Trust Me, I’m a Doctor!

This page contains a transcript of a sermon preached by Dr. Andrew Evans at Paradise AOG on Sunday 7 May 1995, along with my comments and observations.

[Copies of the tape were available from the Paradise AOG Tape Library at the time of publication, but I cannot guarantee their continued availability.]

Please note: Spoken messages tend to contain grammatical errors, which would ordinarily be corrected before publication. I have refrained from making such corrections for fear of being accused of tampering with his words. Dr. Evans’ sermon is to be judged by his use of Scripture, not by his use of grammar.

That’s a
After recounting details of his most recent overseas trip, Dr. Evans introduced his sermon.

And it’s weird and I don’t understand it and I’m going to talk about it in a minute because some people say “Whoa, I don’t know, that sounds like the devil.” It’s either the devil, God or the flesh. So I’m going to show you, just as I get into the message, how to discern. It’s important because, if you think it’s the devil and it’s God and you miss out, that’s a tragedy.

If you think it’s the devil and it’s God…
What if you think it’s God, but it’s really the devil?
That would be an even greater tragedy, one with potentially eternal consequences. A true pastor would express concern for the safety of his flock before he expressed concern that someone might miss out on the latest fad experience.

If a professor
likes it,
it must be OK!
Then Dr. Evans played a video from a church in England before continuing...

OK, that’s Sunderland, now I, I spoke there two Sundays ago and I was sitting down the front and the, the brother who was leading the meeting was a professor of mathematics in the university. So he’s not the sort of, you know, emotional, flakey type of person.

Not the emotional, flakey type of person?
Here we have Dr. Evans’ first appeal to authority. If a professor likes it, it must be okay. Dr. Timothy Leary was a professor and he made up a bath-tub full of LSD and tried to tip it into the Los Angeles water supply.

What does that tell us about “typical” professors? Some of the flakiest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, I met at university.

Neither a professorship nor a doctorate can guarantee that a person has sound discernment in spiritual matters.

The power’s
so great?
Um, in fact, he went to Toronto and he took a notebook and pen and he’s watching everything and writing it down. Typical professor.

And he got nothing in the meetings and then later on in the restaurant, the power of God hit him in the restaurant and he fell off his seat in the restaurant and he began, I mean it’s just weird, this stuff, I tell you! You can’t work it out.

And he got this powerful touch. So, he’s up leading the meeting and this is how it goes, he said, “Well, folks, you know, we’re going to sing, WOOH! WOOH! WOOH!” he says, “WOOH!” I mean that’s as real as it was. He says, “Andrew, I don’t know. Are you going to stand up here? The power’s so great. WOOH!”

The power’s so great?
What “power” is this? Jesus said, But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears… He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you (John 16:13-14).

Are we to believe that the Holy Spirit took the “WOOH! WOOH! WOOH!” from Jesus and passed it on to our non-flakey professor? Or, is he saying that the professor is okay, but the Holy Spirit’s not all there? Or was that really a Jesus-glorifying “WOOH! WOOH! WOOH!”?

Isn’t it strange that the WOOH!-WOOH!-WOOH! Spirit never causes anyone to say: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Repent and be baptised” or words to that effect?

Anything involving
a big crowd
must be OK!
I tell you what, that made hairs stand on the back of my neck. Heh, heh. It’s weird. I stood up, heh, heh, felt nothing! Hah. Well, not, not like that, I did feel an anointing and I felt a flow of the spirit and all that, but I never felt any of this other stuff. I began to think, What’s wrong with me? Heh, heh, heh.

I go there to the British conference and the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God stands up to welcome all the delegates. And he’s welcoming all the delegates and next minute he starts shaking like this, shaking, and then he falls flat on the deck and he stays there for the rest of the meeting.

This is the British conference! The staid British conference. Then, to my amazement, they got so excited they had all these kind of flags all the place and they grabbed all these flags and rushed out the front and they’re waving these flags and praising God.

Oh, God! Heh, heh. It is strange. Strange phenomenas, I don’t understand it all. I can’t grasp it all, but, uh, as we get into the message, uh, the fruit is what you look at.

I took with me a South Australian pastor and he went to Toronto. I didn’t go to Toronto because things, program had been changed, and twice I’ve tried to go to Toronto and twice it hasn’t happened and I’ve come to the feeling, belief that God doesn’t want me to go. For some reason or other, ’cause people think, you know, oh it’s this or that or whatever.

But, uh, he went to Toronto and he said that the Vineyard church in the Toronto has, is now the largest tourist attraction in Canada. They’re coming in plane loads. They’ve got a new facility that seats four thousand. And he said, they’re coming in plane loads; all the hotels around are booked solid, and this pastor friend from Adelaide went to those meetings and, he said, they had them day and night, six days a week, Monday off, but all the rest of the time, day and night, morning and night, he says, the morning meetings there’d at least be fifteen hundred people standing at the altar. Now that church a year ago was two hundred.

