Articles on this Page
- 01/15/18--22:28: _Herbert Armstrong: ...
- 01/16/18--09:44: _32 Years Ago
- 01/16/18--14:18: _Is Christian Educat...
- 01/17/18--10:44: _Jury Selection Begi...
- 01/17/18--22:20: _21st Century Self A...
- 01/18/18--09:27: _PCG Struggling With...
- 01/18/18--11:20: _Dave Pack's Christ ...
- 01/18/18--11:40: _Why Church Leaders ...
- 01/18/18--21:05: _Sardis COG vs Phila...
- 01/19/18--09:18: _COG Prophet Suffers...
- 01/19/18--15:11: _The Greatest Men an...
- 01/20/18--14:34: _Mystery Behind Exod...
- 01/21/18--14:20: _Adam and Eve Were N...
- 01/21/18--18:23: _Are Living Church o...
- 01/22/18--14:06: _LCG Members Perturb...
- 01/22/18--22:21: _COGWA Italian Feast...
- 01/23/18--15:18: _As Opening Argument...
- 01/24/18--22:47: _Delicate Self-Appoi...
- 01/24/18--23:04: _The Church of God a...
- 01/25/18--11:19: _Gerald Weston Prefe...
- 01/16/18--09:44: 32 Years Ago
- 01/17/18--10:44: Jury Selection Begins For Former UCG Elder Stephen Allwine
- 01/18/18--09:27: PCG Struggling With Finances After Buying 13 Million Dollar Jet
- 01/18/18--11:40: Why Church Leaders Need Their Own Private Jets
- 01/18/18--21:05: Sardis COG vs Philadelphia COG. Which Is Doing A Better Work?
- 01/19/18--15:11: The Greatest Men and Women I Ever Met in WCG.
- 01/20/18--14:34: Mystery Behind Exodus Has Been Solved By COG Member
- 01/22/18--14:06: LCG Members Perturbed At Feast Pre-registration Fee For Hawaii
- 01/22/18--22:21: COGWA Italian Feast Site Controversy
- Cortona is built on the side of a large hill, and almost all of its roads and walkways are steep. Please be sure that you are comfortable walking on steep cobblestone streets and stairs. Those needing wheelchairs or those who have severe walking disabilities should be aware of the mobility difficulties they will encounter at this site.
- Cortona is a pedestrian town, so you will not be able to drive a car inside the walls or drop off passengers where services are being held. Free parking is available outside the city walls, approximately a quarter of a mile from services.
- Round-trip tickets to Rome for travel dates around the Feast are currently between $600 and $1,000.
- We have room blocks reserved at several hotels within walking distance of services. Prices range from €80 to €179 per night (around US$97-217 per night) based on double occupancy (breakfast included). In addition, there are many bed-and-breakfasts and affordable apartments and villas available for rent. Attendees are encouraged to choose accommodations within walking distance of the hall.
- At this time, the exchange rate is US$1.21 to €1.
- Please wait until you receive your site acceptance before reserving housing. When you receive your acceptance and housing brochure, we encourage you to reserve housing as soon as possible, as some of the room blocks are only available through the end of February.
- If you are not accepted at first, you will be placed on a waiting list until you are accepted or until the Italy site is officially closed. You will be taken off of the waiting list if you choose to register for another site.
- 01/24/18--23:04: The Church of God and the Waldenses
- 01/25/18--11:19: Gerald Weston Prefers Talking About Way of Cain Instead Of Jesus
The Painful Truth has a post up that contains comments by HWA that he uttered during a sermon as he answered a letter from a church member.
Thanks to the PT for posting this. I had forgotten this tripe which I had heard many times over the decades.
Herbert replies in a sermon to a letter written by one of his followers:
“Today I want to speak on what may possibly be the very next attack that Satan will use against this church […] interracial marriage.”
“It was stated that the blacks in God’s Church are dissatisfied with such doctrines that are not in keeping with the current social trend in the world [civil rights movement] that are a part of this nations background. […] And this letter also says that they are trying to line up a group of blacks to give ME AN ULTIMATUM, that I get on the side of the social trend of this world, or else! I’ll tell you what I’ll give them, I’LL GIVE THEM THE ‘OR ELSE!’ (church audience laughs) I WON’T COMPROMISE ONE MILLIONTH OF AN INCH! And if you will, you can go into the Lake of Fire if you want to. […] Some are saying that we have to to have racial balance at ambassador college. […]”
“Genesis 6:1; And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Genesis 6:2; That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of ALL WHICH THEY CHOOSE.”
“That’s what they want to do today. A black man wants to take a white woman for a wife, THAT’S WHAT HE CHOOSES. […] Now I don’t know any cases where a WHITE MAN wants to marry a black woman, WHY IS THAT? Answer that for me! Why is it only BLACK MEN who want to marry white women?”
Now let’s look to the SOURCE of right understanding-the BEGINNING of knowledge-the WAY to wisdom! Does GOD teach integration? Does GOD condemn segregation? Does GOD approve mixed marriages?
Today, the world around, there are movements everywhere to UNITE! The spirit of UNITING is in the air! The nations of Europe are trying to UNITE-starting with the Common Market. Nasser is trying to UNITE the Arabs-with himself, of course, as ruler! The new Pope is carrying on his predecessor’s fight to UNITE all religions-under his iron-clad supreme authority, of course. The Communists are trying to break all color barriers, and, by intermarriage between races, UNITE all humanity as ONE color, and ONE race, with Communist leaders ruling over them.The PT also includes this bit about Big Sandy where they held segregated events to keep the "Negros" and the "Latin" brethren separated from the white folk.
HERBERT ARMSTRONG, 93, DIES
HERBERT ARMSTRONG, 93, DIES; EVANGELIST AND A BROADCASTER
Special to the New York Times
Published: January 17, 1986
Before Allie Dart died, she wanted to make sure that the assets of her estate would NOT go to Christian Educational Ministries. Since her death, CEM is contesting her will. As usual, Church of God members are such a loving group of people!
COG News is reporting the following:
The press release announcing the formation of ‘The Ronald L. Dart Evangelistic Association’ (RLDEA), created by Allie Dart, stated: “Mrs. Dart’s will prohibits the assets of her estate from going directly to Christian Educational Ministries.”
Lawyers appointed by CEM's board (now headed by Larry Watkins) are contesting her will.
Wes White has clarified the RLDEA's position regarding CEM's legal dispute. (Edited statement)
1. I have nothing to do with the estate of Allie Dart. What goes on with Allie's estate is none of my business, and I have no desire to get involved with it.
2. What goes on in CEM is none of my business either, and I have no desire to get involved in CEM's business. I have no ill will toward anyone in CEM, no animosity on my part. There were rumors that I was trying to get this or that done in CEM. Not true.
