Saturday, December 16, 2017

More Upheaval In the COG: Pastor Resigns Over Use of "Amen" at End of Prayers

It looks like another Church of God group is getting ready to split after it's pastor resigns over a controversy over the use of "amen" at the end of prayers.

Ron Harmon of The House of God located in Texas, is of the belief that using "amen" after a prayer is acknowledging the sun-god "Aman-Ra" from ancient Egypt.

If these men focused even half of their energy on Jesus instead of silliness like this then they might actually accomplish something.  But no, they cannot and will not.

July 16th 2017
Hello Mike:
Please take the following with brotherly intent.
In Reply to your letter on the term amen, I feel you have misunderstood my stance on this issue. 
I did one sermon on this and in that sermon, I told everyone it wasn't a doctrine or a edict of the church; they were free to use amen or any other phrase to end a pray, or none at all. I recommended folks doing their own study on the subject, just as I do most other things I speak about.
As far as Frank was concerned, he took it to a level where I would never have, but that was Frank.
IT"S NOT A DOCTRINE of this church. It's not written anywhere and it isn't even on the website because the old archives are listed as of now.
I agreed for your sake I wouldn't push this any further, but you seem to be insistent when there isn't any others bringing the subject up.
It leads me to ask, what do you want done?
If you want me to publicly proclaim I was wrong and Frank was wrong, that isn't going to happen, I will resign and leave the church before that happens.
As far as I'm concerned on a personal bases, I will never use the phrase amen and I will spell out to why.
It is a reaffirmation of a prayer or a sermon or statement. The ancient Egyptians used it in the exact same manner but to their sun god amen-ra, aman-ra or amun-ra, however you want to spell it, all are correct.
1. You keep referring to Revelation 3:14 as your sticking point on this.
There are at least three other bible translations that don't use the word amen.
TLB (Living Bible)
“Write this letter to the leader of the church in Laodicea: “This message is from the one who stands firm, the faithful and true Witness of all that is or was or evermore shall be,* the primeval source of God’s creation:
NLV (New Living Translation)
“Write this to the angel of the church in the city of Laodicea: ‘The One Who says, Let it be so, the One Who is faithful, the One Who tells what is true, the One Who made everything in God’s world, says this:
WE, (World English)
`Write this to the angel of the church people in Laodicea: Here are the words of the one whose name is Truth. What he says can be trusted. He is the one who began all that God made.
I don't believe for one second amen is one of Jesus names, nor is God or any other name we use and amen won't be used in His kingdom.
It is not credible that God would invoke the name of an Egyptian god when he regarded himself as the only true God and his own name as above all names. “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other...” (Isaiah 42:8).
Even the name Lord here is improper, should actually say Yahweh.
But I don't make folks adhere to the true translations either, I even try and not say the word lord, instead I use Eternal if I remember.
In John chapter one He is called the logo's (word) and that is a correct interpretation as well.
But scriptures have been manipulated in so many areas of the bible, its really a matter of where one draws the line.
The word wasn't used before Israel went into captivity, while in captivity there is no evidence they kept their complete language pure or unbroken, it wouldn't even be practical to believe so.
It also isn't practical to assume they worshiped only the God of Israel, they didn't.
It is the reason why the true God did what He did when He brought Israel out of Egypt.
I don't want to go word for word on this with you, all I need to know is what is your solution?
I'm fine with leaving the issue as it is and not bringing it up, but if you want it expunged from Austin's lexicon and Franks archives, you'll have to address the whole Austin congregation about it.
One last thing, I don't in any way consider it blasphemous to our true Father or Christ to limit ones words he uses, especially when affirming another's prayers or statements.
Mathew 5:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Mike if you feel so strongly about my stance on this, then I gladly step down and you can chart the way of the church for the future. I'm not so wrapped up in this position it would bother me to step aside at this time.
Until then, I'm glad to let those that want to use amen use it, and those that don't, not do so.
This has been my stance on the use of sacred names, and any other thing someone wants to believe.
It's my desire we can get this issue behind us and we can stay friends and fellow workers for Christ but I won't be forced to do something I don't believe in, and I wouldn't expect you or any other person to do so either.
God Bless.

Church of God News had this:

House of God 
This is pastor Ron Harmon’s letter of resignation from the House of God in Texas: 
“To The Wonderful People of the House of God: 
Unknown to most of you there has been a spiritual struggle occurring within our congregations. It was a battle not of my choosing, but it caused much tension in our home. This last Sunday at our annual meeting of the consul and ministers of the House of God, it all came to a conclusion. 
This spiritual battle has been raging behind the scenes for many years bringing me to a final conclusion. I can’t work effectively when others I work with are so consumed by my different beliefs on ending prayers, not allowing camaraderie to exist. 
As of Sunday (12th December 2017), Virginia and I are no longer members of the House of God. I won’t get into the specifics for the sake of the church, only to say the following. I cannot go against my convictions and how I see the scriptures. There are some in the leadership of the church who seem to believe my salvation is lost because of what I believe on one issue. I can only say this, you might be careful how you judge others and their salvation. 
I will be continuing the work in the ways I can from my home. I’m not sure at this time how that will manifest itself, but the fact is, I can’t stop serving God. 
I wish everyone well and God’s blessings. I’ve always tried to help make everyone’s lives a little better at the House of God and we hope you remember us fondly. Virginia and I are deeply saddened by what has transpired over the last few months. We are saddened to not be a part of your lives any longer, but we no longer feel welcomed, and we don’t go where we’re not welcomed. 
God Bless you all: Ron Harmon.” 

