Response to No Railing Accusation

Response to No Railing Accusation

By Georead

Many of John Thiel’s doctrinal errors have been challenged on the internet via written and video posts. In response to these doctrinal challenges John Thiel has preached the sermon titled “No Railing Accusation” [1]. In the sermon, instead of confessing and repenting of gross doctrinal error, John Thiel tries to minimise his doctrinal errors, confessing to clumsy expressionisms. He blames the hearers for misunderstanding his words. He defends his doctrinal errors with ambiguous statements and poor arguments. Further the sermon is full of implication about submission to himself as the ruling power in the church.

Godhead Doctrinal Error

In the sermon titled “God’s Captivating Love” [2] John Thiel teaches the gross doctrinal error that human beings will become part of God or the Godhead.

In his defence [1] John Thiel repeats the idea that he is clumsy in his speech: “clumsy of speech”, “clumsy expressionism”, “clumsy expressions”, “clumsy with my words”, “words and expressions that come from the pulpit, albeit sometimes that they are clumsy”

John Thiel concedes that “I expressed in that sermon that if God could die, I tried to illustrate what an heir of God is. I did some foolish expression there, if God could die then you would be in His place.”

Despite this concession there is no repudiation of the erroneous Godhead doctrine. Rather John Thiel says: “let God’s word clarify exactly what was meant in my words.” He reads Romans 8:16,17 and Galatians 4:7 with emphasis on “heirs of God.” But instead of clarifying his understanding he leaves the people hanging. Nothing more is explained. There is no clarification made as to whether John Thiel still believes as he previously stated, “Heirs of God! Heirs, not of God’s kingdom, heirs of God. Was this not what Lucifer wanted? He wanted to be in the place of God.” [2] Does John Thiel still believe the phrase “heirs of God” to mean that human beings will inherit a place in the Godhead themselves being God?

John Thiel – “I have been laid out as speaking blasphemy, in that particular sermon, I have communicated an idea that I wanted to be in the place of the Godhead. . . This was never meant that such words should be interpreted that we will gleefully usurp His throne.” John Thiel misinterprets the charge of blasphemy thinking he is accused of having the sentiments of Satan who desired to usurp the place of God. Rather the charge of blasphemy is about his teaching that a human being can became God at all.

Following the Bible rule of interpretation, using Bible as its own expositor, the expression “heirs of God” can be clarified with other Bible verses such as Matthew 25:34 Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren. . . for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 

Attempting to add weight to his argument John Thiel reads Revelation 3:21. He explains that, “Jesus was sitting in His Father’s throne and if we are sitting with Him in His throne, where are we sitting? In the Father’s throne, that is the way it is written.” Further he quotes EGW statements which say saved human beings will share the throne of God. But John Thiel again leaves the people hanging. They are left to wonder is he trying draw the conclusion that sharing God’s throne means saved human beings become part of God? John Thiel has the Father, Son and saved human beings all on the same throne. Perhaps his idea is to keep everyone together on the same throne in order to add weight to the argument that human beings will become God.

EGW explains that at His ascension to heaven after his life on earth Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne. {LHU 101.4} EGW also writes Christ is before the Father’s throne and not sitting on it. He is our Sacrifice, our Advocate, our Brother, bearing our human form before the Father’s throne. {SC 14.3}

Uriah Smith contradicts John Thiel saying that, the time is coming when [Christ] is to change his position, and, leaving the throne of his Father, take his own throne . . . This change in the position of Christ is set forth by Paul in 1Cor. 15:24-28 . . .In this reign of Christ the saints participate. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”  “And they lived,” says John, dating from the first resurrection (chapter 20:4), “and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” {Daniel and the Revelation}

EGW writes that the, final reward will be to share with Christ the throne of immortal glory. {AG 225.6} Yet Matthew has the disciples, in heaven, sitting on separate thrones, undoubtedly sharing the immortal glory of Christ. Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, . . . when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.    

Sharing Christ’s throne and reigning with him does not necessarily mean anyone will become part of the Godhead. It may simply mean, as the Bible clarifies in Matthew 19:28 that saved human beings share in God’s government. 

In the sermon “God’s Captivating Love” [2] John Thiel is not using clumsy speech. He appears to know exactly what he is saying. He clearly teaches the people they will become part of the Godhead or they will share the place of God. John Thiel pressures his followers to believe this Godhead doctrine saying “Can I see your hands if you believe what I’ve just taught? Some of you don’t? Because if you don’t you separate yourself from the Godhead.” Further he quotes Matthew 10:34-38 suggesting to the people that if they don’t understand a sword will separate them from the “kinsfolk of the Godhead” and that they will become “our foes.” John Thiel compares the hard time people have accepting this Godhead doctrine to the crisis in Galilee when testing truths caused many of Jesus’ disciples to leave him. It is a wrong comparison to make. But it all goes to show that John Thiel had every intention of teaching this doctrine and to drive it home to his followers. It was not clumsy speaking. To say that it was is a lie.

Doctrinal Error – Human Beings are the Arm of the Lord

The doctrinal error that human beings are Arm of the Lord arises in several of John Thiel’s sermons. It is on built well established teaching that we cannot rely on the arm of flesh or human beings, but we can rely completely on the Arm of the Lord.  John Thiel further conjectures that there are human beings that are the Arm of the Lord and that we can rely on them. John Thiel says, “We see here that human visible beings are the arm of the Lord. Jesus was the first and his servants thereafter.  Can it be truly stated and concluded that if Jesus is the arm of the Lord, those he sends as his servants are also the arm of the Lord?” “In Christ’s stead.  What does that mean?  That instead of Jesus being the arm, they are the arm.” “Man needs man because man can only see with his eyes and he cannot see God or Jesus but he can see a man who is the arm of the Lord.” “Through human delegates, they are the arm of the Lord.  Right now Jesus is with those who are his delegated servants.”

John Thiel has been strongly criticised for this conjecture as it appears he is trying to create a type of Catholic reliance on a priest or minister. In his sermon “No Railing Accusation” [1] rather than repudiate the whole Arm of the Lord conjecture John Thiel denies the application to himself. Even then this is not a full denial since John Thiel implies the people should look for the arm of the Lord in others besides himself. John Thiel says, “that subject of the arm of the Lord, they were presented with the design to look for the arm of the Lord active in His servants, not in me only.”

To put human beings in the place of God, as the arm of the Lord, is a distortion of the truth.  It is an attempt to insert human beings where God alone should be. God’s arm alone is able to uphold all who lean upon it {4T 594.2}

Your Future is Dependent on My Communication with You

In the sermon titled “The Pearl That Sparkles and Shines” the following EGW statement is quoted by John Thiel. The world is to be warned of its coming doom. The slumbers of those who are lying in sin and error are so deep, so deathlike, that the voice of God through a wide-awake minister is needed to awaken them. Unless the ministers are converted, the people will not be. {4T 445.1}  John Thiel – “Wow do you like that statement. You know we say, ‘I don’t have to have a minister up the front telling me what to do. I don’t have to rely on John Thiel.’ That has been said. Even amongst us. But what is said here? Your future is dependent on my communication with you. That’s what that says isn’t it? If the ministers are not converted neither will the people be, no matter how much they read. Unless the minister sparkles and shines the truth they will just see the truth as doctrine and they will argue and debate. . .”

John Thiel uses pulpit sarcasm to show the people they should rely on the minister and they need him up front telling them what to do. John Thiel expresses surprise and disappointment that people of his own group speak against such a reliance. After which he says “Your future is dependent on my communication with you.” This phrase is spoken in the context that people should rely on the minister.

In his defensive sermon [1] John Thiel asks the people to recall his words and then he to changes his words to “your future is dependent on the manner of my communication to you.” He changes the context of the phrase declaring he meant that “the people will be affected by the minister’s lack of conversion.” This is a verbal sleight of hand. John Thiel further contradicts himself saying “that statement that I expressed was never to convey that I regarded myself as a people’s criteria.”

The original article from 4 Testimonies page 437-449 is concerning two young Adventist ministers in the state of Iowa who were self-sufficient and self-important. Their influence upon the people could only be bad. There is nothing in the article concerning the reliance on ministers. John Thiel overcooks the statement from 4 Testimonies page 445 into a type of dependency on ministers. It is doubtful whether this was intended by the writer since there are many other EGW statements warning against dependency on ministers. The evangelistic type of ministry may be useful in waking the people but this work should not create a dependency with the people reliant on a minister.

When the members depend upon the minister as their source of power and efficiency, they will be utterly powerless. They will imbibe his impulses, and be stimulated by his ideas, but when he leaves them, they will find  themselves in a more hopeless condition than before they had his labors. I hope that none of the churches in our land will depend upon a minister for support in spiritual things; for this is dangerous. {PaM 101.2} The ministers are hovering over churches . . . They should be taught that unless they can stand alone, without a minister, they need to be converted anew, and baptized anew. They need to be born again.  {GCB, April 12, 1901 par. 21}

Blaming the Hearers

Rather than address the doctrinal points under challenge with more than a few ambiguous statements and verses, John Thiel turns the argument back on the hearers. He uses the following statements from EGW to suggest that the hearers are at fault for misconstruing his words.

He will misconstrue his words, play upon his imagination, wrest them from their true meaning, and then entrench himself in unbelief, claiming that the sentiments are all wrong. {1SM 19.1}

Because of the imperfections of human understanding of language, or the perversity of the human mind, ingenious in evading truth, many read and understand the Bible to please themselves. {1SM 19.3}

Although John Thiel claims he is misunderstood, how and where he is misunderstood is hard to find. Even John Thiel admits his efforts to clarify the misunderstandings are very feeble. John Thiel – “somebody of a different mind of a different education of a different temperament, will be inadvertently going to put a different construction upon the meaning of the word that was chosen by the one who speaks. This is impossible to totally eradicate, but indeed if it has been misunderstood, it needs to be, the effort made. I do not make many efforts to try to clarify anything.”

John Thiel uses a ferocious EGW statement to attack his critics, suggesting they are doing the work of Satan, If Satan can employ professed believers to act as accusers of the brethren, he is justly pleased; for those who do this are just as truly serving him as was Judas when he betrayed Christ, . . . {TM 504.2} On the other hand, John Thiel suggests he has been made an offender for a word. They gather up little incidents which may be trifling in themselves, but which are repeated and exaggerated until a man is made an offender for a word. {TM 504.3} Again this is John Thiel’s effort to minimise gross doctrinal error into a small offence such as a mistaken word.

This attitude of avoidance, lack of effort to clarifying apparent misunderstandings and turning the argument back on the hearers, appears to be an effort to avoid rightful scrutiny as the following suggests should be done:

We are to test every man’s doctrine by the law and the testimony {RH, August 27, 1889 par. 4} 

Every position of truth taken by our people will bear the criticism of the greatest minds; the highest of the world’s great men will be brought in contact with truth, and therefore every position we take should be critically examined and tested by the Scriptures. {Ev 69.1}  

Submission to Himself

In the sermon “No Railing Accusation” [1] John Thiel includes the following concepts: “disobedience to parents”, “the insubordination of children”, “the spirit of insubordination”, “respect for superiors”, “giving over to those in authority”, “submission”, “resigning to the brethren ruling over me” etcetera. John Thiel even describes his own insubordination as a child. He reads Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: . .  and . . it is like a death struggle for some to surrender their wills in submission to those who are placed over them. {BEcho, December 9, 1901 par. 8}

Finally John Thiel comes out in the open and clearly states what he is driving at. He says, “it is like a death struggle to surrender our wills in submission to those who are placed over us. Is that right? And so when I have been clumsy with my words I can well understand that the call for submission is like a death struggle.” Here John Thiel makes it understood he expects the submission of the people to himself. All through the sermon he has heavily implied that they are affected with the spirit of insubordination. Yet it might be argued that the people are only following the example of Christ who did not submit to the Rabbis and their wrong doctrines.

John Thiel has been criticised for soliciting blind obedience from his followers [3]. In the sermon “No Railing Accusation” John Thiel denies that he wants the people to obey him. He says “I don’t want to convey the thought that anybody is to obey me. Never.” “I don’t want anybody to think that I am going to stand over anybody in this church and say here, here, obey me.” John Thiel claims he only wants the people to obey those he is obeying. He says “I want to convey the thought to obey those that I am obeying, that’s what my message is. To obey those that I am obeying.” This invites the question is who is John Thiel obeying that the people should obey?