3. Any legal disputes that are going on right now between Allie's estate and CEM have absolutely nothing to do with me. I am completely uninvolved in the legal difficulties that are taking place right now between CEM and Allie's estate.
If Allie's estate ever gets settled, and if there's some money left over after the lawyers take big chunks out of it, and if some of her money ends up going to RLDEA, as dictated by her will, then at that time it will be my responsibility to help expedite those funds in the way that Allie asked us to. So, until that day comes, if it comes, because lawyers are really good at eating up estates with their legal fees. Until that day comes, I have nothing that I can further report regarding the RLDEA. Further, both sides have asked me not to comment on these matters of Allie's estate, and it is with great pleasure that I comply with that request.
4. Let's be really clear on another point. My commitment to refrain in commenting on these legal matters does not stop me from preaching the doctrines of the Church of God. Further, I will not stop preaching the following two doctrines. I have been preaching these two doctrines for decades, and I am not going to stop now.
The first doctrine is this: the Bible makes it very clear that it's wrong to take your brother to court. Those of you who follow this show remember that I talked about this at length on SOS #34.
The second doctrine is: stay out of the business of judging who is and who isn't a Christian. If someone says he is a Christian, it's not my job to say, oh, he's not a Christian. Only Jesus can make that determination. Many people want to get around the 1st Corinthians 6 prohibition of suing fellow Christians by using this cop out line, saying, this man's not my brother, and so I can sue him. And the way many a person makes this claim is to do it by saying things like, well, he's not in my alphabet soup CoG. I'm in the ABC CoG, and he's in the XYZ CoG, therefore he's not my brother, and I can sue him. Or they say, this guy's not even a Sabbath keeper. That means that he's definitely not my brother, because, if he doesn't even keep the Sabbath, he's not a Christian. Again, I'm not making a declaration that all Sunday keepers are Christians. That's not my call to make. Only Jesus can make that call.
Then to prove how dysfunctional the Church of God is, we find out that CEM is following in the footsteps of the Worldwide Church of God in using sneaky underhanded tactics to thwart fellow brethren.
On Friday evening, October 20th, Wes White talked about the possibility of Christian Educational Ministries suing the Ronald L Dart Evangelistic Association.
He began by recalling when the Church of God International, a breakaway group from the Worldwide Church of God, was formed in 1978, “a couple of these folks went down to the courthouses in Texas and California to reserve the name CGI. This was so they could set up new churches in those two states under that new church name.
And, before they had time to set up the name CGI in the other 48 states, the lawyers over in WCG ran out into those 48 states and reserved the name CGI in those 48 states. Now, did WCG have any desire to use the name CGI in those 48 states? Of course not. Their sneaky act was very clearly a dirty trick done to undermine CGI. That was their only reason. To hurt CGI.
And I’ve got a confession. Back then, I applauded WCG’s action to do this. And I was wrong. Today, I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I thought it was a good thing to undermine what my brothers and sisters were doing when they were setting up CGI back in 1978. I think it was around 1985 or 86 that God softened my hard heart and showed me that this is no way to treat a brother.” ...
“Ron Dart left CGI about 25 years ago and started CEM ... I have been told by church leaders of that time that Ron had a severance agreement with CGI ... there were some people who claimed that Ron violated that ... And they said to these CGI leaders, “You need to sue Ron Dart.” And guess what? The leadership of CGI said – We are not going to sue Ron Dart. And these other people got mad.” ...
“I bring all this up to show you that there are at least some who have taken a Christian point of view when it comes to disputes such as church splits. There are at least some of our brethren who say – We’ve got to be nice to our brothers in the church.
That’s a little bit of history. Let’s talk about the here and now – what’s going on at this moment. A lot of you have been asking me for an update on how things are going in my attempts to reach out to the leadership of CEM so that we at the Ronald L Dart Evangelistic Association can have a harmonious relationship with CEM. Because we want to help them – we want to assist them -- in their efforts to promote Ron’s stuff ...
I met with one of the leaders of CEM on the third day of the Feast. Also present was a minister who’s not a part of CEM. It was just the three of us alone. At a table overlooking the lake.
One of the important points that I hope we got across to these guys was that we in the RLDEA have no desire to remove board members from CEM. I hope I made it very clear that what they do at CEM is none of my business.
Second point of assurance I gave was related to the issue of Ron Dart’s intellectual property rights. I gave them assurances that, as far as I am concerned, Ron’s intellectual property belongs to CEM and not to the RLDEA. We don’t own them and we have no intention of trying to take them from CEM.
Now, there’s a back story to this IP issue. Before Allie went into her last round of surgery, she told me she didn’t believe that CEM should own Ron’s property rights. So she asked me to research this issue with an IP attorney. Not because she wanted to sue anyone. Suing was never an option in her mind. She just wanted to know what all her options were regarding Ron’s IPs.
So I found an IP attorney in Dallas and I talked to him about this. He told me that Allie had two options: Either Allie could accept the status quo that CEM owns Ron’s intellectual properties - or she could sue CEM. He said there was no third option. When I related this to Allie, she was a little disappointed, because she was hoping for some third option where there could be some kind of sharing agreement between her and CEM. Some kind of compromise. But, once she realized she only had two options, she immediately chose to accept the status quo, because she said there was no way she was going to take her brothers to court. Suing these people is NOT something that Ron would want.
Now, let’s get back to the meeting I had with a CEM board member and this other guy. I said to them near the end of this positive and productive meeting – I’d like to clear the air on two final issues.
The first issue is that we at RLDEA attempted to reserve the domain name RLDEA.com, and we were astounded to learn that one of the CEM employees in Whitehouse had already reserved it! Just recently. Like a week or so before we tried to get it. And I told these two guys that I thought this was underhanded, because CEM has no need for the domain name RLDEA.com. I told them that the action of reserving this particular domain name was too reminiscent of when WCG reserved the name of CGI in 48 states only for the purpose of keeping GTA from using it.
So I asked the leader from CEM if he knew that this had happened. “Were you aware of this action taken by one of your paid employees?” Well, he said, he couldn’t remember. He couldn’t even remember whether or not he got an email on this subject. And he couldn’t remember whether or not he had approved it.
So then, I asked him if he would find out if he had been informed of this action and find out if he had approved of it. And I asked if he’d get back to me. Since he couldn’t remember. He said he would get back to me. I’m still waiting.
I then asked this leader in CEM if this action is something that he condones or condemns. And he refused to take a stance on it one way or another.
So then I brought up my second concern. I told these two fellows that I found out just the day before that CEM had hired a lawyer – a litigating lawyer – and that lawyer had attempted to contact the lawyer who represents Allie’s estate. At the moment of this meeting during the Feast, the two lawyers hadn’t made a connection yet, so I had no idea what the litigating lawyer for CEM wanted from Allie’s estate lawyer.
