Updated: Jun 19
(This picture has been on their home website page for as long as I can remember.)
I would be doing a great disservice to professing believers and to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whereby dishonouring and disobeying His Word, if I held my tongue in the face of some dangerous teachings and grievous errors purveyed by this church, Pembina Valley Baptist Church (PVBC), and college, Canadian Bible Baptist College (CBBC), pastored and presided over by one Michael Sullivant in Winkler, MB, which he started in 1988. Some of these errors and false doctrines or practices are prevalent, while others are more subtle and hidden in a shroud of deception, but all are perhaps common among modern times Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB). As an Independent Baptist, I cannot fathom any of it being unintentional since pastor Sullivant has 30 plus years of pastoring experience and academically (at minimum) educated with an undergraduate degree in the Bible.
Let me me say from the outset, what I am doing here is perfectly in line with Scripture. God’s Word has commanded us to test and prove all things (Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21), to judge all things (1 Cor 2:15) and to “try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn 4:1), and hence “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Ju. 1:3), and “mark them . . . and avoid them” that teach false doctrine (Rom 16:17-18), aggressively fighting and warring against error, false doctrine and practices like a good soldier for his Captain (1 Tim 1:18-20; 6:12; 2 Tim 2:3-5; 4:1-5, 7) and noble Berean (Ac 17:11) — and I have earnestly endeavoured to do so. I have heard it said by men that publicly expose error (such as David Cloud), and others who commend this work (such as pastor Sullivant on occasion), that a godly preacher doesn’t desire unquestioning loyalty, and he, like Paul, is pleased when people judge him, his message and his ministry by God’s Word (Ac 17:11; 1 Cor 10:15). But in actual practice and reality, I have discovered that many times these are mere words of flattery and superfluous flummery by man-centred men (which happens to be majority behind pulpits today) — they are never to fond of someone doing this to those within the IFB, unless its someone outside of their denomination or circle or sphere of influence. And when you hit close to home, they will first attack the method and then personally attack the messenger (a logical fallacy, ad hominem) and then afterwards go into silent cold shouldering mode (a false form of separation) but never silent behind ones back—no, there they are quite busy wagging their tongue. This behaviour is practically scripted and further reflects their lording and above-reproof attitude, and even spite for certain truths of Scripture.
One other thing before beginning, I would like to make very clear, I have no personal issue or vendetta or bone to pick with Sullivant or PVBC/CBBC. I think he is a likeable man and there are things he stands for that I appreciate (and the same could also be said of Hyles and other false teachers). There is also nothing personal about what I expose here (besides some scant mentions of the issues with his oldest daughter, which is public knowledge nonetheless), and I mostly know him from a distance, yet have been directly influenced by him in a number of ways. Neither are these minor nit picky squabbling’s or some carnal malicious vendetta from a diligent, discerning and devoted student of the Bible and ambassador of the King to many countries around the world including difficult regions such as the Middle East — rather, these are serious concerns that have compelled myself and many others to separate from him and his church/ministry, and to warn of him. If passages such as Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9 and 1 Tim 6:3-5 have a true impact with you, please read urgently, prayerfully and discerningly.
There are many reasons why one should not preach or participate or attend at PVBC or CBBC, and below are some of these. The content here will cover the following points:
PVBC is a Jack Hyles-Church, and for his entire adult life, Sullivant has embraced Hyles and Hyles First Baptist Church and Hyles Anderson College;
Denying the true gospel/salvation in place of a Hyles-type “gospel” of easy-believism, quick-prayerism, no-change necessary, false/no-repentance and no-Lordship “gospel;”
Corruption of the doctrine of sanctification;
Man-centredness and pragmatism;
Unscriptural and heretical associations;
Corruption and twisting of Scripture to fit agenda and philosophy;
Other false doctrine.
This first part of three (divided into two separate reports), will cover the first two points.
1. Pembina Valley Baptist Church with Sullivant at the Helm, is a Jack Hyles-Church.
Anyone with any level of spiritual discernment and grasp of the truth, after having been exposed to Jack Hyles tactics, teachings and practices, knows how unscriptural and ungodly the immoral Hyles was with his ringside and man-centred carnal circus and bastardized gospel, blasting heresy and pragmatic “theology” from the pulpit and pen, in season and out of season, until his expiration. As by way of reminder, information you may well be acquainted with, Jack Hyles was an unashamed and unrepentant wicked and immoral wolf in sheep’s clothing, running the local church like a twisted pope and propagating an extremely perverted and false gospel and strongly advocating for easy believism and quick-prayerism, which has produced untold numbers (likely in the millions) of two-fold children of hell, all the while chronically living in sexual adultery (30+ years, while consistently lying and deceiving others about it) all of which means he was a false brother (Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4-5; 5:19-21), and accursed of God (Gal. 1:6-9), a minister of Satan who appeared as a messenger of light and minister of righteousness (2 Cor 11:12-15). I likely do not need to tell you of this man’s large book-length list of heresies and evil practices, something others have documented in their exposure of him, including us here and here at 20/20, but consider a few in the event you are unaware: he taught Christ was always human and it was him as a human that forgave and not God; Jacks good works helped his father in hell; fallen man is not human with a spirit; it was good for Adam and Eve to sin; all men are mental homosexuals and adulterers; he prayed to the dead asking his dead mother to help and intercede on the big days when they would use extra salesmanship to manipulate more people into repeating the “sinner’s prayer;” horrendous wresting and perversion of Scripture; majority of his sermons contained heresies, false doctrine, Scripture wresting and humanistic philosophies; etc.
The biggest issue with Hyles and then Jack Schaap (his son-in-law and successor, who in Aug of 2022 finished serving a 12 year prison term for grooming and molesting a child) and ongoing with Hyles-Anderson and First Baptist, was (1), the sexual immorality and sexual predator coverups including Jacks own son Dave — besides the girl molested by "pastor" Schaap, many other women, teenage girls, and even children have been the target of sexual predators at First Baptist, including those polluted by Hyles’ son, Dave, when he was a youth leader at First Baptist, beginning in 1969 at 16 years of age, resulting in a number of lawsuits from women sexually abused by Dave or sexually preyed upon, and even through “First Baptist and the College staff members were aware of his reprehensible conduct for years" they "remained silent” about it (“Class Action Sex Abuse Case,” Ministry Watch, Dec. 7, 2020), and besides this there have been dozens of sexual adultery cases by Dave and even suspicion of murder after the suspicious death of a child, (2) the blatant false doctrine and corruption of God's Word and love of money and control that drove the damnable heretical practices of big-numberism and bigism and big-manism, and the horrible and evil man-centred Diotrephesism (blind, unquestioning loyalty to a pastor), and (3) the false gospel and damnable heresies they preached and continue to preach (yea, the foundation for all their other heresies and evil, since they are merely playing Christianity whilst in the natural man), producing a characteristic manner by which Hyles’ people dealt with the lost, producing a church mostly of goats that lack any spiritual discernment, the intended goal of dictators and sexual predators. They are duped to believe a lie because of the flattery, good words and fair speeches of these false teachers who serve their belly and not Christ (Rom 16:17-18). Hyles, Schaap and co., preach(ed) a gospel that purposefully excluded true Biblical repentance and the Lordship of Christ, and the little of the gospel they did present was very watered-down, shallow, and corrupt (Gal 1:6-9; 2 Cor 11:4). This sort of perversion would result in Dave organizing the Teenage Soul Winning program which in six years reported (unbelievably) 100,000 salvation "decisions," though the youth Sunday School averaged only 2,500, and even these were unsaved false professors and the product of the tactics used by these wolves in sheep's clothing who lured them through some worldly or fleshly means. This perversion is all over evangelicalism, not just among Baptists. The false gospel came from a false profession which then produced all the other false doctrine and practices, due to the lack of understanding of truth. When people are unconverted, not born again, they can't live the Christian life. They can't stop from sinning, even if the sin they so love is predominantly secret, so they become gold-medalists at imitation and chameleon behaviour. They can't change their hearts, no less than the leopard his spots. All they can do then is paint on an impersonation of some skewed version of Christianity. That's what Hyles did, and then Schaap and then the rest of the leadership at First Baptist Church. They are as a false front city, attempting to appear like something legitimate, when they were and continue to be a blatant fraud.
Its worth noting that First Baptist Church (FBC) of Hammond, Indiana has never repented over the false theology or practice or sins of Jack Hyles or his son-in-law Jack Schaap. When it keeps up the idolatrous Hyles statue, it accepts his false gospel and non-repentance over the other well-documented things, and that idolatry is fine. I wonder if they ever even changed the phone number, 1-888-Dr. Hyles (it appears up till at least 2011-12 in the college catalog). John Wilkerson, the present pastor of FBC continues to be unrepentant over what Jack Hyles taught, leaves the statues of Hyles up, sells his books in their bookstore, and recently even preached with the president of the FBFI, Kevin Schaal (a heretic in his own right), at the Van Gelderen's Victory Conference in Menominee Falls (Mar 2-5, 2020), a college flooded with Keswick/ higher life/ revivalism heresy preaching a similar form of easy believism, false repentant-less gospel. They are peas in a pod. The “gospel” on the First Baptist website continues to propagate the same perverted “gospel” as Hyles of no repentance and then saying the sinners prayer (https://www.fbchammond.com/salvation/). At the bottom of that page on salvation, they post the video The Gospel Film narrated by Caleb Garraway, which we cover and expose here at 20/20. This is unsurprising considering that Garraway preached the same watered-down, shallow, corrupted, repentant-less gospel as Hyles-Anderson. Further reason why Garraway preaching the same false gospel as Hyles comes as no shock is because he has after all stated many times that Jack Hyles is his idol and reason for being a pastor. Garraway even uses Hyles as the narrator preacher in his short film The Battle for Truth. The Hyles-Anderson doctrinal statement says nothing about repentance, leaving out the word and the principles of how the lost must be saved. The mission agency run by FBC totally omits both the word and the idea of repentance in its doctrinal statement about salvation (https://www.fbmi.org/doctrine).
Even just a cursory glance over Hyles (and Schaap’s) doctrine and deeds over the course of their ministries would reveal to any discerning Christian that these men were false teachers, false prophets, wolves, vipers, dogs, and evil workers. Those are Biblical words, describing people of their very nature. It is sad that they used the name Baptist but they was no more Baptist than Balaam was. It is also very sad that they have hurt so many people and misrepresented Christianity, leading to only the Lord knows how many people blaspheming the name of Christ (Rom 2:23-24), but their preaching and practice plainly evince that they were never what they claimed to be.
Most of these points on their own, never mind combined, make it impossible for one to act as if the church or college can be cleared of their past sins or embraced by N.T. churches or that they now suddenly teach a Biblical gospel and sound doctrine. They haven’t been cleared. Nothing has changed.
So in spite of the well-documented fact Jack Hyles was an unrepentant pompous heretic and wolf in sheep’s clothing who perverted the truth for his own personal and sick twisted means, and in spite of the fact that the church/school has never rebuked the sins of Jack Hyles or Jack Schaap before all as 1 Tim 5:20 requires (nor were they ever disciplined), and in spite of the fact the church and college still retain on their staff men who stood by silently consenting while Schaap wrote some of the most heretically perverted things ever written about the Lord's Supper, and in spite of the fact Ray Young who regularly and publicly proclaimed that he would commit sin if Hyles told him to, was retained on staff by Mr. Wilkerson until his retirement (even co- and president of the College for years, vice chancellor presently), in spite of the ungodly and blasphemous teachings of Jack Schaap and his immorality, and in spite of the fact that the church and school continue to teach many other heresies and even damnable heresies, with majority of Hyles sermons loaded with blatant false doctrine, — in spite of all these things and so much more, Pastor Michael Sullivant has never severed his ties with Jack Hyles or First Baptist Church or Hyles-Anderson’s College where he graduated from and then worked for a year in the 1980’s, and then after consistently remained in favourable close contact and association with Hyles and his successors and others at the church and college.
