The Legacy of Stronglaw
by Patricia Backora
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The Legacy of Stronglaw
Deuteronomy 14: 22-29; Proverbs 22:16; Ezekiel 34:1-16; Matthew 7:15-20; John 8: 39,44; Romans 8:14-16; I Corinthians 2:4-5; 11:22; II Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:16-17; I Timothy1:4; 4:1-5; I Peter 5:1-4; II Peter 2:1-3; I John 3:2
Certain ones reading this have been hurt by this false apostle who claimed he was able to trace his lineage all the way back to King David. In the beginning, this man’s desire to separate man-made traditions from the pure truth of My Word was very sincere. But he threw the baby out with the bath water by rejecting many sound doctrines along with error. Ungrounded in grace, he was led astray by a deceiving religious spirit. One of his greatest self-deceptions was his claim that he really was an incarnation of Elijah the prophet, the one who is prophesied to reappear in the last days.
When I promised that Elijah would come again to intervene in human affairs, I literally meant that. There is no reincarnation of departed saints at all. That is a doctrine of demons. Besides, Elijah never did die, but was translated to heaven while he still lived. He will come back to earth to pronounce judgment against sinful mankind during the terrible Tribulation Period.
This alleged “son of David” claimed this high honor for himself by saying that every other church on earth was a false church except the one he founded, and he alone was preserving the original gospel once delivered unto the saints. Thus, he claimed to be the Elijah who was to come to restore all things.
Jesus made it clear that John the Baptist, His forerunner, had come in the spirit of Elijah, to warn My people of coming judgment and the need for repentance. John had a very special calling on his life, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit before his birth. Throughout human history, this has happened only rarely to infants yet unborn.
Although humans are not reincarnated, it is possible for a living saint to “take up the mantle” and continue the same type of ministry held by one who has departed this earth. Elijah’s servant Elisha did this. He received a double portion of the spirit that had been upon Elijah. His ministry, like Elijah’s, was characterized by the performance of miracles and warning the wicked of impending judgment. But he certainly didn’t believe himself to be a reincarnation of his master!
Stronglaw wasn’t totally ignorant of the plight of his poor flock, but he chose to turn a blind eye to it. He lived in his own insulated sphere, surrounded by his inner circle of cronies, who likewise profited from their big religious business. So he was far removed from your pain. He simply preferred to tell his miserable members that they were under My judgment, and that’s why they weren’t prospering. How contrary to My Word, where I emphasize the oneness and connectedness of the true Body of Christ, which will bear one another’s burdens in love. Instead, he and his cronies ruled over you with force and cruelty.
Did this deceiver take on the Mind of Christ, Who was meek and lowly in heart? And once he saw the fruits of his tyranny, did he repent at all, or did he enforce even more rigidly the error which gave rise to so much suffering? Which attitude would have been more lucrative?
How it grieves me to see the condition that crafty bamboozler left his victims in! I say to them: You were heavily taxed by compulsory tithing, and ruled over with rigor by Stronglaw’s henchmen. And if you didn’t cough up the cash on time, you were sentenced to double tithing. The New Covenant is one of grace and mercy. My Son taught His disciples to petition their loving Heavenly Father to: Forgive us our debts!”
Your dignity as an adult was continually undercut, even in front of your own children. You had to call the leadership “Sir”, and “Mr.”, while they felt free to address you by your first name and meddle in your personal affairs. You were told when and how to discipline your own children, and when you weren’t there to do it, they happily did it for you! So your integrity as priest and head over your own home was insulted by these men who strongarmed you into subservience.
Virtually every aspect of your life was dictated by your “spiritual overseers”, even the kind of food you ate. On pain of being disfellowshipped, both you and your equally miserable children were forced to travel long distances to keep Old Testament holidays in the manner dictated by that imperious “son of David”. I said in My Word: Let no man judge you in food or drink, or concerning religious holidays!
His ego was superinflated by alleged descent from King David, and who would dare dispute this imposter’s true identity as THE One and Only Latter-day Elijah! So you felt obligated to put him on a pedestal because who knows how uncelebrated your remote forbears were? That’s the impression you got, but not from Me.
Your life was a perpetual struggle to keep one nostril above the water line. A lot of children suffered privation because of the steep cost of their parents’ membership in Stronglaw’s “church”. They had to do without little luxuries which brighten the life of any child, and often even necessities like new shoes or dental care. Ofttimes you couldn’t even afford to shop at thrift shops! Some of you were discouraged from seeking higher education, so getting a well-paid job to keep Stronglaw in style was much more difficult. But no matter how meager your means, you were saddled with the burden of tithing to men so they could live in luxury.
How dare anyone pervert the true purpose of the tithe to suit themselves! The reason I enjoined tithing upon Old Testament saints was to insure that no one, including landless Levites, would go hungry at harvest time! The tithe was always levied upon the yield of the land, never upon cash money!
