After David C. Pack declared himself an Apostle in 2005, it was only a matter of time before he would unleash his grandiose plans and continue his reign of spiritual abuse and exploitation. In these sermon recordings, we will observe the implementation of heavy mind-control through use of guilt, shame, intimidation and fear.
This exposé includes excerpts from Pt. 1: “The 1335 Days—What Most Will Never Hear.”
After listening to both recordings of this two-part sermon, it is obvious that Pack is eager to gain massive funds to purchase and produce literature needed to build his empire (Restored Church of God Headquarters). RCG has been one of the smaller splinter groups, having nowhere near the financial status of the larger ones. Faced with an aging congregation, fresh recruits are needed. To gain them, Pack is positioning himself to launch a massive exposure campaign. Like his mentor, Herbert W. Armstrong, he will resort to whatever it takes obtain his goals.
Spiritual abusers are obsessed with achieving greatness at any cost. Believing they are unique, they set out on a mission to do something unparalleled for God. In order to realize their fantasies, they must gain the cooperation of others and have access to their money. Clearly, Pack has devised a plan to gain both. In the sermon, entitled “The 1335 Days—What Most Will Never Hear, Pt. 1” (dated 10/27/07), Pack sets out to gain cooperation from his converts, while the “Clarion Call, Pt. 2” sermon (dated 11/3/07) was designed to gain access to their cash stash. Convincing members that he has special status, knowledge and revelation, they readily submit to his ideas.
BEGIN PART ONE OF SERMON:
First, let’s observe Pack telling his members how imbued he is with special gifts, even paralleling himself to Herbert Armstrong: [bolding and emphasis throughout is mine; numbers at the beginning of the paragraph denotes the approximate time sequence in the recording] There was much shouting and overemphasis in his sermons and I bolded or italicized some (not all) of his words to indicate that.
(50:00) Mr. Armstrong said he was an advertising man. He was trained in advertising. I didn’t get that same training. Now he was trained in advertising in terms of he actually did hands on advertising— though I did not do much of that— I did a little of it— I actually had a very extensive advertising training, but it’s not hands on, therefore I would say Mr. Armstrong is obviously stronger than that. [Speaks loudly] When he wrote— pithy, powerful ads— that eventually developed and grew over time into what we called “the Plain Truth writing style.” It was a powerful, extraordinary punch that he brought, having learned as an advertising man. And ultimately, he wasn’t advertising soap, or cars or houses— he was advertising the truth. It’s a wonderful thing that he had that ability. Whoever would come later in the short Work would have to have some of that as well. I have a tremendous amount of advertising background, but not the same as Mr. Armstrong. I put him ahead of me, clearly. Now my background— and I’m not saying Mr. Armstrong didn’t have this same background— he might have as much or stronger than I— my background. Let me just summarize it. [Speaks in a prideful manner] From the time I was a little boy, under Randall and Jane Pack, and believe me, if you knew them, they were powerful in logic, debate, and analysis. My mother was the Debate Champion for years, brilliant woman. My father was a very intelligent, master salesman. And they taught me the rules of logic and analysis. From the time I was a small boy, my mother would make me look words up. So, uh, understanding the nature of words from the time I was little— very little— when I… just about as a tie [sic] [stutters] we had about a six or eight-inch thick dictionary, remember those big ones? And my uncle, a Britannica, sent us one time for Christmas one time, and I’d go through it those— I think I’d told you that story… And God says, “Come, let’s reason together.” And I love to reason and analyze, and whoever had this role at the end of the age would have had to be the one just— who never rests. My mother said from the time I was born, my mind never rested. It just never does. It was always [makes buzzing sound like a fly] going, all the time. Sometimes I’m going on other things when I’m talking, and that’s just the way I am. Someone would have to come along and explain and re-explain prophecy, the Apostasy, hundreds of doctrines, and write them up and points, and all kinds of analysis and logic. So let’s just look at some logic. My mother would never let me get away with bad logic [laughs]…
This should be reminiscent of HWA’s autobiography where he also claims to be a bright, intelligent child. Both make it clear that they were endowed with special, intellectual talents, hinting at God’s calling and empowerment from early childhood. Now let’s look at some examples of divine revelations. During this heavily prophetic sermon (“The 1335 Days”), Pack informs his members that they will be given an “internal signal” from God— but only if they stay in the RCG. He ” that nobody else outside of this group will be getting this signal.
(1:34:00) There has to be some kind of prior signal to the church to get ready to be in Judea in 1290 …that occurs at the 1335. What is the signal? I’m going to tell you on the authority of God this is what it is: It is an internal signal given to the church and nobody else, and we won’t know it until we’re given the signal, because if it were to be known before, it would be in the Scriptures. It’s given to the church and that’s why it’s not listed in the Bible and only the people in God’s Church— you understand all the sequence of prophecy, the people who understand, the “wise,” will hear the signal and heed the signal because they’re in the right place to get— to receive— the signal. It’s an internal signal. It has to be— similar to when the Christians fled when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Romans in 69-70 A.D., and so they fled and they heard a noise out of the sky, a voice “Get you hence!” Thunder came right out of the sky…and they literally marched, history said, they marched right out of Jerusalem and the Roman army sort of stood back aghast as they went to Pella and escaped. And Jerusalem was destroyed with the Temple. Now it might be like that. But it will be a clear signal. We will learn inside the church. I absolutely know that the Bible doesn’t name it, but I have absolute faith that we will be in Judea at 1290 [speaking of the 1290 days in Daniels 12:11]. I have absolute confidence that the end of Daniel 12 belongs in the Bible, there is 1335 days— absolute confidence in what we taught… [shouts] It has to be an internal signal given to this church. So now you know. It could be any number of signals. Again, the people who are under the government of God, who are inside the temple of God, the body of Christ, who are doing the Work patiently, waiting, waiting, doing the Work, they’re absolutely on fire— they live for the Work— those are the only people— this tiny cadre of extraordinary, zealous, on-fire people— who will go through fire, hail, wind and storm, who will jump deadly snakes and swim through alligators, run through broken glass barefoot and fire to get there and do the Work! They stay here— their hearts are totally in God’s Work— they’re here, the only place He’s doing the Work, and they are the only people rewarded and taken from what everybody else wouldn’t heed. They are taken out.
(1:38:10) You know what my suggestion to you is? Don’t leave the church! Stay in the church. Stay in the Temple of God. Continue doing the Work; continue under God’s government. Don’t compromise, don’t leave; don’t go anywhere. The signal is coming here. It’s only the people of God [referring to the RCG] that go to the place of safety. Why would God tell anybody else?? Why would He send a signal that’s broader than the church, when it’s something that only involves the church? Why would He put it on a bulletin board with neon signs across the world telling the church to flee? He [Christ] would tell the church— that’s who He’s working with— He’s not working with other people!
(1:43:30) We get a signal nobody else gets. It can’t be any other way. So the official position of the Restored Church of God— the official position is that “You can’t know.” But the official position is, “It’s okay because you’re guaranteed to get the signal if you don’t leave the church, you don’t leave God’s government, you remain a living stone, waiting, enduring patiently doing God’s Work. You’re guaranteed to know! And that’s the official position of the church.
EXTRA BIBLICAL REVELATION
Notice carefully how Pack admits that this “internal signal” teaching cannot be found in the Bible. This is called “extra-biblical revelation” and all leaders of mind-manipulating, exploitive groups (aka Bible-based cults) engage in this practice. He ensures that his members understand that this is an exclusive offer, which he guarantees with “absolute confidence and faith,” even though it cannot be located in the Scriptures. This is a prime example where members are exhorted to “prove all things,” yet if it cannot be found in the Scriptures, they are to believe their leader with absolute faith. This is known as “transferal of authority” when the authority of the leader supersedes the authority of the Scriptures. By invoking the authority of God, creating the fear of being left behind, and offering a tremendous reward, Pack can manipulate this shift in the members’ thinking. Pack makes it clear that members must stay with his church in order to receive this “internal signal.” In this, he has gained their full and total cooperation.
