RCG just released another amazing video about their 104-acre compound.
How have they acquired so much land? How have they bought so many homes? How have they built so many brand new homes? Gardens? Barns? Horses?
So many blessings from God. But how?
Easy, they have drummed into the RCG flock that they must "sell all" and all things must be "common." Spiritual coercion of the most disgusting sort has been going on for years. Funny how when all things were common in the first century (admittedly a totally different teaching), we never see any evidence of amassed wealth for the apostles.
But don't worry, just a year ago Dave said,"Release Your Assets to God! Sell all as you are waiting for the Lord. Even if the Work has no time to use it. Won't change my salary. Won't build any more buildings. But it'll help you! Probably won't help us. But it'll help you! God's looking at your heart."
He has named several dates over the last year (and several years) that his Jesus was about to return. He failed every time. But during his feverish-prophetic stirring of the people he always drops the strong suggestion to "sell all", often with implicit spiritual threats of one's future.
Recall the long official article that summarizes this teaching. It all came from a sermon series from Dave many years ago. http://armstrongismlibrary.blogspot.com/2016/08/david-c-pack-all-things-in-common-all.html
When will this end?
Below is official RCG doctrine and the exact reason why they have built what they have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Headquarters has been asked by many individuals and couples for assistance in determining how to obey Christ’s command, based on their circumstances. No two situations are identical, but certain questions regularly arise.
Q: Is Common paid or given?
A: Mr. Pack answered this question in the more recent of the sermons mentioned above. He was speaking in the context of Christ’s instruction about profitable and unprofitable servants: “Is Common commanded? Is it paid or is it given? Is it an offering or like a tithe? The answer? It is both. You are commanded to give it and it is your duty. As a matter of fact, if you do give your “Common,” you could still be an unprofitable servant because everybody must do it. It is a baseline. So it will not automatically get you into the kingdom of God. However, I used both terms because everybody (much like a Holy Day offering or any other offering) must decide what they believe is the portion they keep back. Where do you set the limit? The person who gives more versus the one who gives less defines who is profitable to God and who is not.
“Somebody can give a huge amount and a great many poor of this world can hear the gospel, yet the person who gave may not even reach the kingdom. Have you thought of that? It was their ‘commanded duty.’ But they become profitable to God when they say, ‘You know what?…I have an awesome job, unlike anybody else. Look at my house. Look at my cars. Look at my clothes. Look at my steady income…I do not need this much and can give more than I think.’ Such people can go further than they often think. God does not define your portion, your part, your allotment. You do.”
Q: What are the typical pitfalls?
A: We have at times seen members fall into two opposite ditches:
(1) Giving so much that they bring themselves to the brink of financial insolvency. This happens less often, and is solved by looking at income, expenses and debt while deciding how much to give. Headquarters can provide counsel to help prevent this.
(2) Mistaking merely “a nice offering” for the “all” that Common requires. To illustrate, think of a member with $1 million in the bank. (This would be rare.) He has simplified his lifestyle to a reasonable level, and does not need more than his current income to cover his monthly expenses. He has determined that a prudent savings, based on various factors, is $15,000. He learns of the Common doctrine, evaluates his circumstances…and decides to give $300,000 to the Work. While this is a very large amount—far beyond the capability of most—it still leaves him with $685,000 of excess funds he does not need. He has given—and that helps the Work!—but he is not “all in.” He has not truly obeyed Christ’s command—or even come close. Consider the widow of Mark 12: “Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (vs. 41-44). Though the amount the widow gave was tiny, she had deeply sacrificed.
Q: Must I sell my house?
A: Other verses make clear we may have a home. Paul asked the rhetorical question, “Have you not houses to eat and to drink in?” (I Cor. 11:22). Also, Sabbath services were generally held in members’ homes in the first century (Rom. 16:5; I Cor. 16:19), still often the case today. In modern times, Common applies to second homes, vacation cottages, investment properties, land and other unnecessary assets.
Regarding primary residences, a distinction must be made between a home used as shelter and a place from which to extend hospitality, and one held as an asset—a “stockpile” of equity. Again, in this age, there are banking instruments that allow one to live in a house—and “own” very little of it—in the exact same way as if it was owned outright.
Q: What about my retirement account?
A: According to many plain scriptures, Christians do not retire. The Fourth Commandment alone makes this plain: “Six days shall you labor, and do all your work” (Ex. 20:9). Another crucial verse states, “Even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thes. 3:10). (Of course, it is natural to slow down somewhat as we age.)
Mr. Pack said this in “How a Small Church Does Such Big Things (Part 2)”: “Retirement is unbiblical, period. That is why Mr. Armstrong said, ‘We will never retire’…Retirement is a sin if you are able-bodied…I have given a sermon on this, ‘The Work Ethic and The Work.’ Some may say, ‘Well, Mr. Pack, that is strong.’ Yes, it is strong, but God is strong! You cannot come into the Work and say, ‘I am retired because men told me I can.’ God does not say you can. Mr. Armstrong died at 93½ on the job; Moses, too, along with other servants of God. They retired into the grave. But a lot of people have amassed a lot of wealth, so they think they can retire because men told them they could. Retirement is another part of the culture out there that people marinate in…It is called the entitlement mindset.” (For more on this, listen to his full sermon series.)
Q: Does Proverbs 13:22 require Christians today to provide an inheritance to grandchildren?
A: This verse states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” While this had direct application in ancient Israel during and beyond when it was written, the urgency of our time presents a very different scenario. We are living in the final age of the Church, with the signs of the end-time blaring at us minute-to-minute from the headlines! Our children would hardly have opportunity to spend an inheritance, never mind our grandchildren. We are the generation who, at the 1,335 days, will have to leave behind everything but the clothing we are wearing. Just weeks later, our material goods will be plundered as the Great Tribulation arrives—there will be no neat distribution to inheritors.
Again quoting Mr. Pack: “I’m never going to leave my children anything. The same with all my grandchildren. Why? Because there is no possible way they would ever get it. Consider for a minute. At the resurrection of the dead, not one person will own land or a house. Not one living Christian in God’s Church will still have either. In fact, we will have decided three years and eight-and-a-half months earlier to leave our houses and lands. You will have left your dwelling…so the question becomes, will you give some of it now?
“The chances are, if you won’t give it now—and I’m not saying leave it—there are banking instruments in place where you do not need to leave your house. It’s different from the first century. You can pull money from your house and live in it as though you owned it outright. Of course no bank will let you be upside down in your house.
“Now consider. If you won’t give up your houses and lands now, you probably really won’t have to worry about giving them up at the time of “taken.” You’ll get to keep them for a little while longer, while all those who did give up houses, who did give up lands, and received them back again because God provides for them—with persecution—will again be willing to do it at the 1,335 days before Christ’s Return.
“We have two categories of people, as it were: Those who gave up houses twice, and those who won’t give them up at all. Take a look at what you have—gold, silver, 401Ks, stocks, coins, stamps, paintings, antiques, equity. What do you have that you don’t need? You can continue your lifestyle if you’re not acting in an affluent way (that’s not the calling of Christians). Don’t leave yourself with no clothes, standing out in an intersection without food in your stomach, or a house. You may need counsel, but there are a lot of things you can get rid of. Great numbers have already learned this.”
Q: To keep the Fifth Commandment, are we required to financially take care of parents?
A: We can and should do what we can to make sure our parents are in a safe environment and not lacking basic necessities. But Christians are not obligated to subsidize an upscale setting, even if they were once accustomed to it. Consider: When their minds are opened to the truth at the Second Resurrection, they will have an entirely different view in hindsight of converted children’s decisions. Will our parents look back and think, “Now I understand their actions—they did the right thing”—or will they say, “What were they thinking?!? They could have done so much more to help finish the Work!”
Q: My family/spouse/friends are opposed to me sending Common. How should I respond?
A: First, never tell family outside the Church about a command they have no chance to understand! (You would certainly never tell them even the size of a Holy Day offering.) Since we established that giving all is not possible without God, you should not expect those outside God’s Church to believe it is possible, or even a good idea. (This would also apply to a financial advisor, who would view any notion of “treasure in heaven” or being “rich toward God” as foolishness.) Remember: Family and friends cannot give eternal life. They cannot place a crown on your head or put you on a throne ruling cities beside Christ. Do not permit their opposition to jeopardize your eternal life and reward!
Recall Jesus’ instruction to one who wanted to delay following Him on account of family: “He [Jesus] said unto another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go you and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-60).
Get counsel on this matter if you are unsure.
Q: My home/land/property is on the market but is not selling. What should I do?
A: Over time, while assisting many members liquidating real estate to benefit the Work, the Headquarters ministry has seen a pattern repeat itself many times: The seller must aggressively drop the price, often more than once in a short time, to find the market “sweet spot” that brings a serious buyer to the table. Almost always, the selling price is considerably below what the member had expected. The desire to give more to God’s Work through a higher price is wonderful, but generally speaking it is better to relatively quickly drop the price to one that will rapidly sell.
This evokes Christ’s parable of the unjust steward: “There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? For my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
“I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owe you unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owe you? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and write fourscore.
“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:1-12).
Here is a quote from one of Mr. Pack’s sermons on Common regarding this parable: “Brethren, be like the unjust steward with your possessions. Maybe (proverbially) write 80 as he did, or write 50, so to speak. Again, get what you can for what you have. Holding out for the bigger price usually yields nothing, rather than more. We’d all like to think it will (rarely it can), but it may yield nothing. Be willing to scramble…That’s what the unjust steward did. He scrambled. We might say God’s Work is in a big hurry. We could move more quickly with our plans if God’s people moved quickly.
“Because of the compacting of the age and the ‘short Work’ (remember God picked a word in Romans 9:28 that means compact), we must act quickly. We have to be jet-propelled. So we here must move at the speed you move. Go to God for that extra help. Those are some things worth considering in regard to the unjust steward.”
Submitted by Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous