The deviate teachings of the Philadelphia Church of God just keep getting sicker and sicker. How could any parent actually follow this?
Guess last Saturday, the PCG told their congregation that if they have children of the age of or older to be baptized and are not, they are to dissolve them from their lives. Any and all children or relations that they are okay to correspond with are only baptized members, or younger children being brought up in the church. Sad
This is the kind of filth that is supported by the Edmond, Oklahoma community that support the concert series in the Auditorium. I wonder how many of them would be supporting this deviancy if they knew the story of the leadership and how the PCG members lives are filled with such tyranny.
PCG has the potential to soon become deadly. I honestly think that these brain-dead members would actually kill themselves if Flurry or the deviate Culpepper told them to.
From an RCG source:
For the last year or so David C Pack has been preaching an endless series of sermons on the 1st Dominion and how an end-time Church of God would emerge that would be the most faithful restored COG to ever exist. No “end time” work is will be as large, as incredible, as the Restored Church of God. The world will soon become aware of its message and trembling in fear. Splinter group COG members will realize how spiritually dead their own COG's are and they will abandon their COG’s and flock to the RCG by the tens of thousands…and with their money, since it already belongs to Dave and the RCG.
This series of sermons has drug on for so long that members are starting to get exhausted and confused by it all. They want it to stop! There are even members breaking down in tears because of the endless drivel coming forth. They fear they are still in for more and more sermons. They are currently only at part 37 or 38!
The things that Dave is preaching about is so far removed from anything Herbert Armstrong taught that most RCG members are becoming very disturbed by it all. Dave is interjecting his own “revelations” as truth. Of course when it is presented as “restored revealed truth” members are expected to accept it unquestionably.
If the members are finding this entire series disturbing, so is Dave. He seems to be forgetting what he has said in the past and is now either back tracking or completely changing things as he goes. All one has to do is to check out his latest videos and watch them…if you are able to get past his bombastic narcissism.
Dave’s revealed truths have become so disturbing that several ministers have left the RCG over the last six months. This is not only happening out in the field churches but right smack dab in the middle of the Wadsworth headquarters. Two ministers there recently left, which shocked many. Today, another minister left the church shocking even more members.
For those of us who have left the church, we know how difficult this must be for those members to sit there week by week and listen to this endless drivel and then to see men whom they may have deep respect for, turn around and walk away.
Throughout the endless series of sermons, in Dave’s writings, and in most of his booklets, its all about things his "god" has supposedly revealed to him. There is hardly anything about Jesus Christ, grace, love, mercy or forgiveness. It must be exhausting for RCG members with all the new rules and teachings, all things that Jesus never even worried about or taught.
Dave either does not get it or he truly does not care. Narcissists are that way though, its all about them.
I appreciate Mrs. Scarborough deciding to release this information here. This site has now become the "go to" source for updates and information on the various issues that are hurting LCG members lives. This site also allows LCG members to comment freely and anonymously.
NOTE: James Malm has copied information from below and added it to his blog along with his own commentary that is misinformed and wildly inaccurate.
As you and your readers know, we had a court date last Monday wherein the Living Church of God pled for a dismissal on Ecclesiastical Abstention grounds. We left the proceedings feeling rather confident that the judge would rule in our favor. The high-priced, fancy lawyers for LCG weren’t very impressive in their presentation to the judge (in fact they appeared to actually annoy the judge) and we felt our lawyer did a good job with his arguments. Our lawyer explained to the judge that we were in no way disputing the churches right to mark us for whatever reasons, real or completely made-up, but rather that we were suing them for slandering us on multiple occasions with statements that we can easily prove were false AND of a vindictive nature.
Ecclesiastical abstention basically gives the church permission to treat members as horribly as they want because the members join of their own free will and in so doing give permission to those in power do whatever they want to them. It stems from the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution and makes the claim that courts don’t have the “jurisdiction” to attempt to resolve disputes that are inherently religious in nature. It specifically states that the court should refrain from issues that are based on religious doctrine or church governance, or having to do with decisions handed down by the church leadership.
Our complaint was not “religious in nature”. We were slandered. No matter who you are, it’s against the law to say untrue,defamatory things about people. It’s even worse when those statements are lies spoken with the intent to harm someone’s reputation and good name. THAT is what our case was based on. Not doctrine.
Late Friday night our lawyer informed us that the judge granted LCG the dismissal. Needless to say, we were shocked. At this point our claim is completely dead unless we decide to appeal. We have 30 days to make that decision.
All we ever wanted was for them to admit that they made a wrong decision, based on wrong information, and to meet with us to make peace even if that meant we never walked through LCG’s doors again. We just wanted peace but they refused to talk to us time and time again. A month before we filed the lawsuit, we hired a lawyer to write LCG a letter. That letter expressed our fervent desire to meet to work on peaceful resolution and it stated that we didn’t want to file the lawsuit but said that if they didn’t reply to the letter, we would file the suit. The deadline to reply came and went with no response from LCG. They could have gotten out of this without spending a dime, but they chose to continue to ignore our plea for peace.
Patrick and I counted 44 emails and letters that we wrote LCG literally begging them for peace. While they refused to work on peace, they had no problem having Dexter Wakefield draft a “Release” letter they wanted us to sign which absolved them of any wrong doing “from the beginning of time”. Sadly, we were so desperate to have the marking removed at that time that we probably would have signed it if they would have agreed that signing it meant we could start counseling toward resolution, but they still refused, so we didn’t sign it. If you read the Release, you would be utterly shocked at its content. It was extremely inflammatory. Their behavior toward us has been nothing less than completely unbelievable.
The silver lining in all this is that after over 20 hours of depositions, we now know why Rod McNair and Rod Meredith decided to mark us, which is something we have struggled to understand for nearly 2 years now. Rod McNair testified, under oath, that we were marked for the following reasons: 1. we had a Greek-themed party in 2009 (after returning from a trip to Greece) that looked like a “toga party” 2. In 2011 I sang the Andrew’s Sisters 1945 hit “Rum & Coca-Cola” at Spokesman Club ladies night and McNair believes the song promotes prostitution (they asked me to sing that night and pre-approved the song but I still got in trouble for it) 3. In 2014 I invited two couples, close friends (or so I thought at the time but apparently I was wrong) to my home for a bbq to show them unconditional love because they had been suspended from church and were feeling discouraged. They had been suspended for reading the Book of Enoch and having private Bible studies which we were NEVER a part of but we loved them and wanted to support them because they were very discouraged and upset. We ALL expressed concern over the behavior of HQ’s ministry that night but these couples were Rod McNair’s friends so they got off unscathed while “speaking negatively of ministry” and “causing church division” was added to McNair’s file against me when he found out about our conversations. And then lastly, 4. They blamed Patrick for being the source of information posted on cogwriter.com about Mr. Apartian. Bob Thiel emailed LCG, called LCG and posted on his blog that we were NOT his source (we subsequently found out WHO the source actually was) but LCG continued to pin this accusation on Patrick because they literally had NOTHING else to justify marking him. One LCG minister even testified under oath that the information posted on cogwriter was TRUE and that Mr. Apartian had actually made those statements to a handful of people in his last year of life. So they marked Patrick for TRUE information that he didn’t give Thiel!
That’s it. They took all our friends, our church and our entire social life, our support system, and ruined our reputations because I didn’t handle their accusations of impropriety in 2009 and 2011 very well (as evidenced by my refusing to take the pictures off of my personal Facebook page at McNair’s request), the completely false accusation about cogwriter and one night of openly expressed opinions on brutish behavior we had observed first-hand by LCG ministry.
I’m sure you all think we are better off but that doesn’t negate the devastating pain and loss we suffered and the utter heartache we endured by being shunned by people that we truly loved and thought were our friends. I still can’t understand how people who were our friends for over a decade can just turn their backs on us because Rod Meredith and Rod McNair told them to.
And for that they have opted to spend tens of thousands of dollars defending themselves instead of just sitting down with us like grown-ups (let alone Christians) and working through our problems.
I’m sure the hours and hours of deposition transcripts would make salacious and eye-opening reading for many. At one point, Rod Meredith said that if it were up to him we would NEVER be allowed to attend ANY church of God again. It gave me goosebumps! And he thinks that’s a converted attitude?! Praise God that decision is not his. Meredith also said that “causing church division is worse than murder or child molestation”. Ironic since he’s formed two churches through division himself and we never caused or urged a single person to leave LCG. He used this as his defense as to why McNair called the pastor of our new church and attempted to get us kicked out of that church too. Apparently, it wasn’t enough for them to kick us out of LCG. They’d prefer that we not be able to attend ANY church EVER. So very Christian of them.
Anyway, we just wanted to let you and your readers know because we know that many of them have been supporting us in our effort to seek justice. I have gotten so many private messages from people that have suffered at the hands of these men. Each story I read made me feel even more strongly that we needed to press on. Not to exact revenge but rather, in the hope that if they got their hands smacked for abusing members, they might change their ways or at least think twice before ruining another person’s life. As it stands, they probably think God is on their side and feel empowered to continue to behave as unjust bullies.
I have total faith that in the end, they will be made accountable.
Buried in the letter from Elizabeth Scarborough that was posted on the weekend was the following information that came out in court proceedings and was made by Rod Meredith:
I’m sure the hours and hours of deposition transcripts would make salacious and eye-opening reading for many. At one point, Rod Meredith said that if it were up to him we would NEVER be allowed to attend ANY church of God again. It gave me goosebumps! And he thinks that’s a converted attitude?! Praise God that decision is not his. Meredith also said that “causing church division is worse than murder or child molestation”. Ironic since he’s formed two churches through division himself and we never caused or urged a single person to leave LCG. He used this as his defense as to why McNair called the pastor of our new church and attempted to get us kicked out of that church too. Apparently, it wasn’t enough for them to kick us out of LCG. They’d prefer that we not be able to attend ANY church EVER. So very Christian of them.
What absolute vindictive arrogance for Meredith to wish he welded that much power. No Church of God minister has ever had that power, not even Herbert Armstrong.
Rod Meredith has always been a vindictive man. In the mid to late 70's when he battled and succeeded in having Garner Ted removed from the church, Meredith lashed out at all of the people close to GTA. From secretaries to friends, the broad swipe of Meredith's vindictiveness hit. Instead of talking to each of these people on where their loyalties lay, he sent out scores of disfellowshipment letters. No one was allowed to contest the letters or ask questions. They were immediately fired, disfellowshipped and publicly marked.
Meredith's next public display of his vindictive nature happened in Tucson, AR when he stood on the stage in front of the ministry of the Worldwide Church of God at its ministerial conference and proceeded to smear the name and reputation of Leona McNair. He lied on that stage and thought he got away with it. She sued him and won because he could not keep his mouth shut.
Once that lawsuit had been paid for and represented by WCG attorneys, Meredith quickly jumped ship with Raymond McNair to start the Global Church of God. Both of these men, in their arrogance, deliberately brought division into the church. They did all in their power to try and woo as many members away from WCG as they could, along with their money. Meredith knew he were ready to get fired and by starting a new church it was guaranteed income.
Once ensconced in Global, Meredith's arrogance and vindictive nature kept rearing its ugly head. Eventually the leadership of Global got sick of how nasty the man was and voted him out. McNair, the ever loyal but buffoonish lap poodle, decided he would would run the church to smooth things out. Meredith felt betrayed by McNair and quickly lashed out while in collusion with other elders and deacons (including a pedophile) and started Living Church of God, taking most of Global's money with them. This action was deliberate and meant to humiliate Raymond McNair, which it did.
Raymond McNair and his wife Eve eventually did something that many consider to be a most appalling spectacle. Knowing how vindictive Meredith was, and how he had claimed to place the McNair's eternal salivation at risk, they actually went into his presence and got on their knees in front of him to beg forgiveness! The McNair’s begged forgiveness from Rod with "trembling lips." No member in ANY Church of God ever needs to do such an appalling thing in front of ANY minister! These men are not God and do not represent God in any capacity at that moment, no matter how much they claim to.
Meredith's arrogance also shines forth yet again with the comment that "causing church division is worse than murder or child molestation,” never mind the fact that he has personally caused church division for 60 some years now and has started two separate churches.
Having seven of his church members murdered and seeing children molested by church pedophiles is not as bad in his eyes as someone who causes division. Rod Meredith helped created Terry Ratzmann and covered up for a know pedophile who help started LCG.
How sick can this man get?
James Malm said: "It appears that the Scarborough’s really had no case after all, and this seems to have been egged on and even orchestrated if not by Dennis Diehl himself [a former elder fired from WCG and now seemingly full of bitterness against anything associated with the COG], then by the inveterate liars at the anti God website Banned by HWA."
I asked and James said.....
Back in January of 2012 Dave Pack started tooting his horn that the Restored Church of God had just recruited the most superfantabulous man ever in the Church of God. Pack revealed that Dale Schurter had left the apostate United Church of God and had now come over to the one true religion.
Schurter has had somewhat a mythical status in the church over the decades, particularly those tied in to the Big Sandy area. Schurter and many church members imagined him to be the world's foremost authority on agricultural issues. That was one of the reasons Dave Pack worked overtime to recruit him to come over to the the dark side.
Dave had visions of starting his own experimental farm on the Wadsworth compound and Schurter was the man to do it. Schurter was going to restore "true" agricultural practices and teach RCG members so they could teach the residents of their world's how to grow their own food.
Schurter made it official in 2012 that he was jumping ship and wrote a glowing love letter to Pack and the RCG. Also keep in mind that Schurter was on the UCG payroll while he was checking out Dave and crew. He had really good teachers in that department.
In the early years, Mona and I had the honor to know Mr. and Mrs. Herbert W. Armstrong personally, and over the years spent many hours with them….especially with Mr. Armstrong, on numerous occasions. We learned much directly from him one-on-one about the way of God and His purpose for all of us, in addition to the many ways we all learned from God and Jesus Christ through him --- directly or indirectly. This brings responsibility, hence the length of this letter.
Mona and I now know that the Truth which was lost during the buildup and final volcanic eruption of the apostasy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, following the death of Mr. Armstrong, has definitely been found and restored to God’s Church….including the all-important Government of God headed by Jesus Christ.
When we were led to the Restored Church of God, and did due diligence in our research, we confirmed to our satisfaction that the works and fruits of this organization were of God. Christ is the Head of this Church. We saw Christ at work through one He had called and appointed to finish the work --- to fulfill the prophecy of Revelation 10:11, which we should all know, “You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” This prophecy was on Mr. Armstrong’s mind, especially in his latter years.
The Restored Church of God is truly about our Father’s business. I am thankful to be a part of this very end time work --- and I urge you to take a very serious look. Investigate it as we have.
Like any good Church of God leader he knew he was going to receive flack for his apostasy from UCG. He would be a martyr for the truth just like any good COG leader.
I must caution that you will probably experience a “blizzard” of lies and deception about Mr. Pack. Do not let this deter you. I have prepared myself for some of the same treatment. You all know me, and I have known Mr. Pack for almost 30 years. Think of how Mr. Armstrong was and still is being slandered and attacked. It could not be different with Mr. Pack --- and maybe with me!
Mona and I remain available to serve you and all others, spiritually or physically, just as we have continued to serve others around the world over the years. However, from now on I will be a minister of the Restored Church of God, serving in the New York City area. I will also be serving as a “pastor at large”, freely communicating with anyone in UCG or individuals in other groups who wish to contact me.
I will regularly write on an important website/blog (www.rcgtruth.com) to keep you informed and updated. This will include more of my observations and thoughts. It will also contain exciting updates about God’s work, including reports from other ministers who have joined RCG, but also many other kinds of information. There is much more to say. Dale Schurter Resignation/Propaganda letter
Dave Pack was so proud of Schurter that he started a web site that was going to be filled with the personal testimonies of the hundreds of defecting COG ministers. Schurter was featured prominently. Dave wrote in 2012:
Now it is August 2016 and the web site is gone. Gone because many of those defecting ministers have now left the Restored Church of God! They became disgusted at the things they were witnessing and the convoluted quagmire Pack was preaching.
This website’s purpose is to highlight the unparalleled growth and fruits of The Restored Church of God (RCG), and to counter many years of falsehoods and misinformation regarding the Church and its leader. It will feature ongoing posts, including eyewitness accounts from a number of ministers who have left Worldwide Church of God (WCG) offshoots for RCG. Readers can look forward to information on the rapid expansion of the Church and Work, as well as its educational institution, Ambassador Center. Additional ministers who come with The Restored Church of God will also contribute. Answers to readers’ questions considered helpful to a broader audience will be posted. Pack's Agenda for Schurter and Other Defecting Ministers
Two months after he joined up with Dave Pack and had completed his reeducation training, Schurter started making the claims he was being "intensely persecuted."
There also continues to be persecution for me, some quite intense. All who have regained spiritual sight will suffer persecution. As we participate in this end-time Work of proclaiming the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, along with the trials we also experience joy. Both will continue to increase “as we see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
My wife and I are so thankful to God for answering our prayers to be led to where He is truly working. We had become severed from the True Vine, but are now reattached. As some of you may know, I have studied and employed biblical agriculture for decades, and understand what happens when a branch is cut from a vine or tree. The environment in which it falls will determine how long it will remain alive and able to be reattached, grafted back into the vine before it completely withers and finally dies—then to be gathered and burned. Brethren, I was withering as a part of Laodicea, as “blindness and nakedness” crept into my life and work. I had taught against taking on a Laodicean attitude and lifestyle for decades. Yet I had drifted into it myself. What a sobering reality! Dale Schurter resurfaces claiming intense persecution
Pack huffed and puffed for quit a while about Schurter. Then POOF...he was no where to be found. Apparently Satan was on the warpath and was really really pissed that Schurter was now in the the only true church.
COG members wondered and speculated as to the mysterious disappearance of Schurter.
Four years to the month that Schurter wrote his glowing praise of Dave and the RCG, Dave was publicly humiliating him in a sermon:
Mr. Schurter and his wife "moved "away and the next week in services we had a sermon about how the both of them were having signs of dementia, like in his sermons he was teaching things he learned in United and he would go over time In his sermons and then Mr Pack said he put goldfish in his pond on the campus on "accident" and ruined some trees, the whole thing was just strange. Dave Pack publicly shames Dale Schurter and his wife
It has now been reported that Schurter and his wife have put out to pasture in the Dayton area. No more farms, no more spiritual training, no more articles, no more reeducation camps, no more praise from Dave. Just cast aside and forgotten about.
It's a lonely world when you piss off the Chosen One.
The one thing that struck me about Elizabeth Scarborough's letter was her comment about the excuses Rod McNair and Rod Meredith used to disfellowship and mark them. Talk about a bunch of petty reasons!
Rod McNair has no qualifications, no real leadership skills, no real theological training or any other skill necessary for leadership. What "qualified him several years ago was nothing more than having a couple of "famous" relatives in the Church of God. Because he has no real skills he has turned into one of the most abusive and despised "ministers” in the church. He is right up there with Cal Culpepper.
The lack of leadership skills and a sound theological education has led him to make rather absurd accusations against the Scarborough's which are downright silly and trite.
It is hard to imagine a minister being so intrusive that they have to grill someone over a party that celebrated a trip to Greece. Those pagan Grecians are still disrupting society centuries later, well at least in LCG. It's no like they were having a Saturday Night Live toga party.
The silver lining in all this is that after over 20 hours of depositions, we now know why Rod McNair and Rod Meredith decided to mark us, which is something we have struggled to understand for nearly 2 years now. Rod McNair testified, under oath, that we were marked for the following reasons: 1. we had a Greek-themed party in 2009 (after returning from a trip to Greece) that looked like a “toga party”
Next McNair gets all pissy over an Andrew Sisters song. A song that HWA listened to and never complained about! Leave it to a wet behind the ears and immature so-called minister to determine a 1945 song is satanic. That is essential what McNair believes.
2. In 2011 I sang the Andrew’s Sisters 1945 hit “Rum & Coca-Cola” at Spokesman Club ladies night and McNair believes the song promotes prostitution (they asked me to sing that night and pre-approved the song but I still got in trouble for it)
One of the dumbest and controlling things the church does is to try and control every aspect of the member lives when it comes to Bible inquiry. A person must never read any book outside the pre-approved lectionary that the COG leaders deem worthy. Those books and articles are all penned by church leaders who claim to posses some kind of inspired knowledge (which they do not have.) Reading the Book of Enoch is not a faith destroyer as many of the cult leaders assume. While it has been essentially discounted by many, it still is of interest to others. There is nothing earth shattering about a group of friends sitting around and discussing a book.
3. In 2014 I invited two couples, close friends (or so I thought at the time but apparently I was wrong) to my home for a bbq to show them unconditional love because they had been suspended from church and were feeling discouraged. They had been suspended for reading the Book of Enoch and having private Bible studies which we were NEVER a part of but we loved them and wanted to support them because they were very discouraged and upset. We ALL expressed concern over the behavior of HQ’s ministry that night but these couples were Rod McNair’s friends so they got off unscathed while “speaking negatively of ministry” and “causing church division” was added to McNair’s file against me when he found out about our conversations.
McNair has to have known that Bob Thiel has denied over and over again that Patrick was NOT the source of the Apartian information. McNair was so filled with vengeance that he had to resort to anything he could find in order to smear the Scarborough's.
The interesting thing below is that an LCG minister testified under oath that the comments about Apartian were true!
And then lastly, 4. They blamed Patrick for being the source of information posted on cogwriter.com about Mr. Apartian. Bob Thiel emailed LCG, called LCG and posted on his blog that we were NOT his source (we subsequently found out WHO the source actually was) but LCG continued to pin this accusation on Patrick because they literally had NOTHING else to justify marking him. One LCG minister even testified under oath that the information posted on cogwriter was TRUE and that Mr. Apartian had actually made those statements to a handful of people in his last year of life. So they marked Patrick for TRUE information that he didn’t give Thiel!
McNair sounds like a petulant spoiled brat that has to stamp his feet and have a hissy-fit in order to cover up his insecurities. Being mean and nasty does not make you a leader.
Even though LCG may be celebrating that they "won" the lawsuit, the fact of the matter is they lost! Big time. It may look good in paper, but communally they lost in the eyes of the membership. People now know how truly debased they are in their treatment of members. Grace and love are not qualities they possess. Why should they when everything they believe is based upon Hebrew laws instead of following Jesus.
double click on picure to enjoy the gruesome details
There is nothing to compare to growing up as a child in the Church of God. As a small child I had to sit and listen to Rod Meredith, Carn Catherwood, and others wax eloquent on the soon coming imprisonment of the United States, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand. Lengthy sermons were preached about concentration camps where we would be strung up on meathooks by the Germans if we failed to make it to Petra.
It was sermon after sermon on famine, pestilence, war, and Germans as we would sent off to be their slaves in Germany and elsewhere.
Who in their right mind would preach this kind of crap when kids are represent? It takes a sick warped mind to do such a thing.
One of the sermons I remember vividly was the one about the brazen bull that Christians would be put in and slowly cooked to death. This idiocy was told to us as we were were small children.
Meredith, Malm, Flurry, Pack and others still preach this kind of crap.
What child needs to hear this in church? What adult needs to hear this kind of stuff?
The Chief Pharisee and bastardizer of the law, James Malm, has now gotten his pharisaical tzitzit's all in a knot today over birthdays. One of his few acolytes was distressed that some COG's give birthday cards and made cakes for those celebrating birthdays. Oh the horrors!!!!!!! Pagan heathen birthday cards from Hallmark are like bowing down to the altar of Artemis. All hail Artemis, Queen of the moon!
Pharisaical stupidity trumps yet again.
The acolyte writes:
Various COG Groups have different opinions on the traditional birthday celebration. Some groups believe it is sin to celebrate birthdays. Others will set up tables at church services on the Sabbath with birthday cakes, candles, birthday wishes, cards and small gifts. This not only mimics past religious rituals to false gods but also appears to LITERALLY set up an altar to, Artemis, the goddess of Moon (also goddess of birth) within the Temple (spiritual) of God on the Sabbath. Whether the participants know it or not, it still appears to be the literal situation. Am I just being a “right-wing religious fanatic”? My mind is made up, and if it weren’t, I would err on the side of caution. I would still like to hear other perspectives on this.
Then God's most important mouthpiece in this later day dispensation has to weigh in with his knotty tzitzit's. Apparently because birthday cakes a round they are a sign of the goddess Astarte and her husband Baal...two guesses as to what was round on Baal.
Next the Chief Pharisee has to wrap his tzitzits around birthday candles. The second you blow the candle out you are sending sweet fragrance to the gods. And don't even think about gathering a group of friends around to celebrate with you because when you do you will be scaring away the birthday demons who are out to "lick" you.
On the other hand these modern birthday celebrations are totally pagan and it is not acceptable for any converted person to remember the day of birth by these rank paganisms. from round sun and moon cakes for the Queen of Heaven Astarte and her husband baal, to the burning candles who’s smoke carries one’s wishes up to the gods, to the gatherings of friends to scare of the demons by a crowd, and bring good lick for the coming year; the common birthday celebrations are pure witchcraft and Satanism. Even a casual study of the subject will bring the answers.
Then to back up his illogical pharisaical bullshit, the Chief Pharisees writes this, though I would not be quoting too much about witchcraft considering the track record of one of his acolytes.
BIRTHDAY CAKE CUSTOM – TEACHING CHILDREN WITCHCRAFT?
Worldwide, baking cakes for the “Queen of Heaven” (Asherah) was entangled in birth day celebrations (Jer./YermeYahu 7:18). This provokes YaHUaH’s anger. By blowing-out candles and making a “secret wish”, the celebrant performs IDOLATRY, because the “wish” is to their GENIE or JINN, a spell performed by Wiccans (you know, witchcraft). The candles are part of the fire ritual; Pagans believed the solar presence to be fire. The rising smoke of the extinguished candles carried the “secret wish” into the skies. How do you think YaHUaH likes it when we teach our children to do these things, or propagate the custom of them? How about if we “think” of the “wish” being a prayer to YaHUaH? This is not going to be acceptable to YaHUaH, no matter how we wrap it in our minds. Worshipping YaHUaH in a Pagan format is the main problem we have today. We desperately need eye-salve to see better. Open your eyes, and even the little party hat can be better understood.
All these things are, in fact, witchcraft. Knowledge is increasing, so Satan’s “tricks” (wiles) are no longer secrets.
Next up is eeeeeeeevil cone hats!
Cone hats: CONE OF POWER — The Llewellyn Encyclopedia tells us:
“In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn this was described as a ‘vortex of energy’ and was built up via circumambulation.”
The cone of power is the name given to the union of witches’ forces gathered around the circle, aimed at a common goal. In parts of ancient Syria, the cone was a symbol of Astarte (Asherah).
Now we finally know how the hypocritical Chief Pharisee receives his mind boggling information....
Even though Dave Pack runs the most superfantabulous Church of God to ever exist, it seems no one is interested in his less than spectacular home he is trying to sell.
A $25,000 price drop is pretty high to start off with. Perhaps he could let Dale Schurter move in for his retirement.
You can check out the
interior of the home here: 402 Pheasant Run, Wadsworth
I finally decided to sit down and torture myself and listen to Dave Pack's latest 30 minute video on the man of sin.
According to Dave, this man is already a member of the Church of God and will come forth from the the church. Dave said that he personally talked to Herbert Armstrong in late 1978 where they decided that the man of sin could NOT be the Pope or the Catholic church.
This man will be so powerful and full of mysteries that many will be deceived. This man will be consumed by money and power. Say what????????????
Any thinking person has to stop and realize that the ONLY COG leader that has recently claimed that ALL money of church members, regardless of the COG they are in, belongs to him and his group. That person was Dave Pack himself! We recently heard that Dave is getting so confused that he cant keep his story straight anymore. Is Dave actually talking about himself?
Dave says that desperately wicked men will arise out of the church, worse than anything we have ever seen who will do miracles and wonders and lead many brethren away from the truth. They will levitate people, turn water into blood, sticks into snakes and other miracles. He will have withered right arm and will be blind in his right eye.
Dave says he has been warning about this for 3 years, now he is done. He could go longer if there were actually time left.
It looks like we had better get ready for the crap to hit the fan! Will the man of sin be Rod Meredith, resurrected from the dead? Gerald Flurry as he Irish Dances next to the Ark of the Convent after he digs it up in Tara Hill? Is the man of sin Vic Kubik?
One thing is right though from Dave, the church has produced more devious and deceitful men than ever imaginable. I think the man of sin is already here and its Dave.
You can listen to Dave talk about himself here
This was sent to me today. This is a sermon that David Ambrose and Dave Pack delivered. This sermon is the root of the evil that is taking over the Restored Church of God. It is the expectation that everything the members own belongs to Dave.
“COMMON”: Paying One Portion of Christ’s Price
Dave has to be the most breathless man I have ever seen. Everything is "breathlessly" amazing in this most superfantabulous COG ever to exist! Plus, your eternal life depends upon reading all of this!
This article is among the most important you could read! It is necessarily long—yet consider reading it twice! Its implications for the Work and growth of the Church—as well as your eternal reward—are incalculable.
JEFFREY R. AMBROSE (AND DAVID C. PACK)
With the climactic end of 6,000 years of man’s misrule closing in on a completely unsuspecting mankind, God’s Church is being readied for the most powerful, expansive phase of His Work in history!
As time runs out on the age, it is increasingly obvious that—as Mr. Pack has taught for decades—the New Testament era will end as it began: regular, powerful, irrefutable miracles of all kinds occurring, unprecedented unity in the Church, and the gospel (alongside the Ezekiel warning message) being preached and published with RESOUNDING POWER!
Dave is under the assumption that he and a few of his select ministers will soon be performing mind boggling miracles as he unifies the splintered Church of God's into one dynamic powerful army taking HIS gospel to the world with POWER!
Eventually, hearing God’s final witness to mankind (Matt. 24:14) will be nearly unavoidable to anyone not asleep in bed. It will encompass all forms of media, in many languages, and be carried out through technologies that would be incomprehensible to servants of previous eras. “The Restored Church of God” will become a household name! In fact, millions know of us already—and our impact is now “heating up.”
Dave has been proclaiming for years now how everything about his group is the most astounding thing the world has ever seen. No other organization, particularly a COG group, will ever have such amazing web site as he does.
What an awesome commission for the last era of the Church, scheduled to experience the fulfillment of “all things” in prophecy as the end arrives in full force and the most faithful brethren are taken to safety before it does!
How It Will Happen!
Carrying out the Great Commission ahead of the worst time of trouble in history, to be endured by the largest population and least prepared generation ever, who are cut up into more nations than probably ever before,necessitatesthat the final scope of God’s Work dwarfs all previous phases. But this will not “just happen”!Three elementscoming together make the greatest Work possible:
All of the "major" 4 or 5 COG's out there all proclaim this very same message. Their "work" is vital to the world and is doing more than Herbert Armstrong ever dreamed of! Herbert's accomplishments were minuscule to Dave's magnificence.
(1) God’s direct, miraculous intervention:The Philadelphian era was foretold to have little strength (Greek:dunamis, meaning miraculous power). By contrast, the final Work, completed during the Laodicean age in a world that grows darker, sicker and more dangerous by the day, will probably be sustainedandpropelled by regular miracles.
One factor in this dynamic is the presence of the highest office in the Church, and the things that accompany that office, defined by Christ through the apostle Paul: “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in allpatience, insigns, andwonders, andmighty deeds” (II Cor. 12:12).
Dave once again sets himself apart from the rest of the COG leaders. They are nothing compared to his magnificence! He soon will be preforming miracles and wonders.
Also, the nature of God’s final warning Work requires His human leader to be flanked by two additional servants, who will help deflect imminent threats (Rev. 11:3-12;Zech. 3:7and4:1-14).
Dave is such an astounding man that he will soon have two bodyguards to protect him Dave still believes that the two witnesses will arise from his group and that he will train them.
The worldwide hatred of the Church (Matt. 24:10) that eventually arises will lead to the “night…when no man can work” (John 9:4). At this point, those of God’s people who have qualified for protection (Rev. 3:7-13) are foretold to be “taken”—transported by angels to Judea, from whence they will flee to the Place of Safety (12:14). But this escape happens onlyafter they are chased by an army that God causes to be swallowed by the earth (vs. 15-16)!
Dave and his two witless witnesses (obviously Rod and Laura Weinland) will frighten the world so much that they will send their armies after the Restored Church of God. It is only then that they will be taken to Petra where they will find out that Bob Thiel, James Malm, Rod Meredith and UCG will be waiting for him. Just imagine what a cat fight that will all be!
Dave is still under the impression that tens of thousands COG members will soon abandon their various COG's and come flocking over to his side. His predictions on this happening have failed for 4 years straight. Dave also feels that thousands more will enter his church as a result of his superfantabulous message.
(2) Expanded membership:The arrival of the Remnant—God’s scattered people being gathered to His one Church—will suddenly explode the Church’s size. Beyond this, almost certainlymanymore thousands will yet be called out of the world. This will have a dramatic impact on all categories of the Church’s income, as will a tremendous ramp-up in donors and co-workers when God “shuts down” all opposition in the splinters who are today “competing” with His Work.
Now we get to the "meat" of Dave's astounding message. Communism pales in comparison to Dave's amazing church economy he is planning.
(3) The restored doctrine of “Common”:As the Remnant and all others yet to come into the Church learn about and implement this restored understanding, the resources available for God’s final Work will increase exponentially. In fact, it has been many millions of dollars in Common arriving over just the last four years that built the Church’s World Headquarters campus and advanced the Church and Work to their current sizes—and with only a fraction of people here to carry out God’s Common command!
What Do You Mean, “Common”?
What has come to be called “the Common doctrine” or simply “Common” was first explained to the Church by Mr. Pack in 2011, in a four-part sermon series titled “Christ’s Sayings—One Great Theme.” It was then revisited in his early 2014 two-part series, “How a Small Church Does Such Big Things.” Any article about the subject of Common would be necessarily long because it is a constant theme throughout God’s Word. Even so, Mr. Pack’s six sermons on this subject are worth the time to hear them all.
Imagine having to sit and listen to Dave preach six 1 1/2 hour sermons on the commonality of all things in the church.!
This teaching gets its name from the book of Acts. There we find thevery firstsnapshot of the just-established Church of God on Pentecost AD 31: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Andfearcame upon every soul: and manywondersandsignswere done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, andhad all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men,as every man had need” (Acts 2:41-45).
Note that this practice of having “all things common” was in placefrom the very birthof the New Testament Church!
Yet Dave fails to mention that this "tradition" never survived in the church as more and more affluent people joined the church.
We will later explore why this was NOT a new concept to the first converts, who immediately numbered in the thousands. You will see that Christplainlytaught this well before the apostles did—that they were following what He had taught them to do and what they had done themselves.
A second nearby passage in Acts confirms Common was a way of life in the first-century Church: “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as werepossessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (4:32-37).
You have to remember that many converts to Christianity were slaves or former slaves, people who had no property or steady income, so it was necessary that others helped care for them. Today, that is NOT a necessity, other than filling the pockets of some COG leader. They never share that money with their poor members, but instead build huge monuments to themselves or Herbert Armstrong. Jesus and God be damned! It is more important to have an Auditorium or new dance hall! Jesus needs those kind of buildings!.
The Greek word translated “common” here iskoinos, which means “common, that is, (literally) shared by all or several.” Interestingly, Peter used this very same word in chapter 10 when he states, “God has showed me that I should not call any mancommonor unclean” (vs. 28).
Of course, there are differences in the way the Work is carried out in the modern era. Mr. Pack commented on this in one of the aforementioned sermons:
“We cannot do this in exactly the same way as was done in and around Jerusalem. We are a small, scattered Church throughout many countries, not 10,000 to 15,000 people in one city. It has to be administered differently in the twenty-first century than in the first. The needs of the Work back then were somewhat different. You did have postage. You had to take care of the brethren. You had to buy a ticket on a ship, or rent a horse, or preach in the synagogue. The needs of the Work today are incredibly expensive—hall rentals, campus buildings, advertising, media, printing costs and salaries. We have one World Headquarters. This is the final Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22), if you will. This is the Headquarters Church.”
· Common primarily involves a Church member’sassets(“possessions and goods”), not one’s income or life’s basic necessities (food, clothing and shelter).Merriam-Websterdefines an asset as “an item of value owned.”Acts 4specifically mentions “lands or houses” being liquidated—sold and converted to cash. This can also include “liquid” assets (such as cash, stocks, bonds, money market instruments, etc.) in amounts that are above and beyond a member’s need for a reasonable, prudent savings. (Other potential sources are discussed later.) Not all members own assets, but a number do.
There you have it! If you own businesses or homes then please sell them and send the money to Dave, The only rightful heir to COG members money! Since Dave owns the money he gets to do with it what he wants.
· Acts describes the funds being brought to the leaders of the Church, who made decisions regarding their use, based on the needs of the Work and as guided by Christ as Head of the Church.
Dave claims to want his members to "freely" give their assets and not feel forced, but then goes on to say God commands it. RCG members are double damned now. If they disobey Dave they disobey God. Since when has a "command" in the Church ever been "optional?"
· This is not a biblical endorsement of communism, despite what some have taught. In a communist system, the state forcibly confiscatesa citizen’s assets and redistributes them. (Communist governments also typically set a worker’s pay and greatly limit his opportunities to achieve success.) By contrast, while commanded by God, Common is ultimately voluntary—it is carried out by people who choose to obey God’s plain command. The ministry can, through counsel, help members fulfill this biblical requirement, but they cannot forceanyoneto obey God in this regard. (Neither can they force people to keep the Sabbath, attend the Feast, avoid adultery, lying and stealing, etc.) And in most cases, the Church would be unaware of one’s financial situation—so obedience to Common becomes a test between the member and God.
· This teaching was part of the “apostles’doctrine” in which the Church “continued steadfastly.”
Really? Never once was it called doctrine.
We are also back to the membership lowering their standards of living so that the church and its leadership can prosper. The less money you spend for yourself the more you can send to Dave and crew!
In summary, Common involves a member—the basic Christian—simplifying his or her life bysacrificingassets, non-necessities and luxuries for God’s Work. It may require a change of lifestyle,ifone has been accustomed to excessive affluence, but most often it will not. It doesnotmean neglecting personal needs or needs of the family, foregoing savings entirely, ignoring or increasing unmanageable debt, and certainly does not mean going bankrupt. Despite enemies’ false accusations that, “The Restored Church of God takes all of your money and leaves you destitute,” this is far from the case. Besides, if a member is ever reduced to poverty, he or she becomes eligible for third tithe assistance! So the false charge above does not even make sense, never mind is it true.
Reports have been around for years that the RCG does not freely give out 3 tithe assistance. Dave rigorously goes over incomes and tithing statements first. Dave's false charges above do not make any sense, never mind not even being true!
It is vitally important that RCG members "get to the point" as soon as possible in regards to sending in all of their money. God commands it, though Dave may not. Cough, cough....
However, this does require each of God’s people to evaluate his or her circumstances, go to God in prayer and fasting if necessary, and then get to the point—as soon as reasonably possible—where they are “all in” supporting God’s Work!
The “Common concept” did not suddenly appear on the first Pentecost. The apostles didnot inventit. It was based on many teachings—“sayings”—that Jesus had given to His disciples during His earthly ministry.
The end of the “Sermon on the Mount” brings perspective on how we should view Christ’s sayings: “Whosoever hearsthese sayingsof Mine, anddoesthem, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hearsthese sayingsof Mine, anddoes them not, shall be likened unto afoolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had endedthesesayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:24-29).
The foundation of a Christian’s lifemustbe built on the bedrock ofdoing—putting intopractice!—Christ’s sayings. It is not enough just to internally accept them, or merely voice agreement. We must “talk the talk”and“walk the walk”—or else be counted “foolish” and on the path to destruction.How can any COG member every put into practice what Jesus taught when what he taught is never preached? It is all the law all the time, or be damned.
Twin parables continue to set the table regarding one’s approach to his possessions—the things he “has”: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sellsall that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and soldall that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:44-46).
These parables establish—define—what a true Christian considers to be his treasure—thekingdom of God, not any physical item! We must ask ourselves: Is achieving the kingdom—and by extension, having all truth—our most “prized possession”?
We are now ready to examine many of Christ’s sayings thatestablishCommon as a way of life in the Church.
Rich Young Ruler
A question from a would-be disciple gave Jesus opportunity to establish the benchmark teaching on how His followers must use their resources, and to illustrate many related lessons. You will see that He speaks most plainly:
Matthew 19:16-30:“Behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I mayhave eternal life?” Note that the man asked how he could “have eternal life”—in other words, GAIN SALVATION! Therefore, this question—Common—gets to the very heart of Christianity and to a human being receiving ETERNAL LIFE.
“He said unto him, Why call you Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments. He said unto Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother: and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”
So far, the young man believes he is meeting the qualifiers. But Jesus is about to introduce another element that demands action: “Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go andsell that you have, and give tothe poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”
Jesus makes perfectly clear that more than keeping the commandments is necessary. He tells the man that, in order to be perfect (Greek: “complete”) and to correct what is lacking in his life, he must sell that which he has—divest himself of his assets!—as all Christ’s followers would later do.
This is a subtle lie of Dave. The words of Jesus to this man about selling all he had was a specific statement to this man only. Not something that was meant for future generations or for future COG members. This man, even though he kept the law religiously, placed more value upon money than he did anything else. It no more applies to people today than id did to anyone who were contemporaries of the man in his time period. It was a specific statement made specifically to him and to no one else. Even though many wealthy Christians later helped the poor and destitute (slaves and refugees from Roman tyranny) it was still no more a command to them than it is to us today. People did it because they wanted to and saw a need.
The result? “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this isimpossible; but with God all thingsare possible.”
This requirement to “sell that we have” is both challenging and inspiring. Virtually the entire world is both taught to, and conditioned to, pursue wealth and material things above all else. Turning the mind away from that approach, particularly when everyone else around you knows nothing of it and would mock any who did this, takes courage, effort—born of determination—and faith. In fact, without God’s help, and more than a little for some, it is IMPOSSIBLE! The young ruler’s reaction illustrates this perfectly: The thought of parting with his possessions provoked sorrow, and quickly led to his turning away from Christ—and salvation!
This is where inspiration enters. When we “do” this saying, or see another member do it, it becomes a demonstration of God’s power working through flesh to perform the impossible!
In other words brethren, if you do NOT sell all you have and give it to me, Dave the Most Superfantabulous, then it is an obvious sign that God's power is NOT working through you.
In light of such astonishing statements by Christ, Peter asks a natural question: “Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold,we have forsaken all[note that the apostles had all—“we”—done this], and followed You; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that you which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inheriteverlasting life.”
In walking away from stable and potentially lucrative careers, and giving up other advantages and assets, the 12 disciples secured truly awesome rewards in the kingdom by what they gave up.
The final statement contrasts God’s perspective with that of the world: “Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” As Mr. Pack stated in his 2011 sermon series, “In this life, the first are those with the most toys. But God says they are last. In this life, the last are those with the least toys. God says they are first.”
Viewing the “synoptic gospels” (Matthew, Mark and Luke) together reveals certain accounts that only appear in Matthew. Some are unique to Mark, while some are only in Luke. Others appear in two gospels. Still others are in all three.
To underscore the tremendous importance of the “rich young ruler” account, Christ gives ittripleemphasis. It appears inall threesynoptic gospels. Here is Mark:
Mark 10:17-31:“When He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I mayinherit eternal life?”
Mark adds that the manranto Him andkneeled, bringing the elements of urgency and an outward appearance of submission and respect.
“Jesus said unto him, Why call you Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not…”
“Defraud not” appears in Mark. This phrase is not in the Ten Commandments but interestingly—consider the context—Jesus lists it. Continuing: “…Honor your father and mother. And he answered and said unto Him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding himloved him, and said unto him, One thing you lack: go your way,sell whatsoever you have, and give tothe poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” “Take up the cross” ties in later to a broader command inLuke 14.
Mark renders Jesus’ instruction, “Sellwhatsoeveryou have.” He adds that Jesus “loved him.” Christ cared about this young man, and was helping him see what he must do to become one of His disciples. Yet, “he was sad at that saying [many are], and went away grieved [some do]: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and said unto His disciples, how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Some have interpreted “the eye of a needle” as one of the entry gates of Jerusalem, and inferred that since a camel could get through this gate on its knees, then a rich man could enter God’s kingdom, with difficulty. But Jesus goes on to again state that this is impossible, meaning to do on human strength alone.
“They were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Then Peter began to say unto Him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed You. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfoldnowin this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to comeeternal life. But many (not all) that are first shall be last; and the last first.”
Jesus repeats in Mark that Christians, as they “leave”—forsake—what God requires them to leave, can rest assured they will still have an abundant life—“an hundredfoldnowin this time.” So many benefits of doing Christ’s sayings apply here and “now,” not just after we enter God’s kingdom. Yet such blessings only come to those willing to unconditionally obey God.
Next is Luke’s record of the same account.
Luke 18:18-30:“A certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why call you Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lack you one thing:sellallthat you have, and distribute untothe poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me.”
This time Jesus states, “Sell ALL that you have.” Obviously, a follower of Christ still needs certain necessities. But of course, Christ, as God in the flesh, knew the level of material success achieved by the man He was addressing.
“When he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.” The words “very sorrowful” are translated from the Greek wordperilupos, which means “grieved all around” and “intensely sad.”
“When Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Then Peter said, Lo,we have left ALL, and followed You. And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has lefthouse, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to comelife everlasting.”
In all three accounts, the rich young ruler is told to give or distribute to the poor. Realize this exchange took place before Jesus had established His Church. There was not yet in place a unified effort to do God’s Work. But from Pentecost onward, after the Church had begun, what was it a Christian was to give the poor? And to which “poor” did Jesus refer?
First, this is not evidence Jesus abrogated the purpose of third tithe in caring for brethren in need. Like first and second tithe, the third tithe system was to continue from Old Testament times, but was to be entrusted to the New Testament ministry for administration rather than the Levites.Hebrews 7explains this.We have all seen what happens when the ministry are over 3T. Rod Meredith used it to decorate his house. Other evangelists in Pasadena did the same thing. It was used dot buy paintings, gold, silver and other fine things.
Another passage makes clear Jesus did not have in mind a giveaway program of cash or physical goods for all impoverished people inhabiting a world cut off from God because of sin. Speaking with His disciples, Jesus made clear the problem of poverty in the world will not be solved prior to the Millennium: “There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, to what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble you the woman? For she has wrought a good work upon Me. Foryou have the poor always with you; but Me you have not always. For in that she has poured this ointment on My body, she did it for My burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoeverthis gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matt. 26:7-13).
If giving money to the world’s poor is not what we are to do, Jesus would certainly have to clarify this elsewhere. He did—again, in three different passages. The first describes His speaking in a Nazareth synagogue:
“There was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written [Isa. 61:1-2], the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me topreach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:17-19).
Christ expects His Church—in keeping with its First Commission (Matt. 24:14)—to preach the gospel to those enduring financial hardship (but also those who are “poor in spirit” [Matt. 5:3—lowly or humble]). Jesus interprets Himself—the Bible interprets the Bible.Thisis how we give to the poor!
This command is confirmed inMatthew 11. Here, Jesus relays a message to John the Baptist, listing evidence He is the promised Messiah: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, andthe poor have the gospel preached to them” (vs. 4-5). Luke’s account is similar: “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised,to the poor the gospel is preached” (7:22).
Jesus sets the example of how His Church, through which He continues His Work as its Head, would help the disadvantaged. Mr. Pack compared this in a sermon to a popular analogy: “We don’t give a fish to the poor to feed him for one meal. We teach himhowto fish—that’s giving him the gospel, the way to eternal life. The very shortsighted person (which are millions of people in this country) wants the government to give him fish, rather than to learn how to fish so he can feed himself and his family for a lifetime.
Dave, if you were actually a true Christian you would not be teaching the man how to fish, but do you best to see why the man go to the state he is in now. Only then would fishing be profitable. Something lead thhe man getting to that point and it was no that he did not know how to fish.
“Think about it. Which would you rather have? If you are really hungry and somebody said to you, ‘I will give you a fish right now, and we’ll stop the rumbling and the pain in your belly’—or, ‘I’ll teach you to fish, and in five hours you can pull six out of the river.’ Which would you take? If you are really hungry, you might be willing to trade a bowl of beans for a birthright, wouldn’t you? Remember Esau. You might be willing to say, ‘Give me one fish, not skill as a fisherman.’ But anythinking person would rather have the skill of the fisherman. And so our job is to go to the world and teach men how to fish…which is how to get into the kingdom of God, by analogy.”
“A Certain Rich Man”
Dave next tries to prove that having wealth is a sign of covertness. How dare church members have lots of money and not share it with him!
The next in this list of Christ’s sayings involves another rich man, this time found in a parable. It identifies and illustrates the danger of a particular sin—the same one that hindered the rich young ruler:
Luke 12:13-40:“One of the company said unto Him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And He said unto him, Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you? And He said unto them, Take heed, andbeware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. And He spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years;take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Youfool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? So is he that lays up treasurefor himself, and isnot rich toward God.”
Grasp this! Jesus identifies accumulation of assets and goods as an outward sign ofcovetousness, and shows how this condition leads to complacency (“take your ease”) and a lack of time spent buildingspiritualtreasure. He spends considerable time assuring the disciples that God will meet their physical needs: “He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
“If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you,O you of little faith? And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink,neither be you of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Your very salvation depends upon you selling what you have snd giving it to Dave!
We have a choice: Either we pursue physical things—or we seek the kingdom. We cannot have it both ways. Christ then repeats the instruction that was rejected by the rich young ruler—this time as a command to His disciples:
“Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and you yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be you thereforereadyalso: for the Son of man comes at an hourwhen you think not.”
Do not miss that being ready for Christ’s Return is tied directly to the command “Sell that you have”!
Lazarus and the Rich Man
Yet another parable involves a rich man and a warning. InLuke 16, Jesus is teaching His disciples, but in a public setting with the Pharisees present. He starts with a summary statement about which master a person serves—and there can be only one! “No servant can servetwo masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [wealth]” (vs. 13).
