News Update

June/July 1997

Let me start by repeating that hackneyed statement - "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated!!"

I'm here! I'm alive and well and still living in Belper. My absence off the public scene has led people to make speculations, and I hope to dispel some of those here.

Number one is that I remain just as committed to opposing false teaching as ever. Secondly, my health - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual - is (as Star Trek's Data would report) "functioning within normal parameters, Cap'n". Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Thirdly, although I made no specific mention of it in my final Mainstream circular, the audio tapes are still available - indeed, you'll find a pared-down list on these pages. (You still have to order in the normal way, though - no e-mail tape requests if you please.)

Since I ceased my regular publication of Mainstream, I have devoted my time to other things, one of which has been this Web Site. The same reasoning that applied to the rest of the ministry (see Banner headlines) was for a moment applied to the web-site, but the Lord obviously had other plans, at least for now.

For the time being, the back-copies of Mainstream that you have all been asking for, and articles on the subjects that interest you all so much, remain available at this site.

I also plan to include something like a monthly news update - but no promises! In these uncertain times, we none of us know what is around the corner. Indeed, there have been ongoing prophecies of a massive "new wave" of deception gathering momentum. I'm going to say something about that in a moment.


For the time being, most of the articles here are the same as before. Although they remain relevant, it's my intention to add new files on various subjects as they become available. Especially, I plan to produce some articles on the Latter-Rain/Manifested Sons of God type doctrine, God willing.

Already there are three recent additions:

1) Larry Thomas has written two fine articles about the Brownsville, Pensacola "revival" - don't miss them.
2) Andrew Gould, known to some of you for the article on the Hebraic Roots movement which I reprinted in Mainstream, has a new web-site and new material for you to see. I have included his article, "Unholy Alliances" here.
3) I have covered the subject of music in the churches several times since I began this ministry. Now I have compiled a number of important quotations and statements showing exactly where modern worship music is heading. You'll find the music article in the "other Subjects" articles section.


The November "Crossroads" assemblies seem a long way back now, but day by day there is confirmation of their importance and their message. I did not know (could not know at the time) that other ministries had planned, also in November, to have high-level conferences and discussions on the future. While we, as Remnant Christians, considered the changes ahead for us, others were at the same time planning their strategies for the future. I believe the two paths must increasingly divide and diverge.

I have placed the written report of the November meetings on this page for all those who have not yet seen them. Do be aware, however, that the written reports are not complete in themselves because they only contain material that is not on the audio tapes. To get the full picture of what happened in November, you'd need to get both the set of six tapes (see the tape order form) and the written report.

However, the report gives a flavour of what God was telling us. Some scriptures given there describe what occurred and what has happened since. They are:

Is 6: 9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Jer 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Truly, as God warned in November, there is a "dividing of the ways" and those who refused to heed His word before Christmas will find it more and more difficult to adjust their path as the months go by.

Is it self, or God? Is it family, or God? Is it career, ministry, money, security, popularity - or God?


While supposedly putting our all into church activities or even full-time ministry, we can be replacing the pure love of God's will with a subtle version of self, where the attractions of popularity and the prospects of worldly success take over from finding out and doing what God says.

The decisions we make, one by one, do not always seem important or significant. They do not appear to make much difference to our overall walk - but a series of decisions based upon the wrong premise will eventually lead astray. A path may be millimetres away from the true path at the beginning but as time goes by the gap widens and it ends up hundreds of miles from the right path.


Now I begin to see two distinct groups (not always obviously distinct!). Both these groups are made up of believers who truly love God and who reject false teachings. Many of these are now outside the conventional church system.

One group is the invisible Church, akin to Elijah's hidden 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. God knows each one by name. They are under incredible pressure, because God is at work purging and establishing this group, often using severe trials to push their commitment to the limit. They are the despised, the forsaken, the outcasts whom God loves. When they are drawn together by God, they discover that they already have a tremendous spiritual unity. Often having been hurt by authoritarian churches - indeed, often having been cast out of such churches - they are wary of "leadership" and "systems" and have come into a revelation of the biblical church as the Body of Christ, demonstrated by two's and three's gathering together for informal worship and mutual support.

