The Independent Church of Jesus Christ (1984-1992) was an early pre-cursor of the contemporary New Covenant Church of God and emerged from a Restoration paradigm. The following document, which was an interview with the then Presiding Patriarch (ca. 1991), gives some insights into the workings of the early Church. It is particularly interesting as it contains prophetic hints as to how the Church would develop in the future.
Q. There are many who have expressed the opinion that the Independent Church is just another small cult that will burn itself out eventually and that it has no relevance to Christianity. What is your response to that charge?
A. That's what the Romans and the Jews said about the Christian "cult" once Jesus had been martyred. But look where Christianity has got today -- it is the dominant world religion. What is interesting about Christianity is that it, unlike other world religions, has an inner power. Whereas it is true that apostate forms of Christianity have been forced upon people by conquest and by the sword, true Christianity has never needed external forms of coersion. It has never lacked in followers nor in those willing to be martyred for it. Islam by contrast, has made few converts on the basis of its supposed inner power, but mostly owes its influence to the sword.
Most of those who have encountered the Independent Church have been at a loss as to how to categorise us. The easiest is for them to call us "Mormons" because of our belief in an open canon of revelation and scriptures believed by Mormons and other Restoration Christians  but anyone who has studied our doctrines and practices in any depth will know that we have an equal claim to be called "orthodox" Christians too. And yet we are neither "Mormon" nor "orthodox". Neither Mormons nor orthodox Christians can accept us yet we are fully able to accept them to the extent that they are teaching and practicing the truth. We know that God is working amongst them in different ways.
Even if the Independent Church were to disappear off the face of the earth (and I have to admit that is a possibility ) our influence will not. For we have not only sought out members for our own Church but have also been given the commission to sow seeds in other Churches so that God can work more fully in them. I know for a fact that the majority of Mormon missionaries who read our literature do so with respect even if they cannot accept everything we write. They are influenced unconsciously by the Holy Spirit which works a reformation in them, calling them to greater holiness and dedication to Christ. Likewise I know we have opened up the minds of many orthodox Christians who have likewise received the inward, invisible influence of the Holy Spirit and have, like the Mormons, been changed by, and spread, this Light .
Q. You don't surely mean that they are spreading New Covenant scriptures?
A. No, not directly, but they are spreading the Word. The important thing is not coming to a testimony, for example, that the Covenants & Commandments are true (whatever that means) but in coming to a testimony that the principles within it are true. Whether the principles are preached as "a scripture from the C&C" or are rewritten in a different way and incorporated in a different way, say, in someone's sermon, is irrelevant. We aren't out to convert the world to books, but to true principles.
The ultimate object of the New Covenant is not to make everyone members of the Independent Church of Jesus Christ. Anyone who thinks that is a fool. The Independent Church will one day disappear, for it will be swallowed up into God's perfect organisation or Body during the millennium. So it really doesn't matter, in the long term, whether people come to this Church or accept the principles we teach and adopt them into their churches, for the result will ultimately be the same. In that sense, the "Independent Church" will never disappear, for it will have acted as a leaven throughout all of Christendom.
Q. But I thought that members of the Independent Church of Jesus Christ regarded themselves as part of an exclusive covenant?
A. That is absolutely true, we are. And for this reason, we have our own exclusive communion. Yet we recognise the valididty of other communions and will sometimes share in other church's sacraments. But not the reverse. We have never claimed to be the "only true Church upon the face of the earth" as the Mormons do and never will. But we have consistently claimed to have the deepest and most abiding covenants of any Christian Church on the earth, and we have not hesitated to say that, as far as we know, we are the "truest" Church on the face of the earth.
Q. Truest in everything?
A. No! Our people are as weak as sin, like all other Christians, and many other Churches put us to shame in many areas of spiritual activity. But I certainly believe we have the truest doctrine. It is by no means perfect -- indeed, I would be very suspicious if it was, for that would mean we had come to a perfect understanding. But we haven't. But I will say with my hand on my heart that if anyone comes up to this Body of Christ and lives the covenants that have been restored that he will draw nearer to Christ than anywhere else, because I believe these covenants are pure and whole.
