January 18, 2012 ©Homer Kizer
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Common Greetings —
Witnesses Against Themselves
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. / Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. / Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, “If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. (Matt 23:25–37)
When a Christian pastor or teacher claims to understand the mysteries of God, proclaiming the person’s understanding to the world in an effort to prepare a people for the Lord, the pastor or teacher had better be correct in what he or she proclaims; for in claiming to understand, the person publicly testifies for the Lord or against him or herself. When Jesus caused the blind man to see (John chap 9) and leading Jews cast the formerly blind man out from the temple, John records Jesus asking the man,
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He [the man whose sight was restored] answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you." He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains.” (John 9:35–41 emphasis added)
The Christian pastor or teacher who claims to see—who claims to understand the mysteries of God—but who does not see, does not understand the mysteries of God, is not covered by grace but is garmented in his or her own guilt …
Both Paul and John named false Christians who claimed authority in 1st-Century Church and who taught without understanding: these false teachers harmed 1st-Century disciples and by extension laid the foundation of the death of the Body of Christ. And in Paul and John naming these false individuals who now exist merely as names, not as people, comes the precedent by which I will on occasion name endtime false teachers of Israel, the nation that is to be circumcised of heart. To most readers, the names of those whom I will call out for their falseness will mean nothing: for most readers, the ones whom I call out are simply faceless theological bullies. But a few readers will know these individuals, and a portion of this few will claim that I am judging the individual … and I am judging the words, the proclamations, the declarations of these individuals, but not the individuals themselves.
Jesus left His word, His message, with His disciples as the judge of those who didn’t believe Him (John 12:48). His word was personification as a judge so that He, Himself, would not judge the person, but would reveal the judgment made by His word in the disciple. Hence, the words and the deeds of the person testify against the person: with God, there is no 5th Amendment Right not to testify against oneself. Every word that the person speaks is testimony for or against the speaker; for words come from the heart of the person. And words spoken in times of stress reveal what the person hides in his or her heart; thus, the context for when a word is uttered is as important as the words uttered.
The context for when Jesus said, “‘Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day’” (John 12:44–48 emphasis added), is Jesus entering Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month as the chosen Passover Lamb of God … as the Lamb of God, Jesus said that whomever believes in Him does not remain in darkness, does not remain blind. Thus, the person who claims to see is the person who believes in Jesus. However, the person who professes that Jesus is Lord but who does not believe the writings of Moses also does not hear or believe Jesus’ words (John 5:46–47). And the person who professes to believe Jesus but who doesn’t also believe Moses and who doesn’t strive by faith to keep the commandments is not covered by grace, but remains a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) and not born of God (see 1 John 3:4–10). The words of this individual testify against the person; for in claiming to believe Jesus and being baptized as a Christian, the person has come under judgment.
The false Christian pastor or teacher brings testimony against him or herself in the same way that the scribes and the Pharisees of the Second Temple bore witness against themselves and became responsible for the shedding of all righteous blood. The Christian pastor or teacher who claims to understand the mysteries of God becomes responsible in heaven and on earth for what the pastor or teacher declares; therefore, the public and private words of this pastor or teacher acquire personhood and are able to be judged by the word of Jesus … the word [Ò 8`(@H] of Jesus judges the words of the person who rejects Christ Jesus, with the words of the doubter reflecting what is in the heart of this person.
Every Christian pastor or teacher who finds Rome, the Roman Empire, the Roman Church, or the Pope in the visions of Daniel is false, no exceptions. Therefore, the ministries of Ellen G. White and of Herbert W. Armstrong—both of whom found Rome in the visions of Daniel and publicly stated that the Roman Empire represented the two legs of the humanoid image that King Nebuchadnezzar saw (Dan chap 2)—were based on spiritual blindness. The words of both of these teachers of Israel testify against them; both were worthy of the lake of fire. However, for Armstrong a strange thing happened on the way to condemnation: if accounts of his heart stopping in 1978 are true (there is no reason to doubt these accounts), then Armstrong paid with his physical life for him claiming understanding of the mysteries of God when he had no understanding, and he was brought back from death to correct as best he could his errant teachings before he died on January 16, 1986, twenty-four years after his son Garner Ted doomed Armstrong’s ministry by rejecting prophetic revelation. It is what Armstrong did during those last five years of his life that rerouted him, hopefully turning him away from condemnation. Now, move forward to the splinters of Armstrong’s ministry, the alphabet soup of COG spinoffs: UCG, PCG, LCG, RCG, ICG, GCG, CG (an International Community), and many lesser ones … these slivers from Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God (WCG) are based upon Armstrong’s January 17, 1962, rejection of prophetic revelation, this rejection coming when Garner Ted, speaking with the authority of his father, declared to the second session of an Advanced Prophecy Seminar Armstrong had required all senior men at Pasadena to attend (because he, Herbert W. Armstrong, had prophecy wrong: world events were not turning out as he thought they should) that there would be no new revelation, that his father had prophecy right, that his father was just having doubts about what Garner Ted had proved for himself to be true.
