Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries



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12/13/2014 1:32 am  #1


Church of the First Born and other stuff

Is this what they believe?
(excerpted)

Church of the Firstborn

Author: Barrett, Ivan J.

The Church of the Firstborn is Christ's heavenly church, and its members are exalted beings who gain an inheritance in the highest heaven of the celestial world and for whom the family continues in eternity.

In the scriptures Jesus Christ is called the Firstborn. He was the first spirit child born of God the Father in the premortal existence and was in the beginning with God. Christ also became the Firstborn from the dead, the first person resurrected, "that in all things he might have the preeminence". Even as the first principles and ordinances, including baptism in water and the reception of the Holy Ghost, constitute the gate into the earthly Church of Jesus Christ, so higher ordinances of the priesthood constitute the gate into the Church of the Firstborn. To secure the blessings that pertain to the Church of the Firstborn, one must obey the gospel from the heart, receive all of the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord, and be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise in the Celestial Kingdom of God.

Revelations ...of the New Testament to indicate that the Church of the Firstborn consists of those who have the inheritance of the Firstborn and become joint-heirs with Christ in receiving all that the Father has. The Lord said, "If you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; …I…am the Firstborn; …And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the Church of the Firstborn". The Church of the Firstborn is the divine patriarchal order in its eternal form. Building the priesthood family order on this earth by receiving sealings in the temple is a preparation and foundation for this blessing in eternity.

When persons have proved themselves faithful in all things required by the Lord, it is their privilege to receive covenants and obligations that will enable them to be heirs of God as members of the Church of the Firstborn. They are "sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise" and are those "into whose hands the Father has given all things". They will be priests and priestesses, kings and queens, receiving the Father's glory, having the fulness of knowledge, wisdom, power, and dominion. At the second coming of Jesus Christ, the "general assembly of the Church of the Firstborn" will descend with him. 

 

12/13/2014 2:58 am  #2


Re: Church of the First Born and other stuff

Church of the First Born Members Stand By Beliefs
Kurt Hochenauer •  Published: September 26, 1982

When Palmer Dean and Patsy Lockhart were told by a Enid police detective that their son died because of complications stemming from a ruptured appendix, they started crying. The tears that fell in the detective's office that June afternoon were certainly the tears of sincere parents during a period of their lives when emotions were hard to control and when reality had become more gruesome than a terrible nightmare. Perhaps, the tears could have been spawned from the trepidation of being subtly reminded once again that Jason Dean Lockhart, their son, was dead. But the tears that fell on that day could also be viewed as a contradiction of their deep-seated religious beliefs, beliefs which some are contending killed their young, hazel-eyed boy.

"Mr. Lockhart stated to me that, if he had it over to do again, he would not call a doctor," Enid Police Sgt. Michael Danhy said. ". . . he said that it wasn't worth his or his child's soul burning in hell."

The Lockharts are members of the Church of the First Born in Enid. Because of religious views, Jason was not taken to a doctor despite what medical authorities have called "excruciating pain." The boy was sick for about five days. Manslaughter charges have been filed against the couple in Garfield County and an arraignment has been scheduled for next month. The Lockharts have contend they did everything possible to save their son's life. They prayed, the elders of the church prayed.

Simply stated, healing is a spiritual matter to hard-core followers of the fundamental type of religion. But the Lockharts are just two of the hundreds of Church of the First Born members in Oklahoma who place doctoring in the hands of God. The church has an established foundation in the state with an estimated 40 churches and, perhaps, close to 4,000 members. Their sincerity is unquestionable, their customs are somewhat unusual to some people and their tenant about medical treatment is surely controversial. One does not find publicity seekers within the church and, for the most part, many are reluctant to discuss their beliefs.

Claude and Christine Clark, members of the Church of the First Born in Vici, however, were willing to talk about their beliefs publicly. Their 15-year-old daughter, Kelly Clark, died recently of complications caused from a kidney infection. She did not see a doctor. But Clark was quick to point out in a recent interview that "she was not denied anything, everything was done to keep her alive." Others in his church, including the elders who prayed over his daughter, agree. But the state medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide and the Woodward County District Attorney said charges might eventually be brought against the parents.

Despite Clark's candidness, others in the church shy from outsiders. Church members are a tight-knit group who believe in keeping out of the public eye and of taking care of their own. "We do not seek publicity," said Allen Moss, an elder at the Church of the First Born in Vici. But Moss also said he is not ashamed of his church. It's just that the church has been unfairly treated by the media and that people have a distorted picture of the religion, Moss said. So it may be at times, Moss added, that people outside the church are met with skepticism.

Moss said the church has many congregations in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and, of course, Oklahoma. There are three churches in the Oklahoma City area. But the church does not have a national headquarters, and, Moss said, it never will. "We're just different," Moss said last week at his farm near Vici. "I guess that's the best way to say it, we're just different."

Others in the Vici community accept the church members as decent, hard-working people, though they might disagree with their religious view. Said the Rev. Gary Jones, pastor of the Christian Church in Vici, "I think people respect their religious beliefs, (but) they are shocked that they don't doctor." Jones said the most everyone on the Vici area would agree that the church members are good neighbors. For example, Jones said, he would not hesitate to ask the church members for assistance if he needed help with a community project of some kind. "I don't agree with or endorse their beliefs, but anybody will say they're good people," Jones said. "They are very well-received here. Some people might think their religious views are a little eccentric."

Those religious views are based on a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible. "It's all right there," Moss said as he pointed to an open Bible. "We don't tell stories during services, it comes right out of there. If someone was to stand up and tell a story, he might get called down."

The foundation on which the church bases its rejection of standard medical practices is contained in many scriptures, the church members contend. The following verse from Chapter 16 of Mark in the New Testament illustrates that belief, "They shall take up serpents; and is they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on they sick and they shall recover."

Besides their rejection of modern medicine, the members believe:

That they should not participate in war. If drafted into military service, a church member would request a non-combatant postion. Hopefully, this would be granted, they say. If not, their religious belief would supercede that of the law. 

That women should stay at home and raise the children. The church members, of course, reject the idea of a women's liberation movement. And they insist that the woman's role in a marriage is to care for her husband and childen.

That members of the church should greet one another with a "Holy Kiss." Church members point to specific chapters in the Bible that show the custom to be a written word of God. Men kiss men, women kiss women and this leads to criticism from outsiders, they say.

That church members wash one another's bare feet. This is done in the Vici church, for example, at social gatherings among church members. Again, they cite specific scripture to back up this believe.

That no one individual lead the congregation. Services are conducted by whomever "feels the calling." But they stress that only a literal interpretation of the Bible is allowed in services. Usually, there are two or more elders and a small group of ministry-type people who preach.

Moss said he know little about the church's history. He does know, though, that the church in Vici was established in the early 1900s. And he did know of a document about his church that came from the rare books library at the University of Texas in Austin. That document is a piece of writing taken from the "Post Boy" newspaper which was published in London in the early 18th century. The author of the "story" was Charles Guildon, who was described by a librarian at the university as a "hack writer."  The document reads: "The Church of the First Born are the heirs of Salvation and they are above ordinances and walk as if they were above. Thet meet as any house of their members, where after silent contemplation, they break forth in Ejaculations of Joy and the transport of the other life."

The document mentions Jacob Behemen, "whose tenants they follow in many things." Behemen, or Boehme, was a German mystic and shoemaker in the 17th century who wrote entensively on the dualism of God. Basically, his belief was that a evil spirit existed because God existed. Behemen, however, made many church authorities angry with his writings and his manuscripts were suppressed.

The writings, however, were eventually published in London, where it might be presumed the Church of the First Born came into a formal existence. But history is unimportant to church members, such as Moss and another elder of the church, Moss' first cousin, Donald Moss. They believe the church began with Jesus Christ.  "If you're looking for a Smith, (a church prophet) you're not going to find one," Donald Moss said.

The recent controversary surrounding the church has not shaken his belief, Allen Moss said. In fact, he added, it is written in the Bible that the Church of the First Born will be persecuted. "We fully expect it," Moss said. "It says we will be persecuted and its happened before. It's written."

Moss added, "The medical examiner is carnal. He probably thinks we are a bunch of ignorant and unlearned people. I don't see why he doesn't leave us alone. We don't tell him how to do his business."

The state medical examiner's has said that as many as four children have died in recent years because their parents, who are members of the church, did not seek medical treatment. Simple operations or medical treatment could have prevented the deaths, the medical authorities said. Moss said that at least one couple belonging to the church in Oregon went to prison to defend their belief in not accepting medical treatment. He and others in the church would not hesitate to do the same, Moss said.

But then Moss does not have to deal with the manslaughter charge faced by the Lockharts or the tragedy of losing a child, such as the Clarks. He does know, however, that he would also not seek medical treatment for his children in an effort to thwart God's will. "They could throw us all in jail," he said. "We wouldn't stop believing."

Archive ID: 86112

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