“–for YHWH has stooped to this, to give us truth as we can bear it.” –Andrew Jukes
The title of this post is Excuses, Excuses, Excuses. Or, HOW to Avoid Improving Your Bible Understanding and Teaching.
I’ve been surprised over the years at the excuses I’ve heard. And, I’ve not been surprised at the excuses I’ve heard. Here’s what I mean. I’ve never been surprised at the basic Protestant firewall to keep out Bible understanding. And, certainly have never been surprised at the firewall of the atheists. In fact, the Bible states they have been given that firewall by the Creator to keep their mind closed. Also, I’ve not been surprised at the firewall used by the Catholics, or other religions. However, I have been somewhat surprised at the firewall behind which the “Church of God” groups hide. I mean those that are descended from the “Church of God, 7th. Day” groups. And, the Sacred Name Groups also descended from the CofG, 7th Day.
Why have I been surprised? Because, of all groups, I believed they, most of all, searched for the full truth taught in the Scriptures. However, their firewall is even higher and deeper than the rest. So, they resist harder than the rest. How could that be? It’s really simple. They believe, they are the one true assembly descended from the original Apostles, and the disciples of Acts 2. Well, in a sense, all the other “Christian” groups believe the same. But, it is only the CofG groups, and the SN groups descended from them that give the rest of Christianity fits. Fits because it is difficult for “normal” Christianity to contest their teachings with the Bible. Thus, they appear to feel they are the real McCoy. And, they are, but with a modern day firewall.
Another reason I have been surprised is that I have spent over 58 years studying and teaching in and among the CofG/SN groups. I know personally dozens of the “leaders” of these groups. I was taught at one of the best Bible colleges ever built, in the early 1960’s. Because of that, I know what the mind set used to be, and what it became. Let me just say, for now, that the real inspiration they had is long gone. Things turned from dynamism to pablum in the mid 1970’s thru the 1990’s. Each year becoming worse. Splinter groups galore have sprung up during that time. Over 1,000 now according to some estimates. All trying to reproduce the image of the Worldwide Church of God, and Ambassador College. Even the SN groups mimic the Worldwide. All have failed. They don’t seem to realize that commission stopped when the man who founded the Worldwide and Ambassador died. What is left today is dull pablum.
How did that happen? Well, that’s really for another post. But, for now, the real reason was PROPHECY. The New Testament Apostles wrote about this situation even before the Temple in Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D. And, they were right on. Things happened EXACTLY as prophesied. Along with that, one can pinpoint at least 50 specific points showing how those prophecies came about, step by step. Prophecy does not occur overnight, in an instant. No. Prophecy begins, progresses and grows until the climax occurs. That is what people want to see, they have no idea of how to watch prophecy expand and grow into final fulfillment. They just look for the final climax. We’ll present this in a follow up post, but for now, let’s look at Prophecy and the Firewalls of the groups mentioned above.
Firewalls Againt Prophecy
For the rest of this post I’m only speaking to and about the CofG groups and the SN groups. The others have their own major problems.
For decades now, the modern descendants of the CofG, 7th Day, have spoken a great deal about prophecy. Usually this is presented to the world by going to the Beasts of Daniel and showing how they relate to today. The last being the “Roman Empire.” In specifics, the end time, that is our day, is to see the “REVIVED Roman Empire.” This is based on the idea that the fourth beast of Daniel was Rome. This leads to a Revived Roman Empire made up of ten European nations, that ultimately will attack the USA. If you are interested you can do a Google search to find all the details of that teaching.
In actual fact, that scenario will not happen. It is not correct, and can be proved to be in error. There will be no “Revived ROMAN Empire.” I’ll be glad to present a paper on why this is so. That is, if enough people have the courage to look at the evidence, and will let me know they would like to see the info.
Beginning in 1986, my wife and I began doing TV work at the local Public Access station. The first few months we worked on other productions to get the experience of what went into a TV production. May I say in passing that this experience took away all the fascination and glamour of TV.
Finally, after a few months, we ended up doing our own shows. We did that for 20 years. During that time we worked on 2,000 or more productions, not counting our own. The end result is we have well over 600 videos of our shows. In them we often discussed prophecy. Prophecy that had been taught me at college. That is, what was taught about Daniel, etc. and the “Revived Roman Empire.”
