My Spiritual Journey
By Mildred Garner
Though I was unaware of it at the time, in the fall of 1954 our country was in the midst of its greatest revival up to this time. People were being saved, healed, and delivered from evil spirits, habits, and drugs by the thousands. Miraculous things were happening all over the country and in almost every country of the world, but no one had told me about it. At that time, I was a young mother with four little girls between two and nine years of age. I was suffering from depression and a lung condition that was threatening my life. If anyone needed to experience the mighty power of salvation and healing, it was me.
My physical and emotional condition robbed me of the strength to reach out for help. A few months earlier I had sought help in California, but I was quickly slammed into Tulare’s King County Sanitarium for seventy days. The state doctors were using every technique at their disposal to find the germ that would substantiate their premature diagnosis that I had tuberculosis. They did not find the germ, but being paid by the state, they were not free to look for any other cause of my illness. The only reason I was hospitalized was that the state law forced anyone with tuberculosis to remain hospitalized until they died or were cured. The doctors thought I fit that description—evidently I didn’t.
Not being eligible for state help unless I had tuberculosis, all the attention I drew from the medical doctors was in an effort to diagnose my problem. I did not receive any medical attention while I was held in confinement and was as ill when I left the hospital as I was when I entered. I think I may have set a record for being the first person that stayed in the hospital that long without taking any medication or treatment.
We were farm people and without insurance; therefore, we were unable to finance any prolonged hospital stay. I eventually returned to Mesa, Arizona, but did not seek medical help there.
I’m positive that the Lord secretly situated me two doors down the street from an elderly Baptist lady named Alice Mae Manning. She fulfilled one command of the Lord completely; she surely was as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove—she got my children interested in church activities. She was also very persistent about getting my whole family into the little Baptist Mission that filled the space between our houses.
I had a deep desire to be a Christian as far back as I can remember, but I’m sure Mrs. Manning could see no sign of it. I had kept a few secrets from her. I did not tell her that I had been a Christian when I was ten and twelve. According to my dad’s theory, the Lord rejected me because I played a game of jacks by myself. He condemned me and told me playing jacks was a sin and God would not answer my prayers again. I believed him; he was my dad and my authority. I had also manicured my nails on Sunday, which was supposed to be a sin in those days. I smoked cigarettes and married a man that had been married before. The minister of the mission smoked, so smoking was no big deal to Mrs. Manning, but I did not dare tell her my other sins, especially about me being a second wife. She did not know that my spiritual problem stemmed from my assumption that Yahweh had rejected me.
I wanted my children to be Christians and sent them to church with Mrs. Manning. I constantly asked the Lord to take care of them after my death. I never thought of my request as praying—I somehow had been convinced that praying down on one’s knees was for Christian folks and talking out loud to the Lord was for sinners. I was persuaded that a Christian always kneeled down to pray.
My pesky neighbor kept up her barrage of pleading until I decided that going to church for a couple of hours could not possibly be as uncomfortable as listening to her constant affirmation that I needed to go and would like it.
My Day of Salvation
I will never forget the first day that I went to church. Immediately after the minister started preaching (at me, of course) there was a glowing heat that came down and settled over me. I lost touch with the minister and everyone else around me. Not knowing that the Lord visited his lowly creatures here on this terra firma, I decided that I was having a heart attack. But after a while, when I had not fallen out of my seat dead or shown any outward signs of dying, I became convinced that I was having some sort of supernatural visitation from the heavenly realm. I momentarily forgot about being a second wife and all the rest of my sins, and I received my Savior into my life with open arms.
Mrs. Manning told me later that my face glowed and was changed momentarily when I stood and accepted the Lord. That was November 14, 1954 and it is now October 6, 2006 (almost 52 years) and I have never doubted His power to save since that day.
After I had time to grasp what had happened, I thought for sure my husband would leave me the moment he found out that I had become a Christian. I decided to get it over with as soon as I got home. Just as I walked in the door I told him, but he did not get up and start packing. I was baptized that afternoon. Two weeks later my husband and my oldest daughter, Barbara, were baptized also.
My baptism was a dramatic experience, but the change that came into my life was more spectacular. I changed instantly from exhaustion to energetic, from depressed to cheerful. I had suffered from an afternoon temperature with flu-like symptoms for many months; suddenly I felt well and enthusiastic. In the days before my conversion, I had resented having been born and lived only for the benefit of my children. My question had been, “What is the purpose of being dragged through this misery just to die and go to hell?” My new life gave the answer and one that I could comprehend and love. I no longer looked at my God through religion’s concept. I had met a loving and caring God and I was ready to live my new life for Him.
My Childhood Experience
Back to my early days as a child of five or six years old, my four sisters and I attended a little country church. The three youngest ones of us were fortunate to be taught by a lady of active faith, who convinced us that Yahweh would answer our prayers if we were sincere. Our memory verse was, “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive,” Matthew 21:22. Quote that one to most adults and you will more than likely get a blank look, but quote it to a little child while you have the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon you and you will have convinced an important person to have faith in Yahweh.
Our vicinity was experiencing a drought at that time and the crops were beginning to show their lack of water. Dad was ready to panic, as were some of our neighbors.
We children heard all the predictions of starvation that we would suffer in the coming winter if the summer rain didn’t come. Our Sunday school teacher convinced us that rain was only a prayer away. But that created a crisis for us. We were living on a plantation in the White River bottoms in Independence County, Arkansas and we enjoyed the sand tremendously. We knew too well that when the rain came it would soak our sand. Soaking our sand was not an option, yet we did not want to risk starvation in the winter.
After much consideration, we adopted a plan. We would fill some old syrup, jelly, and lard buckets with sand and put them under the floor. Then we piled a great pile of sand in a heap and capped a metal Nehi soda pop signboard over it to protect it from the rain. We then climbed upon the signboard and used it for our altar. There we knelt before the Lord with six little forearms and elbows flat on the signboard and three little rumps in the air; we sought God for the needed rain that came almost immediately.
It rained so hard that it soaked our sand that was under the signboard. The adults in our family watched our little ritual from the front porch and never doubted that we had experienced a miracle. This and Daddy’s miraculous recovery from his death-bed three or four years later forever convinced us that our God answered prayer. That fact stayed with me throughout the years.
Back to Mrs. Manning
Mrs. Manning had evidently became quite impressed with my experience in the Lord and in a very short time assigned me to teach the Sunbeam class, which were the tiny tots. I reckoned that if I could be taught to pray with expectation at five and six years of age, these children could also. What I did not know was Mrs. Manning had been sent to the next room to eavesdrop on my effort. The second thing I did not know was that they opposed the belief that Yahweh would answer prayers. Now the thought that Yahweh did not answer prayer had never entered my mind.
I was immediately called on the carpet and told that it was my privilege to believe my story, but I could not teach my doctrine in that church. I never thought that believing in answered prayer would be an offensive doctrine in any church. I thought my responsibility to these darling little ones was to instill faith in their hearts and minds as soon and as solid as possible.
If the religion they were so anxious to introduce to me did not include miraculous healing power, I was doomed. The opposition also left me without a message. If my new-found God did not answer prayer and work miracles, I knew nothing else to teach; my only option was to resign. They had hoped that I would not go to that extreme, but I honestly could not teach if I could not talk about the demonstration of the power of Yahweh in our lives.
One of the scriptures that had inspired me and led me to my belief was found in First Corinthians 2:3-5: “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of Yahweh.”
They were not willing to compromise and neither was I, but they were reluctant to let me go. Their two ministers started visiting me frequently in an effort to convince me that Yahweh did not perform miracles after the Church fathers died.
While I was caught in this conflict, my brother Roy, which was in the military, came to visit me on his furlough. I decided to confide in him about my belief. I told him some of the outstanding things the Lord had shown me, especially in First Corinthians 12:1-14: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant…. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will…. For the Body is not one member, but many.”
I told Roy, I could not find a church that I could identify with. He chuckled and told me to go to the Assembly of God. I was delighted and wrote the name down to prevent it from becoming lost to my memory. The next Saturday, when Ed, my husband, had a day off, I set out walking to locate the church while he took care of our girls.
When I reached the ministers house, I knocked and a sophisticated lady answered the door. I told her that I would like to talk with the pastor if I could. She showed me into his parlor. He was dressed in a suit, but sitting in sock feet in a fashionable over-stuffed chair with his feet crossed and resting on a hassock. He did not rise to greet me nor explain his laid back attitude. He was probably less than forty years old and was very rude in conduct. He told me that I would not be welcomed by his congregation, as only wealthy members assembled there and they would not accept a member from the lower class. I did not tell him I was lower class, but I am sure my Mode-O-Day dress and my J.C. Penney shoes were a dead give-away. I left the room thoroughly embarrassed and more than a little insulted. I would not try that again.
I had a small Bible that I had purchased with green stamps, a set of encyclopedias, and a dictionary. With these, I searched the Bible into the wee hours of the night after the children were asleep and Ed was at work; he was working the night shift.
The wife of the assistant pastor of the little Baptist Mission had become a dear friend, and taking advantage of her loving nature, I asked her how she felt about the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians, verses 1-14.
Her answer surprised me. She said, “I feel the same way you obviously feel about it.” Her answer gave me boldness to pursue my inquiry. “Then why do you not tell your church that you believe in miracles and healing?”
She paused for a moment as if she was searching for words that would justify her decision to keep her faith secret, “My husband does not believe in miracles, and as his wife I cannot say I believe differently; he is a minister and I must support his doctrine.” Then, she went into details about a lady that lived next door to her that had been bedfast for twelve years. But when Brother Oral Roberts prayed for her, she was instantly healed and got off her bed and walked. She ended her story by asking me not to tell anyone in the church about our conversation; I didn’t.
I made friends with a lady by the name of Dovie Coker that told me about seeing a man healed of numerous skin cancers. I had found several scriptures in the Bible by this time that supported my conviction and refuted Brother Hayman’s, our pastor, so that I felt very bold most of the time. The one that drew my attention most was James 5:14-16, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church (not Church father’s); and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (not necessarily a Church father) avails much.”
I will admit that my fifth grade education compared with their college degrees in Bible theology shook my earth a bit. But scriptures such as the one above, Mark 16:15-18, and Isaiah 53:4-5 affected me strongly because of my daddy’s healing when he had called for prayer and my own healing of pellagra when I was twelve. These all furnished the support I needed to hold on to my conviction.
It was about this time that I became aware of a strong desire to minister. Being taught that women could not preach did nothing to quench my desire, so my next option was to have a son that would carry the message for me. But up to this time, our efforts toward having a son had produced five lovely daughters (we lost one little girl), so I was aware that prayer was needed in that direction.
At this time, Ed was working in the mines at Superior, Arizona, which was quite a distance from where we lived. He spent over two hours a day traveling to and from work. We decided to settle both of our problems by moving to Superior. Then he would be in five minutes of his work and I would escape the pressure I was experiencing from the little mission.
We had not unloaded into our newly rented house in Superior when we were invited to attend the Pentecostal church there. The lady that invited us was Mrs. Edna Graham. She was aware of the world wide Pentecostal revival and it was not long until we were very much aware of it also.
I finally found a church that believed in miracles and healings and accepted the working class people; it did not take long for the Savior to lead me to be prayed for. The night that I was anointed with oil and prayed for, I felt the Spirit come over me, going all the way down to my toes. I knew without a doubt I had been healed of my lung problem, but it was several days before my lungs completely stopped bleeding. I am 5ft.3 ¾ inches tall and at that time I weighed one hundred and five pounds.
I met another neighbor, Lois Stanley, who immediately became my dearest and most precious friend. We attended the same church and Bible studied together continuously and prayed together almost daily. After reading many scriptures about the Holy Spirit baptism, especially in Acts 2:38-39 (“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yasha Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”) and Acts 1:8 (“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”) I began seeking for the Holy Spirit.
The word “witnesses” in the above scripture attracted my attention. I was still amazed that no one had told me that Christ was alive and could talk to me. I wanted the power to witness. I was shy around strangers before I was converted; I wanted boldness. So Lois and I decided we wanted to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Her Dad, Mr. Harvey Byrd, was also a new convert, so he participated in our spiritual activities. He was a precious soul and as interested in the baptism as we were.
That fall Jack Coe was very successfully ministering on healing and miracles in Tucson, Arizona, and we were anxious to attend. I will never forget that day; it was the 8th of October in 1955. It was a Holy Spirit service and Brother Jack reserved the middle row of seats for those of us that were going to receive the Holy Spirit. I am sure there were well over a hundred of us. When he called us forward to congregate before the rostrum, I prayed that he would ask us to kneel. He did, and immediately everyone around me including Brother Byrd and Lois were speaking in tongues. I was not left behind, it seemed my knees barely hit the sawdust and I was speaking in a heavenly language. Oh the glory of that service was something I will cherish forever.
Dad and Mother Garner were there that day. She had been a Methodist since she could remember and had never heard of the Holy Spirit. I ran to her immediately after my baptism and was rejoicing in the Spirit. After I walked away, Mother said to Dad, “I do not know what she got, but whatever it is I want it.” Now that was exactly what I wanted to hear from my mother-in-law. Mother went after the Spirit like a dog after a bone and in record time she received it, and at the same instant she received a healing of the rheumatoid arthritis pain that had wracked her body for twenty-four years. Within days she received a deliverance from a tumor in her throat also. She never again suffered from the rheumatoid arthritis pain, nor from the tumor. The week before she received her healing, she had consumed one hundred aspirins and after that she never took another aspirin.
My dear Brother Bird was a precious man but he held one awful sin in his heart; he was a respecter of persons, but he had been raised to be prejudice—a racialist.
I will never forget the beautiful scene that the Lord allowed me to witness the night Brother Byrd received the Holy Spirit and his deliverance. When the Holy Spirit came upon him, he got an instant deliverance from his prejudice spirit. He had his hands up and his fingers laced together with the fingers of a precious elderly black sister and they were dancing on their knees and praising Yahweh in the sawdust. That was one glorious sight; he was permanently delivered.
My brother-in-law was suffering from terminal cancer at this same time. Mother Garner and I were chosen to escort him to Tucson, Arizona and to spend a week there where he hoped to receive his healing. The power of Yahweh was mighty upon Brother Coe in the first service we attended. He had called a healing line and was praying for each individual by laying his hands upon them. A tall man walked up before him who was suffering from back problems and his backbone had been fused. Brother Coe started to pray for him, then instantly stepped behind him and brought his knee up; it hit the man about midway up on the man’s spine. When he made contact with the man’s body, I saw sparks of blue flames flare in the same fashion that hot electric wires do on contact with each other. I was flabbergasted. I whirled and asked the stranger sitting next to me, “What was that flash of light I saw when Brother Coe’s knee touched that man’s back?”
“You probably saw a camera flash,” he explained. I instantly knew I had seen something that this stranger had not seen. I was overjoyed, but did not attempt to share my mystery. I knew I had actually witnessed the power that is usually invisible. I saw it one more time in that meeting and have never seen it since. But I have met a couple of people that told me they had witnessed the same phenomenon. When I asked about the color they saw, they said, blue. I am now certain that there is a substance to the power that is transmitted by the laying on of hands.
I watched as the Lord healed one after another, night after night. If you were in the healing line on crutches, as you received your healing an attendant was there to take your crutches. If it was your eyes that were healed, they took your glasses. If you were in a wheelchair, they took it for a few days. Brother Coe said he found that oftentimes people would return to the thing they had depended on and lose their healing, and if he took them away the temptation was not there.
After attending the little church in Superior where the Lord had miraculously healed me and attending Brother Jack Coe’s meeting in Tucson, Arizona where I received the Holy Spirit infilling and witnessed thousands of miracles and healings, not only in Jack Coe meetings, but in A. A. Allen’s, Oral Roberts, William Branham, David Nunn and others, I never again worried about not being as educated as the pastor and his assistant in the little mission in Mesa. Every since I was conversion I have had a very strong determination to learn. I still take time to study and research.
Back in the 1950’s, my husband and I were parenting our four girls. I was now feeling the need to produce a son that could satisfy my desire to preach, and my husband also had wanted a son. We turned the matter over to the Lord and I became pregnant again. This time it was two boys, David Farrell and Ronnie Darrell. We called them our double portion.
On June 16, 1956, three days before my boys were born, two of our children, Beverley and Brenda, received the Holy Spirit baptism in our home, in spite of the fact that Beverley was nine and Brenda was seven.
My sister Billie and her husband had moved to Superior from Missouri. Billie received the Holy Spirit baptism at Brother David Nunn’s revival in Tucson, early in 1956. She and her children were at my house the night my daughters received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in a heavenly language. My niece Ellen and nephew Daniel had a dramatic experience also, as did my other daughter Barbara, but these three waited for a later date to experience their infilling of the Holy Spirit.
On the twenty-ninth of June, ten days after the birth of my twin boys, my husband quit the mines and we started our journey to the southwest corner of Missouri, near Pineville.
We attended a little church in Pineville that had Pentecostal members, but some were not. It was in this little church that Barbara received the Holy Spirit baptism. It caused quite a stir in the church. The minister accepted it as a legitimate experience from the Lord, but that was the beginning of the end of our fellowship there. We had carried Barbara out of the church while she was still caught up in the Spirit and she did not come out of her experience until after sun-up the next day. That was a little too Pentecostal for that congregation.
The minister, Brother Roy Achurse, made a statement in church that troubled me because I thought it was detrimental to people who were seeking the Holy Spirit. He spoke from the pulpit, “We have to be cautious when we are seeking the Holy Spirit for we may get the wrong spirit.”
After we had dinner, we decided to visit Brother Achurse and show him a scripture that I felt would surely enlighten him. I had read in Luke 11:10-13 where the Lord had assured his followers that it was no risk at all to seek for his Spirit, “For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” That sounded awfully plain to me and I knew he would be glad to receive it.
But to my utter dismay Brother Achurse refuted the statement by saying, “I don’t care what the Bible says, I have seen it happen.”
I of course withstood him and reminded him that if we did not stick to the Bible teachings, we were free to go off in all directions. But he stood firm. I was very disappointed, but we survived and started attending a small church on the state line of Arkansas and Missouri. This move was a good experience and gave us a spiritual lift.
In the spring of 1957, I was working in a small garden spot near our house out on Huckleberry Ridge when the Spirit settled down upon me. I knew the Spirit was moving upon me for a reason, but I did not know what it was. I became very excited in my spirit, but at the same time I was miserable in my flesh. The power that had settled upon me was very strong and I knew my garden had to wait until I found out what this visit was all about.
I went to the house and paced a bit and finally I said, “Lord you must show me what you are dealing with me about.” I reached for my Bible, opened it, and laid down on the couch. I then, laid the open Bible over my face and relaxed. In a moment, I was out. I saw a very strange vision: as a small white cross, like the ones you sometimes see that marks a veterans grave, came from the top window of a red barn with a hay loft. The cross slowly drifted to the earth and remained up-right in the earth. A voice was talking to me at the same time. It said that I would leave Missouri immediately; that I would go back to Superior and be there for only ten days. It spoke about a split in the church there, and told me a brother that I dearly loved had backslid.
I decided not to tell Ed about my experience. When he came home that night he told me he had decided to close up our house and go back to Arizona. He said he wanted to leave as soon as I could pack what we needed to take with us.
When we reached Superior, I found the church was, of a truth, split and the brother was out of the church. The Lord mended the split in the church while I was there, but the brother remained backslid. We did leave Superior on the eleventh morning and took my sister Betty and five of her children with us. We moved to Santa Paula, California. This was a move I strongly opposed. But I did not tell one person that the Lord had shown me that we would be in Superior for only ten days.
I had wanted to stay in Superior. It was like I was being moved around from place to place without even being able to express my will. I learned later why we were directed back to Superior and on to California. It was well worth the sacrifice, but I cannot express it here without betraying other persons, so I must remain silent.
After we accomplished our job in California, we went back to Huckleberry Ridge. We eventually moved back to Mesa and on to Los Angeles, California where we stayed about five years.
After my dreadful experience with the state and my episode with my lungs in 1953, I did not want to go to L. A. because of the smog. I felt that the smog there was too dangerous, but Daniel, Ed’s brother, had gotten Ed a job there and we went. I did not suffer from the smog to any extreme, but Ed did—he almost died twice with inflammation in his lungs.
While I was waiting in Mesa for Ed to come and move us to California, I felt that it was the wrong move, and I was praying about it. I said, “Lord, show me if I should go on to L. A.?”
He answered me with a silent voice inside my head, saying, “Under your circumstances you will go even if I should tell you to stay here. You do not have the faith right now not to go.”
He was right, of course. My boys were thirteen months old and my girls were five, eight, ten, and twelve. There was no state assistance available to us and the utilities and rent were high.
After we got to L.A., I felt like a tiny ant in a busy ant trail; I continually sought and searched for a church. It seemed every church I went to was a learning experience, but not the kind of learning that I longed for.
Finding our place in the spiritual flow of society can be a trying time, but once we connect we find a network of connections that gives us shelter and support wherever we go, but if we deviate from the beaten path, we soon find ourselves locked out.
We moved to Highland Park right away and our first church while there was in an abandoned theater. Brother Larry Larimore was a good person but it seemed he was more interested in getting a convert with a big name than he was anything else—he did eventually get the famous singer, T. Texas Tyler.
The theater soon closed and from what I heard T. Texas Tyler and Brother Larimore started evangelizing. That was great, even though it left us without a church. But Yahweh did not forget us and we moved on in the Lord, learning and sacrificing, while being blessed in the Spirit.
We soon found a better house in El Monte, California where we eventually attended the church where I was pastor for a short while, which was also a time of learning for me.
Eventually my sister Billie and her husband Woody moved to El Monte. She and I spent a lot of our time doing research in the Bible. I bought books from the Assembly of God so we could be knowledgeable teachers, being as we taught from the Assembly of God quarterlies. The only thing about that was that we ran into some problems.
I talked to a dear Brother about the thousand year reign of Christ. He had been a minister for many years, and I figured that he would know the truth if anyone did. He told me that during the thousand year reign of Christ both Jews and Gentiles would continue to multiply, but during that time no Gentiles could ever be saved, nor could a Jew be lost—all Jews would automatically be saved. Being saved to that brother was being eternally blessed in Yahweh’s glorious heaven. Not being saved was going to hell to burn eternally in flames that were seven times hotter than normal flames because it would have brimstone (sulfur) added to make it hotter. This explanation troubled me greatly. “Why,” I asked, “would God save all the Jews and damn everyone else that was born during the thousand year reign of Christ?” That did not sound like the God I had met in that little Baptist church on South McDonald Street in Mesa.
“I know it is hard to understand, Sister Mildred,” the brother explained, “but God promised Abraham to save all of his seed, so that obligates him to save the Jews regardless of their spiritual worthiness, but the nations can’t come in because God’s door of mercy will be closed to everyone but the Jews. The Gentiles born during the millennium reign of Christ are doomed.” This he said because he had read Romans 11:26-27: “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” This sounded pretty good for Israel, but it did not back up the statement that all the Gentiles were damned during the millennium.
I knew the brother was wrong when he said that it was hard to understand. It was something more than hard—it was impossible to understand. I respected that minister too much to argue with him. He had been dedicated to his theory more years than I had lived and brought many souls out of sin, but I knew the Bible would not support such a theory. Therefore, I would never believe that that Gentle Spirit that so graciously rescued me from a horrid life of depression and doubt could watch innocent children and babies withering in flames for eternity, giving them no hope.
I will admit that I did not know what the thousand year reign was all about, but I knew and still know that the rejection of the nations was not a part of the Gospel (good news) Christ taught, nor was it the Love that was expressed in his cross experience. I learned that this myth came into the church dogma when someone read Romans 11:25: “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” and decided that “come in” meant “cut off.” They evidently had not read Matthew 21:43, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of Yahweh shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
We know now that the kingdom age was given to all nations (Gentiles), but at the time those words were uttered Jerusalem had not been destroyed and the Kingdom had not been taken from that system. But in A.D. 71, Titus destroyed that system and from that day until this “the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him,” Daniel 7:27.
We firmly believed that when Daniel spoke of the saints, he was speaking of those who accepted the Gospel message and received their new birth from above, whether they were Jews or Gentiles.
We clearly understood that when the Lord said “the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of Yahweh is at hand,” he was speaking of a change in the government of the Church. In truth, he was saying that the rulership of the unconverted Jews was over and the saints were taking over. This we understood to mean “The fullness of the Gentiles.”
After hearing the brother’s version of the Gentiles being cut off, it disturbed Billie and me. It caused us to plunge deeply into Scripture research on this subject with a determination to find more supporting scriptures. It was not long before we came across Galatians 3:6-9: “Even as Abraham believed Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that Yahweh would justify the heathen (Gentiles) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Also, see Galatians 3:16 and 26-29. Finding these texts was a delightful experience. Since then, the Holy Spirit added Ephesians 2:8-22.
When we understood, by the above scriptures, that Christ had taken the Jews and Gentiles and made one new creation, we realized it did not make sense that He would eventually reject the Gentiles and save all the Jews. To me, this was an easy decision to make until I was made aware that I had became more estranged from the Pentecostal doctrine which I was trying to fellowship—this troubled me.
As Billie and I studied the hell fire teaching, we looked up all the scriptures in the New Testament that dealt with that subject and noted that John the Baptist had promised that Jesus (as we called him) would baptize us with fire: “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire,” Luke 3:16.
If I was going to be submerged in fire, I wanted to know more about that experience. There was one thing that was clear to me, that is, if it was a natural fire as I had been taught that hell was. I very definitely was not looking forward to any such experience with any enthusiasm.
Then we noticed that in the case where some were trying to serve the Lord in their own way, that is, if they were using the wrong material to build with, then they would be saved by fire even though they were believing the wrong doctrine: 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Yasha Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by first.”
We quickly came to the conclusion that the fire was the trials that would purge us. It is obvious that Paul was talking about Christians, for he said, “If any man build on the foundation of Christ Yasha.” He is using an illustration that each of us is building our own house. We are forewarned that each house is to be built on the principle Christ taught, and our house is to be exposed to fire that consumes sin. If the material we use is inflammable, we will lose our house, but we will yet be saved so as by fire (trials).