Another bogus claim made by Pack is his attempt to parallel this “internal signal” with church history. His depiction of what happened to the early Christians before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is entirely fabricated. The Christians did not march out of Jerusalem with the Roman army standing aside with their mouths gaping, while thunder clapped around them. There was no such singular, heroic exodus from Jerusalem. Quite the contrary. There were no Christians remaining when Titus surrounded Jerusalem in A.D. 70. History states that Cestius Gallus laid siege to Jerusalem in A.D. 66, then suddenly withdrew. On his way back to Rome, his army was ambushed and decimated by the Jews. These kinds of skirmishes were commonplace during that period (“wars and rumors of wars”). Nero was outraged and sent his top veteran general, Vespasian, to avenge and conquer Jerusalem (A.D. 67). Vespasian’s army laid siege to Jerusalem, but Nero’s sudden death (A.D. 68) forced him to return to Rome, where he was later declared Emperor (A.D. 69). Vespasian then sent his son, Titus, to Jerusalem to finish what he started. During the time from A.D. 66 until Titus’ return in A.D. 70, there was a period of about 3-4 years that the Christians had to flee to Pella. Those who didn’t leave during the siege of Gallus were given additional time to flee after the departure of Vespasian. By the time the city was besieged by Titus, there were no Christians remaining. Let’s look at the words of historians— the very same historians that Pack has quoted— and see what they say about this event.
“The whole body, however, of the church of Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella. Here, those that believed in Christ, having removed from Jerusalem, as if holy men had entirely abandoned the royal city itself, and the whole land of Judea; the divine justice, for their crimes against Christ and His apostles finally overtook them, totally destroying the whole generation of these evildoers from the earth. (The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, Bishop of Cesarea in Palestine; Book 3, ch.5, p. 86; translated by Rev. C.F. Cruse, 1833)
Josephus also verifies that this departure began in A.D. 66:
“After this calamity [the withdrawal of Cestius Gallus from Jerusalem], many of the most eminent of the Jews swam [departed] away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink;” (Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 20, Paragraph 1).
Historians and Bible commentaries do not corroborate Pack’s claims either:
“…and accordingly it is observed, that many did flee about this time; and it is remarked by several interpreters, and which Josephus takes notice of with surprise, that Cestius Gallus having advanced with his army to Jerusalem [in A.D. 66], and besieged it, on a sudden without any cause, raised the siege, and withdrew his army, when the city might have been easily taken; by which means a signal was made, and an opportunity given to the Christians, to make their escape: which they accordingly did, and went over the Jordan, as Eusebius [an early church father] says, to a place called Pella; so that when Titus [another Roman general] came a few months after, there was not a Christian in the city…” (Exposition of the Bible, Dr. John Gill, Commentary on Matthew 24:16, 1809)
“The city [Pella] earned its name in church history in A.D. 66 when Pella became a refuge for Christians who were fleeing Jerusalem because the Roman army was coming to quiet a Jewish revolution.” (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume Four, Page 672.)
“…that at this juncture all who believed in Christ left Jerusalem, and removed to Pella, and other places beyond the river Jordan: so that they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country, and we do not read any where that so much as one of them perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Of such signal service was this caution of our Saviour to the believers.” (The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XIX, Part Two, Bishop Thomas Newton, 1754).
Clearly, Pack had given a false and inflated account of what happened. Why would an “apostle” mislead his people? He embellishes his story to make it appear that his small group would be divinely protected along these same lines. He has conjured a heroic vision, but the vision is a lie nonetheless. One must question why Pack has ignored these records and resorts to falsifying history.
USING THE WORD EXTRAORDINARY
Another way of gaining cooperation and control is to convince members that they are on an extraordinary, supernatural mission. After listening to both of Pack’s sermons, it’s quite clear that they were designed to make members feel they are the “tiny cadre of extraordinary, zealous, on-fire people” embarking on an extraordinary mission with their self-appointed apostle. (Just listen to how often Pack uses the words “extraordinary” in his sermons.) Even miracles are limited to his group in the end times:
(1:06:05) How do you know whether a miracle is from Satan or a miracle is from God? Well, the only true miracles occur within the Body of Christ where the gift of miracles has occurred…[stutters] is given. If the miracle is “true” it will happen in the Restored Church of God. All other miracles occurring anywhere on earth will be false. [“The 1335 Days— What Most Will Never Hear”]
Now that members believe that Pack is under a special mission from God to receive a special signal that will save their lives from the Tribulation, they are properly groomed to hear the next sermon, “Clarion Call.” Skipping ahead, we can see that Pack already has plans in place to purchase the equipment needed to bring his grandiose dreams to life.
(1:23-1:24) Now 6 months from today will be a Sabbath and will be our 9th anniversary…and we will be publishing at bookstores at that point— perhaps all over the world. Some very exciting things are happening. We will be video-casting all over the world. Those things require extraordinary amounts of seed money we do not have. We are ready to do it, we got the goods to take to market, but we cannot do it. We don’t have the money. We need to redesign our website. We need to vest our advertising budget in a big way. We are nowhere close at this point to a building or ministry. We need many hundreds of thousands of dollars to arrive at God’s Headquarters soon. There’s a big blast coming on this world— a big, last blast— and the time is now!
(1:29:20) Will you cling to your substance? …We don’t have many years. We have plans so big going on in this office that it would cause this room to rock and gyrate if you knew what was going on. We just need a lot of money and we need it post haste!
(1:57:20) Collectively, the net value of the church is probably multiple, multiple millions of dollars. But because we can’t access that, or even the many, many hundreds of thousands of dollars we can use immediately with a lot more to follow, we simply cannot do those additional things. An example would be that we have fabulous machinery in place that can make super quality books and booklets unlike anything the Work ever saw in the 20th century. But we can’t hit the print button to send out as much literature as we like because we don’t have the funds. The same is true with video-casting, web redesign, certain other Internet advertising and many other things we want to do. [Quotes excerpted from “Clarion Call— The Time is Now!”]
YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE
Now we will examine the “Clarion Call” sermon in greater detail. Pack begins this sermon by recapping the “internal signal,” reminding members where their loyalty ought to be. Again, he captivates his members by repeating the prophetic predictions in last week’s sermon. He assures them that they have “4-9 years left; 5-9 years left” before they begin to see the beginning of the end times. Continuing below, it is interesting to note two things here. First, Pack corroborates the teaching held by the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) during the early 1970s. Outlining the details of fleeing to the “place of safety,” Pack clearly shows that this belief was taught from the pulpit. (Ron Kelly, in a vain attempt with his sermon “Fun With Prophecy” tried to make WCG members believe they imagined these things. [see my review of that sermon])
(4:00-5:32) …We used to have this idea in the church…we understood that these 3-day periods, the 1335, 1290 and 1260 were in the Bible, and everybody was excited about them, we thought maybe everything would wrap up in 1972 when I was called in early 66…there was this attendant idea that flowed off the 1335 days that at some point we would all hear that there was 6, 9 or 12 months to go; there would come this notice before the 1335 days…We would all be asked to go gather all our resources, our assets, tap our savings account, drain the equity from our home, run our credit cards to the limit, maybe were weren’t going to have to pay them back, before we went to the place of safety. We’d cash in our IRA’s, our Pension Funds, cash our stocks; redeem our gold and silver and precious stones. We all talked about this. This was understood. And then we would give it to the church for the last big blast before the Work ended. Thousands, indeed tens of thousands believed that. I did and I taught it many a time.
There’s one problem with it— it’s absolutely impossible. It’s not a believable concept and it’s simply unbiblical. It’s not possible. There’s no way there is coming some big final blast that will come off of 3, 6, 9, or 12 months before the 1335; that we’ll get this notice that that’s how much time is left before we find out “how much time is left.” You see, it’s not possible. You can see if you can figure it out, and try to guess it, but nobody ever thought about why that’s simply false.
Secondly, we see Pack claim that this doctrine of knowing when to flee is “unbiblical.” Ironically, members will not understand that he has declared another teaching of HWA’s as “simply false.” For one who continually claims that he’s the only one holding up the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, it seems that Pack has managed to disembowel and revise another sacred teaching. How did he manage to pull this one off? By declaring that HWA didn’t restore the full knowledge of prophecy, just as Daniel and the apostles weren’t given complete knowledge of the future. This opens the door for him to change or annul anything previously taught by HWA. [Note: For those who believe HWA restored the true gospel, please see my critical review of Mystery of the Ages (PDF)]
(28:25) He [HWA] understood and began to teach in the 30s…things that Daniel was never allowed to understand… but “one was sent” in the 1930s to explain, and there’s a prophecy in Revelation 13 that says as much…there would come this man in the `30s who would explain it. Somebody on earth would explain it when the 6th head existed…he had been sent and been prepared in an extraordinary way to explain things the apostles themselves never understood and of course, that Daniel never understood. The apostles never understood it. Mr. Armstrong did not restore the knowledge of prophecy. He restored all of the other doctrines, including the 7,000-year plan of God. But what Daniel wrote was sealed till the end, which means it leapt all the way over the apostles— they never understood it! Mr. Armstrong not only was the Elijah sent to restore all things, but he explains some things that were never known. And the Bible again, prophesied about one to be sent in the 1930s and would do this explaining…
(1:13:30) Let’s look back at this thing of Mr. Armstrong as the Elijah who restored all things, because we’re going to learn something today and it’s important that you understand [because] the church didn’t understand what I’m going to say… But remember, the Elijah was prophesied to come and restore all things. You can’t restore what was never known. As I said earlier, Mr. Armstrong brought tremendous prophetic understanding in the 1930s that no prophets of the first century prophets could not have known, so he did both. He brought a lot of prophetic understanding, a framework, but it was not technically part of restoring all things. It was just new understanding that God gives to apostles. [“The 1335 Days— What Most Will Never Hear”]
Pack is playing word games and using double-talk. If Pack can get his members to believe that HWA wasn’t given full knowledge of all prophecy, then Pack is free to design his own scenarios. If he can convince his members that “new understanding” can be given to apostles1 (since he claims to be one), then he’s opened the way for himself to receive these “new” revelations. That leaves Pack in the position as the “restorer of all prophecy.” He’s carved out a cushy niche for himself that few will question.
For the next thirty minutes Pack will launch into a long discussion, heavily emphasizing the words “obey, submit, follow, imitate me, follow me” as he meanders through numerous topics. Now he reminds his members how much he has sacrificed for the Work:
(42:40) I never had a six-figure salary in the church… I have absolutely nothing in a savings account…I don’t have a penny in a savings account. I have no social security coming my way. I disavowed it when I was 22 years old…I didn’t invest in it, neither did my wife…I have no stocks, no gold or silver. I was given gold and silver from my father when he died, frankly quite a bit. I gave every penny of it to my siblings after he died. I didn’t keep any of it— not one coin… I choose not to take an expense account…I sold my company that I got from my father seven years ago and gave all— all— proceeds to the church— all of it, didn’t keep any of it. I have a 10-year old car…All the leaders of the splinters, and many of the ministers there, have fleet cars. I don’t. I bought my car… I might get a new one if I get a raise. I have no health insurance. None. Nor did my wife. Every dime I spent on my wife’s health, I borrowed. Every bit of it…I borrowed. Every dime. I buried my wife. Everything about it, I borrowed. That’s how many multi-millions I have. No health insurance— couldn’t afford it!… Never mind I did that when my wife went off salary. My income dropped like a rock in the pond, my payout exploded. I did not complain. I have no equity essentially in my home… I’m also making a payment for my daughter to become an accountant and help in the church. I had to pay her education. The church didn’t pay it. So I can just tell you that I’ll be paying for the next 15 years, a nice chunk, three figures, every month, for the rest of my life. I refinanced my home four times for the purpose of giving some to the Work.
Pack will also use guilt to achieve his goals.
(49:15) What most of you do not know, my wife— and this is part of what led to the cancer, no doubt— my wife sat for a period of four years, and she bled in her seat for every day but three, for a four-year period. And she was loath to have me talk about it. She didn’t want sympathy from me or from anybody else…All under fire from people who said, “He’s bankrolling himself.” She was very much a co-participant in all those decisions to give. My wife literally gave her blood. When you talk about “bleeding for the Work,” she “bled out for the Work.”…She gave much more— much, much more. Blood, sweat, tears, and ultimately her life! She battled anemia for years, struggled with enough energy to deal with getting through certain days. But the lesson is “Learn from her example.” Follow it. Do you really appreciate her?…Do you really appreciate what she did? What’s been given to you??
(52:10) I have felt that I was specially required to give up everything. I grew up in a very successful home…but I had to be willing to walk away from a lot. I had it made. I could have been easily a millionaire by now, without much effort frankly, because I was the lucky kid of a successful businessman. And I inherited my father’s company and kept it for five years and it all went into the Work. I gave up everything including Mrs. Pack I might add, to hold the special authority to ask the same of you…My wife gave all that she had. I have never seen or heard of anyone who gave more except certain Bible figures! I am here to report that she has no time, no money, or blood, left to give. She has nothing more. Her contract with Christ is finished. She literally gave all. Now she has one more gift to give— that is, she can give her example to you— that you will follow her…
(54:35) [Speaks with chastising tone] Now what about all of you? What have you done? Not what you’ve talked about doing— what have you done??? Because the time to give is now! No last blast is coming except for the fact that the last blast, officially: You believe I am God’s Apostle, if Government to you is in the guts and not academic and just in the head, then you will listen to what I say because I’m telling you be followers of me— on Christ’s authority, follow what I did!
Sacrificing one’s own life for the Work is the epitome of commitment—how will members ever be able to aspire to this level? Pack lays it on thick to let members know how much he had given up, and they should do no less.
LIQUIDATE CERTAIN EXISTING ASSETS
After filling members with guilt and shame, Pack will now drop the bomb.
(1:25:00) …We’re not talking about a special offering here…This is different…This is in faith— making the decision with you and your wife on your knees with your Bible open, asking for faith and strength, the faith to liquidate certain existing assets and give them to the Work! We are ready to trumpet now! Will you copy my wife? Will you be followers of her and me?…
(1:11:35) If you hold those riches, I’m telling you, you trust in them! [chastising voice]…I am charged by God, reading this verse to charge all of you out there in the Work, in the church, who have assets. You have a home that’s paid off? [yelling] Go get a big chunk out of your home and put your money where your mouth is and send it here! And I’m not talking one, two, three thousand either! How about ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, a hundred thousand dollars— Go do it!! Woo hoo, Mr. Pack, you got serious! [mimicking voice] You haven’t heard anything yet— keep listening. [said with haughty attitude]
(1:41:00) [Voice gets very stern] If you’re not “ready to distribute,” you’re not “willing to communicate” to Headquarters about it then obviously, you don’t care what God says! You have rejected the scriptural charge given! [Says with disgust] Have the courage to admit you don’t believe that God’s government is here. You don’t believe the flow of prophecy. But if you don’t believe the verse, then admit that you are not going to lay up store in time to come except in your earthly treasure house. Admit that. Now I want to summarize again. This is not a special offering after the fashion of the last three. This is announcing the last blast— the Clarion Call as it were, to finish the Work. Whether it’s 4, 5, 7 or 9 years to go, God knows. But what this is, is a sea change in thinking in effect in the 2000-year history of the church. It’s not a call to simply sacrifice from month to month by reducing your cable bill or turning your air conditioner off a little bit. This is liquidating assets. This is going to where you keep your earthly treasure, wherever it is and liquidating it! I have the authority to tell you to do it because I did it myself. I’ll reiterate that again. I have the moral and spiritual authority and ecclesiastical authority to tell you to do what I’ve already done!
