Catholic Church

REDEFINITION OF GNOSTICIMS AND PELAGIANISM- How this can affect YOU and God's Church!

POPE REDEFINES GNOSTICISM AND PELAGIANISM A recent article written by Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese titled: “Pope Francis warns of two paths to holiness” was published this month concerning “gnosticism” & “pelagianism”. This article states:

As a spiritual guide to those seeking to be better Christians, Pope Francis recognizes that many are tempted to follow the wrong paths to holiness. These are not bad people following the path of sin, but good people getting lost in the woods without a map. Francis believes that it is especially important to warn Christians of two false paths to holiness. In Chapter 2 of Gaudete et Exsultate, an apostolic exhortation released in March, Francis explains that these are not new temptations. Christians through the centuries have been so tempted, and spiritual writers have labeled these false paths Gnosticism and Pelagianism. These are old temptations repackaged for a new age.
In Gnosticism, perfection is measured by information and knowledge or by some special experience, not by one’s charity. The Gnostic takes pride in understanding everything, in having special knowledge. “Gnostics think that their explanations can make the entirety of the faith and the Gospel perfectly comprehensible,” explains Francis. “They absolutize their own theories and force others to submit to their way of thinking.” They “reduce Jesus’ teaching to a cold and harsh logic that seeks to dominate everything.”
Notice, Pope Francis is RE-defining what a Gnostic is. If someone, let’s say a man with God’s Holy Spirit, teaches what the Bible says and makes it easy to understand for the reader or listener(as Herbert W. Armstrong was used by Christ in doing), the Pope here is labeling such a man of God a “Gnostic”. If such a man of God says that Jesus’ teaching is “everything”, he is labeled by the Pope as “Gnostic”. This is RE-defining by the Pope.
Francis considers Gnosticism one of the most sinister ideologies because, “while unduly exalting knowledge or a specific experience, it considers its own vision of reality to be perfect.” Gnostics “domesticate mystery” and think they know everything.
I am reminded of “The Mystery of the Ages” book written by Herbert W. Armstrong. In this book, Mr. Armstrong goes to the Bible to make plain the “Seven Mysteries” that so many do not understand! It is an astounding book, unlike any other! Now, many dissenters have argued, that when they struggle to disprove the teachings of God’s apostle, that Mr. Armstrong and those of the Worldwide Church of God(called by enemies: “Armstrongites”) “think they know everything” and that “they think their teachings are perfect”. So who is the Pope, leader of the Catholic Church, speaking against? Things begin to add up as you progress through this article, and there is no doubt whom they are talking about and against.
“When somebody has an answer for every question, it is a sign that they are not on the right road,” according to Francis. “God infinitely transcends us; he is full of surprises,” explains Francis. “Someone who wants everything to be clear and sure presumes to control God’s transcendence.”
God’s Word says: “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”(1 Peter 3:15). Pope Francis says that if someone has an answer, and wants everything to be clear and “sure” is sharing a character trait of a “Gnostic” So those like Peter and Paul, are like Gnostics? “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”(2 Tim. 2:19) “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”(2 Peter 1:10-11) “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”( 2 Peter 1:19-21)
The Gnostics’ conviction that they alone have the truth leads them to claim that their way of understanding the truth authorizes them to exercise a strict supervision over others’ lives.
“No one on earth has this truth but this Church.” (Herbert W. Armstrong, “Congress of Leading Ministers” Worldwide News Special Issue, March 6, 1981)   Study what the original apostles, and the apostle Paul wrote to the brethren concerning WHO had the truth and was preaching it.   “Mr. Armstrong, it becomes clearer with every passing month what an enormous debt we owe you!” (He owes it to GOD.)  “When I reflect on the precious truths of God’s Word – the knowledge of what man’s future is, the coming Kingdom of God, the spirit in man, the history of the angels, the origin of human nature, what God is, and on and on, then I am truly grateful that God has called me into HIS Church – the only church on this earth that has the truth.  “But, Mr. Armstrong, this Church- has the truth only because” Christ gave it to us through you. You are Christ’s chosen and ordained apostle, and it is through you that I have learned and understood all these things.” (Quote from Herbert W. Armstrong’s article: “How Did You Come To Know The Truth”, Good News Magazine Oct. 1979) The argument from the Pope sounds familiar as God’s apostle and the Worldwide Church of God has received similar accusations from dissidents and enemies. This is similar to the accusation of Korah and his 250 ministers against Moses and Aaron, the servants of God. “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?”(Numbers 16:3) His argument is “You think because you have the truth, and preach your “way of understanding” you have authority to govern the Church”. Notice the Pope is speaking against “the way” the apostles of Christ taught! THE WAY OF GOD IS A WAY OF LIFE! The unconverted Saul persecuted those who were walking in the “way” of God, until Jesus Christ struck him down on Damascus road and showed him what he was doing-persecuting Jesus Christ! What the Pope is saying is not far from Korah’s accusation! Notice, the Pope is saying that the Gnostic believes that “his understanding” is the basis for authority to govern the lives of others. And that is true of a Gnostic but not of God’s true Church. This is what is being mixed. The enemies of the Church accuse God’s apostle and God’s true Church of teaching “their way of understanding”, saying that there is “many ways” to Christ. Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote: “God’s Word alone is truth “That is why I have said the experience I was painfully subjected to in this six-months’ intensive study was UNIQUE in human life and conduct. I know of no world religious leader who arrived at his teachings in such manner. Perhaps that is why GOD’S INSPIRED WORD alone – as I proved – is TRUTH. Only GOD is infallibly correct! “I was brought, by the spring of 1927, to a complete MIND-SWEEPING – my mind swept clean of previous assumptions and beliefs – surrendered to the WORD OF GOD, which by then I had proved TRUE, and the SUPREME AUTHORITY. “More, I had been brought to realize my own inadequacy and nothingness. I had been brought to a real repentance – CONQUERED by the GREAT MAJESTIC GOD – and with a solid rock-based FAITH in Jesus Christ. I was baptized, and the infilling of God’s Spirit opened my mind to the Joy UNSPEAKABLE of knowing God and Jesus Christ – of knowing TRUTH and the warmth of God’s divine LOVE! “What I once hated I now LOVED. I found the greatest and most absorbing joy of my life in continuing to dig out those gold nuggets of TRUTH from God’s Word.”…”Seeking an obedient Church I knew now that when I found the one and only true Church, I would find a Church obedient to God – keeping His commandments – having the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the TRUTH of the Scriptures. “I had been much impressed by a description of the true Church, as it is to be found in our time just before the second coming of Christ. It is found in Revelation 12. It is the time when Satan is filled with wrath against God’s Church, “because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12). Satan is making war with “the remnant of her seed.” The remnant means the very last generation in this age. The Church is definitely described. It is those “…which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12: 17). “My intensive study had revealed one thing plainly: “The commandments of God” mean “Sabbath keeping” to most traditional denominations. They say, “The commandments are done away!” They reject “the commandments of God.” “That automatically ruled out all churches observing Sunday. So far as I could learn, it reduced the search to three small groups – the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Seventh-Day Baptists, and a little, almost unheard-of church called the Church of God, which maintained a small publishing-house headquarters at Stanberry, Mo. So I examined Seventh-Day Adventist teachings – just as I did those of many other denominations. I obtained their magazines, their booklets and pamphlets, their large book of Bible readings or Bible “home instructor.” “The true Church is the one that lives by EVERY WORD of God – the words of the BIBLE!” (Quote from Herbert W. Armstrong, “HOW THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD CAME INTO BEING”, Good News Magazine November 6, 1978)
Francis, on the other hand, believes that “in the church there legitimately coexist different ways of interpreting many aspects of doctrine and Christian life.” Our understanding and expression of doctrine “is not a closed system, devoid of the dynamic capacity to pose questions, doubts, inquiries.” He cites Pope John Paul II, who warned of the temptation on the part of those in the church who are more highly educated “to feel somehow superior to other members of the faithful.” Gnostics can think that because they know something, or are able to explain it in certain terms, that they are already saints, perfect and better than the “ignorant masses.”
Now, doesn’t this sound familiar? When we come into contact with people propagating “different doctrines”, “heresies”, trying to sway members of the Church(while claiming to be Church members themselves), we confront what they say with God’s Word and with quotes from God’s apostle(who has authority from Christ). They often will accuse us, when we show them how their “strange teaching” is in fact wrong and heresy, of “feeling superior” and “filled with self-righteousness”. All we did was direct them to the instructions and teachings of God’s Word and God’s true apostle Herbert W. Armstrong. We don’t believe we are “superior” in knowing a truth that someone else doesn’t have. The very reason we share the truths that God’s apostle taught, is to help the other person(claiming to be a member of the Church). So this false accusation does ring familiar.
While Gnostics take pride in their knowledge, Pelagians take pride in their personal efforts. Gnostics stress the intellect, while Pelagians stress the will.
Remember, one of the accusations against God’s apostle and God’s true Church, is that “they believe they only have the truth”, and God’s Church does. The Holy Spirit is only given to a relative few now. The rest of the world is blinded by Satan the Devil, unable to understand the spiritual knowledge of God. The few God has called today has been called to become teachers of “the way” of God in the World Tomorrow, after Christ has returned to establish the Government of God on this Earth. A thousand years after this establishing of the Government of God on this Earth, All who has ever lived will have their eyes opened to the TRUTH, and will be given a second chance to live the way of God. Those who seek their “own way”, contrary to scripture, contrary to God’s way, seek to accuse those who stay faithful and true to Christ and God’s Law, angry with them because they will not “compromise”.
Pelagians “ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style,” reports Francis.
“Certain rules”? What is law? It is the “rules of conduct”. The laws of a basketball game are the “rules” of the game. Now, those who “observe certain rules”, or God’s law,  are added to the accusation.
While Pelagians speak of grace, it is often just an add-on to the all-powerful human will. “When some of them tell the weak that all things can be accomplished with God’s grace,” writes Francis, “deep down they tend to give the idea that all things are possible by the human will, as if it were something pure, perfect, all-powerful, to which grace is then added.”
Rather, “in this life human weaknesses are not healed completely and once for all by grace,” Francis explains. “Grace, precisely because it builds on nature, does not make us superhuman all at once.” Not acknowledging our limitations “prevents grace from working more effectively within us,” he writes. “Unless we can acknowledge our concrete and limited situation, we will not be able to see the real and possible steps that the Lord demands of us at every moment, once we are attracted and empowered by his gift.” Francis reminds us that “The Church has repeatedly taught that we are justified not by our own works or efforts, but by the grace of the Lord, who always takes the initiative.” We cannot buy God’s friendship with our works, “it can only be a gift born of his loving initiative.”