We were certain that natural fire could not burn carnal concepts. Paul had expressed this same thought when he said in Philemon 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
We noted, as Peter explained, that the trials we would sometimes face would be fiery (1 Pet. 4:12). Also James 3:6 makes this statement, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
No matter what our doctrine is, we must all confess that fire, as used in the scriptures, is sometimes used symbolically. And if sometimes, how do we know that it is ever used otherwise?
This one thing Billie and I concluded, that is, if one person went to hell to be eternally tortured, Yahweh would be there with them, “Whither shall I go from your Spirit? or whither shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell (sheol), behold, you are there,” Psalms 139:7-8. But our conclusion brought with it unrest in our spirits. How could so many people be wrong, and we had to confess they were, if we were receiving truth. Yet every place we looked seemed to confirm what we had received.
I am convinced that sheol, which is sometimes translated grave and sometimes translated hell, is not a place of eternal torture. In the Greek of the New Testament the Hebrew word “sheol” is changed to the word “hades” and translated hell. This is the word that is used where sheol appears in Acts 2:25-33 and is translated as grave in First Corinthians 15: 54-55.
It was about this time that Sister Edith Crypes came to hold a service in our little church. She was gifted with prophecy and a line was formed of folks that wished to be prayed for. Billie and I stepped into the line also. Edith didn’t know either of us in our private life; she was from another city and could not have known what Billie and I were studying. Up until this time we had told no one, yet when she ministered to us our prophecies were similar. Yahweh, through her, bid us not to be astonished at the words we were receiving or doubt the revelation. He assured us that what we were receiving was from him. No other individual in the church received such a prophecy.
The prophecy gave us such great pleasure that as soon as the service ended, we anxiously rushed to tell Edith the revelation that we had been so troubled about. After hearing only a few words of our report, she immediately drew back from us and refused to hear the rest of what she had just confirmed as a revelation straight from the Spirit. We knew her prophecy was from the Spirit and that we had confronted her natural understanding, so her reaction never put a damper on our excitement.
Years later I read something in a news pamphlet that made me know that both Brother and Sister Cripes had later received at least some, if not all, of the same revelation that we had received—in this I rejoiced.
It was about this time that we discovered that the city of Yahweh, with the beautiful River of Life and the streets of gold were not permanent parts of heaven on another planet, for the man (Apostle John) that introduced the subject had seen it coming down to the earth from heaven. He also said it was the bride, the Lamb’s wife. For better understanding, please read Revelation chapters 21 and 22.
Billie and I were afraid to share our discovery, and we learned later that it was a very wise decision not to share it at that time. Even though, I did fellowship with James and Lois Miers in the deeper truth that we had discovered.
Most young Christians seemed to have a fascination with the book of Revelation, and we were no exception. Of course, we ran into all the snags and confusion that they ran into. But the one thing that puzzled us was that the book of Revelation had been written over nineteen hundred years ago, and yet the author had plainly stated the events spoken of in Revelation would shortly come to pass. “The Revelation of Yasha Christ, which Yahweh gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…,” Revelation 1:1. How could we say that nineteen hundred years and counting was a short time?
We soon discovered that the solution, according to some ministers, was that nineteen hundred years would be considered a short time to an eternal God. But the letter was not written to an eternal God—it was written to the seven churches that were at that time present on this terra firma; therefore, the wording should have been relegated to the understanding of the people to whom it was written, otherwise the message would have been of no effect.
As Billie and I read Revelation 3:11-13 (“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. He that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which ‘cometh down out of heaven’ from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said unto the churches.”), we were astonished at such amazing statements that were declared in these two verses:
(a) He was to come quickly.
(b) The overcomers were to be made pillars in the temple of Yahweh (the temple could not be a natural building if human beings were to become the pillars of it.)
(c) They were to be wearing the name of their God. He has to have a name.
(d) They were to wear the name of the city of their God.
(e) Their city was called New Jerusalem.
(f) New Jerusalem was quickly coming “down” to the earth out of heaven from Yahweh in the first century A.D.
(g) According to Revelation 21:9-10, the city was none other than the Bride—the Church.
We read Revelations 22:1-2 (“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of Yahweh and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the ‘healing of the nations (Gentiles)” and found this same Greek word that is translated as “nations” nineteen times, was also translated “Gentiles” in the New Testament more times than I want to count.
We felt we were justified in believing that the leaves that Yahweh had put on the tree for the healing of the nations (Gentiles) were surely effective, and the Gentiles were to be healed. We also considered that, according to the words of our Savior, a gushing river of Living Water was to flow out of our innermost being (John 7:38-39).
We were simple enough to connect these two statements, if a River of Life was flowing out of the Bride, and it was also flowing out of the innermost being of each Holy Spirit filled Christian, then they were one and the same river. Therefore the River of Life was speaking of the life message which flows out from the heart when we have received the Living Word.
Going back to the Bride being in heaven and coming down to earth, we noted that in Paul’s letter to the Galatians 4:25-26 he made the statement that Jerusalem was above: “For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” We pondered greatly on this statement and consider the fact that if the New Jerusalem, the Bride, and the Church were all one and the same thing, then who could scripturally argue against it? And if Jerusalem was still in heaven at the time Paul was writing his famous letter, it surely had already came down to earth because we felt that we were part of it. But Paul made the statement about the New Jerusalem being above before the full consummation of the law by the destruction of Jerusalem.
I later found a historical statement that one of the churches, which was included in the seven churches of Revelation, was destroyed by an earthquake before Jerusalem was destroyed, which proves that the book of Revelation was written while that Church existed and before Jerusalem was destroyed. To me this was a great confirmation that New Jerusalem, with her River of Life and her Healing Tree, was established in the earth in the first century A.D.
This great revelation was music to my ears but it also created a pain in my heart—for those who choose to go contrary to the carnal interpretation of the Bible will suffer rejection by most of the religious systems. But we rejoice that we have been counted worthy to suffer with him who gave up his life for us. Even Paul, whom I adore, said he had suffered the loss of all things when he first pinned the message of the Kingdom
Billie and I agreed that even though this message was a heavy message, we were to understand that it was meant to be understood symbolically and not materialistically. This understanding did not open the book to us completely, but it did help us to reject the idea that the Lord would someday make his appearance on a white horse with a sword in his mouth and a stack of crowns on his head.
Seeing the Bible in its symbolic language was a blessing that produced exciting and awesome experiences that lit path as I went from Revelation into the other books of the Bible. But my path was to lead me farther and farther away from many of the traditional theories that had prevented me from feeling the love of my awesome and unselfish God.
It was not long until I began to feel very uncomfortable in my effort to deal with the older members of our church in El Monte. They spent more time tattling and criticizing each other than they were in seeking the truth; the weight of it was too heavy to be borne.
By this time, Billie had moved to Arizona and I had taken over the leadership of the little congregation on Rush Street. In a prophecy, the Spirit demanded a commitment that I had not previously made verbally. He spoke of a realm that was available but unoccupied. His exact words were, “I have called and called but no one has answered.” These exact words came out three times. I reached out in spirit and pleaded to be allowed to answer the call that I felt deep within my spirit. I could not imagine what the call was, or where it would take me, but I was serious about my desire to fulfill that call.
A few days later I went to the little church alone and pleaded for the Lord to take me into a deeper experience. The schism in that part of the body was overwhelming and I felt there must be a deeper Spirit-move that would condition us to fulfill the promise that I had found in Ephesians 4:11-16, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” I certainly never doubted that this much needed unity would be bestowed upon the Church, but I believed that it would take a deeper experience in the Spirit for the Church to reach its potential than I was seeing manifest.
Shortly after I arrived at our church that particular morning, I was given a bitter–sweet vision from the Lord. I was in our little church alone when the vision came. As I entered into the vision, the church appeared empty of furniture, pews, or people, except for me, but it was full of milling sheep heavy with wool. I appeared to be about eight years old and was standing in the midst of the church with my doll. The sheep were milling around me while they gently nudged and pushed at each other. The Spirit spoke through a silent mind message and told me to give up my pastoral work there and learn submission. Hearing from the Lord in such a dramatic way is the sweetest thing that a seeker can have happen, but the demand on my life was overwhelming. How could I bear to submit myself to Ed (my husband) and him backslidden and so abusive? But the message was too clear; I could not oppose. Needless to say, I was greatly opposed by those few souls in which I confided.
I was shown by the Spirit that Brother Vadenburg would visit our church and he did. At that time, Ed was being very abusive and Brother Vadenburg was advising me to divorce him, but I felt prompted to discuss the subject of submission with him. I explained how Yahweh had shown me new spiritual weapons of warfare that would protect me from his wrath. He quickly relented his former stand, and said, “Sister Mildred, you are right, but there are very few people that are able to do that.” I was not inquiring about what other people would do, my desire was to find conformation from an older Christian, and that was what I had received from Brother Vadenburg.
The Spirit confirmed the vision through other ministers in the days to come. One in particular was a youth service where the church was packed out with young folks. Brother Jack was in charge, and he called me out of the congregation and gave me a very lengthy prophecy. I was told that I would go through great persecution for many years for the word of the Lord.
After Jack’s prophecy was through, a young man came up behind me and prophesied the confirmation. He also answered the question that I had been asking the Lord through prayer. I had not shared my request with any person. I was troubled because people would make remarks that made it obvious that they were confusing Christ with religious theory. They did not understand that we were telling them that there was a vibrant living Christ that they could meet and experience that was far from just a theory. The Spirit told me that I would see the day that Christ would reveal himself. Though it did not come in those exact words, I understood and was flabbergasted.
Another time when the same group was there, a vision came forth through four different people. One scene was a tree growing by a flowing stream, it would have been a beautiful healthy tree but vines were smothering it. Another was a tree that was bent to the ground, and another was a stream that was stopped up with a stone and could not flow. The last was given by a young lady who was weeping; she said that as each vision came forth, she was also seeing a vision. She saw a heart that was broken and bleeding, and finally as each condition was corrected she saw my name over the heart and a hand came out and passed over the heart and it was healed.
I was later shown that the trees and the stream represented the Church and the heart was my concern for it. It was a great promise to me. Through time, different ministers confirmed the prophecies, including Brother Kenneth Payne at Decatur, Arkansas.
At the same time that the Lord started dealing with me about submission in El Monte, the church at Covina, California was prophesying that the Christians should leave the Los Angeles area. I knew I was not to tell Ed that I was even questioning whether I should leave there or not. But Ed decided it for me without knowing about the prophecy. The children and I had been fasting about it, so I took Ed’s decision to move the kids and I back to Arkansas while he stayed and work five more months—this was an answer to my prayer. I did not want my children to marry and settle down in California. It broke my heart to leave many of the church members but it was not my decision.
We left California and found a house near Jay, Oklahoma, in Rattle Snake Hollow. It was May 2, 1962 when the children and I settled in and begin planting a garden while we waited for Ed’s return.
The Lord spoke to me one night while I was sleeping, and I came awake instantly, and his voice was still vibrating in the air. He said, “This is the ministry of the burning bush.” I cleared the bed with one big leap, turned on the lamp, and grabbed a pen and paper that lay on the bedside table as if that was a normal thing to do in the middle of the night. Words began to pour into my mind. He made me understand that the bush that Moses saw was symbolic to Israel. Israel was a nation within a nation.
It had taken four hundred and thirty years for Jacob’s family to grow into a multitude, but they had never bore fruits as a nation, they were symbolized by a desert bush. The fire represented their desert journey of trials and blessings; they were to face these fiery trials as a nation, but the flames would not destroy them. I saw in all of this, a calling out of whosoever would grasp for the ‘more excellent way of Love’. It was the more excellent way that was symbolized by Moses’ call to the back-side of the desert and the deliverance of his brethren from bondage.
I was excited. I knew there was to be another spiritual out-pouring, but I did not know what it was called or even if I could find it mentioned in the Bible.
James and Lois Miers had left California to pastor a church in Sherman, Texas, and I stayed in touch with them. In my desperation to learn more about this “more excellent way,” I wrote to them to see if James might have heard of it. My letter never reached James until he was knocking at my door with the information I needed. Someone had given him a booklet that was written by Bill Britton, entitled “The Feast of Tabernacles.” I never was more excited about a revelation than I was about this one.
Not only did Brother Bill introduce me to the Feast of Tabernacles, but he introduced me to all of the Old Testament Feasts and their meaning—see Leviticus 23.
When I first started getting Brother Bill Britton’s messages, he had not come into the revelation of the restitution of all things, nevertheless, he taught along that line of reasoning. His booklet opened up a rich vein of gold nuggets for me. It was quite some time after I came into the restitution message before I figured out that he did not believe in it, but he taught it strongly.
That summer of 1963, the Lord, or the Lord’s messenger, spoke verbally to me while I gathered wild plums for jelly. My messenger said, “Ishmael shall receive a blessing, but in Isaac shall my seed be called.” This spoke volumes to me, but was very confusing also, for I had heard it preached that Ishmael symbolically represented those souls that were to be eternally tortured. For the life of me I could not find a blessing for those poor souls that were left there to suffer eternally.
At this time, I was convinced that the fire, whether we were dealing with blessings, trials, or torture, was not natural fire, but I still had some doubts about what it all added up to. Knowing that the fire was not natural helped very little until James Miers delivered his bombshell, which was Brother Bill’s message.
In Brother Bill’s message, I learned of the three feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. These spoke to me of spiritual experiences instead of eternal torture.
It was not difficult for me to connect the crucifixion of Christ as the fulfilling of the sacrificial lamb of Egypt, there were too many scriptures that backed it up, like John the Baptist’s statement in John 1:29: “The next day John sees Yasha coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of Yahweh, which takes away the sin of the world.” And then in John 1:37, “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Yasha as he walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of Yahweh! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Yasha.” But for me, Pentecost and Tabernacles were a new revelation.
We never settled into a church while we were at Saratoga, Missouri. It had been nine years since my transforming experience when a lady visited me with an invitation to attend her church in Noel, Missouri. She seemed friendly enough until I testified about my former doubts that Yahweh would save a second wife. She bristled, and reaffirmed my statement that I was a second wife of a divorced man, just to make sure she had heard my statement correctly. I assured her that she had, and that I was.
“Oh.” She said, “In that case you can still come to our church, but you will have to leave your family first. You cannot live with your husband and belong to my church, you are living in adultery. Your children were born in adultery, so they cannot be saved; therefore we cannot allow you to bring them to church with you. I told her that she had brought her message to me several years too late, and bid her a good day. That experience brought me another step up on my ladder of faith.
We were in Missouri only fifteen months when we moved back to Northeast Oklahoma. This time we moved near Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Again it was difficult to find a church home. We tried to settle in at a little church at Twin Oaks, but after they asked me not to bring a family of poor Indian children to church with us any more, we did not go back there either.
In August 1964, we decided to visit a small church in Green Valley, near Watts, Oklahoma. It was being pastured by James Norris. He was a fine man and dedicated Christian. After we visited the church, we decided to stay. I was convinced that the girls and I could be of help there, and we were. My class of teenagers and young adults soon grew from five or six to thirty-nine from August to November.
The church was enjoying a spiritual revival and many of the young folks were receiving the Holy Spirit baptism. I invited an aggressive preacher to come to hold a revival; he came and stayed long enough to be voted in as the pastor. He and two of his deacons called on me that week. He told me that I was not needed as assistant pastor and secretary any more and asked me to resign from my class. My spirit was hurt, but I did get three son-in-laws from out of our little group of young people. The revival gradually stopped and the church went down and was eventually burned.
While I was caring for my bruises, I was desperately seeking the Lord on what I was supposed to do. I was reading through Revelations 14:14-20 and noted it mentioned two separate harvests; this gave me food for thought. I also ran across First Corinthians 15:22-28; this also seemed to confirm that there was more than one harvest of souls: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to Yahweh, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he has put all things under his feet. But when he said, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that Yahweh may be all in all.”
I learned later, by going through Strong’s Greek concordance, that the word “order” in the above text was from #5001—tagma (tag’-mah) and was from #5021—something orderly in arrangement (a troop, that is a series or succession.
I finally decided to share the scripture in Revelation 14 with Billie Hammers and Shirley Mitchell. I called them about it, but I was careful not to point out that I saw two different harvests of souls, because I had received about as much rejection as I could deal with at the time.
While I was searching the scriptures, I was overwhelmed by the frequent use of the word “all.” What could this mean? I went from First Corinthians 15:22 to Revelation 5:6-14 and become more excited. In These scriptures, I noticed all mankind was to reign on earth.
I rambled around with my limited helps and ran across Daniel 7:13-18, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed…. Needless to say, I had never put the thought together before that all people would serve Yahweh and we would reign with him. I begin searching for more scriptures along this line of reasoning.
My search was very fruitful; I found many scriptures that fit into my scheme of things, such as 1 Cor. 15:22; Col. 1:12-21; Eph. 1:9-11; Rom. 14:11-12; Phil. 2:9-11; Isa. 45:18-24; Ps. 22:26-31. Many scriptures indicate that “all” is to be saved in the consummation of all things.
In the above scriptures, I noticed that the seed would serve Yahweh. When I connected this scripture concerning the seed that would serve him with Galatians 3:16, I became ecstatic: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.
I then connected Galatians 3:26-29 with it: “For you are all the children of Yahweh by faith in Christ Yasha . For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Yasha. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” This was an enormous blessing to me for I had been taught that my God considered me a second class citizen of his kingdom—the Jews were said to be the first class. All this rejection because I was born a Gentile! I read into Paul’s remark that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, a disconnection from my old self. I found that I was in a new creation where everything, that is every believer that experienced a new birth, had become a new creature of equal standing. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” WOW! 2 Corinthians 5:17.
