Saturday, August 13, 2016

The One Thing Church of God Leaders Have Never Learned

David C Pack: All things in common. All that you have belongs to me

This was sent to me today.  This is a sermon that David Ambrose and Dave Pack delivered.  This sermon is the root of the evil that is taking over the Restored Church of God.  It is the expectation that everything the members own belongs to Dave.

“COMMON”: Paying One Portion of Christ’s Price

Dave has to be the most breathless man I have ever seen.  Everything is "breathlessly" amazing in this most superfantabulous COG ever to exist! Plus, your eternal life depends upon reading all of this!

This article is among the most important you could read! It is necessarily long—yet consider reading it twice! Its implications for the Work and growth of the Church—as well as your eternal reward—are incalculable.

With the climactic end of 6,000 years of man’s misrule closing in on a completely unsuspecting mankind, God’s Church is being readied for the most powerful, expansive phase of His Work in history!

As time runs out on the age, it is increasingly obvious that—as Mr. Pack has taught for decades—the New Testament era will end as it began: regular, powerful, irrefutable miracles of all kinds occurring, unprecedented unity in the Church, and the gospel (alongside the Ezekiel warning message) being preached and published with RESOUNDING POWER!

Dave is under the assumption that he and a few of his select ministers will soon be performing mind boggling miracles as he unifies the splintered Church of God's into one dynamic powerful army taking HIS gospel to the world with POWER!

Eventually, hearing God’s final witness to mankind (Matt. 24:14) will be nearly unavoidable to anyone not asleep in bed. It will encompass all forms of media, in many languages, and be carried out through technologies that would be incomprehensible to servants of previous eras. “The Restored Church of God” will become a household name! In fact, millions know of us already—and our impact is now “heating up.”

Dave has been proclaiming for years now how everything about his group is the most astounding thing the world has ever seen.  No other organization, particularly a COG group, will ever have such amazing web site as he does.

What an awesome commission for the last era of the Church, scheduled to experience the fulfillment of “all things” in prophecy as the end arrives in full force and the most faithful brethren are taken to safety before it does!

How It Will Happen!

Carrying out the Great Commission ahead of the worst time of trouble in history, to be endured by the largest population and least prepared generation ever, who are cut up into more nations than probably ever before, necessitates that the final scope of God’s Work dwarfs all previous phases. But this will not “just happen”! Three elements coming together make the greatest Work possible:

All of the "major" 4 or 5 COG's out there all proclaim this very same message.  Their "work" is vital to the world and is doing more than Herbert Armstrong ever dreamed of!  Herbert's accomplishments were minuscule to Dave's magnificence.

(1) God’s direct, miraculous intervention: The Philadelphian era was foretold to have little strength (Greek: dunamis, meaning miraculous power). By contrast, the final Work, completed during the Laodicean age in a world that grows darker, sicker and more dangerous by the day, will probably be sustained and propelled by regular miracles.

One factor in this dynamic is the presence of the highest office in the Church, and the things that accompany that office, defined by Christ through the apostle Paul: “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds” (II Cor. 12:12).

Dave once again sets himself apart from the rest of the COG leaders.  They are nothing compared to his magnificence!  He soon will be preforming miracles and wonders.

Also, the nature of God’s final warning Work requires His human leader to be flanked by two additional servants, who will help deflect imminent threats (Rev. 11:3-12; Zech. 3:7 and 4:1-14).

Dave is such an astounding man that he will soon have two bodyguards to protect him   Dave still believes that the two witnesses will arise from his group and that he will train them.

The worldwide hatred of the Church (Matt. 24:10) that eventually arises will lead to the “night…when no man can work” (John 9:4). At this point, those of God’s people who have qualified for protection (Rev. 3:7-13) are foretold to be “taken”—transported by angels to Judea, from whence they will flee to the Place of Safety (12:14). But this escape happens only after they are chased by an army that God causes to be swallowed by the earth (vs. 15-16)!

Dave and his two witless witnesses (obviously Rod and Laura Weinland) will frighten the world so much that they will send their armies after the Restored Church of God.  It is only then that they will be taken to Petra where they will find out that Bob Thiel, James Malm, Rod Meredith and UCG will be waiting for him.  Just imagine what a cat fight that will all be!

Dave is still under the impression that tens of thousands COG members will soon abandon their various COG's and come flocking over to his side.  His predictions on this happening have failed for 4 years straight.  Dave also feels that thousands more will enter his church as a result of his superfantabulous message.

(2) Expanded membership: The arrival of the Remnant—God’s scattered people being gathered to His one Church—will suddenly explode the Church’s size. Beyond this, almost certainly many more thousands will yet be called out of the world. This will have a dramatic impact on all categories of the Church’s income, as will a tremendous ramp-up in donors and co-workers when God “shuts down” all opposition in the splinters who are today “competing” with His Work.

Now we get to the "meat" of Dave's astounding message. Communism pales in comparison to Dave's amazing church economy he is planning.

(3) The restored doctrine of “Common”: As the Remnant and all others yet to come into the Church learn about and implement this restored understanding, the resources available for God’s final Work will increase exponentially. In fact, it has been many millions of dollars in Common arriving over just the last four years that built the Church’s World Headquarters campus and advanced the Church and Work to their current sizes—and with only a fraction of people here to carry out God’s Common command!

What Do You Mean, “Common”?

What has come to be called “the Common doctrine” or simply “Common” was first explained to the Church by Mr. Pack in 2011, in a four-part sermon series titled “Christ’s Sayings—One Great Theme.” It was then revisited in his early 2014 two-part series, “How a Small Church Does Such Big Things.” Any article about the subject of Common would be necessarily long because it is a constant theme throughout God’s Word. Even so, Mr. Pack’s six sermons on this subject are worth the time to hear them all.

Imagine having to sit and listen to Dave preach six 1 1/2 hour sermons on the commonality of all things in the church.!

This teaching gets its name from the book of Acts. There we find the very first snapshot of the just-established Church of God on Pentecost AD 31: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:41-45).

Note that this practice of having “all things common” was in place from the very birth of the New Testament Church!

Yet Dave fails to mention that this "tradition" never survived in the church as more and more affluent people joined the church.  

We will later explore why this was NOT a new concept to the first converts, who immediately numbered in the thousands. You will see that Christ plainly taught this well before the apostles did—that they were following what He had taught them to do and what they had done themselves.

A second nearby passage in Acts confirms Common was a way of life in the first-century Church: “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (4:32-37).

You have to remember that many converts to Christianity were slaves or former slaves, people who had no property or steady income, so it was necessary that others helped care for them.  Today, that is NOT a necessity, other than filling the pockets of some COG leader.  They never share that money with their poor members, but instead build huge monuments to themselves or Herbert Armstrong.   Jesus and God be damned!  It is more important to have an Auditorium or new dance hall!  Jesus needs those kind of buildings!.

The Greek word translated “common” here is koinos, which means “common, that is, (literally) shared by all or several.” Interestingly, Peter used this very same word in chapter 10 when he states, “God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (vs. 28).

