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Exposing the underbelly of Armstrongism in all of its wacky glory! Nothing you read here is made up. Every crazy, weird and wacky quote is straight from the pens of Armstrongite leaders or members who think they possess some insight into God and the Bible. What you read here is the up to date face of Herbert W Armstrong's legacy. It's the gritty and dirty behind the scenes look at Armstrongism as you have never seen it before!

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    This was on James Malm site this morning.  You know things are bad when people are comparing Germano to Thiel!  LCG watched Bob Thiel have his mental meltdown in the church before he declared him self doubly blessed and started his apostate splinter group. Now LCG members are wondering if Germano is starting to melt down also?

    Many in LCG are very concerned that Germano is becoming the next Bob Thiel. He is showing signs of bitterness and rage (some have said because of the re-ordering of the LCG hierarchy) resulting in comments and behavior that is completely at odds with the tone of LCG. While so many CoGs are so very political, taking strong stances on Trump, on tax dollars spent on abortion, on Obamacare etc. with their publications causing a major headache for their congregations abroad (e.g.the UCG in Europe refusing to translate the pro-Trump drivel that came from Don Ward recently so as not to lose their entire congregations), Living Church has consistently proclaimed a higher spiritual message with global relevance with minimal focus on provincial politics. Of recent note was an article by Mark Sandor on rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s, which made the point that once we’ve paid our taxes, it’s not for us to fret about how the govt. uses the money (for war, for Obamacare policies that allow others to have an abortion etc.) However, Germano went off on a highly political Don Ward-like pro-Trump statement that threw a lot of the Living membership, even saying that a national healthcare program would be essentially Satanic. For those in LCG abroad, it was quite a slap that their own church would say they are un-Christian because they participate in such a program. It remains quite bewildering to me, and many others, that how a country chooses to administer its health-care system can be an issue of “Christianity” (UCG-ers in Canada are always offended by the editorial in the Beyond Today magazine which implies frequently that taking tax money to pay into a shared pool for health insurance is a violation of “Thou shalt not steal” because the govt is stealing your money !! (Mike Kelley’s time-worn theme). Perhaps it is the nature and result of the current state of national politics that some of these men are becoming ‘unhinged’, but the CoGs would do well to reign them in before their members run out: one leader who can’t control his daily Twittering is more than enough!

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    If you though Almost-arrested Elisha, Elijah, Amos, Habakkuk, Joshua, second witless witness, prophet apostle, future martyr, doubly blessed and disappointing "son" of Rod Meredith, could not get any weirder, then think again,  Elijah Thiel is all a twitter right now that his Bro, Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has grown a beard!  This beard is further "proof" that Guttenberg may end up being the Beast of Revelation.

    Seriously, is there no end to the stupidity coming out of Church of God "leaders" any more?  Have they no shame?



    The Bible shows that Europe will ultimately turn to a ‘strongman’ of its own in Revelation 17:12-13. 
    This may very well be Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. 
    Regularly readers of this page are aware that 9 speculative predictions I posted over the years related to Herr Guttenberg have been at least partially fulfilled: 
    1. He has advocated more European military cooperation.
    2. He became unpopular for a time (and still is among many).
    3. He ended up, for a time, outside of political office.
    4. He went out of the limelight for a while.
    5. He went into exile (self-imposed).
    6. His exile was to a humid location.
    7. He has partially re-emerged in European politics.
    8. He has called for Germany to consider being a leader in data protection.
    9. He now has a beard.
    Note: He did NOT have a beard when I first posted something that indicated that he could get one. 
    Several of those predictions were based upon my understanding of prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation, plus outside sources.
     

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    What an awesome thing to find out that the President of the largest University in the United States is a reader of Banned!  Imagine that!  Who knew!!!!!



    Michael Germano, President of the most important "university" in the United States if not the entire world follows Banned, so much so that he did not like us picking on the Living Church of God apostate, Almost-arrested Elisha, Elijah, Amos, Joshua, Habakkuk, second witless witness and disappointing "son" to Rod Meredith.  Dennis really needs to stop picking on poor innocent Bob.  Shame on you, GET A LIFE!!!!!!

    Mind you that this criticism is coming from a man who claims to be loyal to Rod Meredith, the man who Bob Thiel has criticized and who claims to be blind to Bob's "truths." So much for ones loyalty to ones boss!  When Rod Meredith criticized Almost-arrested Thiel I never saw Germano complaining.

    While I admit we pick on James Malm as equally as we do Elisha Thiel, I have to admire James for sticking to his convictions, no matter how much anyone disagrees with them.  Deep down I know that James does have a concern for those he sees as lacking in zeal and are being led astray by false COG leaders.  I don't agree with his stance, but he is actually a man of his word.   Michael Germano, not so much.

    Anyone one that was around through the turbulent 1990's and the doctrinal upheavals saw first hand the duplicity of Germano.

    Consider Germnao's letter to the Worldwide News dated May 9, 1995:
    The encouraging comments from our ministry all across the nation have been inspiring to my wife, Brenda, and me. It seems that each person had his or her own personal struggle in coming to understand what God is leading us collectively to know and do as his children.

    Learning is painful; there is nothing easy about it. I used to believe, and preach, that the most difficult aspect of life was child rearing. I have now changed my mind. It is being a Christian.

    Thanks to Mr. Tkach's leadership and relationship with God, we have been led by the Spirit of God to come to a deeper, richer, fuller understanding of what it is to be a Christian. The understanding appears to be wholly of the Spirit. When the veil is removed, all comes into place. Spiritual renewal is being worked out in a powerful and wonderful way throughout the Church.

    At Ambassador University we have some on the faculty (both lay members and ministers) who have not been able to see or accept the
    New Covenant understanding. The majority of the faculty, however, have and are deeply thrilled and excited about the new understanding. Some faculty and students have decided that they will work in active opposition. This is sad, but each person has come to his or her decision.

    All of our children and their mates remain loyal to God's Church and work as it is administered by Mr. Tkach. I believe that by the early summer the Ambassador University community will all be of one mind once again, and we can go forward with the wonderful work that lies ahead. It is going to be a very large and exciting work, and I hope we can all grasp the vision and significance of it.

    Our prayers and thoughts are with all our brothers and sisters in Christ—the ministry and the brethren. Please pray for Ambassador University. We love all of you and we know you love us.

    Michael and Brenda Germano
    Ambassador University
    Here is a man who was still being paid by the Worldwide Church of God who proceeded to slobber all over the Tkach administration with one platitude after another.  God was performing the most amazing miracle ever in Christendom and Germano and his wife were proud to be part of it.  That is until Tkach shut down the Big Sandy campus and Germano was out of work.  Then his story started changing.  Grace and spiritual freedom were thrown aside to join up with Rod Meredith where he could once again embrace legalism and bondage.

    This is also a man who has been coddling up to accreditation committees seeking to prove to them that the Living Church of God's "college" deserved to be called a "university." 

    Universities are typically filled with highly trained and well educated women and men who know their fields of expertise.

    Notice what Germano said about these men and women in THOSE universities:



    The American academy has been overrun by an evil leftist ideology turning many college and university schools of arts and sciences into citadels of deception and factories of deceit. Many English, anthropology, history and political science departments are staffed with flaming leftists with a very few exceptions. It is almost impossible to find PhD faculty in these disciplines that reflect traditional American values. Their brains have not just been washed but scrubbed clean and reprogrammed. Part of the deception is that academic leftists not only see themselves as the most brilliant, enlightened and balanced people on the planet capable of governing everyone in every context but as moderates. It is impossible to have a reasonable conversation with members of this elite as they have convinced themselves of their indignant, deceptive righteousness. It boils over into lefty religion and includes some well-meaning evangelicals who have been attracted by it. The building of America has taken many generations but it is being shredded. As the saying goes, any old jackass (an appropriate symbol) can kick down a barn but it takes a skilled carpenter to build one.
    Once again we see how he wants to be seen as something important in the educational community and then proceeds to smear his fellow educators as "jackasses" in spite of the fact he was educated by these "jackasses."
    Michael P. Germano, a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, holds earned doctorates from the University of Southern California and the University of La Verne. He completed post-graduate study in anthropology, archaeology, and theology at Southern Methodist University and Texas A&M University at College Station.  Michael P. Germano Bio
    On another thread this was posted about how quickly Germano changes with the political religious environment he is associated with:
    I saw an early draft of Germano's book on early Christianity in which "Jewish Christians" (as he called them) were the heroes. It was a scholarly, well researched book. Then the new teachings came out and, at a faster speed than I could have imagined, he revised his book to make gentile Christians the heroes. I've seen enough of Germano to know that he can be very likeable but he is also very political and not to be trusted. In 1995 I knew faculty members in Big Sandy who said they would resign if he were named president. 
    Now that his recent smear campaign against James Malm has discredited him in the eyes of LCG members, I really have to wonder WHO really needs to GET A LIFE?








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    A reader here sent the following comment in:
    it's so ironic that you think that you make christians who are trying really hard to please God look bad on your website, to any christian who has Jesus Christ living in them it is actually you who looks worse and worse with every post that you put online.

    nobody can seperate christians from the love of God and their fellows, bet you thought you could lead alot of people into darkness. Because that is all that this website exudes, darkness and hatred against christians. Why dont you write some of this stuff about some muslims? Oh thats right you are to afraid of those.

    You have used your ability to write for evil.
    My response:
    I have no beef with Christians who really practice their faith and do good works. There is no way I can attack anyone who is secure in their faith, If I were able to do that then they have no idea what they believe. Just look at the COG with its hundreds and hundreds of splinter personality cults with members following vain and narcissistic leaders who lie and deceive them. If these people were secure in their beliefs, there would be no need to see thousands of church members jump ship from one group to the next because they cannot find fulfillment in what they think is right. Twenty some years of church hopping proves that.

    If you were secure in your faith you would have no problem whatsoever in reading about how some churches and leaders prey on their people. You would immediately recognize some of the traits mentioned in the article that your present day leader may be exhibiting.

    A secure person in their faith has no problem reading and studying about opposing viewpoints. A secure person in faith would have no problem reading about evolution, how cults work, the new covenant, or even talking about Jesus. Atheist and agnostic viewpoints would not disturb you but make you seek to find common ground where respect resides.

    If you actually understood the new covenant, grace, justification, sanctification, and Jesus, you would realize that you do not need to continually "try" to please God. Any Christian who has Jesus living in them realizes this. You are right that a real Christian can never be separated from God, but look at the trail of bodies and broken lives left in the wake of Armstrongism. God certainly is NOT pleased at how COG leaders have separated them from him.

    As a regular church goer there is nothing what I do here that exudes darkness and hatred towards Christians. The darkness and hatred drips from the fingertips and the mouths of the sick and perverted COG leaders who lie and deceive their followers into believing perverted and twisted truths they claim God has revealed to them in dreams or in some kind of revelation. How has Meredith, Pack, Thiel, Flurry, Kubik and others made real Christians? How did Herbert Armstrong make any REAL Christians? Why do they enslave their members with the law? Why do self-appointed dreaming liars pretend to be God’s instruments? Why do liars claim God has revealed an additional second millennium to them where Jesus comes to visit in Ohio before he goes to Jerusalem?

    As for the Muslims I have absolute NO FEAR from any of them. In fact, I know several personally. Do you?


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    Last week Almost-arrested, Elisha, Elijah, Amos, Joshua, Habakkuk, second witless witness, God's African prophet and disappointing "son" of Rod Meredith posted that Satan had attacked his video stream.

    Our websites were down for a couple of hours last Sabbath because of some type of, what we think, was a robotic attack that filled up storage space. While we have protection for that in certain places, this particular attack succeeded for a time. But this was noted and corrected. We do not think this was a humanly deliberate attack against us, but Satan was probably more directly behind it. We also upgraded some aspects of the websites Sunday, which also made them temporarily unavailable. But the websites have been functioning fine since.

    Now Gerald Weston is claiming Satan attacked LCG's recent nearly flawless transmission. Satan did this to "create havoc" in the LCG.  I think Germano, Lil'Jimmy and others have been doing a fine job of that without Satan's help.

    From an LCG source:

    March 23, 2017
    By Gerald Weston
    Greetings from Charlotte,
    We received many very positive reports from last week’s live transmission. The Television and Internet Departments, along with the translators for Spanish and French, did a wonderful job. Because of a few glitches that occurred prior to transmission, and the near flawless transmission itself, it is evident to me that Satan wanted to create havoc, but Christ intervened, stopped him, and turned the Sabbath into a great success. We can safely say that approximately 5,500 members and families watched the service live. For those congregations that were not able to receive the live sermon, please see instructions below on how you can still view it. The Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Cape Town, South Africa was attended by 233 guests and 47 members, for a total of 280. In all, we had 341 guests attend the three TWPs in South Africa these past two weeks. Dr. Winnail returned from his visit with encouraging reports regarding the South African congregations and their leaders. Mr. Paul Shumway reported on a very profitable visit he and Mr. Damian Weekes had to Guyana and Brazil. His report reads like the Apostle Paul’s journeys found in the book of Acts. Your prayers for these faithful but scattered brethren, some of whom live under trying circumstances, are greatly appreciated. In my weekly visit with Dr. Meredith, he again mentioned how encouraging the cards from members, and even individuals not in our fellowship, are to him. Mr. Ames is doing well overall, but it is going to take some time for him to regain his full strength. Please remember both of these men in your prayers.—GEW
    The LCG source writes:

    Is it just me or does Gerald sound completely insane?! And there's no way they had 5500 watchers. Notice how he tries to make it sound like 5500+ their families. In reality, it wasn't likely even 5500 INCLUDING every man woman and baby on a sleeping mat!

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    Note:  While I may or may not agree with many of the things said below I am making good on my offer for LCG members to have a space to share their concerns.  LCG members/former members now make up a significant percentage of the readership here. We have allowed them space to share their concerns and disappointments in the leadership and direction of the church.


    From a Living Church of God member:...I am a Living Church of God member who would like anonymously to post a couple of articles that I think many of your readers might find interesting because they are entirely based in Scripture and because they are completely contrary to what was pounded into church members for decades.  I think they help explain some of why the church(es) proclaim what is in the Bible but at the same time treat people like dirt.

    Is the Living Church of God the fulfillment 
    of the Sardis church description?


    The Worldwide Church of God claimed to be the fulfillment of the Revelation 3 description of the faithful church era, so does every one of the hundreds of offshoots from that church.  Have any of them actually taken the time to compare themselves to what the actual Scriptures actually say?  Let's take a look at what the actual Scriptures actually say and compare them to the actual facts.


    Revelation 3:1 states: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: " I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead."


    Here we have a very specific clue - the name.  In sermon #964, Gerald Weston mentions that the originally, Mr. Meredith had wanted to incorporate under the name "Church of the Living God", however that was unavailable for some reason, and so the name was chosen as "Living Church of God".  Those are two entirely different connotations, and the one fits precisely with the name that is "alive" in Rev. 3:1.  Mr. Armstrong claimed that the Church of God, Seventh Day was the Sardis church era, however, that is simply not a name that is "alive" in the same way that Living Church of God IS a name that is alive.  The facts and the Scripture match.


    Verse 2 of Rev. 3 gives a warning that there are problems in the church that are not being fixed.  Verse 3 gives a description of what is wrong, "Remember how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent...."  Here we see what the problem is: the era has forgotten how it heard and received and does not repent. 


    How does a person received the truth?  A person must be humble and teachable, as Christ illustrated by using the example of a little child (Matt. 18:2-4, Mark 9:37, Luke 9:48).  When the crowd heard Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost they realized they had sinned and were given the instruction to repent (Acts 2:37-38), and they did.  Receiving the truth involves being humble and teachable, and that doesn't only apply to someone "new in the faith", but to everyone at all times.  Even the apostles, after the coming of the Holy Spirit sinned (Gal 2:11-13) and had things they needed to learn (Phil. 4:11-12).


    To receive the truth it is required to repent, and repentance will not be accepted without also forgiving others (Matt. 6:14-15).  Repentance without forgiveness is of zero value (Matt 18:21-35).  I fear for the ministers who have issued unfair punishments to church members (James 2:13).  While I understand that there are times when discipline must be administered, it must be done in accordance with the Scriptures (Matt. 18:15-17) and it must be for Scriptural reasons or otherwise established clear rules, not simply some unexplainable cause.  There also must be no partiality involved (Deut. 1:17, 16:19, James 2:1-9). 


    Unfortunately, the Living Church of God falls very short in these areas.  If you have been treated badly by the Living Church of God and read the open letter from the Scarborough's, you probably read a playbook of the way you were treated as well - accused and then shutdown and cut off in spite of clear evidence of innocence or underlying circumstances.  While no one is perfect, the harshness often dealt out is often in far disproportion to the alleged infraction, and no amount of apology is ever accepted or even acknowledged, it is simply the opinion of the minister that reigns supreme.  In Mr. Meredith's live webcast on Dec. 24, 2016, he stated that if someone in church has a problem and they bring it to the leadership that they will listen.  But here is what most often actually happens: If someone has an issue with a minister and they bring the problem to the church leadership, they will initially listen to the person, then ask the minister in question what his version is, and then side with the minister.  If there are further attempts by the individuals to be heard they will be ignored or kicked out.  The clear evidence, facts of the matter, multiple witnesses, or Scripture become completely irrelevant, all that the church leadership seems to care about is their authority being upheld.  I'm not just basing this on the Scarborough's letter, I know it from seeing others get treated the same way.  I knew one individual who asked repeatedly why they were being punished and tried to apologize for everything they could think of only to have their apology turned around and used as "evidence" against them.  I knew another individual who was issued a punishment and when they asked the HQ minister sent to review the case why they were being punished, he simply said he didn't know - but that didn't stop him from enforcing the punishment (get this: he flew all the way from Living Church HQ to review a case, and didn't know why the person was being punished).  The lack of forgiveness and lack of repentance certainly fits with the description of Rev. 3:3.


