Friday, September 27, 2013

Dennis Muses: We're not our story...

Bouncing Trumps Splat

Quit bouncing and finish

A Splat Comic Book Illustration Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors

Not to be preechy or stray from typical postings but if one is going to have a story to tell, and everyone has one,  we may as well choose to have confidence in our observations,  trust in our personal sense of what is right and fair and a personal authenticity that those who claim we must see and filter life's meaning through their eyes would have to get through first.


Remember:  If your head is telling you one thing and your stomach is telling you something else,  your stomach is telling you the truth....


stomach ache photo: Stomach ache m_aecd1c06e67cf65f5fa1c832f22d066e.gif

“At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself—yet also a belief in something larger than oneself.
Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs… It’s possible to strengthen your inner self and your belief in yourself, to define yourself as capable and competent. It’s possible to fortify your psyche. It’s possible to develop a sense of mastery.”


 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People:

1. They know their boundaries. Resilient people understand that there is a separation between who they are at their core and the cause of theirtemporary suffering. The stress/trauma might play a part in their story but it does not overtake their permanent identity.

2. They keep good company. Resilient people tend to seek out and surround themselves with other resilient people, whether just for fun or when there’s a need for support. Supportive people give us the space to grieve and work through our emotions. They know how to listen and when to offer just enough encouragement without trying to solve all of our problems with their advice. Good supporters know how to just be with adversity—calming us rather than frustrating us.

3. They cultivate self-awareness. Being ‘blissfully unaware’ can get us through a bad day but it’s not a very wise long-term strategy. Self-awareness helps us get in touch with our psychological/physiological needs—knowing what we need, what we don’t need, and when it’s time to reach out for some extra help. The self-aware are good at listening to the subtle cues their body and their mood are sending.
On the other hand, a prideful stubbornness without emotional flexibility or self-awareness can make us emotional glaciers: Always trying to be strong in order to stay afloat, yet prone to massive stress fractures when we experience an unexpected change in our environment.

4. They practice acceptance. Pain is painful, stress is stressful, and healing takes time. When we’re in it, we want the pain to go away. When we’re outside it, we want to take away the pain of those who we see suffering. Yet resilient people understand that stress/pain is a part of living that ebbs and flows. As hard as it is in the moment, it’s better to come to terms with the truth of the pain than to ignore it, repress it, or deny it. Acceptance is not about giving up and letting the stress take over, it’s about leaning in to experience the full range of emotions and trusting that we will bounce back.

5. They’re willing to sit in silence. We are masters of distraction: T.V., overeating, abusing drugs, risky behavior, gossip, etc. We all react differently to stress and trauma. Some of us shut down and some of us ramp up. Somewhere in the middle there is mindfulness– being in the presence of the moment without judgment or avoidance. It takes practice, but it’s one of the purest and most ancient forms of healing and resilience-building.

6. They don’t have to have all the answers. The psyche has its own built-in protective mechanisms that help us regulate stress. When we try hard to find the answers to difficult questions in the face to traumatic events, that trying too hard can block the answers from arising naturally in their own due time. We can find strength in knowing that it’s okay to not have it all figured out right now and trusting that we will gradually find peace and knowing when our mind-body-soul is ready.

7. They have a menu of self-care habits. They have a mental list (perhaps even a physical list) of good habits that support them when they need it most. We can all become self-care spotters in our life—noticing those things that recharge our batteries and fill our cup. In part two of this resilience blog series, my guest Karen Horneffer-Ginter, author of Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Nourishing the Soul When Life’s Just Too Much, shares her 25 ideas for cultivating resilience. Her blog just might inspire you to create your own self-care menu. Karen has taken the menu idea a step further by designing a self-care poster that serves as visual inspiration to nourish the soul when life’s just too much.

8. They enlist their team. The most resilient among us know how to reach out for help. They know who will serve as a listening ear and, let’s be honest, who won’t! Our team of supporters helps us reflect back what they see when we’re too immersed in overwhelm to witness our own coping.
We can all learn how to be better supporters on other people’s team. In this L.A. Times article, “How not to say the wrong thing”, psychologist Susan Silk and co-author Barry Goldman help readers develop a strategy for effectively supporting others and proactively seeking the support we need for ourselves. Remember, it’s okay to communicate to our supporters what is and isn’t helpful feedback/support for our needs.

9. They consider the possibilities. We can train ourselves to ask which parts of our current story are permanent and which can possibly change.Can this situation be looked at in a different way that I haven’t been considering? This helps us maintain a realistic understanding that the present situation is being colored by our current interpretation. Our interpretations of our stories will always change as we grow and mature. Knowing that today’s interpretation can and will change, gives us the faith and hope that things can feel better tomorrow.

10. They get out of their head. When we’re in the midst of stress and overwhelm, our thoughts can swirl with dizzying speed and disconnectedness. We can find reprieve by getting the thoughts out of our head and onto our paper. As Dr. James Pennebaker wrote in his book Writing to Heal:
“People who engage in expressive writing report feeling happier and less negative than before writing. Similarly, reports of depressive symptoms, rumination, and general anxiety tend to drop in the weeks and months after writing about emotional upheavals.”"


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another Reader Says "Get Over It!"

A reader responds to a post Another Restored Church of God "minister" Has His "Eyes Anointed" But By What?

I am one of Mr Gene Zhorne's several former daughters-in-law. The poor man suffered a difficult, unfair and abusive childhood. He was not compassionate or very loving with his sons, in my experience of him, probably because he didn't know how to be. While I repudiate all things WCG, I have to suggest that even the Jesus of whom you speak did not disrespectfully vilify other people. I don't love Mr Zhorne, and I am not writing this to defend him. I haven't spoken to the man in many years. But I would like to suggest that your accusatory website makes you as bad as you accuse him and Pack and that whole ilk to be. "Let him who be innocent cast the first stone." If you truly were a loving person, you'd presumably devote your energy to a more noble cause than this hate-mongering website. Get over it - the "church" damaged all of us who were "second generation" and probably our parents too. It will be to your great credit if you allow this post to be published.  Wendy

Satan Shuts Down COGWA Feast Site With Legionnaires Outbreak

It seems that God did not place his protection on the COG group that was meeting in St Augustine Florida this year.  There is an outbreak of Legionnaires disease that has shut down a hotel, sent several members to the hospital, and caused the cancellation of services.  Checking Google I found that COGWA had a feast site there this year.

Health officials said the affected person was attending a conference in the St. Augustine area and is now receiving medical care.
ABC News article:  Legionnaires' disease being investigated in St. Johns County

James Malm's Uber-legalistic Rules and Regulations Have Become "Burdensome and an Endurance" That Has Left Some Members "Weak"

James Malm's absurd and unnecessary strict rules and regulations in regards to sabbath keeping has created a "burdensome" environment for many in his little group that deal with health issues.

A Malmite acolyte says:

I have been reading your writings. I no longer go to restaurants on the Sabbath or “get out of the house ”

My question is this. During back to back Sabbaths, one can read so much, study so much and listen to sermons so much. How can we pass the time and still keep the Sabbath holy. The Sabbath has become more of a burden & endurance rather than joy. Eating warmed up & cold foods has left me weak with blood sugar levels unstable. This has caused me to not feel well all day long and my spiritual condition has been suffering. ” and Not man for the Sabbath.”
This is not a leading question with an agenda. I really grapple with this. Your help would be deeply appreciated.
Malm responds with this:

I apologize for the delayed response, I have been very busy.

Being a diabetic for over 20 years I know all about blood sugar issues. All you need do is eat another biscuit or piece of bread, you can also have one or two cookies or heat water for a coffee or tea and have hot drink with a teaspoon of honey.

There is nothing limiting your intake, maybe you should prepare more food for the Sabbath.

If you are alone for Sabbath, maybe loneliness after being used to a large meeting is more the issue. For that, we must get close to God and wait patiently on him. For most of history from the first century and BEFORE Moses the people of God were mainly stand alone individuals or families. Remember Noah?

I suggest that you seek a medical opinion if your blood sugar issue persists.
It is also very good to have a walk to clear the mind from sitting around too long.
One of the reasons for the day dragging can be in being alone; when we are meeting with like-minded persons the time can go quickly.
Malm's asinine response is totally unnecessary because if he truly was a "new covenant" Christian, which he is not, then he would know that Saturday keeping and "kosher" eating is not a requirement. If his acolytes realized that then their days of worship would be days filled with joy and feasting.  Instead damnable rules and laws kill that joy.

Malm continues with this:

In terms of study it is important to understand that study is not merely reading. It is far better to read only a small portion and have a good think on it after praying for understanding.

When approaching something new I read all the material on the same subject, then pray for understanding and the take a walk or rest; after which I reread the material and carefully think it out, often repeating this cycle.

I also find that if I still do not have clarity it can be good to go on to something else for a few weeks and them revisit the problem issue. This gives the mind time to digest the new thing.

We don’t need to spend the whole day buried in the Book reading and burning our eyes; we must accompany reading with prayer and much time in thought, and it is extremely helpful to have like minded friends to gain from each others insights and to discuss these things with.

Part of the problem of boredom is that habits take awhile to change to something new, and due to the fact that people are taught to be dependent in these church groups, and not to really think for themselves so it is a struggle in the beginning. 
The Malmites STILL cannot think for themselves.  They have to continually ask Malm what is opinion is on different subjects.  Malm's opinions are just that, OPINIONS, which are totally irrelevant in the long run

One more point is our own situation. If we are working very hard through the week we will often be very tired by Sabbath and look forward to a much needed rest and spiritual recharge.

If we are not very active through the week we are not so much physically in need of rest on Sabbath. If anyone in not very active it would be a good idea to get active, even if it is only a daily long walk. I know about the handicapped and many of them can still do something within their limitations and such activity will contribute to their overall wellbeing of body and mind.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How To Save An Athiest

I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined I would become an atheist.  Growing up in a Christian church/cult, as a pastor’s son, I was certain I was destined for the ministry or something “important” in God’s Big Plan because I was also a member of God’s “one and only true church.” I never questioned my salvation. And when my faith in God went away and I became an atheist, I never worried about my salvation either. In fact, I am quite confident that if there is a God and a “Final Judgement,” I will pass God’s entry requirements for Eternal Life with flying colors.  But the standards that I believe one must meet in order to attain the “ultimate reward” of eternal life have changed dramatically. I know it may seem odd having an atheist tell you he knows how to gain salvation, but stick with me — your “higher power” may be revealing “new truth” that you need to hear.

In the church/cult that I was raised in (the Worldwide Church of God aka Armstrongism), we thought we were God’s “elect” — the ones chosen to “spread the gospel.” And what was that gospel?  It wasn’t the traditional gospel of evangelical Christians. In fact, we scoffed at the idea that all you had to do was believe Jesus Christ died for your sins to be saved. How silly! We knew better than that!  God expected “his people” to not just profess faith in Christ and become baptized, you had to also keep the Saturday Sabbath by resting and not working, you had to observe the Old Testament holy days, keep the Jewish food laws (even though we weren’t Jewish) which meant no pork, bacon, lobster, crab, catfish, etc. We were require to tithe 20-30% of our gross income every year and send in donations (offerings) on top of it.  No Christmas, Easter, Halloween or birthday celebrations — those were all of Satan’s world. Medical intervention was seen as wrong and a lack of faith, particularly in the early years of the church. People let their children and loved ones die from curable illnesses because they believed God would be displeased if they looked to doctors for help.  The list of crazy rules goes on and on and on. The sacrifices people made in our church to be “okay with God” — to gain salvation and eternal life were significant — far greater than your everyday church-goer.  The sacrifices people made in our church would be unimaginable to most. Relatively few in this world have worked harder or sacrificed more for their salvation than the members of our church.

But then our church changed. And the changes were so fundamental and so unprecedented, even outside “cult-watching groups” and Christian leaders declared the transformation historical, unprecedented.  No cult or church has ever done what our church did. In one fell swoop, the church tossed most all of its beliefs out as “legalism” and “unnecessary” for salvation  The new leader of our church who had been handed the reigns by the founder before his passing, implemented these fundamental changes in 1995. While outside groups praised the WCG for transforming from a cult to an evangelical Christian church, more than 60% of the church’s 120,000 members left almost overnight.

The financial impact to the church would ultimately leave my father — who supported the doctrinal changes — jobless as a pastor after 35 years of service. He and my mother would pay a steep price for giving up legalism.  They could have held on to the list of rules, but they felt God was moving his church into “new truth.” Legalism is another word for the many rules you had to keep to “earn your salvation” which was also seen as a”free gift.”  That’s right, salvation was a free gift but it was not free. If you weren’t experiencing cognitive dissonance in our church — as I state in my book “Cults and Closets” — you weren’t paying attention.

