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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: FCSLC ()
Date: August 11, 2013 07:23AM

Lots of scripture on alot of these posts. I don't read the Bible much anymore but I might as well misapply one of my old favorites:

Ecclesiastes 9:4b "Surely a live dog is better than a dead lion."

After reading most of the posts on this forum about the present state of The Living Word Corporation here is now my heresy: Lots of us discarded dogs are possibly ok when considering the corporate corruption that has nearly killed the lion.

By the way, a former walk member and true friend told me a couple of days ago: "Were too old to die young now!"

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: larry bobo ()
Date: August 12, 2013 11:29AM

I think it is important to recognize that what we may have thought was a revelation from God in TLWF may have actually been mental programming though suggestion. The mechanics of "opening our spirits" and "singing in the spirit" placed us in a highly suggestive "Alpha state", similar to hypnosis, where what we heard bypassed our conscious minds and the normal critical thinking process and went unchecked into our subconscious minds. Many have suggested over the years that the trance-like state that we equated with spirituality had its roots in New Age teaching, not Christianity. Once the bubble pops, it seems silly that obedience to another human will produce resurrection life - especially since they do not have it themselves to give - at least until they break though into the next new level. "Serve me now and I'll give you a million dollars right after I win the Lottery. God has revealed to me that I'm His favorite and He wants everyone else to obey me in all my confusion as an expression of their love for Him. It doesn't even matter if I am right - God will honor your submission." Really?

I would suspect most of us had times where the "current word" went cross-grained to what our hearts and the scriptures were telling us, and over time, the red flags we suppressed turned out to be true warnings. I have been asked many times by other Christians, "Didn,t you have a Bible? Haven't you read, 'Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. At that time if anyone (except JRS and G&M - because a revelation of them is greater than Jesus' words :)) says to you "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There he is!" do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See I have told you ahead of time.' However, none of these other Christians had actually ever met someone who claimed to be Christ in the flesh and wanted lordship over another person's life - much less allowed their name to take the place of God in worship songs.

I wrestled with God a long time over why He did not respond to my misdirected sincerity - and perhaps over time He has, as I have pressed on to know Him. The true is found in the words of Jesus. "If you love me, you will obey my commands." If we dig a little deeper, the answers were there all along, right in plain sight. It's taking our eyes off Him and focusing them on someone else that has gotten us into trouble in the past.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: FCSLC ()
Date: August 12, 2013 12:53PM

Quote larry bobo August 11, 2013 11:29PM

"God will honor your submission. Really"

Been there heard that. All those requests and prayers for something that actually might benefit the little person never were honored, but its a guarantee that your submission to the leader will be.

My stupidity is overwhelming me. Out in the world things are tested by time. If the theory turns out to be wrong then it is dumped and replaced with a new one. I hate the term "submission". What is submission anyway? Perhaps it is a one way street only whereas agreement or teamwork at least gives the little person some dignity.

Our "will" got crossed so many times that it became non existant. My parents attend a "babylonian church" where they (can you believe this) ---- actually vote out that which is intolerable.

I was a wimp!

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: paleface ()
Date: August 12, 2013 11:04PM

Excellent points in the above posts.

Gary brings sermons about how God gave man a free will and He would never cross that free will.

And then it dawned on me. "Hey, wait a minute. You are saying that God would never cross our free wills? Then why is it OK for 'Christ in the Flesh' to cross our wills?" And often that Christ in the Flesh person isn't even a pastor, but some other DR sheep. Does this mean that these people have more privileges than God? Something smells funny here.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: FCSLC ()
Date: August 13, 2013 12:55AM

Quote: Paleface August 12, 2013 11:04AM

"Something smells funny here."

Smells like ill gotten gain, power and control.

Here is a non biblical quote which a good "dominant SLC area faith" friend and I worked out:

"Well, 'bully' for the Christ's in the flesh ..... change your attitude or your not going to be in my heaven." emphasis on

'my' in little letters.

No doubt someone will quote: "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." ---- my response, "tough."

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: August 13, 2013 10:36PM

Smart, ruthless, devoid of conscience...
this discussion is about Walter White, right?