The hallmark of this group is interdependence, personal discernment, allegiance to scriptural truth, a firm desire to follow God's will above all, and the knowledge that the work of God is being done in and through them as individual stones in the living temple.

On the other hand, there is an equally sincere group made up of believers who fit into two inter-locking categories: the leaders and the led, to put it simply. The leaders want to lead, and the led want to be led!! Therein lies the problem.


Leaders and organised ministries depend on supporters, and any shaking of the system threatens this set-up. Well, God is certainly shaking all things today, and the reaction amongst some has been panic measures to shore up the system. There are no doubt fine leaders unknown to me, and not all are going astray - but let me focus on a few problem areas.

Some leaders are out-and-out empire builders who try to keep tags on their supporters, and develop guru status amongst them, so they can mould them and keep them faithful to the ministry in question. Power and influence (not to speak of financial support) are the keywords, and if any of these are threatened, the leaders react by tightening the screws.

Other leaders are entirely sincere in their Christian work and ministry, but fail to see that it is God who promotes and God who demotes. Success or failure in ministry is entirely a matter of obedience to God's will. If that one fundamental requirement is overshadowed by the personality, preaching abilities or ministry output of a person, and if those things become more of a draw, more of a priority, than what God is saying and doing through that person - then beware! That ministry is already on a slippery slope downwards.


God is today gathering, purging, reorganising and revealing HIS BODY. While I don't believe there is a conscious (evil) attempt in this country to organise a counter-move to God's work, I do believe there are misguided and foolish attempts to give God a helping hand! What I mean is the desire to "organise" another Church structure that will create a charismatic alternative to false teaching. Good idea - wrong motives! And wrong method!

This idea is based on a false premise, and it is leading to dangerous conclusions.

One false premise is that there will come a time of tremendous national repentance, revival and renewal for the Church before the return of Christ. Thus men need to organise the Church to respond to this influx of converts.

Another is that there must be God-appointed apostles and prophets, and other ministers, to lead this reorganised church because people cannot discover truth for themselves and need trained eldership to teach them the Word.

Yet another false premise is that God cannot renew, purge and reorganise His Body, nor respond to the false doctrine problems, without turning to the current Church leadership, and major ministries, to achieve His aims. History has shown over and over that it is NOT the leadership, nor the organisations that produce renewal, but the "little people" - the unknown minister, the hidden pray warrior, the nameless evangelist, and the band of ordinary Christians who cry out to God. God intends for each and every member of his Body to be fully functioning; that is why He so often uses the "little people" to accomplish mighty works.


And what is the dangerous conclusion to all this man-made reorganisation? Not only compromise for the leaders involved, but dependency for the disciples of such leaders.

God, I believe, is passionately dedicated to making us stand on our own feet, without our having to be continually spoon-fed by teachers. The scriptures are full of commands dealing not just with our initial salvation, but our GROWTH into MATURITY. We are not meant to remain babies, running to daddy every time we have a problem or a question. We have been given the Holy Spirit that we might "grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ": [Eph 4:15] Jesus Christ is our Leader, the Head of the Body. He is our Teacher and Guide.

However, now - at this very crisis point in history - when we have a clear opportunity to develop a rich spiritual life of our own, we are herded back into the building by elders who are frightened of losing their control and influence over us. Yes, it may be with the very best of intentions on their part, but as far as God's ultimate plan for our lives, it's totally wrong. The motive is not godly, and the method is humanistic.


We probably all know, and certainly those who attended our November meetings, that the Evangelical Alliance in this country met in November to plan their future into the next millennium. They stated that "the future depends on US", and they wanted to organise themselves to achieve what they considered to be godly aims for the future.

One conclusion arising from the EA meeting was that they could not afford to be seen as divisive or critical, so they refused to take a stand on such issues as Toronto. Thus, when asked to condemn publicly the antics of Morris Cerullo (for example) or Holy Trinity Brompton, they fudged and fluffed, and said nothing helpful at all. Here we see scriptural standards, and false teachings, pushed under the carpet in the name of some kind of "unity" which is certainly not the God-worshipping spiritual unity that Jesus promised us before he left this earth. It was even suggested we should drop our objections to working with the Catholics, because "we all need one another now", in these evil times!

