Saturday, July 10, 2021

Thus Sayeth The Lord??????? Crackpot Prophet Still Incapable Of Making An Accurate Prediction


Never in the history of the Church of God have we had such wishy-washy prophets in our midst. In between all the hand flouncing, pulpit pounding, and jig dancing, not a single one of them has the testicular fortitude to actually make a definitive prophetic statement while resting assured that their god would do what they say it will. Instead, we get a lot of "could it be", "might be's", and a lot of "what if's". When one looks at prophets of old in scriptures, when they made a propehcy you had better be damned sure you listened or your could kiss your ass good-bye. Not so with today's self-appointed pretenders. Not a single one of them, from Bob Thiel to Ron Weinland has ever made a prophecy that actually passed, or will ever pass at some point in the future. 

That doesn't stop them though. 

We now have Dave Pack predicting his creature he calls "christ" will be here right after the Feast of Tabernacles this year. The eminent return of his creature always keeps getting bumped up to some future date.

Gerald Flurry says his creature called "christ" is returning within a matter of months. In the meantime, he sends his grandkids off to dance the dance of David while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting his Jesus-stone. Flurry's creature still cannot figure out when it is supposed to return.

Ron Weinland's creature has been delayed since 2008 and is still waiting for Ron to tell him when to return.

And then there is the Great Bwana to Africa and 299 Caucasians. Being self-appointed apparently does not bring any wisdom along with it. The Bwana has to be one of the most wishy-washy namby-pamby prophets we have ever had. All we get out of him is a lot of "could be's", "maybe's" and "what if's." Even his creature he calls "christ" is so confused that even it doesn't know when to return.

In COGland the return of Jesus is almost like he is waiting by the Power Ball machine for his number to pop up.

The Bwana is back with his own predictions after first mocking those that have failed. For some reason, he never lists his epic failures. Instead, he covers his lily-white butt by making broad statements hoping that somehow his dart will hit the board, which it never does.

Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027?
Many have falsely claimed that the Great Tribulation either was in the first century A.D. or would come in many different years prior to now. Could the Great Tribulation occur next year or not? What is the earliest year that the Great Tribulation could come? Why is 2022-2024 impossible? Why does 2025 seem unlikely? What are the possible reasons for 2026 or 2027? What about confirmation of the peace deal by a prince in Daniel 9:27? What about the emergence of European King of the North and a Middle Eastern/North African King of the South? What about animal sacrifices, the red heifer, and the Temple Institute? How might the date of Jesus’ execution and resurrection be involved? Might there be a six/seven thousand year plan? How could that tie to the words of Peter and those in the Book of Hebrews regarding the last days? Who is the Beast of the sea, the King of the North? Could the final Antichrist be a type of antipope who falsely claims Roman Catholicism? What about pestilences, the ride of the fourth horseman of Apocalypse, and the opening of the fifth seal of the Book of Revelation. Dr. Thiel covers these and other matters and gives rationale, why, if the signs that Jesus referred to are seen before then, that 2026 or 2027 could be the start of the devastating Great Tribulation. He also quotes the late Herbert W. Armstrong about it starting with a nuclear attack against the UK, USA, and/or Canada. Dr. Thiel quotes Jesus’ promise of protection for Philadelphian Christians. He also summarizes several important signs to watch for, consistent with Jesus’ words in Mark 13.


Living Church of God And It's Other Weekly Column Of Bad News

 Those fun boys in Charlotte seem to constantly be working overtime to find something wrong in the world around them. Nothing ever pleases them or makes them happy.

An LCG source sent me this:

This is the weekly LCG missive you should be publishing instead of Doug Winnail’s comments.

Instead of the good news – this is the weekly column of bad news. If it is not bad – then they make it look bad. If people need help – they don’t send help.

Screenshots of this weeks news that irritates the Charlotte boys:

Like Bob Thiel, nothing irritates LCG leaders more than a peace deal happening with Israel and an Arab nation. They have to read prophetic craptology into it somehow and then see it as a sure sign of the end times. Instead of celebrating something amazing, they see the "end-time-of-the-age configuration happening.

Compare LCG's Debbie-downer episode above to UAE citizens celebrating what is happening:

Then, as the LCG source mentioned above, LCG moves onto starvation in Madagascar. Is it an article where LCG offers to give assistance and provide some food or humanitarian aid? Don't hold your breath for that! How dare they take some of their precious tithe money that will pay for their leaders to be kept in their abundant lives of luxury and give it to buy some much-needed food for someone hurting! Tithe money can't be wasted on things like that!

"If people need help – they don’t send help."

Oh, and lest we forget, another thing that will piss off Bob Thiel and the LCG boys:


From the Desk of David C Pack: "The Day of the Lord must still arrive shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles. The math of the Bible will not permit longer than that"


Prophecy Update

I am sending brethren this note one day before you receive the Member/Co-worker letter because I didn’t want another day to pass without you hearing from me during these extraordinary times when we are all “on pins and needles” waiting for the return of Christ and the Kingdom of God. How strange it is to say this when over 2 billion Christians of this world should all be saying the same thing when probably very few are.

With Part 306 now almost a month behind us, most are naturally wondering if we must wait another year. Just the news screams NO! We are still right where we should be. Why after giving His Church so much knowledge and such a marvelous picture would God expect us to “sit on it” until 2022 or beyond? In fact, even more has come clear. But there is not enough time for another message.

We have long wrestled with all first-day events. Suffice to say the picture is still bad. All brethren living and dead—except those kept by Christ—will face the antichrist and show where they stand through an initial “falling away first” (apostasia). After this the Man of Sin will fully test those still asleep by the Day of Christ. While sobering to contemplate, this two-phase trial means all of God’s people can be complete much sooner than we had anticipated.

Although we “see through a glass darkly” until the Kingdom arrives, never forget how far we have come in understanding. The little flock in Luke 12:32-35 is told to keep their “lights burning.” We are now in a very tight window for MANY REASONS. (If time permitted, I would explain why the first Kingdom including the Great Tribulation is the 75-day difference between the 1,335 days and 1,260, which matches the second half of the 7-year Kingdom.) Let’s continue watching and praying that we will escape all evil that lies ahead. Stay alert! We cannot have long. The Day of the Lord must still arrive shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles. The math of the Bible will not permit longer than that. It is still a little while before we could even entertain another year. You can do the math!

David C. Pack

Friday, July 9, 2021

Friday Night Smackdown: LCG Members Not Humble Enough To Work Together


It's Friday and time for the weekly smackdown of LCG members concerning things they are not doing right. LCG members are still letting contentions divide them because they are not "perfectly joined together" as one. They are not humble like the ministry of the LCG is. They are also not patient, are conceited and are easily entreated as they buck for positions in the church (something the Meredith and McNair boys never did, right?). LCG members are also filled with PRIDE! Down with PRIDE!

Winnail then quotes Galatians to back up his accusations but for some reason never writes anything about what the rest of the book is actually about. People who understand grace are the people who love one another. Perhaps it is time for Winnail to start preaching grace instead of condemnation.

The Importance of Working Together: Jesus referred to His disciples as His “friends” and encouraged them to “love one another” (John 15:12–17). The Apostle Paul called those who assisted him in his ministry “my fellow workers” (Romans 16:3). He referred to members of God’s Church as “God’s fellow workers” and “workers together [coworkers] with Him” (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:1). These exciting opportunities carry a big responsibility of learning how to work together, and the Scriptures provide valuable guidelines. We are instructed to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” and not let contentions divide us (1 Corinthians 1:10–13). We are to be humble; live in harmony; be patient; avoid being haughty, conceited, or ambitious for a position; and be easily entreated (Romans 12:16–18; James 3:14–18). Proverbs 13:10 reminds us that pride is a major cause of contention, and Galatians teaches us that using God’s Spirit is a key to eliminating dissention and promoting peace, cooperation, and friendship (Galatians 5:16–26). How are you doing at learning to work together? 
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Neville Stevens: that other failed prophet to the Church of God

 Neville Stevens

Back in the mid 2000's, there was a very active alt.religion.w-w-church-god newsgroup that was filled with some of the craziest Armstrongites ever to exist (at least till Bob Thiel came on the scene).  It was led by Neville Stevens, another self-appointed prophet to the Church of God. Stevens was the "Tony Almo" of the Church of God. When he wrote articles it was like reading Tony Almo's crazy stuff from the 80's and 90's. He had his own cult break off called Zion Ministry and its mission was to:

Zion Ministry teaches Bible Prophecy
To the Churches of God, the Tribes of Israel, and the world.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is soon to become a reality!

Stevens had a loyal band of followers who called themselves the "Levite Brotherhood – the Sons of Jerusalem". They were crazier than hell and xCOG members who participated in the newsgroup had a field day pushing their buttons. They were gearing up for an end-time blood bath where they would be slaughtering all disobedient Laodiceans by the sword before the invading Germans and Muslims killed off the other lukewarm COG members. They seemed to relish the idea of killing wayward COG members. Of course like any good Armstrongite, they were soon to be made into gods and goddesses where they would rule the world with an iron fist dispensing HWA and Stevens teachings.

After writing numerous long-winded articles, much like what Bob Thiel does, Stevens stopped his so-called prophetic ministry because he had preached the final witness and it would soon be time for the Laodiceans and those that mocked him and his followers to be killed off as the end time was soon to hit the fan.

That was 2012. Ten years later and here we all are. No one has been killed by them. After threatening me for close to 8 years that I would die a horrible death on Passover eve, I am still here, being a pain in the ass for the uber-right Armstrongists. One of them even said he was coming to Los Angeles to kill me by the sword. I told him to let me know when he arrived and I would pick him up at the airport. Alas, he never showed up. It was such a disappointing weekend.

Neville Stevens lies are very similar to Bob Thiels, Pack, Flurry's, and others in COG prophet/apostleland, and as usual, his prophecies all failed. The sad part about Stevens Zion Ministry was that it was positive proof that COG members would and will fall for anything that makes them feel special and called out.

For some reason, his last letter to the church popped up on my newsfeed this week. Maybe it was his god trying to tell me something!

Here are a few tidbits from the 2012 final letter to the church. If you take the words "zion ministry " out and substitute Continuing Church of God, you would never know the difference. Fake COG prophets all speak the same way.

The truth is that since this Zion Ministry began exactly 14 years ago, to the very day as I write, much Bible prophecy has been fulfilled and is rapidly proceeding.   This ministry began as a prophetic ministry and has continued ever since.  The purpose and function of it was to warn the Churches of Godthe 12 Tribes of Israel and the world of what to expect, and to explain the Scriptures in order that whoever might listen might be spared the horror they now face.  Did anyone imagine that with such ominous disasters pending that will result in the deaths of millions of people – including His people Israel, no less – that God wouldn’t send a prophet to warn?  Well, He did send a prophet at the appointed time; He sent me!  And I have done as I’ve been commanded.  All that I’ve written was under the instructions of God Almighty.  I’m merely the instrument in His hands.  Nothing more – and nothing less!  The difference between me and the many false, self-proclaimed prophets is that I believedGod always and never deviated from this belief for any reason.  And the other difference is that I was taught by God Himself!  I’ve merely taught others what God has taught me, thereby leaving aside all the pseudo doctrines and sanctimonious nonsense that vain preachers find so compelling to their congregations.  Never mind that these vain creatures are leading others to their deaths, thereby depriving them of life!  If you are still in awe of the flowery, pathetic nonsense taught by your local preacher as he endeavours to entice you to follow him, then like Humpty-dumpty you’re about to take a great fall.  These mealy-mouthed weaklings will take you nowhere – except to your doom!

Stevens was big-time into conspiracy theories and outlandish beliefs.  He claimed to know how the kingdom of God would look in the new world to come. All of the land masses would migrate back to their original state, forming a pyramid in the face of what I assume is a flat earth, since so many COG members now believe the earth is flat.

If all the landmass around the arctic in the north were migrated southward and then brought together so that west meets east, and then all the western and eastern landmasses were migrated back towards Jerusalem, what you would see is a single landmass in the shape of a triangle or pyramid.  This migration of the continents would displace the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and all the inland seas, leaving the Pacific Ocean as the only ocean.  The most southerly part of this inverse triangle would be Antarctica.  So why did David use twopyramid shapes interwoven together?  He was showing us what the face of the earth once looked like, and what it has become.  It was through DAVIDthat we learn that God is going to RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH – which is of course the landmass!  Another interesting point is that when the original landmass is migrated back to what it once was, then Jerusalem becomes the exact center of it (see Eze 5:5).  The reason David included two interwoven Pyramid shapes was to indicate that one of these shapes will emerge as the original, with the chief cornerstone (the uppermost block on a pyramid) will be pointing to the north.  Presently the chief cornerstone is in the extreme south – Antarctica no less!  It’s to be hoped that all readers are familiar with the Scriptures which identify the Lord Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.  Americans can look at their dollar bill and see the illuminated upper-stone of the Pyramid.  This Illuminated Rock represents Jesus Christ, and God inspired its use on the dollar bill for the purpose of reminding Americans who they are in the annals of Bible Prophecy.

Further evidence of this is found when God speaks to His servant Job about the foundation or landmass of the earth:  Job 38:6-7 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!  Who stretched a measuring line across it6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its CORNERSTONE-- 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”  The reference to the angels shouting for joy clearly shows that God is speaking about the original creation of the landmass, which has a specific form that required a measuring-line to ensure a perfect shape with straight sides or boundaries.

If that wasn't crazy enough for you he then goes on to tell us how in the Antarctic there was a fantastical world that Admiral Richard Byrd discovered with palm trees, rivers, cities, flowering gardens, and so much more craziness. That amazing area was actually a UFO base for enlightened beings who were actually the place where demons lived openly in this world.

All these things raise the question of Antarctica – the original upper bloc of the single landmass which is illuminated on the dollar bill.  It seems to be a trackless wasteland of snow and ice today.  I don’t know how many of our readers are familiar with the exploits of Admiral Richard Byrd, who led an expedition to the ANTARCTIC with a huge armada of ships and aircraft.  Afterwards he gave a report to both the President and the Pentagon which stunned them, and resulted in them deciding to sideline the Admiral.  They held him for many hours under questioning, and some wanted to lock him up in a madhouse.  What did he say in this report that so shocked everyone?


The whole story of the Admiral’s experience was recorded in his diary and was finally published in 1959, two years after his death in 1957.  The substance of the report he gave on his return to the President and the Pentagon is that he met with a being that referred to himself as ‘The Master”.  Admiral Byrd had piloted one of a squadron of planes from one of the carriers.  He had two navigators with him.  The planes explored different parts of the Antarctic continent.  The other planes all arrived back on time, but Admiral Byrd’s plane was three hours late and was feared missing.  At the very least, his fuel supply would have run out, but then suddenly the plane appeared and landed.


There’s reenacted documentary footage which can be viewed here, and which explains everything that was purported to have happened.  It’s not actual footage but a reenactment of the circumstances spoken of in Admiral Byrd’s diary.


Part 2.  The untold UFO war in Antarctica

Part 3.  The untold UFO war in Antarctica


Regardless of what you think of these events, just bear in mind that Admiral Byrd was a very creditable witness, and he had two other witnesses with him on this flight, who confirmed these things.  While all this was happening, they were actually reporting everything by radio to their base – which drew gasps of astonishment.  The being whom the Admiral met called himself ‘The Master’, so this story indicates that Satan has a base in Antarctica – the very place where he exhibited delusions of grandeur for himself, along with the ambition to take over the Throne of Almighty God.  The real significance of this would not be realized without knowing what Antarctica represents on the original FACE OF THE EARTH, which is to be renewed.


