40 Ways in Which

Triumph Prophetic Ministries

DIFFERS from the Worldwide

Church of God, Messianic Jews, and                                                                 other End-Time Churches

 

                        What are the major differences between this Work of God and

                        the Worldwide Church of God, United Church of God, Living

                        Church of God, the Philadelphia Church of God, and many other

                        off-shoots of Worldwide?  What about our differences with

                        the Messianic Jews, and “Messianic Israel” groups?  Where

                        is God’s REAL “Work” being done, today?  How important is

                        the understanding these things and God’s TRUTH?

 

                                                         William F. Dankenbring

 

       About three thousand years ago, the prophet Elijah stood on Mount Carmel and addressed all Israel.  The people had forsaken God, and turned to the worship of Baal, a pagan sun god.  The truth of God was being suppressed and apostasy was rampant. 

 

       Elijah declared, in dramatic, thundering words: “How long will you waver between two opinions?  If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (I Kings 18:21, NIV). The people did not the courage to answer him.  In the ensuing moments, Elijah challenged and confronted the prophets of Baal, and in a supreme test, he called down fire from heaven, which consumed his sacrifice before all the assembled multitude (verses 36-38).  When the people saw this, they were awe-struck, and exclaimed, “The LORD – he is God!  The LORD – he is God!” (verse 39).

 

       Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul was faced with a similar dilemma.  It was an age of apostasy from the truth of God.  False doctrines were being taught right inside the Church of God, even churches he had raised up.  He was very concerned.  Paul warned the brethren at Thessalonica, “PROVE ALL THINGS; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess.5:21).

 

       In the sixteenth century A.D., the vast professing Christian church had gone astray from the simple teachings of Christ. A rigid formula of legalism and Catholic authoritarianism had supplanted the true teachings of Christ. The selling of “indulgences” was widely practiced throughout Europe as a means for the priesthood to raise money.  Nobles, rulers, and common people who had sinned, could buy their way into heaven, or buy forgiveness by making a monetary payment to the Church.

 

       When Martin Luther, a new Catholic priest, wrestled with his own conscience and conflicting Christian values, by studying the Scriptures, he found the Catholic Church had forsaken many of the basic teachings of Christ.  After several years, his differences caused him to be put out of the Church and declared a “heretic.” In 1521 he was ordered to appear before a meeting of princes, theologians and nobles by Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  They demanded that he retract his teachings.

 

       Luther'’s response became historic.  He replied:

 

                 “Unless I am convinced by the clear testimony of Scripture or by clear reason

                     (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known

                     that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the

                     Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.  I

                     cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go

                     against conscience.  I cannot do otherwise.”

 

       Luther’s example, of standing up to wrongly used authority, which tries to suppress truth, is one of great value and worth in this end time, when Christ said that many shall be deceived (Matt.24:5).  He warned that false prophets would deceive all but the “very elect” (v.24).

 

       But who are the “very elect”?  They can only be those who are faithfully looking into the Word of God, and not to supposed highly esteemed human leaders, for their faith, instruction, and spiritual understanding!  God's Word is the standard for us to judge everything!  To merely follow men, because they occupy high offices in the church, today, is a very great mistake, for God, in due time, may very well remove them from their high office in His righteous anger and furious indignation at their stubborn intransigence and refusal to grow in grace, truth, and knowledge.  He will surely punish all who reject knowledge (Hosea 4:6).  Those who refuse to admit error, and to repent when proven wrong, will be cast out by Christ Himself when He returns to establish His Kingdom!

 

       When the leaders of the Worldwide Church of God persecuted me, sixteen years ago, and cast me out of the Church, because of my writing books on Biblical topics, my eyes were drawn to Christ's blazing words in Matthew 5, beginning in verse 11: “Blessed are ye, when men shall REVILE you, and PERSECUTE you, and shall say all manner of EVIL against you falsely, for my sake.  REJOICE, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matt.5:11-12).

 

       Jesus went on to say, “Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

 

     “Let your light so SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may SEE you good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt.5:14-16).  God wants us to let our light SHINE FORTH.  If and when He grants us graciously new truth and understanding, of His Word, or the amazing prophecies for the end time, we are commanded by Christ to LET IT SHINE FORTH!  It would be a sin to bury it, or suppress it or to hide it under a pot or bed!

 

       But when we do so, we must be prepared to pay the price, even if it means being “cast out” of any modern church congregation which claims to be the true Church of God!  Mere human claims themselves mean nothing.  It is the proven, Scriptural TRUTH that counts!  Jesus said, “You shall know the TRUTH; and the TRUTH shall make you FREE” (John 8:32).

 

       In this article I am going to show you the ways in which we, in this ministry, are different from other churches in our teachings, doctrines, and Scriptural understanding.  In particular, I will show you where we differ from the past and present teachings of the Worldwide Church of God, and many of the various “off shoots” that sprang up from the spiritual apostasy that rent that church, as well as how we differ from “Messianic Jews,” and “Messianic Israel” groups. 

 

       I urge you to study this article carefully, and then do further research, and send for the particular articles which give additional proof, evidence and insight into the areas where we are different.  In fact, I CHALLENGE you to do so – for your own salvation could be at stake!  Surely you don’t want to be deceived, or to believe a “lie”, do you? 

 

       In each one of these areas you can study for yourself, and PROVE the truth!  It is up to YOU.

 

40 Errors of End-Time Churches

 

       ERROR #1 -- the Primacy of Peter—Peter was the “chief apostle.”

 

       Herbert W. Armstrong began teaching in recent years that Peter was the chief of the apostles and had authority over the others.  This was a distinct change from what the Church used to teach.  The Catholic Church, of course, had always claimed this.  However, Jesus told His disciple that they were not to call one another, or select ones among themselves, "Rabbi," or "Master," or "Lord," "for ONE is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" (Matt.23:8).  Peter was not over the other apostles in authority, despite the self-serving claims of Herbert Armstrong.  Rather, he and Paul were equals (see Galatians 2:7-9).  If Peter had been over Paul in authority, then Paul would have sinned by his rebuking Peter publicly (Gal.2:11-14). The truth is that Peter was the apostle to the Jews; Paul was the apostle sent to the Gentiles; and the other apostles were sent by God to other tribes of Israel.

 

       ERROR #2 -- the "One True Church" – true or false?

 

       At one time Herbert Armstrong admitted that truly converted people could belong to other churches. He even admitted that the "Sardis" Church (Rev.3:1-6) still existed today.  But increasingly toward the last years of His ministry he said he was God's only representative on earth, and that the Worldwide Church of God was the only true Church. 

 

       This claim is sheer nonsense.  God's Church is a spiritual organism, not a human corporation.  It comprises all those in all Churches who have truly surrendered their lives to Christ in baptism, and have repented of their sins, and are serving Christ to the best of their knowledge and understanding of the Word of God (Acts 2:38).  Therefore, although all Churches today have gone astray in some measure, some much more than others, it is very possible for many true Christians to be members of several different Churches (all of which, in spiritual type, are described in Revelation 2-3), including Adventists, Church of God Seventh Day, other smaller groups, and various Evangelical churches.  Who are we to try to sit in judgment of others?  The Word of God will judge each and every individual.  One does not have to be a member of the Worldwide Church of God in order to be saved!  Such an idea is utter nonsense.  A careful study of Revelation 2-3, the letters to the seven churches, shows the Church of God would become like a tree with several main branches in the end times, yet one original root.

 

        In recent years, of course, the remnant Worldwide Church of God has itself repudiated the idea that it is the "only" Church of God.  In fact, they now teach that there are true Christians in ALL the Churches, and even go along with mainstream "Christianity" and approve of them!  They have gone from one extreme to the opposite extreme -- from one ditch to the other!

 

       ERROR #3 -- Christians do not need to “qualify” for Salvation!

 

       Joseph Tkach introduced this new doctrine after the death of Herbert Armstrong.  He wrote in the Good News magazine that "qualifying" is not necessary for salvation, a distinct change from the historical teaching of the Church.  For years the Church has taught that we cannot "earn" salvation by good works.  However, Tkach changed this concept to include we cannot "qualify" for salvation.  A rather strange, subtle twist to the truth!  Of course, the Scriptures show that we are justified by Faith, not by works; and we are saved by Faith, not by human effort, rituals, or works (Eph.2:8-9). Nevertheless, good deeds ARE necessary for salvation (verse 10), because God has ordained that we walk in them.  If we don't, we disobey Him and break His commandments.  Jesus said to enter life we must "keep the commandments" (Matt.19:17).

 

       However, the word "qualify," if it is used to mean "earn" salvation, by our works, merely confuses the issue and creates a muddle of the truth.  Any dictionary shows that 'qualify" does not mean "earn," as a "reward." Rather, it is a non-religious term and simply means "get ready for," to prepare for," "meet the conditions for." To be saved, we must meet God's conditions for salvation -- which are belief in Christ, repentance, and surrender to Christ, to serve Him all our lives (Acts 2:38; 5:32; Matt.24:13).  Why confuse the issue and make a mountain out of a molehill?  Indeed, we MUST "qualify" to meet Christ -- we must "become worthy" -- we must be suitably dressed, spiritually, clothed in garments of righteousness.  Those who do not "qualify," will be cast into outer darkness (see Matt.22:11-13).  The bride of Christ will be composed only of those who have made themselves ready!  As John was told by the angel, "for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself READY" (Rev.19:7) -- that is, she "qualified"!

 

            ERROR #4 -- There is no such thing as "Physical Sin" -- breaking physical laws is not a sin!

 

            According to the Worldwide Church of God, there is no such thing as "physical sin," and breaking physical or health laws is not "sin," even though it may hurt your body or kill you.  But God says the wages of "sin" is death (Rom.6:23). To say that breaking the laws of physics, chemistry, gravity, is not "sin" or "lawlessness" is plain dumb (I John 3:4).  The Church of God now teaches it is not "sin" -- i.e., transgression of God's law -- to eat polluted, cancerous food, even if it kills you.  Arsenic is all right though it will kill you.  Breaking a speed law and causing an accident that kills a whole family is not a sin!  It is merely an "accident."  What?  Can we not see through the veil of such errant nonsense?  If a person foolishly drives a car 100 miles per hour, in a 35 mile per hour zone, and kills himself or others it is most certainly a SIN against both God and man.  If we break physical laws, we pay a penalty the penalty of sin, or lawlessness.

