Why Not the Restored Church of God?

Facts and Opinions By COGwriter

On May 3, 1999, less than six months after he supported the takeover of the Global Church of God (GCG) by the board, this new board disfellowshipped David Pack. Within weeks, David Pack founded the Restored Church of God (RCG). Thus, RCG came into existence about six months after the Living Church of God (LCG) formed.

Several have asked me about RCG and various ones affiliated with RCG asked me to write more about what RCG teaches and to compare that to what LCG teaches.

I should state at the beginning of this article, that RCG members may not like the truth that this article contains--but if they truly have a love of the truth, I believe that they will benefit from it.

First, I would like to start by discussing some of the similarities between the two groups. The leaders of both groups were once in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) and then in the original GCG. The leaders of both groups each had personal contact with Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA), though Dr. Meredith's contacts were much more frequent and over a much longer period of time. Both LCG and RCG claim to teach the 18 truths that HWA claimed to restore to the church.

Both LCG and RCG claim to "Contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered for the saints" (Jude 3). Unlike some groups with origins in WCG, both LCG and RCG believe that booklets are an essential part of their work. Both groups agree on most doctrinal issues as well.

With so many similarities, one may wonder, how come they are not together?

Priorities

Perhaps the one of the most obvious differences between the groups is what they considered to be their top priority.

LCG believes,

The New Testament pattern was to proclaim the Gospel first and then to feed the sheep (Dattalo, Fred. Church Government and Church Priorities. Living Church News. Jan-Feb 1999; p.7).

So the primary function of the true Church of God is to GO to all nations and preach the same powerful message Jesus preached about the coming Kingdom of God! (Meredith, Roderick C. Should You Be Baptized? Booklet. 1999; p. 17).

THE CHURCH, ITS NAME AND ITS MISSION...1. To preach the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14; Matthew 24:14; Ezekiel 3 and 33), and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:12) to all nations as a witness (Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. Living Church of God).

When RCG formed, David Pack stated that RCG stood for "precision of doctrine". Later he wrote,

What are the priorities of Restored?
1. To gather and feed the flock of God and to teach them to hold fast to the exact precision of doctrines as handed down by Jesus Christ, through the apostles and prophets, including our own end-time apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong...
3. To be found doing the Work of preaching the gospel, as led by Jesus Christ, and as He gives us funds and time to do so in this age (Pack, David. Why the Restored Church of God. Booklet. 2000. pp.18-19).

Thus RCG believes preaching the Gospel should be its third priority as funds allow. And is now mainly an internet ministry when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel.

Yet, Herbert Armstrong wrote,

In Matthew 28:19-20, God's order is 1) go and preach the Gospel (compare with Mark's version, same words of Jesus, Mark 16:15); 2) baptize those who repent and believe; then after that, 3) teach them to observe the commandments" (Armstrong, Herbert. Autobiography, p. 523).

But the commission to 'feed the flock' is second to that Great Commission (Armstrong, Herbert. Here's Good News. Good News, April 1951).

Is RCG or LCG the one most faithful to the priorities that Jesus and Herbert Armstrong established for the Church?

Yet, when Syd Hull joined RCG, he claimed that the above was not true, that faulty logic was used. Notice that he wrote:

Some will have to work through the ridiculous statements and poor logic on an unofficial LCG website hosted by Robert Thiel (COGwriter). Among other attacks, this site lists a host of invented reasons why one should not go with RCG. The shallow reader will be taken in, but those with common sense will see the utter falsehood of this man’s misinformed confusion. God’s Spirit always cuts through the faulty logic of the unconverted.

For instance, one of his articles states that Mr. Pack puts the second commission of feeding the flock ahead of the first commission of doing the Work, with the intent to demonstrate his “priorities are wrong.” Some facts: First, recognize the Bible does not actually use the terms “first” and “second commission.” Second, Mr. Armstrong coined these terms, but did not do so to establish one as more important than the other. (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

How could Syd Hull read those statements from HWA and then write that I was somehow violating common sense to state that HWA did declare that feeding the flock was secondary to the Great Commission? This defies logic. (Note that Syd Hull wrote his letter years after I had those HWA quotes in this article. Is it I or those in RCG who are using faulty logic?)

Similar to PCG, RCG seems to think that a Laodicean warning message is what the Philadelphia portion of the COG should proclaim. Notice what David Pack claimed in his 21st Century Apostle sermon, part 2:

Mr. Armstrong was a messenger to the 6th era. And even revealed that there are such men, 7 of them. He trained me to do the same. Mr. Armstrong was a Apostle. Yes brethren I hold that office. I do...

If I am not an apostle...I was not sent as a messenger to Laodicea...

I will not take a lot of titles...I never worried about Mr. Armstrong's titles...

This office outranks your leaders.

Notice that David Pack took the title of apostle and the title as a messenger to Laodicea. The idea of being a messenger to Laodicea is clear proof that RCG does not have the same Philadelphia work that the WCG under HWA had.

A review of RCG's website and literature clearly shows that its emphasis, like that of PCG is not to proclaim the gospel message, but to focus on chastising those who are in other Church of God fellowships (repeatedly referred to by David Pack as those affiliated with the "splinters"). This should be one of the most obvious changes that those with a WCG background will note if they read much of RCG's materials.

Its Internet is Proof it is the Church?

Although it is unclear how RCG now spends its funds, it now seems to believe that its internet presence is proof that it has preached the gospel adequately:

Major Milestone—All 193 Nations Reached!: Through the Internet (used by well over 1 billion people) and other means, The Restored Church of God has now officially reached every country on earth! The last three were Comoros, Nauru and, finally, on Saturday, June 17, Equatorial Guinea.

This is a milestone within an end-time prophecy to be fulfilled by the one undivided Church through which Jesus Christ works. He foretold that just before the age ends the true gospel of the kingdom of God—the coming world-ruling supergovernment He would lead with the saints—would be announced to every nation: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14)...

Reaching all 193 nations (most are reached every week) is another undeniable proof that the all-powerful, living Jesus Christ heads and directs but one Church and Work—The Restored Church of God! (Pack D. Major Milestone—All 193 Nations Reached! 6/23/06 on the internet).

Huh?

LCG has reached over 200 nations/territories and accomplished that years ago. Thus, by that standard, RCG should have been supporting LCG. FWIW, I know the COGwriter site has reached close to 200 nations/territories too (but no, not most every week).

Anyway, having one or more hits from each nation has been obtained by other COGs (I suspect that both UCG and Barnabas Ministries did this years ago too--as undoubtedly several of the other COG sites most likely have), hence RCG should be a bit more careful on how it tries to spin this. It is not unique in this accomplishment.

While the internet is a useful gospel proclaiming tool, it, of itself, does not prove that Jesus Christ is directing the Restored Church of God. Again, if that is the criteria, then the first to do that (which WAS NOT RCG) would seem to have accomplished this better (as well as those COGs who have reached even more nations and territories than 193).

Instead, it seems to me at least, that once RCG noticed it reached 193 nations, that it decided that this should be the new standard, but the fact that others had done this before should be ignored.

Is this not obvious to RCG supporters as well?

The Work

The fact that LCG is on approximately 195 television and 18 radio stations broadcasting from many countries is proof to any with eyes to see and ears to hear that LCG truly believes:

...the primary function of the true Church of God is to GO to all nations and preach the same powerful message Jesus preached about the coming Kingdom of God!" (Meredith, Roderick C. Should You Be Baptized? Booklet. 1999; p. 17).

The fact that Jesus set that as the priority shows that LCG's priorities are biblical.

In his last letter, Herbert Armstrong rebutted all arguments about the work being over as he specifically wrote,

It may be that the Work that God has given me to do is complete, but not the Work of God's Church, which will be faithfully doing God's Work till Christ, the True Head of this Church, returns...Remember brethren, this is not the work of Herbert W. Armstrong...The greatest work lies ahead...Never before in the history of the Church has it been possible to reap so great a harvest. It has only been made possible through modern technology, beginning with the printing press, radio, television...Each of you must commit yourself to support God's Work...God's work must push ahead as never before. God is opening up new doors in television" (Armstrong, Herbert. Letter, 1/10/86).

It should be noted that WCG under Herbert W. Armstrong spent between 35-42% of its income on the first commission, the same as the Churches led by Roderick Meredith. And LCG has been the only COG with audited and public financial statements to back up this claim.

Furthermore,

The great door that God has opened to this work is the facility to go into all the world and preach the gospel; the door of radio, the door of the printing press, plus many other such doors. God has set before us an open door that no man can shut it, and He will when the work is finished and the Philadelphia Church goes to a place of safety (What is the "Laodicean Church"? Plain Truth. August 1959, p.10).

Yet, David Pack wrote,

Since Mr. Armstrong was not sure whether or not the open door was placed in front of Philadelphia or himself as its messenger, I have no intentions of acting presumptuously declaring it to be one way or the other. I sincerely do not know. I suspect that door is either closed or closing and have felt that this has probably been happening for some number of years (Pack, David C. Is the Work Finished? Booklet. 2000. p. 55).

It appears that David Pack answers the questions What is a True Philadelphian? and Should the Church Still Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority? differently than those in LCG do and differently than HWA and Jesus did. Look at what Jesus revealed to John, "See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name" (Revelation 3:8). No one can (or would) shut the door to the Philadelphia era! (until going to a place of safety--that is precisely what Herbert Armstrong's church did teach and that Living Church of God still teaches). I suspect that David Pack does not understand this completely.

However, now that RCG has a significant internet presence, David Pack seems to be saying that without prioritizing the gospel proclamation that RCG alone has accomplished the gospel proclamation that now needs to be done. Notice that in the current online version of essentially the same booklet, that David Pack has changed his position:

Misunderstanding scriptures such as this, many have come to believe that the Work as the Church and Mr. Armstrong did it for many decades is now finished, with all such responsibility to continue completed (Pack, David C. Is God's Work Finished? Booklet. version online 12/19/06) .

It appears to me that David Pack was not Philadelphian when he began RCG and had no intention to have anything like a Philadelphia work. However, after his internet presence grew, he decided that the work was not finished and that others misinterpretted the open door scriptures (but of course, that originally included him).

RCG's Charge that LCG Changed the Gospel

Many in RCG claim that LCG changed the gospel, and because of that, LCG's baptisms, etc. are not proof that LCG has the fruits that Jesus clearly taught that His church would have. In my opinion, that charge is their most serious charge against LCG.

Not only is it not accurate, this charge proves that RCG does not fully understand the whole gospel or what HWA and the Bible teach about it.

Here is one claim from RCG's Syd Hull (note: while Syd Hull left RCG some months after joining it, I believe that RCG helped him write nearly everything I quote from him in this article) against LCG on the gospel:

The facts: (1) LCG plainly teaches a false gospel, (2) RCG is the only organization that preaches the true gospel to the world (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

Here is one another such claim from RCG's Chris Lomas:

Page 2 of the statements of beliefs of the LCG under the heading Gospel states; The Gospel of Christ is the “Good News” of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice’ and then goes on with, secondly, the soon coming Kingdom of God. This is contrary to what God restored to His Church through Mr. Armstrong...The LCG has begun to twist the Gospel priorities very subtly (since March 2004) (Lomas Chris. Why I left the LCG. October 23, 2006).

The version of LCG's official statement of beliefs on the Gospel he is objecting to is the same one that was in the November 2002 version of LCG's Official Statement of Beliefs--hence it is NOT TRUE that LCG began to twist and subtly change the gospel beginning in March 2004 as he is now claiming. (A copy of LCG's Statement of Beliefs is in the November 2002 edition of The Journal: News of The Churches of God if he or others wish to verify his error here.)

It should be pointed out that Chris Lomas added the term "secondly", which is not in LCG's Official Statement of Beliefs. Also notice the following in that same statement:

THE CHURCH, ITS NAME AND ITS MISSION...1. To preach the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14; Matthew 24:14; Ezekiel 3 and 33), and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:12) to all nations as a witness (Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. Living Church of God).

Furthermore, the true Gospel message is not just about Christ (as many Protestant's suggest), but does INCLUDE Christ as HWA and various New Testament writers acknowledge--what LCG teaches is clearly not contrary to what HWA taught.

In his letter, Chris Lomas failed to cite biblical proof for his position, but if he truly believes the Bible he may wish to meditate on the following:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Romans 1:16).

Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them...But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized...So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip...Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea (Acts 8:4,5,12,24,25,40).

...he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection (Acts 17:18).

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him (Acts 28:30-31).

Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient-- in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:15-19).

...that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power (Ephesians 3:6-7).

Now while we in LCG teach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, we acknowledge that Christ is part of that Gospel as we feel that we have fully preached the gospel of Christ. It may be of interest to note that the Bible uses the term "gospel of Christ" at least ten times.

But is this a change?

According to the improper charge in RCG's official literature it is:

Now mirroring UCG, LCG’s gospel has become a hybrid of truth and Protestantism, combining Christ the Messenger with His message, the kingdom of God. Unlike UCG, LCG goes further and actually lists Christ as the first element of the gospel. Notice this from their Statement of Beliefs: “The Gospel of Christ is the ‘Good News’ of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice, and of the soon-coming Kingdom and government of God,” with their commission then to “Preach, to all the nations of the world, the Gospel of the Kingdom and the true name of Jesus Christ” (Mission Statement). This “gospel” is very different from what Mr. Armstrong taught in his booklet What is the True Gospel? (How LCG's Teachings Differ From Those of Mr. Armstrong and RCG. Copyright © 2005 The Restored Church of God. Wadsworth, (OH) http://www.thercg.org/coverletters/lcg-changes.html 10/28/06).