Are these the words of a loving shepherd or of one who is a “lover of money”? A good shepherd will never expect his sheep to carry such a burden. But we see no such mandate for kindness here. We also see Dave Pack abuse his position and authority by demanding and feeling entitled to his followers’ assets. Pack’s “sacrifices” come with a great price tag for his followers. If his sacrifices were truly “voluntary” and of his own free will and “from the heart,” then why does he demand his members pay the same price? This “sacrificial giving” on Pack’s behalf seems to have a lot of strings attached. He reminds them that any hesitancy or unwillingness on their part is equated with rejecting God’s direct command.
Now some may argue and say, “But Mr. Pack was only speaking about those who have excess to give.” To the contrary. Pack makes it very clear that members were to liquidate their assets now, like they would have done back in Worldwide Church of God in 1972. He makes it clear that holding on to any assets shows a lack of faith— in him and in God. He continually reminds them that they won’t be needing these assets anyway since the end is near. He also makes it especially clear that anyone who holds anything back will not be going to the place of safety. Nothing is to be kept back, not even retirement accounts.
(1:48:30) Others may say that “I’m going to tap my 401K and I think I can get “X-amount.”…Now it may not be convenient to your life to give now. Some will say, “If I wait five more years until I retire I could do a little more, I could leave a little bit more for me.” Here’s what you should say: [shouting] The Work needs the funds now, not when I can maximize personal benefit and help the Work! Now there could be penalties. That’s life! It’s better that the Work gets 75% or 50% of something, as opposed to waiting 3, 5, 7, 10 years, or never getting it at all— but getting 100% of it— which could be 100% of nothing! One percent of something beats a 100% of nothing, or even getting it too late to do anything. “Well, I’ll lose to taxes.” Well, if you die, or all kinds of ways you can outlive the time left, waiting to save on taxes. But even if you die a couple of years before dying, there’s Probating the Will, and then we haven’t time to spend it. [Instructs them on giving some of it in 2007 and then more in 2008 for tax purposes.] Think big! Don’t just squander the money! Or pay penalties as you pull a 401K, or whatever, or other assets— don’t squander! Pull big triggers! Think big! A little bit of planning can help.
otice Pack’s disdain toward those who will have to pay taxes and penalties for early withdrawal of these accounts. He gives a flippant “That’s life” response to those who have to bear these penalties. Pack cares little about the consequences members must face for following his orders. This is abuse when a shepherd doesn’t care what the sheep have to suffer just as long as the shepherd gets his way. Later, when Packs instructs spouses to take whatever they can, we will see this same indifference toward consequences.
Below we see a contradiction made by Pack. In both sermons, Pack informed his members that they only had “4-9 years, 5-9 years left” to finish the Work. When Pack wants to extract money from his followers, such as retirement funds, he makes them believe that they won’t be able to use those funds because there’s so little time left:
(0:3:35) So we don’t know how many years we have left. We know we have somewhere, perhaps 4-9 years left; 5-9 years, and we’ll leave it at that as we go on.
(2:06:40) [Speaking of IRA’s and pension funds] What would you need those funds for? If you believe the things from last week. [meaning they won’t be able to use them since they will be fleeing in the near future.]
But when Pack wants to gain sympathy, he let’s his followers know that he’s going to be paying his debts for a long time:
(46:00) [Speaking of his daughter’s tuition] The church didn’t pay it. So I can just tell you that I’ll be paying for the next 15 years, a nice chunk, three figures, every month, for the rest of my life.
When it comes to sharing his long-term misery, Dave seems to have forgotten that he’s promised his parishioners that they are going to flee in the very near future. Worse yet, Pack encourages his members to engage in financial filching since he’s reassured them that they are going to flee before any of this has to be paid back:
(1:47:05) [Speaking of Home Equity Lines] The worst that can happen, and I’m prepared for this— is that you run it all the way up, and then you have to amortize it in a term loan after 10 or 20 years. It requires some faith, but not a lot. Now you just have a second mortgage instead of an Equity Line. It’s converted into a term loan, paid over a period of 10 or 20 years, starting in 10 or 20 years. It’s what I’ve done. I’m prepared to do it. And then, frankly, we flee before most of it ever comes due. That’s just the way it is.
STEPPING OUT IN FOOLISHNESS
If members are assured they won’t have to pay, then what’s to stop them from going in over their heads? Pack knows this, and his encouragement of financial suicide is offensive. This is not stepping out in faith— this is stepping out in foolishness, covered up to look like “faith.” Unfortunately, Pack’s greed doesn’t stop there. Even if members thought about making contributions in private to God, Pack demands that money, too!
If members are assured they won’t have to pay, then what’s to stop them from going in over their heads? Pack knows this, and his encouragement of financial suicide is offensive. This is not stepping out in faith— this is stepping out in foolishness, covered up to look like “faith.” Unfortunately, Pack’s greed doesn’t stop there. Even if members thought about making contributions in private to God, Pack demands that money, too!
(1:15:05) – Proverbs 20:6. Most men— not all— some will just be faithful…We’ve had people come and voluntarily promise to send in assets. Some have even said “These assets belong to God” then compared themselves to Ananias and Sapphira that they didn’t get it here. [Uses loud, chastising voice] Wait until they see how they’ve offended God when they don’t do it!! My counsel to them and to all others who’ve made promises to God, even to God privately, “Go get those assets and get them here!! You’re kidding yourself if you think you’re going to be in the Kingdom of God!! …[Uses sarcastic, demeaning voice] “Oh, you can count on me!” and then they’re not here. They don’t show up…You know if you’ve opened your mouth and said you’re going to give something then you better give it. I know there are different circumstances in different nations, brethren, and I know that. There are certain hoops you have to jump through. Maybe you get taxed for a certain amount you give. And you know what? Jump through the hoops! Don’t sit on vast resources we can use now! I’ll tell you more about what we want to do in just a moment.
(1:17:00) [Continues reading Eccles. 5 concerning “making vows”] If you say you’re going to do something, do it!! Neither say it was in error. [Shouts in demeaning imitation] “I didn’t mean to say it!” You know what? You said it! Don’t say, “It was an error! I’m sorry! It was a mistake!” [keeps reading Eccles.] “I’ll do this, I’ll do that” then you don’t do it. [Uses scolding voice] Fear your God! You uttered it, do it!! Saying it is not good enough, and that includes what you privately say in prayers!
Invading a person’s private and personal conscience is horrendous. This shows that Pack lacks any kind of proper boundaries. He must grab anywhere he can take, instilling fear in his members’ heart and soul— even invading their intimate prayers to God. Again, observe Pack’s apathy toward those who will have to suffer the tax consequences as he orders them to jump through the hoops. He barks out these orders as if his members are animals.
Pack will remind his members that they haven’t been living up to perfect standards of performance. He chastises them for not paying up fully on 1st tithe, 2nd tithe, 3rd tithe, and Holy Day offerings.