Of course, there are differences in the way the Work is carried out in the modern era. Mr. Pack commented on this in one of the aforementioned sermons:

“We cannot do this in exactly the same way as was done in and around Jerusalem. We are a small, scattered Church throughout many countries, not 10,000 to 15,000 people in one city. It has to be administered differently in the twenty-first century than in the first. The needs of the Work back then were somewhat different. You did have postage. You had to take care of the brethren. You had to buy a ticket on a ship, or rent a horse, or preach in the synagogue. The needs of the Work today are incredibly expensive—hall rentals, campus buildings, advertising, media, printing costs and salaries. We have one World Headquarters. This is the final Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22), if you will. This is the Headquarters Church.”

Acts 2 and 4 reveal some basics:

·                Common primarily involves a Church member’s assets (“possessions and goods”), not one’s income or life’s basic necessities (food, clothing and shelter). Merriam-Webster defines an asset as “an item of value owned.” Acts 4 specifically mentions “lands or houses” being liquidated—sold and converted to cash. This can also include “liquid” assets (such as cash, stocks, bonds, money market instruments, etc.) in amounts that are above and beyond a member’s need for a reasonable, prudent savings. (Other potential sources are discussed later.) Not all members own assets, but a number do.

There you have it!  If you own businesses or homes then please sell them and send the money to Dave,  The only rightful heir to COG members money!  Since Dave owns the money he gets to do with it what he wants.

·                Acts describes the funds being brought to the leaders of the Church, who made decisions regarding their use, based on the needs of the Work and as guided by Christ as Head of the Church.

Dave claims to want his members to "freely" give their assets and not feel forced, but then goes on to say God commands it.  RCG members are double damned now.  If they disobey Dave they disobey God.  Since when has a "command" in the Church ever been "optional?"

·                This is not a biblical endorsement of communism, despite what some have taught. In a communist system, the state forcibly confiscates a citizen’s assets and redistributes them. (Communist governments also typically set a worker’s pay and greatly limit his opportunities to achieve success.) By contrast, while commanded by God, Common is ultimately voluntary—it is carried out by people who choose to obey God’s plain command. The ministry can, through counsel, help members fulfill this biblical requirement, but they cannot force anyone to obey God in this regard. (Neither can they force people to keep the Sabbath, attend the Feast, avoid adultery, lying and stealing, etc.) And in most cases, the Church would be unaware of one’s financial situation—so obedience to Common becomes a test between the member and God.

·                This teaching was part of the “apostles’ doctrinein which the Church “continued steadfastly.”

Really?  Never once was it called doctrine.

We are also back to the membership lowering their standards of living so that the church and its leadership can prosper.  The less money you spend for yourself the more you can send to Dave and crew!

In summary, Common involves a member—the basic Christian—simplifying his or her life by sacrificing assets, non-necessities and luxuries for God’s Work. It may require a change of lifestyle, if one has been accustomed to excessive affluence, but most often it will not. It does not mean neglecting personal needs or needs of the family, foregoing savings entirely, ignoring or increasing unmanageable debt, and certainly does not mean going bankrupt. Despite enemies’ false accusations that, “The Restored Church of God takes all of your money and leaves you destitute,” this is far from the case. Besides, if a member is ever reduced to poverty, he or she becomes eligible for third tithe assistance! So the false charge above does not even make sense, never mind is it true.

Reports have been around for years that the RCG does not freely give out 3 tithe assistance. Dave rigorously goes over incomes and tithing statements first.   Dave's false charges above do not make any sense, never mind not even being true!

It is vitally important that RCG members "get to the point" as soon as possible in regards to sending in all of their money.  God commands it, though Dave may not.  Cough, cough....

However, this does require each of God’s people to evaluate his or her circumstances, go to God in prayer and fasting if necessary, and then get to the point—as soon as reasonably possible—where they are “all in” supporting God’s Work!

Christ’s “Sayings”

The “Common concept” did not suddenly appear on the first Pentecost. The apostles did not invent it. It was based on many teachings—“sayings”—that Jesus had given to His disciples during His earthly ministry.

The end of the “Sermon on the Mount” brings perspective on how we should view Christ’s sayings: “Whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of Mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:24-29).

The foundation of a Christian’s life must be built on the bedrock of doing—putting into practice!—Christ’s sayings. It is not enough just to internally accept them, or merely voice agreement. We must “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”—or else be counted “foolish” and on the path to destruction.

How can any COG member every put into practice what Jesus taught when what he taught is never preached?  It is all the law all the time, or be damned.

Twin parables continue to set the table regarding one’s approach to his possessions—the things he “has”: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:44-46).

These parables establish—define—what a true Christian considers to be his treasure—the kingdom of God, not any physical item! We must ask ourselves: Is achieving the kingdom—and by extension, having all truth—our most “prized possession”?

We are now ready to examine many of Christ’s sayings that establish Common as a way of life in the Church.

Rich Young Ruler

A question from a would-be disciple gave Jesus opportunity to establish the benchmark teaching on how His followers must use their resources, and to illustrate many related lessons. You will see that He speaks most plainly:

Matthew 19:16-30: “Behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Note that the man asked how he could “have eternal life”—in other words, GAIN SALVATION! Therefore, this question—Common—gets to the very heart of Christianity and to a human being receiving ETERNAL LIFE.

“He said unto him, Why call you Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments. He said unto Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother: and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”

So far, the young man believes he is meeting the qualifiers. But Jesus is about to introduce another element that demands action: “Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”

Jesus makes perfectly clear that more than keeping the commandments is necessary. He tells the man that, in order to be perfect (Greek: “complete”) and to correct what is lacking in his life, he must sell that which he has—divest himself of his assets!—as all Christ’s followers would later do.

This is a subtle lie of Dave.  The words of Jesus to this man about selling all he had was a specific statement to this man only.  Not something that was meant for future generations or for future COG members.  This man, even though he kept the law religiously, placed more value upon money than he did anything else.  It no more applies to people today than id did to anyone who were contemporaries of the man in his time period.  It was a specific statement made specifically to him and to no one else.  Even though many wealthy Christians later helped the poor and destitute (slaves and refugees from Roman tyranny) it was still no more a command to them than it is to us today.  People did it because they wanted to and saw a need.

The result? “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

This requirement to “sell that we have” is both challenging and inspiring. Virtually the entire world is both taught to, and conditioned to, pursue wealth and material things above all else. Turning the mind away from that approach, particularly when everyone else around you knows nothing of it and would mock any who did this, takes courage, effort—born of determination—and faith. In fact, without God’s help, and more than a little for some, it is IMPOSSIBLE! The young ruler’s reaction illustrates this perfectly: The thought of parting with his possessions provoked sorrow, and quickly led to his turning away from Christ—and salvation!

This is where inspiration enters. When we “do” this saying, or see another member do it, it becomes a demonstration of God’s power working through flesh to perform the impossible!

In other words brethren, if you do NOT sell all you have and give it to me, Dave the Most Superfantabulous, then it is an obvious sign that God's power is NOT working through you.

In light of such astonishing statements by Christ, Peter asks a natural question: “Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all [note that the apostles had all—“we”—done this], and followed You; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that you which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

In walking away from stable and potentially lucrative careers, and giving up other advantages and assets, the 12 disciples secured truly awesome rewards in the kingdom by what they gave up.

So can you.

The final statement contrasts God’s perspective with that of the world: “Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” As Mr. Pack stated in his 2011 sermon series, “In this life, the first are those with the most toys. But God says they are last. In this life, the last are those with the least toys. God says they are first.”

