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 (in Sydney, Australia), but only in recent years have I come to the painful realisation of just how widely the Laodicean era Church message applies.
Our Creator is a magnificent God who has made man with the ultimate purpose of being born into His Family. He has also set up the processes by which He is testing the people He has called on their ability and willingness to be part of this amazing plan.
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, a big part of the problem. If we don't wake up now and open the door to God the Father and Jesus Christ, 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", that he "restored all things" and that he "restored 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, 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 for it. He allowed his name to be placed in a box from which names were drawn, after petitioning God, to fill the positions of a leading group of twelve ministers, as well as a group of seventy ministers. He was chosen as one of the seventy (Dugger and Dodd, "History of the True Religion", Chapter 22). As time passed, HWA obviously wasn't happy with his lot and instead went his own way and made himself an apostle, and not just that, supposedly the only apostle. This government was not the New Covenant model, not the "government of God", but rather the Papal model, also known as the "Image of the Beast". Herbert Armstrong, by creating the office of Pastor-General, introduced into the Church of God the office of "the man of sin", which is 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 shut out of His Church, leaving Him standing outside, knocking on the door (Rev 3:20). The Seventh Day Adventists had gone down this same road long before HWA, 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) to test His Church and its loyalty to Him.
So where does this leave us? What should we do?
1) We need to put God first rather than a human being, which breaks the first Commandment.
Most of us will say that we do this. I did too, until some years ago when I realised how deceived I was, and how perfectly the Laodicean Church era message in Revelation 3 described my beliefs and the COG I attended.
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.
Seeing we have His word, why don't we use it? Why is God's word not the final word on all issues in the Church of God? I am tired of comments like "God's word is silent on this matter" etc. Just because we don't see something doesn't mean it's not there. It's amazing what you can see if you study the Bible and ask God to show you its meaning. These statements just confirm that we are blind because of our distance from God and our desire to do our own thing. Christ stands outside knocking on our individual doors, but we have shut Him out, preferring the company, the reading material and the doctrines of men. In this end time, in many of the branches of the Church, the governmental structure is upside down, meaning that a human comes first and Christ comes last. Therefore the Church is an upside down family. Something we see becoming more and more common in the world is actually a mirror of what we are ourselves.
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 even 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 10:31, 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".
We hereby acknowledge to our Creator that we have been 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, the starting point of our spiritual life, as we acknowledge that the death of Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for our transgressions of God's Law. It's not a matter of whether or not our baptisms were valid; I believe they were, or we 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 in the early Church, as shown in the Scriptures.
It's not about the formula; it's about the name: the name of the One who died for our sins.
The hocus-pocus, abracadabra, trinitarian baptismal formula of Catholic usage, 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 largely applied by the Churches of God since the time of Herbert Armstrong, known as futurism, is of Roman Catholic origin. It has left the final Church era "blind" and unable to see that many major prophecies have already been fulfilled. The Second World War, 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 have all fulfilled major prophecies.
These are things the Churches of God should be widely proclaiming as proof of the validity of Scripture and the existence of an all powerful God.
6) What we need is to be one Church of God, united by the spirit of Christ, under twelve elders here on earth, but, whenever in doubt or wherever obvious error is taught (I Cor 11:19), like doing business on the Sabbath, only following and obeying the One who is the Head of those twelve and the Head of us all. In other words, we need to be a spiritual wife who obeys her Husband, Jesus Christ.
A number of different Churches of God do indeed have such a government of twelve elders.