Friday, June 7, 2024

Watching and Waiting In Wadsworth, Ohio For The Return Of Christ

Reposted from 2022. Two years later the creature Dave calls "jesus" has still failed to appear.

178 years ago one of the forefathers of Armstrongism whipped up a frenzy along with Samuel Snow in upstate New York that Jesus would return sometime between March 21, 1843 - March 21, 1844. William Miller finally set the date of October 22, 1843. Like clockwork, Jesus did not return and his followers were disappointed. 

Tens of thousands of devoted followers sold their homes and businesses to await the coming of Christ. Many of them sat on their rooftops and surrounding hillsides trying to catch the first glimpse of Jesus returning. The press made a mockery of them for that:


October 22, 1843, was the date Miller predicted after he carefully dissected prophetic passages in the Holy Bible. In order to be saved from the eventual destruction of Earth, he ordered his followers to find higher ground and wait for a cosmic sign that would signal the coming of the lord and savior. 
In the days before the event, the Millerites gave away their material wealth, said their goodbyes to loved ones, and gathered on top of hills, roofs, and other higher grounds to await salvation from a world that was about to end. But, October 22 came and went… without incident. William Miller and the Advent of the Second Coming

Snow later went on to take Miller's calculations to set a precise date of October 22, 1844.

As usual, Christ failed to return then too. Tens of thousands of people were affected by this apocalyptic frenzy. Tens of thousands left his group. Some left the church altogether and some went on to form the Advent, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and other groups that are in the family tree of the Church of God.

Reaction of Millerites to the Great Disappointment[21]
What Happened on October 22, 1844?Attitude toward ProphecyReactionNumbers of MilleritesCurrent groups
No Second Advent1844 date invalid
prophecy invalid
Abandoned their beliefsTens of thousandsMajority left Christianity
Minority rejoined former churches
No Second Advent1844 date invalid
prophecy valid
Jesus coming soon
Some set other dates
Many hundredsAdvent Christian Church,
Jehovah's Witnesses
Second Advent occurred – Spiritualized1844 date valid
prophecy valid
Short lived “holy flesh” movementHundredsJoined Shakers
Date not about Second Advent1844 date valid
This interpretation invalid
Cleansing of Sanctuary meant
Pre-Advent judgment
Second Advent still coming
DozensSeventh-day Adventist Church

As easy as it is to mock those deluded followers of Miller in the mid-1800's we are no better off today in 2022. Thanks to the ongoing epic failure rate of Church of God prophets down through the last 8 decades, hundreds of thousands of followers of Armstrongism have passed through the doors with many never setting foot in a church again or went on to form even more appalling splinter groups. (When the Worldwide Church of God was imploding in the late mid to late 1990's the church estimated that throughout its lifespan over 500,000 people had passed through its doors. Many find that amount to be hard to believe, but if you include coworkers and contributors, that would swell the ranks.)

Sadly, COG leaders and many ministers never learned from Miller's mistakes nor from the false prophecies of hundreds of COG leaders down through the decades. This brings us to 2022 where we are witnessing modern-day "William Millers" make absurd prophecies that continue to fail every single day. 

In the Church of God movement in 2022 we have some of the most egregious liars ever imaginable: Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, Bob Thiel, Ron Weinland, John Rittenbaugh, and Alton Billingsley. Each of these men claims God is speaking directly to them revealing in dreams and visions just how things will shortly be. Every single one of these men has been proven to be liars and yet a remnant few remain loyal to them.

Today, in Wadsworth Ohio, the devout are waiting in eager anticipation for Christ to return and usher in a glorious new kingdom where they will be transformed into gods and will be teachers of humanity in the truth of God. Like William Miller's followers, these people have sold their homes, and businesses, cashed in retirements and insurance policies, and have given the money to Dave for some kind of mighty push.

Come Monday morning, June 6, Dave will make a new proclamation and set yet another date. If he keeps to his word, which he never has, he will declare Pentecost 2023 as the next date and remain silent till then, but we all know Dave can't keep his mouth shut and wait that long. More sermons and special announcements will be made.

If these people genuinely followed the Christ they claim to then they would have no need to worry about dates and prophecies that Dave and other COG leaders espouse. Instead of resting securely in faith in Christ as millions of Christians do every single day, these remnant believers live lives of constant dread and fear over present situations. They so desperately need that kingdom to come to be proven right. While Christians also wait for a kingdom to be coming, many work today in the world to help bring it into fruition by doing good works, without expectation of reward, to bring a foretaste of what that heavingly banquet will be like.

The COG movement has isolated itself from those around them, creating an insular movement that looks inwardly at itself where goodness and all truth are perceived to be dwelling while all around them, even in the midst of trouble, goodness and truth preside.

It is my hope that after tonight some will wake up in the Restored Church of God and leave and find true freedom, but sadly we know this will not be the case.


Anonymous said...

We normally point to Herbert W. Armstrong as these charlatans' godfather or primary influence. But, it seems increasingly evident that that old carni-barker Gerald Waterhouse was also a huge influence on them!

Anonymous said...

Well done! This is a great article. I am surprised that no one is commenting on it.

The church has always pushed William Miller and the rise of Adventism to the background and found convenient half-truths to replace it with regarding COG history. Bob Thiel is good at those lies.

Anonymous said...

Watching and waiting is not necessarily a bad thing. Watching and waiting because someone you trusted for spiritual guidance has lied to you once again is quite a different matter. It would be preferable and less damaging to have been lied to about Santa Claus.

Anonymous said...

Gerald Waterhouse,

Yes I remember him one sermon saying how the South African church was concerned they wouldn’t make it to Petra because SA didn’t have diplomatic ties to Jordan.
He commented that Mr Armstrong would just call up King Hussein and ask him to let the SA brethren in.
Well here we are decades later and no HWA or Gerald Waterhouse and no King Hussein.
And the circus continues with other players now within the deeply fractured Armstrong movement.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about a deeply fractured movement, 5:39, it appears to me to be a huge, very intact, steaming bowel movement!

Anonymous said...

Good analysis, nicely written. In reading about the history of Millerism, I found myself to be puzzled by William Miller. He doesn't seem to have been an ego craving attention. It is more like he was struck with an idea and became pesonally consumed by it. Another point is that it seems like the prophetic failure of 1844 had a diversity of aftereffects. The monolith exploded and fragments of different sizes and shape scattered about. And one day Vernon Howell stood up to take over leadership of one of the fragments and rode it into the ground. I also believe it is good to remind Armstrongists that their denomination has a commonplace history. It did not marvelously appear on the scene after eighteen and a half centuries of darkness - as the legend goes. Herbert and Loma associated themselves with a Millerite sect - a sect that has doctrines similar to what Armstrongists observe today. So their association was not just meaningless and temporary. There was an actual transmission of Millerite theology to Herbert. Herbert absorbed it and augmented it with his own views - biting the hand the fed him by slamming them with the epithet of "Sardis Era." In spite of all the fancy footwork, Armstrongism remains a rendition of Millerism.

I believe it behooves everyone who is touched by Armstrongism to delve seriously into Millerism to understand the origins of HWA's beliefs and hermeneutics. Maybe they could even check out a few volumes of "Old Neo's Book of Practical Millerites" from the library and see if they don't find some things that are strangely familiar. Your post inaugurates a step in the right direction towards discerning the recent roots Armstrongism.

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Anonymous said...

The closet queen Gerald Waterhouse was one of the prime movers of the prophetic lies of the church. He has a special place in hell reserved for him.

Anonymous said...

In reading about William Miller, it's interesting to note that he wasn't a Sabbath keeper, but was instead a Baptist preacher. He drew followers from several different denominations, including but not limited to those who were or became seventh day Sabbath keepers. These people collectively became known as Adventists. It was from this movement that the Seventh Day Adventist movement arose, as well as others including those who later formed the Church of God Seventh Day, comprised of people who rejected the teachings of Ellen G. White, and formed their own group instead.

One article on Miller that I looked up said that after the Great Disappointment, Miller publicly acknowledged his mistake, and ceased to associate himself with others in the Adventist movement. He seemed to learn his lesson, and didn't set anymore dates. It was instead others who continued to set dates and make false prophetic predictions, and as was pointed out in the post, this shamefully continues within many of the modern day COG offshoots.

We pridefully point fingers at other groups including the SDAs for continued reverence of Ellen G White, but we fail to see that many among us have made the same mistakes in following and placing others on pedestals who have also set dates, and made prophetic predictions that didn't happen when or the way they said things would happen. Instead of learning from the mistakes of those who have gone before us, we instead turn a blind eye to their false predictions or make excuses for them, while continuing to read our own prophetic interpretation into every headline, weather event, war, etc.

This judgemental, blind, and hypocritical approach has resulted in a general loss of credibility that affects all the corporate COGs to one degree or another and is one reason among others that some of our young people have become disillusioned with the leadership of the corporate groups, and why the groups in general aren't drawing new people. It has absolutely nothing to do with God not "calling" people today, but more to do with our own infighting, our lack of transparency and humility in our approach to preaching the gospel, and our stubborn refusal to learn from past mistakes.

Concerned Sister

Anonymous said...

Concerned Sister:

Your use of "we" and "our" indicates to me that you are some variety of Armstrongist. And you seem to be calling for reform. The reason why this is likely not to be well received in Armstrongist quarters has to do with the allurement of prophecy for Armstrongists. Prophecy is the "magic" that converts an otherwise small, insignificant and cultic religous organization into an earth-shaking force - at least in the perception of some. Can you imagine what would happen in Splinterdom if apocalypticism and the accompanying lurid predictive prophecies were relegated to the cabinet of curiosities. A new Church of Prophecy would be started and the disenchanted prophecy fans would flock to it. Without prophecy the volatile drama is driven off and the stolid Christian residue that remains is not what apocalyptic Millerites are remotely looking for.

The psychological and sociological drivers behind conspiracy theories are just as applicable to prophetic views of apocalyptics as they are to political groups. Apocalyptic Millerites are not special in any way. They are seeking the "magical" meaining in worldly events just like the non-religious. And this "magic" satisfies a demand and cannot be easily reformed away.

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DennisCDiehl said...

Nicely presented Gary

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that the ACOGs are setting dates of Christ's return as a tool to attract and motivate their members. But they must also be aware that this ploy means constantly throwing a number of victims under the bus. They would know this from the out cries of former deceived victims. People put off medical treatment, others made education choices that they otherwise would not have made. Some put off finding a mate, etc.

Lives seriously harmed so that so that some church leader and their henchmen can play church. They deserve a special place in hell.

Anonymous said...

The date setters are the least concerning in my humble opinion. In fact we should encourage these jokers as it relates to that.

Set a date of Christ's return and you set an almost immediate expiration date on any real relevancy.

The much more dangerous leader in this movement is the one that draws momentum on all the other fundamental teachings but does NOT set timetables. Speak in terms of lifetimes and general big picture prophecy and its the golden ticket. The masses will gather and the power accumulates if eloquence as a speaker is combined with this unique theology. It's never ceased to amaze me how zealous these adherents become with the story regardless of the details that surround them.

Anyway...set a date and then bye bye. That's very clear in the history. 2000 years of the rest of it not so easy

Anonymous said...

In spite of their rationalizations, they are openly defying Jesus! He told us that no one knows! The date setters and formulaists don't seem to realize that there's no secret formula, math, or decoder ring to figure those things out. If one can't know the date and time, it's because that has not been preset! These self-absorbed know it alls don't realize that Father God is going to make a judgment call based on conditions! He'll mercifully pull the plug when conditions reach the point of no return, when man would destroy himself and the planet, and the end is inevitable. It will be an act of mercy, a rescue mission to save mankind from himself.

I believe we've got some coastal cities to watch getting permanently flooded, or some fallout from nukes raining down before the blessed event occurs. It's not going to happen according to any ACOG timeline, or in the manner disciples of HWA envision it.

The really cool thing about Jesus is that he makes all of these defiant people look like flaming assholes every time
they concoct some crazy theory. You'd think the assholes would learn, but they are filled
with pride over their error! Dave is revelling in it!

DennisCDiehl said...

The "Hook" for the Churches of God in seeking out new members has always been the siren call of "Prophecy Coming Alive". You don't draw people with "Jesus loves you" or "You must be born again". Boooooring!

Prophecy has the unique ability to make the times anyone lives in seem to be the times spoken of by prophecy. It never is and never will be. No Jesus is ever going to return ever. But the Hook of "soon", "shortly", "of things which must shortly come to pass" and "behold I come quickly" has eternal value in drawing the fearful into the faith.

In the case of NT Bible Prophecy, Preterist reality rules the day. The Book of Revelation is not and never was written for us. It was written for them. And it failed bigly.

Preterist is a Christian eschatological view or belief that interprets some (partial preterist) or all (full preterist) prophecies of the Bible as events which have already been fulfilled in history.

Prophecy coming alive when needed to is the Eternal Carrot of Evangelizing and growing a church. Perfect fear guarantees attendance.

Anonymous said...

it is more like he was struck with an idea and became personally consumed by it. Another point is that it seems like the prophetic failure of 1844 had a diversity of aftereffects.

>the reason why William Miller was so convinced was that he had worked out the initial date of 1843 using three different methods. The primary method being the 2520 years nonsense.

To give William credit he did sincerely apologize for his error something the fake apostle never did.

Anonymous said...

(When the Worldwide Church of God was imploding in the late mid to late 1990's the church estimated that throughout its lifespan that over 500,000 people had passed through its doors. Many find that amount to be hard to believe, .....)

fact is the greedy self proclaimed apostle would not have cared one iota - 500.000 X a nominal 1000 extracted by the fakery yields an income over that time of $500 million. Not only that the turnover was welcomed by the greedy PULL MAN as those replacing them are far more controllable

WOWFJI said...

good thoughts expressed Concerned Sister

Anonymous said...

Many if not most Christian denominations employ the turnover model. They make extravagant promises about what God will do for them, play the game of the unjust steward by teaching permissive giving and being partial to their unrepentant members, mentally shrink their members by treating them as children, and teach tyranny as God's social system. Eventually many wake up and leave, but that's only after significant resources have been extracted from them. Then a new batch of victims join. It's a merry-go-round.

Dave's perjury said...

The selling of the homes in 1844 was a bad thing.

So was the sentiment of booklet "1975 In Prophecy" leading many to cancel college, marriage, investment & career plans, & to cash in health insurance.

Dave is stacking the cards heavily ­čâĆ­čâĆ­čâĆagainst his own perjury charge in God's court. Mr. HWA may have also regarding 1975.

Like the heavy chains worn by Jacob Marley & E. Scrooge the movie script says "they forged in life"⛓️⛓️

COG blighter said...

Is it accurate fact checking to ask whether the Jews were kept from Palestine for 2520 years between Nebuchadnezzar II in 604 BC until Balfour Declaration in 1917?

"Haggai 2:20-22. Exactly 2,520 years from the time that they were invaded and the land of Palestine was given over to King Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. the very nation to whom that land was deeded by God Almighty took possession of it.".

Anonymous said...

Maybe a group of attendees need to group together & confront Pack at one of his services. Matthew 24 is pretty clear about only the Father knowing the time & place of the end. I guess he need a his followers to go take out a 2nd mortgage and send in more $$$

Anonymous said...

4:47:00 AM Is it accurate fact checking to ask whether the Jews were kept from Palestine for 2520 years between Nebuchadnezzar II in 604 BC until Balfour Declaration in 1917

with respect this sounds like an actual date plucked out of the proverbial to make something fit in the process claiming its reveals some kind of biblical truth.

This is the crap these churches thrive on. Much like all the various theories of the pyramids and the mathematics - to which a well known British academic said so are the mathematics of a toothbrush.

Read a most intricate theory last year whereby using most intricate methods it was argued in all seriousness

. The Prophet Ezekiel was called upon to undertake a number of actions one of which was to lie on his side for a total of 430 days. Each day was expressly to represent a year of judgment against the nation. They say seventy of the years would be accounted for in the Babylonian Captivity, leaving 360 years (430 minus 70) unaccounted for.

Accepting the 2520 (360 day) years as being meaningful (which it's not), it states that this number must be reconciled to the Roman calendar, and when doing so it is worked out that the period of 2520 360-day years contains 907,200 days, which are accounted for on our current calendar as 2483 years, 9 months and 21 days:

It then examines the problem caused by the ‘’Babylonian Captivity." of which it refers to "the Servitude of the Nation," and the "Desolations of Jerusalem." Each of these was said to be prophesied to be seventy years

I am not going to set out the calculations as they are lengthy, but suffice to note that this scheme reckons one gets to 1948 5 14 - on May 14, 1948, the nation Israel was reestablished on the world scene.

And also gets to 1967 6 7 - on June 7, 1967, as a result of the Six Day War, the Biblical city of Old Jerusalem was restored to the nation.

These calculations contain myriad assumptions and one wonders what purpose is to be achieved by God hiding things behind such workings when all that had to be done was make a prophecy? And no doubt such calculations will be debated until the cows come home so how does the poor believer make sense of it all Fact is one can't.

Let's get real/Simply accept the fact the 2520 yr is a man made theory using certain verses wrongly such as seven times. It's gobbledygook

Anonymous said...

Maybe a group of attendees need to group together & confront Pack at one of his services. Matthew 24 is pretty clear about only the Father knowing the time & place of the end. I guess he need a his followers to go take out a 2nd mortgage and send in more $$$
>>>>such is the sheer stupidity of Pack he'd declare the Father has revealed it in a dream. Only to him of course being the chose successor to that biggest con man next to Ron H

Victorian Era Almanack Bulletin said...

The only earth shattering thing happening in 1844 was growing sentiment to the unsuccessful 1846 Wilmot Proviso legislation regarding Enslavement. 1844 was simply on a fast track to upcoming Civil War soon 17 years ahead. Additionally it was 11 years after 1833 Leonids super meteor shower, big deal whoop-tee.

Miller wasn't going to let the world have the 1st telegraph news or vulcanized rubber later that year, or for TX to soon join US. He must have thought Jesus counted the chickens before they hatched.

but as Dave Blacque-Jacque-de-Pacque says regularly, "well, we're still here"

RSK said...

598 BC was his campaign against Judah.

RSK said...

But he didnt actually destroy and depopulate Jerusalem until about 586BC.

Anonymous said...

The Jehovah's Witnesses also taught 1975. And like the WWCG, they likewise blame their victims, claiming that it was over enthusiastic members who pushed that date. This is another example of if one scratches the surface, contemporary Christian churches collude rather than compete for truth. If anyone doubts this, good luck finding a group that believes in rights.

Anonymous said...

Prophecy is something even atheists can get into. There are "prophets" and futurists who do not use the Bible to establish their mold. Look at the ways in which Nostradamus is often cited. The difference is that Nostradamus is not used by the collectors of people to mulct or co-opt followers.

Anonymous said...

All of the vaunted COG “prophets” who have made prophecies that failed, and lead and speak for their unique churches, have Bibles where certain verses are never, seen, read, or understood. Lots of proof texts indicating the validity and certainties of the pending prophetic events, but one portion of scripture is never ever read, referred to, or followed:

Deuteronomy 18:22
If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.

How many prophecies of Armstrong and all of his successors actually came to pass? Should anyone associated with them have fears from not following what they’ve dictated? The text is explicitly plain and applicable.

Anonymous said...

If a post-exilic tribal Israelite climbed into a time machine and got projected into June 2024 Israel, he'd most likely conclude that all of Israel had been Samaritanized. It would be really interesting to hear his perspectives, and somehow arrived here at Banned to discuss them with us. Also, let your mind run wild, and picture one of the First Century Christians coming to life and chatting with us here. It would be particularly interesting to hear him fact-check the ACOG leaders and Bob Thiel. For a real laugh, just play the 1CC some Gerald Waterhouse sermons!

Armstrongism had a very high percentage of speculation and extra-Biblical material functioning as its backbone. That contamination is why people are still talking about Laodiceans, Germans, and the tribulation, but nothing ever happens except disappointment!

Anonymous said...

June 8, 2024 at 1:40:00  If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.

How many prophecies of Armstrong and all of his successors actually came to pass? Should anyone associated with them have fears from not following what they’ve dictated? The text is explicitly plain and applicable>>>>>

I agree with you and the most interesting thing however is that people who look upon themselves as the most enlightened as members of the one true church of this time do not pause for one moment - and be quick to find excuse as to why they may disregard such warning.

I admit this interesting behavior is very hard to have an answer for, beyond the fact people are so influenced by years of propaganda they lose power of independent thought?

Byker Bob said...

It's powerful stuff to believe you are the chosen ones! ACOG members are not usually willing to voluntarily make new decisions based on evolving facts and failures. They just don't refine their theories as do scientists.

Anonymous said...

I wasted my life away believing that JC was coming back, so there was no need to get married and now that I find out that JC is never coming back, cause there's no son of God. There is no marriage in heaven. The creator is spirit, we must worship/ Honor him in spirit, that is either breath, wind or Frequency, et cetera. He is in us a such, never leaving us or forsaking us. We are the temple, there's no need to go to a building. yes, communicate with others join them in their homes, but stay away from the 501c3, so called churches. Tithes are a lie. God doesn't need your polluted money. All the gold, all the silver is his. Go therefore multiply, One of the first commands.

The son of man is coming back and soon you'll find out that we are really living through Biblical times, just not what the Freemason KJV version told us. 66 books versus 777, 711 missing Books. So, we could all be good obedient Christians that did not fight the evil that was happening all over the world. horrendous crimes against humanity. Revelation/ apocalypse is the lifting of the vail, the destruction of all the evil forces in our countries. Deep rooted Babylonian satanic cults. The best is yet to come! Peace, no more wars.