As the worldwide Church of God was melting down in the late 1990's many Church of God members jumped ship to join the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movement. These expatriates had watched as Flurry, Meredith and United being formed and were totally disgusted by the way these groups went about starting their own churches. Many of these people were particularly disgusted by the men that connived and schemed behind the scenes, while still employed by the WCG, as they plotted to start United Church of God.
Because the Sabbath was so entrenched and forced upon people in the WCG, many thought they could not worship God in any other way than attending a Sabbath keeping group. So off to more law based beliefs systems they went. Quit a few COG members joined up with the Passion for Truth group.
Yesterday the Passion for Truth leader made news. It was in so many ways typical of the COG. Here was another leader, claiming to be God's true leader, preaching the only truth while he was screwing people over in the background.
The leader of the group, Jim Staley, was found guilty of fraud in taking 3.5 million dollars and giving himself a commission off that amount of $570,000.00. He is due to be sentenced in July to 3-8 years.
A June 25, 2014, release from the FBI highlighted the grave details of the indictment.
"James Staley was indicted for his alleged scheme to defraud investors by making false promises of high rates of return and minimal risk. The indictment states that Staley defrauded 11 investors/lenders by causing them to invest over $3.4 million, giving him commissions totaling over $570,000," it said.
In 2007, according to the indictment, Staley operated Wealth Financial International, the same year he started his church and the same year he became a sales agent for a premium financing company in California called B & B Equity. Staley, in his capacity as sales agent, found people to provide loans for life insurance policies.
"In many instances, several of these investor/lenders' funds were bundled together to provide financing to purchase one life insurance policy. Staley received a commission for each investor/lender that he found to contribute financing for the purchasing of the life insurance policies.
Staley has ties to another group that Church of God members also flock to, 119 Ministries. I had a small blurb on the 119 Ministries back in 2013 and how it was attracting a lot of Armstrongites to it. See: 119 Ministries: Attracting Armstrongites That Need The Law.
Another curious side note to these two groups and the Armstrongites they attract is that these guys also publicize their works on World Net Daily, an uber-conservative Christian focused "news" site. One of the top contributors on that site recently released a book that dealt with prophecy and end times stories that sounded like it came right out of Herbert Armstrong's literature....which it did. Many Church of God members look to World Net Daily as a legitimate news source. Some splinter group leaders even quote from it in their writings. (See Living Armstrongism: PCG's Reliance On WorldNetDaily)
Staley's criminal behavior has not discouraged his followers. They are turning a blind eye to the man's criminal behavior and are throwing their unending support behind him. Much like those entrenched in Armtrongism deny anything ever was wrong with the church or its leaders to this very day.
- Just finished watching the service. All I can say is, WOW! What a congregation. You will get through this. Pastor Jim Staley your testimony of faith in trials will make more believers than you know. You will be in my prayers way down here in deep south Texas. I am sure YHVH has huge plans for you wherever He takes you. Stay faithful For HE is God.
- Romans 3:23 We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. But... 1 John 1:9 if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We stand behind you Pastor Jim and family, because you are willing to confess any shortcomings and pay for them if necessary.
- You and your family are in our prays. Father is protecting you with the blood of Yhashua and the enemy can not touch you. Shalom brother
Read more about Jim Staley's conviction here: