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CONCLUDING REMARKS

This website began with a listing of things that don't add up in the teachings of the Church of God.

 

I have been a (WCG, PCG, UCG) Church member for some 35 years, but only in recent times have I come to the painful realisation of just how widely the Laodicean Church era message applies.

Our Creator is a magnificent God who has made man with the ultimate purpose of being born into His Family. He is testing His people on their willingness and faithfulness to be part of this amazing endeavour.

However, this final time of testing, the Laodicean Church era, is in far worse shape than has been portrayed by its leaders to its adherents. The reason for this is that these same leaders have been, and continue to be, central to the problem. If we don't wake up now and open the door to Jesus Christ (Rev 3:20), who speaks to us through the pages of the Bible, I fear that our eternal lives are in the balance.


Many members of the Church of God in this end time believe that Herbert W Armstrong was "the end time Elijah" and that he "restored all things" including "the government of God" to the Church. This website, however, shows that John the Baptist fulfilled the role of the prophesied Elijah and that Herbert Armstrong was in significant ways the opposite of John the Baptist.

This website also shows that the teachings of HWA can be largely traced back to the times prior to him, including the keeping of the Law and the Holy Days (G. G. Rupert) as well as the British Israel theory (J H Allen and many others). Allen's book "Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright" served as the template for "The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy", the latter copying much of the former's content, including phrases, examples, headings, story flow and chapter arrangement.

For Herbert Armstrong to have claimed that most Biblical truth was "lost for 1900 years" until his time, was not "the plain truth"; rather it was plain dishonest.

When the Church of God Seventh Day attempted to restore Scriptural government to the Church in the early 1930's, Herbert Armstrong was all in favour of it. He participated in a ballot, where names were drawn from a box, after petitioning God, to fill the positions of a group of twelve leading ministers based on the office of the twelve apostles, and a group of seventy subordinate ministers, as well as a group of seven deacons, as per Acts 6. As it turned out HWA was chosen as one of the seventy (Dugger and Dodd, "History of the True Religion", Chapter 22).

As time passed however, HWA became unhappy with his lot and made the decision to start up his own ministry, claiming that he himself was the only 20th century apostle. This form of Church government was not the New Covenant "government of God", as he claimed, but instead was based on the Papal model, also known as "the image of the Beast". Herbert Armstrong later went on to create for himself the office of Pastor-General. Through this whole process HWA introduced into the Church of God the office of "the man of sin", i.e. one man Church government, when in fact the One over the Church is Jesus Christ.

Herbert Armstrong did not restore the government of God; rather he committed a coup d'etat against the government of God.

When the majority of brethren in the Laodicean Church era adopted "one man government", Jesus Christ was effectively shut out of His Church. The Seventh Day Adventists had gone down this same road long before HWA did, which fits well with their belief that the Laodicean era began in the middle of the 19th century.

This entire unfolding of events was permitted by God (I Cor 11:19) in order to test the loyalty of His Church.

So where does this leave us? What should we do?

1) We need to put loyalty to God ahead of loyalty to human beings. Putting a man, or the teachings of men, ahead of God breaks the first Commandment.

Most of us will claim that we already do this, not realising that many of our cherished beliefs and interpretations originated from the imaginations of men. Until we accept that the Laodicean Church era message in Revelation 3 describes all of the Sabbath keeping Churches of God collectively, we will not take to heart the strong rebuke God is giving us in this passage when He tells us that we are "wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked" (Rev 3:17 RSV).

2) We need to put reading and studying the Scriptures before all other reading and studying.

Through God's writings we grow closer to God; through the writings of men we grow closer to men.

In this era we have ready access to God's Word, so why does it not have the final say on all issues in the Church of God? We often hear comments like "God's Word is silent on this matter" etc, but it's amazing what you can see if you study the Bible and ask God to help you understand its meaning. Christ says in the Laodicean era message "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 dine with him, and he with Me". Unfortunately however, His people have shut Him out, preferring the company, the reading material and the doctrines of men.

3) We need to stop blatantly transgressing God's Sabbath, the fourth Commandment.

Sabbath breaking has been "the mark of the beast" all throughout man's time on Earth. This has been a test from God for all of His firstfruits (Rev 20:4). The only reason Church members today have no problem eating out in restaurants, and conducting other business on the Sabbath, is because of Herbert Armstrong's lukewarmness on this subject. The Word of God instructs us very differently (Neh 10:28-31, 13:15-22).

4) We need to practise baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, instead of "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit".

The Church has been greatly deceived in regard to this highly symbolic ceremony. Baptism is our entry point into the Church of God and our begettal into the Family of God. It is our acceptance of the New Covenant, and the starting point of our life of overcoming sin, as we acknowledge that the death of Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our transgressions of God's Law.

This is not a matter of whether or not baptisms performed in the past in the Church of God were valid; I believe they were, or brethren wouldn't have God's spirit. The fact that we love God, His Word and His law and attempt to keep His law to the best of our ability, is proof that we have God's spirit (Rom 8:9).

 

Rather, it is a matter of principle, a matter of obedience, to baptise "in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38) or "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16 and 19:5), just like the early Church did, and it makes perfect sense since Christ is the One who died for our sins.

The hocus-pocus, trinitarian baptismal formula of Roman Catholic origin, inserted into Mt 28, is of Satan the Devil. It was added to the Scriptures around the time of the Council of Nicea, and should be rejected. See the page "BAPTISM INTO THE TRINITY" for more on this.

5) We need to re-evaluate our prophetic interpretations.

The method of prophetic interpretation known as Futurism, largely applied by the Churches of God since the time of Herbert Armstrong, is of Roman Catholic origin. It has left the final Church era "blind" to the fact that many major prophecies have already been fulfilled. The First and Second World Wars, the killing of six million Jews in the Holocaust, the re-establishment of the State of Israel three years after the end of WW2, the Suez Crisis and its aftermath, the Six Day War, the demise of traditional Christianity, and the flood of non-Christian migrants into the formerly Christian nations all fulfil Biblical prophecies.

The Churches of God should be widely proclaiming all these things as proof of the validity of Scripture and the existence of an all powerful God.

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