The Mosaic Law was given centuries before the Israelites complicated their own lives with burdensome government bureaucracy. This was a natural consequence of their stubborn demand that a human king rule directly over them, rather than the Lord. Especially during those years, their economy was based almost exclusively on private land ownership and agriculture. Tithes on money were never to be levied on landless laborers or anyone else! Nowhere in Scripture do I ever appoint any pseudo-Levite to exact 10% of your paycheck in the Name of Jesus! That is a tradition of men, plain and simple.
You were, in effect, enslaved to crafty manipulators of the Word of God. While you, one of the lowly “lay members”, were denied enjoyment of the fruits of your hard daily toil, the higher-ranking princes of the “true church” fared sumptuously. They dressed and lived like kings by leeching off “tithes” which they demanded of you in My Name. You often felt like a dog begging for scraps under his masters’ table!
As if to rub salt in the wound, Stronglaw drilled this proverb into you: A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children. What he meant was: It was My original intention that every family should possess its own plot of land to pass on to succeeding generations (the true source of the tithe!). And, you were taught that a good dad spent quality time with his son, playing ball games, or teaching him to hunt or fish.
The clear inference is that you were a failure as a father for not investing in real estate, and for not being there enough for your child. But how could you do either of those things? You were so afraid of excommunication, you had to work overtime just to put food on the table, pay burdensome taxes and triple-tithe. It was truly the Bread of Affliction you ate, and you often felt too tired to eat at all.
Yes, Stronglaw slapped a strong work ethic on you! This control freak kept you under his thumb by his insatiable appetite for tithes and offerings. You worked yourselves to tearful exhaustion, struggling to pay tribute money to church leaders AND government taxes, AND meet all the exorbitant costs of bare existence. So how could you ever invest in real estate, in order to bequesth an Old Testament-style inheritance to your descendants? And worse still, your children often felt like strangers to their own parents, who had almost no energy left to devote to them, once they staggered in the door at night from working double shifts.
Stronglaw didn’t have to subsist on such a low plane. He’d board a far nicer one bound for exotic destinations, where he’d hobnob with dignitaries, supposedly to spread his “only true gospel”. He asserted that his mission was to enlighten heads of state about God’s Way of Give, which was far better than the world’s Way of Get. This was, he said, the secret of running a successful national economy or government. How inconsistent of him. He prophesied that the world would only get worse, not better. He was correct about that, but why bother to waste YOUR hard-earned cash to try to reform world governments, when the unspun truth is this: No one can ever educate evil out of a crooked politician’s soul. Only the Blood of the Lamb, applied by faith to a person’s human heart will ever transform him. That is a work of the Spirit of Grace, not a persuasive tongue.
But who was Stronglaw to preach selfless generosity! How could this connoisseur of haute cuisine identify with Elijah, the persecuted, penniless prophet, and lord it over tithe-payers whose usual fare was peanut butter sandwiches and macaroni? Why were fellowship meals segregated? Why did Stronglaw and his cronies feast like royalty at separate tables, and often in their own private dining rooms, while his slaves dined on far poorer fare? Instead of wasting “tithe money” on the finest delicacies, why didn’t this greedy “giving enthusiast” convert a little of his spare fat into a special fund to help mitigate the misery caused by his hard-line manifesto?
You sometimes berate yourself for being suckered into that organization, and getting so entangled in their deceit that you felt powerless to break away, even for the sake of your own children. You lament the years you wasted wondering if your discontent sprang from your own personal sin. You wonder what life might have been like if only your search for Me had taken you down a different path.
Now that the founder of that cult is dead, your eyes are open to the untainted truth of My Love. But be thankful that I am even now revealing the beauty of My Son to you; the lovely Savior Who said: Come unto Me, all ye who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Now, would My dear Son, (and the ONLY Son of David you should ever pay homage to) ever have said that if He wanted His disciples to work like peons to keep Him in luxury? It was usual for ancient rulers to keep slaves toiling in gold and silver mines to provide wealth to gratify their selfish egos, but not the self-sacrificing King of kings Who laid down His own life for His sheep! I have said in My Word: By their fruits ye shall know them!
As for possessing a superior ancestry, Jesus never was impressed by such a thing. He once said to some snobby, scholarly, worldly-wise Pharisees who prided themselves on physical descent from Abraham: You are of your father the devil, and his works you will do. Your works bear testimony to your true spiritual condition, not the slick spin you put on Scripture, or some preposterous pedigree you can chart on paper. Your DNA will count for nothing when you must stand before Me and give account of your life! Your bloodline will never save you, only the precious blood of Jesus!
When you were entangled in “the only true church”, you hardly felt alive, you were so impoverished by it. But I have promised to give you life, and life more abundantly. I have called you to a life of unfettered joy, my dear one. By faith in My Son, you are ALREADY born again into My Kingdom. Contrary to what you were taught, you don’t have to wait for assurance of salvation until you’ve spent a lifetime struggling to keep Stronglaw’s version of Old Testament laws; rules he himself adapted to modern life and found advantageous to enforce upon modern-day seekers of Christ.
Never let anyone lord it over you in My Name, boasting of a superior family tree. If you have received Christ into your heart by faith in Him alone, you are MY precious, beloved, unique child. And I, as Your Heavenly Father, am far greater than any human dignitary who ever lived.
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