Incidentally, after Admiral Byrd’s return to the aircraft carrier, a war broke out against the ships and planes under his command, and this is what the above footage is about.  Some 4,000 personnel witnessed the attack by UFO’s.  There were dozens of casualties.   The whole expedition was immediately abandoned after only two months of the planned six month event.  Equipment and ammunition was abandoned in their haste to leave.


If you watched the above YouTube clips, you will notice that this ‘Master’ as he describes himself to Admiral Byrd, claims to be a benevolent visitor from outer space, and one who espouses peace and goodwill to all men.  Yet no sooner does Admiral Byrd arrive back on the aircraft carrier, this ‘Master’ launches an unprovoked attack on them resulting in dozens of casualties and severe damage to the fleet, which resulted in them running away like scared rabbits.

For close to 14 years, Stevens preached his craziness and like Bob Thiel, garnered hardly any COG members to join his cult. This irritated him very much and he and his followers got sick of the mocking. Stevens got so fed up that he told all COG members that they were now on their own.

The Creator God has made His position clear to everyone, so all are without excuse.  God gave His people Israel the choice between life and death, and counseled them to choose life.  Today, more than ever, that choice is before you, and from now on you’re on your own to make that choice.  Before you prepare yourself for conquest, be sure and certain you have God’s Holy Spirit or your fate will be to return to dust - forever!  Perhaps we, the Brotherhood, will see you in our Father’s Kingdom!


May God be with you!


Neville V. Stevens 

(Representing the Levite Brotherhood – the Sons of Jerusalem)

Stevens is just another example of why no one believes Bob Thiel, Dave Pack. Gerald Flurry, and the rest of the pseudoprophets and apostles to the church. They are all liars. 

You can read his final letter here and access the rest of his writings.

See previous articles on Banned about him: 

Neville Stevens: Proof That Armstrongites Will Believe Anything!

Neville Stevens: Cyrus the Great Was A Demon....


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Fred Coulter on COG's Who Expect Members To Leave Their Estates To The Church


Almost all of the various COG splinter groups have set up ways for members to turn over their estates to the church upon their death. Most of them do not care if family members are shut out of wills and inheritances. The only concern is the money that they would get. The Worldwide Church of God was notorious for doing this, so all of the splinter groups are following suit. WCG was taken to court numerous times over the decades by family members disinherited and left with nothing, including some left destitute. In each instance, the WCG fought vigorously to keep the money, and most of the time they prevailed. The Ambassador Report has several stories about this appalling behavior by the church. The greed inherent in so many COG groups has them doing the same thing today. The more you give the more your blessing will be and your place in the Kingdom of God. Your chance of becoming a god depends upon it!

Surprisingly, Fred Coulter does not approve of this.  He recently said the following:

And I can tell you this right now, too many of them are in the same mode as Worldwide doctrinally and also monetarily. That they're doing everything to keep the money coming in. And the great sin of some of the Churches of God is that they work out end-of-life wills so that the money will go to the Church. That is stealing from the families and the inheritors the inheritance that is due them. That is evil, that you would take the inheritance from those who die in the faith. Before they die you talk them into leaving all their funds to the Church for the retirement of the elders!

You let that sink in for a minute! What is God going to do? The day will come, because you're robbing the families of their rightful inheritance!

This has to be about the only thing worthwhile from this man. His theology is just a sick as Bob Thiel's, Pack and Flurry's.

The Rick Caldwell Show - Exploring Armstrongism and Anglo Israelism


Ron Weinland (COG Felon) Release "New" Book: "When the Countdown Ends"


Never in the history of the Armstrongite version of the Church of God has there been a convicted felon masquerading as a prophet to the church and the world. This is the Church of God however and nothing should surprise us. Weinland has "published" a "new" book that looks like he finished in 2019.

This book is being written for that very purpose—to help as many as possible who will accept help. To accept such help means that one will have to openly and honestly evaluate what is written and not prejudge it harshly or rashly. 
Three books have been written previous to this one, the first in 2005, and all have had the same motive: to inform, warn, and to exert every effort to try to help people become more fully prepared for what is coming. 
A couple years after that first book, it was learned that there are actual timelines and prophetic segments of time that one can observe in order to zero in on specific events that are leading up to WWIII. Although it will be covered in detail later in this book, there is a prophetic countdown to WWIII that began on December 17, 1994. 
Several prophetic segments of time have already been completed that fit perfectly into this countdown where important prophetic events have already been fulfilled. We are nearing the last possible segments of time that can fit into that countdown. 
These prophetic segments and actual dates in which they fall can be calculated. Although we do not know which specific segment is the last one that leads directly into WWIII, God has nevertheless given us the ability to know these specific markers in time for when this can take place. It is by this means that we have the ability to keep watch for when this last timeline of the countdown can begin so that we can be properly prepared. 
Now, since that time, even far greater understanding and clarity has been learned about that countdown, including prophetic events that can be identified along with the actions of key nations, all of which are increasingly becoming fulfilled. As you read about these times, events, acting participants and nations, you may experience a measure of fear.

Whenever you hear a self-appointed prophet to the Church of God claiming he has greater clarity and understanding of prophecy then you should automatically run for the door. In the Church of God whenever one of these guys says this they end up being liars. It doesn't matter if it is Ron Weinland, Dave Pack, or Bob Thiel. They are all liars.

And as for this:

As you read about these times, events, acting participants and nations, you may experience a measure of fear.

All anyone can do is laugh at this. There is NOTHING that a self-appointed prophet in the Church of God can say that can lead one to experience true fear.

If God exists, then there can only be one truth that comes from God. That shouldn’t be a hard concept to acknowledge. The reason for stressing the consideration of whether or not God exists is because if someone does not believe that, then there really is no purpose in discussing the distinct possibility that God has been increasingly unveiling a clear roadmap to the end of this age and a quickly approaching WWIII.

Do not expect any COG leader or self-appointed prophet to unveil a clear roadmap for the end of this age. None of them have ever told the truth so why believe them now? 

Like every COG prophet before him and those around him today, he adds this disclaimer when people reject him:

If someone rejects what is true upon being challenged like this, then that will be their choice anyway and there is no point in trying to dissuade them. They will believe what they want regardless of what can be proven. As it was stated earlier, “People tend to want their own truth.”

How dare people reject the lies of COG prophets! How dare they! 

The content of what follows concerning this countdown to WWIII and Christ’s coming cannot be properly written without including what I have been shown by God that I am to say. The bottom line is that I have been given a commission—a job to do—that is from God.

Ron Weinland no more has a commission that Bob Thiel does. God had nothing to do with either one of them. 

Candidly, I cannot help but be reminded of the prophet Jonah who tried to escape having to tell Nineveh what God told him to say about their destruction. I am not Jonah, but what I am to inform others concerning the writing of this book is that I am a prophet of God and have been sent by Him to do this job. In addition, I am the last apostle for the Church of God in this final age of mankind.

I thought Bob Thiel was the last true prophet to the church? Why does god need so many self-appointed prophets?

So from this point forward, there will be things that I will state as a prophet and an apostle that have to do with those things that God has revealed to me to give. I am not as one of the prophets of old who were given prophecies that were given for the purpose of being recorded as scripture. Instead, I am one who has been given to interpret many of those prophecies that apply to this end-time about those things that are now going to come to pass.

He ends his last chapter with this:

This book is entitled When the Countdown Ends. It has been stated repeatedly that there is a countdown leading up to WWIII and Christ’s return. It is my strongest belief that the count of prophetic 1,260-day periods has been completed and that countdown has ended, which was on the Pentecost of 2019. 
However, that does not mean that WWIII or Christ’s return had to happen on that day. It should be obvious that there is still a prophetic countdown that will one day be revealed that led right up to Christ’s coming. How is that? It is by the knowledge that Christ will return on a Pentecost, but God has not revealed on what Pentecost that will be. So God’s Church will continue to watch for any new prophetic markers and inform everyone of those as soon as they are revealed if there is time and ability to do so. 
What God has revealed is that the end-time countdown that led up to its complete prophetic fulfillment on the Pentecost of 2019 has been accomplished. All of this cries out that WWIII is at our doorstep and there is not much time to prepare. When the Countdown Ends

Being the lazy prophet he is, he has ended his timeline on Pentecost 2019. All things are completed and now the numbering of the 144,00 needs to happen and then JC just needs to return in fury to spank all the people who did not listen to him. It is now rapidly approaching 2022 and the felon will be still preaching from his basement in Ohio recalculating his predictions.

Weinland will be just like Bob Thiel, Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, and the other self-appointed prophets to the church when they have claim God has delayed his return once again due to the church not being ready or God was waiting to reveal new knowledge to his servants.

Liars all.

Monday, July 5, 2021

What Did You Sign Up For? – Part 1


What Did You Sign Up For? – Part 1

A Review of Herman Hoeh’s “Which Old Testament Laws Should We Keep Today?” 

By Neo

This is a review of an article written by Herman Hoeh titled “Which Old Testament Laws Should We Keep Today.”   The copy of the article that I will be reviewing is dated 1971.  I have found no subsequent revisions.  This document represents the vetted Armstrongist statement on this topic.  It was written by Herman Hoeh under the aegis of Herbert W. Armstrong, regarded as an Apostle by the dispersed Armstrongist organizations.  Followers of Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong cannot abrogate or revise his words or words he approved just as they cannot abrogate or revise the words of the Apostle Paul.  So there is no need to review the writings of organizations derived from the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) on this topic.  Any writing with standing in the Armstrongist theological and Apostolic tradition will be compatible with Hoeh’s article. Any article published by a denomination derived from the WCG that conflicts with this article will be a renunciation of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Apostleship.

Two Models of Biblical Jurisprudence

Hoeh emphasized the importance of this topic.  He stated in the article “Everyone needs to understand in detail the answer to this question.  Christian growth – ones very character – depends on understanding the answer to this question.”  This analysis will begin by defining two models that provide a means of comparing the Hoehist view of the law with the Christian view.  

Model 1:  The Hoehist Model

1.     The Old Testament litigation (OT) contains God’s spiritual law from the beginning.  

Hoeh’s statement: “First, remember that God’s basic spiritual laws existed from the beginning. . . God will not alter his spiritual laws. The spiritual laws describe the very character of God.  They enable us to know what God is like.”  

2.     Parts of the litigation in the Old Testament are still in force.  

Hoeh wrote: “’Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel (Mal 4:4).’ This law we are not to forget.  We are to keep it.”

3.     The New Testament (NT) is a spiritual enhancement of the Old Testament.  

Hoeh wrote: “The purpose of Christ’s teachings in the “Sermon on the Mount” was to magnify the Old Testament law, not annul it.”

Model 2: A Common Christian Model

1.     God has an eternal law by which he lives.  He is not subject to an external law but he is a law unto himself (sibi ipse ex)

2.     The Old Testament litigation is an instantiation of the eternal law adapted for use by the ancient nation of Israel.  The Old Testament is derived from 1 above and, therefore, in part resembles 3 below. 

3.     The New Testament litigation is an instantiation of the eternal law adapted for use by all of mankind under Christianity.   The New Testament is derived from 1 above and, therefore, in part resembles 2 above.

The Eternal Law

During the Middle Ages there was a controversy in the church about God’s relationship to law.  This was known as the Ex Lex Debate.  Some concluded that God was subject (sub legi) to some kind of law.  But this seemed to make this law superior to God.  This debate was resolved with the conclusion that God is sibi ipse ex, a law unto himself.  This eternal law was defined by Thomas Aquinas as follows:

“By “Eternal Law’” Aquinas means God’s rational purpose and plan for all things. And because the Eternal Law is part of God’s mind then it has always, and will always, exist. The Eternal Law is not simply something that God decided at some point to write (“Ethics for A-level”, Max Dimmock, Andrew Fisher).”