 

            ERROR #5 -- Christians no longer need to observe Sabbath or to keep the annual holy days!

 

            For years I was warning the people of the Worldwide Church of God that their leadership was plunging into sheer apostasy.  From 1987 I have been shouting the warning.  But few listened.  Few heeded.  It seemed as if very few really cared any more. 

 

            Then, Joseph Tkach really exposed himself for what he really is.  He proudly claimed, in a sermon given at Big Sandy, Texas, that the Sabbath day and annual holy days of God are "abolished" by the New Covenant!  We no longer need to observe them!  In fact, he said, we only do so now as a matter of "tradition," but if you wish to, you may now WORK on the Sabbath and annual Holy days!

 

            The sheer blatancy of this new teaching should not cause us to marvel.  Christ warned us  that there would be false prophets rising up in the last days (Matt.24:4-5, 12, 24).  Paul warned also that men would come teaching doctrines of demons (I Tim.4:1-2), deceiving and being deceived (II Tim.3:13).  Men who would exchange the truth of God for fables and fantasies (II  Tim.4:3-4).

 

            For the truth on these subjects, write for our articles "Sabbath Versus Sunday," "Does It Matter What Days We Observe?”  "Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?" and "The Annual Holy Days of God." 

 

            ERROR #6 -- the New Covenant abolishes the laws of God -- except those clearly defined and stated in the New Testament.  This includes the law against eating unclean meats, such as shellfish, pork, or other "delicacies."

 

            In conjunction with the idea that the Sabbath and annual holy days are abolished, the new revised Worldwide Church of God has also repudiated the laws against eating unclean meats, an claims that the New Covenant abolishes ALL the "Old Testament" laws, except those clearly reiterated in the New Testament!

 

            Yet, Jesus Christ said He did not come to abolish or destroy ONE JOT OR TITTLE of the Laws of God (Matt.5:17-19).  He told a young rich man who asked Him the way to eternal life, "If you would enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Matt.19:17). 

 

            The apostle Paul clearly taught that God's Law is "holy, just, and good" (Rom.7:12).  He said that God's law is SPIRITUAL (Rom.7:14), and that which is spiritual is ETERNAL (II Cor.4:17-19).  David also spoke highly of the law of God -- read Psalm 119.  How could God do away with His Law, which is the very essence of His own spiritual CHARACTER and likeness?

 

            Write for the articles "Is Obedience Required for Salvation," "A New Look at Galatians," "Is the Law Nailed to the Cross."  Also, write for the article, "Should a Christian Eat Unclean Meats?”

 

            ERROR #7 -- Cremation is all right -- it is your own decision.

 

       The Bible clearly shows from Genesis to Revelation that Cremation is a pagan practice, stemming from the doctrine of the immorality of the soul.  It is also a type of the 'lake of fire' which will consume the wicked.  The Bible example of all the saints is burial, in expectation of the resurrection.  Christ Himself was buried, setting us an example (I Pet.2:21, I John 2:6).  My article on this subject proves beyond question that cremation is a practice Christians should avoid.

 

  

 

       ERROR #8 -- Daniel's 2300 days are really 1150 days, were fulfilled as such in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, and do not really apply today

 

       This may not seem like a major “error,” but it was primarily for disagreeing with this teaching that the Worldwide Church of God cast me out of their midst in 1987!  The simple truth is, it has never understood the prophecy of Daniel's 2300 days.  Herman L. Hoeh has taught that these are 1150 days and refer only to the time of Antiochus Ephiphanes.  However, this is not true.  The Bible itself clearly shows that an "evening and a morning" equal one day (Genesis 1), and 2300 evenings and mornings equal 2300 days (see Adam Clark's Commentary, Jamieson, Faucet and Brown's Commentary).  Thus 2300 days equals 2300 years in fulfillment (Num.14:34; Ezek.4:6). During the time of Antiochus, the abomination of desolation lasted exactly three years -- not 1150 days.  History proves it!

 

       Amazing as it sounds, from the date Alexander the Great first defeated the Persians at the Granicus River in 334 B.C. till the Six Day War in 1967 when Israel recaptured the Temple mount was exactly 2300 years!  Read my article, 'Daniel's 2300 Day Prophecy Revealed at Last!"

 

            ERROR #9 -- Daniel's 1260,1290 and 1335 Days Not Understood by Worldwide Church of God and its off-shoots today.

 

       In the last chapter of Daniel a mysterious prophecy of 1260, 1290 and 1335 days is given.  The Worldwide Church of God has no answer as to the meaning of the 1335 days.  However, they postulate that the three periods of time all end at the point of Christ's return, and therefore the 1290 days begins 30 days prior to the 1260, and that this 30 day period is the time allowed for the Church to flee to a place of safety.  Does this idea make any sense?  Daniel is told, 'Blessed is he that waiteth,, and cometh to the 1335 days" (verse 12).  This clearly implies the 1335 continues on beyond the end of the 1260 and 1290.  This suggests that the 1290 continues on past the 1260.  In other words, all three periods of time BEGIN at the same point.  They do not end at the same point.

 

     Daniel 9:27 says the coming prince who destroys Jerusalem shall cause the sacrifice to cease 'in the midst of the week" - the week being the final seven years of this age.  The "midst of the week" would be at the 3 and one half year point, or 1260 days from the return of Christ (see Rev.13:5; 12:6,14). This is the same point when the Church flees to safety (Rev.12:14). The Church flees when it sees the "abomination of desolation set up" (Matt.24:15-16).  This is 1260 days before the return of Christ (Rev.12:6, 14).  Yet Daniel 12:11 says that from the time the daily sacrifice is taken away is when the 1290 days also begins!  Thus the 1260 and 1290 days begin at the same time!  The 1290 ends 30 days later -- probably the time of the month of the regathering of Israel after Christ returns.  The 1335 would refer to the 'blessed" event of the marriage feast of the Lamb and His bride, the Church (compare Rev.19:7-9 and Dan.12:12).

 

            ERROR #10 -- Herbert W. Armstrong taught that the Jews will not rebuild a Temple in Jerusalem, but the Temple refers to the Church.  Most of the Worldwide offshoots still believe this fallacy.

 

            The prophecies of the Bible very plainly teach that a real, literal, physical temple or sanctuary will exist on the Temple Mount before Christ returns.  Armstrong insisted that in his meetings with Israeli leaders he learned they have absolutely NO INTENTION of rebuilding a temple and thus stirring up Arab hostility and wrath.  He changed the Church's teaching on this point in 1969 after a co-worker, prospective member of the Church from Australia set fire to the Al Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount and there was a huge investigation in Israel and a court trial.  The man had been reading the Plain Truth and had learned from Church literature that a temple was to be rebuilt Apparently he thought he would help the process along.  To save face in Israel, and to protect the Church, Herbert quickly claimed the Church does NOT teach a temple will be rebuilt.  Thus he "copped out" on the truth and compromised -- something he claimed he would "never do." Strange how those who most solemnly protest their innocence are usually guilty of the very thing they so vehemently condemn in others! 

 

            For evidence and proof that a temple or sanctuary must be rebuilt prior to the return of Christ, compare II Thess.2:4; Rev.11:1-2; Matt.24:15; Dan.9:26-27; Dan.8:11-13; Dan.11:31; Psalm 79:1, for starters.  Also, send for my article, "Will a Temple be Rebuilt in Jerusalem?" and read the chapter on the Temple in my book Escape from Armageddon.   Interestingly, in the June 1967 "Personal" in the Plain Truth, Herbert Armstrong plainly predicted a temple would be rebuilt on the Temple Mount, and even claimed it would be done WITHIN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS!  It was not the first time he erred in the understanding of prophetic fulfillment But just because one has the time frame wrong does not means the general concept was wrong.  But he was so disappointed that he threw the truth out with the error -- like throwing precious jewels and diamonds out with the regular garbage!  How sad!

 

            ERROR #11 – The Worldwide Church of God taught that God does not bind marriages in the world, only marriages performed in the Church are binding.  True or false?

 

     Originally, Herbert Armstrong taught divorce was never sanctioned by the Word of God for any cause; marriages could be dissolved only in the case of "fraudulent intent" or deception on the part of one of the couple.  This teaching caused severe trauma, heart-break, and the breaking up of thousands of families -- a terrible tragedy never justified by the Word of God.  Jesus plainly said that in the case of "fornication" -- porneia, in the Greek -- a marriage was not binding, and the partners would be free to remarry.  The definition of this Greek word caused Herbert Armstrong no end of trouble.  Not a Greek scholar, or even a student of Greek, and seemingly blind to the definition of this word found in Greek lexicons, he insisted it only applied to 'premarital sex" when used in the New Testament!  Yet Paul used it in I Corinthians 6:18, which Moffatt translates as "immorality." The truth is, porneia refers to all kinds of sexual excess, promiscuity, whoredom, adultery, harlotry, as well as premarital sex!  This simple understanding would have saved thousands of families from incredible needless suffering and spiritual "martyrdom." Broken homes, with children the innocent victims, would have been saved, rather than imperiously demanded in order to satisfy a rigid and heartless misinterpretation of Scripture!

 

       But then, in 1974, the Church went to the opposite extreme, and declared that only marriages performed inside the Church were recognized by God as binding.  Of all the incredible, self-centered, arrogant, proud nonsense!  Thus the Church went from the right-hand ditch to the left-hand ditch, and fell in.  Interestingly, now even marriages recently performed inside the Church are allowed to dissolve and the partners to remarry.  If you would like to read the real "plain truth" about divorce and remarriage, according to the Bible, then write for my article on the subject.  It will make it truly plain and understandable.  It is so sad that so many people had to suffer so greatly because of one man's incredible ego and spiritual blindness.   Of course, the Worldwide Church of God today has totally repudiated all the marriage teachings of Herbert Armstrong. 

 

       ERROR #12 -- The Worldwide Church of God teaches that TITHING as a Law of God was abolished by Jesus Christ.  Most of the offshoots, however, teach this doctrine just as Herbert Armstrong did.  The truth is, both sides are wrong!

