Saturday, April 2, 2022

Germany Plans to Rearm – Part 2 Nations Lost and Nations Found

Map 1. Migration map of Western European nations and Western Germans (Haplogroup R1b)

Map 2. Migration map of Eastern European nations and Eastern Germans (Haplogroup R1a)

Germany Plans to Rearm – Part 2

Nations Lost and Nations Found

By Neotherm


“Germany - a UNITED GERMANY with her former territories restored - is ready to emerge as the strongest nation on earth at the head of a revitalized and resurgent Europe! This power colossus is then going to deal a death-blow to the United States and Great Britain, and rule this world.” 
Gunnar Freibergs, Plain Truth Magazine, October 1964.

The dire warning above from the 1964 Plain Truth Magazine is based on the Classical Armstrongist belief that the modern Germans are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians, that the modern European people of the United States and Great Britain are the descendants of ancient Israel and the Old Testament prophecies concerning these peoples are for today. Among those who know them, these beliefs are controversial because they are founded principally on interpretations of history rather than empirical evidence. But through the sciences of archaeology and genetics, this controversy can be resolved for reasonable minds. And it would seem that those Armstrongist organizations that have money to spend on archaeology would gladly seek this resolution as an affirmation of the credibility of their end-time message – the core of their most important mission. As Herbert W. Armstrong stated, understanding the identity of such important nations is “The Key that Unlocks Bible Prophecy.” And predictive prophecy about the events leading up to and including the Kingdom of God is the “gospel message” of Armstrongism. So it is entirely aligned with this mission for these organizations to verify these national identities. This verification is of prior importance because other archaeological pursuits will acquire meaning for the Armstrongist message only in the context of the understanding of these national identities. And now with enough funding, the modern-day national identities of Israel and Assyria can be established – or disproved. This determination can be made through science and that is our point of departure for Part 2.  (See Part 1:  Germany Plans to Rearm - Will Assyria Make War Again?)

Assyria, Germany, and the “Black Box” of Scythia

First, it provides useful context to summarize what Armstrongists believe about the migration of the Assyrians. The online article titled “The Remarkable Identity of the German People” authored by David Vejil is used here as a source for the Armstrongist view. I did not try to verify this view against that of Herman Hoeh or Edward Hine so there is some assumption on my part involved. I will not do a full review of the article but will focus on one salient point: Scythia.

This is what the writer says about Scythia:

“Archaeological data reveals that shortly after Xerxes’s (sic) disastrous campaign, a great migration of the Assyrian people from the Black Sea region occurred. With the Persian Empire weakening, the Assyrians moved from Asia Minor and the southern shores of the Black Sea to the sea’s northern shores—to a land called Scythia. Here they began to be called Scythians, and their identity was eventually obscured. But these people didn’t just disappear into thin air. They migrated west and underwent a name change! 
I could not find any evidence of this important migration event in my research. The above statement is made without attribution to sources. I did find that Assyria had trading outposts in Southwest Anatolia. Whether they had a substantial population there seems to be unknown. I could find no evidence that they moved to the Pontic Steppe region north of the Black Sea. I could find no research indicating Assyrian archaeological finds on the Pontic Steppe. The consensus is that the Assyrians did not cross the Caucasus Mountains. I also found that Assyria continued to exist in the Middle East after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire to the Medo-Babylonians and was quite prosperous under the Parthian Empire. Proponents of the Assyria/Germany idea would have to respond to issues such as these.

Scythia actually serves as a kind of Black Box. Peoples go in and peoples come out but nobody really knows what happens inside the box. The Assyrians putatively entered the southern portal of Scythia and the Germans come out of the northwest portal without any documented connecting migration paths or trains of events. Migration imagination can become highly creative and in this case, Scythia is the blank canvas on which it paints. Also, it is not good to place too much trust in ancient historians. Herodotus may have identified some people as this or that but he also recorded that the tribe of Garamantes of Libya spent time hunting Ethiopian troglodytes who lived in holes in the ground and squeaked like bats. The Hoehist historical methodology that relies on ancient resources cannot stand by itself.

The Assyrian Genetic Identity

If ancient history can be suspect, how then can it be validated? If one can construct designer migrations of peoples at will then what are we to believe? Only in recent decades have we had the science of genetics to ameliorate this situation. We can call on the field of archaeogenetics and ask for the genetic data that will tell us who the ancient Assyrians were in the human family. There are not a lot of these data points yet but what is there is telling. In fact, this cannot be viewed as a selective presentation of data because this seems to be the entirety of what has been published on the topic. The two tables below contain Y chromosome haplogroups (Y HG) from excavated ancient Assyrian skeletal remains.


From: Haplogroup spreadsheet 


Table 2.






de Barros Damgaard 2018


ca. 2300–2000 BC


de Barros Damgaard 2018


ca. 2000–1750 BC


de Barros Damgaard 2018


ca. 1750–1500 BC


From: Indo-Europeans and Uralic peoples, viii.13. Assyrians and Hittites

Table 1 shows five individuals who are known to be Assyrian from an archaeological context. The first two are typical haplogroup J Middle Easterners. The results reflect the J1 and J2 subclades of haplogroup J. Individuals 3 and 4 both have Middle Eastern mtDNA (female line) results. Individual 3 was also determined to have certain pigmentation characteristics shown in the Note. Individual 5 was haplogroup G but this sample was taken from Anatolia where the Assyrians had a trading outpost. Individual 5 could have been a native, non-Assyrian merchant associate.

