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Founder and Pastor General of The Restored Church of God, Editor-in-Chief of The Real Truth magazine, and voice of The World to Come program, David C. Pack has reached many millions around the globe with the most powerful truths of the Bible—unknown to almost all. He has authored 80 books and booklets, personally established over 50 congregations, and appeared as a guest on The History Channel. Mr. Pack attended Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, entered the Worldwide Church of God ministry in 1971, and was personally trained by its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.Learn more
A Conclusion Everyone Should Read
By David C. Pack
NOTICE: This is the SEVENTEENTH in a series of special announcements. They collectively unveil the massive, ongoing expansion that God’s Church, Work and Headquarters are experiencing. There is a reason for this expansion! The reader should contrast these announcements to the increasing bad news and bad events in UCG, LCG, PCG, COGwa and ALL splinters and slivers of the Worldwide Church of God. You must see what they are NOT announcing, and why they never will—and what GOD is bringing upon them. The place to start reading is either the fifth announcement—“God’s People Back Together—SOON!”—or the first one to catch up on all you have missed. If you begin with the fifth announcement, then read those before and after it. They are all important. An enormous and detailed prophecy is now being carried out by God. He is preparing events to soon bring His people back together—all of them. It is not my task to convince you the prophecy is true. God will do that! My job is to systematically lay out the specifics of what will happen and WHY—good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant. YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS A SINGLE ANNOUNCEMENT! If you do, CATCH UP. Also, you will miss the full impact if you skip sections of these announcements.
This will be my last announcement for some time. It brings additional aspects of the Haggai/Zechariah prophecy to completion. Many thousands have read the special Friday Announcements and are still reading them. Brethren have come with The Restored Church of God prior to the Feast of Tabernacles, even during—and after. They came to believe the prophecy and understand we are all in a waiting mode.
This longer, important announcement will bring final elements to the prophecy, but also helpful excerpts from an extraordinary 1972 article by Herbert W. Armstrong about how Christians should view matters of prophetic timing. Readers will find it fascinating. No next “date” will be set. I will explain what had not been understood. At the same time, God had more knowledge to reveal before and during the period around August 30 this year. This announcement completes what else we learned.
Mr. Armstrong’s 1972 Tomorrow’s World Personal
All older brethren will remember when Mr. Armstrong wrote a long letter to the Church about an expected date that God’s Work would end, which did not come to pass in the way we thought (January 1972). As an Ambassador College student I was taught and believed that we were part of the last graduating class (June 1971). The year 1972 was thought by virtually everyone to be when the Work would end. I came to college in 1967 under the common belief that I/our class would not have time to get married or have children. Brethren for some time had stopped getting their teeth fixed or replacing bald tires on their cars because January 7, 1972 was “the end.” This thinking led to what would later be many stories that would be told and retold. Mr. Armstrong had also come to generally believe this timeframe.
In the February 1972 edition of Tomorrow’s World magazine, Mr. Armstrong addressed how Christians should view elements of prophetic timing. He wrote an article titled “The 19-Year Time Cycles – What HAPPENED January 7 – What My Commission IS!” He explained what it means when a date passes unfulfilled—in this case the timing of events that were directly connected to Christ’s Return. (Realize that the date of the remnant’s return is not nearly as important as when the Work is over and the Church is taken to safety—which the Church for years believed we could know absolutely.) Brethren who may be disillusioned or discouraged about the timing of the Haggai prophecy should find it helpful and encouraging to read Mr. Armstrong’s words. Due to the article’s length, I can only include excerpts. The serious reader will find and read the whole article.
Knowing human nature, and that most brethren will not care enough to read Mr. Armstrong’s entire article, it is best to quote him extensively to avoid misunderstanding his overall intent and purpose, including some specific facts he wanted to convey. He opens with basic instruction that carefully sets up powerful understanding:
“Thousands know that I, personally, have been called and chosen for a very definite commission in God’s service. But I have definitely not been called to be a prophet—except as that word, Biblically used, does sometimes refer to a minister or speaker—one who proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Emphatically I am not a prophet, in the sense of one to whom God speaks specially and directly, revealing personally a future event to happen or new truth, or new and special instruction direct from God—separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible. And I never have claimed to be.
“There is no such human prophet living today!”
“The Bible is the written Word of God—and, for our time now, it is complete! Never have I believed or claimed that God reveals to me new truths not contained in the Bible—in addition to, or apart from, the Bible.”
Mr. Armstrong understood and made clear to all that he was NOT a prophet. This recognition will momentarily become more important. I recognize the same of myself, and have said so several times. Mr. Armstrong never once claimed to be a prophet and neither have I. Yet thousands have accused him of being a false prophet. (Whole websites are dedicated to listing his supposed “failed prophecies.”) Thousands today in the splinters make the same accusation of him. I will hardly escape similar attacks.
Later in the article, Mr. Armstrong explained more about his calling and how he learned he was an apostle, but also what he learned about matters of chronology, including prophetic chronology:
“…The Bible was not fully written—only the Old Testament—in 31 A.D. God then was still communicating new truth, instruction and knowledge directly and personally to prophets. As the Church progressed, it was the function of a prophet to communicate to the apostles special messages which God had personally revealed to them. Others were inspired in the writing of the books of the New Testament.
“So we read, in Acts 11…and 21…of the prophet Agabus. But today we have the complete Word of God, for our time, in the Bible. There are no such prophets—except false ones. [Author’s Note: If only brethren would have believed this when they began following false prophets during and after the apostasy.]
“Now a word about what my Commission is not. It is not to become an infallible expert on, or to preach, chronology.
“I feel at present that the whole question of chronology is in confusion, and no one can be sure of dates.
“As of the present I, and a majority of our historians in Ambassador College, and researchers in the School of Theology, feel that it is utterly unsafe to try to set dates in regard to future prophesied events, especially the return of the living Christ in supreme Power and Glory to…all nations of the earth.”
I have been well aware for over 40 years in the ministry of Mr. Armstrong’s position on setting dates. But in the case of the Haggai prophecy, I and every minister at our Headquarters concluded that the prophecy came in a manner that was inseparable from timing—that timing was directly attached to it. Mr. Armstrong continues, explaining that some venturing into matters of timing, chronology and setting dates is natural and almost unavoidable:
“But we are only human, and it is natural that we should have been curious to know, as far as possible, how much time we had to get the job done …
“That, however, in fact, is not our main purpose, or Commission—which is to proclaim Christ’s Announcement of the advance good news of the coming Kingdom of God to rule all nations…”
“Let me say now, that in early July last year (1971), I could not have said that had as yet been done. But, in the literal Scriptural meaning of that commission, as of January 7, 1972, it had been accomplished [reaching all nations]! Six months before we had not yet gotten the Message into Japan, nor into the Scandinavian countries. Now we have!”
“BUT—the unanswered question is—how intensively does God intend all these countries to be reached? That is the question He has not answered—in the Bible. (Unless by one implication of which I will cover later.) But, by what happened on that very day, January 7th, and since, it appears He has now given us the answer—He intends the nations to be reached more intensively than as of now!”
We know in hindsight that the Work done under Mr. Armstrong was more intensive after 1972, but also that everything has to be done all over again (Rev. 10:11). Now more:
“The sophisticated churches of the world seek leaders who are intellectual, socially cultured, leaders in the community. But when God chooses His human instruments, He is more concerned about the sincere and honest of heart. He calls imperfect (all men are, anyway) but sincere and dedicated human instruments. They all make mistakes! This fact needs no apology!”
Mr. Armstrong next explains the long process of how he came to understand God’s truths. He continues adding important foundation to bigger points yet to come:
“When I was first called—autumn 1926—spring 1927—I first looked for proof, one way or the other, as to whether God exists…”
“Now I began to learn a truth, a subject, a teaching, or a doctrine at a time. Baptized in 1927 (late spring), I was not ordained to the Ministry until late May, or early June 1931…In my study, I did not receive everything perfectly all at once. There were instances where, having felt I had come to understand the true Biblical teaching on a certain subject, other Scriptures discovered later put a different light on it. I had, on occasion, to confess I had been in error, and to correct it.”
“I…received Christ’s Gospel not from man. I…certify that the Gospel I have taught and proclaimed is not after man. I entered no theological seminary, where I would have received a particular denominational teaching and set of doctrines and practices. I was not taught by MAN. But I was taught, as was Paul, by the revelation of Jesus Christ—Paul from the living Christ in person—who is the Word of God in person—but I from the written Word of God—which is the same revelation, now set in print.
“I did not get it all perfectly at the beginning. No one could. Most of God’s truths, assuredly, were revealed perfectly and in truth from the beginning. But, as an example, even Peter says ‘…our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction’…And sometimes, in the light of other Scriptures, I had to confess error and correct it.”
“…Humiliating or not, I openly and publicly corrected these errors at once.”
I have had to do the same—more than once—in coming through the apostasy. I had to admit a little over 20 years ago to having accepted two or three doctrinal changes without realizing I had, and that they were error. I immediately corrected what I saw had been wrong, and did so publicly. As you read what’s next from Mr. Armstrong, think also of the splinters, meaning what they are not willing to do:
“Let me ask you this question. Do you know of any large, established, well-recognized professing Christian denomination which has publicly confessed it had been wrong in what it had been teaching, and which then corrected the error, and turned to the truth?”
“No, the big established churches and denominations feel they cannot afford to admit having had any error—having ever mis-taught the people.
“But are they all perfect and correct in what they teach? If so why do not any two agree in all points of doctrine? The reason is simply that they do teach certain errors which they are afraid to confess, for fear they would lose members.
“Thus they have educated the people to suppose that if any leader, any church, and work of God can be found to have been in error at any point, they cannot be trusted …”
This unwillingness to admit error is occurring throughout the splinters today—while brethren are (falsely) told almost routinely that I teach error. Yet I teach exactly what Mr. Armstrong taught. Instead of returning to God’s Church, brethren remain in places where they are drenched in false teachings straight from the apostates who took them straight from the Protestants! But they will not come with us—God’s true Church—because they are being deceived by false leaders about what The Restored Church of God teaches—and about what Mr. Armstrong actually taught.
“Yet they are all human. They are all subject to error, and so are you—and so am I—and so is this Work of God. Even though it is God’s Work, directed, empowered and blessed by Him, He carries it on through frail, weak humans, and we humans are ALL of us subject to mistakes!’
“…Repent means confess your sins …”
“If I were looking for God’s one true Church, I would assuredly look for one that had confessed and corrected its errors! For all have had them—even the early churches…”
“Any criterion that assumes God’s true Work through humans is absolutely perfect, unable to be wrong or make mistakes or hold to any error, is a false measuring stick and will mislead you.
“You may ask, do I, then, feel that we in this Work are full of errors, misleading the people? Most emphatically NO! We have not had to correct error many times. But each time we have corrected an error, we have had one fewer error left. If we knew of any error still remaining, now, we would change it! If and when we find one in the future, we shall correct it! The one who follows that principle is the MOST free from error!”
I and The Restored Church of God do the same. Mr. Armstrong continues:
“So, confessing such an error is one of the surest proofs to identify the people through whom the living Christ is working—and whom He is using!
“If you are looking for a leader who claims that he is perfect, and you think you have found him, and he is human, he is a false leader. There is only the one Leader who is perfect today—and He is the living Christ! We follow Him—and we trust you, with us, will do the same.”
It is quotes like these from Mr. Armstrong that are often used out of context by splinter leaders who hold offices below the rank of apostle. They claim, “We can change (translate: overthrow) teachings of Mr. Armstrong because he admitted he got things wrong.” They cite Mr. Armstrong for authority to change what they absolutely have NO AUTHORITY to change!
Mr. Armstrong included a series of quotes from politicians, generals, scientists and educators who said mankind as a whole was in deep trouble and did not have much time left. Here are just a few examples of what led him to feel time was very short. I have bolded a paragraph that guides my thinking. It includes a short sentence that is underlined that should also guide yours:
“Sir Philip Noel-Baker (Nobel Prize winner in 1959) before television cameras, radio mikes, newspaper and magazine reporters, this dedicated man of science, deadly serious said, ‘I believe that within ten years, we will all be dead and the earth will be an incinerated relic.’ That ten years passed three years ago. But no one calls Sir Philip a false prophet. At any time during that ten years his statement could have come true! What he said is even more of a possibility today than in 1959! There are more ways to destroy mankind now than then!
“This man of science, well informed, trying to get someone to heed the deadly seriousness of a world condition, boldly stated he felt it would be decided within ten years!”
“The Federation of American Scientists in 1960 declared, ‘It appears unlikely that the world will avoid a nuclear holocaust if another 15 years pass without arms control agreement!’ He set a date—1975!”
“The point: Because these men add a date to their concerned comments regarding mankind’s future, does it mean that their concern, and all the overwhelming facts which cause that concern, are wrong? NO! When the house is on fire no one seems interested in the exact number of minutes one might have before he is finally consumed!..”
“Time marches on inexorably, and so do all the prophetic events leading to the collapse of mankind’s experiment in self-government. And better yet, the sure coming of God’s kingdom to save man from himself is near!
“Emphatically, if we—in our dedicated enthusiastic zeal to get God’s warning of the end of mankind’s world before this sick, sick world—do, even though we intend not to, appear to set a date, I feel I do not need to apologize! No one but the enemies of all good will accuse!”
There are plenty of “enemies of all good” accusing God’s Church today. I see them exactly as Mr. Armstrong did—as no more and no less.
“…Making a mistake is not any evidence at all that a man is not being used of God. But these men [speaking of Moses, Abraham, David, Elijah and Peter] corrected their mistakes! AND SO HAVE WE!..”
“The big point is—we have been getting the job done—and no one else on earth has!”
Mr. Armstrong’s words are as true for God’s Church now as they were in 1972!
Three Aspects of Destruction
There are other elements within the Israel-out-of-Egypt parallel that have also come to light. These conclude the announcement. What follows is in simplified form and is intended to be easy to understand. It is far from all that could be written.
Previous announcements have outlined the destruction that God will bring on the splinter “houses.” We originally thought He would desolate the “houses” in two phases. It is now clear from Haggai—and this will be impossible to misunderstand when you see it—that there are three aspects of destruction coming that are so complete they leave nothing remaining.
Referenced earlier, the first element of punishment has been occurring for the last 21 years and is described in Haggai 1:6: “You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earns wages earns wages to put it into a bag with holes.”
Haggai 2:16 is God recounting the same thing to the remnant—that they never got the expected return on investment they hoped for over more than two decades: “Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty.” See the parallel!
Haggai 1:6 describes God’s long ongoing punishment on His people due to their actions. When brethren and ministers began forming their own houses, God cut them off from both His Holy Spirit and His blessings. Their “works” never produced the expected return on investment because they were cut off from these things. Verse 10 adds “Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew [blessings], and the earth is stayed from her fruit [of the Holy Spirit].”
The second element of punishment appears in Haggai 2:17. Fascinating meaning comes when we examine the subtle differences in words that God chooses. Let’s read: “I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you turned not to Me, says the Lord.”
This verse is in the context of a look-back message to the ministers about what God did to get their attention—things that did not work. This ongoing action of God intensifying His punishment—turning up the heat—has been in the face of all the groups’ continuing resistance to returning to His Church. What He brings to bear is SERIOUS. (We will see in a moment how serious.) Despite God bringing awful punishment on them (and their houses), these ministers still did not repent and “turn to” God. Haggai 2:17 forms an instructive look-back to ministers who grew weak and confused for decades. God requires them to come to grips with how their congregations and organizations fell into the horrible mess that resulted. His warning is so that history will not repeat itself. Much is at stake for these ministers in what is everyone’s last chance.
The word chosen for “labors” brings additional understanding. The Hebrew simply means “an action…generally a transaction…activity…a product…or (generally) property…business, deed, labor, thing made, ware of making, occupation, possession…work.” God says in effect that He will bring to nothing the occupation, transactions, products and business of these “houses.” This describes how an ongoing part of the punishment, described as “plagues,” affects the ministers’ ability to get anything productive done. God smites the ministers’ collective “labors” with what He calls blasting, mildew (fear) and hail. At some point in the future, thousands of brethren will begin wondering, “What is going on? What is wrong?”
“Smote” involves a long, sobering definition. It means “to strike, beat, give wounds, kill, make slaughter, punish, slaughter, slay, smite, strike, wound.” Obvious symbols are used here because blasting, mildew and hail cannot be literal. God is not sending actual hail onto groups, or hot, dry winds on them (blasting). These three symbols represent punishment, but not yet complete destruction. The Hebrew for “blasting” can also mean “blight,” which is disease. Hot, dry winds would certainly have no effect on a church. Also, mildew comes from a Hebrew word that means “paleness, whether of persons from fright.” See the point. God will send FEAR into these groups in an attempt to WAKE THEM UP. The kinds of things God will do will leave people pale with fear. GET THIS because conditions will eventually grow worse, then much worse. Think of it through the following analogy. God’s Church will be on an elevator going up, while the splinters are passing us on one going down.
Haggai 1:9 summarizes what is described in chapter 2:16-17: “You looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I did blow upon it.” This is God “blowing away” the annual crops in the splinters.
Haggai 1:11 describes the decisive and conclusive third element of God’s three-fold punishment: “And I called for a drought [Heb. desolation] upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground brings forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands.” Previous announcements explained each of these categories in detail. What they picture is broad and sweeping.
The word for “labor” here is different from the word for “labors” in Haggai 2:17. God is very careful with the words He uses. He tells us “every” one is “pure” (Prov. 30:5) and “purified seven times” (Psa. 12:6). “Labor” is a stronger word in Haggai 1:11, and means “toil, your work, produce, property, your business, labor.” In other words, God desolates EVERYTHING—not just actions, transactions or little deeds. Haggai 1:11 is God’s final wave of punishment on the splinters. This is when God destroys EVERY element of the splinters—the word desolate means to leave uninhabited. No wonder the people in verse 12 fear before God. Recall from another announcement that the Hebrew means the people fear because of God. Previous announcements explained more about what takes place in this third culminating aspect—awesome divine intervention!—that causes the remnant to repent—to “obey,” “fear” and come to “work” in God’s House (1:12, 14). Powerful miracles will be involved, including the divine removal of individuals and the use of God’s own voice.
Desolation and Waste
There is more proof that God intends to completely destroy the splinters. Remember the importance of specific words He chooses. In Haggai 1:4, He describes His house lying “waste.” The word for “waste” in verse 4 is chareb and is better translated “parched or dry”—NOT waste. God’s Church today, compared to the Worldwide Church of God, is certainly parched and dry—doing a powerful Work, but with only a few thousand in number. Chareb (khaw-rabe) is a softer word than the one in verse 11 describing what will come in the splinters. The word for “drought” in verse 11 is choreb (kho-reb) and means “desolation, utterly waste.” This is a crucial difference.
The definition of “desolate” from Merriam Webster’s is: “Devoid of inhabitants and visitors…showing the effects of abandonment and neglect, dilapidated, barren, lifeless, devoid of warmth, comfort or hope.” Webster’s definition of “waste” is: “a barren region, uncultivated, a broad and empty expanse.” The context of the categories described in Haggai 1:11 reveal that God is going to destroy everything in the splinters. Nothing and no one will be left. He is going to take the splinter assets, crush their income, dismantle their governments, destroy all their production and disperse their people—everyone. Think “barren” and “devoid of inhabitants and visitors.” God’s choice of word means the splinter “houses” will be uninhabited. And He will make it clear to the remnant where they should go.
