I know that it was at some point in the spring or summer of 2011. I don’t know the exact date. I wasn’t journaling daily at the time. At the time I did not know that I had just discovered a key that would unlock a supertheory of all things. Nevertheless, I was immediately impressed…
By something that had never impressed me before: the structure of the water molecule.
Throughout 2011 I studied and taught mathematics as a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I spent the majority of my free time studying the gospel and prophecy. An inexpressibly hunger for the truth, the deep truth, filled me. My life at the time was becoming more and more committed simply to the discovery of it. I had a GTA stipend, few close friends, no romantic attachments, and a powerful sense that I must find out the precise meaning of “gospel” and “the end of the world.”
In 2011 the Lord gave me the meanings I sought. These meanings were given in the context of studying the truths of the 2520, Daniel 11:40-45, and reform-lines (which I have since come to call candle-lines).
I was given that the water molecule’s structure is a visible explanation of all things, being a reflection of the Gospel Pattern. And I was given the Seal-square in the fall of 2011.
By the end of 2011 a heart burden to leave my chosen life-path of graduate mathematics and to write out the things that I had seen for my family, friends, and home church had become almost overwhelming. But I thought it almost impossible to give up my life dream of a Ph.D. in mathematics (especially since I then had a GTA position at UT which paid all expenses and provided a living-expenses stipend as long as I was a math graduate student). Mercifully, during finals week of the Fall, 2011 semester I found myself unable to study well as I had always done before. A profound mental block was in place, and when I prayed for it to be removed I was faced only with the powerful conviction to write of the Three Angel’s Messages to my teachers on the backs of my in-class finals instead of taking them and then drop out of my program.
Obeying this conviction, I found myself with no job, no home other than my wonderful and generous mother’s, no specific purpose in life other than to begin writing a textbook on the topics of present truth, topics such as the importance of the Spirit of Prophecy, the 2520, Daniel 11:40-45, and Reform-lines. It was wonderful! I moved to mom’s basement, got a part-time job as a community college math tutor, and began writing the book Lines of Truth.
The first five months of 2012 saw the completion of the first draft of Lines of Truth. Each day before writing, I would pray that God would show me how to proceed during that writing session since I was writing not because I was qualified but because I was called.
During the spring and summer of 2012 my bed was a couch in Mom’s basement. At the end of the summer, Mom offered to buy me supplies for a guest cabin on her property if I would build it and move into it as a renter. I accepted this generous offer and completed the cabin (with some help from family) in just a few months. During this same time I was working on an intensive personal study of the book of Daniel. Also during this fall, the Lord gave me the next writing project. I was impressed to write twelve blog-style websites on more advanced present-truth topics (though I did not know exactly websites’ specific content at the time). The Definition – my first website in this series – was completed towards the end of 2012. It presented the foundational meaning of “the gospel” which I had sought while at UT.
Just after completing The Definition I was hired as the Evening Coordinator of the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. This was a wonderful providence as it provided me a middle-class income and much time in the evening hours when things were quiet at the center both to write websites for the Gospel Pattern blog-series and to edit Lines of Truth. By July of 2013, six websites had been completed and the editing process for Lines of Truth was complete. That month, when I looked at the word-count of the book’s manuscript after editing was completed (by myself, others, and a professional editor) and saw the number 144,000 exactly, I knew for certain that the Lord was in the work and that it was my solemn duty to continue studying and writing along the same veins of truth. At this same time, I was convicted that I should make the book freely available on my sixth website instead of publishing it for sale as I had originally planned. When I did so, my spiritual experience drastically changed practically overnight.
It felt as if the Lord left me. I knew this was not really the case, but I was keenly aware that I could no longer write and think as before. Quite unexpectedly a new desire suddenly arose. I wanted a life companion, a wife.
This desire coming into my heart at this point was a huge surprise to me. After leaving an unhelpful relationship back in 2010, I had wanted only the truth and felt that I didn’t need or want more romantic love. The great epiphanies of the fall of 2011 had convinced me that the truth is love fundamentally and that it would be inconsistent to pursue truth without love. Nevertheless, since 2011 I accepted only that marriage may be good for some or most people but that God wanted me to focus all my mental energy on teaching the gospel and prophecy as a single. Publishing Lines of Truth had been a high point in my work and I sensed more than ever my calling to be a gospel teacher. And now I was troubled by the sense that it was not good that I be alone. For days I was troubled by this thought though I did all I could to suppress it.
Finally I confided in my mother. I remember telling her that fateful Sunday, “The Lord has shown me so much about the future of sacred history…details I did not know that it was possible to know. I wish He would just show me one thing about my own future. I wish He would show me clearly whether it is His will that I be married or not. I know I will be content with either if He will only show me clearly.” This was spoken to my mother, and I didn’t even think to directly address this prayer to God. Later that same evening I was at my father’s house helping him clean. At the time for evening worship, I felt the familiar sense I had come to recognize as the Lord drawing near with a special piece of light for me. I remember going into Dad’s bedroom where his books were kept and asking the Lord what it was that he wanted me to see. I then started pawing through books. One soon especially piqued my interested…a huge volume on the history of the Reformation. I opened it up and the page fell open to the story of Martin Luther’s marriage. Interested, I read the story. It told of how Martin Luther had 1) been a monk 2) left monasticism but remained single for a long period believing that marriage was not for someone so engaged in teaching a controversial gospel 3) realized that if marriage was important for the common man, how much more important must it be for the reformer, and 4) met and married a wonderful ex-nun who showed herself to be a faithful and loving helpmate throughout his life. As I finished reading I thought, Wow…the first two parts of Luther’s experience brought out here are just like my experience. Immediately the words sounded in my mind, “What is my answer, Devin?” I knew these words came from the same One who had led me into Dad’s bedroom and who ever calls me to see something special. I knew that if my response to this question was, “Your answer is yes, Lord. Thank you. Please bring me the wife you have for me,” then someday I would surely be married. If I believed the Lord’s clear word to me and accepted his will, then I would be married. Cold chills went up and down my spine as I knew it was my privilege to accept or deny a wife that very evening. I took out my journal after several minutes. I poised before writing, believing that what I was about to write would bring me my wife. I then wrote a prayer of acceptance and gratitude to God and considered myself a married man. I told my parents the experience and they also believed I was a married man. But married to whom?
The rest of the summer and fall of 2013 was spent pursuing and then dating an old friend while taking six hours of graduate credit towards a degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (East Tennessee State University – ETSU). The Lord opened the way for both experiences and led out very clearly. Naturally I speculated that the one I was dating was the one the Lord wanted me to marry. But we were not at all compatible, something I was partially blinded to at the time. Dating my friend was an experience full of wonder, adventure, and also much hurt and pain. We broke up near the end of the year but could not deny that the Lord had worked between us in the relationship. As for the master’s degree I had begun…though comparatively easy, its subject material was uninteresting to me and I pulled out after the semester was complete. The second half of 2013 was spent without any serious work publicly presenting the gospel and prophetic message.
By the beginning of 2014 I was not in graduate school, I was not in a dating relationship, and I was so excited to get back to studying and directly teaching the gospel. With distractions aside I took up the work of writing my seventh website – SDA Foundation. In this website I presented the study of Daniel which I had pursued towards the end of 2012. SDA Foundation was much like my first website in that it presented foundational doctrine as The Definition had. In the spring of 2014 I built a garden in front of my cabin. The fall of 2014 saw the completion and publishing of two papers, “That Certain” and “Candlesystem,” which presented a broad yet succinct overview of the very heart of truth that I had first understood back in the fall of 2011. The writing of these papers to me was clearly an especially related experience to the writing of Lines of Truth. Both papers are published on my eighth website. Overall, 2014 was the year the Lord gave me opportunity, strength, and grace to finally share with the leadership of my church what I had come to believe. I wanted so badly for my whole church to have access and encouragement to consider the glorious new wine available now here at the end of the world. Sadly, it seemed the church leadership studied to see why I was wrong instead of studying to see if I was wrong. In the end they declared that I was in error and was not allowed to teach such things in the church even though they did not personally give a specific Biblical case against any of the topics I brought to the table (even after many meetings and hours of study and discussion). I came away from the experience feeling more than ever before that arguments for the truths we had considered together were unanswerable. It seemed to me that the church leadership came away from the experience feeling confused over how the Lord could let such a passionate and sincere young man get so hopelessly deluded. Most of the videos I made for and presented to the church leadership in 2014 may be viewed on my eighth website. Another key thread of experience during 2014 was the relationship with my (ex)girlfriend of the prior fall. Our dating had ended but our relationship had changed little. Throughout 2014, the drama and pain only increased. I loved her greatly and truly believed that God had led us together (I still believe He had). I prayed for her much. I strongly suspected the Lord wanted marriage for us. She was not sure she loved and liked me enough, but seemed to half or fully believe me, sometimes or perhaps many times, when I said the Lord wanted marriage for us. What a glorious mess it was! So much I learned, and I am so thankful for the experience but want never to repeat it. The last half of 2014 and first month of 2015 were the death-throws of a friendship+chemistry many years old. I still respect her and am so thankful for what the Lord taught me in the relationship, but she and I both understand that things will never be the same as when we were just friends.
Near the end of 2014 I moved to Kingsport. I was tired of the long commute to work. In the first month of 2015 I re-entered the graduate program in Educational Leadership. During that spring semester, the Lord gave me very special light paralleling the light he had shown me in the fall of 2011. He also introduced me to the beautiful one who is now my lover and companion accepting ever to be my helpmate. After the spring semester, my love and I had peace in deciding not to have me continue with the graduate program. By the end of June, 2015 the twelfth and final website in the Gospel Pattern’s blog-series was complete.
Please consider the visual overview of the story by clicking the link below (use the zoom tool on the PDF viewer to read the slide)
The mighty Pattern I love and in whom I love may be called by the words “Fear God,” “give glory to Him,” “His judgement come,” “and Worship Him” in that order. When this Pattern is revealed in a history, that history is a sacred history. That history is a true love story. There is a perfectly consistent way the Pattern is ever revealed in history. The depiction of this way of historical Pattern-revelation has for decades been called the reform-line. Because of recent discoveries, I now call it the candle-line.
The candle-line is a perspective of a history which emphasizes the different phases and turning points of that history. A story seen as a candle-line presents seven consecutive periods separated by exceptional events or turning points called waymarks. Four lamp periods are separated from each other by three space periods in a candle-line. The lamp periods are especially bright phases of the candle-line for the story’s main characters. The space periods develop the main characters preparing them for upcoming lamp periods.
The experience of a Bible student reading straight through the Bible cover-to-cover is a wonderful example of a candle-line. Such a student would first read the five books of the Pentateuch which especially highlight the dreadful, awesome side of God (“Fear God”). This period of reading would naturally be the first lamp-period of the overall reading experience. A less intensive (space) period of reading would follow – the historical books. Then for the five wisdom books (“Give glory to Him”), a second lamp period in the overall read-through. Continuing forward the Bible student would read the books of prophecy. Next, the third lamp period – the five books of New Testament history. The gospels especially correspond with the expression “His judgment come,” for not only was the darkness of the world exposed by the personal presence of Light Himself (John 3:19-20), but more importantly, the whole world’s sin was judged in the body of Christ on the cross of Calvary (2Cor 5:21, John 12:31). Passing through the epistles, the Bible student would finally reach the fourth lamp period, the reading of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (“and worship Him”).
I see that my experience since beginning the mathematics graduate program at UT (when I gave my life fully to the Lord) has been a candle-line, praise the Lord! I have passed through three periods of graduate studies separated by two space periods. I am now in the third space period (and have been since May, 2015) awaiting with great anticipation the fourth and final lamp period of my graduate school experience.
I am currently in the same position with the love of my life. She and I have experienced a candle-line together, a candle-line beginning when we first met. We have been through three intensive relationship periods separated by two less intensive periods. The three lamp periods of our love story are as follows. First, the period of “just friends” climaxing with us entering into a covenant to date each other under certain stated boundaries. Second, the period of her parents’ visit to the US during which Astrid and I became publicly engaged. Third, the period of legal marriage. On September 4, a judge married us in a civil ceremony attended by my parents and brothers. Our third lamp period ended a week after our marriage on the day a very providential sermon on marriage was preached at a church Astrid and I just happened to be attending that Sabbath. Astrid and I are now in the third space period of our courtship candle-line awaiting the fourth intensive period which we expect to be a period including our second wedding and honeymoon at the end of this year.
And so it is that now, after only seven months of knowing Astrid, I have perfect confidence that she and I came to love each other and committed our lives together in the pattern, the name of the Lord.
I love the Pattern, the man Jesus Christ, and I love the one He has given me. Jesus has brought Astrid and I together in himself and made us with Him the two witnesses or three of a godly marriage. Here is the great empowerment of the gospel pattern theory in my life. The three of us are going somewhere amazing together. Multiple similar stories are concluding. New beginnings await. I am so happy, excited, and humbled. Praise God!
Please take the time to carefully consider Astrid’s and my first gospel presentation made as two witnesses for the web. (You will need to pause the video on almost every slide in order to dig deeply into this presentation. Its design invites audience participation, personal study, and review.)
Finished and posted on September 23, 2015.