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THE GATES OF HEAVEN AND THE FLAMES OF HELL: A REFLECTION

06-May-2019 by Timothy Wanjohi

This post will briefly seek to evaluate and reflect on the ‘Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames’ Drama that was held on Sunday 5th May, 2019 at Deliverance Church Kahawa Sukari, in the light of the Holy Scriptures.

 

At the end of the post the reader should be able to explain principles in evaluating what is ‘Pulpit’ worthy, and explain why Drama is unbiblical.

 

I am doing this because I was requested by Kenneth Maimba to do it. I do not usually name people in my blog or dedicate posts to them. But I feel that in this case it would be appropriate to do so.

 

This one is for you Maimba.

 

Before I start let me reiterate that this is not an attack on the church. It is a wakeup call to watch out for false doctrine insidiously crept in.

 

I will forever be indebted to the senior pastor at DC, who has been of great spiritual influence to me and has been one of my spiritual mentors from the time I was 18. I am currently 31 as I write this post.

 

This is not a personal post therefore but an umbrella post for what all the churches that name Christ on their lips should uphold.

 

There are things that all Christians must do in order that Christianity should happen among them. CHRISTIANS MUST PRAY, THEY MUST TEACH, AND THEY MUST SING.

 

These are fundamental practices of the Church of God. There are things specific to each, but all of them generally function to Praise, Thank, Supplicate, and Address Sin, Confess the Faith, and Pronounce Blessings.

 

Fundamental practices are those found in Scripture. Those which do not do the above are not fundamental practices of the Church of God.

 

If we took music for example to demonstrate this point, we could be able to deduce that it is a fundamental practice of Christianity because it is instructed from Scripture.

 

We have The Psalms, which are all songs. We have the Song of Moses (Exodus 15). We have God’s song to Israel (Deuteronomy 32). We have David’s song to Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:17-27). And so on so forth.

 

The Scripture instructs Christians to sing in order to worship God. In the Old Testament the Hebrew term Shir is a general term for ‘sing’ and is used 166 times. Consider these texts: 1 Chronicles 16:9, Psalm 33:3, Psalm 68:4, Psalm 96:1, and Psalm 105:2.

 

Zamar occurs 49 times in the Old Testament. It has two meanings: ‘To prune’ or ‘to make music in praise of God; to make music, melody; to praise in song, ‘to play an instrument in order to sing.’ Consider these texts: Psalm 30:4, Psalm 47:6, and Psalm 147:7.

 

From the New Testament it says:

 

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

 

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Holy Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5: 18-19).

(Chew Yiming Clement).

 

Concerning the other two (Praying and Teaching), the same model would apply. We have instructions to do them and examples demonstrating them in Scripture.

 

Now comes my point. You see, drama has never been seen anywhere in the Bible, nor in any churches in history which worship Christ.

 

At this point I would like to clarify that Roman Catholicism is not Christianity. Therefore, do not misconstrue their theatre and the Christian faith to be synonymous, or even complementary.

 

It is no secret that Roman Catholicism is simply the adopting and transforming of pagan practices. When they adopted theatre from Greeks, so did they the images and the pictures that constitute what drama is.

 

This is the reason they call it the drama of the Mass, where they crucify Jesus in every service, because that is what Roman Catholicism is; a crucifixion of Jesus.

 

They want Him dead. They wish they could just resurrect and kill Him daily. No wonder they have killed more Christians than all the other religions in history combined. Do your research.

 

Make no mistake about it. There is no Christ in Roman Catholicism. Drama cannot represent God. He does not want to be represented! That is why they are obsessed by it.

 

We Christians were prohibited from doing it in the second commandment. And drama is an image in itself.

 

In the play I am addressing, we had all of them: Satan, angels, even Jesus. And I could see the child seated next to me just awed at ‘Jesus.’

 

Her name was Alice she told me she was 11 years old. She asked me if the demons that were being acted out can eat her.

 

Although some started laughing, I realised how serious this matter was and I had to start teaching doctrine to a small girl in the middle of the Play because the truth would make her free.

 

Free because apparently the same show had been dramatised on Saturday the previous day and she could not get over the terror!

 

As I was assuring her with the Gospel the ‘demons’ came out to the congregation, and she screamed so loud and ran away.

 

Not that you could hear her tiny voice as it was swallowed up in the amazing sound at church hallelujah technology! Crap.

