Letter from Pastor Balcombe to Leung 99

13 November 1999

Dear Leung Yat-wah and Zion Church leaders:

Several weeks ago it was reported to me by the pastor of a fellowship church in the New Territories that you were asked about your teaching of a “millennium catastrophe” and thus the storage of supplies, food and water. He claimed that you stated, “even Pastor Balcombe and Revival Church believe there will be a breakdown of society, and they are doing the same”. I did not personally hear the alleged report, as I was not in Hong Kong at the time, and cannot verify if this is a true report.

However inasmuch this has a direct impact on my reputation, that of our church and all the ministries we are involved in, we immediately made a public statement in regards to this matter. I have for years taken a strong stand on this nonsense of some widespread disaster and breakdown of society due to alleged computer failures in 2000. We cannot blame people of the world, for they don’t know Christ and their lives often are controlled by fear and Satan. However there is no reason for such nonsense to be preached in the church. It has nothing to do with the Gospel, in fact is totally opposed to the whole spirit of Christ.

It is now obvious to any rational person, that there will be few if any major problems relating to Y2K in HK, North America and almost of the major nations, which are well prepared. What will happen to Zion Church and the many others who have been predicting a collapse of society? You may not be aware of this, but you have now put yourself on par with all the other “doomsdays cults” that have risen and fallen throughout history. The fate of “doomsdays cults” is well documented, and you obviously supported at least one of them.

I have great concern. When all your predictions and prophecies are proven false on January 1, will there be a mass suicide or mass poisoning of your followers? Or will the people be so disillusioned that they turn against Christ and the church? Or will there be some other “new revelation” to explain what happen, thus taking the “church” into more deception? Inasmuch as the media gave extensive coverage of this during the past few months, they will almost for sure be there to record what happens. Your activities have already brought a great reproach to the cause of Christ and the Gospel, and this will certain add to this perception that Christianity is a religion full of “crackpots”.

I have a special concern for those former members of Revival Church who are now with you. I have thus recently tried to at least contact some by phone to try to obtain a fuller understanding of your present teaching. I wanted to learn and also offer my assistance if it was needed. But apparently your “church regulations” do allow contact of members with pastors and other Christians who disagree with you. Therefore I was unsuccessful in making any contact.

Thus I write to letter to you, and hope that you will at least read this and if possible allow me to meet you or one of the church-workers. This matter is of vital importance.

I feel strongly about what I see is the continued and unashamed disregard for the truth of the Word of God and the Body of Christ in Hong Kong by Zion Church. Thus I am preparing a written report that I will send to at least 20,000 people around the world, the majority being churches and pastors. The same report will also be available on the Internet.

Unless I soon hear from you, based on the audiotapes you personally gave me of your teachings, personal statements by former members of your church documenting your teachings, and news media reports, I will for certain expose the false teachings and ungodly cultist practices of Zion Church. Everything is well documented, so nobody will consider it slander. It will be based simply on your own very clear teachings and known practices of your church.

Humility, the willingness to receive reproof and instruction (the Book of Proverbs), and the courage to admit it when one is wrong or has been deceived, is the mark of a man of God. Myself and many others whom the Lord is using (including the man whom you used to boast about, Benny Hinn) have done this very thing over and over, and in public.

All men of God throughout history have done this. Many churches and whole movements have done this, and thus were not cast off by God as He continued to move in His Church. An example is the “Church of God” of Pasadena, California, let by Garner Ted Armstrong. It was very much a cult, and a dangerous one at that. However a few years ago the whole leadership of the church admitted they were teaching false doctrine and heresy, and asked for forgiveness from the Body of Christ. The have now not only totally embraced the pure evangelical gospel and solid fundamental doctrine, they have also accepted the work of the Holy Spirit. As such they now have a powerful positive effect on the Lord’s work and are accepted by the whole church.

Any one can fall into deception or allow a critical divisive spirit to take control. The greatest men of God and most powerful movements are the most vulnerable to this satanic attack. It takes real courage to admit that one might be wrong and go to others for help. But according to God’s word, it is a fool who despises correction.

I am writing this to you to plead with you to give me an opportunity to discuss the matters of your teaching from the foundation of the Scriptures and solid Christian theology. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. I would like to have the chance to show you from God’s word what the message of Christianity is all about, and what the church really is.

I of course would be willing to listen to you, as I did before. You gave me several dozen audiotapes July 1996, and I have listened to all of them dozens of times, and even have recently listened to them again. I have in great depth investigated your claims and teaching. I have found all of them to be in error and against the very spirit of Christ. Even so, I would be willing to listen to any new evidence you have and would hope that you will be willing to listen to my opinion.

