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Copyright © Jules Dervaes

February 23, 2008

Compilation of notes from lectures given by Jules Dervaes

Here are some questions that need answers now. How could a formerly powerful, previously unified church, which once did a great worldwide work, today disintegrate into provincial, “spin off” churches? The history of the Last Era shows that, at one time, Christ DID have a lot of unified help in ONE church capable of doing a worldwide work; but, where is it NOW? Does unity really matter? If unified, then does size matter? Is unity PRE- or POST- millennium? Upon Christ’s return which one of those competing churches will HE chose as His OWN? Will Christ have spent 2000 years working with His vineyard, only upon His return to find it parceled out into subdivided, small plots? Is there anything wrong with dissenting groups forming their own church? So, what is really wrong with all these split “true” church organizations doing a “good” work of spreading the Gospel? What great work can a multiple of small splinter groups do, cordoning off their own “neck of the woods”? Can a split be as strong as ONE group? We each believe that God is on OUR side; but dare we ask God lately if we are on HIS side?

No one believes that we are sinning, breaking God’s laws, because we still are keeping the Sabbath, Holy Days, etc. We believe that God won’t condemn anyone who loves Him. Besides, all the splinter churches think they are basically preaching the same thing. The new emphasis has now become that it is our personal relationship with God that counts–“It is between me and God,” and God’s spirit is available to all. And just like the mistake we made before, when Joseph Tkach Sr. was changing Mr. Herbert Armstrong’s doctrines, we are now still waiting for God to handle things. “It is not OUR job,” we think. Only this time, we are waiting for God to bring us all back together sometime in the future, meaning that Christ will fix the problem of disunity. Erroneous rationalizations allow all the split churches to go on believing that God is approving of their actions, because, if they knew they were going against God, they would not do it. They each trick themselves into thinking that what they are doing is OK because Christ will come soon and fix this; so they go about doing the only thing they know how, thus repeating the same old mistakes. They are just the Worldwide Church of God continued.

It is important to acknowledge the primary message Christ brought to His people the first time. Note that in the parable of the vineyard (Luke 20:9-18) there is only ONE vineyard to tend! Christ also brought to Good News of a coming Kingdom of God. Did Christ say that the Kingdom was inside you, only between Him and you, a relationship merely “one on one” with God? No. Christ preached the Kingdom of God–a real PHYSICAL place, here on earth–which His followers wanted to set up immediately as they expected it there and then. If we think of the Kingdom in physical terms, like forming a team, starting a business, or a nation, we then can ask how does a physical work of that nature get accomplished? First, and obviously, you would need lots of helping hands–many people–and a physical place for them to operate.

If you ask any of the splits what kind of great work they are prepared to do in the immediate future–tomorrow!–or spell out in concrete terms what they see ahead, how would they answer? Would they see a little more magazines in doctors’ offices, a few more sermon tapes sent out, a new summer camp site, etc? What is the real, PHYSICAL future of the PCG, LCG, UCG, et al?

We need to acquire some business sense from the corporate world. Businesses today are looking down the road into the future and seeing the necessary changes and challenges ahead, approaching fast around the corner. For example, the individual companies of Sprint, AT&T, Media One, World Com, etc., see the technological advancements coming and know that the “Box,” a future visionary equipment, is just on the horizon. But, realistically, they also know that they can’t go it alone to stay ahead. That would spell bankruptcy and doom because they each know that they don’t have the resources, expertise, or finances to adjust to the making of “the Box.”

So, what is their only solution? These companies merge with other businesses, joining forces and pooling their efforts to make this “Box” a reality. They don’t just sit, wait, and watch, content to be announcing that the “Box” is coming, because they know that if they hesitate and not prepare themselves, they will be left behind in the dust. The corporate world knows, what the splinter church organizations are too proud to admit, that they have to be bigger to accomplish a more important work. They know instinctively what to do to maintain the edge, stay innovative, and not fall by the wayside. Thus, they put us to shame.

Today, businesses are looking for partners to face the future as they perceive it. Instead of using their energy against one another, they join forces. Any business, nation, or team that is going to accomplish a goal needs to be united. The business world sees the “Box” of the future; God’s people should see the Second Coming. The church(es) should have ONE vision of the future since the Second Coming is just around the corner, requiring a far greater work than any that face earthly businesses today.

If you look at recent world history, even the Russians joined the United States, its ideological rival, to beat Hitler and Germany. They joined forces and became united in purpose because they saw a greater cause which would benefit them both. Another
example of this can be seen in the movie BRAVEHEART. It was only after the Scottish clans joined together (rather than fighting each other) that they could accomplish great victories against England, their oppressor. We, today, could learn vital lessons from many such examples. It is easy to see that the success of any cause, any nation, any organization, or any team which has accomplished greatness is against divisions and splits. A small split organization can’t have enough resources for a superior worldwide work.

So, why, then, are the WCG daughter-churches doing exactly the opposite for success? We wait and wait some more; we continue to split and split some more. Are we really anti-success, having no ONE vision of our future? Does this make any sense, especially now, at this critical time?

Right now we need to come together for ONE cooperative work, preparing everyone for the coming of Christ. We need to “merge,” so, together, we can do the work that must be done now and be done quickly. Now is a critical time in history BEFORE Christ comes back. We are NOT doing the work that is required of us, that has to be done, because the truth is we do not believe there is a PHYSICAL WORK that needs to be done!!! Instead, Christ’s vineyard is continually splitting into smaller pieces. Ask yourself why would Christ come back to an insignificant and ineffective church(es)? We should be trying to restore the vineyard back to its original state. Why are we just doing the opposite? Are we finding too much comfort and ease in our watch-and-pray attitude? Can just passively watching the latest news events solve this critical problem? What do YOU honestly think? This is indicative of NO VISION. “Where there is no vision the people perish” Prov. 29:18.

Are we just waiting around to let Christ fix this problem? We think we can’t do anything about it anyway, yet shouldn’t we be held responsible for our own actions? We are allowing this situation to go on.

What plans or purpose do these split organizations have? They don’t have a strategic plan when one is desperately needed at this time. No one small group is capable of doing a worldwide work successfully. We must get rid of pride to truly unite to accomplish a great work and improve our chances for success! The work ahead is a physical work to establish a physical kingdom here on earth. Without this cooperative effort we have absolutely no chance!

What is the “sin” in the split-churches today? Why can’t they just “be”? The sin is in choosing man’s way of complacency, selfishness, greed, and pride. It’s the sin of abandoning the ONE group in the first place instead of standing up. It’s the sin of failing to retain our commitment to stay with the original one, being faithful. There was another way to solve the problem in the WCG; and splitting up into many wasn’t the solution. Furthermore, the sin is the lack of love, of hope, of faith, and not being ONE with Christ, by doing His physical work. Just ask yourself: What is God’s goal? Is Christ in the many? Isn’t His goal for everyone to be united together in the Kingdom? We believe that Christ should set up the Kingdom first and, then, we’ll be united. But, that is NOT faith and without faith it is impossible to please God. We, God’s people, are supposed to UNITED, in faith, BEFORE Christ returns, doing His work, preparing the way! We should, at this time, take Mr. Armstrong’s advice and work and act as if it ALL depends on US and pray and trust as if it all depends on God.

Lastly, do we members, remember Zion? Do YOU remember what was? What we once had? Now that we are here in Babylon, do we sing Zion’s song? Or have we found a new, comfortable life? Is the only difference that we now fellowship in a smaller group? Obviously, we are not hurting or suffering. We feel that we are not missing anything. We each have OUR magazines, OUR radio broadcasts, OUR summer camps and OUR Feast sites. There is no need to go back to Jerusalem (it’s in ruins anyway!). We should remember Bible history: When the call came to ancient Judah to return to Jerusalem to do a great, but difficult work, not many took up the call to return and REBUILD their original home. Some even refused, having chosen to stay in Babylon instead of facing the uncertain future and the hard work needed to repair and rebuild Jerusalem back to where it once was. The ones that choose to stay had gone too far…

Have YOU wept for Jerusalem when you remembered her? Where are our strong, emotional ties? Only the few who cared to remember, and had courage, faith, and humility returned to Jerusalem. Will history repeat itself? The call is NOW!!! WHO WILL DO THIS WORK?

Notes 1998

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