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For Whom Do We Lay Down Our Lives?

During a correspondence about spiritual matters with an email list, Diane asked us:

Aren’t we required to obey? Abraham’s faith led him to leave – Come out of Babylon. Yahshua sets forth the cost of being a disciple in Luke 14:25-34.

Paul replied:

What are you asking, Diane, and how do you relate your question and the Scriptures you cite to what Victor wrote?


Diane wrote back:

Victor’s purpose seems to be to warn alleged disciples- so “they don’t perish but come to repentence” before the Day of the Lord.

Yahshua’s last prayer in John 17 was for unity and His last instruction in a Matt 28 was to make DISCIPLES, BAPTIZING AND TEACHING THEM TO DO ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED. Part of what Yahshua commanded was that they love one another as He loved them (laying down His life for his friends) and he told them the cost of discipleship in Luke 14:25-35. None of the Messianic or Christian churches I have previously attended DO what Yahshua commanded so I left them and became part of the twelve tribes of Israel because they DO DO what Yahshua taught and what the original disciples did- living together in life and unity, sharing all things in common. See Acts 2 and 4. See Please come visit us in Vista or Valley Center and see for yourselves. If you have questions call me @ ———- Sincerely, D’Nah (means judged and vindicated)

YOU ARE INVITED to Please come visit Community in Vista-2683 Foothill Dr, Vista, Ca 92084. See for more info. Love in Yahshua

Paul’s reply:

Hi Diane,

I do not see anything in Luke 14:25-35 about sharing all things in common. When Jesus says that whoever comes to Him must forsake all that he or she has, He was not talking about literally giving everything away or handing it over to Him or His disciples. Consider what happened to Zaccheus. When the Lord came to his house, Zaccheus declared that he would give half of his goods to the poor, and would restore anything taken from others by fraud, fourfold. For this, Jesus declared to him: “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9 EMTV).

So what was Jesus talking about when He said that one must forsake all that he or she has? He also said that whoever comes to Him and does not hate his family, and even his own life, cannot be His disciple. Are there not many families in the Twelve Tribes? How are they fulfilling Jesus’ command to hate their families and their own lives, if you are to take everything so literally?

Diane, these are spiritual matters of the heart. Jesus meant every word He said, and every word He said is true and must be fulfilled according to the reality of the heart and divine revelation, which the Lord provides for each of His sheep. He requires and gives the grace for what is necessary, to make the heart of those He chooses His own.

I have just shown you how salvation can come to one that has not given away all of his goods. On the other hand, a man can give away all that he has, even his body to be burned, and not have the love of God or be His sheep. The Scriptures say so:

“And if I distribute all my possessions to the poor, and give up my body to be burned, but am destitute of love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 WNT).

Wait a second! How does Paul, a believer and apostle no less, have his own possessions to give away, and why would he speak of giving them to the poor and not to the community of believers? Do you not see how your interpretation is contrary to the Scriptures?

What the Holy Spirit is saying by Paul is that even if you do give away all that you have to the poor, you are not necessarily doing it by faith, in obedience (love) towards God. And, by the way, giving all your goods to the Twelve Tribes is not necessarily giving them away without expecting anything in return. You directly and physically profit by those to whom you give, which is not the same as losing all that you have. It is more of a deal, “I give this to get that.”

People who have no profession of Yehoshua do similar things. There is a village for older people that, if you give the overseers your house and goods, they will house and feed you for the rest of your life with other like-minded individuals. Is that salvation? Of course not. Simply adding Yehoshua’s Name to it does not make it different from the Twelve Tribes. In fact, it makes it worse, because it promises something it cannot deliver. Salvation is not in giving up everything to live in community.

Another thing Paul said to the Corinthians:

“What? Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God, and disgrace those who do not have?” (1 Corinthians 11:22 EMTV)

Some believers had their own houses. Paul was not rebuking them for not living communally, or communistically, each having the same allotment. No such command was ever given, and therefore they were not corrected. They were corrected for living selfishly. It is not what one possesses, but what or Whom one serves, in other words, what or Whom possesses you. To the one possessed by God, all things are His, whether rich or poor. Abraham and Job, both rich in goods, belonged to God and served Him. God is after the heart, not the possessions. You are altering the Scriptures, adding something that is not there.

But you could once again point to Acts 2 and 4, to the saints in Jerusalem who had all things in common. Let’s consider what Peter had to say to Ananias and Sapphira when they held back a portion of their goods and lied about it (Acts 5):

“While you had the land, it was your own. After it was sold, you could have done as you pleased with the money. So how could you do a thing like this? You didn’t lie to people but to God!” (Acts 5:4 GW)

They were not forced or required, for their salvation, to give all that they had to the apostles. But if you insist on copying them, why stop short? Go all the way. Move to Jerusalem. Preach to the nations from there, as the apostles did.

It was in Jerusalem that the saints sought the wisdom of God and sent out declaration to the Gentiles of what things God required of them, besides the Ten Commandments:

Acts 15:22-29 EMTV
(22) Then it seemed best to the apostles and the elders, together with the whole church, to send men being chosen from them to Antioch, together with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers.
(23) Writing by their hand these things: The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia who are of the Gentiles: Greetings.
(24) Inasmuch as we have heard that some went out from among us and troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘that you must be circumcised and keep the law’–to whom we gave no such command–
(25) it seemed best to us, having come to be of the same mind, to send men being chosen to you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
(26) men having given over their lives for the sake of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(27) We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also tell you the same things by word of mouth.
(28) For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to put on you no greater burden except for these necessary things:
(29) that you abstain from meat offered to idols, and from blood, and from anything strangled, and from fornication; from which keeping yourselves back, you will do well. Farewell.

These necessary things…” No word of pooling everything and living communally, is there, Diane?

Am I against communal living? No. I have done it. I am telling you what the Scriptures teach. Above all, we are led by the Lord our God, our Shepherd, to lay down our lives by His commandment and power, not our own. All other works are those of which Paul spoke (1 Corinthians 13:3); they do not profit, but vex God and leave you empty. Unless you love and obey Him, as He personally requires of you (read Obedience), all the love you think to give and receive from others is the love of this world, dressed up as God’s. He will have obedience and not sacrifice.

Let me ask you this, Diane: Does your group wish to receive us as servants of God, with a Word from Him? Or are you the only ones with something to share? What will you do with what I have given to you from Him?

Serving the Master, by His will and bidding,


Victor, in a letter to an e-mail list dealing with other matters, writes of Diane:

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.

Diane writes back, apparently not having red Paul’s letter or understood it:

What do you mean, “…her god of communal living and love of Ashtoreth. All are false in her mind.” Didn’t the 1st C. Church have communal living like our communities?

What do you mean by my “love of Ashtoreth”? Isn’t this the fertility goddess that Easter is celebrated for? While we share our possessions in common, the marriages are strictly monogomous and the singles are strictly celibate and the ethical and moral standars impeccable.

What are you alleging is “false in my mind”? Have I ever met you? Where is your edah? With who do you give thanks and praise as a morning and evening sacrifice? Where and with whom do you celebrate the Sabbath?

Where do you live? Have you ever visited one of the communities of the 12 Tribes? I live in the Vista Community. You are welcome to come visit anytime. We would like to have you come fellowship and share anytime….Sincerely, D’Nah (my Hebrew name which means judged and vindicated.

Paul responds:

Hi Diane, Paul here,

Yes, it is the very same goddess, Ashtoreth, which you and the Twelve Tribes serve. Multitudes worship her in the Name of the Lord, not knowing they are bowing to an idol and not God. They are also deceived as they use the Name of Jesus (or some form of Yehshua).

Others serve her under the names of false gods, or they simply serve her by their ways.

What are her ways? She places self-serving man-pleasing as the highest authority to which all are called to bow as the universal truth. You mistakenly believe you have given up all and are selflessly serving the brethren of Christ. Ashtoreth has deceived you, covering reality with apparent works of righteousness and of love, in particular. Yet in her midst there is rebellion and vehement hatred (though in ignorance) towards the One Who is the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Ashtoreth is not about sexual immorality, as you suggest in your letter, though that is a coarser expression of her love, as with the orgies performed by her priests and priestesses of old. Today she has her orgies, but they are mainly spiritual. Her subjects commit fornication by worshiping God in the flesh, gathering together as many as possible, extending their power by and in the arm of man.

For example, the Twelve Tribes, you say, are serving Yeshua. Are you? Have you red my letter and considered what I said? How can you refute the Scriptures and the testimony of God I spoke to you? Be honest; you cannot.

I will now describe how the Twelve Tribes are serving Ashtoreth, the strange woman who entices the simple into her bed. She is also known as the whore of false religion, described in the Book of Proverbs and in the Book of Revelation, among other places. Here is the description from Proverbs 7:

She lies in wait in the streets (v.12).

Are not the Twelve Tribes ever on the lookout for new converts? Setting up coffeehouses or whatever? Surely you are. You use various carnal enticements to find new prospects.

She catches the simple ones, void of understanding, with a kiss and adamant conviction in her rightness (v.13).

You came to us, as have other Twelve Tribers, in a very friendly and open way, “kissing” us with your passion and apparent compassion, yet utterly convinced of, and pursuing, your rightness and goal, not hearing or thinking of anything else, even and especially God Himself.

She comes with peace offerings, and has paid her vows (v.14).

The Twelve Tribers talk peace to potential proselytes, as an offering made in the Name of God. Those partaking in the making of this offering have paid their vows by volunteering all their goods to community as a sacrifice to God.

She diligently seeks, and finds her victims (v.15).

Of all the people on the list that wrote us, no other offered us to come visit them at all, much less “anytime.” I am not commending them in this. There is nothing necessarily wrong with someone inviting us over; it could even be good. But the difference I perceive here is that the others reacting to us heard what we were saying, did not like it, and rejected us, whereas you do not even hear what we were saying. You are single-mindedly focused on finding potential lovers. You are more zealous than they. Perhaps after hearing the Truth your zeal will be turned towards God. I know that if this does not happen now, it surely will eventually. The Truth prevails. “I have overcome the world,” says the Lord Jesus.

She has decked out and perfumed her bed (vs.16-17).

It is this very thing that gives confidence to the Twelve Tribes. You have created the perfect setup according to your own understanding of the Scriptures and the Commandments, so that you are all found, to a person, saying the same thing to potential “bedmates,” “Come check us out and experience our love firsthand.” You have made your place of procreation ready, and you ask others to come taste the delights of it with you, hopefully joining themselves to you as a result. With much coaxing and talk of love, you get your victims to hop into your “bed,” where you find great enjoyment in the act of having them “know” you:

She says, “Come, let us take our pleasure in love till the morning, having joy in love’s delights” (v.18).

That is what Twelve Tribers are saying and doing, in reality, according to the way the Lord sees it, and not as man sees it. The Scriptures are a spiritual Book, speaking of the hidden reality, which men do not see. You see the Bible carnally because your faith and religion are carnal. That is because you are carnal, as are all the unredeemed who are yet in their sins. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is with us, illuminates the darkness by our words in Him, that you might repent of your self-righteousness and the blindness that keeps you bound in sin.

Also note: The Twelve Tribes, like the strange woman who invites men to her bed, uses fornication as a tool to capture souls. You ask people to come “lay with you” before they marry you. Yes, you say: “Come visit, stay with us as long as you like, experience our love and unity, and know what it is you are getting into before making a commitment.” That is not the way of the saints, as recorded in the Book of Acts with which you try to justify your doctrine and ways.


“For the master of the house is away on a long journey: He has taken a bag of money with him; he is coming back at the full moon” (vs.19-20).

The doctrine of the Twelve Tribes teaches that the Master (Yehshua) is away, and will return. He has taken His riches with Him. You are without Light, doing your religious works (lovemaking) in the night. You have even been deceived to think that by your devotion to these works, He will come back. Such confusion! God depending on man’s righteousness, which is lawlessness! You could not have it more backwards. Here is what the Lord said of His coming:

“Yet when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 MKJV)

That is a rhetorical question, which means the answer is both implied and obvious, and it is, “No.” Faith is not something man has within him or can produce. Christ is the Alpha and Omega. You may think you understand, but you do not; your works and speech tell us so.

The saints of God confess that Jesus Christ comes in the flesh. He is here, among us, now. He has been among the saints since His appearing at Pentecost. Paul rebuked the Galatians, who had known Him in the Spirit, for doing the works of the flesh such as the Tribes preach, who have not known Him at all:

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was portrayed publicly among you as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1 EMTV)

Victor and I are crucified with Christ, dead to ourselves, not according to the commandments of men, such as giving away all our things to the Twelve Tribes, but according to the work of the cross of Christ, which He has applied in His wisdom as needed. We can say, with brother Paul (who, by the way, did not ask to be called by his rightful Jewish name of Shaul, as holier than thou, presumptuous law-keepers do with their pretend names):

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 EMTV)

In all their ways, the Twelve Tribes worship Ashtoreth and Baal. I red your website information on Gene Spriggs. You have been following a man who follows his wife. It is confusion. Your confidence is not in the Lord Jesus Christ, but in the flesh, the works of men and your own understanding. It is idolatry. You have made a god of communal living, by which you approve of yourselves and damn others, even if silently and without saying so. You asked what was false in your mind. You see all others who profess Christ outside of the Twelve Tribes as false, because they are not living up to the Lord’s commandment to “give up all [their] possessions to the people of God, to live with them.”

That is the yardstick according to you people, not God. You are, in your false Ashtoreth love and fear of man, afraid to declare it boldly, but you see everyone outside of you as false, insufficient to teach or correct you in the Word of God. You people have set yourselves up as the authority of God, which we have shown you are not.

I have already dealt with the false god of community, and if any can answer me, I await your counter explanation.

In the spirit of this false god, you ask us what our “edah” is; I looked that word up and found it means “group.” What is with the Hebrew? Does it make you more spiritual to say certain things in Hebrew? If so, why not say everything in Hebrew, so you can be totally spiritual? But this is playing at spirituality, using props like children play-acting, Hebrew being one of them. This is not as innocent as with children, though. You present these things to the world as God’s Word and His righteousness, when He has not sent you or done these things. This is what it means to take His Name in vain. In this you break not only one Commandment, but all of Them, as James writes:

“For whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10 EMTV).

You are yet in your sins.

As for our community, it is described as follows:

“On the contrary you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the ever-living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and Church of the first-born, whose names are recorded in Heaven, and to a Judge Who is God of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the negotiator of a new Covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks in more gracious tones than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24 WNT).

We have not physically visited one of the Twelve Tribes, but we have had members of the Twelve Tribes visit and stay with us. We have also visited by e-mail. We are familiar with what kind of water is coming out of your well. We know that what we say to you is true. So do you. Now, what will you do with the Truth? You have not yet been vindicated, but you are being brought into judgment, “D’nah.”

Paul Cohen

Diane asks:

Where do you fellowship? Who are your “brothers” your fellow disciples that you fellowship with and lay down your life for?

Where do you fellowship and with whom? Who are you laying down your life for in love and unity as Yahshua commanded?

Paul answers:


We are laying down our lives, not only for our brethren, but for you, and for David, and for all on this list, and for the many in bondage to men’s works, who resist and fight us as deadly enemies. We do not wrestle with flesh and blood, and you do not resist flesh and blood. You resist the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word that we speak to you by His Spirit.

The Lord calls the Twelve Tribes and the multitudinous religious works of men “the gates of hell.” By His grace and mercy we have laid down our lives in the storming of those gates, to deliver it all up to Him. That is His will, as declared by the apostle Paul:

“As everyone dies because of Adam, so also everyone will be made alive because of Christ. This will happen to each person in his own turn. Christ is the first, then at His coming, those who belong to Him will be made alive. Then the end will come. Christ will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father as He destroys every ruler, authority, and power” (1 Corinthians 15:22-35 GW).

We speak the Truth to you, which alone will make you free. What did you people expect at the Lord’s coming? If He comes with a sword in His mouth, how can you expect Him not to speak judgment? Is not judgment necessary? “Only for others,” you say? The Truth determines that. Let the chips fall where they may. They certainly do. Those who hear and receive us receive the judgment of God to deliverance. Those who insist they are free remain in their bondage and call what we say and do “hateful.” Rather than the sword of God, they choose for themselves the sword of men, which caused them to perish without hope.

John Lamb’s letter is a perfect example of enmity towards the judgment of God. Yes, we hate, as he declares, not God or man, but even the garments of those religious professors of Christ that are spotted with sinful flesh:

“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:23 KJV).

And we speak judgment to you, Diane, in His kindness:

“…and to some be kind, judging thoroughly” (Jude 1:22 YLT).

You cannot reverse engineer the Kingdom of Heaven. You cannot take the Book of Acts, look at what the Lord did there, and recreate it by the strength of human understanding and desire. That is what the Twelve Tribes is doing, and rather than being a pleasing thing to God, it is entirely vexing. He compares man’s righteousness, which is the basis of such works, to used tampons. He does not lie or exaggerate, and neither do we when we cite Him.

We do have fellowship here, and if you would be free to see for yourself, you are welcome to do so. We will not try to get you to join us. Only the Lord can give one faith to join Him:

“Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47 KJV).

We lay down our lives firstly for Him. We do not ask people to lay down their lives for us, such as you do, which is anathema in God’s sight. We are not, God forbid, trying to build a kingdom for ourselves, but we obey the Lord as He brings the Kingdom of God to all men. That is His will, and we are ever so thankful to be at one with Him in it. That is true peace and joy. We declare with the Psalmist:

“Say among the nations, The Lord is King; yes, the world is ordered so that it may not be moved; He will be an upright judge of the peoples. Let the heavens have joy and the earth be glad; let the sea be thundering with all its waters; Let the field be glad, and everything which is in it; yes, let all the trees of the wood be sounding with joy before the Lord, for He is come; He is come to be the Judge of the earth; the earth will be judged in righteousness, and the peoples with unchanging faith” (Psalms 96:10-13 BBE).


Paul Cohen

Victor’s reply:

Hi Diane,

I will answer your question, not because you have an answer coming or because you deserve an answer or because we reply to justify ourselves before men, but for your sake.

Spriggs and his wife (your heroes) can very easily point to millions, yea, hundreds of millions of professing Christians and tens of thousands of nominal Christian groups that have nothing at all to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, those multitudes are playing games, deceiving themselves. No, they are not laying down their lives, having fellowship in the Spirit, discerning the Body of Christ, or loving the brethren. In this, Spriggs, Derush, and you are right.

But you are also very wrong to believe that we are among them; we are not. If you were to read our site, you would know differently. That is why the site is there, to inform you of what we are all about, but you have, in your professed love, ignored it all. That is not love at all, Diane.

You are also prey to the lie that unless you are part of the Twelve Tribes, you are not in the will of God. The very name and concept is antiChrist, antiScriptural, a device of men:

“Concerning the works of men, by the Words of Your lips, I am kept from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4 MKJV).

Jesus said:

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I might take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down from Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment from My Father” (John 10:17-18 MKJV).

If you were to read our testimonies, and so far you have not acknowledged that you have red anything of ours, whether from our site or from our letters, you would know that we have something you do not have. We have faith, with works, demonstrated by works, while you have only works, thinking that therefore you have faith. Catholics and Mormons also do that. So do many others. Many work and “love,” Diane, but few believe. If they believed, they would not be Catholics or Mormons. If you believed, you would not be a Twelve Triber.

Jesus laid down His life not only for those for whom He prayed in John 17, but also for the whole world. He laid down His life for all. Because we have received His Spirit, that same Jesus Christ dwells in us and continues to lay down His life for all by and through us. We love the brethren, first and foremost, with whom the Lord has identified us, but we also love those without, who do not believe, those who are our enemies, including everyone on the Spiller mailing list and the Twelve Tribes, who ignore and even revile us, while they sit in great darkness they call light. That is something of which you also are ignorant because you only lay down your life for those who took you in and shared their persons and goods with you. You only love those who love you, Diane. This kind of love the Lord does not commend (Matthew 5:46).

You are religious and not real. The Lord wants reality.

If you loved us, you would acknowledge the words we speak and the great effort we take to speak to you. We do not take these things lightly because we have come to know and to be sent by Him Who loves all and Who takes none of these things lightly. But you are unable to hear us, or even be willing to hear us, being blinded by your selfish love that serves nobody but Spriggs, Derush, and mainly yourself.

You believe lies because you will not believe the truth. Any salving of the conscience by sacrifice and substitutionary works will do you just fine. Sacrifice, no matter how dramatic or complete, is not the cross of Christ. A pretense of the cross will justify the carnal woman, for the carnal woman, while she is willing to give her body to be burned and to identify with those who also do the same, is not willing to die in identification with the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, being deceived, she insists otherwise.

But you make no effort to speak to us. All you can do is proclaim, invite us to witness your righteousness, and question us because you do not see in your righteousness, which has blinded you. Have you not red what Isaiah says about such?

“But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6 MKJV).


“Therefore judgment is far from us; nor does justice overtake us. We wait for light, but behold, dimness; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes. We stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in deserted places like dead men” (Isaiah 59:9-10 MKJV).

You think to be in company with saints, with true believers, a solitary set in families, but the Lord sees differently. You are a dead woman in a deserted place, where men withdraw together, saying, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me; for I am holier than you.”

Of you and yours, the Lord says:

“These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burns all the day” (Isaiah 65:5 MKJV).

He says you are:

“A people [not solitaries] who without ceasing provoke Me to anger to My face; who sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense on the bricks; a people who remain among the graves, and sleep in the tombs, who eat swine’s flesh, and broth from hateful things in their vessels; who say, Keep to yourself, do not come near me; for I am holier than you. These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burns all the day” (Isaiah 65:3-5 MKJV).

While you spread your legs for us, we lay down our lives for you, our first objection not being to find friends and companions, but to reconcile all people unto God, forsaking friends and social benefit. You have done the very opposite.

Yet even harlots will be redeemed, so great is the love of God. Indeed, He will reconcile all things unto Himself, even as the Scriptures declare:

“And through Him having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven” (Colossians 1:20 MKJV).

Contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, and so thankful that I can fellowship not only with those who are the Lord’s today, but also with those of yesterday; and thankful to do their will as they have laid down their lives for us to do His will,


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