Leaving the Lodge
Brent T., editor: "We suggest that the reader read this article several times. There is much to be considered, which is presented in a condensed form in the following paragraphs. Perhaps the thoughts expressed below would make a good topic for discussion on the Bulletin Board. One of the main purposes of this website is to see God's people break free from bondage and false teaching. There is always the danger, when getting free of the "Lodge," that a person wanders or drifts, eventually becoming shipwrecked concerning the faith. The author's intention is that we would judge ourselves rightly, and rely on Grace and God's Word for true healing and recovery."
Brent later withdrew this article from the website as part of the reconciliation with the brethren in SLO. We have reinstated it because it was an active part of the "final weeks" process as it was discussed on the Assembly bulletin board. The author eventually proved himself so ungracious on the board that he was banned. Nevertheless, this article makes some very pungent and valid points.
I have come into association over the years with several "Geftakysite Leavers” (GLs), that is, those who leave a “Geftakys Lodge”. I don't use the term Assembly, because it is a biblical term, and in this case, "lodge" is far more appropriate.
“They were called ‘Geftakysites’ first in Omaha.”
I am one myself, having been a member of the Omaha Lodge for about five years, from 1977 to 1982. For almost two of those years, I was discovering some of how the Lodge system works.
My own approach to the Scriptures was changing from those around me in the Lodge. I enjoyed listening to J. Vernon McGee’s 'Through the Bible' radio program. I enjoyed reading books about the Scripture, too. Although George (through Mike Zach) recommended Oswald Chambers, Madame Guyon, and some Andrew Murray books, I found them boring, and even sometimes unbiblical. George even liked Bernard of Clairvaux’s writings, which were just pathetically Roman Catholic. When he started talking about Sundar Singh’s mystical stuff, and I read it, it made me worry. I looked through those works, but never found anything in them that sounded like what George sponsored throughout the lodges.
Then, in 1981, I had opportunity to come across a book by Robert Govett, Entrance Into the Kingdom, in a local bookstore, and that’s about when George began to lie to me directly in such ridiculous (and obvious) ways that I became suspicious of him as a true minister of Christ. I struggled with that notion – in fact against that notion – until in December of 1981, when I came across two particular writings of G.H. Lang. That’s when I discovered that George Geftakys was not only a liar, but a plagiarist, completely “word-for-word” giving off Lang’s writings in “The History and Prophecies of Daniel” and “Firstfruits and Harvest” – as his own ministry. As he put it, “fresh-baked from heaven’s kitchen.”
I told my close friend, the late Roger Diercks, what I had found. He had previously told me the “leading brothers” (a term not found in Scripture, unless one takes Acts 15:22 out of context, but suitable for building a hierarchy inside the Lodge) had asked him to confidentially report to them any book I bought through “the book ministry.” He told me about it right away, and also told them he would not comply. I say “them,” but really, it was all Mike Zach, a man who proudly admitted he only read one book in his life, and that was “Davey Crockett” (perhaps it was “Daniel Boone.”) I guess at LEAST he didn’t copy whole sections of it into his interleaved Bible and give it off as his own.
Now this is when I discovered what a Geftakysite really is, and how the Lodge really works. Despite my shocked amazement that George was a fake, and a liar, it did not matter at all to Mike Zach, to George’s son Tim, and neither, to my real surprise, did it matter to Jim Hayman. While I sought to confront George for the fraud he was working, Zach, willingly complicit with the sham of the Lodge system, organized a steady stream of vague accusations against me. At the same time, those nearest me were “promoted” to oppose me, including my brother, and my (now) brother-in-law. This is the time when Mike Zach made the Geftakys payroll [as a full-time Worker].
I became fully absorbed with the manipulations, the machinations, and the naked ambitions of George, Tim, and Mike Zach, and the ultimate, and sorry acquiescent compliance to them of Jim Hayman.
I left, according to good counsel I received, but I do not regard that I was particularly courageous in doing so. I have mourned for years the damage I did in leading others to the Lodge instead of leading them to proper pasture, and I have determined since to avoid involving myself with the Geftakys Lodge or any Lodge systems like it.
The general problem with GL’s, however - and as I say, I have experience even with those whom I personally evangelized - is that they judge themselves totally innocent victims, and the "leadership" as the sole perpetrators. The fact is, you have also been a perp, and you need to come to terms with why you did what you did.
