Was Mr. Herbert Armstrong controlled by Organizations of Men?

November 27th, 1958 CoWorker Letter by Herbert W Armstrong

“This great work is NON-denominational! It is GOD’S OWN WORK — not ours! HOW IS IT FINANCED? WHO IS BACK OF IT? Only GOD is back of it, by living faith! Back in the fall of 1933 I came to see by experience that if any denomination sponsored me or paid my salary, I would be muzzled — forced to preach as men decreed! At that time MEN paid me a very small salary. They demanded that I preach and baptize contrary to the Bible, but according to their HUMAN doctrines. I replied that I would serve GOD faithfully, and not men — that henceforth I would look to God ALONE as Employer — trusting HIM alone for every financial need. He has PROMISED to supply our every NEED! I relied on Him to do it — and HE DID! At that time it was necessary to hitch-hike to meetings to preach. I had no automobile. I was preaching in a country one-room school house. One farmer said to me: “Mr. Armstrong, you won’t last long.” “Why?” I asked. “Because you are preaching the BIBLE exactly as it is — and the Bible is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for REPROOF and CORRECTION. It’s like a sharp two-edged sword — it cuts people both ways. People don’t like to be corrected or reproved. People won’t support it! YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT SUPPORT. No, you won’t last long, preaching the BIBLE exactly as it is!” I was offered a good salary to team up with a nationally- known evangelist — PROVIDED I would stop preaching certain vital TRUTHS of the BIBLE, and preach what men told me to preach. Later, in Hollywood, I was offered $100,000 a year — with assurances it would be raised to $200,000 a year once we gained a good audience rating — to become a news analyst on a major network, using a certain amount of prophetic background, for a large manufacturer in the food industry. But of course I would be MUZZLED! I have received flattering offers of having the radio program SPONSORED — again provided I would serve MEN instead of GOD! I have been persecuted, threatened, opposed. Ministers have opposed me — tried to destroy me. Communists have threatened my life. But I rely on God to protect it, as I have continued to rely on GOD ALONE, thru those whose hearts HE moves, for financial support — for EVERY need! It has been a rough road. It has been a hard battle. Never has it been easy. People have forsaken me, threatened, persecuted. But GOD HAS NEVER LEFT NOR FORSAKEN ME! He has permitted trials, temptations, apparently insurmountable obstacles. Yet He has always protected, delivered, prospered. He has blessed with wisdom, and every spiritual blessing. HE HAS VINDICATED HIS WORD! This is HIS WORK — GOD ALMIGHTY HAS BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR IT, AND TO EXPAND IT CONSTANTLY IN POWER AND SCOPE!
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God's True Ministry – are They controlled by organizations?

“They cannot be subsidized, controlled, coerced by men or organizations of men. They are not hired by, nor obligated to, men or any organized group or denomination. They are called by God, guided, protected and empowered by God, financed by GOD’S own tithing system!–yes, by GOD’S OWN MONEY!”

-Herbert W Armstrong-  

 

IS TITHING IN FORCE UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT?  

by Herbert W. Armstrong page 34 Plain Truth April 1981  

  Here is an eye-opening article on a most misunderstood subject. Some ask, “Wasn’t tithing just for the Jews?” Others, “Wasn’t tithing done away?” Or, “Was it a form of national taxation in ancient Israel?” Or, “Was it to supply material needs to the poor?” Here is the New Testament teaching. You’ll find this article interesting, enlightening, plain!     HOW SHOULD God’s work be financed? Does God have a definite system? Is “tithing” obligatory in New Testament times?   Or has God left us to our own devices to raise money?   Or did God perhaps leave it for each one to give what he feels like–if he feels like giving it?   Others ask, “Wasn’t tithing just for the Jews?” Or, “Wasn’t tithing done away? Wasn’t it just part of the ceremonial system introduced by the old covenant law of Moses?”   Others, today, are taught and believe tithing was merely a form of national taxation in the civil government of the one-time nation of Israel. Still others teach that the tithe supplied the material needs of the poor, and was never put into the ministry.   What confusion today! What ignorance of the revealed laws and commands of God!   God Working Out a Purpose   Man was placed on earth for a purpose. And always, from the very beginning, God has had on earth a priesthood–a ministry representing him, making known his will to man, carrying out God’s mission.   It does cost money to carry on Christ’s ministry. And today with super-powered facilities of radio, television and printing press, of rapid transportation to every part of the world–facilities making it possible to reach vast masses over great distances in short time–the carrying forth of God’s last warning message to a deceived world is a herculean task of gigantic proportions requiring large sums of money.   Did Christ intend his specially selected and called ministers to be directed and controlled by boards of lay church members not called of Christ to the ministry? Or did Christ himself ordain a system providing for his work, leaving his true called ministers, like prophets of old, free to serve God alone?   Has not God, in his wisdom, provided for this financing? And in such manner that his true called ministers may be free to serve him alone, carrying his message boldly?   Is there a definite financing plan ordained in the New Testament?   If so, the plan will be revealed in God’s Word.   But first, before looking to the New Testament teaching to see whether or not Christians must “tithe,” let us make clear just what that word tithe means.   What the “Tithe” Is   What does God mean by the word tithe?   It is an old English word, commonly used in England three and four hundred years ago. Today it is seldom used, except in this scriptural connection. This old expression “tithe” has been preserved in the Authorized, or King James translation, of the Bible–translated in 1611.   The word tithe means “tenth.” A tithe of anything is the tenth part of it.   It is well known that the nation Israel, during Old Testament times, was required to tithe, that is, pay in one tenth of income. But the matter of to whom each Israelite pays this tenth, which tenth was paid, why and for what purpose, seems to confuse a great many today. And the New Testament teaching for Christians about tithing is understood only by a few.   Christ’s Office, Now!   It is well recognized that the people of Israel, during Old Testament times, were required to pay tithes. That is, one tenth of income–whether livestock, grain or money. But the New Testament teaching on tithing is not generally understood.   Yet the subject is mentioned many places in the New Testament. Since it is a priesthood subject–the financing of Christ’s ministry–it’s well to look first at the priesthood book–Hebrews.   You hear a great deal of a crucified Christ–much preaching about a dead Christ. But you hear almost nothing about the message he brought from God, and even less about the function of the resurrected living Christ of today!   The book of Hebrews reveals the Christ of the twentieth century–the work and office of our Christ today–Christ the High Priest of God! And it contains God’s instruction for financing the ministry of Christ! The seventh chapter is the tithing chapter.   Speaking of the Christian hope of eternal life (which hope is Jesus Christ), we are told, beginning verse 19, chapter 6, this hope (Christ) has entered “within the veil”–that is, the very throne of God in heaven–“whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (verse 20).   The New Testament Priesthood   Jesus Christ is High Priest now. Let’s understand it. Jesus of Nazareth came as a messenger, sent from God, bearing a message to man. His message is his gospel–the gospel of Jesus Christ–the good news of the kingdom of God.   After finishing his mission as messenger, Jesus took on himself the mission of Savior, paying in our stead the penalty of our sins by his death on the cross. But it requires a living Savior to impart to us the gift of eternal life! So God raised Jesus, by a resurrection.   And thereupon Jesus ascended to heaven, to the very throne of God, where he sat down and continues today as our everlasting High Priest. That is his office, now. Soon he shall assume still another office, returning to earth in all the power and glory of God, as King of kings–continuing his priesthood office as Lord of lords.   It is in his office as High Priest that Jesus sits as living Head of the Church of God, the true body of Christ in this age. He is High Priest for this and all succeeding ages.   And as High Priest he holds a definite rank–a rank that outranks every priestly office–“after the order of Melchisedec,” or, in the plainer English of the Moffatt translation, “with the rank of Melchisedec.”   And who is Melchisedec? This is one of the intriguing mysteries of the Bible! Suffice it to say here, Melchisedec was the High Priest of God during patriarchal times. And Christ occupies the same office now, holding the same rank.   But the Mosaic dispensation was a purely materialistic, fleshly dispensation. The gospel was not preached in Israel, nor did their ministry carry it to other nations. Israelites formed a flesh-born congregation, not a Spirit-begotten church. The ministry consisted of rituals, carnal (fleshly) ordinances, substitute animal sacrifices and burnt offerings. This required of the priests much hard physical labor.   During those years a different priesthood of lower rank was in office–mere human rank, vastly inferior to the spiritual and divine rank of Melchisedec and of Christ. The priests were of the tribe of Levi. It was called the Levitical priesthood.   A Tithe-receiving Priesthood   Yet this lower-level priesthood had to be financed. God’s financing plan from dim antiquity, through the Melchisedec priesthood, was the tithing system. This system was continued through the years of the Levitical priesthood.   Now coming to the seventh chapter of Hebrews, God’s financing plan is explained. Notice the comparison between the two tithe-receiving priesthoods.   First read the first five verses, Hebrews, chapter 7: “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all …abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law….”   Let’s understand it. This vital passage of Scripture begins to compare the two priesthoods. Notice, back in patriarchal times, tithing was God’s system for financing his ministry. Melchisedec was High Priest. The patriarch Abraham, it is written, knew and kept God’s commandments, his statutes and laws (Genesis 26:5). And he paid tithes to the High Priest!   Then the statement is made in this passage that, during that dispensation from Moses until Christ, the priests of that time, the Levites, took tithes from the people by law. It was a LAW, started in the beginning, continued through the Mosaic dispensation.   Tithing, then, did not start with Moses!   It is God’s system for financing his ministry, which began from the beginning–from the dim antiquity of patriarchal times. It was a law. It did not start with Moses, it was merely continued on through the Mosaic period!   Tithing a Law from Dim Antiquity   Many excuse themselves from tithing today on the false impression tithing pertained to the Mosaic period only. They think it was for Israel, alone. And that illusion has brought a curse on our nations!   The old covenant is gone–that’s true. But its ending could not take away what it did not bring! Tithing was God’s law hundreds of years before the old covenant started.   Tithing is revealed as God’s system for financing his earthly ministry. Prior to the Levitical priesthood and the Mosaic dispensation, the ministry was under Melchisedec. And we see that ministry, from the beginning, was financed by the tithing system.   Melchisedec, “having neither beginning of days, nor end of life…abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3). Yes, he was High Priest from the beginning! Even from Adam! And the ancient patriarchs from Adam down through Abraham, Jacob and on to Moses, financed this ministry of God on earth by the TITHING system!   Merely Continued in Israel   Since tithing is God’s permanent, continuous financing system, it had to continue through the Mosaic dispensation. During that period when the Levites were the ministers, their work and labors had to be financed. But when the priesthood was changed, God did not change his financing system. The Levites “had a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law.”   And notice, the very subject of this seventh chapter of Hebrews is the tithing law!   Now continuing, the teaching concerns which of the two priesthoods–Melchisedec or Levitical–is superior, to determine which priesthood should receive tithes, now!   Christians of Paul’s day did not need to be instructed that tithing is an obligatory and permanent law of God. But they did need much teaching to make clear to them that the old covenant was vanishing away–the Levitical priesthood changed and replaced by that of Jesus Christ–the Melchisedec priesthood restored! The only question was as to which priesthood tithes were to be paid.   To make this point plain, Paul proceeds to show the Melchisedec priesthood is superior–has precedence now.   Notice the scripture: “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils…but he whose descent is not counted from them [the Levites] received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him [Abraham] that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less [Abraham] is blessed of the better [Melchisedec]…. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him” (verses 4, 6-7, 9-10).   The Melchisedec priesthood is greater–superior! It has precedence! And it is again in force as God’s priesthood, under Christ! It, too, needs to be financed! Now notice the conclusion:   “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (verse 12).   It does not say the law was abolished. The change in priesthoods makes necessary a change in the law. What specific law? The very law this chapter is instructing New Testament Christians about–the TITHING LAW! “…the sons of Levi…have a commandment to take TITHES…according to the law…” (verse 5).   So tithing, far from being abolished, is New Testament law! But, the priesthood being changed to that of Jesus Christ–the Melchisedec priesthood restored–that tithing law is also changed of necessity, so as to become God’s system for financing the ministry of Jesus Christ!   Actually, the law is merely restored as it was from the beginning!   How plain! Tithing is God’s law–his system for financing his great work today; it’s commanded, now!   Why God Retains the Tithe   But why does God retain for himself the ownership of that first tenth–that tithe–of your income?   Here again comes a truth man would never know, and could not find out, except by God’s revelation to man! What is man, anyway? Why is he? Where is he going? God has a plan! God is working out a great purpose! He reveals it in his Word–his revelation–the Bible.   For the carrying out of his holy purpose in placing mankind upon this earth, God has always had a priesthood–a ministry, representing him, serving him, carrying out his mission. Way back in the dim antiquity of patriarchal times, God’s High Priest–his representative on earth–was Melchisedec.   During the national dispensation of Israel, under the old covenant, known as the Mosaic dispensation–those years from Moses until Christ–the tribe of Levi constituted the ministry of God, known as the Levitical priesthood. Then later, when Jesus Christ arose from the dead, he ascended to heaven as a living High Priest. Today he calls ministers as his true representatives in a darkened and Satan-deceived world, to carry on his plan. Today the Melchisedec priesthood is restored, in Christ.   Now it costs money to carry on the work of God. God’s ministers who devote their entire time to God’s holy and spiritual purpose are prevented from earning a living in the usual channels. Yet they work. If they are true ministers, they are men of ability who work hard, and long, observing no hours. Actually they earn a living–they have worked for their food, shelter and clothing and physical need–the same as the farmer, the laborer, the clerk or the merchant.   And so God, in his wisdom, has provided for financing his work, and for his ministers’ living. In God’s program, these true ministers work for HIM, and HIM alone.   In God’s great plan, he pays his ministers. It is he who “hires” them–he who calls them to their work for him.   So, in order to provide for the financing of his ministry, God has from the very beginning retained for himself the first tenth of the income of every human being on earth. The ownership of that first tenth of income is God’s.   To Whom Tithes Are Paid   But how can you pay God’s tenth to him? God is on his throne in heaven. And “no man,” said Jesus, “hath ascended to heaven.” You can’t go there. You can’t see God, or hand your money to him personally. How, then, can you pay him his tithe?   Well, some large corporations, perhaps in a distant city, cannot be directly contacted by their many customers. And so they send around representatives, collectors, to collect for them what you owe the company. The collector comes in the name of the company. When you pay the money that really belongs to the company to the collector, you have paid the company.   God’s system of collecting from you his tithe is just that simple. Since you cannot see God, or go to God’s throne in heaven, God instructs you in his revealed Word to pay it to his representative, who, in receiving it, represents God just as a collector to whom you pay a debt represents the company to whom you owe it.   And when you pay such a bill to a collector, you consider you paid the company–not that you made a personal donation of your own money to the man the company sent. You paid it as to the company. From there on it is the company’s responsibility what happens to that money, not yours. And the company pays the collector his salary. He does not consider that you paid his salary–he receives his salary from the company.   This illustrates plainly God’s true principle of tithing. When you pay tithes today you are instructed by God’s directions to pay them to God’s called and chosen representative–the true minister of Jesus Christ. But you pay it, not as a personal contribution of your own money to a minister–but as to God. The minister represents God–receives not your money but God’s money from you for God.   Here again so many in this modern world have lost sight of God’s clear directions. When they give the tithe to a minister they seem to feel it is a special entrusting of their own money, and they make it their duty to try to supervise how the minister handles it–even, in some cases today, down to the supervision of what the minister and his family may eat or wear or have in their personal private family life!   When Your Responsibility Ceases   But God’s revealed principle is quite different. That first tenth of your income is not yours–never was yours! It belongs to God. And the method God himself instituted for your payment of his money to him is to pay it to his called and true ministers.   When you have done that, your responsibility for that money ceases! You have no further concern, responsibility, or direction in the handling of it than you have in money you owe the electric power or the telephone companies that you pay to their collector. Once paid, you have done your part–you have acquitted yourself of your obligation.  