 

       The Worldwide Church of God once taught that tithing is binding upon Christians as divine law, and that three tithes are required -- the first tithe to God, besides offerings; the second tithe for the annual festivals (any excess to go to the ministry); and every third and sixth year out of the seven year cycle a third tithe for the Church "third tithe fund."  Over the years must controversy arose over how this "third tithe fund" was used.  At times it was used to help purchase and/or to buy fuel for the jet aircraft of the Church, and to help pay ministers' travel expenses during the fall festival.  Widows needs, which was originally one of the primary purposes of this tithe in ancient Israel, were often sadly neglected.  Some favored employees even got "third tithe loans" which they never had to pay back to purchase houses, cars, or other items.

 

       This abuse of authority and corruption of the use of money is standard operating procedure for human nature, of course.  An old saying goes, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." It was corruption and the abuse of money that led to the Reformation in the Middle Ages, even more than doctrinal error. 

 

       The Worldwide under Joseph Tkach and his son, however, has totally repudiated the teaching of the Bible concerning tithing.  They claim Christ abolished ALL God’s commandments, except those defined in the New Testament. 

      

       The truth is, although Jesus taught tithing as a commandment or law of God which we should obey (Matt.23:23) -- He said He did not come to abolish ONE SINGLE SOLITARY law of God (Matt.5:17-19) -- He never intended His Church to make "tithing" such a burden on the backs of the people of God!  Of course, true Christians should "tithe" ten percent of their income, as faithful Abraham and Jacob did, to God, as the means of support for the New Testament Church ministry (Gen.14:20; 28:22; I Cor.9:7-14).  However, the Church completely misunderstood the subject of "second" and "third" tithes!  As the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, made in 250 B.C., shows, the "third" tithe was actually the "second" tithe in the third and sixth years of the seven year Sabbath cycle! 

 

        The truth is, tithing was a law of God BEFORE the Levitical priesthood even existed (Gen.26:5).  The tithe was later transferred to the Levites, for their support (Lev.27:30-32; Num.18:21).  However, when Christ came and instituted the Church, He transferred the tithe from the Levites to His ministry (Heb.7:4-12).  "For the priesthood being CHANGED, there is made of necessity a change also of the law."  Notice!  Not a doing away with the tithing law, but a CHANGE IN THE LAW!  What change?  A change necessitated because of the change in priesthood's, from Levitical to Melchisedek!  Christ is a high priest after the order of Melchisedek.  Now the tithes should go to HIS representatives -- the true ministers of God -- for the support of their spiritual work, and livelihood!  What could be clearer

 

            ERROR #13 -- When should we observe Pentecost?  The Worldwide Church of God no longer observes God’s annual holy days.  Most of the off-shoot churches,  however, keep Pentecost by counting from the day after the weekly Sabbath occurring during the days of Unleavened Bread.  What is the truth?

 

     Jesus Christ said the Pharisees sat in Moses' seat (Matt.23:2-3), not the Sadducees, and that we should 'do all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe." The Pharisees always counted Pentecost from the day after the first annual Sabbath which began the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  They were a conservative religious sect, whereas the Sadducees were a very liberal, politically oriented sect which even denied the resurrection, the existence of angels, and spirit (Acts 23:8).  The apostle Paul himself had been a Pharisee (Acts 23:6).  Strange, isn't it, that the Church of God would follow after the liberal and loose Sadducees, instead of the custom of those whom Jesus said the apostles should look to (Matt.23:2)? Likewise, the Samaritans counted from the day after the weekly Sabbath. 

 

     Who were these Samaritans?  They were pagans who occupied the territory of northern Israel after the ten tribes were taken captive by Assyria, developed a strange religion combining elements of the Old Testament perverting them, and adding to them pagan doctrines (see II Kings 17:23-41).  These Samaritans even built their own temple on Mount Gerizim.  But Jesus said of them, "Ye worship ye know not what" (John 4:22).  Should the Church follow their example?

 

     For more information on this subject, write for the articles, "What Is the Correct Day to Observed Pentecost?", "The Astonishing Truth about Pentecost!", "Pentecost -- the Final Answer!" and "Just Who Were the Pharisees? "

 

            ERROR #14 -- Church Authority—this is the ONE principle taught by Herbert Armstrong which is still embraced by MOST of the offshoots of Worldwide, as well as Worldwide itself!

 

       The Worldwide Church of God, in following the example of Herbert W. Armstrong, has adopted a very rigid and lofty form of Church Government.  Ministers “rule” over the flock, potentially in every area of their lives.  Members are encouraged to counsel with their local minister in just about everything.  Ministers have authority to even judge people’s attitudes and to disfellowship individuals who disagree with them on some point or issue, on the basis of "bad attitude." Of course, sometimes the minister errs and gets caught, and is reprimanded, but nevertheless the abuse of authority is commonplace.  Herbert Armstrong set an example of high and imperious living and overbearing authority.  Woe unto any one who dared to question him on anything.  Ministers have been fired for less!  One minister merely demurred firing a loyal subordinant when called long distance by Herbert Armstrong’s assistant, and told to do so, wanting to know why; the next day he found himself removed from his sensitive position and recalled back to Pasadena for consultation and reassignment.

 

       Ministers wear their authority like a uniform of the German Gestapo; they carry it like a sheriff s badge.  Any who get "out of line,' or ask too many questions, are viewed with suspicion and eventually dealt with.  All must conform to the edicts and policies and statements coming from "headquarters," or else suffer the consequences -- disfellowshipment.

 

       Jesus Christ never approved of such an approach toward Church government.  Peter said elders should feed the flock of God "which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being LORDS over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock" (I Pet.5:2-3).

 

       Christ Himself warned His disciples, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant' (Matt.23:11).  He cautioned His disciples, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles EXERCISE DOMINION over them, and they that are great exercise AUTHORITY upon them.  But it shall not be so among you.- but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matt.20:25-27).

 

       Somewhere over the years this concept of the loving shepherd leading his flock with love and devotion has been lost.  Instead, we find human nature coming to the forefront and ministers wielding authority like tiny despots, little hitters, and even prying into peoples lives and advising them on such silly things as what color truck or automobile to purchase.  Perversely, it seems like some gullible sheep have a strong sheep instinct to conform, and they enjoy being humiliated and abused, like some battered wives.  At least they get attention that way!  Paul had to face this same problem.  He wrote to the Corinthians, “For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.  For ye suffer, if a man BRING YOU INTO BONDAGE, if a man DEVOUR YOU, if a man take of you, if a man EXALT HIMSELF, if a man SMITE YOU ON THE FACE” (II Cor.11:19-20).

 

       Incredible, isn't it?  Yet so many brethren seem to actually enjoy being beaten down by authoritarian ministers!  Today we live in the age of the “Monster Minister,” who brags, struts, puffs out his chest like a pompous pouter pigeon, and barks orders like a gunnery sergeant in the army!  For shame!  God calls them “CRUEL shepherds” (Jer.23; Ezek.34), who rule over the flock with FORCE!  Write for the articles on “Is There Government in the Church of God?”, “The Plain Truth about Church Authority,” and “Crisis in the Worldwide Church of God – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

 

       ERROR #15 -- The Worldwide Church of God once claimed it will be protected in a place of safety, probably Petra in Jordan, from the Great Tribulation.  Worldwide now repudiates the idea of a “place of safety.”  Some of the offshoots still believe in the “Petra” theory.

 

       In Revelation 12 we read that God will protect some of His people from Satan’s wrath "in the wilderness" (Rev.12:14).  Jesus warned His servants that when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies, they should flee to the mountains of Judea (Matt.24:16), but Petra is in the Arab nation of Jordan.  Furthermore, the prophetic Psalm 83 shows that Jordan ("Ammon" and "Moab," verses 6-7) will be allied with the Beast Power, Germany, in the end-time ("Assyria," verse 8), against God's nation of Israel (Psalm 83:1-4).  Should the people of God seek refuge in a nation which is a strong ally of the Beast itself?   It hardly seems likely.

 

       Where is the future "place of safety"?  Revelation 12:6 shows that during the Middle Ages the Church fled the boundaries of the Roman Empire to "the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God." At that time the Church fled to the mountains of eastern Europe, and southern France, and Germany, and into western Europe and England.  Thus this "place prepared of God" need not be a desert rocky wasteland such as Petra at all, but can refer to any mountainous region beyond the "reach" of the future Roman Empire. It could include many places where individual congregations or groups of God's people find refuge -- places throughout the nations of modem Israel -- mountainous areas in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, and so forth.

 

       The idea that God will lead thousands of Church members from locations around the globe to a hostile desert, to a barren rocky region in southern Jordan, and feed all of them there for three and one half years -- carrying them on jet aircraft, and steamships from around the world -- seems preposterous, to say the least.  Nevertheless, some of the offshoots of the Worldwide Church of God have never given up that bizarre belief.  If they do ever “flee” to Petra, they will very likely be going from the frying pan into the fire!  However, prophecy shows their fate is not to be preserved in a place of safety, but to be plunged into the Great Tribulation (see Rev.3:18-19; 7:14; Ezek.34:5-10, 13-16; Zech.11:3-5,15-17).

 

       Write for the article "Amazing New Evidence -- Where Is the Place of Safety?"

 

            ERROR #16 – Was Herbert Armstrong the Elijah to come?

 

       Although God did use Herbert and Loma Armstrong to raise up a Work of God during these end-times, and in some areas Herbert Armstrong did recapture a certain amount of truth and true values, nevertheless, in the final analysis he was not the prophesied Elijah to come.  The one coming in the power and spirit of Elijah is yet to appear.  Herbert Armstrong died before the culmination of prophetic events.  The Elijah to come will very likely be one of the two witnesses (Rev. 11).

 

       Herbert Armstrong's own family deserted him and left the Church he founded.  His daughters left the Church years ago when the Church legislated on the issue of cosmetics and make up.  His son rebelled against Herbert Armstrong in 1978 in a power struggle over who was to run the Church.  The Church has not had much success in dealing with its young people, and the children of members.  Yet the Elijah to come is to be one who “shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Mal.4:6). Herbert Armstrong did not even succeed with his own family!

 

       The church itself has had a terrible record in dealing with young people, alienating them, and turning them off. 

 

       Since the Church has failed miserably in this area, Herbert Armstrong could hardly have been the Elijah to come who truly will bring families back together.  Because of the teachings of Herbert Armstrong on divorce and remarriage, he did more to break up homes and marriages than any other minister in modern times!  And his neglect of spending time with his own children as they grew up, and abuse toward them, set a tragic example for the entire Church of God, today.  His mistakes and errors in his area, in his own family, are legendary, including "incest"!  The proof of these allegations has been produced and admitted by those who knew Herbert Armstrong, including his own son. 

 

       Documentation is available for those who desire it.  Write for our articles, "How Are The Mighty Fallen!" and "Back to Babylon!"

 

       These facts prove conclusively that Herbert Armstrong, who himself admitted at times that he was not a "prophet," could not be the prophet Elijah who is to come preparing the way for the Messiah.  Since he was NOT the prophet Elijah, this means that Gerald Flurry, of the so-called Philadelphia Church of God, could not be his successor, “Elishah,” nor is he “that Prophet” who was to come, as he himself so audaciously claims to be!  He is nothing more than another definitely “false” prophet of the end times!

 

            ERROR #17 -- the Worldwide Church of God claimed to have great understanding in the area of child rearing, but the fruits over the years have proved otherwise.

 

            Years ago Ted Armstrong wrote a booklet on child rearing which, for many years, was the standard child-rearing text used by parents in the Worldwide Church of God.  Herbert Armstrong used to boast of his sores expertise in this area, pointing to his 'well-behaved sons' as models of comportment.  However, the child-rearing booklet was a collection of negative, authoritative misstatements and mumbo-jumbo which led many Church of God parents to over-emphasize the punitive aspects of child-rearing, and inspired some parents to physically abuse and beat their children!

 

            Many years ago, I heard a headquarters minister in Pasadena advocate spanking newborn babies by the use of one or two fingers!  Incredible as it sounds, the monster of child-rearing madness still has not been purged from the minds and attitudes of members and ministers of the Worldwide Church of God.  The Church has yet to write a truly balanced, useful, wise booklet on child-rearing and development.  The errors of Ted Armstrong's old booklet are too numerous to mention here.  However, I strongly recommend the books by an acknowledged expert in this area, Dr. James C. Dobson, available at most Christian bookstores.  His books on the family and child rearing have become minor classics.

 

            ERROR #18 -- the Worldwide Church of God exalts the ministry and abases the membership by following a military type of government, and has introduced "ranks" in the ministry which are achieved by special "ordination."

 

             In the Worldwide Church of God as it has been constituted for decades, it is a sin for any member or even a deacon to preach the gospel.  Members are told they must be quiet, silent witnesses, and only answer questions of non-members as they are asked.  This is very strange since Jesus Christ commanded His disciples, to whom He gave the command to preach the gospel to every creature, and the command to teach all nations (Matt.28:19), to also teach those who repent and believe "ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU" (Matt.28:20).

 

            In other words, the command to preach the gospel was passed down to EVERY MEMBER of the Church, according to their ability and talents.  Today, if any deacon or lay member were to "preach" without authorization from headquarters, they would be disfellowshipped!  However, this was not the way things were done in the apostolic Church.  In that Church even deacons who were not ordained as elders or "high ranking ministers" did mighty works, and were "full of faith and power" (Acts 6:8).

 

            In Acts 8 we find that great persecution came upon the Church after the death of Stephen, and the brethren "were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles' (Acts 8:1).  What did these scattered lay members do?  Did they remain silent, and leave the preaching to the apostles?  Notice!  "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere PREACHING THE WORD" (verse 4)!

 

            The original true Church of God NEVER disfellowshipped people for preaching the truth of God, whether they were "licensed" or not.  It was the false teachers, the Pharisees and their type, who to protect their own abused authority, who persecuted those who tried to preach the truth, and even KILLED some of them!

 

            One of these early unordained "preachers" whom God inspired was a deacon named Philip.  Contrary to the kind of Church government established by Herbert Armstrong, and maintained by Joseph Tkach, this mere "deacon" had the audacity, the effrontery, the boldness, to PREACH to the unconverted peoples around him!  He did not remain silent.  He did not make himself into a powerless wimp, or a weak-kneed pansy who couldn't talk.  He didn't allow men to change him into a little “church mouse.”  What did Philip do?  "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and PREACHED CHRIST unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did" (Acts 8:5-6).

 

            Philip was “preaching those things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12) -- yet he was not ordained as a minister or elder, he was a deacon!

 

            In the New Testament we do find that there are different offices in the Church of God (Eph.4:11-13). However, nowhere is there any indication that these were "ranks" of the ministry.  Rather, each were separate "gifts" of the Spirit of God (Eph.4:11; I Cor.12:31; I Cor.12:28). There is no indication that the early Church had separate "ordination ceremonies" for men achieving different "ranks' in the ministry.  Rather, the only kind of ordination described was for the office of "elder." These other “offices” were gifts of God's Spirit, not "ranks" of the ministry!

 

     ERROR # 19 -- the Worldwide Church of God claims there is no need of "prophets" in the church today.  Most of the off-shoots would agree with this statement.  What about this?

 

     There were prophets in the early Church of God.  There were also prophetesses (see Acts 21:9-14).  They performed a vital function in the Church.  They were necessary.  Yet you would think that if any age of the Church did NOT "need" prophets, it would have been the first century Church, because they had the very 12 apostles among them, besides the 120 who had followed Christ and heard Him teach, personally (Acts 1:15).  Surely, in our day, we would need prophets far more than they did!

 

       The apostle Paul clearly described the office of "prophet" as being important to the Church.  He wrote to the Corinthians, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily PROPHETS, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues" (I Cor.12:28).

 

       Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "And He gave some, apostles; and some, PROPHETS; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" (Eph.4:11). In fact, prophets were considered part of the FOUNDATION of the Church (Eph.2:20). Paul wrote of the "mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles AND PROPHETS' (Eph.3:5, NIV).

 

       How then, could Joseph Tkach dare to say that the office of prophet is not necessary today?  Back in the years 1965 to 1969, when I worked in the Letter Answering Department of the Church, we used to send out letters to people saying that since we now have the entire Word of God, the Bible, there is no further need of prophets.  But that kind of reasoning is circular; it is foolish; it begs the question.  How do we KNOW we have the "entire" Word of God?  Cannot God add to His Word from this generation, or the future, if He chooses to do so?

 

       Scripture reveals God has always sent prophets ESPECIALLY when the ministers or priests failed to do their duty, corrupted God's truth, and began to apostatize from the way of God!  Today the ministry has a “prophesy not” attitude, just as was foretold in the book of Amos (Amos 2:12).  God says He will do nothing without first revealing His plan and activity to His servants THE PROPHETS (Amos 3:6-7).  God raises up prophets DURING A TIME OF CRISIS!

 

     We are living in a time of unprecedented crisis, both in the world AND IN THE CHURCH OF GOD, right now!

 

       The truth is that the modern Worldwide Church of God, because of their negative attitude toward prophecy, has rejected revealed truth and prophetic knowledge from God!  It claims it has "knowledge," but knowledge "puffs up," as Paul said (I Cor.8:1). It is BLIND to what is occurring in the world, and to its own desperate situation itself.

 

       This fact also is true of the OFF-SHOOTS of the Worldwide Church of God, which also deny the modern-day spiritual office of PROPHET! 

 

       The 14th chapter of I Corinthians deals almost entirely with the “gift of prophecy” (I Cor.14:1). Paul said it is something we should all desire (same verse).  He adds, 'Wherefore, brethren, COVET TO PROPHESY" (verse 39).  And, to those who are negatively disposed to the idea of prophets, Paul warns, "Despise not prophesyings" (I Thess.5:20).

 

       Will there be prophets of God during these end times?  Of course there will be!  Peter was inspired to write, quoting from the prophet Joel, "And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters SHALL PROPHESY. . ." (Acts 2:17-18).

 

       I could go on and on, but this should be sufficient.  If you would like to study this subject further, then write for the articles, "Are There Any Prophets Today?" "Just What Is a Prophet?", "Where Have All the Prophets Gone?" and "If John the Baptist Were Here, Today -- Would You Recognize Him?"

 

       ERROR #20 -- the Worldwide Church of God now endorses all medical treatments, without question.

 

       In the Bible God clearly says He is 'Yahveh-Ropheka," or "God our Healer" (Exodus 15:26).  He says, "I am the Lord that healeth thee" (same verse).  He also says if we keep His commandments, "I will put one of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians."  Evidence shows the ancient Egyptians were smitten with all the so-called modern "degenerative" diseases, the diseases of "civilization," including heart disease, cancer, and diseases that stemmed from their unbalanced diet, eating of impure foods, unclean meats, and improper living habits.

 

       God says if we would obey His laws, in truth and reality, we could be spared from these modem "curses" of the industrial and "civilized" world.  Modern medicine, however, sadly ignores the laws of God and His codes which would lead to radiant health.  Read our articles on “Bible Health Keys,” and “The Lost Keys to Health.”  Also, be sure to read our booklet, “Does God Heal Today?” 

 

       The Bible nowhere condemns the wise use of doctors, or medicine, when a person is ill.  In fact, Solomon wrote that a “cheerful heart doeth good like a medicine.”  Herbs have been used to facilitate healing since the beginning of time.  However, not everything in modern medical practice is necessarily wise or good.  “In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom,” Solomon wrote.   Doctors are human, like everybody else. 

 

       Some medical procedures are very risky.  Even vaccinations have proved to be fatal to some people.  Some people’s lives have been ruined and devastated by inept and unnecessary surgery. 

 

       The Worldwide Church of God was wrong when it used to preach against ALL medical practice and inveigh against doctors as practicing ancient witchcraft.  Oh how wrong they were!  But that does not mean we should all plunge over to the opposite extreme and now endorse ALL medical practices and procedures.  

 

       ERROR #21 – Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God taught that Ethiopia is the "king of the south" in Bible prophecy. 

 

       In my article "Egypt in Prophecy!  Who Is the "King of the South"?  I make very plain that the Bible clearly shows the future "king of the south" in prophecy will be Egypt, with its allies.  Since the time of Abdul Gamal Nasser, in the 1950's, Egypt has regained its independence and has become a power among the Arab nations.  During the time span of Daniel 11, the "king of the south" was always Egypt.  In this end-time as well, many prophecies show that Egypt is destined to play a major role in world affairs.  The evidence is plain as can be.  Isaiah and Ezekiel also show that Egypt will play a prominent role in the end-time as part of the “kingdom of the south,” an ARAB and MUSLIM kingdom.  Ethiopia is neither Arab nor Muslim. 

