Saturday, October 19, 2019

Wheat or Chaff? Which one are you? Living Church of God has the answer!

Dexter Wakefield of the Living Church of God has an article up talking about The Wheat and the Chaff.  Anyone who has even limited contact with the Church of God movement, knows immediately what he is talking about.  Non-COG members and backsliding church members = chaff; diligent COG members = true Christians and are the real wheat.

Now that the Church of God has imploded into hundreds and hundreds of upstart movements, all claiming they are the "true wheat" it is pretty difficult to do anything but laugh at this silliness.

Wakefield writes:
There is a recurring theme in the Bible of God’s separating out the good fruits from the bad, and our Father has both the will and ability to do just that. The annual Holy Days and their timing within the harvest cycle of ancient Israel work together to picture elements in the plan of salvation, and it is good to remember this great harvest theme during this season of the year. 
Jesus totally upends his comment above, but that makes no difference to him or most of the other COG's.
It’s important to remember that the good and bad often grow in close proximity to each other. Referring to the Father, Jesus said, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). In this age, the unrighteous often prosper more than the children of God living among them, but the time will come—pictured by the Feast of Trumpets—when God will separate out those who are His good fruits. 
It is interesting how the COG loves to focus upon weeding out the undesirables, but Jesus, once again, upends their nonsense by welcoming tax collectors, prostitutes, eunuchs, Samaritans, and even the thief on the cross, into the 'good fruits" of God's love.

Wakefield goes on to make a very specific claim directed to all COG members, who are the chosen ones:
At the spiritual harvest, when God’s begotten children enter His Kingdom, there is a separation involved.
The COG has always been giddy about seeing people removed from God's presence so that they, and they alone can bask in the glory of God as they are made into gods themselves.  This disgusting chaff will either be burnt to a crisp or if their god is merciful, it will give them a second chance to head the call of Herbert Armstrong's message.  It truly boils down to HWA's message instead of the message of Jesus.

Wakefield continues:

God says that we are to be patient while He works out His purpose in this age, but sometimes His children can become discouraged because they have manifold trials while the dishonest seem to prosper. During the long wait between the spring and fall Holy Day seasons, it’s good to remember that while the world loves its own, God loves His own much more. He has a desire for the work of His hands (Job 14:15) and will surely perform what He has said, separating the wheat from the chaff by making His children immortal. Our job is to be His faithful, fruitful, obedient servants until our Lord comes. He left us some good advice:
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place…. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming…. Therefore you alsobe ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:32–344244).
How can COG members ever been encouraged when all around them abusive ministers make their lives miserable.  They watch as one group after another breaks away to start a new COG while claiming they are the only true access to God. They watch as hard-earned tithe money is blatantly wasted on the church elite and their progeny. They sit in church, week after week, getting lambasted about one thing after another that they are doing wrong.

One has to stop and wonder as to just WHO is the chaff in the church and WHO is the wheat?

Friday, October 18, 2019

Crackpot COG Leader Getting Ready To Die For the "Truth?"

It is never dull in COGland with one self-appointed apostate church leader after another trying to set himself up as a martyr for the "truth.  None is more blatant in his desire to see death and destruction than our very own Bwana Bob Thiel.  He spends several hours a day searching out one idiotic scenario after another to bolster his warped beliefs that he can use to deceive his African members into believing he is a prophet sent by God.

The Great Bawna continues to search out Catholics and ex-Catholics to bolster his nuttiness. Of course, he found one to support his desire to be seen as a martyr:
Mike Gendron’s lead article in a past newsletter was titled Telling the Truth May Get You Killed. Here is some of what it said:
Have you ever considered why religious people plotted to kill the Lord Jesus 2000 years ago? Why would devout Jews, who had a zeal for God, kill one of their prophets? It was not because He was so merciful (Luke 23:34). Nor was it because of His abundant grace and sacrificial love (John 15:13). So why did the religious leaders seek to have Jesus crucified? This may surprise you. It was because Jesus told them the truth (John 8:40). He proclaimed the truth about Himself and the truth about who they were (John 8:44). As the personification of truth, He declared His Word to be the truth (John 14:6; 17:3). He told them that He came from heaven to testify to the truth (John 18:37). He did not come to be a man-pleaser, but to do the will of God. This truth angered the Jews so much they plotted to have Him killed.  The self-righteous Jews became incensed when Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Their religious pride, a powerful tool of the devil, had blinded them from the truth (2 Cor. 4:4). It is no wonder the proud oppose God, and God opposes the proud (Jas. 4:6). In one of the Bible’s curious paradoxes, people were put to death for telling the truth, but made alive for believing the truth (John 5:24). (August 2016)
Mike Gendron is a former Roman Catholic.
Of course, this is all the Great Bawna needs to prove from scripture that "true" Christians will be killed.
Let me add that Jesus made it clear that His true followers would face persecution:
12… they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake (Luke 21:12).
20 If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you(John 15:20).
2… yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you (John 16:2-4).
The Great Bawna then goes on to mock real Christians claiming that they will not be killed because they are "so-called" and deceived, while he is his little band of merry Africans are the true believers.
Now, does this mean that in the end times, all who claim to be Christian will be killed? 
But all who are real Christians will be subject to persecution. And telling the truth can get you killed. 
Notice the following prophecy:
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25)
The Great Bawna then rattles off a list of things what may be what get him and his followers killed:
In the past, Christians were persecuted because they:
  • Taught the truth about Jesus
Well, the Great Bawna will not need to worry about this one, since he denies Jesus and anything he accomplished.
Nor this one since it is not required in the New Covenant
Nor this one as it also is not required in the New Covenant
Especially this one since this is not an issue either
  • Had false accusations railed against them
What false accusations have been railed against Bwana Bob?  The fact that he lied claiming God worked through a cult member of the Living Church of God to "double anoint" him as a prophet?  Or that his dreams validate his self-appointment?  Nope, those aren't going to get him killed but may be locked up in the looney bin.
Not an issue either.
Not a New Covenant command.
Certainly not a New Covenant command, either.
Not an issue either
  • Taught that the pope was an Antichrist and precursor of the final Antichrist
If that is true, then what does that make Herbert Armstrong?  He lied and told so many false prophecies that he too is an antichrist.
  • Having and teaching from the Bible
Since when has a COG minister ever done this properly?

