Rehearsing What God Has Done
A Brief History of Bible Based Ministries
by Shaun Willcock
“…they rehearsed all that God had done with them…” (Acts 14:27)
Bible Based Ministries had its beginning way back in September 1983, although it was not known by this name then and much was to change, especially doctrinally, between 1983 and 1986. Those first years were a time of growth, of casting off the false and laying hold on the true, and in many ways 1986 was the true beginning of basing this work upon a solid and true doctrinal foundation; but as much of what occurred then could not be understood without reference to the years that went before, and as this work did, officially at any rate, begin in 1983 even though there was so much error still to be forsaken, it is best to mark the starting point as September 1983.
In accordance with Acts 14:27 – “they rehearsed all that God had done with them” – what follows is a condensed history of the work, and also contains something of my own testimony – of necessity, as shall be seen. To our God must go all the glory, for we are nothing in ourselves, and without Him we can do nothing (Jn. 15:5); and at the end of the day, when we have done what has been commanded us, we can only say, “We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Lk. 17:10). Yes, and done it very imperfectly, and tainted with sin.
Throughout these years we have experienced many trials, and endured many enemies. But the Lord has guided us each step of the way, year by year, and has blessed us. It has been our great joy, and our undeserved privilege, to serve Him in this way.
It is our desire that the Lord would be glorified by this brief recounting of the His mercies and blessings.
I was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia, in 1963. Today the country that was then Rhodesia is a very different place: after a brutal revolution which lasted many years, it fell to Communist terrorist forces and became Zimbabwe, a Marxist state. My family and I left Rhodesia in 1974, as the terrorist war was escalating, and came to South Africa. And it was here, as a young teenager, that the Lord graciously saved my soul in 1978.
I was converted to Christ while a member of the Methodist institution (certainly in spite of, and not because of, Methodism itself!). Arminian Methodism has never been sound in the faith; but in the 1970s it was moving relentlessly into more and more error. Ecumenism was a growing evil; liberalism was spreading; worldliness was prevalent in the majority of the members; political radicalism was increasing, with support being given to southern African terrorist organisations; women were being “ordained” as ministers; and the influence of the Charismatic movement was beginning to be felt. Of course, many within the denomination understood little or nothing of these developments at that time, and certainly I, a youngster, was ignorant of most of it, although I was deeply disturbed by the worldliness of most of the members.
I received no sound teaching from the Methodist preachers I heard. But the Lord was teaching me through His Word, and in my final year of high school in 1980, I believed the Lord was calling me into the ministry. But how and where? There was much false doctrine that had to be forsaken, and true doctrine that had to be embraced; and this process was to take a number of years. At the time all I knew was Methodism, and the local Methodist leadership was eager to get me into a course of theological training for the Methodist ministry. I preached my first sermon just before my 17th birthday, and soon afterwards I started to preach regularly in the local Methodist church, and was also put in charge of their “youth church” meetings. And I began studying for the Methodist “lay preaching” exams. But by God’s grace, and in His providence, I never entered the Methodist ministry. For, around the same time, through a series of events which were compounded by an utter lack of sound teaching, I was introduced to the Pentecostal movement, and became a Pentecostal. A case of out of the frying pan into the fire!
Pentecostalism, when I was first introduced to it, appeared to me (as it has to so many other youngsters) to be biblical. It seemed to follow the Bible, to be alive, to preach (as it boasted) “the full Gospel”. How wrong I was! It appeared to fill the void which I felt within Methodism. I was a regenerated young man trying to fit into a false religious institution. It could not be done. I was a fish out of water. But sadly, going from Methodism to Pentecostalism, I went from one ecclesiastical error to another.
Encouraged by a man I looked up to at the time, I dropped the Methodist theological studies and enrolled in the theological college of the Assemblies of God, one of the more conservative Pentecostal denominations (although “conservative” is a relative term when it comes to Pentecostalism). It was also around this time that I was baptized, in the biblical manner, by full immersion.
Always deeply interested in missionary work, I was excited to learn about an organisation called Operation Mobilisation, which owned two “missionary ships” and took in young people from all over the world to do what they called mission work for a year or two. I signed up – until, in undergoing the required course of study in preparation for the work, I learned that they distributed Roman Catholic Bibles in Roman Catholic countries, believed that many Roman Catholics were Christians, and were far more ecumenical than I at first realised. By this time I had come to understand something of the errors of Roman Catholicism and of ecumenism. I wrote to the South African branch and pulled out.
I graduated from the Assemblies of God college, and became associated with a church belonging to a small Pentecostal denomination, the South African Evangelistic Mission. In time I became the assistant to the pastor, and a teacher in the church. But through it all, I was studying the Word of God for myself – and keeping my eyes open. And, step by step, the Lord in His mercy began to lead me to see the errors of both Arminianism and Pentecostalism.
From the outset there were things that troubled me, and I was often uneasy, and even appalled and disgusted by much of what I saw. And what sights they were! I saw people supposedly “speaking in tongues”, after being taught to do so by whoever was praying for them, stuttering out unintelligible sounds – people who, as time passed, revealed by their conduct that they had never been truly converted to Christ. I saw people falling down in frenzied excitement, supposedly “slain in the Spirit”, moaning and writhing, while the meetings degenerated into a cacophony of noise, shouting, crying, bodies lying on the floor.
It also greatly troubled me that Pentecostals were so worldly. I thought they would be different from Methodists, but they were not. Thinking that in Pentecostalism I would find separation from the world, everywhere I looked I saw instead the love of the world, and conformity to it. I longed for holiness, but those around me longed for signs and wonders, for thrills and entertainment. Little did I know it at the time, but the reason for this was very simple: the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is a worldly system, full of worldly people who have no desire for holiness because they are strangers to the thrice-holy God. I was longing for fellowship with people who loved the Lord and desired to live separated lives unto Him, and for His glory; but no matter which way I turned, I could find none. Yet the Lord did not leave me in my ignorance. He delivered me from all this in His perfect time.
For a time I sought to begin mission work amongst the Zulu people. This was not easy in those days in South Africa: a white man such as myself had to obtain special permission, from a magistrate, to enter areas administered by the Zulu tribal authorities; and in addition permission had to be obtained from the local Zulu elders as well. I obtained the necessary permission from the magistrate, and sought the permission of the elders; but the Lord closed that door and opened another.
As I studied the Word of God, Church history, etc., I came over time to see the central place of the Roman Catholic system, both in Bible prophecy and in the events of history through the centuries which fulfilled Bible prophecy, including in modern times, and to understand the utterly lost spiritual state of the millions of Roman Catholic people; and I became burdened to expose this “Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev.17:5), and all her “daughters.” And so, in 1983 I established a ministry for the purpose of evangelising the Roman Catholic people, and exposing Romanism. It started in my home with nothing more than a typewriter. I began issuing a small newsletter, and writing some tracts. As I recall the first issue went to under ten people! The focus at that time, and for quite some time afterwards, was primarily on evangelism. The work did not have any name at first; that only came later.
At that time, however, I was still a Pentecostal, and thus those early years were tainted by my great lack of sound doctrine. It was only in 1986 that I was fully delivered from all of that. And after the Lord opened my eyes to the truth about Arminianism and Pentecostalism, it became a part of the work of Bible Based Ministries to expose Arminianism and the deceptions of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement as well. As I was to write at a later date in The Bible Based Ministries Newsletter: “The Roman Catholic machine is advancing, politically, through its diabolical Liberation Theology; religiously, it is advancing through, firstly, the Charismatic Movement, and secondly the Ecumenical Movement. In all this she is satanically clever: let me explain how. She is using the Charismatic Movement to gain the respect and trust of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Protestants, who are blinded by the phenomenon of Roman Catholics ‘speaking in tongues’, ‘healing the sick’, etc. (such ‘signs and wonders’ are not good enough; what about sound doctrine?). I want to state here categorically: the Charismatic Movement, both Catholic and Protestant versions, is the devil’s greatest instrument in achieving Ecumenicity. This is the union (under Rome) of all religious groups. And, as the Protestants move under her demonic control, what do they increasingly become engaged in? Liberation Theology, the political ‘gospel’. How could it be otherwise? For if Protestant groups are prepared to forsake sound doctrine in favour of a ‘unity’ based upon ‘experiences’, then they will also be prepared to forsake sound doctrine regarding salvation by faith in favour of ‘political salvation’. Him who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
In that same September of 1983 when I started the work, I went on a small “missionary journey” up the north coast of the province of Natal, sleeping in a tent and attempting to visit Roman Catholic priests. I did manage to speak with a couple of them, and to leave tracts at various places, and after I returned home I continued to correspond with them for some time afterwards; but sadly, I was still Arminian and Pentecostal, and thus, while sincere and in great earnestness, the message I was proclaiming to them was not biblically sound.
Then in 1984 I again travelled the same route, but this time I took two friends along with me. One of them was the pastor of the Pentecostal church I attended. We slept in the back of my bakkie (as small pick-up trucks are called in South Africa), and sought to visit priests, monks and nuns. We did get to speak with a monk, two nuns, and some priests on different occasions, including one who appeared to be drunk and who chased us away, shouting at us to “Go to those who don’t have Christ!” But again, our “Gospel message” was so very deficient.
Much time was spent in writing letters to priests of Rome; and indeed I was able to engage in correspondence with a few. But unfortunately, although earnestly seeking to point them to Christ as the only Lord and Saviour, I was still in Arminian/Pentecostal error.
In early 1985 the name “Bible Based Ministries” was given to the work. I wrote in the newsletter at the time, “The work of God must be biblically-based and Christ-centred.” This was my great desire for my work, even though, at the time, my own doctrinal position was not, in some very important points, biblically-based at all. But the Lord was working in me, and I would soon see and forsake the unbiblical doctrines and practices to which I still held.
In 1985 I travelled to the United States, to Los Angeles, California, to meet with Alberto Rivera, a man who claimed to be an ex-Jesuit priest converted to Christ. This would prove to be a very momentous event, but for reasons quite different from what I at first imagined.
Some years before, I had been given some famous comic books published by Chick Publications in California. These purported to be based on the true-life story of a man named Alberto Rivera. This man, a Spaniard who was by that time living in America, claimed to have been a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest before being supposedly converted to Christ and beginning a ministry of supposedly taking the Gospel to the Roman Catholic people. The first book in the series, Alberto, was causing a huge stir in many parts of the world. It was a thrilling story to read, and I determined to try to meet him if possible. There was much in the comic books that was accurate historically (little did I know it at the time, but there was also much that was completely inaccurate as well), and it is an historical fact that the Jesuits have done, and are doing, many of the things described by Rivera in the books. His story appeared genuine.
Accordingly, I wrote to Rivera and was duly invited to spend time with him and his co-workers in California. I ended up spending three weeks there.
There was little, on that trip, to arouse my suspicions, and the few things that did concern me somewhat, I put down to cultural differences, etc. I was invited to become a representative for Rivera’s ministry, being in charge of following up on all his correspondence from Africa, Asia, and Australasia. My ministry would remain separate from his, but we would work closely together. And indeed this is what happened, for a few years, until it became clear that he was not at all what he claimed to be.
Meeting with Rivera and then working in association with him for a while was in the providence of God. Not because he was a true man of God, for he was not, as became evident in due course, but for at least three other reasons:
First, in God’s providence it was through a conversation I had with him that I really began to question my Arminian doctrines as never before, and to carefully examine the doctrines of sovereign grace.
Second, by becoming his representative for Africa and Asia, a vast amount of correspondence which he had received from countries throughout these continents was passed on to me. Not only did this mean I was able to contact these people and introduce them to my own ministry, but also, when the truth about Rivera became known, it meant that we were able to warn many people about him and his “ministry”.
And thirdly, through my association in those years with Rivera, the Lord brought me into contact (in 1988) with a brother in Christ who would become not only a very close friend, but in time the U.S. distributor for Bible Based Ministries’ books, and the worldwide distributor for our recorded messages. Thus Bible Based Ministries began to reach people in many other parts of the world.
But that was still in the future. Meanwhile the work continued to expand. In 1985 I started to sell books on the subject of Roman Catholicism. From the outset materials were supplied free of charge, as able, to those who could not afford to purchase them, a policy from which we have never deviated through the years.
In early 1986 I was called in to assist in the “exorcism” of a demon-possessed woman. The demon gave its name as “Mary”! Although the woman was a Hindu, she had attended a Roman Catholic convent school in her youth; and speaking through her mouth, the demon said that while there she had become possessed when a priest of Rome had scattered “holy water” at a school assembly. As soon as those of us who had gathered to try to help her began to pray, she went into a trance-like state and actually assumed the very posture of the idols of the Roman Catholic “Mary”, holding the supposed “infant Jesus”! She also fell on the floor in a swoon, and at times we thought the demon had come out of her; but it was still there. This poor woman twisted and turned and grimaced, and displayed great strength: although short of stature, she placed her fist in the stomach of one man present, and pushed him around the room. Truly we were seeing, before us, a fulfilment of that Scripture which says that Roman Catholicism, the mystical “Babylon”, is “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2). This is Satan’s very seat, and powerful demonic forces are at work in this religious system. The history of Popery through the centuries is full of witchcraft, black magic, etc. It is no different today.
I relate this incident to show that evil spirits are very much at work behind the scenes of the Papal system, especially in view of the fact that there are some sovereign grace believers who seem to think that demon possession does not occur any more. It most certainly does! Perhaps they would be more inclined to believe it if they lived, as we do, in Africa. It occurs in sophisticated Europe and North America as well, but is often less spectacular in its manifestations there, and besides, far too many professing Christians there have accepted rather the explanation of modern psychology, a false science and false religion, for such things, instead of the simple truth of God’s Word. This is why I have related this incident; but sadly I cannot relate that she was delivered, the reason being that we were Pentecostals, and in our ignorance of biblical truth on this matter we were unable to help her. Pentecostals love to think that they have power over unclean spirits, but they are mistaken. We did what Pentecostals the world over do in such cases: we prayed, we “took authority over the spirit in the Name of Jesus” (or so we thought!), we commanded it to leave. But all to no avail. Little did we understand then that the miraculous gift of casting out devils was given to the apostles for the purpose of authenticating their ministry before the Scriptures were complete, but that this gift is no longer given today. How differently I would have handled that sad situation, if I had known then what I know now. Our purpose, as Christians, is to preach the Gospel to the lost, and those ordained to eternal life will be saved (Acts 13:48), including those possessed with demons, who will be delivered by the almighty power of the Lord! We do not have to ascertain who is possessed and who is not; we simply have to preach Christ, and God the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of the elect, and they will be irresistibly drawn to Christ (Jn. 6:37).
In 1986, after an intensive study of the Word of God, the Lord graciously opened my eyes to the errors of Arminianism, and showed me the truth of the doctrines of sovereign grace. As these precious biblical doctrines dawned on my mind and in my heart, I was awestruck! The sovereignty of God; the fact that even the falling to earth of each little sparrow is divinely foreordained (Matt. 10:29); the glorious truth that the elect were ordained to eternal life from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4); the unutterably comforting truth that once a person is in Christ, he is in Him forever (Jn. 10:28,29); all these truths, and many more, came with convicting power to my soul, and I embraced them, and rejoiced in them.