So, in this meeting, I asked a simple and direct question. I asked – Do you have some intention of suing us? And I thought they would say – “Oh no, we would never take a brother to court. We just want to clarify a few points.” That’s what I hoped to hear. But that’s not what they said. And let’s be clear. They did NOT say – “Oh yes. We are indeed going to sue you.” What they said was that a lawsuit against us was a possibility. Have I made that distinction really clear?
The other fellow in the room (a minister in the COGs) said that the CEM board members have what they call ‘fiduciary responsibilities’. He said that, if it’s determined that it’s in the best interests of CEM to sue us, then he said that’s what they should do. They would have to. Well then next, this minister turned the question back at me. He said -- Wouldn’t you do the same thing if you were in their situation? And my response was: No! I said -- No way ...
Brethren, I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when I left the meeting ... My disappointment stems from the fact that this meeting once again demonstrated to me that too many in the COGs are still dysfunctional and still know either nothing or next to nothing about Christian conflict resolution. And I know that, when I make that statement, some of you out there will get mad at me ...
If you’re gonna get mad, get mad at our collective ignorance of how to treat each other as brothers in the church.
If you’re gonna get mad, get rid of the collective malevolence that exists between brothers in the church.
If you’re gonna get mad, get mad at the collective inability or unwillingness that exists out there on matters of how to deal with each other in a Christian manner.
You want to do something about this? Then temper your disappointment - with prayer. Let’s all go before our heavenly Father and ask him to heal the dysfunctionality that currently exists in the COGs. Take it to God, because the last thing we need is for people to start getting mad and getting wars started. We don’t need that.
And I think it’s important that I relate the following to you. When our brethren in the CG7 movement look at us in the Armstrong COG movement, they’re kind of aghast. They don’t understand why there’s so much acrimony among our people.”
Wes White concluded the broadcast with a study of 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 and other scriptures on resolving disputes.
The above notes are a small part of the broadcast, which is available on YouTube- SOS#34 ‘Can you take your Christian Brother to court?’ You might also wish to view a related broadcast SOS#33 ‘Who is my brother?’
Modern-day COG self-appointed prophets have the perverse innate desire to compare themselves to biblical prophets and visionaries. From declaring themselves Elijah, Elisha, Amos to even the two witnesses, their grandiose imaginations know no boundaries. As we head into 90 some years of the COG's existence, not a single one of these men (and a couple women) have ever told the truth or made a correct prophecy. That never stops them though. From Jesus walking the grounds of Wadsworth with the most superfantabulous apostle ever to walk this earth to Gerald Flurry who has given himself so many different names that he can't figure out anymore who he is supposed to be.
And then there is...
Not-arrested, but almost-arrested Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Joshua, doubly-blessed and self-appointed prophet, apostle, and future martyr Bob Thiel, God's most important man ever to walk the earth...after Dave Pack, of course.
Besides the many names apostate Thiel has given himself, he also compares himself to Habbakuk. Like the biblical Habbakuk, apostate Thiel believes he too is being ignored, even though his message is vitally important.
Apparently, apostate Thiel believes that Habbakuk is specifically talking about the improperly named "continuing" Church of God.
God has NOT, I repeat, HAS NOT, revealed or used the self-appointed lying apostate Thiel or the improperly named "continuing" Church of God as a final witness, no matter how much he claims.Around 605-625 B.C. Habakkuk wrote a short book of the Bible that has a lot of implications for the time that we are now in.Here are some passages from it (italics are not inspired but were headings in the translation):1 The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.
The Prophet’s Question
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!”And You will not save. 3 Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me;There is strife, and contention arises. 4 Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
The Lord’s Reply
5 “Look among the nations and watch — Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you. 6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs. 7 They are terrible and dreadful; Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. 8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards,And more fierce than evening wolves. Their chargers charge ahead; Their cavalry comes from afar; They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. 9 “They all come for violence; Their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand. 10 They scoff at kings, And princes are scorned by them. They deride every stronghold, For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it. 11 Then his mind changes, and he transgresses; He commits offense, Ascribing this power to his god.” ( Habakkuk 1:1-11)Notice that the above states that the end time work will not be believed by many even though God will reveal it–which He does through His prophets, like Habakkuk.
Apostate Thiel goes into almost orgasmic ecstasy with his burning desire to see the United States destroyed and its people thrown into captivity, while he and a few of his chosen ones share Petra with James Malm.
No one in their right mind should be sending money to support apostate Thiel and his improperly named "continuing" Church of God.Here is something that was written in 1973 for the old Ambassador College by Dean Blackwell:Why do you think in Habakkuk, God said that He’d “revive His work in the midst of the years”? Would this be said if they were doing the work in all the time of the New Testament Church?You might note that in Habakkuk 3:2, he says: O Eternal, I have heard thy speech and was afraid: O Eternal, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.He is referring to God reviving His work in the midst of man’s last century. He said that God would make known what is happening and what’s going to happen in man’s last years, in the day of His wrath. He requested that God remember mercy and hide His people in a place of safety.The work needs to be done in the 21st century. Will you truly support it?
The latest Royal Vision is out and features on its front cover the new play toy that Philadelphia Church of God bought for their taskmaster, Gerald Flurry. PCG has photographed the jet out to be a subliminally seductive in order to bamboozle members at is magnificence and importance.
Things are not as rosy as PCG initially conned the members into believing. This is what they initially heard:
In February 2017, Mr. Flurry wrote a co-worker letter introducing an “aircraft fund” and soliciting pledges from those who were able to contribute to it.“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the brethren for this fund,” Mr. Locher said. “Not only did the members and even the youth respond, but we had a stron- ger-than-expected level of support from co-workers. To date, actual donations have kept up with the pledged amount, making it easier for us to take on this additional expense.”
Now move forward to 2018 and it is a different story:
About midway through 2017, Pastor General Gerald Flurry took a more aggressive approach to God’s finances to make sure we are putting to use the money God has provided to do the Work. That act of faith caused us to more closely monitor expenses, measure our results from various advertising and promotional campaigns, and to really work more efficiently to accomplish more with the money we spend.
There are plans in the works to expand our efforts to reach the cities of Judah (Isaiah 40). That will require additional resources, but God will provide. His response in 2017 has been very inspiring. God wants us to be active and aggressive. He wants us to continue to sacrifice and respond to His direction as we finish this Work.
After Dave Pack spent the last several years preaching 130+ sermons and posting them he faced a huge dilemma. A lot of the stuff he posted never came to pass and was blatantly wrong. Pack quickly started editing those posts until it got so bad that he removed all 130+ of them. Tens of thousands of COG members never left their churches and flocked in mass to his personality cult with all of their tithe money.
After deleting all of the 130 some sermons from his website, Dave was left with another dilemma, how would all of the lost COG members ever know about his plan for his Christ to return multiple times? He solved that issue be writing a new booklet about the Kingdom of God and its imminent return.
