Sunday, 29 October 2006

The Two Witlesses

The following entry comes from the keyboard of Dennis Diehl.

In my 26-year experience as a Pastor, I had managed to meet 23 of the Two Witnesses of Revelation. I am tempted to say 11 pairs and one who thought he was both, but that’s not how it really was. Every one of these was a lone male, sometimes a pastor, sometimes a member, often times a lone religious renegade that no church would claim. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the Two Witnesses, these are the two final humans, but some say they will be the literally resurrected Moses and Elijah, Moses and Aaron, or Amos and Andy depending, who will tell all of us on the earth why the end has come. As the Bible says, “This Gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached to all the world, and then shall the INCOME, oops sorry, end come.” The competition among those Pastors and Apostles that are hoping to win the title and at times behave more like competing to be Larry, Moe and Curly, but that would be Three Witnesses, will probably be more astounding than any Two Witnesses of Revelation. The description is found here in Revelation 11.

REVELATION 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (NKJV)

While I personally feel that the chance of any two human beings being taken seriously in this role is about nil, it is none-the-less a very big part of the prophetic hopes of many literalists, especially those in what have become the remaining splinters of the now defunct Worldwide Church of God. It still exists, but it just doesn’t know it has become irrelevant and uninfluential in the world of theology and religion. Tis more like a glorified Sunday School than a Church, but I spare you. The Two Witnesses would never come from the Worldwide Church of God because yelling, “woe unto you, we don’t know the answer to that either, be warmed and filled…” etc, is just not a credible message these days and certainly not scary enough. The kind Jesus of the Gospels gets lost somewhere between John and Revelation as well. Angry books make angry churches.

However, even if there were ever such a modern day thing as the Two Witnesses, here is why it would not work. No two human males in the entire Church of God menagerie of splits, splinters, slivers and dust mites could ever get along long enough to come up with the same coherent message. Frankly, they would smite each other before they ever smote you and I.

The Book of Revelation, which probably is not near as up to date for today as most think, nor written with the events of today in mind as many are taught requires the Two Witnesses to get along and agree with each other for a time of 1260 days or about three and half years. No way! I have yet to meet any two of the Church of God ministers, especially the Lone Rangers of “My Church is the one true church,” mentality to be able to agree on anything or get along for much more than a few hours, if that. This is way short of the time these two men will have to live, eat and agree together on the next day’s rants against the people. Let me illustrate what I mean.

Ronald Weinland was a minister in the WCG, then a minister in the United Church of God (UCG), but a number of years ago declared himself a prophet—(even though I prefer the idea that Churches be NON-PROPHET) he did that many years after the Philadelphia Church of God’s Gerald Flurry did the same. Both of these minister types were Worldwide Church of God pastors before the crash. Both went on to start their own one man shows. In an email inquiry of Mr. Weinland, by Dr. Robert Thiel of the Living Church of God, as to whether or not he claims to be one of the Two Witnesses, Mr. Weinland replies:

Yes I do make the claim. I am one of the witnesses. The subject is already covered in sermons on our website and will be covered far more thoroughly in a new book that will be out before next Feast of Tabernacles.

So we have that settled. We have the first of the Two Witnesses, even though he was never on my original list of 23. So now we have 24. Hey nice! That’s the same number of Elders around the throne of the Son, or the hours in the day around the SUN, whatever you like!

Next enter David C. Pack, founder and sole authority in the Restored Church of God, also a sliver offshoot of Christianity. While Mr. Pack has never said that that he is one of the Two Witnesses, he has said in sermons that they will come out of the Restored Church of God, come UNDER his supervision as Witnesses are not higher than Apostles, of which he is one, and that HE will train them for their 3.5 year assault on the world. Pretty cool stuff to spend your life planning I think!

At any rate, Dr. Thiel goes on to note:

There is a rumor going around, which I never posted, that Ronald Weinland claims that David Pack is the other of the two witnesses. This is not true. When I asked him, I received the following response: ’No I haven’t said such a thing about Dave. We are not going in the same direction.

