The Way: Cult of Error

The Way
You are approached on the street by a young man with a Bible. A member of the Jesus movement? He may try to give that impression. He asks a question like, "How many thieves died on crosses near Jesus?" When you reply with an answer from the Bible he goes, "Aha, You're wrong." Then he gives an entirely different number or answer and asks you, "Don't you wish you could know the Bible as well as I do?" At the end of the conversation he may say, "I'll bet you have never heard the Scriptures explained like this before, have you?" Who is this young man?

Almost 2000 years ago Jesus prophesied the increase of false prophets in the end times. The world has continued confirming His word by adding yet another group to the expanding list of cults. "The Way International" or the "Way Bible Research Institute", most commonly called "The Way", is a growing pseudo-Christian organization largely comprised of young adults. It is developing into a menace to right-on body ministries and fellowships.

As most cults operate, the Way innocently infiltrates a fellowship. After the meeting they engage new Christians in Biblical discussions and invite them to Bible studies. Left undisturbed, The Way members will display loving dispositions and appear quite harmless. But beware - they are dangerous and would love to steal sheep from the flock and create damaging divisions in a fellowship. They preach another gospel and a different Jesus than the one you have received. No matter how they may disguise their message with clever word games, it is erroneous.

Victor Paul Wierwille
The Way's founder and teacher is Victor Paul Wierwille. He propagates his many apostate doctrines by misusing some scriptures and ignoring others.

Wierwille has stated that he has produced the only "pure and correct" interpretation of the Bible since the first century. Nearly all founders of cults take this proud unscriptural view: Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God, Witness Lee of the Local Church, Joseph Smith of the Mormons, Charles Russell of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Wierwille has also said, "I have read every commentary in existence; I consign every one of them to Gehenna!"

The Inspired Word
Wierwille teaches that, "The Bible as a whole is not relevant to all people of all times." He rejects the Old Testament and the Gospels as unnecessary. Only the rest of the New Testament is relevant for his group which he calls the "Church of God." The Way also teaches that the Bible is not the Word of God, but only contains the word of God.

The Bible teaches us an entirely different thing. In 2 Timothy 3:16, the scripture clearly states that, "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

The Greek word used in this verse for inspiration is theopneutos and literally means God-breathed. This is not the same word used for inspiring music or books. It is a special word denoting God's penmanship.

The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old times by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

Courses for Sale
Wierwille offers numerous courses at a high price. Each course costs $65 or more. To take all of his courses could cost a disciple hundreds of dollars. The initial "Bible" course, "Power for Abundant Living," promises that right "believing" will keep away sickness, insure prosperity, and even protect soldiers from enemy bullets. Poverty is condemned as the result of imperfect faith. The "Good Life" is the proper reward for believing.

Wierwille seemingly teaches for gain and is nothing more than a sophisticated Reverend Ike. The Bible warns the Church about such false teachers who preach for worldly gain. 2 Peter 2:3 says that such men are under judgment and damnation. "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."

The Deity of Christ
The most dangerous of all Wierwille's teachings are those concerning the Trinity and the Deity of Christ. He teaches that Jesus is the Son of God, but not God the Son. "You show me one place in the Bible where it says he is God," Wierwille thunders. "I don't want you rapping your double talk, your triple talk; all I want is Scripture!"

John 1:1 and 14 says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and Word was God...And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth".

Col. 2:9 tells us exactly what Jesus is, "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." The Greek word for Godhead is Theotes meaning deity. In other words, Jesus is the bodily manifestation of all the fullness of Deity.

1 Timothy 3:16 states this spiritual truth even plainer, "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Jesus is God the flesh.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

There is the excellent example of Thomas' unbelief changed to belief in chapter 20 of John. Thomas was absent when Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples after His resurrection. Thomas refused to believe unless he saw and touched the nailprints and the scar of the spear on Jesus' side.

Later Jesus appeared to the disciples with Thomas present. Jesus said to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing", Thomas responded with, "My Lord and my God." Jesus answered him saying, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed".

The Trinity
Wierwille absolutely rejects the Trinity calling such a doctrine paganism and polytheistic. In 1 John 5:7 the concept of the Trinity is given. "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." The word "one" can mean one in unity as well as one in number.

John 17:11 speaks of the unity of the Father and the Son. Jesus answered Philip in John 14:9, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, 'Show us the Father?'"

Jesus says about the Holy Spirit in John 14:16-17, "and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." In these verses the Holy Spirit is shown to be a member of the Godhead, yet a distinct Person from both Jesus and the Father.

Wierwille does not believe that the Holy Spirit is a distinct personage and says, "the Holy Spirit is just a synonym for God."

The Father is called God, and the Son is called God, and the Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:3-4). As individual persons each can be called God and collectively they can be spoken of as one God because of their perfect unity. Everything said collectively about God applies equally to each member of the Godhead. There are some things spoken of each personality of the Trinity such as office, position and work that are unique to that individual.

An example is the Father having the position as the head of Jesus. "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3)

Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father and the price paid for the redemption of man. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Jesus is the mediator between us and the Father. (1 Timothy 2:5)

The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father in Jesus' name and will teach us and anoint us with power. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26)

"But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the utter most parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

The different names of God denote plurality. The Hebrew Elohim is the word used for God in Genesis 1:1 and in over 2700 other scriptures in the Old Testament. It is a plural noun meaning God, and is translated 239 times as God. Usually Elohim, a plural noun, is used with a singular verb, showing unity in plurality. Plural personal pronouns are also used in reference to God. "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness ..." (Genesis 1:26) The Old and New Testament concept of God is plural and triune.

False Prophets
Is Victor Wierwille merely an uneducated man ignorant of the Scriptures? Unfortunately, he is not. Formerly he was a United Church of Christ minister. He has studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. Wierwille is a man, who being knowledgeable of the Bible, has rejected God's truth in utter rebellion.

Wierwille fulfills the Scriptures on false teachers. "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers ...; Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake ... Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" (Titus 1:10a, 11, 13)

The followers of The Way commonly portray the fruits of false teaching by living carnal lives. Titus 1:15-16 clearly illustrates their spiritual state: "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient and unto every good work reprobate."

The heart of Christianity is not an organization but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the Lord. Don't be led astray by false doctrine. There is no other gospel, only the one you have received. (Galatians 1:6-8)

If any of The Way come to your fellowship, coffeehouse, or churches, please ask them to leave. The Way has just recently invaded Chicago, trying to establish a work here. Do not help them get rooted by ignorance or tolerance. Give them a false prophets left foot of fellowship. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enterest not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber ... Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." (John 10:1,7)

Do not be fooled! They are not just sweet people but dangerous robbers of the sheepfold. "The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10a)

For more information, contact: JESUS PEOPLE USE - FGM, 4707 N. Malden, Chicago, IL 60640

Reprinted by permission of Cornerstone Magazine
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