TRIPLE Emphasis!

Viewing the “synoptic gospels” (Matthew, Mark and Luke) together reveals certain accounts that only appear in Matthew. Some are unique to Mark, while some are only in Luke. Others appear in two gospels. Still others are in all three.

To underscore the tremendous importance of the “rich young ruler” account, Christ gives it triple emphasis. It appears in all three synoptic gospels. Here is Mark:

Mark 10:17-31: “When He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Mark adds that the man ran to Him and kneeled, bringing the elements of urgency and an outward appearance of submission and respect.

“Jesus said unto him, Why call you Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not…”

“Defraud not” appears in Mark. This phrase is not in the Ten Commandments but interestingly—consider the context—Jesus lists it. Continuing: “…Honor your father and mother. And he answered and said unto Him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatsoever you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” “Take up the cross” ties in later to a broader command in Luke 14.

Mark renders Jesus’ instruction, “Sell whatsoever you have.” He adds that Jesus “loved him.” Christ cared about this young man, and was helping him see what he must do to become one of His disciples. Yet, “he was sad at that saying [many are], and went away grieved [some do]: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and said unto His disciples, how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Some have interpreted “the eye of a needle” as one of the entry gates of Jerusalem, and inferred that since a camel could get through this gate on its knees, then a rich man could enter God’s kingdom, with difficulty. But Jesus goes on to again state that this is impossible, meaning to do on human strength alone.

“They were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Then Peter began to say unto Him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed You. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many (not all) that are first shall be last; and the last first.”

Jesus repeats in Mark that Christians, as they “leave”—forsake—what God requires them to leave, can rest assured they will still have an abundant life—“an hundredfold now in this time.” So many benefits of doing Christ’s sayings apply here and “now,” not just after we enter God’s kingdom. Yet such blessings only come to those willing to unconditionally obey God.

Next is Luke’s record of the same account.

Luke 18:18-30: “A certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why call you Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lack you one thing: sell all that you have, and distribute unto the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me.”

This time Jesus states, “Sell ALL that you have.” Obviously, a follower of Christ still needs certain necessities. But of course, Christ, as God in the flesh, knew the level of material success achieved by the man He was addressing.

“When he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.” The words “very sorrowful” are translated from the Greek word perilupos, which means “grieved all around” and “intensely sad.”

“When Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Then Peter said, Lo, we have left ALL, and followed You. And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

Giving to the Poor

In all three accounts, the rich young ruler is told to give or distribute to the poor. Realize this exchange took place before Jesus had established His Church. There was not yet in place a unified effort to do God’s Work. But from Pentecost onward, after the Church had begun, what was it a Christian was to give the poor? And to which “poor” did Jesus refer?

First, this is not evidence Jesus abrogated the purpose of third tithe in caring for brethren in need. Like first and second tithe, the third tithe system was to continue from Old Testament times, but was to be entrusted to the New Testament ministry for administration rather than the Levites. Hebrews 7 explains this.

We have all seen what happens when the ministry are over 3T.   Rod Meredith used it to decorate his house.  Other evangelists in Pasadena did the same thing.  It was used dot buy paintings, gold, silver and other fine things.

Another passage makes clear Jesus did not have in mind a giveaway program of cash or physical goods for all impoverished people inhabiting a world cut off from God because of sin. Speaking with His disciples, Jesus made clear the problem of poverty in the world will not be solved prior to the Millennium: “There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, to what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble you the woman? For she has wrought a good work upon Me. For you have the poor always with you; but Me you have not always. For in that she has poured this ointment on My body, she did it for My burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matt. 26:7-13).

If giving money to the world’s poor is not what we are to do, Jesus would certainly have to clarify this elsewhere. He did—again, in three different passages. The first describes His speaking in a Nazareth synagogue:

“There was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written [Isa. 61:1-2], the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:17-19).

Christ expects His Church—in keeping with its First Commission (Matt. 24:14)—to preach the gospel to those enduring financial hardship (but also those who are “poor in spirit” [Matt. 5:3—lowly or humble]). Jesus interprets Himself—the Bible interprets the Bible. This is how we give to the poor!

This command is confirmed in Matthew 11. Here, Jesus relays a message to John the Baptist, listing evidence He is the promised Messiah: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (vs. 4-5). Luke’s account is similar: “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached” (7:22).

Jesus sets the example of how His Church, through which He continues His Work as its Head, would help the disadvantaged. Mr. Pack compared this in a sermon to a popular analogy: “We don’t give a fish to the poor to feed him for one meal. We teach him how to fish—that’s giving him the gospel, the way to eternal life. The very shortsighted person (which are millions of people in this country) wants the government to give him fish, rather than to learn how to fish so he can feed himself and his family for a lifetime.

Dave, if you were actually a true Christian you would not be teaching the man how to fish, but do you best to see why the man go to the state he is in now.  Only then would fishing be profitable.  Something lead thhe man getting to that point and it was no that he did not know how to fish.

“Think about it. Which would you rather have? If you are really hungry and somebody said to you, ‘I will give you a fish right now, and we’ll stop the rumbling and the pain in your belly’—or, ‘I’ll teach you to fish, and in five hours you can pull six out of the river.’ Which would you take? If you are really hungry, you might be willing to trade a bowl of beans for a birthright, wouldn’t you? Remember Esau. You might be willing to say, ‘Give me one fish, not skill as a fisherman.’ But any thinking person would rather have the skill of the fisherman. And so our job is to go to the world and teach men how to fish…which is how to get into the kingdom of God, by analogy.”

“A Certain Rich Man”

Dave next tries to prove that having wealth is a sign of covertness.  How dare church members have lots of money and not share it with him!

The next in this list of Christ’s sayings involves another rich man, this time found in a parable. It identifies and illustrates the danger of a particular sin—the same one that hindered the rich young ruler:

Luke 12:13-40: “One of the company said unto Him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And He said unto him, Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you? And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. And He spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Grasp this! Jesus identifies accumulation of assets and goods as an outward sign of covetousness, and shows how this condition leads to complacency (“take your ease”) and a lack of time spent building spiritual treasure. He spends considerable time assuring the disciples that God will meet their physical needs: “He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

“If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Your very salvation depends upon you selling what you have snd giving it to Dave!

We have a choice: Either we pursue physical things—or we seek the kingdom. We cannot have it both ways. Christ then repeats the instruction that was rejected by the rich young ruler—this time as a command to His disciples:

Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and you yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not.”

Do not miss that being ready for Christ’s Return is tied directly to the command “Sell that you have”!

Lazarus and the Rich Man

Yet another parable involves a rich man and a warning. In Luke 16, Jesus is teaching His disciples, but in a public setting with the Pharisees present. He starts with a summary statement about which master a person serves—and there can be only one! “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [wealth]” (vs. 13).

Somehow this message has always escaped the leadership of the Churches of God.  From Herbert Armstrong and onward.  Power always deserved more money and the membership were expected to send it in and to never question how it was used.

This provoked an instant reaction from the highly esteemed and generally well-to-do Pharisees: “The Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him. And He said unto them, You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (vs. 14-15).

So its ok for Dave and Gerald Flurry to justify the need to build multi-million dollar auditoriums, dance halls for their grand-kids and rows of faculty homes.  Its important to justify multi-million dollar campuses that are gated off from the communities that surround them.  It is important to justify buying Rolls Royce's, Mercedes and limo's for the exclusive use of the leadership.  Its important to justify the need to buy jet planes because of the need to separate themselves from the sweaty unwashed commoners on regular jets.

Jesus’ rebuke of the smug Pharisees sets up the parable: “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in [Greek: “by reason of”] this flame” (vs. 19-24).

The next verse is key in understanding the distinction between the rich man and the beggar. “But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented” (vs. 25). The rich man had enjoyed the good life in material terms, but was not, as we read earlier, “rich toward God.”

“And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there. Then he said, I pray you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (vs. 26-31).

Of course, this applied to the Pharisees in that they would not hear the One who rose from the dead—Christ. But it has additional meaning in light of other passages regarding wealth: Without God’s direct intervention to accomplish the impossible, those whose life fits the description of “faring sumptuously” will not be persuaded to part with their “good things”—even with the testimony of one risen from the dead!

Dave next twists scripture to fit his own convoluted mind.  What he does is turn it into a threat.  Any RCG members who accumulates wealth has done so because they are spiritual poor.  No COG member wants to be seen as spiritually bankrupt.   Outward appearances are important.

A related passage in Luke shows Christ speaking to the future of those who choose to pursue wealth over spiritual gain: Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For you shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep” (6:24-25). Sobering words.

The Apostle Paul’s Experience

The apostle Paul stands as one of the greatest servants of God of all time. Before his unique calling, he rose to the heights of success and prominence in Judea as a member of the Sanhedrin—the Jewish supreme court. This would naturally have led to a substantial net worth.

After Paul’s life was repurposed and he was trained as an apostle, his view of his worldly achievements had radically changed. What he wrote the Philippians is stunning to ponder: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (3:4-8). Have you considered that YOUR actions must “win (over) Christ”?

Having been blameless in the law—outward, physical law-keeping—what did Paul have to learn about himself at the spiritual level before he could come to see “all things” he had given up as “dung”? His own words, inspired by Christ in Romans 7, hold the answer: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, You shall not covet” (vs. 7).

Paul is among the “hall of fame” examples of someone who forsook his former life and lost “all things”—the byproducts of his success—to follow Jesus Christ. This required him first to recognize his own covetousness—an invisible sin that occurs in the mind.

Paul’s Counsel

Coming from this background, Paul was uniquely positioned to counsel successful brethren on the dangers of clinging to wealth. He instructed Timothy: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute [Greek: “good at imparting”], willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (I Tim. 6:17-19).

This is consistent with Christ’s instruction to distribute to the poor. Paul adds the element of what one trusts in. Financially successful brethren have the challenge of learning to put their confidence in an invisible God, rather than visible resources—something that would be a lesser test for those of modest means. Real faith is required (but see Heb. 11:6).

Earlier in the same chapter, Paul had set the stage with additional context: “Men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself … For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment [necessities] let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich [who desire to be rich] fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is [a] root of all [kinds of] evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Tim. 6:5-10).

Some at that time who had been in “the faith”—true Christians—had erred by coveting money. It led to being pierced, snared and drowned!

Let’s ask ourselves: Are we—living in the vastly more materialistic 21st-century Laodicean age—somehow immune to this danger? May none be so foolish!

Sobering Example

The book of Acts contains a shocking account of how one couple chose to respond to the Common requirement, and the consequences: “A certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied unto men, but unto God” (5:1-4).

Note that this man and woman could have kept some portion of the proceeds of the sale, if this had been necessary. Their sin was agreeing together to deceive the ministry about what they were giving. They are described as lying to God, not just Peter! Perhaps they had previously pledged the entire proceeds of the sale to the Work. Or they may have simply been seeking extra favor in the apostles’ sight. In any case, God was greatly displeased—and He acted swiftly!

“Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him” (vs. 5-6).

Imagine the effect this had on the congregation! But God was not finished making an example of this couple: “It was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried your husband are at the door, and shall carry you out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband” (vs. 7-10).

Not only can you hoard your money and hurt the church but you can also be found guilty of not giving enough to the Church of Dave.  That is even more egregious in his eyes.

Perhaps one spouse caved to the pressure of the other. In any event, this is the only record of God actually striking two members of His Church. And it involved Common. But it was not a result of members entirely withholding it. Rather they were dealt with for improperly giving it! This should sober everyone in a remotely similar position.

In Mr. Pack’s words, “The problem with Ananias and Sapphira was not that they didn’t give. They did. We might speculate that they maybe gave more than most have been able to give through the centuries. But they didn’t want to look out of step with the rest of the Church and were willing to lie to cover up what they were holding back. Think of it this way: In any other age, what they gave might have been seen as an extraordinary step, but it cost their lives—obviously physical and eternal—because they wanted to look like they were giving everything when they were not.”

The ultimate (and positive) effect on the Church is next described: “Great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things” (vs. 11). At this juncture, pause to think of Mr. Pack’s sermon “Fearing God—As You’ve Never Seen It!”

i.e.   fear Dave as you have never imagined!

“Rich Men”

The book of James, which overwhelmingly focuses on the returning Remnant and the false ministers abusing them, contains stinging rebukes for these “leading tares.” God simply dubs them “rich men.”

Note how many times James was inspired to refer to their wealth: “Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth [meaning “Lord of Hosts” or “armies”]. You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you” (5:1-6).

This is yet another type of rich man that none of us would want to emulate. Take note!

In James 1, we read how to prevent falling into this trap: “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways” (vs. 9-11).

By having all things in "common" RCG members can "choose" to be made low in this life.  They can suffer while Dave prospers.

Those called into the Church from a modest background are exalted because they have become heirs of “all things” (Heb. 2:7-8). For God’s people with assets and resources, Common is an instrument through which they can choose to be “made low” in this life—and Christ inspires James to call this a reason to rejoice! This joy partly arises from the fact that obedience brings blessings and keeps us on track toward eternal life. But it is also a byproduct of the freedom and simplicity of a life stripped of excess money and “stuff,” including the time needed to spend, maintain and expand it.

Doing Christ’s sayings enables us to rise above the standard mindset of the present age. This is described in II Timothy 3. The first two descriptions set the tone for all that follow: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous…” (vs. 2). The phrase “lovers of their own selves” properly means “selfish.” People today are selfish and covetous.

Brethren, we must be different.

Christ’s “Price”

As the understanding of the Remnant was gradually revealed to the Church, another reference to Common was discovered in Zechariah. Right after Christ explains that He will break the staff properly called “Grace,” symbolizing His covenant with His people, He explains (foretells) a demand to them: “And I took My staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break My covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon Me knew that it was the word of the Lord. And I said unto them, If you think good, give Me My price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was praised at of them…” (11:10-13). (The latter part of course refers to a prophecy regarding Judas being paid to betray Christ. But the overall passage is plainly dual.)

Forbear means “be flabby, lacking or idle”—in other words, be negligent or procrastinate in paying Christ’s price.

As Mr. Pack has explained to the Church, Christ’s price involves three elements that Jesus laid out so plainly. These are listed in Luke 14 in the context of “counting the cost” of Christianity:

(1) Loving Christ more than anyone, including our own lives: “If any man come to Me, and hate [Greek: love less by comparison] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (vs. 26).

