EDIT - IWWB elder Steve Crook has made me aware that Mike is not revising the Revelation commentary for the third time around. Please see this post for an update.
I am leaving the rest of the post below untouched as there are still many questions to answer as it pertains to Mike and IWWB having the "one mind" of Jesus Christ, and many points below still stand, and are valid.
Despite Mike Vinson's repeated assertion that he and his group of lackeys really do possess the "one mind of Jesus Christ," Vinson has come out and admitted in the most recent bible study (on the spiritual significance of the ass, ironically) that he is going to be revising the Revelation teaching series.
Quite honestly, I think Mike ought to just throw the towel in here. This is a teaching series that has its foundation in Mike and another brother (Rob Jones) declaring themselves the world over, "sinless," specifically stating: "we no longer commit sin," amongst a world of other one-line head-shakers.
When he was taken to task on this commentary, Vinson, instead of humbly and contritely admitting he'd made serious errors (read: sinned) turned around, and pointed the finger at his critics, accusing them of jealousy for working with a recent convert. Hilarious. You really can't make this stuff up. If you're so inclined, you can read more about this HERE.
Note this screen grab, courtesy of "WayBack Machine," internet archive which shows Mike's original Revelation commentary, as it began to appear on his website:
You may click the image to enlarge it, but the opening paragraph states the following:
Rob Jones has spent many hours on the phone with me. Together we have accumulated many of the verses which give the symbols of the book of Revelation their force and meaning. As we can find the time, we will be going through the Unveiling Of Jesus Christ chapter by chapter. Coming to see where the symbols come from and what they mean will give the entire Bible new meaning.The Lord will probably return before we get to chapter 22, but we will just do what we can as we can. This is a never before published approach to this book. I pray that God will give us the opportunity to make this available to all as a witness to "the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Hah! Hilarious stuff really.
All the same, to my knowledge, this new swing at things will be the THIRD such revision of the hallowed Revelation commentary. His first attempt was in partnership with another brother (Rob Jones, see above) and ended with Mike splitting from a long time associate, L. Ray Smith.
His second revision became a long winded teaching series where at one point, Mike praised the contributions of his associate Rob Jones who helped him pen such nonsense as the following:
- 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…
- Yes, Christ is actually saying he will kill his elect with death…
- We, the elect, don’t make friends with those of the world or church because we know that people who do are the enemy of God…
These one-liners were NEVER publicly repented of but were instead, swept under the carpet as Mike set about playing the victim and trash-talking Ray Smith behind his back while claiming that he was "silent as a lamb" in the face of persecution.
But more to the point, this admission that he now needs to go back and revise the Revelation commentary for the 3rd time, or really, revise anything else, is a direct contradiction of the claim that he and his elders possess the one mind of Jesus Christ.
If Mike did truly possess the one mind of Christ, and he were truly tapped into the truth to the exclusion of all others, (as he claims!) then there would be absolutely no need to go back and revise anything. After all, if he is receiving the truth from Christ as he has said many times, then how could he possibly be teaching anything in error, or need to go back and realign something he taught previously?
Alas, Mike has once more revealed himself to be the forked tongue spiritual leader that he always has been.
Here is Mike's candid admission, along with the transcript underneath:
"Now next week, we're going to start the book of Revelation. This is the end of the series on animals and we're going to start the book of Revelation. And of course thats going to be something that ah, that we started, did sometime back, and we're going to have to redo it because, we just weren't as mature as we needed to be at that time, and the Lord worked all that out. But we see now that this book is entirely a book about Christ, spiritually - not physically. In these past few years we've had a much deeper understanding of what it means to compare spiritual things with spiritual. So when we get started next week, we're going to understand a whole lot more about what everything in this book is…"So as you can see, Vinson fails his own lofty self-imposed standards. He seems to be ignorant of what he is doing here, to an almost bizarre point. Wilful denial perhaps?
Consider what Mike has said while reading the following, lifted directly off the IWWB website, on a page titled "Is It Really Possible To Be, One In Spirit, With One Mind."
Select phrases that are highlighted, are my own doing.
At a conference in Indianapolis a few years ago, a brother asked me in front of the whole congregation if there is any way to know for certain that he and I were not just as deceived right now, as we were when we thought we knew the Truth, back when we were both in the World Wide Church of God. At first I simply reminded him that we see things now that we did not see or understand back then. I told that brother that what we now see and believe answers many more of our questions and is based upon scripture, whereas what we believed in the WWCG has been proven, in large part, to be totally false. “But we thought it was based on scripture when we were in the WWCG”, was his response. “But it wasn’t was it?” I asked. “Well no, but how can we be sure that what we believe now is not just as wrong, while we think it is right, as what we believed to be right back then?” This exchange went on way too long, as some of you who were there will no doubt agree. I feel sure some of you were probably thinking, “Why is Mike letting this go on so long? Why doesn’t he just tell the brother that it is not possible to prove the Truth to someone who admits he doesn’t know the Truth?”
Well, I have never claimed to be the quickest mind in the world. I do not claim to be a great debater, nor do I want to or enjoy debating anyone. So what is the answer to that brother’s question? Can we know the Truth for certain?
The Lord finally gave me the Biblical answer to that brother’s question, and I will now share it with you. I asked him a simple question, “What are you saying, Brother? Are you saying that we cannot know for certain that we know the Truth? Is that your point?” I waited until he admitted that he really did not believe that it was possible for any of us to know for certain that what we now believe is any truer than what we thought to be the Truth in the WCG. He actually admitted that he did not believe that it was possible for us to know for certain that we are not just once more being deceived. At that point I told him “O. K. out of your own mouth you will be judged, because Christ has told us this…”Mike then goes on to quote John 8:32 "you shall know the truth…" as though somehow, that proves and settles his argument. I also had to laugh at the circular and fallacious rhetoric used (apparently) by Mike's lackwit disciples - "why explain the truth to someone who doesn't think we can know it?" Well, wouldn't that be the whole point? To EXPLAIN your position so they may come to see the logic and the rationality of your argument?
Of course, IWWB aren't dealing in anything provable or testable; rather their forte is speculative claims of the unknown, and unknowable.
But as we've already seen here today in this one small example, Mike does not "know the truth" because if he truly did, there would be no need to revise his doctrine - EVER. The supposed truth would speak for itself.
So truthfully (yeah, pun there), what have we learned here? I'll tell you what I've taken away from this: it seems that Mike is simply a far more arrogant, and far more wilful denier than he was when he was back in the WWCoG. Rather than learning the life-lessons from the entire scenario of that time in his life, it seems that Mike is doomed to become a parody of Herbert W. Armstrong, just on a much smaller, more condensed scale.