The Great Bwana continues on with his nuttiness:
Total nonsense.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Tithe of the Tithe Con Game

It is Feast of Tabernacles time, did you send in your tithe of the tithe so your respective church could finance its Feast sites?  At least that is the con game they told you they would use it for. 

After Herbert Armstrong dreamed up this 4th tithe, the hundreds of splinter groups continue this nonbiblical tradition to this day.

While many COG families struggle to get to the Feast and stay in the cheapest hotels as possible, or even camp, those above them are staying in the finest hotels and eating extravagant dinners while downing the best alcohol they can afford.

Some of that 4th tithe money goes to pay for these ministers and Feast coordinators hotel rooms and food during the feast.  Or it goes to people like Lil'Jimmy Meredith who was paid to travel cost-free to Hawaii and other areas to check out feast sites.

Many COG members through the decades refused to send it in.  With their churches bragging incessantly on how much money they took in on Holy Days, why would they continue to fund the privileged elite?

Like the old Worldwide Church of God, ministers in many COG groups get Feast bonuses of thousands of dollars for them to spend at the Feast. Add to that the travel vouchers for rental cars and food allowances, and these people are sitting pretty while you send in your hard-earned money to keep them all happy.

Next year, take that tithe of the tithe and take your family out to a nice dinner, take an excursion at feast site,  or overindulge your wife and children, but don't fund these crooks!  They have the money to pay for these sites so don't fall for their lies.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Oh Noes!!!!!!! Satanists Keep Birthdays!

The official Church of God self-appointed know-it-all is taking time out of his busy Feast schedule to breathlessly screech that Satantanst keep birthdays and celebrate Halloween!  Oh, noes!!!!!!!

Birthdays and Halloween are major holidays for Satanists

The self-appointed liar of the improperly named "continuing" Church of "god" then goes on to claim that the Church of Satan considers birthdays one of the three most important days they celebrate.

So what!  Satanists wear pants, wear shoes, eat hamburgers and pizza, wear jewelry and rings and breathe the same air we do.  Does that make all of these things wrong too?

Bwana Bob Thiel gets his pharisaical knickers all in a twist over the most idiotic and mundane things imaginable that no follower of Jesus ever needs to worry about.

This is a list of some of his latest idiocy that never talks about Jesus.  It is easier to deflect people's attention to small worthless subjects than write about grace, justification, mercy, resurrection, and being freed from the law.

Recent Posts
Democrats accuse and debate
Birthdays and Halloween are major holidays for Satanists
Sermon: The Better Resurrection
Great financial crash of 2020? US government debt up 26%!
Conspiracy theories and Freemasons exist
Sermon: Truth and Lies about the Feast of Tabernacles
Could there be a cause for so many American children have attention disorders?
Could we see a European ‘King of Jerusalem’?
The Feast of Tabernacles is here
Feast of Tabernacles Messages in English and Serbian
Feast of Tabernacles Opening Night Message
102nd anniversary of the ‘miracle of the sun’
BibleNewsProphecy: Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion
Guardian: Erdo─čan has managed the unthinkable: uniting all the other Middle East rivals; COGwriter: Will this ultimately lead to Daniel 11:25?
Invoke USA Insurrection Act? Fanatical Supporters? Emotional Civil War?
Sermon: All Hallowed Saints’ Day of the Dead
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Awarded Nobel Peace Prize
Beto O-Rourke favors revoking tax-exempt status for churches who believe in biblical morality
Should Christians Keep the Feast of Tabernacles?
DW: The deadly danger of being a Jew in Germany
Canada’s election on the Last Great Day
Some Jews are confused about Christians keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, but if they would look into Jesus properly it would be clearer
Turkey begins assault in Syria, plus made a deal with Russia to bypass SWIFT
Yom Kippur and Joseph’s Tomb terrorism
Day of Atonement 2019
Fulani fighters clad entirely in black, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and screaming ‘Death to Christians.’
Yom Kippur: Any relevance for Christians?
Halloween is not a Christian time
‘US: Nord Stream 2 to Boost Russian Influence on EU’ ‘Russia dumps U.S. dollar … chooses euro’
US looks to be betraying Kurds as it permits Turkey to advance in Syria

Where's Jesus?

UPDATED: Which Entity Did Does The Church of God Focus The Most Upon?

Did we hear more about Satan than Jesus?

Did we hear more about Moses and the law than Jesus?

Did we hear more about HWA than Jesus?

Did we hear about Jesus Christ as much as the above entities?

from an LCG member

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How the Rich Prove 2nd Tithe is Wrong

How the Rich Prove 2nd Tithe is Wrong

There are so many good reasons why COG7D acknowledged annual holy days and permitted people to observe them BUT refused to make them official doctrine of the church. HWA chose to make them one of his pet doctrines and used them to carve out his own cult following. Making them a New Testament requirement brought with them a laundry list of questions on how this was to be done. And no answers can be found in Scripture. So what is a man to do? One way is to declare yourself an Apostle and Elijah and presto, your answers are now un-admittedly on par with Scripture.

I have a whole series of posts coming on the topic of tithing but since many are just days away from traveling to feast sites around the world, I thought I would make one simple observation about 2nd tithing that when thought through, proves it is not a New Testament concept.

The highlight of the year is "keeping" the Feast of Tabernacles for many brethren in the churches of God. While the sermons usually suck and it is annoying to be expected at services every morning, it is a vacation better than a vacation because not only are you with family but you get to be with like-minded friends on your vacation. It is always exciting to see what old friends show up at the same feast site.

The dark side of 2nd tithe is the fact that it is compulsory. Church of God tithing is an egregious doctrine to the poor. It is inherently unfair and actually drives the poor out of the church. If you don't believe this, just look at the cars in Church of God parking lots today. The truth is the poor can't afford to be in the churches of God. This is the exact opposite from Christ who told John the baptist's disciples that one of the proofs that He was the Promised One is the fact that He preached to the poor. Why bother preaching to the poor? They cannot support your ministry through compulsory tithing. The poor are unable to sustain an organization dependent on cash to preach the gospel so the end will come. (I will talk more on the poor and tithing in another post)

I spent many years on meager wages saving 2nd tithe to the harm of my family. 
While the feast was always an oasis of joy for 8 days, the stress it put on me and 
my wife the other 357 days of the year was almost unbearable some years. And 
to fail to obey God in this would bring great mental anguish and shame... so year 
after year, I sucked it up, obeyed and suffered and watched my family suffer.

It is funny how ministers will say to test God on tithing and say you can't afford to 
not tithe. They will say (and sometimes without saying it) that tithing is 
proportionately related to your faith and obedience. Well, I can say I did test God 
on tithing for over 20 years. I was very faithful in "doing it" for a long time. I am 
now in a time of my life financially where tithing is no longer burdensome. So these 
ministers need to know that some people actually stop tithing or never start 
because it truly is unBiblical and unGodly.

I could not see the real problem with 2nd tithe until a wealthy friend pointed this 
fact out to me. The church takes an Old Testament concept and has to force it into 
a New Testament construct that is functional to a people in today's society. 
This gets back to simply accepting a man's explanation as to how this should be 
done. HWA decided that brethren should put aside 10% of their incomes to pay for
annual holy day observances. The bulk of this would be needed to observe the feast 
of tabernacles. The reading of this feast tells people to enjoy the feast, spending 
their tithe on food and drink. This has been interpreted by HWA to mean that one 
must blow 10% of your annual income in an 8-day spending spree on food and 
alcohol. If you fail to spend it all, you must give the excess to the church.

What a wealthy person can observe about this is something I never could afford to see but it is very true. Let us say you are a person who does have an above-average annual income. Maybe you are a successful entrepreneur, doctor, lawyer or IT guy. Maybe $300,000 a year. Maybe $500,000 a year. Does it sound like a Godly principle to take $30,000-$50,000 and blow it on whatever your heart desires in an 8-day spending spree? And do this year after year? You can quickly see as a rich person with Godly principles, that this would fly in the face of what God would have us do and not do concerning money.

Keeping 2nd tithe in its Old Testament context and thinking this one through actually appears to be a very sensible socio-economic principle for the financial well-being of a country. Largely an agrarian society, wealth and value was measured in nondurable goods. Enduring wealth-building would involve making annual purchases in items that would grow your agrarian family business into the next year. My wealthy friend proposed that the Feast of Tabernacles was used as an annual market place at the end of ingathering when one would take 10% of his annual increase and use it to trade and purchase what would be needed to continue growing into the next year.

