Saturday, September 2, 2023

The Elhanan Hermeneutic: Jesus, Goliath and Armstrongism


The Elhanan Hermeneutic

Jesus, Goliath and Armstrongism

By Scout

An observant scholar wrote that Jews regard the Bible as a problem to be solved whereas Christians believe it is a message to be proclaimed. The former view results in midrash and the latter view tends toward Biblical Literalism. Armstrongists have long held the Biblical Literalist view, often citing the statement of Jesus where he says in John 10:35: “… And the scripture cannot be broken”. In whatever context, whether midrash or literalism, there is a need to figure out who killed Goliath. Was it David or Elhanan? Or does it matter? The slaying of Goliath is much more than a children’s story. It is about how the Bible was curated and how we interpret it.

The Biblical data that must be examined looks like this (ESV):

1. The Traditional Account in 1 Samuel 17:50: “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him…” (Part of the Deuteronomistic History and was composed roughly 630-540 BCE. Samuel 1 and 2 were originally one book that was divided later in copies of the Old Testament.)

2. The Alternate Account in 2 Samuel 21:19: “And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite…”.

3. The Attempt at Reconciliation in 1 Chronicles 20:5: “And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite.” (Chronicles probably reached its final form in the 4th Century BCE.)



Curation and Interpretation 

It will be apparent to anyone who reads closely that the account of David in the OT is assembled from a number pericopes and is internally disjointed. First, we have an account of David in Samuel with a curious story arc. Did Saul know or did he not know David at the time of the contest with Goliath, for example? Several different traditions seem to have been documented by the scribes. Further, two different descriptions of the death of Goliath are recorded in Samuel, with victory being ascribed to David in a highly theatrical account and the victory ascribed to Elhanan in a passing comment.

The David-Ellhanan persisted in scripture for a very long time. Then a couple of centuries later, an attempt at reconciliation was made where an unknown scribe recounted that Elhanan really killed Goliath’s brother. And then the King James translators went back and inserted language (in italics in our modern print versions) in 2 Samuel 21:19 to make it appear to reflect the statement in Chronicles. An important point in understanding the curation of the Bible is that the Book of Samuel was not edited to make a smooth story arc. Both David and Elhanan are recorded as the slayers of Goliath. And the ancient compilers of the scripture knew this. They read and copied the material over and over again down through time. That the scribes did not edit out the contradictions is a compelling point. They have given the account a plausible timeline but they did not remove these contradictions.

It is as if the early scribes had a collection of inconsistent pericopes that were at parity with regard to provenance. So, they decided to just publish the whole body of material and let subsequent generations of scholars and readers sort it out. Then some later scribes decided that the discrepancies were too glaring and edited in a statement (I Chronicles 20:5) intended to give consistency. My guess is that this was an ad hoc rescue attempt and does not evidence that sometime in the passing of two centuries, the Jews discovered in a jar in a cave somewhere yet another pericope that suddenly cleared up the picture.

The upshot is that the Bible has been curated by people. It conveys valid principle without being accurate in every detail. The scribes did not stress over discrepancy. If the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984 had curated the Bible, it would be smoothly consistent from beginning to end, however inauthentic. The story of David does contain object lessons that we can all benefit from. But his slaying of Goliath might have been political theater. Post-Exilic Israel needed a hero. As Dr. Peter Enns stated, “God let his children tell the story.”

And in this, we have a broad hermeneutic, what I called The Elhanan Hermeneutic, for understanding scripture: The Bible may contain inconsistencies at the story detail level but it retains valid principle. This is an important issue of faith. If you want to place your faith on a foundation of textual inerrancy, you will die a miserable rhetorical death in battle with people like Bart Ehrman and Dennis Diehl. Some of the inconsistencies they cite are really there. Further, Biblical literalism will drive you to a rigorous Phariseeism that will harden your understanding against simple truth. The David and Goliath account is not a light topic for kids about a boy and a giant but about mature engagement with the Bible.

Jesus and the Law and the Prophets


When Jesus walked the earth, he did not have heartburn over the human curation of scripture even though this curation may have resulted in inaccuracies. It is worthwhile to ask why. If the Law and the Prophets as a body of writing is, as some maintain, God’s eternal moral law, the pathway to salvation, was never set aside, was only made more stringent and is now written on our hearts, would not Jesus have exercised more concern about its perfect rendering? Why were the disciples, like scribes, not busily engaged in updating the scripture to eliminate all the humanly introduced discrepancies in the Hebrew Bible so that this could be the inerrant foundation for salvation for the New Testament church?

