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!
One of the first things I did when leaving Armstrongism was to get a new Bible with no wide margins and was not a Moffitt, Scofield, Orginal King James or had a dispensational bent.
With most of the markings that the church instructed members to use in the Bible, it was little more than highlighting proof texts to confirm preconceived notions as to what certain scriptures were supposed to mean.
The Living Church of God, as we all know, pathetically instituted a voluntary fast for little reason but to do it because they used to - oh, and to get a little humility, I guess. It was little more than a drizzle of ecclesiastical power, since fasting is supposedly one of the most spiritual acts of humility to God that one can do. More than this, it is intended to be intrinsically personal. Mandating a fast in a weak and lethargic manner is just as wrong as yelling that you're fasting to everyone on Facebook. Those who do that should be responded with every picture of a burger, steak, potato salad, soup, and prime rib you can find, in my opinion! Why not, the minsters did that to us on Atonement - verbally.
Even so, the wrong use of the fast didn't start with Gerald Weston. All one has to do is look back in history a little bit to see the wrong use of fasting - that started back with Herbert Armstrong in the mother church. The lack of respect for fasting went back decades ago.
The clip that I will use for this writing will be the Co-Worker letter of November 2, 1972. At this time in our collective past, the financing for the jewel-encrusted, gold-leafed Auditorium was completely secured. Also, commitments were made that actually caused Armstrong to say that if the funds had to be taken out of the so-called Gospel Proclamation to pay for the Auditorium, then that would be what would have to happen.
After the traditional "You're letting down and now you are in MORTAL DANGER of the Lake of Fire" guilt-trip threat to the members, because the members' interests had been gravitating toward "material and worldly concerns and interests" (WOW - Never mind he just guaranteed MILLIONS of dollars on an extravagant Gold-ridden auditorium which would be used for worldly interests!! I can do it but don't you!), HWA then turned to issuing a proclamation in presidential style, using Abraham Lincoln as a template, saying in his most west-wing prime-time authority:
"And whereas, it is incumbent on us (there's that word, incumbent again - sorry) at all times to revere the Supreme Government of GOD, [ ME] and to pray earnestly "Thy Kingdom come -- quickly -- thy will be done" -- and to bow in humble submission to His chastisements now laid upon us in this present financial dilemma,[My, Herbert Armstrong's, pleads to you because we're running short on money] and to CONFESS and deplore our SINS in becoming LAX in prayer and personal Bible study, [Yeah, this too, but I really mean what I am about to say] as well as our SINS in allowing worldly interests and pleasures to start drawing us away from our God, [Spending money on other things besides sending them here to pay for the Auditorium I just committed to and financed] and our zeal for HIS WORK, I call on all Brethren to CONFESS this lukewarmness [Not giving me as much money as you used to] and this drift from the needed CLOSE WALK WITH GOD, [putting your priorities in line with MY priorities] and to PRAY, with all FERVENCY and CONTRITION, for God's pardon for these offenses, [DARING to use the money earned for your own purposes] and for a permanent BLESSING on HIS WORK henceforth, continuously to its final completion. [Sending the money to me until I get these friggin' loans PAID OFF!]"
And whereas, when this beloved WORK OF GOD and His Church was, until three or four years ago, blessed, united, and producing abundant fruit for God's Kingdom, it is now AFFLICTED WITH FINANCIAL PROBLEMS OF UTMOST SERIOUSNESS [I just spent MILLIONS of dollars to finance this auditorium, and now I'm scared ****less], it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of GOD in this terrible visitation, and in repentant remembrance of our own faults, and laxities, and neglects, [Yes, I may have gone over my head with this thing but it's your fault because you aren't doing what I thought you'd do when I signed those papers] TO HUMBLE OURSELVES before the living Christ, [I'm his representative, so I'm really saying, ME] and to cry out to Him in deep earnest for His mercy, and HELP in overcoming -- to pray that we may be spared from further punishment though justly deserved.
"Therefore, I, Herbert W. Armstrong, by God's grace His chosen Pastor over His Church, do appoint Sabbath, November 18th as a day of humiliation, prayer and fasting for all members, in all humility and solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the whole Body of Christ may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and RESTORE THE INCOME FOR GOD'S WORK TO THE PREVIOUS 30% annual INCREASE!"
Well, FINALLY, at the very end of this very veiled financial complaint, we get the truth. Yes, as the director and the chosen founder of his tithe slaves - er, I mean, Church, he wants to appoint November 18th as a "day of humiliation" (type faster, you know what you're getting to), to the end that every member of the Worldwide Church of God may run up to God, the throne of the Law, and Restore the income of the Church to what it was.
Yup. A fast for money. Many may say, yeah, so what? Actually, it's the highest point of deplorable atrocities from HWA.
Luke 18:11 actually puts the pharisee in a bad light for fasting and giving money - thinking that that's what earns his salvation. What a coincidence that these two things are the very things Herbert Armstrong is asking the brethren to do: Fast, and give money.
Let's look at Isaiah 58:3-7. Since HWA always looked at the old covenant for guidance, this should be most appropriate:
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Compare this with Matthew 23:31-46:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.
All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
"When did I see you build an auditorium and I failed to pay for it" is not in there. You'll never find it. Look all you want.
For Herbert Armstrong to call a fast for financial increase to fund an auditorium that did the exact opposite of what the purpose of fasting was intended for - to loose the chains of injustice, to untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, to break every yoke (which is what Jesus came to do! - Are you listening Dave Pack?) and then to completely reverse that process for the purpose of money? That's morally reprehensible, wrong, and absolutely evil to demand and extort money the way that it was done. Untold harm resulted in the financial damage that Armstrong caused to finance his projects - the worst of which was that building. But to call for a fast to increase money? There is absolutely no biblical, moral, or ethical standard to okay this. There never was. There never is.
But the opposite is also true. To call a fast just to call a fast is just as wrong. If you don't know what you're fasting for, what's the point? If you don't understand why you're doing what you're doing, why do it? Throwing around a fast like it's leftover thanksgiving dinner or some kind of water balloon on a hot day is spiritually irresponsible. Besides. Any fast that is done besides Atonement (for those of COG persuasion, had to put that in there, because I know it would end up in the comments if I do not) is personal between YOU and GOD. No one else. It is intrinsic to the relationship between you and God, as are the reasons for it. No pastor can, or should, just throw it around because you can.