In early 1986 I married Stacey. We had known each other since our early teens and had similar spiritual journeys. On our honeymoon, as we sat in a treehouse in the African bush, I read to my new wife from a book I had discovered, which helped to answer the remaining questions we had about Pentecostalism. All the pieces of the jigsaw now came together. We saw that we had been deceived, and we were fully delivered out of the Pentecostal movement.
I informed my dear friend, the pastor of the church where I was assisting, of what had happened; that I no longer believed in either Arminianism or Pentecostal errors. It was arranged that I could explain my “new” doctrine to the advisory board of the South African Evangelistic Mission at a specially convened meeting. I agreed to this; but when the time came, I was given no opportunity to speak or to explain anything; instead, despite not having heard my doctrine from my own mouth, one pastor after another got up and for a period of five hours spoke against what I was teaching, and against me personally. They questioned my stability; they implied that I was blaspheming the Holy Spirit; one even labelled me Antichrist; etc. And well after midnight, when the meeting broke up, I now knew what so many before me had realised through the centuries: one cannot hope for “reform from within” when it comes to religious error; one must always make a clean break, for a false religious system will never be reformed. That which is false cannot, in fact, be reformed; a false religious system cannot become a true Christian church; it must only be rejected.
I was of course barred from ministering in the denomination, and our modest income was discontinued. Newly married, we faced an uncertain future, humanly speaking. We looked by faith to the Lord, and month by month He provided our needs.
I knew the Lord had called me into the ministry of His Word as far back as 1980; but it was only in 1986 that I was fully delivered from the false doctrines and practices to which I had held. This delay was the result of an utter lack of sound teaching and the imbibing of false teaching, which as a young, untaught new convert I was simply unable to counter and refute. This period of breaking down and building up, of unravelling and casting off the false and embracing the true, of seeing through the doctrines and traditions of men and devils and of laying hold on the precious doctrines of God’s divinely-inspired Word, had taken some eight years, from my conversion in 1978. Blessed be the Lord, He graciously taught me, during that period, through His Word. I have proved, in my own experience, the truth of Psa.119:130: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” To God alone belongs all the glory!
When the Lord opened my eyes to the deceptions of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, it was not long before I began to speak out and preach against it. The break had been made, the bridges were burned behind us, our colours were nailed to the mast.
In that same year (1986) I established a small, independent, sovereign grace house church, the Bible Christian Church, and I have been pastoring and teaching ever since. It has never been large, always numbering just a handful of souls. South Africa is a land filled with churches, but the vast majority of these are liberal, ecumenical, and political in their message. We stand separate from all these, seeking to serve the Lord without compromise, having “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11). The doctrines we uphold and proclaim are not those which the vast mass of professing “Christians” want to hear today.
An important aspect of the work which began in 1986 was our cassette tape ministry. By this means the truth was spread abroad on a very large scale, and has continued down through the years; and of course tapes ultimately gave way to CDs, many years later. Many thousands of sermons and lectures have been distributed worldwide by this means.
1986 was, truly, a very eventful year for us. It was a very happy one, because of our marriage and because of our rejection of the errors we had held; but it was also a very painful one, with the loss of dear friends as a result of our rejection of Pentecostal/Charismatic error. A note in the February 1987 issue of the newsletter gives a hint of the troubles we had passed through: “‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body’ (2 Cor. 4:8-10). The last few months have been full of troubles, persecutions, and spiritual warfare. But we can truly say with Paul that we are not in despair, nor are we forsaken, nor destroyed. The Lord has stood with us, and strengthened us, that ‘the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear’ (2 Tim. 4:17).”
In 1987 I travelled with a friend to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, a predominantly Roman Catholic country in southern Africa, to distribute Gospel tracts. This we did on street corners, in Roman Catholic seminaries, church buildings, etc.
We also began to contact priests, monks and nuns by post throughout southern Africa, sending them Gospel materials and offering them more if interested. Some requested more materials; others, however, responded with great anger and hatred; such as the one who returned one of our tracts to us in the post with the following words scrawled across it: “May the Archangel Michael throw you deep into hell, with all you reprobates!” Or the one who scrawled the following across our tract: “Get thee hence Satan” – with an arrow pointing at my name. Another burnt the tract, poured the ashes into an envelope, and returned it to us!
Our Gospel materials have always been supplied free of charge to Roman Catholics and other unconverted people. We have received reports of people being converted, in various parts of the world, after reading the literature.
But increasingly, the Lord was impressing it upon my heart that the work of Bible Based Ministries was, first and foremost, a ministry of providing teaching to Christian believers. The exposing of the Papal system, the Great Whore, and all its harlot “daughters” was one vital aspect of the work. In earlier times, Protestants were more “biblically literate”, and thus also acutely aware of just how antichristian Roman Catholicism is. They knew that the Papacy was the biblical Antichrist and that the Papal system was the Great Whore of Bible prophecy; they knew the many ways in which Romanism contradicted the Word of God; they knew it was not Christian. Huge Protestant meetings were held, at which lectures exposing Popery were given to enthusiastic crowds.
But the ecumenical movement of more recent times changed all this, as did the many long years of infiltration of Protestantism by Jesuits agents, so that today’s “Protestants” are “biblically illiterate”, ignorant about the true nature of Romanism, and – for the most part – so ensnared by Romish trappings themselves, and so ignorant even of the true Gospel of Christ, that today the work of a Bible-based Protestant ministry has to be just as directed at exposing the shocking state of what passes for Protestantism, as at exposing Romanism.
In addition, then, to exposing the Papal system and the errors of its “daughters”, the provision of biblical teaching, of “all the counsel of God”, became another, equally important aspect of the mission of Bible Based Ministries. We were finding that Christians throughout the world, in this day of abounding worldliness and compromise when few sound churches are to be found, were longing for teaching but were so often not receiving it; and through our literature and the recorded messages we sought to provide this. Our publications and recorded messages were being sent to people in many countries throughout the world. They were being used by all kinds of people, from Africans sitting under a tree to listen to a Gospel message, to people in North America, India, Europe and elsewhere.
In 1988 my first book, Satan’s Seat, was published. It gives a concise but panoramic view of the Roman Catholic institution, from its origins in ancient Babylonian heathenism to its final destruction according to Bible prophecy. As stated in the introduction to the book: “There are other materials which concentrate on one main aspect of Roman Catholicism (although these are often difficult to obtain today): its history, or its doctrines, or its origin, or something which it is doing now. All these are most important. But the purpose of this book is to tie the threads together…. the intention is to give a sweeping panoramic view of the whole picture.” It has remained our “vanguard” publication, and continues to be sent to people all over the world.
One day in 1988, in California, USA, a converted ex-Roman Catholic, one of Alberto Rivera’s co-workers, responsible for answering many of the letters which Rivera received, came across one of the Bible Based Ministries newsletters while rummaging through the post which was waiting to be answered. He contacted me, and thus began a friendship and fellowship which ultimately led to my wife and I making a number of trips to the United States over the years, meeting other believers, having many adventures, etc. I was able to assist brethren in two states to establish house churches. And it eventually led to this brother becoming our major distributor for the materials of Bible Based Ministries. Truly, the Lord knows the end from the beginning, and He works in mysterious and yet wonderful ways.
In addition, it was through the contact established with him that finally, the truth about Alberto Rivera was made known not only to myself, but to many others throughout the world. For as he and others worked closely with Rivera, they saw and heard many things that deeply troubled them about the man. The evidence continued to stack up, revealing Rivera to be nothing but a fraud and a con man. He was never a Jesuit priest, and his sinful lifestyle, for which he refused to repent, revealed that he was never truly converted to Christ. Amongst many other things, he got people to loan him large amounts of money which he promised to repay – but never did. And many people who purchased his materials never received them. It reached the point where they separated from him entirely. We made all this evidence available, and continue to do so. And thus, with hindsight, we are able to see that one of the reasons for our contact and involvement with Rivera for a time was so that we could play a part in exposing him to the world, in due time. This having been done, many have seen him for what he really was. The great work of exposing the Roman Catholic institution as the Great Whore of Bible prophecy does not need frauds such as Alberto Rivera, who do real harm to the cause of the Gospel. Such men must always be exposed.
