by the will of God - cf. Acts 13:36
There is no greater joy ... than knowing that we have done God’s will, that we have pleased Him, that we have been true to His Word, to His love, and that we have responded in kind to His grace and commitment to us. If we keep these things in mind, it helps to stabilize our Christian life, gives us a real purpose and joy in simply being and saying and doing what He has planned for us; and that is a joy that will be ours for all eternity. Anything that violates this brings us temporary pleasure but lasting remorse.Dave Hunt – from Apples of Gold, March 22, 2012.
On Friday, April 5, 2013, Dave Hunt drew his final breath and entered into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was 86 years old and had been seriously ill for some time. His eulogy can be read at http://goo.gl/PIWSj
My purpose in this column is to pay tribute to Dave as being one who had an enormous impact on my life and ministry from the 1980s, when I was in my 40s, and to join it with a tribute to my great friend, Aeron Morgan, who was called to higher service about a month after Dave. Aeron knew and appreciated Dave
I was pastoring the Living Waters Assembly of God in Kyabram, Victoria, Australia at the time when I heard that many of Dave Hunt’s meetings in Assemblies of God Churches on his Australian tour had been cancelled on account of his book The Seduction of Christianity. The main reason for these cancellations was Dave’s criticism of the Buddhist and occult teachings of Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the largest Church in the world based in Seoul, South Korea. Cho, at the time, was the flavour of the month among Australian and New Zealand AoG pastors, many of whom had made pilgrimages to the Church in Seoul. I contacted the organiser of Dave’s tour and offered him meetings at Kyabram, but it was too late.
Dave’s book The Seduction of Christianity, first published in June 1985 (republished August 1st 1985) by Harvest House Publishers was a sensation—a veritable watershed in the world of Christian Apologetics. Others such as John MacArthur, Hank Hanegraaff and David Cloud have since echoed and amplified his exposures and warnings about the Word of Faith movement al la Ken Hagin, Ken Copeland et al, but Dave was the “file- leader”, and it took courage, which was one of DH’s strong characteristics. Yet for all that he was one of the most humble and modest gentlemen I have counted it a privilege to call mentor and friend.
Courage, humility and modesty surfaced early in his life, when in 1963, and long before I knew him, as a 37 year old married father of two children Dave was disciplined by his Open Brethren Church—West Valley Bible Church, California and made to sit at the back of the congregation being prevented from participating in the Lord’s Supper on account of his perceived Pentecostal leanings, while his wife Ruth and their family were admitted to the Lord’s Table. Dave accepted the discipline graciously, but would not recant on his experience. In one of his earliest books entitled Confessions of a Heretic © 1972 by Logos International, which is currently out of print, Dave gives his testimony to having been baptised by the Holy Spirit. These are his words extracted verbatim from an old copy given to me by my good friend David Douglas:
Two nights later I was on my knees in prayer after the Graham Crusade meeting. It was perhaps 2:00am when the presence of Christ seemed to fill the room and the warmth and tenderness of His love overwhelmed me. My heart seemed bursting with love in response, a love I wanted to express adequately, but my words sounded so drab in the atmosphere of heaven that filled the room. Suddenly I felt as though I had broken through some barrier into a new region of communication, for my heart was responding to Christ’s love in an intensely and satisfying communion.
It was then that I became aware of strange words my voice was speaking in a language I could not understand! Oddly enough, it seemed of no consequence that my mind could not understand. My spirit was in communion with the Spirit of God. I knew this was so, and that was all that mattered. As this communion flowed from my spirit to His Spirit, I listened with amazement to an indescribably beautiful language that came effortlessly from my lips.
Dave Hunt and Aeron Morgan were linked in doctrine, experience and emphasis and are now joined in heaven. It was my joy and privilege to know them both.
In 2008 Dave received the Harvest House Platinum Award signifying over 2.5 million total copies sold of his Harvest House titles. Harvest House still publishes A Woman Rides the Beast, Death of a Guru, and The God Makers. The Berean Call has recently published a Dave Hunt Classic edition of The Seduction of Christianity. His books have been translated into more than 50 languages. Were it not for his modest approach to life his writings (34 major works since 1975) could have made Dave and Ruth, herself a writer of no mean ability, incredibly wealthy, but they ploughed it all, and more, back into the work of the Lord through Berean Call to teach and warn God’s People in our time. Kathleen and I salute them both, having helped promote two of their tours to Australia and New Zealand and having ourselves visited and stayed in their home at Bend, Oregon, where we visited the offices of the also modestly established and operated Berean Call. There was nothing lavish or ostentatious about Dave Hunt.
I say that to say this - in my disagreement with my former colleagues when I protested about the way they treated Dave, on account of his denouncing Paul Yonggi Cho for heresy, the charge was made that DH was a hypocrite who had made millions of dollars from his book and that he had not the decency to speak to Cho before he went public on the issue. I raised the matter with DH, whose defence was that Cho had gone public so it was fair to examine his teachings publicly. He had however offered to discuss the matter with Cho publicly or privately, but the response he received was: “When Dave Hunt has a Church of 50,000 or more I will consider discussing the matter with him.” Such is the arrogance of false teachers as opposed to the modesty and humility of Christ’s true servants, of which, the two whom these tributes reference were part. They were both humble and godly men.
Dave is survived by his wife Ruth, and three of their four children and ten of their eleven grandchildren. Please remember the family and the ongoing ministry of the Berean Call under the capable directorship of Tom McMahon.
Respectfully presented:Philip L. PowellBrisbane, Australia - Aug 1, 2013.