To answer the question, JUST WHAT IS THE WORK?, Herbert W. Armstrong personally wrote:
But Christ said to His Philadelphia era Church, that because we have but little strength, He would OPEN THOSE DOORS TO US (Rev. 3:8)" (Letter 11/19/76).The PURPOSE for which Christ built the Church exemplifies its WORK...1) To ANNOUNCE to the world for its witness the coming Kingdom of God...2) To prepare the people to whom God adds to the Church...God has always worked with humans. He has worked with O N E M A N at a time...The WORK consists of proclaiming the Gospel, by radio, by television, in print (Armstrong HW. JUST WHAT IS THE WORK? PASTOR GENERAL'S REPORT - VOL.3, NO.6 February 6, 1981)
Notice that Herbert Armstrong believed that God mainly worked through the leadership of one man at a time to lead various phases of the work. Scripture, shows for example, that the mantle passed from Elijah to Elisha (2 Kings 2:9-15). The 'mantle' would currently be with the person/group that truly functioned as the 'pillar and ground of truth' (1 Timothy 3:15).
Who is the one man at this time?
The O N E M A N at this time is Dr. Bob Thiel who while assisting in the directions of others who are supporting him, is proclaiming Christ's Gospel of the Kingdom by radio, via YouTube "television," via Internet articles, in person, and in print as he leads the Continuing Church of God.Then there is this from Amazon where he peddles his prophecy porn:
Bob Thiel was raised in Michigan into a Catholic family, He moved to California in 1976 and is loyal to Holy Bible and the Church of God. His first book was published in 1994. Dr. Thiel is a one of the world's foremost authorities on prophecy writings, a published Ph.D. and a highly regarded researcher with multiple research awards to his credit. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of LaVerne, a Master's degree from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. from the Union Institute and University. Throughout his academic and professional career he has studied philosophy, religion, science, and prophecy; in recent years, has had scores of articles published on these subjects in magazines, newspapers, religious publications, and scientific journals. Married to his wife Joyce since 1981, the two have made multiple trips to ancient sites around the world including Asia Minor, Mayan sites, Vatican City, Patmos, Constantinople/Istanbul, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific.Other than Dave Pack, can the COG have a bigger narcissist in its midst? "World's foremost authority on prophecy?" If that is true then my cat speaks German! There is not one single COG leader that is an authority on prophecy OR who has ever uttered a true prophecy, including Almost-arrested Bob Thiel.
He also makes it appear as he is still a devoted Catholic by stating he was raised Catholic and now remains true to the Church of God. To many Catholics, this means he is still a Catholic since they refer to themselves as the church of God. The COG has been filled with myriads of men who use slight of hand when talking about themselves and the church. Deception without really lying is the name of the game.
On another site in 2012 he was featured in a blog interview under Paranormal Features about his book on 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect.
When asked about how he does his research he says:
Where do you research for your books?Anyone can buy books, visit libraries and "visit" sites pertaining to a subject that interests them, yet that does not make them authorities on the subject. Until a person gets their hands dirty and spends decades digging in Mayan ruins, excavating sites, collaborating with world known scientists and real authorities, enduring endless hours testing and retesting, attending a real seminary where one actually did real research with in-depth years-long study and not doing an online distance-by-learning degree study where one picks their own topic and does not start with ones own COG biases in order to make ones conclusions fit ones assumed conclusions (church teachings), then a person might be found to have more credibility. Doubly-blessed Thiel reeks of deception.
I buy and read other books, visit libraries, and go to sites of interest around the world. Additionally, online resources are also helpful.
Does Elisha Bob look like a man who has ever gotten his hands dirty by doing hard work and building up some calluses on his delicate hands? He is another COG elitist who has been pandered to by silly men who thought he was "converted" and had some kind of special knowledge thus "doubly blessing" him.
What are you passionate about these days?Yet here is a man who is a false prophet. A man who self-appointed himself. His theological training was by two certified false prophets, Herbert Armstrong and Rod Meredith. He has debilitating limitations right out of the starting gate!
I am passionate about trying to warn people not to follow false prophets as well as not to dismiss the value of prophecy because there are many false prophets. I also believe that God loves everyone and that God's real plan makes sense, so I try to explain it despite my limitations.
As for his god loving all humanity, he conveniently fails to tell "Laurie" that his god is ready to destroy most of humanity through war, pestilence, disease, and famine. He fails to tell her about the rampaging Germans, Chinese and Muslims who are scheduled to wipe most British Israelite nations off the map or take them into captivity. Elisha Bob and most of the COG movement has made its mission to get across how pissed off its god is and how It is going to leash fury upon the world. Again, deception is the name of the game.
Elijah Bob also has words about those who criticize his books:
How do you react to a bad review of your book?He assumes that anyone who disagrees with his already incorrect book has not read it nor understood the message he was attempting to get across. It never crosses his mind that people can easily disprove all of his books. A first-year seminarian at Fuller Theological Seminary can do that! Again, deception is the name of the game.
The few "bad reviews" of my book I have read have always suggested that the bad "reviewer" really did not actually read (or at least understand) 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect. Those who have actually read and understood it do not tend to write bad reviews.
John D, on the Church of God Perspective blog, is correct in stating:
Bob Thiel wants to pick on anyone and everyone in order to justify his own beliefs and vaunted ego. However, the fact is that he is a liar, he does not care for the truth, or accuracy for that matter, and he constantly compares himself to others.A reader responded:
It’s obvious Bob Thiel is trying to present his credentials in a positive fashion which he hopes will leave a positive impression to the reader. But “studied graduate level” is not the same as earning a degree at graduate level, also “after a lot of writing” being granted a Th. D. doesn’t exactly tell the reader where it came from. Such a presentation of credentials leaves it open to a readers imagination. It can lead a reader to believe he’s achieved an impressive Th.D. or it can lead a reader to believe it came from an online version of the old saying “Where’d you get that degree, out of a Cracker Jack box?”
Besides nowadays when it comes to teaching ideas about prophecy, there is a tendency to be evasive and vague enough to avoid timelines. They don’t make statements about events that will absolutely occur in the readers lifetime, but maintain a dialogue that leaves an impression that they absolutely know it may happen in a person’s lifetime. A legitimate question is, would a real prophet act like that?The question still remains about Amos Thiel: