The followers of Jonathan Welton and his Welton Academy have attacked me, my character and odd attacked me for being Pentecostal. Yes, I am being slammed for being a person of Pentecost. How do I respond to that attack? I am guilty as charged! Continue reading…
Tagged in: Smithton Outpouring
Many know of World Revival Church and Steve Gray but the history goes back to what is known as the Smithton Outpouring that was not in Kansas City. It was a small church in a small town outside of Sedelia. The only thing that anyone about the area was that the Missouri State Fair is there every August. Nothing else of importance every happened. Continue reading…
JD King is an old friend of mine, leader of the World Revival Network and a fellow blogger about theological stuff. It would be hard to call him a revivalist anymore. He used to be but he has become very weird and from what I can tell from across the world, is pretty apathetic towards revival that does not have World Revival Church all over it.
I have people ask him about him as some knew we was friends at one time. (more on that later) There was a video of him speaking at his church that has caused some people to contact me and that is what I want to focus in on. The fact that he preached community but doesn’t have it is not for today’s article.
Before we get started, I am not a member of the World Revival Network anymore and I have not been in a meeting at World Revival Church. I am not sure what would happen if I did walk in the door. I am sure it would very awkward given many of my friends there have unfriended me and unfollowed me. They don’t want much to do with me. I do not want to talk about revival; I want to have it.
Here is the video in question:
How JD King became apathetic to revival
I remember the first day that I met him on the side of Smithton Community Church during the Smithton Outpouring. He wanted revival in every heart, home and city in America. He was passionate about revival and he lived for it to come to everyone. I loved to talk to him. I actually looked forward to talking to him actually.
When the church moved to Lee’s Summit and become World Revival Church, two things happened. First, the crowd died down and hardly anyone visited anymore. Also, the people who was just “Come, Holy Spirit” boys became professional ministers. Leonard Ravenhill would turn in his grave weeping over it. He believe the world need passionate preachers; not professional ones.
JD King was always the theological one at World Revival Church. The others, namely Tom Trout, was just off his rocker and was quite honestly, boring and little anointing. Steve Gray needs jokes and humor because the power of God wasn’t there after moving from Smithton. JD just hid himself is some theology books and tried his best to learn as much as he can.
About three or four years, he become more interested in Kingdom Now theology that is popularized by NT Wright and on a less degree by Brian Zahnd. I knew I had to get out of Kansas City if I wanted revival. I was not about to exchange a move of the Holy Spirit with some theological ideal or become a theologian. JD King can back off from revival. I refused to do it.
I remember the last discussion he and I had in person. It was at Gate’s BBQ in Westport District. He told me in so many words, “In five years, you will be less about fire and missions and more about community and relationships.” That was about seven to eight years ago. I am happy to report that I still going for revival completely and I am not backing down to have “community.”
World Revival is not the revival of Kansas City
I would move to do a treatment of revival in Kansas City. I really would but this is not the place for that. It starts well before Steve Gray and JD King. It starts as early as the Second Great Awakening and the Nazarene movement that is headquartered in Kansas City to this day. I am sure his friend, Larry Martin could fill him in on the importance of Kansas City in early Pentecostal revival. This is all before Steve Gray was even born.
When I saw this video saying that basically the history of revival in Kansas City is the story of World Revival Church; I should have been picking up my jaw off the floor. However, I wasn’t. I have come to expect this shameless promotional spirit out of the people that claim to be in revival.
In April 2009, they claimed revival hit a second time. My question is when did they admit that they lost revival the first time? You can’t have revival without admitting your need for it. Just something to ponder is all.
Community is not the aim of revival
One thing that I find odd is they have become very focused on community in recent years but no community has lived in revival since the Morivans in the 1700’s. People like A.A. Allen have tried it but failed.
What is mind blogging to me is how many of the people in World Revival Church suck at actually having community. Many of them that I called friends at one point have hardly spoken to me since I left Kansas City. Some of them want nothing to do with me. A few have even attacked me on social media over the years.
If I ran into many of the members of World Revival Church that are still there, I am sure that the discussion we would have be very awkward at best. I am not even sure that sitting down with JD King and Steve Gray would not be awkward anymore.
In the end, revival is not about community; revival is about setting the world ablaze.