The junior Armstrong was not called by Christ to do a work for Him. Although the junior Armstrong was extremely talented, the junior Armstrong’s conduct over the course of decades exists as prima facie evidence that he remained a son of disobedience late into his life. Hence, the junior Armstrong had no authority to reject or to accept divine revelation except as a representative of his father; so when the junior Armstrong rejected divine revelation, he did so for his father … it was as if the senior Armstrong himself rejected revelation at a time when he knew that his understanding of prophecy was false, thus placing himself in the same position as the scribes and the Pharisees were in when Jesus proclaimed their condemnation.
A ministry based upon rejection of divine revelation—and all of the COG spinoffs are based upon Garner Ted’s rejection of revelation in January 1962—has no hope: all of the pastors and teachers within the COG spinoffs condemn themselves by publicly claiming to understand the mysteries of God when their core ideology is based upon rejection of revelation.
Now, to specific individuals: Gerald Flurry who was among the first to abandon the sinking ship of the so-called Old WCG following Armstrong’s death clings as best he can to very word that Armstrong publicly proclaimed, even to idolizing Armstrong, when Armstrong himself knew that he had prophecy wrong, that the entirety of the WCG fellowship was awash in unrighteousness (he used the train metaphor of the Church having jumped its track), that he had been brought back from death to right the fellowship and cause it to sail a true course to heavenly Jerusalem. Therefore, Gerald Flurry—regardless of his success or lack of success in making disciples for himself—is a false teacher of Israel, and through the words he has proclaimed in his ministry, Flurry has testified against himself. And because he is without the calling Armstrong had, the calling that brought about Armstrong’s physical death and return to life to correct his errant teachings, Flurry will perish utterly because he has dared to teach without being specifically called to teach.
The same thing can be said for all of the leading men in the other COG slivers: the ministries of these ever shrinking fellowships all profess that Jesus is Lord, and all claim to understand the mysteries of God, and all cling to Armstrong’s understanding of prophecy before Armstrong rejected divine revelation in January 1962. Thus, all claim to see when they are blind, but because they claim to see, their guilt remains: they are not under grace, a statement that the majority of Protestant pastors and theologians would support, not realizing that what these Protestant pastors and theologians claim is even farther from the truth than is what any of the COG spinoffs teach. Therefore, all of Protestant Christendom’s ministry has no covering for its guilt—and the same can be said about Catholic or Orthodox ministries, where lack of spiritual life (the indwelling of Christ) would normally cover a Christian through the person’s inner self being consigned by God to disobedience.
Being brought back from death or being miraculously saved from death as happened to the Apostle Paul when he was stoned and cast out of the city of Lystra (Acts 14:19) where shortly before the crowds had wanted to worship him as a god is not an uncommon occurrence for those human persons who have been foreknown by the Father, predestined, called, justified, and glorified, especially for the ones who have prematurely claimed to understand the mysteries of God when they were still without understanding. Death pays the price for the person’s guilt in claiming to see, to understand, when the person was still blind. Death figuratively erases the slate upon which the person has written his or her misunderstandings; so being brought back from death causes the person to be a blank slate, freed from errant understandings. This person can now be of service to Christ Jesus, with the length of the period when the person has life returned to him or her being governed by the amount of unfinished work the person is to do to secure his or her worthiness to follow Christ Jesus. And yes, there is a criteria for establishing worthiness: Jesus said to His disciples, “‘Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me’” (Matt 10:37–38). Thus, to be worthy of Christ, the Christian must follow Christ Jesus, walking in this world as the man Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), imitating Paul as he imitated Jesus (1 Cor 11:1), with Paul’s refusal to be worshiped as a god being the act necessary for Paul’s slate to be erased [in consenting to Stephen’s stoning, Paul had acted as a god—this was what Paul had to undo to be worthy of following Christ Jesus].