It is not clear what Hoeh meant in the term “from the beginning” in his description of the essential spiritual law in point 1 of his model.  One might conclude from this that he is referring to the creation of the universe or the creation of Adam.  But his statement, “The spiritual laws describe the very character of God” places this law in the category of the eternal law in the Christian model because God’s character is eternal.  And in this Hoeh departs from orthodoxy.  

The Old Testament Litigation was Implemented for Humans

Strategically, Hoeh has positioned the Old Testament litigation as the Eternal Law in his model.   This seems to lock the Old Testament litigation into place and would prevent it from ever being superseded.   Note that he states explicitly, “God will not alter his spiritual laws.”  This sets up his later argument that the New Testament does not replace the Old Testament but extends it spiritually.   But the Old Testament litigation is clearly an adaptation for human beings.  It speaks of the seventh day, stealing, coveting, lying and adultery.  These are human, earth bound activities and concepts. In the depths of timelessness, why would God have, as a part of his essence, a law against adultery when human sexuality had not yet been created?  Why would we think that any temporary human concerns and attributes would be a part of his essential eternal law?  

The OT and NT are both adaptations of the eternal law to human conditions as the Christian model indicates. The OT and NT are based on the eternal law but they are not the eternal law itself.  The eternal law is intelligible to us in some of its features because we are made in the image of God.  God can instantiate other laws as needed.  Perhaps, there are laws that pertain to angels that we would not even understand.  God can also modify or revoke this litigation.  That the OT is based on human circumstances and is not in the category of the eternal law is so self-evident that it cannot be denied by the rational mind. 

The Ten Commandments will always exist as long as humans exist.  They are meant for humans.  When humans cease to exist as humans through resurrection, we cannot really expect these laws to continue.  This clearly marks them as a special implementation of the eternal law not the law itself which will never go away.  But there will be other laws for resurrected human beings.  No doubt this litigation will have points in common with both the NT and OT because they are derived from a common source, God’s Eternal Law that reflects God himself.  

Did God Have a Foreskin?

Did you sign up to observe the OT litigation?  You are responsible for keeping the statutes, judgments, ordinances and laws in the OT according to Herman Hoeh.   These are a part of God’s spiritual law which God will not alter.  Although circumcision was implemented through an Abrahamic Covenant, it was later incorporated into the OT litigation and conveyed by Moses to Israel (Leviticus 12: 1-2).  (A question to pose here is if circumcision is a part of God’s unalterable spiritual law, why did God alter it by making it spiritual in the NT?  Apparently OT laws can be altered contrary to Hoeh’s assertion.)

Why would God make circumcision a part of his spiritual law that describes the very character of God from eternity as Hoeh claimed?    Does God, in his essence, have a foreskin?  The inclusion of circumcision in the Mosaic Law would suggest so.  Hoeh states, “They (spiritual laws) enable us to know what God is like.”  Here we collide with another troublesome area in Armstrongist theology concerning the Doctrine of God.  The idea that God’s eternal law would include circumcision comports with the mistaken Armstrongist idea that God in his essence has a body.  This means he would have always had a body, was always male and always had a foreskin in his essential being and circumcision would then have some kind of meaning.   And the claim that the OT litigation is God’s eternal spiritual law exalts the OT to eternal, essential divine status and at the same to demotes God to a human-like bodily state.  We understand circumcision to have been transformed into a spiritual condition under the NT but its inclusion in the part of the Mosaic Law to be kept leads one to a review of other eternal laws that one may have signed up to keep without being aware of it. 

Coda - Part 1

The OT litigation, including the Ten Commandments, started within the created human sphere and will end within that sphere.  Hoeh missed the boat.  He did not understand that the OT was an instantiation of a higher divine law that reflects the nature of God himself.  He mistakenly set up the human-oriented OT litigation as this Eternal Law and then proclaimed it inviolate and slid chunks of it into his formulation of the New Testament.  If Hoeh made this kind of mistake, what are you really signed up for?  But that is a topic that I will continue to examine in Part 2.