So to answer your original question I would say, yes, we are small, and in all likelihood will remain small. As to whether or not we are a "cult" , such is relative. Mormons call protestants "apostates" and protestants call Mormons "heretics". People call each other "cults" simply as a term of abuse. Let people call us a "cult" if they want to for God knows what we are. We are certainly an emerging "culture" for we are very different from other Christians in many ways. Inasmuch as every organisation is a "culture" or a "subculture" then every organised body of men and women is a "cult". People have asked me about this word before and really it doesn't interest me too much. Even if we persuaded people we weren't a "cult" in the sense they use it (as a term of abuse) they would still find another word to throw at us. So I have no answer as to whether or not we are a "cult" though if anyone chooses to quote me on this I will reserve the right to defend the Church if we are being deliberately slandered.
As to our relevance to Christianity, I think I have already answered that. We are tremendously relevant even if we, or Christianity as a whole, neither sees nor acknowledges it. We are reformers and restorers, and reformers and restorers always leave some kind of legacy behind.
Will we burn ourselves out? Maybe. That will very much depend on our people. This covenant is not an easy one and we will not compromise it. We will not water it down, or liberalise it, in order to attract more members. That has been the fatal weakness of many Churches who have suffered irreversible damage as a result. No one can ever accuse us of being "sheep stealers"  for we are not in that business, though it will of course be seen as such by those churches that loose people to us. For unlike most Churches we actually send people to churches other than our own if we feel that they cannot live up to our standards.
Q. But isn't it true that such people never go willingly?
A. That is true. Some have not wanted to leave us but at the same time weren't willing to live up to our standards. Noone who has ever been a member of this Church has ever said that another Church was better or had more Light than we do. For they know deep within that this Church stands far higher than any other, so they won't go. We have to exclude them and send them elsewhere.
A. So this isn't exactly a happy experience for them?
No. Once you have come to a testimony of the Light but refuse to abide by the covenants on which it is given, there is only one possible course, and that is to become an enemy of the Church. Noone has ever left this Church neutral that I know of . But then neither do they come to it neutrally either. This Church demands everything of a person and not just that which is convenient to him. It's not an "O.K., I'll give it a go" Church but an "I'll give it everything I've got" Church. It is therefore not a pluralistic Church as so many other churches are -- you can't believe whatever you want to for some things are utterly fundamental. You can believe what you like in what has not been revealed, so long as it is in harmony with what has come before, but you must change your mind when new light and truth comes. It is a fast moving Church and is not a place for the lazy.
Q. Don't you think it strange that people are attracted to it if it is so tough?
A. On a human level, yes, for who would choose such a system? But the people come knowing it is from God, and that there are tangible results. The Gospel works, and it gives what it promises, but it sometimes hurts, and it sometimes hurts alot.
Q. The Church often uses the metaphor "going through the fire"; what exactly does this mean?
A. The whole Gospel is one of refinement, or purification, or sanctification. The Bible talks about this as a "refiner's fire". In most churches refinement is left to chance -- accidents, tragedies of one sort or another, etc.. In this Church the fire is deliberatly cultivated by the ordinances. It is already waiting for new members. Now we don't go and torture people or do terrible things to them, no! We simply say: "These are the covenants you must live up to if you want to be a part of us. If you don't live them, then you have to leave." The fire comes from within as people are forced to face their fallen carnal nature. They are not allowed to escape. They cannot hide away in any sin for it is rooted out in the Church's ordinances. It is the Holy Spirit that does the burning, not us; the duty of Zion's ministers is to simply state the facts, bluntly, firmly, yet with loving kindness, and give the people the choice to respond or not.
Every single member of this Church goes through the purging fire. Every one, each according to his ability. The course is tough but exhilarating if you are willing to see it through. Now many people won't go through it but want the rewards free. We spot them quite early on. They often go away kicking and screaming like a child who demands something for nothing.
Q. Wouldn't most Christians say that this is the very opposite of the Gospel, and that Jesus simply taught us to love unconditionaly?
Here we have to be very careful because the meanings of words get twisted. By love people usually mean an emotional reaction. That, to be sure, is a vital part of love, but it is only part of it. When asked to define love, Jesus didn't say: "Go and love-bomb everyone", He said: "Obey My commandments!" When the woman caught in adultery was caught, Jesus didn't rush up to her and give her a big hug, and say: "Everything's O.K.". Instead He very quietly said: "If you'll stop this sinning now, you can go in peace."
That's exactly what we do. If someone has a root of bitterness in his heart, we will say: "If you will cast out this root of bitterness and repent, then everything you have done wrong to us wll be forgiven and forgotten...instantly. But we cannot allow you to contnue harbouring this root of bitterness. For us it does not matter, for we are not under the control or bondage of your bitterness -- we already have our peace. But we do this for you, because your bitterness is destroying you and those who are investigating this work or who don't have this inner peace. We won't let you run away from it by pretenting it doesn't exist, or ignoring it, for that would be our greatest disservice to you. So long us you come to us in this Covenant as an investigator, or become a member, you must face yourself honestly and courageously, and we will support and uphold you in the bonds of love whilst you are struggling. But if you refuse to acknowledge your sin and deal with it, we can't help you, nor can we fellowship with you. It is not that we don't want to fellowship with you, because we want to with all our hearts, but we CANNOT fellowship with you because of the spiritual wall your rebellion is creating. Each time we reach out you bite us, so what can we do? So long as you acknowledge your sin, then everything is possible. That's the fist stage. The second, is to start doing something about it. If you stand still, you will be pushed. If you resist, you will be pushed out."
Q. That sounds terrible! Surely you should just accept a person as he is?
A. No, that's not the terror at all. The terror is in sin unforgiven by Christ because Christ has not been received or obeyed. Tell me, what is the most loving thing to do: To tell a man who is drowning that you love him from a comfortable distance, or to throw him a lifeline? Jesus Christ is man's lifeline to salvation. Without it everyone will perish. That is Fact 1. Now let us say that I throw you a lifeline when you are drowning, and you, in your ignorance, throw it back to me, what should I then do? The fact that I am bothering to throw a lifeline is the act of love on my part. What if there are two people drowning and I have only one lifeline? If one throws the lifeline back at me but the other will take it, sould I keep throwing the lifeline to the one throwing back, or throw it to the one who will receive it? The answer is obvious. You save first the person who wants to be saved!
Now I admit this is not a perfect parable but I hope the point is clear. The one who refuses to be saved is endangering the person who wants to be saved. Our mission as a Church is to take Christ to those who want to be saved. What if one comes to us demanding a lifeline but keeps throwing it back into our face? Shall we spend all our time with him? Of course not. That is the economy of grace. There was one member of this Church to whom a lifeline was thrown literally hundreds of times and we spent a disproportionate amount of time with him at the expense of those who really needed the lifeline and were willing to take it. The man just would not repent. One party of the Church simply wanted to accept him as he was and do nothing more even though he was constantly atacking the Church and its members, creating divisions and sowing an evil reputation about us in the world. He was excommunicated and disfellowshipped in the end. Interestingly enough those same people who defended him are now going through their own fires for they were, unconsciously, defending their own sinful natures as they defended this man's. They say that like attracts like, and those in similar circumstances sympathise with each other. How true that is! But such sentimentalism is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A Christian, whilst accepting each PERSON and a son or daughter of God, loving him unconditionally in that way, CANNOT compromise with sin. He must be in the forefront, like the apostles of old, attacking sin in its every manifestation with all vigour. A true apostle of the Word will be doing this. But a false apostle will seek only to compromise with sin in order to postpone his own day of repentance. So really, is this so terrible?
Q. I suppose not. But it is easy to be tricked into thinking that that you have the most loving way when you don't, isn't it?
A. The whole liberal stream of Christianity has fallen into this trap of blunting the sharp edge of the Gospel where it matters the most. They have turned wine into water instead of the other way round. Liberal Christianity is tolerant to an extreme. Its reaction against intolerant extremism was, in a way, inevitable and necessary but it went too far in the opposite direction. And there are three types of liberal: there are the righteous liberals who are reacting against exceses, and there are unrighteous liberals who simply want to be allowed to get on with sinning. And then there is the third kind of liberal who gets the two totally mixed up.