    Pointing out Scripture to a minister is also treading on very thin ice.  I'm not talking about an obscure verse somewhere or vague prophecy, I'm talking about multiple verses that essentially back up common sense.  Things such as getting all the facts before judging a matter (Deut. 13:14,17:4, 6, 19:15-18, Matt. 18:15-17, I Tim. 5:19) not listening to here-say or gossip, and so on.  If a minister is transgressing in these areas, to point it out is to ask for retribution, whereas it should be the opposite (Pro. 9:8, 15:31, 17:10), the ministry should be especially glad to adhere closely to Scriptural guidance.  This know-it-all attitude is the opposite of how a person receives and hears the truth and is a fulfillment of Rev. 3:3.  The facts and the Scripture match.


    Concerning the "works" that are mentioned.  The Living Church of God acts as if the only definition of the word "work" is preaching the gospel and that doing so somehow gives a pass to any other wrongdoing that is going on.  That is simply not the case, "works" are what a person does (Gal. 3:19-21, James 2:14).  Preaching the gospel to the world is a base requirement of God's church (Mark 16:15, I Cor. 9:16), it does not earn extra credit or cover for sins (Pro. 10:12, Luke 17:10, I Pet. 4:8).


    Continuing on in verse 3 of Rev. 3, "...Therefore if you will not watch,..."  Watch what, world news?  Is that what it is talking about?  No, refer back to verse 2, it is talking about watching and strengthening the qualities that are dying.  It's about watching the self and personally overcoming, repenting, and so on.  Seeing the exact world actors and timing that are due to fulfill prophetic events is worthless without a foundation of Godly love (I Cor. 13:2), which is based on following His law (John 14:15, 15:10, I John 2:4, 5:2-3).


    The penalty for "not watching" is, "...I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I come upon you."  As is made clear in many Bible prophecy areas and is examined in many church of God books on the subject, there are many signs that precede Christ's return, years of them, in fact.  Christ isn't going to sneak back and surprise people.  But Christ returning is not the only way that He can "come upon" a person, as is made clear in the Ezekiel warning (Ezek. 3:18-21).  If a person dies before Christ's return, then Christ has essentially come as far as that person is concerned.  Also, considering that there are many signs prior to Christ's return, and yet He indicates that He will sneak up on this church era, it seems that this church era will not be in existence at His return.  There have been many churches of God over the centuries that have flourished and then vanished, the Scripture seems to indicate that the Sardis era, exemplified by the Living Church of God, will be no different.


    Rev. 3:4 states, "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy."  This statement should stand as a very stark warning for the church, note that it is not the "many" who have not defiled their garments, but the "few".  The church leadership who thinks they have a place in the kingdom assured and yet go around oppressing the members had better think again.  Hophni and Phineas and the Pharisees all held positions of leadership as well and they certainly didn't gain automatic admission into the kingdom because of it (I Cor. 10:12).  And members who aren't repentant, forgiving, and actively making changes in their lives to better get along with others and serve God had better beware also.


    Rev. 3:5 states, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."  This verse tells the seriousness of not overcoming - he who does not overcome will not be clothed in white and will be blotted out from the Book of Life.  This is how serious it is to be humble, teachable, repentant, and forgiving.  Ceasing from those things will lead to loss of salvation.


    The conclusion in Rev. 3:6 says, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." The admonition is to look at what is said to all the churches, not just the ones you think apply to you.


    It is my hope that the Living Church of God leadership will read this and cease from the harshness and partiality that is so rampant.  If the Living Church leadership doesn't want their church described as a "minister's club", then stop making it into one.  It is my prayer that the Scripture will be followed, not just taught.  It would be nice to see some openness and honesty for a change.



    Anonymous





    Scriptural evidence of why Worldwide Church of God 
    was not the Philadelphian era of the church.


    The Worldwide Church of God was measurably the largest and most influential church of God in the history of the churches of God.  With mailing lists of some 8 million and church attendance in the hundreds of thousands, the size of the church dwarfed any previous church of God by magnitudes.  With the invention of radio and television, the preaching of the gospel went out in ways previously unimaginable to people around the world.  The economies of scale allowed printed magazines to be distributed widely.  This ability to preach the gospel in such a dramatic manner left little doubt to Mr. Armstrong about which church era he was head of - obviously, he had the "open door" of Rev. 3:8, and therefore simply must be the manifestation of the Philadelphian era.  Now that we have the advantage of being able to look back in time, does that assertion still hold true?  


    Mr. Armstrong had identified the Church of God, Seventh Day as being the "Sardis Era", however, the name certainly doesn't fit the description.  His reasoning was that since they had lost much of the truth and did not have a zeal to preach the gospel, that they were figuratively a "dead" church.  Also, since Worldwide was "obviously" the Philadelphian era, this had to be the case.  But does it fit with history and Scripture?  If you read the books on church of God history, you will find a repeated pattern which goes something like this: Revival - Growth - Apostasy - Collapse.  Simply skim through the book by Mr. Ogwyn on the subject and you will find this over and over again, especially during the vast span of time identified as the "Thyatira era".  Although Mr. Armstrong could not know it at the time, the church he raised up would follow that exact same pattern.


    If you have read the article comparing the Living Church of God to the description in Revelation 3 of the Sardis church, you will have some of the premise and additional evidence of Worldwide not being Philadelphian due to time sequence.


    So let's look at the actual Scriptures and the actual facts starting in Rev. 3:7:


    "And to the angel of this church in Philidelphia write; These things says He who is Holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens:"


    In sermon number 974, Mr. Gerald Weston notes correctly that this verse is a description of Christ (not the church) and that it is a quotation from Isaiah 22:22.  He also repeats Mr. Rod Meredith's frequent assertion that ""David" means government".  Is that what this Scripture is saying?  The passage in Isaiah 22:15-23 refers to someone who has a key to king Davids house, they have control over who is allowed to enter.  This in no way is speaking about a type of governmental structure as has been frequently asserted, the context simply does not support it.  The description is of Christ as having the key, it is Him who has control over who enters the King's house and who doesn't. 


    Rev. 3:8 "I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."


    First of all, "works" are simply what a person does, it does not refer to any one specific thing such as preaching the gospel (Gen. 2:2-3, I Cor. 3:13-15, II Thess 3:8, Titus 2:7).  Christ is simply saying He knows what this era is doing.  


    Mr. Armstrong read this verse and referenced the other places in the Bible where a "door" is used to mean an opening to preach the gospel (I Cor. 16:9, II Cor. 2:12, Col. 4:3) and concluded that this meant that the Philadelphian era would have a large opening to preach the gospel.  This interpretation combined with the overwhelming magnitude of the preaching of the gospel by Worldwide led to his "obvious" conclusion.  But is that conclusion correct?  All of Worldwide and all the offshoots claims of "Philadelphianess" depend on the correct meaning of the "open door" in this verse. 


    Of primary importance, let's consider the context of this statement about the "open door".  The Greek word translated "door" appears 39 times in the New Testament, but only three of them clearly allude to preaching the gospel.  The previous verse was describing Christ as having the power to open or close an entrance and here we see a door open to this group of people.   Considering that there is no criticism to this group of people, it is a fitting reward that they would be allowed into God's house.  To paraphrase the two verses in regards the door: "7 Christ has the key to the house 8 and He has opened the door to you."  Where in the two verses is there anything that alludes to the "open door" as pertaining to the gospel?  It isn't there any more than there is Christmas is in Matthew 2!  The word "door" also appears in verse 20, but no one contends that it is referring to preaching the gospel due to context.  Well, the context of verses 7-8 doesn't support it either.  The claims of Mr. Meredith that the Living Church of God is the "Philadelphian remnant" rest entirely on the "open door" of verse 8 having to do with the preaching of the gospel, but the context clearly does not support it!  (Furthermore, where in the Scripture is there any mention of a "Philadelphian remnant"?)


    I am not saying that preaching the gospel is not the duty of a Christian church, it certainly is, but I am saying that using that as the defining characteristic of the Philadelphian era does not fit with the context of the Scripture.  Both Worldwide and Living church have blasted other churches for taking Scriptures out of context, but isn't that really what has happened here?  The concept of the preaching of the gospel as defining the Philadelphian church has been a constant for decades, but how does the Scriptural reference back that up?  I know many will simply insist on that definition "because Mr. Armstrong said so" and it is in keeping with church tradition, however, what did Christ say about traditions that were not according to the Scripture (Matt. 15:3-6, 9, Mark 7:8-9, Col. 2:8)?  He was not impressed.  This is very important, look at what the words of Scripture actually say!


