Smith’s Friends

Yesterday we had 2 men whom we don’t know visit us. We found out after some time that they are from a cult called “Smith’s Friends”. Someone had referred them to us bcos they thought we would get on, being ‘house church’ people like them. But as the conversation went on i noticed that all they kept talking about was sin, not Jesus.

Turned out that they believe that Jesus was born with a sin nature, and that He overcame sin in His life and sort of earned His own salvation thru His efforts. And they say that that is the gospel, that we also must earn our salvation thru our efforts to crucify our flesh. They don’t use the words “earning salvation” but that’s what they mean. A lot of gobbledygook.

Ultimately it was all about their own self glorification in them “working out” their salvation with fear and trembling. Twisting that scripture to make it mean earning salvation. A sin consciousness.

They only talk about crucifying their flesh. He asked me, Do you crucify your flesh when you’re tempted? I said, When i’m tempted i simply dont obey the tempter. Done. I look to Jesus. There’s no self glory in that, is there? I cant then make a big deal of how i ‘crucified my flesh’ today! The big deal i WILL make is that i was a criminal on death row and Jesus loved me, died in my place and pardoned me and set me free. Later i thought i should have asked him, Please give all the details of your daily “self crucifixion”. What does it look like?

They are those who want to …make a good showing in the flesh… Gal. 6:12, by always magnifying, testifying and glorying in how they are “crucifying their flesh” : a show. They don’t understand that to always draw attention to yourself and your efforts to crucify yourself, that THAT itself is a work of the flesh.

So, about 9pm i asked them to leave. They were going to stay the night but i sent them out, then took them to the next town, we couldn’t just leave them out in the middle of nowhere at night.

Sheela and i tried to present the true gospel but they couldn’t understand. I think one of them was saved, the younger one, but he needs to be shaken up about what he has accepted and is captive to. The older one couldn’t give a straight answer when i asked him if he is saved.

Not a nice thing to happen.

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104 Responses to “Smith’s Friends”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    They believe that these truths also applied to Jesus:

    For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I know not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
    (Rom 7:14-25)

    They say that to follow Jesus means that He was exactly like us in His nature, therefore, if Jesus conquered indwelling sin, then so can we, and so must we, to attain to salvation; which is blasphemous to say that He had indwelling sin to overcome.

    Please pray for them, their names are Ranjan and Simon.

  2. ian vincent Says:

    My daughter Becky asked me this morning, what is a cult? I said its a group of people, who claim to be Christians, but believe they are privy to certain secrets hidden from all else, therefore they believe their group is superior to all else. It’s a group that believes that the Bible can only be understood thru their interpretation, therefore one can only come to true salvation or maturity by joining them and remaining under their control. Therefore the writings of their leader are usually treated as more authoritative than scripture.

  3. ian vincent Says:

    When i asked Ranjan whether he has assurance of salvation he quoted this:

    But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not my own self. For I know nothing against myself; yet am I not thereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord.
    (1Co 4:3-4)

    Ranjan was meaning that even Paul couldn’t be 100% sure he was saved bcos he might have had some sin which he was not conscious of…….

    Talk about deceptive.

    Their bottom line is this: How can we follow Jesus if we are not exactly the same as Jesus in our makeup? If He was not exactly the same as us, then how could He expect us to follow Him? The answer is, ONLY when Jesus lives in us, by faith, can we follow Jesus, bcos we are not the same as He is. We have indwelling sin, He did not. But when He lives in us, by faith in His Blood, we have His power over indwelling sin. The new creation is greater than indwelling sin, our sinful flesh.

    But essentially the deeper error is the thought that Jesus, on earth, was “working out His salvation” and therefore we also work out our salvation just as He did.

    Many, over here, could be sucked into this cult bcos they’ve never considered these things, nor do they have the inclination to.

    People can only believe such errors if they don’t have assurance of salvation by the Holy Spirit and the Word/Promise of the New Covenant.

    ………………………………………………………..

    ….a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
    Colossians 2:20-23

    That’s it! What ‘a show’! Like: Look at me!!! Brother, are you crucifying your flesh like i am all the time? !! I’m always crucifying my flesh, aren’t i wonderful!

    They certainly heard the gospel with their ears but they didn’t hear in their hearts.

    They read the gospel in the Bible everyday but it doesn’t profit them.

  4. mkayla Says:

    hmmm….bragging isn’t humble, is it? I’ve never heard of these guys, but overall, it kind of reminds me of those involved with those groups who go out, call a big prayer/fast and advertise it all over the place. It sings “look at us, how much we pray, how much we fast and worship”.

  5. ian vincent Says:

    With these guys it’s not overt bragging, but it’s their speech which betrays them : If someone always, exclusively, talks about overcoming their sin, and never testifies that they were a wretch and Jesus blood washed them whiter than snow and set them in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, then they are glorying in their flesh and not in the cross. It’s a false humility, which is different to other more flashy expressions of pride.

  6. sheri Says:

    I’m not defending the smith’s friends cause I found them to be extremely “high” on themselves, they always thought themselves to be way way way better then me that’s why I never got on the “inside” of their church as they even admit on one the anti smith’s friends websites. But I don’t get how saying jesus had sin in his flesh is blaspme I know the mainstream christians all you think that is blasphme you’ve all said that much concerning the smith’s friends online…………..Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” This verse I think prooves jesus was lord……it’s says he was found “in appearance as a man” cause he surely wasn’t merely a man he was lord so the word “appearance” is used I believe.
    Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Surely jesus had sin in his flesh to be “in all points tempted” And how is that blasphemous to say he had sin in his flesh ——— was he in all points tempted well Hebrews 4:15 seems to say so!
    Did jesus work out his own salvation – in a sense that he did crucify his flesh to it’s lusts and desires there was a work he did there ——— if he hadn’t of done that he pry would’ve went to hell! And we all would’ve then been doomed to hell minus the few jews that could maybe weazle their way to heaven. He paved the way, jesus wasn’t just here and dieing on the cross for our sins there is a way he opened up Hebrews 10:20 “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” he had to go that way to open it up and he had to have sin in his flesh to go through the veil that is his flesh.
    But I don’t like the smith’s friends, going to their church to pull weeds in a few days to try and be nice to them : p but they surely aren’t weren’t definately ain’t been nice to me……for the most part there are some them that are exceptional………..I got real fed up with many them thinking they were soooooooooooooo sooooooooooooooooo better then me.

  7. ian vincent Says:

    Sheri,

    Jesus being tempted on all points as we are does not mean He had indwelling sin and a sin nature like everyone else. He didn’t inherit a sin nature bcos His Father is God. He had no indwelling sin bcos He never sinned. We are born sinners. Jesus was not. He was tempted to sin by the devil, not by lust inside Him.

    Lust means unGodly desire. They are saying that Jesus had unGodly desires in Him, which is blasphemous.

    We need to understand that to hunger and thirst and feel pain, sorrow, grief etc. is human, it is NOT to lust after sin. One of the Smiths Friends told me that when Jesus was hungry then He was lusting for food. Utter garbage.

    The angels in heaven who joined Lucifer in his rebellion also did not have a sin nature and yet they were tempted to sin.

    Please read this link for more info:

    http://www.angelfire.com/me/Merethe/smithsfriends1.html

    I hope you can see that this doctrine is a doctrine of devils.

  8. ian vincent Says:

    Adam and Eve were tempted to sin, by the tempter, and they did not have a sin nature. This is similar to how Jesus lived on the earth: tempted, but not having a sin nature.

  9. ian vincent Says:

    The first Adam and the last Adam:

    1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit.

    1Co 15:46 But that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

    1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

    1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

  10. Jonathan Guzman Says:

    I’m in San Diego California, and there is a group of Smith friends who have ” adopted ” a discipleship ministry I was a part of called Set Free.
    The pastors and the baby Christians there seem to have been side-swiped with this self mortification doctrine, with the rest of their Jibba-jabber, it totally seems like mind control. Once sound teachers have in about a 2-3 year period, are teaching now that Jesus wasn’t fully God while on earth.

    Mr. Vincent, I’m not sure what to do, I love my brothers and sisters very much and this ministry houses, feeds, and teaches well into the hundreds of Disciples, please pray!!!

    Thanks

  11. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Jonathan, and welcome. Jibba-Jabber is right on. They glory in their flesh; religious flesh, though. They have not experienced walking in the Spirit : Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

    They can’t walk in the Spirit for their conscience has not been cleansed from dead works; so they are like a Catholic, struggling to mortify their flesh by their fleshly effort: a vicious circle – Catch 22.

    You can tell their conscience is not yet cleansed bcos they always and exclusively talk about sin, and their battle with it.

    What to do?

    For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you.
    (1Co 11:18-19)

  12. Jonathan Guzman Says:

    Whoa, that being the case the path is narrow indeed…

    Have mercy LORD…

  13. ian vincent Says:

    You can tell their conscience is not yet cleansed bcos they always and exclusively talk about sin, and their battle with it.

    This, what i said, is not accurate enough. I made it sound like they are genuinely trying to resist sin, but that’s not the case. It’s a subtle and dangerous religious pride, which glories in themselves and their ‘works’ ; grandstanding and showcasing themselves with the fervor of a pharisee : a true self-righteousness, and that is demonic. Their sin-consciousness (not cleansed from sin conscience) is always a platform for them to glory in their flesh and show the world how devout they are. Another clue that it’s demonic is that, once they get hooked in to Smith’s Friends, then they all sound the same: parrot exactly the same religious gibberish. They are spiritual clones, and that is a sign of a demonic power behind it.

    We call it a ‘religious spirit’ bcos they are using many of the right words, like, self-denial, mortifying the flesh, but it’s not in Spirit and Truth, rather, an external show. It’s a counterfeit.

  14. Stuart Says:

    Surely to claim that Jesus was not exposed to the same lustful desires as we, would be in effect ‘cheating the system.’ The wonder and glory behind the divine nature of Christ was the fact that he was exposed to the same temptations and desires as we?

    Secondly, It seems to me followers of Smith’s friends simply speak with with confidence and assurance in their faith. They admit and accept their sinful nature and actions, there is no denying that. They openly praise and thank god for his holy spirit that GOD gives them the strength to overcome sin. Have you attended a sermon? or met more than a couple of followers?

    If i may add without any malice intended, it seems this series of posts is terribly and unnecessarily judgmental and almost aggressive of a group of followers which without bias could be easily classified as simply another denomination sharing the same core beliefs as many other christians and churches. I urge you, sit down and think, do you believe God would have you persecute and bring down others in this way, even if it is that their specific ministry is not in the way you would have seen it done.

    Regards,

  15. ian vincent Says:

    Jesus was tempted at all points as we are, but without sin.

    Smith’s Friends claim that Jesus was born with a sin nature.

    Jesus was the second and last Adam: in the sense that Adam’s father was God alone, and Adam therefore did not have a sin nature. Yet Adam was tempted to sin even without a sin nature. This is the case with the LORD Jesus, He was tempted, but He did not have indwelling sin, that is, He was not a sinner by nature, as we are.

    It is a demonic spirit (an angel of light) that blasphemes Jesus by saying He had a sin nature.

  16. Stuart Says:

    I understand, but it still seems like a rather trivial and pedantic arguement you are putting forward, getting caught up on the specific words and phrases that they use to express the worldwide christian belief that Jesus was born of the flesh, and therefore was subjected to the same trials and temptations as we. As I see it there is no accusation from ‘the church’ that Jesus was ‘sinful,’ they simply refer to Jesus being born of the flesh, as being made with a ‘sinful nature.’

  17. ian vincent Says:

    Jesus coming in the flesh means He is fully a Man and fully God. In the flesh does not mean He inherited Adam’s sin nature, as we all did. I’ve already established that by pointing out that He is the last Adam (1).

    It is not a trivial matter, for it means that if Jesus had indwelling sin in Him, then how could He have been offered and sacrificed as the Holy Lamb of God, without spot or blemish?

    Smith’s Friends also believe that Jesus earned His own salvation, implying that He NEEDED to, in fact, attain to “salvation”. They believe that Jesus needed to be saved. They say, then, that just as Jesus “achieved salvation”, thru overcoming His supposed sin nature, we also are saved in exactly the same manner. This is blasphemy.

    And hence, they can never have assurance of salvation, that comes by faith alone, for they are never sure if they have done enough to overcome their flesh.

    But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Smith’s Friends believe that they are the only true church and that all other Christians are inferior to them bcos they don’t have this “secret” revelation that was delivered to Mr Smith.

    (1)

    1Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit.

    1Cor 15:47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust: the second man is the LORD from heaven.

    1Cor 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    1Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

  18. Jonathan Guzman Says:

    Wow Stewart, trivial? Pedantic?
    To answer your question about have I attended a sermon? yes.
    Have I been around more than a couple of thier believers? Yes, as I mentioned previously, the group adopted a discipleship ministry I was a part of.
    For you to say that what they believe and speak of as trivial, and pedantic, check it out:
    They believe that Jesus had a desire to fornicate. (does that sound like the Christ who died for you? Didn’t think so…)
    They say that Jesus had a sin nature, (do you believe this?)
    (Examine yourself. Read you word, that is contrary to what’s in there.)
    and that He, Jesus the Christ, mortified the sin in His flesh
    and likewise so can we…
    I’d be careful if you agree with any of these because they just aren’t true…

  19. ian vincent Says:

    I can confirm that, Jonathan. One of the Smith’s Friends devotees who came to our house said, “Jesus was full of every filthy lust”.

    Here is one scripture they twist:

    Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
    (Hebrews 10:19-20)

    They say that the new and living way is through THE flesh: thru crucifying your own flesh.

    But the scripture here does not say “thru THE flesh”, or “OUR flesh”; it says thru “HIS flesh” : His crucified flesh – His flesh is the veil that was torn apart so that we can enter the Holiest by His blood. And this was accomplished once and for all time on the Cross.

  20. Andrew Says:

    How can i become free from sin?

  21. ian vincent Says:

    Please specify the names of the sins you want to be freed from. What are the sins you haven’t yet repented of?

  22. Andrew Says:

    I don’t know much about the bible, but i have been trying to understand it more. I was reading through the above articles and it seems like a pretty serious debate on religion but one thing “caught my interest” , so to say, a thought came to me, how can i too become free from sin, namely, all sin! so i figured i would ask since it sounds like you have a lot knowledge in this area. How can i free myself from Satan? Or is it even possible? Is it possible that i can come to a point in my life that i no longer am tempted? Your thoughts on this matter would be much appreciated, thank you. =)

  23. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Andrew!