Let me be blunt: some of you guys were 17-20 years following an arrogant, self-serving man, to whom the Lord HAS NEVER COMMITTED THE SCRIPTURES. That's a serious hit. You need to ask yourselves what it is in YOU that did and allowed such a thing. The other side of this is that some of you had the sad experience of growing up in the lodge, for which you had no choice at all. Still, if this is your situation, you should also consider these things, lest you fall into the same trap as many other GL's. In fact, how is it that you rejected the apostle Paul (represented today, by the Scriptures themselves), and instead:
2 Cor 11: 19
For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
Verse 19 says there's arrogance there. Verse 20 tells you your choice has been Saul, not David; George, not Paul.
I remember when I was first introduced to Christ, having been raised a Roman Catholic. I needed to acknowledge that, despite having learned about religion for many years, I was ignorant of the Scriptures, and the book was closed to me. In many ways, being a Geftakysite is to place yourself into the hazy, vague, uncertain hold of the Scriptures that George Geftakys exhibits. There are others as unstable in doctrine as George, but they are rarely as bombastic about it.
Maybe you think I am just arrogant to say this about George. Maybe. But I discovered 20 years ago that George’s bakery in “heaven’s kitchen” was carrying day-old bread, and it was stolen bread at that! The late Roger Diercks, who was bold for Christ until his exodus in a small plane crash in 1994, had a picture with a man by a copying machine, and a sign above it that said, “Heaven’s Kitchen.” Roger, who told George to his face to “stop exercising your extra-local muscle around here" (Norfolk, Nebraska), had the privilege of being called “Himmler” by the same Geftakys who claims that Frederic Nietzsche was “misunderstood.”
God will get the last word on George, and it’s yet coming, and it’s not coming here. As my wicked philosophy professor, now a lawyer in Southern California, would have said, “Misunderstood my ass!” And speaking of asses, as the late A. Edwin Wilson told me, after I told him about George: “In the Old Testament, it was a miracle for an ass to speak, but in the New Testament, it’s a miracle if one will shut up.”
I remember in 1966-67, while a sophomore in high school, Time magazine came out with a regurgitation of Nietzsche’s trash “Is God dead?” I also remember later, in the mid 70’s, seeing a poster or sticker that read: “God is dead.” – Nietzsche. “Nietzsche is dead.” – God.
George is no Ubermensch! He is more like Uberputz.
In short, dear GL, “Brother George” is a fake, a fraud. It is likely every positive accomplishment you have credited to him – he will remind you about them with his boasting if you forget – is a lie. His education, his military background, his weightlifting prowess, his business career, his marriage and family life, his past ministerial relationships, his work abroad … the entire shtick bears some investigation. And his ministry – “this ministry” (yes, THAT “ministry”) – is also a fraud. And you have followed it against the Voice of Scripture for reasons in yourself you have grace to judge.
First, understand that when the Apostle says “this ministry,” he means Christianity as opposed to something Jewish.
He has BADLY plagiarized the work of others, especially G.H Lang, but in the way he has done it, he has even fractured them. Go get his tape series on Daniel from the 70’s (good luck!), and read along with his words straight out of Lang’s Histories and Prophecies of Daniel. Go get Lang’s Firstfruits and Harvest and read George’s partial rapture teaching. VERBATIM.
I can hear a pious Geftakysite now saying, “My goodness, how ungracious this guy is!” Listen up, neither John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, nor the Apostle Paul were ”polite” about false teachers and apostates. Your namby-pambying around about the facts doesn’t help you, or anyone else. George Geftakys is either one or both of those. He has been one of them for decades, at least. He’s a “false brother,” a pseudoadelphus. That can also mean “lying brother” and he certainly qualifies as that. Compare what George and his flunkies teach to what the Scriptures say, and you will find, that it does not match up.
I remember asking George a few very simple questions, and he would just go into one of his bombastic tizzies. You see, when you pull the strings on George’s fake clothing, he begins to unravel. Then he starts his ad hominem attacks, personal insults, and so forth. For instance, once I asked him, "George, do you think the judgment seat of Christ is an historical event?” He went on to mumble something like, “Maybe it happens the instance you die, blah blah, but what difference does it make brother? It’s not going to be about how many books you wear on your head like these fellows with their big black books on their heads, parading around in their funny clothes. That’s how you are, wearing a big book on your head.” This from a man who claims he shouts into a pillow at four thirty in the morning!
I remember Mike Zach foisting the pernicious “Even when the leadership is wrong, God makes it right” doctrine. He quickly pointed out the Lord’s words in Matthew 23:2-3 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that [you] observe and do.” He claimed the Lord advised his disciples and the people to obey these wicked, evil, and unbelieving men, due to their office. While he was accurate to equate himself and George with those men, the Lord was not issuing a command there, but making an observation, as a careful reader would see. (“Let’s be plain readers, brothers and sisters, and catch it if you catch can.”).
