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Answering an Apologist for the Tribes

“But the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10 MKJV).

David Derush of the Twelve Tribes contacts us with this e-mail:

What we believe and why……in answer to Victor’s odd accusation against my friend Diane Templin…


My good friend Diane Templin was quite puzzled by Victor’s accusation against her, as seen below. She asked me to respond. Victor said:

“Are not many on this list found out? ….

Diane Templin of the Twelve Tribes is the only one who appeared to pick up on what I was saying, but she has not yet been able to see past her god of communal living and love of Ashtoreth. All are false in her mind.”

I don’t know in what way Diane or the Twelve Tribes communities could be accused of “love of Ashtoreth”. Victor, if you are willing to clarify what you mean by that, I would be glad to respond more specifically.

Regarding the statement that Diane cannot “see past her god of communal living”……well, we plead guilty. We know the God of Abraham is an invisible Spirit of love and unity…and if people truly have His love and unity shed abroad in their hearts…then they want to be together and share their lives completely. This is what happened when Yahshua walked the earth…his disciples shared a common life with Him; and it is what happened when the Holy Spirit was first poured out. All the believers were together and had all things common and were one in heart and soul.

The God we know wants to gather His people together into a witness of His true character…which is love and unity.

If you love someone, you want to be with them, and gladly put their needs ahead of your own.

How else can anyone truly “love one another just as I have loved you”…apart from sharing a common life of love and unity, holding nothing back for self?

David Derush

Paul’s reply:

Hi David,

Paul Cohen here, writing in response to your reply to Victor’s letter addressing the reaction of several that are, or have been, on this mailing list, including your acquaintance, Diane Templin. (Diane, where are you at? You have not answered either of my letters to you. Do not think that having others answer for you will suffice. Unless you know the Truth for yourself, and can stand in Him, you are without oil. Right now you are looking to those without oil to answer for you against those that have it. You are confused and on the wrong track altogether.)

Victor and I have a calling in the Lord Jesus Christ to speak the Word of God as one voice to all those to whom we are sent. This is unity and the love of His Body made manifest on earth. Have you red Our Testimonies?

As you now know, I have replied to Diane’s last letter, the one you are writing about here. I have also dealt with the god of communal living, which, contrary to what you say, is not kosher. Make sure to read our letters to Diane carefully, because we have said much there in answer to your position and question about how you people are worshipping Ashtoreth.

I have more to say in reply to what you have written here.

You write:

We know the God of Abraham is an invisible Spirit of love and unity…and if people truly have His love and unity shed abroad in their hearts…then they want to be together and share their lives completely.

The Scriptures say that Lot was a righteous man. He was also a relative of Abraham, and he accompanied him in his journey of faith. So why didn’t Abraham convince Lot to throw in his lot with him, so to speak, and stay with him? They could have had a great thing going, right? I suppose you would say they did not have the perfect love or unity that you have. Yet here we have the God of Abraham doing what? Failing? If He is the God of Abraham, why is Abraham not demonstrating the primary attribute by which you say He is identified amongst men – communal living?

And what about Isaac and Jacob? YHWH is also known as the God of Isaac and Jacob. Yet once Jacob grew up into manhood, they did not even live in the same area code! Isaac sent him far away because his favorite son wanted to kill the son whom God favored! Why not send the one with murderous intent away? What in the world is going on here?! Why were not Isaac and Jacob fellowshipping together and building up their tribe, inviting their heathen neighbors to experience the highly-exalted love and unity you speak of? Isn’t that what the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is all about? Should not this one paramount sign, a community of believers, accompany those by whose names God identifies Himself? Where did He go wrong?

I suppose you would say that those with whom God identified Himself let Him down, falling short of His glory. The time for the perfect had not yet come.

Also consider the real twelve tribes of Israel. They failed to demonstrate true communistic living. Moses even gave them laws, the Ten Commandments included, which acknowledge private property:

“Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns” (Exodus 20:17 GNB).

In fact, why were there twelve tribes in the first place, since they should have been living together as one, according to your god of community? They were in the same contiguous land, unlike the present “Twelve Tribes” who supposedly superseded them. Did the Israelites mess up, or did God? Wasn’t He the One setting their boundaries and instructing them on how to live? Wasn’t it His call? How come there was nothing ever said about having all things in common? Again, you could say the time for the perfect had not yet come.

The Perfect, I think we can agree, arrived with the coming of Yehoshua HaMashiach. Did He inaugurate a communistic society? You say that He did, beginning with His ministry. His disciples shared a common life with Him, setting the precedent for what was to follow.

Your interpretation is overly simplistic, and it lacks crucial details. For this reason it is also deceptive. Let me affirm what is true. There was a common kitty for those traveling with the Lord in His ministry, and those who followed Him did leave all behind.

Nevertheless, when the Lord walked the earth in His ministry He said nothing to encourage people to join Him or to start a community of believers that shared all things in common. Those with Him were as men in the military. They were in training, and all their needs were looked after by the Commander of the Army. The purpose of this Army was not to create more partakers of a communal lifestyle.

Otherwise, the Lord would not have declared of Zacchaeus that salvation had come to his house, seeing that Zacchaeus was not giving all he had to the disciples, but “only” half of his goods to the poor. Neither did he join them in the ministry.

Otherwise, the Lord would not have sent the Gadarene back to his people. He would have compelled the man to give Him all his earthly goods and join the “tribe.”

Otherwise, the Lord would have encouraged the crowds to come to be fed by Him and to experience His love and the benefits of living communally with Him and His disciples, instead of discouraging them by telling them the secrets of their hearts.

Otherwise, the Lord would not have let the seventy go because of their misunderstanding. He would have overlooked it, waiting for them to grow in understanding, and encouraging them to remain in the fold so as to not lose their salvation because they left the community.

What makes you think that community and unity cannot be worshipped as a god just like any other potentially good thing, like family, the Scriptures, and all other created things the Lord saw were good when He made them?

We have no argument against community or believers sharing things together. We have that kind of life in the Lord, but it is His doing and not ours. What we argue against, and what the Scriptures testify against, is setting up a community modeled on what the Lord did with the believers in Acts, as if doing so is the fulfillment of a commandment of God, even salvation and the ushering in of His Kingdom. As I quoted to Diane, a person can give up more than those at the Twelve Tribes do, even his or her body to be burned, and still not have love (obedience to God). Your agreed-upon sacrifice is not necessarily obedience to God, and in your case we know it is not.

The Twelve Tribes has set up an image of what you conceive as the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. You have fashioned an idol, breaking the Second Commandment of God. That is altogether different than what happened to the disciples in Acts. I will list some of the differences:

1) The disciples did not decide that they had to live in community as the way to please God. They did not teach it as Law or demand it of others. It happened to them. God did it.

2) It was a unique event. The apostles did not go out preaching for people to join them by giving up all their goods and living with them in community. They preached the cross, which is not one-size-fits-all, as you think. The cross is about losing our lives in this world. For many, going to live in community is the opposite. There is release from unwanted burdens and responsibility and an assurance of provision from men. This as opposed to following the Son of Man and having nowhere to lay your head, dependent on God alone.

3) By following God and faithfully preaching the gospel, the community in Jerusalem came under persecution, was broken up, and was sent out by God in all directions (Acts 8:1). He broke up the community. If their salvation depended upon community, why would God do that?

4) When giving instructions to Gentile believers, the apostles who met in Jerusalem did not command or teach to bring all goods to them, and then distribute them amongst the believers in communal living arrangements (Acts 15).

5) The apostle Paul gave instructions for believers to look after the needs of their own families first, which demonstrates they were not living communistically, and such was not required of them (1 Timothy 5:8).

6) Paul also gave instructions for the believers in the churches to lay up offerings as God prospered each. Though they were a body, they had individual incomes, responsibilities, and paths to follow in the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:2).

7) No one dared join themselves to the apostles in Jerusalem, other than those who believed. There were no test runs offered to any; there were no invitations (Acts 5:13).

8) When Philip preached the Word of God to the Ethiopian eunuch, and baptized him, nothing was said to the eunuch about giving up all his goods or coming to join “the tribes.” If doing so was salvation as you make it out to be, surely Philip would have required that (Acts 8).

9) People submitted themselves to the apostles of God in Jerusalem and voluntarily laid everything at their feet. The apostles did not require them to do so. Peter even said to Ananias that his possessions were in his own power. God is after the heart, and not man’s physical possessions. Ananias was not slain for keeping some of his possessions, but for lying to God.

What gives you the right to require what God has not required? Have you not put yourselves higher than God? Surely you have.

Unlike the apostles in Acts, Gene Spriggs is a false apostle, a deceitful worker. He has taught you in the name of a false god, calling it by the Name of the God of Israel. We have exposed his false and deviant ways in all of our letters.

The God of Abraham is not “an invisible Spirit of love and unity” of the kind of love and unity you are preaching.

Read False Love and Unity.

You will not understand, but that does not excuse or exonerate you. You are held responsible for teaching error and laying traps for the souls of men.


David replies:


Well, Paul, I received what you sent to Diane and the rest of us regarding your beliefs.

All I can say, Paul, is while I appreciate your zeal, I don’t find any clarity in what you write. But I am glad to give you an answer of the hope that I have.
I am very thankful to be in the Twelve Tribes communities; and very, very thankful that Diane saw the value of Yahshua’s sacrifice for her, and joined us in following Him together.

What we believe is about as simple and clear as can be.

We have forsaken all our lives in the world consisted of, to follow our Master Yahshua in living in His new and living way….a life of living together, for one another. Diane saw this life we share as the “treasure hidden in a field” for which a man “eagerly forsakes all that he has”. Why? Let me explain.

God is love. Love is unselfish.

Sin is selfishness.

Selfishness is the world’s big problem, and yours, and mine. Selfishness actually kills people. It leads to death and torment. …

Selfishness rules this present age. The governments, the media, the religious, economic, educational and social systems, are all ruled by selfishness, not love. The virus of selfishness has infected every human institution and every human heart and soul on earth. The fruit of this is constant conflict that brings forth alienation and loneliness. Selfish people look out for themselves and end up alienated from others. They end up alone.

Good-hearted people fight against the infection of selfishness. They resist the pull of it within their own hearts, in their families and in the world around them. But in a world increasingly flooded with selfish darkness such people are finding it harder and harder not to be swept away. “Bad company corrupts good morals,” the scriptures say. Immersed in a selfish world of selfish systems filled with selfish people, who can stand? Who can live a life of loving and being loved while immersed in such an environment? No one can. But where can one find a genuine way out of this selfish world and into a world of real love?

The real Yahshua and the real Gospel and the real Holy Spirit are God’s love. His love calls you to leave your old life behind to come into a completely different Kingdom of unselfish love. Through Yahshua, you can die to your old life and be immersed into a completely different life and Kingdom. This new Kingdom is not mystical and invisible. It is an actual nation of people gathered in households, clans and tribes in twelve different regions around the earth. In these households we live an abundant social life of togetherness and love for one another. This gives our Father dwelling places that the lonely can come to, that you can come to, to find a completely different way of life.

In His Kingdom, people do not live alone and they don’t live for themselves. They live for Him as servants of love, by being together and living for one another!

Since God is love, there is no other way to truly live for Him than to live together, for one another. People cannot live for one another unless they are together, and they cannot live together for one another in the midst of this selfish world apart from possessing the one, true Holy Spirit. The only way to know what people truly have this Spirit is to look for those who are actually living this way. Yahshua put it this way:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Yahshua lived together with His friends, so He could teach them how to live together, for one another.

The early believers also lived together with their friends and their leaders, for one another.

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 2:44,45; 4:32-35)

This was so different from the life of the world around them, the early believers called it the Way. They didn’t live the way the world around them lived. They left the ways of the world behind. They had a different Way. To bring about this Way of love is the only reason God gave His one true Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit isn’t doing anything else. He only has one Way. If you see anything else being done in the name of the Holy Spirit it is just more disguised selfishness. It isn’t truly Him. …

If you know the way the world is, you know the world is not this Way.

If you know the way Christianity is, you know Christianity is not this Way of love anymore than the world is. It pretends to be, but it isn’t. It has its own way, more than 37,000 of them, actually. That is the number of denominations in Christianity, each with its own ways, none of which are the Way.