The booklet is still just as crazy as his 130+ sermons:
Let’s ask a surprising question, one that no one seems to consider. How many comings of Jesus does the Bible describe? Contrasting verses hold the surprising answer. The prophet Haggai wrote of Jesus’ Return, “Thus says the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations [long understood to be Jesus Christ] shall come…” (2:6-7). Vast numbers today are looking for and desiring Christ’s coming. While most understand little about His arrival, the Christian masses do desire it, with greater reason every day to hope for it more than the day before because of worldwide character breakdown!
Here’s the problem—and it’s big! The book of Revelation speaks of a very different reaction to Jesus’ appearance: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever…the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged…and [You] should destroy them which destroy the earth” (11:15, 18). A picture of angry nations is incompatible with Haggai.
These passages cannot refer to the same time!
Lacking knowledge of Christ’s multiple comings, many assert He comes and immediately vanquishes all enemies, establishing His Kingdom. Revelation appears to say this, but consider I Corinthians 15:25, which shows something entirely different, saying Christ “must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet.” Those who would suggest He arrives, reigns for a split second, then annihilates all enemies are simply ignoring this verse, with many others.When the kingdom comes it will be filled with wicked people who have to be purged.
A fifth parable shows expansion of God’s Kingdom from a small beginning, as well as something else no one seems to notice: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea…” (vs. 47). The net starts out empty. Over time it fills with fish of “every kind”—people from all nations. But not all “fish” belong: “When it was full, they drew to shore, sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world [or age, when Christ moves to Jerusalem]: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just [note this!], and shall cast them into the furnace [or oven] of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 48-50). (The end of the wicked is incompatible with an ever-burning afterlife. For more on this, the reader will want to read our booklet The Truth About Hell.)
Abandon any notion that the Kingdom of God begins with only divine spirit beings. This parable dispels that misconception. The wicked can get into the Kingdom and must at a point be removed!Jesus is going to return and will look exactly like he did in 1st century Palestine.
Jesus Christ, as King of the mustard seed Kingdom, also Himself starts “small” in how He manifests Himself and in the initial scope of His rule. The account of Christ’s ascension to heaven holds an eye-opening clue that no one ever notices. Recall the apostles’ question: “LORD, will You at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). After His answer it adds, “While they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel” (vs. 9-10). These two men, actually angels, asked, “…Why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus [a man, not a Spirit Being in glorified form], which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (vs. 11).
The phrase “this same” in reference to Jesus is an all-important KEY. The angels were emphasizing that Jesus would return in the identical human form He had when He ascended.
It is not surprising then that Christ is so often called “the Son of Man.” This is because He intends to continue (initially) His first-century form when He returns.When Jesus returns to see Dave, he will have a new name...The Sprout.
The prophet Jeremiah described Christ in His expanding Kingdom by an unusual name, while also calling Him its King: “Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days [at a point, but not right away] Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (23:5-6). The Hebrew for “Branch” is sprout. Like mustard seeds, sprouts are also tiny to begin. This “sprout” depiction is completely incompatible with an all-powerful Jesus Christ returning in glorified form.
Ten chapters later Jeremiah adds more, confirming something crucial about sprouts: “I [will] cause the Branch [sprout] of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness…” (33:15). The Hebrew “grow up” is simply the verb form of sprout. God is saying, literally, He will cause the sprout to sprout. Ponder the enormity of what we are being told. Jesus’ role will grow from small to large.The Sprout is never going to accomplish anything. Dave is just another loud mouth COG leader who is full of hot air and no substance.
It is indeed fascinating that the so called "Sardis Church" aka The Church of God 7th Day, has more than 250k members, who meet in unity, peace and harmony, whereas the Philadelphian era COGs , with supposed "brotherly love" have as a combined total, no more than 25k persons between them all, and who are at each others throats with splits, controversy and chicanery. Hierarchical church government, with centralized control, centralized money gathering, and unelected ministry and leadership is the main reason for the disparity IMHO. ht:ConnieThe Church of God has a rich history of maligning other Church of God movements, particularly those that Herbert Armstrong stabbed in the back decades ago. They were labelled as Sardis churches. One of the more self-righteous splinter groups has this to say about Sardis:
If we consider only the Church of God, Seventh Day that Herbert Armstrong affiliated with, nothing in its name or reputation indicates life. Herbert Armstrong saw it had most of the basic doctrines correct, but judged the organization as not really doing a work. Hence, he called it dead, not alive. Perhaps it did have a Sardis approach, but since neither its official name nor reputation indicates life, we must look elsewhere for a larger fulfillment of Christ's words.Somewhere within the church of God are people who—either by name or reputation—appear to be living, yet whom God judges essentially spiritually dead, save a few names. How easy it is to deceive ourselves about our true standing with God!
God first addresses their "works." While they may still have the truth, their dead works indicate a lack of living faith. This indicates a people who perceive themselves to be alive, but who apparently are basically standing still, spiritually catatonic and comatose. They may exist as stones in the Temple, but not as "living stones." Perhaps this is why Christ says "not one stone will be left upon another"! Church of the Great GodLiving Church of God has to get in on the act too:
In contrast to the other churches on the mail route, Philadelphia was not a wealthy, sophisticated or influential city. Located on an easily defended hill beside a major highway, it functioned as an outpost for spreading Greek and Roman culture (and later Christianity) to the surrounding region. The city was destroyed several times by earthquakes, but each time was rebuilt. It still exists today. Its name means "brotherly love." The Philadelphia era appears to have begun in the 1930s—about the time radio became popular and just before the age of television. In the last 75 years, the Church of God has used mass media to reach millions of people—proclaiming the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, and warning the world to watch for the signs of the end of this age and the return of Jesus Christ. This was the mission Jesus gave to His Church (Matthew 4:23; 10:6–7). This message was to be prominent at the end of the age (Matthew 24:14). Understanding the identity of modern Israelite nations—a key to understanding Bible prophecy—was restored to the Church of God during the modern Philadelphia era.
God promised to provide the Philadelphia era with an open door—a door no man could shut—for preaching the Gospel. God commends this small church for its persistence in fulfilling its mission, and for holding on, without compromise, to His precious Truth (Revelation 3:7–8). For faithfully doing a Work and holding onto the Truth, not just attending a church of their choice, Philadelphian Christians are promised protection from the coming Tribulation (Revelation 3:10). The lesson of Philadelphia is simple: Remain faithful to Truth—do the work of preaching the Gospel, love the brethren and let no one take your crown. We cannot afford to "drop the ball" at this vital moment of history! Our salvation and our reward are at stake if we do! Living Church of GodUCG has this to say, which they surprisingly do not realize is an exact description of their very own church! COG7 is growing a vibrant and UCG is stagnate and starting to putrefy.
