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Below is the full transcript of the audio interview with Steve Gallagher of Eternal Weight Ministries Greg Gordon: Well, welcome to the first edition of “Thoughts Along The Pilgrim Way”. I am your host Greg Gordon and we have with us a wonderful guest and friend, Steve Gallagher. And this is our first show and we are glad to have Steve on the show. Welcome Steve! Steve Gallagher: Well, thanks for having me Greg. It’s privilege to be your first guest! What a blessing. Greg Gordon: Yup its a neat thing. We pray this will be a blessing to many people. Um, I just wanted to ask you Steve first to share with us abit about yourself, your background and maybe the ministries you have been a part of over the years. Steve Gallagher: Well Um, I came into the ministry in the mid 80′s and the Lord laid it on my heart to begin a ministry to help men who were in sexual sin. And we relocated to Kentucky from California where I am from. And began a work there and the Lord over the years brought many wonderful people to us and we built it up and it really has become a very godly place. Where men in sexual sin can come and receive the help they need. And then 4 years ago I stepped down from running the organization to just kind of venture out on my own abit more in regards to calling the Church back to godly holy living. And that really is my burden and passion to see people come into a vibrant walk with God and to know what it means to walk in holiness and godliness and to live a consecrated life. So that is what I am doing nowadays. Greg Gordon: Great. Can you just come back to the idea of sexual sin. How much really is that a problem in the Church today? We have heard the stats and have heard the problems, is it getting better? Is it still an issue we really need to deal with? I actually have not heard as much on this issue in the last year or two. So it almost seems to me that it is almost going away somehow or it is being dealt with by ministries? Just please explain a little to us what your thoughts are on that? Steve Gallagher: Well, I wish I could have kind of optimism but I believe that actually, what’s probably happening Greg, is the Church in general is acquiescing to the issue and accepting it: ‘That this is just part of life and people have addictions to pornography and sex, but you know we are all going to heaven so it’s not that big of a deal you know! This kind of thing isn’t really that bad and you know people have struggles. And God is full of grace and mercy.’ And so I think it is more of an mentality like that, that has crept into the Church. This pseudo grace mentality to where now hardly anything is even making people alarmed or upset. Greg Gordon: Wow, yea so is this still a problem for pastors do you think to? Do think pastors still have issues in this area? Steve Gallagher: Yes it definitely is. You know there are some practical reasons for that and some spiritual one’s I suppose. Just on a practical basis a pastor is a prime victim for pornography addiction and all that sort of types that sin can lead you into. Because he is a professional, he has his own office, he has his own hours he keeps he can come and go as he desires. he doesn’t really have to answer to people in the sense of his time. And so he can kind of, it is very easy for a pastor a professional pastor to be able to get involved in something like that. And of course they are targets of the enemy so the enemy is going to do everything they can to get pastors involved in pornography addiction or sexual addiction of some sort. Greg Gordon: Yes, interesting. Just for those that don’t know it’s and thats the ministry that Steve Gallagher has founded and has past on now. And has seen alot of fruitfulness from it. Ah, maybe Steve can you just share with us one testimony of just a life that was transformed at Pure Life. Maybe just choose one that you can share with the audience. Steve Gallagher: One that I could share is a man named Bradley who came to us a number of years ago. He was in college and dealing with homosexuality and just felt like he couldn’t get the victory over it and was out of control. He was addicted to crack cocaine and all of this. And when he came to us all he could think about was his homosexual identity and all of that. He had read all these trashy books on homosexuality and so his big question was when he came to Pure Life was do you guys understand homosexuality? And I said to Brad, “listen for the next 6 months that you are in this residential program I want you to just lay that aside. I know its a huge problem in your life and its affecting every area of your life. But for the next 6 months I just want you to lay it aside and focus completely on seeking God.” That’s basically what we do with everyone and he did that. And at the end that 6 months I said: “Now Brad, you had made such mountain out of homosexuality, where is that mountain now?” And you know he basically said: ‘It’s gone!” And thats what happens with peoples problems Greg. When God becomes big in their lives their problems tend to diminish and the Lord is able to change the way they think. And re-establish new values inside of them and He just has a way of pushing sin out of lives. If we will focus our attention on Him and make a solid connection with Him in our daily life. So Brad eventually came on staff and eventually runs now all the counselling at Pure Life Ministries. And he really is literally just one story out of hundreds of men who have been out of the facility there. Greg Gordon: That’s tremendous, thats great to hear. I guess transiting abit now in the interview. We are really interested to get some of your thoughts on what you have been doing lately which is one of your books titled “Standing Firm Through The Great Apostasy” And that title really sparked my interest when I first saw it and I was able to read through it. Maybe just give us abit of an overview of why you wrote the book and what was the purpose behind the book and how actually did it begin. The genesis of the book, Why did you write a book on the “Great Apostasy?” Steve Gallagher: Well, there is a story behind