Saturday, May 30, 2020

Adult Sabbath School: The Highway to YHVH?

This explains a LOT!  

The discovery was made using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing on an Iron Age Judahite shrine at Tel Arad, in Israel’s Negev desert. The cannabis altar was in the inner sanctum of the temple, known as the cella, or holy of holies.
“We know from all around the Ancient Near East and around the world that many cultures used hallucinogenic materials and ingredients in order to get into some kind of religious ecstasy,” Eran Arie, curator of Iron Age and Persian Periods archaeology in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem told CNN. “We never thought about Judah taking part in these cultic practices. The fact that we found cannabis in an official cult place of Judah says something new.”

According to a new paper published in the journal  Tel Aviv , ancient esoteric worshippers at a Judahite temple at the fortress mound in Tel Arad in Israel “likely smoked cannabis during cultic ceremonies.” This statement comes after a team of Israeli scientists performed chemical analysis on residues found on two Iron Age altars dating back more than 2,700 years at the entrance to the shrine; both were found to contain cannabis and frankincense.
The frankincense had come from the resin of the Boswellia sacra , a small tree found in Oman, Yemen, and Somalia, and according to a Daily Mail report, the presence of cannabis resin suggests “a deliberate psychoactive substance” was made and burned to “stimulate ecstasy as part of esoteric ceremonies.”

Did you know you CAN predict the tribulation?

For decades COG wannabe leaders have made every imaginable interpretation of Scripture that there can be made, and yet that never stops them from continuing on dreaming up new things.

Our OTHER favorite COG prophet has now dreamed up a new take on end-time predictions. In order to prove he is legitimate he has to be able to twist things so that he appears to know what is really going on.

James Malm claims that people who quote Matthew 24:36 are using this scripture because they are spiritually lazy. And here we go again with another self-appointed know-it-all that thinks he and he alone knows what is correct.
Many people will quote Matthew 24:36 and use it to claim that we cannot know when the great tribulation will begin, this is then used as an excuse for spiritual laziness and a reason not to bother studying the prophets.  Lets analyze this quote from our Lord. 
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 
Notice how he craftily rewords the scripture to present himself as the harbinger of truth. Deluded though, as it is.
The very first thing to notice is that this quote has absolutely nothing to do with the tribulation and refers specifically to the coming of Christ.  Jesus does not say that no one can know when the tribulation will begin; he does say that no one at that time knew the day that he would return to rule the earth. 
Then his subtle deception below as he carries on trying to legitimize his right to make predictions.
The second point is that he did not say that no one will ever know, he said that no one knew at that specific time.  Remember that he was still in the flesh, he had not yet died and been resurrected.  We are told in Revelation five that after his resurrection Jesus Christ the Lamb of God was found worthy and was allowed to unseal and open the books.  
The Chief Pharisee is wanting you to believe that since Jesus unsealed how things will be happening that this opens the door for Malm to say what he does, because his creature "jesus" speaks to and through him.

Malm now wants you to believe that his end times are here and that his god has now channeled through him all that we need to know about the end times.
The third point is that the prophets were sealed from the understanding of men by God until the very end time (Dan 12:9) and then they would be unsealed and revealed when there was a need to know at the very latter day just before the tribulation is to begin (Dan 12:10).  Therefore no man could understand the latter day prophets until God revealed them to to Jesus Christ who would then reveal them to God’s true servants when there was a real need to know.  Part of the purpose of this concealing and revealing of the meanings of the prophets was to clearly reveal just who God’s true servants are in this critical period when the tribulation is about to begin. 
Malm believes he is that one true servant at this critical time in church history. Oh hell no!  We know that is not true and that he is NOT a prophet or even a messenger of God's word.
These things of God were sealed and kept hidden until the Appointed Time of their revealing at the very last days; which is why there has been almost no understanding of the Biblical Festivals, Biblical Calendar and the end time prophecies until now.  
What is so very sad is that most of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia rejects the expansion of knowledge and understanding that God has promised to reveal in this end time.
No one knows more about the Bible and prophecy that the Chief Pharisee and bastardizer of the law.