Gerald Weston on Yoga

Video update to the yoga comments instead of the entire mind numbing sermon

"This is something the church should not legislate on..."   but...

God Weston makes it quite clear on what LCG members should do concerning Yoga.  While he does not explicitly say what to do, the implications are very clear.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Revelatory Fun: "As Above...So Below"

Revelation 4:

The Throne in Heaven
4 "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it".

Casseiopia the Throne in the North

3 "And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder."

The Throne (Casseopia) is on the sides of the North with a rainbow around it (The Milky Way)  The 24 Elders are the 24 hours in the day as divided by the longitudinal grid emanating from the North Pole. The Bear (Dipper), i.e. the Seven Spirits of God are close to the center in this view

In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God

Ursa Major-The Big Dipper-The Seven Spirits of God
Opposite the Throne Casseopia

. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

The Sea of Glass clear as crystal (The Milky Way) in front of the Throne Casseopia between it and The Seven Spirits of God (The Bear/Dipper)

"In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:"

The four living creatures are made up from the Constellations of the Four Seasons, in this case, Summer-Leo the Lion...and three months earlier, Spring- Taurus the Ox...and three months earlier, Winter-Aquarius the Waterman...and three months earlier, Fall-Aquila the Eagle.  Their combined wings again are the 24 hours in the day (4x6) and "covered with eyes" are the night sky stars one can see all around them.  

These creatures, representing Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall are also found in Ezekiel's visions. 
Or it's a big coincidence they match the seasonal constellations

Let me know if you'd like to hear about Revelation 12:4?

Revelation 12:4 4Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born."


Phew--close call!
Virgo, the Virgin, (upper left) slips the birth of the Sun past Serpens and Satan and is given the Wings of a Great Eagle, (Aquila the Eagle to the left) to flee to her place.
(This is also the current just before Christmas morning sky)

Or again...just an amazing coincidence

"As below"

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sexual harassment and the women of "me too"

Sexual harassment and the women of "me too" 
by Greg Doudna

This is from the ACPasadenareunion site and is used by permission of Gregory Doudna.  Besides being an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is the author of the excellent book published in 2006,  "Showdown at Big Sandy: Youthful Creativity Confronts Bureaucratic Inertia at an Unconventional Bible College in East Texas"

Before our eyes there is a sea change, a threshold, seemingly a quantum level, a tipping or turning point in America, on sexual harassment, with powerful men falling right and left, with a new reality that behavior formerly often considered a joke but which caused real pain to women, no longer beyond the reach of accountability. Is this what a national repentance looks like?

In retrospect, how would WCG history and our own AC experience have been different if the unspeakable allegation concerning HWA had been known?

"Unspeakable" because it is literally unspoken, like the family secret that is never named, including in my own book "Showdown at Big Sandy", even though I knew of it and believed it was true. I have never heard it even mentioned on this forum, perhaps for similar reasons as why I simply could not bring myself to do so when I wrote my book. When I first heard the allegation long ago I felt like throwing up, a feellng which lasted for days. That it was apparently true seemed indicated on a number of grounds brought out in past issues of Ambassador Report, with a long track record of consistently highly accurate reporting. Yet I could not bring myself to name it, it was so sickening to me.

There is a European tradition that politicians can have mistresses or infidelities and no one cares so long as they are competent at their job. That is not what the current issues in America, the "me-too" stories coming out like a tsunami, seem to be about. It is rather about issues of abuses of power, and nonconsensual violation of body.

In late 1973, just as the dissident outbreak of Shreveport and then the larger regional directors of 1974 was breaking, I among a thousand others heard GTA in a sermon at Big Sandy say that there had been an early allegation of adultery against his father, HWA, back in the early days in Oregon. GTA did not say the allegation was true. In fact everyone hearing it would have assumed it was not true, a false allegation, in GTA's telling, though to the best of my memory GTA did not directly say it was false either, even though that was the default assumption. But what was that all about? I had never heard of such an allegation before regarding HWA. Barely two or three months later, Ronald Dart (resident deputy chancellor at Big Sandy) in a sermon or a student forum (I forget which it was but I was present and wrote in real-time notes the exact wording), said with emphasis: that in all of the criticisms of HWA that were being voiced by dissidents one thing that was not being raised or questioned was the content of HWA's character. "His (HWA's) character is as pure as the driven snow" said Mr. Dart with great rhetorical impact and force. I interpret that as that by early 1974 Mr. Dart had literally not yet heard the allegation.

Yet the allegation did later become known, based on GTA's telling a few people and the word was out, GTA having learned it firsthand confidentially from the victim. The allegation was never denied by HWA or the victim, and as reported by Ambassador Report, both the victim and her husband had been receiving church payments for decades, even though not employed. As the story was being voiced privately among people in contact with GTA but before it was yet publicly reported or known to church members, I remember a co-worker letter of HWA in which HWA spoke of some undefined supreme, master stroke of Satan, some utterly devastating master blow against the church which may be coming which would exceed anything the members could imagine. I wondered what was that all about? Of course HWA spoke in hyperbole in nearly every co-worker letter, so it was easy to read and dismiss that as more of the same, i.e. nothing specific. But in retrospect that comes across in a different light, like a man fearing a horrible skeleton becoming exposed. The spectre of how effective that master attack of Satan (as HWA put it) would be in HWA's telling--how many brethren HWA believed would fall away as a result--reads like a fear of the effect of a devastating, true allegation.

