Dealing with Heresies
Heretical teaching explicitly denies essential biblical truth, while aberrational teaching compromises or confuses essential biblical truth. Cultic doctrines deny the biblical teaching regarding the identity of God. There are heresies, aberrational doctrines and cultic doctrines within the Two by Two system.
They redefined the word “Faith.” Irvine, Cooney and his followers believed that faith was connected to poverty. “Money and bank accounts undermine faith.” “Organization undermines faith.” They used the word “faith” as a synonym for “dependency on God for daily provision.” They ignored the use of the word “faith” in reference to trust in Christ’s blood for salvation. Irvine and Cooney mocked those who trust in Christ’s blood to save them. They said it takes more than that.
But the Bible and the dictionary defines “Faith” differently than Irvine and Cooney did. Faith is trust in the truth of what God has revealed in His Word. Faith is trust in God and His Son Jesus Christ alone for salvation and for everything else. Faith is revealed by both word and action in response to God’s Word.
Irvine felt that one could not be truly humble, trustworthy or saved unless one was poor, uneducated and disheveled. Ironically, even as he claimed to be humble and penniless, his arrogance seemed to grow with every sermon. And every sermon and letter displayed his breach with Christianity. He preferred a Bohemian lifestyle and called it biblical.
One worker said, “We are more than just a body who do things a certain way. We seek to renounce the things Jesus renounced such as salaries, church buildings, collections for the ministry, etc.”
There isn’t a verse in the Bible that says Jesus renounced the use of buildings for public worship, tithing, scriptural education, worship and praise of God, or financial provision for charity. The workers are even more opposed to Christian doctrines, worship services and charitable activities than they are to Christian administration and buildings.
Did Jesus renounce the Jewish faith or faith in Himself? No. He fulfilled the Jewish faith and kept its traditions. He only objected to hypocrisy and the keeping of rules while mistreating people and ignoring the point of the traditions. Did He tell people not to worship him? No. He said if people didn’t worship him then the stones would cry out. Luke 19:37-40. He said they must believe in him in order to have eternal life. Did Jesus tell people to dress a certain way? No. Did Jesus tell them not to help the poor? No. He commanded them to help the poor and the hungry. Matthew 25:35-46
Did He renounce financial support for church buildings and the ministry? No. Jesus praised the widow who gave her two mites for the upkeep of the Temple. Mark 12:42. Did He say to stop tithing? No He said to tithe. Matthew 23:23 Did He say not to study the holy scripture? No, He taught the scripture and told his disciples to teach it. Matthew 28:19. He and the apostles taught in synagogues and at the Temple. Luke 4:16; 6:6; 20:1; 24:53 Mark 6:2; 12:35. Did Jesus tell the apostles not to marry and have children? No. He didn’t renounce the things that the workers have renounced.
The workers’ failure to respect Jesus and the Holy Spirit as Creator is an insult to God. Their animosity towards all the Christians who preceded them and those who exist alongside of them displays their lack of love for God the Father. “If a man says he loves God and hates his brother, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 4:7
Irvine’s decision to reject Christian doctrines and reinvent the wheel put his followers in a scriptural and spiritual dark age. Is it their pride, their prejudice, their rigid system, their view of God or their ignorance that prevents them from doing any biblical research on their own? After more than 100 years they are no farther ahead than Irvine and Cooney were in their scriptural darkness. They just hide from the public, praise the workers and give their testimonies to each other. They still disagree with each other and betray one another just as Irvine, Cooney, the Carrolls and George Walker did.
Quoting one of Cooney’s statements about the passage in Luke 22:35-36, “When the whole passage is carefully read, the backslidden state of the Apostles is clear; because we are told:‘There was a strife among them to see who would be the greatest’– an evidence of the devil’s working in all ages.”
Irvine and Cooney not only accused clergymen in their day of being apostate but they accused the original apostles of being backslidden. They were quick to criticize others and one another. Their arrogance was more evident than their humility. There was and is more strife among Irvine and his followers than there ever was between Christ’s apostles.
Cooney preached, “Jesus was wounded because he was not afraid of men. He did not go about asking this man or that man what he thought but went straight through the land and pleased God. And because he did that, he displeased everyone else. The District Inspector has told me it is dangerous for me to be in the Square tonight; and I have told him I am willing to shed my blood. My death would mean more than all the works I have done.” He turned the focus to himself and his willingness to shed his blood, as if his blood and death would compare to the blood and death of Christ. Jesus was not “wounded because he was not afraid of men.” Isaiah 53:5 says He was wounded for our sakes so that we might have eternal life. The Father laid on him the iniquity of us all. His death was not because he went around insulting religious people. His death was not an example of how we are supposed to die. The death of Jesus was the plan of God to pay for our sins.
Irvine and Cooney both spoke as if Jesus purposely came to earth to publicly insult the Pharisees and Saducees and eradicate religious traditions. They felt they were following His example by insulting Christians and clergymen and rejecting Christian traditions. There is no scriptural basis for a comparison of Cooney and Irvine to Jesus on these grounds. Jesus did not displease everyone else because he was pleasing God. Luke 2:52 tells us that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” Jesus healed people, cast out demons, raised the dead, fed and helped people. People loved Him. The Jewish leaders didn’t oppose him until he told them he was forgiving sins. Luke 5: 21 They knew He was claiming equality with God. This was a shock to their worldview. They began to look on Jesus and his disciples with suspicion. They started examining his lifestyle…Bad news! Jesus and the disciples ate and drank with sinners and he helped people on the Sabbath! Luke 5:30.
This is the same kind of attitude the workers have towards Christians. They can’t tolerate it that Christians claim the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and also enjoy life. The workers are just like the Pharisees. They believe it takes more than dependence on Christ to receive forgiveness. People are supposed to follow and obey the workers. The workers don’t like to see happy Christians. They think people who serve God must look miserable and be miserable. Look at the people that Christ forgave and healed. Had they done anything to deserve his forgiveness? No. None of us deserve forgiveness.
The Pharisees hated Jesus for pointing out their hypocrisy, sin and hard heartedness towards the sick, needy and the hurting. They wanted to kill him when he said he forgave sins. They accused him of blasphemy when He said God was his Father. They hated him for telling them he was the I Am (Jehovah). They hated him because the common people loved and worshipped Him so they looked for reasons to kill him. They hated Him for saying that Gentiles were more obedient than they were. They hated Him when he raised people from the dead. Jesus was fulfilling prophecy, showing His ability to forgive sins, his power over death, Satan and demons. Jesus was announcing that the Kingdom of heaven had arrived. Jesus said that He was Lord of the Sabbath, the Son of Man, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who had come to die for the sins of the world. The workers are on the Pharisees side, not Christ’s. The workers have never been able to imitate Jesus in any way and they don’t believe in helping the needy or the hurting. They just preach at people and condemn the world.
The Sacrificial System Was God’s Plan
Irvine and Cooney had no biblical support for their accusations and false comparisons of Pharisees to Christians. Sometimes they called Christians Babylon and sometimes they called them Pharisees. Pharisees and Babylonians are different religions and ethnic groups. Jesus did not go out of His way to attack the Jewish leaders, except when he overturned the moneychangers in the Temple. The Pharisees went out of their way to attack Him and then Christ responded to their accusations. Irvine and the early workers made an issue of Christ’s attack on the moneychangers as if moneychangers were unscriptural. In fact, that isn’t true. God commanded the people to make monetary payments to the Lord in Leviticus 27 when they made vows and gave their firstfruits and He told them to exchange animals or purchase the appropriate animal for sacrifice. When people came from long distances God told them to purchase an animal for sacrifice.
The moneychangers performed a biblically acceptable function. Deuteronomy 14:24-27 The reason for Christ’s attack on them must have been because they were cheating people on the exchange rate or because they were too close to the part of the Temple that was used for prayer and worship. Monetary donations to God were part of the Old Testament worship. Irvine’s denouncement of money for use by the church and the generous support of clergy are unbiblical.
The people were commanded by God to pay a yearly temple tax and they had to pay money to God for their firstborn sons and animals. He told them to bring money from the sale of their property or merchandise as offerings to God. He told them to bring a tenth of all their produce, their firstfruits.
God had instructed all the Hebrew people to celebrate certain days to commemorate what He had done for them. These celebrations were the traditions that Irvine sneered at. The activity at the Temple was commanded by God. To our eyes it would look more like a stockyard and slaughterhouse with all the animals, birds and produce, the blood, the shewbread, incense, burning meat, and money changing going on. Irvine wouldn’t have approved of that either! But that would have been disobedience to God.
Sacrifice had to be done on a regular basis or they would be punished by God. They had to kill an animal before they could pray and ask for His forgiveness or help. They had to give money to God to acknowledge that He was the Giver of all things. Leviticus 27:2-8. They had to give Him perfect animals as a sacrifice or they would be punished. If they were too poor to sacrifice one kind of animal, another kind of sacrifice was prescribed. If they came from a long distance and couldn’t bring an animal with them, they had to buy an animal at the Temple. They had to perform rituals of cleansing. Cleanliness was commanded by God. Sacrifice of blood and burnt offerings at the Temple had to be done in order to please God. God wouldn’t have liked the “Tramp look” because He had commanded His priests to dress in white. The “Tramp look” that Irvine demanded didn’t glorify God in any way.
If Jews didn’t pay their tithes and debts to Him God said He would curse them with enemies, sickness, famine, poverty, death or drought. There were purification offerings, red heifer offerings, grain offerings, firstfruit offerings, peace offerings, drink offerings, heave offerings, wave offerings, thank offerings, freewill offerings, ordination offerings, guilt offerings, Temple taxes, etc. It was an expensive, noisy, messy, smelly business as well. Yet it was what God commanded. Irvine had no interest in God’s commands to the Jews. They were a “big show”! Irvine made up his own rules about what was acceptable. The workers talk as if the only offering was done at Passover in people’s homes. Offerings were going on continually at the portable Tabernacle and later at the Temple. God specifically said in Deuteronomy 12:17 and Deuteronomy 16:5-6 that the people were not to eat their sacrificial offerings “in their gates” (at their
homes) but at the place which God had specifically consecrated and instructed as the appointed place of sacrifice and communion.
The Importance Of Doctrine
One of the greatest insults to God is to ignore scripture. The Lord gives wisdom through the Holy Spirit and study of His Word. There is systematic logical truth found in the Bible. One must look at how the ideas relate to one another, how the grammar and definition of words are used and the flow of historical events. The logic of God’s Word is consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments. Jesus and Paul both drew out the logical implication of what people were doing and saying to point out their errors. Jesus would say, “You have heard it said,
….., but I say unto you.” Jesus would explain how their view of scripture had become confused and he wanted them to look at life from an eternal perspective…to understand the point of what God had said or commanded.
Christianity is an intellectual, natural and spiritual faith; not emotional, not of the will, not of the senses, not mystical, not a secret code or a private interpretation. God is a God of order, organization and detail. All of His Words hang together in a truthful, rational manner and His Holy Spirit gives us life and understanding through them and through our faith in Jesus Christ.
The workers proudly say, “We don’t teach people to be Christians. Only the Holy Spirit does that. We can’t teach a cat to become a dog. It is a spiritual change that is needed.” This is their excuse for not teaching scripture and doctrine. They speak as if Christian pastors “teach people to be Christians.” Christian pastors don’t teach people to become Christians. Real Christian pastors teach people what the Bible says.
Scripture is full of commands to teach God’s Word, to study, memorize (hide it in your heart) and meditate on God’s Word. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin when they learn what scripture says about their need for repentance. The Holy Spirit gives them the power to overcome the sins of the flesh through obedience to scripture. The Holy Spirit works through the scripture and does not overrule a person’s will. A born again believer still has a will of his own, to choose to obey or to disobey and fall into sin again. That is why people need to be continually abiding in the scripture and in fellowship with other Christians. They need responsible pastors who teach them what the Bible says and what it means. Although the workers don’t teach people to be Christians, they do teach them to obey Irvine.
Jack Carroll used to mock the charitable activities of Christians saying, “Charity means love; not giving money to people. We are supposed to love people, not hand out money to them!” James 2:14-18 says, “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?” Christ says if we really love God and love people we will help them, if they need it, whether they are Christians or not.
Doctrine is the information we need in order to live according to the Bible.
Doctrine is the way in which we can examine whether our behavior and our stated beliefs actually match. Are we living according to the Word? We should not be schizophrenic in our thoughts and actions. We should not hold contradictory ideas or disobey God’s Word. We need doctrine to protect us from liars, power hungry people, and mentally unbalanced people. Sound doctrine unites people when they study what God has to say about certain issues. Doctrine helps us sort out biblical statements which at first may seem confusing or conflicting. Doctrine is the complete analysis of every verse in the Bible on a particular topic. Shallow understanding of scripture causes people to be willing for anyone claiming to be a prophet or, “God in a man, speaking.” Scriptural laziness leads to bondage in sin or bondage to a human leader.
Paul did not preach Irvine’s message. He preached God’s Word. The 17th chapter of Acts is a good example of Paul’s logical, scriptural preaching style. He confronted Greek beliefs about multiple gods with a sermon about the One God who created all things. He confronted the Greek tradition of building temples for the gods by telling them that God doesn’t dwell in buildings, He dwells in believers’ hearts. He confronted the Epicureans and the Stoics with the need to repent of their vain self-centered philosophies. Paul understood the philosophies of the people around him and was able to explain the difference between the faith of Christ and pagan philosophies. He challenged their warlike nature and cruelty to slaves by telling them that God made all nations from one blood and arranged history to cause people to seek Him and find Him. He told them that God is not far away but He lives with us and in us. He told them that God gives all things to us: life, breath and all that we need. Paul understood the Grecian worldview and philosophies and he quoted their own poet in order to help them understand that man is made in God’s image. Paul’s logical preaching style refuted pagan beliefs with information about God. He didn’t tell the Greeks that he was a poor, unpaid preacher who didn’t have a home or family.
He didn’t tell the Greeks that education was a bad thing. He didn’t tell the Greeks that they should dress like Tramps and preach two by two. He didn’t tell the Greeks they must meet in homes in order to be saved. He didn’t say it was wrong to take collections. He didn’t tell them that it was against God’s will to build a building for worship and scriptural education. He simply said God doesn’t live in temples made with hands. He told them that God lives in believers. In Acts 26:25, Paul says, “I speak truth and reason.” He preached from scripture and made sense of it.
Irvine’s “theology” is a different story than truth and reason altogether. He confused scriptural truth and reason by preaching fables, false doctrines, redefining words and making up new allegories. His new definitions were a type of code. The early workers actually had several pages of words that were given new meanings by Irvine. “Darkness that which seemeth right to man” “Dragon – big flesh with a brute nature” “Pearl of Great Price – a rejected mercy hearted, anointed Man such as we see the true Prophets all were at the end” “White Robe – Mercy to all men” “Tithes – to hear and obey is Spiritual meaning of bringing the tithes into the storehouse.” These re-definitions are hogwash.
William Irvine’s doctrines contains the following heresies: Antitrinitarianism, Gnosticism, Dualism, Asceticism , Ditheism, Pietism, Arianism, Mysticism, and Pelagianism.
William Irvine and all the workers say that Jesus is our example of how to receive salvation. This is similar to saying, “ye can be as gods,” which is what Satan said in the Garden of Eden. It is also the same as the Mormon doctrine: “as Jesus once was, so are we and as he has become, so will we.” Irvine taught that Christ’s Blood did not atone for the sins of anyone except those who followed Irvine and his followers, the Two by Two preachers.
Christ is the title given to Jesus meaning “anointed one” or “the Messiah.”
“Christ” isn’t some separate spirit handed out to workers when they give up their possessions. The Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit is given to all believers at the moment of conversion. Get a Topical Bible or a concordance and look up all the references to Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You won’t find any references to support Irvine’s statements about God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, not a man who received a Christ Spirit. Jesus is distinctly different than other human beings who become Christians.
Who Is God?
“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4 . The word for God, is a plural word, Elohim. Look in the concordance under the Hebrew words number 430. The word “One” is found in the concordance under the Hebrew words number 258 and 259 achad and echad. The primary meaning is “to unify or to unite.” In other words the Lord our God is united.
Elohim is a God of eternal love. God’s love existed eternally, before there were any created beings to love. So who did God love before He created anything? He loved the other persons of the Godhead.
But the workers teach that only the Father is God and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They do not believe that Jesus is God or that the Holy Spirit is God. But if the Holy Spirit is not God then Jesus Christ is not the Son of God because the Holy Spirit is His Father. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you therefore the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” In order for Jesus to be the Son of God, the Holy Spirit must be God.
Remember, Jesus frequently asked people, “Who do ye say that I am? If ye confess not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” What did He mean by “I am He?” What was He asking them to confess? What did He mean when He commanded them to believe in Him? He didn’t command them to become like Him by submitting, self-denial or by going out Two by Two, etc. He said to believe in Him in order to receive forgiveness of sins and obtain eternal life. He said that to know Him was to know God; to see him was to see God; to believe in Him was to believe in God; to receive Him was to receive God.
When Jesus called himself the Son of Man, it wasn’t because he was just a man, it was because that was the title given to the Messiah coming to the Ancient of Days to receive dominion and glory in Daniel 7:13-14. It was a reference to the prophecy that Jewish scholars recognized as the One they were waiting for.
Why is it important to know who Jesus is? Respect is based on perspective. Trust is based on knowledge of God’s character. Human beings cannot love, trust, believe in, worship, respect or obey God until they know how holy, how majestic, how powerful He is. They cannot fear and appreciate Him until they see by His Word that He is their Creator and that He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. They need to know His supernatural qualities so they can praise Him. The more we learn about God, the more aware of how much He deserves our devotion, worship, obedience, attention, love, and service. An unknown God cannot be loved or worshipped. This is why so much attention must be placed on teaching and studying His Word and His attributes. We are to reflect His attributes in this world. We can’t reflect what we do not know about. We need to know how loving and merciful He is before we will believe that He will truly forgive our sins. We need to know He is loving and merciful so that we will be loving and merciful. We need to know that He is good so that when bad things happen we won’t accuse Him of being the source of our sorrow and pain. We find out these things when we read, study, memorize, learn about and meditate on His Word.
But the workers don’t care about the identity of Jesus or the Holy Spirit or who God is and what He has done. They just want to persuade everyone about who they are and what they are doing. It isn’t because the workers are so proud, it is just that they are blind. Some of them have good intentions but the system won’t let them out of its box.
