TO OUR MANY FRIENDS WHO HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE THAT WE ARE NO LONGER PROFESSING AND WHO ARE WONDERING ‘WHY’!
Up until a year ago last Milltown Convention, we had never doubted for a minute what we were told in the beginning of days for us, nearly thirty years ago now, that this way in which we have been a part was from the beginning because that was the way Jesus sent His disciples out into the world and there had never been a ‘break’ in that lineage to this day, as there has always been a ‘remnant’ in the world. This, we heartily accepted as gospel truth.
A year ago last Milltown, an old man told me that was not true, that this way started about the turn of the Century. This I did not believe but after I got home, I went to a friend of mine and told him what I had heard. His answer was ‘My dear friend, I could have told you that forty years ago, had I known you.’ We have been told over and over it is impossible to get saved unless we get saved thru the workers and no person can get saved in any other way. This friend told me those men originally were in what is known as the ‘Faith Mission’ which included William Ervine, Bill Carroll, May Carroll and others, and that out of this came ‘The Truth.’
Then I asked him a question, ‘If what they preach now is true, that we can’t get saved only thru workers, then HOW DID THOSE MEN GET IT?’ Further, I asked, ‘If that is true, what they preach now, since those in the beginning didn’t get it from anyone before them, then they were not and are not saved, so none of their converts are saved, you are not saved and neither am I. He shrugged his shoulder and said, ‘I can’t answer that one.’
Later, we visited with an ex-worker whose words I here quote, ‘When I started out in the work, my companion told me ‘this way has not been from the beginning but when you preach, you preach that it has been from the beginning.” ‘Why?’ We shall see later. After this, I went to one of the dearest workers we have ever known since Ethel Wright was taken in death and asked her the same thing and if it were true. She verified it was. Then I asked her the same questions as the other friend and got about the same answer.
When I gave my heart to the Lord, I gave it all with no reservations thru this same ministry and none can honestly accuse me of letting my choice from that day, ever diminish. Those of you who knew me during the war years well know the days and nites for weeks and months Vera and I spent trying to meet the needs of ‘our boys’ and spent everything we had for Jesus’ sake, trying to encourage and admonish those who were about to leave us perhaps never to return and not once did we make a trip to the fort ‘to be seen of men’ but we did it for those who seemed to be considered ‘least in the kingdom of heaven’!
One of the friends in Tacoma asked us one day, ‘I don’t see how you can afford to go to the fort so often, etc.’ What she didn’t know was that there were days we wondered what we would feed them if they did come, but we can face the world now with a clear conscience that not one will ever be able to face us with an accusing finger that we ever gave anyone a hint that we were in need.
‘Why?’ Because we did for His sake, and not once did He ever forsake us or leave us with ‘nothing’ left. One young G.I. said to me one day how he looked forward to the time when he would again be free so he could have a nice home like ours ‘where the workers could come and feel at home.’ This hurt me and I answered him, ‘C—, when you get home and build your home, you build, it and plan it where the least in the kingdom of God will feel at home, and the workers will always feel at home there.’
So many seem to think it’s the workers who are only to be considered. Jesus took special note of that poor old woman who cast her penny into the treasury and said she had done more than all.
It has been evident for years that so many will do only for those by whom they will be lauded for what they did but Jesus said, ‘They have their reward.’ Many a time we would get a call from the fort such as, ‘I just got orders to prepare to leave and wonder if you could come out as would like to have one more visit with you.’ Out we would go to encourage them to never forget our Father was controlling the whole universe and would never forsake His own and would do the little we could do and assure them that God would do what we could not do. Their love for us was its own reward if there is none laid up for us over yonder.
We are still ‘Mom’ and ‘Pop’ to some of them, And now, this chaos comes into our lives. The weeks that followed this enlightenment put us in a state of shock where we could not read or pray and many were the tears shed that none knows anything about and Satan at the same time telling us from within, ‘See, there’s nothing to this whole idea anyway, etc.’
About this time the rumors began floating around that we were no longer professing. We first got ‘wind’ of this from a friend in Oregon who had heard it and was kind enough to write to find out, ‘whether these things were so,’ and what was the matter, as she and her sister-in-law had received the gospel thru us.(We appreciated them wanting to give us this recognition but feel it was not altogether right).
Next, we received a letter from a woman in Porter, Wash, a convert of Lenny Johnson and Bill Hunter who had heard the same report. That evening I called her long distance to save her any further concern and then I asked her who told her such a thing. I quote her answer, ‘I don’t know, I got a long-distance call from Tacoma and the woman on the other end of the line said, ‘I just called to tell you if you haven’t already heard that Ralph and Vera are no longer professing’ and I said I wouldn’t believe it unless Ralph tells me himself, who am I talking to?’ ‘Well as you won’t believe it, there is no more use talking and she hung up.”
In order to show what a cowardly trick this was, will have to tell you a little about this woman. She is dying slowly of cancer and loneliness is a large part of her distress. When Bill left for the Philippines, he told me anything we could do for her would be greatly appreciated. From then on we visited her nearly every other weekend for months, or up until Vera had to go to the hospital a year ago last Oct. From then on, I either went alone or took one of the other friends and went. We kept no record of the trips nor the many miles as we were doing this also, for His sake and could not mention it as a sacrifice compared to what Christ has done for us.
I also realize that in telling this at this late date I am taking from the treasure already laid up on the other side but I am willing for that if it will give our ‘former’ friends the true picture of our present position. The trip down there was 85 miles one way but not once had we ever mentioned this fact to anyone as it seemed unimportant in comparison to what our fellowship amounted to. We still have in our possession many letters from her telling us no one ever comes to see her except the Behrens and ourselves and that workers had not been to see her (at that time) since Bill left.
Twice, I asked workers in our district to write to workers in her district and see if they wouldn’t go see her. The day before Christmas, a year ago, five workers came to Bob Krack’s home which is just two miles from this woman, stayed till the day after New Year (acc. to her letter we still have), and not one of them came to see her in that whole week. I asked Gay if she had written. She said she had and received an answer saying they planned to visit her but had not yet done so as were so busy. I said to myself, ‘Yes, busy, but doing what?’
Friends, does this savor of Christ? Did Jesus not say, ‘In as much as ye do it unto one of the least of these my brethren.’ God knows she is one of the least so far as being able to do for others but will this ‘clear’ us on that day?? There was no recognition in doing for that poor soul so none bothered with her.
I suppose some will read this and accuse me of boasting but friends this is not, true, as already have said I am willing to lose my eternal reward in order to be able to tell the whole truth at my own eternal expense.
Later, came special meetings in Tacoma. This woman was there and one of our friends saw her talking with one of the workers for some length of time and the following Thursday we received a letter from her telling us she neither wanted to see or hear from us again. To anyone who doubts the truth of these statements, we still have her letters and are willing to show them to anyone who wishes to see them.
Vera wrote to her in spite of being told not to and asked her to use her reasoning, to remember what we had done, all the trips, bringing her things she could eat, giving her a little money now and then to say nothing of writing her every week or oftener. Asked her to abide by John 4:1 to believe not every spirit but to try the spirits, etc. She never answered.
Do you think that experiences like these were easy to from those you had believed were your true brethren for nearly thirty years? And this was only the beginning of things to come, we later found out.
Finally, after weeks of solitude so far as God was concerned, I said to myself, ‘Well you’re sure not getting anywhere this way so you’d better try to pray and see if you can get to the place where you can again hear the Lord.’ This I did, pleading with Him to help me to what was His will for me, The answer that came back to me was, ‘whosoever will do His Will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ I quit praying and said to myself, ‘There’s the answer to the whole thing, at the turn of the century, there were a few men and women who actually were willing to do His will so He gave to them His doctrine, just as He had promised to do. Also, that when Jesus said whosoever, that was just what He meant.
Then I went back to the worker I had talked to at the beginning and told her what I had been told, then said to her, ‘Apparently there were some who were actually willing to do His will so He gave them just what He promised He would, but WHY DO YOU PREACH THAT IT HAS BEEN PROM THE BEGINNING WHEN THAT IS NOT TRUE? WOULD IT NOT BE FAR BETTER TO TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH RATHER THAN TO FIND OUT LATER THEY HAD BUILT THEIR FOUNDATION ON A LIE?
A short time later, Vera received a letter from up North where this worker was then preaching and she told Vera of the new light they had been hearing how that ever so often God raises up someone else to carry on His work. Would it not have been better to have always preached it this way?
After this, many things began to come into mind that we had just taken as a matter of necessity but since we began to see the things that were so unChristlike amongst us, we began to wonder about these other things also, which just didn’t ‘add up’ in His perfect way. We have known for years that Jack Carroll and George Walker have been at ‘bitter ends’ with each other and for us to go to convention and hear Jack tell about the Catholic and the Orangeman that knew they were saved because at one time they hated each other but now they loved each other and some of us would wonder how come he preaches ‘love’ to us but he manifests ‘hate’ to George and vice-versa.
Lest some of you doubt the truth of this, can you give any other answer as to why George has not been in Jack’s territory for over 28 years, as he has never been here since I decided.
Friends, is this consistent with what Jesus taught? Since then we have seen evidence of great injustices here and there. For instance, a year ago last Oct. Vera went to the hospital and had recently returned and her folks came to see us and told us during their visit what they had heard UP THERE IN CANADA, ‘That while Vera was recuperating from her operation, Ralph was sitting out in his car with another woman, instead of being in comforting his wife.’
Incidentally, this was true but had they quoted the rest of it, the stigma would not have been left that was left, but they left it just exactly the way they wanted it to be. They then found out the other woman in this ‘triangle affair’ was none other than Mabel Gibson who had spent some three hours in the car with me that day discussing the very things I am now telling you about, and thank God there is one worker willing to visit with us about the things our hearts are so concerned about and I challenge any person so rotten in mind as to connect or insinuate that Mabel’s character is not beyond reproach.
After many of these experiences, I said to one of our friends I had come to the conclusion this really is God’s true way, but it has been corrupted. She answered, ‘I’m glad to hear you say that as I, too, could not believe this was not His way.’ Some were blaming my ‘stand’ on poor old August Gustafson who, incidentally, was the first worker to take the Gospel to Sweden. While it. is true, we entertained him in our home, we did not at that time agree with him in some things but this, no doubt was because at that time we, ourselves were so confused we would have argued with anyone, searching for the loose end we felt we had suddenly lost.
So he left us, and at that time we were not too much concerned if we ever saw him again, but the fact we entertained him seemed to be our undoing so far as some were concerned. Some would treat animals kinder than we were to treat him. Some friends in Tacoma received him as a long-lost brother, sensed nothing wrong with his spirit and made him promise he would return for another visit then ‘they got the word’ and called him and told him not to come.
Because the human element entered, what may have been of Christ had to flee. Later I received a phone call, asking me to come to a certain place. When I got there, there were two workers there and the elder said to me, ‘Ralph, you asked me some questions last nite I couldn’t answer and since E— was in the work in Sweden the same time as August, I felt she could answer your questions better than I could.’ I prepared to listen.
She started out, ‘Well Ralph one thing that I heard was that his morals –.’ There I stopped her and said, ‘If all you have to say about him is what you have heard, then I refuse to listen to another word; if he has wronged you, tell me about it, if not, say no more for I have had some of the stinkiest things said about me that could be said about anyone which were not true so I don’t want to hear what you have heard.’
By this time, I was crying as I was so terribly hurt. This ended the conversation. Later, I went back and apologized to her for ‘blowing up,’ as I believe she is a very sincere person who just got off the wrong foot so far as I was concerned. To further cause us to feel this was God’s way corrupted was because of seeing some excommunicated, even without a hearing. I had heard of these folks for some time and seen them at the hall and had heard certain things about them so I wrote to Malcolm Graham and told him we had met the folks but understood they were not allowed fellowship and I was wondering what the charges were against them.
Now, for a little while, lets look at the Bible: John 7:51 THE JEWISH LAW – ‘Doth our law judge a man before it hear him and know what he doeth?’ THE ROMAN LAW – Acts 25:16, ‘It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face and have license to answer himself concerning the crime laid against him.’ Then Festes said (27v) It seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.’THE UNITED STATES LAW – Trial by jury. In the ‘Christian Conventions’ (a term to be explained later) a person or persons can be excommunicated without a hearing of any kind, neither in the presence of friends or enemies, one person can sever all relationship between God and Man, is true. THIS IS NOTHING ELSE, PURE AND SIMPLE THAN THE HATED COMMUNISM. Or do we hate communism? This was the essence of what I wrote Malcolm.
Need I say, I never received an answer. Then I wrote to Jack Carroll and asked him the same questions. Received no answer. This took place about the same time as Silverdale convention last year where Willie Jamieson said from the platform that one of the friends had brought him a letter written by a fellow from Seattle (allow a little room for error here as I did not hear it direct) ‘—And this fellow said there is no use for workers as they are not needed in the Lord’s work, etc.’
After he had elaborated on this fellow’s deception for some time and meeting ended, he told a friend of mine that I was the person that said this. This I was unwilling to take without a challenge so I wrote to him, and asked him if he had the letter or if he could get it, as I had written no such thing, not being so foolish to make such a statement in the light of Jesus telling us to pray the Lord the harvest that He would send forth laborers, etc. That what I did say was that everyone from youngest to oldest knows that the natural is a type of the spiritual family, so let’s look, in the natural before going on.
The reason these things came so real was because a Doctor friend of ours one day asked me, ‘Just what does it mean to be born again?’ as he is much interested in these things. It was only as I began to tell him, that the whole story began to come clear in my own mind. In the natural family, there is first the man and wife, next, conception, then developing or gestation period. All doctors know that for every seed that is used in conception upwards of two million are not used. Why!
Because they never get to the place where they can be used. Does this not explain why Jesus said, ‘Many are called but few chosen.’ Why! because for the same reason, they never get to the place where they can be used of God. All this time the child knows nothing of life, of death, of lite, of darkness, of joy, of sorrow, good or evil, all it can do is ‘kick’. It has neither love nor hate for its parents. Then comes time to be born. Remember, the natural is a type of the spiritual so in the natural, WHERE WAS THE THIRD PARTY IN CONCEPTION? Is there a third party then, in spiritual birth?
Look into Paul’s experience and see what he tells about it (Gal.1:1) Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God, the Father,’ etc. (11v) I certify you brethren that the gospel which was preached of me is NOT AFTER MAN, (12v) For I NEITHER RECEIVED IT OF MAN, NEITHER WAS I TAUGHT IT, BUT BY REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. (l5v) When it pleased God etc. to reveal His Son in me, I IMMEDIATELY CONFERRED NOT WITH FLESH AND BLOOD, NEITHER WENT I UP TO JERUSALEM TO THEM WHO WERE APOSTLES BEFORE ME.’
Why have we never in all the years heard these verses spoken of. Also, WHERE WAS THE THIRD PARTY in his spiritual conception? AFTER BIRTH, AND ONLY THEN, DOES THE SERVANT COME INTO THE PICTURE.
Salvation is between an individual and his God, the bride and the Bridegroom. After that Paul had an experience with the Lord then he said, ‘What will thou have me to do?’ Naturally or spiritually, there has to be a ‘family foundation’, or ‘family institution.’ In the old world, a servant was a regular part of a family, this is born out over and over again by scripture.
When the child was born THEN AND THEN ONLY DID THE SERVANT COME INTO THE PICTURE, to take the child and care for it and nourish it and teach it the ways of the family in which it has become a part. However, remember, there is a father in this household and as long as the father is present (or isn’t our Heavenly Father always Present?) the servant does not rule. However, he does teach and admonish and serve the household BUT HE DOES NOT RULE. These were the things I had in my letter Willie referred to but he only told half of the truth and anyone who hears only half a truth hears a lie. Later, I have studied this even more carefully as feel I cannot afford to be wrong. Willie never answered.
Now then, look at the LOST COIN, it was lost but it had not the intelligence to know it was lost, therefore it needed the servant (a worker) to search for it.
Next, the LOST SHEEP was lost, but unlike the coin, it had intelligence enough to know it was lost, BUT it didn’t have enough to know how to get back, so it also needed the servant (a worker) to search for it.
Now then, how about the PRODIGAL SON? Notice, Jesus said he was a son not that later he became a son. Friends, I do not profess to know all the answers AND well could be wrong in this but I wondered if this son Jesus was telling about was not the one who was created perfect in the image of the Father and was deceived thru the influence of his wife and because of riotous living was driven out of garden of Eden. When he came to himself he remembered what the provision of the Father had been and he returned.
No matter who he was, the fact remained when he returned to the Father, the Father never sent the servant out to meet him but HE RAN TO MEET HIM, HIMSELF, and AFTER they were united, THEN the Father gave the servant instructions ‘Kill the fatted calf, etc.’
Another scripture I have never heard quoted over thirty years now, even tho it is right next to verses which have been quoted hundreds of times. Rom.10:14, ‘how shall they hear without a preacher, how shall they preach except they be sent—so then faith cometh by hearing, etc.’
Now then, if you’ve ever heard the next verse spoken of, you’re one up on me. It says, ‘BUT, I say, have they not all heard, yes, verily their sound went into all the world and the words unto the ends of the earth.’ Again, in the 1st chapter, Paul tells them that the things that are made explains even His eternal God-Head etc., therefore leaves them without excuse. These days are the first time in my life I am beginning to understand these verses. Why!
Because they show clearly that God is not leaving such a precious thing as a man’s salvation in the hands of a man. Why, dear friends, have these verses gone unquoted thruout your generations? Is it because it would upset the teaching that you cannot get saved unless you get saved thru the workers? Does this not sound like we have kept hidden the greatness of God by keeping His bountiful love and mercy bound up in ‘The Truth?’ Here is another distorted picture of God’s true ministry. Is it scriptural for LEADERSHIP amongst the workers?
Does scripture bear out that one worker has the God-given right to oust another worker because he does not agree with his administration? Let’s look at Acts 15:37 …and Barnabas, determined to take with him John Mark, etc.’ Paul was not at all in accord with this and it says the contention became so strong between them that Paul chose Silas and they went one direction and Barnabas and Mark went into another district and note this carefully as you read it that GOD LEAVES ON RECORD THAT ALL FOUR BROUGHT (ETERNITY WILL ONLY REVEAL HOW MUCH) BLESSING TO GOD AND THE ONE WHO CAUSED THE DISSENTION HAD A GOSPEL WRITTEN AFTER HIS NAME.
Would this have been the outcome had Paul put Barnabas out of the work? What happens in this, our day, if a worker doesn’t fall in line with the older workers (which is, namely, Jack)? You know the answer as well as I but none dare to say so who are still under his jurisdiction. I wrote to another worker and asked him some of the same things also reminding him of what he once said to his companion after they had seen things wrong in Jack’s doings and one said to the other, ‘Lets challenge Jack on it,’ the other answered, ‘O no, you know what would happen if we did, you’d be back in Australia and I’d be back at the print shop,’
He hasn’t answered either, tho I reminded him of this. Then I wrote Jack again and told him that since none of them were gracious enough to answer any of my letters, that I was opening up our home to the Simpsons as well as any others who were unwelcome in ‘the truth.’ No answer.
On the 11 of September, 1955, we went to meeting as usual and when I began to speak from Romans 14:l Him that is weak in the faith, receive you—-for God hath received him. Then I said, ‘Every time I go to pray, I see (will omit names) these folks standing outside waiting for fellowship and myself on the inside,..’ Here Darold Jacobson stopped me by saying, ‘Here now, you can’t talk that way here.’ I answered, ‘You just settle down.’ He said again, ‘Well there’s a time and place for such’ (he didn’t know I had already exhausted every avenue I could think of.) I said I had written to all those in authority and with no success.
Then I further told the friends, ‘Listen friends, Jesus said, ‘the words I speak unto you the same will judge you on that day, we are not thinking of what is taking place today we are looking away off at the judgement.
‘t it be better to face these issues here and now than to have to face the consequences where the judgment can never be changed? We are not against personalities but a principle, a way of life, perhaps you folks won’t want me to come here for meeting anymore, that is up to you, but I just simply cannot be a part of setting myself as a judge of anyone.’
After the meeting, Darold came to me and said, ‘You won’t be refused to come here to meeting as long as you speak what is right.’ I said, ‘And when does Romans 14 cease to be right?’ He answered, ‘Well you can’t speak that way here anyway.’ I answered, ‘Listen Darold, I could have been very unkind to you today and told the whole church what you once did to me, but I was kind to you, now you be kind to me.’ He turned and walked to the other side of the room and kept out of my way from then on.
The following Wed. I received a phone call from the owner of the home telling me we were no long welcome in his home. I assured him there wasn’t the slightest hard feelings and that he would always be welcome in our home at any time. Later, we went to the hall and saw him there and he was as kind to me as tho nothing had taken place, and I also was to him, but someone later said to me, ‘What a hypocrite.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, a hypocrite?
I saw in that man the same thing I saw in Jesus the night Judas betrayed Him, and He said ‘Friend, wherefore art thou come.’ I see no hypocrisy in that.
I’m quite sure those who knew the situation that nite and saw visiting us together must have wondered ‘How can such be?’
Truly it was a miracle to behold in this present age but it did prove once and for all that two people who have the right spirit are going to show it no matter what their convictions for I well know that the owner of that home was just as sure he was doing the right thing as I was that I had done the right thing. Not that it was the best thing to do but after one has exhausted every other way, is it out of the way to take it unto the church as we are told to do anyway if we believe the Bible way of getting a wrong righted.
Anyway, when we returned home that nite we thanked God for folks with a determination to be right in spirit. Anyone who dares disagree with the workers is immediately in disrepute and then the unkind rumors begin to spread and just in case you don’t believe this, all you have to do ask some of the same ‘awkward’ questions I have enumerated then you will be convinced everything I have said is true, and will need no further proof.
Not one worker has been here to visit us since we were told we were no longer welcome, is this not proof they sanctioned what had been done to us, a mission at present in the home where we used to go and we have not so much as had a phone call. If a sheep is born, then strays from the fold (as we’re supposed to have done) what is the duty of the shepherd? In straying, did the sheep’s nature change to a wolf? Is it not still a sheep? If so then, did the shepherds flee because they were hirelings and cared not for the sheep?
In this, we are having fellowship with our brother Paul when he said of the rest of the workers, ‘All have forsaken me, save one.’ We can also use his words in prayer, We pray God it not be laid to their charge for they just don’t realize the stand we have taken. Some are completely innocent of these scriptures but the older workers are referred to in Prov.29:19, A servant will not be corrected by words, for tho he understand, he will not answer. How true. More words from Solomon in Prov. Four things the earth is disquieted etc. A servant when he reigneth, etc. Does this not explain the disquietness in the earth (these earthen vessels of ours)
Only one Christian man has been to see us to date, a young convert to whom we had very little to say as he was too young to get mixed up in such a terrible situation. We told him we were terribly sorry he ever was told anything about us. I will be chided for writing this but who will be chided for telling all the things that have been untrue about us?
During the time all this was going on, we found there were others in different parts of the world who were going thru similar experiences. In Australia, the situation was even worse than here as whole churches had been put out by Bill Carroll for they knew not what, it seemed to be a wholesale purge, but the truth finally came out that it was over the fact that Bill had been living in a large estate called “Rosebud” for ten years, with two sister workers to wait on him and care for the house and two workers to care for the gardens, act as chauffer and care for the launch that went with the place. In all those years none of these had ever been to a meeting (mission) and folks everywhere were getting up in arms about it, which was the root cause of all the trouble.
Then, when we heard of one of the wealthy friends over there who had a terrible experience with ‘The Truth’ and we were worried for fear he would turn bitter so when we heard he planned to come to the States, I wrote him in Ireland, inviting him to stop by if he came this way, which he did a couple of weeks later and told the story that convinced us we were not too far wrong in our attitude. He told of his worldwide investigation of ‘The Truth,’ talked to many who were in the beginning of it at the turn of the century and that the whole idea was formed in the mind of William Ervine and that when he visited Alfred McGowan, Alfred told him he visited William just before he died in Jerusalem and William said, ‘Well, Alfred, it was a great experiment.’
He answered, ‘You mean to say it was only an experiment to you?’
He verified it was.
Then Alfred said, ‘Well, it may have been just an experiment to you, but it was an experience to me.’
Then he told him how that the Carrolls and George Walker had deliberately stole ‘the way’ from him. Does this not sound as if William Ervine were the founder of it? But there is more proof to follow later.
Today, as I was meditating, I felt we really have been quite gullible in believing that salvation can come only thru man. Paul told Timothy, there is ONE GOD AND ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN, the man Christ Jesus. Where does this leave man to come into this salvation? Man is only human and God knows that, therefore, would He put a man’s salvation in the hands of a man? Man (workers) as I have already pointed out, have a great and noble place in God’s plan of salvation but would to God they knew their limitations the same as they wish us to do. Notice what happened at Jesus’ death, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom.
What did this represent? Up until this time the priests (workers, if you wish) WERE THE ONLY ONES ALLOWED TO GO BEHIND THIS VEIL TO BRING FORTH TO THE CONGREGATION A MESSAGE FROM GOD. BUT THIS WAS DEFINITLY DONE AWAY WITH FOREVER WHEN JESUS SO UNSELFISHLY GAVE HIMSELF AS AN OFFERING FOR SIN FOR ALL TIME TO COME.
I have been likened unto Uzziah by one of the workers in that I had meddled in the affairs of the priesthood by taking a young man on a trip with us to Canada where he decided in the presence of five workers one evening up there and at any time I should have broken out with leprosy.
Why do they wish to go along with part of the Old Law and disdain other parts of it, seems I read if we kept the law yet offended in one point, we were guilty of all. Let’s leave the law of sin for the law of righteousness thru Christ.Dan.12:13 says that in the last days knowledge shall be increased. I used to think this spoke of natural knowledge but now I am sure he referred to spiritual knowledge as these things have been hid for over fifty years from the Christians and just before the passing away of these old men who were there when it started, such as Ed Cooney, Matt. Wilson, Mr. Kelland, Alfred McGowan, August Gustafson, as well as George Walker and Jack (who can’t agree), May Carroll and others.