That is past history now. But what should--should--have been the proper response, when this allegation became known? What should ministers and members do, if it occurred today? Should HWA have been forced to resign? But, the way it was set up, HWA alone decided who should be forced to resign at his level, and everyone else should trust in God who was responsible for guiding HWA in his decisions, and God had not led HWA to decide that HWA should resign. This was believed to be God's government in operation.

I cannot imagine that I, or my father before me in Akron, Ohio, would have come into the church in the first place with a leader credibly having the nature of the allegation against HWA. It would have changed everything for me, or my father. But, when the allegation did become known, it did not change everything, in fact, outwardly and seemingly, it changed not much of anything. How could people like Meredith and other old-timers with similar mindsets, for example, still have continued to uphold HWA without addressing that? Did they think the allegation was actually fabricated? Did they think that it was irrelevant?

Toward the end of my time at AC and afterward, I discovered and read what to me were riveting writings of John Howard Yoder, a Mennonite theologian, books like "The Original Revolution", "Nevertheless", and "The Politics of Jesus". Yoder argued with great intelligence, insight, and humility the anabaptist case for Jesus as a "revolutionary pacifist", who was nonviolently upsetting the political order, that the point of Jesus was changing history by means of the church being a witness and an example in history of doing things in better ways, demonstrating more peaceful social relations internally, witnessing against war, civil disobedience like refusing to pay war taxes, standing for the poor of the world, living the sermon on the mount, returning good for evil, proclaiming Jesus's message of a biblical Jubilee of economic relations, the followers of Jesus being the mechanism for at some point bringing about the possibility of the kingdom of God on earth. It was enormously inspiring to me, my transition stage to Quakers. It was so inspiring--something real about the Gospel and the sermon on the mount read in ways I had not heard before, and the history of anabaptists, that I thought: this is real, this is so different from the barrenness of wcg spiritual culture (despite some genuinely good people). The anabaptists of the 1600s had talked the talk and walked the walk, suffering martyrdoms in large numbers for nonviolent attempts to live out the sermon on the mount of Jesus. I learned some of the anabaptists had even been sabbatarians. Anabaptists, the forerunners of today's Amish and Mennonites, Hutterites and Church of the Brethren, pacifist honorable peoples all, at the time were the radical left wing of the Protestant Reformation, hounded and killed and massacred at the behest of Reformers like Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, all for having shockingly subversive views of equality of human beings and rejection of authority of nobles and priests and state apparatuses of such.

I applied to the Associated Mennonite Biblical Studies seminary in Goshen, Indiana, in order to study under Yoder, with a vision in my mind of truly living for God in a way that I had not found at AC. My application was rejected on the grounds that I had not completed my undergraduate degree at AC, which in any case was considered skeptically due to the lack of accreditation issue. I went on to find my roots and home among the Friends (Quakers), which were my ancestral roots which anabaptists from Germany were not. I spoke several times to Yoder personally, including at conferences where I would see him.

But in later years Mennonites have grappled with a wrenching and distressing problem involving much collective soul-searching: all the time of Yoder's brilliance at making the anabaptist case for the pacifist Jesus to the wider world, and inspiring a generation of committed pacifist Christian activists in the name of a literal interpretation of the ethics of the sermon on the mount, Yoder had been a serial assaulter of women. Not in a full-rape sense, but in repeated unwanted and disturbing physical interactions, unwanted graphic language, serially over many years despite many behind-the-scenes pleadings and appeals from administrators to stop. Meanwhile, the stories of women piled up. Eventually Yoder was disciplined and fired, but still the reasons were covered up until the point came when they no longer were covered up. Yoder died in 1997. Today, the Mennonites--good people, honest people--have sought to come to terms with Yoder's legacy, find out why this could have gone on so long, what kind of cultural changes and institutional mechanisms can protect women going forward. This is a drama I was spared by having been turned down for study for the ministry at the seminary at Goshen, Ind., where Yoder had taught.

The Mennonites had this discussion, hard as it was for those involved. It was wide-ranging, participatory, thoughtful, the women were listened to, there was repentance and there were outcomes. Have the WCG or any of the lettered successor Church of God groups had this discussion? No. Is there any mechanism by which such a discussion could even occur? It is hard to imagine. Are Church of God people better off for this "see no evil, hear no evil" practice toward iconic founder figures?  

Does the Bible matter?