I agreed with the changes the church was making and I stayed as well and then I watched my father lose the only livelihood he’s ever known. The dysfunction and identity crisis the church was now faced with after the big changes was something  I could no longer be a part of, so my new wife (who felt the same way) and I left to attend a “mainstream” Christian church that didn’t have all of the baggage and rules — a church that believed you were “saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.”
After a number of months we learned the church we had joined was not too different from the cult we left. They, too, had their set of “rules” for pleasing God. Doing the bare minimum to gain salvation — “faith alone in Jesus Christ”– wasn’t quite enough to be “okay with God” in the eyes of this church either. But I would learn most churches operate the same way: Here’s your list of rules; dishonor the list and there’s the door.

While attending this new church, I was now into my second year of marriage to my wife, who I had met in the church when I was 13. My dad was the pastor of the congregation her family attended.  Because of the social dysfunction I felt I had experienced growing up, I could not wrap my head around the idea that I might be gay, even though my sexual thoughts almost never had anything to do with girls.  Being gay in our church was no more an option than being a murderer or a pedophile. I thought the feelings I was having about guys was due to my messed up social life and feeling insecure around my male peers growing up. I figured I had “sexualized” my desire for more male friends.

I thought all those feelings would go away when I got married and started having sex with a woman like a “normal” person. Our church taught that premarital sex was wrong, so I was a virgin when I married. I figured God was allowing the thoughts in my head about guys to continue — despite my desperate prayers for him to remove them — because he was going to show his “power” and “plan” for me by removing those tormenting evil thoughts once I got married. He would reward my patience and virginity by removing the “gay.”  However, I still didn’t think it was “gay” he would be removing. I just thought it was “unnatural thoughts” I needed him to “straighten” out. That’s how deep in the closet of denial I was. Two years into my marriage, it became clear God had no interest in removing the feelings or thoughts and they only grew stronger and stronger. This, and the fundamental doctrinal changes in the church of my youth, triggered my “crisis of faith.”

Why would a loving Father and all-powerful God allow me — his “child” — to suffer and be tormented all those years and then NOT help me overcome these “obvious” evil thoughts about men once I got married. Something wasn’t adding up. For the first time in my life I was pissed off at God!

What kind of insane game was he playing with me?  Why, why, why would he put me through this torment?  In my book I share my “big prayer” to God. It was more about my “New Deal” with God and how I was tired of looking to others for answers about his apparent will for my life. I won’t share the prayer here but what I will say is that I truly laid out for God how I had tried so desperately hard to do his will — and I had followed that will — but he never kept his end of the bargain. It made no sense to me what was happening. Either God was playing a nasty, sinister, sickening trick on me or there was no God.

Over a period of time after my “big prayer” — not more than a year — it became clear to me that I no longer had a belief in God — I was an atheist. At least I no longer believed in the God of the Bible.  I still considered myself agnostic because I was afraid to believe that it was “safe” to rule out the existence of God. By calling myself an “agnostic atheist,” I could leave room for the potential existence of God and hopefully God would have mercy on me at any “final judgement” that may occur in the future. Call me crazy, but that’s how I was reasoning at the time.

But, I stopped worrying about God condemning me to “hell” at any final judgement, not because I proved God does not exist. You can not prove a negative. I can be no more sure there is no God than I can be sure there are no magical purple ponies living in another galaxy.  The reason I stopped worrying about missing the boat of salvation is the same reason I believe most of the religious — even the judgmental ones — and, DEFINITELY, most atheist and non-believers don’t need to worry about it. And again, it’s not because I believe there is no God and, therefore, no Judgement Day. Hang with me here.

The reason I don’t fear God’s final judgement is because I believe that IF there is a God — an all-knowing, all-loving being — he knows my heart. And he knows yours too. And I think most of us have good hearts. I may not know your heart, but there is nothing I know better than my own heart. I know what my intentions have been from the very beginning. I know how hard I sought a relationship with God and Jesus Christ. I know how I cried myself to sleep at night, begging God to take away the “evil and unnatural” thoughts in my head. I know during my “crisis of faith” how desperately I sought answers and begged God to lead my path.

Read the entire article here: Cults and Closets, How An Atheist Can Be Saved

PTSD In The Churches of God?

A reader here sent this in last night.  It is from the Ambassador Report 33

***Just as Vietnam veterans may become "action junkies," former members of the WCG often become "movement junkies" - obsessed with obscure religious movements or other kinds of groups, continuing their quest for "The Truth" and/or for the satisfaction of considering themselves "in the know" within another self-described "select" group.

 "Such individuals view the mainstream social and religious institutions with continuing distrust, scorning the very real strength and benefit that might be found in a careful and rational acceptance of those institutions, however flawed. One former member writes: "Psychologists themselves (all I ever knew), and ministers (ha!) - those guys? Who wants those devil's advice? They're the ones who need it."

"Another writes, "We welcomed the 'comfort' of Jehovah's Witnesses. At the time we would never have withstood the 'transition' without them. We were like members until last year when we realized the danger of a repetition of the WCG. Fortunately, we never took that fated step of baptism. Now I thank God we realized just in time.... Now I can say, 'That's it. No more churches.' We pray and read the Bible every day. We accept Dr. Martin's literature still and are Christians. But we don't need churches."

"Other former members of the WCG have established their own churches, literature, and tract ministries, etc. Many of these are virtually unknown and show every indication of remaining so. Others have achieved varying degrees of notoriety, mostly among former WCG members, but have a tendency to dissension and schism. Their participants part company and continue to pursue "The Truth" that has eluded them once again, or the sense of cosmic purpose which they originally felt during their time in the WCG.

"Some former members, such as D., experience a series of failed relationships. Others suffer from depression and thoughts of suicide. One man I know was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital after his exit from WCG. It may be impossible to know how many successful suicides have been brought about by stress disorder directly related to the victims' time in the Worldwide church.

"Former members of WCG may find it difficult to return to interests and projects that had been important to them before involvement in Worldwide. Old religious affiliations are often difficult to resume.

"Several former members have experienced flashbacks to their WCG days. More than two years after my exiting WCG, I was listening to a representative from a small seminary describe his campus, the graduate program there, and the students. Although he didn't realize the effect he was having on me, I became more and more agitated as he described his seminary in words and phrases almost identical to those used to describe Ambassador College. After some minutes of this, I burst into wracking sobs, totally embarrassing myself and totally surprising the representative. Before this incident, I had thought myself quite "cured" of the effects of my time in the WCG and AC. In talking with other former members, I find that such experiences are not uncommon.

"If the effects of an experience like Worldwide on adults can be severe, the effects on children may be much more profound. A., whose story appeared above, attributes two of her sons' legal difficulties to the years that the family spent in WCG. Children have not only one authority imposing itself upon them (as the WCG is the sole authority over adult members), but they also have the authority of their parents, whose attitudes toward and treatment of children may be greatly affected by doctrines and directives from the WCG. Thus, children may doubly be victims of the damaging aspects of involvement in the WCG."

 Article in AR 33 by Brenda Denzler

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

James Malm and His Incredibly BORING Feast Sermons

First we had Bob Thiel with his extremely pathetic "Behind the Work" video that scrapped the bottom  of the barrel for entertainment and news worthiness.  Now we have James Malm speaking at his cult feast site. 

You will only be able to listen to 5 minutes or so, if you can even make it that far!

 I cannot imagine sitting in his services for 8 days listen to this  garbage!  The worst part is shortly after the beginning where he catches himself before he belches.

Dennis Muses: Without Revelation, who can we be?

Revelation Unveiled At Last!
...for the last time
File:Saint John on Patmos.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Growing up Presbyterian, we never heard of the Book of Revelation and I recall no sermon ever given about it.  It was certainly not considered a book for our times and it was not used to make world events "unfold", "become clear," or "revealed."   It was just a strange book that had no place in the Presbyterian view. 
On the other hand, it's an attention grabber and without the Book of Revelation, all fundamentalist churches and Churches of God would cease to exist.  Revelation is the book that motivates and can certainly be made to mean whatever the need calls for.  It truly is a book for all times.  Whenever you lived you could make it mean whatever you needed it to mean.  You could make your King the Beast and your clergy the False Prophet.  You can find a couple of Witnesses if need be and use the words "soon" and "shortly" to keep the pews filled and the funds flowing for thousands of years. 
Bibliotherapy | JAILFIRE

The Book of Revelation has been nothing but a theological pain in the ass since it was written.  While the Church of God claim to unveil or reveal it, they actually don't and know precious little about it's origins or original intent.  I will plainly say that the Book is NOT for our time and was NOT written for our times.  It is a failed first century prophecy or really a book meant to encourage Jews and Christians alike around the chaotic time of the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem , by the Romans, in 70 AD.