God, in His great mercy has exposed the truth and given liberty to those who have cried ‘by reason of the bondage’. Now you may wonder if I still believe this is God’s true way corrupted – Yes, I see it clearly in the heart of God when He sent His Son to earth but the corruption sat in long before I had anticipated that it had, as in the beginning there were no leaders they all went out, came back together, prayed half the night getting the mind of God as to where to go next.
This was the way – uncorrupted but long ago. Since, during these past months I see clearly WHY it got corrupted. The scriptures themselves tell the story. The fault lies right at the feet of the Christians, the same as it has always done. In the Old Testament the children of Israel wanted a king so they could be like the other nations round about them. This did not please God but they ‘prayed’ for a king so God answered their prayer and gave them what they prayed for. Why did this displease God? Because He solely wanted to be their Leader, but they couldn’t see God and they wanted a leader they could see.
Jack and George could see this human weakness fifty years ago and saw their chance to take over the leadership in Israel and at present it looks as if they may wind up the same as Saul did but we sincerely hope and pray they will see their mistake and turn from it. One worker told us there had to be some sort of rule amongst us to keep things in order.
I asked, ‘And what is wrong with our heavenly Father, is He not still on the throne?’ Another said, ‘If there was no one to tell us where to go, we might all want to go to the same place.’
How silly. If they are controlled by God, would they all go to the same place? And if they are not controlled by God, they have no business in the work in the first place. To some, His Spirit is very much in evidence and just as powerful in their lives as ever to lead aright but to others, they seek something they can see, and hence the Lord has to take second place which causes a leanness to creep in amongst us which generates the same result as it always has done.
Recently we have had the privilege of meeting Matt Wilson and his wife. Matt was preaching the gospel before he ever met any of the Faith Mission. Then he met William Ervine and joined hands with him, and George Walker and Matt preached together the first mission George ever preached. So we asked him to tell us about the first days which he gladly did and we got a better understanding of what Jesus had in His heart when He came to earth, as Matt and his wife are still, after 59 years giving their lives as a living sacrifice without the support of head workers, and have a few converts here and there, some of which we have had the privilege of meeting and had it not been for seeing the uncorruption in their lives, we may not yet have seen His Way as it was in the day He lived on earth.
Matt told us that after he was with the others for some time, then George sat himself up as the leader and began telling the rest of the workers where to go and who to go with and after a few years he could not go along with this in getting up and telling people that God sent them to certain places when God had nothing to do with it so he went to George and told him they used to sit at the same table, they used to sleep in the same bed, used to preach together and now ‘you go to the soft places and tell the rest of us where to go and I am thru with it and plan to go it alone and if I can’t continue I will take a job.’
Again I say those were the days when there were a few who had not corrupted His way. From thereon, he separated himself from what was destined to be God’s true way brought back to the world after the ‘dark ages’ but, instead, became ‘Christian Conventions’.
Ed Cooney, unwilling to abide by this same leadership doctrine also was ex-communicated because of the pact made in 1928, amongst the workers, as well as others even to the present days which included dear old Charlie Morgan who disagreed with Jack and for doing so was given a Japanese companion which was to humble him. When it didn’t accomplish this he was given him again the next year. When this failed, he got none and later died of a broken heart in the home of ‘outcasts’ and we understand another outcast put a stone on his grave and all this time most of us were ignorant of what was going on until long after he was gone to his grave. Such is the fate of one who dares to challenge a leader’s authority. Ethel Wright told one of the friends if she dared to say anything to Jack of what was going on, ‘Every door would be shut against me.’
Notice how a true servant is pictured by Peter (1 Pet.5:3) Neither as being lords over God’s heritage but being ensamples (a copy of the example) to the flock. Jesus told His own disciples: ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them BUT YE SHALL NOT BE SO, he that would be greatest must be servant of all. Remember a servant lives in, but does not rule the home.
Friends, these are words of Jesus and not mine and will be the words that will judge us on that day. Had we really ‘given up’ and gone back on Christ, there never would have been all this consternation about us but as it is the workers hardly know what to do with us or what course to take as they (the older ones) know we know what we are talking about and there seems no way to keep this truth from spreading.
Personally I am not trying to make proselytes, whether anyone or no one agrees to what they read and compare with the scriptures, what you do is entirely up to you as individuals before God but, as for me, I have ‘delivered my soul’, and my heart is more determined than ever to serve Him the rest of my life to the very best of my ability. One of the friends said to us, ‘If this is not the right way, what do you feel has kept us together all these years?’ At the time, I could give no reasonable answer but now I believe I have the answer. We knew that we had to submit completely to God but we were taught we also had to submit to His way (as seen thru this ministry) Herein were two errors, first, if we submit to Him, He shows us such great things then, that we don’t have to submit to His way, we see so much love, mercy, joy and peace that we submit to His way in spite of ourselves. Second: If we had to submit thru the workers, it would be another law added, which law we have been told was until Christ only. Luke 16 So love is just that powerful as it takes away all law amongst God’s true people.
Now I know it was not the way that has kept me going but the Christ within, on the inside where none can see but Him. His mercy overlooks my shortcomings (which are many) His presence guides my steps and His love compels us to go onward to the end of the race. What did Jesus say about the tares? Some of those who have been put out (even if they were nothing more than tares) does that give workers license to put them out? Did He not rather say let them grow together then at the harvest God (not workers) would send forth the Angels to gather out the tares to be burned. But we discredit what God has said and go ahead putting others out.
At Silverdale and various other places for the past two years, Jack Carroll has told of the Carroll’s 200 years of service and that he thought this was a pretty good record, etc. What chaff to feed the Lord’s people. Look at Noah, one man served the Lord for 600 years in building the ark and 350 years afterwards he still served. 950 years and not once do we read where he boasted of it. I told one of the workers what I thought of this and she told me they didn’t honor him for what he is now but what he has been. Paul feared lest when he had preached to others, he himself should be a cast away. Look at the body, have we forgotten the picture Paul gives us in Corinthians? Is the leg more important than the little finger? Of course it is—until you want to scratch your ear then the little finger becomes the most important member even tho so small.
Notice, there is only ONE HEAD to each body. The leg has no mind of its own, even tho it is such a large member. Is it possible some members are trying to become a part of the Head instead of being satisfied to remain as a member of the body. Jesus said, ‘..and all ye are brethren’ (not masters or lords). Love is still the all-powerful influence in the world and nothing else will ever take its place either in natural or spiritual life. It is the waning of this love in evidence that has cause us great concern these past days and we have told only the things of seeming greatest importance. After that we had found out we were not the only ones that were finding the answers to our questions hard to get and that no one seemed to want to answer legitimate questions, especially the older workers who should have known all the answers if we use Peter as an example (1 Pet.3:l5) ‘Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is within you,’ etc. A person also seems to be in disrepute amongst the workers for even abiding by II Tim.2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, etc.
We did this and see where we are – outside (they think). So from here on, we were more anxious than ever to get to the bottom of the whole issue, as we could see clearer and clearer that it was getting further from even when we first met up with it.##
Perhaps the most important document we have at present is the one, a photostatic copy of a letter written by George Walker to our United States Government sent out by the authority in answer to a request. Prior to March 24, 1942, George Walker wrote to the Government asking certain concessions and they wrote back asking for further information regarding his request. On above date they received his answer. I have the whole copy anyone is perfectly free to see but to save space, will quote only a small portion here: ‘We take this opportunity to state that during the closing years of the last century and the first years of this century, a number of people in the British Isles and in America were exercised in heart and mind thru their study of the scriptures in regards to the methods of preaching and worship in the several churches of which they were THEN MEMBERS.’ (unquote.
Does this not verify what I have already told you?) Again quote: ‘They were deeply concerned about spiritual things and became fully convinced that there should be a return to the methods and purposes taught by Jesus and carried out by Him and His disciples.’ Now then, I would like to ask you a fair question, WHY DID THEY KEEP THIS SUCH A DEEP DARK SECRET FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS? AND EVEN THEN, IT WAS NOT THEY, BUT OTHERS WHO LET IT OUT THEN.
Could this be the reason when a poor old man like August comes around, the workers hasten to warn everybody everywhere not to let him in as he is an impostor, a child of the devil and even one of Satan’s angels. The answer seems obvious, had they admitted this way has not been from Jesus day, they doubtless never would have had the power over people of God they now exercise so freely, but to be led to believe they are the remnant spoken of gives them great authority as they then can hold the fear of being lost over the Christian’s head, that, ‘You do as I say or out you go and your only hope of salvation goes out with you.’
So, none of us who have had a great love for God would want to be shut out of His presence forever so we submitted and as long as they could hold us under this rule and believed they were the only living descendants of the early disciples they were safe to act as ‘lord’s over God’s heritage.’I have also in my possession a piece of paper with the ‘Christian Convention’ seal embossed on it.
Around the edge it says: Assemblies of Christians, Pacific Coast States, U.S.A In the center in large letters is the word SEAL. Another fair question, for a people who have no church property (if true) no headquarters, not registered as a denomination (herein disproved) then WHAT DO WE NEED WITH AN OFFICIAL SEAL?
We also have our own stationary headings. Do you know the workers are ordained? and that they carry ordination papers with them? I have a photostatic copy of two different ones signed by two different ‘head workers’. One told me he carried a card with the word ‘Clergy’ stamped on it and when he went on the train and showed his card and they said, ‘Clergy, eh?’ and how foolish he felt.
Next, we have a letter from Neal M Wherry, Major, UAS chief, Legal and classification Section, Camp Operations. In a query partially quoted here: ‘Receipt of your letter is here acknowledged as of Nov. 13, 1946, regarding the ‘Christian Convention’
people or Assemblies of Christians.’ It is noted that you requested information regarding this organization with specific reference to the question of the expression of any views regarding conscientious objectors. This headquarters has issued a pre-determination that ‘Christian Convention’ is a recognised church, religious sect, or a religious organization, within the meaning of Section 622.44 of the Selective Service Regulations. This pre-determination was based upon the INFORMATION PROCURED DIRECTLY FROM OFFICIALS OF THE CHURCH; NAMELY GEORGE WALKER (OVERSEER), 2350 Susquehanna Ave. Philadelphia, Pa.’ Following is a reasonable facsimile of their letterheads.
C H R I S T I A N C O N V E N T I O N S
Representing Assemblies of Christians Assuming This Name Only
Is this not an admission that we have assumed a name? Is it worse for the Methodists to assume a name than for us to do so? When we have preachers everywhere to everyone we HAVE NO NAME. Can we still claim this to be true?
