paper, against the deliverance ministry, were not preached from the pulpit. If the contents of this position paper were made known to the entire church, and if it were indeed preached, there is no doubt in my mind that 25 to 30 percent of the church would just leave. That is because it is such a forceful document against the deliverance ministry that it leaves no question whatsoever what the church’s position is on this matter, but no one is ever told about this position paper publicly until they run into a situation such as mine, where they have explicitly mentioned things that go against the official teaching of the church. Thus, the position paper, in a sense, is for people like me. It is not for those who do not inquire. If it were made known to many of those who do not inquire, it would absolutely “rock the boat” and cause many people to seek out another church. Of this I am certain.

That position paper is one strong document against the deliverance ministry. I find it to actually contain a mocking tone against Christians who believe that Christians can have demons. Well, as it turns out, Christians can indeed have demons, which can affect their flesh (not their spirit). The flesh consists of both the soul and the body, and can be affected by demons, but the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer’s spirit, lives in a secure dwelling place that absolutely cannot be indwelt by a demon. It is because the Holy Spirit lives there that it is secure, for the Holy Spirit keeps it secure. But the flesh (consisting of the believer’s soul and body) is never said to be secure. In fact, it is said to be at war with God. Now those are fighting words. And demons do fight and resist the Holy Spirit. They fight in your flesh, which is at war with God. This teaching comes directly from Galatians 5:17, which says that the flesh is at war with the Spirit of God. I have written more about this in a very very short book, entitled, “Can a Christian Have a Demon?” I am indebted to Watchman Nee, whom I quote in the book, for providing such a clear understanding of how the soul, spirit, and body work. It really is an amazing thing, but most Christians are completely unaware of how the soul, spirit, and body, interact to form a complete human being, and because of this huge lack in the church, people (including this church I am talking about), do not understand how it is that a Christian can actually have a demon. Well, I hope that, one day, they will do a little bit more reading of Watchman Nee, for this man of God really is, and was, a great man of God. This man was Chinese, and the Chinese really do have a lot to share. One might have learned as a result of all of the persecution that has been endured by Chinese Christians that God might raise up godly men like Watchman Nee, to explain some of it to us. I highly commend the teachings of Watchman Nee. If his biblical teachings were embraced, the world would be different. Let us get back on track, and learn from men of God like this.

Now in his response to me, the board member of the church told me that there was a person who was in a ministry leadership position some 18 months before that time, and that person (he said, not telling me it was a woman, but it was) was no longer with the church. The “member” had very similar beliefs to my own, the board member wrote, and was advised not to teach or counsel on the subject, and consequently, left the church. His closing words include the following line, “Suffice to say, I can’t endorse your book and have to give you the same counsel as we gave the church member last year.” In other words, I was banned from teaching on the topic of demonization.

As it turns out, this “member” happens to be my wife’s friend, who was introduced to the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus it is that people who find the Holy Spirit in this church are systematically given the boot and told not to teach about these subjects. They are considered divisive and unbiblical. How much longer will God endure such censorship of His gifts and of the truth? I do not know. It is hard to get through to people who have built a wall of religion around themselves, protecting themselves from the very things that God wants to do in their midst. This is called demonic infiltration at the highest levels. The demonic infiltration succeeds because of doctrinal position papers that are never preached from the pulpit. These keep the people “in check” and (so-called) “wisdom” is used by the pastors to deal with dissenters. Dissenters are given the boot.

All of this smacks of a very political system. I challenge these people to preach their position papers openly, and then we will see what happens. I know what will happen. People will begin talking. There will be an uproar. Some people will leave. Some hearts, however, may be changed. The hearts of some leaders may be changed, as well, eventually. I wish it were so.

Today it is not so. Today, it is with a great deal of sadness that, I must say, the Lord led us out of that otherwise “good” church. So many good things they did. But this one thing they did that grieved the Lord God Almighty: they quenched Him and they grieved His miraculous giftings. They denied the truth and are stuck in their sin. The “prophets” they scourged. It reminds me of the words of Jesus. Something about kicking out the ones that God sends to you. In saying this, I am not claiming to be a “prophet.” I am merely one man with a story to tell. It is an interesting story, for sure. I wish it were not a true one. For then I would have much more joy. But I will say that these people are well-intentioned.

Thus it was that, one day, my wife said to me, “The Lord has released me from this place. Let’s go to that other church ….” Now I was waiting for that, ever since I saw her say that to me in a dream, several years before that time. However, I never told her I saw that in a dream. I didn’t want to “mess up” God’s plans. So I just let it be. I have “messed up God’s plans” before, so to speak, by speaking of things I saw in dreams that were not correct! Thus, you must be careful. You must not give credence to those who say that God does not work through dreams and visions today, which itself is also wrong. Thus, I repent! But the church, too, needs to repent of her unbiblical ways! We all need to repent, for the Lord will judge His people.

Thus it was that we left that church. The Lord led us to another church, which was (I must gladly point out), a whole lot more biblical in its approach to demonization and godly teaching. I mean, talk about taking a breather. I could finally breath, after so many years of being quenched out by the religious rules of men. A breather, at last! The teaching is very good at that church. Yes, it is a small church. They are lacking certain things that you find at larger churches, such as big rooms, and even a building, and there are not (yet) very large numbers of people, but I hope (and believe) that will change, as God gets a hold of hearts, and changes them. I know that God is doing a great work in the midst of the people of this church, but it does take time. Sometimes, smaller churches might lack certain things that larger churches enjoy, so one might possibly feel led to take a “supplement.” What do I mean by “supplement”? Well, Vitamin C is a supplement. It can help to prevent scurvy. If you attend a church that lacks a Friday meeting, or a home group, you might want to supplement your regular church with this type of supplement. You are going to have to “branch out” and “investigate” where the Holy Spirit is moving, so that you can find this Friday meeting, or home group, as the need may be. Well, in our desire for “more of God,” my wife and I decided to supplement our regular church with a supplement. Now our regular church is not a Pentecostal church, but it does “move” in the giftings of God, in a very powerful way. It is not loud, rambunctious, boisterous, or arrogant. It is simply a believing church. I would call it a “pseudo New Testament church.” (I am still waiting for everyone, including myself, to sell our houses and give it to the needy. That hasn’t happened yet, so I guess it’s not quite a New Testament church yet.)

My wife and I decided to attend a Friday and Saturday service put on by a Pentecostal church, one week, which was really a “supplement” to our regular church involvement. This does not detract from our regular church involvement, but rather enhances it, for we are hungry to see God move in our land, so we decided to attend this church. This church has “revival meetings,” and all sorts of stuff like that, going on. This was a true, blue, Pentecostal church, which was ranting and raving, and very loud. There was a lot of flesh at this church.

And then, I was really really glad we had left the Pentecostal church for as long as we did (maybe ten years, or a little bit less). I was glad we left, because, coming back into it, after having been away so long, it really helps us to see the incredible difference that existed between the church we were at (which was calm and collected, but full of the Holy Spirit), and the previous church, which we had left only a few months before that time (the one with the position paper which discredited the deliverance ministry). This new Pentecostal supplement was something a little strange. The tonality of “flesh” was very very intense, indeed. I will sum it up in a word: it was all in the intense shouting that I kept hearing, over and over again. Now these people are good people, of course. No one is denying that. So, too, are those who have written the position paper good people (even though, only God Himself is truly good, as Jesus Himself said in Luke 18:19).

We were very impressed by the enthusiasm of the Pentecostal church. However, we were less impressed by the actual doctrine. It reminds me of what the apostle Paul said concerning his own people, the Jews. In this case, these are also my own people, for I love them, and am one with them, according to the flesh. For we are all Canadians “more or less.” Paul said of his own people, “For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge” (Romans 10:2). This reminds me of yet another passage, in which God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (see Hosea 4:6).

Knowledge, zeal, and destruction. These all go together.

“Zeal” means people are trying hard to please God.

Yet without the proper knowledge to go with that, destruction nevertheless comes.

These are sobering words.

So it’s time to stand up, not only for the cause of zeal, but the cause of knowledge. For without both, we will perish. Now what did I find so disturbing about the Pentecostal meeting that caused me to label much of it as “flesh”? It was the fact that the pastor “called forth” the Holy Spirit and also dispatched 100,000 angels over Canada. Everyone, of course, was very pleased with that. But God was not pleased in the least! For if you can find me any evidence of this type of speech, or prayer, in the Bible, then I will gladly repent. And I would have no problem with that. But I really do not see any evidence of this at all in the Scriptures.

Since when do Christians “call forth” the Holy Spirit, and since when do Christians dispatch angels anywhere? Where does the Bible teach it? Certainly, if I am a spirit medium (a witch, in other words), I can (try) to “conjure up” spirits from the dead (these will be demonic spirits, and not human spirits as the witch believes). But can I really send forth warrior angels ahead of me, and, especially, can I “call forth” the Holy Spirit like he was my dog, so that I could whistle for Him? So in this, I take great issue.

