Which Is the True Church?

Which Is the True Church?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Plain Truth Magazine, June-July 1982

  WHY SO MANY churches? Why any church at all? Are all really GOD’S churches? “There must be one TRUE Church,” I said 55 years ago, “but where is it?” I had just been shocked, dumbfounded, disillusioned, to see with my own eyes in the Bible that the respected Christian church in which I had been reared taught the very opposite in most respects from the plain teachings of Christ and the Holy Bible. I had supposed the churches of the Christian religion had received their beliefs from the Bible. Haven’t you? Then I asked myself, candidly, WHY so many different churches, teaching different doctrines? And why ANY church at all? I read in the Bible where Jesus Christ said, “I will build my church.” But for what PURPOSE? Like I did until then, most people simply take the existence of churches for granted, never wondering whether there is any need of PURPOSE for them. It was early 1927, before World War II, that these thoughts challenged me. It was during that war that Winston Churchill said before the United States Congress, as I have so often quoted, “There is a PURPOSE being worked out here below.” Most people never think about that, or have any realization of the real PURPOSE for humanity’s presence on the earth, or of the AWESOME, incredible human potential. I was to learn that the Church is, indeed, God’s instrumentality for working out that supreme PURPOSE! Yet humanity has been lulled to sleep, deceived, blinded to this great PURPOSE! “The god of this world [Satan the devil] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ . . . should shine unto them (II Cor. 4:4). But WHY did Jesus Christ start the Church? Look at the world int which he was born, and in which he lived. It was the same world in which you and I live today, except for two changes: 1) This same world has made AWESOME progress, especially during this 20th century — in terms of technology, science and industry; and 2) it has undergone APPALLING retrogression in troubles and evils. All the fantastic progress has been in the materialistic area — working with matter from the ground. All the retrogression has occurred in the SPIRITUAL area — man dealing with man. Why did Jesus found the Church? To become Gods instrument for working out his grand PURPOSE here below — ultimately to make SPIRITUAL progress and glorious benefits far more awesome than materialistic progress has been! To correct and eradicate the troubles, evils, discontents, sufferings of this world’s humanity — to replace them with contentment, happiness and joy, constant eager anticipation of further glorious accomplishments, both spiritually and materially — and to give a then happy and glorified humanity ETERNAL LIFE in vigorous and joyful accomplishment! What was wrong with the world in which Christ started the Church? What’s even far more wrong today? We need to understand how civilization started. It started with the creation of MAN! God has created vertebrate animals, each after its own kind — “cattle after their kind” (Gen. 1:25), dogs after the dog kind, elephants after the elephant kind. Then God said (verse 26), “Let us make MAN in OUR image, after OUR likeness” — after the GOD kind. But man at that physical creation was not given GOD-LIFE — immortal, inherent, self-containing life. He was given only temporary physiochemical existence, the same as as animals (Gen. 2:7). However, God offered him eternal GOD-LIFE! But the man was required to make a choice. It was God’s purpose that the divine GOD-CHARACTER must first be developed within MAN. He was made in the form and shape of God, unlike animals. But man was first created with only an animal (temporary) existence. His existence is sustained by breath of air, like animals. His temporary life is supplied by a heart circulating blood throughout his body, like animals. But, being made in the image of GOD, man was given the power of MIND! His mind, like God’s, must direct his motions and actions, whereas animals were equipped with automatic INSTINCT. Man’s mind was supplied by a spirit within man-a human spirit that imparts the power of psychic intellect to the physical brain. Yet this spirit imparts only the mental ability to acquire materialistic knowledge-knowledge to work with matter from the ground. But God created man to NEED another Spirit-the Holy Spirit of God-that can impart to the mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL knowledge-knowledge to have a relationship with the spiritual GOD, and to have a right relationship with other PEOPLE. In many places of the Bible this human spirit within every human is mentioned. In Job 32:8, “there is a spirit in man.” In verse 18, “the spirit within me constraineth me”- and in I Corinthians 2: 11, no human could know, or have the knowledge possessed by MAN, except by the spirit of man which is IN the man. Likewise, no man can comprehend spiritual knowledge but by the Holy Spirit of God-which may be given to him as God’s gift upon genuine repentance and belief. It is needed to comprehend spiritual knowledge and character. In verse 9, same chapter, spiritual knowledge cannot enter the carnal mind through the eye, ear or five senses, but, in verse 1 0, God reveals spiritual knowledge by and through his Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the very impregnating Spirit of eternal life — GOD-life — self-containing, inherent life. This was offered to the first, created man and woman — Adam and Eve, in the incident of the tree of LIFE, and the forbidden tree of the “knowledge of good and evil.” When Adam rejected the tree of LIFE, and took to himself the acquisition of spiritual knowledge (good and evil), God CLOSED OFF THE TREE OF LIFE from mankind — WITHHELD THE GIFT OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT (Gen. 3:22-24)-until the second Adam, Jesus Christ, should Come and pay the penalty of human sin in man’s stead! So, starting with the human Adam, man built the man-made CIVILIZATION, swayed, influenced, impelled by the invisible Satan the devil! Beginning with Adam, equipped with acquirable materialistic knowledge ONLY — lacking knowledge for a right relationship with human neighbor or with God, man built his own system of teaching or educating his children. Thus as the system of education developed, it remained limited to materialistic knowledge. After trial and error man learned how to produce AWESOME progress in materialistic and mechanical fields. But he retrogressed in his ability to get along with fellow humans-and he had no close relationship with his Maker. Man simply was NOT developing the divine GOD-character within him! Man developed his own RELIGIONS, swayed by Satan, who appeared as an angel of light, but deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Man formed his own gods out of wood, stone, other materials. This world’s religions were developed. Man organized his own ideas of GOVERNMENT- to regulate the lives of his fellows. Yet man was impelled by self-centeredness, the spirit of “GET” — of vanity, covetousness, jealousy and envy, competition, strife, violence and W AR — of REBELLION against the way of God, or God’s way of life. God’s way is LOVE-the way of “GIVE” instead of “GET” — the way of cooperation, serving, sharing. And so human governments seek selfish