Here is some proof of that.
Sullivant has never denounced or warned of Hyles and FBC of Hammond and their sins, neither privately or publicly. Instead, he has continued to speak highly of Hyles (sometimes in deceptive ways), and continued to promote and sell his books in the church/college bookstore and recommended them to students, thus endorsing and promoting Hyles seriously perverted and dangerous “gospel” and heretical doctrine (amongst a mass of other heresy as briefly documented above). He has had FBC/Hyles Anderson missionaries preach at PVBC (and supported some). Many "100% for Hyles" guys have preached at PVBC. For instance, Russell Anderson (the other half of the Hyles-Anderson College, the money machine who made it happen) preached for the PVBC men’s retreat in 2008, which brought about formation of The Anderson Fellowship by a group of PVBC men, which work(ed) through CanAmera Baptist Missions and under the authority of PVBC. Anderson is as big a nutcase as Hyles. His inflated numbers and self-exaltation (e.g. what he’s all done with his truckloads of money and time, and that him and Hyles are the greatest soul winners that ever lived) is mind numbing (click here to read a very strange and self-exaltation letter written to the dead Hyles by Anderson where such things are mentioned). He has likewise gone to their conferences or other conferences and preached alongside them (such as Benny Beckum). In 2014 PVBC hosted a National Prayer & Revival Conference together with Intercessor Ministries (Benny Beckum) with three men preaching, two of whom are steeped in Hyles: Benny Beckum and Johnny Pope, both graduates from Hyles-Anderson College. (Pope has also preached at FBC pastors school, and was a faculty member at Hyles-Anderson college and highly exalted by FBC). Sullivant is also an Advisory Board Member of Intercessor Ministries. In 2019 Sullivant accepted the invitation to preach and teach at the Hyles-Anderson College spring conference (source). The vice president of CBBC and PVBC pastoral staff, Bryan Helm, is a graduate of Hyles-Anderson as well, as are missionaries from the church and some under their missions organization CannAmera. No word of warning has ever sounded forth from Sullivant or any of the other pastors and teachers of the church and college. Only positive proclamations. Of course, lest they be charged with hypocrisy. I wonder how many annual Pastors Schools Sullivant has attended over at FBC, which was an annual tradition of Jack Hyles for many years? Altogether a common pattern is noted here, that of affiliation with Jack Hyles, First Baptist Church, and Hyles-Anderson College. Furthermore, as master so is disciple, the same anemic and perverted “gospel” is preached and embraced by Sullivant from the pulpit, on their website, etc (covered next point).
Sullivant and PVBC have continued to claim Hyles to be a great man and have covered up his well-documented immorality and wickedness and his heresies and his false anti-repentance, anti-lordship, perverted “gospel” and his culture of corruption that filled FBC and Hyles-Anderson College with adultery and other ungodly sexual sins. Were I privy to everything that happens at PVBC and CBBC, there would undoubtedly be much further concerns to disclose about Sullivant's ongoing relationship with Hyles and FBC and the college over the decades.
As noted above, the close and favourable association has even reached the apex where Sullivant accepts an invitation to preach at Hyles-Anderson College for their 2019 Spring conference: https://hylesanderson.edu/sermons/church-leadership-mike-sullivant/. Listening through this man-centred show is nauseating. The first full minute all that is heard is excessive and ridiculous man-centred hero-worship raucous from the student body of this heretical institution, given to Sullivant as was always given to Hyles, in similitude to rock stars. The sermon that follows, the same is noted again. One observes a wild eyed foaming at the mouth loud and obnoxious standing ovation with uninterrupted applause to ad nauseam, hooten and hollerin, cheerin and howlin, man-worship that goes on for over a minute. (This also occurs periodically during the sermon, over the first 10 mins). Absolutely NO one should be glorifying a man like this. Only God is worthy of receiving glory of any kind. Not only does Sullivant not reprove it; he laps it all right up, even giggles about it. It’s nauseating to say the least and extremely disturbing, but not surprising one bit. In the man-centred sermon that follows the hero-worship, Sullivant mentions at least seven different man-centred man-worshipers including Hyles, and relates how to came to be preaching at the conference:
“Pastor Wilkerson, Ray Young and I reconnected when I preached for brother Benny Beckum in Maryland at an intercessory prayer meeting. One thing led to another and I’m so pleased to be here for the next few days.”
Notice that he says he is very pleased to be there. Why would someone be pleased to preach in an unscriptural and heretical institution that has for decades preached a false gospel unrepentantly, has produced more false professions and two-fold children of hell than maybe any other American wolf in sheep's clothing, has been the focus of more sexual immorality and coverups and sandals than the awful Hellsong, unrepentantly, a school that was started and made popular by a man who cheated on his wife for his entire married life while unscripturally continuing to "pastor," and the list goes on. Not at any time did Michael Sullivant actually address any of these serious concerns in his preaching, which would've been the only acceptable criteria for preaching in such a place. And I don’t think he is being totally honest in what he says here. Sullivant and PVBC have had many Hyles guys through the church as special guests over the years, so a lot of reconnection. Beckum is a Westcoast/ Chappell/ Hyles/ etc boys club member, and he has preached many times in Sullivant's Hyles-type church. In the other sermon preached he preached at Hyles-Anderson (Keeping from Backsliding), he says,
“You know, what we’ve done is go out and try to do what we were taught [at Hyles-Anderson]. Once thing I was mentioning in Church-ed class yesterday, I still believe the things I believed when I came to school here and it was re-enforced while I was here. I just want to encourage you not to miss what you have the privileged of getting here at Hyles-Anderson College. And I’m not just saying that because I am standing behind the pulpit and this is chapel service and this is Hyles Anderson College and this is the thing a preacher ought to say. I really mean that.” (time 02:25).
He really means what he just said. So we see here what Sullivant believes and embraces about present and past Hyles-Anderson and FBC. Nothing has ever changed for him. He has remained a pea in the pod. There was never a need to reprove and repent in Sullivant's preaching or otherwise, for having association with a wolf in sheep's clothing. He continues to embrace and practice and praise the doctrines of Hyles that he was taught while he was there, things he has always believed and continues to believe.
Indeed, Pembina Valley Baptist Church is a Jack Hyles-type of church. Right from the horses mouth we have it, though all the other proof was already more than sufficient. This speaks absolute volumes and sheds a lot of light on the gospel he purveys, which is the same as Hyles (next section).
Mike Sullivant is an active and willing partaker of the sins and heresies of FBC, since he will not separate and denounce them. He heaps praises on Hyles and the school and college and that has never stopped and never has he spoken a word against them (including in personal conversations people have had with him). He is most certainly a willing partaker of their sins, even a purveyor thereof. This kind of enabling behaviour isn't honourable, honest, or Christian. Now if this were the case of some neo-evangelical heretic that would be one thing (for its to be expected behaviour); but this is from a man who touts himself to be an Independent Fundamental Baptist separatist. No person or church should have anything to with FBC of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College, but Sullivant does. God’s Word forbids it, but Sullivant clearly doesn’t care. He has never spoken out against all these sins, and has continued to support the church, the man and the college. He blatantly disobeys clear Biblical commands such as 1 Tim. 5:20-21, Rom 16:17-18. 2 Jn 1:9-11, 1 Tim 6:3-5, 2 Tom 3:5-9, and many others. It is not only sinful on Sullivant’s part to associate with wolves in sheep’s clothing, but it’s also revealing and not difficult to see what theology Sullivant embraces or what he truly thinks of Hyles. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Am. 3:3). Sullivant disobeys and rebels against a plethora of scripture in his continual fellowship with heresy and heretics, yet he claims to be a man of God. He is not pleasing Christ but his own belly (Rom 16:18; Phil 3:18).
And we have only begun.
Hyles-Anderson is just the excuse the world needs to think that all this Baptist and Bible talk about being holy and righteous and God changing people’s lives is just fake, externalist hypocrisy. When Baptists associate and fellowship with and teach at Hyles-Anderson and First Baptist, after the church and college just sweep Hyles’s wicked immorality and damnable heresies under the rug without repentance and continue the same heresies started by Hyles, they are telling the world that Christianity is fake, just like Hyles’s “gospel,” and “soul-winning,” and “spirituality” were fake.
But Sullivant obviously doesn’t seem to be concerned .
I find it a bit peculiar that men like David Cloud will strongly oppose the cult of Jack Hyles while at the same time closely associating with loyal Jack Hyles followers, such as Michael Sullivant. Why would someone want anything to do with this man-centred, immoral, false teacher and cess-pool of a heretical cult, and by extension, its followers, who obviously agree? An article authored by Cloud that I am particularly interested in right here and now, Ignoring the Sin of First Baptist of Hammond, documents many of the awful sins and wilful errors of First Baptist, Hyles, Schaap and Hyles-Anderson, and is written to the effect of the sinfulness of associating with Hyles and First Baptist and his own commitment against the man-centred cult:
“Every church member who did not speak out against these sins, who stayed and continued to support the church, is a partaker of these sins.
“Every preacher who has praised First Baptist instead of speaking against these sins is a partaker”
“As for me, I want nothing to do with this man-centered cult. I renounce its great public, Christ-shaming sins.”
“I would much rather endure the wrath of the entire IFB “old boys network” than keep my mouth shut in the face of the great sins that have brought such ruination to churches and reproach to the name of Jesus Christ.”
Michael Sullivant did not speak out against any of Hyles sins while a student at Hyles-Anderson college or member of First Baptist or employee of the college, but did stay and continue to support the church and college and man, during the five years he was there and ongoing since then, even teaching for them. Michael Sullivant continues to praise First Baptist and has never spoken out against the man and his sins and errors.
This means Sullivant is a partaker of their sins.
And this means Cloud should dissociate from Sullivant and PVBC, if he is actually serious about his own advice. But he hasn't and continues to associate with PVBC, a clear Hyles-church, preaching and teaching at PVBC on multiple occasions, last scheduled in 2020 which was cancelled due to the plandemic.
Michael Sullivant has never spoken against Hyles, FBC, or the College, but rather faithfully praised the same and sells their books and has their men behind his pulpit and Sullivant has also preached in their school. They are most definitely partakers by association, but more.
The following is part of Pastor Sullivant's pragmatic and man-centred response to an individuals question as to what his views were on Hyles, and why he never renounces Hyles or warns of him:
“I was asked once by Dr. Hyles if I was a 100% follower of his. I responded eventually with this statement. “I can give you no more loyalty than the apostle Paul stated when he said, ‘follow me as I follow Christ.’ In every area that you follow Christ, I follow you in any area that you don’t I don’t.” That seemed to satisfy him.”
This is a typical man-centred and evading response from man-centred cults. Why did it take him some time to respond? The answer should have been both simple and rapid. Is Hyles the Heretic equal with Paul the Apostle? I trow not! We follow Paul the Apostle because he was the vessel of apostolic doctrine that God gave through him, and to follow him is to directly follow Christ, which is why he repeatedly commanded born again believers to follow him, his words and his behaviour (e.g. 1 Cor 4:16-17; 11:1; Phil 3:17), and to use him and the other apostles as prototypical example of godly men to follow (Phil 3:17). Instead of reproving the wicked man-centred, man-worship of the “100% for Hyles” movement (in the 1990's many Hyles supporters wore buttons that proclaimed “100% for Hyles” at the compulsion of Hyles himself—which is likely the time when this conversation took place between Sullivant and Hyles—or you would lose membership in the "old IFB Boys Club, which means they would disengage you, pull support of you, and destroy your name, which is evil but also wicked idolatry — the only man that one should be 100% for is Jesus Christ!), Sullivant gave Hyles a pragmatic ear-tickling answer which is entirely unscriptural but would appease Hyles, while misusing and twisting scripture at the same time.
