Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dave Pack: Ten Years of Making Scripture Mean What It Never Meant

Some Final Thoughts on August 2013 From a Restored State of Mind


I would like to take a moment to refine David C. Pack's view on "Why would God command the rebuilding of the House (i.e. The Temple of the 500's BCE) and not mean NOW?" which to him means during the month of August 2013 and culminating the last Sabbath of that month.

I think we can see that in the course of his meanderings over his role in religion and the role of the Restored Church of God in Ecclesiastical History, Dave has had to make the leap from the ACTUAL meaning of Haggai and the ACTUAL people it was written to THEN, to making it mean what it did not mean THEN to what it must mean NOW.  Review his Screeds 1-25 if you wish to see how this miracle occurred.

Following is key argument  and belief on why God MUST mean THIS August (Elul) and why it all MUST mean it as some vast 2500 year old ultimate fulfillment and meaning of what Haggai could never have understood.  After the huge leap of logic from Haggai's actual time in history to Dave's perceived analogy of the real meaning of it all, you can make Haggai easily mean what it never meant by analogy to many churches, ministers and theological needs of today.  Dave simply has woven his own tale and I suppose actually believes it or he would not risk what is about to come upon his credibility as "one who knows."

I will plainly state that Dave Pack is terribly wrong in how he has looked at Haggai's message to the literal remnant back then.  By his own reasonings of how it must apply to  him, his Restored Church of God and the WCG experience in the Wild World of Religion, the very book of Haggai must apply then and not today unless you just wish to make it one big analogy.  I don't think Dave is dealing with analogies.  But no matter.  The entire Book, including the seeming "Wonderful World Tomorrow" verses which any good COG type would take as Second Coming and Christian Jesus predictive has NOTHING to do with the Church of God views or what thousands of years later became Christianity which had a very bad habit of mining the Old Testament to explain what they wished to express and needed to define in the New Testament. 

 Please get this.

The reason many Old Testament scriptures seem to be so amazingly accurate and predictive of Jesus, his life and death is because the New Testament stories of Jesus and the many proofs of who he was to Christians are mined out of the Old Testament scriptures for the very purpose of telling a story that no one actually or literally knew what or when happened.  The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.(Occam's Razor)  They are not mystical predictions of the distant future.  They were written for the people then, addressing the problems in their culture and lives then and not today. **

For example:

The birth narratives of Jesus were written using the Old Testament to tell the story of Jesus birth which no one actually knew how it came about much less when or where. They were written to address the "then" problem and accusation that Jesus was a bastard and born of fornication. There are four "loose women" in one geneology, Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba and Ruth to send the message that if God could use those women, get off Mary's back.  John 6 thru 8 is a reflection of this rancorous issue.  One would think Sarah, Rebeccah,  Leah, Rachel or Deborah might have gotten a bit more press.

 Matthew never read Luke's story and Luke never read Matthew's.  They cannot be the same story.  "Matthew" is the master of this in his birth story where he quotes and OT passage as proof of his NT story when in fact he used the OT passage to write the NT in the first place..  Not only that but he misquotes and misinterprets (by our standards) the OT to tell that story.  In short, like Dave, "Matthew" (the names were added to anonymous Gospels a hundred years later) makes scripture mean what it never meant. That may be acceptable to some, but it is not to myself and today we would call it fudging the facts and making up tales. Dave is fudging the facts big time and making up tales.  While Matthew did it, he knew he was doing it.  Dave is not in the "I know it is just an analogy and a form of Midrashic writing."  I am sure he does not know what Midrashic Writing is.

On the other end of Jesus life story, Psalm 22 is not predictive of what Jesus would say when he was dying, (It's not talking about Jesus to begin with) but rather was used to tell the story of what the NT authors imagined Jesus would have said dying.  It was a common practice and is also the reason you have great orations in the NT that no one could possibly have written down at the time or at least anywhere near accurately.  "John's" Gospel has Jesus making great speeches from John 13-17 because that is what he imagined Jesus would say doctrinally.  Obviously no other Gospel writer or Paul ever hear of these words of Jesus. 

Ever wonder, with all the disciples sleeping and Jesus alone and a distance away pouring out his private prayer to God over his impending death, exactly who and how someone found out exactly what Jesus said in his mind to God?  It is what a writer imagined Jesus would have said in such a time as that.  It was ok to write stories this way then.  Today, not so much without at least telling the reader what you have done.  If you don't, you end up on Oprah apologizing.