 

As she was fleeing she remembered me and came back to hit my shoulder trying to warn me to flee, trying to save me this little innocent girl. But she just had to run and leave me behind.

 

She came back after ten minutes and she could not stop crying. She moved her seat close to me to feel safe.

 

She cried until the Play was over. Keep in mind this was the second time she was watching it. And it was the Devil who impacted her not Jesus.

 

I was so sorry for her while her sister laughed on. But I could see the scarring of her soul. Because devilish means do not achieve godly ends.

 

May God help her from the nightmares that she might get from church.

 

Perfect love casts out all fear. The love of God was absent from the Play. It was a horror story with no reconciliatory end in the Gospel. And like Spurgeon says, you cannot love someone you fear.

 

It would be impossible to take on the personality of God without robbing a piece of His glory to yourself. You might say it is not your goal. But it is inseparable from the nature of acting the part itself.

 

The goal of the fundamental practices given above from Scripture (Praying, Preaching and making Music) is to ultimately worship God.

 

Worship is rendering unto God all the glory and praise due unto Him with an appropriate response as a result of the understanding of Biblical truth.

 

God has described how it should be done. It must be in truth and in Spirit said our Lord Jesus Christ. In Spirit because it is from a converted heart. In truth because it is in accordance to the Word of God.

 

When it commands not to have any images in heaven or on earth in the second commandment, drama is automatically ruled out because it is an image in itself.

 

That is the reason the Judaists and the Christians never held drama. Drama is a very spiritual experience. This is the reason Illuminatists declare drama as the number one tool for the Devil in the world.

 

There is no acting without a spirit behind it. And the spirit of acting is not the Spirit of God. The term actor in Greek is hypocrite. It is where the word came from.

 

What you saw was a class demonstration of hypocrisy. Our Lord never approved of hypocrisy in any degree. The nations which acted never did without invoking demons.

 

We cannot adopt it then invoke the Holy Ghost upon it. The temple of idols and the temple of God have nothing in common and we are to separate (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).

 

I was listening to Hollywood celebrities sometime last year, some who are thought to be Christian in fact, like Denzel Washington.

 

He was being interviewed about his performances in movies like Training Day. His explicit words were you cannot perform that well unless you are possessed by spirits. He was not talking about the Holy Spirit mind you.

 

But let us look at the Drama at DC itself. I came in twenty minutes late but I believe I did not miss anything because it was simply redundancy.

 

They would take different situations in life and bring in the same drama around it. Those who die in God, go to heaven. Those who die without Him, go to hell.

 

Right worship which must be goal of every church practice must focus on the right Person (Psalm 135:1-6), must accomplish the right purpose (Psalm 96:7-8) and must conform to the right pattern (John 4:24).

 

False worship is any that is given to false gods (Psalm 115, Exodus 34:14, Isaiah 42:8), given in the wrong form (Exodus 32:4-6) and given in a self-styled fashion (Leviticus 10:1-3, Isaiah 29:13) and done in the wrong attitude (1 Samuel 15:1-23, Malachi 1, Isaiah 1:11-15).

 

Remember that anything that is done on the pulpit is done for fundamental practices for the faith, meaning is done as instituted in the Bible and for the worship of God.

 

Allow me to repeat this so that even the unread or the very young can understand. The fundamental practices of the faith are praying, teaching and singing.

 

They are fundamental because God has stipulated them expressly in Scripture as compulsory for the body of Christ.

 

There are elements of fundamental practices, the centrality being teaching and preaching. All ‘pulpit’ practices should be all about these.

 

The problem with Drama is that it comes in to fill a fundamental space, itself having no basis anywhere in Scripture, therefore, taking a fundamental place when it is not fundamental in nature.

 

If you asked a writer of drama, they would tell you that it has the elements of fundamentalism. ‘I write to teach and preach about the saving grace of Jesus, and to inspire His worship.’

 

But the Bible has instructed that not just anyone can teach and preach, but that that office should be given to qualified men who are faithful to doctrine.

 

How can your church leaders allow unqualified people to perform things which have to do with teaching? The Bible outrightly rejects it!

 

This is the same plague that has taken over the Church even in music. Anyone can write Gospel these days and it is called Gospel.

 

It is not Gospel until the qualified have listened to the doctrine of the song and watched its mannerisms and approved it. That is what was meant in Scripture by entrust the Word to faithful men who shall be able to teach others.