Jesus knew the scriptures. At the age of twelve he spoke with the teachers in Jerusalem and they were amazed at his understanding of the scripture and the answers he gave to their questions. I don’t know if he had a memory of the scripture from prior to his incarnation, scripture that he himself inspired in its original, un-curated form or if he was studious and spent hours absorbing the scripture by reading in the local synagogue. The former view emphasizes Pre-existence and the latter Kenosis. Doesn’t make any difference. The point is, he knew the scripture exhaustively and made no attempt to put it all right. He did not settle the issue of whether it was David or Elhanan who was the slayer of Goliath. Or what to do about the Sabbath in Antarctica. Or many other fine points that fuel modern day controversy over the Torah.

This is because he fulfilled the scripture, it would be set aside and he would issue a New Testament that is based on principle and not letter. A message of love so profound that the David-Elhanan controversy withers away and nobody need care about the Sabbath in Antarctica. So, there was no need for careful preparation of the humanly curated Old Testament so it could continue to be used in pristine form in the New Testament Ekklesia. Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets down to the jot and tittle level and issued a new legislation beginning with the Sermon on the Mount. The New Legislation bore similarity to the Old Legislation because both were instantiations of the eternal moral law of God but were custom tuned to time, place and people.

The Scripture Cannot be Broken

In John 10:35, Jesus stated that the “scripture cannot be broken.” Jesus is stating that the scripture as a body of writing has integrity. Based on the Greek, this means that the scripture cannot be loosed or dissolved. But at what level of meaning is this statement true? Does it extend down to the Elhanan or David level of detail? I think not. I believe this integrity of scripture resides at the level of principle. Most of us are able to read material and understand the principles behind the overt text. This reading-at-level hermeneutic means that we should exercise due diligence in addressing seeming inconsistencies in the Biblical text but there may be some sub-principle, detail level where some particular account might be inconsistent. Jews have wrestled with this and other issues throughout their history. Hence, the development of the midrash form of Biblical interpretation among the Rabbis. And it would be highly presumptuous for a group of people without any foundation in Judaism to decide that the Torah is binding and that they understand it completely from beginning to end. This presumption is implicit in both Biblical Literalism and the finely parsed criticisms of detractors of the Bible. The scripture is unbroken at the level of optimal meaning.

Closing Argument

The Elhanan Hermeneutic is a point of wisdom for those who study the scripture. All explanations of scripture are interpretations. HWA’s theological writing is an interpretation among other interpretations. Some explanations are quite interesting. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book based on the David and Goliath account titled “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.” In his explanation he offers the novel idea that Goliath may have had acromegaly, a form of hormone induced gigantism. There is some hint in the scripture that Goliath could not see very well – a symptom of acromegaly. Maybe Goliath was not the great agile champion we all envision. Interpreting data varies and if you believe the scripture is certain, you will encounter challenges to your faith. You will find yourself engaging in implausible rationalization, including blatant denial of evidence. And the source of faith is not to be found in apologetics but in Jesus Christ. C.S. Lewis writes of the Dwarves of Narnia who lost their faith: “They have chosen cunning instead of belief.” Relying on apologetics solely to shore up Biblical interpretation is relying on cunning. At some point cunning will prove inadequate – and the history of Tyre will not be what you think it is, for instance.

People who insist on the certainty of scripture, who do not factor in human curation, march in procession towards debacle. Walled redoubts of denial do not protect. Trust is the solution. A faith that can grapple with the complications of reality is the solution. A faith that is comfortable with the progress of science is the solution. For some people certainty is the prerequisite for faith. But as one scholar wrote, the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Crackpot Prophet Lashes Out At COG7 Believing They Need Him to Tell Them What Is The Truth.

It is always fun to watch our resident whack-jobs who have set themselves up as God's official mouthpieces and leaders of the greatest COGs ever. No matter how crazy they, are everyone is always WORSE than they are.

The Great Bwana to Africa and 100 Caucasian Bob Mzungu Thiel takes his arrogant narcissistic behavior to the extreme and lashes out at COG7. Ever since Herbert slapped the label "Sardis" on them, other COG leaders and members have called them Sardis and say they are dead spiritually. This is a pretty bold epitaph coming from crazy COG leaders who are presently leading some of the weirdest off-the-wall personality cults the church has ever seen.

They love to lash out at COG7, which has a more active church than any of these splinter COGs can ever dream of having. Here they are in 2023 with between 200,000 - 300,000 members while the biggest of the COG groups is lucky to have 10-11,000 on their rolls. Sadly, the angriest of the COG groups tend to be the itty-bitty COG groups which have hardly any members.

COG7's Bible Advocate has more articles that tend to be Christ-centered than any COG publication does.

The one thing that ticks off the self-serving COG leaders is that the COG7 doesn't whip themselves into a frenzy of prophecy malarkey like they all do. Everything COG leaders have said, whether speculating or prophesying, has been one epic failure after another. All of them are liars and yet they try and shame COG7 because they aren't as concerned about prophecy as they are.

The Great Bwana Bob Mzungu writes this about them:

Jesus seems to be warning Sardis to know its history, stop changing doctrine, and pay attention to prophecy.

With its intentional lack of knowledge on church eras/history its doctrinal changes, Sabbath compromising, and its lack of prophetic understanding, it really does seem to me that no other group throughout recent history fits Jesus’ description of the Sardis church more than CG7-D and apparently CG7-Salem.

Church eras are irrelevant in the New Covenant, regardless of what the Great Bwana Mzungu Bob says. Also, COG7 is well aware of its history has has a far more interesting and factual publication of that history than any of the bunk Armstrongism tries to pass off as historical truth.

As for prophecy in the COG7, they say this:


Bible prophecy preserves and strengthens a believer’s hope for the Second Advent. It identifies religious, social, and political trends and events, including the rebirth of the nation of Israel, which point to the imminent return of Christ and the eventual establishment of God’s eternal kingdom on earth.

The Great Bwana Mzungu Thiel adds this:

CG7-D says so much prophecy is in the past that it will be overtaken like by a thief in darkness. CG7-D does NOT advocating watching for many prophetic events as it teaches that they are past.

If my life was being consumed by prophecy I would much rather adhere to COG7's understanding that a lot of prophecies are in the past than listen to the useless pathetic junk that Bob Thiel, Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Ron Weinland, and Alton Billingsley try and pass off as prophecy. 

Bwana Bob Mzungu then says:

CG7-D seems to be connecting 300,000 brethren to error. 
In the past several years, CG7-D has been making it clearer and clearer that it does not understand end time prophecy. And it is teaching this in such a manner as to likely mislead most of its claimed 300,000 brethren. They apparently will be overtaken as with a thief in the night. They seem determined to ignore the warnings to the Sardis Church.

This is absolutely laughable considering the king of errors in Armstrongism right is Bwana Bob Mzungu Thiel. 

Each year that goes by in the declining Armstrongite COG's it becomes clearer and clearer that absolutely NO ONE leading a Church of God in the Armstrongite movement today understands property. These men have misled more people than COG7 will ever do. Multiple millions were hoodwinked by the Plain Truth and Good News Magazines for decades concerning prophecies that have never come to pass. How quickly they all cover up the utter nonsense from 1971-1975.

The COG's whiniest little prophet then says this:

My experience is, however, that CG7 is open to allowing many doctrinal ideas, including many that I do not believe are COG. Plus it is a fact that many within it have drifted away from the truth in various ways. Many do not realize this, but some in Sardis did keep the biblical holy days–and that is something CG7 does not endorse (though will often tolerate).

Well, if that is not calling the kettle black! Look at the state of Armstrongism today. Hundreds of splinter groups each with varied doctrinal ideas that are so different that they can't and will not unify under one banner. Armstrongism has lost hundreds of thousands of members over the decades due to all the lies and abuse, and yet COG7 is wrong in the eyes of the Great Bwana Bob Mzungu.

The Great Bwana then pops his holistic cork COG7 leader Whaid Rose's comments about Martin Luther:

The Reformation’s Brightest Light
By Whaid Rose 
What’s the story of the Reformation’s main man? Born to Christian parents in Germany in 1483, he was reared under strict discipline. But inner peace eluded Luther as he grew older; he struggled to know freedom from sin and assurance of salvation. Keeping his promise to become a monk if spared from a life-threatening thunderstorm, he joined the Augustinian Order and devoted himself to a rigid monastic lifestyle. But this only deepened his anxiety and despair. 
Luther’s transformation began when, as head of the theology department at the University of Wittenberg, he began a serious study of Romans. Suffice it to say, he discovered justification by faith (1:17) — God’s sovereign act whereby He declares us “not guilty” and places us in right standing with Himself, on the basis of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. Luther’s life was suddenly and forever unshackled. 
As a result, Luther became increasingly unsettled by the unbiblical practices of the Roman Catholic Church, which led him to nail his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church on October 31, 1517. These were merely questions and propositions for debate. But thanks to zealous university students and Guttenberg’s new invention, Luther’s theses were soon spread all over Germany, sparking a firestorm. When his books were burned in Rome, he appealed to the emperor for a hearing. It was granted, bringing us to the showdown at the Imperial Diet (assembly) in Worms, 1521. Asked if willing to recant, Luther begged time to think it over and spent the night in agonizing prayer.
It’s believed that Psalm 46, the biblical framework for Luther’s signature hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” was before him that night. As Luther stood before the assembly the following day, his inquisitor demanded a final answer, prompting his now famous response: “I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me.” 
This is Christiandom’s finest hour.

The COG hypocrite adds: 

Whaid Rose clearly has not shown himself to be among the “few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments” (Revelation 3:4) (God will be the judge of him and the others).

All should realize: 
Martin Luther was never a Christian.

Nor is Bwana Bob,

His psaltery statements were NOT “Christendom’s finest hour.” 

Dwight Armstrong's hymns were not the COG's finest hour. Yet, Luther's hymns are sung and memorized by millions of Christians. 

He did not truly respect the Bible. 
When have Bob Thiel and most other COG leaders ever respected the Bible when they seek to deny the New Covenant on a daily basis as they prostrate themselves at the feet of the law.
We certainly do not need another person like him today. 

We most certainly do NOT need any current COG leaders we have today who have made themselves hostile to Christ, nor any others that will almost assuredly pop up over the next few years.

Martin Luther intentionally mistranslated the Bible for it to say “faith alone” the way he advocated it.

Every single Armstrongite/Millerite leader has mistranslated the Bible for decades by forcing the law on followers, deceiving them with false prophecies, and intentionally denying faith alone is all that is required of a follower of Jesus. Nothing gets COG leaders goats more than eliminating the focus on the law and instead focusing on Christ. Faith alone in Christ, such as the thief on the cross or even the faith Abraham had before the law, infuriates COG leaders and gets their veins bulging and fists pounding the podium quicker than the local pedophile does.

The Great Bwana Bob Mzungu then ends with another slap across COG7's face placing them next to the Armstrongite faithful that refuse to follow Bwana Bob's preaching and false prophecies. According to him, COG7, like all Armstrongite COG's are too stupid to understand the Bible and will NOT know when it is time to flee to Petra or some other godforsaken place where Bwana Bob is going to lead his few followers for 3 1/2 hellish years of psychological and spiritual torture.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Dave Pack: Twisted Scripture


Twisted Scripture


Oh, how far Pastor General David C. Pack of The Restored Church of God has fallen.


He was once the trusted voice of “The World to Come.” I discovered RCG through that fascinating program on YouTube while attending the United Church of God (UCG). Years later, I moved to Ohio and worked on that same series from December 2012 until it ceased production in December 2017.


The literature on the website was filled with helpful information you could read alongside your Bible and prove its accuracy. The literature library is now a pale shell of what it once was.


Founded in 1999 by David C. Pack, The Restored Church of God was established as the last stronghold of "cherished doctrines" of The Worldwide Church of God. It was to be a beacon of light that upheld the "traditions and standards" brought into the 20th century by Herbert W. Armstrong. In the past ten years, the accepted understanding of WCG has been continuously discredited. But hey, at least HWA’s picture is still on the wall.


The insulated world of David C. Pack continues to erode as financial pressure builds upon the shoulders of the weakening Campus Colossus. The self-proclaimed apostle is beset with strife at every turn as prophetic failures mount, and ever-changing confusion thrives with no end in sight.


Critical thinking is in a coma on life support in Wadsworth, Ohio. Wise discernment has been locked away inside a padded cell with no one tending to the muffled screams.


The dire incompetence contained in “The Greatest Unending Story! (Part 464)” on August 26, 2023, is just the latest in a long line of religious blunders, keeping the cowardly hirelings at Headquarters busy with apologetics and deflections.


The Restored Church of Another god is rotten to the core. The whole head is sick. The whole heart is faint. Ed Winkfield can’t see it. Brad Schleifer won’t see it. And Ryan Denee only cares about the lawn.


The Feast of Trumpets begins

Friday, September 15 at sunset—7:36 PM ET


God will fulfill the Feast of Trumpets in our future, just not in 2023. And never on any day that David C. Pack declares.


David C. Pack has earned every bit of the scorn, ridicule, and mockery hurled his way. He is a false prophet, false apostle, biblical fraud, verbal sorcerer, death monger, oath breaker, hypocrite, and blaspheming liar.


He relies on the “talk until it’s true” strategy to sell false doctrines to his members. The latest short-lived malarkey is “the Feast of Ingathering is the Feast of Trumpets, not the Feast of Tabernacles.”


The phrase, “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible,” is long dead at Headquarters. But, it is time for a resurrection.



I am no minister or Bible scholar, but I cannot let this go unaddressed.


Surely, the brethren of The Restored Church of God are not waiting for some "antichrist serpent more wicked (almost) than the devil" who runs "a hate" website to show them what they already know. They already understand the Feast of Ingathering is Tabernacles. This will not be new material.


Part 464 – August 26, 2023

@ 10:04 Does the Bible actually say the Feast of Ingathering is Tabernacles? Or does it say it is Trumpets? And careful reading discerns that.


@ 26:43 The Feast of Ingathering is Trumpets. It has always been Trumpets.


Dave read Exodus 23:14-17 and made comments along the way.


@ 16:38 Now, what’s interesting is it says…Now, what throws you a little bit is that the one listed third actually comes first. That’s confusing.


David C. Pack is already blaming God for writing confusing verses in His Word. He has already begun to counter what is written based on only his say-so. Right out of the gate, we are to believe a man's words rather than God's.


@ 16:55 But God lists them according to the ecclesiastical year, which is fine. He lists the order they would come if you’re coming off of Abib 1. That’s fine.


God received Dave's approval. The chorus of rejoicing before the sea of glass in heaven is too beautiful for human ears to process.


@ 17:15 So, it’s not bad to list Unleavened Bread first and then Pentecost and then Tabernacles. In some ways, it kept the world from ever understanding when the Kingdom of God came.


Oops. Dave fell back into his outdated understanding, referring to the list ending with "Tabernacles" when his whole point is that the Feast of Ingathering is actually Trumpets. Sometimes, he unintentionally speaks the truth.


@ 18:48 So, let me just state the church said that was the Feast of Tabernacles. I’ll show you in a couple more verses that’s impossible. Elul is the month of harvest. At the end of Elul is the end of the harvest. Elul means harvest…Elul means harvest. The month of harvest or the weeks of the fall harvest close with Elul, and that closes with Trumpets the next day. So, that's what the Feast of Ingathering is actually defined for you. It's when you gathered your fruits, not when you've gathered at a place far away it two weeks later. Ingathering of crops.


The rest of Part 464 is just like that. Dave reads through verses, reads past verses, and explains, explains, and explains his logic. He injects his personal interpretation of the Scriptures to twist them to his will.


He later read similar verses in Exodus 34:21-23.


@ 23:22 So, Trumpets would obviously open “one stroke.” Confusing? Yes. Listed third if you’re thinking in terms of…Abib 1, the ecclesiastical year, that’s fine. But, if you thinking in terms of the fall of the the the the year that begins Tishrei 1, well, then it’s the first time. And and and but God did that listed it that way through Moses in those two places so the world would never know. And yet, the church long believed (as I've said many times) the Kingdom of God would come on Trumpets.


If David C. Pack is to be believed, Exodus 23 and 34 both list a "confusing" order. His god intentionally made 1-2-3 confusing. Ponder that.


Dave’s hand was forced to address Deuteronomy 16, but this is where he avoided "careful reading" and with good reason. Interestingly, this had the most explanation required of the three. He spent much time interrupting the verses to explain his reasoning at every step.


@ 32:03 Now, this could throw you if you’re not careful.


@ 32:37 It is interesting, is it not, brethren, that when God says Feast of Tabernacles, it means it? He says it. Does He just interchangeably call the Feast of Tabernacles the Feast of Ingathering? Or does He use a different term because they're not the same thing? The Feast of Ingathering is the Feast of Ingathering. The Feast of Tabernacles is seven days. It’s the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Ingathering is a season. The Feast of Tabernacles is seven days. They can’t be the same. They don’t carry the same name.


When he reached Deuteronomy 16:16, he opted not to bother reading the entire verse. On purpose. This was his "tell" moment.


@ 34:41 “Three times in a year shall all your males appear,” and then it lists the three. It just God just chooses to list it, telling Moses, "You're gonna do it. You're gonna come off of Abib. That's the beginning of years for you.” So, Moses would naturally list the three annual holy days in that order. Or seasons. Okay, I hope that's that's that's clear.



Dismantling the latest doctrinal madness to come from the lips of David C. Pack is relatively simple if you believe the Bible. Based on what he said and how he said it during Part 464 and the ease at which you can poke holes in this theory, I will be mildly surprised if he holds to it during Part 465 this weekend.


Not only is David C. Pack perverting the Word of God to submit to his will, but he keeps forgetting "The 12 Rules of Effective Bible Study," which would spare him continuous church-wide embarrassment.


Rule #8: The Bible Interprets Itself


Disproving Dave is far breezier than you might think. Consider when he took over 100 minutes “proving” Mr. Putin was the Sixth King but dismantled it in 1. I will take the same approach. It will take me 1 minute to disprove 86 minutes of David C. Pack.


When you place Exodus 23 and 34 with Deuteronomy 16, the identity of the Feast of Ingathering is clear.


Exodus 23:14-17

Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.


Exodus 34:18, 22-23

The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt…And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end. Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.


Deuteronomy 16:16

Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty.



Easily Destroying A False Doctrine


"…does [God] use a different term because they're not the same thing?...

They can’t be the same. They don’t carry the same name.”


False. Pentecost is called “the feast of harvest” in Exodus 23, but “feast of weeks” in Exodus 34.


The primary qualifier for all three chapters was missed entirely in Part 464. This is a make-or-break element for those "reading carefully." It is biblical confirmation that Deuteronomy 16:16 lists the Feast of Tabernacles as the identity of the Feast of Ingathering from Exodus.


The phrase “three times in the year” was utterly ignored during Part 464. David C. Pack read it over and over and over but could not see it. The Bible destroys his presumptuous, self-righteous human logic.


Dave teaches that Exodus 23 and 34 list Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Trumpets, but Deuteronomy 16:16 lists Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.


How can you appear before God THREE times for FOUR Holy Days?


Letting the Bible interpret itself, we are commanded to gather three times a year. Exodus 23 and 34 confirm that a Holy Day can be worded slightly differently. Deuteronomy 16:16 confirms the third in the list is Tabernacles, which connects it to Ingathering in Exodus 23 and 34. Three times a year: Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles.


The order is correct as written. The identity is correct as written. David C. Pack is wrong.


Proverbs 30:6

Add you not unto his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.


Once again, David C. Pack exposes his world-class piss-poor reading comprehension skills to all the members of The Restored Church of God. Instead of believing his Bible, he tried talking until his doctrine became true.


As it turns out, God did not trick Moses. God did not write “confusing” verses to “hide” it from His people.


Rather, David C. Pack is proven a liar once again.


“The Feast of Ingathering is Trumpets. It has always been Trumpets.”


False. It always has been the Feast of Tabernacles. That is what the Bible says.


2 Timothy 2:15

Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


David C. Pack should be ashamed because he cannot rightly divide the word of truth. The Greatest Unending Story proves this.


2 Timothy 3:7

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.


That is a summation of the entire Series. David C. Pack continues to be a living embodiment of biblical warnings. Part 500 is inevitable.


2 Peter 3:16

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.


David C. Pack twists the Scriptures to conform to his perverted logic. The Bible calls him unstable.


Lest he repent, the cycle will continue as the Spirit of Error reins The Restored Church of Another god.



I submitted this question to Headquarters.


Mr. Pack, when God says, "thrice in a year your males shall appear before Me," but is referring to four separate feasts, how do you gather three times on four occasions? If Exodus 23 and 34 are in the context of the Feast of Ingathering, yet Deuteronomy 16:16 lists the Feast of Tabernacles, how can you gather on four separate holy days but only three times?


I wonder how it will be reasoned away in Part 465 with more twisted scriptures.

Marc Cebrian

See: Twisted Scripture

Is It Wrong To Judge Stephen Allwine?

From a reader:

I am a former COG member and I have had many horrible experiences in the COG. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the murder of Amy Allwine. Her husband, Stephen Allwine murdered her and was a UCG minister at the time. 

UCG released a very sick-in-the-head article in 2018 entitled "Verdict Reached in Trial of Stephen Allwine" on Feb 1 2018 saying not to judge Stephen Allwine on the murder of his wife. 

Here is an important point: while we certainly respect the verdict, at the same time we personally are not to sit in judgment. As Jesus Himself instructs us, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). Jesus also tells us that “there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known” (Luke 12:2). We can have confidence that our all-knowing God is aware of all aspects regarding this tragic situation. We need to remember what James, the brother of Jesus, writes to us from a spiritual perspective: “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). As a result, we will not be making speculative comments about the verdict. 
As noted, the details of the murder are terrible. Coupled with the fact that Mr. Allwine was technically a lay (unpaid) minister at the time of Amy’s death, this has made for heightened media coverage—which we expect will continue in some form. Regarding his status, it is important to know that during the police investigation Mr. Allwine publicly admitted to conduct that violated the established ethics policy for ministers of the United Church of God, an International Association. As a result, and given the policy’s zero-tolerance application of that policy, the Council of Elders removed him from the ministry in 2017. While that action has been appropriately taken, I do encourage all of us to continue praying to our almighty God for direction and comfort for all parties.

I posted in rebellion, along with a few others pointing out how disturbing their statement was. In response, I received a message from a member by the name of Richard ________, a UCG member who says that UCG would never condone murder and that I need to repent and learn "forgiveness". Forgiveness for a cold-hearted murderer I'm assuming? 

Allwine claims he is the victim:
Convicted ‘Dark Net’ killer claims innocence: ‘I couldn’t have done it’

5 Reasons COGs Are Not ‘Christian’

Pantheon of gods

5 Reasons COGs Are Not ‘Christian’

Wild-eyed Christian enthusiasts are quick to blast others who disagree with them as not being Christian.

A word of advice: If Christians have differing views on…

·   how predestination and God’s omniscience works with our free will, or

·   whether God created the world in seven literal 24-hour days, or

·   what precisely the two goats of Leviticus 16 foreshadow,

it’s generally not wise to accuse them of being anti-Christ.

But neither should we make the mistake of thinking beliefs don’t matter. Some make a world of difference.

What about COGs?

Can we apply the label “Christian” to the various COGs in the Armstrong tradition, such as the United Church of God (UCG); Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA); Church of God International (CGI); Intercontinental Church of God (ICG); and all the rest?

We surely agree that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (think Mormons) and The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (think Jehovah’s Witnesses) are not Christian. We don’t say that to insult any adherents of their respective religions. It’s just an honest assessment of their theology, of how they view God—especially in the Person of Jesus Christ.

We have to judge honestly the theology of Armstrong COGs in the same way. While many of their believers may be sincere and decent people, here are five commonly held COG beliefs that lead me—a former COG believer—to objectively conclude these organizations cannot be properly called “Christian”:

1. There are two Gods.

2. Jesus was no longer God when he became man.

3. Jesus could have sinned.

4. The Creator ceased to exist.

5. Jesus’ body was not resurrected.

1. There are two Gods

This is a big one. Most COGs are quite comfortable saying outright that there are “two God Beings.“ And many will say that one day, everyone who is eventually “born again” into God’s family will also become a God Being. That means one day there may be millions of God Beings, even if they’re always under the Father and Jesus Christ in “rank.“

Despite this, they recoil at being labeled “polytheists” (a term we apply to pagans), but what’s a more accurate term to describe a belief in two or more God Beings?

Their teachers quickly respond by explaining there is only “one God Family,“ that’s the only sense in which they describe the “oneness” of God. To them it just means these multiple God Beings are united in purpose and plan, of the same mind, on the same team. These two separate God Beings are “one“ in spirit.

But this does not answer for their more-than-one-God teaching. It is their sleight-of-hand way to make polytheism appear monotheistic.

Don’t lose sight that there cannot be two or more “God Beings.” That’s impossible.

Now it is helpful to clarify what we mean by the words Being and Person in a theological and philosophical context, because they can be synonymous in an everyday, conversational context. In short, “being“ is a reference to something that exists, and “person” is a reference to who an existing something is.

So a rocking chair, for example, is a “being,” because it exists, but that rocking chair is not a person.

You, the reader, are also a “being” because you exist, but you’re also a person, because in addition to being a something, you’re a someone.

The Christian view of God is that he is one in Being, but more than one in Person.

This idea is beyond our limited imagination, because every day we see and interact with beings that are zero persons, and beings that are one person; but we never see beings that are more than one person. While we can’t picture it in our minds, a being comprised of more than one person does not contradict logic, just as it is not illogical that some beings are persons and some beings are not.

COG teachers, on the other hand, clearly mean to express that there are two God Beings.

God is almighty. But if the Father is an almighty Being, and if the Son in his divinity is an almighty Being, then neither is almighty. There can’t be more than one almighty Being. Almightiness is a superlative term; it doesn’t allow for two or more. If one is almightier than the other, then the other is not almighty. And so the one who is not almighty is, by definition, not God.

Trinitarians, using nuanced terms to affirm both monotheism and the divinity of Christ, don’t face this difficulty. They understand and explain that God is only one “What” (Being) and more than one “Who” (Person).

Any COG that says there are two or more Gods is not Christian.

What did the Early Church say?

Tertullian (A.D. 155-200), Adversus Praxeam - Against Praxeas, chapter 3

They are constantly throwing out against us that we are preachers of two gods and three gods, while they take to themselves pre-eminently the credit of being worshippers of the One God; just as if the Unity itself with irrational deductions did not produce heresy, and the Trinity rationally considered constitute the truth.

2. Jesus was no longer God when he became man

COGs give the strong impression they believe

· that Jesus was God in his preincarnate state;

· that Jesus was no longer God when he became man; and

· that Jesus was God again when he conquered death.

If Jesus was only a man (and not God) when he walked the earth, then we have to ask: How did his Roman execution benefit any of us? At most, we could consider him a martyr, not Savior of the world.

On the other hand, the historic Christian Church rightly understands that Jesus is at once fully God and fully man (a concept COGs often explicitly reject). He was, and remains, a divine Person with two natures: human and divine.

God cannot stop being God. As his existence is necessary for all else to exist (and continue to exist), the great “I AM” cannot become “I am not” even for a little while. He cannot go in and out of existence. That contradicts what it means to be eternal.

We have to realize the Word never stopped being God. If God can stop being God, then he was never God to begin with.

It is a contradiction of terms for the Self-Existent One to stop existing. It’s as nonsensical as suggesting the all-powerful God can create a boulder so heavy that he can’t move it. (While that proposal might be a stumper for children, we understand it is nonsensical—and God does not exist in a make-believe world of nonsense. He is not a God of self-contradiction.)

Any COG that says Jesus was no longer God when he became man is not Christian. We could not be saved by a mere man. We had to be saved by the God-Man.

What did the Early Church say?

Origen (A.D. 185-232), De Principiis, preface:

He in the last times, divesting Himself (of His glory), became a man, and was incarnate although God, and while made a man remained the God which He was; that He assumed a body like to our own, differing in this respect only, that it was born of a virgin and of the Holy Spirit... 
3. Jesus could have sinned

I remember how my CGI pastor reacted when the mid-1990s WCG started saying Jesus could not have sinned. He would say if Jesus couldn’t have sinned, then you have no Savior.

But the truth is just the opposite: You have no Savior if he could have sinned.

If we believe that Jesus was walking around as God in the flesh, as a divine Person who assumed a human nature, then we can’t believe Jesus (as God) was able to sin. Just as God can’t not exist, because he is necessary existence, so it is that he can’t sin, because he is all-holy.

Sin is committed only by a person, through an act of the will, not by the body alone. It involves choice. Jesus is (and was) a divine Person with a divine will, and we know God cannot sin.

Just because Jesus was born with a human body, it does not follow that his divine Person could be overwhelmed with, and succumb to, temptation. His human and divine will were perfectly united. Keeping in mind that only persons (not mere bodies) can sin, if the divine Person of Jesus could have sinned 2000 years go, then he could sin now. But we know he can’t sin now, because he’s God—a divine Person. And there was never a time when he wasn’t a divine Person.

COG leaders have even floated the idea that the Father and the Son took a huge cosmic risk in letting one of them become man. Had he failed through sin, there would have been only one of them left. The implications of this are absurd. For one, it would have cut the “God population” in half, and in such a predicament I would ask whether God the Father, as backup, could have stepped in where the Son failed in order to save the world. And what if he, too, failed through sin? Eternity would end (another contradiction of terms).

Any COG that says Jesus could have sinned is not Christian.

What did the Early Church say?

James the brother of the Lord (circa A.D. 49), Letter of James (chapter 1, verse 13):

...for God cannot be tempted with evil...

4. God (or a “God Being”) died

By now you should know where I’m going with this.

Yes, since Jesus was crucified, and since Jesus is God, it’s not wrong to say God died. In fact, it’s necessary to believe that God died.

But Garner Ted Armstrong made his view (the prevailing COG view) very clear within the first 10 to 12 minutes of his appearance on the John Ankerberg Show. He forcefully insisted that Jesus was dead in every sense.

But in what way did Jesus die? The only way possible: in his human nature—as a man. God cannot die in his divine nature. In Jesus’ case, he could only have experienced death through the humanity he assumed from Mary.

Any COG that says the divine nature can die is not Christian.

What did the Early Church say?

Hippolytus (A.D. 170-235), Exegetical Fragments from Commentaries, On Luke, Chapter 23:

For His body lay in the tomb, not emptied of divinity; but as, while in Hades, He was in essential being with His Father, so was He also in the body and in Hades. For the Son is not contained in space, just as the Father; and He comprehends all things in Himself.

5. Jesus’ body was not resurrected

COG believers seem unable to comprehend my charge that they deny the Resurrection of Jesus. They won’t admit to or agree with it, but it’s plainly their belief nonetheless.

Remember that COG leaders love talking about how the “churches of this world” teach that the souls of people, at death, “waft off” into heaven and play harps and eat angel food cake forever (or other such nonsense—a gross misrepresentation of Christian theology).

They say the biblical view is that we experience a resurrection, in which the mortal puts on immortality. As stated, this view is correct. We are absolutely awaiting a resurrection at the Second Coming.

Yet, with few exceptions, I often encounter COG teachers who deny this fundamental Christian truth about Jesus’ resurrection: that the same body that went into the tomb is the same body that came out.

When pressed, they typically explain that the physical body of Jesus was discarded and replaced with something entirely different—a “spirit body” just as he had before the Incarnation, completely unrelated to and disconnected from the body that had hung upon the Cross.

This is not, however, what “resurrection” means. Resurrection refers to something that dies and then comes back to life again, not a transference of consciousness from one body to another. That would be more akin to the pagan belief of reincarnation or a kind of transmigration of souls.

Jesus made clear that he—body and soul—came out of the tomb. He appeared to many people, he showed his wounds to his disciples, he ate with them.

His body, however, was glorified and made perfect. It was no longer subject to death or even to the laws of physics. It was the same human body but renewed in a glorified resurrected state. That’s what Christians believe happened to Jesus, and it’s what Christians believe is our final reward.

Any COG that believes Jesus abandoned the very flesh that saved us and replaced it with something wholly, entirely different is not a Christian. Their preaching is in vain and their faith is in vain.

What did the Early Church say?

Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans (A.D. 110), chapter 3:

For I know that after His resurrection also He was still possessed of flesh, and I believe that He is so now.


How many times over the years have we heard various COG leaders complain they can’t get air time on certain Christian media outlets?

Often, the reason for their rejection boils down to one big issue: the doctrine of the trinity.

I would argue that the biggest problem with rejecting the trinity doctrine is not just denying the Personhood of the Holy Spirit—calling him a power or a force, or metaphorizing him as merely the presence and power of the Father and Son acting in the natural world. The biggest problem is that it opens wide the door to the kinds of tragic errors enumerated above.

The person who truly believes in the Christian doctrine of the trinity, and is consistent, will not fall into these serious errors. He will believe there is only one God. He will believe Jesus was God while in the flesh. He will know Jesus could not have sinned or risked his eternal divine life. He will understand that God cannot go out of, and into, existence. He will believe that Jesus’ mortal body was raised from the dead.

Anything to the contrary cannot rightly be called “Christian.”

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