The individual responded to pastor Sullivant:
“You didn’t really answer my question, even with the second statement you made. I had asked “so I was just wondering what your views were of [Jack Hyles] and his ministry?” This isn’t really about being mad about you or looking for a reason to do that. Nor am I interested in beating around the bush and politically correct sycophantic answers. I just want to know what you think of a man who says “Close your Bibles and listen to me.” Do you think he was a truly saved Biblical minister or was he a wolf in sheep’s clothing? What do you think about his gospel? Did you or didn’t you support him? Please correct me if I am wrong: according to your response it definitely doesn’t appear you would speak out against him or separate from him. I don’t want to accuse you of prevarication, but it does appear you evaded the question. . . . When Paul the apostle declared, ‘follow me as I follow Christ’ . . . he wasn’t giving instruction to believers to follow only those areas where he was obeying and to not follow in those areas where he wasn’t obeying. You are either following someone or not, and this has nothing to do with picking and choosing what part of that man you follow. Thats a very bizarre and unscriptural way of interpreting that statement . . . I can see why Hyles would have been satisfied with such a statement, because it’s actually not Scriptural but very man-centred.”
Sullivant never responded back, nor was it expected of him, since the individual knew all too well how it goes in the IFB Boys Club. His response and lack thereof, is tell-tale to his compromise, pragmatism and partnership with Hyles and he is certainly not being truthful but prevaricating.
Sullivant is a prominent voice and member of the “old boys network" in Canada, where reputation and status quo and coverups are of greater importance than obedience to God's Word.
Anyone embracing a wolf in sheep’s clothing who rejected the true gospel and did promote a false gospel (including during the time when Sullivant was a student there and worked there, and to this day, the school and church continue down that path), and was an extremely immoral and disqualified man, is obviously not obeying the Bible but agreeing with him. Amos 3:3 says that. In spite of the clear evidence that Hyles was a lost hypocrite (Rom. 2:1-5), an unsaved man (indeed all wolves are unsaved, Matt. 7:15-20, 21-23; Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4-5; 3 Jn. 1:9-11), Sullivant embraced Hyles and walked with him, both before and after all his immorality was exposed. But the false gospel on its own should have prevented Sullivant from ever attending Hyles-Anderson. So one wonders what would draw someone to willingly attend this immoral heretics institution.
If Scripture is truly Sullivant’s authority then he would agree with its condemnation of the preaching and practice of Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap and he wouldn’t remain ignorant to what passages as follow say: Matt 7:15-20, Ac 20:28-30, Phil. 3:3, 17-19; 1 and 2 Tim; Ti. 1:9-16; 3:10-11; 2 Pet. 2; 1, 2 an 3 John, and Jude. This can only mean one thing and it’s not pragmatism — although pragmatism does stem from it and I would say from mostly unregenerate hearts (Ti 3:3; 2 Cor 4:2) — since saved people have “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;” (2 Cor 4:2) but false pretenders have not because their lost (2 Cor 4:2-4). Sullivant appears to fail God’s proof text, litmus test we could call it, of whether the professor of Christ actually loves Him and follows Him and His Word, and fears Him and obeys His Word or follows after false teachers (De. 13:3-4; Jn. 10:1-5). In ones spiritual nature, one is either following the Shepherd or the stranger but never both (Jn 10:1-5). Those that follow the voice of strangers are lost. Jesus said that. They are not His sheep. Hyles had the voice of the stranger. Jack Hyles preached a false gospel. He was a man absolutely flooded with false doctrine. He was a man not of God but a child of the devil, one who comes as “an angel of light” and “minister of righteousness,” a tool of Satan (2 Cor 11:12-15). Very clearly. Yet, Mike Sullivant doesn't have enough issue with Hyles and the encyclopedic volume length of heresies and immoral sins and lies, to separate from him and expose him, as the Bible commands repeatedly. He goes to his school, he works for him, he embraces him, he doesn’t reprove him, he exalts him, he praises him, he has his men preach in his church, he continues to stand “behind his man,” and now he is teaching at the conferences in his school that continues to purvey the same false gospel and damnable heresies, where his statue still stands and where everything is about Hyles.
Facts don't lie, and neither does the Bible. Sullivant can give his misleading answers but the facts paint the true story, and God's Word gives the narrative of condemnation.
This reason alone is enough to not only separate from Sullivant, but also sharply reprove him (Eph 5:11)
But there’s more, much more…
2. Sullivant Embraces and Teaches the Same False Gospel/Salvation that Jack Hyles Propagated.
Surprise, surprise. This shouldn’t come as a shocker, since two cannot walk together, except they be agreed (Am. 3:3). One would naturally come to this conclusion based upon his education and then continual affectionate association and yoke with Jack Hyles, FBC of Hammond, and Hyles-Anderson College. There is however a lot more evidence for this. He preaches and embraces the same Hyles/FBC style of manipulative, change-less, antinomian-type, easy-believism, false/no repentance, repeat-after-me prayer to invite-Jesus-into-your-heart quick-prayerism with no Lordship perverted “gospel,” and there is a lot of evidence for that.
PVBC soteriology is easy believism and in practice quick prayerism. It is second blessing or Keswick sanctification. It is revivalistic. It is mystical. It is overtly positive to a fault, going out of the way so that people won't feel too guilty. It is what I've heard termed cheap grace. It is very often allegorical and especially in the OT, seeing things in passages that are not there. They take OT Jews and use them as an example for true Christians, even though they are almost entirely lost for all their history. For all the time I've been listening through PVBC sermons, I don't hear a true Biblical gospel. They believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ, but it is mostly a less than saving faith preached. I don't hear repentance. I'm sure they use the term when they get to those passages, but you don’t ever hear it when you need to. And they certainly never explain this critical doctrine or believe in it according to what the Bible teaches. Also completely absence is any explanation on the Lordship of Jesus Christ and how it applies to salvation.
The salvation that Sullivant embraces is the decisionism techniques of the apostate Charles Finney (who rejected justification by faith alone) and Jack Hyles. which amounts to easy believism and quick prayerism. Sullivant rejects Biblical repentance for salvation, in place of a false faith. Concerning salvation, he rejects that repentance is a willful turning from sin and rejects that repentance involves sorrow over sin and instead believes that repentance is turning from unbelief to belief (Lord Are There Few Saved) and that it’s only "a change of mind" (Lord Are There Few Saved; etc). His gospel tract contains NO repentance but rather the false and deluded “gospel” of “asking Jesus into your heart.” (Heaven: How Do I Get There). He rejects the necessity of surrender for salvation, which ties into repentance, further indicating his rejection of repentance. Instead of simply being open about his rejection of repentance and the true gospel, he deceives and makes it appear like he believes in it. He is a liar and a deceiver. The “repentance” of Sullivant is the exact same as his mentor, teacher and hero Jack Hyles, and his hero Bob Gray Sr., and that of Curtis Hutson. The facts follow below.
First of all, before beginning, it requires mentioning that repentance and faith are most definitely part of the gospel, elements of what the Bible refers to as the gospel. This is commonly denied, so necessity demands its address to establish the proper foundation. Gospel and salvation are the same thing, the Bible does not divide these, and repentance and faith are salvation which are critical elements of the gospel. The Bible in fact plainly tells us that repentance is the gospel. John the Baptist’s ministry of “preach[ing] the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” was “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;” (Mk 1:1-4). When Paul the Apostle tells us about “the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Ac 20:24), he had just finished explaining what he specifically testified to when he testified of the gospel of God's grace: “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ac 20:21). In other words, what he testified of the gospel of the grace of God was repentance towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Interestingly, repentance and faith are the only things he mentions here as the gospel he preached, though we know he preached all the other elements of the gospel (e.g. 1 Cor 15:1-4). Jesus said “that repentance and remission of sins” is the gospel (Lk 24:46-48) and when He went forth to preach His gospel whereby man can be eternally saved, He preached “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 4:17). And when He sent forth His apostles to “preach the gospel” (Lk 9:6), it was repentance that they preached, "And they went out, and preached that men should repent." (Mk 6:12). When Jesus upbraided certain cities it was because they didn’t repent (Matt 11:20-22). Repentance is not just a part of the gospel; it is foundational.
It’s important to clarify this because when repentance and faith are corrupted, the gospel is perverted. Some erroneously teach that repentance and faith are not elements of the gospel (typically because 1 Cor. 15:1-4 doesn’t say it) when nothing could be further from the truth. These people have dumbed down and watered down the gospel for a purpose. This false argument is used as a red herring or smokescreen, a futile attempt to get a free-out-of-jail card for corrupters of repentance, whereas God's Word is clear those who corrupt repentance or purposefully neglect it (like any other element of the gospel) are purveying a false gospel condemned by God (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6-7) which means they are accursed (Gal. 1:8-9) and false brethren (Gal. 2:4-5). This is not an ignorance issue, for repentance is required for conversion, and so all who are truly saved will embrace and teach true Biblical repentance. Indeed they will. They certainly won’t deny it or divide it from the gospel or teach a corrupted version of it. The Holy Spirit will also lead and teach them into a deeper understanding of it, but fundamentally they know and understand what it is and its critical importance, for without true repentance man can never be saved (Lk 13:1-5), and then henceforth all that are truly converted and maturing in wisdom move on from "the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God," — which are of the foundational "principles of the doctrine of Christ," — and "unto perfection" (Heb 6:1).
If the premise is true that repentance is necessary for salvation (which it is – Mk. 1:15; Ac. 3:19; 20:21; 26:18-20; 2 Pet. 3:9), so that those who don't truly repent and turn from their sins will perish (which is true – Lk. 13:3, 5), the further premise must be true that God's Word demands repentance to be preached as part of the gospel message (which is true – Lk. 24:46-47; Mk. 1:15; Ac. 20:21), so that those who leave out a major component of a gospel presentation such as repentance, are preaching a perverted and corrupted gospel that Paul warned of in Gal 1:6-9 as a perverted gospel, and in 2 Cor 11:4, "another gospel."
Secondly, repentance relates to believing. What we see today is the gospel watered down to where Jesus only needs to be received as Saviour, not Lord. The two biggest ways that both "believe" and "Jesus Christ" are perverted today are related to one other. The gospel is corrupted when "believe" does not include true repentance and "Jesus Christ" does not include Him as Lord. A further breakdown of the perversion is the corruption of repentance, where it becomes a mere change of mind or synonymous with faith, which is very, very common today. Jesus’ Lordship is also kicked to the curb-side, and He becomes “another Jesus” (2 Cor 11:4). Jesus is the way to the Father (Jn 14:6). You can't get there going your way, and your way happens to be idolatrous and rebellious until then (Rom 1:18-32). His way requires submission and surrender (Phil 2:10-11; Lk 14:25-33), because He is King, Priest and God.
Consider now other examples (besides the Hyles association) of the false gospel embraced and purveyed by Mike Sullivant and PVBC/CBBC.
(a) No repentance, including repentance principles, in the website Salvation invitation tract, titled “Heaven; How Do I Get there?” and Other Error
Consider some of its pages.
