Monday, 5 November 2012

Commentary Craziness - Chapters 1-3

The following are select quotes from the infamous "Revelation Commentary" (referred to hereafter as "R.C") chapters 1-3, as penned by Mike Vinson and his spiritual side-kick, Rob Jones. 

I have given a very brief comment after each quote but in all likelihood, the verbatim quotes listed below should give any level-headed individual some pause. Quotes are bullet-pointed and italicized and use the "..." designate after-the-fact to show that there may be text following. 

Please note - Vinson claims to have repented of the "we no longer sin" perfection in the flesh doctrine but to my knowledge, has not and did not acknowledge the other bizarre doctrines found within.the R.C, many of which can be ascertained by reading through the below. Also, it should be noted that while Vinson "claims" he repented of the "fullness now" doctrine (the belief that he is/can be perfected in the flesh) he recently reiterated that very thing. In late 2010, Vinson stated: "the day comes when you DO overcome sin, you actually just, are given the dominion, the day comes!"


Chapter 1

  • Our natural mind is not even capable of receiving the things of God because the things of God are only spiritually discerned. They are not discerned naturally. Take this to heart before jumping into the rest of this paper...

Note how Vinson puts his own writing/commentary on a level with scripture? He says: "take this to heart before jumping into the rest of the paper..."

  • The book of Revelation is Christ’s blueprint or Cliff’s Notes to each of us whom He chooses to perfect in this lifetime...

Uh oh... This is the first tell-tale sign of the "we no longer sin" doctrine!

  • The book of Revelation is intended, not to be read, but to be experienced. Each of us has but a short time to experience Revelation and for Christ to perfect us into His image...

More of the "we no longer sin" nonsense but also, note the first part of the comment? This is the mere tip of the iceberg with Vinson. He is hell-bent, it seems, on "experiencing" all of the so-called "tribulation" in the book of Revelation. Pray tell: how does one experience being "Satan" and being "bound for 1000 years?" (Revelation 20:2)

  • Christ is calling His elect to not only read and understand the book of Revelation, but to also experience all that it entails both good and bad, right now in this lifetime....

More of the same mentioned above. Again, how does one experience being "earth and sky" (Revelation 20:11) or "the sea" that "gives up it's dead?" (Revelation 20:13).

  • So who are these angels?  These angels are us, His elect or chosen ones...

This is a big thing with Vinson and IWWB. They believe that they alone are "the elect" or the unique and special "chosen ones." This they say, is due to Christ loving them more than others. More on this later.

  • Unlike His elect, the churches will not inherit eonian life. They must first perish for not being in the right hand of Christ. But we, Christ’s elect are His sheep and thus are guaranteed eonian life...

Interesting that Vinson flames the "orthodox church" for maintaining a "one saved, always saved" philosophy when here, Vinson essentially espouses the same thing, only this time, it is of course restricted to "the elect" - Vinson's code word for those who are a part of his IWWB fellowship! (Please note, Vinson says in Chap. 3 of the R.C: "All of Christianity says that once saved, always saved.")

  • Yes John was isolated on an island for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ and so are each of God’s elect... 

If only Vinson did actually live on an island! Does he though? No he does not.


Chapter 2

  • Look once again and see that we are given a clear picture where Satan dwells. Where is Satan’s seat? It is in the church...

Vinson has intense dislike for mainstream Christianity and orthodoxy, which he calls, in his commentary, the work of Satan. Here, he essentially says that Satan is worshipped within the church.

  • Ask yourself how many times this week you've prayed for the insurgents over in Iraq. OK, but don’t we at least have a responsibility to take up arms to defend our own families? No, we don’t...

Vinson is a bona-fide "full-pacifist." He teaches that if a man comes into your home to rape your wife and murder your children, you can do anything to defend them, so long as you DON'T physically retaliate. 
  • The church, in God’s eyes, is merely co-mingled with the rest of the world in its love for the world and sin...

Again, Vinson flames orthodoxy as sin-loving Satan worshippers. Who knows... maybe they are? But it's a pretty broad generalization, don't you think?

  • Yes, Christ is actually saying he will kill his elect with death...

This is nuts but simply more evidence of Vinson's "kill em all" mentality. Did someone say "good news of the gospel?" I think Mike Vinson hates his life and the magic of living and so wants to emphasize death and dying within the scriptures. Why else would someone keep hammering these points?

  • The purpose of the millennial reign, my friend, is so that the world can be ruled with a rod of iron in order to prep them for their inevitable destruction. Yes, that’s right. When Christ is ruling with a rod of iron along with His elect during the millennial reign, he is preparing the rest of the world’s population for utter destruction...  

Isn't that comforting? Christ, apparently, is setting it all up just to smash it all down again! 
More good news from the Mike Vinson school of hermeneutics. 
  • So yes, even Christ and His elect needed to be broken to shivers in order to be made into a new vessel, one that ‘seemed good to the potter to make’. I know many of you are saying to yourself, I can understand His elect needing to be broken and destroyed of their flesh but why Christ? Why did Christ have to be broken?  Wasn’t He perfect? Yes, He was but He was made in the flesh...

Here's the crux of Vinson's doctrine. He honestly believes that flesh in and of itself is "sinful." Not the intentions of a person's soul but their very flesh and blood itself. Apparently, even Jesus flesh was evil and as a result, he needed his ass whooped some.

  • Here’s something else for to ponder. What about babies? Are babies still being born during the millennial reign? If so, are they also being prepared for destruction along with ‘all others’? Yes, as difficult as this may sound, the term ‘all others’ is inclusive of babies as well...

Even babies are on the Vinson hit-list. Because after all, babies are born in "flesh" aren't they? And remember, flesh is evil and sinful! I guess we should forget what Jesus said about little ones coming to him (Matthew 19:14 - "...for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.") because Vinson is the "elect" and he says babies are being prepared for destruction.


Chapter 3

  • So what is meant by he shall go out no more? What Christ means here is that we will no longer depart from the faith. We will no longer fall away. We will no longer fail of the grace of God...

Vinson believes that as the elect, you can be cocksure of your status. Again, note how he flamed orthodox Christians for holding to a "one saved always saved" doctrine when again, he here reiterates the same thing? Seems an awful lot like hypocrisy to me.

  • But remember, these are those who say that they are in Christ and that they have Christ in them but do not. This is the entire orthodox Christian church...

Vinson keeps playing this card. It's all throughout the commentary.

  • Those of His elect are truly without sin...

Ah whoops! Remember, when you read the phrase "the elect," that's Vinson describing himself.

  • We, the elect, must continue in that very chastening in order to be found worthy...

There it is again, "chastening" and punishment. Vinson gets off on this and it's obvious that his God is one sadistic ass-hole who just can't wait to kick the rear-end of his elect.  

Monday, 22 October 2012

Download the Revelation Commentary


The original Revelation commentary penned by Mike Vinson and his associate Rob Jones can be downloaded in HTML format herePlease note - you must right click and "save target as."

Once the file is downloaded, unzip or unpackage the file and you can then read the commentary for yourself using a web browser. 

This is made available for those who wish to know the truth of the matter surrounding the split between Mike Vinson and L. Ray Smith. This is THE commentary in which Vinson declared himself "sinless" and then when challenged about it, simply restated his position. He received far more than 2 admonitions about his doctrines in this commentary and everybody concerned was patient and longsuffering with him during this time. This is undoubtedly far more than I can say for Mike Vinson himself when it comes to other people.

Please also note, I will be posting the commentary in full on this blog, as time permits.

I also suggest you read L. Ray Smith's commentary on Vinson's Revelation handiwork by visiting this page.

Preamble: About IWWB and Mike Vinson

The purpose of this blog is to inform spiritual seekers of the history of Mike Vinson and the iswasandwillbe (referred to by the acronym of "IWWB") internet fellowship. 

I have taken the time to put all of this information on the internet with the intention of giving those who are interested "full disclosure." I am of the opinion that if we all took the time to look out for our fellow man, this world would be a much better place. 
If you see a hole in the ground, do you just walk around it and hope that nobody else falls in there and breaks an ankle? Or do you take the time to stick up a "danger ahead?" 
I have made the decision to go with option B, and so here is this blog.

Who and What is "IWWB?"


IWWB is a WWCoG (World-Wide Church of God) splinter cult-group that began in 1997 when Mike Vinson began to publish his papers on the internet, using the domain name of: http://www.iswasandwillbe.com

He has attracted many spiritual seekers, particularly those who are disenchanted and/or disenfranchised with mainstream Christianity and also, many ex-WWCoG members

Initially, he was aligned with the now deceased L. Ray Smith of bible-truths and used the internet footprint of Ray Smith to garner himself a following before eventually, ties with Vinson were severed by Smith over the now infamous and secretive "Revelation Commentary." Here is a screen grab, courtesy of "WayBack Machine" internet archive which shows Mike's papers, linked from Ray Smith's website. Note, click to enlarge:



Both Smith and Vinson are former WWCoG members, with Vinson admitting openly on his website, that he worked in the mail-analysis team as a Herbert Armstrong lemming.