Unwittingly, Dave Pack is doing the same thing.  The difference is that Dave actually sees the Bible and the Book of Haggai speaking of him and it was written to speak of him.  He does not believe he is any analogy nor his position analogous to Joshua the High Priest.  He believes he is the true intended meaning of the old shallow meaning of the original Haggai back then.  The NT writers KNEW they were mining the OT writings to explain their NT Jesus, doctrine and experience. It's what they did when they did not literally know Jesus birth, life or death circumstances. It's why there are so may contradictions in the Gospel accounts and copying of each other's writings.  Matthew is 94% copied from Mark and Luke copies almost half of Mark for his Gospel.  Copying is not eyewitness accounting.  It is not identical experiences.  It is copying.  No Gospel writer ever actually saw anything he was writing about.  No writer says, "And then Jesus and I went to Galilee,"  or "And then as Jesus and I were talking, the Romans showed up really angry and demanding to know which of us was Jesus." 

Dave Pack is also mining the OT to explain his view of himself and RCG but to Dave, IT IS NOT KNOWN TO HIM THAT HE IS DOING THIS. HE REALLY BELIEVES THE OT HAGGAI LITERALLY POINTED TO HWA AND NOW POINTS TO HIM.  This is empty headed theology. This is insane. The Book of Haggai does not and never could point to a Dave Pack of Haggai's future.  It was meant for THEN by Dave's own arguments.  Why would God speak so plainly THEN to THOSE folk of 500 BCE if God did not mean THEN.  Dave's argument for Haggai today is bogus, concocted and addle headed by his own arguments.  As I noted, he can make any analogy he wants, but he is not making an analogy from all that I can tell. 

Notice his core reasonings on this:

 2) Directly related, why (or how) would God command the remnant to “Go…build the House!” (Hag. 1:8)—but not mean NOW? How could He mean some undetermined future year? Why would God tell them (twice) to “consider their ways”—but not mean that they should do this now? Try to imagine God saying, “Consider your ways, but take your time. There’s no hurry. In fact, take years to think it over—even though you have been out of My Church for 20 years! You don’t have to DO anything now.”

3) Also related, if God waited 2,500 years to reveal the prophecy’s meaning (3,000 years when various related much older Psalms are considered), is not His waiting done? Does His revealing it not signal that He has reached the time to fulfill it rather than having reached a point one, two or three years out?

17) Recall Haggai 1:13: “Then spoke Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people…” Haggai is the messenger to God’s people, with what is an all-important message from God. Would not God make clear in such a unique message He describes as “the Lord’s message unto His people” the correct date for action? What kind of message would it be if people did not know WHEN TO CARRY IT OUT?"

But now notice that the actual book of Haggai from start to finish is speaking to them THEN.  So by Dave's proof texting and reasonings, it really did only mean then because why would God tell those folk all that and mean it was all for later, years down the road and not really for them ultimately.  There is NO connecting between the THEN of Haggai and the NOW of Dave Pack.  Analogy maybe. Knock yourself out.  But any whacked out Baptist minister who saw his church falling apart or the Baptist Convention straying from the faith once delivered could also make this a great sermon ANALOGY.  He'd be scorned out of existence if he meant that he was literally the fulfillment of Haggai.  I suppose they don't call it an anal-logy for nothing.  It simply means  and literally so,  "a study of the anus"

A few obvious reads of Haggai meaning THEM not the current WCG/COG debacle and the original Zerubbabel and Joshua and not HWA and Dave Pack.

Haggai 1:

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’”

Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways...
12... Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.
Haggai 2:

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

I know we get so used to seeing the NT in the OT and I have explained why. I know it is so easy to take OT Messianic hopes in the Jewish mode as Second Coming , Jesus hopes in the NT.  It is near impossible for a Church goer today of denomination to understand that Isaiah 53 is not about Jesus.  It is a THEN analogy about Israel and may actually be Isaiah writing about his own impressions of himself trying to get to the Israel of then and his not so warm welcome in doing so. Too much information I know.

So to the point.  Dave Pack arguing that all these things MUST mean HIM and MUST mean NOW because why would God reveal all these things to HIM NOW and not do them NOW, this year, this August, this next week because this date is in the book of Haggai, are MISGUIDED, MISUNDERSTOOD, MISINTERPRETED and MISTAKEN.

One final example.  When the Book of Revelation says,  "To show unto his servants what must soon take place," and "behold I come quickly,"  those were the intent of the author for those folk then under that which they were going through then.  We read those words today as if they were written three days ago instead of to others two thousand years ago for reasons and in circumstances that are not ours today.  It is very easy to read the NT that way and we do it all the time.  It may be a mistake and the reason others have had to add concepts to the scripture and reexplain what "soon" and "shortly" must mean for us today. The apologetic was "for a day with the lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day."  People way back in the day were noticing (not scoffing..that's the authors definition) that things are not working out as advertised.  The author of II Peter accused them of accusing God of slackness concerning promises.  The answer was typical of nice hopes gone south for the time being.  "God does not see as you see."  "There is a way that seems right unto a man but the way thereof ends in death."  "The wisdom of man is foolishness with God." and "My ways are not your ways saith the Eternal."  It's a very common and oft used way of saying "oops, seems not to be unfolding as we had taught."  

The next question will be just how will he handle this?  Will be God be "giving us more time!"  Will there have been wiggle room for "I never said it was me," or "Then it must be next year?"  Dave has reasoned way too much for this year to ever get away with that.  Will it be swept under the rug of proof texting gone haywire?  Will it become "Spiiiiiiritual" as Ron Weinland blamed the folk for misunderstanding?  Will it revert to "I meant it as an analogy!"    Who knows...    But I do know, I really do, and believe with all my unbelieving heart that nothing of what Dave Pack has written about this topic will come to pass as Dave demands that it must.  Dave Pack is not really an Apostle anymore than Bob Thiel is a Prophet or James Malm a Theologian.  These men are unqualified by any standard to tell the who, what, where, when, why and how of theology and all things Bible.  These are men who read nothing outside their own views for consideration and members who consider mere booklets on topics to be the be all and end all of understanding the Bible.  It is sad to me and dangerous for those so inclined.

That wraps up my views of Dave Pack as spoken of through the Prophet Haggai.  Time is short and it remains that those who are entranced and mesmerized by this kind of Church and theological and spiritual leadership wake up and take charge of their own minds in these matters.  The individual life experience and journey is not meant to be one where you give yourself over to see the world and all things it can present to you through the five senses of another.  You don't need to filter your religious world through the eyes of anyone else who you think has more insight and more understanding than you could ever have. 

I have nothing against Dave Pack personally.  Another time, another circumstance and we might be able to actually "reason together," but Dave's reasoning really means agreeing with him which I never could. I wish the RCG/COG "lurkers" here the very best on this whacky journey your are being lead on.  I/We care about you because we have learned to care about ourselves first again after our own experiences.  Time now is short...for Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God.  We are seeing what Ron Weinland's Church and people are doing in response to Ron's personal machinations.  Shortly we shall see what the people of the Pack's reactions will be to his.  I am sorry for the theological lesson the members of RCG are about to learn as if it could not have been learned from others like Ron Weinland, but Earth School is like that...

**Please understand I realize fully that this view of scripture is my own based on my own years of study and considerations of past views.  It is not my intent to offend or confuse anyone on this topic.

Contact Dennis at


Corky said...

Yep...the same as the author of Acts thinking that the prophecy in Joel was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost because some over excited believers spoke in tongues. MAYBE. Because most of the book of Acts was probably written in the second century and the author is writing hearsay, of which he has no first hand knowledge (Luke 1:1-2).

But...he was wrong, it wasn't "the last days" (Acts 2:16-17). They were wrong then, they've been wrong for 2,000 years and they are still wrong today.

Besides all that, it's beginning to look more and more like Jesus of Nazareth never even existed.

DennisCDiehl said...

Correct Corky. Not easy to accept but Acts was someone's attempt to make the Gentile Apostle Paul and the Jewish Jerusalem Apostles closer than they actually were. In Acts Paul is very cooperative with James etc and yet in I Cor he simply refuses to give in to what they said he agreed to in Acts 15.

In reality the Jewish Christians hated the Gentile teaching Paul and the two are not compatible . James was written to counter Paul's anti law stance in Romans.

Let's face it. There is the Sunday School version of the Bible and then there is reality. Most Churches prefer the SS version and I do understand that. It is easier and requires no critical thinking or coming to and dealing with uncomfortable conclusions.

Corky said...

The apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:20, "Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not." So, who said Paul was lying about the things he said in Galatians 1? The writer of the Acts (supposedly Luke) did.

Luke said that Paul was struck blind and led about by hand and was taught the things he must do and was baptized by the disciples at Damascus (Acts 9: 18-19).

Paul said nothing about being struck blind but that he received a revelation from God and Jesus Christ and that he conferred not with flesh and blood but went into Arabia preaching his gospel for 3 years and returned to Damascus (Gal. 1:11-17).

Luke said that Paul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples but they were afraid of him and that Barnabus brought Paul before the apostles. Then Paul was with them (the disciples) going in and coming out at Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-28).

Paul said that he went to Jerusalem after 3 years of preaching his gospel and went to see Peter and stayed with him for 15 days and didn't see any of the other apostles except James. (Gal. 1:18-19).

Luke said that Paul was summoned to Jerusalem about the circumcision dispute and went preaching his gospel to all and then went into private conference with the apostles (Acts 15: 1-5).

Paul said that he went up to Jerusalem by revelation and spoke to the apostles privately (Gal. 2:1-2).

Luke says that the apostles added three things to Paul's gentile converts and instructed that they could learn the rest of the law of Moses by attending the synagogues in every city (Acts 15:19-21).

Paul said that "they added nothing to me" (Gal. 2: 6).

Luke said that Paul was in subjection to the other apostles (Acts 15) Paul said he wasn't (Gal. 2). But, remember that Paul said, "before God, I lie not". No doubt, somebody was lying...

DennisCDiehl said...

all true Corky. Acts and "Luke" are Paul's apologists. Galatians presents a very different view from Paul himself (Only 7 of the books attributed to Paul were written by Paul...long story). Paul says he was called from the womb which only Jesus and Jeremiah to that point could claim. Paul's story of his conversion is not that in Acts. Paul seems to know nothing of the Damascus Road tale.

Paul's amazing sea journey and rescue is probably a retelling of what Josephus said was his own experience. It probably never happened to any real Paul. But "Luke " liked the story

Anonymous said...

Paul was a second Temple period Pharisee and expert Torah scholar and teacher. As we will see, many of his writings even draw from deep, mystical, Hebrew concepts about God.

People reading Paul's letters today face several challenges:

They know little of (Paul's) Pharasaical understanding of Scripture.
They know little of the Hebrew methods of interpretation and teaching that Paul used and which existed since before Paul's time (i.e., PARDES and the Rules of Hillel).
They know little of the deeper mystical aspects of Paul's Hebrew theology. (Many of these will be discussed in our advanced Revelation study.)
The Hebrew concepts Paul tries to convey are not carried over well into the Greek language. (i.e., to convey the idea of "legalistic following of the commandments away from faith," the phrase erga nomos, meaning "works of the Law," had to be "created" as such a concept did not exist in the Greek language at that time.)
As much as Hebrew meaning is lost when Paul's thoughts were put into first century Koine Greek, they are further distorted when translated a second time, into modern English.
In addition to 4 and 5 above, readers today come to Paul's letters with a bias instilled in them by their own theology. (i.e., they are already taught the idea that Paul taught "we're not under the Law" before they even begin "studying" his teachings.)
Peter taught that Paul was hard to understand, and that was before the some of the problems listed above came into being. Peter wrote that there would be those who would twist Paul's words to mean something incorrect. What kind of people would do that? Peter said these are lawless men (2 Peter 3:17). By "lawless," Peter did not mean people who were without Roman law. Lawless, in this religious context (understanding Paul's writings and other Scriptures correctly), refers to being without God's Law - the Torah. Peter is saying that those who twist Paul's writings are those who don't have (know/follow) Torah. They will approach these letters, in (often willful) ignorance, and incorrectly interpret them.

Byker Bob said...

I can see a pastor using Haggai in a sermon as an inspiring story, an example of something God and His people had accomplished in times past. That would be a traditional application of scripture, and who amongst us would not find that to be just a normal Christian occurrence?

The problem here is Dave Pack (Mr. Humility?), is literally writing himself into the Bible, arrogantly making himself into a Biblical character, and then expressing a most unloving exercise of the authority which he believes this has given him. I hate to invoke a word added to our lexicon by the early Puritans, but......"for unlawful carnal knowledge"! Judas Lee Pellicudas! Who would want to make a move in the direction of RCG? The dude is blasphemous. You'd be nervously scanning the sky for lightning!

Only a couple more days left! Any parties???


DennisCDiehl said...

anon said: "Paul was a second Temple period Pharisee and expert Torah scholar and teacher. As we will see, many of his writings even draw from deep, mystical, Hebrew concepts about God."

There would be great disagreement with you on your view of Paul as well. If Paul was a Pharisee, he was unlike any others. His reasonings are no Pharisaic but more like a man who is trying to sound as one who did not make the grade. A Pharisee with Roman Citizenship would be a very suspect Pharisee. Paul may have been more a temple thug doing the bidding of the Sadducees who ran the Temple complex with Roman approval and who the Pharisees hated.

Long story but yours is the apologetic for a Paul that is indeed hard to understand. To me it is not because he was so mystically Hebrew, but because he misused the OT , often misquoted it and hunted and cherry picked what he liked cutting some scriptures off in mid meaning.

And whoever said Paul was hard to understand was not actually Peter as the bppl of Peter is not thought to have actually been written by the Gospel Peter. It was written by someone claiming to be Peter or as we say, a forgery in the name of a much more advanced Church than in Peter's time. I and II Peter were also written to tie Peter and Paul together in a way that was not actually so in any reality.

Besides, 2 Corinthians, also not written by Paul in all likely hood talks about the "simplicity that is in Christ." If this was Paul, how did it go from so simple to so hard to understand?

Also, most of the common population was totally unable to read, much less write so any message of the hard to understand Paul would be lost on most and understood only by the few who either had it read to them or upper class types who could read.
One of the reasons the Galilean fisherman Peter , who probably could not read and certainly not write Greek was not the "Peter" who burst into excellent Greek in the Epistles.

I would suggest Hyam Maccoby's "Paul the Mythmaker" as a start in finding out just who Paul may actually have been and the problem many scholars have with his claims about himself, his training and his background.

Anonymous said...

Act 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men [and] brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, angels or demons, etc.

Your understanding comes from a mix of Armstrongism and Prostestantism. The bible does not contradict, your way of understanding does. You should get the RSV bible with Greek and Hebrew dictionaries and explaining/making references at the bottom of every page where many points are pointed out that are mistranslated or misunderstood.

"When the immediate context of an author is ignored, it is very easy to make allegations of inconsistency and contradiction with other biblical writers. When two writers use similar language but in different contexts, insinuations of error and conflict will surely surface, especially from the pens of those who are seeking to overthrow biblical teaching."

"One of the classic examples of this is found in the repeated assertion by critics that there is a fundamental contradiction between the views of James and Paul on the matter of faith and works. Scholars often assert the contradiction as a given, almost never allowing for any harmonization of the two writers."

When Hebrew/Aramic was translated to Greek then to English...Many misinterpretations were made. We must be careful how we see one single verse and take it out of context. Context is everything.

Law (Torah), ordinances (man's additions to the law-a civil, ceremonial law).

Anonymous said...

"I would suggest Hyam Maccoby's "Paul the Mythmaker" as a start in finding out just who Paul may actually have been and the problem many scholars have with his claims about himself, his training and his background."

NO THANKS! I see where the problem of not understanding the scriptures is coming from! Better to believe some other writings inspired by a man, this is odd to me.

If you are not believing the bible, why quote it at all or comment on it so much?

It amazes me what HWA did to his students/followers, all seem to be very confused with the scriptures that are supposed to be clear and simple.

The word does not change or contradict at all. Read over and over what it is that you believe contradicts. It has happened to me, if I do not understand something, I read again and again and then it becomes clear.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said:

"Your understanding comes from a mix of Armstrongism and Prostestantism"

My understanding comes from 20 years of honest study outside both armstrongism which I never grew up and my Presbyterian background which had I been a Presbyterian Minister, which could have happened had I chosen another real Seminary that accepted me, I probably would have had the same realization that the Bible is not the mystery book from God it is portrayed as.

How about before we continue, you step out from behind "Anonymous" and tell me your current affiliation and where you are going to school? Tis only fair.

If, as you say, the problem lies in the many distortions and mis translations over the years and languages then I rest my case. No real God would let that get in the way. What you are speaking of is plainly a book of human construct which could not be transmitted accurately by a weak and ineffective Deity.

I am agnostic and enjoying the journey. I'd be happy to have the Deity speak face to face as a man and avoid all the middle men. I know..."well you will just before you get tossed in hell." I was thinking of a chat a bit before that so the Deity could get to know me. She'd like me! :)

Anonymous said...

I have no affiliation and no schooling for the bible and am a woman. Where is humbleness? You men are all proud of who you are! Pack, HA, etc. No room for the Maker to work. He does resist the proud, you know! The devil is the god of this world and has distorted a lot that the Father instilled in His prophets. Everything is going according to His plan, it is only a remnant. Don't worry, one day you'll understand.

Anonymous said...

I apologize, it is the RSB BIBLE. Restoration Study Bible by YRM ministries (no affiliation) a single assembly in MO.

Anonymous said...

God can resist the proud. No problem there. I have a tendency to resist the theologically and historically ignorant.