Let’s Deal with Some Lies from ‘Banned by HWA’


The Bible teaches:

16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Gary Leonard, the webmaster at the Banned By HWA site (an anti-Church of God website), continues to post lies about me. He is a false accuser of the brethren that does not take Proverbs 6:16-19 seriously.

While I do not intend to respond to most of the falsehoods and accusations he continues to post about me, I thought it could be helpful to some for me to show what he falsely asserted about me this week, to help demonstrate that he and others like him need to repent and should not be trusted until they do so.

Here is something from the Banned By HWA site dated 11/25/19 and some of what Gary Leonard posted:

Did you know that Scriptures Predicted Bob Thiel and the Improperly Named “continuing” Church of God?

In his ongoing quest to prove he is legitimate in the eyes of Laodicean church members, the great Bwana Bob Thiel is pulling more rats out of his hat to make us believe he is the one and only TRUE church out there today do a work.  Scriptures point directly to him:

The New Testament does specify some in the last days:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)

We in the Continuing Church of God have those biblical signs. Plus unlike the Eastern Orthodox, we teach much more that agrees with the Bible.
Being faithful to the word of God is more important than signs and wonders. However, for the Philadelphian faithful signs and wonders can help show who the most faithful church is.

Self-appointed Church of God leaders down through the decades have pulled scriptures out of the Bible AFTER they have started their little personality cults, to PROVE they are the chosen ones.  Anyone can go to the Bible and pull out some obtuse scripture to support whatever loony idea they want to hold.  Fake COG leaders are extremely adept at doing this.

Bwana Bob Thiel can spout all he wants that because he dreamed a dream and some crazy person on the other side of the world also had a dream does not prove he had the right to start yet another splinter personality cult of Armstrongism.

Let’s briefly deal with three of the accusations.

First, I am NOT self-appointed. The Bible states that God appoints prophets (1 Corinthians 12:28) and that He speaks with them through dreams (Numbers 12:6). Furthermore, it was the late evangelist Roderick C. Meredith who repeatedly stated (beginning on October 3, 2008) that God may consider me a prophet–years before I left LCG (which happened on December 28, 2012). He also said (Jan/Feb 2009) that if he raised himself to the office of apostle that he was considering ordaining me as a prophet. Although he did neither of those, God ended up having LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour lay hands upon me and pray that I would receive a double-portion of God’s spirit on December 15, 2011.

Second, I did not pull out scriptures only after the formation of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) to point to my position/dream, etc. Gary Leonard’s assertion in relationship to me is a flat out lie. I cited various scriptures and fulfilled predictions to the leadership of the Living Church of God when I was still part of it and had no intention to depart from it (I only departed after Dr. Meredith essentially informed me on 12/28/12 he would not keep his promises to correct doctrinal and prophetic errors he had previously agreed to).

Third, the Bible does teach that God would use dreams and prophets in the last days as Acts 2:17-18 states. Furthermore, it was not just me and one other (that I did not know prior to the dream) that had confirmed dreams related to me and/or CCOG. At least seven associated with CCOG have had confirmed dreams (for details, see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God). For more related to Acts 2, check out: Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?

Getting back to the Banned article, Gary Leonard continued with:

Bwana Bob is always looking for scriptures to legitimize himself, but for some reason ignores this one:

Jeremiah 23:1-6 New International Version (NIV)
The Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!”declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

Certainly, I look to scriptures to support the work and my role in it (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Isn’t that what a true Christian leader would do?

That is something that the Banned webmaster apparently cannot stand.

That seems to be one reason he calls me many names.

Now, related to Jeremiah 23:1-6, the truth is that I have NOT scattered the flock. Instead, we in CCOG have gathered many that had been cast aside or neglected by other COGs, plus reached people that the other COGs had not done so.

That is part of why the CCOG has been the fastest growing xWCG-COG in the 21st century.

The Banned article continued with the following passages to suggest that the negative aspects of it somehow applied to me:

Or this one:

 Ezekiel 34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Israel’s False Shepherds

34 The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them.

7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them.

Now, one thing that Banned by HWA webmaster Gary Leonard apparently can’t stand is the concept that true COG ministers are not in it for the money.

Furthermore, in my case I am NOT feeding off the sheep.

Neither myself nor my wife Joyce take a salary from CCOG. Instead we voluntarily work to help others–we spiritually feed the sheep.

Since we take no salary, the money we would take for a salary has gone to preach the gospel around the world as well as to support the poor in places like Africa.

