OF RELIGION Field Guide to the


In a Nutshell

The Church of God Evangelistic Association was formed in 1980 to support the independent ministry of David J. Smith, a former member of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) under founder Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA).

Smith is editor of Newswatch Magazine and the featured speaker on a related radio program heard across the U.S.. Smith's broadcasting style is very reminiscent of Armstrong's World Tomorrow program, to the point that one might reasonably conclude he has specifically modeled his program after Armstrong's. Smith is bombastic, glib, and dogmatic in his radio commentary, with a strong emphasis on connecting current world conditions and events with Bible Prophecy.

Smith's doctrinal base conforms closely to the teachings of Armstrong, including a version of the British Israel theory. However, he has a strong emphasis, which Armstrong's teachings never included, on various conspiracy theories. (See: definitions in the Field Guide Lexicon for British Israelism and Conspiracy Theories.)

Smith was at one point deeply involved in development and support of the secessionist "Republic of Texas" movement. The North Texas Skeptics Society reported in their December 1999 issue of their Newsletter:

The Church of God Evangelistic Association, a fundamentalist Anglo-Israelite congregation based in the Texas town of Waxahachie, has broadcast their Newswatch Magazine radio program on KPBC for many years. Like many of the speakers on The Prophecy Club, pastor David J. Smith of the COGEA has warned his flock against the dangers that Communism still poses for the free world. For example, consider this excerpt from the print version of Newswatch Magazine:

Are you willing to see 20 million Texas citizens be turned over to a Socialist/Communist/United Nations one-world-government where millions will be imprisoned and killed by Russian UN Peacekeeping troops? Do you know that those in charge have written down on paper that they will kill Congressmen/women as the first category? You are on their list!!! Even if you think the UN government is wonderful, have you ever read and studied their final plans? THEY CANNOT ALLOW OUR RULERS TO LIVE BECAUSE THEY MAY NOT BE WILLING TO SEE MASS KILLINGS OF THOSE WHO WILL NOT ACCEPT THEIR NEW GOVERNMENT OF COMMUNISM!

Will you contact those at the Republic of Texas office to consider leading Texas to independence before it is too late? Call Richard L. McLaren at 915-426-2210 or Fax him at 915-426-3705.4

Smith has apparently renounced his support for the Republic of Texas secessionist movement long before it sank into legal troubles. Richard McLaren (who was once interviewed by Smith) and several of his supporters are now behind bars after a prolonged standoff with law enforcement officials in West Texas.


The Claims

There are many ministries which promote a belief in various types of conspiracy theories. However, the particular concerns which are of interest with Smith for purposes of this profile are his exclusivist claims for himself and his followers.

Smith has claimed that:

He has been called by God specifically to draw people from all over the country to be part of his congregation at his Texas headquarters as a "place of safety" in an imminent Tribulation period.

He has been led by direct, divine revelation in the form of visions and direct communication from God in his activities related to this calling.

And he has distributed material alleging that:

All other Sabbatarian groups besides his own have been infiltrated by New World Order operatives, including Jesuits and Masons.

The leadership of all Sabbatarian ministries that were off-shoots of the Worldwide Church of God—except for his own Church of God Evangelistic Association—are under the direct control of the Roman Catholic Church.


The Allure

Smith's radio preaching has an allure for both Sabbatarian and non-Sabbatarian listeners alike who enjoy hearing a "hard hitting" speaker. Many who avidly listen to bombastic speakers such as Smith are no doubt able to filter out the doctrinal matters they do not agree with, and just focus on those attacks against their personal favorite targets, whether it be politicians or Communists or persons allegedly "covering up" evidence of UFOs. Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God also attracted a large audience of people who had no interest in their teachings about Biblical doctrines, but were merely fascinated by their self-assured commentary on world events.

