Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why the Two Witnesses Will NOT Come From A Church of God

With the recent release of imprisoned Church of God felon Ron Weinland who claims he and his wife are the two witnesses of Revelation, and the other false prophets of Armstrongism, Yisrayl Hawkins, Gerald Flurry, Bob Thiel, James Malm, and Dave Pack,  who have made outlandish unfounded claims about themselves, I thought it was appropriate today that the following article popped up in my news feed today.  Every single one of these men have self appointed themselves to their so-called prophetic positions.  God has had nothing to do with it, and certainly has nothing to do with any of them as spiritual leaders, regardless of how much they pontificate.

The Two Witnesses of Revelation - They're Everywhere, They're Everywhere
In my 26-year experience as a Pastor, I had managed to meet 23 of the Two Witnesses of Revelation. I am tempted to say 11 pairs and one who thought he was both, but that's not how it really was. Every one of these was a lone male, sometimes a pastor, sometimes a member, often times a lone religious renegade that no church would claim. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the Two Witnesses, these are the two final humans, but some say they will be the literally resurrected Moses and Elijah, Moses and Aaron, or Amos and Andy depending,, who will tell all of us on the earth why the end has come. 
As the Bible says, "This Gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached to all the world, and then shall the INCOME, oops sorry, end come." The competition among those Pastors and Apostles that are hoping to win the title and at times behave more like competing to be Larry, Moe and Curly, but that would be Three Witnesses, will probably be more astounding than any Two Witnesses of Revelation. The description is found here in Revelation 11. 
REVELATION 11:3 "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (NKJV) 
While I personally feel that the chance of any two human beings being taken seriously in this role is about nil, it is none-the-less a very big part of the prophetic hopes of many literalists, especially those in what have become the remaining splinters of the now defunct Worldwide Church of God. It still exists, but it just doesn't know it has become irrelevant and uninfluential in the world of theology and religion. Tis more like a glorified Sunday School than a Church, but I spare you. The Two Witnesses would never come from the Worldwide Church of God because yelling, "woe unto you, we don't know the answer to that either, be warmed and filled..." etc, is just not a credible message these days and certainly not scary enough. The kind Jesus of the Gospels gets lost somewhere between John and Revelation as well. Angry books make angry churches.
However, even if there were ever such a modern day thing as the Two Witnesses, here is why it would not work. No two human males in the entire Church of God menagerie of splits, splinters, slivers and dust mites could ever get along long enough to come up with the same coherent message. Frankly, they would smite each other before they ever smote you and I. 
The Book of Revelation, which probably is not near as up to date for today as most think, nor written with the events of today in mind as many are taught requires the Two Witnesses to get along and agree with each other for a time of 1260 days or about three and half years. No way! I have yet to meet any two of the Church of God ministers, especially the Lone Rangers of "My Church is the one true church," mentality to be able to agree on anything or get along for much more than a few hours, if that. This is way short of the time these two men will have to live, eat and agree together on the next day's rants against the people. Let me illustrate what I mean. 
Ronald Weinland was a minister in the WCG, then a minister in the United Church of God (UCG), but a number of years ago declared himself a prophet--(even though I prefer the idea that Churches be NON-PROPHET) he did that many years after the Philadelphia Church of God's Gerald Flurry did the same. Both of these minister types were Worldwide Church of God pastors before the crash. Both went on to start their own one man shows. In an email inquiry of Mr. Weinland, by Dr. Robert Thiel of the Living Church of God, as to whether or not he claims to be one of the Two Witnesses, Mr. Weinland replies: 
"Yes I do make the claim. I am one of the witnesses. The subject is already covered in sermons on our website and will be covered far more thoroughly in a new book that will be out before next Feast of Tabernacles. 
So we have that settled. We have the first of the Two Witnesses, even though he was never on my original list of 23. So now we have 24. Hey nice! That's the same number of Elders around the throne of the Son, or the hours in the day around the SUN, whatever you like!" 