Since RCG is objecting to LCG's Statement of Beliefs on this point, let's quote it in its entirety:

THE GOSPEL

The Gospel of Christ is the "Good News" of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice, and of the soon-coming Kingdom and government of God. Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom of God reveals the means by which we are to be qualified by God to be ruling members of His Kingdom (Acts 2:38-39; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 24:14; Acts 8:12; 17:7; 28:30-31; Revelation 2:26-27). (Living Church of God. Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. November 2002--also the same as the current version).

Is this very different (or even actually different) from what HWA really taught as RCG claims?

Let's actually look at the booklet that RCG cited to see if LCG or RCG really understands the gospel as HWA did (non-heading bolding mine). The following is from Herbert Armstrong's What is the True Gospel? booklet:

Which Gospel Did Jesus Preach?...

Notice, Jesus said, "Believe THE GOSPEL!"

WHAT Gospel? the one He was proclaiming—"the Gospel of the Kingdom of God."

But, one may ask, don't we need to believe on Jesus? Of course. Other scriptures teach that. but at this particular time Jesus said we must believe Him --believe what He said—believe the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!

Some believed on Jesus, but not not believe Jesus --did not believe what He SAID (John 7:31; 8:30, 31, 46).

What About the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

But if the one and only TRUE Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, what about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is that a false gospel?

Not at all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel He brought as God's Messenger—the Gospel He proclaimed is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS NOT man's gospel ABOUT THE PERSON of Christ. It is CHRIST'S Gospel—the Gospel Jesus PREACHED—the Gospel GOD SENT by Him, and therefore it is also called, in Scripture, the Gospel of God. The Gospel of God is God's GOSPEL—His Message—His Good News which He sent by Jesus.

Also the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Christ's Gospel—the Gospel Christ brought from God—the Gospel He proclaimed.

We hear a great deal today of the gospel of MEN about the PERSON of Jesus Christ—confining the message solely to the things ABOUT Jesus. As a result, millions believe on Christ, who do not BELIEVE CHRIST! But Jesus' Gospel IS HIS MESSAGE!...

Conditions of Entering

Now, HOW do we enter into that glorious KINGDOM? Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, "REPENT," and "BELIEVE THE GOSPEL."

Just TWO things we do—REPENT, and BELIEVE. We must BELIEVE the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOUR, as High Priest now, and as coming KING.

But to repent is to completely CHANGE THE MIND in respect to SIN, and "sin is the transgression of the LAW" (I John 3:4)—the law of God by which God RULES the Kingdom.

It means a total, complete CHANGE OF MIND AND OF LIFE. It means we REPENT of transgressing the rule, the will, the laws, of GOD. What did Jesus say to the young man who asked Him HOW to inherit eternal life? He said, "IF thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matthew 19:17) (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? WCG booklet, 1972, p.6).

HWA clearly taught that Jesus was part of the message in the booklet that RCG cites. Furthermore, LCG does teach that Christians do need to do what Christ taught--LCG clearly teaches the ten commandments--hence to suggest that LCG is somehow Protestant is in clear error.

Notice that what HWA taught in 1972 is the same as what LCG teaches.

In many writings HWA explained the gospel had various parts of Jesus' involvement. Notice:

Jesus constantly preached the good news about the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:23; 6:10; 7:21; Mark 1:15; 4:11; 14:25; Luke 4:43; 8:10; 9:2, 11, 62, etc.). He pictured Himself as the young nobleman going away (to heaven) to be coronated, and to return to earth (Luke 19:12-27). Repeatedly Jesus said He would return to earth (Matthew 24:27, 30-31, 42; 25:13; Mark 13:26; Luke 12:42-43; 17:24; 18:8; 19:12; 21:27; John 14:3, etc.). "If I go and prepare a place [position, office, habitation] for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3). He will then be on the earth -- Zechariah 14:3-4 with I Thessalonians 4:16. The living Christ is coming in all the power and glory of Almighty God, as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:11-21), to put down the rebellion of warring nations (Revelation 17:14), and establish God's world-ruling Government over all nations (Daniel 2:44; 7:9,13-14, 18, 22, 27; Isaiah 9:7) (Armstrong HW. The Wonderful World Tomorrow What it Will be Like. Everest House, New York, 1979 p. 100).

And it involved our personal conversion and keeping Jesus' works:

The Purpose of the Christian Life

WHY do people not understand the very Gospel Jesus Christ taught? He taught the Kingdom of God. So did the apostles, including Paul. Jesus spoke mostly in parables. Take a quick look at one or two. Notice what Jesus revealed. Notice the awe-inspiring TREMENDOUS potential that is ours.

Take the parable of the nobleman going to a far country, later to return. It is in Luke 19:11-27. Jesus is the Nobleman. He was going to a far country -- to the heaven of God's throne, seat of the government of the entire universe...

Back to Luke 19. On his return, his servants, to whom he had given the money -- that is, the beginning unit of GOD'S SPIRIT at conversion -- are to be called to an accounting, "that he might know how much each man had GAINED" while he was gone. This means each Christian is expected to GROW spiritually -- in spiritual KNOWLEDGE and grace (see II Peter 3:18). The Christian life is a life of spiritual GOING TO SCHOOL -- of training for a POSITION IN GOD'S KINGDOM, when and after we shall be changed from mortal to immortal -- when we shall be no longer flesh-and-blood humans, but composed of SPIRIT, with eternal life inherent...

The nobleman (Christ) said to him, "Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in very little, have thou AUTHORITY over TEN CITIES.

He had qualified to RULE. He had been obedient to God's commands -- God's government. We have to BE RULED before we can learn to RULE.

The second servant had increased his spiritual stock of goods five times. He had qualified, in this life, for HALF as much as the first servant. He was given HALF the REWARD.

The Kingdom of God...

Jesus said: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth MY WORKS unto the end, to him will I give POWER over the nations: and he shall RULE THEM with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26-27) (Armstrong HW. Just What Do You Mean...Conversion? WCG Booklet, 1972, pp.8-11).

In addition, in various writings, HWA made it clear that the gospel of the kingdom of God included more than simply proclaiming that God's governing kingdom would be established upon the earth. Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

I say Christ's gospel - the message He brought from God - was the advance good news of the establishment of the Kingdom of God. But just what does that include?...

Actually, Christ's message of God's coming Kingdom is directly concerned with world conditions as they are - with human nature - its source and origin - with world evils, suffering, unhappiness - with world peace. It's concerned with government - with the reason present human governments fail to be the benefactors of their peoples they are supposed to be. His message hits directly at the very roots of individual personal happiness and at the awesome transcendent potential of each human life. It is concerned with the CAUSES of present conditions that affect every human and with the WAY that will solve all problems.

But it is concerned with far, far more. It is concerned with God's tremendous, overwhelming, over-all purpose as Creator of the entire universe. It's concerned with the entire vast universe, filled with its uncountable galaxies, nebulae, suns, stars, planets, and with God's purpose for them...

God's message is concerned with overall truth. What has been covered so far should be considered as merely the introduction to the entire story of Christ's gospel message (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential. Everest House, New York, 1978, pp.20-21).

What is Christ's Gospel?  What is the message God sent to mankind by Jesus Christ?  It is the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD!...Of course that power-filled message INCLUDES THE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SAVIOR, High Priest and coming King!  Of course, it INCLUDES the true way of salvation, which the churches seem to have lost! (Armstrong, HW. Good News, Jan. 1980, p. 9). 

Now, HOW do we enter into that glorious KINGDOM? Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, "REPENT," and "BELIEVE THE GOSPEL."

Just TWO things we do—REPENT, and BELIEVE. We must BELIEVE the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOUR, as High Priest now, and as coming KING.

But to repent is to completely CHANGE THE MIND in respect to SIN, and "sin is the transgression of the LAW" (I John 3:4)—the law of God by which God RULES the Kingdom.

It means a total, complete CHANGE OF MIND AND OF LIFE. It means we REPENT of transgressing the rule, the will, the laws, of GOD. What did Jesus say to the young man who asked Him HOW to inherit eternal life? He said, "IF thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matthew 19:17) (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? WCG booklet, 1972, p.6).

We must believe the GOSPEL, and THAT MEANS ALSO believing on JESUS CHRIST, the King OF the Kingdom of God, and coming King of kings over all the families of the earth. IT MEANS believing in Him as personal Saviour, as High Priest, now and as coming King" (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? 1972 booklet, p.10.)

If those who claim to preach a gospel of SALVATION understood and proclaimed WHAT salvation really is...it might be A PART OF the gospel" (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential, 1978 hardback edition, page 16)

I must call the reader's attention again at this point to the fact that a full and complete understanding of the MESSAGE sent by God TO ALL MANKIND, by His Divine Messenger Jesus Christ, involves a vast comprehension of God's great purpose, and of events, prehistoric, historic, present and future.    "I might say it means an overall understanding of EVERYTHING!" (ibid, p.15).

The true GOSPEL, when viewed with ALL THAT IT EMBODIES---the reason for it, the prehistoric truth of earth's first inhabitants, the reason humans were created and put on earth, the CAUSE of all the earth's evils and sufferings, the nature of the human mind, the need for spiritual salvation and what it is, the coming world tomorrow of peace, what lies on beyond, and man's ultimate incredible potential---becomes the MOST ALL-ENCOMPASSING SUBJECT that can enter the mind of man (ibid, p.11)
.

Jesus' gospel was the KINGDOM OF GOD. Does that have anything to do with afterlife - with spiritual salvation? It has everything to do with it. BUT THE WHOLE WORLD is DECEIVED and ASLEEP! The gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD has to do basically with TWO themes - government and spiritual salvation...

Notice it! Not only is Christ to rule - but the saints - that is, converted true Christians - those begotten as sons of God - are to take and possess the Kingdom! They are to rule under and with Christ! In the New Testament it is recorded that converted saints are co-heirs with Christ!

...The commission He had given the CHURCH was to preach His gospel to all the world. They were to receive the Holy Spirit, begetting them as saints - as Christians - putting them into God's CHURCH. This would infuse them with the power to carry out the mission of the Church (ibid, chapter 13).

Notice clearly that the Kingdom of God has two themes according to HWA. And thus, the part about spiritual salvation is obviously intended to be part of the gospel that is to be preached to all the world.

Sadly, it is RCG who has subtly changed the gospel to attempt to remove Jesus more from it. HWA clearly did not teach that.

LCG has responded to RCG on that matter and stated:

Notice how the following scriptures define the Gospel: 

Mark 1:14-15 – Jesus said the Gospel was about the coming Kingdom of God
Mark 16:15 – Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach the Gospel to the world
Acts 8:12 – Philip preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ  
Acts 20:20-27 – Paul preached the “whole counsel of God” including repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ, the Gospel of grace and the Kingdom of God (grace involves forgiveness, unmerited pardon)
Acts 28:23 – Paul preached about the Kingdom of God and about Jesus
Acts 28:30-31 – Paul preached of the Kingdom of God and things concerning Jesus Christ
I Corinthians 2:2 – Paul’s main focus was on “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”
I Corinthians 15:1-8 – Paul preached “the gospel…by which you are saved…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…and that He rose again on the third day”
Ephesians 1:13 – Paul wrote of trusting in Christ “after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation”

These scriptures clearly indicate that the Gospel includes not just a message about the coming Kingdom of God, but also the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins.   That sacrifice, when accompanied by repentance and spiritual growth on our part, will result in our ultimate salvation—receiving eternal life in the Kingdom and family of God (see John 3:16, etc.).   The Gospel is also about the exciting news that Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth as King of kings to establish the Kingdom of God and bring peace and justice to all (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 11:15).  To separate the Gospel of the Kingdom of God from the good news of the opportunity for salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is simply not biblical or factual. 

What the critics of the LCG doctrinal statement also overlook is the fact that Mr. Armstrong understood the Gospel encompassed more than what he addressed in certain writings that critics have chosen to quote.  Notice these statements from the Good News, December 1984, p. 5 – “The Gospel of Christ is Christ’s own Gospel—not a story about His person… The Gospel of Christ ‘is the power of God to salvation’ (Romans 1:16)… What is Jesus Christ’s Gospel?… It is the Good News of the Kingdom of God!... It is the message of divine government—government by God’s Laws!... Of course that message includes the knowledge about the Savior, High Priest and coming King!  Of course, it includes the true way of salvation, which the churches have lost! [Emphasis ours].  And it includes also knowledge of the location of the territory to be ruled over by the King of the coming Kingdom—the fact it is this earth and not heaven.   Mr. Armstrong clearly understood that the true Gospel included much more than just a story about the person of Jesus Christ.  However, he also clearly understood the Gospel included that Jesus was the promised Messiah who came to give his life as a sacrifice for mankind and to explain the way of salvation that is outlined in the great plan of God pictured by the Holy Days.  When we study all the scriptures on the subject, there is no need to be confused about the Gospel.  Even the critics should remember that Mr. Armstrong repeatedly stated, “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible.”  The Bible must be our ultimate authority in this vital subject.  (Confused Critics Limit the Gospel. The World Ahead Weekly Update  December 14, 2006).

LCG teaches what the Bible teaches and what HWA actually taught. The fact that HWA specifically taught that the gospel includes belief in Jesus and His role in our salvation as well as His role as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Notice that David Pack went so far as too inaccurately claim in response to LCG's response:

Why did Mr. Armstrong never take even one occasion to include Christ in the gospel? Did you see a shred of evidence in any statement that he considered Jesus Christ or His sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection to be part of the gospel? The answer is an emphatic NO!