So as you can see from the image above (source: HERE), Mike Vinson shares a spiritual heritage with WWCoG leaders such as Ronald Weinland, David C. Pack, Roderick C. Meredith and others.

Vinson also had his emails published on Ray Smith's "bible-truths" forum, a screen grab from 2005 shows this to be case:




Vinson's teachings are very palatable to the Christian burned out on tithing and hell-fire but be warned: Underneath the seemingly knowledgeable, biblically sound exterior is an underbelly of man-made doctrines and cult-style indoctrination.

What Does Mike Vinson and IWWB Teach?


In a nutshell, Vinson and his IWWB elders are "Universalist" and hold to an understanding of the bible that is a mixed bag of WWCoG, Gnosticism and fundamentalist right-wing Christian ideals. You will find strict adherence to fundamentalist doctrines such as young earth creationism and biblical inerrancy, mixed with various WWCoG doctrines such as forbidding birthdays and Christmas.

His teachings are an exercise in attempting to harmonize all of the bible from Genesis to Revelation and in pulling off such a feat, Vinson and his IWWB elders must resort to "spiritualizing" much of the Old-Testament whilst also insisting that other scriptures (particularly those from the New-Testament) are purely physical in their application. 

Essentially, Mike Vinson prescribes a method I describe as "pseudo-biblical academia." 
By this, I mean that Vinson goes to great lengths to uncover the root meanings of Hebrew and Greek words (academic, to a point) and then associate these words with so-called spiritual meanings and precepts. 

For instance, Vinson will attempt to tell you what colours in the bible mean, along with numbers and even animals. He believes the entire bible is a parable and that he has and his group alone, in the entire 7 billion people on earth, have been given the knowledge to know what is really being said. However, when pressed on particular points, Vinson will insist these are purely literal and cannot be taken in a figurative manner, and that to do so is to spit on Jesus Christ. Doctrines such as the aforementioned young-earth creationism and the inerrancy of the bible are but two that are seen as "untouchable" by Vinson and his elders. 

Moreover, Vinson dismisses all other congregations and movements as false, declaring that they are "of their father the devil" and further, he states that not a single Christian denomination has any of their doctrines correct, not a single one. 

Here is what Vinson explicitly states:
"Orthodox Christianity is contradiction. Every single doctrine they have is a contradiction of the word of God."
The above quote was taken from HERE.




So while Vinson says this in one breath, he also holds to many "orthodox" and "fundamentalist" beliefs, particularly those from the WWCoG. Evidence of this is seen by reading the Revelation commentary on this blog page or by visiting his IWWB web-page, linked to above.

What Was My Connection to IWWB and Mike Vinson?


I was involved with Mike Vinson and IWWB from approx. 2004 until 2010. Like many others, I was drawn to his web-page and teachings due to my disillusionment with Christianity and also, like many people, I only happened upon the IWWB website due to Vinson's affiliation with L. Ray Smith.

During that time (approx. 6 years), I sent and received countless emails and chat messages along with Skype sessions with not only Mike Vinson, but also those within the IWWB fellowship. I shared intimate details with Mike Vinson during this time and without a doubt, he became a real spiritual mentor to me - a person I could trust and from whom I could receive advice and counsel on a range of matters, spiritual or otherwise.

While Vinson can be a very affable and engaging man who is truly genuine about sharing his faith, he will also dismiss anyone, at anytime, if he comes to understand that they differ with him on a matter of doctrine. I observed this over the 6 years I was associated with Vinson however and noted that whenever he removed a person from the fellowship, it was never announced or dealt with publicly, but rather secretly, in a kind of cloak and dagger manner.

During late 2010, I observed a renewed zeal on Vinson's part with respect to putting people out of the fellowship who did not hold to his understanding of Galatians 4:9-10 which speaks about "days, months, times and years." This dis-fellowshipping was done in a secretive and underhanded manner and was only ever disclosed when one pushed the matter and asked about "such and such," where they were, and why they were no longer emailing or a part of the activity of the group.

I looked into Vinson's rhetoric and arguments concerning this doctrine during this time, and I soon came to see that Vinson held to the teachings of groups such as WWCoG, Jehovah's Witness and others who believe that an event such a birthday, Christmas, Easter, wedding anniversaries or Halloween are strictly off the cards for a true Christian disciple. 


In the minds of such believers, people who engage in these events are glorifying themselves and making a mockery of Jesus and the Apostle's teaching. I had known for sometime that Vinson held to this belief but generally speaking, he was not at all militant or domineering about applying such a doctrine to those around him. 