Nor am I ruling the flock “harshly.”

Frequently, Gary Leonard has called me a liar, certified liar, or something else to attempt to challenge my credibility.

But the problem is that he cannot stand the idea that God has intervened in my case and what I speak is the truth.

The “lie” he seems to claim I make is that I received a double-portion of God’s Spirit after Gaylyn Bonjour anointed me.

As it turns out, I spent several hours with Gaylyn Bonjour on November 28, 2019. He, again, confirmed many events related to me, including his prayer for me to be granted a double-portion of God’s Spirit.

We also went over some of the falsehoods that Banned posted about me in the post I am mentioning here.

Furthermore, Gaylyn stated that he tells those who ask that he says:

I have known Bob Thiel since 1986. He has always been honest, dedicated, and sincere.

And that includes what I have written about him and the prophet matter.

By the way, in June 2017, Gary Leonard posted the following lie:

Thiel deliberately conned Gaylyn Bonjour into giving him a blessing.

That is flat out not true. We did not discuss any type of blessing before I was anointed by Gaylyn Bonjour.

As far as being prophetically anointed, what happened to me?

Here is a short version: In November 2011, both LCG minister Dr. Jeff Fall and LCG minister Gary Ehman told me that I did NOT need to have hands laid upon me in order to be a true prophet of God. Yet, I told them that something like that needed to happen for me to accept it. And in November/December 2011, I prayed that if I truly had a prophetic role from God that He would have something happen during a planned mid-December 2011 trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to confirm it or deny it if that were His will. As it turned out, on 12/15/2011 hands were laid upon me in Charlotte by LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour, who I had not even intended to see then (I had asked to see Gary Ehman, but as it turned out, he was not in the Charlotte office due to an unexpected illness). After seeing Gaylyn Bonjour mentioning some health issues and wisdom, he laid hands on me, and specifically prayed that I would be granted a “double-portion” of God’s Holy Spirit, and he anointed me with oil. Afterwards, Gaylyn told me that he had not ever requested a “double portion’ of God’s Spirit before on anyone, but he felt that it was reminiscent of the time that the prophetic and ecclesiastical leadership mantle passed from the Prophet Elijah to Elisha (2 Kings 2:9-13). Gaylyn Bonjour had been unaware that I had prayed that God would have me anointed or somehow identified for a prophetic role on that mid-December 2011 trip if that were His plan for me and I had never discussed my possible prophetic role with him prior to this anointing. On 12/18/12, I asked Gaylyn Bonjour if he knew what he may have unintentionally done and he said yes. This 12/15/11 anointing appears to be the first biblically-appropriate prophetic anointing in the Church of God in many decades, if not many, many multiple centuries. And the legitimacy of this anointing has been proven by subsequent events–though many do not seem to understand how God works at times (see also Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?).

As it also turned out, I tried to meet with Dr. Meredith on December 19, 2011 to tell him that it seemed God was telling me that his wife was about to be struck with something serious. A few weeks later (per Dr. Meredith’s letter dated 1/12/12), Dr. Meredith reported that his wife (who was much younger than he) was stricken with stage four cancer (she later died on November 29, 2013). That prediction was not the result of analytical skills on my behalf, but I believe were insights from God’s Spirit.

In my view, the unexpected ‘double-portion anointing, Gaylyn Bonjour’s comments about the mantle passing, and my feeling led to tell of something about to hit Sheryl Meredith, were the result of my prayers in November/December 2011 that the prophet matter would be confirmed or denied in Charlotte with my December 2011 trip.

Let this be clear, I was absolutely anointed, had hands laid over me, and the minister who did so prayed that I would receive a ‘double-portion’ of God’s Holy Spirit, and afterwards that same minister stated that this was reminiscent of the mantle passing from Elijah to Elisha (Gaylyn Bonjour also brought up the passing of the mantle related to this when we spoke on March 23, 2012). The fact that he did not originally intend to pray that I receive a ‘double-portion’ of God’s Holy Spirit is of no consequence, as the Bible shows that although Isaac had not intended to provide certain blessings to Jacob, once Isaac laid hands upon Jacob and gave the prayer, the anointed blessing would remain according to the Bible (Genesis 27)–and unlike Jacob, I did not employ any deceit in the anointing.

Furthermore, understand that I believe that I do have the appropriate prophetic fruits that Jesus discussed (Matthew 7:15-20) and that those truly interested in the truth can see this if they truly wish to prayfully look into this. Perhaps it should be mentioned that while some question my ordination, others have also had concerns about God’s anointing and ordinations (2 Kings 9:1-11; Jeremiah 43:2; Genesis 27:26-37). God does not always do things the way humans think He does (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9).

Gary Leonard does not want to accept that I have the fruits of a prophet and meet the biblical (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God) and COG criteria for that (Church of God Leaders on Prophets; see also Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?).

Jesus wrote:

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

People like Gary Leonard say all kinds of evil against me falsely–this is one way they persecute.

Sadly, Gary Leonard and many other opponents do not care about the truth and think that they are getting away with their lies and falsehoods.

Yet scripture says, “be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

The Book of Proverbs teaches:

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:4-5)

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. (Proverbs 26:16, KJV)

Because of Proverbs 26:4, I do not respond to most of the lies and false accusations at the Banned By HWA site, but because of Proverbs 26:5, I sometimes will.

As regular readers at the COGwriter.com website are aware, I provide scriptures and many facts and reasons to back up my writings. Gary Leonard and others should ask themselves if they can accept the truth or if they prefer dismissive conceit.

Gary Leonard is an accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), and often a bearer of false witness (Exodus 20:16).

Gary Leonard has had a chances to come clean, confess his errors, and move forward.

But so far, he has chosen Satan’s way. Jesus spoke about people like him:

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:44-47)

Jesus also said:

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:20-21)

The tactics of anti-COG sites seem to be to combine truth with error, just as Satan did in the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 3:1-4)–Christians are NOT to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:1).

In the days of the old Soviet Union it was said that propaganda needed to be about 90% true or people would not be as susceptible to believing it. The anti-COG sites often do have some items that are true. But they often come to conclusions or make accusatory statements that are false.

Although he tries to disguise it, much of his hate is without cause. Gary Leonard hates those who pretend to be in the COG as well as those that truly are in the Church of God. Jesus taught:

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.‘ (John 15:22-25)

The anti-COG writers bring to mind something that the Apostle Peter was inspired to write:

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:18-22)

The anti-COG sites, like Banned By HWA, make bold improper statements. Notice more of what Jesus said:

11 … Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Revelation 3:11)

12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Mark 13:12-13)

Sadly, various ones have let the anti-COG people “take their crown”–did not “endure to the end” as they should have. They allowed people once considered to be brothers to betray them spiritually–and yes it will also happen physically (see Persecutions by Church and State).

Notice something that Jesus wrote about people which reminds me of many of those who post at the anti-COG sites as many intentionally cause offense:

6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! (Matthew 18:6-7)

The webmaster and several others at the Banned By HWA, as well as at some others at anti-COG websites remain in my prayers. Consider also the following:

21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. (Psalms 34:21-22)

We are to pray for those who have made themselves enemies of true Christianity as well, since Jesus said:

27 But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. (Luke 6:27-28)

We are to pray and not give up because of criticisms.

Some do not seem to understand that Jesus and the apostles faced intense criticism and false assertions–and that those who really want to follow Him will be subject to it as well (John 15:18-25).

Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The anti-COG promoters have been influenced by Satan. Yet, according to Jesus, their tactics will not prevail:

18 I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18).

Satan’s power, and those on his (Hades) side, will not stop the Continuing Church of God. Nor can they stop prayer (cf. Luke 6:27-28; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

After all of this, some of you may think you should have nothing to do with the Continuing Church of God as Gary Leonard and others improperly speak against it. But biblically, that is NOT the right attitude to have.

Notice what some said to the Apostle Paul:

21 Then they said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.” (Acts 28:21-22)

So, despite true Christianity being spoken against, some were interested in hearing. Here are the verses that followed:

23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. 25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 26 saying,

Go to this people and say:
‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”‘ (Acts 28:23-27)

Being spoken against did not stop the Apostle Paul from teaching the truths of God. Nor is it stopping me or the Continuing Church of God. Nor should it stop those who are really believers in the truth.

The webmaster and various others at the Banned By HWA site remain in my prayers.

Some items of perhaps related interest include:

Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
Banned by HWA and Ambassador Watch There are various ones that oppose the Church of God, but they will not prevail (Matthew 16:18).
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? Here is a link in Spanish: Sueños, la Biblia, la Iglesia de Dios de la Radio, y la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult? There are misleading statements on the internet that this article tries to address.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember.
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui? Here is a link to a short animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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