The Church without a Name
By Kathleen Lewis
The Use and Comprehension of Scripture
William James once said, "There is no greater lie than a truth misunderstood." When William Irvine rejected the Christian faith, its doctrines, fellowship and friendship with other Christians, he twisted God's Word into a terrible lie. The workers who followed him perpetuated the lie. Professing people misunderstand the truth of scripture because they believe William Irvine's lies. Professing people do not know what Christianity is about. That is why it is so difficult for them to transition into Christian churches. Alienation from people keeps them connected to their dysfunctional fellowship.
Authority Of Scripture Overruled
The workers disagree with Christian dependence on "the Word alone," sola scriptura. They say, "The workers' words give Life to the scripture." Like the Pope, they claim that their words are equal to the Holy Scriptures as Truth. They claim to be "the mouthpiece of God." The scripture needs the workers to interpret it. "Scripture is not the Word of God until spoken by a worker."
Truth is what they say it is. This is precisely the origin of their problems. Right from the beginning, workers instill distrust of Christian faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They lead people from faith in scripture to faith in the workers. They twist the scripture to make it say things it doesn't. They frighten people with scary stories about people who question or distrust the workers.
The Preeminence Of The Workers
Those who object to the super-authority of the workers are accused of not being willing for authority. The workers mock other cult leaders who have rewritten scripture, yet even though they haven't published new scripture they have done what Catholics and all the other cults have done. By elevating their words to the status of scripture, they have indeed rewritten scripture.
Their views just weren't published and sold publicly or professionally. Professing people have kept, read, quoted, shared and copied workers' letters, typed the convention notes and Special Meeting notes. And then did everything they could to keep those letters and notes out of the hands of unprofessing people.
Willie Jamieson, George Walker and Jack Carroll told people to keep their sermons and letters secret and their hymns away from unregenerate "unbelievers." These notes reveal the unscriptural viewpoints of the workers from every generation. They believe their words are "Truth" yet they don't want anyone but themselves to see them.
This is why one must examine what they have said and written and compare their teaching to scripture:
"God's servants are interpreters, interpreting God's Word into things they can understand."
"Keep His words; not only the Bible's words but also what is spoken when He feeds us through His ministry."
"Every true minister is an apostle and prophet sent from God with a message from God."
"If the ministry does not keep the pattern Jesus laid down, it does not love Him and cannot have the Father dwelling in it."
"The ministry has been the most important part of God's plan in every age."
"God's True Ministry can meet all the needs of all the people all the time!"
"There is no record of a hired minister in the New Testament to preach the word of God. No hireling minister has any scriptural right to baptize anybody."
"We shouldn't be as concerned about the interpretation of God's Word as we should be about the application of His Word."
"When the messenger is right, the message is right and the method is right, God can bless it."
"You wouldn't think anyone would despise a worker! Let no one despise thy youth!"
How can the workers make such claims? How do they dare superimpose their words upon scripture? Because they claim to be apostles, to be "Jesus Christ come again in the flesh" and "The Word made flesh." "God in a man speaking." As apostles, their words are equal to scripture.
They believe the workers are the foundation of the church. The workers nullify the need for the Holy Spirit when they claim such superiority. Some of them view themselves on a plane almost equal to deity. Others aren't quite so bold as to claim their words are as powerful as scripture.
The workers believe because they have given up the possession of property, occupational responsibility and marriage that their words are as true as the words of Jesus Christ. Not only have the workers claimed that their word is "Truth" but they call the whole system that they established "The Truth." Jehovah's Witnesses also call their church, "The Truth."
Every born-again Christian has God dwelling within himself or herself. Yet, Christians don't claim that everything they say is a direct revelation from God. Christians don't presume the right to tell everyone else in the world what to do or judge the salvation of other believers. God deals with each person individually because God has a different task for each believer. Yet William Irvine believed that he had God speaking through him and whatever popped into his head was straight from God. Everyone had to agree with his ideas or go to hell. And thousands of people now believe him even though they never heard of him!
Has the Bible told us to believe everything that a preacher has said? No. Not even the apostles made such a claim. God says that we can't believe all the words of an angel or an apostle. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:4-15 that false apostles, deceitful workers, false teachers will arise from among the very elect and Satan will deceive as an angel of light. Christ said that there will even be false Christs and different Jesuses. All words are to be weighed by the Truth of the Scripture. God never said the church or the apostles were the Truth or the Way.
What did God say about Truth? His Word and His Son, which He equates as One are the Truth. Christians believe the only authority that man can trust as Truth is the Holy Scripture. Christians believe that no man can be trusted. Self cannot be trusted because we are humans, without supernatural understanding, without the ability to read motives, read the mind, know the future, or even our own minds. We can't know the mental, spiritual or moral stability of anyone, including our own. The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. Even the best of intentions and institutions can go awry. The workers fail morally and spiritually just as much or more than professing people. How can their word be as trustworthy as scripture? They claim it is because Jesus is speaking through them and that one cannot receive the Holy Spirit except from them. They think they have more of the Holy Spirit than other people because they have paid the price to become workers. The Bible doesn't say that the Holy Spirit comes in different amounts according to how much self denial we muster.
New Testament Ministry
The workers claim to be like Jesus and Paul: in the same ministry, suffering as they suffered, preaching the same gospel. They claim to "be apostles: separated, sanctified and set apart." The Bible dictionary says the word "apostle" means one chosen and sent with a special commission as the fully authorized representative of the sender. The apostles of Jesus Christ were called and taught by Jesus.
They had miraculous powers, they were Jewish. Jesus chose twelve at first, reminiscent of the twelve tribes that followed Moses. The apostles were disciples (students) before they were apostles.
The workers aren't Jewish, they weren't personally hand-picked by Jesus or supernaturally called in an experience witnessed by others as Paul was. The workers have not been disciples in the Bible. The workers haven't suffered as Paul and the other apostles suffered. They haven't been beaten or killed for preaching Christ. They haven't worked the works of an apostle, demonstrating supernatural power: casting out devils, healing the sick.
Their favorite verses are, "I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." I Corinthians 2:1-5 True, their preaching is not eloquent or wise. And it isn't scriptural and they don't preach the same gospel that Paul preached, "Jesus Christ and him crucified."
They preach a different message than Jesus and Paul preached. In I Corinthians 9, Paul's description of an apostle does not match the workers' definition. The workers preach self denial as the way of salvation, obedience to the workers' rules and faithful attendance of the meetings in the home. Paul said in Acts 20:24 that the message he preached is "the gospel of the grace of God." The workers oppose the gospel of God's grace saying, "It takes more than God's grace and trusting in Christ's blood to save us." Every letter that Paul wrote opposes Irvine's ideas and the workers who followed him. This is one reason why professing people have such a difficult time understanding the letters of Paul.
When Paul claimed that he did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom, he was being modest. His wisdom exceeded the wisdom of men because he was supernaturally directed by the Lord. Compare his letters of greatness to the rambling, raving letters of William Irvine. Irvine didn't come close to the greatness of Paul. None of the workers have the wisdom of Paul. It is one thing to preach the gospel as an unmarried person, going out two by two, conducting meetings in a home and quite another thing to say that that is the gospel.
Listen to Paul's words to the Philippians3:7-11. "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
The workers infer that the gain that Paul "now counts as loss" was monetary gain, his status, his home, ownership of material things and his previous education in scripture. The workers claim to also have "suffered loss" for the righteousness of Christ by leaving home, family and possessions. But look at what Paul is really talking about in verses 2-6. He is referring to His previous confidence in the traditions of the Pharisees, trusting in his obedience to the Law, trusting in his pedigree in the tribe of Benjamin. He is actually saying the opposite of what the workers teach. He is saying that the only way to have true righteousness and resurrection from the dead is by faith in Christ, not by following rules or belonging to Abraham's family. Likewise, our righteousness and resurrection depends on faith in Christ, not by leaving one's family, job, home and possessions or following rules or obeying the workers or belonging to the Two by Two church.
The "fellowship of His sufferings" automatically happens when one is conformed to Christ's death. It isn't a self-imposed suffering or a chosen career as a preacher. It happens to all people who identify with Jesus Christ. Unbelievers dislike Christians, to put it mildly. And, Satan hates and harasses people who believe in Jesus.
Believers suffer loss in different ways, depending on where they live and what plan God has for their lives. Some suffer loss of friends, rejection from family, others suffer loss of their old way of life, loss of careers or educational opportunities as in communistic or Islamic countries where Christianity is forbidden. Some suffer persecution, some are killed, maimed, tortured or enslaved in Islamic countries. This happens every day to Christians in many foreign nations, yet professing people don't even know it because they don't experience such dangers in the Lord's name and they are so out of touch with other Christians. The most wonderful thing that believers lose is their bondage to sin and bondage to the fear of men. And they receive the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to dwell within them plus eternal life. That makes up for all the other things they lose.
What Did Paul Say And Do?
Take notice, Paul didn't really lose what he counted as loss. He was still a Jew, he still was circumcised, he still was from the tribe of Benjamin, he was still obedient to the Law of God, he still had all his knowledge of the Old Testament and he still continued doing some things that he had done as a Pharisee. He took a Nazarite vow in Acts 18:18. He still participated in some Jewish activities and holidays, Acts 18:21. He even performed a circumcision on Timothy, Acts 16.
He still preached at synagogues wherever he could. He still was in contact with his relatives. He was still a tentmaker and continued working while he preached, when he wasn't being pursued, imprisoned or traveling. He just didn't depend on his own righteousness or activities for eternal life. What he was saying is that he now realized that the things he had trusted for favor with God and eternal life were worthless.
He faced the prospect of death every day at the hands of stubborn Jews and pagan idolaters. But many of his best friends and companions were Jewish. They didn't lose their genetic background when they became Christians! Paul didn't dislike Jews, although he was exasperated by those who opposed the gospel. He understood their blindness because he was once a Pharisee himself. He said he would gladly give up his own soul if they could receive faith in Jesus. Romans 9:2-3
Paul never condemned the study of scripture or education in doctrine and theology like Irvine did. Instead he endorsed the study of scripture and knowledge of Christ Jesus. He didn't cast aspersions on the Old Testament. He used the Old Testament to preach Christ. He condemned the Galatians for being foolish and ignorant of the Word and of the true gospel. Galatians 1:6 "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." Galatians 6:6 "Let him that is taught in the Word share in all good thing with him who teaches."
Paul didn't condemn ownership of property or homes. He didn't say that believers or preachers shouldn't have families or possessions. He didn't say that anyone had to go out two by two and homeless. He didn't say that preachers should not receive monetary compensation for preaching or not take collections for the work of the Lord. In fact, he exhorted them to take a collection for the poor and told them how to do it. Then he scolded them for not caring about his physical welfare. He defended the right of the apostles to have a family. I Corinthians 9:4 "Do we have no right to eat and drink? Do we have no right to take along a believing wife as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?"
II Corinthians 11:7 Paul says perhaps he did the wrong thing by preaching to the Corinthians without charge. "Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren in Macedonia supplied."
He scolded the Corinthians for not giving liberally as other churches did. I Corinthians 16:1-3 He didn't say it was wrong to meet in buildings for worship, teaching or communion. He simply said that righteousness comes from faith in Christ, not by obedience to rules or any other factor. Paul didn't say that believers must meet in homes for communion. He didn't say there were dress codes for believers. If he had, those would have been rules.
And Paul preached against rules. God gives us all things. What God has given us He has protected by His warnings against coveting, theft and deceit. It isn't possessions, homes, salaries, collections, church buildings, biblical education or families that Paul is talking about. It is pride in our own performance, obedience to rules, or in who we are or what we have that is counted as dung. The letters to the Corinthian church were letters of rebuke.
What Did God Say?
In Hosea, God said to the priests, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me, seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6. God said He would reject those who ignore knowledge of His Word!
All the miraculous displays of Jesus' authority during His ministry were for the purpose of proving His deity. "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in Him." John 10:37-38
Every Christian is sanctified, set apart and separated from the world, not just apostles. Every Christian is called of God to share the gospel with a perishing world, not just apostles. Every Christian is able to lead others to faith in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Word and faith in the Blood of Christ, not just apostles. Every Christian has direct access to the throne of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ.
William Irvine's claim of special ownership of the "Spirit" and special sanctification was bogus. I Peter 2:5,9-10 says, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
This is known as the doctrine of "the priesthood of all believers". Workers are not necessary for the salvation of others. Instead of explaining that all believers belong to the royal priesthood, the workers stress the word "peculiar" inferring that God's people must look and be strange. But "peculiar" means "special," not weird. Revelation 5:9-10 also tells about the priesthood of all believers. They sang a new song, saying Thou art worthy… "for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation; and hast made us kings and priests: and we shall reign on earth." Every believer is a priest with the responsibility to serve others. Other verses that repeat this principle are in Revelation 1:6; 20:6.
Even Eddie Cooney once acknowledged the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. But William Irvine and most other workers rejected this biblical doctrine because the "priesthood of all believers" makes the workers' role as the mouthpiece of God superfluous.
Is the truth knowable? Some people say that it is impossible to know truth because people can make the Bible say anything they want. People can claim that the Bible says anything they want, but the Bible says what it says and God means what it says. The Bible can be understood because words have meanings. God put His Word in writing so that humans could know about Him. It is rational information that can be understood. The thing that blinds people to it is their unbelief in God and His Word, not its incomprehensibility.
The only thing required by faith is the belief that God exists and that His Word is true. Non-Christians can understand the words of the Bible, they just don't believe the Bible, they are angered by it and they refuse to study it. The Holy Spirit enables people to believe, love and obey scripture, but He doesn't help those who refuse to believe it, study it or obey it.
He doesn't help those who use the scripture for their own personal power trip. God's Truth is rational and knowable because God is an intelligent being. He created man in His image with intelligence and the rational ability to know and understand language. Although it is impossible to know as much as God knows, man can know and understand what God has revealed to him if he is diligent to study what God has said and asks for the Holy Spirit to reveal it.
Can only certain people know truth? The workers claim that they alone know truth and have the right to teach it. Yet they don't handle the scripture in a rational, truthful manner, proving that they don't understand it and they don't want others to understand it. They handle it metaphorically or "spiritually," changing the definitions and meanings of scripture depending on what they want to prove.
Professing people have been led to believe that they must depend on the workers for all truth and for the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of Heaven through their authority. The workers have set themselves up as gateways to Jesus. This claim elevates them to the status of saviors. Does scripture say that we need more saviors? No. Jesus is the only Savior. Christ's death and resurrection tore the curtain of the Tabernacle in two. We have direct access to God through Christ without any need for any human mediator whatsoever.
God does use believers and "the foolishness of preaching" to share the Word but they don't have more of the Holy Spirit than anyone else in order to lead someone to saving faith in Christ. They have just studied the Bible and have put their faith in it and in Christ. Workers aren't a spiritual catalyst or divine spark that gives life to others.
God alone does that. God's Word is the Power unto salvation not man's words. The Word doesn't need workers to make scripture come alive. It is true that believers need men called of God to evangelize and to teach them about scripture, to feed the flock. They need elders, pastors, teachers, bishops, deacons, missionaries, and evangelists. But these men don't have the right to change the meaning of scripture or to add to scripture. Their responsibility is to study the Word and teach the Word as it is written.
Paying The Price To Preach
The workers claim that they alone have the ability to understand and interpret scriptures because they have "paid the price." The workers believe that they have paid the price by giving up their possessions and homes. Is it scriptural to "pay the price" for the Spirit or the ability to interpret scripture?
The workers have said, "There is a price to pay. May God help us to be willing to pay the price." "We purchase the Truth at our own personal expense or as a result of our own investment into it." "Our price is submission so He can cleanse us from sin." In Acts 8:18-24, Peter condemned a sorcerer named Simon for trying to buy the power of the Holy Spirit. It wouldn't matter whether someone tried to pay for the Spirit with money, submission, asceticism, sacrifice, barter or any other method. God doesn't accept any price except faith in the price that Christ paid….His Blood.
The Gnostics also claimed that truth could only be known by certain people, under certain secret conditions. Anyone can claim such a thing, and they do so, daily: fortune-tellers, mediums, witches, conmen, false prophets, gurus, false teachers, deceitful workers.
The Logic Of God's Word
"The Word" is the "Logos" from which arises the word logic. We can know about God because thought applies to reality. Knowledge of truth is possible. If words and thoughts are non-rational, then we can know nothing, believe nothing and obey nothing. Logic is a necessary presupposition to all thought. This is the self-evident first principle of thought. A self-evident principle is one that cannot be denied without assuming that it is true in the process of denial. Workers defy the laws of logic nearly every time they speak. They also defy the dictionary and the Bible. They haven't interpreted the scripture, they have perverted it.
Deceitful people use the word "truth" casually, as a definition of whatever they want someone else to believe regardless of evidence and information to the contrary. The Bible says Truth is a person, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Scripture is truth about God's work and His Son, Jesus. Reality is real life. Language communicates information, thoughts and feelings with words, real meanings that pertain to real life. Scripture is written with real words.
Truthful people use accurate, truthful words to explain real life and scripture. Untruthful people change the definition of words so they can control other people's minds and lives. Reality must be looked at in light of scripture. People who judge scripture (in light of what they think) are imposing their own minds over what God has said. Our sight, our understanding of reality can be incorrect. Satan, demons and false teachers work around the clock to confuse us. It is imperative to closely examine scripture and the words that people say about it. Look at their definitions!
Joseph Stalin said, "Language is my greatest weapon." Men who manipulate, dominate and deceive use cunningly contrived words, false premises, false promises and bullying charm to gain control. They twist words so cunningly that few notice they are lying. They work on people's prejudices, their need for acceptance, guilt and emotions. If words don't need to correspond to the true facts, or to definite meanings then they can never be shown as incorrect.
There would be no real difference in a lie or the truth because reality wouldn't be consulted. Since the Word of God is Truth, information must be validated by the scripture and Jesus Christ. Words must be used with accuracy of definition. Mind control is more difficult when people recognize shifty rhetoric. Mind control occurs through information control and word control. The workers control all thought and information regarding scripture because they don't allow any dialogue on doctrine or printed information about what they believe.
Paul warned the Colossians to beware of deceivers who would twist God's Word to fit secular (worldly) philosophy and the tradition of men and lead them away from the faith and words of Christ. Colossians 2:8
Jeremiah warned the Jews to beware of deceivers who would trick them by saying the same things over and over. Jeremiah 7:4 Beware of ideas that conflict with scripture even though they are presented with scriptural words.
The workers sometimes take young professing teenagers to visit weird churches and encourage mockery of them but they don't want the friends to visit serious, committed Christian churches, or to listen to good Bible teaching on the radio.
When scriptures appear to conflict in meaning, one must carefully discern what is being said in each instance by looking at the definition of words, translation of words, comparing and weighing all other scriptures regarding that particular subject. The Holy Spirit must be our guide in the study of scripture. Since the scripture contains so much information, it takes years to study and comprehend it all.
Many faithful men and women have spent lifetimes studying it, translating it, testing it by comparing scriptural texts, arguing about it. Even those who have made mistakes in handling it have contributed to our understanding of it. Truth is sometimes discovered during problems that arise through incorrect interpretation. Making mistakes in understanding scripture isn't a disgrace unless one is unwilling to correct the mistakes once they have been pointed out. Christians owe a great debt to believers through the past 2000 years.
Two by Twos have only a history that goes back about 105 years to people of questionable integrity, questionable truthfulness and acknowledged ignorance. They can't claim a connection to doctrines or people preceding Irvine, even though a few have tried to fabricate some link to a prior past, it is a fiction. Irvine and his followers repudiated all of Christianity and broke ties with everyone, so it can't be said that they have a doctrinal or formative history prior to Irvine.
Systematic theology is crucial in order to obey Christ's command in Matthew 28:19-20. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
One cannot teach what one does not know. One cannot obey what one does not know or understand. Therefore, every verse of the Bible must be studied, understood and compared to all the other verses.
Workers do not spend time considering all aspects of scripture. They hand out quick cliché responses that they have heard from older workers or the head workers. Workers often reword scripture to fit their message. According to the workers, "The only key that will open the gate of heaven is the key of submission." In other words, 'submit to the workers'.
The workers don't have a lot of regard for the Bible, even the King James Version because they aren't the ones who translated, preserved, published or died for it. They have cast aspersions on the people who translated it and published it. They never have told their people about those who were martyred for translating, publishing, preaching or owning it. One older worker even used the Jehovah's Witness Bible to back up his statements.
If your trust in scripture has been destroyed by the workers, you need to read some material that will restore your confidence in God's Holy Word. John Mac Arthur has written a book "Is the Bible Reliable?" Real Christian pastors help us believe the Bible.
One brother worker said,"God gave us a mind and then asked us not to use it. Faith is unthinking obedience." This is unscriptural, a false assumption and impossible. Asking us not to use our mind is like telling us to lift 100 pounds without using a muscle. Just the process of reading or listening is the use of our minds.
What if the workers said, "God has given us the scripture and then told us not to read and study it? " Think about what the workers say. Write it down and read it. Read a page of their GEM notes from Special Meetings and convention. Does it agree with scripture? No. God's Word is like a contract. It is binding and He wants us to study it, memorize and (meditate) think about it.
The workers don't want you to think about what they have said because their words contain grave errors. They are not consistent with scripture or with one another. They would be better off if they just read scripture and didn't say anything else. Don't let them use the word "Truth" as a synonym for their church and statements.
What if some stranger moved into your home and began telling you what to wear, what to say, what to do or not do? And when you protested his right to do this, he said, "God told me you needed me to save your soul. I gave up my job and all my property so I could live with you." That is Irvinism. That is what your parents or great grandparents or you have done by letting workers come into your home and tell you how to live and serve God. The workers have no biblical substantiation for this role. The Holy Spirit moves into the hearts of Christians. We don't need workers to move into our homes.
Some people are impressed that the people in this church never use any literature except the Bible. In actuality, they use the Bible very superficially. Members use it to find a two minute testimony twice a week. The workers have a longer time frame to speak but their messages are just as shallow. Instead of reading a chapter or book for its overall meaning they take an obscure part of a text and develop a metaphorical meaning out of it. Most of all they look all through the Bible for a verse or two that contains an idea that resembles their methodology. They pick and choose certain words or portions to emphasize or ignore. In the old days some of the workers would preach acrostics, sort of like making crossword puzzles out of Bible subjects. The members are kept ignorant of what the Bible is really about.
Professing people rarely do subject studies. When they look up topics, they ignore all the verses that disagree with their views. They don't read the Bible to understand it for themselves. The workers must do that for them. The scripture is made more confusing rather than less confusing and the friends become extremely dependent on the workers to tell them what it means. Every scripture they read is read with William Irvine's clichés, prejudices and interpretations. If they spoke about what the Bible really said, they would get into trouble from the head workers.
Testimonies And Trivia
This church is ruled by testimonies and trivia rather than by scripture. The Holy Bible is God's Word. Testimonies are people's stories, some of them aren't even true. The workers and friends don't understand the story of Jesus or why He came to earth. They think He came to establish a ministry and church. It's all about them.
The Workers paraphrase scripture into trite shallow platitudes, "When God measures man, He doesn't put the tape around our head,
The Bible doesn't say that.
Workers are proud of the fact that they don't know very much about historical Christian doctrines and theology. They act naïve if someone asks them theological questions. They infer that they don't need to know the answers to deep questions because all they need to do is obey. But they aren't obeying God. They are obeying Irvine even if they have never heard of him. They intimidate people interested in biblical questions by accusing them of not having the right spirit or not being willing for obedience or authority. If we truly love God we will be fascinated by His Word and want to know everything there is to know.
It is helpful to read Irvine's and Cooney's letters and other quotations of the most influential workers. They use scripture as springboards for their favorite subjects. They read a portion and say, "This is an example of…," "The moon is a type of…. "Civilization stands for the 4-fold cords which bind them…Politics, religion, racialism,(sic) and languages." "Ahasuerus means 'mighty man'…." They just made things up as they went along.
Their bold confidence impressed gullible people. In the old days the workers would get up and damn everyone to hell and the people rejoiced. That is why some called them the Damnation Army. The early workers would quote poetry, tell jokes, or stories to inspire fear, guilt and shame. They accused other preachers of tickling people's ears but they were more entertaining than any clergymen. William Irvine attacked his listeners, famous people, well-respected clergymen, and the educational system. He would ridicule, harangue or condemn them. The "have-nots" enjoyed hearing the "haves" repudiated.
It wasn't the workers' ability to teach the Bible that attracted their followers, it was their colorful personalities and willingness to leave home, leave security behind and "give up all." William Irvine called clergymen "dirty lazy loafers, servants of the Devil, mean scamps and devilish." Irvine challenged clergymen to speak up in public to defend themselves. Irvine was an angry man and angry people followed him. Proverbs 22:24 says that an angry man is a snare to the soul.
Irvine's and Cooney's monologues were shocking and intimidating. The workers were feared, admired, pitied and exalted all at the same time. Now the friends admire the workers for being unmarried, for not receiving a salary, for being so 'humble!' for being willing to sleep in different homes every week and for preaching two and three times a week. These activities do not save anyone. Christ alone saves. These characteristics are not conducive to being good Bible teachers either.
Eddie Cornock said, "That which makes us different from other people is not that we are religious or other things like that, but that God is with His people. Other people lack this. We should be different from all religious people, this is as necessary as being different from the people of the world."
Howard Mooney said, "Separation is the salvation of this land. Rev. 22:15 Without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers and idolaters and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. This describes the people outside the fellowship of God's people. They will be outside the city through all eternity,"
Mable Sill said, "We enter this heavenly family here on earth by adoption. The people who adopt naturally choose the child. In the spiritual family, we make the choice."
Lloyd Njos said, "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow His steps. Jesus left those steps marking God's perfect highway and today we are not looking for anything else."
Everett Wilcox said, "There would be many saved people if the written word could give life, but it takes the Living Word (scripture being lived by a worker) to produce Life that is eternal."
Everett Swanson said, "Scripture is not the Word of God until it is spoken by a Worker."
Rosetha Newman said, "The seed is only possessed by the True ministry. It is not sown by anyone else."
Jack Carroll said, "God's Word must be lived. It can't be captured on paper. The letter killeth."
Every one of those statements is unbiblical. One little man in a village in Ireland condemned the entire Christian world. And every worker who followed him has continued quoting his lies, sometimes adding a few more of their own.
God recorded His Word in the Holy Scripture. It is more powerful than any person alive. God's letters do not kill as Jack Carroll claimed. God's Word is power and life. II Corinthians 3:6 is not a statement against the power of God's written Word, it is a statement about the Old Law and the old sacrifices being inadequate to save. Only faith in the cross of Christ is able to save us. It is a sure testament to their dishonesty that the workers refuse to record a statement of their faith and a published compilation of their doctrines.
The workers claim to preach Jesus only, but their main topic is the workers. They emphasize this subject so much that the friends rarely think anything else is important. However, the mark of a true messenger of God is his respect for, understanding and use of scripture. Does he rightly divide it and know what it means? Is he willing to apply it to himself as well as to others? Does he teach it with love or does he hold it as a whip? Is he willing to be a disciple (student) before he becomes a teacher?
Understanding and Applying the Bible by Robertson McQuilkin
"Bible Doctrine" by Wayne Grudem
"How to Study the Bible For Yourself" by Tim La Haye
"What Demons Can Do to Saints" by Merrill Unger,
"Intercessory Prayer" by Dutch Sheets.
Christian pastors use the scripture to teach people about God and what He expects of us. They teach Christians about the prophecies of the Old Testament that point to Christ. They teach Christians about the Jewish faith and the significance of their sacrifices and holy days to illustrate what Christ represents and how He has saved us from our sins. They use scripture to teach God's plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
They use scripture to help people make daily decisions in accordance with God's principles and commandments. They use scripture to help people raise their families and love their mates. They use scripture to teach a Christian worldview. They use scripture to teach doctrine, to warn against sin and false teachers.
They teach scripture to help people face death. They teach scripture to help people believe and understand God's Word, to serve in a suffering world, to preach the gospel, to use their money for God's purposes and use scripture for hundreds of other practical things. They explain the prophecies regarding the future of the Kingdom so that people will be watching and praying for the catching away of the saints and looking for Christ's return.
In contrast the workers don't use the scripture to teach practical living for today, to understand life in the past, or life in the future, or any other important topics. They use it to promote Irvine's confusion. They use it to mock the Jewish faith and traditions as if they were evil. God is the author of the Jewish faith and many of their traditions.
The workers use scripture to turn people against Christians, Christian doctrines and Christian churches. "Faith" and "Belief" are words that workers don't understand. They are unable to put arms and legs on those words. They view them as words without action. They think they are all about the workers and where to meet for fellowship. They think faith is evidenced by how people look and talk: old-fashioned and strict.
Proof Of Truth
Proof of truth isn't outward appearance or methodology, it is in what is believed. I John 2:22 says, "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."
The workers don't say that Jesus is the Christ. They say Jesus has the Christ Spirit within and that they have the Christ within. John is saying that if one doesn't acknowledge the Son as God, one doesn't have the Father either.
The Workers' Truth
Here are some recent GEMS (meeting notes) from the workers:
"The woman at the well only gave Jesus a cup of water, and she got a well of water."
"Peacekeepers are even better than peacemakers."
"We can't keep someone alive if we aren't alive ourselves."
"The secret of being quiet and having rest of heart is to be like a child -Do not be concerned about things that do not concern us."
"Did Jesus gain anything by His sacrifice? He only asked God to give him back the place he had before the world was."
"We are all the contractors for our own lives. What are we building? It is sad to see unfinished work in a life, and no effort being made for it to be finished."
How helpful are those workers' comments? The first few statements lull people into doing nothing and the last statement makes them feel guilty for doing nothing. The Christian faith is eternal life, life now and life forever. It applies to the physical world and the spiritual world.
It is a belief system that makes rational sense and demonstrates itself in action that benefits, serves others.
If anyone says he is Christian yet does not have a Christian belief system or worldview, with a life, conversation and activities that correspond to those beliefs and to scripture, there is good reason to believe he is deceiving himself or others. Outward appearances are deceiving. God has more for His people to do than wear old-fashioned clothes and meet in homes on Sunday and Wednesday and use the Bible to make up word games.
Jesus said that true believers would help the poor, feed the hungry, take in strangers, heal the sick, care for orphans and widows, visit those in prison, give water to the thirsty; Matthew 25:31-46.
Irvine and the workers said those verses mean that professing people "should share their testimony and take care of the strangers (Workers). They said, " It is a waste of time to get taken up with worldly cares."
Professing people only share their testimonies with other professing people. They don't go to the slums or inner-city and share the Bible with the poor and the hungry.
They don't give away Bibles to people in foreign countries who have no Bibles or translate already believe in Jesus or who display a high degree of conformity. Then they bring them to meeting to hear the workers who try to persuade them that the workers are the only true servants of God and that they must become part of the One True Way in order to have salvation.
They are mainly interested in pleasant, sweet people who obey the workers and make the group look good. They aren't interested in people with problems. They don't know how to deal with problems. Most professing people avoid the topic of their faith as much as possible when they are with unprofessing people.
One professing woman said mockingly, "People in other churches do things that they enjoy and then call it a ministry!" Christians do the things that God has commanded them to do and they find joy doing those things because God has gifted, inspired and prepared them for good works. II Timothy 2:21
Professing people do help one another quite often and that is commendable, but they would rarely consider helping someone who isn't professing, unless he was interested in coming to meetings. Even among the friends, there is a hidden barrier that keeps them from helping certain people. They help those they consider worthy.
The workers have done what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for when he said, "You have made the Word of God of no effect, by teaching instead the commandments of men." Mark 7:6-13
The older workers weave scripture in and out of metaphors, cliches, double talk and evasion. They will talk around certain subjects rather than make definite statements in an honest manner. The workers can preach an entire sermon and fail to mention any scripture except one or two partial verses that they think supports the premise of the sermon.
Usually the scripture they use actually opposes their premise and they don't even realize it. The workers will give quick one-line answers to subjects that the Bible spends pages and pages handling. Aside from the ministry, they focus on the Spirit. Of course, the Holy Spirit is a Christian's life. He is the confirmation of whether one has been born again. Yet, the workers' use the word "Spirit" very loosely, more as a synonym for one's "attitude" towards the workers.
Watch out for those who claim to be the only ones who have "the Spirit." The Spirit must be verified by scriptural truth, not by one's attitude to the workers. The Spirit is not "a power" given as a reward for coming to meeting and obeying the workers. The real Holy Spirit is God!
Jack Carroll, Willie Jamieson and the others often said, "You can know if a church is wrong if it was started by a human being. We alone are the only ones following the path of Jesus Christ."
They would name the founders of the Seventh Day Adventists, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Lutherans, the Methodists and proudly announce this was the only "Way" started by Christ.
Both Jack Carroll and Ed Cooney had professed under William Irvine. They knew he was a human being and the founder of their belief. They knew of his moral failings and his egotistical opinions and ravings. Though they had rejected his leadership they did not reject his teachings. Some workers will deny that William Irvine is the founder of the Two by Two church, no matter how much historical evidence there is to prove that he is. However, their denial is complicated by other workers who openly admit it. Their irrational handling of history is only exceeded by their irrational handling of scripture.
The early workers mocked Protestant Christians because there were so many different denominations. Edward Cooney claimed that "there is only One Way so the Protestants can't be right because they have so many denominations."
Cooney said the Catholics were more right because they claimed to be the only true church, but they (Catholics) were wrong because they claimed Mary was the Mother of God. Therefore, the only True church was "the Jesus Way" "because it is composed of those like Peter who have the nature of Christ and worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth." What kind of logic was that?
What scripture did he use to come to such a conclusion? He had no proof of His claim at all. He made no reference to scripture or to doctrine. Yes, there are denominational disagreements and pride found among some churches, yet real Christians know that it isn't their denomination, creeds, works, leaders or doctrines that saves them, it is the sacrifice of Jesus that saves. Those who followed Irvine, Cooney, the Carrolls, Walker and the workers have failed morally and spiritually time and again. Two by Twos don't have any special proof of the nature of Christ.
Actually, most Protestant Christians are the only ones who say that Jesus is the only Way to salvation. They don't believe that the church is the Way or that the rules of the church, the leaders of the church or even the doctrine of the church is the Way. The church is comprised of human believers here on earth, unperfected, with many problems, just as the early church was. Each born-again believer has a different role to play in the body and each believer is connected directly to Christ the Head. The church is the body, not the head.
Christians have the Holy Spirit residing in them and they have been forgiven but they are still on the earth, still dealing with human nature, human ignorance and sin. Christians don't claim to be the Way, they claim to know Who is the Way.
The Two by Twos claim to be the Way, Roman Catholics claim to be the Way, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, cults claim to be the Way.
Christians say Jesus is the Way.
Ignorance Is Imperative
The congregation must be kept ignorant of the Bible or the head workers' way of life would collapse around their ears. So they are very strict about keeping people from reading any source materials that would explain the Bible in simpler terms.
The early workers would not allow Bible dictionaries to be used because the workers had redefined keywords used in scripture. The workers are intolerant of any kinds of Christian books, tracts, commentaries or Bible handbooks that would alert people to their biblical errors so they tell them they are poison and works of the devil.
The Word Of God
The Bible was written by divine inspiration. II Tim. 3:16
God's Word is living and supernaturally powerful. God's Word is eternally true and never fails. I Kings 8:56. God's Word is Truth and Life. God's Word and the Spirit are one. Deuteronomy 32:46-47 His Word is our spiritual weapon Ephesians 6: 17 and was written for our benefit. Psalms 102:18 It must be obeyed, kept in our hearts, memorized, meditated upon, understood, used to discern what is good. John 14:15. God's Word is our food and a well of living water.
We are to teach it to our children and to all the nations of the world. We are to study and teach the Word John 5:39, Acts 17:11, I Timothy 4:16, II Tim 2:15 We are to teach and preach the Word. We are to teach and defend sound doctrines. I Timothy 1:3, 10
There are things we are not supposed to do with the Word of God. Don't read it skeptically or doubtfully. Hebrews 4:2 Don't make mistakes by being ignorant of the Word. Matthew 22:29 Don't have private secret interpretations. Don't twist the scriptures. II Corinthians 2:17; II Corinthians 4:2; II Peter 3: 14-17. Don't argue over minor issues, meaningless words and controversial doctrines that aren't important. Romans 14:1; II Timothy 2:14-16; Titus 3: 9 Don't despise the Word. II Chronicles 36:16; Proverbs 13:13 Isaiah 5:24; Zechariah 7:12-13
We are to beware of those who don't teach the Word. Isaiah 8:20; Romans 16:17; Gal. 1:8, 9; I Tim. 4:1, 2; I Tim. 6:3-5; Titus 1:10, 11; Hebrews 13:9;
II Pet. 1:1, 2 Those who don't teach the Word of God have no light in them. Beware of those who lie about the Word.
Beware of those who handle the Word arrogantly and ignorantly.
Beware of preachers who don't encourage Bible study and memorization of God's Word.
Beware of those who change the gospel.
Beware of novices who try to teach the Word while they are still young or biblically illiterate.
What Is The Church?
The church is the community of all true believers throughout history until the end of the world. There isn't any particular denomination on earth that is "the Church." What Two by Twos call church isn't "the Church." It is just a small group of people following their particular administration and rules. They are so self absorbed by their own ideas that they can't see beyond their noses. Jesus Christ builds the church by calling people to Himself. He said, "I will build my church." Matthew 16:18.
When one looks at scripture carefully, it is impossible to find any group of people that had leaders like the workers or the kind of fellowship with the same rules and beliefs known as "the Truth." Yes, there were meetings in homes, yes there were apostles who traveled together. But there were all kinds of prophets, apostles, disciples, judges, rabbis, priests, preachers, elders, bishops, deacons, evangelists, pastors, missionaries, believers and congregations throughout Bible history. The workers can't prove anything with the verses they consider examples. Irvine and Cooney distorted scripture, used irrational arguments to play upon human ignorance, zeal and prejudices. Irvine ignored God's commands and inserted his own commands in their place.
II Timothy 2:19 Paul said, "The Lord knows who are His." The church is invisible to us but visible to God. "The Kingdom of God is within you." The church is local as well as universal. The word "church" is applied to a group of believers ranging from a very small house church to the church known as the Kingdom of God, souls beyond numbering. God uses many metaphors and parables to describe the church. There are true churches and false churches.
Wherever the Word of God is purely preached is a true part of the church. Wherever the Word of God is ignored, used to deceive, control or manipulate people, misinterpreted, where leaders change the meaning by adding information, where the leaders take the position of God is considered a false church or cult.
There are probably some bad churches that contain good Christians. There are good churches that contain non-Christians or sinful Christians. The tares exist among the wheat. Careful Christians who notice unscriptural problems in a church will fix the problem or leave the church and find another church that does respect God's Word. Churches here on earth are like families. They have problems, some big, some little. It is important to look carefully at the church leadership, but even more important to look carefully at their doctrines because it is impossible to really know a leader's heart and mind. If the leaders won't let you examine their doctrine in print, or their statement of faith or review their decisions leave them! The Bible is not doctrine. The Bible contains doctrine and is the source of doctrine. A doctrine is what the whole Bible teaches us about some particular topic. There are doctrines on many topics. God has given us truthful divine doctrine through careful study of His Word. Satan, demons and false teachers give false doctrines using Bible verses in twisted ways using different definitions.
There are differences in church administration here on earth, just as there are different kinds of political leaderships of countries. The administration (leadership) is the thing that people notice first but church doctrine, worldview, attitudes, love, good works, morality, honesty, charity, purpose and discipline are also important factors in a church. The Holy Spirit indwells believers.
The Holy Spirit enables believers to fill the role God has chosen for each person. Believers don't need workers or any preachers to dictate behavior or to purify them. Believers do need good Bible teachers to feed them and to teach them to feed themselves from the Word and to teach them to evangelize and disciple new believers and to lead them in duty to God's Word.
The fact that the workers discourage people from asking or knowing about their own history and doctrine is proof that they have something to hide. Lies and deception are from Satan, not God. Jesus said that Satan is the father of lies. Think about this: What serious, in-depth questions can anyone ask a worker and expect to get a good answer?
Find a Christian radio station and listen to the program "The Bible Answer Man." Listen to the range of questions that people ask on that program. Can you ask the workers those questions and get good scriptural answers? Would you even be able to think of a good scriptural, doctrinal question?
What Is The Gospel?
William Irvine's definition of the word "Gospel" was "God in a man speaking."
Eddie Cooney said, "The gospel for God's people is 'Behold your God.'" Other workers have said, "Anything a worker says is the gospel." "The gospel is the ministry of the workers and the meeting in the home." "You must attend all meetings. That is part of our gospel. You can only hear the gospel through the spoken word of our workers. Perhaps then you can be saved."
"The medium through which we receive the Spirit."
Jack Carroll said it was "the New Testament ministry of the apostles and the meeting in the home." Their answers betray their unscriptural belief about salvation and the variety of their ignorance.
But that isn't what the Bible says about the Gospel. Romans 3:23 says all people have sinned. Romans 6:23 says the penalty for sin is death. Romans 5: 8 says Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins. John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
Irvine's definition of "the gospel" meant people had to accept anything he said. His paraphrased Alpha gospel was: God is speaking through me! Repent of your Christian beliefs and traditions. You are all going to hell unless you follow me! Get rid of your fancy clothes and fancy words. The world, the wealthy, the educated, Christians, your possessions, the Jews, the flesh and attractive women will lead you astray.
Wayne Grudem explains the Gospel call in his excellent book "Bible Doctrine." "Any genuine gospel proclamation must include an invitation to make a conscious decision to forsake one's sins and come to Christ in faith, asking Christ for forgiveness of sins. If either the need to repent of sins or the need to trust in Christ for forgiveness is neglected, there is not a full and true proclamation of the gospel." Page 297
"The gospel call is important because through it God addresses us in the fullness of our humanity. He does not simply save us automatically without seeking for a response from us as whole persons. Rather, He addresses the gospel call to our intellects, our emotions, and our wills." Page 298
When Jesus was dying on the cross, the two thieves beside him spoke out. One thief criticized Jesus and the other made a statement of trust in Jesus Christ. Luke 23:40, "Don't you fear God? We are punished justly for we are getting what we deserve. But this man has done no wrong. Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." Jesus told him, "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise."The man was saved because he confessed he was a sinner and expressed his belief in Jesus, in God and the Kingdom.
Jesus didn't say, "Oh, too bad. If you could attend some gospel meetings I could explain to you how to deny self and attend meetings in a home then perhaps you could be saved if you are willing enough to live like me and receive the Spirit."
Jesus didn't say that because that is not what saves anyone!
The workers' "faith" is definitely not trusting in the biblical Jesus or the biblical gospel but in William Irvine's definition of Jesus, a homeless, itinerant man, the example tramp preacher and Irvine's gospel is his method. Irvine's gospel is very complicated in contrast to the simple "good news" of scripture, which is "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish but have eternal life."
No wonder Two by Twos have a hard time explaining what they believe. One professing elder said, "We are God's chosen people. Our main objectives are to serve the workers, attend gospel meetings and conventions and honor the Truth."
Sydney Lee said, "We are an especially chosen and especially blessed, an appointed people. There is no other source of light in this dark world. No blessing of God outside of the Way of God."
Harry Holland said, "If you are going to come to God by Him, you will have to come by His ministry, His baptism, and His fellowship. It is the fellowship of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. If you come to God through Christ, you can't come through something that He hasn't established. God didn't fill the world with confusion."
Eldon Tenniswood said, "All the denominations of the world have come from a man's brain as to what suits God."
Merlin Howlett said, "We are the only people in the world left who believe in the resurrection."
Jack Carroll said, "God's people are not a sect or denomination or a creed. God's people are His children, His family. God is our Father, Jesus is our Elder brother and we are brethren."
Leo Stancliff said, "There is not one verse in the Bible that says we are saved by the blood of Christ."
Their gospel is a "Do it yourself" program. If the workers and the friends truly were able to die to self as Jesus did, they wouldn't need the sacrifice of Christ to atone for their sins, because they would already be sinless. Not one worker has ever achieved the example of Jesus Christ. And they freely admit it. They constantly talk about how unworthy they are. Yet they have said that they are "the Living Word" because they have left homes and families and jobs.
The workers have said that "the reason Jesus came to earth was to teach us how to live," but Hebrews 2:17-18 says he came and was made like us so he could be a merciful and faithful high priest to make reconciliation for our sins, one who could understand our temptations and give us help when we are tempted.
Words of Experience from Fred and Ruth Miller.If they are talking to a knowledgeable Christian, workers will do and say anything to get out of defining "the gospel." They may even discuss the deity of Christ if they can avoid considering Him as a Saving Substitute.
They can stretch a point and illogically harmonize "Deity" and "Example", if it serves their purpose. But they cannot harmonize "Substitute" and "Example". They are incompatible. If He is our Substitute, we are free indeed. If He is our Example, then we must also be crucified, not spiritually but literally.
The only example, Christ is for man, is in realm of service, not salvation. Christians are to serve like Christ. However, their service does not qualify them for salvation. Christ's Blood does that job. Two by Twos have confused salvation with service. They have put the cart before the horse.
Christians receive their salvation from Christ because of His Gift of Grace.
Their whole-hearted service is a result of their salvation.
The workers say it is self-denial and whole-hearted service that qualifies them for salvation.
Because Jesus Christ is the Creator, that makes the Gospel possible, for no one else but God could pay such a pure, holy and infinite price. But it is not the gospel. The workers must always be confronted with the Gospel itself. John 3: 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to die on the cross to pay the price (death) for the sins of man. All those who believe on Him and follow Him will obtain that forgiveness and thus, eternal life. Christ's resurrection proves that the price is paid. He was the first to rise from the dead and those who trust in Him will also rise.
The moment a person dilutes the gospel, he corrupts it. It becomes a works system instead of a grace system. Anytime something else is added to the gospel, the "something else" becomes more important than Jesus and His sacrifice. God will not share the glory of Christ's sacrifice with anyone. Only where the true gospel of grace is understood and received by faith, can people be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and that not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works so that no one can boast."
Satan wants man to believe that something simple like accepting a gift is foolishness. "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." I Corinthians 1:18.
The workers often preach this verse and yet they believe the cross is foolishness themselves because they say it takes more than trust in the cross.
Sometimes the workers will say it is not the church or the ministry that saves them but the fact that they are "the only ones with the Spirit." This is a word game. They firmly believe that Christ's Blood will not cover anyone's sins unless he is following the workers and their methodology. And they actively oppose the message of grace. Their active opposition to the true gospel is the most dangerous aspect of their fellowship because they preach a different gospel. Their methods of influence and answering questions are learned from their older companions. They are trained in technique rather than theology.