Next enter David C. Pack, founder and sole authority in the Restored Church of God, also a sliver offshoot of Christianity. While Mr. Pack has never said that that he is one of the Two Witnesses, he has said in sermons that they will come out of the Restored Church of God, come UNDER his supervision as Witnesses are not higher than Apostles, of which he is one, and that HE will train them for their 3.5 year assault on the world. 
Pretty cool stuff to spend your life planning I think! 
At any rate, Dr. Thiel goes on to note: 
"There is a rumor going around, which I never posted, that Ronald Weinland claims that David Pack is the other of the two witnesses. This is not true. When I asked him, I received the following response: 'No I haven't said such a thing about Dave. We are not going in the same direction.' 
I did post the above response so that those interested in the truth would realize that the rumor was false. I do have a concern that now that this rumor is out and now that Ronald Weinland claims to be one of the two witnesses, that it would not surprise me if one who has taken titles to himself (Gerald Flurry comes to mind) may decide they need to claim to be one of the two witnesses." 
So now we have problems. There are my 23 of the Two Witnesses, Gerald Flurry of the Philidelphia Church of God...maybe in time, Ron Weinland for sure and the two, yet to be announced in the Restored Church of God under Dave Pack. Let's see, 23+1+1+2=27 Two Witnesses. And these are just the ones I know of. Perhaps there is significance in 3×3x3 Witnesses, but I don't know what it might be so forget that. 
Ok, but here is the problem even bigger than too many of them. 
"5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (NKJV) 
Of course people are going to want to harm these guys. At least if they are
the ones mentioned. And with that much firepower, well they say way too much
now in Church that can't be backed up with reality, so someone is going to get burned. Letting them smite us all "as often as they desire," is just going way overboard on God's part. I think some of the smitting could degenerate into a bad case of "oh yeah...blam," "oh yeah...bash," "Oh yeah...crunch." A Way too human a way of getting everyone's attention. Personally I think, with the bad record churches and men have for being false prophets and witnesses and just plain looney, I would prefer that God just call a weekend seminar, serve nice food, and personally explain to all of us just what seems to be the problem. I respond better to that kind of thing rather than having people I don't trust in the least think they can smite me at will for not believing them personally. I still feel that when we speak to God, it can be called prayer, but when God speaks to us, we might need medication and not a following... But the real problem and the real reason we don't have to worry about the Two Witnesses coming out of the Church of God movements that have sprung from the demise of the Worldwide Church of God is best summed up in the observation by Mr. Weinland himself. 
"'No I haven't said such a thing about Dave. We are not going in the same direction.'"
This is our salvation! The fact is that no two men in any of these groups can get along for even a minute is the key that unlocks the truth of Revelation on this topic! Mr. Weinland can't abide Mr. Pack. Mr. Pack won't credential Mr. Weinland or Mr. Flurry. Mr. Flurry can't stand Mr. Pack and doesn't know Mr. Weinland and my personal list of 23 all agree that no way are these new guys invited into the final contestants for the job! Can two walk together unless they be agreed? The answer is no, so in no way will any of these guys be the Two Witnesses for 3.5 seconds, much less years. 
Now Mr. Pack insists that he will select the Two Witnesses and train them out of his own Church. I doubt that because Mr. Pack so loves titles, "The Watcher", "End Time Apostle"' "Mr." etc, that I am sure he'll want to be, hmmm...both of the Two Witnesses himself. There is more control over what is said, less overhead and less dispute over who is the chief smiter, firebreather, plague giver, blood maker and drought causer. 
Somewhere and somehow, Mr. Pack will find a way to give a four to eight hour sermon on how the Greek word for "two" is really the word for "twoo" as in "true" and Witnesses is really supposed to be singular. It is the Twoo Witness, which of course, will be Mr. Pack. 
The good thing will be that if the others oppose this, he can incinerate them with the word of his mouth and plague 'em. Well maybe not in that order. Well anyway, won't happen in reality. 
So relax everyone! Since no two male ministers of the same group or Church of God, and certainly no two in opposing groups can get along long enough to remotely fulfill the 3.5 years the Two Witnesses of Revelation will have to work together, we are all safe! Any two from this bunch will plague, drought, smite and incinerate EACH OTHER long before the sun goes down on the first day of their prophecy!  Dennis Diehl 2006