The false gospel of "asking Jesus to come into your heart" —
The false gospel of asking, reaching out and taking the gift —
The false gospel of quick prayerism (also noted in two previous slides) —
The terribly dangerous practice of giving assurance and false assurance (true Biblical assurance of salvation comes from God ALONE, and it stems from evidence of salvation) —
Instead of a true life saving gospel, we find a perverted version. Not one mention of repentance or even the idea of it in this tract, and then also false faith. So if someone wanted to be saved, the tract falls way short. It would only produce false professions and provide false security. Instead of reading about true salvation, they would read such unscriptural language as “Trust and take Jesus as your personal Saviour” (slide 14), language found nowhere in Scripture, nor the idea. “Take Jesus as your personal Saviour.” What is that? And that’s followed by a manipulative sinners prayer repeat after me 1-2-3 (slide 15), of asking Jesus to come into your heart and save you, unscriptural and damnable heresy. The slide reads: “Friend, why don’t you bow your head right now? Pray and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, to come into your heart and save you.” That is followed by an example of a personal prayer on the next slide, which contains the same words: “Please come into my heart and save me now.” So zero repentance, no Lordship, total easy believism, quick prayerism, false means of conversion, saying a sinners manipulative prayer (and where does the Bible ever say we need to pray to be saved!), asking Jesus into your heart — all along the exact same lines as Hyles perverted “gospel” and no different than what is consistently and chronically pounded from the podium by Sullivant and everyone else that preaches at PVBC. Testimonies given by students from the college on Sunday evenings in the church, mostly reflect this same false gospel. The lost will have no idea how to be truly saved based upon this tract. Tragically, the last slide gives the false “believer” false security and assurance on what just happened: “Did you by faith ask Jesus to save you? You will go to heaven; not by what man teaches, but by God’s Word.” (slide 17). If, at this point, you still haven’t heard enough of asking Jesus into your heart, the last slide fires one more dart: “Friend, if you asked Jesus to come into your heart, please contact us and we would like to send you some material that would be a great help in your new Christian life.” (slide 18). More false gospel, false assurance, false security; making some poor lost sinner a two-fold child of hell. How tragic and terribly sad. 3 x we read about asking Jesus to come into your heart, language found nowhere in Scripture, not even remotely close, and only reflective of a false gospel. This is an artificial finish line for someone that is very likely not saved, and may never get saved (Pr 1:20-32). Someone can ask Jesus into their heart a hundred times but still not be saved. They are however according to Sullivant, and with this he has made a lost sinner bound for hell, a two-fold child of hell who deceptively thinks he is on his way to heaven. If there is any doubt as to who wrote this tract, the following words are found at the bottom of the last slide: “Tract written by Michael W. Sullivant.”
False professions are at a pandemic level. Many children growing up in some realm of Christianity are without understanding of the true gospel. What is being presented as the gospel is mostly not, including what is found in most “gospel” tracts. Some of what you’ll read is bad and then there’s what’s missing that is necessary to represent what the Bible teaches.
And that is explicitly what we see in this "gospel" tract written by Michael W. Sullivant.
Is there a faith that doesn’t save? We know there is. We can see that throughout scripture, e.g. Jam 2:14-26, Simon in Ac 8:13-24, Demas in 2 Tim 4:10, false believers or disciples in Jn 2:23-25; 6:60-66; 8:30-59, most Jews in the wilderness (e.g. Ps 78; 106; Ac 7:51-53; 2 Cor 3:7-16; Heb 3:7-19), etc.
And what is the faith that does not save? There are different elements to it, but essentially it is the faith that demons have (Jam 2:19). Their faith is intellectual, that is, mere assent to facts. Demons know who God is, know who Jesus is, they know the scriptures, and tremble. The demons trembled when Jesus came on the scene and walked upon the earth. They cried out in fear, and fell down before Him. Why? Because they knew who Jesus was. So easy believism and quick prayerism isn't a faith or repentance that saves. It isn't a faith produced by the Word of God. I'm not sure what is a more dangerous false gospel (Gal 1:6-9), the one that adds to grace or the one that is merely intellectual like what is presented by Sullivant.
Sullivant's gospel is no different than that of his hero, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, Jack Hyles. Sullivant is certainly purveying a perverted gospel in this tract, condemned in Gal 1:6-7, which is “another gospel” (2 Cor 11:4) and a “damnable heresy” (2 Pet. 2:1). 2 Pet. 2:1 also tells us that he is a false teacher, denying the Lord that bought him. This perversion of the gospel saves no one but produces a church full of false converts. Indeed that is exactly what we see. To such the apostle Paul would’ve not given “place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” (Gal 2:5).
Yet in spite of all this (and more to come), David Cloud continues fellowship and preaching at PVBC, which is seemingly contradictory and hypocritical to his position, especially when we further consider a letter he wrote rightfully defending an American missionary in Africa whose sending church maliciously dropped all his support due to his allegiance to the true gospel as found in Scripture, which the missionary had expounded in a gospel tract he done up for his church in Africa, a tract that included true Biblical repentance, Christ's Lordship, and opposition to easy believism and quick prayerism. The letter by Cloud was written to a pastor, wherein Cloud opposes the necessity of praying a prayer for salvation (he called it “the stupidest kind of thing possible”), and sharply reproves the sending pastor and church for rejecting the need to surrender to Christ’s Lordship (which he called “heresy”), and for believing repentance is merely a change of mind (which he also called “heresy”) — reproof/beliefs we obviously agree with. Yet all of these errors, and worse, are found plainly here in this gospel tract by Michael Sullivant (besides the false repentance definition, which is however found in other places; but that is neither here or there seeing there is no mention of repentance at all!) and throughout his teaching in general. Here is an excerpt of that letter:
“The pastor of ___________ says that he doesn't believe that "salvation comes from praying some words that somebody told you to pray." I would hope not, because that is the stupidest kind of thing possible; but it appears that he believes that someone can "trust" Christ without surrendering in his heart to Christ's Lordship, and that is a gross heresy that we nowhere see in Scripture. He believes that repentance is merely a change in mind. That, too, is heresy.”
By Cloud's own words (not that Cloud is my authority in these matters; merely giving an example of men within the IFB exercising double standards), Mike Sullivant is definitely teaching heresy. Sullivant is saying in the tract that salvation comes from praying the kind of words that he told them to pray. So according to Cloud that would be “the stupidest kind of thing possible.” Sullivant also clearly “believes that someone can "trust" Christ without surrendering in his heart to Christ's Lordship,” which is condemned here as “gross heresy that we nowhere see in Scripture.” Agreed, and further, "surrendering to Christ's Lordship" would be classified by Sullivant as a works gospel. Sullivant also “believes that repentance is merely a change in mind” which "too, is heresy."
So according to Cloud's own admission, Michael Sullivant is doing the stupidest thing possible, and teaching heresy on a number of fronts, which then means Sullivant is a heretic. We couldn't agree more. And as we keep going in this point, we will see that his sermons and teachings keep buttressing these same heresies. If Cloud is serious about separating from heresies and heretics, he shouldn't be in fellowship and association with Sullivant. Two-fold reason now, both the last point and this point. I have however never heard him dissociate or warn about Sullivant, and seems to still be preaching in his church from time to time. Does that not send a confusing trumpet sound, "an uncertain sound,” so then “who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor 14:8).
When we consider this current point about Mike Sullivant embracing and teaching a corrupted gospel/salvation, one could stop right here. This is enough, it speaks on the behalf of everything for Sullivant and PVBC since this is the gospel for them on how to be saved that they want people to read in a number of different areas on their website, since the Great Commission is supposed to be the heartbeat of the local church. This is all the evidence one needs. Here was a conscious effort by Sullivant to construe and propagate his belief on what the gospel is, putting it into a fancy slide format and having someone place it on their church site on the world wide web for all the world to read, as the one tract on How to Get to Heaven for that potentially seeking soul, which is very likely in written form as well handed out by the church. This tract speaks very loudly for anyone that has ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that understands, what the gospel isn't.
But it serves its purpose. The false gospel is the means of keeping a big church. Easy believism and quick prayerism are pathways to fill the pews, control the goats, keep the coffers flowing and maintain status quo or get bigger. Actually, you have to get bigger or you are sinning and breaking the commandment of John R. Rice 8:6.
(b) False or no repentance is Sullivant's pattern of preaching.
Repentance truly has little to no value or meaning in Sullivant’s mind. I can say that without judging motives but based upon what he says and teaches. His preaching speaks loudly to it and the silence is deafening for the most part. According to his preaching, repentance is not a prerequisite to justification and salvation, but a post-justification work. He would say that repentance is repenting of unbelief and a mere change of mind that accompanies faith. We know that this is false repentance, with False Arguments of the False “Change of Mind” Repentance Position are Debunked Here. One of the strategies of a false teacher is to redefine the meaning of words in order to hide the truth, and that is precisely what Mike Sullivant does. Consider some of many examples of these things.
👉🏻 In an important sermon on how to do Soul-Winning, not even one mention of repentance is found. Not the word nor the principles associated with it. The silence was deafening in a most crucial sermon whereby people are taught how to lead someone to Christ. To leave it out here is to reveal exactly what Sullivant thinks about it. Nada. Its not important or necessary. Nothing either about sinners denying self or dying to self or surrendering. Naturally not. That would be a works-salvation to Sullivant (but not to Christ, who teaches that throughout Scripture, even in His course to the Apostles on "soul-winning," i.e. Matt 10:25–11:1). What is heard is just an anemic and corrupted Hyles version of the “gospel” which is “another gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4), and now regarded as the Biblical gospel and method of evangelism for PVBC people. Preposterous!
If people do not repent or know what repentance is, they will not truly believe. Their faith will be false and dead (Jam 2:14-19). True faith is repentant faith. Most who reject the doctrine of repentance will change its meaning to accommodate their rejection of its meaning. Some might claim that repentance is just a mere acknowledgment of being a sinner and others, turning from unbelief. Most of these will similarly claim that repentance is just a change of mind, which makes an easy cop out for not preaching repentance, since repentance then becomes synonymous with faith, or again, just a turning from unbelief. All of these definitions or descriptions of repentance are false, but Sullivant didn't even go that far with repentance. He doesn’t mention the word or the principles behind repentance even once.
There are some remarkable differences between the Baptist evangelism of times past and that of professed Baptists in the circle of influence of Jack Hyles and Michael Sullivant.
👉🏻 In the sermon Lord Are There Few Saved we once again see what he truly believes repentance is and what he actually means when he says repentance is a change of mind (which is a false definition to begin with):
“And so if we have any faith or trust, any seeming merit that we think we are relying upon to get us to heaven, we need to repent of that. In other words repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of action or life. In other words I think that hey I’m good enough to go to heaven but once I see that Jesus Christ paid my sin debt and that I am a sinner unable to save myself, I’m in need of a Saviour I look at the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His death burial and resurrection, then I change my mind on what I have been believing and trusting in to get me to heaven and I believe what God has said and Jesus has done. Amen? See many times we have people who say well I’ve been trusting in baptism and my faith, in communion and my faith, and my church membership and my faith, and this that and the other and my faith, and we need to repent of that kind of thinking.” (time 12:20–14:00).
That is not an "amen" moment. The definition “repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of action or life” appears partially good, but it’s not. It’s deception because he means something entirely different than what Scripture means by it as we see in the remainder of what he says here, where repentance is relegated to a mere change of unbelief. He also doesn’t actually believe that it leads to a change of life, noted in the actual corruption of repentance and in many sermons where people had no change of life but lived like the world and even like the devil, but still allegedly saved. So when he says, “The fact of the matter is every single one of us as mankind is sinners and in the same boat, and if we don’t repent, we will all likewise perish” (time 13:25), we know exactly what he means about repentance and it has nothing to do with sin, it has nothing do with the repentance of the Bible. That is why he never describes repentance as turning from sin, or self, or stuff, or people (as we see in scripture: Matt 10:32-39; Ac. 3:19; 14:15; 1 Th. 1:9; Lk 14:25-15:32; Mk. 8:34-37; Lk. 3:1-16; 14:25-15:32; Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9-11; etc).
Sullivant’s heretical repentance is a change of mind of wrong belief to one of right belief, which is changing from unbelief to belief, which of course is the standard “repentance” of people in the Jack Hyles and Bob Gray Sr orbit. It’s deception with a change of definition. It’s also a repentance from dead works only and not from sin, the same heresy as Hyles embraced, and he does’t seem to understand what “repentance of dead works” means in Heb. 6:1 nor how to rightly divide the Word of truth. This false repentance propagated by Sullivant is found nowhere in scripture, where the only true repentance is turning from sin and self and forsaking ones sins and idols. We turn from all known sins and sin in general, which is what we see being taught in Is. 55:6-7; I Th. 1:9; Ac. 26:20; Rev. 2:22; 9:20-21; 16:9, 11 for example, and over the course of history of true Bible believing Baptist/Anabaptist churches, for instance:
"Unfeigned repentance is an inward and true sorrow of heart for sin, with sincere confession of the same to God, especially that we have offended so gracious a God and so loving a Father, together with a settled purpose of heart and a careful endeavor to leave all our sins, and to live a more holy and sanctified life according to all God’s commands” (The Orthodox Creed, General Baptist, 1679).
"Saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things." (2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689; Particular Baptist)
👉🏻 In the sermon What does Repentance Look Like? he describes repentance, not from the Bible, but from a dictionary (time 38:00). Why?? For the obvious reason of rejection of the doctrine. No man that believes in true repentance needs to go to a dictionary to find a definition. He does that when he is out fishing for the answer that suits his own presupposed definition, and he blatantly refuses to attend to it in scripture, where the definition will be loud and clear for anyone with ears to hear. He doesn't only visit one dictionary or extraBiblical source but multiple ones! First Webster’s, then another unnamed one, than Hancock’s, then the man Bruce Lackey, and then David Cloud, but very strangely and oddly he NEVER goes to the Bible or even a Greek lexicon (such as Strong's or BDAG) to get a Biblical definition from there. This is very, very tell-tale. He doesn’t pull his theology from the text, from exegesis, but from other men. Why doesn’t he do that when it comes to faith or another doctrine? Why only repentance? Again, the answer is very obvious. Another thing; while defining repentance for salvation (while using the dictionary) he speaks of having sorrow for sin in that same breath, which I am about to rejoice over since he is touching on some elements of true repentance, but then to my dismay, he spins it around and references this not to salvation at all but to post-salvation, during the Christian life. Sorrow over sin is not for salvation according to Sullivant but only for believers. Yikes, there goes 2 Cor 7:9-10. He goes on a mumble jumble rumble about “legal repentance” and “evangelical repentance” (which appeared to go right over his own head), making things very convoluted because he plainly rejects the true doctrine just like his hero but attempting to make it appear like if he actually believes in it, deceiving his listeners because of gain and fulfilling to precision Rom 16:17-18, all in obvious denial of this excessively important aspect of the gospel.
He false defines repentance as "a change of mind” (time 47:45). No it’s not. Repentance is way more than just a change of mind. Way, way more, as it only addresses one of three Greek words found in Scripture that define, describe and teach the principles of repentance. I have addressed this in other places in this report, and also a report here: Repentance is Not Just a Change of Mind. Even with the Greek word “metaneo” (one of the three Greek words), repentance is not just a mere change of mind. There is however in Scripture a Greek term that defines and describes this type of purely intellectual response, and it is has nothing to do with any of the words translated as repentance or repentance principles. That word is “metaballo” and its found just once in Scripture, which is Act 28:6, referring to the people who witnessed a venomous snake attack the Apostle Paul and not kill him:
“Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.”
That is the “change of mind” only response, and it ain’t repentance.
At time 49:45 in giving examples of his false repentance of only a change of mind he reads Ex. 13:17-18 and states,
“Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt’ meaning the world . . . interesting that was just preached here, this was also the passage for my ordination sermon over 30 years ago. God led them through a harder way you could say because He felt like they would change their mind about being taken out of the world.”
That is Sullivant’s repentance there. Okay. First of all, he is corrupting the meaning of this time of the Jewish people in the wilderness. The Jews were lost, unsaved, which is why they wanted to go back to Egypt, and God was taking them through trials after trials to bring them to salvation, to true conversion, not to strengthen their Christian life. But to no avail. Secondly, it wasn't some superficial intellectual change of mind of believers that God was looking for, but true Biblical repentance for salvation which involves the mind, the will and the emotions. Thirdly, who would use that as an ordination sermon text? What?!
At time 52:00 Sullivant annihilates the story of the prodigal son, claiming that his repentance was restoration of fellowship, so something post-salvation:
“So although he was welcomed back and brought back into fellowship, but there was a loss this brother experienced because he went off into the world and spent his living on riotous living. You need to understand that you can do that and come back but you’re going to lose.”
This is serious perversion of a very plain and simple portion of salvation Scripture so this point alone makes him a heretic since absolutely nothing in this chapter indicates that Jesus is speaking about saved people. I mean absolutely nothing, with the entire context (Luke 14:15-15:32) and greater context (Lk 9:23—20:47) ONLY referring to soteriology, to the gospel. But it fits Sullivants (Hyles) false gospel and false sanctification loaded with Keswick/revivalistic type of heretical “theology,” covered next point. It is nauseating of the spewing-out-of-the-mouth kind, making unsaved people two-fold children of hell and inoculating many of them to the real truth and the real gospel. And no, the saved person cannot do that, he will not do that! “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1-2).
It’s a bit weird and strange the language Sullivant uses here to address the Father immediately following:
“Even though he was accepted back by Daddy, I mean Daddy made it clear to the older brother who was also upset [implying the “Daddy” was also upset], saying look your brother had spent his inheritance.”
This is strange language to use here but likewise false to the text. The older brother was religious but lost. Sullivant also adds to God’s Word here, for the Father makes no mention of the inheritance. Of course Sullivant would speak of this, for he is all about the money (for a lot of reasons, including all the badgering about tithing, big church, keep the money flowing, and then the coverups, etc). God saved his younger sons soul here but Sullivants corrupts, perverts and absolutely mutilates this beautiful story of redemption. And no sermon would be complete without the mention of “wicked and carnal Christians,” further indication of the desperately anemic salvation/sanctification of this man.
Read here for a true Biblical account on The Parable of Two Sons Who Hated Their Father (Luke 15).
It is worth nothing that the only time Sullivant ever mentions repentance is in a sermon like this (where the text forces him to), not when preaching on the gospel/salvation or speaking of how to be saved or given a salvation “invitation,” and only when speaking about practical sanctification, even though that had nothing to do with this text out of Luke 15. Repentance is not some drive by doctrine to study and teach on once a year. It’s a huge component of the gospel/salvation which without no man can be saved, and must always be preached. True believers preach it EVERY time the gospel is preached but pastor Sullivant never preaches it where it should be preached or mentioned, only when he is forced to, and then he corrupts it.
👉🏻 Sullivant has a complete sermon on the prodigal son, titled Which Son Are You (July 7, 2013), based upon the wonderful chapter on true Biblical repentance (Lk. 15), which he unfortunately mutilates and twists so bad, a pragmatic exercise of disaster, that it resembles nothing of what the chapter is actually teaching. It could well be one of the worse sermons I have ever heard. Sullivant’s repentance is entirely false since he’s interpreting this as post-salvation, and he even likens the lost son to a “backslidden Christian,” which is very convenient indeed. But it is unscriptural and heretical. He wasn't backslidden, which refers to apostasy and not reflective of saved people, and he wasn't Christian either, so fail on both accounts.
This is perhaps one of the most dangerous sermons I have ever heard, and among the many heretical sermons of his, this one clearly expresses the serious error of the false gospel at PVBC. If you prayed a prayer and “asked Jesus into your heart to be your personal Saviour,” you can live as the ungodly and rebellious lost or the religious lost and still be saved, yep, only “backslidden” of course. How terribly convenient it must be to keep the pews full, the coffers flowing and the man behind the pulpit enshrined in his position. In other sermons he gives plenty of examples of this philosophy and theory of his. You just “need to get right” (an ear-bleeding nauseating cliche), like the prodigal supposedly did. Rigggght. A so-called Christian can go for weeks and months and years and even decades without “getting right with God” but still be “right with God” in the area of his position in Christ, as if the former is divorced from the latter:
“Folks if you’re not right with God get right with God and don’t wait till your later years. I hurt for some people who year, after year, after year, after year, and they’re still not right with God.” (time 35:20).
This resembles nothing of the supernatural super-dramatic, completely-changed, entirely-brand-new-creature-in-Christ with-a-circumcised-heart that has been washed-by-the-blood-of-the-Lamb salvation that we find in the pages of Holy Writ, nor does it represent the grace of God that not only saves (Ti 2:11) but also teaches the saint to "deny ungodliness and worldly lusts," and "live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" for "our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Ti 2:12-14). What Sullivant is preaching there is the product of a false gospel, corruption of salvation, and rejection of Christ’s Lordship, noted also in the following statement:
“He won’t make you trust Him as Saviour. He won’t make you live for Him after you are saved.” (time 33:00).
What?! This is a terrible argument to make, a logical fallacy. Of course we know that God doesn’t save anyone against their will, He doesn't force anyone to surrender to Him as Lord, but He also doesn’t save anyone who doesn’t want to live for Him or won't submit to His Lordship. So the argument is mute. It doesn't exist except for in the mind of those who don't think Biblically but fallaciously. So that last half, doesn’t exist in the Bible; it’s false salvation and sanctification language. Those who didn’t want to live for Jesus, who didn’t want Him to reign over Him (Lk. 19:14), of those, His enemies, Jesus said,
“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Lk. 19:27)
Mike Sullivant is a very confused man, but he maintains the Jack Hyles system indoctrinated and brainwashed into him, because it works to build a big church and bring in a lot of money, and produce a lasting "legacy" — even at the cost of truth, obedience and actual true serving of Christ (Gal 1:10). Although we are not puppets, God nevertheless works out His will and good pleasure in everyone He indwells, and they are willing and happy servants for Him (e.g. Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13; Lk. 17:7-10). The "carnal Christian" and "backslidden Christian" heretical beliefs require the Christian to be left to themselves but God never leaves His children to themselves (Ps. 18:24-26; 48:14; Jer. 32:37-41; Jn. 10:1-5, 26-27; Rom. 8:28-39; 1 Cor. 1:6-9; Eph. 1:11, 13; 3:20; Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13; 1 Th. 2:13; 5:23-24; 2 Th. 2:12-17; 3:2-3; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18; 1 Pet. 1:5; Heb. 13:20-21) — He is continually working in them and chastening them as required, as clay lovingly molded by the potter as a vessel unto honour and conformed to the image of His Son (Heb. 12:5-11; Pr. 3:11-12; 1 Cor. 11:28-32; Job 5:17).
"Christ, who is our life" (Col. 3:4) never leaves us to live our lives for ourselves or for the flesh, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3). Paul, speaking of the Thessalonians conversion, declared "the Word of God . . . effectively worketh also in you that believe" (1 Th. 2:13b), which is the same truth that Christ declared: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" (Jn. 8:31). God has given the Scriptures for "doctrine, reproof, instruction, and correction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16) so "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:17). Paul also reminded the Thessalonians that the "Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God . . . stablish you in every good word and work" (2 Th. 2:16-17), since –after all– "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10). Thus, a major evidence of true conversion is obedience to God’s Word (Jn 8:31; 14:15-24; 1 Jn 2:3-5).
But these things must be denied or twisted out of their meaning in order to get to the Keswick-Revivalist-Hyles-type of sanctification and soteriology, so that the false professing believer needs to just keep towing the line and rededicating himself in his futile efforts to live the "victorious life" and getting "right with God," because, after all, "He won’t make you live for Him after you are saved.”
The entire sermon was based upon Sullivant’s claims there are two acceptable but opposing views of this passage in Lk 15: both salvation and practical sanctification (specifically stated time 5:30-8:30). This is serious confusion if anything. Nowhere is a salvation passage also referring to practical sanctification. Though there is interconnection between the doctrines, Scripture refers to either one or the other. Though he claims two views, he primarily takes the view that this is not talking about salvation but about sanctification, like he did in the aforementioned sermon and other sermons, and that the account of the two sons is not a parable like the first two illustrations in that chapter. He says he doesn’t believe it’s a parable and,
“I also believe in the context where I’m going with this that this is not one that is lost as far as not going to heaven, I’m talking about a son who has wondered from the fold, that is backslidden, and has got away from the Father. So that’s the direction I want to take with the message this morning. Here I just want to say I believe that both sons are backslidden. So the question I’m asking, which son are you? . . . The object of the message today is really to find out if we fit into this picture at all, where we fit and what we need to do to get right. . . . The fact if the matter is if we ever hope to experience personal revival then we need to be right. And if we want to as a church experience corporate revival then we need to be right.”
He takes that direction because it fits his narrative, His philosophy on the Christian life and his style of ministry which requires this intended direction. A Hyles-type ministry requires it. Everything about this is so very wrong. It is pure fabrication made out of sheer cloth and then wilful, purposeful, twisting of Scripture. There are not two views, ONLY one and it’s certainly not the view he has adopted. NEITHER of these sons were backslidden, they were both lost and both hated their Father. Jesus specifically says ONE parable (“this parable” means singular, one parable, v. 3), given by three illustrations and ALL three are VERY clearly referring to salvation. The subject is continual in this chapter, the context actually starting back in 14:15. Luke 15 is one story with three examples on heavens reaction when the lost are found. All three follow the same pattern, which is: (i) lost, (ii) sought, (iii) found, (iv) regenerated, and (v) celebrated. That's the outline for all three illustrations. There's only one meaning here. Very clearly. This is clearly known by a few facts alone: (1) His audience — lost publicans/sinners and lost Pharisees/scribes (vv. 1-2). Jesus is not teaching lost people how to be better Christians; (2) Repentance unto salvation with the heavens rejoicing and celebrating over one sinner (always lost people, another Biblical fact) that repenteth; (3) The coin, sheep and son were lost then found, and that is always salvation; (4) Absolutely nothing about this chapter or context even hints at the idea that its post-salvation, practical sanctification. Practically nothing is more evident in scripture than both sons being unsaved. They both hate the Father. One is a rebellious irreligious immoral lost sinner, and the other is a rebellious religious moral lost sinner. The first son is directly applied by Christ to the publicans/sinners (v. 1) who go before the religious cartel into heaven while the second son is the Pharisees/scribes (v. 2), who go off into hell. This is painfully obvious to anyone with spiritual eyes, but the wicked wrest the Scriptures to their own liking (2 Pet 3:16-17). This gibberish about a “backslidden son” is found nowhere in scripture. Backsliding means apostasy, and all Scriptural references to it only apply to lost people, essentially all to the lost nation of Israel. Revivalism is also heresy and revival is for unsaved people only.
He says the “the younger son” was “living in the world.” (time 25:30). Thats right, and people that live in the world are of the world. Concerning truly saved people, Jesus declared:
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (Jn. 15:19)
Fulfilled in the parable. The saved don’t love the world, just like the younger son didn’t love it anymore when he repented unto God for salvation; and then he was hated by the world, the lost of the world especially the religious, i.e. his elder brother.
It’s pretty sad when a man’s doctrine and wresting of Scripture brings him to question his congregation as to whether they are an open Christian rebel (the younger son) or a secret Christian rebel (the older son).
“May I ask you a question: do you fit the category of the younger son? Are you openly rebellious? Is your sin easy to point put, pick out? Are you easy to be identified? . . . Whether we fit in the outwardly rebellious or inwardly cold, we need to have a chance to be right with God. As I asked at the start of this message: which son are you?” (time 21:40, 46:30).
In spite of saying that the “older son was not happy, and miserable” and then inquiring how many people come to church like the older son and are “miserable, angry, discontented, unfulfilled, vexation, irritation, frustration, going on in the inside of you” (time 25:40), he does not comprehend that these are markers of someone that has religion but not Christ (in the NT age, due to the indwelling Spirit of God in saved people), that they are then like the older unsaved son. If he had taught this text in truth, the questions would've been appropriate, for many people in the pews are unsaved. Yet God’s house is to be made up of ONLY true regenerated saints (Eph 4). Perverting God’s Word always has consequences. In this case it is accusing his congregation of being entirely lost, since that is what Luke 15 actually teaches about the two sons. The teaching and questions here also fit his heretical revivalist “theology,” personal and corporate “revival,” but there again he is wrong, because Biblical revival is being brought to life from the dead, which happens only at salvation, where at we are quickened forever (Eph. 2:1-3; Is. 57:15; Rom. 7:9). What the passages are teaching means he is condemning the people of PVBC to be lost, and that might be right but its obviously not what he means.
Again, he can freely talk about "repentance" in this sermon, not only because the context requires it, but also because of his spin on what the text is actually teaching, his narrative on this being post-salvation. But in light of the fact that repentance if the main subject of Luke 15, Sullivant barely touches the doctrine. Sullivant does not believe or teach Biblical repentance for salvation. If he did, he wouldn’t falsely interpret and wrest this passage as he does, and so many others like it. Yet, in spite of the golden opportunity to preach on true Biblical repentance, he still doesn’t get repentance even close to right, even in his false teaching on post-salvation repentance. He still can’t define repentance Biblically or adequately, completely omitting anything relating to turning from sin and turning from self, complete omittance of the volitional or emotional aspects of repentance. At time 45:20 he said:
“So you need to be willing to give everything up to come back to the Father.”
Willing? You should've given everything up already to come to the Father, just like the Prodigal did...for salvation. This is Keswick/ Higher Life/ Deeper life/ Revivalist theology being pushed here, the subject of the next point. If he was actually interpreting this properly, which is soteriology, he wouldn’t be “willing” but just giving everything up. That is what is required for salvation, something the rich young ruler wouldn’t do (Matt. 19; Mk. 10; Lk. 18) but the prodigal son did, as many others like Saul of Tarsus (Ac 9; Phil 3:3-11) and Zachaeus (Lk 19:1-10) and the apostles set of brothers (Lk 5:1-11; cf. 18:26-30), etc, but it goes right over Sullivant's head. The prodigal gave up his life, his self, his sins, his possessions, his everything, to be received and saved by the Father. He died to himself, which is the necessary ingredient to true Biblical repentance and faith (Jn 12:24-25; Lk 14:15-32; 9:57-62; 13:23-30; Matt 10:32-39; 16:24-26; 21:28-32; Mk 8:34-38). What Sullivant is teaching here is a false gospel, a corrupted version of the gospel that falls way short of saving faith, that accompanies the wrong methodology and the distorted sanctification. He says repentance is a willingness to change, which means they might not necessarily result in changing. Since Gods Word is perspicuous and every true believer is taught the plain truth by the indwelling Spirit of truth (Pr. 8:8-9; 22:20-21; 1 Jn. 2:20-21, 27), all true believers will understand there can only be one interpretation here, and thats salvation, so they will not interpret it as something for the Christian life, as post-salvation, knowing that doing so is perverting the words of God and giving it a different meaning and bringing great confusion and contradiction to Gods Word and denying the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
God never works in a way that circumvents the Bible. If the meaning of Scripture is mangled, is the Holy Spirit in it? Scripture has only one meaning. There may be more than one application (salvation passages are not applied to practical sanctification), but never more than one interpretation, and the entire Bible harmonizes. False doctrine doesn’t harmonize, nor does false interpretation of Scripture. Scripture is plain and perspicuous (meaning clearly expressed and understood—Pr 8:8-9), and all its words are important since we’re to live by every word (Matt 4:4). The doctrine of perspicuity is about absolute truth, and it, like all scriptural doctrine, is under great attack. Loving the truth by speaking the truth and interpreting Scripture truthfully, is some of the ways we love Jesus, so there are ways we can know when people don’t actually love Jesus, though they may profess.
To believe the prodigal son is a true Christian only "not right with God" lends support to the false idea that salvation can be lost or that a true Christian can live like the world and still be saved. It excessively confuses not only this chapter but also salvation and the entire Bible, dis-harmonizing the Scriptures. God is not the author of this confusion.
Let's consider for a moment this whole idea of willing to change, though its used in the wrong way here and in the wrong passage by Sullivant. Very common amongst the IFB is corruption of repentance and other perversions of the doctrine of salvation, but this one in particular accommodates methodology, success and numbers. Someone defines repentance as a willingness to change, a willingness to turn from his way to God's way, a willingness "to give everything up to come back to the Father” as Sullivant put it. Further, once he is willing, he doesn't in fact change or turn. He might, but in this case, he doesn't. According to this definition, repentance is the willingness to change or turn, but he may not change or turn. Even further, he is still considered saved. The people who agree with this definition say that a person may not change after he has repented for a long time. Churches lure in numbers of lost people with something other than the gospel itself. They might present to these lost that they must be willing to change in order to be justified (i.e., being born again, or conversion). Then upon making a profession of faith or this willingness to "repent," these lost individuals do not change or change to the degree the Bible says they will. Some of these leave church never to come back or only to come back a decade or two later, and some stay in church but their lives are superficial and absent of the spiritual fervency seen in Scripture with saved people. These people are still treated as being justified. Why? Because they "repented," that is, they were willing to change. Had the prodigal not repented, that is turn after he said he was willing to change, he would've still been treated as a justified believer by Sullivant and ilk, because of his willingness to change, even when it occurs with a profession of faith. Churches like PVBC call this experience justification and count this as another person justified, if it occurs when they profess faith, or count this person still saved if it occurs at some point after their alleged conversion.
Then, when the person falls away or drops out, like how Sullivant treated the prodigal and the elder son, they are called "backslidden." That is what Sullivant does, basing his entire sermon around that point, but in so doing also completely corrupts the meaning of "backsliding," which means apostasy, and is always the cndition of someone that is near salvation but not saved, and then falls away from that which he had (cf. 2 Pet 2:12-22; Matt 13:11-12; Lk 8:18; 19:26, hence the warning, "Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have." -- Lk 8:18). They were justified, but backslidden, but still justified. Someone who is justified, according to this viewpoint, can live in a state of perpetual sin or rebellion or error, while Scripture says that those who continue in sin or rebellion are not saved (1 Jn 3:1-9). They have actually not repented. They were not willing to change because they didn't actually change, at least not true, rooted, change. They have not repented. If they had truly repented, the grace of God would have truly justified them, saved them and then continued to save them. The grace of God changes them, and continues to change them. When it doesn't change them permanently, it's because they were never justified in the first place. And they were not justified because they did not genuinely repent, and I mean repentance in line with Scripture. True Biblical epentance involves all three faculties of man: the intellect (Pr 1:29; 2:1-5; Jer 8:6; Rom 3:11), the emotions (Ez 9:6; Ps 34:18; Ezk 6:9; 9:4 Jon 3:8; 2 Cor 7:10) and the volition—the will (Is 55:6-7; Ezk 18:30; 1 Th 1:9; Ac 14:15; Matt 13:44-46). In the NT repentance is described and translated by three different Greek words, and in the OT, three different words, and they illustrate all three of these faculties of man.