(1:19:05) Every year, believe it or not, a significant number of people either skip or forget one, two, even three or four of their holy day offerings. Now how is that possible? I might ask such people— and maybe this is you— who are you kidding? How can you possibly believe that you’re going to sit on a throne beside Jesus Christ and be given power over the nations if you disobey a fundamental command like that, and particularly one attached directly to whether or not and how you feel you’ve been blessed? Who are you kidding? Go find a different church!! You simply don’t believe God, and this one does.
(1:20:00) Some people adopt their own standard and frequency of when they’ll pay God’s tithes. If it isn’t convenient, they’ll simply “skip” months. They’ll simply skip paying tithes. “Oh, it didn’t add up this month,” so they skip it. We see it every single month, there are people that profess to believe that tithes belong to God, and they just skip them…
(1:20:20) If members do not take care of their fellow brethren through additional second tithe that they did not spend, and I’m saying “Follow my example,” there are people who get to go to God’s Feast— quite a few of them every single year— because I choose not to spend my excess second tithe, which I’m allowed to keep. [Starts yelling] And others, who are not allowed to keep it, don’t send it in, and people can’t go to the Feast! And that’s wrong! That’s wrong! We have people that make huge sums of money— where’s the extra 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 thousand dollars in second tithe that they aren’t sending in?? I’ll tell you where it is— They’re stealing it and pretending they’re going to be in the Kingdom of God! And they’re keeping others from going to the Feast. I know there’s a certain latitude— you can spend it up to a certain reasonable limit. You need tires to get to the Feast, or an extra suit; you can do that sometimes. But people play games, sort of “It’s mine and I can spend it. I’m using it to go to the Feast and I’m going to need my new laptop for the Feast. That’s stealing! With tires or multiple suits, or get a new car, lots of clothes for the family, buy all the kids fall school clothes— I’m trying to use examples of what people do, who couldn’t possibly use all their second tithe for the Feast. They just couldn’t possibly do it. So they’re stealing from other people and stealing from God because that money comes from God and it’s keeping other people from going.
(1:21:55) There are others who don’t pay third tithe. The church is not obligated to spend third tithe caring for the brethren that we do not receive. You are required— it is a command to you— every third and sixth year in a seven-year cycle, to send third tithe in and care for your brethren…
Now that members feel the full brunt of their guilt for falling short of their performance-based standards, they will certainly try to make it up to Pack by doing whatever he demands in order to exonerate themselves. Pack is clearly obsessed with reaping every penny he can throw into his coffer. Even though members have faithfully saved their 2nd tithe for the Feast— even paying a tithe of it to Headquarters (which isn’t commanded in Scripture)— they are still not rewarded with freedom to spend their 2nd how they please. The Old Testament said the Israelites were to go to Feast and enjoy themselves fully with their abundance (Deut. 14:26; 16:14), but Pack says “not!” He will outline man-made rules to control their spending so he may reap more after the Feast. He throws another guilt-trip on the brethren to make them believe they are “stealing it” when they don’t comply with his specifications. And for those who’ve given their assets to Pack, they better not count on being cared for in the future because Pack makes it clear that the church is not obligated to do so if 3rd tithe funds are not met. David Pack shows little empathy toward the widows and orphans who supposedly benefit from this fund.
NOTE: This sermon can be listened to here playing on Windows Media Player. ESN also has a copy of the file.
PART TWO OF SERMON
Abusive leaders are also notorious for making duplicitous statements. This keeps members always guessing, and never arriving at any definite conclusion. They continually “muddy the waters” so members can never pinpoint errors or hold the leader accountable.
Let’s examine some contradictions made by Pack. First, he asserts that Gerald Flurry (of the Philadelphia Church of God) uses fear and threats against his members, hanging the place of safety over their heads:
(1:18:20) The guy who claims to be “That Prophet”— who blasphemes by taking 12 different titles of God, through fear and threats and— [uses voice mimicking Gerald Flurry] “I have your ticket to the place of safety“2— with a false model he’s built up— has people giving more per person by far than any of the splinters, and that includes us, and we’re not a splinter.3 I know his income and I know the size of his group. We can do a lot more. He’s told those people … The devil has got his agents saying the kinds of things that have people giving. But we’re the people of God. What should we be giving?…
FEAR AND THREATS
Now we will see Pack engage in the same type behavior for which he ridiculed Flurry. Below, we see him manipulating his members into believing that they won’t be going to the place of safety unless members give him their assets:
(1:06:20) I wonder how many— how many who are saving their assets— who think they are going with us to the place of safety— and others may replace them in the splinters who anoint their eyes and come here, how many will find that their assets are stolen from them anyway, which wouldn’t have done much good when they go into the Tribulation anyway?
(1:34:45) It’s all going to be taken away from us anyway, brethren. Do you want to give it up in advance— some of it— while you can have great reward— or do you want to hold on to it, and lose it anyway because thieves are going to get at it unless you don’t believe Christ? You aren’t going where you think you’re going. And that may include the Kingdom of God, by the way.
From his own words, it is clear that Pack uses fear and threats by telling members that they are not going to the place of safety and are headed into the Tribulation if they withhold their assets. The pot has called the kettle black. This type of psychological and emotional bullying is repugnant and nothing short of horrific. “Give” or “don’t go” is outright extortion. How can these kinds of ultimatums come from an emotionally sound individual, let alone an “apostle of God”?
Another interesting contradiction is Pack’s way of making it seem painless to give their assets to him. Notice carefully how Pack clearly states that these Home Equity Line payments are not felt, and that he personally testifies to that fact since he has done this himself:
(1:46:05) I’ve talked about using a Home Equity Line that I’ve used many times. And there are ways to do this. This is not something that’s pie in the sky. Home Equity Line is for people who have a lot of equity in their home, or maybe have their home paid off. It’s a great way to advance funds to the Work. You can also leave enough in the Equity Line, which could, in affect, for years – make your payment for you – so you literally don’t feel it. For instance, you can get 20, 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars— or much more— and never feel a payment for years because you’re also making your payments out of the Equity Line. I have done that. It allowed me to give a lot and never feel it. It takes faith…
Now let’s see Pack flip-flop and say the opposite:
(44:35) I have no equity essentially in my home. My Home Equity Line is basically maxed. I have a huge payment, [but it] doesn’t bother me. I’m in the middle of an appraisal. I literally have no money. I have no debts except that Home Equity Line which is colossal in size.
(2:06) I’m left with a great big, many hundreds of dollars a month, coming out of my pocket that I will be stuck with for the rest of my life— no health insurance, just remember, lost my wife’s salary same time I had to borrow every dime to bury her. I don’t want a dime…I’m not asking for any. I’ll be fine.
HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE
Sociopaths aren’t the least bit concerned how their selfish demands affect others. They are completely indifferent to the pain and devastation they cause. They openly display feelings of contempt toward others who get in the way of their goals. Following is a clear example of this kind of behavior when Pack instructs husbands and wives to ignore the protests of their spouses and take what is entitled to them:
(1:43) Wives, you can be independent in this. You have half the worth in whatever is there in your house. I’m officially telling all of you, read verses 17, 18, 19 and focus on it. Wives you have an independent voice. Legally you have half the funds. What are you going to do about it? [Pack begins a tirade and stutters heavily] Husbands, your wife, [speaks as if quoting] “Well, my wife isn’t in the church. She doesn’t want me to do it.” You know what? [starts raising his voice] Tell her, “You don’t have a voice, woman.” She might say, “Well, I disagree” and she might fight ya, but, well then, that’s what happens…Your wife doesn’t agree that you don’t eat ham, doesn’t agree that you believe God isn’t a Trinity, doesn’t agree that you keep the Sabbath, or it could be other way around. Well, what does she agree with? Of course she’s not going to agree with your tithing, or contributing on Holy Days or anything else. Or that there’s a place of safety or that the whole world is coming to an end.
