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Letter to Mr. Tkach from Jules Dervaes

Copyright © Jules Dervaes

July 18, 1986

Dear Mr. Tkach,

Having counseled on different occasions with several ministers who represent the top leadership in the Church today, I feel a sincere regret that very little has been accomplished. What occurs in these meetings is a circular pattern that confuses rather than clarifies the issues involved. One notable exception was the one session with Mr. Raymond McNair, who was very concerned and compassionate. This was truly a bright spot which my wife and I appreciated very much.

After seeing firsthand the workings of some ministers, I can say with disappointment that I feel there is generally something lacking with regard to their having any deep, abiding concern. Of course, everyone is nice, with all the usual civilities. But, underneath, I sense there is no openness, no real warmth, no true understanding. It is as if one is intruding upon a secret society whose members are aloof and rigid, believing they are the possessors of special knowledge from which non-privileged outsiders are barred. Residing in this spiritual ivory tower forms a real barrier to any serious search for the truth.

What seems to be the intent of some ministers is to see if they can find fault with the person who is questioning them and, therefore, find reason to discredit, or ignore, what he says. This is a quick and easy approach guaranteed to work all the time. For I know that I have problems by the fact that I am still carnal. However, with this ministerial “sleight-of-hand,” the central issues all just disappear and are not dealt with, while the question of truth somehow manages to be swept away under the rug of assumptions and opinions.

Maybe it is time for me to speak plainly about what I believe and have observed. If, as I believe, we are fast approaching the “last days,” then there should be a corresponding realization that the Laodicean Church of God is very much a reality, not only just around the corner, but also, in all practicality, already extant. It will not just spring up overnight. Because it is a known fact that congregations of churches take on the personality of their ministers, it is more than a supposition, therefore, that lukewarm multitudes are forming because of the presence of lukewarm leaders. After all, the government of God teaches us that responsibility rests at the top.

Considering that God’s plan in this age of Pentecost is to instruct the first fruits, it should be evident that He is primarily concerned with us. The Old Testament illustrated how He dealt mainly with physical Israel and their relationship to Him. Accordingly, with the duality principle in effect, God today has concerned Himself with New Testament spiritual Israel and their relationship to Him.

Because judgment is on the House of God now, there is no reason to believe that God is out to judge those who spiritually are not even called yet, since it is not their time. Knowing, therefore, that God does not waste His words, there are biblical passages that refer to our time and to this Church. We have for too long pointed the finger at the religions of false Christianity while failing to consider that, since God is dealing with us now, His finger is pointing at His own spiritual people.

These messages are true today. God has spoken them through the Bible. It remains for us to examine His words and apply them where applicable. Yet there seems to be an indifference among some ministers that the Bible can not possibly apply to them and that they are exempt from its instructions and corrections. There seems to be no need on their part to check their actions with the Bible.

(Ezekiel 34:2) (NIV) Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? … You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd.

(Ezekiel 34:10) I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock.

[Note: The term “my flock” can only refer to God’s true Church.]

(Ezekiel 34:18) Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

[Note: What should be healthful spiritual food—truth—has been discarded and dirtied.]

(Ezekiel 34:20) Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away.

[Note: The heavy-handed use of authority shows the “power-play” used by some to eliminate any who have opposing views.]

(Micah 3:1) Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Should you not know justice, you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot. …As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim “peace”; if he does not, they prepare to wage war against him.

[Note: If one does not “feed”-flatter-certain ministers by doing whatever they say, then that person is looked upon as an enemy, a trouble-maker. This is “politics” at its best.]

(Micah 3:9) Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right. … Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon the Lord and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.”

[Note: Some leaders have come to believe that no matter what they say God is “on their side.” Thus they feel spiritually safe. But they have become oblivious to this inherent danger.]

(Zechariah 11:16) For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs. Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock!

(Malachi 2:7) For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction-because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi, says the Lord Almighty. So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of law.

[Note: Some ministers are unfamiliar with the Church’s own literature. They show partiality to their own interpretation and they become vague when questioned about it. Their formula for everything—non-doctrinal—is: “Whatever we say” EQUALS “what you must believe.”]

(Jeremiah 23:1) Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture … I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing.

[Note: People have become really fearful to rightfully stand up against what is wrong, lest they be branded anti-government.]

(Jeremiah 23:30) I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. … I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, “The Lord declares.” … they tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them.

[Note: What the minister says is not automatically what God declares. He should not look to himself but to God as the final authority.]

(Jeremiah 23:34) If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, “This is the oracle of the Lord,” I will punish that man and his household. … But you must not mention “the oracle of the Lord” again, because every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. This is what you keep saying to a prophet: “What is the Lord’s answer to you?” or “What has the Lord spoken?” Although you claim, “This is the oracle of the Lord,” this is what the Lord says: You used the words “This is the oracle of the Lord,” even though I told you that you must not claim, “This is the oracle of the Lord.”

[Note: Somehow it is being taught that the minister can discern what is God’s will for you in your life. Somehow people are believing this is so. Somehow this “claim” is being perpetrated against an unsuspecting people. This is deadly wrong.

Those who say “we have the mind of Christ in this matter” incriminate themselves for they do not adhere to the words of Christ.]

(Jeremiah 6:14) They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.

(Jeremiah 7:1) Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message: … Do not trust in deceptive words and say “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”

(Ezekiel 13:10) (against the prophets of Israel) Because they lead my people astray, saying “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall.

(Ezekiel 13:15) So I will spend my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace …”

[Note: There exists a tendency to portray an image of “Unity” and to protect this at all cost, even to the point of covering up and of attacking honest dissension. Instead the emphasis should be on building or strengthening or even replacing the wall itself. Too often the issue becomes “are we in harmony” rather than “are we right.” And so coat after coat of whitewash is applied to hide the cracks and make the wall “look good.” There results a unified “show” but with very flimsy “substance.” What a lot of wasted effort because a faulty wall will not stand no matter how much whitewash is applied.

If one points out the fault in the wall, then he is considered to be the one at fault.]

(Revelation 3:17) You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, and blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

[Note: The Church can say it is spiritually rich because it has such a wealth of knowledge. It can say that it needs no new understanding because it is “well off” already. Possessing so much spiritual treasure puts us in a highly dangerous position of losing touch with the reality that is described by Jesus here.]

(Ezekiel 3:17) Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, “You will surely die,” and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.

[Note: This is an important commission that all of us should take to heart. We should teach this awesome accountability.]

Thank you for allowing me to speak plainly about my concerns. May God guide and direct your ways.

Jules Dervaes

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