How The Workers Answer Questions
What is Truth? The workers will respond to newcomers' questions fairly readily. They won't give real answers, but simply vague replies that sound like answers. However, if a professing person asks too many questions he will receive replies thinly tinged with jokes, threats, intimidation, hostility, or mockery. They will not tell you the truth about decisions, money, doctrine or history.
In response to a question, workers will sometimes ask in a challenging tone, "Do you believe the workers are the mouthpiece of God?" This is their test. If you say, "yes" then your questions become invalid. The workers speak for God and you must shut up.
At Glenn Valley Convention, 1989, a brother worker said, "There is nothing to discuss. Truth is Truth. It is just a matter of being willing."
If you say "no", they will have no further conversation with you. The best answer would be, "God has already spoken in the Bible. I believe the Bible." Or, you might respond with, "Do you believe that the scripture is the Word of God or the workers' words are the Word of God?" or, "Do you believe all the workers speak for God all the time? Or, "Do you believe that other workers always have the right answer from God on every topic all the time?" or, "Why? Do you believe you always have the right answer from God on every topic?" "Do you always have the right Spirit?" "Do you believe you can lose the Spirit? So how do you know if you still have the Spirit?" "How do you know you ever had the Spirit?"
"Lean not unto your own understanding" is often quoted. They use that verse deceptively. They want you to lean on their understanding. That verse means that God wants us to understand the scripture and He gives us the Holy Spirit so we can understand it and lean on it (trust in it). It means we aren't to attempt to understand God apart from His Word.
However, all members, workers included, ignore any scriptural information that conflicts with the workers or the "Jesus Way" as they learned it from Irvine's original ideas. They view reality in a different light.
If you want to confront a worker with an issue it is best to present the case with answers instead of questions. Inform them of what you have understood to be their position as opposed to the scriptural position. Rhetorical questions do not work with workers. They assume that you don't know anything and they want to keep it that way. They will try to divert your attention away from what is important in scripture or from whatever issue you may have noticed as a problem in the group. Show them some old quotes from 50 to 100 years ago and ask them if they agree with those same premises. If they don't, they need to publicly renounce those beliefs because most everyone else in the church does believe them.
The workers have taken the spotlight off of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and scripture and put the focus of thought onto themselves, their ideas about obedience to their rules and what constitutes the church. Instead of asking who God is, or how does man obtain eternal life? their questions are: Who are the true ministers of God? What is the only true Way? What are the rules for preachers to live by? What are the rules for the church to follow when meeting together? What are the rules for the church to follow in appearance and activity? The Bible is silent on all their topics except who is the only true Way…On that it is definite. Jesus Christ is the only true Way; not the workers, not the church, not a method.
An older worker said, The way you get born again is you make your choice in meeting and you start walking and keep on walking in the way. At some point in time, (no one knows when) you will become born again. If you quit walking in the way, you will lose out (become unborn again). (Paraphrase of a one hour answer).
Other workers have said, "Self-denial is the part of our service that brings eternal life."
"The word Christian means 'Christ-in'. Only professing people are true Christians. You must receive the Lord and you do this through the power of one of us."
"I wouldn't depend on the Blood of Christ to save me. It takes more than that."
"Trusting in the Blood is the wrong thing. It will only bring disillusionment."
"He redeemed us from all iniquity…His blood had to flow to redeem us and cleanse us from human thinking."
"To get the blood of Christ you must first pour out your own blood and have it replaced little by little."
"Do not expect the Blood of Christ to cleanse us until we cleanse ourselves."
"My hope of salvation is the blood of Christ. But I would like to explain to you what it means. The blood of Christ is the ministry and the church in the home. Without the New Testament ministry, you don't have the blood of Christ which includes the church in the homes. The forgiveness of sins is a fringe benefit."
"It isn't the Blood that saves you, it is the Life that saves you."
"We must not do anything that Jesus wouldn't do."
It is precisely because we are always doing things that Jesus wouldn't do that we need His Blood to save us. The workers do things that Jesus wouldn't do all the time.
Once, when asked whether the thousand-year reign was going to be a literal thousand years on this earth, an older sister worker gave a two-sentence answer. She prefaced her remark saying, "George Walker used to say that we will be given crowns of gold. No, we don't really know because it says a thousand years are as one day with the Lord." Subordinate workers usually quote a head worker or a senior worker. They aren't supposed to answer questions on their own.
The workers do not want the friends to become mature in their understanding of scripture. They want them to remain as "babes," but Paul rebuked Christians who remained ignorant of scripture. Hebrews 5:12-14, Paul told them to grow up and teach others about God's Word. The workers think they alone are the teachers, but they don't teach.
The workers condemn everyone else in the world to hell and mock every other religion on earth, yet if anyone dares to discuss or expose the workers' beliefs, they become angry and complain that their freedom of religion is being threatened. They think that people who discuss their beliefs are persecuting them. Persecution is oppression, murder, imprisonment, torture, financial destruction, kidnapping, and enslavement on the basis of religious beliefs or ethnicity. Discussing doctrine or calling a cult a cult is not persecution.
Workers do not agree with one another on every subject. They will privately criticize what other workers spoke on in meetings and in notes taken at conventions. Sometimes their message conflicts with another message from another worker in the same meeting.
One older worker openly admitted that there were differences between the workers on certain subjects but he said, "No matter what the differences, you can know a worker is right if he believes in the New Testament ministry and meeting in the home."
They differ from other cults in the fact that they don't rewrite scripture or publish their beliefs–they simply change the meaning of keywords and concepts. They take a few things literally and ignore or allegorize the rest. And they hide or deny many of the things that they believe and teach privately.
If someone asks why the workers don't try to help the needy, they will say, "Oh God doesn't want a loaves and fishes ministry." But God does want a loaves and fishes ministry. Jesus had a loaves and fishes ministry. The apostles had a loaves and fishes ministry in Acts 6:3-6. The workers criticize the multitudes that Jesus fed, saying that they only were interested in the food He gave them and that they weren't true followers.
Therefore, Christians shouldn't ever feed the needy because they will become false followers. In effect, the workers are criticizing Jesus, saying He wasted His time on false followers.
But James 1:27 says, "pure religion and undefiled is to help the widows and the fatherless."
James 2:15-17, "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"
Matthew 5:44, "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…"
Matthew 19:19 "love thy neighbor as thyself."
Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Christians feed the needy because the needy need food and so that God may be glorified, not so the needy will become followers. God provides for the whole world every day. The whole world is upheld by His hand every instant. It isn't too much to ask for Christians to join God in His generosity. Jesus taught His followers to do the things that God does, no matter what other people do. Helping people, loving people, serving them, giving them medical care are not tricks to get people to become Christians. It is our privilege to work with God and love others as He does.
Christians would like people to find faith in Christ but that isn't the reason Christians help the needy. Christians help the wicked needy along with the helpless needy. It isn't our job to decide who is worthy of help. God helps the unworthy every day. Jesus helped the unworthy all the time.
I Corinthians 9 and 16 and II Corinthians 8 and 9 are instructions about providing financial resources to the ministry and to the poor Christians. Paul told them how to collect the alms, when to do it and who would receive it. He commended the Macedonians who begged to be able to help the poor and who gave to the apostles for the spreading of the Gospel. Ironically, the workers use the books of Corinthians to promote their viewpoints. They don't seem to notice that all Paul's letters actually contradict the workers' messages.
It is typical of Gnostics and ascetics (such as the Hindus and Buddhists) to forsake the natural world in order to achieve Nirvana or become what they consider more spiritual. In contrast, Christianity is a natural faith rooted in physical nature that is created by God.
Asceticism is an unnatural faith that despises the natural world. Ascetics are parasites rather than participants with God in giving to others. They take from the work and generosity of others instead of working to care for the natural needs of others. There are evil forces at work (Satan and demons) in the spiritual world that corrupt the natural world.
God says those evil spirits will one day be cast into the lake of fire and He will create a new heaven and a new earth. It will be a perfect natural world once again. It is unscriptural to say that the natural world is evil and the spiritual world is good. The Truth of God applies to all of life: financial, spiritual, moral, business, marriage, education, politics, science, medicine, and church, etc. God intended for us to own property, things and have families. This is how we learn to be honest, responsible, and make good decisions. This is why He made commandments against lying, covetousness, murder, adultery and theft.
The workers make mocking derogatory remarks if people use theological words to explain a biblical concept. They dislike talking to anyone familiar with Christian doctrines. Some workers will quote a specific verse and try to end the subject by asking a question on another subject. Some workers make a joke and then divert the subject with an attack on Christianity or on the person who asked the question.
Irvine subverted God's Word by giving a new set of uncomfortable rules. The difficulty of his "no fun, no-frills rules" gives people the feeling of doing something against their nature, yet Irvine led people away from obedience to God's Words completely. Isn't it easier to ignore good grooming and go without television than it is to evangelize our neighbors, practice charity to the poor, study and teach the Bible, translate scripture into foreign languages, oppose abortion and sin, etc.? Mystifying scripture by redefining its words takes away all the real commandments to serve God by serving people. Irvine made scripture meaningless.
The workers are extremely private people who rarely allow anyone to become close to them. Living in close proximity with new families every week is difficult for them and they withdraw their personalities like turtles into a shell. They seem fearful of anyone becoming close enough to ask questions. If someone asks questions on forbidden subjects, the workers tell the friends that the questioner treated them "terrible!" meaning that the person didn't have the right attitude towards them. They give such a horrendous report that the questioner becomes a pariah. To prevent that from happening to you, it might be wise to let others know how the interview went exactly so that you can defend yourself from unfair condemnation. Make sure that you don't act terribly. Be as kind as possible. The workers are sensitive people who need love and consideration even more than most people.
The older workers were vigorous in their denunciation against dispensations, different time periods of God's work in history. They claimed, "Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever." Therefore, the church must be the same yesterday, today and forever. Yet, they use dispensational reasoning themselves to explain why miracles and tongues are no longer performed. Of course, they don't admit it is dispensational reasoning. God never said that the church must be the same forever. It hasn't been the same since the day Jesus left the earth. It has been growing and growing like a mustard tree spreading throughout the earth. The faith is the same but the activities are as diverse as the people and the callings and gifts that God has given them.
Ephesians 1:10: "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven and which are in earth: even in Him." The word dispensations is used in two different ways in the New Testament. It can mean stewardship or administration. It means that at different times God has had different ways of dealing with His people. However, no matter which dispensation, all people are saved by grace through faith. This verse is saying that eventually all who have been saved will be gathered together and made one in Christ.
Matthew 10:5-14, "These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach saying The Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into a house salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet."
The workers don't obey those instructions and neither did Irvine or Cooney.
The workers use allegorical definitions to explain why they don't heal the sick or raise the dead. They say sickness and death aren't sickness and death, but alienation from God and His True Way (the Two by Two church). They claim that the Two by Two church is the Kingdom of heaven and the Children of Israel. They don't explain why they don't just stay at one house in a town. None of them explain why they now have coats, suitcases, shoes, cars, money, bank accounts and computers. They claim that the twelve disciples were preaching "the gospel that people must become like Jesus Christ." They weren't.
They were announcing the arrival of the Messiah and the Kingdom of Heaven. They were healing the sick and casting out evil spirits to show the signs of God's power over sin, demons and death. Their miracles were true miracles, not allegorical fabrications. Nobody would have believed in Jesus if He and the apostles had claimed to do miracles that no one could see or prove. Christ's ability to forgive sin was proven by His ability to heal the problems caused by sin. The workers cannot heal the problems caused by sin. They themselves have problems caused by sin. They don't give freely. They preach for their board and room and pocket change.
The whole Bible talks about the necessity of obedience. How can anyone obey a metaphor, an allegory or scripture that has been twisted beyond any correlation to real life at all?
Biblical prophecy indicated that Jesus would first be sent to the Jews and then the message of repentance and remission of sins would be sent to the Gentiles, into all nations after His resurrection.
The workers claim that other preachers aren't willing to leave their homes, spouses and money to obey God and therefore they invented dispensational theology to get around God's commands. However, there have been many Christian evangelists and preachers who have been willing to be unmarried and without financial security for the sake of the Gospel. They just don't preach singleness and poverty as a means to salvation as the workers do.
I Timothy 3:2 says that an elder (bishop) should be apt to teach, yet if any elder in this church attempted to do any teaching in a Sunday or Wednesday meeting he would be in trouble with the workers and the congregation. The workers do not want anyone to understand or study the scriptures in depth on their own or they will soon discover all the unbiblical things about this church. They say that the saints "haven't paid the price" to be able to teach. The workers are strictly against anyone's testimony being longer than 1 or 2 minutes, certainly not long enough to teach anyone anything.
The Bible refers to bishops, elders, and deacons in positions of church leadership and service to the widows and needy. The bishops and/or elders were apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, or responsible older men who had been believers for many years, educated and knowledgeable in scripture. Peter said he was an elder. I Peter 5:1 A deacon is one who has responsibility for helping the orphans, widows, and the needy in the congregation. Acts 6.
I Peter 5:1-3, Titus 1:5-9, James 5:14, a bishop must be blameless, holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (those who argue against the scripture). Acts 20:28, I Timothy 3:2-13, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth his house well, having his children in subjection with all gravity, etc.
There are several scriptures that describe what the elders, deacons and bishops are supposed to be like and what their roles are. A Two by Two elder is vastly different from the biblical elder. A Two by Two elder is the man who has Sunday morning meeting in his home. A Two by Two deacon is the man who has Wednesday night Bible study in his home. The workers don't even mention bishops, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, disciples or pastors either. They just ridicule people who really fulfill those roles.
Ministry is not a matter of "being in charge" of the church. It is being "charged with" the church, to take responsibility to serve and be accountable to others, to teach others to preach, teach and serve, not just to go around preaching, condemning, acting bossy or super holy. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for binding the people with heavy burdens.
The main characteristic that the workers look for when they choose an elder is his submission to the workers and their rules. They don't examine a man's moral life as much as they examine his conformity to their mind control, his wife's hairdo, appearance, her ability to keep a house clean, the way she dresses her children and whether the family observes the rules regarding television, movies, dances and jewelry.
The workers emphasize hospitality for elders, saying that their homes should be used by the workers for "the gospel's sake." Workers elevate the status of the elders and urge them to always be ready to entertain others on the spur of the moment. There are far more important topics for elders to be educated in than hospitality. They are supposed to be teachers of the Word. They are supposed to be involved in charitable activities and in caring for the needy as in the case of those appointed to care for the widows. They are to do more than just feed and board traveling preachers.
There have been incestuous Two by Two elders, pedophiles, gamblers, alcoholics, homosexual elders and some who committed financial fraud, some who were known to be abusive to their families and elders who tried to seduce young women. Out of the thousands of Two by Two elders who are upright and decent, these scandals are not the norm. For the most part, the elders have good reputations. However, the frustrating part of these scandals is that some of these elders had been reported to the head workers who did little or nothing about the situations, except rebuke or threaten those who had reported the problems.
The head workers resent anyone who exposes a problem. Workers aren't even allowed to complain about immorality among elders or other workers. A woman told the sister workers about a brother worker who had requested sexual favors from her. They did nothing so she told the head worker about it. He did nothing. So she tried to alert others to the offense and the workers acted like she had lost her mind and she was excommunicated, but they never told her she was excommunicated. They just moved the meeting and didn't tell her where it was. She nearly had a nervous breakdown over their treatment of her. It took her years to finally realize that the whole system was wrong, not just those particular workers.
The workers and friends are critical of scandals in the Catholic clergy and of other clergymen who have been overcome by sin, yet they keep their own dark secrets to themselves so well that most of the stories are known only to the victims and their families. The predatory workers prey on the most dysfunctional families so that no one believes them when they get disgusted with the workers.
Every church on earth has the challenge of ignorance, sin, blind spots, doctrinal disputes and hypocrisy among members and leaders. Every church has the problem of not always understanding certain things in scripture. Every church has false followers. God said that He would allow the tares to exist among the wheat until the end of time. So, it is a challenge for every Christian to stay awake, watch and pray and examine himself or herself and the scripture and beware of false teachers.
But it isn't right to allow such things to continue once a problem has come to light. The workers' policy of hiding sin committed by those in leadership by denial, coverup, moving the sinner to another location where he will be free to sin again is unacceptable. It is a disservice to the guilty person and to his victims and potential victims. This is another reason that an itinerant ministry is not healthy or safe. Paul objected strenuously when the Corinthians continued having fellowship with a man who was living in sin with his father's wife.
I am not judging whether workers and professing people are saved or not. I hope they are. God only knows the hearts of men and women and whether they truly believe in His Son, the Son described in scripture and if they have been born again by faith in His Blood sacrifice and repentance of their sin. My objection to the workers and their message is their lack of scriptural understanding and lack of integrity, their false doctrines, lies about their history, their lack of accountability and responsibility for their moral sin, their pride in judging Christians. My biggest objection is their dishonest and ignorant handling of scripture under the guise of "the Truth!"
An itinerant ministry is not adequate for the purpose of counseling, correcting and feeding the sheep. It is fine for evangelization, but "caring for the flock" entails much more than just "locating sheep." A traveling ministry does not have enough time to do any ongoing teaching and cannot know the needs of the church in depth. The workers don't or can't deal with doctrinal issues or discipline. Professing people do not learn all they need to know about scriptural principles, serving others or theology.
People are under the impression that since the workers live with the friends, this closeness gives them the unique ability to intimately know and counsel the families in their fields. However, it appears that the close proximity actually hinders that process. The friends are afraid of the workers and the workers are annoyed with any stressful situations that are beyond their ability to handle. Moreover, workers have actually been kicked out of the work for trying to help people with problems. Other workers have been the problem.
If the friends ever do discuss spiritual things they seldom talk about what the scripture says or how it applies to real life. Most "spiritual" discussions are: "Wasn't that a good meeting?!" "I just loved what he (or she) said!" "I am so glad she is in our field this year. She is so helpful!" Or, they usually quote some worker's statement regarding the subject. They read the scripture but are afraid to draw their own conclusions. They feel they must have a worker's approval of anything before it is acceptable.
Are the friends saved if they are trusting the workers and the way rather than in Jesus and the Bible? And, if the friends are saved, will they have treasure in heaven? The Bible specifically says that we lay up treasure in heaven through our charitable giving and the good things that we do here on earth. Matthew 10:42, Matthew 16:27, Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 6:38, Matthew 5:16, II Corinthians 9:1-13
Yet the workers counsel the people not to get taken up with good works, saying that it is a waste of time. Works don't save us but they are what give us reward in heaven. Matthew 25 and the whole book of James and of Titus point out the importance of good works. Works are specific activities that help other people and bring glory to God. Works are not rules about meeting in homes or appearance and unmarried preachers.
After Irvine and Cooney were excommunicated, the workers who carried on their legacy became more careful about how they worded their messages. The harsh rhetoric and opinions became more subdued but, in effect, they meant the same things that Irvine and Cooney had said. They also chose their messages to fit their audience. This is why there is so much ignorance among the friends and workers. They don't understand the difference between what the Bible says and what the workers are saying.
Read Irvine's old letters and sermons. You will see how he changed the Bible's message. You will see his angry, irrational, ignorant, arrogant statements. You will notice his derisive attitude towards people in the Bible and towards the Bible. Notice his antagonism towards women, education, Jews and Blacks. Notice his hostility towards his own followers. He had a different agenda than Christ had. Notice his statements about sin. Listen to the workers today and identify his attitudes and doctrines, albeit more carefully crafted. Write down everything the workers say, giving their names and dates. Then look back 100 years, 50 years and 15 years. Has it changed?
Here is an excerpt (complete with errors) from one of Irvine's letters,
"All who are to be the Woman Body will find God has been dealing with them to cleanse them, not from sin or sins, but from something much worse – even to leavening power of Phariseeism, which all men suffer from and which brings only the curse and trouble of all kinds."
Phariseeism was Irvine's code word for Christianity.
Another excerpt from Irvine's letters of errors,
"So your experience is more like Jesu's (sic) position amongst men. His friends and disciples were nearly all of the same class, ignorant and unlearned men and women. His Mother looked on as a deceitful woman. Mary the whore of Jerusalem, whose life He saved when they wanted to kill her by stoning. Mary Magdaline,(sic) out of whom went 7 devils, a deceitful scandalizing gossip of the Synagogue type. These are the 3 Mary's and all of them looked on as outcast from the Religious, Political and Educated people of that day. And you can see the Publicans and sinners were friendly to Him."
Irvine wasn't saving people from sin. He was saving them from Christianity and education.
Parables And Metaphors
Because Jesus used word pictures (metaphors) to describe His role (Bread of Life, Light of the world, Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, and the Life which are actually statements of His deity) and used parables for teaching people to understand the Kingdom of Heaven or the Church, the workers think that metaphors and parables are the way to preach everything. God didn't use parables to record the law or any of his commandments, or instructions about sacrifices.
God sometimes used metaphors in prophecies. Jesus didn't use parables or word stories to teach the gospel, the way to live, the plan of salvation or doctrine. He plainly taught the concept of salvation through faith in Him and His sacrifice. He used parables to explain the Kingdom of Heaven and His return. Word pictures are memorable teaching tools and are used often in eastern cultures, storytelling and religions. It isn't wrong to use word pictures but Christian pastors should explain biblical parables rather than make up new parables that conflict with biblical parables. The workers make up their own parables for nearly every sermon. That is unacceptable. One can create anything through that method.
The Definition And Doctrine Of Grace
One cannot appreciate God's Grace until he understands sin and God's Holiness. Irvine didn't understand those topics and neither do the workers. The workers don't expect people to repent of sin. They want to forget all about sin, hide sin, don't admit sin. Irvine wanted people to repent of Christianity.
Tharold Sylvester, a former head worker said, "Grace is the ability God gives us to do His will."
Dick Middleton said, "Grace only can help people in a moment. Grace to help in time of need. God can't help someone unless he is trying himself. God helps those that help themselves."
Dick Hare said, "You can only receive saving grace through the works that you do throughout your life and become a true professing person through the workers. If you've proven yourself a faithful servant then you may be received."
Eldon Tenniswood said, "I wouldn't trust in the Grace of God to save me. It takes more than that."
Scripture says God's grace is a gift! We can't earn it, buy it or qualify for it. We can only accept it or reject it. Those who reject it, or don't appreciate it, don't view themselves as sinners. They want to feel that they have earned it in some way. Those who think they have earned it will look down on and see the faults of others and none of their own.
If you haven't received grace, you will feel weighed down, heavy with guilt that you can do nothing about. You will feel sad, defeated and unworthy, often feeling guilty for things that aren't even sins. You will try hard to keep busy to make up for the burden of your unworthiness. You will work to please everyone around you and never succeed. No wonder the friends and workers suffer panic attacks and depression.
The doctrine of Grace has been misunderstood even by some who claim to believe it. There are people who say they believe in the Lord and His grace and yet they continue to live a life of sin, without repentance. They are like the people who came to John the Baptist to be baptized yet he called them vipers and warned them to bring forth fruit unto repentance. But their disobedience does not cancel out God's Grace. They will reap what they sow because God is not mocked. Jesus said, "not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord' will be saved."
Grace is summed up in the person Jesus Christ. An incorrect view of the doctrine of grace will pervert all other areas of divine truth. The essence of grace is that it is free! When a person fully comprehends the doctrine of grace, he is amazed, overwhelmed with gratitude, repentance, joy and a sense of freedom from sin and legalism.
That is not to say that Christians don't sin but they can resist sin. I Corinthians 10:13 They are no longer slaves to sin as they once were. Christians do sin but there is an obvious change in their pattern of life and their motives. Christians hate their sin and turn to God for forgiveness quickly when they do sin. If they don't resist sin, they can become ensnared again because Satan will move in to attack and oppress them. If they don't forgive others, Satan can attack them also.
Grace is the love and mercy of God in action: John 3:16. The grace of God saves forever: Romans 8:38-39
The grace of God is unconditional: Ephesians 2:9 The grace of God is sufficient: II Corinthians 12:9
The grace of God doesn't discriminate: Revelations 22:17 The grace of God justifies: Romans 3:23-24
The grace of God makes every believer an heir: Titus 3:7 The grace of God teaches believers how to live: Titus2:11-12
Belief or faith in Jesus Christ is a strong eternal bond with God that cannot be destroyed. Faith is rooted in the past, real factual history and directed into the real future. There is more to belief than simply agreeing to acknowledge the existence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is more than a verbal commitment. It is more than recognition that we are sinners. It is different than following some methodology for worship, or going to meetings, trying to catch some Spirit. It is has nothing to do with a superficial self-denial of certain activities or desires. It has nothing to do with hairdos or appearances.
Belief in Jesus Christ is characterized by love, a hunger, a deep desire to know Him by studying his Word, the scriptures. It is an act of the will that cannot be compelled by force or coercion. Good works are the products of belief or faith in God. God gives us faith through his loving grace. There are emotions as well that accompany faith: joy, love, awe, humility and worship. The peace He gives us is stronger than any trial or tribulation that could ever come our way. The relief from the burden of sin helps us love others as they are and where they are. The resulting joy and love for others propel one to share the gospel story with others, wanting for them the same relief from sadness and depression that once was ours. May God bless you with a full understanding of the gospel of grace!
Salvation Versus Rewards
Everything that God does gives glory to Him. When He created the heavens and the earth it was to His glory. Psalm 19:1 When He sent Jesus to earth as a baby it was to His glory. Luke 2:14 When humans receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ it gives God glory. Romans 16:27 When God answers our prayers it gives Him glory. God deserves the glory for all those things and infinitely more. He doesn't hold out salvation as a thing that can come and go with the whims and works of men. That wouldn't give Him glory. He didn't waste His time and the life of Jesus for just a few people who hide themselves and what they believe from the world. That wouldn't give Him glory. No! Salvation isn't about us. It is about God and His glory. Salvation of a paltry number of people would not bring glory to God at all.
Salvation is a free gift that we receive now while we are alive on earth. Salvation is an assured possession that we cannot lose. Salvation is the same for every believer and is available to all by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice.
Rewards are earned by the good works of believers, the things that we have suffered for His sake in this life, obedience to our calling and our charity to others. Rewards won't be received until we are in eternity although we do receive blessings while we are still on earth.
We can lose our rewards if we get sidetracked by earthly things or in a life of sin. Rewards in heaven differ widely depending on God's plan and purpose for each life. Rewards are only given to those who run the race. Rewards are the honors to the ones who have worked for them. The Bible doesn't mention rewards for hairdos and strange clothing or meeting in the home.
Relevance Of The Bible
The relevance of scripture to everyday living, decision making, sexuality, economics, politics, sin, medical decisions, marital life, raising children, etc. is hidden from professing people because they view the Bible as a handbook of instructions about meeting in the home, how to dress and the ministry. They are taught not to view the Bible from a practical standpoint but simply from parables given by workers. This prevents people from obeying scripture because they don't understand the application of it.
Their attitude creates a sort of split personality effect in the people. Few really know what it means to think or live as Christians. Christians are always puzzled by the fact that Two by Twos are unable to talk about their faith. Christians are puzzled that Two by Twos don't praise Jesus with any enthusiasm. That is why Christians will frequently ask them if they are Christian. Christians know that the answer "I try to be" means that they aren't Christian.
Christians can't understand why Two by Twos don't ever "do" anything with their faith. Christians can't understand why Two by Twos don't glorify Jesus with good works done in His Name. Christians can't understand why Two by Twos have such a secular worldview, often agreeing with atheists rather than with Christians about law, politics and social issues. Christians love to discuss their love for Jesus and how He has answered prayers, how He changed their lives or what they have learned in their Bible studies. But Two by Twos usually refuse to be drawn into conversation on any topic. If a Christian asks a Two by Two about his faith, the Two by Two changes the subject as soon as possible because he is embarrassed by the fact that he can't explain it without sounding ridiculously self-righteous and/or ignorant.
The workers view the natural body as evil and feel that it must be treated as an enemy. That may have been Irvine's reasoning behind the "Tramp" look. But there is a distinction between our bodies and our fleshly appetites. Our "flesh" is the lustful desire that leads to sin. We feed our flesh with immoral thoughts and our eyes. We feed our souls with God's Word. Our bodies are not bad, they are simply the vessels for our souls and for God to dwell within. God says that our bodies are His temples. God doesn't view our bodies as enemies. He created our bodies. He created us in His image. He was pleased with His creation. The workers have failed to teach the friends how to take every thought captive by the Word of God. The workers fail to teach scriptural principles about marriage and responsible sexuality and instead make rules regarding hairstyles and fashions.
Why does a church with such a horror of divorce have so many unhappy marriages? Counter cult ministries receive more and more reports of pedophilia, adultery and homosexuality among the workers and professing people, even more than previously reported and suspected. Not only do the counter-cult ministries hear about the sexual problems but people frequently send news articles about illegal business deals and crimes that professing people have been involved in. Of course, there are crimes and sins committed by people from other churches, too. But, the workers have tried to hide all these problems and lead people to believe that professing people are better than other people. This just isn't true.
Since this church does nothing to channel the young people's time and energy to worthwhile interests or activities, the children are more vulnerable to temptations. Instead of teaching young people to understand and study the Bible or to evangelize, to reach out to the needy and to think of foreign mission fields as other Christian churches do, professing young people waste their youth doing nothing to lay up treasure in heaven or to set their goals for Christ.
Instead of teaching professing people about the sanctity of marriage and preparing them to serve one another in marriage, they discourage marriage in favor of becoming a worker. This sets people up for marital discord and unfaithful behavior when they do marry. Some children of professing families don't marry, they just live with different people from time to time, hoping to find happiness somewhere. Instead of being an uplifting influence, the mind control and lack of biblical teaching drags people down.
Many children from professing families marry outside the group and then wander from one disastrous marriage or affair to the next, never knowing why they aren't in touch or in control of their emotions, never understanding the feelings of their spouses. The Two by two background trains people to deny their own intuition and feelings. One can't accept the feelings of others if one can't be honest about one's own thoughts and emotions.
Irvine's legacy produces two kinds of people: robots or rebels. A large proportion of Two by Two children turn out to be rebels. They leave the church's influence yet still believe that the workers are right, but they themselves cannot stand the mind control. They rarely if ever become born-again Christians.
Historical And Prophetic Scripture
The workers rarely speak on the prophetic books, such as Genesis, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, II Peter, Thessalonians, Jude and Revelation.
When they do, they allegorize them to mean something different than what they say. Or they refer to one or two verses rather than the whole message of the book. Because they fail to look at history in light of the scripture, and fail to look at current events in the light of the scripture, it is difficult for them to see or know that the prophetic books tell of real events that once took place or will take place in the future.
The workers think that the scriptures specifically written to the nation of Israel now apply to the Gentile Two by Two Church. While it is true that what is good advice for Israel is good advice for anyone, it confuses the issue of what is prophesied for the last days: the Tribulation, (Jacob's Trouble), the catching away of the Church, Armageddon, etc. Promises and curses to the Israelites aren't always applicable to Christians. Christ specifically told us about the end of the world and intends for His people to be ready, watching and aware of it.
"If ye have ears to hear, hear."
The workers avoid the topic of Christ's return and the last days almost completely. All they say is "watch and pray". They don't study Christian history or Jewish history so they have no way of preaching about something that they don't know about. Irvine's attempt at reading himself into the prophecies of Revelation backfired so his followers avoid the subject.
Bible students and Christian pastors are well versed in the scriptures referring to heaven, hell, the future of the earth and God's Kingdom. There is plenty of scripture to give us an idea of what to expect, if anyone has the patience to study the Bible. Because of the confusing nature of prophecy and the use of metaphorical language it is difficult to draw complete conclusions about some subjects.
Responsible Christian pastors disapprove of those who set specific dates for Christ's return and there are disagreements among Christians about some passages, but they do not condemn or forbid others for considering different views regarding end-time possibilities because this issue does not affect salvation. God intends for us to study the prophetic scriptures. The Bible is the only religious book that contains accurate prophecies that actually came true.
God intends for us to be familiar with His Word about the future so He can receive the glory when the prophecies come to pass. The workers resent professing people who want to know more about the Bible than what the workers have to offer. The workers even imply that it is wrong for professing people to know, understand or discuss doctrine.
Prophetic and historical scripture are interesting texts that increase our faith in God's Word and our hope and interest in seeing it fulfilled. However, allegorical preaching erases its real meaning. There is an old adage, "When you 'spiritualize,' you tell spiritual lies." The following are examples of workers' allegorical sermons:
Genesis 3:24 speaks of the cherubim guarding the Tree of Life with the flaming sword. The workers claim that is "a picture of the ministry" which guards the Tree of Life. No one can partake of the Tree of Life unless he is willing to have the scripture applied to his life. The workers are the cherubim who wield the sword.
This is not a correct usage of this text. The truth is that man is prevented from attaining eternal life outside of Jesus Christ. The workers are not, in any way, a type of angel. Even the original apostles did not claim to be cherubim or to be a type of cherubim. However, the friends and the workers have frequently referred to the workers as angels or types of angels.
Another allegorical theme the workers like to use is from Exodus 4 where Moses cast his rod down and it became a serpent, then when he picked it up again, it became a rod. The workers maintain, "The rod is an illustration of the scripture in the hands of God's true servants." They claim that when the scripture is in the hands of the workers that it is an instrument of protection and correction but when it is out of their hands or used by someone else that it is like the serpent or Satan. This is another distortion of scripture. God was not giving a warning word picture about the workers and the scripture. He was using this means to startle the Pharaoh into listening to Moses. And the workers are not remotely in the same position as Moses.
Nehemiah 8:8 tells of the time Ezra "read the book in the law of God distinctly and gave the sense and caused them to understand the meaning." Teachers of the Word are to explain what the Bible says, not create new stories, redefine words or read themselves into the scripture.
Christian pastors call the workers' type of sermons "Little Bo Peep Preaching." Anyone can make up a "spiritual" story using a nursery rhyme, fairy tale, scripture, newspaper article or the Readers Digest. All you have to do is say, "this is an example of" or "this is a type of," "this is a picture of" and off you go into the wild blue yonder. Truth isn't considered; emotional response, guilt, intimidation and fear are all that matter.
The workers also use the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19; as "a type of the workers." The rich preacher ends up in hell and the poor worker ends up in heaven. The workers compare Billy Graham to the rich man. They claim that Billy Graham's motive for preaching is to become a millionaire. They claim that he is a millionaire. They infer that all preachers except themselves are millionaires.
They especially hate Billy Graham's Gospel message because he always preaches about sin and the need for Jesus to be our Saviour from our sin. The workers think that people need to be saved from "false religion," their words for Christianity. They also criticize Billy Graham because he tells people to attend a Bible teaching church of "your choice." They don't want people to have a choice about church. It has to be the Two by Two church!
There is nothing to indicate that Lazarus or the rich man were prophets or preachers of any sort. Luke 16 is a whole sermon regarding the importance of being ready for eternity and to use our resources on earth to lay up treasure in heaven by sharing with those in need. This is a lesson about the hellish future of those who are not prepared for eternity, those who think they are rich but who are actually poverty-stricken because they have not laid up treasure in heaven. It is an admonition to listen to Moses, the Prophets (as recorded in scripture) and to repent from sin. It is a lesson about what hell is like and that there is no remedy for it once one is there.
Irvine's rambling antagonism against other people of the past or present had few bounds. In one letter he displayed his animosity towards Jewish people when he mocked the book of Esther saying, "The whole book does not contain one reference to God or Jehovah; sure proof of the Godlessness of the people mentioned." "Haman reminds us of Ham the cursed son of Noah; Mordecai means a 'worshipper of the power of Babylon' as in Jer. 50-2. Esther means 'a planet of Venus.' We hear all through history of women who got power by their beauty and selling themselves to the highest bidder…Can we expect resurrection for any of the people we read of in Esther? Purim Feast should be a day of mourning to any Godly person. It's difficult to see any difference between Haman and Mordecai."
Irvine just made up meanings of names and words. He would sometimes use the first letter or two of a word and then match it with some letters of another word. Presto, a new definition, ala Irvine! "Haman reminds us of Ham!" There is nothing in scripture or history to say that Haman is related to Ham. Irvine confused the Jewish name Mordecai with the Persian idol Merodach, two different languages and names, not related in the least. His criticism of the book of Esther shows that he did not respect the authority of scripture. He had no use for Esther because she was an attractive woman and too much attention was given to her grooming, cleansing, clothing and appearance. The difference between Mordecai and Haman was huge. Mordecai was an Israeli who refused to worship anyone other than God. Haman was a Babylonian pagan.
The Bible is God's Word, an historical and prophetic book recorded by Jewish men about the creation, the world, the Jewish nation and the Jewish Messiah. The Lord sovereignly used Queen Esther to save all the lives of Jewish people from India to Ethiopia. God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all Jewish. Jesus is the King of the Jews. God has kept the Jewish nation alive and intact throughout history even while He has punished them for disobedience. The fact that God wasn't mentioned in this book has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject! His sovereignty in it is obvious.
Esther was used as an intercessor for God's people. She risked her life to save them. The book contains lessons found in other books of the Bible, Proverbs 11:17,18; I Corinthians 1:27; Matthew 16:25; Romans 8:28; Luke 19:39,40; II Samuel 22:28; Proverbs 11:19 But Irvine discounted the whole book with his prejudice against Jews, Blacks, pretty women, and the traditional feast of Purim. His arrogance towards the book betrays his ungodly attitude towards God's Word and God's People, the Jews. Antagonism against Jews won't be tolerated by the God of heaven. God said He would bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse the Jews. Not all workers are racist but the racism of the early workers was only thinly veiled with twisted scripture, platitudes and excuses.
William Irvine was a cranky man and many of the workers who followed him were cranky. The stories of their verbal cruelty to some people are still circulating. Many of those who left the group suffered for years from their meanness. Most workers now are much nicer to be around but their doctrine and ideas are still rooted in the crankiness of the past. Some older workers still know how to sweetly say cruel things with a smile and a Bible verse that takes your breath away.
The workers are fond of taking historical or prophetic messages and in some way relating them to the ministry or the method of this church.
The following quote is from a 1988 letter from Howard Mooney, the head worker of Oregon: "I started to read in Ezekiel, chapters 8-10. It opened to me, that as Ezekiel saw it, there were abominations hidden even in the temple and God had to make it known and its end; as the wages of sin are always death regardless of who is guilty. God went farther in chapter 10. The Gospel is revealed in a type, as a young man clothed in fine linen who came with the remedy from heaven. The same coals of fire from off heaven's altar which were put in Jesus the Son of God's hands. And Jesus scattered it all the days of His ministry upon earth. It was not given to angels or cherubs but given unto wise hearted and willing hearted men whose hearts were set afire by the Love that is eternal."
"I turned to Acts 1-2 and saw the fulfillment of what God revealed to Ezekiel. A chosen generation of men who counted not their lives dear unto themselves but whose consecration put them in the place in Acts 2 where God could pour out of His Holy Spirit. Again there were tongues of fire given unto every one of them and the open door of the gospel was set before them and we are glad those living coals of fire still carry the Gospel to all the world. Acts and the Epistles helps us to see how God rewarded them in the first century and we rejoice in the 20th century that the same is going on in spite of all the opposition of Satan and his angels."
"The gospel is revealed 'as a type,' as a young man clothed in fine linen." Now we have a whole new definition of "the gospel!" Christ's death, blood and resurrection should never be trivialized by allegorizing them to be "as a young man clothed in fine linen." Man cannot be like Christ simply by giving up a few possessions or by going around two by two, being unmarried. Man cannot be worthy of Christ's Blood no matter what he does or does not do. And man cannot help others be worthy of Christ's Blood by anything he does or does not do. Notice that Howard compared the workers to coals of fire from the altar of sacrifice. He mixes Ezekiel with Acts, switching metaphors, confusing the topics, twisting the scripture, raising the workers to supremacy.
The book of Ezekiel is really a proclamation of God's judgment on the nation of Israel because of idolatry. The priests claimed to be serving Him, while they were actually worshipping pagan idols inside God's Temple. Ezekiel 8:7-17. Ezekiel 10 is a vision of God's presence and glory leaving the Temple, accompanied by real cherubims, the angels who hover around the throne of God giving God Glory and Honor continuously. See Ezekiel 10:4-19. This is a proclamation of God's wrath against Israel and His plan to destroy them with the king and armies of Babylon.
Acts 1-2 is not a fulfillment of Ezekiel. It is a change in God's dwelling place on earth. Since Christ's death and resurrection, He now resides in the bodies of believers instead of in the Ark of the Covenant or Solomon's Temple. He resides in all believers who have been born again. His residence in the bodies of men is eternal, not temporary. His Holy Spirit doesn't come and go depending on whether or where people meet for meeting. His Holy Spirit is God, the Creator of the universe. He is able to do more than all we ask or think. He is able to keep us faithful until we meet Him face to face. Neither of these portions of scripture remotely refer to preachers.
The workers speak as if Christians believe that God lives in church buildings. Christians don't think God lives in buildings at all. Christians know that God dwells in the hearts of believers. Scripture is clear about that point. Christian church buildings are not the equivalent of Solomon's Temple or the Ark of the Covenant. The Temple contained the memorials of God's miraculous intervention in Israel's history (Aaron's rod that budded, the gold pot full of manna, the tablets of stone, the ark, the scriptures), where God's presence was seen. It was a place of sacrifice for sin and where people gathered to pray and hear scripture read. But Christian churches are built for the congregation to gather together for worship and teaching, for weddings, baptisms, and funerals, for Christian schools, for training grounds for missionaries, as a testimony and an outreach to the community. Sometimes Christians use the term "house of God" to refer to a church building but they don't mean God lives there, they mean that it belongs to God and it is used for His glory and purposes.
The workers use another metaphor when they preach from II Samuel 6:6. David tried to move the Ark of God without observing God's specific instructions. Uzzah touched the Ark of God and God killed him because the Ark of God was God's Holiness among men. No one could approach it unless he was cleansed, chosen for the purpose, and followed the procedure given by God.
The workers claim that is an example of what " false preachers" do when they preach the gospel on radio and television or when they use cassette tapes to spread the gospel. They warn that death is the result of trying to change God's methods of carrying the gospel. They say that only an unmarried, unpaid, itinerant, homeless, Two by Two workers can preach the word of God because that is the only method God appointed to carry His message.
They say, "the Ark is a picture of the workers carrying the Gospel of God." The Ark of God was a box representing God's Holy presence among men. It contained the Ten Commandments. The Ark of God was not the gospel. The Ark was a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ who was the Word that became flesh and dwelt among men. God did not appoint people to preach the gospel like the workers claim.
Again, the workers carried the story beyond the literal meaning of the account. This actually happened because of disobedience to God's instructions about how to handle the Ark. God's instructions are a life and death matter. However, the worker's instructions are not a life and death matter.
William Irvine read more into the scripture than is actually there and he laid burdens on people that God never intended. If this were right, then the workers should be carrying around the Ark of God according to the laws of the Old Testament and they would all have to be Jewish from the tribe of Levi. The workers ignore the importance of the Hebrew nation by taking all historical meaning out of the scripture and twisting it to fit their view of the workers and friends as "the Kingdom of Israel". They want people to think that the world revolves around them.
The workers claim that in Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira had offered to go into the "work" and were selling all their goods to give to the poor but were not giving up everything to go out on faith so the Holy Spirit killed them. This is another instance of scripture twisting. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying to God, the Holy Spirit. That is all. They could have kept all their property and money to themselves if they had wanted to. The text says nothing about them wanting to become preachers.
These kinds of sermons frighten and intimidate the friends. The workers claim that they have no doctrine yet their antagonism against serious study of scripture shows that they have a very strict viewpoint that is not acknowledged publicly. When the friends have asked a few innocent questions and are embarrassed or frightened by sharp answers they learn not to ask questions.
Every once in a while a worker will give people a chance to ask questions and the people are so ignorant that they don't even know what questions to ask. The few who ask important questions will receive obvious disapproval. Usually questions will center on certain rules that they wish didn't exist. It would hardly occur to them to ask doctrinal questions.
The friends are so self-conscious about their lack of scriptural knowledge and understanding that they find ways to rationalize it. They say it isn't necessary to know God's word. "A candle doesn't talk," they say. "All one needs is love." They scorn other Christians who do know the scripture well, saying that other Christians "know all about God but don't really know Him." If the Two by Twos really know God, then why don't they know all about His Word as well? Ignorance of scripture betrays their odd relationship to God.
The workers accuse all other Christian churches of being "Synagogues of Satan preaching doctrines of demons." One of the things they mock other churches for is for "keeping the old law". They condemn churches for teaching the Ten Commandments. They say that the Old Testament is no longer valid because Jesus brought in the New Testament which is a higher law. Do they think that the workers' unpublished rules are the New Testament Law?
It is important for the Ten Commandments to be taught. Christ brought in the New Testament Law and it was more difficult than the Old Testament Law: perfection! People need to know they are breaking God's Laws. If they don't know, how can they repent? How can they know that the Blood of Christ is the only cure for their sin?
Irvine ridiculed the traditions of the Jews and Christians yet he created traditions also: unmarried workers living together, dishonest ignorant use of scripture, convention, frumpiness, baptism and funeral traditions, dishonesty regarding money, the tradition of not respecting wedding ceremonies, the tradition of not doing good works, the traditions of Sunday Morning Meeting, etc.
All those things are traditions. Jesus didn't have anything against traditions unless they prevented people from actually obeying what God had commanded. And what has God commanded? He commanded us to pay attention to His Word and obey it. Do the workers obey it? No.
Can professing people ever accuse God for being misled by the workers? No. He warned us about false teachers and deceitful workers. He told us to read the scripture and to understand it. Can a professing man blame God because a worker raped his child or committed adultery with his wife? No, He warned us to beware of whoremongers and diverse and abominable heresies.
It is our responsibility to examine what preachers teach. It is our responsibility to protect our wives and children from sexual predators. Just because a head worker has assigned two workers to a community doesn't mean they are trustworthy enough to be left alone with one's family. The head worker may not even be trustworthy. The shocking stories about predatory workers are disturbing.
The workers are indignant towards anyone who confronts them with scripture that points out their errors. Willie Jamieson, Jack Carroll and Tharold Sylvester frequently said, "But! But! But! These people make me sick. They are always butting! Just like a bunch of goats and you know where the goats end up!"
Did Jesus rebuke goats for "butting"? Matthew 25:32 tells us about the division of the sheep from the goats.
The goats are the ones who neglected to share their food, water, clothing and kindness to those who were hungry, sick, thirsty, and in prison. It wasn't "butting" that was the problem. It was selfishness.
The workers allegorize all those verses to mean something different than the intended meaning. They say Jesus meant people are supposed to share their food and water with the workers. When you enter eternity you will find out that God meant those words to mean exactly what they say. You aren't going to be able to blame Irvine and the workers. You are responsible to obey what scripture says. God knows you have read the scripture for yourself. How are you going to tell God you had believed the spiritual meaning instead of the real meaning of His Word? There isn't any spiritual meaning in what Irvine was talking about. He was an apostate.
The workers will often suggest that people study the scripture to see if what they have said is true, pretending that they want their followers to be like the Bereans. Yet, if anyone does find scripture to refute their many errors, they become highly indignant and threatening. "But! But! But!" Anyone who criticizes a worker is committing blasphemy because he is speaking against the Holy Spirit!
Christ's commandments on the Sermon on the Mount are more difficult and convicting than the Ten Commandments. Yet, Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." That is because He bore the whole load of our sin. His commandments were not easy, nor light, but His yoke is easy. Christ's perfection is the substitute for our imperfection. God's requirement for entering Heaven is absolute holiness, absolute spotless perfection. Our best will never be suitable. Our best is always filthy rags. Man cannot keep Christ's commandments anymore perfectly than they could keep the Old Testament Law. Christ didn't come down to earth to lower the standard, nor did He come simply to institute a type of ministry. Jesus raised the standard and He paid the price.
The workers quote Matthew 5:20, "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." They infer that people must be more legalistic than the Pharisees. The scripture says that our righteousness comes from Christ, not our obedience to rules. The way we become more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees is by relying on the righteousness of Christ through faith in His sacrifice. Romans 10:2-4 "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
The workers believe that by forsaking a few natural provisions and family ties they can claim they are like Christ and better than the Pharisees. This is only possible if they perceive Jesus Christ as a poor, homeless human being without a wife. Jesus Christ is God made flesh. His homelessness, celibacy and poverty were not what made Him holy. He would have been holy even if He had been married and had a home. However, his purpose on earth was not to establish blood lineage. His purpose was to sacrifice His Life and Blood and Resurrect from the dead to atone for the sins of mankind.
The workers quote Hebrews 5:9, "being made perfect, He became author of salvation unto all that obey Him." They say that if one wants salvation he must obey all of Christ's commandments. Then they quickly define what they believe are Christ's commandments: the workers and the meeting in the home.
The Pharisees dominated the Jews by proclaiming that the Torah says thus and so, therefore we must do this and that. They carried the scripture beyond what it said and then bound the people to their will and hindered the people from doing what God had really commanded. This is exactly what William Irvine did.
The workers say, "Immorality and drunkenness are of the flesh rather than the devil. False religion is of Satan and we are more concerned with the danger of false religion than immorality."
Howard Mooney said, "An unrighteous person is one who doesn't worship God in the right way or think the right thoughts."
Irvine said, "If there was anything pure in the human family it was a little baby, and nothing makes me so mad as to hear people speak of it being born in original sin."
Muriel Erickson said, "Our price is submission so He can cleanse us from sin."
Eddie Cooney said,"Mostly all denominations and religions knew what sin was and had believed Jesus had died for sin. But the devil had deceived men and women on this point all along the years."
Irvine said, "All who are to be the Woman Body will find God has been dealing with them to cleanse them, not from sin or sins, but from something much worse – even to leavening power of Phariseeism, which all men suffer from and which brings only the curse and trouble of all kinds."
Irvine was saying that Christianity was Phariseeism and it was worse than sin. In other words, sin isn't the problem, Christianity is.
Someone once asked a worker why not much was mentioned about moral sin in meeting and the worker replied, "Oh! The workers have tried it but it just doesn't work. People just continue sinning!" Another worker said, "It isn't necessary to mention those negative things, I prefer preaching the positive side of the gospel. I don't care for hellfire and brimstone messages."
One elder who was an alcoholic for years, finally confessed his problem to the sister workers. He was gently told, "We really appreciate the fact that you haven't burdened us with this before." He was shocked that they were more concerned with their own burden than with his problem. In other words, they were telling him that his problem was his problem and they didn't want to hear any more about it.
The workers don't teach the Ten Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount or tell people how sin is forgiven. They say next to nothing about selfishness, hatred, arrogance, hypocrisy, false witness, alcohol, witchcraft, sorcery, fornication, homosexuality, drugs, lying, gambling, adultery, abortion, pornography, alcoholism, blasphemy, swearing oaths, coveting or stealing.
They don't warn young people of the dangers of any of those problems. They don't teach people how to take every thought captive by the Word of God.
They don't hold the workers or friends accountable for sin they know is occurring. They don't tell people that the scripture says that one should make restitution as well as ask forgiveness for offenses against others. Leviticus 6:2-7
They don't tell people that the proof of repentance is turning from sin. They do warn against gossip because that is a real problem for them when people start finding out what is going on all around them.
Yet the scripture repeatedly condemns immorality and the lust of the flesh. Luke 24:47 says, "That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem." The Lord specifically names those who will be cast into the lake of fire: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, liars, those who practice witchcraft and as mediums, etc. The workers allegorize those words to mean something else that they can compare to Christian denominations. Whether sin is of the devil or the flesh makes no difference. It is sin that will keep people out of heaven. This strange attitude towards sin is another example of how they fail to teach the commandments of God and focus on William Irvine's animosity towards Christianity instead.
Ken Paginton said, "Jesus does not look for sinlessness and perfection but He does look for love and our heart's affection."
Reuben Bennett in speaking about Malcolm Graham at Malcolm's funeral said, "He (Malcolm) bore the cross to teach us how we can take up our cross and follow in the footsteps of Him who trod the way before us."
Irvine and Cooney weren't concerned with sin. Their whole focus was on alienating people from Christian churches, fellowship, doctrines and traditions. Irvine spoke more about the Woman Body than about sin. Irvine, Charles Taze Russell, Helen G White and Joseph Smith all denounced Christians as damned. They said Christian doctrines and traditions and fellowships were of the devil. They had no shame in saying such things. But their followers all want to be considered Christian. If you repudiate the faith and doctrines of Christianity, you are not a Christian. You are a follower of the person who destroyed your trust in the Word of God and your fellowship with other Christians.
Irvine said, "The true meaning of "church" in the New Testament is those who have heard the Voice of God thru His Servants and will have nothing to do with the traditional forms of worship they have been brought up in from their childhood. Jesus and all the Prophets and Apostles were outside the whole religious world of their day and I have been the same for 36 years, tho brought up Presbyterian till I was 30." That is not the biblical definition of church!
Jesus and the prophets and apostles did not reject the Jewish faith. They were obedient to the Jewish faith. Jesus attended synagogues and the Temple, and taught there as well. The Jewish faith had been established by God the Father. Jesus was the prophesied Messiah who was to fulfill the Jewish prayer for the Messiah and the Kingdom of Heaven. The problem was that the Jewish people didn't recognize Him because their hearts were hardened and they were blind to biblical prophecy. The problem wasn't the Jewish religion. It was their hardness of hearts and their mixture of idolatry with their service to God. Irvine's heart was hardened against the Jewish faith and the Christian faith. Irvine's view of Jesus was as a rebel, rabble-rouser, not the glorious Creator, King of Kings and Saviour.
The workers have such a fuzzy definition of sin, salvation, repentance and obedience that people are unable to think their way through the dilemma of sin and salvation. The workers realize that sin extends beyond immorality and bad behavior. They know that wrong attitudes are sin as well. Yet, they believe that somehow the sin can be washed away because the people are following the workers, because the workers have given up homes and possessions to preach. Perhaps they feel that the office of their authority provides license for their own bad behavior. The workers sin just as frequently as anyone else does.
Their energy and minds are constantly on the wrong thing (their rules) and therefore, they have no mental energy or time left to actually accomplish any good works, or lay up treasure in heaven, or figure out what the Bible really says. The workers sometimes recognize that what they are requiring of members is not actually scriptural. "God's people must choose the best." They say, "God's people must uphold the standards of the Kingdom in order to be an example to the world." The mind control exerted at every meeting keeps everyone confused and unable to think straight.
The workers falsely accuse Christians of being unwilling for self-denial. Real Christians do practice self-denial. However, their self-denial is in self-control, avoiding moral sin and in using their time and money to help people who have natural or spiritual needs. Their self-denial is in spending years of their lives in systematic study of the scripture, translating scripture into other languages and in discipling others to do the same.
Their self-denial is in going to third-world nations to help people with medical or spiritual needs. Their self denial is to spend hours in prayer and in organizing prayer gatherings. Their self-denial is in speaking out against immorality or paganism in society, even though it causes others to hate them for upholding God's Word.
The workers think that Jesus came to initiate a new kind of ministry and religion but that isn't what Jesus said. Christ stated his purpose when He began preaching. Luke 4:16, He stood up in the synagogue and read the book of Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
These are still the things that Christians do today. Christians view their role as a continuation of what Jesus did both in the natural realm and the spiritual realm. Although Christians aren't God and can't heal the sick and blind supernaturally, they still take this role seriously and try to relieve the suffering of the sick and dying. And occasionally, they do see God answer their prayers to heal someone.
Christian missionaries preach the gospel for free to the poor and try to save the souls of those who don't know Christ. Christians try to help people who are in slavery to sin or in bondage to cruel masters. Christian Solidarity International buys back Christians in Africa who have been captured by Moslem slave traders. Christians rescue babies from being aborted or abandoned.
They preach the gospel to the poor and "the acceptable year of the Lord" (the year of Jubilee when all the debts were canceled). Jesus is the cancellation of all our debts of sin. But the workers don't do any of those things. They don't preach Jesus and His Cross as the cancellation of our sin because they believe people must do more than trust in the blood of Jesus. The workers think that trusting in the Cross of Jesus is foolishness. I Corinthians 1:18 says, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
The workers think Jesus came to earth to eliminate Jewish traditions, rebuke Jewish rabbis and get rid of church buildings. Jesus made it clear that He was objecting to the traditions that were kept outwardly but not inwardly. He wasn't eliminating the traditions.
Real Christians don't view self-denial as the key to salvation. They view it as the result of salvation. Moreover, they don't expect every Christian to be involved in the same types of activities. They know that God calls Christians to different roles. Therefore, there should be no pressure on anyone, except from God and He is the One who has created people to do those tasks, therefore they feel blessed and fulfilled in their occupations when they obey Him. They don't feel miserable, suicidal and depressed as many of the workers feel.
The workers act as if problems of sin are only found outside of their church, therefore, they needn't be bothered with issues dealing with pornography, drugs, homosexuality, fornication, abuse, gambling, abortion, witchcraft, cruelty, etc. If a professing person's sin becomes public knowledge the workers deal with it the same way Jehovah
Witnesses do. They tell the offending party he cannot come to meetings anymore, or they will ask him not to take part in meeting. They will sometimes allow him to return if he displays the right attitude of submission towards the workers. The workers tolerate sin in a member more easily than they tolerate anyone who challenges their doctrine, decisions or authority.
When John the Baptist came announcing the coming of Christ, the first thing he said was, "Repent!"
Witchcraft, Satanism, necromancy, astrology, fortune-telling, and idolatry are rampant in America, as never before, yet the workers don't warn against those things at all even though the Bible has many references in condemnation of them. Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy18:9-14; Isaiah 8:19; II Kings 23:24; Acts 19:18-19
The workers say they are more concerned with false religion than they are with sin, yet they do nothing to warn people against cults. The religion they oppose is Christianity. The workers are aware that if they were to mention the definition of a cult that they themselves would fit the description. In fact, the workers have had Christian pastors inform them of this, many times. The friends are so ignorant of the definition of a cult that some who have left the Two by Twos, including workers, have gotten involved in other cults such as Mormonism, Hare Krishnas, Islam, Hinduism, Rosicrucians, the Bahais, Buddhism, Herbert Armstrong's church, the Rajneeshees' commune, Christian Science, the New Age, Unitarianism, divination and occultism
Even if some of the workers wanted to preach against sin, cults and witchcraft or paganism, they couldn't preach a sermon warning people about them, for fear of getting into trouble from the head workers. Workers are not allowed to speak on certain subjects unless they have the head workers' permission. The head workers do not give permission on anything other than the typical topics.
Professing children are being drawn into a fascination with witchcraft because of public schools that promote Harry Potter books, sorcery, and other books on witchcraft, Ouija boards, and Tarot card games that teach people to practice magic arts. The workers don't warn against witchcraft or atheism but they will warn against Christianity and Christian books. The early believers in Acts 19: 19 burned all their books on sorcery. The friends have no spiritual discernment in this area. But scripture is clear Leviticus 19:31 "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God." 20:6, "And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people." Ex. 22:18 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
When anyone warns the workers about the dangers in society they say that the Spirit will protect the people from deception. This contradicts their belief that one can lose the Spirit at any time.
Willie Donaldson said, "What makes us different from other people in the world is that we have God with us."
Sydney Holt said, "The Holy Spirit is not God."
Jenith Hamon said, "Jesus is not God."
Hazel Hanson said, "The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in a heart where there is no peace."
Calvin Casselman said, "We don't want to grieve God's Spirit. If we go into the world His Spirit won't go with us. His Spirit has borders."
Judy McIntyre said, The Holy Spirit is like a dove. It can be frightened away."
Their helpless Spirit won't be much help when trouble and temptation comes.
The workers say that they are the only ones who have the Spirit or the Holy Spirit. Yet they say the Holy Spirit is not God and Jesus is not God. So who do they have? They don't have God if the Holy Spirit isn't God and Jesus isn't God. They don't have the Father or the Holy Spirit, if they haven't honored the Son! The workers simply do not think about the implication of their statements or the definite teaching found in the Bible. The workers often speak about how God wants and demands our best and that He won't accept anything but our best. God definitely won't accept our best for admission to heaven. Our best isn't good enough, it is as filthy rags! The Bible says no one is without sin. The blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh of man, is the only atonement worthy to cleanse the sins of all mankind. Reliance on that atoning blood is what saves man, not his best. If a person does rely, then he will show his gratitude for salvation through repentance, obedience, charity towards others and sharing the good news of Christ's provision. This is where God wants our best. Period. The resulting works do not cleanse, they do not save, they do not qualify us. They don't do anything except glorify God. We will be rewarded according to those activities, but not saved according to those activities.
The workers don't seem to realize that they are sinners, also in need of cleansing. The following statement illustrates their attitude about sin. A letter from an unprofessing man who was attending meetings contained the following paragraph:
"I attended a meeting in which a head worker implied (their common method of communication) that workers live above sin. Do they really believe this? That part of the sermon went something like this:
'People ask me if we think we are above sin. Well, sin can mean different things. Some people think that just because they don't beat their wives and go out carousing, they aren't sinning.'
"He never did answer the question directly but left me with the impression that he was stating that: Not only do we not commit the so-called gross sins, but we are even free from hidden sins. Perhaps this idea of living above sin,if this is what he was communicating, was just his idea and is not a hard set teaching among the workers."
This unprofessing man was understandably puzzled about the worker's vague statements about sin. The worker didn't answer the question, he just talked around it. Workers have often compared themselves with angels, apostles, prophets and Jesus as if they are all on the same level. Are angels on the same spiritual plane as Jesus? No! Jesus is the Creator. Angels are created beings. Humans are created beings. Workers are simply humans just like the rest of us humans.
Anytime a professing person expresses dismay over the increasing wickedness of the world, the workers will disagree and say, "the world is just the same as it was since the beginning of time. Human nature has never changed." They imply it is foolish for anyone to be concerned about the sins of the world. This statement is just plain wrong! God is very concerned about the sins of the world. He sent His only begotten Son into the world because of sin.
The Bible tells us that throughout history there were times when people were worse than other times. In fact, God destroyed the world with a flood once when people were so bad. At other times He has destroyed certain places and nations that became particularly bad. It is important for preachers to warn against wickedness so that God won't have to destroy us in His wrath. God hates sin and so should those who love God. God lives in the bodies of believers. When believers participate in sinful immoral behavior, they drag God along with them, offending and grieving the Holy Spirit.
The workers have made so many unscriptural statements it is incredible once you begin reading old letters and old notes, you begin to wonder how anyone could ever believe what they have said! They contradict themselves and the scripture consistently.
Before Christ died and resurrected, the world was more wicked than it is now. After Jesus came and people were converted, life on earth became much more civilized wherever God's Word was preached and obeyed. As Christians decline in numbers and the world again despises God's Word, the world has become more wicked and dangerous again. Look at life in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Greece, Italy and Asia where Christianity originally was received and then most of the Christians were killed by Catholic Popes, pagan rulers and Muslims. Now, those countries are pagan, unhealthy, dangerous places to live! Look at England that was once considered a Christian nation.
It is now filled with witchcraft, druids, Moslem mosques and atheists. Christians in England and Europe are a distinct minority. As Christians, it is our duty to be salt and light in the world and to speak out against sin and to raise Jesus as the sin bearer who overcomes sin. Jesus said if the salt loses its savor it is good for nothing but to be trampled under foot and we are dangerously close to that condemnation. If the workers were true messengers of God, they would preach a message against sin. The Holy Spirit can transform a culture that commits itself to study and obey God's Word. Psalm 33:12, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." "Righteousness exalts a nation." Proverbs 14:34 God works with people one at a time but He punishes nations here on earth when their sin reaches a level that angers Him. It is our job as Christians to reach all people with God's Word and gospel and help them to repent of their sin by understanding and responding to God's Word. God had to rebuke Jonah for disobeying His command to preach against the sin of the Ninevites.
The workers put a great deal of responsibility on the Spirit and say it is the Spirit's responsibility to take care of the world situation. Yet they don't believe the Spirit is God. How can a Spirit that isn't God take care of the world?
They said, "The Holy Spirit has borders and can be frightened away." The workers have the attitude that since the world isn't heaven, who cares what happens here? They don't like to speak about reality, they prefer to speak in parables and allegories and let the Spirit do the work. Yet, they are expending a great deal of emotional energy, spinning their wheels. The workers need our sympathy and prayers because there are many workers who would like to do the right thing. They can't because the head workers won't let them and the legacy of William Irvine haunts them.
It is true that Jesus used metaphors, symbolic words and parables to teach the crowds but whenever he did so he used the terms "as if " or "like" to introduce a symbolic message. When those metaphoric clues aren't there, the words of scripture are to be understood literally. At the beginning of Christ's ministry, He spoke plainly but when people rejected His teaching He began to speak in parables in order to hide the meaning from those who were critical. He then would privately reveal the meaning to His disciples.
His own disciples often could not understand His parables without His explanation. Matthew 13:13 says, "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand." Christ spoke in parables to hide His message from people who rejected Him. However, among people who claim to follow Christ, there is no need to have the Word taught allegorically. The Word should be rightly divided, truthfully taught and thoughtfully obeyed.
Many workers have said that anyone, even people who don't believe in God, can live good moral lives. They act as if God's Laws are just too easy. However, God's moral laws really are impossible for anyone to keep. When Christ gave the Sermon on the Mount, He was just repeating the Ten Commandments and emphasizing the spirit of love and meekness that motivates us and helps us to keep them. Christ was emphasizing that it is impossible to please God or to be completely obedient to the level of holiness demanded by God.
Professing people don't seem aware of their sin, they don't seem to see or realize the damage that sin does to their souls, their minds, their children, and their families. They do feel a great awareness of being good examples by keeping the workers' no fun, no frills rules. Sin is not an issue for them. But there are actually serious emotional, mental or psychological problems that result from sin, not to mention the eternal consequences. Sin affects generations of people, not just the persons who sin.
Workers are more concerned with "the standards of the Church,"the appearance code, the no fun, no frills code, obey the workers' rules, hide the workers' sin, etc. They are more concerned about the outward form of the church than the souls of the sinners. The glory of God is more important than the reputation of the church. He receives glory when a sinner repents of his sin and turns to Christ. More emphasis should be given to the damage done to the individuals who sin and instruction in how to cleanse oneself of real sin through faith in Christ.
The workers don't preach against sin but they really gang up on worldliness! The workers are quick to accuse anyone who leaves the church of "worldliness" or "wanting to be worldly". The workers perceive worldliness as a fashion or activity. But the true meaning is "secular" or "temporal," referring to a philosophy of life that views man and the world as being the apex of the universe while denying the existence of God. Worldliness is an "outlook" not a "look". It is atheism, secular humanism, self-centeredness and sensuality.
The workers also consider normal "humanness" as "worldly". Their concept of spirituality is Gnosticism rather than biblical Christianity. Their variety of self-denial and ascetic appearance is not a Christian virtue. Professing people are often more worldly than they realize. There are some professing people who do have a Christian point of view, but they did not get it from the workers. There are probably some Christians among the Two by Twos but their Christian faith and light is buried under the bushel of darkness.
Workers have made critical remarks against sports, flying and owning airplanes, artistic pursuits, gardening, hobbies, crafts, athletic events, raising horses, owning dairy farms, skiing, boating, restoring antique cars, professional music careers, political careers, athletic careers, etc., because Jesus didn't do those things and workers think they are a waste of time and money.
Workers have criticized radios, televisions, movies, denim clothing, white shoes, sandals, metal watchbands, ribbons, starchy slips on little girls, bangs, braids, curls, hairspray, flavored coffee, charity to the poor, Christmas songs, Christmas trees, Easter eggs, Easter hats, collections at churches.
Yet they don't object to Halloween and they fail to mention real sin, witchcraft, abortion, drug use, fortune tellers, spiritualists, sorcery, alcoholism, New Age beliefs, gambling, pornography, fornication, pedophilia, lying, adultery, cheating, arrogance, selfishness, cruelty, homosexuality, verbal and physical abuse, etc. They want people to think that professing people are above such activities. This is not true.
Workers are afraid of the friends becoming too interested or knowledgeable about life. If the friends knew enough about what is happening all around them they could have intelligent conversations with outsiders. They might become immune to the workers' mind control tactics.
Laying On Of Hands
Irvine created commandments out of comments and supposed examples while ignoring actual specific commandments. The workers do not practice "the laying on of hands" mentioned in Hebrews 6:2 as one of the foundational doctrines. They discount its practice, saying it is just a figurative way of saying the ministry gives its approval. Why do they take a few verses of scripture so rigidly, yet they handle other parts of the scripture with such casual neglect? Laying on of hands is one of the principles mentioned often in scripture. Mark 5:23; 18:18; Acts 6: 6; 8:18;13:3; I Timothy 4:14;5:22; Genesis 48:14-20; Numbers 8:10 etc.
Blood Of Christ
The early workers regularly mocked belief in the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to wash away man's sin. They said, "It is the life that is necessary, not the blood". "If it was just the blood that redeemed men then Jesus could have been put to death at birth". They preached that one had to give his life as Jesus did in the ministry or else follow the ministry that did as He did.
Warren Wainwright said, "We do believe in the Blood of Christ. It has not been talked about enough in the past. The Blood is a part of the gospel but reconciliation is through this ministry. The workers are the mediators."
Lyle Van Kuren said, "Jesus suffered for us that we should follow His steps."
Reuben Bennett said, "Jesus bore the cross to teach us how we can take up our cross and follow in the footsteps of Him who trod the way before us."
Jackie Meeks said, "Jesus had a sinful nature and the potential is there for us to overcome our flesh if we walk in His Way. He learned obedience through suffering. We can do the same. Obedience resulted in Jesus being made perfect. Our salvation results in obedience to the Father."
