Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Why the Worldwide Church of God Had to Fall!
Was Herbert W. Armstrong ever a TRUE apostle of YEHOVAH God? Was he a heretic? Was the WWCG ever YEHOVAH's "true" church? Did it always have flaws? Did the leadership EVER understand the truth? Was it YEHOVAH's will that so many corrupt leaders should be at the very top? Was it preordained to fall like it has? Were so many splinter groups also preordained? Is Joe Tkach Jr. performing a service for YEHOVAH God?
by Don Deist
Believe it or not, by and large, the answer to ALL the above questions is: YES!!
We know that all things work for the good for those who love (and obey) YEHOVAH God! So is everything here on this earth working out exactly the way YEHOVAH wants?
Why do I say sadly if it's exactly the way YEHOVAH God wants? Isn't YEHOVAH perfect and aren't His ways perfect? Well..."yes", He is, and "yes", they are. So why should that be sad? Because sometimes the best thing to do does not bring joy and happiness. Sometimes what "must" be done is sad. Like punishing a child for telling a lie or getting into the cookie jar -- it is not pleasant for the parent but it must be done.
But before I explain the details of the above statements, first some background.
Human Nature Starts Young
When we are first born, we know nothing of this world or how things work. We have to learn many of them the hard way. When a small child is fascinated by the fire on Mommy's stove, she tells her child not to touch it because it will hurt.
But . . . if the child chooses not to believe Mommy's warning, the only way the child will ever be convinced that the fire is harmful -- is for the child to actually stick his or her hand in the fire and suffer the consequences of his/her action. This is not a happy thing, but -- sadly -- it is many times THE ONLY THING that works.
To a small child who doesn't know any better, fire looks like a wonderful magical toy and the child naturally wants to play with it. Even as adults, we are still mesmerized by fire. Who doesn't love sitting in front of a fireplace on some cold night and just watching the flames dance. (They now even have video tapes of fireplaces to watch on TV for those who don't have an actual fireplace or those who are just too lazy to go out and get some wood!).
But, unfortunately, there are some children who think that they are being denied their desires when told not to touch the fire. "Human Nature" hates and despises being told it can't have something or do something it wants! Especially something as wonderful and magical as fire, or the sweetness of that cookie!
To illustrate this INNATE Human Nature we ALL possess, imagine you bring a plate of freshly baked cookies into a room full of young children and tell them they can't have any until after dinner. Then leave the room for two minutes. How many of you reading this honestly believe that there will be one single cookie left when you return? Then ask the children what happened to them. Whatever answers you hear, you can rest assured that the children disobeying the adult and eating the cookies will not be one of them.
And as adults, we still possess this INNATE Human Nature! When caught speeding for example, how many admit the truth? Ask any policeman how many excuses/stories he's heard! We do something wrong -- we know it is wrong at the time we do it -- but we do it anyway. And we always justify it to ourselves -- don't we! Everything from: "I was late for a doctors appointment" to "I was going to miss the start of my favorite TV show." We always manage to excuse our actions in our own mind! We give in to our momentary lusts and desires -- then we make excuses for ourselves so we can kid ourselves into still believing that we are fine, upstanding, trustworthy, respectable, and basically good people.
In fact, this is the main reason YEHOVAH God issued the Ten Commandments in the manner he did -- so that we no longer have an excuse. But that will be discussed later. For now, back to Human Nature.
If what's on the plate is something the child has never seen before, many children will heed the warning and not touch the item, simply out of fear. But what child doesn't know how wonderful fresh baked cookies taste, and they also know that eating them, by and of itself, isn't bad. They don't understand, (and most don't care), that it usually isn't the simple act of eating the cookies that is bad, but rather the timing (i.e. before dinner).
As adults, we know we are not trying to punish or deny good things to our children by not letting them eat cookies right before dinner. We know it is the best thing for the child, that he/she gets healthy nutritious food first. We know that what is truly the best thing for them is to eat their meat and vegetables FIRST! How many of you don't remember being told as a little child that if you didn't eat your vegetables, you didn't get any desert? Do any of you now, as adults, think that you were being punished back then? As a child, I guess we all sort of felt that way. But now we understand that our parents were only doing what was in our own best interest.
The Mind of Our Heavenly Father
In the same vein, our Heavenly Father does not desire to deny us any GOOD thing. But we are not smart enough yet to understand why something we think is good or desirable may actually be bad for us. For example, try explaining to a small child why eating too many cookies right before dinner is a bad thing. Then offer him a cookie and watch how fast it disappears. The child just simply doesn't understand and usually doesn't care about the reasons. All the child knows is that the cookie tastes good and he/she wants that sweetness.
Our Heavenly Father likewise is much smarter than we are, as we are compared to the small child. Our Heavenly Father, like an "earthly" loving parent, simply tells us straight-out some things that we are not to do because they are ultimately bad for us -- like the earthly parent who simply commands the child not to eat any cookies right before dinner.
No earthly parent who truly loves his child desires to be a tyrant or dictator over his child! The parent desires the child to have as much freedom as possible! The limits the parent imposes are usually solely to protect the child and those around him from harmful acts and decisions. Like with the cookies and playing with fire, some results of the child's actions are severe and some are minor. The worst possible results of playing with fire/matches is that people could loose their lives and their homes, whereas the absolute worst possible outcome of eating too many cookies right before dinner is the loss of a nutritious meal and a tummy ache suffered by the offender.
Likewise, our Heavenly Father, who loves us more than any earthly parent ever did, does not desire in any way to be either a tyrant or dictator over us -- HIS CHILDREN. He desires to give us absolute and total freedom -- but -- he doesn't want us to have the freedom to do things that are bad and/or harmful to either ourselves or to those around us.
The earthly parent obviously desires that the child UNDERSTAND nutrition and the effect too many cookies have on the appetite rather than being forced to ISSUE COMMANDS!
In like manner, our Heavenly Father desires HIS CHILDREN to UNDERSTAND what is good and right and just so HE doesn't HAVE TO issue commands. With rare exceptions, our Heavenly Father ONLY issues commands for our own well being and/or our relationship with Him. He would much rather that we understand WHY certain things are either bad for us and those around us, or are just plain wrong!
But all too often, we second-guess or ignore his instructions and do what he told us not to. Like the little child, we have to actually "stick our hand into the fire" and get burned before we accept and believe that it is harmful to us!
But you can't explain to the average child why too many cookies are bad because the average child simply doesn't have either the attention span or desire to know. The average child only wants what gives him/her pleasure at that moment. He doesn't care about the possible consequences later!
Human Nature in Action
"Human Nature" in adults is exactly the same way! The vast majority of adults only want what gives them pleasure at that moment. They don't care about the possible consequences later! There are some people who flagrantly don't care about what happens to others as long as they get what they want. Armed robbers, rapists, and gang member drive-by shooters are just a couple examples of that sad category of persons being willing to destroy another person's life totally for extremely little in return. No law will ever deter people like these.
There is another category of offenders such a white collar criminals, burglars, shoplifters, etc. who seem to care about not physically harming other people. And these people are usually quite self-righteous about themselves! When caught, these people always point to armed robbers and such and exclaim, "At least I didn't hurt anybody"!!! Stealing other peoples money and property doesn't seem to bother these people.
Fortunately the number of people in the above two categories are relatively few. But the number of people that flagrantly break lesser laws such as littering seem to include absolutely everyone left.
And even with laws against many acts, people do them anyway. Just take a drive on any of our streets or freeways these days if you want to see thousands of laws being broken. The speed limit is probably the most frequently broken, but other laws such as running red lights are universally ignored and broken.
In California it is common practice that three cars will go through an intersection from a left-turn-only lane "after" the light has turned red. I once witnessed about twenty cars do so! The light turned green for oncoming traffic and even with the other cars entering the intersection, the cars turning left in front of them just kept going. A friend of mine even got "rear-ended" when he stopped at a light that just turned red. And the driver who hit him blamed him for the accident because "he shouldn't have obeyed the law". "You should have gone through the light", the other driver screamed, "because everyone else does"!
Why do these people habitually break the law? In an interview of a convicted armed robber and rapist who was caught when he returned to the same store three weeks later to rob it again, the robber was asked why he came back to the same store to repeat the crime. Do you know what his answer was? He said quote: "Because I got away with it the first time"!!!!!!! This is perhaps the most honest answer anyone ever gave to this question.
