Updated: Jun 27
(d) Many testimonies of supposed conversion are presented to the church with no evidence of repentance or fruit of repentance.
What is accepted as conversion is praying a prayer, "taking Jesus as your Saviour" by "asking Jesus into your heart." Sunday evenings are periodically given to testimonies preached by students in the college, and practically all these reflect the same false repentant-less, ask Jesus into your heart, corrupted “gospel” of easy believism and quick prayerism. Many, very many, of these are childhood “conversions, ages 3 or 4 or 5, the latter the more popular, which is just plain twisted and wrong. I cannot recall ever meeting one true born again believer from that age, even though I have met many that profess to have been saved at such a young age. The vast majority are lost counterfeit “believers” and most of these align precisely with what is being warned of in this report on Michael Sullivant and OVBC/CBBC (like the rejection of repentance for instance and embracement of a false gospel of easy believism — I think of a church split of a sister church to PVBC, where this line of demarcation between the true gospel and the false gospel amongst the people was clear cut, and I mean crystal clear, where essentially nearly 100% of one half maintained a flimsy profession that occurred at some early young age and all of these rejected true Biblical repentance and that salvation brought guaranteed fruit and change of life and evidence of salvation immediately and perpetually, while also embracing Keswick-Revivalist theology heresy which had infiltrated the church through Baptist College of Ministry and Falls Baptist Church where Keswick Theology Heresy Reigns, while the other half had conversions at an older age, in their teens or later and all had true Biblical conversion testimonies with dramatic and immediate and ongoing fruit and evidence, and all embraced true Biblical repentance and rejected the heresy of Keswick theology — the contrast couldn't have been greater and more clear). Sadly many will never clue into their counterfeit estate or simply sear their conscience and reject the reproof (cf. Pr 1:20-32). Thankfully some do.
👉🏻 Consider an example of this mentioned by Sullivant in the sermon The Crucified Life (Jan 25, 2015):
“We try to put time limits on the way God deals with people, Connie was even mentioning in her testimony in how she was saved when she was younger but then she went into sin and how many days and months and years went by before she came back to the Lord and that can be the testimony of many. But she was still saved.”
No she wasn’t. If she had been, then what is declared in Rom 3:3 of God's Word is exactly the opposite of what is true, "let God be true, but every man a liar;" God's Word is not true if someone professes to be saved at some ghastly young age and then goes on for years in sin and darkness, because God's Word tells us the very opposite will occur in the new birth (as exposited here and here) and then also tells us those that do this, are unsaved. If she doesn’t know as of today that she was unsaved back then, she still remains unsaved today. All that has happened in her life is religion. Conformity. Looking for something better then what she had. It’s a means to quenching the conscience. No one goes away from the Lord like this, which is apostasy. It renders God's Word as untrue and the ministry of the Holy Spirit as not real. Hundreds of passages of Scripture speak to this, as does the parable of the sower and seed (only the good ground is saved, while the thorny and stony ground are unsaved but pretending to be saved, wherein she fits precisely — read more here on the parable of the seed, sower and soil). And then most ironically he quoted Rom 6:1-2 immediately after (time 13:20), which reads,
“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?”
That passage COMPLETELY contradicts what he had just said about “Connie.” Sullivant says "she went into sin and how many days and months and years went by . . . and that can be the testimony of many. But she was still saved” while God says, "God forbid . . . How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Who is right and who is the liar?! Obviously Sullivant is lying and Connie is deceived (which is pandered along by false teachers such as Mike Sullivant) but passages like Rom 6:1-2 amongst hundreds of others, even in the very same chapter (see below), tells a completely different story. But Sullivant doesn't believe the Bible and has changed its truths to align with his narrative and program. If that isn't a false teacher, I don't know what would be.
Let us consider some other passages from Romans 6 that refute a person supposedly getting saved and then living for years in sin and in worldliness, astray from God entirely.
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." (vv. 6-7)
"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." (vv. 14-15)
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye WERE the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." (vv. 16-18)
— this text tells us very clearly that Connie was never saved, as does the next one and the ones previous.
"For when ye WERE the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." (vv. 20-22)
Absolutely everything about these passages refute the narative of Michael Sullivant. He would actually end up reading up to v. 8 of Rom 6 (time 14:00) which, again, completely contradicts what he said about Connie. Rom 6:1-8 tell us that truly saved people don't continue in sin. That is not the grace of God that saves. They have died and been buried with Christ and raised to newness of life. The old man doesn't have any power over the saint anymore, he has been crucified with Christ and is dead and thus freed from sin, and therefore sin has no more power or dominion over the saint, because he is not under the laws condemnation anymore, but under God's grace. He or she is dead to sin. Sin has NO more power over the truly born again believer, which then means the true believer doesn't continue in sin, which is verified by many other passages, especially 1 Jn 3:1-10. Instead of preaching the plain truths of what these passages are saying, which is perspicuously plain and glorious, Sullivant totally twists and corrupts and butchers them to say the very opposite of what they mean. Interestingly, in this context (time 17:40), after reading the words “he that is dead is freed from sin” in v. 7, he mumbled under his breath, as if in a self-questioning manner, “that is interesting...” appearing as one shocked to find those words in Scripture. Well, those words are there and they are repeated in scripture, and he should have recanted the falsehood that he had just declared to the audience (about Connie), because it wasn't true.
The pseudo-Christianity that runs through this man's veins is the "Christianity" that may give up. He claims some Christians give up (time 18:00), and never at any point indicting that they aren't actually true Christians. No, to him they are still Christians because they prayed a prayer somewhere down the line to ask Jesus into their heart, so they are "eternally secure," even though they've never actually been truly born again. Thats his type of Christianity maybe, but not the type found in the Bible.
The pattern of false repentance and false salvation keeps on going since he has shaken off the burdensome shackles of Scriptural context and grammar when dealing with proof texts, as we note with Phil 3:3-10, Paul's testimony of salvation, which Sullivant corrupts and twists out of its meaning, misusing and misapplying it to Paul’s life after salvation and to Christians in general (time 26:30). The context, vv. 3-10, is incredibly plain that salvation is the only subject in the mind of Paul here.
More confusion as to what is true of the saved and of the lost, creating massive confusion on this matter, which is clear in Scripture. At time 31:30 he states.
“Christ is to be our life. If we were to make Christ our life we wouldn’t have to worry about how to do this or how to do that, because He already knows how to do this and that. You look at the Spirit filled life, against such there is no law.”
All true born again believers have made "Christ our life." That is what happens at salvation. We become "in Christ" (Eph 4-6) because we have been "crucified with Christ" (Gal 2:20). A new Master is received while the old master is turned from (Matt 6:24). No saved person has not made Christ his life. This is what unsaved people have not done, though they may profess, and we can know this from the fruit, proof and evidence of their lives. He is confusing the life of the saved and the life of the false professing believer.
This mixture of heretical Keswick/ Revivalist theology is intertwined in all his teachings, as further noted towards the end of the sermon:
“I surrender all. Come to crisis moment. Fourth stanza speaks about coming to full salvation.” (time 41:30)
There is only one salvation, and it is as full as it can get at the very moment of that salvation. We are missing nothing, and have absolutely everything we need from conversion onwards. We have all of the Holy Spirit and cannot have any more of Him that we have, though He can have more of us if we are not entirely filled, or yielded to Him. Many, I mean very many preachers today whether evangelical or Baptist, preach that born again believers are missing something to be a success in the Christian life. They might not always say it in that many words, but their preaching certainly says it, in how they handle scripture, teach doctrine, and disregard clear truths from scripture. Apparently being saved isn’t enough to guarantee success in the Christian life. For that, you might need more. Sullivant says they haven't "surrendered all," and need the "crisis moment," and that'll bring "full salvation.” That my friend is heresy, and its Keswick theology, but its certainly not Biblical theology.
Someone that teaches a false gospel/soteriology, needs to preach this heresy out of necessity because he doesn't understand what true salvation truly is and does.
Someone that relies on revivalism requires this type of theology that is always looking to surrender, for a crisis moment, to achieve something that they apparently don't have, so that everything will be aligned spiritually to channel the blessings of God that you would not have heretofore obtained.
👉🏻 There’s the example of Trenton Klassen's Testimony of Salvation (Oct 20, 2019), like so many others from their Bible school. He claims to have been saved at 5 yrs old (2003) and then “Jumping ahead to when I surrendered my life to Christ.”
Wow. It was actually just like that in his testimony, in literally the same breath, putting zero emphasis or any time at all on his testimony, on what happened at that time, trying to skip over it as fast as possible. He said he had been saved at five years of the, and then zap, the next that happens is when he "surrendered [his] life to Christ,” which was very convenient as detailed below. Salvation actually requires surrendering ones life to Christ, which then means this counterfeit Christian with his man-centred pompous exaltation of men is an unsaved charlatan, while the ministerial staff at the college and church don't have enough discernment to see through his unBiblical so-called testimony. Unreal.
Very fitting and convenient, he “surrendered” his life—not for salvation unfortunately—but to the service of God when his uncle or brother Will Klassen (missionary to Mexican Mennonites) preached Get in the Saddle. Ideally one should be truly converted before "getting in the saddle." And further convenience, the “surrender” and enigmatic “call” to go was to go to some far away land, Liberia in this case. How adventurous to go to some foreign land and have many wonderful adventures and tell many stories to his grandchildren, and then after return to some prestigious position at the church/school, of course never at the expense of Sullivant's own children. The truth is, the worse thing that could happen to the country of Liberia is for people like him to some there and twist and corrupt the minds of the people with the false gospel that has been osmotically washed into his brain, only to make those poor souls two-fold victims of hell. Klassen's sermon testimony was a work of repertoire in the IFB world. Dropping names, gaining popularity. Fitting well into the "old boys club." Many names dropped, men of reputation and status and rank, from the pastors at PVBC to other pastors in far away regions to his uncle in Mexico and to the heretic Brent Marroweli of first Bible (ministry run out of PVBC) who is a false teacher that cannot interpret Scripture and doesn’t hold to sound doctrine and teaches blatant heresy and feel-good stories, a product of what I am describing here. Naming names does serve a well intended purpose; that of acknowledging the hierarchy in the club, and the legacy you are seeking after. He quotes Jam. 2:10 like a life verse, which inadvertently further exposes his unsaved condition. Yes Trent, if you are reading here, you are most certainly unsaved, of that there is no doubt. Not just because of your false testimony but also because of your inability to understand Scripture and your zero evidence of the fruits of repentance and salvation. The entire sermon was man-centred and self-centred. Quoting men and exalting men, rather than a genuine emphasis on the Lord Jesus Christ and true conversion, is what man-centred false professors do. Trent is very confused and lost but its all lapped up by the PVBC men including Sullivant as Biblical. Yikes. Z.E.R.O. Discernment.
👉🏻 Ben Reimer, missionary to Liberia and attendee/student of PVBC/CBBC had a flimsy watered-down testimony of salvation, though no different than Sullivant's or others mentioned here, but was accepted into their Bible school without a hitch, and it was during this time that he got saved, according to his testimony.
Why was he accepted in the first place if the true gospel is actually preached here? Do they have such little discernment or no discernment at all? Does the Holy Spirit of God not guide them into all truth and compel them to judge and judge carefully and righteously and thus Biblically? The answer to all three of these questions is in the negative, but many red flags are possibly ignored because its another tush(s) to fill the pews. Remember, it is sinful and unBiblical to have a small church, according to Rice 8:6, so the aim is big-ism, number-ism, and man-centred-ism. Thats their recipe for "success." Or is it simply because they are void of the discernment that comes from the indwelling Spirit of God (cf. 1 Cor 2:14-16) and present in all truly saved people?
👉🏻 There’s a testimony of another man in the Bible school, who really had no testimony besides praying a prayer, but that was his salvation and he had no fruit and lived like the average sinner in the world for roughly 7 years and then “rededicated” his life. The man or sermon title cannot be recalled or where this was heard. But it was considered to be a genuine conversion all along, even though nothing about it is Scriptural and rather the product of the false Hyles-type gospel of easy believism, quick prayerism, no-repentance, no-Lordship, corrupt gospel. This is absolutely preposterous!
👉🏻 Jordan Doerksen claims to be saved at the age of ten, which he shared in a sermon preached while at PVBC/CBBC, but then didn't live for the Lord over the next 13 years. No person will be saved and then not love and serve the Lord for 13 years. This is also preposterous! If he is truly and genuinely saved, of which I have my doubts (for a number of reasons, some of which will be brought out here and also in a dissection of one of his sermons further below, subsection 'e'), he would’ve been saved at 23, when he claims he started serving the Lord. But that is not how his testimony goes.
"Backsliding" heresy of course takes centre stage, maybe Sullivant's favourite subject hence the mention here (and non-stop reference in essentially every persons sermon), but its heretical currency to feed a system that almost entirely produces and maintains false professors, (subject dealt with here and part II of this series). Jordan used the concept of "backsliding" to explain and justify his hatred for the Lord and for Biblical doctrine and obedience, and his awful rebellion against God and His Word over the first 13 years of life after his alleged "salvation," even contradicting his own very words, "How can true salvation not produce a love for the Saviour and desire to serve Him" while he hated the Lord and had NO desire to serve him for over a decade and rather had scorn, skepticism, worldliness, ungodliness, unrighteousness, gainsaying, and progression into apostasy, blaming it all on Satan holding him in bondage (while Satan actually cannot do that to saved people). Just. W😳W. — Here it is in his own words:
“How can true salvation not produce a love for the Saviour and desire to serve Him. I’m not saying you can’t backslide because I’ve been there. I was saved when I was about 10 years old and I didn’t live for the Lord till I was probably about 23. . . . You know I believe that I was saved when I was young but music honestly I believe destroyed a large part of my life, it dragged me down, the devil held me in bondage to music, it stated with the Christian music station. . . . And honestly I was one of the gainsayers, I challenged the King James Bible, I argued against the doctrine of the local church, I argued against good music, I argued against dress standards, I argued against baptism, I argued against eternal security, the list goes on.”