God Is The Creator
Romans 10:14 says “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?” In other words, how can they talk to a God they don’t believe in? The question in Romans is being asked about Jesus Christ. The Jews knew that Jesus was a man. They knew He existed because they could see Him. It was no crime to be a man. They didn’t kill Him because he was a man. They killed Him because of who He said He was. They did not believe Jesus was their Creator, the I AM. They did not believe he was their Messiah, the Christ. They knew he had claimed this position and they tried to stone Him for it. John 8:53-59 “Whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say that he is your God; yet ye have not known him; but I know him…then said the Jews unto him, thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then they took up stones to cast at him.” John 10:30-36 says “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones to stone him. Jesus answered, many good works I have shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered, saying, ‘Fora good work we stone thee not;but for blasphemy and because that thou a man, makest thyself God’…Jesus said, ‘If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me and I in Him’.” Jesus never said that He wasn’t God. He said He is God.
What Does Scripture Say?
What does scripture tell us about the Creator? What does scripture say about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Is Jesus the Godhead or is Jesus just a normal man with the Christ Spirit as Irvine and the workers have said? An elder from Boston said, “We must not associate with anyone outside our fellowship. We are servants to God and our workers. Our workers are near the level of Jesus. Some are at His level. Jesus is very human and His is our example.”
The workers’ unscriptural description of Jesus reveals that they are blind to the authority of Jesus Christ and ignorant of what scripture says about Him. There is a difference between saying that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus has the Christ Spirit. “Christ” isn’t some Spirit apart from Jesus that other people can receive by giving up a job and a home. The workers rarely give sermons about the greatness of God seen in His creation of the universe.
Luke 10:22 Jesus said that no one could know Him except those to whom the Father would reveal Him and that no one could come to the Father except by Jesus Christ. I John 2:22 “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti Christ, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
In spite of their claims to understand the Bible, the workers have been blind to what God says about God. Jesus challenged everyone with His identity. This same question is with us today. Some people don’t know or believe that Jesus ever existed. But most people know He existed. They believe that he was a good man, an example of how to live, or a prophet or a teacher or the example preacher. Some people believe that he died, some believe he didn’t die. Some believe that he resurrected and some believe he was stolen away by his disciples.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists believe he is the archangel Michael. Mormons believe that he is the brother of Satan. Jews and Muslims believe he was the son of Joseph. Two by Twos believe that Jesus was just an ordinary human being who received the Christ Spirit, the Son of God, the example for preachers and the elder brother of the Two by Twos. Most of them think he was an ordinary man who received the Christ Spirit because of his total willingness to die to self. Some Two by Twos believe that he was the first creature that God created. Some Two by Twos believe that he is a god but not God. They do not believe that He is the Creator. They think that he was a created being.
All those who believe Jesus Christ is created rather than the Creator are referred to as cults. Religions that don’t believe in Jesus at all, like Hindus and Buddhists are cults. But Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Unitarians and Two by Twos that refer to the Bible but not the God of the Bible are called “pseudo-Christian cults.” An unscriptural, inaccurate view of God is idolatry. Only Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator God. Only Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is God. And Christians believe that the Father is God.
Revelations 4:8 says “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” There is only one person who was, and is and is to come. It is Jesus Christ being worshipped by the Beasts and Angels around the throne. It has been said before many times: “Either He is God or He isn’t a good man, He is a liar because He said He was (God) the I am.” He said “if you have seen me you have seen the Father.”
The workers say, “Jesus was a man.” “Jesus is not God.” “We do not worship Jesus” “Jesus is the example preacher.” “Jesus means the Saviour. Jesus manifested Christ and it was Christ in Jesus that made Jesus the Saviour. Jesus was a mortal body for the Forever Christ.” “Jesus is more like us, therefore, we should pray to our Heavenly Father rather than to Jesus.” “Jesus was like his Father, that is why he said, ‘ if you have seen me you have seen the Father.’” “Jesus refused to become their King.” “Jesus refused to be worshipped.”
Some professing people realize that Jesus was incarnated at the time Mary conceived Him. Some think that the Father created Christ first and then created the universe through Him and then put the Christ Spirit inside the body of Jesus when Jesus was willing to die to self. George Walker taught that Jesus was a created being. Others think Jesus received the Christ Spirit when He was baptized. (Gnosticism) God did not have sex with Mary. The Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Jesus Christ was divinely incarnated: fully human and fully God from the point of conception. He is different than anyone else in the universe because He existed prior to birth, He is Alpha and Omega, infinitely eternal, the I AM. He is God’s only begotten Son, Firstborn over creation. That means he has first rank, He is the preeminent One. It doesn’t mean that the Father is going to die and leave all His belongings to Jesus. When man begets, he begets man. When God begets, He begets God.
Who Does Jesus Say He Is?
- Jesus says He is God in John 8:24, 58; Rev. 1:7-8; 22:12-13
- The four beasts before the throne in heaven say He is God Rev. 4:8
- The Father says He is God in Hebrews 1:8, 10.
- John says Jesus is God in John 1:1, 14 and in I John 5:7, 20.
- Thomas called him God in John 20:28,
- Peter called him God II Peter 1:1,
- Paul called him God in Acts 7:59;
- Prophets called him God in Jeremiah 23:5-6; Isaiah 9:6; 43:10-1 .
- Mary said he was God and Savior Luke 1:47.
- The Holy Spirit reveals He is God I John 4:2-3
- The Jews acknowledged that He said He is God John 10:33
- Jesus is the Creator John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16-20
- Jesus is omnipresent Matthew 28:20
- Jesus is incomprehensible and omniscient Matthew 1 :27; John 21:17
- Jesus is holy, truth John 14:6
- Jesus dwells in the heart of believers Ephesians 3:17
- Jesus is eternal John 1:1
- The angels, living creatures, the elders and the ten thousands times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands say He is God. Rev. 5;7;19:11-16
I John 5:10 “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God gave of His Son. And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Colossians 1:15-29. Paul tells us who Jesus is. He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation, in Him all things were created, both material and immaterial, He is before all things, He holds all things together, He is the Head of the church, He is the beginning, He is the firstborn from the dead, He has first place in everything, all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily, through Him all things were reconciled to God, His shed blood gave us peace with God, He will present us before God, holy, blameless and beyond reproach, He lives in us, His power works mightily in us Colossians 2: 2-10 Jesus is God’s secret plan for redemption, in Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, He is the stability and root of our faith, the fullness of God in human body, our completer, and the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.
This subject is confusing because our finite minds cannot grasp anything as supernatural as God. Our minds have difficulty believing that three Persons can be One God. However, believers are supposed to believe scripture whether we comprehend it or not. Do you really want a God small enough for you to understand? Look at the complexity of DNA, atoms, subatomic particles: photons, leptons, hadrons, baryons, quarks. Do you understand how God could speak the universe into existence? Do you understand creation? Can you explain the power and magnitude of a black hole? Can you understand eternity, gravity or how the planets move and hang in space? Can you understand how moving molecules are solid substances? Can you comprehend how small our sun is in comparison to other stars? Can you understand God’s glory, holiness or power? Can you understand the four living creatures who are covered with eyes: One looks like a lion, one like and ox, one with a face like a man, one like an eagle; they have six wings covered with eyes! Look at the complexity of the human brain. There are several areas of the brain accomplishing different functions yet the whole brain is one brain. Which area of the brain would you say was not the brain? God said that as high as the heaven is above the earth, so are His ways beyond our ways. Moving at the speed of light it would take approximately 2 million years to reach the galaxy beyond ours. We can’t understand one thing about how vast and complex God is!
Why not just accept what God has said in scripture about Himself? Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator, the God who became a man, the Son of God: fully human and fully God. Christians didn’t fabricate the idea of Jesus as God and they don’t understand it either. They came to that conclusion because they studied and believed what scripture says about God. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is not the Father, or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. The three persons are equal in nature, essence and character, yet have different positions. The Son and Holy Spirit defer to the position and decisions of the Father. Each person glorifies the others. Luke 22:42; John 10:30; 12:49; 14:16, 17, 26, 28; 15:26; 16:13-14.
If it can be shown biblically that:
- There are three eternal persons mentioned in scripture
- Each of these three persons is called God
- There is only One God
Therefore, these three persons are One God, whether we can comprehend it or not.
- The Father is God the Creator and is all the fullness of the Godhead, invisible. I Peter 1:2; John 1:18
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the Creator and is all the fullness of the Godhead, manifested in the flesh. He is God who became a man, not a man who became a god. Hebrews 1:8; John 1:1-14; Colossians 2:9.
- The Holy Spirit is God the Creator and is all the fullness of the Godhead, acting upon man, convicting him of sin and guiding the believer into all truth. Acts 5:3-4; John 16:7-1 ; John 16:12-15
- Jesus Christ could forgive sins and only God can forgive sins. Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:7.
- Men and angels worship Jesus Christ and only God is to be worshipped. Hebrews 1:6; Luke 19:40; Philippians 2:10-11. God forbids anyone to be worshipped except Himself. Deuteronomy 5:7. Jesus said in Luke 4:6-8 “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” John 1:1-2
Who doesn’t comprehend light? The darkness. “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
What is the will of the Father? John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last Day.” Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1.