 

At least in this Play faithfulness to doctrine was not in the least observed. You see the exposition of God’s Word was the underlying theme because it was trying to teach of heaven and hell, and explain the Gospel (It was trying to raise itself to the status of Prayer, Teaching and Singing).

 

However, it was full of doctrinal error at every attempt. One of the most glaring flaw of doctrine was the nature of the Judgment.

 

Clearly the writer had not been faithful in their study because they should have known that there are two different Judgments; The Bema Seat and the Great White Throne Judgment.

 

That the Play presented them as one was destructive to the Scripture. It misrepresented God and undermined the inspired Word.

 

The Word has taught both, the former for the righteous and the latter for the sinners. There would be no contact between the children of God and the children of Satan in the Bible.

 

Second, it conflicted the nature of the saved and the nature of the unsaved. The unsaved mother whose daughter was crying because she did not make it to heaven was a gross misinterpretation of Scripture.

 

The Bible says that there will be no tears for and from the children of God. On the contrary, those who go to heaven will hate those who go to hell, be they family or otherwise, for they will have become like God, hating evil!

 

At the Judgment court, an angel was deified. The angel was playing the part of Jesus Christ. What a heresy! The angel was the one who judged the masses as they pleaded for themselves.

 

This was where I almost walked out of the building. I could not believe what I was watching. Don’t you read your Bibles even you who were playing those roles? Jesus Christ will be the Judge! Who died for the sins of the world? Was it an angel?

 

Furthermore, all the angels or almost all, were girls. First of all let us get this clear. All angels are referred to by masculine names in the Bible. There are no feminine angels anywhere in God’s creation.

 

Again at the Judgment court, it was demons who were coming in to take the sinners away from God and into hell. What the hell is this?

 

Haven’t you read that hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels? It is not Satan and his demons who will be tormenting you in hell. It is Jesus and His angels who will be tormenting Satan, demons, and you people, in hell.

 

I also expected that such a writer should know the difference between hell and the Lake of Fire and bring it out in the Play. The Bible even says that hell will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

 

Listen to yet another atrocity. After a certain fellow who was a construction worker whose wall had collapsed on him and had come before the angel, he proceeded on to give us a good laugh and then begged the angel to let him in.

 

Because he had just given his life to Christ he was not sure. This was a blatant attack on the assurance of the Gospel. All saved people know they are saved! It is the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the heart the Bible says!

 

Why did Jesus give parables like the workers who were employed late in the evening and received the same wages as those who were employed in the morning? That was the doctrine! Even those who get saved at the last minute go in to eternal life!

 

Haven’t you read Jesus and the two thieves on the cross? When one criminal gave his life to Christ, Christ explicitly assured him that today he would be with Him in paradise!

 

I thought the reason these things were written was so that they could be accurately applied in the delivery of the Gospel?

 

Even if we defended Drama by some crazy miracle, certainly not last night’s drama. No way. How can such a play make it before such a huge church? The deceived numbers would be so many!

 

There was another man who after he had come before the angel, proceeded on to beat his chest at the angel and state in pride his demands for heaven.

 

This was actually around the time I had walked into the church and had sat for a while. These people are jokers. No wonder it was so entertaining.

 

You know the message is wrong when it is about heaven and hell and people in the building are laughing their hearts out.

 

I stand on the Word! It says that every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

 

There will be no pride at the Judgment. It is a failure to portray the Judgment as anything less than the most humbling experience.

 

Describing Satan at the Judgment the Prophet wrote that when people will see him they will say to themselves, you mean this is the man who caused all this trouble? Because he shall be severely humbled!

 

How come I am not getting this impression by watching a Play about it? To hell with that Play! It is all play. This Play makes you think Satan has a say! To hell with any Play that glorifies Satan. It is a hellish Play.

 

Another hideous presentation of Christ’s character was when those who were being sent to hell were begging for forgiveness and the angel refused them.

 

Far be it from any church to approve a merciless saviour as their Lord! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. He will by no means cast out any repentant sinner!

 

The Play has betrayed my Jesus! And it has lied about what He taught in the Gospels concerning the hellbound. They shall not be pleading with Him at the Judgement.

 

They shall be trying to trick Him in Matthew 7, propagating their own self-righteousness in God’s name. Taking His name in vain. Breaking the third commandment before His face.