The people in a dying church begin to imitate society around them so much that they look just like them, the society around them. If you were to have gone to Sardis they would not have been worshipping Zeus. I am not saying that. But it wouldn’t have been that much different in terms of personal conduct than some of the pagans around them. I am saying that these people would have promoted adultery but they would have accepted adultery. They would not have promoted idolatry. But they wouldn’t have really been against it, either. They exist and they have a name and they appear to be a live church. But they are really not. And so what happens is that they simply begin to decay. Remember, it is a decaying city, a decaying church. Everything inside is stuck somehow. There is no growth. There is no vibrancy. They get together every Sabbath and they hear the same sermon they have heard for years. And they say the same things to each other that they have said for years and they sit down and have the same pot luck that they have had for years and then they say good bye and they all go home and live the same way they have. In this sort of dead emptiness for maybe years. Somewhere along the way, you remember, he says you are ready to die. You are a decaying place.
You want to know some of the problems that the Roman church had. Well, let’s see. Revelry and drunkenness. Partying spirits. Lewdness and lust. Sexual sins. Strife and Envy. Some of the problem that they had was drunkenness, sexual problems, strife between members, and people being envious. Yeah, sort of like church today. And some of the same problems. “ You know what he was telling these people? They weren’t dead. The church at Rome had problems but it wasn’t dead. It was a live church. What he tells them to do is strengthen what you have. The problem with looking like the world is that you forget to strengthen what God has given you. When you start looking like the world start doing what God says to do. Strengthen what you have.
So, a dying church is not aware of Christ’s return, they are not preparing for Christ’s return. So, watch. I dying church is sliding into the world. So, what do you do? Well, just what Christ told them to do. You strengthen what you do have. Take what you do have and work off of that. Work off of what you have.Decades ago when Herbert Armstrong and others smeared the COG7, it all sounded logical and accurate to us. Then the one true church imploded and fractured into hundreds and hundreds of irrelevant little groups who are next to dead, while the COG7 grows and is alive and vibrant preaching the gospel.
Life has been rather difficult for God's most important man in the 21st century. Not-arrested, but almost arrested Bob Thiel, chief overseer of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God, has been dealing with major life crisis issues, though he is not without food or water, or electricity, or heat, or income, even though this was of BIBLICAL proportions!
So just what major life challenge has Satan thrown in his direction?
Due to the recent fires and the horrendous rain we had a couple weeks ago, there was a major landslide in the Montecito area outside Santa Barbara. They had to close down parts of the 101 freeway.
Speaking of messages, when I was giving the sermon recommended for the week, I mentioned that there was only one main motorway to where we live. As it turns out, we found out later that when I was saying that, the main road (Highway 101) had been closed then due to flooding. It is still closed and did negatively impact our family (though it did not result in a lack of food or water). People must realize that problems can really happen–and biblically will (cf. Mark 13)–even in the USA! Letter to the Brethren: January 18, 2018Oh, the humanity!!!!!!! The end is near!
Bitter Bob also has had to deal with another issue from his Kenyan followers. There is a church in Kenyan that claims it is the Jerusalem 7th Day Church of God, the "mother" church of the COG's. They have questioned Doubly-blessed Thiel for having his "world headquarters" in Grover Beach, CA and not in Jerusalem. He has a produced a video to give his reasons why.
Would someone please drop Satan a line and tell him to PLEASE stop harassing Elijah Bob!
See how Satan attacked Bitter Bob here:
Non-compliance to stupid ideas or perspectives that my dad thought might hurt more than help was a family trait of ours even in the Presbyterian Church. If my dad was not about to do something he felt was stupid or harmful, ill advised or just plain wrong he would say "I'll take that under advisement", which meant "NO".
It was a phrase he used often when the doc would want to put him on some new meds. "I'll take that under advisement" and his doc of decades knew exactly what that meant. Dad and mom died at just under 100.
Once he was warned by the Doc he had an extra heartbeat and the doc was concerned. "At 90 Doc, don't worry about it. You never know when you're going to need and extra one." "Ok Fred...."
In the 70's I took two Voyager Canoe loads of SEP kids on a long week paddle and camp ordeal. I was not in charge but we put up on an island for the Sabbath. It was HOT!!!! No Swimming on God's Sabbath was the expected behavior. Did I say it was HOT!!!??? So there we sat, in the woods or on the beach rejoicing in God's Sabbath. When I had had enough, I said "Let's all take a swim."
We all did. Even those that felt they could not based on the expectations of others. We saved the Sabbath with that swim. Nothing more came of it. Except no one died of heat stroke miles from help and I was not one to trust in divine healing back then for such things.
Once Dave Pack was chiding the men in Spokesmen's Club for not memorizing their scripture cards. Dad, who was an Elder in WCG raised his hand and gave Dave a bit of an overview on how much the men worked during the week and perhaps they didn't have the time he did. "I'll speak to you in the hall Mr. Diehl during the break." said Dave. "No you won't" said dad. lol And it never came up again.
I inherited a good a few good genes from Dad. I won't belabor the point of my personal choices but simply put, my kids got their immunizations in the 70's and yes, the church and friends knew. I did not expect them to do what I would not. I made it clear when they came for excused from immunizations form that this was their choice and did they really believe it as an adult or were they going along to get along?
I took members to professional counseling sessions, to mental health facilities and to the ER and hospital whenever needed. I tried in vain to do so with some who were suffering needlessly in Jesus name and they ended up resenting me but you can't win in this case of doing what you personally believe as opposed to group think and the decrees of higher ups.
I was told to cancel our very successful Sr Prom in Kentucky where hundreds of really good kids showed up and had a wonderful experience because some kids somewhere fornicated and "we weren't having them anymore." Really? Um...sorry. No. Our prom will go on and it did. It never came up again.
I recall a fine young guy in Club who, under Gerald Weston, before I showed up, had not spoken up during table topics. Gerald had him stand up and told him to stand on one leg and sing the National Anthem for the violation. Tim said "No Sir. That's disrespectful to the Anthem." and sat down. Yay Tim! Nothing more came of that.
The best moment I ever heard of had to be when the rather countrified good ol' boy song leader got up after Joe Tkach Sr's "Screw the Sabbath" sermon in Big Sandy. It was the tape sent out the next week locally. He got up to lead the last hymn and said.....and said...."Well now...wasn't that the biggest load of shit you ever heard. Let's all rise, take our hymn books and sing to the real God!"
That's a classic!
Finally, one woman in Greenville, testing me I suspect after my first sermon there, told me her husband that morning had reminded her that he was the King of the home and she was nothing. I thought she was kidding but she wasn't. I asked her what she said. "I told him then that made him the King of Nothing." Excellent!!!! I told her "good job."
That same day, women must have gotten together to test me replacing GW it seemed and asked me what a woman should do about Biblical questions they had as they were told they had to be quiet in church and if they had questions to ask their husbands. She continued to ask, "What if my husband ab idiot and can't answer questions?" I said, "then ask me or go find a good book." She smiled and said "I like you Mr. Diehl."
