PART 1 Vic Hall's latest Heresies
A recent post by Faith Hopegood (‘BCF/MCF Hitting a new low’ ... see: --- http://streetcar.org.au/viewtopic.php?f=6&p=544#p544) published on May 22, 2019) prompted me to prepare and present this post.
In the past months since Easter Vic’s latest spiel “The Steps of Salvation --- Christ the Great Shepherd .... Part 6” has become required reading for all CFers, wherever they are located, with wannabees like Richie Kaa among others, spruiking it around the RFI network as even more than the best thing since sliced Gospels.
The whole book serves as a useful summary of just how deep into the Abyss of Gnosticism Vic, that Great Sheep Stealer, has led the people of the Christian Fellowships into further error. He has done this with the full support of his acolytes the elders of the Christian Fellowships, the Savage Shepherds who drive those trying to be faithful into a sheep fold full of ravening wolves.
This will focus only on Chapter 7 (“A testimony of Restoration”) which includes Vic’s most recent Testimony. It is a long post but it is important that you see this self-congratulatory and falsely humble fantasy in its full context. As you read it I will highlight the array of heresies and untruths Vic has now been peddling since 1988 --- 31 years of Vic’s self proclaimed “Apostolic” mission.
There is no point going to look for this on the old Vision One, now Restoration Publishing, website as you have to sign in as a registered user before you can see any of the available publications. By doing so you can be tracked, and if the RFI trolls live up to their previous dirty tricks used to shut down Streetcar 3 times so far, then you will be targeted personally.
This change is quite recent, and indicates to me that they are increasingly shutting down any access to their so-called “Word” unless you come through their doors, literally, as the internet door is now closed. It is monitored for defence against the truth of what they teach actually being transparent. ....But ‘No, we are not a Cult!” ..... I beg to differ. If you watched the recent documentary of what happened with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians at Waco Texas, the cultish similarities are striking.
This was originally a very long post so I have split it into two parts: ---
Part 1: --- Chapter 7 “A testimony of Restoration”... Posted in ‘Doctrine and Teaching’
Part 2 ---- Vic Hall’s Testimony from Chapter 7... Posted in ‘Brisbane Christian Fellowship’
Without further introduction, here is: ---
Chapter 7 “A testimony of Restoration” ---- from “The Steps of Salvation --- Christ the Great Shepherd .... Part 6”
Part 1: --- Chapter 7 A testimony of restoration
Speaking to the elders of the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul said, 'I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.' Act 20:27-28.
The whole counsel of God is the word of the New Covenant. This is the word that Christ revealed and proclaimed through His offering journey from the first communion service to Calvary. It is the word of the cross. Paul's point was that the word of the cross addresses the life of every individual person, as well as the culture and fellowship of the whole church. These two points have been the primary focus of this seventh book in The Steps of Salvation series (This is Vic’s latest twist and distortion echoing the quest for Sinless Perfection first put forward in “Unto Perfection”, but now made mystical in the events between the last Supper and the Crucifixion. That period is a sequence of matters of fact, but Vic’s latest rendition is to bring out a mystical significance not known until now..... another dose of Gnosticism).
Paul warned the Ephesian elders that, following his departure, savage wolves would come among them and would devour the flock that Christ had called them to shepherd. Act 20:29. (... but in the CFs these are Savage Shepherds, the messengers relaying the latest revelations through Vic) Some of the elders would deviate from the word of truth that Paul had ministered to them. They would draw men and women away to themselves, no doubt believing that they were preserving their followers from some perceived harm. However, the outcome of their actions would be their disconnection from fellowship in the light of present truth.... (Present Truth is the longstanding legacy of heresy derived from the Latter Rain period which Vic took pains to disassociate himself from in “Journey to Ephesus” and again in the lead up to the heresy of the Lampstand Church in “By my Spirit”. It is fundamental to Gnosticism, by claiming that there is a new Word of teaching not known to Paul or even the Church until now). They would only be able to minister from the darkness of their own perspective. Their gospel would define a form of godliness that was powerless to deliver their hearers from captivity to sin and death. 2Ti 3:5.
(How ironic that Vic cites the Savage Shepherds, which he by his teaching and guidance has brought into the CFs. As you read on you’ll see he is setting them up as the reason that RFI as the Bide of Christ has not yet worked, despite Vic’s 38 years of apostolic leadership and Messenger utterance.)