Recall from Zechariah 11:3 that certain shepherds will “howl” due to all that occurs: “There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.” Again, the lions are probably Israeli political, military and religious leaders who are anguished over having been abandoned and betrayed by their fellow Israelite allies. But who are the shepherds that howl?
We now know more about why certain “shepherds” are howling. Shepherds obviously references ministers—but what kind? These are anguished men (in fact, you will see they are wolves) who were recently over part of God’s flock. Because of what they have just witnessed—and lost—they are howling in grief. The reference cannot be to worldly ministers. The apostle Paul described false ministers as “grievous wolves” in Acts 20:29. Since shepherds do not howl, this group of men is simply better thought of as “howling wolves.”
A fascinating article appeared recently from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) titled “Howling wolves give clue to top dog.” Beyond fascinating, the article details much more about the nature of wolves, particularly when pack leaders are removed or die. Here are excerpts we will read before making conclusions:
“Wolves howl more when a close companion or high-ranking group member leaves [or is killed].”
“That’s what scientists found when they analysed how captive wolves reacted when one was taken to the forest for a walk.
“Known to be social creatures, the work further emphasises the importance of a wolf’s relationships within its pack.
“The findings, published in Current Biology, suggest the wolf’s howl is explained by social factors rather than physiological ones such as stress.
“Friederike Range from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria, who co-authored the work said the wolves were communicating to each other just how important they were.
“‘We didn’t know there was some flexibility on how much they howl depending on their relationship. The amount of howling is really defined by the quality of the relationship.’ Dr Range said.
“She told BBC News that the wolves howled differently depending on which one was taken away.”
The research explained that if a lesser-ranking wolf is removed, wolves howl differently. Experts have learned to distinguish these unique differences in the way wolves howl. The article quoted Dr. Simon Townsend, “‘Wolves seem to howl more when higher ranking individuals leave because these individuals play quite important roles in the social lives of wolves.’”
Another interesting element of wolves is that they do not howl when the top wolf is away at a distance. They seem to know the wolf is safe and they are okay. If the wolf is gone, they seem to know the wolf is alive. They only howl when the wolf is gone at a great distance or has been killed. In light of Zechariah 11:8, the meaning becomes obvious.
Let’s summarize who these howling shepherds are by eliminating who they are not. (1) They are certainly not the faithful shepherds who would rejoice at deliverance and reunification of God’s people, and that they can now serve more of them. (2) They cannot be hirelings who the Bible says flee when wolves are present. (3) They cannot be the three top wolves who will have by this time been “cut off.” Conclusion: They can only be the remaining wolves among the splinters whom God left out of the reunification of His people. Certainly God would not include WOLVES in His Plan for those with His Spirit to come back together. These would not hear His voice, and would be howling over the loss of position, authority and salary.
No New Date
None of this speaks to when the prophecy will be fulfilled. I will certainly never repeat such a mistake. Those who believe the prophecy and are waiting on God will understand how important these elements are once it is fulfilled. Remember, you can wait in God’s Church for this fulfillment—or outside. It has been inspiring to see how many have come with us beginning in the summer and continuing to present. They know the prophecy is correct and the other two prophecies that quickly FOLLOW are drawing closer daily. The number of new people keeping the Feast with us at Headquarters this year was 19%. The number keeping the Feast in Lake Placid, New York, this year was 22%. The number keeping it with us in Destin, Florida, this year was 16%. The number in Branson, Missouri, was 27% and the number in Salt Lake City, Utah, was 29%.
God’s Work is exploding forward in a way we have not seen. Keep watching for future announcements about God’s Work! And check back next week for the annual inspiring “Behind the Work” film. It will be like nothing you see in your splinter or any other splinter.