The Danger of Blind Belief

Years ago, a friend who was visiting me for the first time asked a man for directions to my street. The man confidently told him to keep driving straight on. It was a wrong direction; he only needed to turn to the right. My friend had reached the outskirts of the town before he realised he had been misled. Following a wrong direction and the pain of trusting a deceiver can be very distressing, but there is a lesson: we cannot face the wrong direction and reach the right destination.

Putting blind trust in a dubious religious figure or authority is more terribly perilous and has grave eternal consequences. When most Muslims are confronted with evidences showing Muhammad was a false prophet, they appeal to population, “proof” in the afterlife and belief.

Even in day-to-day situations, its foolishness to have blind faith in a person or his claims. If someone gave you a medicine and said “this may kill you or cure you, I’m not sure, just have faith,” would you accept it? If a mechanic told you “I don’t know about cars, I’m just following what I heard,” would you let him fix your car? If a man without any sort of identification, smoking a joint, tells you he is a policeman, would you believe him? What if he says “just have faith I am one,” won’t you wonder if he’s insane?

We don’t rely on blind belief when it comes to our physical health and safety. We investigate matters, scrutinise people and question claims. Why then, should we throw away investigation, scrutiny and reason when it comes to religion? God said to His people, “Come now, let us reason together” (Is. 1:18). He does not compel us to believe anything but rather wants us to apply our reason in arriving at truth. We are not just to follow a faith with our hearts, but also with our minds. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to Islam.

Muhammad said:
“I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear” (Q 46:9).

But how can we verify that he didn’t come with a new-fangled doctrine different from what the Apostles of the Bible brought? By accepting what he said just because he says he’s a prophet? No, that’s unreasonable. The only way to verify this is to compare the teachings of the Quran with what is already taught by the prophets and apostles in the Bible and when we find discrepancies, we find out which is telling the truth. Until a Muslim has done this investigation, he has no valid criteria to determine whether Islam is true or false.

Muhammad also said “nor do I know what would be done to me.” We must not gloss over this statement. When a person we have put our faith in as the way to heaven is honestly expressing doubts or uncertainty, we must never ignore them. In the hadith, he said: “By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me” (Bukhari 5:266). If the man you are following says he doesn’t know his own fate in eternity or that of his followers, what do you do? Do you say “it doesn’t matter, we will still follow him because we love him. We were born in this religion and we must remain it?” That would be a display of foolishness.

If you find out eventually that all your life you had been deceived by fangled doctrines in the name of Islam, who will you blame? You can’t blame God or Muhammad or anybody. Muhammad already gave you the warning signs. He said: “If I go astray, I go astray only to my own loss. If I am guided, it is by what my Lord reveals to me…” (Q 34:50).

Does this make sense? Imagine a pilot saying “if I take a wrong route or crash into a lake, its to my own loss.” Is that true? Muhammad is a founder and an “excellent example” to Muslims, if he was deceived, it means all who have followed his teachings and practices in the last 14 centuries have gone into eternal perdition. It means he has succeeded in keeping over a billion people worldwide in spiritual and mental bondage. It implies that those fighting and dying for him today are dying for nothing. If he was astray, it wasn’t to his own loss alone, but to the loss of all his followers. Its a scary but blunt fact.

Abu Huraira said shortly before Muhammad’s death, he summoned his tribesmen and called out specific people: “B. Abd Shams, deliver yourself from hell; Fatima [his favourite daughter] deliver yourselves from hell, for I have nothing which can avail you against God’s punishment…” (Mishkat Masabih, 118).

If the man you follow told his closest and most devoted followers that he had nothing to avail them of God’s wrath, then its useless for you to follow him, unless you want to knowingly follow him into eternal perdition. “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” asked Jesus. He is “the light of the world” and those who follow Him “will never walk in darkness” (Lk. 6:39, Jn. 8:12).