Apparently his mind is closed to understand what the Bible and HWA's writings actually state. Those who follow him are following a self-appointed apostle who clearly does not understand basic statements in the Bible. That is certainly not a sign of a true teacher from God. Sadly, David Pack seems to be fulfilling the following prophecy written by Peter:

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed (2 Peter 2:1-2).

So what is the false gospel that David Pack, Syd Hull, and others in RCG talked about?

Well according to HWA, it is NOT including Jesus Christ as part of the Gospel. HWA taught that the false gospel was ONLY teaching about the person of Christ, WITHOUT teaching about the Kingdom of God, while ALSO doing away with the ten commandments. The gospel of Christ, the kingdom of God, includes understanding who the King of the Kingdom actually is. Notice what HWA really considered to be the false gospel:

For 1,900 years traditional Christianity has failed to preach about Jesus as coming KING and world ruler in the coming kingdom of God to replace Satan on the throne of the whole earth (Armstrong HW. Are We Living in the Last Days?).

Jesus' true gospel had been suppressed and supplanted with a false gospel--not the gospel of Christ (the kingdom of God) but man's false gospel about a Christ who did away with his Father's commandments (Armstrong HW. Mystery of the Ages, Chapter 7, 1985).

The plain truth is that LCG does teach about the Kingdom of God, understands that Jesus is part of the Gospel message, and that the ten commandments need to be kept. Here is LCG's official position on the ten commandments, lest there be any doubt on that point:

THE LAW OF GOD

God’s basic spiritual law is summed up in the "Ten Commandments" (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 4:13; 10:4). In the "Sermon on the Mount" and elsewhere, Jesus magnified God’s law (Matthew chapters 5-7; Isaiah 42:21), showing His followers that they must obey both the letter and the "spirit." "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good" (Romans 7:12). It is practicing this way of life—through Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20)—that makes one a true "saint" (Revelation 14:12) (Living Church of God. Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs).

LCG clearly has not done away with the ten commandments.

The claims against LCG on this gospel point are just another example of how those associated with RCG do not really understand what HWA and the Bible actually teach, hence RCG really does not stand for precision of doctrine.

It is precisely true that what LCG teaches is NOT a departure towards Protestantism, but simply a clear version of what HWA and the Bible actually teaches. It is RCG that actually has subtly twisted the gospel message.

Heresies

While David Pack and I have documented that the United Church of God (UCG) and Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) teach/tolerate heresies, David Pack takes it a step further by inaccurately stating that RCG is the only group that does not tolerate heresy (Pack, David. Why the Restored Church of God? Booklet. 2000).

And he also wrote,

Mr. Armstrong utilized the technological innovation of radio (coupled with the printed word) at the optimum time to carry the gospel to the world. To a lesser extent, certain early Sardis ministers utilized the printing press to spread the gospel. Add to this equation, the new technological innovation of computers coupled with the internet. This opens the potential for The Restored Church of God, as sole custodians of the full truth, to do a significant Work, as we rapidly approach the most crucial juncture in history. While Mr. Pack is not an apostle or a prophet, he is a pastor leading God’s people back into the full truth. The Philadelphian Work and remnant, being gathered together at this time, just before this age ends, is still alive and well! (Pack, D. The History of God's TRUE CHURCH, RCG Booklet, 2001, p. 74).

RCG seems to forget that Herbert Armstrong stated that the mission of the Philadelphia era of the Church was to proclaim the Gospel (Sermon. Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era, December 17, 1983), it was also a fundamental belief of the Philadelphia Era of the Church (Armstrong, Herbert. Fundamentals of Belief, Radio Church of God as quoted in Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong. R. Nickels, editor. Giving & Sharing, Neck City (MO), 1996, p. 31). Yet it is a lessor issue to David Pack as his previous comments above have shown.

In order to attempt to demonstrate why it is right, RCG announced a list of heresies in its 12/15/00 update (the list used to be online, but no longer is) which it believes demonstrates that all the 'splinter groups' are committing apostasy (I presume some of this list is in his 'splinter group' booklet and other later reports from RCG). Although David Pack does not specifically identify the groups by name (except accidentally once), a review of the 12/15/00 list shows that towards the beginning many of the heresies involve UCG and independents and that towards the end most involve PCG.

A few are odd beliefs from some fairly small groups. Some mentioned (e.g. #40-makeup,#45-tithing on net,#52-church attendance) apply to some degree to LCG, but by David Pack's own definitions, they are not heresies (Herbert Armstrong allowed them all at one time or the other). Several others which David Pack may have directed towards LCG are incorrect, incomplete, or pulled out-of-context. There are also a few (not directed towards LCG) that David Pack's point is not clear.

One of those that David Pack appeared to have pulled out-of-context is the one about teaching five resurrections. Now while it is true that Dr. Meredith mentioned five resurrections in one or more of his sermons, it is not true that LCG teaches there will be five future resurrections. LCG and RCG both teach that there will be three. In the sermon(s) in question, Dr. Meredith was referring to the resurrections of Lazarus and the resurrection of those near Jerusalem after Christ's crucifixion. What is astounding is that David Pack included that statement as one of the heresies when he clearly knows that it is not the position of Dr. Meredith or LCG that there will be five future resurrections. This is just another example of how RCG does not actually stand for 'precision of doctrine' at least when accuracy is concerned.

It is true that most of the 176 items in the David Pack wrote in his heresy list are heresies. And although the Bible is supposed to be the standard for doctrine and the determination of heresy, David Pack wrote,

Therefore, the standard for what appears on this list will be the teachings of Mr. Armstrong.

Yet, the following claimed 'heresies' by David Pack were to some degree taught/tolerated by Herbert Armstrong (my comments follow each in parentheses):

38. Interracial marriage may be unwise but it is neither wrong nor sin. (HWA did not disfellowship members in his Pasadena congregation for this. God apparently allowed at least two interracial couples on the ark, Genesis 6.)
39. Baptized people may date and marry unbaptized people without any longer being disfellowshipped. (HWA did not disfellowship members in his Pasadena congregation for this.)
40. Wearing makeup is permitted because it is falsely described as "just an administrative matter" or explained away by saying that "Mr. Armstrong went back and forth on it." (HWA did change his position on this matter several times--I have lived close enough to Pasadena for the past 30 years years to know this--also there are scriptural reasons supporting its permission; click here for an article on makeup.)
42. It may be said that there are five resurrections with three "major" resurrections. (I heard this preached in WCG when HWA was alive--it is not a teaching that there will be five future resurrections, but that there were other resurrections in the Bible.)
45. Most brethren now tithe on net income instead of gross. (HWA allowed nearly all non-US brethren to do this.)
52. An open-door policy now governs church attendance. (HWA initially had an 'open door' policy, then made it a nearly closed door policy, then opened it up again. Most of the COGs allow people with a WCG/COG background to attend without a loyalty declaration before attendance, but these are not normally open-door policies in the Protestant sense.)
69. Before being baptized, people no longer need to leave worldly clubs and organizations (i.e. Moose Lodge, etc.). (Although I never joined the Moose or anything similar, WCG encouraged this on at least two occasions while HWA was alive.)
76. Seeking accreditation for Ambassador College was not wrong, contrary to what Mr. Armstrong said. (HWA wrote, "As you probably know, we are now in process of pursuing accreditation. Already two visits have been made to our campus by accreditation committees." Letter 1/21/71--Herbert Armstrong's original intent was for AC to be accredited per its 1947 catalog. Although in some writings HWA wrote against accreditation, in others he acknowledged that it could have been fine, but that some misled him in certain areas. Herbert W. Armstrong had no problem with regional accreditation for Imperial Schools: in the period 1965-1968 it became regionally accredited by WASC (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges). And after that occurred, HWA wanted WASC to accredit Ambassador College. But it did not occur. HWA objected to accreditation in 1968. Then in 1971, he changed his mind and wanted AC to apply again. And that time, AC did attain candidacy status for accreditation. He was pleased with that. But due to delays on AC's part and internal issues, it was not obtained. He was not pleased with that).
107. The "very elect" of Matthew 24:24 cannot be deceived. (While it is true that Satan deceives the whole world, it is also true that there is an area where it is not possible to deceive the elect--as Matthew 24:24 states, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.")

Another Area David Pack Claimed to Differ from HWA

This section is from Charles Jahrsdorfer's old site,

Just a little over 2 years ago a great many Christians found themselves in the midst of another "Church Split." One point of accusation and/or distinction was the role of women in positions of authority in God's Church. Quite a controversy erupted over Mrs. Meredith's role on the Board of the Global Church of God...While, simply put, it was Mr. Meredith's opinion there was nothing wrong with his wife's position on the board, David C. Pack adamantly OPPOSED IT! The following quotes are for historical purposes. They are meant to illustrate David C. Packs EVER changing opinion on God's NEVER changing Truth.

"In fact, in our September Board meeting, they even-over my objections- removed my wife Sheryl, from the Board..." 11/21/98 Emergency Letter by Mr. Meredith. "I finally had to draw the line when they removed my wife from the board,"... 11/27/98 Update by Mr. Meredith.

-VS- "Doctrinal Changes & Explanations" Sermon by David C. Pack

A women on the board, that’s usurping authority over a man…Over and over again we tried for months and months to go to Mr. Meredith about his wife on the board. The simple reality was he wouldn’t take her off. He sighted Mrs. Armstrong having been on the board in the 60’s. The reality was the board played no role back then. It didn’t do any of the thing the board does today. Boards weren’t even important in the state of California but because of the litigious society we are in now there is a fellow named the attorney general of California who watches theses thing very carefully. Whether you live by your by laws. Because your by laws define how you do thing B-Y- L-A-W. Whatever your bylaws say you have to do! You can make them say what you want but what ever they are you have got to live by them or you open yourself up to legal attack. That was another reason I why I gave you the three reasons why we could not have Mrs. Meredith on the board that’s just the plain and simple fact of it. More could be said. A Women on the Board- That's usurping Authority".

If a women having a role on a Corporate board is usurping Authority over a man, what would you call a women who is a TRUSTEE of a Church and also it's TREASURER? MRS. PACK. That's right! Dateline News Page has learned and confirmed by several past RCG employees, Mrs. Pack is listed as the Church TREASURER and is also a Church TRUSTEE. So, where is David C. Pack's OUTRAGE now? (END OF QUOTES FROM CHARLES JAHRSDORFER).

I would add that Dr. Meredith's position regarding his wife was the same as HWA's and disagree with David Pack's assessment. I feel competent to say that as I am chairman of the board of two California corporations, one of which is non-profit.

King of the South

David Pack, who claims to stand for "precision of doctrine", essentially re-wrote HWA's Middle East in Prophecy booklet. But there is at least one editorial change that stands out.

Here is HWA's version,

Verse 43 says the Libyans and Ethiopians (observe that after its conquest by Mussolini, Ethiopia is not again referred to as the king of the south) shall be at his steps (Armstrong, HW. Middle East in Prophecy (1948, 1954, 1972 version).

RCG's David Pack seems to have eliminated that insert from his version,

Then, verse 43 says, “the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” shall be at his steps.” (Pack, David. The Mid-East in Prophecy. Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2004 by David C. Pack).

RCG's position is that Ethiopia is the King of the South, as David Pack specifically wrote:

The King of the South is Ethiopia Once again, only Ethiopia continued and remained independent in East Africa from the time of the Roman Empire. Therefore, no other country or government could fit as the king of the south—i.e., by having been a part of the ancient land controlled by the “king of the south.” Remember, verse 40 explains that the setting is the time of the end. Once again, only Ethiopia continued and remained independent in East Africa from the time of the Roman Empire. Therefore, no other country or government could fit as the king of the south—i.e., by having been a part of the ancient land controlled by the “king of the south.”

And although HWA once felt that Ethiopia was a king of the South, HWA changed his position on the future king of the South, but RCG has not. This once again shows a lack of precision of doctrine on RCG's part. The following is from an article that was produced under HWA's leadership:

Bible prophecy reveals the coming emergence of an Arab-Moslem confederation in the Middle East. It is referred to in prophecy as "the king of the south" (Dan. 11:40). This confederation will play a crucial role in end-time events. (Seeing the World Through Islamic Eyes. Plain Truth, June 1983).

Thus from HWA's own booklet as well as the Plain Truth article, it should be clear that HWA was no longer convinced that Ethiopia must be the future king of the South.

Yet because RCG now teaches that the King of the South must be Ethiopia, unless David Pack CHANGES his position, those associated with RCG will certainly be deceived by the development of the actual king of the south, and hence not understand prophetic fulfillment. Thus, RCG will clearly turn out NOT to be the group to be part of in order to be protected in the place of safety.

Furthermore, if Ethiopia is to be the King of the South, world events suggest that it would take a tremendously long period of time before it could be in that type of position (and this would also seem to contradict a statement I once heard David Pack make that there would be much less time until the end than LCG has stated there would be).

For those unfamiliar with Ethiopia, perhaps it should be pointed out that Ethiopia is not Arabic, is only about 40% Moslem, does not have a powerful military (in spite of being able to help Somalia recently), and does not have economic might (it is among the poorest countries in the world), thus it is not likely to lead an Arab-Moslem dominated king of the South. It is not the type of country that would seem to be able to push at the King of the North and cause it to respond with a military whirlwind. And while this does not mean that it is not possible that one may rise from Ethiopia to lead the king of the South, it does not seem that Ethiopia itself is the likely leader (more information is included in the article Is There a Future King of the South?).

It really seems a stretch to teach that the end is within several years and that Ethiopia will be such a force that the EU will have to invade it.

Do those associated with RCG understand that?

144,000 Heresy?

As mentioned earlier, David Pack defined heresy as doctrines that differ from "the teachings of Mr. Armstrong". Yet he clearly does that himself.

Regarding the identity of the 144,000, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

WHO Are the 144,000?

You have probably heard many interpretations. They are all in error. Men are unable to interpret this prophecy. The first thing to notice is that the TIME of the sealing of this 144,000 is yet in the future--it is after the Great Tribulation and the heavenly SIGNS, and just before the plagues of God's Judgments! It has not happened yet!

Second, this prophecy is plain, and means just what it says-- 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel--12,000 of each tribe. Where are they today? Where are the lost ten tribes?

But these 144,000 are not all! "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands... And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:9, 13-14) (Armstrong HW. The Book of Revelation Unveiled at last!. WCG, 1972, p. 35).

But notice what RCG now claims that David Pack:

144,000 Explained: David C. Pack’s sermon series identifying the 144,000 and the Great Multitude has now been posted. An object of speculation for decades, this mysterious group has never been understood until now. You will learn why it could not be unlocked until God’s time came. The problem with the endless human theories is their authors simply could not recognize this subject to be like a 1,500-piece puzzle. This kept them from looking for and assembling every piece, without which they had no chance of reaching the correct conclusion—of seeing the full picture. Nor then was there any chance of comprehending the colossal implications of this incredible Bible doctrine! (NEWS OF THE WORK http://www.thercg.org/news.html Date: 2006-12-09).

Since HWA said he understood who it was in 1972, and RCG says no one knew until late 2006, that RCG is not teaching what HWA taught about it.

I listened to some of part 3 of David Pack's 144,000 message. In it, he teaches:

The splinters...do not get it right because God would not reveal it to them...Gentiles can be part of the 144,000...You are all one in Christ...The twelve tribes are not talking about the twelve tribes of Israel (Pack David. The 144,000 and the Great Multitude. Part 3. Posted 12/09/06).

But Herbert W. Armstrong taught (bolding mine):

The 144,000 are 12,000 from each of the literal tribes of Israel. (Rev. 7:4) They are sealed by the Holy Spirit. IN their foreheads, and it is THE FATHER'S NAME that is sealed there. (Rev. 14:1) The TIME of this sealing, then, is yet future - after the Tribulation, after the heavenly signs, after the SIGN of Christ's coming appears in heaven (Armstrong HW. The key to the Book of Revelation. WCG, 1972, p. 10).

Notice that what LCG teaches is consistent with HWA's teachings:

Genesis introduces the number 12 with Jacob’s 12 sons who gave rise to the 12 tribes of Israel. Throughout the Torah, 12 is used as the number indicating "organizational beginnings." When we look at Revelation, we again see this same pattern. Revelation 7 recounts the sealing of the 144,000 with 12,000 selected from each of the 12 tribes (Ogwyn, John. Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled. LCG Booklet).

Sadly, David Pack, who has now directly contradicted Herbert Armstrong's teaching on this matter, is another man who was unable to interpret this prophecy. David Pack is NOT an apostle who is faithful to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong. Herbert Armstrong taught the identity, we in LCG believe that, but David Pack is contradicting those teachings.

In the same message, David Pack claims that while knowledge of the 144,000 is important, he states that the knowledge of who the final Elijah is, is more important (David Pack was an erroneous understanding concerning Herbert Armstrong here).

Since David Pack claims that believing that HWA is the only one who could be the end-time Elijah, and that knowledge is more important than who the 144,000 are, why would David Pack blatantly contradict HWA's teachings here?

The 144,000 is simply another prophetic area that RCG is not faithful to the teachings of either the Bible or Herbert W. Armstrong.

It appears that RCG intends to have various differencs in prophetic understanding than HWA had. And I suspect, more based upon the opinions of David Pack than upon the Bible.

A New Command?

In David Pack's September 7, 2000 letter to the "Brethren, Co-Workers and Subscribers" he wrote,

...I have abided by that most difficult commandment to not answer accusers. And I'll ask you when deciding whether I am guilty of the accusations against me, to consider how well or poorly I have followed God's command to "not answer our accusers...Some months ago I wrote and we distributed a booklet entitled Should Accusers Be Answered? If you read that booklet, you know that God commands us to not answer our accusers.

It should be noted that there is no command in the Bible to not answer our accusers. There are several scriptures which suggest that wisdom should be employed in providing or not providing an answer, but to state that there is a biblical command when there is not, seems like heresy to me--it should be pointed out, however, that when David Pack was approached on this, he admitted his error.

Jesus Himself also warned that it was incorrect to "strain a gnat and swallow a camel" (Matthew 23:24), which is what RCG appears to do at times.

But He Endorses Others Who Violate His "most difficult commandment to not answer accusers"

While I have written this article and a few other things about RCG, I never have considered that honest theological reporting was being an accuser. But I have been told that David Pack's demeanor visibly (and negatively) changes when my name is mentioned (I was told this a couple of years ago by an RCG member) and so, he apparently considers me to be an accuser (or at least one of concern).

And while David Pack has taken a few shots against me in the past (but without using my name as that may get people to better realize that he is an accuser of the brethren--actually in RCG's first "strategic report, I was apparently the subject of nearly 1/4 of it), he apparently seems to feel that using someone else to do that is fine.

Specifically, RCG encouraged Syd Hull to publicly post the following against me and this article:

Some will have to work through the ridiculous statements and poor logic on an unofficial LCG website hosted by Robert Thiel (COGwriter). Among other attacks, this site lists a host of invented reasons why one should not go with RCG. The shallow reader will be taken in, but those with common sense will see the utter falsehood of this man’s misinformed confusion. God’s Spirit always cuts through the faulty logic of the unconverted...

My sheep have been affected by this man’s efforts. As Christ’s evangelist, it is my duty to identify Christ’s enemies (Matt. 12:30), to “mark” (note) those who sow division among God’s flock (Rom. 16:17), especially as we live in the very end times. It is on this authority that I so note Robert Thiel. Christ’s sheep must be aware of the many falsehoods he spreads about The Restored Church of God—the Church God is using to finish His Work (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

And while I do not intend to go over every inaccuracy in Syd Hull's letter, I would like to address most of those that have been leveled against me.

First of all, Syd Hull's letter never actually shows that I made any false statements--nor did I. He simply does not like my conclusions as far as it seems.

Secondly, I have not invented any reasons--I have mainly cited RCG's writings and those of some of its former members. However, the following seems to be a reason that Syd Hull may have "invented":

...my wife and I have sacrificed at great personal expense to serve the brethren and keep the work going here. We personally spent 168,000 Rands (24,000 USD) in just the last year alone to keep the Tomorrow’s World program continuing on the air in South Africa...

The facts: (1) LCG plainly teaches a false gospel, (2) RCG is the only organization that preaches the true gospel to the world (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

When did LCG switch to plainly teach a false gospel?

LCG has made no recent changes in its Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs or any other literature that suggests that it just changed its gospel message.

This "reason" seems to be a "reason" he recently accepted from RCG--and if that is the case, then LCG's gospel message must not have been plainly false. It appears that it is sadly Syd Hull who has invented reasons for his departure as LCG has not just changed its gospel message (as explained earlier in this article).

If Syd Hull has been supportive of LCG's gospel message for years--which he claims he has been by supporting LCG's Tomorrow's World program--why would he have supported a gospel message that he says is plainly false? (This subject is covered in more detail below.)

Thirdly, is Syd Hull now saying that people who believe the truth of my writings are unconverted? When did Syd Hull conclude that a great many LCG members are unconverted? If he long held that position, why did he not tell people before this?

Fourthly, I was and still am in LCG. I caused no LCG division. It was Syd Hull who caused division by leaving LCG and appears to be attempting to divide the flock in southern Africa. Since he referred to the Bible when he (under RCG's authority) "marked" me, let's actually read what it teaches about the type of who should be marked:

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly (Romans 16:17-18, KJV).

I have not been promoting any doctrine contrary to what we in the COGs have learned--I simply do not accept new RCG doctrines like David Pack supposedly being an apostle (if he is referring to doctrines such as the identity of the Elijah or makeup, it should be noted that both he and David Pack were supportive of the old GCG, who held the same positions on those subjects that I hold).

I should also add here that I do not accept money from LCG (and never have), nor am I attempting to do so at this time. But look at some of why Syd Hull wrote that he left LCG:

Recently, the LCG Director of Church Administration, Mr. Douglas Winnail, came to South Africa after first sending me a threatening letter filled with insinuations that I am too old to be effective any longer as an Evangelist and Regional Director. He wanted to remove me and replace me with an inexperienced man, referring to me as merely a “focal point” in South Africa...

I received a letter from Mr. Winnail on August 24. It was humiliating and insulting. Much of it was based on the accusations of dissidents. There’s no denying he came here to remove me...

In a telephone call with Mr. Meredith (and Mr. Apartian) on Tuesday, September 19, he stated, after interrogating me about my intentions, that I would not be removed as Regional Director, and that he wanted me to come to Charlotte for three days in November for Council meetings. In light of how I have been treated for years, an obvious attempt to placate me would accomplish nothing (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

In other words, part of why Syd Hull switched to RCG is that he was afraid of losing his job! He claims that LCG was looking into accusations against him that suggested that he was no longer effective in his job. If he truly was supportive of RCG before, why did he not say so the week before when he says he spoke with R.C. Meredith? Who is Syd Hull publicly really looking out for? This is so sad.

This also seems to be confirmed by what RCG wrote about Syd Hull when he left it for EnCOG, "Headquarters received no indication from Mr. Hull that he was considering such a move...When Mr. Hull visited Headquarters in September and resigned from LCG, certain minor "behaviors" were noticed. But these did not seem to be a great cause for concern...However, after returning home, things went downhill fast. He was often confused and forgetful, with a pattern developing--forgetting to tell us things, forgetting to do things, forgetting he had done things, and almost invariably getting very basic tasks wrong. Also, God's standards dropped for who should attend services...Frankly, we were questioning whether Mr. Hull could continue functioning in the active ministry--and whether for his sake, and for that of God's people in Southern Africa, if he should retire...Our other leaders in South Africa could clearly see the handwriting on the wall...When Mr. Hull came with us last fall, he stated that he planned to train Mr. Chris Lomas...But he suddenly turned against his own plan...")

Fifthly, none of Syd Hull's so-called sheep could have been negatively affected by my writings. Syd Hull was in LCG the day before he posted this and LCG does not agree with Syd Hull's position. He posted the above letter the morning he had left LCG for RCG--this timing did not allow for any time for any RCG sheep to be affected by my writings. This fact should be obvious. Thus Syd Hull, instead of marking me, has publicly marked himself.

Also, I should add that Syd Hull never contacted me objecting to any of my writings or behavior in the 10+ years I was in GCG/LCG, and hence has violated the scriptural command to admonish someone before publicly "marking him" (similarly, Chris Lomas never contacted me at all for any reason prior to his public condemnation and accusations against me) . If I was any type of problem, why did he never say so? Has he not read:

Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector (Matthew 18:15-17).

In my opinion, it is the lack of scriptural respect, combined with excess respect for David Pack, that sets those in RCG apart from Philadelphian Christians (also the work and other doctrines, but this improper hermeneutic of listening to David Pack above the Bible is probably RCG's biggest error).

Apparently, by David Pack making unsubstantiated charges against me through his new "surrogate" Syd Hull, this is not considered as answering accusers by RCG. Cannot RCG members see through this?

What actually is happening is that false accusations were made against me with David Pack's endorsement (the official RCG website told visitors to read the above when it stated: "For those interested, you may read his truly incredible account posted") and that is not the sign of the true church.

My biggest concern is that this unbiblical marking by one who jumped ship (for at least several personal reasons according to other parts of his 9/27/06 letter) may discourage RCG supporters from reading my writings and learning the truth about RCG.

False Accuser

David Pack himself engages in making various accusations which I believe are clearly false. For one such example, in references intended to slam LCG's RC Meredith he wrote,

It is this man's heresy to suggest otherwise in order to build a case for himself or one of the Two Witnesses (his statements suggest he may be hoping to be both) to be the Elijah (I WILL SEND ELIJAH TO RESTORE ALL THINGS. RCG Booklet, Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004 by David C. Pack)

What is the truth?

R.C. Meredith has gone on record and publicly stated (in a video sent to all LCG churches and videogroups) that he is not that Elijah. :

I am not that Elijah...It will probably be a younger, better looking, man (Meredith, Roderick C. The Elijah Question. VTE 131, May 19, 2001).

Notice carefully, that R.C. Meredith gave the above sermon before David Pack wrote the above. Yet David Pack continues to blatantly state the opposite.

Also, on February 6, 2005, RC Meredith also privately told me, without me asking him about it, that he does not believe he will be one of the two witnesses--he specifically said he believes he will not be, but that only God Himself knows. David Pack is trying to place false motives on RC Meredith that simply are not true (the same inaccurate imputation of motives happened to David, before he was king, I Samuel 17:28).

Furthermore, in a bible study David Pack apparently alleged that RC Meredith made 26 doctrinal changes. Those allegations and truthful answers to them are provided in the article Did Roderick C. Meredith Actually Make 26 Doctrinal Changes? (Note: David Pack repeated most of them in his article directed against the Living Church of God, even though he clearly should know that many of his accusations are inaccurate.)

Amazingly, RCG has this false statement at its website from Ernest Owino:

LCG’s leader has asserted that Mr. Armstrong was not the Elijah used to “restore all things” to God’s Church (“The Elijah Question” sermon, May 19, 2001).