At that same meeting, many people stepped forward to pray for our nation, Canada, for the service was dedicated to praying for our nation. Unfortunately, some of those people were completely misled in their prayers, as they “called forth” powers over our nation. This is completely unbiblical. Unless this type of teaching is corrected, demons will gladly step in to actually mimic the Holy Spirit. Demons are already at work in non-charismatic, non-Pentecostal churches, that deny that God works through miraculous and revelatory giftings today. These are indeed “doctrines of demons,” as we read in God’s word (see 1 Timothy 4:1). So then, doctrines of demons do exist, and they are being taught in our churches. No wonder, several weeks ago, while in the bus, I met a very godly man, who goes by the name of “TJ” who said that since around 1999, the Lord called him out of the Babylonian church system (now those are fighting words). I said, “I understand what you mean, for the church has become very corrupt indeed.” And yes, he indeed nodded. And we had a very good discussion. And to this man, the Lord is actually speaking. This man told me that prior to 9/11, even in the summer of 2001, the Lord had spoken to his wife (I think it was) and had revealed to her that two planes would fly into the World Trade Center. This man was indeed a very godly man, who was full of the Holy Spirit. And I remember our time well. It will not be the last encounter I have with “TJ,” if I have any say in the matter. I will gladly meet up with him again, though he lives thousands of miles away (yet nothing is impossible with God, so distance is not an issue, perhaps we can meet by Skype or some other means facilitated by modern-day communication). Suffice to say, that there is certainly a lot of “Babylon” in the church, and God desires to pull it out.

Did God pull Babylon out of Watchman Nee? I think He did. How has God pulled “Babylon” out of countless millions of Chinese in the last century? If you answered, “by persecution,” you are right. The Lord drove the church “underground,” where she was forced to deal with her “issues” of pride, lust, and greed. Does the church in North America have any issues with lust, pride, and greed?

It is, simply put, overflowing at the seams.

I hope I am wrong, and her time has not yet come for judgment. But I know that it is well-deserving.

Now what is so wrong about calling forth the Holy Spirit to do our bidding? Simply that God is not a dog that we should command Him. You should not even think about “conjuring up,” or “calling forth,” or “sending forth,” the Holy Spirit to do anything for you at all. For He is not a dog! How much clearer does it need to be? After his sin with Bathsheba, David prayed with a very contrite and broken heart, “Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (see Psalm 51:11). There is no command there.

So then, on account of the fact that David petitions God, I will afford you preachers the benefit of the doubt in saying that perhaps this usage of this term, to “call forth the Holy Spirit,” may in fact be your way of petitioning God. But if so, why are you using that expression? Should you not rather say, “Lord, we beseech You to please …..”? This would be a lot more reverent. There is no such strong language coming from David’s lips after he sinned. For he was contrite. He was not arrogant, calling forth the Holy Spirit to do anything at all.

I am not against the preachers. I love the preachers. But I am against some of their wicked teachings that are leading men astray from the true knowledge of the word of God. Why are you so misinformed? Why are you so worldly? Now your worldliness is even causing you to dispatch thousands of angels across Canada. Can you send forth even one? You are deceived.

Did Jesus dispatch even a single angel? You find me one place in God’s word where Jesus dispatched even a single angel. I am not talking about casting out of demons here. I am talking about sending forth, or calling forth, even a single (good) angel. Jesus would have none of that.

However, as Judge — at His return only — He will indeed do so. This is not a job for Christians. This is a job for the Son of God only (also referred to as the Son of Man). For we read,

“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:41-42)

Thus, this passage is about judgment only, and there is one judge, and not two, and His name is Jesus Christ.

“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12)

This is probably the clearest example I can give on how we are not to judge our neighbor. If I say, “My neighbor is currently on his way to hell because he does not believe,” that is one thing. I can then pray for that man and invite him to church. But am I to judge that man and send an angel against him? I have no power to do so. I cannot send an angel anywhere.

From the vantage point of the servant of God, angels are sent out by God the Father, and not even by God the Son. And we certainly do not do that ourselves. Look at the example of Jesus. First, Jesus said, “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (see John 20:21). Thus, we are to emulate, or follow, the example, of Jesus. We are not to follow after our own lusts or desires. And if it does not agree with what Jesus did, and the example that He laid down for us, we are not to do it. Period.

So when it comes to angels, how did Jesus handle that? On the cross, Jesus said, “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53)

So then, in His role as servant of God, not even Jesus commanded forth angels, but it was left up to God the Father. Did Jesus say He could command the Father to send forth these angels? No. He said He could appeal to His Father. Now that is exactly the same word used in Matthew 8:5 for “imploring” in which we read,

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” (Matthew 8:5-6)

In other word, “Lord, please help!”

And again, in Mark 5:23, for the word, “implored,” in which we read,

One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” (Mark 5:22-23)

There is no sense of commanding anything here. It is petition which Jesus is referring to, when He says He can “appeal” to His Father. Thus, even as Jesus appealed to His Father, we are to appeal to the Father, as well, who can and will send forth angels according to His will. Can God actually be persuaded to send forth angels on our behalf? Of course, He can! That is what Matthew 26:53 teaches. It does not directly teach that, but with the rest of the Scriptures, it certainly implies that. Will God always send forth angels when we ask Him to? Clearly, not. He is not our servant, and sometimes God says, “No,” even as any wise father would often, or sometimes (depending on the need), say, “No,” to his children. We leave the wisdom up to God (the Father). But He leaves the petitioning up to us.

Now has a “line” been crossed when we start to “send forth,” or “send out,” or “dispatch” angels on our own? You had better believe it. An exceedingly serious line has been crossed. Otherwise, God would not have gotten me up at 2:00 o’clock this morning to write this document for the last five hours. The line is so serious that you are well into demon territory by sending out your commands to the angels. For there are angels listening, and not all of them are good angels. How do you do know that when you send forth angels, that you are not sending forth bad angels? Well, actually, because you are very unbiblical in your stance, in that it is downright wrong to be sending forth angels yourself, rather than appealing to the Father, who can and will send them forth for you, if He so chooses, you are opening a door to demonic deception that can and will overtake you like a flood.

At least two or three times (possibly more) at that meeting, I had to nix prayers that were being prayed for our nation, Canada, because they were, simply put, in a very big way, unbiblical. These prayers involved the sending forth of angels by human agency, which cannot be found in the Bible. They were unscriptural, for there is simply put no jurisdiction given to man that he may do this. By his own misdeeds, the pastor is teaching his congregants to do the same, and for this, he will be judged. Will the judgment be good or bad? If he sincerely repents, and does well, then mercy may (and I suspect will) be found for him. If he digs his heels in and makes the decision that he wants to keep on abiding by these false doctrines, then I’m quite sure that God will put a stop to it and He will do so with an authority that that pastor has never seen before. It will be rude — and everyone will wonder why the pastor took a turn for the worse. God is able to uphold that pastor. God is also able to discipline him. And He will. The timing, however, is left up to God. God sometimes allows these deceptions to go on quite a while, even to the death of many people. I do pray that God would bring this pastor, and many more like him, into alignment.

But our foe is strong. The pastor takes his lead from others who are doing the same. The pastor’s entire “network” is founded on those who do and practice the same. It will be very difficult for this pastor to pull away. After all, he seems to be having such success.

Tell it to God. The measure of success is not in numbers of people, or in numbers of dollars. The measure of success is according to the word of God, and how well our lives measure up to that Holy, perfect, and certain word. It will judge us in the last day. Even our words will judge us, for Jesus said,

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Now what about Abraham? Abraham is considered the father of our faith, but did he have any power whatsoever to command angels? Here is what he said to his servant, when he sent him to find a wife for his son Isaac: “The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there.” (Genesis 24:7)

Now let us look at another passage. When Joshua went in to conquer the land, did he have the power to command any angels? Surely if anyone would have in the Old Testament, we would think it would have been Moses or Joshua. There is no example of either commanding any angels. Instead, to Moses, God said, “I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.” (Exodus 33:2)

Now to be sure, the angel in Exodus 33:2 that God is referencing is likely the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is called the angel of the Lord in several passages in the Bible. The context seems to bear this out, especially if you read Exodus 23:20-23. Look what God says about this angel. He says, “My name is in him.” I think this is a clear reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. It also talks about pardoning transgressions in this passage, so that it appears that this angel has the ability to either pardon, or withhold pardoning, of transgressions. This is something only God can do. The passage reads (God speaking),

“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them.” (Exodus 23:20-23)

What about the rest of the Scriptures? Does it bear this out? Yes. For Paul talks about Christ who followed them in the cloud. For we read,

“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-5)

Now the most troubling part of this passage is indeed the part that says, “with most of them God was not well-pleased.” And that indeed is the most troubling part. What is even more concerning (I think) is that God did not strike them all dead, He merely let them die off a natural death. This happens often today with preachers. They will preach for 40 years, and then die quite the natural death. And then, everyone speaks so well of them, saying, “They were such a good person.” But was God well-pleased? Yes, it is possible to work for 40 years, labouring under the burden of the gospel, but in the end, it is said of them, “For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

My dear brethren, consider what you are doing, and reform your ways.