This corruption, resulting in darkness, took hold in the church even before Paul had passed away. 2Ti 1:15. Sadly, in the church today, many people remain veiled to the word of the cross. They are unable to truly testify of the deliverance and life that is found in the fellowship of Christ's offering and sufferings. (One more distortion “the word of the cross” and another recent Vic Hall heresy “the fellowship of Christ's offering and sufferings” all in one sentence. To understand what Vic means by the Word of the Cross, his current buzz words, you can only do it by reading Vic’s books and the serialized version being drip fed through “Restoring my Soul”. The second one is also linked to the quest for Sinless Perfection, which goes back to a fanatical bunch of heretics proscribed by the Catholic Church in the 13th Century called the Penitentes, and can now be seen in an existing order of the Catholic Church, which has recently morphed into the Opus Dei sect in the Catholic Church (remember “The Da Vinci Code”) requiring its followers to be in a constant state of penitence, including acts of physical mortification)
Through the apostle John, Jesus wrote to His church, calling them to be restored to the administration that Paul had established through the message of the cross. Rev 1:19. These letters, which document what Christ said to the seven Gentile churches in Asia, are also the final word of the written Scriptures. Rev 22:18-19. They are words of prophecy that belong to every Christian until they are all fulfilled at the end of this present age.
This one paragraph shows Vic at his most deceptive and distortive. Here’s why: ---
1. Vic chooses to believe the authorship of Revelation to be the Apostle John, when for many years of Biblical Scholarship this has been regarded as highly unlikely, and that John, the author of Revelation was more likely a Bishop of Ephesus named John around 90 AD. For this John no historical evidence exists, but was believed to be in exile on Patmos as a political prisoner for upsetting the Roman Government of that part of what the Romans called Asia Minor. However, even that date is highly controversial, as the apocalyptic visions of Revelation may refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70CE (seven years after Paul’s assumed death), or the persecution of Christians begun under Nero in 54 CE and which went on until 250 CE. Domitian was Emperor in 90 CE, and he didn’t just persecute the Christians but instituted a Reign of Terror against the Senate in Rome. The Apostle John, by tradition, lived from 6 CE to the end of the first Christian Century, 100 CE, which is why tradition (without verifiable evidence) has attributed Revelation to him, at the age of 84, very rare in the World of Israel in the First Century for a Hebrew to live to such an age. Not only that, Revelation relies heavily on Greek and Greek imagery, but John the son of Zebedee was a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee whose native language was Aramaic, not Greek. If he had a second language it was more likely to be Latin, not Greek, as Capernaum, his native town, was under Roman control and distant from places where both Latin and Greek were used....As part of Galilee it was a backwater of both Israel and the Roman Empire, which is why Jesus at the beginning of his Ministry was scorned for being a Galilean, and why Peter was singled out as one of Jesus’ followers on the night of the Last Supper because of his Galilean accent.
2. Vic chooses to adopt the line he learnt (but won’t admit) from William Offiler of the Bethel Temple Movement that the Bible as we now know it is the unshakeable Word of God, free of contradictions and mistakes and can be understood through the power of the Holy Spirit, without the need for scholarship or knowledge of the historical context of what the Bible contains.
3. Vic also ignores that Revelation only got in to the Canon of Scripture we now call the Bible by the skin of its teeth, and was regarded as “doubtful” by the Council of Carthage in 397CE and 417CE, and only got included at the insistence of St. Augustine who convened those sittings of the Council.
4. It purports to be a dream/vision with no way of verifying its contents as genuine, but reminiscent of the need for mystical visions and utterances riddled through the Old Testament, but which can easily morph into Gnosticism in Paul’s Time, making its unreliability as a source of doctrine even more contentious. Vic has relied heavily on his own mystical encounters with “the little man of Jewish appearance” to convince his followers that this really is “The Word” for now (i.e. The Present Word)
5. The message of Christ to the seven churches of Asia Minor contained in the early chapters of Revelation is Not as Vic asserts “calling them to be restored to the administration that Paul had established through the message of the cross”, but was that they must return to their first love of Him. Vic ought to know better, as this was what the visitation of Jesus Vic claimed happened in 1975 confronted Vic with.... that he had lost his first love of Jesus. The issue of the administration of these churches is a total furphy to justify Vic’s assertion of the ‘presbytery’ in control of RFI and the Christian Fellowships. The “loss of first love” refers to the believers’ response and devotion to Jesus and how the believers shared this in gathering together (the ecclesia), not how the Church was organised.
6. Using the seven churches of Asia Minor centred on Ephesus as his justification for his preferred model of administration (code for control) Vic deliberately ignores the historical fact that it is usually accepted that Paul established perhaps 14 churches, but others may have been linked to the ministry of John the Baptist but not recognised as such. You’ve only got to read of the missionary journeys of Paul in Acts (including his visit to Spain) to see that focussing on the seven based on Ephesus is proof of Vic’s unwillingness to tell the whole story, or even be aware of it (?). To believe Vic’s version is to totally ignore the facts of the numerous other churches established by the other Apostles before Paul even got started, and which still exist today (e.g. the Church under James in Jerusalem, the Coptic Church of Egypt, the Ethiopian church, the Maronite Church of Lebanon, the Church in Rome which started independently of either Peter or Paul but which Peter was leading when Paul arrived in chains). Vic clearly adopts the line that only those churches established by Paul were the real Christian Churches, especially if they follow “The Ephesian Pattern”. That “Pattern” was not a Pattern at all, but a development of Christian practice over less than 30 years, and largely independent of Paul’s influence. Paul just recognises it in the Epistle to the Ephesians, but makes no claim to have generated it or authorised it. But who cares for real Church history when you’re Vic Hall?
7. This use of these seven churches and Ephesus is fundamental to Vic’s heresy of the Lampstand Church set forth initially in “By my Spirit” in 2010 and then further developed over the next three years.
8. The Moral of this story is that with Vic founding his own brand of Gnostic teaching on Revelation, it is tenuous at the best of times, as Revelation is by far the most misused book of the present Canon of Scripture, especially in generating cult beliefs. To then reinforce it on the basis of another heresy by claiming that “This is Present Truth” just adds the dubious teaching of the Latter Rain Movement to Vic’s stew pot of heresy.
The Holy Spirit is still addressing the churches in our day, taking these prophetic Scriptures and applying them to our lives. Christ is calling believers in every generation to overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. In relation to this call, we are urged to read, and to keep, the prophecies contained in the book of Revelation in Rev 1:3. This is because they foretell the issues that will confront the church, which is to continue as a Lampstand administration until the time of the end. After this, the prophetic words of the book of Revelation reveal the events that will take place under the reign of Antichrist in the seventh and eighth world kingdoms.
(I rest my case, as in this one paragraph Vic has encapsulated the 8 points listed above!)
We are exhorted by the Lord to have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying. Rev 2:7. This first requires us to consider how we hear and respond to the word of the Lord. Luk 8:18. We can hear and respond to the word of the Lord either 'in the flesh' or 'in the Spirit'. The fruit that we bear as individuals, families, presbyteries and churches reveals how we are hearing.
(Yet another example of how Vic twists the revealed work of the Holy Spirit in the life of all believers to be ‘of the flesh’ unless it conforms with the (unstated but implied) operation of the fictitious Lampstand Church.... and away he goes to reinforce the ‘Flesh’/’Spirit dichotomy)
If we receive the word of God in the flesh, our endeavours to fulfil His word will be accompanied by the deeds of the flesh. These include 'adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like'. Gal 5:19-21. Obviously, the deeds of the flesh are inconsistent with the culture of first love in the church. More than this, they undermine fellowship in the Spirit. Paul said that those who practise these deeds will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:21
Repentance and the obedience of faith are the hallmarks of a person who responds to the word of the Lord, in the Spirit. By the Spirit, they are joined to the fellowship of Christ's offering and sufferings. Gal 5:24. Php 3:10. In this fellowship, they are being progressively delivered from their fleshly propensities and self-righteous perspectives, and are being enabled to express the love of God and the other fruits of the Spirit through offering. Gal 5:22-23. We see that to take heed to ourselves in response to the word of the cross means to 'set our minds on the Spirit'. Act 20:28. Rom 8:5. The word of the cross is ministered by Christ for the purpose of our salvation, and to restore us to an administration (i.e. The Lampstand Church) that is suitable for the fullness of times. Eph 1:10.
(Each of the highlighted pieces is Vic’s code for a quest for sinless perfection before we die which can only be achieved through the doctrine and practice of the Lampstand Church revealed by Vic. The practice of what he advocates swamps God’s Grace through Christ’s death and resurrection, and institutes a new form of ‘Christian’ Pharisaism, and the spiritual one-up-man-ship Vic claims in preaching the Lampstand Church heresy. This teaching of Vic represents the return to Puritanism brought to America by the Pilgrim Fathers which drives the religious Right in today’s America, and this is the source of all Vic’s “revelations” from the average height Jewish appearance person he met after midnight in his study sometime in 1975. That ‘vision of Jesus’ elevated Vic to the stature of those who had seen God in visions like Moses, and the three apostles on the mountain with Jesus when He was transfigured before them. As you will see in his “Testimony” below, this heavenly visit established his credentials to be the chosen Apostle of Australasia, God’s Aggelos Messenger and the founder of the Lampstand Church heresy)
To illustrate the points that we have endeavoured to make in this book, the next section contains my testimony. In this testimony, I have highlighted the way in which the Lord has addressed me as a presbyter and as an overseer in His church. In particular, I have drawn attention to the matters that the Lord has taken issue with me over, regarding His call on my life and our restoration to His lampstand church administration.
