This cult began in Tennessee in the early 1970s, and later relocated to Vermont, it currently has communities all over the world. In the beginning the group adhered to biblical teachings attracting the homeless, drug addicts, and run-a-ways where they were led to Christ, given a purpose and place to live. All personal decision-making power is given over to the leadership.
It was not long after the inception of the group that they changed in doctrine and practice due to their “apostle,” Elbert Eugene Spriggs. He claims to have a direct “hot line” to God and is not accountable to anyone since he believes himself to be favored by God to lead his “flock.” This is all a fabrication in his mind.
This cult teaches that there are three eternal destinies for all humanity. There are those who go to the Holy City (Twelve Tribes and other Old and New Testament saints who are worthy), those who go to the lake of fire, and those who go to the “Nations.”
This last group is a vast segment of humanity who make it to what they call, the “suburbs” of heaven by living according to their conscience. Christ’s death is dismissed . all together which is a heretical teaching: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved ” (Acts 4:12).
The group also teaches that the true disciple will give all his possessions to the group and live in community with them. They believe that their group is the true Christian church and teach another doctrine that Jesus Christ cannot return until they replant the Twelve Tribes of Israel geographically on the earth.
The daily practices of the group have also become non-biblical with legalistic constraints placed upon its members:
The true disciple must live in their community and wear a beard and ponytail (male), or balloon pants or long skirt (female).
Radio, television, newspapers and books not approved by the group are forbidden.
Not only must there be absolute unity in doctrine (the teachings of “apostle” Spriggs), no differences of opinion are tolerated.
Children are not allowed to fantasize or play any fantasy games.
Adults must obey the elders completely, as the elders speak for God. Even oppressive leadership should not be resisted. To question the group’s doctrine or authority is “Satan tempting you.”
If you were to decide to leave the group you are literally “leaving the Kingdom of God” making you an apostate only worthy of Godâ€™s fearful judgment in this life and the lake of fire in eternity.
This cult like many others convolutes the doctrine of Christ and replaces it with false teachings that place unbiblical demands on its members.