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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
Time to Prepare
By David C. Pack
NOTICE: This is the FOURTEENTH 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 is one of my last announcements in this long series covering one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible—the reunification of God’s people. Much has already been covered. There is no value in restating all that has been written. Twenty-four previous announcements are available on our website. This one will be much shorter, covering final points.
“Notification” by God
Some weeks ago I explained that this prophecy’s fulfillment is not very far off.
For those who wish to be objective, but who take as a starting point that they do not believe the prophecy is imminent, ask why you disagree with the internal elements of the prophecy itself. I have put in a great many hours preparing what you read because there is value in getting people to think about what will happen BEFORE it happens. If you are among those who agree with the prophecy but have decided that some much later year carries a better chance for fulfillment, then you are probably already at least a little bit “considering your ways” as God instructs twice in Haggai 1. This much is good. The job was never mine to convince you of the prophecy, but rather to inform you in the spirit of God’s promise in Amos 3:7, explained last Friday. It is God’s job to convince you of EVERYTHING He is going to do. His servants merely inform you, knowing they are powerless to convince. Grasp this difference.
Consider. God would first have to notify—inform!—His Church in advance of His plans, and for many reasons. Again, Amos 3:7. The biggest reason is that His Church could not be ready for what would absolutely blindside it with sudden enormous growth, and growth coming without explanation. Our questions would be what is God doing and why—and when will it end. How will this change and expand our ministry?—and size of Headquarters staff?—and the same with our college? How big will the Work now suddenly grow? In short, what does all this sudden growth mean? Wherever you think God’s Church is, you surely would agree with this much. God would have to inform His Church of what He intended to do. The only question remaining for His Church—and this IS the biggest one we had among many others that were big—was WHEN He would gather His people back to one House. Consider again. There would have to be enough time to prepare.
It has been fascinating to see which ministers in the splinters will not even wait to see if they could be wrong in disagreeing with the explanation in these announcements. Rather they are speaking out against the meaning of the prophecy, thus choosing to end their ministry—choosing to give themselves no chance to continue serving God’s people. This is because they have gone on public record against how Christ is regathering His flock (recall Matthew 12:30-32)—and because they do not want to give up their positions of power. Such men should have read and believed the “Attention Ministers” section at the end of each of these announcements. A little patience and humility would have served them well. But, we are all the “captains of our own ship.” This prophecy will soon prove this at a profound level.
For over 14 years, The Restored Church of God has focused on helping to lead those of like mind—who want the standards taught under Mr. Armstrong—back to one organization, God’s Church. We have striven to fulfill Christ’s warning in Matthew 12:30, which describes those who gather instead of scatter in seeing who is “with” Him and who is “against” Him. We—I—did not see for a long time how God would return all of His people to His Church. I came to understand last August that God had an end-time “remnant” that He would bring back, but I did not at that time know how or when He would accomplish His purpose. I gave a series of seven sermons and Bible Studies last summer and fall on the remnant, starting with Romans 11:5, and why this passage applied to the end of the age, not the apostle Paul’s time (we will reference it again later). It was only later, beginning in early November, and focusing on Haggai and Zechariah, and other verses in the Psalms, Ezra and Nehemiah and the writings of four different New Testament apostles, that I began to learn HOW God would fulfill His Plan. All 17 of our Headquarters ministers have spent a staggering amount of hours studying these many verses, and as they have stated, there is complete agreement down to the last detail. The case is that strong.
These announcements have explained what God revealed—knowledge that was hidden in His Word until His time to fulfill it had come. When fully understood, this prophecy brings an inspiring message of HOPE. It is my hope that a powerful picture has been painted!
We learned that God is bringing “desolation” on the splinters. I promised last week to present six biblical proofs that after the prophecy is fulfilled the splinter “houses” will be gone or well on their way out. All competition to God’s true Work will be eliminated. Here are GOD’S proofs, not mine:
(1) Haggai 1:11 reveals that God calls for a “drought,” more correctly translated “desolation.” It involves a list of very distinct categories of activity within the splinters. The categories that God lists are comprehensive—complete. One of my previous announcements explained them. Verse 11 also describes God’s desolation including “all the labor of the hands.” Labor includes “toil, work, property and produce.” This describes destruction of competing works—“labors.” (Point 4 will amplify labor.) “Desolation” means desolation, not something short of desolation. God’s plain meaning is that He plans to destroy these organizations. On what basis would you disagree with the meaning of desolation?