(... So does this mean that Vic is no longer the AGGELOS Messenger in Chief he has banged on about for thirty years? And does it also mean that he is no longer the Apostle to Australasia? This is Vic at his most deceitful. His apparently humble claim to be a presbyter (i.e. an elder) suggests that he is one elder among many and of no greater status than the other elders of the congregation. It also masks the truth of what goes on in BCF and throughout the CFs around Australia, that the elders are not elected by the congregation as has been the practice in those churches using Presbyterian governance since Calvin’s Commonwealth in Geneva in the 16th Century. Vic is THE ELDER, and definitely NOT the first among equals. (To understand ‘presbyter’ See: ---https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyter) He is the Numero Uno in the RFI/CF world: all elder appointments throughout the CFs have to be sanctioned by him, and he can dismiss anyone without reference to any others in the presbytery of elders e.g. Graeme Harry, Murray Wylie, David Falk etc. Cross him, challenge him, or dispute his teaching means recrimination and punishment, and expulsion and shunning. His apparently humble claim to be an overseer is actually an assertion that he is a Bishop, as that is the real meaning of “overseer” in the history of Christianity. Vic is a master of speaking with a forked tongue, and here he is using his vision encounters with Jesus Himself to assert who he is in an appearance of humility by way of a misleading lie.
That last sentence gives a totally different meaning to the “Restoration” which was at the root of Restoration Fellowships International (Australia) when Vic took over to get rid of the Immanuel Fellowship of Ray J Johnson from 1988 on. Back then he asserted that the restoration point was supposed be the first days of the filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Jerusalem, forty days after Jesus’ Resurrection in 33 CE. Now the restoration point is based on Paul’s preaching of the Gospel based on the seven churches based around Ephesus in 90 CE, as distinct from the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by Jesus and taught by the Apostles in Jerusalem in 33 CE. Perhaps the whole idea of “Restoration Fellowships” is now redundant, and the Holy Spirit and the Apostles got it wrong, and only Paul got it right, but now Vic knows even better! Even Paul didn’t claim to be preaching the Gospel of the Lampstand Church, but the Gospel of Salvation freely available to all people everywhere. Read Paul’s Epistle to the Romans to see what Paul was actually teaching, not Ephesians! Then it took another 27 years (to 90 CE) after Paul was dead by the sword in Rome before the writer, whoever it was, of the Book of Revelation put forward the dream of Christ among the 7 Lampstands , and Voila!!!!!.... a new heresy is born, courtesy of Vic and Present Truth)
This includes attesting to the implications of responding in the flesh, and in the Spirit, to the directions that the Lord has given to us.
As we reflect on our journey as a Christian movement, it is clear that all the matters that Christ raised with the seven churches in the book of Revelation have applied, and continue to apply, to us. In relation to many of these issues, we still need sight so that we can continue to turn in repentance from our fallen, fleshly practices, and can walk in the way that Christ is directing us. The Spirit is urging us this way because the end of the age is drawing near (or does this really read ... “I do not have much longer to live, so the end of my age is drawing near”???). Moreover, Christ is calling another generation to stand up and to carry the burden of overseership in the church. (So who do you have in mind to take your place, Vic?)
From here on I leave Vic to speak for himself about his latest heresies/teaching, and you to judge, gentle reader, for yourself. His three most current heretical teachings are in bold and underlined at the end... see if you picked them up.
At the same time, I began to teach on the divine nature being resident within a family as part of the covenant that had been given to Abraham, and which was now available to believers in the church. I understood this to be a foundational pillar for our structure as a Lampstand church.
The structure of a Lampstand church followed the pattern that Paul had established in the region of Ephesus. It had a public face through the ministry of the presbytery, and its fellowship was also house to house. The Ephesian Pattern was a two-level administration.
After Paul left Ephesus, he committed the apostolic administration to the oversight of the presbytery. The presbytery was to take heed to itself as a governing body, and also to care for the church with its many communion venues within the region of the Ephesian state.
The church could function in fellowship from house to house because the covenant of the divine nature was in the homes. Because the covenant of the divine nature was in Christian homes, parents were able to raise their children in the admonition of the Lord. The divine order of headship was in operation in a home when a husband and a wife, by faith, lived together in divine order. lCo 11:3. Fatherhood and motherhood became capacities that delivered the grace of life to their children. lPe 3:7.