advantage over other governments and end up in controversy, WAR and DESTRUCTION! Man built his own economic system — all contrary to God’s way. And the whole world’s economy is sick today. Half the world is illiterate, destitute, poverty stricken, living in filth and squalor-many starving to death. Man’s social system is based on “GET” — vanity, greed, self-interest and self-gain at the expense of fellowman. Into such a world came JESUS CHRIST, the only begotten son of GOD — actually God in human flesh, yet capable of death. Jesus said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.” WHY? MAN’S unhappy civilization of discontent, unhappiness, frustration, human suffering, started with the physical ADAM, influenced by Satan. The CHURCH is God’s instrument through which he is building the NEW civilization of the KINGDOM OF GOD — the WORLD TOMORROW — a world of humans changes through God’s power into GOD BEINGS! A world of dynamic happiness and PEACE! But how did Jesus START God’s Church? In a sense, he had started it long before, through the prophets of ancient Israel. They, with the apostles, became the very FOUNDATION of the Church, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). The writings of the prophets were already written and being preserved. But Jesus now called DISCIPLES. They were not apostles — ones “sent forth in power and authority.” A disciple is a student — a learner being taught. And Jesus called 12 of them. Actually he called 14 — but only 12 were to become official. The other two were alternates, to be chosen later if one of the official 12 dropped out. Jesus did not start the Church through these students. He taught them the doctrines of GOD’S world to come, so that they, upon “graduating” from his teaching after three and a half years, could, with the writings of the prophets, become the FOUNDATION upon which to build God’s Church. But the Church was not founded until Jesus had been crucified in payment of human sins, resurrected and ascended to God’s throne in heaven as head of the Church, and its High Priest. Christ has been serving in that capacity ever since. Adam had rejected eternal LIFE through God’s Spirit, through which God would reveal his SPIRITUAL WAY OF LIFE — the way of LOVE! And remember, God had CLOSED OFF human access to God’s Holy Spirit. The nations that developed on earth had no access to God’s Spirit or eternal salvation. Such nations as Egypt, Babylonia, Greece or ancient Israel had no access to “salvation” or eternal life — no access to comprehension of revealed SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE. Let me emphasize here, by repetition, humanity did not know — have the knowledge of — how to live with man or with God. Largely, man had lost knowledge of God. God revealed himself to ancient Israel — revealed to that nation HIS WAY OF LIFE — but, because that way was spiritual, it was never comprehended nor lived by Israel. Generations of humans came and died — “unsaved”! But, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this [by resurrection] the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Again, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all [the same “all”] be made alive [by a resurrection)” (I Cor. 15:22). In that judgment, humans shall be called to account for what they did —- all their sins. But they shall learn that Christ paid their penalty in their stead, and, on repentance, faith, receiving God’s Spirit at last, growing in grace and spiritual knowledge, they, then at last, may receive immortality in God’s Kingdom, just as called Christians may now. One of God’s prophets — a pre-founder of the Church — foretold, ” … it shall come to pass after ward, that I [God] will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28). But it was not in God’s master plan to pour out his Spirit upon ALL flesh at the founding of the Church. Jesus Christ was and is the ONL Y door through which we may be reconciled to GOD and receive eternal life through his Spirit (find salvation). But Jesus said plainly, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me &aw him” (John 6:44). No MAN CAN! Unless chosen and drawn by God through his Spirit, none can come to Jesus and receive God’s Holy Spirit. God’s Church started on the day of Pentecost with only the 12 APOSTLES and about 108 other believers — although another 3,000 were baptized the same day. But WHY start the Church so small? Remember this principle: Whatever God does in his own supreme supernatural power he does in a stupendous way: But whatever God does through humans always starts the very smallest and grows. Jesus trained 12 — taught them as students — so that they could teach the larger number in the Church GOO’S WAY OF LIFE. Likewise God’s Kingdom — to become’ tremendously big — started and today IS small. WHY? Just as Jesus called 12 students to be taught, so that they could teach the Church, so the Church — the TRUE Church of God — has remained comparatively small, because they are called as DISCIPLES or STUDENTS, to LEARN God’s way of life, so that the Church, to become God’s KINGDOM, shall be able to teach multiple thousands of millions in the coming millennium and final judgment. The Church is the affianced Bride of Christ, to be changed to God beings and married to him at his Second Coming. Jesus spoke of it as the grain of mustard seed, starting the smallest, becoming the greatest. The world today is SATAN’S world. The WORLD TOMORROW — the Kingdom of God — shall ultimately become much larger than Satan’s world. The smaller number of the Church are all DISCIPLES — students — learners, GROWING in grace and spiritual KNOWLEDGE (II Pet. 3: 18), being now educated spiritually and trained in spiritual LIVING to teach and rule over the WHOLE WORLD after Christ’s coming! To the Church, Christ himself says: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21). And, “he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron . . . .” (Rev. 2:26-27). We shall be kings and also priests, and shall reign ON THE EARTH (Rev. 5:10). This world —- civilization — started actually by Satan through Adam. God’s Kingdom (his divine FAMILY) was started by CHRIST, through the Church. As Adam and his children were the material Satan used to build this world, so the Church is the spiritually begotten material CHRIST is using to build (create) the KINGDOM OF GOD-the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW! What is the Church? The Church is simply that spiritual ORGANISM of those CALLED OUT of Satan’s world — out of Satan’s WAY OF LIFE, into GOO’S WAY OF LIFE! “Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM [of this world and its ways], and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (II Cor. 6:17). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . ” (Rom. 12:2). “GROW in grace, and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3: 18). Yes, 55 years ago I searched for the ONE TRUE CHURCH. It did still exist, but had lost much of the original TRUTH taught by the original apostles. They learned the TRUTH from Christ and the writings of the prophets. Jesus IN PERSON was the personal Word of God. The Bible is the SAME Word of God in writing. God taught me through that Word of God — the writings of the apostles and the prophets. Because I GAVE myself to him in complete surrender to his will, he used me to build back up that one TRUE CHURCH!]]>

The Beautiful Analogy of Human Reproduction

The Beautiful Analogy of Human Reproduction written by Herbert W. Armstrong

[Original Publication]

Some of the teachings in the Bible are a little hard for the average thinking mind to understand. James tells us to count it all joy when trials, ordeals, reverses beset us. Troubles a joy? That’s pretty hard to accept, isn’t it? And, for the average person, a lot harder to put into practice. Few find any pleasure, let alone joy, in the obstacles and troubles they encounter. Yet this biblical teaching says we ought so to count them. There is a reason, although few understand it.  

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Is Christ Starting a Second Church? Read This to find out!

IS CHRIST STARTING A SECOND CHURCH? by Herbert W. Armstrong page 1 Good News December 4, 1978 HOW MANY CHURCHES does God have at one and the same time? The dissidents following A MAN, Garner Ted Armstrong, are now speaking out of both sides of their mouths. They KNOW that God condemns leaving God’s Church and following a MAN. So, in an effort to take members away from God’s Church, actually THREE false claims are being spread. 1) They are spreading the LIE that Garner Ted Armstrong is only doing the same thing his father did – FALSELY claiming I left the “Sardis” church to pull away their members and so start a church of my own. The long article recently appearing, on “How the Worldwide Church of God Came into Being” [GN, Nov. 6], ought to NAIL THAT LIE! a) I did not leave them, for I have never been a member of them; b) I continued working alternately with their two main divisions – Stanberry, Mo., and Salem, W.Va. I was still working with them in 1945, 12 years after the present “Philadelphia” era came into being, 1933. Note that in this he concedes the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were consecutive eras, as well as seven continuous conditions in the one Church. 2) Again they admit the successive eras depicted in Revelation 2 and 3, claiming that my son is now starting the “Laodicean” era of the Church. But God does not start His Church or any era of it by one disfellowshipped for causing division, sowing the seeds of discord among brethren, and then attacking God’s Church and trying to draw away its members after him, on pretext of being a CHURCH – when those few are only following A MAN. It is NOT a Church! It has no apostle, evangelist-pastor-elder organization. It is NOT proclaiming Christ’s Gospel into all the world for a witness unto all nations! It is a MAN, with one or two working with him, merely seeking to take away members of God’s true Church. 3) Then they speak out of the other side of their mouths, I am grieved to say. This time, they say Revelation 2 and 3 do NOT portray seven SUCCESSIVE stages or eras of the one true Church. Apparently they try to explain, or twist its true meaning, by saying seven is God’s number of completeness – therefore there are now MANY churches, as Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, etc. – all of which COMBINED constitute the BODY OF CHRIST. Anyone who believes that had, perhaps, better get into one of them, or follow a man who has incorporated himself to be a church. But a legal corporation does not make it GOD’S CHURCH! It might be interesting, at this point, to explain the TOTAL DIFFERENCE between what Garner Ted is now doing and what his father did in 1930. He has incorporated under civil law, under a church name as a starter. This was done to try to draw away members from the true Church to follow him. The Oregon Conference But what his father did was totally different. In Oregon a number of members of the Church of God, Seventh-Day, headquartered at Stanberry, Mo., pulled out and incorporated themselves separately as the Oregon Conference of the Church of God. They became a SEPARATE CHURCH, operating with their own tithes, directing and paying salary to their own ministers. They were ORGANIZED. They did not understand God’s form of organization – they had no apostle, but they did employ evangelists – as Robert L. Taylor, Roy Daily and myself – and later, Sven Oberg and A.J. Ray. Their form of organization was a board of trustees, with a president, vice president and secretary-treasurer. The board was in authority – not the ministers. Shortly after the Oregon Conference separately incorporated, a division occurred in the Stanberry church, and approximately half of their members followed Andrew N. Dugger into a new church based at Salem, W.Va., and named, simply, “Church of God.” In August of 1933, I renounced the salary from the Oregon Conference, but did not leave their fellowship. In fact, later that August a new church was established at Jeans schoolhouse, 12 miles west of Eugene – all but one family my own new converts, and that family not attached to either Sardis group. BUT, more – most of the Oregon Conference members began coming to Eugene to fellowship with the new Radio Church of God (now the Worldwide Church of God), and I continued, as a voluntary service, to preach Sabbath afternoons at the schoolhouse near Jefferson where they met. I never sought to pull away any of their members. They were enamored with the new Salem-based church, and a little later – (not now sure of the date) probably 1934, while the Radio Church of God was on the air and The Plain Truth being published – they abandoned their Oregon Conference and went in with Salem. Parent Church grows At, and just west of Eugene, the parent church of the Worldwide Church of God was very much alive and growing. I was leading elder, and I had appointed and ordained an assistant pastor and a deacon. We counseled seriously on the matter and decided, in early or mid-1934, not to go in with the Salem people – and we had never gone in with Stanberry. However, a little later I agreed to cooperate and work with the Salem ministers. And under this arrangement I continued as pastor of the members who formerly were the Oregon, Conference, but now were joined with Salem. BUT NEITHER I NOR ANY OF THE EUGENE MEMBERS ever joined the Salem Church – or Stanberry. I received no salary or compensation of any kind from them. On my part it was a VOLUNTARY GIVING of time and effort and cooperation, with no remuneration of any kind. Later – it was either 1945 or 1947 – probably the latter – the former Oregon Conference members had a division. I had ordained two elders and two deacons in their local church near Jefferson, which I pastored. Half of them, including one elder, a Mr. Davidson, and Mr. Henion, refused to meet with them further, though I urged them to remain with the Salem people. Meanwhile, about half of all the brethren in the Willamette Valley had remained with Stanberry. They asked me urgently to unite then with the half of the Salem people who had refused to remain with the Dugger group. For a while I refused. But it left only a small membership still with the Dugger division, and I finally agreed to organize them and serve as their pastor – although the Stanberry brethren kept their membership and sent tithes to Stanberry, while the Henion family and others, including the Coles, counted their membership with the parent church of the Worldwide Church of God – and Mr. C. Wayne Cole is still with us in the very important capacity of director of ministerial services. I continued to pastor the Stanberry-based group in the Willamette Valley until probably in 1942, when I spent some months in Hollywood starting the DAILY radio broadcasting and speaking Sunday afternoons to a packed house at the Biltmore theater. I had GIVEN them my time and services freely, at my own and Eugene church expense. I sought none of their members and none came with us – though as brethren we still had love one for the other. Incorporation becomes necessary And I did not start out by incorporating myself pretending to be a church. We, in the growing Church of God – then Eugene-based – finally had grown to a size where incorporation became a necessity. IN NO WAY is Garner Ted doing as his father did, and any claim that he is, is a point-blank lie resorted to, to DECEIVE God’s people and present the REPREHENSIBLE things Garner Ted is now doing in a good light. It is Satan who tries to make us believe that wrong is right. But now what about the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3? I have always said, and still affirm, that these seven messages to the seven churches are picturing in advance the seven CONDITIONS to be found in the ONE CONTINUING TRUE CHURCH – but with the Ephesian condition dominant during the first era or years of time, the Smyrna condition becoming dominant in the next period of time, and so on with the Laodicean condition outstanding in the same true Church at about the time of the great tribulation and climaxing with Christ’s second coming. To expound that fully requires more space than I have here. It will be covered later. But the crux of the whole matter is simply THIS: Where, in all this effort at persuading God’s people to follow Garner Ted Armstrong, a man DISFELLOWSHIPPED, who did, and is continuing now from without, to sow the seeds of discord among brethren – in all their arguments, WHERE IS GOD? WHERE IS JESUS CHRIST, living HEAD of the Church? One thing I can say definitely and with authority, God and our Head, JESUS CHRIST, have NOT left God’s one and only TRUE CHURCH. These dissidents are LOOKING AT MEN! They are leaving GOD out of their thinking. For 44 YEARS the living JESUS CHRIST HAS BEEN HEADING, LEADING, GUIDING AND BLESSING GOD’S ONE AND ONLY TRUE CHURCH! HE has not forsaken it. HE is not in ANY effort to pull members out from GOD’s Church, where CHRIST is working. HE is NOT following Garner Ted Armstrong, who resorted to a conspiracy to water down God’s TRUTH – to SECULARIZE God’s Church and college – to literally PUT GOD AND CHRIST OUT OF THE COLLEGE AND CHURCH! HE is not! Will You? Some were leaving Jesus when here in the human flesh (John 6:66), “… many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Would you have been one of them?]]>

OPINION: Attending a "Church of God" group? There is a danger, WATCH OUT!

Revelation 3:14-22 “(14) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

(15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

(16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

(17) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

(18) I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

(19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

(20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

(21) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

(22) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 11:3-4

(3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 

(4) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Revelation 1:20

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” TWO WITNESSES OVER TWO CANDLESTICKS- TWO CHURCH ERAS ONE: Philadelphia TWO: Laodicea Zechariah 4:1 “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,”You and I are committed, as Co-Workers together with the living Christ, to the greatest and most important activity on earth today! This Work of God was originally started by ONE man — Jesus Christ. But on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, the same Holy Spirit that had carried on God’s Work through his individual body entered into and empowered his apostles, and the entire COLLECTIVE BODY, which on and from that day constituted God’s Church. The Church of God, of which Jesus Christ was, and is, the living HEAD, was commissioned to carry on the Work of God in an organized manner — starting out with the TWELVE apostles. What is the Work of God? First of all, it is the great commission — to proclaim the MESSAGE Christ brought for mankind from heaven and taught his disciples. Secondly, to minister to, and feed with the spiritual food of God’s Word, those whom GOD converts and adds to his Church. But, after proclaiming that gospel MESSAGE to the world of that day — after the Church had grown and multiplied in number and power, the headquarters Church at Jerusalem fled in the face of advancing Roman armies shortly before A.D. 70, became scattered, and under persecution — and because of discouragement because Christ had not yet returned in power and glory — the Church WENT TO SLEEP ON THE JOB of proclaiming Christ’s true gospel message! Satan then filled the world with his COUNTERFEIT “gospel.” The world accepted it as the genuine. You’ll read, in the parable of the l0 virgins, Matthew 25, how, while Christ tarried in heaven and did not return to earth as soon as they expected, THEY ALL SLUMBERED AND SLEPT on the job of carrying on God’s Work. But now the “midnight hour” spoken of in this parable has struck. Christ’s return is drawing near. He has raised up YOU, and all our Co-Worker family, to give to the world the cry, “The Bridegroom is COMING.” The KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand. The WORLD TOMORROW is about to dawn!” Quote from Herbert W. Armstrong, Co-worker and Brethren Letter October 25, 1985   Zechariah 4:1 “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,” AFTER the period of time where the Church SLUMBERED AND SLEPT. Zechariah 4:2-5(2) And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

(3) And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

(4) So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?

(5) Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

THIS IS SPEAKING OF ONE CANDLESTICK. Or Church Era, that will appear at the end of the period where the Church SLUMBERED AND SLEPT, or the Philadelphia Era! Now of this one Candlestick, or Philadelphia Era, there are TWO INDIVIDUALS standing beside the Candlestick, feeding the Candlestick the golden oil, fueling the lamps. Zechariah 4:11-14(11) Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

(12) And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

(13) And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

(14) Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

TWO ANOINTED ONES, who FEED ONE CANDLESTICK, or the PHILADELPHIA ERA of the Church of God. When Zechariah the prophet of God asked the angel of God what this vision meant, this vision of one candlestick with the Two Anointed Ones feeding it, the angel replied: “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”(Zechariah 4:6-10) So the Two Anointed Ones are in the office of ZERUBABBEL. They are building up the SPIRITUAL TEMPLE OF CHRIST, the Church of God, that candlestick you see being fed by these two men of God. What Church is the Philadelphia Era? UP TO THIS point I have covered events preparatory to the actual beginning of this “Philadelphia era” of God’s Church, The WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD.”- Herbert W. Armstrong, Article: The History of the Beginning and Growth of the Worldwide Church of God, Published in The Good News Magazine September 1980 The Worldwide Church of God, God’s Church today, THIS PHILADELPHIA ERA is the CANDLESTICK spoken about in Zechariah 4. Now let’s study a little more on these “TWO ANOINTED ONES”. They are pictured FEEDING THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD. John 17:4-8(4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

(5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

(6) I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

(7) Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

(8) For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

John 17:17-21(17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

(18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

(19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

(20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

(21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

John 6:63It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” God the Father gave to His Son Jesus Christ, His Word. Jesus Christ passed the Father’s Word unto His apostles, and sent them out into the world to preach that Word. The apostles faithfully preached that Word, and the Church was raised up by and through the Holy Spirit of God. It was the apostles who “fed the Church, the golden oil, representing the Holy Spirit.” Pictured in Zechariah can only be speaking of TWO APOSTLES of the Worldwide Church of God. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was used by Christ to RAISE UP the Philadelphia ERA of God’s Church, or the Worldwide Church of God, the spiritual TEMPLE Jesus Christ will return to and MARRY! He fulfilled the role of the FIRST ANOINTED ONE. The role of the Second Anointed One will be fulfilled by another APOSTLE. Now who can this apostle be? He is none other than the FIRST WITNESS of Revelation 11. The Two Witnesses are over two candlesticks. Philadelphia and Laodicea are the last Church eras mentioned in the book of Revelation. So, the first witness must be over Philadelphia, and therefore is this SECOND ANOINTED ONE of Zechariah 4. Now, the Philadelphia Church is promised PROTECTION, and is taken to a place of Safety, to be protected during the Great Tribulation.(Revelation 3:10; Revelation 12:14) There they are fed and nourished. Who is feeding this Church, during the great tribulation? Christ is feeding them through the MAIN WITNESS! Pictured in Zechariah 4! Now back to the message unto the Laodiceans in Revelation 3. Christ is knocking on the individual’s door, calling upon them to open the door and eat with Him. This cry unto them comes from OUTSIDE. Since the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, we have seen various of different Churches rise up, calling themselves the Church of God. This happened in the first century. The Catholic Church rose to the top of numerous splinter groups, and became the dominant Church joined with Rome, persecuting the small, scattered yet true, true Church of God. The Catholic Church first called themselves “the Catholic, or Universal Church of God”. They wanted to be established above the true Church of God, who had been preaching the gospel worldwide at that time. So they called themselves “universal”, wanting to set themselves up over all others. This indicates that perhaps the true Church regarded themselves in the first century as the “Worldwide Church of God”. Is it also interesting, that while Christ raised up Herbert W. Armstrong to restore all things(Matt 17:11) as the end time Elijah, that the name of the Church was ALSO RESTORED! Now, in Malachi 3:15, it reads: “And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” Now every one of these COG Groups do not teach wholly the teachings restored and taught through Herbert W. Armstrong. They pick and choose what they want to believe. Throw some teachings away, water down others, or begin teaching a new doctrine to replace the older established doctrines of Christ. These “churches” calling themselves the Church of God, are those who were “set up” to do a work of wickedness. Much like how Simon Magus “set up” his counterfeit church against the true Church in the first century. GTA mirrored him in the 20th century, after being disfellowshipped from the Worldwide Church of God, in going out to form a “corporation”, joining with Caesar and calling his corporation a Church of God. He created his counterfeit Church. So under these counterfeit Churches, not the true Church, the membership are NOT being fed spiritually by Christ! Since these are “counterfeit churches”, they have “Some truth”. Just as a branch that is broken off from the tree retains “some nutrients” from the mother tree. Since it is broken off, it no longer receives further nutrients from the Mother tree, it withers and dies. The Laodicean brethren feel they must show “love” to those who were aborted from the Church. They are lured into , and they attend with these false groups. Jesus Christ is calling unto them to REPENT, and come out of Babylon’s churches, to become PHILADELPHIAN! This is the Philadelphian Era of the Church. This message is specifically to the “angel of the church of the laodiceans”, the leader over the laodicean CANDLESTICK, or the second witness. Compare with Joshua the High Priest of Zechariah and Haggai. They have a church of their own now. In the OUTER COURT. They are doing their own works, producing fruits today. Because they call themselves the Church of God, yet deny Christ’s leadership over them(Through the apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong) which causes them NOT TO BE FED SPIRITUALLY, they are “Spewed out” into Great Tribulation. They aren’t completely Philadelphian(Hot) nor are they completely like this world(cold). Because of this Laodicean condition, they are SPEWED OUT, and not protected during the Great Tribulation. Their ERA, begins and rises through and out of the Great Tribulation. Those who REPENT, begin to obey God, produce proper works, and fruits, and therefore their era is an era of God’s true Church! The second witness will lead their repentance, and they will begin working the Work of God. The Philadelphia Era will be protected, at this time, in a place of safety, under the MAIN WITNESS. Those today, who have the laodicean condition, are congregating in false churches, trying to perform A WORK. A different work. But not performing their part in the work of God, as Philadelphians. Have you ever wondered WHY, these false churches are teaching that it is the “Laodicean Era”? They believe that the Philadelphia Era died with Mr. Armstrong, and that since they are in a new era, they have to find NEW LEADERSHIP! That is why these false churches teach this. To satisfy “Itching ears who want to heap upon themselves teachers”. Therefore they join these false churches who have been “set up”(Malachi 3:15) to deceive them! But God’s Word says we are STILL IN THE PHILADELPHIA ERA. And the one true Church, that same candlestick fed by Mr. Armstrong, is STILL the Worldwide Church of God! We are still commissioned to BACK And SUPPORT Christ’s apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong! Garner Ted Armstrong started the teaching his new false church of being in the Laodicean Era. That should help you figure out where this new false doctrine came from. It came from Satan the Devil, not from Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is calling upon our brethren in Revelation 3, who are falling into the laodicean condition, to REPENT and be grafted back with the Philadelphians, and allow Christ to feed them through His Two Anointed Ones! The Main Witness begins his commission at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The Second Witness, will join him giving testimony. Therefore they two witness are pictured as the Two Candlesticks in Revelation 11. Today, God’s people who are being drawn into these false churches, calling themselves the “church of God”(Rev. 3:9), are being called upon to REPENT, and COME OUT OF HER, or be spewed into Great Tribulation by Christ Himself. The only true Church is the same Church that Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was a member of and an apostle of. The Worldwide Church of God. That is the only candlestick ordained by God. IT is a SPIRITUAL organism, unincorporated. Under Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, the Church used a “Legal corporation” to gather money, property together to be used by Mr. Armstrong and his team in the Great Work of GOD! To preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the world as a witness to all nations! That job of preaching WAS FINISHED! Only the apostle was commissioned to do the preaching! We, the Worldwide Church of God, ARE TO BACK AND SUPPORT THE APOSTLE OF CHRIST! That is our commission. Today, we are “holding fast”, waiting for God’s next TRUE apostle. WE are still backing and supporting God’s apostle Herbert W. Armstrong! So after the death of Mr. Armstrong, God allowed “Men” to take over the “legal corporation”. The prized properties of the Worldwide Church of God was sold off and used to fund “these churches” who were “planted” by the new leadership. But even though “men” took over the “Legal corporation”, they did not take over the true Church! The candlestick still exists!! THANK GOD!!! Jeremiah 24 pictures two baskets of figs. One basket is filled with good figs, the other is filled with evil figs. God preserves the basket of good figs, and he sends them into Babylon “for their good”. Much like how Zerubbabel and his band of Jews were sent into Babylon as captives, and were later CALLED OUT OF BABYLON. They were sent there “for their good”. Today, God’s people have been sent into these COG Groups “for their good”, but the time is coming for God’s people to COME OUT OF HER. Those who refuse to obey God, will stay in these groups, caught up like chaff in a sifting chamber, bundled to be burned by fire. Those who repent, even during the Great Tribulation, will have gained gold tried in the fire, and will escape the lake of fire. Much like a “brand plucked from the fire”, as Joshua pictures as being in Zechariah. Those who suffer the Great Tribulation are joined with a Zedekiah figure. King Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon, who set him up, and he rebelled against God. These false churches, are joined with the “government” just as a“corporation”is joined to the State, then to the Federal Government through corporate law. Zedekiah suffered the wrath of Babylon, when Babylon struck ancient Judah! Just like the Laodiceans will suffer the wrath of Satan through the United States of Europe in the coming world war! Today, the membership of the Worldwide Church of God are meeting together in their homes. Since there is no apostle today, we do not have a need for a “legal corporation” to be formed to handle large sums of money. The Matthew 24:14 Great Commission has already been FULFILLED! The governments of men require a “Corporation” to be formed in order to handle large sums of money, property etc. That is the only reason why the Church had incorporated under Mr. Armstrong. Today, those incorporating are false churches, and false works, trying to deceive God’s people into turning away from their Philadelphia commission! Instead of holding fast and staying loyal to Christ and His apostle, they are joining another church, in support of MEN not led by Christ! Mr. Armstrong was used by Christ to lead the Church OUT OF BABYLON. These churches insist that you must join them IN BABYLON, in order to continue with Christ. This is the deception. The Worldwide Church of God still exists. It lives with the membership still scattered worldwide. It is unincorporated, and is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM. Today, false churches are trying to preach a gospel, trying to take on the job of the apostle and of God’s Church. They want God’s people to join them, and support them with God’s tithes. Some, in a laodicean condition are doing just that! They are producing works and fruits before the tribulation, and Christ rejects it all! AND THEY NEED TO REPENT OF IT! They need to STOP, turn around, and OBEY CHRIST WHOLLY! Our brethren need your prayers! Christ, through His apostle, and His Church are WARNING our laodicean brethren, and admonishing them to REPENT, in order to escape the coming Great Tribulation. And the reason why Christ is knocking on the doors of individuals who have the laodicean condition, is to have them realize that HE, CHRIST, IS NOT WITH THEM, and they are dying spiritually not being fed by Him! Jesus Christ in Zechariah 4 feeds the Philadelphia Church, The Worldwide Church of God, through His TWO ANOINTED ONES, or TWO APOSTLES. Mr. Armstrong and the soon to arise Main Witness. WE NEED TO GET BACK ON TRACK, AND FULFILL OUR JOB AS THE CHURCH! And we need to REALIZE that even though we enjoy or like the fellowship or the good times in these COG Groups, or if we enjoy our responsibilities in these groups, we must REPENT and COME OUT OF THEM, touching no unclean thing, in order to serve God and be the PILLARS we were called to be, MEMBERS OF THE TRUE AND ONLY CHURCH- THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD!]]>

Are We REALLY Listening Brethren?

Worldwide News, 19th Feb 1979 page 1

And Now Christ Sets Church Back On Track Doctrinally

By Herbert W Armstrong

Until about 1969 we in God’s Church did all “speak the same things”. By 1978 many of the ministers were speaking different things! God had withdrawn from us His blessing and power that for 35 YEARS caused the Work of His Church to grow at the approximate rate of 30 percent every years of the preceding year!


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OPINION: Trouble mostly from those EMPLOYED by Church

  “I have found that nearly all the TROUBLES among our membership have come from those employed–those GETTING their salaries from God’s Church. We have had little trouble and very few problems with lay brethren who GIVE offerings and PAY tithes to God’s Church. ” Quote from Herbert W. Armstrong in December 27, 1979 Pastor General’s Report   Think ON THIS! Are you trying to GET a salary? Are you looking into different churches, simply for a SALARY? God’s Church has experienced problems like this before. If you are focusing on your PAYCHECK, and on what you can GET, you must realize that THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE WAY OF GOD! Repent, immediately!]]>