(2) Zechariah 11:3 describes “shepherds” (ministers) “howling” because their “glory is spoiled.” Reviewing last week: Glory means “something ample (as a large vine, a wide dress)…garment, glory, goodly, mantle, robe.” These are “respected” men in positions of authority. Spoiled includes the meaning “ravage: dead, destroy (-er), spoil (-er), (lay) waste.” We might ask: Does this imply anything less than complete destruction? Make yourself answer.
(3) Zechariah 11:9 describes three categories of people remaining after God removes the “poor of the flock” from their midst—a group now merely described as “you.” These are those who will not return to God’s Church when given the final opportunity, and who are permanently severed from God. Read the passage and see the three categories, as we did last week. What do they say to you? Verse 9 is God interpreting verse 3. No part of any organization will remain, although God says others are also scheduled to be “cut off” (vs. 9), probably soon and almost certainly because they try to rekindle something in continuing opposition to God that He will not permit. With God’s Spirit gone, as well as the collapse and loss of corporate assets and income, and loss of many ministers and staff, a picture of complete desolation—meaning “wasted without inhabitant”—remains.
(4) Haggai 2:17 speaks of symbolic “blasting, mildew [Heb: paleness from fright] and hail” poured out by God on the splinters. This supports and reinforces #1 above—a scene of desolation. (Announcement #28 expands on the three phases of punishment God is bringing on the splinters.) Note that the “blasting, mildew and hail” also comes upon “all the labors of your hands,” encompassing all the competing works of men. Labors here is a different Hebrew word, and it means, “actions, transactions, activity, products, business, labor, thing made, occupation, operation, work (manship).” These are all GOD’S choice of words and terms. Let’s ask: Why would we believe He meant something other than what He said?
(5) Notice the instruction to “this people”—many of whom soon after form the remnant—in Haggai 1:8 to “bring wood” from their “mountain(s)” to “build God’s House.” Wood is used for offerings all through the Old Testament. Beginning Christians learn that mountains is a symbol for governments or nations—in this case, governments of the splinters. It is pretty obvious the kind of assets that become available to God’s Work. Related to this, God says in Haggai 2:8 that “the silver is Mine and the gold is Mine.” Ponder this a little in the context of a book (Haggai) covering the subjects you have seen. Why would God include such a blunt statement, and seemingly so out of context? It appears God is saying these things were always His, not anyone else’s. The massive thievery by false leaders is now over. In effect, at least in part, God is saying what was Mine is now Mine again, as it always should have been. If you disagree with the meaning of #5 here, why?
(6) Supporting all of this is an extensive New Testament passage written by the apostle James. In a context easily seen to be a parallel of the prophecy—for many reasons!—James 5:1-6 describes the riches of false leaders being “corrupted” and destroyed. It is interesting that James 5 starts out with “rich men” who are told to “howl”—only one indicator (a strong one) that this is a New Testament parallel of the Haggai/Zechariah prophecy.
After reading the above points, the objective person concludes that God foretells complete desolation of the splinters and slivers. We will see that this happens QUICKLY to them all. Reread Zechariah 11:9.
Some Final Points
Next consider that God has never dealt with people or done with leaders exactly as He plans with the three shepherds. In fact, there may be other miraculous events immediately surrounding this one. A number of verses suggest this. (This case is also strong.) In part it will depend on the new greater profile which God wants to use as a starting point for His Work going forward within the “world skyline.” Although it is to be immensely powerful and big before complete, the final Work of God is also foretold to be very short—and Matthew 22 and Luke 14 show the Work will be carried out in two stages after the Haggai/“Grace” prophecy is fulfilled. The first stage is short and involves securing and reestablishing the poor of the flock who return to God’s House, and the second is the longer phase of finishing the Work of God in the manner that Mr. Armstrong led it for decades. The question becomes how well-known does God want His new expanded Work to be in the immediate wake of His intervention to reunify His flock. Put another way, what does God want His Church and Work to look like on the world scene?