(2) Bearing the burdens/crosses that we face in life: “Whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple” (vs. 27).

(3) Giving our assets to support preaching the gospel. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple” (vs. 33).

Waiting for our separated brethren to be returned to the Body of Christ, we have opportunity to set examples of obedience in all areas, including Common. We should receive these men, women and families into a group that is truly, collectively, all in!

If Dave wants to actually preach this then he needs to turn over every single dollar from the sale of his current home that is up for sale to feed the joint account that all other RCG members donate money to.  Every single one of you must be doing this so that when the tens of thousands of wayward COG members come from other groups come over to Dave's side they will see everyone sharing everything.

Time Is Running Out!

Mr. Pack has often described God’s Church today as being in a hurry. Let’s see why. Christians have known for decades that God’s Plan of salvation encompasses 7,000 years. This is comprised of 6,000 years for man to go his own way, apart from God, culminating in the 1,000-year reign of the kingdom of God on Earth, commonly known as the Millennium.

The 6,000-year period of man’s rule will come to an end within only a few years. At that time, all of God’s people will have to give an account of how they lived, including how much their hearts were in His Work. All of us!

Imagine God punishing people whether or not they gave money to Dave and crew.  Total bullshit.

God foretold that near the end many would feel that more time remains: “Behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he [Ezekiel] sees is for many days to come, and he prophesies of the times that are far off” (Ezek. 12:27).

This would be the prevailing mood in national Israel just before sudden destruction. Many would live lives in mockery of God—as if there was more time. Notice: “Knowing this first [do we?], that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Pet. 3:3-4).

Sadly, this lackadaisical mood would also infect God’s people. Most would live with a lack of urgency, paying scant attention to their spiritual condition, as though Christ’s Return was far off—as though there would be plenty of time to repent and qualify at a more leisurely pace. Jesus issued a stern warning to Christians alive before His Coming: “If that servant say in his heart, My Lord delays His coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers” (Luke 12:45-46).

Let this be true of none of us!

Called to Sacrifice

All of you ungodly cretins out there who posses so much, you don't deserve it, none of it.  So........give it all to me for my gospel to go forth.  When you give your offering you need to sacrifice to the point you are suffering, otherwise it is a waste of God's time.

Another of God’s commands applies to each member in regard to Common: “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). Our lives are to be living sacrifices to God, who says this is a reasonable request. After all He has done for us, how could it be unreasonable? Everything we own ultimately belongs to the Creator, who, in His mercy, has rescued us from the death penalty and given us material blessings, which we do not deserve. God expects us to sacrifice when giving offerings, nothing less. Not doing this is disobedience. Virtually all people who practice the world’s many forms of Christianity invariably see their religion as a mere segment—a certain portion—of the day (or week) in their lives. They see following Christ as one of many goals, pursuits or interests that they follow. Few even see Christianity as the greatest of these—when no other goal, pursuit or interest should even be remotely on the same list of life’s most important priorities. It takes sometimes years for true Christians to fully understand this.

Your good works must always involve sacrifice.  Sacrifice of you money!  It should always have pain.  That pain must be mental or physical!  It should be EXTREMELY hard!

Those who truly serve God are called to sacrifice. This involves everything in our lives, including our money. Our good works must involve some kind of sacrificing on our part. This is never easy. A sacrifice is an offering in which some level of pain is always involved, whether mental or physical. Even in human pursuits, it usually means giving up something dear to us so a particular goal can be accomplished. Therefore, sacrificing is usually hard—sometimes extremely hard! Sadly, in this world nearly everyone in Western civilization has become conditioned to leisure, license and luxury as a way of life and would therefore see all forms of sacrifice as unreasonable, intrusive and simply unnecessary. Despite such an environment and thinking that is found all around them, God’s people must come to see sacrifice as ordinary—the usual—NECESSARY. The Christian life is entirely about sacrificing in one form or another.

Romans 12:1 is an admonition that everyone should keep before their eyes. It is the difficult way: “Enter you in at the strait[difficult] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it [or are finding it]” (Matt. 7:13-14).

True Christianity is a life in which we must face and endure difficulties: “You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Tim. 2:3). God’s people are soldiers in a difficult war. We cannot permit ourselves to become caught up in worrying about money so that we fail to obey our calling to sacrifice. Notice verse 4: “No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who has chosen him to be a soldier.”

A Message of Hope

When you see suffering in this world, does it trouble you? Does it move you to want to DO something about it? Think deeply about the following:

·                When you see the destruction wrought by earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, landslides, fires and other catastrophic occurrences, does your heart go out to those affected?

·                When you read of the elderly beaten and robbed in their homes, young people killing each other, neighborhoods terrorized by gangs, and people afraid to leave their homes because of crime, do you wish you could make things better?

·                When you hear of illicit sex, perversion, families not getting along, marriages painfully ending in divorce, and people struggling with their addictions to alcohol, pornography, drugs and gambling, does it grieve you?

·                When you see children with bloated bellies dying of hunger, people living in filthy, overcrowded slums, and young people dying of horrible diseases, do you feel compassion welling up inside you?

·                When you hear of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy abounding worldwide, does it stir your emotions?

·                The same with terror, war, destruction, population displacement, religious confusion, political corruption, and injustice?

Many millions of people (including wealthy philanthropists) collectively give vast billions of dollars to charitable organizations in an attempt to fix this world. Governments and international organizations invest additional billions to eradicate hunger, poverty, disease and war. Yet all their efforts ultimately fail. No amount of human ingenuity can solve mankind’s problems.

You can participate in giving the most wonderful gift this world could possibly receive. By supporting the Work of preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and all other Bible truths in all nations (Matt. 28:19-20), you are helping to bring a message of hope to a world groping about in spiritual darkness (Isa. 59:9-10)—the sure hope of a better world soon to come, to be established under the reign of Jesus Christ.

What greater calling could there be?

The more you give to God’s Work, the more people we can reach with this desperately needed message of hope. For the cost of just 4 cents (USD)—and in some cases less—one additional person can be brought into contact with God’s truth on the Church’s websites. Think. For every extra dollar you give (USD), 25 more individuals can be brought into contact with the truth of God.

The Work has distributed scores of millions of pieces of literature during the past several years, and many millions of people have visited the Church’s websites. But consider: Earth’s population is beyond 7.3 billion human beings. Think of those who live in your city, town, village or even your neighborhood—have they heard the true gospel? What about your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances—have they heard this greatest of news? Realize there is tremendous work to be done. Truly, we (following Jesus’ example) must be about our Father’s business!

Many live unhappy, unfulfilled lives. Some seek answers to their problems and to life’s greatest questions. Knowing we can participate in bringing them precious knowledge should excite us to no end, motivating us to do everything we can.

Think of this short list: Common offerings allow us to increase (sometimes greatly) subscribers to The Real Truth magazine, distribute hardcopy literature, hire employees or ministers, add Feast sites, build or plant elements of the campus, purchase needed equipment such as computers, vehicles, landscaping machinery, or furniture, but most important of course, advertise God’s marvelous, life-saving truths via our three websites (, and and through use of any other available media.

Ways to Give

A question may arise: “The balance in my bank account is small; how can I give more to the Work?” This is a valid question.

First realize you probably have more assets than you think. Here are things to consider:

·                Your Home: If you built up a significant equity in your home, banks will usually permit you to take out a loan against existing equity. This is called a home-equity loan. For those whose home is owned outright, another option is a reverse mortgage, which turns a home’s equity into an income stream.

·                Other Real Estate: If you have more than one home, ask yourself, “Do I really need the other(s)?” The answer is virtually always “no.” The same applies if you own more than one piece of land.

·                Investments: Some have their money sitting in various investments, for example, stocks (including employee stock ownership plans), bonds, term deposits, gold and silver. Bearing in mind the coming economic cataclysm, would you not rather earn a larger return on your investment by putting some of those funds into the Work?

Did you know that REAL Christians NEVER retire???????!!!!!!!!!  Because you are never to retire you should be giving any money in your pension plan directly to Dave.  We all know he will take care of you when you are on the last part of you life needing care.  Right?  The more money you give the more Dave will help you......dream on!

·                Retirement Plans: Some enter the “golden years” with significant sums in retirement plans. As we know, retiring is not something able-bodied Christians do. Thus, these funds can help the Work surge forward!

Don't even think about keeping any inheritances either!

·                Inheritances: If you have an inheritance coming, perhaps from a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend, all the principles regarding Common discussed in this article, and in Mr. Pack’s sermons, come to bear.

Don't be an ungrateful slob and put the church in your will while you enjoy your money in this life.  The church deserves the money now, not when you die.  Besides, some of your relatives or children might contest it and then the church would have to spend more money fighting to get it all.

·                Wills: Some people have told Headquarters that when they die, certain assets will go to the Work of God. In some cases (this has been happening for decades), they named the Church in their will and sent us a copy. The challenge facing the Work is that it needs funding today, not years from now. In addition, wills can take a long time to settle, especially if tied up in legal matters. It shows much more faith in God to send the funds now rather than later.

Do you have a large collections of collectibles?  If so, sell it all!  Right now!  Sell it and send ALL proceeds to Dave!

·                Collector’s Items: Over the years, some have acquired valuable collections through hobbies, inheritances, or by just being in the right place at the right time. These include art, antiques, classic cars, ornaments, gems, sports memorabilia, and other collector’s items. If this is you, do you need these things? Or could you sell them and donate most or all of the proceeds?

Start cleaning out your garages and closets.  Have yard sales and send Dave everything you make.

·                Old Belongings: Some people are “packrats”—they keep everything they have ever owned. Over the years they have accumulated old clothes, furniture and other items they no longer use, which sit gathering dust. If you have things you no longer need, a sale is a great way to raise funds. Though you might not think you would raise much, every little bit (“widow’s mite”) helps.

These are just a snapshot of ways to give. You can probably think of more.

When deciding how much to give, USE WISDOM. Make sure to do the following:

·    Pray about what you send, asking God to guide you on the right amount.

·    Again, do not give the Church “all your money.” Remember, you still have to live, as well as have some savings for a “rainy day.”

·                Make sure you understand and address the tax implications of what you send. This may involve independent research, or perhaps limited consultation with a tax attorney.

If you would like to give, it is helpful to let Headquarters know in advance—be “willing to communicate” (I Tim. 6:18)—how much you are planning to contribute and the timeframe for ours receiving it. Knowing such things GREATLY helps Headquarters with its budget planning process.

Word to the Prosperous

A number of God’s people are affluent. They have assets in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD), perhaps even in the millions. This is particularly true of some living in the United States, Britain, Canada and other nations of modern Israel where God’s promised blessings to Abraham’s descendants have been great. But it may also be the case with some in other countries.

If you are affluent and have lots of money you are particularly expected to give it to Dave.

If this applies to you, then you have a special obligation to the Work of God: “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required” (Luke 12:48). Jesus Christ has blessed you with much of this world’s goods, and will require (soon) an accounting from you as to how you used it.

Riches or possessions will not determine your salvation nor save you from the evil days ahead. They are fleeting—“here today, gone tomorrow.” Our only protection is with God, who tells us that we should be “ready to distribute.” Where would this be more applicable than to God’s Work? But if we are faithful with God’s command, He assures we are “laying up in store for [ourselves] a good foundation against the time to come, that [we] may lay hold on eternal life” (I Tim. 6:19).

Some Cautions

Over the years, some of God’s people have been incredibly generous (obedient!) with their assets. They have sought to go to the very farthest limits of their capability. God recognizes their sacrifice! Some are living in difficult or very difficult financial circumstances. Therefore, for these it would be unwise—or even impossible—to give more. They simply do not have the funds. Hearts can be big when wallets and purses are small. God knows this. Neither God nor His Church expect you to do what cannot be done. This article is NOT written in the spirit of trying to pressure people to give. It is to explain God’s command regarding Common. This is our part. All decisions that follow are yours.

Remember though that God will not reward you if you are not sacrificing and hurting!

If after reading this article you assess your financial situation and are unable to give anything, do not feel ashamed. If you can only give little, do not be embarrassed. But all of God’s people should diligently examine their circumstances and determine what they can or cannot do.

Recognize that the human heart is deceitful (Jer. 17:9) and selfish. Therefore, we must fight tendencies that could appear when considering this matter. Be honest in self-examination, because Christ will be when assessing what we did or could have done for His Work from blessings He sent.

Lest any of you think about questioning Dave's reasonings, you must take all of these questions into consideration.

The possibility exists that this article could offend a few. If this is true of you, let’s reason together: Ask why you are offended. In light of the far-reaching scope of this article, ponder these questions:

·                What is the reason for offense?
·                What scripture(s) has (have) been explained incorrectly?
·                Are you offended at God’s command to sacrifice?
·                Or for calling you into His Church?
·                Do you believe God’s calling is merely for you to get your salvation?
·                Do you not want to do all you can to support preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, and all His other wonderful truths, to as many as possible?
·                Have you considered the special blessings that follow obedience?
Further, consider all that God has done for us:
·                Sent His Son to die for us so our sins could be forgiven, freeing us from the death penalty.
·                Blessed us with material things we do not deserve.
·                Opened our minds to most precious truth.
·                Taken us from our miserable, sin-filled lives and shown us the right way to live.
·                Called us to participate in sharing the most awesome knowledge the human mind could receive.
·                Offered salvation—birth into His Family!
·                Creating in us His perfect, holy, righteous character, reproducing Himself through us.

Be careful not to accuse God’s Church of seeking to enrich itself at your expense—Jesus Christ surely takes such accusations personally.

How can Jesus take it personally when the church ignores Jesus?  I am sure he finds that much more offensive than someone struggling to give money.

Tragically, worldly “preachers” (actually, “deceitful workers, transforming themselves into…ministers of righteousness”—II Cor. 11:13, 15) have become wealthy on the backs of their followers—all while offering empty platitudes and falsehoods in return. The Church of the Living God is different!

Dave's most superfantabulous work must always be cuttng corners and operating on a shoestring budget because lazy church members would send in everything they own.

Do you truly understand the sacrifices made over the years so that marvelous truths could reach a desolate and desperate world? If only everyone could sit in Headquarters budget meetings and see how God’s leaders constantly seek to scrimp, cut and implement financial austerity measures here, there and everywhere so the Work can go forward.

God’s Work operated on a “shoestring” for a long time. Over time, many ministers and staff have taken pay cuts (BIG ONES!) to work at Headquarters, given up promising careers, voluntarily worked without pay—and in a few cases even given their lives!—so the Work could be finished. Were it not for these sacrifices, you might not be in the Church today.

Church employees have taken big pay cuts, though Dave has not. It has been a long standing tradition in the COG HQ's for the little people to get crapped upon first.  HWA did it, and so does every single COG group to this day.

Considering this (and so much more), is it remotely right to be offended? Should we not be grateful beyond words for the opportunity to participate in the most important Work on Earth? Realize you are one of a select few in history whom God has called. Only a tiny number have had the privilege to receive this unique opportunity. Each of us is one of hundreds of thousands who could be in our seat. This knowledge should humble us beyond measure, but also inspire us to increased zeal and dedication to this great end-time Work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Headquarters has been asked by many individuals and couples for assistance in determining how to obey Christ’s command, based on their circumstances. No two situations are identical, but certain questions regularly arise.

Q: Is Common paid or given?

A: Mr. Pack answered this question in the more recent of the sermons mentioned above. He was speaking in the context of Christ’s instruction about profitable and unprofitable servants: “Is Common commanded? Is it paid or is it given? Is it an offering or like a tithe? The answer? It is both. You are commanded to give it and it is your duty. As a matter of fact, if you do give your “Common,” you could still be an unprofitable servant because everybody must do it. It is a baseline. So it will not automatically get you into the kingdom of God. However, I used both terms because everybody (much like a Holy Day offering or any other offering) must decide what they believe is the portion they keep back. Where do you set the limit? The person who gives more versus the one who gives less defines who is profitable to God and who is not.

“Somebody can give a huge amount and a great many poor of this world can hear the gospel, yet the person who gave may not even reach the kingdom. Have you thought of that? It was their ‘commanded duty.’ But they become profitable to God when they say, ‘You know what?…I have an awesome job, unlike anybody else. Look at my house. Look at my cars. Look at my clothes. Look at my steady income…I do not need this much and can give more than I think.’ Such people can go further than they often think. God does not define your portion, your part, your allotment. You do.”

Q: What are the typical pitfalls?

A: We have at times seen members fall into two opposite ditches:

(1) Giving so much that they bring themselves to the brink of financial insolvency. This happens less often, and is solved by looking at income, expenses and debt while deciding how much to give. Headquarters can provide counsel to help prevent this.

(2) Mistaking merely “a nice offering” for the “all” that Common requires. To illustrate, think of a member with $1 million in the bank. (This would be rare.) He has simplified his lifestyle to a reasonable level, and does not need more than his current income to cover his monthly expenses. He has determined that a prudent savings, based on various factors, is $15,000. He learns of the Common doctrine, evaluates his circumstances…and decides to give $300,000 to the Work. While this is a very large amount—far beyond the capability of most—it still leaves him with $685,000 of excess funds he does not need. He has given—and that helps the Work!—but he is not “all in.” He has not truly obeyed Christ’s command—or even come close. Consider the widow of Mark 12: “Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (vs. 41-44). Though the amount the widow gave was tiny, she had deeply sacrificed.

Q: Must I sell my house?

A: Other verses make clear we may have a home. Paul asked the rhetorical question, “Have you not houses to eat and to drink in?” (I Cor. 11:22). Also, Sabbath services were generally held in members’ homes in the first century (Rom. 16:5; I Cor. 16:19), still often the case today. In modern times, Common applies to second homes, vacation cottages, investment properties, land and other unnecessary assets.

Regarding primary residences, a distinction must be made between a home used as shelter and a place from which to extend hospitality, and one held as an asset—a “stockpile” of equity. Again, in this age, there are banking instruments that allow one to live in a house—and “own” very little of it—in the exact same way as if it was owned outright.

Q: What about my retirement account?

A: According to many plain scriptures, Christians do not retire. The Fourth Commandment alone makes this plain: “Six days shall you labor, and do all your work” (Ex. 20:9). Another crucial verse states, “Even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thes. 3:10). (Of course, it is natural to slow down somewhat as we age.)

Mr. Pack said this in “How a Small Church Does Such Big Things (Part 2)”: “Retirement is unbiblical, period. That is why Mr. Armstrong said, ‘We will never retire’…Retirement is a sin if you are able-bodied…I have given a sermon on this, ‘The Work Ethic and The Work.’ Some may say, ‘Well, Mr. Pack, that is strong.’ Yes, it is strong, but God is strong! You cannot come into the Work and say, ‘I am retired because men told me I can.’ God does not say you can. Mr. Armstrong died at 93½ on the job; Moses, too, along with other servants of God. They retired into the grave. But a lot of people have amassed a lot of wealth, so they think they can retire because men told them they could. Retirement is another part of the culture out there that people marinate in…It is called the entitlement mindset.” (For more on this, listen to his full sermon series.)

Did you know that it is a sin to leave your children an inheritance?  The end will be here in a few years and they won't be able to spend it.  Dave can though, so send it all to him.  Screw your kids over! That's the Christian thing to do.

Q: Does Proverbs 13:22 require Christians today to provide an inheritance to grandchildren?

A: This verse states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” While this had direct application in ancient Israel during and beyond when it was written, the urgency of our time presents a very different scenario. We are living in the final age of the Church, with the signs of the end-time blaring at us minute-to-minute from the headlines! Our children would hardly have opportunity to spend an inheritance, never mind our grandchildren. We are the generation who, at the 1,335 days, will have to leave behind everything but the clothing we are wearing. Just weeks later, our material goods will be plundered as the Great Tribulation arrives—there will be no neat distribution to inheritors.

Again quoting Mr. Pack: “I’m never going to leave my children anything. The same with all my grandchildren. Why? Because there is no possible way they would ever get it. Consider for a minute. At the resurrection of the dead, not one person will own land or a house. Not one living Christian in God’s Church will still have either. In fact, we will have decided three years and eight-and-a-half months earlier to leave our houses and lands. You will have left your dwelling…so the question becomes, will you give some of it now?

“The chances are, if you won’t give it now—and I’m not saying leave it—there are banking instruments in place where you do not need to leave your house. It’s different from the first century. You can pull money from your house and live in it as though you owned it outright. Of course no bank will let you be upside down in your house.

“Now consider. If you won’t give up your houses and lands now, you probably really won’t have to worry about giving them up at the time of “taken.” You’ll get to keep them for a little while longer, while all those who did give up houses, who did give up lands, and received them back again because God provides for them—with persecution—will again be willing to do it at the 1,335 days before Christ’s Return.

“We have two categories of people, as it were: Those who gave up houses twice, and those who won’t give them up at all. Take a look at what you have—gold, silver, 401Ks, stocks, coins, stamps, paintings, antiques, equity. What do you have that you don’t need? You can continue your lifestyle if you’re not acting in an affluent way (that’s not the calling of Christians). Don’t leave yourself with no clothes, standing out in an intersection without food in your stomach, or a house. You may need counsel, but there are a lot of things you can get rid of. Great numbers have already learned this.”

Q: To keep the Fifth Commandment, are we required to financially take care of parents?

Restored Church of God members should NOT be taking care of parents in expensive nursing or retirement homes!  That money belongs to Dave!  This is especially true of your unconverted parents who are not RCG Members.

A: We can and should do what we can to make sure our parents are in a safe environment and not lacking basic necessities. But Christians are not obligated to subsidize an upscale setting, even if they were once accustomed to it. Consider: When their minds are opened to the truth at the Second Resurrection, they will have an entirely different view in hindsight of converted children’s decisions. Will our parents look back and think, “Now I understand their actions—they did the right thing”—or will they say, “What were they thinking?!? They could have done so much more to help finish the Work!”

Q: My family/spouse/friends are opposed to me sending Common. How should I respond?

Above all do NOT tell unconverted spouses!  Give money behind their backs. Dave needs it all!

A: First, never tell family outside the Church about a command they have no chance to understand! (You would certainly never tell them even the size of a Holy Day offering.) Since we established that giving all is not possible without God, you should not expect those outside God’s Church to believe it is possible, or even a good idea. (This would also apply to a financial advisor, who would view any notion of “treasure in heaven” or being “rich toward God” as foolishness.) Remember: Family and friends cannot give eternal life. They cannot place a crown on your head or put you on a throne ruling cities beside Christ. Do not permit their opposition to jeopardize your eternal life and reward!

Recall Jesus’ instruction to one who wanted to delay following Him on account of family: “He [Jesus] said unto another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go you and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-60).

Get counsel on this matter if you are unsure.

Q: My home/land/property is on the market but is not selling. What should I do?

A: Over time, while assisting many members liquidating real estate to benefit the Work, the Headquarters ministry has seen a pattern repeat itself many times: The seller must aggressively drop the price, often more than once in a short time, to find the market “sweet spot” that brings a serious buyer to the table. Almost always, the selling price is considerably below what the member had expected. The desire to give more to God’s Work through a higher price is wonderful, but generally speaking it is better to relatively quickly drop the price to one that will rapidly sell.

This evokes Christ’s parable of the unjust steward: “There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? For my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

“I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owe you unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owe you? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and write fourscore.

“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:1-12).

Here is a quote from one of Mr. Pack’s sermons on Common regarding this parable: “Brethren, be like the unjust steward with your possessions. Maybe (proverbially) write 80 as he did, or write 50, so to speak. Again, get what you can for what you have. Holding out for the bigger price usually yields nothing, rather than more. We’d all like to think it will (rarely it can), but it may yield nothing. Be willing to scramble…That’s what the unjust steward did. He scrambled. We might say God’s Work is in a big hurry. We could move more quickly with our plans if God’s people moved quickly.

“Because of the compacting of the age and the ‘short Work’ (remember God picked a word in Romans 9:28 that means compact), we must act quickly. We have to be jet-propelled. So we here must move at the speed you move. Go to God for that extra help. Those are some things worth considering in regard to the unjust steward.”

The following also applies: Whatever is needed for the member to stay financially stable (retire revolving debt, build or maintain a moderate savings for emergencies, etc.) is the portion that should be retained by the member. If the Church’s gain is diminished somewhat due to a reduced price, this is preferable to the property sitting on the market for months—or years—and being useful to no one, besides being an upkeep burden for its owner.

Three Things Needed to Follow Through

Finally, we examine three spiritual qualities that must be in us—and strong—to obey Christ’s command.

(1) Faith: Believe all the promises of God that He will provide for all our physical needs. Among them, as we saw, is “…seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:29-31). We must also understand and believe that not obeying God in Common, as in every other area of conversion, blocks His ability to bless and provide for us. He must provide trials instead.

(2) The fear of God: This quality, so rare even among converted minds today, plays a big role in paying Common. Psalm 2:11—“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling”—is a simple instruction, but difficult to follow in the modern age. So is Philippians 2:12—“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” The one who truly trembles before God will comply with Christ’s instruction to pay His price. Again recall Mr. Pack’s milestone sermon, “The Fear of God—As You’ve Never Seen It!” and the verse “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb. 11:7). Fearing God leads to action! This central attribute causes Christians to do what God says, including Christ’s command to “forsake all that he has.” Some choose to sit on funds that belong to God. They fear being without money more than fearing God’s command to give it to Him. Don’t let this be you! Psalm 34 declares, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him. O fear the Lord, you His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (vs. 8-10). Psalm 147 adds, “The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy” (vs. 11).

(3) Desire to please God: Finally, I John 3 holds two keys to answered prayer: “If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (vs. 21-22). Obedience and pleasing God are both important. Pleasing Him requires a level of service beyond obedience. Thinking of all that God has done for us, let’s serve Him “with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things” (Deut. 28:47).

Your Best Investment

Storm clouds continue to threaten the global economy. The nations of the West, for so long the world’s financial engine, are in deep trouble. As they go, so goes the world. National leaders are frantically looking for solutions to the crisis.

In the meantime, Church members understand there is a time coming soon when it will be impossible for God’s Work to continue. Knowing there are but a few years remaining should powerfully motivate us to give even more.

People are concerned about their financial future unlike any period since the 1930s. They are busy putting money into what they consider to be safe investments. Where will you put yours? As a member of the only true Church, what is your safest investment?

The time will soon come when anyone not under God’s protection will be in BIG TROUBLE—and their financial savvy will not save them: “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall…not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord” (Ezek. 7:19). Since gold (and to a lesser degree silver) is being advertised and sold everywhere, no one yet realizes it is useless against the Day of the Lord. How often do we think of this passage in connection to what we may be holding back beyond what we truly need? Remember the parable of the rich fool: In setting his heart on the things money can buy, he thought he had made it—only to die suddenly (Luke 12:15-21).

If you are stingy with God’s Work in trying to save yourself, do not expect much in return from God, including His divine protection. But the more generous you are, the more God will bless you. “He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Cor. 9:6). The more you “invest” in God’s Work, the bigger will be your return on investment! What a wonderful deal! God loves a cheerful giver (vs. 7), and will bless you accordingly (vs. 8). Yet, and this is critical to remember, Common funds are not really offerings. They are commanded in the spirit of verses explained earlier. But understanding how God views offerings helps paint the full picture.

Our only hope of protection from the evil days to come is with Almighty God. Holding back displeases Him, and will cause Him to hold back His blessings (Heb. 10:38). If we try to save our lives by trusting in human effort, we will eventually lose out—but if we “lose our lives” by sacrificing for His end-time Work, we will be saved (Matt. 16:25-26). To receive God’s protection, we must walk “by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7), relying totally on Him. People with a large reserve of assets can obviously SEE what they have. This is what brings them peace—and security. It is what they “trust” in to get them through hard times. But neither they nor anyone else has ever seen the kind of hard times scheduled to strike the whole world like a “snare” (Luke 21:35)!

The Rest Is Up to You!

Time is short. The Return of Jesus Christ is but a few years away. It will occur in our lifetime. This world grows darker every day. God’s Church has an immense Work to do—one of staggering proportions—and is ready to expand as never before. His final Work is nearing its world-shaking crescendo! Are we individually ready? Each must ask:

Have I obeyed having “all things Common” with my brethren?

Have I sold “whatsoever I have,” and given the gospel to the poor?

Have I paid this portion of Christ’s “price”?