James 2:17-26 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” What the Pope says is contrary to scripture.
This truth should affect the way we live. It invites us “to live in joyful gratitude for this completely unmerited gift” of his friendship. We can only celebrate this free gift if we realize that our earthly life and natural abilities are his gifts.
“This Truth” he speaks is contrary to scripture, and a “lie”. It does affect the way that they live. They believe that they are the friends of God, without obeying God. This is the Gnostic teaching of Simon Magus, the first Pope, of giving a “license to sin”. They believe the more this life gives you, God is giving you “His gifts”. So they take unto themselves, believing the more they “GET” & “RECEIVE” the more God loves them. This is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which was the belief that the more you “sinned” the greater God’s grace was in forgiving such sin. So their belief is, if you seek to GET more in this earthly life and receive more abilities, you receive God’s gifts, and God’s grace abounds greater in you.
Yet some Christians today seek justification through their own efforts. “The result is a self-centered and elitist complacency, bereft of true love,” writes Francis. “This finds expression in a variety of apparently unconnected ways of thinking and acting: an obsession with the law, an absorption with social and political advantages, a punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy, doctrine and prestige, a vanity about the ability to manage practical matters, and an excessive concern with programs of self-help and personal fulfilment.”
“An obsession with the law”? You mean, submitting to God’s Law in every aspect of our lives, and being careful and diligent in not breaking that law- you know…the Christian walk? Remember what Tkach and others accused God’s Church of being! “Obsessed with the law”. “fundamentalism” etc. A  “punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy, doctrine and prestige”??? What does “punctilious” mean? It means: “showing great attention to detail or correct behavior.” What does “Liturgy” mean? From Wikipedia- “Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group, according to its beliefs, customs and traditions. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy is a communal response to and participation in, the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication or repentance. Ritualization may be associated with life events such as birth, coming of age, marriage, sex and death. It thus forms the basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy. Methods of dress, preparation of food, application of cosmetics or other hygienic practices are all considered liturgical activities.” So according to the Pope, if someone pays great attention to Church doctrines they are “Pelagian”. If someone pays great attention to certain things, like on “makeup”, or proper dress, or length of hair,  they have a trait of “Pelagianism” the Pope says. Now, a Liturgy is essentially a ritualistic practice, used by and associated mainly with the Catholic Church. God’s true Church has had to deal with problems concerning proper dress, hair lengths of women and men, “make-up”, even smoking etc, and had to make official decisions on what is “proper” according to God and His Word. This argument from the Pope, strengthens those who opposed God’s apostle and God’s Church and their decision on these things, and is a false accusation against the Church of which the Catholic Church is in fact guilty of. Because if you argue what God’s Church teaches on these “doctrines & teachings”, then you’ll be accused of “paying greater attention to Church liturgy & doctrine & prestige(placing these teachings above other teachings)” and therefore a “Pelagian”, and therefore must be removed. I wonder who he is speaking against? Those who are staying faithful to God, Christ, His Truth which was preached by His apostle Herbert W. Armstrong.
Rather than spending their time and energy on these things, Christians should let themselves be led by the Spirit in the way of love. If the church does not follow the promptings of the Spirit, it “can become a museum piece or the possession of a select few,” says Francis. “This can occur when some groups of Christians give excessive importance to certain rules, customs or ways of acting. The Gospel then tends to be reduced and constricted, deprived of its simplicity, allure and savor.”
Don’t spend time and energy on these things says the Pope! Don’t HOLD FAST, let go, and LOVE LOVE LOVE! He talks about the Church being led and prompted by “the Spirit”. Which Spirit? We must discern the spirits! He says if you don’t allow yourself to be  SWAYED by this “spirit” he is speaking of, such teachings will be the possession of a select few, a museum piece to be looked at.(Remember, wwcg-archives.com is an archive of the publications of God’s true Church and God’s true apostle. “museum”? You go to a museum to LEARN of past teachings. Who is he really speaking about? “This can occur when some groups of Christians give excessive importance to certain rules, customs or ways of acting.”, Francis says. There is that “certain rules”, or God’s Law again! And that WAY of life the Bible talks so much about! It’s becoming clearer about whom he is talking about!
This form of Pelagianism explains why groups, movements and communities so often “begin with an intense life in the Spirit, only to end up fossilized or corrupt,” writes Francis. “Once we believe that everything depends on human effort as channeled by ecclesial rules and structures, we unconsciously complicate the Gospel and become enslaved to a blueprint that leaves few openings for the working of grace.”
Let’s put this in a more relatable way. The Worldwide Church of God was raised up, and look at how God was working through those who were led by God’s Holy Spirit! Look at the WORLDWIDE WORK that was done! AMAZING! Now, after Mr. Armstrong’s death, a different Church rose up among the membership of the Worldwide Church of God. They seized control of the WWC INC organization, and began installing NEW doctrines and teachings, contrary to God’s Word, heresies, and began building a NEW membership, kicking out and persecuting the true membership of the Worldwide Church of God. Soon, the recognizable work which showed so much “intense life in the Spirit”, became “corrupt”. This is the story against the Worldwide Church of God. These “splinter groups”, these COG churches are teaching their congregations the same thing. They teach “The Worldwide Church of God apostatized, left Christ, was destroyed!”  Sound familiar? It is the same thing Pope Francis is saying. Pope Francis says, “Once we believe that everything depends on human effort as channeled by ecclesial rules and structures, we unconsciously complicate the Gospel and become enslaved to a blueprint that leaves few openings for the working of grace.” So, if you or me consider that obeying God, keeping faithful and true to God and His truth as taught by His apostle and Church, is “everything”, we complicate the Gospel and become “enslaved to a blueprint that leave few openings”. You mean, if you don’t compromise you can’t be led astray or deceived!!! They are saying that if you don’t compromise with God’s Truth you are a slave, and they are “promising liberty” from such enslavement! The first time I heard about a “blueprint” concerning the Church, was from a minister of the UCG. He was teaching that God didn’t have “one blueprint” for His Government, but had several government structures He worked through. That is diabolical and demoniac and comes from Satan the great deceiver!
The way to avoid these wrong paths, says Francis, is by reminding ourselves of the primacy of the theological virtues, the center of which is charity. What truly counts, according to St. Paul, is “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Or as Paul says elsewhere, “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law … for love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8, 10).
Talking out of both sides of his mouth.
Francis reminds us how Jesus showed us the face of God “in every one of our brothers and sisters, especially the least, the most vulnerable, the defenseless and those in need.” Loving our Lord and our neighbor is what Christianity is all about, a point missed by Gnostics and Pelagians alike.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! If you LOVE your neighbor, you “permit” their sin, and so in order to LOVE those who speak contrary to God’s Word and contrary to the doctrine we have learned from Christ through His apostles, WE HAVE TO PERMIT, ALLOW these people to continue inside God’s Church with these contrary and demoniac teachings! That is what this Pope and others who have left God’s Church are crying out! God says man of himself cannot love His neighbor as God loves. In order to Love your neighbor as God loves, you must FIRST obey God and show love towards God through obedience to His Law! Then God gives His love through His Holy Spirit, and with that love in us, we are then able to pass that love onto our neighbor, and love our neighbor and brethren as God loves. His twisting of Jesus’ teaching when He blessed the children, is a perversion, a half-truth. Yes, if you don’t show love towards the weak, the defenseless, the widow, the orphan, the children etc, not clothing the naked, the starving, those within need, you are doing the same against Christ. But this is in relation to what he has been talking prior to this. If you keep God’s Law, and are concerned with Church doctrine, and such, are won’t allow compromise to God’s Truth, Pope Francis is saying you don’t love your brethren or neighbors! That is straight from the Devil, mind you! Now, this article ends with this “directive”. I say “directive” because it appears to be an order the Pope  telling His fellow Jesuits and Catholics what must be done. They must DO this, and they believe they do God a service in doing this. Notice:
Francis ends Chapter 2 with a prayer: “May the Lord set the Church free from these new forms of Gnosticism and Pelagianism that weigh her down and block her progress along the path to holiness!” He asks each of us to reflect and discern how these aberrations may be present in our lives.
THAT IS AGAINST GOD’S TRUE CHURCH! He is issuing out an order to “set the Church free from these NEW forms of Gnosticism and Pelagianism [He is redefining them]” He says such people are WEIGHING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DOWN and BLOCKING HER PROGRESS! That shows God’s people have been doing a WONDERFUL JOB in staying FAITHFUL, and now the Pope is sending out an order to GET RID OF THEM! Since this directive, we personally have seen a greater initiative of attacks against this website and against us personally. Remember in Revelation 12. “And to the woman[The True Church of God who have been FAITHFUL] were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent [the DEVIL] cast out of his mouth water [armies] as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. Satan issued out an order, worked through the military armies under his control, to GET RID OF GOD’S TRUE CHURCH- to “set the church free” from such people whom they say are weighing the Catholic Church down and blocking their progress! Remember, as Mr. Armstrong taught, this coming UNITED STATES OF EUROPE will STOP THE PHILADELPHIAN WORK! Could this be the orders being sent out from the Pope to do just that? Notice God’s Promise!  It is SURE TO HAPPEN! Yes we may see this happen very shortly! ARE YOU READY BRETHREN? Below are quotes from Mr. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God on Gnosticism, and things being talked about above in the article about the Pope.
“Now in the actual history of the first two centuries of the professing church, we saw it was divided into many different sects, many denominations, in one division, the Gnostics alone, there were more than fifty divisions, fifty different sects. But now let’s look into the history of the true Church. Remember that the largest book of prophecy in the New Testament, the book of Revelation, the one great prophetic book in the New Testament pictures the church in the future and it shows TWO CHURCHES, not one. I’ve explained to you that the word church comes from the Greek word, since the New Testament was written in the Greek language, the Greek word ecclesia and it means a crowd, a group, an assembly of people, that’s all. There’s no sanctity in the word church. And so if you have a world church, of this world, that’s not the Church of God. Then there is the Church of God mentioned in the Bible. Now we find in the book of Revelation is a great world church pictured here, and it is not the Church of God at all. This is the FALSE church, the DECEIVING church, the FALLEN church, and this pictures what we saw beginning in the history that we’ve read to you, and I have read to you from various histories, various encyclopedias, but primarily from Gibbon’s Rome in the past several broadcasts.” -Quote from Herbert W. Armstrong, World Tomorrow Radio                                                                Program titled: “I Will Build My Church”(True Church 4)  
“THE CONCEPT OF GNOSTICISM Simon Magus was the first Gnostic teacher of Christian times. The religious philosophy of Gnosticism became common during this time. Gnostics, from the Greek word Gnosis, which means “to know,” had a religion based on an esoteric form of knowledge. Gnostic religions existed well before the time of Christ, but during the first century A.D., they adopted many Christian titles and blended them with their existing religion. They taught that matter was evil and spirit good and that salvation was attained through secret knowledge. It is possible that the Apostles Paul, Peter and John were inspired to write some of their letters in response to the influence of this false teaching and pagan heresy. The Apostle Paul warned about gnosticism. Summarize Colossians 2:18-23 on the lines below. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Just how powerful these false groups were is demonstrated by what the Apostle John wrote in the 90s A.D. “I wrote unto the Church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not … and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church” (III John 9-10). Some of these false teachers had become so influential that they put God’s true people out of the Church. Yet they called themselves “Christian” and claimed to be ministers of Jesus Christ. In actuality, they were Gnostics who unobtrusively came into the Church of God, and subtly introduced the elements of Simon’s teachings. At approximately the same time, Jude wrote, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Jude also admonished the Church: “______ ye the words which were _____ before of the _______of our Lord _________ __________; How that they told you there should be _______ in the _______, who should _________ after their _______ ungodly ________”(verses 17-18). Paul wrote in A.D. 52: “Let no man deceive you by any means…. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work” (II Thessalonians 2:3,7). About a year later, Paul wrote the Galatians, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Galatians 1:6). Teachers, claiming to be sent from Christ, preached a “gospel.” But it was not the same Gospel Christ brought. It was not the same Gospel Peter, Paul, James, John and Jude taught. It was a false gospel that used Christian names but was not the same message. It blended the Babylonian mystery religion, Gnostic philosophy and Christian-sounding names into a false religion. It gained so much influence that by the 50s A.D., Paul had to warn against it. By the 90s A.D., John and Jude spoke out against it. By the second century A.D., it had more adherents than the true faith had. For more information about the Gospel message that Christ brought, write for our free booklet What Is the True Gospel? “                                                                       -Quote from “Youth Bible Lesson, Level 9, Lesson 9” Published by the Worldwide Church of God  
  “Early writers often referred to Simon as “the father of the Gnostics” and Gnostic writings mention that in order to become “all things to all men” he claimed to be God the Father, in Samaria; God the Son, in Judea; and God the Holy Spirit among the Gentile peoples. Simon, it seemed, really believed in a “holy trinity.”   Perhaps the most damaging and far reaching of Simon’s new “Christian” doctrines was that the grace or free pardon of God gave a person the license to continue in sin.   The epistle of Jude speaks of “certain men” who “crept in unawares” and turned “the grace of our God into lasciviousness …” (Jude 4). Simon had been dead for some time when this was written, but Jude almost certainly had in mind Simon’s followers when he wrote this, who were attempting to introduce this doctrine into the true church.   “At the head of all the sects, which disturbed the peace of the church, stand the Gnostics, who claimed ability to restore to mankind the lost knowledge of the true and supreme God… even in the first century, in various places, men infected with the Gnostic leprosy began to erect societies distinct from the other Christians.”5   William Cave gives further details concerning the progress of this insidious attempt to subvert the true Church:   “The first ringleader of this heretical crew was Simon Magus, who not being able to attain his ends of the apostles, by getting a power to confer miraculous gifts, whereby he designed to greatly and enrich himself, resolved to be revenged of them, scattered the most poisonous tares among the good wheat they had sown, bringing in the most pernicious principles; and as the natural consequence of that patronizing the most debauched villainous practices; and this under a pretense of still being Christians.   “But besides this, Simon and his followers made the gate yet wider, maintaining a universal license to sin; that men were free to do whatever they had a mind to; that to press the observance of good works was a bondage inconsistent with the liberty of the gospel; that so men did but believe in him and his dear Helen.”6   Helen was Simon’s mistress, and it was said that his relationship with her was used by his followers as an example, which they followed in their own grossly immoral lifestyles.   Justin Martyr says of her that “A certain Helen, also, is of this class, who had before been a public prostitute in Tyre of Phoenicia, and at that time attached herself to Simon, and was called, the first idea that proceeded from him.”7   The second century writer Iranaeus adds that “they lived in all lust and filthiness, as indeed whoever will take the pains to peruse the account that is given of them, will find that they wallowed in the most horrible and unheard of bestialities.”   These obscene orgies of Simon and his followers soon attracted the attention of the Romans, who rarely took the trouble to distinguish between the true Christians and the false. Tacitus and other writers of the period relate that Christians brought to trial were often accused by the authorities of taking part in secret orgies.   Peter seems to have had this in mind when he wrote that “many will follow their impurities; on account of whom the way of truth will be reviled” (II Pet. 2:2).” -Quote from “Incredible History of God’s True Church                                                                                          by Ivor C. Fletcher(1984 Edition)  
“Fading Back Into Normalcy Under such circumstances something was bound to give. As the early apostles passed from the scene, the visible church began to accommodate itself to many of the Hellenistic philosophies and doctrines then in vogue. Some felt such a maneuver was essential for the future survival of Christianity. According to Arnold Toynbee: “Even Christianity might have found it hard to make headway in the Hellenic world if it had not, like its competitors, presented itself in Hellenic dress” (Hellenism, p. 277). Toynbee went on to say: “The Christian propagandists of the second century sought to commend Christianity to the educated minority of the Hellenic public by presenting it as the crown of all known philosophic systems. And this minority could not be won for Christianity without translating Christian beliefs into Hellenic philosophy’s technical terminology…” (ibid., p. 228). Edwin Hatch, author of The Influence of Greek Ideas on Christianity, also described this process: “It was impossible for Greeks, educated as they were with an education which penetrated their whole nature, to receive or to retain Christianity in its primitive simplicity” (p. 49). So the process of Hellenization began in earnest. Visible Christianity took on a completely different form as Greek elements flooded into the visible church. James Shiel explains what happened: “On their [the Greek’s] conversion many of them retained current preoccupation with the religious concept of ‘salvation,’ mingled with a host of similar concepts from the Oriental mystery religions. Salvation was to be achieved by perfect knowledge (gnosis). They insisted that there were hidden truths in the Scriptures which only the true Gnostic could discern” (op. cit., p. 51). The heavy influence of Greek philosophical concepts on Christianity was also apparent from the writings of the post-apostolic fathers. Origen, for instance, even urged that Hellenistic philosophy be used as a basic primer for Christianity: “I am therefore very desirous that you should accept such parts even of Greek philosophy as may serve for the ordinary elementary instruction of our schools, and be a kind of preparation for Christianity” (Philocalia of Origen, p. 57). Clement of Alexandria echoed these sentiments: “The philosophy of the Greeks, partial and particular though it is, contains the basic elements of that genuine and perfect knowledge which is higher than human, which is engaged upon purely intellectual objects, even upon those spiritual objects which eye has not seen…. until they were made plain to us Christians by our Great Teacher…” (Shiel, op. cit., p. 3). Compromise and Defeat Visible Christianity was well on the way to becoming just another version of a modern, updated Oriental mystery religion. Elaborate ceremonies were instituted, an intellectual priestly caste began to assert itself, and esoteric doctrines were kept back from the multitudes. Many of the major tenets of competing pagan religions readily found a safe haven within the walls of a changing Christianity. Pagan divinities were transformed into Christian saints, martyrs and angels. The cult of the Oriental mother goddess was revitalized in the veneration of the Virgin Mary. And pagan temples were often transformed into “Christian” houses of worship. Hellenistic dualism centered around the concept of an immortal soul; and an evil, corrupt material creation loomed large in post-apostolic thinking. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas also drew deeply from these same philosophical wells. Augustine was probably the staunchest advocate of Greek otherworldly concepts since the Stoics. Writing in The City of God, he was quick to eulogize ascetic ideals: “For that vision of God is the beauty of a vision so great and is so infinitely desirable that Plotinus does not hesitate to say that he who enjoys all other blessings in abundance and has not this is supremely miserable” (book X, chapter 16). Aquinas, for instance, took a dim view of earthly pleasure. In his monumental Summa Theologica, he wrote: “The religious state requires the removal of whatever hinders man from devoting himself entirely to God’s service. Now the use of sexual union hinders the mind from giving itself wholly to the service of God” (p. 655). He continued: “First, as regards the practice of perfection, a man is required to remove from himself whatever may hinder his affections from tending wholly to God… Such hindrances are…. First, the attachment to external goods, which is removed by a vow of poverty; secondly, the concupiscence of sensible pleasures, chief among which are sexual pleasures, and these are removed by the vow of continence…” (p. 659).” -Quote from “The White Horse- False Religion”                                                                                         Published by the Worldwide Church of God  
“Eusebius claims they rejected the virgin birth and pre-existence of Christ, and the writings of Paul. But this was not true of all. The next age of God’s True Church-revived in the place where migrating Ebionites disappear – accepted these truths! Their very distinguishing name became Paulician! It was the elaborate theology of Catholicism and Gnosticism which most “Ebionites” rejected! The interminable arguments whether God is one Person or three-whether Jesus Christ was God or man (He was both-God in the Flesh)! And a false version of “Pauline” theology which claims the Law was abolished! (Using Paul’s name to put over false doctrine began early – II Thes. 2:2.) A rigid splinter group, also called Ebionite, was indeed antagonistic to Paul. It was composed of carnal-minded Jews who could plainly perceive Jesus was no ordinary man. But they could never forgive Paul for having put Gentiles on the level of Jews by offering them salvation. Irenaeus (about A. D. 180,in the area of modern France) wrote they used only the Gospel of Matthew. A third group labeled “Ebionites” had accepted some Gnostic doctrines. As the second century ended a considerable number had exchanged the simple creed of Jesus Christ for a strange blend of Christianity and Essenism. Some of these became Elchasaites, so called after their leader, a false prophet led astray by demon visions. About A. D. 220. Alciabides propagated their false doctrine at Rome. Quite possibly this was the real origin of the “pseudo-Clementine” Homilies (composed about 170 A.D.) and Recognitions – (written later, but based on the former) -whose perverted ramblings betray knowledge that Simon Magus, not Simon Peter, founded a church at Rome! All these were carnal-minded sects labeled by the same name in church history as God’s church. In every age the Church has its unconverted “members.” But there were a few faithful, who really constituted the Church. “                                                         -Quote from “Ambassador Bible Correspondence Course (58 Lesson version) Lesson 49”
“That VISIBLE organization calling itself “Christian” and ruling over the nations during the Middle Ages was not God’s Church. It was the church of Satan.   The True Church continued all those years, a tiny “little flock,” unnoticed by the world, almost unknown to later historians. It was composed of the few who were led by God’s Spirit (Rom. 8:14). Now understand, in this lesson, HOW God’s Church survived the Middle Ages.   1. Does the sure word of prophecy tell us some among — and pretending to be part of — God’s people would depart from the faith and accept doctrines taught by demons? I Tim. 4:1.   COMMENT: This is a prophecy for “the latter times” — not of Paul’s own day when the original apostacy occurred. In era after era of God’s Church, it is a repeated fact that after a few generations the local congregations are no longer generally composed of truly converted brethren, but of unconverted children and halfhearted believers of whom many go astray into error.   Such were those among the Paulicians in the eighth century who began to accept demon-inspired visions they called “the new prophecy.” Some were also in touch with Gnostic sects.   Why were such heretical sects found associated with (and often confused with) God’s people? Because God’s Church can only exist where there is a significant measure of religious freedom, including freedom for all kinds of heresy to exist also. For example, today, God’s Church is mainly in countries where no state religion is in absolute control.   Thus the Paulicians of the Pergamos Era of the True Church, and their Slavic-speaking brethren called Bogomils, included, at a later time, several groups with a medley of doctrine. All these false opinions migrated where religious freedom was allowed. And there, too, God’s Church found freedom to preach. This spirit of religious freedom spread into western Europe, where those who fell away from the truth became known as Cathars.   2. Why does God allow such heresies to tempt the weak of His people? I Cor. 11:19.   3. Do those who teach the doctrines of demons really know better — as a result of their association with God’s faithful? I Tim. 4:2.   4. What are the demon doctrines Paul mentions? I Tim. 4:3.   COMMENT: Cathar “PERFECTS” did not marry though their “HEARERS” did. The result, of course, was rampant fornication (I Cor. 6:18; 7:2). Neither would they eat meat, milk or eggs. In our day OTHER, and false, churches teach these same demon-inspired doctrines. “   -Quote from “Ambassador Bible Correspondence Course                                                                                      (58 Lesson Version) Lesson 51″  
True Christians Forced Out   Although numerous deceivers, called Gnostics, left the Church, drawing away disciples after them, there was an even more dangerous apostasy which infiltrated the true Church.   In instructing the Evangelist Timothy, the apostle to the Gentiles instructed him to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts” — the congregations wanting to do what they please — “shall they heap to themselves teachers” — elect ministers who will preach what they want to hear — “…and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:2-4).   This was in the days of the apostles and evangelists. MANY who fellowshipped in the local congregations of the early Church, after about two generations, did not endure sound doctrine because they had not repented and received the Holy Spirit. They elected teachers who, for the sake of money, pleased their wishes by preaching fables — the enticing fables of mysticism and sun-worship that were engulfing the Roman Empire. The letters of Paul were twisted by them to give another meaning than intended (II Peter 3:15-16).   But instead of leaving the local congregations and forming their own sects, as some Gentiles did at first, the false preachers remained within the congregations and soon began to expel the true Christians.   In the letter of the Apostle John to Gaius, we read: “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, AND CASTETH THEM OUT OF THE CHURCH” (III John 9 and 10).   The true Christians, who alone comprised the true Church, were being put out of the visible, organized congregations. They were the SCATTERED ones of whom John said: “Therefore the world knoweth us not” (I John 3:1). In the Western Roman Empire, where Paul died, the state of Christianity was even more advanced along the paths of error. The name Christian was being borne away by leaders who crept into the fellowship of the Church of God and who, in the name of Christ, deceived the MANY into following their false teachings. “ -Quote from “WHY SO MANY DENOMINATIONS?                                                                       by Herman Hoeh, Good News Magazine May 1985    
Who Taught Celibacy?  If early Christians were mainly married folk, where did the tradition of “Christian” celibacy come from? Who regarded sex as evil and marriage as merely the lesser of two sex evils? Scholars admit that the Judeo-Christian ethic of the Bible is a “naturalistic” mode of right sexual expression WITHIN MARRIAGE. This contrasts to pagan “dualism,” the belief that an evil body is inhabited by a righteous immortal soul, and that all works of the body (including sex) are to be rejected by the “soul.”  The Gnostics of Greece borrowed this concept of dualism from Egypt. The Gnostics had various conflicting beliefs about marriage, all negative. Some indulged in extramarital sex to the extreme, believing that this made marriage unnecessary. Others abstained from all forms of sex.  The Essenes of Qumram segregated men and women strictly, allowing no physical contact. Some mistakenly believe this sect was the ancestor of modern Christianity. Another philosophical sect of the first century housed men and women in a commune together, but they kept “hands off” to devote themselves totally to philosophy, unencumbered by “baser carnal drives” (Philo of Alexander, On the Contemplative Life).  The church fathers (few of whom were physical fathers!) were noted for their tormented sex lives. The doctrine of celibacy was actually an outcome of their personal repression. Origen (c. 220 A.D.) had severe hang-ups about sex, extreme guilt pangs, and he eventually castrated himself to avoid temptation — or perhaps to avoid fatherhood. Jerome (c. 400) led a monastic life, yet always stayed around women — whom he never touched apparently. He had wildly erotic dreams, the details of which he related to his women, glorying in how he had been “delivered.” Augustine of Hippo (c. 400) lived with a mistress early in life, later had extreme guilt pangs, and eventually heavily influenced church ideas on celibacy. Later doctrinaires, such as Thomas Aquinas, basically repeated these earlier church fathers in matters of sexual morality.  Amazingly enough, many of the Protestant “reformers” continued to teach the dualistic approach to sex and marriage, even though they allowed their ministers and laity to marry. Sexual intercourse was still considered at least partially “evil,” even within marriage.  But Christ and His Apostles NEVER taught celibacy, nor did they denigrate marriage. Enforced celibacy was a “doctrine of demons” to these apostles, and in God’s eyes it remains so. Nevertheless there are sometimes physical, psychological, environmental, and even religious reasons for postponing or refraining from marriage. Jesus referred to “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” in Matthew 19:12.  Some few have the need AND the ability to abstain from marriage, but Paul added, “It is better to marry than to burn” with desire (I Cor. 7:9). In most cases, however, stubborn, purposeful denial of a pure, clean first marriage of a compatible couple who love each other, solely based on a “religious” belief in celibacy is a doctrine promulgated by a god who cannot marry, a sexless spirit named SATAN the devil.  Again, sex in marriage is NOT a sin. It is the wrong use of sex that is a sin. And to get married is right and good in the sight of God. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” (Prov. 18:22). “… And a prudent wife is from the Lord” (Prov. 19:14).” -Quote from “Is Sex Sin” booklet, published by the Worldwide Church of God  
In such a world is it any wonder that the great minds doubt whether there is any real Higher Power working out His intelligent PURPOSE? Is it any wonder that some dim-brains gave the world a fresh shock with the ridiculous slogan “God is dead!” To state that God is dead is to confess there really was a God—and if God was, God still is—for unless He is the Eternal—the Ever-living—He never was GOD!   In the second and third centuries we had gnosticism—meaning “we know.” Today most educators, scientists and great minds are AGNOSTIC, meaning “we don’t know—we are IGNORANT”! And this IGNORANCE they glorify in the guise of “KNOWLEDGE”!   As a BASIS for knowledge—as a FOUNDATION for education, we start with two alternatives. Right here is the CHOICE between fact and fancy; between true knowledge and ignorance; between TRUTH and error. Is there a Higher Power with design working out intelligent PURPOSE, or are we mere accidents of the blind, unintelligent, purposeless force of nature, descended from a single-celled amoeba sparked to life by “spontaneous generation,” “electrochemical action,” or other unknown accidental process?   The only truly scientific method is to PROVE a proposition before accepting it as scientific FACT. But has either science or education PROVED the evolutionary theory? Emphatically they have not! By its very nature it is a theory not subject to proof. Has either science or education PROVED the nonexistence of a personal Supreme God, of supreme intelligence, wisdom, and POWER to create? Emphatically they have not! WHY, then, do so many great minds who profess knowledge and wisdom doubt or deny God’s existence? Simply because of something inherent in human nature—something of which they are ignorant—a spirit of vanity, coupled with hostility and rebellion against their Maker and His authority!   Is it, after all, rational or intellectual to willfully assume fables, unproved and unprovable, to be fact, while ridiculing provable truth, branding it folklore?   But what of the other two basic ALTERNATIVES as one’s approach to knowledge?   There is a Higher Power! And at Ambassador College this is not carelessly assumed, but definitely, rationally, scientifically PROVED! And there is PURPOSE! Humanity was put here for a PURPOSE of such transcendent magnitude that even the great minds, in their carnality, cannot grasp it! And there is A WAY to peace between individuals, groups and nations, but tragically none of this world’s leaders were taught it! There is A WAY to happiness and abundant well-being, but modern education does not teach it.   So it all boils down to this crucial point: There are the two alternatives as a starting point—a BASIS—a FOUNDATION for knowledge. This world and its education have adopted the fictional, false foundation. And this erroneous foundation is the concept which becomes its approach to knowledge. It got off on a false start. Hence it is axiomatic that this world and its leaders are not being taught the true values, but pursue the false. The world is left without knowledge of life’s PURPOSE and meaning and is devoid of right goals, in utter ignorance of THE WAY to every desired blessing!   What an indictment against a complicated, highly organized, monumental system of education that has become DECADENT!   This gigantic system is ready to topple! It will soon fall, along with the civilization it has spawned! But a better day is soon coming! The happy is soon to dawn! It will be a world of PEACE, of PLENTY, of HAPPINESS. “ -Quote from Herbert W. Armstrong, “FOUNDATIONAL POLICY                                            RESTORED TO AMBASSADOR COLLEGE, Plain Truth Magazine                                            (September 1978 Issue)   GOD SPEED THE DAY WHEN IT WILL BE FINALLY SAID: BABYLON IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN! The first Pope, was Simon Magus, who was a Gnostic! Today, Satan through the Pope redefines a Gnostic and Pelagian to mean God’s people and accuses God’s people of being something they are not! The successor to that man, is Pope Francis. Is it any wonder why the redefinition? And while Satan is accusing God’s true Church(as he always has done), and is stirring up a deceived mankind through RELIGION, those of God’s Church rejoice in its sufferings with Christ, and have FAITH that Christ will fulfill His promises which is written in the Holy Bible. IT IS SURER THAN SURE! We shall see the WORLD TOMORROW!]]>

