A history teacher helps a disabled student during a history lesson, 1943
Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
~ Winston Churchill (contested, although George Santayana said something similar, and it is often misattributed to him)
I actually do not understand why people follow liars. When someone constantly twists other people’s words, twists Scripture to their own ideas and outright lies about other people’s motives, then I find it quite puzzling that anyone with an ounce of sanity would continue to follow them. I guess you can say they do not learn from history.
I suppose that the answer is implicit within the question, though. After all, sanity implies facing reality, and reality is just another word for truth. It is the opposite of deception. When you have the deceivers leading the deceived, they seem to form a feedback loop that can be difficult for the truth to penetrate.
I guess that is why people still follow Ronald Weinland, even though he is in jail. I’m also guessing that David C Pack will not lose a majority of his following right away for the same reason. It is hard to fight your pride and ego and admit you are wrong and were deceived. It takes humility, and most false prophets do not set themselves because they are humble.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.
6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Wearing a rough garment, putting on an outer appearance, in order to deceive will not be viewed lightly by God. There will come a time of punishment.
So, which false prophet will fall next? It’s hard to say. Certainly, Bob Thiel is full of himself, and it is possible he will finally jump over the ledge into insanity. Actually, he might not have that far to go. Yesterday, he posted about his latest YouTube video on “Leading the Final Phase of the Work” (and I remembered the “nofollow” flag this time), which is nothing more than a lot of chest beating about how he has a double portion of the Holy Spirit, he reaches more with the message of the Gospel and how CCOG will “lead” the final phase of God’s work.
However, it isn’t just his ego that gets in the way of things these days. His continual reliance upon pagan prophecies is beyond troubling. On the one hand, you’re not supposed to pay attention to or fear pagan things, but then he goes into great detail about comparing pagan prophecies to the Bible. It makes you wonder if he is trying to discredit or lend credence to those same pagan prophecies!
However, something else finally became crystal clear. He quoted Herbert W Armstrong (HWA) more than he quoted the Bible! IOW, he is no different than any other of these organizations which idolize HWA! So, “Why not the CCOG?” to paraphrase an old COGWriter question? Because it is obvious that it is built upon idolatry.
OTOH, James Malm is no fan of HWA, is he? However, if Thiel’s ego is large, then Malm’s is ginormous. Malm strikes me as one who could look you straight in the eye and lie. Every post is full of … well … full of distortions and lies.
While I have been warning that Egypt would turn against Islamic Extremism and that a major regional war would defeat the Radical Islamic groups, the other COG Groups have been saying the exact opposite, and they have been shown to be wrong.
Actually, no, they have not. It is a lie, and Malm knows it. He sets up a strawman, knocks it down, and then he proceeds to beat his chest about how he is right. He has lied about Thiel’s writings, my writings, HWA writings, and he constantly twists God’s words as well. He is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
First of all, extremist Islam is not the King of the South. I defy anyone to come up with anything more substantial than a lot of hand waving on that one. LCG, UCG and COGWA all state that the King of the South will unite people under the banner of radical Islam, but that is not the same thing. Seriously, if Malm cannot even tell the truth about this, then why would anyone believe him about anything?
Second, radical Islam will never be exterminated before Christ returns. You cannot kill an ideology. The Soviet Union did a good job of trying to kill the idea of freedom and democracy, but it wound up being defeated instead. Yet, even the ideology of socialism in various forms lives on, including the not inconsequential nation of China.
There are only two ways to deal with radical ideologies. One way is the way of various regimes from the past to the present, and that is to suppress it. Radical Islam was suppressed under dictators like Hosni Mubarak and Bashar al-Assad, but even then it required a bone or two to be thrown to them.
The Muslim Brotherhood is by no means defeated! Even if it were, another more radical group would spring up in its place! We never destroyed Al Qaeda! It just scattered into smaller and harder to track groups! In fact, it is still an entity to be dealt with! That’s why Reuters just today posted “Al Qaeda affiliate urges attacks on Egyptian army“!
“There is nothing more right in God’s religion (Islam) than those who speak of the infidelity, reneging on Islam and abandonment of religion, and call for the necessity to fight these armies, foremost of which is the Egyptian army,” said Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to the Arabic recording.
“The Egyptian army is part and a mere copy of these armies which are seeking in a deadly effort to prevent God’s laws from being adopted and trying hard to consecrate the principles of secularism and man-made laws,” he said.
There is only one other way to defeat ideology: Deception. Surely, Malm would know something about that!
There is a coming individual who will deceive the entire world. He will claim to be the Messiah, the Christ, the Islamic Madhi, the Buddhist Maitreya, the Hindu Kalki, etc. He will be able to deceive everyone for a short while, most likely a 3-1/2 year period (however, that figure is debatable) that will lead up to an invasion of Jerusalem that will stop the sacrifices. This will begin the Great Tribulation, in which the whole world will descend into chaos and war. His deception will be seen through, but this King of the North will defeat the King of the South during his invasion. However, there will still be an eastern coalition of powers to be reckoned with.
In order for the King of the South to provoke him, however, it will first have to become evident that it is all a fake. Something will have to occur where at least part of the deception begins to crumble.
So, rather than radical Islam being defeated, it will again prominently figure in the battle leading up to the Great Tribulation!
This is something I shouldn’t even have to write about! It’s something a child can understand!
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
~ Heb 5:12
It is interesting that Paul chooses to point to the “first principles”, that is the fundamental beliefs, of the Church! This is something that could easily be (and probably are) written for our day!
Because, in the end, that’s where false teachers and false prophets start: By diverting away from the fundamental beliefs.
I agree that we have seen the same kind of thing again, and again, and again, and again…. and again. Thiel, Malm, Meredith, HWA, etc., all claim to speak for God. But where does it usually start for these men? It usually starts with actually being used by God and with a humble attitude. I don’t think anyone will deny that HWA was used by God (well, anyone that can honestly assess the situation anyway). Or Meredith, or possibly Malm, or Thiel… or Franks, Kubik, etc.
The problem is, every single time you start getting a following, it takes an incredible amount of self control to deflate the ego we all carry. I mean, I see the same kind of thing in myself already, with having started a website two months ago and seeing the visits slowly rise… I am already having to fight myself and growing a big head about it. When you get to the level of hundreds or thousands, or tens of thousands of people listening to you, it is incredibly… seductive… to us.
We must be praying daily asking God to give us strength to do His will and not our own, and fasting constantly to remember just how weak we are without Him.
Side note: I have wondered for some time if the Pharisees’ practice of fasting twice a week came from an example that someone righteous set. I think it is interesting that Christ even gave us the example of a great deal of fasting, even though He is completely perfect and one with the Father.
Is it possible that we also should be fasting nearly as frequently, although without any chest beating about doing so? It also has many physical benefits, such as helping us to lose weight by eating less food, something apparently 2/3rds of us should be thinking about…
I am ex-WCG – never affiliated with any of the splinters. Some have left completely (Weinland) with others having a mix of truth. And, RCG / Pack seems to have just shown to be wrong with his Aug 30 death non-prophecy. Above, in your post, you mention Bob Thiel and his “ego”. I am not defending him per se as I have only read a bit of his writings. However, he does seem to be a very well informed and intelligent person. I have not caught him in a lie. You focus on his “ego”. I would like to ask you this: IF you could find and identify the one human that God is working with at this time of the end … would that person not also appear to you to have an ego. I don’t sense the “ego” issue but I don’t dispute that you do. I don’t see him focusing on himself. Perhaps highly intelligent and informed appears that way to some people. So, again, in your view, how would God’s true servant differ from Bob Thiel’s “ego”??
[Fixed up some typos…]
COGWanderer wrote: “IF you could find and identify the one human that God is working with at this time of the end …”
Well, that is the beginning of the problem, isn’t it? It has never been true that God only works through one man, even in HWA’s day, and that is something I’ve already spent way too much time disproving. After the Iron Curtain came down and China began to relax some of their more restrictive policies, quite a few Sabbatarian groups were discovered. They never heard of HWA, nor the WCG, yet they kept what they knew. Doesn’t it make sense if God truly is calling those of all nations? That’s just one small example, and I have given many others straight from the Bible in other posts.
“I don’t see him focusing on himself.”
I suggest you read him more closely, then. I only occasionally read him, in fact, because his condescending attitude cannot help but seep through his words. Previously, he ended almost every post with, “However, we in the Living Church of God…”, which of course is now every other post with something along the lines of, “We in the Continuing Church of God…”. Now, his almost constant referrals to him having a double portion of the Holy Spirit, his part in trying to correct LCG leaders, tooting his horn about reaching people (with questionable numbers at that, and much of it a base built up by being an LCG cheerleader), etc., are pretty tiring and transparently self-serving. However, even before he left, his emphasis that he is Philadelphian is the surest proof that he is not, because claiming you are “Philadelphian” is an automatic disqualification as well as an abuse of prophecy.
Is he a liar? I suppose that is debatable. Perhaps he believes what he says, but that simply means he is on the same delusional path of Flurry and Pack.
Still, even at that, the worst thing is his constant pointing to pagan prophecies to back up what he says. I think he believes doing so lends credence to the blind that he is an “expert” on prophecy. What it proves is that he is a false prophet, because he quotes Catholic and other false prophecies as much as the Bible. Like I said in the post, though, it finally dawned on me how much idolatry he really is engaging in with his quotes from HWA, not one, not twice, but numerous times. If he were a true prophet, then God would supply the credentials, not men and certainly not himself.
“in your view, how would God’s true servant differ from Bob Thiel’s ‘ego’?”
Why wouldn’t they be like Jesus Christ or John the Baptist? Neither of them beat their chest, and in fact some dispute Jesus’ divinity because He never came straight out and said, “I am the God of the OT,” although He heavily implied it. John the Baptist even denied being the Elijah to come, but Jesus said otherwise. Amos even said he wasn’t initially either a prophet or a son of a prophet (Am 7:14), but rather he had humble beginnings.
Of course, how can one speak of humility without talking about Moses? Did he beat his chest and tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go”? No, he said “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel…” He did not toot his own horn, proclaim how many booklets and webcasts he had made (as though that means anything at all), nor did he take credit for the plagues.
“IF you could find and identify the one human that God is working with at this time of the end … would that person not also appear to you to have an ego.”
Everyone has an ego, and that included Moses. What did Moses and Aaron do that provoked the anger of God? Well, some say he struck the rock instead of speaking to it, and that was true. However, he did something else:
“And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?” ~ Nu 20:10
AFAIK, this is the only time Moses failed to give God the credit, and it was a mistake with severe consequences. Yet, in spite of that we are told that Moses was the most humble man ever.
“(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” ~ Nu 12:3
If there is one man to lead God’s people into the Place of Safety, he will have to be a man like Moses. He will have to be a man in whom the power will not go to his head.
However, we are not explicitly told that one man will do so. It may be one or both of the Two Witnesses. It might be so sudden that God’s people will have to flee without any human leader at all, and it may be that no governing body will be set up until they reach the Place of Safety.
Of course, even that assumes that the Place of Safety is a physical place. While I believe it is, it is also clear that not everyone will go, and it goes without saying that God can protect you wherever you are. Therefore, preoccupation with whether or not one will go is absolutely the wrong focus.
A godly leader, but also a godly man or woman, must be humble enough to accept whatever God allows them to deal with. That can be a hard lesson, but it is required, for God resists the proud (Jas 4:6).
That is why it is important to spot it, not just in others (in order to avoid their poison to infect us) but more importantly in ourselves. For if we fail in this, we fail in all, for arrogance leading to rebellion is the true original sin!