But when it comes to those who go more deeply into Smith's teachings, who begin getting his tapes and materials regularly, and who begin to view Smith as their "spiritual leader," the allure is likely different. A number of the former followers of Herbert W. Armstrong are uncomfortable without a strong leader to follow. Many also like to feel that they are part of an evangelistic movement that is hard-hitting and bombastic in its attack on the "mainstream" of religion in America and the western world. And after many years of dire warnings by Armstrong of the suffering to come under the Tribulation, it is not uncommon to find former WCG members who desperately are looking for the same kind of "promise of protection" that Armstrong offered. Smith fills all these needs.




Unless David J. Smith is exactly what he claims to be—a primary spokesman for God on Earth, directly divinely inspired—then those who follow him and support him in his ministry are promoting a dangerous man.

Sabbatarian Christians in particular should think long and hard before casting in their lot with such a man. They may be willing to be persecuted for the Name of Jesus Christ, for the truth of the Bible, for standing up for their convictions regarding the value to Christians of Sabbath observance. But are they willing to accept persecution for promoting the teachings of a false prophet?



Although Smith removed himself from the Worldwide Church of God and formed his own organization in 1980, his references on his tapes to Herbert W Armstrong and the WCG under Armstrong's leadership have been at times positive. He seems to feel that HWA was a great spiritual leader who did a great work for God, but whose ministry was infiltrated by Jesuits, who undermined it. Thus the WCG under Armstrong is viewed by Smith as so important that Satan himself directly inspired members of what Smith believes to be the secret builders of the New World Order to conspire to destroy Armstrong's efforts.

Smith does not rely just on interpreting the Bible for his prophetic understandings. He has claimed direct divine communication (see documentation section below) as well as his own development of extra-biblical methods of prognostication. On a tape made in 1996 he used the Greek Lexicon from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to establish a prophetic scenario which he applied to his own ministry. He pointed out to his listeners the translations of the Greek words in the Lexicon that were numbered 1996, 1997,1998, and 1999.

And then he challenged his listeners to decide for themselves if perhaps these meanings had "prophetic significance" in them for the years 1996-1999. Prophetic significance, that is, for those who were either in, or thinking about joining, his group of followers. This gimmick of painting an elaborate word picture full of obvious implications that Smith himself is totally convinced of its validity, but then baiting the listeners that they can "decide for themselves" if it is true or not, is typical of Smith's preaching. He leaves little doubt how foolish he will consider the listener who doesn't accept the obvious implications. Yet he absolves himself of any "direct statement" that his speculations are in fact dogmatic truth.

Here are the word definitions as given by Strong...

1996 "to gather"

1997 "assembling, gathering together"

1998 "to hasten together, come running together"

1999 "a conspiracy, i.e. , a concourse, riotous or friendly"

The implication in all this was that the "Place of Safety" was with him and his followers. If you came in 1996, you could take your time. In 1997 you really ought to start taking this seriously lest you be left out of the "ingathering." If you waited until 1998 you better come running, and you might even be chased. And by 1999 it might be too late because of the riots.

In the tape he made it clear that the only thing "holding back" the rise of the Beast power and time of Tribulation was the faithful remnant with him.



The issue of greatest concern with David J Smith isn't his alleged "facts" about the New World Order or other speculative topics. The greatest concern is his self-proclaimed role as God's instrument. In a 1998 letter to his supporters, Smith stated:

In other words Satan knows God is working in the earth through certain human beings and will stop at nothing to thwart their plans and activities. God has called for "an ingathering of saints from a Western state" under my leadership."

He claimed in this letter that an unusual heatwave in Texas that year was a specific attempt to discourage him and his followers who were "in their place of safety," and discourage others from other parts of the country from joining them. See the complete text of this letter in the Documentation section at the end of this article.


Either this man is what he thinks he is, or he is mentally unbalanced at best or a false prophet at worst. He is mystically guided now by visions and the like. This sort of demagogue is the worst kind, for you can't "reason" with him at all ... he has in his own mind a direct pipeline to God that is extra-Biblical.


