“This looks like a Harry Potter movie but we are in the end times. We are very close to the fulfillment of the Scripture.” These were the words of Saúl Salas talking from Costa Rica through Skype some weeks ago.
Salas was an Adventist for 20 years. Pastor Hugo Gambetta baptized him. Now he belongs to a movement called “The Eternal Truth,” which, expects the Second Coming of Christ to happen on Thursday, October 13.
According to Salas, this movement was founded in Loma Linda in 2008 by Cristian Silva and soon received the strong support from the Argentinean-based Geier family. Spread all over the American continent and present in many countries of Western Europe and even in Japan, they claimed to have baptized tens of thousands mainly coming out of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well some evangelical churches and even some from the Islamic faith. They say, however, that many of them have left the movement already and they believe they should have exactly 7,000 at the time of the Second Coming. Three Adventist pastors, one from Mexico, one from Puerto Rico and one from Spain, have left the church to join them.
After Spectrum's Café Hispano’s conversation with members of this movement and after reviewing some material posted on the Internet, it is easy to believe that they are, at least, a couple of thousand active people.
According to their interpretation of Revelation 17, they all will be gathered sometime soon in the Vatican and be killed because of their opposition to Catholicism. They believe they will be resurrected before the Second Coming, though.
But their most outstanding belief is that the Holy Spirit is not the third person of the “Roman Trinity” but “Christ Himself omnipresent.” The movement has proclaimed this idea with all sorts of advertising in the American continent—even placing ads on national TV and radios—saying “Nor 3, nor 1, but 2. Do not be fooled.”
Apparently, discovering this truth was an eye-opener moment for Ricardo Martínez, an Adventist pastor until last May: “my life experienced a 180º turn. My Christian experience is now more intimate with Jesus through His Holy Spirit, through the Bible.”
In the conversation that Spectrum/Café Hispano held with Salas and some of his fellows, they affirmed that they only use the Bible to back their beliefs. In turn, they backed this same statement with a quote from Ellen White’s book The Great Controversy.
Money does not seem to be a problem for them. Nobody is required to tithe even though some groups have done so in order to help other groups (sometimes even from other countries) to spread the word. Salas and his fellows say it is an horizontal, decentralized movement where everybody uses his own money to promote it. Thus, Salas uses his extra money to burn DVDs and give them away for free while a Chilean married man with two kids who participated in the Skype interview said that he had sold his house and left his job in order to devote himself to preaching the gospel.
Sources from Chile’s Adventist University (UNACH) said that this movement has gained momentum in the country. In this video, the reader can see how “The Eternal Truth’s” message has been proclaimed across the American continent.
In Spain, during last summer’s Pope visit, a group of 20 delivered almost 20,000 DVDs to Catholics, according to Martínez.
New technologies have truly helped to spread the movement and to maintain it. Salas says he is online 24/7, always ready to study the Bible with his fellow believers or to answer our questions. They use Skype or a similar program called Paltak, to connect believers and even hold worship services, for which they have their own hymnal.
Finally, they believe that movement’s founder Cristian Silva was raised by God to prepare the remnant for the Second Coming. Salas describes Silva as a very educated person trained in Loma Linda. Just before we published an extended version of this story in Café Hispano on September the 29th, Salas sent an email saying that in fact Silva had no actual training. “That was my mistake,” Salas wrote. Apparently, this did not make any difference to Salas regarding Silva’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Spectrum/Café Hispano tried to reach Silva over the phone several times without success and left some voice messages. Silva never returned the calls.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3470