Herbert W. Armstrong was not given much time to undo what he did although he tried mightily to set things straight between January 1981 and January 1986, but he simply couldn’t grasp being born of spirit so there was little he could do to return a runaway train to its tracks, a train fueled by internal dissent and external expectations … the boiler of this runaway locomotive exploded in 1994, and out from the fire and smoke of this explosion came the COG spinoffs, sans Gerald Flurry who had jumped from the careening train almost a decade earlier.
The Apostle Paul understood the above at a rudimentary level; for the guilt of having persecuted early disciples remained with him. To the holy ones at Corinth, Paul wrote, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor 15:9), and to the holy ones at Ephesus, he wrote, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). It was Paul’s words as a servant of Christ Jesus, not his persecution of the saints, that will be long remembered; for near the end of Paul’s life, he spoke of having run the good race, of completing the course set before him. And so it will be for every Christian in this present era who has truly been born of God as a foreknown son. Death will not come to the person until he or she has completed the course laid out for the person—if death does come, it is for the erasing of presumptuousness, and the humbled person will be raised from death to complete his or her course.
I received knowledge of the Sabbath and of the need to keep the commandments from Seventh Day Adventist pastors; I received knowledge of the Holy Days from pastors employed by Herbert W. Armstrong; but knowledge of spiritual birth came via revelation as has knowledge of the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the knowledge that would have come to Armstrong if he had not rejected prophetic revelation in 1962.
Unlike so many, I was unwilling to teach others until I was called to do so … in this physical world, I did not need physical death to wipe a slate clean, which is not to say that I didn’t need cleaned up in the heavenly realm where I was as a brand already on fire—and realizing that I was plucked from the flames of the lake of fire to do a work tends to prevent a person from thinking too highly of himself. This realization also permits me to see darkly what others have not seen.
The standard by which we will be judged is that of Christ Jesus: do we walk in this world as Jesus walked? Are we a fractal of Christ? If we are not, we have a short while to correct deficiencies, probably less time than Armstrong was given to turn around a runaway locomotive, with our lives being that train that has jumped its tracks. More simply put, are we worthy of Christ? Having we pulled that stake which tethers us to this world so that we can follow Christ, or are we tethered in Babylon by love for this world and the things of this world? Are we tethered in good pasture with fresh water so that we have no desire to pull the stake that keeps us from following Christ Jesus? What would it take to keep you in Babylon? A new house, appliances? A new vehicle? Money? A spouse who will not leave? Children who don’t want to go? What if you were to win a lottery, not that a Christian should be playing the lottery: if you won a million a year for life, would you leave Babylon, understanding that to leave you would have to turn down the money?
Far too many Christian pastors and teachers advocate returning America to its constitutional roots, advocate supporting this candidate or that candidate (usually Republican or Libertarian), not realizing that such advocacy is claiming to see when the pastor or teacher remains blind … all authority in this world comes from God through the Adversary to whom God has consigned all of humankind for the destruction of the flesh. The person who supports any political candidate supports spiritual Babylon and is not of God, who is not the author of democracy, but is actually opposed to democracy. Moses was not democratically elected to lead Israel out from Egypt, but was assigned this task by the Lord—and Moses on a regular basis would have preferred not to lead Israel anywhere for leading Israel could be compared to herding cats, each with its own mind and claws.
The ministries of the slivered COG fellowships teach without being called to teach. All teach as the drunk priests of Ephraim taught (see Isa chap 28); all teach prophetic error … they would have the holy ones keep their eyes on Rome while the prophet in Salt Lake City quietly secures control of the food distribution system for this world.
Because these Sabbatarians teach without being called to teach, their guilt remains and they will perish in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years. If they die in faith, they might enter the kingdom of the heavens as the least of the firstborn sons of God (see Mat 5:19), the glorified holy ones who will rule the darkness that is the creation throughout the Millennium. They will then have to deal with mortal human beings who are in the Millennium as they were when they were when martyred in the Affliction. But today, before the Affliction begins, there is no dealing with them. They are as horses with bits between their teeth and the scent of distant water in their nostrils. There is no turning them to the right or to the left; there is no stopping them. Nothing short of a bullet in the head will prevent them from plunging over cliffs and jumping to their deaths. So for them, what will it be: death or death? And there is one of them in Alaska of whom I am especially fond, Earl Roemer. But there is nothing I can do for the person who continues in Armstrong’s rejection of revelation although Earl has had a death or near-death experience that might have cleared the slate for him.
This Greeting will be posted but not sent to the list; for the posting is for the search engines that will find Earl’s name and maybe bring it to his attention.
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
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