The largest tourist attraction in Canada?
Here we have Dr. Evans’ second appeal to authority. If they get a big crowd, it must be okay.

How absurd! The Adelaide Crows attract 40,000 people to every home game they play. The Rolling Stones have no trouble gathering 50,000 at a time for a concert (at $90 a head). Crowds of over 100,000 gather every time the Pope appears at his front window.

They’re coming in plane loads!
That applies to Moslems at Mecca and Catholics at Lourdes and soccer fans at Wembley Stadium. When did a crowd become the evidence of God’s approval?

Now that church a year ago was two hundred.
And eighteen months further on (1996), Andrew Evans was forced to admit—following a visit to Toronto—that the attendance had since shrunk to only fifty people! What do numbers prove?

If an Adelaide
pastor does it,
it must be OK!
And they line up for hours to come to the meetings and he sat there and went forward for prayer a fair bit, never got touched, never felt anything. In fact he, at one stage, acted as a catcher for them. Never felt anything. And he got right to the end of the week and, uh, most of the people had gone, there may be twenty, thirty people left, and he’s just sitting there and a brother came and said, “Would you like prayer?” And he’d been prayed for numbers of times, and he said, “Yes, I would.”

And so he’s prayed for and he says suddenly the power of God hit him, he pitched forward on his face, and he was on his face for about an hour, crying. And he says, during that period, even though theologically he taught about God and the Fatherhood of God, he said in that hour on his face before God crying, he got a new insight to the Fatherhood of God.

He said, then when that insight became, to understand that insight of God and the greatness of God, he began to laugh and he said he laughed for half-an-hour, just laughed, and joy just welled up within him. So then, uh, as he went to get up, he accidentally hit a brother on the foot with his hand. And this brother went bang. Powerful things.

A South Australian pastor?
Here we have Dr. Evans’ third appeal to authority. If an Adelaide pastor experiences falling, crying and laughing, it must be okay.

Any one who will travel halfway across the world, then go to every meeting for a week, waiting in a 4,000 seater auditorium until only twenty or thirty people remain, has a very high level of motivation to experience something, anything! Motivational experts credit this kind of desire with the power to create all sorts of wonders in a person’s life.

Earnestly desired (but unbiblical) manifestations do not prove the presence of the Holy Spirit or the blessing of God.

Not Jehovah’s
Witnesses or
Mormons, so it
must be OK!
Now, what is all this? It’s either the devil, it’s either God, or it’s the flesh. So I’m going to give you four ways you can discern. Go back to our text, one John four one. It says, don’t believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they’re of God, because many false prophets have gone into the world. Verse two, By this you know the Spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. So the first test is, What do they teach about Jesus Christ.

This is the cornerstone that all cults separate from true Christianity. As you know, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a belief of, that He is “a god.” The Mormons have a belief that He is “a being,” Jesus is a being that came out of a union with God the Father and a female deity.

Not a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon?
Here we have Dr. Evans’ fourth appeal to authority. If they’re not Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, they must be okay.

But are the doctrinal positions of the chief architects of the “Toronto blessing” any better than those of the famous cults? This would have been the appropriate place for Dr. Evans to examine the heretical teachings of Rodney Howard-Browne and his friends but, instead, he glibly deflects the focus to the old cults.

Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin and Benny Hinn (major influences on Rodney Howard-Browne) all teach heresy concerning the person of Jesus Christ and the nature of His work of redemption. The avoidance of membership in one of the old cults is no proof of the absence of false teaching. The Church needs to take a closer look at the “Christian” heresies of some of the leaders of the “Toronto blessing” movement.

Even the
demons believe that!
And that’s why, John writing, he says, Anyone that confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. He says by, in, uh, one John, in two John one seven, For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver, an antichrist. But verse three says, And every spirit of one John one, uh, four says that every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God and is the spirit of antichrist which you’ve heard are coming and is now already in the world.

And as I’ve talked to people of all groups, whether it is Sunderland, Sunderland, and Ken Gott the leader which is coming to be with us in June, it’s just by uh, a miracle of events he’s in this country in June, and so he’s coming to be with us in June, you’ll hear first hand from this very fine young man what God’s doing in Sunderland. Or whether it’s in, uh, Toronto or whether it’s Rodney Howard-Browne, when they come to the Jesus Test there is no question that they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the divine eternal Son of God, they confess Him as Lord and Saviour and they pass the test of his divinity.

In fact, when Rodney came to Australia one person was talking to me on the phone and carrying on and criticising and everything about Rodney and I says, Well, why don’t you do the Matthew eighteen which says Go to your brother? You, you’re spreading your videos, your tapes, all your propaganda around, why don’t you go to your brother, and ring him up? So he rung him up and he said, Rodney do you believe that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? He said, Of course I do. No problem. I believe in the divinity of Jesus. And so, when anything is occurring, unusual occurring, you put that test to them, as they respond about the fact of the Lord Jesus and His rulership as the Messiah and the Christ, they pass the first test.

