Friday, May 27, 2011

THE 72-HOUR RULE: STAYING VILIGANT

kelly rae roberts
Is it just me, or did anyone else miss “The End of the World”. Obviously I wasn’t in that number; 200 million to be exact, and if you are reading this, you weren’t either. I heard about this late Friday (May 20) and I thought to myself why are people still doing this? The adversary never changes his game, just his tactics. The goal of this activity was to make a mockery of the Word of God, to take away the truth of the word and replace it with error, and sensationalism and lies.

I was curious as to what kind of person this California preacher was. Here is what the news article said:
*A California preacher who foretold of the world's end only to see the appointed day pass with no extraordinarily cataclysmic event has revised his apocalyptic prophecy, saying he was off by five months and the Earth actually will be obliterated on Oct. 21.
Harold Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before catastrophe struck the planet, apologized Monday evening for not having the dates "worked out as accurately as I could have."
I believe that one of the greatest gifts and opportunities that our Heavenly Father gave us was agency.
Agency is our opportunity to choose to God and his son Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation or to choose  the world. I believe that in the U.S. alone, many people have had an opportunity to read the bible and even the Book of Mormon and to accept it as the word of God or not.
Judging by the reactions of some people to this type of activity, you can tell that the Light of World continues to shine. You could ask any random person on the street, what they know about the return of Jesus Christ, and even if they couldn’t tell you the chapter, they could quote the verse, (Matthew 24:36) Most people regardless of their church or religious affiliation can agree with this verse.
Matthew 24:36
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
 My husband and I were talking about this and I asked the question, why are people still doing this thing? How in this day and time, with access to so much information, how are people deceived? My husband reminded me of a time in our lives that  brought back a flood of memories for both of us. He reminded me of  a church we both attended a number of years before we left and later joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints.
My husband and I were both members, maybe attendees is a better word of “The Way International.” Even now when I think of the name, I get a nauseous feeling in my stomach. (It is a cult in every sense of the word).

* The Way International describes itself as a biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry. It was founded in 1942 by Victor Paul Wierwille, a former Reformed minister. L Craig Martindale succeeded Wierwille in 1982.
The only good thing that came out of that experience was that I met my husband.I know this was a journey that we both had to take, we had to find each other. Now this isn’t your typical romantic story of a boy meeting a girl and living happily ever after, this was more like a fire walk on hot coals barefoot. I know that the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us, and those of us who inadvertently choose that plan, and walk; we will come out on the end side better.

When I was investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS,I was a hard sell. I knew that deep in my heart,I wanted to have a truthful relationship with our Heavenly Father.I had many questions and situations and bad memories. I remember the Missionary's challenging me to read the book of Mormon with the intent of having my questions answered. 
I read this passage from Alma in the Book of Mormon, I literally saw in my mind how anyone can be deceived and lead away, even God’s elect.  
Alma 1:2-3
2 And it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of Alma in the judgment-seat, there was a man brought before him to be judged, a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength.
(Why was it important to note "the man's " physical appearance?)
1Samuel  16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees;for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
 
3 And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.
(In my own person experience, this is a valid statement of an agenda.This agenda attacks any church or group that is different. The agenda is a hostile entity to any one who challenges the authority of said organization) 
4 And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and in the end, all men should have eternal life.(The philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, to make it believable)
5 And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.(The constant repetitiveness's of his message combined with a charming or forceful or even a non-threatening demeanor,tends to break down a person's natural impulse to be cautious and then question their own beliefs)
6 And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.
Proverbs 21:24
24 A proud and haughty man—“Scoffer” is his name; He acts with arrogant pride.

Before I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, I was searching, and  I needed to find a church that told the truth, a church that would teach me about the Savior,about our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. I needed to know what would happen to me when I died. Where would I go, would I cease to exist? I needed to know what the scriptures were talking about, and if they were true.I grew up in the South, attending the local Baptist Church. When I left home for college and the Navy, I was always looking for familiar churches to go to. I asked a co-worker one day if he could tell me where a local church was. He said yes, and not only that,” My wife and I would love to have you come to our church.” I said great; would you mind if I joined you one Sunday? He said yes, but he said, you can come with us on Thursday, because we don’t meet on Sundays. I asked him, what denomination are you, he said “non-denomination”. He was so happy that I was coming that he told me that all would be explained at “the meeting”.

