Some people obviously worship a “god” who approves of liars.
Bob Thiel’s need to approval and recognition keeps pushing at the boundaries of truth so hard that they break. I’ve taken the liberty of taking a screenshot of the article in question, “Norman Edwards: The Church of God needs more prophets“, since things on the Internet have a habit of disappearing at times, plus the fact that he prohibits his website from being indexed by the Internet Archive, aka Wayback Machine:
Obviously, this makes it much easier to deny that anything untrue has been written on the website. If indeed he is a prophet, then why would he prohibit his “prophecies”, whatever they may be (and I still have yet to see one), from being archived?
However, there are more important reasons to doubt the validity of his claims and perhaps even his sanity.
Lies of the Prophet
I’ve already discussed more than once the big one. If he is a prophet, then what is his message? A prophet, after all, is one who utters or speaks for God. So, let’s see what the message is! Lay out your “prophecies”, Dr Bob, so that those with discernment can see!
All along, his “credentials” have been exaggerations of different events. For example, he makes a big deal of being anointed, but he was anointed for something completely different, even he has admitted before. He makes a big deal of the anointing minister calling for a “double portion” of God’s Spirit.
OK, but so what? If I am anointed for a head cold, can I really take that as a validation of something completely unrelated? Even if the one doing the anointing has no clue about the matter? Does God really work that way?
Well, now he is claiming to be “ordained”. The lid is off, folks! He has clearly crossed the boundary of stepping on the line between truth and fiction and proclaimed a complete lie!
No one has ordained you, Dr. Bob. Get over yourself!
In fact, how many prophets in the Bible were ever ordained? Frankly, I can only think of one, Elisha, who is also the one whom Thiel likes to compare himself with. Even then, it was a prophet ordaining a prophet, not a priest or even a Levite!
There is a good reason for that, in fact. Prophets always came from outside of the system because their primary function was to sound a warning when the system itself broke down. The civil government was supposed to keep the religious order in check, and vice versa. When both failed, God sent prophets to warn and rebuke.
As a consequence, prophets worked outside of the system. They did not break away and create their own country or their own organization for worship.
Lies of the Teacher
What do you call someone who doesn’t claim to be a prophet but is constantly making “predictions” that may or may not come true? Frankly, if you know, tell me! Regardless of what you would call such an individual, I wonder how that furthers the spread of the Gospel, for failed predictions will eventually turn sane people away.
Even that might not be such a big deal were it not for the twisting of words that James Malm continually engages in. He has slandered anyone and everyone who does not believe his teachings, and he drags people into the argument against their wishes. He has twisted the words of HWA and all of the church organizations’ leaders, but instead of repenting when his lies are exposed, he cuts off all communication.
His latest foaming at the mouth states repeatedly in capital letters (which, of course, makes it true, right?) that the latest gossip about the calendar is not about calculated vs observed, but what constitutes a new moon (light, aka crescent, vs completely darkened disk). Then, in spite of that lie, he admits he has an agenda.
Make no mistake about it, with Malm it is all about whether to use the calculated Hebrew calendar or go by observation. That has been his contention all along. He claims to calculate the month but then back it up with observation, but that is shown to be a lie when it is cloudy and no observation can be made. At that point, it becomes purely an observational calendar.
All Calendars Change
In the end, though, the entire argument is stupid because all calendars have been and currently are adjusted according to astronomical events.
The main difference is that the calculated Jewish calendar has had such slight errors over the centuries that it has not needed any further adjustments or refinements than have already been put into motion since it was released by Hillel, and is remarkably accurate in comparison to, say, the Julian calendar that predated the current Gregorian calendar. Still, it is acknowledged that “the average date of the first day of Pesach is getting later by one day in about 216 years compared to the Sun and 231 years compared to the Gregorian calendar.” Barring dramatic changes in how the heavenly bodies operate, this will certainly become a problem by 15,115 AD.
Even our clocks are wrong. In fact, the precise timing of things we’ve become so accustomed to is impossible because things change over time. You remember the hysteria around Y2K? Well, now news agencies are predicting all sorts of silly disasters over the fact that “2015 is getting an extra second and that’s a bit of a problem for the internet“. This is not the first time this has happened, but last time there actually were server crashes because of the additional second. GPS satellites are particularly sensitive about time differences.
Still, the earth’s rotation has changed over time due to things like volcanic activities and tsunamis. It has not remained the same.
And, when you think about it, isn’t that the real reason no “calendar” is outlined in the Bible?
All Calendars Adjusted Eventually
Perhaps the only calendar that needs very little adjustment is the Islamic calendar, for it is a strictly lunar calendar. The only possible changes, barring a really catastrophic event, would be the times of sunset and the new moon. For the most part, though, the relative dates would more or less continue. At the same time, it is a very inaccurate calendar, at least as far as comparing it to a solar year goes, and that is why Ramadan rolls back on the solar calendar from year to year.
However, other calendars are more precise and expect the seasons to occur in certain months. So, on a planet in which the wobble and even the location of the magnetic poles can change due to volcanic activity, the measurements of time must compensate.
When you think about it, it is interesting that Noah apparently kept a 360 day calendar. Why such an even number? Did the opening of the fountains of the deep create such a change that affected the rotation and orbital path of the Earth?
When Joshua prayed for the sun to “stand still”, another day was not added to the calendar, but did that change the length of years or months?
From the very beginning of the Bible, we see that the stars, sun and moon were put into place to aid in marking time. Thus, most calendars in the world are based upon astronomical observations, and they have been adjusted as time went on to compensate for irregularities.
To say otherwise is to stick your head in the sand and ignore calendars throughout the history of the world in various cultures.
Whom Would You Hire?
The real question is whether or not you would hire a tutor to teach your child if they taught that the Earth was flat and carried on a turtle’s back. That is what some ancient civilizations once believed. The Catholic Church once persecuted anyone who claimed that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe. Would you hire such a teacher to fill your child’s head with lies?
Then, why listen to liars when it comes to things like the calendar? Prophecy? Or, more especially, who is doing God’s work?
Equally important, does their work represent a warning message brought from God’s love, or is it evident it is from a root of bitterness and financial opportunity? The root of bitterness is easily seen whenever the stories are recounted and the main evidence is the making of mountains out of molehills because an accusing judgmental spirit dominates their attitudes toward organizations they once were a part of.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
~ Jn 13:35
I openly question the motives of several teachers and prophets because it is evident that the love of God does not reside within them. Rather, they go hat in hand to their target audiences to spread fear and discontent rather than correction. Indeed, they cannot remove the speck from your eye because of the beam gouging out what little eyesight they may have once had.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities [such as God appointed authority in the Church].
Mind you, Jude doesn’t say that the Church or its appointed leaders will ever be perfect, but there comes a time and a place to recognize godly authority and respect the God given boundaries set in place (and this works both ways, obviously).
There are two statements that HWA often made, and it seems that they needed to be repeated because they were and are the most often ignored:
- “Blow the dust off your Bible! Don’t believe me! Believe your Bible! Believe God!”
“The main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things.”
If we read and read the Bible and still don’t understand fully, then that is an exercise in discernment. It means that the meaning must be ferreted out. However, by whom? At some point, it becomes a test as to whether we will obey or disobey. The question is whether it is a “plain thing” and thus we are required to follow it no matter what anyone says or whether it is a vague thing and we are required to obey the leadership God has placed over us.
Of course, if we do not read the Bible, or if we read it merely to reinforce our own biases, then we are no better than Adam and Eve or ancient Israel, partaking of the tree in which we justifying doing what is right in our own eyes.