The Integrity-Challenged Warriors

I first came across Rebecca Brown’s book, Prepare for War, when I was 8 years old. My mother had a copy, so I would often sneak to where she kept it just to view the illustrations in its pages. Fast forward to 2006, I had read her first 5 books: He Came to Set the Captives Free (1986), Prepare for War (1987), Becoming a Vessel of Honor (1990), Unbroken Curses (1995) and Standing on the Rock (2002). I had read transcripts of the Closet Witches tapes they made with Jack Chick and I enjoyed reading the newsletters on their Harvest Warriors website. No doubt, Rebecca Brown’s teachings influenced my early Christian walk and I was her dedicated fan.

Their website describes Rebecca as a woman who “has a deep understanding of the tactics and weapons of Satan’s kingdom which only a few possess” and has “vast experience” which gives much “credibility to her teaching.” Daniel Yoder, her husband, is described as a “powerfully anointed” prophet and evangelist such that people who attend his meetings admit seeing “fire fall from heaven” during his ministry.

When I saw articles by some Christian ministers on the internet, debunking Rebecca and Daniel’s claims as spurious and heretical, I dismissed them as ravings of satanists posing as Christians – after all, that was how most people who digest Rebecca’s books would view them. But later, I started to have a rethink.

Her first two books for instance, omit names of places and dates which makes it a bit difficult for one to follow the chronology of events, whereas the Christians who researched her books accurately documented her real name, dates, and locations. In her first book, she claims to have “had ten years experience as an R.N.” but investigations showed she had a 7 years experience. She later re-casts this statement in her 5th book: “I also had years of experience as an R.N.”

Though Rebecca Brown brushed off the findings exposing her as “gossip” or “slander,” she couldn’t really refute them. I know God uses us in spite of our faults, but I thought, if these investigators were really satanists, they were the ones who should be lying and re-casting their statements, not the other way round. After all, Rebecca herself wrote in Becoming a Vessel:

“[God] always demand honesty” (p 141). “The world of Satanism is also a world of lies. Satanists are accomplished liars and actors…Lying is ANY deliberate deception…ALL lies are sin.” (245, 295).

As I began to critically re-read the writings of this pair, I found more problems with their claims and teachings. I am not going to impose my conclusions, rather, I want my readers to make up their own minds about this pair as they follow along:

1. In Prepare for War, Rebecca wrote: “In His perfect will, the Lord allowed the satanists to be the instrument of my mother’s death…She died suddenly one Christmas.” (p. 228) Investigations however revealed that her mother died of a heart attack (PFO Quarterly Journal, Oct-Dec 1989). In her book, Standing on the Rock, she gives a different account: “One night the Lord spoke to me and told me that Satan was petitioning Him for my mother’s life.” He then said “I will take her home in two weeks.” (p 102) So her death wasn’t “suddenly” as she earlier claimed. “I dared not speak to my mother or anyone else of her impending death because the Lord had forbidden me to do so.” (ibid)

2. She wrote:
“The satanists swept in, and in one night, while Elaine and I were out of her house…destroyed everything we had. They axed everything in our home, even killing our precious pets. They also destroyed my office and everything we had. Elaine and I escaped with our lives and the clothes on our back.” (Prepare, 229)

But investigations showed that this scenario was not what happened. She lost her practice when the Medical Board found out she was misdiagnosing patients, prescribing wrong doses, falsifying patient charts and abusing drugs (Demerol and Morphine) and subsequently revoked her Medical license. This was why she and Elaine fled to another state. Nowhere in her books did she inform her readers the truth of what really happened. She later wrote: “I was set up and framed and accused of all sorts of horrible things I had not done.” (Standing, p. 52) Yet she provided no details of what the “frame-up” was about and has not been able to disprove the accusations ever since.

3. She claimed to have brought “close to a thousand people out of hard-core Satanism” during her medical practice (Prepare, 228). This implies that between April 1982 to May 1984 when she was in practice, she was leading about 3 satanists to the Lord per day. When you examine the depth and quality of information in her first 2 books – if you are conversant with the occult – they don’t seem to reflect the works of someone who has led close to a thousand people out of hard-core Satanism. She seems to be exaggerating her claims.

