John Thiel was raised in the ‘mainstream’ SDA Church.
He received training at Sydney Adventist hospital as a 'Nurse'; he went on to work as a nurse in a psychiatric institution. He often cites this training as qualification for his work in 'going deep into peoples minds'. Allegations Thiel uses mind control techniques such as NLP abound, A source close to Thiel alleges that he received training in NLP whilst a young man in Sydney.
He left the main stream church being convinced at age 21 that the SDA Church was no longer God’s church, and in apostasy. He cites the 'rejection of the 1888 message' as the reason for this stance.
Three years after joining the SDARM , he was called into full-time service as a Bible worker, then as an ordained elder, he served in these capacities for eighteen years.
The position of elder authorised Thiel to perform communion and baptisms. He never attained the position of 'Minister', which in the SDARM would have given him the authority to organise new churches, ordain deacons, elders and ministers, perform marriages, and preside over the disfellowshipment of members.
Thiel stood down from church employment in 1996 due to ‘family difficulties’, although he retained the local church eldership until 1997, at which point he resigned as a church elder.
Thiel's ordination as an elder within the SDARM was later suspended. That suspension was never lifted.
In May 1998 was placed under church censure for
‘matters related to his personal conduct that at that time he had not acknowledged as being wrong, nor expressed apologies for.’
In September 1998, Thiel submitted a letter of resignation from the SDARM, which was accepted in January 1999. An extract from his resignation letter reads thus.
‘My conjugal anomilys (sic) which have been responsible for the whole sad scene of spiritual decline in this church have become worse and my wife and I have come to irreparable marriage shipwreck.’
Thiel left the church and his marriage. He beguiled a section of the SDARM congregation to follow him out, this was after stating in his resignation letter the following.
“There is nothing in me to draw disciples after me; I believe with Apostle Paul that we are not to be of Apollos or of Cephas or of Paul, but of Jesus Christ....”
Shortly after leaving, Thiel began negotiations with the IMS church to have his group accepted under their banner. IMS did not have a presence in Perth at the time, so effectively Thiel's group remained unchanged , was merely rebranded , and left to carry on unmolested.
Thiel was never ordained as either deacon, elder, or minister within the IMS.He was merely recognised as 'church leader' in the capacity of 'lay preacher'. He was not permitted to carry out communion, or baptisms. However he performed both when the group began to slide into rebellion against the IMS, and when challenged, as king Saul before him, he blamed the people for 'making him do it'.
The man responsible for accepting Thiel into the IMS, Jerry Eaton, ignored warnings as to the nature of Thiel. And by accepting him into the fold ultimately caused the near destruction of IMS Australia.
Eventually the nature of Thiel and his group was made manifest to IMS leadership and he was brought under discipline for the very same reasons as he was in the SDARM, that being his relationship with a certain female congregant.
‘They say, John Thiel, He's a womaniser. And I say ,Yes, I'm a womaniser… Why? Because I say yes. That’s me. Yeah. I am. That’s my nature. Wow. John, you’re preaching to us, and you’re a womanizer? It’s been forgiven. . . . I am resting in his mercy not to be a womanizer. I was severely tempted. I thought, That’s it. I’m finished. I can’t preach to anyone anymore.’ (emphasis added) John Thiel
John Thiel now leads his own ‘independent historic’ groups known as the Historic Adventist Sabbath Society (HASS). The church is run on Papal principals with Thiel being supreme head of the autocracy.
He operates as a 'self ordained minister', performing communion and baptisms, and refers to himself as 'minister'. When pushed he will claim that he was 'ordained as minister' in the SDARM, he was ordained as 'Elder', had that position stripped from him, and it was never restored. He also claims that he is 'ordained of the Holy spirit' and cites John the baptist as a holy man who was ordained of God and not the church, this is spurious because the Bible implies that John was a Levite who was under the Nazerite vow from birth.
He accepts tithes and reportedly pays himself the sum of $68000 per anum, although this is unconfirmed. In addition to this certain 'expenses' are met by the church. He is also personally holding physical gold that has been purchased with tithes and offerings.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Thiel now unfettered by the restraining power of Godly men is fully manifesting his spirit.
His sermons largely consist of thinly veiled messages that draw power unto himself. He preaches and teaches that those who reject him are 'lost and swine'.
He exalts himself to the position of Christ claiming that he will be 'Divine', and that as Christ, his nature is both 'Human and Divine', and even claims that he will be 'part of the Godhead'.
He has also subtly claimed to possess the gift of prophecy, claiming to be a 'dreamer of dreams' and receiver of personal instruction from God,
Thiel's career has been characterised by controversy, trouble and division. This trend has continued within his own ministry demonstrating that the problem lies not with the SDA, SDARM or IMS churches but with Thiel himself.