 

       However, Herbert Armstrong consistently claimed Ethiopia, a backwater, minor nation, was the end-time "king of the south." He asserted Egypt could not fulfill this role because it lost its independence.  This makes no sense whatsoever.  Although Ethiopia was at one time conquered by the Italians, under Mussolini, it regained its independence shortly thereafter.  In an article in the Good News magazine, published by the church, on the prophecy of Daniel 11, the same claim was reiterated.  Why the Worldwide Church of God long clung to this out-moded interpretation, even since the death of Herbert Armstrong.  Many off-shoots have never even addressed the error.  Write for my article, “Daniel 11 in Bible Prophecy,” and “Who Is the King of the South?”

 

       ERROR #22 -- the Worldwide Church of God teaches that Satan and his demons are "eternal" spirit beings and thus will suffer eternal punishing and torment forever and ever!

 

       Perhaps the first area where I wrote something which differed from the ideas of Herbert W. Armstrong was in this area.  In my book Beyond Star Wars, published in 1978, I asked, “Will the devil, and his angels, be ultimately destroyed?  Or will their spirits roam forever in the new universe that God will create?”

 

       I go on to quote II Peter 3:10-13 to show that only "righteousness" will dwell in that new heavens and new earth.  I explain, "There will be no trace of wickedness in that new world -- not the vaguest hint of wickedness (Rev.21:8). God will finally rid himself of his arch enemy, this competitor, this arch villain, this age-old rebel.  Some believe that the devil, being a spirit creature, cannot be destroyed or put to death, and that he will simply be cast out into outer darkness, into the infinite regions of space, to foam out his bitterness and hostility for ever."

 

       I went on to explain, "But I am convinced that such is not the case.  Christ the Creator took on himself the nature and form of a man, and suffered death -- but was resurrected from the dead.  Even so, I believe it is certainly within the capability of the Creator God to change Satan from a spirit being into flesh, or physical matter, and then cremate his remains in the lake of fire so that nothing is left but smoke and ashes -- so there will be no vestige or hint of his former existence in the New Age to come!" I then quote Malachi 4:1-4 and add, "The great Destroyer will eventually himself be destroyed" (p.314).

 

       When I wrote this passage, little did I perceive the furor it would evoke in the minds of certain ministers in the Worldwide Church of God.  One accused me of heresy!  But the leaders of the Church took no action except to ask me about it.  Subsequently, I wrote a full book entitled Satan's Fate, on this remarkable subject, in which I put together proofs and evidences from throughout the Bible showing conclusively that Satan will be destroyed along with his wicked demons. 

 

       The Word of God is very clear on this subject, if we have an open mind (see Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezek.28:16-19). God, the Creator, is all-powerful.  That which He can create, He is fully capable of destroying.  Even as a builder can destroy his building, or a man can create an airplane, and then crash it, so the Omnipotent God can create a being, inferior to Him, and destroy it if and when He so chooses.  The demons themselves know they can be destroyed (Mark 1:24).  The lake of fire is prepared specifically for them (Matt.25:41).  The Moffatt translation even renders Psalm 82:7, "Yet, like mere men, you shall die, you shall PERISH LIKE A DEMON'!

 

       But Hebrews 2:14 cinches the case.  Here we read that Jesus Christ will “DESTROY . . . the devil”!  The Greek word kartagoo translated "destroy" in this verse means to literally abolish, render null and void, cancel out, obliterate, destroy totally.  For more proof to back up these statements, be sure to read my reprinted article, "What Is Satan's Fate?"  

 

            ERROR #23 -- The Worldwide Church of God observes the PASSOVER on the wrong day, and in the wrong manner!

 

       This may seem utterly shocking to many, but the Jews have observed the Passover correctly, at the right time, and in the right manner, all these centuries.  Their only mistake is that they do not see how Christ fulfilled the Passover, as our Passover Lamb (I Cor.5:7). Nevertheless, they never lost track of sacred time.  Historically, they always slew the Passover lambs at the END of the 14th of Nisan, in the LATE AFTERNOON -- not just after sunset on the previous evening!  All historical records prove this to be true.  Therefore, the historic date for eating the Passover meal has always been the evening of Nisan 15, AFTER the lambs were slain in the end of Nisan 14.

 

     When Jesus Christ met with His disciples the night before His crucifixion, He was actually eating a regular mean -- a meal with special significance, yes, but it was NOT the "Passover"!  Jesus could not eat of the regular, normal  Passover that year, for obvious reasons -- He would be dead and in His grave, fulfilling His role as our Passover Lamb slain for us! 

 

     I might also mention that the Passover in ancient times was always a FAMILY affair, celebrated at home, with the father or a leading man leading the ceremony.  A special “seder plate” was used, in which – as God commanded – there was matzos (unleavened bread), “bitter herbs,” and the shankbone of a lamb (reminding us of the lambs which were sacrificed at the place where God put His name, the Temple of God and holy city of Jerusalem).  This celebration was joyous!  But those who claim they observe the Passover amongst the various off-shoots of Worldwide, today, observe it with no children allowed, and as a solemn, grave, austere ceremony – with the atmosphere being almost “funereal.”  What a travesty and absurdity!  Write for our free booklet, “The Cchristian-Messianic Passover Hagaddah,” for more information on HOW this wonderful festival should be observed by each family group, at home!

 

     Also, be sure to write for our articles "When Should the Passover Be Observed?" "A New Look at the Passover", "The Awesome Mystery of the Passover," "When Did the Early Church Observe Passover?", and others on this subject.

 

                 ERROR #24 -- The Worldwide Church of God no longer observes the Feast of Tabernacles.  The offshoots follow the old Worldwide practice.  Both are operating out of IGNORANCE OF HOW God commands us to observe this festival! 

 

     Although Herbert Armstrong taught that we should observe God’s Feast of Tabernacles, he never really got back to the Feast the way it was commanded to be observed in the Scriptures!  In Leviticus 23 we read that there are two aspects of the Feast of Tabernacles which are central to its proper observance.  We are commanded to “take to ourselves” the branches or “fruit” of various trees and plants, and to use them to “rejoice” before the Lord!  The NIV Bible translation puts it this way:  “On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, and leafy branches and poplars, and REJOICE before the Lord your God seven days  (Lev.23:40).  This speaks of the special “bundle” the Jews call the lulav, which is held in the hands and waved before the Lord in an act of celebration, rejoicing, and worship! 

 

     The second commandment concerning this Festival which Herbert Armstrong overlooked states:  “Live in BOOTHS for seven days” (v.42).  These were little “huts” which were constructed by the people and dwelled in during the Feast (compare Nehemiah 8:14-17).  To learn more about HOW we should celebrate God’s Feast today, write for our two articles, “The Deep Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles,” and “Secrets of the Sukkah.”

 

     ERROR #25 -- The Worldwide Church of God now observes Easter and Christmas, or at least gives these holidays their whole-hearted support and approval!

 

     Who would have thought it possible, just about twenty years ago?  At the death of Herbert Armstrong, Joseph Tkach, Sr., said he was going to follow in the "footsteps" of Mr. Armstrong.  Did he keep his promise?  Since that time, he used every excuse in the book to destroy and obliterate the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong, and even to expunge his books and writings, and even his memory, from the rank and file Church membership!

 

     In recent years, the Church has completely endorsed the world's pagan/Christian "holidays" of Easter and Christmas!  Write for our articles on "The Shocking Origin of Christmas," "Easter," and related subjects.

 

     ERROR #26 – How long was Jesus Christ in the grave? 

 

     The Worldwide Church of God now teaches that Christ was crucified on a Friday and arose on Sunday.  However, most of the off-shoots teach that He was crucified on Wednesday and arose Sabbath evening, just before sunset.  Both teachings are in ERROR1

 

     The plain truth is that when we study ALL the relevant evidence from the Scriptures, Jesus Christ was crucified on Thursday, that Friday was a high holy day, and He arose just before daybreak, Sunday morning!  The simple truth is 1) you cannot count 3 days and 3 nights between a crucifixion Friday afternoon and a resurrection Sunday morning, no matter how hard you try; and 2) if you count from Wednesday, then Sunday would have been FOUR days after the crucifixion, yet the gospel of Luke says it was THREE days afterwards (Luke 24:21). 

 

     What few understand is that when Matthew wrote that Jesus would be in the grave “three days and three nights” (Matt.12:40), he was reckoning the days according to the Jewish method of counting – and “parts” of a day could be considered a “day.”  Therefore from Thursday afternoon, when Jesus died, we can count as follows:  Thursday afternoon (1 day), Thursday night (1 night); Friday (2nd day), Friday night (2nd night); Sabbath day (3rd day), and Sabbath night (3rd night), bringing us to just before sunrise, Sunday morning (compare John 20:1; Luke 24:1; Matt.28:1).

 

     New knowledge from astronomy shows us that the New Moon of the month of Nisan, during the year of the crucifixion, 30 A.D., had to fall on a Friday.  Therefore, the Passover sacrifice day would have been 14 days later, meaning the day the Passover was sacrificed (Nisan 14) fell on a Thursday, and the First Day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) fell on Friday.  To read the conclusive PROOF of these things, write for our amazing article, “How Long Was Jesus Christ In the Grave?” 

 

     ERROR #27 – when was the “Last Supper”?  Is it the same thing as the Passover?

 

     A careful reconstruction of Jesus’ last week demonstrates that the modern churches have a serious misunderstanding of Jesus last supper.  It was not the Passover because it was held TWO DAYS PRIOR to the Passover!  It was not held the night before the crucifixion, as many assume, but TWO nights before the crucifixion! 

 

     How do we know this?  We know that Jesus was apprehended by the authorities after praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, late in the night.  After this, He was taken before Annas the high priest and interrogated, and then taken to Caiaphas the high priest as well, and further questioned.  At daybreak He was taken before the whole Sanhedrin, judged, and condemned.  Then, the next morning, at a reasonable hour, He was taken before Pontius Pilate and accused.  Pilate discovered he was from Galilee, and sent Him to king Herod, thinking to absolve himself from the controversy.  But after being questioned by Herod, Jesus was returned to Pilate’s judgment seat.  By now, the apostle John tells us, “it was about the sixth hour – about twelve o’clock noon” (John 19:14, Amplified Version). 

 

     Did you get that?  Jesus was crucified on the stake at 9:00 AM in the morning.  We read in Mark’s gospel, “And it was the third hour (about NINE O’CLOCK in the morning) when they crucified him” (Mark 15:25).   Now if he was judged at NOON, and crucified at 9:00 AM, then the crucifixion had to be the FOLLOWING DAY!!!

 

     Counting backward then, since we know He was crucified Thursday morning, He was judged by Pilate Wednesday at noon.  This means the “Last supper” had to be Tuesday evening.  Wednesday night He spent in the dungeon, after being beaten and scourged by the Roman soldiers.  Since He was crucified on Nisan 14, Thursday, the evening of Tuesday would have been shortly after sunset, the beginning of Nisan 13, when the “Last Supper” was held.

 

     The proof of all these things is available in our free article, “Astonishing, Profound New Look at Jesus’ Last Week.”  Send for it and study it carefully, and you will be dumfounded and amazed! 

 

     ERROR #28 -- Prophecies can "fail," and are not dependable.

 

       Joseph Tkach, Sr., made it very plain before he died that he considered Bible prophecy a subject riddled with speculation, error, and distrust.  He said that it is not important for Christians to "watch world events," but that rather you should watch your own spiritual temperature -- the exact opposite of what Herbert Armstrong used to stress over and over again!  Herbert Armstrong said if you are only concerned about your own spiritual welfare, you will dry up and shrivel up like a prune.  He emphasized that we must get our minds OFF of self and onto God's Work!  He repeatedly emphasized the importance of Bible prophecy, stressing that 2/3rds of the Bible is prophecy, and 90% of that applies to our end-time generation.  He believed that this IS the "end-time."

 

       But Joe Tkach firmly disagreed.  He taught that we probably have another 30 years or so, or even much longer, and that we should not be overly concerned about developments in the Middle East, the growing world threat of war, and the rising up of the Beast!  He says prophecies can "fail," as when Jonah prophesied the fall of Nineveh in forty days, but it didn't happen.

 

       Can prophecies really fail?  Does God say something will happen, and then it fails?  Is God a liar?  Of course not! (Mal.3:6; Titus 1:2).  Fulfilled prophecy is one of the PROOFS of God, and of the inspiration of the Bible!  God’s prophecies ALWAYS come to pass!  They cannot fail!  (Isaiah 44:8; 45:11,21; 42:9; II Tim.3:16; John 10:35).

 

            ERROR #29 -- The Worldwide Church of God is wishy washy on make up and cosmetics -- now "anything goes"!

 

       If either Herbert Armstrong or Loma D. Armstrong were alive today, and visited a local Church service, they would be flabbergasted -- astonished beyond words.  They would see many Church women wearing heavy make up.

 

       Again, the Church seems to go from one extreme to the other.  God nowhere condemns a little use of cosmetics in His Word.  It is nowhere mentioned in the Torah.  However, the whole emphasis in the Bible is on moderation in all things, to avoid extremes.  God's Word does not specifically prohibit the use of make up or cosmetics.  However, the Bible does mention the example of ancient Jezebel, the idolatrous wife of king Ahab, who wore heavy make up, attempting to seduce Jehu.  We read, “she painted her eyes, arranged her hair, and looked out of a window” (II Kings 9:30).  Here was an infamous example of using cosmetics in an evil manner.  However, the Scriptures do not condemn all use of make up or cosmetics, only the wrong use of such things.  One should not dress up to look like a prostitute!  God's women should be attired in modest apparel (I Pet.3:1-6).

 

            ERROR #30 -- The Worldwide Church of God has rewritten history, and revised its concept of the Exodus, and teaches the Pharaoh of the Exodus survived for years after that event!

 

       Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?  Whoever he was, the Bible says he died and perished in the raging, foaming waters of the Red Sea.  Yet the Worldwide Church of God says Amenhotep II and lived another 16 years after the Exodus, and his mummy is in the Cairo Museum, today!  For the truth about this subject, read my article "Who Was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?"

 

       ERROR #31 – The Worldwide Church now teaches that the United States and Great Britain are not descended from the "House of Israel" and the whole subject of national identity is not important!  The offshoots still cling to the identity of Britain and the Commonwealth as Ephraim and the United States as Manasseh.

 

       The new leadership of the Worldwide Church of God has repudiated the identity of the United States and British peoples in Bible prophecy.  According to them, we are NOT "Israel," and it doesn't matter anyway!

 

       Herbert Armstrong, of course, taught that we were "Israel."  He identified the U.S.A. as descended from Manasseh, following the lead of the British "Covenant" people, and also followed their belief that the British Commonwealth is modern Ephraim.

 

       One of the most fascinating recent discoveries of Biblical and historical research is that the Worldwide Church of God historically had these two identities the EXACT REVERSE of what they should be!  That is, the true "birthright" tribe and greatest fulfillment of the prophecies referring to the descendants of "Joseph," is that the United States is Ephraim! 

 

       Ephraim was the leading tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel.  Its leaders always had an antipathy toward the throne of David.  It was the "thirteenth tribe." Yet it was prophesied to become the greatest!  The Work of God was prophesied to go out from Ephraim during the last days.  Ephraim was prophesied to be a "union of states" -- and the UNION of the "UNITED STATES of America" has stood the test of time, and is the most powerful UNION of states anywhere in the world!  Manasseh, on the other hand, was prophesied to be "great" -- and the very name of their descendants today is "GREAT Britain"!

 

     Ancient Manasseh was divided into two major portions -- one east of the Jordan River, and the other north of Ephraim.  Today, the two major nations of Manasseh once again are one to the EAST (Great Britain), and one DUE NORTH of Ephraim -- Canada, which is due north of the United States!

 

     In prophesying of the descendants of these two peoples, Moses said that Manasseh would have his thousands, but Ephraim his ten thousands (Deut.33:17). It is significant that the population of the United States is more dm double that of all the other English-speaking nations combined, and that its population compared to that of its neighbor Canada is almost exactly a multiple of ten -- just like Moses prophesied!

 

     For more intriguing information on this marvelous fulfillment of Bible Prophecy, write for the article "Who Is The United States in Prophecy?"  Also, for proof that indeed our modern Anglo-Saxon nations are descended from ancient Israel, write for the new books THE LOST TEN TRIBES . . . FOUND!, by Steve Collins, and  EPHRAIM, and LOST ISRAELITE IDENTITY, by Yair Davidy, an Orthodox Jewish scholar.

 

     ERROR #32 -- Worldwide Church of God teaches TRINITY Doctrine!

 

     One of the great discoveries of Herbert W. Armstrong was that the conventional understanding of the mainstream churches that God is a "Trinity" composed of three Persons -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- is in gross error and is a pagan concept going back to Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz -- the original pagan "trinity" of father, mother and child.

 

     Since the death of Herbert Armstrong, however, the Church which he founded has repudiated his research and discoveries, and has plunged helter skelter back into orthodox understanding of the Godhead, derived from the Roman Catholic Church, which states that the "Trinity" is the KEY doctrine of all "Christianity," and all who do not embrace it are heretics.

 

     Is God a "Trinity"?  Or is God a FAMILY?  What is the TRUTH about the Godhead?  What is the ORIGIN of the “Trinity”?  Write for our articles, “Is God a Trinity?” and “The Trinity Doctrine – Is It Biblical?”

 

     ERROR #33 – What is the true ORIGIN of Jesus Christ?  Did He pre-exist?  Is He “equal” to the Father?  This theological question baffles both Worldwide and all of its offshoots. 

 

     What about Christ Himself?  Was He ALWAYS "co-equal, co-eternal" with the Father?  If so, why did He Himself state, "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28)?  And why did He say of the Father, that He is "the only true God" (John 17:3)?  Also, why did Paul write, "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (I Cor.8:6)?

 

     The Bible clearly reveals that Christ became a true Son of the Father, and was the "beginning of the Creation of God" (Rev.3:14) -- the "firstborn of ALL CREATION" (Col.1:15). 

 

     This is a fascinating subject, too long to attempt to explain here.  If you would like to know the truth about the "Mystery of God," write for our articles, "Who Or What Was Jesus Christ Before His Human Birth?", "Was Christ Created?", "Is God Reproducing Himself?", "Is Jesus God?", and "The Pre-Existence of Christ."

 

     ERROR #34 – Worldwide and its Off-shoots do not celebrate the Feast of Trumpets properly.

 

     God says regarding the Festival of Trumpets, “On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts” (Lev.23:23, NIV).  And again, “On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.  It is a day for you to sound the trumpets” (Num.29:1).

 

     Do you know of ANY off-shoot of the Worldwide Church of God which blows the trumpet – the Biblical SHOFAR – on the “Festival of Trumpets”?  We do.  But none of the other groups which came out of Worldwide, especially the major and larger groups, understands this principle or obeys it.  Yet the commandment is very specific.  It is the heart and soul of the “Feast of Trumpets.”  Why do we think God named it, “Feast of Trumpets,” or “Blowing” or “Sounding”?   The commandment that we are to literally blow the trumpets on this day is very plain, and yet totally disregarded! 

 

     Furthermore, most of the churches claim that this festival portrays the great trumpet which will be blown at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Yet it is not called the “Feast of the Great Trumpet,” but rather, “The Feast of Trumpets” – PLURAL!  This involves many trumpet blasts which are blown during this day.  This festival does not portray the second coming of t he Messiah at all, but rather is a day of WARNING, and URGENCCY, a day picturing God’s great call to REPENTANCE going out to the world, as He begins to rain down His “trumpet plagues” (see Revelation 8-9) upon the nations of the world for their disobedience to His divine laws.  Write for our free article, “Amazing New Insight on the Feast of Trumpets.”

 

     ERROR #35 – Should Christians celebrate birthdays? 

 

            Again, the Worldwide Church of God has plunged back into Babylon and its customs, and ignores the evidence that birthdays – as huge celebrations and parties – are pagan in origin, and the saints of God in the Scriptures never observed “birthdays,” as such.  Though you look in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you will find no mention anywhere of any of the saints of God observing their birthdays. In fact, strange as it may seem to many, even the exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ is NOWHERE REVEALED in Scripture! The universal custom of observing "Christmas" as the birth of Christ, on December 25th, is acknowledged by all the historical authorities as having no basis in actual fact. Jesus Christ was born nowhere near December 25th, in the dead of winter.