I'd like to offer up some suggestions that the real men and women Lurkers here on Banned can and should use when confronted by Deacons, Elders, Pastors, Apostles or Zerubbabel's who rule over them.
It has been a hard issue for historians to deal with the biblical story of the Exodus and the fact that not one single archaeological bit of evidence has ever been found to support it. A million plus people travelling 40 years in the desert and never discarding a single thing that was broken or worn out, no food byproducts have ever been found, no human latrine fields, no remnant of idols, no ashes from the burning fires in the tabernacle area, nothing.
Fret no longer! A COG member has solved the riddle! Sit back and be amazed!
This is from someone we have not heard from in a long time, Robert Petry.
Here is his revelation on the matter:
There you have it!
More fun from Robert Petry. One thing for sure, the Armstrongite mind is a terrible thing to observe! Here is a Church of God mind interpreting scripture.
As Adam and Eve romped in the Garden of Eden and got a little frisky, they were unable to see each other's bodies and therefore did not know they were naked. Their bodies were so dazzling bright they could not see each other as they had sex. Talk about "blinded by the light!" It wasn't till Eve plucked that voluptuous, firm, ripe, apple, and they both took a bite, letting the sweet juice run down their faces, did they gain the ability to see each other's bodies. What a shock! All because of that apple!
We have been hearing from various LCG members who read this blog that things are not as rosy in the Living Church of God as Gerald Weston and LCG HQ wants its members to believe. Many LCG member post here on how corrupt and unchristian acting HQ is to its own employees and members of the church. Tithes are routinely mismanaged at HQ and the chosen elite of the church benefit mightily from those tithes all the while as they abuse members and place more and more burdensome legalistic rules upon them.
Are LCG members getting ready to start defecting to other COG's? That process may already be starting!
This past weekend, 30 LCG members visited COGWA in Phoenix, Arizona. Apparently, they were unhappy with their minister and LCG and are now looking for a new church to call home. Time will tell as to how James Capo treats the LCG members.
Several Living Church of God members have complained about the latest information from LCG HQ in regards to pre-registering for the Feast in Hawaii. LCG is charging a $25.00 non-refundable fee for the privilege of pre-registering for the Kaui site. LCG members are also required to eat at least one catered meal on site.
This will make Lil'Jimmy's feast experience more memorable this year. Hawaii is his favourite site since he gets to go there expense free and have all of his activities paid for. Life is tough.
COGWA is the latest Church of God in the pre-Feast news. This time it concerns their Feast site in Cortona, Italy.
COGWA members who were interested in attending the Tuscany site quickly found out that when they went to register that registration was already closed before it even "officially" opened. European COGWA members were told to attend elsewhere.
Then to add insult to injury, they were told that if they showed up at the Feast site they would be barred from entering and would be turned away at the door! Yes, you heard that right! COGWA is putting the love of Jesus into action...a sure sign of the millennium!
The disgust level rose rather rapidly at these unfortunate turn of events and COGWA was forced to lighten its stance somewhat.
Another issue with the site is that nothing about the town or the meeting facility is wheelchair accessible or appropriate for those with walking issues. Feast attendees must park outside the city walls and walk to their hotels or accommodations. Once again we see millennial concepts put into action! Perhaps they are preparing for when people show up in Petra and COGWA can deny handicapped people admittance or deny those who did not pre-register in advance, entrance through the narrow gate.
A word of caution: Cortona is a “hill town” in its truest sense. Other than the main flat road that runs through the city, all the streets and alleys are steep ramps or staircases. The roads are pedestrian-only, so you won’t be able to drop anyone off at the theater where services are held. If you would like to attend, please be sure that you are comfortable walking on steep cobblestone streets and stairs.The source that sent me this information has this to say, and I think it is spot on:
So what it amounts to is the creation of a luxury vacation feast spot for rich and healthy (and well connected) American members."International Feast sites have always been set up by Americans to cater to American dollars. Very few have been set up to cater to the needs of lower income members in certain European areas or in South America.
Just take a notice of the side trips they have planned during the Feast:
Feast site expectations:In addition, we are planning two excursions outside of Cortona. One will be to Florence—a city with wonderful architecture, gardens, museums and artwork. The other will be to Montalcino—a beautiful hill town set in the Orcia Valley, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site made famous by its beauty and its Brunello wine.Cortona attracts many English-speaking tourists, and many of the merchants speak some English.
COGWA has always been looked upon by many in the broader church as a group of elitist members who threw a fit when things did not go their way. COGWA is white and financially well off and they brag about it constantly to justify their break from the heretics at United.
The source that sent me this info ended with this:
This kind of thing is of course not unique to cogwa, but I'm not sure when people will wake up and realize that the cogs just amount to a Ponzi scheme for the benefit of the top of the pyramid....as a side note:
Cortona is known for its Jesuit institutions and churches and for its quantity of "porte del morto's" (the doors of death) that are found next to the entrances of its medieval palaces.
Opening arguments have begun in the trial of Stephen Allwine, the United Church of God minister accused of poisoning and then shooting his wife.
The River Falls Journal reports:
The Star Tribune is reporting that the prosecution has started off with this:
On other Facebook pages, some United Church of God members are claiming this is just an attack from Satan mean to demean the United Church of God and its mission. As shocking as this may seem to some, this is not a unique belief in the Church of God. Any time a minister has ever been accused or something, some members start spreading the rumor that it is an attack from Satan.
Some UCG members are extremely excited to hear Allwine's attorney say the following as validation of their beliefs:
These same people cheered on Allwine's parents when they bailed him out of jail the first time.
The Church of God mantra is that one must never forget that we are in the end times Satan is ANGRY at United Church of God for preaching such a forceful message! Satan knows his time is short and will do all he can to discredit the church.
Yes, brethren, that record is still skipping in the same spot for decades. The end is nigh and Satan is pissed. Sigh...
When you read in the Old Testament about prophets and all of their utterances and activities, never once do you find any of these men and women to be thin-skinned or constantly being butthurt at peoples reactions to them. They believed in what they prophesied and did not care what people thought.
Not so in the 21st century. Dave Pack has to constantly circle the wagons and reinterprets his prophecies because they are consistently wrong. Gerald Flurry does the same at times but seems to stand by his utterances more than Dave does. And then there is Not-arrested, but almost-arrested Elisha, Elijah, Amos, Habbakuk, Johsua, Butthurt Bob Thiel, the Chief Overseer of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God, based not in Jerusalem but in the middle of California in a little itty-bitty storefront.
The Great Butthurt One is incensed about "crowdsourcing" as a sure sign that it is putting Satan to work in the world in order to persecute the one true church, which just happens to exclusively be Butthurt Bob's.
Thiel has written an article about crowdsourcing and about how crowd's of people are dumbed down when they gather together, kind of like a Church of God, but Thiel never admits that.