that and that is. It goes way back to the yearly days of Pure Life Ministries and I started realizing all the sexual sin issues I was dealing with in peoples lives, they were a symptom of something larger and that larger thing was that the Church in general had become more increasingly worldly. So I ended up writing a book “Intoxicated With Babylon” which was all about the worldliness in the Church and how it was leading the Church astray. And that book really impacted many lives. So the book that you are referring to which is “Standing Firm Through The Great Apostasy” is kind of like a follow up book to the other one. Because once I started looking at the worldliness in the Church and how peoples lives are being affected I started to realizing, “Wait a minute this is exactly what the Bible predicts would happen in the last days!” And I started spending hours and hours and hours, deeply studying Scripture about the apostasy and also looking in the Old Testament at the type of Israel and so on. And I started realizing the Bible actually says alot about the apostasy its just people haven’t put the two together in alot of cases. So thats kind of how that book evolved. It is a very frightening picture what I am seeing out there going on in the Church world today. Greg Gordon: Right, It’s a very sobering subject. I do not hear sermons on that topic rarely preached. Maybe just unpack to us abit about what the Bible teaches about the great apostasy that is going to come upon the Church. And are you almost saying also that the great apostasy is already upon us in some ways? Steve Gallagher: Well yes, I believe were maybe half way there in some sense. Basically what I believe about the great apostasy is that the Church (what I mean about the Church is not just Christianity in general where you are pulling in all the mainline denominations and so on that have long since fallen away from a vibrant walk with God). I am talking about the core unit that houses the oracles of God, if I could put it that way. Where the true believers are at and that is in the evangelical movement. And that the Evangelical movement per-se has fallen far from the life in God they once had. And one of the reasons I could see it so clearly was for the last 25 to 30 years I have studied the writings of godly men from the 19th century. And when you start reading about what they say about the apostasy. And when you start looking at the kind of Christianity they prescribed to and promoted and preached and wrote about. And then you see what is out there today there is such a huge difference between the two. That is when I started to realize: “Wow, the Church has already fallen so far from where she once was 100 years ago or even less.” So, that falling away is well under the way but we still have a long ways to go. There still is going to be people coming up through the ranks that are eventually once this thing finally plays itself out. Eventually are going to lead people into the worship of the Antichrist. So we still have a way’s to go but yet the Church is in trouble I really do believe that. Greg Gordon: Could you maybe just share with us what are one or two or a few of the main reasons and things that are leading the churches into apostasy? Steve Gallager: I think, if I were to narrow it down to a couple of things I would say the lifestyle in the West meaning: Europe, The United States, those kinds of places (The christianized part of the world). The life-style has become so intense and so fast paced and so flesh driven thats alot of it. It’s just hard for people (or at least they are not interested in it) to really slow their pace of life down and spend hours with God in His presence and to be happy to do that. So you have ministers who are constantly running, running, running going from this place to that place. Over busy, over scheduled, too much on their plates and they are the leaders in the Church. And especially the higher up the ladder you go, meaning you get into the radio preachers, you get into people who are writing books and travelling around doing conferences (in other words the big names) they the one’s that are the most stressed out! And how can you really walk with God and live at that pace of life? Look just as a contrast at the men of the Bible. John The Baptist spent years just out in the wilderness. Paul spent much time out in the wilderness. David spend years out in the wilderness. Total solitude. Quiet. Relaxed. Restful. Boring kind of living. You see the contrast just when you look at Biblical ministers versus ministers today. Greg Gordon: That seems so powerful to me. Because I can contribute part of my walk in the Lord that I got so busy doing nothing that I needed to slow down and get to the place of what did the Lord want me to do. And I can see how this can let someone come off of the tracks as it were with their walk with the Lord. What happens when people get to the place they are so off from hearing the voice of God they begin to teach false doctrines and false theologies. What can you suggest to people under churches that are preaching false doctrines the minister perhaps is “apostate” in some ways, what do you recommend to people in churches of that nature? Steve Gallagher: Well, I don’t consider myself an expert on that question. All I would say is that people who are sincere and they really want to have that kind of connection with the Lord, they go to church on sunday and they leave church very disappointed because it seems shallow, it seems even to the point of teaching false doctrines and so on. Every single person has to make that decision for themselves. You basically have three alternatives: you can stay in the church and pray for your pastor, you can try and go find another church (a better church), or you can just stay at home and have some kind of fellowship amongst your own family and other close people and have more of a house church in a informal setting. Those are our alternatives so each person really has to grapple with that and make that decision for themselves. Greg Gordon: You know I am in full support to submission to authority and praying for your pastor but like you are saying I guess there are times that we need to separate for our own spiritual health or good? Steve Gallagher: Well I believe there is a separation coming in the Church. And I fully believe in submission to authority and thats one of the problems in the Church is the lack of it. So I am not advocating you know a lack of submission but what I do believe is that the formal church is growing increasingly more cold to the things of God. More program oriented rather than Spirit-oriented. And true believers who are sincere and so on, are going to find themselves actually ostracized because when you start sharing with other “christians” your passion for the things of God you are going to start coming under persecution. Just verbal persecution but I do believe that whole momentum is heading towards in a direction that persecution is going to become something more then simply being ostracized by the status quo christians of our day. Greg Gordon: That is so sobering to me brother because in my studies of Church history there are even times in the 1600′s where anabaptist groups and other dissenter groups from the Catholic system where persecuted and put to death for their beliefs. And in my mind I wonder how that can happen to us here but you are saying there is a possibility that could actually happen? Steve Gallagher: Well I do believe that is where we are headed. And I think the day will come where we will have to quietly have house churches. House church meetings like they have in China and so on. Look at what happened in China when the communist came to power. They demanded that all the Christian churches join the Three-self church group and if you didn’t join the formal communist recognized church then you were going to be persecuted. And it was really bad. And it still is! People are being martyred in China now, today! And that is kinda where I see things going when the formal church as we know it is you know in my mind’s eye I see something growing colder and harder and crustier and more formal and religious. And away from the reality of God in peoples lives and so as that continues to happen and I do believe Scripture talks about this in Revelation 17. That segment of the church which will be vastly the large portion is going attack the remnant, those who are really walking with the Lord. And they are going to be used the enemy to most of the persecuting at first. And then of course they as well later become persecuted the Antichrist forces and so on. But I think that is the way things are headed as far as I am concerned having studying all of this out, that is the impression I have. The way it seems it is going to go. Greg Gordon: You know there is a popular viewpoint in Evangelical circles, Tim Lahaye and the “Left Behind Series” and I am not trying to juxtaposition you here for you to give your doctrinal persuasion on the end times. But what do you think about the popularity of the Pre-Tribulational rapture view and are there dangers to that in relation to what you are saying? Do you think there is a need for balance with these teachings? Steve Gallagher: I personally do not hold to the Pre-Trib rapture theory. I don’t tend to believe that’s the way things are going to go. But I will say this Greg in the early 1970′s when I first came to the Lord in the Jesus movement. When they talked about the rapture in those days it was with fear. Fear of the Lord. You know the whole atmosphere in the Church then was you better be ready to face the Lord, you better have your life together because we could be zapped out of here and standing before the Lord any moment. And there was a sense of imminency and a sense of fear tied in with it! But now when I hear about the rapture theory and all of that, I do not sense any fear of the Lord. What I sense is almost an entitlement attitude: “Oh yea we are all going to heaven and God’s going to zap us out of here and we are not going to face any hard times.” But as you well know Greg, you have studied Church history! The entire history of the Church is laden with persecution. In fact I would say Her finest hours were when She was being hotly persecuted. When believers were having to take a stand for their faith and it really cost them something. So for the Church to go into the “Tribulation period” at least as long as long as the persecution is going on, to me it just fits in line with the entirety of Church history. It doesn’t seem out of whack at all. I personally don’t hold to the Pre-Trib rapture theory, if someone believes that I am ok with that. I only hope they have the fear of the Lord to accompany that opinion. Greg Gordon: I remember Leonard Ravenhill saying the phrase with abit of a sarcastic tone: “Sit back, relax and be raptured. There is not cost to it.” And that kind of dovetails into what I wanted to just mention and ask you next. I have a Leonard Ravenhill plaque on the wall that says: “Lord keep me eternity conscious.” I know that Leonard Ravenhill had that placard on his desk and he really echoed the prayer of Jonathan Edwards that said “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs (or my eyelids).” And you wrote a book actually on “Eternity” could you maybe unpack to us what that book means to you and why you wrote it? Steve Gallagher: Well, the title of the book is “The Time Of Your Life” and the subtitle is ‘In light of eternity.’ And you know that is obviously a play off of Joel Osteen’s book which is diametrically opposed in spirit and message from what I wrote. What you get from his writing, his teachings and so on is all about getting everything you can out of life in this world. And my belief system is more along the lines: “Lord, I am willing to suffer or willing to go through anything I need to go through because I know one day I am going to be with You.” And that book also came through a process. It really began with my own studies about heaven. Certain visions I heard or read about that I felt really had the sense of genuineness to them. One of them is “My dream of heaven” or “Intro Morus” by Rebeca Springer. And that book, I was so affected by it when I read it, I would read it once every year just to keep eternity in my mind. She lived about in the 1890′s and actually died for a couple of minutes and came back to life. But during that couple of minutes of earth time she experienced life in heaven for some long period of time. And she wrote about it and it’s just beautiful and man, you read about heaven and it’s like “Man, I want to be there!” And then of course Randy Alcorn wrote a book on heaven which is a little different but it is also very good. So my book on eternity is more of a study of time, the way we live our lives and the last section is about life in the eternal. And that’s where we are headed, true believers are going into a place where there is no carnality, no worldliness, no strive, no ugliness, no pain. It is all we can imagine! When you have been in a service where the presence of God is so powerful that all you can do is weep, that’s what we are going into. Into a beautiful, wonderful place where God is glorified and His presence is persuasive. But for people who are living for this world and the things of this world. And are living in the flesh and their interests are in this earth life and in the temporal and in the pleasures and entrainment’s of this world and all these carnal things. I cannot see how that person has prepared themselves to go into that other realm where Jesus is King. That is something that I feel is apart of the apostasy. It’s that entire delusion that we can live like devils we can live for all the world has to offer us and then think that we are going to just transported into heaven and be with Jesus. I just don’t see it. Greg Gordon: Right. That is so powerful that you share those things and it just seems to me that church services that are meant to slow you down and get your mind to think on the Lord and meditate on Him. In our day church services are so rushed and busy and there is not one moment of silence. Could that possibly be one of the problems for Christians that the churches are not catering this kind of eternal thinking in their services? Steve Gallagher: Yea, I think that alot of that comes from the pastors life his own personal life. I know for myself cause there was a period when I was running Pure Life that I was busy and it was hard and it was stressful. But I had to spend 2 or 3 hours every morning. I had to have that time sitting with the Lord. And that is something I have done for 25 years you know. If other pastors somehow get by with less time with the Lord and still bring their congregation into the presence of God, I applaud them. I just know for myself I just need to have my own personal life in order. And you have been at one service at Pure Life Ministries and you remember Greg, that when the men come into that service they have to sit in silence for a minimum of 15 minutes. Many of them come in a half hour or an hour ahead of time and just sit there and seek the Lord in total silence. So in other words you compare that atmosphere at Pure Life before one of our services where everyone has been sitting there quietly seeking God and then we begin the services. You compare that to the typical American church where kids are running around people are gossiping, people are carrying on and talking about sports and this and that. And then all of a sudden we try and drum them up with some fast paced music or something. And you see the difference in the atmospheres! And I am not saying that Pure Life is everything or has done everything right that is not the point. I am just using that as an example of what church services could be like. Could really for themselves grasp the need to have that solitude with God. And then to somehow create that atmosphere inside their own church. I think you would see some churches that would get on fire for the things of God. Greg Gordon: That sounds like just a wonderful practical application for a church to even just try that one sunday. Just to say to be silent in the presence of the Lord to fix your mind and pray. Not just to empty your mind but to have a prayerful quiet attitude in your heart. I guess some churches could be surprised what could happen. Just to end this interview which we have enjoyed having with you brother. Just share your heart with pastors and ministry leaders on what’s on your heart, what you would like to share with them for a few minutes. Any practical suggestions in relation to what we talked about. Steve Gallagher: Well as far as pastors and ministers are concerned. I believe the more that they are really on fire for the Lord and preach the entire Gospel. The more animosity and opposition they are going to face. I’m not predicting an easy path. But what I will say is the results in heaven, the real results that occur in the kingdom of God. I am not talking about just big numbers, getting big numbers in the church. I am talking about bonified conversions where people go from living for self to living for God. From living for the things of the world to living for eternal mindset. You know radical conversions. That is what they can expect to follow that path if they will take that path. My heart is to encourage them to go in that direction and to give everything they have in their remaining years in ministry. So you know of course thats been my passion for many years to see the church come into that. And there are godly ministers out there, and there are sincere believers out there and there are pockets of Christians out there across the United States and Canada and other countries. They are out there. They are going to be coming increasingly ostracized I believe in the days ahead. Greg Gordon: Wow. Wonderful thoughts brother thank you so much for sharing them. Convicting but true. We thank you for coming in this interview and if people want to get in touch with Steve Gallagher they can go to we’ll link to the website in the interview transcription and if you want to get in contact with Steve Gallagher you can just email him through that website. And we are pleased to have you Steve. Thank you so much for coming out today. Steve Gallagher: Oh its been a blessing to be with you Greg and your audience. God bless you in what you are doing.

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