Somehow this message has always escaped the leadership of the Churches of God. From Herbert Armstrong and onward. Power always deserved more money and the membership were expected to send it in and to never question how it was used.
This provoked an instant reaction from the highly esteemed and generally well-to-do Pharisees: “The Pharisees also,who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him. And He said unto them, You are they whichjustify yourselves before men; butGod knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (vs. 14-15).
So its ok for Dave and Gerald Flurry to justify the need to build multi-million dollar auditoriums, dance halls for their grand-kids and rows of faculty homes. Its important to justify multi-million dollar campuses that are gated off from the communities that surround them. It is important to justify buying Rolls Royce's, Mercedes and limo's for the exclusive use of the leadership. Its important to justify the need to buy jet planes because of the need to separate themselves from the sweaty unwashed commoners on regular jets.
Jesus’ rebuke of the smug Pharisees sets up the parable: “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in [Greek: “by reason of”] this flame” (vs. 19-24).
The next verse is key in understanding the distinction between the rich man and the beggar. “But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetimereceived your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented” (vs. 25). The rich man had enjoyed the good life in material terms, but was not, as we read earlier, “rich toward God.”
“And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there. Then he said, I pray you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (vs. 26-31).
Of course, this applied to the Pharisees in that they would not hear the One who rose from the dead—Christ. But it has additional meaning in light of other passages regarding wealth: Without God’s direct intervention to accomplish the impossible, those whose life fits the description of “faring sumptuously” will not be persuaded to part with their “good things”—even with the testimony of one risen from the dead!
Dave next twists scripture to fit his own convoluted mind. What he does is turn it into a threat. Any RCG members who accumulates wealth has done so because they are spiritual poor. No COG member wants to be seen as spiritually bankrupt. Outward appearances are important.
A related passage in Luke shows Christ speaking to the future of those who choose to pursue wealth over spiritual gain: “Woe unto you that arerich! For you havereceived your consolation. Woe unto you that arefull! For you shallhunger. Woe unto you thatlaugh now! For you shallmourn and weep” (6:24-25). Sobering words.
The Apostle Paul’s Experience
The apostle Paul stands as one of the greatest servants of God of all time. Before his unique calling, he rose to the heights of success and prominence in Judea as a member of the Sanhedrin—the Jewish supreme court. This would naturally have led to a substantial net worth.
After Paul’s life was repurposed and he was trained as an apostle, his view of his worldly achievements had radically changed. What he wrote the Philippians is stunning to ponder: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Butwhat things were gain to me, thoseI counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, andI count all things but lossfor the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whomI have suffered the loss of all things, anddo count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (3:4-8). Have you considered that YOUR actions must “win (over) Christ”?
Having been blameless in the law—outward, physical law-keeping—what did Paul have to learn about himself at the spiritual level before he could come to see “all things” he had given up as “dung”? His own words, inspired by Christ inRomans 7, hold the answer: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, You shall notcovet” (vs. 7).
Paul is among the “hall of fame” examples of someone who forsook his former life and lost “all things”—the byproducts of his success—to follow Jesus Christ. This required him first to recognize his own covetousness—an invisible sin that occurs in the mind.
Coming from this background, Paul was uniquely positioned to counsel successful brethren on the dangers of clinging to wealth. He instructed Timothy: “Charge them that arerich in this world, that they be not highminded, nortrust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready todistribute[Greek: “good at imparting”], willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold oneternal life” (I Tim. 6:17-19).
This is consistent with Christ’s instruction to distribute to the poor. Paul adds the element of what onetrustsin. Financially successful brethren have the challenge of learning to put their confidence in aninvisibleGod, rather thanvisibleresources—something that would be a lesser test for those of modest means. Real faith is required (but seeHeb. 11:6).
Earlier in the same chapter, Paul had set the stage with additional context: “Men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from suchwithdraw yourself… For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certainwe can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment [necessities] let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich [who desire to be rich] fall intotemptationand asnare, and into manyfoolishandhurtful lusts, which drown men indestruction andperdition. For the love of money is [a] root of all [kinds of] evil: which whilesome coveted after, they haveerred from the faith, andpierced themselvesthrough withmany sorrows” (I Tim. 6:5-10).
Some at that time who had been in “the faith”—true Christians—had erred by coveting money. It led to being pierced, snared and drowned!
Let’s ask ourselves: Are we—living in the vastly more materialistic 21st-century Laodicean age—somehow immune to this danger? May none be so foolish!
The book of Acts contains a shocking account of how one couple chose to respond to the Common requirement, and the consequences: “A certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied unto men, but unto God” (5:1-4).
Note that this man and womancould havekept some portion of the proceeds of the sale, if this had been necessary. Their sin was agreeing together to deceive the ministry about what they were giving. They are described as lying to God, not just Peter! Perhaps they had previously pledged the entire proceeds of the sale to the Work. Or they may have simply been seeking extra favor in the apostles’ sight. In any case, God was greatly displeased—and He acted swiftly!
“Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him” (vs. 5-6).
Imagine the effect this had on the congregation! But God was not finished making an example of this couple: “It was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried your husband are at the door, and shall carry you out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband” (vs. 7-10).
Not only can you hoard your money and hurt the church but you can also be found guilty of not giving enough to the Church of Dave. That is even more egregious in his eyes.
Perhaps one spouse caved to the pressure of the other. In any event, this is the only record of God actually striking two members of His Church. And it involved Common. But it was not a result of membersentirelywithholding it. Rather they were dealt with forimproperlygiving it! This should sober everyone in a remotely similar position.
In Mr. Pack’s words, “The problem with Ananias and Sapphira was not that they didn’t give. They did. We might speculate that they maybe gave more than most have been able to give through the centuries. But they didn’t want to look out of step with the rest of the Church and were willing to lie to cover up what they were holding back. Think of it this way: In any other age, what they gave might have been seen as an extraordinary step, but it cost their lives—obviously physicaland eternal—because they wanted to look like they were giving everything when they were not.”
The ultimate (and positive) effect on the Church is next described: “Great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things” (vs. 11). At this juncture, pause to think of Mr. Pack’s sermon “Fearing God—As You’ve Never Seen It!”
i.e. fear Dave as you have never imagined!
The book of James, which overwhelmingly focuses on the returning Remnant and the false ministers abusing them, contains stinging rebukes for these “leading tares.” God simply dubs them “rich men.”
Note how many times James was inspired to refer to their wealth: “Go to now, yourich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your richesare corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.Your gold and silveris cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.You have heaped treasuretogether for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of youkept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth [meaning “Lord of Hosts” or “armies”]. You havelived in pleasureon the earth, andbeen wanton; you havenourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you” (5:1-6).
This is yet another type of rich man that none of us would want to emulate. Take note!
InJames 1, we read how to prevent falling into this trap: “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: butthe rich,in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways” (vs. 9-11).
By having all things in "common" RCG members can "choose" to be made low in this life. They can suffer while Dave prospers.
Those called into the Church from a modest background are exalted because they have become heirs of “all things” (Heb. 2:7-8). For God’s people with assets and resources, Common is an instrument through which they canchooseto be “made low” in this life—and Christ inspires James to call this a reason to rejoice! This joy partly arises from the fact that obedience brings blessings and keeps us on track toward eternal life. But it is also a byproduct of the freedom and simplicity of a life stripped of excess money and “stuff,” including the time needed to spend, maintain and expand it.
Doing Christ’s sayings enables us to rise above the standard mindset of the present age. This is described inII Timothy 3. The first two descriptions set the tone for all that follow: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous…” (vs. 2). The phrase “lovers of their own selves” properly means “selfish.” People today are selfish and covetous.
Brethren, wemustbe different.
As the understanding of the Remnant was gradually revealed to the Church, another reference to Common was discovered in Zechariah. Right after Christ explains that He will break the staff properly called “Grace,” symbolizing His covenant with His people, He explains (foretells) a demand to them: “And I took My staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break My covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and sothe poorof the flock thatwaited upon Meknew that it was the word of theLord. And I said unto them, If you think good,give Me My price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver. And theLordsaid unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was praised at of them…” (11:10-13). (The latter part of course refers to a prophecy regarding Judas being paid to betray Christ. But the overall passage is plainly dual.)
Forbearmeans “be flabby, lacking or idle”—in other words, be negligent or procrastinate in paying Christ’s price.
As Mr. Pack has explained to the Church, Christ’s price involves three elements that Jesus laid out so plainly. These are listed inLuke 14in the context of “counting the cost” of Christianity:
(1) Loving Christ more than anyone, including our own lives: “If any man come to Me, and hate [Greek: love less by comparison] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (vs. 26).
(2) Bearing the burdens/crosses that we face in life: “Whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me,cannot be My disciple” (vs. 27).
(3) Giving our assets to support preaching the gospel. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes notall that he has, hecannot be My disciple” (vs. 33).
Waiting for our separated brethren to be returned to the Body of Christ, we have opportunity to set examples of obedience in all areas, including Common. We should receive these men, women and families into a group that is truly, collectively,all in!
If Dave wants to actually preach this then he needs to turn over every single dollar from the sale of his current home that is up for sale to feed the joint account that all other RCG members donate money to. Every single one of you must be doing this so that when the tens of thousands of wayward COG members come from other groups come over to Dave's side they will see everyone sharing everything.
Time Is Running Out!
Mr. Pack has often described God’s Church today as being in a hurry. Let’s seewhy. Christians have known for decades that God’s Plan of salvation encompasses 7,000 years. This is comprised of 6,000 years for man to go his own way, apart from God, culminating in the 1,000-year reign of the kingdom of God on Earth, commonly known as the Millennium.
The 6,000-year period of man’s rule will come to an end within only a few years. At that time, all of God’s people will have to give an account of how they lived, including how much their hearts were in His Work. All of us!
Imagine God punishing people whether or not they gave money to Dave and crew. Total bullshit.
God foretold that near the end many would feel that more time remains: “Behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he [Ezekiel] sees is formany days to come, and he prophesies of the times that arefar off” (Ezek. 12:27).
This would be the prevailing mood in national Israel just before sudden destruction. Many would live lives in mockery of God—as if there was more time. Notice: “Knowing this first [do we?], that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Pet. 3:3-4).
Sadly, this lackadaisical mood would also infect God’s people. Most would live with a lack of urgency, paying scant attention to their spiritual condition, as though Christ’s Return was far off—as though there would be plenty of time to repent and qualify at a more leisurely pace. Jesus issued a stern warning to Christians alive before His Coming: “If that servant say in his heart, My Lord delays His coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when helooks not for Him, and at an hour when he isnot aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers” (Luke 12:45-46).
Let this be true of none of us!
Called to Sacrifice
All of you ungodly cretins out there who posses so much, you don't deserve it, none of it. So........give it all to me for my gospel to go forth. When you give your offering you need to sacrifice to the point you are suffering, otherwise it is a waste of God's time.
Another of God’s commands applies to each member in regard to Common: “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). Our lives are to beliving sacrificesto God, who says this is areasonablerequest. After all He has done for us, how could it beunreasonable? Everything we own ultimately belongs to the Creator, who, in His mercy, has rescued us from the death penalty and given us material blessings, which we do not deserve. God expects us to sacrifice when giving offerings, nothing less. Not doing this is disobedience. Virtually all people who practice the world’s many forms of Christianity invariably see their religion as a mere segment—a certain portion—of the day (or week) in their lives. They see following Christ as one ofmanygoals, pursuits or interests that they follow. Few even see Christianity as the greatest of these—when no other goal, pursuit or interest should even be remotely on the same list of life’s most important priorities. It takes sometimes years fortrueChristians to fully understand this.
Your good works must always involve sacrifice. Sacrifice of you money! It should always have pain. That pain must be mental or physical! It should be EXTREMELY hard!
Those who truly serve God are called to sacrifice. This involves everything in our lives, including our money. Our good works must involve some kind of sacrificing on our part. This is never easy. A sacrifice is an offering in which some level of pain is alwaysinvolved, whether mental or physical. Even in human pursuits, it usually means giving up something dear to us so a particular goal can be accomplished.Therefore, sacrificing is usually hard—sometimes extremely hard!Sadly, in this world nearly everyone in Western civilization has become conditioned toleisure,licenseandluxuryas a way of life and would therefore see all forms of sacrifice as unreasonable, intrusive and simply unnecessary. Despite such an environment and thinking that is found all around them, God’s people must come to see sacrifice as ordinary—theusual—NECESSARY. The Christian life is entirely about sacrificing in one form or another.