This is from the ACPasadenareunion site and is used by permission of Gregory Doudna.  Besides being an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is the author of the excellent book published in 2006,  "Showdown at Big Sandy: Youthful Creativity Confronts Bureaucratic Inertia at an Unconventional Bible College in East Texas"

Does the Bible matter 
AC was based on an interpretation of the Bible. Post-AC this continues for many in various forms, while some reinterpret and others repudiate, the Bible as a basis for moral or social authority. Some find spiritual solace and meaning in passages of the Bible, others find such talk "triggering". Everyone here, no less than the first Christians, are atheists--in the classical sense of not believing in the Greek and Roman gods. No one here suffers existential angst or distress wondering whether Zeus maybe really exists and what if he will be wrathful in the afterlife for our lack of belief in him. But, Yahweh and Christ are live issues to many. 
70% of Americans self-identify as Christian. 25% of Americans are evangelical Christians (versus 15% mainstream Protestant and 20% Catholic). Evangelicals--a quarter of America--are the main voter base of the Republican Party and responsible for the Trump Presidency and several recent presidencies, for better or worse, domestically and for the world. Polls show evangelical Christian self-identification correlates with increased support for state torture (Pew Research Center). 65% of evangelical Christians reject the existence of macro-evolution as a scientific fact. This is compared to 30% of all Americans and ca. <1 and="" biochemists.="" biologists="" geologists="" nbsp="" of="" s="" span="" the="" world="">
We know cult-like thinking and how it operated, in our own past bubble experience. America, right now, is a bigger version of cult thinking. But this time it is not a church whose only barrier to exit are social and psychological ties.  
Unlike the old WCG, this modern cult environment is based on war worldwide. The cost of just the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone, none of which involved defense of territorial United States, begun by a President who believed God had guided him to do so, is calculated at $4.4 trillion (Brown U. study, just published). These wars have killed 250,000 in direct killings, half of which are civilians, and displaced 7.8 million people from their homes. American Special Operations forces are active in 130 nations, 70% of the world's nations. American combat operations are ongoing in at least a dozen nations right now.   
The WCG did not exercise civil power. But imagine Gerald Waterhouse, Roderick Meredith, or HWA or GTA types in control of the world's biggest military power in history, guided by the Word of God, the foundation of knowledge. Imagine? Maybe we don't have to imagine. Is it already here? 
I wonder if there are lessons that can be learned from our AC/WCG experience which could shed insight on actual causes and solutions to issues of war and peace, as distinguished from the bromides in the Plain Truth magazine and invocation of supernatural or extraterrestrial interventions.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

UCG: We are just like Noah when no one responded to him for over 100 years...

UCG has released their latest Council of Elders Report.
Review of Strategic Plan—Bob Dick 
Bob Dick, as the chair of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, led the discussion in reviewing the current Strategic Plan. He began by going over key terms and discussing the creation of S.M.A.R.T. goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. 
UCG, after 20 some years realizes they need some corporate goals.  It took them that long to figure this out? Using Jelly as your public face does not help matters much either.
The importance of having goals that can be measured was addressed. If you have a goal that can’t be measured then it is time to change your goal. You want your goals to be measurable. The challenge is to know what can be measured and what cannot. Sometimes it takes years to accurately assess a program. Mr. Dick encouraged the Council to get a copy of the United Way book on “Measuring Program Outcomes,” which is a good resource that can be found online. 
UCG has also realized they need to focus on the speaking quality of their ministers, the quality of their TV program and most importantly, the quality of their Feast sites.  Apparently, the speaking is so bad that they need fancier and fancier sites that people will find more attractive than the speaker.
The Council then began to discuss what the strategic issues of the UCG are right now. Some of the strategic areas discussed included youth education, engaging the young adults, quality of speaking, quality of the Beyond Today program and the quality of Feast sites.
Mark Mickelson commented that on the church website the people are already telling you what they like by the sermons they download. The problem can come from rewarding loyalty instead of quality of the message. The brethren listen and discuss the sermons they like.
Scott Ashley mentioned we have to acknowledge what we can control and what we can’t. We can control how many BT magazines we put out, but we can’t control the response.
UCG, for some reason, believes they are soon to be persecuted for their messages.  When have they ever preached anything controversial? When Jelly gets more viewers than sermons, that should say a lot!  Besides, UCG is of the opinion that it really doesn't matter in the long run.  Noah preached as he built the ark for 100 years and no one listened so why do we need to worry?
Mario Seiglie commented that we can’t always look at outcomes. The Church is to preach the gospel, and it won’t always be popular, but it must be done. Noah was a preacher of righteousness for 100 years while building the ark with no response, but to God he was a success.
The world is in such horrible shape that UCG needs to hone their message to the critical urgency they seem to think they have.
Dr. Ward mentioned the importance of discerning the times and looking at strategic planning from a certain worldview. We need to hone our messages to the critical times in which we are living with a sense of urgency.
UCG is building new recording studios where they will film their new awesome messages!
Preview goals and plans for the future of Beyond Today video and the use of the new video recording studio—Victor Kubik
President Kubik began the presentation by mentioning the need for and the current conditions of our public proclamations. This is not a new conversation. The modern Church has always been one of public proclamation. We are always to be seeking God’s will and seek what God want us to do. Currently we are strong with our video, Internet and content online. We aren’t talking only about television, but video for cell phones, Roku and other streaming devices down the road. He then turned it over to Peter Eddington for further detail.
Mr. Eddington, as media operation manager, then went through explaining the current state of the media department’s video content, what is being done, and future programs that are being looked at. He explained that video content has the opportunity for first contact, and leads different types of people to God.
The media department is looking to create more video and stronger video. Currently we have the following programs:
four-minute dailies—which supply personal contact daily
four-minute short films—we encourage church members to share them on social media
28-minute television programs—which are currently airing on broadcast and cable television and streamed online
Future programs could include the following:

20-minute podcasts—popular for driving time
25-minute live presentations—with space for a live studio audience. Eventually have BT live daily with a live studio audience as well.
50-minute documentaries—The goal is to establish BT as a quality brand that can be trusted. These will be on specific biblical topics through the use of captivating storytelling and engaging visuals. Produced every 18 months or so.
A Church of God program that can be trusted, now that is a novel concept!
About 25 percent of the media department’s time is spent supporting our ministry and congregations with sermon packs, camp videos and other services.