Is the Church named AFTER "Doctrines"?

“We have just covered the truth that God set officials to serve on the human level under Christ, in the Church. Members do not elect them. Yet in the churches of this world some believe in government by the entire congregation—“democracy”—and call themselves “Congregational.” Others have organized themselves into government by ministers or presbytery and call themselves “Presbyterian.” Some follow Luther and call themselves “Lutheran.” Some follow Wesley, who was strong on “method,” and call themselves “Methodist.” Some learned God’s truth about baptizing and call their church after the name of that one doctrine, “Baptist.” One wanted complete universal world dominion, and called itself “Catholic,” which means “universal.” What is the name of the Church Jesus founded? “
 
 
“Notice that Paul did not call the true Church “Catholic” or “Protestant.” Nowhere is the true Church called after the name of a MAN or after the name of a doctrine.”
 

Michael Venish of the “Vigilant Church of God”, in his video “Our Commission” explaining the name of his church group “The Vigilant Church of God”.
 
“Oh by the way, “The Vigilant…” , the word “vigilant” means “keeping careful watch”. And that is EXACTLY what Jesus Christ and Herbert Armstrong said we should do!”
 
Nowhere in God’s Word is the Church named AFTER a doctrine! Yet men name their churches after doctrines. “Vigilant”, “continuing”, “United”, “Philadelphia”, “Restored”, “Living”, etc,etc.
 
Let’s not be deceived!
]]>

Rev 13:3 – "…and all the world wondered after the beast"

A Perfect example of how enamored people are with the Pope and Catholic Church ? Who stand in ADMIRATION of GERMANY. A Glimpse into the Future attitude of the WORLD?? Liam Neeson stated in an interview, “I was made aware from an early age of the pope being the head of the church and who would make pronouncements (“ex cathedra”) that would be ordained in Heaven as on Earth. That’s some power! He had to be someone very special.” When asked If he could spend an hour with anyone that’s ever lived, who would it be and why? He stated Abraham Lincoln. “Also, I’d wanna hear his funny stories and hear his laugh and watch that face crinkle up with amusement and watch a sadness descend on him again.” That last statement was weird, it appears that he wanted to see him go from Happy, laughing to a dark Sadness. Which no doubt was caused by those around him working against him, aka the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church. It is a weird statement to say the least, when in light of TRUE History.

When asked Who do you admire? He stated that he admired Angela Merkel, the chancellor Of Germany. In Awe of the Pope. Admiring Germany. The Perfect formula for the coming years of which the WHOLE WORLD will do concerning the WHORE of Babylon which sits upon and controls the COMING RULE of GERMANY in the United States of EUROPE!

Article about Interview

]]>

Who is Behind the Scenes Working to Take over the United States of America?

Who is actually behind the scenes working the Governments in our own country? The POPE aka through the Jesuits, of whom the Pope is member of! Here is what New Jersey’s Governor stated recently, “We can achieve Pope Francis’ vision of solidarity, not just being a word, but rather being our default attitude,” he told the crowd. “We are one state. We are one people. We rise and fall as one. And as long as we remain united, there is nothing we cannot achieve for everyone who calls this great state home.” There is no doubt what Spirit is ruling, and what and WHO they are following and being led by. This is just another WARNING to us here at home. We are on the verge of a Takeover by The Pope and the Rising Beast of the United States of Europe! In Bible Terms: The Great Tribulation/ Jacob’s Trouble. ]]>

(2 Articles) Why All These Churches?

Why All These Churches?

Personal: By Herbert W. Armstrong   LINK – The Plain Truth June 1984   WHY any church?” I asked myself in the fall of 1926. “Is religion, after all, the opiate of the people? Is there any reason, any purpose for religion or for churches? If so, which is the one true church? Why so many religions on earth if there is only one God? Why so many differing sects and denominations in traditional Christianity when there is only one Christ?”   I was in the midst of an almost day-and-night in-depth study and research. I was being shocked into disbelief. Did God exist, after all?   Although I had never experienced any special religious concern, I had been reared from infancy in a respected Protestant church until age 18, when my thoughts and energies were devoted to a business career in which I had started out with unusual success. Then, at age 31, I was doubly challenged on a biblical question and on the theory of evolution.   I had been angered by the epithet from a fresh-out-of-college sister-in-law, “Herbert Armstrong, you are ignorant!” I had expressed the opinion that I did not accept the evolutionary theory, though I was somewhat familiar with it. This hypothesis was then rapidly gaining complete acceptance as the basic concept in all levels of education.   But “ignorant!” I was too proud to accept that accusation. Also I had been deeply disturbed by a biblical challenge contrary to a teaching that I had unquestionably assumed from boyhood church upbringing. There was a biblical relation between the two challenges, in the book of Genesis and others.   But first, I delved into the writings of Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel, Chamberlin and other evolutionists. Soon my head was swimming. Their arguments appeared very convincing, as indeed they must be to have won the acceptance of higher education. For the first time I began to wonder, “Does God exist, after all?” I had been reared from infancy to assume the existence of God. Suddenly I realized I had seen no proof, but had accepted without question what I had been taught.   Today I know that most people believe whatever they have been taught – what those around them believe. College students today accept the evolutionary theory as fact because they are taught it. They would be considered ignorant by their peers if they did not, like sheep going to the slaughter, assume without question or proof the popular “in” thing. Few realize why they believe the things they do. Now I had to be SURE! I had to see PROOF!   In due time, in this virtual night-and-day research, I found the evolutionary doctrine utterly disproved, and the existence of the Creator God proved. And then, later, in a thorough study of the Bible, I was thrown for a while into even greater confusion, shocked into disbelief! I had always supposed traditional Christianity had received its teachings from the Bible. But to my astonishment, I now saw with my own eyes clear, plain, unmistakable teachings in the Holy Bible precisely the opposite, in most basic doctrines, from those taught by the Christian religion!   My underpinnings were slipping away! I began to realize orthodox Christianity does not explain the purpose or meaning of life – the amazing paradox of awesome human progress amid appalling human evils and retrogression!   I found the Bible to be like a jigsaw puzzle. Such a puzzle may consist of a thousand variously shaped pieces. It requires some time and patience to put the pieces properly fitted together, but then one has a beautiful and clear picture. On any one subject, I found many scriptures scattered here and there through the Bible, but when put together, each in its own context, the particular subject or teaching emerges clearly. Each such individual subject or teaching in the Bible may itself, be compared to a jigsaw piece. And when put together properly with other subjects, the WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT MANKIND EMERGES – who and what is God the Creator, as he reveals himself – what and why is MAN – what is God’s overall PURPOSE – what is man’s incredible potential – why such human distress, unhappiness, evil and violence, and why such retrogression accompanied by such amazing progress and human accomplishment?   Yes, the Great God now began opening my mind to a dumbfounding TRUTH! Orthodox Christianity was accepting and teaching the opposite of biblical- truth. Modern education was basing its teaching on the concept of evolution, which I found to be false. Education had become wholly materialistic. The world was SICK with problems it could not solve, with discontent, unhappiness, violence, agony and death.   Religion gave this unhappy world no hope. Education had no answer. Governments had no.solution. Science gave no deliverance, but instead has now produced the weapons of mass destruction to destroy us all – every man, woman and child on earth!   My in-depth study and research PROVED the reality of the living Creator GOD, and that the Holy Bible is in fact God himself speaking – revealing himself and spiritual knowledge to those who, through his Spirit, are able to comprehend. And now, at age 91, through his living Word, God has opened my eyes clearly to UNDERSTAND why mankind was created on earth – how this violent society came to be developed – why Jesus Christ said: “I will build my Church” – how the professed Christian church jumped the track – and which Church, even to this day, is the same original true Church Jesus Christ did found more than 1,950 years ago!   Yes, I found, finally, the one true Church. And I found WHY it is, and WHAT it is – and how and why so many differing sects of it developed. Yes, and how a WHOLE WORLD, even as the Bible says (Rev. 12:9), has been deceived – and very soon, now, shall be UNdeceived and delivered from its confusion, violence and suffering.   In the next issue of The Plain Truth I make it all plain in the eye-opening article “Where Is the True Church?”(NEXT PAGE)  All this did not come easily. Hard, long and diligent study alone was not enough. It required openness of mind. It brought an inward battle with this vain self, which had to be conquered. It necessitated ADMITTING I was wrong, and willingness to accept truth new to me. It required accepting and living that truth.  

United States of Europe vs the United States and United Kingdom

HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG President and Pastor

August 14, 1978

 

Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ,

We — and the whole world — are at a crucial turning point in the history of mankind. And in the life and work of God’s Church!

The death of Pope Paul VI may trigger a drastic, crucial and pivotal CHANGE in world affairs — and also in GOD’S WORK to which He has called you and me to be co-workers with Christ!

This is SO IMPORTANT to our very LIVES — as well as our labors with Christ in God’s Work. I want now to clarify even more what I wrote you a few days ago.

Let me start once again from the beginning. In creating man, God plunged into the most stupendous feat of creation possible even for the GREAT MAJESTIC GOD! My forthcoming book, “The Incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL” (hopefully ready for the Feast of Tabernacles) explains why it was imperative that God form man out of matter, instead of Spirit. Even though God Himself is a Spirit, composed of Spirit, and in this spiritual reproductive process He is going to change man into alternate Spirit composition.

But the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, after being completely informed by their maker of His PURPOSE, and of His KINGDOM, made their fateful DECISION. They would continue Satan’s WAY! They rejected the Kingdom of God! They rejected God as Ruler, Revealer of basic knowledge, Saviour, and Giver of eternal life.

God said, in effect: “You have made the decision for yourself and for your human race which shall come from you. You made it after hearing ALL THE FACTS. Therefore I SENTENCE you and the human race, for six thousand years, to being CUT OFF entirely from me, except such comparative few as I shall call to special duty that my purpose shall be fulfilled. After that six thousand years of your own HUMAN RULE, HUMAN PRODUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE, and HUMAN RELIGION, I will intervene, and take over by my supernatural power the GOVERNMENT, the EDUCATION, and the RELIGION of the entire human race.”

That six thousand years may be termed the DAY OF MAN. Although he has not realized it, man has been swayed, deceived, and actually ruled invisibly by Satan. Man has lived Satan’s way of “GET” instead of God’s way of “GIVE” — of outgoing LOVE. And now THE DAY OF THE LORD is almost upon us!

Let me now show you into what the death of Paul VI may plunge us.

For six thousand years the world in general has indeed been CUT OFF from God. Some knowledge of God did continue for many generations by word-of-mouth. But it became distorted.

After some 1900 years, God called Noah to the special project of building the great ark to preserve humanity alive through the flood God sent upon all the earth.

Several generations later God called Abraham. Four hundred thirty years after Abraham, God called MOSES to lead Abraham’s descendants out of Egyptian bondage. At Mount Sinai God proposed them a COVENANT agreement by which they would become GOD’S NATION.

Remember, through the symbolic tree of LIFE in the Garden of Eden, the Holy Spirit of God had been made accessible to Adam, provided he rejected Satan’s way, and chose the KINGDOM OF GOD.

In Adam and Eve from creation — and in all their progeny from birth — have existed a spirit which empowers the human BRAIN with an intellect non-existent in animals. This provides humans with MINDS. But God made the human mind to need another Spirit — the Holy Spirit of God. But on Adam’s decision, he and mankind, except such as God did specially call and convert, were CUT OFF from the Holy Spirit.

And that left the human mind a carnal mind — “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and also “enmity” (hostile) against God, and not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be (Romans 8:7).

Now fasten firmly in your mind, that God did not offer the children of Israel His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit He gave only to Moses and the prophets. The Kingdom of Israel, therefore, was a carnal-minded people! God put them under His government. They were thus ruled, primarily, by the SPIRITUAL LAW OF GOD — the Ten Commandments. But, because until Christ should come, the Holy Spirit was not available, God gave them a special sacrificial law. This was a reminder of sin — but the blood of animals could not pay the penalty of sin. Also God gave them a ceremonial law of rituals — of physical substitutes for the Holy Spirit, as the sacrificial law was a substitute for the blood of Christ.

Then God gave them also, as a national government, statutes and judgment — their civil law. But the substitute sacrificial law and ceremonial ritual law could not make them righteous. The nation Israel proved that the carnal mind is hostile against God — not subject to His Law. Even though they were given God’s revealed knowledge.

Now, meanwhile, consider the rest of the world as a whole through those years.

In Asia the yellow race, descended from Japheth, has formed their own pagan religions. In due time such religions as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Brahminism and Hinduism had sprung up. In the sense of man’s relation to God they were hardly religions, but rather, philosophies — human thought devoid of the foundation of basic knowledge from God.

But we in the so-called Christian orbit have not heard a great deal about them.

Then, in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome, other pagan religions developed, based to a considerable extent on a perverted and deteriorated mouth-to-mouth knowledge of the true God. Most of those flowed through the funnel of religions set up by Semiramis, mother-wife of Nimrod. Nimrod, (Genesis 10) was the world’s first despot, or government dictator, after the Flood.

We know only the most meager fragmentary facts about human governments, religions, and knowledge production prior to the Flood. But Nimrod organized a number of city-states among descendants of Ham (and perhaps some of Shem) in the Euphrates-Tigris area. Out of this came the Isis and Osiris gods in Egypt — patterned after Nimrod and Semiramis. In Babylon and Greece, carnal minds created such “gods” as Jupiter, Estarte(Easter), Diana, Hermes, and a long list in Grecian-Roman mythology.

Now remember, the BIBLE is essentially the Book of ISRAEL — both ancient carnal Israel and New Testament spiritual Israel (the Church of God). The Bible is therefore not directly concerned with oriental religions. But the Hamitic religions of Egypt and the Middle East did come in contact with Israel — and do very significantly today with the Church of God — and, therefore, we do find a considerable history of them in the Bible.

I want you to consider now, the governments and religions of this area. They did come into contact with ancient Israel. And they do today, in a significant manner very little realized, with GOD’S CHURCH!

The Bible reveals history and prophecy regarding the pagan church-and-state combination, from ancient Egypt, from which Israel was delivered from slavery, through Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome.

The death of Pope Paul VI has definite and tremendous connection with this. So let me trace, in extreme brevity, the chain of events revealed in God’s Word, from ancient Egypt, on to this present year 1978 A.D.

In the days of the prophet Daniel, about 550-610 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon — the Chaldean Empire — had conquered other nations and formed the first WORLD EMPIRE. Nimrod long before had started the organization of city-states. Now Nebuchadnezzar conquered and annexed Egypt, the Medes, Persians, and Greeks, into the CHALDEAN EMPIRE, usually called Babylon, after its capital city. The nation Israel had been divided into TWO nations many generations before. Israel had rejected King Rehoboam, son of King Solomon, and set up a new king, Jeroboam, over them. At that time the tribes of Judah and Benjamin split off from the nation Israel, becoming the Kingdom of Judah in order to retain the Davidic dynasty in King Rehoboam. Jeroboam rejected the priests — the tribe of Levi — and the Levites mostly joined with the nation Judah. They, and they only, became known as the Jews.

In 721-718 B.C., King Shalmaneser of the Kingdom of Assyria (prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s Chaldean Empire) had conquered the Kingdom of Israel (TEN TRIBES), and moved them as slaves into the land of Assyria, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. He had put Babylonians, of the Babylon Mystery religion, in the land of Samaria — north of Jerusalem, from where he had evicted the ten-tribe Kingdom of Israel. They were still there in the time of Christ — Gentiles, in northern Palestine, retaining the Babylonian Mystery religion.

More than 120 years after the captivity of the Kingdom of Israel, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged and conquered the Kingdom of Judah (the Jews) and evicted them from Judea as slaves, taken to the land of Babylon.

Among these Jewish captives were four outstanding, especially talented and brilliant Jewish lads, of which Daniel was one. Nebuchadnezzar set them in important posts in the Chaldean government.

God used all four in dealing with the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar — but especially Daniel as a prophet of God.

The Book of Daniel, chapter 2 records the incident of the super impressive dream in which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a tremendous metallic statue. Daniel was called to tell the king what he had dreamed, and the message God conveyed to Nebuchadnezzar through it. The head of this enormous statue of a man was of fine GOLD, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes a mixture of iron and miry clay — utterly non-adhesive.

This God-given dream was a PROPHECY. God revealed His tremendous MEANING to Nebuchadnezzar. The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar and his first WORLD EMPIRE, the Chaldean or the Babylonian Empire. The dream contained a time-element. After Nebuchadnezzar’s empire was to arrive a second empire, even larger and stronger in military might, but of less spiritual and moral values — the breast and arms of silver — the Persian Empire. It was later to be followed by a still larger and stronger empire though of lesser moral and spiritual value; Greece. The legs of iron represented the strongest of all in physical strength, yet it divided — the two legs of iron representing the two divisions of the Roman Empire with the western capital at Rome, and the eastern capital at Constantinople (called Istanbul, Turkey today). The feet and ten toes represented OUR TIME — this latter half of the twentieth century — at the CLOSE of the six-thousand-year sentence God imposed on the DAY OF MAN. It represented the Kingdom of God finally replacing all these Gentile kingdoms (verse 44).

Iron is stronger than brass, silver or gold, but less valuable. But miry clay, mixed with the iron toes, is both the least in value and strength. And iron and clay will not cleave together. They represent the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, soon to appear.

Now let us tie this prophecy to the actual historic events as they have occurred! After the Chaldean Empire, there arose the empire of the Medes and the Persians — the Persian Empire. It was conquered in 330 B.C. by Alexander the Great of Macedonia — with Grecian armed forces. But it was short-lived. Alexander soon died in a drunken debauch. His kingdom was then carried on in four divisions, each headed by one of Alexander’s four generals.

But one by one, these four divisions were swallowed up by what became the ROMAN EMPIRE, 31 B.C. It ruled the world, including the land of Israel and Judea in the time of Christ.

The Roman Empire was destroyed by Barbarians from the north in 476 A.D.

Then, beginning 333 A.D., the ancient Babylonian Mystery religion, a sector of it transplanted in Palestine north of Jerusalem after 718 B.C., had through its first century leader, Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8), appropriated the name “Christianity,” portraying a false Jesus and turning Christ’s grace into license to disobey God’s Law.

By 554 this religion, called also the Roman Catholic religion, had become strong enough to dominate the world. In that year at the behest of the Roman Pope, the government of the eastern division of the defunct Roman Empire, Justinian, was moved to Rome and the Roman Empire was resurrected as the “HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.” It was a union of European nations, in a CHURCH-AND-STATE EMPIRE — with the Roman Pope astride what is symbolized as the “beast” in Daniel 7, and in Revelation 13 and 17.

Let me at this point bring you up to date with the prophecies of Daniel 7, and the 13th and 17th chapters of Revelation.

In Daniel 7, the prophet himself had a dream in which God revealed the future. He saw FOUR wild animals — the first a lion, second a bear, third a leopard with four heads, and fourth a beast that embodied the dominant characteristics of its predecessors — the HEAD of the lion, the FEET of the bear, the BODY of the leopard, with four heads.

But in Daniel’s dream an additional factor was revealed which did not appear in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-image. The fourth “beast,” representing the Roman Empire, had ten horns sprouting out of its head. But “there came up among them” — among the horns — “another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots” (verse 8).

The four “beasts” were four kingdoms that should arise beginning with the Chaldean Empire (verse 17), and “the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth” (the Roman Empire — 31 B.C.-476 A.D.). And the “ten horns out of this (fourth) kingdom are ten kings (or kingdoms) that shall arise” (verse 24) out of — or after the Roman Empire — after 476 A.D.

The “little horn,” before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots — (the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths which disappeared from existence), was the little horn in whom “were the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things” (verse 8); then again, “even of that horn that had eyes and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows” (verse 20) — that is, a smaller horn, who dominated over the other horns, and before whom the first three were disintegrated.

This “little horn” was of major importance. For “the same horn made war with the saints (true Christians), and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days (CHRIST) came, … and judgment was given to the saints of the most high; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (verses 21 and 22).

After the first three kingdoms following 476 A.D. had disappeared, SEVEN “horns” were left — seven kingdoms or rulerships to arise out of the original Roman Empire.

These seven formed the “Holy Roman Empire.” The first was Justinian, starting 554 A.D. The second was the Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne, 800 A.D. The third was the German kingdom of Otto the Great, the fourth was the Austrian Hapsburg kingdom of Charles the Fifth, and the fifth that of Napoleon, ending 1814 A.D. That ended, for the time being, the “Holy Roman Empire.” But there were recesses and lapses between Justinian’s reign and the revival in 800 A.D. under Charlemagne. These lapses or recesses are by inference “valleys” between mountain peaks, as we shall see in Revelation 17.

In 1935 Mussolini, on taking over Ethiopia, and including Italian Somaliland and Eritrea, concluded a concordat with the Vatican, called the restoration of the “Holy Roman Empire.” However, this was little noted at the time — I do not even remember it to have been front page news — and it was an insignificant and short-lived restoration of this “empire” — when the sixth of these remaining seven horns could aptly be termed, as in Revelation 17 “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Notice one more passage in Daniel 7 before leaving this chapter: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven [Christ], and came to the Ancient of days and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and language should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (verses 13, 14).

Then finally Daniel’s prophecy ends with “and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom [of God] under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey him” (verse 27).

Now on to Revelation 13.

John in vision here sees ONE “beast” rise up out of the sea — but it combined all the main carnal strengths and characteristics of Daniel’s four “beasts.” What the apostle John saw was a single wild animal with seven heads and ten horns. Daniel saw four “beasts” but the third, the Greco-Macedonian Empire, had four heads — the four divisions into which Alexander’s empire split up.

The wild animal John saw was like a leopard — but with the feet of a bear (the strongest part of the bear), a mouth like a lion and therefore the body of a quick cat-like leopard — in other words, the carnal and physical strength and characteristics of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were all combined in this one animal — which therefore represented the ROMAN EMPIRE, with its continuation through the “Holy Roman Empire,” and even until the coming of Christ to RULE!

John continues describing this wild animal, saying that the “dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). In Rev. 12:9 the dragon is explained to be a symbol representing Satan the Devil. So, this wild animal symbolizes the Roman Empire, as organized by MAN under the sway of Satan.

Verse 3: one of his seven heads — definitely the last one, or the Roman Empire of 31 B.C. – 476 A.D. — was wounded to death (476 A.D.), but the deadly wound was healed — by the succeeding “Holy Roman Empire,” beginning 554 A.D.

The people of the Western world worshipped the dragon — Satan, the god of this world — which the world is deceived into worshipping. They also worshipped the “beast” — the “Holy Roman Empire.” HOW? By saying, “Who is like unto the beast (the Holy Roman Empire), who is able to make war with him?” THAT IS WORSHIP!

“And there was given unto him” (verse 5) “a mouth speaking great things … and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” — prophetic months — literally 1260 years — and it actually continued 554 to 1814 — precisely 1260 years. This “mouth speaking great things” is the same as the little horn of Daniel 7 with “a mouth speaking great things” — in other words, the Vatican.

Verse 7: “And it was given unto him [by Satan] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” It was Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8) who, in 33 A.D., two years after Christ had founded the Church of God, turned the Babylonian Mystery religion into a so-called “Christianity,” and wielded enough power to SUPPRESS the preaching of Christ’s gospel message (Gal. 1:6, 7). If you have ever read “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” you will understand how this religious power, sitting astride the government — during this 1260 years tortured and put to death thousands of saints.

The church merely pronounced them “anathema from Christ” and/or state military police did the torturing and killing. This is referred to in Rev. 6 under the fifth seal — symbolizing the now-imminent “Great Tribulation” when another martyrdom of saints is coming in our time, during the Great Tribulation!

Now in verse 11, Rev. 13, John in his vision sees another “beast” coming up out of the earth, with two horns like a lamb, “and he spake as a dragon.” The two horns represent two government heads. “Like a lamb” — appearing as the Church of Christ, the Lamb of God. One of these horns represented the Papacy as RELIGIOUS head, the other is head of Vatican City, one of the world’s civil governments.

This second “beast” — the Papacy — (verse 12) exercised all the power of the first beast before him, — that is of the civil “Holy Roman Empire” — the United Europe! This same situation is pictured in Rev. 17 as a woman (church) riding astride a “beast” — the Roman government.

They claimed the “Holy Roman Empire” was the Kingdom of God. Christ had come, not in His own Person, but in that of the Pope’s, and was ruling. This explains why they called the CHURCH the Kingdom of God! The Popes have taken the title “Vicar of Christ,” which does not mean representative of Christ, but “in place of Christ.” In other words, Christ has been banished, and the Roman leader has taken His place.

Then, this religious leader — yet to come — is to perform “great wonders,” or apparent miracles — even as Simon the Magician of Acts 8 did among those of the Babylonian Mystery religion of his day in the land of Samaria, north of Jerusalem. But it was all deception — not real miracles, but magic.

Verse 14 — this religious leader brought into being an “image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” That is, a replica, likeness, imitation of the Imperial Roman Empire GOVERNMENT. Vatican City — a civil GOVERNMENT — is patterned after the system of government of the Roman Empire. “And (verse 15) he had power to … cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Notice, the religious power did not do the actual killing — he caused them to be killed. The church pronounced dissenters “heretics” which was tantamount to a death-sentence. They were tortured, and unless they recanted and accepted the Catholic teaching, they were martyred. THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN — AND SOON — (Rev. 6:11) during the Great Tribulation!

Now comes verse 16 (Rev. 13). This same religious power, through the military and police of the STATE government of the “Holy Roman Empire,” and its now very imminent resurrection — will cause all within the jurisdiction of the civil state to RECEIVE A MARK and (verse 17) no person was then, or will be in the coming Great Tribulation, able to buy or sell — engage in earning a living, or purchase food or necessities of life — unless they have that mark! Send for our free booklet, “The Mark of the Beast.”

The “beast” has a number we should be able to count — 666!

Now to Revelation 17!

The same Gentile CHURCH-AND-STATE system in its final and latter stages — now very imminent — is portrayed in Revelation 17. In this vision given the Apostle John regarding the DAY OF THE LORD (Rev. 1:10) an angel came to him. It was one of the seven angels with the vials of the seven last plagues — to be poured out at the precise time of Christ’s Second Coming.

The seventeenth chapter is another inset chapter — one of the few injected into the main story-flow of the prophetic book of Revelation. The story-flow, in chapter 16, had come to the very time for the pouring out of the seven last plagues.

The angel said, “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.”

This, of course, is symbolically speaking of the great false church. The many “waters” are (verse 15): several nations speaking different languages. Historically, it could mean only European nations — the “Holy Roman Empire” of 554 – 1814 A.D.

This great church (verse 2) has committed fornication (spiritually) with the kings of Europe. Fornication is illicit intercourse with an unmarried person. Israel had been married to Christ (the Lord of the Old Testament). So this is not Israel. It is identified as Gentile nations. The true Church of God is the affianced bride of Christ. Christ’s death severed the Old Covenant marriage. But New Testament spiritual Israel (the Church) is engaged to marry the RESURRECTED CHRIST, upon the resurrection of the Church.

So, (verse 3) the angel in vision carried John into the wilderness, where he saw this same great whore as a woman sitting astride a scarlet-colored “BEAST” (symbolic of civil government). This “beast” had seven heads and ten horns.

This is a continuation of the “beast” prophecies of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. But the “beast” revealed to John here is the very latter part of the whole system, dating from Nebuchadnezzar’s Chaldean empire. But the “seven heads” of this seventeenth chapter “beast” are the “Holy Roman Empire,” dating from 554 A.D. — in other words the last seven of the ten horns of the thirteenth chapter “beast.”

And the ten horns on this “beast” are the same as the “ten TOES” of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image (Daniel 2).

This woman (church) was arrayed in purple, the color of royalty and scarlet, the color of a whore. Also she was decked with gold and precious stones and pearls.

Now we come to HER NAME (verse 5): “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Her harlot daughters came out of her in protest. This name identifies the church as that of the BABYLONIAN MYSTERY religion, now grown GREAT ruling civil nations.

In other words the Babylonian Mystery religion of the ancient Chaldean Empire, now grown great in size and power. Indeed she is the largest religion on earth in number of adherents today.

Notice, this “woman” was drunken with the blood of the saints — just as Daniel’s” little horn” persecuted the saints of Christ — and prevailed against them until the coming of Christ to rule the world (Dan. 7:21,22). This, incidentally, is not referring to the Roman Empire persecutions, where professing Christians were thrown to hungry lions as a “sport” in the Roman Coliseum. This is speaking of a medieval persecution.

Then (verse 8) the angel in this vision explains to the apostle the time element. Remember, this whole seventeenth chapter prophecy is thrown in — as an inset into the sequence of prophesied events of the book of Revelation, just at the point where world events had come to the very time of Christ’s return in POWER. So, we know the time of events shown the apostle in the seventeenth chapter is shortly before Christ’s Second Coming.

Verse 8 explains that John is seeing this “beast” at a time in world events when the “Holy Roman Empire” was, and is not, and shall ascend (be restored) out of the bottomless pit — that is a state of virtual non-existence.

Notice the latter part of verse 8. The whole world will be shocked in wonder, when this final revival of the “Holy Roman Empire” occurs. It is “the beast that was,” and (at the time-setting of this vision) “is not, and yet is.” That would place the time when the vision John saw this church riding over the governments of Europe, at approximately 1935 and up to our very present moment.

It was in 1935 when Mussolini declared he had restored the “Holy Roman Empire” yet, as stated, I do not remember that it was regarded as sufficiently newsworthy to make the front pages of newspapers. I did read the dispatches — but it was not given big headlines. Probably only a few even noticed it. It was such an insignificant revival of the Holy Roman Empire that the world in general considered the empire “WAS NOT,” and yet it was. This was the sixth “head” of the “beast”.

Verse 9: the seven heads of this medieval-modern empire are symbolized as seven mountains on which the “woman” sat. I have already explained there were “valleys” in between the times when this European empire rose to its greatest heights.

Verse 10: Revised Standard Version,” They are also seven kings” or kingdoms — eras — five of whom have (at the time of the vision) “fallen … one is” (1935), “and the other is not yet come.”

Verse 11: And this beast “is the eighth and is of the seven.” That is, it is of, following after, as part of, the seven heads of the thirteenth chapter “beast” — and it is the eighth. The seven were Babylon, Persia, Greece with four heads, and the Roman Empire of 31 B.C.- 476 A.D. This is a continuation of the same Gentile system. It is the final stage of the entire system dating from 604 B.C. to Christ’s Second Coming, when it shall go into perdition! (Utter destruction!)

Verse 12: We have been talking about the seven “heads” of this “beast” — Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto, Charles, Napoleon, Mussolini, were the SIX! The “ten horns” are part of the seventh “head” perhaps now in the election of a new Pope, coming. These ten horns are not described as successive kingdoms, one after the other — but as ten literal contemporaneous kings. But, as of the time of division — 1935 to now — they have not yet received their kingdoms. But they are to receive power as kings, for just a very short period — perhaps three and one-half or more years.

They are to be ten heads-of-state over ten European nations, temporarily united as a “United States of Europe.” They are symbolized in Daniel 2 as the ten toes, of iron and miry clay — which will not mix, and therefore shall be short-lived!

Definitely, however, they shall last for at least two and one- half years of the three and one-half years of the “Great Tribulation” — which they will instigate. And also the very brief period of “THE DAY OF THE LORD” which is the central theme of the whole book of Revelation. This latter could be up to one year at the end of the “Great Tribulation.”

But they will give all their military and monetary power to the central ruler over the TEN — the coming European leader — one I may already know.

These ten, with their leader, will fight against Christ at His coming — but He will END their rule. This places the whole seventeenth chapter “beast” as shortly before Christ’s coming.

Now to pick up the thread of our story from the beginning — from the creation of Adam. The six-thousand-year sentence God placed on the world from Adam is ready very soon to expire.

The ten-tribed kingdom of Israel, taken to Assyria as slaves 721-718 B.C. had, with the ancient Assyrians, migrated into Europe within a hundred years — by or before Judah’s captivity by Babylon 604-585 B.C. The Assyrians are the Germans of today. Ephraim- Manasseh settled in the British Isles. The tribe of Reuben settled in France. Dan may have settled in Ireland — or Denmark, or both. Others of the ten tribes settled in Western Europe — Holland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium.

Meanwhile, a contingent of Judah (Jews) had gone back to Jerusalem and Judea to build the second temple, 70 years after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon’s temple. Other parts of Judah had migrated to such countries as Russia, Poland, and many Balkan countries. Many Jews from those countries have been returning to modern Israel since 1948.

But Jews were living in Judea when Jesus was born. Gentiles of the Babylonian Mystery religion had been in the area of Samaria north of Jerusalem.

Jesus sent His twelve original apostles to “the lost sheep of the House of Israel” — actually then unknown to the world — having lost their identity, living in Western Europe (not including Italy, Spain and Portugal). That is why we find very little in the book of Acts or New Testament history about Peter, after some few years following Christ’s resurrection and the founding of the Church of God. That explains why we read more about Paul — who was the chief apostle to the Gentiles.

But two years after the founding of the Church of God, 31 A.D., a tremendous persecution set in. By about 59 A.D. the churches in Galatia had turned to another gospel — Christ’s gospel message had been suppressed. The Church had gone virtually underground — but it survived through all generations. Thousands were martyred during the “Dark Ages” of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire.”

But, today, we find a trace of some of the original Christian faith of Jesus in Britain, Europe, South America, besides the United States.

In 1933 God raised up a new era of His true Church. It is the “Philadelphia” era of Rev. 3:7-13, when Christ has “opened the door” into foreign Gentile nations — which doors had been closed to Christ’s message — so that the message of the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD might, AT LAST, (after nineteen centuries when it was suppressed) go into those nations. And all this, just before the GREAT TRIBULATION and the end of this six-thousand-year day of man.

Now, finally, I come to what it is of LIFE-AND-DEATH importance for you to understand!

Our labors in GOD’S WORK will be ended soon after the resurrection of the impending United States of Europe!

UNDERSTAND these end-time PROPHECIES! According to Daniel 11:40-45, this revived “Holy Roman Empire”, “shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown.”

Then, verse 44, news out of the north-east (Russia and China) shall worry him — the Communists will be stirring to invade and destroy Roman Catholic EUROPE! Therefore, this power (U.S. of Europe) “shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace…in the glorious [land]” (Palestine — Judea — Israel).

Continue Dan. 12:1: “And at that time shall Michael stand up” (Rev. 12:7), “the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation …” (compare Matt. 24:21, 22 — the Great Tribulation), then shall soon follow the coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the KINGDOM OF GOD!

Now notice what Jeremiah adds to happen at this precise juncture: (Jer. 30).

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” (verse 7). This is the same GREAT TRIBULATION — as Matt. 24:21, 22 has it: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

Jeremiah 30 is more specific. While it is to be a time of WORLD TROUBLE such as never before occurred, yet it is PRIMARILY “the time of JACOB’S TROUBLE.”

Now who is “Jacob” in these last days? THANK GOD! He revealed to me 51 years ago that the so-called “lost ten tribes” of Israel (of Jacob) had migrated to Western Europe, Britain, and finally the United States. In Ambassador College from its very opening day, I had to fight diligently and continually to keep Christ in and Satan’s world out! The so-called “intellectuals of higher education” constantly sniped away at BASIC TRUTH which God had revealed to me — on which God’s Church for our time is based. They found three or four little non-important errors in the booklet “The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy” originally written some 51 years ago. As their tiny non-important errors were brought to my attention, they were eliminated! But finally, my son, assuming an authority never delegated to him had this most important booklet cut down to almost nothing, then put out of circulation entirely! That booklet, or book, is again being printed — “error-free” — and will be vigorously circulated. That book had a great deal to do with the very building of the Worldwide Church of God!

When prophecy tells us this is to be the time of “Jacob’s trouble,” that means, primarily, the United States and the British people!

Now that we are coming down to the very time, it is A LIFE-AND- DEATH matter to God’s Church that we UNDERSTAND!

Now the prophecy says, news from Communist countries will cause this “beast” power to “go forth with great fury to destroy” (Dan. 11:44). He will thereby instigate “THE GREAT TRIBULATION.” But whom will he seek to destroy? Jacob! And the dying Jacob in Egypt, with his hands crossed on Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s sons) said, “let my name (JACOB) be named on them” (Gen. 48:16). Today they are the U.S. and the British!

Undoubtedly GERMANY will head the new resurrected “Holy Roman Empire.” Who conquered the German armed fist twice — in the two great world wars? It was Britain with the United States pouring in the real knockout power! Who will they go forth to DESTROY? Britain and the United States!

Read the latter portions of the “U.S. in Prophecy” booklet prophecies, showing that our cities shall be destroyed (Ezek. 6:6). A third of our populations shall die from disease epidemics caused by famine, and another third shall be killed by military action and the remaining third scattered — as slaves to Europe (and probably some to South America) (Ezek. 5:12).

Our work will be ended soon after the resurrection of the “Holy Roman Empire” — the impending “United States of Europe.” The Laodicean era of God’s Church — the seventh and final era — will exist during the Great Tribulation.

But our “Philadelphia” era brethren are promised divine PROTECTION — to be taken to a place of safety (Rev. 3:10 and 12:13-16) which PLEASE READ!

Now, you of God’s Church can see WHY the election of a new Pope — in a few days (this is written August 11, 13 and 14 — before the conclave of Cardinals to elect a new Pope) is vitally important to us. If this election (within two weeks from this writing) results in the prophesied “United States of Europe,” which Pope Paul VI had been outlining within the Vatican — but not publicly — then the time left to us to finish the work of the GREAT COMMISSION is short indeed!

Brethren, IF we are to be taken to a place of protection from the GREAT TRIBULATION, we shall have to have real faith in Christ and His promises!

A spiritual REVIVAL within the Church is virtually a LIFE-AND- DEATH matter of URGENCY NOW! I ask you, pray as never before!

With deepest love in Jesus’ name,

Herbert W. Armstrong

    Comment: Today, Pope Francis, a Jesuit from Argentina is the first Jesuit Pope. After the World War 2, in the 1950’s The Plain Truth Magazine and Herbert W. Armstrong reported on Hitler’s escape to Argentina, and how that revival of the Holy Roman Empire went UNDERGROUND. Since that time this “government” has been working in the shadows. And if you know anything about the Jesuit society, and their history, even their history within the United States, you realize how this “shadow government” works. Hitler used the Jesuit Society to form his SS Gestapo believe it or not. And since World War 2, this “shadow government” has been at WORK, preparing for WORLD WAR 3! If you read Revelation 12 and other places, you find that this “United States of Europe” is that shadow government working underground today, and when it rises up it’s first mission is to DESTROY the Worldwide Church of God! But this Church is protected by God, and goes into a place of protection. And then, Satan the Devil, that great serpent, turns and wages WAR on the remnant of this Church, our laodicean brethren, and WORLD WAR 3 COMMENCES! Today, the United States of Europe is forming in Europe. WE ARE SEEING BIBLE PROPHECY UNFOLD BEFORE OUR EYES! And this Great New World Superpower will cut our Work, of the Worldwide Church of God, OFF, and will seek to DESTROY US. That is what the Bible tells us. After the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, many have created corporations, forming their own “churches”, claiming to be the successor of Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God. This claim is a false one. They have NEW churches, NEW corporations, NEW IDENTITIES. If you work for Macy’s you don’t call yourself an employee of Kohls. And you don’t go around telling your customers that even though they stand in a Macy’s department store, that they are supporting Kohls. That would be fraudulent. And would be WRONG! These churches are telling people that the Worldwide Church of God went defunct, and that they have succeeded the Church! But the Worldwide Church of God still exists, as it was never the legal corporation, and our membership is still backing and supporting Herbert W. Armstrong and the message he preached, the true gospel of Jesus Christ! The Church’s corporation was taken, and re-branded as a different corporation with different values and teachings. God allowed that to happen. But the Worldwide Church of God continues to exist.  The membership is the Worldwide Church of God! In 1979, the State of California tried to SEIZE and take over the Worldwide Church of God, by taking over the the Church’s property and college campus located in Pasadena. But the Church doesn’t just exist in California, or just in the United States, it exists WORLDWIDE and has a worldwide membership. So while they seized the California corporation, the Church continued on. And eventually they won that MONUMENTAL AND HISTORICAL COURT CASE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA! And so, even though after 1986, the legal corporation was taken away, the Church continues to exist. Today, the Church faces an identity theft. It’s name has been run through the mud, and has been dirtied by other men who do not represent this Church. And what Mr. Armstrong is talking about above, in his co-worker and brethren letter, is how the Work of the Church will be STOPPED by this United States of Europe, this prophesied “Beast Power” of Revelation. Since World War 2, this “POWER” has been working feverishly UNDERGROUND. Since that time, Pope Francis rises from Argentina, the same country this “Beast power” disappeared in. This “beast system”, will rise up to become the “United States of Europe”. They will become OVERT, stepping from their COVERT actions being worked out within the shadows. God’s Church faces PERSECUTION today from this “shadow government”, and according to the Word of God, when this “beast system” steps from the shadows, it will become the United States of Europe, a union of Ten-nations of Europe. And the Roman Catholic Church will ride this new World Superpower, being the woman that rides the beast power! PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!]]>

ANOTHER VON HABSBURG SPEAKS OUT!

ANOTHER VON HABSBURG SPEAKS OUT!

By Gene Hogberg

Pastor General’s Report November 16, 1984

  With Mr. Reagan robustly returned to a second four-year term, the prospects of improved Soviet-American relations appear remote. Moscow is presently in no mood to concretely negotiate arms reduction talks. Furthermore, the Kremlin is moving to militarily prop up its Central American surrogate, Nicaragua, which has had difficulty fending off the attacks of the U.S.- supported “contra” forces . Continue reading…

What became of the Church Jesus built? Lesson 50 of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course

AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE

LESSON 50

“…in the Isle that is called Patmos” 

(SOURCE)


About Our Cover…

    The isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea. Here the apostle John was imprisoned (Rev. 1:9) in the mid-90’s A.D. and saw the visions he was commanded to “write” (Rev. 1:19). From Patmos emanated the prophecies and promises of Revelation concerning God’s Church through seven definite eras until Christ will return.

    After the first two 19-year cycles, the Church went to sleep. Another whole cycle had passed, and now in a fourth 19-year cycle, Jesus Christ was using John, last of the original apostles, to finish the New Testament and to give the “Ephesian” Era a last chance to awaken and do the “first works.” It did not. Instead, the last survivor of the zealous first generation of the Church, Simeon son of Cleophas, died in 107.

——————–

WHAT BECAME OF THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT?  

    THE Christian Church in Judaea fled to Pella in 69 A.D. From that date the organized proclaiming of Christ’s true gospel ceased!

    For the next hundred years, church history is virtually a blank. “Scanty and suspicious” are the records, says the historian Gibbon, which remain from this period (“Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”). But why?

The “Lost Century”  

    It was the incredible “Lost Century” of church history!

Continue reading…

Your Awesome Future- How Religion Deceives You by Herbert W. Armstrong

(SOURCE)

It’s positively astounding! It has remained undiscovered by science. Higher education has never taught it. And organized religion has withheld it. How? By suppressing the real gospel message Christ brought from heaven that reveals the awesome purpose of human life.
PREPARE YOURSELF for the most shocking revelation of your life. Does it come as an astonishing shock to learn that the most important dimension in all knowledge was sent from God to this earth by Jesus Christ — but that message was suppressed in the very first century? That Jesus Himself was put to death for revealing it? That His apostles, with one possible exception, were also martyred for proclaiming it? Continue reading…