    Continuing along in verse 8, the description continues that this church era has kept Christ's word and did not deny His name.  Did Worldwide do that?  Did it uphold the Bible and keep to it's teachings?  Of course not, it dropped the teachings and went right into protestantism.  Even when Mr. Armstrong was alive there were many leaders who broke away and took members with them right into heresy.  Corruption grew up frequently that he had to deal with, he even had to put his own son out of the church.  Before his death the seeds had already been planted that would attempt to wipe away everything he had taught within just a few years after his death.  It is hard to look at all that and describe it as a church that held fast to the Scripture, in fact, it is impossible.  


    Verse 9 can only be fulfilled after Christ's return.  Verse 10 indicates that this church era will be protected from the "hour of trial" which is assumed to be the great tribulation, although that term isn't found elsewhere in the Bible.  If that assumption is correct, then this church era must exist before and during that time.  There is nothing here about it existing in fullness and then dwindling to a remnant for which this part is fulfilled.  If protection is due to being already in the grave, then there is nothing special about this church era's protection, as the majority of Christians are already in the grave.  The reward of protection is due to persevering, but it is not specific in exactly what.  Did Worldwide church persevere?  It no longer even exists!


    In verse 11 Christ says He is coming quickly and to hold on to the crown that is given.  Although "quick" to us and "quick" to God are different things, Christ does say He is coming quickly to this era, which further indicates its existence at His return.  Worldwide church no longer exists, and many of those who were associated with it at its beginning are no longer alive.


    So since Worldwide was not the Philadelphian era, what was it?   Well if the eras are sequential and Living church is Sardis (see the other article for that), then let's look at the description of Thyatira and see if it matches.


    As with all the eras, the first line part describes some attribute of Christ.  Verse 19 starts the description of the church:


    :19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience [perseverance]; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.


    Here there are several positive traits listed and then one that is very interesting - that the last works are more than the first.  When it comes to churches of God through history to the present, there isn't any that surpass Worldwide in size, influence, or recognition.  This church very clearly had far more "works" than any of the others, printing more literature, and using means and methods not even imagined in the previous centuries.  Was Worldwide the end of the Thyatira era?  They certainly had more works than any before them: the description fits.  They also, more so early on than later, had an approach of love, service, and faith.  When Mr. Armstrong "put the church back on track", those attributes were not really restored to what they had been before.


    20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.


    The Jezebel of the Bible was a huge promoter of pagan religion, and in this context it seems that the "sexual immorality" mentioned probably has to do with dabbling in false religious ideas.  Did some in the leadership of Worldwide church ever dabble in false christianity?  During the church wide fast and live broadcast from Living church HQ Mr. Weston mentioned that there were ministers in Worldwide who quietly kept Christmas.  The various "theology projects" that took place also had leanings toward false religious practice.  


    And what is "eating things sacrificed to idols"?  That is to take something that is fine of and by itself, but has been tainted by its use in pagan practice (Acts 15:29, I Cor. 10:28).  A very clear example of this is the use of Masonic lodges to hold church services in, which was extremely prevalent during the time of Worldwide.  The Masonic practices are clearly rooted in paganism and their buildings always contain symbols and idols, and yet that is where Holy Days were kept, in the midst of rooms containing idols!  Clearly, this description fits.


    Verse 21 indicates that the church was given time to repent and didn't.  This brings to mind the time in the '70s when Mr. Armstrong "put the church back on track".  It was not "back on track" as was plainly evidenced over the next decades.  The church as a whole did not repent.


    Verse 22 indicates that the church era and those associated with it will be in "great tribulation", which means that the church era will be around at that time.  How is indicated in verse 23 which indicates that this church era produces "children".  Just as the great false church produces children (Rev. 17:5), so does the Thyatira era of God's church, and with hundreds of churches springing from the collapse of Worldwide, this fits the description.  This may also tie in with Rev. 12:17 as being among the ones that Satan is allowed to pursue.


    Verse 24 describes there being no "other burden" being placed on those who do not have the false doctrine.  It appears that the main trial of this era of the church is to resist the pull of false doctrine.  Did Worldwide resist the pull of false doctrine?  Pretty clearly, it didn't, not at it's demise, and not during its span.


    The balance of the passage gives a list of rewards to the over-comers and an admonishment to hold fast, as with all the eras.  The easily obtainable facts and the clear portions of Scripture seem to line up pointing to Worldwide as not being the Philadelphian era but the last hurrah of the Thyatira era.  Mr. Armstrong could not have known at the time what the perspective would be thirty or so years after his death, but now the situation is very apparent.  This pretty well explains the corruption and mistreatment that so many were subjected to over the course of Worldwide's existence and the churches that sprang from it.  Far from being the era which was given no reproach, it was an era mixed with corruption, as so many readers of this website witnessed with their own eyes.


    I am sorry for all of the people who were treated disdainfully by individuals who claimed to represent God.  Their conduct is blasphemous even more if they are among the leadership.  Those who think that being in "the right church" and "preaching the gospel" remove any obligation to treat people with decency have completely missed the main point of God's way of life that they claim to profess.  They way that people are treated like garbage and thrown out without a second thought is an absolute disgrace, and the complete opposite of what God's word clearly spells out.


    Anonymous






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    From a reader here:


    Literal or Parable & Allegorical Understanding


    A few years ago, after church services, a round table discussion about various religions began. After several minutes the following comment was made, “All religion is made man.” Immediately someone said, “Except ours.” After several minutes of continued discussion, the comment was repeated with emphasis, “Remember this, all religion is man made.” A few years ago someone questioned another’s belief in God. The answer was, “Yes, absolutely, but I prefer the word creator rather than God."


    The word “God” was derived from the word “good.” This may have been done to emphasize the goodness of the creator more so than the greatness of the creation by the creator. Both are equally valid. There are three Hebrew words translated as God; “elohim” Strong’s #430, which is the plural form of  “eloah” #433, which is derived from “el” #410, which means might, strength, and power. Elohim does not always refer to “God” as creator as the following will show; keeping in mind that Strong’s Concordance reference for the Hebrew word “elohim” is #430.


    Genesis 23:6 Hear us, my lord: thou [art] a mighty(430) prince among us: …..(Refers to Abraham as elohim, but not as God)


    Genesis 30:8 …. With great(430) wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, …(Refers to Rachel and Leah - as elohim / godly wrestlers?)


    Exodus 9:28 …… that there be no mighty(430) thunderings and hail; …….                                                                                   (as elohim / godly thunder and hail?)


    Exodus 22:9 ….... come before the judges;(430) [and] whom the judges(430) shall condemn, . . .godly judges? - maybe, maybe not)


    Jonah 3:3 …... Now Nineveh was an exceeding(430) great city of three days' journey.(Was Nineveh an elohim / godly city?)


    Searching for and learning the meanings of words, rather than the traditional teachings of 20+ years of Baptist and Methodist teaching as well as 50+ years of awareness of and/or association with the Church of God has helped in coming to a completely different understanding of the Bible.


    Twelve years ago, an interest in trying to understand the bible more clearly was begun, rather than relying on traditional teaching. Over time, an understanding was realized that parables, allegories and “dark sayings of old” were used in the Old and New Testament. “Dark sayings” in Psalms 78:2 and Proverbs 1:6 are used in the sense of being difficult to understand or hidden. Galatians 4:22-26 states that the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and their sons are allegory(vs. 24). Did those “hidden” terms use anthropomorphism and personification to describe natural conditions of the world we live in as well as all people, no matter who the person is or where that person resides on this earth? 


    Once the similarity of stories from the O.T. and N.T. were compared to nature, our solar system, the universe and us as humans, the meanings began to become clearer. Also, similar stories are a part of nearly every culture throughout time on this earth. Compare the stories of Krishna of India, Tammuz of Syria, Esus of the Celtic Druids, Mithra of Persia, and Quexalcoati of Mexico, Dionysus of Greece and many others. All were crucified gods and all have stories similar to the one we know best.Why?


    The following are a few of examples to explain some allegorical possibilities:


    Genesis 32:24-31 gives the story of Jacob wrestling with a man; who most folks say was either God or an angel. But Numbers 23:19 states that God is not a man. It is questionable if angels are men as well. Also Jacob called the place Peniel and Penuel. There is a tiny gland in the middle of our brain which is named Pineal. This pineal gland is connected to the optic nerves of our eyes and issensitive to light. 1John 1:5 states God is light.

    1. Important events, in the Bible, happens at a high place. Mt Siani, Mt Zion, Mt Ararat, Mt Moriah, Mt Carmel, Mt of Olives, Sermon on the Mount, large “upper room” and others. Could all these be allegory for our own personal “mountain” which is on top of our shoulders? Psalms 139:13-14 . . . [God] formed my inward parts . . .  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

    2. 1 Kings 6 describes the construction of the temple, which could allegorically describe our skull and the parts of the brain. The temple, which really counts, is made without hands. (Mark 14:58). If you point to your temple, would you point to the side of your head? Is that just coincidence? “For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16)  “. . .the kingdom of God comes not with observation: . . . the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-21)  A study of the word “within” may reveal an understanding that very well may not mean “among” as we have been told. The Greek word translated “within” (Strong’s #1787) appears only two times. The other is in Matthew 23:26 and the word means “inside”.

    3. There are twelve signs of the Zodiac. One of those is Gemini, a set of twins (total 13). One of those signs is represented as a woman, Virgo. There were twelve sons of Jacob and one daughter (total 13). There are twelve main followers or disciples of Jesus plus a woman, Mary Magdalene (total 13).

    4. There are 2 sets of 12 (total 24) cranial nerves that start originate in our brain and extend into our body. There are 24 elders around the throne of God. (Rev. 4:4) Could that throne be our skull, which contains the brain, and be the “Great White Throne” where judgment occurs?

    5. There are four main parts of the brain; cerebrum, cerebellum, limbic system, and brain stem. The cerebrum is further divided into four parts; frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe. Could either of these four parts be the four beasts of Rev 4:7-8?

    6. According to some cultures, there are seven points of energy associated with the human body. Six of those points of energy are within the body from the base of the spine to the head. Work takes place within those six energy points. The seventh is just above the head where no work is involved within the body. Could our seven day week be an allegory for the six points of energy in our body with the seventh just over our head where a crown would be? Could these be the seals of Rev 5:1 which are written “within” and on the “backside” be along the spine of our body? Could the seventh be the crown we are promised?

    7. Jesus was killed on Golgotha or Calvary. Both mean skull. Golgatha is transliterated from Hebrew. Calvary is transliterated from Latin. (How did a Latin word find its way into a book written in Greek?) Could the death of Jesus be allegorical for the death of our own ego and carnal desires? Those attitudes originate in our brain. BTW, transliteration is not translation. Transliteration offers no definition, only an approximate sound and spelling of a word.


    There are many, many more possibilities which, if fully understood, could free us from the control of the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2:6 & 15)  Nico is Greek for victory (control) and laitanes (laity) is Greek for the common people; OR victory over or control of the common people. That is not to say that the ministers, in general, are purposely trying to deceive the people, but traditional orthodoxy came about over many, many years of control. Ministers / clergy teach what they are taught to teach. Generally, the lay people are expected to accept what is taught without question. During the “Dark Ages” the vast majority of people were not able to have a copy of the bible even if they could read. The thoughts and actions of people were controlled to the point of death if commands were not obeyed. During the Dark Ages, approximately 600 CE to 1600 CE, millions of people were tortured and/or killed by the church. As a point for an interesting study, the word “church” is not a valid translation in the bible. King James was instrumental in having the word “church” used instead of the correct translation, assembly and/or congregation for the Greek word ἐκκλησίᾳ, transliterated asekklesia.


    Following are two examples of the control of the Nicolaitans.

    1. William Tyndale wrote a more correct English translation of the bible in the early 1500’s CE.  The church had banned the unauthorized translation of the Bible into English in 1408. Tyndale was killed by strangulation while tied to the stake and his body was burned at that stake because of a treatise he wrote critical of Henry VIII’s divorce. At that time Henry VIII had broken with Rome and became the ruling authority of the Church of England. Tyndale also claimed that the Bible did not support the view that the “church” was the body of Christ.

    2. Galileo Galilee was charged, by the “church”, with teaching and defending the Copernican doctrine that holds that the sun is at the center of the universe and that the earth moves. This doctrine had been deemed heretical in 1616, and Copernicus' book had been placed on the index of prohibited books. In June 1633 Galileo was taken to the “church” and ordered to kneel while his sentence was read. It was declared that he was “vehemently suspect of heresy”. Galileo was forced to recite and sign a formal withdrawal of his statements.

    These are only two examples of the “church” and its control of the people. There are many, many millions of others who were either killed or severely punished because they challenged the church hierarchy and their dogma and dictates. It still happens today in a figurative sense.


    If the bible is read with a literal interpretation for proper understanding, then one must deal with the numerous illogical and contradictory statements within that book. Did Jonah really stay in a whale’s (big fish) belly for three days and three nights? Will Jesus literally ride a white horse out of heaven?  Who caused David to number Israel? (Compare 2Samuel 24:1 and 1Chronicles 21:1) Will there literally be a “New Jerusalem” that comes down from “heaven”?


    As a general rule Jesus spoke only in parables.


    Mark 4:33 . . . with many such parables he spoke the word to them, even as they were able to hear.  

    Mark 4:34 But He did not speak to them without a parable. . . . .


    Is it possible for the Bible to have been written with allegory, metaphor and parables in the same manner as Jesus spoke? Could this explain the illogical and contradictory statements within that book? If God is in heaven, could heaven be our highest and controlling organ, i.e., our brain?


    If the Bible truly is the “Word of God” there must be a reason it is written with those illogical and contradictory situations. If parable, allegory, metaphor and dark sayings are considered as a possibility then maybe there are other questionable situations or events from the bible which could be better understood. We have been admonished not to accept the letter of the law.


    2Corinthians 3:6 . . . . not of the letter, (literal understanding?)  but of the spirit: for the letter kills,  (hides understanding?) but the spirit makes alive. (gives better understanding?)


    Our traditions are so very deeply rooted and difficult to overcome without the following example:

    Acts 17:11 . . . . [Bereans] received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched(350) the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  (Strong’s #350, examined, studied)


    These two questions are asked,

    1.     “Do we really know and understand the meanings of the words in the Bible?”

    2.     “Do we reallywant to know and understand the meanings of the words in the Bible?”


    All previous comments and suggestions in this article are not limited to understanding the Bible by it being the sole source of what has been written here. These comments and suggestions have been known and written for thousands of years throughout the generations and cultures of mankind.


    George and Ira Gershwin, a couple of New York Jewishsong writers wrote “It Ain’t Necessarily So” for the play “Porgy and Bess” in 1935. It seems that the Gershwin brothers may have had a better understanding than most folks. They did not write “ain’t so”; but wrote “ain’t necessarilyso.”

    Could they have understood the parables, allegories and dark sayings of old?


    **************************


    It ain't necessarily so

    It ain't necessarily so

    The things dat yo' li'ble, to read in de Bible,

    It ain't necessarily so.


    Li'l David was small, but oh my!

    Li'l David was small, but oh my!

    He fought ‘ol Goliath, who lay down an' dieth!

    Li'l David was small, but oh my!


    Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,

    Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,

    Fo' he made his home in, dat fish's ab-do-men.

    Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale.


    Li'l Moses was found in a stream.

    Li'l Moses was found in a stream.

    He floated on water, till Ol' Pharaoh's daughter,

    She fished him, she said, from dat stream.


    Well, it ain't necessarily so

    Well, it ain't necessarily so

    Dey tells all you chillun, de debble's a villun,

    But it ain't necessarily so!


    To get into Heaven, Don' snap for a seven!

    Live clean ! Don' have no fault!

    Oh, I takes dat gospel, when’er it's pos'ble,

    But wid a grain of salt.


    Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,

    Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,

    But who calls dat livin' when no gal will give in

    To no man what's nine hundred years?


    I'm preachin' dis sermon to show,

    It ain't neces, ain't neces, ain't neces, ain't neces

    Ain't necessarily ... so!


    **************************




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    Dave's grasp of scripture is so astounding that his followers just cannot leave the Restored Church of God.  Mix that amazing truth and his amazing grasp of brotherly love church members just cannot bring themselves to leave.

    It’s why clear verses to some are unclear to others. Christ spewed out of His mouth thousands and thousands of people to become wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. They had fallen below the ability, apparently, with that condition to grasp—to grasp—things that we are being shown. If we fear God, we’re under His government, we’re practicing brotherly love, we’re walking in truth—we’re doing all the things that the Body of Christ is doing—we’re doing His Work…all those different things Christ reveals to us—and interestingly enough almost nobody leaves.
    Also, interestingly enough, the few that are, are ministers and their wives. Those are the only people who left anywhere in the world. Christ’s sheep know His voice—they didn’t leave. But we could ask the question…And I’m going to come back to this later on…does that mean the few ministers who left, or their wives…but let’s just say the ministers…are wolves? We’re going to take another look at who is and who is not a wolf!
    We did lose some ministers who were not helping brethren understand prophecy. Now, let me just say again, we lost three ministers recently. Between them, they were only able to take a single, 100-year-old widow with them. That’s all they were able to take. But let’s just say that her advanced age…such a woman was not mentally prepared to withstand what came at her…the effects of age made her easy prey. A man left a couple weeks ago; he took no one. Another man, who left a month before that, actually took no one; but one person came back. So the net loss, if you count this 100-year-old widow that they went in and took out…that one man did…it was literally a net. They took no one. I’ve never heard of anything like that.
    But if I just took a moment to kind of, through language, stroll through the names of all the ministers we’ve lost down through the years, it’s not been like Worldwide. Virtually no one follows them. Now that encourages me. That encourages me, and it ought to make any minister, I guess, who still could be thinking about leaving…I don’t think there’s anybody, but I’ve said it before…ought to make them think long and hard about how much God’s sheep hear His voice. 


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    Dave Pack has a hard time with the fact that many UCG church services are only an hour and half long instead of the HWA mandated two hours.  Because UCG "blew off tradition' they should be shunned.  Dave Pack blew off tradition with 3-4 Thur sermons and should be shunned too!  What a moron.
    Now let’s read quickly, again, what we’re all familiar with, but it’s important to see it…II Thessalonians, chapter 3, verse 6: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…[Before I go on, remember, again…Just what is it, brethren, that makes us different from the churches of the world? What is it again? We obey what God commands. We obey God. So here’s a command.]…that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”
    Even traditions—not just truths—traditions…Somebody says “I believe every doctrine of the Church, but I just refuse to believe certain traditions”…whatever they might be…“I think we should have one song to open services and three to close.” That’s a tradition. Somebody says “I refuse to believe we’re doing it right.” I’m being facetious, maybe a little silly, to illustrate a point. That’s a tradition. There’s no verse in the Bible that says you do it that way. “I think services should be an hour and a half.” The United Church of God thought that…they blew off that tradition. By definition, when they blew off a tradition established by a righteous apostle for decades, do you realize—in a sense—you cannot have fellowship with the 10- or 12,000 people in United on that basis alone—because they have 45-minute sermons. They do many other things that are wrong in their services—and they teach a host of false doctrines as well—but they blew off the tradition of length of services.
    There’s not a verse you can turn to that says the length of service, but if every pastor says “I think it should be an hour”…“Well I think it should be three hours”…Then somebody else says “Well, I think 30 minutes is enough.” Someone else says “Well, I like two hours”…but somebody else says “Well, I want an hour and 45 minutes”…Think…Can you imagine the chaos just on the length of services? That’s not a doctrine, but a tradition that carries the weight of doctrine. So let’s imagine something in the sphere of what Paul is talking about—traditions. And then…


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    The things that occupy Dave's mind is truly amazing.

    Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son…[There’s going to come a point where there’s going to be this separation.]…If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed…[Just go…Pull away. Don’t even say goodbye, because that means “God be with you”—that saying, God speed.]…For he that bids him God speed…[Who even says goodbye—God be with you—that’s what it means.]…is partaker of his evil deeds” (vs. 8-10).
    There’s no room there…I mean, you don’t even say goodbye. Just close the door and be done, or you’re a partaker. How interesting.

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    Dave Pack is also the world's greatest exorcist.  Is there anything the man cannot do...at least in his own eyes?  It is a shame he cannot discern the demon staring back at him every morning in the mirror.

    “…and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?” Now, let me stop. These are many who cast out demons. I finally understand why it talks about that. I knew, personally the two men…and I’ve explained this before, who knew more about casting out demons than any ministers in Worldwide. If you put me in there, the three of us cast out more demons than probably any other 300 ministers, because I had those two fine mentors, Frank McCrady and Jim Reyer. The first man is deceased; the other still alive at age 85.
    And most ministers avoided demons like the plague. This is not something that’s common. Rarely did anybody everever cast out a demon. They tended to explain them away as psychological problems. I remember being at a Feast, as early as 1976, when a minister senior to me said, “Go get Dave Pack”—and I was only twenty-seven years old. But from then on, and before that really, because these men were so close to me…those two gentlemen…I learned most men did not deal with demons. They didn’t recognize them. They didn’t discern them, which is a gift. If you’re in the Body of Christ, discerning of spirits includes demons. They never dealt with them, so who are the many who cast out demons? And the many who did many wonderful works? Before I answer that question, verse 23 is shocking…

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    ...and then they would join me because of all the amazing truths I would tell them  Dave Pack is letting his mind wander again.  The overwhelming majority of COG members would rather trot to the lake of fire on a fast horse with a porcupine saddle than sit for 6 - 20 hours listening to his delusional mind babble on.  On top of all that, he apparently envisions himself a modern day Paul.

    I wish I could sit down face to face with the whole church for about six hours and have what Paul did in Acts 20…went so long, Eutychus fell and killed himself, if you know the story. [laughter] I wouldn’t want that part, but we’d just resurrect him if that happened, I guess, like Paul did, and go on. But I wish I could have 6 or 10 or 20 hours with all the thousands of God’s people around the world—in one place—and just answer questions…just a giant Q&A session. I wish I could. There’s no way to do that, but let’s hold a survey for a moment about what we’ve learned. Go back to the subject of questions, and let’s ask a question before we get into the sermon. Would anyone rather I did not give so much detail? Should I leave points and details out? You know, less material, just less material?


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    United Church of God's ignorant response to crosses at their upcoming feast site is just as absurd as Almost-arrested Bob Thiel's outrage at the crosses planted in the snow in honor of the Milwaukee COG murder victims. They still want to know as little as possible about the man they claim to follow while still pretending to be followers.

    I wanted to let you know about one of UCG's newest feast sites. It is in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.  
    What gets me is that organizations like UCG continually preach against these so-called "false Christians" and their wrong doctrines. Yet, they meet for services on the Sabbath (at their church halls, and now this feast site). They are the ultimate hypocrites! They'll be telling the membership (at the feast) how "we are to come out of this world" and they are right there with those they adamantly preach against.
    UCG posted this note on their site:
    "On Lake Junaluska’s informational signs there are small crosses and there is a large cross at the far end of the lake. However, there are no crosses in the hall where services will be held."
    --Former member of WCG and RCG



    See previous stories here on Banned:

    James Malm: People Who Wear Crosses Are Followers of the Anti-Christ







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    The poor LCG member just can never get it right. Apparently some LCG members are "hardening their hearts" and are no longer teachable.  In other words, if you dare question anything you have a bad attitude and have hardened your heart against the "truth" relayed to church members.  Why can't church leaders ever write anything positive for their member?  Perhaps talk about Jesus...though I know that is a big stretch.  When he is talked  it is by making church member feel guilty about crucifying him.

    Are You Teachable? The Scriptures reveal that an important quality of character that God is looking for in Christians and future leaders in His Kingdom is teachability—the desire and willingness to listen and learn. Abraham was teachable and responsive to God’s instructions (Genesis 12:1-4). Moses was a very capable leader, yet he was also humble and teachable (Numbers 12:3). David’s attitude comes through in Psalm 119:33 when he writes “Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes.” Solomon recognized his human inadequacies when he asked God for wisdom and an “understanding heart,” so that he could learn to rule God’s people wisely (1 Kings 3:9). When Jesus said the meek and the poor in spirit are blessed, He was emphasizing their teachability and their willingness to learn and grow (Matthew 5:3-5). The Scriptures also reveal that when we harden our hearts to God’s instruction, we will reap serious consequences (Proverbs 28:14). We have been called to reign with Jesus Christ in the coming Kingdom of God—and being teachable is one of the keys to attaining that reward. Let’s strive to develop this most important quality.
    Have a profitable Sabbath,
    Douglas S. Winnail

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    According to Gerald Weston, Mario Hernandez will be trotting off to Cuba to be the public face of LCG to the Cuban nation.  I cannot imagine people who have suffered mightily through the legalism of the laws of socialism, with many who have died because of it, would embrace more legalism in a church.  God is not bound up in the demands, rules and regulations of the LCG.  What the Cuban people need more than anything is freedom with grace, not arrogant narcissistic bubbling lectures by Mario on how things should be.

    LCG is not presenting "original Christianity" to the Cubans. Besides, which version would they be presenting?  James version?  Paul's version? The Cubans will hear very little about Jesus but lots and lots about the law.

    Now for that wonderful news. Mr. Mario Hernandez, our Spanish Regional Director, and Mr. George Schaubeck from Costa Rica recently visited Cuba, where God is beginning to do a work in an area that was once closed to us. How exciting it is to reach out to people who have not previously been introduced to original Christianity and all that this means! Messrs. Hernandez and Schaubeck visited with about 50 people in total, people who had come in contact with us via the Internet or personal acquaintances and requested we contact them. Some 30 people were already committed enough to attend a Sabbath service conducted by Mr. Hernandez. One man was baptized, but we expect many more will take that step in the near future, and we are now making preparations to hold the Feast of Tabernacles on the island for what we believe will be the first time ever! 
    These truth-seekers are what the Bible refers to as firstfruits(James 1:18). They are stepping out in faith to join with others whom God is calling to do a Work at the end of the age. In a real sense they are pioneers of the age to come, the time that we refer to as Tomorrow’s World, when Jesus Christ returns to this troubled planet to set up His Kingdom. They are the called of God, and if they respond to that call and are chosen and remain faithful to the end (Revelation 17:14), God will resurrect them to be king-priests to teach these same truths to others (Revelation 5:9-10; 20:4).

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    I previously offered the chance for Ian to present his reason why Armstrongism is still superior to other churches.  Let the conversation...or fireworks begin.



    ARMSTRONGISM SUPERIOR TO ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY?

    BY IAN BOYNE

    Ian Boyne is a Church of God, International Pastor in Jamaica

    As someone who has spent over four decades studying philosophy (particularly epistemology and philosophy of religion) theology and comparative religions, as well being as a specialist religion writer and broadcaster, I have long thought of  issuing  this challenge: That Armstrongism—minus its obscurantism and fanaticism—is actually far superior to all other brands  of  conservative Christianity, and that the most intellectually defensible alternative to  Reformed Armstrongism is agnosticism or theistic  existentialism.

