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Letter to Mr. Tkach from Jules Dervaes

Copyright © Jules Dervaes

September 1, 1986

Dear Mr. Tkach,

There has been an analogy used in the Church recently to depict the changing of the church eras throughout New Testament history. For example, when the Sardis Church was replaced by the Philadelphian one, it was said that “the baton had been passed.” Now, this SAME phrase has been used by you to describe what had transpired at Mr. Armstrong’s death last January. What this is telling us is that the baton has thus been passed from the Philadelphian to the Laodicean Church of God. This new chapter, then, is a fulfillment of prophecy that we are told to watch for.

Yes, we are to watch world news; but we are also to WATCH OURSELVES. For, as equally significant as the rise of the United States of Europe, IF NOT MORE SO, is the appearance of the FINAL end-time people of God. While our attention has been focused on events “worlds away,” we are in danger of missing the extremely important event which directly involves US and which will affect the lives—physical and SPIRITUAL—of those whom God is now training AND judging.

While there has been a much greater emphasis placed by the Church on the world and its problem, there is a greater need for an awareness of what is happening on our “front porch.” This official smugness, having become the predominant characteristic, actually is confirmation that the transition has indeed taken place in the church eras. One has only to look with open eyes at the keystone Church at headquarters to know that the TRUE brotherly love attribute has, for the most part, been lost. The outward show of it will still be heralded; yet, even that is also disappearing. At the HQ Church, the “average temperature” has been lukewarm.

Of course, no one is going to like to admit the fact that he is a member of the Laodicean Church, but this only serves to establish the raison d’ĂȘtre for such a church era. So the Revelation 3:17 description is, of course, absolutely accurate because the Laodicean member will no doubt be assuming all along he is NOT ONE. What will make the Laodicean a REAL Laodicean is that he will keep on believing he is still a Philadelphian! What will count, however, is not the name of the church but the ATTITUDE of the man in that church.

Only an awakening to the stark reality of the existence of this new era can halt this life-threatening deception and jolt one to stir up a new INNER zeal. One may preach over and over again about being involved; but the rekindling of the Spirit will occur when we Laodiceans realize how “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked” we really are. Nothing can change if we don’t first admit there is a need for change. Such a renewal is the way to a place of safety before the great tribulation comes.

It is not that the Laodicean Church is a “maverick” church because it will certainly continue to preach and possess ALL the right doctrines. That is exactly WHY it is Laodicean! It is not liberal in its doctrine; on the contrary, on the outside it is very conservative. But it is “liberal” in its attitude, thinking that it itself IS righteous because it KNOWS what is righteous. Outside service to “the work” does not automatically translate to the right attitude of heart. This was the show that the Pharisees had excelled in; and this was the stage act that Jesus had “canceled.”

In your personal article in The Worldwide News, August 25, you wrote:

We must endure to the end. But not only endure, we must grow!

In order to grow, then, one needs food for nourishment. Yet, within the same issue, another article refers to what Mr. Dexter Faulkner said concerning the fact that more than 90 percent of the readers of The PLAIN TRUTH, The GOOD NEWS, and YOUTH 86 aren’t even associated with the Church. He explains:

We can’t assume our readers understand the doctrines and terminology we are so familiar with in the Church. … We don’t shy away from educating our readers about the Church, but we have to be very basic in our approach, not assuming they will automatically understand what we are talking about.

Yes(?), for YOUTH 86; MAYBE(??), for The PLAIN TRUTH. But, The GOOD NEWS??? That is a poor excuse for not feeding the flock. That is a poor excuse for neglecting the commission of the Church.

The words that Jesus left ringing in Peter’s ears were “Feed my sheep.” How is it, then, that the sheep of God’s Church are being fed only pabulum? If you treated a physical child the same way, he would be stunted in his growth.

This statement of policy is a self-indictment by this Church of its failure to truly nourish its members with the “meat” of the Word. Since the Church is our mother, when it withholds the vital nourishment necessary to bring the fetus to full-term, full-potential development, this—IF PROLONGED PURPOSELY—can result in a stillbirth. The unborn child will have died within the womb of its own mother. THIS AMOUNTS TO A SPIRITUAL ABORTION!!!

What the Church is, therefore, admitting is that it is not even a very good, responsible parent. And, neither is it a credible teacher. If the Church is to be in the field of education, then it needs to educate itself about the right philosophy and methods based truly on God’s way.

A true teacher reaches out to ALL levels and challenges each one to grow at HIS own level. A true teacher makes each one REACH to his potential. A true teacher finds ways to meet the educational needs of each individual. A true teacher does not abandon ANYONE—basic OR advanced, new student OR “old.” Restricting one’s main teaching to just the new entrants will only ensure that very few will ever progress much beyond entry-level competence.

Isn’t the Church supposed to be TRAINING full-fledged teachers? How can that possibly be so, when it ceases to provide for development beyond the basics? If it only caters to newcomers, then it will fail to educate those who are in the best position to teach others. You are neglecting to establish a strong teaching CORPS outside of the ministry. You are wasting the most valuable resource the Church has, that is, its members.

If you built up and really “fed” the members to be healthy and strong, then THEY could assist—by word AND EXAMPLE—the new ones coming along. Instead you bypass them in favor of attracting new converts and thus leave the vast majority of the Church in a weak, deprived state.

God works THROUGH PEOPLE; and you are not strengthening His people. Yes, you may attract new ones through TV, etc.; but then you do IGNORE the very means God can use to “build” them into the Church.

What possible good is it if you reach the world and ABORT your own children? There is no way that this can be allowed to continue.

You must start preaching the truth. It is an injustice to withhold “food” from God’s people. YOU can do something about it. Really apply Joshua 1:7 in conjunction with a verse that applies to the Joshua that came after Zerubbabel: ZECHARIAH 3:7.

May you swiftly and courageously embrace the truth and teach it now to the children of God.

Jules Dervaes

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