To The Brethren And Current “Church Of God” Members

 False ministers, who will “make merchandise of you”

Have you ever read the story of the princess that kissed the frog, and it turned into handsome prince? While it appears to be a cute tale on the surface, a cold reality must set in if one is to view this fable in real life. A frog is always a frog. It will ALWAYS have the DNA of a frog. And, in real life, if the princess would have kissed that frog, she’d still have the stupid frog. That’s reality.

In the evaluation of any organization, secular or church, it’s always imperative to look at the spiritual DNA that is the core of that particular organization. It doesn’t matter if the organization oozes a seeming outer goodness, putting on a show of apparent love and scintillating fellowship . . . if the basic DNA is rotten, then so is the whole organizational body. It doesn’t matter if it looks like Disneyland on the surface, if the fundamental basis of that corporation is soaked in wickedness, then Mickey Mouse will finish up eating you. Can any of us make a silk purse from a sow’s ear? Does corruption inherit incorruption?

Over the years, many people have quizzed me about Worldwide Church of God from the point of being “God’s Church.” Many genuine souls thought they found a permanent home in the Worldwide Church of God cult, and as such, have been heartbroken when they found out the ungodly fruits that have been yielded. “But,” many have asked me, “couldn’t all this have been God’s Church simply gone wrong?” I’ve always replied: “Look at the fruits. Then remember what Jesus said.”

The Garnet Hill

Farmers, ranchers, and planters the world over, would love it if all their rotten trees produced good fruit. Regrettably, that doesn’t happen, and only a good tree can produce the fruits that are palatable. And if you start with something evil, then you will only produce the same offspring.

In early 1979, the Worldwide Church of God was taken into receivership due to accusations of impropriety, misappropriation of funds, illegal activities, insider trading, IRS violations, etc. Many other cults were also under investigation at that time, but in the end, all charges were all dropped by L.A’s District Attorney at the time, George “Duke” Dukemajin. The final report claimed that on the basis of evidence, it would cost too much and take too long a time to prosecute all these cults. It simply “wasn’t worth the trouble.” The fact that Duke was running for Governor in a couple of years, and these cults comprised a sizable chunk of votes in California, might also have affected his decision. The fact, and it’s commonly known in Sacramento, that these cults (Worldwide Church of God included) lobbied to drop charges, and reportedly Duke’s election campaign treasury, suddenly developed a substantial increase. We all know the story from there. The charges were dropped against all the cults, Duke made his Gubernatorial mansion, and California – to its chagrin – began to reap the questionable results of an incompetent governorship, and one highly tuned to “special interests.”

At the time of the receivership, one of the legally appointed Worldwide Church of God receivers (naturally accused of being “Satan’s minister”) spoke to the TV audience and explained that he had nothing personally whatever against any of these cults. He spoke this to TV cameras on the Ambassador College campus. I’ll never forget what he said.

“All people,” he said, “have a Constitutional right to be as stupid and as gullible as they want to be. But, it’s the job of the law to expose corruption. Whether people choose to believe the results or not – is up to them.”

I know many members (and ministers who pretend they don’t) read this site, and that’s good. It’s informative and it does provide food for thought. It opens the Worldwide Church of God’s spiritual DNA for evaluation. Remember what the apostle Paul said: “Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” To implement that instruction, we must look at ALL sides, otherwise we’re not proving ALL things. You – who are reading this website now – are in the process of proving all things. You would not be examining this otherwise, but many have been subjected to an avalanche of malarkey that is strictly one sided. If any of you feel intimidated by any hireling ministry into hearing only half a story, then that’s simply NOT following Paul’s instruction. You’re being cheated of the truth, and that’s the truth which will lead you to freedom.

But, many may ask, how does anyone know the truth? Our forefathers had the perfect answer to that. In the third paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, they gave the best guideline to the what truth is . . . and what it’s not. (Emphases mine.)

They said: “We hold these TRUTHS to be SELF EVIDENT . . . ”

Nothing could be clearer. If something, upon examination, is not self evident, then simply reject it, or at least hold it for further examination. But nothing can be “self evident” if it’s not thoroughly examined from both sides. And if the basis of Worldwide Church of God is examined honestly, the corrupt spiritual DNA is then exposed. Again . . . can corruption inherit incorruption? Therefore, can a corrupt spiritual DNA spawn other “daughter” groups (with the same doctrines) employing many of the same hireling ministers who scamper to the nearest cult for their paychecks?

For those who have not read the article Just Following Orders, then I suggest you link to that page at this point, and read all about HWA’s reported background with nazi literature and the implementation of Hitlerian tactics over the years. Then I suggest you return here and think about all the tactics of the hireling lackeys from the same mold, and the “new improved” Churches of God ministry . . . past and present. Does the apple fall far from the tree?

Like the nazi party of old, the oppressive Worldwide Church of God cult practices have been evident over the years in the original and split-off cults. In 1979, had the wise teachings of Jesus been implemented instead of the bombastic tactics of Hitler, then the departure of the Hawaiian church would have taken on a different flavor. Please see: The Plain Truth about Hawaii.

If the fruits of righteousness were within the newer and older Churches of God at all, then the fruits of the Spirit would be evident, and NOT a counterfeit fellowship that depends on loyalty to a system of dogma that’s laid down, and enforced, by corrupt lackeys who love mammon more than they love God. If this were not true, then please ask yourselves, why are these hirelings taking a paycheck? No New Testament minister ever did.

The New Testament ministry knew better, and they loved their flocks. They pastored their groups and worked “with their hands” to support themselves. Under normal conditions (as Paul explained) it would be acceptable to take compensation for doing any job, but he and his fellow workers did not, and for a good reason. They were NOT hirelings.

