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!
This is an exclusive photo of the leadership and ministry of the Restored Church of God.
This photo was taken in 2010.
The very front row contains the top leadership of the RCG at that time.
Eight years later you can see all of the top leaders have departed
as well as a large number of ministers.
This is pretty shocking to see considering David C Pack considers his group to the most spectacular Church of God to ever exist in church history. There has never been a great COG on the face of the earth, doing more to preach the gospel and being so superfantabulous as the RCG.
Over the last several years Dave has suffered one public humiliation after another. His 130+ sermon series was a humiliating bust after the four largest Church of God splinter groups refused to shut down and join Dave in his superfantabulousness.
Tens of thousands of present and former Church of God member never joined up with him. Their tithe money, which he claims belongs to him, has remained in their present COG's or is used to take care of their families.
Never has there been a Church of God which has suffered such self-imposed embarrassment as has the Restored Church of God, though Bob Thiel comes in at a close second.
Dave Pack is suffering from such an inflated massive ego, narcissism and psychosis that he cannot see what he is doing to peoples lives. He even admits that he has become more reclusive and that he rarely ever leaves the RCG compound in Wadsworth. He has even "gated" his compound to keep out the dirty public from wandering over from the Giant Eagle to see the most superfantabulous campus ever constructed in human history. No dirty unclean gentile feet should contaminate the place, after all, this will soon be the grounds that Jesus will walk upon as He communes with Dave.
A reader sent in the following comment on a long past blog entry (2011) concerning Jim Frank's. You all remember Jim Franks. He worked his devious ways, behind the scenes, to form two separate splinter groups.
Franks worked in conjunction with Kubik and others, while still employed by the Worldwide Church of God, to form a tithe paying group of disgruntled WCG members to ensure they had enough money in place to pay their salaries when they started United Church of God. God forbid if any of these men had to get off their privileged butts and work a real job while running their new church!
After ensuring he and others could continue their lifestyles as paid, callous-free ministers, he rose in prominence in the United Church of God. Until he pitched another hissy-fit and led the mass apostasy from United Church of God, taking scores of ministers and members, along with their money, over to COGWA. They never-ending ministerial paychecks continued right over from UCG into COGWA as once again they had all the plans in place to ensure their hands never had to do any menial work while pretending to be ministers who were SERVING the members. It has always been about THEM first and not the members.
So yr saying that Cogwa is not of the truth of Jesus Christ and Almighty God ?? And what is the problem with Herbert Armstrong ? He is why I came into Worldwide in 1972. Are all the things I have learned all wrong or is unsavory rumors the best way to teach the word of God ?! Who’s in charge of all this here say and what do all of u have to gain from trying turn brethren against the Church of God ! Jesus said their will be false preachers at the end time ! Maybe when Christ in Matt 24 said we would hear of wars and rumors of wars , He meant not wars of the world but of the people’s in Gods churches ! Which church do any of u suggest is the right church of God !?? Maybe when Christ said evil will abound , maybe He meant not only of the world but of the people’s of the churches ! There came a time when we were by Jesus Christ to come out of her , I guess He means the world or does He not ? We all will stand before Almighty God and confess our sins , which side are or will u be on, the doersofgood or the evil doers of unrighteousness !Yr choice !
Armstrongism has been preaching and delivering the same message for over 70 years since Herbert Armstrong split off in doctrine to go off and "do his own thing". It has always been the same, in one form or another. The pattern has been consistent, and the results have been exactly the same.
It really does not matter who the messenger in the COG's are, or even what the variations are.
On one extreme is the extreme fundamentalist end - the Packs and the Flurry's that build up big campuses under the same exact scenarios. The end's coming, Jesus is coming "there", wherever "there" is (Edmond, Wadsworth, or why not - Punxsatawny to meet the Groundhog), you've got to send in the money (20, 30, 50, even 100 percent!!!) to preach this "Gospel" while under the strict autocratic dictatorship of the ministry. You've got about 3 years to go, maybe 5. Then, it does not happen (It never has - in ANY splinter on ANY timeframe they have proposed), and the clock resets for another "big push" of more money - this time, yes, THIS time, they've got it right. They get more money, you get disappointed. They buy expensive suits, you get buy on Quaker Oats. You don't say a thing about it, or you have an attitude problem. Buck up, chin up, and trust, they'll say - God's in charge. After all, God did all of this, they'll say, and God's in charge, they'll say. You get back in your comfortable zone to repeat the same soul-crushing, mind-numbing process again, listening to part 3,405 of a 12,349 part sermon, going to services every week to hear the same message time after time. Like Groundhog Day. (now do you get the reference?)
On the other extreme is the extreme wacky end. The Thiels and the Malms that make pathetic and ridiculous attempts at getting out "the message". From ridiculous animations to huge big deals about some intro program that resembles what used to be, from crooked bookcases to shabby curtains. From over-the top sound systems distorted to the point you can't hear anything (because they think they're being 'obedient'), to green-screen Digitizer Judaizers - to publishing every single piece of Armstrong related material on the net - it always leads to the same result. Nothing. Like a groundhog at night, they lumber across the road, snarling and hissing at any attempt at criticism, not realizing that they are a small pinprick of light against the 2 billion candlepower intensity against the knowledge available on the internet.
It doesn't matter who they are. It's always the same.
Attempts to figure out prophecy - and failing every time. Unique interpretations only they've figured out that will bring in one person, causing two to leave. Predictions and speculations trotted out with dramatic presentation that go down faster than a frozen groundhog in a storm. (Alright, I'll stop with the groundhog - you get the point). Rules and Regulations that strip you of your adulthood and reduce you to a small child in an adult body. Don't wear shoelaces. Don't wear this. Don't wear that. This is wrong, that's wrong - now you're grounded from Church for two weeks without any fellowship. And don't talk back and cop an attitude with me, young man or young lady. I said you're grounded. Don't make me kick you out of the house.
What is your responsibility in all of this?
You feed them. You clothe them. You pay their bills. You pay for their car. Their gas. Their electricity. Their utilities. Their groceries. Their internet. You pay for their insurance. Their travels. And it stops there. You have nothing else to say about it.
They can got to Sak's Fifth Avenue, the BMW dealership. Zoe's Jewelers. Punxsatawny. (Sorry, I could not help it.) They could even go to Victoria's Secret or Chippendale's and you would know NOTHING about it. You could be paying for anything under the sun and you wouldn't know about it because any attempt would be construed as "rebellion against God's Government". And what happens.
You struggle. Your kids do not go to college. You don't have enough food. Your bills are struggling. You rob Peter to Pay Paul, and Mark, Luke and John keep calling. Your family is alienated, your friends are few, but it's all okay because you're storing your reward in the Heavenlies while your spiritual "superiors" live High on the Hog on your hard work, sitting there, laughing to the bank. This is how it has been for over 70 years. This is how it always will be, so long as people continue to enable these scammers with their schemes and lies.
Yes, you want to keep the Sabbath. Yes, you want to keep the Holy Days. Yes, you feel that this is the right way to honor God. I know! I've been there! We've ALL been there! Every one of us was hooked into whatever franchise of Armstrongism we got hooked into because we wanted to do what is right. We wanted to do the right thing no matter what the "world " thought about it. We gave it our all, and we gave up our all. But let's be honest. We were lied to. Over, and over, and over again. We were told it was the truth to find it a worse cesspool of lies, fraud, and evil then what we ever believed was possible. If you feel like you need to keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, why not at least do it in a clean and pure environment - instead of a cesspool of oppression and everything God has condemned in the manners of attitudes and greed and filth?
The entire Bible speaks literally volumes about the exact attitudes and circumstances of Armstrongism. The arrogance. The conceit. The oppression. The merchandising. The pride. The overall lesson of the entire word of God is strict and absolute condemnation of the very attitudes, behaviors, and principles of organized Armstrongism - and even in some cases, organized Christianity in all forms. They aren't standing pretty in the eyes of God for their treatment of not only their version of Christianity, OR their members who had a pure heart and just wanted to do what was right and got scammed to the hilt for it all. The abuse has gone on too long within the Churches of God. Far, far too long.
But to think that God is behind the abhorrent, unprincipled, egocentric, vain, greedy, narcissistic, manipulative, backstabbing, lying cesspool of muck and filth of destructive behaviors that rot and spew out of the garbage pile that calls itself Armstrongism today, while setting up chairs and singing songs in the pits of hell and shame and praising God in the garbage pile of vomit and rot? I don't buy it. And that goes for any organization, Christian-professing or otherwise - who exploits, demeans, oppresses, guilt's, shames, and coerces the people for their own ruthless gain and mammon. God has never been behind the practices and attitudes behind the "work" - whether in the 40s, the 70s, or today. Maybe Ambrose figured this out in whatever circumstances he may have been aware of and simply said "Enough".
It is time to stand up for righteousness in the Churches of God. It is time to stand up and say, "Enough! I will have no part with this iniquity". It is time to seek God in prayer, to seek the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and be set free from the oppressors. It is time to take back your lives for the sake of your family, your friends, your God, and the Truth. It is time to set YOUR life on the track that God has for you. As scripture says, seek you first the Kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
I don't know your circumstances, or you. I don't know the obstacles in your path. I don't know what your individual circumstances are. But I do know that Jesus loves you, and cares for you. He died for you. And he LIVES for you.It is not my place whatsoever to advise you of anything (as it never has been the place of anyone in the Armstrong churches to do so. I am NOT qualified, and neither have they ever been). You and only you know your life's story and what is best, because YOU have a brain that God gave you, and no man has the right to disrespect the mind God gave you for their own ways and thoughts. THIS kind of thought and action of what to do regarding you and the Churches of God in Armstrongism is only between you and God. But with that said. I am a Christian - and as a fellow believer - I ask only that you think about and reflect on the words of Jesus in the book of Matthew. And that you pray, and hear what God has to say. I pray God will bless you as you seek His will in your life, for you and your family and all of your loved ones. And if you know someone - anyone - who would benefit from this writing, you are free to copy, and to share.
There are not many articles in the PGR that I have nodded in agreement with. But while researching through the Pastor General Report of November 22, 1978, I find myself in complete agreement with C. Wayne Cole on an issue that was a horrible stain and stench in the Church - the Drill Sergeant approach of the pastors of the Church.
C. Wayne Cole asked a very important question that I often wondered myself. He asked,in the context of one being a strong leader:
"Is it really necessary to be militant, abrupt, aloof, autocratic, authoritative or opinionated?"
"Is it always necessary to convey by words or actions very clearly 'Who's in Charge'?"
"Is it necessary to look on the negative side, search first for all the trouble, the problems because it is certain, in the person's mind, that they are indeed there. Why should anyone feel that such behavior is STRENGTH?"
I can remember as a young person in the Church of God hearing the driving power and authority of Herbert Armstrong during live satellite transmissions, in taped recordings, and even in person, that Herbert Armstrong scared the living crap out of children because of his intensity. What these pastors were doing was emulating the attitude, and the demeanor, and the delivery style of Herbert Armstrong. Many of them DID want to be "In charge" as a driving motivator of their pastorate - either then, or in 'the World Tomorrow'. Their efforts caused them to be viewed and seen as a drill sergeant to the adults - and as a VERY mean monster to the children - someone to be feared - the very embodiment of a child's nightmare in living color.
This was bad enough, as noted in the first clip - that an Ambassador College Student literally had the piss scared right out of him in the middle of a student lecture. This was never unacceptable for that student - and the embarrassment caused - or for the thousands of children that had to be changed in services because of the exact same thing.
C. Wayne Cole said:
"If I felt I had to rely on authority - "do you know whose in charge around here" inferences, firm, incisive, and rigid control - to be a manager than I would be an abject failure in my Biblical and Christian responsibility as given by Jesus Christ."
This observation was spot-on. Unfortunately, such practices never took hold within the Church. In a few months, C. Wayne Cole would be disfellowshipped from the Church from the pulpit on direct order of Herbert Armstrong by Rod Meredith during the Receivership crisis. Such a direction would fall on deaf ears, as the dictatorial, oppressive, rageful way of actions and thought of Herbert Armstrong was strictly and strongly reinforced during the "Back on Track" period of intense correction and house-cleaning during the late 1970s and early 1980s of the Church, just prior to the death of HWA.
How does this have to do with the way the Churches of God are today? I believe everything. If you reverse-engineer the way things are to the driving forces of how things got to be the way they are. And this drives a burning question:
When you look at the Churches of God - what do you see? Do you see "lords"? "Drivers"? "Taskmasters"? Do you see dictators and tyrants - who revel in their positions of "authority and power"? Even worse - do you see people who are trying to be such, but fail miserably at it to the point of abject and utter failure and abject embarrassment? I think we all do. But what is it now that is different? Why, for all of their displays of tyranny, dictatorship, tantrums, and authority - are their efforts so powerless? What has changed between 1978 and 2018? Why are all of these little mewing kitty-cats who are declawed and seem neutered so absolutely ineffective trying to be a roaring, testosterone-filled lion?
Poor Bob Thiel! The Bible waving little guy just CANNOT get COG members to like him, follow him, or send him their hard earned money. It is pretty pathetic when Thiel outranks the three biggest certified liars in the Church of God today.
In the late Spring/Early Summer of 1978, Herbert Armstrong delivered a fiery sermon to get the Church "back on track" and "wake them up" out of the "laodicean condition" that the Church had "slumbered into". Garner Ted had full control of the church for many years. Spending was out of control. Attitudes were beyond carnal in every area, it seemed. This sermon was an effort for Herbert to set everything back to what it once was and save the Church from itself.
Herbert railed on the conditions of the ministry - where every man near the top "tried to do his own thing". Well, doesn't that just sound familiar! What comes to mind when I read this? Malm? Thiel? Pack? Weinland? UCG? LCG? COGWA? PCG? Should I go on?
Here's the first clip that explains a bit of what was going on.
Then, he shakes his jowels and pounds his desk about doing away with tithing, the holy days, the festivals, the truth - but of course, what is it he pounds the table and yells at brain-splattering volume about? Tithing - of course.
The next clipping we see here is another classic example of Armstrong double-speak. First, he says "Satan is winning" that battle. Then, in the next breath, "Christ is on the Fathers throne" and - important this next sentence - "If we are willing" (translation: If you keep donating, tithing, and supporting Armstrong) he will restore everything. He then says "Jesus Christ has awakened me."
Then there's this bombshell statement - or shall I say, the understatement of the entire Armstrong movement by Armstrong himself. He says:
"Now maybe I was slumbering a little bit."
Can you believe this. What he did was the most incompetent thing any Chief Executive Officer could EVER do, and would have been FIRED for immediately, on the spot, for the blatant ignorance of how he ran his organization while he was supposedly on world trips out "preaching the Gospel". What Herbert was doing was having the time of his LIFE, on our dime, quarter, and dollar, stoking up his ego and vanity talking to heads of state about education and world conditions and the way to peace - and throwing in " a strong hand from someplace", a "great teacher once said", and other religious connotations to justify the expense as "religious". While this was going on, he seemed to know NOTHING about what was going on.
Let me state for the record I don't believe this for a second, that he wasn't aware of what was happening or that he was fully ignorant of what was going on while he was away. Garner Ted always kept his father in the loop - this is evident by what he would say in the PGR's and the Bulletins. Yet, nothing was done. But when Garner Ted Armstrong was fired when the defecation hit the rotary oscillator - Herbert saw the opportunity to throw all the blame on GTA for what was happening.
This next clipping showed just how great Herbert Armstrong EXALTED the devil, and made Jesus Christ seem like a weak manager just standing around looking at the Worldwide Church of God and keeping his hands off the Church. Herbert seems to be describing "the World" he so often condemned.
And here, in the next and final clip, Herbert describes what is going on in the Churches of God today to a tee. Everyone is "doing their own thing". There were power struggles then, there are power struggles now. EVERYONE wants to be the head. Malm wants to be the head. Thiel wants to be the head. Pack wants to be the head. Weinland tried to be the head. The other splinters are desperately trying to be the head.
Some are of one leader, some of another - and - in the Churches of God - everyone wants to be in charge. And the Church has gone it's own way in a million splintered, fragmented, shredded fragments of a shadow of its former self.
I have news for Herb.
The SPIRIT of Competition got in because that was the spirit that was in Herbert from the very beginning.
WHO had the spirit of vanity? Herbert did. (and conceit. And yes, Herbert admitted to this countless times.)
WHO had the spirit of self-exultation? Herbert did. (He would stride around the campus with executive big-wigs bragging about HIS accomplishments. He would go to world leaders bragging about HIS accomplishments, just to point out briefly a couple simple proofs.)
WHO had the spirit of lust and greed? Herbert did. (Shall I get out the co-worker letters to prove this? I'll be glad to, if I have to.)
WHO had the spirit of envy and jealousy? Herbert did. (Don't think for a minute he wasn't jealous of the other televangelists and preachers and constantly compared himself to them.)
Herbert was NOT the savior of the Church. Herbert was responsible for what the church became, and Herbert was responsible for allowing it to get off the track. For him to take the credit of getting back in there and "putting it back on track" after he allowed it to "go south" as steadily as it did while he was having the time of his life on our dime going around the world talking with leaders about the strong hand from someplace and how he built this and that and how he had the most beautiful campus in the world - was at the very LEAST, gross incompetence. Of course, he waltzed in there blaming GTA, blaming the ministers, blaming the members, blaming everyone for what happened but himself. The gall of him to get in there and take the credit for saving the church from itself - and then simply saying maybe he "slumbered" a "little bit". If he were still alive I'd tell him to stop being so full of himself and take responsibility for once in your conceited, arrogant, greedy, vain, narcissistic, rage-filled sorry excuse for a minister. Am I being disrespectful? You bet I am. Respect is earned. He did not earn a bit of respect in my eyes. If he went to Africa, to the starving, and the dying, and the sick, held their hand, shared Jesus' love to them, talked with them, fed them, and cared for them, THEN I would fully respect him for that action. Did he do anything like that? No. They were beneath his highness.
And I'd tell him that right to his face. Because no one stood up to him to tell him that, that I know of, but should have. Why? Because of the money and the control over people's lives he had using money and perks. Forbid they'd have to do *gasp* manual labor.
What do we have now? The result of what we would have had then had not Herbert moved in with his perfect opportunity to save the church from the very attitudes he constantly exhibited. Just look around at the state of the church today. It's an ugly, splintered, divided, confused, weak, powerless, lethargic mess headed up by everyone who has "gone on to do their own thing".
No, Herbert was not the saviour of his own church. He jumped in when his son became the competition, and threatened the lifeblood of the organization. He wasn't about to let anyone jump in and destroy the church from the inside out.
That is, until he appointed Joseph Tkach, Sr. As Pastor General.
The Living Church of God, like most of the other splinter groups, have always claimed that they are boldly going forth into the world with the Gospel. They are meeting with world leaders and boldly proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Getting their message on Roku seems to be the biggest thing they've accomplished...until now!
The Living Church of God has scored the biggest coup ever imaginable, so much so that Dave Pack and Bob Thiel are pitching fits in their bedrooms in frustration.
Are you ready for the big news??????????
November 01, 2018
Greetings from Charlotte, We signed a contract with the Cowboy channel this past week. This satellite network will begin airing our program in the next few weeks to more than 30 million North American households. We have also been reviewing Festival Surveys and looking at Feast plans for coming years. The Council of Elders will meet for three days beginning Monday. Your prayers for the safety of all who are traveling, and for God’s guidance of the meetings, are appreciated. Dr. Meredith’s book on the Protestant Reformation is in the final stages of editing and layout before going to the printer. It was first published serially in the Tomorrow’s World magazine, and a certain amount of repetition was necessary to remind readers what was covered two months earlier. Repetition was also important to bring new subscribers up to date. Some of that repetition has been removed as unnecessary and distracting in the book format. I hope all of you will read it again, as I found it most interesting and was amazed how much I missed the first time around. Please check out the exciting news about the new Children’s Bible Lessons, below.—Gerald Weston
The Cowboy Channel! Woo Hoo!
LCG is just as devious as Bob Thiel when they claim that millions of people will be watching their programs just because a cable network claims to have a certain amount of viewers. The actual viewership of LCG's program will be minuscule compared to the total viewership of the Cowboy Channel. It is a FACT that 30 million North Americans will NOT be watching their program!
From Indiana To The Upper West Side, A Pilgrim’s Progress
Angela Himsel’s long and winding spiritual road to Judaism.
On the Saturdays of her childhood, Angela Himsel and her 10 siblings, along with their parents, piled into an old Cadillac and would drive an hour and a half across Indiana to a rented hall in an old gray building. As faithful members of the Worldwide Church of God, they’d listen to preachers shout about the End of Days.
Yes, Saturdays. Following church doctrine, they celebrated Jewish holidays, eschewed medicine and doctors, didn’t eat pork or shellfish, tithed much of their minimal income to the church and believed that the world was about to end. And then, Jesus would arrive, and they — if they hadn’t sinned — had been chosen to witness that.
Himsel’s memoir, “A River Could Be a Tree” (Fig Tree Books), tells of her odyssey from rural Indiana to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she now lives; from a life bound by the tenets of the Worldwide Church to her conversion and embrace of Judaism. She’s a brave guide, full of humanity, honesty, Midwestern humility and humor. As she explains in an interview, she first fictionalized her story into a novel, and then spent a decade creating the non-fiction narrative, doing interviews and research to assure accuracy.
Angela Himsel was raised in a German-American family, one of eleven children who shared a single bathroom in their rented ramshackle farmhouse in Indiana. The Himsels followed an evangelical branch of Christianity—the Worldwide Church of God—which espoused a doomsday philosophy. Only faith in Jesus, the Bible, significant tithing, and the church's leader could save them from the evils of American culture—divorce, television, makeup, and even medicine.
From the time she was a young girl, Himsel believed that the Bible was the guidebook to being saved, and only strict adherence to the church's tenets could allow her to escape a certain, gruesome death, receive the Holy Spirit, and live forever in the Kingdom of God. With self-preservation in mind, she decided, at nineteen, to study at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But instead of strengthening her faith, Himsel was introduced to a whole new world—one with different people and perspectives. Her eyes were slowly opened to the church's shortcomings, even dangers, and fueled her natural tendency to question everything she had been taught, including the guiding principles of the church and the words of the Bible itself.
Ultimately, the connection to God she so relentlessly pursued was found in the most unexpected place: a mikvah on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This devout Christian Midwesterner found her own form of salvation—as a practicing Jewish woman. Himsel's seemingly impossible road from childhood cult to a committed Jewish life is traced in and around the major events of the 1970s and 80s with warmth, humor, and a multitude of religious and philosophical insights. A River Could Be a Tree: A Memoir is a fascinating story of struggle, doubt, and finally, personal fulfillment.
I remember in the 1970's collecting newspapers, selling orange and cashing in soda pop bottles in order to send money in to build Herbert's monument. Even worse was selling those hideous 10 Commandments wall plaques!
Through all of this Herbert was globetrotting talking about a "strong hand from someplace" while we all struggled to live normal lives after sending in so much of our money.
Gerald Flurry has never been known for showing mercy and forgiveness to his members and to those who help run his empire. Those who assist him in his devious work of blasphemy are as equally abusive as he is. Just look at the past reports about Wayne Turgeon and the things he as done to Philadelphia Church of God members. Forgiveness and mercy as concepts unknown to the PCG.
Now, Gerald Flurry trots out Jesus so he can justify telling PCG members to cut off all ties to former members and family members who have left the PCG. Flurry now tells his members that church members, like Jesus, do not need to forgive anyone in the church who has wronged them or have been kicked out, until they repent and return to the fold.
Do you understand the subject of forgiveness? Do you view it as God does? The world is very confused on the subject, and there has been misunderstanding even in the Church of God.
In the March-April Royal Vision, we printed an article titled “Forgiving Others.” The article contained errors that caused confusion. This is a foundational subject, so we need to make sure we have a proper understanding of it.
The article started by saying, “We are all sinners. We all need forgiveness. … That forgiveness is contingent on two things: 1) We must repent—meaning a change in our thoughts, actions and desires; and 2) we must forgive others. Jesus Christ made this abundantly clear throughout His ministry.”
Did you catch the grievous error made above? Flurry goes on to reveal what his god has told him:
The second point was the premise of the whole article. But it is incorrect. And if the premise is wrong, then the entire article will be wrong.
How do we receive forgiveness ourselves? “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). These are the biblical conditions to forgiveness: repent and believe.
Herbert W. Armstrong wrote, “If we repent and believe, then by divine miracle God’s Holy Spirit removes the death penalty from us. Our sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ, and we are saved from the second death!” (Plain Truth, June-July 1982). The Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course reinforced this by saying, “Not until we repent of sin, believe and begin to obey God can we be forgiven (Lesson 25).” Repentance and belief are the conditions the Bible describes for us to receive forgiveness ourselves—not repentance and forgiving others.
It is true that Jesus Christ said: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). However, this has been broadly misunderstood and misapplied, as it was in that Royal Vision article. I want to show you what Christ meant and what He did not mean.
Notice that Flurry has decided what Jesus did not mean, and he lets PCG members know that everytime they sin they are recrucifying Jesus Christ. Even worse, he claims that PCG members must not forgive others because they do not know if their god has forgiven them or not.
Here is a good summation of the incorrect view of Christ’s statement, as it appeared in our March-April issue: “This applies if we have committed a sin that has (in addition to costing the life of Christ) caused damage to someone else. But what do we do when we are the one wronged? We must forgive, irrespective of how much or how little the other party has ‘done right’ by us to fix whatever they’ve caused. Again, none of us can forgive as God does—and we must forgive, even without knowing whether or not God has truly forgiven them.”
That is simply not true, and it is a serious mistake. We do not forgive “irrespective of how much or how little the other party has done right by us to fix whatever they’ve caused.” We don’t forgive “without knowing.”
We must see this as God does.
Flurry goe son to say that the words that Jesus said on the cross to the two thieves was only valid for them because they were "unconverted."
The article pointed to the fact that Jesus Christ and Stephen asked for God to forgive their persecutors. When Christ was being crucified, He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Stephen demonstrated the same attitude toward those ready to stone him when he said, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60).
“We might justify our lack of forgiveness saying that the other party needs to show ‘fruits meet for repentance,’” the article continued. “That is not what Jesus Christ or Stephen were looking for when they made those statements of forgiveness.” But let’s examine the context of those examples.
When Christ and Stephen made those statements, they were talking about unconverted people who, as Christ said, “know not what they do.” We must understand the distinction in how God is working with those in the Church, who know the truth of God, and those in the world, who do not. There are two different approaches.
Those in the worlddon’tknow; they areignorantof what God teaches. Even when they persecute us, theydon’t knowwhat they are doing. When they killed Christ, theydidn’t truly knowwhat they were doing. Christ held no bitterness toward those people; He understood they were ignorant of what they were doing.
His interpretation only gets worse:
Jesus Christ gave His life a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6). He gave His life in advance of our repentance. When Christ said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” He was showing His attitude, His state of mind, His willingness to forgive. He died to make forgiveness possible for those “who know not what they do.” Christ died for all of us before we did any repenting or believing.
This is an attitude we all need.
Now, here is an important point to note: When Christ asked God to forgive those crucifying Him, did God forgive them at that point?No, He didn’t. Did Christ forgive those people of their sins at that time? No, He didn’t, but He was willing to forgive them. And He showed by example that we need to be willing to forgive.
Have those killers been forgiven? No! But they will be forgiven once they repent! God does not actually forgive until there is evidence of repentance. Christ was simply illustrating the willingness to forgive. Those people didn’t know God!
It is a different circumstance, however, with people who know God. This is an important distinction we need to understand.
Is it any wonder that PCG members commit suicide? What hope do they ever have? How can they ever have faith in the creature they call "christ" who only has a "willingness" to forgive? Flurry is like the rest of the Church of God leadership who have no idea who Jesus is or what he came to do and what he accomplished. They don't know because they were taught by a man who did not know either. That is the sick legacy of Herber Armstrong.
The sickness gets even worse:
God’s law can be summarized in two great commands: Love God with all your heart, soul and might; and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).
If you serve someone in the world, that falls under the category of loving your neighbor. However, Jesus Christ said that if you serve someone in the Family of God, then you are showing that same love toward God (e.g. Matthew 25:34-40). When God says that we are His Family, He means that we are His Family! The world is not our family yet—though they will soon have that opportunity.
Your neighbor in the world has not even been called yet (Genesis 3:24). He is not in danger of eternal death as those of us in God’s Church are. At the fulfillment of the Last Great Day, God will call the people of the world—our neighbors. They will be resurrected and have their day of salvation (Ezekiel 37; John 7:37).
By contrast, anybody called during this age will either be in God’s Family or become ashes under the saints’ feet! (Malachi 4:3). Our salvation is at stake!
Because of this distinction, there is a big difference in how we are to administer the Spirit of forgiveness within the Family of God and how we are to administer it to the world, our neighbors.
Christ and Stephen demonstrated the attitude we must have as we take God’s warning message to the largest audience possible—the world, our neighbor, those cut off from access to God—against fierce opposition. As the pressure from those in the world builds against us, our attitude must be, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Those of the world, our neighbors, do nothave a relationship with God; they do not know Him. They are not being judged now.
But those in God’s Church do know God. We are His spiritual children; we are being judged now (1 Peter 4:17).
As His spiritual children, God holds us accountable for our words and actions in our relationship with Him and in our relationships with each other. Where we sin against God or grieve a spiritual brother, God requires reconciliation in both relationships through repentance.
And on the craziness goes:
When we are dealing with Church members who have sinned, there are times we must mark people and put them out of the Church. When we do so, God says to avoid them (Romans 16:17). We must avoid them—not forgive them—until they show “fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8). We don’t forgive them,and we don’t allow them back to services, until they have repented. That is the whole objective when people are put out of the Church: It’s about repentance. It’s about waiting until they have repented and believed—but especially repented. (A big part of their problem may just be a lack of faith and they have to build that more and more, but we do accept repentance.)
The congregation in Corinth had the wrong perspective on forgiveness. They had made a horrible mistake by keeping this man in. As Paul wrote, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6). If you leave sin in the Church and just forgive without dealing with it, then you will destroy the whole Church!
That hasn’t been happening in God’s Church today, but there is still some misunderstanding of this subject that makes us vulnerable. This is a fundamental lesson we must learn, and we have to make sure something like this is corrected. If we do not differentiate between how we administer the Spirit of forgiveness to our neighbor and our brother, it could endanger our spiritual lives!
Even ministers need to remember this. Hebrews 5:1-2 give us an important perspective: “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrificeshe himself also is compassed with infirmity.”
We ministers are just as human as the people we serve. But we do have an office, and we do have the authority to help keep the Church on track.
God says here that if somebody is ignorant or out of the way, a minster must go and correct that person—but he had better realize that he himself is encompassed with infirmities. He has problems, too, and shouldn’t correct God’s people like they are the only ones who have problems. If we are not careful when we do correct, we can begin to get into more than criticism, to where it is almost like condemning somebody.
I am encompassed with infirmities just like you are. And I hope and pray I always have judgment, mercy and faith, and that I love you the way God does. I will do that, although I certainly won’t do it perfectly.
This is God’s Church, and Jesus Christ is the Head of it. We really need to be a loving family, concerned about every individual in this Church. We must make sure if we have to say anything corrective that we know how to do it. Let’s not make it hard to get along and to be family. Let’s make it clear to each other that we really do love each other. If you are correcting somebody, make sure he really knows you love him—and you’re not just hammering him because he’s wrong. There is a big difference.
After all the evil the man has done in the PCG and lives he and his henchmen have destroyed, he dares to say this:
It’s not easy to accept correction, and if you come at somebody like a truck, then it will make it awfully hard to take. When you correct, you had better try hard to be merciful, or it is going to come back on you.
If we are God’s people, we are people with mercy. If we don’t have mercy on each other, our own Family, then we are not getting it.
Government is a great gift of God—we can do so much with it if we use it God’s way. I know a lot of people who came out of the Worldwide Church of God and who were really good at detecting evil within that church, but they still turned away from the truth and are not here today. They saw the evil within that church, but they didn’t see the evil within themselves. We all need to be looking at ourselves first! (1 Corinthians 11:28; 2 Corinthians 13:5).
We all make mistakes, and I think the Family of God understands that. We are not perfect, but we certainly want to be as perfect as we possibly can (Matthew 5:48). We must get this right in order to truly serve God as we should.
In Southern California, especially in Butte County, as well as in the suburban areas of Los Angeles, a storm of hellish proportions is engulfing properties and threatening lives clear down to Malibu. Many celebrities - such as Alyssa Milano, Caitlyn Jenner, and Kim Kardashian have been affected.
I can just see the scowl on the faces of fundamentalist Church of God members to the news. I can just read their thoughts. I can almost predict the posts that are due to come out, if they have not come out already. The hatred, the judgements, the "warnings" - they come out like roaring lions every time a disaster hits. They always roar out with snarls and hisses about what they believe the reason for the fire really was, and what they believe caused it. They do not hesitate to call it a judgement of God against those who blaspheme against His ways and His will. They show no empathy, no care, no concern, no heart, and most of all, no love toward anybody who thinks or acts differently than they do. To them, they've brought it all on themselves because of their rebellion and obstinate behavior towards God's Law. "Burn, Burn, you haters of God and his ways", they'll say, nearly drooling over the prospect of the wicked being subject to punishment - wishing for fire and brimstone, like with Sodom and Gomorrah. You can almost hear them say "Get 'em" to the fire. "That'll teach 'em", you can nearly see them say as they hunch forward in glee, as in watching their favorite runner with the football heading towards the End Zone. (Well, most of them. We know one who doesn't meet that comparison!)
What is wrong with this picture?
Everything is wrong with this picture.
First of all, and importantly - EVERYONE - you, me, your neighbor, your son, your daughter, your parents - have issues. EVERYONE deals with their own personal situations. EVERYONE goes through their own struggles and their own pain. It is not our place to judge someone else's pain and suffering when we all have our own issues to deal with. Speck vs. Beam!!
Church of God Members are vicious and quick to cast judgement on what they see as immorality and perversion among "the world" and are quick to condemn and cast judgement, using events as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural events as proof of the judgement of God. Yet they refuse to see the blatant idolatry, the immorality within their own ranks, the hypocrisy, the abuse, the oppression, the extortion, and the financial theft happening within their own ranks. Who are them to cast judgement when they don't look in the mirror? The hypocrisy is beyond wretched and reason.
Who are they to sit there and cast judgement on those who are not meeting their standards when they are blind to their own nest of sin and evil - as they define it? Who made them holier than thou? Who gave them the gift of spiritual discernment when their own nest has been scorched by the fires of wickedness? Who are they to laugh and scorn at the loss and pain of others, when they oppress the poor, abuse the weak, and take gain for themselves for their own comfort and security? What gave them the right to be such arrogant and hurtful pricks? They cast judgement in the name of God while their own hair burns and they don't even know it.
Just as bad, they feel they don't have to do a thing to help them, or to "show them Jesus", to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Which COG Leader do you know of who will drop everything to go to California to help them? Anyone?
Which COG Leader will invite Caitlyn Jenner into their home? Which COG Leader will invite Allysa Milano into their home - or ANY person of different opinion into their property? Anyone? Hello!
Will a COG Leader open his property to the victims of the wildfires? Will he allow them to sleep on his rug in his palace? Will he allow them to worship God with un-laced shoes? Or non-white shirts? Will he bring in the unwashed into his closed gates? Will he permit the smell of scorched and burned clothes into his palaces? Will he comfort the hurting? Would he? Could he?
Will a COG Leader open up his headquarters to the wounded? Or would he make the excuse it's too far? Would he pay airfare for the displaced in California who lost everything, who aren't financially fortunate? Or would he only care about his own members - who were somehow supernaturally protected - or give those who were hurt "thoughts and prayers"?
Will local ministers in California do anything?
Will our self-appointed non-ordained minister open up his house or his vitamin house for any of the wounded or displaced? Will he use any of his money or proceeds to feed the firefighters of the police who are working day and night to protect and to serve? Will our crooked bookcase man give a sermon of hope and peace in Jesus to the victims - or will he do another horrible message on 50 topics while ignoring the state burning all around him? Or will he do a web post on how everything happening is God's punishment on a world that won't keep the Sabbath at Bob's butt-numbing church services - or go to his Feast of Tabernacles?
What COG minister will be moved to be there in this disaster? Anyone? What COG minister will tell people to keep their hands off of this tragedy because you can't interfere with God's judgement? Shall we name names?
What if we reversed the thinking?
What if this wasn't a judgement on the world - but a test of action of faith to people who profess Jesus?
What if these things were a test of love? Of how much those who profess Jesus would take action? Would help and serve? Who take in and show the love of God to those who think differently? Who act differently? Did not Jesus say to feed the sick? Or the homeless? Or the jailed? Or the widowed? Did he not say to do these things? Of course, the COG will just say "Well, that didn't mean THEM. He was talking about the Church."
God have mercy on those who spew such bull and vomit on the grace of Jesus Christ. God have mercy on them. Because these are the ones that Jesus would have ran to to help and to serve. Because God's love and God's grace and mercy know no boundaries. God's sacrifice knows no bounds. God is a God who is looking for those who give of themselves for the sake of others - ALL others - regardless of race, religion, disability, or mindset. God is a God of love. And his expectation is that his people put their faith into action, show Jesus, and love others. ALL others. Without prejudice, and with great compassion and healing hands.
California is burning tonight. But so are the hearts and compassionate care of hundreds of thousands who do not cast self-righteous judgement and Pharisaical condemnation against those who are not as righteous as their holier than thou saintly vessels of perfection and righteousness - whitewashed with soap and gleaming with sparkles in their oh, so magnificent splendor - are. There are thousands who are going without sleep, without eating, driving thousands of miles, taking care of displaced people, pets, horses, who have lost everything - to do the work of the Lord Jesus to all peoples - regardless of what they believe or who they are. These are the people who are showing the love of God. These are the angels showing mercy and love and compassion.
As far as the COG leaders - whoever may do what I'm describing here - you know, the ones who sit on their asses in their white shirts and pressed pants mocking those who have lost everything? Who sit there in self-righteous sneers as to how great they are and how wicked the world is? Who relish at the thought of the embers of fire and whipping destruction against those who despise and mock God's Law with drooling fervor, wishing the fire on - or worse, turning a blind eye?
Don't look at the specks in their eyes when a beam shoots out of yours. You make a mockery of Jesus, and spit, stomp, and reduce to ashes the word of God and the ministry of Jesus Christ. May God have as much mercy on YOU, as he shows on the world through the sacrifice and love of His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ - so that you, too, may see how great and how deep and how wide is the love of God, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son for everyone. And once you open your eyes to THAT. May God's spirit convict you and WAKE YOU UP to the pathetic attitudes that have come from the false Gospel you've embraced through the false apostle Herbert Armstrong.
But God is not going to force you to change your stubborn and hard headed minds. That's going to be up to you.
There is a long-running blog (since 2008) that has been run by a COG member that has taken another hit against our resident self-appointed false prophet, Bob Thiel of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God.
Almost everyone in and out of the Church of God totally understands why Thiel's outlandish claims are without merit and ultimately a dangerous road for any Christian to follow. Everyone that is except for the diploma-mill "dr." Thiel. Almost as soon as Rod Meredith kicked Theil to the curb because of his outlandish claims and outright lies, the self-appointed prophet began dreaming up claims that he tried to legitimize himself in the eyes of the leadership and members of LCG who have spent decades laughing at him behind his back.
That ultimate rejection by his spiritual daddy, Rod Meredith, was like a knife in his back. He needed to come up with new ideas to prove himself worthy of being followed. He immediately began blaming Meredith and LCG for being lax in their ways and teachings and soon resorted to "interpreting" his dreams in order to make himself look worthy to be followed. Finally after too many bad meals that resulted in lots of restless dreams, Thiel miraculous became the ONLY true COG leader on earth today.
Anyway, back to the blog:
2 Kings 2:9-15 tells of the time when the prophet Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven. At the same time, his office and responsibilities were transferred to Elisha who was to be prophet in his place (1 Kings 19:15-16).
Elisha asked Elijah for a "double portion of your spirit" (2 Kings 2:9). What did that refer to? Did it mean becoming a prophet? Was a prophetic office indicated by the term "double portion"?
No. That is impossible.
The Bible does not specify exactly what was meant by that term and everything it indicated. Perhaps it referred to the power to work signs and miracles. But it did not indicate the office of prophet.
I bring this up because some think that if a minister anoints someone and asks God to give that person a double portion of God's Spirit, that is the same thing as ordaining that person as a prophet. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In previous posts I have made the point that making the request for a double portion does not mean God grants the request. Even Elijah did not know if God would give Elisha what he asked. Even today, when a member is anointed for healing, which is promised, God does not always heal even in this lifetime, and a double portion of God's Spirit is not even promised.
But now I am showing that the "double portion" does not even refer to being a prophet.
It can't. Elijah knew Elisha would be prophet from what God had told him in 1 Kings 19:16. He would not have answered Elisha as he did if "double portion" meant the office of prophet. The matter of Elisha being a prophet was not a question at this point. It was already settled. Not so the "double portion". That was something else. Elijah did not know if God would grant that request.
So the "double portion" Elisha requested and the office of prophet were two different things.
How do we know if a man in the Church of God is a prophet? Only God can make someone a prophet. But how do we know if He has done so?
The next part is my favorite. I can feel the butthurt all the way from Arroyo Grande when the self-appointed one read this:
God gives criteria.
One is, he must be faithful, overall, to God's way of life. He must be faithful to strive to believe and live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4). That does not mean he is perfect. But overall, he must be faithful to teach the truth. In particular, he must not try to turn the people to false gods. "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods'—which you have not known—'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).
This includes not pointing the people to demon-inspired messages about the future. "For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you" (Deuteronomy 18:14).
A man who quotes and publishes and spreads pagan and demon-inspired prophecies about the future, trying to learn and teach from demons details of the future that God does not choose to reveal, disqualifies himself from being a true prophet.
The self-appointed prophet has yet to make any prophecy concerning the future or uttered anything over the last few years that came to pass. The problem with the doubly-deceived prophet is that he cannot differentiate between his personal ideas, hopes, and desires from letting his god speak to him. Thiel's visions are nothing more than wishful thinking and are not a communication from God. Everyone sees that except for him.
But also, a true prophet of God is given prophecy by God. God gives prophecy - sure prophetic messages by direct revelation from God - to His true prophets. And a sign of a prophet is accurate predictions in those messages of future events. When a prediction in a prophetic message comes true in a way that is unlikely by chance, that is a sign that the man is a true prophet.
"And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?'—when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
I find no example in the Bible of a prophet without prophecy.Any man who claims to be a prophet but who has never received a direct prophetic message from God is practicing wishful thinking.
Those are two qualifications for being a prophet - not turning the people to false gods, false doctrines, or messages from demons, and actually receiving prophetic messages from God - messages about the future that can be verified when the future event comes to pass.
Both are needed.
So what happens if, by chance, the doubly blessed one actually does make some kind of prophecy that might come to pass? More butthurt is to ensured:
What if someone who claims to be a prophet of God makes a prediction that comes to pass, but also turns people to demon-inspired pagan prophecies? Is that person a true prophet?
God may allow a false teacher to make a true prediction as a way of testing His people to know if they will believe His word, the Bible, or not. See Deuteronomy 13:1-3 which I quoted above.
So even if a man can make true predictions about the future, if he points people to pagan and demon-inspired messages, he cannot be a true prophet of God.
How much less a man who claims to be a prophet, points people to pagan prophecies, and cannot even make his own prophetic predictions.
This was printed in the April 1, 1973, Worldwide News. This was probably too early for the doubly cursed false prophet of the COG, diploma-mill "dr." Bob Thiel to have begun his tirades against football. If he was already spouting his silliness, I am sure this frosted his self-righteous butt big time.
Everyone from Herbert Armstrong to the student body watched football when it was on TV. Students attended football games all over Southern CA, clear up till the day they officially shut down the campus. Members did too.
Poor Bob, never on the train and always left behind.
According to the Church of God, a sure sign of the end times is when Satan rises up and attacks the Philadelphian church and the Laodiceans. The Philadelphians are lucky though, they et to flee to Petra where they will live in millenial bliss for 3 1/2 years, making the deseret bloom like a rose. Satan is angry that the true church will possibly be taking shelter in Petra and somewhere else in Jordan that he will do all he can to thwart their journey there. The BBC had this story today about how 4,000 tourists had to be evacuated from Petra and several Jordanians had died in flash floods:
A civil defence spokeswoman told AFP news agency on Friday that a child was among those killed by floods in the Dabaa region, south of Amman.
A main road connecting the capital with the south of the country was also cut off, she added.
In Petra, floodwaters in some areas rose up to 4m (13ft), state TV reported. Footage showed people on the city's main road trying to stay clear of the water.
Evacuated tourists were taken to safe areas, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat said.
She said more heavy rain was expected on Saturday and residents in affected areas were being urged to evacuate their homes.
Jordan has suffered weeks of heavy rain. There was a public outcry last month after 18 children on a school trip were swept away, leading to the resignation of the country's education and tourism ministers.
This immediately set the official false prophet of the Church of God into meltdown. Bob Thiel writes today:
Petra is considered by many in and out of the Church of God as being the place or near the place that God will provide protection during the Great Tribulation/Day of the Lord.
The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong thought it may be, but he was not definitive, as he wrote:
Petra may very well be the site for God’s protection of HIS PEOPLE—those who are counted WORTHY TO ESCAPE the terrifying GREAT TRIBULATION that is soon to strike an unsuspecting Israel! PETRA, an ancient Arab stronghold deep in the rugged mountains, is accessible only by traveling through narrow, twisting gorges on horseback! (Letter, April 15, 1956).
Apparently many are carelessly supposing they are now SURE of being protected through the Great Tribulation (now ALMOST READY TO STRIKE!). Whether it will be Petra or another place, many feel carelessly secure, and, after that, entering God’s Kingdom with ETERNAL LIFE! But YOU DON’T HAVE IT “MADE.” You are still being TRIED — to determine whether you shall have this protection — whether you shall enter the Kingdom of God! It is those who are LED BY the Spirit of God — NOT those who are led by desire for more and more physical and material things!…SO, hundreds of you are SLACKING OFF in your RESPONSIBILITIES in GOD’S WORK!…SO, hundreds of you are SLACKING OFF in your RESPONSIBILITIES in GOD’S WORK! (Letter, September 1, 1968).
Incidentally, I know many of you seem to have your hearts set on going very soon to Petra as “the place of safety” during the soon-coming Great Tribulation. Well, GET YOUR MINDS OFF PETRA. Brethren, I HAVE NEVER said that Petra definitely is the place of protection where God will take us. I HOPE IT IS NOT! One reason it could be the place is that it is a place NOBODY ELSE WOULD WANT TO GO. It would be the most UNpleasant, UNcomfortable, miserable place you could go! There is nothing to be desired there. But, just in case, God HAS miraculously given me very gracious favor in the eyes of King Hussein and also his brother, the Crown Prince. They are very friendly to me personally (Letter, July 16, 1982).
Philadelphian Bob loves to trot out Herbert's nonsense on this as PROOF that Philadelphian COG members will be the only ones going to Petra while the Laodiceans get left behind to serve as servants of the Germans or killed in concentration camps, which is what Thiel believes will happen to all LCG members for not following him into the one final true church.
(all hyperlinks have been removed to prevent exposure to further heresy)
Thus, Herbert Armstrong thought Petra could be the place, but felt that those who slacked off in their responsibilities in doing God’s work, would probably not go.
Here is a prophecy concerning some Christians being protected and others not so being protected:
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:13-17)
Notice that there are two groups of end-time Christians according to Revelation 12:14-17–one group that is protected, and the other that is not.
It is to the Philadelphian Christians Jesus promised protection from the hour of trial:
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)
I will give you one guess as to who the true Philadelphians are. It is doubly cursed Bob's improperly named "continuing" Church of God. No shocker there. The prophet of paganism goes on to claim that the recent flood in Petra has already been written about in one of his previous articles. It is all in Jeremiah...
Not what about the flooding?
Does that eliminate Petra or some other Jordanian location?
I have written about the floodplains of Jordan and the place of safety in the past. Here is something posted here over five years ago:
Interestingly, Jeremiah wrote:
You who dwell in Moab, Leave the cities and dwell in the rock, And be like the dove which makes her nest in the sides of the cave’s mouth (Jeremiah 48:28). For thus says the LORD: “Behold, one shall fly like an eagle, And spread his wings over Moab…” (Jeremiah 48:40).
It should also be noted that Petra is south, south-east of Jerusalem, which, as we saw earlier, is a possible direction for the place to be. Other than the aspect of caves (which does not mention the amount of caves), it should be noted, that many other areas in Jordan also are in the right direction and fit the description of the place–so it is possible that the Church may flee into Jordan and not stay in Petra, but somewhere else in Jordan or a neighboring area.
It may be of interest to note that although Moab (somewhat associated with modern Jordan) is likely to somewhat support the upcoming King of the South (Daniel 11:40), Moab ends up escaping the punishment by the final King of the North (Daniel 11:40-43)–and possibly God allows this escape because the place of protection may be in their land (though the King of the North would likely believe that there are other reasons, including political ones).
There is another passage of scripture that may be alluding to a Jordanian location for the place, which states,
5 If you have run with footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they have wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of Jordan? 6 For even you brothers, the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; Yes they have called a multitude after you. Do not believe them, even though they speak smooth words to you” (Jeremiah 12:5-6).
The implication to God’s people is if you are having a difficult time living in a relatively peaceful land, what will happen to you when you are being pursued by ‘a multitude’ in the ‘floodplain of Jordan’?
Remember, the serpent spews out a flood to try to destroy those who flee to the wilderness (Revelation 12:14-15). Thus it is possible that this is why Jeremiah is warning God’s people about how they will do in the ‘floodplain of Jordan’ (most any map suggests this floodplain looks like it is east of Jerusalem, God’s people would probably need to cross it if they arrive in Jerusalem and head towards Petra). They will also have lessons to learn. (Thiel B. Philadelphian Christians may wander to get to the place of safety. COGwriter.com, September 17, 2013)
Thus, a flood could be in Petra or on the way there, consistent with Revelation 12 and Jeremiah 12.
Although most of the world does not consider a place in Jordan or that basic area as a place to flee to for protection, scripturally, the place in the wilderness God promised looks to be in that region.
I just can't what for Thiel to enter Petra and find Pack, Weinland, Flurry, UCG, COGWA, and the rest of the COG leaders already there arguing over who is going to be in charge. It is not going to a pretty sight when Bobbie finds out that none of them will let him be in charge as none of them will pay him any attention.