Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Staggering Crisis That Rocked the Worldwide Church of God!
What in the world went on in the Worldwide Church of God? Incredible doctrinal changes led to a 30-50 percent drop in income, resulting in massive cutbacks in salaries, Plain Truth circulation, hundreds of employees getting the "ax," and a rebellion among the ministry! But were these events prophesied? Does a strange, mysterious prophecy in the book of Zechariah foretell and predict what happened? What does the future hold for the Worldwide Church of God? Let's take a look!
For years I have been warning people in the Worldwide Church of God that Joseph W. Tkach and his son were spiritual "bad news." For years I have raised my voice like a trumpet and declared with emphasis that Joseph Tkach was an apostate leader -- a modern day hypocritical "Pharisee" -- a blind leader of the blind -- and a deceiver of the brethren!
For years, I used the sword of the pen, and written powerful articles exposing and denouncing this insidious champion of Satan the devil. But for years, very few people would listen. I was like a man denouncing evil, but very few would pay attention, take warning, or listen! Very few would take the time to "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21). I showed in article after article, how Joseph Tkach polluted doctrines, virtually abolishing the healing doctrine, corrupting the "born again" doctrine, perverting the "kingdom of God" doctrine, blasphemously changing the "nature of God" doctrine, and was belittling the commandments of YEHOVAH God, minimalizing the Ten Commandments, saying the Worldwide Church of God was not (i.e., no longer) an "Old Testament Church," and abolishing the whole field of Bible prophecy, and the identity of the modern nations of Israel.
Finally he came full circle -- he committed the final atrocity -- he, for all practical purposes, said we are saved by grace alone, the law of YEHOVAH God is no longer necessary to be kept, the Sabbath itself -- the "test commandment," as Herbert W. Armstrong used to call it -- is no longer necessary to be observed, but Church members may work on it after all!
On the one hand Tkach insisted he was not doing away with the Sabbath, or the Law of YEHOVAH God, but on the other hand he said it is all right to work on the Sabbath, a direct violation of the commandment -- and he said it is all right to eat unclean meats which YEHOVAH forbids (Lev. 11; Deut. 14). The fact is, for all practical purposes, he really did say the LAW is done away -- while insisting that is not what he was saying! Is this "double-speak," or what?
Brethren, you who are still in the Worldwide Church of God, I ask of you -- ISN'T THIS APOSTASY???
If this isn't apostasy, my brethren, pray tell, what is?
When Joseph Tkach took over the Worldwide Church of God, and preached at the funeral of Herbert W. Armstrong, he professed undying devotion and affection. And he said, "No man is able to fill the shoes of Herbert Armstrong, God's servant, nor can I. However, I will walk in his footsteps."
Well, today we know what Joseph Tkach meant by that "promise." He was walking in Herbert Armstrong's footsteps, all right -- but he was walking BACKWARDS!
The Pastor General's Report
On December 31, 1994, Joseph Tkach spoke for 3 hours in Pasadena, reading a 21 page article in the latest Pastor General's Report, doing away with the LAW of YEHOVAH God, in effect -- saying that tithing is abolished (now just voluntary), and the weekly SABBATH may be worked upon if anybody feels they need to -- effectively abolishing the Sabbath Commandment!!! The apostasy had reached its peak. What more could they do, except "fine tune" it? They abolished the LAW of YEHOVAH God, and its "teeth," and made it a "voluntary" matter. They became, essentially, no more than regurgitated "Protestants" with a few "voluntary" things which are encouraged, but since they are "voluntary" they are therefore no longer "required." Said Tkach, nobody will any longer be "disfellowshipped" for "breaking the Sabbath."
What occurred in the Worldwide Church of God, was nothing short of phenomenal -- a colossal break with the truth, and an avalanche of apostasy, as a Satanic whirlwind of destruction moved throughout the Church, doctrinally. The leaders didn't seem to care. Tkach Junior asked one minister in the midwest what he thought of the changes; he replied, "They are B.S." I am sure that Tkach Junior took note of that and put his name on his "black list" of those who would be terminated as "disloyal."
The truth is, the past and present leaders of Worldwide are doggedly determined to rejoin the ranks of out-and-out mainstream Protestantism. They are fully intent on pursuing their present course, no matter what happens to the Church. The gloves are off. The mask is off.
Sadly, tragically, those people who are trusting in the Worldwide Church of God, for their paycheck, and for their salvation, are headed for a tremendous "letdown" and massive betrayal in the NEAR future, I am afraid. They had better wake up quick. Only those who sacrifice eternal life and the truth of YEHOVAH God, an who whole-heartedly support the apostasy will continue on the "gravy train" -- while it lasts -- until the judgment of YEHOVAH God takes over.
YEHOVAH God commands us all, "Test the spirits, whether they be of God" (I John 4:1). The Messiah said, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16).
There is an old saying: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force him to drink." How true! I wonder, with all the changes in Worldwide's teachings and doctrine, how many people will finally -- at this late date -- wake up, and smell the stink of corruption and ferment?
Are you a member of Worldwide Church of God, who is faced with the decision of what you are going to do about the massive changes in the Church? Is this "final change" not too much for you to take? Are you finally willing to look into the matter, and take "affirmative action" and leave Worldwide and its apostasy while you still can?
A DOUBLE CURSE on Worldwide
Paul warned the Galatians, "I marvel [i.e., I am amazed, incredulous!] that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL: Which is not another, but there be some that PERVERT the gospel of Christ [i.e., the gospel he preached -- the gospel of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, see Matt. 9:35, Mark 1:14-15]. But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED" (Gal. 1:6-9).
Tkach and his penumbra of ministers are now under a divine DOUBLE-CURSE. And all those who follow him are likewise under this severe divine admonition and stricture. As Jeremiah wrote, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD" (Jer. 17:5). David lamented, and cried out, "Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law" (Psalm 119:53). He added, "It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law" (Psa. 119:126).
Malachi the prophet was inspired to write: "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the LAW at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law" (Mal. 2:7-9).
The past years of growing apostasy in the Worldwide Church of God is causing the anger of YEHOVAH God and His wrath to grow exponentially. What is YEHOVAH going to do to those who remain mired in the mud of apostasy, and refuse to come out of error and who continue to backslide into sin and wickedness?
The Curses Began to Strike
In the volume 12, no.1, 1995 issue of The Watchman Expositor, the "Worldwide Church of God" is profiled. Says Phillip Arnn, writer:
"The WCG under Tkach is continuing to refine its doctrinal positions. The official acceptance of a `form of the Trinity' and the recent statements leading away from performance salvation are exciting developments. The downside is that the majority of Regional and local ministers have not accepted the changes and are not teaching them to their congregations. According to numerous widespread reports received by Watchman Fellowship, authoritiarian abuses of members on a local level are still epidemic and present a serious challenge to Tkach and his administration" (p. 18).
In the following article, Arnn goes further, detailing the massive changes and overhaul in doctrine going on in Worldwide. He asserts, in the article "Worldwide Church of God Update: Tkach Clarifies `Sabbath' and `True Church' Doctrines," that Joseph Tkach has indeed changed the whole basis of Worldwide Church of God doctrine. He writes:
"The Worldwide Church of God has been under the leadership of Joseph W. Tkach since the 1986 death of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. In the last nine years, Tkach has overturned every major unbiblical (sic) doctrine held by that organization.
"One of those changes was a bombshell dropped in July of 1993 with the adoption of `a form of the Trinity' as the official statement on the nature of God" (p. 19).
Arnn quotes Worldwide minister Earl Williams of Atlanta, Georgia, that the Worldwide Church of God now teaches that "The Christian identity is not found in any organizational or denominational affiliation, but it is in Jesus Christ" (Worldwide News, June 14, 1994, p. 4). In the November 1994 PGR, pastor general Tach included the Seventh Day Adventist Church as part of the body of Christ. The Williams article, says Phillip Arnn, "was inclusive of all professing believers, regardless of whether they kept the Sabbath."
Visiting Earl Williams and the Atlanta Church on December 17, 1994, Tkach went even further, announcing, "Yes, there are Christians in the Catholic Church. There are Christians in the Methodist Church. There are Christians in the Baptist Church. There are Christians all around this world...The Jews have the Sabbath and the Holy Days as their sign. Are they Christians? Not by God's standards they are not...So what good is the sign of the Sabbath going to do them in terms of salvation?" (Sermon, 17 December, 1994, quoted in The Watchman Expositor).
But this was only the beginning. Tkach went on to give a new teaching to the church on the New Covenant versus the Old Covenant, in which he claimed Sabbath keeping, holy days, and tig are all essentially abolished or "changed in Christ" and no longer necessary to be observed as the "law of God." He followed this up with a similar sermon in Big Sandy, Texas, and then read theame message from the Pastor General's Report in Pasadena, the following week. According to Tkach, this means it is all right to work on the weekly Sabbath, playing golf is all right on the Sabbath, and eating all "unclean meats" is perfectly fine. Such things are all regarded by the Church now as "Old Covenant" and therefore no longer binding. A video was made of the messaged all Worldwide ministers were required to show the video to their congregations.
Phillip Arnn says, "Watchman Fellowship has already heard of strong resistance in Texas, long a bastion of conservative Armstrongism, to Tkach's message. Many are unwilling to give up the `Truth' they received from Armstrong. Watchman has received numerous reports from members and ministers who are saying that they can not understand the New Covenant being preached by Tkach" (p. 21).
The changes indeed led to a series of repercussions for the Church in Pasadena. Morale among employees was at an all-time low. The first blow to strike was the news that the Ambassador Concert Hall series was to close. Ambassador Auditorium, one of the most acclaimed concert halls in Southern California, if not the entire world, for more than 20 years, a center for fine classical music, cancelled its 1995-96 season because of financial woes. In February 9, 1995, the Los Angeles Times reported: "Financial Crisis Grips Worldwide Church of God." Said the article, "Leaders plan cutbacks in the wake of a 30% plunge in revenues. Changes in doctrine have rocked the congregation." The writers went on:
"Rocked by members' reaction to major reversals of its most fundamental doctrines -- including a new declaration that tithing is no longer mandatory -- the Worldwide Church of God is facing the most severe financial crisis in its history.
"Leaders of the Pasadena-based church were meeting behind closed doors Wednesday, undertaking a top-to-bottom review of all church operations and personnel in the face of a decline in church revenues of at least 30% since the beginning of the year. Outside sources said the drop could be as high as 55%" (February 9, 1995).
According to the writers, "The latest turn of events has been precipitated by a startling recanting by church leaders of long-held church teachings set down by its founder, who died in 1986." As a result of meetings, editorial and television staffs were chopped, with scores of employees fired. According to the Pasadena Star-News, church officials admitted that membership had dropped 10 percent to 92,000, but others said it was down to 60,000 as more splinter groups broke off.
Said the Times article, in explaining the changes in Worldwide:
"The theological conflict began coming to a head in December when the church's leader and Armstrong successor -- Pastor General Joseph Tkach Sr. -- announced in Atlanta that tithing was no longer mandatory.
"At the same time, he also declared that it was no longer mandatory to observe the Sabbath on Saturday.
"A year earlier, the church moved closer to traditional Christian teaching about the Trinity as three distinct personalities -- God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in one godhead. Previously, the church did not see the Holy Spirit as a distinct personality.
"The changes in the church's teachings have been seen as bringing the church closer into the mainstream of Christianity. But longtime members and church watchers say there is little doubt that Armstrong -- who founded the church in 1934 as Radio Church of God in Eugene, Ore. -- would have considered the revisions heretical. . .
"The changes have been so dramatic that some observers said a common joke around church headquarters these days is that the January, 1994, Northridge earthquake was actually Armstrong turning over in his grave" (February 9, 1995).
Many church observers believed that the financial "hits" upon the Worldwide Church of God, like the comet fragments striking the planet Jupiter in the summer of 1994, were merely the beginning, and that worse financial explosions lay ahead. Many questioned whether the church would be able to avoid financial bankruptcy.
Said a headline article in the Sunday, February 12, Star News, "A Church in Crisis," "Followers and funds swiftly eroding as the Worldwide Church of God shifts from rigid biblical teachings to mainstream Christianity."
But what did all these things mean? Why were they happening? What was Joseph Tkach doing, and why? Was he leading a tremendous end-time apostasy away from the truth of YEHOVAH God?
What Scripture Foretells
Yeshua the Messiah declared, some 1900 years ago, that "many false prophets will rise up and deceive many" (Matt. 24:11). The apostle Paul also foretold, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Tim. 4:3-4). Paul warned Timothy about the latter days, as well. He wrote, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some shall DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron" (I Tim. 4:1-2).
Paul also warned the Thessalonians of that day of apostasy. He wrote, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the FALLING AWAY comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [loss, destruction]" (II Thess. 2:3).
It begun to happen -- right before our very eyes! The apostasy now is far advanced, and rapidly proceeding to its ultimate conclusion. The "end" is rapidly approaching!
Notice what the prophets of the Old Testament had to say about these events.
Spiritual Apostasy Predicted Long Ago
In the 30th chapter of Isaiah we read:
"Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that for time to come, forever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, `Do not see,' and to the prophets, `Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us" (Isaiah 30:8-11).
YEHOVAH God knew that it would happen. And it has come to pass, just like He said it would! But now notice what Jeremiah foretold, along the same lines. We read in the 23rd chapter:
"WOE unto the PASTORS that destroy and SCATTER the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the PASTORS that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD" (Jer. 23:1-2).
Again, in Ezekiel we read in a similar vein:
"Son of man, prophesy against the SHEPHERDS of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; WOE be unto the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were SCATTERED, because there is no [central or main] shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts [spiritual wolves] of the field, when they were scattered" (Ezek. 34:1-4).
Ezekiel continues, "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was SCATTERED upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them" (verse 6).
Clearly, bad times are in store for the end-time Church of YEHOVAH God. They have been largely betrayed by their shepherds, their pastors. YEHOVAH God is furious with the ministers -- the shepherds and pastors over His flock. But because of doctrinal apostasy, and stubborn, hard-headed and wrong-headed leadership, the sheep WILL BE SCATTERED! There will be no great, unified, organized "Work of God" in the very End Time! Rather, the power of the holy people will be "scattered" (Daniel 12:7; see also Dan. 7:25; 8:24; Matt. 9:36).
But there is another strange prophecy in the book of Zechariah which deals with the problematic future of the Worldwide Church of God, and its major and minor off-shoots. Notice!
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones" (Zech. 13:7).
Could this be a reference to the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, YEHOVAH's apostle, in 1986? He was certainly YEHOVAH's major end-time shepherd while he was alive, used to bring many truths and lost knowledge to the forefront during these last days. After being used by YEHOVAH God to build up the Worldwide Church of God from 1934 until 1986, he died in Pasadena, California, an old and worn out man in his nineties. Truly, the shepherd was smitten.
Since that time the Church has been undergoing massive fundamental doctrinal shifts, and reportedly over 36,000 have left the Church during a three or four year period. More doctrinal changes bring more defections -- yet the changes continue. At this point, the new leadership of Worldwide has jettisoned virtually every major doctrine that Herbert Armstrong was inspired by YEHOVAH God to discover and to preach to the world!
Several churches have arisen from the ashes of the fire burning in Worldwide, but many people who left haven't joined any church -- they have become disgusted completely, and turned "off" to religion.
The prophecy of Zechariah seems to be right on the nose! It perfectly describes what has been happening in the Worldwide Church of God since the death of its founder. The sheep, or membership, have largely been scattered to the four winds. But what about those thousands who remain? What will happen? The prophecy continues:
"And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die [two thirds of the Church shall perish?]; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined [great heat, tribulation!], and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God" (Zech. 13:7-9).
Does this mean two thirds of the members of Worldwide Church of God are going to remain in an apostate Church, and therefore be destroyed, "be cut off and die," during the coming time of tribulation and persecution?
The prophet goes on, "the third shall be left therein." This final one third of the people know enough to leave an apostate Church, but they are still confused, mixed up, battered and beaten down, and will be "brought through the fire" -- they still need to go through trials and tribulation in order to be purged, purified and made righteous, in YEHOVAH's sight!
These are also mentioned in Daniel. We read: "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall be the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them WHITE, even to the time of the end: because the end is yet for a time appointed" (Dan. 11:32-35).
The Laodicean Church
Now let's compare what YEHOVAH God says to the Laodicean Church in Revelation, chapter 3. Notice!
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 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 EYE SALVE, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be ZEALOUS therefore, and REPENT" (Rev. 3:15-19).
Notice! If we compare this Scripture with Daniel 11 and Zechariah 13, the implication is that the two thirds of the people who DIE are complete apostates, punished for their apostasy. The one third which is tried in the fire, like gold and silver, is comparable to the LAODICEAN CHURCH mentioned in Revelation 3, and the ones in Daniel 11 who "shall fall, to try [test, examine] them, and to purge, and to make them WHITE" (v. 35).
None of these are worthy to go to a place of safety, to be protected from the fires of trial and tribulation! Yet, Yeshua did say that we should pray that we could be counted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36). Yeshua also said of the small, tiny "Philadelphia" remnant, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION, which shall come upon all the world, to TRY them that dwell upon the earth" (Rev. 3:10).
Some, YEHOVAH says, are going to be kept safe in a place of safety or refuge. John records, "And to the woman 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 (Rev. 12:14). These brethren are protected from the wrath of Satan. But he will turn back and go after her other children -- "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v. 17).
Isaiah speaks of the small remnant who are counted worthy to escape. He foretold, "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: HIDE thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain" (Isa. 26:20-21).
The prophet Ezekiel also mentions a time similar to that described in Zechariah 13. He declared:
"And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt BURN WITH FIRE a third part in the midst of the city...and thou shalt take a third part, and SMITE about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt SCATTER in the wind; and I will draw out a sword [tribulation] after them" (Ezek. 5: 1-2).
Notice! As in Zechariah, two thirds die -- and one third is scattered, to suffer persecution, tribulation, affliction, and will be chased with the "sword." This certainly can apply to the Laodicean Church, as well as the physical nations of Israel left alive. But now notice further:
"Thou shalt take thereof [of the scattered ones] A FEW IN NUMBER, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel" (v. 3-4).
Here are those "bound up" in Ezekiel's skirts -- hidden and protected. They are but "a few in number," comparatively. But then even some of them -- a few -- will still be later cast into the mist of the fire, and suffer persecution and tribulation.
A Look at This Ministry
Personally, I would like to see many more people come to the truth, and hope that we will be able to develop strong local leadership in many areas -- yet maintaining complete and honest "unity." As Paul wrote: "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted; Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are ONE: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour" (I Cor. 3:4-8).
Paul and Apollos were separate ministers -- yet united, as "ONE." So long as men are faithful to the Word, and are UNITED in spirit, and doctrine, we can pull together to accomplish the end-time Work of YEHOVAH God of preaching the TRUTH about repentance, the real meaning of "sin," and the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom of the Messiah our Lord! I also feel, since we are an End-Time Work, and have the benefits of global communication, and the printed page, and mails, that we should be as united and in communication AS POSSIBLE. We should keep our fences "mended." Therefore, I encourage all of you to get in touch with us. We have a work to do, brethren, and we need to be about our Father's business (Luke 2:49).
Now that Worldwide Church of God has completely forsaken the truth of YEHOVAH God, and collapsed spiritually -- the "Titanic" has now sunk -- where do its members go from here?
According to the principles of the prophecies in Zechariah and Ezekiel, two thirds of them will ride the ship down to Neptune's locker -- they will remain on board and DIE. One third will wake up, and come out of "Babylon," and go through a purging and purifying process, of "trial by fire," to qualify to make it into YEHOVAH's Kingdom. But many of them may be picked off by various and sundry false churches, "offshoots" of Worldwide, and brought into their deceptive orbit.
How many will truly "test the spirits," as YEHOVAH God commands (I John 4:1)? How many will examine the waters, before they leap in?
Personally, I don't want to compromise doctrine or the truth of YEHOVAH God. I will not compromise!
We need to reach out to people -- but we must "draw the line" when it comes to other churches or ministers who teach contrary doctrines. We take our responsibilities very seriously, and are very concerned for the true, sincere, dedicated, devoted people of YEHOVAH God -- His little "lambs" as it were. There are many wild beasts of the field, "wolves in sheep's clothing," out there, in the world, waiting to devour and ambush unwary Church members. We must not allow YEHOVAH's people any more than necessary to be "exposed" to Satan's wiles, seductions, and inoculations of error! They could come down with a terrible spiritual disease from such exposure -- like spiritual AIDS! In fact, many probably already have the disease and don't even realize it!
I encourage all YEHOVAH's people to remain confident, faithful, and no not allow themselves to become discouraged, depressed, or negative, because of the comments, accusations, and false insinuations people will make of you, if you stand up for the truth -- as they have of me. People are quick to judge, and slow to study. It is easier to condemn at first glance, than to take the time to search things out, as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11; I Thess. 5:21).
Who Are the Real False Prophets?
Notice that in the days of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, Ahab wanted to go to war with Syria, and all his false prophets said he would be victorious. But when Jehoshaphat insisted on hearing from a prophet of the LORD, Ahab finally sent for Micaiah. He pointed out that YEHOVAH God had allowed a lying spirit to speak through all the false prophets. He was the only one who told the truth about Ahab's coming defeat and death (compare II Chron. 18:6-24).
Believe it or not, YEHOVAH's Work is alive and well, during this dark day. Many of you simply have not recognized it, because you have been deceived by erring shepherds and false leaders. May YEHOVAH God help you to see, may He open your eyes and give you a special anointing, so that you can see clearly, and understand! (see Rev. 3:17-18; Isa. 28:7-11).
We are living in a time of urgent apostasy, and tremendous spiritual need. The "famine" of the words of YEHOVAH God has already begun (Amos 8:11-12). But this is also a tremendous time of spiritual opportunity (Gal. 6:6, 9-10). It is time we as YEHOVAH's servants and people begin to exploit opportunities, and not people (II Cor. 11:1-4, 19-20).
Lamentations for the Church
In the book of Lamentations, YEHOVAH describes the fate of His end-time Church, along with end-time Israel. Speaking of the "daughter of Zion," which in type represents the Church of YEHOVAH God (Lamentations 2:1), YEHOVAH says, "How hath the LORD covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of [spiritual] Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!...The LORD was an enemy: he hath swallowed up [spiritual and physical] Israel...And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle [the "House for God" which was once upon a time, during Herbert Armstrong's day, built for Him!], as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion...The LORD hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary...The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall [protection] of the daughter of Zion [the Church!]: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes [apostle Tkach and the chief ministers, in type] are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD" (Lamen. 2:1-9).
Read this whole book. It is an amazing type of what is happening to modern "Israel," both physical and spiritual! It is a prediction of the downfall of the United States, Britain, and Judah, and along with them the end-time remnant Church of YEHOVAH God which has forsaken His statutes, judgments, and commandments -- including the Sabbaths!
But what about you? Are you going to go along with the apostasy, as prophecy indicates two thirds of the people will?
Or will you stand up for TRUTH, and fight the good fight? (Eph. 6:10-18; II Tim. 4:7-8; I Tim. 6:12).
"Come Out of Her, My People"
YEHOVAH God says, "CEASE, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge" (Prov.19:27). YEHOVAH commands His people, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness [obedience to YEHOVAH's Law] and unrighteousness [disobedience]? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial [Satan]?...Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, and be ye SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (II Cor. 6:14-17).
YEHOVAH God thunders in warning, "COME OUT OF HER, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (Rev. 18:4-5). YEHOVAH God says of the great false church system (primarily the Catholic Church and her "daughters", which now includes the Worldwide Church of God), "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly BURNED WITH FIRE: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her" (Rev. 18:8).
If you are ready to come out of Worldwide, and have an open mind to prove the truth, and are looking for the truth, then get in touch with us, here at Hope of Israel Ministries (Church of YEHOVAH God). It is our sincere and earnest desire to help you through these harrowing times, this spiritual crisis which has come upon thousands of YEHOVAH's people. We know that you need help, understanding, compassion, and wisdom, to sort out the truth from error, and to find the true ways of YEHOVAH God amidst all the perversions and pretensions out there.
Remember Daniel's prophecy of the last days -- OUR day:
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he [JWT and JT, Jr., in type] corrupt [Heb., "cause to dissemble"] by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and shall do EXPLOITS" (Dan. 11:32).
May YEHOVAH God inspire and help His true people to fulfill this prophecy -- to the full!
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Taking the Lead In the Search for Truth!
Hope of Israel Ministries
|Scan with your