(1:44) Now some would say, “Well, I have to leave everything to my husband or my wife.” Again, my question is, “Why?” Leave enough so that they’re cared for, whether in or out of the faith, “Well I just feel that I should leave my Lutheran wife everything,” somebody might say. [Shouts] Why??? Get over that feeling!!! That’s what Satan wants you to do!!! He [Satan] would absolutely agree with your decision. God wouldn’t agree with it. “Well my wife’s in the faith. I’ll just leave it to her and trust her.” Well, wait a minute! She’d be the first to tell you to “Give it now— don’t leave anymore than what I need.” If she doesn’t say that, then she’s not in the faith, she’s just sitting here warming a seat. The wife, in the faith, will say, “Give everything we can. Leave just enough for me.”
Pack instructs spouses to get their fair share, or more, coming to them. Whatever happened to “living the life of give“? Look closely at Pack’s double-talk. When it comes to “getting their fair share” from their husbands, Packs tells the wife that she “has an independent voice.” But five sentences later, when the unconverted wife doesn’t agree, then he says that “You don’t have a voice, woman!” In all seriousness, can anyone believe that the words “You don’t have a voice, woman!” could come out of the mouth of Jesus Christ? Would God approve of such demeaning and mean-spirited talk from the mouth of an “apostle“? Why would Pack have spouses fighting against one another? Look closely how Pack devalues their feelings and could care less about the outcome of these arguments. His annoyance is clear, and clearer still is his belief that he is entitled to these funds. He could care less if he sends spouses on a collision course in their relationship as long as he gets his money. The needs of others are of no importance to him. Notice how Pack cleverly sets up those who want to leave everything to their spouse. He plainly tells them that they are “doing what Satan wants.” Again, he stoops to emotional extortion, even putting believing wives on the spot. This is despicable.
Without realizing it, the options are narrowed and the member has no choice but to follow Pack’s orders. Members think they still have “free will,” but in truth, they do not. Interestingly, Pack avoids quoting I Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” Why would an “apostle” cause families to disobey this Scripture? There is no sin in showing love and concern toward a spouse’s financial needs. Members have already “paid God His tithes,” paid their taxes, and given money above and beyond normal limits. For them to have anything in savings shows wisdom and caring on their part. Pack should be congratulating them instead of castigating them. But his greed won’t be satiated until he’s squeezed every last drop from them, and shamefully, all this is done in the name of God.
WHEN WILL JESUS RETURN?
In both the “1335 Days” sermon and the “Clarion Call” sermon, Dave Pack bedazzles his members with secret formulas and calculations to make his members think he’s on the inside track concerning the return of Christ. Below is a good example of the kind of double-talk Pack continually engages. He clearly states that no one, not even Jesus Himself, can know the day or the hour of His return:
(18:20) We cannot know the day and the hour of Christ’s return…No one. No man. Christ himself doesn’t know. [Excerpt taken from “The 1335 Days— What Most Will Never Hear”]
Then Pack flip-flops and states emphatically that Christ is returning on the Feast of Trumpets, and no later than the year 2021.
(15:50) Another fundamental understanding is that Jesus comes on Trumpets… [Goes into long explanation why Christ must return on Trumpets.] If He doesn’t, then we’ve been wrong on a doctrine. If the 7,000-year plan is not 7,000 years, Herbert Armstrong was wrong.
46:00) You come up with the completion of the 6,000 years in 2021…The latest that Christ can return is 2021. You may say, “But Mr. Pack, no man knows the day or the hour.” Believe me, I know that and I’m not about to announce it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to prove to you why anyone could never announce it. You can’t know it until you get to the 1335.
(47:20) All right, Christ returns on Trumpets. So you’re looking at, for instance, the latest Christ could return is Trumpets 2021, Trumpets 2021. Correct?…
(48:10) …And the church
of God happens to believe that Jesus Christ is going to return and set up his Kingdom on Trumpets…the Tribulation will begin in the spring of 2018 at the latest…so we’re looking at a little over 10 years from now.
(49:35) Did God let His servant get that wrong— who restored all things— that was a doctrine once understood? Taught to the church? I proved it— you should have proved it. We’re we wrong? Did Mr. Armstrong get it wrong? Let’s reason together now. Christ returns on Trumpets…
(53:30) So we’re asking the question, “When will Christ return?” That’s the question. Well, apparently he can’t return later than 2021…So that’s a little less than 14 years from now until Trumpets 2021.
(56:30) The Work has a maximum of 9 years to go. [All excerpts above taken from “1335 Days” sermon]
Like it or not, Pack has given the definite day of Christ’s return. Even though he didn’t give the exact year, he’s certainly given the definite day. It’s quite simple to figure when the date of the Feast of Trumpets is from now until the year 2021. Anyone can get a calendar on any given year and circle the day of the Rosh Hashanah. Although he doesn’t give the exact hour, it doesn’t really matter. It has to happen in a 24-hour period on any given Feast of Trumpets. So even though Pack won’t tell his members that Jesus is returning at 3:35pm, he’s already informed them that the return of Christ has to be on the Feast of Trumpets. It seems that Pack knows something that Jesus said He didn’t know. (Mark 13:32) Even though Pack says he would “never announce it,” he already has. The following dates were taken from an online calendar up until the year 2021— the latest date of Christ’s Return, according to Pack. (Since Pack is launching his book printing campaign in 2008, that’s a sure sign that Christ isn’t returning this year. Pack will be too busy).
- Friday September 18 in 2009
- Wednesday September 8 in 2010
- Wednesday September 28 in 2011
- Sunday September 16 in 2012
- Wednesday September 4 in 2013
- Wednesday September 24 in 2014
- Sunday September 13 in 2015
- Monday October 3 in 2016
- Thursday September 21 in 2017
- Monday September 10 in 2018
- Monday September 30 in 2019
- Saturday September 19 in 2020
- Tuesday September 7 in 2021
So there you have it. If Pack’s words are true, and his “Trumpets return doctrine” is true, then you now know the potential days of Christ’s return. Once the day is known, it’s not too hard to wait for the “hour.” If Jesus doesn’t appear on Friday, September 18, 2009, then try again on Wednesday, September 8, 2010. You only have to do this each Feast of Trumpets until the year 2021. Pack may not have given a “3, 6, 9, 12 months in advance” figure, but by declaring the “day,” we have Christ’s return date years in advance. Scripture plainly says that “no man knows the day or the hour” (Matt. 25:13) and Pack’s teaching has clearly violated this Scripture.
Even Pack’s Tribulation formula goes against any secret return. Pack insists that they will flee in the winter, 3-1/2 years before the return of Christ so they can avoid the Tribulation. That makes calculating Christ’s return even easier. If members flee in the winter of 2013, then anyone can figure that Christ will be returning on Monday, October 3rd in 2016. If they flee in the winter of 2014, then Christ will be returning on Thursday, September 21st, 2017, and so on. Pack’s formula makes it easy for anyone to calculate Christ’s return in advance. And Pack’s church won’t be vanishing in the middle of the night, either. It takes time to make passports, exchange currency, and grant Visas. One simply cannot hop on a plane and settle into foreign country without necessary paperwork and in many cases, inoculations. There will be plenty of loved ones left behind that will blow the whistle to the media should they take off for the Middle East. Everyone will know the Restored Church of God has fled, and therefore, everyone will know the day of Christ’s return.
Pack claims that “the Work has a maximum of 9 years to go” and earlier he stated, “perhaps 4-9 years left, 5-9 years.” One wonders why Pack would bother erecting new buildings when there will be so little time left to use them. One also should wonder why he would start a “building fund” for members to donate to— haven’t they donated enough already? What do they have left to give— the shirt off their backs? They’ve already paid for the buildings by liquidating their assets. How could Pack have the audacity to ask for “more”? At least members won’t have to worry about getting “an internal signal” and fleeing in the next few years since Pack will be preoccupied with spending their hard earned cash.
Faithlessness, according to Pack, is not giving up personal assets to him now. Below, Pack is dancing in circles again in an attempt to get members to shed the old church doctrine of getting a “pre-sign” from Headquarters to sell off their goods and count the days until Christ returns:
(56:10) There will be no last call to give everything after we get some “pre-sign” that the 1335 sign is coming. Why? Why is that impossible?? Because we’d know the day and the hour of Christ’s return. You do not know that until the 1335 begins. No human leader could ever stand up— who is false—he’s literally telling you in advance of the waiting period that requires faith to wait for. He’s telling you, “I figured it out 3, 6, 9, 12 months in advance.” If I ever do that, then you know I am false! And the test of faith would be gone at that point. It would be too late at that point to do any good, for most to liquidate what they have, give what they can— absolutely faithless when you think about it— because there wouldn’t be enough time for personal enjoyment and wants.
(1:24:30) The concept is correct, it was not a wrong concept, but nobody ever thought through what amounts to the faithless position to say that it would arrive in the last 3, 6, 9 or 12 months before the Work was over. The timing is different— the need is urgent now! You should be excited about this.
Pack tries to claim that getting this “pre-sign” to sell off assets (like members in WCG thought they would do in 1972) is impossible because one then could calculate the day of Christ’s return. This is hogwash since Pack has already made it clear what day Jesus is returning. It matters little what mystical formulas he conjures up because in the end, he’s given the day and the time frame.
He also tells members that the old teaching of waiting until the time gets close to the end before selling off assets is faithless, because members will spend years enjoying their assets before they have to give them up, and when they won’t be needing them anymore:
(57:30) [Reads 2 Tim. 2:4 about being “lovers of pleasure”] Endure hardness as a good soldier… A lot of people would be perfectly willing to drain their bank accounts, their stocks, and their equity in their home, etc. Now they see the place of safety. [Speaking as another person] “Now I know there’s no more time to spend it on me, to keep it for security for me, because now I can see the place of safety. I don’t need God’s government; I can’t follow any more pleasure seeking, which of course, is my first love. Of course, I’ll give it all.” How generous am I? Where’s the faith in that??
The real motivation behind this change in doctrine is quite transparent: Pack wants his money now. He knows this whole scenario isn’t going to happen, but he needed a way to get his hands on his followers’ cash to realize his dreams now. He didn’t want to have to wait, as HWA taught, until it gets close to the end. He doesn’t want to wait until they die and leave the goods in their Will. Even that is considered being “faithless”:
(1:42:30) Now let’s talk about Wills. Naming the Restored Church of God in your Will sometimes might cause an individual to think they’re doing the right thing. That’s good, that’s wonderful. But they feel comfortable that they’ve done their part. Think about it. How much faith does that require? The Church gets everything when you die and you don’t need it anymore? Where did you sacrifice anything?? Now again, that’s a nice thought. But all you’re saying is since you’re dead you don’t need anymore financial security. No faith. Get it now— When it requires faith. When you’re dead you don’t need it. We have people who have hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars— some even millions— they’re telling us they’re going to give us in Wills. We’re kind of put in a funny position when you think this through. Do we pray that people die so we can get it? We can’t do that! I’m going to get an inheritance from my uncle some day. I don’t pray that he dies— I can’t do that…Don’t put God in the position where you have to die, where He must say “I need that money” and you won’t turn loose of it now. If you named us in your Will, it could take months or years, particularly if there’s litigation before we have it. Think it through… [talks about the natural “cycle of death” bringing funds to the church]
(1:45:40) We live in a strange, different, final generation—final generation. Don’t look for excuses to hold on to your treasure! We don’t have the luxury of waiting years…Today, leaving everything in your Will doesn’t work!
Again, Pack resorts to extortion by making members feel that God will be put in a position of killing them so the Work can have funds. Even though Pack likes to claim that he is gifted in logic, what we find here is twisted logic. What kind of God does Pack serve? The god of Pack is quite a greedy, malicious monster that is easily provoked when He doesn’t get his money.
Pack continues his verbal onslaught to pry his members’ fingers off their assets. He does not allow them any middle ground, giving them no time to think things over. For those who don’t want to give, they are donned with the despised label: “Laodicean.” They are accused of “lacking faith” and told they are under a “test.” There is no such thing as a “free will” offering here.
(1:08) If you don’t have the faith, then learn to say like Peter did, “Lord increase my faith!”… Make yourself come to grips with why you will not heed this instruction. Do you disbelieve prophecy? Do you lack faith? Are you fearful? The fearful will not be in the Kingdom of God! My answer is “Overcome your fear!” Are you uncertain of God’s government? [Yells angrily] Then what are you here for?!!?…
(1:50:50) …There are only two positions here regarding all that I have mentioned—only two—there’s no middle ground…You’re either going to yield and submit and to follow the Clarion Call, that the time is now, or you’re not. Postponing a decision is deciding not to do anything. It is a decision. It’s saying “I’m going to wait until we get closer because I lack faith. I walk by sight and not by faith, and I don’t see that it’s the End yet.” Well, we should know that the whole world is going to step into a snare. Everybody’s going to say that there’s lots of time left. They’ll be eating and drinking and building and planting and giving in marriage. It’s not going to look like the End, except to those who are close to God and know what and how to “watch.” [Says with disgust] Don’t say, “I’m going to wait until we get closer, when I can see exactly how it’s going to work out.” You’ll be out of time. Make a decision now! The decision is “My treasure stays on earth or it goes to heaven.” Period! I want to just say it straight up. Boom! One way or the other: “I will not lay up for time to come” or “I will.”
(1:52:10) This is a real test for Laodicea. Either hold on to your assets and trust in riches so you have need of nothing—that’s the Laodicean attitude—or give it.
(1:22) I think perhaps one of the things that’s has happened is that God has held back some very large income that we’ve been told that might be coming, this way or that. There are some very exciting things coming, but is held up, to see how many of God’s people will be faithful verses faithless.
Since when was the definition of “faith” tied into how many assets one can give to Pack? Members need to open their Bible concordance and look up the word “faith” and see what the Bible says instead of allowing Pack to manipulate them into believing his convoluted definitions.
According to Pack, members have to give their life’s savings in order to please God and gain access to this “internal signal” when the Tribulation comes. Members are so frightened that they stop questioning and comply. Pack wants them to believe their faith is being tested, and mostly, their faith toward him is being tested:
(58:00) It would be easy to give since all your future’s needs are automatically looked after [because] you’ve gone to the place of safety. The time is therefore well before the 1335 that we have to give everything up. But there can’t be a last call. That call is specifically now— as of this sermon…The test from this moment forward is now! It is now!! (1:55)
If God boomed from heaven to go the place of safety—”You must do this!” —meaning, “empty your assets!” there would be no test of faith! The test is whether you believe the human servant, or servants, His Headquarters, that God is using. That’s the way God always works. God works through flesh and hence the test of faith. (2:00:00)
Your faith is being tested. Think about that.