So we met in the house of a married couple, Doug & Rita. I loved them immediately, because they seemed like long lost relatives. Doug led the meeting and Rita introduced the hymns and then we had refreshments. I wanted to come back because Doug seemed to know what he was talking about in the Bible. So I came back many times, and we all grew as friends, and we had outings and etc. But you know what? I really didn’t have a clear explanation of who these people were and what was their church all about.

Finally I was told that the name of the group was called this: *The Way International. I thought to myself, the Way? OK that sounds good. So how do I join? I told them that I needed to be baptized, but they scoffed at the idea. They said that I didn’t need to be baptized with water any more; I could be saved by confessing with my mouth that I believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God and presto, you are born again and saved. I had a problem with that, but I agreed at the time. I signed up for a class that would tell me everything I ever wanted to know about God, the Son and the Way Ministry and it would cost a onetime fee of 50.00 and I could take it again if wanted to, for free.
The class was 4 weeks long and I couldn’t miss a day. It was tedious to say the least, but if this was the way to find answers I would hang in there. The “class” was a black and white film, where the original founder of this organization expounded on his own personal theories about God. He made this statement: “God spoke to me audibly, just like I am talking to you now, He said that he would teach me the Word as it had not been known since the first century, if I would teach it to others”

I found out years later that he had plagiarized portions of his own “foundational” textbook from the writings of other authors. He called himself a Doctor of Theology, but that also was false, it was purchased. But at the time he came across as sincere, loving and down to earth ,on film at least because apparently by the time I took the class in the late 80”s the founder had been dead for at least 10 years. Something that wasn’t lost on me, but I filed it away.
So at the end of the class, he prayed for us (on the film) and blessed us with the Holy Spirit and then led us into speaking in tongues. I could never master speaking in tongues; it sounded a lot like babbling to me. Not once did I ever “feel” the presence of the Holy Spirit in any meeting. After that we had refreshments and everyone was hugging and crying. I still have a picture. I joined this group and stayed with them on and off for almost 10 years.
I had an opportunity to meet the new “leader” of this organization. He was an imposing man, extremely stressed, and a little scary. He was and I will call him the Anti-Christ, because as I learned, that this group denounced that “Jesus Christ was not God” and the Holy Spirit was a figment of the imagination of God. They said that Jesus was not really the Son of God, just an exalted human being. I had a problem with that, but not knowing much, I was at a loss. I had always believed that Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. I asked them why would the Bible tell us this if it wasn’t true? I was told that the current Bible was full of errors and the Way only taught from the Epistles, and they declared the Old Testament as meaningless, and they called the Book of Revelation, “Star Wars”. Why didn’t I leave then? God had a plan for me.

After 10 years of this, I decided to leave this organization. I prayed for guidance on this, I asked Heavenly Father if he would see fit to find me a husband and help me start a family. That was it. So He did. My future husband was attending a foundational class and I introduced myself to him, because he looked lost and I thought I was supposed to be his helper. I wasn’t, but I felt as if I knew him. What I remember about my then future husband was the big fuss that was made over him, and not in a good way. The coordinator of the class was reproving him for bringing the wrong Bible to class. She tried to make a spectacle of him. She took his bible from him and showed it to the class, and she said, “Class, what’s wrong with this bible? Of course I couldn’t tell if anything was wrong, she said, it’s a Mormon Bible and she made a face, and held it in her hands like it was something distasteful. I was curious. My future husband stood up took the book away from her and defended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints. He said that the book of Mormon was the true word of God. They asked him what was he doing at their meeting, and he said," I am trying to find my way back."
It took us another 10 years to find our way back. The Lord says that he knows the end from the beginning. We are now at the beginning of our journey together. If I could sing this would be a gospel song. Someone was praying for us. 
What I have learned from this is that personal knowledge,a personal testimony  of our Heavenly Father, and of His son Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, is power . 

Hosea 4:1;6
1Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land
6¶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 hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children
This my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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