    You need to COME TO JESUS (Revelation 3:20, 22:17), forsaking/repenting of your sins, believe ON Him (Acts 16:31) and He personally will EMPOWER you by His Holy Spirit to have victory over sin, bcos you will have PEACE and ASSURANCE that your sins are forgiven (Romans 5:1) and that Jesus has RECONCILED you to His Father ( 2 Corinthians 5:17-21) washing away all your sins, guilt and shame. Power over sin is ONLY by believing that God has forgiven you and accepted you by faith in Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 3:21). That’s what faith is.

    Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. You need to come UNDER grace.

    You need to believe His promise, (John 3:16) and follow Him, and you will know that you are saved and His Spirit will give you assurance that you are now one of His sons (Romans 8:15-17).

    Find another Christian, and if you truly believe that Jesus has paid for all your sins on the Cross and are willing to repent, ask that believer to baptize you in water, as Jesus commanded that we all SHOULD (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:37-38).

    Pls write to me at ianvincent.india@gmail.com

    LORD bless you!

    P.S. I urge you to read the Book of Romans.

  24. Jonathan Guzman Says:

    And remember, repentance is a process.
    Every morning temptation may arise, and it’s our duty to fight it.
    The word repent literally means to have a change of thought, but temptation is a lure to our flesh and here is an awesome thing,
    We have the ability to “think about what we are thinking about”, and in doing so we’re able to take that thought captive and bring it into obedience to Christ. (and to the word of God)
    2 Corinthians 10:3-6

  25. Mark and Vicki Finger Says:

    The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation.

    Therefore, any attempt to pervert it must be rebuked.

    How can we say we love Christ, if we allow men to slander Him?

    How can we say we love the lost, if we allow men to pervert the gospel message?

    It’s only a trivial and pedantic argument to people who have an irrelevant and narrow view of Jesus Christ.

    I notice Mormons want to be considered and referred to as Christians. A lot of people who teach lies for truth want to still benefit from being associated with Jesus.

    And on that note, Jesus isn’t going to forgive people on judgment day on the basis of whether or not they were part of a popular group of people who claim to be Christians: he will forgive or reject them on the basis of whether or not they repented [submitted to] or rejected Him.

  26. ian vincent Says:

    And remember, repentance is a process.
    Every morning temptation may arise, and it’s our duty to fight it.
    The word repent literally means to have a change of thought, but temptation is a lure to our flesh and here is an awesome thing,
    We have the ability to “think about what we are thinking about”, and in doing so we’re able to take that thought captive and bring it into obedience to Christ. (and to the word of God)
    2 Corinthians 10:3-6

    Resisting temptation to sin is ONLY possible if we have already repented. They are two different things. You can resist temptation without giving in to it, and therefore, without the need to repent.

    But i agree inasmuch that there will usually be something we need to confess to our Father and repent of on a daily basis.

    If i have to repent of the SAME sin daily, year after year, then i have not yet truly repented.

  27. Jonathan Guzman Says:

    Now there lays the difference between the true and false convert.
    The first would be the one to fall into sin, then the second being the false convert, jumps in it…

    I couldn’t tell if you correcting me through your discourse Vince, but repentance isn’t a one time deal… It’s a process

    13:12
    Don’t Expect a Perfect Repentance – Paul Washer
    Dec 5, 2009 
    youtube.com

  28. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I was bringing clarity to your comment bcos it was not clear, as it merges “resisting temptation” with “repentance”, when in fact they are two separate things.

    The LORD Jesus always resisted sin, but He never needed to repent.

    but repentance isn’t a one time deal… It’s a process

    It’s both. True conversion is a heart repentance (And one can only be born-again, and justified from their sins, once. Not repeatedly) and, repent as necessary, if and when you sin.

    Worth noting, a legalist (one under law and not under grace) or, one of weak faith, “repents” continuously bcos his conscience has not yet been cleansed from dead works.

    The legalist, or one of weak faith, will feel condemned WHEN they are tempted – just by the fact they are being tempted, even if they don’t yield to it. They are actually condemning themselves, and it’s not the Holy Spirit’s conviction. We don’t need to repent of being tempted, or of resisting sin, only if we yield to it.

  29. Jonathan Guzman Says:

    You remind me of a legalist…
    If you expect a new convert to have the same grasp on repentance as you do, when he doesn’t you would label him “unsaved”, when in fact he’s in need of nurturing.
    Why make a hobby from wrangling words, and in the name of our LORD.
    Vince get a hobby.

  30. ian vincent Says:

    Show what is wrong with what i’ve said, from Scripture.

  31. Mark and Vicki Finger Says:

    Your comments about one of weak faith are interesting, Ian, as it expresses one of my favorite truths of scripture:

    Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

    –Titus 1:15

    It is also addressed in Romans:

    I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

    –Romans 14:14

    I love those verses!

  32. ian vincent Says:

    Spot on. Thanks brother.

  33. Andrew Says:

    Hmm sounds like you guys are saying the same thing but just misunderstanding each other, but then again i feel like i am just a child in Christ and know nothing. But i press onward everyday to understand Him and get a true connection with the Father. Let me see if i got this right. Say i commit a sin, but to the best of my knowledge and understanding (in my own self) i did not know it to be a sin. But God, in his grace and mercy, shows me that what i did was sin. So then i go on my knees and pray to Him and repent for what i did. And at that moment God gives me joy in my heart because now i can see the sin that dwells in my own “human flesh” and i can take up a battle against it, or as you said resist the sin! But (tell me if im wrong) to me it seems like it should be more than just resisting sin, it should be an active warfare inside of me, where i seek out sin in my own nature (but thats getting off topic) So say time goes by and those feelings that i received after being forgiven by god fade away, as feelings do ( Luckily we know not to live by our feelings because feelings pass away and we hold onto only of that which is eternal and in God) I start to forget about that, maybe small victory i got in discovering that particular sin in myself, and just live my life. Well that particular sin returns after some time because, just because i know its sin does not mean i have victory over it, yet! I fall again, this time i really fall into sin. But i can go to the Father, if what is in my heart is a longing to be free from sin. God has an abundance of grace, thanks and praise to his name. But say after some more time i fall again. Say this happens many times. But in my heart I have it that some day I WILL (not might, but will) have victory over this sin. Maybe sometimes it is that i actually have victory (which i hope and pray and have confidence in this being the case for everyone with this mindset) over it, but then i find it comes back. As time goes, i find (and who is to say exactly how long this process will take but God) that i have Victory more and more and maybe it is that i come to the point where i don’t fall anymore (in this particular area of sin). I AM still tempted, but in God’s strength, not my own, I stand fast against the trials, I resist sin (. Then after more time i will not need to be tried in that area anymore and i will cease to be tempted in it. This is Victory over sin. and to think i can have that in every aspect of my life, when God shows me sin, think that i could immediately have victory over it. This is my hope over my own life. Please help me to understand this better and tell me where i am wrong thank you.

  34. ian vincent Says:

    Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us how you ought to walk and to please God, so you would abound more and more.

    For you know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

    For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of passion, even as the Gentiles who know not God: That no man transgress and wrong his brother in any matter: because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

    For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, who has also given unto us his Holy Spirit.
    (1Thess 4:1-8)

    Hi Andrew, It’s good to be aware that your sanctification is the work of God, the Holy Spirit, in you. It’s His work, will and power, and you are simply cooperating with Him. The Holy Spirit IN you is more committed to your sanctification than you are.

    Praise God that you are believing Him and trusting Him to sanctify you.

    Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
    (2 Cor 3:17-18)

    Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    (Heb 12:1-2)


    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    (Gal 2:16-21)

  35. ian vincent Says:

    Important to keep in perspective that the LIFE that is IN Christ, the life He has for us, is FAR, FAR MORE than merely the absence of sin. (Like, a man in a coma doesn’t sin, but he doesn’t live, either)

    It is to know Him in an ever-increasing faith.

    The more we know Him, the less we have a sin-consciousness. Yes, we ARE very sensitive to grieving the Holy Spirit, but our eyes are on Jesus and doing His will, more than on continual self-examination.

  36. Andrew Says:

    Wow! what you just said was really good for me. It is something i must keep in mind. “Like, a man in a coma doesn’t sin, but he doesn’t live, either”

    “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:11 Not only am i “dead to sin” but i am also “ALIVE in Christ Jesus”! To know him and build that connection with him, there is nothing more important in this world.

    You said (and i dont mean to pick apart what you said because i know it is out of the goodness of your heart, but so i can understand more) “The more we know Him, the less we have a sin-consciousness. Yes, we ARE very sensitive to grieving the Holy Spirit, but our eyes are on Jesus and doing His will, more than on continual self-examination.”

    I recently read 1 Corinthians 11:23-31. In there it talks about first examining yourself so that we would not come under god’s judgment (now maybe i do not fully understand the breaking of the bread and drinking of his blood ) but to me (in a broad general sense) before i receive God’s teachings ( build a better connection with Him) I must first examine what is in myself. How am i coming to God, and that there is nothing of my self will ( Gal. 2:20 ) in it but only seeking to do God’s will. So i do think there must be a constant self checking of, ” Andrew, is this of your own will, are you seeking any gain out of this? Or is this all to the glory of God.” But maybe you have a better understanding over this and could comment your thoughts. (To clear the air, i am not arguing against what you say, only seeking answers by sparking conversation on these important topics)

    Thank you Ian, and may God continue his work in you and in me and all who seek his Kingdom.

  37. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Andrew, I appreciate and agree with your comments.

    What i was trying to say is that being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is the way to go, rather than us searching for sin in ourselves. I was bringing a balance to what you said. Yes, we should examine ourselves as to whether we are worthy to partake of the LORD’s supper. Yet, the self-examination should not be done by “self” alone, as, by our self, we are no judge. Surely, God is the judge, and the Holy Spirit will teach us, according to the Word.

  38. ian vincent Says:

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

    For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.

    But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, impurity, licentiousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, jealousy, wrath, selfishness, divisions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of which I tell you beforehand, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
    (Gal 5:16-26)

  39. Andrew Says:

    Question; What is the good (outcome) you seek in making a page dedicated to Your thoughts (obviously negative thoughts) on a specific group of people? Just curious. In this specific comment i am not questioning what you say about them, just curious as to why.

  40. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    This post was about simply sharing an experience i had with some folks. I don’t see it as being negative to report what is happening out there.

    To know the reality of what is happening today, to understand HOW the devil decieves Christians, to understand our own flesh and know it’s depravity – this is all a good outcome.

    I also hope that some of the Smith’s Friends read it and have their eyes opened to the fact that they are trying to be saved by their works, and if they don’t repent of that they will be lost (read Galatians).

    If you thought this post was negative, then you mght find much of the Bible more negative.

    Better to be concerned whether something is true or not, over whether it is positive or negative.

  41. Stuart Says:

    Hey Ian,
    completely none related to earlier discussions however, i’ve been tasked with writing an essay relating to doubt in faith and i was wondering your opinion or any good references/reading relating to the role of doubt in faith.
    cheers,
    stuart

  42. ian vincent Says:

    Faith means to believe what someone has said.

    Doubt means to not believe what someone has said.

    God has spoken to us thru His Son.

    Some believe Him, and most don’t believe Him, and the eternal life He promised.

    So, faith and doubt are the antithesis of one other; as far from one another as light is from darkness.

    So, make your choice, either faith or doubt. Either one or the other.

    Stuart, if you have any doubt about Jesus, please tell us what it is, and hopefully that doubt can de dispelled.

    Personally, i’ve never had a doubt about Jesus, even before i knew Him and before i trusted Him, and when i was against Him, i never had a doubt that He indeed is the Son of God and the only Savior of the world.

    Even the devil knows that every word of the Bible is true and that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, but it does him no good. The devil doesn’t have any doubts about God, and he trembles.

  43. Andrew Says:

    I am sorry, I believe i used a bad choice of words and maybe it was wrong to question your motives. To say someone is Negative about something automatically puts them on the defensive. That was entirely not my intention. I asked that question because i had wondered about it but i now believe i should not have asked because i lack the words that speak from the heart.
    But now i have yet another question! =D
    Very curious as to something you said.
    ———————————————————————————
    Hypothetically; How might i find the bible negative if i did happen to find something in this post in a negative way? What is said in the bible that would make me look upon it in a negative way?
    I do not believe there is anything negative about the bible.
    But humor me here.
    Say i am someone who has read very little in the bible and i read this post and something in it struck me in a negative way. And you tell me that if i find this post in a negative light then i might find much of the bible more negative. So what is it in the bible that i would find negative?

    You might say “well it depends on what you found negative in this post.”

    And say i happened to take a point of view that says “well i think its wrong focusing on someone ( or a group ) negatively” Because i had recently read Philippians 4:8 “…what ever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.”

    of course if i were that person then i would just be arguing the bible which has never lead to any good and would be like cutting my own head off {excuse the saying} But we are in a hypothetical situation here. so lets plow ahead. So i being ignorant have brought this up and found something said here to be negative. Now, what would a person like me find in the bible, that is more negative?
    ———————————————————————————

    Now i think this is a very difficult question and thats what caught my interest, because i am sure you have an answer or you would not have said, “If you thought this post was negative, then you mght find much of the Bible more negative.”

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me Ian =)

  44. ian vincent Says:

    First tell me what you found negative in my post and let’s take it from there.

  45. Joseph Kyllingmark Says:

    interesting exchange here. if you read Romans 8:3, it’s written that Jesus came in the “likeness” of sinful flesh. Truly sinful flesh is one that has expressed itself through conscious agreement of the mind with its lusts; because Jesus never sinned, His flesh never became sinful. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. James describes clearly in chapter 1 of his letter exactly what it means to be tempted. When we believe that Jesus has grace for us also (Hebrews 4:15,16) to be tempted and yet not sin, then we experience the exact same work in us that took place in Him. All the glorious laws of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus open up for us in this process! As you said, Ian, we don’t have to be morbidly introspective at all, because we walk according to the Holy Spirit that hates sin far more than we do. Looking into the perfect law of liberty, into all the glorious development that Jesus has promised us, causes us to automatically see our own wretchedness (sin) and hate it. I could say more, but i like dialogue more than monologues :).

  46. ian vincent Says:

    Welcome, Joseph!

    Good post.

    A cleansed conscience is not introspective, but rather is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. There’s a big difference: the former is a work of the religious flesh and the latter, the Spirit.

  47. Joseph Kyllingmark Says:

    hmm…interesting. There are many different types of people God has created; those differences don’t disappear just because a person is converted and filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s good to be more specific so we don’t condemn something that can merely be a characteristic created by God. Some people are more introspective, some are more extroverted, yet all are called to be one body.

  48. Joseph Kyllingmark Says:

    There are many different types of people in Christ; all of them can have a conscience that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The flesh is religious when it seeks to cover a lack of obedience to the Holy Spirit with a righteous facade. In other words, the introspection of the religious flesh only goes deep enough to present a pious appearance before one’s own eyes and others’ eyes. Then sensitivity to the Holy Spirit vanishes, and all kinds of evils flourish. May our conscience always be tender to His workings, so our hearts do not become hardened.

  49. ian vincent Says:

    Re: “Some people are more introspective, some are more extroverted,..”
    .
    .

    That’s not the point, Joseph. The point was introspection from a guilty conscience : a troubled conscience, which is still under the law and not under grace.

  50. Joseph Kyllingmark Says:

    Agreed. Introspection from a guilty conscience, when used to create a righteous facade, is a work of the religious flesh. Introspection that is a convicting work of the Holy Spirit leads to Godly sorrow and repentance, not to be regretted. 2nd Cor. 7:10. Introspection in itself is not evil. It is good for sinners to take time and reflect on their ways, so they can come into need over their sin and be saved, wouldn’t you agree?

    I believe what your discussion was about was being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and doing God’s will, rather than being preoccupied with sin in the flesh?

  51. Aboi Says:

    Hi Vincent,

    I was with the Smith’s Friends for about 4 years and finally left because of this very issue you write here. No doubt there are some good teaching they have but the most disastrous doctrine they teach is Jesus having sinful nature. Well, if Jesus had sinful nature, He would not be our perfect sacrifice for sin. He was not conceived of Joseph, but of the Holy Spirit.

    I have written in a more detail about why I left the group on the following sites:

    1. http://www.bbcsalzburg.com/index.php/resources/jesus-in-the-flesh

    2. http://www.gtsministry.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=4

    Smith’s Friends are also known as Brunstad friends.

  52. Aboi Says:

    Hi Vincent,

    Are you still in Shillong? Do you know the smith’s friends are also there in Meghalaya? At Mairang side.

  53. heep Says:

    Hello I was a part of this sect-cult for 15 years and I am thankful to God that you did not get fooled by the two “angels of light”. The gospel they speak is like Hindu Yoga – self mortification and self-effort. I tried it for a long time and failed. Then I found out that it is ‘false’ and every since I left, the Lord Jesus Christ has been my strength and salvation and teaches me that He carries me through life and beyond ‘sin’ to His goodness and mercy. I pray that all those who are trapped in this group (a lot of them are sincere but totally dumb and have no idea of Christology because they are brainwashed to read only the sects books and listen only to the sects leaders’ preachings). They have made the Lamb of God into a sinner and in God’s time will pay for this false teaching. Like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christadelphians, they want to be known as another “christian” denomination, use terms like non-denominational and evangelical as a cover for false doctrine and dogma. And they know how to hide their doctrine well as they have done for a 100 years. Avoid being trapped by them. They also consider all other Christians who don’t believe the writings and doctrines of their ‘prophets’, who preach Christ as having sin in his flesh like fallen Adam, as false.

  54. ian vincent Says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Zac Poonen is a well known teacher who also came out of that cult.

  55. Heep Says:

    In fact, Zac Poonen zeroed in exactly on their falsehoods and the Smith’s Friends persecuted him in court and in other nasty ways for years for bringing out the truth about them. The only way to overcome this ‘spirit’ is through prayer and slowly a powerful prayer network is gathering across the world of those who have suffered at the hands of this group and are praying for it to be exposed to the world. It will be done soon because God likes to expose false doctrines about the Son of God even as he has done throughout history. It take a little time because such groups hide their true teachings from the world but in His time God exposes them.

  56. ian vincent Says:

    Uriah, please email me: ianvincent.india@gmail.com if you will.

  57. ian vincent Says:

    The focus of Smith’s Friends is SIN. They only talk about sin and trying to overcome it. This is the work of their guilty conscience, this the fruit of a conscience which is not at rest or at peace.

  58. heep Says:

    There are some “authorised” Smiths Friends commenting here trying to justify their error. This is a common tactic when they meet with those who know clearly what their error is. Be not deceived.
    This is a comment that some visitors to the Smith’s Friends to the Salem Fellowship put up recently. Anyone with the Holy Spirit can instantly recognise the error of the ‘friends’. Be alert.

    golosnarodaDecember 1, 2013 at 10:42 PM
    I visited their church here in Salem, Oregon today. I loved their music and their singing. But when I heard seven testimonies from their members. Each one of them expressed a deep zeal to work and raise money for the Norwegian organization. But no individual even mentioned about working for Jesus to bring the light of His love and His word to a dying generation. I felt people were brainwashed like zombies and used in order to provide lots of $$$ for someone in Norway.
    The picture was clear to us this was a cult. So our group left in the middle of the service.
    We have a joyful and abundant freedom in Chris Jesus – but cults often entangle people in bondage and spiritual servitude.

  59. heep Says:

    http://atheismthunderbear.blogspot.in/2011/09/smiths-friendsbrunstad-christian-church.html?showComment=1385966568246#c2649343316032495079

  60. Jayaseelan Samuel Says:

    I am currently attending this church. So far this is my view. What is your opinion on this.

    In most of the main line churches, Grace means- something that is given free of cost for someone who don’t deserve it.
    In my opinion, the Brunstad Christian Church believes Grace means – the help from God to avoid sin.
    Ok, this does not offend me, coz all those Pentecost, Methodist, CSI, AG churches I have attended never taught me to sin as I wish. Everyone taught me to seek the help of Holy Spirit to lead a pure life. It’s a process we go through till death to purify ourselves from the nature of our flesh.

    http://brunstadchristianchurchreview.blogspot.in/

  61. ian vincent Says:

    Everything is grace. Grace means gift.

    If you have been born again then you were justified by faith (a gift/grace) saved by His grace, and you continue in His grace to preserve you blameless until the day of the Lord Jesus.

    Therefore, the definition of grace as being simply to avoid sinning is too superficial, and it means a person then is obsessed with avoiding sin, and not walking in the Spirit, which is self-defeating.

    The Christian life is not defined by the absence of sin, but by the presence of the Lord Jesus living in a person. Our life in Him is not defined by what we don’t do, but by what we do: not by what we don’t have, but by what we have and possess, and HE is our possession, He is our life.

    The fruit of the Spirit is FAR, FAR more than merely avoiding sin, or the absence of sin. To define the Christian life simply by what you don’t do means such a person is probably never tasted the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the resurrection.

    It’s bcos you live and walk with Him that you don’t sin, and not by making avoiding sin the reason you live.

    The position of the Smiths Friends is similar to so many cults, it is the position of being “under law” and not justified by faith, and the focus, then, is upon self and not upon Jesus. If a man’s conscience has not been cleansed then he is always aware that he falls short of God’s law: he becomes more self-aware of his own sin than aware of God’s righteousness as a free-gift imputed to the believer.

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16)

    If you keep your eyes on Jesus you will not sin. But if the focus is on yourself, on your performance, then your eyes are not on Jesus, they are on yourself.

    Such people rarely talk about Jesus, they talk about sin and their performance.

    But as far as this cult believes Jesus was a sinner and had a sin nature, that makes it a demonic cult and not a church by any stretch of the imagination.

    The Smiths Friends i met said that Jesus was full of all kinds of lust. This is not the real Jesus, it is “another jesus” who cannot save.

  62. ian vincent Says:

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    (2 Cor. 5:17)

    A new creation, not a spiritual vacuum. Fullness, not a void.

    “In Christ” means to be filled with Christ due to being in Him.

    Your life is defined by being in Him, and accordingly you choose what He loves and reject what He hates.

    Satisfied with Christ means He takes away the hunger and thirst for sin and the world by satisfying us with Himself.

  63. ian vincent Says:

    As well, the obsession with sin, that those under the law have, means they are always glorying in their flesh, always putting their own righteousness on display for others. They always talk about battling sin bcos they want to glory in their flesh, and get honor from people.

    For those under the law, their conscience is always “alive” to sin and the law, and dead to the life of God (Gal. 2:19).

    Those under the law, and not under grace, always refer more to their performance of the law than to the grace in Christ Jesus.

  64. ian vincent Says:

    Grace is the middle ground, the narrow way, where Christ is, hitting the mark, and on one side is legalism and on the other side, lawlessness (turning grace into license) and both miss the mark. Sin means to miss the mark.

    The legalist has a sin consciousness. The lawless have a seared conscience, so sin doesn’t bother them much, or they have redefined it so that in their eyes it is not sin (like a televangelist, who thinks that covetousness and pride are virtues).

    But the one justified by faith in Jesus Christ has a righteousness of Christ consciousness. They are very sensitive to sin not bcos they have a defiled conscience but bcos their conscience has been cleansed by the blood of Christ.

  65. Jayaseelan Samuel Says:

    Thanks for the reply Ian, Vincent, Yes, so far they have not spoken much about this to me. Anyways I will get my questions answered.
    If they are preaching such thing as Jesus having filled with lust, then I pray God save those innocent lives from their leaders

  66. Friend of God Says:

    “We have already explained that it is as if Paul divides Jesus into two parts: according to the flesh and according to the spirit of holiness. This duality is applicable to us as well and is like a scarlet thread running throughout the book of Romans….This is Christ manifest in the flesh. However this work could not take place in us before it had taken place in Jesus. Paul was not the first one who overcame the natural man – the flesh: anger, fits of temper, selflove, etc for then it would have been the dying of Paul and he would have been the foundation of our faith. Neither was it Peter or Luther; it was Jesus..Here we see the conflict Jesus had in the days of his flesh – conflict with the peoples of Edom..these people were anger,..vengeance …falsehood …hate and many more. These He overcame and brought into death…. God became man and man became God.”

    From Sigurd Bratlie’s The Bride and the Harlot and the End Times.

    In other words, Jesus had hatred, anger, temper, selflove, vengeance, falsehood, and much more inside of him. And as a man he became a God.
    This is Hinduism.

  67. ian vincent Says:

    God became man and man became God.

    Yes, this is Hinduism and Mormonism, and not Christianity. They are saying Jesus attained to Godhood by His works.

    The difference between Jesus (in His humanity) and us, is that we are sinners and He is sinless, we have a fallen sin nature and He a perfect Man. Jesus resisted every temptation to sin as a true Man, and He overcame sin, but it was something outside Him coming against Him, it was not sin indwelling Him, as with us.

    As a Person, a Man, He denied Himself, and as a Person He surrendered His own will to the will of His Father. But this does not mean He had indwelling sin.

  68. ian vincent Says:

    Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in self-imposed worship (will worship) and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any value to the indulgence of the flesh.
    (Col 2:23)

    Will worship

    G1479
    ἐθελοθρησκεία
    ethelothrēskeia
    eth-el-oth-race-ki’-ah

    From G2309 and G2356;

    voluntary (arbitrary and unwarranted) piety, that is, sanctimony: – will worship.

    It becomes the worship of your own will, so it is the worship of self and the serving of self.

    It means the person whose conscience is always alive to their performance by thinking that their performance attains to righteousness is actually worshiping themselves: they truly have their own righteousness, which is no righteousness before God.

  69. Henrik Thor Says:

    I have created a blog about Smith’s friends. Please put your comments in this blog about your opinion on Smith’s friends. This could save some souls from going away from God. Thanks, hope you would leave a comment

    http://cultornotbcc.blogspot.in/

  70. thinkersworkshop Says:

    I am praying to the repentance of Kare Smith, Larse, Gabriel and Mathew George. Please pray that their souls would be saved along with the people who follow them blindly. I pray for a great revival among those who are mind controlled by the techniques of Smith’s Friends.

    http://prayer4churches.wordpress.com/

  71. thinkersworkshop Says:

    HI I have created a blog with all the possible information I could gather about the Brunstad Christian Church. And I have put a series of questions one needs to ask before getting into Brunstad Christian Church or the Smith’s friends. Please let me know your insights
    https://brunstadchristianchurch.wordpress.com/

  72. tim braun Says:

    A good morning to you mister Vincent. I am a prodigy from this group of whom you refer. I was born into it in 1969. As a child, I saw it for what it was. A fake. I walked away from the Winnipeg fellowship at 16 years of age in 1986. They claim to have only 4 fellowships in Canada. Cause they’re”SPECIAL.”The result being total and complete shunning. Having said that, anytime I questioned concerning their belief system, I was shut down. The fellowship I grew up in seemed to recruit the weak and the weak minded. My relationship with the people in the fellowship and my family has been void since I left 28 years ago. Because I made a stand. Being thrown away from family and those I grew up with still cuts to this day.

  73. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Tim, thanks for sharing.

  74. unknown Says:

    Hi Ian, your suspicions about this group are true. I have tried to join the group but was unable to. They are very secretive and hard to understand. I found their meetings very confusing with almost no bible study, and lacking love. There is alot of emphasis on the brothers and Norway with little emphasis on personal growth, especially if you are “on the outside”. It is very sad and has destroyed family relationships which were once good. I have also been traumatized by this group to the point of wanting to give up on life itself, as well as physically affected by them. The only hope has come from people outside of the group, who have encouraged and helped me in a good way. To this day I am skeptical of joining a church because of the way I was treated by them, and find it hard to trust God and believe He has a plan for my life.

  75. ian vincent Says:

    Thanks for sharing. Just know that any bad experience you had has nothing to do with God (though He allowed it, and can teach you by it) therefore it should not affect your trust in Him. Maybe sort that first, that He has never wronged you.

