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Unless otherwise stated, all articles on atruechurch.info are written by Darwin Fish and all Scripture quotations are from the NKJV.
Contrary to what some may think, yes, Darwin Fish is my real name, and no, I don't believe in evolution. Darwin Fish is the name my parents gave me when I was born in 1961. At the time, to my knowledge, there was no "DarwinFish" symbol. My father's last name is "Fish," and my mother liked the name Darwin. So, this is my name. Some have suggested that I should change it, but I don't believe that would be honoring my father and mother (Exodus 20:12).
I have not openly cursed the day I was born as Jeremiah did (Jeremiah 20:14-18), but perhaps I have in my heart; for the days in which we live are dark (Ephesians 5:16). Masses are going to hell (Matthew 7:13-14). The god of this age has blinded most (2 Corinthians 4:4), and this has brought me great distress and sorrow (Romans 9:1-2). On the other hand, I know who has made this day in which we live, and He has made it just as it is; and so I also rejoice in it (Psalm 118:22-24).
No, I do not believe I am the only one on the planet who knows the truth (Jeremiah 35:19; Romans 11:5). God has his own, however many or few, wherever He may have them (e.g. 1 Kings 19:10, 18). Yet, I do not know, as of this date, any other body of believers that is in the truth. Nor have I seen any in history other than those recorded in Scripture (see our report entitled, Believers Of The Past, What Should We Expect To Find?). Not that they have not and do not exist, but I am not familiar with any (which is not an unbiblical concept, e.g. 1 Kings 19:14; Psalm 12:1; John 10:8). But, wherever they may be, they would be in the same way as we are, believing the same things (i.e. God's Word), because there is only one way (John 14:6). Contrary to the lewd teaching (Jude 4) of false Christianity, we believe that
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6)
He who is of God hears God's words. (John 8:47; see also 1 John 2:3-5)
This does not mean perfection in doctrine, but rather, obedience and compliance to the Word of God, particularly when confronted with it (1 Timothy 6:3-5). I have been corrected many times over from people both in and outside our fellowship (Proverbs 6:23).
As for my past, I was raised in a middle-class family that went to a United Methodist church as I was growing up (one of many false churches). Yet, the first time I remember hearing about hell and my need for "Christ" was when I was about nine years old through a broad road (Matthew 7:13) "Christian" named David Walsh (a friend of my uncle). He lead me in a prayer, and I "asked Jesus into my heart;" but a few years later I drifted away from this broad way (Proverbs 16:25; Matthew 7:13-14) and stopped reading the Bible.
While in high school, I ruined my life with marijuana for about six to nine months, and then began a "quest seeking the truth" (from my perverted perspective, Romans 3:11) for the next couple of years. In this quest, I searched for God (so I thought, Romans 1:18-23) through experiences, meditation (the ungodly Eastern type), and attempted to contact my "guardian angel." Of course, this was all actually in rebellion against God (Proverbs 17:11). Nevertheless, after being frightened away from this approach (an experiential approach), I met with Mormons on occasion for about nine months prior to finally turning to the Bible for answers in the early part of 1980.
The Mormons challenged me to ask God if what they were saying was true or not. I took their challenge to heart and asked God repeatedly if the Mormons were in the truth - or if they were not, who or what was?
Because I had been deceived several times before, finding myself at the doorway of evil when all the while thinking I was getting closer to God (Proverbs 14:12), I was very skeptical. I was determined not to follow any way that I did not know for certain was the truth. If I had any doubt, I was not going to make any commitment.
One day after attending a small home Bible study (non-Mormon) while still in this pursuit, God opened my eyes. The truth suddenly became abundantly clear (no doubt whatsoever!). The truth was in the Bible. In other words, the Bible, every bit of it, was true (i.e., God's Word). And, Jesus really did love me and He died for me! I was blown away. As a result, I turned wholeheartedly to Christ (so I thought) and His Word, and, of course, rejected Mormonism.
Not long thereafter, I was taken to John MacArthur's church (Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California). Because he used Scripture, and I really didn't know the Bible very well, I was taken in to think he was a man of God (2 Peter 2:18). I continued on (for the most part) at MacArthur's church for the next 12 years to my regret and almost to my eternal ruin (Matthew 7:13-14).
During this time (1980-1992), I worked for about a year as a driver in the handicapped ministry at Grace. At a different time I also was on staff (volunteer) for about a year in the high school ministry under Dewey Bertolini (a false teacher now in Oregon). I worked with junior high and high school kids for years, and for one of these years, was under the youth pastor (Ron Hanney) of a small false church in Santa Clarita, Bouquet Baptist Church (now called Bouquet Canyon Church).
Also during this time, I received in 1986 a Bachelor's degree in Biblical Languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic) from The Master's College (a false Christian school), married my wife, Kimberly in 1987, and spent nine months in Israel in 1988-89 studying the geography of the holy land and working on a Master's degree in Hebrew, which I never completed.