From headship, eldership was to be developed as part of the structure of administration in the church. If a man did not know how to guide his home and to minister the life of Christ to his children, he would be unable to take care of the church. 1Ti 3:5. The culture of a true godly father was to be a cornerstone of the authority and oversight of the presbytery.
Resistance to godly fatherhood and motherhood
There was some resistance to the teaching of the divine nature in Christian homes. Some leaders rejected the scriptural principle that the children of covenant households are recipients of the blessing of Abraham - which means being born of the Spirit - from conception. I Co 7:14. By implication, these leaders were resisting the view of Christian homes as contexts of fellowship from which the gospel could be proclaimed in the world. This was particularly the case for leaders who maintained their belief in the historical notion that salvation is in the church and at the disposal of the ministers of the church.
There was also a teaching and culture among us that facilitated the practice of giving absolution for sin in the counselling process or at an altar call: This, too, was based in historical theologies that positioned the clergy as mediators between Christ and His church.
However, the influence of these traditional understandings and practices within the church have been disempowered, as households have accepted and walked in the accountability of cultivating the divine nature. This has also delivered these families from the perceived control that some in the clergy group have had over their families.
The Lord first came to me with a revelation of His Lampstand church and a call to return to first love. Christ was not addressing only me at that time. This was His word to every man whom He had called to shepherd His Lampstand churches. Significantly, it was also His word to the heads of every family within His church.
Since that time, it has been apparent to me that unless we are delivered from our own fleshly perspectives and religious practices, we will inevitably misappropriate the things of the Spirit. The actions that we take, believing that we are walking in obedience to the word, will unavoidably be at odds with the initiative of the Spirit. The collegiality that emerged within the presbytery of Brisbane Christian Fellowship after the leaders had received the word on Ephesian Pattern exemplifies this point.
Although the word was calling for a two-level structure, the outcome of responding to the word of the Ephesian Pattern from the basis of our own history, experience and fleshly perspective, was the emergence of a counterproductive three-level structure. This had a detrimental effect on the lives of a number of people within the church, as the deeds of the flesh, such as immorality, contentions, selfish ambitions, dissensions, etc, flourished among some leaders. The three-level structure, and its collateral damage within the congregation, was the fruit of the flesh, even though the word had come by the Spirit.
Christ first comes to us in judgement, confronting our self-made projections, and calling us to repentance. As we respond in faith, He commutes our judgement to chastisement by joining us to the fellowship of His offering. In particular, He chastens overseers and heads of houses with a few stripes when their disobedience to the word and culture of Christ is the consequence of ignorance. He does this to deliver them from the spiritual lameness that is caused by the other law. By this means, they are able to make their paths straight so that they are not turned out of the way of holiness. Heb 12:13.
Unfortunately, there have been some people among us who have not received the word of the Lord, nor repented from their self-righteous practices. These ones have received many stripes, and some have been cut in pieces and assigned a place with the unbelievers. Luk 12:45-47. They did not make straight paths for their feet. Because they continued in their spiritual lameness, they were turned out of the way. Heb 12:13.
Thankfully, the Lord does not wish for any person to perish in this way. He desires for us all to come to repentance and to obtain our sonship in Christ. 2Pe 3:9. If we are to bear good fruit as sons of God and members of the body of Christ, repentance and faith must be foundational to the way in which we receive God's word. Heb 6:1,7.
When Christ comes to meet us, He is not coming to affirm our self-righteous endeavours, however noble and fruitful they may appear to be. He comes to meet us eye to eye, and to illuminate our heart concerning the inadequacy of our own way. Most often, our first response to the word of Christ that searches our heart and brings illumination is to respond in the flesh and to justify ourselves. However, if we will humble ourselves and receive His priestly initiative and word to us, He grants us faith to believe what He is saying, and to repent from our own way. Significantly, Christ equips us for our participation in His offering. The fellowship of His offering is the context of first love. This has implications for how we are to meet and to relate with one another in the presbytery and in the church.
The Lord is restoring to His church the message of the cross, which is the gospel of sonship. As we receive His word, and join the fellowship of His body, we are made adequate to minister this word of life to others. It is in our mouths to proclaim, and in our hearts as the cultural reality of our lives, individually, as families, as presbyteries and as Christ's church.
After reading this I came away with the distinct impression that Vic has set himself up to be remembered this way, and this is not just a Testimony, but part of a Last Will and Testament, as he perceives his time is short. The Prostate cancer, which miraculously went into remission about the time of Jesus’ second rebuke, is reported to be malignant and active again.
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