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The Voice of Others
Another year has slipped by ever so quickly! The months have seemed to be more like weeks, even days; yet this gives cause for us to anxiously look forward to when there shall "...be time no longer" (Revelation 10:6); that is, when we have been fully transformed by the renewing of our minds, when our corruptibility has put on incorruption, and when our mortality has put on immortality. Even though the dawn of that hour is not known to us, regardless of the time element, we will continue our course. We will make our way through the allotted days through the valley of the shadow of death until that glorious destination victoriously receives us.
Today, rather than hearing what I have to say, Margit and I both feel to share the voice of others who have richly blessed us, and we are sure it will be the same with you. Therefore, first from our very dear friend:
The Pink Stone"One day a small pink stone sang to me.
He said, what you see is not what I shall be.
I met the Savior long ago.
And He has changed me, don't you know.
We've been cut from the mountain, you and me.
(Poem was given after she had a vision of a pink stone sang some these words to her.)
--Daryl Bates Chesser
Thy Will Be Done
Oh, my Father - I cry unto Thee
(2) John 3:16
(3) Phil. 3:14
(4) Psa 106:1
(5) 2 Pet 3:9
(6) Phil 2:11, Rev 5:13
"I'm writing to thank you so very much for your teaching on the real meaning of the word MEEKNESS in your Pathfinder series, In The Beginning, Part 12, #171.04. I had despaired of ever attaining to that quality in this life. I had accepted the general belief that meekness meant spineless, demure, and the like. In my efforts to try to be meek, I have squashed my natural enthusiasm, passion, and expressiveness. For some reason, I seem to be surrounded by phlegmatics who prefer me to 'tone it down,' especially if I am angry or upset over something. I don't get out of control -- I am simply vivacious. For years I have complained to God for giving me this stupid personality. I felt that if I could not act meek like so many of my friends, then I was not a good Christian.
"Your explanation of true meekness set me free from self-condemnation. I can be free to be me -- to use the personality God gave me for His service. I was so busy squashing my LION and trying to be all LAMB that I just was driving myself crazy.
"Thank you and thank God.
"That whole Part 12 teaching was particularly enlightening. I have spent a long time over it. It also answered my questions of how could Jesus say he was meek and act and say some of the things He did. Now I understand. Yes!
Thank you, Elwin, for Part 14 (#173.04) about the meek -- a message we all must read and heed. I will not be the same.
(I like the way this one starts)
"ELWIN STRIKES AGAIN!!! Yet another Jesus story has come out of your writings!
"For some years I have felt that the Lord was calling me out of the organized church, telling me that He has other things in mind for me. Because I had been taught from childhood that on Sunday morning we go to church. . . on Sunday morning I went to church. That, coupled with the fact that I am very slow to act on what seems to be the Lord, I have stayed in church until very recently when I was reading II Corinthians 6:15, '...what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?'
"Suddenly, I saw with clarity the answer to 'What HAS a believer in common with an unbeliever,' which is absolutely nothing! Nothing! Yet, I had never before been able to grasp that Truth!
"Then, verse 17: 'Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST, AND BE SEPARATE, and do not touch what is unclean!'
"I laid awake most of the night thinking on this! I was still thinking about it into the next day. Early that evening I said, 'Lord, how can I participate in, and thereby perpetuate that which You have condemned? How can I manifest all that You are calling me to be as a significant part of which is sharing that which You have given me - thereby exposing the Babylonian system?'
"I thought, The Babylonian system! A Godless gathering of demands to `Be Ye Therefore Perfect'. . . but the one constant is the demand within the expectation that we 'be therefore perfect' in our own fleshly efforts!
"We are simply not taught that the Person of the Holy Spirit was made available to us to be His power through us. HE is the one who walks us through that promised perfection. Perfection was God's gift to us through His Spirit.
"He never intended that we come to perfection through the power of our own flesh! He knew the impossibility and the sheer foolishness of such wasted effort far better than we.
"That System of self-strength increases our own chosen path of self control and self aggrandizement. It is not God's Path of death to our flesh. We choose our own path rather than His, because we feel it keeps us in total control of our own lives.
"Finally, I said, 'Lord! How can I teach and expose the condemned Babylonian system - while still remaining a part of it! (within the church building)'
"His Word to me in that moment was:
"I sat in stunned silence for some time. After thinking for awhile on His straight-from-the-Throne Room response, I said, 'Lord, will you please give me a confirmation - a really strong one - as to Your wanting me completely out of the Babylonian system in its entirety. My body is out of the building, but I continue to feel torn in soul and spirit between what I've been taught versus what You seem to be saying to me. . .' 'Come OUT from her. . . !'
"Your latest booklet, Elwin, 'Forsake Not the Assembling,' had just arrived that afternoon. I put it on my night stand to read later that evening. When I read the title, 'Forsake Not the Assembling,' I thought, 'Oh, dear me. I guess I've really missed it this time. God is going to tell me that I AM supposed to be in the assembling after all!' I winced as I turned the page.
"I read, 'Most Sunday services are gatherings rather than assemblies. Compare the many members of Christ's body to an automobile that has many members or parts. We can have all the parts of a beautiful Mercedes Benz gathered in a pile, but I challenge anyone to hop on the top of that pile of new parts and drive them to the market for a quart of milk. Those parts would be more akin to a junk pile than an automobile, and the supposed driver would get nowhere! However, when all those parts are properly assembled - you can zip across the country at breakneck speed if you so desire!'
"The more I read the more astonished I became! Although you said it far better than I, it is the same basic premise that God has been saying to me for years, and I've been too afraid to act on it.
"'COME OUT FROM AMONG HER (BABYLON) MY PEOPLE! COME OUT!' (out from the counterfeit and into the Real!)
"I had asked God for a powerful confirmation as to coming out of the system body, soul, and spirit, but I had never dared to hope for such a powerful confirmation!
"Elwin, through your teaching you gave me the answer for which I had been searching for years, but had never found. You explained everything in words and examples that I could really see and hear!
"I was so stunned by the speed and the clarity with which the Lord had answered the cry of my heart, that I was up yet another night, 'thinking on these things' - but new things this time. Not rehashing the same old thoughts of fear based on religion. This time, in the presence of the Lord, I was thinking on Him through your teaching! If I'd had the money I would have called you! (never mind that it was by now the wee hours of the morning!)
"My family will be so pleased to hear of your teaching. My sons and my brother have been telling me for years that I needed to get out of that system and go to where there are hurting, hungry people who
are longing for Truth. But, because of all I had been taught from childhood on... Thank you, Elwin, for your obedience to the Lord in your life that positioned you in Him to be able to write His Truths that are releasing me in a significant area of bondage in my life!"
The remainder are letters written to J. Preston Eby, Gary Amirault, and Gerry Beauchemin, or by Ted Jones:
"The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give His life a ransom for many. The whole idea that we have of 'ministry' has got warped up in these days, and I believe we shall have to have a new picture of what ministry really is put into our minds by God. The word ministry comes from two Latin words, minis, (from which we get minus), which means lesser, and tri, which is the Latin word for servant. Now, when you think about it, a LESSER SERVANT is a whole lot different from what we think of when the word ministry is put in our minds. We think of accomplished pastors, famous evangelists, large meetings, crowds with a tremendous flow of miracles and worship, and people that can really hold your attention by their great preaching -- and then we find that the word means LESSER SERVANT!
"The impact of this hit me recently and I'll share the experience with you. For most of my life I have served in a professional capacity. Before I was an ordained minister I was a registered nurse. I have never really worked as a servant of any kind, until recently. A friend of mine was doing a little job here in town which involves helping an elderly lady who has had a stroke. You need to help her in whatever capacity she needs, from housework to bathing her. My friend had to leave town and, to help her out, I took the job. Nearly a year later I am still doing it! One day I was kneeling on the bathroom floor drying her feet when suddenly I said to myself, 'Whatever am I doing here -- I'm supposed to be an Ordained Minister!' Immediately the Spirit of God answered within my heart, 'You wanted to minister, didn't you?'
"The time has come when we must understand that ministry is not preaching but servant-hood. We are going to have to learn all over again what it means to serve people with the same heart of love that Jesus had when He walked among men. It was not beneath Him to lift a woman caught in adultery to her feet and speak a word of reassurance to her, nor was it beneath Him to eat at the house of an ungodly tax-gatherer and his friends. Jesus did not hire a huge auditorium and put out publicity announcing great meetings. He simply moved among men and women where they were and touched them with love, and healing, and comp"
Ted Jones' Testimony (Toronto, Canada) who suffered a nervous breakdown resulting from believing in eternal torment):
"The idea that God lets any creature suffer endlessly has caused me more suffering than all the other problems of my life combined. By the time I had reached the mission field I had hoped to have found a satisfactory answer that would justify God allowing this to happen. I didn't find such an answer. Surrounded by thousands of people, dozens of whom were dying every day and beginning an eternity of suffering in hell was too much for me. In 1966, at the age of 28, it caused me to have a nervous breakdown. For several weeks I was confined to my bed in a state of terror night and day. The terror was caused by the fear of what a God I could not love or respect would do to me after I died. It took me twelve years to fully recover from the breakdown. I quickly became agnostic, for the Christian gospel and the Bible were no longer any comfort to me at all. Many evangelical friends tried to help me. They meant well, but in the end they all had only words of condemnation towards me. This added more suffering to my already intense suffering.
"Gradually I began to learn that there have been, in centuries past, and still are today, a few people in the world that see a different kind of God in the Bible. They see a God who will not let any creature suffer forever. They see a God in the Bible who will change every second of everyone's suffering into something better that it happened, including the sufferings of Satan. I read dozens of books, and listened to hundreds of tapes by men who believe this way and I gradually became converted to believing this way myself. Since 1981, through my newspaper ads and my telephone ministry I have sent out many hundreds of packets of literature explaining why I believe as I do. I have also sent this evidence to hundreds of pastors and Bible school teachers. None of them have told me that they are able to refute it. I have also read eight books that were supposed to refute the evidence in favor of universalism, but none of them do. Because of this evidence, my panic attacks became less frequent until twelve years after my breakdown they ceased altogether. Now, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to make this evidence available to others who have suffered because of the same problem that I had, and I use a substantial amount of my money and time to this end.
"Because of the enormous amount of suffering the idea of 'endless hell' causes in this world, I am asking you to consider the possibility that you should stop endorsing the idea that the Bible teaches it. Or, at least, let others know that there are (and have been in centuries past) people who do not think the Bible teaches it. Many of the responses from pastors and teachers range from a mild, 'The majority don't agree with you so you must be wrong.' to the vicious 'For every week you leave your ad in the papers, God will increase the temperature of the fires of hell for you personally.' Most are somewhere in between these remarks But none have told me they are able to refute the evidence. And, until they can, they will not be able to shut me up."
Another from Ted Jones: Can Children Go to Hell?
"Evangelicals are divided in their opinion about the fate of infants who die.
"Some, who believe in God's sovereign election of the 'few,' also believe that non-elect babies who die will spend eternity suffering in hell. John Calvin said, 'there are babies a span long in hell.'
"Others consider this unfair, and assert that infants who die will spend eternity in heavenly bliss. This of course is true, but not because the child is innocent. It's true because the Scriptures teach that God intends to save everyone from everything that they need to be saved from.
"A few years ago there was a story in a Montreal paper about an Ohio lady who drowned her baby in a bathtub. Her defense was that she loved the baby so much that she wanted to make sure that her child would not have to suffer forever in hell. After serving a sentence she remarried, had another child and drowned it for the same reason. She trusted that God would forgive her because her intention, though warped by false theology, was for the good of her children.
"The jury decided that she was mentally ill, BUT WAS SHE? The simple pragmatic fact remains that if *Arminianism is right, her two infants will spend eternity in heavenly bliss because she loved them so much that she insured, by killing them, that this will be so. *The Arminian view is that man has an unconditional free will to chose or reject God that seals their eternal destiny of either heaven's bliss or hell's torment.
"Apparently, many Christians believe that there is a magical split-second in time before which a child, if they die, will go to heaven, and after which, if they die will spend eternity suffering in hell. They call this the 'age of accountability.'
"If I believed this nonsense I would take a gun into the largest maternity ward in Toronto and, before the police arrived, kill every infant who had just been born. This would cause an enormous amount of suffering to the parents, but this wouldn't matter much in the long run, because probably most of them (according to evangelical theology) are destined to suffer forever in hell anyway, so why not save their babies from the same fate?
"Don't try to argue that what I would be doing would be wrong ('thou shalt not kill'). The fact remains that my act would, in fact insure the eternal salvation of the babies. If Arminianism is right, then infanticide would certainly be one of the most effective ways of 'saving souls.' Besides, God forgives murder, especially when it is done for such a noble, though misguided cause. Sure, they would lock me away in an institution, but I would spend my life reveling in the glow of the emotional high of knowing that I had, beyond any shadow of a doubt guaranteed the salvation of the babies that I had killed.