5 Biblical reasons why this paragraph alone points to an unregenerate, unsaved, false professing, feigned estate:
No true born again believer is "saved" and then doesn't serve and live for the Lord for 13 years! This is about as common Biblical sense as it can get, and shouldn't have to even be mentioned, yet here it is preached as good Christian fodder with no criticism. True salvation does indeed produce a love for the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him, as he mentioned but didn't have, while maintaining that he was saved. Can he not see the contradiction in his own words?! Worse, his testimony completely contradicts Gods Word, it doesn't speak according to His Word, and Is 8:20 declares, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
No true born again believer is "saved" and then doesn't love the Lord for 13 years, since love for the Lord is ONLY demonstrated by obedience to His Word as plainly taught repeatedly in the Bible (read Jn 14:23-24; 1 Jn 2:3-5; 5:1-3; 2 Jn 1:5-6; etc, 2 Jn 1:6a: “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments”), and not some sentimental feeling;
No true born again believer is "saved" and "backslides." Using "backsliding" as an excuse for 13 years of rebellion may be convenient but its false (as far as applying his/Sullivant's corrupt definition to the term), while in reality he is indeed a backslider (only not as he thinks), which is a term reserved in Scripture to describe an unsaved person that falsely pretends to be a believer, an actor, a hypocrite, who slides away from the truth into apostasy, the meaning of the term and demonstrated in its use in the 16x found in Scripture, and illustrated in passages such as Heb 10:38-39 and Jer. 7:23-24, and well described in false teachers for instance (e.g. 2 Pet 2:12-22), which is what he is now;
No true born again believer is "saved" and then lives in utter rebellion against Jesus Christ and against the sound doctrines of His Word — this is a rebel against God's Word and God's Authority, one that rightfully rejects Christ's Lordship for salvation and in general (which he does, both);
No true born again believer is "saved" and then held in bondage to Satan for 13 years; not even for 1 day. He is not an overcomer, while true Biblical conversion is overcoming the flesh/sin (e.g., Rom 6:1-22), the world (1 Jn 5:4-5); and the devil (1 Jn. 2:13-14; 4:4-6; 5:18). E.g.,
"I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. . . . I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." (1 Jn 2:13-14).
I believe this point, using his very own words, clearly proves that Jordan was unsaved during those years that he lived in complete separation from God and in utter rebellion to Him and very likely remains unsaved to this day, since he is claiming that he was saved at an age when he wasn't, which tells me he does not know the doctrine of salvation, or the experience of the new birth (Jn 3:3-7). There is absolutely no passage of Scripture or testimony in Scripture that supports this type of "conversion." Its foreign to God's Word. It doesn't exist and it was man-made in the early 20th century by ungodly heretical men professing to be men of God who did not the know or love the Lord Jesus Christ, and from thence it has spread like a cancer throughout all of Christiandom. This has resulted in churches loaded with false professing believers. What God’s Word rather teaches is immediate new creation and new circumcised heart and new life and being sanctified and justified and God dwelling in the inner man Who consistently “worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13b). “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you [which started at salvation, NOT some point after] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Phil. 1:6). That means God continues to perform His work, daily, in the saint He indwells, not going on a holiday for 13 years so that the saint can go back to living his ungodly, unrighteous, and worldly life as before. Preposterous! God never stops working in His children and He doesn’t leave any of His children to themselves (1 Cor. 1:6-9; 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; Jer. 32:37-41) and no child of God fails to love His new Master and serve the Lord for the first 13 years of his new birth! Not even 1 year. Not even 1 month. Not even 1 week! The testimony of the saints in Scripture reveals immediate fruit and servanthood of believers (e.g. Col. 1:4-6; 1 Cor. 1:2-9; 1 Th. 1:2-11). There are ZERO exceptions to this. Here is one example amongst hundreds, Paul in expressing his gratitude to the Lord for saving the Colossian believers, relates how they were saved and the confirmation of their salvation:
"We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Col 1:4-6)
This point of love for God being demonstrated by obedience must be stressed even further, because it is that important. Those that don't have it, like Jordan here, will not obey God's Word, again, like Jordan here. While he states that true salvation has substance, that it produces a love for Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him, which is certainly true, in the very same breath says he didn’t have that for the first 13 years after this supposed salvation. Only those that are not truly born again because they didn't repent, will not genuinely love God and thus disobey the Word of God. What does 1 Cor 16:22 decalre?
"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."
This means that those who are proven not to actually love the Lord Jesus Christ, because they obey not his words and live in some form of perpetual rebellion and disobedience, will be accursed ("Anathema") at Christ's coming ("Maranatha"). Every true born again believer will indeed love the Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him and how is this love defined and demonstrated? In John 14, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.” (vv. 23-24). People that don’t obey Christ don’t actually love Him (Jn. 14:15-24; 15:9-14), or know Him (1 Jn. 2:3-5), so all who don’t love and know Him are unregenerate (see also Pr. 8:36; 1 Cor. 16:22) even further evident by the fact that it’s God that teaches and leads us to love Him (De. 30:6; Rom. 5:5) and obey Him (Ti. 2:11-14), even to love our brethren (1 Th. 4:9), which is only demonstrable through obedience to God's Word (1 Jn 5:2-3), so these things are major evidences of true conversion. No obedience, no love. No love, no God. Every testimony of true salvation in Scripture proves this point (e.g. Abraham, David, Paul, 12 Apostles, Philippian jailer, Lydia, Zaccheus, etc). Furthermore, the Scriptures are clear that obedience and fruit starts immediately at salvation, for the root bears fruit (e.g. Col. 1:4-6; Matt. 3:1-12; 13:8-23; 21:28-32, 41-44; Ps. 1:1-3; Pr. 11:30; 12:12b; Mk. 4:20-29; Jn. 4:35-38; 15:1-16; 2 Cor. 5:9–6:2). Anyone can say they know and love God, but true knowledge of and love for God is always demonstrated by obedience to His commandments. Additionally, every born again believer is a servant of God and it starts immediately at salvation, nor some point post-salvation (e.g. 2 Cor. 5:15, 17-21; 1 Cor. 3:9; Mk. 13:34; Matt. 10:25).
The same gospel that saves will bring forth fruit in every single individual, from the very day they heard the gospel and knew the grace of God in truth, which is very obviously referring to the day of their salvation. Its a blanket statement and there are absolutely no exceptions to this. Thus any so-called "conversion" as described above by Doerksen where some ghastly amount of time expires between "salvation" and "service" is heretical plainly false to Scripture, and reflective of false teachers, who deny the Lord that bought them (2 Pet 2:1), which means they deny the Lordship of Christ. Yes that also fits the pseudo-counterfeit faith, for all of PVBC, including Doerksen, who reject Christ's Lordship, which means they are rebels against His authority. Absolutely NO one is saved without submission to Christ's Lordship, and 2 Pet 2:1 exposes those who deny His Lordship as false teachers.
They are in fact apostates. A false gospel produces apostates and apostates produce more apostasy. Why are men apostates? 2 Peter 2:1 tells us one reason, the primary reason, in that they deny “the Lord that bought them.” They don't like Lordship, they don't want a boss. "Lord" translates the Greek word “despotes,” from which we get the English, "despot" (an absolute ruler). In the English, a “despotes" is a boss. The apostates, false teachers, of 2 Peter 2 don't want a boss. They deny the Lord Jesus Christ because they don't want someone ordering them what to do. Of course it doesn't appear like that, but then take the approach about confronting them as to why they are not in submission to Jesus Christ to be saved, and see what happens. They deny Christ's Lordship. Thats what we see with the false teachers in Rom. 16:17-18 and Phil. 3:18-19 and 3 Jn 1:9-11 and other places, and that is what see with the men at PVBC. When confronted with the plain truth and reproof of their errors, false teachings and heresies, they just buck against it and reject it. They do what they want to do, because they are serving their belly, and not the Lord (Rom 16:18; Phil 3:18-19). They're glad to have a "Jesus" Who will "save" them and yet not require any subordination. And this is precisely what Jesus says of those who reject His Authority in Lk. 19:11-27, even though they profess to know and work for Him: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (vv. 14, 27). These didn't want Jesus to reign over their lives. The word “reign” means “to rule either literally or figuratively, as king.” This is exactly what these people reject, the "Lord" aspect of Jesus Christ, His reign over their lives, so as to change their beliefs and ways if they are wrong. They don't want that. He is the King preaching the kingdom of God, but they have formed their own kingdom where the "man of God" pulpiteering behind the podium is submitted to at all costs. Luke 19:11-27 by the way is referring to salvation, that is the spiritual lesson here (“He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” — v. 12). They reject Christ’s rule and authority over them, and will not receive Him and surrender to Him as King (as Lord). They profess to believe, but are actually lost, like the false teachers in 2 Pet. 2:1-22, illustrating the stony or thorny soils in the parable of the sower and seed (Matt 13). Their end is death and hell.
Further evidence of Doerksen's unrepentant estate was noted in his corruption and misuse (wresting) of the Scripture:
2 Ch 7:14, which is used to ad nauseam at PVBC and majority of IFB churches, where they continually apply this passage to Christians that are "backslidden" or "lukewarm" or "carnal" (all of which are Keswick currency and handled here, more on that Part II), but again it serves a purpose in the false gospel and corrupt Keswick-Revivalist heretical theology system — read here of a true interpretation of this passage;
Ps 12:6-7, a passage on the preservation of Scripture, but twisted into the inspiration and preservation of the KJV which is false Sullivant-Hyles error, stemming from Peter Ruckman;
2 Tim 2:2, claiming that this passage says that “The apostle Paul was telling Timothy we have to learn from someone” [emphasis original] -- which fits the man-centred system, so its no accident that he corrupts this, since that is how he has been taught -- No, we actually don’t. It helps, but we learn from the Holy Spirit without men teaching (and even with men teaching):
“But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. . . . But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 Jn. 2:20, 27)
And of course everything that is missing in this type of sermon, that should be present, such as the Bibles frequent warning on false believers/disciples, those who profess but don’t possess, those who love the world and don’t repent are actually unsaved. No clear line drawn between the saved and the lost, which include the false professor, while the Bible continually does so from Genesis to Revelation.
(e) PVBC/CBBC staff, students and missionaries embrace the same corrupted gospel.
👉🏻 Their now defunct staff evangelist that they cast out of church a few years back (not for the right reasons either, but for some man-centred popery reason)—Jacob Giesbracht— rejects true Biblical repentance and preaches a false easy-believism/quick prayerism style gospel. His “repentance” at best is turning from unbelief to belief, which makes it synonymous with faith, which is no repentance at all but a twisted, perverted and heretical version of something that doesn’t save anyone. For many years he was an evangelist with PVBC but no issue was ever raised about his false gospel. Of course no, for after all from whence did Giesbracht learn his corrupted repentant-less “gospel”? Well nowhere other than the very church he attended all his life post-profession and was allegedly saved at which is PVBC and their “Bible” college CBBC, from where he graduated. Like master like disciple.
👉🏻 All sermons preached by pastor Gary Driedger contain the same unscriptural salvation language and rejection of repentance and twisting of salvation passages into something related to becoming a disciple at some point after salvation. There are many examples of salvation messages that have zero mention of repentance or the principles of repentance, and sermons that should clearly be based around salvation, such as Matt 7:24-27 and Lk 14:25-33, are twisted and corrupted into something post-salvation. And that’s where the plethora of heretical Keswick-laced sermons come in, such as one preached by Driedger titled "Taste and See." Entire sermons are preached at PVBC with this as its theme, and this is surely one. Let us consider one sermon, where the latter passage was utilized for Christians encouraged to become disciples of Christ.
The sermon "Taste and See" preached at PVBC is built upon a false foundation, one where salvation passages (Lk 14:25-15:33) are taken and wrested destructively into something post-salvation discipleship, and then providing false conditions on being a post-salvation "disciple." This is not some minor, trivial error; it’s a very serious error and even a "damnable heresy" (2 Pet 2:1) considering the fundamental fact that Jesus is very clearly calling unsaved people here to salvation (Lk 14:25; 5:1-2) and teaching the necessary heart condition required of salvation, to be His disciple and follower, which is true repentance and faith (Lk 14:25-35). So corrupting God's salvation and gospel is most certainly a "damnable heresy" (2 Pet 2:1) as this heretical teaching and perversion of Scripture will hinder and prevent people from seeing their need to repent and be converted, and instead conform their lives to Christianity by imitation and outward deception. This sermon in Lk 14-15 by the way preached by Christ is absolutely no different than the one He preached to the lost rich young ruler (Matt 19; Lk 18; Mk 10). The call is the same, but we know that without having to consider this additional text that is clearly likewise directed towards an unsaved religious person.
“We have to ask ourselves what are the conditions of being a disciple. Let’s turn to Lk. 14 where Jesus gives us the conditions for discipleship. I don’t really try to mince words to much but I believe it is the will of God that everyone that knows Him as their Saviour to be a disciple. I think that’s an accurate assumption based upon what the gospel is [and] . . . it’s purpose, it wasn’t just to save us . . . but to use us . . . So when we think about being a follower or disciple of Jesus Christ, I think it’s important that we understand what the conditions are, not what the Baptist church has laid down but what Jesus Himself said were the conditions for discipleship. Now it is my desire to be a disciple of Christ and I would hope and trust that if you’re born again and you know the Lord as you Saviour you also have a desire to be a disciple.” He then reads Lk 14:25-29, and says “You know the world looks at believers who are not disciples and it mocks Him, it doesn’t mock us, it mocks Him.” (time 6:45)
1. First of all, v. 29 is not about mocking Christ but mocking the so-called professing believer. He changes the meaning here, which is ridiculous as its pretty simple what the text means. But this behaviour is not shocking because essentially every Scripture passage in the sermon is changed, twisted and mutilated, quite effortlessly and enthusiastically by all appearances. Passages like 2 Pet 3:16-17 are not written for naught.
2. Secondly, “The conditions of being a disciple” is salvation. Period. It is true that the conditions for discipleship (which he describes at time 12:30-14:30) are laid out in Lk. 14, but Christ's call to these almost entirely unsaved masses to be a disciple is a call to salvation. Jesus is not teaching lost people (v. 25; 15:1-2) how to be better Christians! What he said would be true if he was referring to discipleship has a component of salvation, as we read everywhere in Scripture, but he doesn't. He completely corrupts and wrests the passages in Lk 14 and the whole subject of discipleship, while Scripture is clear that truly saved people are not as the unsaved, "as many, which corrupt the word of God" (2 Cor 2:17). Discipleship and salvation are synonymous. What he is saying here is nonsensical to the text. Jesus is not teaching the masses of unsaved people who followed Him for the miracles and healings and food that He gave (Jn 6:2; etc), how to be better Christians. The Bible equates the categories of believer and disciple, so that all saved people, all true believers, are disciples. It is indeed God's will for everyone to be His disciple, and that requires salvation.
3. Thirdly, Driedger teaches damnable error concerning Lk 14:25-35, applying these passages to something after salvation whereas Jesus is very, very clearly teaching salvation, for a number of reasons, discussed in detail here. Driedger is teaching that one can be a Christian without being a disciple, a very common "damnable heresy" (2 Pet 2:1) taught by the men of PVBC. This as much changes what salvation is and what sanctification is, as anything. It is a very dangerous teaching and produces mostly false “converts.” In Lk. 14:15-35, Christ is teaching the mostly lost multitude (v. 25), that “whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath” (vv. 33, 26) to “bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (vv. 27, 33); so that those who refuse to put Christ before property (vv. 18-19) and people (vv. 20, 26) will not “eat bread in the kingdom of God” (v. 15), but be “cast out” (v. 35) of the eschatological feast of the saints (v. 24) into hell, while God rejoices over the repentance and salvation of those who become disciples in the way people rejoice over the recovery of a lost sheep, coin, or son (Lk. 15). Lk 15 is the same sermon as Lk. 14:15-35, and its all unsaved people that are given attention in His sermon (the religious and non-religious sinners of 15:1-2), which is all about repentance unto salvation, from 14:15 to 15:32 (In fact Lk 9 to the end of the book is all about salvation). Between Lk 14:35 and 15:1 there is no break, it keeps going, its one sermon that actually started in Lk 14:15, and in15:1 the sinners and publicans came forth to hear in response to Christ’ call to salvation (previous verse, 14:35, which was based upon vv. 15-34), and chapter 15 is the parable of repentance unto salvation where the heavens rejoice over the salvation of one sinner that repents. Christ is correlating repentance in Lk 15 with what He had just taught in Lk 14:15-33, indicating the ground and nature of the repentant heart in Lk 14:15-33. Parallel passages (such as Mk. 8:34-38; Matt 16:24-26; 19:16-30; etc) confirm the plain teaching of Lk. 14:15-15:32—true disciples repent and get eternal life, and those who do not become true disciples are damned.
4. Fourthly, the notion that, after regeneration, Christians choose to become disciples is entirely absent from Scripture and is in fact a damnable heresy since it impacts salvation itself. Disciples are regularly contrasted with the unregenerate, but never with an underclass of truly saved people who have not yet become disciples. When disciples sin or struggle, they are never said to lose their status as disciples and return to a supposed larger unconsecrated Christian underclass. The usage of the noun and verb forms for “disciple” make the equation of believers and disciples exceedingly plain. Indeed, the terms “Christian” and “disciple” are explicitly equated (Ac. 11:26). Numerous passages of Scripture teach and affirm the truth that one becomes a disciple at the moment of saving faith, and that those who do not become disciples are unbelievers who will be damned. If only some Christians are disciples, then only some Christians get eternal life and escape hell, are adopted into the family of God, enter the kingdom of God, have faith in Christ, and have a new nature—in short, if only some Christians are disciples, only some Christians are Christians. So other statements made by him such as “You can’t be a disciple of Jesus if you’re not saved,” are excessively confusing. The Bible is very clear—every true believer is a disciple, although not every disciple is a true believer (cf. Jn. 2:23-25; 6:60-66; 12:4; Ac. 8:13-24; etc). It occurs AT salvation for The call to being a disciple is the call to salvation and every single born again Christian is a disciple of Christ.
Driedger's serious confusion on the Christian life and rejection of what true salvation is, continues:
“There is a call to surrender. That means to yield to the power of another. To give up. What are we giving up? Well we are giving up our perceived rights and our will.” (Time 16:05).
Everything he describes here must in fact occur at salvation or a sinner cannot be saved. Without surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord, without giving up ones life for a new life, without giving up ones rights and will for God’s right and will, no one saved. That is very clearly taught throughout the Bible. For example: Matt. 10:32-39; 16:24-26; Mk. 8:34-38; Lk. 9:23-26, 57-62; 13:23-30; 17:26-33; 18:9-32; 19:1-10, 12-27; Jn. 12:24-25; etc. This helps explains why so many IB churches contain so many pew warmers heading to a very warm furnace of fire lest they genuinely repent and are converted.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." (Jn 12:24-25)
The Lord Jesus Christ taught that saving faith involves self-denial, commitment or surrender (noted in a number of passages such as Mk. 8:34-38; 10:18-21; Lk. 14:7-35; 15:17-32; 19:12-27; Phil. 2:10-11; etc), which was also described by Him in the necessity for sinners to humble themselves before God as little children (Lk. 18:17) which connotes submission, exemplified by the publican (Lk. 18:10-14) and the Ninevites who surrendered to God and humbled themselves before Him in sackcloth and ashes (Jon. 3:5-10; Matt. 12:41) at Jonahs preaching of the Lord's impending judgment. Surrendering to the Lord is the act of repentance and submission to God, what the rich young ruler wasn’t willing to do (Matt. 19; Mk. 10; Lk. 18).
The passage on the rich young ruler happens to be a very telling one against the easy believism/pray-a-prayer crowd. When the ruler asked Jesus what he should do to have eternal life, Jesus did not lead him to pray a prayer or to just simply “believe.” Also, when the ruler turned away in sorrow, Jesus did not run after him or say, "I must have said the wrong thing." No, Jesus blamed the man's love of money, covetousness, for keeping him from repenting and truly turning to God in surrender and faith and believing in the gospel of Christ.
The rich young ruler presents a major problem for those, like Driedger and Sullivant and the rest of PVBC, who wish to hijack the salvation explanations of Jesus in Matt 10:32-39; 16:24-26; Mk 8:24-28; Lk 9:23-26, 57-62; 14:25-33; 15:1-32; Jn 12:24-25; etc, and turn them into something more convenient to superficial professions of faith. These men don’t like the gospel language of denying self, losing ones life for Christ and the gospel, turning from all sin, self, stuff, and people, taking up the cross and surrendering to Jesus as Lord, Boss, King and following Him. They claim it corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ, even though Christ preached that as His gospel, when He preached to the lost multitudes, to lost “disciples,” and to the lost rich young ruler. So did Jesus corrupt His own gospel, the simplicity that is in Himself? Yet that is exactly what is being accused of Christ by these anti-Lordship easy believist.
The Lord Jesus in teaching the lost multitudes in Luke 14 and 15, on how a man becomes a true disciple of Christ, described the necessity of surrender. Salvation, becoming Christ's disciple, requires “coming to [Christ]” and “hating his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and his own life also,” (Lk 14:26), by “bearing his cross, and coming after [Christ],” (Lk 14:27), by “counting the cost,” (Lk 14:28-30), by seeking after peace with the King of kings (Lk 14:31-32), and by “forsaking . . . all that he hath,” (Lk 14:33). This is describing the necessity of a sinner to surrender to the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, through volitional intent.
Lk 14:25-33 was not the only passages that he wrested and corrupted (2 Pet 3:16-17). He misused and misinterpreted the beatitudes in Matt 5, turning them also into something post-salvation (time 34:00), which also is very normal in settings such as this where salvation and sanctification is perverted, corrupted and salvation passages effortlessly wrested. There was also the strange and heretical claim that Jesus taught the “Beatitudes on a mountain because it’s a higher truth” (time 23:00). Wow. Where does the Bible say that? Adding to Scripture seems so easy to those who corrupt Scripture. Nothing like also promoting the false essentials and non-essentials teaching with this type of deluded philosophy.
He then goes on to speak about the "me-me generation," stating,
“What is the me-me generation all about? My rights. What do I want for my life? I don’t mean to be rude or crude or uncaring, but when it comes to God nobody cares what your rights are because you only have one right and that is to die and go to hell and He took that away by His gospel when He died in the cross so He simply asks you and me to surrender, there is a call to sacrifice...”
So Driedger and PVBC et el, reject Lordship salvation, while using Lordship salvation language in describing salvation. Indeed we must surrender, and that is clearly taught in Lk 14:25-33. There is indeed a call to sacrifice for salvation and that is sacrifice of self. This is self-denial, self-death, for the true gospel is The Gospel of Self-Denial and Self-Abandonment, while the false gospel of easy believism is The False Gospel of Self-Fulfillment.
So its certainly not true, as Driedger claimed, that,
"Salvation is easy praise the Lord. Amen? Salvation is the easiest thing for you and I but was the most difficult thing for God."
No, not amen! This is plainly false. Where does the Bible say this? He is lying between his teeth. It’s actually just the opposite. It was easy for God, because well, He is God. He could die for our sins without difficulty, because He is without sin. He went to the cross with joy. That doesn’t undermine the terrible seriousness of it and the pain and torment He had to suffer, the evil they did to Him, but nowhere does God’s Word say it was difficult for Him (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21). The most difficult for the Son was to be separated from the Father for those hours on the cross. Nowhere either does the Bible say it is easy for a willfully lost and proud and wicked and deceived sinner to be converted. Just the very opposite again.
He says "easy" while Jesus says difficult:
"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." (Lk 13:23-24)
Does that sound "easy" to you, and as you keep reading to v. 30?
Salvation is not only not easy, it’s difficult. To “strive” means to “struggle, literally (as competing for a prize) and figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavour to accomplish something) —to fight, labor fervently.” (Webster’s 1828). It’s what the Hebrews writer stated in Heb. 4:9-11, speaking about salvation which is the entire context, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” We labor to enter into the rest of salvation, and those that labour and are heavy laden, turn from their toils and troubles to the Lord (Matt 11:28-30). Therein is difficulty, along with giving up ones life to be under God's authority and guide. What Jesus is speaking here in Lk 13 is what He said in Matt 7:21-23 and referred to in Matt 7:13-14, concerning the narrow and wide road. Those orthodox “believers” are the “first, which shall be last.” (Lk 13:30). They will not enter into the kingdom of heaven because they strived not to enter in. They refused to repent and in humble submission surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord. The publicans and sinners on the other hand did (cf. Lk. 15:1, 3-32; Matt. 21:28-32).
Today, people are not striving to get in. Men are not seeking the Lord while He may be found. Many are steeped in religion, and yes that includes many churches that appear Biblical. Jesus’s answer fits with the parable of the soils. Hard hearts, superficial hearts, and worldly hearts will not receive the saving message in a saving fashion. But they will make professions and then twist the Scriptures to their experience. Salvation passages will be turned into sanctification, so they can attempt to live the Christian life without having the Root for it. With time, in spite of their ongoing profession and church attendance and dressing up as sheep, their true fruits will reveal themselves in such manners as getting offended over the truth of scripture or over someone contending for the faith or someone challenging their profession of faith, or in such areas as riches and worldliness, and in areas such as Scripture interpretation and doctrinal beliefs, one of the key indicators of a false teacher, etc. Did Jesus make salvation easy for the rich young ruler (Mk. 10:17-23)? Jesus made it about as difficult as possible (Mk. 10:21), and the end result was no salvation (Mk. 10:22). Is salvation easy for the rich (Mk. 10:23-24)? Had salvation been easy for the 11 apostles who share their testimony in this context (Mk. 10:24-31)? Was salvation easy for Ruth (Ru. 1:1-16)? Was salvation easy for Paul? Think again: Ac. 9:5; Phil. 3:4-10.
