Website Feedback Received in 2003
My name is Marcia M., aka MGov aka M2 (MM) on the Assembly Bulletin Board. I have been involved with the Assembly in Ottawa, Canada since January 1982. I will be quoting extensively here from Brent T. on the Assembly Bulletin Board, with his permission.
I am thinking along these lines with regards to assembly matters:
George's life is a quintessential lie. He postured as if he had advanced degrees and knowledge, when in fact he merely completed a four year bachelor's degree in just over 6 years. He pretended to be a great servant of Jesus Christ, when in fact he was disciplined in several churches for adultery, prior to being led to start his "ministry. "No lie is of the truth". We know who the father of lies is; Jesus identified him as Satan.
This state effected George's ministry in the broad sense, i.e. his preaching, his counsel, his direction, his demeanor, his example. That which he preached had enough of the truth to convince us that what we were getting from George was actually 'meat'. Like so much of what he taught, the grain of truth it sometimes contained made it doubly lethal.
The most striking example of George's demonic energy is the fact that we actually thought we were following a godly man, even Christ. The fact is, we were deceived and God delivered us from George, even though many were not willing for it. God did it out of mercy.
On January 1st, 2003, we were convinced that George's leadership was from the Lord, and then the moment after reading the letter of excommunication we were convinced otherwise. The question arises as to how much spiritual discernment do we possess after being subject to George Geftakys' ministry for the past 20+ years. I would even go so far as to say that we have grieved the Holy Spirit by subjecting ourselves to the deception of George's teaching, such that our spiritual judgment is clouded. I am speaking in general terms here, because there will always be individual exceptions to the rule.
George Geftakys has had his hand in the Assemblies to such a degree that the testimonies have been tainted by his influence. When I was saved and came out to the meetings, I knew the Lord's presence in our midst, but I cannot say that anymore. George's influence has slowly but surely led us to the condition we are in today.
If we humbly accept the Lord's correction in our lives, then He can work. Otherwise, He will have to take drastic action to bring us to our senses, OR allow us to continue in our deception. Though many of us were 'sincerely' deceived, we still run the risk of this:
"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' Mat 7:22-23
We have all been duped/taken in/deceived by none other than one disguising as an 'angel of light' - 2 Cor 11:13-15:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful Workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.
I would like to cite 2 obvious examples of the degree of our deception:
1. 7th day creation
I do not recall hearing GG teach this, however others have. How many gave him the 'benefit of the doubt' on this? How many actually talked to him about it? How many actually took a stand against him on this? How many didn't even 'realize' that they were taught this (maybe I am one of them)?
2. Superhuman Christ
The teaching goes something like this: Christ never sweat, choked, got dust in his eyes, burped, etc. He wasn't really human, but superhuman.
I personally heard Tim Geftakys speak of his leaning towards this kind of belief. I was present when my husband talked to TG about this after the meeting and TG did not change his mind at the time. TG may have changed his opinion about this now; however, it does indicate that he was heavily influenced by his father, GG, and was deceived. It brings into question whether or not he is qualified to lead any flock until his head has been cleared from his cloudy deceptive condition. (Albeit, I have benefited from TG's wise counsel on other matters.)
I have questioned a few who were present at the East Coast Conference 2002 meeting when TG mentioned his inclination toward this belief. Except for my husband, no one recalls Tim talking about this. This also indicates the degree of our deception, that when something as blatantly obvious as that is talked about, it did not even trigger a warning signal.
Marcia M., Ottawa
George's life is a quintessential lie. He postured as if he had advanced degrees and knowledge, when in fact he merely completed a four year bachelor's degree in just over 6 years. He pretended to be a great servant of Jesus Christ, when in fact he was disciplined in several churches for adultery, prior to being led to start his "ministry.” No lie is of the truth". We know who the father of lies is; Jesus identified him as Satan.
Here is something that is worthy of research, (or perhaps someone has already done it). How is it that certain people who have obvious genius can live their whole lives in obscurity, die in poverty only to be discovered years after their death? Yet people like George, whose academic and artistic accomplishments are at best mediocre (I recently came into possession of a book of George’s “Dimitri’s poetry”....) are able to enjoy an elevated degree of popularity???????
[The following correspondence took place with Russ P. of the Seattle Assembly after the Irons took over the website from Brent T. Russ's previous correspondence with Brent T. is published in Brent's " Department of Corrections 2002."]
Russ P.: I just wanted to say I really like what you’ve done with the website. I haven’t been back to see it for some time. Having a chance to look around again, I think it is very appropriate. God bless you.
Russ P., Seattle
Russ wrote again several months later, giving some details on the continuing Seattle Assembly:
October 28, 2003: It has been a while since I've looked at the site or kept in touch. I would like to share some of the things that have been happening here in Shoreline (Seattle). We are a pretty small group right now, just like you posted - just a few families and a couple individuals who come out here and there.