This is just one really good example of how myopic HWA was in trying to take a specific socio-economic construct designed for an ancient nation and force it into an American religious cult. COG7D leaders who were smarter than HWA thought this through and probably told him as much in so many ways but as they said, "Herbert was not one to listen to anyone."

I still save money and attend the feast. It is a family vacation that we get to spend 
with friends that love God. I even suffer through the morning sermons. BUT I 
enjoy the feasts now more than ever because the other 357 days are not spent 
agonizing over a soul-stealing doctrine of the church.

I have much more to say about tithing coming soon.

Stoned Stephen Society

Monday, October 14, 2019

Gerald Weston's Inspiring Feast of Tabernacles Message

Chag Sameach!!

What an inspiring pre-recorded open message from Gerald Weston to set the tone for the next 8 days of our love feast.

1. This is NOT a vacation! God, (not a corporation) put His name here and commands you to assemble before Him for instruction. How dare you choose fishing or roller coasters over an additional morning nap.

2. Be here EVERY day for services. Ezra read from the Law every day so this is a clear example for all time.

3. Be very ashamed if you did not come with a fully saved 2nd tithe.

4. Stop being selfish and making the corporation look bad to the local businesses. Spend ALL your 2nd tithe even if it means over-tipping filthy illegal aliens. The church doesn't need your excess. ­čś│­čĄú

5. Don't be gluttons and drunkards. Get enough sleep. The last thing we want is for your snot-nosed children getting us sick when we take up your children in our arms to bless them. Do as we ministers say and not what we do. 

6. Come to services early and stay late so you build relationships with your future co-rulers. Just don't talk Bible. Enough can never be said about work, weather and football, brethren.

7. Rejoice! (OK, he didn't really say that.)

From an LCG source

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Why Do COG Groups Continue To Lie That They Practice First Century Christianity?

For decades the Church of God movement has claimed it is the only church on earth that practices first century Christianity" just as the early Christians and apostles did.  After 80 some years of failed prophecies, outright lies, sexual shenanigans, theft of tithe money for personal gain, hundreds and hundreds of splinter personality cults, these self-appointed morons claim they are God's new chosen leaders. How can any of these groups say such a thing and keep a straight face?

United Church of God made the claim this week in a press release to inform the world that they were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles.

PRESS RELEASE: 14,000 Gather to Celebrate Life’s Dynamic Spiritual FocusChurch Follows Example of First Century Disciples
CINCINNATI [Sept. 62018]—Reflecting a dynamic life journey as spiritual pilgrims, about 14,000 members and families of the United Church of God, an International Association , will follow the historic example of Jesus Christ and the first century Church in celebrating the biblically prophesied Kingdom of God. This annual festival, called the Feast of Tabernacles in the Bible, begins on the evening of September 23 and lasts through sunset on Monday, October 1. According to Victor Kubik, Church president, United Church of God members will assemble at more than 65 sites worldwide to take part in a contemporary Christian application of the biblical ancient Hebrew Holy Days. 
Jesus must really be impressed that they and 8 other churches are meeting in locations where none of them will associate with each other.  Jesus must really be impressed as he watched them connive and plan to break away from the WCG while still on the payroll.  Jesus must really have been impressed when they started acting so nasty that their church imploded and close to 3/4 of their ministers left to form yet another splinter group.  Yep, that certainly is 1st century Christianity. True religion at its core. NOT!

Then today, we had another splinter cult leader make the same obnoxious claim.  This time it was a rebellious self-appointed liar who broke away from the Living Church of God to form his own personality cult, where he claims he and he alone is practicing 1st century Christianity.

The physical head of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God was the late Herbert W. Armstrong. What he taught has been derided as “Armstrongism.” What were some of those teachings? Was the old Worldwide Church of God some type of weird cult or did it strive to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints? Is “Armstrongism” improperly maligned and falsely described at Are concepts such as the tribes of Israel, ‘soul sleep,’ and three resurrections unique to Herbert W. Armstrong or were they long part of original Nazarene Christianity? What about various holidays and Christianity? In this video, Dr. Thiel goes over his early experiences with “Armstrongism” as well as gives scriptures about persecutions that would affect Christians.
None of these idiots can be trusted to teach any truth that even resembles 1st-century Christian practices and thought.  No real Christian would ever place their trust in any of these men nor believe their lies.

Dave Pack: The Most Learned Man In History!

Dang!  This has to cause major butthurt for Bwana Bob Thiel who believes he is the most persecuted and learned man in the church today, who knows EVERYTHING about Church of God history, Fatima, Catholicism, CERN, prophecy, law-keeping, Trolls, doctrine, the Bible, and other piles of non-important facts that Christians do not need to worry about.

COG Hypocrisy: Self-Appointed Splinter Cult Leader Says Dave Pack Is A Cult Leader

Armstrongism = founded and sustained upon hypocrisy.