So, no, salvation is not easy. If it was that easy, why isn't everyone saved? It is most certainly not the "easiest thing" for people. It involves making some very difficult choices (cf. Mk. 10:21; Lk. 13:23-30; Matt. 21:28-32). It involves counting the cost to be Christ’s disciple (cf. Lk. 14:25-33), choosing self or God (cf. Mk. 8:34-38; 10:17-31), choosing sin or God (cf. Mk. 10:17-31; Ezk. 18:20-23, 30-32), choosing ones idols or God (cf. 1 Th. 1:9), choosing ones family or God (Matt. 10:35-37; Lk. 9:59-62), choosing the world or God (Matt. 6:24; 1 Jn. 2:15; Jam. 4:4). All of ones life is given over to God, for His control. And the soul who makes that choice to surrender and repent will then find that while not easy, salvation is free, the free gift of a loving God who freely forgives all who come to Him in repentance and faith. What a glorious salvation it is! Salvation is of the Lord. What cheap and wicked and damnable foolishness is this “easy salvation” garbage that the easy believists teach and purvey, where you can be saved without ever having to turn from sin or surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord, and thus remain unchanged after some kind of cheap profession. What a slander against the holiness and righteousness of God Himself, as well as against God’s true saints throughout the ages. I am convinced that the vast majority who hold to this type of teaching, are unconverted. They are of the ones mentioned in Matt. 7:21-23. You can’t be truly converted unless come to the Lord Jesus for salvation according to His rules and regulations, His way, His truth. What these men purvey is no repentance or false repentance, no turning from and forsaking all sin and self and stuff and people, no Lordship, no denying self, no surrendering to Christ, no taking up the cross or in other words dying to self, no counting the cost, no willingness to follow Christ and obey Him, and then the poor unscriptural language used to call for salvation — these things are all connected to the easy-believism that is preached from the pulpits consistently week in and week out, throughout the world, including vast majority of independent baptist church’s, including of course PVBC. What they are doing for the most part is unscriptural and a falsehood. It’s a lie. It doesn’t truly save but it does make false believers two-fold children of hell.
Lk 14-15 would have to be one of the key passages on how to do evangelism, but it is rarely used as such. Instead it is corrupted into something that fits presuppositions of easy believism. The false gospel that Driedger, Sullivant, PVBC et el, consistency push from the pulpit, pen and other platforms is "easy" indeed because it is anemic, corrupt, contains no Biblical repentance, no Lordship of Christ, no self-denial, and is as easy as 1-2-3, prayer after me. The Bible however does NOT describe Salvation as Easy!
False teachers like Gary Driedger wrest passages like 2 Cor. 11:3 where it speaks of the devil corrupting “the simplicity that is in Christ,” connecting anything that is not "easy" to “another gospel” in the next verse, because simple suddenly means easy. If it’s not easy, then it must not be true because this verse says it’s the devil that makes it hard or difficult. It says that?! Even this verse becomes a casualty with this heretical way of thinking of falsely dividing the word of truth. So to get to their easy "gospel" requires corruption of a key passage, which is 2 Cor 11:3, but that passage and the one following actually incriminates their "gospel" as “another gospel.” The word “simplicity” translated from “haplotes” does not mean “simple” as we would think of it today, as in basic, easy, uncomplicated, but rather singleness, sincerity, mental honesty, the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy, but also bountifulness and liberality. It doesn’t imply low intelligence or easy believism is required or it’s not the true gospel! That is a false definition and red herring to feed and keep the false system of simple, easy and quick "salvation" going. when the Bible teaches something entirely different. It sure wasn’t simple or easy or quick for the rich young ruler was it? I address this passage here: Does “Simplicity in Christ” (2 Cor 11:3) Refer to a Simple, As In Easy, Gospel?
Out of the anemic, repentant-less, Lord-less, easy-believism false gospel proceeds the Hyles style of manipulative salesmanship of praying a scripted repeat-after-me prayer to invite-Jesus-into-your-heart and accept Him as your personal Saviour, as we noted in the gospel tract slides above. This instruction follows from something that isn’t taught in the Bible in the first place. The first step isn't biblical and then none that follow. The one teaching this is not starting with the Bible but following his own ideas or someone else's ideas that has been taught him. Understanding the IFB world quite well, I would say the scales tip to the side of someone taught him, indoctrinated him and brainwashed him. But it will be rejected if the person is actually truly converted and indwells with the Holy Spirit. It is so prevalent and has been for so long, that it is now regarded as the Biblical method of evangelism, even though the Bible teaches it nowhere, even though something else is taught entirely in the Scriptures.
At the end of this deluded and heretical sermon he speaks about "five calls" in the Bible, but that is yet another chink in the heretical Keswick-influenced false gospel and sanctification that is pounded from the pulpit of PVBC. There is actually only ONE call in the Bible and that is the call to salvation. But a false narrative requires many calls to fit in all the different stages of the "Christian" life, giving room for the mostly false professions and to booster the man-centredness of these institutions. He gave one example of another call:
“After the call to salvation there is a call to separation. Separation is a severing, to something from something else.”
Wow. This is blatant heresy. There is absolutely no secondary (or tertiary and so on) call in the Bible. NO! Separation of "severing to something from something" actually happens at salvation (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Pr. 9:6) and its called repentance, a wilful turning and severing from sin, self, stuff and people (e.g. 1 Th 1:9; Ac 14:15; Matt 10:36-39; Is 56:6-7), and then continues on in the Christian life (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Jn 1:9-11; etc). 2 Cor. 6:17-18 is what happens at salvation, and that is dependent upon vv. 14-16, which is separation from "unbelievers," "unrighteousness," "darkness," "Belial," "infidels," and "idols" (vv. 14-16) -- the encompassing truth here is the teaching of repentance that involves all three faculties of man (intellect, volition, emotion), where a sinner turns from everything that impedes a completely surrendered heart and a wholesale turning to God, without any reservation or compromise. When the repentant sinner does, the Lord saith,
"I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (vv. 17-18)
He then goes on to give an invitation to salvation and a gospel presentation, on the back of a heretical sermon where salvation (and separation) passages were corrupted into something other than salvation, but the scripted sermon must have the invitation in spite of nothing meaningful about salvation ever being preached. Naturally NOT one mention of repentance or its principles. So the salvation invitation at the end is ironic since he’s been preaching a false gospel the entire sermon. The language of “know Christ as your Saviour” which he used, is a superficial and false finish line for salvation that dovetails to precision with the false gospel of easy believism; its not language ever used to call someone to salvation anywhere in Scripture.
The sermon itself had nothing to do with "Taste and See” but to establish that since you are a “Christian” you should also want to be a “disciple.” Wow. This fits with nothing in Scripture. It’s pure fiction. But it feeds the congregation and keeps them coming. The only means whereby these men can find support for this type of heresy is corrupting and manipulating and perverting salvation passages and turning them into sanctification, something post-salvation, at which enigmatic point you become a "disciple." Its called two-tiered Christianity and its not of God but the invention and propagation of false teachers.
One of the most glorious passages on God's grace in Ti 2:11 makes it clear that God's grace educates/raises/disciplines us in order that we become sanctified in our lives (Ti 2:12-14). Not so that we become His disciples. 2 Peter makes it clear that 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 without submitting to the Lordship of Christ?
So when men like Gary Driedger proclaim,
“I need to change. Why? Because I want to be a disciple of Christ” (time 26:25)
-- he is essentially admitting that he is in need of the new birth; a self proclamation that he is not a disciple of Christ and thus yet unsaved. He hasn't been changed. What a tragedy. Is he making a public cry that he is lost? Here Gary, read this gospel tract and truly repent and surrender to the King of kings and Lord of lords, submit your wretched soul to Him by denying yourself and dying to yourself, turning from self, from sin, from stuff and from people to the Lord Jesus Christ in surrender fully to His Lordship, and He will save you.
So this entire sermon is based upon a false foundation. None of this is taught in Scripture. Its pure fabrication made out of sheer cloth. It’s garbage that belongs in the trash bin. And this is no minor error either. It’s a damnable heresy (2 Pet. 2:1) since Jesus is very, very clearly teaching salvation here to a lost multitude (Lk. 14:25) including lost publicans/sinners and Pharisees/Scribes (Lk 15:1-2) and the conditions of salvation, to be His disciple and follower, which is repentant faith (Lk. 14:15-15:32). This “easy salvation” of self-fulfilment for the non-committed is the very cause of all the false professions and lost people in churches today. Driedger and many at PVBC and others should take heed to Driedger’s words at time 26:25 where he says: “I need to change. Why? Because I want to be a disciple of Christ.” Indeed. If he ever comes to be a disciple of Christ, God will change him permanently and gloriously save him.
These type of teachings turn Jesus into a deeper or higher life teacher, someone that is saying to someone allegedly saved, you need to come up here and be my disciple, that is its time to get serious, start obeying, by finally surrendering and denying self and becoming a follower of Jesus. It’s at this point they become Jesus’s disciple and He becomes their Lord; not at salvation God forbid. And of course, none of this is typically possible without the “revivalism” conferences with the false “evangelists” (such as Rick Flanders) pounding this puppeteering from the podium and pushing a crisis and emotional experience in the pursuit of “fruit,” all in the name of their “easy” and scandalous “gospel.” It’s seriously heretical and revealing of the mostly false professions in their numbers. And that they are false teachers.
👉🏻 Pastor Jeff Friesen did a church plant from PVBC in Innisfail, AB in 2021. Friesen was an associate pastor under Sullivant for eight years. He is also a graduate and instructor at CBBC. On the Airdrie Baptist church website gospel presentation, How to Know You Have a Home in Heaven, there is zero mention of repentance or really anything that resembles it at all. The closes he comes is “Turn your sinful heart to Him in prayer and ask Him to forgive you of your sinfulness” (source). Thats it. But its not what you think, because I can see someone thinking that is turning from sin, when its actually not. He is referring to something that is more hypothetical than practical or real. Its merely part of his prayer, not necessarily a wilful intention of the heart. He may be acknowledging that the heart is sinful which is a good start, but its certainly not a wilful turning from sin. He doesn't believe in that, clearly by his website, his preaching and also by personal conversation. A friend once stopped at their church on a Sunday morning and in-between services questioned him about his views on repentance, because it is the most attacked doctrine in churches today, which is because it is the foundation of salvation and the greatest reason why people will not convert, and its absence or corruption results in a perverted gospel (Gal 1:6-9). Not surprisingly, his response confirms what one already suspected and what the website already declares: he does not preach Biblical repentance. He might teach it as applied for Christians, but not for salvation besides the sporadic mention of the false “Repentance in salvation is changing our mind about God.” No it’s not, and this is the typical response by an actual repentance rejector. That is only a small aspect of it, neglecting entirely the emotional and volitional aspects of repentance, of which the latter is the greater, thereby producing a false gospel. What he is meaning by this, like Sullivant, is a change a mind about who God is and about not believing Him (turning from unbelief). Sullivant describes it like this, noted above, and that is what is always meant when people only define it in this manner. He also propagates the same lie that repentance comes from just one Greek word (source). Their statement of faith also contains nothing about repentance for salvation. It is a blatant lie; Repentance is Not Just a Change of Mind.
Additionally, all the same Keswick/Revivalism washed-up heresy is believed and propagated by Friesen, just like Sullivant and everyone else that teaches or preaches at PVBC or CBBC, some only worse than others. One can be born again but live like the world, be unthankful like the world, be sinful like the world, be unchanged like the world, be completely in bondage to sin, and all of these things for years on end, but still be saved. What apparently is lacking in these "believers" lives that have these issues is what God the Spirit couldn’t do at salvation, so men like Friesen and Sullivant have to complete it for Him. The "believer" can't do it without master Sullivant or master Friesen, which intentionally serves the purpose of keeping the people coming. In like manner, overcoming the world is severely corrupted into something that takes place over a lifetime, versus what the Bible teaches as immediate at salvation: 1 Jn. 5:4-5,
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
The transformation of becoming a disciple allegedly doesn’t happen immediately at salvation. Salvation doesn’t necessarily make one a true disciple of Christ (source), which is blatant heresy since The Call to Discipleship is a Call to Salvation, for every single true born again believer is a disciple of Christ (Lk 14:15-15:32; Jn 8:31-36; etc), while not every disciple is a true born agin believer (e.g. Jn 6:60-66; 2:23-25; 1 Jn 2:15-17, 19; Matt 7:21-22). For further reading on this, see above.
There are really no exceptions to this perversion of the gospel at PVBC. Every last one of them does it, and if you didn't, you wouldn't last longer than a few days. Again, like master like disciple. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Am. 3:3). It’s to bad that these men don’t submit themselves to Gods Word instead of Sullivants “Word,” which would be the behaviour of a true servant of Christ:
"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." (Gal 1:10)
👉🏻 Jordan Doerksen preached a sermon on May 12, 2021 titled An Invitation to Follow Jesus and he wasn't referring to unsaved people. Right, it was an invitation for "Christians" to follow Jesus! Yikes. Here we go again, like a broken record. I guess that would be the natural consequence of a pseudo and counterfeit profession of faith, and following after a man's teaching rather than the Holy Scriptures. His text was Matt 16:21-28, and we are particularly interested in what he had to say about vv. 24-26, the main theme of his sermon, which he absolutely butchered like one chopping meat in a meat shop. Mutilated. Corrupted. Butchered completely out of its actual contextual meaning, which passages (vv. 24-26) are essentially Jesus preaching His gospel, describing what repentance and faith entails, what it takes to follow Christ. When true Biblical repentance and the true gospel is denied, rejected and corrupted, the end of that is some serious perversion of Scripture, which we know to be an "error of he wicked" (2 Pet 3:16-17).