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/348380


Connie Schmidt said...

Weinland, Yisrayl Hawkins, Gerald Flurry, Bob Thiel, James Malm, and Dave Pack in competition to be one of the TWO WITNESSES!

Would love to see them in a CNN Republican Debate type style. Insulting each other, putting each other down, talking over each other, dodging the moderators questions.

Would be more fun than watching a WWF wrestling event!

NO2HWA said...

But the winner would be Bob Thiel. He has been doubly blessed, don't forget.

Anonymous said...

I know who the two are.Just send me your donations and tithes and all will be revealed.Big donations please,I need a new Lexus.A Porsche would be nice too.No make that a Rolls.Yes madness does indeed afflict mankind.A quick glance into the Cog's will remove any doubt.They have turned wine into water,instead of a gospel of grace and love , men have inslaved men again.

itstimecog said...

Yes NO2HWA, Mrs. Thiel's boy Bob has my vote too. He comes out with the most hilarious non-sense imaginable. If memory serves, he has "those in Judea" fleeing through the newly created valley formed when the Mount of Olives is split at Christ's return.
He needs to work on his chronology a bit as those who flee, do so at the start of the Great Tribulation and the Mount of Olives is divided 3.5 years later.
Convenient how they all like to ignore the verses just prior to the introduction of the two witnesses. That being the judgment on the church, its ministry and laity alike (Rev.1:1).
John is the one chosen to perform that judgment, so, in order to determine the outcome of his judgment, we need only compare his epistles to the actual events/practices of the church, ministry and laity today.
Needless to say, they don't make it. I might add that the Book of Revelation was also written by John, which of course, includes the condemnation of the Laodiceans.
The rewards of that judgment are carried out in the first 30 days of the Great Tribulation then in chronological order, the two witnesses start.
They're are the only ones charged with taking the gospel to the world. Remember, the Apostles were charged with taking it to the tribes, and the witnesses are to take it to the gentile nations.
There is just so much more on this but suffice it to say, Christ tells us through that judgment, that not one of them makes it.
Here is an example that confirms their demise: 1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

A few from Matthew add to the judgment.
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The scribes and Pharisees adhere to the Levitical law of the tithing system. Sound familiar?
This one really does the final touches: Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Miller Jones said...

Let's imagine for just a moment that the book of Revelation was written in symbolic/metaphorical language (don't laugh, it's possible). If that were the case, then it would at least be plausible that the Two Witnesses could be something other than two flesh and blood humans.
Sorry, I lost my head for just a moment. We all know that the book was composed in clear and straightforward language and should always be interpreted/understood literally.

Anonymous said...

This article was written by Dennis Diehl back around 2007.

NO2HWA said...

Actually it was written in 2006.

Byker Bob said...

I would definitely recommend a book which I read about ten years ago: "The Rapture Exposed" by Barbara Rossing. Yes, the title uses the word "rapture" and exposes the rapture industry, but the real topic is prophecy, so while debunking the rapture, it also shreds the Armstrong false prophecy mold. The "doctrine"'of the rapture had its beginnings in the 1830s, and was base on an alleged "vision" experienced by a young girl in Glasgow, Scotland. This was interpreted and amplified by a dispensationalist named John Nelson Darby, and became the rapture theory. While William Miller was setting dates, John Darby was popularizing the rapture in his evangelistic campaigns, some of which gained many converts in the USA. The book of Daniel (Dan. 9:25-27) outlines a 70 week prophecy for Israel, supposedly with 69 of the 70 weeks having been fulfilled by the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. The final 70th week was suddenly suspended, and has allegedly remained suspended for the past 2,000 years. (Yet another gap, not unlike the one supposedly between the time of Abraham and the blessings to America). Darby compiled a dispensationalist chart based on this prophecy, and theologians immediately began plotting the sequence of the end times. Revelation nowhere mentions a 7 year tribulation. The dispensationalists read the final week of Daniel's prophecy into the sequence of events found in Revelation 6 thru 9 to get their 7 year tribulation.

Scholars have noted that Revelation stands in stark contrast to the rest of the New Testament. The early Antenicene fathers had their reservations as to its authenticity as well. It seems more consistent with the concepts of the Jews of Jesus' time, who rejected the "suffering messiah" who was actually present with them because they were expecting a conquering messiah who would liberate them from the Romans and vindicate their beliefs. At any rate, Revelation just barely made it into the canon, and it is not certain whether John the Apostle was John of Patmos.

This is just a brief, apetite-whetting synopsis. Anyone who has interest in the end times, or has doubts that maybe HWA was right should read the entire book. A lot of information was left out of our old sabbath sermons back in the day. HWA obviously borrowed heavily from the dispensationalists, and modified their theories, making them his own. Reading this book will provide more substantive answers as to why 1975 failed, and continues to fail in spite of the continuous date revisions preached by the splinters.


Anonymous said...

This article assumes that the Two Witnesses will be experienced ministers. This is an assumption. The Pharisees were guilty of group think and rejected God, like many ministers today. That is, the Two Witnesses might be of a different mold to the typical minister. They would have to be good speakers, so school teachers come to mind. Looking at history, great leaders often came out of nowhere. The two Witnesses could be 'nobodies' in the churches today.

itstimecog said...

Your right BB, no where in scripture is there any other Great Tribulation time span mentioned other then 3.5 years.

There are only two types of books in this world, those inspired by God and those inspired by man.

As the saying goes, if you live like there is no God, you had better be right.
Just imagine where we would be if we put in even half the effort of proving God is right instead of constantly trying to prove Him wrong.

All of the organizations in Christendom twist and warp scripture to suit themselves, is it any wonder then that there is such skepticism?
Throw out that garbage as it only creates confusion.
If I told you that the hell theory flies in the face of God's doctrine of the resurrection, would you believe it?
If I told you that everyone gets resurrected, judged, found "justified" (innocent), would you believe it?
If I told you that you're destined to live another 100 plus years once resurrected, would you believe it?
Those things are easily proven in scripture but how many actually have an interest in confirming it?
It's far more fascinating and image building to rattle around in the cesspool of confusion and discord.
Shame on us.

itstimecog said...

Anon 11:23, you nailed it right on the head. The two witnesses are not in any of the churches today.
Their identities are unknown and won't be known until the time they are appointed.
They are given that role once the Great Tribulation starts.
Can you imagine anyone that foists such garbage as we see in all of the WCG/splinter groups, being given such responsibility?
I dare say that many members of this blog stand a far better chance of such an appointment simply because they actively fight against the evils portrayed in Christendom.
Use the Apostles as examples. All men of conviction that took no lip, never stood for any non-sense.
Well done Anon 11:23

Steve D said...

Was the rapture theory started by Darby or was the theory a long neglected one that he rediscovered and promoted? After all, didn't Luther "rediscover" long neglected teachings, (Scripture along, grace alone, faith alone, etc.)? Luther can't be accused of inventing these teachings anymore than Darby could be given credit for creating the rapture teaching. Miller Jones suggests that the two witnesses may not be human. Good idea. Doesn't Rev. 14:6 show that angels can preach the gospel? Here's another thought: What about those who never heard the Gospel? Are they condemned for eternity? When Lazarus died, an angel was there to escort him to Paradise. Rev 14 says that angels will preach the Gospel. Might it be that everyone hears the Gospel, either from man or an angel at the time of death? Just speculating here.

itstimecog said...

Hi Steve, the rapture theory is simply that, a theory, invented by self-righteous men.
Always gauge what you're told by this verse: 1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Not one of those proclaiming that theory, keep the commandments thereby branding them as liars.
God always uses human reps as man can relate only to the physical. For example, lets just take a fast look at these two verses: Rev 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
Rev 8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
The angel sounding is simply a way of saying the directive assigned to that angel was being carried out.
While we won't see or hear the angel, we will see the super volcano erupting and the massive tsunami causing the effects depicted in those verses.
We can also know that it happens on the Day of Atonement as verses 3 and 4 describe the spiritual aspects of what occurs on that day through the physical priesthood.
What you read in Rev. 14 of the angels making those proclamations, they are actually verbalized by the two witnesses.
This is what happens at death: Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Your intellect or human spirit goes back to God where it rests until you're resurrected. After which, you will have your mind opened to the gospel as it is preached to you.
Nothing complex about any of that is there?
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Once, when shopping, I sneezed and 3 people said, "God bless you!"

Does that mean I am triply blessed?

(Or does it simply mean I was suffering from allergies and there were well-meaning people near me at Target?)

Heck, I could spin this into God "Targeting" me with TRIPLE blessings!

Connie Schmidt said...

The "Rupture Theory" is an "ABDOMINAL-ATION" ! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Two witnesses. lol

Anonymous said...

"I would prefer that God just call a weekend seminar, serve nice food, and personally explain to all of us just what seems to be the problem. I respond better to that kind of thing rather than having people I don't trust in the least think they can smite me at will for not believing them personally. I still feel that when we speak to God, it can be called prayer, but when God speaks to us, we might need medication and not a following..."

Amen, brother!

Byker Bob said...

Darby the originator? Or the one who revived it? Frankly, I can't answer that question, Steve. He is certainly credited with being an originator, although in the field of religion, plagiarism is not taken as seriously as it is in academia. If one theologian plagiarizes another, generally someone becomes glad that one more person is "spreading the gospel". In Darby's case, his teachings are linked to an event, which was the young lady's vision. And as stated earlier, other theologians immediately embraced it, compiling charts of the end time events. Frankly, the rapture theory was irrelevant to me in terms of what Barbara Rossing's book made plain to me. Whether we are discussing a rapture, or a place of safety, huge Hislop-like leaps were made between the prophecies in the book of Daniel, and the book of Revelation, leaps that were probably not anticipated by the writers of either book. But, this came to us from sources that thought that conspiracy theories were a logically sound method of "proving all things".

Armstrong theology presumes that God would not work with or reveal His truth to people who don't teach and keep "the commandments". This is a thinly couched euphemism for people who don't keep the sabbath in the manner that was prescribed in the old testament. They unfairly rule out the people who realize and teach that all of the commandments were spirituallly expanded as a result of the work and sacrifice of Jesus Christ (fulfilling all of the commandments) and that the Christian sabbath is in reality resting from the formerly sinful life, in effect making every day of life the Christian's sabbath rest. We know by the prophecy failures, and the bad fruits we've been discussing around here just over the past week, that Armstrongite sabbath keepers have no corner on receiving special information from God. In fact, quite the opposite would appear to be true. And, in fairness, neither group has a particularly stellar record with prophecy, which suggests that perhaps it is better to just concentrate on Christian living, and let God do whatever He is going to do in His own time.

Armstrongism cannot be reformed, or purified. Too many bad fibers were woven into the fabric, and support the rest of the garment. You can't remove these fibers and have the garment remain intact. The doctrines are what corrupts the leaders, not just an accidental misadventure with probability. It is what hapoens when you contaminate a new covenant with picked and chosen elements from the old. And you can't redeem false prophecy by continually plugging in new numbers or claiming that God didn't grant complete understanding. What prophet in the Bible had to offer such excuses?


Anonymous said...

Ok, I just read over at Bob Thiel's kooky site.

What a hoot! What a nutcase he is! Not to mention what a self-deluded liar he is!

Funny how he has no problem accusing others of being "deluded" while setting himself up for the position of being one of the COG's "Most Crazy and Deluded of ALL"!

He's beyond nuts. He's taken being a "COG nut" to a whole new level of craziness.
Hopefully, he'll find comfort in his brain after being taken away in a straight-jacket and being administered proper medication regularly.

Maybe the staff at the 'crazy hospital ward' can put pieces of his crooked furniture in his room to make him feel more at home and become more docile.

Plus, they should block his window's view of Easter egg hunts, people reading Banned, Christmas Santas, and anything pork-related, so he doesn't melt down and go totally nuts again.

Obviously, he needs to be treated gently and carefully to help protect those around him. I've sent a warning to law enforcement near him.

Anonymous said...

From a Bible student. To my understanding the Two Witnesses will be because of the Tabernacle yet to be setup on the Mt Zion part of the City of David, opposite of the Mount of Olives, because of what Christ said in the Olivet Prophecy in Mark 13:3,11. the Two witnesses are a Biblical precedent of Bezaleel and Aholiab. They are not known today, because the time is not yet right. The beast and false prophet will be renegades of the Levitical system, intent on destroying it. The Two Witnesses will
witness of the truth of the Tabernacle. The purpose of their mission is not a vendetta in nature. The beast and false prophet identity will be known at midweek of 70th week of Daniel, around the same time as the Two Witnesses will be revealed. By that time the world will have changed dramatically and tragically. I hope this might help a little bit.The Great God will be exalted that He is, not the ego of men.

Anonymous said...

19.19 AM Bob is a learned man. I wouldn't mind hearing what beliefs of his you disagree with. Your 'he's nuts' rant tells me nothing. Sounds like some teaching of his has offended you.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 12:46 PM,

Psssst...I'll tell you a secret-
Yes, Bitter Bob is a learned man. Problem is, the things he's learned and assumed are the naturopath's neverending nutty 'nuggets'.
Heck, he's even doubly nuts! Enough to make a Snickers candy bar jealous.

And no, none of his teachings have offended me. Why would you think that?
I do find them sadly and truly amusing, though, and it's possible that even Bozo would be offended by Bitter Bobo getting laughs without even having gone to Clown College.

(Although most reputable Clown Colleges would be willing to give credits for having been in the WCG and LCG.)

Anonymous said...

7.14 AM. Your repeating yourself. Again a long 'he's nuts,' tirade with not so much as one teaching of his mentioned. Not one fact or line of reasoning. Like all the people here, l want to hear the facts, and make up my own mind, rather than some one else trying to make the decision for me with strong language and repetition. Something about the man or his teaching has offended you. It's obvious.