I had lost my old identity. I was one with the Seed (Christ) and an heir of the promise that Abraham had received. This was great! That is, it would be great if there were not all those scriptures that talked about eternal torture and the end of the world. I wondered how the meek could inherit the earth if it was to be destroyed. There were some scriptures that seemed to indicate that our God could be very vindictive and even mean sometimes.
My children needed a church home and I still did not know where I should take them to get their spirits fed.
About this time my Sister Betty and her husband Ralph Byrd had moved to Decatur, Arkansas and started raising chickens for Lloyd Peterson. Ed and I had received a telephone message for them from one of their children. We went to find them, and in our search we met a boss who introduced himself as the pastor of a small church in Decatur. His name was Kenneth (Buster) Payne. He came to the car and knelt down and talked to us through the car window while we waited for Betty to come to us. He invited us to attend church where he was the pastor.
I had heard of Brother Payne through Betty, and I was kind of anxious to talk to him. She had told me that he taught the restitution of all people. I never told her that I was convinced that there were many scriptures that agreed with that teaching, and I wanted to believe them. At the same time, there were many scriptures in the Bible that seemed to teach annihilation and eternal torture. I could not ignore them and they were too plain to be denied, and they were not apt to go away. As far as I was able to see there simply was no solution to this difficulty, not even if Brother Payne thought he had one. In my opinion, anyone that ignored the eternal torment scriptures or the annihilation scriptures were dealing with an unsolvable problem. Nevertheless, I told him I would be in church Sunday night and I was.
In the meantime, Billie had moved to Sulfur Springs, Arkansas. I do not know exactly how or what scripture the Father used to open Billie’s understanding, but while Woody, her husband, visited the Indian reservation in Arizona, the Lord dealt with her heart and she saw the revelation clearly and was ready to proclaim it.
I was full of spiritual excitement, and when I opened the scriptures my eyes always fell on scriptures that added to my excitement. I wanted truth but I had no way of dealing with those scriptures that spoke plainly of annihilation, restitution, and eternal torture, and quite frankly I doubted that anyone else could. Those scriptures were there and that was final. I was telling no one of this conflict. My dad had always said if there was one mistake in the Bible there was no creditability in the rest of the book. I did not worry about the creditability part, I was sure of Yahweh, but I did worry about the scriptures that were so conflicting in the King James Version of the Bible.
I went to Brother Payne’s church with an equal amount of apprehension and expectation. I was soon hearing things I had not dreamed could be true. Brother Payne preached on the restitution of all things and dealt with Hebrew and Greek word meanings. He explained that the Greek word “aion“ and “aionion,” meaning “age: and “age-lasting,” had been translated into many different words, including worlds, never, and eternal.
Brother Payne picked up on some of these words in the Bible and told me to check the word meaning in the Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible. He told me that there was another dictionary of the Greek and Hebrew words, called the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, but recommended Young’s concordance for me. He also dealt with the word “hell” and explained that it had come from the Hebrew word “sheol.” I had my answer! I found that “sheol’ had been translated “grave’ 31 times, “hell” 31 times, and pit three times in the Old Testament.
Brother Payne told me that sheol was the only word that had been translated hell in the Old Testament and that when Jacob said, “…I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning,” (Gen 37:35) he used the word that had been translated hell in thirty other scriptures. Hannah also used this same word when she voiced her concept of Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh kills, and makes alive: he brings down to the grave (sheol), and brings up,” 1 Samuel 2:6.
Brother Payne also said the true meaning of sheol was “the unseen.” He loaned me a Young’s Concordance, and he told me about Ray Prinzing’s tape ministry and gave me his address.
I can’t say I accepted all that Brother Payne said, but I had heard enough to really get interested. The thought that a way was opening up to clear the path to understand my revelation on the restitution of all was more than exciting.
But, I pondered, if this mistranslation of the Hebrew words were so obvious, why had minister after minister stayed glued to the eternal torment theory for all these hundreds of years, misleading the multitudes into a false image of the Creator? I knew there were thousands of ministers out there that were so much more educated than I. Why had they not found this truth? I was delighted to learn there were at least a few out there that were deviating from Rome’s trodden path. But the Holy Spirit reminded me that there were also many thousands of very educated ministers out there that did not accept divine healing and the baptism of the Holy Spirit either, which is so clearly taught in the Word, and that I, without a doubt, had received both. I was also reminded that these educated people were heads of denominations that were at variance with each other and that there was no truth that I had been shown that was completely rejected by all of them. In other words, I was not teaching one theory that was not embraced by some of the educated people. That helped me to gain boldness.
I was more than interested in what Brother Prinzing had to say. With Mother Garner’s help, I ordered over a hundred of his taped messages. They fed my spirit rich morsels of heavenly manna until I came across his message “Abraham, the Star Seed.” In this message, he was back on the adamic track, teaching that the Jews, not Christ, were the promised seed. By this time I thoroughly understood that Christ, the Seed, was the Anointing in us. That Seed was the seed, or sperm of Life, that was sprouting in our understanding. When Brother Prinzing switched back to the carnal, I ceased to feed at his table. But I thank Yahweh for the truth that he imparted to me in many of his anointed tapes.
Brother Payne introduced me to Andrew Jukes’ books, and I fed from them, though I must confess he gave me more questions than answers, but I deeply appreciated the questions, for questions drive us to dig for answers. I love to read books that stir my spirit enough to make me search for answers.
After I discovered that there were such a tremendous variation in hundreds of ministers and that their vast disagreement had helped keep me from finding truth in my early years, it occurred to me that more ministers disagreed with the Pentecostals than agreed with them.
My next step was to buy a Young’s Concordance, but I got both the Strong’s and Young’s and found them both very helpful.
Brother Payne had also mentioned the meaning of another Hebrew word “Gehenna,” which he said was the Valley of Hinnom in the Old Testament. He explained it was a valley outside of Jerusalem where they cremated the bodies of dead animals and burned rubbish. He told us we could find the history of this great valley in the book of Jeremiah (7:31-34 and 19:3-9).
Brother Payne visited us in our home and encouraged me to get a set of books by the famous historian, Flavius Josephus, which told about the conquest that fulfilled this prophetic utterance in A.D. 70-71.
We were persuaded that the conquest he had written about was, in fact, the conflict that the Lord spoke of in Matthew 23:36-39: “Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
I had always been taught that this scripture was speaking of the end of the world, but I never could figure out why he would say, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled,” Matthew 24:34.
After reading Matthew 16:28; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 11:49-51; and 21:32, it seemed pretty conclusive to me that the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew had been fulfilled in the generation in which Yasha lived. But how to reconcile the statements with other statements found in the same book was a mystery until we discovered that where the original scripture put “age,” the translators changed it to “world”: Matthew 24:3, “…Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? became “…what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?” And Matthew 13:49-50, “So shall it be at the end of the age: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” became, “… So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Another scripture that I felt made it pretty clear that the judgment was the destruction of the old order was found in Matthew 10:21-23: “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”
I reasoned that one could argue that the coming of the Son of Man does not refer to the end of that age, but not very successfully if they consider the scriptures quoted above. If it was not the end of that age, we could not understand how any nation could bring forth their fruits after the end of the world as is stated in Matthew 21:43, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of Yahweh shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
Next, I was confronted with the statements that the Lord made concerning the Kingdom of Heaven, Kingdom of Yahweh, and the Kingdom. We seemed to be looking forward to going to the Kingdom of Heaven when we died, but the Word had said in Luke 12:31-32, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of Yahweh; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” This sounded very much like it was a heavenly treasure that we could experience here on earth. You get the Kingdom first, and then all these other things, food clothing, shelter, health, etc. were to be added. And Romans 14:17-18 (“For the kingdom of Yahweh is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to Yahweh, and approved of men,) synched it for me. We must serve the Lord in the Kingdom attributes to become acceptable to Yahweh and to men. Luke 17:20-21, says, “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of Yahweh should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of Yahweh cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of Yahweh is within you.”
I noticed that the Lord said, “likewise, when you see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of Yahweh is nigh at hand.” Therefore, he stressed that the Kingdom would be established after the awful destruction of the first system which was still in the future, but not so far in the future as to prevent some of the people there from seeing it established. Paul wrote, “… Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and ‘has translated’ us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: …” Col. 1:10-15.
There is never a doubt that enters my mind that the present age is not also the Kingdom age and the Church age. The Kingdom of heaven is speaking of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But I feel there is so much revelation concerning this scenario that is neglected. Why would the Lord expect the Christians to flee into the hills of Judea when the world ended? This is another of the strong statements that pushed me toward believing that Matthew, chapters 23 and 24, was talking about the final days of the Levitical Priesthood order and the destruction of Jerusalem that took place during A. D. 70-71.