The entire sermon is preached for believers, even though Matt 16:24-28 is only referring to unbelievers in need of salvation, and even though the title itself refers to lost people only as well. Saved people follow Jesus, lost people do not, and that includes false professing “believers.”
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn 8:31-32)
Jesus was not referring to only His disciples, though even some of them were lost (of the 12, at least one), he was referring to “any man” (v. 24).
Here are some of the heresies preached in his sermon.
Heresy # 1:
“The Bible says whosoever will may come. And that invitation to follow the Lord is given to every believer but to be sure also to everyone else that does not know the Lord as their Saviour.”
Saved people follow Christ. ALWAYS. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" (Jn 10:27). The concept of a true believer not following Jesus does not exist in Scripture. The call to follow Him is a call to salvation. Period. The Bible is very, very clear on that. When Jesus called people to follow Him, the call was always to unsaved people (Jn 12:24-26). Those that don’t follow Christ are not known by Him. I’m not sure anything in Scripture could be more clear than this, yet it flies right over the head of people like Jordan and the rest of the ministerial staff at PVBC. Jesus said “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine, . . . My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (Jn 10:14, 27). True sheep of Christ know and hear Christ's voice (the Word of God) and always follow Him (which means obey Him and His words, His commandments, and precepts, habitually, characteristically). If you are not led by the Spirit and thus following him, then you are not a son of God. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom 8:14). The truly saved always follow their Shepherd (Jn 10:1-5). The call to “come after me” is ALWAYS a call to salvation (Jn 14:6, “cometh unto the Father but by me”), and those that don’t “come after [Jesus], cannot be [His] disciple” (Lk 14:27), i.e., they cannot be saved, because all saved people are disciples of Christ (Jn 8:31-32).
Heresy # 2:
“We are not saved by taking up a cross and following Jesus.”
Then I would ask, why did Jesus say that to lost people? He said that to lost people, the multitudes and masses, almost all of which were unsaved, in Matt 16:24; Lk 9:23; 14:27; Mk 8:34. The same call to salvation in Matt 16:24-26 is given to the lost rich young ruler (Matt 19:21; Mk 10:21; Lk 18:22 — to deny self, lose his life for Christ and the gospels sake, to “come, take up the cross, and follow me”). Will he (and they) also corrupt those passages, into something post-salvation, since the rich young ruler was definitely unsaved?
Lets park on the case of the rich and religious young ruler in Mk 10:17-31 (and Matt 19 and Lk 18) a bit longer, since this exemplifies the teaching of Matt 16:24-26. Christ told the rich ruler who wanted to “inherit eternal life” (v. 17) to forsake all “and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (v. 21). There were five commands given: “Sell, distribute, come, take up the cross and follow me.” What Jesus preached here in Mk 10:21 is the very same thing He preached in Mk 8:34-38; Lk 9:23-26 and Matt 16:24-26, what many would call “discipleship passages." Jesus is preaching to a lost Jew — why would He talk about discipleship with a lost person?! (hmmm, suspect indeed). This is the response that should be called for in order for someone to be saved. This is what is required to get into the kingdom, to have eternal life, according to God the Son. To turn this account into ‘discipleship” or “dedication” is to rip it from its context, to confuse what is required for salvation. It is a dastardly perversion of the gospel, diminishing saving faith to the intellect. Salvation does indeed come from believing in Jesus Christ. He must however be the Jesus of the Bible, Who is God and Lord. That is a clear implication of the young ruler passage. Non-lordship or anti-lordship people will shrink or depreciate the identity of Jesus. They make Him more palatable to a worldly audience. But in so doing, they make their hearers two-fold more the children of hell they once were. The rich young man refused to obey God the Son, for he was unwilling to forsake his riches, he was unwilling to repent of his covetousness, so he did not inherit the kingdom of God (vv. 22-24). Those who do leave and forsake all to follow Christ (vv. 28-29 — the apostles testimonies, which occurred in Mk 1:15-20; Lk 5:1-11, 27-28) become God’s “children” (v. 24) and will “receive . . . in the world to come eternal life” (v. 30), having submitted to Christ as Lord and Saviour with a contrite and broken spirit and the humble faith of a little child (vv. 13-16).
Matt 16:24, is a call for those who want to be saved (“if any man will come after me”), and thus an invitation to repent and believe illustrated by denying self, taking up the cross and following Christ. Taking up the cross means to be crucified with Christ, and takes place at salvation (Rom 6:3-6; Gal 2:20; 5:24 — he even quoted Gal 2:20 in this context). Verse 25 is very clear, that losing your life for Christ means to save it but saving your life in this world means you will lose it. In other words, heaven and hell are the two destinies being compared here. “Life” (v. 25) and “soul” (v. 26) are translated from the same Greek word (“psuche”). Verse 26 and 27 are very very clearly referring to salvation as well. Losing your soul, again, refers to being cast into eternal hell fire. I am not sure anything could be more crustal clear, but Doerksen and these men turn the very clear into a convoluted and mutilated mess. God’s Word is perspicuous, that is plain, to the saved (Pr 8:8-9) and that is anything but in this corrupted and eisegetical preaching.
One who was bearing a cross in the land of Israel in Christ’s day was on his way to the shameful and extremely painful death of crucifixion (Jn. 19:17) — repentant faith in Christ involves losing one’s life, that is, turning from our own way of living and sinful ways, from exaltation of self and comfort, to surrender to Christ as unconditional Lord (Mk. 8:35). It’s an exchange of masters (Matt 6:24).
So indeed, “There is a price to be paid for bearing the cross. It cost Jesus everything.” The price is death to self, self denial, for the true Gospel is The Gospel of Self-Denial and Self-Abandonment vs The False Gospel of Self-Fulfillment.
Heresy # 3:
“We as believers must come to grips that we must deny ourselves. . . . and we also cannot see self denial or denying self as salvation.”
The words “deny himself” means to forsake himself (cf. Lk 14:33) and carries the same meaning. It’s how the word (“aparneomai”) was translated by the English translators prior to the KJV, including Tyndale. It carries the idea of utterly disowning, to lose acquaintance with self, to forget self, lose sight of one self and one's own interests. Those who wanna come to Christ have to forsake self. You can’t hold on to your self and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. You are still your own master in that case and we know that “no man can serve two masters” (Matt 6:24). You are unwilling to surrender your life to the Lord and King, to the One who Created you for His glory. The rich young ruler would not forsake himself, illustrated by his refusal to repent of his covetousness, and thus couldn’t be saved (Mk 10:21-25). Paul on the other hand forsook all for Christ (Phil 3:3-11). What things he had once counted as valuable, he counted as dung.
It has been well said, the only hand that can receive salvation is an empty one. Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling. You cannot receive Christ while you still hang on and clutch to your own life, own abilities, self confidence, pride of life, self worth, sin, friends, family, self-righteous religion and material possessions. Of course we come to Christ sinful but we cannot come to Him while holding on to sin. These things have to be let go, they have to be denied, that is forsaken, but it’s Jesus that does the saving, cleansing and washing at conversion.
“This passage deals with sonship, or not with sonship but with discipleship, and we are speaking of a choice that must be made after conversion to follow Christ. It almost sounds funny when you say it.”
It does sound funny but not really because it is leading multitudes to hell. He separates salvation and discipleship, classic Keswick theology. The passage is dealing with sonship (he should have stuck with that), but also with discipleship when we understand discipleship in a Biblical manner, which is The Call to Discipleship is a Call to Salvation,
Heresy # 5: The straw man of Lk 9:23,
“I believe it is Luke that records that one extra word that Jesus spoke, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY. So there is a daily choice…”
Jesus is speaking to a mixture of saved and lost people, “And he said to them all,” (v. 23)—and the “all” is “about five thousand” (v. 14)—and “his disciples” (v. 18).
Salvation requires taking up your cross, but it doesn't end at salvation. It must continue on, "daily." That is clearly what Jesus is teaching here. If it didn't start with salvation, it couldn't be daily.
When someone denies and rejects God's Word and gospel, he will find some passage in Scripture to support his heresy. This is no different.
Heresy # 6:
Claims that being “shameful and embarrassed of being a Christian, of being identified with Christ and with His church and His people” is something that Christians do.
This passage, v. 26, teaches that those who rather than being ashamed of their sins (Rom 6:21; cf. 2 Tim 1:8, 12, 16), are ashamed to follow Christ and His Words in this evil and adulterous world will have Christ ashamed of them at His return and be eternally damned—for Christ is “not ashamed to call [true believers] brethren” (Heb 2:11), and “God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Heb 11:16; Lk 9:26). No text in Scripture indicates that God will be “ashamed” of His saints, or that truly saved people are ever ashamed of Christ and His gospel: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:" (Rom 1:16a).Being ashamed and embarrassed of Christ is what lost people do (Rom 1:16; 9:33; 10:11) not saved as he unbelievably claim.
Heresy # 7:
Corrupts Matt 16:25-26, about losing ones soul and exchanging the world for ones soul, into Christians and sanctification. Says that at the end of their life, they will lose their soul if they lived after the flesh, but not in hell, so who knows what he means here. This is horrible heresy. He then also adds, “I believe this verse it is speaking to a lost man, but also to a saved man.”
No, this is ONLY referring to lost people, and he has no choice to add this caveat in, because the words are so plainly obvious. Saved people do not "lose their soul" so he must now add the caveat that salvation can be lost, but we know that to be heresy as well. The person who wishes to continue to live his own way and life, to “save his life,” will eternally lose “both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28, 39), while one who turns from his own way, denying himself, taking up the cross, and losing his life for the sake of Christ and the gospel, will save his life or soul (same Greek word “pseuche”) by receiving eternal life. “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (Jn 12:25).
In encouraging the lost to give up their own way and surrender to Christ’s Lordship for salvation (Matt 16:24), Christ reminds them it profits them nothing if they gain the whole world, but lose their souls (Matt 16:25-26).
Heresy # 8:
Corrupts Matt 19:27, Peter’s testimony of salvation along with the other apostles, into something other than salvation, and with what Jesus says about salvation and its fruits in that context in response to Peter (vv. 28-30), into post-salvation. He claims “many that are first will be last” is referring to Christians.
Yikes. The perversion just doesn't stop. One lie and error leads to another lie and error. It compounds. But its also leaven that will leaventh the whole lump (Gal 5:9). If what Peter said was not about salvation (v. 27), and Jesus's response to Peter likewise (vv. 28-20), than the account of the rich young ruler (vv. 18-26) is neither about salvation, because that is the context and the very theme of this conversation. But salvation is the only subject here, and nothing else. Heretical perverts of God's Word will twist and wrest and corrupt the Scriptures unto their own destruction. God is not the author of such confusion.
Matt 19:25 asks “Who then can be saved?” “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26). Eleven of the apostles had done exactly what Jesus preached in Matt 16:24-26, by the grace of God, and were converted, as was articulated by Peter: “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.” (Matt 19:27). Jesus affirms that was indeed their conversion (Matt 19:28-30), which occurred in Lk 5:1-11, 27-28. Every testimony of salvation in scripture reflects these things, whether Abraham, or David, or Paul, or the Philippian jailer, or Zacchaeus, or the eleven apostles, or the prodigal son, etc.
Heresy # 9:
“That first choice is between heaven and hell. And then we see there is a second choice we must make and that is between heaven and this earth.”
Wow. What kind of gospel or sanctification or whatever it may be, is this? The heresy is compounding so we end up with not only "another gospel" (2 Cor 11:4) but "damnable heresies," which is a trademark of the "false teacher (2 Pet 2:1).
This is classic Keswick-Revivalist theological heresy and it fits well into everything he is preaching here. The corrupted sanctification flows from corrupted soteriology. Its a convoluted mess, and utter disaster, and it will be covered in much greater detail in the next part of the Sullivant Report.
What is presented here was far from the truth, and rather blatant dangerous error. The entire sermon is preached on a false foundation — that of saved people given an invitation to follow Jesus and Christ’s call to “any man” to be converted (Matt 16:24-28) being some kind of call for believers to follow Him. It is not “almost funny,” but damnable heresy that leads to multitudes burning in the torments of hell. How “funny” is that?! Jesus is not calling saved people. They have been called already and are following Him. He is calling lost people (“if any man” which is all men — even among His disciples at least one of the twelve was unsaved, and among the greater group of disciples, most were lost, Jn 6:66). Those who are truly born again (Matt 16:24-26) will present with a certain kind of life. Parallel passages are clearly also preached to lost people (Lk 9:21-23; 14:25; Mk 8:34). There is not one call anywhere in the NT by Jesus or any of the apostles that refers to anything but salvation. Saved people always follow Christ. Thae call to follow Him is a call to salvation. Period. The Bible is very very clear on that. Those that don’t follow Christ are not known by Him. I’m not sure anything in Scripture could be clearer than this, yet it flies right over the head of people like you and the ministerial staff at PVBC.
Of course no corrupted sermon of this nature would be complete without an ivitation down the old sawdust trail. The alter call is made, elevator music playing, guilt poured on those not walking the sawdust trail, eyes are closed hands are raised (those desiring the gift or crisis or a higher rung on the ladder), sinners prayer offered (by self and preacher) to “receive Jesus as Saviour” or to "take Jesus as Saviour" or to "ask Jesus into your heart." Conspicuously absent in all this is true biblical repentance and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Its manipulation, and then fabrication of artificial finish lines for the new birth, followed by corrupted unscriptural sanctification. But the sermon had nothing to do with the new birth, though that never stops the invitation, just in case God was able to use a few words here and there in the corrupted sermon which completely perverted and wrested His Word. God however never works in a way that circumvents the Bible. If the meaning of Scripture is mangled, the Holy Spirit is not in it. Scripture has only one meaning. There may be more than one application, 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 how we love Jesus, but there are other ways we can know when people don’t actually love Jesus, though they may profess, as we have seen.
Scripture truth must be twisted, mangled, and tortured to arrive at these conclusions by Doerksen. Its very sad that man-centredness, appeasing man over Christ (cf. Gal 1:10), and the "Word" of Sullivant takes such precedence over the Word of God. I’m unsure if anything could be more clear than this passage on salvation (Matt 16:24-26), but he turns the very clear into a convoluted and mangled mess. I wonder what God thinks of that. A person doesn’t get to take a verse and treat it in anyway their deceitful and wicked flesh pleases, treating God’s Word worse than tomatoes falling off the back of a produce truck. God’s Word is perspicuous, that is plain, to the saved (Pr 8:8-9) and that is anything but in the case of this preaching. Separating salvation and discipleship is classic Keswick/ Higher Life/ Deeper life/ Victorious life/ Revivalism heresy (which is found everywhere in PVBC sermons), which leads to heresy as heard in this sermon.
Repentance relates to God. The sinner sees himself and his sins as a Holy God views them in light of His Perfect Law, then turns from himself to Him, from idols to Him, and from his sins to Him. By faith we leave the old life for a new one, one that was about us and what we wanted to one that is about Him and what He wants. Passages such as Mk. 8:34-38; Lk. 9:23-26; 14:25-35; Matt. 16:24-26; Jn. 12:24-25 are not obscure. They are axiomatic. They are not different or separate from the gospel or from the normal teaching of Jesus; they are the gospel of Christ. These are principals that Jesus is preaching repeatedly throughout His ministry, over and over again in all different contexts. They are also seen throughout Scripture in all the testimonies of salvation found therein. Repentance is not a work—it’s demanded for salvation. The Bible says it and then it has nothing that contradicts it. Love rejoiceth in the truth.
Doerksen, Sullivant and the rest of PVBC do not rejoice in the truth. They seem to hate the actual truth, as they corrupt and twist Scripture to fulfill their lusts.
Men like Doerksen, Sullivant and others that do this need to earnestly repent with a broken and contrite heart of preaching heresy, of wresting the Scriptures, of falsely dividing the word of truth and abusing God’s Word for their own man-centred agenda. They need to examine themselves as to whether they are actually and truly in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). Almost every passage of Scripture that was quoted here (Matt 16:24-26; 19:27-30; Gal 2:20; Lk 9:23) was perverted and corrupted, while Paul says saved people do not “corrupt the word of God” as many do (2 Cor 2:17). He “handled the word of God deceitfully” (2 Cor 4:2) and 2 Pet 3:16-17 is clear that wresting Scripture is an “error of the wicked,” which is obviously a lost person. God the Spirit isn’t in a sermon when His Word is mangled and mutilated. He doesn’t sit at the table of error and heresy. Sure they can ignore this as they sit on their pompous pedestal, but they should consider Ps 73:22,
“So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee,”
And 1 Cor 14:38,
“But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”
I cover this subject in much greater detail in the report, In Mark 8:34-38, Is Jesus Teaching How to be Saved or How to be A Better Christian?
(f) Sullivant rejects true Biblical repentance by fact in whom he claims as saved — unrepentant and false “believers.”
Many people are permitted membership at PVBC who have no true Biblical testimony of salvation. Some of these have been mentioned already. Many examples throughout sermons are given by Sullivant of people he claims to be saved but are far from it according to Scripture. He reasons, as I will demonstrate below, that people can be saved but live characteristically as the lost, completely after and in the flesh, in sin, or after the lusts of the world or after the devil and still be considered saved people. He gives examples of this many times. But that philosophy is found absolutely nowhere in Scripture; it was concocted by Keswick “theologians” in the 1800’s and popularized by heretics like Zane Hodges, Charles Ryrie and Louis Sperry Chaffer (whose books, not surprisingly, are being used in the classes at CBBC and/or sold in the church bookstore, along with a number of other heretical authors such as Jack Hyles, Curtis Hutson, Rick Flanders, etc). Historically among true Bible believing Christians and churches in past centuries, this philosophy has never existed and would’ve been in quick succession labelled as heresy.
👉🏻 In the sermon Backsliding (Oct 29, 2017)—again, misuse and perversion of the word "backsliding" —he gives three examples of professing believers who got saved “at a young age” but then “got away from the Lord” and got into all sorts of evil and wickedness. But they were always saved according to Sullivant because they prayed a prayer and went to an IFB church. In the last example we see it’s all about who they are, their influence on him and their education that merits their salvation, which further reflects Sullivant’s corrupted gospel, even potentially reflecting a works-salvation. This sermon reveals he is one very confused and heretical man who has no business being behind a pulpit.
1. The first example is that of a backslidden man whom he knew from Winnipeg who apparently got away from the Lord and then lost everything including his family, due to drugs and alcohol, spending years on’”skid row,” which is on streets doing hard drugs and living homeless. And then, unbelievably, he claims the man to have always been saved, because he was “saved at a young age,” but was merely “backslidden” for many years. Wow, this is evil, not only for the false assurance given to this man but also became of all the vulnerable and impressionable ears that hear this utter heresy. Sullivant’s greatest concern wasn’t that he rejected God and never glorified God or that he was a false believer living like the devil and in wickedness, or the clear fact that he was lost and had never been converted but that “he blew his opportunity as a husband as a father as well as a business owner.” This reflects a lot about how man-centred and corrupt and unBiblical Sullivant really is. He plays on peoples emotions, especially being that Mennonites are so family orientated, and doesn't care one iota over the glory or obedience of God. His mind is far from the truth of Scripture.
2. The second example of “backsliding” Sullivant gives is one from PVBC (time 14:30-15:40). Also a Christian according to Sullivant (only “backslidden” of course) who left PVBC for the city with his family to pursue his love of money and “pride of life” and “the lusts of the flesh” (1 Jn 2:16), just like the lost thorny soil describes (Lk. 8:14). The man didn’t even care about going to a true Bible believing church when he moved to the city and at the end lost his family to the world and his wife divorced him, all clear illustrations of a hypocritical and accursed home, which is a lost home (Matt 23; Ps 1:4-6). The “unbelieving wife” was not “sanctified by the husband” and their children were not “holy” but “unclean” (1 Cor 7:14), because the husband/father was unsaved himself, but not according to Sullivant who claims anyone and everyone to be saved if they prayed a prayer and undergone baptism at PVBC. It reflects his heretical and perverted “gospel” and also that he is simple-minded charlatan, believing every word and without discernment. Nowhere in Scripture are the simple saved people by the way (e.g. Ps. 19:7; 119:130; Pr. 1:20; 14:15, 18). They have no spiritual discernment cause they have not the Spirit of discernment (1 Cor. 2:9-16).
3. The third example is of two brothers in Tennessee, who he knew from his home church. These two brothers set out one night with a few friends to rob a farm while drunk as skunks, and ended up murdering the man and his wife and received 33 years in jail. But these were saved believers according to Sullivant, even though they were wicked thieving drunkard murderers!! U.n.b.e.l.i.e.v.a.b.l.e.! Just. Wow! If that isn’t just blatantly unscriptural and contrary to true salvation/gospel, and a wicked, heretical teaching, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (Ju. 1:4), I’m not sure what would be. No wonder the world makes a mockery of Christianity, the very thing he ironically warns of! He is the problem!
Here is what he says about these two murdering thieving drunkard brothers:
“I remember in Tennessee two young men growing up in a family, a good, a good family. I know the man and his wife well, . . . those two young men, brothers, had been out with two other friends, they went out country drinking, they went to a farm house and thought they would rob the farmer, they would then have some money to finance some other good times. Well one thing led to another and they ended up killing that farmer and his wife. Both of them got sentenced for life sentences . . . a life sentence in Tennessee is 33 years. Here’s two young men in their early twenties, I don’t think for a minute they got up and said you know this day, we can’t wait till tonight, the wheels are going to be set in motion where we’re going to ruin the rest of our lives. One of the brothers got out early, and the other did his time. Both continue to struggle until this very day with their walk with God because of that, what we would say, chain of events. They backslid. They grew up in a Christian home. They even went to a Christian church. They even went to a Bible believing, Bible preaching, independent fundamental Baptist church. They went to a Christian school. Graduated from a Christian school. And yet at the same time they decided they didn’t want to go that way anymore. And the rest is a sad case of history. I think Lot is a premier example of a backslidden life and its destruction and its waste. Pr. 14:14 says, The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” (time 15:50–16:30)
This is the “gospel” that Sullivant preaches, a perverted and corrupted gospel without repentance which means nothing and results in false conversions, because it is a false gospel since only half the truth is told. If one's life is not dramatically and permanently changed, then he is not a child of God. Sullivant leaves out vital part that are going to result in most people never being saved, and that's why they don't have power over sin, because they were not converted. Faith needs to be defined by the Bible. The comment that proclaims that one can have saving faith in Jesus and not be living for Him and be living in wicked sin ongoing, is completely Anti-Christ in light of Matt. 7, the epistle of James, epistle of 1 John, etc. All those who truly believe to the saving of the soul bear some fruit, 30, 60, or 100 fold. All with this faith have some gold, silver, and precious stones. Read Phil. 1 and 2. The guarantee of God that saved people grow, mature, serve Him, etc, are crystal clear. The salvation that Sullivant preaches is no salvation at all. The sinner is left wallowing and drowning in their own sin, unrescued, unsaved, but yet falsely believing to be saved. Read what the actual grace of God accomplishes in the last verses of Titus 2 and 3. Consider and be wise. Saving faith involves commitment or surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Denying this plain Biblical fact is a rejection of a core element of true saving faith and a serious corruption and perversion of the gospel of Christ (cf. Gal 1:6-9). People need to reject this heretical corruption espoused by Sullivant and PVBC and separate from them and all others who are unwilling to stand for the true gospel of justification by repentant faith alone in Jesus Christ, surrendering to Him as Lord and Saviour.
Faith must be defined by the Bible. The comment that states that one can have saving faith in Jesus and not be living for Him is completely Anti-Christ in light of Matt. 7, the epistle of James, epistle of 1 John, etc. All those who believe to the saving of the soul bear some fruit, 30, 60, 100 fold (Matt. 13), and it starts at conversion (Ezk. 36:25-27; Jer. 23:3; Ps. 1:1-3; 92:12-15; Pr. 11:30; 12:12b; Matt. 3:1-12; 7:15-20; 13:8-23; 21:28-32, 41-44; Mk. 4:20-29; Lk. 8:15-16; Jn. 4:35-38; 15:1-16; Rom. 11:16; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 9:10; Col. 1:4-6; Jam. 1:18; 2:14-26; 3:17). All with this faith have some gold, silver, and precious stones. Read Phil. 1 & 2. The guarantee of God that saved people grow, mature, serve Him, etc, are precious and crystal clear. The salvation that Sullivant preaches is no salvation at all. The sinner is left wallowing and drowning in their own sin, unrescued, unsaved but pretending to be and then being fed that they are. He leaves vital parts out that are going to result in most people never being saved, and that's why they don't have power over sin, because they were not converted. What a horrible pervasion of God’s Word. Read what the actual grace of God accomplishes in the last verses of Titus. Consider and be wise.
I will be covering this sermon in greater detail in the next part. The term "backsliding" is found only in the OT. None of the 16 occasions the word or its derivates show up does it refer to saved people but always to lost people and almost entirely to Israel as a lost nation: Pr 14:14; Jer 2:19; 3:6, 8, 11-12, 14, 20-22; 5:6; 8:5; 14:7; 31:22; 49:4; Hos 4:16; 11:7; 14:1-4. The NT is silent on it. Backsliding means to apostatize, “An apostate; one who falls from the faith and practice of religion" (Webster’s 1828), and we know absolutely no apostate is saved (e.g. 2 Pet 2:17-22; Heb 3:7-4:11; 10:38-39). Never is backsliding used to describe a true believer in Scripture. Jer 7:23-24; 15:6 & Heb 10:38-39 specifically tell us those who go backwards are unsaved.
Here is an informative article as to why Saved People Don't Backslide - They Are Not Apostates,
👉🏻 He falsely believes and teaches Esau was a true Christian (sermon Church of Laodicea), which reflects a corrupted soteriology. He said,
“Esau didn’t find a place for repentance because he wanted it on his terms. And many people today are seeking to live the Christian life on their terms.” (time 36:50).