 

In hell because the Play was called Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames, it says they shall be cursing God in the Gospel of Mark. They will not be sorry even in their agony.

 

Do not present my loving God as a sadist who will not listen to the pleas of mercy from the lost and the dying. They won’t beg for mercy. That’s the point! In hell sin will be in full! Beyond repentance no matter the consequence.

 

We will understand why God had to cast them out into hell. This is not brought out anywhere in that miserable drama.

 

Now you might say Timothy why don’t you teach them gently then? Why are you so harsh? Knowledge puffs up! ‘Be humble. Sit down.’ Remember that in the Play? Remember ‘Nishike pole pole mi ni mtoto wa Mungu?”

 

Why are unsaved people dramatising in church? We are using Kendrick and Wakimbizi on the Pulpit, among others I won’t even name to belabour the point?

 

I say to hell with them! If they had come to inquire or done their research before portraying their nonsense on the Pulpit, I would have been gentle.

 

But I can’t be gentle on people who feed fables in spades from the Pulpit! God did not do all that work for people to come and do their own thing on stage.

 

If you are not qualified to teach, do not teach from the Pulpit, whether using a song, or a Play or whatever.

 

And their leaders are busy behaving as if nothing wrong is happening. I hope they learn from Paul’s rebuke to Peter and change their ways and admit their wrong.

 

If they had done a little bit of reading, just what is obvious at face value from Scripture, they would not have lost their way in such a manner to such an extent.

 

You think I am done? Not yet. Did you see them dubbing on stage? Goodness me my parents’ generation could not get what a demonic act they were watching.

 

This Play annoyed me on so many levels, I felt like dying and going to heaven.

 

Since when were we called to impress the world in order to deliver it? The worldly look at you and despise you in their hearts trying to be cheap hypocritical copies of them.

 

And what about the lighting? Even worldly folk warn people on TV that that kind of lighting could affect those who have photosensitive epilepsy. Why did the church assume that in the congregation there could be no such one?

 

There is something called the Regulative Principle. It states that the worship of God in His house must be done in God’s way. Tow and Khoo described it this way: “The acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 21.1).

 

Thank God that He saved people at the altar call though. But make no mistake about it. They did not give their lives to Jesus because of the Play. They gave their lives to Jesus in spite of the Play.


Timothy Wanjohi is founder and teacher at timotheist.com and at Standing on The Word Fellowship. He took up blogging in November, 2018, as a 30 year old man, but he has been serving in the Lord’s service since the time he was 16 years old.





3 Comment(s)

  • kinya

    Posted on 23-May-2019

    while i kinda disagree with some of the things said here, i generally agree regarding the doctrinal errors of that play.. i watched it in part on sunday - having arrived a little late. over 200 people "gave their lives to Christ". but i could tell the motivation to salvation was fear of hell rather than revelation and understanding and acceptance of the salvation of our Loving God expressed through Jesus Christ on the cross. so what happens when the euphoria of being mentally and emotionally charged with fear fades? will you have Christians left of not? i pity the several children who experienced nightmares after that play - i also saw the terror the children were facing with this play. the screaming in the audience let me understand there was no difference between what was happening in the church and what happens at a 3D theatre showing bloody horror. I dont believe God or Jesus take delight in terrorizing children to salvation.
    Over the years i came to understand that salvation is God given. how i wish the play focused on The Love and nature of God, rather than the fear of hell. i miss the days when the church teached the nature of God. nowadays the "size of the harvest" AKA number of potential tithers - is more important than the quality of the harvest itself. and there's no lengths churches won't go to - including hillsong church who's pastors will dress like gay men to be relevant to the current generation. size of membership is more important than being in right standing with God and the Word of God.

    thanks for writing this article. i thought i was all alone in my criticism of the play. but good to know im not the only one who saw beyond the horror of it and into its false-ness.

  • Jeremiah Mbugua

    Posted on 06-May-2019

    Goodness!!!!! What a post!!!! Thank God for this post!!!! Away with the heresy!!!!

  • Betty

    Posted on 06-May-2019

    Let them who have ears,hear and let them who have eyes,see...God is not a man!!I cannot stand entertaining people to gain their attention and losing God's attention! Jesus entrusts you with His flock to lead not to lose...The cast should repent!Truth be told!

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