10/11/19 a.m. A couple of days ago, a former RCG attendee telephoned me. An interesting thing she mentioned was that the messages that those who attend RCG services get are often much more bizzare than those that RCG puts up online, particularly as they relate to David Pack. Essentially, her comments confirmed my personal view that RCG is more and more a David Pack personalilty cult and becoming less and less a COG. It remains my opinion that David Pack is not truly a converted Christian, but if he is (God is the judge), he is a very deceived one. 
Bwana Elijah Bob Thiel has the nerve to say Dave Pack runs a personality cult when he himself is doing the exact same thing.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Washington State Coffee Company Makes Feast of Tabernacles Coffee Blend for 2019

Noggin Bonkin

Blessings to all my fellow Feast goers! 

This year’s blend is a simple blend of epic flavors! 
We married two robust and vary earthy coffees from Papua New Guinea and Sumatra 
then balanced them with a sweet and nutty coffee from Brazil. 

Don't let the color fool you, this is a very robust, earthy blend with deep dark notes 
that will cut through almost any creamer, yet smooth and slightly sweet on the finish. 

This is a perfect coffee to enjoy with family 
or in quiet solitude on an early feast morning 
while reading and meditating on His word! 

Buy it here:  Noggin Bonkin FOT 2019

The perfect Feast gift for your Laodicean friends who will be skipping the daily sermons so they can go out and enjoy the resort and have the best Feast ever!

I can hear it now as the self-righteous know-it-alls get all indignant and say...Satan is doing this to discredit true believers.  Satan is always active before the Feast to distract people from the truth.

It is a mockery!  LOL!

UPDATED: Netflix "Haunted's "Cult of Torture" " Is Based Upon Armstrongism And Its Damaging Effects Upon A Church Member


Netflix has a fascinating series called "Haunted" where people share stories about paranormal happenings and other events that have happened in their lives and how those events continue to haunt them to this day.

The current program of Haunted is called "Cult of Torture" had is based upon the real life events of a former church member.

Where Haunted gets into murky territory is when it tells stories that aren’t driven by supernatural means. The “Slaughterhouse” episode in Season 1 stirred up a lot of controversy because viewers were shocked that the show identified a supposedly real serial killer who murdered dozens of people. Similarly, HauntedSeason 2’s “Cult of Torture” episode deals with a very real horror, one that also affected dozens (if not hundreds, if not thousands) of people beyond the main subject. But whereas Google sleuths can’t find any evidence that the events in “The Slaughterhouse” ever took place, “Cult of Torture” is the first episode of Haunted that you can prove without a doubt is based on a very real, very upsetting story.
Is the “Cult of Torture” episode real?
Yes. To summarize–and this description comes with a massive trigger warning for abuse and torture–trauma survivor James Swift tells his story of what it was like growing up in a Christianity-based doomsday cult in Louisiana. His mother joined the church, then known as the Worldwide Church of God, when he was very young. The Worldwide Church of God was founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, a televangelist and the host of a program called The World Tomorrow.
By the time Swift was a teenager, he underwent horrifying torture in order to rid his body of the “gay demon” that was “possessing him.” Church officials pegged Swift as gay before he even knew what gay meant, all because of his effeminate mannerisms, and subjected him to long stretches of total isolation without food. His mother even sexually assaulted Swift in an attempt to make him react to a woman’s touch, which was her way of performing an “exorcism.” When Swift was 15, he was sent to the New Bethany Home for Boys in Arcadia, Louisiana, where he was hosed, kept in a cage, subjected to electroshock conversion therapy, and anally raped. He was kept there for 17 weeks and, after being returned to his abusive home, he and his brother were taken in by his aunt. The church was disbanded, Armstrong was outted as a pedophile who molested his daughter, and the conversion camp was raided and shut down. 

Read the entire article here:  "Yes, ‘Haunted’s’ “Cult of Torture” Episode Is About a Real Evangelical Doomsday Cult"

More can be found here:  Trafficking doesn't discriminate; men also victimized

Friday, October 11, 2019

Feast of Tabernacles in the Church of God: The Season of Disunity

We are rapidly approaching the high season in COGland with the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.  It is a time when family and friends gather in exotic locations for 8 days of overindulgence in food and fun and butt-numbing recycled sermons.  It is supposed to represent a foretaste of the millennial kingdom of God. A time when the church is unified and basking in eternal bliss with the lion and lamb playing together,

That all sounds lovely until you read the following little blurb.  Two different cities, each with 9 different COG's meeting in the same city for this millennial foretaste, and all 9 refusing to acknowledge their sister churches as brethren.  How shameful can the Church of God be? Is it any wonder the COG is not growing?

Feast of Tabernacles 2019
As in previous years, Branson, Missouri, tops the most popular festival sites with 9, but it now has a challenger – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which also has 9 festival sites there. 

Guest Column: Azazel or azazel and the Disposal of Sin

NOTE:  As more and more COG members read this blog it has become the "go-to" place for news and information.  Occasionally people contact me with articles.  These certainly do not always end up being something I agree with, but will occasionally post them for an added discussion, which is something that most COG members never get the opportunity to do.  If these kinds of topics bore you, them pass it by till the next posting.

Azazel or azazel and the Disposal of Sin

In discussions about the Day of Atonement, Satan figures prominently, perhaps too prominently.