As recorded in a 9/97 newsletter of the North Texas Skeptics Society (more excerpts and URL for the original in the Documentation section below), Smith has claimed insight into the supernatural far beyond what is stated in the Bible:

… in one sermon preached back in January 1997, Smith threw a curve ball: "Satan will be coming; he's going to be kicked out of the heavens according to Revelation 12:12, and when he comes, he and his fallen angels and all of the mutants that they have created through gene-splicing-what's happened to all these little children that disappear every year? What happens to...the street people that all of a sudden just disappear, nobody ever knows what's happened to them? Oh yes, they're used, and they're used for gene-splicing; they're creating mutants, individuals they can control and they're the ones who are flying these objects."


This "information" is not from the Bible. It is presented as "truth." So ... either it is the truth and he got it "from God," he is making it up, or it is being "put in his mind" from another source. His supporters can't have it both ways. It is not spiritually "safe" to play around with teachings from someone like this. Either he is a true prophet, or he is dangerous to the spiritual well-being of the Body of Christ. When someone is this blatant with supposed "inside information" about the the demonic realm, he had better be right.


It would appear from the fact that Smith can gather a following in spite of the fact that no real-world events have ever validated his teachings and claims of divine revelation, that many are so starved to hear "hope" that they won't have to go through scary times that they are willing to suspend disbelief and follow a man who is full of paranoia and delusions of grandeur.


Web Documentation


From the contents of Martial Law is Coming, Sept., 1999, double issue of Newswatch Magazine:


The Illuminati Laid the Groundwork for the Civil War to Destroy States Rights!

"I, David Smith -- editor and publisher of Newswatch Magazine, am calling out to each Senator and Representative of Texas to REPENT AND SEEK THE TRUE GOD OF THE BIBLE, JESUS CHRIST, TO DIVINELY INTERVENE IN THE MONTHS AHEAD TO PROTECT TEXAS FROM THE NEW WORLD ORDER UNITED NATIONS MILITARY!!!"


Interview with David J. Smith by a reporter for the Dallas Morning News:


Some spend lives looking for shadows


By Steve Blow / The Dallas Morning News

I will confess that I am both fascinated and appalled by the likes of David J. Smith.

They live among us. Yet not.

They take our world and assemble the pieces into something entirely different.

Last weekend, I stepped over into their other world for a moment.

Mr. Smith is the man behind billboards across the state warning of a takeover by U.N. troops.

The 26 billboards are part of a crusade that also includes late-night radio broadcasts, a monthly magazine, a Web site (newswatchmagazine.org), newspaper ads and fliers inserted in coupon packs.

I went to see Mr. Smith at his headquarters in Waxahachie - the Church of God Evangelistic Association.

"Everybody knows America is not what it used to be - especially people who are a little older," he said. "They don't know what's wrong. We do."

And that is? Well, hang on. Here we go into that other world.

Evil in a nutshell

"The United Nations was created by Communists, who were created in 1776 by a secret organization called The Illuminati …," Mr. Smith began, rattling off a history of treachery that seemed to include everyone.

The Scottish Rite. The Red Cross. NATO. U.N. CIA. Rothschilds. Rockefellers. And don't even get him started on the news media.

"We don't trust anything from CBS or ABC or NBC. We know they are controlled by the Council on Foreign Relations, a Marxist organization," he said.

Mr. Smith is a portly, 58-year-old fellow who talks with the patter and practiced sincerity of an insurance salesman. His rush of words is a mixture of old-fashioned anti-communism, end-times Bible prophecy and mind-boggling conspiracy theory.

He owned an advertising firm in St. Louis for years but gave it away in 1993 to move to Texas. He's convinced that we Texans will create a pocket of resistance against the coming anti-Christ.

It's all unfolding right now, by the way. This rash of mass shootings around the country? Those are being carried out by "sleepers" - people under government mind control.

"Most of them," he clarified. "I'd say 90 percent." The plan is to create such panic that citizens will willingly give up their guns. And you know what happens then.

We're all going to be slaves and serfs. And a few elites will control everything," Mr. Smith said, straight-faced.

