Friday, October 30, 2009

HWA and Christ's Return by 2005

Sometimes I comment that HWA predicted that Jesus Christ would return by 2005. This refers to what HWA wrote in Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7, which first came to my attention from Kelly Marshal's excellent critical review of Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7.

In the section entitled 'A False Prophet at Work-When Will This Kingdom Be Established?' it is shown that HWA taught in Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7, that Christ would return very soon. Kelly Marshal cites these words from that chapter: "during the next few years...IN OUR TIME...We are now very near the END of this world!"

HWA predicted Christ to return within the next two decades from 1985, therefore I often say that HWA predicted Christ to return by 2005. On my blog I have placed a permanent link to a quote at another ESN article that clearly show how HWA proclaimed that Christ would return by 2005.
And, secondly, to reveal--preserved in writing for us TODAY--what is to happen "in the latter days"--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY! (Under the heading 'Daniel Knew!')
It is to this statement I refer to whenever I say HWA predicted Christ to return by 2005. The way it is phrased here Christ must return no later than 2005. Twenty years ("within the next two decades"--2005) is the upper limit. He gives the strong impression here that, if anything, Christ will return sooner than 2005.

You can find that quote in Chapter 7, under the heading 'Daniel Knew!'

Here is the relevant paragraph from MOA as preserved on Pabco's Home Page, an unofficial Armstrongite website affiliated with David Hulme's sect which may be seen here. (Update 12.11.13: The link is now updated to another COG archive website.)
The whole purpose of the DREAM was to reveal GOD'S GOVERNMENT- the fact that God RULES--the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD--the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal--preserved in writing for us TODAY--what is to happen "in the latter days"--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!
However the current copyright holders of MOA, PCG have altered this paragraph to read as fellows, as may be seen here
The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD'S GOVERNMENT—the fact that God RULES—the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD—the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal—preserved in writing for us TODAY—what is to happen “in the latter days.”
They have removed the embarrassing date setting ("--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!") found in the original version of that paragraph.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PCG with Non-Armstrongite Persons

In PCG's latest issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet they have included an interview with Intelligent Design proponent Guillermo Gonzalez. I am very disappointed that he has given them this interview and thus help to legitimize them.

Perhaps he is unaware of their true nature as a heretical sect that condemns all other Christians as false Christians and furthermore insist that even their fellow Armstrongite brethren are so contemptible that PCG members are forbidden to associate with them.

I recall reading somewhere in one of HWA's co-worker letters he stated that he was able to get on so many radio stations partly by not emphasizing the religious nature of his program. He was getting on their good side, partly by hiding his real nature.

This reminds me of the time the old WCG interviewed the famous historian Paul Johnson. [Update: Dead link.] This is a part of PCG's attempt to became more respected by people who will be sympathetic to them.

Now I don't want to pick on Gonzalez. Other non-Armstrongites have also had articles published in The Philadelphia Trumpet. For example the eurosceptic author, Rodney Atkinson. He has written at least four articles for PCG, spanning from 2000 to 2008. PCG had an interview with him which appears in the February 2001 issue.

And then there is The Trumpet Weekly, which is mainly composed of excepts from other newspapers.

Can you imagine Tomorrow's World gaining interviews of such persons, or so extensively using the writings of journalists for so extensively for their publications? As one who was a loyal subscriber to LCG's magazine from 2000 onwards I cannot. Clearly PCG is striving to revive the aura of respectability and prominence that The Plain Truth had.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whitewashed PCG Article

UCG minister John D. Carmack has highlighted this article discussing PCG. I am afraid to say this article presents a rather whitewashed view of PCG. Carmack suggests that PCG has employed a writer to produce a favorable article about them.

Here are some highlights from this article.
The Philadelphia Church of God is a non-denominational Christian church...
This phrasing hides the fact that PCG is a part of Armstrongism, and that this religion teaches many things contrary to traditional Christian teachings. It is very different to what most people would recognize as Christian.
More than 70 percent of his [HWA's] followers were driven out or excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God due to sweeping doctrinal changes.
Some of them actually left after seeing what happened.
The result of his studies was a book titled Malachi’s Message, which proves that the Worldwide Church of God’s falling away from the truth was actually prophesied millennia ago.
I am somewhat surprised that there is no "they believe" qualifier in that sentence.
The church does not ask for money for any of its materials.
As we know this is actually a deceptive method PCG (and many other COGs) use to gain trust from unknowing persons. Once one accepts PCG as truly sent from God they eventually discover they are required to send PCG three tithes.

One genuinely interesting piece of information provided here is that the Key of David program first started broadcasting on TV (as opposed to radio) on January 17, 1993. It is quite close to other dates important to PCG such as January 7, the start of HWA's infamous 19 year time cycles beginning in 1934 with the first broadcast of HWA's radio show, and January 16, the date of HWA's death in 1986. Gerald Flurry taught in his book, Malachi's Message, that prophetic events heralding the approaching Great Tribulation and all that would occur on that date. So far nothing has happened on that day. This makes me wonder if PCG was trying to get the Key of David start on a date like that, maybe January 16, so PCG could claim it as a sign that the end is coming?

The article also provides links to the PCG and Key of David websites.

The unsuspecting reader would have no idea that Armstrongism is quite different from traditional Christianity, that HWA, WCG and PCG deny the Trinity, teach that God is a Family into we can be born into, similar to Mormonism, insist all other non-Armstrongite Christians are false, that PCG has often been noted for its highly controlling behavior, such as demanding three tithes from members, their horrible anti-medicine superstition (deriaved ultimately from 1920s Jehovah's Witnesses) that has caused death, that HWA was guilty of gross personal sins, or the many other scandalous things that might cause some disquiet to potential recruits.

This article is a whitewashed account of PCG. PCG is a cult, in their beliefs and their disturbing behavior. This article gives the reader hardly a clue to those facts.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bob Thiel's Mystery Degree

Mr. Gavin Rumney has produced another post asking for the truth concerning Bob Thiel's mystery degree. Here are some of my thoughts on this question.

Bob Theil needs to answer this question.

His honor has been questioned. Does he not care about his honor?

Why is he not willing to defend himself from such a simple question?

This is not about some obscure event that occurred 50 or 2000 years ago. This is a simple yes or no question that he can easily answer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

JWs and HWA Sure Sound Alike

I just read this from this article about Michael Jackson's death.

As for birthday celebrations, the Jehovah Witnesses are equally clear. Lesson 11 from their official web site states:

The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by persons who did not worship Jehovah. (Genesis 40:20-22; Mark 6:21, 22, 24-27) The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions. True Christians give gifts and have good times together at other times duing the year.

Isn't this extremely similar to how HWA convinced us that birthdays were immoral?

The truth is HWA stole this doctrine from the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Originally the Watchtower Society allowed birthdays, but it was only under Rutherford, around the 1920s or so, that the Watchtower Society added this condition for its members.

Clearly HWA became persuaded by their arguments and imposed this doctrine upon his followers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Creepy Watchtower Tales

Just heard about a guy who studied with Jehovah's Witnesses thirty years ago and then after a terrible tragedy struck he began studying with them again. ('Schoolroom Massacre—Comfort in the Aftermath,' Watchtower, December 1, 2009.)

In another example I read of this Vietnam War vet who became acquainted with a lady Jehovah's Witness who introduced him to the cult. He had never heard of them before. ('How I Lost My Love for War,' Awake!, December, 2009.)

These stories just chill my heart.

These stories show how important it is to study cults and understand how they operate and understand that organizations such as the Watchtower Society or the Armstrongite Churches of God simply do not have any access to God.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Real Persecution of Christians in Iraq

A film's just come out, Facing Extinction, about the severe persecution that the Christian community in Iraq are currently undergoing. Many have been forced to flee Iraq because of the terrible violence over there.

Profile of a Sociopath

Here an article on the Profile of a Sociopath from ESN that shows the terrible depravity some persons can allow themselves to fall into.

On another matter I've added a link of xHWA's recent blog to my links section.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Some Random Thoughts

Here are some fairly random COG related thoughts.

1) I recall that in Michael Barkun's book, Religion and the Racist Right, it is related that "Christian Identity", a virulently racist offshoot of British-Israelism, has another similarity to Armstrongism. Identity denies that there will be a rapture, just like Armstrongism. I do not know what to make of this.

2) ESN has just released some correspondence from a UCG member and their responses. A typical COG defender who insensitively glosses the extremely abusive behavior that occurs within the COGs.

3) Reading xHWA's article reminded me of something I read. In that booklet Hoeh said that the 1260 years of persecution upon the 'True Church' began in 325. In his (highly suspect) account it is after this Council that 'God's True Church' is driven underground by the 'Beast,' the Roman Empire.