Believe means to adhere to, trust, rely on, worship, honor, obey, words used only in reference to God and His Word. Who else are we to believe in? The Holy Spirit is God.
- He is the Spirit of God, and Creator Genesis 1:2, I Corinthians 2:1 .
- He is God Acts 5:3-4.
- He is Jehovah, Most High Acts 7:46-51.
- The Holy Spirit is joined with the Father and the Son as “One Name” in the Baptismal statement Matthew 28:19.
- He is eternal Hebrews 9:14.
- He is omniscient I Corinthians 2:10-11.
- He is omnipotent Genesis 1:2
- He is omnipresent Psalms 139:7-13.
- He is the Agent of Conception Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:18-20.
- He is the Author of the new birth John 3:5; Titus 3:5.
- He anointed Jesus for service Acts 10:38.
- He led Jesus Matthew 4:1.
- He raised Jesus from the dead. Romans 8:11
- He inspired the scripture Acts 1:2; 28:25; II Samuel 23:2.
- He is the source of wisdom I Corinthians 2:11.
- He is the source of miraculous powers Judges 13:25; I Kings 18: 12; Ezekiel 3:12.
- He is the source of regeneration John 3:3-7, Titus 3:5.
- He appoints and sends forth ministers Acts 20:22.
- He indwells the saints Acts 2:38.
- He comforts the church John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7.
- He sanctifies the believer Romans 15:16.
- He convicts of sin, righteousness, judgment John 16:8-9, 13.
- He is to receive honor Matthew 12:31-32.
- He should not be grieved or quenched Ephesians 4:30.
- He is not to be blasphemed Mark 3:29.
- He is not to be lied to Acts 5:3-4.
What do the workers say about the Holy Spirit? “The Holy Spirit is not God. It is the power of God, a force.” “What’s the difference whether the Holy Spirit is called it or He?” “If we go into the world, His Spirit won’t go with us. His Spirit has borders.” “The Holy Spirit is like a dove, it can be frightened away.”
The spirit that the workers talk about is real. Their spirit is weak, not omnipotent or omnipresent. It is a spirit of arrogance towards others, both inside and outside of the group. It is a spirit of blindness, lying, fear and darkness.
In spite of the scripture in the Old Testament that refers to the plurality of God, the Jews are obstinate against belief in the Trinity. Do you agree with Jews and Muslims who refuse to worship Jesus or do you want to be counted among Christians who believe in Jesus and worship Him? The only permissible way to believe in Jesus and worship Him is if you believe He is one of the Godhead.
- There was a plurality at creation. “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” Genesis 1:26-27
- There was plurality when God cast Adam out of the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:22 “Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.” So he drove out the man…
- There was a plurality when God confused the languages at the Tower of Babel. Genesis 11:7, “Come let us go down and confuse their language.”
- There was a plurality, Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Luke 1:35
- There was a plurality, Father, Son and Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:16-17
- The plurality, Father, Son and Holy Spirit resides in the believer. John 14:23; Romans 5:5 “Jesus answered and said, If a man love me, he will keep my words and my Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.”
- The plurality, Father, Son and Holy Spirit were present at the resurrection of Jesus. I Thessalonians 1:9-10. The Son raised himself and the Father raised the body of His Son. Romans 8:11 The Holy Spirit raised the body of Jesus Acts 17:30-31.
Christians call the plurality “the Trinity” in an effort to distinguish the doctrine from those who do not believe that Jesus or the Holy Spirit are God. The Gnostics were the first ones to reject the idea of Jesus as God during the years soon after His death. Paul wrote a letter to the Colossians, refuting this heresy. Colossians 1:15-18 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18
Are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit a Triune God? Or three gods? Is it the Father, one man and an angel or a force of energy? What is a force of energy? Any other suggestions?
The workers mock the doctrine of the Trinity: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as Creator.
They call it “The Argument of the Trinity.”
One worker said, “The Trinity is God, the Father, God, the Son and God the Holy Ghost and Mary the mother of God.”
They ignore the doctrine by saying, “There is no such word as Trinity in the Bible.”
Most workers say, “The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one in mind, but not in essence.”
A sister worker said, “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are like a family and the Holy Spirit is the mother.”
The reason the workers don’t like the Catholic statement, “Mary is the mother of God” isn’t because they don’t respect Mary. It is because they don’t believe Jesus is God.
They just say that the three are one and that the church is also one with God. Do they mean that the Church is also God? Can they point to verses that say that the church participated in creation or that the church is the Alpha and the Omega? Can they point to verses that show the church raised Jesus from the dead? Can they point to verses that show that the church should be worshipped? Are there verses that show the church as omnipotent, or omniscient?
No! They can’t. Yes, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, but not in the same way that born again Christians are one with God. We are created, God is the Creator. Christians are adopted into the family through faith in the Son of God.
The amazing thing about God is that He actually participated in our salvation by suffering for our sin and He gives eternal life to us for free, if we believe in Him and accept His gift. Our joy at this astonishing gift enables us to repent and obey Him. Think about it! Pray about it! The Doctrine of the Trinity is summarized, “One essence in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” There is but One God.
II Peter 1:2-3 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him, that hath called us to glory and virtue.” When we have the correct knowledge of God we receive grace and peace, two things that the workers and friends know very little about.
What Proves Our Faith In God?
Does believing in the Trinity prove anything? No “The devils believe also and tremble.” Matthew 8:29; James 2:19. Obedience to God’s Word proves our faith. Our praise and worship of God proves our faith. Our good works prove our faith. James 2:20. Tithing proves our faith. Deuteronomy 14:23 Our love for God and for one another proves our faith. Our care for the needy, widows and orphans proves our faith. Abiding in and studying His Word proves our faith. John 8:31
Worship is the surrender of ourselves and our love; it is reverent devotion. God forbids us to worship anyone but Himself. We were made to worship God. It is imperative to know who God is so we can worship Him according to His Word. When people know and accept who God is and what He has done for them, they receive grace, forgiveness, peace and virtue. If they are confused about who He is, what he is like and what He has done, they will be fearful and constantly trying to earn their salvation by works, self-denial, or self inflicted misery. If they refuse to believe who He is and what He has done they will die in their sins.
The friends and workers don’t worship God. Irvine and his followers said, “Praise and worship done in the church is all a big show.” The workers call worship a “performance” ! The angels and the countless multitudes in heaven (Revelations 19) are putting on a big show, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation, and glory and honor and power unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments!” Hebrews 1:6 “And when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, and let all the angels of God worship Him.” The worship and sacrifices of people throughout the ages were commanded by God. Irvine mocked it. The workers talk about it but don’t do it.
Salvation is a gift from God, not something that man deserves because of some trifling activity he can do. One must acknowledge himself as a sinner before God the Father, must come to Jesus Christ as his Savior in repentance and experience the work of the Holy Spirit in order to do those things. A recognition of those three persons in the process is important.
In John 8:24, Christ says, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” Jesus Christ frequently asked His followers who they thought He was. He didn’t come right out and tell them. He waited for the Holy Spirit to reveal it to them. Sometimes He would hint at it or ask revealing questions to make them think. “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.” “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” “I am not of this world.” “Before Abraham was I am.” “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” etc. He is our Creator, God the Son.
It has been said, “To be wrong about who Jesus is, is fatal. If Jesus weren’t a man, He couldn’t have died. If Jesus weren’t God, it wouldn’t have mattered.” Scripture says that Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords, is King of Kings, is God, is man, is the Alpha and the Omega, created the universe, is Yahweh, is the Word, is the Way, is the Redeemer, is the Savior, raised Himself from the dead. The scripture gives many titles to Jesus Christ that are also given to God the Father. He is called the Father of Eternity, the image of God, Our Great God, Counselor, Lord of Glory, eternal Father, Son of Man, (a Messianic term), Emmanuel, (God with us), I AM, Great High Priest, Rock of Salvation, the Chief Cornerstone, The Head of the Church, The Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, Water of Life, the great Physician, etc. Heb. 1:8, John 1:1, John 1:8, John 20:28, John 17:5, John 8: 51-59, Matt. 14:33, Mark 2:5-11, Col. 1:16, Heb. 1:3, Matt. 28:18, are only a few of the verses that illustrate Jesus Christ as fully God.
The full humanity of Jesus Christ is seen in Matt. 2:11, Luke 2:52, Matt. 4: 2, John 19:28, John 4:6, John 11:35, Hebrews 4:15. It is unquestionably true that Jesus Christ was fully Man.
Philippians 2:10-11, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Scripture portrays worship as bowing the knee and praising God. Jews were not to bow down or praise anyone but God. This verse shows that the entire universe should worship Jesus. Remember, if Jesus Christ is not God, we are not allowed to worship him. Not only do the workers fail to worship Jesus, they also fail to worship the Father and the Holy Spirit. The workers claim that worship means to obey. That is true. Obedience is a part of worship but certainly not all of it. The workers think they are obeying God, but if they analyzed their behavior they would have to admit they have been disobedient in many ways by refusing to do good works, tithe, study scripture and repent of sin. Worship is intense veneration, adoration, honor, love, devotion, praise, respectful, enthusiastic, awe combined with obedience, sacrifice and prayerful honor. The workers teach that worship means obedience to their way of life and meetings. But God expects more than attending meetings and giving testimonies and appearing old fashioned.
Most, if not all, Two by Twos do not believe we should worship Jesus. They erroneously believe that Jesus refused to accept worship when He refused to become a natural King to the Jews during His first period of time on earth in an earthly body. But scripture does not say he refused to accept worship. In Luke 19:29-40, He accepted it and defended those who worshipped Him, saying, “If they keep quiet, the stones would cry out.” Moreover, He is the King of the Jews and the King of Kings over all creation even though He didn’t take control at his first coming. The workers don’t honor or acknowledge Jesus as Creator. Most of them will only acknowledge Him as the Son of God. And, they see themselves also as sons of God, almost equal to him. One older worker said, “The sign Pilate made saying ‘King of the Jews’ was wrong. Jesus wasn’t their King.” The Jewish leaders didn’t recognize Jesus as their King but He definitely is their King. He was a descendant of David and He is King of all creation, the Lord of Lords.
The workers say that Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son and the only Begotten Son. Yet they don’t understand those terms. Jesus as “Firstborn” has the right of preeminence over all. It is a term denoting rank not “born before others were born.”
In a private conversation, with a Christian with orthodox beliefs, an older sister worker, who had been in the work over fifty years, said that she believed “that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man.” (This statement is out of line with the Two by Two doctrine.) But when asked if the other workers believed Jesus was fully God and fully man, she evasively replied, “Well, I can’t answer for anyone but myself.” She knew what the Two by Two belief is and she was being devious in replying in this manner. If she truly believed that Jesus was fully God and fully man, why does she continue to have fellowship with people who do not believe those things?
In conventions and gospel meetings workers have spoken against the idea of Jesus being fully God and fully man. Some said He was half God and half man. Others have insisted the He was only a simple man filled with the Spirit. Some have said that he was fully divine and fully human. But when they are asked if they mean that he was fully God, they firmly say, “No!” Some workers have said that they believed in the deity of Jesus Christ, but when asked what they meant by “deity,” they are unable to answer and refuse to elaborate.
A senior brother worker, Dan Hilton was asked by a Christian if he believed in “eternal security”. He replied, “yes”. (But he didn’t mean “Once saved, always saved”. He meant, “Yes, once one is in heaven one will stay in heaven.” ) He later admitted to the professing person witnessing the conversation, “It is better to avoid that subject as much as possible.”
The workers are accomplished at saying one thing while meaning something entirely different. They have often lied, or made statements that could be understood in several different ways, or redefined the words in their own mind, knowing full well that the listener thought they meant something entirely different. Watch for the common tactic of pretending to answer a question yet never quite getting to the point. They will talk and talk and never really answer the original question. Sometimes they will scoff at a question and act as if it isn’t worthy of being answered. Sometimes they will act as if there is something wrong with the person asking the question. They don’t respect professing people who ask questions. In fact they resent anyone who asks doctrinal questions. Why is it that friends can hear workers make bald-faced admissions to a lie or obvious omission of truth and the friends don’t even object? They wouldn’t respect any other person for such behavior.
It is no wonder that the workers and professing people don’t obey God’s commands to systematically study and teach His Word and doctrines, that they refuse to worship Him, that they refuse to generously and accountably support their ministry financially, that they refuse to participate in charitable activities to Christians and non-Christians because they don’t know or acknowledge who God is! Romans 1:21-25 “Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, …Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”
Continue reading Romans 1:26-32. Those who do not glorify and honor God eventually end up with homosexual problems, a problem found among some of the workers.
The few workers who are willing to answer questions about the Trinity usually use verses from the New Testament. But many of the references that actually help one understand the topic are in the Old Testament and Revelation, and usually ignored by workers.
Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Immanuel means ‘God with us’.
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Christ Jesus was called the Son and Mighty God, Counselor, Everlasting Father! His Deity is without question.
Deuteronomy 4:35, “…the LORD he is God, there is none else beside Him.” Deuteronomy 6:4, “The LORD our God is one Lord.”
Acts 10:36, “You know the message of God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”
Jesus Christ is the Creator. He isn’t the Father because He is the Son. There is no other way that He can be the Creator unless He is the same essence as His Father. The understanding that Jesus is fully man and fully God has been a very perplexing concept down through the centuries. That is why the teaching of this church should be written down in a summarized statement. A concordance listing is not a doctrinal statement and neither is a set of clichés. Saying that this church takes the whole Bible as its doctrine does not prove anything. Do the workers refuse to admit their doctrine because they are ashamed of it or because they are ashamed that they don’t understand it?
When asked about John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God,” the workers say that the “Word” refers to Christ but that the word God is with a lower case “g” in the original Greek. Therefore, Christ is a god rather than the God. The workers’ explanation is the same false explanation that Jehovah Witnesses use.
It is true that the Greek word starts with a lower case “g” in this sentence but it is because of the Greek grammar rules and not because Jesus is just a god among gods. That would be polytheism, a teaching that is distinctly unscriptural. Remember, Deuteronomy 4:6, there is only one God.
While I was going through the process of becoming aware that Jesus Christ is the Creator, I had a hard time saying, “Jesus Christ is God.” I would try to say it under my breath and almost choke. I practiced it several times in a whisper before I could actually say it out loud. I discussed this strange mental block with other ex-Two by Twos and we all realized that there were several statements that were difficult to say while we were professing:
“Jesus Christ is God”
“Praise the Lord.”
“The Holy Spirit is God”
“Glory to God”
“I’ve been born again.”
“I’m a Christian.”
“Thank you, Jesus”
“I’ve been saved by Grace”
“The Blood of Christ has covered my sins”
“God bless you”
How about you? Can you say those words out loud and mean them? Or is the spirit of Irvine hindering you? Professing people have been taught that all those statements are wrong. They have a difficult time acknowledging the sovereignty of God. There is a Christian song that says, “Jesus is Lord of all, no sin too big, no problem too small.” However, Two by Twos think their sins are too big for Him to deal with and their problems too small for Him to care about. They are compelled to take care of their sin through their self-denial and their problems through their own strength. Think! God created the universe in 6 days. Nothing is too hard for Him! Every request we have is small compared to His power and wisdom, yet He wants us to bring every problem we have to Him. It brings glory to Him to answer our prayers.
The workers have discouraged the friends from praying by telling them that God doesn’t care about their natural lives, only their spiritual lives. But Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
And James 5:13-18 teaches us about the power of prayer for natural and spiritual things. There is a subtle influence rather like etiquette or set of rules about what one can say to one another about certain subjects. The workers and friends have a very effective way of communicating silent disapproval. Frowns!
Two by Twos are not alone in their scriptural confusion. Before and during William Irvine’s lifetime there were hundreds of cultic and aberrational doctrines spawned. Centuries of ignorance were understandable because the Popes and kings made it illegal and dangerous to translate, own or discuss the scripture for about 1800 years. Their power was at stake. Priests conducted all services in Latin for centuries, keeping their followers ignorant of God’s Word. However, that is no excuse for deceitfulness or ignorance regarding the scripture in the 20th and 21st centuries. There will be no excuse before God for ignorance of His Word, to those of us who have had it available.
It is difficult for professing people to question the workers. They are liable to get a big lecture. One person said, “I felt I was unable to be open and honest with the workers. I always had to cover-up, to avoid their predictable reactions. I could not share any Christian studies from outside the Way with them without their painful rejection as if the information were poison. The conversation and fellowship with them had to be pre-thought and on their terms. I didn’t feel a freedom in Christ around them. Yet, I learned a lot, and grew in many areas and loved the peace and quiet. Beyond the learning and growing came a plateau. Knowledge of scriptures and methods of digging in the Word took a back seat and I fell into the pattern of allegorizing and finding my testimony according to their pattern.”
Several years ago the workers would enter people’s homes and reprove them for radios, music, books, televisions or anything they might disapprove of. A sister worker reproved a family for a microwave oven, thinking it was a television. Lately, one doesn’t hear of that as much. However, they will still warn people against Christian books and publications saying they are published by the “Enemy”. Think! Who is the Enemy? Someone who lies and hides what he or she believes or someone who tells the truth and publicly publishes and declares his belief?
Many professing people are the descendants of the first families who professed when the early workers came from the British Isles. New people brought into this fellowship already considered themselves Christian. I’ve never heard of true atheists brought to a saving faith in Jesus. But there have been several professing people who became agnostic or atheist due to their bad experiences with workers.
It is a challenge bringing people to gospel meetings. Usually, the first thing that outsiders notice is the women’s appearance. Then, they notice the deadness, lack of praise and worship of God. The third thing they notice is the lack of sermon preparation. Most sermons could be delivered without the Bible. They are monotonously boring without relevancy to life at all. They sound as if the worker just got up and started speaking without any idea of what he or she was going to say. They usually focus on the workers, meeting in the home or self-denial.
In all fairness, it must be said that some workers are interesting. They are the ones who lend credibility to the church. But even when they are interesting, they are not usually biblical.
Professing people are so insulated from the rest of the Christian world that they rarely even meet a Christian unless it is at work or school. And, in those instances they avoid biblical conversations because of their ignorance so they have no way of learning anything important.
Taught By Holy Spirit
Scripture says we are saved through the foolishness of preaching. Preaching is supposed to be teaching. The purpose of scripture is for us to learn it and obey it. The Holy Spirit works through the Word to convict people and transform them. That requires teaching, discipline and learning. Understanding and obedience are impossible without the rational use of words and logic.