So why do common people break lesser laws habitually? Mostly because they get away with it!!!! When was the last time you saw someone pulled over for running a red light? And how many times have you observed someone running a red light since then? The breaking of minor laws is so rampant these days that the police are overwhelmed. And what is the penalty if one is caught for say -- running a red light? Usually a small fine that is totally insignificant to the offender.
Yes -- when people get away with it, they take advantage of their fellow man every chance they get. They take extremely risky maneuvers just to get one car ahead on the freeway. They will cut in front of you with only inches to spare. They will drive on the shoulder or what ever it takes to gain a few car-lengths.
They swindle old people out of their life savings through mail fraud and telephone scams! They cheat and lie every chance they get if there's a "buck" to be made. How many people do you know who have NEVER cheated on their income tax? Now that computers are in vogue, how many people do you know that does't have at least one item of illegally copied software?
The author of an article I once read claimed he could almost totally stop all theft, (other than cash), in just a few days! And I believe his way would work! His solution? That the rest of us stop buying stolen goods! Think about it! If thieves couldn't find buyers for their stolen merchandise, they wouldn't have any profit or reason to steal any longer -- except for their own personal consumption.
The Nature of Sin
So -- who is the GREATER sinner? He who does the stealing or he who enables and encourages the stealing by buying the stolen merchandise? I personally am more disgusted with the latter. The former knows he is doing wrong, but the latter is lying not only to the world but to himself as well. The latter usually considers himself a fine upstanding and righteous individual; without flaw, and absolutely no reason to repent of anything! This self-righteous attitude is far, far harder to change than the thief's who at least knows that he is sinning.
THE BIG SECRET HERE IS THAT ONE MUST ADMIT TO HAVING SINNED BEFORE ONE CAN REPENT OF THAT SIN!!!!!!! Sin simply can not be repented of until it is admitted to!
I John 1:8 says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." And verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him [Yeshua] a liar, and his word is not in us". But the world as a whole is enveloped in sin and lust. Advertisers use both scantly clad girls and boys to sell jeans and underwear. Girls in bikinis sell cars! Just what a sexy girl has to do with a car escapes me, but I suppose the guy unconsciously is led to believe that getting the car will later get him the girl. Again, the momentary pleasure of the "one night stand" is all important.
Ever watch a beautiful woman walk into a bar? The majority of men are all over her in a heartbeat like flies on manure -- buying her drinks and trying to woo her into bed with them for the night! They don't care if she's married! They don't care if they themselves are married! They don't care about AIDS or other diseases. They only care about the momentary pleasure of having sex with that woman that night. I've seen women behave in the exact same manner (and sometimes far worse), when they see "A STUD". Famous singers such a Tom Jones would have women throwing their panties up on stage with their keys and address pinned to them. The invitation was obvious.
Whether it is the man or woman that seeks to get the other into bed, the results are the same! Most sex is what is termed "a one night stand". The man and the woman are so overwhelmed with lust and desire for that extremely brief moment of pleasure, that they DON'T CARE about all the possible hurt and pain their acts may cause to their spouse and/or children (if they have any).
These people usually feel that their encounter will be kept secret, so no one will be hurt. But it's pretty hard to explain to a spouse how he/she contracted syphilis, gonorrhea, or some other sexually transmitted disease, when the spouse knows for an ABSOLUTE FACT that he/she never had sex with anyone else (or at least, not within the last year or so!).
Other people I know personally, openly brag about their sexual promiscuity! THEY ARE ACTUALLY PROUD OF THEIR SEXUAL EXPLOITS!!! There are two basketball so-called "Super-Heros" who each BRAG that they have been to bed with over 3,000 women! And all the young high school boys look up to them as role-models!
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR MORALITY AS A PEOPLE THAT WE ENDORSE AND REWARD SUCH ACTIONS??????
Yes -- the world as a whole seems to not only condone, but monetarily reward and admire this type of behavior! Americans just re-elected a president whose sexual promiscuity was not even doubted by most voters yet they elected HIM anyway!!!! And this is not to mention both he and his wife's involvement in the White-Water scandel as well as other improprieties.
And why do so many people condone this behavior? BECAUSE IT HELPS THEM JUSTIFY THEIR OWN IMMORALITY IN THEIR OWN EYES!!!! Just like the proverbial excuse we all used as children: "EVERYBODY ELSE DOES IT!" Now as adults, we are still using the same excuse: "EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT!" Caught speeding on the freeway? Everybody else was speeding! Caught driving on the shoulder to get a few cars ahead in a traffic jam? Those other cars did it! Caught cheating on your taxes? Everybody does it! Yep -- same old childhood excuse -- "EVERYBODY ELSE WAS DOING IT!" Now if you're caught in adultry or defrauding people financially, you have the excuse that even the President and his wife both did it!
And what does YEHOVAH God say about all this? James 4:4: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
So what's going on? It's extremely simple! The vast majority of people simply don't want -- or FLAT OUT WILL NOT ALLOW -- anyone else (or any entity or deity for that matter) to deny them of their desires and/or pleasures!!!! AND THAT INCLUDES YEHOVAH GOD! And they use the excuse of "Everyone else is doing it" to justify themselves. Are you one of them?
It was true of the ancient Israelites and it is true of most people today. The only reason the vast majority of people restrain themselves from just taking or doing exactly what they please is because there are human laws against it and there are severe human penalties involved with breaking those laws.
Because "Human Nature" has to be collared and brought into subjection to law, truth and justice this the only reason the Torah (Laws of the old testament) were created in the FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!! (This will be explained later).
The Ministry No Better!
But the word "Torah" simply means "Teacher". The Torah was created to teach us -- not "lord" over us. In other words, those of us who are REPULSED by theft and the buying of stolen property do not need a commandment against stealing. Those of us who are REPULSED by adultery and fornication do not need a commandment against it. Sadly though, few humans these days are repulsed by anything. And, as I pointed out before, some even BRAG about their sins!!!!!
We humans like to think highly of ourselves. We want to think of ourselves as "good", and we are therefore reluctant to believe that we are less than perfect. Therefore, whenever some "sooth-sayer" (more appropriately called a "smooth-sayer") comes along to tell us that we are not evil -- that we are not doing bad things when we follow our own lusts -- we take to their "smooth-sayings" like a duck takes to water.
So when a minister tells us that we can indulge in our fleshly lusts and desires and not have to feel guilty about it, we humans ingest these concepts like a sponge. These views/concepts help us exonerate ourselves in our own eyes. And when that minister has a large following, we are even more justified because "everyone else is doing it (following him)"!
This is why do so many so-called ministers preach that YEHOVAHs' law is DONE-AWAY! Because this is the ONLY WAY they can indulge in their own desires and pleasures and not have to feel guilty about it. But far more than their own personal pleasures and desires, are the pleasures and desires of their parishioners! The average minister who stands up in front of his congregation and starts preaching abstaining from ones' desires and pleasures soon finds himself without any parishioners AT ALL!
As I said before, the vast majority of people simply will NOT allow anyone or any entity to deny them of their desires and/or pleasures!!!! And that includes both their minister and their God!!
What the Bible Reveals
And why is this true? The Bible tells us exactly what is going on! How many times in the Bible is it stated that human nature is "enmity" against YEHOVAH God?
There is one example where the word "enmity" is used, that it is so bold and plain that it reverberates a thousand fold! Romans 8:7: "Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
So what are we humans with our human nature? Are we just dirt in YEHOVAH's eyes? Yes and No! He created us out of dirt, so in that sense we are just dirt in his eyes. But at the same time, we have the potential to become HIS CHILDREN -- brethren to Yeshua the Messiah himself! THAT IS CLEARLY NOT DIRT IN YEHOVAH GOD'S EYES!!! All we have to do is OVERCOME our human nature just as Yeshua did!
Note Ephesians 2:15-16: "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby."
Or in the NIV version: "By abolishing in his flesh the law [of the flesh] with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace. And in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility."
Yes! There is the secret! I can not state it more eloquently than what YEHOVAH God already did in the Bible! Yeshua overcame the lust of the flesh (i.e. lust of the cookies for you younger readers), and presented himself to the Father without sin!
And what is "sin"? Sin is the transgression of the law. And what is the law? It is the "Ten Commandments" -- laws that are right and correct and just in YEHOVAH God's eyes! Did YEHOVAH God the Father invent these laws? No! He only revealed them to mankind. There are a few certain things that are self-existant and "law" is one of them! The Father did not create law, but he certainly understands it far better than anyone of us. And he, in his loving nature, has revealed it to those of his children who care to listen.
Truth is likewise not something YEHOVAH God created. Truth is also self-existant! Again, YEHOVAH merely revealed truth to us -- i.e. mankind -- in a depth and dimension that mankind could never discover on it own in over a billion years. In other words, even if YEHOVAH God didn't exist, truth would.
Righteousness is likewise something YEHOVAH God understands infinitely better than we do and He revealed some of His understanding of it to us in the Torah.
Lets see what the Apostle Paul said about his own problems with the lust of the flesh and his attempts to overcome it in Romans 7:14-25:
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
"If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
"Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin".
So what is our purpose on this planet here and now with our physical bodies? Our purpose is to transform ourselves into spiritual beings. As spiritual beings, we must strive to emulate YEHOVAH God the Father Himself who totally comprehends law, truth, justice, and righteousness in their totality!!!!!!
"Follow me ONLY As I Follow Christ"!
Notice I DID NOT SAY to emulate Herbert W. Armstrong!!!!! Or the Pope! Or anyone else for that matter!
The Apostle Paul was OBVIOUSLY far more knowledgeable about YEHOVAH's Kingdom than Herbert W. Armstrong was in that he was personally taught by Yeshua the Messiah himself. Herbert W. Armstrong garnered most of his understanding from the writings of Paul. Paul OBVIOUSLY knew far more than just what he put down on paper for our time.
Yet Paul repeatedly said: "Follow me ONLY as I follow Christ".
And although there is no exact scripture of this, it is obvious that Yeshua was repeatedly saying: "Follow me ONLY as I follow THE FATHER."
And it is my firm belief that if you asked the Father Himself, He would say: "Follow me ONLY as I follow law, truth, justice and righteousness". But since he never ever departs from those, we are to follow him always.
So who do you follow?
Do you follow a man (be he alive or dead)? Did you follow Herbert W. Armstrong in all things -- even when he was wrong? Do you follow the hierarchal church government that Herbert Armstrong established? Do you follow a man who claims to be the successor of Herbert Armstrong? Several make this claim.
I can't count the number of times I've heard someone lament: "Oh, -- if only Herbert Armstrong were still alive! Then we would still be a single church without any splits and splinters." Surely all the splits and divisions are PROOF that we are truly living in the last days!
But -- are all these splits and divisions PROOF of the end? Is all this squabbling about whom one should follow and which church to be a member of something new and thus a sign of Yeshua's imminent return? Could anything like this have ever happened before? Lets see what the Bible says:
1 Co 1:12-14: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you."
Today, "every one of you saith, I am of Herbert Armstrong; and I of Meredith; and I of Flurry; and I of Garner Ted; and Eye of Newt. (Thought I'd slip one by to see if you're awake). What? Is the Messiah divided? Was Herbert Armstrong crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Herbert Armstrong?"
Talk about splinter groups and petty rivalries! And this was just a few years after Yeshua. And what does Paul think about this petty bickering? Paul says: "I thank God that I baptized none of you". He wants nothing to do with any of it.
And Paul continues on in verses 3:3-9: "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 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. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth 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. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."
So this petty bickering is neither new nor a sign of the end. And furthermore, it clearly does not benefit you to be of Herbert Armstrong, of United, of Global, of Philadelphia, of WCG, of CGI, or of any other particular church. If you are not "of Christ" -- you are none of his!
Romans 8:9: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
The Breakup of YEHOVAH God's Church
There are some people who think that YEHOVAH God is EXTREMELY angry about what is/has happened in and to the Worldwide Church of God and all the splinter groups that have arisen. But YEHOVAH is not angry in the slightest! If anything, he is sad. But, and I repeat -- BUT -- He is not in any way angry or sad about what is happening in or to the WorldWide Church of God as an entity! The destruction of the WCG as an entity was and is necessary to test the 'metal' of the members once and still in it.
You see, YEHOVAH God raised up Herbert Armstrong to get a reasonably accurate church re-established in the end time. But did YEHOVAH intentionally and deliberately leave errors in Herbert Armstrong's understanding and teachings? Absolutely YES!!!
And WHY did YEHOVAH deliberately leave errors in Herbert Armstrong's understandings and teachings? Because this is the ONLY WAY YEHOVAH God has to differentiate between those who follow a MAN and those who truly seek the truth. If Herbert Armstrong's understanding and teachings had been perfect, then there would be no test left to distinguish between church members who followed the man and those who follow truth.
And why is it so important to YEHOVAH God to make this distinction? Two reasons!
First, as the WCG splinters, most of its former members are flocking to other up-start organizations. I use the word "flocking" because it comes from the habit of birds who blindly follow a leader wherever it goes regardless of whether the direction is the best/safest one or not. They just blindly follow!
The big three groups that the members are "flocking" to are: United, Global, and Philadelphia Churches of God. ALL these "churches" claim to one degree or another to be "getting back to the truth revealed by Herbert Armstrong"! But -- if they are heading in the same direction -- then why the division? Why don't they all join forces and unite?
The sad reason why they don't unite is that their real motive is the power, prestige, and sadly, the money. The leaders of United want it ALL, and so do the leaders of Global and the rest. Once again, human nature rears its ugly head!
Yeshua warned us of these leaders in Luke 20:46: "Beware of the teachers [modern day ministers] of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets". (NIV.)
Beware of these leaders!!!!
If you have the Bible on a computer or a concordance, just look up how many verses start with "beware"! Here are just a few examples:
Mt 7:15: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
Col 2:8: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Luke 12:1: ". . . Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
2Pe 3:17: ". . . beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked."
Lu 12:15: ". . . beware of covetousness: [The Money!]"
But remember: "It is not the hearers [or teachers] of the law that are justified before God, but the doers of the law." Romans 2:13.
If all these "churches" are seeking truth at all costs, then why did they say that the Worldwide Church of God was so full of massive errors?
In the case of the United Church of God -- why did the ministers who started it tolerate the obvious errors of the Worldwide Church of God headquarters for SO-VERY-VERY-LONG before breaking away? Answer: Their pay check was far more important to them than the truth! It was only when they were threatened with lay-offs by the Worldwide Church of God headquarters (due to lower income since mandatory tithing had been revoked) that they decided to split off and form their own church. These ministers clearly split-off to preserve what they could of their lively-hood, and not to preach the truth or they would have left years earlier. They only claim now to be going back to Herbert Armstrong's "truth" to disguise their real motive. After all, if they admitted they spun-off solely to preserve their income, how many would follow them? And again, more importantly -- what took them so long?
In the case of the Global Church of God, Rod Meredith always felt and believed that he should have been "heir" to the Worldwide Church of God enterprise after Herbert Armstrong. When he wasn't, he tried to influence Joe Tkach Sr. in matters of doctrine and the like. When that failed, he decided there were enough "dissidents" among both the ministry and the members that he could draw away to start his own church. Obviously he was correct or HIS church would not exist today. The question is, are his members worshipping YEHOVAH God or Doctor Rod Meredith? If you wonder about this, just write him a personal letter asking questions about one of his doctrines, and see what kind of response you get. I have done exactly that on several occasions and received absolutely no response of any kind! In other words, he either cannot or will not defend his views. I personally suspect "cannot"!
In the case of the Philadelphia Church of God, all I can say here, is -- just watch a few of his shows and actually look up the verses he quotes! Then read at least 10 verses before and after and you will see for yourself how badly he takes things out of context! Like Freud said: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"! If you are persuaded by any of his booklets, please write this ministry and mention the booklet and request the rebuttal to it.
Second, and perhaps far more important, you may ask why this distinction is SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to YEHOVAH God? Well it seems that (in case you haven't heard this before) a while back there was a leader of a congregation that was able to persuade the vast majority (if not every single member) of his congregation that his view/opinion was right -- and that YEHOVAH's view/opinion was wrong.
The members of this leader's congregation once originally knew the truth about YEHOVAH's will. Not just some of the truth, but the entire truth. Yet, this smooth-talking leader was able to twist and corrupt YEHOVAH God the Fathers' truth to such an extent that his congregation swallowed it "hook-line-and-sinker"!