Romans 12:1is an admonition that everyone should keep before their eyes. It is the difficult way: “Enter you in at thestrait[difficult] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: becausestraitis the gate, andnarrowis the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it [orare finding it]” (Matt. 7:13-14).
True Christianity is a life in which we must face and endure difficulties: “You thereforeendure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Tim. 2:3). God’s people are soldiers in a difficult war. We cannot permit ourselves to become caught up in worrying about money so that we fail to obey our calling to sacrifice. Noticeverse 4: “No man that wars entangles himself withthe affairs of this life; that he may please Him who has chosen him to be a soldier.”
A Message of Hope
When you see suffering in this world, does it trouble you? Does it move you to want to DO something about it? Think deeply about the following:
· When you see the destruction wrought by earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, landslides, fires and other catastrophic occurrences, does your heart go out to those affected?
· When you read of the elderly beaten and robbed in their homes, young people killing each other, neighborhoods terrorized by gangs, and people afraid to leave their homes because of crime, do you wish you could make things better?
· When you hear of illicit sex, perversion, families not getting along, marriages painfully ending in divorce, and people struggling with their addictions to alcohol, pornography, drugs and gambling, does it grieve you?
· When you see children with bloated bellies dying of hunger, people living in filthy, overcrowded slums, and young people dying of horrible diseases, do you feel compassion welling up inside you?
· When you hear of poverty, ignorance and illiteracy abounding worldwide, does it stir your emotions?
· The same with terror, war, destruction, population displacement, religious confusion, political corruption, and injustice?
Many millions of people (including wealthy philanthropists) collectively give vast billions of dollars to charitable organizations in an attempt to fixthisworld. Governments and international organizations invest additional billions to eradicate hunger, poverty, disease and war. Yetalltheir efforts ultimately fail. No amount of human ingenuity can solve mankind’s problems.
You can participate in giving the most wonderful gift this world could possibly receive. By supporting the Work of preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and all other Bible truths in all nations (Matt. 28:19-20), you are helping to bring a message of hope to a world groping about in spiritual darkness (Isa. 59:9-10)—the sure hope of a better world soon to come, to be established under the reign of Jesus Christ.
What greater calling could there be?
The more you give to God’s Work, the more people we can reach with this desperately needed message of hope. For the cost of just 4 cents (USD)—and in some cases less—one additional person can be brought into contact with God’s truth on the Church’s websites. Think. For every extra dollar you give (USD),25 more individualscan be brought into contact with the truth of God.
The Work has distributed scores of millions of pieces of literature during the past several years, and many millions of people have visited the Church’s websites. But consider: Earth’s population is beyond 7.3 billion human beings. Think of those who live in your city, town, village or even your neighborhood—have they heard the true gospel? What about your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances—have they heard this greatest of news? Realize there is tremendous work to be done. Truly, we (following Jesus’ example) must be about our Father’s business!
Many live unhappy, unfulfilled lives. Some seek answers to their problems and to life’s greatest questions. Knowing we can participate in bringing them precious knowledge should excite us to no end, motivating us to do everything we can.
Think of this short list: Common offerings allow us to increase (sometimes greatly) subscribers toThe Real Truthmagazine, distribute hardcopy literature, hire employees or ministers, add Feast sites, build or plant elements of the campus, purchase needed equipment such as computers, vehicles, landscaping machinery, or furniture, but most important of course, advertise God’s marvelous, life-saving truths via our three websites (rcg.org,worldtocome.organdrealtruth.org) and through use of any other available media.
Ways to Give
A question may arise: “The balance in my bank account is small; how can I give more to the Work?” This is a valid question.
First realize you probably have more assets than you think. Here are things to consider:
· Your Home:If you built up a significant equity in your home, banks will usually permit you to take out a loan against existing equity. This is called a home-equity loan. For those whose home is owned outright, another option is a reverse mortgage, which turns a home’s equity into an income stream.
· Other Real Estate:If you have more than one home, ask yourself, “Do I reallyneedthe other(s)?” The answer is virtually always “no.” The same applies if you own more than one piece of land.
· Investments:Some have their money sitting in various investments, for example, stocks (including employee stock ownership plans), bonds, term deposits, gold and silver. Bearing in mind the coming economic cataclysm, would you not rather earn a larger return on your investment by putting some of those funds into the Work?
Did you know that REAL Christians NEVER retire???????!!!!!!!!! Because you are never to retire you should be giving any money in your pension plan directly to Dave. We all know he will take care of you when you are on the last part of you life needing care. Right? The more money you give the more Dave will help you......dream on!
· Retirement Plans:Some enter the “golden years” with significant sums in retirement plans. As we know, retiring is not something able-bodied Christians do. Thus, these funds can help the Work surge forward!
Don't even think about keeping any inheritances either!
· Inheritances:If you have an inheritance coming, perhaps from a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend, all the principles regarding Common discussed in this article, and in Mr. Pack’s sermons, come to bear.
Don't be an ungrateful slob and put the church in your will while you enjoy your money in this life. The church deserves the money now, not when you die. Besides, some of your relatives or children might contest it and then the church would have to spend more money fighting to get it all.
· Wills:Some people have told Headquarters that when they die, certain assets will go to the Work of God. In some cases (this has been happening for decades), they named the Church in their will and sent us a copy. The challenge facing the Work is that it needs fundingtoday, not years from now. In addition, wills can take along timeto settle, especially if tied up in legal matters. It showsmuchmore faith in God to send the fundsnowrather than later.
Do you have a large collections of collectibles? If so, sell it all! Right now! Sell it and send ALL proceeds to Dave!
· Collector’s Items:Over the years, some have acquired valuable collections through hobbies, inheritances, or by just being in the right place at the right time. These include art, antiques, classic cars, ornaments, gems, sports memorabilia, and other collector’s items. If this is you, do you need these things? Or could you sell them and donate most or all of the proceeds?
Start cleaning out your garages and closets. Have yard sales and send Dave everything you make.
· Old Belongings:Some people are “packrats”—they keep everything they have ever owned. Over the years they have accumulated old clothes, furniture and other items they no longer use, which sit gathering dust. If you have things you no longer need, a sale is a great way to raise funds. Though you might not think you would raise much, every little bit (“widow’s mite”) helps.
These are just a snapshot of ways to give. You can probably think of more.
When deciding how much to give, USE WISDOM. Make sure to do the following:
· Pray about what you send, asking God to guide you on the right amount.
· Again, do not give the Church “allyour money.” Remember, you still have to live, as well as have some savings for a “rainy day.”
· Make sure you understand and address the tax implications of what you send. This may involve independent research, or perhaps limited consultation with a tax attorney.
If you would like to give, it is helpful to let Headquarters know in advance—be “willing to communicate” (I Tim. 6:18)—how much you are planning to contribute and the timeframe for ours receiving it. Knowing such things GREATLY helps Headquarters with its budget planning process.
Word to the Prosperous
A number of God’s people are affluent. They have assets in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD), perhaps even in the millions. This is particularly true of some living in the United States, Britain, Canada and other nations of modern Israel where God’s promised blessings to Abraham’s descendants have been great. But it may also be the case with some in other countries.
If you are affluent and have lots of money you are particularly expected to give it to Dave.
If this applies to you, then you have aspecial obligationto the Work of God: “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required” (Luke 12:48). Jesus Christ has blessed you with much of this world’s goods, and will require (soon) an accounting from you as to how you used it.
Riches or possessions will not determine your salvation nor save you from the evil days ahead. They are fleeting—“here today, gone tomorrow.” Our only protection is with God, who tells us that we should be “ready to distribute.” Where would this be more applicable than to God’s Work? But if we are faithful with God’s command, He assures we are “laying up in store for [ourselves] a good foundation against the time to come, that [we] may lay hold on eternal life” (I Tim. 6:19).
Over the years, some of God’s people have been incredibly generous (obedient!) with their assets. They have sought to go to the very farthest limits of their capability. God recognizes their sacrifice! Some are living in difficult or very difficult financial circumstances. Therefore, for these it would be unwise—or even impossible—to give more. They simply do not have the funds. Hearts can be big when wallets and purses are small. God knows this. Neither God nor His Church expect you to do what cannot be done. This article is NOT written in the spirit of trying to pressure people to give. It is to explain God’s command regarding Common. This is our part. All decisions that follow are yours.
Remember though that God will not reward you if you are not sacrificing and hurting!
If after reading this article you assess your financial situation and are unable to give anything, do not feel ashamed. If you can only give little, do not be embarrassed. But all of God’s people should diligently examinetheir circumstancesand determine whattheycan or cannot do.
Recognize that the human heart is deceitful (Jer. 17:9) and selfish. Therefore, we must fight tendencies that could appear when considering this matter. Be honest in self-examination, because Christ will be when assessing what we did or could have done for His Work from blessings He sent.
Lest any of you think about questioning Dave's reasonings, you must take all of these questions into consideration.
The possibility exists that this article could offend a few. If this is true of you, let’s reason together: Askwhyyou are offended. In light of the far-reaching scope of this article, ponder these questions:
· What is thereasonfor offense?
· What scripture(s) has (have) been explained incorrectly?
· Are you offended at God’s command to sacrifice?
· Or for calling you into His Church?
· Do you believe God’s calling is merely foryouto getyoursalvation?
· Do you not want to do all you can to support preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, and all His other wonderful truths, to as many as possible?
· Have you considered the special blessings that follow obedience?
Further, consider all that God has done for us:
· Sent His Son to die for us so our sins could be forgiven, freeing us from the death penalty.
· Blessed us with material things we do not deserve.
· Opened our minds to most precious truth.
· Taken us from our miserable, sin-filled lives and shown us the right way to live.
· Called us to participate in sharing the most awesome knowledge the human mind could receive.
· Offered salvation—birth into His Family!
· Creating in us His perfect, holy, righteous character, reproducing Himself through us.
Be careful not to accuse God’s Church of seeking to enrich itself at your expense—Jesus Christ surely takes such accusations personally.
How can Jesus take it personally when the church ignores Jesus? I am sure he finds that much more offensive than someone struggling to give money.
Tragically, worldly “preachers” (actually, “deceitful workers, transforming themselves into…ministers of righteousness”—II Cor. 11:13,15) have become wealthy on the backs of their followers—all while offering empty platitudes and falsehoods in return. The Church of the Living God is different!
Dave's most superfantabulous work must always be cuttng corners and operating on a shoestring budget because lazy church members would send in everything they own.
Do youtrulyunderstand the sacrifices made over the years so that marvelous truths could reach a desolate and desperate world? If only everyone could sit in Headquarters budget meetings and see how God’s leaders constantly seek to scrimp, cut and implement financial austerity measures here, there and everywhere so the Work can go forward.
God’s Work operated on a “shoestring” for a long time. Over time, many ministers and staff have taken pay cuts (BIG ONES!) to work at Headquarters, given up promising careers, voluntarily worked without pay—and in a few cases even given their lives!—so the Work could be finished. Were it not for these sacrifices, you might not be in the Church today.
Church employees have taken big pay cuts, though Dave has not. It has been a long standing tradition in the COG HQ's for the little people to get crapped upon first. HWA did it, and so does every single COG group to this day.
Considering this (and so much more), is it remotely right to be offended? Should we not be grateful beyond words for the opportunity to participate in the most important Work on Earth? Realize you are one of a select few in history whom God has called. Only a tiny number have had the privilege to receive this unique opportunity. Each of us is one of hundreds of thousands who could be in our seat. This knowledge should humble us beyond measure, but also inspire us to increased zeal and dedication to this great end-time Work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Headquarters has been asked bymanyindividuals and couples for assistance in determining how to obey Christ’s command, based on their circumstances. No two situations are identical, but certain questions regularly arise.
A:Mr. Pack answered this question in the more recent of the sermons mentioned above. He was speaking in the context of Christ’s instruction about profitable and unprofitable servants: “Is Common commanded? Is itpaidor is itgiven? Is it an offeringor like atithe? The answer? It is both. You are commanded to give it and it is your duty. As a matter of fact, if you do give your “Common,” you could still be an unprofitable servant because everybody must do it. It is a baseline. So it will not automatically get you into the kingdom of God. However, I used both terms because everybody (much like a Holy Day offering or any other offering) must decide what they believe is the portion they keep back. Where do you set the limit? The person who gives more versus the one who gives less defines who is profitable to God and who is not.
“Somebody can give a huge amount and a great many poor of this world can hear the gospel, yet the person who gave may not even reach the kingdom. Have you thought of that? It was their ‘commanded duty.’ But they become profitable to God when they say, ‘You know what?…I have an awesome job, unlike anybody else. Look at my house. Look at my cars. Look at my clothes. Look at my steady income…I do not need this much and can give more than I think.’ Such people can go further than they often think. God does not define your portion, your part, your allotment. You do.”
