Michael Landon

April 29, 2003

DO 27016/91

"All along, & especially recently, my beliefs have deeply disturbed some of my children, who have been terribly afraid that I will not have a place in God's house because I do not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. ... I have my own way."

(About a week before Michael Landon's death:)

1. That's almost the saddest story I ever read‚ the most awful story I've ever read, that story in Life Magazine about Michael Landon & his fight with cancer.—And his fight with God, really, because he says in this article that he doesn't believe Jesus is the Son of God! So he's fighting God all the way. No wonder he has cancer, the Lord's trying to humble him & make him cry out to the real God! Nobody can have God without Jesus. It just almost undoes all the good he's done. Claiming he believes in God without believing in Jesus is blasphemy! It's typical self-righteousness, like the Scribes & the Pharisees. …

2. His father was a Jew & his mother was a Catholic, but she was kind of crazy. His father must've sown all those seeds of doubt in him & unbelief in Jesus. The Jews think they can have faith in God without Jesus, but the Lord said they couldn't! Jesus said, "He that receiveth Me, receiveth the Father Who sent Me, & I & My Father are One."—Jn.13:20; 10:30. …

3. He's trying to be a tough guy, a big fighter, with all that hoopla claiming he's not scared to die. (Maria: Anyone who doesn't know the Lord better than that has to be scared to die!—Especially with his kids telling him he's not going to go to Heaven unless he receives Jesus!) At least some of his kids are Christians. (Maria: At least they have enough Christian faith in the Lord to know that you need to receive & believe in Jesus. Boy, he's sure had the Message, hasn't he?) Yes, but he's stubborn!

4. Well, God is dealing with him, & if before the end he finally receives the Lord, it will be a great testimony. (Maria: And then the Lord will probably heal him, because then he'll testify that it was Jesus that healed him.) Of course, & then he can give the Lord all the glory. (Maria: But if he doesn't receive Jesus, the Lord probably won't heal him at all.) And if he fights on to his stubborn, bitter end without the Lord, then he's going to be a worse testimony! (Maria: Besides the Devil's purpose of making him a terrible testimony‚ don't you think the Lord allowed him to reveal his unbelief now so that all the Christians who are praying for his healing will now start praying for his Salvation, his spiritual healing?) Right!

5. No wonder all of his TV shows went over so well with the ACs! They didn't even mind him talking about God as long as he stayed away from Jesus. He even says here that he doesn't know if there's an Afterlife!—Although he does say that he knows he's going to be together with his wife & kids. He said, "Is there some sort of a life to come? I don't know. I do know that the people I love on this Earth‚ I will be with them always." He believes in all the right things except the most right thing—& that's that Jesus is the Son of God! It's like God is really putting the pressure on him & he's fighting it like mad!

6. He's giving the unbelievers an excuse for not believing in Jesus! They'll say, "Look what a good guy he is & all the good things he's done & all the good shows he's made praising God, giving God the credit & extolling the virtues of righteousness & love & family & even the supernatural‚ but he doesn't believe in Jesus." That's a pretty bad testimony! I think that's even worse than if he'd never even made such shows! (Maria: Yes, I was going to say the same thing. And the only way he can rectify it now is to get saved & proclaim it far & wide & retract what he said & proclaim that he knows Jesus now‚ & then Jesus would probably heal him.) Yes, the Lord would probably heal him then.

7. He reminds me of Saint Paul‚ he's kicking against the pricks!—Acts 9:5.—Stubbornly, forcefully kicking against the pricks trying to save himself, all his carnal efforts to fight death. Oddly enough‚ he doesn't say anything about praying for God to heal him, he's giving all the credit to himself & his wife for fighting death & this sickness. It's pitiful!