He quotes an article from the BBC:
BBC had a headline that got my attention:
Why people get more stupid in a crowdThe “wisdom of crowds” doesn’t always apply – sometimes group-think nudges people to make wrong-headed decisions.
The downstairs room of a central London pub is not where most psychologists would choose to stage an experiment in decision-making, but for Daniel Richardson it is ideal. A researcher at University College London, he is interested in how people’s thinking is influenced by those around them …
The decisions people make as a group tend to be more prejudiced and less intelligent than the ones they make individually. “When people interact, they end up agreeing, and they make worse decisions,” he says. “They don’t share information, they share biases. We’re trying to figure out why that is, and how we can make collective decisions better.” …
God's greatest Prophet then for some reason, claims the crowds talked about above are the same as "crowdsourcing" groups.Group conformity stands in marked contrast to the “wisdom of crowds” effect, whereby aggregating the opinions of large numbers of people gives answers or predictions more accurate than those of any individual. This happens only when members of a crowd make their judgements independently of each other, and it is most effective when a crowd is diverse. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160113-are-your-opinions-really-your-own
One of the reasons I decided to post about this was that the journal Science ran an article a while back touting “crowdsourcing” as the way to solve “wicked problems’ facing humanity. So, I made a short video about that which you can watch: Crowdsourcing and Artificial Intelligence to solve “wicked problems”?
A definition of crowdsourcing is:People, sadly, normally have the wrong foundation, hence can be swayed.
As you can see from the two examples above, groupthink and crowdsourcing are two different things. Groupthink is what happens in the Church of God while crowdsourcing puts creative minds to work, usually for the betterment of a product that is useful to society. Groupthink in the COG is not for the betterment of society, no matter how much he desires to think it is.Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words 'crowd' and 'outsourcing'. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.Famous Example: Wikipedia. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, they gave a crowd the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.Crowdsourcing & Quality: The principle of crowdsourcing is that more heads are better than one. By canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills, or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior.
Elijah Bob sees either group of people mentioned above as becoming under the influence of Satan when they gather together as a "crowd." After all, the favorite COG bogey-man story is that "prince of the power of the air" dude who sends out bad vibes to crowds all the time! In the Church of God, Satan clearly has more power than God could ever imagine. When a COG minister ever talks about Satan, he is always far more powerful than Jesus, who is far less discussed.
The Bible calls Satan “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and his ‘broadcasts’ have impacted the world to walk the wrong way (Ephesians 2:1-3). Satan’s influence in the Garden of Eden affected Eve, who then in turn affected Adam to make the wrong choice (Genesis 3).
While the Bible teaches “in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14), it also teaches “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Exodus 23:2).
Two guesses as to WHO is doing evil against Butthurt Bob? __________ & ____________.Throughout history, people have followed the crowd to do evil.
But what about now?
Would all of you big bad meanies PLEASE stop picking on God's greatest and most accurate prophet the Church of God has ever seen since Jesus walked the shores of Galilee! STOP crowdsourcing your persecution of the True One!Certain anti-COG blogs are filled with people who accept and promote false statements.
PLEASE stop pointing out the lies and foibles of the Great Doubly Blessed One! PLEASE LEAVE BOB ALONE!
Douglas mentioned the other day in one of his comments that Larry Grieder, a minister in the new splinter COG cult - Church of God, A Worldwide Association, has recently been promoting the lie that the Waldenses were Sabbath keepers..
Armstrongism, like Adventism look at one phrase associated with the Waldenses and promptly think it means they were Sabbatarians: "insabbati" One little word is what SDA's and Armstrongism base their bold claims upon. The real definition is towards the end of this post below and it is NOT what you think.
This myth has been floating around the COG for decades. The main culprit in promoting this lie was Dean Blackwell and Herman Hoeh.
Any quick check through the Internet can list a myriad of articles all stating that the Waldenses were NOT sabbatarians. The Waldenses started as a reform movement in the Catholic Church and later got wrapped up in Calvinism. There are Waldenses here in the United States who will also tell you that they are NOT sabbatarians. The Waldenses here eventually joined up with the US Presbyterian Church.
Armstrongism bought into this myth because of our close ties to Adventism. Elllen G White was the first to broach the Waldenses topic and their supposed sabbatarianism. Because she was a "prophet," many took her rantings as "gospel truth" much like the people in Armstrongism did when HWA, Meredith or others proclaimed some new truth.
Ellen G. White, founder of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in the 19th century, in a more fanciful account, claims to have found early seventh-day "Sabbath keepers" in the Waldenses :
There is also a letter from the Waldenses Church in Italy who refute the claim by SDA's that they were sabbath keepers:"In lands beyond the jurisdiction of Rome there existed for many centuries bodies of Christians who remained almost wholly free from papal corruption. They were surrounded by heathenism and in the lapse of ages were affected by its errors; but they continued to regard the Bible as the only rule of faith and adhered to many of its truths. These Christians believed in the perpetuity of the law of God and observed the sabbath of the fourth commandment....But of those who resisted the encroachments of the papal power, the Waldenses stood foremost....The faith which for centuries was held and taught by the Waldensian Christians was in marked contrast to the false doctrines put forth from Rome....Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath...Here, for a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith." (The Great Controversy, chapter on "The Waldenses", emphasis mine)
Therefore, the Waldensians did not keep the Sabbath (in the sense of Saturday instead of Sunday) and were not guardians of the "Sabbath Truth” as somebody calls it. The Waldensians never followed the Seventh-day Adventist’s Sabbath but they followed more Paul in Romans 14,5-8.
Even Samuel Bacchiocchi, the SDA "scholar" and Armstrongism's favorite "go to person" for Sabbatarian info, was not able to find anything.We can therefore say very clearly that the Waldensians were not Seventh-day Sabbath keepers and they were not persecuted for keeping Saturday as the Sabbath! Thy were persecuted, [from 1532 (when they joined the Reformation - Angrogna Synod) to 1848 (when they received religious freedom)], because of their Reformed-Calvinistic faith in Christ.
Jared Oler (former COG member) writes this:Dr. Bacchiocchi has probably done more research on the Sabbath than any living human. Did he find evidence that some of the Waldenses observed the Sabbath?"I spent several hours searching for an answer in the two scholarly volumes Storia dei Valdesi--(History of the Waldenses), authored by Amedeo Molnar and Augusto Hugon. These two books were published in 1974 by the Claudiana, which is the official Italian Waldensian publishing house. They are regarded as the most comprehensive history of the Waldenses. To my regret I found no allusion whatsoever to Sabbathkeeping among the Waldenses."Dr. Bacchiocchi is not the first Adventist to search in vain for evidence of the Waldenses keeping the Sabbath. The only thing researchers have found thus far are some documents which refer to the Waldenses by their nickname, "insabbati." Unfortunately for Mrs. White, the term has nothing to do with the Sabbath. It refers to the sandals the Waldenses were known to wear. The Latin word for sandals is sabbatum. Thus, the Waldenses were insabbati--"sandal wearers."