So yes, it is so easy to get tricked, and you can't see your way out of it until you have come to a realisation of your own sinfulness! Confession of sin is the first step to realisation of how one was tricked. The Jesus of the New Testament was not all "sweet and mild" but was also the tough prophet who made sure that there was a proper balance. He showed infinite mercy to those who changed direction in their lives but was as strict as the strictest Pharisee when it came to the truth. He even told His disciples to be STRICTER than the Pharisees but at the same time not to neglect the weightier matters of the Law, such as loving your neighbour and taking care of the poor.
Now people react to our strictness but they usually ignore the other side of our ministry. People will find us a forgiving Church. We don't hold grudges or bitternesses. We will indeed accept anyone as they are so long as they want to change and are willing to try to change, by the grace of God.
Q. I suppose, then, the Church will always be misunderstood and always be accused of being too hard?
A. In our Western liberal democracies, without a doubt, though I suspect in some countries the opposite would be said, such as in fundamentalist Islamic theocracies. The fact of the matter is the world won't be able to say, "Oh, this Independent Church is just a product of Western democracy", for although at the present all of us have come out of these (though I myself was born and raised in a Muslim society), we are something quite different.
Q. Do you think there is a likeness between the Independent Church and the modern State of Israel?
A. I can't see it! Israel is essentially a secular state and has hundreds of religious denominations -- Jewish, Muslim and Christian...and a few others. It is as diverse as any modern society. It is both a Western democracy as well as a fundamentalist religious state. I can't see the remotest similarity between Israel and the New Covenant! The modern State of Israel will be swept away along with all other nations until the true Zionism is restored in her borders when Christ comes.
Q. I would like to return to the question of the survival of the Church. You mentioned that it might disappear even before Christ returns. Could you say a little more about that?
A. Unlike Mormons who say their Church will never fall, we maintain no such dogma. One thing I do know is that this Church will never fall and remain on the earth. If it falls it will disappear. I suppose it is possible that someone might try to reorganise it and keep the old name, though I doubt it. We shall never go through the 1844 crisis in our century or the next, nor shall we be "reorganised" as the first Latter Day Saints were. Neither will we merge with another Church as one former member maintained and lose our present identity, though some who leave us may do just that, taking the Light God has given to us with them.
When the LDS Church was scattered after 1844 it schismatised into different groups that were organised on the basis of the original Church of Christ. Some groups organised around the doctrine and practice of 1830-1835, making the Bible and Book of Mormon their only standard, with some accepting the Book of Commandments too. Others organised around the pre-Nauvoo doctrines and practices, accepting the Bible, Book of Mormon, and 95% of the Doctrine and Covenants. Finally, the rest organised around what was then extant in 1844 in terms of doctrine and practice, including that which was not a part of scriptural canon.
It's hard to imagine a similar scenario in the Independent Church. I suppose potentially groups could organise around one or more books of our scriptures, parts of the C&C, and so on. Though how they would dissect the C&C I don't know. I wouldn't care to have to make such a dissection! The Latter Day Saints had only about 150 revelations to sift through and two or three other books of scripture. We, in a few years time, will probably have 1,000 revelations and dozems of books of scripture. Let them sort that lot out!
No, I do not believe it would be easy to organise around part of this New Covenant. We know that there will be at least one break-off group because the Lord has told us in advance. And maybe there will be others. But they will be impotent. And they will be impotent because they won't have the Temple. They will be impotent because they won't be able to understand the smallest part of the firstborn revelations which only take on flesh in the Temple. And they'll never get into the Temple because they'll be sifted out by the fire. There is no hiding place in this Church! Every sin is exposed, something the Latter Day Saints couldn't do, and never will be able to do.
So, no, the Church, if it falls, will disappear altogether, but I'm not counting on that. It will, however, disappear as I have told the people before. One day it'll be there and the next day it won't. Those who are of the Church of the Firstborn will be told to gather but those who aren't won't know anything about it. Those who remain behind will not have the power or the keys to maintain the Church of Christ because those who have the power and the keys will be gone.
Q. Let's assume the Church fell before the day of gathering. Would that be the end of this work?
A. No, it wouldn't. The Church of the Firstborn will survive and it will simply replant the Church of Christ somewhere else, possibly even under a new name and with a new set of scriptures .
Q. Do you mean it would leave Norway?
A. If the Church of Christ falls it will in large measure be because the Norwegian saints have fallen, for the centre of this work is Norway. It could well go to another country where the people are more humble and receptive to the Gospel .
Q. But don't the revelations say this is the last Restoration? Doesn't that mean that there would be no more restorations if the work in Norway ended?
A. Restorations are only effected when there is a complete and total apostacy from the truth. The Lord must raise up one man and begin restoring the truth afresh. But I have never said that everybody would fall away in this Church, only that the outer Church could fall away. If the outer Church falls, the inner will continue. There won't be a need for a fresh Restoration; it will merly have to be transplanted into better soil, i.e. into another country.
Q. Do you think that might be America?
A. To answer that question would be tantamount to admitting that the outer Church was going to fall here in Norway, which I don't know. If the Church of Christ fell in Norway, it could be transplanted almost anywhere -- Britain, Germany, Russia, China...I have no idea! Even America. But why speculate on the negative? I work with all my soul's energy on the assumption that Norway will fulfil her destiny though I am always open to the possibility that she will not. More than that I cannot say.
Q. You mentioned a little while back that the name might change and a "new set of scriptures" might come. What do you mean by that?
A. The scriptures we have, viz. the Covenants & Commandments, the Gospel of Thomas, the Three Books of Abraham, etc., are simply expressions of a single truth.
Q. Would they disappear?
A. No, they will be here and still exerting their influence even if no one in this Church would be distributing them. The truth is self-propagating, just as the Bible has propagated itself. We would, of course, continue to build upon the Bible, which will always remain the foundational book. You see, those who survive this imaginary apostacy in the Church of the Firstborn will themselves be living scriptures and will not require libraries of scriptures to carry around. The Church of the Firstborn will become an incarnation of the Light of Christ. Jesus didn't carry books around with Him even though He knew His Torah thoroughly -- He didn't have a New Testament, or a Covenants & Commandments. Neither did the apostles of the early Church. I doubt if any of them carried the whole Torah with them. Each congregation probably had one, though we may never know the certainty of that, and possibly a letter here or there from an apostle. Members of the Church didn't have a "set of scriptures" as we do. They had the endowment of the Holy Spirit.
Q. What about the Church name? Isn't "Independent Church of Jesus Christ" the last name of the Church?
A. Who said? The Lord has given tremendous freedom in this matter and allowed us to change the name last time. If an apostate group should ever manage to get control of the name by recourse to the laws of the land, we would have to change it, just as the Mormons did after 1844. You know, some Churches make alot of fuss about a name. Such is not unimportant but it is not something we should get unduly embroiled in. I, for one, wouldn't get too bothered if someone called me "Lev-Sion" or "Leb-Sion" even though that's not the way I spell my name, so long as it was me they were talking about and that was clear. I have always personally favoured a name for the church like The Church of Jesus Christ or the Church of Jesus Christ of New Covenant Christians; but whether it is called that, or by any other name, doesn't bother me too much so long as it is clear that it is CHRIST'S Church, or the Church of Christ and isn't confused with any other existing church. What is important is not the label but the reality, so long as the label does not lead the public away from the reality. It's all going to be the Church of Christ one day anyway (or something like it!).
Q. Are you now optimistic about the Church's future?
A. You can't be a disciple of Christ if you aren't optimistic. I know that Christ Jesus is victorious and that the Church of God will be victorious in the end. It is also evident from history that the Church Universal has had numerous setbacks and has even come close to extinction. My witness and love of Christ will remain the same even if everyone around me falls. That should be the attitude of every member of the Church. And if that is their attitude, then the Church will never fall! Some people worry about the Church falling. I have heard one person say: "Oh, if so-and-so leaves the Church, the Church will fall!" This is nonsense. So long as there is one person who is true the Church will not fall but can be built up. And so it is with us.
Q. Will the Independent Church ever come to that point?
A. No, I don't believe so, not now. A small inner core has come through the fire and is laying the foundation for the Holy Order. That is quite an achievement given our humble and modest beginnings.