4. In her 2nd book, she said Jesus told her: “You see, I Jesus, know how you feel because I have experienced weakness. Father has never experienced weakness, so He usually gets angry when His people are weak.” (Prepare, 230) This heresy was pointed out by her critics so in her 5th book, she re-tells the story and alters the words of Jesus: “You see, I know what it is like to be weak, I myself learned obedience through suffering.” (Standing, 54) On her Facebook page, she still insists that God doesn’t understand human weakness (19-04-16).

5. In her 2nd book, she said God entered into a covenant with her: “I was to move to California… I was also to understand that I would eventually lay down my life out here for the Lord.” (p. 35) Probably this is why she wrote in the Introduction: “Our race is almost run, we know that the Lord will be calling us home soon.” (p. 10) In her 3rd book, the covenant changed: “He [God] told Rebecca she would have many battles and some ‘close calls’ but in the end, their lives would be saved.” (p 15)

6. In her 5th book, she tells of meeting a “beautifully dressed lady” at a grocery store whom Daniel exposed as “Madena…one of the top international assassins” who had men working with her (p 92). This supposedly happened in November 1989, some weeks before Daniel married Rebecca.

But in her 3rd book she said that “one of Satan’s top assassins, and her associates” wanted to kill her and Elaine in December 1988 – before she ever met Daniel at all! (p 16) While in her 5th book, they all escaped to Arizona because Madena was so powerful (p 97), in her 3rd book, they all stayed at home to watch how God will fight for them (p 17). Either the first or second account was fabricated.

6. Some parts of Rebecca’s 3rd book sound like she brought a fictitious character (or alter ego) into her story to say things that would corroborate her claims. For example, the conversations she had with “Joyce” in Chapter 3 (covering 20 pages) sound like a mini-apology to respond to the criticisms levied at her around that time.

Its very unlikely that a person would remember word-for-word, a conversation which they had “a little more than two years” ago – unless the discussion was recorded. I bring this up because in her 2nd book, which was written close to the time she talked with “Joyce,” Rebecca admits: “Because of a recent physical illness, my brain just doesn’t function as well as it used to be. I have great difficulty remembering things.” (p 93)

7. In Unbroken Curses, we are told an experience Daniel had at age 6:
“When the rabbis found him, they locked him into the chamber, removed the lid from the top, and dumped thousands of spiders down on top of him, many of them poisonous.” (p 153)

If this is not an embellished story, its a fiction. It is an established fact that spiders are solitary creatures that tend to kill or chase off one another. Where did these rabbis get thousands of spiders and how were they kept? How did a 6 year old locked in a small, dark room count the spiders up to a thousand?

The story says “a brilliant shaft of light” with “two arms reaching out of the light” took Daniel and cradled him to sleep. Its very unlikely that a 6 year old locked in a dark room of spiders would cuddle up to two unknown arms from a light. (Please ask any 6 year old you know). No matter how sensational a legend is, it flies in the face of facts.

8. Another embellishment is seen in the account of Daniel’s first wife’s murder as narrated in Unbroken Curses (pp. 159-160) and Standing on the Rock (p. 73). A comparison of both accounts shows the latter adds details absent from the former:

“Not only was Kai killed, but their baby was cut out and killed as well. Probably the only thing that kept Daniel from totally losing his mind, was that the Lord permitted him to see angels come to lift Kai’s spiritual body out of her mangled physical body. She had their baby son in her arms and they escorted her into heaven.”

Between the time the 4th and 5th book was published, Daniel and Rebecca had graduated to telling stories of visits to God’s throne, flying with angels, seeing the dead at Jesus’ arm in heaven and visions similar to those of Rick Joyner. So, as they re-tell their old stories, they read back these supernatural details into them. It wasn’t a surprise when the pair later offered their unflinching support to Rick Joyner (member of the Order of the Knights of Malta), Norman Vincent Peale (a 33 degree Mason), the Pensacola revival and other questionable figures (Official Rebecca Brown Facebook page, 17-12-13).

10. The “testimony” in their April 2002 newsletter is another example of a poorly crafted fiction:

“One sister worked on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center buildings. This was the floor the jet crashed into. When the jet hit, she was thrown out of her seat across the room behind a door…Jesus appeared to her and instructed her to follow Him out of the building. He led her all the way down 105 stories to safety. She got out of the building unhurt.”