The workers quote Galatians 5:16-18 and say if one is walking in the Spirit he will refrain from sin. Yet that passage is actually an admonition to Christians to be careful so they don’t sin. Paul is telling them to beware, that it is possible to sin, so they must walk consistently in the Spirit. The Spirit and the Word are one. To walk in the Spirit is to walk in the Word: to meditate on scripture and obey it. The workers believe constantly attending meeting is the way to receive the Spirit. This is also why they don’t prepare their sermons in the same way other pastors do. They believe that when they begin to speak that the Holy Spirit will speak through them and zap the listeners’ hearts. Matthew 10:19. The words aren’t important, just the zapping of the heart or mind by some spirit.
If all we need is to be zapped by the Spirit, Jesus wasted a lot of time teaching His disciples. If this was true Jesus didn’t need to come to earth, God could have just zapped us with the Spirit. The word disciple means learner or student. If the workers are right, who needs scripture? If this was true then why did Paul have to write any letters of correction and instruction? This idea is another example of William Irvine’s words taking precedence over God’s commandments to teach His word.
The very fact that all of Paul’s letters were instruction, correction and admonitions proves that the early church was not perfect. It isn’t true that the church is the same yesterday, today and forever, that we are supposed to emulate.
During World War II the FBI examined this church to determine whether it was conducting subversive activities. One comment made in the report is significant. It said that the only activity of this church was evangelism yet the number of converts was so few and the activities toward evangelism were almost nonexistent. The FBI was suspicious that the church was a front for subversive activities because the efforts were so ineffective. It is true, the only activity is “pseudo” evangelism. There is no pastoral counseling, no scriptural education, no preparation of the congregation for ministry, no preparation for Christian married life, no teaching for children, no charitable work, no hermeneutics training, no theological training, no training for choirs or singing praises. And very little evangelism is accomplished either. Yet, the church isn’t politically subversive, it is religiously subversive. The FBI agents knew more about Christian evangelism than the workers do.
Over and over the workers have explained the lack of converts with the statement that the Lord wants “quality rather than quantity”. This opinion has no scriptural basis at all. The Lord “desires that all men should be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:4. The value of one soul is greater than the whole earth. We are all sinners before Him and cannot claim a greater “quality” than anyone else. God said that many would be called but few would be chosen, but that was because of the condition of men’s hearts, not because God didn’t want them. God wants all people to be saved! Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world, not for just a few Two by Twos. God wants a big church not a little church. His statement about few being saved is not because God wants few, but because so few seek to know His Word and Will, so few respond to His invitation.
Our salvation brings glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our salvation isn’t just about us. It is about the Glory of God! A tiny group that has condemned everyone in the whole world does not bring glory to God. But the workers are fond of quoting, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14. They think it is their job to weed out those who are unworthy of being saved. But that scripture is in reference to a person coming to the wedding feast without the wedding garment, someone who was coming in his own righteousness, not the righteousness (garment) provided by Christ. The workers try to make everyone come in the righteousness of the workers’ rules, instead of relying on the sacrifice of Jesus. It will be a sad day for the friends and workers who try entering the wedding feast in their own righteousness.
Jack Carroll said, “What is the nature of repentance as Christ understood and preached it? The simple meaning of the word “repent” is to change one’s mind and purpose. Not merely to repent of, or forsake sin, but to change one’s mind and apprehension regarding it. In Latin the word means to recover one’s senses; to come to right understanding. A complete change out of a former mode of life to a new and different mode of life.”
George Walker said, “We might ask you to profess to be saved and yet you could go to hell. Being saved means“right about face,” turning your back on all that which leads you wrong.”
Malcolm Graham said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh to the Father but by me or the Way I follow – the Way I am going.”
Nels Jorgensen said, “It is done one stitch at a time and as you work on it the pattern takes shape. We have to work on our salvation daily and one bit at a time. Unless we work on it, it won’t get done.”
Stanley Watchorn said, “What actually brings salvation to us is what we allow the Lord to do in our own hearts.”
Vernon Myers said, “Forgiveness is only given to those who obey God by coming to the meetings, supporting His true ministers and living according to His standards.”
Charlie Krubb said, “If we are willing, we can be worthy.”
C. Wright said, “Jesus will beget a new life in us through the Gospel. It refreshes us. God gives this Spirit to people when their lives are prepared by the Gospel. Then we have cleansing when we are willing to walk in this light or this covenant, if we have received Christ into our lives.”
An elder in Massachusetts said, “My family grew up in a Bible believing church. We didn’t know the true, narrow way until we denounced the traditional church and heard the Truth from one of our beloved workers…. We realized that the Bible Church people were no different from the Mormons. We are the true Way. My cousins are Moody Bible Institute Missionaries and those poor souls are going to hell because they don’t know the Truth!”
Eldon Tenniswood said, “Until people are willing to lay aside all former teaching, and become as a little child, they never will understand the Truth as taught by Jesus, in word and deed.”
The workers twisted the meaning of repentance. They separated “repentance” from the concept of moral “sin.” They think repentance is turning away from past beliefs and following the workers, rejecting one’s previous Christian beliefs and fellowship. They also use the word “sin” as a synonym for “Christian beliefs and traditions.” The Bible and the dictionary say “repentance” is heartfelt sorrow, regret or remorse for past sins, a renouncement of sin and a change in one’s behavior to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ. The Bible uses the word “sin” in relation to uncleanness, immoral and illegal behavior. In the Old Testament process of atonement for sin, the priests had to ceremonially purify themselves and kill a lamb or an animal and they had to make restitution to the one they had harmed or stolen from.
The New Testament also follows this pattern of asking God to cleanse and forgive us in the Name of the Blood of Jesus. And there should be a demonstration of the change, as in making restitution, asking forgiveness of the person offended and forsaking all opportunities of entanglement, etc. The workers have ignored the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount as the summary of God’s Law because those commandments didn’t include Irvine’s commandments. The workers have made “sin” an enigmatic word with no specific meaning, except “missing the mark” or “ lowering the standard of the kingdom.”
Some people are sorry for the consequences of sin, or the embarrassment or disgrace of it, but they don’t really see sin as an offense against God. We need to be like David who said, “Against thee have I sinned, Oh God.” The sin may also have hurt others but God is the first one to whom we need to apologize and then make amends and restitution to our brother or sister. The solution to our problem is the Cross of Jesus Christ. But redemption isn’t just about repenting of moral sin, it is about being raised from eternal death into eternal life. When we truly place our trust in the cross of Jesus Christ we receive eternal life and we can know we are saved and that our salvation is secure.
Faith in Christ and repentance should occur simultaneously. They are two sides to the same coin. Many Christians preface their testimonial statement with, “I repented on (such and such a date). They recognize that their conversion: recognizing Jesus as their Savior and repentance came simultaneously. Professing people rarely, if ever, speak of being born again, or of repentance. They simply “profess” in a gospel meeting by standing up or raising their hand “to follow the workers in the Way.” The workers and friends don’t think or talk about sin or repentance, or forgiveness through faith. They just think about obeying the workers, attending meetings and giving their testimonies.
Sermons And Spiritual Conversations
Garrett Hughes said, “Do you know what makes it so wonderful? It is the clouds! The sun shining on the clouds! And what are those clouds, eh? How do the clouds get up there? You know how they got there? The sun shined on all the wet places in the world. It shined on the sea and vaporized and left the salt behind. It shined on the bogs and the swamps and vaporized it and made the clouds. That’s God’s people. And I claim that is what is in the world today! The Son is already shining there on the clouds. The Son is going to rise and sure enough, that is where we are today. The clouds are God’s people separated from everything they have been in!”
Howard Mooney said, “The land of Israel is a type and shadow of the fellowship He gives us today…the Kingdom of Heaven!”
Haaken Ausenhus said, “Give us this day our daily Bread –it is a matter of daily seeking the face of God for spiritual nourishment!”
Frances Layden said, “When people listen to the gospel, a portion of the life of Christ is implanted within them. Apart from this we could not possess the life and nature of Christ. It comes from no other source. When this new seed has been planted in the heart of the oyster, it is again placed back in the sea in a basket. There it is restricted. It cannot go where it pleases. It is confined in this place where it can be protected from its enemies. This is a picture of God’s people, placed in little groups,where they can be cared for and protected. How different this is from the popular evangelist Billy Graham who says to his converts, attend the church of your choice!”
The early workers discouraged friendly visiting among the people after meeting. They would practically chase people out the door when meeting was over. They said that Satan would pluck all the good seeds out of our minds if we visited about daily cares or foolishness. The workers said everyone had to be out of their rented room by a specific time. But they chased everyone home even when there wasn’t any rush. They seemed to want to keep people from having time to visit. This probably had a reason behind it. Was it because there were things going on that they didn’t want people to know about? Was it because the workers were afraid of having to answer questions about their sermons? Was it because there were missing people, and excommunications going on or scandals that they wanted hushed up?
In the old days the workers had to be included at every gathering. This ensured that missing members or workers and forbidden subjects were kept quiet by their presence at all potlucks or sings. The workers have relaxed their vigilance in this regard in more recent years but old-timers remember this policy. Professing people now are well trained in avoiding controversy or conversations that would awaken people’s dormant thought process.
The people in this church may not feel “saved” but they feel safe. It is a social security, not an eternal security.
There have been many people who have relied on their faithfulness to the Way to help them face death. Yet, when the time came they were terribly afraid of death because they didn’t feel ready or saved. One woman who had been a faithful elder’s wife expressed her fear to a head worker. The worker said, “Why! You don’t need to be afraid. You have been faithful all your life!”
Another faithful professing woman, facing death, expressed her fear to a head worker in the mid-west. The worker said, “Don’t worry about anything. That was the reason Jesus died. He paid the price so you don’t have to. He took all your sins and failures away when He died on the cross.” There is a considerable difference in those two messages.
Actually, both workers may believe the same thing. The only difference was that the second worker expressed the true gospel inadvertently, without inserting the workers’ doctrine which they believe qualifies one to receive the atonement of Christ’s blood.
I knew an older sister worker dying of cancer who was afraid to die. She confided to me that she didn’t want to die. I was surprised that she had such a fear. I thought that only professing people could face death with courage.
One sister worker who had gone into the work as a young woman finally came to the conclusion in middle age that she hadn’t been saved at the time of her baptism when she was young. She asked the head worker if she could be baptized again because she felt her first baptism had been done in ignorance. He said, no, it wasn’t necessary. The workers are helpless pawns because they have so little understanding of scripture at the time they enter the work. If that sister worker didn’t know about salvation when she entered the work how could she have helped anyone else be saved? She didn’t figure it out until middle age!
Since “The Secret Sect” was published, the workers occasionally mention Christ’s blood since the book pointed out this lack. However, they still teach that His blood is ineffective unless it is applied by the workers. The workers consider themselves as a screening gate. You must pass by them in order to enter the door to Heaven. They ignore I Timothy 2:5, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus said, “Believe in me and thou shalt be saved.” He didn’t say, “Become a Two by Two preacher and be saved” or “obey the workers and be saved.”
God never once predicated people’s salvation on another human being’s ability to “deny self,” remain “faithful,” unmarried, or membership in a specific fellowship. The salvation process is between each individual and God alone.
God wants to see the fruit of salvation: love, joy, meekness, kindness and virtue, not meetings in the home, frumpiness and the Two by Two preachers. But even the fruits of salvation cannot be confused with the process of receiving salvation. Salvation was accomplished by Christ and all one needs to do is accept Christ’s provision. If one really accepts it with true appreciation, then the repentance and fruits will follow.
Legalism is the practice of giving a set of rules and regulations that people must obey in order to receive or keep salvation. The friends and workers mock all the rules that the Seventh Day Adventists, Amish, Exclusive Brethren, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses or Catholics follow. They claim they are preaching the wrong rules but the workers preach the right rules. The Two by Twos mock other churches and call them “clubs, dependent on the payment of your dues”. The “Truth” is also an exclusive social club. You can get in only if they will let you in. Staying in is just as difficult.
Paul teaches very firmly in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Hebrews and other places that man is saved by grace not by rules. He had to fight that misconception in every place. God wants obedience, yes. The obedience He is referring to is the perfect Law of Love as defined by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. But, God knew that sinful, human people cannot keep that Law. Therefore, He came in the form of human flesh to suffer the guilt for man’s disobedience.
Satan wants people to believe it is nearly impossible to receive salvation. He wants people to resent God rather than praise Him. He tries to twist people’s understanding of the scripture so that they can’t grasp the opportunity of forgiveness. He wants to stop the effectiveness of Christians in this world. Praise the Holy Name of God for His unspeakable mercies on imperfect man!! Satan wants us to: Doubt God’s Word and Goodness; Discourage us by looking at our problems instead of Jesus Christ and His power; Diversion, to keep us from laying up treasure in heaven; Defeat and disobedience to make us feel like failures; Delay, to keep us so busy that we don’t have time for prayer and good works; Demons and false teachers to blind us with false doctrines. Praise God! His salvation plan was “news before it was theology.” Our salvation was accomplished when Jesus died and rose from the dead. It wasn’t just spiritual, it was physical. All we have to do is accept His gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus.
Unity is an issue that workers like to claim. They point to John 17:11; 21-23; Romans 12:4-5; I Corinthians 10:17; 12:12-13, 20, etc. The people are constantly told that the workers and friends are the only people who agree on the scripture. The friends read their Bibles every week but never seem to know what the Bible says. This is because they must ignore anything that the workers haven’t approved and everything they can’t talk about in one minute. That limits just about everything except the desire to be a good example.
Since the “friends” rarely discuss the scriptures with one another they do not realize that they hold differing viewpoints. The way the workers achieve “unity” is by excommunicating anyone who does not verbally agree with the workers. Hundreds of people have simply been cut off from fellowship for questioning the workers in power. The head workers have purposely located popular workers in rural districts to keep from upsetting the power base of the head worker. They have also put workers out of town if they have had too many questions or a difference of opinion on scriptures. Or, they will simply eliminate their names from the workers’ list and refuse to give them a companion the next year. The workers have said they aren’t hired so they can’t be fired. But they are hired and fired…by the head workers.
There is an old saying that any time two people agree on every subject, one of them isn’t thinking. Maybe both aren’t thinking. In fact, discussing the scripture from many different perspectives keeps people from being superficial Christians. The workers expect the friends to believe that their words are directly from God, yet they themselves don’t agree with many things that other workers have said in meeting or with decisions that other workers have made. But they don’t allow any public discussions at all. The workers have what is called a “protected pulpit,” meaning they are protected from having to answer questions.
One indication in how little the friends understand scripture or agree on doctrine is how widely divergent their views are once they begin thinking about relevant issues. Sadly, many of them have such an uninformed and illogical approach to scripture, they rarely have any Christian understanding at all. Nearly the only things they can agree on is that they believe in Jesus and that the workers are the only true servants of God and the meetings are the only way to God.
Belief is the “mental agreement with” or confidence in a truth. One cannot believe something that one does not understand. Since many of the friends don’t understand what they are supposed to believe, it means they can’t believe what they are supposed to believe. Is that faith? Faith in what?
The people are sometimes discouraged from visiting Two by Two church members in other countries. They are usually told that it might be a burden to receive American visitors. Yet it has been pointed out that the real reason is that the workers don’t want people noticing the viewpoints and rules that differ from place to place. They don’t want someone from another country infecting their little kingdom with information that they haven’t heard about. The workers have subtle, secretive ways of screening the people they allow to visit other countries. They don’t share names and addresses or they write or call ahead and warn people about someone they don’t trust.
When the friends are together the topic of discussion is rarely about God or the scripture. It is usually about people, the workers, weather, health, or how unwilling Christians are. The workers feel more secure among the “party-liners” that bow to their every wish and overlook any discrepancies that arise. Families who have professed for many years, who are wealthy, or who have workers in their families receive more attention or respect than others. Party-liners are stuck in the system more than regular members because of the status they have in the “Way”. One man who was once numbered among the “in-crowd” described the relationship as a “mutual admiration society”.
Does the biblical word “unity” mean uniformity in appearance and method? Or does it mean unity in doctrine, cooperation in Christian activities and love between the races, sexes, and economic classes? Paul wanted the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians to be unified in love, doctrine and purpose. Read Romans 15:5, 6 and Philippians 2:2 and John 13:35. Christians should be individually directed by God because He is the Creator who gave them their gifts and membership in the Body. Members have different tasks in the Body. Among Two by Twos there are only two types of members: Workers and friends. The workers strictly expect everyone to get to every meeting and convention and become suspicious of anyone who doesn’t attend consistently.
Doubts are one of the greatest hazards of life in this church. The people have to go to meeting constantly to keep from having doubts creep in if they have time to do any thinking. Consequently, common sermon topics are on “Doubt” or “Faith”. What are they afraid of you doubting? Are they afraid you will lose faith in God or His Word? Or are they afraid you will lose faith in the workers? What do they mean by “faith”?
Another favorite sermon topic is submission. At a 1988 convention the topics of sermons were: Submission, Willingness, Being in Subjection, Willingness, Starting Over, Staying Away From Anyone with the Wrong Spirit, Willingness, Standards of the Church and the Need for Workers.
An older brother worker said, “There is nothing to discuss. Truth is Truth. It is just a matter of being willing.” The workers firmly believe that anyone who wants to objectively examine their statements is simply unwilling to obey God.
Frequently, people are reminded of friends or relatives who left meetings and then years later come back because they could not find another church to satisfy them. This reinforces everyone’s belief that this is truly the only way. This same story is told by Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists and other cults or legalistic churches that control the minds of the people so firmly. People hold on to the prejudices and beliefs they have been taught from childhood. This is why the Bible is so important. Search the scriptures. Pray and study the Bible with some good expository teachers.
The friends and workers rarely share scriptural thoughts at all, except in meeting, and then it is in such a rigid, formal setting that no specific problem or question can be dealt with. Everything is alluded to in such vague words that no one knows what is being targeted for correction or instruction. Many years ago, people corresponded and shared sermon notes with one another but that changed during the 1960’s because the workers told people to stop sharing written material for fear that it would fall into the hands of outsiders.
Remember, the Truth will set you free. Why should anyone fear if anyone learned what the church believes? When someone possesses Truth he should be shouting it from the housetops. All that is shared now are the worker approved GEM notes from Special Meetings and Conventions. GEM notes are one or two liners, “When you see a wrong, double your efforts to do right.” How can they know if they see a wrong, or how can they double their efforts to do right, unless they are taught what is right or what is wrong? If you see a wrong, why don’t you speak up about it and change the wrong? No. In the Two by Twos, you aren’t allowed to speak up or change anything. All you are supposed to do is work overtime doing right. What does that mean? Go to meeting twice as often? Have the workers over twice as much? Go to convention for 8 days instead of 4?