Q: What are the typical pitfalls?
A:We have at times seen members fall into two opposite ditches:
(1) Giving so much that they bring themselves to the brink of financial insolvency. This happens less often, and is solved by looking at income, expenses and debt while deciding how much to give. Headquarters can provide counsel to help prevent this.
(2) Mistaking merely “a nice offering” for the “all” that Common requires. To illustrate, think of a member with $1 million in the bank. (This would be rare.) He has simplified his lifestyle to a reasonable level, and does not need more than his current income to cover his monthly expenses. He has determined that a prudent savings, based on various factors, is $15,000. He learns of the Common doctrine, evaluates his circumstances…and decides to give $300,000 to the Work. While this is a very large amount—far beyond the capability of most—it still leaves him with $685,000 of excess funds he does not need. He has given—and that helps the Work!—but he is not “all in.” He has not truly obeyed Christ’s command—or even come close. Consider the widow ofMark 12: “Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: andmany that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for allthey did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had,even all her living” (vs. 41-44). Though the amount the widow gave was tiny, she had deeply sacrificed.
A:Other verses make clear we may have a home. Paul asked the rhetorical question, “Have you not houses to eat and to drink in?” (I Cor. 11:22). Also, Sabbath services were generally held in members’ homes in the first century (Rom. 16:5;I Cor. 16:19), stilloftenthe case today. In modern times, Common applies tosecondhomes, vacation cottages, investment properties, land and other unnecessary assets.
Regarding primary residences, a distinction must be made between a home used as shelter and a place from which to extend hospitality, and one held as an asset—a “stockpile” of equity. Again, in this age, there are banking instruments that allow one to live in a house—and “own” very little of it—in theexact same wayas if it was owned outright.
Q: What about my retirement account?
A:According to many plain scriptures, Christians do not retire. The Fourth Commandment alone makes this plain: “Six days shall you labor, and do all your work” (Ex. 20:9). Another crucial verse states, “Even when we were with you, this we commandedyou, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thes. 3:10). (Of course, it is natural to slow down somewhat as we age.)
Mr. Pack said this in “How a Small Church Does Such Big Things (Part 2)”: “Retirement is unbiblical, period. That is why Mr. Armstrong said, ‘We will never retire’…Retirement is a sin if you are able-bodied…I have given a sermon on this, ‘The Work Ethic and The Work.’ Some may say, ‘Well, Mr. Pack, that is strong.’ Yes, itisstrong, butGodis strong! You cannot come into the Work and say, ‘I am retired because men told me I can.’ God doesnotsay you can. Mr. Armstrong died at 93½on the job; Moses, too, along with other servants of God. They retiredinto the grave. But a lot of people have amassed a lot of wealth, so they think they can retire because men told them they could. Retirement is another part of the culture out there that people marinate in…It is called the entitlement mindset.” (For more on this, listen to his full sermon series.)Did you know that it is a sin to leave your children an inheritance? The end will be here in a few years and they won't be able to spend it. Dave can though, so send it all to him. Screw your kids over! That's the Christian thing to do.
Q: DoesProverbs 13:22require Christians today to provide an inheritance to grandchildren?
A:This verse states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” While this had direct application in ancient Israel during and beyond when it was written, the urgency of our time presents a very different scenario. We are living in the final age of the Church, with the signs of the end-time blaring at us minute-to-minute from the headlines! Our childrenwould hardly have opportunity to spend an inheritance, never mind ourgrandchildren. We are the generation who, at the 1,335 days, will have to leave behind everything but the clothing we are wearing. Just weeks later, our material goods will be plundered as the Great Tribulation arrives—there will beno neat distribution to inheritors.
Again quoting Mr. Pack: “I’m never going to leave my children anything. The same with all my grandchildren. Why? Because there is no possible way they would ever get it. Consider for a minute. At the resurrection of the dead, not one person will own land or a house. Not one living Christian in God’s Church will still have either. In fact, we will have decided three years and eight-and-a-half months earlier toleaveour houses and lands. You will have left your dwelling…so the question becomes, will you give some of it now?
“The chances are, if you won’t give it now—and I’m not saying leave it—there are banking instruments in place where you do not need to leave your house. It’s different from the first century. You can pull money from your house and live in it as though you owned it outright. Of course no bank will let you be upside down in your house.
“Now consider. If you won’t give up your houses and lands now, you probably really won’t have to worry about giving them up at the time of “taken.” You’ll get to keep them for a little while longer, while all those who did give up houses, who did give up lands, and received them back again because God provides for them—with persecution—will again be willing to do it at the 1,335 days before Christ’s Return.
“We have two categories of people, as it were: Those who gave up houses twice, and those who won’t give them up at all. Take a look at what you have—gold, silver, 401Ks, stocks, coins, stamps, paintings, antiques, equity. What do you have that youdon’t need? You can continue your lifestyle if you’re not acting in an affluent way (that’s not the calling of Christians). Don’t leave yourself with no clothes, standing out in an intersection without food in your stomach, or a house. You may need counsel, but there are a lot of things you can get rid of. Great numbers have already learned this.”
Q: To keep the Fifth Commandment, are we required to financially take care of parents?
Restored Church of God members should NOT be taking care of parents in expensive nursing or retirement homes! That money belongs to Dave! This is especially true of your unconverted parents who are not RCG Members.
A:We can and should do what we can to make sure our parents are in a safe environment and not lacking basic necessities. But Christians are not obligated to subsidize an upscale setting,even if they were once accustomed to it. Consider: When their minds are opened to the truth at the Second Resurrection, they will have an entirely different view in hindsight of converted children’s decisions. Will our parents look back and think, “Now I understand their actions—they did the right thing”—or will they say, “What were they thinking?!? They could have done so much more to help finish the Work!”
Q: My family/spouse/friends are opposed to me sending Common. How should I respond?
Above all do NOT tell unconverted spouses! Give money behind their backs. Dave needs it all!
A:First,nevertell family outside the Church about a command they haveno chanceto understand! (You would certainly nevertell them even the size of a Holy Day offering.) Since we established that giving all is not possible without God, you should not expect thoseoutsideGod’s Church to believe it is possible, or even a good idea. (This would also apply to a financial advisor, who would view any notion of “treasure in heaven” or being “rich toward God” as foolishness.) Remember: Family and friends cannot give eternal life. They cannot place a crown on your head or put you on a throne ruling cities beside Christ. Do not permit their opposition to jeopardize your eternal life and reward!
Recall Jesus’ instruction to one who wanted to delay following Him on account of family: “He [Jesus] said unto another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go you and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-60).
Get counsel on this matter if you are unsure.
Q: My home/land/property is on the market but is not selling. What should I do?
A:Over time, while assisting many members liquidating real estate to benefit the Work, the Headquarters ministry has seen a pattern repeat itself many times: The seller must aggressively drop the price, often more than once in a short time, to find the market “sweet spot” that brings a serious buyer to the table. Almost always, the selling price isconsiderably belowwhat the member had expected. The desire to give more to God’s Work through a higher price is wonderful, but generally speaking it is better to relatively quickly drop the price to one that will rapidly sell.
This evokes Christ’s parable of the unjust steward: “There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? For my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
“I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owe you unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owe you? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take your bill, and write fourscore.
“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: forthe children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that isfaithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that isunjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore you havenotbeenfaithful in theunrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:1-12).
Here is a quote from one of Mr. Pack’s sermons on Common regarding this parable: “Brethren, be like the unjust steward with your possessions. Maybe (proverbially) write 80 as he did, or write 50, so to speak. Again, get what you can for what you have. Holding out for the bigger price usually yields nothing, rather than more. We’d all like to think it will (rarelyit can), but it may yield nothing. Be willing to scramble…That’s what the unjust steward did. He scrambled. We might say God’s Work is in a big hurry. We could move more quickly with our plans if God’s people moved quickly.
“Because of the compacting of the age and the ‘short Work’ (remember God picked a word inRomans 9:28that means compact), we must act quickly. We have to be jet-propelled. So we here must move at the speed you move. Go to God for that extra help. Those are some things worth considering in regard to the unjust steward.”
The following also applies: Whatever is needed for the member to stay financially stable (retire revolving debt, build or maintain a moderate savings for emergencies, etc.) is the portion that should be retained by the member. If the Church’s gain is diminished somewhat due to a reduced price, this is preferable to the property sitting on the market for months—or years—and being useful to no one, besides being an upkeep burden for its owner.
Three Things Needed to Follow Through
Finally, we examine three spiritual qualities that must be in us—and strong—to obey Christ’s command.
(1) Faith:Believe all the promises of God that He will provide for all our physical needs. Among them, as we saw, is “…seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:29-31). We must also understand and believe that not obeying God in Common, as in every other area of conversion, blocks His ability to bless and provide for us. He must provide trials instead.
(2) The fear of God:This quality, so rare even among converted minds today, plays a big role in paying Common.Psalm 2:11—“Serve theLordwith fear, and rejoice with trembling”—is a simple instruction, but difficult to follow in the modern age. So isPhilippians 2:12—“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” The one who trulytremblesbefore God will comply with Christ’s instruction to pay His price. Again recall Mr. Pack’s milestone sermon, “The Fear of God—As You’ve Never Seen It!” and the verse “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet,moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb. 11:7). Fearing God leads to action! This central attribute causes Christians todowhat God says, including Christ’s command to “forsake all that he has.” Some choose to sit on funds that belong to God. They fear being without moneymorethan fearing God’s command to give it to Him. Don’t let this be you!Psalm 34declares, “O taste and see that theLordis good:blessed is the man that trusts in Him. O fear theLord, you His saints: forthere is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek theLordshall not wantany good thing” (vs. 8-10).Psalm 147adds, “TheLordtakes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy” (vs. 11).
(3) Desire to please God:Finally,I John 3holds two keys to answered prayer: “If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (vs. 21-22). Obedienceandpleasing God are both important. Pleasing Him requires a level of service beyond obedience. Thinking of all that God has done for us, let’s serve Him “with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things” (Deut. 28:47).
Your Best Investment
Storm clouds continue to threaten the global economy. The nations of the West, for so long the world’s financial engine, are in deep trouble. As they go, so goes the world. National leaders are frantically looking forsolutionsto the crisis.
In the meantime, Church members understand there is a time coming soon when it will be impossible for God’s Work to continue. Knowing there are but a few years remaining should powerfully motivate us to give even more.
People are concerned about their financial future unlike any period since the 1930s. They are busy putting money into what they consider to be safe investments. Where will you put yours? As a member of the only true Church, what is your safest investment?
The time will soon come when anyone not under God’s protection will be in BIG TROUBLE—and their financial savvy will not save them: “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall…not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of theLord” (Ezek. 7:19). Since gold (and to a lesser degree silver) is being advertised and sold everywhere, no one yet realizes it is useless against the Day of the Lord. How often do we think of this passage in connection to what we may be holding back beyond what we truly need? Remember the parable of the rich fool: In setting his heart on the things money can buy, he thought he had made it—only to die suddenly (Luke 12:15-21).
If you are stingy with God’s Work in trying to save yourself, do not expect much in return from God, including His divine protection. But the more generous you are, the more God will bless you. “He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Cor. 9:6). The more you “invest” in God’s Work, the bigger will be your return on investment! What a wonderful deal! God loves a cheerful giver (vs. 7), and will bless you accordingly (vs. 8). Yet, and this is critical to remember, Common funds are not really offerings. They arecommandedin the spirit of verses explained earlier. But understanding how God views offerings helps paint the full picture.
Our only hope of protection from the evil days to come is with Almighty God. Holding back displeases Him, and will cause Him to hold back His blessings (Heb. 10:38). If we try to save our lives by trusting in human effort, we will eventually lose out—but if we “lose our lives” by sacrificing for His end-time Work, we will be saved (Matt. 16:25-26). To receive God’s protection, we must walk “by faith, not bysight” (II Cor. 5:7), relying totally on Him. People with a large reserve of assets can obviously SEE what they have. This is what brings them peace—and security. It is what they “trust” in to get them through hard times. But neither they nor anyone else has ever seen the kind of hard times scheduled to strike the whole world like a “snare” (Luke 21:35)!
The Rest Is Up to You!
Time is short. The Return of Jesus Christ is but a few years away. It will occur in our lifetime. This world grows darker every day. God’s Church has an immense Work to do—one of staggering proportions—and is ready to expand as never before. His final Work is nearing its world-shaking crescendo! Are weindividuallyready? Each must ask:
HaveIobeyed having “all things Common”with my brethren?
HaveIsold “whatsoever I have,” and given the gospel to the poor?
HaveIpaidthis portionof Christ’s “price”?