Of course you are expected to be sure the collector is the company’s approved representative–not a thieving imposter pretending to be the company collector. And you should be equally sure you are paying your tithe to a called and true minister of Jesus Christ. Satan has many more ministers today than Christ–and Satan’s thieving imposters pose as ministers of Jesus Christ, put on sanctimonious airs, speak in pious and spiritual-sounding language! How are you to know? By their fruits, Jesus said, you shall know them! The fruits of God’s Spirit and of Christ’s true ministry cannot be counterfeited!  

So when you pay tithes to God’s true and accredited spiritual representative, you pay it as to God. It is not a charitable gift from you to the minister. It is not your money–but rather it is God’s way for you to pay to God that which belongs to God.  

And from there on, the minister who receives it is accountable to God. And you may be sure that GOD’S justice is perfect–that GOD Almighty will hold every minister far more strictly accountable than you would be capable of doing!   What God Does with His Tithe   Once paid, so far as you are concerned, you have paid God’s tithe to God.   The question now is what does God do with it?   And the answer, which we will show by the scriptures inspired of God, is that God uses it for his ministry–for carrying on his work!   Now the nature of God’s ministry on earth has changed with changing dispensations. Not much is revealed as to how God’s ministry was carried on back in patriarchal times. We know Melchisedec was High Priest–that he held rank equal to that of Jesus Christ, actually one of the Godhead! The ministry, then, must have been of a spiritual nature. New Testament writings reveal that the gospel, God’s spiritual message, was preached beforehand to Abraham. All we know of those days of the dim distant antiquity is that the tithes were paid to Melchisedec, a divine Being, for the service of God’s ministry for that time.   But beginning with Moses, a new and different dispensation was ushered in. God formed Israel as a civil nation, and also as a church. (See Acts 7:38.) But between Moses and Christ under the old covenant, God’s ministry was purely national, for Israel alone–and purely material, not spiritual.   As a church, or congregation, Israel was given a constant round of physical ceremonies and rituals–animal sacrifices, meat and drink offerings, carnal ordinances (see Hebrews 9:10)–which, note it!–means of a material, not a spiritual nature. Israel under the old covenant was not given God’s Holy Spirit. They had no promise whatsoever of salvation, astonishing as that may seem! They were not commanded to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to other nations. On the contrary, they were forbidden to have anything to do with other nations!   Consequently, the church ministry in Israel was one of ministering to all Israelites, and to Israelites only. There was no spreading of the gospel. The ministry, rather, was largely a matter of physical labor–preparing animal sacrifices, meat and drink offerings, administering the different washings and physical ordinances and rituals. For this service, God himself selected his ministers–the people had no choice as to who their ministers were. For this service, God took one whole tribe of the twelve tribes of Israel–the tribe of Levi. Every man born a Levite was a priest or minister.   The Levites owned no land–had no secular source of income–devoted their entire time to the physical ministry of that dispensation. Yet, though a physical ministry, this service was sacred and holy to God. And during these years from Moses to Christ, God himself paid his Levitical priests by turning over to them all of his tithe.   Today, we are in the age of grace, the New Testament gospel dispensation. Today the Levitical priesthood is gone, and Jesus Christ is High Priest. Today all true ministers of Jesus Christ are called by special spiritual call from God through his Holy Spirit–not by flesh birth–not by self-desire to become a minister–not by selection, appointment or vote of the people.   Jesus Christ came as God’s messenger, bearing a spiritual message from God to man. That message of his gospel–the good news of the coming kingdom of God, a kingdom of immortals that human flesh and blood can never enter! One must be born again!   God Working Out a Purpose   And today, Christ’s commission to all his true ministers is “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel.” “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations.” And, for our day now: “…This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end [of the age] come” (Matthew 24:14).   Today the ministry is a spiritual ministry–a ministry of prophecy–a ministry of salvation–a ministry of warning! Today it is not physical and national, but spiritual and individual–it is not for everyone in a single nation, but for a witness unto all nations.   Today Christ’s true ministry is a huge undertaking. It requires, not the mere financing of the personal needs of a few ministers, but the employing of tremendous available facilities for proclaiming the world-shaking warning–for preaching the gospel of the kingdom into all the world for a witness unto all nations!   Financed God’s Way   Today, God has provided for the financing of his powerful ministry by the same system he has used from the very beginning–his tithing system!   Thus Almighty God has purposed that those whom he has specially fitted and called for this tremendous mission in this chaotic and dying world may be free to proclaim his truth fearlessly, boldly and with GREAT POWER!  

They cannot be subsidized, controlled, coerced by men or organizations of men. They are not hired by, nor obligated to, men or any organized group or denomination. They are called by God, guided, protected and empowered by God, financed by GOD’S own tithing system!–yes, by GOD’S OWN MONEY!  

That is how The Plain Truth is published–without subscription price, free to all who request it.   That is how the true gospel message is going out in greater power around the world.   That is God’s way, carrying out God’s plan in his great purpose being worked out here below! We–and all our co-workers together–are happy to be privileged by the Eternal God to each have our small part in so glorious a work for him!  ]]>

SERMONETTE: Just What do you mean "Back on the Tracks"?