A good summary of these three faculties of man (intellect, will and emotions) is noted in the salvation of the Ninevites (Jon 3:5-10). We also see God’s repentance here, a change of the mind and will (“God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them”) which resulted in a change of action (“and he did it not”) (v. 10), but His repentance never changes His life, so that aspect of repentance is not illustrated in God’s repentance, because He doesn’t change. The Ninevites repentance is noted in the intellect in that they believed what Jonah had proclaimed about Gods coming judgment (vv. 4-5). The emotions are noted in their sorrow for their sin exhibited in a very striking way by humbling themselves, “cry[ing] mightily unto God” (v 8), “in sackcloth and ashes” (vv. 5-6). Then the volition is noted, the purposed turning away from their evil ways and violence unto God in such humble contrition that even their cows wore sackcloth and ashes (vv. 6-8).
This is the benchmark of repentance, God’s expectation of repentance for salvation, according to the words of God the Son (Lk 11:30-32). Also noted in this account of salvation of the Ninevites is Christ’s Lordship, which dovetails with repentance. The king of Nineveh “arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.” (v. 6). He, the king of a very powerful and ever growing in power Gentile nation (Assyria), stepped off his throne so Christ could get on it — he set aside his kingly robes, took upon himself the garb of affliction and humility, and turned from all his evil ways with humbleness before Almighty God in acquiescence and contrition while crying out to God for mercy. This earthly king recognized his subservience to God, his evil towards Him and that God was God and he was not, and thus forsook all that he had in humble surrender to the King of kings and Lord of lords (Lk 14:31-34, 26-27). Repentant faith in Christ involves losing one’s life, that is, turning from our own way of living, exaltation of self and comfort, to surrender to Christ as unconditional Lord (Mk 8:35; Matt 10:32-39; Lk 9:23-24; 14:25-33). It’s an exchange of masters (Matt 6:24). Repentance involves turning from all known sins/idols: from general sin (Is. 55:6-7; I Th. 1:9; Ac. 26:20) and from specific sins (Ezk. 18:20-23, 28-32; Ac. 3:19, 26), and this is the change of action wrought from a change of mind and will. The major issue with lost people unwilling to repent is because of wilful rebellion and love for sin and self. We see that in Rom 1, where lost people “hold the truth in unrighteousness;” (Rom. 1:18-23).
From whence hath Sullivant learned this, since its found on no page in Holy Writ? Well, from no one other than the Great Jack Hyles, and his "church" was loaded with tens of thousands of false professors and counterfeit "Christians." That's what you get when you have 100,000 "salvation decisions" reported by Dave Hyles, the son of Jack, over a period of six years through the youth Sunday School, and Hyles didn't give one rip as to whether someone had actually changed or not. Dave’s sister, Cindy, said, “I won thousands of souls before I finished my teen years” (The Fundamental Man, p. 271). In 1976, Dave’s book Successful Church Youth Work was published by the Sword of the Lord. The book was described as “the successful formula of Dave Hyles” and was advertised by the heretical and man-centred Sword as “double success!” (on the back cover of Let’s Baptize More Converts). That is just a drop in the bucket, as has been documented in many reports. Hyles claimed millions of people "saved", and claimed that Jesus, Paul or Peter had nothing on him. His wicked haughty and arrogant attitude caused him to even claim once, "The future of America rests on these two shoulders," as he pointed to his own two shoulders. First Baptist Church has influenced thousands of churches, including PVBC, and not only indirectly, but in a direct manner since that is where Sullivant chose to go for his indoctrination. FBC was ground zero for the promotion of the damnable practices of Quick Prayerism and Big-Manism and Big-Numberism and Diotrephesism (blind, unquestioning loyalty to a pastor), and Sullivant learned his ABC's well.
The false "willingness to change" repentance and repentance that rejects turning from sin, from self, from stuff and from people, which are idols, are corrupting the gospel. They are also making their victims twice the children of hell they once were.
Everything about this sermon is heresy. False interpretation resulting in a false foundation to start with, corrupting the Scriptures (2 Cor 2:17). Then false repentance. And then bastardizing what salvation does for the repentant sinner at salvation and continually after. That followed by false sanctification, falsely teaching that saved people can live like the world and in sin like lost people, corrupting large chunks of the Bible, which is God’s Book on salvation. Sullivant effortlessly corrupts, distorts and wrests God’s Word, an "error of the wicked" (2 Pet. 3:16-17). This one sermon on its own proves that Mike Sullivant is a heretic (Ti. 3:10),
“Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” (Ti. 3:11).
Other serious errors in this sermon included misinterpreting, misusing Scripture and wresting (2 Pet. 3:16-17) other commonly corrupted Scripture such as Lk. 14:26-35 into a "discipleship" passage (post-salvation) which he then related to Lk. 9:23-25. These are very clearly salvation passages, which have been exposited in the following article, In Mark 8:34-38, Is Jesus Teaching How to be Saved or How to be A Better Christian? No, Jesus is NOT teaching the “great multitude” (Lk 14:25) who are essentially all lost, on how to be better disciples, or better Christians (what he means, since disciple passages are always referring to something post-salvation according to Keswick-Revivalists like Sullivant and many other IFB pastors), but how to be saved — indeed how to be disciples if used Biblically, which is referring to salvation, for The Call to Discipleship is a Call to Salvation. This serious perversion of Scripture is a direct reflection of their false gospel. In his explanation of these passages, his repentance once again was completely false: “The word repenting means to have a change of mind.” He taught in this sermon that there is a change of action as well that accompanies repentance, but nothing about sin, nothing about turning, nothing about the prodigal son turning from his wickedness, and worse, again, he only believes it follows salvation, not for salvation.
👉🏻 The sermon How to know you are saved (Jan 27, 2019), based upon 1 Jn. 5:11-13, is not only loaded with error, but also heresy. Supposedly the new convert needs to be taught by man to know how he knows he is saved. What?!
“When you lead someone to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and begin that discipleship process, you’ll be able to help solidify their faith in regard to this matter and it might help you out.” (time 04:30).
So man will do what God the Spirit apparently cannot do. Yet Scripture says, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” (Ps. 118:8). Yes we need to grow after and be taught the Scriptures to increase in obedience and God's glory, but Who is our Teacher? — Read 1 Jn. 2:20-22, 27. And what we are learning after salvation is NOT to know whether we are saved, NOT “to help solidify [our] faith” but growth in knowledge and understanding and wisdom for practical sanctification, and conformity to Christ's likeness! NO true born again believer needs to be taught how he knows he is saved. No one needed to teach me this, nor did anyone have to teach those that were saved in the Bible. This is a purelyman-centred, powerless, unBiblical salvation that Sullivant embraces and purveys, one that is not sufficient with what God does or understands, but requires the help of man. It dovetails with everything else that is happening in these Hyles-type churches. If someones faith is not solidified by the actual new birth (Jn 3:3-7), which is as dramatic as the birth of a new born baby, then that person is very likely unsaved. Doubt is not of God. How could it be, since the indwelling Spirit witnesses with the spirit of those He indwells that they are children of God (Rom 8:16). Naturally what men like Sullivant will bring in at this point is "unbelief," so I was quite surprised that this wasn't mentioned. When I was born again the Holy Spirit of God regenerated me, came to dwell inside me, cleansed and forgave me of all my sins forever and made me white as snow, gave me eternal life, made me a new creature in Christ Jesus and gave me a new and circumcised heart, reconciled me unto God and gave me peace with Him, opened my blinded eyes and made me spiritual which brought great discernment, eternally delivered from darkness and into the light and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, quickened me [made me alive], etc, so there was absolutely NO need for some man to "solidify [my] faith." So this is not only egregious but heresy.
In the sermon he started with the Bible, that’s how we know we are saved. Having faith in faith or faith in facts. Find that as an evidence of salvation anywhere in Scripture. It more aligns with the Word-Faith Heresy than with Biblical salvation. The Bible tells us what the objective, and subjective, proofs of conversion are, how to have assurance of salvation, and 1 John is a wonderful epistle written towards that end. After that he spent 15 mins going through passages on the Bible that have nothing to do with assurance of salvation (e.g. Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; 2 Pet. 1:18-21). Sullivant is a master manipulator of God’s Word, twisting it via eisegesis to his own liking and preconceived ideas and agenda. And he seems to have great difficulty understanding many Scriptures.
At time 25:20 his gospel is false. Not a word about repentance or its principles, which involves a lot and is the foundation of salvation. The continual cliche throughout the sermon, at least ten times, is:
“... know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.”
Where does the Bible use language like that to describe salvation? Even once. The 20/20 report Is “Accept Jesus as Your Saviour” Biblical Salvation Language”? covers this soteriological error.
He speaks of striking up conversations with people before presenting the gospel. He even has a fancy acrostic for that, an aid to remember how to do this. You might want to talk about home, humidity, and health. You might want to talk about employment. Get them to come to church. Invite them, but Jesus Did Not Invite, Nor Evangelize in This Fashion. We are not there to invite them to church. One shouldn’t start out with the idea that I'm going to strike up a conversation. When I read all of the examples of Jesus and the Apostles, I don't read them merely trying to make it the most pleasant experience possible. I say "merely." You aren't going for unpleasant, but as soon as you turn any conversation in the direction of the gospel, you will start feeling a bad vibe 99% of the time, that is if you are actually preaching a true gospel that is based around repentance, like Jesus did (Matt. 4:17; 11:20-21; 21:28-32; Mk. 1:15; 2:17; Lk. 5:31-32; 13:1-5) and John the Baptist did (Matt. 3:2; Lk. 3:3) and Jesus commanded the apostles and everyone else to (Mk. 6:12; Lk. 24:47-48) which is exactly what they did (Ac. 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 8:22; 11:18; 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:20; Rom. 2:1-4; 2 Pet. 3:9; etc), but its certainly NOT what Sullivant does. Sullivant does not believe in hard preaching to the sinner about his or her sin, wickedness or condemnation to hell, or preaching true Biblical repentance or the necessity of sinners to surrender and submit themselves to Jesus Christ as Lord, and none of this is found anywhere in this sermon on How to know you are saved or in his training on how to soul-win, not by word or principle.
The sermon is consummated with an emotional appeal to come to the alter with elevator music playing in your ear to help emotionally prod your bottom off the pew you just warmed to follow the masses down the ole sawdust trail, all at the exclusion of true repentance.
👉🏻 In the sermon Remember Lot’s Wife, he gives a long salvation invitation, (at least 6 mins, time 29:50) given in the context of the ending of Luke 17 which is all about a people refusing to repent including Lot's wife (who is exposed to be a false believer in that chapter) but not one word on repentance or it’s principles. Not a single word. Again, the crickets are loud and speak volumes.
Neither was salvation mentioned as the issue absent in Lot's wife, plainly evident by the passage that follows (v. 33) and onwards, and also the previous passages referring to the days of Noah,
"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (v. 33)
But Sullivant is in a bind here, because he treats these passages as something post-salvation, discipleship maybe, so he either doesn't touch it or he corrupts it.
👉🏻 His sermon Biblical Repentance is a smokescreen. Smoke and mirrors. But a careful listen to it, with an understanding what he believes about repentance from other sermons, articles, tracts, etc, reveals that its actually not so deceptive as he attempts to make it. Seeing the subject, the hope was true Biblical repentance would at last be taught here, especially in light of his use of David Cloud's text in the sermon, the One Year Discipleship Course, but nada. Hope was extinguished. He still manages to corrupt Biblical repentance and deny true repentance in spite of reading from the pages of Clouds text, which for the most part is true to Scripture, though its weak in some areas. He spins the doctrine around of what Cloud is writing (which is repentance unto salvation), and turns it into repentance post-salvation. Once again he reveals his true belief on repentance, that its not necessary for salvation (that is, true Biblical repentance that involves turning from sin, self, stuff and people, and surrender to Christ), even though he is referencing repentance from a book that is teaching it for salvation. Not surprising, he didn’t like Cloud's example of James Stuart in the book Sowing and Reaping (who wrote: “The hand that clutches the assassin’s knife must open ‘ere it can grasp the gift its intended victim proffers; and opening that hand, though a single act, has a double aspect and purpose. Accepting the gift implies a turning from the crime the heart was bent on, and it was the gift itself that worked the change. Faith is the open hand, relatively to the gift; repentance is the same hand, relatively, not only to the gift but more especially to the dagger that is flung from it.” (James Stewart, Evangelism, pp. 48-49). In other situations I have found myself, where people in similar manner reject repentance and actually despise the repentance of the Bible as espoused in Clouds book, the very same objections are given against Stewarts description of repentance, and then also likewise forcing what Cloud writes on repentance into something only post-salvation, not for salvation, even though salvation is the only subject of Cloud's chapter on repentance. But there is nothing unBiblical about what Stewart writes in this quote or what Cloud writes, though I believe he could be much stronger on the subject.