We continue to meet despite our previous association with George's ministry and despite the challenges facing us, because we believe God has put us together, has used us to affect many lives, has given us the desire to continue, and has given us the support of local churches and ministries who also have a desire to magnify the name of Jesus Christ, reach souls for Christ, and equip believers who seek to walk with Him.
Some may well be justified to question our wisdom, but with much prayer and consideration we are trusting God to grow this church in a way that is meaningful to Him. We are not seeking to reform, but that God would raise up something new.
We have not severed ties with everybody, desiring to maintain our unity in Christ and for the purpose of prayer, though there are some who I could not visit now with a good conscience because I fear George would be teaching at their meetings and because of the (rumored) manipulative behavior (speaking only from what I've heard).
Some of the changes around here regarding our meetings are the order, emphasis, music, preaching, leadership. Generally, we have fewer meetings and more family time, more interaction with other churches & ministries. We still use the Hymns & Spiritual Songs books as a base, but are learning together some of the newer worship songs.
One of the great things happening is partnering with new ministries who are making a local impact on the neighborhoods here such as Mom's In Touch, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), and a couple of local churches. Namely, with the help of CEF, we now have a Kids Bible Club on an elementary school (unheard of in liberal Seattle). Also, our kids on their own initiative have a Biblical Topic & Prayer Time at the Junior High. Family time has been great.
The biggies in my life personally that God has I believe fully delivered me from are in removing a prideful elitist attitude toward other Christians, putting an extreme emphasis on the "pattern" rather than focusing on Christ, people, love, and evangelism, and not seeking the fellowship and wisdom of brethren outside George's circle.
Things are going well, but as you know we need your prayer and encouragement. Your input is welcomed. May you stand with us in this endeavor.
In His love,
October 28, 2003
The editor replied to Russ, inquiring where they stood on several matters, particularly George's teaching on the second death. Russ replies that there was not a clear understanding of G. Geftakys's teaching on the second deat, and instead, widely accepted evangelical doctrine prevailed.
Russ replied on November 15, 2003: Thanks for following up. God is full of mercy and His grace is more than abundant towards us. Do keep us in your prayers for the teaching and preaching. We are carefully evaluating what we have taught and have been taught. I do wish to dispel any fears about our teaching. Our focus most recently has really been back to the basics: the person and work of Christ, growing in our personal relationship with Him, faith, grace, prayer, the word of God, life issues, evangelism, etc.
Regarding being hurt by the second death, I personally have never heard that taught by anyone in any of the different Assemblies I have been to. I certainly do not agree that a Christian will be hurt by the second death. Maybe this was said in some lecture somewhere but my ears have never heard it.
Also we have never taught there was a need to perform for God to gain His approval. I am convinced that as a wretched sinner what could I possibly do to please Him in my own efforts? Our faithfulness does not merit God's sanctifying work, its all by His grace. This isn't a new teaching for us.
We have always taught and believed that our righteousness and our sanctification is solely based upon faith in His finished work upon the cross achieving for us what we never could for our selves. The idea that we believe and taught that the inheritance, glory, rapture, overcoming, the kingdom, or the bride of Christ is meritorious is absolutely erroneous. It is ALL by faith. We have always maintained this here. God does not reward our self efforts, He rewards our faith. Also, we do not merit His grace by our faith either, He chooses out of His abundant love and according to His good will to accept our faith.
However, the Bible does teach that a believer will suffer loss for choosing to live a disobedient life in unbelief (1 Cor 3:13-15), but again the issue is faith and not works, and rewards, not salvation. If we trust the Lord, we will enjoy the blessings that His grace brings into our lives. If we choose to not trust the Lord, then we will experience the consequences of that as well (Gal 6:7 - Do not be deceived God is not mocked, what ever we sow, that shall we reap.)
That doesn't mean a believer will end up in hell, be thrown out of the kingdom of God, or hurt by the second death. It does however have baring upon our enjoyment of certain God selected rewards and privileges that quite frankly we don't yet even have a clue of what they really are. The reward is not based upon our works, it's all by faith.
I have read some of Steve's articles refuting the concept of the inheritance being confused with rewards but I think he's got some things wrong about what we really view as a reward and what is a gift. I know he was involved with George's ministry for many years but I think some things must have gotten a little fuzzy.
We can get into semantics and argue about whether or not rewards are a part of our inheritance, but the simple principle is the same: If we walk with the Lord, there are rewards that we will enjoy; if we don't, there are certain rewards we will miss out on. It's not based upon our works, it's based on faith.
On this issue in particular I suspect there are some Reformed Church interpretations assumed as being the theologically correct interpretations of which I may not agree with, as do several other major evangelical denominations. I am currently studying this topic carefully and am open to what you would have to say about this, as my desire is not to cling to any preconceived notions but to honestly understand what the scripture truly says about these things.