If the very day of Jesus' birth is deliberately left out of the Bible, doesn't that fact tell us something? If birthdays should be celebrated, why did God leave the date of His own Son's birth out of Holy Scripture?

The plain truth is that birth day celebrations are only mentioned twice in the Scriptures -- both times in reference to customs being observed by unconverted people -- a pagan Egyptian Pharaoh, and wicked king Herod!  On both occasions, somebody was put to death. 

This fact, however, should not be overly surprising. Writes Linda Rannells Lewis in Birthdays, “Birthdays have been celebrated for thousands of years. In early civilizations, where the development of a calendar made an organized reckoning of birth dates possible, the horoscopes of ruling monarchs, their successors and rivals had to be cast with care and birthday omens meticulously examined, for the prospects of the mighty would affect the prospects of the entire society. By the time of Ptolemy V this practice was well established: ‘Ptolemy, the ever living, the beloved of Ptah, the son of the two Brother-Gods, was born on the fifth day of the month DIOS,’ and this day was, in consequence, the beginning of great prosperity and happiness of all living men and women” (p. 12).

God inspired the prophet Jeremiah to write, “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven (astrology!); for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain” (Jeremiah 10:1-3).

God expressly commands His people not to follow in the ways, customs, and practices of the heathen, pagan nations around them!  Obviously, therefore, the Word of God does NOT sanction or approve of celebrating BIRTHDAYS!

God is even more explicit. Celebrating birthdays was a particularly Egyptian custom. God plainly commands His people, “After the DOING OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, wherein ye dwelt, SHALL YE NOT DO” (Leviticus 18:3).  Write for our article, “The Surprising Origin of Birthdays.”  (Obviously, however, this commandment is directed toward birthday parties, as such – it is not wrong for a family, in a small way, to give presents to a child as the anniversary of their day of birth comes around, or to have a special meal on that day, as a distinctly private family affair).

            ERROR #36 – What about wearing of “holy garments,” such as the prayer shawl, and “fringes” upon the corners?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Notice what the word of God says about this matter:  “Again, the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel:  Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners.  And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD to do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do ALL My commandments, and be HOLY for your God.  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God:  I am the LORD your God” (Numbers 15:37-41).

 

                God is very clear in His instructions.  He says His people are to wear unique tassels or fringes in the four corners of their garments “throughout their generations.”  Have generations ceased?  Are people still being born?  Of course.  Therefore, this commandment is still valid and in force TODAY! 

 

            Many people are ignorant of this commandment, and don’t realize that Jewish men often wear what is called a “prayer shawl,” or tallit, when attending the synagogue.  It is an item of Jewish clothing which fulfills this commandment.  It has four fringes, called tzitzyot, tied to its four corners, and is often worn in religious services, in the synagogue, and during religious obligations and functions. 

 

            Should true Christians also wear such clothing, or is this commandment abolished?  Note the words of Jesus:  “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law . . . I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will be any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matt.5:17-18, NIV).

 

            Jesus Christ, or Yeshua, was a Jew, and lived a perfect life.  He set us an example of how we ought to live, in every way.  He was even baptized, setting us an example (Matt.3:13-17).  The apostle John tells us:  “He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked” (I John 2:6).  Peter adds that Christ left “us an example, that you should follow His steps” (I Pet.2:21).

 

            Did Jesus Christ, our example and pattern for living a holy life, therefore, wear “tassels” or “fringes” in the corners of his garments?  Yes, He did!  Write for our articles, “The Fringes of the Law,” and “The Truth about Holy Garments.”  They will give you new insight into these matters!       

 

            ERROR #37Is God working out a 6,000 year plan here on earth? 

 

            The Worldwide Church of God and its off-shoots all seem to reject this Biblical teaching and therefore are in darkness as to how close to the END of this age we really are!

 

            The apostle Peter writes, in the New Testament, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY is with the Lord as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a thousand years as ONE DAY.  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:8-10).  

 

            When the Messiah returns, He will inaugurate a millennial kingdom lasting one thousand years. (Rev.20:1-3).  This "millennial rest" of 1,000 years is termed a “Sabbath” rest (Hebrew 4:9).  If the Millennium is compared to a Sabbath day, which is the seventh day of the week, then it stands to reason that each of the previous six days are a thousand years each, showing thwat there would be approximately 6,000 years from the time of Creation until the second coming of the Lord!

 

            The belief that there would be about 6,000 years for the time of man, till the Messiah, was a common belief of the ancient Jewish people, and of the early Christian church, and is mentioned very plainly in the Epistle of Barnabus.  For more information on this fascinating subject, write for our article, “6000 Years and Beyond – Are We Nearing the End of the Age?”

 

            ERROR #38 – What’s all this about “counting the Omer”?

 

            One very interesting law of God has been totally overlooked and ignored by the Worldwide Church of God, as it plunges back into apostasy, and it has also been slighted, rejected, and avoided by all the other remnant splinter groups which came out of Worldwide, and even by most all Messianic congregations.  What law? 

 

            God says, “And y0u shall count from the day after the sabbath [the Passover high holyday] , from the day that you brought the sheaf [Hebrew, omer, consisting of 5.1 pints of barley grain] of the wave offering seven sabbaths; seven full weeks shall they be; counting fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath [week]” (Lev.23:15-16, Amplified Bible). 

 

            What is this mysterious command all about?  Is this something which applies to true Christians and believers in Christ today?  Or is this just something that concerned ancient Israel?

 

            In Deuteronomy, God commands, “YOU shall COUNT seven weeks; begin to NUMBER the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain” (Deut.16:9, Amplified Bible). Notice that God commands His people to COUNT THE OMER during the fifty days, from Passover until Pentecost -- numbering off the days consecutively – until they reach the Feast of Shavuot, or Pentecost!  He commands us to DO IT -- for a great and overriding purpose!

 

            Why?  What does the “Omer” represent?  And why are we commanded to “count” it off for seven times seven or forty nine days, till Pentecost arrives, on the fiftieth day?  This is a great mystery to most people, but the Jews have gleaned much significance from this commandment, as they have studied it and obeyed it, every year, in their homes and synagogues!

 

            If you would like to understand the mystery of the counting of the Omer, and how it applies to true Christians who desire to obey and live by “every word of God” (Matt.4:4; Luke 4:4), as Jesus Christ commanded, then write for our two articles, “The Mystery of the Omer,” and “Sefirat Ha Omer – The Key to Overcoming.”

 

     ERROR #39 – Should Christians celebrate the Biblical New Moons?

 

     Here is another Biblical commandment which has been ignored by the end-time churches of God!

 

     The apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, A NEW MOON CELEBRATION or a Sabbath day” (Col.2:16, NIV).  What’s all this about “New Moons”?  Here Paul lists the New Moons along with the annual Festivals and the weekly Sabbath day?   We know we are to observe the annual Sabbath Days and the weekly Sabbath.  But what about the New Moon days?  Doesn’t this indicate we should observe the New Moons along with the annual Holy Days and as well as the Sabbath day? 

 

     There is much more to this than most might think.  The day of the New Moon, when the first faint crescent of the moon was seen in ancient Israel, was observed as a semi-holy day, as a day when limited work was often done, a day set apart for the beginning of a new month, when special sacrifices were offered at the Temple of God (see Numbers 28:11-14).

 

     Notice also what God says about the future, when the Messiah returns:  From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 66:23, NIV).  Obviously, the New Moons will be looked upon as special days, when worship is done, during the Millennial reign of Christ!

 

     Have people been ignoring and neglecting this day and what it represents?  Here again is an area where people have fallen short of the mark, and neglected observance of God’s New Moons – the first day of each month of the true Biblical calendar! 

     Write for our article, “Should Christians Observe the New Moons?” 

 

     ERROR #40 – What is the true CALENDAR of God? 

 

     This leads us into one of the most fundamental ERRORS of the modern churches – the Worldwide Church of God, all the splinter groups, as well as all the so-called “Messianic” churches and synagogues, all of which claim to follow Jesus Christ and accept Him as Messiah and His Word and Example as Law.

 

     That is this:  Virtually ALL of these groups, including the various offshoots of Worldwide Church of God, in their festival planning and deliberations, ALL of them use the modern “Jewish” calendar.  But why?  Don’t they know about the CHANGES the Jewish rabbis made to the original Hebrew calendar in the fourth century after Christ? 

 

     What calendar should God’s people use to celebrate and calculate the annual festivals?

 

            In recent years, God has increased our understanding of His Word and His commandments.  One of the most important areas of discovery is the correct, inspired CALENDAR of God! 

 

            Most people do not realize it, but God gives a very specific calendar in His Word, one which begins with the month of Nisan in the spring.  He also tells us that the beginning day of each month is a “New Moon.”  History shows us that the New Moon in ancient Israel was the first slender crescent of the moon after it had been occluded during the “dark” of the moon.  

 

However, the record of history shows us that the Jews CHANGED THE CALENDAR in 358 A.D., four centuries after Christ, and substituted in its place a “fixed,” artificial calendar which altered the New Moons, changed the Holy Days, and POSTPONED these days by adding Jewish traditions to the calendar!  The Jews themselves make no bones about this change; in fact, they even boast about it!  It is clearly documented in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and many Jewish books deal with the subject.  But was this fundamental change endorsed by God and His Word?  If so, where’s the proof? 

 

And why did the Jews in 358 A.D. add “POSTPONEMENTS” TO THE CALENDAR? The sad truth is, they decided that if the day of Yom Kippur fell on a Friday or a Sunday, that was too close to the weekly Sabbath day, so they altered the calendar, and postponed Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets, by delaying it a day – so as not to “interfere” with the weekly Sabbath!  And other “postponements” they added! 

 

The amazing fact is, however, during Biblical times and the time of the Second Temple, no such calendar postponements were ever allowed or sanctioned!   These changes were in direct violation of the true calendar of God, and were made merely in order to keep various “traditions” which had been added through the years. 

 

The truth is, however, not every Jewish group today goes along with this calendar change made by rabbis in the fourth century.  In particular, the Karaite Jews in modern day Israel have denounced the calendar changes made by the rabbinic authorities as heresy and error, and they have re-instituted the true calendar of God, carefully observing the New Moons every month from Israel, and proclaiming them, just as was done in Biblical times !