But alas, all of that had now changed and Vinson was demanding absolute conformity and "group-think" as a prerequisite for ongoing fellowship. In fact, Vinson even tried to shore up his arguments by bookending this "no birthdays" doctrine with a quote from St Paul "be of one mind" - Phillipians 2:1-8. I was to find out later that this is a popular tactic lifted straight out of the WWCoG.

I confronted Vinson about this teaching, and how it had been lifted straight out of the WWCoG lexicon. I inquired how he could say in one breath that: "every single doctrine they have is a contradiction of the word of God" and then in the next, advocate for another church's doctrine word for word and line upon line. I attacked his arguments head on and waited to see whether Vinson would also dis-fellowship me, a person he had known for 6 years and who had shared his life with this man.

In response, Vinson threw up weak and prejudicial arguments and attempted to emotionally manipulate me using a recent event in my life. When I saw this, I was shocked and again, asked Vinson to explain his actions. He would not, and could not and in his second reply to me, simply copied and pasted screes and screes of scripture with his own commentary below each one, implying that he knew what the bible truly meant and that I should simply trust his judgment on the matter. I should be clear - he did not address my arguments at all.

When I again responded (to Vinson's second response) and challenged him about his arguments, he simply refused to reply any longer. There was no reply whatsoever. 


In short, after 6 years of ongoing friendship, I was now seen as a detractor and a heretic who had been snared by Satan. Mike Vinson, in his mind, had given me my supposed "2 admonitions" (Titus 3:10) and would deal with me no more. 

In short, I had been "shunned" and "dis-fellowshipped" by Mike Vinson.

However, Vinson then had his lackeys ("elders") attempt to straighten me out and in short, the standing order from these younger men was that I could remain a part of the fellowship provided I did not under any circumstances bring this issue up for discussion. 


The entire episode was amazing to me, as I had never once discussed the issue prior to this at all. I had always seen this entire thing as a matter of conscience, not a legalistic no-no. 

However, despite all of this, Vinson still would not engage or communicate with me whatsoever.

Life After IWWB


It would be fair to say that I was emotionally scarred after this encounter. I had a friendship one day, and the very next I did not. What had changed? A simple admission on my part that I took part in birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Vinson had never asked me whether I did or not, and I had never, until that time, offered the information to anyone.

However, after I had collected myself, I began researching the issue further and came to see, among many things, that Vinson had a history of this kind of behavior and that in reality, he is nothing more than a cult-leader, and that IWWB was simply another WWCoG splinter group. It was shocking to come to the knowledge that I had been a part of a cult-group and it drove me to reach out to others who had been cut asunder because of the very same issue.

During my research, I went back and re-read about an incident that occurred with Ray Smith, whereby Vinson had declared himself "sinless." Ray Smith's telling of the even was eerily similar to my own, with the exception that I did not have an internet following and/or the clout to demand that Vinson pull his head in, and repent.

This re-telling can be found HERE.






It is by no means light reading and I will be up-front at this point and let you know that I personally no longer hold to a literal understanding of the bible at all, so all of the claimed biblical authority in that article (from both Smith and Vinson) really means nothing to me any more.

What is worthwhile in reading the above is to observe what Smith says about how Vinson conducted himself, the character of the man and his responses when called on his obvious errors. These are in-fact, virtually the same as my own and worthy of your consideration should you be in fellowship with IWWB or considering the matter.


Conclusion


The original Revelation commentary is available here, on this blog, with the intention of providing "full disclosure" to those who are genuine seekers of the truth.

It is my belief that Mike Vinson wants this swept under the carpet and when I recently contacted him about the matter, he again refused to respond.

Probably the most damning thing in the commentary is the belief that Vinson has gained dominion over "sin" and that he "no longer sins." Here is what Vinson said:

"...we NO LONGER COMMIT SIN" (Chapter 22, page 13). 
Vinson, after being taken to task by Smith, claims he repented of this doctrine but only recently, in 2010, and again, in 2012 he repeated the doctrine again, albeit playing semantics with it. You can hear Vinson in the following video:






There are many other videos up on the iwwbEXPOSED YouTube channel. You can hear Vinson ridiculing his family members, claiming to be without sin, telling his disciples he is worthy of "double honor" and many, many other such nonsensical things.


Contact With Me


If you wish to get in touch, you may do so by commenting here on the blog or visiting other websites where I have taken the time to give those who are genuine truth-seekers, all of the information about this man and his movement.
If you are a cult-member who wants to defend this man, I really could care less. You are better off directing your voice elsewhere!

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