In 1989 we carried out large-scale mail evangelism of the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, sending in thousands of tracts through the post. A small number contacted us after receiving the literature, seeking further help.
Out of the blue I received a phone call from a man claiming to be an evangelist, and wishing to meet me. When he arrived with a friend, he confessed that they were, in fact, from the Security Branch of the South African Police. All went well, although they “just happened” to meet a close relative that same day during her lunch break from work, and “just happened” to strike up a conversation with her and to ask about us. Obviously we had been monitored for some time. Their speciality was monitoring religious institutions. This was at the time when the South African government was engaged in an all-out war against the Communist terrorists seeking to overthrow the state; and these men well knew that Roman Catholic seminaries and other ecclesiastical places were being used by the terrorists as “safe houses”, places where they could hide from the police. And this was often provided in exchange for sodomite sexual favours. The policemen who visited me well knew the support being given to the terrorists by religious leaders preaching the heresy of “liberation theology”, and wanted to know what I knew about this diabolical doctrine. They asked me if I could make use of any of the literature they confiscated from these radical priests. And sure enough, some weeks later we returned home to find a book pushed under our door.
On a subsequent visit early the following year, they asked me if I would be willing to give a lecture on the subject of Roman Catholicism to the Security Branch. Of course I agreed, but sadly the opportunity never came. The writing was on the wall and these men knew it: they knew that it was just a matter of time before the government, once staunchly anti-Communist and staunchly anti-Romanist as well, would cave in to the demands of the terrorists. And indeed, just a few short years later, this is precisely what happened, and SA became a Marxist-controlled state.
In late 1990 my wife and I travelled to the United States, the first of many trips which we would make to that country; and there we spent two months with brethren in the Lord, and I was able to minister the Word, to baptize a few people, and to assist in the establishment of a small house church. In addition I was able to make plans for my book, Satan’s Seat, to be professionally printed for the first time, in the U.S. (its first two editions had simply been photocopied and bound). This far better printed edition became available in 1991. A fourth edition was published in 1995.
In early 1991 the Bible Based Ministries Newsletter became the much-expanded Bible Based Ministries Magazine, containing articles of a doctrinal and practical nature, articles on Bible prophecy, historical articles, exposés of false religion, particularly Roman Catholicism, and of course the current news items on Romanism and related subjects which we had always included in the newsletter.
It was in 1991, also, that we obtained our first computer. This was donated to us. Little did we, or anyone else in those days, imagine how computers would change our lives, opening up still new and greater avenues of service than ever before.
By the end of that year we had 70 sermon titles available on cassette, with more being added all the time; we had our own book available, with another one soon to follow; there were various Gospel tracts available; and we also stocked a number of books by other authors.
We also returned to the USA, spending some months there, where I continued to assist the small church established on my previous visit, and it was also on this visit that our U.S. distribution centre was first cemented.
In 1992 my second book was published: The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter. It was printed in the U.S. This book documents the fact that these festivals are of pagan and Popish origin: a fact which was once well known to Protestants, but which is no longer the case. This too continues to be widely distributed, and has helped many to see the unbiblical nature of these festivals, and to reject them as their Protestant forebears in the faith once did.
And as we continued to send out our materials, not only to professing Christians but to Papists as well, we received many interesting letters. Many were favourable, and we always rejoiced when one told of the Lord’s work in his or her heart as a result of reading the literature or listening to the sermons. From time to time, of course, as we continued to send Gospel tracts to priests, monks and nuns, we received angry and hate-filled responses. Once, for example, a priest of Rome sent two of our tracts back to us, with his comments scrawled all over them. Some of his comments were: “God bless our Pope. The Great! The Good!” “Ride on to Hell!” “You Idiot! Try and study the Faith before you judge!” “You are a poor fool. Leave our Church alone! Only fools act the way you do.” “You turn away from your rubbish. Poor fool!” And this one, scrawled next to a paragraph in the tract describing Rome’s massacres of Christians: “Good” (and people believe Rome has changed, and is sweet and kind today, loving the Protestants and sorry for what it did to them in the past?).
A prominent Roman Catholic priest called me on the phone, branding the tracts “filth”, full of “half-truths”, etc.; and yet, when asked if he could tell us what, precisely, was incorrect in the literature, he then replied that he had never read them!
In the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, various Protestant ministries existed with similar objectives to that of Bible Based Ministries; but times have certainly changed. In those pre-ecumenical days, Papists were often far more violent: savage attacks by Roman Catholic mobs would frequently be made on Protestant preachers, urged on by their priests. Riots would occur. One just has to read the experiences of men like the nineteenth-century converted ex-priest Charles Chiniquy, amongst many others, to see how things were in those days. But today, Rome wears a smiling mask and advances via ecumenism, and is far more subtle in its opposition to biblical Christianity. Every now and then, though, her real nature shines through, that steely hatred for the truth which has never left her. Her priests may not (usually) use those old, violent methods; but many of them would certainly love to! And wherever they can get away with it, they do.
In 1993 we again visited the United States. During this trip I was interviewed on radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about the momentous events then taking place in South Africa, and how they would affect the Christian Church. And in the “Ministry Report” in the magazine after our U.S. sojourn, I wrote, “We have returned to a South Africa in the throes of a violent revolution and on the brink of a Communist takeover”. Indeed we were just a few short months away from the 1994 election which brought the Communists to power. Nearer the time I wrote, “In a matter of weeks now, an election will be held in South Africa which (unless the Lord is pleased to intervene) will see the Communist-controlled African National Congress come to power; and a great, prosperous, free country will be in the hands of men bent on an absolute dictatorship, and the eradication of biblical Christianity.”
In the 1980s, more than ever before, South Africa became the centre of a worldwide assault, and everywhere priests of Rome, and so-called “Protestant” ministers, were supporting the South African Communist Party and its partner, the African National Congress (ANC). The diabolical doctrine of liberation theology (religious Communism) was in full swing. It thus became an important part of the work of Bible Based Ministries to expose the role of the Vatican, the World Council of Churches and the South African Council of Churches, in supporting the Communist revolution against South Africa. In the early years of Bible Based Ministries, I thought it would operate as similar Protestant ministries had operated in the past, and as such ministries were still operating in the U.S. and elsewhere in the west, combatting ecumenism, the interfaith movement, etc. But being based in South Africa, there were significant differences. Although ecumenism, the interfaith movement, etc., were just as prevalent in South Africa as elsewhere, and we did – and do – combat them, churches in South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s faced an additional, diabolical heresy – one which dominated the religious arena in those decades: liberation theology. We were living through a Marxist revolution, one which was supported by the Roman Catholic institution and various “Protestant” institutions, which justified the revolution by means of this heresy known as liberation theology (i.e. religious Communism). This false political “gospel” overshadowed almost everything else in those years. It is still a major heresy today, with which we have to constantly contend. And now it has jumped from Africa and Latin America into the United States, and parts of Europe.
South Africa was at war; and it was a war that it was losing. In 1987 I wrote in our newsletter: “South Africa is the focus of the world right now. As in other African lands, the Roman Catholic Institution is using Liberation Theology to gain control over South Africa and her people, traditionally a nominally ‘Protestant’ country (and for that reason a target of the Vatican). Shouting its mouth off about ‘human rights violations’ in South Africa, the greatest violator of ‘human rights’ in the history of mankind has plans of her own for this country – and Marxism is the muscle she is using to achieve her purposes.”