    As I have read the serious scholarly journals in theology and philosophy and kept up with the latest books in the fields, I have become more convinced that far more credit should be given to the high school dropout Herbert Armstrong than he actually gets.


    Because there has been so much focus on the corruption, authoritarianism, abuse and exploitation in the movement—and that is both overwhelming and irrefutable---little time has been spent showing how much better a religious  system Armstrongism is—absent its errors—than its alternatives.


    As someone who has experienced many “long, dark nights of the soul” and who has had to wrestle intellectually and emotionally with major philosophical and theological issues, I could never see myself rejecting certain cardinal tenets of Armstrongism and going on to embrace orthodox Christianity, either of the Protestant or Catholic version. (Though, ironically to some, I would find Catholicism more attractive than Evangelicalism.)  As I read certain ex-Armstrongites attacking the movement (and I have every book ever published on the movement  and  have read every Ambassador Report), it  has struck me again that many persons who  are celebrating their release from “the bondage of Armstrongism” have really bought into inferior versions of revealed religion without  realizing it.


    For example, I could never,  like some who  have gone back to orthodox Christianity,  go back to the barbaric and repulsive belief that a loving God would create a hell to burn people for all eternity—most of whom never even had an opportunity to learn about him. Notice how abominable this doctrine---strongly rejected by Armstrong—really is. The billions of persons in communist China, Hindu India  and those under  the former Iron Curtain  who, through no fault of their own were born in the “wrong country”, have to spend an eternity in hell for the Bible says “there is in other name under heaven whereby men must be saved except the name of Jesus”.


    Yet this God is too impotent to get His Gospel across to people. Not to mention  the obnoxious Calvinist belief that God actually decreed, for His own  glory and in His sovereignty,  that some would be lost and burn forever in hell. The atheists have developed a brilliant Argument From Non-Belief to counter this horrendous “Christian” doctrine of people’s being lost through own ignorance and non-belief. (See especially Theodore Drange’s  brilliant book,  Non-Belief and Evil)


    Some, struck with the incongruity of the loving God (as portrayed in the Bible) casting  ignorant people in Hell for all eternity come up with  the view that God will judge people by the sincerity of their hearts and their good works and let the good ones into the kingdom.


    But wait: Isn’t  Sola Fide (faith alone) and Sola Gratia(grace alone) at the heart of the Protestant doctrine of  justification by faith? Then how can God look at how well the Buddhist, Hindu and Sufi lived and let them into Heaven based on their works when works are supposed to have nothing to do with right standing?


    Evangelicalism, which  some ex-Armstrongites like Martha and the Bereans website  friends  have bought into, can’t match the philosophical and theological force of the Armstrongite teaching that a good, loving and just God will find a way for every single human being to come to a knowledge of the truth—including the mentally retarded, the mentally ill  as well the sincere atheists and agnostics who did not have enough evidence to believe.


    Even the apostate WCG cannot let go of this refreshing teaching of Herbert Armstrong. Significantly, Armstrongism is the only movement which says it alone is right and yet which opens the  door for those who disagree to be saved eventually. This is a  most compassionate view which should promote tolerance. 
      

    Herbert Armstrong, contrary to his Evangelical critics, actually did more to promote  the exclusivity of Christianity and Christ by stating that good Buddhists, good Muslims,  good Hindus, good Bahais etc. would not be saved in their ignorance  just because they were not wicked like Hitler; but would get their chance to learn the one truth and make a personal confession of Christ (See Romans 10). 

    Evangelicals, Church of God 7th Day  and Seventh-Day Adventists have more than one way of salvation—one for those who heard and rejected Christ and another for the millions who died without hearing, leaving God  no option but to  find a way to get them to His Kingdom without their having personally accepted Christ.


    So if he could do that for  so many “good heathens”, why allow so much evil in the world ostensibly to accommodate free will ,which  He then takes away by putting people in  Heaven who never really made that personal choice?  There  is not enough space  to point  out the serious moral and theological problems which orthodox Christianity poses. It is a pity that so many are so emotionally scarred and abused that they might not have the  intellectual energy—or interest—to look at the strengths in the theology of  Armstrongism.


    I admit I am  deeply  embarrassed, even angered, as a thinking  Armstrongite (an oxymoron?) to read the nonsense taught by the lunatic fringe in the movement (In fact, they are so many they might even be the mainstream!)


    I am happy for the CGI, to which I belong,  which retains the finest teachings of Herbert Armstrong without the dross and the excesses. I am NOT saying it is the only true church! For all GTA’s moral weaknesses and reprehensible personal behaviour, he reformed a system without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  Ron Dart’s work in the CGI has also been invaluable in preserving an intellectually respectable brand of Armstrongism.



    The atrocious doctrine of an ever-burning hell; the view that billions of sincere people will be lost simply because they never knew about Christ; the severing of Christianity from its Hebraic roots and the Hellenisation of  Christianity; the de-emphasis on the eschatological Kingdom  of God and the  profound truth of the eventual deification of humans are some of the major reasons I could not leave Armstrongism for orthodox Christianity. Agnosticism or theistic Existentialism is a far better option to me.  The God of Evangelicalism, Adventism and orthodox Christianity is not worthy to be worshipped. Herbert Armstrong had that right.



    Mr. Ian Boyne, CD, was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in 2010. His responsibilities include serving as Chief State Liaison to the Office of the Prime Minister, Office of the Governor-General and the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and giving oversight to the Research, Publications and Production (Editorial and Photo) Division.
    Host of the Agency’s flagship interview programme, Issues and Answers, Mr. Boyne furthers the public education thrust of the JIS through his incisive range of questions which elucidate the Government’s response to the national issues of the day.
    Mr. Boyne has had a long career with the JIS as he first joined the entity when it was known as the Agency for Public Information (API) in 1976 as feature writer and television broadcaster. In 1983 he became the Press Secretary/Speech Writer to the then Minister of Industry and Commerce, Douglas Vaz and from then to 2002 worked with every Minister of Industry under successive administrations as Speech Writer/Public Relations Consultant after which he rejoined the JIS in 2002.
    In the media fraternity, he is regarded as a veteran journalist who entered the profession in 1975. Outside of the JIS, he is the host of the 26 year old TVJ programme Profile, the host of Religious Hardtalk and a columnist for the Sunday Gleaner.
    In 2009, the Government of Jamaica recognized his contribution to journalism with the Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD).
    Mr. Boyne is a Minister of Religion and the author of “Ideas Matter: Journey into the Mind of a Veteran Journalist.

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    James Tabor

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    James D. Tabor (born 1946 in Texas) is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989 and served as Chair from 2004-2014. He previously held positions at Ambassador College (1968-70 while a student at Pepperdine University), the University of Notre Dame (1979–85), and the College of William and Mary (1985–89).

    KIRKUS REVIEW



    The Apostle Paul has long been a controversial figure to modern Christians, but in recent years, his life and writings have spawned a plethora of books dedicated to reevaluating his role in the Christian faith. Tabor (Religious Studies/Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte; The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity, 2006, etc.) throws his hat into the ring, attempting to define Paul and his version of Jesus Christ against that of the original Jerusalem church, headed by James. The author stresses that the traditional view—that Paul was in harmony with the original apostles, ministering to the gentiles while they ministered to Jews—is a complete fabrication. Instead, he believes that Paul was in direct conflict with James, Peter and the rest of the original Christian church. This conflict was based not just on personality or approach; it spoke to Paul’s fundamental understanding of the identity of Jesus Christ, which differed from that taught by the original apostles. It is Paul’s understanding of Jesus, Tabor avers, that won the day, coming down to us in Scripture and doctrine. The author blames this historical legacy on a conscious effort by Paul’s followers to minimize the influence of James and the Jerusalem church, while promoting Paul’s theology. Books of the Bible such as Acts, he explains, were written specifically to present a Paul-focused version of emerging Christianity. Tabor tends to sensationalize tenets of Christian doctrine to highlight his view that Paul’s ideas were radical, while also pushing the conspiracy theories (e.g., “process of mythmaking”) about New Testament Scriptures that have been covered by such authors as Bart Ehrman.
    His ultimate claim that Paul saw himself as a second Messiah seems like an inflated reading of the Pauline letters, and it will prove controversial with most Christians.

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    1. Tacit Enabler - Supports another's bad habits by staying silent. 

    2. Overt Enabler - Supports another's bad habits by providing assistance such as money, transportation, approval, etc... 

    A person who supports another person's bad or dangerous habits  (Author note: Or interpretations, title taking and  rules for others to follow)

    Enablers tend to fear calling others on their destructive habits because these "others" tend to be friends, family or others close to the enabler. 