This story contradicts established facts and details of the September 11 attack. The first hijacked jet crashed into the North Tower, between the 93th and 98th floor instantly killing scores of people on those floors and the plane. The impact of the aircraft ignited a fire which engulfed the stairwell exits and the 930 people above the North Tower were trapped and couldn’t get out of the building.

The second jet hit the South Tower between the 78th and 84th floors destroying 2 out of 3 stairways. Out of the 500 people trapped above the impact zone, only 18 people could escape through the stairwell exit. That a person would fabricate a testimony about a well-documented incident reveals an abdication of integrity.

11. In that newsletter, Daniel complains about the Christians who exposed their wild claims and calls on “Christians everywhere to pray regularly asking our God to deal with these people and put them out of business.” I can’t find a Biblical warrant for a Christian to pray against another Christian. Rebecca herself hinted in her 2nd book that this is a form of satanic attack (p 51). Her views must have changed over the years.

Again, it seems the pair have had their invitations to some churches cancelled due to the articles on them, thus, Daniel wrote a book, Talebearers: God’s Answer to Investigative Reporting. While God’s answer to discernment has not changed – because of false teachers deceiving people with false teachings and stories – let no one try to conflate “investigation” with “tale bearing.” They are miles apart. God hates “a lying tongue” and a person “who loves and practices falsehood” will not be in heaven (Pro 6:17; Rev 22:15).

12. This was posted on their Facebook page (16-9-13):

“Daniel had a vision from the Lord of a special bridge between earth and heaven called the Rainbow Bridge. The Lord told Daniel that every person entering into heaven would first meet his/her pets, especially if they had no family members who had been saved. These beloved animals comforted and ministered to the people, once again, especially those who did not have any saved family members to meet them.”

This is precisely the reason why Christians must be discerning. Animals do not have spirits like humans (Eccl. 3:21) and the “rainbow bridge” idea is a New Age code for the bridge linking the physical with the spiritual plane. Lately, Rebecca told her fans that her cat, Chico, curled around Jesus and worshipped Him. How an animal is capable of doing this was not explained (26-2-16).

13. Rebecca posted a photo of a beautiful forest in their Facebook group with a post saying:

“This picture was taken by Daniel this fall on our land. We live in a valley with mountains on three sides. This picture was taken across the valley as the sun was setting, of the mountain on the opposite side. You can see our driveway at the bottom of the picture. God has greatly blessed us by allowing us to live in such a beautiful place.” (14-12-13)

But this picture has been in the public domain such as Wikipedia Common since 2011, and wasn’t obviously taken by her husband as she claimed. How can one take a picture from the internet and lie that its a picture of one’s residence? Someone doesn’t seem to have much going for her in the truth department. If Rebecca and her husband cannot be trusted on such a trivial matter, why should they be trusted about the high visions and stories they narrate?

14. When a Christian blogger pointed out this lie to Rebecca on her page, she replied:

“YES!!!! I see we have had some of SATAN’S DISCIPLES RELIGIOUS BULLIES on here posting. They love to sow discord, gossip, backbiting, slander. They are called tale-bearers in the Bible. The Bible says God despises them. They have a father but its not God and they don’t serve Jesus…BE careful you don’t fall into their snare and become a gossip monger, backbiting Satanist.” (15-12-13)

This sounds familiar. This was the same response she gave to those investigating her books in the late 80’s. Rather than admit her lies and repent of misleading her followers, she resorts to attacking and labelling those exposing her as “Satanists.” Has she forgotten that God always demands honesty and that all lies are sin?

These are not issues that should be swept under the rug. I’m not that bothered if a person is feeding his flock with fabricated stories and heresies. If the listeners refuse to search the Scriptures and use their God-given discernment to eat the hay and leave the sticks, that’s their choice. But when people put their lies and errors in a book or the media, they are poisoning the public and they have to be publicly exposed. Integrity is a necessity in God’s kingdom. Once a warrior’s belt of truth is absent, his breastplate of righteousness also falls off and his “battle” becomes a big joke to the Adversary.