Table 2 lists three Assyrians all of whom belong to subclades of haplogroup J2 – once again, typical of the Middle East. This data from different time periods supports the conclusion that Assyrians were haplogroup J. Absent is the important haplogroup R which would be typical of modern Germans. This data comports with what we find in the Bible when genetic principles are applied to genealogy. We have the following masculine line:

Noah → Shem → Asshur (Biblical progenitor of the Assyrians)

We can deduce that Noah is haplogroup J and, therefore, Asshur must be haplogroup J if the Biblical genealogies are correct. (See Part 1 of this essay for details of this deduction.) This brings us to a dilemma. The ancient Assyrians are haplogroup J and the modern Germans are haplogroup R. They are not just separate peoples they are peoples widely separated from each other genetically. And all of the rummaging around in historical sources produced the wrong conclusion.

The German Genetic Identity

Now that it has been established, because of the haplogroup discrepancy, that the Germans are not the modern Assyrians, who then are the Germans? The two maps at the beginning of this essay trace the origins of the German people. Map 1 shows the migration of haplogroup R1b people, known as Yamnaya people – early forerunners of Western Europeans. This is the haplogroup of those countries in the far west of Europe along the Atlantic littoral such as the western part of Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, France, and parts of Fennoscandia. Map 2 traces the migration pattern of haplogroup R1a which is a predominant haplogroup in eastern Germany, the Baltic countries, and the Slavic countries. These maps are constructed from empirical data and not the hearsay of ancient historians.

Sidebar: There is the question of the point of origin of the haplogroup R people. Based on the present state of knowledge, the earliest site that indicates where haplogroup R might have originated is at Mal’ta Buret near Lake Baikal in Siberia. The skeleton of a young boy was found there and dated to 24,000 BP. The boy’s haplogroup was basal R*, the original haplogroup R form prior to subclade formation through mutation. This is the only occurrence of basal R* yet discovered. This could be where the mutations of haplogroup P occurred that produced Western Europeans. Haplogroup R is an immediate descendant of Haplogroup P.

Notice that on both maps there is no migration path for R1b or R1a into the area of the Middle East where ancient Assyria or ancient Israel were located. This is because there is no archaeogenetic data that has been discovered so far to indicate that haplogroup R1a or R1b people invaded the heart of the Middle East in ancient times.

Recommendation to Armstrongists Who Want Run Archaeology Projects

The absence of R1a or R1b data in the ancient lands of Assyria and Israel is a “show-stopping” problem for Anglo-Israelism as defined in Classical Armstrongism. According to the Armstrongist view, the lands of Assyria and Palestine were once densely populated by the people who now live in Western Europe. Yet the ancient genetic material recovered from Palestine is principally haplogroup J – sometimes identified as Canaanite. Absent are haplogroups R1b and R1a. If Armstrongist Anglo-Israelism is true then there should be in the excavated ancient bones of Israel and Assyria an overwhelming abundance of ancient haplogroup R DNA. And the discovery of this would revolutionize the history of the Middle East as currently understood. But such ancient material has never come to light.

In order to lend credence to their end-time message, Armstrongist organizations should lead in the search for ancient haplogroup R in Palestine and the land of ancient Assyria. And if none is ever found, they should discard the dogma of Anglo-Israelism and Assyria/Germany and its supposed relevance to end-time prophecy. Some may claim that God concealed the identities of Assyria and Israel and that is why we cannot find their genetic remnants but that identity is now important to the end-time message of Armstrongism. Further, its various denominations have publications concerning the modern identities of ancient Israel and Assyria available to the public. Concealment now seems to have lost its value. And it would seem like God would want such a discovery to be made in order to affirm the end-time message. So, the concealment argument has no traction.

The following article on the web focuses on the need for more funding for archaeogenetic research in Israel. It also has some discussion of haplogroups found in Israel.

The Assyrians in the Prophets and New Testament

In Classical Armstrongism the Assyrians/Germans were a dark theme. I recall Gerald Waterhouse luridly describing the inhumanities that the Assyrians/Germans would perpetrate against the supposed descendants of Israel during the Tribulation – a kind of holocaust for the people of the United States and Britain. This holocaust also would ensnare lukewarm members of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). I recall the strange ideas that members of the WCG had towards a German family in a congregation I attended. Assyria/Germany cast a dark shadow on the Armstrongist landscape. But does this reflect Biblical themes?

The latter prophets are not consistently negative in their attitude towards Assyria. This can be seen in Isaiah 19:23-24. And then we have the tension between the vision of Nahum and the book of Jonah. In the former the Assyrians are excoriated and in the latter they exemplify repentance – a lesson to Israel.