The other acceptable written material is a word list for a certain subject. They call that a study. A concordance listing is not teaching. Anyone can look up verses under a certain topic and still not understand an issue. When workers correspond with people they usually send an itinerary of their travel and a two sentence comment on a verse or two. If anyone writes and asks a worker a question regarding scripture or a point of doctrine, the worker will call and answer it over the phone rather than answer in a letter. All that evasion is necessary to keep people from having anything in writing regarding what they teach.
One purpose of this book is to ask people to request that the head workers publish their doctrines, so they will be forced to make some sense out of their irrational, unscriptural beliefs. This document is a record of what the workers taught during my lifetime and in the 60 years before that. My family has been an active part of this church for 5 generations. The sources quoted are mainly head workers and senior workers. There is plenty of verification. The workers are afraid and ashamed to publish what they believe because it cannot be supported with scripture and sound logic and because they cannot agree on what they believe. Pray for this church. Pray for these workers. They need God to help them understand His Word.
The workers will not publish a doctrinal statement because they cannot. How about the elders? Challenge them. Ask them if you could do it for them. Accumulate all the workers’ notes you can find and then start recording all the statements made on every doctrinal issue. Who is God? What is the character and attributes of God? Who is the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit? What about the authority and inerrancy of the Scripture? What is our only source of Truth? Who is the Creator of the universe? What is the Providence of God? Why does God want us to pray and what can we pray for? How can we pray effectively? What is man and why did God create him? What does scripture mean by the words soul and spirit? What is sin? Where did it come from? How do we deal with it? What is the Gospel? What is Faith? What is God’s Grace? Find a respected book on doctrines and compare its information to the workers statements.
“Grace” according to the workers, means the power given by the Holy Ghost to a professing person to resist sin. They believe one receives this grace through self-denial. The Bible and the dictionary define “grace” as the undeserved favor of God towards fallen man.
“Ministry or minister” according to the workers is a synonym for preachers, apostles or workers. Preaching is their only service. The workers have special communication with God, a higher place on earth and in heaven. They receive the promises of God for their natural needs that no one else can have. However, they act as rulers rather than as teachers or servants.
Christians do not use the word minister or ministry in that way. They use the word “minister” to mean “servant or someone who helps others”. One can be a trained minister or an untrained minister. Usually, only a trained minister is allowed to have a position of teaching. Scripture uses the words “apostles,” “elders,” “pastor teachers,” “bishops,” “evangelists,” and “deacons” for the leadership. Deacons were the ones who specifically helped the widows and orphans or others with specific natural needs. The word “apostles” is applied only to the original Jewish men personally called by Jesus Christ during His lifetime, and to Paul whom He called in a supernatural manner on the road to Damascus. Apostles had supernatural ability to heal. Christians usually use the word pastor to mean teacher of the Word. Christians believe that anyone who preaches the Gospel must be educated first. They uphold the scripture that says not to give novices a place of teaching. I Timothy 3:6 They recognize that those who spend their lives in full time ministry will have a greater reward in heaven but they don’t believe that preachers on earth have any special communication with God or position of authority over others. They know that Christian pastors come under greater opposition from Satan and must be on constant guard against temptation. Because of this many pastors ask for others to help keep them accountable and to pray for their spiritual and moral protection.
Cults alone put their leaders on a level above the other members. Christians respect their leaders but do not exalt them to a higher status level.
“Self-denial” The workers teach that it is denial of one’s own personality, denial of marriage and family, rejection of career, entertainment, fun or relaxation, natural talents, human happiness and desires. It is ascetism without beneficiaries, without good works. Their self-denial does not glorify God. It makes God appear unkind, unloving and unreasonable. Christians believe “self-denial” is putting God first, resisting immorality and sin and by living frugally so that money can be used for charitable, church or mission work. Christians practice self-denial by volunteering in Christian outreach, teaching children to memorize scripture, spending years studying the Bible to learn more about God. They practice self denial by verbally talking about Jesus in public places, with people they meet, even though they know most people don’t want to talk about Jesus.
They practice self-denial by sharing the gospel with others, even in dangerous places, or by protesting abortion or pornography or immoral behavior in public places and accepting the hostility they know such a message generates. They practice self-denial by going to third world countries or inner city neighborhoods and doing free medical or dental service. They practice self-denial by teaching Sunday School, helping at church, etc. But they also believe in having fun. Self-denial isn’t a restriction of enjoyment or God’s blessings in life. Self-denial is doing good works that brings glory to God rather than self.
“Sin is the scar that men see,”according to Irvine.The workers are more concerned with outside appearances than they are with offenses against God. They are more concerned with saving people from “worldliness,” Christian beliefs, traditions and church buildings. Christians believe sin is disobedience to God’s Word.
“Christian” Workers say it means “Christ within” but they don’t call themselves Christians. They are “professing.” The Bible Dictionary says the word “Christian” means “an adherent of Christ, Christ’s men, follower of Christ.” Christians gladly identify with the cross of Christ and scripture. Christians gladly call themselves Christians.
“Example” means “appearance” to a Two by two. Christians believe the word “example” is in reference to behavior and modesty.
“Truth” The workers use the word as the title for the church and as an abbreviation for their methods. The Bible uses the word “Truth” to refer to Jesus Christ and to the scripture.
“Worldliness” is the workers word for normal. Christians believe “worldliness” means atheism, secular humanism, sensuality, or any philosophy that is anti-God.
“Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God” is the workers term for their church. The Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God is the universal realm, human and angelic that honors and obeys God.
“Apostle” means worker. The Bible dictionary says an apostle is one who was directly and personally called by Jesus in a face to face encounter. Apostles had special miraculous abilities and their letters became scripture. They were Jewish.
“Repentance”means turning from Christianity and accepting the worker’s authority and rules for salvation. Christians use the word “repentance” to mean turning from sin, especially moral sin and idolatry.
“Willingness” means submitting to the workers. Traditional Christians define willingness as obedience to whatever God requires of the individual. Each person is gifted differently and therefore God sets each one to different tasks. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
“Righteousness” means meeting in the home, a homeless ministry, long hair and buns on the head for women, no TV, no fun, no frills, no association with anyone except professing people, attending all the meetings, following all the rules, etc. Traditional Christians believe the righteousness of Christ is imputed to those who trust in His atoning blood and the avoidance of moral sin. Righteousness means honesty and integrity.
“Believe” means to believe and “obey” the workers. The Young’s Concordance defines the word “believe” to mean to adhere to, trust or rely on. Christians use the word “believe” in reference to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the Scripture, alone.
“Simplicity of the gospel” means the workers’ method of doing things; meeting in the homes, no building funds, no charitable activities, no cooperative planning with church elders, no worship services, no scriptural education, no collections, no fun, no frills etc. However, “Simplicity of the gospel” really means Christ lived and died and rose again to wash away the sins of those who believe on Him.
“Blasphemy” is questioning the workers’ doctrine and authority. One professing woman thought that saying, “Praise the Lord and Hallelujah” was blasphemy. Blasphemy is actually an accusation against The Holy Spirit claiming that He is Satan.
“Damned” Irvine said it means “God not dwelling within.” Another worker said, “Damned means “unfit.” Scripture says “damned” means divine judgment with eternal punishment.
“Poor”refers to the workers who have voluntarily given up their occupations and money because they are poor in spirit. Everyone else in the world believes the word “poor” refers to those who are financially destitute. Poor people are usually those who have not chosen to be poor.
“Living by faith” means the workers depend on God to provide for their needs. For professing people it means being obedient to the workers’ authority. Christians believe “living by faith” means believing the Scripture is the Word of God, depending on Christ’s blood to provide forgiveness and eternal life, living without worry, trusting God to give directions, to answer prayer and provide for His plans for our lives.
“Bearing the cross” means to suffer as Jesus did as a poor homeless preacher. The workers mock the use of the cross as a symbol of Christian faith.They do not use it on the grave or in homes or as a silent reminder that one has chosen Christ as Lord. Christians believe that “bearing the cross” means “to carry” the Name of Jesus and the story of the cross to other people. Bearing the cross also means to patiently accept whatever trials come into ones’ life as a result of faith in Jesus Christ. Christians realize that they will often have to suffer criticism, hatred, persecution, or martyrdom for being Christians and bearing the name and cross of Jesus. But not all Christians suffer in the same way. Christians glory in the cross and gladly use it as a symbol of their faith. It has been overused by some, of course, and has even been used as an ornament without any meaning at all. Prayers are often given with the wrong attitude and motive but that doesn’t mean we stop praying. The Name of God has been used in vain as well but that doesn’t mean that Christians should stop identifying with the Name of God or the Cross of Christ. Some Christians wear the cross, believing that it protects them from Satan. Some Christians wear the cross as a witnessing tool. Some non Christians wear it for decoration only. That doesn’t negate it’s significance.
Faulty definitions create double meanings. Just as dysfunctional families communicate with double messages the workers communicates faulty “Truth.” Christians can carry on conversations with Two by Twos for long periods of time, never realizing that they are talking about different things completely.