John Thiel dominates the doctrinal thought of his own church organisation. He is the one defining God. He is the one defining the laws, the rules and all the minutiae the people are to obey. Those challenging John Thiel’s definitions of the rules are considered insubordinate. In his own organisation John Thiel decides which EGW statements are relevant “in these last days” throwing out whatever is not expedient to himself, on occasion, using the excuse that in these last days God will work very much out of the common order of things (see TM 299.2).

John Thiel, unwilling to obey the leadership of the previous two churches where he held membership, has gone ahead made his own church with no checks and balances. There is no one above John Thiel for him to obey. He is the virtual pope of his own church. If he were to obey the instruction of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 this may well disqualify him from the office of church leader. Particularly striking in this Scripture are the words in 1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without.

There has been no good report from those that are without ever since John Thiel, a married man, became involved with another woman not his wife, resulting his marriage break up. Also John Thiel admits, in his own words, from the pulpit, that he is a womaniser [4]. Perhaps realising such an admission disqualifies him from any church office and even puts his church membership in question, John Thiel tries to back track from his admission claiming that, “It was not a confession, it was simply a useless exercise to try to refute an accusation” [1]. However after he admits to being womaniser John Thiel clearly says “it’s been forgiven” [4]. No forgiveness would be necessary if no sin had been committed with a woman. Even if forgiven it disqualifies a man from holding any church office.

[1] http://justsermons.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/no-railing-accusation/

[2] http://justsermons.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/gods-captivating-love/

[3] https://georead.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/criticism-of-john-thiels-sermon-unquestioning-obedience/

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TFijRm5GDk

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7 Responses to Response to No Railing Accusation

  1. Pingback: John Thiel: Cult leader and Sociopath. | Georead

  2. fullgloss says:

    John Thiel’s main message is one of drawing power unto himself, he would have the people believe that he is ‘The Arm of The Lord’, that their salvation is dependant on his ‘Communication’ with them. He anoints himself as ‘minister’, implying legitimacy where there is none, and ‘servant of God’, implying a Moses like stature. He even goes so far as to teach that he will one day be God. These are plainly the doctrines of Devils.

  3. Ellen White says:

    Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet; and to know that I have loved thee.” {RH, July 9, 1908 par. 5}

    Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet, and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet. {CET 58.2}

    • georead says:

      Those who have been deceived by the fables preached to them by their ministers now charge upon them the loss of their souls: You have preached to us falsehoods. We have believed a lie, and are lost, forever lost. {ST, November 27, 1879 par. 13}

      • Ellen White says:

        Re his womaniser statement. He has also said that if it were true that he was a womaniser which it is not, (his words) it is forgiven. It is in that context he says it is forgiven. If it were true.

    • georead says:

      John Thiel – “They might say to you ah John Thiel he, he’s a womaniser. John Thiel is such and such and such and such. I hear all these things. Water off a ducks back. Why? Because I say yes that’s me, yeah I am, that’s my nature. Wow, John, you’re preaching to us and you’re a womaniser. It’s been forgiven. It’s been taken by Jesus. And I am resting in His mercy not to be a womaniser. And whatever else they are telling you about me might be true might be error I don’t even have to defend myself because I have thrown myself with Jesus at the mercy of God and that’s why I’m still here. Otherwise I wouldn’t be preaching to you now. I was severely tempted. I thought that’s it. I’m finished. I can’t preach to anyone anymore. The Lord sent the magpie. Remember the story of the magpie. Oh I can’t believe it. No matter how depressed you are John, no matter how far you think you’ve gone, sing with that sharp beak pointing to heaven singing in front of me on the table. Never forget it. Because I can sing together with Jesus a new song.”

    • georead says:

      Ellen White (Ariadne) – Theoretically John Thiel has been forgiven for being a womaniser. Theoretically he has thrown himself on the mercy of God. Theoretically he is resting in God’s mercy not to be a womaniser. It’s only a theory nothing factual. He was severely tempted to give up preaching because in theory he could have been a womaniser.

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