The text on this bookmark was printed in several forms, and distributed so that the thoughts might be frequently imprinted on everyone's minds. What thoughts? Negative thoughts of self-loathing: I am horrible. Missing is the wondrous truth that God loves me as His child anyway. This bookmark is a snapshot of the Assembly's twisted and lopsided teaching on the cross. It is an example of how the Geftakys's misused quotataions from famous authors, giving the impression that their own teaching was in agreement.
Gerhard Tersteegen would not have been pleased to be represented solely by the quotation on Side One. In his life he expressed a deep, mystical awareness of the love of God, which forms the context for the passage quoted here. He was very distressed that sin and self at times dulled his experience of that great love. In one of his poems he says,
He says this in the introduction to his poems:
"In that sweet name of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, the tender and overflowing love of God has made for itself a new way into the very depths of our hearts, and has come unspeakably close to us poor fallen children of Adam...
We have but to let this deep, mysterious, intimate Divine Love lead us out from the cheating pleasures of this world and the tormenting life of egotism; and for this end to give our heart and will captive to this inward Love, that it may become our All in all, and guide us of its free pleasure. Behold this is the whole kernel of the matter."
Notice on Side Two that the very first thing on the list of things to be delivered from is the desire to be loved. But God's whole intention is not to extinguish this desire but to fulfill it in Himself! Betty Geftakys' family has provided some extremely pertinent insights into the roots of her teaching on death to self. The emphasis on self-abnegation on this bookmark is also very Buddhist in its essence: Desire is to be decreased to zero by the Noble Eightfold Path of ego-reduction. It is a program for the transformation of human nature, but it is far removed from the transforming power of the love of God.