Eddie Cooney said, "To get the Blood of Christ you must first pour out your own blood and have it replaced little by little."
J. Forbes said, "The Blood of Jesus can only cleanse us when we offer our bodies as a whole burnt offering."
John Beth said, "Oftentimes we come into contact with people in the world today who feel the blood of Christ is going to make atonement for everything. If all Jesus was to do was shed His blood, He could have done that in a very short time; but He had a work to do even before He shed His blood. He spent something like 33 1/2 years giving His life to make plain and clear to this world once and for all what was Truth, and what was right and acceptable in the sight of God."
Andrew Abernathy said, "Do not expect the blood of Christ to cleanse us until we cleanse ourselves. There are 4 ways in which we can be cleansed. 1. We cleanse ourselves. 2. We are cleansed by the Holy Spirit. 3. We are cleansed by the Word of God. 4. We are cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus. All 4 are very, very necessary for all of us to make it right to have the right attitude towards sin."
A Rhodesian worker in 1927 said, "Were not the Apostles saved without the Blood?"
Leo Stancliff said, "My hope of salvation is the blood of Christ. But I would like to explain to you what it means. The blood of Christ is the ministry and the church in the home. Without the New Testament ministry, you don't have the blood of Christ which includes the church in the home. The forgiveness of sins is a fringe benefit."
Walter Pollock said, "Trusting in the blood is the wrong thing. It will only bring disillusionment."
John Cook said, "What is salvation? To begin with, it is God's deliverance in our lives. It is God giving us victory in our own hearts over ourselves. Again salvation is the continuation of the destruction of sin in yourself. Maybe when a person first heard the Gospel he made a great attempt to destroy sin within himself. He may not be doing just as much at it now. If we destroy sin in ourselves, nothing around us can destroy us. Nothing can master a person, who by the grace of God is mastering himself. This is salvation – being able to master ourselves. That means being the master of yourself in all things. Do not be discouraged by the fact that not many people are willing to go in for this salvation. God is looking for quality, not quantity."
They said that Jesus was our example rather than our substitute. This is still their major doctrine. In keeping with his attack on Christianity, William Irvine mocked faith in the power of the blood of Christ and called it "foolishness". He said, "Christ's blood was no different than the blood of any man." Great emphasis was put on the fact that Jesus was a man and the son of Man. Workers often said that Jesus was born with the blood of his mother, Mary, and therefore tainted with a sinful nature. Jack Carroll used to mockingly sing a silly version of the hymn, "Power in the Blood."
They actually mock what the scripture tells us. It isn't that they don't believe in the blood of Christ. They just don't believe in its sufficiency. (If Jesus weren't God, then it wouldn't be sufficient for anything because it wouldn't meet God's requirement.) The workers don't believe that Christ's blood is able to cleanse the sins of mankind unless people do something to earn it.
They don't believe the Blood of Christ is available to all men, only to them. It is their interpretation of what man must do to qualify. They say it isn't enough to simply believe. They speak as if believing is easy. Strangely enough, belief isn't easy. Ask any atheist. Ask any Two by Two. They can't trust what Christ did. They think they must do it for themselves. "We aren't saved by what we believe. We are saved by our self-denial, by following the example of Jesus."
Why do you think Christians love the Lord and praise Him so much? They are dumbfounded at His love, kindness and generosity. Two by Twos rarely praise God, if at all, because they feel they must work to be worthy of his mercy.
This attitude against trusting in Christ's cleansing blood has been mentioned by a few workers recently because of publicity. The workers will now deny that anyone ever had that attitude even though Leo Stancliff says, "There is not one verse in the Bible that says we are saved by the blood of Christ."
The unclear logic, lack of published belief and gullibility of the people allows them to get away with this explanation. Now, the workers will acknowledge the importance of Christ's blood but they say it only applies to those who follow the workers. They still deny its sufficiency and that it is a permanent provision. They think salvation can be lost if the person stops going to meetings, questions the workers' authority, doctrine or decisions, or disobeys the workers.
Every family has notes from the old days. Get them out of the attic and read them. Prove to yourself what the Two by Two believe, and compare them to scripture. They have never publicly or privately repented of Irvine's errors.
They mock the inconsistency of other cults, yet are oblivious to their own inconsistencies. If they admit the previous teaching about the blood of Christ, they act as if it were only a few aberrant workers from another country who were confused. This is not true. Head workers everywhere had that attitude and still do. They simply disguise it by saying there are conditions that one must meet in order to have the cleansing of the blood. The conditions are the same as in William Irvine's day. It is the life of a worker and the submission to the workers that qualify a person to receive the blood of Christ. In other words, it still is the life of the worker, not the blood.
Christ Jesus' Blood is the only pure blood that can atone for the sin of all mankind. Christ Jesus was not born with a sinful nature. He was the second Adam, with the same pure blood that was created before the sin of Adam and Eve. An unborn baby's blood does not mingle with its mother's blood. Its blood supply is separate from its mother's.
Contrary to what Irvine and the other workers have said, Christ couldn't have been put to death as soon as He was born because of all the prophecies He had to fulfill before He died. Christ lived a perfect life because of Who He is, to fulfill the requirement of a sacrifice without blemish, to show that His sacrifice really did atone for sins and make substitutionary provision for our unrighteous record of life. He had to live in order to teach. He had to give miraculous proof that He was sent from the Father. He had to leave a historical record of living. He had to die the death of crucifixion. He had to resurrect three days later to show His power over sin and death. A baby's resurrection just wouldn't have had the same impact on history as a full-grown man's. God's Words of prophecies would all have been lies if Christ had died as a baby. The workers rarely mention prophecies that Christ fulfilled.
John Piper has written a book giving 50 biblical reasons Jesus had to die. They are from 50 passages of scripture explaining the purposes for which Jesus died for us. It is titled The Passion of Christ. Read it or read the scripture and find those verses. There is no way those purposes could be fulfilled by meeting in the home and following the workers.
Christ didn't come to establish some kind of ministry and a methodology for meetings. He came to pay for our sins. He had to fulfill prophecy and to prophesy about His future coming, His plan for the Gentiles, His future judgment and future Kingdom.
It is true that John 13:15 says, "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." This statement followed His example of washing His disciples' feet. He was speaking of following His example of taking a humble position of service to others. He was not speaking of being unmarried, and homeless or of being a preacher. He was not speaking of going to the cross and being put to death. He was not even speaking of self denial. Any imitation of Christ is commendable but it does not save a soul. We will be rewarded according to our service but salvation is accomplished by trusting in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Tabernacle, Tents, Temples, Synagogues, Churches, Human Bodies?
The workers claim that the only place where the early believers broke bread was in their homes, so that means believers must only hold communion (bread and wine) in their homes. Even though the New Testament church did meet in homes, they also met at the temple, in tabernacles, in synagogues, and places that they called "the church". Christ taught at the Temple and in the synagogues and so did Paul and the other apostles.
Acts 2:46 "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily." The word "church" is used for both the people of God and wherever the people meet. There is no record of a commandment regarding where the people were to meet or not to meet. Acts 2:41 records that three thousand believers were baptized in a single day. It is impossible for large groups of people to meet in the home of a single family on a regular basis.
Acts 9:2 says that Saul went to the synagogues of Damascus looking for believers so that he could take them prisoner. The believers were meeting in synagogues.
If it were a matter of life and death, as the workers say it is, the Lord would most certainly have made a commandment regarding it. The fact that they broke bread at home isn't significant at all. People eat at home all the time. They also eat other places. God didn't make any command about where to eat or have communion. When the woman at the well asked Jesus where the church was to meet, in Jerusalem or in Samaria, He said that those who worshipped Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. It would have been the perfect time for Him to give a commandment about meeting in the home or what kind of building that worship should be done in. He said nothing about it.
In I Corinthians 14:35 Paul is giving some instructions about what should be done or not done "in the church" and what should be done "at home". Obviously, he is making a distinction about a place because he says "in the church." The workers lead people to believe that the early church did not meet "in a church" but only at private homes. Therefore, that is their commandment. They are adamant that the true people of God would not and should not build buildings for meeting together. Yet, they see no problem in having gospel meetings or Special Meetings in buildings where drinking, lewd dancing and gambling occur on a regular basis such as Masonic Lodges, Oddfellow Halls, Bingo Parlors, Grange Halls, etc. The Jews would never have assembled for worship in a funeral parlor because of their fear of being defiled by dead bodies. Yet the workers frequently have gospel meetings in funeral homes.
The Christians who meet in church buildings do not believe that their salvation is influenced one way or another by where their meetings are held. They build the church for the convenience of large church gatherings so that people can worship together and be taught scripture together. They use the building as a testimony to the community. They want people in the community to feel welcome to come and find out about the Lord. They use the building for worship, communion, biblical education purposes, counseling, Christian school, language classes, mission organizations, prayer, weddings, funerals, potlucks, parties, charitable facilities, even a place to eat or sleep for the homeless at times. A Christian church is a very practical place that is open almost 24 hours a day in some communities.
However, Two by Twos believe that people cannot receive the Spirit or communion unless they meet in homes that have been selected by the workers for fellowship. Those homes are not open to the public at all. They aren't even open to the church except for a few hours once or twice a week. If someone wanted to call a special prayer service at someone's home, it wouldn't be allowed without a worker's permission. They don't ever have prayer services. If a professing couple wanted to have a wedding in their elder's home, they would probably be made to feel as if they were being presumptuous.
Most unprofessing people are unwelcome at Sunday Morning meeting, or a Wednesday night meeting unless they are relatives of professing people. It would depend on the circumstance and the workers of course, but strangers usually aren't welcome in the house meetings because they could become a real problem if they began asking the wrong questions or participating without the proper attitude towards the workers. A home isn't significantly set apart, holy or undefiled. It is a house, nothing more, nothing less. It is handy for a meeting place because it is private and it doesn't cost anything.
There are two places in the Old Testament that warn the people not to eat their sacrificial offering at home (in their gates) but to do it in a place sanctified and appointed by the Lord. Deuteronomy 12:17 and Deuteronomy 16:5-6. Sacrifices had to be done at the place God chose.
There is no scriptural command regarding the Christian place of meeting. William Irvine made a blunder in logic and an inappropriate commandment out of the verse, "God dwells not in temples made with hands." Of course, God doesn't dwell in temples. God doesn't dwell in homes either. He dwells in the hearts of believers. The meeting place was a non-issue in the scripture. God is well able to make commands. If He had definite ideas about meetings in a private home He would have said so.
Jesus was here for 33 years and not once did he criticize the use of synagogue buildings, even though He made quite a point of criticizing the buying and selling that was being done in Solomon's Temple. (The structure built for housing the tabernacle and where animal sacrifices were presented and killed.) The use of synagogues as places of instruction in the Holy Scripture and for group worship had been carried on for centuries. Jesus taught in the synagogues and so did Paul and other apostles until the Jews began persecuting and killing them. The problem was the Jews' rejection of the Messiah and His gospel, not the synagogue buildings as some kind of demonic residence.
House meetings are cozy, private, and often safe places for Christians to assemble. There are millions of Christians who meet in homes on a regular basis, especially in China and places where it is dangerous to be Christian. But they don't claim that it is the meeting in the home that saves them or that it MUST be the only place they can meet. Lots of Christians who attend regular churches conduct Bible studies in their homes, but they don't premise their faith on their homes.
If the workers were really following Christ's example they would be preaching and teaching in synagogues as he did. Synagogues were not big ornate buildings, nor were they places of sacrifice. Only the Temple or special altars were used for sacrifices. Synagogues were usually made of stone and their size and structure depended on the numerical strength and prosperity of the communities where they were built. Their main pieces of furniture were a chest in which the scriptures were kept, a platform with a desk, lamps and candle sticks, trombones and trumpets and benches for the people to sit on. They were for the purposes of prayer, reading the scripture and instruction. Synagogues were often built without roofs and were constructed so that the worshipers faced Jerusalem.
Christian churches are for the people to meet together to worship God and learn about Him, not for God to live in. People need shelter from the sun, wind and rain while they are worshipping. They need a place where it will be quiet enough to hear someone preach. God doesn't need anything. God is with His people everywhere they go. He doesn't sit around in some home waiting for them to come to receive the spirit.
Why did William Irvine find fault with church buildings? He profited more than anyone else from the lack of church building and property because all the money given to him could be used for his own personal travel. And he could leave town whenever his trouble with women was noticed. Some shepherd he turned out to be! He traveled all over the world and took care of his flock via correspondence. Christ said the hireling flees when the wolf appears. A real pastor stays with the sheep, he doesn't run all over the world. A good pastor is responsible and will be there when someone needs him. An honest pastor doesn't hide from the public and change his address every year.
Yes, the early apostles and Christians were constantly moving around but that was because they were being hunted and killed and they were moving all over the world sowing the seed and establishing churches in new towns and villages. The world still needs missionaries and church planters but it also needs good solid Bible teaching pastors who will stay in one place and teach the congregation of local churches.
Gathering places for Christian worship and scriptural education had been used for two thousand years before William Irvine came along. This issue is fabricated by Irvine and not by the commandment of God. It is obvious that the money saved by the congregation by not having a building is not resulting in any grand evangelization success for the Two by Twos. An invisible moving church is not a light set on a hill.
Workers have always pointed with derision at churches that go into debt for buildings. They aren't aware that some churches have the policy of not going into debt for the building and property. It isn't true that all churches put their members into debt for their buildings. Some churches save money ahead of the building and get short-term loans for part of the project. Some churches are built by just one person or a few people and donated to the church. Some churches are paid for by people in one community and donated to a poorer community or in another country.
Communities always have combined resources to build schools, court houses, Grange halls, libraries, music halls and other places to accommodate large groups. Why should one think it so strange that people should build a place for public worship?
The workers have invested money in tents and permanent buildings on convention grounds. This investment is no different than other congregations investing in church buildings, except that it is less of a commitment and less permanent. The investment in convention property is a waste of resources because it can only be used once a year instead of year round.
God commands His people to be good stewards. Money spent on convention buildings and facilities is not good stewardship. Other churches share their churches and retreat facilities with other charitable organizations. They are used by the congregation year around.
Attending 3 to 5 meetings a week leaves very little time for doing good for one's neighbor as Jesus did command. And it leaves very little time to spend with one's family. Life in the "Truth" is just one endless round of meetings. Did Jesus indicate that is what He intended for His followers to be doing? Is that how He meant for mankind to apply God's principles and teaching to life? Some of the most significant work of the church is what is done outside of the church walls. But Two by Twos rarely do anything except attend meetings, potlucks and convention.
Evangelizing By Appearance
The workers aren't the only people who have had strict rules for living and appearance. Ultra-conservative Baptists, the Amish, Quakers, Shakers, Mennonites, Church of Christ, Exclusive Brethren and other legalistic churches have also had unbiblical rules regarding musical instruments, jewelry, cosmetics, dancing, buttons, zippers, electrical appliances, cars, machines, hairstyles, segregation of the sexes, bonnets, head coverings, beards, certain clothing, swimming in mixed company, furniture, drapes for windows, etc. They knew that salvation wasn't dependent on those rules but they hoped that they would receive extra blessing by observing such things. And little by little they have given up the rules because there were more offenses than blessings associated with them.
But professing people were told the external unwritten rules were proof of their salvation and the way to evangelize others. The workers believe that appearance is the way to help others desire to become part of the Jesus Way. They are made to feel that others can't be saved unless they appear unusually strange. William Irvine made the external appearance an issue in the beginning when he insisted that all his followers look like Tramps and follow his rules regarding celibacy, alcohol and tobacco. The strict appearance leads people to believe they are strict about scripture and strict about sin. They are not!
Professing people believe that example and appearance are synonymous. This is a gross misunderstanding. Physical appearance, fashion, hairstyles and refraining from fun are not examples of Christianity. Acts of kindness, helping people in need, teaching the scripture, speaking of Christ, and loving the unlovable are examples of Christianity.
Christ called the Pharisees "whited sepulchers and inside full of dead men's bones." Appearances are often deceiving. The inward life doesn't necessarily show on the outside. Jesus wasn't impressed by the Pharisees' external appearances.
Individually, the people are diverse in personality, scriptural understanding and commitment. Moreover, some of them actually differ with the church theology without actually realizing it. Some do realize that their beliefs don't agree with the workers but they stay with the group because of family ties and because they don't know any other way to live.
Christ never commanded a particular style of clothing for men or women. Paul and Peter mention that women are to be modest and have an inner beauty of character not simply artificial beauty. They did not say that women were to neglect their appearance or shun good grooming procedures. They did not say that godly women should be unattractive. God used attractive people in positions of usefulness, Moses and Joseph were good-looking. Esther, Sarah and Rebekah were beautiful. Abraham sent jewelry to Rebekah and jewelry was worn by brides and women in the scripture without any indication that it was sinful. Cosmetics have been used for centuries and there is no commandment in the Bible forbidding it. Jezebel was condemned by God for her idolatry, murder, sorcery and witchcraft, not her cosmetics.
One professing girl (who had worn some feminine ruffles and a flower in her hair) was told that pretty girls shouldn't wear decorative items. She was told that it was okay for homely girls to use a few decorative items but pretty girls should try to be as plain as possible. Who is going to determine which girls are homely enough to be allowed to wear ruffles and flowers? Pride and sensuality is wrong, not femininity or attention to detail.
What does scripture say about the appearance of Adam and Eve before they disobeyed God? Nothing, except that they were naked. What does scripture say about the appearance of Noah and his wife? Nothing. What does it say about Abraham and Sarah's clothing style, interests, and activities? Nothing. What does it say about Isaac's and Rebekah's clothing style? Nothing. What does it say about David's appearance? What does it say about the early church clothing style? Nothing. Does it dictate a hairdo or clothing style? No. It does encourage modesty (I Timothy 2:9) and a head covering for women while prophesying and praying. (I Corinthians 11)
How does Ephesians 2:11-12 describe people before salvation? They were separate from Christ, aliens from commonwealth of Israel, strangers of the covenants of promise, without hope and without God. There is no description of their appearance or activities, except condemnation for immoral behavior. What does Ephesians 2:13-18 say about how people are brought to Jesus? They are brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ. It says that men and women are made one with God, making peace with God, putting to death the enmity between God and man. It says we have access to God the Father through Jesus. It does not describe appearance before or after salvation. The Two by Two appearance rules were an invention of William Irvine and continued by those who followed him.
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with a blessing to the meek. But He did not define meekness as a grooming issue. An ungroomed appearance does not take the place of good works. Irvine said one had to look like Tramps in order to be a light, glorify God or enter heaven. But, Jesus Christ said the light was an activity not an appearance, "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise your Father in heaven." Outsiders who look at professing people don't praise God for their appearance. Matthew 5:16 A bad first impression doesn't glorify God at all. One outsider said, "I've never seen anyone work so hard to be so ugly" as she watched women at convention fixing their hair.
Evolution Vs Creation
The workers' lack of interest in the literal meaning of the scripture has also kept the church from studying creation versus evolution. Although they believe God created the universe, the workers do not preach a creation message. "Uncle Willie" discouraged the workers from studying anything written by Christians from a creation standpoint. He said that the "unregenerate had nothing to offer the ministry or God's people." And of course, there are no professing people qualified to speak about creation science.
The workers have never been motivated to study anything to defend scripture or explain it. But that doesn't stop them from reading and believing evolutionary information in school or at home. The workers don't object if the friends read material written by atheists but they can't read anything written by (the enemy) Christians. Many professing people believe in evolution rather than creation, although they would probably say God created the earth and then evolution finished the process. Some professing people think that God instructed the angels to create the earth. If that were true then angels would have been the Creators. The Gnostics also believed that angels created the earth.
The book of Genesis starts with the Creation of the world in 6 days, proclaiming the 7th day as a Day of Rest. If one day was millions or billions of years then the 7th day would have to be millions or billions of years also. But obviously, that was not the case because each day was marked by the evening and morning.
God stressed the importance of observing the 7th day right up until the days of Christ. Celebrating the Sabbath was His proof that He was God, the Creator of all things, and that He had created the universe in six days. Evolution takes all glory away from God.
Revelation 14:7 mentions an angel flying in mid-air proclaiming, "Fear God and give Him glory because the hour of judgment has come. And worship Him that made the heavens and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." This is a creation message emphasizing God's Lordship and ownership of all things, an angel proclaiming that God is the Creator of everything. Since the workers despise other Christians' study of creation why haven't the workers done any serious study of their own regarding God's creation? A true minister from God will preach a definite creation message. This is the first message in the scripture. Who has the right to ignore or compromise it?
Neglecting to teach the message of the creation of the universe by God causes people to ignore the fact that God has the claim of ownership on their lives and the world. Colossians 1:15-17, "For by Him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him: and he is before all things and by Him all things consist."
Due to the neglect of this topic, the workers and friends are not aware that the Son and the Holy Spirit are also Creator/Jehovah. Many workers believe that the Son was a created being. There is evolutionary compromise among the Two by Twos because they believe the secular educational system rather than scripture. Even worse is their lack of honor to the Son for his role in the Creation of the universe.
They don't view God as Lord of the world, they think Satan is Lord of the world and that is why they don't think it is necessary to proclaim Jesus to the world. They only proclaim Him to people who come to meeting. They know that 99.99999% of the world will not believe or accept the Two by Two rules and restrictions so there is no point in bothering with them.
They are just looking " for one or two people who will be willing." But the Law of God is written in the hearts of all men and if they hear the scripture, many people would receive it gladly. God said to proclaim His Word in all the earth. Scriptural truth is different and more powerful and awesome than Irvine's rules.
II Peter 3:3-5, "…in the last days scoffers shall come, saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this, they willingly are ignorant of, that BY THE WORD OF GOD the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water…" This text shows that people who are willingly ignorant that God created the universe will scoff at the prophecy of Christ's return. Therefore, it is imperative that people believe that the creation of the universe was not just a cosmic accident.
Some workers would say God created the heavens and the earth but they do not think it is important enough to teach or emphasize it. Some workers believe in evolution. Tharold Sylvester, a former head worker, preached more than once that "the fossil record is a trick done by God to deceive man." But why would God want to deceive anyone? Scripture says that God does not lie, so why would God create fossils to deceive people? One professing woman told me that she didn't believe there is any such thing as a dinosaur or a fossil. She was certain fossils were created by scientists. Several workers said that God created the earth but that evolution took over after that. There is a lot of confusion on the subject among the friends and workers. They have widely divergent views on this biblical subject, yet they claim they are in complete agreement because they believe in workers and meetings.
There are many books written by eminent scientists who view the geologic and human landscape from a creation standpoint. They give much more rational explanations of science using the fossil record, facts about DNA, carbon dating, flood characteristics and the rules of physics to support their viewpoint than evolutionists do. They have exposed the frauds such as Piltdown Man in which a human skull, and an ape jaw were stained to make them look old and the teeth were filed down to make them fit. Java Man was a human skull with a leg bone from a Gibbon ape. These frauds have been exposed and admitted by scientists, yet textbooks and encyclopedias still use the fraudulent bones to continue teaching evolution. The fossil evidence necessary to believe in evolution is completely missing.
Scientists who believe God created the earth explain that the second law of thermodynamics or increasing entropy proves that any changes that occur in nature always breaks down to randomness rather than evolving upward to complexity. This is true for both an "Open system" and a "Closed system". Some evolutionists themselves admit that evolution is not factual even though most of them are unwilling to consider the creationist information. Many of the most famous creation scientists are men who were trained in and taught the evolutionist theory, so they are very able to refute its errors.