All during this time, I was still doing research on all things Biblical. From Greek to Prophecy and everything I could on things in between. My studies led me to the conclusion that the Revived Roman Empire teaching was just plain wrong. One reason was, nothing I said about prophecy based on that teaching came to pass. Nor, frankly, did it look like it was developing in Europe as the CofG and SN groups claimed. What was wrong?
The teaching was wrong, that’s what was wrong. So, I began a new look at prophecy, including things I had learned but had never related with prophecy before. Wow! I began to tell our audience what I had found, and things began to happen. Things like, what would happen to Arafat, what would happen to the Gaza, things about war to come that turned out to be a clear and indisputable prediction of September 11, 2001. And, more.
What turned that around and gave me the real clues to what would happen in prophecy? Simple. The Bible, along with, the chronology of our day prophetically speaking, how the correct order of the Bible books verified it, how to use the book of Psalms, and where to look in other books of the Bible not normally used by “prophecy teachers.” Plus, how Bible history equated to modern day prophecy. It was, for me, an amazing turn around. Here I was on live TV with my wife, telling the audience details of Bible prophecy that actually came to pass, ahead of time, and that could be read or seen or heard later in the news media. On top of that, I had dated recordings of the live shows, dated by the station for their replay dates, to prove what I had done. Amazing!
But Wait . . . There’s More…..
Wow, here I was, along with my wife, actually giving accurate prophcies on live TV. Man, everyone should be excited about this, I thought. But…
Firewalls appeared out of nowhere. Every time I told someone about this their responses were all basically the same. FIREWALLs on fire. They did NOT want to hear it, and gave me these EXCUSES for not even listening:
- So, you think you are a prophet. Bye.
- Haven’t you read Dt. 13:1-3? Bye.
- Haven’t you read Dt. 18:20-22? Bye.
- Haven’t you read II Peter 2:1-3? Bye
- Our church, assembly, doesn’t teach that. Bye.
- You don’t have a church, assembly behind you, so who are you? Bye
- O.K. tell me a prophecy now and let me decide if you are right. Bye.
Of course, there were more than that. But here is what I NEVER heard from any of them.
- Do you think you are a prophet?
- Why do you think these were real events from the Bible?
- HOW did you figure this out?
- Did you get these prophesies from dreams, voices, visions, angels, etc.?
- WHAT made you change your mind about the Roman Empire teaching?
- Are you the only one who knows how to do this?
- Can you explain the whole process to me?
- Can I watch your tapes where you did this?
- Do you think you are someone special?
- Do you want me to leave my group and follow you?
- Wow, IF you are right, that proves even more that the Bible is true!
- WHAT do you want from me IF I prove you did what you claim?
- Doesn’t the Bible say you are a false prophet even if these things came true?
- Will you explain it all to me so I can do it too?
- How did you know about the Gaza going to the Palestinians a couple decades before it happened?
- Would you be willing to have our ministers question you on this?
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
Nope. Not once, did those who should have been interested want to hear about what had been done, or how it had been done. Not one of them was excited one bit about how this proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible was true. May I say, this was a major lesson for me about the stubbornness and stiffnecked attitude of the people I always thought would jump at the chance to check this out. What a let down.
Just for information’s sake, here are a few folks who should be willing to at least give what I’ve learned a hearing. For, it is foolishness, according the the Bible, to answer a matter BEFORE they hear it. But, I can almost guarantee that none of these listed will listen close enough, if at all, to the explanation”
- Rod Meredith
- Richard Ames
- Wallace Smith
- Roy Holladay
- Fred Coulter
- Alan Mansager
- Pastor Graham
- Randy Folliard
- Ken Westby
- Michael Germano
- Sir Anthony Buzzard
- Ronald Dart
- Mark Armstrong
- Ronald Kelly
- David Bierer
- Bill Dankenbring
- Carl Franklin
- Jerry Aust
- Michael Heiss
- And, more to be added.
Misapplication of Bible Warnings Against False Prophets
So, what about those big bad verses against false prophets thrown at me?
They simply don’t apply, and are just the FIREWALL put up to protect fearful, stubborn, stiffnecked minds. To start with:
- I am NOT a prophet.