  76. unknown Says:

    They are worse than Satan himself

  77. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Ian,

    Thank you for this blog. Please continue to point out how dangerous this group is. I will test you my story but wish to remain anonymous due to potential backlash.
    I was born into this place. My parents joined out of the ‘world church system’ in the 1960’s and bought in hook line and sinker. As a child, It was drilled into my head that I would not fit into the world, that I was different, to shun the world and those in it, that my own thoughts and idea’s were dangerous, foolish and sinful. Having a naturally scientific and inquisitive nature, it led me to ‘not fitting in’ and being ‘left outside the church’. I tried and tried and tried for the first 30 years of my life and was left broken, empty with no confidence, no sense of who I was, no identity. by this point, suicidal I began to truly see the lies that I had been fed for years. the brainwashing that makes you believe anything that you think on your own or don’t hear from there is evil. Anything about yourself that gives you even the slightest bit of individually is evil and of the world. anytime you question any inconsistency in the actions or message of the church you are in danger of being an ‘oppose and not a true part of the church. Now tithes and offerings have been rebranded as your “debt and obligation” to the church causing members to be forced into giving hundreds per month with ever increasing demand for more and more.

    THe brainwashing destroyed my childhood, stole my teenage years and 20’s, stole countless relationships with people in the ‘world’. It continues to control the lives of nearly my entire family and the majority of those I grew up with. I am not saying the people are bad but for some people like me, it will still your mind and destroy you in the process if you attempt to push back as I did. Only 2 years away followed by intense therapy has saved me. thank you for your blog

  78. ian vincent Says:

    They are the same as us, the only difference is grace.

  79. unknown Says:

    They poison people and then tell them to believe Gods word

  80. ian vincent Says:

    It takes two to tango. They like the poison.

    Yes, indeed, we need to address the false teaching and the false teachers, and we also need to address their clientele and address their guilt, as far as they loved the lies and their pride and their flesh fed off the lies.

    When a person is truly set free from a cult they never blame the false prophet or false teacher, they blame themselves, for the false teacher was just telling them what they wanted to hear.

    When i was a new believer i got sucked into the “prosperity gospel” and “word of faith” cult, but now i don’t blame those teachers or even blame the devil, i only have myself to blame, for what they taught appealed to my flesh, to my old man, and therefore i can only blame myself and be responsible for my own actions.

    Groups like Smiths Friends appeal to the self-righteous, pride of man, by making them think they are elite and special and superior to everyone else. We have to help them see why they are attracted to it. They were attracted to an “elite” group bcos they always thought they were elite, or superior.

  81. unknown Says:

    You will never win with these people. I’m doomed to suffer for the rest of my life now because I was deceived by this group. They will never admit they were wrong in any way. To tell the literal truth, they throw poison on you in your sleep. It still burns to this day. They just tell me I’m deceived. Oh well.

  82. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t think you can blame those like myself who was born into it, shielded from the world and brainwashed from birth. it was a moment of self realization and nearly life ending psychological pain to separate from it.
    from the outside it is really hard for people to see how they remove all inherent strength and self thought and replaces it with itself and fear. its easy to say the clientele have fault when it hasn’t happened to you from birth
    its the same as asking a broken abused afraid for her life woman who belives she has no where else to go “why don’t you just leave its partly your fault” You really have to understand the level of psychological control they weiled

  83. ian vincent Says:

    It’s obvious my comment was concerning those who are in cults by choice, and not those born into it and have no choice. Those born into it can leave when they reach adulthood. It won’t be easy, it will be painful, as forsaking all for Jesus is always painful.

    On judgment day all are held personally responsible for their life. There will be no one to blame.

    This means we should be totally responsible and accountable to God now, and never finding any justification or excuse for anything false, no matter how much we have been decieved, used, abused or misled in the past.

  84. ian vincent Says:

    To “unknown” : You said:

    “I’m doomed to suffer for the rest of my life now because I was deceived by this group.”

    What about the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you think He would allow you to suffer the rest of your life bcos you were previously deceived?

  85. ian vincent Says:

    To “unknown” : as your name suggests, you are unknown to me, but i want you to be sure you are saved and forgiven, and when you count your own sins as the great evil they are, then you may be able to forgive the cult for sinning against you. You would not want to be deceived into thinking you are any less guilty of sin and deserving of death before God than these folk are. Just in case this applies to you. If it doesn’t then please ignore it.

  86. unknown Says:

    Hi Ian
    We are all guilty and deserve death. We all will die. Id like to live. Life is not only about sin and crucifying the flesh. I believe God,if there is one would want us to enjoy life. This is where I beg to differ with brunstad/ the smiths friends. Everything I do is sin for them. Forgiveness is not easy,I do forgive them and love and pray for them. I would like answers for why they did what they did to me. This side of eternity I probably won’t get them. Not everyone gets answers just as not everyone gets healed. Its part of life.

  87. ian vincent Says:

    a) Do you have assurance that you’re saved? If so, on what basis?

    b) Which things that you did were considered sin by the Smiths Friends?

  88. unknown Says:

    Hi Ian
    1)theoretically yes, through the blood of Jesus shed for me on the cross. Experientially no, I still sin
    2) adultery, masturbation, anger, depression

  89. ian vincent Says:

    I see you’re very confused.

    Best thing would be to forget Smiths Friends and seek the Lord Jesus with all your heart, and by faith get delivered of your besetting sins.

    It’s wrong to think that assurance of salvation is gained thru reaching or attaining to sinlessness or perfection (which is impossible).

    As sincerely as is in you, yield your life to Jesus in repentance, believing you are justified by His blood. Lay hold of eternal life by faith.

    Only when you have assurance of salvation and a clear, blood-washed conscience will you have the power of the Holy Spirit over habitual sin.

    Repent of the hypocrisy of trying to correct the Smiths Friends while you were living in rebellion against God.

    I’ve been praying for you.

  90. thanasis Says:

    Hi Ian
    I too was amongst these heretics, I could write a book about the things I saw and in particular the things I heard .I was only new to the faith way back then and just couldn’t work out what these poor deluded souls were saying or getting at. I was with them for about a year , and only now some twenty years later, having grown in the Lord, I can see their blasphemes errors. I will mention some in the hope others perhaps will come out from among them lest they too be consumed in all their sins.
    1.They never preach salvation by grace ALONE. Their doctrine is basically this- just be part of us and serve. If your male; come into the brotherhood, or if your female; just be along and serve with the sisters. Is not this another way of saying; we are saved by doing good works?
    2.The main and constant focus of the “so called brothers” in the
    meetings is “how much sin can I find in one day that I can crucify”
    3.They completely deny the Spirit in the work of salvation. He is never mentioned.
    4.They completely deny Jesus as Lord, Saviour ,Redeemer, as King, Prophet and priest. Never do they say what Jesus has done for the sinner , but only, what can I do to get victory. It is clear that these poor deluded souls are in bondage to all those very sins they claim to crucify.
    5. The brothers so called,never prepare sermons. They just rush to the front when something comes to them, and its always the same message; the flesh
    6.They believe in the giving of tongues and do exercise tongues and the interpretation of them.
    I would sum up at this point by saying the following; these heretics are indeed blind trying to lead the blind. They are grossly ignorant of scripture, not knowing who God is ,what He is, nor what He did. They are extremely dangerous and must be avoided and exposed .

  91. ian vincent Says:

    Thanks for sharing, and i hope that thru such testimonies some of these people can be awakened to the truth in Jesus.