That wild and crazy bunch in Edmond Oklahoma has an article up on their web site today that was written by Joel Hilliker. Hilliker's topic of choice is biblical manhood: The Protector of Women and Children.
This is a strange topic for a PCG flunky to be writing about considering PCG's appalling history of negating women and kids to the bottom of the governmental church structure. Remember that this is also the same cult that told a family to abandon their child at the mall so the state could take care of it. I guess that is a shining example of protecting children...Church of God style.
We have been conditioned to assume real men only were in the Living Church of God since they follow the man's man, Rod Meredith. Now we know that just might be true! The PCG apparently has a manly man issue with its men. Maybe Rod's men are actually better!
Men, pay close attention to this command from God: “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child” (Exodus 22:22).
This is the inexorable law of the Ruler of the universe. And He is serious about it. “If thou afflict them in any [way], and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot,and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless” (verses 23-24).
You do not want to mess with this God.
Women in the PCG and in many COG's have been relegated to the outer periphery for decades. They have been abused, molested and treated horribly by PCG ministers. Just look at the track record of deviate Cal Culpepper! Can there be a sicker man in the ministry?
Hilliker is excited that his god will kill any offenders of abuse. Culpepper had better put his big pants on and get ready to be held accountable!
Elsewhere in the Bible, the great Protector commands us to look after the blind, the deaf, the poor, the stranger. But of all those commands, Exodus 22 is God’s strongest, sternest and toughest. Elsewhere God prescribes the death penalty for certain sins—but nowhere else does He vow to personally administer it.
Next Hilliker asks...
Men—do you think like God?
Are you zealous like God about the duty He gave you to protect women and children? Are you vigilant against any threat to them? Do you shield them from harm and injustice, even at risk to yourself? Does finding them in affliction arouse your white-hot wrath?
Apparently the men of PCG are effeminate emasculated man-boys who have no idea how to treat women and children.
To our great shame, our modern society sorely lacks this elementary mind-set of manhood. Men are confused about sex roles. Teaching men to protect women is not only lacking, it is condemned. The modern feminist attitude teaches that it is more “enlightened” to let women fend for themselves.
In prior generations, however, the stronger were obligated to serve the weaker in this way. And by that I mean nearly all generations, in almost all societies, in almost all of human history! So it is amazing that modern feminism has been able to confuse us about this.
For some of us, the false thinking of Satan’s world has rubbed off on us more than we probably realize. I believe that just a few generations ago, even carnal-minded people in the world had a better understanding of this subject than many in God’s Church today!
Hilliker and others have written numerous articles over the last few years encouraging the man-boys of PCG to work on their strength and work out more.
When God made humankind male and female, He made one stronger than the other. God gave the man more native physical strength and a greater capacity for physical strength.
“The glory of young men,” He says, “is their strength” (Proverbs 20:29). God gave them that glorious gift of greater strength. We don’t have to apologize for that, and we certainly shouldn’t pretend it doesn’t exist. We should develop it and become stronger so we can use it for the purposes for which God gave it to us!
There are a lot of young men who do not have much of this kind of glory—because they haven’t developed their strength. That is a shame.
God also gave the man a tougher mental and emotional temperament than the woman, whom He calls “the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7).
That is not to say that the woman is or should be weak. God exalts strength in women (e.g. Proverbs 31:17). However, God designed her capacity for physical strength to be less. And a godly woman expresses her strength differently than a man.
This is God’s design, and it wasn’t an accident. God created very different roles for men and women to grow in godly character. In the case of the man, much of the role revolves around strength.
God created half of the human population to be physically, mentally and emotionally stronger and tougher, and He implanted within them a sense of unselfish responsibility to protect, provide for and defend the other half.
Have you ever thought about that beautiful truth, plainly evident within nature itself as God designed it?
God wants men to use that strength to benefit others. He gave it to us to build a godly mindset: Care for those who are weaker; protect women, the weaker vessel.
Next Hilliker has this to say about real masculine men:
Consider further: God designed human development so a little child is utterly helpless. He then created within fathers (and mothers) a strong protective inclination. This teaches us about His own nature and reinforces the lesson: A father protects his children.
A father protects his children...unless of course he has been told by Cal Culpepper to take his child to the mall and abandon it. God's government demands that father would do that if told to.
Fatherless children—those who lack that protection—are two to three times more likely to become victims of child abuse. Imagine how God feels about that!
Tell that to the kids who have been sexually abused in PCG by ministers and members!
Hilliker next lectures the weak men of PCG who like to find girls that have no fathers in their lives so that they are not accountable to another man when they ask them out or want to marry them:
One single woman told me that she feels men treat her differently because she has no father. “If a guy knows that a man is looking out for a girl,” she said, “he seems to be very aware of how well he takes care of that girl, knowing she has a male in her life that he would have to deal with.” Sadly, she is talking about her experiences with men in the Church—particularly single men!
Men: Are you more careless in how you treat a woman if she has no father? If so, read Exodus 22:22 again—and realize that she absolutely does have a Father! And if you take advantage of that woman in any way, that Father is going to come after you!
So men, what kind of man are you:
Do you think like God toward widows and fatherless? Or do you think like the evil people God protects the widows and fatherless from?
A man who thinks like God is a protector.
Men, this is the way God designed us physically, mentally, emotionally. This is how God commands us to think. This is a duty He has given to every man, barring legitimate incapacity—and He expects us to fulfill: Protect the women and children.
With so many effeminate man-boys in leadership positions in PCG this is a tough concept for these man-boys to handle.
God’s Church should be a stronghold of manliness!
Yep, just look at all of those manly studs Irish dancing men or the men dressed in toga's as they prance around the stage pretending to be David or Jeremiah. Manliness just oozes through out the Edmond compound.
Flurry has solved this problem by invoking Herbert Armstrong and Daniel. Those hyper-masculine men of the Old Testament are a man's man. No need for that effeminate carpenter called
The late Herbert W. Armstrong said one of the big jobs of a minister is to keep worldliness out of God’s Church. Pastor General Gerald Flurry took this a step further in Daniel Unsealed at Last! “The great responsibility that each of God’s members has is to keep the world and sin out of God’s Church,” he wrote. “It is a continual battle when you have God’s truth. Satan is totally committed to destroying that truth” (emphasis added).
For some reason the COG has been in one continual battle with its satan , so much so that it lays all blame and power upon it. That dude has more power than the Christ they claim to follow.
Its long been a tradition in the Church of God that when an article si written for a church publication it is because there has been an issue int eh church. Have the women in PCG had to defend their homes at night when trouble happens or defend themselves when insulted?
Do you look after the women in your life? Are you the first to step up to a difficulty, a challenge, a threat? If you’re married, when you hear a bump in the night, surely you are the one who investigates, rather than hiding under the covers and sending your wife. But are there other ways in which you are failing to defend your family?
If someone insults your wife, do you step up and defend her? Do you safeguard her honor and respect her in the way you talk with her? Does she feel safe and looked after in your presence? Can she call on you for help, even in little things, and know you will intervene on her behalf?
I can just picture the men cowering in the bedroom as the women head down the stairs in the middle of the night to investigate some strange noise.
Not only are PCG men weak but they must also be over bearing and outright mean. Thus the reason for this admonition:
Every man must protect women and children from his own worse nature. This includes curbing his anger, impatience, cruelty and mean-spiritedness.
Simply treating women with dignity and honor is a form of protecting them. A man who demeans his wife causes her to feel defensive around him, when she should feel protected!
Hilliker wants his men to be hard...
Life requires hardness—hardness to go out and succeed in a job in the world, to deal with carnal people, to earn money and provide for a family. It takes hardness to establish order and discipline in the home. It demands hardness to ward off negative, worldly influences and protect the family from predators. God wants men to develop the greatest share of that hardness so women don’t have to! He wants men to use the strength He gave them in order to fulfill those functions.
Hardness of this type is for men. When a man has that manly kind of hardness, he enables a woman to be soft. If a woman is too hard, that could indicate that the man is too soft.
Why do men in any of the Churches of God sit there and let some elite golden boy who has never worked an honest hard days work in his life tell them how to be masculine men? Does he even have a callous anywhere on his hands?
Hilliker's advice just get funnier as he goes along.
Even with something as harmless as a spider or mouse, if a woman screams for help, you have a choice. You can ridicule her for that and tell her to take care of it herself—or you can skip the sarcasm, step in and eliminate the problem—and be thankful for the opportunity to be her white knight against this “threat” rather than against a barbarian or a fire-breathing dragon.
Look for opportunities to step up and take care of things so that she doesn’t have to. Deal with those nagging home maintenance issues. Be the one to make that difficult phone call. Quickly intervene when you see her struggling with something heavy. Establish the habit of being the one to secure the house before everyone goes to sleep at night.
Again, why would any REAL man ever take this man-boy's advice?
It must be all of those butch women picking on their men!
Recapture this true value of masculinity. Purge your mind of worldly thinking, and replace it with God’s thinking.
God’s Church needs more-feminine women—women who look to God as their Protector, and even to the men in God’s Church, encouraging them in their roles. We need manlier men—stronger men, who use their strength to serve and to defend the weaker.
Q: My family/spouse/friends are opposed to me sending Common. How should I respond?
A: First, never tell family outside the Church about a command they have no chance to understand! (You would certainly never tell them even the size of a Holy Day offering.) Since we established that giving all is not possible without God, you should not expect those outside God’s Church to believe it is possible, or even a good idea. (This would also apply to a financial advisor, who would view any notion of “treasure in heaven” or being “rich toward God” as foolishness.) Remember: Family and friends cannot give eternal life. They cannot place a crown on your head or put you on a throne ruling cities beside Christ. Do not permit their opposition to jeopardize your eternal life and reward
Get counsel on this matter if you are unsure.
“Go get a big chunk out of your home. And put your money where your mouth is and send it here. And I’m not talking about one, two, three thousand either. How about ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, or one hundred thousand dollars? Go do it”
“Go get those assets and get them here”
[Speaking of Home Equity Lines] "The worst that can happen, and I'm prepared for this— is that you run it all the way up, and then you have to amortize it in a term loan after 10 or 20 years. It requires some faith, but not a lot. Now you just have a second mortgage instead of an Equity Line. It's converted into a term loan, paid over a period of 10 or 20 years, starting in 10 or 20 years. It's what I've done. I'm prepared to do it. And then, frankly, we flee before most of it ever comes due. That's just the way it is." The Clarion Call
" Wives, you can be independent in this. You have half the worth in whatever is there in your house. I'm officially telling all of you, read verses 17, 18, 19 and focus on it. Wives you have an independent voice. Legally you have half the funds. What are you going to do about it? [Pack begins a tirade and stutters heavily] Husbands, your wife, [speaks as if quoting] "Well, my wife isn't in the church. She doesn't want me to do it." You know what? [starts raising his voice] Tell her, "You don't have a voice, woman." She might say, "Well, I disagree" and she might fight ya, but, well then, that's what happens...Your wife doesn't agree that you don't eat ham, doesn't agree that you believe God isn't a Trinity, doesn't agree that you keep the Sabbath, or it could be other way around. Well, what does she agree with? Of course she's not going to agree with your tithing, or contributing on Holy Days or anything else. Or that there's a place of safety or that the whole world is coming to an end.
(1:44) Now some would say, "Well, I have to leave everything to my husband or my wife." Again, my question is, "Why?" Leave enough so that they're cared for, whether in or out of the faith? "Well I just feel that I should leave my Lutheran wife everything," somebody might say. [Shouts] Why??? Get over that feeling!!! That's what Satan wants you to do!!! He [Satan] would absolutely agree with your decision. God wouldn't agree with it. "Well my wife's in the faith. I'll just leave it to her and trust her." Well, wait a minute! She'd be the first to tell you to "Give it now— don't leave anymore than what I need." If she doesn't say that, then she's not in the faith, she's just sitting here warming a seat. The wife, in the faith, will say, "Give everything we can. Leave just enough for me." The Clarion Call
Please don't tell anyone outside RCG any of this. Cross your heart and hope to die?!
United Church of God continues to have problems. Recently Malcom Murray told his congregation in Flint and Detroit that he was stepping down as a preaching elder a few weeks ago but would still be a pastor.
Malcom wrote on August 9:
I have not taken a leave of absence and am still a full time minister in the United Church of God. What I have done is taken a leave from speaking for a short while. I am still working in the ministry in every other capacity except speaking for this interval. Serving God’s people, God’s work and God’s purpose on this earth is still the focus of my wife Francie and I in every aspect of service that we are able to perform.
Apparently the Big Boys in Cincinnati did not take too kindly to that. He has been removed from his ministerial duties and replaced by Steven Shafer
who will pastor the Flint and Detroit churches.
Strangely though, Murray is still listed as the Traverse City