Christians need to take responsibility for their personal relationship. It is not God to Gerald to You. It is God to You and You to God. Gerald needs to be kicked off the party line in this manner, because he is becoming more of a nuisance and a hindrance then a help. Take charge of your personal relationship between you and God. You don't need a middle-man to tell you how and when to fast. You just need God's Spirit.
And last I checked
Yes, Gerald Weston reminds me of that character on Office Space. You know the one.
"Yeah, ummmmm......so, yeah, I neeed you to fast... on, ohhhh...... let's say.... um.... Saturday....yeah. I'll need you to fast on Saturday. That'll do it. Thaaaaaaaanks."
Maybe the directive was actually sent by the guy who always wanted the Red Stapler. Sounds more like it would come from him than a denominational leader of a "Living" church. Because that call - not to harp on it too much - seemed dead to me.
I was dumbfounded to discover that in boyhood Sunday School
days, I had been taught in many basic doctrines, the precise
opposite of what the Bible plainly teaches. I was astonished to
find that, taken to mean what it plainly says, THE BIBLE MAKES
SENSE! It became the most interesting study of my life. I saw
that I had to surrender my will to GOD. I did. I accepted CHRIST.
I was baptized in a Baptist Church, though I did not join it. My
understanding was opened by receiving God's Holy Spirit -- just as
God promises all minds may be. Now I could begin to UNDERSTAND the
Bible. It was a thrilling experience.
Herbert Armstrong was baptized in a Baptist Church.
Herbert Armstrong received God's Holy Spirit from a Baptism in a Worldly Protestant Church.
If Herbert Armstrong received God's Holy Spirit from a Baptism in a Worldly Protestant Church, then the Protestant Churches are NOT Satan's Churches - making all of Herbert Armstrong's claims and the backbone of his theology invalid.
If Herbert Armstrong WAS correct that the Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church and all the rest are SATAN'S CHURCHES, then the Baptism he received from these worldly Churches was not God's spirit, but an EVIL SPIRIT.
I wonder how many actually recognized that the Church had carefully written their material with the sole attempt of "Mind Conditioning" and Psychological manipulation?
It's true. While perusing through the "Bulletin", which was the predecessor to the "Pastor General Report", I noticed that Garner Ted Armstrong was writing to the local Pastors about the practice the church was implementing about local church areas conducting Sex Classes. Apparently, there were long, drawn out classes on exactly how to "do it". Notice the careful wording in this segment: That there was "careful" Mind conditioning being said in the classes of the past. They were certainly well aware of exactly what they were doing, conditioning the minds of their members.
That was not all that was said about mind conditioning.
Garner Ted Armstrong, a little farther down, said clearly that the book "God Speaks Out on the New Morality" was carefully produced to condition the mind with what he called a "careful psychological approach".
This was not just a book on sex. This was a "carefully" constructed book meant to "psychologically" impact readers that Garner Ted Armstrong said could not be duplicated under "lecture" conditions.
In case you did not need any further evidence that the Worldwide Church of God was a Cult - using Cult techniques - here's something you need to read on Brainwash and Mind Control of the Cults:
Here are some points that are listed within the article:
5) CONFUSING DOCTRINE
9) UNCOMPROMISING RULES
10) VERBAL ABUSE
12) DRESS CODES
13) CHANTING OR SINGING
15) FINANCIAL COMMITMENT
16) FINGER POINTING
21) NO QUESTIONS
It is clear, that by the admission of Garner Ted Armstrong, that the Worldwide Church of God was educated in the very psychological techniques they condemned as satanic or demonic. Could it be they were afraid if members learned about these techniques from psychologists, that members would be "on to them"?
It is clear that by the admission of Garner Ted Armstrong, that the Worldwide Church of God was actively involved in mind conditioning the brethren - admittedly, and knowingly using Mind Control on the members of the Church. It is clear that this conditioning was most likely not only just used on the "New Morality" booklet, but most likely by every booklet written by the church.
The Church used a careful psychological approach to brainwash the members. Yes, Garner Ted Armstrong admitted that. These booklets were not written in a way of chance. The approach was clear and fully aimed at complete control of the minds of their members for their own gains and purposes. The Worldwide Church of God was a Cult. And The Leaders of the Church knew it all along.
Ron Weinland, the convicted felon and epic failure as a prophet, has recovered from his recent heart attack and is back lambasting his shrinking church. Weinland has been losing members rapidly over the years as one prophecy after another goes down in flaming humiliation. Each time it does, he loses members.
As more and more of his men leave the church he has resorted to ordaining women to be preachers, including his loony wife and money-laundering daughter. Weinland even went as far as to proclaim himself and weird Laura as the 2 Witness of revelation. No one knows what she has been witnessing over the last many years other than being the official gossip of Church of God Preaching the Kingdom. Even when Ron was in prison earlier and recently recovering after his recent heart attack, the Second Witness has never preached a thing or mad any prophecy. Heck, even her husband will not allow her to be in the same room when he is preaching. She is apparently such a hot mess that she distracts him.
So as his church rapidly shrinks, he pulls the usual Church of God blame game. It is not his fault, it is his members fault. They do not seem to respect the ministers. This has been an ongoing problem that frosts his prophetic butt, big time.
"But this is a time to be sobered. This is a time to be sobered. That blows my mind to think that we’re not fully trusting in God, if you will, that we’re not zealously seeking to live as we need to live, desiring with all of our heart, with all of our being to be in the temple, desiring to be stirred up in God’s spirit, desiring to live right, desiring to fight against the things that pull us away. As I have mentioned, I know people get wrapped up in drama in their lives – their own personal lives – in family, in job, or whatever it might be. And so often when those...