8. It's such a bad testimony, almost worse than if he'd never even talked about God, when he says he doesn't believe in Jesus. That's just exactly what those self-righteous ACs would love, & he's therefore being a testimony against Christ. (Maria: Yes‚ & a glorious victory for the Devil!) Jesus as good as says, "They don't know anything about God because they won't believe in Me."—Jn.8:19,47. …

9. How sad, when he seemed to be such an example & testimony to the power & existence of God & even the Hereafter & miracles! It's typical of the self-righteous. … Here he is claiming to be an Angel & to believe in God, when he can't believe in God without Jesus! (Maria: And he's got all these millions of Christians worldwide uselessly praying for his healing! Well, I guess it's not useless. The Lord knows & the Lord will use those prayers as though they were praying for his Salvation, don't you think?) I think so. (Maria: The Lord knows your heart & your motivation, even if you're sort of praying in the wrong direction.)

10. Well, thank God he gave that interview, because that strips him completely of his own false righteousness & his false faith in God & shows what he really is—a self-righteous, hypocritical sinner without God or Jesus!

11. I was really shocked when the kids told me he didn't believe in Jesus, that was almost hard for me to accept, but here it is in his own words in Life Magazine! He says, "All along‚ & especially recently, my beliefs have deeply disturbed some of my children, who have been terribly afraid that I will not have a place in God's house because I do not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God." There's his confession of a lack of faith! What a terrible testimony! After all the good shows he's made about God & faith & answers to prayer, it turns out that he doesn't even know the Lord at all!

12. (Maria: Well, that shows something interesting, that God can even use the unsaved as a real witness for Him. I don't know why He didn't use a Christian to do the series, but like you said, maybe a Christian couldn't have gotten ahead like he did in the AC media & the AC World.) Yes, they wouldn't have accepted him. (Maria: So praise the Lord for that! Besides, many many people throughout the World who have seen "Highway to Heaven" won't read that article & won't be disillusioned.) Yes, although I'm sure the ACs will want to get that word around, because it's a testimony against Jesus! "See? You can be a good man … who talked about God all the time, & not even believe in Jesus!"—Which is a lie! In a sense, he's been acting a lie all these years, because you can't really know God & not know Jesus!

13. (Maria: It's like the little story I heard recently about these two businessmen, one was a Christian & the other wasn't. Finally the non-Christian went to a Gospel meeting & received the Lord & told his friend, who said, "Wonderful! That's tremendous! I'm a Christian, too." And the newly–saved Christian, stunned, said‚ "Do you know why it took so long for me to receive the Lord? You‚ John‚ never told me you were a Christian & never said anything about it‚ so I thought‚ 'Wow! If somebody can be that good & upright without knowing the Lord‚ then what need is there for Jesus?'") Exactly, it's a bad testimony. It's like the lumberjack who said, "They never found out!" (See Treasures‚ pg.458.)

14. In his fight against cancer he's giving all the credit to himself & his wife & he's saying very little, almost nothing about God, as though he's not looking for help from God at all!—Which literally belies his supposed faith in God! If he really believed in God & answers to prayer like he's acted in his shows, he'd be praying to God to be healed! (Maria: Yes, that's a good point.) But I didn't find anything about asking God for help in that whole article. All he said was, "I believe in God, I believe in family & I'm going to fight this thing to the death!", that sort of thing.

15. Well, that's the epitome, the ultimate in self-righteousness! He didn't talk about God at all, all he talked about was how he was going to "fight this thing to the death" if necessary. (Maria: Yes, before this article, the first statement he made to the press was that he was going to beat this thing. And now he's saying if death gets him, at least he's going to go out kicking & fighting. He's getting a little less sure that he's going to beat it. And if he's not afraid to die, why is he fighting so desperately?)

16. He's been kind of cocky. (Maria: I always sort of wondered about him, because he doesn't have much light on his face at all.) No. In fact, he almost looks a little mean, fierce or tough. (Maria: I thought, "Maybe he's just sort of a weak Christian who never grew up spiritually."

17. (But now that we know the truth, that he doesn't know Jesus, it's very interesting & really quite amazing to see how the Lord would still inspire him like that.) The Lord has used him in spite of his unbelief & his false faith. But at the same time, the Enemy is also using him to deny faith in Christ & make you think you can be a good man & believe in God without believing in Jesus. That's exactly what those ACs who use him want to hear! That's what he's preaching—a Christless God. He's preaching God without Salvation. The only other god there is, is the Devil! It's pitiful!

