A Biography of Shaun Willcock In His Own Words
I was born in Salisbury Rhodesia, in 1963. Today it is no more. Rhodesia fell to Communist terrorist forces and became Zimbabwe after a brutal revolution which lasted many years. My family and I left Rhodesia in 1974 and came to South Africa, where my parents had been born. And it was here, as a young teenager, that I was converted in 1978. By my final year of high school in 1980, I knew that the Lord was calling me to the ministry of His word. However, there was much false doctrine to be forsaken, and true doctrine to be embraced; and this process was to take some years.
I was converted to Christ while a member of the Methodist church (in spite of, and not because of, Methodism itself). Methodism in the 1970s, was moving relentlessly into more and more error. Women were being ordained as ministers; ecumenism was a growing evil; liberalism was spreading; political radicalism was increasing with the support being given to southern African terrorists organizations; and the influence of the Charismatic movement was beginning to be felt. Of course, many within the denomination knew little or nothing of these things at that time, and certainly I, a youngster, was ignorant of most of it. I received no sound teaching from the Methodist preachers I heard. Through a series of events, compounded by an utter lack of sound teaching, I became involved in the extreme Pentecostal movement, for to me at that time appeared (as it has to so many other youngsters) to be biblical. How wrong I was!
I became associated with a little church belonging to a small Pentecostal denomination, the South African Evangelistic Mission. In time, I became the assistant to the pastor, and a teacher in the church. But through it all, I was studying the word of God and keeping my eyes open. And step by step, the Lord began to lead me out of the errors of this system. From the outset, there were things that troubled me, and I was often uneasy and even appalled by much of what I saw. And sights they were! I saw people falling down in frenzied excitement, supposedly "slain in the Spirit" moaning and writhing, while the meetings degenerated into a cacophony of noise, screaming, shouting, crying, bodies on the floor.
I remember a woman for whom I was praying, who was determined that I was not going to let her. I literally held her up while I was praying, for I could see that it was sheer emotionalism, and she desired to fall as her friends were falling. I saw people supposedly "speaking in tongues," after being taught to do so by whoever was praying for them, people who, as time passed, revealed by their conduct that they had never been truly converted to Christ. Thinking that I would find separation from the world, everywhere I looked I saw the love of, and conformity to, the world. I longed for holiness, but those around me longed for signs and wonders, for thrills and entertainment. Little did I know at the time, but the reason for this was simple: the system with which I had become involved is a worldly system, full of worldly people.
They have no desire for holiness because they are strangers to the thrice-holy God. I was longing for fellowship with people who loved the Lord and desired to live separated lives unto Him and for His glory. But no matter which way I turned, I could fine none. Yet the Lord did not leave me to my ignorance. He delivered me in His perfect time. By 1986 I had come to reject much (though not all yet) of the errors I had first embraced. In early 1986, as I studied the word of God intensively, the Lord graciously opened by eyes to the errors of Arminianism, and showed me the truth of the doctrines of sovereign grace. As these precious truths dawned on my mind and in my heart, I was awestruck! The sovereignty of God, in the fact that not even the flight of a little sparrow occurs without being foreordained, the glorious truth that believers were ordained to eternal life from before the foundation of the world, the comforting assurance that once a person is in Christ, he is in Him forever--all these truths, and many more, were applied to my soul, and I embraced them, and rejoiced in them.
By then I had married Stacey. We had known each other since our early teens and had similar spiritual journeys. On our honeymoon I read to my new wife from a book I had discovered, which helped answer the remaining questions we had about the excesses of Pentecostalism. All the pieces of the jigsaw (puzzle) came together. We were fully delivered from that system. Newly married, with a very limited income, we had faced an uncertain future, humanly speaking. We looked by faith to the Lord, and month by month He provided for our needs. Meanwhile it was arranged that I could explain my "new" doctrine to the advisory board of the Pentecostal denomination. I agreed to this; but when the time came, I was given no opportunity to speak or explain anything.
Instead, despite not having heard from me, one pastor after another spoke against what I was teaching and against me personally. They questioned my stability and they implied that I was blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. The whole exercise lasted five hours, but were delivered from the system, and we rejoiced. While I knew the Lord had called me into the ministry of His Word as far back as 1980, it was only in 1986 that I was fully delivered from the false doctrines and practices I had held to. This was the result of utter lack of sound teaching and the imbibling of false teaching, which as a young, untaught, new convert I was simply unable to counter and refute. This period of breaking down and building up, of unraveling and casting off the false and embracing the true of seeing through the doctrines and traditions of men and devils, and of laying hold on the precious doctrines of God's divinely inspired word occupied some eight years from my conversion in 1978. Blessed be the Lord, He graciously taught me, during that period, through His word. I have proved, in my own experience, the truth of Psalm 119:130: "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." To God alone belongs all the glory!
And so, finally in 1986 I established a small independent church, and I have been pastoring ever since. The church is called the Bible Christian Church, and which seeks to be a light amid the spiritual darkness of our city. South Africa is filled with churches, but the vast majority of these are liberal, ecumenical, and political in their message. We stand separate from all these, seeking to serve the Lord without compromise, having "no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Ephesians 5:11). In addition, the Lord opened the way for me to establish a ministry of providing teaching from the word of God, and a biblical exposure of the Roman Catholic system and all that is associated with it. As I studied the word of God, and the history of the church, I came to see its central place through the centuries, and in modern times; and I became burden to exposed this; "mother of harlots and abominations of the earth" (Revelation 17:5) and her "daughters." And this included exposing the deceptions of the Charismatic movement, to which I had once belonged.
Our ministries include the publication of books, tracks, pamphlets, and a magazine, and the production of cassette taps; correspondence with Christians, Roman Catholics, and many others; the preaching of the gospel, and the distribution of gospel literature; and establishing local churches and assisting others to establish such churches, as and where the Lord opens the doors. We have sent gospel literature to priest, monks, and nuns throughout southern Africa, and many have requested further literature. Of course, many others have reacted with anger and hatred. We have received reports of people being converted, in various parts of the world, after reading the literature. By the Lord's grace, small churches have been established in South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Even in a maximum-security prison in Zambia where Roman Catholic on death row is converted after receiving the gospel literature, with other immates as well, a church was established.
It became important part of the work of Bible Based Ministries to expose the role of the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, and the South African Council of Churches in supporting the Communist revolution against South Africa. In the 1980s, more than ever before, South Africa was at the centre of the worldwide assault. And everywhere priests and ministers were supporting the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress (ANC). The diabolical doctrine of liberation theology (religious Communism) was in full swing! The world forces arrayed against South Africa were ultimately successful. In 1994 the Communist-controlled ANC took power, the consequence of an unfair election and a brutal revolution that left over fifty thousand people dead. The world rejoiced and viewed it as a "victory for democracy," but in reality it was an immense tragedy. Since then, the country has been in freefall in every possible way---politically, economically, and morally. Under the ANC rule, law and order has collapsed. South Africa now has the highest murder rate in the world. Health care and education are deteriorating rapidly. Most ominous of all believers, they are increasing signs of a growing intolerance towards biblical Christianity. Ecumenical and multi-faith movements are encouraged by the government, and laws are implemented which essence grace of God freely.
Under these conditions, then, we seek to live and serve the Lord. South Africa is very different today from with it was when this work first began. The future, humanly speaking, appears very bleak indeed; but the Lord is sovereign over all, and to Him we look by faith. We earnestly request the prayers of the Lord's people, for us, for the work of Bible Based Ministries, for the Bible Christian Church in South Africa, and for all faithful local churches.
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