Assembly history Faith Issues God's will

“What is God’s Will?….”

Bakht Singh

Bakht Singh“How can I know what God wants me to do?” Ask this question, and often the answer you’ll get is, “You need to hear from God, see his hand in circumstances, then expect confirmation.”

Missionaries recount marvelous examples of this. Bakht Singh, a famous indigenous church planter in India, used to tell how he was in a hotel in a strange city one night and realized he had forgotten to pack toothpaste. He asked God if he should go buy some, and God said yes. On the street he felt impelled to approach a man who, it turned out, needed the gospel, and was led to Christ. The circumstances confirmed God’s will.

This approach doesn’t always have a good outcome, however, and Bakht Singh was an example of this as well. When he used to visit the USA, G. V. Matthai, an acquaintance of George Geftakys from Biola days, organized his west coast itinerary. On one occasion George was to meet Bakht Singh at the airport and deliver him to a meeting of local Indian folks. The group waited and waited, and Bakht Singh never showed up. G. V. called George and was told, “Bakht Singh is resting, and will not be coming to the meeting.” In actuality, George had taken him, without consultation, to a meeting of the Fullerton Assembly instead!

One of Bakht Singh’s chief principles of guidance was, “Do not make your own plan.” Definitely this situation was not his own plan, so, expecting God to reveal his will by circumstances, he went with the flow. Arriving at a roomful of young people eager for the Word, he must have felt satisfactory confirmation from the Lord.

Unfortunately, when George introduced Bakht Singh, “the great servant of the Lord in India who has come to see God’s wonderful work here in the Assemblies”, we took his presence in an Assembly meeting as a strong confirmation of George’s credibility.

If only Bakht Singh had had a more objective and less mystical approach to guidance, he might have insisted on checking out the situation with G. V. Matthai first, and discovered George’s duplicitous scheme. He would have discerned God’s guidance immediately, as the Bible is pretty clear about not following liars and deceivers. He might even have been alarmed enough to expose George….and then how differently things might have turned out. At the very least, Bakht Singh would not returned to the Assembly several times to hold Holy Convocations, ensnaring us more and more deeply by his implicit approval of the Geftakys ministry.

2 comments on ““What is God’s Will?….”

  1. David Mauldin

    I use to fellowship with G.V. at Grace Bible Chapel. My conversations with him concerning Bahkt Singh lead me to conclude that George used Bahkt Singh as a front for his own schemes. George used Bahkt Singh’s name and testimony as a supossed overseer he could pretend accountability to and thus legitimize himself. I spent 15 years under George and throughout his ministry George constantly referred to Bahkt Singh when he claimed “Comendation” In other words George was looking for some legitimacy in his Fullerton ministry and he saw Bahkt Singh as someone who could do it for him. While I was a member of George’s Assembly I (along with the hundreds who joined during the 1980s) continuously heard about Bahkt Singh. Heard that he was a “Great servant of God in India” and that there were hundreds of Assemblies under his care, and that He, Bahkt Singh, was in complete approval of Georges ministry. George on many occasions inferred Bahkt Singh as having something to do with the inception of George’s ministry in Fullerton. Although we heard about Bahkt Singhthroughout the 1980s -90s, we never met him. He never visited….even wrote a personal letter addressed to George’s Assemblies during those years. Looking back at it now, Bahkt Singh was kind of a myth, a Goldstien character from 1984. It was like someone whom we dearly believed in was there but in truth the individual in our minds didn’t even exist. This was because Bahkt Singh’s true association with George was minimal at best. Just the way George wanted it.

  2. Wow. Bakht Singh was just before my time but he was often set forth as one of George’s peers. I never understood in my Assembly years why he didn’t visit after I joined in 1978. The story I always liked was how when Bakht was asked if he wanted seconds and he resounded, “My god is not my stomach!” Yet reports years later seem to indicate that he didn’t have the same standard when it came to ice cream. Funny how mystical spirituality is so random. You have to just learn the rules from whoever happens to be the spiritual giant.

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