Moreover, in 1985 I began working for the Los Angeles County Probation Department. This employment gave me several years (1985-1993) of experience working with all kinds of people, particularly teenagers. Through this, I worked with the "dreggs" of society, some of whom admitted to murder, thievery, drug addiction, prostitution, being suicidal, etc.. I experienced first hand radically rebellious teenagers, hyperactive children, masochists, people who appeared to be completely given over to hatred and anger, those that would be classified as having "bulimia" or "anorexia", violent offenders, the mentally slow and uneducated, the so-called "mentally ill," those who claimed to be victims of abuse, and so on.
In the latter part of 1992, my sister and her husband came to me and requested that I teach them the Word of God in their home. They could not find a local church they believed was faithful to the Scriptures, so they asked me if I would come teach one Sunday a month. This I did beginning in 1993. This "once a month" soon became twice a month, and soon it turned into a weekly gathering.
By August of that same year, I believed that the Lord would have me study and preach the Word "full time" (1 Timothy 4:15). So, I quit my job as a Probation Officer for L.A. County Probation and gave myself entirely to the task of studying, preaching, and teaching the Bible (2 Timothy 4:2).
Because of the fear of God, because it is such an awesome responsibility to teach the people of God His Holy Word (James 3:1), and as part of loving and caring for people's spiritual well-being, I began to see problems with teachings and practices that I had not seen before. The first real water-shed eye-opener was Christmas. One Thursday night after a Bible study teaching against Halloween (an obviously evil holiday), I was asked, "What about Christmas?" I thought, "What about Christmas? There's no problem with Christmas, is there?" Soon thereafter, I studied up on Christmas (it's history and what it means today), and saw, for the first time in my life, that Christmas was a lie, unholy, and ungodly. When I saw the truth about Christmas, I began to wonder about all these "Christians" and "Christian" churches who celebrate such a lie.
And so it went. In the spirit of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Ephesians 5:11, etc., I began to examine everything and everybody. The next real water-shed issue that I had not seen before was the false teachings of John MacArthur. One of the many factors that really got me to question the man's integrity was his silence regarding Dr. James Dobson. If you are familiar with Dobson's teachings, you would know this intensely influential teacher in "Christianity" teaches the false gospel of self-esteem. In other words, Dobson teaches "another gospel" (self-esteem plus Christ). Paul says such a man is to be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). My question was, "Why doesn't MacArthur warn people about James Dobson?"
I asked MacArthur this very question one Sunday evening, and he gave me excuses as to why he doesn't get into "name-calling," and he said he didn't know if Dobson still teaches the gospel of self-esteem. I didn't buy it (John 10:11-13), and I went on to examine MacArthur's teaching thoroughly. I soon came to see that I had been under a false teacher for all these years. My quest for truth, I had thought, ended in 1980. Yet, now I had seen that I had been seriously deceived once again. The days we live in are dark (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Revelation 12:9).
This exposure of MacArthur as a false teacher was in February of 1994. In 1998 I realized that while following MacArthur (the years from 1980 to 1992) I did not know Christ (Proverbs 17:4; John 10:5). Also, in those early years (1993-1995) I came to see that the "Christian" world had been duped by a mass of false teachers (2 Timothy 4:3), and I began to see the broad road Jesus warns about in Matthew 7:13-14. In 1998 I realized every single last person on that broad way was lost, on their way to hell. Thus, so was I, when I was on it (from 1980-1993).
In 1993 I began to reject falsehood within that broad way (e.g. Psychology, Dobson, Christmas), and in 1994 I exposed MacArthur, Greg Laurie, Spurgeon, etc. as false teachers. Also, by July of 1994 I taught on 2 John 9, showing anyone who does not remain within the bounds of holy writ (all of the Bible) does not have God. Two months later (September), I exposed and rejected the very foundation of the broad way, the "essentials" or "fundamentals" lie (for more on this "essentials lie," click here). So, I systematically began to reject the false Christianity around me, and understood it led to hell. Yet, I did not realize every single last person involved in a false church was lost until 1998 when I came to understand John 10:5.
For those who may want to know when I believe I was saved, I will not give any specific date. I certainly was not Christ's sheep while I was following MacArthur (Proverbs 17:4; John 10:5). Sometime after I left MacArthur's church in 1993 and began teaching in my sister's home, I began to tremble before the Word of God in a big way (Isaiah 66:2; Proverbs 9:10). At what particular point (day or hour) God caused me to be born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3), I will not say. I don't want to presume to know and be wrong. God was opening my eyes to His Truth (and still is, 2 Peter 3:18), and I refuse to claim to know at what particular point this occcured. I do believe I have been born again (John 3:3-6; 1 John 2-5). I have seen the effects of it, as Jesus said in John 3:8. Moreover, I do know that I have many times over done as the tax collector (Luke 18:13-14), and I still do this (Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 5:3); and I know he went to his house justified (Luke 18:14; 1 John 1:9). My hope is not in a date, or a prayer, or an experience, but in the Lord Jesus Christ, and His grace that will be brought to me at His revelation (1 Peter 1:13; Hebrews 9:28).
This short synopsis on my life was written for those who may want to know a little about me. The truth is, I am not the issue. God and His Word is the issue. I will soon be gone from this planet, but His Word abides forever.
All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever. (1 Peter 1:24-25)
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