Because he had such notoriety in Dallas, his name became a "household word" in the Dallas press.

Father Brown's schemes caught up with him and he landed in a Dallas jail. One Sunday, radio and television late-breaking news announced that "Father J. Von Brown is dead."  He died in jail.

His followers crowded outside the Dallas County Jail, waiting for him to rise. He didn't rise. His body laid in state in the Lighthouse Church of God on Forest Avenue as the "saints" and other onlookers waited for his resurrection. They had seen him rise before and just knew he would do so again at any moment.

One day, two days, three days, seven days passed and Father J. Von Brown never got up. A group of people followed his body to the cemetery to begin a three-month wait for him to rise again. Not this time; he was really dead.

His followers were disillusioned, frustrated, angry, fooled by the teachings of this false prophet.


Rightly Dividing the Word

You may wonder how people could be so stupid. Remember, people less flamboyant and brazen teach false or ignorant doctrine from the pulpit every week. And, we must be careful or we can buy into falsehoods just like the followers of Father J. Von Brown.

Many of these teachers/preachers are not deliberately delivering wrong information.  Sometimes their interpretation of scripture is passed down from their family members or mentors. Generation after generation, then, perpetrate incorrect teaching without critically studying the Bible on their own. That's just one of many reasons each of us need to spend time studying the word and asking God to help us correctly understand His teaching.

Father J. Von Brown and others like him take advantage of the goodness, grace, mercy, and word of God. This behavior grieves the Holy Spirit of God and abuses the people of God.

When we find ourselves hearing and reading about God and we get the inkling that "this doesn't sound right", STOP, go to your Bible for yourself, pray that God would give you the knowledge to understand what it's saying and the wisdom to apply it.

Talk to someone you know is rooted and grounded in the unadulterated word of God and ask them to help you understand the truth of the Bible. The truth will "set you free" from the vulnerability of distorted, false teachings that can lead you in the path of sin.
God's grace is so sufficient that even Father Brown can enjoy the exoneration and reprieve of God at the end of the ages, IF he sincerely and truthfully received Jesus as his personal Savior during his lifetime.  That's the depth of God's incomprehensible grace.

Jude 4:  "For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Thelma Wells is President of A Woman of God Ministries, Dallas, Texas; a Woman of Faith conference speaker; a professor at the Master's School of Divinity and Author, Girl, Have I Got Good News For You! and other encouraging resources.

Sponsored by Master's Divinity School & Master's Graduate School of Divinity