Malm doesn't stop there, but carries on with this:
Then the Lamb of God who overcame all sin and was resurrected at the end of the third day to rise up as the Wave Offering to be accepted for us, was found worthy to unseal the book. 
He was accepted as the Redeemer of the sincerely repentant and the restored spirit High Priest [Melchizedek] of God the Father who’s job was and is, to reconcile people to God.  He was found worthy to unseal and open up an understanding of the books: Because his sacrifice made the prophecies of the Word of God SURE!  
If Jesus Christ had not been successful, there would have been no need to understand the prophecies because they would all have failed!
His creature Jesus could have apparently screwed up and been unsuccessful and we would never have to need Malm to become a martyr for the world and our one true teacher.
Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 
Brethren, that time has come!
The Fourth Answer is that Daniel was told by the angel Gabriel in the 2300 Day prophecy of Daniel 8 that Messiah would come to cleanse the temple mount and build the Ezekiel temple 2,300 years after the empire of Alexander was divided into four parts.  If the starting date to the count is accurate this clearly sets the coming of Christ in 2024 A.D. which means that the tribulation would begin in the winter of 2020-2021.  
Of course the date would depend on an accurate starting date and God has now provided a way to confirm that date with the double prophecy of Ezekiel 4.
Then the Chief Pharisee lets us know that what his god has revealed to him how the crap will hit the fan within the next year. 2021 is sure going to be a hell hole! Not that 2020 hasn't been.
Israel: Britain [Ephraim] and America [Manasseh]- The first English settlement on the American seaboard was at Jamestown when 104 men with no women landed and tried to make a go of it.  This was not part of any major English immigration but a small group seeking a place of refuge for themselves.
The second “colony” was started at Plymouth by less than 120 Pilgrims and that was  by a very small group and not a genuine English effort to colonize America.  Other efforts were primarily initial operations to determine the viability of establishing more substantial colonies.
It was on April 8, 1630 that the haphazard sporadic attempts to form communities in America was replaced by a serious effort at colonizing America beginning with the Winthrop Fleet. Eleven ships set sail carrying over 800 English colonists led by John Winthrop, to settle as the Massachusetts Bay Colony; beginning the first great wave of immigration from England and the widespread settlement of America.  
By the autumn of 1630 they had founded the settlements of Boston, Cambridge, Roxbury, Dorchester, Watertown, Medford, and Charlestown.  Over the next ten years to 1640 there was a flood of tens of thousands of Puritan immigrants to the new colonies. General immigration to America and the rise of Britain and America to dominance began in 1630. 
The Jewish State- A peace treaty between Egypt and the Jewish state was signed on ‎26 March 1979, and became effective ‎January 1980.  Then the Jewish state came under US guarantee’s a few months later meaning that the  forty years ended in late 2020 completing the 40 years protection of Judea, and the tribulation would have to begin sometime between late 2020 and before another Biblical year is completed in spring 2021.
 Where would we be without these official know-it-alls of the church?
Israel: Britain [Ephraim] and America [Manasseh]- In 1630 the Atlantic seaboard of America was opened up to general immigration beginning a massive wave of immigration and the rise of America and Britain over the next 390 years up until late 2020, when God will withdraw his blessings and allow us to fall because of our wickedness.

The Jewish State- A peace treaty between Egypt and the Jewish state was signed on ‎26 March 1979, and became effective ‎January 1980. Then the Jewish state came under US guarantee’s a few months later meaning that the forty years ended in late 2020 completing the 40 years protection of Judea, and the tribulation would have to begin sometime between late 2020 and before another Biblical year is completed in spring 2021.
Malm then goes on  to make more predictions and as usual covers his royal zealot butt by :

Please note that while the Daniel’s 2,300 Day Prophecy and the two Ezekiel 4 prophecies provide a very strong indication that the final 42 month tribulation will begin this coming winter, which is between November 2020 and March 2021 nevertheless I intend to exercise caution and I will not declare anything firm until I see the miracle worker set up in the Vatican; Still they do not provide the exact day and hour of Christ’s personal coming.  
It is true that the Kingdom of God will start with the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all flesh on a Feast of Pentecost, but Christ could come with God’s resurrected faithful, days before that to put down all evil and then wait until Pentecost to pour out God’s Spirit. Therefore the precise day and hour of Christ’s coming will not be known until it happens.
Great will be the day when these false prophets and certified liars of the Church of God cease to exist and brethren can no longer be conned by their devilish words.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Elijah Says Prayer, PROPER Fasting and Zinc May Save You From COVID-19

Our favorite self-appointed savior to Africa and the world has weighed in today by correcting Living Church of God's latest blurb on its TW News & Prophecy E-Zine.

LCG wrote:
The new coronavirus has rapidly infected millions around the globe. Most efforts to control the spread of the virus have focused on handwashing, disinfecting surfaces, wearing masks, social distancing, and providing medical care. In the minds of many, the only hope for halting the virus is finding an effective medicine until a vaccine is developed. However, many simple, effective, and inexpensive protective steps one can take are seldom mentioned.
A recent study demonstrated that ultraviolet rays of sunlight “rapidly inactivated” the coronavirus on multiple test surfaces (Newsweek, May 22, 2020). Another study suggested a strong correlation between COVID-19 mortality rates and severe vitamin D deficiency (Medical Xpress, May 8, 2020)—a condition associated with lack of sufficient time outdoors and exposure to sunlight (ScienceDaily, March 9, 2020). Dietary sources of vitamin D include eggs, milk, cheese, and fish. Vitamin C is also a vital nutrient that aids in protecting against infections, especially in physically active individuals (“Vitamin C and Infections,” Nutrients, April 2017). It can be obtained naturally from citrus, cantaloupe, berries, mangoes, papaya, broccoli, and potatoes. And moderate physical exercise, especially outdoors, can strengthen the immune system and aid the body in fighting infections.
While it is important to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, let’s not forget that vital nutrients like vitamins C and D, exposure to sunlight and fresh air, and regular physical exercise also play key roles in strengthening one’s immune system and reducing the risk of infection.
The Chief Overseer wishes that LCG had given more homeopathic remedies for its members to take and felt the need to correct them by telling them what else they should be doing.
LCG is correct about this (though it would have been good to also have mentioned zinc). I been have making nutrient-related posts at the COGwriter website for months
While it would have been better if LCG did this earlier, it is good that finally they are telling people that there are proper steps to be taken, as opposed to only focusing on avoidance. 
Prayer and proper fasting should also be considered...
What the hell is "proper fasting"? The Thielite version? Herbert Armstrong's? Rod Meredith's? James Malm's?

In the mythical deluded world of Bob Thiel everyone is wrong except for him.  No COG knows the Bible, world history, the Catholic church, and prophecy better than he. No one in the church is more informed about nutritional health than he is.

Fake COG Prophet Claims Tkach Was Wrong About Everything Except For This...

You have to love the hypocrisy of our self-appointed Church of God prophets as they spin one tall tale after another.

Joseph Tkach Sr. has been vilified with one extremist accusation after another; from being the man of sin to being satan's agent. Nothing the man ever did was right and they hate him for the things he changed.  Well, that is for one special self-appointed prophet who regularly trots out one of Tkach Sr. more absurd beliefs.

Tkach Sr was WRONG about everything but this:

screenshot of the ridiculousness...

As always, our self-appointed guru makes this all about himself above all else:
Numerous times, my wife Joyce and I have been able to see and visit what could be called ‘Satan’s throne,’ if the devil does, in fact, have a physical throne on the earth.
The first time we saw it was back in 1987 on a tour of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
Those of us on that tour (all WCG members back then) were told by a Worldwide Church of God minister who was conducting the tour that Joseph Tkach, Sr. (who was then the Pastor General of WCG–he died in 1995) stated that he felt that the Cathedra Petri was “Satan’s throne.”
The WCG tour guide minister also said that that there was a tradition/legend (which possibly can be tied to one interpretation of a 12th century prophecy by the Bishop Malachy) that the final pope would sit on this throne. This particular throne is black and the bottom of its legs are about 5 feet off of the ground. Despite odd claims, no one allegedly has ever sat on this final version of it.
Bob Thiel, the self-appointed Elijah of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God, and lapsed Catholic, is constantly using various Catholic myths and legends as "fact" in order to bolster his many absurd devilish claims his mind dreams up.
Anyway, some believe that the final pope on the Catholic Bishop Malachy’s list, Peter the Roman, will sit on the Cathedra Petri (some consider that he will be an antipope, and thus a henchman for Satan) in St. Peter’s Basilica. And for those unfamiliar with Malachy’s list, in the 12th century he predicted, with what some believe is complete accuracy, every pope since 1143. When Malachy’s list became public in the 16th century, it was considered to have been so accurate in predicting the 12th – 16th century pontiffs, that some thought that it had not been written until the 16th century. Here is what The Catholic Encyclopedia reported about it:
In 1139…St. Malachy gave his manuscript to Innocent II to console him in the midst of his tribulations, and that the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590…These short prophetical announcements, in number 112, indicate some noticeable trait of all future popes from Celestine II, who was elected in the year 1143, until the end of the world. They are enunciated under mystical titles. Those who have undertaken to interpret and explain these symbolical prophecies have succeeded in discovering some trait, allusion, point, or similitude in their application to the individual popes, either as to their country, their name, their coat of arms or insignia, their birth-place, their talent or learning, the title of their cardinalate, the dignities which they held etc.
He concludes his long-winded post with this:
So the foundation, holding up the so-called Cathedra Petri is based upon Greco-Roman leaders who often took strong intellectual positions against the Church of God. This is another reason that, spiritually at least, it seems to represent Satan’s throne.
Biblical, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox prophecy suggests that the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics will unify. They will strongly support (for a time) leaders that Satan inspires (cf. Revelation 16:13-14). False leaders likely to have complete access to Saint Peter’s Basilica and the so-called Cathedra Petri, and who for a while, will advocate the positions of the foundational doctors of the throne.
The Bible tells of a time when the King of the North will set up the abomination of desolation in Jerusalem and the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God” in the end times:
31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
If this Cathedra Petri (or the one in the Basilica of St. John Lateran) is moved to an area of the Church of God in Jerusalem’s Western Wall(commonly called the Cenacle), it is possible that it could fulfill some of the above prophecies. We will see.
In the end times, it is possible that Satan or one of his demonically-inspired representatives (cf. Revelation 16:12-13) may literally sit upon the black throne shown above. And while it may or may not literally be the throne of Satan, the basis of the so-called Cathedra Petri and its anti-Church of God foundation suggests reasons why it spiritually seems to at least partially represent Satan’s throne.
The biggest threat to the Church of God right now is not the Catholic church or any protestant church, it is its own self-appointed lying false prophets that make a mockery of Jesus. Their continuing denial of anything the guy accomplished makes them far more dangerous that some myth or legend that's being used as fact by certified COG liars.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Restored Church of God: Church socials are NOT optional and are part of your calling!

There is one common trait of subversive groups and that is their control of members' lives.  Scheduling all kinds of activities from bible studies, bake sales, fruit drives, dances, winter family weekends, and more, keeps people so busy they don't have time to question the leadership.

Dave Pack is well known for his absolute control over employees and member's lives. There are NO excuses as to why they cannot attend or do anything Dave asks of them.  Family members learned that the hard way over the years.

Here is a prime example of that control:

Why You Should Want to Be at Every Church Social 
God commands us to attend weekly Sabbath and annual Holy Day services. The benefits are obvious. What about Church socials?
By Kenneth M. Orel 
As a minister, my job description includes meeting with those interested in joining the Church, visiting members and prospective members, counseling, anointing the sick, fundraising, speaking and writing. And one more thing—organizing socials.
Here is your first signal that trouble is coming.  As God's appointed minister it is his job to plan your activities for you. The planning and work of the minister in planning socials is on par with preaching the word of God. Members must never forget how important the minister is.
Anyone who has been to a Church social, or has been a part of planning one, will tell you it entails a lot of work and attention to details. The ministry has been trained to understand the inner dynamics of what makes a successful social and work hard at providing a variety of fun and interesting activities in their areas. Planning meetings can begin months in advance.
Finally the day comes. There is great anticipation. As a minister, I am excited by the opportunity for everyone to spend valuable time together. The start time passes and then…“Where is everyone!?”
Orel admits he keeps track of who attends and who is not at his events.  Dave is so proud!
After weeks of announcements and work in coordinating the event, it can be disheartening to see who did not show up!
Was there a flu epidemic or debilitating disease that swept through the congregation? Or was it something else? Sometimes the excuses are as simple as, “That is something that does not interest me,” “I do not have the time,” “The location is just too far to travel if it is not a Sabbath service,” or the most common, “I need time to myself.” These reasons may have some truth to them, but are they good reasons to not spend more time with brethren?
For those who do not attend socials (and there are some who consistently do not attend as they should), it is likely a misunderstanding as to why they should attend, or worse. There is also the possibility that some have the wrong viewpoint about socials and their many benefits.
Church socials are just as important as sabbath services!  God says so...somewhere.
Think of it this way: Would you ever skip a Sabbath service, Passover, or the Feast of Tabernacles as long as you were physically able to attend?
Then why would you voluntarily choose to miss a Church social? You could be thinking, “Well, that is different. The Sabbath and Holy Days are required by God.”
Not so fast. Feast days are not the only requirements by our Father God, who wants us to develop as sons and daughters.
We all know fellow Christians are family. It goes without saying that families should have strong bonds—especially the Family of God. Socials, by design, provide the chance to be included in that bonding.
Make no mistake. Socials provide heaps of fun and fellowship, but there is so much more for Christians to profit and glean from them. For one, these events are a cornerstone of vibrant, healthy congregations contributing to the overall strength and unity of the Church. In addition, they play an enormous role in our training as future facilitators and restorers of families in God’s coming Kingdom!
Going back to the Church of the 20th century, under the leadership of Mr. Herbert Armstrong, socials were special events anxiously anticipated by everyone. They filled an important role in reinforcing the spiritual family—a crucial tradition that brought a cohesion to the Body of Christ.
Church socials, as important traditions in the church, are equivalent to doctrinal stances. Bet you never knew that!
Traditions help form the backbone of how things are done in God’s Church. In some cases, they can carry as much weight as doctrine. Members are commanded to “hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (II Thes. 2:15). The tradition of local socials continues today in the Church.
Ah yes, the golden years of the church. the glory days of the past when all was perfect and unified in the
Here is a look back to the golden years from last century’s Philadelphian era (Rev. 3:7). Mr. David Pack described how important socials were to local congregations in his book The Government of God: “Every congregation held periodic socials across a broad range of types. Each of these required planning, organization, communication and structure—and details were usually not left to accident. There were picnics, formal dances, snow parties, trips to interesting places, singles and seniors activities. There were also all kinds of sports teams and sporting events—softball, basketball, volleyball, golf, hockey and track meets—and some of the larger pastorates were able to sponsor tournaments that were always wonderful occasions in the calendar year…”

The vast majority of brethren were always excited to be around each other more. They looked for ways to fellowship outside of the Sabbath or Holy Days and thrived on the verse, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psa. 133:1).

Unity was (and still is) a real driving force for more fellowship. This is not a new concept. Back when the Church first began, brethren desired to be together all the time: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart…” (Acts 2:46).

This desire had everything to do with the Spirit God gave His children. It led to “singleness of heart.”

One of the themes of the letters to the Corinthians was unity. “I beseech [beg] you brethren…that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. 1:10). Chapter 12 adds to this, stating that “there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (vs. 25).
That damn Jesus!  Always getting shoved to the back burner. Imagine him finding out that church socials are more important than the things he taught and the example he set.  Church socials are the fabric that holds the family together!  Wut????? Who knew!
God’s Spirit is the catalyst that draws brethren together and socials are the mortar that keeps the family core strong. As vital as unity is, it is not the only benefit from attending socials.
Since we live in the devil’s world devoid of the love of God, life can get hard and even disheartening at times. Having fun is an indispensable aspect of God’s way of life. People will gravitate toward others who are happy, joyful and like to have fun.
Christians who truly follow Christ are almost always more cheerful than many around them. They know what grace and mercy are all about and share that freely with others. Their lives are built upon the example and words of Jesus.  Not so in the RCG.  Church socials provide the material for members on how to be happy and not to be old fuddy-duds!
When others see Christians, they should ask: “Who are these people? Why are they so happy? They do not seem to be gloomy, depressed, fuddy-duds!” Socials provide us a place to build this characteristic.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and fun is a byproduct of joy. God is not devoid of fun—quite the contrary!
This is true. The problem is that there is so much evil in the RCG and many of the Churches of God that true joy us NOT found and most members never experience it.  As soon as they get a taste of it the church swoops in and rips it violently out.
Understand that fellowshipping is of vital importance for anyone who has God’s Spirit. Do not forget our fellowship includes the Father and Christ: “…that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3).
We get to see exciting personality traits of the Father and Christ through others when we fellowship at socials. These gatherings give us the chance to reveal the richness of our personalities—which stem from God. You really do not ever want to miss a social for that reason alone!
Of course, there always needs to be proper balance. Back in the Worldwide Church of God, because of the sleepiness of the end of the Philadelphia era, people began to focus too much on socials and not enough on learning and holding onto the truth, hence the apostasy and transition to the Laodicean era. Too much fun and not enough focus on why we were called can actually destroy brotherhood.
Too much fun?  Seriously?  More like people were sick and tired of being treated like crap by top leaders and evangelists. The heavy-handed autocratic directives and rules of various church leaders drove more people out of the church than doctrinal differences ever did. That is one of the reason fewer people went with Rod Meredith than UCG. Meredith has such a horrible reputation that people were disgusted by him. No one wants to relive those memories!
For those who lived through those times, do not allow bad memories of “socials gone bad” to drive you away from attending Church gatherings today.
When properly understood, socials are the necessary glue that holds together our spiritual family.
Orel gets to the gist of the matter now.  Church socials are the vital training ground for RCG members to be kings so they can rule the world!
Personal Development
There are additional hidden benefits that are even more important than just enjoying a good hamburger, conversation and a volleyball game.
Considering we are training to work with countless numbers of people, the most logical place to start is being around others and learning how to be people persons. Socials open the doors to more focused training in this area.
Much of what he says next I can agree with.  It does help the socially awkward at times, but not when it is forced upon people. 
Personality: Many who grew up in a dysfunctional world with its many distractions have tended to lose the age-old art of interacting with other human beings.