I carefully listened to that sermon and will state that R.C. Meredith did not assert that Herbert Armstrong was not the Elijah--he said HWA could have been, but that God may raise someone else up and the longer it takes from the death of Herbert Armstrong until the end, the more likely someone else may be raised up--which is consistent with what HWA himself actually taught (for true information on this subject, please read the article The Elijah Heresies).

Specifically, in that sermon R.C. Meredith stated about Herbert Armstrong, "He could have been the Elijah to come".

RCG, as far as I am concerned, does not really stand for precision of doctrine for those who actually care about the truth.

The Elijah Question

Perhaps, one of the areas that David Pack is most known for has been his insistence that Herbert W. Armstrong was the final Elijah. But is his position based on the Bible?

Here is some of what he wrote,

And John was also not "a prophet." Since he was a forerunner of Mr. Armstrong, this fact is important. Christ said that he (this one who was a type of Elijah) was actually "MORE THAN a prophet." This is a fascinating statement! The Bible says the Two Witnesses "are prophets" (Rev. 11:3, 10). Mr. Armstrong was an apostle. This means he also was "more than a prophet" (I Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 4:11) and, at the same time, more like John the Baptist than either of the Two Witnesses...A related point needs examination. Mr. Armstrong has been accused of being a "false prophet" many times. Here is the point-and most never seemed to understand this: Mr. Armstrong was NEVER a prophet. He was always "more than" a prophet-he was an apostle! To those who apparently went out to "see a prophet," you missed the entire point of one of the greatest reasons why Mr. Armstrong was the final Elijah! It is also one of the reasons we can now see, in retrospect, his office was greater than that of the Two Witnesses (I, like the rest of the Church, once thought he would be one of them). He was an APOSTLE. They will be PROPHETS. To assert that the final Elijah will be one of the Witnesses is to, in fact, diminish-reduce-the office of Elijah (I WILL SEND ELIJAH TO RESTORE ALL THINGS. RCG Booklet, Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004 by David C. Pack).

The Bible, in Malachi 4:5, states that "Elijah the prophet" is to be sent--I do not believe that God is diminishing the role of the future Elijah by calling him a prophet. David Pack is correct that the two witnesses are prophets and that HWA said he was not a prophet.

The Bible shows that Elijah (I Kings 18:36; II Chronicles 21:12), John the Baptist (Matthew 11:9; Luke 7:26) and the two witnesses are (Revelation 11:10) all specifically referred to as prophets. Jesus referred to John the Baptist as,

A prophet? Yes, I say to you and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it was written: Behold I send my Messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before you (Matthew 11:9-10)

So for David Pack to teach that John the Baptist was not a prophet is simply not biblically accurate.

Clearly since Jesus taught that the reason that John the Baptist was more than a prophet was because he had an important and specifically foretold job and this is also true of the two witnesses, as both of them could be considered 'a prophet and more than a prophet'.

For much more biblical information, as well as analysis of quotes from Herbert Armstrong on this subject, please read the article The Elijah Heresies.

Hurricane Katrina

The RCG website announced September 9, 2005,

Open Letter to the Splinters: In Katrina’s aftermath, Mr. David Pack has written an open letter to God’s people. All of it is a must-read.

And it included this information from David Pack,

New Orleans, the Gulf Coast—and all of America!—are reeling from Hurricane Katrina. Authorities are just beginning to deal with the aftermath...

Regarding the world, with its affairs, difficulties and disasters, Christ taught,"Let the dead bury their dead"(Matt. 8:22). The Church once understood this meant let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead! Further, Christ is also saying,"Do not interfere with any so-called ‘love,’ when punishment is the kind of love necessary here."

The job of God’s Church is to warn about and explain why the punishment!In addition, recognize that God does not want what are His tithes and offerings, which are designated solely for preaching the gospel, for warning modern Israel and for feeding the flock, to be spent directly FIGHTING HIS PURPOSE...The anemic, even pitiful, response to the disaster from every major splinter was almost SHAMEFUL!...Brethren, WAKE UP to the doctrinal compromise, confusion, flattery and weakness of your leaders. Shift your focus and thinking from enjoying services to marketing goods! Come to where God is working! Come to the only instrument He is using, or could use!

Well, that would not be RCG as it has made a variety of changes that demonstrate that it is not part of the Philadelphia portion of the COG. It is David Pack who is once again being an embarrassment (his apostle pronouncement, see below, was also such a case). 

While I will not comment about what he suggests about other groups, I will address LCG in relationship to this disaster.

First of all, LCG did take the proper stand on this, and he should know that (those who wish to read RC Meredith's commentary on it titled "Why Natural Disasters? at http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/tw/commentary/tw-comm.cgi?action=view_comm_h  

Second of all, LCG established an additional fund, not a first tithe fund, to help with those involved with the disaster (go to http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/tw/commentary/tw-comm.cgi?action=view_comm_h for more details).

Third, LCG has a Church assistance fund which is made up of third tithe, which also would be appropriate for this type of situation.

Fourth, unlike RCG, LCG's top priority has always been to proclaim the Gospel to the world as a witness.  But this does not mean that we do not try 'feed the flock' which includes assisting physically. 

Note what Paul wrote,

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). 

I therefore, make this open challenge to David Pack to explain how LCG is wrong in what it has said and done specifically in the situation regarding Hurricane Katrina. 

Fifthly, given a sufficient disaster, Jesus' teachings suggest that it is appropriate to use items that would have been considered as first tithe to feed the hungry (see Luke 6:3-5).

ntevangelism's Guy Swenson (an independent ministry never associated with LCG) made this comment about David Pack's letter:

Mr. Pack is espousing his system of heartless, callous and inhumane values when it comes to those who are suffering from the effects of a severe storm. To encourage Christians to turn their backs on their fellow Americans who have gone through a tragedy reflects an ungodly arrogance and a monumental disassociation from true Christian values. Mr. Pack's values are no way for any Christian to treat their neighbor.

Mr. Pack's advice and definition of Christian values should be spurned, publicly repudiated and rejected.

Jesus spoke of personal responsibility to our neighbors when a smug lawyer was tempting him. The story is told in Luke 10:25-37, commonly referred to the story of "the Good Samaritan."

Like the lawyer, Mr. Pack is confused about both how to show love to his neighbor and who his neighbor is. He encourages Christians to walk by our neighbors - our fellow Americans - who are hurting and, in many cases, have lost everything. I am sure the Levite and the priest who avoided the man had who had fallen to robbers had their reasons - perhaps those reasons were even better than the silly justification Mr. Pack offers that God wants us to stay out of the way of his "discipline." What a monumental
misapplication of Scripture and distortion of Godly values.

The true "neighbor" was the one who rendered aid. The end of the Good Samaritan story is telling when Jesus made the lawyer admit what a silly attempt at justification the question of to whom does God wants us to show love was"...Perhaps David Pack may wish to meditate on these few passages:In Matthew 9:13, Jesus taught, "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." In Matthew 12:7, Jesus taught, "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless."James 1:27 teaches, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 2:14-20 teaches, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,  and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

Blasphemy Teaching

In his October 28, 2000 sermon, Dr. Meredith mentioned that the unpardonable sin involved willful, deliberate, sinning by those with God's Spirit--the biblical and traditional Church teaching on this subject.

David Pack seems to have a different view. Charles Jahrsdorfer reports the following quote from David Pack's sermon on November 4, 2000,

So then you have to ask yourself the question, " what is it that God is doing?" that people had better not be against thereby blaspheming the Holy Spirit which is Disloyalty and unpardonable. Do you follow me? Let me say it again. We must not misunderstand this. So what is it that God is doing that people must not be against, thereby blaspheming the Holy Spirit which is disloyalty and Unpardonable. No one wants to be accused of disloyalty and if its disloyalty against God, then God says its unpardonable. Now it has to do we already know, its scattering where Christ is gathering. We already know that simply because Christ said so. Woe unto the person who seeks to scatter where Christ is gathering. All right now, how does God work today? ...God is working through people...God uses people to do His work...so clearly, if we are against any of the above...we are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. That's serious. The Church is the body of Christ. The Work that it does...the leaders that it has are all inseparable from the body of Christ. Criticizing it, is criticizing God and the work He is doing...

This is even more amazing as David Pack has written that he believes the door to proclaiming the Gospel is probably closed.

As all once associated with WCG are aware, Herbert Armstrong wrote the following in Just What Do You Mean, The Unpardonable Sin?,

WILLFUL Sinning WHEN one receives the Holy Spirit by God's grace, this Spirit dwelling in him is tentative and conditional SALVATION. But IF one again changes his mind -- changes his LIFE'S GOAL -- takes his eyes completely off the Goal of God's Kingdom, and fixes them PURPOSELY on going back to THE WAY of worldliness and sin -- IF he changes his WAY of life back to the CARNAL WAY of the world, leaving the ROAD he was traveling with CHRIST -- THEN he has set his mind on determined, premeditated, deliberate WILLFUL SIN! IF he decides he no longer WANTS to go GOD'S WAY, deliberately and intentionally changes his OVERALL ATTITUDE, and desires, and CHOOSES the world and its ways -- deliberately chooses a life of rebellion, comes to have contempt and disregard for God's Law, then that man either has done or is in danger of doing despite to God's Holy Spirit which a merciful and loving God had GIVEN by grace! SUCH A MAN is surely in grave DANGER of BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Furthermore, David Pack teaches that the unpardonable sin can be repented of. Charles Jahrsdorfer reports the following quote from David Pack's sermon on November 4, 2000,

So clearly, if we are against any of the above 3 points we are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. That's serious! Now people who may be doing that now, may repent of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Herbert Armstrong taught,

No ordinary sin, even by a Christian, is unforgivable. Jesus said plainly that ALL sins, and blasphemies -- against even GOD -- even against Jesus Christ -- will be forgiven on repentance. It is ONLY premeditated, thought-out, planned, deliberate, intentional, willful indignity, insult, false accusation against God's HOLY SPIRIT that is unforgivable.

The Bible and LCG teaches,

Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31-32)

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26-27).

David Pack is not teaching what Jesus or Herbert Armstrong taught on this matter.

Laodiceans Not Part of the True Church?

David Pack wrote,

While Laodicea means “the people rule, judge, decide,” they are still God’s people, but in a weak and confused condition. However, they do not represent His true Church, and are outside His Body. (Pack D. Where is God's True Church? RCG Booklet. 2005 edition)

This is another change from HWA's church taught, which was "the Laodicean era...they are the Church of God...the "Church of Laodicea" (What is the Laodicean Church? Good News, August 1959). As well as a change from the Bible (Revelation 3:13-14).

What RCG should consider is that the difference between the remnant of the Philadelphia era of the COG and those in the Laodicean era is that the Laodiceans have a different work than the Philadelphians. It is for this different work that Christ condemns the Laodiceans,

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).

Christ approves of the work of the Philadelphians (vss. 7-8).

Probably the articles that are most relevant here are Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees? and The Philadelphia Church Era.

How RCG is Not Faithful to HWA's Practices

At RCG's website under the article titled Inside the Administration of Restored it stated,

The Restored Church of God is a structured, fully formed organization that resembles The Worldwide Church of God when it was on track doctrinally and still doing the Work as it was done prior to Mr. Herbert Armstrong's death. The biggest difference is that we are, of course, much smaller.

Size, however, is not the biggest difference.

First, as mentioned previously, RCG does not place its highest priority on doing the Work of proclaiming the Gospel, which is what HWA did and taught.

Secondly, as stated in its booklet Why the Restored Church of God? David Pack acknowledges that RCG does not really have a Council of Elders like HWA had, nor does it have much in the way of a field ministry, like HWA also had--thus to say it is 'fully formed' is a stretch.

Thirdly, RCG is not on radio or television like HWA was and thus probably does not spend its the same percentage of its money on proclaiming the gospel like WCG did when HWA was alive--RCG has not made financial statements available that I have seen, but comments from those once employed by RCG suggest that RCG (as well as David Pack) does not spend 35-42% of its income on doing the Work of proclaiming the Gospel (RCG's comment about preaching the Gospel as funding allows is similar to statements made by CGCF, UCG, and others it criticizes).

The fourth way RCG is not faithful to HWA's practices, is that it is not focused on the trunk of the tree.

HWA repeatedly warned the brethren to stick to the trunk of the tree and not go out on the limb on twigs. The apostle Paul warned Timothy of the same problem in his day (I Tim 1). The apostle Paul also warned the Corinthian church of essentially the same thing. In I Corinthians 13:1-6, Paul warns that even if someone has a variety of gifts or even if they have all knowledge, if they have not love they have nothing.

If the RCG really was the continuance of the Philadelphia era of the Church, then it would demonstrate its love for the brethren (which is what Philadelphia means) by being faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20) and HWA by placing its top priority on proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness. Instead, its writings on that subject could be best described as not hot.

The fifth way is the following quote from David Pack regarding distribution of booklets (11/10/2000),

We will not be able to send them to people of other groups, who do have a Church of God background, but who request them as sort of a "collector's item." There are a lot of people who seem to enjoy trying to receive "everything from everybody" while not actually wanting to support God's Work where the full Truth is being upheld. We will be more than happy to have anyone read these booklets online on our second website." We are not suggesting that everyone who asks for our booklets is simply a "collector." Many certainly are not in this category. However, costs do prohibit us from being able to satisfy these kinds of requests and still be able to have these booklets available for the audience to whom they are written.

Herbert Armstrong never had such a policy. He taught (as Jesus did), "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).