Evolutionists know and openly admit that their theory is the complete opposite of the Creationist viewpoint. Yet, it is surprising how many professing people and workers believe in an atheistic evolution. Evidently, they haven't read God's Word with any understanding or faith. How could anyone who believes scripture believe in evolution and justify billions of years of death and decay before Adam and Eve even got here? Romans 5:12 says that death entered the world when Adam disobeyed God. How could there have been millions or billions of years of plant life on the third day before the fourth day when the sun, moon and stars and seasons were created? How could man be the offspring of an ape when the scripture says that man was made in the image of God? How could anyone who believes that God is all-powerful assume that He was too weak to accomplish creation in six days as He said He did? Was He lying? Or doesn't God know what six days means? If He didn't do it in six days why didn't He tell us how long it took Him? If He didn't do it in six days why did He make such a big deal out of the Seventh Day? Each day He created something He said, "the morning and the evening were the first day, etc." If each day were billions of years, how could there be a morning and evening of each billion years? God is going to roll up the earth and the sky as a scroll someday. And then He is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. (Revelation 6:14) Only someone who created the universe has that kind of power. If we don't believe He created the universe, why should we believe He is going to destroy the earth and create a new one? If He didn't create the universe then there is no point in believing anything else that He has said. Why would we need to believe in Jesus, if Jesus isn't the Creator?
Face it. If you don't believe the whole Bible, stop messing around with it. There is no point in picking and choosing what you think is true. If you don't understand something then find someone who can explain it to you so you can understand it. Don't trust workers who can't give you a decent answer on any level of truth.
Evolutionary beliefs did not begin with Darwin. Darwin simply gave them notoriety by writing about them at a time when the world was looking for some other explanation besides God. The most significant fact about Darwin is that he was not a scientist. He wrote his book on the Origin of the Species after a vacation on the Galapagos Islands. All of his theories have been disproved but he is almost worshipped in England and around the world due to the fact that his book challenged the existence of a Creator. A Creator is a big nuisance to people who don't want to obey Him. England had been the point of great Christian fervor until Darwin wrote his first book on evolution. To this day Christianity in England has not recovered from it. Darwinism isn't science, it is a fraud.
The Christian men who teach creation science are trained in physics, science, archeology and geology. They are eminently qualified to teach science from a creation standpoint
Evolution is the basic philosophy of most non-Christian religions. At the end of his life Darwin admitted that his theory was not valid. Yet his theory is still upheld by people who don't want to deal with the alternative: God as Creator and Master of the universe.
Evolution has been the excuse for racist, ethnic genocidal wars and murders as "survival of the fittest." Karl Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung were all evolutionists who felt it was their duty to rid the world of vermin races who had not ascended to a higher evolutionary plane. Evolutionists are now proclaiming that people are evolving to higher spiritual planes and deceiving people with occultic philosophies to rationalize ungodly behavior. An excellent book on the topic of evolution versus creation is: The Lie by Ken Ham.
Where Does Our Freedom Come From?
People think that freedom is simply the will of the people. Anarchy is what happened in the Old Testament when everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Christians around the world are under attack from the same atheistic philosophies, ideologies and Muslim armies that opposed their faith centuries ago. More Christians have been and are being killed in Africa, Indochina and the Middle East than Jewish people yet the secular media refuses to notice or care. Professing people don't know or care. If it doesn't affect them, it doesn't matter. Most of them wouldn't lift a hand or speak out to defend another Christian anywhere.
John 8:32-36, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…so if the Son sets you free, ye shall be free indeed."
These verses are speaking about freedom from sin. Ultimately, sin is the most grievous slavery. People caught in the grip of sin have no way out of it unless they are born again in Christ and set free. When people become Christians they realize that all men are their brothers and that it is wrong to enslave or use people without their consent. It took centuries and free access to scriptures to convince people that this was true.
The friends and workers appreciate the freedoms of the United States but they don't appreciate the men and women who lived and died to make that freedom possible. They can't look with appreciation to Christians past William Irvine in 1897 because their own spiritual heritage is no older than that. Some professing people even vote along with atheists against Christian liberties and social issues affecting Christian families.
Atheists believe there is no Creator, that men are not created, and therefore they are not equal. Atheistic evolution declares that "might makes right." In other words, whoever is the strongest or whoever has evolved higher has the right to decide who lives, who dies, who serves, who rules, who has ownership and who governs. Humans can't have it both ways. They either choose God, Jesus Christ, eternal life, repentance of sin, obedience, good character, morals, freedom or they choose a false god or themselves as gods, evolution, sin, abortion, immorality, illegal business practices, lying, thievery, drug addiction, sexual addiction, perversions, cruelty, anarchy, slavery, death, no matter how peaceful they claim they are.
Anytime a system, religious or civil, becomes a law unto itself, freedom is lost because the system has become the god rather than God. Every cult that is not founded on Jesus Christ becomes dictatorial and dogmatic. When looking at churches beware of the systems that are invasive, legalistic or mystical. When looking at church leaders beware of those who have a particular agenda or ax to grind. When reading or listening to religious information, beware of anything that supersedes God's Holy Scripture. Read the Bible for yourselves, pray that God will help you understand it and obey it. Read the whole Bible over and over until you see the flow of information in a logical way. Jesus is the Way to God and Jesus is the Way to freedom from sin and freedom from abusive church leaders.
Who Is The Way?
The main point of "gospel meetings" is why the workers' way or church methodology is the Truth or True Way to Heaven. They preach Ephesians 4:4, "One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father." This is emphasized to prove there can only be one church, which they claim to be. Remember, Willie Jamieson said there were "two Lords." But Ephesians 4:4 says, "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all."
Yes, there is only One Church. It is the universal church that includes all Christians from all over the world that have ever lived, those that live now and those in the future. The Church is not the Way, Christ is. We become a part of that church when we are born again. It isn't a denominational entity. Only God knows who are His. We can know our own salvation, if we trust the Word of God but we should never try to judge who is born again or not. That is God's job. We should be careful whom we trust. We should trust God and His Word alone. God tells us to love all people but He doesn't tell us to trust people. We are to measure all things against His Word. Don't get hooked by just anyone who claims to have some "Spirit." Some of the most dangerous idolatrous religions are those controlled by some spirit. God said to test the spirits with His Word.
Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." The idea that the church is the way to heaven is a lie. Jesus said, "I am the vine and ye are the branches." Yes, the church is one with Christ but it is not the Way. The workers mix different metaphors from different texts, blending ideas that aren't supposed to blend.
Among Two by Twos, allegiance and honor are too often given to the workers and church rather than to Jesus. The workers claim that because they are going out homeless and two by two, that they are "Jesus Christ come again in the flesh."
Professing people have a very limited view of who God is, what He can do, what He expects and what He has planned for those who love Him. They have a limited view of His Sovereignty. They actually feel, although they wouldn't realize it, that they are in control of their lives and salvation.
The reason for this is their idea that they are saved by self-denial and obedience rather than by the blood of Jesus. They think self-denial means shunning any kind of fun or normal desire, "taking up the cross." The workers quote I Corinthians 15:31, in which Paul says,"I die daily."They infer that one must put to death every normal desire in order to have salvation and live a spiritual life. In other words, one must commit a sort of daily suicide of one's humanity. One must not enjoy life in this world. When one has any spare time it should be used in reading the Bible, praying, writing letters or sewing homemade clothes. "You can know if something is the will of God if it goes against your own will." Is that scriptural? No, not necessarily. If we have been born again our will should be conformed to His will and we will actually rejoice doing what He asks of us just as Paul did. Does it glorify God to live a life of misery? Does it glorify God to feel depressed and deprived when He has given us every blessing and provision and the opportunity to know Him and have eternal life? No!
The workers cite Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." They say that the only acceptable sacrifice to God is our bodies. They believe we must deny ourselves in order for Him to accept our bodies. The sacrifice is to be without blemish or sin. The workers have said that self-denial is not the sacrifice, the self denial is to make our bodies pure enough to be acceptable.
The problem with that is that their view of self-denial is open-ended. No matter how much one denies himself, he never feels he has done enough, nor could he ever know whether he had done enough, and for good reason. He can't do enough. Christ's sacrifice was the only acceptable sacrifice. He is the only one without spot. Romans 12 speaks of our service, not our salvation through sacrifice. Christ's spotless sacrifice was the only sacrifice acceptable before God to atone for our sins and to redeem our corruptible bodies to salvation.
In the past, the workers frowned upon every kind of fun or sport, attending county fairs, circuses, or Disneyland. Some didn't even approve of going to the beach. If you did go to the beach you were to wear street clothes. Swimming was allowed but swimsuits had to be changed immediately after swimming. Whole sermons were dedicated to these subjects. Sports were especially worldly and forbidden. And of course, women were not to wear pants or shorts. Those attitudes have been modified somewhat through the persistence of the younger people in some areas.
Percy Fletcher said, "God's people are to be known in the streets. There should be sufficient evidence about us, about our attire, about our spirit, about our walk to show that we are the Lord's." "Sometimes we say that in God's Kingdom there are no rules, no regulations or traditions, but if we have a proper understanding of God's Kingdom, we will find to our advantage that God hasn't left us without some guiding influences to govern our lives. The point is, are we willing to walk according to this rule?" Paul Sharp said, "You folks will have to decide whether we have to use the rod!" "Humble people will always obey."
Arnold Blonke said, "I have a list that is growing of friends that are attending hockey games, causing them to worship the idols of this world."
When Christ died, He died for all who would believe on Him. His death was our death. Therefore, there is no need for us to kill ourselves every day. That would be like a dead man trying to commit suicide. II Corinthians 5:14, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." When we accept Christ, we die and then live again for Him. Our lives, money, talents, resources and time are His. It is true, that a Christian does not live for pleasure but it does not mean that pleasure is forbidden or that we will lose our salvation if we enjoy life. The Pharisees were angry with Jesus because He ate and drank with sinners. They called Him a wine bibber and a glutton. They didn't think He acted strict enough. They accused Him of not obeying the Law because He healed on the Sabbath and didn't practice the ritual washing laws.
Christian self-denial has purpose: to glorify God, to help others, and win others to Christ. Two by Two self-denial calls attention to themselves, repels others from God and does nothing to help anyone.
William Irvine was a fanatic on acting pious, and demanding rigid behavior from others, yet he was not all that holy. It has been related that after meeting he refused to speak to anyone or shake hands because he didn't want to contaminate himself! One newspaper reporter said that Irvine left the meeting room through a window in order to avoid talking to people.
The habit of not doing anything except attend meetings leads to boredom, irresponsibility and slothfulness. The verse, "Be not weary in well-doing." is often quoted. What do they think "well-doing" refers to? Going to meeting or having dinner with workers?
The belief that the church is the only right way is not reserved to the Two by Twos. Many other cults and churches have thought or still think that they are the only true church with understanding of how to get to heaven. There are also dozens of other churches that claim apostolic succession but they are all recent inventions that are distinctly different from each other. Any church that claims to be the only avenue to heaven or to be apostolic should be avoided as well as those that are claimed to be perfect. Churches who demand conversion to the teachings of some man plus the Bible are dangerous. Those are obvious clues that the leadership has manipulation up their sleeves. Avoid any church that emphasizes the church or ministry more than worship of God, study of the scripture or Christ as the Way.
The Two by Two church is not the only church with grave problems. Many churches have serious errors and trouble. The Lord said that false prophets would arise and that tares would grow among the wheat. He said false prophets would rend and tear the sheep. Christians must always examine the doctrine and the fruit of their efforts. Christians must constantly study the scripture in depth and be able to challenge their leadership on scriptural issues. The leaders deserve respect but they are also men who are prone to mistakes and they must be accountable for their behavior. Christians need to examine their own lives and hearts every day and not be so quick to accuse other people of being wrong.
The belief that The Two by Two Church is the only way to Heaven is how they keep most people in the church. The workers have a scornful attitude towards anyone who is not part of the "Truth". They have made many harsh and cruel remarks about the people outside of the way believing God has no interest in anyone but "professing people". Irvine, Cooney, George Walker, Jack Carroll, Tharold Sylvester and other workers have said that in God's eyes, unprofessing people are nothing but "dung" or "dogs". They have said that the only prayer God hears from unprofessing people is the sinner's prayer. Interestingly enough, to my knowledge, they have never taught people what the sinner's prayer is.
John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…" God does love the people in the world and anyone who loves Him should love other humans created in His image. He loved us while we were yet in sin. Moreover, those who love Christ are commanded to love their brethren, their enemies and their neighbors as themselves.
Jack Carroll and the early workers had the smoothest way of glamorizing everything about themselves and the friends. It is interesting to read their letters and sermons in which they describe the fellowship and their activities with adjectives that fairly shimmered with superlatives. Exaggeration becomes believable if it is repeated often enough.
During the 1960s at Olympia Convention, Tharold Sylvester, the head worker of Washington spoke three different times about how Jesus was tempted in all points like as we. He said, "We all have different personalities that are tempted in different ways. We don't receive temptation in all points. Jesus was born with the worst personality in the world. None of us had to contend with all temptations, as Jesus did. Jewish people have the worst personalities of anyone I have ever met and I can understand why Jesus had so much trouble with temptation!"
There are several things wrong with this line of reasoning. First, what is the point of Tharold's sermon? What is he trying to prove? Is it that Jews are bad or that Jesus was worse than most of us? Or is he saying we are tempted by our personalities? This statement shows his ignorance of Christ's holiness. Second, it assumes that Christ was tempted by His personality rather than Satan. Third, it is an inexcusable slur against Jews, who are God's chosen people. People are people. There is no race on earth with a corner on the market for having bad personalities or bad character. Scripture says that we all have sinned and gone astray. There is no one good, no, not one.
Tharold Sylvester's bad view of Jewish people isn't biblical. Jesus loved the Jews, forgiving them as they crucified Him and Paul loved the Jews so much that he said he would be willing to lose his own soul if they could receive faith and salvation through Jesus Christ. Romans 9:1-5
Listen to the workers. Write down their statements. Check them against scripture. Talk to your children and family about worker quotations. Ask them to help you compare their statements with scripture.
Christ's crucifixion was planned by God and was necessary for the salvation of the souls of men. Abraham was Jewish, Moses was Jewish, all the prophets and apostles were Jewish. Jesus was Jewish and all the original Christians were Jewish. It wasn't just Jewish priests who put Christ on the cross. Our sins put Him there. Jesus allowed Himself to be put on the cross. He could have changed His mind at any time. He was not a martyr. He was a willing sacrifice.
God's standard is perfection to enter heaven. "If anyone keeps the whole law and yet offends in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. That is why we need Christ's righteousness rather than our own. Professing people claim to obey the commandments of Christ because they obey the workers and attending meeting in a home. Yet every worker and professing man and woman knows that he or she fails daily. They aren't able to obey God's word any more than any other Christians. Some may be more obedient than others yet that is not enough. We must trust only in Christ's atoning blood to save us. We can't trust in our obedience, in any method, in any creed, logic, nor in the righteousness of the ministry nor the congregation's. Anytime a church teaches that Christ's blood plus "something else" equals salvation, it is the "something else" that gets emphasized.
When people become born-again Christians they receive the indwelling Spirit but they do not become incarnated in the same manner as Jesus Christ. Christians are not demigods, mini-gods or avatars. They do not become gods. That would be polytheism. They are simply human followers who are given the Holy Spirit, eternal life, a new nature, spiritual desires and special gifts for special assignments. At the resurrection all believers will truly be perfected and given new bodies but for now they are still humans with human sin natures and still subject to attack from Satan. When we give in to our sin natures or when we refuse to forgive others Satan gains a foothold to enslave us again. Beware, stay strong in the Holy Spirit by studying God's Word and having fellowship with good Christian brethren who can encourage you and pray for you.
Believing that ownership of property and marriage makes man unlike Christ or somehow unholy denies the reality of God's plan for man. God gave man the right of ownership of property and possessions and commanded him to marry and be fruitful in the book of Genesis. Denying that the church is to be responsible for the financial welfare of the ministry is disobedience to God's command to care for those who preach the gospel.
I Timothy 4:1-3 lists some of the marks of the doctrines of devils, among which, forbidding of marriage. The head workers would deny that they forbid marriage, in which case they are "speaking lies in hypocrisy," for they do forbid the workers to marry. There have been married workers in the past, but those were carry-overs from William Irvine's original premise that salvation was only given to those who gave up all in order to preach. Any workers who have asked to marry in the past sixty years have been put out of the work.
A verse they often use to prove that this is the only Way is John 13:14, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." The love they claim for one another is usually conditional and superficial. Even the workers aren't very loyal to one another. Some of them detest other workers. Friendship and trust aren't strong because of their history of excommunication and condemnation of one another. The Bible mentions many other factors besides love that must be used to judge a fellowship: sound doctrine, continuing in the Word, abiding in the Word, caring for orphans and widows, proclaiming the gospel to all nations and tongues, preaching to those in prison, helping the poor, teaching the true gospel, true repentance, keeping the church unspotted by the world, true humility, self-control, praise of God, worship of Jesus Christ, recognition that Jesus is the Head of the Church, service to others, willingness to suffer for Christ, recognition of God as Creator of all things, etc.
The Pharisees called themselves the Separated Ones or the Pious Ones, and they believed they alone were going to reach Heaven through their obedience to their own rules. This is an accurate description of Two by Twos. Anyone who has a method for reaching Heaven rather than trust in Jesus and a true living relationship with Him will be sadly disappointed.
Hebrews and Galatians were written to Jews who had lost faith in the effectiveness of Christ's sacrifice. They felt they had to go back to circumcision, sacrificing animals and following their old dietary rules as well as following Christ. At least they were going back to their old rules. They weren't making up new rules, such as unmarried preachers, women preachers, fashion directives, and rules about meeting in a home.
William Irvine's rules are even less effective than circumcision and animal sacrifices for salvation. Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." It is bad enough to add rules to one's own life for salvation but it is even worse to make rules for others in order for them to have salvation. Irvine is the one who made up the rules for the Two by Twos. Man is saved by faith in Christ, not by faith in the workers or Irvine's traditions.
Some people believe, "The Way is right but the workers have gone wrong." This is the typical mindset of those who are deceived by the faulty premises and theology of William Irvine. Irvine's way has never been right.
The workers are fond of saying, "We aren't hired, so we can't be fired." But that isn't true. The head worker hires all the workers in his field and can dismiss a worker without accountability to anyone. There are no checks and balances in this church regarding moral accountability, theological accountability, the finances, power structure and decision-making. There is no accountability to the government regarding their bank accounts. The workers tell the government that they have no income and no money. Everyone knows that isn't true, but no one except the workers knows where their money is. They hide it in other people's names and in other countries. Several of the workers make frequent trips to Switzerland and there is speculation that there is where some of it is kept. There should be some equitable support for elderly workers, workers who have nervous breakdowns, poor health, etc. There should be some way to deal with workers who have stepped over the line of good moral behavior so that the friends are not at risk from workers who go from place to place, seducing women or molesting children.
In reference to the ministry, Luke 10:7 Jesus says, "The workman is worthy of his hire." Jesus used the words "hire" or wages in this reference to those who preach the gospel. Christian pastors should receive wages. Pastors should be honest in reporting their wages to the IRS. They should be trained in scripture and be held accountable by a board of elders to good behavior and teaching. Christian pastors should be able to have families if they so desire. The workers say that the apostles were only to receive room and board, not money. Yet, the Jews, Greeks and Romans used money for transactions. The Jewish people were commanded by God to sustain their spiritual leaders, provide for the upkeep of the Temple and synagogues and contribute to the poor. William Irvine's ideas about poverty for preachers are not biblically nor historically supported. He didn't even obey the idea himself.
Jesus didn't do His good deeds in secret. Thousands witnessed Him and made written record of His charity towards all, even unsaved and Gentile people. He healed people who weren't His followers and some didn't even bother to thank Him or obey Him. Christ's admonition about secret giving was done to discourage pride. It is good to give secretly, but it is impossible to do most good deeds in secret. The Good Samaritan wouldn't have done anything if he had worried about anyone finding out what he had done. Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may SEE your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." The point is that God should receive the glory not the human giver.
Matthew 25:31-46 makes it specifically clear that the distinction between the goats and the sheep is that the sheep were the ones who helped the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the prisoners.
William Irvine redefined these "poor" as the homeless preachers. The Two by Twos believe that those who have voluntarily given up their belongings to preach are the real "poor". However, the scripture makes it clear that the poor and needy are exactly that, the poor and the needy. Those who are involuntarily in need, not preachers. One elderly lady said, "I never give more than two dollars at a time to the workers because I don't want to tempt them with too much money." This attitude is a result of believing that money will turn a worker into a Judas Iscariot.
In 1987 during a Sunday morning testimony, an elder's wife made disparaging remarks about Mother Teresa in India and others who devoted their lives to charitable work with the poor. She quoted Christ, "The poor you will have with you always." She believed He was saying it was a waste of time to help the poor. But God said to help the poor. She said, "Life is too short to get all taken up with the poor and needy. We can't serve God and help the poor,too."
A professing woman had given a birthday party for an unprofessing neighbor woman and happened to tell her elder's wife about the occasion. The elder's wife exclaimed with obvious shock, "Why! I just don't have time for my neighbors. I'm too busy with more important things!" The elder's wife was scolding the other woman for her friendship with an unprofessing person.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:15, "The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." Workers do not teach fasting or even mention it except allegorically. They say, "Fasting means starving the fleshly desires." Yet this is not what the scriptures or Jewish history teaches. Fasting specifically means going without food, sometimes water, for a specific length of time. Sometimes it was 24 hours, sometimes three days or longer. Jesus went without food for 40 days before beginning His ministry and He told the disciples that certain demons could not be cast out unless the apostles had prayed and fasted. The Jews fasted and prayed for people who were in prison to participate in their misery and to call on God to notice His people's need. They fasted to show their repentance and to commemorate a past affliction so that the people would not forget their spiritual and natural heritage. They fasted with purpose.
It is true that some people fasted out of hypocrisy but that doesn't mean the church is not to fast. There was also praying and preaching done in hypocrisy but that doesn't mean the church is not to pray or preach.
When people have asked about fasting, workers quote Isaiah 58:6-7, "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?" They say fasting isn't about going without food. yet they neglect to deal bread to the hungry, or help the poor, either. They think those words are metaphors for meetings.
The professing congregation is expected without fail to pray and give their testimony each fellowship meeting. The workers say this is the kind of meetings held in the first-century church. Congregational testimony is an effective method for getting everyone to participate in the church but it has a few drawbacks. It is an effective method of pooling everyone's ignorance.
For some people, the motive for reading the Bible becomes simply to have something to say in the next meeting. This tends to cause people to read the Bible with a certain mindset. A person's testimony is supposed to last about one or two minutes. That does not require much study so a person rarely does much intensive Bible study. The biggest challenge is in finding something to "spiritualize" or that will agree with the workers' perspective on things. Especially since nothing in scripture matches the workers' perspective.
The testimonies given by professing people are rather like the talks given at Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. They are positive or negative affirmations that subconsciously act upon the individuals to "keep on going." They don't actually educate the people about the scripture. When people read scripture that contradicts the workers they ignore it as if it isn't there.
