Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
"DO NOT DISTURB" -- Christian Sleeping!
If someone warned you that your house was on fire, would you check it out -- or just turn up the air conditioner? If someone told you that your children were in danger, would you check it out -- or totally ignore the warning? If you were flying a plane and the low-fuel caution light began flashing, would you take appropriate precautionary steps -- or simply knock out the light? And if someone told you, in love, that your church was reverting to false -- and even pagan -- doctrines, such as the Trinity, would you check it out -- or merely accuse the one who warned you of being deceived, or having a "bad attitude," or worse?
Many in the Worldwide Church of God today are totally unaware that their church is now teaching the pagan doctrine of the Trinity. Those at the top of their hierarchy are freely and boastfully admitting that they are teaching the doctrine of the trinity, which will cause them to be "accepted" in the eyes of the world, and mainstream paganized "Christianity," such as the Roman Catholic Church and the major Protestant denominations while those at the lower, or local levels of this organization are told that they do not really teach the "Trinity." As a result, there is confusion in the Church -- or what psychologists refer to as "cognitive dissonance." With the proliferation of conflicting statements, and the resultant confusion, people don't quite know what they believe any more, ignore the controversy, and tend to accept whatever changes in doctrine are taught, as if it is not their responsibility to be concerned. It is as if they have hanged a "Do Not Disturb" sign over their door, so they can continue on, feeling "secure," as if there are no problems.
Is the Worldwide Church of God indeed teaching that YEHOVAH God is a "Trinity" -- composed of three "persons" or "personalities" represented by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Absolutely! Is the Worldwide Church of God rapidly moving to rejoin basic Protestantism in its doctrinal teachings! Absolutely! Here is further proof that what I have been saying for the past almost eight years, now, is the "plain truth."
Official Letter from "Headquarters"
A student from Purdue University wrote to the Ambassador College/Worldwide Church of God Personal Correspondence Department, and asked the following questions -- and received the following answers, from David Hunsberger, spokesman for the Church:
1. Does the Worldwide Church of God believe in the Trinity or a form of the Trinity?
ANSWER: "Yes, the Worldwide Church of God believes in a form of the Trinity. This is explained in our latest edition of the booklet God IS . . ."
2. If so how long have they held this belief or have they always believed this?
ANSWER: "The Church has been reviewing this doctrine for several years and formally announced it to the membership last summer" (emphasis/underlining is Hunsberger's in all answers).
3. Does the Worldwide Church of God believe the Holy Spirit is a person as God and Christ are?
ANSWER: "The Holy Spirit is a 'person' in the same sense that the Father and the Son are "persons." The theological definition of the word 'person' is, of course, different than the common meaning in nontheological terms."
4. In the Worldwide Church of God statement of beliefs, under the church, you state "the church is the collective body of believers who are called by God and in whom the holy spirit abides." Could this include an individual in any church? Would you also please define "collective body"?
ANSWER: "We believe that the Church (the spiritual Body of Christ) includes all persons who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, regardless of what denomination they may fellowship with currently."
5. I have read that the Worldwide Church of God once believed that Sunday observance was the mark of the Beast. Does the church still hold this view?
ANSWER: "We do not believe that Sunday observance is the mark of the beast, though this was occasionally preached many years ago."
6. I have also read that the Worldwide Church of God once believed that God was a family and that they (the members of the church) would be Gods in this family. First is this statement the correct old belief? If it is, then does the church still hold this belief?
ANSWER: "Yes, the Church once believed that God is a Family and that the saved would enter that Family upon being glorified. This belief is no longer held and was repudiated in our member newspaper, The Worldwide News, in 1991."
7. Does the Worldwide Church hold the belief that we are saved by grace alone and that our works play no bearing upon it?
ANSWER: "Yes, the Church teaches that we are salved by grace alone and that good works are the fruit of salvation not the cause of salvation."
8. Webster's New World Dictionary, of the American Language College Edition, gives the following definition for hypostases:
"3. in theology, a) originally, the unique essence or nature of the Godhead and, therefore, of the three persons of the Trinity. b) any of the three persons of the Trinity. c) the personality of Christ as distinguished from his two natures, human and divine."
Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines Trinity as:
"1(a) (1) the union of three persons or hypostases in one godhead so that all the three are one God as to substance but three persons or hypostases as to individuality: the triune God. (2) (a) the Christian doctrine of the Trinity b) a union or group of three deities: Triad."
Since the word hypostases means Trinity, why does the church insist on using a different word to describe exactly the same thing that all the Orthodox churches believe? [A great question!]
ANSWER: "We prefer the term hypostasis for 'persons' of the Godhead because it does not carry the impression of body, which the word 'person' does, to the modern audience. We do not object to the term 'person' if it is qualified so as to be understood correctly."
9. Does the church believe that a Catholic or Protestant can be a truly converted Christian even though they don't keep the seventh day Sabbath?
ANSWER: "Faith in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes a person a Christian, not the denomination he fellowships with. We have always acknowledged that there are truly converted Christians who do not recognize the Sabbath."
10. If a person has been baptized, fully immersed under water, does the Worldwide Church of God still require baptism to become a member of the Church?
ANSWER: "A person only needs one proper baptism by immersion as the symbol of repentance and faith in Christ. We do not require a second baptism if the convert has been baptized previously with proper understanding, faith and repentance."
Returning to Spiritual "BABYLON"
Here, with your own eyes, you have read the CURRENT TEACHINGS of the Worldwide Church of God as regards the Trinity (they endorse it!), the Godhead (they reject the "Family" of God doctrine, or that YEHOVAH God the Father is in any way "reproducing Himself"). They accept the holy spirit as a "person," even as the Messiah and the Father are; they no longer hold to the belief that the "Mark of the Beast" has anything to do with Sunday observance (which traditionally is the "mark" of Catholic-pagan influenced Christianity and its offshoots); and they believe that salvation comes through "grace ALONE" -- without ANY "works" being required or necessary -- including "obedience" to the Laws of YEHOVAH God! (presumably with the exception of the "works" of belief and baptism!).
On the one hand the Church still tells members they don't really teach the "Trinity" doctrine as other churches do, but rather teach the "hypostasis" of YEHOVAH God -- yet Webster's Dictionary proves beyond doubt that this is merely semantic DOUBLESPEAK -- the definition of the word "hypostasis" IS "TRINITY"! It literally means "the TRIUNE GOD," and "the Christian doctrine of the Trinity." How clever! How disingenuous! How deceitful and manipulative! In current English usage, the term "hypostasis" merely means TRINITY -- nothing more, nothing less!
And what about the Worldwide Church of God's teaching that true Christians can belong to ANY denomination (no matter how worldly, secular, apostate, heretical, ordinary, cosmopolitan, etc.) and be truly converted? This doctrine really upset one of the ministers of Worldwide when he heard about it. John Trechak writes in Ambassador Report (October 1994 issue):
"For months, a leaked February 9, 1993 letter written by Tkach was making the rounds in WCG circles. Tkach's letter was a response to a letter from church member Colleen Miller of Gardnerville, Nevada. The member had asked why the WCG should be preaching the gospel (as currently defined by Tkach) if other churches are already doing that on a very large scale . . . Tkach readily admitted that other churches besides the WCG were preaching the gospel, that there were converted Christians in churches other than the WCG, that some in the past left those churches for the WCG for reasons that were improper, and that 'The criterion for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ, not membership in a particular denomination.'
"Copies of the Tkach letter began circulating wildly among confused WCG members and ministers. When Colleen Miller allowed her own minister, Randy Schreiber, to read the Tkach dictum, he promptly mailed his own five page letter to Tkach. Schreiber pointed out to Tkach that if any member of any church could genuinely be converted, would it not follow that members of the WCG spinoff groups could also be converted? Tkach was not amused and, we hear, Schreiber is no longer in the WCG ministry" (AR 56, page 1).
Despite the many changes in the Worldwide Church of God doctrines, however, most of the membership seems to be adjusting to the changes with a minimum of loss of sleep, stress, or concern. Although income has been decreasing roughly ten million dollars a year for the past three years -- down from a high of $211.2 million in 1990 to total revenues in 1993 of only a faltering $175.6 million -- most members of the church seem "glued" to their church seats with Elmer's Crazy Glue-All. Nothing will dislodge them except a horrendous crisis -- a major holocaust.
"I'm Sick and Tired of Hearing People Say, JUST WAIT -- GOD WILL HANDLE IT!"
When former members confront current Worldwide members about the many doctrinal changes being made in their church, the members seem to respond with statements like:
"Oh, yes, aren't the changes wonderful? The Church is so much more open and friendly, now!"
"Mr. Armstrong made many mistakes. It is right for the church to own up to those mistakes and to correct them."
"I don't understand all the doctrinal changes, but I leave that for the theologians and ministers to wrestle and worry about. It doesn't concern me."
But perhaps the most common statement, expressing a deep attitude, is the refrain:
"I know there are problems in the Church. There always have been. But I trust God. God will handle it!"
Certainly, not all the changes made by Joseph Tkach and company are wrong, or hurtful. There should be more "openness," more "friendliness," and a spirit of brotherly love. But is all this outward show and ostentation merely to cloak and cover up a deep, dark and sinister reality?
Satan the devil himself is a master of disguises. He himself has a schizophrenic, split personality. He can come across as an "angel of light" at times, completely convincing and obviously "sincere." Paul wrote of him: "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" (II Cor.11:14-15) -- the very works which they DENY in their "grace alone" theology! Paul wrote of such, "They profess that they know God; but IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Titus 1:16).
Yes, YEHOVAH God will "handle" the wicked and their wicked works, all right -- He will cast them into Gehenna Fire! (I Cor. 6:9-10; Rev. 21:8; 22:14-15). YEHOVAH will "handle" the problems in the Church -- and punish those who follow heresy into idolatry (Matt. 7:21-23). Those who "accept" evil changes in doctrine, and just "follow along," will one day have to give account to YEHOVAH God (Rom. 1:18). YEHOVAH thunders in warning to His people, "COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4). What about you? Do you "get the message"? Or are you still "sleeping"? Sweet dreams!
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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