Q. So those who say, "All is not well in Zion" are wrong?
A. That depends which Zion you mean! If they're talking about the outer Church of Christ then, yes, "all is not well in Zion" and never will be until Christ returns, because the outer Church is the refiner's furnace. But as to the Church of the Firstborn? I would say that "all is well in Zion" at the moment for these souls have come through the present fire, those deeps bonds of Christian love have been formed, and they are firmly set toward the Kingdom. Of course, the Church of the Firstborn is very, very young -- we have only passed through two of the 29 ordinances  -- that's not very much, but it's a good start. Moreover, the Holy Order has been established and the United Order is being lived. Yes, we have made progress, and all in three years. I would say that's not bad at all! It is a testimony to me that true faith opens the windows of heaven and that God is only too willing to pour out His blessings if we will be true and faithful.
I will tell you of a special occurance so that the saints may be strengthened in their faith. In October 1991 the Holy Order was consecrated and dedicated to the Lord. Some were present at the ceremony that took place. After this those who were a part of the Order went around and consecrated every cubic centimetre of space -- it took a long time! It was an ordinance we did in faith, not knowing just what would happen, though I have had experiences with consecrating sacred space before. A couple of days after the final consecration I had a vision, and I saw written on the walls of the house: 3 3 3. The meaning of this will be known to those who have been through the Priesthood Degrees in the Temple, for this number literally translates, Holy, Holy, Holy.
Q. Is this connected in any way with the number "666"?
A. That is the number of the devil, which is a trinity of imperfection and sin. And that is a subject that I do not propose to talk about.
Q. What is the number of God?
A. The number of God exists in two parts; the first is 333, which is the spiritual of heavenly number of God. It is not mentioned directly in the scriptures though you will find the angels saying:
333 is therefore the number of God in His upper or spiritual component. It is the number of the Divine Triad or, as the orthodox call it, the "Trinity". The number 444 represents God in His physical manifestation, or "God in the Flesh". Together, 333 and 444 combine to make 777 which is the number of Perfection. This is the resurrected God, spirit and flesh (333 + 444) as one (777). There are many revelations in the Covenants & Commandments which speak of these things directly and indirectly.
"Holy, holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" or "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts" (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).
Q. Aren't these numbers connected with the Priesthood?
A. Yes. 4 is the number of the Aaronic Priesthood (Old Covenant), which is earthly, and 3 is the number of the Melchizedek Priesthood (New Covenant). But since the Melchizedek Priesthood is essentially one Priesthood, the Aaronic being an extension of the Melchizedek, the number of the Melchizedek Priesthood is in fact 4+3, which is 7.
Q. What, then, does the 333 appearing on the Holy Order mean for the Church?
A. It means that God has accepted the Church of the Firstborn and the land and buildings on that land . It is the mark of the Godhead. He has actually said as much not only in the revelations but also in at least two visions to two another persons in the Church.
Q. Making a testimony of three?
Q. Should the saints use this numerology more in their daily spiritual lives? And how does this relate to the fire passing through the Church?
A. The saints are already using it but mostly aren't aware of it. There are, as you know, three non-Priesthood ordinances in the Church of the Firstborn which together represent the perfection of the Church at each level of its growth or evolution. Those of the saints who have read the pamphlet, An Introduction to the Chevra B'Qor, will have noticed that there are four cycles of ordinances corresponding to the numbers 3, 5 (4+1), 8 (7+1), 13 (12+1) and 13; or to put them in a more recognisable form: 3, 4, 7, 12, 1. Each cycle is whole and complete in itself. Therefore it is impossible to say: "I have passed through the first of the two non-Priesthood degrees but not the third" and say that one has been endowed. There is actually no endowment until the end of each cycle. Those, for example, who pass only through the first and second degrees, but not the third, haven't actually entered the Church of the Firstborn at all, at least not inwardly. It's like saying 3+5= and never finishing the equation. Not until the third element is present, viz. 8, does one have a complete equation, 3+5=8. In the same way the Father and the Son are not a complete Godhead without the Holy Spirit; there is no Godhead with only two persons, but with three. Noone therefore actually passes into the Church of the Firstborn until they have passed through the three non-Priesthood ordinances inwardly and outwardly. Three is a complete number, two is not.
Q. So those who fail to make the third degree have actually fallen?
A. In some respects, yes. They were burned and found faithless. They received the Holy Spirit and the Son to a degree, but not the fullness, and therefore did not receive the Father. They have therefore "fallen" out of the Chevra B'Qor they were trying to enter.