History leaves us the evidence that when Titus surrounded Jerusalem with his army, he later withdrew for a space of time. Many of those Christians who remembered the warning of the Lord obeyed the command so much so that their sudden disappearance shrunk the Christian population to a measly few and no historian of the first and second century A. D. was able to account for their disappearance.
I had so many unanswered questions along this line until I had the opportunity to read The Parousia, by James Stuart Russell; I was more than delighted to feast on that information.
I came across this prophecy in Isaiah that I could not, at that time, believe it had been completely fulfilled: “And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse (Christ), which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious,” Isaiah 11:8-10. I still think it has not come to its full consummation, but when I think of how wide spread the message of the Kingdom is now in comparison to the day it was uttered by Isaiah, I can see the vast difference. Also think of the young in Christ that exercise power over evil spirits and walk triumphant in the Spirit in spite of the forces that come against them.
I knew that the meek would inherit the Earth, for Matthew 5:5 said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” I thought about this and wondered how this promise could ever be fulfilled if the world was about to end.
By this time Billie, my two daughters, Beverley and Brenda, and some other Christians were coming over to Springtown, Arkansas to Bible study with me. A flood of important doctrinal issues were bombarding us. I was still going to Brother Payne’s church in Decatur, Arkansas. Added to our bombardment was the issue that is usually addressed as “the sovereignty of Yahweh.” We called it the puppet doctrine, because it holds no one responsible for their actions and charges Yahweh with all crimes that are committed. Some in the church taught predestination so strongly that they said our lives were fixed into a pattern before we were born so that we have absolutely no choice over the course of our life or our vilest actions. We were never tempted to accept that theory, nevertheless, it presented a hassle.
I was the adult teacher at Brother Payne’s church and the doctrine of predestination was filtrating into the church through some of the less dedicated Christians. We held to James 4:17 and James 1:13-22, which refutes the puppet doctrine. There are other scripture throughout the Bible also, but with these two texts so clearly stated I do not feel the need to give reference to the others.
I thought it good to deal with the time element of Bible prophecy, and because it is so vital to true Bible dogma, I studied the Old Testament prophecies very seriously. One that stood out so clearly and seemed to be so often misunderstood was Joel’s prophecy. He describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the coming of the Holy Spirit in Joel 2:28-32:
“And it shall come to pass ‘afterward,’ that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come.
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call.”
I noticed that Joel used the term “afterwards,” evidently meaning that after the awful destruction of Jerusalem, Yahweh would pour out his Spirit on all flesh. We knew that Christ came to open the door of salvation to all people and he obviously had. We saw no reason for waiting for this great event to transpire in some distant age, especially since visions and prophecies are such a great part of the Spirit filled body of Christ. We also noticed that Peter recognized the Holy Spirit revival that started in the upper room was the fulfilling of Joel’s prophecy.
When we read Matthew 24:15-17: “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house” (see also, Mark 13:14-15) we went back to research the book of Daniel. We realized that the Lord had warned the people of his generation that they were to flee into the hills of Judah when they saw Daniels prophecy being fulfilled.
Flavius Josephus (a renowned Jewish historian of that time) recorded this event for us when it transpired and we found his story in the famous Works of Josephus, volume 1, page 200. Our spirits found rest and we were content to believe that the earth was made to be inhabited and that our God is watching over the affairs of man: “But Israel shall be saved in Yahweh with an everlasting salvation: you shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. For thus saith Yahweh that created the heavens; Yahweh himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Yahweh; and there is none else,” Isaiah 45:17-18.
My daughter Belinda was married and she brought to surface more questions that demanded attention—the observance of Rome’s holy days, Sabbath keeping, and the Sacred Name. Donna Garner had also come in contact with some disciples that were teaching that the Father had a name. Here I was forty-five years old and with a Christian background of almost twenty years and I honestly did not know that the God I served was named Yahweh. This just could not be factual, but looking into my dictionary and many other books, like the Rotherham Translation of the Bible, I knew that it was so.
Donna Garner said “God” was the name of a pagan deity, and it was being used now as a title for Yahweh, not as His name. But it was used as the name of a pagan deity when it found its place in the Christian religion. Donna gave me a booklet written by A.B. Traina that was very clear and informative regarding the way the names had been removed from the Scripture in the early days of the Church by Rome.
We knew we were supposed to praise and honor the Father’s name. How could we do that if we didn’t know he had a name? When we found out that he did, we still were not sure that we could accept all that we were reading.
I began to ask questions then. How could the Father have a name if it was not in the Bible? A.B. Traina said that the Father’s name had been taken out of the Bible translations about seven thousand times and replaced with LORD, GOD, and by the Word Jehovah.
We were shocked to learn that the name “Jehovah” was unknown until A.D. 1520, when it was introduced by Peter Galatinus—a confessor of Pope Leo the 10th in the16th century. He invented the name “Johovah” and it was used to replace the Father’s name in the 1611 King James Version of the Holy Scripture. But it was contested by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus as being against grammatical and historical propriety. It is a sorry conglomeration that the Jews are much too educated and proud to use. I detest it. I am shocked how readily modern Christianity accepts it without question. If the Jews are responsible for it, would they not still be using it? And we also questioned if they considered the Father’s name too sacred, as some dare claim, why was it so common for the Israelites throughout Bible times to name their children after Yahweh?
Brother Traina said the Father’s name was in the original Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament more than seven thousand times. Although James Strong did the world a great service with his splendid work, he failed miserably when he compromised and used the name Jehovah instead of Yahweh. Yet it was in Strong’s concordance that we found the proof that the name had been removed in the manner that Traina had said. We also found that it had been completely removed from the New Testament manuscript and replaced by Theo’s in the Greek and translated “God” in the English.
Our research soon demanded that we accept Yahweh as the name of our Creator. We were blessed by the writings of A.B. Traina and several other professors that were Hebrew scholars, and we accept the evidence that these great men supplied and rested, letting truth bear witness to their wisdom and knowledge while we dedicate our time to our own calling. We thank Yahweh for A.B. Traina’s booklet, “God, A Pagan Idol.”
It did not take us long to decide on the seventh day as being the Sabbath, because history leaves us the data that confirms the switch from Sabbath, honoring Yahweh, to Sunday, which was set aside to honor the sun god. But we could find absolutely no support in the Bible for the change.
Under the law, breaking the Sabbath demanded capital punishment. We reasoned that so great was the Sabbath issue in the days of Paul that had it been changed in his time, we would have had some hint of it in the Bible, yet there was not so much as a tiny hint.
We were forced by common sense to conclude that First Corinthians 16:2 (“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as Yahweh has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”) could not possibly be referring to passing the offering plate in a religious service, especially since their offerings often walked around on four feet or was hauled in coops or carts, which demanded much labor to collect. It was evident that his was not done on a Sabbath day.
In 1977, we started our research on nine of the most major conversational subjects, that is, (1) no eternal torture, (2) no end of the world catastrophe, (3) the Kingdom of Yahweh exists on earth at the present time, which is Christ in you the hope of Glory—as the Melchisedec Priesthood, (4) the Restitution of all things, (5) the sacred names (6) the requirement to keep the Ten Commandments and to proclaim them, (7) no future rapture. (8) eternal judgment. (9) and the potential of putting on immortality. Soon after, we were convinced of the tenth major conversable subjects—regenerative birth, which was introduced as a study subject matter and a possible truth.
We teamed together and collected our resources. We bought a piece of property in West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma for our prayer meetings and group Bible studies. Each of us committed ourselves to using our hidden talents to pay it off. This we have done, and at this present time some of us are living on the land, and we are still having church in the building. We have bought more land so that our property now covers a two acre span with five houses.
Soon after we bought the church property, Beverley and I moved onto it. In 1980 Robert Holzkamper and Beverley were married and he settled in with us and became a great help with our land payments. In 1981, my son David joined our little force. He felt the call of evangelizing, and immediately started searching the scriptures and training to fulfill his call.
Because we were all females when we started this work, it was necessary for us to reaffirm our call into the ministry by clearly establishing women’s right to minister. We found the story of the Samaritan at the well. She is not the first woman to preach the Gospel, but she is one of the first (John 4: 28-29). The Prophetess Anna is not often thought of as the first women to preach the Gospel, but she is, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served Yahweh with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38.
A few years, later my son Ronnie felt led of the Lord to join us. By this time, some of the grandchildren were also getting to the age where their support could strongly be felt.
Though basically we believed the book written by A.B. Traina, it still took our church another ten years to gain the boldness to declare the Father’s name. As soon as we did, the wrath of the religious system shocked us with its fury. I knew there would be a repercussion but I had no idea of the scope of it. I should have expected it, after all, Christ said he came to declare the Father’s name and look at what they did to him. Also, thousands of the saints died in the dark ages for resisting the change when it was forced upon the world. Now, we are free to resist—why not resist?