I openly questioned Suliasi Kurulo and some of the positions of CMF International. Most of the discussion has been healthy leading to some stories of former members who have seriously destroyed by their overly aggressive emphasis on giving Kurulo anything he wants when he wants.
Having grew up spiritually in the midst of revival during the Brownsville Revival and been through many move of the Spirit (Toronto Blessing, Brownsville Revival, Smithton Outpouring, Lakeland Revival), I have seen the best, the worse and everything between the two.
It is safe to say that I have some cults in the midst of revival. In fact, one of the leaders in revival in time became a cult leader himself. The reality is Pentecostal ministry without the presence of the Holy Spirit will give you all types of crazy ideas….and we all know that that become….a cult.
I have been an eye witness to what goes on in the ministry of Suliasi Kurulo, CMF International and World Harvest Centre in Suva, Fiji. This is not hersay. I have watched the worship of men and the mind control happen repeatedly.
I remember at Oral Roberts University, we learned that there are seven ways (at least) to realize if someone is leading a cult. In this case, Suliasi Kurulo meets all seven of them. It is clear that World Harvest Centre is a cult!
You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother— my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. (Hosea 4:5-6)
World Harvest Centre criticizes freedom of expression
One of the quickest way to find out if a group is a cult is to see if people are encouraged to think for themselves and are allowed to disagree with the church. If they must believe in a way just because that is what the church tells them; it is clearly a cult.
Most of the people at World Harvest Centre hold values, not because they read the Word and the Holy Spirit led them to that position but because they were told from the platform or their zone leaders what they should believe. Questioning the positions of Suliasi Kurulo and CMF International is just not acceptable. You will be humiliated if you do. If not, at least, you will become the gossip of the church.
Open questioning of the teaching of Suliasi Kurulo is completely not acceptable at the church. People follow his thought more than the freedom of the Holy Spirit. There are many extra-biblical requirement that he places on the people from giving to dress to attendance to “zone meetings.”
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. (1 Thess. 5: 19-22)
We are told by the Apostle Paul that we are to not quench the Spirit, honor the prophetic ministry, test (or question) everything) keep the good and reject the bad. This is the biblical model for the believer. None of this is encouraged at World Harvest Centre. No questioning of Suliasi Kurulo is allowed.
World Harvest Centre breaks up families
Core to spiritual life on this side of heaven is your family. God even speaks of family wide salvation in Acts. It is far more important that many realize to the heart of God. Major division in the family is not good and it really is not good when it is created by the church and its’ leader.
Many have contacted me since I release the article about the pastor with stories of families broken on the membership at World Harvest Centre. Many of them have lost great amounts of money due to unhealthy giving to World Harvest Centre.
In one case, giving to the ministry cause a man to separate from his wife because she would not quit giving money they need for food to the church. It might be one of the more extreme examples but it is happening because of the teaching of Suliasi Kurulo.
Women in the church are more loyal to the teaching of the pastor than to the leadership of their husband and this is expected by the men. Children are raised by the church and not the leadership of their parents. This flies in the face of everything scriptural.
World Harvest Centre and emotional abuse
This is another area that I saw very up close. Leaders abusing people who did not give enough. They would get businessmen get up and tell the people that people are not giving enough. They would use cute lines like “what God has done in my life, He will do it yours if you give today.” Nevermind that a business owner has the ability to make ten fold what a salaried worker at MH Supermarket can make. It does not have to be practical or biblical; just as long it is preaches good from the platform. That is all that matters.
People who live the church was cut from relationship by anyone still there. If they do not return, all relationship with them are lost and will never recover anytime in the future. Welcome to the mind control of World Harvest Centre in Suva, Fiji.
They control to see your success is because of the church and therefore, you owe them your life as a means of saying thank you. You exist to empower Suliasi Kurulo. The biblical role of a pastor is to empower you, not you empower him!
World Harvest Centre believes in elitism
They are known to disrespect other ministries and degrade them publicly. The pastor has a special hatred for the movement known as New Methodist Christian Fellowship in the Fiji Islands. I am no sure why the distaste. I am sure it is a threat to the Kingdom of Kurulo. They really believe that their church is bigger and better than everyone else in Fiji. On a side note, CMF International hardly even matter when you look at the size of the Methodist Church in Fiji. The domination that I belong to, the Assemblies of God is larger than CMF but much smarter than the Methodists.
