The spirit of the Discipleship Movement was evident as far back as the sixth century in the Catholic Church and it was also evident in John Wesley’s teachings. John Wesley was an Anglican who founded the Methodist Church in England and America and established a form of discipleship in the Methodist Church. I also see the spirit of discipleship operating in every denomination of the “so-called” church, today. It is a dominating, ruling spirit; it is the gentile spirit. If you read the postings on my web page A Nation Bringing Forth Fruit, about the Puritans, who arrived in America in the early 1630s, it is evident they were also a ruling, dominating group, operating in that same spirit.
The Catholic Church believes they have preeminence in the earth and all will become subject to them. But that is not true. I am an Apostle, sent by God to the world and I have authority over the pope, the cardinals, the bishops, all of them and we are building the body of Christ. My authority is through the apostle and prophet Jesus, in me. I do not do my own will; I do the will of the Father. I don’t speak my own words; I speak the words of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Spirit.
The influence of the Catholic Church extends to the Church of England, the Anglican Church and denominations which have come out the Anglican Church, and there are many. Derek Prince also grew up in the Anglican Church.
Discipleship was also taught and practiced by Watchman Nee. Watchman Nee (born Nee Shu Tsu) was born in China in1903 to second generation Methodist parents. He was born again at age seventeen while still in high school and chose the name Watchman for himself as he believed God raised him up as a watchman to “sound a warning in the dark night”. It is said he read a great number of spiritual books and had a collection of over 3000 books which included all the classical writers from the First century, on. He became familiar with many of these books through Margaret Barber, an Anglican missionary.
When God sent me back to Texas I planned on re-establishing my equine veterinary practice and instead God put me in the Holiday Inn for ten weeks. Bob Mumford had recommended the book, The Normal Christian Life, by Watchman Nee and I brought it with me from Florida. It was about the book of Romans and after I read part way through the book I thought, “I can read as well as anyone, I don’t need to read this book, I can read Romans myself.” I spent those ten weeks in the Holiday Inn, studying the first five chapters in Romans and in those 10 weeks and those five chapters in Romans, God revealed to me that I was justified by faith and I was on my way out of the Holiday Inn! Someone else gave me the book Spiritual Authority, by Watchman Nee and after I had read about two-thirds of it I said, “This is not of God; it’s not God at all. This is the devil.” I didn’t need to read any more books or commentaries about the bible. I was a capable student when I was at the university, my instructors finding me doing research which was beyond their knowledge and ability to even grade. Therefore, I concluded I didn’t need anyone else to tell me what the bible said, I could read and study it myself, and God said He would give me understanding and I have found that to be true.
32) “And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, there can be no revelation. Even the prophets of the old Testament had the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ anointed in them. John Wesley and Watchman Nee were not baptized in the Holy Spirit. I didn’t need to read books of men; I could read, I could hear God’s voice, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and He was revealing His word to me.
The spirit of discipleship in the charismatic movement wasn’t really from Derek Prince, originally. In 1972 while I was in Hollywood, Florida, I was at a meeting at Don Bohl’s house in Ft. Lauderdale and two young men from Juan Carlos Ortiz’s ministry (which was out of Argentina), spoke at the meeting and introduced discipleship. I happened to be outside in the parking lot as the two Ortiz men left that meeting and I overheard them talking, they said, “Well, we’ve delivered the message to the hotshots, now let’s see what they do with it.” Though they may have been correct in their choice of words about the men at that meeting, I thought they were rather arrogant themselves. Bob Mumford and Charles Simpson brought the discipleship teaching into the Charismatic movement after they had heard the teachings of Juan Carlos Ortiz. The reason Bob Mumford and Charles Simpson received those teachings was because their hearts liked what they were hearing. Bob was raised Pentecostal and Charles was born to a Southern Baptist preacher.
I heard Derek say on a tape, which I believe was recorded at a meeting in Naples, Florida, “I have no confidence in what Bob and Charles are doing.” (At that time they had begun putting into practice what Juan Carlos Ortiz’s ministry had brought to them.) Ralph Martin was a catholic who had a discipleship ministry in Michigan, and Bobbie Cavnar’s son Jim had joined with him in his ministry. I knew Bobbie Cavnar very well, I worked as his veterinarian when he was president of Meat Producers, Inc., a D. H. Byrd & Co. Enterprise. Bobbie was a decorated air force pilot and received the commission of colonel at age 33. Cavnar was introduced to the charismatic movement by his son Jim and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He went on to found the God’s Delight Community in Dallas, Texas, a group that belongs to a world-wide association of lay communities formally recognized by the Vatican and their local bishops. In a conversation with Ralph Martin, Derek said he didn’t know what he should do about joining with what Bob Mumford and Charles Simpson were involved in. Martin’s reply was, “Well you don’t have a choice.” And Derek said, “I think you’re right.”
Bob Mumford wrote about his relationship with the others of the Fort Lauderdale Five and states on his website that they were all from different religious backgrounds and it was “a diversification of teaching which would provide a unique balance”.
I Corinthians 1:
10) “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, that you be perfectly joined in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Do you notice it says we are all to speak the same thing? It doesn’t say anything about diversification.
In 1987 God had me call Derek and tell him that he and Kenneth Hagin were not obedient to God and were gathered by men and cast into the fire. Derek said, “Do you think brother Hagin is in bondage?” I had just said they were and he didn’t hear that, all he heard was Hagin was in bondage. He was blinded as in II Corinthians 4:
4) “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
When I first met Derek, he had a car, a bible, a few books in his trunk and Lydia. He was teaching the bible and I thought Proverbs 4:18 might describe him, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” I had heard Derek minister this scripture and according to his biography, he had stated to the leaders of the Pentecostal Assemblies, “I am called to be a teacher of the scriptures in the body of Christ.”
Lydia was very troubled about Derek’s involvement with the discipleship group and their doctrine. Derek related to Stephen Mansfield, author of, Derek Prince a Biography, “She loved the men we ministered with in Ft. Lauderdale, but she sensed something was wrong with the direction we were going. She kept telling me it had a wrong spirit attached to it.” Derek couldn’t remember her specific words, but he said, “I’ve been told that not long before she died she turned to a friend with whom she had been discussing discipleship and said, almost in tears, “They’ve got my Derek.” (I would like to know who the person was that she shared this with.)
The Shepherds of Fort Lauderdale met in Oklahoma City March 1976 and issued the following “Statement of Concern and Regret”:
“We realize that controversies and problems have arisen among Christians in various areas as a result of our teaching in relation to subjects such as submission, authority, discipling and shepherding. We deeply regret these problems and, insofar as they are due to fault on our part, we ask forgiveness from our fellow believers whom we have offended. We realize that our teachings, though we believe them to be essentially sound, have in various places been misapplied or handled in an immature way: and that this has caused problems for our brothers in the ministry. We deeply regret this and ask forgiveness. Insofar as it lies in our power, we will do our best to correct these situations and to restore any broken relationships.” (The statement is signed by Don Basham, Ern Baxter, Bob Mumford, John Poole, Derek Prince and Charles Simpson.)
At the time of their meeting in Oklahoma when they wrote and signed this statement, these men were putting great pressure on me. A few months after they met in Oklahoma, the meeting at Orlando Reyes house occurred and the group of Dallas ministers brought false witness against me and Derek never opened his mouth in my defense. They continued to push me to come under their authority; Derek’s words to me were, “You need supervision.”
By the grace and mercy of God I was not gathered by these men. I walked with them, trying the spirits, whether they be of God or not until the day came that I overcame the spirits they were walking in and I was finished. I knew Jesus was not Lord of what they were doing.
I was ordained a prophet in my mother’s womb to the nations before I came forth. That is why I could stand against all of them.
Servant and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ
-Challenging the Spirit of the Discipleship Movement
-Challenging the Spirit of the Discipleship Movement, ("I Don't Have a Slate")