When I first watched Tomorrow's World Meredith mentioned the woman ('God's True Church') being in the wilderness for 1260 days (years). But he said those years corresponded with the revival of the Roman Empire (554-1814) not from 325. So apparently the 'revived Roman Empire' was persecuting 'God's True Church' the entire 1260 years, even though according to their own 'history,' the 'True Church' had since moved to America, far away from the alleged Beast Power, according to Meredith.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

xHWA on Hoeh's "Church History"

xHWA has just released excellent research concerning Hoeh's 1959 booklet, A True History of the True Church. You need to read this.

I remember when I first managed to get onto a HWA archival website I the first booklet I went to was that very booklet. I found it mind blowing. xHWA now shows us valuable necessary information about that booklet. I strongly encourage everyone to read, if you have not already.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Argument for US Health Care Reform

This is not COG related but I just saw this amazing and quite intense video of Keith Olbermann arguing for health care reform. It is a very powerful message.

I may not agree with everything this Democratic-led government does or with Mr. Olbermann's politics, but I really hope health reform is passed to solve the problems highlighted here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HWA, World Leaders and Who Else?

In HWA's later life he often went to visit with many world leaders.

Beginning with the King of Belgium he began to visit many world leaders. Among those he visited included Haile Selassie, Salvador Allende, Indira Gandhi, Deng Xiaoping, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Franz Joseph Strauss, Otto von Hapsburg, Emperor Hirohito. This is featured prominently in the introduction for The World Tomorrow TV show.

I remember once he suggested that Elijah also went and visited world as he (HWA) did. I wish I knew where I saw it.

What was his proof? He used 1 Kings 18:10.

"As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord [king Ahab] hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not."

However even he realized just how weak this argument was so he only 'suggested' it. Hedging his statement as is done all too often in the world of Armstrongism.

Here Ahab is looking for Elijah in other countries. But HWA used this Scripture to 'suggest' that Elijah visited these world leaders in the same manner he did. Look at this scripture and you will see it says no such thing.

It is much more reasonable to assume that he was communicating with the authorities of other countries to find where he was, in the same way states today send out information to relevant agencies internationally. This is not evidence that Elijah was visiting world leaders as HWA did.

This "evidence" also conveniently ignored the fact that another religious leader has also done very similar things to HWA in consorting with the great and powerful of the world.

In a manner very similar to HWA, Sun Myung Moon makes it a habit to get into the good graces of the high and mighty.

Sun Myung Moon makes teaches many things that are contrary to traditional Christianity. Some of their distinctive teachings may be seen here, including their belief that Jesus was supposed to marry and have children but failed to do so and Moon did what He could not.

He met with Nixon in 1974.

He even managed to get himself crowned by an American Cogressman in the Dirksen Senate Building on March 23, 2004.

George H. W. Bush has long been linked to this man. He appears in this recent video.

Moon also founded The Washington Times, a publication the prominence of which puts WCG's Quest magazine to shame.

There are many other fascinating connections which this man has established within the American conservative movement.

So we see that HWA's "commission" to the leaders of the world was not unique at all. Sun Myung Moon has also been able to hobnob with the great and powerful just like HWA.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rick Ross Interview on Cults

Here's an interview of the noted anti-cult activist Rick Ross with The Wittenburg Door made back in 2004. (Update: Dead link.)

It is a fascinating expose of how cults operate. He even mentions WCG when discussing Yisrael Hawkins.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

John Allen's Sect and Against the Gates of Hell

Thanks to AW's blog on the Purple Hymnal I ended up writing about John Allen's COG sect.

I ran across his website years ago. It was one of the few other COG websites I visited when I started exploring the COGweb in late 2000.

It was one of the first sites that had a lot of HWA writings that I found. However I soon migrated to another COG website for HWA materials.

I remember John Allen used to have a page that condemned Flurry for 'idolatry' (absolutely correct), and condemned Meredith for using juvenile slang. I'm still not entirely sure what he meant by that.

As far as I know this is the only place you can read Rader's book Against the Gates of Hell online.

There's a reason no one else has bothered to post it online. It is not a good read. I tried reading that dreary book and the first time, I stopped after the third chapter or so. Chapter 2 was just a recap of HWA's early life. Since I already read his autobiography I just skipped it. I don't think I went much further than that.

Later, after I renounced the Armstrongism, I reread it, but I only read the first half, which was about the forced receivership. That account was totally one sided. It's somewhat exciting and dramatic.