I did post the above response so that those interested in the truth would realize that the rumor was false. I do have a concern that now that this rumor is out and now that Ronald Weinland claims to be one of the two witnesses, that it would not surprise me if one who has taken titles to himself (Gerald Flurry comes to mind) may decide they need to claim to be one of the two witnesses.

So now we have problems. There are my 23 of the Two Witnesses, Gerald Flurry of the Philidelphia Church of God…maybe in time, Ron Weinland for sure and the two, yet to be announced in the Restored Church of God under Dave Pack. Let’s see, 23+1+1+2=27 Two Witnesses. And these are just the ones I know of. Perhaps there is significance in 3×3x3 Witnesses, but I don’t know what it might be so forget that.

Ok, but here is the problem even bigger than too many of them.

5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. (NKJV)

Of course people are going to want to harm these guys. At least if they are the ones mentioned. And with that much firepower, well they say way too much now in Church that can’t be backed up with reality, so someone is going to get burned. Letting them smite us all “as often as they desire,” is just going way overboard on God’s part. I think some of the smitting could degenerate into a bad case of “oh yeah…blam,” “oh yeah…bash,” “Oh yeah…crunch.” A Way too human a way of getting everyone’s attention. Personally I think, with the bad record churches and men have for being false prophets and witnesses and just plain looney, I would prefer that God just call a weekend seminar, serve nice food, and personally explain to all of us just what seems to be the problem. I respond better to that kind of thing rather than having people I don’t trust in the least think they can smite me at will for not believing them personally. I still feel that when we speak to God, it can be called prayer, but when God speaks to us, we might need medication and not a following… But the real problem and the real reason we don’t have to worry about the Two Witnesses coming out of the Church of God movements that have sprung from the demise of the Worldwide Church of God is best summed up in the observation by Mr. Weinland himself.

”’No I haven’t said such a thing about Dave. We are not going in the same direction.’”

This is our salvation! The fact is that no two men in any of these groups can get along for even a minute is the key that unlocks the truth of Revelation on this topic! Mr. Weinland can’t abide Mr. Pack. Mr. Pack won’t credential Mr. Weinland or Mr. Flurry. Mr. Flurry can’t stand Mr. Pack and doesn’t know Mr. Weinland and my personal list of 23 all agree that no way are these new guys invited into the final contestants for the job! Can two walk together unless they be agreed? The answer is no, so in no way will any of these guys be the Two Witnesses for 3.5 seconds, much less years.

Now Mr. Pack insists that he will select the Two Witnesses and train them out of his own Church. I doubt that because Mr. Pack so loves titles, “The Watcher”, “End Time Apostle”’ “Mr.” etc, that I am sure he’ll want to be, hmmm…both of the Two Witnesses himself. There is more control over what is said, less overhead and less dispute over who is the chief smiter, firebreather, plague giver, blood maker and drought causer. Somewhere and somehow, Mr. Pack will find a way to give a four to eight hour sermon on how the Greek word for ”two” is really the word for “twoo” as in “true” and Witnesses is really supposed to be singular. It is the Twoo Witness, which of course, will be Mr. Pack.

The good thing will be that if the others oppose this, he can incinerate them with the word of his mouth and plague ‘em. Well maybe not in that order. Well anyway, won’t happen in reality.

So relax everyone! Since no two male ministers of the same group or Church of God, and certainly no two in opposing groups can get along long enough to remotely fulfill the 3.5 years the Two Witnesses of Revelation will have to work together, we are all safe! Any two from this bunch will plague, drought, smite and incinerate EACH OTHER long before the sun goes down on the first day of their prophecy!

You can check out more of Den's remarkable writing by clicking on the link in the right hand column.


Douglas Becker said...

Wade Ewart Cox also claims that the Christian Churches of God will have two witnesses. This seems unlikely, since, in the past year, Cox has ousted all of his church officers and most of the members. By the time we get to the time of Revelation 11, it's unclear that there will even two in the CCg upon which to draw. It gives new meaning to "a one man show".

Nevertheless, one thing I don't believe that Revelation 11 says clearly is that the two witnesses are men. You missed that one, Dennis, and, you know, it opens up grand possibilities.

This would alleviate the problem of two males not getting along. A man and a woman, even in the churches of God, have been known to get along for 3.5 years -- some even longer. Of course, it would be problematic if they were married, but, then, Revelation is also silent about that.

A woman would be perfect for the job. You know: She could bring up what people had done two years earlier and that would shut them up more effectively than bringing down fire from heaven or withholding rain. It certainly stops most husbands in their tracks.

My vote would be with Carly Fiorina, of course, since she had been president, CEO and Chairman of the Board of HP [and did a mighty fine job too!]. She would certainly have incentive to deal with the powerful of the world, seeing as how they fired her from her position without warning and without giving any reasons -- as reported on Sixty Minutes a couple of weeks ago. And more perfect is that she never has been a member of the Armstrongist Churches of God.

Given the problems in the xcogs, not just restricted to YACFODs [Yet Another Calendar For Our Day], divisions, narcissism, stalking, fondling but also alcoholism as in the drunken bride of Christ staggering down the red carpet and barfing all over Jesus' tuxedo in front of God the Father at the Marriage of the Lamb. One would bet that will leave a stain on the wedding dress. In the 20 years after the death of Herbert Armstrong, not one problem has been solved and everything has gotten worse and worse until we have gotten to the place of who the two witnesses are going to be.

Stuff it guys.

You haven't read the Scriptures, have you? I mean, I wouldn't want the job, thankless as it is. Oh, it might be satisfying to some psychopathic religious narcissist who's ticked about not being a god yet, but for the rest of humanity, taking revenge just isn't that satisfying. There's something really sick about someone wanting to go around hurting people all the time, just to get personal validation that they are somebody, when they are nothing at all.

No, being an end time witness is a death sentence. You won't have any friends. It's not like the church of gods is going to invite you to their potlucks or get you to come out to the restaurant on the Sabbath with them. You're on your own. And it is doubtful that there will be a stay in a five star hotel either. A tent is more likely--one without shower and bathroom facilities at that.

Well, you never know. It might be a woman.

Then again, maybe the women are too smart to do the job. They will probably want to take a back seat on this one and let the testosterone poisoned guys with shrunken brains and a lot of pent up anger take this one on. It would be the wise thing to do. It's like the point of view gun in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The men just don't seem to get it.

The perfect revenge really. And it will get the man out of the house so Mrs. Pack can have some peace.

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, no. You're all wrong.

Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong will be the two witnesses. I know. I heard Gerald Waterhouse himelf say it on one of his world tours. While the two Armstrongs are off being witnesses, the rest of us will be in Petra where Christ will be getting the American out of the Americans, the Irish out of the Irish, the scotch out of the Scotch (on cue, everyone chuckle). . .

jorgheinz said...

Amazing how may vie for the latter day positions of God's prophets.

Those who claim the positions as theirs are the least likely to receive them. Pretenders, indeed.



Dennis said...

Great Picture Gavin! How did you catch the TW's in the very act? Cool beans! Doug is right. I forgot the potential of a woman. This would totally eliminate Dave and Gerald from the list as no woman is going to speak in their church, much less speak equally with a man.

I think an attractive woman who is liberated and understands the power of the Goddess would be an excellent choice. I say leave out men altogether. Two Female Witnesses would be very effective and probably the whole world would repent without one blast of fire, plaugue or drought necessary to convince!

Anonymous said...

Douglas (and Dennis),

Sorry, not roles that can go to women. Witness (pardon me!) the following, from Merriam-Webster, which demonstrates conclusively the maleness of the matter:

Pronunciation: 'tes-t&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural tes·tes /'tes-"tEz/
Etymology: Latin, WITNESS, testis.

Anonymous said...

I think you're all wrong. William Dankenbring will be one of the two wittnesses.