Sullivant's rejection of this description of repentance is not surprising since he repeatedly and chronically rejects what the Bible teaches on repentance, just like his hero and mentor, the wolf in sheep's clothing Jack Hyles, did, who called repentance an enemy of soul winning in his book Enemies of Soul Winning, dedicating an entire chapter to tearing down this critical and foundational doctrine of the gospel.
Although some the things may appear good in this sermon, namely because he is reading and teaching from another man’s book, in truth he doesn’t actually believe what he is saying and it’s not what it appears to be, as mentioned above, considering he changes repentance from salvation (as is documented in Cloud's book) to only something required after salvation, and yet still manages to corrupt the actual teaching on repentance by giving it a simple definition of a change of mind from unbelief to belief, which is plain heresy and perversion of the gospel (Gal 1:6-7) and affirms his spite for Biblical truth and his accursed estate (Gal 1:8-9). In light of everything he teaches on this subject by way of sermon, evangelism, gospel tracts, Bible school, etc, anything that he declares Biblically in this sermon on repentance doesn't actually hold any weight. Everything that is Biblical about repentance in this sermon is taken straight out of Cloud's book, which once again begs the question as to why he cannot teach repentance out of the hundreds of bible passages that plainly teach it? Its a rhetorical question, and the answer should be simple.
Things seemed to get worse as the sermon went on. Towards the end, upon explaining that the word repentance doesn’t have to necessarily be used as long as the principles are there (to which I agree, though his "principles of repentance" are corrupt and false), he said this:
“I’ve had people say, ‘well if he didn’t use the word repent in his prayer he needs to get saved.’ Now [pause] John 3:16 said, okay [he chuckles].” (time 52:37).
Oookay. Just. Wow. The nervous chuckle had its place but it runs in opposition to the fear with trembling before God's Word expressed in true believers (Is 66:5). In one sentence he single-handedly tells us EXACTLY how he truly feels about repentance, whether by word or principle (and his principles on repentance are thoroughly and horribly corrupt at any rate), and why he should be publicly exposed and treated as the wolf in sheep's clothing that he truly us. I am serious. And that is precisely what I am doing here, in complete obedience to Scripture (Rom 16:17-18). If he had said anything in the sermon that positively confirmed the true Biblical doctrine of repentance, its all for nought and thrown out the window because he very clearly does not believe that its necessary for salvation, since its found nowhere in John 3:16. In this manner, he is a deceptive wolf just like John R. Rice was.
What he is expressing here in essence is that he doesn't actually believe that repentance or its principles needs to be mentioned or acted upon in a conversion testimony at all. He doesn't believe it because John 3:16 says nothing about repentance. Yikes. What about three verses later, Jn 3:19-21, which is very clearly referring to the principles of repentance? You don't get Jn 3:16 without Jn 3:19-21. His statement is a master straw men utilized by repentance rejectors, and its practically scripted. It’s the same superfluous flummery and deception seen repeatedly in the writings and preaching of repentance rejectors, including in John R. Rice’s deceptive teachings on repentance. I can see the bond that formed the close relationship between Hyles and Rice, that of "the common salvation" (Ju 1:3) which is an unclean, perverted, and false salvation that Jude was warning about and contending against. I digress momentarily. There was a time that I thought Rice was solid and sound, but the truth is he was far from a position of sound doctrine or solid Biblical truth. He, like Hyles, was a master of big-ism, number-ism, pragmatism, compromise and gospel corruption, and then deception, which you can read about in the above link or by clicking here.
We know for absolute certainty how much value Sullivant actually puts on repentance and whether he believes in it at all based upon whether repentance (or principles) is mentioned in his salvation preaching and salvation invitations. It’s not, neither by word or concept. We will also know this based upon what he teaches in the soul winning seminars, where we likewise find neither the word or principle mentioned even once, and this is allegedly instruction on how to lead someone to Christ. Riggght, and he believes in repentance. And I was born yesterday. How deceived can people truly get. When someone rejects repentance, he is promoting a false gospel, which is "another gospel" (2 Cor 11:4), which means he is accursed (Gal 1:6-9) and a false brother (Gal 2:4-5). In listening through 10+ sermons that should've been laden with repentance according to Scripture, he didn't deal with the doctrine Biblically even once and rarely and scantly mentioned it, if he mentioned it all. And the same goes for the men that preach in this church or sent out as missionaries.
The Sullivant type of modern redefinition of faith as being nothing more than an intellectual assent is refuted in many places in Scripture. For example, Pr 3:5 gives a short, clear description of faith as "not leaning unto thine own understanding." The stumbling block for men like Sullivant, Hyles (and most of the Sword crowd) is that such a description implies submission, which is glaringly absent in a huge percentage of their achieved and archived profession, which is why they live non-victorious or non-overcoming lives, because they have been duped into a false gospel and false assurance. Salvation does indeed require submission. 2 Peter makes it clear that a mark of the unregenerate false teacher is their denial or disavowing of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. How can one become justified or sanctified without Biblical repentance, and how can one repent for salvation without submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
Consider what the Baptist B.H. Carroll had to say about preaching on repentance:
“The preacher who leaves out repentance commits as grave a sin as the one who leaves out faith. I mean he must preach repentance just as often, and with as much emphasis, and to as many people as he preaches faith. To omit repentance, to ignore it, to depreciate it, is rebellion and treason. Mark its relative importance: You may make a mistake about baptism and be saved, for baptism is not essential to salvation. You may be a Christian and not comprehend fully the high-priesthood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 5:11), but “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” So said the Master Himself. Repentance is a preparatory work. For thus saith the Lord: “Break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns.” I submit before God, who will judge the quick and the dead, that to preach faith without repentance is to sow among thorns. No harvest can be gathered from an unplowed field. The fallow ground needs to be broken up. The most striking instance on record of repentance as a preparatory work was the ministry of John the Baptist. He was sent “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” He did it by preaching repentance, and Mark says his preaching was “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Here is the true starting point. Whoever starts this side of repentance makes a false beginning which vitiates his whole Christian profession. When true repentance was preached and emphasized, there were not so many nominal professors of religion. TO LEAVE OUT OR MINIMIZE REPENTANCE, NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF A FAITH YOU PREACH, IS TO PREPARE A GENERATION OF PROFESSORS WHO ARE SUCH IN NAME ONLY. I give it as my deliberate conviction, founded on twenty-five years of ministerial observation, that the Christian profession of today owes its lack of vital godliness, its want of practical piety, its absence from the prayer meeting, its miserable semblance of missionary life, very largely to the fact that old-fashioned repentance is so little preached. You can’t put a big house on a little foundation. And no small part of such preaching comes from a class of modern evangelists who desiring more for their own glory to count a great number of converts than to lay deep foundations, reduce the conditions of salvation by one-half and make the other half but some intellectual trick of the mind rather than a radical spiritual change of the heart. Like Simon Magus, they believe indeed, but “their heart not being right in the sight of God, they have no part nor lot in this matter. They are yet in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” Such converts know but little and care less about a system of doctrine. They are prayerless, lifeless, and to all steady church work reprobate” (B.H. Carroll, Repentance and Remission of Sins, 1889).
I would tremble to be in the shoes of men like Sullivant (or Hyles for that matter) who have negatively affected only the Lord knows how many peoples eternal estate with their corrupted gospel.
If you are one who claims to preach Biblical repentance, but justifies a continued partnership with those who have done away with Biblical repentance in the way described above or here, you are acting in rebellion to God's Word (1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Jn 1:9-11). The defence of "it's not a false gospel, it's just not a full presentation of it," and that is then followed by a glib out-of-context quote of the Gospel being only what is described in Jn 3:16 or 1 Cor 15 (See? No repentance. Repentance is not included in the Gospel!) doesn't hold any water. Its been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The NT writer Mark would disagree with you. He opens with "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ..." and then launches straight into the baptism of repentance preached by John. Paul explained the "gospel of the grace of God" that he testified of as " repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ac 20:24, 21). Let the Gospel deniers and heretics make the argument that John's preaching and baptism were either OT (as I heard one pastor do in Sydney, Australia, who claimed to be a Baptist, while a great denier of repentance and the true gospel) or Inter-Testamental, but let it not be said of a Bible-believing Baptist! Despite that, I doubt that bothers majority of these enablers, since most have shaken off the burdensome shackles of Scriptural context when dealing with their proof texts. For some reason, the continual dependence on the big names or membership in the "good old boys club" comes from the unbiblical notion that success=bigness (which requires a certain amount of compromise and enabling), rather than the Biblical teaching that success=faithfulness.
(c) The “Repentance and Faith” in PVBC's Statement of Faith is very weak and shallow, and basically holds no weight.
It’s a copy cat from the generic Westminster Confession of Faith. It really means nothing in light of what Sullivant and the rest actually preach; even the little bit mentioned there is not even preached. Clearly in practice he departs from the Biblical orthodox position. What he writes in the SOF that they allegedly believe and what he actually teaches is miles apart. He does not actually defend or preach a true gospel. It’s not preached from the pulpit and in the very sermon we would know what he truly values repentance as, a very important sermon on Soul-Winning (teaching the congregation how to lead lost people to Christ), there is not one word of repentance, not even its principles. That speaks volumes loud and clear to anyone with ears to hear. It’s very obviously not important at all and definitely not necessary for salvation, so it makes no difference as to what the SOF details. He places repentance after salvation, except for turning from unbelief to belief (just like Hyles). He can say what he wants out of one side of the mouth, but when the rubber hits the road, we see what he actually true believes. He is a deceiver just like his father (Jn. 8:44).
If Sullivant and ilk truly believed that "repentance and faith are sacred duties and inseparable graces," as their SOF so says, then they would earnestly seek to teach these in truth. But that is not happening. They all but outright reject this doctrine. What I found curiously interesting in this Calvinistic Statement of Faith is the obvious Calvinism language found especially in this section on "Repentance and Faith." Men like Sullivant and the like would accuse me of being Calvinist, but I am about as far away from Calvinism as one could get, warning about it here and here and here and here and here, among more places here at 20/20, and it is certainly untrue that Lordship Salvation Proceeds from Calvinism — and yet we find here within their very own SOF the clear teachings of Calvinism. As quoted above, "inseparable graces" is Calvinism language, though its not necessarily wrong, depending upon what they mean by it, but where they do clearly go wrong is the Monergism, or regeneration before salvation, that is very plainly stamped into this SOF on salvation. This section on "Repentance and Faith" says that "repentance and faith are sacred duties and inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God..." That is Monergism, which in the Calvinist/Reformed theological heresy that teaches that regeneration precedes conversion, precedes the new birth, which is not only major confusion but heresy, as explained here. Are they "closet calvinists" as MacArthur might pejoratively coin them, or really just that undiscerning or spiritually lazy to not see the Calvinistic error in their own SOF before posting it online?
Click here for Part Ib.