So they pass the first test?
Here we have more of the same technique used by Dr. Andrew Evans in A New Wave of the Holy Spirit, that is, the glib quoting of ‘proof ’ texts. This shallow exegesis of Scripture, foisted on to an ignorant but trusting congregation by a denominational leader, is a disgrace.

John was responding to the Gnostic heresy, which separated the Human and the Divine natures of Jesus, saying the ‘human’ Jesus died, but not the ‘spiritual’ Jesus. In other words, they taught that Jesus Christ had not come “in the flesh.” The way to sort out the Gnostic teachers from the true Christian teachers was to ask them if they believed that Jesus Christ had come “in the flesh.”

If someone says that Jesus did not come “in the flesh,” we are to reject them. But if they say that Jesus did come “in the flesh,” they have only passed the Gnostic heresy test. This doesn’t mean that every other word that comes out of their mouth is divinely inspired. We must assess every statement on its Biblical merit.

What does Dr. Evans do with James 2:19? You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder. This was a response to the Old Covenant test of orthodoxy, based on the declaration of Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. James is saying that someone may pass the orthodoxy test at this point, but still be far from God. The demons passed that test, but still they trembled (in fear of their judgment to come).

And what would Dr. Evans do with the demon-possessed man of Mark 5? When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” (Mark 5:6-7). According to Dr. Evans, “as they respond about the fact of the Lord Jesus and His rulership as the Messiah and the Christ, they pass the first test.”

Given the demon-possessed man’s orthodox declaration concerning Jesus, we can only assume that Dr. Andrew Evans would place him in charge of the church’s teaching program.

Jesus just quietly said, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” Here was discernment beyond the ability of Dr. Andrew Evans: Jesus knew him by his fruit (Mark 5:3-5). Even if people fall on their knees before Him, and say that Jesus is the “Son of the Most High God,” but they spend their time crying out mindlessly and damaging their bodies, they have come under demonic influence and need to be delivered.

Jesus speciality
was removing
dumbness, not
causing it!
So, what’s happening is not of the devil because they’ve passed the test that John gave us. So maybe then, it’s the flesh or the Spirit, so we have to give them the second test. And the second test: — Is the things that are happening, and the teachings that are occurring, Biblical? You know, the manifestations are unusual, to say the least. I can’t work out how Trevor is struck dumb. I can’t work that out, and Pentecostals would have said that that can’t possibly be, so either Trevor was struck dumb in the flesh or the Spirit.

Struck dumb in the flesh or the Spirit?
Here we have a very glib avoidance of the issue. Dr. Evans has artificially reduced the possibilities to “the flesh or the Spirit,” pretending that Satan is never responsible for sending people dumb. What does Dr. Evans do with:
Matthew 9:32, where a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke.
Matthew 12:22, where They brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.
Matthew 15:30, where Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.
and so on, throughout the Gospels.

Notice that Jesus’ speciality was removing dumbness, not causing it! The spirit that Dr. Andrew Evans has embraced, and is now subtly imposing on others, acts in the opposite manner to that of Jesus Christ. Christians, be warned!

Looking for
So either Trevor was struck drumb in the flesh or the Spirit. I’m getting tongue-tied myself, right now. But all I know, as you look at Scripture, over and over again, God, when He met with certain people, sovereignly touched them, many times there was incredible manifestations. Think of Paul of Sarsus, Saul of Tarsus. Help me get through this, Lord. Saul of Tarsus. Knocked down, and made blind when he met the Living God. Think of Zechariah. Struck dumb for months, when he met the Living God.
Saul of Tarsus / Zechariah
Dr. Andrew Evans now skirts about the fringes of a Scriptural defence of his new doctrine, without ever actually providing one. He wrote a booklet called “A New Wave of the Holy Spirit” which pretended to explain the bizarre manifestations from Scripture. He quoted from twenty passages of Scripture which, under examination, proved to be either completely irrelevant or actually contradicted his teachings. Since that time he has been under constant pressure to provide an adequate Biblical explanation, but without any real response, beyond this passing mention of Saul of Tarsus and Zechariah.

Saul of Tarsus:
He was a non-Christian — a persecutor and a murderer of Christians — when he fell down blind. He did not go looking for the experience: the falling down and the blindness came as a simultaneous judgment and call to repentance. Jesus ordered Saul to “Get up,” rather than roll about on the ground, Rodney Howard-Browne style. Saul was totally converted to the cause of Christ by the experience.

He was struck dumb by an angel in judgment for his unbelief. The dumbness was removed when he acted in obedience and indicated that the child should be called “John.” This sequence was necessary to ensure that the events surrounding Jesus’ birth and early ministry went according to God’s plan.

Unlike the Saul experience, the “Toronto blessing” happens to Christians who voluntarily open themselves up to it; they are encouraged to remain on the ground for hours at a time; and no one is converted as a result. The Zechariah experience would only be necessary today if another “Messiah” is about to come into the world.

Continued on Next Page.

The Australian AOG Insurance Agency Scandal

Last update: 17 May 1997
Copyright (c) Henry G. Sheppard 1995, 1997