During testimony time, a child's testimony has as much importance as the elder's testimony. There is no time for people to mature in their scriptural understanding or participation and there is little chance for teaching to occur. There have even been cases of children giving their testimonies from stories they read in comic books. Workers and friends have given testimonies from newspaper articles, Readers Digests, letters, and anecdotes. No one seems to notice or object to the fact that they are wasting everyone's time unless they are studying the Word of God.
Usually, the friends and workers will spiritualize something not even in the Bible just so they can have something "spiritual" to say. In a convention sermon a worker once compared the church to the earthworm. "It (the church) sweetens sour soil and makes it productive. It is humble and its safety is in keeping hidden. When it pokes its head out of the ground a bird can see it and eat it." They also believe that the church is one with God. So is God one with an earthworm? Another worker at convention compared convention to a Japanese teahouse where the friends come to be refreshed. The friends were so inspired, they talked about it for weeks!
The earthworm is a good example of this church. It is underground. Even though it is all over the world very few people have ever heard of it and even those who have heard of it can hardly identify it. It has done a good job of hiding its light. Is it scriptural to compare the church to an earthworm? No. Remember what Jesus said about hiding our light under a bed?
The workers have warned people at different times to keep a low profile, implying that the safety of the church requires being kept out of the public eye. They warn people not to let unprofessing people see or use their hymnbooks. (They are probably afraid of being sued for copyright laws.) They warn people to burn their old address lists and discourage sermon notes from being passed around. Their secrecy makes the friends feel they are on the verge of being persecuted, which is ridiculous. The workers know that Christian counter-cult ministries have been compiling documentation of the workers' unbiblical beliefs. They have enormous quantities of workers' letters, sermons convention notes, etc. The workers warn people against the "poison" that is circulating about their teaching. This is comical. The real "poison" is their convention and GEM notes. They don't want any of their own words to get into anyone's hands because the workers' statements are so unbiblical.
Several years ago a sister worker complained that an unprofessing man kept writing her and asking her what she thought about the Trinity and who she thought Christ is. She said, "I'm not about to let him get anything in writing!" This policy is dictated by the head workers to protect the church from being publicly exposed as a cult. If she really believes she knows truth about God that other people need to know she should be glad to share what she believes about the Trinity and who Christ is. Christians don't hide their beliefs. Christians are willing to die for their beliefs.
Within the past few years, since people have heard about Irvine, a head worker told the workers not to say anything that they can't prove. He didn't elaborate on what he meant.
The address list and calendar of conventions around the world are kept within the confines of the church. They have a note on the master list saying, "We trust that you will use this list in a confidential way. Destroy former lists. Please do not make copies." This is specifically done so that outsiders cannot make contact with members of the church. This is an unusual practice for any church. Every other church, except the most secretive cults, allows open information regarding gatherings so that anyone can attend. Other churches have their addresses and phone numbers available in the phone book. Lots of churches publish church directories with the members' families pictures, addresses and phone numbers and they give them away to all the families. But the Two by Twos hide their addresses and phone numbers even from one another. Of course, those who attend the same meeting know each other, but they don't share any information outside of their own community for fear that people will spread information that will alert their followers to the deception they are perpetrating.
The workers often quote the scripture that says to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves". That is their watchword when they are being questioned about doctrine. They will evade, lie or squirm away from questions while maintaining the sweetest of smiles. God did not call us to ignorance, and naiveté. He called us to integrity and openness. Integrity is mature innocence, not childlike ignorance. Purity of ministry and service is intentional obedience to scripture, not blind obedience to the workers, as they demand. Professing people need to guard their minds and their homes from deceitful workers.
A brother worker who had been in the work for one year was asked what was the most interesting thing he had learned during his first year in the work. He replied, in all seriousness, "Howard told me not to ever use the words: convention, special meetings, profess, friends, workers or to call the Way, the Truth when we are around unprofessing people. We don't want people to get the idea that the Truth is some sort of exclusive group because it isn't! "
But it is! It is so exclusive that they won't even let some people attend meetings. They are as wily as serpents but not as harmless as doves. There is much harm done through their deceit.
It is remarkable to hear the people exclaim over the "wonderful" things that they heard at meeting. All they get is a hodge-podge of disconnected thoughts. They haven't ever heard good expository preaching before so they haven't any idea of what a good message really is.
Expository preaching is a complete study of a book, going word by word examining the original meaning in Hebrew or Greek, relating the subject to the historical period and explaining the way the message relates to us today.
New Testament Praise And Worship
Irvine and the workers who followed him mocked praise and worship as being an emotional experience or meaningless ritual. Of course, it is emotional! Love is an emotion! The Bible is full of commands to praise God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is full of worship, admiration and adoration of Him. When the Pharisees criticized people for worshipping Jesus with praise and hosannas, He told them that if the people did not praise Him that the rocks would have cried out. The angels in Heaven praise the Lord continuously. Yet since William Irvine's day the friends and workers wince at nearly every phrase of praise to the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Irvine believed that worship was a meaningless ritual and a form of entertainment. The Two by Two failure to praise the Lord as scripture commands is another example of obedience to William Irvine rather than God's Word.
William Irvine mocked the worship services of Christian churches. Jack Carroll and Willie Jamieson had a little lecture that explained why they didn't praise God for His creation. They say, "When you see a beautiful garment you don't say, "Praise the tailor!" You say, "Isn't that a lovely garment?" Therefore, when you see a beautiful sunset it is foolish to say, "Praise the Lord." But God wants us to give Him the glory for everything because all good things come from Him. The workers' argument actually gives the glory to the creation rather than the Creator. The workers insult God with their resentment towards praise. Satan must be pleased. During the early years the hymns sung at meeting were embarrassing to hear. They were all off-key, sometimes only one or two people in the meeting even knew what the songs were supposed to sound like. Their singing didn't glorify God in any way.
Jewish people praised the Lord by talking to one another, telling what God had done for them, either in the past or at the moment. They would say, "Praise the Lord, for He made the heavens and the earth." "Praise the Lord for He delivered us out of Egypt.""Praise the Lord for His provision."There is always a reason for praising God because of Who He is and What He has done. It encourages us and reminds us that He is real and active in our lives. What He has done for others He will do for us. God said He would reward and bless those who spoke about Him to one another. Psalm 22:3 says, "God inhabits the praise of His people." Praise increases our faith and is an act of obedience to Him. Praise is also an excellent weapon against Satan. He can't stand to hear Christ being worshipped. Christians love to praise God. It is probably one of the most enjoyable parts of our service to Him.
The workers mock those who praise God for answer to prayer because no one knows whether God did it or Satan may have done it or whether it would have happened anyway. They sometimes say, "God helps those that help themselves." "God isn't interested in our natural lives." They don't believe in asking God to help them when they experience difficulties in life. They make people feel like they are bothering God with their foolish natural concerns. They only believe in asking for virtues, the fruit of the Spirit or help in being a good example to others. Yet, even then, they fail to praise Him for virtues and fruit of the Spirit. It would sound pretty strange for them to say "thank you for making me so humble, thank you for making me so meek, thank you for making me so loving and patient." They used to be quite proud of "their example" of saying thanks at mealtime, especially in public but now their mealtime thanks are the convention meal graces. They used to mock people who had memorized prayers. They believe that God isn't interested in natural needs or provisions so why do they thank Him for their food?
Under the topic of "Praise" in their hymnbook there are only nine hymns listed out of the total 412 hymns. One of them is titled, We Thank Thee, Lord, for Weary Days. The lack of praise practiced in this church is because they don't understand their complete salvation is a result of the sacrifice of Christ. They do not feel saved or forgiven. Professing people look down on anyone with visible enthusiasm for God and say, "I'm worried about him, he doesn't have much understanding." They feel that outward expressions of joy, enthusiasm or praise don't show enough decorum or seriousness.
I Chronicles 23 records that four thousand people praised the Lord with instruments, 1 Chronicles 25 says that 288 singers were from the family of Heman. II Chronicles 5 says that the Levites were singers and there were 120 on trumpets. Ezra 2:64 mentions 200 singing men and women. The instruments used in worship were cornet, cymbal, dulcimer, flute, gittith, harp, organ, pipe, psaltery, sackbut, tabret, tambourine, trumpet, viol, and lyre to name a few. Old Testament worship included dancing. Heaven is filled with the sound of singing and praising the Lord.
Praise, thanksgiving, as well as scripture reading, was a prominent part of Old and New Testament services yet Two by Two services focus on personal testimonies and failures rather than the person and Word of God. The sharing of the bread and wine is done at the end of the meeting in just a few short minutes with very little said about Christ except "thank you for his sacrifice and self denial and we pray that we can follow His example."
True worship of God isn't just verbal thanks. It is an outpouring, overflowing admiration, adoration of God. It is verbal honor of His sovereignty, majesty, grace, power and glory. It is praise focused on His love, His mercy, His power, His Names, His characteristics, His Word, His Son, Christ Jesus. It can be done on our knees, it can be done with hands raised, it can be done in words, in song, in prayer, in tongues, standing, sitting, at home, in the car, anywhere and always in reverence or exuberant joy. It is also a concentrated focus on studying God's Word and obedience to it.
It seems odd that professing people aren't embarrassed that they obey leaders who don't worship God. In other Christian churches, at least 20 minutes is spent, before the sermon begins, in a variety of songs and prayers of verbal praise to God alone because of His majesty, His power, His glory, His grace, His mercy, His wisdom.
Praise and thanksgiving directs God's power into our lives and situations. Psalm 68:4 "Sing to God, sing praises to His Name; lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, whose Name is the LORD and exult before Him." "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me and prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." Psalm 50:23
Praise helps us see that trouble can be God's blessings in disguise. When we praise God in the middle of a trial as Paul and the apostles did we cooperate with His plan for us. James 1:2-4 It is a sin not to worship the Lord since we are commanded to praise and worship Him.
Using scripture as praise is a weapon against Satan. Psalm 149:6 Satan flees when he hears the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit being worshipped. We can imitate Job, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will return. The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the Name of the Lord." Job 1:21
The workers emphasize that God is praised by the obedience of the people. Praise is a blessing, praise brings blessing. Stressing obedience, no matter how important, can be discouraging, because people aren't always obedient. It is our very disobedience that makes us cry out in praise of Him, for we know how much we need His gift of forgiveness and His Spirit to guide, protect and teach us!
A real scriptural sermon brings glory and praise to God because it is biblical exhortation, warning, correcting, feeding, and counseling. A sermon starts with a passage of scripture and grows out of the lesson being taught in the chapter or book. A sermon is preached by someone who has studied and labored in the Word. A good pastor sometimes spends 40 hours or more preparing for a sermon. A sermon is not to be of someone's private interpretation. II Peter 1:20.
An expository sermon is an analysis of information taken word by word, or phrase by phrase. It examines all aspects of a text, historically, and by the definition of the words' original meanings in context of the whole passage. It examines the scripture and situation at the time the scripture was recorded in order to understand the points that are being made. Expository preaching goes completely through the whole book, point by point.
Workers' speeches are not sermons based on scripture, but are allegorical devotional fables and private interpretations of verses taken out of context. They are designed to instill guilt, fear or loyalty to the workers and the way. Most of them don't originate from scripture at all. Instead, they are repetitions of William Irvine's Alpha revelation.
A testimony is not a sermon. A testimony is a personal experience. A testimony is not a reliable source of truth because personal experiences are always different. Testimonies, examples of Bible characters or examples of someone's life experience are not the basis for doctrine. A person's testimony is a statement of what the Lord is doing or has done in someone's life. Professing testimonies often focus on their failures and desire to do better. Professing people always speak with great affection and gratitude about when the workers came to their town. They go into nostalgic detail about the two workers who brought them the "gospel". But, one does not hear about a miraculous conversion through Christ when Jesus convicted one of sin and enabled someone to repent and live a new life.
The purpose of meetings is to inculcate the people with "the Spirit" and to monitor people's attitude towards the workers and the church. Learning about the Bible is not the point of any meetings, Sunday Morning or Bible Study or Gospel Meeting. The workers believe that if the people receive the Spirit then they magically will do the right thing, dress the right way, say the right thing, etc.
Praise goes to the workers more than to God. Howard Mooney said, "God has placed a very responsible work in the hands of His servants. On our shoulders rests the care of the Lord's people. We are responsible to see that people understand Truth and fit into the Truth. We cannot be grateful enough for the workers who brought us into the Truth and the workers whose health is practically shattered because they put more into this than they were able for our sakes."
Willis Propp wrote in a letter, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. This was and is the order of the ministry and how thankful we are for those who are willing for the dying life today that eternal hope through Christ may be brought to needy souls."
The workers also fail to bless anyone in the Name of God or to ask for God's blessing on anyone. This is another omission of God's commands. Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament one finds the practice of blessing people who love God. Parents blessed their children. The priests were commanded to bless Israel. Jesus took little children into his arms and blessed them. Paul blessed those he wrote to and John blessed people in his letters. The workers don't verbally bless anyone or ask for blessings on anyone. One doesn't hear professing people ask for blessing or give blessing to God in their prayers, at least not very often. They probably don't think people deserve to be blessed. But does anyone deserve blessing? No, that is the wonderful thing about God's grace. He blesses us even when we don't deserve it.
"We have no set doctrine,"
"Frankly, I don't know what the doctrine is."
"God wants faith, not facts. We aren't saved by what we believe, we are saved by having the right Spirit."
"There is no written material on our doctrine. We stand alone on the King James Version of the Bible. That is our only written word."
"In these meetings we will be hearing the same teaching, the same doctrine that Jesus taught."
"We do not believe in original sin."
"Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are one Being, but not one God."
"God was and is the Creator. Jesus was and is the re-Creator. Christ is the example of God."
"The ministry has been the most important part of God's plan in every age."
"There are two different prices to be paid. The price paid by someone else for us and the price we must pay."
"This is salvation – being able to master ourselves. That means being the master of yourself in all things."
"No one can enter heaven unless they enter as beggars."
"The Blood of Jesus can only cleanse us when we offer our bodies as a whole burnt offering."
"We aren't just saved by Christ's redemption. There is one thing we must do.We must present our own bodies as a sacrifice. Some of us may leave a big question mark in God's eyes."
"We are never safe until we have finished our journey with Christ."
"We make no secret of the fact that we are deliberately and purposefully teaching men and women the world over how to do without the hireling ministry and the public building."
"We shun all publicity, for any written material could get into the wrong hands. We must protect ourselves."
"We must keep ourselves hidden and apart from the corrupt world."
The workers do not like people to ask what their doctrine is. The sister workers are more averse to questions than the brother workers are. This is one reason why the friends know so little about the scripture or their own doctrine and do not discuss it. They have even verbally threatened people (with danger of "losing out") who ask pointed doctrinal questions. They react to questions with the accusation that the person simply isn't willing.
Be prepared to ask doctrinal questions no matter what they say. Ask a worker, "Do you think it is wrong for professing people to know and discuss what our doctrine is?" "What is your definition for the word Gospel?" "Do you believe in the sufficiency of the Blood of Christ?" "Is the scripture our only source of Truth?" "Who is the Creator?" "Do you believe the Holy Spirit is God? Well, if the Holy Spirit isn't God and Jesus is just a human filled with the Spirit, what is so great about either one of them?" It is imperative for everyone to be able to discuss and understand doctrine. It is one of the most convenient ways to expose false teachers, because false teachers act extremely loving and humble. They are good actors.
The workers use personal examples and even fictitious examples to reinforce their beliefs. The older workers would tell stories about someone who disagreed with the workers and dropped dead, or who went swimming or boating on Sunday and drowned or some parent who allowed a child to disobey the workers and the child stopped going to meetings and became an alcoholic or died. These stories were taken as examples of how God punishes those who disobey the workers.
A biblical story is one thing but a personal story or a fictitious story is not God's Word on an issue. One or two verses are not the basis for doctrine.
Doctrine cannot be made out of information that is not contained in scripture.
The workers will deny some of the statements that were made by well-known workers of the past and present. Previously, the workers were known to hide or cover up the history of the church. Now that people are exposing the doctrine of the church, the workers will sometimes deny their own teaching. They act as if people misunderstood what was said or believed. Not true. Thousands of lives have been negatively impacted by the workers' unscriptural teaching. Members who have spent innumerable hours listening to workers know what they were taught.
It is imperative that the teachings of any church be open to public scrutiny so that all the followers will be aware of what and whom they are following. When people's eternal souls are at risk one cannot take the chance of making a mistake. Especially at risk is the ministry; their future is even more precarious when they are teaching others. If someone claims to be teaching Truth, it must be verified by the Truth of scripture. The workers' words consistently contradict scripture. Check it out for yourself.
Because of the confusion in scriptural interpretation and because the workers really believe they are teaching the Bible, there is a constant conflict in scriptural reality. It is like trying to walk through a carnival house of mirrors or a cavern of echoes. A person will hear what he thinks is truth, turn towards it, only to find out that he is hearing something different, but isn't sure anymore what he heard or where he heard it. The fact that the workers do use the scripture actually results in some scriptural teaching. This blending of scriptural teaching with unscriptural teaching is confusing. Friends and workers alike have different personal opinions about what they believe, although they don't realize it or refuse to admit it.
Some workers, especially the younger workers don't know what the doctrine of the church is, beyond meetings in the home and a two by two ministry. When anyone asks a worker a sticky question he or she will sometimes ask another question in return or ask, "What do you think that means?" Workers wiggle out of difficulties by quoting a verse and ending the subject immediately. But the verse may not be the only verse pertaining to the subject and may not be the answer that every worker would agree upon. There are always several verses to be examined on any given subject. This is one reason that the workers like to travel together when they are with someone who might ask a question. They have to make sure that the younger worker doesn't reveal information they want hidden.
If a worker is unable to handle the scripture to counter someone's questions or objections he will discount the necessity of being able to explain a concept. He will say it isn't man's wisdom that is needed, it is just important to have the right Spirit. "Spiritual sight, dependent on a willing heart, not doctrinal distinction, dependent on intellectual analysis." And, they are careful to always cultivate a mild, low-key manner in order to appear superior in this area. Yet, that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says we must "give attention to sound doctrine." "study to show ourselves approved." "We are to always be ready to give an answer of the hope that is within us." "Brethren be not children in understanding….but in understanding be men." "Let all things be done unto edifying." We are to submit our wills and our minds to His word. Over and over the scripture speaks to our minds. That is what makes our hearts willing! Faith is built on understanding and agreeing with His Word, not on blind ignorance of it.
Not all the workers and friends are convinced of the righteousness or exclusiveness of salvation to this church. They are careful to keep this idea to themselves, however, for they know it isn't safe to express it to others. Anyone who verbally makes an unacceptable statement like that is immediately suspected of not having "the right Spirit" and they are shunned or avoided and people are encouraged not to spend time with them.
Some workers do teach biblically when they are alone in someone's home. Someone asking a private question may get scriptural answers if he happens to ask the right worker when his companion isn't there. And, if he or she asks a question not related to the methodology. However, teaching rarely occurs in meetings because it can be too controversial for the workers. The workers cannot always say in public the same things they say in private. They can get into trouble for it. Don't pay any attention to a worker who says, "Well, I believe …" It doesn't matter what one particular worker says or believes It is the church doctrine that is at issue. The church doctrine is only what is taught in the meetings. A member of a church should be able to verify that what he believes is also what the church teaches, because it is dishonest to attend a church that one does not agree with or endorse. It is also dishonest for a worker to believe something different than the church doctrine.
Write down the subject that the workers speak on, in every meeting. Give the sermon a title, quote the worker, whenever possible, write down the purpose of the sermon. (In other words, what was the worker trying to get you to think or do?) Keep track of the amount of time devoted to certain subjects. Do they cover any subject in depth or do they quickly pass over some things? Do they give you good counsel for everyday living? How much allegory is involved in each sermon? What is their definition of the gospel or other words? What is required in order for a person to be in fellowship with them? Are they teaching children to understand the whole Bible? Notice the emotion that you felt while the worker was speaking. Was it guilt, fear, sadness or despair? Was it joy, peace, direction, hope for a certain salvation? Keep a chart of subjects. You will easily see that the workers cover the same things over and over. There will be some differences depending on the worker.
After meeting, read each scripture text and review all the verses and chapters preceding or following the verses quoted by the workers. Read the scripture as if you never heard of the workers. Then compare the workers' interpretation of the entire scripture. You will probably see that they have twisted the meaning. Sometimes just a little, sometimes a whole lot. They are famous for jumping to false conclusions. They will usually quote verses that they claim support their premise, when in reality the verse doesn't support it at all. They will quote partial verses and verses out of context. They mix and match verses that don't belong together in order to make a point or to sound biblical. Be sure to watch the definition of words. When they make up metaphors that aren't biblical, challenge them on it. Ask them if they think it is okay to make up stories to illustrate ideas that contradict biblical illustrations.
Evasion of truth has been a key element in the way this church operates. Sometimes their error is not so much in what they say but in what they leave out. Sometimes they knowingly infer an untruth without actually stating it. This is just as dishonest as telling a lie.
Elizabeth Jamieson, an older sister worker, wrote in 1969, "In 1920, Mabel Pryor and I went to Vancouver Island. At that time,there were no friends north of Victoria. Here we discovered a man of the Plymouth Brethren sect who was going from house to house, influencing people against us. His favorite salutation when he met anyone was, "Are you saved?" He accused me of being a "Cooneyite". I pretended I didn't know what he meant, letting on that the only coney I knew about was the little animal spoken about in the book of Proverbs. And of course, he was against women preachers. But in spite of all, a little church was formed at Sandwick. I'm happy to say that the children and the grandchildren are still going on in that little church."
Evasion of truth, lying, acting ignorant of what is known to be true, withholding information, using words deceitfully are marks of Satan and false teachers.
In 1920 Edward Cooney was still a worker in good standing in the church. Elizabeth knew very well what that man meant when he said she was a Cooneyite.
Kathleen Holland, a sister worker for over fifty years had a conversation with a professing couple in California. She related several personal accounts of Eddie Cooney, revealing that she knew him personally. She finished the conversation by saying, "Now, if anyone ever asks you about Eddie, you tell them no such person ever existed!"
When faith in God, decisions, activities, and relationships are based on a lie, everyone and every result is poisoned by the lie. People are trapped into more lies, to cover up both the original lie and the resulting problems. They are confused because they have called the lie, "The Truth" for so long that they don't know which is which. A con-artist once said, "The best way to get someone to believe a lie is to believe it yourself." That is what has happened to the Two by Twos. Their 'Truth' hurts everyone it touches.
Jack Carroll and Willie Jamieson knew better than anyone how many people had been hurt by the workers. They both used to talk about the future of the "Truth." Jack said, "The Truth's biggest enemies are the ones who have left the Way." Willie said, "The Truth will fall apart after the workers become too civilized." He still believed Irvine's premise that salvation was dependent on an ascetic lifestyle. Irvine's church began falling apart right from the beginning because it isn't founded on God's Word. It isn't any new thing that people are leaving it. The workers are their own worst enemies.
Workers claim, "People who leave the 'Truth' have lost their understanding and their vision." The workers accuse people who disagree with them of not understanding scripture, not knowing God, of being blind, of being enemies. Inform the workers and the friends exactly what they believe, where it came from and why their beliefs are not biblical. Tell them that you do believe in God and scripture. If you can speak to them, do so. If not, then write them a letter, make copies of it and send it to all your friends and relatives. Quote the workers then quote the scripture that contradicts the workers. Send information to all the youngest workers so that they can escape from bondage before they get too old.