Just What Do You Mean “Back on the Track”? Speaker – Robert Fahey [su_audio url="http://sermons.wwcg-archives.com/Robert%20Fahey/Back%20On%20Track%20Sermonette%20-12-14-81.mp3" width="100%" autoplay="no" loop="no" class=""] DOWNLOAD LINK Sermonette Transcript Dec 14, 1981 Worldwide Church of God   But, we (unclear) part of the world. And Even with the rain it is kind of refreshing as a matter of fact, from the boredom of no rain down in Pasadena. Can’t please them all the time.   What does it mean Brethren, when Mr. Armstrong says, “BACK ON THE TRACKS”? Or Christ has shown him that He’s going to put His Church “Back on the tracks”?   You know since June 1978, Mr. Armstrong has been telling us, that Christ has shown him that Jesus Christ Himself, was going to put HIS Church “Back on the Tracks”. And from that time we heard about the Church itself being put back on the tracks. The Plain Truth Magazine, Ambassador College, Various things that was going on, one after the other as it was addressed and found not to be as it should be, was put back, and IS being put back on the tracks. One after the other. And that job is not DONE yet, there’s still much to do, but yet the major turn around is certainly taken place.   But what does it mean, to be “Back on the tracks”? Take a look at John Chapter 12. The Apostle John, faithfully recording Christ’s words. For he says in John chapter 12, and verse 49(John 12:49) And you can find several scriptures where Christ says this very same thing, or very similar to it. He says, “for I have not spoken of myself”. The words that He brought and He spoke were not His own words! Christ did NOT claim authorship for the words that He delivered! “for I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment what i should say, and what I should speak”. Now you know most of us, would be reluctant to say something like that. We just don’t want to say, that we just speak what we’re TOLD to speak, but Jesus Christ faithfully said, “That His words were not His own”. He spoke the words the Father GAVE Him to speak. And He says and “I KNOW that His commandment is life everlasting. Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me. So I speak.”   Christ NEVER claimed authorship for His words. He always said the words were from His Father! Who is greater than He! Take a look in John Chapter 17. John Chapter 17, you’ll remember that this was the last night,. This was the prayer that Christ prayed to the Father before He was crucified. It’s a very moving prayer. And it’s got a lot of knowledge. Lot of Spiritual knowledge, and understanding for us. Notice John 17 and verse 6(John 17:6), He said “I have manifested Your Name unto the men which You gave Me out of the world. Yours they were and You gave them to me, and they have kept YOUR word.” Notice again He doesn’t claim authorship, He says they have kept the Word of God, The Father. They kept God’s Word. “Now they have known that ALL things whatsoever you have given me are of You”. The Apostles, the disciples at the time, recognized that the words that Christ gave them was NOT Christ’s Words! They knew that he was sent from the Father with a message! They understood that. And He says “now they have known that ALL things whatsoever you have given me are of You. And I have given unto them the WORDS which You gave me!” The Word was given to Christ. He was sent to the earth with a message. And He gave it to the APOSTLES! “I have given them the words which You gave Me. And they have received them”. They recognized them for what they were, “and have known surely that I came out from You, and they have believed that YOU did send me”. The Apostles knew that. They recognized Christ as the one that was sent from God. And His words as GOD’S words!   Now, notice what they were to do. In Verse 18, of the same Chapter, “As You have sent Me into the World” Christ said, that’s why Paul referred to him as an Apostle, He was sent too, “As you have sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world.” Those Apostles were given the Words of God. Christ faithfully delivered them to the Apostles, and then He sent then into the world to take them and preach them and whosoever would hear, they would, they would listen and recognize the words for what they were.   Notice in 2nd Timothy Chapter 3. 2nd Timothy, Chapter 3 and verse 14(2Timothy 3:14). Here’s Paul, who was trained personally by Christ as well, and Christ, you know, is SO much identified with the Word of God, and it so fills Him, that HE’S CALLED The Word of God! God permits that name to be on Him, because He’s so much like it, He is exactly the Word of God! He says in 2nd Timothy, Chapter 3, and verse 14, the Apostle Paul trained personally by Christ as well, “but continue you in the things which you have learned, and have been assured of”. Timothy was a young minister, and he TOLD to keep going the same direction. “…knowing of whom you have learned them.” Knowing that the Apostle Paul had taught him. And he had a direct connection with Christ who has taught him the Words from the Father. And that Christ had faithfully delivered the Father’s words. “…knowing of whom you have learned them, and that from a child you have KNOWN the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.” Timothy KNEW the Words of God, the Old testament of course, from a Child. But did he understand them? NO! Not until an Apostle came and explained it to him. And showed him what those words were, and helped him to put them together, here a little and there a little. To understand the Words of God! Notice brethren it’s ALWAYS called the Word of God. It comes from the Father. And it was sent by Christ, Christ was sent into the world to bring the Words of God! And He gave them to the Apostles. And the Apostles were to faithfully pass them on, to the membership, and the ministry, ALL of them! And they would carry them on Faithfully.   Now when you have it straight down the line, and you get God’s mind on any subject, on any subject there is, and it comes from the Father. And it was given to Christ, and He faithfully passed it on to the Apostles. And the Apostles faithfully passed it on in the Word that we’re reading now, which is called the Word of God! SO representing Christ’s message that it’s the Word of God too. And we faithfully are in line with that, and it comes from the Apostles down to the ministry and the membership, and it’s straight and there are NO Changes or delusions, YOU’RE ON TRACK! And when there is anything that’s distorted, or somebody gets in the way, and changes it, and decides he is not going to deliver it faithfully as he’s been taught it, then it’s diluted, or distorted in some way, and then YOU’RE OFF TRACK! Then it’s NOT God’s Word faithfully passed on down! That might be on a subject like the Sabbath, which is very clear in the scripture. Which we can understand very clearly. Or a subject that is not covered directly, like smoking. Where the principles of God’s law are applied, and the clear Will of God is plain, about, in the Church of God, that we don’t smoke. Even though there’s no specific prohibition about it. Whether it’s on keeping God’s annual festivals, the Holy Days, that again is clearly set out n the Word. And kept in there and taught faithfully right through. Or something like applause in Church, where a certain decision has to be made based on the principles of God’s Law, and the principles of His Way of Life. Whether it’s a matter like Tithing, which again shows God’s mind very clearly in the scripture, that He wants us each to Tithe. Or something that is Not covered directly like calling a minister by his first name. But a principle based on God’s Law. When we have God’s mind on those subjects passed on down FROM God, to Christ, to the Apostles, in our age, APOSTLE, and on down to the ministry and membership, then we’re faithfully on track, and we’re going the way God wants us to go!   There will be two results of that! That we now enjoy far more in the Church of God, than we did when we were OFF the track! And the one result is PEACE!   Where no one’s arguing and bickering for his OWN point of view, he wants to have GOD’S Point of view on every subject! And he wants to know what God’s mind is. Cuts out all of the arguments and all the fights and the bickering.   And the 2nd result is, that we’ll all speak the SAME THING! Exactly God’s Word as it comes down from Him, right through Christ, the Apostles, right on down through to us, the ministry and the membership. And I’ll tell you that is a pleasant thing, that can be. Because you see God knows the Way of Peace! He knows the way that men should go! He knows how we should have a proper relationship with God. And He knows how we should have a proper relationship with each other. And nobody else does. And when we have His Word straight, and we’re following it, we’re RIGHT ON TRACK! Exactly the way we ought to be.   Take a look at Ephesians. The book of Ephesians, Chapter 4. You know it’s instructive, that anyone COULD alter the Words of God, the most qualified to do so, is Jesus Christ himself! He’s absolutely perfect! And yet in the scripture He goes TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME, to say that He DOESN’T Alter it, He DOESN’T CHANGE it, that they’re NOT His Words! And that He faithfully passed iit on just the way the Father gave it! And each of us in our own lives, should do exactly the same thing. Following God’s Will. Following God’s Way.   Notice in Ephesians Chapter 4 and verse 11(Eph 4:11), “and He gave”, Christ did, “some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints”, so that the Church, the people that are the saints, would be perfect. “…for the work of the ministry, for the edifying…” or the Building “…of the body of Christ, till we all come…” ALL of us! “…in the UNITY of the faith”. There’s one faith! And there’s ONE way to go! “…and of the knowledge of the Son of God” with the knowledge of God’s Way. The knowledge that He brought from the Father. “…till we all come in the Unity of the Faith, and the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Till we TOO can be called the Word of God, identified with God’s way, and to be filled with it, although we may never have that title, that’s His. But, till we follow that Word, until we are LIKE it! And we all have the SAME mind, and we serve God with one consent! And when we are, when Christ brings that Unity to His Church, It can be clearly said that the Church is, on the Tracks!]]>

WANTED: Opposite Grippers

WANTED:

Opposite Grippers

  By John A. Halford The Good News, January 1986   In his first epistle to the Christians at Corinth, the apostle Paul listed the ranks and positions of authority that Jesus Christ established in His Church: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” (I Corinthians 12:28). Paul went on to explain that these positions were not just there for the asking. It is God who decides who does what in His Church (verse 18). In order to avoid confusion (something God never creates — I Corinthians 14:33), not everybody could be an apostle, or a prophet, or even a teacher (verse 29). Paul explained that God would not give just anyone the gift of healing, or even the ability to speak in tongues (verse 30). (Incidentally, speaking in tongues was not the confused babbling that goes on today in some churches whose members claim to “speak in tongues.” It was a systematic, orderly, God-given ability to speak and interpret foreign languages — a useful gift in the polyglot society of ancient Corinth. But even so, God did not want everyone doing it. For more information, send for our free booklet The Tongues Question.) But notice, Paul did not limit all the positions. For instance, and perhaps significantly, Paul did not say, “Are all helps?” What is a “help”? As you probably know, the epistle to the Corinthians, like most of the New Testament, was originally written in Greek. The word “helps” comes from the Greek word antilepsis, which is very interesting. The first part, anti, is a prefix we still use today, as in antiseptic, antiaircraft or anticlimax. It means “against” or “opposite to.” The last half of the word, lepsis, means “to seize” or “to grip.” It also has carried over into our language in words like epileptic — a person who suffers from violent seizures. So Paul’s word antilepsis means, literally, an “opposite gripping.” What does that mean, and why is it needed in God’s Church?   Opposite grippers   Suppose you saw me struggling to move a heavy table. What would you do? If you wanted to help, you would move to the opposite side of the table, grip it firmly and lend your strength to the task of moving the table to where I wanted it. That is the essence of “opposite gripping” — you assist others in getting their tasks accomplished. Doesn’t sound very grand, does it? Remember that a position — any position that God gives you or allows you to have — is a position of service. A title or rank is never given just to glorify the individual. It is a commission to serve. An opposite gripper has a special opportunity to serve, for he or she is cast in the role of assistant. In our world today, many people want to be assistants to those in high office. The motive is often not to serve, but to get. Consequently, many sincere and well-intentioned men and women in positions of authority have their ability to serve greatly reduced because they have greedy, corrupt, selfish assistants. These “helps” want to share the power, but not the goals of their leaders. It must not be this way in the Work of God. There is much to do, and if it is to be done and done well, the leaders need to be supported by those who really want to help. Thankfully, God has called the right people to provide that support. For every name you may recognize in this magazine, there are dozens who type, edit, proofread, photograph, make page layouts, print, package and in other ways get the magazine prepared so that you can read it. Thank God for them — I hesitate to think what this article would look like if you had to read my typing. The Worldwide Church of God has hundreds of ordained ministers. These men often have assistants employed specifically to help them —driving, taking care of office work, helping with counseling and the many other areas in which a minister needs help. A ministerial “help” is not the most glamorous job, but it is honorable and important work — helping those whom God is using to serve His people.   You can be a help   But leaders are not the only ones who need help. There is an aspect of helping that you might not have thought of. Everyone God has called has a job — He has called no one just as a favor. He has something for each person to do! It might not look that way sometimes. Perhaps it is easy to see how a handsome young college graduate or a clean-cut, prosperous, upper-middle-class family could have a part to play. But what about older people, handicapped people, those who do not have much education or money or those who are in prison? How are they useful? Listen to Paul, still talking to the Corinthians: “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary” (I Corinthians 12:20-22). So every member is useful — everyone has an important part to play. Let’s take, for example, the proverbial little old widow. Maybe you are an elderly woman, in which case, no offense intended, ma’am, but you aren’t going to be much use coaching the youth sports team. Nevertheless, the Bible shows that older women do have definite functions. Some specific examples are offering instruction and encouragement to younger women and sewing and providing for the poor. And of course, you have an important responsibility to pray. There is much that older women can do. There is also a lot they can’t do. Their front lawn needs mowing, their plumbing may need repair and their roof may leak. They may have taken good care of their 1959 car, and they wouldn’t dream of getting a new one. But they may not have a clue how it works, and they may not remember when to have the oil checked. Enter the local opposite grippers. They know what they must do — they are experts in helping others get their tasks done. They mow the lawn, fix the roof, put oil in the car — noticing, also, whether the radiator water level is low or a windshield wiper blade needs replacing. Incidentally, sometimes older people are too proud to let others help them like this. They suffer inconveniences, never letting on that the drains are blocked, the refrigerator has given up or that they are just plain lonely. That is a selfish approach. Yes selfish. You should be willing to let others serve you so that you can fulfill your responsibility. There is no shame in being helped so that you, in turn, can help. But back to the opposite grippers. They are not only needed to help those in high positions. Anytime they seize a chance to help so that someone else can perform a function in the Work of God, they are fulfilling the function of antilepsis.   Antilepsis in action   I saw a beautiful example of this in a congregation in Germany during the singing of hymns. One woman was in a wheelchair — it looked as if she had some degenerative disease. She was trying to hold up the hymnbook, but it was too heavy for her wasted muscles. A young man knelt beside her, gripped the opposite side of her book, and helped her hold it up. Thus he helped her to do her part. Here’s one more example, to help you get the idea: A longtime member of a congregation in California was paralyzed by a stroke. She had been an active and concerned member for years, and took seriously her responsibility to pray about all aspects of God’s Work. She was the kind of person who made a daily impact before the throne of God in heaven. The stroke left her blind and unable to move or talk. She needed intensive care for several months. But she knew, and her friends knew, that she could still be useful. They would talk to her each day about the needs of others, and with her limited ability to communicate, she let them know that she understood. She could still pray — fervently, earnestly in her mind. She was willing to be useful even though she was totally dependent on others. Her friends knew her prayers were needed and seized the opportunity to help her to fulfill her part by doing what she could not do for herself. Your opportunities to help might not be dramatic, but the opportunities are there. Look around for them. Ask God for them. Then go to work. We can’t all be apostles, teachers or ministers. But everybody can be a help. ]]>

TRUTH that the Churches REJECT! – What and Why the Church

From: Seven Proofs of the True Church: Proofs 5-6 by Herbert W. Armstrong page 1 Good News December 4, 1978  

WHAT AND WHY THE CHURCH?

When we come to the question, WHAT and WHY is the Church, it is equally astonishing that the one original true Church of God, still extant after 1,900 years of persecution, opposition, martyrdom, remains UNIQUE in having the answer. The real PURPOSE and function of the Church is as little understood as the knowledge of who and what God is, what and why is MAN, what was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the government of God and His supreme creative achievement – Holy righteous CHARACTER. Isn’t it incongruous? Man invents numerous religions for the worship of God – yet doesn’t know WHO or WHAT God is? Man does not know what HE is! Or WHY! Seven hundred million join “Christian” churches who do not know the purpose or function of the church! True, indeed it is, that the whole world has been DECEIVED!

Church error No. 1

The first and most widespread false belief in this world’s churches is the assumption that this is God’s world – that God is desperately trying to get everybody “saved,” while Satan is trying to keep everybody “lost.” Satan is surely winning that battle – if it were true! But 1) God is NOT trying to “get everybody saved” spiritually, NOW! And 2) those uncalled are NOT “lost” – just not judged – YET! We need first to understand the world out from which God’s Church has been called to be a separate, holy people. Let me restate it briefly. The first man Adam was given two MUSTS: 1) to reject Satan’s way of “GET” and 2) to give himself to God’s way of “GIVE” – the way of God’s law – outflowing LOVE, thus developing the holy, righteous CHARACTER to qualify to restore the government of God on earth. But Adam rejected God’s way. He rejected God as the source of basic knowledge and as the God to be worshipped and obeyed. BUT let it now be emphasized that when God sentenced man, on Adam’s choice, to 6,000 years being cut off from God, the Eternal retained the perogative of specially calling to Him those He chose for special service. And, ALWAYS – in every case – those specially called were called for a mission PREPARATORY TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Understand this! Everyone God called was chosen for a special mission PREPARING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD! God is no respecter of persons. He called no “favorites” merely to bestow upon them His gift of eternal salvation. Each has been called for use preparing for the KINGDOM OF GOD. BUT, understand also this: That special mission or service to which each “called-out one” has been chosen was GOD’S MEANS of developing in him the holy, righteous CHARACTER to QUALIFY him to reign and rule with and under Christ in God’s KINGDOM – in THE WORLD TOMORROW! Only the prophets in ancient Old Testament Israel were called in this sense. The Holy Spirit was never made available to others in Old Testament Israel. The purpose for the special calling of that nation has been covered in Proof No. 4.

Man’s spiritual creation begins with Christ and the Church

Remember, God creates in DUAL stages. The first stage of man’s creation was the physical stage. It began with Adam. The second phase of man’s creation is the spiritual phase and begins with Christ. As a group or nation, Israel was called under the physical stage of man’s creation. The SPIRITUAL stage began through Christ with righteous Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the prophets in Israel. But as a group calling, the Church of God begins the spiritual phase. The Church was called for a very special PURPOSE, in preparation for the KINGDOM – a purpose not fully realized from the first century until the present generation.

Adam’s creation NOT COMPLETE

The first Adam, formed altogether from the dust of the ground, was given a spirit to empower the human brain with intellect. This was explained fully in Proof No. 3. But he was incomplete – he was created to need also a second Spirit – the Holy Spirit of God. Old Testament Israel was not given God’s Holy Spirit. Man, possessing only the one “human” spirit, is, truly, “not all there” – yet he is unaware of the fact. He is a natural-born carnal person. He has only the physical, carnal mind. And what says God of the carnal mind? It is hostile against God and not subject to the law of God, “… neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Also as Jeremiah explained, this natural carnal mind is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Hundreds of years of Old Testament Israelitish experience proved this! They were given God’s revealed knowledge, hidden from other nations, yet they rebelled and sinned even above other nations!

The world into which Jesus came

It was in such a world – and to such a people (Judah) that Jesus came. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). First, before teaching or preaching His Gospel of the Kingdom, Jesus had to QUALIFY to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD and establish the KINGDOM OF GOD. In the most titanic battle ever fought for the greatest stakes in the universe, Jesus overcame Satan, rejected Satan’s “GET” way, proved 100 percent obedient and loyal to God (Matthew 4:1-11). He called and chose the disciples He trained to be His apostles. Then He said, “… Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell [the grave] shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee [His chief apostle] the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19). Plainly Jesus was speaking to one man, His chief apostle, when He spoke of binding and loosing – not to the Church. For 3½ years Jesus taught His apostles-to-be about the Kingdom of God.

Church members must qualify

The first Adam, in order to qualify to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth, had to overcome Satan – Satan’s way (“GET”) – and prove obedient to God. Adam failed. Christ, the second Adam, had to qualify by overcoming Satan and proving loyalty to God and God’s way. He QUALIFIED! Each one in the Church must also qualify in order to sit ON CHRIST’S THRONE with Him! “And he that overcometh [Satan], and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron…” (Revelation 2:26-27). Again, “To him that overcometh [Satan] will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame [Satan], and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). I have shown that the whole world, except those specially called by God, is CUT OFF from God – cut off from access to Him who has eternal life to give. Jesus CONFIRMED THAT plainly and definitely. He said, “NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…” (John 6:44). NO SCRIPTURE CAN OR DOES NULLIFY THAT! All others are CUT OFF from God. No one of them CAN COME to Christ!

The Church of God founded

Jesus was crucified, resurrected after three days and three nights in the tomb (another incidental proof of the one true Church), and after 40 days ascended to the right hand of God in heaven. Then, on the day of the Feast of Firstfruits (Pentecost) A.D. 31, God sent the Holy Spirit in an amazing display, founding His Church! The number of disciples who still believed after Jesus’ 3½ years of preaching was a mere 120 (Acts 1:15). “… They were all of one, accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-3). I have purposely emphasized certain words in this scripture, because it was a ONE-ONLY incident. It never occurred before. It never has since. Modern “Pentecostal” meetings and “tongues speaking” are emphatically not the same thing at all. Notice carefully! First, they were all of one accord – something often not true today. Secondly, the Holy Spirit came suddenly – they did not “work it up” by emotionally shouting, as is usual in such meetings today. Thirdly, the Holy Spirit came with a sound – they heard it, like a blast of a rushing mighty wind. No such thing occurs today. Fourthly, the Holy Spirit is here twice called “it,” not “he,” not a Ghost or Personage. Fifth, they saw the Holy Spirit. It appeared as divided tongues like fire. This was actually seen sitting on each of the 120. NO such thing is ever repeated in so called “Pentecostal” meeting today! Now, further, do they today speak with the same kind of tongues? Here again the REAL Pentecost experience is not in any sense duplicated today. Read on: “… There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad…” Word spread rapidly of this once only amazing experience – hearing and seeing the Holy Spirit. “The multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them [the 120] speak in his own language” (Acts 2:5-6). Study this again carefully. The Mede among these devout Jews who came running in heard them – the 120 – speaking the language of the Medes. And he understood what they were saying! The one Mede heard and understood 120 Galileans speaking the language of the Medes! But the Parthian heard them – the same 120 – speaking his Parthian language! And so on! It was not a “jibberish” – unintelligible – as “tongues people” speak in their meetings today! And it needed no interpreter. I well remember experiences in such meetings, where in service after service the same man rose to interpret – and although the “jibberish” of different ones was entirely different, the “interpretation” had been memorized, and in every case was the same! I saw that kind of experience drive sincere people hungry for God’s truth away in disgust! Let me add here that God’s Holy Spirit is the Spirit of a SOUND MIND (II Timothy 1:7). The one and only original Church of God was founded that day of Pentecost, A.D. 31. They were all of SOUND mind – like-minded – of ONE accord.

God ADDS to His Church

The multitude, who came running in, were all amazed – in wonderment doubting and asking, “What does this mean?” Then God’s chief” apostle, Peter, stood up to explain – to deliver to these thousands the first inspired sermon by an apostle. These devout Jews were “pricked in their heart” by Peter’s sermon and asked, “What shall we do?” Peter gave no 20th-century “altar call” – pleaded with none to talk them into conversion – but answered their question, saying, “… repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). It was the power of the Holy Spirit that had struck straight in their hearts. GOD HAD CALLED THEM! “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” (verse 42). Note here this important point! They did not appoint among themselves a “doctrinal committee” to decide intellectually where they could believe God’s apostle. GOD gave them the true doctrine through His apostle, and they continued together with one accord in “… the apostles‘ doctrine and fellowship…” Now WHO added members to the Church? Not apostolic or evangelical salesmanship – but “… the LORD added to the church daily such as should be saved [were to be saved]” (Acts 2:47).

Apostles preached; Church backed them

But what was the FOUNDATION of the Church? It is referred to as a “building,” and a solid building must be built on a solid foundation. Of course Jesus Christ is the foundational Rock. But the Church is built on the FOUNDATION of the apostles (New Testament) and prophets (Old Testament), Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner STONE (Ephesians 2:20). Jesus taught the apostles. The CHURCH followed the apostles’ doctrine. Lay members were not free to set, change or decide doctrinal TRUTH – but only to receive and believe it. A day or two after the Church was founded, Peter and John went up to the temple. At the Beautiful Gate entrance was a crippled beggar, lame from birth. Peter, being asked for alms, took the cripple by the right hand, lifting him up, saying, “… In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”. (Acts 3:1-6). “And he, leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple…” (verse 8). The beggar was known to all. This miracle drew a huge crowd. Peter, explaining, preached to them about the resurrection of Jesus. He proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom, saying the heaven had received Jesus until the time of restoration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD by the KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 3:20-21). As Peter spoke, the priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them and threw them into prison for the night. Next morning, Peter and John were brought before the rulers, elders, scribes, the High Priest and his family. Peter spoke briefly but boldly to them. They then threatened the apostles, forbidding them to preach any further about Christ and His Kingdom. Naturally Peter and John, though now inspired by the Holy Spirit, were human, and naturally somewhat shaken up and frightened. Being released, they went immediately for moral support and encouragement to “… their own company…” (Acts 4:23), the Church. The Church “… lifted up their voice to God with one accord…” (verse 24). And when they (the Church) had prayed, God answered by shaking the place where they were assembled, filling them with His Spirit, courage and power. Another incident: The apostles had continued preaching, healing the sick and performing miracles. God added to the Church, but also the persecution grew. Peter again had been imprisoned. Steven had been stoned to death. In Acts 8:1 “… there was a great persecution against the church… and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” By the following Passover, persecution had mounted. “… About that time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison… intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison…” (Acts 12:1-5).

Why members called

Now came another example of how the Church stood back of the apostles. Remember, the word apostle means “one sent forth.” Jesus had given the great commission to Peter and the apostles. The other members of the Church were not sent forth with the Gospel. They were called: 1) to support and encourage the apostles in getting out the Gospel message, as GOD’S MEANS of, 2) developing in them God’s holy, righteous CHARACTER, qualifying them for places as kings and priests in the KINGDOM! So here came another incident showing how the Church supported the apostles. Continue, verse 5 of Acts 12, “… but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” – Peter. The brethren stood loyally 100 percent back of God’s apostles. What happened, when the Church so unceasingly prayed? “… The same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands” (verses 6-7), and Peter followed the angel on out of the prison. Peter fled on to Caesarea.

The GREAT COMMISSION to apostles

Jesus gave His GREAT COMMISSION to the apostles – those sent forth with the message. The lay brethren were added to the Church to support the apostles. Notice the GREAT COMMISSION as recorded by Matthew: “Now the eleven disciples [Judas had left them] went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them… And Jesus came and said to them [not the whole Church], All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me. Go, THEREFORE, and make disciples of all nations…” Notice, make disciples OF, or within all nations. A disciple is a student – one learning, being taught. “… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Notice here, this does not and cannot refute Jesus’ own statement that “NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him.” The GREAT COMMISSION was not a commission to try to persuade ALL in those nations to come to Christ. Jesus said plainly “make disciples OF [within] all nations.” He referred to those whom God had called – and they were, comparatively, exceeding FEW by proportion to the whole population. Then Jesus continued… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:16-20, Revised Standard Version). The apostles were NOT sent forth on a soul-saving crusade, but to TEACH those whom God had called and made willing to listen. That is what God’s apostle does to this day. Today we are able to utilize modern methods of MASS COMMUNICATION – radio, television, the printing press. We TEACH – the good news of the coming KINGDOM – to those whom God calls and makes willing to listen. In this way we TEACH and PROCLAIM the true GOSPEL MESSAGE to many MILLIONS, worldwide. Our magazine, The Plain Truth, has more than THREE MILLION subscribers, and estimates are that each copy is read by at least three people – actually reaching nine or 10 MILLION people! And we teach all who willingly listen to observe all that God commanded His apostles! Now notice Mark’s account of the GREAT COMMISSION: “… Afterward He appeared unto the eleven… and he said unto them, Go YE into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:14, 15). Naturally Jesus did not mean every human being on earth – but all they might reach who would hear. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…” Yet only those God called would be able to believe – for Jesus meant believe what was SAID – believe the GOOD NEWS! However, this is quoted from the 1611 King James Version, but nearly all other translations omit it, saying Mark did not write these words – beginning verse 9 – but that they were added by some later editor trying to make it harmonize with Matthew 28:18-19. But the great commission was given to the apostles – not the Church as a whole – although as cited above, the Church completely, prayerfully, wholeheartedly backed up and supported the apostles. That was their part in the great commission.

Now, PURPOSE of Church

Now let’s get our bearings and understand the PURPOSE of the Church – its function. Remember, the Church was called out of a world CUT OFF from God – a world, as Jesus said, in which “NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father draw him.” The Church was the “called-out ones” – called out from the world. “Wherefore come out from among them [of the world] and be ye separate, saith the Lord…” (11 Corinthians 6:17). REMEMBER, too, that from Adam God had called out of this world only those He chose to USE in a mission PREPARING FOR THE KINGDOM! The archangel Lucifer and his angels had been disqualified – changed into Satan and demons. Adam had chosen Satan’s WAY of “GET” and rejected God as source of basic knowledge, as God and ruler and as Savior. According to Adam’s decision God cut THE WORLD off from access to Him. BUT, since God cut them off before they were born, God does not hold them responsible – they have not been judged – the responsibility is GOD’S – not theirs – for that which has been hidden from their minds. But now the time had come when the “second Adam” – Jesus Christ – had overcome Satan and QUALIFIED to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to earth and establish the KINGDOM OF GOD – which is the divine FAMILY OF GOD, ruling the world – and ultimately the UNIVERSE! Jesus DID NOT come on a soul-saving crusade. Those uncalled and unsaved were NOT “lost.” Just NOT JUDGED – YET! They shall be in the millennium and Great White Throne resurrection and judgment. Jesus came 1) to overcome Satan and QUALIFY to establish the KINGDOM OF GOD; 2) to call and teach His future apostles; 3) to proclaim the GOOD NEWS of the coming Kingdom of God, 4) to pay the penalty of the sins of the world by His death on the cross with His shed blood, thus reconciling those called to contact with God the Father: 5) to be resurrected from the dead after three days and three nights in the tomb, making the resurrection to IMMORTAL LIFE possible for those who are God’s; 6) to ascend to the throne of God in heaven, there, as the HIGH PRIEST of the Church and IT’S LIVING HEAD, to direct the Church and intercede for it with God. And 7) having received the Kingdom from God, to come AGAIN as the KING of kings and LORD of lords, in supreme almighty POWER and GLORY, to set up and rule THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Jesus ANNOUNCED the fact of the coming Kingdom, which, by His overcoming Satan, had made it ASSURED! He specially called and trained His apostles, started the Church with them and the 120, and then ADDED to the Church such as He needed to back up the apostles‘ ministry to THE WHOLE WORLD. To those He called, upon complete repentance and faith, He gave the gift of the Holy Spirit. THUS THEY BECAME PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE (II Peter 1:4). The PURPOSE and FUNCTION of the Church was: 1) to back up with loyal support the apostles, as their part in the GREAT COMMISSION – and as GOD’S MEANS of, 2) overcoming Satan, developing God’s holy, righteous CHARACTER within them through the Holy Spirit, thus qualifying them also, to sit with Christ in His throne in Jerusalem, with power for ruling the whole earth. (Revelation 3:21, 2:26-27). This latter promise applies to those CALLED OUT OF THE PRESENT WORLD – not to those who shall be called (as ALL will) during the millennium!

CHURCH a spiritual organism yet well ORGANIZED

At this point a bit of personal experience will help to UNDERSTANDING. Jesus had called his apostles and taught them IN PERSON. Jesus Christ is the WORD OF GOD, in person. The Bible is the Word of God IN WRITING! As the personal Word of God taught the original apostles, so He called and taught His modern-day apostle by the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD – the SAME TEACHING – the SAME TRUTH! After calling, giving His apostle the initial teaching, having him ordained, God added the 19 members that started His Church of this Philadelphia era. Then, as one “SENT FORTH” with the Gospel message, Christ had opened before His apostle the means of MASS COMMUNICATION of the printed word, radio and later television. With such vast mass communication facilities, one apostle could reach many times more people with the Gospel message than the original 12, plus the apostle Paul and others sent to gentile nations. I soon saw the need, as God’s Word sets forth for the CHURCH, of evangelists, pastors, other elders and teachers – as well as people trained in ADMINISTRATIVE responsibilities. So God raised up Ambassador College to provide training for the supportive functions behind the apostle, in the GREAT COMMISSION. Remember, the Church is still in the six millenniums of this PRESENT EVIL WORLD. We are “called-out ones” – called to be SEPARATE! Just as the angels on earth (pre-Adamic) needed the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to synchronize the various functions into a team unit, so was this necessary in God’s Church. The operation of the GREAT COMMISSION, especially in this 20th century, requires, as the New Testament clearly states, organization. So God set HIS GOVERNMENT in His Church. And God’s government is authority from the TOP down. God the Father is in supreme authority over all. Next in authority under Him is Jesus Christ, living Head of the Church. On the human and earthly level, next in authority under Christ is His chosen apostle. God organized ancient Israel, under Moses, with captains over thousands next under Moses, then under them captains over hundreds, over fifties, etc., as God led Moses to choose. I will here inject an incident in point. Christ had led His apostle to appoint the apostle’s son next under him, because he was the best qualified, in the office of executive vice president. Perhaps it was a mistake to use such a modern business title. Nevertheless the son, like David’s sons, Absalom and Adonijah, began to simply take over. He innovated policies he was not authorized to set. He wanted to secularize the college, the magazine, The Plain Truth and even the Church. He wanted this world’s accreditation for the college. He demoted or shanghaied away the top-ranking ministers who had been trained under and were loyal to Christ’s apostle. Meanwhile the apostle, as “one sent forth” with Christ’s Gospel message, was going into all the world – and away from headquarters up to 300 out of the 365 days in the year. As the son departed from the ways of his father and of God (as did the sons of Eli and of King David) the son SHUT OFF ALL AUTHORITY ABOVE HIM. He threatened with loss of their positions in the Work any under him who in any manner contacted or revealed to his father how he was departing from God’s ways, watering down doctrines and teachings – first in the college, then starting also in the Church. Cowed with fear, those who knew how the son was destroying the Work of the living GOD, kept silent. Finally, four leaders under him took courage and came to God’s apostle, saying, “God forgive us for keeping silent so long, but we were afraid for our jobs. But now we have to report to you that your son is systematically destroying all that Christ has built through His apostle and building something for himself. Like a spoiled child, he wants his own way.” God’s apostle, to be not guilty of Eli’s sin, removed his son from all authority and disfellowshipped him from the Church. The son had represented that no one dared “take it over his head,” by going to Christ’s apostle – that ALL authority in a then great worldwide Work of God stopped with him! – that he had SHUT OFF all authority above himself. But even Christ’s apostle has no authority to SHUT OFF all authority above him. In God’s government, the one in lesser authority is still UNDER the authority of those over him. Authority does not END, at any point, under God the Father. The end of this incident in point is that all in God’s Church now know that the door to Christ’s apostle is always open to ALL under him! God’s Church is NOT a worldly ORGANIZATION – it is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM, called out of this world and its ways by Christ. Yet it is WELL ORGANIZED – must be to function. The Church consists of the begotten children of God – the DIVINE FAMILY TO BE!

The HOUSEHOLD OF GOD

Actually the Church is, on the human level, the BEGOTTEN FAMILY OF GOD. To the gentile converts at Ephesus, God inspired Paul to write, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). In other words, of the begotten FAMILY of God. Continue: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles [New Testament] and the prophets [Old Testament], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy TEMPLE in the Lord” (verses 20-21). So God reveals here that the Church is: 1) the HOUSEHOLD or begotten FAMILY of God; 2) a building – a HOLY TEMPLE – fitly joined together – that is, well organized (and, of course, on GOD’S pattern). As a building – the HOLY TEMPLE to which Christ will come – it is built on a FIRM FOUNDATION, the apostles, chosen by Christ, and the prophets. MUCH of the New Testament is simply quotations, or citations, from the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament. The things written in the Old Testament were, “… written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). Again the apostle Paul instructed Timothy, “… from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures [the only Scriptures Timothy could have known from a child were those written by Old Testament prophets], which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (11 Timothy 3:15). The writings of the Old Testament prophets are part of the FOUNDATION of the Church of God! And of course Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone – the very HEAD of the Church.

The TEMPLE to which Christ will come

There has been much perplexity and discussion as to when the temple will be built to which Christ shall come. Malachi’s prophecy speaks of Christ’s second coming to His temple (Malachi 3:1-6). In Haggai’s prophecy it is referred to prophetically. Zerubbabel had been sent as governor of a colony to build the second temple 70 years after destruction of Solomon’s temple. He built the temple to which Jesus came, though it had been enlarged and embellished by the Roman Herod. But speaking of this temple, as a type and forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come, at His second coming, it is written, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:9). It is inconceivable that the Israelis, in the present international turmoil over their possession of old Jerusalem, could ever demolish the Arab Moslem Dome of the Rock – now standing on the site of Solomon’s temple – and build a new one there of greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s! However, as the second temple Zerubbabel was building was a typical forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come, even so Zerubbabel was the typical forerunner of one Christ would use in building the far more glorious temple to which Christ shall come in His GLORY! In Zechariah 4:9, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it…” And as Zerubbabel’s hands did finish that second temple, so shall the one Christ uses in building the temple to which He shall come in His GLORY! And the Church of God of the present day shall be “… a building fitly framed together [and] groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21).

Church the Bride of Christ

The one and only true Church, a spiritual organism well organized by Christ, is the affianced Bride of Christ – to MARRY Christ, after His coming and after the resurrection and change of the Church into immortality. In Ephesians 5 this is shown by analogy. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish… for we are members of HIS BODY, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife and they shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:25-32). The Church is made up of the BODY of Christ. More on that a little later. But the BODY presented to Christ will not be a dismembered body, with an arm, a leg or other parts being separated! It is ONE Church – fitly framed together – not dismembered into many parts following many different men seeking to draw away disciples after them. This coming marriage is again referred to in II Corinthians 11:2: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” The new-covenant MARRIAGE will take place at Christ’s coming in GLORY: “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ALLELUIA: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb [Christ] is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:6-7). It is enlightening at this point to remember Jesus came as “the messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1). He came as the Messenger of the NEW covenant. The old covenant was a CONTRACT entered into between the children of Israel and the Word (who was to become Christ) – the God of the Old Testament. It was a MARRIAGE covenant. God “proposed” and Israel “accepted” (Exodus 19:6, 8). That “marriage covenant” also set up the kingdom of Israel as one of earth’s nations. The new covenant also will be a MARRIAGE covenant marrying the Church, then changed to spirit immortality, to Christ. But that covenant also will set up the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling all nations with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. The old covenant was made with a carnal-minded people on their PROMISE to obey. The new covenant will be made with a Spirit-begotten and Spirit-born people who have ALREADY PROVED THEIR OBEDIENCE!

Modern facilities for mass communication today

The Church members, as a whole, are not called to “GO FORTH” with the Gospel message – but to back up, help, support the apostle in carrying the message into all the world. I mentioned that one apostle today, with modern facilities for mass communication – the printing press, radio, television, even the telephone by which one may reach another in any part of the world in a matter of minutes or less – can reach more people by far than all of the first century apostles combined. But this use of modern facilities in our day necessitates a considerable organization of people in various administrative capacities, beside evangelists, pastors and assistants, elders, deacons and deaconesses in local churches worldwide. In Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25), He pictured Himself as giving talents to various ones left here on earth while Jesus was in heaven. “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability…” (verse 15). These “talents” – pieces of money – symbolized spiritual gifts and measure of the Holy Spirit, given each. He gave according to the natural ability of each. The 12th chapter of I Corinthians reveals that there are various offices of administration in the Church – and that God gives various spiritual gifts for those various functions. The SAME PRINCIPLE holds, since God is consistent and never changes. He gives, through the Holy Spirit, special abilities, according to one’s own natural abilities. I have often talked about the fallacy of “fitting the square peg into the round hole” to illustrate human failure because so many are NOT doing what by natural ability they are fitted best to do. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4). All these various special talents, abilities or aptitudes, though several, are all given by the same Holy Spirit. “And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God that worketh all in all” (verses 5-6). It is GOD working in us. “But all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is ONE, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are ONE BODY: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into ONE BODY…” (verses 11-13). “But now are they many members, yet BUT ONE BODY” (verse 20). What about those who follow a MAN, outside that ONE BODY? God says we are not to follow a MAN. Paul said that “… of your own selves shall men arise… to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). The apostle Paul had to correct the Corinthian church because they were following individual MEN: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing…” – and WHERE did the Church receive that one SAME THING they were all to believe? From THE APOSTLES! And the apostles received it from CHRIST. And Jesus Christ received it from GOD the Father! Continue, “… that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and… same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10). The apostle reproved them, saying, “… there are contentions among you” (verse 11). “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ” (verse 12). CHRIST is NOT divided (verse 13).

The ‘loner’ Christian

What about the “loner” Christian, who says, “I will serve Christ in my own way”? What about the one who leaves God’s Church – either to have his own private relation with Christ – to GET his own salvation – without GIVING his part of the Church effort in sending the true Gospel into ALL THE WORLD? Or, what about the one who follows a MAN, because of that man’s personality, charisma or attractiveness, or some other group? Stop and THINK! Is Christ going to marry a number of differing groups, not in complete harmony with each other – yet all “professing CHRIST”? Jesus said, “He that is not with me…” (and since He is the Head of God’s one and only Church, He plainly meant with Him where HE is working – in God’s one Church). Repeat, “He that is not with me [where He works] is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). Jesus Christ is going to marry THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE CHURCH – not a number of scattered groups or scattered individuals. God’s law and way of life may be summed up in the one word “LOVE” – which is outflowing – the way of “GIVE” – while Satan’s way is that of “GET.” The one who tries to GET his salvation apart from the one Church Christ is going to marry is on the “GET” way. Those loyally in the Church are GIVING of their prayers, loyalty, encouragement and support behind Christ’s chosen apostle in GIVING the GOOD NEWS to the world – its ONLY HOPE! In other words, he that seeks to GET his own salvation without GIVING his part in the team effort of the Church – or follows a man or some other group – is surely NOT BUILDING ON THE ONE SURE FOUNDATION of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. Again, “Unless GOD build the house, they labor in vain that build it…” (Psalm 127:1). The Church is the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD and a BUILDING – the glorious TEMPLE to which Christ shall come!

How well organized?

Notice again how well organized is the one true Church – for getting the GREAT COMMISSION to the whole world: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21). Again, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted [pressed together, knit or drawn together, consolidated] by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part…” (Ephesians 4:16). “And He [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, TILL we all come in the UNITY of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13). The true Church of God has these offices, as the living Christ put them in His Church.

A TITHE-paying Church

God’s continuing original Church is also a tithe-paying Church. The Church receives that ONE SAME THING they all are commanded to believe! As stated before – even as the Church beginning A.D. 31 did – from the APOSTLES who received the doctrines and teachings FROM CHRIST! The Church of God under Peter, Paul and the first-century apostles was a TITHE-PAYING Church, beside GIVING offerings! Tithing started BEFORE Moses and the Old Testament Israel. It started with Abraham, who, after the slaughter of the kings, gave the tithe of all to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God (actually the one who became Christ). Write for the free reprint article, “The Mystery of Melchizedek Solved.” Tithing to God – PAYING a 10th of one’s “increase” – became a law in Old Testament Israel. After both Israel and Judah had gone into captivity and slavery, the prophet Malachi, writing about 450 B.C., as one of the prophets who with the apostles, and Christ, form the FOUNDATION of the Church, wrote, PROPHETICALLY concerning our time today: “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? IN TITHES AND OFFERINGS! Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:8-9). Both the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah had long before been taken out of their land as slaves. A comparatively small contingent was sent back to Jerusalem, 70 years after Judah’s captivity, by King Cyrus of Persia under governorship of Zerubbabel to build the second temple. Some of these Jews were still in Judea when Malachi wrote – but the two nations, as a whole composing ancient Israel, were not there. THIS WAS NOT MOSAIC LAW – this was PROPHECY for OUR DAY! Malachi continued, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and PROVE ME NOW HEREWITH, saith the Eternal, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (verse 10). That is NOT “Old Testament stuff” – as God’s true Church KNOWS – and because it has TITHED, it has had God’s blessing and prosperity. Speaking of tithes, Jesus said, “… these ought ye to have done…” (Matthew 23:23). Hebrews 7:4-12 binds tithing in the New Testament. I Corinthians 9:1-14 definitely upholds the principle of tithing and GIVING.

Knowledge of God’s master plan

Of all the religions – and of all the denominations and sects in “Christianity,” God’s true Church alone has understanding of the master plan of God for His spiritual creation of man. This is forcibly reminded every year in the Church by the seven annual Holy Days and festivals Christ, instituted in the Church. Small as the Church is in numbers – Jesus spoke of it as the “little flock ” and said that as they had persecuted Him so would they His Church – nevertheless the Church’s great annual autumnal Feast of Tabernacles is the LARGEST church conclave, convention or festival held on earth! As God made the weekly Sabbath FOR MAN (Mark 2:27) when man was made – so He gave His Church seven annual Sabbaths and seven annual festivals – when He first established the Church. In Acts 7:38, you will find the Old Testament congregation of Israel called “the church in the wilderness.” It was composed of the human-born children of Israel – the Church of the New Testament is composed of the begotten children of God. As the Old Testament church was called the congregation of Israel, so the New Testament Church is called the Church of GOD. To the Church – both Old Testament under Moses and New Testament under Christ – God gave these annual occasions to emphatically remind His people, annually, of His master plan. No other church or religion, to our knowledge, observes these festivals or knows their tremendous MEANING! It has been stated before that as the physical creation of man began with the physical Adam, so the SPIRITUAL creation of man begins with the Spiritual Christ. The first of these annual festivals is the Passover, observed on the eve of the 14th day of the first month of the sacred year. This is the year’s most solemn service, on the anniversary, as a memorial, of the death of Christ, to reconcile those called to God. This is immediately followed by the next seven days – the Festival of Unleavened Bread. All leaven must be put out of members’ houses, and nothing leavened may be eaten. Leaven is a symbol of sin. It emphatically reminds God’s called-out ones daily for seven days through the stomach that we must put sin out of our lives. Also it is a memorial, on the anniversary of Israel’s exodus out of Egypt. Egypt also is symbolic of sin – and Israel was taken out by God with miracles – as He delivered His people today from the bondage of sin. There are two annual Holy Days in this Festival – the first and the last of the seven. The third annual festival is the Feast of FIRSTFRUITS, called in the New Testament of the Bible “Pentecost,” because this is the one set-apart time of year when the Church COUNTS to calculate the proper day. It is 50 days, counted beginning on the “morrow after the weekly Sabbath,” which occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. “Pentecost” is simply the Greek “fifty-count.” This pictures the coming and infilling of the Holy Spirit, begetting the “firstfruits” – those relative first few called to spiritual salvation. The Holy Spirit came on the very 50th day the first time the Holy Spirit was given to a group, which formed the Church of God. This annual festive occasion reminds God’s people yearly that they are merely the first to be called to spiritual salvation – that the world, except the few called, is CUT OFF from God – neither “saved,” nor “lost” – just not yet called! Therefore not yet judged. Another incidental proof of the identity of the one true Church is the knowledge that with the foundation of the Church of God “the time is come that JUDGMENT must begin at the house of God.” Those called into God’s Church are now being judged. Others are not – YET! These annual festivals are built around the annual harvest seasons in Jerusalem. The first three portray the early grain harvest, typical of the first early spiritual harvest in the conversion of man. The last four correspond to the final great autumnal harvest. They all come in the seventh sacred month. Festival No. 4 is the Feast of Trumpets, on the first day of the seventh month of the sacred calendar. The Feast of Trumpets pictures and reminds the Church yearly of the SECOND COMING of CHRIST to reign over all the earth.

Largest convention on earth

The fifth festival is the Day of Atonement, called in Jewish Judaism Yom Kippur – a solemn fast day. No food may be eaten from sunset to sunset. It pictures to God’s people the making of man AT-ONE-MENT with God. The world, cut off from God these 6,000 years, has been deceived and led by the god of this world, Satan. Jesus Christ QUALIFIED to replace the former Lucifer on the THRONE of the earth. When He comes as KING of kings, Satan shall be deposed, bound, shut up (Revelation 20:3) for 1,000 years. Without Satan, who has “worked IN the people of the world” (Ephesians 2:2), humanity at last may be made AT ONE with the true Creator GOD! The sixth festival is the Feast of Tabernacles – a seven-day festival, with the first day the sixth annual Holy Day. This is followed by an eighth day, a one-day Holy Day – making in all an eight-day festival. This pictures the millennial reign of the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling all nations for 1,000 years. During this millennium, ALL living will be called to repentance and faith and eternal salvation through the reigning CHRIST – with no Satan to overcome. More of the details of this time will be given under PROOF No. 7, to follow. The seventh and final Holy Day begins at sunset just as the Feast of Tabernacles is ending. As stated earlier, small though the Worldwide Church of God be in numbers, this is the largest convention or conclave held annually on earth – with Festival sites all over the world.

When the billions shall be called

The final eighth day (the seventh festival), brings to mind again every year what is in God’s master plan for the BILLIONS of people who have lived and died since Adam – CUT OFF from God – UNjudged – neither “lost” nor yet “saved.” They will be resurrected after the millennium in a special resurrection (Revelation 20:11-13). This is also described in Ezekiel’s prophecy of the “valley of dry bones” (Ezekiel 37). All previously uncalled will be resurrected MORTAL, and with the 7,000 years of humanity past, will face up with what their experience in sin really proved. All then will be called to repentance and ETERNAL LIFE.

Final fate of the incorrigible

There shall then be one more resurrection – of those who were called to salvation, but rejected it – the incorrigible wicked. They will be resurrected MORTAL to realize their fatal decision. They will be “cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14-15). This “lake of fire” is pictured by Peter in his second letter: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets [Old Testament], and of the commandment of us the apostles [New Testament] of our Lord and Saviour: knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Peter 3:1-10). Malachi adds, of that final destruction of the willful rebellious into unconscious (Ecclesiastes 9:5) annihilation: “For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch… for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 4:1-3).

The NAME of the true Church

The NAME of God’s true Church is important – but not alone the exclusive proof of identification, because a small number of professing Christian sects use the name. Yet the one and only original Church founded A.D. 31 by Jesus Christ most certainly will have the true NAME! God names things and people what they are. This is a basic principle. The “church in the wilderness” – the Old Testament Church (or congregation) was named the “congregation of Israel” because it was composed of the physically born children of Israel. The two-letter word of denotes ownership or origin. The New Testament Church organized by Christ is called, 12 TIMES in the New Testament, “the CHURCH OF GOD,” some times with a modifying word or phrase, as, “the Church of God, which is at Corinth,” or the “Churches of God in Judea.” Today it is known as the Worldwide Church of God. The English word church is translated from the Greek ekklesia, and the Greek word used in the original writing of the New Testament means, simply, a group, an assembly, etc., without specific reference to a church. At Ephesus, for example, the city council – political – was called an ekklesia, with no religious connotation at all. The ONLY FACTOR that makes the word church sacred is when called the Church of GOD – in other words, the group, congregation, assembly or church that BELONGS TO GOD. It is GOD’S name connected with it that lends sanctity to the name. For example, the name “Roman Catholic Church” means a “universal” (catholic) church of Rome. The “Lutheran Church” is that group or body of people following or established by Luther. The “Methodist Church” means (in its name) a group or body of people following a certain method. The “Baptist Church” by name means a group or combination of groups who believe in baptizing and follow John the baptist. The name “Congregational Church” simply implies a group of people who believe the lay people ought to have the authority. The name “Presbyterian Church” means an associated group who believe the “presbytery” or officiating clergy have the authority. The name “Church of God” means that group of “called-out ones,” called out from this world, who look to GOD as the authority – and government from God through Christ, through (on the human level) apostles chosen by Christ – NOT elected by the people! So there is vital MEANING to the name of the true Church. And the name is IMPORTANT! In Jesus’ last prayer to God before being crucified, He prayed, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world… And now… I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be ONE, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name…” (John 17:6, 11-12). ]]>

Sermon: How Does God View Government Today?

Sermon: How Does God View Government Today?

Speaker: Mr. Dean R. Wilson

Date: Unknown – Possibly 1979

Summary: How Does God view Government Today? How Does He view Government within the Church? Outside the Church? What About Romans 13? What would happen if there is no Government?(Hint: He goes into why Splinter groups and explains plainly the different Church of God groups today) [su_audio url="http://sermons.wwcg-archives.com/Dean%20Wilson/How%20God%20Views%20Government%20Today%20-%20Dean%20Wilson.mp3" width="100%" autoplay="no" loop="no" class=""]

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Are We Trembling at The Word of God?!!

When studying God’s Word and studying the Church’s literature written by Mr. Armstrong, which, lets be honest, teaches and magnifies what God’s Word teaches. Which of course is what a true minister does. Expounding the Word of God. That the Church learned its doctrines via the Apostles. That is how Jesus Christ saw fit to administer God’s Government in His Church. This brings me back to a statement on the “elders” after Joshua. And I can find many places throughout Mr. Armstrong’s writings that explain those verses clearly.The Bible clearly showed that Israel did what was right in their own eyes, BUT the Elders continued in what they were commanded by Moses and Joshua. That is just an example of when the leaders stay true to what they were told to do, in contrast to the recent history in the WCG after Mr. Armstrong died. Then there is the examples of when the leaders don’t stay true. That was proven throughout the history of Israel until Jesus Christ’s time. After the generation of Elders after Joshua, everyone did right in their own eyes, including the leaders. Because of their departure from what they were told, and more into allowing sin to run rampant. a Liberalism spirit was in the midst. So God corrected them through Slavery. This example of correction is evident throughout Israel’s history, and is soon upon Modern Israel today. Then God would send one man to save them and deliver them from captivity, directing them toward God and His Way of Life and OUT of Captivity. So God sent the Judges. This again, Mr. Armstrong explains many times over throughout His writings. It is very apparent that the leaders after each judge, especially after Samuel(except a few) were leading people into sin against their God. Then God would give the MANY examples of His Government through the leaders that directed the nation toward God, Men such as King David. But not one example of a council leading the Church. Can you give me one? Since David, there was one man at a time, good and bad. But that was physical. Until the captivity of Judah. Then there was Zerubbabel. One man whom God chose to lead the people to do God’s Will, to build the Temple. Then there were prophets, some at the same time, but they all had different parts to play, different jobs to do. But they did this all as individuals, except Zerubabbel and Elijah. These two had a team backing them and supporting them. So did David, before he took the throne. We know that history. Now we come down to the Time of Christ. The Roman Empire was in control over Judah, Judah had become a vassal state, debtors to their creditors in Rome. Just as we today in the US are with our creditors in Europe. They had a council called the Sanhedrin. But they were being forced to have a Top down government, with the Roman Government at least understanding that a nation must have a government of Authority. But that was government starting with man and ending with man. But God through that was teaching Government and authority. Jesus Christ came across one centurion that understood Authority, understood Government, and only asked for Christ to say the words, for he understood he had the authority of God. What did Christ say? He had not seen so much faith, no, not in all Israel! Saul, who became Paul understood Government, and was governmental and Authority minded. Now considering all the groups there among Judah at the time of Christ, not one of them being true to the Law of God. Christ even said the Pharisees had the law, but they didn’t keep it as God commanded them. He didn’t join them either. They kept TRADITION over God’s law. They decided what law meant, basically decided doctrine. And Jesus Christ went around exposing those works of darkness that they were doing BOLDLY. That can be applied to these many splinters from the Philadelphia Era of God’s Church. They may have some of the Truth(the 18 restored truths they may say, but we all know it was more than that), but because of their traditions, because of their departure from the Law of God, to man made ideas, hypocrisy and self righteousness, they are fulfilling the end-time type of the pharisees. Now the Example is set before us! Did Jesus Christ join any of them? Did He join the Pharisees? Did He join those who had the letter of the Law who broke it spiritually? That is the example I see when looking at these groups. This is an example of when the leaders were off track and set on doing it their way. What was the result? Going into captivity once again years later. Christ called his team under Him. The Apostles, with Peter being leader. That again can be proven with so many scriptures. And through the Apostles, God called the Church, a team backing the Apostles, all speaking what the Apostles taught them, speaking the same thing. Which is what Christ taught the Apostles. Today, we have an apostle, Mr. Herbert W Armstrong exemplifying God’s Way of Life, teaching us that way, preparing that way. He like Elijah and Zerubabbel has a team, just like the original apostles in the First Century. And we are qualifying to be on that team in the Kingdom now! And he like Moses and Joshua, died. For he was human.(But will lead that Team under Christ in the Kingdom of God) God commands that team, that Era to HOLD FAST to what you were taught via the Apostle, the same message he gave Ephesus. Why, because an apostle was on the scene, and God gave the Church its doctrines through apostles. There is no need for another apostle, when we still have Mr. Armstrong. Why would God restore all things, and then go around and restore them again, as if the first installment was lost and couldn’t be found. No. The Witness through Mr. Armstrong is still here. Those teachings are still here. And they still witness through those holding fast and staying true to those truths in the church. Getting back to what Christ commands His Church, he commands us to HOLD FAST, applying all the other scriptures to CONTINUE in what you were taught, as well as the scriptures about Moses and Joshua commanding them to turn NOT from the left hand or the right hand and continue in what they were told to do. There are both examples of the RIGHT way the Leaders should go, and the wrong way. The recent, as you know with the leadership after Mr. Armstrong. That is the wrong way, they didn’t hold fast, they changed doctrines, destroyed what truth they had, and apostatized. But as the example of Jesus Christ, do we follow suit? Just because the leaders over us depart from the truth, do we? And because the leaders depart, does that mean the Church ends, or our part in the Great commission ends? Too many do not understand what their part is with the Great Commission. The Churches do not understand. Which is WHY it is important that we retain the knowledge given us through God’s Apostle, which explains our part. HOLDING FAST to what we have. Like Mr. Armstrong explained, he taught the Trunk of the Tree and the main branches, the outline, the skeleton, the measuring line of which we must build and grow on. The Ministers were to expound, build up, focus on the smaller limbs, the twigs and expand from there, not departing from the Trunk of the Tree. That is what Mr. Gerald Waterhouse did. He showed us the program Christ started through Mr. Armstrong. He took all of what he was taught, the Plan of God, and expounded it into an AMAZING sermon going through almost every single point we needed! But he was human and speculated on some things. But he had the authority to correct it, not anyone else. And he did. Too many thought they can take that authority given to someone and do it better themselves, and some took themselves out of the church when they did that. Others when shown their error, repented. Today, with many of the sermons and message I’ve heard from many ministers, they do not have that structure, that skeleton, that measuring line, making clear to everyone whom God was using, what everyone’s job is, and how we fit into the plan of God. Many take the job of an apostle and Mr. Armstrong and apply it to themselves or their group. And I’m not just talking about those groups who openly say they are an “apostle”. I’m also including those who take the scriptures that apply to an apostle, that did apply to Mr. Armstrong and apply it to themselves and to the group they are fellow-shipping with and leading. Many say the Matt 24:14 is a commission and it is the Church’s commission. Mr. Armstrong explained it as a PROPHECY of an Apostle coming on the scene fulfilling the Great Commission, which of course was given to the Apostles with the Church backing them. If the Church is not backing them, showing their loyalty, sticking with it, making a stand with the Apostle, not denying Christ through the Apostle, how can they truly be doing their part? And how can they grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, if they are not doing what Christ commanded us? Only those who were doing what Christ commanded, are given a good understanding. That means the open door to Understand, which the Philadelphia Era is given! But the thing is it is SIN to those who KNOW it is SIN. If one is deceived, they don’t know better. God gives the understanding of what sin is, to those whom he is calling. But first by hearing. How can they not know what Sin is, if God’s ministers don’t show them. Look at the Ethiopian eunuch trying to read the Bible. That is why God commands God’s Ministers to TELL THE PEOPLE THEIR SINS! To Show what God says is SIN! Mr. Armstrong did his job VERY WELL! So did several ministers under him. Too many, didn’t. And very few, if any do today! And some have done so, and because they were in churches of men, under government of men, they were muzzled and kicked out of their churches. And this disillusioned many of them, they take it the wrong way, and depart even further. Because they were persecuted for standing with the Truth and God and His Apostle, they were harmed or muzzled by those who they thought were speaking the same thing. They either do two things, throw it all away and go back to this world. Or they go back with their tail in between their legs and compromise to accommodate the men that punished them for doing right in the eyes of God. Or thirdly they held fast to the TRUTH given to us through the Apostle regardless of what men say! That is what God’s minister does, That is what a True Christian DOES! That is what Mr. Armstrong did when he was faced with that. To obey God rather than men. NOBODY really does that today. And if any does, it is done in their own selfish way to preserve themselves in what they have. This excluding those who truly do. The gets down to the problem the Apostle Paul had, one group believing one thing, while others believed another. One congregation speaks one thing, another something else. We are to all speak the same thing, and that same thing is through the Apostle. That is from the Bible. Mr. Armstrong preached it. How is the Bride being made ready, when we neglect the trunk of the Tree? When we don’t measure it with what God gave us, as God seen fit?]]>

Shall We All Leave THE CHURCH OF GOD and Join "THE CHURCH OF PEOPLE"?  

Shall We All Leave THE CHURCH OF GOD and Join “THE CHURCH OF PEOPLE”?

By Herbert W. Armstrong   The Good News September 1980     Some already have done that. Let’s think about it for a moment. I had a vivid example of this a couple of mornings ago, awakening from a dream. In the dream it seemed to be several years ago when the Church was smaller. There was a young man across the street who looked like a possible one of our leaders. He was about age 30, with outstanding personality and appearance, and an articulate extrovert. Then two other young men of about 30, well dressed, of somewhat impressive appearance and manner, were seen walking over and talking to him. They took pains to avoid me, and I seemed to know they were opposed to me personally. In the dream I determined to speak immediately with the man they were trying to influence adversely. I told him I knew they were “lobbying” against the Church and against me. “Yes,” he replied, “but I have to tell you, Mr. Armstrong, I think these men have something worth listening to. They say you arrogate to yourself too much power. You make yourself the leader of the Church. They say the people ought to have all the ‘say so.’ The people ought to vote on who they want to be their leader and on what they want to believe and accept as Church doctrine. That sounds like a good idea to me. I think we need more DEMOCRACY.” I awoke at that point, thinking about the dream, which had stuck in my mind. But before awakening, I remember I had said to this man in the dream, “Well, the REAL QUESTION is whether this is GOD’S Church or the PEOPLE’S Church! If it is GOD’S Church, then GOD is running it, and revealing what we shall believe and teach. GOD has the ‘say so.’ God runs it through Jesus Christ, who is the HEAD of the Church. And Jesus Christ runs it through His chosen apostle, whom HE, not men, chose, prepared and now guides and leads. Those men are getting your eyes off of GOD – you are leaving GOD out of the picture – out of the Church. You are looking only at people! If you want to put GOD out of His Church, then you will have to be excommunicated!” I awakened considerably impressed with the dream. Was God revealing to me that TOO MANY within the Church membership are leaving GOD out of the picture – in their own minds putting GOD out of the Church? Do they think that the kind of men the people would vote for ought to be made the LEADERS in the Church – that the people should say to GOD, “This is OUR Church, God, we want you to GET OUT of the Church and leave us alone. WE will run this Church OUR way!” I awakened impressed that TOO MANY of our people are LEAVING GOD AND CHRIST OUT OF HIS CHURCH, and trying to make it OUR Church – the church of the PEOPLE, and NOT the CHURCH of GOD! I could cite you any number of examples of where this actually has been done by leaders under me in the Church. This was done to justify watering down GOD’S TRUTH, and the true teaching and doctrine He had put in His Church through His chosen apostle! That was done in Ambassador College, until it was no longer GOD’S college. They wanted a college approved by SATAN’S world – they called it “accreditation,” although we had already had GOD’S accreditation – the HIGHEST accreditation. I had to start Ambassador College all over again, with one freshman class! Now, once again, we have GOD’S accreditation – but we don’t want the anti-God accreditation of Satan’s world! I thought immediately of the time when God told His prophet Samuel to go to the house, or ranch, of Jesse. God had chosen one of Jesse’s sons to be GOD’S chosen king over Israel. Jesse knew right away which son people would choose – his eldest son. He was stalwart, handsome, with charming, outgoing, extrovert personality, articulate. He looked like a leader. But God said to Samuel, “No, he is not MY choice.” The second son was almost as handsome and had the appearance of a leader. God said NO! The third son and so on. “Have you no more sons?” asked Samuel. “Well, no – except only for a stripling of a youth who is out in the field shepherding sheep.” “Well, bring him,” said Samuel. In came the youth none of the people would have chosen, the lad David. “He is the one I have chosen,” said God. “The ETERNAL sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the ETERNAL looks on the heart.” Man does not see things the way God does. God says, “There is A WAY which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of DEATH” (Prov. 14:12)! As to how MAN looks at it – how MAN would choose, God says, “Lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). How did GOD prepare the one HE had chosen to lead YOU – His Church of our time? I had to learn and admit that what I believed was ALL WRONG! I had to give up MY ideas, beliefs, opinions and ways. I had to allow God to sweep my mind clean, so HE could fill it with HIS Truth. Now IF this truly IS the Church of GOD and not of THE PEOPLE – if GOD is not only very much IN the picture – but FIRST and AT THE HEAD of it – UPPERMOST in our minds – then HOW does GOD run or operate it? HOW did He raise up this generation or succession of it? Just as God ALWAYS has done when raising up anything through humans. How is that? All of God’s calling and election of humans in His great overall SPIRITUAL PURPOSE FOR MAN, started with ONE MAN – Abraham. All the promises, both material, national and spiritual, were made to and come to us through Abraham – promises passed on to Isaac and Jacob who with Abraham became “the fathers.” When God decided to call a certain group of humans to be His people – His congregation or CHURCH of the OLD Testament, He chose to lead them ONE MAN, specially prepared and trained for the purpose – MOSES! God freed the Israelite slaves – made them His NATION, His CONGREGATION or OLD TESTAMENT Church. WHO really led them? GOD did! By supernatural miracles God took them across the Red Sea. But the people were led by God’s chosen, MOSES! They did not SEE God – they only saw the leader GOD chose – Moses. GOD led them, through Moses. They became organized. Some were put in positions over 50 people. Some over a hundred – some over a thousand. Among them were some who had been elevated quite high in the organization – men of renown – just as in the Worldwide Church of God today we have had men in comparatively high office – “men of renown.” I do not need to print their names – you know who they were. But GOD SAYS: “Now Korah… and Dathan and Abiram… and On… rose up before Moses, with … two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly [Church], famous in the congregation [Church], men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses… and said … Ye take too much upon you… wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation [Church]…?” (Num. 16:1-3). Now through Moses, God had given them important offices in the OLD TESTAMENT Church – they were “men of renown.” But they wanted more – they coveted Moses’ seat! They wanted to be chief boss! They coveted more power! In 1974 men of renown, in reasonably high position in GOD’S CHURCH of our time, coveted MORE POWER and AUTHORITY. I quoted the above to them about Korah. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE. They conspired to take over headship of the Church – to depose Christ’s chosen apostle. They had two men – vice-presidents and of evangelist rank – men in high position – men of renown – at headquarters. They thought that with these high-up men at headquarters they could pull a coup – a POLITICAL REVOLUTION – and the GOVERNMENT in the Church would cave in under their politically conspired plot. But they UNDERESTIMATED the REAL HEAD of the Church – Jesus Christ! They thought it was a church OF THE PEOPLE – not the Church OF GOD! GOD simply was not in the picture in their eyes! Christ’s apostle did not cave in. These men WENT OUT – several of them formed what they called the “Associated Church” in or near Washington, D.C. But those so “associated” soon fell out among themselves. GOD WAS NOT IN THEIR PLOT TO TAKE OVER – NOR IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO BUILD A NEW CHURCH OF THEIR OWN when their attempted coup failed! It was the “work of covetous MEN.” It fell flat on its face. It came to naught! “EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT” (PS. 127:1). Later, other “men of renown” in God’s Church could not see CHRIST in the Church – only THE PEOPLE! They were in very high position in God’s Church – but they wanted to make it MAN’S church. Their conspiracy was far more subtle than that of 1974. They undertook to produce a “scholarly work” setting forth their own distortion and perversion of the doctrines GOD had put in His Church through His chosen apostle. It was done secretly. Christ’s apostle was overseas most of the time, and it was carefully kept from him. It was handed out to all the ministers as the “official doctrines of the Church.” There were at least six or seven in TOP offices next to Christ’s apostle in authority – men trusted and honored. But they were going to make it “THE CHURCH OF PEOPLE,” instead of the CHURCH OF GOD. They could not see God nor Christ in their mental picture of God’s Church. They were LIBERALS! They liberalized Ambassador College. They liberalized The Plain Truth magazine. They changed and liberalized Church doctrines and teachings and beliefs. But God brought His chosen apostle back from the jaws of DEATH – from complete heart failure. God, through His apostle, PUT THOSE MEN OUT OF His CHURCH. Now churches or works OF THEIR OWN have been started. But they overlook one thing: “EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT.” God is NOT raising up and building a “house” based on resentment, bitterness and strife – on an attempt to DESTROY what GOD has built and build something for SELF – on an attempt to DESTROY the Worldwide Church of God by their false witness and false accusation of wrongdoing in God’s Church, bringing about the massive lawsuit by America’s largest state to try to take over and DESTROY the Church of the living GOD! – and to build for THEMSELVES by “siphoning off* to their own works the members of the Worldwide Church of GOD! No, this, like several other little tiny offshoots of embittered, angered, revenge-seeking, disfellowshipped former members, MUST COME TO NAUGHT! GOD is not building their houses! So what, now, do we have? Look at them – all now coming DOWN – all coming to naught! They are THE WORKS OF EMBITTERED SELF-SEEKING MEN – ALL FALLING FLAT ON THEIR FACES! The only good they accomplished was to attract out of GOD’S Church the few malcontents, disgruntled troublemakers. God’s ministers report to me that now that those contentious, accusing, bickering troublemakers have left their local churches, THEY HAVE PEACE! Of course a few well-meaning members were honestly deceived by these departed leaders. They have since had their eyes opened – they have realized their mistake and have returned HOME into GOD’S Church. Our GOD turns Satan’s handiwork into blessings for His people. The living Jesus Christ raised up from death His apostle, whom He has used to SET HIS CHURCH BACK ON THE TRACK OF GOD! Peace has been restored. God’s TRUTH has been restored – the liberalism swept out! There is peace, harmony and TEAMWORK solidly behind Christ and His chosen apostle at Pasadena. There is now ONE GOAL in the Church – to COMPLETE the Work of God around the world and to prepare GOD’S people for Christ’s soon coming! The Spirit of GOD vitalizes the Church, draws us closer to HIM and closer to ONE ANOTHER! Now, after some 12 years of tearing down what Christ had built, once again new members are coming in – Church GROWTH is once again, during 1980, up to a 30-percent increase – as it was for 35 long years! Today GOD ALMIGHTY and the living JESUS CHRIST are very much IN THE PICTURE! It is truly the CHURCH OF GOD – not the “church of PEOPLE”! Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches… without me ye can do NOTHING” (John 15:5)! ]]>