18. How terrible to have to fight a battle like that without the Lord! He doesn't say a thing about prayer or faith in God or "God help me" or anything like that. (Maria: Nor does he acknowledge the millions of people that are praying for him. He must be getting thousands & thousands & thousands of letters!) He said, "Ever since the news broke, I've been getting as many as 5‚500 letters a day!" (Maria: Most of them are probably from Christians who are telling him they're praying for him! So maybe he felt so guilty that in his self-righteousness he wanted to tell people in that article that he didn't believe in Jesus‚ because here they were all praying for him for Jesus to help him!)

19. I read something the other day where a very famous writer said that the media has always been anti–Christian, & that the biggest enemy of Christianity on Earth has been the media. …

20. It's really sad that such a good man is trying so hard to be good without God. You'd think if he ever believed in God, this is a time for him to cry out to God for help! But in that whole article he's not crying out to God for help at all. He's going to the doctors & eating health food & following his wife's counsel & everything else but crying to God. You'd think if he had real faith in God he'd be praying & crying to God for help, but neither that article nor the interview show it. It's pretty obvious that he really doesn't believe in God! He's hoodwinked millions of people who have been watching his show into thinking he believes in God when really he personally doesn't!

21. "Highway to Heaven"—what a lie! Jesus says‚ "I am the Way, the Truth & the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me!"—Jn.14:6. His whole series is a lie, supposedly exalting God & prayer & faith & healings & miracles, etc. (Maria: And Heaven & the Afterlife!) Yes. And he doesn't believe in any of that!

22. If there was ever a time that he'd be crying to God it's now‚ but there's not one sign of that in that whole article‚ his own story word for word! The whole article belies his supposed faith in God. Well, maybe he'll get around to it on the verge of death. He's very honest, at least. All through his article he's really blunt in his honesty & confession of the things that he thought he did wrong, etc. This is his third wife & he's had children by all three; that's why he has so many children.

23. He doesn't seem to have too much faith in doctors & he's going more for herbal remedies & health foods & diet to cure himself. Actually he's trying to play both sides of the fence because he's trying to get everything the doctors can give him too. He said he had a few shots of chemotherapy & it was so horrible that he quit. He said‚ "Chemotherapy just destroys your body, it tears it apart. I'd sooner die of cancer!"—Which I thought was a pretty good testimony against their methods.

24. (Maria: Lord, help Michael Landon to come to You, Jesus.) Amen, Lord, in his agony may he cry out to Thee!—At least cry out as many a Jew has & found You, Lord‚ by saying, "If Jesus is the Messiah, show me!" Help him believe it, Lord!

25. He doesn't even seem to be giving Jesus a chance. He's not even asking.—He's not even asking God to help him after all his shows he's made about believing in God & praying to God & expecting answers & miracles & all of that. Apparently he personally doesn't really believe or he'd certainly be crying out to God, but he doesn't say a thing about that in his whole article & confesses that he doesn't even believe in Jesus! Thank God he's got some children that know & love him & are praying for him & trying to lead him.

More on Michael Landon, after the News of His Sudden Death!

(About a week later:)

26. The Lord took him so quick—I guess He wanted to show the World that he couldn't get away with it. He knows better now! That's the wonderful thing about the Afterworld, things get straightened out there. (Maria: The bad thing about it is he can't come back & retract what he said.) He can't come back & straighten things out here.

27. I think a lot of people who know the Lord & the Spirit will know why he got so sick & the Lord let him be destroyed by the Enemy so young. (Maria: Well, maybe the Lord will have mercy on him since he did try to do so much good with his "Highway to Heaven" & other series.) He thought he believed in God, but he obviously didn't know Him.

(Later, to the Family:)

28. I'm sorry, but it doesn't look like we're going to have dear Michael Landon in Heaven, but we will have Timothy. I guess you heard that Timothy Concerned passed away about three weeks ago. Michael Landon was only 54, & of course Timothy was even younger than that, around 40. Tim got melanoma, a very serious cancer that you get from sunbathing. The Chain were great sun-worshippers.