But the beginning is strange. He makes sound like everything's fine and happy under his watch, the day is beautiful, flowery language is used to describe the scene. It's like the happy beginning of some camp movie. Even when I was an Armstrongite I somehow couldn't quite accept this description of his.

Now that I am out I can see it is just a self serving depiction of those events. The events are simply black and white. No gray at all. Those supporting him are loyal, courageous, are in the right, etc. Those who are against him are sinister, evil, enemy agents. He even compared some of the receivers and investigators to Nazis.

"persons who were barging in like SS troopers making a midnight raid in Nazi Germany." (Chapter 1, p. 23.)

"When Herbert Armstrong wrote a letter to the Church, the state's Gestapo, in conjunction with collaborating enemy agents within the organization, stopped the mails." (Chapter 7, p. 123).

It is also rather strange that he tries to portray the receivership as effecting church-state relations. This is obviously in order to gain support from other organized churches and make them scared that something like this might happen to them. After years of condemning mainstream Christianity as being the whore of Revelation 17 and her children they then run to them and try to get their help.

To this day I still can't be bothered to read the second half, which was about the AICF and HWA visiting world leaders. I did read the chapter on China but only because China fascinates me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

PCG Still Watches Stoiber

Look at the latest September 20-26, 2009, Trumpet Weekly. On page 4-5 you will find an article about the German politician Edmund Stoiber. It is entitled, 'Stoiber's Work Making Waves in EU.' It is credited to The, so this is something PCG itself wrote.

The article ends with these words: "The Trumpet is watching for a charismatic, organizational genius to emerge as a strongman to lead a united Europe."

Earlier back in 2002 Gerald Flurry & Co. hinted that Edmund Stoiber, then the right wing candidate for Chancellor of Germany, might become the Beast, the European dictator they expect to arise and bring the world to the verge of destruction.

As LCG apologist Bob Thiel observed: "in the May 2002 edition of the Philadelphia Trumpet, PCG's Gerald Flurry wrote that he felt that the then 60 year-old Edmund Stoiber who was then running to be Germany's chancellor was a likely candidate to be "the king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8" (vss.23-24). Although he presents some interesting reasons for his position, [Flurry tries to argue that Stoiber is Strauss' successor] I personally wrote years ago that I felt that Stoiber may be a little to old to fulfill that position."

HWA used to think this European dictator would be Mussolini, then Hitler. After World War II their suspicion focused on Franz Josef Strauss and Otto von Hapsburg. Stoiber is simply the latest figure highlighted in this so far hopelessly inaccurate prophecy game.

Personally I am amazed that PCG is still focusing on him and still hold lingering suspicions that he will still be the Beast.

Scattered Witnesses

We all know how hopelessly scattered the COGs are. Well Jehovah's Witnesses also have many splinter groups as well. Two links that may be useful to seeing what sort of Watchtower splinter groups are out and and about may be seen with these links.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pack is the Angel to the Church of Laodicea?

In the last post we saw how Pack is now claiming to be Joshua the Priest. But there's more. LCG apologist Bob Theil's source now reveals the following:
He alluded to a connection between his “office” of High Priest and his last name meaning “Passover.” It seems that he believes he makes intersession for the Church in some way (I really wish I was joking or exaggerating, but he actually does make this insinuation).

He has also taught for some time that he is the “angel to the church of Laodicea” of Revelation 3 and that he is the last end time Apostle. With this latest discovery of himself in the pages of the Bible, he seems to be going more and more the way of Gerald Flurry.
So Pack now says he is the "angel to the church of Laodicea." What is he talking about? This makes reference to one doctrine HWA taught in Mystery of the Ages that is rarely brought up.
In that book he adds an unusual twist to the seven church era doctrine:
"Of the Philadelphia era of God's true Church we read: "To the angel of the church...." This word angel translated from the Greek aggelos means messenger or agent. This is not necessarily always referring to a spirit angel but can refer as well to a human may also apply to the human messenger or agent God has raised up to lead this era of his Church [HWA]." (Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 6, under the heading 'Restoration of God's Truth to Church.')
Clearly Pack has used this doctrine, assumed that HWA was right, assumed that HWA is the "angel (messenger) of the church (era) of Philadelphia," and then applied the label "angel to the church of Laodicea" to himself.

Where did HWA get this idea from?

The Watchtower.

I discussed this topic in a previous post. Here is some of what is written there.
On the grave of Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the members of which would later be named Jehovah's Witnesses, it is declared that Russell was "The Laodicean Messenger."