Revelation was written by a man, not THE man who called himself John.  It may have been written either just before the Fall of 70AD  or just after to encourage the Jews and also, with adaptations, Jewish Christians in the siege or surviving the aftermath  to hang in there.  It promised that the Romans would be gone in three and half years max and the Messiah would come and rout the Romans.  Revelation has a lot of wowisms in it.   With hyperbole and hubris, the author was using the Book of Daniel as the template for his visions of Revelation.  It was not uncommon to go back into the Old Testament to find scriptures that helped explain the new times one found themselves living in.  Daniel was a book written in the 160's BCE (not in the 500'sBCE) by priests trying to encourage the Jews in their struggles back then with the Romans.  The author of Revelation, John (not any  disciple or Apostle John) reasoned that if Daniel was meant to encourage Jews against Romans back then, it could be used to encourage Jewish Christians against Romans in his time.  The author himself may have been greatly traumatized by the fall of Jerusalem or what he saw coming. 

Revelation is a Jewish Christian document.  The book harbors precious little toleration for Gentile Christianity under the "Apostle" Paul.   It is very likely that the Beast was, to the author, Vespasian who had laid siege to Jerusalem and was not going away.  Even more fascinating and in my view as well, the False Prophet of THAT day was our dear Gentile Christian Apostle Paul. 

We are all very familiar with the Letter to the Ephesian Church in Revelation .

To the Church in Ephesus

Revelation 2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary."
Coupled with and understanding the NT disdain James, Peter and John had for Paul and him for them...
I Timothy I :15
"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes."
That's an amazing and stunning statement.  Paul admits that ALL in Asia, where Ephesus is, had forsaken him.  That can be a very nice way for Paul to not admit they kicked him out and did not consider his gentile views of Jewish Christianity to be right.  Paul caused near riots among the Jewish Christians (not the Jews) wherever he went.  He was accused of teaching against the law , which he did, and told to disprove this in Acts 21: 19-36.  Of course, this story is not Paul's story.  It is Luke's story about Paul meant to show the charges were not true.  But they were. 
19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them."
We should all know that in reality, the Apostle Paul did not believe in the Mosaic Law any longer if he ever did.  He did teach Gentiles to shun them and Paul even reneged on his promise in Acts 15 to abide by the Noahide rules which answered the question of how could Gentile Christians become Jewish Christians.  The Noahide rules were originally used to answer the question about how could a gentile become a Jews so it was much like using Daniel to write Revelation.  Same problem, different circumstances.  I Corinthians 8-10 make it very clear that Paul did not teach to abstain from meats sacrificed to idols and it was probably this issue that Peter called Paul out for at dinner in Galatians.  However, Paul wrote Galatians so Peter was confronted by Paul, not Paul by Peter. 
All this to say that  "Revelation was the swansong of Militant Jewish Christianity.  When Jerusalem was destroyed, when Rome waxed greater and more powerful, when the False Prophet gained more and more followers, when the book itself was proved totally false within two years, when it became evident the Jewish Messiah/Christ would not come, the Hebrew Christians lost their virility and their cult faded under the combined assault of Orthodox Judaism and of Gentile Christianity."   (The Religion of the Occident, pg 479).
 The Restored Church of God
The False Prophet, as labeled by Jewish Christians, along with the Beast Vespasian, did not get cast into the Lake of Fire.  They actually won.  The Messiah did not come for anyone, Jew or Christian and all resurrections were off. 
 Antichrist / False Prophet Defeated
What's the point?  Simply that without the Book of Revelation being "Unveiled at Last" by the Churches of God, they'd probably not survive as long as they have.  I'd say the Adventists would also not survive if Revelation was understood as it actually happened and not as some current events explainer. 
I asked a non COG minister once what he thought of the Book of Revelation.  He said that it originally was hotly contested as to its worth in the official canon and whoever wrote it had good drugs.  He also understood it was not to be used to explain our day or our circumstances on this planet today.  The author was writing about his trauma and about his experience with his people.  Revelation is a failed prophecy that, like a cat, has multiple lives depending on how one wants to play with it.  Whole religions can be built on it. 
The Four-Faced Cherubim
The Book of Revelation is full of astrology and astrotheolgy.  You can almost date the writing of the book by reading how the woman was clothed in the sun with the moon under her feet.  On September 29, 75 AD, this is exactly what you would see with the sun in Virgo the Virgin and the full moon under her feet at night.  The Sun is in Virgo, or "Clothes" Virgo in September so it may have been around September the Book of Revelation was written, or began.   In addition, when the author of Revelation says in chapter 4..

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.


2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Looking North, where God's throne is said to be in scripture, you see the "W" of Cassiopeia, "the throne."  It circles the North Star Polaris and never sets as neither does the Big Dipper.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
There are 24 Elders because there are 24 hours in the day
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Starry Night
The Throne in the Sea of Glass with the Seven Spirits of God in front of .
Cassiopeia/Milky Way/Big Dipper
These are the seven stars in the Big Dipper which is opposite or "in front" of Cassiopeia the Throne
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
The Sea of Glass is the Milky Way that goes through and in front of Cassiopeia, the Throne in the sky.  The Four Beasts are the four stars Cassiopeia and full of eyes are the background stars. On a summer night, it is spectacular and looks like a sea of glass.  John was looking up to the north in the sky for his descriptions of God's throne. 
N Summer Milky Way (Sgr to Cas) | Amazing Sky Astrophotography
The Sea of Glass Like Crystal
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Introductory Q & A - A Modern Guide to Demons and Fallen Angels
Summer/Leo the Lion-Spring/Taurus the Bull-Winter/Aquarius the Waterman and Fall/Aquila the Eagle.   Descriptions of beasts and Cherubs comes from the signs of the Zodiac , the Mazzaroth as the Bible calls it, through which the Sun passes in one year.  These four signs are exactly 3 months apart and are the signs of the seasons.   (4x3=12) That's how you make a Bible Beast.  Ezekiel did the same thing
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Full full of eyes is full of stars.  Six wings times Four Beasts = 24 hours
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,"
So why explain the Book of Revelation this way, both historically and astro-theologically? BECAUSE IT MATTERS!   The Book of Revelation has been used to inflict untold misery, speculation, behaviors, loyalties along with financial, moral and psychological tyranny on the ignorant but well meaning folk who want to explain their own world.  Prophets, Priests and even Kings have used it to forward their own agendas.  It is being used today to make the Middle East and all the players seem to fit into Prophecy Comes Alive scenarios.  Materialists use it to keep people coming back and to rope in new members.  The Churches of God would crumble if they had to face the true origins, intent and meaning or not meaning of the Book of Revelation.  The Philadelphia/Restored and Living Churches of God would shake in their boots to realize they must not read the Book of Revelation like a newspaper or a website.  Bob Thiel would have to give up being a prophet as would Ron Weinland and of course the illustrious Mr. Pack.   You can bet the brethren have been soaking in the Book of Revelation over the Fall Holy days.
Remove the Book of Revelation as a book for our times, which it was not, and you might have to actually read the New Testament for it's real message.  You'd get more from the Gospels and would understand more fully that the New Testament Players, such as Peter, James, John and Paul did not get along, did not agree with each other, did not believe the same things and probably did not even like each other.  Someone threw Paul out of Ephesus, where John lived and preached and declared him a false prophet and not the friend of Jewish Christianity. 
Then someone, traumatized by the fall of Jerusalem and the failed predictions of the Apostle Paul wrote a book that was for that time. It failed to deliver as promised as well. It almost didn't make it into the New Testament.  It has haunted and plagued humankind ever since
The Book of Revelation is not a book for our times.  It was not a book ahead of its own time.  It was a book of  THAT time and is not for THIS time.  This is something the Churches of God will never look into or consider.  Too much rides on it being available to explain the unknowable future as if they knew. 
The Heart of Innovation: How Many Dancers Does It Take to Screw in
 How many failed prophecies does it take to screw in a light bulb.  Lots.....  And while I don't actually expect many lights to actually go on, I thought you should know I have hope.