I read the account on this website of the way George carried on, dressing down the sister there named DeniseStanford.htm. I did not know that sister well, but I knew her years ago, and I know her real name. She was very smart, very capable. Sure, she wasn’t one of the tall thin babes that Tim liked to hang around all the time, but she was a nice woman, a hard worker, and WAY smarter than George. Any man with gumption would have stood up in that meeting and kicked George’s butt all over the place. At worst, it would have cost a night in jail. That’s no big deal. You say, “That would be sin.” Well, maybe. I’m not sure about that. But, even so, the Lord died for the opportunity for some brother with gumption to invite George into his slapping machine.
GL’s and other Geftakysites could learn something from Betty. She doesn’t take George seriously, and she doesn’t listen to his preaching. She’s never there. I don’t blame her. She was the first woman to come down with a serious case of “meetingitis.” The only time I ever met Betty she was mocking “Oh, poor George! Oh, poor George!” when goofy sycophants sat around saying how tired he must be, having flown to Omaha and preached. Here’s a guy who probably hardly ever worked an honest day in his life. CHECK IT OUT! How hard is it to copy G.H. Lang’s stuff into your Bible margin. Lots of guys can tell you how hard that is, because they cheated their way through college with such techniques.
I have read here and elsewhere about the ridiculous behavior of Betty, and I believe it. You should THANK her for making it so pathetically OBVIOUS to you to get away from a husband who not only lets her become a busybody in everyone’s life, but encourages it.
The ignorance of Scripture in some cases is obvious among GL's. If this ignorance is left unrepented, therefore, even having left, you keep yourself in bondage, and those who remain. Instead of the believer being put in bonds, the bonds are put in the believer. The Lord will have you to find your way, little by little, that you might find out more about Him, and therefore more about yourself. He will remove your enemies "little by little," lest the wild beasts of spiritual pride occupy your territory. The Scripture above declares the Corinthians wrongly considered themselves wise, and therefore submitted to wrong leadership. The Lord Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
The problem facing most GL's is that they consider the church they attend TO BE their Christian life, and not part of it. This is not walking wisely. The pressures the remaining Geftakysites place on you to immediately associate with a church or "you are out of fellowship," "walking in darkness," etc. is just more bringing you into bondage, devouring you, taking from you, exalting themselves, even smiting your face. You ALREADY HAVE been "out of fellowship," perhaps for many years. YOU ALREADY HAVE been "walking in darkness," again for years.
You need by reason of use [to]have [your] senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Most GL's rush into "fellowship" in some church and immediately plunge into a form of busy works as if they are just in a lighter form of Georgism. Others look for a George replacement. Still others despair that there is no "perfect pattern of testimony" and try hard to "George around" on their own. Still others just jump into the world, thinking there really is no normal Christian church life.
Much of the Christian world is in a bad state; indeed it's a mess. Matthew 13:24-30. An enemy has done this. Leave them alone, BUT LEAVE THEM. You have already made a big mistake in Christian fellowship; you will be hard-pressed to make a bigger one. Nevertheless, you may yet make others, and THERE IS GRACE FOR THAT, just as there has been grace for you despite your hard-headed, arrogant, self-satisfied reliance on the arm of flesh in following George.
You may find your liberty crushed in the next church as well, or you may discover the Lord also has not commissioned the preachers you find in the ministry at all, and that they walk as men. No matter. The Lord will lead you to hear his voice, and it will be unmistakable to you. After a short time of true ministry, you will be amazed and shocked that you could have listened to such graceless, and ridiculous trash as foisted by George and his sycophants.
Just as there were many false prophets among the children of Israel - 450 to one in the days of Elijah - so there are many false teachers among Christians today (2 Peter 2:1). It is often all about money. The rest is about sex and power. With George, it‘s about all three, but the money is definitely in the picture, easily seen, really.
I remember to this day, my oldest brother calling me from Fullerton during his first visit to the Grand Lodge. “John,” he said, “This is really bothering me. They are after M-----‘s money!”
“Ed, are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. Especially Tim. They are talking about a van for Tim, a meeting place, a parking lot. It’s sooo obvious!”
And that’s the point. It is obvious.
God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees. Then He could speak to him. Abraham went out, not knowing whither, but he heard the Lord’s voice, and that alone was worth it.
Christ has set you free. You may not even remember this. It takes TIME to escape the damages of bad teaching, and worse practice. The only remedy is God's Word.
By the way, that's the good news, and not a problem.
John J. Malone, Sr. teaches Bible at Millard Community Church, Omaha, and churches in Kenya, East Africa
See also this article by John Malone, Is There a Minimum Requirement for Christ's Church, or Am I Just in a Lodge?