29. It started with a big round black spot on his skin. It's a skin cancer, & it's one of the most deadly of all the cancers, because it can suddenly spread out through your entire system. It spread to Tim's brain & he was dead in just a few weeks. He went to Switzerland to a specialist to try to get some treatment, but nothing helped. At least we know he believed in the Lord‚ he just didn't love Him quite enough. So I'm sure he's gone to be with the Lord & I'm sure the Lord will be able to teach him a lot of things he needs to know.

30. And I'm sure Michael Landon is going to learn a few things too! He already knows quite a few of them, I'm sure! He knows better now than to say that Jesus is not the Son of God! That was a horrible, shocking thing to read with my own eyes in his own words! I could hardly believe it!—After all those years & years of making those good shows with good principles & do-gooder ideas!

31. But that's the most dangerous religion in the World, the religion of self–righteousness‚ the religion of thinking you can work your own way to Heaven just by doing good. Of course, I'm sure that pleased all the ACs who sponsored him & the AC media that loved him‚ because he never said a thing about Jesus. He claimed to worship God & believe in God & miracles & all kinds of things. Even the name of the show, "Highway to Heaven," indicates life after death!

32. Imagine the impertinence of calling it "Highway to Heaven" when Jesus is the only way to Heaven! Think of that! He was supposedly showing the "highway to Heaven"—"be good, do good‚ help others, love one another." That was the religion of the Pharisees & the Scribes & all those self–righteous hypocrites who surrounded Jesus at His crucifixion & crucified Him! …

(The next day, during Bible Class on the Book of John:)

33. Jesus said, "I am come in My Father's Name‚ & ye receive Me not: But if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive!"—John 5:43. That's been true of a lot of people, not just the Antichrist. The Antichrist is like the ultimate, one who will come in his own name & they'll then receive him. They'll receive him as though he were the Messiah. …

34. Look at Michael Landon! Too bad to have to use him now as a dandy bad example, but he's a false witness! He didn't know God or he would have received Jesus! That's what Jesus says here, that's the fact! Too bad. He seemed such a good witness & attracted so many audiences & so many people, but that's all the worse! That's why he's all the more evil, because he presented something that seemed like it was good. "Oh yes, that's wonderful, he believes in God & miracles & God's really using him!"

35. It's just what the AC producers & AC media wanted you to know or think. "Here's a man of God‚ he's almost like Jesus! He goes around everywhere doing good, miracles, talks to God, gets orders from God!" He was like the false christ, the false messiah.—Horrible! In California he was even jokingly referred to as "Jesus of Malibu!"

36. And because we believe in God & because we didn't know about Michael Landon & his lack of faith in God, we believed his deceit & his lies! (Speaks angrily:) His whole series was a lie! Michael Landon was a false witness against God & against Christ & he wound up his whole career testifying worldwide that "I do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God!" What a horrible witness! Isn't that sad? It's pitiful! It just almost breaks your heart! I wept over it & I prayed last night about it. I said, "Well, Lord, he knows better now! Now You can show him."

37. The same thing with Timothy. He forsook us & the Lord's Work. We never really heard anything good or anything he did for the Lord after that. He went back just to be with his wife (Deb [Cornia]) & his lover, Rachel. But now he knows better, & he's gone to be with the Lord‚ so there are a lot better chances for him. PTL!

38. But I often thought, "Michael Landon sure is cocky!" Sometimes he'd seem a little humble‚ but mostly he was sort of cocky & almost amused. Did you ever notice that? He'd just laugh about some things‚ their effect on Mark (his partner on "Highway to Heaven"), like it was funny. His attitude kind of worried me‚ that he was sometimes so cocky & had such bravado. That's the only way I can explain it. And he had a very hard face. It's sad to say these things, but it's true.

39. He was a liar, he didn't know God! He might have known things about God, but he certainly never knew God! He even rejected His Son! "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father & the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son‚ the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also."—1John 2:22,23. He may be going to worse punishment now than if he'd never made those shows, because he was pretending to know God when He didn't know God at all, sad to say. Jesus said, "He that is not for Me is against Me!—And He that gathereth not with Me, scattereth abroad!"—Mat.12:30.

40. We thought, "Well‚ those were wonderful preachments & look how much good he's doing‚ he's standing up for God & Love & 'love thy neighbour' & all those things!" Well, his end was more damaging than all the good of all his preachments put together.—Because in the end he became a blasphemous, sacrilegious liar against God, because he rejected Jesus Christ, our Saviour, God's Son!

41. Jesus sure lays it on through all these Chapters in the Book of John about those who claim to believe in God! He says, "You don't even know God, You don't even obey His commandments!"—John 8:19,24,37–47, etc.! That's the thing that really got'm in the crowd that was listening to Stephen. He said, "You don't even know Him & you don't obey Him!" And if there was anything that they bragged about all the time, it was that they kept the Law. They were so angry, they became like animals, devilish animals! They rushed on him & bit him with their teeth like dogs! Think of it!—And tore off his clothes & stoned him to death. (See Acts 7.)

42. You say, "Dad, how come you're so hard on [some people]?" Well, just keep on reading here & you'll see how hard Jesus was on … the people who knew it all & yet rejected Him!—Hardhearted!—Because their religion was one of self-righteousness. Oh, they obeyed the Law, they wouldn't touch the unclean things, they were "good" people.—Just like Michael Landon.

43. I can't help but believe he went straight to Hell! I'm sure there must be some kind of a learning place in Hell. Maybe he had to go to Purgatory for awhile to burn that unbelief out of him, & maybe some day we will see him & thank God for him & come to a happy ending of what is now a rather unhappy story.

44. I was hoping that with the pressure of death & in the face of death, on his death bed, that maybe he would cry out to God. But as far as we know, he didn't even cry out to God, much less Jesus! He was trying to prove how strong he was, "He was going to conquer this, he was going to fight it to the death!"—And that's exactly what he did! Not only that, but he fought God & he fought Jesus as far as we know.—Unless we hear some inside word from his children or family who were with him when he died. Well, someday we'll know, amen?

(Several days later during another Class on John:)

45. "And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life: He that cometh to Me shall never hunger: and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, & believe not."—John 6:35,36. That was the worst of all sins‚ to not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. That was Michael Landon's worst sin. It was bad enough that he made a whole series of shows claiming to believe in God, when without Jesus, how can you claim to really believe in God or personally know Him the way Michael Landon pretended to in that show of his!—And claiming to be good & do miracles & good works & to love people. The whole thing was a great big self-righteous‚ hypocritical pretense! As much as I used to like that series & think, "Oh, that's wonderful that he could talk about God & show miracles & help people, what a wonderful series!", it turned out sour.

46. His Last Will & Testament to the World was‚ "I do not believe Jesus was the Son of God!"—Which meant he didn't even know God! He claimed to know about God, but he said the worst possible thing he could have said to destroy his whole ministry & everything that he had accomplished in life! He sounded like he really believed in & knew God, but it turned out that he didn't know Him at all, think of that!—Because you can't know God without knowing Jesus!

47. It's the worst sin of all not to believe in Him! I mean, you could commit all kinds of sins & the Lord could forgive you, but He cannot forgive your not believing in Him! He says‚ "This is a sin which will not be forgiven, neither in this life, nor in the Next Life!"—Mat.12:31‚32.—Which is another proof that there is a next life! Jesus said it's blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, & that "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." That's a strong statement! In other words‚ to resist the Holy Ghost convincing & convicting you of the reality of Jesus, to resist believing in Jesus, this was the worst thing! Well, now Michael Landon knows better & maybe now, Lord, he will believe & You can have mercy on him.

Quiz Questions

  1. Can you be a good person who believes in God‚ & knows about Jesus but doesn't believe He's the Son of God, & yet be saved? Why or why not? (17,21,39-41,43)
  2. Complete this sentence: "No man cometh unto the Father but by ___."—John.14:6b. (21)
  3. Is there any unforgivable sin? What? (47)

Related Pubs

For further reading & study on subjects mentioned in this Letter, see "Flesh or Spirit‚" ML #45, & "Amazing Grace!", ML #1968 (DB8).

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family