Loma Armstrong Dreamed That I Would Lead Second Edition Of The End Time Church

Just when you think the craziness of various splinter personality cult leaders can't get any crazier, along comes Almost-arrested and almost-ordained Bob Thiel making one his more idiotic baseless claims yet.  The blatant lies that come out of this man's mouth make Dave Pack's silliness look halfway normal.

Elijah Thiel bases his entire personality cult upon some nightmares that he and a couple other people had after eating some bad Chinese food.

Amos Thiel starts off with this:
Do dreams and prophets have any place in the Christian Church today? 
Did any dreams precede the start of the old Radio Church of God? What about the Continuing Church of God (which did not officially form as a declared entity until December 28, 2012)? 
The Bible records that God often has used dreams to give messages (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9). 
I had a dream prior to the start of the Continuing Church of God, as did someone I then did not know who lived in New Zealand.
Joshua Thiel has been widely mocked for claiming his dreams validate his reason for starting a new splinter personality cult.  To further validate his apostleship he trots out Herbert Armstrong.  No shocker there.  HWA was exposed to hundreds and hundreds of crackpots over the decades that had dreams that they claimed were directly from God.  Herb had this to say about them (and Thiel):
While some may wish to discount what happened with me, let us also look at something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about dreams:
Let me say here that in about 99,999 times out of 100,000, when people think GOD is speaking to them in a dream or vision in this day and age, it is pure imagination, or some form of self-hypnotism or self-deception. I have only come to believe that this dream was a bonafide call from God in the light of subsequent events. (Autobiography of Herbert Armstrong, (Volume 1), chapter 10, 1973, p. 194)
Elisha Thiel believes thathe is that "1" person left that actually had a real dream channelled into his mind by his god. 

Bitter Bob next trots out Loma Armstrong's dream that HWA claimed took him many years to believe was true.
Within 30 or 60 days after our marriage God spoke to my wife in what might have been an intense unusual dream, or a vision — but it was years later before we came to realize that this really was a message from God. (Armstrong HW. Brethren and Co-worker letter, November 28, 1956) 
One night my wife had a dream so vivid and impressive it overwhelmed and shook her tremendously. It was so realistic it seemed more like a vision. For two or three days afterward everything else seemed unreal — as if in a daze — and only this extraordinary dream seemed real. 
In her dream she and I were crossing the wide intersection, only a block or two from our apartment, where Broadway diagonally crosses Sheridan Road. Suddenly there appeared an awesome sight in the sky above. It was a dazzling spectacle — the sky filled with a gigantic solid mass of brilliant stars, shaped like a huge banner. The stars began to quiver and separate, finally vanishing. She called my attention to the vanishing stars, when another huge grouping of flashing stars appeared, then quivering, separating, and vanishing like the first. 
As she and I, in her dream, looked upward at the vanishing stars, three large white birds suddenly appeared in the sky between us and the vanishing stars. These great white birds flew directly toward us. As they descended nearer, she perceived that they were angels. 
“Then,” my wife wrote a day or two after the dream, in a letter to my mother which I have just run across among old family pictures, “it dawned on me that Christ was coming, and I was so happy I was just crying for joy. Then suddenly I thought of Herbert and was rather worried.” 
She knew I had evidenced very little religious interest, although we had attended a corner church two or three times. 
Then it seemed that, from among these angels in her dream, that, “Christ descended from among them and stood directly in front of us. 
At first I was a little doubtful and afraid of how He would receive us, because I remembered we had neglected our Bible study and had our minds too much on things apart from His interests. But as we went up to Him, He put His arms around both of us, and we were so happy! I thought people all over the world had seen Him come. As far as we could see, people were just swarming into the streets at this broad intersection. Some were glad and some were afraid. 
“Then it seemed He had changed into an angel. I was terribly disappointed at first, until he told me Christ was really coming in a very short time.” 
At that time, we had been going quite regularly to motion – picture theatres. She asked the angel if this were wrong. He replied Christ had important work for us to do, preparing for His coming — there would be no time for “movies .” (Those were the days of the “silent” pictures.) Then the angel and the whole spectacle seemed to vanish, and she awakened, shaken and wondering! 
In the morning, she told me of her dream. I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to think about it, yet I was afraid to totally dismiss it. I thought of a logical way to evade it myself, and still solve it. …
Do not hastily ascribe a dream to God. True, the Bible shows that God has spoken to His own chosen servants by this means of communication — primarily in the Old Testament, and before the writing of the Bible was completed. But most dreams mean nothing. And false prophets have misled people by telling false dreams, representing their dreams to be the Word of God (Jeremiah 23, where God sa ys, “I am against prophets who recount lying dreams, leading my people astray with their lies and their empty pretensions, though I never sent them, never commissioned them” — verse 32, Moffatt translation).  
Certainly I did not ascribe this dream to God. It made me feel a little uncomfortable at the time, and I was anxious to forget it — which I did for some years. I was twenty – five at the time. God left me to my own ways for five more years. But when I was age thirty, He began to deal with me in no uncertain terms… (The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1973, pp. 187,193-194).
Loma and Herbert Armstrong were married in 1917. They were specifically told that they would have a work to do. Furthermore, the bright lights in the dream may have had to do with doing a work (cf. Matthew 5:16)–a work that seemed to vanish and return (flash). Thus, there was a dream from God given to a woman in the 20th century that preceded the start of the old Radio Church of God that Herbert W. Armstrong led. The Radio Church of God represented the start of the Philadelphia era and the Philadelphian work–a work that is not finished (cf. Matthew 24:14-15)–and Herbert W. Armstrong claimed that a dream given to his wife was from God, prior to the start of the Philadelphia era.
Elijah Thiel got all excited when he read that HWA's Philadelphia era was not finished.  Lightbulbs started exploding in Amos Thiel's brain; why not make the same baseless claims to justify my group! Let's claim that part of Loma's dream was about my group!  Yes!!!!!!!! Winner!!!
Since the Philadelphia era was raised up years after that dream, a question to ponder is would God do anything similar to point to the continuation of the end-time COG remnant of the Philadelphians? Consider that in Loma Armstrong’s dream that there were two sets of flashing stars–there were two parts to the dream. Herbert Armstrong is now dead and there was a pause between the work God had him to do and the completion of the final phase of the work to finally fulfill Matthew 24:14 (cf. Isaiah 29:14).
Habakkuk Thiel then claims that his group is the "transitional phase" of God's work, which he claims is consistent with Loma's nightmare.  Elijah Thiel claims that he and his group are the ONES that his god will use to finish the work.
In the past, like in 2013 and 2014, I have called the time between his death and the formation of the Continuing Church of God the transitional phase–which is consistent with Loma Armstrong’s dream. God will cut that final work short (Romans 9:28) which results in the famine of the word which is consistent with the vanishing stars in Loma Armstrong’s dream (though there could be other interpretations–we in CCOG are continuing the Philadelphia work and expect to be the ones God will use on earth to help finish it). 
Amos Thiel claims he is the 21st-century fulfilment of Loma's nightmare.