The pastor claims to be the pastor to the military and prides himself in having members in harm’s way in the middle east. Let me be clear: Fiji’s Army is only in the middle east for the paycheck. CMF International encourages this so they can get more in their bank accounts too. As a veteran, no amount of money will be enough to go back into combat zones like Syria. The reality is that Kurulo only cares that he makes money, not the lives of the people that are in harm’s way.
World Harvest Centre has no holiness
It is not uncommon for people that work for the ministry at the church to be having dating relationships with married women. Fornication and adultery is a way of life around Christian Missionary Fellowship International .This is done with full knowledge of elders and “zone leaders.” In fact, some of it is even done in the homes of elders in the church. You can forget all those verses about holiness and righteousness. They are not needed around the World Harvest Centre family.
There is also cases of them taking passports from people that are going to the school. One young man came to the ministry, they took his passport and then lost it. This man was from Cambodia and there is no embassy anywhere close to Fiji to help him. Last I heard, he was still trapped in Fiji. This should have gotten Kurolo charged for human trafficking but he has friends in high places.
World Harvest believes in special revelation
I believe 100% in the prophetic ministry and God can speak through anyone at any time. Well, at CMF International, they believe that God only speaks through the the pastor and any “revelation” that he has is the “word of the Lord.” If it does not line up with the New Testament, that is ok…. the Apostle Paul must have been wrong and just slept wrong that night. God forbid that people as anointed as Suliasi Kurulo missed God even once.
When the emphasis is being put on a leader, you are already going down the road for problems. God can and will speak to anyone at any time in a meeting. It is not just the pastor that God uses. In the dozens of meetings that I have been at World Harvest Centre, I never heard a prophetic word given or tongues and interpretations at the meetings. This is odd. Every meeting, each believe should have a word, a song or a hymn from what the Lord is doing in private…. That is what the bible says.
I would guess I was in around 100 meetings at the church with about a thousand people (give or take), I find it hard to believe that the Holy Spirit had 100,000 opportunities to speak to the Bride of Christ and yet never did. This is not the model of the New Testament church.
I remember meeting at a prayer meeting and a pastor from the church was present praying for a man that was sick. There was no anointing on it in any way. After watching all types of unbiblical ministry happening; I rebuke the pastor directly, anointed the man with oil from prayer of faith over the man and he was healed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What continues afterwards was man worship and the spirit of offense. They hold me that I “did not have the authority of the church” to pray for him and lay hands on him. My response was simple: I do not need a pastor’s authority to do the New Testament; I have the authority of Jesus to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils and preach the gospel. Homie don’t play church politics. By the way, the Indian man was healed by Jesus.
How to deal with cults and unbiblical churches
Just because a church believes a little different does not make them a cult. You also have to be careful taking on ministries. Many of these groups operate with a serious spiritual level that if you are not full of the Spirit, they can destroy you. The bible tells us of a story where this happened. Two men was destroyed by the spirit of ministries. They were literally beaten down and stripped because of it.
The moral of the story is be very slow to call a church a cult and to attack ministry leaders. Simple disagree of theology is not enough grounds. It has to be serious issues as I outlined here. Dealing with dangerous and harmful groups requires much prayer and prophetic understanding.
I believe this serves as a warning to other involved with World Harvest Centre in Suva, Fiji. The issues are out there and it is up to them to seek freedom or keep the bondage that they have slap onto themselves.
What I do know is in Jesus the yoke is easy and the burden is light. Any burden to give to ministries is not biblical. Jesus took all burdens from us.
I have known for some time that about this. I knew that Pastor Steve and Kathy Gray had wounded alot of people in Smithton, Missouri. The Smithton Outpouring was amazing but don’t fool yourself, there was alot of man in the movement as well.
Some of them even hold that moving to Kansas City and re-branding as World Revival Church of Kansas City was an attempt to provide some discsti to the wounds that he put in people’s lives while in Smithton, Missouri.
One thing we do know is he moved to Kansas City, closed the church in Smithton, left dozens of families without a church home, all in order to build himself a “big ministry.” This is hypocrisy at its’ highest level.
