Hello Friends. I’m from Gujarat and have been a tpm believer since i was a child. I had great zeal for the Lord since beginning and a greater zeal (must I say) for the church and the servants of God! However, I was sure that i won’t get into full-time ministry. 🙂
I used to look forward for Saturdays, more so i could spend time with my other friends who would all come to stay at the faith home. There used to be many questions in my mind even then, but i dared not ask anyone because it was equated to heresy or speaking against the Lord’s anointed! I used to fight tooth & nail with those who would dare say anything against tpm or the “saints”.
I staunchly believed in the 4-tier system (Zion, New Jerusalem, new heaven & new earth) taught by tpm and used to consider all other denominations as name-sake churches (or naam-dhaari kalisiya). I prayed hard to bring my other christian friends into tpm. I used to do “rpd” very sincerely to arm-twist God into fulfilling my wishes. Still, I used to question within myself the untimely deaths of believers/workers who were waiting for divine-healing, avoiding medicines but doing home treatments, concept of tarrying meetings, no healings during healing services, no deliverance from bondages, same pattern of “unknown tongues” been spoken throughout all tpm faith homes (ipc has a set pattern, ag has another, so on and so forth)!
I happened to visit the UK for a brief period of time and was surprised at the way meetings used to happen there, their lifestyle, their dresses, etc! Though it pleased me that they were more actively doing the ministry of evangelism to cater to the English audience, it raised more questions on the so-called consecrated ministry, which was supposed to be the same everywhere. But then, tpm believes in – “jaisa des, waisa bhes” that is to say – “when in Rome, do as the Romans”. Good.
I was a translator at church for many years, a Sunday school teacher and later promoted as a youth class teacher. That was the death blow to my being a tpm-believer. The kind of questions the youths brought to me made me sit up and investigate the claims of tpm. Especially on the issue of receiving the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues as the outward sign, not allowing communion to other church believers, loopholes in glorious doctrines, suppressing the talents within us so that we don’t become haughty, dealing with friends of other faith, 144000, etc. Moreover, just a couple of years before that (in 2012), I was introduced to Ravi Zacharias’ messages and RZIM. This made me realize what real Christianity is and what it means to “preach the Gospel” and live the Gospel.
Based on all these, I prepared a set of questions, which has been put on this website (link below) as well and shared it with the then in-charge worker of the faith home. He didn’t have any answers and asked me to mail a copy to the headquarters and share one with him!
Revelation 14:4 is their favorite verse about the 144000 –
“It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb (ESV).”
But, when you enquire about verse 5, which is a continuation of the qualities of the 144000, they get dumb-founded because it says – “and in their mouth no lie (or no guile) was found, for they are blameless.” Many are experts in mouthing the best of words when they are angry, especially in their mother tongue.
In spite of all this, we continued attending the service every Sunday. I would be sleeping most of the times at the back. 2013 to 2016. Both my and my wife were waiting on the Lord to give us a clear confirmation. Leaving tpm was a challenge as it would affect our parents very badly, they being very active members in the church. Moreover, it would other church members as well. Also, we had to find a new church. It was difficult.
“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues” Revelation 18:4 (ESV)
We still persisted. That is when, I stumbled upon this blog in October 2016. It was like a final sign from heaven. We had to leave all emotions aside and make a decision. And finally, by the grace of God, since the year 2017 started, me and my wife & kids have stopped going to tpm. Our parents were mighty upset with us for almost 3 months. It was as if we have backslidden and forsaken God! But then things are better now (though they have that grief at the back of their minds). This just makes me realize this – if, as a Christian I’m leaving my denomination for another one, if this is the kind of backlash that i have to face, then imagine how difficult it becomes emotionally for someone from other faith to leave all their childhood beliefs, their families and accept Christianity. It’s not easy my friends. But, if truth matters to you, then all other things can’t stop you. (listen to Nabeel Qureshi’s post-death testimony). And as the Lord says, when you know the truth, it will set you free.
The problem now some people might point out is – no church is perfect. Yes. Agreed. As long as we are on this earth, we remain imperfect. And this same bunch of imperfect people make up the church. So it cannot be perfect yet. No one can make a perfect church. No, not even tpm, as they claim. But we are made perfect only by believing in the Lord and His finished work on the cross.
Coming back to the point – no church is perfect. But the leaders are approachable where it is a Spirit-led fellowship. They are ready to learn and make changes. In tpm? It will be deemed as speaking against the anointed. It is the hierarchical structure that tpm has (so do all other cults) that is the biggest hindrance for a positive change in it. That is why, it is important to leave this organization. You cannot pray and change it is what I believe. Though I would love to see a radical change in it. If it could have been possible, there wouldn’t have been RC, JW, LDS, Islam, etc. They all would have changed a long time back. Don’t waste your time trying to change this organization. As the above stated organizations are also thriving and growing in number, so will tpm continue to grow unless the light of the Lord shines upon individuals to set them free.
Today also, whenever I initiate a discussion with any tpm member, they end up saying, “I go to worship the Lord and come back. I am not bothered with what others or the workers are doing there.” This is the standard response. There are many other issues which i haven’t mentioned here as it would just make this post longer. I don’t know if anyone gets convinced with my testimony either. I know for one, our walk with the Lord is a better one now. We are free in the Lord and we enjoying our fellowship with His children more actively. It’s like a New Life for us. 😉
I’d end with this – I know its not easy to question the beliefs that you have had since childhood especially when it affects your immediate near & dear ones. Also, leaving tpm is a challenge of the highest kind. Believe me, nothing is greater than the Word of God. If God speaks to you in a still small voice or with the loudest of megaphones, please give heed to it and “come out of her”!
Would be looking forward for comments (both pro & anti).
God bless you all.