And in the Church right now that’s happening! And when that happens you don’t know that you’re being pulled aside. You don’t realize that your eyes are being taken off the goal and the purpose that God has called us to. And of all times for that to happen! You think, “Am I going to let that pull me away? Am I going to let that begin to cause me to drift and not be zealous for this way of life?” We can’t deceive ourselves; and yet we do. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” God says. And that’s good to understand! “The heart is deceitful above all things!” And our hearts are! We want to deceive ourselves as human beings. When we want to do something different from what God says we will work overtime up here [mind] and not even understand that, to deceive ourselves that we are okay, that we’re... Even if we’re not in the temple, “We’re okay where I’m at. It’s the way I’ve always lived.” "
"And I said a mouthful there if we could grasp all that on a spiritual plane. But to understand “The heart is deceitful above all things,” that’s something to be on guard about. Because if you don’t believe that you’re not going to be on guard, you’re not going to be moved and motivated to fight this fight like you should.
And so I hate to see people letting down, letting up, getting pulled away, because it’s still happening. And right now we can’t afford to do that as a Church, because we’re still going through this process of the temple being cleansed. And so how do we see ourselves? Do we think we have it made? Do we think everything is okay? Or do we realize this is a battle to the end? It is a fight always to fight ourselves, to fight this selfish human nature that we have, because it stinks. Only God’s nature that we’re able to imbibe of, that we’re able to experience to varying degrees depending on where we are at any moment in time, to where there, and to the degree in many ways that we’re actually trusting in Him, that we’re praying and asking for His spirit to dwell within us, for His mind to be in us. We want it. We need it. We don’t want our own mind, our own selfish nature and mind. We want God’s mind. We want to be right in how we think toward others. We want to be right in how we truly think about others in the Church and out of the Church."
It all boils down to one issue with his church members, they don't respect the ministers, nor do most other COG members, at least in Ronnie's eyes.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him,” and, as in the context of some of this sermon in what we just finished talking about before this, is sometimes to acknowledge and understand those things that God has given through the Church, our mother, the mother of us all. Because sometimes that’s where we really mess up because we think we can do things our way, because, “Well, I don’t know, I don’t agree...”
I think of Mr. Armstrong. I think of things I heard in services and after services and I think of one family I used to catch a ride with at times traveling about a hundred miles to go to services there, that after the sermon was over all the way home—some people call it “roast minister”—chewing apart what was said! And you think, “What on earth are you doing?! What you heard, what God gave you that day you’re going to dissect it and decide what’s good and what’s bad, and candidly, most of what you’re blabbing about, most of what you’re complaining about is what you think is wrong and bad because “That was his idea. That’s his opinion.” No, he was placed there by God to feed you, you moron! Spiritual moron! Listen to what God gives to us because there’s a certain way He feeds us.
I’m sorry, but I think of some of those rides and people I heard in God’s Church, and people who were ordained that would chew apart what the ministry was teaching them. I get worked up, okay? I get worked up because I feel this deeply and I see things in what’s happening. And a lot of the things I see and have tried to tell different ones in the ministry depending especially even where they are within the ministry, is that when you are ordained God gives you certain abilities and power. Not because you deserve it, not because you’re special, but because it’s the way God works. And there are times then that if we can grasp and comprehend it within the ministry that God gives us the ability to see certain things that others can’t see for the purpose of serving the Church, for a purpose of doing a job.
Ron is such a clairvoyant that he can read peoples eyes and tell who in his basement church don't want to come and talk to him or other members.
I say that because I want people to understand I see things in people’s lives because God gives it to me. Okay? I see the trend of things that happen within the Church. I know when people are... I about slipped there a little bit too much – messing around and not living this way of life like they should be. I know when you’re drifting, because of where it comes from. It’s not because I’m so talented and have such great abilities. Now, certain times through experience with the Church you grow in those things, but it’s by God’s spirit and He sustains it and He helps it to grow more and more and more.
That’s why I know when an individual can’t come up and talk to me; I know there are big problems in their lives. I know that when some people visit in another area (in the ministry) and individuals and people won’t go up to them and talk to them and address certain things to them and greet them they’ve got big problems spiritually. Something is wrong deeply in their lives, see. And so I understand when an individual or individuals or whatever it might be, at any time can’t come up and talk to me. I know why. I understand why. It’s a spiritual thing, see.
I see people drift. I see things and hear things that happen in people’s lives. I know where they are. I know what their battles are more than you can comprehend. And then God gives me the ability and the feeling and the emotion and the desire to cry out to His Church, “Quit messing around! We’re almost there! Why give up now? Why drift away now? Why let down now, of all time?” It just blows my mind, and yet God showed me a long time ago, and I’ve been preaching it over and over and over again it’s going to happen to the end, people falling by the wayside. Even as small as we are it’s not going to stop. Because, you see, you can’t help it. If you don’t get a hold of it as fast as you can right now it’s too late. That’s why you’re going to fall away at a particular point in time even after nuclear war begins. Because you become so weak for drifting for so long and drifting away from the truth you can’t help it. You can’t turn it around.
The false prophet admits his church is small now and rapidly shrinking.
See the world doesn’t get attacked like that. We do. Because this is God’s Church. And there aren’t many left at this point in time that are still a part of the Body of Christ. Started small and it’s ending up very small, see. But for a purpose. It’s going to be very clear “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit...” God’s doing it. God will accomplish everything that must be accomplished in the end of an age. But we get to share in it as small as we are. But it’s going to be abundantly clear we didn’t do much. I mean, how can we?
He also admits that hardly anyone knows who they are. Even their presence on YouTube is an epic failure, but his god is in charge! Awesome!
We have a little thing on YouTube and how many do you think turn into that? Not that many. Not that many. So we don’t have much of an effect. It’s pretty obvious to us. It’s very obvious to me God has to do it. It’s God’s work. God is going to complete this and finish it. But He’s letting us share in it because there is going to be a Church that’s cleansed and ready, small...small as it will be, when Christ returns. Awesome!
Why is it that so many of the false prophets in the COG claim their god is going to finish the work through them, even though they are extremely small in size? Every one of them have been failures and outright liars.
The COG, Chicago Congregation, went so far as to find out where segregation would be when Christ returns, apparently....
These were done by the Chicago Worldwide Church of God in 1965.
You will notice as the illustrations advance from tribal draped Blacks in the first picture to the Asians in kimono's in the second looking like they are wandering, to the emergence of chosen ones, always illustrated as whites, all going steadily forward in their Sabbath wear, to the first-class white people in their long gowns and tuxedo's heading off to the marriage supper with the Lamb in the last picture.
Gotta watch out for the perverted, defiled crops! The horror!
So much emphasis on the physical while the spiritual was completely ignored.......
Did you know that one of Satan's biggest deceptions against humanity was cross-breeding watermelons and cucumbers?
In its never-ending need to control church members lives, Herbert Armstrong also laid down rules on how to raise watermelons.
In the early years of the church a large percentages of the members had their own gardens and grew their own food. These people were not idiots and knew how to grow produce. That made no difference though to the well-kept boys in Pasadena who rarely dirtied their hands or had callouses from hard work. It was so easy to read some books and then tell the members what to do.
Ultimately though, this went far deeper than watermelons.
In thinly veiled race-based comments, church embers were told not to breed hybrids, whether in family life or in their gardens.
Only quality people keep their produce pure...hint, hint.
For those who have not read these open letters, you may want to do a little bit of historical reading as a Christian Evangelist takes on Herbert Armstrong in the form of three open letters. Maurice McArdle Johnson (November 28, 1893 – December 12, 1979) was a Christian Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher, predominantly in the Southern California area who, early in his career, went through a process of separating from organized religion. He was instrumental in establishing Christian assemblies across the United States which are mostly still in existence." (Wikipedia, deleted archive)
Photo from Maurice Johnson Archives
"MR. ARMSTRONG: After I began announcing this "Open Letter," is it true that you began making recordings of some of my radio messages in the hope that you could get material for a "slander" suit against me?
YOU accuse me of slander? You who have slandered every Christian preacher and Bible teacher who ever lived; you, who slanders the Lord from heaven; you, who slanders the gospel of the grace of God; you, who slanders the holy 10 commandment law of God by your miserable pretense of keeping it; you, who slanders the TEMPLE OF GOD yet to be restored in Jerusalem by having your silly little "Feast of Tabernacles" and "Feast of Passover" over in Gladewater, Texas, in that puny little shed [unfinished tabernacle]; YOU are hoping to sue me at Ceaser's court for slander? Maybe the report is ill-founded!
God willing, before I shall have completed these "Open Letters" to you I will have given clear, unforced proof of my accusations concerning your slandering the Christ of the Bible and your blasphemous caricature of "the church of God," called by you "The Radio Church of God."
In the never-ending saga for the Church to mold every woman to their every expectation, women were made to feel as if they needed the Church's direction in every aspect of their lives.
No, the admonition to avoid the use of makeup on the face wasn't enough. And the admonition of how and in what manner to cut hair was also not enough. The question arose about "permanents" - and the Church was quick to answer!
Mothers were never taught how to care for their hair, and most women never learned how to appear neat. So, because of their ignorance, they have "resorted", without need, to the use of permanents. Was there ever a moment when a person in the church was not judged about something?
So because permanents could possibly damage hair, the Supreme Court of the Government of God under Admiral Herbert dictated the command that permanents were to be avoided. It had been deemed that it simply isn't hard for a woman to learn the art of using curling pins and water.
Oh, and apparently, some of you are washing your hair too much, and some of you aren't washing your hair enough at all. I guess they threw that in there to let it be known to you that it has been noticed. So pay more attention! Listen to your minister Gods in training! No excuses!
The micromanaging of every detail of a person's life knew no bounds, especially when it came to the details of self-expression in the lives of a member of Armstrong's Millennial Utopian Boot Camp. I'm surprised the grooming of, shall we say, areas that Garner Ted would know too well, was not covered here!
Choice was not permitted in the Church. The standard practice of asking the ministry permission on the simplest things was enabled and developed here. Members were treated as children, not as the adults that they were. The importance of appearance to Herbert Armstrong was paramount.
Fortunately, in the long run, Armstrong's reign would be the one thing that would never become "permanent". guest writer: SHT
It's Almost Feast Time Again for many. But It's A Different World Than It Was in 1985. And what we all expected never happened.
We've heard it all our lives. We're all going to enter into the Wonderful World Tomorrow. Lions will be tamed, peace will be everywhere, everyone will keep the Law. The Worldwide Church of God will rule the world under Herbert Armstrong, and all the church members will rule and reign with him for a thousand wonderful, amazing, utopian years, keeping the Law and the Holy Days and forcing all to do so with a rod of iron. Well, Until that was made absolutely impossible for that to happen in just a couple of decades from September of 1985. Boom goes the dynamite, and the Church ran like melancholy sparrows or lonely pelicans smacked by a volley of roman candles.
Things are different now. There's no Worldwide Church of God as we knew it. Herbert's long gone. Scattered remnant ministers continue to try to make a work, work, and some remnant members who try to be ministers try to make a... well, whatever they're trying to do. I still haven't figured out what that is. I'm not sure they have either.
of course, we all are aware that we are very fast approaching the annual Feast of Tabernacles for those who celebrate the Fall Holy Days in the Churches of God. Many people will be going to and fro to extremely diverse locations, meeting in various hotels, homes, campgrounds, and living rooms.A few might get a hall! One or two, a BIG hall! It was a far different picture decades ago when we met at large sports arenas, conference centers, islands and cruise ships - all 140,000+ of us, all in one church, all looking forward to ONE World Tomorrow under ONE apostle in a church body called the Worldwide Church of God that we believed as a physical corporation the gates of hell could never prevail against (see the Receivership of the late 1970s to early 1980s to get this picture.)
(Photo from the Envoy, 1970s,
Lake of the Ozarks, Feast of Tabernacles)
At that point of time, many of us believed that Herbert Armstrong would miraculously recover and would not die, that Gerald Waterhouse was speaking fascinating, deep truths (ok, a few of us thought that), and that Jesus was delaying his return because the brethren were just not ready. Nonetheless, it was an exciting, festive, and unforgettable convention for so many of us - particularly those of us who were tenfold bought into the Armstrong Theology System.
Many were teenagers at the time. Many regarded Herbert Armstrong as God's Apostle. And many regarded the ministry as the authoritative word of God. So what exactly were the teenagers of the Worldwide Church of God told in the last few months of Herbert Armstrong's reign in the Worldwide Church?
