I mentioned yesterday that once I began to study under the Colonel’s ministry, opposition came in. When I shared my excitement with my old church friends of what I was learning, how real it had become, how it was all making so much sense I was told to stay away from Thieme. He splits churches, I was told. I said, “He just teaches truth. If people leave a church to follow that, he’s not doing it, the people are.”
I was also told that Thieme would steal my soul. But when I asked how that might be accomplished, the person couldn’t tell me.
Col. Thieme taught that the “blood of Christ” did not refer to the literal blood of Christ (He didn’t bleed to death after all, since He said himself that His work was “finished” before He died physically) but to the expiatory work of Christ’s spiritual death on the cross, during which he was separated from God the Father for the first time ever as all the sins of the world were poured out on Him and judged. This was major anathema to my critics.
To me it was the first time the whole blood thing ever made sense. I’d always wondered why would God be interested in some plasma with red corpuscles, platelets and white blood cells. How could that do anything about sin? It made no sense. The moment I heard this teaching I knew it was truth. So many things fell into place. But when I tried to share it people got very upset, so I soon learned not to.
Other friends wrote a lengthy letter detailing a metaphor for Christian living that involved a wheel with spokes — there’s Bible study, witnessing, prayer, giving, singing, fellowshipping, etc. Get too much of any one category, that spoke grows and the wheel won’t work. Clever metaphor, but it didn’t sway me. The word of God is not a spoke equal with those other things my friends listed, it’s the axle around which they all turn! The word of God is the mind of Christ and when it becomes our mind, it informs all those other things, so that we do them in accordance with His standards and in the power of His Spirit.
My mother, an unbeliever, thought I was in some kind of cult like that of Jim Jones, whose Guyana fiasco happened around the time I was just gaining momentum.
The weirdest thing though was the strange assault to get me to buy into tongues. Orville had told me right off that they weren’t for this age, but as soon as we got into the small churches in northern Arizona, we were bombarded with people telling us this was the right way to go. Col Thieme agreed with Orville, and backed it up with extensive scriptural evidence.
Still, the people kept coming. Our landlady was into tongues and tried to convince me it was good. Then when we moved to an apple orchard, a woman showed up at the door to buy apples, and as we got into conversation, she told me that I needed to have the baptism of the Spirit so I could speak in tongues. A teacher friend invited for dinner, one of the few non-Mormons, confessed that she spoke in tongues whenver she didn’t know what to pray and began doing so right there in my kitchen.
We went to a Bible study where a woman sat looking spacier and spacier as the study concluded and when the pastor started to say the closing prayer she raised her hand and said she had a message from the Holy Spirit. He waved her on and she began to speak in tongues, looking as if she were in a trance. I was absolutely creeped out. All I could think was that it sounded like something from the devil.
When she was done, she offered to give the interpretation (in violation of protocol set up in the NT — it was supposed to be someone else who did that; in fact, mostly tongues was a sign for the Jews to witness to those who had gathered from afar and spoke other languages) wqhich was that God wants us to worship Him “in this way.” I stared at the floor praying God would get us out of there right away.
Thankfully, she finished, the Pastor said his prayer and to my horror, my husband was suddenly in conversation with the person beside him. A pair of shoes appeared on the floor before mine and I looked up into the eyes of the woman who had spoken (there were about 30 people present — and she was some distance away, separated from me by several people when she spoke). She invited me to come to her Bible class. I thanked her, and refrained from telling her I wouldn’t attend if it were the last bible study on earth.
My husband finally stopped talking and we left. Outside I told him of my intense negative reaction and he told me that as soon as she’d begun speaking he’d prayed that if that was really something from God He would make it clear, and if it wasn’t, that He would make it stop. And immediately it had stopped.
We never went to that bible study again, nor the church that sponsored it.
And then, in the most bizarre event of all, our Landcruiser broke down in the middle of nowhere between Globe and Winkleman one very hot summer dayas we were on our way down to Tucson. Stu got up on the Toyota’s roof and spied a trailer hidden behind some trees not far off, so we took our dog out of the car and walked down to see if we could use the phone. I don’t know what was done about the Landcruiser, too excited to discover that the woman of the house was a Christian. We talked and talked and I told her how I’d gotten saved and she took me down to Winkleman for some reason where I told some other people how I’d gotten saved… and then she started in on the second blessing and tongues and how she’d awakened one night to find Satan standing at the foot of her bed. She prayed him away to a radius of one mile from her home.
I probably listened like a deer caught in headlights and was quite relieved when we left. But somehow she had gotten my address and sent me several letters urging me in this direction. I know I asked her several questions regarding what speaking in tongues did for her but the only one I recall is her saying that it made her certain she was saved. I was already certain of that, so didn’t tongues to do it.
Anyway, this all went on over a period or a year or so, and only when I was solid in my understanding of the relevant scriptures and absolutely convinced that tongues are not for today, did all that stop. Since that period of time I have never had another person show up out of nowhere telling me about tongues.