‘Banned by HWA’ continues to make false assertions–Matthew 13:19-21?

Gary Leonard, the webmaster at the Banned By HWA site (an anti-Church of God website), seems to relish in posting false accusations and innuendoes against me and others.

Why do I think that?

Well, in my personal case, for some odd reason he likes to lump me in with others he apparently detests and then asserts that I have the same flaws he claims others have.  For example, here is something he posted yesterday:

The question that really needs to be asked is why do the leaders in various Churches of God keep silent as they watch Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, Rod Meredith and others abuse their members.  Why do none of them speak out?

Flurry, Pack, Thiel, Malm, Meredith and many others are NOT their brothers.  These men are not brothers in the faith. They sit there and do nothing as one horrendous abuse after another is dished out upon COG people.   How many more need to die from suicide, die from lack of medical care, have their families ripped apart and marriages destroyed?

While I am not aware of all the details of the others listed above regarding all the alleged abuse, I would like to comment about myself (But as far as various positions and actions by the others listed above, readers can read the following articles Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God, Why Not the Restored Church of God?, Error-Ridden James Malm Not Doing an Elijah Work, Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel, and What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?)

In the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) I have repeatedly worked to NOT rip families apart, but to strive to keep them and marriages together (though not all who are married wish to listen). None I am aware of in CCOG have died from suicide, though that happens in and out of COGs.  And although I personally strive to avoid mainstream ‘medical care’ for myself, I have never taught members to not seek it if they wish. And I do care for the brethren (and pray for them daily).

Yet, Gary Leonard is claiming otherwise.  And that is a flat out lie from him.  He should stop making false accusation up against me, as well as others.

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

Now, he and others might object to some of this and claim that I was silent when I was once part of the old Global Church of God, then Living Church of God (LCG).

But that too, would be inaccurate.  At least twice in the Global Church of God (GCG), I contacted members of its Council of Elders with objections related to its then leader, evangelist Roderick C. Meredith.  Once was in an email to Larry Salyer, and the other was during a telephone call to Dr. Jeff Fall.

So, why did I end up in the Living Church of God?

Well, in addition to doctrinal and gospel reasons and issues with positions taken by the new GCG board, Dr. Meredith changed his behavior related to the objection I made to Larry Salyer and Dr. Meredith also personally apologized to me for statements he had made to the brethren in the old Global Church of God that I brought up to Dr. Fall. Anyway, I accepted Dr. Meredith’s repentance on those points (cf. Matthew 18:22) and still pray for his repentance on other matters to this day.

Furthermore, while a part of the Living Church of God I regularly contacted various ministers when I had specific complaints of ‘abuse’ that I understood, plus sent in numerous doctrinal papers, as well as urging its leadership to follow Matthew 18:15-17 related to the leadership and the brethren.  So, for Gary Leonard to indicate otherwise is wrong.

And even in the old WCG, I twice sent Joseph Tkach letters objecting to information that he was allowing to get published. I also remember writing about something that Herbert W. Armstrong said, when HWA was alive, related to the brethren that was wrong.

Yes I will add, I was polite and factual and was never disfellowshiped or marked by any of those groups for anything, including steps I took to try to help them better help the brethren and/or improve doctrinal integrity.

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 propoganda 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.

What about addressing any of Gary Leonard’s false assertions and innuendoes?

Consider that the Bible says:

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)

1 To everything there is a season,A time for every purpose under heaven: … 7 A time to tear,And a time to sew;A time to keep silence,And a time to speak; (Ecclesiastes 3:1,7)

Thus, while I normally do not bother to deal with most of the innuendoes, lies, and false assertions at the Banned by HWA website,sometimes there is a time to do it (cf. also Ecclesiastes 3:16-17).

Notice something that Gary Leonard posted about me on Tuesday of this week:

Self-Appointed Prophet Claims That The Govenment (sic}Will Soon Be Attacking Them Because Of What They Preach

One thing the church has been really good at is creating a “persecution complex” in many of it’s so-called leaders.  They self appointed themselves as leaders, started their own splinter personality cults, and claim to proclaim the gospel message with “authority.” …

None of these so-called leaders have been more paranoid than the Almost Arrested Prophet Elisha Elijah Amos Joshua Chief Overseer Bob Thiel.

Gary Leonard often uses the term ‘self appointed.’ Instead he should consider using ‘God ordained.’

It was evangelist Dr. Meredith himself who telephoned 0n October 3, 2008, and said to me, “God may consider you to be a prophet.”

Notice that this came from a long-time evangelist and did not first come out from me. It was Dr. Meredith who first brought up the topic about Bob Thiel being a prophet. In January 2009, Dr. Meredith further told me over the telephone that if he (Dr. Meredith) was raised to the office of apostle, he was considering ordaining me (Bob Thiel) as a prophet. And on February 4, 2009, Dr. Meredith told me over the telephone, “You have an in-depth understanding {of prophetic matters}—you could be a prophet.”

Although Dr. Meredith was not raised up to the office of apostle, and did not personally ordain me, God had His own plans. In November and December 2011, I counseled with my pastor Dr. Fall, as well as Gary Ehman, about various matters related to the prophet matter.  I told both of them that I thought that I needed to have hands laid upon me again in order to validate the view that I might be some type of a prophet.  They both told me that, in their view related to being a prophet, baptism was scripturally sufficient.

While that sounded logical, the statement from the Apostle Paul to Timothy about getting hands laid upon him (1 Timothy 4:14) gave me personal pause.  And that caution led to me pray more about it.  Thus, instead of concluding that I had sufficient anointing, especially considering the relative enormity of some of the ramifications of this as a conclusion, I searched the scriptures and concluded that, perhaps like Gideon (Judges 6:36-40), that I would seek further outside confirmation, and preferably God would provide that from Charlotte. And I prayed for an answer from God.

Then it happened. On the morning of December 15, 2011, upon arriving at the Charlotte HQ of LCG, I asked to meet with Gary Ehman as I wanted to get anointed for some non-debilitating matters as well as to ask him to pray that I be granted wisdom for my meetings with the Charlotte-based LCG evangelists. But Gary Ehman was not in.  So instead, I asked to meet with Gaylyn Bonjour (with whom I never had any discussions prior about me possibly being some type of prophet). I asked Gaylyn Bonjour if he would do the anointing and pray that God would grant me wisdom for the meetings. He agreed. But while laying hands upon me, Gaylyn Bonjour also happened (it was not planned nor did I say anything to encourage this) to ask God to grant me a “double-portion” of His Holy Spirit and anointed me with oil. I asked him if he had ever prayed for a a double-portion anointing before, he said he had not, and that the only ‘double-portion’ he knew of was when Elisha received the double-portion and the mantle in 2 Kings 2.

On March 23, 2012, Gaylyn Bonjour told me he felt that in the Bible the “double-portion of the Spirit” anointing was related to “the passing of the mantle” and that it mattered not what certain other leaders would say because it is God, and not an organization of men, that truly appoints prophets, etc.

On June 29, 2012, I conveyed to Gaylyn Bonjour, Dr. Winnail’s written comment in a letter dated 6/28/12 suggestion that my conclusion as to what seemed to happen when I was anointed by Gaylyn Bonjour on 12/15/11 was “presumptuous.” Gaylyn Bonjour disagreed that Dr. Winnail should have indicated that I may have been presumptuous about this.  Gaylyn Bonjour told me that he felt that I was exercising proper caution and that to ignore what happened would seem to be against the will, and possibly plan, of God.  Gaylyn Bonjour also stated that it is God, and not men, who “appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

I believe that the facts support that God had me ordained, yet Gary Leonard and others seemingly do not believe that God does that, despite the Bible teaching that GOD ordains prophets. But yes, God also has men physically do anointing, and He led Gaylyn Bonjour to do so.

The Banned by HWA website also regularly calls me a ‘false prophet.’ Its webmaster has claimed that I have made false prophecies (which is not true) and that nothing I have said came to pass, which is also not true (for some details prayerfully study the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Now what about the “Almost Arrested” title Gary Leonard often puts in his description of me. This seems to be used to scare people away from me like I was some type of horrible criminal.

Well, it is true that I was almost arrested, but I do not believe that Gary Leonard has bothered to explain why.  This relates to something that happened 37 years ago.  The Day of Atonement for 1979 was to come up the next week.  I was in the military at the time, and the powers that be decided that I had to work on that day. Biblically, that was not an option for me:

27 Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls … 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. (Leviticus 23:27-28)

7 On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work (Numbers 29:7).

But the military disagreed.  My commander had me meet with my first sergeant on a Friday. He told me that the legal office and chaplain said I had no legal ground to stand on and that I would not be allowed to observe the Day of Atonement, which was the next Monday.  I wondered if I was about to be arrested right then. After the legal threat from the military, which would have been followed through by arrest and at least temporary time in jail no later than Monday, I quickly and silently prayed similar to what Nehemiah anciently did (Nehemiah 2:4).

Somewhat like what happened to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:5), God gave me an answer. And that is what Jesus taught would happen:

11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.  12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11-12)

Anyway, what I told the first sergeant stopped the threat of arrest and I did observe the Day of Atonement and was never arrested.

Jesus and the Apostle Paul were improperly arrested. And when Jesus’ original apostles were arrested and brought before the authorities, they did not compromise either. Instead, they responded with:

29 We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

I, too, choose to obey God rather than men.  Yes, if I would have compromised I would not have been arrested, but instead I prayed and trusted God and was simply almost arrested.