Today we live in the very Communist country for which the Vatican and the WCC worked so hard. The world forces arrayed against South Africa were ultimately successful: in 1994 the Communist-controlled African National Congress (ANC) took power, via a rigged election and after a brutal revolution that left over 50 000 people dead. The lead article of the April-May 1994 issue of the Bible Based Ministries Magazine was, “South Africa Now Under Communist Domination!”
The world rejoiced and viewed the ANC’s victory as a “victory for democracy”, but in reality it was an immense tragedy. Ever since then, the country has been in freefall in every possible way: politically, economically, morally. Under ANC rule, law and order collapsed: South Africa became a violent and increasingly lawless country, with the highest murder rate in the world; health care and education deteriorated rapidly; and most ominous of all for believers, there were increasing signs of growing intolerance towards biblical Christianity, as the ecumenical and multifaith movements were encouraged by the government, and laws were implemented which in essence made it illegal to preach the Gospel of the grace of God freely.
In 1995 we began, for the first time, to publish various articles, which had first appeared in the magazine, in pamphlet form. This was a new ministry, and has continued to prove useful ever since, as further teaching tools for Christians desiring to grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures.
Meanwhile the magazine continued to be sent out. As I wrote in a “Ministry Report” in 1995: “With thankfulness to the Lord we once again are received into the homes of our readers via this magazine. There are some who welcome us only once, and then shut the door firmly upon us thereafter! Others read the magazine for a while, enjoying it, until they read something in it that they don’t like, and we never hear from them again. Then there are the few who joyfully welcome us, year after year, into their homes and hearts. For our part, we seek to ‘sow beside all waters’ (Isa. 32:20). If we do not say what a reader wants us to say, if we do not tickle the ears, or if we offend those who love sugar-coating but not biblical truth, however unpalatable it may at times be, we reply simply that we must give an account to God, and not to men. ‘For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ’ (Gal. 1:10). ‘Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?’ (Gal. 4:16).”
In 1996, some important changes with regards to the distribution of our materials were implemented: for a number of reasons, and after much prayerful consideration, we decided that our U.S. distributor, Contending for the Faith Ministries, would become our international distributor, in charge of all distribution of our materials worldwide. This new system worked very well for many years, although the time eventually came when, because of the extremely high U.S. postal rates, we had to make changes again, with Contending for the Faith continuing to distribute our CDs worldwide, but distributing our books in North America alone. Other arrangements were made for distributing the books worldwide.
That same year my wife and I again visited the United States for an extended period. Amongst many other things, I was interviewed by a brother in Christ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the situation facing Christians in South Africa; and these interviews were aired as four short TV programmes on a public access channel.
And also in 1996, two years after the Communist victory, my book, “Holy War” Against South Africa, was published. It was subtitled “How the Vatican and various Protestant institutions supported South Africa’s Communist revolution…and why.” This fully-documented book demonstrates that the South African revolution would never have succeeded without the immense support of the Vatican, the WCC, and other religious institutions, who threw their weight behind the Communist revolutionaries.
It was at first published simply in photocopied, spiralbound format. It was not until 2003 that it was finally professionally published in London.
The second edition of The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter was also published in this year.
Something else occurred in 1996 which was a cause of personal joy to me, as well as being of eternal benefit to the one concerned. The Pentecostal pastor whose assistant I had been all those years before when I was in that movement, providentially got in touch with us again after many years. He had left the Pentecostal “ministry”, and was “examining himself, whether he was in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). During the next few months we held weekly Bible studies together, and he was in much soul-travail as he sought the Lord; but finally, the Lord was pleased to reveal His Son Jesus in him, saving his soul. It was my privilege and joy to baptize him. What a testimony to the sovereign grace of God, that a man who had been a Pentecostal pastor for many years was enabled by divine grace to see his lost condition, and to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith! We rejoiced to welcome him and his wife into membership in our local church.
In 1997 we were again back in the United States. I was again interviewed for the TV programme produced by my brother in Christ. We also had the opportunity to visit the world headquarters of the Mormon religion, the largest cult in the world after Roman Catholicism, in Salt Lake City, Utah. We stood on top of the 26-storey office building that is the Mormon nerve centre, from where we had a commanding view of the Mormon “holy of holies”, the temple itself, with its giant golden image of their so-called “angel Moroni” on its pinnacle. The Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, claimed that this “angel” told him where to find golden plates which he claimed to translate as the “Book of Mormon”. This book, of course, is full of utter fabrications and contradicts the Bible, and Smith was influenced by a demonic “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). What hellish spiritual darkness! As with Romanism, the dreadful spiritual plight of those within Mormonism should move all true Christians to evangelise the Mormon people whenever they come into contact with them, or when their zealous young missionaries come to their doors!
By this time Bible Based Ministries had contacts in 29 countries. From some countries we received a large amount of correspondence, whereas from others it was just a trickle; but we praised the Lord for each contact, for each opening He had given.
In 1998 we started using e-mail. A small thing in itself, at the time, but the world was computerised and this was now essential. Having e-mail made communication much faster and more efficient. Having our own website was still some years away, but this was a very good start.
The following year, we were able to report that one of our Gospel tracts was now available in French for the first time. We had had a translation of one of them in Afrikaans for some years, but this was the first in a European language spoken by millions of Roman Catholics.
For some time I had been in the habit of writing letters to the paper whenever the Lord or His blessed Gospel was attacked, or a false “gospel” was promoted. In late 1999 I wrote a letter in response to an article the newspaper had published by a homosexual ex-Anglican priest, who had written approvingly of a Gay and Lesbian Pride Day march through the streets of Johannesburg, and had attacked Bible-believing Christians. The paper published my letter, and it stirred up “an incredible hornet’s nest” (to quote one of the editors). For weeks afterwards, the letters column of the paper carried letter after letter on the subject, and these were only a portion of the letters actually received by the paper on the topic. I was interviewed by the paper for an article, which was duly published, which provoked still further responses from the public, including one man who said he almost choked on his breakfast when he opened the paper and saw my photograph accompanying the article!
As I wrote after this in the magazine: “Wherever Paul went and preached, he caused a stir! There were often riots in the streets as wicked men, offended by the truth he preached, sought to kill him. Read Acts 19, or Acts 13:50, 14:2, 17:13 and 21:27…. Brethren, if our message does not offend the wicked, agitate the sinful, and stir the unrighteous to anger, then we have failed to preach the truth; for the Gospel truth is always offensive to those who love sin and hate righteousness. God’s holy law condemns the sinner, and this it must do, for the Gospel, the good news, can only be embraced once a man has first heard the bad news: that he is a lost, hell-bound sinner, and that there is no hope for his soul apart from Jesus Christ, the only Way, Truth, and Life, the only Saviour of sinners.”
In early 2001 I visited Zambia. For many years we had been corresponding with Christian men incarcerated on death row in a maximum security prison in that country: men who were once hardened criminals, but who read the truth of the Gospel in some of our literature, which in God’s providence found its way into this prison, and professed salvation from their sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A church was established in that dark place; and week by week they assembled together to listen to the taped sermons we sent them. It had long been my desire to visit them; and in early 2001 I was able to fly to Lusaka, Zambia, with a brother in Christ from the United States, our purpose being to attempt to get to see the prisoners, and to deliver some clothes and other items to them. In the process we were almost arrested!