This 21st-century plague has fostered debilitating shyness and reclusiveness. This can be difficult to overcome, but attending socials is the best way to do so! This is because Church gatherings allow you to practice outgoing concern for others.

Socials also allow you to learn more about others because you can display personality traits you might not normally show during the more formal setting at Sabbath services.

Service: Socials offer opportunities to serve that you do not always get on the Sabbath. (I have personally never seen more smiles than when people are serving at a social—and it is contagious!) Even if it is serving a sandwich to your brethren, teaching someone to swing a baseball (or cricket) bat, or working with your team to win a game of charades, helping others is an integral part of these events.
Church socials also provide leadership opportunities for future ministers. If they can order people around effectively at a church social then they can be a minister!
 If you desire to lead, you must practice leading. Socials tend to have a lot of moving parts and can offer more opportunities to lead than other Church events. (The Feast is a larger event, however, it contains multiple socials within itself!)
A crucial lesson for all leaders is to expect the unexpected. Nothing ever goes perfectly, so dealing with issues and problems that arise are opportunities to make appropriate judgment calls. Leaders must think on the fly and anticipate anything. Having that mindset really sharpens leadership aptitude.
Orel then goes on to shame those that still don't want to attend social functions. It will hamper their growth in the church and in their lives! Besides, attending church socials is PART OF YOUR CALLING!  Wut?
Danger of Opting Out
Even after knowing the advantages of attending Church socials, there are some who just do not come. But habitually passing up attendance will hamper your growth and development.
Since local socials were implemented long ago as part of our calling (yes, our calling!), they should not be viewed as optional!
We are part of a larger team and socials are part of our training. Sometimes we fall into a one-dimensional mindset that our training only involves “spiritual” activities, and that fellowshipping with brethren is simply “extra credit.” Worse yet, some could think activities like praying or studying would be a better investment of their time than attending a social. They may question what tossing water balloons on a hot summer day or sledding down a hill in the winter have to do with Christianity.
For those members who do not attend RCG socials, it was a way of letting Dave know that they are imbalanced in their personal lives and are self-righteous!  
Remember that this is a sign of imbalance or self-righteousness. Such a mindset cripples the ability to grow as God intended. We need to be well-rounded, balanced and to thrive on variety. The tools of Christian growth are imperative, but they are not the goal of Christians in and of themselves. Instead, the tools should propel you to serve other human beings (especially fellow Christians)—and socials are the place for this to occur!
Some tend to spend more time with their own physical family rather than their spiritual family. This is absolutely against what God has in mind for us. He expects us to prioritize spending time with our spiritual family (see Matthew 12:48-50).
Make Socials a Priority
There is a time for “every purpose under the heaven…” (Ecc. 3:1). Did you realize that many of these listed include social activities? There is a time to “laugh,” “dance,” “embrace,” “speak” and “love.” In most cases, these require being with other human beings!
We must take this personally and make every attempt to attend whenever possible.
I have found brethren are always willing to assist others in getting to a social if the reason they cannot attend is related to finances or transportation. Do not allow pride make you refuse someone else’s help if they are willing to provide.
The pattern of history has painted a wonderful portrait of the importance of local socials. These gatherings are what carry us through the year as we anticipate our annual family reunion at the Feast of Tabernacles.
It really does not matter how big or small the social is, or even what kind it is. The opportunity to do something together is what matters.
Make it your goal to take full advantage of these exceptional times to have fun while continuing your “people training program” in serving others and practicing godly leadership.
Lastly, realize that something very inspiring is unfolding in congregations across the world. Local socials are growing larger in attendance. Also, brethren are traveling to participate in socials in different pastorates. There appears to be a movement—set in motion and inspired by the Father—for all of us to interact more with our spiritual family.
Do not be the person who misses out on this wonderful trend! Do not let another social go by without your important presence.
Your training as a leader will be incomplete otherwise.
So there you have it!  You cannot be a leader in the world tomorrow unless you attend Dave's church socials and marvel at his magnificence. Never has the church seen such a superfantabulous man or church!

The Truth

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Vic Kubik Says It Is Not A Sin To Be Immunized

In various Church of God's it is anathema to ever consider getting flu shots, immunizations, or even go to doctors. Thanks to the endless waffling by Herbert Armstrong over the use of doctors, so many church members have a built-in fear of going to doctors. Sadly, even when prohibiting church members from using doctors, Herbert was going to them for all kinds of "ailments", including his impotence. 

With the current pandemic of COVID circling the earth, research is quickly working to find a cure or at least an immunization shot that can stop the virus from causing so much damage.

Kubik has stepped forward to let his followers know that he and the church will not discourage those who want to get the shots. This is sure to set off many of the self-righteous leaders and ministers in various splinter groups.

As government authorities at all levels struggle to cope with health remedies for the pandemic, opinions and alternative solutions grow. In the Church of God community, many hold to a focus of looking for natural treatments. On the other hand, many accept and seek traditional medical treatment. All seek healing from God (James 5:14-15) but may choose different paths to support that healing.

Regarding this, it is important to note here that as a Church, we are not experts in the practice of medicine. For instance, the Bible does not teach that immunization is a sin. Also, while the United Church of God positively teaches that being immunized is a medical matter and is not sin, the Church also does not judge those who, because of conscience, choose not to be immunized.

We emphasize respect for the personal decision made by the individual. The issue may grow more complicated, especially if local governments require vaccinations for participation in public schools and the like, but we still recognize respect for personal decisions.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Is New Knowledge For COG Ministers Paralyzing?

from a reader....

LCG: Fearing COVID-19, Restricts Feast Site Attendance To 200 People

From a reader:

We got the following from the church the other day. HQ is limiting the number of attendees at all U.S. sites. I guess our leaders no longer have faith that God will protect them 4 1/2 months from now. Gone are the days of boasting that God is on our side and protecting us from Satan like he used to do in Jekyll Island. 
Limiting Numbers at Feast Sites (USA)
In his recent (May 11) member letter, Mr. Gerald Weston explained that we will be limiting numbers at this year’s Feast sites, lower than what we are normally used to. A number of questions have come up about this. Accordingly, here are several points to address these questions.  (Note: This discussion pertains most specifically to sites in the United States. If you live outside of the United States, please consult your Regional Office for specific instructions about your congregation.)
  • Why the number 200? If groups are restricted to 250 by government regulations, then our cap of 200 will be well within that range. If groups are restricted to 100, our benchmark of 200 will give us the flexibility to still continue with a Feast site by cutting the group in half and having morning and afternoon services of 100 each.
  • Why not set different maximum numbers for different states? There are wide swings of predictions by experts about the next four to five months, so it is impossible to predict where individual states will be at that time. Some that are now “open” may not be then, and some that are currently “closed” may likewise not be closed then. Thus, 200 is a reasonable, conservative, workable number that gives us flexibility for most places.
  • Why limit numbers when restrictions are being lifted? The possibility of a second wave is real, bringing new restrictions, and we can’t assume states will stay opened in October even if they are in July.
  • Having more sites of smaller groups means more people will be attending fairly close to home, which is much better for both the patient and the family if someone comes down with the virus.
  • Having smaller groups reduces the number of people who may be infected if someone does come down with the virus at the Feast. Because symptoms sometimes don’t show up for days with COVID-19, we must assume that if someone comes down with it at the Feast, they will have already exposed others to the virus even before they knew it. Thus, a smaller group limits that exposure. 
  • With many elderly brethren in the Church, we want them to feel safe and comfortable enough to attend the Feast. Smaller groups will help make that happen.
The Church is not alone in coming up with this type of guideline. Professional meeting planners around the country are expecting many conferences to be “small and local” over the next six to nine months, as everyone waits to see how the COVID-19 crisis levels out. One way or another, we know we’ll have the Feast! And the Festival Office is planning for as many brethren as possible to be able to join together and worship God. At the same time, the Church is trying to exercise due diligence to be prudent and prepare for potential problems, even as we hope and pray for a best-case scenario. Thank you for your patience, and for your prayers that God would guide and bless this year’s Feast planning.—Festival Office 

Prophet Bob of the Tabloid Church of God speaks out on Chinese eating while Americans and Brits starve

Every day in the mythical land of Thielism it starts off with one gasp-inducing headline after another.  99% of the time the topic that the self-appointed prophet of the improperly named "continuing" church of god breathlessly pops out is of little importance to anyone in the world, let alone his few thousand "followers" in Africa, who have more to worry about than the opinions of a privileged pill-pushing white American cult leader.

This is one of his latest headliners headbangers:

Will Americans and Brits Starve as the Chinese Eat?

Although Seventh Day Baptists (SDBs), Seventh-day Adventist (SDAs), and Messianic Jews keep some version of the seventh day Sabbath, are they Protestant or Church of God. What do they claim? What do they teach? What do SDAs and Messianic Jews teach about their history? Do SDBs cite groups who held Church of God (COG) and not SDB doctrines? Which group teaches the original biblical Christian faith? How do the SDAs, Messianics, and SDBs agree with Protestants on issues such as salvation, history, and the Godhead, which differ greatly from the Continuing Church of God (CCOG)? Are there really 613 laws of the Torah? Are the 613 mist What are 28 ways the SDBs differ from the CCOG? Are ‘Black Israelites’ right about Jesus being a black African? Was the Day of Atonement on October 22, 1844 according to Rabbinical or Karaite Jews? Did the SDAs or COG come out of the Millerite movement? Did Ellen White make false prophecies that she insisted came from God? If so, what were some of them? Did the SDA church send out literature it knew was clearly wrong? Was Ellen G. White’s sanctuary interpretation the “complete system of truth”? Did SDAs once teach crosses were pagan, but now include them in their official logo? Which of the 4 churches (SDB,SDA, Messianic, CCOG) doctrines have the most biblical and historical support? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.
The self-appointed leader of the improperly named "continuing" church of god needs to have the name of his cult changed to The National Enquirer Church of God. It would be much more fitting for his tabloid prophecies.

Dr Bob Overreaches and Wonders: Does the Nazareth Inscription Refer to the Resurrection of Jesus?

Or maybe?

"Does overreaching desperately trying to prove issues of faith prove anything?" 

"Does Faith need proof?"

"Can faith really be left as the substance of what we hope is true?  The evidence based on no visible evidence that it is true?" 

"Does closing the barn door after the horse gets out really keep the horse in the barn forevermore afraid ever to leave again. Lesson learned? "

Dr Bob writes: 

"… the Nazareth Inscription speaks of moving corpses–note the plural from the tombs. (Note: Irrelevant to Bob's "proof" It is the correct word to use in a decree and implies "any corpse" ) 

Bob continues..."Incidentally, Matthew 27:52 states when Jesus was resurrected: “The tombs of many were opened and the bodies of many holy people who had died were resurrected.” The use of the plural in the Nazareth Inscription is thus easily explained in terms of the resurrection of Christ  …"

 (Note: Whoa...Watch that "easily" stuff Bob. Matthews account is fantasy by the author. No other Gospel author notes this amazing event because Matthew made it up. None of the resurrectees were ever mentioned again or made it into Church history as so much as a Deacon. 

And too, someone thought it more doctrinally correct to insert "after his resurrection" into the text (:53) since Jesus later was noted to be the "first born of many brethren."  In Matthew's account, these raised "saints" were implied to have risen at his death as part of Temple Curtain rentings and earthquake drama. Unless one thinks they lay alive in their uncovered graves for three days and nights until given permission to get up. 

Dr Bob continues: 

"The Nazareth Inscription is believed by many conservative Bible scholars to be a version of the Jewish High Priests’ explanation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ as is found in the Gospel of Matthew 28:11-15; in other words, Jesus’ disciples stole his body and perpetrated a fraud pretending that he had resurrected from the dead. …

"It is likely that the Nazareth Inscription was ordered by the Emperor Claudius to be posted in Nazareth in order to counter what he considered to be a dangerous political-religious movement that said that their Jewish “king” had resurrected from the dead.  The Nazareth Inscription threatens with death anyone who takes corpses from tombs in order to perpetrate a fraud."

In actuality...

"The Nazareth Inscription" is a bit misleading. It was not discovered in an archaeological context in Nazareth. It was merely named that as it was associated with Nazareth as the place from where it was sent on to Paris. 

Concerning the origins and intent of the Nazareth Inscription we find it to have been more likely issued as a result of a rather nasty and vengeful desecration of the grave of King Nikias of Kos, considered a tyrant in his rule. 

The epigrammatist Crinagoras of Mytilene wrote:[9]
"Tell me not that death is the end of life.
The dead, like the living, have their own causes of suffering.
Look at the fate of Nicias of Cos.
He had gone to rest in Hades, and now his dead body has come again into the light of day.
For his fellow-citizens, forcing the bolts of his tomb, dragged out the poor hard-dying wretch to punishment."

The marble tablet measures 24 by 15 inches, with the koine Greek inscription appearing in fourteen lines. It was acquired in 1878 by Wilhelm Fröhner (1834–1925), and sent from Nazareth to Paris. Fröhner entered the item in his manuscript inventory with the note "Dalle de marbre envoyé de Nazareth en 1878." Though indicating that the marble was sent from Nazareth, the note does not state that it was discovered there. Nazareth was a significant antiquities market in the 1870s, as was Jerusalem,[7] and may have been "nothing more than … a shipping center" for the item.[8] Since 1925 it has been in the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, displayed in the Cabinet des Médailles.
(Note: Bob seems to acknowledge the inscription was not inscribed in Nazareth)
The inscription, with a facsimile, was published in 1930 by Franz Cumont,[9] who had been alerted to it by Rostovtseff.[7]
The text reads as follows.
"The Greek used in the inscription is relatively poor.[10] Clyde E. Billington provides the following English translation:[11][12]
Edict of Caesar 
"It is my decision [concerning] graves and tombs—whoever has made them for the religious observances of parents, or children, or household members—that these remain undisturbed forever. But if anyone legally charges that another person has destroyed, or has in any manner extracted those who have been buried, or has moved with wicked intent those who have been buried to other places, committing a crime against them, or has moved sepulcher-sealing stones, against such a person, I order that a judicial tribunal be created, just as [is done] concerning the gods in human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat with honor those who have been entombed. You are absolutely not to allow anyone to move [those who have been entombed]. But if [someone does], I wish that [violator] to suffer capital punishment under the title of tomb-breaker."
Cultural background of the day