Gary Leonard acts like being “almost arrested” for what happened to me is un-Christian. The apostles would have a different view. Here is what the Apostle Peter wrote:

20 But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

22 “Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; (1 Peter 2:20-22)

Jesus faced false accusations and people not believing Him, even though He told the truth. Notice something that Jesus said:

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  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 8:43-47)

It is not only disbelief, the Banned site inaccurately posts improper statements.

Notice something Gary Leonard posted on Sunday:

I had a news alert today regarding Almost Arrested Elisha Elijah Joshua Amos Doubly-Blessed Chief Overseer Bob Thiel. It was about his latest online sermon. Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.

Thiel has also come up with a new gimmick in order to make him look like the biblical “authority” he foolishly believes he is.  Hold up your big thick bible and shake it at the camera and people will know you mean business!

The self appointed lying wonder Thiel is not alone in his fear based topics and embarrassment of Jesus.

Actually, the two things at Banned that got me to post about them again was the implication that we do not teach about Jesus (which Gary Leonard has more blatantly falsely stated in the past) as well as the picture at the beginning of this post.

Let’s see three points related to what Gary Leonard asserted:

  1. The item Poltergeists and Lying Wonders was not a sermon. It was a sermonette that was posted about a week earlier. And the last sermonette I had done, which was posted on that same Sunday, did significantly discuss Jesus (watch Why does the Islamic State kill and terrorize?).
  2. Explaining, as I did in Poltergeists and Lying Wonders, that there is a spirit world is biblical as opposed to ‘fear based.’
  3. The last SERMON I posted (and this was done Saturday evening, prior to Gary Leonard’s post) was titled Matthew 17-18: Transfiguration, Elijah to Come, Taxes, and Forgiveness. In it, I went through all of Jesus words in the two chapters of Matthew mentioned in the title.

Furthermore, the last sermon was simply the eighth in a series covering EVERY WORD Jesus taught in the Book of Matthew. Additionally, the series on Matthew comes after similar series intended to cover EVERY WORD that the New Testament recorded that Jesus wrote–which Matthew 28:19-20 shows that true Christian leaders should do.

Notice also some of the past sermons related to fulfilling what Jesus commanded, related to teaching all things He taught, as part of what is commonly called the ‘great commission’ (Matthew 28:19-20):

MATTHEW Here are links to seven sermons covering the first 16 chapters of Matthew (sermons to cover the remaining chapters are in progress): Matthew 1-2: Greek or Aramaic, Jesus, and the Star?, Matthew 3-5: John the Baptist, Temptations, and the Beatitudes, Matthew 6-7: Charitable Deeds, the Rosary, Prayer, the Golden Rule, and Faith, Matthew 8-10: Married Clergy, Faith, Coming Persecution, and the Ecumenical Agenda, Matthew 11-12: John the Elijah, Sodom, Unpardonable Sin, & 3 Days and 3 Nights, Matthew 13-14: Parables, Mustard Seeds, Birthdays, and Faith, and Matthew 15-16: Tradition, Signs of the Times, and The Rock & Peter.
MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the ‘Gospel of Mark’: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark?
LUKE Here are links to eight sermons covering the entire ‘Gospel of Luke’: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the Census, Luke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the Mount, Luke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the Ministry, Luke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and Signs, Luke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow Way, Luke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards, and Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence. The last sermon also covers Jesus’ words in the Book of Acts.
JOHN Here are links to a seven-part sermon series covering the entire ‘Gospel of John’: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & Heaven, John 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles and the Bread of Life, John 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day’, John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of Jesus, John 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate, and John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants.

Sadly, because many involved with the Banned by HWA website do not have a real love of the truth, they do not seem to care about their false assertions and conclusions.

Among other lies and accusations Gary Leonard made in posts about me at Banned By HWA, is that a couple of weeks ago he claimed that I take a parsonage allowance for the house I live in (I do not) and that I deduct electricity related to the parsonage (which I do not)–I do not take a ‘parsonage allowance’ at all (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God.

It is one thing to have theological differences, but quite another to ignore the truth and spread falsehoods.

Will he and others repent?

Perhaps. Perhaps in this age. Saul who made threats against true Christians, who became Paul, did repent (Acts 9). If Gary Leonard and his cohorts do not, hopefully one or more will be able to in the “age to come” (cf. Matthew 12:31-32; see also Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants and Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

False accusers of the brethren fit in with Satan’s Plan.  Notice something Jesus explained:

18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:  19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.  20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. (Matthew 13:18-21)

Sadly, I have seen some who read the type of lies that the Banned By HWA site asserts as facts fall by the wayside.

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 Jesus will as well:

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  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 15:18-25)

Notice something that Jesus wrote about people who remind me of many posters at the Banned By HWA site:

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 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).
Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult? There are misleading statements on the internet that this article tries to address.
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.
What is a True Philadelphian? Many claim to be part of the Philadelphia era of the Church, but is claiming enough? This article has biblical and historical evidence about who really are the Philadelphians.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
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?
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. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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