But the Seventh-Day Adventists were not alone in claiming the Waldenses as spiritual and historical antecedents. That same view of the Waldenses is widespread in the publications of the Sabbatarian movement. Here is the way the WCG characterised the Waldenses in their Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, Lesson 51, published in 1968:
``The Waldenses recognized that they were the true successors of the apostolic church. They kept the Sabbath, also the yearly Passover. And each September or October (in God's seventh month-see Lev. 23), they held at the headquarters church a great `conference.' As many as 700 persons attended from afar. New students were chosen, ministerial assignments were made, and crowds gathered daily to listen to sermons. What could this gathering have been but the Feast of Tabernacles! . . . But in 1194, Alphonse, king of Aragon, Barcelona and Provence decreed these `Waldenses, Zapatati or Inzabbati [keepers of God's Sabbath] who otherwise are called the Poor Men of Lyons' worthy of any punishment short of death or mutilation.'' (ACBCC p.11)
In this account, the Waldenses were presented not only as Seventh-Day Sabbatarians, but as observers of the seven annual holy days of the Hebrew calendar-not coincidentally, just like the pre-1995 WCG. It is also probably not a coincidence that this account describes the life and activities of Peter Waldo, founder of the Waldenses, in terms remarkably similar to the way the WCG was formerly wont to describe itself and its founder, former businessman Herbert W. Armstrong:
Jared writes further on:``Then Christ acted. The man He chose to become His apostle was a wealthy merchant in Lyons, . . . Christ saw by his actions that Waldo was in earnest. His mind began to be opened to the truth that had formerly meant nothing to him . . . Waldo brought the same practical common sense that had made him successful as a businessman to the organization and Work of the Church. He had the education and experience which so few in God's Church had (I Cor. 1:26). Jesus Christ probably guided that experience, unknown to Waldo, long before his conversion. As he preached, others united themselves and their efforts to his. They became, as it is said, `as many co-workers for him.' They dedicated their lives and their property to the spread of Christ's gospel. This little group became known as the `Poor Men of Lyons.' But that was not the name of the Church. They called themselves the Church of God, or simply Christians.'' (ACBCC p.6)
Armstrongism, like the Adventist's use this claim to establish their legitimacy in their so-called "right of succession" for maintaining the "truth once delivered." Both are made illegitimate with their claims:Furthermore, although the WCG once tried to identify the Waldenses as observers of the annual holy days of Leviticus 23, there is even less reason to link them to such customs than there is to link them to Seventh-Day Sabbatarianism. True to their Catholic origins, the Waldenses celebrated Easter or Pascha-``Passover''-but they were not in any way Quartodecimans. Their Paschal festival was not timed to start on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew sacred calendar, but instead simply followed the Catholic Church's calculation. As for the annual Waldensian conference in September and October, far from an attempt to celebrate the autumnal Feast of Tabernacles, its timing resulted from the fact that certain Catholic feasts and saints' days especially loved by the Waldenses happened to fall in the autumn.
Apparently Mrs. White wanted to have a line of unbroken Sabbath-keeping, from the time of the Apostles, to the Waldenses in the mountains of Europe, all the way through to the time of the Seventh-day Adventists. Unfortunately, such a continuum does not exist. Sunday-keeping began much earlier than Mrs. White realized, and the Waldenses never kept the Sabbath at all.
Another inaccurate statement Mrs. White made about the Waldenses is:"Behind the lofty bulwarks of the mountains . .. the Waldenses found a hiding place. Here the light of truth was kept burning amid the darkness of the Middle Ages. Here for a thousand years, witnesses for the truth maintained the ancient faith." (pp. 65-66)The Waldensian movement was established by Peter Valdes around 1176. The Waldenses were not excommunicated from the church until 1184. Therefore, the move to the mountains could not have taken place until after 1184, and the persecution of the Waldenses had subsided by the late 1600s. Therefore, it would be impossible for the Waldenses to have kept the light of truth burning for "a thousand years" during the Middle Ages. 500 years is a more likely number.
For more information:
Who Were the Waldenses? Early Evangelicals?
Letter From Waldenses Church stating that they are NOT Sabbath Keepers
Great Controversy Errors Exposed
The Early Waldenses
Adventist Media Response and Conversation: Waldenses and the Seventh day Sabbath and Adventists
Once a Christian has stepped away from the church and its tiresome focus upon on the law, doom, destruction, and death and moved into understanding grace, justification, mercy and rest, it is startling at how depressing Armstrongism truly is. The hope they claim to be looking to is a kingdom beyond their reach because no one is every capable of attaining the high standards they assume are expected of them.
Gerald Weston has written another missive to his followers about The Way of Cain. One would think that this soon after the Feast of Tabernacles that he would be focusing on the millennial bliss they claim to aspire to be a part of. While it is a millennium of peace they see in front of them, they rarely see Jesus as part of the picture, except for him coming beforehand to kill and slaughter as many people as he can so that the streets of the world flow with blood of the unrighteous, and then he will usher in the kingdom and give all loyal Living Church of God members crowns and place them over cities and worlds to rule with rods of iron to enforce the law. Jesus be damned, the law is still more important than grace mercy and justice.
Observing one’s first Feast of Tabernacles is a memorable experience for those of us who did not grow up keeping it. I have more memories of my first Feast than I should take the space to relate in this Editorial, but I want to share one with you. It involves a sermon by a senior minister, an evangelist in the Church of God at that time. I do not remember whether he had a title for the sermon, and if he did, I cannot remember what it was, as that was more than half a century ago. But if I were to put a title on it, it would be, “The Way of Cain.”
There was quite a buzz among the members following that sermon, but I found it a bit intellectual and obscure, a little over my head. I had only attended one weekly Sabbath service and the Day of Atonement prior to leaving for the Feast. The truth is that I understand it better today from the strands I remember than the day I heard it. The primary verse he used relating to Cain was Jude 11: “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” So what is that “way of Cain” that he expounded upon?
Cain is best known as the first murderer, the one who killed his brother, but what else do people know about him? And what do they know about his “way”? Few, even in the Church, had ever thought about this, and that is why the sermon had such an impact. It gave new knowledge. It was a revelation to most everyone.
How much Josephus can be relied upon regarding Cain, or any other subject, is certainly a question. The remainder of the Bible does not indicate any sin in ploughing the ground (1 Kings 19:19; Luke 9:62; 17:7). However, most agriculture today in the advanced nations involves “forcing the ground” through chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other means. It is difficult to know exactly how Cain was forcing the ground at that time, if indeed he was, and this was the part of the sermon that I found difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it is evident that Cain based his life on the get principle, and Josephus is no doubt correct when he says Cain “was wholly intent upon getting….”