I asked if a flicker of doubt about all this ever crosses his mind. "No," he said.

Never? "Not once."

Reality check

I took a breath and tried to frame the next question politely, respectfully. But the gist was this: Does he ever consider that he might be crazy?

"You're not going to put me in the category of kooks and quacks," he shot back. "Because I'm not. I'm probably the most balanced person you'll ever meet - because I understand what's going on."

And apparently, many believe him. That afternoon, I attended his regular Saturday church service. About 250 people of all ages were there.

As I found a seat, the grandfatherly man in front of me was saying to another: " . . . They'll have to bring in foreign troops. I don't believe U.S. soldiers would shoot their own citizens. . . . "

A young man stopped to welcome me to the church, and we chatted a moment. He said he moved to Waxahachie from Kansas after hearing one of Mr. Smith's radio broadcasts - leaving behind a wife and 1-year-old child

"My whole family thought I was crazy," he said. But eventually his wife and child moved to Texas, too.

He estimated that more than half the congregation arrived the same way.

I looked around and felt an urge to hug them, to wake them.

But of course, in their other world, anything I say is just proof of the opposite.


Newsletter from David J Smith to supporters 7/31/98

The Church of God Evangelistic Assn.

1420 WEST ROSS * WAXAHACHIE, TEXAS 75165 * (972) 937-2227

Newswatch Magazine

Editor David J. Smith


Dear Brethren:

Since the Bible is spiritually discerned by those who have God's Holy Spirit, conversations can sometimes be thought of as weird by an unconverted mind (1 Cor. 2.'7-16). We know that Satan and his cohorts called demons have been around along time. Before Lucifer's fall because of the sin of pride, he was dedicated to God's service. He and the 1/3rd of the angels that rebelled were taught much of the technology that God uses to uphold the universe, travel in space from planetary system to planetary system, etc. They know their stuff.

It should be NO surprise to us when we read that Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). Satan can select certain people to whom he can give secrets. Some of these secrets fall into the hands of Illuminati agents or people who work for them unknowingly As a result, many inventions are used for evil and not good. Weather control is one of those items.

I started reporting on weather control and modification years ago - sometime in the 1980s. Tesla had around 900 Patents concerning electricity and weather modification. He made Thomas Edison look like a kindergartner. Starting in the winter of 1976-77, extremes in cold and warmer weather began. There have always been drought cycles. That's not what I'm referring to in this case. I mean OBVIOUS radical extremes like the summer of 1980. That was recorded as the hottest summer on record. Weather bureaus were frustrated because of high weather patterns that were stopped dead still over Texas and the Midwest with NO logical explanation.

Extremely low frequency magnetic wave generators were working by the Soviet Union and the United States. Now listen very carefully to TV weather people. They don't know WHY rain is everywhere except in a circle of about 100 miles with Dallas/Waxahachie, Texas as the central focus of this intense heat. If people only knew the spiritual battles going on invisibly, then it would make sense.

God created man in His image to be conformed to the image of His Son. God is working through His church to reproduce sons, We are to inherit ALL THINGS [the universe] as co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 21:7). Satan hates the very thought that he has been defeated and will eventually be destroyed. Jesus Christ and the saints will replace him as ruler over the vast creation.

In the Bible it is recorded that demons said to some unconverted Jews who were trying to cast them out "Jesus we know, Paul we know, but who are you?" [paraphrased] In other words Satan knows God is working in the earth through certain human beings and will stop at nothing to thwart their plans and activities. God has called for "an ingathering of saints from a Western state" under my leadership. NO MAGGIE, THERE 1S NO CHAPTER AND VERSE PROPHESYING THIS, ONLY GOD'S VISION AND DIRECT THOUGHTS PUT INTO MY MIND AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER PEOPLE WHO HEARD IT STATED ON WORLDWIDE SHORTWAVE RADIO TEN DAYS BEFORE GOD EVER STIRRED ME UP TO GO TO WHERE THE INGATHERING WOULD BE!! THEN HE SENT SIX DREAMS AND VISIONS TO OTHER CHURCH MEMBERS UNKNOWN TO EACH OTHER TO CONFIRM I THAT I WAS NOT MAKING UP SOMETHING OR HAD SOME BAD PIZZA! Satan wants to discourage any who are planning on coming with this unusual heat. He wants to cause discomfort to those who have come so as to discourage them. Too bad Satan, we KNOW Who we serve and WHY we came. You are defeated by the death and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.

Since stepping out in faith and responding to the call, God has increased the ministry 770% in the radio/TV/shortwave outreach. People who are here are happy as a whole. Satan certainly knew Job and asked permission to afflict him. He knew Peter because Jesus said Satan wanted to sift him. Satan always had a demon follow Paul as a thorn in the flesh. Do we think Satan does not know US whom God has chosen to witness and warn this nation of the coming disasters if the nation does not repent? He knows, and he will take your crown if you let him. He will persecute the woman if God permits. Satan hates!

In Christ's love

David J. Smith



Excerpts from editorial by David J Smith in Newswatch 6/22/2001.


Starting in May 1980 and continuing through June 1980, I suddenly saw a Bible before my eyes. I would blink thinking it would go away. It didn't. I would lay down to sleep, but the Bible was still there. This went on for 60 days until I laid the manuscript down to start Newswatch Magazine. I organized the church under the name The Church of God Evangelistic Association on June 23, 1980. The Bible that I had been seeing in vision ceased the moment I laid the manuscript down on the printers desk. It never has reappeared. I KNEW this was from God.


I have tried, as the person God called to spearhead this ministry, to constantly warn of the unseen spirit world that is seeking to rob you of your crown. I have warned that the evil spirits send PEOPLE to cause division, take those who are not paying attention to their personal relationship with Jesus out from us. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN!


On May 1, 1993, a man called a worldwide shortwave talk show and stated he was given a dream/vision that "My [God's] servant David J. would lead an ingathering of saints from a western state." I knew nothing of this until June 12, 1993, when Harold Dickson from Kentucky called an told me. Meanwhile, on May 10, 1993, Brenda and I brought her mother to Texas to see her great-grandchildren. While sitting in the minivan at the Stockyards in Ft.Worth, it felt like a hand was pushing me in the back. I looked - no one was behind me. Suddenly, in my mind the authoritative words thundered in my mind - get out of Missouri and go to Texas. I was stunned, shocked, not sure what just happened.

Oh, it was easy to believe God had told Abraham to leave one location for another. IT WAS WRITTEN! It was easy to believe Paul had a vision on the road to Damascus and had the "Macedonian" call. IT WAS WRITTEN! Who would ever believe that I was directed to go to Texas and an "ingathering" would occur? There was no word as to how many would comprise this "ingathering." Would Satan still have full access to those who came? Would those who came be faithful unto the END? Would we be separated, so we would not be persecuted? THESE WERE UNKNOWNS!

Since that August 19, 1993, arrival in Texas, we have found the answer to nearly all these questions! We found that Satan and his fellow rebels would HATE and seek to DESTROY this called "ingathering." We found that not all would remain with us. We have seen wonderful people attacked by the unseen world who are seeking to steal their crown. Some have fallen, some have survived. IT IS SPIRITUAL WAR. We pray for all men everywhere.

As in all wars, the numbers reduce. However, God has sent reinforcements FROM our radio audience with tithes and offerings. He is increasing the ministry physically and spiritually. God fulfilled the purpose for Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldees. God fulfilled His purpose through Paul. He will also fulfill His purpose for an "ingathering" of saints in a western state - TEXAS!!! There are yet others that must be baptized and become "firstfruits." There are others who want to WATCH and PRAY. Thank you Jesus!