This leader had been directly assigned by YEHOVAH God the Father Himself. He was not a self appointed leader like Herbert Armstrong was. By this I mean, he did not have to persuade his congregation that he was in charge with arguments. He was directly appointed by YEHOVAH God the Father as the leader of one third of all beings in existence at that time. And his congregation knew it because they were also appointed by YEHOVAH God the Father to be in his congregation. Could Herbert Armstrong ever make a claim like that?
But this leader perverted the truth as revealed by YEHOVAH God the Father, and persuaded his ENTIRE CONGREGATION to accept his perverted viewpoint. They could have left his congregation if they wanted to, but it doesn't seem like any wanted to. It seems that all this leader had to do was devise a lie that his entire congregation would swallow. And like I said before, this was a congregation that once knew the entire truth. But this leader was evidently a fantastic liar and Yeshua even complemented him later on his ability by giving him the title of "The Father of Lie's"!!!
As you may have guessed by now, that leader's name is Satan, and Satan was able to deceive one third of the angels (apparently ALL those assigned to him) to follow his lie. And if Satan was able to deceive one third of the angels in his lie -- and remember, these were/are beings who have actually seen and stood in the presence of YEHOVAH God the Father -- how much more so can he deceive us who have never seen or experienced the Father directly?
2 Cor 11:13-15: "For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
If staying loyal to church government is so important, then Herbert Armstrong should not have left the 7th Day Church of God. The 7th Day Church of God should not have left the Adventist, and the Adventists should not have left the Protestants. Protestants should not have left the Catholics. Catholics should not have left Satan. (Of course, some say they didn't!). And lastly, Satan should not have left the Father.
We Are Being Tested!
So why did the Worldwide Church of God have to fall? That is the ONLY way the Father can truly find out where our loyalties lie. Do we follow a man even when he is wrong? Or do we follow the truth no matter what?
We are being tested to the utter-most because those who pass will be given power second only to the Father himself. Perhaps for anyone who proves 100% loyal and trustworthy (not 99.9%, but 100%), that those persons might even be given power equal to the Fathers' own power! Think about it! How much does it delight an earthly father to see his son meet his own abilities! How much more would it delight our Heavenly Father to bestow upon a child he could totally trust, his own power and authority? That is probably our Heavenly Father's greatest joy and pleasure! How would you like to be the one he bestows it upon?
But before you get visions of glory and grandeur, think of how perfect you have to be before you warrant such trust! Besides, if your motivation is "glory and grandeur", you have already disqualified yourself!
Well, did Yeshua prophesy of the majority of people in our world today in John 3:19-20?: "And this is the condemnation [of the people of today's world], that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
And lets not forget Isaiah 5:20: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
And exactly what are we supposed to do about this? What if YOU (the reader), are feeling personally guilty about your own actions of the past and having been personally swept up in all the SINS and DARKNESS of this world? Exactly what does YEHOVAH God expect you to personally do about your own future actions?
As Malachi 4:4 says:
"Remember ye the law"!!!!!
And which law??? Read on! " -- of Moses my servant"!
That's right! That's EXACTLY what it said!
"Remember ye the law of Moses -- my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, [with] the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:4-6).
And what was "the law of Moses"? The law of YEHOVAH God, of course!
Will you be one who heeds and obeys? Or was Yeshua the Messiah speaking of you when he said in John 1:5: "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not". And was he also speaking of you when he said in Matthew 15:8: "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me".
Why didn't YEHOVAH use a perfect human being in setting up his church? Because there is no such thing as a perfect human being and, if there were, then it wouldn't fall! And if the church didn't fall, how could YEHOVAH test the members?
How can YEHOVAH God test people to see if they follow a being/man unless that leader leads them astray? Only those faithful to truth will abandon the leader and stick to the truth. YEHOVAH wants to know who those adherents are! Those are the ones he seeks to make absolute KINGS and PILLARS in his government.
And what does the bible say about these false ministers? At this point, I suggest reading ALL of 2 Peter, chapters 2 and 3. Here are but a few highlights: "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them -- bringing swift destruction on themselves."
"Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."
"Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men . . . was tormented . . . by the lawless deeds he saw and heard."
"This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings."
"But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you."
Make sure that YOU are not a BLEMISH in the eyes of YEHOVAH God!
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Taking the Lead in the Search for Truth!
Hope of Israel Ministries
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