Knowing that it was an offence in Zambia to film government buildings, I had no intention of doing so, but as we were still a long way from the prison buildings, and were passing an open field, I had my video camera running. We stopped at a gate, and an irate prison warden came up and angrily confiscated the video cassette. We were surrounded by a number of prison officials, and things started to get ugly very quickly (to put it mildly), not so much because of the video, which was soon forgotten, but simply because we were there. Although we had an official permit from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the wardens said this was worthless: they insisted that a permit was necessary from the Department of Home Affairs. This was Socialist African bureaucracy at work! After confiscating our passports, the officer in charge told us to go and see the commissioner, to obtain permission to enter the prison. We did so, but – possibly hoping for a bribe – he refused to grant us permission. Back we went to the prison, where the officer in charge said that although we could not see the prisoners, we could leave the items we had brought for them – even though the commissioner had said we could not! Every single item we had brought for the brethren in prison was carefully itemised. By this time the wardens were very apologetic, saying it was sad that we had come such a long way and yet were denied permission to see the prisoners. We later learned that all the items were safely delivered to the prisoners.
We did not view the trip as a failure. We, foreigners from two other countries, had come to give aid to men we had never met; and who knows but that the Lord may have used this very incident to stir the hearts of some of those hardened officials to seek after the Lord Christ? The Lord’s ways are not our ways. And in the Lord’s providence, even the confiscation of the video cassette served a good purpose. For if we had not been questioned where we were, a long way from the prison buildings themselves, we would have continued on right up to the doors of the maximum security prison, and possibly been invited in by some low-ranking warden, only to be caught inside the prison itself! Thus did “all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28).
In 2002, through the generosity of dear friends and brethren in Christ, I made a brief but exciting trip to Athens and Paris. It was nevertheless of deep historical interest to me to see these places, as a Christian, a Bible Protestant, and a minister; and I shared my impressions in the ministry’s magazine when I returned. For as an important purpose of Bible Based Ministries is to expose the antichristian and idolatrous nature of the Papal religion, and to uphold biblical Protestantism (which is nothing less than biblical Christianity), there are lessons to be learned from the histories of those countries which have great relevance to true Christians as they contend for the faith against Roman Catholicism. What follows is abridged from what I wrote after returning:
“I ‘travelled back in time’ in Athens, by visiting the ancient ruins and heathen monuments found in that city, all built centuries before the Saviour walked on earth. How tragic that multitudes worshipped at the ornate shrines to these heathen divinities – these demons (1 Cor. 10:20) – in this ‘city wholly given to idolatry’ (Acts 17:16). But, blessed be God, the light of the glorious Gospel came to this city! For Paul the apostle came to Athens; and he beheld the idolatry of the Athenians; and his spirit was stirred in him (Acts 17:15,16,22,23). And ‘therefore disputed he … in the market daily with them that met with him’ (Acts 17:17). I stood in the ruins of that very marketplace, in the valley below the Acropolis, and I imagined the apostle preaching there.
“And certain Greek philosophers encountered him there; ‘and they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus [called ‘Mars’ hill’ in v.22], saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?’ (vv.18,19). And how exciting it was for me to stand on that very hill! In my mind’s eye I could picture the scene: there, in the very shadow of the Acropolis where the heathen gathered to worship their goddess Athena, Paul preached to them, condemning their idolatry, telling them that God dwells not in temples made with hands, and that the Godhead is not like unto gold or silver or stone, graven by art and man’s device (vv.22-29).
“From Athens I travelled to Paris. And there I saw a more modern example of idolatry: the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, with its idolatrous images of Mary and various Papist ‘saints’, its high altar where the blasphemy of the mass is repeated, and its grotesque gargoyles, supposedly representing the souls of people between heaven and earth – a tragic reminder of the utterly false theology of Romanism…. [Notre Dame] is as much a heathen temple as the Parthenon in Athens.
“Paris is a city full of history. And what a history! As I walked through the magnificent Palace of Versailles, that history was almost tangible. The arrogant Papist kings and queens of France, the terrible French Revolution with all its bloodshed and tragedy, which changed the world forever and was a divine judgment upon the system of the Beast. Some hours were spent in the famous Louvre, where both the artistic genius and the blindness of man are revealed: artistic genius, in that the great artists of Europe were men of such vast talents and skill; and yet their spiritual blindness shows forth so clearly, in that their works reflect their Romanism, with their paintings of Mary and the so-called ‘saints’, and their sinful attempts at depicting the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
“I thought of the terrible persecutions of Protestants which occurred in Paris – such as what is known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, when in the year 1572 tens of thousands of Protestant Huguenots were massacred by fanatical Papist mobs, led by their priests, so that the beautiful streets of Paris literally ran with blood. And even today, France is in the forefront of the European Union’s persecution of Protestants via legislation and judicial interference in religious matters…. Romanism and Socialism are extremely powerful forces in that land.
“And so I returned to my own Marxist country, having seen something of the world of yesterday and the modern Europe of today, and giving thanks to the Lord that the Gospel, that same blessed message which Paul preached on Mars’ hill, is still being preached today, in a very different world, but still a world of idolatry and persecution, and a world still in desperate need of that same soul-saving message! The idols of ancient Athens are in museums now, but modern man worships idols still: a piece of bread is adored as God; idols of a woman, called by her devotees the ‘Blessed Virgin’, are worshipped by multitudes more than ever prostrated themselves before the giant image of Athena that once stood on the Acropolis…. Times have changed, but the heart of man remains the same.”
In early 2003 one of our Gospel tracts addressed to Roman Catholics was made available in Serbian. Also, we added a Gospel tract addressed to Hindus to the ones we already had for Papists and unconverted Protestants. Our local church attempted to have 4000 of these tracts distributed in a predominantly Hindu section of our city. We engaged the services of a distribution company to deliver them directly to each and every household. However, only about 400 had been distributed when the company was inundated with phone calls from angry Hindus; and the company manager immediately put a stop to all further distribution.
But that was not the end of it. In a local newspaper an article appeared, entitled “Outrage at anti-Hindu leaflet.” The paper had interviewed various Hindus who had received the tract. Commenting on behalf of the Hindu Divine Life Society, one leader said, “The remarks in the leaflet are inflammatory and do not contribute towards inter-religious harmony.” They weren’t meant to! This response was typical of the interfaith movement sweeping the world today. The president of the SA Hindu Maha Sabah said he was deeply insulted. “It is unfortunate,” he said, “that once again some members of the Christian faith who are insecure with their own religion, choose to attack another religion…. One can only feel sorry for them. However, Hindus will not take this kind of criticism lying down and unless Mr Willcock retracts his blasphemous statements, he will feel the wrath of Hindus whose religion teaches tolerance but who will not hesitate to protect their faith against unnecessary attacks.” In addition, a police spokesman, a Hindu, said the tract went against clauses in the SA Constitution which protect religious freedom. He added, “The leaflet appears to be the work of people who for some reason or other, believe their religion is the only authentic religion and is superior to all other religions.”
Yes indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way, truth, and life, and no man comes to the Father but by Him, which means that the religions of the world are false and lead to hell. But the so-called interfaith movement teaches that all religions are authentic; none is superior to any other.
Nothing further came of the Hindus’ threats. But the interfaith position has been adopted by the SA Constitution, and thus the proclamation of the biblical Gospel is essentially illegal, now, in SA! How relevant Acts 4:29 has become to us! “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word”. This is our prayer.
In 2003 my book, “Holy War” Against South Africa, was published in England. Up until this time, ever since 1996, it had been available in spiralbound, photocopied format; but now it was professionally printed. We rejoiced for this, as it found its way into even more places than before.
In our magazine in early 2003 I included a piece in our “Ministry Report” entitled, “Brethren, pray for us!” In it, I sought to give our readers in other parts of the world an idea of just how bad things were becoming in South Africa, and how this was impacting our lives and our ministry. This was read by a brother in Christ in Northern Ireland, who then felt led of the Lord to invite me to minister to various churches in his country, mostly on the topic of “Contending for Christ in South Africa”.
And so it was that in late 2003 my wife, young daughter and I travelled to the United Kingdom. We first spent time with my sister and brother-in-law in England; and while there, thanks to his faithful labours, a website for Bible Based Ministries at last came into being. We had long desired to have our own website, and ever since then it has played a vital role in expanding the work of the ministry around the world. We bless the Lord for this. It opened up new outreach opportunities and brought this ministry to many more people than ever before. By means of the website, our pamphlets and articles have been made available to a far larger readership than would ever have been possible with the printed page alone.
Then we went to Northern Ireland for what proved to be an intensive, but richly rewarding, time of ministry in that troubled country, and of precious fellowship with the Lord’s people. During the almost three-week visit, we travelled some 2000 miles by car across the country, and I preached seventeen times to an approximate total of 2000 people. Everywhere we were warmly received. Northern Ireland was facing a very similar situation to that which South Africa faced in the years before the Communist victory in 1994, and everywhere I preached people would come up to me afterwards and say that the parallels were striking. It was a pleasure to minister God’s Word, and to be so welcomed into the hearts of Christians. It was very touching to me, after one service, to have a gentleman come up to me and say, “I’m 91 years old, and I will pray for you for the rest of my life!” There were people who had received our magazine over the years, and other materials, who made a special effort to attend the meetings and introduce themselves to us. Even though I was preaching essentially the same message in every church, there were some people who attended more than once – and were happy to do so. Many nights we returned home around midnight or even later, after hours of fellowship.
Our books sold very well. We had shipped copies of Satan’s Seat to Northern Ireland prior to the meetings; but we could have sold many more, for all the copies were sold out after only a few meetings. As for “Holy War” Against South Africa, these were ordered from the publisher, and there was great interest in the book; and all copies ordered were sold out as well. People placed orders for more copies of the books.
One of the audio recordings of the message was put on the internet, and the overview of the message stated: “This is a message for the world for what is happening today in South Africa will be happening in many other places tomorrow.” We were also greatly encouraged by the following comments from a listener to the message: “Powerful message to all believers – especially those of us dwelling in the make believe world of ‘Comfortable Christianity’ (Take up your silver slippers and follow me?) where persecution and martyrdom only occasionally appear somewhere buried on a dusty book shelf under ‘History of the Reformation’. Every minister and Christian believer should hear this message, especially in the west – take heed and be forewarned, providentially pricked to pray. Every believer should be informed re: the situation in South Africa and Northern Ireland. All the people of God should continually and fervently pray that Christ’s servants in these lands – especially Pastors – be strengthened to hold fast and preach the gospel faithfully.”
In early 2004 I was interviewed telephonically for half an hour by a Wisconsin-based radio show, which was broadcast via the internet with an audience from across the United States and other countries. We also began a new service: my articles began to be emailed to all on our email list, as well as being posted to our website, these being an analysis of news pertaining to the Roman Catholic institution, the Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. For many years we had provided such a service with the “News Items” section in the ministry magazine; but now via email and the net, the information was even more current, and also more detailed as much more could be written and published electronically than space permitted in the magazine. At the same time we began to issue an analysis of news from South Africa, which was disseminated in the same way, the purpose being to inform people about the unfolding drama in this deeply troubled land.
These articles greatly helped to increase our readership and interest in the work of Bible Based Ministries around the world. Additional articles were being constantly added to the website.
In 2006 the decision was taken to stop issuing the Bible Based Ministries Magazine, and to begin issuing a much shorter newsletter instead. This was done because the use we were now making of the world wide web had greatly expanded our work, with people accessing our website from all over the world in ever-increasing numbers, and requesting to be added to our email list. We were sending articles to all on our list via email, and posting them to our website; and we planned to also post all our pamphlets, both new and old, to the website. In fact, everything that had been a part of the ministry magazine up until that point would in the future be sent out by email, and be posted to the website. This was very advantageous, in four ways: 1)our publications reached people far more swiftly, by this means; 2)we were able to publish much more, as we were not bound to space limitations, etc., when making use of email and the web; 3)it was much cheaper; 4)we were able to reach a far wider readership than ever before. People were visiting our website from countries and places where we never before had any readership. And our email list grew, in a matter of months, to a size which it took years for our “snail mail” mailing list to reach!
Of course, many throughout the world did not have internet access, and so we continued to post the newsletter to them, and to offer our materials in printed format as well.
For some years I had been publishing a series of articles in the magazine (which subsequently were converted into pamphlets) entitled “Trappings of Popery”. As the series progressed, I had a growing desire to see them all published together as a single book, if the Lord willed. As we prayed about this, the Lord in His goodness brought this to pass; and in 2007 the book, Trappings of Popery, was published. The book’s purpose was to bring to the reader’s attention various Popish trappings to be found in the lives of true Christians: such things as pictorial representations of Christ, Arminianism, infant “baptism”, the image and sign of the cross, ministerial titles and garb, etc., etc. We blessed the Lord that it began to be widely circulated almost right away.
In 2008, after much faithful labour by dear friends in the United States, almost all our recorded sermons and lectures, by then numbering over 250 titles, which up until this point had only been available on cassette tapes, were at last made available as CDs. Tapes were still widely used in many African and other “Third World” countries, but everywhere else CDs had replaced them, and it had become essential to have our messages in CD format. The Lord brought this to pass, and we rejoiced over it.
2008 also saw the publication of my next book, The Sabbath and the Lord’s Day, which in addition to my own work contained the works of various authors of the past on this subject, such as William Tyndale, John Bunyan, John Gill, Isaac Backus, and Gilbert Beebe. The book’s purpose is to demonstrate from Scripture that the first day of the week is the day for corporate worship, but that no day – neither the seventh nor the first day of the week – is a Sabbath for Christians. The seventh-day Sabbath was a shadow, Christ is the substance (Col. 2:16,17), and with His coming all the shadows gave way to the substance. On the other hand, those who claim they keep the first day as a Sabbath in obedience to the fourth commandment have changed the day; changed the manner of observing it; and changed the reason for observing it. This can hardly be called observing the fourth commandment.
In rejecting the concept of a ‘Christian Sabbath’, however, we do not in any sense reject the fact that the moral law of God is eternal, binding on all men in all ages. We are not Antinomians, we love the law of Zion, for we love Zion’s King. But what saith the Scripture? This is all that matters.
We also began a new category of articles, entitled History Without the Humbug, its purpose being to counter the deliberate re-writing of history, in this age when history is being re-written by Marxists, liberals, and others. Very rapidly, the truth about the past is being “revised”, and unless this wicked revisionism is resisted, coming generations will be thoroughly indoctrinated with lies and myths presented as “truth”. Already vast damage has been done, and even many adults who lived through the more recent historical events have been so well indoctrinated, and conditioned to think along the “party” line, that they actually believe the lies and myths they have been fed. Very few people think critically anymore. They do not even know how to do so. They simply swallow whatever they are told by their Red, almost-Red, and religious-Red Masters.
It was very thrilling for my wife and I to be able to visit Egypt in 2008. One of the main objectives of Bible Based Ministries is to expose the pagan origins of Popery, which is nothing but the modern version of the ancient Babylonian religion known as Baal worship; and as Baal worship took root and flourished in ancient Egypt and much of Popery can be traced to the rites and ceremonies practiced in Egypt so long ago, the study of ancient Egyptian idolatry is extremely valuable and helpful in exposing Popery. Furthermore, another objective is to defend and uphold the absolute accuracy and reliability of the Holy Scriptures, and there are so many connections between Egypt and the Bible.