David J. Smith


From: September 1997 Newsletter of the North Texas Skeptics

At this point, you might decide to turn the radio knob again, only to find the radio version of Newswatch Magazine on another Christian radio station. Newswatch Magazine is distributed by the Church of God Evangelistic Association, which is located in Waxahachie, Texas, and it can be heard throughout America on AM and shortwave radio. David J. Smith, host of Newswatch Magazine and pastor of the Church of God Evangelistic Association, preaches an eclectic blend of end-time prophecy, Anglo-Israelism, conspiracy theories, and fundamentalist Christianity.

Like [religious radio talk show host Bob] Larson and the Davises, Smith believes that UFOs are the creation of Satan, but in one sermon preached back in January 1997, Smith threw a curve ball: "Satan will be coming; he's going to be kicked out of the heavens according to Revelation 12:12, and when he comes, he and his fallen angels and all of the mutants that they have created through gene-splicing — what's happened to all these little children that disappear every year? What happens to...the street people that all of a sudden just disappear, nobody ever knows what's happened to them? Oh yes, they're used, and they're used for gene-splicing; they're creating mutants — individuals they can control — and they're the ones who are flying these objects."

Smith's evidence that demons engaged in gene-splicing can be found in Genesis 6:4, where the "sons of God" coupled with human females, producing "giants" and "mighty men of renown." Smith identifies these "sons" of God as the fallen angels spoken of in Jude 6, and throws a curve ball by hypothesizing that the creation of these wicked "men of renown" owed more to ancient gene-splicing rather than procreation.




David J. Smith is just one of many would-be prophecy pundits in the Wild World of Religion. The following books contain documentation and commentary on the many varieties of End Times Prophecy speculation, and assist the reader in evaluating the validity of the claims of the pundits.


Armageddon Now! The Premillenarian Response to Russia and Israel Since 1917
Wilson, Dwight
Baker Book House, Gr. Rapids MI
(history of prophetic speculation from 1917-1977)


Doomsday Delusions: What's Wrong with Predictions About the End of the World?
Pate, C. Marvin; Haines, Calvin B. Jr.
Intervarsity Press, Downer's Grove IL


The Gentile Times Reconsidered: Chronology and Christ’s Return
Jonsson, Carl Olof
Commentary Press, Atlanta GA
1983, 1998
(evaluation of the Jehovah's Witness speculation on End Time prophecy)


The Last Days Are Here Again
Kyle, Richard
Baker Book House, Gr. Rapids MI
(history of prophetic speculation)


Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession
Fuller, Robert
Oxford University Press, New York NY


The Sign of the Last Days: When?
Jonsson, Carl Olof and Herbst, Wolfgang
Commentary Press, Atlanta GA
(overview of Jehovah's Witness speculations on prophecy)


Soothsayers of the Second Advent
Alnor, William M.
Fleming H. Revell Co., Old Tappan NJ
(Profiles of a number of current prophecy teachers)


When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World
Festinger, Leon; Riecken, Henry W.; Schachter, Stanley
Harper & Row, Publishers, New York NY

Author Festinger, a social psychologist, coined the term "cognitive dissonance," and introduced it to the general public in this work. The book is considered a classic in the field of Social Psychology. Festinger and his social-psych team were interested in testing a theory they had about how people in religious groups which dogmatically predict a date for "the end of the world" respond when the prediction fails. They happened to stumble on a small group just forming around a woman who claimed to be receiving messages from extra-terrestrials. She declared that a great series of natural disasters would occur on earth on December 21 of the current year, and that only those who heeded the messages of her unearthly contacts would be rescued. The book first surveys the history of "End Times prophecy" teachers and groups from the first century to the 20th. And then it describes how they were able to infiltrate this growing cult with research assistants and obtain reports of the reactions of the members before and after the date of the predicted "End." For more details on the book, see the When Prophecy Fails section of this Field Guide.


When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture
Boyer, Paul
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA


End Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?
Abanes, Richard
Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville TN
(history of prophetic speculation)


Check out the Field Guide Profile on the End Times Prophecy Movement for more information on related topics.



Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this Field Guide website
is © 2001-2011 by Pamela Starr Dewey.

Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.


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David J Smith

Church of God Evangelistic Association