Notice that the dream was to go until the end of the world and the coming of Jesus–since Herbert Armstrong has been dead since January 16, 1986–if the dream was from God then, does it not make sense that the second half of the dream would be fulfilled by another in the 21st century? We in the Continuing Church of God are fulfilling that second part of stars. 
Perhaps it should be mentioned, Herbert Armstrong had more information about what I am referring to as the first set of stars in the dream. He wrote:
It was a dazzling spectacle…People by the hundreds came running into this broad intersection looking up to see the strange phenomena … A vast multitude of eyes were upon us… I have only come to believe that this dream was a bonafide call from God in the light of subsequent events. (Armstrong HW. The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 9th installment. Plain Truth, August 1958, p. 18). 
Eyes of a vast multitude suggest that the dream was saying that the work to be done was to have a witness to many. This happened with the old Radio and Worldwide Church of God under Herbert Armstrong’s leadership in the 20th century. The second set of stars in the dream, which he did not mention in the August 1958 Plain Truth, article, but did in his published Autobiography, may pertain to what I have called, for years, The Final Phase of the Work. But even if it had applicability to the ministry of Herbert Armstrong only, the dream, which he shortly before his death he confirmed he believed was from God (per Aaron Dean, who I discussed this with on October 30, 2015), shows that one did precede the COG work he was involved in.
Almost-arrested Thiel believes Herbert was referring to the "continuing" Church of God as that final work:
Consider that Herbert W. Armstrong considered that his wife Loma’s dream was from God. He also believed the first part of it had to do with the start of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God via the Radio Church Church of God. He did not discuss the fulfillment of the second part of the dream directly, however he taught another work would be done.
Next, Almost-ordained Thiel trots out Dale Schurter.  Yes, THAT Dale Schurter!  A man who has no more credibility that Almost-ordained Bob does.
Dale Schurter, a former WCG minister, reported that Herbert W. Armstrong stated the following in 1984/1985 (shortly before he died in January 1986). Here are two accounts of this:
“A few months before Mr. Armstrong’s death, my wife and I had the opportunity to spend several hours with Mr. Armstrong in his home in Pasadena. He spoke freely of the mighty work God had commissioned him to accomplish, and related certain heartfelt comments: ‘I can say that I have finished the work God has given me to do, and am at peace about it. I have preached and taken the Gospel of the Kingdom of God into all the world as a witness to all nations.’
“Mr. Armstrong went on to say, ‘I have come to realize there will be an even greater work to follow—to go again, to “prophesy again” to all nations tongues and peoples (Rev. 10:11) before the work of the two witnesses—but with more power and with a stronger warning message. But that will be for others to do.’ He continued, ‘It will be a short work (Rom. 9:27-29), compared with the longer time to complete the work I was given, and it will be cut short. That’s when the Great Tribulation will begin, as will the work of the two witnesses. These will last for three and one-half years, at the end of which Christ will return in glory.’” (“The Greatest Work Lies JUST Ahead…” as stated in RCG letter of May 31, 2013)
Herb's "great work yet to come" was a direct revelation about Elisha Thiel's personality cult.  Who knew!
Here is what was in Herbert W. Armstrong’s last letter:
The greatest work lies ahead…Never before in the history of the Church has it been possible to reap so great a harvest. It has only been made possible through modern technology, beginning with the printing press, radio, television...Each of you must commit yourself to support God’s Work…God’s work must push ahead as never before. God is opening up new doors in television (Letter, 1/10/86). 
Consider that since Herbert Armstrong did not teach that the second part of his wife Loma’s dream was fulfilled and that he also taught a greater work was going to happen after his death. It is greater because it will fulfill Matthew 24:14, etc. That is the work that we in the Continuing Church of God are leading. It appears that the second part of Loma D. Armstrong’s dream was pointing to the Continuing Church of God–the group that best represents the remnant of the Philadelphian portion of the Church of God.
Loma and Herb are rolling over in their graves at the thought of Elijah Thiel appropriating her dream as his own.

Now that Amos Thiel has used up all of Loma's dreams, he has to bring to the forefront his own nightmares as further proof he is the legitimate end time work.  He writes:
Several years ago I had a dream, which while I did not understand it at first, as it became more and more fulfilled over the years, I began to understand it and believe it was from God. 
I was 50 at the time (which essentially makes me an ‘old man’ per Numbers 8:25; cf. John 8:57). In my dream, there seemed to be two parallel lines. Living Church of God (LCG) evangelist, the now deceased Roderick Meredith, was on the top line and I was on the line much below. In the dream, I kept calling up to Dr. Meredith, but he never would respond. This lack of response made no sense to me during the dream. Then after what seemed to be a long time, the lines-crossed with his line dropping and my line going up.
Prophet Thiel just cannot get over Rod Meredith's deliberating ignoring of him.  The sting has been painful for Amos Thiel. Rod was wrong, but Joshua Thiel was right.
One reason that I did not understand it at the time was that I was on relatively close speaking terms with Dr. Meredith then (he repeatedly told me he considered me to be his friend, plus he had appointed me an adviser to LCG on matters of doctrine and prophecy), so that aspect of the dream made no sense. Also, since I had no intentions of leaving Living Church of God then (and certainly no plans to start a separate church), it was not clear what the dream was saying. Another reason I was unsure about the dream then was that I had not had any anointing for the Holy Spirit beyond baptism when I had that dream.
But these matters changed eventually. For one, I was unexpectedly anointed for a ‘double-portion’ of God’s Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9) on December 15, 2011 by an LCG minister named Gaylyn Bonjour.
Gaylyn Bonjour never intended for his prayer to be anything of the sort. This is nothing more than a deliberate lie by Habbakuk Thiel. 

