@SelahSelah - I thought it was God’s will that I give all my possessions to the poor and quit my job and leave my home and family and live on the streets telling people about Jesus. I gave my jewelry away on a Friday, and on Sunday my intervention began. You can see it as a coincidence, but I wonder if it wasn’t a way of testing my faith kind of like Abraham and Isaac (not that I am comparing myself to Abraham at all!) and once I had determined in my heart to do God’s will no matter what, he stopped me. Or I could just be rationalizing… idk.
It is so good to hear from you! Yes, I wanted to quit my job so many times because it interfered with Holy Days. (I anticipated Jesus coming back every Holy Day) I have thought about this too, I do not think it is weird for you to think those things. Sometimes I think like maybe God was trying to teach me a lesson, to not listen to men anymore and seek only Him for myself and diligently search the scriptures and maybe I just had to learn the hard way and start from square one since I am so thick skulled. It sort of reminds me of the verse about sheep knowing His voice and how they won't listen to a stranger (of course when I was in the group I thought it was the opposite and God spoke through the letters) Apparently, I don't have the gift of discernment either.
I agree that you sort of look to Timothy for guidance instead of seeking the Lord yourself, since you have a mainline, Timothy sort of becomes a mediator. You sort of feel like only he can hear from God fluently and everyone else is untrustworthy, including yourself. I am a pretty quiet person by nature and I felt very uncomfortable having to type out our praise, worship, and intimate feelings to God in a chatbox during the studies in front of everyone else. I would question couldn't God hear me Himself, without having to go through Timothy in the skype chatbox? When I see people type personal intimate prayers out on social networks, to me it seems more like they want the praise of men than of God. And this is how I felt having to type my feelings out in front of everyone, I didn't want to be out on the stage like that and I felt like my intimate feelings/prayers should remain between me and God because I wasn't seeking anyone else's approval or glorification.
I think God does test us. I recently was reminded of how Jesus went into the desert to be tempted by the devil, but it says He was led into the desert by the Spirit and not led by the devil
. So I dunno, I guess I have thought like maybe God put me in this desert for a reason, like maybe He is using it to make me depend on Him more and realize that I can't do anything by my own merit because it only leads to disappointment and never look to men, but to Him.
Still, I wish I could trust fellowship with other believers, at least without feeling like someone is trying to manipulate me or feeling like the person(s) I fellowship with don't really know what they are talking about, I can't give ear to anything they say even if they are sincere because I fear it is a flawed "doctrine of a demon" and I become judgmental of what they are saying and I become very nauseous. Everyone seems phony or misled to me now, especially preachers.
I've really been trying to figure out what put me in that vulnerable disposition. At the time I was introduced to the letters I was already deeply diving into end-time biblical prophecy, news, and revelations. I think many can relate to that. The letters seemed to have the answers I was looking for regarding the endtimes. Consciously my mind sees some of the red flags that don't quite add up within the group, but subconsciously they are ignored because it's like it honestly seems a lot more merciful for people to be left during a tribulation period to have the fire lit under them so to speak and have their temporary bodies destroyed like the letters teach, than for them to think they were saved and be burned alive with fire and suffer for all eternity like most modern churches teach. To me it had to be one or the other, there was no in-between. I guess it was sort of like I would rather that (the letters doctrine) be true when I look at friends and family members who don't really take God seriously, (plus the promise of Christ's soon return) so it made it a lot easier to cling to.
I felt very guilty at times, like I was demeaning Christ's sacrifice when I tried to merit God's love by my own works (not works of the faith) like "Ok God I accept what your Son did for me on the cross, BUT...now let me do this or this to make myself
presentable just in case your sacrifice wasn't enough" I felt pretty crumby like I was telling Him what He did wasn't good enough and I couldn't fully rest in my salvation through His sacrifice alone (something I had done prior to the letters), so I had to keep patching up a sinking boat that would immediately have ten more gaping holes in it as soon as I turned around. I was frantic.
And because it made me doubt my salvation/ relationship with God, it took away my joy and made it hard for me to witness to people on what exactly they had to do to be saved, because I wasn't even sure what I was suppose to do myself by that point. I think that's something I continue to struggle with-assurance. And this was my biggest problem that I faced, it hindered me from confidently sharing Jesus with others, because now I had no idea what to tell them.
I think what was most captivating was the letters gave a certainty and a definite promise of Christ's soon return, no matter what the consequence (I reasoned, if the apostles died for Christ and Christ died for me, then I surely shouldn't complain if I am not taken, even though I did become very depressed that I wasn't going to make the cut and be with Jesus-and I am not a freak for having those feelings because I know others in the group were told they were not ready and were VERY depressed about it too and just not as vocal)
, that I put most of my hope into the letters and group (since they inevitably led to Christ's definite return) and then when the rug was pulled out from under me, it was like my world that was already crumbling, had exploded into a million pieces.
I had a pitty party for a while because I couldn't understand why I was singled out and others were flying under the radar with doing the same stuff or worse. It felt like my devotion was questioned if I didn't help spread enough letters when others in the group weren't adding 3000 people to their friendslists either. I wasn't going to put on a mask and pretend like I wasn't terrified and confused with unanswered questions or from being pretty much bullied by certain members. I was told God wouldn't tolerate me sitting on the fence and I was made to feel like any forming doubts of the letters were because I was evil and didn't have ears to hear. Then when I got kicked out, it made me believe God had abandoned me when all I had wanted to do was love Jesus and spread the gospel just like them, it was very spiritually and emotionally damaging.
I am in a constant battle between God's Holiness, and myself. But I am learning to trust that God has not forsaken me or given up on me and I still have hope and love Him, and that He has put me in this desert for a testing and will see me through if I seek His face and draw near to His voice. It's just hard. It's like part of me still really wishes the letters were true so that Jesus would come back and that's probably my weakness. I understand the letters don't have to be true for that to happen, but since I was indoctrinated it is hard to figure out what to believe or why I believe it. I feel like I am constantly oscillating. I feel like someone has taken away a part of me and I want it back. But, I refuse to stay discouraged and lose heart, I will never give up on my relationship with God.