With the hireling, there must come the need for mandatory tithing, and tithing is part of the Law of Moses ONLY. Jesus never took tithes, and there’s no record of any New Testament preacher ever doing likewise. Tithing was integral to the earlier Law of Moses . . . only.

It’s interesting to note, that when Jesus referred to the “Law” of the land in those days, He always referred to it as “Your law,” (referring to the Pharisees) or “The Law of Moses.” He never, never, never referred to it as “The Law of God,” simply because it wasn’t. It was the Law of Moses, and therefore, a part of the fading Old Covenant.

If anyone thinks they can produce a human prince from a frog’s DNA, then I wish you the best. In the same way, if you can produce a “godly” theology from a corrupt spiritual core, then someone is going to have to change the laws of the universe. It simply doesn’t work that way.

And if you are a part of this whole charade, the please remember what many of the New Testament cautions and advice given actually say about false ministers, ones who will “make merchandise of you..” Remember II Corinthians 11: 14-15. And there is only ONE criterion to check this out . . . look at the fruits. Take your time. Examine what’s said, and above all . . . note the arrogance of the ministry. By their fruits.

Years ago, a Seventh Day minister, Trinidad Padilla (Triny – as we called him is now deceased) spoke on the phone to an ex-Worldwide Church of God minister. He traditionally invited this minister to speak at the next Sabbath services. Since Triny had never met this Worldwide Church of God minister, he was wondering how to identify this man at the services, since there were about fifty new folks that were due on that next Sabbath.

When Triny walked into services, he looked around among all the new people, and then spotted one particular person. Triny walked up beside him, and observed him for about a minute, then he shook hands and identified himself. Triny was correct.

Later on and when he was asked how he managed to identify the ex-Worldwide Church of God minister before even speaking to him, Triny replied: “It was simple. His arrogance.”

What you do with any of this information is up to you, the reader. I know many brethren read this, and many ministers of the present and past cults. Many folks may claim they don’t read this website out of fear, but we KNOW many do.

Let’s face it, IF the information given here is wrong, then simply prove it wrong. Like Paul said, reject it and go on your way. But, if it’s correct or bears witness, then the option to address the matter is in your hands. Either way, no one can make an objective conclusion without listening to BOTH sides of the argument. Please check it out, and prove all things. Remember to investigate the original spiritual DNA, and the fruits of the offspring won’t be any different.

Article by John O.

2 Replies to “To The Brethren And Current “Church Of God” Members”

  1. Good old John O. He always had a way with words, facts, logic. Although it is probably at least 15 years old, this article is just as timely as if it had been completed and emailed to James just this morning. If a 2002 rescued reader of this article, in what we used to call WCG +, had just given birth to a child, that child would now be in high school and anticipating getting his or her driver’s license, hopefully never having been scared by the spectre of the Germans, and never having been “cowed” by Armstrongian authority. One can only hope that many were assisted out of the toxicity through John O’s efforts. As a former minister, he had a unique tone, a non-pushy, inoffensive one that helped reopen minds.

    The only thing I would wonder about today is how many church members still regularly read here. Sometimes it seems as if the world of discussions that we once enjoyed, and the sheer number of participants, have contracted. One would hope that this indicates that those who no longer participate have successfully addressed the Armstrong problem, have received healing, and have transitioned to a better life. Or, that typical readers fit the profile and characteristics of the millennial generation, and responses are now different from the classic ones.

    Today’s ACOGs seem like tribes or social clubs. The members who do best are insiders in the various cliques. It’s not that big a problem when someone gets bounced from one group. They either leave Armstrongism completely with an abundance of written support here and in other places, or their odyssey takes them to another group where suddenly they are able to catch up with another group of old friends with whom they had not been permitted to fellowship for years.

    We also can’t forget the unfortunate members now in their 80s and 90s whose sentences of servitude to the Armstrong gulag have lasted 50 or 60 years! It produced the same bad fruits and COGnitive dissonance for them as it has for the rest of us, but sadly, the masochist within adapted and endured. All a friend can say is “Ain’t it a shame?”


  2. Bob, you wrote: “this article is just as timely as if it had been completed and emailed to James just this morning.”

    Yes, the article is just as relevant as the day it was published. As you know we have thousands of articles that take a position much like the author of this one. It is common ground for those who have been screwed and tattooed by the ACOG’s.

    “The only thing I would wonder about today is how many church members still regularly read here. Sometimes it seems as if the world of discussions that we once enjoyed, and the sheer number of participants, have contracted. One would hope that this indicates that those who no longer participate have successfully addressed the Armstrong problem, have received healing, and have transitioned to a better life.”

    Yes, the website is not as active as it once was. People have transitioned out of Armstrongism and have healed and moved on which is the point of us staying on-line. This is a good thing. This has always been the purpose of The Painful Truth.

    “Today’s ACOGs seem like tribes or social clubs. The members who do best are insiders in the various cliques. It’s not that big a problem when someone gets bounced from one group.”

    This is true. 10 years ago it was hardliner doctrine bible believers waging war. Now days it is the social connection that keeps people attending and tithing. In another 10 years that will have gone by the wayside also. The Armstrong movement is dead. Maybe Bob Thiel can make a go of it in Africa for a short stretch. When they hit the economic skids Bob is destined for welfare or full time work in his health food shop. Dave pack won’t fair as well with all the debt he has.

    And yes, it is a shame. None of this needed to carry on as long as it has but people are generally stupid. They think with their emotions instead of their head.

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