Q. But doesn't Jesus say that if His disciples are in Him that they are in the Father also?
A. Yes, absolutely. But I didn't say that these people had received Christ fully, but only to a degree. Therefore they are not fully in Christ, nor do they have a fullness of the Holy Spirit! And isn't that the case in most churches? Indeed! Now the Holy Spirit likes superficial relationships no more than you or I should. The mission of the Holy Spirit is to lead repentant, believing and obedient souls to the fullness of Christ, and thus to the fullness of the Father. That is the full endowment of the Holy Spirit.
Last General Conference I heard one or two complaining that there wasn't a full endowment of the Holy Spirit in power. But it was these same people who either disbelieved portions of the Gospel or who wouldn't repent of unconfessed sins! One of them has since gone through the fire, got burned, wouldn't repent, and has since left us. The other -- well, I pray for grace for that soul.
The fire in the Church is nearly at an end for this season. Next April there will be a clear division of the Aaronic and Melchizedek. Thereafter the Lord will start raising up His Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
Q. I guess you're looking forward to that?
 The Mormon Scriptures (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) were abandoned in 1992 upon the dissolution of the Independent Church.
 In fact, the Presiding Patriarch knew that the Independent Church would come to an end, to be destroyed from within by its members. He was not, however, in a position to make this known at the time.
 The Independent Church has subsequently been likened to a "pig in the middle" movement. Sandwiched between Mormonism and Orthodox Christianity, it never really had a chance of becoming a new movement in and of itself. Only when it discarded its LDS roots in 1992 to continue the Reformation process did it begin to emerge as new wine in a new wineskin; as a Restoration derivative, it was new wine (the New Covenant revelation) in an old wineskin (Restoration structures) and was doomed, therefore, to failure. The death of the Independent Church was therefore an essential part of its metamorphosis; though viewed negatively at the time of dissolution as a "failure", it was, in fact, moving on to its divinely appointed position in Christendom. Its destruction by its members, though adverse to the members, was providential for the Church as a whole.
 See, Cry Wolf! The Problem of Sects and Cults
 A term used by orthodox Christians to mean that one church steals members from another one.
 One ex-member tried but ended up swinging from one pole of belief to the other of unbelief, sometimes attacking, sometimes praising. He attempted to errect a "wall of forgetfulness" by ignoring the Church but managed this only as long as he managed to avoid all contact with members. He once testified (upon returning to the Church after a period of hostility and inactivity) that fighting the Church was the same as fighting the Holy Spirit, and that it gave him no peace. Though he made a real effort to be friendly after leaving it the second time, he discovered that neutrality was utterly impossible. This was a characteristic of the Church of God in Jesus' time and will be the characteristic of all true Churches that have an endowment of the Holy Spirit. Though the Independent Church was full of weak and frail people, and though it taught many wrong things (as it struggled to leave Restorationism behind), it had the hand and seal of God upon it, preserving it until it could finally complete its metamorphosis into the Body designed by God for it from the beginning.
 As indeed happened. When the Independent Church was disbanded in 1992, a new Church was organised called the New Covenant Christian Fellowship (NCCF). It used only the Bible as scripture. When in 1996 the New Covenant Church of God was organised, as part of the completion of the metamorphosis stage of development (the Independent Church being the caterpillar phase, the NCCF the chrysalis phase, and the NCCG being the butterfly stage), it adopted a new secondary canon consisting of parts of the old Covenants & Commandments and the Sub-Apostolic Epistles of the early Church Fathers which had never been in use by the ICCJ or NCCF. This prophecy was therefore literally fulfilled.
 As indeed happened. Though the NCCF remained in Norway, the final metamorphic stage -- the New Covenant Church of God -- was transplanted to Sweden in 1997. Since then the Gospel has been taking root elsewhere (USA, UK, etc.)
 A series of temple covenants which are concerned with overcoming the fallen Adamic nature. With the reorganisation of the Holy Order in 1997 these have been restructured though remain basically the same in content.
 Little Kadesh, the Church's first attempt at living the United Order, which was a partial success. Little Kadesh was disbanded in 1996 and a new colony established at Kadesh-biyqah in 1997.