You may recall that Revival Church co-workers carefully transcribed all the tapes and recorded the testimonies of various ones who had been in your bible studies in the late 1980’s. By that time you had left Revival Church we had no personal contact. We thus sent you some registered mail stating our understanding of your teaching, and requesting that you reply whether our perception was right or not. We told you that if you refused to reply by a certain date, we would consider what we heard and had recorded on paper to be your actual position.

You never replied to any of our messages, thus we made a public announcement that your teachings were heresy and against the word of God, and your “ministerial ethics” were in violation of that of a servant of God. That was a stand that we never regretted, for to my knowledge, not one single Revival Church member has since had anything to do with Zion Church.

At one time some evangelicals denounced us as a “cult” for our stand on the Baptism of the Spirit and tongues. But thanks to God, now in HK and throughout Asia, the vast majority of all churches accept these truths. Revival Church has close fellowship with the majority of churches and often participate in joint meetings of thousands of believers such as we did on November 14. Our people can proudly declare to others that they are members of Revival Church knowing the stand of the church on the authority of the Word of God alone, and it’s good relationship with the whole church in HK and around the world.

Zion Church has the opportunity to now make this radical and life-saving change. It will not be easy, and I am willing to do my best to help. Before we enter the new millennium and your prophecies are proven wrong, it is a good time to admit to error, come under the covering of another reputable ministry, and make reconciliation with other churches. Thus your church, as the church mentioned above, will slowly after a few years find acceptance by God and man.

The issue is not whether or not Y2K will bring disaster to mankind. It is the fact that this has nothing to do with the Gospel, in fact the whole spirit is contrary to the Gospel. We are only called to preach Christ. Paul even warned in his epistles against those who taught that the end was at hand. His definition of the Gospel is clearly recorded in the first verses of 1 Corinthians 15. The prophecies Christ gave in Matthew 24, Luke 23 and Mark 13 were never intended to be a subject of the Gospel. It was a warning to people living then of the imminent disaster from the invasion of the Roman army, which was fulfilled in that generation. Though this terrible disaster for the Jews happened within a few decades of the day of Pentecost, there is no record of it being the subject of any sermon in the Book of Acts. The Gospel is the good news of what God has done for fallen man. Doomsday prophecies have no part in the message of the church.

If economic collapse and social disorder comes, God will certainly protect His people and provide for them, as He has done throughout history. You almost certainly picked this up this teaching from right-wing fundamentalist or charismatic groups on the Internet. They most likely are based in the US. It is sad that many ministries no longer are excited with the message of the cross and evangelism, and always are looking for some new thing to keep their TV ratings up and sell books. But now as we approach 2000 and the certainty that nothing will happen, none of them are now talking about Y2K. To do so would mean disaster for their “ministry”.

I would like to remind you of a very important Scripture that is the test of all ministry from God, 2 Corinthians 4:2, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

A man of God must “set forth the truth plainly.” I will point out a few areas that I believe your teachings are not the truth, but are false in every sense of the word.

In 1996 when Pastor Samuel Chow and myself visited you, Pastor Chow specifically brought up the one matter that was of the greatest concern to him. That was your teaching that David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, whom all died in a raid by US Federal officers, was a proper godly church and they were killed for standing for the truth. Exactly how they died is still a controversial issue, but even if it can be proven that the government deliberately murdered them, you cannot deny the fact that this was a horrible cult, which wielded absolute control over its members. The teachings of this cult were heresy, not the Bible. David Koresh was a sex pervert.

Volumes of evidence to the above were given in many subsequent legal trials of the remaining members. The people were not allowed to freely leave, and the fact that they were all armed with heavy weapons waiting for some doomsday scenario, proves they were a cult. Weapons have nothing do with Christianity. Remember what Jesus said to Peter when he tried to defend Him with a sword? David Koresh was terribly bound by a lustful spirit, as most cult leaders are. According to information I have found, he had illicit perverse sexual relations with up to 40 different women disciples, many at the same time. In fact there is one picture on the Internet of a father with four of his young daughters, in which three where his “wives” at the same time.

Thus, by giving approval and support of this terrible cult that resulted in the destruction of scores of people and a great reproach to Christianity, you are in danger of opening yourself up to the same spirits of cultist control of people, heresy and worse of all, sexual lust and perversion. There is no way a true Christian can support such an awful perverted cult, regardless of how they died. To be honest, this is the main reason I will take a strong stand against Zion Church, for people always imitate and emulate people they respect. It is possible that Zion Church will have a similar horrible fate as the Branch Davidians. I challenge you to look at the facts and cease your support of these people.

You also told Pastor Chow and myself that you would promote and ingest hydrogen peroxide as long as you live. I have not heard much about that recently, nor have I heard you say the teaching is false. Thus I can only assume that it is still your stand. After I saw you and you gave me some literature and a videotape. I thus spent extended weeks in deep research in the matter. I believe I found enough accurate information to refute every claim you made about H2O2.

I personally contacted two of the so-called “expert” supporters of H2O2 you mentioned, one in Germany and the other in Texas. I tried to get them to give me a statement in writing that they believed that H2O2 was beneficial to one’s health and is not a poison or dangerous. Both refused to do so. On the contrary I found volumes of information that clearly refutes all your claims about this. I will not take the time to share this with you now.

And then there is the whole “world financial conspiracy” theory. It is totally something in the heads of the “conspiracy” crowd and has no basis in fact. It is not true that the Rothschild or Rockefeller families are behind the world financial system, or that the medical profession is proving any finances to them. Your teaching that the people are not to put their money in the bank, borrow money, etc, is clearly against the teaching of the Bible (Luke 19:23).

Putting aside religious reasons, had you recently purchased stocks or put your money in the Tracker Fund as many did, you would have gained a total of 10% increase in only a couple weeks. Of course there is a risk the funds will decline, but this is how the world financial system works, and there is nothing wrong with making such investments. If your money were to be used for the kingdom of God, you would have had much more to bless more people. We are called to be stewards of the kingdom, and money is a vital part of this. In short, there is absolutely no control of the world financial system by the antichrist forces.

According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with procuring loans, lending money or participating in the world financial system. Jesus totally approved of this, including that of paying taxes. You claimed that the “Illuminati”, a secret antichrist organization is behind the world financial system. I researched this and found that the “Illuminati” has been a defunct organization for at least 100 years. While the Freemasons are involved in some church (Anglican) and political circles, there is no proof they are in control of the world political or financial systems.

You claimed that the United Nations, through its development of the AIDS disease, will “kill” 1/5 of the world’s population by the year 2000. Now we only have several weeks before 2000, and there is no evidence that AIDS is killing any more people than it was a few years ago. In fact in many nations it is at least coming under some control.

Those who have left Zion Church recently told me, “Jesus and the Gospel is never preached at all. All Zion preaches about is technology and the whole church is involved in buying and selling in direct sales or pyramid schemes.” If this is true, you cannot be called a “church” anymore. This member said, “This is not what I believed in Jesus for, and that is why I left.” Once again, none of this has anything to do with the Gospel. It is an abomination to use the church to do business, as we see when Jesus drove the businessmen out of the temple.

The fact that Christ is no longer exalted in Zion Church, there is absolutely no respect for either the Word of God or other churches, you are predicting a doomsday scenario in 2000 and have stored all kinds of food stuffs and equipment, cannot but cause us great worry. Will it be a repeat of Branch Davidians, Jim Jones and People’s Temple, the Heaven’s Gate cult, Order of the Solar Temple, etc.?

I feel strongly that if you don’t resolutely face the issue of cultist tendencies and false teaching, Zion Church of Hong Kong will in the near future joint the list of destructive cults. The crackdown of the Chinese government against Falun Gong is a warning to everyone who claims to speak for God. It takes no time at all for false teaching to spread and eventually ensnare millions. Having large numbers of members in Zion Church does not in any way prove you are of God. It may prove just the opposite. What heresy or cult cannot boast of large numbers of followers?

I hope that you take this correspondence very seriously. I cannot let this matter rest for at lest some of the leaders of Zion Church came from Revival Church, and I am responsible for them and the great reproach all this has brought to the cause of Christ in Hong Kong. Before the fiasco of H2O2, about four pastors called me and reproved me for not sharing the information I had about Zion Church with all the other churches. They were all evangelicals who were baptized in the Spirit, subsequently had to leave their evangelical churches, and were in the process of building up own churches. They said their churches were destroyed and the people taken away by Zion.

I had to apologize to these pastors for not warning the body of Christ. Now that I see an even greater danger coming that may literally mean life or death for hundred of Hong Kong people, I will do everything to prevent a possible disaster. I have already discussed this matter with many of the key leaders in Hong Kong and the United States, and they all agree that it is important to speak up. Remember, everything is clearly documented by your audiotapes and statements to the media, as well as the testimonies of former Zion Church members.

Once again, I only ask for the chance to meet any of you and discuss these matters. If I am wrong on any of these matters, or if you have changed your position on any of your doctrines or practices, I will accept what you say and not mention those issues. I will not hold you ransom over what you have said in the past. And if you can prove that I am wrong, I will accept that. Also, If I sense you are trying to teach and obey the pure teaching of God’s Word, and doing your best to undo wrongs of the past, I will stand behind you and do my best to see your church restored to fellowship with other churches.

I write quicker in English than Chinese, and due to the urgency of this matter, have sent you this English copy. However I will attempt to have this translated into Chinese soon, and send you a Chinese translation.

I thank you for your attention to this most urgent matter.

Sincerely Yours,

Dennis Balcombe