- I don’t think I am a prophet.
- I’m not asking anyone to follow a false deity or deny the Bible
- I am NOT trying to build a following, a church, an assembly or congregation of tithe paying members.
- I do not have visions.
- I do not have prophetic dreams.
- I do not hear voices.
- I do not speak with, or get spoken to by angels.
- I have not been “spoken to” by the Father or His Son.
- I have not received any “word of prophecy.”
- I am not any more special than any other Bible believer.
- I do not believe any of what I have learned would weaken the teachings of the Bible, or real doctrine.
Now, what about those verses quoted at me? Well, let’s take a look and see what they really say, not what is implied by those who mention them. Frankly, these verses are misused by the above mentioned men based on what I have read or heard from their teachings.
Let me quote for you thsese verses as implied by writers who claim these verses to support their FIREWALL:
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for YHWH your Elohim proveth you, to know whether ye love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul.” Verse 1,3
There you have what is implied by misreading these verses. What is implied is this. Don’t listen to anyone who is not MY minister give a prophetic statement because they are automatically a false prophet and should not be listened to. So, what are they leaving out? You’d be surprised. They don’t leave it out, they just ignore it. But, let’s you and me not do that. Let’s actually include what is really said. I’ll put in bold letters what is left out.
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee saying, Let us go after other elohim (gods), which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams; for YHWH your proveth you, to know whether ye love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul.” Verses 1, and 2, 3
There, you now have what is left out by the writers.
Notice any difference? This is giving the test of what to look for IF the prophet or dreamer actually calls events correctly. It does NOT say to ignore everyone who offers prophetic information. It tells us to ignore them only if they try to get you to go after false elohim. It doesn’t say anyone who claims to give a prophecy should be ignored, as is implied by these writers. They NEVER, to my knowledge, tell you, from the Bible, what to do if someone is accurate in prophecy or a dream, but doesn’t try to mislead you because of the prophey. Do you understand?
Now, what about the next chapter and verse they mention? Let’s see.
Just what do we have here? We have a test for what should be done IF what the prophet says does not come to pass. Herbert W. Armstrong, having spoken often on prophecy that did not come to pass when he said, should not be listened to IF what is implied by these writers is correct. By the way, this anti-prophet quote by those hiding behind their self-imposed firewalls actually applies to all of them equally also. Well, let’s just read what is said, and again, I’ll highlight what stands out. And, notice the verses do not say to avoid an accurate prophecy, just those which do not come to pass.
“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” verse 20
What does that say? A prophet that presumes to speak a word in the name of YHWH, but has not been commanded to do so, will die. What does that mean? Simply this: Don’t present a prophecy that does NOT come from the Bible itself, which YHWH commands all of us to read from and believe and practice and teach what IT says. This verse says nothing against someone reading the Bible, understanding a prophecy that is stated therein, and then telling others what he found IN THE BIBLE.
Now, what about the next two verses?
“And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which YHWH hath not spoken? [answer=] WHEN a prophet speaketh in the name of YHWH, if the thing follow not, NOR come to pass, THAT is the thing which YHWH hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt NOT be afraid of him.” vvs 21-22.
Those two verses should be self explanatory, but they are never read slowly, deeply, and with understanding of the rest of the Bible. When all these verse are properly read, it becomes easy to see how they are falsely used as “firewalls” to avoid what the Bible teaches that is at times against “church” teaching.
Now, what about YOU? Can you see the real teaching here instead of the implied teaching?
And, then there is II Peter 2. What about that section? Why don’t you just read it again yourself with spiritual understanding this time, and not sit behind the “firewall” of deception. Read and accept what it really says. Take a look:
“But there were false prophets, also among the people, even as there shall be false TEACHERS among you, who PRIVILY shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Master that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”
I have a thought. How about you opening your Bible now and read verse 3 yourself. Based on the recent history of splits and break ups, couldn’t this verse easily apply to those “leaders” who now head all these splits? How would you know the difference? Go ahead, read that verse and open the eyes. Or are they eyes which “cannot see” and the ears “which cannot hear?”
Let me know what you have learned from this post.
Coming soon: Why the total collapse of the Worldwide Church of God, and Ambassador College?