 

            The secret of the true sacred Calendar of God is vital, strategic spiritual information we all need to KNOW, and KNOW that we know!  It is crucial knowledge which helps us in our efforts to keep God’s Holy Days at the appropriate times, and to obey God in ALL things! 

 

            Write for our free book, over 100 pages, proving the TRUTH about God’s own Calendar, the Bible Calendar, and how we should calculate the annual Holy Days in the very same manner in which they were observed during the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles.

 

It's Time to WAKE UP!

 

     In this article, you have learned of FORTY distinct areas where the Worldwide Church of God, AND its many off-shoots and splintered “branches,” have gone astray from the truth of God.  But this is only the beginning!  Many more changes have occurred, and are still occurring, as the worldwide apostasy deepens and proliferates! 

 

     I feel truly like a "voice in the wilderness," crying aloud, like an eagle in the sky, shrieking a warning.  But hardly anybody seems to care, hardly anybody is concerned or alarmed.  The Church of God is going astray, off the deep end, straight into the Great Tribulation, and nobody, it seems, gives a faint care.

 

     Where are the real people of God?  Will the REAL SERVANTS OF GOD PLEASE STAND UP, AND BE COUNTED?

 

     Apostasy has set in, and thousands are sound asleep, not wanting to be disturbed by any loud, shouting, angry, thundering voice.  "Shut up!" the people exclaim.  "We don't want to hear it!"

 

     Sometimes, like Elijah who thought he was the only one left really serving God, I wonder, "Where have all the true people of God gone?" Elijah told God, "I, even I only, am left" (I Kings 19:14).  Am I the only one who sees the errors of the Worldwide Church of God, the International Church of God, and the other Churches, today?  Am I the only one willing to speak out, and shout out the truth, regardless of the opinions of men?

 

     For years I felt that I must be the only one who sees these things.  Since that time, however, others have left the Worldwide Church of God to form various Church groups -- Gerald Flurry, who formed the so-called "Philadelphia Church of God," Rod Meredith who later left and formed the "Global Church of God,," and a whole flock of ministers who left with David Hulme who joined together to form the "United Church of God."

 

     But how many of these churches have been willing to admit and confess the errors of not only Joseph Tkach, but also Herbert W. Armstrong?

 

     None of them!

 

     Not a single one!

 

     Somehow the Word of God has gotten buried in the Churches, today.  Oh, people give lip service to it; they still quote from it all the time, particularly during sermons; but they utilize the same passages over and over again.  Their religion has become largely a rote process of memorization, obedience, and thoughtless subservience.

 

     God thunders in His Word: "Thou shalt NOT FOLLOW A MULTITUDE to do evil' (Exo.23:2). The Good News Bible has it, "Do not follow the MAJORITY when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice."

 

     Rather than simply follow blindly along, when our leaders go astray, what does God say we should do?  God says, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise REBUKE THY NEIGHBOR, and not suffer sin upon him" (Lev.19:17).

 

     God's Word condemns those who follow a multitude into error, who blindly follow their blind leaders to destruction.  God commands all of us, "Open rebuke is better than secret love" (Prov.27:5). Solomon also wrote, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (verse 6).

 

     God further warns us, "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished" (Prov.27:12).

 

     Do you see the danger -- the evil?  Will you "hide" yourself, and escape the peril that lies ahead?  Or will you, like the simpleton, go merrily on your way, blind to every danger, with supreme confidence in human leaders that cause you to err, and be "punished" for it?

 

     God commands, "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge" (see Prov. 19:27).  God adds, "Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools" (verse 29).  Will you scorn this warning?  Will God have to "whip" you?

 

     God Almighty says, "The fear of the Lord is to HATE EVIL: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Prov.8:13).  Do you hate evil so much that you refuse to compromise with it?  Do you refuse to go along with error and false instruction?

 

     Do you have the attitude of the Bereans who "received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).

 

       Are you careful and cautious to "prove all things," as the apostle Paul was inspired to instruct us? (I Thess.5:21). Consider these things well.  Your eternal life and destiny and salvation could well hang on your answer!

 

                      DO YOU STILL HAVE THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH?

 

     After being a member of the Radio and Worldwide Church of God for THIRTY YEARS, I parted company with the Church in January, 1987.  Why?  How could such an incredible thing happen?

 

       I attended Ambassador College from 1959 and graduated in 1963, and received a Master of Arts degree in theological journalism in 1970.  From 1963 till 1974 I worked for the Worldwide Church of God, and was a pioneer member of the fledgling editorial department and became associate editor of the Plain Truth magazine, the Good News magazine, Tomorrow's World magazine, and the Ambassador College Correspondence Course.  During my tenure with the Church I wrote approximately one hundred articles, booklets, and correspondence course lessons, besides thousands of letters when I worked in the Personal Correspondence Department

 

     But today I am no longer a member of the Worldwide Church of God!  How could such a dramatic change occur?  What happened?  Jesus Christ said, "The TRUTH shall make you FREE' (John 8:32).  The apostle Paul warned that the time would come when many would be deceived and "perish; because they received not the LOVE of the truth" (II Thess.2:10).

 

       The Phillips Translation says, "Evil is ALREADY INSIDIOUSLY at work . . ." (11 Thess.2:7). Very strong delusion has come upon this earth -- "with evil's undiluted power to deceive' (v. 10).  Because some "have refused to LOVE THE TRUTH WHICH COULD HAVE SAVED THEM, God sends upon them, therefore, the FULL FORCE of evil's delusion, so that they put their faith in an UTTER FRAUD and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have REFUSED to believe the truth and who have made evil their playfellow" (verses 10-12).

 

       How much do YOU "love" the truth?  If you were to find the Church were in error, would you follow it into ERROR, or cling to the TRUTH, even if the Church rejected it?

 

     I was a member in good standing of the Worldwide Church of God for THIRTY YEARS, from 1957 to 1987.  Yet today I am no longer a member!  WHY?  Because of the TRUTH!  The apostle Paul told us to "PROVE ALL THINGS; hold FAST that which is good" (I Thess.5:21). God revealed precious new truth to me, and I rejoiced in it.

 

     But what do you do when the Church itself rejects PROVEN NEW TRUTH and clings to error?  What do you do when MEN begin to go astray and become fearful of admitting error?

 

     Blindness has come upon the leaders of the Church of God, today.  Isaiah foretold it when he wrote, "Go ahead and be stupid!  Go ahead and be blind!  Get drunk without any wine!  Stagger without drinking a drop!" (Isa.29:9, Good News Bible).  Jesus said if the BLIND FOLLOW THE BLIND, they both fall into the ditch (Matt.15:14).  Only a blind man would knowingly follow another blind man.  Is that what you are doing?  Are you following the spiritually "blind"?

 

     In the original Hebrew, God commands us Lo sakir paunim, which means, "Do not recognize the face" (Deut.1:17). That means, be impartial in judgment.  Follow the truth, no matter what! Don't follow a man into error!  The Good News Bible says, "Show no partiality in your decisions; judge everyone on the same basis, no matter who he is." The King James Version says: 'Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's."

 

     Are you willingly to judge the evidence impartially, without regard to a man's 'face," position, authority, or power?  You may not know me, personally, but will you GIVE THE TRUTH A CHANCE?  Will you allow me to present the EVIDENCE to you, even though I was denied a hearing by the present leadership of the Worldwide Church of God?

 

     Your eternal life is at stake!  Save yourself from the errors of this wicked generation!

 

     Don't be like the ostrich with its head stuck in the sand.  Don't play the fool, and err exceedingly, as Saul did.  Saul bitterly confessed, when it was too late, "Surely I have acted like a fool and have erred greatly" (I Sam.26:21, NIV).

 

     What about you?  If you would like to understand the "PLAIN TRUTH" -- truth you can easily PROVE to your own satisfaction -- on these vitally important subjects; if you don't want "men" to lead you around by the nose, and make a FOOL out of you; if you desire to truly SEEK GOD and value highly His TRUTH -- then be sure to write for the above articles and booklets.   They will OPEN YOUR EYES!

 

     Let’s notice again, Paul’s admonition in I Thessalonians 5:21.  Here it is, in various translations:

 

                 “Prove all things;  hold fast that which is good” (I Thess.5:21, KJV).

                            

                 “Test everything.  Hold on to the good” (NIV).

 

                 “Never disdain prophetic revelations but test them all, retaining

                 what is good and abstaining from whatever kind is evil” (Moffatt).

 

                 “But test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is,

                 then accept it” (Living Bible).

 

                 “On the other hand, don’t be gullible.  Check out everything, and

                 keep only what’s good” (The New Testament in Contemporary English).

 

                 “Put all things to the test:  keep what is good and avoid every kind

                 of evil” (Good News Bible).

 

                 “But test everything; hold fast to what is good” (New Revised

                 Standard Version).

 

                 “But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good;

                 [to that] hold fast” (Amplified Bible).

 

     What about you?  How seriously will you take these admonitions from the Word of the living God?  How important is salvation, truly, to you?  How earnestly will you take these things to heart and “work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling” (Phil.2:12)?  Let’s read that in the Amplified Version:

 

                 “Work out – cultivate, carry out to the goal and fully complete –your

                 own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling [self-distrust,

                 that is, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness

                 against temptation; timidly shrinking from whatever might offend

                 God and discredit the name of Christ].  [Not in your own strength]

                 for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you –

                 energizing and creating in you the power and desire – both to will

                 and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight”

                 (Philippians 2:12-13). 

 

            Yes, what about you, my friend?  How important is it to you?  Will you bear the weight, make the effort, and begin to STUDY the Scriptures and to “PROVE” the truth of what you believe, practice, and teach to others?

 

            How important is true righteousness in your sight?         

 

            Jesus Christ declared, “You, therefore, MUST BE PERFECT, as your heavenly Father is perfect [that is, grow into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity]” (Matthew 5:48, Amplified).

 

            God desires that each one of us “search and investigate and pour over the Scriptures diligently” (compare John 5:39), because they constitute the Word of God (II Tim.3:16) and we gain “eternal life through them” (John 5:39). 

 

            How important IS eternal life in the Kingdom of God – to you?