Saturday, April 16, 2022

PCG Makes Passover Story About Themselves Than That Creature They Call Christ


 

Leave it to the Edmond Oklahoma cult to make the Armstrong version of Passover into a story about their church, Mystery of the Ages, and the intense persecution it faces daily. I honestly do not think Flurry has an original thought in his alcobol-riddled mind.

Baptized members of the Philadelphia Church of God observed the Passover, a memorial of the beating and death of Jesus Christ, on the night of April 14. Let’s consider the persecution that God’s one true Church has endured to preserve the Passover.

After the PCG beats and kills Christ at their annual ceremony he is left to be swept up with the crumbs and tossed outside for another year.

Flurry leaves his Christ in the dust and proceeds to tell the story of his imagined cult history and warns everyone that there are not many true Christians out there and thus it is easy to prove they are true Christians

Just a few decades after Christ’s death, a dark curtain fell on the history of God’s Church. Concerning this time period, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages, "Already the curtain was rung down on the history of the true Church. You read of it in the book of Acts, but it doesn’t go much beyond that. But the curtain seems to lift, and we begin to get a little bit of the history in about A.D. 150. There we see a church calling itself Christian, but it’s a totally different church, as different as night is from day, down from up, or black from white. But it called itself Christian." 
 
Notice what Edward Gibbon recorded in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: "The scanty and suspicious materials on ecclesiastical history seldom enable us to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the first age of the Church." Mr. Armstrong often referred to this time period as "the lost century" because in secular history, as he wrote, "the history of that Church was lost." 
 
The book of Acts ends abruptly, several years before Paul’s death. John wrote his epistles and the book of Revelation around A.D. 85 to 90. 
 
Continuing from Mystery of the Ages: "Scholars and church historians recognize that events in the early Christian Church between A.D. 50 and 150 can only be seen in vague outline—as if obscured by a thick mist." (This is the same "lost century" he referred to in The Incredible Human Potential as occurring from A.D. 70 to 170.) Some Bible authors who wrote after A.D. 50, such as Peter, Jude and John, provided some details of the A.D. 50 to 90 period of Church history. But the primary purpose of their writings was not to chronicle events of the day, so the history of that period remains obscure. And the obscurity grows far thicker after A.D. 90. 
 
Mr. Armstrong quoted from a book titled A Handbook of Church History, by Samuel G. Green: "The 30 years which followed the close of the New Testament canon and the destruction of Jerusalem are in truth the most obscure in the history of the Church. When we emerge in the second century we are, to a great extent, in a changed world"(emphasis mine throughout). 
 
We do have some insight into this obscure time from secular sources. However, an element of caution must be used when studying secular history regarding the first- and early second-century Church. It is extremely difficult to tell who was a true Christian and who was false. As historian Edward Burton wrote, "The fugitives from Jerusalem … while some became true disciples of Jesus, others, as in the case in spreading of new opinions, may have imperfectly learnt, or ignorantly perverted, the real doctrines of Christianity" (Lectures Upon the Ecclesiastical History of the First Three Centuries). From secular history, the one measure we can safely use to determine which people were part of God’s true Church and which were not is the doctrines they taught.














Friday, April 15, 2022

Dave Pack Has To Move His Goal Posts After Jesus Fails To Return On Passover and Night To Be Much Observed

 


By now none of us should be surprised at the mental diarrhea that leaks out of Dave Pack's brain anymore. Week after week, month after month, year after year, he has been feeding his members some of the most absurd bullshit imaginable that they think is coming from God. Every time he opens his mouth the goalposts are changed, timeliness redefine, and dates clarified with "new understanding". Each and every time it has been an outright lie.

Just when you think he can't bet any crazier, he now says that the Feast of Tabernacles is a reenactment of Passover. So in effect, you are celebrating Passover every six months!

The RCG source for this states:
 
Gotta give it 5 🌟 at this highlight for HOW BAD it is: "IN FACT, the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles in the fall is actually a RE-ENACTEMENT OF THE PASSOVER so that God in effect has THIS Feast kept every six months, not just every year."

Here is Dave's latest: 

The full update:


"Greetings from Headquarters during the most important time of year!

We trust you had as profitable a Passover as we did here. By now all God’s people worldwide in RCG (and all other groups) have had opportunity to take the symbols, and it has BECOME clear this was ALWAYS God’s intent! So much turns on the willingness to remember Christ’s death and a Christian’s attitude while doing so (I Cor. 11:26-31). For MANY REASONS that have also NOW COME INTO FOCUS, this was ALWAYS to precede the days we are awaiting—the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. There is STILL GREAT reason to be expectant!

CONSIDER FIRST that we are entering the Night to be “MUCH OBSERVED” (Ex. 12:42)! THIS IS the ultimate day to “guard” in Abib, kept through all Israel’s generations. NEXT REMEMBER that the exodus from Egypt began on the First Day of Unleavened Bread.

Ask: WHAT DAY then MIGHT God start the Kingdom of Israel?

Also recall Christ’s command to “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning…like unto men that wait for their lord…” (Luke 12:35-36). This instruction TO US has unmistakable roots in the Old Testament Passover/Night to be Much Observed! God commanded, “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded…for I will pass through the land of Egypt this night” (Ex. 12:11-12). Much more could be said here! Now a little more big picture…

The Bible in MANY ways, and in many, many places, is the story of the seven Days of Unleavened Bread! It is these seven days that are referred to variously IN PROPHECY AS: one week—the last days—the evil days—those days—these days—the days come—the days of the Son of Man—and His days. The date of the New Testament Passover simply does not begin these seven days and is in NO way part of them. We were a day early in our watch! Unleavened Bread BECOMES our guidepost, SPECIFICALLY the Night to be Much Observed (Ex. 12:42).

As important as the New Testament Passover is, the Night to be Much Observed was celebrated 1,500 years before Christ’s sacrifice was memorialized, and it will continue through ETERNITY while the Kingdom’s arrival means the New Testament Passover will never be kept again. Of course, both are central—and that is an understatement. But one was ALWAYS intended to be transitory, and the other one eternal in purpose. IN FACT, the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles in the fall is actually a RE-ENACTEMENT OF THE PASSOVER so that God in effect has THIS Feast kept every six months, not just every year. PONDER THIS FURTHER and all of the relevant verses that you can think of while you await tonight, and maybe over the dinner table tonight...

It is easy to imagine that God is waiting for all saints worldwide in all groups to demonstrate that they kept both nights before a decision is made as to WHO STILL REMAINS within God’s Plan.

Brethren, we KNOW our Bibles and God’s Plan. Stay encouraged and focused on the parallels God would expect us to note going into this all-important Feast. Enjoy this special evening unlike ANY other through the year—while looking forward to what God APPEARS poised to do! We cannot think or know the hour—but we are all certainly praying that Christ arrives this year.

In Christ’s service,

David C. Pack" 




 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Dave Pack Caught In Another Lie

 



Well, here we are close to midnight on the West Coast and Dave Pack's creature he calls "christ" has not returned. Should we be surprised? When has any Church of God prophet ever told the truth in the last 80 some years? 

This was Dave on Wedsneday, April 13, 2022

Things we were learning and examining yesterday and before CONTINUED to come clear to ALL of us at Headquarters. 
 
THINK. 
 
A Thursday Passover night arrival by Christ would be seven days before the “last day” (of Unleavened Bread!) or “that day” (the day of the Lord)—when the WHOLE world will keep the final day of Passover with Christ. 
 
We took EXTRA time to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN of the ENORMOUS number of passages that are involved. 
 
The EVIDENCE is simply OVERWHELMING—FAR BEYOND what you COULD imagine!

Passover preparation everywhere should NOT change in any regard. 
 
Some will complete the service (and already be back home for hours), for others it may be several hours until their service begins. 
 
ALL EVIDENCE is that Christ “interrupts” this special night of the year, with some actually in the midst of the service, as will be the case in this time zone. 
 
God speed tomorrow night!


This was Dave in 2021 right before Passover.

Prophetic Update  
YESTERDAY (Mar 25)

Passover is less than a day away for us at Headquarters, and only hours away for some of you in the Far East. This day is crucial in God’s soon-to-unfold Plan, but for different reasons than we understood yesterday.

The New Testament Passover is in some regards the most important night of the year for Christians. God takes careful note of how His people prepare (or do not prepare) to take the symbols. There is no greater time of self-examination and preparation. It has become clear that God may want ALL brethren worldwide (seventh era included) to take the Passover prior to Christ’s arrival. What could be more crucial in determining the spiritual condition of each of His children?

Notice I Corinthians 11:26­: “For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do shew the Lord's death till He come.” This could easily be read to mean we take the Passover before Christ comes!

Now think! The actual feast picturing Israel leaving Egypt begins Saturday night—the First Day of Unleavened Bread. This is the Night To Be Much Observed. This is when the physical Passover lamb was eaten anciently. Would this not picture the GREAT Supper? Related, we have studied the Scriptures enough to know the importance of the weekly Sabbath in God’s mind. This scenario also further elevates the seventh day.

In practical terms, if God wants everyone everywhere to take the symbols, the earliest possibility for Christ’s Return would appear to be deep into tomorrow night. Think of yesterday’s announcement. This would mean He arrives to set up the Kingdom with the Old Testament Passover/Night To Be Much Observed still “in” the Kingdom.

All this said, continue to stay alert now—and all the way into the start of the Holy Day season!

Jon Brisby Gets Crazier: No More Matzos = Jewish Sin

 

It was in 1996 that Raymond Cole pressed Jon to become a minister, a course that he never would have chosen of his own accord. 
He was ordained by Mr. Cole on the Feast of Trumpets in 1997 but did not jettison his corporate career until late 1999 when the church was in dire need of more full-time helpers. 
He moved his family to Eugene, Oregon that year and worked as Raymond Cole’s ministerial assistant until Mr. Cole’s death in 2001. 
Thereafter, Jon became Pastor and Director of Church of God, The Eternal, 
a position of service he holds to this day.

Jon Brisby is another one of the splinter group leaders that have managed to tick off a lot of members. COGE members have been quite vocal here on one of the longest-running threads on this blog, Church of God, The Eternal's Jon Brisby Sinks To A New Vile Low. COGE members claim Brisby is coming up with all kinds of heresy, kind of like Bob Thiel does. Dreams are important to Brisby.

Today this comment was posted. 

What about their new truths on unleavened bread and atonement revealed by Jon Brisby in these last days? No more matzos, they are Jewish sin. Unleavened bread must be organic whole wheat, home made, thin and burned to a crisp or it doesn't count. And our atonement doesn't really count as atoning unless we begin our fast before sundown and are already afflicted. Also, herbs and homeopathy are the same wicked sin as doctors and medications. No faith! Jesus walks in Eugene, listen. He has new truth in Jon. Cole didn't know these things. Jon has new truth More to come

Poor Bob Thiel, the little guy just can never get a break. Now Brisby has spoken out against the homeopathic quackery that is so important to Thiel. People who go to naturopaths and herbalists are wallowing in wicked sin.

I remember in elementary school being told as a second grader that I could not have any water or food after 12:00 noon on the eve of atonement. The crazy minister in the Dayton, OH area said your stomachs had to be completely empty when sundown arrived, even if you were a child and had gym class after 12:00. No water for you, heathen! God's highly intelligent minister had spoken!

Jon seems to be one step ahead of Dave Pack though. When you read the comments on the blog entry mentioned above, some of his followers believe Jon is a walking embodiment of Christ and thus needs to be listened to when he delivers new truth. While Dave Pack claims his Christ is coming to Wadsworth, it's not going to be long till Dave Claims he is the embodiment of Christ. After all, with all of these failures happening with Dave, the only thing left is for him to declare himself as Christ returned. Jon is like Thiel in the endless supply of revelations he receives in dreams, supposedly from his god.



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Dave Pack: Christ Will Return On Passover And Disrupt Services

 


And here we go AGAIN! 

Dave's latest. 

His creature he calls "Christ" is set to return tomorrow night or sometime on April 15 where ever RCG people are still keeping Passover.

How many times does a false prophet need to lie before his followers call him a liar and walk away?

I can state with 100% assurance that Dave's creature will NOT be returning on Passover or any time soon after that. When this creature fails to appear he will tell another lie. Then another lie. Then another. And yet, his cadre of emasculated man/boys will sit there like happy seals and clap him on the back and tell him what a great prophet he is.

Things we were learning and examining yesterday and before CONTINUED to come clear to ALL of us at ☣Headquarters☢. 
 
THINK. 
 
A Thursday Passover night arrival by Christ would be seven days before the “last day” (of Unleavened Bread!) or “that day” (the day of the Lord)—when the WHOLE world will keep the final day of Passover with Christ. 
 
We took EXTRA time to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAINπŸ₯° of the ENORMOUS number of passages that are involved. 
 
The EVIDENCE is simply OVERWHELMING☠—FAR BEYOND what you COULD imagine!

Passover preparation everywhere should NOT change in any regard. 
 
Some will complete the service (and already be back home for hours), for others it may be several hours until their service begins. 
 
ALL 🀯EVIDENCE🀯 is that Christ “interrupts” this special night of the year, with some actually in the midst of the service, as will be the case in this time zone. 
 
God speed tomorrow night!

PCG's Lil'Joel Hilliker Says To Deleaven Your Use Of Technology

 


God does observe all your texts, chats and search histories, regardless of your age or circumstances. 
 God sees it all and judges you by it.


It is that time of year in Church of Godland when everyone is scurrying to and fro trying to get leaven and sin out of their lives. They want to be able to sit in confidence at Passover services that they are free and clear of sin, if only for a few minutes, till they find out who's feet they have to wash and pop an attitude of "ew, not him!".

At the Philadelphia Church of God cult compound in Edmond Oklahoma, they have been in hyperdrive trying to get sin out of their lives, which they have not done and will never be able to do.

Every spring holy day season, we deleaven: thoroughly cleaning out lockers, backpacks, rooms, kitchen appliances, cars, garages and so on. And as we deleaven, we examine ourselves for hidden “leaven,” or sin—and work to deleaven ourselves.

Very often, God chooses this time of year to expose problems in our lives. Though this might often be uncomfortable and even painful, it is wonderful—because once something is exposed, we can deal with it. You cannot deleaven something if you can’t see the leaven.

Correction doesn’t feel good in the moment: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (verse 11). 
 
If we respond to God’s “deleavening” the right way, it yields beautiful results! It can be embarrassing—it can sting—but it helps you grow. It makes you more righteous! That is what this time of year, and in many ways, our whole lives, is all about.

I hate to burst Lil'Joel's closeted bubble, but there are NO righteous people in the PCG, starting with Gerald Flurry himself! 

Anyway, of the many grievous sins that PCG members carry around with them, it is the use of technology that is the most appealing.

Let’s look at one area where most teenagers in the world, and even many in God’s Church, have a lot of leaven: our use of technology. 
 
We are so reliant on technology today. For students taking Imperial Academy classes online, technology makes receiving a godly education possible! Technology makes many things possible, but it also has serious potential problems. It makes it easy to find trouble. Perhaps even more dangerously, it makes it easy to hide trouble—to conceal what we’re doing from other people. 
 
But even if you can hide your online activity from other people, God sees everything. And often, people who think they are getting away with things really aren’t. God often exposes activities that shouldn’t be happening and stops them. But—and this might surprise you—He won’t do that in every case.

From watching porn to reading dissident websites, PCG's god is there watching and shaking his head in disgust.

Consider all the safeguards already in place in God’s school and within His Church to guard against misusing technology. Imperial Academy, for example, has a rule that all websites other than the class link are closed, and instant messaging programs are prohibited during class. The Internet on the headquarters campus is equipped with several content blockers. For college students, access to the Internet turns on at 7 a.m. and turns off at 10:30 p.m. In 2020, Gerald Flurry banned smartphones at IA and Armstrong College. God is serious about trying to protect us! 
 
God does want to protect you, and will use your parents, your teachers, the school, the ministry, and even your peers to do that. But if you are determined to get yourself into trouble, God will let you do that! If you are determined to find ways around all the rules, boundaries and obstacles that are there to help you—if you’re determined to lie and deceive so you can do what you want, then there is a point when God will say, Fine. If that’s what you want, go ahead.

Then, like any good control freak and professional guilt tripper in COG leadership, Lil'Joel has this to say:

God does observe all your texts, chats and search histories, regardless of your age or circumstances. You are personally responsible before Him for the sites you visit, the movies you watch, who you talk with, what you say, what images you share with others. God sees it all and judges you by it. 

It's always the members at fault and never the leadership who are some of the biggest purveyors of pornography and sexual misdeeds in the church. Apparently PCG's god also looks the other way when ministers lead people to suicide, tell parents to leave their daughter at the mall so the state can take care of her, or tell people they're of no use to god. But remember you loathsome PCG members, god is watching YOU!

Some sins of technology:

Sending or receiving a text triggers your brain to release dopamine, which creates a pleasant sensation, a feeling of reward. You tend to crave more of those dopamine hits, so texting quickly becomes addictive. 
 
Many people try to “multitask” by texting and chatting while doing homework or other activities. But multitasking is just another word for doing distracted, subpar work. 
 
If you text and chat, examine the time you might be wasting. And closely examine the content of your messages: What are you texting about? Chats might be innocuous, but they can also be silly and worthless. And chats often include pictures, memes and gifs that lead to more time-wasting Internet-surfing for the next hilarious meme to share. Beyond that, it is soeasy for this to devolve into inappropriate exchanges: insults, complaining, obnoxious opinions, worldly language, off-color pop-culture references, innuendos, raunchy jokes, sexually suggestive comments, flirting. 
 
Verses 3-4 continue, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” There are things you just shouldn’t talk about. Yet wouldn’t you say that “filthiness,” “foolish talking” and wrong “jesting” describe a lot of group chats? Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Even if you or your friends are not “pouring out foolishness,” the memes, YouTube videos and Spotify songs you share might be.

A final warning before that pissed off god strikes you down:

Be honest. If you’ve been misusing technology, show them. Bring it all out into the light.Let God deleaven you before the holy days. Wherever He exposes a problem, thank Him for that, and then do all you can to root it out entirely!



 

Why I Do Not Believe in an End-Time Tribulation - Or the Pitfalls of Designer Prophecy



Why I Do Not Believe in an End-Time Tribulation

Or the Pitfalls of Designer Prophecy

By NeoDromos 

 

I came to the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) not to be a spiritual titan but for safety.  I was a teenager and impressionable and Basil Wolverton’s drawings put the fear in me.  The theme of escape from disaster continued to be present with varying degrees of intensity in my thirty-year WCG experience. The idea of a prophesied end-time frenzy of destruction called The Great Tribulation seemed plausible.  The world was a bad place and the trends did not look good.  Comeuppance was way overdue.  But now I do not believe in the idea of a second, end-time Great Tribulation.  Let me tell you why.

It Already Happened

In spite of the apocalyptic Millerite hype, Jesus made a very clear statement in Matthew 24:21 about the time setting of the tribulation.   Jesus said, here in two translations:

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (KJV)

“For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again.” (Berean Study Bible)

It is obvious that Jesus stated that this time of great distress was a one-time event.  That's what "nor ever shall be" or “never to be seen again” means.  This means that ideas such as the former rain and the latter rain or type and anti-type or any other odd hermeneutics that one might concoct to render up two occurrences of this singular event are just not sufficient to overpower the words of Jesus.  

The surrounding context of this verse indicates that Jesus was talking about the 70 AD events, soon to happen.  If there can be only one nonpareil event, when does that one event happen?  Does it happen in 70 AD as Jesus stated?  Or does it happen in the 21st Century as many of the apocalyptic Millerite prophets would like us to believe?  In fact, Jesus used the language of imminency in Matthew and his description of events surrounding verse 21 aligns with the Fall of Jerusalem and the Destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.   Further, Jesus said it would all happen in one generation.  Also, it is anchored chronologically in 70 AD by Jesus’ reference to the Destruction of the Temple. Occam’s razor says Jesus’ direct language trumps more complicated and dubious hermeneutics such as type/anti-type.  It happened once in 70 AD – never to happen again.  

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and No Flesh Should be Saved Alive

Armstrongists, I suspect, realize that this one-time event was a one-time event.  But they have developed an exegesis that grabs the time of great distress, clones it, and transports a clone into the future. This then creates a dual fulfillment for an obviously non-dual prophecy.  It also makes for an exciting ride where all church requirements can become urgent due to the shortness of time.  This violates Jesus’ characterization of the time of great distress but Jesus seems to have only a bit part in this Millerite theater. The necessary exegesis for the duality is devised by providing a novel interpretation for the next verse.  Jesus states in verse 22:

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”

This is the WMD Theory.  This idea from the Armstrongist legendarium has been used to situate the tribulation at the end of days, whenever that might be. The reasoning is that only in our time do the necessary WMDs exist to accomplish the complete extermination of every living thing.  What is overlooked is that the tribulation does not have to occur as soon as WMDs are invented – it could occur centuries later.   WMDs are just a pre-condition not a precipitating event. 

There are problems with the WMD Theory. If we follow the Armstrongist line of reasoning, we have this effect: Jesus is speaking in Matthew 24 about local events connected with Jerusalem. Then suddenly out of context in verse 22, he makes a statement that relates to the entire planet at a future time when technology makes WMDs possible. Clearly, this would be puzzling to the listeners at that time because they know of no way that life can be totally and globally exterminated or why there would be a sudden context shift from their time to the distant future  (if we apply the Armstrongist line of reasoning) - so they are confused and Jesus sounds like he doesn't know what he is talking about. And apparently from the account, none of the disciples say "what did you mean by that odd statement?" Then Jesus immediately goes back to local Jerusalem-related events and continues.

That is a flawed exegesis. It is concocted, to the point of being painful, to pluck the great tribulation out of context.  It simply does not work. But when read in a simple context, it makes sense: Jesus is making the point that if this train of events were not interdicted every Jew in Jerusalem and its environs would be killed. Obviously, the people doing the killing, the Romans, would still be alive. But the Bible is about the Jews, not the Romans.  Only the Jews are important to the prophetic narrative.  They are the “all flesh.”

And, as Jesus prophesied, this happened.  In 70 AD, Titus built a wall around Jerusalem with the intent of starving its population to death.   Jews caught trying to escape by the surrounding Roman soldiers were crucified.  And the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) was filled with corpses (something Jesus also prophesied).  Had the entire siege not been overtaken by events at the last, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem would have been killed. 

The Place of Safety

Ancillary to the fascination with The Great Tribulation is the idea of the Place of Safety.  Like the tribulation, it has a 70 AD context.  Also, like the tribulation, it is transported without justifiable exegesis to the end time by Armstrongists.   If we briefly unpack some scriptures, the problems emerge. 

The Woman in Rev 12:1 is not the church.  It is Israel (not the BI Israel but the real Israel).   The symbolism in Rev 12:1 associated with this Woman can be connected directly with Genesis 37:9.  She gives birth to the Child who is Jesus.   Jesus is seen as a logical outcome of the historic Judaic Polity – He came to his own.   Notice that at the time the Woman gave birth, there was no New Testament Church – just the Church in the Wilderness.  Stephen describes Israel at Sinai as the Church in the Wilderness (Acts 7:38).   So it was the Jewish nation that was the Woman who had a place prepared for her.  My guess is that this “place” referred to the flight into the Diaspora – a kind of wilderness from the Jewish perspective.  Later in the passage, the church is mentioned.  Revelation further states:

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The church, like its leader Jesus, is also an outcome of Judaic Polity or the Woman.  It all began with the Jerusalem Church – a Christian church of Jews. So the situation is that in 70 AD disaster some Jews flee into the wilderness of the Diaspora and the church suffers horrible persecution.  Eusebius and Epiphanius recorded the belief in the Fourth Century that the Jerusalem Church evacuated to Pella, about 80 miles from Jerusalem, before the 70 AD events ensued. They stayed local.  And this Pella scenario may describe what happened to only the Jerusalem part of the church during the 70 AD time of great tribulation.   Nobody seems to know what happened to the Jerusalem Church after Pella.  So the “place prepared for her of God” does not directly align with the idea of a global tribulation and a flight by the whole scattered church to Petra or whatever place.  Wrong people. Wrong crowd size. Wrong kind of place.  Wrong aftermath.  In summary, wrong exegesis. 

Conclusion

Why is the belief in an end-time tribulation persistent within Armstrongism?  Apocalyptic Millerism, from 1844 to now, is principally about the exaltation of end-time events.  It is mesmerizing.  It is exciting.  And I believe that it is a form of liturgy.  Pentecostals do a holy dance and Armstrongists believe the Great Tribulation followed by the Parousia is just a few, quick steps into the future – both a part of a liturgy of elation.  And because Millerite end-time prophecy is liturgy, it is repeatable without embarrassment. The problem is that elation can smother out serious reflection.  This kind of liturgy is rooted in emotion rather than intellection and the fire of emotion often wins the debate unfairly – the passionate and primal dispossessing the reserved and analytical.  I used to get wound up about the tribulation back in the days when I believed a lot of ideas without serious thought.  Now, in my view, it is a liturgical crutch for people who just might be losing interest in religion.

PCG Tells Member He Is Useless To God

 


Imagine for a moment that you are a minister of God, a God that is filled with mercy and compassion. Imagine a God that is overjoyed with his children and creation and showers his blessings on all. For many ministers, this is a daily occurrence that gives them joy and a commitment to share that love with others.

Then there is the Armstrongist Church of God. That god, so much of the time, is a petty bitchy angry little god that is constantly pissed off at his creation. That god is never happy and is constantly in need of its followers groveling at its feet for mercy and acceptance, which it rarely dishes out, and if it does it is only to a select few, usually the ministers and church leadership.

If you are in the Philadelphia Church of God, this is the god that reigns supreme in the church.

Here is a story from Exit and Support Network about the PCG ministry representing that angry bitchy god.


I was in my early twenties when I ended up being kicked out of Philadelphia Church of God. I had not yet been baptized but it was something that I was strongly considering. While I did end up getting baptized, it did not happen in the PCG. Part of the problem being that I am special ed and have physical disabilities. 
 
What happened was that my father had an argument with two of the ministers (Craig Winters and Jeff Greaser11) over something that my father simply didn’t feel was right or even moral. They kept demanding that he change his views to suit their own but he kept refusing. They then turned to my mother and demanded that she basically “shun” him–and she too refused. They left our home, and then called up a few days later, and told my father that he had been kicked out; they then tried to force my mother to turn on him by threatening that “unless she turned on her husband they would kick her out as well.” She again refused and they kicked her out as well. 
 
They talked to my younger brother and tried to get him to turn on both my mother and father and he too refused and so they kicked him out of the PCG as well. They then talked to me. 
 
Interestingly enough, I was not at all approached about backstabbing anyone in my family. Instead they told me that because I was special ed and physically disabled that God didn’t have the power or ability to use me in any way. In their words, I was essentially useless to God in all regards. 
 
Ironically enough, at the same time that I was told that I was useless to God “because I was special ed and physically disabled, that God did not have the power or ability to use me in any sort of way,” we were also continually getting sermons, sermonettes, Bible studies, and other messages at services wherein they constantly pounded people over the head with statements that “God was all-powerful and there was nothing He couldn’t do and no one He couldn’t use.” Even though I was not yet baptized, even I noticed the inconsistency of the two statements “God can do anything” and “God can’t do this.” 
 
After we were all kicked out of the PCG, we ended up getting an interesting bit of news from an insider whom we were still friends with. As soon as possible, they announced that our family had been kicked out for handing out “dissident” religious material. This of course was a lie but they could have cared less. 
 
To be honest, I have reflected on this matter quite a bit every now and then and my being booted from the PCG has turned out to be a blessing in my opinion. I am with a better church, that has better ministers who don’t claim to be “as perfect as God” such as the PCG ministers did. They also do not judge the members of the church and are quite friendly and very enjoyable to be around. My parents and my brother are also in this church and we are all much happier.



Monday, April 11, 2022

As LCG Cuts Its Budget For Spreading Its Gospel, COGWA Makes a Big Jump Forward With Its Message

 


While the Living Church of God has had to publicly admit it had to cut back on its ability to preach its gospel message due to an income drop, Church of God a Worldwide Association has just announced they have had a substantial increase in income over the last three years so-much-so that they can now enlarge their media empire with new hires and gospel outreach.

This has to frost the butts of UCG, Gerald Weston, and Bob Thiel as they all languish trying to find money to do their pet projects and spread their so-called gospel messages. 

From a COGWA source:


April 11, 2022
Dear Brethren,

In my most recent member letter, I wrote that it was my last letter prior to the Passover. But today I have such good news to share that I have chosen to write to you once again! Because of the increase in our annual income for the past two fiscal years and now continuing into the third year, we are ready to make a major investment in preaching the gospel. 
 
Last year our increase in income made it possible for us to pay off two mortgages (one in East Texas and the second here in McKinney), thereby saving the Church approximately $230,000 per year. Our 2022 fiscal budget contained a substantial increase—some 30 percent—for Media to preach the gospel. But we weren’t ready in January to decide where those funds should go. We needed a plan, and after several weeks of meetings and many hours of discussion, Clyde Kilough, operation manager for Media, and the Media department have come forward with a series of proposals for investing these additional funds in our public proclamation efforts, beginning immediately.

My purpose for writing another letter prior to the Passover is to share the details of our updated Media plan with all of you. This plan will require some new hires in Media, and locating the right people will take time. But the other items will begin right away (some have actually already been implemented). Attached to this letter is a report from Mr. Kilough giving an overview of what we have planned. I hope you will be as excited as we are when you read the details. 
 
Matthew 24:14 and 28:19-20 describe our mission to take the gospel message, the good news of the Kingdom of God, to a troubled world. In furthering that mission, the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, has made the commitment to advance the preaching of the gospel this fiscal year (2022) by more than 30 percent when compared to last year!

Please be assured that our focus on Media will not distract us from the second part of our mission— caring for the brethren. We have created a new educational program for pastors, we’re restarting the International Leadership Program in May and through our International Fund we are taking care of the congregational needs of brethren around the world. We are committed to preaching the gospel and caring for the brethren and doing both to the best of our ability with the resources that God has provided. We now have the resources to do more in one year than we have done in a decade.

I believe you will agree with me that it is great to have some good news for a change. Trials, suffering, wars and rumors of wars surround us, but they cannot defeat us. Please have a meaningful and inspiring Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, focusing, once again, on God’s plan of salvation—the creation of His family.

Sincerely, your brother in Christ,
Jim Franks

 




Page 2 
 
Upon learning of the financial boost to our department, a Media team met a number of times to brainstorm the needs and possibilities in three areas: video, editorial and engagement. From an initial list of about 25 projects—far more than what we could possibly do—we narrowed it down to the top 10 priority needs and what is actually manageable with our personnel and budget. 
 
Some of these projects are going to be new, major, highly visible steps for the Church—more on these in a moment. Others are projects unseen by most people, but very important to the work.

1. Engagement. One of our greatest needs is to develop ongoing relationships with our visitors, engaging and encouraging them to use Life, Hope & Truth more thoroughly and frequently. Every month we gain several thousand new leads (those who download materials or subscribe to publications). These leads are very important because they have demonstrated more than casual interest, and they’re likely more interested in receiving other material. We need to reach back to them, which we can do by implementing workflows (a series of automatically triggered emails sent at regular intervals to offer related material) and email campaigns. While cost-effective, it’s labor-intensive and dependent on having personnel dedicated to the tasks. 
 
Another engagement tool we can easily implement is a regular coworker letter from the president, and these will start soon. Our growing number of coworkers are valued members of the Church’s efforts to preach the gospel, and we want them to feel involved and know that their contributions are highly appreciated. 
 
2. Editorial. We’re targeting several major projects in editorial content development. Discern is one of our highest quality products, covering a wide variety of doctrine, prophecy and Christian living subjects. People need Discern, and we want to see greater numbers accessing both the digital and the print versions, so we’re going to increase promotional efforts through investing in advertising and through email and social media campaigns. And, in order to give subscribers more frequent exposure to Discern, we sent out our first online bonus edition in early March. The bonus edition will be sent in the alternating months when we don’t have a print version, so every month subscribers will get either a print or digital Discern. 
 
Life, Hope & Truth currently offers a vast array of content—literally thousands of blogs and articles!—educating people about God’s truth. But many people face a big challenge today in that while they want to follow God, they struggle with serious issues that hold them back. We see a need to help people understand and deal with such issues from a spiritual perspective, so addressing relevant social topics, such as sexuality, addiction and emotional problems, is going to be an area of increased focus. 
 
We are also expanding and developing new blogging strategies to have more consistent writing on topics that are SEO (search engine optimization) driven. This will require a wider pool of skilled writers with different writing styles and expertise, assigning topics for new content rather than relying on volunteer submissions, and also updating and refreshing old content (both blogs and articles) 
 
All of these editorial projects require skilled personnel, and I’m very happy to announce that
we have just hired another full-time writer, which will help us immensely. 
 
Page 3 
 
3. Video. Now—in what will be the biggest steps forward in Media since Life, Hope & Truth was launched—we are going to create a regular LHT program, a regular LHT podcast, and ramp up the assembly of video “shorts.” 
 
As mentioned earlier, LHT is incredibly strong in written content—it provides excellent teaching and witnessing of the gospel through the written word. But we have lacked the same depth of preaching—ministers personally delivering the gospel through strong “evangelizing” on a regular full-length program. We need voices to give the gospel the type of power that can come only through the spoken word. Furthermore, increasing video production will not only bolster LHT’s rankings, but it can be placed on many other video outlets. YouTube, for example, is the second largest search engine in the world, and we need to be available on that— and all other venues possible—in video form. 
 
Podcasts are already extremely popular and are increasingly gathering larger audiences. They reach people on the go, and young people especially really use them. This is another avenue for preaching the gospel through social media outlets, as well as on LHT. 
 
And, while we already have several dozen video “shorts” (3- to 6-minute videos that accompany LHT articles and are posted on the Church’s YouTube channel), we could produce literally hundreds more. These offer quick explanations of various biblical topics—difficult to understand scriptures, biblical terms and definitions, etc.—specific issues people are asking about. 
 
Steadily churning out such new videos will require a lot of planning and hiring several new employees, not only in the areas of technical production but also for presentation. We can only be strong in production if we have more people dedicated to it, both as writers and presenters. Some big decisions lie ahead. How will we determine who, and how many, would be well-suited for presenting the gospel through video? What are the best formats for programs and podcasts? How can we most effectively promote and place these programs? Can the same presenters for video also do the podcasts? What about production for other video formats, such as TikTok? 
 
This is only the briefest overview of the projects at hand. Even with hiring new staff in several positions, these undertakings are ambitious, and they won’t happen overnight. For example, while we have some prospective employees in video, they may not be available immediately. And it will take a while to put the programs together and have the right presenters selected and in place. But it will come! 
 
It is exciting to be laying the groundwork for these major steps forward in preaching the gospel. And we are confident that, just as God has opened the doors financially, He will also provide the personnel and guide our plans. We have a dedicated team here at the office, and we know God’s people will be fully behind our efforts with their prayers and support.









 

Crackpot Prophet Forgives Those That Mock Him…So He Claims



The Great Bwana and Savior of Africa and the Laodiceans heretics is talking down to us about forgiveness and mercy. Imagine a COG leader doing such a thing. Its Impossible, I know! Just smoke and mirrors.


Mercy and Forgiving Someone Who is NOT Sorry
We have all been hurt or offended by someone. As Christians, we know we are supposed to forgive. But what about forgiving someone who is not sorry? In this message, Dr. Thiel goes over ideas about forgiving the unrepentant from secular writers Harriet Lerner, Robert Enright, and Laura Davis. He then quotes the Apostle Paul and some passages in the Book of Proverbs. Dr. Thiel further quotes Jesus, the Apostle Peter, the Apostle James, and more from the Apostle Paul explaining why it is good for your well being to forgive and show mercy even to those who do not apologize to you. Mercy is one of the weightier matters of the law that Christians are to have.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Jesus, the Bible and Church of God Preachers


 

God is Greater than the Bible!

Back in 2013, Peter Enns penned a post titled God is Bigger than the Bible. It was a reaction to the growing awareness among Biblical scholars that our concepts regarding the God of the Bible have evolved over the many millennia in which people have been thinking, talking, and writing about him. Enns concluded: "Studying the Bible and Israel’s past is a regular reminder to me that my object of trust is God, not the Bible. That’s not knocking the Bible. It’s acknowledging that the Bible–even where it talks about God–is not a heavenly tablet dropped from heaven, but a relentlessly contextual collection of ancient literature that takes wisdom and patience to handle well." He went on to say that "God is bigger than the Bible–and frankly, I see Jesus in the Gospels already sounding that note when he began reshaping common views of God based on Israel’s traditions..."

Indeed, the very concept of Divine revelation implies that mankind is reliant on God in part (or in whole) for our understanding of him. In other words, our limitations in this respect are implicit in the way that the Bible informs us that God's message was imparted to humanity. Moreover, the whole notion of Divine revelation suggests that there is so much more that hasn't yet been revealed to us. Finally, the revelations which we refer to as Scripture suggest that God is greater than our ability to comprehend him, and that creation itself has much to reveal to us about his greatness and plans. Hence, there is so much more to God than what is revealed about him in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures!

This notion that God is so much greater than anything we can imagine is backed up in the pages of the Bible. Scripture informs us that God told Samuel that God doesn't see things in the superficial way that we do (I Samuel 16:7) - suggesting a much deeper insight into things than we are even capable of! Paul told the Romans that the earth and sky reveal God's hidden qualities, power, and nature (Romans 1:20). His words harkened back to what David had written in a psalm many years before that. David wrote: "When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers — the moon and the stars you set in place — what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?" (Psalm 8:3-4) Hence, we see in David's awe, and what Paul wrote to the saints at Rome, that God's creation has much to reveal to us about him - much more than the words in any book could ever impart to our understanding of him!

Likewise, God knows that humans understand things by comparing and contrasting them with other things (after all, God created the human mind). Hence, the question he asked of us through the prophet Isaiah is particularly meaningful in this context. We read there: "To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" (Isaiah 46:5) In other words, God is beyond anything that we might compare him to within our reality - the realm that we inhabit. This, in turn, causes us to wonder about God's reality - the realm that he inhabits, and we remember what Solomon said about the temple which he had constructed for God. He said: "even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built!" (I Kings 8:27) Indeed, this verse represents the entire theme of this blog - that God cannot be contained - NOT by a building or a book!

Indeed, when we consider what John said about his account of Christ's life, we see the absolute absurdity of the notion that any book could do complete justice to the subject of God (even one that is inspired by God). He wrote: "The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book." (John 20:30) At the conclusion of his account, John repeated that Jesus had done many other works that were not included in his account and noted that "If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25) And, finally, the notion that our present understanding of God and his will is imperfect (I Corinthians 13:9-12) suggests that God has more to reveal to us! In other words, the Bible must be regarded as imperfect and incomplete in terms of what is revealed there about God and his will.

In Isaiah, we read: "I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me." (Isaiah 45:5) Indeed, the language here harkens back to the language of God's fundamental law as outlined in the Ten Commandments. We read there: "You must not have any other god but me." (Exodus 20:3) Hence, even a book that reflects God's will and character is NOT God, and the only sensible conclusion that we can reach is that God is greater than the Bible!

Lonnie Hendrix