One of the more interesting antics of those ministers, usually "Pastor Rank" at the time of their departure from WCG and starting up their own version of it as Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry and Ron Weinland has done, is how quickly the rise through their own ranks. They usually skip right over the title of Evangelist and declare themselves Apostles. The fact is that no one actually ordained them so. They just tend to declare it based on their mighty works and self absorbed views of who they think they are. They see themselves spoken of in the scriptures. Delusional but common practice that gives them the authority they seem to need to do all manner of mischief and wreak all sorts of havoc in the church and the world of delusional theology.
Bob Thiel added a new dimension to the practice by choosing rather to be a Prophet than an Apostle and taking his cue from the phrase "...and give Bob a double portion of your spirit" when seeking a simple anointing for some minor malady as I am lead to believe. In my world, twice nothing is still nothing. But if Bob wants to be a prophet, then let it be so if makes him happy and feel important.
Becoming an Apostle, leading one's own splinter seems to be an event that follows what I can only call the "beat down period". This is where the man wanting the elevate himself, spends an inordinate amount of time prepping his members for the big announcement. Dave Pack did it with long and twisty sermons that lead to his final declaration of Apostleship. Knowing how much Dave hates working with others preferring them to work for him, I have always suspected Dave would declare himself both of the Two Witnesses to keep it all tidy and under his control. I believe he so far feels they will come out of RCG, but I can't imagine who he'd let fill that role as they, no doubt, would take the limelight from himself. Not to worry. The only thing any Two Witnesses coming out of RCG would accomplish was to make fools out of themselves and Dave.
The phenomenon of declaring oneself an Apostle and leaving the question as to "well who died and made you King" as we used to drip sarcastically at others when we were children and feeling bossed around, unanswered is not new. They ordained themselves. They took a look at what they have done and still want to do and that's about all it takes. Perhaps they are sincere. Perhaps the ego of it all appeals or even the tithes. I try not to read hearts. Not my problem. They tend to work for no man and have a history of not being a team player in the first place. It seems a bit or a lot of narcissism goes with their declaration of Apostleship as well. It certainly has to take a narcissist to see themselves spoken of in the scriptures. The symptoms of it certainly fit.
Such was the Apostle Paul as well. Who ordained Paul an Apostle? How did he jump from murderous Saul and persecutor of Christians and the Church skipping all the steps in between like, "humble member", "deacon", "local elder", "pastor", "evangelist" to Apostle?
Following is a very interesting study on the topic just who ordained the Apostle Paul by the Institute for Religious Research. http://irr.org/
Here is the introduction to the article for those who might wish to read the full article addressing the topic. As you know, the appearance of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament has always interested me and HWA often quoted Paul's words in Galatians 1:1 to justify his own authority and status as an Apostle, though he also seems to have risen through no ranks of the or a church before declaring so.
Between "There were two trees..." and Paul's quote, HWA was very predictable and I attributed that in my youth to his age, limited theological training and insights and loss of the ability to talk about new things of interest Biblically. Actually he spent a lot of time reminding us just who he thought he was and Pack, Flurry and Weinland have followed in his debris quite nicely in this regard as well.
" Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father,... 11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."
I also wish to note what most never consider (and sorry for repeating it as I have over the past decade) and that is that Paul never met any Gospel Jesus. He never knew of anything written in the Gospels by originally anonymous authors years after he lived, preached and died. Paul never quotes that Jesus because his Jesus was hallucinatory in nature, words spoken in his mind by Jesus in his Damascus Road tale. Paul does not reference this story in Galatians as it is told only by Luke in Acts about Paul. In Galatians, Paul says that like Jeremiah and Jesus, he was called from his mother's womb, Saul notwithstanding.
Also when Paul says, in Corinthians 9 " Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? (1 Cor. 9:1 KJV), he can only mean either as in his hallucinatory vision of Jesus in the Damascus Road story or in the sense that "have I not seen" can also mean "Have I not experienced", alluding to his calling and recognition of Jesus as Savior etc. Paul never saw the physical Jesus at least that we know or he found worth recounting.
Posted by: Rob Bowman
The case against the LDS claim that other apostles had ordained Paul to be an apostle is actually quite simple. (1) Both Acts and Paul predicate Paul's apostolic ministry to the Gentiles on Christ's appearance to Paul (Acts 9, 22, 26; 1 Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:15-16). (2) Paulâ€™s description of his meetings with apostles following his conversion (Gal. 1-2) proves that the other apostles never ordained him. (3) Paul states explicitly that his apostleship was neither directly nor indirectly conferred on him by mortals (Gal. 1:1). I shall elaborate on these points in this post, giving special attention to the arguments of LDS scholar Richard Lloyd Anderson, who tries in his book Understanding Paul to show that Paul was subject to the direction of the Jerusalem apostles and ordained under their authority.
Christ's Appearance to Paul
Acts and Paul both predicate Paul's position as an apostle of Christ on the appearance of Christ to Paul that converted him from a persecutor to a proponent of the Christian faith. Acts presents a detailed account of this event, and reports two speeches by Paul in which he delivers similarly detailed, parallel accounts (Acts 9:1-19; 22:1-21; 26:2-23). While Saul (as he was then known) was on the road to Damascus to go persecute Christians, the Lord appeared to Saul and identified himself as Jesus (Acts 9:1-6; 22:5-10; 26:9-15). Paul reported that Jesus had appeared to him in order to make him his minister and witness to the Gentiles:
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in meâ€ (Acts 26:16-18 KJV).
This is, of course, what Paul spent the rest of his life doing. It describes his activities as an apostle of Christ, the apostle to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13).
Paul also describes his conversion from opponent to apostle in his epistle to the Galatians, also pointing out that he had been actively persecuting the church until it pleased Godâ€¦to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen (Gal. 1:15-16 KJV). Here again, Paul predicated his role as apostle to the Gentiles on Christâ€™s appearance to him.
I mentioned in my previous post Paul's comment about his position as an apostle equal to those of the Jerusalem apostles in 1 Corinthians: Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?â€ (1 Cor. 9:1 KJV). Paul points out here that he had seen Jesus Christ because it was the basis for his position as an apostle. It is striking that neither here nor anywhere else, when defending his apostleship, does Paul appeal to his ordination by other apostles. Instead, he grounds his office of apostle on the fact that Christ had appeared to him.
The importance of this point cannot be overstated. If the LDS view were correct, the simplest and most compelling way for Paul to have asserted his apostleship would be to appeal to his ordination to that office. He would merely need to remind people that the apostles had ordained him. Indeed, suppose for the sake of argument that all of the new apostles were ordained in public ceremonies in which the existing apostles laid hands on them. Had there been such an institutional process for becoming an apostle, there would not have been any controversy at Corinth or elsewhere about Paulâ€™s apostolic credentials. What made it possible for many people to question his claim to be an apostle is that his appointment to that office did not come from the other apostles. The argument here is not merely a fallacious appeal to silence, but an argument contrasting Paul's silence about his supposed ordination with what Paul actually does say concerning the basis for his claim to be an apostle......
The Author Concludes...
"I conclude, then, that the LDS claim that the Jerusalem apostles ordained Paul has no realistic hope of being correct. His first meeting was an informal visit with Peter, during which time Paul saw none of the other apostles except James the Lords brother. His second meeting was initiated by Paul to make sure that the Jerusalem apostles did not undermine his apostolic ministry; the result of that meeting was that the pillar apostles acknowledged that God was already working mightily through Paul in apostolic ministry to the Gentiles and sent him on his way with their support. This evidence confirms what Paul in any case states emphatically at the beginning of his epistle to the Galatians:
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead) (Gal. 1:1 KJV).
The apparent redundancy not of men, neither by man, is an emphatic way of excluding any possible dependency of Paul's position as apostle on other mortal human beings. He was an apostle, not of men, that is, no group of human beings commissioned him; and neither by man,that is, no mortal human functioned as an agent to confer Pauls office on him. Thus, neither directly (not of men) nor indirectly (neither by man) did other apostles ordain Paul to his office of apostle. He received his apostleship directly from God the Father through Jesus Christ himself."
I am sure that those who have climbed from their positions in WCG to their now more lofty authoritative and impressive authoritarian titles have used Paul's rise to justify their own. Herbert Armstrong did it almost weekly in study after study reminding us as students that no man taught him anything but that he got it all from God. Sure fine whatever you say.
David C Pack is no Apostle. Gerald Flurry is no Apostle. Ron Weinland is no Apostle and Bob Thiel is no Prophet. How one gets to be on of those is another topic I suppose but Bob's just feeling he is seems close to how they all get there.