Lev 16:33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.

Lev 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Perhaps, a focus on Satan lessens the real focus of the Day.

Lev 16:33a and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the Tent of Meeting and the altar…
Eze 45:20b so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).

The atonement of the Tabernacle/Temple and the people is the focus of the ritual whether Satan is the god of this world or when Jesus Christ becomes the God of this world.

Under the present god of this world there is one day of atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month. Under the hopefully soon coming return of Jesus Christ, at least ten years away(?), there will be two days of atonement in preparation for Passover, on the first and seventh days of the first month (Eze 45:18-20). The function of the Passover will also change from an apotropaic one to a purgative one with a public sacrifice of a bull as a sin/purification offering.

Azazel maybe Satan as suggested by Holy Day typology. The Day of Alarm-blasts appears to picture the return of Jesus Christ to complete the last half-year of his prophetic week. The First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles appears to picture the Millennium.

Eze 43:7a And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever... 

(The picture above captures the intent of Eze 43:7a).

Lev 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 
Lev 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 

At the start of the Kingdom Age, after the completion of the second half week, Christ takes up His earthly residence in the Millennial Temple, cp. the start of the Church Age in Acts 2:1-3, while still in heaven (cp. 1 Kgs 8:11-13 & 8:30). Residence in the Millennial Temple will be the same as in the Mosaic Tabernacle.

Atonement occurs before the First of Sukkot, which may therefore picture Satan and Demons being cast out of the ‘heavenlies’ and being replaced by Jesus Christ and the Saints (cp. Eph 6:12; Eph 2:6, a prolepsis; and Rev 3:21).

In Leviticus 26:11-12 there is the three-part Covenant formula - God will be God of his people; Israel will be His people; and God will dwell among them.

Eze 8:6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. 

The Day of Atonement in the OC was, and the Days of Atonement in the NC will be, required to maintain Jesus Christ’s presence (Shekinah), in the Most Holy Place. Sin generates impurities that attaches to various sanctum, depending on the grade of sin; serious ritual impurity only attaches to the outer altar. Too much accumulation of sin-generated pollution in the Temple drives Christ away.

Therefore, the Millennial Temple will have to be annually atoned for to maintain the NC.

What follows looks briefly at Azazel or azazel and the role of disposal of sin in the atonement ritual provided by the sin/purification offering during the year and in the annual “sin offering of atonements” (Num 29:11) on the Day of Atonement, and its implication for the Millennium.

To achieve the goal of cleansing of the tabernacle and people under the OC, two goats were essential.

Lev 16:8a And shall cast Aaron for two the goats lots

Lev 16:8ba lot one for Yahweh (layahweh)

Lev 16:8bb and lot one for ‘azazel (la‘azazel)

(The lamed, transliterated “l”, is one of three prepositions, that is prefixed to nouns; (i.e., inseparable).

“Archaeologists have found many objects, especially seals, with the inscribed names of their owners preceded by the lamed of ownership (Levine, Leviticus, 102)” (Roy Gane, Cult and Character, p.249).

Ex 12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance [lehaqto thee and to thy sons [lebaneka]  for ever. 

“Unless, therefore, ‘azazel be a proper name (which has to be proved, not assumed) the preposition need not and ought not to be translated by "for" but by "to be." The word le is used with great latitude, and often in a different sense in the same sentence; e.g.; Exo 12:24...” (H.D.M. Spence & Joseph S. Exell Leviticus, Pulpit Commentary).

Lev 16:5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

“The goats, though used in different ways, constituted only one offering. They were both presented before the Lord, and the disposal of them determined by lot...” (Robert Jamieson, Levitcus, JFB).

Lev 16:8 And Aaron shall east lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and one lot for a remover of sins (H.D.M. Spence & Joseph S. Exell).

“However, one chooses to translate ‘azazel the emphasis must remain upon what the goat was meant to accomplish. The common strand in each interpretation is that the goat carried away the sins of the people into the remote wilderness, never to return and never to be seen again...

“It is probably best not to make too sharp a distinction between the two goats, since the two together are described as "a sin offering" in the singular in verse Lev 16:5. It seems best to hold that the two goats represented a different aspect of the same sacrifice...

“Possibly, David was reflecting upon the ritual of the scapegoat when he wrote the stanza of the song:

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has he removed our transgressions from us - Psa 103:12” (Gary W. Demarest, Leviticus, The Preachers’ Commentary).

Disposal Parallels

(hatta’t/hattat is the transliteration of the Hebrew word translated “sin offering” in the KJV. Purification offering is a better translation but no one word captures its full meaning in English; sin offerings (KJV) are also required to cleanse from serious ritual impurity. For the sin/purification offering I transliterate the silent aleph).

Outer altar sin offering

Lev 10:17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear [nasa] the iniquity [awon] of the congregation, to make atonement [kapper] for them [’alehembefore the LORD?

Outer-Sanctum sin offering

Lev 4:20 ... and the priest shall make an atonement [kipper] for them [’alehem], and it shall be forgiven them. 
Lev 4:21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him ... it is a sin offering [hatta’tfor the congregation. 

Sin offering of atonements

Lev 16:22 And the goat shall bear [nasa] upon him all their iniquities [awonunto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

“... if in the special hattat ritual the Azazel goat was necessary to remove the sins of the Israelites, [then] in the ordinary hattatritual ... a certain agent had to remove the sin of the offerer, rather than the sin is removed just through confession or remorse” (Gung Yul Kim, The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus, pp.313-14).

“As for the phrase “bear iniquity” in the hattat context, in one place it is a priestly action performed by priest(s) as an agent of God to remove the iniquity of the Israelites (Lev 10:17) and in [an]other place it is an activity done by the Azazel goat (Lev 16:22)” (Gung Yul Kim, The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus, p.16).

Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 

“... in the ordinary hattat ritual, the same thing occurred in a different manner; the offerer’s sin is transferred to the victim through his confession and hand imposition; his sin is conveyed to the victim’s flesh and the impurity of the sancta is absorbed into the flesh through the blood, par pro toto for the victim; and the flesh is eaten by the priests or burned outside the camp to remove the sin and the impurity” (Gung Yul Kim, The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus, p.314).

Lev 14:49 And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds...
Lev 14:50 And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water: 
Lev 14:52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird...
Lev 14:53a But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields,

Lev 14:53b and make an atonement [kipperfor the house: and it shall be clean [taher]
Lev 14:20b and the priest shall make an atonement [kipperfor him, and he shall be clean [taher]

Lev 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement [kapperfor you, to cleanse [taheryou, that ye may be clean [teharfrom all your sins before the LORD. 

“If the same syntax of the two verses [14:20, 53] is acknowledged as having the same meaning, it is presumed that the same mechanism of the hattat offering is working even in the ritual for the leprous house... The legislator of this rule would have considered this ritual as having a function corresponding to the hattat ritual, although the bird is not called a hattat and [not] slaughtered at the sanctuary” (Gung Yul Kim, The hattat, p.305).

Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement [kapper] for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

"... inadvertent sin and major impurity both require sacrifice for atonement. Since both inadvertent sin and major impurity endanger (requiring ransom) and pollute (requiring purgation), sacrificial atonement must both ransom and cleanse. The verb used to describe this dual event is the verb kipper and the power of the kipper-rite to accomplish both is due to the lifeblood of the animal" (Jay Sklar, Sin Impurity, Sacrifice, Atonement - The Priestly Conceptions, p.187).

“... ransom and cleansing” are “required; one bird is sacrificed (ransom) and its blood is sprinkled (cleansing); the other bird takes away the removed impurity (disposal of impurity); thus kipper is made (ransom + purgation)” (Gung Yul Kim, The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus, p.305).

Lev 20:3b he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name

In the ordinary hatta’t the sin of the offerer is transferred to the animal flesh and has to be eliminated either by eating or burning. When blood is applied to the sancta, the pollution of the sancta is also transferred to the flesh of the animal, through ritual dynamics, cp. Lev 20:3, and/or pars pro toto.

“… hand imposition in the [ordinary] hattat ritual signifies ‘identification = sin-transference” (Gung Yul Kim, The hattat ritual and the Day of Atonement in the Book of Leviticus, p.296).

It would appear, it is the animal that has the hand/hands laid on it, who absorbs the sin/sins and that animal is ‘dealt’ with to eliminate the sin/sins.

On the Day of Atonement while the blood of the bull and goat purification offerings is applied to the sancta the sins are not transferred to the flesh of the slaughtered offerings along with the impurity generated by sins, even though the flesh is burned without the camp; the high-priest transfers the sins to the live goat who is then sent into the wilderness.

In regard to sin and the impurity generated by sin compare the analogy of adultery. There is the act of adultery by one spouse, and when the sin is revealed, there is the hurt and betrayal of the other spouse. There is a two-fold need - forgiveness and healing to restore the relationship.

So when a person sins there is a transgression of the law, and the impurity, generated by that transgression, defiles the sanctuary and therefore profanes God’s holy name, i.e., God. Therefore, forgiveness and elimination/healing are also required to make full atonement - ransom and purgation - to restore the sinner to a right standing before God.

Lev 16:16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness [tum’ot] of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 
Lev 16:19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it [the outer altar] with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness [tum’ot] of the children of Israel. 

Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities [‘awonot] of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins...
Lev 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities [‘awonot] unto a land not inhabited...

Inequities, the operative word in 16:21,22 are transgressions; and uncleanness, the operative word in 16:16, 19 is the consequence of the transgressions.

Sin and impurity, in the ordinary hatta’t, are absorbed by one animal. But in the special hatta’t there are two, actually three, animals involved. The iniquities of the children (lit., “sons”) of Israel are transferred to the live goat 16:21-22, not the carcasses of the sacrificed bull and goat.