Judging from the reaction we got from just saying “Yahweh” in this advanced age, I surmise we would have ran the risk of martyrdom had we declared the name a few decades earlier. It is both surprising and thrilling how much progress has been made in creating an awareness of the name in the past twenty-five years. I am convinced that another twenty-five years from now a sidewalk survey can be conducted asking people what the Father’s name is and most will say “Yahweh” without any sign of hostility.
I also think that the Father’s name will be recognized by the members of all of the larger denominations. I say this because the Father said, “My people will know my name,” Isaiah 52:6. Also, the Father’s name was in the forehead of the firstfruits that were redeemed from the earth (Rev. 14: 1).
Jeremiah 23:26-27, says, “How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal (Lord).”
I will admit it was not just the name that turned our brethren against us; we also decided to keep Sabbath and to stop keeping Christmas, Easter, and Halloween because they are pagan holy days.
We learned that Christ was born in the fall and not in the winter, and we learned when the date was changed. What was worse, we exposed the fallacy of eternal torture.
Maybe we did go too fast, I really did not give the timing any consideration at the time. If it was truth, I wanted it at all cost. It never occurred to me to hide what was revealed to us.
The reaction by the religious society to our first eight subjects was mild compared to the reaction we got to the last two. This was very surprising to me since they are both so clearly taught in the Bible.
I had been having flashback memories that I could not, and still cannot, connect with this life. These troubled me, since I was usually meditating or praying when they would pop into my mind. I was about forty-five years old when this started and it would be impossible to say it was from old-age senility. I was completely opposed to the occult and still am. To me hypnosis is part of witchcraft and very dangerous in the hands of the most skilled and educated people. So my past memories had nothing to do with dabbling into witchcraft.
As we began our study on regenerative birth, we were surprised at how many scriptures we found. But one of the most well known scriptures for the support of regenerative birth was found in a question the Lord had asked his disciples when he came into the coast of Caesarea, Philippi, recorded in Matthew 16:13-17: “…Whom do men say that I, the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Yasha answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven,”
If we could pretend that the Savior was asking if the public recognized Him as the son of Mary or the son of Yahweh, we could be comfortable with his question. But the answer he received creates a problem:
1. These men were his hand-picked and trained evangelists that were to establish the Kingdom-truth for the ages. Their answers indicated that they were not shy about the social acceptance of regenerative birth.
2. These men clearly indicated that the public believed in regenerative birth.
3. The Savior did not react to the doctrine or suggest that the disciples should reprove the people for believing in regenerative birth, even though it was an established doctrine among the Israelites.
4. Our Savior stated that John the Baptist was Elijah that was to return in a new body (see Matt. 11:12-15 & 17:9-13).
Matthew 11:12-15 and Matthew 17:9-13 did not leave any doubt in our minds that the Lord not only showed no objection to the teaching of regenerative birth, but in fact made a bold statement that supported it.
We were not familiar with the teaching of reincarnation, but we soon learned that reincarnation and Christianity are bitter enemies, even though many Christians admit that they have experienced memories of a previous life. But most of them refuse to discuss the subject for fear of being accused of being demon possessed. Others fear that their memories conflict with the Bible and fear the loss of their salvation if they accept their memories. Other folks are terrified of rejection by their fellowman if they confess to having flashes of memories that they themselves could not explain. Sad as it is, they are right—our society has not yet developed to the freedom of thought. It still says, “Think like I think if you want acceptance.”
I had never talked to a person that believed they had lived on earth before they came in their present body, and when I began to remember flashes of scenes that I could not place into this lifetime, I was a little more than just concerned. I did all I could to learn more about the subject of reincarnation, and the more I read, the more detestable the doctrine became, yet I was forced to deal with the memories. I was among this number of timid souls that feared rejection, but not enough to stop my search for truth. But I sensed if I confessed my new experiences, I would suffer the loss of fellowship with my Christian brethren and possibly some family members.
I soon learned that regenerative birth is one element we must deal with if we choose to experience any segment of growth in any direction.
My memories came of their own will and when I least expected them. Many times they came during times of prayer or meditation.
I am convinced that civilization would be advanced thousands of years past today’s narrow understanding if mankind was free to listen to the voice of their inner spirit and express it. But there is an unwritten law that says, “If you develop, you must do it at the expense of rejection.”
Reincarnation has proven its incompatibility with higher civilization and truth; however, it does seem to border truth. Just as many religions are, in many subjects, foreign to truth and they still come under the heading of religion (but should not), so it is that the regenerative birth concept is classified as reincarnation, even though there is a big difference in the two.
Regenerative birth establishes the truth of an all wise and omniscient Creator that is persistently carrying out a vast plan to bring forth a finished product that luminously radiates Yahweh’s glory, which is unadulterated love.
There never seems to be an end to new and deeper understanding of the word, I think I am free to say the greatest revelation in the Bible, if one can say one part of truth is greater than the other, was the discovery of the dominion of man. We had been told that the Creator modified his original plan when Adam ate an apple, or partook of the knowledge of good and evil, which ever a person chooses to believe, but there is not one scripture that will back up that fairytale.
Christ came preaching the message of the Kingdom, but the way he preached it was by telling people that if they would bend to the principles, or laws, of the Kingdom and believe in them, they would have the power of the Holy Spirit within them to direct their path toward good. Then they would exercise the dominion that mankind was originally given.
We noticed that many people were reluctant to pray for anything since they thought that they must know what the Lord’s will is before they could make a request. Of course we agree, but it really is not difficult to learn to pray according to the Lord’s will. We have found many scriptures in the New Testament that helped us know what his will is.
First we remembered the scripture in Geneses 1:28 where Yahweh had given man the command to do these five things, “…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that move upon the earth.” It would have been foolish for the Lord to have done this if he did not equipped mankind with the ability and power to do it?
We realized that there is not a man or woman on this earth that did not come through the abilities of man, so we concluded mankind does rule the earth. Man was made to rule the earth. He is equipped to rule the earth; he has power to rule the earth. But everything Yahweh created has a law, or principle, by which it works. Every thing man creates has a law, or principle, by which it works. There has never been a time that man could not have had the power to make medicine to help him overcome certain illnesses, but man was ignorant of it. He had to become aware of it before he could use it. Electricity has been here since time began, but man had to subdue it and have power over it; when he figured it out it created a new age for man. Water has always been here, but man had to learn its secrets and subdue it before he could use its power. He always used it, but he did not know the secret of its power. The Savior taught this very strongly. See Matt. 17:19-21; Luke. 17:4-6; Matt. 21:21-22; Mark 9:23, 11:22-26, and 16:17-18.
We noticed that “faith” and “believe” are used interchangeably in the Lord’s expressions. It seems that most people think that the word “faith” is used as a spiritual expression and “believe” is a common every day word. But faith is believing and believing is faith.
In the beginning of our walk with the Lord, we were told by some Pentecostal authorities that it’s not the Lord’s will to heal all people. We researched this subject and discovered that that proclamation was not gospel truth. There was not one person that came to Our Lord for healing that He refused to heal. Matthew 8:16 says, he “…healed all that were sick.”
We soon learned that the natural man cannot comprehend the higher principle, and he despises the concept that Christ taught. Many people feel they are followers of Christ, and yet reject the idea of turning the other cheek, giving to him that asks of them, going the second mile, and returning good for evil. We here at General Assembly of the Firstborn are camped at the foot of this mountain. Some are making an effort to trust the Lord and make this hurdle, others do not grasp the concept yet, but they will, for we are all destined to come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:12-13).
Another conviction I have is holiness. I am convinced that the lack of holiness in the Church is a hindrance to the operation of the Melchisedec Priesthood in the congregation.
I believe that the Kingdom of Yahweh is present on earth at this time and will continue to grow until it fills the earth. I believe the Anointing, the Spirit of Christ, and the Kingdom are one and the same thing.
Below is a quote from Joel. I believe the prophecies in Joel were fulfilled in the century in which our Lord was crucified. I think this is what Peter meant when he said “this is that.” The reason it was not accepted was Acts 2:19-20: “And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” The people did not understand that this was symbolic language where the sun and moon represented the spiritual leadership of that nation. It should be pretty obvious to reasonable thinking when we take into consideration that all this was supposed to happen before the Lord came. The moon is a planet—it will never literally turn into blood. But the system that ruled over the Lord’s people at that time went down. Anyway that we look at it, Peter said that the time in which the Holy Spirit was first poured out in the upper room was the time of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.
We are convinced that most of the Bible prophecies that are expected to be fulfilled in the future have already been fulfilled. We believe that Yahweh is the highest power there is, and that when he created the earth’s galaxy he set a plan into action that will materialize in the consummation of all things—there will not be left one sinner to sin or one soul to burn. The expression of love will fill the earth. Death (carnal mindedness) will be swallowed up in victory: Romans 8:6-7, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be.”
1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to Yahweh, which gives us the victory through our Lord Yasha Christ.”