"Folks, the actual truth about the matter is much more sane and blessed. The Scriptures teach that salvation is all of the Lord, and He will not fail to save every one of us according to His own timing. No one will be able to boast in His presence and say, 'I have saved myself from eternal hell by exercising my faith in God's provision. God will get all of the glory for everyone's salvation.'
"The important issue never should be 'what is right or what is wrong.' The only really important issue is, 'What is God going to do with the person who is wrong?' The Scriptures teach that God will fit every one of us into His master plan in a positive way, and He will use our temporary involvement with sin to teach us the lessons that He wants us to learn. As my Dad often says, 'That's what makes Him God!'"
After reading this, one must wonder, if free will, the age of accountability, and eternal hell for th lost are all true--and as someone said, "If abortionists are, for all practical purposes, among the most effective 'soul-savers' in the world--why do evangelicals get so upset with them?" Indeed, if those things were true, then the abortionists are getting more saved than the church. Hmm...
Letter or email to Gary Amirault of :
"I was married to a man who received Jesus as his Savior as an adult. The first time he made a mistake, the enemy of our souls, the accuser of the brethren, told him that he wasn't really a Christian because Christians don't act like that. This caused him to doubt his salvation. He continued to struggle with these kind of accusations and doubts the rest of his life, to the very near the end of his life.
"He was definitely afraid of going to hell. I met him at a Bible school. He consulted many of his professors at the school and leaders at the Baptist church we attended for help in overcoming the problem. None of them were able to help him.
"One of his coworkers kept on inviting him to attend his church. We finally did go. I thought that since his once-saved-always-saved friends were not able to help him believe he was saved, then maybe these Pentecostals who did not believe once saved always saved, might be able to help him to at least manage his fears better that he had been able to. Boy, was I wrong! They actually made his fears to be of even greater magnitude, and by then he was afraid to leave that church.
"Now he was not only afraid that he might go to hell; he was also afraid that if his wife was not perfect, and his children were not perfect, then they would go to hell, and it would be his fault for not being the father and husband that they needed.
"This resulted in a lot of marriage problems, the worst one being his physical discipline of the children. This became more and more severe until it was actually child abuse.
"Eventually, I divorced him. This took off of him the terrible burden of being responsible for my salvation and the salvation of the children. He actually said to me about one month or less after we moved out that he noticed that we were all happier now. And he was able during his weekends with his children to be the kind and loving father he really was.
"Unfortunately, the children being raised in that kind of church also had a great fear of hell and of being left behind. Not all Pentecostal churches may not be as bad as that one was, but those who are extremely legalistic are. Fortunately even that church preaches a lot more grace and love than they used to.
"My oldest daughter decided to google 'hell' and she found your website. Tentmaker Ministries When she shared the universal salvation doctrine with me I was ready to receive it, and it was such good news that I danced around her kitchen. Of, course, this lined up with the character of the God I have known since I was 7 years old. The pastor I had then and still have now had already taught me for many years a greater revelation of the goodness of the character of God and he had never preached about or even mentioned hell.
"God is sooo good. He's a good , good Daddy and He's rejoicing over me!!! --End quote.
"Dear reader, think of how many millions of Christians have gone through these kinds of torments! How many marriages, relations with children, etc. have been destroyed by the teaching of Hell? How long will it be before pastors and church leaders repent and walk away from this abominable teaching? Please, dear reader, read this letter again carefully and prayerfully. And then seek God's face on the matter and see what God would have you do."
An email to Gerry Beauchemin, author of, Hope Beyond Hell:
"My name is Emilie. I am 16 years old and I live in Georgia, and I go to a private Christian school. I have been raised in church, my mom is a Christian and has been for a while. My dad on the other hand, may not be a Christian. I am not really sure. He was raised Catholic and now does not openly practice any religion, he believes in evolution but still expresses a belief in God. So who knows what his heart truly believes.
"My whole life, I have been taught of this 'eternal hell' that Jesus is saving me from, and it honestly has been the single biggest stumbling block in my entire faith. I could not grasp the fact that God loved me so much, but was completely okay with my dad suffering in hell forever. I would lie awake at night in tears because I was so afraid of hell and that the people I love, and possibly myself, could be going to hell. I was so unsettled by this that I would get so scared, I wouldn't even be able to talk to God or even think about hell because it freaked me out so much. I was more afraid of God than I was of Satan or anyone else in this world, and I felt really bad about it. I always heard people saying how much they loved God and how great and compassionate he was, and I felt so horrible that I did not feel the same way. I would constantly question my faith and about every other Sunday I would try to 're-accept' Christ into my life, just so that maybe I could feel that love that others said they felt towards him.