Drawing on the book of Jonah, Jesus mentions the Assyrians of Nineveh as an example of repentance (Matt 12:41). He asserts that those Assyrians who repented at Jonah’s preaching will in the resurrection condemn the Jews of Jesus’ day for their unbelief. Jesus also mentions the Assyrians in a similar context in Luke 11:30. In brief, Jesus and the Prophets did not see the Assyrians as the unalloyed villains of history.


There are two major reasons why the idea that the modern Germans and the ancient Assyrians are the same people is without support:

1.   To date, the ancient Assyrian genetic material is Y chromosome haplogroup J as expected from Biblical genealogy. Whereas, the modern German haplogroups are R1b and R1a. And a phylogenetic haplogroup tree will show that haplogroup R is not a mutational product of haplogroup J (see Part 1).

2.     Findings related to the archaeology of Ancient Assyria (and ancient Israel) should reflect high frequencies of haplogroup R in ancient skeletons. This is because Armstrongism asserts that the land of ancient Assyria (and ancient Israel) was densely populated by people of haplogroup R heritage (identical with modern Western Europeans). So far this abundance of haplogroup R material has not been found.

I further suggest that Armstrongists should spend the dollars they wish to devote to archaeology on establishing the identities of these nations, so important to their end-time message, through archaeogenetics before they fund other marginal archaeological efforts.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Crackpot COG Prophet Gets Bent Out Of Shape Over April Fool's Day


Our favorite Chief Overseer of his African brethren and the modern-day embodiment of Elisha, Elijah, Amos and Andy, Johsua, and the most important and doubly blessed man the Church of God has ever been privileged to have in its midst, is back today getting his wholistic knickers into a homeopathic twist:

Today, it is April 1st on the Roman calendar.
Many people call the first day of April, “April Fools’ Day.” Notice something about it:

Today is April 1 — April Fool’s Day, if you will…in more recent times it’s chock full of good-natured pranks. But watch out; any scams or pranks can end up being costly. Case in point: Back in 2005, KBDS-FM radio conducted an April Fool’s giveaway for a Hummer, but used a play on words to actually give away an R/C model of a Hummer. The winner, Shannon Castillo, was not amused. She filed suit for $60,000, the cost of a new Hummer.
Beware of tax-related fraud and scams
Have you ever pranked a coworker?
Implausible, unexpected event occurred, will have terrible business impact on you

With that in mind, it’ a good idea to be hypercritical of anything you read online today.

Like any good COG prophet, the Great Bwana doesn't have to search far to find something to back up his nitpicking nuttiness.

Nasty unconverted people not only play innocent jokes on each other on April Fools Day, but they cause tax scams and other issues.

It's all lies brethren when someone plays an April Fools joke on you. All Lies! Woe is me! Oh, the humanity! Lies! Lies! Lies!

However, there is one glowing thing that is missing from Bwana Bob's whinefest list...

What about the lies of self-appointed COG prophets and false teachers in the church, of which he is one? Are not their lies even more damaging to people than some silly pranks? Destroying the spiritual and even physical life of members is far more damaging.

Never in the history of the Church of God have we had so many self-appointed men who are preaching the most idiotic things the church has ever heard. From Dave Pack's ongoing vomit stream of his creature, he calls "christ", that supposedly is returning every Friday and Saturday for the last several years to Gerald Flurry's supposed possession of the new coronation stone that his creature called "christ" is going to come back and sit his holy butt upon. From Bob Thiel's self-appointment and his endless diarrhea stream of prophetic bullshit that no one in Africa or the rest of the world gives a rats ass about, to Ronnie Weinland's failed return of his "christ" in 2008 and every year since.  The Church of God has in its midst the biggest bunch of FOOLS the church has ever seen!

Sadly people in all of these groups sit there and listen to these raving lunatics and their spiritual diarrhea week after week. Lives are being damaged spiritually and physically as members are losing their homes and businesses due to these guys stealing their money during their prophetic push to end God's work here on earth. Many have even lost their lives due to these FOOLS!

Bwana Bob Thiel is one of the Church of God's biggest liars and apparently has been playing April Fools jokes on us for over 10 years now. But like any good April Fools joke, we can laugh at him with the derision he deserves.

Happy April Fools Day Bwana Bob! Continue to keep us entertained!


LCG: Gerald Weston Upset That LCG Youth Are Going To Real Colleges Instead Of Living Education…I wonder why????


Those rebellious youth of LCG have decided they would rather get an education from an accredited college or university than the unaccredited so-called Living Education program the church offers in Charlotte. Words fail me, I CAN NOT understand why???????????? WHY??????????????

Apparently, it is not only the youth that ignores Living Education but their parents are UNAWARE (according to Weston) of the magnificent Living Education course! After all of these years of being bombarded in church publications and sermons about this supposed "education" church members finally woke up and realized it had little worth in the long-term life of their children. As a result, church members are sending their children off to real colleges and universities.

Even worse, when these kids head off to college they usually never return to LCG to attend church. I CAN NOT understand why??? WHY????

Dear Brethren, 
We held an online ministerial conference this Wednesday, and one of the topics I discussed was Living Education. Many parents are unaware of how much education has changed in the last decade. Too many young people go off to college or university and do not come back to Church. 
This has always been a problem, but far more so today. This is why Dennis Prager, a highly educated and articulate man, advises not to send your children to college, but if you do, do not expect them to come back with your values. Of course, this advice, as I’m sure he knows, has some caveats. Some young people are best suited for careers that require a university education. Those who seek such careers are usually more motivated toward study and may fare better than those who haven’t figured out what they want to do in life. So, what to do? 
Mr. Herbert Armstrong did not have a college education, but he was highly educated, self-educating himself in the field of his interest prior to God’s calling. Not everyone should be pushed into seeking a formal higher education, but those who do, need to do so in a smart way. Moving out and taking up residence at a university right out of high school is a prescription for disaster. We have seen this movie played out far too many times by young people and their parents who thought they could handle it. Here are some points to consider. 

Weston goes on to tell the youth of LCG to ONLY go to college if it is for SPECIFIC future employment. Male youth in LCG are apparently better suited for trade schools. Talk about dumbing down your youth!!

Only go to college if it is a requirement for specific future employment. Many young men, for example, are better suited to a job in the trades (construction of all kinds), and a trade school or apprenticeship should be considered. If seeking a university education, do so by living at home, carefully choosing your friends, and knowing what you believe about God and why. 
To this latter point, LivingEd–Charlotte should be seriously considered. This short, nine-month course will help you become more grounded in the truth and develop a deeper relationship with God. It helps prepare you emotionally, socially, and academically for whatever you choose for the future. Classes are reasonably demanding, on par with a freshman college level, but with a lot more individualized attention. Soft skills such as speaking, writing, and learning to think critically are of great value and will help any student, no matter which direction he or she goes afterward. 
Taking a year to go through LivingEd–Charlotte should not be viewed as a sacrifice, but a valuable enhancement for the future. It is not a ministerial training program, but a program to teach young people a way of life that will serve them well for this next stage of life as godly adults ready to be leaders and examples to the world. 

Weston has instructed his ministers to corner all soon coming graduates and their parents to steer them into Living Education. Where would the COG be without sticking its nose into members' lives?

If you are a young person and are interested or even curious about this program, please contact us for further information. If you are the parent of a young person, it is important for you to be involved in guiding your son or daughter at this critical time in their lives and I have asked our ministry to make themselves available to sit down and discuss this with you. We believe that for young people who take advantage of this unique opportunity, the greater their success in their future career, marriage, and life will be. This will also strengthen the Living Church of God, helping to fortify a generation of young men and women who know the Truth and have the understanding to defend it. 
Sincerely, in Christ’s service, Gerald Weston

Dave Pack: Sermon 360 - What a number to end on...STUNS me...STUNS me…THERE IS NO TIME FOR ANY MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave Pack continues his further decline into madness...

Like Bob Thiel, Dave gave himself a way out when the creature he calls "christ" does not return. 

I will deliver a more accurate prophecy: Dave's "christ" will NOT return Friday night or Saturday. That is a fact. Dave is a liar just like Bob Thiel.

"In conclusion...

I have given 360 messages and God KNOWS and all of you know from my comments, I don't know how many hundred times - I never intended to go to 360 messages...

WHAT a number to end on! The number of days and years. STUNS me...STUNS me...

There NO time for any more! And I DON'T know what I'd say next year that adds to what I said in OVER 700 hours, and 6 1/2 years, 360 messages.

It's like God wanted and is - we're writing a RECORD all of us brethren, as the little flock that goes 1st...

Did GOD want a record of 360 sermons? And it was NEVER gonna be LESS than that? It's divisible by 3, it's divisible by 12 - it's the number of foundations in many ways. That's the number 12, number of finality 3. It's also divisible by a number that I CAN RELATE TO - whether you can or not - it's divisible by 40, which is the number of trial and test - 9 times over! 9 times 40... Ok? WOW🤖...

It's also divisible by 30, the days of a month... Times 12...

The whole series, I mentioned to you - is gonna cover a period of 2331 days. That's divisible by 3, 7, 21 - NOW THAT IT'S OVER...

It's interesting, in the last 12 days, I have given 7 sermons, and 3 in-a-row to close - which is FASCINATING, last 12 days.

I HAVE KEPT MY CHARGE - I'M DONE... I'm done - and if you believe in Elul 1, and all the prophets - THEN YOU KNOW.

Now - FINAL comment ...

I want to just close with the ONLY WAY TO CLOSE...

IF Abib 1 comes and goes - I'D STILL GO DAY BY DAY - in fact I WILL!

The alternative is YEARS - somehow, maybe Abib 1, is NOT THE DAY - but 13 prophets and apostle and Christ POINT to Abib - and I think MANY verses DIRECTLY to Abib 1, and I don't know HOW, they point to Abib 1.

But what I KEEP WATCHING? And we go on into it, because maybe MAYBE God DOESN'T WANT US to know the day the 1st Kingdom starts as well? YES I WOULD - I WOULD...

Can I explain to you sitting here now - HOW all the verses that point to Abib 1 don't EXACTLY mean Abib 1, but some time NEAR it? No I CAN'T - I CAN'T DO THAT😭...

But I'm JUST telling you, I'm gonna KEEP WATCHING FOR A PERIOD OF TIME... I'm gonna GUARD THE WHOLE MONTH☠️, and that's JUST the way I'm gonna do it.

But if you ask me: Do you think THERE'S A CHANCE we're gonna go past tomorrow night? I would say NO - I've got a WHOLE LOT OF VERSES - I DON'T THINK there's a chance...

It's like they're all watching on a night, keep your lights burning, and it's gonna be some time at night, which would be morning in Jerusalem, it looks like Sabbath morning in Jerusalem...

Christ comes back on a Friday night - Sabbath morning in Jerusalem. Everybody WOHHH, Christ arises in their hearts- some days out. And he's gonna give them light. It looks like a Sabbath morning.

So it ALL lays out - all lays out PERFECTLY!

IF we believe it's a Sabbath, then I don't know HOW you get - I mean, I'll say ONE thing: It's EAAAASY for all of us to be comfortable to watch all the way through the Sabbath, it's easy - OF COURSE.

It MAY NOT BE TOMORROW NIGHT. It MIGHT BE Sabbath morning - I DON'T KNOW🤖... That's the 1st thing YOU SHOULD SAY.

But I DON'T KNOW HOW to conclude 6 1/2 years WITHOUT talking about WHAT HAPPENS IF Abib 1 PASSES?!!

The choice is MORE days OR MORE years... I don't see HOW THAT CAN BE!


God speed tomorrow night OR WHATEVER hour OR exactly how it plays out - and that is TRULY THE END OF THE GREATEST UNTOLD STORY - Good night...

One little comment: He did NOT end with a TOTAL of 360 Parts. Last year, he had 7-8 messages called "The end" - which he did NOT "consider" to be part of the series. So he is basically near at 370 parts...

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The World Tomorrow - New podcast


Check out the latest from Glynn Washington, a former COG member and featured on the popular Snap Judgement Podcast.

The story behind the story of Glynn Washington… on life growing up in an apocalyptic cult like you’ve never heard before. Snap Judgment presents, “The World Tomorrow,” 
from Love & Radio with Nick van der Kolk.

Love & Radio features in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. It’s hosted by Nick van der Kolk who is a Snap Alum! Listen & subscribe to Love & Radio on your favorite podcast player… you won’t regret it.

If you haven’t already, be sure to also check out The Secrets Hotline podcast from Love & Radio. Share your secret and read others on Instagram.

Produced by Nick van der Kolk, Andrew Gill, Nicki Stein & Phil Dmochowski. Contributing Editor: Steven Jackson

Artwork by Teo Ducot

Season 13 – Episode 15

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Breaking: Naomi Irion, Daughter of Ambassador University Alumni Who Was Kidnapped, Has A Sad Ending

The remains of missing teenager Naomi Irion were discovered in a remote area of Nevada, 17 days after she was abducted from a Walmart parking lot.

Investigators found the 18-year-old's body at a gravesite in an undisclosed area of Churchill County, the sheriff's office confirmed Wednesday, just hours after her accused kidnapper appeared in court via Zoom. 

Officials said they found the body Tuesday night at around 9 pm after receiving a top that led them to the rugged mountains located about 150 miles from where she was abducted in Fernley.

Surveillance footage from the morning of her disappearance, showed Irion sitting in the driver's seat while she waited for a company shuttle to take her to her job at Panasonic. 

A man wearing a hoodie - believed to be Driver - was filmed approaching her vehicle after circling the area. 

It's unclear if she was in the store at the time he broke into the vehicle or if she was in the car, but footage shows the pair driving off with the suspect in the driver's seat. 

The pair then drove out of the lot with the man behind the wheel. Her abandoned car was found on March 15 near a paint manufacturing facility in an industrial park along Interstate 80 less than a mile away from the Walmart store.  

Valley said earlier his sister usually catches a bus from the Walmart lot to work at a Reno-area Panasonic facility. He contacted family members and authorities after she failed to arrive at work and didn't return home that weekend. 

Irion's family claimed the teen went on a date with an unknown man the day before she vanished and had complained about being sexually harassed at work.  

Panasonic knew about the harassment and had handled it 'internally,' according to her brother.   

Before authorities announced that her body had been identified, Valley told reporters Wednesday that the family appreciated the support from the community and praised efforts by sheriff's deputies and federal agents to find his sister. 

Breaking news: Remains of kidnapped woman Naomi Irion, 18, were found in remote area of Nevada just hours before suspect appeared in court


Naomi Irion, 18, found deceased in Nevada after being kidnapped from Walmart parking lot: police

CGI: Bill Watson and Adrian Davis Not Happy With CGI Tyler Trying To Reign Them In



You can't censor my/God's message!

CGI Pastors Bill Watson, Adrian Davis, and their allies have been sorely vexed by Tyler's attempts to rein in their messaging. In fact, they have not been very subtle in suggesting that church leadership is trying to censor their sermons and articles. For those who are unaware of what's been happening in the Church of God International for the last several months, we should note that the leadership of that organization has attempted to forbid any further commentary by its ministry on the subject of public health mandates relative to Covid-19 (and has withdrawn three offending sermons from its platforms as a consequence of this action). Of course, completely absent from these cries of censorship is any acknowledgment that their own extreme and controversial statements provoked this action by church leadership!

Moreover, the charge of censorship appears rather hollow and self-serving when compared to the record provided by the New Testament of what transpired within the early church on the subject of messaging. After all, the Apostle Paul pronounced a double curse on anyone who would preach a gospel that diverged from the message which he was preaching (see Galatians 1:6-9). In the very same epistle, we learn that Paul had to defend his ministry among the Gentiles (see Galatians 2:1-10), and that he had to confront Peter for the hypocritical mixed-messaging which his personal example presented for the consumption of the saints (see Galatians 2:11-21). Likewise, it is recorded in the book of Acts that Priscilla and Aquila felt compelled to take Apollos aside and correct his messaging (see Acts 18:24-26). Are we to label these efforts of the leadership of the early church to control its messaging as censorship? In other words, should ministers be allowed to preach whatever they feel compelled to present to the saints within their care?

Finally, there are also ethical issues to consider relative to the subject of the messaging of individual ministers. If one is using the credentials and platform of some church/group/organization, doesn't one have some obligation to adhere to their teachings and standards? If one purports to represent some church/group/organization, doesn't he/she have some responsibility to reflect their values and messaging? If a church/group/organization is paying someone a salary, doesn't that person have an obligation to do what they are paying him/her to do? If someone strongly disagrees with the mission or doctrines of some church/group/organization, shouldn't that person at the very least be obligated to make leadership aware of their dissent? And, if a person experiencing such dissonance can't resolve that difference or submit with a clear conscience, aren't they obligated to make a clean break with that church/group/organization? In fact, if the church/group/organization doesn't represent your views, why would you even choose to be associated with them in the first place?

These folks like to say that they must obey God over men. Implicit in this assertion is the notion that they represent God's message, while those who oppose them do NOT! In other words, for them, this justifies defiance of whatever authority stands in their way. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that this principle of obeying God over men was clearly intended to apply to conflicts between secular authority and spiritual authority (In other words, not within the ekklesia). Within the Church, Paul wrote to the saints in Rome that they shouldn't argue with or condemn each other, and that they shouldn't be doing anything to cause each other to stumble (see Romans 14). In other words, if you feel compelled to challenge church leadership because you feel obligated to obey God, it's probably time to be looking for another church! And we all know what God has to say about those who sow discord among brethren (see Proverbs 6 and Romans 16:17).

Hence, if the leadership of your church decides that discoursing on masking and vaccine mandates is divisive and counterproductive, then you are obligated as an ethical person to either salute or leave! If your church leadership states that it is the mission and doctrine of the church to preach about Christ and his teachings, that does NOT mean that you have permission to deliver a warning message to Israel or discourse on how current events relate to ancient prophecies! So, instead of screaming about censorship, maybe these folks should engage in a little Bible study, self-reflection, and humility - and quietly resolve to do the right thing! What do you think?

Lonnie Hendrix

PCG: "We don't have long to wait" But In The Meantime Have "Love toward God and his government"

Exit and Support Network has the following about a recent Bible Study given in the Philadelphia Church of God cult. The PCG is just like Dave Pack and Bob Thiel in that their goalposts keep getting moved because none of their prophecies ever come to fruition. You would think after all of the decades that have passed with one prophetic failure after another, starting in the 1930s with Herbert Armstrong, that COG members would wake up and tell these charlatans how far they can shove their conspiracy theories and absurd prophecies, but no, they need to be able to sit there and feel special and called out from the world as they think they are learning new secret knowledge never before revealed. The ___Church of God should call themselves the Gnostic Church of God and get it over with.

The end is supposedly coming and the focus is entirely upon Gerald Flurry, his absurd teachings, Malachi's Message, Mystery of the Ages, the New Throne and holy Stone, government, and Donald Trump. Nowhere in any of the crap below can you find Jesus. Gerald is the savior of the church.

Real Christians through the centuries know that for "love" to flourish in the church it and its people need to be following Jesus. Church of God members, however, are directed to follow their leaders and their teachings. Jesus is never mentioned and if so it is usually in the last paragraph or sentence of an article or sermon. 

Daryl Hope Tells What the Ten Directives for the End Times Are:
March 27, 2022

To show what foolishness the PCG is feeding their members, Deryle Hope, in his fast-paced, cocky voice, gave a recent tedious Bible Study (“The Ten Directives for the End Times”) where he listed what he called the “prophetic stages, phases, or milestones” they have experienced since the start of the end time. He said we are in the period of at least nine time frames and are “waiting for number ten.” Those into GF’s prophecies will lap this up.

1. The End Time or latter days which really started when HWA came on the scene in 1931 and HWA said in MOA that the Philadelphia era began at Pentecost and that signaled the time of the end, or the latter days.

2. The second one was when HWA died on January 16, 1986. He said they ended the end mentioned in Matthew 24:14 and that was the end of the Philadelphia era and the start of this Laodicean era.

3. The third one occurred on March 11, 1989 and that marked the end of the 1150 days (mentioned in Daniel 8:19) That’s when the sanctuary was cleansed and then God started to reveal to GF the content of Malachi’s Message (MM) and we entered the phase known as “the last end.”

4. The fourth was after Malachi’s Message (MM) was written. The PCG was formed and had started mailing out MM in January 1990, and then we entered “the time of no more delay.” (Revelation 10:6)

5. The fifth one occurred on May 5, 2001 when we entered “the last hour” (I John 2:18).

6. The sixth one was “the point of no return” on July 25, 2008 which was the time when the Laodicean church is collectively in 3 nations of Israel, America, Britain, and the Jewish nation, and had reached the point of no return.

7. The seventh was May 31, 2009 which was “the shaking of the nations.” (Deryle said most of these milestones are explained in “some booklets GF has written.”) This 7th one is about the construction of “God’s House” which was completed in 2010.

8. The Eighth one was January 16, 2017 and that was the beginning of the New Throne and the New Stone. He told how GF said (in The New Throne of David booklet, p 14), “We must possess the Throne of David in the Place of Safety, meaning we must also possess the stone which represents the throne. … We are ready to go to the Place of Safety and we now have the New Stone of Destiny.”

9. The ninth milestone occurred on January 20, 2017 when President Donald Trump was inaugurated and “we began the Jeroboam end.”

He said “it appears we are on the verge of milestone number ten” and that it will probably be the leader of the Holy Roman Empire (the 3rd Antiochus). Then he asked if the imperial Antiochus heading the Holy Roman Empire will be the 10th milestone?

“Well, we don’t have long to wait.” … “We are in a world that is about to explode.” … “There must be more than ten.”

Then he went over the last 6 directives he gave in the last B.S. in December: (1) watch (2) pray always; (3) occupy; (4) take heed to yourself; (5) do God’s Work; (6) hold fast.

The love he emphasized that we should have was “love toward God and His government.” We become the chosen only after we are called, repent, are baptized, and make the changes we need to. What tomfoolery. He said we must be faithful and loyal and endure to the end in order to be with Him when He returns. He said, “We can’t be quitters now.”

None of this was scriptural. AJW

Monday, March 28, 2022

LCG: Looking for Philadelphia Christians - Are They That Hard To Find?


Words of wisdom from Doug:

Real Philadelphia Christians: The Bible describes Philadelphia Christians as having a strong desire to carry out the mission that Jesus Christ gave to His Church (Revelation 3:7–13). That mission involves preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world (Mark 1:14–15; 16:15), warning the world and especially Israelite nations of the consequences of disobedience (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), and preparing a people to reign with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom of God (Luke 1:17). However, as the name “Philadelphia” means “brotherly love,” true Philadelphians will also strive to follow Jesus’ admonition to “love one another” (John 15:12–17). Showing concern for others is one of the distinguishing marks of a real Philadelphian Christian. Let’s all look for ways to do that in our increasingly self-centered world.
Have a profitable Sabbath, Douglas S. Winnail

Is there an Armstrong COG that practices Philadelphia love? Has there ever been?

Sunday, March 27, 2022

My Panic Attack behind the Pulpit – Reflections and Confessions of an Ex-Evangelist

My Panic Attack behind the Pulpit – Reflections and Confessions of an Ex-Evangelist (Part 1)
Kevin Denne

October 1, 2012, is a day I’ll never forget.

I was the main speaker for our morning church service. Our annual convention, the Feast of Tabernacles, was kicking off and it was the first day. For the membership, this event was a high point of our year. People had gathered from surrounding states. The mood was upbeat, and people were overjoyed to have congregated together.

Yet, as I started my sermon, I had a panic attack.

It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was on stage in front of hundreds of people. And I was suddenly gripped in a series of feelings that I had never felt before.

Admittedly, I had no idea what I was experiencing at the time. There was an occasion or two before where I experienced some of this, but not to this level.

It was 10 years ago, and I remember it as if it was yesterday. I had no idea it was going to happen. I had spoken in front of large audiences many times before. It came on suddenly and out of the blue. 

What I Was Feeling

My heart was beating out of my chest. I felt clammy. I began to sweat.

It’s hard to describe but there was a feeling of pressing, impending doom. A suffocating tightness in my chest. It was like my world and the room were closing in.

It literally crossed my mind that I had to walk off the stage. I wanted to run. But I couldn’t. Here I was in front of 200+ people.

Could people tell? I asked myself, as I simultaneously tried to keep delivering my message. Surely, they can tell.

Ninety grueling minutes. The structure of my sermon helped. Knowing that I just had to follow the outline. Get to the next series of scriptures.

Waves would come back throughout the message. But I kept going.

An hour and a half later, I got through it. I was exhausted and defeated. Yet I survived. 

The Ripple Effects

As I walked off that stage around 12:30 pm that day, I felt relieved and scared. Relieved I made it through. Scared because I had no idea where this came from or what it was.

It shook my world. I had no idea what to do with it.

It undermined me in many ways. When would this happen again, I thought? It’s like it became some sort of lurking monster in the closet.

I never spoke to anybody about it. Not my closest friends (didn’t have many, to be honest). Not even my wife. 

No Way Out

As I look back, a fair question is: Why didn’t I address this, then or later? Why didn’t I walk off the stage and deal with this?

I am sure there are many reasons, but I was in survival mode. I did not want to be humiliated. The concept of walking off the stage in the middle of a sermon would have been catastrophic, or that’s what I believed at the time. It would have been the talk of the Feast site. Frankly, it would have been the talk of the whole church. Since I was a “senior minister,” whatever that meant in hindsight, a PR campaign of some sort would surround my wife and my family.

There was no clean way out of this. So, in the end, I concluded I had to work through it, and by work through it, I knew that meant ignore it, bury it, lock it away. Survival mode.

For years, I didn’t even feel I could speak to my wife about this. Not that she wouldn’t have been supportive. It’s that you didn’t talk about things like this because they didn’t happen to God’s people, spiritual people, normal people…so if it happened to me, then I must not be those things. 

The Ecclesiastical Climate

To provide some context, from a church culture perspective, talking about anxiety or having a panic attack or even emotional health in general, was not acceptable. It just “wasn’t done.” To be open about one’s mental health, or worse, emotional struggles, would never happen.

See, God’s spirit is one of a “sound mind.” And, if you don’t have a sound mind, well, then you are in trouble. You’re weak. You are not close enough to God.

Then there was the additional level of being in the “ministry.” There was this pressure to be perfect. Granted, we would all admit or say the words that nobody was perfect and that everyone fell short, including ministers. But, when ministers actually did fall short, or need help, it really wasn’t accepted or supported, and it was seen as weakness and shortcoming, plain and simple.

So, what did you do with any weaknesses you had? You covered them. You buried them. As deep as you could.

You didn’t address them. You sent them as far down as possible, and you piled as much stuff on top as you could, hoping they wouldn’t surface too often. 

The Chronological Context

In 2012, I had been absolutely run ragged. A campus (or, more properly, a compound) was being built.

The church had received large sums of money due to new teachings from the leader. In 2008, the infamous “Clarion Call” sermons were produced. This essentially laid out a timeline that led brethren to believe they should give all their money before Jesus returned. (Incidentally, the range of time given at that time explained that it was impossible for Jesus to return after 2021. He would most certainly arrive before 2021. That, evidently, didn’t happen.) But by 2011, the “Common” doctrine was instituted. An even more disgusting and onerous financial doctrine was yoked upon the necks of church membership. It was now doctrine for the Church’s apostle to tell people to sell all and send it to him. And many did, perhaps most did.

By 2011, the Church had bought land. By 2012, construction had begun. It was an incredibly stressful time. My youngest son was born in July of that year, and instead of looking back with joy at that time, I instead don’t remember much of his birth or first few months. It was marred by stress and constant turmoil and worry. Within that same timeframe, I was present during an instance that occurred to my brother, in a roomful of grown men, that I will never forget and for which I wish I had said something. It is and will always be one of my most vivid and awful life memories. (Perhaps that’s content for another time.)

It got even worse in the years ahead, but that, too, is a topic for another chapter.

The simple point? It was an incredibly stressful time.

The Mask

Ironically, I have pictures of this very event when I had this panic attack (included here). It’s fascinating for me now to try to look at them as an outsider and see if anything was going on. I don’t believe you can tell in the photo how close to meltdown I really was.

Like at no other point in my life, I had to keep the mask on. I had to play the part I was required to play.

See, this was all part of something I was thrust into in my 20s. I was told I was going to be a minister really early on. I had to step up. Be mature beyond my years!

I was always pushed to be somebody I wasn’t. I was too young-looking, I had to look older. I had to part and comb my hair a certain way. I had to stop wearing shorts around the lay members (mature men don’t show their legs!). I had to wear fuller dress pants, whatever that meant. I had to remove “youngish” ways of speaking. Etc. Etc.

Put on the mask, Kevin.

I did.And it almost ruined me. 

Authenticity Will Not Remain Buried

This panic attack was my mind trying to break out of the inauthentic existence it had found itself in. Cognitive dissonance was raging through my mind like an out-of-control wildfire. I just hadn’t learned to identify it yet.

It took me several more years to figure this out, but I did. On some level, as I write about this for the first time, I am still figuring it out now.

I would pay a lot of money to travel back in time to this event. I would talk to myself and explain what was happening. I would give myself permission to accept what was going on and guide myself in making steps to improve my situation. I may have even tried to convince myself to tell the brethren in that moment exactly what was going on. Despite the shock and the gasps, I’d be willing to bet that many in the room could have related. I would tell myself to open up to my wife about it afterward and receive her support, to not go it alone.

When you are in a bad place in life, your body and mind will respond.

The authenticity of you will not remain buried. And although I buried my true self so very, very deep, I am slowly uncovering each layer and getting back to the real me.

NOTE: Kevin is the son-in-law of Dave Pack