While HWA was only willing to identify the Philadelphian messenger (himself), the Watchtower Society went even further than HWA and claimed to identify each of the seven messengers. They were Paul, John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe, Luther and Russell. Notice what is related here.

"While [Russell] implies that there were precursors to his work (who of course had a very different theology than Russell accepted [very similar to HWA's "church history" doctrine]), it was only in The Finished Mystery (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 7) published after his death that a direct line is sketched from Paul and John through Arius, Waldo, Wycliff, and Luther to Russell." (Gene Edson Ahlstrom, The Church in the Thought of Charles Taze Russell, under the heading 'Sectarianism and Church History.')
So we see that, just like HWA, Pack is imitating the Watchtower Society. Pack is unconsciously taking up the mantle of Charles Taze Russell.

Pack, not Tkach, is Joshua the Priest

You know how Gerald Flurry teaches that Joshua the priest, mentioned in Zechariah 3, is Joseph Tkach? First he said it was Sr, now he says it was Junior.

It is well known that Flurry's Malachi's Message plagiarized the ideas found in Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea in 1987 before MM was first published. You can find Dervaes identifying Tkach as Joshua long before Flurry here.

Well apparently Flurry got it wrong. Dave Pack now tells us actually that prophecy is referring not to Tkach, but to himself.

LCG apologist Bob Thiel broke the news on September 15. He revealed the following from a source of his on his News of Those Once Associated with GCG page. This is what Bob Theil's source says.
This weekend he has posted a two part sermon ( titled “Zechariah 3—Joshua Identified.” I listened to portions of the second message.

He is now teaching that he is the end time (or the third) Joshua. He reads Zechariah 3 and identifies himself as this Joshua and claims that he is the “High Priest” over this era of the Church. I didn’t listen to every word, but he seems to identify the “filthiness” of verse 3-4 as the sins of the Laodiceans that he had to bear by spending time in GCG (though he claims they are not his sins…but the sins of the era). He said he wears the spiritual miter of authority over the Church. He takes verse 7 and identifies himself having “charge of My courts,” meaning the end time Church....
And so Pack now says he is Joshua. Don't tell Flurry that.

This letter from ESN also shares this information.

And so now we see that Pack is going the way of Flurry. That's not all I am afraid. More on this later.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zechariah 14, FOT and Second Tithe

(Update: ESN has published another email which states that Dave Pack will be on the History Channel, 14 or 15 October.)

Since it's that time of the year to bring paradise to God's people for eight days I think it would be good to highlight this previous post that was published last April. (And yes, I am imitating Ambassador Watch.)

By the way when it is called the Feast of Tabernacles and this is what one of those tabernacles look like. They are not some sort of big meeting place, which is the practice of the COGs. (Image courtesy of 'Sukkot,' Wikipedia.)

And now onto the post:

Awhile ago I ran into this Ambassador Watch post. There it was written that 'Yes it's Sukkoth (sue-coat), a.k.a. the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. Not that anyone in the post-WCG tradition constructs booths from branches, or even sets up a bunk bed in the garden shed, but that's another issue.' These words got my mind on a track of thought which I will now detail.

Here is what I thought:

Zechariah 14: 16-19 is often used to say that the Feast of Tabernacles is to be observed by Christians today.

According to Armstrongite interpretation this shows that those living in the Millennial rule of Christ must observe the Feast of Tabernacles.

But there are actually severe problems with this interpretation for Armstrongites.

Let's be really generous and assume the Armstrongites have got most of it right in this matter of the interpretation of Zechariah 14: 16-19. Let us, for the sake of argument, assume that this scripture actually does refer to events after Christ's return and that those verses are an accurate depiction of what shall happen in the Millenium as it is interptreted by Armstrongism.

Even if we assume all those points to be true, Zechariah 14: 16-19 still cannot be legitimately used to prove that we should embrace Armstrongism or that Armstrongism is the one true religion.


Because the Armstrongite Feast of Tabernacles is all wrong.

Observe how it was observed in Nehemiah 8: 14-17:
14 And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
This scripture shows that the booths which the children of Israel were required to dwell in were tents which were small enough to be placed on a flat roof. These booths were placed on each individual person's roof.

When I read the recruitment writings LCG made and I learned about the Feast of Tabernacles I read about it in the Bible. I perceived then that it should be observed by being in a tent in the appointed time.

But the COGs do not observe it in that manner. Instead they observe by coming together into large gatherings all over the world. They do not set up tents on their property. (Of course because we do no use flat roofs we would have to place the booth in our property.) This is not what is described 'in your own Bible' in Nehemiah 8: 14-17.

Also note how the Jews celebrate Sukkoth. Look at the Wikipedia articles on Sukkot and Sukkah. Look at the pictures. The Jews certainly do not observe this festival by gathering themselves together in some massive gathering far away to meet with like-minded people but, rather, observe it in their own homes.

Since Armstrongism observes this feast in an inaccurate manner therefore they cannot legitimately claim this as a proof that they are right. Therefore their Feasts of Tabernacles are inaccurate.

Since the Armstrongite FOT is illegitimate than Second Tithe, which is mainly used (if I understand it correctly) to allow the believer to observe this incorrectly observed festival, is thus being used for improper purposes.

As far as I understand it HWA first ordered his followers to pay Second Tithe in a October 3, 1945 co-worker letter, specifically to pay for the members' participation in the FOT.

Since Second Tithe is being used to celebrate the FOT in an inaccurate manner therefore the COGs have no right to use Second Tithe to pay for the incorrect observance of FOT. The Armstrongite practice contradict the Biblical practice as recorded in Nehemiah 8: 14-17.

So if the Armstrongite FOT is inaccurately observed then there is no legitimate reason to use Zechariah 14: 16-19 as a proof text for their observance of FOT because their practice of it is inaccurate.

However if the 'Apostle' HWA chose to observe the FOT in a more scripturally based manner, with his followers building a sukkah at home, he would have found it impossible to solidify his followers and bind them even more under his control. How do you build up an identity, a shared consciousness among fellow believers, by having everyone celebrating in tents in their own homes for eight days?

So he chose an observance style more effective for his purposes of further solidifying his control over his followers. He did this by commanding them to come together, meet many other fellow believers, make them feel part of something greater than themselves. Also HWA and his minions could make the members to listen only to what HWA and the leadership desired. Create milieu control,which is one of Lifton's Eight Criteria of Thought Reform.

And so the inaccurately observed FOT is used as convenient mind control method and used to justify the acquisition of Second Tithe.

And so one can see that there are many problems with using Zechariah 14: 16-19 as a proof that Armstrongism is the true religion because the Bible shows that they do not observe it properly. And furthermore once the Armstrongite understanding of the observance of the FOT is rejected this also removes the purpose for Second Tithe. So it is seen that error builds upon error.

Also relevant to this discussion is this testimony that argues that the FOT is a mind control trick and this article under the heading 'All Will Keep the Feast (Zechariah 14)' which argues that during the future Millenium it will be required to observe the FOT but that under the New Covenant observance of the FOT is not required.

And so that was the train of thought my Biblically-derived, non-Armstronite expectations of the FOT and that comment on Ambassador Watch led me to think concerning Zechariah 14 and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Meredith's Selective Memory of HWA

Here is how Meredith presents HWA to his followers in his September 9, 2009 Co-Worker Letter.
This is a special week to me, personally. For exactly 60 years ago this week, the Eternal God led me to Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA. There, as a “pioneer” student, I was personally instructed in the Bible and the whole purpose of life by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong—a man many of you have heard about. This man was used by God to “restore” more biblical Truth to the Church of God than any other human being for hundreds of years! He was used by Almighty God to reach tens of millions of people all around the world with the knowledge that the very real kingdom—or government—of Almighty God would soon be set up on this earth based on the laws of God.

Decades before the events happened, Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that the nations of eastern Europe would break free from the Soviet Union and that the Berlin Wall would come down!
HWA did believe that some eastern European nations would break away from the USSR's dominance and enter a united Europe, however he also believed that the USSR would survive this and would continue to exist till several years after Christ's return in 1975 to have its military destroyed in the destruction of Gog and Magog. This is not an honest portrayal of what HWA actually believed. It carefully hides the countless false prophecies HWA produced.

Furthermore it is not true that HWA was a man "used by God." He was a false prophet and a plagiarizer from the very beginning.

He said Christ would return in 1936.

He hid the influence of other religious movements upon him, pretending God revealed these truths to him when practically every idea he taught can be traced to other sources (Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, British-Israelism, Mormonism).

HWA was guilty of committing gross sexual immorality in the very time in which he (supposedly) began the Philadelphia era of the church.

God could never work with a man like that.

Meredith is wrong to idealistically portray HWA in the manner that he does. This is done in order to hide the truth about HWA, that he was never used by God.