This man-inspired "Christianity" deserves to bite the dust, and no doubt it will in God's timing. If this is really the eldership of the British charismatic Church, then we are better off without it!


But the same false spirit of unity and compromise is infecting much more than just EA. When we look for a bold statement against false doctrine, there is none. What we get is prevarication, mealy-mouthed assurances of action (that lead to nothing) and a terminal desire to please everyone simultaneously. Few are the men who will stand up, like Elijah, with the courage to denounce the false prophets in the land. (I suspect that if the prophets of Baal were in this country today, we would more than likely see them being called to a meeting to negotiate a joint statement of belief!).

The idea is, that without "unity" we cannot face a common foe - and the foe is seen as the new-age movement, Islam, false religions and cults, humanism, immorality, social decline - all these things that we know infect our society. However, I have always made it plain that I believe the REAL foe to be false Christians implementing the antichrist agenda.


I don't think the devil is really all that concerned if people are lost in immorality or lost as good church-going citizens. I don't think the devil would mind if a handful of people got truly saved at a meeting where he introduced many thousands more to a false spirit of religion. I think he would be highly delighted if the Roman Catholic style of religion - minus the truth about justification by faith alone - were to introduce social change around the world. Social change - what does he care? So long as people are deceived and going to a lost eternity, they can be good, bad or indifferent.

When leaders and ministries unite under the banner of silence and compromise in the name of social advance - then we have lost the central core of our biblical belief-system. Some want to see "reformation" of the Church - but have they not considered this: It was not silence that overthrew the corrupt papal system at the Reformation! It was not compromise with falsehood that laid bare the evils of Catholicism. People laid down their lives and reputations and became outcasts to achieve this battle with the devil. Why not today?

Today, it's a matter of "getting along with eachother as Christians" so that we don't appear divided. People following this line will examine their fingernails and shuffle their feet nervously if asked to make a positive statement about false teaching in the Church. Why? Are they too scared of being sidelined for their beliefs? Too afraid of losing friends and supporters? Too careful over their budgets and finances that might be adversely affected? Too wary of saying something offensive? Too "loving" to criticise? Too "kind" to come up against sin in the camp? (Or is it that they are not really sure false teaching is altogether that bad?)

Where are the LEADERS? Where are the ELDERS? Where is the God-serving man who will stand up and be counted as a Bible-believing Christian opposed to all error? Where is the ELIJAH of today, the Jeremiah, prepared to go to the limits in opposing the antichrist forces, and to suffer the ultimate penalty if necessary?

It is my prayer that men (and women!) in this country will come to the end of their tethers, and will become so disenchanted with those who claim to be "leaders" that they will seek God for a new move of grassroots Christianity, where ordinary people will be raised up into eldership, no longer able to avoid the call that has been on their lives for years!

Perhaps, if we let go of the old (as I said in November) God will be able to give us the new. Perhaps, if we stop being lazy, and being satisfied with second-best, we will seek God's highest and have the courage to turn into Moses and Elijah ourselves, as God desires. (Perhaps - well, I can dream, can't I?)


Also at the November Crossroads meetings, we heard much about a "new wave" of deception coming our way. Many people had had dreams or pictures given to them by God featuring a huge tidal wave breaking over the land leaving terrible destruction. I myself have had this dream! It seems the Body is hearing from God in order to prepare our hearts - and possibly our homes - for another Toronto-style attack on truth, only this time much more subtle and much more far-reaching in its effects.

I had an intriguing letter from John Canty, the brother of George Canty, and elderly man in his 80's. He reported that he also had had a striking dream about a wave. I am reprinting his dream here for you to judge for yourselves.

"I am at Filey [seaside resort] on the seafront promenade. The sky is thick with heavy storm clouds. We have to get away - the winds are strong and fierce. The sea is roaring, great waves coming ashore. People do not know where to go or where to shelter. Indoors, or up staircases, all is dangerous. Hills are not in view; seats are vacant. We are somehow in a very precarious position, for to go down is worse than to look down, because of the flooding. Upward we see only broken buildings and the framework of fences, etc. [broken-down fences].