Many of the issues here, I believe, were not so much doctrinal in nature, but issues of the heart - arrogance, hypocrisy, pride, which prevented us from walking in the light and the love which we ourselves taught even as Christ Himself said. Therefore because of a self-centered preoccupation, the emphasis was upon on ourselves instead of on Christ. Its amazing how the Word of God has power to bring us to center so to speak and cause us to be focused on His priorities rather than somebody else's as we trust God to soften our heart.
Anyways, God is doing great things here. Keep us in your prayers.
The Seattle Assembly disbanded in 2005.
Comments from Readers
Brent replied in June 2007, pointing out that Assembly teaching in regard to practical matters, such marriage, was definitely implemented in the Seattle and Spokane Assemblies. He cites evidence that the Seattle "saints" were certainly exposed to George's doctrinal teaching in seminars and tape ministry.
Note, however, in Russ's two letters that the concern uppermost on his mind was the heart attitudes of the people, not the doctrinal issues raised by the editor. The editor has heard other former Assembly members express a similar lack of conscious awareness of George's teaching on "the second death" of believers. It would be interesting to hear what others have to say. Here are Brent's observations:
Brent T.: Tim G., David G., Jim H., various Zach's, and other heavyweight Geftakys followers visited Seattle and Spokane quite often. I went there on an MTT myself. So the Seattle Assembly was actively supported from headquarters.
I can tell you, without a doubt and with certainty, that orthodox Geftakysism was taught and followed in Seattle. The harshness of Assembly marriages was definitely practiced. Just ask Troy A., and his ex-wife Lisa.
The Seattle Saints were famous for driving to the seminars in Fullerton, all packed into trucks and vans. They would drive straight through, and straight home after the last meeting. That kind of dedication doesn't jive with the idea that they never had a "clear understanding" of George's teaching." The tape ministry alone would be enough to indoctrinate someone. Russ may never have had a clear understanding, and if that's the case, I envy him.
Someone else sent some comments on this, and Brent added some further comments after reading Russ's posts more carefully. Both are refuting my assertion that maybe Seattle didn't have a "clear understanding of George's teaching."
They are right, and I have amended my statement to clarify that what I was referring to was specifically George's teaching on the second death and "overcoming", nothing else. But even regarding the second death teaching, they cite good evidence that it was generally understood in the northwest Assemblies, and Russ was apparently an exception.
Karey commented on June 11, 2007, that she agrees with Brent 100%. Arcata got itinerant preachers and hung on every word. They wanted to be MORE because they were further away. She says she would be willing to believe that maybe not everyone heard all the teaching, but, "The main point, the yeast in the bread, so to speak, oh yeah, it was there in spades. I'm sure there were differences between Arcata and Seattle, but there has been, and continues to be, fallout from GG, even Arcata. So...the potential was there for Seattle, too. Whatever Russ heard, well, as I said, I'm with Brent. I'm envious if he got away unscathed. "
Brent T., June 11, 2007: As is my habit, I responded very quickly when I read the post about Russ P's correspondence. While I stand by everything I said in that email, there is something I missed that I think bears mention. The following is a quote from Russ in 2003:
"Family time has been great. The biggies in my life personally that God has I believe fully delivered me from are in removing a prideful elitist attitude toward other Christians, putting an extreme emphasis on the "pattern" rather than focusing on Christ, people, love, and evangelism, and not seeking the fellowship and wisdom of brethren outside George's circle. Things are going well, but as you know we need your prayer and encouragement. Your input is welcomed. May you stand with us in this endeavor."
The suggestion that perhaps George's teaching wasn't clearly understood in Seattle is not valid, unless we agree to limit our definition to intellectual understanding only. Using Russ's own words:
George taught spiritual elitism---Russ practiced it. The fact that he expresses remorse in his email indicates that while he wasn't intellectually aware of George's teaching and influence, the lessons were well learned and internalized.
George taught an "extreme emphasis on the pattern." Russ practiced this. Certainly this isn't a common evangelical doctrine. It is all GG.
George was completely against outside influence of any kind, let alone "fellowship and wisdom of brethren outside George's circle." Again, Russ's understanding of George's teaching and preferences are perhaps far deeper and clearer than he might realize. At least he recognizes that he was isolated inside "George's circle."
Speaking personally, one of my biggest challenges since leaving George's ministry has been having to face the fact that I have wrong, even dangerous ideas, about many important doctrinal issues. These wrong ideas, sadly, are not confined to the intellectual realm, but were well established in my day to day life. The negative effect they had on every single relationship I had can only be fully understood by someone who has "been there."
I feel bad about discussing Russ's email from several years ago. However, it does bring up some enlightening issues that could very well help someone put the pieces together. I am hopeful that the recent "unrecognition" of George by Riverside and Pasadena might stimulate a few curious souls to read the website.