 Violatio sepulchri ('tomb violation') was a crime under Roman law, as noted by Cicero (d. 43 BC). The Nazareth Inscription prescribes the death penalty for the offense.[13] A tomb at which funeral rites had been duly performed became a locus religiosus, belonging to the divine rather than to the human realm.[14][13]:144 Roman Imperial tombstones are often inscribed with a curse (defixio) against anyone who desecrates the grave.[13]:144

Scholars have analyzed the language and style of the Nazareth inscription and attempted to date it. It has been discussed in the context of tomb-robbery in antiquity.
Francis de Zulueta dates the inscription, based on the style of lettering, to between 50 B.C. and A.D. 50, but most likely around the turn of the era. As the text uses the plural form "gods", Zulueta concluded it most likely came from the Hellenized district of the Decapolis. Like Zulueta, J. Spencer Kennard, Jr. noted that the reference to "Caesar" indicated that "the inscription must have been derived from somewhere in Samaria or Decapolis; Galilee was ruled by a client-prince until the reign of Claudius".
It was once of interest to historians of the New Testament. Some authors, citing the inscription's supposed Galilean origin, interpreted it as Imperial Rome's clear reaction to the empty tomb of Jesus and specifically as an edict of Claudius, who reigned AD 41-54.[ If the inscription was originally set up in Galilee, it can date no earlier than 44, the year Roman rule was imposed there.
However, the 2020 isotope study of the marble published in the Journal of Archaeological Science clarified the origin of the tablet and points to another interpretation.[18] The scientists took a sample from the back of the tablet, and used laser ablation to help determine the isotope ratio of the stone.[6] The enrichment of carbon 13 and depletion of Oxygen 18 allowed a confident identification of the source of the marble as the upper quarry in the island of Kos. The team proposed that the edict was issued by Augustus  (27 BCE to 14AD) after the desecration of the tomb of the Kos tyrant Nikias.

In March of 2020 the Smithsonian also commented on recent analysis as well. 

"In the 1930s, a mysterious marble tablet held at the Louvre in Paris started catching the attention of religious scholars. Etched with a warning to keep grave robbers away from tombs and accompanied by a cryptic note that claimed it “came from Nazareth,” the slab was soon linked to Jesus’ death—a written reaction, many theorized, to his body’s disappearance and biblical resurrection."

"...A more unsavory scenario might exist as well: that the tablet was inscribed by a well-informed forger in the 19th century, just before it was acquired by a French collector named Wilhelm Froehner in 1878, archaeologist Robert Tykot of the University of South Florida tells Science News.

At some point, Froehner (or his seller) was probably duped into an expensive buy—though as Harper tells Science News, “how exactly Froehner acquired the stone will probably always remain obscure.”

Hobby Lobby and its Biblical Artifact obsessed  owners recently got a taste of the problem with
forgeries in their Dead Sea Scroll fragments debacle

  Dr Bob concludes:

"Excluding its journey by sea, the total overland shipping of the Nazareth Inscription from its quarry on Kos to Nazareth would have been only about 25-30 miles total; the fastest, easiest, and the least expensive way for King Herod Agrippa I to obtain and to post the Nazareth Inscription in Nazareth."

(Note:  I have my doubts that Herod Agrippa was concerned about postage)

"In summation, based on the shipping routes of that day, King Herod Agrippa I could have easily ordered this Decree of Caesar to be inscribed on white marble at Kos and then had it shipped by sea to Ptolemais and from there overland to Nazareth where it would have been posted.  This decree, that threatens with death anyone who removes corpses from tombs in order to perpetrate a fraud, fits very well with the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it does not at all fit the story of Nikias the Tyrant."

Note: It actually fits the story of Nikias the Tyrant, as motivation but not exclusive intent very well. Like with Jesus, that horse was already out of the barn and closing the barn door on an event that has already happened is rather moot.  This decree was for all future antics on the part of anyone for any reason thinking to desecrate a grave in the Roman Empire. 

The committing of "Fraud" was only one of a number of reasons for this decree. A Roman decree of the sort had much more to do with respect for the dead than debunking already past stories about Jesus resurrection or preventing anymore such shenanigans by Christians in the realm as if they had more bodies to be stolen from graves in mind to tell the story of Jesus.  

  A decree forbidding, upon pain of death, anymore grave robbing or desecration  is certainly closing the barn door after the horse gets out if the motive in the day was to counter the story of Jesus resurrection. It would be an ineffective decree unless just repeating the story now was a crime of grave desecration punishable by death.  

Nothing this specific about Christians or the Jesus story is remotely implied by the decree. It was most likely written and mailed postage paid somewhere before the story of Jesus to begin with. Or a long time after if proven to be a forgery after all.  We may never know, but Bob cannot be as sure to know as he makes out to know. 

Bob also fails to notice that Jesus was supposed to be resurrected from the dead in Jerusalem not Nazareth so one would expect to find multiple copies of such a decree plastered all over Israel of the day warning all Christians and not in just the backwater town of Nazareth as if Nazareth was the hotbed of the problem with Christians in the Empire. One might rather expect such a decree to be obvious in the town of Sepphoris, a mere four miles away from Nazareth, much much larger, totally Roman and never once mentioned in the OT or NT.  

Cry not heard all over the realm.  "Hey!  Why didn't we get one?"