He clearly, associates Christians with Esau, thus implying that Esau was saved. “Christians” who seek “to live the Christian life on their terms” have never been born again. They are rebels, unregenerate hypocrites who "hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom 1:18). They have never denied themselves and died to themselves and surrendered their will to God, all of which happens at salvation and is caught up in repentance and faith (Mk. 8:34-38; Lk. 14:15-15:32) but all of which is denied by Sullivant. Esau didn’t find a place for repentance because of what Pr. 1 teaches. Instead of choosing the knowledge and fear of God (v. 29), he rejected, resisted and refused God’s reproof and counsel, setting it at nought and hating it (vv. 23-25). When the day of his calamity came, he found no place for repentance, because God was not granting it to him (Rom 2:1-5; Ac. 5:31; 11:18). God was laughing at his calamity and mocking his fear (v. 26) which “fear cometh as desolation, and . . . destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish [came] upon” Esau (v. 27). And then we see why his “repentance” didn’t work: “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:” (v. 28). All because he “hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:” he “would none of my counsel: [Esau] despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” (vv. 29-31).
Correlating Esau with true Christians is some serious confusion and it buttresses my point that these men corrupt and twist the Scriptures as they deem fit, but the Bible says is an "error of the wicked" (2 Pet 3:16-17).
👉🏻 In a post on Mission Minute (CanAmera) titled Doing More to Improve Our Discipleship Sullivant writes:
“Many times I have met people who have trusted Christ as Saviour, yet they can barely articulate their salvation experience. Their Bible knowledge is weak and their application of Bible truth in everyday living is anemic.”
This is revealing of someone (I.e. Sullivant) who doesn’t understand the difference between true salvation and false, and yet this is merely one example amongst an unlimited supply that could be provided, some of which has been and more of which will come. How could someone that is truly saved not be able to “articulate their salvation experience”? Because they haven’t been educated (“discipled”) by man enough? Where does the Bible say that or even give just one example of that. This essentially powerless "salvation" supposes man's need to be solidified of their salvation by other men at some point after their profession of faith. So what God did for them at their alleged conversion wasn’t powerful enough or sure enough; they need man to confirm the articulation thereof? Man-centred monstrosity! Someone who cannot apply Bible truth to everyday living is without the indwelling Spirit. The fact that Sullivant cannot discern these as mere false professions is a massive red flag. True converts “judge all things” (1 Cor. 2:15) and have the indwelling Spirit of God Who always gives discernment to judge righteously and diligently (2 Tim. 2:15; Jn. 7:24).
Like most IB Boys Club preachers, Sullivant's determination of when someones a true believer (or a false believer for that matter), does not align with God’s Word one bit. Of course this would have nothing to do with his love of bigism, and numberism and growth and popularity, etc, man-centredness.
(g) The unscriptural salvation language Sullivant uses by invitation or reference, is always void of repentance and submission to Christ's authority, to His Lordship, further reflecting his false gospel/salvation.
I want to park a moment on the false gospel. The worst reduce the "gospel" to repeating words or "praying a prayer." Others, not the ones doing it, have called this "1-2-3 pray-with-me." Some say that repentance is not a prerequisite to justification and salvation, but a post-justification work. Some say that repentance is repenting of unbelief. Some say that repentance is a mere change of mind that accompanies faith. Some say that repentance is a willingness to change, but will not necessarily result in changing. They say you've got to want to change, but you may not for awhile. None of what I've described is a biblical response to gospel truth, but these are the versions of the gospel that fall short, that accompany the wrong methodology and the distorted sanctification.
👉🏻 Not only are his sermons completely void of true repentance and the fear of God (which makes sense, since they dovetail -- you cannot have true repentance without fear of the Lord), what Sullivant describes as salvation is completely unscriptural. Sullivant’s continual unscriptural cliche is to just “accept/trust Jesus as your personal Saviour” and “ask Jesus into your heart” (as also noted in the gospel tract found on PVBC website and created by Sullivant), both of which are equally unscriptural. My estimation is that this is heard an average of a dozen times per sermon this can be heard, literally to ad nausaem, with zero reference ever to Biblical repentance or its principals or to who Jesus is as found throughout the four Gospels. But where does the Bible ever say that you need to accept or trust Jesus as your Saviour? It doesn't is the short answer. This language is never used in a presentation of the plan of salvation anywhere in scripture. The call is always the same, a call to repentance (e.g. Matt. 4:17; Mk. 6:12; Ac. 2:38; 17:30-31; 2 Pet. 3:19; etc) not “accept Jesus as your Saviour.” If “accepting/trusting Jesus as Saviour" were such important language, then why doesn't it occur even once in the Bible? If the concept of "Saviour" were so important, or even the word, then why didn't Jesus Himself preach that or the apostles use it all the time in their preaching? The terminology itself isn't found in the Bible but its very popular in our day.
These words should never stand alone as a saving response to the Lord Jesus Christ, but this what we see throughout the teachings of pastor Michael Sullivant. They are not biblical salvation language. They shouldn't stand as the crucial, most practical point in a salvation presentation, which is the case with every presentation by Sullivant. Now, believe me, I am not against using the title "Saviour," but definitely not to the exclusion of "Lord" in the presentation of Jesus, and not even as the main point, since it isn't the main point. Will He save? Yes. But He won't save while your mind and will is still made up that you're going to do what you want to do and so rebel against obedience to God’s Word. In other words, not repent, but that is found nowhere ever in Sullivant's sermons. And He doesn't become Saviour till He actually saves us, since that is what the word means and all. The word “Saviour” is found 24 times in the N.T. In its usage it is almost exclusively used on behalf of and directed toward believers, because Jesus is being described as their Saviour. He is already their Saviour, as something past tense. But why is He their Saviour? Is it because they've accepted Him as Saviour? It doesn't say that. The tone of those passages is that He's been so good to them, as their Saviour, that they owe Him a lot. Even when "Saviour" is found in Scripture, it gets used with "Lord" over one-third of the time. Romans is the great salvation book, and there we find 45x in 39 verses "Lord,” and 0x "Saviour." 45 to 0. As Paul explains the great doctrine of salvation so much in that book, he doesn't mention "Saviour" at all. Does this mean anything? Of course it does. You won't find "accept Jesus as Saviour" in the book of Romans. You can't. So how does it appear as the clinching point in so many plans of salvation for Sullivant — in his sermons, tracts, salvation invitation on their website, “soul winning,” etc? In Rev. 14:6, in the angels flight around the earth so everyone can see him, he preaches the "everlasting gospel” but in that gospel he never says, “Accept Jesus as your Saviour!" What he does say is the same gospel message found everywhere in Scripture, for sinners to fear God and repent, which is the everlasting gospel that saves but the gospel that is absent from the lips of Michael Sullivant:
"Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
Peter, on the day of Pentecost preached, "Repent . . . and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Ac 2:38). He said, ‘Repent and you get the gift,’ not ‘accept the gift and you get the gift.’ “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23). ”Through . . . our Lord." You get to that gift through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If someone wants Jesus as his Saviour, He's not going to get that by merely "asking or trusting Jesus to be His Saviour." If He doesn't want Jesus as Lord, Jesus won't be His Saviour. If he won't fear God, repent of his sin (turning from it all, both specific sins and general sin), deny himself, and turn to Jesus Christ for Who Jesus really is, he won't be saved and Jesus won’t be his Saviour. Is that so hard to add to the equation in the explanation? It isn’t, as we see in all the preaching in Scripture, but people that have embraced a false gospel will call that a works-gospel, which reflects their own false profession of faith as well. I guess Jesus was teaching a works-gospel then, like in Mk. 10:21 to the rich young ruler, and Lk. 14:25–15:32 to the lost multitude and to sinners/publicans and Pharisees/Scribes, etc, and the apostles likewise had embraced a works gospel (e.g. Mk. 10:28-31) and John the Baptist as well (Lk. 3:3-16). But won't people find "accept Jesus as your Saviour," much easier to accept? Sure but they won’t be saved. It’ll fill the pews, and that is what men like Sullivant want. Then along with that comes the corrupted and perverted sanctification, the guilt runs and fear mongering, the new labels of “backslider” and “lukewarm” “carnal Christian,” to keep them in the pews as imitators and counterfeits par excellence and the coffers flowing with mites (this is my next point). Diminishing numbers and empty pews is unacceptable, so the preaching has to fit the people. But a true preacher preaches the truth, irregardless of how empty the pews get. And they wonder why there is so much trouble and unrest in churches and “Christian” homes today. It’s a joke, and the world sees that as well.
So yes Jesus is Saviour but there is not one place in Scripture that tells a sinner to “accept Him as your Saviour.” He becomes our Saviour but we receive Him and believe in Him for who He is, which is Lord. The difference is massive and the difference between the true Jesus and another Jesus. Jesus wants to reign over us (those who won’t have Him reign over them will be chopped up — Lk. 19:12-27) and demands submission to Him (Lk. 19:12-27; Mk. 10:21-31) and humbling of ourselves before Him (Lk. 18:17; Matt. 10:15) and losing our lives for Him (Matt. 16:15; Mk. 8:35) and denying ourselves (Lk. 14:26; 18:22), and forsaking all for Him and the gospel (Lk. 14:25-33) and falling on Him to be broken (Lk. 20:18). All this is caught up in saving repentance which is a gift of God to every convicted sinner (Rom. 2:4; Ac. 5:31; 11:18) as is faith (Eph. 2:8-9; Ac. 3:16).
This teaching in question is a false teaching for a number of reasons. It is not the Biblical way to be saved, which should be reason enough, but it also attacks the true gospel by denying the absolute necessity of repentance and surrender (Sinners become the children of God by repentant faith alone). It is even an insult to the OT sacrificial system. It confuses the means of salvation with the result of salvation. It denies the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in true salvation. It is without example in Scripture. It leads to eternal hell because of the false assurance and security it parades with.
👉🏻 Even his own personal testimony reflects this unscriptural language:
“Michael Sullivant trusted Christ as his personal Saviour on Sept 2, 1972.” (Living a Restful Life).
That’s it. Nothing about repentance or about receiving Jesus as his Lord. Can one be saved without repenting of sin and self? Absolutely not! Can you receive Jesus as Saviour and not as Lord? I trow not! Also nothing here about the immediate incredible and dramatic effects and fruit of true conversion. Its an empty shell of a profession without parallel to anything in Scripture.
Again, this language isn’t found anywhere in scripture. This would further explain the reason why this is the same and only thing he ever states about salvation in his preaching, throughout his sermons. One can listen through the 1k+ sermons online and this is the only thing that is ever heard concerning salvation and heard so often it makes one nauseous: “trust Christ as personal Saviour.” In some sermons that unscriptural cliche is heard a dozen times, and always the same precise wording. That on its own is extremely concerning since salvation is never described in such a way in scripture, nor is that Biblical salvation. What is missing and ALWAYS missing in his references to salvation is repentance and all the doctrine/principles behind it, which is much (e.g. surrender and submission, turning from sin/self/stuff/people, denying self, dying to self, losing ones life, denying self, taking up the cross, humbled before God, poor, broken and contrite spirit, crying to God for mercy and forgiveness in godly sorrow, see here). This is not a sound Biblical testimony of salvation, nor is his gospel true to Gods Word. The absence of repentance makes it a false gospel on its own, “another gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4) and nothing of course about the Lordship of Christ, which is "another Jesus" (2 Cor. 11:4). This Biblically abusive language that Sullivant uses is never found anywhere in Scripture. Nowhere do we ever read that Jesus is trusted only as personal Saviour, but rather all examples in Scripture are receiving Him as Lord, and repentance is the backbone of true conversion. Sure Christ is ones personal Saviour if one ACTUALLY truly and savingly repents AND receives Jesus Christ as Lord, but that is not stated anywhere by Sullivant in how we receive Him. We receive Him for who He is and He is Lord and King and we become His happy bondservants (slaves). Based upon this and the false gospel he habitually and chronically promotes and the false sanctification he teaches and the erroneous credibility and security he gives to lost people who’ve been deceived into believing they are Christian, I have no reason to Scripturally believe Michael Sullivant is actually saved himself. He certainly shouldn’t be treated as one according to Scripture and these errors with his false testimony (Is. 8:20) and false gospel (Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4-5) and other grievous false doctrine (Rom. 16:17-18), and the fact he is void of spiritual discernment (1 Cor. 2:14-16) and believes/propagates lies and not the truth (see 1 Jn. 2:20-21).
Pr. 14:25 warns,
“A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.”
(h) Other supported teachings by Sullivant that reveals he doesn’t understand the gospel/salvation.
👉🏻 In the sermon Learning to Live Like a Winner, he stated,
“If Abraham had failed the test of offering Isaac on Mt. Moriah, he would’ve never known God as Jehovah Jirah.” (time 11:50).
This is twisted and confusing and contrary to salvation and the evidence thereof. In this one sentence he denies literally hundreds of passages of Scripture on salvation and the evidence of salvation. He is declaring that Abraham would’ve never known a certain aspect of God if he had disobeyed, but the Bible instead declares if Abraham had failed the test, it would’ve proven he never knew God at all! Not just “as Jehovah Jirah.” That was the whole point, what Jam. 2:16-25 teaches ever so clearly. Obedience and godly good works is the proof of justification by faith. His sacrifice of Isaac, justification by works, proved that he had been justified by faith (Jam. 2:20-25, which happened in Gen. 15:1-6). True saving faith, which is the only means whereby we are saved, ALWAYS produces obedience and thus godly works (Jam. 2:14-19; Jn 14:15-24; 1 Jn 2:3-5; Eph 2:8-10; etc). To not understand this is to confuse salvation, and this is extremely concerning and a huge red flag (amongst a sea of massive red flags!).
A person like Sullivant who doesn’t understand what salvation is and does, will repeatedly declare that rebellion and disobedience against God is not reflective of a lost estate but in missing out on certain blessings of the Christian life. And that is plain heresy. He should read Saving Faith versus Non-Saving Faith.
👉🏻 In the sermon Lord are There Few Saved he corrupts salvation and the fruit thereof:
“Yes it’s right to be holy and yes it’s right to live right but at the same time it has nothing to do with salvation.” (time 34:00).
This is a logical fallacy and blatantly false but it fits well with his distorted sanctification, which in turn is supported by his corrupted salvation. What Sullivant preaches fits together; there is a consistency to his presentation even though it is wholly inconsistent to God’s Word. The evidence and fruit of salvation has everything to do with salvation. It’s the product of true salvation and if it doesn’t happen, the “salvation” was false and fake. We see this all over the Bible. For instance in Jam. 2:20-24; Mk. 10:21; Rev. 22:14-15. So it has something "to do with salvation."
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Heb 12:14).
We see it with Zacchaeus. It was ONLY after the evidence and fruit of repentance was present (Lk. 19:7-8) did Jesus actually confirm and proclaim his salvation:
“And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.” (Lk. 19:9).
The Bible is full of a lot more examples.
In another place in this sermon, Sullivant says something similar:
“So a believer, if we’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, you oughta bear fruit.” (time 17:30).
“Oughta bear fruit”?! That is sugar coating what the Bible so plainly declares. There is a big difference between “oughta” and “will.” True believers WILL bear fruit! See the following examples from a small sample of Scripture: Ezk. 36:25-27; Jer. 23:3; Ps. 1:1-3; 92:12-15; Pr. 11:30; 12:12b; Matt. 3:1-12; 7:15-20; 13:8-23; 21:28-32, 41-44; Mk. 4:20-29; Lk. 8:15-16; Jn. 4:35-38; 15:1-16; Rom. 11:16; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 9:10; Col. 1:4-6; Jam. 1:18; 2:14-26; 3:17. You can't separate requirements and results of salvation, as the two are inexorably connected. That is why there are passages such as Rev 22:14-15 in the Bible,
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
We are not saved by works, but this passage almost sounds like that, doesn't it. The point is, the evidence of salvation is so intricately and intimately connected to salvation itself, it shows forth as to who will enter the gates of heaven.
Over and over and over professing Christians are given credibility by Sullivant when they’re actually plainly and obviously lost according to his own words. As we read, even those who are wicked drunkard thieving murderers and alcoholics and drug addicts who return to their mire and vomit like dogs and pigs (2 Pet. 2:22) are claimed to be “saved”’— just backslidden and carnal of course (e.g. Sermon: “Backsliding,” Oct 29, 2017). How convenient. He creates a third category of man (the carnal “Christian”) which is very unbiblical, false doctrine and adding to the Word of God. The salvation Sullivant embraces and teaches is corrupted, false and powerless.
Sullivant, like his mentor did, preaches a gospel that purposefully excludes biblical, true repentance and the Lordship of Christ. This perversion is an actual rejection of the true gospel. That means he embraces a false gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), no different than Hyles. Many members of this church are lost. They have never been born again. I would say that is because “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” (Pr. 14:25). When people are unconverted, not born again, they can't live the Christian life. They can't stop from sinning. They can't change their hearts. All they can do then is paint on an impersonation of some skewed version of Christianity. That's what they did at Hyles FBC and that’s what happens at Sullivant’s PVBC. PVBC, like Hyles and Co., appears as a false front city, attempting to appear like something legitimate, when they are actually a fraud.
Those like Sullivant who reject the Biblical gospel which has always been found in true Bible believing churches over the centuries should be honest and stop calling themselves Baptists, as they no longer believe what Baptists/Anabaptists have always believed.
In conclusion to this point and putting everything to together, although this is far from everything, it is pretty evident Michael Sullivant doesn’t believe in repentance at all but rather easy-believism, a bastardized version of the true gospel. He is deceptive and dishonest about what he truly believes, claiming to believe in repentance but clearly not as the evidence shows. There is no doubt that he would see true Biblical repentance as an “enemy of soulwinning” like his mentor did and wrote a book about it.
Of course Sullivant doesn’t completely and outrightly reject repentance but giving it shallow watered-down lip service does not mean he actually believes in it. It actually means he rejects it. He only mentions it when required such as a passage referencing it or a topic addressing it (like going through David Cloud's one-year discipleship book) but he practically always aligns it with something that happens after salvation. NOT there or anywhere else has he ever described repentance for salvation as a wilful turning from sin and self. He intentionally avoids the subject if he can.
The Bibles presentation of true salvation and then all the examples thereof (e.g. Paul the apostle, the two sets of apostle brothers, Samaritan woman, Mary sister of Martha, Lydia, Philippian jailer, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Moses, Abraham, etc, etc) with their immediate and dramatic conversion and fruitful life from conversion, is VERY different than the Hyles and Sullivant “gospel” and effects. When those old preachers and the Hyles-"Baptists" preach a different message, with different results, are they the same religion? Or are they not different the way light is different from darkness, truth from error, and heaven from hell?
“A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” (Pr. 14:25).
When all you ever hear is “trust Jesus as your personal Saviour” and not even one mention of repentance or it’s principles, or when he teaches how to do soul winning and not even one mention of repentance or it’s principles, or when he does actually mention repentance it’s always explained around post-salvation but not explained even closely to what scripture means by it, or when he gives examples of people he says that are saved but are clearly not, etc, and then embracing wolves in sheep’s clothing who hated and despised repentance (even writing books against it — not only Hyles but also Curtis Hutson who is highly revered at PVBC/CBBC and whose books are also sold there, and Bob Gray Sr) you know he actually completely rejects repentance regardless of the rare lip service he gives it. And yes that is “another gospel.” (2 Cor. 11:4). Sullivant is a deceiver. But there is actually even more reason to Sullivant’s false gospel in the Jesus that is being received, which is a Jesus that is Saviour but not Lord, as detailed above. That’s also “another Jesus.” (2 Cor. 11:4).
The well-conditioned men that preach at PVBC preach the same the heresies and false gospel. Of course they have to.
This other unscriptural position held to by the pastors at PVBC saturates the IB’s today throughout the world, arising out of tradition of (in no particular order) Keswick, Finney, Moody, Torrey, Chafer, Hodges, Ryrie, Hyles, Hutson, Campus Crusade, among others. Its plan of salvation has been reduced to a kind of pragmatic presentation, like a sales pitch, everything fitting on something that you could carry in a shirt pocket. It was repeated over and over and over. There were professions and results, all of which were an assumed validation of its truth. A few verses took on major importance in the tradition. That message, however, over a period of time also eroded and began to disintegrate to something easier and simpler, although its very foundation was always of that nature. When it is challenged, it is as if the Bible is being disputed, but it’s really a tradition propped up on years of repetition. Their position is so bad in fact, its like reading from a different Bible. But time has shown, since the hours speak to the decades, that it has produced almost nothing but empty professions and the hen has now come home to roost. This erroneous gospel has now to defend itself after years of a free pass. It doesn't look pretty. And they tend to disfellowship or cast out anyone who dares question their gospel. They attack the true position of Biblical repentance and the Lordship of Christ without actually defending themselves, beside pulling out its typical proof texts and red herrings.
There are many red herrings, but one that pastor Sullivant and all other other men mention many times is this: salvation and discipleship ARE NOT THE SAME. I write that in caps, because either yelling that or speaking it more forcefully than anything else in the sermon or reciting it again and again is what gives it authority. Some other red herrings are “repentance turning from sin is works” or “I do not believe in “Lordship Salvation” in that one must make Christ Lord in every area of his life before he can be saved” or “front-loading works" or "commit to changing every aspect of your life ahead of time” or “repent of every single sin you have ever committed” or “One must be careful not to make salvation based on my surrender” etc. I have tried not to deal with all the red herrings, but its difficult not to. Other reports here at 20/20 deal with these false arguments, such as "Debunking False Arguments of the False “Change of Mind” Repentance Position" and Rebutting David Cloud's "Repentance and Lordship Salvation Revisited" Article.
All this denies God and His Word, which is perspicuous. The Word is given by God to His children, to know and understand, so that we “know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee” (Pr. 22:17-21). You have in the beginning “God." Lordship starts there. Nothing is here without him. Everything is about worshiping Him. Lordship salvation isn't a lens. It is the entire landscape. Revelation ends with Lordship. If the entire NT is the gospel, the message is the Lordship of Christ. Sure, we can be saved, but we're saved to worship, for “the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Jn. 4:23-24). We’re saved as a love gift to the Son to worship Him forever (Jn. 6; 14:1-3). Jesus is exalted, why? That every knee would confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:10-13). Even Jesus as Saviour is tied into Lordship. How? Man is in rebellion against God and He can't do what the Lord wants Him to do without being saved. He can't get into the Kingdom where Jesus is King without being saved first. Unless He is born again, He can't be in the kingdom. Unfortunately this false gospel has been allowed now for many years to operate with little to no criticism, probably in part because there was a particular view of unity that allowance would support. They were orthodox on the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, bodily resurrection, inerrancy — those types of so-called fundamental doctrines. On those, both these positions are identical. Now that there is criticism, probably because salvation has been so watered down to become almost a form of universalism, there is little to nothing to defend their position. And those that attempt, all they do is reveal their faulty hermeneutics. I think that when the terminology "Lordship salvation" came out, it was promoted by the cheap grace evangelicals and the easy-believism/quick-prayerism IB fundamentalists. Nobody wanted to believe their fake version of it, so the terminology "Lordship salvation" became anathema. Rejecting the Lordship of Christ is not some noble deed. It’s a subversion of Him.
So does Sullivant and pVBC teach some truth? Of course they do. All false teachers do, they don’t just teach outright error. The devil comes as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:12-15). Their error can be very subtle, as noted here with Sullivant, and subtlety is the major trademark of the devil. Sullivant has been raised and educated in the Bible. Grounded in the Bible, like Balaam. I’ve seen it time and time again, in people who are raised in Christian homes and churches where the Bible is taught a lot, but are unsaved fakes. It’s seen a lot today in fact. We can also see in scripture how well someone can imitate true Christianity but yet be lost (Matt. 7:21-23). We shall know them by their fruit and Michael Sullivant’s got a lot of very corrupt fruit (Matt. 7:15-20) in areas that are very, very important.
The Hyles style of manipulative salesmanship, with no repentance, no lordship, and a repeat-after-me prayer to invite-Jesus-into-your-heart is so prevalent and has been for so long, that it is regarded as the Biblical method of evangelism. Those who question or criticise such techniques as a perversion of the Gospel will be labelled as sowers of discord, negative, proud, judgmental, meddlers, majoring-on-minors, engaging in friendly fire, and ultimately as enemies of the Gospel. Many preachers and pastors apparently think it is more important to remain in good standing with their pastor buddies than to defend a pure gospel.
People that appear to be a pastor and man of God don’t just get a free pass when they pervert the gospel. But they have been for the most part. Paul said those who pervert the gospel of Christ (which most certainly includes repentance and faith and much more than what’s found in 1 Cor. 15:3-4) are accursed (Gal. 1:6-9). What Jesus preached found throughout the four Gospels, is the gospel. He said it is the gospel and the four books are called that for a reason. Jesus preached the gospel of repentance (Matt. 4:17). When He sent out the 12 apostles, He charged them with the gospel of repentance (Mk. 6:12; cf. Lk. 9:2, 6). By all appearances, John the Baptist only preached the gospel of repentance (Mk. 1:1-4). Paul the Apostle said “the gospel of the grace of God” to which he testified and of which he had “received of the Lord Jesus,” (Ac. 20:24) was “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ac. 20:21). Mike Sullivant does not preach or testify of the gospel of repentance. When he mentions the word the rare time, maybe once in one hundred references to salvation, he doesn’t actually describe it at all and definitely not anything close to Scripture. Other times, he perverts it (“What does Repentance Look Like”). Along with that error, he also perverts who Jesus is. Jesus is Saviour but never referred to as Lord and what that entails. Surrender to Christ for salvation is also rejected. These are all heresies.
Essentially we could stop right here. Nothing more would need to be said, since the gospel is first and foremost. Someone that teaches a false gospel/salvation is a false teacher. That is irrefutable. True repentance and who Jesus is, are a large and very important part of the gospel. People that corrupt these elements of the gospel, like Mike Sullivant, are accursed (Gal. 1:6-9). They are ungodly men (Ju. 1:4). They are influential false teachers that propagate "damnable heresies" (2 Pet. 2:1-2), and slander those who speak the truth (2 Pet 2:3).
So all of this reflects a false gospel preached by a false teacher, and his response won't be repentance in sack cloth and ashes, but a knee-jerk reaction, damage control, digging up evil and then slandering. That also fits the MO and genre of the false teacher.
But we’re not done yet. We’ve technically only begun, although, this is all that is required to mark and avoid him and have no association with him (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Tim 3:5-9; Am 3:3) if you care for and obey the truth, if your allegiance and love rests with the Lord above man.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom 16:17-18)
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." (2 Tim 3:5-9)
Part II to come....