Leaving Bonjour behind, Elisha Thiel is still bitter about Meredith's willful dismissal. That dismissal of Bob set the groundwork for his apostacy from the Living Church of God.
Furthermore, over time, Dr. Meredith became more distant from me, would not keep various promises to me, and ultimately stopped speaking with me. And after I got an improper letter from him on 12/28/12, it was clear to me that there was no way that the Philadelphia mantle could be with him or any of his leaders. These subsequent events showed me that the dream was being fulfilled.
Bitter Bob is also ticked off that almost all of the COG's no longer believe there are prophets alive today and even worse, they do not believe in weird people having nightmares and starting new groups.
Despite what the Bible supports, most Church of God groups do not seemingly accept that there are any prophets today, nor do they seem to accept that God actually sometimes speaks in dreams in the 21st century–some, oddly, seem indignant of the very idea. Part of the reason for this is that those self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ outside of the Continuing Church of God have tended to be proven to be false.
But that does not mean God doesn’t ever use dreams or have any in the office of prophet or ever pour out a ‘double-portion’ of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-15) as happened when an ordained minister so prayed and anointed me on December 15, 2011.
Next, Almost-arrested Thiel drags a woman in New Zealand out as further proof he is the legitimate one.  She had a dream too, and it was all about Elijah Thiel starting a new splinter group.  This dreaming of dreams stuff is very similar to the dreams and visions that Joseph Smith had when he was starting his own personality cult.  That "burning in the bosom," was a sure sign that God was behind the dreams.
Unbeknownst to me until late September 2013, a woman named Fesilafai Fiso Leaana of New Zealand had a dream after going to bed on December 8, 2012.
A few months before my dream, my husband and I noticed a contradiction in practice, regarding the sabbath commandment in LCG, from there we started to pray continuously for God to lead us to where the truth is. It seems God has answered our prayers through the dream.
The dream began with myself and approximately 70 New Zealand Living Church of God brethren, then suddenly LCG vanished (I was wondering where is LCG?) and I was left standing with approximately 10 people excluding myself, on a very high building. We were standing on the very top of the building, where I couldn’t see the bottom, there were no other buildings, just this building. I could not see the bottom of the building but just clouds below the building and clouds surrounding the building which led to a beautiful white mountain – a mountain that had no ends on either side. The building was pretty close to the mountain, I could see the top of the mountain. The mountain was all white and so beautiful. I remember that I began to be filled with joy and peace. But also wondering how we got up on this building and confused why there were no other buildings but the clouds seemed like it was hiding the building and I felt protected or it felt like a safe place. I looked around there were still only about ten people there, the only person I could clearly recognize was Shirley constantly working, the approximate ten others were just sitting and standing around. So I walked around the building looking for the large crowd from LCG, but all I kept returning to was that Shirley was working and doing different types of work alone while the others were still sitting and standing around the building with me. I wondered why she was working a lot. I could not find LCG.
Then suddenly a message came to my mind: “There is a secret in the mountain”. And I was so happy to know that, I was still feeling elated and could still see the beautiful white mountain and wondered about the secret. Then I asked: “What is the secret?” Then the message said, nobody knows the secret in the mountain but only you have received this message that there is a secret in the mountain. Then I asked ‘what is the secret in the mountain?’ I received a message to my mind that told me that “the secret in the mountain is the Ark of the Covenant”. Then the dream abruptly ended because I woke up. And immediately, I woke up my husband and recounted the dream to him, and I told my husband that it reminded me of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on the mountain and that the mountain was also covered with clouds.
On the same day after my dream, at church service Mr Penman warned us to be careful what we read from Bob Thiel’s Obama book, because they do not support everything he wrote in it. At the time I kept your name in my mind as I did not know who you were then.
Then 3 weeks later Shirley contacted me regarding your Chronology – the exit from LCG. Shirley had all of the Chronology and gave us all a print out of it and went over it with my husband and I. Shirley kept stressing the integrity of the LCG leadership and administration was compromised as proven by your Chronology account. Then my husband and I had to make a decision whether we would continue with LCG or go with Bob Thiel (you) since Shirley, John and Kayla had already decided to be with you 🙂
We decided to go with Bob Thiel and then left the meeting but a letter from Mr. Penman and a visit from the new New Zealand minister Paul attempted to obstruct our departure and tried to dissuade us from leaving LCG and coming with you. This forced us to carefully rethink our decision.
My husband and I were alone, that’s when my husband said to me, “remember your dream? This is what your dream means, that we need to leave this church and go with Shirley”. That’s when we knew what to do. And this dream is the reason most of us in the kiwi CCOG knew that we are in the right Church, God told us to come to this Church. We reaffirmed with Shirley and others that we were going to go with Bob Thiel and my husband told them the dream for the first time and that the dream is the reason my husband and I decided to come.
Not having all the details of the dream, Shirley then prayed about the dream. She asked God for more understanding on the dream. Then the next day she was reading the book of Psalm and Psalm 25:14 JUMPED out at her: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (email 9/29/13) 
Lest you think it can't get any crazier, another of his cult members dreamed a dream that most of Elijah Thiel's members would be black skinned.
On March 28, 2014, I flew into London for a two night stopover, before heading to Kenya for a CCOG leadership conference. Within an hour of arriving at my hotel, Senhor Pires came for baptismal counseling. As we walked from the hotel lobby to my room, he wanted to tell me about a vision he saw in a dream that he had.
Here is what he said:
I had this dream. In it was a vision of a congregation of the Continuing Church of God inside a transparent glass bubble (like a balloon). And everyone, I mean everyone apart from the speaker, was black. The speaker was white. And I was asking myself inside that bubble…”why is everyone black here?”
It made no sense to me. I wondered why I would see this. 
When Senhor Pires told me the above, I began to laugh. I said to him, “Didn’t you know that the vast majority of people in the Continuing Church of God were black?” 
And he said, “No, I figured that most would be white.” 
I then told him, “This is quite interesting. Your dream seems to be one of three or more directly related to the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) that has had confirmation.”
In the mind of Elijah Amos Thiel, dreams are the only legitimate way God speaks to his leaders today.  
While this may not seem to be a massive ‘earth-shattering’ dream, it is yet additional confirmation that God has used dreams/visions to communicate to at least three individuals who all later became part of the Continuing Church of God. Dreams and visions are something that God intended to use during the end times (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29). Elijah apparently once thought that God would be in something dramatic, but then only was in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13).
I believe that they are partial confirmations that the Continuing Church of God was to lead (two dreams happened prior to CCOG’s formation), and now is leading, the final phase of the work . The truths that we teach should be accepted as the other proof:
45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:45)
Believe the truth, at least for the truth’s sake. Christians are to believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:3). The truth sets Christians free (John 8:32) from all types of error (including Laodicean ones, cf. Revelation 3:14-22). The Laodiceans and remnant of Sardis have so many prophetic misunderstandings that they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will start until it is too late!
Never has the Church of God seen such a miraculous church than the  Continuing Church of God!
While this may not seem to be a massive ‘earth-shattering’ dream, it is yet additional confirmation that God has used dreams/visions to communicate to at least three individuals who all later became part of the Continuing Church of God. Dreams and visions are something that God intended to use during the end times (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29). Elijah apparently once thought that God would be in something dramatic, but then only was in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13).
I believe that they are partial confirmations that the Continuing Church of God was to lead (two dreams happened prior to CCOG’s formation), and now is leading, the final phase of the work. The truths that we teach should be accepted as the other proof:
45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:45)
Believe the truth, at least for the truth’s sake. Christians are to believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:3). The truth sets Christians free (John 8:32) from all types of error (including Laodicean ones, cf. Revelation 3:14-22). The Laodiceans and remnant of Sardis have so many prophetic misunderstandings that they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will start until it is too late!
Your salvation is at risk if you do not follow Bitter Bob.  Truth now only proceeds from his mouth and can only be found in the "continuing" Church of God.  All other COG's are far too ignorant to know the true signs of the end times.  Because of that, none of them will know the correct time to flee to Petra and escape the tribulation.  Join with Prophet Bob and you will know!