By Sleight of Hand and
Smooth Sounding Analogies
"The Bible warns that “no prophecy of the
scripture is of any private interpretation” (II Pet. 1:20). BUT God does work through His chosen servants. In fact, He never
reveals His Plan through anyone else. Therefore, finding the one He leads
becomes crucial." David C Pack Lesson 13 on Why I am
spoken of in Haggai As Soon as I Get to That Part
You gotta watch out
for that "but."
Even as a pastor, I never really felt I understand what no scripture
being of private interpretation really meant. I heard it quoted often when
individuals were making individual and private or personal interpretations in
the day of HWA. I heard Gerald Waterhouse quote it and then proceed to
give some of the wildest and most scatter brained private interpretations, all
of which went south, in the history of religion.
Again, at least realize that II Peter was written by those in the
early church, not any Peter, but in his name, who were trying to put a lid on
all the private prophetic nonsense of the day. However, ALL
interpretation of prophecy is private opinion. Just as all reasoning is human
reasoning even if you are told that your ideas are "just human
reasoning." Just ask them what kind of reasoning they use and
see how quiet it gets.
The Apostle Paul had lots of private interpretations of the times
in which he thought he and the Church lived. He fills his writings with
them. He was proved wrong ultimately and died just like everyone before him. He
was not alive and did not remain until the coming of Christ. He was not changed
in any special way avoiding death. He was simply wrong about his own
times and his role in it. Paul set many up for a fall and
disappointment and Dave Pack is also if not careful. I am not
seeing any hint of wise counsel being safer in Dave and don't expect to.
I know what happens to those who beg to differ with him.
The leap from "since prophecy is not of private interpretation
to "But God does work through his chosen servants..." is mere
apologetic. What he means is "I, however, know the interpretation
and it is not private. It is from God." It's going to be up to
you to think this is so or not. I think not but you knew that.
But now we got that point out of the way and quickly focused on "and guess
who that leader is," so we can continue.
We begin with basic
instruction in Zechariah 8:9. God tells His
people living at the end to “hear” the words of Haggai and Zechariah. Notice:
“Thus says the lord of hosts; let your hands be
strong, you that hear in these days [our time now] these
words by the mouth of the prophets [Haggai and Zechariah], which were in the
day that the foundation of the house of the lord of hosts was laid,
that the temple might be built.”
Now right off the mark Dave gets this all twangled
up. The Lord who thus says is speaking plainly to the people right there
back then in those days. That's what it says. Dave is privately
interpreting the "our time now," comment. It was not spoke for
our time now in this verse. The speaking "Which were in the
day that the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid," is not the
work of the WCG under HWA. It was back then and the second phrase reinforces
the time, back then, of the verse. It was for the 500's BCE folk of Judah
So Dave is making stuff up to fit his idea of
himself and has gotten the off to a bad start.
Next Dave says,
"They recorded PROPHECIES—not history—which had no
application for the ancient Jews of their time. Haggai speaks of a “remnant”
returning to work in a spiritual temple, with Zechariah adding key details. We will
see Mr. Armstrong understood this, and that he laid the foundation to
understand Haggai’s prophecy today."
No, they actually were recording the history of
their day. The remnant from the Babylonian Captivity had returned and it
was time to rebuild. Haggai does not speak of a spiritual temple.
He speaks of a literal temple now in ruins or gone and a new physical one
needing to be rebuilt. (Don't worry, I am not taking us through a study
of Haggai and Zechariah. You can do that.) I simply wish to
show that once you take the first few leaps off in the wrong direction and make
stuff up privately as if the Bible was actually speaking of YOU or Me or, in
this case, Dave Pack, you can weave any tale you wish. Analogies are not
Launch a space probe to Mars off schedule or mess up
the wiring and while it might be just a little off here or there, you
won't be landing on Mars. You might not get off the ground.
Mr. Armstrong did not "understand" Haggai any better than Dave
does. Haggai meant the remnant of that day and not the leftovers
from the WCG debacle. Make all the analogies one wants but you
can't make it mean this is talking about Dave Pack and the RCG. Well you
can I suppose, but it is a classic mistake of making a scripture mean what it
NEVER meant or EVER will mean.
Even Prophets don't write thousands of years into
the future. Who would care? They write in the hope of what might happen
in just a few years. I guarantee you all of Dave Pack's seeing of himself in
the Bible and his small church spoken of will fit neatly into the span of his
own life. When Dave dies RCG dies because you see, like HWA, he can't
imagine he will die before the grand analogy unfolds just as he sees it.
I remind you that when I plainly asked Gerald Waterhouse just what would he say
then when HWA died, he told me he'd believe it after three days and three
nights. He said that to my face and could tell from mine I thought he was
nuts. That really sickened my stomach and I was right. Waterhouse
was wrong. He may have been sincere,but he was wrong. Critical thinking
and a genuine theological education beats analogies every time.
"The reader will
see that the events described in these books clearly take place at the end of
the age. (For instance, Jesus Christ’s Return is plainly described in
oft-quoted verses near the end of Zechariah.) "
Bzzzzzz...thanks for playing, it's not
"Clearly" and the "Lord" spoken of is the
Hebrew God and not any Jesus of the future. There were some Messianic
rumblings but the temple "the Lord" would come to would be God and in
that day as Judah rebuilt and got itself back on the track to obedience to
These two books were heavily drawn on to write the
story, using the style of Midrash of NT, of Jesus, but never originally
were about him. For example the 30 pieces of silver tale in Zechariah was drawn
on to write the story of Judas. But taken well out of context as was the
NT way of doing. It looks like "prophecy" fulfilled because the
author in the NT used the OT story to frame his own. It was not a story
of betrayal but payment for services the prophet was given . Zechariah speaks
of 30 pieces silver and potters houses and the NT ends up speaking of
Temple coins and potters fields. The NT writers winged it and used the
parts that told their story but were not the original story in context.
You can bet Zechariah 11:8 where three shepherds die
in one day is where Dave gets his idea that three COG leaders will die in one
day. Great stuff and you don't have to make it up. You just have to twist and
imagine the parallels to the WCG experience, wicked shepherds and one grand
poopa who the most awesome and chosen...in these yet again last days.
Dave goes on his grand non prophetic analogy to say
that HWA knew he was Zerubbabel in prophecy and would lay the foundation of the
Church. Great analogy but HWA was also not thought of by the OT
Prophets. He may have known it but it was not true for him either.
Dave notes that HWA did not know who "Joshua" would be but that
he would follow HWA. It used to be GTA but that fell through. Ok, let's get
this over with. Dave Pack is the prophesied Joshua of Zechariah no doubt
or I'm a monkey's uncle as they say. I doubt he'll change his name but I bet he
wants to be a Priest. Last title...going fast!
Once you get your terms right, anything is possible.
The temple become the church. The Jewish concept of the Lord and
Messianic Kingdom becomes Jesus in the yet to be written New Testament.
Zerubbabel is not really himself but Herbert Armstrong and Joshua the High
Priest is not really the OT Joshua the High Priest but now Dave Pack who can
take yet another title if he wants of Priest! The promotions are endless
when you see yourself in the scriptures.
I think most critical thinkers, theologians and
psychologists can see the danger in anyone seeing themselves spoken of in the
pages of the Bible. For some reason it is a really bad habit in the
Churches of God. Gerald Flurry liked Malachi's Message more than Haggai's
evidently so he became "that prophet." Of course he didn't and
isn't but it felt good for a time until it doesn't.
Ron Weinland saw he and his wife as the Two
Witnesses spoken of in Revelation and we know how that is going. I
am sure hundreds of men over the past 2500 years have seen themselves spoken of
in the scriptures. It's really a bad idea as far as I can tell and pretty
prone to making a fool out of one's self and adding themselves to a long list
of sociopaths and men who make people scoff at religion.
I can imagine Dave Pack saying or at least thinking
Satan was using diabolical mimicry to throw God's people off with false
ministers seeing themselves in scripture but it was all to distract from him as
the true minister spoken of in the scriptures. May be not....
You can make an analogy out of much in the Old
Testament. Lots of ammo there. Peter, James or John could have easily
gone back into their Minor Prophet musings and seen themselves I suppose but
wisely chose not to . If they had they would have been just as deluded as
some today. They did not preach themselves as seems to be the bad habit
of some today. Even Jesus resisted being Joshua and Jesus means
Herbert Armstrong, who allowed the wild and un
provable stories of Gerald Waterhouse about HWA's calling and such as spoken of
in the Bible is to blame for getting the mission to Mars off course before it
began. HWA never addressed his own death which was a ridiculous mistake
that lead to all the chaos that followed with the Tkaches because he was sold
on the idea that his hand would lay the foundation and his hands would
finish it. Big mistake. His foundations got bulldozed and
hauled off this past year in rubble trucks. The Tkaches took care
of both the physical and spiritual foundations but good.
While Israel may return to YHVH in one day, the
splinters and slivers of the WCG are not going to return to Dave Pack and the
Restored Church of God in one day. Judging by the pole taken here, they won't
be returning at all. He will promote that idea but it's just more
Weinlandology with a twist. And like Herbert Armstrong, who spoke out of
two sides of his mouth stressing the "soon" of Jesus coming and yet
spending millions on the physical plant, so Dave Pack does the same thing.
Dave prophetically believes his work will end probably sooner
than you can imagine but yet build on dude... A contradiction if ever
there was one. One that has already cost members millions in real
resources or pledges and left some destitute as one former RCG minister told me
just this past week. Fortunately we have the "blessed is he who is
found so doing when He comes," to fall back on but I am sure that
scripture has nothing to do with buildings, statues , physical plant and
sending in any and all resources you can scrape up including your retirements,
lands, homes and small children which can be sold if need be for the
work. It's an excuse to cover your bases of keeping on physically while
pretending you aren't.
No one is going to want the physical plant Dave
builds in his 65th year after he is gone. No one is going to want to pay for it
and keep it up. No one will inherit it and only a fool would want
it. Look at all the falsely prophetic print that will be available to quote
and maybe weave into yet another tale and mistakes made by those who think they
see themselves spoken of in the scriptures.
Medication perhaps would be better at times than
congregations. I don't know...
Addendum: Why do I write about Dave Pack?
Because good folk are going to get hurt big time and
we are seeing the reinvention of a very old wheel. I know some for whom
it is too late. They will drain their physical resources for an analogy that
will not actually come to pass or is literally true. Families will be broken
and people deeply hurt yet again by religion gone nuts. Because these men
are not trained well in how to read the Bible, what it means, where it really
came from and to whom and why was it written, this foolish end time ballet from
hell continues unchanged and unchallenged. Perhaps all my own ridiculous
experience with WCG and with those who thought they saw themselves in the Bible
will not be in vain if people can wake up and stand up to theology falsely so
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