Obviously it is such a storm gathering that only a few will find safety. People mill around. My thoughts fly in prayers to the Lord... it all ends. But then the word of the Lord is spoken: "there is coming upon the whole earth a very great wave of darkness and swallowing up of those who are not of the Kingdom. Gross darkness, with a fury of evil and deceit taking up the whole of those who know not the Lord, irreligious, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

Only those who know the Lord are safe. It is the end of the era of enlightenment. The door is closed. No one else will find salvation - there is no more gospel preached. [at that time]. The Lord has spoken - the end is near. None of those who have resisted the word of God have any more opportunity; the door is fast closed. Only the judgement of the Lord is to come upon the world. Great troubles of every kind will assail everyone".

I was interested to have yet another confirmation of what the Lord was saying to us all last November - that the door is closing, the time for judgement is coming fast.


On the other hand, the UK Restoration/TB churches are gripped by revival fever. They are also getting visions of the tidal wave, but (sadly) they seem to think it's a good thing. It was reported in "Renewal" magazine that

WAVE THEME RECURS AT LEADERS' CONFERENCE: The picture of a wave kept reappearing throughout the international leaders' conference in Brighton convened by New Frontiers International…the tidal wave is not coming, it has come, said Terry Virgo in his opening address, but it isn't moving forward, it is growing in height. As it does this, there comes a point at which it can no longer go higher. It has to break in total fullness on the shore. This powerful prophetic word set the tone for the conference: the idea that God was about to break out in a mighty way on the shores of the nations."

I reckon this is accurate reporting! But of course the breaking of the wave will not bring "blessing and revival" but yet more deception, heartbreak and division in the Church.

For some reason (I have a few ideas why!) they think June is the significant month. I'm not close enough to the movement to know all the details, but a newsletter released today by Pioneer says that what the Holy Spirit has told them was reported in "Millennium Melt Down" published recently by Pioneer, and Gerald Coates says - "people sense the importance of the month of June." There's a drive to get people to join the 40-day fasting scheme from 28th May to 28th June. (But then, others are fasting up to October 31st, seeming to think that Autumn is the crucial time. A house divided against itself cannot stand - thank God!)

(If anyone has seen or has a copy of "Millennium Melt Down", please let me know what it says!!)

My own feeling is that the dates are a result of the latter-rain agenda being put into motion by the "outpouring" in Toronto back in January 1994, though of course this is an arbitrary date because it was happening before then. Supposedly, the descent of the glory, the ark returning to the living temple, resulting in the manifestation of the sons of God, would happen three and a half years after the river began to flow. Thus mid-June is the date.

Don't forget though, that "revival" means to them a further and final outpouring of the same spirit that descended in Toronto, and that anyone who refuses to submit to this outpouring will be judged 'anti-christ' and be "removed" during the next three and a half years. The apostles and prophets of the new order will see themselves as perfected rulers, God's government on earth, so they will have no qualms about organising such a purge.

This seems to me a perfect excuse for the TB churches and all other like-minded deceived religious people to put their militaristic thoughts and prayers into action - the final solution!

Just as the resistance movement throughout the second world war worked to sabotage the army's work, and to rescue the innocent, so we must be ready to do spiritual battle, and to rescue those who are fleeing from this new wave. It means for us that an "underground Church" must exist and be functioning before the time. That leads me on to my next point…


For those who are out of their churches, and perhaps still feeling a bit guilty, especially when their friends give them the immortal "where do you go?" line, there's now a superb booklet that goes through all the difficulties, scriptures and questions about being outside the church system. It is called "Custom and Command".

In time we may have the text on this page (negotiations are under way) but for now, do get a copy and pass it on. DON'T write to Banner Ministries, but DO write to the author/distributor at this address:

Stan Firth, c/o 2c, Gander Green Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 2EH, England.

THE COST: - Mr Firth offers the book for only 30p to cover his postage. This is very generous. But I hope there will be many of you who, like me, will send a donation to Mr Firth in appreciation of both his hard work and his generosity.


This is the end of my first News Flash. I hope there has been something here to help or stimulate you. Please keep praying for me, and for all those on the front lines of this battle. We need to have wisdom, courage, strength of mind, body and spirit, and an unswerving faith in God. Pray for me and all ministers who oppose the deception. The attacks are horrendous, but with your help and support, and by the grace of God, we shall win through to victory.