    Thus, rather than risk losing the love, respect, friendship or contact with the person, the enabler chooses instead to play it safe and watch the other slowly destroy themselves or others through their own actions.
    The Churches of God are full of enablers and those who, at best, are standing up on the inside, i.e. reserving judgment or actually disagreeing on the inside, but sitting down dutifully on the outside.  
    From the rubber stamping church board or council, to the congregants as a whole, the crazy man who dreams up, surely finds himself spoken of by the prophets or simply seizes his place and title through the shear power of his will and narcissism, eventually provides everyone that enables a reason to give pause for themselves to ask, "why do?did I do that?"
    Example:  From "Why Unification Now?" Dave Pack, 2013
    "15) Next, for those who will see the value of how to pursue spiritual matters, there is this: After fervently seeking God about it, not one reason the prophecy is off this year ever emerged in the minds of even one of our 16 Headquarters ministers! I (we) have NEVER prayed about, studied over, meditated on, fasted about and counseled with other ministers regarding a subject more than this one—in fact no other subject is even close!Now comes a series of reasons Haggai’s prophecy will be fulfilled this year. 

    Shame on these still unknown 16 who should know better by now

    16) Similarly, as questions emerged throughout our pursuit of truth with the many details of the prophecy, so many of these details kept coming clear as direct answers to prayer. And these were often immediate.

    These prayers and truths weren't really answered and the truths weren't true.  They were only "immediate" because Dave already knew what he was going to say and do.  Anyone within the enablers ever bother to point this out to Dave Pack ever?  

    If not:



    Sadly, and of course, Dave Pack was miserably wrong in 2013 about all this which needs to be provided from time to time to remind his and other enablers of bad theology and terrible spiritual leadership they have a responsibility to speak up and question "if you were this wrong then with such enthusiasm and surety, why would we think you are correct this time?"

    ***

    "Now comes a series of reasons Haggai’s prophecy will be fulfilled this year. (2013) They are summarized, with only a very little detail added. More could be said of each, but the descriptions given will suffice to those willing to think just a little about them. Realize there are over 30 more reasons—many of them very powerful—that I have left off the list because some will be covered later or because they would only be recognized as proofs by our Headquarters ministry (involving various miracles, some big). Readers would be largely unable to appreciate them as proofs:

    1) Understanding the meaning of the prophecy, starting with Haggai 1:2, automatically carries the requirement of taking a position on it. This cannot be avoided after one learns it. Think about this. The position of the remnant is that “the time is not come” to rebuild God’s House. Are they right or wrong? God indicts their thinking, meaning they are wrong! If the prophecy is not now, the net effect would be that God agrees with the remnant’s view. Worse, so should those currently in God’s one Church because they now know the meaning of the prophecy. Think this through. One does or does not agree with the remnant. God does not—and we do not. The time is now!  (2013) Let’s go further.

    2) Directly related, why (or how) would God command the remnant to “Go…build the House!” (Hag. 1:8)—but not mean NOW? (2013) How could He mean some undetermined future year? Why would God tell them (twice) to “consider their ways”—but not mean that they should do this now? Try to imagine God saying, “Consider your ways, but take your time. There’s no hurry. In fact, take years to think it over—even though you have been out of My Church for 20 years! You don’t have to DO anything now.”

    3) Also related, if God waited 2,500 years to reveal the prophecy’s meaning (3,000 years when various related much older Psalms are considered), is not His waiting done? Does His revealing it not signal that He has reached the time to fulfill it rather than having reached a point one, two or three years out?

    4) Next, why would God wait longer? What would He wait for? The remnant is absolutely ripe for deliverance.

    5) Internally, and this is no small thing, God’s Church is truly ready to expand the Work in a BIG WAY. The prophecy features this as the MAIN PURPOSE of the remnant returning! Without the prophecy’s fulfillment, this expansion would be delayed one year—or more! Why would God notify His Church of the prophecy’s existence at the very same time our staff is ready, our websites are ready, our literature is ready and even God’s college is ready for more students if the prophecy were not imminent? Why would God notify His Church if HE were not ready?

    6) Related to this, the buildings on our campus can very soon handle significantly more staff than we have now. This is already true without the other two buildings scheduled for completion in the late fall. However, this extra size works perfectly if the prophecy occurs this year.

    7) Also related, but separate, our infrastructure is ready to receive and serve a much larger flock this fall! This includes field ministry being ready, but also other things.

    8) Maturing interest from many in the world due to one year of explosive television expansion requires many more laborers in the ministry by this autumn.

    9) The Restored Church of God is experiencing an AWESOME period of growth and development at this time—in the runup period just prior to the prophecy’s fulfillment. This is putting it mildly! To us, this is powerful indication that we are on the right track for this year—that God is not only pleased with His Church, but that He is helping it get ready.

    10) If the prophecy did not happen this year, (2013) the remnant would remain another year (or more) undergoing ever worsening false ways. Worse off, they would have a commensurate shorter time to spiritually recover before the Tribulation. Think worse condition, less time to recover.

    11) If reunification occurred next year (or any year after), those with God’s Spirit would have one more year cut off from God’s Church. This carries the potential for more to quench the Holy Spirit (I Thes. 5:19) and lose salvation.

    12) The readers of the Haggai prophecy announcements (this is #21) who believed them would be the most disillusioned and the biggest candidates to QUIT everything if God did not return His people to one House this year! This would work directly against what God is doing—directly opposite His overall purpose.

    13) Further desolation (Hag. 1:11; 2:16-17) from God of the splinter “houses” would practically wipe out the few remaining senior leaders in them. This includes pastors and elders, all of whom are NEEDED TO CARRY OUT THE BIG WORK!

    14) The onset of all future years would never come with clarity—with any certainty! Would God leave thousands who are now aware of this prophecy in such a condition? Hardly.

    (Author: Well there ya go enablers.  Dave cannot, no matter how hard he tries, "clarify" his mistaken ideas about himself or his views of scripture after being so off base theologically)

    15) Next, for those who will see the value of how to pursue spiritual matters, there is this: After fervently seeking God about it, not one reason the prophecy is off this year (2013) ever emerged in the minds of even one of our 16 Headquarters ministers! I (we) have NEVER prayed about, studied over, meditated on, fasted about and counseled with other ministers regarding a subject more than this one—in fact no other subject is even close!

    16) Similarly, as questions emerged throughout our pursuit of truth with the many details of the prophecy, so many of these details kept coming clear as direct answers to prayer. And these were often immediate.

    17) Recall Haggai 1:13: “Then spoke Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people…” Haggai is the messenger to God’s people, with what is an all-important message from God. Would not God make clear in such a unique message He describes as “the Lord’s message unto His people” the correct date for action? What kind of message would it be if people did not know WHEN TO CARRY IT OUT?

    (Author's note:  A false one perpetuated by enablers?)

    18) Since the apostasy, God had not wanted the remnant back in His Church, but now He does. He would first reveal the remnant to His leader, then tell him how they would return, and finally that He meant NOW. This was the order in which these things became apparent.

    19) Imagine God not revealing the year the remnant is coming—but only the day and month. Vast amounts of time would have been wasted by His leaders studying and preparing for something that was not imminent. Would God put His Church in such a position?

       20) Of interest, God revealed to me during ELUL four years ago my role as the modern Joshua.

    (Authors note:  And enablers allowed him to perpetuate this fantasy)

    21) Also of interest, I and The Restored Church of God learned about the New Testament remnant last ELUL (August). Let’s ask: Would timing of when we were shown the prophecy not be tied to its unique timing of fulfillment during the very next available ELUL?

    22) We might ask: does the DEVIL know the prophecy is on? For those who understand how the devil works—that he counterfeits EVERYTHING God does—a variety of counterfeit theories have recently appeared about how God is going to reunite His people. Should not the devil be expected to do this at the time it would cause the most confusion? You will soon see that most of these theories are coming from men standing on the wrong side of this prophecy.

    23) With God’s people split up, it is now almost impossible to do a powerful Work. (This might be the one area where the splinter leaders would agree.) God’s Church is largely stymied in working with both brethren and the world because of the confusion and deception from top leaders about where God’s Church is, who has the truth, who is carrying on after Mr. Armstrong, who is doing the true Work, etc. (Reread #22.) There is no other way to proceed than for God to remove leaders who have lulled with deceit many thousands who were blind (Rev. 3:17) to begin with.

    24) World conditions cry out for a big Work NOW!!!—not one or more years from now (2013.)

    Please stop enabling the delusional. The life you save may be your own.





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    Poor old Dave Pack.  He just cannot get over the fact that almost all in the Churches of God consider him to be crazier than hell and have no desire to come over to his side.  Of course he never takes any responsibility that people might possibly think he was nuts. Instead he lays the blame on all of the mean "mockers and scoffers" that are "in all corners" including many in the COG's.  He can't possibly meaning of us here, could he?  Due to all of the scoffers people will not know when his "jesus" returns to Wadsworth.
    Mockers” and “scoffers” rule in all corners, including everywhere among God’s people (II Pet. 2:3; Jude 18). The result is that when there is still sufficient time to escape, most (but not all) cannot make themselves “take heed” (Lk. 21:8, 34; Mk. 13:33).

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