    Bcos they are still “under the law” and not “under grace”, therefore they are more conscious of the law than conscious of grace – more conscious of sin than conscious of Christ:

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16 [KJV])

    The person who walks IN the Spirit is conscious of the Spirit, not having a sin consciousness – they have a pure conscience, their conscience does not condemn them, their conscience has been cleansed by the Blood of Christ:

    Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (I Timothy 3:9 [KJV])
    .
    .
    .
    .

    How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14 [KJV])

    This means that the person with a defiled conscience serves their conscience, is in bondage to the condemnation of their conscience, but the person with a new, clean, cleansed conscience can now serve God for he is no longer focused on himself. The person without a pure conscience is focused on themselves and is self-serving.
    .
    .
    .

    For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (Hebrews 10:2 [KJV])

    It’s very clear that the Sacrifice of Christ which was accepted by God means we no longer have a consciousness of being condemned, but rather we are conscious He has justified us, and this gives us victory over sin.
    .
    .
    .

    Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22 [KJV])

  92. ian vincent Says:

    By the Holy Spirit we fulfill the law of Christ, and are dead to the ritual laws, which Christ has fulfilled. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law”… …”That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 3:31, 8:4 [KJV])
    .
    .
    .

    Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 [KJV])

    The NT references to “the law of Christ” speak of something much greater than merely a “legal” understanding, they speak of knowing the heart of God, of being conformed to Christ, far more than in merely legal terms, but in terms of divine love (as in Gal. 6:2) and far more than prohibitions, but in doing the works of God, by His Spirit, by the LIFE of Christ indwelling.

    Fulfilling the law of Christ means fulfilling the HEART of Christ.

  93. ian vincent Says:

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16 [KJV])

    There are things we should do.

    There are things we should not do.

    Walking in the Spirit means you are doing what He wants you to do, and in that context, then, you no longer do the things you should not do.

    If we are walking in the Spirit then we are more conscious of what He wants us to do, than what He does not want us to do: that is, it is no longer the prohibitions which define our life, but the affirmatives: Our life is first defined by what we do, and only secondly by what we don’t do.

    But some people define their life by what they don’t do.

    In the parable of the talents, the man who received one talent was such a person. He heeded the prohibitions. He didn’t lose his talent. But he also did nothing.

  94. Jay Says:

    what do you say to “i still sin” although saved and living under grace. I understand you say that it is ok? we need to repent of the sins and keep on pressing for the perfection?
    It has been dificult to convince people when there is a verse that “those who are of God do not sin”

  95. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Jay,

    It’s never okay that we sin with our tongue, our mind, our attitude, selfishness.. etc.. but it’s also never okay to deny we sometimes sin with our tongue, mind, attitude, selfishness etc….

    Denying that one sins is probably the worst sin.

    They “do not sin” means sin no longer has dominion over them: they are not perfectly sinless, nor can be, and yet they are no longer slaves to sin, as they were before they were born again: their life is no longer characterized by sin, but by righteousness: by the fruit of the Spirit and not the works of the flesh:

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    (I Corinthians 6:9-11)

  96. ian vincent Says:

    Let me add: the person under a deep, demonic religious spirit sometimes thinks they are perfect or sinless, when in reality they are the opposite. According to their ego they are sinless, but not according to God.

  97. ian vincent Says:

    Our relationship to Jesus Christ is FAR MORE than a legal one of do’s and don’ts ….. it is a relationship of the heart.

    Righteousness and holiness is of the heart, not merely an external thing.

    So, in this sense, who loves the Lord Jesus completely and perfectly? No one. Should we love Him with all our heart? Of course we should.

    So, there is always this discrepancy, this shortfall.

    Which means there is no grounds for anyone to boast or think they’ve “arrived”.

    No basis to think we are anything in ourselves, but He is our righteousness.

  98. Seeker Says:

    What is the connection between Smiths Friends (SF) and Zac Poonen of the CFC, Bangalore?

  99. ian vincent Says:

    http://hiswordfirst555.ning.com/group/apostasyinlthechruchtoday/forum/topics/zac-poonen-leaven-detected-in-his-teaching

    Please refer to the first paragraph, and kindly ignore the wacky cessationist comments further down the page.

  100. AnotherSeeker Says:

    Since this article has comments mentioning Zac Poonen, I thought I will ask this here. I have been going to his church for sometime and found it very unfriendly and felt left out and judged most of the time (which was surprising). Is this really the only good church as a lot of people claim or are there other churches based on exact Biblical truths alone? I am confused, lonely and on the point of loosing faith.

  101. ian vincent Says:

    Which city is that?

  102. ian vincent Says:

    Hello? Hello? Anybody there?

  103. Jaime Says:

    One of “Smith’s Friends”, the English author, Richard Savage, explains the ‘friends’ doctrine about God: Jesus is a ‘creature’, thus He is not God, and neither is the Holy Spirit.
    http://activechristianity.org/is-the-holy-trinity-biblically-correct
    The Trinity concept, they say, was invented at Nicea. Neither the name nor the concept are in the Bible.
    On the whole the ‘friends’ are not eager to let everybody know this – it would put off too many people. And, in fact, it confirms their stark denial of the Christ.
    Their arguments run parallel to those of the JW’s. They came on the scene a bit later, but you’d think they’d been in touch across the Atlantic, from Pennsylvania to Norway, and back again.
    The Jews realized who Jesus claimed to be – “before Abraham was, I AM” – and they were on the point of stoning him to death.
    JW’s and others are still ‘throwing stones’ at whoever worships the Lamb of God (like all the redeemed in Revelation 5).

  104. thanasis Says:

    hello Ian
    I have been recently thinking about the smithites founder j o smith. I who was amongst them for a short time many years ago, had heard much about this man whom they regard as a prophet, but in particular as an apostle. I since that time always felt that this man had embraced sound doctrine and that he was very pious and that his followers had perverted those truths that he held and over the hundred years that followed damnable and pernicious heresies slowly made there way in amongst them. I have of late been doing some research on this person and after some reflection and prayer
    j o smith turns out to be not what I thought. It turns out that j o smith was fellowshipping in a Methodist church and was not getting nourishment from the services this was around the time of his supposed conversion just over a hundred years ago. He was looking for advice from preachers for he felt he had to put things in order that was troubling his conscience. They said that he should rest from these things and that we cannot save ourselves. This left
    j o smith dissatisfied and began putting his affairs in order with God and man. From the Methodists he embraced sinless perfection and laboured to bring that error to reality. He seems to have spent some years following building on this very sandy foundation and laboured with it to the detriment of all other doctrines. He took scriptures like
    Hebrews 2;18 4;15 and 10;20 and Romans 8;3 all to mean and reasoned “Christ having a flesh, it must needs be like mine sinful” thus he laboured , I feel, to earn his salvation by always cleansing himself of sin meriting favour with God. This is what he taught all his then followers distorting the truth. One notable instance of this is their much used expression ” Christ manifest in flesh” ( which perhaps is their favourite) but this is a perversion of the truth, no where in scripture is that expression found, its “God manifest in flesh” whom they deny. What astounds me most is that there is no mention of the new birth, justification by faith , election, or repentance. Even worse, no mention of Christs atoning sacrifice , nothing of His finished work at calvary , nothing of Christ as our Highpriest or our King. These facts are shocking and distressing. It turns out that this man j o smith was perhaps and could be ranked as one of the most dangerous heretics of the past 100years.One who has deceived tens of thousands. My only advice to those belonging to the smithites “come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”.

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