"Over the past year I have gone through some hard times, and I found myself getting even farther away from God. He just scared me and made me angry, and I didn't want to have anything to do with him. I would pretend like I prayed and read my Bible, but honestly, I didn't because I felt like every time I opened it to read, I would just get more scared and confused. People had always taught me that God was not a God of confusion, but His word confused me so much!
"About 3 weeks ago, I saw your book Hope Beyond Hell lying on our coffee table, and I asked my mom what it was about, she hadn't read it, but she knew what it was about. I took it up to my bedroom and started reading it. That day I rushed to finish my homework and I began reading your book. I was up till 3 in the morning reading it, and I was so amazed and infatuated by it that I could not put it down! Never before had I ever even heard the thought that hell is not what I had been taught that it was, and it was not eternal. It was the most amazing thing that I had ever read. Over the next two weeks or so, I kept reading it and highlighting it. I actually found. myself turning off the TV and reading the book (and that was a big deal because I hate to read).
"Honestly I thought that it was too good to be true, so I went to a friend of mine's house and I told her about it. She was strongly opposed to the complete idea, and she sat there for 2 hours trying to convince me that it was all a lie. I brought up verses such as Revelation 1:18 (I have the keys of hell and death) as evidence, and she tried to say that I had taken it out of context or something. I left her house feeling pretty defeated, but as I was driving home thinking about all the stuff she tried to tell me to refute, I realized how crazy all of what she said sounded crazy! She was telling me the same exact things that I had been taught my whole life, those same things that had kept me so far away from God, and they made no sense, but your book makes complete sense. There is so much evidence proving the Blessed Hope, and so little (or even none) to discredit it.
"So the reason why I am telling you all of this (sorry this e-mail is so long) but is to first tell you thank you SO much for writing this book. I honestly had never loved God until I read it, and now I love him so much its crazy! This book has truly changed my life, and I am so thankful! God has really used you in my life, and the funny thing is, I don't even know you, but maybe one day I will get to meet you! God has used you in my life in such an incredible way, thank you for writing this book.
"Secondly, my friend that I was telling about said to me that she believes that if the blessed hope is true, then there is no reason for Christ's death. I didn't want to be disrespectful by calling her crazy, cause she is 27 and I'm only 16, but I am definitely giving her a copy of the book...
"Thank you again for writing this book and giving me hope. Never before have I been excited about God and his good news, but I find myself having to keep from telling all my friends at school how happy I am because of this book, because I know they would not accept it at first. I am praying and asking God to give me good timing as to when to bring it up to people, because I feel it is a message that is too great to be kept a secret! I honestly don't know how anyone can believe that God is impartial, all-knowing, loving and all-powerful if they do not believe in the Blessed Hope! It's just impossible!…
"Thank you so much and I hope that this encourages you, because your book really encouraged me and changed my life forever." --End quote.
"Thank you, Rodger, for sending me the links. I've spent a profitable few hours today perusing them, they're excellent!
"I had a fear of hell my whole life from the age of 5; because of my mother's death at that time in my life. Imagine my stunned amazement and joy to find out about universal salvation! I had been reading from Kenneth B. Visscher's website.
"Once I could breathe again, I was filled with tremendous joy and the fear I'd known started to evaporate. I'm 61 and that is a long time to have had a fear of going to hell. I hated God for "killing" my mother (5 year olds think that way); but I knew she loved Jesus. I kept thinking 'What would He do to someone like me who HATED Him for killing Mom?' She left the 6 of us at 28 years of age, 8 1/2 months pregnant; the baby died first and then she died.
"It's so wonderful NOT to have that fear anymore! Thanks for all these links; I will treasure them and use them greatly."
In closing, let us hear from the one we know as the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End:
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw, take, drag all...unto Me."
We trust that you received as much, or more, from these other voices as you would have from mine, especially from the Last voice. Now, as this worn-out year draws to a close, we pray that God's grace shines warmly upon each of your lives and brings forth a manifestation of His person in a new and living way. Blessings to you all today and always in the joy of His Life!
Elwin R. Roach
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