Presumably, when the blood is applied to the sancta the uncleanness is absorbed into the sin offering of atonements - the priest’s bull and the congregation’s goat - and eliminated through burning of the flesh outside the camp (Lev 16:17).

Lev 4:27 And if any one of the common people sin 
Lev 4:28b then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 
Lev 4:29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering... 

Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins...

In the ordinary hatta’t the man’s sin that he has committed is transferred to the goat. How then did the sins of the sons of Israel come to be “on” Aaron so that he can transfer them to the live goat?

Gung Yul Kim does not mention it, but Roy Gane argues in one place:

“Confession plus double hand-leaning appears to be the means by which the sins of the entire nation are transformed from abstraction, as if out of the air, into a concentrated, quasi-spatially containable form, gathered to the high priest, and channeled through his hands to the goat” (Roy Gane, Cult and Character, pp.245-46).

Lev 10:17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear [nasa] the iniquity [‘avon] of the congregation, to make atonement [kapper] for them [’alehembefore [lipne] the LORD?

Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities [awonot] of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, 

And in another place: “In eaten purification offerings (excluding a hatta’t sacrifice officiated by a priest at least partly for himself), officiating priests who eat the flesh bear (nasa) the culpability [‘awon] (10:17) in some sense, although they are immune to its effects. They do this as the cultic representatives of YHWH, who bears evils when he extends pardon (“forgiving iniquity [‘awon], transgressions and sins”; Exod 34:7; cf. Num 14:18). On the Day of Atonement all ‘awonot, apparently comprising or at least including the culpabilities born by the priests for the people, are transferred to Azazel’s goat through the high priest’s confession and banished to Azazel in the wilderness (Lev 16:21-22; cf. v.10). The ‘awonot do not need to be purged from the sanctuary because they have affected the priests instead.

“The role of YHWH in bearing moral evils is represented in the cultic system by his sanctuary and priests together: When sinners receive kipper during the year, the sanctuary bears their tum’ot (Lev 16:16) and the priests bear the ‘awonot that have resulted from the tum’ot (Lev 10:17). The priests can bear the ‘awonot because these are consequentially culpabilities and, as such, they can be transferred from one person to another (cf. 2 Sam 14:9;...). The transferability reflects the legal fact that one person can be condemned to punishment for a wrong that another person has committed” (Cult and Character, pp.299-300).

One difficulty in Roy Gane’s argument is that the priests do not bear, at least based on Lev 10:17, all the ‘awonot in outer altar purification offerings: “(excluding a hatta’t sacrifice officiated by a priest at least partly for himself)” and by implication inner sanctum purification offerings.

This interpretation of “bear iniquity” is different to Gung Yul Kim’s, in that the latter sees the priest’s role in “bearing iniquity” by eating the flesh of the purification offering which eliminates/disposes of the iniquity, the parallel to burning in the priest’s hatta’t.

Heb 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple...

As an aside, typology therefore suggest that just as the priests have a role in the elimination of sin along with the high priest, the future priests of the Melchisdec priesthood in heaven assist the heavenly high priest in His ministry in the sanctuary.

Ex 28:29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. 
Ex 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Lev 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 

Somewhat similar to Roy Gane’s second quote, perhaps Aaron, as the cultic representative of God, bears/absorbs those sins that are not atoned for during the year by the ordinary hatta’t when they are committed; such as Molech worship defiles the Most Holy Place when it is committed, which is also borne by the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.

Then on the day of Atonement the high-priest transfers the sins to the goat through hands leaning, (no blood being is applied to him, just as no blood is applied to a sinner in the atonement ritual for his sin), and the sanctuary is cleansed of the effects of sin through the blood rites, that both have borne during the year. (Forgiveness, or a related word, is not used in Lev 16).

Lev 16:18b and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat
Lev 16:15b He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it.
Lev 16:16b put blood on four horns of incense altar and sprinkle blood before the veil 7 times...
Lev 16:18c and put it upon the horns of the [outer] altar round about.
Lev 16:20 ... making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar...

Eze 45:19a The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering
Eze 45:19b and put it on the doorposts of the temple
Eze 45:19c on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar
Eze 45:19d and on the gateposts of the inner court
Eze 45:20b ... so you are to make atonement for the temple

Atonement will be made for the Temple in the Millennium to maintain Christ’s presence in the Most Holy Place, one of the three pillars of the covenant formula - no Christ, no covenant.

In the above reconstruction, to draw the parallels between OC and NC atonement, changes of where blood is applied to kipper, maybe observed. Along with changes in the objects to receive blood there may another method for disposal of sin during the annual atonement cleansing of the Temple. If sin may be eliminated by eating or burning during the year, another way for annual elimination is more than likely. (It is surprising that the blood is not put on the horns of the outer altar in the annual NC atonement ritual seeing that this is the place in the OC. Blood is placed on the horns of the NC altar in its consecration (Eze 43:20)).

Eze 41:12 Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.

Perhaps the building with the largest ground floor area in the Temple Complex, situated behind the Temple proper, will play a part in the disposal of sin.

Submitted by John