We visited the astounding pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Then we went to the Cairo Museum of Antiquities, a vast, imposing building filled with the immense treasures and wealth of ancient Egypt: gigantic statues of the great pharaohs, mummies, chariots, sarcophagi, etc. It would take months to do justice to this wonderful museum. But what was most wonderful of all was to see the sarcophagus and statues of Queen Hatshepsut, who in all likelihood was the “pharaoh’s daughter” who found the baby Moses in the Nile and raised him as her own son. Our tour guide tried to convince us that Moses dealt with Pharaoh Ramses II, as that is the usually accepted version, but chronologically it is not possible. As we gazed at the queen’s sarcophagus, we thought of Moses and his relationship to this strange woman who had raised him as her own son in the courts of Pharaoh. Had he been present when his powerful foster mother had been lowered into that very sarcophagus we were looking at? It was a tangible and somewhat tender link to Moses, the greatest character of the Old Testament.
Our voyage down the ancient, history-laden Nile was utterly fascinating and informative. It was sobering to reflect that the watery path our ship cut through this great river immediately closed behind us, and was no more. We left no trace, just as all the other hundreds of thousands of vessels that had sailed on this river for thousands of years had left no trace. Today we were there; tomorrow we would be gone, and the Nile would not change for our having been there. Entire empires had risen and fallen on the banks of this river. Man thinks he is so great, so important, but “time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly, forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.”
We visited the Philae Temple ruins, dedicated to the usual Egyptian “trinity” of deities (today within Popery they are still worshipped!); Kom Ombo, a temple dedicated to the crocodile god and the falcon god; the Horus Temple.; the Karnak Temple, largest temple complex ever built in the world; and Luxor Temple, with its gigantic statue of Ramses and its obelisk for Queen Hatshepsut. Just as interesting was the pool of Hatshepsut, where the queen would bathe. Perhaps Moses visited that very pool at times. We also visited the temple and burial place of Queen Hatshepsut, an awe-inspiring, magnificent architectural wonder. At Luxor we visited the famed Valley of the Kings, where many of Egypt’s pharaohs are buried, and we went into three different tombs there: those of Ramses I, II and III.
This trip to Egypt was a trip back through time to an age when men who thought they were divine ruled the land, and the river with more history attached to it than any other on earth was the life blood of a kingdom. Times have certainly changed, and yet men’s hearts remain the same: a supposed god-king sits today in the city on seven hills
In 2011 we held a Bible Protestants’ Convention in Johannesburg, South Africa. My morning lecture was entitled To be a Bible Protestant in the 21st Century, and in the afternoon my lecture was entitled Four Centuries of the Protestant Bible (1611-2011): the King James Version vs. Rome. This was followed by a question-and-answer session which lasted for another hour. As 2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the King James Version, the most accurate and faithful version of the Bible in English that has ever been published, and as Bible Based Ministries has always promoted the use of this version and the rejection of all modern “per-versions”, it was most appropriate that we commemorated this wonderful and momentous event in the history of Christianity.
We were able to make all Bible Based Ministries pamphlets available for downloading and printing free of charge from our website. These pamphlets had for many years been a means of providing Christians with concise teaching on many topics: the inspiration of Scripture, the King James Version, the Holy Trinity, Christ’s eternal Sonship, predestination, election, the Roman Catholic institution, the Jesuits, separation from the world, Hollywood’s evil, Bible prophecy, baptism, prayer, modesty in dress, Charismatic error, Church history, parental discipline of children, contending for the faith, the use of computers, feminism, even the subject of Christian couples and contraception.
We also published a new edition of the book, “Holy War” Against South Africa, with forty photographs included. And of course, year by year we continued to add many new CDs to our extensive list of recorded sermons and lectures.
By 2012 all our Gospel tracts had become available online. And The Jesuits: the Secret Army of the Papacy was published. This was based on a series of pamphlets I had written some years before, on the subject of the Jesuits. We live in a time when so little is known of the Jesuits, and yet so much needs to be known. The New Testament abounds with warnings of wolves in sheep’s clothing: men pretending to be part of the flock of Christ, but in reality wolves disguised as sheep, ministers of Satan pretending to be ministers of righteousness, infiltrating the churches of Christ and bent on destroying them. And for centuries a ruthless, cunning, secret army has served the global conquest objectives of the Roman Papacy: the Jesuit Order, the most diabolical, fanatical and dangerous of all Roman Catholic orders. It stops at nothing in the relentless pursuit of its goal: to destroy all enemies of the Papacy, and to enchain the world to the feet of the pope of Rome. And against Protestantism, in particular, the Jesuits have always directed their energies, by infiltration of Protestant churches, posing as Protestant ministers, undermining the true faith, sowing discord and heresy, and a whole host of evil schemes. The shocking state of professing Protestant “Christendom” today is ample testimony that they have been all too successful. There was a great need for an easy-to-read book exposing the Jesuit Order.
Also in 2012, Satan’s Seat became available as an e-book, in addition to the printed version; and this was soon followed by The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter. This was another milestone, providing yet another means for the truth to be spread in the electronic age.
We also began to make available, on our website, testimony tracts of former Roman Catholic priests and nuns who were converted to Christ, to be used, like our Gospel tracts, to reach Roman Catholics with the truth. They are wonderful accounts of the Lord’s grace and mercy to men and women who were once blind slaves of the Papal system.
The Life and Ministry of Samson the Strong was published in 2013. A few years before I had preached a series of sermons on Samson, and a number of the Lord’s people said that these messages, available on CD, were very encouraging and edifying to them. This response prompted me to write a book on Samson’s life and ministry.
Mention Samson’s name, and the two things that immediately come to mind are his great strength, and his great sins. But to narrowly focus only on these two aspects of his remarkable life is to miss out on the immense blessing the Christian can receive from a proper study of the life of this amazing man. There is so much more to Samson! His is a story like no other: the true account of a man whose like was never seen before, and would never be seen again. He was Israel’s judge and Israel’s champion; Israel’s hero and deliverer; one of God’s ministers, a man who loved the Lord, a man of faith; and yet a man who fell at times into terrible sin. And the biblical account of his life is immensely profitable to every Christian, for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
Throughout this 30-year period, the Lord has wonderfully met our needs. It would take far too long to rehearse, at this time, all that the Lord has done, year by year, in providing our needs; it would fill a small book. Suffice it to say that He has always supplied all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. We have seen marvellous answers to prayer, God’s miraculous provision at just the right moment, time and time again.
In conclusion, the purpose of Bible Based Ministries is the same today as it has been for so many years:
1) To provide Christians with teaching from the Word of God, which: instructs them in the doctrines of the faith; exhorts them to soundness in doctrine and holiness in conduct; warns them of spiritual and physical dangers; reproves error, and rebukes sin.
2) To provide Christians with teaching, in the light of God’s Word, which: instructs them about the false doctrines, pagan origin, evil history, present activities, and future judgment of the Roman Catholic institution; instructs them about its “daughter” institutions; warns them of its plans against, and assaults upon, the Christian faith and the Christian Church, and of the various trappings of Romanism to be found even within Christian churches and the lives of true Christians; and exhorts them to separate from all such trappings, and also to take a prayerful and active interest in the evangelisation of Roman Catholics.
3) To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Roman Catholic people, and to all who are lost; to baptize converts; and to teach them to observe all that Christ commanded.
Our ministries include the publication of books, pamphlets and tracts, and the production of CDs; correspondence with Christians, Roman Catholics, and many others; the preaching of the Gospel, and the distribution of Gospel literature; establishing local churches, and assisting others to establish such churches, as and where the Lord opens the doors, even if they consist of no more than two or three believers (Matt. 18:20); etc. By the Lord’s grace, small churches have been established in the United States, the United Kingdom, Zambia and South Africa.
To God be all the glory!
The first edition of this article appeared in the 25th Anniversary Edition of the Bible Based Ministries Newsletter, No. 110, August – October 2008; and was then expanded for the 30th Anniversary Edition, No. 120, September 2013. It has been slightly edited so as to be issued in this pamphlet format.
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
Bible Based Ministries
Contending for the Faith Ministries
42055 Crestland Drive
Lancaster, CA 93536