While I would agree with others that the lucky ones were the ones that couldn’t move to Kansas City; they got delivered by the control and manipulation of the Jezebel spirit that is Steve and Kathy Gray.
Steve Gray leaves the people he wounds
Back in 2001, Christianity Today wrote an article about how some of the people got wounded by Steve Gray just picking everything up and moving to Kansas City, about 60 families followed him blindly. 32 families did not give up their lives for a mere man.
Many of the people that stayed back were disillusioned and disturbed. They lost their church in a town that there is not too many options to find a Spirit filled option to worship. My guess would be they ended up quitting church all together or they drove up to Sedalia to worship.
One of those members, according to the article, said, “”We wanted more of God, unfortunately, we surrendered our lives to a movement and a man’s revival.” Let those words settle: surrendered lives to a man’s revival. The Smithton Outpouring and later World Revival Church was about Steve Gray and his “revival.”
True Revival heals the broken hearts, not wound those who can’t be used. Smithton was a town that was used, abused, then left for brokenness. An old friend of mine in the Assemblies of God from Sedalia told me to not attend meetings because Steve Gray had never repented from witchcraft. I did not take it serious but looking back; I have to agree.
What is really concerning to me is Steve Gray blames the people who didn’t buy into his teaching for leaving. According to the article, he said, “They were disgruntled before the move, and that played a heavy role in the decision to move.” Wait a minute? Are you blaming the people who are hurt for being the victims? Do you blame the one who is raped or the rapist? Think about it!
I remember going to the meetings where Steve Gray would preached the cloud was moving and everyone must follow the fire. The problem with his teaching is we are not the Israelites and we are not living in the book of Exodus. We must remember the Cross changed it all!
Steve Gray is too big for tiny Smithton
We determined that we couldn’t grow in the middle of nowhere.
Those are the words of Steve Gray. He did not care about the presence of God falling on people; he cared about having Steve Gray Ministries. The focus was always on him, his ministry, and his future. The people were merely supporting cast.
While the logical thing would have been to moved the services to much larger Sedalia that has many large facilities that are only use two week a year, (It is the home of the Missouri State Fair) buying an old K-Mart was the mind of Steve Gray. He was worried about building his ministry, not building the Kingdom of God. Moving to Sedalia was to close to people he had wounded and he couldn’t build an international following.
The land in Kansas City on View High Drive was paid for by members of Smithton Community Church that he wounded to build a ministry. Almost a half million dollars of it in all. That is not how the Holy Spirit moves, Steve and Kathy Gray.
Another interesting thing is 80% of the leadership of Smithton Community Church did not relocate and was left out in the cold by him. If it was really God, wouldn’t all the leadership hear the same word from the Holy Spirit? 20% did and 80% did not.
Douglas Galey, a former deacon at the church went on to say, “I didn’t give money to build Steve Gray’s kingdom.”
Steve Gray and his Kingdom?
A Kingdom is a politically organized community or major territorial unit having a monarchical form of government headed by a king or queen. In order to have a kingdom you have to have a political community, a center leader, and a strong legal system.
Steve Gray does have around him a very strong political system that are loyal to him with their lives. These are the people who moved to Kansas City. There is no question that he is the center of the kingdom and the legal system is there. Question his rule and you will be removed from the kingdom and his ministry. The stories of people excommunicated from World Revival Church are many.
According to the article, Steve Gray thinks, “The move was the smartest thing we did, there were some individuals along the way who wanted to go back to another lifestyle. But those who have grown have maintained their enthusiasm.”
As I read that, he believes that if you did not follow him blindly, you was backsliding and would setting yourself up for spiritual failure. This is nowhere close to biblical. Not even close. The Holy Spirit does not live in locations; He lives in hearts. God moved where people are hungry.
I went to the meetings in Smithton and dozens of them when they was in Kansas City. I remember the gospel tent. I remember moving into the building, building the second building and begging everyone to build the House of Hope and Healing that hardly is even used.
I remember the Smithton Outpouring.
William was a man that was deeply touched and he was living in the revelation of Jesus as the Hope of the Nations. He was hungry for more of God. He lived to study the Bible and he wanted everything God had for him.
Seymour did not have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit yet but he was hungry for more; that’s a great place to start in faith for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. He had what we learned in the renewal at John Arnott’s church: More, Lord, More.
When you are hungry for the things of the Holy Spirit, there is a place that you can only go with the teachings around you. Sometimes, you just have to go deeper. William’s though the teaching the African Methodist Eposical Church just was not cutting the mustard for him. He wanted deeper truth and more of the Lord.
SEYMOUR REJECTS METHEDISM AND AMILLENNIALISM
John Wesley believes in amillennialism and sadly in the creeping back into our Pentecostal ranks through people like Steve Gray at World Revival Church.
What exactly is amillennialism anyways?
Amillennialism (Greek: a- “no” + millennialism) is the view in Christian eschatology which states that Christ is presently reigning through the Church, and that the “1000 years” of Revelation 20:1-6 is a metaphorical reference to the present church age which will culminate in Christ’s return. It stands in contrast to premillennialism, which states that Christ will return prior to a literal 1000 year earthly reign; and postmillennialism, which states that Christ’s return will follow a 1000 year golden age ushered in by the church.
William did not see this in the Bible and completely rejected it as heresy. To be fair, Seymour was not alone. Most of the Church at the time and to this day reject amillennialism as heresy. There are a few that believe it but they are the minority.
Seymour believed that in the Pre-Tribulation catching away or “the rapture” that the Bible teaches. This would become the hallmark of the revival at Azusa Street and the wider Pentecostal revival. Most, if not all, of the Pentecostal movement that would come out of revivals would hold this position.
There would be a few movement, namely the Vineyard with John Wimber, that would hold a Post- Tribulation view but very few would hold a position of amillennialism. The only group that I know of does is the bunch out of the Smithton Outpouring.
One thing is for sure: God was putting in William a passion to understand the Kingdom through the teaching of Jesus, not man’s opinion. He was not led by the teaching of men such as John Wesley and others in Methodism. If it was not in the theology of Jesus, he rejected it. That was something that would become very important later as many heresy would come up in the early days of the Pentecostal movement.
We know that he was a simple man, loved the Word, didn’t have theological education, only took Jesus for His word and moved in faith. That is the man that God can use for revival!
Seymour believed in the power of prophecy
William was struggling with the Methodism as well over what he called “Special Revelation.” He believed that God could and would speak to us today about spiritual things and the Holy Spirit would us into all truth. He did not yet understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but he did believe in the prophetic at this point.
One reason that I believe that he had this position was he was raised around African voodoo and had seen supernatural things happen. He knew that if voodoo doctors could do it, the Holy Spirit could do it for sure.
Seymour also had a very strong view on the power of dreams and visions. He saw that many in the Bible was led by dreams and visions and he believed that God had not changed. This was not a position of John Wesley or Methodism.
I am sure taking a strong position on the supernatural in the late 1800’s was not an easy thing to do. He was not in the majority at the time as most believe God stopped speaking or if He did, it was not very often and not to very many people. It was only to super anointed people like George Whitfield and John Wesley.
In all fairness, I do not believe that John Wesley would have being part of Methodism then and without question now. It has changed a lot and Seymour’s views where closer to Wesley than the Methodism he was confronted with at the time.
Paying the price for the move of the Spirit
As Seymour had to pay a price for hold biblical truth and believe in the supernatural, the problems has not changed that much on this side of the Pentecostal revival. We might not having rocks threw at us, tomatoes hitting us the face, or our churches burned to the ground. However, we will be mocked by many and slandered beyond anything a person should have to deal with.
If you want to be used by the Holy Spirit today, you will still deal with a lot of the problems that Seymour dealt with. You might not be received because of one non-essential position such as Eschatology. Many movement gather based on doctrinal positions, not a common vision for revival. Many care more about their fundamental truths than they do the end time harvest.
Most of the Church, dare I say Pentecostals included, struggle with prophetic dreams. They might believe it on paper and each preach about it. However, it is a whole new ballgame when someone actually has a prophetic dream. People start question if they are crazy or they are think making things up. In the end, we struggle to believe God speaks to normal people as much as people as Methodism do.
Are you a doubting Thomas when it come to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Do you have the faith to believe in people’s experience with the Divine. Many do not.