But now in these last days when darkness is coming in like a flood God is raising up a standard as He promised. That standard is a set apart nation of people who are learning to live according to the ancient Way, together, for one another. By this those who are willing to do God’s will can see who truly serves God and who does not.

God has a name for His People who live this Way. He calls them the Israel of God, the Commonwealth of Israel, the Twelve Tribes. Where there is no King, everyone does what is right in their own eyes. But in Israel, we have a King, our Master Yahshua the Messiah, and everyone lives according to His Way, the Way of being together with your friends to live a life of unselfish love for one another.

The only way the Way can be is the way it was when it was the Way. Christianity is not that Way. It lost its way when it departed from the Way of our Master Yahshua and His apostles. But now our Father is restoring Yahshua’s Way in order to bring forth a Bride worthy of His Son’s return to bring an end to this wicked age. We yearn for you to come and help us build a nation, a worthy Bride that lives according to our Master Yahshua’s wonderful Way.

In this nation all things are being restored. This nation is a Light by which those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death can see the true character of the invisible God and find their way out of the darkness.

To those who hate the selfishness of this world and of your own hearts, we cry out to you with all our strength! Leave where you are right now and run to be with us where we are. See how good and how pleasant it is where brothers dwell together in unity. There, and only there, does God command the blessing of abundant and everlasting life. We warmly invite you to come and see, for a day or to stay. The addresses and contact information of our communities around the world, where you can come and be with us, can be found at The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”


David Derush

[Ask us if you want to see the complete letter with Scripture citations.]

Paul responds:


Your letter is the classic cop out. You say what I wrote is not clear in order to free yourself from having to answer for your idolatry and harlotry. You disregard all substantive proofs, making no attempt to understand. You are unable to demonstrate for the sake of others how what I say is untrue (which it is not). If you are Light, where are your understanding, compassion, and wisdom from God?

You are, as Victor said, in total darkness and blinded by your sin. All you can do is brush aside the inconvenient Truth and proceed to serve your false god, which you continually pitch as the salvation of mankind.

What is the point of your dissertation on selfishness? We all know selfishness is wrong. Who needs a pompous lecture full of platitudes? How about getting to the point of those things that show how your works are born of the very selfishness you say you have escaped? How about dealing with the fact that you are a hypocrite, because while you lecture others about how wrong it is for them to live for themselves in the cruel, wicked, unbelieving, selfish world, you hole up with a group that lives selfishly for itself, set apart from vermin Christians and heathen believers, all destined for hell unless joining your group?

Your reply says in essence, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I have declared you unholy.”

And God says of your religious whoredom and presumptuous boasting, “I cannot stand people like that—My anger against them is like a fire that never goes out” (Isaiah 65:5).

The pope and other religious agree that selfishness is wrong. You can, in fact, renounce the world, give up all your goods to the Catholic Church, and join them in one of their orders or monasteries. They will also look after your physical needs in a community of those professing Christ. They are also friends among themselves and can be your friends, too, if you join them.

But you cannot do that since you do not keep Christmas, and you keep the Sabbath, not Sunday, as a true “holier than thou” Tribesman. So you must have your own special version of the Catholic Church, as do so many others. You protest, “We are special! We are the Twelve Tribes! We are God’s chosen people on earth!”

Join the club of men’s works. They all say essentially the same thing. You are not the first or last to try building Heaven on earth through a community of believers. Everyone has their angle and a special pitch to prove themselves to be the answer, to be “IT.”

But your “flawless” argument falls flat on the Stone of Stumbling. You write:

Immersed in a selfish world of selfish systems filled with selfish people, who can stand? Who can live a life of loving and being loved while immersed in such an environment? No one can.

Wrong. We can. Those who profess the Messiah and Savior of all men must. How? By the will of God in Christ Jesus and His resurrection power. The Word declares it, and He has performed it in those who believe on Him. We, His saints, are in the world, but not of it:

”I do not ask that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:15-16 EMTV).

“It is God Who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son” (Colossians 1:13 WNT).

“Because by His power He has given us everything necessary for life and righteousness, through the knowledge of Him Who has been our guide by His glory and virtue; And through this He has given us the hope of great rewards highly to be valued; so that by them we might have our part in God’s being, and be made free from the destruction which is in the world through the desires of the flesh” (2 Peter 1:3-4 BBE).

By the power of the Holy Spirit within us, the Lord Jesus Christ Who has raised us from the dead, we keep ourselves unspotted from the world. We have been delivered from the power of corruption that is in the world, because delivered from the sin nature within. No amount of gathering together and trying to form an alternative world can deal with this nature. The new nature does not come by the works of the Law.

These realities are totally foreign to idolaters, who think that their idols will deliver them. The idol and its worshippers are deaf and dumb, knowing nothing!

“What benefit is there in a carved idol when its maker has carved it? What benefit is there in a molded statue, a teacher of lies, when its maker has molded it? The one who formed it trusts himself to make worthless idols that cannot speak. How horrible it will be for the one who says to a piece of wood, Wake up! and to a stone that cannot talk, Get up! Can that thing teach anyone? Just look at it! It’s covered with gold and silver, but there’s absolutely no life in it. The LORD is in His holy temple. All the earth should be silent in His presence” (Habakkuk 2:18-20 GW).

Eugene and Marsha Spriggs have fashioned an idol of communal living in their image. They call it, “The Twelve Tribes.” You have gladly partaken of this idol, because it satisfies your lusts for apparent acceptance, usefulness, companionship, and a form of godliness. In your whoring around for fornicating partners, pleading with them to join you, you practice the kind of love the Lord condemned:

“Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that!” (Matthew 5:46 GNB)

You quote the Scriptures about submission, David. How about submitting to us, the brethren and servants of the Lord who speak the Truth to you? We are the answer to your posed question:

But where can one find a genuine way out of this selfish world and into a world of real love?

The selfish world from which you need deliverance is not without. It is within you. Your deception is thinking that by manipulating the outward, the inward can be changed. The Kingdom does not come as you say, pointing to the Twelve Tribes, “Look here! See what we have!”

“The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen…because the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21 GNB).

Diane, David is wrong in teaching you that the value of Jesus’ sacrifice is known by joining the Twelve Tribes. That is blasphemy no different than the Catholic Church thinking to control access to Christ by the mass, its sacraments, and its priesthood. More subtle perhaps, but no different. The Lord is with us, and we are with Him. He has taken us out of men’s religions and works (read our site; you will see; it is undeniable).

We have been joined to Him without the camp. We have taken up the cross, according to His will and doing, and He has led us to good pasture. We do have a common life, living for God and our brothers and sisters. God’s arm is not shortened that He cannot save at any time or in any place. He is not dependent on fifty years of communal living to make His return to us. God forbid that He would so depend on men’s righteousness and works! He has returned. How could He promise to be with us till the end of the world if He had not?

Stop letting others fill your head with what they think. Know for yourself, and do what you know, from Him and not from those who presume to represent Him or His will. A thousand devils from hell cannot stop God’s grace performing what is necessary for the soul that looks to Him. He is the Almighty God and Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Thankful to know Him, and to declare Him, by His will and grace,


Victor responds:

David, you find no clarity in what we say because it isn’t given to you to understand the things of the Kingdom, just as understanding was not given to the masses but only to the Lord’s disciples, those who believe. You cannot accept our words, and therefore it does not occur to you that the lack is not in clarity but in your comprehension. The reason for the lack on your part is because your eye is not single. Not being single, the darkness is overwhelming. In your case, the darkness is perfect. Why? Because you are a member in particular of the classic consummate harlot, with legs spread wide open for all those who would do the very opposite of what you declare, to indulge in selfish desire. Here is a description of the potential candidate for your invitation (all of Proverbs 7 describes the entire scenario of interaction between prey and predator):

“ As I stood at the window of my house looking out through the shutters, watching the mindless crowd stroll by, I spotted a young man without any sense arriving at the corner of the street where she lived, then turning up the path to her house. It was dusk, the evening coming on, the darkness thickening into night” (Proverbs 7:6-9 MSG).

“Soon she has him eating out of her hand, bewitched by her honeyed speech. Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her, like a calf led to the butcher shop, Like a stag lured into ambush and then shot with an arrow, Like a bird flying into a net not knowing that its flying life is over” (Proverbs 7:21-23 MSG).

And now are you not the whore, David Derush, perpetuating Mystery’s will? Read Mystery to find the very description of your ways.


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