Sword of JoshuaSword of JoshuaSword of Joshua


Copyright © Jules Dervaes

November 4, 2008

[The following commentary is a follow-up to “Lollipops,” published Day of Atonement, October 9, 2008]

[First published October 16, 2008]

The time has come to settle conclusively the issue of where God is working and who His people are today. It was in January, 1986, that a rich, complacent WCG became confused and out of that confusion there arose what would grow to be the most insidious rebellion ever against God. Since all essential doctrines remained the same at first, there was no clear and present evidence of error to raise a red flag. True to form, spiritual sickness would have its origin in the heart and initially be manifested in affected attitude, breaking out as callous, worldly behavior.

The source of infection was identified to be the top ministers; but, inevitably, due to sycophantic dispositions combined with leader idolization, the ranks of the ailing swelled rapidly. Without a quarantine to cut off the viral element, the outbreak was not stemmed until the epidemic extended from “the head to the soles of the feet.” Yet, even when evidence surfaced to confirm the presence of disease, there was no turning to God to seek His super-natural cure. Instead of taking the strong, slow-acting medicine prescribed in the Bible, many were desperate for quick relief. Sensing a golden opportunity to take in the weak, self-serving ministers began hawking snake oil. And, on and on, their scam has continued to this day.

These hirelings, who had drawn salaries as officials supporting the organization, who, as benefactors, had nurtured its culture of mindless conformity, and who had marched along at the head of the line in complicit silence, are guilty. Called to serve God, they had served an organization where they were employed. Called to protect His flock, they had protected their jobs. No wonder, then, that at the sight of so many lost and helpless sheep, they turned wolves. So, when it became obvious that the head of the WCG had failed to stay true to his calling, a leadership vacuum occurred which tested the trueness of all those under him. The result was one of wholesale corruption; as history has shown, what ensued was a feeding frenzy where it was every wolf for himself.

[First published October 19, 2008]

The natural thing for normal people to do, in the aftermath of a crisis, would be at least to question, if not outright accuse, those in the administration on whose watch it occurred. For the catastrophic, spiritual collapse of the church, none of the ministry was held responsible. The selfsame leaders who aided in the creation of the problems or who cowardly stood by without lifting a finger to halt the destruction were, instead, given unqualified support to continue in their same role as charlatans but in different venues. The dressing up of their fabricated churches in brand new clothes (new name, new HQ, new media productions, etc.), gave the old bosses just what they needed to cover their seditious tracks, a fresh, youthful look to the timeworn power ploy. With ministers not being accountable for wrong actions as other officials would have been, they had no reason to stop their ruse on the one hand. And, on the other, members were quite happy to keep their seats in an official assembly, one made official by the dictates of officially ordained ministers, even though they were actually rebels bent on unseating God.

It takes two to make this most harmful scam work. Ministers, with the ultimate of arrogance, presumed that God would follow them wherever they wanted to go; and joining them are members wanting to go wherever the ministers are and presuming God will be there, too. Both parties calculated that God had to stay put in “His” church and, thus, had nowhere else to go. Absurdly, the most shameless gold-diggers (singly or as a syndicate) legally staked out claims to God. This is, throughout all of history, the grossest of perversions. The real God follows no man, not even ordained ones; He does not belong to any group, not even His own sacred one. The real servant of that God seeks to follow, and belong to, Him only and will suffer individual trials to achieve oneness with Him alone. False ministers take followers to themselves and demand oneness with their persons through preaching that their views are God’s. This utterly vain equality incriminates churches “of God” for the inferred idolatry of fixing their ministry in this world in place of God Himself.

Always, the church of God has had internal problems. To not believe that is to not understand the human nature of the humans running the earthly organization. At certain times, God’s church has notoriously erred. To refuse to see that is to have no understanding of history, basically turning your back on the Bible which lays out the evidence in black and white. When an entire church administration becomes corrupt, it means the decay extended completely from the top all the way down, leaving God with no minister to work through. At first, it was human weakness in the ministerial ranks that allowed the original error to go unchecked. There could have been repentance then and the damage could have been limited. But, egos came into play as pride reared its ugly head. With money and power added to the mix, the initial mistake boiled over into the outright wickedness of insurrection. Fomenting division, corrupt ministers carved up the one corrupt church into many corrupt pieces, all of which were founded in evil.

For Bible believers, it should be obvious that God hates rebellion. Obviously, it is not clear in the least, however, that God hates rebellion no matter what, no matter why, and no matter by whom. Under no conditions could insurrection be considered divinely correct, because that would leave anyone able to do what he saw as right in his own eyes. Through justification, wrong things are seen as right in wrongful circumstances. Thus armed with human reasoning, followers of God were swept along in a God-despised rebellion as they followed their leaders who, most heinously, were using God’s name to overthrow Him. In order to accept this truth, one who was duped must overcome pride. In order to accept this truth, the human mind must overcome its natural resistance to grasping the scale and scope of such a travesty while considering deceitful action on the part of God’s servants en masse to be impossible. History records another comparable, sick and twisted incident when “Church of God” ministers, scheming to save their ministry in 31 A.D., handed over God’s Son to be crucified.

[First published October 26, 2008]

Now is an extremely critical time for those who consider themselves to be members of God’s Church. The attempt to redo the WCG by re-forming into a new group that is the right one has inevitably backfired; by taking matters into their own hands, members moved out of the frying pan into the fire. With schisms the norm, the good days of brethren dwelling together in unity are long gone. What unity there was has vanished into thin air. Today, it is all U-Pick: You pick the leader; you pick the church (or churches); you pick whatever way you like. There is such a state of disorder and divergence that some members are just wandering around, doing their own thing and having church their way. These are the wretched, profane consequences, decades in the making, of looking for God in all the wrong places. At first, the one great church which had all the “bling bling” was the place to be until it got ruined. Was God found there? Did He then move over to one of the replacements? Or, did He divide Himself, without favoritism, to please the many and be with them all? Is God available everywhere men call on Him to be and, in order to be popular, is He nowhere in particular? Does the One God care less and accommodate everyone in any place now, as long as that person is being good? No; no; no; no; and no.

God is Truth. No one can possess God; so, no one has the Truth. It is not possible for any person or group of persons to know God; therefore, no one knows the Truth. The best that men have ever done is to have a partial grasp of the truth as certifiably and independently stated in the Bible. Even then, that documented truth can be mishandled by men who have ambitiously pursued their own agenda. With the organization of religion, groups turn to expounding on various selected pieces of the truth and to shamelessly padding their product with all manner of flaws and fluff, in order to prove their worth to the troubled masses. The very existence of a church is based on serving up theological answers as a seal of God’s endorsement. In the face of stiff free-market competition, it must proclaim its product and service with bravado and, above all, it must appeal to the people. A church caters to its customers, offering them what they want, in order to keep them happily paying their “bills.” What chance would a business selling packaged food have of staying in business if it admitted to not knowing what ingredients were in its products? What chance would an auto repair business have of retaining customers if it confessed to not always knowing how to fix their cars? How would a tour guide fare if he said he did not know the way to the group’s destination? A church can not tell its members the whole Truth.

Only God is Good. No church, not even the very Church “of God,” is Good. The Scripture says that “not one is good.” Nevertheless, many not-good people choose to gather together under a not-good minister, or faction of not-good ministers, to demonstrate how “good” they all have become, as if goodness springs from belonging to a ring of churchgoers. Somehow, incredibly, members believe that God will accept them if they come together under the right formula in the “good” camp. People normally congregate in order to feel good about themselves and more numbers naturally make the group feel safer. But, feeling righteous by joining a righteous-feeling congregation makes for pure puke. God is surely never impressed by how many others a person has with him and He hates how “righteous” ministers are being looked up to as His agents. Since access to God is never through any human other than Christ, then uplifting these hypocritical usurpers is worse than worshipping the golden calf. For, it is up to each Christian, singly, to work out his own salvation. Each member, no matter how much “good” he believes he is doing in a church, is still not good. Each one, as wholly responsible for his own actions—and lack of actions, will stand before God alone. This is the truth. Since, in the end, a Christian will face the Good God as one stripped of all his “righteous” belonging and “good” behavior, he should start now, before it is too late, to stand alone. This is the chance.

[First published November 4, 2008]

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding.” If you believe that you, as a church member, have some understanding, then you must have feared the Lord. The natural result of having that understanding is being set apart from others who lack it, while coming together with the “called out” ones who share it. In truth, a powerful bond is formed and that specialness is euphoric. At the early stages, there are heady times; but, over time a common transformation occurs. The truth that once was dynamic turns static when the godly understanding, which was to continue making its way into one’s heart, goes instead to one’s head. A routine smugness settles in, as the group, resting comfortably on the laurels of truth, turns to believing that its knowledge makes it special. The once-delivered truth is erroneously seen as proof of God’s perpetual approval. So, if you have God rubber stamping whatever His “followers” agree upon, you now have nothing to worry about, ever. No one has to even check with God about anything; and, this is arrogance, the dark side of specialness. Therefore, it is an especially haughty, vile church “of God” that does not ask His help in cleansing itself of inherent errors. By failing to constantly humble itself to seek the Supreme Truth, existing as fundamentally foreign and, thus, unattainable, that church no longer views God as fearsome but as familiar instead. Its chummy attitude speaks of a contemptuous familiarity; and, its blasé behavior tells of an insolent indifference. The loss of the spirit of meekness is proof the church has, indeed, ceased to fear the Lord.

A refusal to take a test, a God-designed, God-graded test, to determine what is the real Truth would be an admission of unbending, self-serving autonomy. Guilty is God’s verdict for those who, church-smart and “already-saved,” stand on their own righteousness by refusing to kneel before God and seek His correction! All true believers would be rightfully anxious and fearful because they realize their hearts are not true. Only the haughty, the phony church members, will scoff and ridicule upon knowing they will have to face who they really are.


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