If I were trying to palm myself off as a prophet, I would just spout a personal opinion at this point without worrying about whether I was right or wrong, or what God says. But the above question is an example of something we must wait to see. The “size”—the MAGNITUDE—of the three shepherds’ removal on the world scene will speak volumes to God’s Church and the Government within it about how rapidly God is planning a Work of great impact. We can emphatically rule out the Work emerging as “small.” But we might ask: will upcoming events catapult God’s Work to something immediately the size of “medium,” “large” or “colossal”? While I have ideas, I do not have the answer. We will wait and see together.
Of course, many are eager to learn “Who are the three shepherds?” We will know soon enough. But we might also ask: Which three leaders are the greatest obstructionists to God’s stated purpose in Haggai—returning HIS people to doing HIS Work? Yet again, we will watch and see.
Many Old Testament passages foretell a remnant of physical Israel returning from captivity in all nations. In the Zechariah 11 prophecy, God is going to break His staff called “Grace.” How interesting that the apostle Paul was inspired to describe the New Testament “remnant” (of Romans 11:1-5) as a “remnant according to the election of GRACE.” In addition, verse 4 points to the Old Testament account in I Kings 19, involving Elijah the prophet. The serious reader may wish to read all of I Kings 19 for parallels in search of why God inspired Paul to use THIS ACCOUNT as a reference regarding how we do or do not listen to God, among other purposes. Recall and reread I Corinthians 10:11 and Romans 15:4 from last week. Is Paul also telling us that 7,000 baptized members will be faithful, and added to His Church? If so, what about children in the count? Are these just the number who are “holdovers, the surviving portion” (the meaning of “remnant” in Haggai), from the Worldwide Church of God, with others converted later in the splinters on top of this? How do the thousands already in The Restored Church of God fit into this number—if it is to be taken as a literal number at all? I do not know the answers. Again, I have ideas, but we will all wait to see the answers.
I decided to make this announcement shorter. This is because instruction and warning has been given. The serious reader will read and consider the following passages, chapters and whole books over the coming days in light of the prophecy as you have learned it. Considering that the apostles all believed they lived at the time of the end, and that God inspired them to write and record events as though they did, we should look at what God is saying through them TO US. Consider reading the list below in the order given. Some points are explicit, others more subtle. The reader should ask God to guide him through what is recorded. Look for specific themes, descriptions, parallels and warnings. (Of course I realize these are passages that can be taken in more than one way, that can have multiple applications). But how many specific themes, descriptions, parallels and warnings can you find while studying these scriptures—perhaps on your knees?:
(1) II Peter 1:19-2:22—Many points apply here—there are many parallels—but who are those “made [Grk: born] to be taken and destroyed” in the context of the “swift destruction” of chapter 2, verse 1 after having “made merchandise of the brethren”? Who are these men described as “among you,” meaning among the brethren?
(2) Acts 20:28-32—“Grievous” wolves means “weighty” or “authoritative” wolves—TOP wolves—and Paul also describes these wolves as “among you.” What was it that Paul knew—“For I know this”—that caused him to warn as he did—day and night for three years with tears? Ponder this.
(3) James 5:1-9—This entire book is addressed to “brethren,” a word found over 20 times in James—by far more than any other book of the Bible. Chapter 5 focuses on “rich men” who “howl.” James speaks directly to these men who are among, and who are afflicting, the brethren. Strangely, James has no power to deal with them—to DO anything about them. For the moment, imagine Mr. Armstrong describing such people and then not disfellowshipping them if he could. This is an end of the age prophecy about men who only God could address because they were “beyond the reach” of the apostle James. Make note that verses 7, 8 and 9 all talk as though Christ’s coming would be soon.
(4) Jude—Note that Jude references three men in verse 11—Cain, Balaam and Korah—who are seen to be a type of evil. In reference to “ungodly men,” God says “Woe to them” who “crept in unawares” and copied the path of these three men. These are yet again described as leaders who are foretold to live in the “last time” (vs. 18) and who are among God’s people (vs. 12). Yet, like James, Jude writes as though the Government of God’s Church cannot “reach” these men—to do anything about them.
(6) Psalm 11—All
(7) Psalm 37—All, but read very carefully for a long series of powerful terms, messages and signals.
(8) Psalm 44—All, but particularly the latter two-thirds where it is obvious that the flock of slaughter—seen to be “cast off,” and in “the place of dragons”—is asking God to intervene and save them.
(9) Psalm 50—All
(10) Psalm 80—All
(11) I Kings 19—All
Keep watching for additional announcements to be posted as more prophetic elements are made clear.