The teenagers were told that the World Tomorrow was for the Children of the Church in 1985. An article was written in the Good News of September 1985 by Frank Nelte - which set up entirely incorrect expectations for the teenagers of the time. I'll quote some paragraphs.
"The members of God's Church will then be Spirit beings. We'll be part of God's Family, assisting Jesus Christ in governing and teaching that perfect world. We will see to it that Christ's instructions are carried out to the last detail. But we will not be the ones to do the physical building of that society, nor will we be the ones who will benefit most from the ideal physical environment."
Here, we have the statement that the then-current (in 1985) members of the Worldwide Church of God would be transformed into Spirit beings - managerial assistants who's job is to "see to it" that the instructions of Christ are carried out to the exact detail. I can see in my mind glorified, brightly-shining spirit entities sitting on little thrones, legs crossed, holding a spirit drink and a spirit microphone, watching down below as they bark order after order received from upper management. Wait! I think I did see that actually... Wasn't that what Dave Pack was doing wearing a white shirt staring down at his workers, barking out order after order in his office up high? Of course, it was! After all, that was the Church's teachings!
"The actual restoring of the old wastes, the planting and reaping of bumper crops, and the beautiful homes and cities will be carried out by humans. And the teenagers from God's Church are destined to be among the leaders and beneficiaries of that society".
Please forgive me if I take a moment to do just a little math. The teenagers from the Church back in 1985 (13 to 19) are currently aged 46 to 52 years of age. Those who read this and believed this back in 1985 have children, and grandchildren, and are actually approaching retirement. They've got GREY HAIR. Think about this: The Young Ambassadors of those days could now nearly attend SENIOR CITIZEN LUNCHEONS! May we now, at this point, say, without any degree of reasonable doubt, that the author of this article was just a little bit incorrect?
"When other people at the beginning of the Millennium find out that a teenager' s father or mother is now a member of the God Family -when they discover that the teenager attended God's Church or studied the Church's teachings in this age -then they will look up to that teenager to show them the way. Those teenagers who strive now to learn God's way are then going to be in high demand"
The idea going through a teenager's mind, in 1985, was simple: Feast Flings. No, I'm joking. Not really, I wish I was. But what was going through their minds spiritually was something like this: After the hellish World War 3, in just three to five years, the Millennium would dawn. The Worldwide Church of God would then surface from Petra or wherever, and they would then rule the world under Jesus Christ, and the teenager is still on earth. Others without knowledge of the Worldwide Church of God would suddenly be awestruck at the realization that their parents ARE NOW GOD UP IN THE SKY and would be in awe! The teenagers would be superstars! And, likely, MINISTERS - HUMAN MINISTERS like the WCG Ministers of 1985! What a GOAL! (Except the feast flings - that was their real goal.)
"The surface of the Earth will be dramatically changed. Mountains will be brought low. Land will appear in many deserts covered by oceans. Deserts and polar ice caps will become fertile and habitable. The surface of this planet will receive an incredible face-lifting."
Now, our mid-1980s teenagers will, presumably be 1995, expect to see the nuclear-torn, war-ravaged Earth suddenly go through a Genesis Project transformation that makes Star Trek look...wait, it IS like Star Trek, isn't it? - The only thing missing was the Enterprise with Kirk at the helm wrestling the Genesis Effect Machine from the hands of the villain! Of course, in the COG world, the Villain was Garner Ted, not Kahn.... But I digress...
"And then God will need thousands of pioneers! Have you ever envied the pioneers of yesteryear? - Like Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Vasca De Gama, Captain James Cook and David Livingstone to name a few? Well, the achievements of the pioneers of tomorrow, which are being trained today, will pale into insignificance anything accomplished in past ages."
Yes! Now we are telling our teenagers that their names will be as important and etched in stone as the next Christopher Columbus! The next Marco Polo! The next Vasca De Gama or Captain Cook! What a reward! Now our teenagers will really be somebody! They'll be important! Yes, you teenagers will be what you envy!! Envy is a Ferengi trait, not a Christian trait. Sorry, another Trek reference. I'll stop already. Someday. Moving on....
They'll build farmlands and industries in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and on the top of Antarctica! Oh, what's that?
"Some will have to set the example in establishing family units that practice God's Way of Life. Some will have to set the example by living in accordance with all of God's Health Laws. With guidance from God, thousands of inventions are just waiting to be discovered... trendsetters will be needed!"
YES! Make it SO, we'd think, gleefully.
But it could not be made so.
Then, this is said...
"That's a big responsibility. God is very selective in the foundation He builds. The teenagers associated with God's Church today are being offered a part in that foundation. God is not going to make any mistakes. So teenagers in God's Church are being tested as to whether God will be able to use them....
Often the teenager may be the only one in the whole school who knows about God's truth. To reject the way the other kids do these things means to be rejected by them, and none of us wants to be rejected or ostracized. Yes, it's often tough, but it boils down to this: Either they seek the approval of other kids by being just like they are, or young people seek God's approval and possibly face a certain amount of persecution, but then look forward to pioneering God's Way of life in the incredible future."
Not that I need to say this. But I'll do it anyway. None of this happened. It's 2018. Thirty-Three YEARS in the future. That's at least 5 TIMES further than the 3 to 5 years we were expecting in 1985, which is FORTY years later than the expectation in 1945. (Look at me sound like some kind of Church of God Date-Setting Dude). Let's be frank. None of it was true. It was entirely, totally, and completely FICTION. There's no other way around it. The teenagers are grandparents in some cases, the United States still exists, the entire generation of members in 1985 who were adults are middle-aged to senior citizens... or dead. It IS a totally, completely, incredibly different world, yes. But it's not the World Tomorrow we were told it would be. I guess you could say it's not your father's world tomorrow. But it is a World Tomorrow no one ever anticipated. All of the above I just mentioned is what they were told. And many believed it. That's a shame. A real, honest, absolute shame. We said lying to our children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny was such a sin, but then lied to them about their world to come and thought it acceptable. It was not.
Among countless other marvels, Computers and information have taken over the world. Smartphones, Twitter and Facebook. Instant news. Instant communication. Cell phones without cords with nearly unlimited apps. An unlimited library of videos at your disposal. GOOGLE, for crying out loud. Music you do not have to pay for via YouTube. TV's that are flat and curved. Video conversations are every day. Everybody now has the technology to do a "Microwave Satellite Transmission" with the push of a button. And this blog has reached every nation in the world - and the thing is? That's not a big deal. A cat video reaches every nation in this world too. And so does every blogger and podcast operator and video producer. It's an everyday thing. And in ten years, everything I wrote will probably be horribly outdated.
But because of our fictional World Tomorrow that never came, no one who was a teenager in 1985 was prepared for the REAL "World Tomorrow" which is the unthinkable-then World we know of today. Because
No matter how you slice it, no matter how you look at it, no matter how you parse history - the truth is, the Worldwide Church of God told the children to expect something that never happened. They believed it on the authority of Christ - dictated by Herbert Armstrong, the evangelists, and the pastors of the Worldwide Church of God. What did our children learn from that? How did that affect their trust in their parents? Their ministers? God? Everything?
Nine years later from 1985, the greatest tribulation ever to hit the Worldwide Church of God hit with the force of a 1000 megaton detonation. People were left bewildered, stunned, and the Church was literally destroyed into thousands of small splinters, shards, and pieces of shrapnel. Some went left, some went right, some went - well, anywhere they could find to go. But the world around them went on. The world around them continued, progressed, developed, and became the crazy futuristic world that we live in today, beyond the dreams of anyone in 1985. A world that many of our teenagers were not prepared for, because of the fictional expectations they were told of by those who were trusted. No, it wasn't THE Great Tribulation, of course. But for us, it might've well been.
Now, what was written above are indisputable facts. However, the following paragraph is just an opinion - so take it, leave it, or whatever, but here it is:
As the Fall Festival Season comes for 2018 to those who continue to observe it, I hope you have an enjoyable time with family and friends - and fun. But there is a lesson learned that the teenagers of 1985 have learned very, very well. That lesson is simple: Guard yourselves against feeding your children with unrealistic, fictional, biased, irrational and unreasonable expectations of ideas and inaccuracies of things that no one knows the date, the times, or the hours of - or can know, which will rob them of the trust they put in their parents if they imagine or teach that they do know. Instead, prepare them to have the ability to live, laugh, love, and succeed in this incredible World that no one back then could ever have expected. Teach them respect, honor, and joy. Give them the abilities to set a wonderful example for their children and their grandchildren which most are nearly certain to have. Jesus isn't interested in the propagation of untruths to his little ones. Jesus is interested in those who understand and live a life of love. Those who achieve that have achieved a better recognition than Marco Polo or any explorer or real estate developer of a worldwide scale ever could. And what happens beyond that?
As long as we do the right thing, the true thing, and the honest thing - we'll be more ready for whatever comes our way than if some teach what end up to be lies and deceptions unaware. guest contribution:SHT
With the recent, ironic to me and tragic death of my sister and a few other realities that came calling, I have come to realize it's time to move on. When the student is ready, the teach will come and all that.
Fifteen years of messy, painful and costly transitions are enough. The losses have been great and the consequences of my own decisions in life are ever with me.
I've gotten my life and mind up into the present which is all there really is and that's something for me as a minister who soaked in two and three thousand year old texts, as if they knew and "prophecy come alive", again, as if they knew, taking me into another's vision of the future. Neither location is real and not places to spend one's real time, the present, in our short lives.
Our regrets give credence to this being so.
What inspires my life? This does...
It's been a trip. The stages of grief played out in full and ending now in acceptance of what now is what is the most healthy for me to recognize.
Thank you all for allowing me to get to know you, your stories and perspectives. Thank you for listening to mine and while we may all have come to different places in our journey out what I have seen as pious convictions based on marginal information, it's in the sharing and compassion for the experiences of each and not the agreeing we find our common ground.
Thank you Gary for giving me a place to process my journey as member, minister and man and for exposing us all to the experiences of others. We'll say in touch of course.
I am at peace here in Portland and have come full circle now in my journey into and out of the WCG. My best wishes to ALL of us. I have learned much from you and hope that in someway you have learned something of value from myself and the interests I put on hold or was simply in denial over when towing the party line of religion...
Live, Laugh, Love
I'm content with these things being so and as they are. It is truly amazing and, to me, of much greater inspiration than having to live with all of you guys in the Wonderful World Tomorrow LOL :)
Don't miss your actual life ...
My favorite "scripture"
“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing”
Thomas Henry Huxley
Thank you once again and may peace go with you all in your continuing journeys.
The Duplicity and Double Standard of Herbert Armstrong was prevalent in the life of Herbert Armstrong and his subjects in the Church. To illustrate the example of Herbert's "It's OK for me, but not for you" standards, allow me to illustrate two examples.
The first example I wish to bring forth is Herbert's divorce from Ramona back in the early 1980s. Herbert went through quite the ordeal with his short marriage with Ramona. But it was not unlike the many divorces that were not permitted in the church by others who had much of the same common situations as Herbert.
Let's look at the culmination of the marital struggles with Herbert's acknowledgement of the situation to the brethren from a Co-Worker letter that was sent to the church.
EXAMPLE 1: Divorce.
But with deepest regret I have to say to you now, Mrs. Ramona Armstrong has refused to be at my side here in Pasadena headquarters or in further travel, but has insisted on living separately in Tucson. It has been determined by events, facts and fruits that I am not spiritually bound by God and only by man's law of this world. Circumstances now render it ill-advised that I condone the continuation of the legal marriage, both from the Church point of view and of my own. It was my hope and effort to resolve the matter, and with the least publicity possible, for the benefit of the Church, for her and for myself. All attempts to do so have failed. It has therefore become necessary that I accede to the advice of Church legal counsel and file the necessary legal proceedings. I assure you every effort has been made, at cost of heavy stress on me personally, to avoid this.
God HATES divorce. So do I. I have gone to every effort to prevent this. It would be inappropriate at this time that I state all the facts, but if necessary and proper later, I will reveal more.
This matter of marriage and divorce has been of very serious concern to the Church, and to me personally. I had never known of a divorce in my own family as far back as I have record or knowledge. I lived 50 years with the wife of my youth — happily. I have made every effort to avoid this action that I hate. You may be sure, of course, that it is not taken except after every effort, continuous heartrending prayer, and completely in accordance with God's Word and teaching, and the teaching of God's Church, especially I Corinthians 7:12-lS.
This determination SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A PRECEDENT TO ENCOURAGE OR JUSTIFY OTHER DIVORCES IN THE CHURCH.
With this example, Herbert's marriage to Ramona was deemed as "not spiritually bound by God". However. It is clear that if the exact same situations were to occur in marriages within the Church, then this decision "should not be used as a precedent...to justify other divorces". That's the definition of a double standard right there. It's ok for "me", but if you end up in the same situation, to you, it's sin.
I used the word "sin" because if someone goes against the minister and does it anyway, then it's rebellion against Government, rebellion against Church doctrine, and could get you in "trouble" for divorcing anyway if you were "advised" not to.
Thirdly, if it is completely in accordance with God's Words and teaching, then why is it not precedent?
Let's now look at the second example on baptism.
Herbert Armstrong was baptized in a Baptist Church. Herbert says that through that baptism, he received God's Holy Spirit.
Let's keep in mind that Herbert Armstrong regarded Baptist Churches as deceived, satanic, and cut-off from God. This, and of course, all other protestant, catholic - even Seventh-Day and Jehovah's Witnesses included in this mass judgement. Yet he, Herbert's baptism was deemed valid. But the official teachings of the Church taught differently:
EXAMPLE 2: Baptism
However, notice that the one performing the baptism ceremony was a representative (though not necessarily an ordained minister) of the true Church of God in every New Testament case. This was the Church Jesus founded (Matthew 16:18).(All About Water Baptism)
If this was true, then Herbert was the very first exception to the rule, wasn't he? No Baptist minister was a representative of what Herbert considered an ordained minister of the true Church of God.
Yes, SATAN HAS SUBSTITUTED A FALSE CHRIST AND DIABOLICAL CUSTOMS. THOSE WHO OBSERVE THESE PAGAN CUSTOMS AND REJECT THE TEACHING OF CHRIST SHOW BY THEIR ACTION THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT SALVATION REALLY IS! Satan has substituted a false baptism— a mechanical act which does not signify the burying of the old self. He has perverted the teaching of God that man must repent. - C Paul Meredith, Counterfeit Baptism Today
Here, the argument is made that Satan has substituted a "false Christ" by those who "Observe these pagan customs".
There can be no argument made that the Baptist Church is most certainly classified as one of the churches that Herbert would regard himself as a church that "observes pagan customs". Therefore, by the Church's standard, Herbert was baptized in what the church taught, and what he considered a pagan church with a false baptism - especially since the Baptizer was not representative of "the true church of God".
After baptism in a worldly church, such people don't immediately begin to study and UNDERSTAND the Bible. They just continue to go along with the customs, the ways and the traditions of their friends and of this world. Their lives are not actually CHANGED. They don't come to personally KNOW GOD! Such people have NOT TRULY REPENTED, and their baptism was probably not valid! Their's was only a ritualistic "dunking" in the water. If you are wondering about your baptism, ask yourself WHY you were baptized in the first place. Were you baptized simply because many of the members of your family were baptized, and you felt looked down upon, or had that "left out" feeling? Did you stand in the water and go through the ordinance of baptism simply to "join" the group with whom you had been fellowshipping? Were you baptized because you temporarily thought it was the "right thing to do?" If you were baptized for ANY of these reasons — YOUR BAPTISM WAS PROBABLY NOT A VALID BAPTISM,
The only reason in this missive why they had to add the word "probably" was because they were well aware of the fact Herbert was baptized in just such a church. Yet, because the belief was Herbert was the only one who understood, changed, and repented, his was deemed valid. However. I can find no example of any other person who was baptized in a "worldly church" who's baptism was deemed valid - except Herbert Armstrong.
Yet, what was said to those with questions from the staff of the Plain Truth (ministry) who had been baptized into a worldly church?
You need to really repent and be baptized into Christ by a true servant of God in order to receive the Holy Spirit and be added to the body of Christ — the true Church (I Cor. 12:13).- Plain Truth Staff (The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers)
Which goes back to what was quoted earlier - they according to the Church, there has never been an example where the baptism ceremony was not conducted by a representative of "the true church".
Except Herbert Armstrong, the first one to do so by being baptized in a Baptist Church by a Baptist Minister.
By the Church's own doctrine, then, Herbert should have been judged to have been baptized by what he considered and taught as a false, satanic, pagan church, breaking the entire baptismal succession of true ministers in the true church baptism according to the New Testament, and received a "false christ" in a "false baptism".
Of course, since it's Herbert's Church, he was the exception to the rule, just like with the divorce from Ramona.
This didn't stop just with these two examples. There have been many documented examples of the same duplicity in many other examples. So what was a person to do if they caught Herbert doing something that he told everyone else not to do?
Say nothing, turn around, support Herbert Armstrong, and above all - tread carefully.
Could this be why the current crop of Splinter Leaders think they can get away with so much? Because Herbert did it, and since Herbert did it, it must be okay? Following Herbert Armstrong as an example is a sure way to go down the road of wickedness and corruption. An idolatrous and hellish way to go - a rotten way and an attitude that Jesus himself warned repeatedly against.
Unconverted friends (well, that's the first problem, isn't it) come over on the Sabbath. And the first thought is to dismiss them. But no one wants to do that. So, they do what every good COG person does - writes headquarters.
The first suggestion? Guide the conversation to be constructive - like talking about World News.
This had to have gone over well.
"Hi, Marcia! We'd just thought we'd drop over and see how your family is doing!"
"Oh, HI, Karen! We're doing great!"
"Good to hear! Hey, did you watch that episode of ______ Thursday night? What a hoot! When Billy Bob went...."
"Oh, Karen, yes, but let's talk about Beirut. Did you see what happened in Beirut? What an incursion!"
"...why would I want to talk about Beirut? Anyways, Billy Bob was SO funny! he..."
"Sixty five troops stepped over a mine and, oh yes, did you hear about the..."
I guess it'd be fun to see how that one went, wouldn't it?
"Hey, did you hear about that episode of _____ Thursday night? What a hoot! When Billy Bob went...."
"Oh yes, he did go to the bar, I remember. And in the scriptures, it talks about the appearance of evil. See, it's right here, look here...."
Yes, it's keeping the Sabbath that sets you apart from everybody else, they teach. So no one needs to know this - tell your guests only the minimum about it. Can't have everyone set apart - they won't understand it anyway. But do tell them it's just not the day to socialize.
"Hey did you hear about that episode of __________ Thutrsday night? What a hoot! When Billy Bob went..."
"Yeah, I heard about it, hey, this really isn't the day to socialize, I'm sorry, why not come back tomorrow..."
"We believe in the Sabbath, so yeah, I don't want to see you today."
This is my command, that you love one another, Jesus says.
Of the many aspects, you read about prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, no a single one of them spent half of his waking hours each day tryi9ng to prove to others that he was legitimate. Deep down they knew they had a calling and went forth to the world, no holds barred. Their God spoke directly through them. Not so much today in 2018 though.
Today the Church of God is filled with a myriad of mentally disturbed men who think they are conduits of God's word. They have no qualms about lying to church members with one absurd false prophecy after another. Many of these believe they are God's prophet and don't have a second thought about it. Well, that is except for one.
That leads us to our favorite eternally-bitter, self-appointed prophet, Almost-arrested but not-arrested Bawana Bob Thiel. Bawana Bob is once again dragging Norm Edwards into this legitimization process.
The Great Bawana to Africa writes:
Norman Edwards, a former board member of the old Global Church of God, wrote an article Need Prophets More than Prophecy. Norman Edwards granted me permission to post the article in its entirety (because of potential copyright issues, I rarely post articles in their entirety unless permission has been given/suggested). The following is from a file Norman Edwards emailed me:
Need Prophets more than Prophecy
by Norman Scott Edwards, Shepherd’s Voice Magazine
This writer can still remember the excitement he felt when he first heard a preacher explain that the Bible was a prophetic book, and we could understand the events of our time in advance by reading it. The preacher explained that the prophecies of the Bible were complicated and often symbolic. He also said a firm grasp of world history was necessary to properly distinguish the fulfilled prophecies from the ones in the future. This task obviously exceeded the capability of fledgling Christians, so I needed to get his booklet on the subject. And so many others have had a similar experience, and were excited to take in the book, video or seminar where the future events of prophecy were all explained for them.
The article is quite long after this.
Bawana Bob, Prophet to Africa then continues:
Norman Edwards runs the Church Bible Teaching Ministry and has been the editor for Shepherd’s Voice magazine. He is not part of the Continuing Church of God, where, I function as its human leader (and am an ordained prophet; the only known such prophet in any legitimate Church of God group).
Seriously? Yes, you did just read that unadulterated nonsense!
While Norman Edwards and I have long disagreed about aspects of church governance and various matters of doctrine (and I would have suggested a different title, etc. for his article), we both agree that many who are in or claim to be in the Church of God (COG) wrongly do not accept that God has any prophets today. We also agree that most have severe difficulty to identify one who really is a prophet because of various unscriptural biases and improper criteria that they have.
Because of false prophets in a couple of COG-related groups and a disbelief in prophets by most of the COG groups, the non-Philadelphian COGs have a lot of severe prophetic misunderstandings.
As if Norm Edwards seriously believes that Bawana Bob is a real prophet. I am certain though that Norm does believe there are false prophets presently leading several COG's. That is an easy deduction for about 80% of the people in the COG today.
As the people of old ignored John the Baptist, the Church of God today ignores Bawana Bob.
As Norman Edward’s article points out, it is scriptural to now have prophets according to the New Testament. But many who truly believe that they live by the word of God have discounted or overlooked what the Bible actually teaches and/or have been influenced by others who have done the same or worse. The COG has at least one demonstrably true prophet today, yet most in the greater COG world seem to be able to ignore the truth about that, like most ignored John the Baptist and others in their day.
The Church of God today ignores Bawana Bob because everyone knows he is a liar. When he made such big deal about a false double blessing to legitimize his apostacy from the Living Church of God, the red flags went up for most church members. Bawana Bob knew he needed to make the first step before Rod Meredith kicked him out. Gaylyn Bonjour's innocent prayer has turned into a doctrine for the 2,900 members he has in Africa.
Has there ever been a prophet in the church that spent 99% of his time talking about himself? Other than Dave Pack, is there any other COG leader who is so self-absorbed?
We should learn from this and ensure that the prophets among us are authentic. The Bible teaches that we will know the true from the false by their fruit (Matthew 7:15). We are able to test through the discerning of spirits (one of the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12) and through perceiving their inner motives. We need to be able to recognise those who are false by discerning that they “inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Let me explain.
If we look carefully, we will say that their gift is being used to serve their own hunger or need (“ravenous wolves”). Their own need for recognition, honour and praise will be their motivation. They will not come primarily to freely serve, but will want seats of honour and power. They will lord it over people and love the fame that their gift gives, rather than being willing to serve without praise or recognition. They may, like the woman in Acts 16:15, prophecy for money. Instead of prophesying to serve the church freely (as Christ gave freely), they will demand a charge and so ‘serve’ for financial gain. Whether the church decides to bless them financially or not will make no difference to the authentic prophet. It will be their absolute joy to freely serve God’s people with their gift.
Another giveaway that we learn was that this woman was continually “shouting” (Acts 16:16-17 NIV). Shouting itself was not the problem; it was rather the continual drawing attention to herself. False prophets have a root of flesh in which Satan uses for his own purposes to keep the focus on man. When we become solely aware of the person and their gift, then we are watching a prophet drawing attention to themselves rather than pointing in awe and wonder to the Lord. Of course, true prophets can also have areas of immaturity and insecurity, but they will always point people to Christ.
Jesus! Who the hell is he? Bawana Bob certainly has no idea because, like false prophet James Malm, prostitutes himself to the law, Catholicism, Mayans, and hundreds and hundreds of irrelevant topics, instead of ever focusing upon what Jesus did and accomplished.
Bob Thiel is not a prophet. Norm Edwards has not certified him as a prophet, and even if he did, Edwards theories on prophets are of little importance to Christians today.