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Chaos1952 ()
Date: August 14, 2013 02:21AM

I just read something by a dude that was in the Walk exactly the same years I was in, and his experience was the same as mine, although he was up in Canada and taveled to the churches on the west coast, he was never in the South. He said that after he left the Walk, it was several years before he talked with any members, and when he did, they were still believing for John to rise from the dead. I wonder, how many years did they stay after John's resurrection? Or, perhaps they still are at it, I don't know.

Also, I don't remember any of this shepherding garbage when I was in it, and this man doesn't write about any one on one shepherding, if that is indeed what is going on. I do know the people were pretty much ready to do whatever their local elders said, but I don't recall hearing about anything like I have heard about here. When did all that happen? Also, when did Marilyn give the word that the men were to submit to their wives and give the word for all the divorces? Also what role does Gary Hargrave have, is Marilyn the boss and Gary is just her boy or what?

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Invisible ()
Date: August 14, 2013 03:16AM

Going back to the reference made of the little person.

( Little Person ) little people - sheep

I remember, (at a special service that was called at the valley church ) some time after the mid 1980's - any one who was not a shepherd, was to be related to - as being ( a sheep ) .At that service , a few of those who were functioning as shepherds for many years were designated by the leadership as now being ( sheep ). This is where the idea of designated relationships originated. Where the relationships between the people was altered. This is when the people who were not designated as being shepherds - were led to relate to themselves as being sheep. And in the 1990's, any one who was not a spiritual leader was related to by the ministry as being ( the little people ) This is when the people were led to relate to themselves and think of themselves as being ( little people)

How could any one possibly think it's O.K. to relate to another person as being a sheep in relationship to themselves? Or to relate to other people as being little people? You have to discount them as a person , to yourself - to relate to them - as such.

One has to lift one's self above ( another person ) in order to relate to (another person) - as if that person is a sheep.

During those years the relationship between brethren - was altered - And the leadership determined for every one - how every one was to be spiritually related to each other.

According to Christ " All are brothers, all have One Father, He who is in heaven, all have One Teacher, One Leader and that is Christ. This is the relationship Christ made known IS to be the relationship between those who are spiritually related to each other - for in all having One Father who is in heaven, they are all spiritually related to one another as ( brothers.)

Relating to a person as if he/she were a sheep - removed a boundary line that is to exist between people where they are free to relate to each other by having a mutual respect for one another. Those who were considered to be sheep or goats - their voices were no longer heard as men or women by those who were relating to them as being sheep or goats.

David sang, The Lord is " my " Shepherd. Psalms 23

When Jesus asked Peter, if Peter loved Him, He said to Peter, " If you love Me, feed ( My ) sheep." Those the Lord called His sheep were not given by the Lord to Peter as being Peter's sheep. Jesus said to Peter, " If you love Me, Tend ( My ) lambs. "

Definition: tend - to care for or look after, give one's attention to. An example of tend, is - watering a friends garden, while they are on vacation.

Basic Summary - Now most of us here realize today - that these specific kinds of relationships - that lack in showing a common respect and regard for another person - are not the kind of relationships that we are to engage ourselves in - with another person.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: paleface ()
Date: August 14, 2013 05:16AM

The shepherding movement in the Living Word started up after John had died. It was a follow-on to some of the ideas presented in the set of messages he gave just before he died called "The Unfolding". The idea was that we should be able to submit to each other in "designated relationships", similar to Timothy submitting to and serving Paul. (or Elisha and Elijah). It was to be a "chain of relationships" where all would be connected and in submission. In theory, maybe it would have worked, but it was unchecked. People lorded over others. People got hurt. Really bad in some instances where unreasonable service was demanded by the lead sheep from the submissive sheep. I think JRS never would have approved of how this ended up. It morphed into something out of control. I believe it is still this way today in the fellowship.

The pitfall of these designated relationships is that people without shepherds hearts and the needed maturity and wisdom, are put in charge of other people's lives. The submissive sheep is supposed to open up and tell the lead sheep everything and submit their entire lives to them. (Remember, this is layman to layman.) There is no trained clergy involved in most of this. And then the sheep that is the lead, is supposed to be a submissive sheep to another person - eventually leading up to an elder or pastor. The lead sheep was supposed to be "Christ in the Flesh" to the submissive sheep. The submissive sheep was to regard the lead sheep's directives as if they came from God. I was there. I heard all of this with my own ears. I also saw the terrible damage it did when it went wrong.

So who gets to be the lead sheep? The one most mature? No. Most of the time it is the one most loyal to Gary and Marilyn. The ones that blow the "Lamp of Israel" horn the loudest are the ones put in charge. That way, they can fink on weaker sheep that are questioning Marilyn in any way.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Saw enough ()
Date: August 14, 2013 05:52AM

It would be nice if churches, like doctors, took an oath to "First, do no harm."

The Living Word Fellowship has been marked by a series of abusive relationships and a lack of transparency, dating back to its beginning. For example:

Sexual abuse was common in churches like Anaheim, San Diego, Washington Iowa, the Valley, Brazil, the Bay Area, the Living Word Building and countless others.

Funds were misappropriated in ventures like Brazil and the ill-fated silver mine.

There was always secrecy around the function of the Blix House as a cover for John & Marilyn's relationship while he was married.

Hundreds of people were spiritually mistreted by their shepherds -- shamed, driven out, "blown out," shunned, put on demeaning discipline programs or publicly called out in the name of the work of the cross.

John claimed to have been transported 7 years into the future to see the Kingdom and to have returned from his several-hour long vision disoriented. One of the girls affiliated with the Blix House later claimed to have been with him that day. John may have also fathered a child -- some of these things were commonly talked about by people in the know or by younger kids but who knows if it was ever addressed publicly?

Secrecy surrounding John's last days, when commissions were given and authority changed hands to Marilyn Stevens and Gary Hargrave. Chaos surrounding John's death when some people claimed to feel a freedom and release in their spirits and others angrily took over services to demand John's resurrection because "We need our father back." Gary later announced that John had taken down Satan with his death. This may or may not be believed still.

Manipulative relationships, breakups, divorces, remarriages, affairs, and more remarriages.

The assignment of "designated relationships" where people were instructed to submit to relationships as to Christ. Sometimes this took the form of husbands being told to submit to their wives, pastors to church members, everyone to Marilyn and Gary, old people to young people. Many of these relationships deteriorated into abuse, but the leadership just moved on to the next subject.

Abusive relationships where Marilyn was allowed to vent her anger at the people because they had "violated" her spirit or not paid enough respect. Commissions doled out to those who were the most violent supporters of Marilyn. Angry sermons from the new pastors about either getting with the revelation that Marilyn was Christ in the earth or getting the hell out of the church were common. Mathematicians would be required to count the number of regime changes that have taken place in churches, schools, relationships and businesses in the last 25 years.

Hiring of public relations experts to improve their image. Cleansing their website from all of their defensive "We are not a cult" arguments and "debunking the myths" terminology and presenting themselves as a mainstream Christian church.

Claims that everything is different now, although the same patterns of controlling shepherding structures remain in place.

Always with the claim that they were on the front lines of creating change in the earth. Fasting and prayer to control the outcome of elections. Then when the results were disappointing to most of the people in the congregation being told that it was okay because in reality they are commissioned to control the nations through their prophecy, according to the vision from John. Or now being told that Gary & Marilyn's prayers for the Catholic church resulted in the election of the current pope, who seems almost too good to be true because he believes in weird things like mercy and not being judgmental. Maybe they can bathe in the reflected glory of someone else.

If they were just their own echo chamber and met together to reassure each other that they were awesome, perhaps they would not do much harm. But because they continue to come down with such a heavy hand on people, I do not think it is wrong for people to say somewhere like on this forum, "It seems that these people have done more harm than good."

And for sure, it can be helpful for those who have left to hear that perhaps they are not blowouts or destined for judgment -- maybe they are just free from an organization that might not have been in their best interests, and they are free to seek the Lord personally, to find their own way with the life they've been given. You can't distrust your own intuition and leading and live a confident life. Better to follow it, learn from your mistakes or where you thought you were hearing God but maybe weren't, and enjoy the journey.

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