Similarly RCG's 10/19/01 Bulletin reports,

The Restored Church of God has never been merely a tape ministry designed to feed confused brethren who refuse to support God's Work or return to His Church. Many have grown accustomed to downloading the weekly sermon tapes without making any further commitment. Some will completely understand that this policy has served its purpose. Some may drift away to the ideas of other groups. Others may grow angry because RCG "doesn't act like everybody else."

In other words it appears that RCG is saying, if you do not send RCG money, do not expect to receive support. Not precisely what HWA's WCG did, nor consistent with what Jesus taught.

Notice that David Pack also wrote,

The Restored Church of God is simply not for everybody. We are the Church of God that is truly not going to bend a single doctrine. We are going to teach people to hold fast to all of the Truth we received from God through Mr. Armstrong (Pack, David C. Should Accusers Be Answered? RCG Booklet. 2000. p.53).

Can anyone with eyes to see claim that RCG has not bent at least one one doctrine?

Pastors and Evangelists

The Living Church of God, while under Christ, has Roderick C. Meredith as its human head. Roderick C. Meredith was one of the five original individuals ordained an evangelist by Herbert W. Armstrong. Roderick C. Meredith is also the only one of those original evangelists still to be alive. Roderick C. Meredith never had that title taken away by anyone and still uses the same title.

On the other hand, David Pack was ordained as a pastor-ranked minister and decided that he must be more than that.

In his sermon titled 21st Century Apostle, RCG's David Pack stated,

What is my office? What is my office?...What authority do I have to make administrative judgments different from Herbert Armstrong?...Who is permitted to bind and loose in this age?...Pastors are stationary...It really doesn't apply because I had my reasons...If you know who you are in the body, then it makes sense that the human leader of the church knows his place...of course he knows...now my rank...bad news, evangelists don't do this, they bring good news...Apostle...it means a delegate...with miraculous powers (part 1)

Evangelists...Could there be an evangelist out there who could be the watchman or messenger?...They lack authority to warn...Taking bad news doesn't fit their job description...or then Christ is right back to being inconsistent. They're not permitted to go that far. And by the way, that's also what Mr. Armstrong said...So I can't possibly be an evangelist. If I could go back and use a military term, a warning is above an evangelist's pay grade. It's just that simple. They don't do it (part 2).

In addition to admitting he makes judgments that differ from HWA (which in other places he implies LCG should not), he contradicts HWA's teachings twice here. The first that he was a pastor, but as RCG head not stationary (also see the Mystery of the Ages, page 245). Hence, D. Pack exceeded his authority per HWA's teachings--but that is a point he would probably debate.

The second is that HWA clearly had evangelists give not only good news, but the warning message (see almost any issue of the old Plain Truth magazine as they normally contain articles written by evangelists that contain some part of the warning message)--specifically HWA had Roderick C. Meredith and Dibar Apartian (two evangelists ordained by HWA) present the World Tomorrow radio program at times. This proves that David Pack did not understand the teachings and practices of HWA's WCG--did he NOT pay attention to warning articles written by and sermons given by evangelists? Furthermore, if one carefully listens to this section of David Pack's sermon, one realizes that he simply does not understand God's governance nor the offices that God has established. (He also implies that he seems to forget that Jesus made it clear that the top man should be willing to do the lowest duties.)

Notice that the evangelist Timothy's job included more than simply giving good news, he was the preach the word--not just the good news:

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2).

Also note what Paul wrote about an evangelist in 1 Corinthians 16:10,

Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.

Both Paul and HWA had evangelists do the same work they were doing. Neither restricted their teachings or forbade them from giving the warning messages, which D. Pack referred to as the bad news. But he does not seem to realize this--David Pack is constantly relying on his own interpretation of offices of the church as opposed to what the Bible actually teaches.

God allowed a deacon to give a warning message: 

"You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it." (Acts 7:51-53). 

Thus the Bible makes it clear that one DOES NOT NEED TO BE AN APOSTLE TO GIVE A WARNING MESSAGE! 

Thirdly, RCG has apparently overlooked its own teaching here. Notice in Syd Hull's letter, he plainly stated:

As one holding the high office of Evangelist, it is also my duty to warn the even greater flock who could hear in every group and organization! (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

Apparently Syd Hull does not understand the inaccurate teachings of David Pack on this point--if warning is above the pay grade of an evangelist, either Syd (some spell it Sid) Hull is an apostle (something that I do not believe Dave Pack will stand for) or he is flagrantly contradicting David Pack's position on the role of an evangelist. This again is one of the many contradictions within the logic used by RCG.

Surely, those associated with RCG should start to see what is happening there.

The Self-Proclaimed Apostle, Because He Writes a Lot

David Pack also declared in part two of his 21st Century Apostle sermon:

A lot of you are very complementary of the literature, that encourages me...I was forced to write more than any man of any age...What is God's point then in having all this work put in?...

Is it to establish an office?...

Having to write vastly more...than any servant God has ever used before. I just have to accept that...If that makes me a braggart, pray for me...

Why so much literature and why no one else? The answer is that they were not sent...

There is only one organization that is to prepare all things...

Would Mr. Armstrong tell me...I couldn't know? If you say yes, you're saying that he would say to me "Go forward" never knowing that you should.

Because, remember, if I don't hold the highest office from this point forward, now that my mind is on it, I am one presumptuous imposter. I am as fraudulent as anyone you will ever meet...Now keep that in mind...

I have to be the most accused man on the earth other than Herbert Armstrong, and he is dead...

Mr. Armstrong was a messenger to the 6th era. And even revealed that there are such men, 7 of them. He trained me to do the same. Mr. Armstrong was a Apostle. Yes brethren I hold that office. I do...

Either this work is fraudulent because an unauthorized man is doing things solely given to the highest office above him or something else has occurred. If it is a fraud, here's what it means, everything comes to an end...

If the highest office in RCG is not an apostle...then I was not sent by Christ. (part 2).

I believe it is quite presumptuous for David Pack to conclude that Herbert W. Armstrong would tell him to go forward at all. Perhaps like at least two of the evangelists that Herbert Armstrong ordained suggested to him, Herbert Armstrong (if alive) would also suggest that David Pack repent of his rebellion.

It appears that to a significant degree, David Pack is claiming that God (according to David Pack) used him to write more literature than any other servant of God of all time, and this is proof that he is an apostle.

This is NOT a standard listed anywhere in the Bible. Mainly rewriting booklets previously written by Herbert Armstrong is not the type of proof that any serious student of the Bible would accept.

Have you supporters of David Pack "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11)?

Are you aware that the Bible warns not to be like those who think they will be heard because their many words?

For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. (Matthew 6:7-8).

Notice that when the Apostle Paul listed the proof of his apostleship, he neglected to mention writing, even though he wrote more books of the New Testament than anyone else. Consistent with Jesus' comments about fruit, Paul mentioned those truly converted as the seal of his apostleship:

Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord (1 Corinthians 9:1-2).

Where are all the baptisms and permanently improved lives at RCG?

Furthermore, if David Pack was able to write this literature because he was God's apostle, would God allow him to make so many mistakes with it?

Would God allow His most prolific writer to contradict scripture and say that John the Baptist was not a prophet?

Would God allow his apostle to state that Ethiopia is final the king of the South this late in prophetic events if Ethiopia is not that king?

Would God allow his end-time apostle to not understand about Church eras and improperly state that Laodiceans are not part of the true Church?

Would God allow his apostle to continually and inaccurately accuse the leader of the Living Church of God even when that "apostle" knew better on many of the points?

Have not others seen mistakes in David Pack's literature? The existence of which he uses as a major proof that he is an apostle?

Notice what Jesus taught:

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Matt 12:36-37).

Note that the article you are now reading mainly cites David Pack's own words as proof for its conclusions.

Whosoever has ears to hear, let him hear!

Did David Pack Warn People in Advance to Not Follow Him?

In a sermon given on December 12, 1998, Bill Sheppard reported that David Pack stated :

I want to make a statement about...me...now, if I became deceived, I will never tell you what I'm going to tell you now...I am telling you if I go off into strange ideas, misconduct, rebellion, you name it, don't follow me. I want to tell you that now, because if I start doing that I'm gonna try to get you to follow me! I'm gonna come to you and tell you it doesn't apply, it doesn't mean me, no, no, no, no, no, no, it's OK to follow me because ABCD and XY and Z. Do you understand what I'm saying? Listen to me now, when I tell you don't follow me if I go off into weird ideas, or if I get off into other things that are total absolutely unscriptural conduct, because if I do I'm gonna paint it with a different face and try to get you to follow me. Do you understand what I'm saying brethren? Please remember that, because I promise you that if I become deceived, I'll forget it, and I'll want you to forget it...And I hope you'll remember it well enough to quote it right back to me...But I'll tell you what, I'm not going anywhere. (http://home.neo.rr.com/lilshep/bill/information.html#follow 8/02/06).

I believe that the above is proof that God warned people, through David Pack, not to follow David Pack! Note: The Bible is clear that God sometimes uses those He condemns to providing warning messages (two such examples would be I Kings 13:20-32 and 22:22).

Do you really want to be deceived?

More Related to the Self-Proclaimed Apostle

In part 2 of David Pack's sermon, 21st Century Apostle, he stated: 

Now I had to ask a series of questions.  Let's ask them together.  As the human human leader of the body of Christ, I had to ask, how or why would I not assume that I Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11, describing the offices under Jesus Christ, and listing apostles first, would not include me.   

Why would I conclude that? 

Would Christ expect me to ignore that? 

In light of all I had to do? 

The responsibilities I was sent to do? 

And my mind finally falls on a subject, let's say. Would Christ expect me to say, "Look you don't need to know the job you hold?  I want you to speak with boldness and conviction and to know I've sent you.  But wait a minute.  No, not really know I've sent you. you, I want you to speak with boldness and ignorance." 

Now this doesn't make sense.  It's an oxymoron...

The brethren have to know what they are backing up...What would I tell my staff?...

On what basis would I not be allowed to know all of these things? It wouldn't make sense...

I studied everything...I studied every scripture...  

Notice that much of the above is very presumptuous on David Pack's part.  By the way, the basis that he would not know is both the truth and the Bible.  

Is it an oxymoron? 

Or has David Pack just decided that he is the human leader of the body of Christ as opposed to a disfellowshiped elder that has a small following? 

Does the Bible ever show that any important leader did not know completely who he was? 

Certainly! 

But David Pack suggests that Christ would never allow this.

David Pack is in error.

Notice that John the Baptist did not know he was the Elijah: 

And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." (John 1:21). 

Yet Jesus makes it clear that John the Baptist was that Elijah to come:

But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:12-13). 

Furthermore, not only did John know that he filled the Elijah role/office (nor did his followers), Jesus did not allow him to know that he was the greatest human, at least up until that time: 

Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). 

Jesus said this after John the Baptist's disciples left (Matthew 11:2-7) and shortly before John was executed (Matthew 14:1-12)--hence John did not know he was Elijah or that no one had rose greater than he. 

Therefore for David Pack to appoint himself as an apostle because this is what God required is both presumptuous and not biblically justifiable (especially, since unlike Paul or any after the original 12 apostles, David Pack has not had the fruits shown by conversions and baptisms).  And while David Pack tried to argue in his sermon that he became an apostle like Herbert Armstrong did, this is simply not the case--probably over 100,000 people were baptized as a result of HWA's ministry, plus the 800 in LCG. How many from DP's RCG ministry?

The Bible warns that there are those who preach Christ out of "selfish ambition" (Philippians 1:17).  Paul also warned:

 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself (Philippians 2:3).   

Does that sound like David Pack? Is he truly a humble person who is an apostle, but without significant conversions, because he declares that he is?

David Pack's RCG does not have the baptismal fruits that Herbert Armstrong had. 

How many will fall for the argument that simply declaring that you must be the apostle because Christ would have to have you conclude that you are the most important leader of the most important small group in the world?

As far as outsiders can tell, relatively few have.

In the same sermon, David Pack asserted:

The two witnesses...The prophets have to report to a living apostle.

David Pack should re-read the Book of Revelation as it gives no indication that the two witnesses report to any man (more can be found in the article Who Are the Two Witnesses?). None of the prophets in the Old Testament reported to an apostle.

David Pack admitted in his 21st Century Apostle (part 2) sermon:

Sardis did not have an apostle...There had not been an apostle for 3/4 of a millennium...Only an apostle can approve ordinations.

The above admission contradicts David Pack's basic contention that there has to be an apostle now. If only an apostle can approve ordinations and there was not an apostle for 3/4 of a millennium, and David Pack claims that others have been properly ordained, this then is clear proof that David Pack is teaching error.

Furthermore, David Pack fails to teach in his 21st Century Apostle sermons that Herbert Armstrong intentionally did not appoint anyone as an apostle. The fact that HWA did not proves that neither HWA nor God required that the Church be led by an apostle. HWA expected that the gospel and the warning message would be preached by evangelists to the world after he died. HWA did not require that they would work under a living apostle--this is another error in David Pack's sermon.

David Pack also seems to fail to understand what happened when Joshua died. Notice:

So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel (Judges 2:7).

This is precisely what happened in COG groups such as LCG. Yet David Pack, who claims to stand for "precision of doctrine" simply misunderstands this and other biblical teachings.

View of Personal Websites?

What is RCG's view of personal websites?

Let me emphasize that no one—including adults—should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes) (Denee, Kevin D. Blogs – and God’s Youth. Ambassador Youth. http://www.thercg.org/youth/articles/0403-bagy.html 10/05/06).

Connected with his departure from LCG and switch to RCG, RCG's Syd Hull wrote:

Brethren, I am an evangelist. I know that any so-called “apostolic Christianity” cannot be restored by one holding my office, even if he bears the title “Presiding”...

Brethren, consider. If the Internet were available during Mr. Armstrong’s time, would he have allowed ministers, never mind lay members, of the Worldwide Church of God to maintain their own websites? The answer is too obvious. Remember Proverbs 16:27: “An ungodly man digs up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.” Only in the Laodicean age, in which the people rule, would a lay member be permitted to create a website filled exclusively with outright nonsense. One is kidding himself if he believes this scenario would have existed during the Philadelphian age. Ask yourselves this big question: Why does the headquarters of LCG allow even one such website to exist? The thinking person will question why a leader and/or his headquarters will not rein in such a man (Hull Syd. Sydney J. Hull’s Letter to Brethren. September 27, 2006. http://www.sydneyjhull.net/ 09/27/06).

How does Syd Hull, who had little, if any personal contact with HWA know what HWA would have said about an individual member website in the 21st century that is supportive of the Philadelphia portion of the Church God?

It may be interesting to note that the three evangelists who I have had personal contact with who were all ordained directly by (or at least personally approved by) Herbert W. Armstrong have all endorsed my website. The thinking person will realize that Syd Hull is unduly speculating in this area for his (and perhaps David Pack's) own purposes.

It may be of interest to note that RCG representatives have attempted to eliminate my website before with their "your not an apostle" message and other such arguments. When it came up last time, I referred them to Jude who wrote:

Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1-3).

The initial inaccurate RCG response? "Jude was talking to the apostles". I advised RCG to re-read the above. I reminded them that the Apostle Jude is telling those who are called (simply members, like me) to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. The RCG representative finally admitted to me in writing that I did have the authority for the COGwriter website in 2004/2005, but apparently RCG decided to blast all of them in the Fall of 2006.

Jude 3 is the authority that the COGwriter site has always operated under. As well as the fact that I have always accepted Philadelphia era governance as practiced by the old WCG, the old GCG, and the current LCG, which is different than what is in RCG.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that this site was actually began upon the urging of a former GCG minister (it was not my idea). It was encouraged years ago by GCG evangelist Larry Salyer (now in UCG) whose input resulted in it being renamed COGwriter. Plus it was encouraged also by the late evangelist Colin Adair and the late evangelist Carl McNair.

How many evangelists need to tell me to keep up the good work of the COGwriter website so this will count in RCG's eyes? Well, it matters not to me, as I have always operated the COGwriter website as I feel a Philadelphia-era Christian would run it, and I do not believe that the RCG qualifies as Philadelphian. The absolute fact is that many evangelists have encouraged the operation of this website and have recognized that I operate a Philadelphia-era supporting website.

Perhaps I should also mention that although Syd Hull's letter suggests that there should be no personal websites, he himself posted his letter on his personal website. Also, RCG's website encourages people to go to that personal website (two separate posts:

For those interested, you may read his truly incredible account posted on his personal website. [Español]

Those interested may read Mr. Chris Lomas’s letter (posted on Mr. Syd Hull's website) (10/23/06)

This is clear hypocrisy on RCG's part. Furthermore, while he suggests that LCG should shut my website down, Syd Hull failed to mention that he encouraged me to continue with it and was approving of it in the few emails he sent me some time back. He also invited me to come to the Feast of Tabernacles in South Africa once or twice--thus, he clearly did not consider me to be divisive. The position he holds now is brand new as far as I am concerned.

Perhaps I should also add that even David Pack himself emailed me approving of how I reported COG news at my website several months after he started RCG. Actually, he said that he recognized the higher standards that were apparent at this website. It was only after the Papays left the employ of RCG, that David Pack changed his mind about the COGwriter site. (Also, sometime later, two different men who were relatively high up in RCG told me separately that they left RCG after reading a previous version of this article as they indicated that it helped them better understand the truth about what was really going on with RCG. This may be a major reason that David Pack is opposed to my writings.)

Since I have not become less truthful over the years, those interested in the truth should ask themselves why those former semi-supporters changed. Are those former semi-supporters interested in the truth or does it trouble them?

David Pack's Actions

The Bible warns not to hear an accusation against an elder unless brought by several sources (I Timothy 5:1). For a long while I would not post any of the accusations against David Pack, but scripture suggests that one should take such accusations seriously if brought by many sources.

Perhaps before going further, I should also add that David Pack has written:

Recognize that some will quickly dismiss this list—and probably outright. Of course, leaders must do this, and will generally choose one or both of two methods. First, they may return to the old pattern—yet again—of assassinating the character of RCG’s leader, because they could not compromise him in ways that this list reveals. Second, these leaders will need to find fault with certain tiny aspects of the list so that the more gullible will dismiss the entire list. But the evidence of gross doctrinal compromise and error is overwhelming for those who “anoint their eyes” to see—and who want to recover (Pack D. How LCG's Teachings Differ From Those of Mr. Armstrong and RCG. RCG website 8/05/06).

There are three points I wish to make. The first is that I went through David Pack's previous list in detail to show that he has mischaracterized LCG's teachings or simply misunderstood Herbert Armstrong (please see the article Did Roderick C. Meredith Actually Make 26 Doctrinal Changes?). And second, as this particular article shows, I have documented that David Pack has compromised himself away from the teachings of the Bible and the biblical practices advocated by Herbert Armstrong. And third, I believe this article provide some of the evidence of gross doctrinal compromise and error is overwhelming for those who “anoint their eyes” to see.

But in this section, I will mainly cite others who have had extensive personal dealings with David Pack.

Norman Edwards, who once worked with David Pack in GCG (but who is not in LCG) wrote,

Dave Pack has been a wolf in shepherd’s clothing and should not be any kind of minister or servant among the people of God. The only apology I will make for that statement is for not having clearly stated it sooner in the pages of Servants’ News. I base this conclusion on direct personal experience and the testimony of dozens of witnesses. Dave Pack is a brilliant man, a powerful speaker and a commanding personality. He has the ability to stir people into thinking they are special to God and that they are being used in a powerful way when they work for Mr. Pack. For those who work “on his side”, he is able to see everything they do in the best possible light, and to have unending mercy to overlook their sins and errors. But to those he opposes, he seems to have an unending ability to recall minute details of years-old conversations and twist them into the greatest of sins. Many witnesses claim that he simply made up lies about them and spread them to others in a most believable fashion. Several people have specifically said that they did exactly what Dave Pack asked—unjust as they thought it was—only to be disfellowshipped for it later (Edwards, Norman. Continuing the Work of WCG. Servant's News. Jan/Feb 2000).

Most former employees of RCG have not been positively disposed toward David Pack. One family, the Papays, brought up several points which any can read if they wish (here is a link to the letter from the Papays). For the record, I should state that I personally spoke with Mr. and Mrs. Papay to verify that they did write this letter and that they stated that everything it contained was true.

As mentioned earlier, GCG disfellowshipped David Pack. They seemed to think he had a problem with governance. Here is a link to the letter from GCG disfellowshipping him.

After David Pack resumed his attacks against Dr. Meredith, LCG finally marked him. This is a link to the letter from LCG disfellowshipping David Pack. As Dr. Meredith urged, I do pray that he and those following him will repent.

Bill Sheppard (who is not an LCG member) has a web site in which he has many letters from those once affiliated with David Pack which all essentially suggest that David Pack is not one that those wishing to be faithful should probably follow. Here a link to Bill Sheppard's site; this site will give the reader even more reasons to understand why I have concerns about David Pack. One of those letters is from former RCG Trustee Tom Munson. In it, he documents some of David Pack's questionable actions--also it in, he documents how David Pack violates his own teachings on make-up, tithing, and church attendance-- three areas of 'heresies' he seems to claim that LCG commits!

Jim Leighty, the another RCG departer, spells forth his reasons for resigning from RCG. Shortly after Jim Leighty's resignation, David Pack posted the following,

"Editor's Correction February 21, 2001 In a recent sermon (Nov. 4, 2000) I made an isolated reference to the unpardonable sin as something that can be forgiven. I misspoke! I did not mean to say this and it cannot be justified. I should have corrected it sooner. I would like to genuinely thank those who brought it to my attention. For those who are concerned with this matter, I have posted a more extensive explanation."

Sadly, David Pack did not publicly correct other doctrinal errors he made in that sermon.

Some have suggested that Dr. Meredith should have 'done something' about David Pack while in GCG. The truth is that Dr. Meredith disciplined him at least twice and demoted him twice. Some believe it was the 2nd demotion that led to the crisis in GCG. For those who felt Dr. Meredith should have done more, the following comments from Norman Edwards may shed some light on that,

I wrote several letters to Mr. Meredith during this time and failed to mention all of these complaints about Dave Pack. I believe I was wrong for not doing so. Even though we did not agree on many things, Mr. Meredith, upon hearing of all the complaints, might have taken action sooner. Nevertheless, Mr. Meredith continued to receive his own complaints about Dave Pack and eventually removed him...Dave Pack was a major force encouraging the other board members to remove Rod Meredith—by one man’s account, he was the main force (Edwards, Norman. Continuing the Work of WCG. Servant's News. Jan/Feb 2000).

Jesus' Criteria

Strength of character is much more important than strength of personality. While I do not believe strength of personality is why many are in LCG, I do believe that strength of personality is why many are in RCG.

Paul warned that there are:

...false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Notice that Paul said there are deceitful workers who transform themselves into apostles of Christ, but can give the appearance that they are ministers of righteousness.

Just because someone may display confidence and try to sound like he is an apostle, that does not make him one. Recall that Revelation 22:15 states that those who love and practice a lie will not be in the kingdom. If David Pack is not clearly and 100% absolutely an apostle, those who support him anyway are loving and practicing a lie.

How does one tell?

In addition to heeding the warnings from the contradictions in RCG's literature, notice what Jesus taught:

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them (Matthew 7:15-20).

So what are the fruits?

Instead of looking at television stations, number of subscribers to magazines, number of ministers, and who reached the most nations the quickest (if this was a contest between LCG and RCG, LCG would win on every one of those points), let's look at baptisms.

LCG reported that its television and other media outlets have been effective in conversions/baptisms. Notice the following report:

This week our 400th person brand-new to the telecast and the Church was baptized.  These 400 individuals found the Truth and God’s Church through the Tomorrow’s World telecast.  What is impressive is the ratio of baptisms to the number of TV viewers on our mailing list.  Back in the middle 1980s, the Church was baptizing one out of every 1,000 TV respondents who had been on the mailing list for seven years.  Today, we are seeing one out of 200 being baptized who came on our mailing list seven years ago. 

We have also had more than 400 others baptized since 1999, who came on file from the telecast, but they had previous knowledge or contact with God’s Church.  To date, the Tomorrow’s World telecast has been instrumental in more than 800 baptisms that we know about (Pyle W. Media. Weekly Update from Church Administration. Living Church of God, July 27, 2006).

RCG does not even have 800 baptized members to the best of my knowledge. Furthermore, I do not recall that it ever has publicly released membership or baptismal numbers. From 1999 to November 2006, LCG has had a total of 1,800 baptisms, from all sources, including television, personal contact, etc.

The numbers RCG seems to focus on are related to the internet, and even that is relatively new--one should not be mesmerized by its new "download counter"--there is a huge difference between getting internet hits and being converted (Luke 15:10).

Wrong Focus

As a long-time member of the Church of God, I have always felt that RCG has the wrong focus. This was confirmed when (in 2006) I spoke with one who attended RCG services for a while. He stated that RCG does not seem to tolerate certain respectful questions or opinions and tends to be harsh.

He mainly told me that RCG is strict and picky about real minor issues. For example, he stated that he was disciplined because he gave an opening prayer at services that exceeded 45 seconds. He thought he only spoke a minute or so, but said he was told that by the local PCG leader that he went on and on.

He mentioned that one is only allowed to close a prayer with two or three fairly specific statements, and that if those statements are not used prayers can sound "Protestant". I asked him if a statement is accurate or even a biblical paraphrase, can it be disallowed because Protestants tend to use to it? And he said yes. I told him that even though the COG is NOT Protestant, it is ridiculous to not use biblically appropriate statements just because the Protestants do. I believe this is worse than straining a gnat, as Jesus taught:

"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God' " (Matt 4:4-5).

The fact that Protestants and others outside the Church of God quote or paraphrase certain parts of the Bible, this definitely does not mean that we within the COGs should not refer to those portions of scripture. We are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

He also told me that RCG puts great emphasis on points such as having the top button of a suit coat buttoned if one is speaking at the lectern. He also mentioned other similar items that reminded me of the Pharisees.

When he joined RCG, Chris Lomas listed the following complaint against LCG as one of his faulty reasons:

Dress code of the church has slumped into worldly attire (Lomas Chris. Why I left the LCG. October 23, 2006).

(Perhaps I should comment that the dress code at this recent LCG Feast of Tabernacles, as well as at all the LCG services I have attended, are consistent with that of the old WCG. The fact that RC Meredith has repeatedly stated that we should not bother relatively new people about dress as to not unnecessarily offend them {as he correctly always states that they will normally figure out proper attire for services after a few visits} is not the same as promoting worldly attire. RCG continues to focus on trivial matters. Jesus taught, "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless" {Matthew 12:7}.)

Makeup is also a very important issue with RCG.

Have they not read the following?

Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:28).

RCG tends to focus on unimportant and insignificant traditions (which they claim are highly significant).

Notice what Mark wrote:

"For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." And He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition..." (Mark 7:8-9).

Notice Jesus' teaching:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:23-28).

I have always felt that RCG had an issue of ignoring the important and focusing on the unimportant. RCG seems to have problems with justice and mercy (and, I believe misunderstanding faith). It is a sign of a Laodicean emphasis to miss the point and to be self-satisfied that items of less importance are important.

According to Strong's, Philadelphia means "fraternal affection", "brotherly love", "love of the brethren", "fond of the brethren". While the Philadelphians show the love of God by placing their top priority on proclaiming the Gospel to the world as a witness (as Jesus and HWA taught), RCG does not. They seem to be like the old-time, Pharisees and lawyers. Notice what Luke was inspired to write:

Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves (Luke 7:30).

An article of related interest may be Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?

On 6/30/07, I looked over some of David Pack's book THE WORK OF GOD Its Final Chapter! Sadly, David Pack simply does not understand prophecy correctly as he really does not discuss the final chapter of the work of God. His approach and focus is wrong. Instead, he is mainly explaining why he feels that RCG is doing the work, that he writes a lot, and why the internet is the vehicle RCG uses. Some day, if David Pack is interested, I would be happy to explain to him more about the truth about THE WORK OF GOD Its Final Chapter! But I do not believe that David Pack believes that he can be wrong. Those who agree with David Pack will learn that they are mistaken.

Herbert Armstrong's Criteria

What about Herbert Armstrong? The one that David Pack originally stated he follows so precisely?

Herbert Armstrong made it clear in his Autobiography that conversions and baptisms were the fruits of proper gospel proclamation--this is part of why he stated that CG7 was part of Sardis, the dead church (see Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 1, 1973 edition--note that the Tkach Administration edited out nearly all the references to Sardis and Philadelphia in the 1986 edition it sent its then membership--please see the article Did You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? for many of those unauthorized edits).

In his sermon, Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era, Herbert W. Armstrong set two criteria for the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God that most who were once part of WCG have ignored (these are also mentioned in the article Did You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made?).

These two criteria are totally consistent with the two criteria that Jesus set in Revelation 3.

  1. The Philadelphian have the Philadelphia work and go through the open door (Revelation 3:8) to proclaim the gospel to the world as a witness as their top priority.
  2. The Philadelphians believe and teach all the 18 truths that were restored to it by holding fast (Revelation 3:10-11) to them and not focusing on twig issues (like Makeup).

LCG is the only COG to do both. And is the only COG with public financial statements to demonstrate its financial commitment (recall that Jesus taught "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also", Matthew 6:21). And while RCG may some day change its operations and priorities to mimic LCG here, the plain truth is that LCG has done this every year since it formed so that those truly interested in being part of the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God can know who they should support.

Several After the Fact Positions

When Chris Lomas joined RCG, he claimed I was in error as he claimed the following from an RCG booklet:

...the mission of the true Church is outlined as first of all to preach the gospel of the coming kingdom of God in all the nations of the world. So! Mr. Thiel is incorrect...(Lomas Chris. Why I left the LCG. October 23, 2006).

The fact is that this article (prior to his writing that) acknowledged that RCG has come to a variety of conclusions after the fact. Let's go over three of them here.

1) RCG has HWA's priorities.

Well, RCG's original priorities according David Pack were:

What are the priorities of Restored?
1. To gather and feed the flock of God and to teach them to hold fast to the exact precision of doctrines as handed down by Jesus Christ, through the apostles and prophets, including our own end-time apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong...
3. To be found doing the Work of preaching the gospel, as led by Jesus Christ, and as He gives us funds and time to do so in this age (Pack, David. Why the Restored Church of God. Booklet. 2000. pp.18-19).

While after the fact RCG may have changed the above order, the fact is that it still appears to me to operate with its priorities as David Pack originally stated. To me, its focus seems to be to keep telling its members to tow a Pharisaical line while mainly trying to get its Pharisaical message to those in other COGs. True Gospel proclamation is not truly its true top priority.

Recall that it was David Pack who also wrote:

Since Mr. Armstrong was not sure whether or not the open door was placed in front of Philadelphia or himself as its messenger, I have no intentions of acting presumptuously declaring it to be one way or the other. I sincerely do not know. I suspect that door is either closed or closing and have felt that this has probably been happening for some number of years (Pack, David C. Is the Work Finished? Booklet. 2000. p. 55).

The truth is that the change to place proclamation of the gospel as RCG's top priority only came after those in RCG viewed early editions of this article and decided that they needed to change their literature. Perhaps they should credit this article for assisting them in that point?

2) Writing a lot makes one an apostle.

After he decided he had no choice but to essentially re-write much of HWA's writings do to copyright concerns, David Pack declared that his volume of writing essentially proves that he must be the apostle he appointed himself to be.

Again some quotes from David Pack in part two of his 21st Century Apostle sermon:

A lot of you are very complementary of the literature, that encourages me...What is God's point then in having all this work put in?...

Is it to establish an office?...

Having to write vastly more...than any servant God has ever used before. I just have to accept that...If that makes me a braggart, pray for me...

Why so much literature and why no one else? The answer is that they were not sent...

Because, remember, if I don't hold the highest office from this point forward, now that my mind is on it, I am one presumptuous imposter. I am as fraudulent as anyone you will ever meet...Now keep that in mind...

Mr. Armstrong was a Apostle. Yes brethren I hold that office. I do...

Either this work is fraudulent because an unauthorized man is doing things solely given to the highest office above him or something else has occurred. If it is a fraud, here's what it means, everything comes to an end...

If the highest office in RCG is not an apostle...then I was not sent by Christ. (part 2).

But again, this was an after the fact reason.

3) Internet reach is proof of being the true church.

Years after, LCG, UCG, Barnabas Ministries (and probably even the COGwriter site) reached 193 nations, RCG's website stated:

Reaching all 193 nations (most are reached every week) is another undeniable proof that the all-powerful, living Jesus Christ heads and directs but one Church and Work—The Restored Church of God! (Pack D. Major Milestone—All 193 Nations Reached! 6/23/06 on the internet).

Again, if reaching 193 is the undeniable proof that Jesus Christ heads and directs but one Church and Work, then what about those who did this before RCG?

For years, even the COGwriter site has more popular than RCG's site, so why did RCG not declare it had more undeniable proof of being led by Jesus Christ?

It is not that there is never an after the fact valid reason for anything, but I believe that RCG has done this a bit too often to be taken seriously.

Anoint Your Eyes

One who I spoke with who attended RCG for a while told me he was influenced by David Pack's writing titled Anoint Your Eyes.

Thus far, I have seen no reason to read that document, because it is clear to me (and many with a COG background) that apostasy entered the COGs and most have departed from the faith. I consider that most who were part of the COGs have become Laodicean with some associated with Thyatira and Sardis. Furthermore, I believe that most of the Laodiceans are modern Sadducees and Pharisees.

I, personally, have documented this over the years in a series of articles. Actually, the cogwriter.com webpage actually seems to have more documented articles detailing how the various COGs have specifically departed from the Philadelphia era teachings and practices than other sources do.

Some of my experiences with David Pack's inaccurate claims about LCG have already been addressed in this and other articles, so there is no point seeing them again in this other writing of his.

At this time, all I intend to do is give a brief list of why those associated with RCG need to anoint their eyes to see that RCG is simply not part of the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the COG.

1) David Pack is a self proclaimed apostle based upon his opinions of his church, his writings, and a misunderstanding of the Bible and COG history. After trying to explain why the Bible requires that there be an apostle in charge of the COG, he clearly admits that there were no apostles for 3/4 of a century prior to HWA.

2) David Pack claims to carefully follow the teachings of HWA, however HWA specifically did not appoint anyone to be an apostle to takeover after HWA died. Hence, HWA clearly did not feel that the end-time portion of the Philadelphia portion of the COG had to be specifically led by a living apostle.

3) David Pack had the wrong priorities when he began RCG and felt that the Philadelphia work was basically over. Recall that he wrote,

Since Mr. Armstrong was not sure whether or not the open door was placed in front of Philadelphia or himself as its messenger, I have no intentions of acting presumptuously declaring it to be one way or the other. I sincerely do not know. I suspect that door is either closed or closing and have felt that this has probably been happening for some number of years (Pack, David C. Is the Work Finished? Booklet. 2000. p. 55).

4) RCG clearly does not understand what the Bible, HWA, and LCG teach about what is the true gospel. The proof is that while RCG falsely claims, "LCG’s gospel has become a hybrid of truth and Protestantism" and the Bible and HWA clearly show that,

Just TWO things we do—REPENT, and BELIEVE. We must BELIEVE the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOUR, as High Priest now, and as coming KING (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? WCG booklet, 1972, p.6).

5) As far as I can tell, David Pack has consistently made false accusations against LCG which he must know are not true, so why does he not change them if he is a true Christian leader?

6) RCG wrongly insists who the king of the South is, hence RCG does not properly understand prophecy and cannot be counted to be the vehicle that God will use for His final prophetic warnings (including the place of safety).

7) RCG clearly does not understand that the Bible and HWA authorized evangelists to proclaim the warning message to the world. HWA had both RC Meredith and Dibar Apartian do it while he was alive, plus approved that the telecast should be done by Richard Ames and other evangelists upon his own death.

8) RCG clearly misunderstands scripture concerning some of its Elijah teachings. It also does not understand what HWA actually wrote and admitted about a future Elijah.

9) RCG often emphasizes minor points (like the appearance of potential new converts at church services) over love and truth.

10) RCG misunderstands the truth about Laodicea. HWA and the Bible taught that they are part of the true Church. Recall that David Pack wrote,

While Laodicea means “the people rule, judge, decide,” they are still God’s people, but in a weak and confused condition. However, they do not represent His true Church, and are outside His Body (Pack D. Where is God's True Church? RCG Booklet. 2005 edition).

This is another change from HWA's church taught, which was

...the Laodicean era...they are the Church of God...the "Church of Laodicea" (What is the Laodicean Church? Good News, August 1959).

As well as a change from the Bible (Revelation 3:13-14). While it is true that the Laodiceans do not value the full truth as much as they should, they are not outside His Body.

11) David Pack admits that he has changed the work. While he claims HWA was the messenger to Philadelphia, he claims he is the messenger to Laodicea. This is clearly a different work.

12) David Pack now claims to have the understanding of the 144,000 for the first time ever. This suggests that he no longer believes it is heresy to differ from what HWA taught.

13) While David Pack has made a variety of boasts about the number of people he baptized while working as part of WCG, he and RCG simply do not have the type of fruits that Jesus says the faithful church would have. It is my understanding that rather than accept the baptismal fruits at LCG, since RCG misunderstands the entirety of the true Gospel, it claims that LCG only has those fruits because we proclaim the entire Gospel which RCG refuses to understand is true.

Will those of you associated with RCG anoint your eyes?

Concluding Thoughts

LCG and RCG formed about the same time. While LCG has about 7,000 in weekly and Feast of Tabernacles (FOT) attendance, if RCG had ever publicly announced its membership or total FOT attendance, I have never seen it--I believe it is about 1/8th of LCG).

RCG's focus is really on trying to persuade former WCG members to support it, as opposed to trying to get the message of the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness. I do not see that RCG has truly "restored" any significant truth, but has mainly added things about David Pack and misunderstood certain intentions of Herbert W. Armstrong. HWA claimed to restore 18 truths, all of which LCG teaches--but what has RCG actually restored? The Pharisees were condemned by Jesus for their focus on outward appearance, even though they thought that they were the ones being faithful.

LCG has had over 1,500 baptisms since it formed, but RCG, who knows? RCG simply has not displayed sufficient fruits of conversion to consider that it is the one true church. David Pack is not Herbert W. Armstrong's successor.

If heresy is defined as departure from biblical teachings, then it appears to be the Restored Church of God that is clearly committing heresy. It is difficult to understand how a group that claims to stand for precision of doctrine could change the priorities of the Church, claim some of those same doctrines are heresies, and make up new ones of its own. RCG's inaccurate knowledge about the king of the South clearly will mislead its members and truly shows lack of precision of doctrine. David Pack's limited and less than accurate understanding of the final work of God and end-time prophecies will mislead those who insist on following him.

While reaching people through the internet is important, groups other than RCG have long done that (even my one person site reached more people than RCG for a number of years, although probably not in the past two-three). Based upon RCG's current position on the internet, it should have declared LCG faithful years ago as it met the standard that David Pack now claims as "undeniable proof that the all-powerful, living Jesus Christ heads and directs but one Church".

Sadly, RCG appears to be a place for people to go who do not wish to be part of a major work to proclaim the gospel, wish to focus on odd "pharisaical" things, and those that apparently wish to believe that David Pack is now an apostle. It is my hope and prayer that those who look into RCG will anoint their eyes and realize that RCG is not truly following the whole teachings of HWA, Jesus Christ, or the Bible and will become part of LCG--the major group that does just that. A true apostle does not continue to promote error or knowingly promote false accusations.

The Bible warns the Philadelphians not to let any man take their crown (Revelation 3:11, KJV)--if David Pack is NOT for certain God's true apostle, but is a self-appointed one, then those that follow him are allowing him to take their crown.

This is a serious subject. Will you make your decision about which COG to support based upon the criteria of the Bible or listen to a man who is not consistent but forceful?

Four biblically-based articles of related interest might Unity: Which COG for You?, Attending the Church of Choice, Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees? and There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?

Laodicean Warning for God's People If you have read this far you are probably a current or former member of one of the Churches of God and may be interested in reading this warning article.

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Thiel B. Why Not the Restored Church of God? www.cogwriter.com (c) 2006/2007 0818