World Church of God again?
When Herbert W. Armstrong died, Dr. Herman Hoeh declared that the seventh candlestick had been lit. That means Laodicea officially started right away.
Almost four years later, Malachi’s message to the Church of God today the alarm began to sound: something was not kosher in the Church of God! He exposed a corrupt ministerial attempt to destroy the foundational doctrines of the Worldwide Church of God, and urged the brethren to hold fast to what God had given us through His end-time Elijah. He encouraged us to control ourselves while others lost it (Revelation 3:11).
Those who were of God heard what the Spirit said to the churches through Malachi’s message. Those who were not of God quickly lost it (God’s truth) and slipped deeper and deeper into darkness. That darkness disguised itself as a “new light of understanding” (2 Corinthians 11:14). The true members of the Church of God responded to his call and came out of that decadent organization. Those left behind became the SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN.
They were no longer the Church of God! You cannot reject God’s truth for demonic doctrines without becoming part of “Mystery Babylon” (1 Corinthians 10:21; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). All of this has been quite revealing (I Corinthians 11:19).
knowing the truth
God knows the end from the beginning (Acts 15:18). He prophesied a great apostasy that would leave few standing. THE GREAT ONE has pounded and shaken the Church of God to the core! But is it not possible to know the truth without knowing the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7).
God is calling us to deeper love and conversion (I John 3:18). Is not God’s truth a means to an end? Wasn’t Herbert W. Armstrong afraid that some just “DON’T GET IT”? That too many just converted to our doctrines? The doctrines are meant to help us get closer to God by having a better understanding of His Will, but only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will save us! We need the teachings of Christ, but we need God the Father and Jesus Christ even more! Only they can establish us and secure our salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17). You can have all the understanding in the world and still fall short (I Corinthians 13:2).
Do you remember Solomon? Just because you know the truth of God, doesn’t mean you know him! (Job 42:5; I John 2:4) You will not be judged by how much you know, but by HOW MUCH YOU GROW! For how much he applies what he knows, becoming more like Christ, more godly, more representative of the Kingdom of God, here and now (James 1:22; John 13:35). A system cannot save you and ritual is no substitute for a relationship! (2 Timothy 3:5).
Malachi’s message still applies!
While the Worldwide Church of God was physically rich, are we not in danger of feeling spiritually rich and self-indulgent (Amos 6:1)? Ancient Israel had God’s holy days; did not eat pork, etc. But that didn’t stop them from going into captivity! (Amos 5:21). It was not enough! Everybody doesn’t feel enough, they feel so impoverished that they go to Babylon for help! It is we who feel safe and protected! Who said we can let our guard down? We are commanded to STAY ON HIGH ALERT until Christ comes! (Luke 21:34) However, some do not continue to apply Malachi’s Message (Romans 2:17-21). God’s refining process is not over! (Daniel 12:10; Isaiah 48:10).
Let us make sure that the Philadelphia Church of God (Judah) does not go the way of the Worldwide Church of God (Israel)! These biblical principles still apply: do not unduly trust men; work out your own salvation, it is not a group matter; beware of the academic approach that requires you to trust in men, not in the Spirit of God or in personal study of the Bible. And may God help us to look beyond Petra (important though it is), to focus on his Kingdom (Luke 21:36; Isaiah 33:17). Surviving the Holocaust is one thing, entering the Kingdom of God is everything! (2 Peter 1:10-11).
Beware of emperor worship!
What is the greatest false doctrine that has come out of Babylon? The nefarious idea of a DIVINE EMPEROR! Nimrod had put himself in God’s place! He had people who depended on him for all the answers and protection from him. Today we have such MEN “playing God” in the Church! (Nahum 1:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). There is nothing new under the sun. Unlike Moses, who wanted all of God’s people to be prophets (Numbers 11:29), Nimrod felt threatened by any “competition.” He cruelly treated, in a fit of jealousy, those who opposed his haughty position. God used Shem to put him back in his place! Leaders are ordained by God; they have a definite place, but it is NOT in the Holy of Holies (II Chronicles 26:18)! They are meddling in God’s business and trespassing on His holy ground when they step out of line and overstep His boundaries (Zephaniah 1:9; Exodus 19:12; Colossians 2:18). Out with the cult of the emperor! It’s early to sweep Europe, but we don’t need it in God’s Church. Not if we want to remain the Church of God!
Didn’t Gerald Flurry realize we were slipping into a Laodicean attitude when he had his unfortunate drinking incident? Didn’t she say, after racking her brain in prayer to understand why God had allowed this to happen, that we must be careful not to become proud because of our abundance of revelation (2 Corinthians 12:6-7)? Have we learned that lesson? Have the? With her worrying about all her religious titles and her self-promotion, we really have to wonder and be very worried!
Holy and righteous CHARACTER is more important to God than all the revelation in the world! We definitely need the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but God says we should desire the FRUITS of the Holy Spirit even more! GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT! (1 Corinthians 14:1) I am convinced that God is about to empower his people like never before, but he wants us to be spiritually ready (having learned from the mistakes of the Corinthians), and that our ministers mature enough to do not get in the way (Joel 2:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
As for revelations, God can inspire unsaved men like Caiaphas and speak through donkeys! All truth comes from and belongs to God, so why do some take pride in being something special instead of just an instrument in the service of God’s purpose? And why get puffed up with self-importance when God can quickly pop that balloon? (I Corinthians 4:6-7).
If what happened in the Church during the 70’s was a warning of what could happen in the 80’s, what about the 90’s? Having survived our worldwide trial, are we now safe at home (Jude 5)? Let us pray and examine ourselves in this new century: Do we love God or do we fear men (Acts 5:29)?
God has an ordained government for His Church, but it can gradually fall into the hands of Satan, made in some man’s image, if we blindly follow him and forget that it is also a means to an end, and not an end in itself! Isn’t that how the Church of God got out of the way? The Mother’s spoon fed the brain dead! We need the Father! When the government of the Church stops directing us to God and replaces it with doctrines or a cult of personality (III John 9), and rejects correction, the glory of God has bankrupted such an administration! Will God destroy the very government that he has installed because we have not used it correctly? Some are actually worshiping the government instead of the Governor!
Didn’t God pull down His Temple, stop the sacrifices and dissolve the priesthood? Did he not empty the House of Israel and scatter Judah? Was not the headquarters of Jerusalem forcibly closed? Even Hezekiah had to destroy the bronze serpent that God told Moses to make, because they had perverted his purpose (2 Kings 18:4).
Too often, what God had intended to become a blessing, turned out to be a curse! Such historical warnings do not curry favor with “the top brass”, but it is evident that God would rather work through a very faithful few than allow himself to be misrepresented by many! (Jeremiah 26:18; Ezekiel 5:3-4).
What have we learned from our experience at the WCG? Haven’t some fought for positions of power ever since, while others claim that we are all equal? (Numbers 16:3; 1 Timothy 1:7; James 3:1) God is not an anarchist, and neither should we be. The baby should not be thrown out with the bath water, just for abuse of power! Proper leadership encourages us to “be all we can be” within God’s law; encourages us to think and be like our leaders, able to teach what they have taught us; after all, we are PRIEST KINGS IN THE FORMATION. (Matthew 10:25; Hebrews 5:12; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15).
The proper use of God’s government never plays politics or acts jealously, but truly has everyone’s best interests at heart. (I Corinthians 14:26) We are all members of God’s Royal Family, therefore we must respect each other’s part in God’s plan and place in God’s Church. (I Corinthians 12:18).
I truly believe in GOVERNMENT FROM THE TOP DOWN—and it starts with GOD THE FATHER! That is why we must always OBEY GOD, even if that means we must disobey men. Wasn’t it the ministers who told you to throw Malachi’s Message far? Was it not the leaders of the Church who expelled the faithful? Did we not go by his word, instead of seeing what GOD had to say? Don’t be fooled again! DO YOU CONSULT CHRIST now, or are you still playing “follow the leader”? What is truly learning to follow the government of God? Have you finally learned this lesson? Or did you ask his minister’s permission to read Beyond Babylon? Everyone again? Not if you continue reading and applying Malachi’s Message to yourself. That’s the only way to avoid a “rerun”. Hopefully once was enough.