After I began to see these things I decided to write to the one I had professed thru and tell her how I saw things now, referring to many of the things contained herein and I quote her answer:
Box 455, Chelan
Oct. 6, 1955
My dear Ralph:
Your letter gave me great sadness of heart. Do pray you will come to place of true humility and repentance. Don’t feel I can really express on paper how I feel. Beware lest God’s voice be silenced forever,
Here is my answer to her:
Oct. 9, 1955
Our dear Mabel:
We had hoped you would have taken my letter more seriously but its contents only verified what we have feared. Mabel, is it true you have not even one scriptural verse to substantiate your position, if so then we are more sure than ever that He is ours and we are His. We had our first little meeting here this morning and Matt.18:20 has never been more real. We are entirely satisfied with what He offers us, Mabel, so please do not grieve for us and remember you are always welcome in our home for we could never forget your kindness of days gone by. Our truest love goes with this to you as always,
In Him, Ralph and family. (No answer to date.)
Now in closing, we hope we have not left the impression we don’t believe there are sincere workers or Christians as we know very well there are in every part of the world in the Christian Convention people as well as others who have never known His way but by faithful living they may yet be led to His fold while still on this side of the grave. We are told there shall be one fold. However, would it not be wonderful to see all once again doing as Jack has so often quoted ‘In this fellowship, all serve and none rule.’ Would to God this were true.
Now then, friends, do you honestly believe we have nothing on which to base that stand we have taken.
Would it not be far better to have told the truth and that it was up to them what they would do about it which would have left the responsibility where it belonged, in the heart of each individual, then the workers would have been a joy to our hearts acting in an advisory capacity only, the same as others of days gone by instead of trying to force their wills onto those for whom Christ (not man) made the supreme sacrifice.
Had they not gotten to the place where they became demanding, they may have kept many in ignorance for many years yet but their spirit they have manifested only verifies what was in their hearts, which has been their undoing. Let us all pray earnestly the Lord will lead us back to Himself so He can have all the praise, all the honor, all the glory which is rightly His for His Name’s sake.
Ralph Derkland and family. (hand-signed)
EPILOGUE by Don Derkland
Son of Ralph and Elvera Derkland
Ralph E. Derkland: March 23, 1909 – March 2, 1969
Elvera S. Derkland: June 11, 1907 – December 7, 1993
Married September 18, 1936
Bertha Mae was born in 1937
Eldon (Don) was born in 1942
After leaving meetings, we attended a little church in the Magnolia District of Seattle. The pastor was formerly an Assembly of God Evangelist. Dad had heard his radio broadcast and decided to attend his church. They had a wonderful youth program, and I soon had a crush on the pastor’s daughter. I believe this was about the Spring of 1959.
The pastor was the most charismatic man that I had ever met. Now, just think about coming out of “the truth,” and getting involved with an Assembly of God type of church who spoke in tongues, etc. Until their dying day, Mom and Dad were disappointed that they were never filled with the Holy Spirit, and that they never experienced the prophesying or speaking in tongues. Until my dying day, I will say it wasn’t at all important and that they both had the love of God in their heart and that was all that mattered. Looking back, I remember my folks finding it so difficult to accept the speaking in tongues, etc., because of our background. However, they loved the people in the church so much that it overrode that. Remember the story of Jim Jones in Guyana? I fully understand how that happened. We wouldn’t have gone that far, but we believed that this was indeed the one true church and Jesus could return any time. Dad sold our home and gave all the money to the ministry. We would fast and pray for days on end; going to the church four or five times a week. I didn’t play basketball or tennis my senior year in high school because it would interfere with church. I’m extremely sorry about what I missed my senior year, but I never really let myself dwell on it long enough to get bitter. I grew so much as a person with the whole experience that I refer to those several years as what made me into the person I am. Speaking in the church, singing in the choir and soloing was the perfect background for someone who would eventually make their living in sales. The format of our church service was such that there were times when anybody could speak or sing, etc., and it was a good thing.
Dad was an elder in the church. There were a few ups and downs, but mostly it was good. The church bought a home on acreage and we built a new church there. It became Covington Creek Bible Camp. There was a little two-bedroom house on the grounds that Mom and Dad moved into. My sister, Bertha Mae, passed away quite a few years ago (a stroke). She never really followed in Dad’s footsteps. She wasn’t an atheist, but church just wasn’t her thing and, of course, we loved her the very same.
In 1965 while I was in the Army in Germany, Dad had his first stroke. Mom had never worked or drove after they were married, so I left the Army on a hardship discharge to help out. Dad almost got well enough to drive when he had a massive stroke that took his life in 1969. He was speaking in the Sunday church service when it happened and didn’t suffer any pain. It was just so appropriate that he would die in the church doing what he surely believed was his calling.
Mom continued to live on the church grounds. Eventually, there was a scandal involving the pastor and the church disbanded and most of the congregation went their separate ways. Mom moved near us and never once wavered in her belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have pondered something throughout the last thirty years. Does the pastor’s sin take away from what he taught and the experiences we had in the church? I don’t think so. I’m sure every person that was in that church continued to serve the Lord in whatever capacity they could. In January of 1964, I was in basic training at Fort Ord, California. I had been there about two weeks and was feeling down. I went out to the parade grounds about 9:00 one night and looked up to the sky and stars and cried, “Oh Lord, I am so lonely.” I can’t begin to describe the feeling of love that swept through my entire being right there on the spot–nobody can take that from me.
Click here to read Ralph Derkland Letter No. 2