Again, observe in the above statement another incidence of “authority transfer.” As a test, members must transfer their faith and totally trust and believe in him, the human leader, and what he tells them to do. Pack plainly puts his members on the spot and forces them to embrace his directive: Believe him and pass the test— period. There are no other options. Not even Scripture can topple the authority that Pack holds. And if Pack orders that one sell off his assets now instead of waiting until it gets closer to the end— even though it cannot be found in Scripture— members will obey Pack because they want to pass the test.
A CALL TO FASTING
Abusive leaders are known to use fasting to heighten suggestiveness and submissiveness in their followers. Depriving oneself of food and water for a day is not the time to make good financial judgments and David C. Pack knows this. Notice his use of peer pressure and public shaming of a man who paid off his home.
(2:04) I have the authority to ask that. The points for fasting: A) [discusses fasting for personal strength] B) Fast for personal faith and courage to follow through what I’m asking you to do. [Starts shouting] Our enemies will jump all over us and call us a cult. I’m way past caring about that!! I’ve given up too many friends, I’ve given up all of what I’ve had—I’ve lost my wife. I care not what God’s enemies4 have to say. But just expect it, I’m telling you. It wasn’t received with great acclamation, other announcements that we’ve made from people who do not see the great fire of the Tribulation is real—they didn’t believe it at all. (2:06)
Fast for faith, strength, courage for others with more than you to give, that they’ll have the courage, faith and strength to give it. [Repeats.] Some of them may not have the strength to reach into various assets…One man was quoted at the Feast—it got back to me—he said [uses arrogant, mocking voice], “I’ve paid off my whole house!” and somebody said, “Well, why don’t you cash in part of it and give it to the Church. He looked pie-eyed, like “What!? Are you kidding?!?” That man may recognize who he is—this happened at the Feast a year ago. Go get a big chunk out of your house! Yes, you might be left with 1% of the balance, which is what I’m left with on my Home Equity Line.
Pack has set his members up to give because they are afraid of not giving. They will comply through peer pressure and checking on one another to make sure they have the “courage to give.” They will also comply because they don’t want to be publicly humiliated from the pulpit by the “apostle” himself. [Refer to: Identifying Marks of an Abusive Group.which covers excessive giving.]
SARCASM & SHOUTING WHILE USING DOUBLE-SPEAK
Typical of abusive leaders, Pack will engage in double-speak in order to cover himself.
(1:09:35) Some could say, “This message crosses the line!” [says with sarcasm, then launches into loud scolding] How?? Where is it unbiblical?! How am I telling you to do other than what Christ said, what Christ did, when He didn’t have a place to call home? I’m not saying, sell your house so you don’t have a place to call home. But how is it crossing the line, if you conclude that? Why is it?
(2:09) People are stepping out in faith, again. We want you to understand that under no circumstances did we intend that anyone give beyond their means. We asked you to do that, and certainly don’t want financial hardship. It’s just been incredible to watch the response. Choice has to be whether or how much, it has to be the people’s choice—not ours. And we’re just sort of sitting back and watching…
True, Pack didn’t tell his members to “sell their homes,” but taking out a large Home Equity Line and not being able to pay it back when it comes due is setting them up to lose their homes. By publicly backtracking and stating “We don’t want financial hardships” and “it’s the people’s choice”—five weeks after he’s given the “Clarion Call” sermon demanding money—he’s put the blame squarely in the members’ laps should they run across any financial hardships as a result of his financial extortion plan. Back in 1972, members in Worldwide Church of God—not all, but more than a few—sold their assets and sent the monies in to Headquarters because they were told they were going to flee to the place of safety. They were called “faithful” because they “stepped out in faith to give,” but when the predictions failed, they were branded as fools. I wonder how many of these faithful members would appreciate knowing that their ministers, whose salaries are paid through their tithes, had stabbed them in the back for being “foolish” when they had been coerced to do these things? [Read: How Mind Manipulation is Used for Influence and Control which will include “The Techniques of Coercive Persuasion”] Instead of HWA being held accountable for his false prophecies, the blame was cast toward the members. This is precisely what Pack is doing. When the year 2018 has come and gone, and members are stuck with no assets, he will simply turn up his nose and say, “We only asked you to do what you could afford. You were only to give what excess money you didn’t need. We didn’t ask you to impoverish yourself. It was your choice.”
Abusive, authoritarian leaders are infamous for ensuring that there is no accountability for the funds that they anticipate to receive. Pack predictably covers his bases:
(56:15) If you send funds, or a great deal is sent collectively around the world, let’s be careful that we don’t grow a voice suddenly in how it should be spent…When you give, it belongs to God. It’s like tithes. You don’t come after you give and tell God and His servants how to spend it. The church has to be the judge of how to do that.
Dave Pack employs “information control”5 by telling his members that, “Obviously attacks are going to come and they already have. People spin the message this way or that. You need to understand that.” He has instructed his members to close their minds to any outside information. Anything, including this article, will be seen as “spinning the message.” Members will allow Pack to abuse6 them because they are afraid they will lose out on their salvation if they don’t get this “internal signal” and make it to the place of safety. This is the most sickening sermon Pack has delivered to date. The yelling, the belittling, and the domineering attitude was disturbing and demeaning. One wonders how much lower he can sink his members?
What was the end result of these sermons? Five weeks later7, Pack “:
(2:08) I want to just comment again a little bit more about the “Clarion Call” sermon. We’re very pleased. I’ll be saying more about it as time goes on through letters and announcements. We are pleased by the response that has come in. The sermon was given five weeks ago, and probably heard by everybody else three weeks ago. To say we’re pleased would be an understatement. It’s been phenomenal. I’ve kind of waited for questions to arise and many have called or written with questions. People are absolutely stepping out in faith and making substantial donations to Restored Church of God. More than we thought or imagined. So we can accomplish the goal to announce the Kingdom, and do the Work and sound the warning to modern Israel. Of course the Work depends on financial support and sometimes it can come in an unexpected amount and way, and sacrifices are being made. There’s no doubt about it.
CHRIST WOULD NEVER RESORT TO SUCH METHODS
By impoverishing his converts, they become dependent on Pack. They cannot leave because they cannot afford to. The stakes are costly—their eternal life—and they have sacrificed deeply to ensure their ticket to the place of safety and their positions in the Kingdom of God. They have offended spouses and alienated family members to follow the dictates of their maniacal leader. They must depend upon one another for support and reassurance that they did the “right thing.” Truly members do not understand the loving hand of Jesus Christ. He would never place such a yoke of bondage on believers. A loving Savior would never resort to fear, shame, intimidation and extortion to gain funds to preach the gospel.
Pack reassures his members that he’s following God’s orders:
(1:59) Would God allow His servant to perform “self-will” on something like this? I always marvel how people will allow for little decisions to be correct, but not big ones—the ones that are the most important. We need to ask, “Would He permit his servant self-will on something like this?”
No, He wouldn’t. And since Pack is not an apostle of God, we can rest assured that Pack is performing “self-will.”
By Kelly Marshall
Exit & Support Network™
NOTE: This sermon can be listed to here playing on Windows Media Player. ESN also has a copy of the file.
“If people will lie about Christ’s Return, they will lie about anything!” by David C. Pack (Should Accusers Be Answered?)
David C. Pack Declares Himself an Apostle (from his February 26, 2005 sermon, “21st Century Apostle.”
Profile of a Sociopath (A number of abusive, religious leaders may exhibit many of these behavioral characteristics)
Footnotes by ESN:
1 How could Pack call himself an apostle when the Bible shows that apostles were men who not only had seen the resurrected Christ, but were directly and personally commissioned by Him to preach the gospel? (Galatians 1:1)
5 See: Milieu (Environmental) Control.
6 For a description of abuse, especially psychological abuse, read: Did Herbert W. Armstrong Abuse His Flock?
Herbert W. Armstrong (many articles)