Below is posted a special edition of the WWN dated June 24th, 1985. The entire edition is an article from Mr. Armstrong.
It is VERY IMPORTANT for us to read this today. If we would read and meditate on this article, we would be able
to SEE what has happened to God's Church and WHY!. There is much CORRECTION for all of God's people
in this article, if we would only HEED it! The VERY THINGS Mr. Armstrong warned us about below have indeed come to pass.
History HAS indeed repeated itself!
NEWS, SPECIAL EDITION
Recent History of the Philadelphia Era
of the Worldwide Church of God
By Herbert W. Armstrong
All members need to be updated on the history of the
Philadelphia era of God's one original Church as founded
in A.D. 31
Christ -- especially the past 15 years of its life.
Jesus Christ said that in the world His Church would have
and persecutions. He did not foretell clear sailing.
EXISTENCE IN A HOSTILE WORLD. "If they have persecuted
will also persecute you," He said. Again in God's Word we
"It is through much tribulation that we must enter into
the Kingdom of God."
"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew ).
Paul warned the elders of the church at Ephesus that
wolves would enter in among them to destroy the flock, and
of their own selves some would seek to draw away disciples
themselves (Acts -30).
Why is this so? Why has God's Church in this Philadelphia era
through a period of friction, controversy within the Church
with certain ministers leaving the Church to take
after themselves during the 1970s? It was even so during
And why has the Church withstood this
and even a certain amount of division in our midst and
into unity, harmony, oneness and thriving progress of the
Why did the Los Angeles Times recently publish a story with a
six-column headline clear across the page, saying Worldwide
Church of God "Thriving on Controversy"?
These are actual events affecting our own very lives during
15 years. To understand, we must refresh our minds briefly
it all first started, 6,000 years ago, at the very
of the world and of the human family on earth with the
of the first man Adam.
God was beginning His greatest all-time accomplishment -- to
Himself. God had first created angels. The great
Lucifer had been placed on the throne of the earth when
the earth and the vast universe. Lucifer had rebelled
God's government and led a third of all angels into
He became Satan the devil, and his angels became
demons. Then God created the first human, Adam, mortal,
the dust of the earth, with only a physicochemical temporary
but offering Adam eternal God-life and opportunity to
Satan on earth's throne. Adam also rebelled against God and
rejecting the tree of life, and choosing to take to
the knowledge of good and evil, relying on himself instead
for knowledge and the way of life.
Thereupon God closed off the tree of life (the Holy Spirit),
for those specially called, until Christ the second Adam yet
future should replace Satan on the throne, as the first Adam
Traditional Christianity, theologians and Bible scholars seem
to have noticed that the tree of life -- which was the Holy
imparting God-life -- was closed to the world and still today
closed. God had said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after
"Image" refers to spiritual
likeness refers to form and shape. God creates in dual
To make man in God's image means spiritual image -- a
being with God's perfect divine character.
But the first stage of this creation was the physical human
mortal, having temporary physical existence. Yet in that man,
the human spirit to empower the physical brain with
This spirit gave mortal man not only physical and
intelligence and mind power, but also the capacity for
or evil, but on the human level -- the carnal or selfish level.
the symbolic tree of life God made accessible to Adam God's
Spirit to beget in him God-life of immortality and also the
for acquiring God's spiritual knowledge and spiritual
When God closed the tree of life He closed off from
this contact with God the Father, immortality, the God-mind
the world calls "salvation."
But the second personage of the God family, the Word, gave up
and was born as a human of the virgin Mary. He was God
human flesh, both God and man, but functioning as a human
His ministry on earth. He came to qualify, as the first Adam
to do, to replace Satan on the throne of the earth. He
also to call out of the world God's Church, also to qualify to
Him on this throne, and to qualify to teach and rule with
divine beings -- the very first fruits of God's harvest in
Himself. He came also to ransom the world of humans
Satan, who had kidnapped all humanity. He paid this ransom
by His life's blood on the cross.
Jesus said He would build His Church. The word church, in the
language of the New Testament, is "ekklesia", which means
ones." As Jesus had to qualify for the throne by
Satan, so did His Church that is to sit with Him on that
and be given power over the nations to rule, teach and
into the family of God.
The original Adam could have been begotten as a son of
converted -- had he taken of the tree of life. This begettal
have come through the Holy Spirit. When God closed off the
of life, He closed off reconciliation to God the Father -- that
or begettal of divine God-life. The world as a whole
cut off to this day from that begettal, commonly spoken of
as "being saved." No such salvation is even yet
to the world. The world of traditional Christianity is
to this fact.
But the Church was called out of the world, to be separate in
by God's law instead of Satan's way of self-centeredness,
and strife, following the first Adam. That is why Jesus
the Church would be persecuted, even as He had been. Those
into the Church would live by God's way of love, not the
way of selfishness, contention and strife. This required
and flowing into them of the Holy Spirit of God,
them a different purpose in life and a different mind and
than formerly in the world.
Why did Christ call the Church out of the world to be separate
the world? They were called as students. The Bible calls them
The word disciple means student or learner. The Church
at school, and Jesus was the original teacher. He called
the world His 12 disciples, or students, for the very
of educating them to become teachers, and also rulers with
Christ, when Jesus comes in power and glory to sit on
throne over all the earth and to rule as well as to convert
To those in the Church who are growing in grace and spiritual
Jesus says He will give power over the nations to rule
-- they shall sit with Him on His earthly throne, and they shall
priests or teachers and kings and rule with Christ on the
(Revelation 2:26-27, and ).
The Church is actually a school teaching students to become
and rulers in God's Kingdom.
But these students -- or Church members -- must first themselves
begotten as children of God, having received the Holy
(tree of life) that Adam rejected. Why? Because the
carnal mind cannot understand the spiritual knowledge
of God (I Corinthians 2:9-14). Therefore God has made
provision, predestining those He calls out of the world to
now, in the Church age, BEFORE God opens the tree of life
to the world as a whole. That is why the Church is
the "first fruits" of God's harvest for His Kingdom.
Let it be emphasized again. As Christ the second Adam came to
to replace Satan on earth's throne, God chose and called
ones out of the world also to qualify to sit with Christ on
throne. This is not the time God is trying to "save the
God's judgment day for the world has not yet come. But to
specially called for the very purpose of sitting on that
with Christ, it was necessary that they receive the Holy
before they could learn God's truth, which the first Adam
That is why the Church is only the "first fruits" of
ultimately to receive salvation.
We receive the Holy Spirit ONLY after complete repentance of
we were living. We must come out of this world to live a
separate from the life and ways of the world, with our minds
of God, not things of this world.
That is why we are opposed and persecuted by the world. That
they persecuted Jesus Christ. That is why some who become
interested, are baptized and start in the Church, drift
into the world and leave the Church. Many professed to repent
baptized who had not repented, but were accepted by Church
as brethren. These false brethren did and always have
into the Church professing to be members.
Jesus preached a definite Gospel. That and that alone is the
of Jesus Christ. It was a Gospel message about the Kingdom
-- the begotten and finally to be born family of God -- a family
persons, begotten and finally to be born of God.
Jesus came. He called and taught His disciples. One of the
12 turned against Him, Judas Iscariot. Jesus taught His
Then He died for the sins of the world and commissioned
He had taught to go into all the world and teach in all
the same message He had taught them.
They were to baptize those who repented and believed. But
Himself said plainly, "No man can come to me, except the
which hath sent me draw him" (John ). Through
God chooses and calls those He nominates to qualify
with Christ on the earth's throne when Satan is removed. At
time, beginning with the Second Coming of Christ, God will
the tree of life to everyone then living. For the previously
judgment will be on them by a resurrection from the dead
the thousand years' reign with Christ. Judgment will then
come to all who ever lived. But at the present time judgment
the Church only (I Peter ).
After Jesus' death and resurrection He ascended to heaven to
God on God's throne, where He is today. Ten days after His
days after His death -- the Holy Spirit descended and
His disciples. That day of "first fruits" the Church was
It thrived and grew amazingly, but soon opposition and
set in. By A.D. 51, much of the Church in Galatia had
to another gospel (Galatians 1:6-7). A violent controversy
over whether the Gospel to be preached was the Gospel of
or a gospel ABOUT Christ. The latter won out. There ensued
century" in the history of the Church, from about A.D. 70
The original true Church survived, but gradually lost much
teaching and biblical truth. By the early part of the
century much of God's purpose and truth had been lost -- but the
true Church still had the name Church of God, the Ten
including the Sabbath, and also tithing.
I came among the brethren of the Sardis era upon conversion
1927. I never did become a member of that era of the Church.
a division occurred among the Oregon brethren, resulting in
of the Oregon Conference of the Church of God. The
Sardis era of the Church had become, virtually spiritually
was the beginning of a gradual transition to the Philadelphia
I was ordained in June of precisely a century of time cycles
the original apostles were ordained -- in this transition era
Conference of the Church of God.
I continued to work
and fellowship with West Coast members of the Sardis era until
when the rapidly growing work of the fledgling Philadelphia
my full time. The present era was officially begun in
1933. For the next 35 years it grew steadily at the
rate of approximately 30 percent per year.
AmbassadorCollege was founded Oct. 8, 1947, amid a
financial struggle for existence.
Ever since 1930 in the Sardis church there had been opposition
infighting among some ministers.
In 1927 God opened my eyes to the continuing command to
the annual Sabbaths, as well as the weekly Sabbath. None of
era brethren in the United States would accept this
of the annual Sabbaths, except for two or three families. As
to restore lost truths to His Church through me, the
era brethren rejected all restored truths.
After two years of Ambassador College teaching in preparing
ministers, the Church started its rapid growth and soon
churches were being raised up in ever-increasing number
were trained to pastor them.
The radio broadcasts, started January, 1934, continued to
an ever-increasing number of candidates for baptism and
The end time had come. God was preparing a Church, well
on His own pattern, to be prepared as kings and priests
with Christ at His coming. Beside the growth of the Plain
magazine, I was continuing to write many booklets on various
doctrines and truths. Television did not go on the air
after World War II ended in 1945. We did not go on TV until
of 1955, but discontinued it after six months. Radio
had increased greatly, and in the latter 1950s the
Tomorrow program was using more wattage of radio power than
on earth. The Church was broadcasting daily, seven
In 1960 the second Ambassador campus was started at Bricket
19 miles northwest of London, in England. My elder son,
David Armstrong, had become the most-loved minister in the
but he died as the result of a head-on automobile crash
on a baptizing trip in late July, 1958, while in his 30th
In 1964, the third college campus was opened at Big Sandy,
The Work of the Church was fast developing worldwide. In 1967,
15, my beloved wife, Loma, died after a happy marriage of 50
It was her challenge about the Sabbath in late 1926 that had
my conversion, and she had been an important half of my
The growth of the Church was continuing until about 1972.
In 1968 word came to me through our German Office that King
III of Belgium had said that he would like to meet me. I
him at his chateau in Belgium, and a long friendship
affectionately until his death in late September, 1983.
This led to meetings with many heads of governments of many
until my heart failure in August, 1977. During those years
Foundation was developing with projects in different
in many parts of the world. I had been traveling overseas
300 out of the 365 days a year.
Up through the 1960's, with new lost truths being continually
to this era of God's Church, there had been little
or opposition within the Church. But the wily Satan was
allow this growth in harmony and peace and unity to continue
opposition. We were to learn the truth of Jesus' parable of
and the seed (Luke 8).
The seed sown was the Word of God -- the Bible. The Word was
proclaimed over the United States, Canada, Britain, Europe
other parts of the world. It fell on four types or
of people. The first and largest number were those
wayside. They heard, but "then cometh the devil, and taketh
the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be
These were the millions who hear, but the truth of God's
never sank in. There was no response from this largest number,
they did hear, at least in part.
The second group were those on the rocks, who, when they
were interested and received the message with joy. Many of
were baptized. But they had no root, and temporarily
but because they lacked depth of purpose or capacity to
spiritually, soon dropped out.
The third group were among
thorns. When they heard they were
But the cares and interests of the world choked them.
still wanted to be like the world. They were liberals. They
forth "no fruit to perfection."
The fourth group, smallest of all, were those on "good
which kept the word and came out of the world, growing
in character and biblical knowledge. They brought forth
with patience," in various degrees (see also Matthew 13:23).
So it has been, especially since about 1969 in God's Church.
The world looks on such events occurring in any church as
of corruption or wrongdoing or something wrong and
in the church. Worldly clubs, societies or churches
generally seem to have such troubles or controversies. Satan
not bother them. They are already on his side, but Satan seeks
God's one and only true Church.
Now how did these controversies, troubles or divisions occur?
time our members knew the truth.
Late in 1971 many of our members became confused over
reaching our people over a "sacred names" teaching. This
that whenever the names of God or of Jesus are mentioned,
must not be spoken by their names in the English language, but
In other words, we could read and discuss the Bible as
into the English language in all terms except the names
or of Jesus Christ. Then we must speak Hebrew.
God's name, they had come to believe, could not be spoken
in the Hebrew language. They overlooked the fact that all
copies of the New Testament were inspired by the same God
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and inspired by the Holy
in the Greek language. In numerous instances the inspired
inspired in the Greek language, quoted Old Testament
containing the names of God. And in every case God through
Spirit used the Greek names for God and the One who became
and NOT THE HEBREW LANGUAGE.
Certain ones were leaving the Church to join this false
being misled into believing God's Church to be in error.
At that time, it was suggested that a special Doctrinal Team
to research the question more technically to verify
truth. We wanted the teaching and doctrines of the Church
verified beyond any room for doubts. I appointed A Doctrinal
Committee to pursue an in-depth research of the subject.
A small few Ambassador graduates who had become ministers in
were somewhat scholarly inclined, especially one who had
problem. He suffered from an inferiority complex.
some of our graduates at the time were enrolling in outside
for higher degrees, a few came to conceive that a
was in the loftiest position of humanity.
If this inferiority sufferer could feel in his own mind that
a scholar he would feel elevated above other people and
delivered from feelings of inferiority. He began to
some of the established doctrines of the Church of God,
as counting the day of Pentecost, divorce and remarriage,
Soon he was entering into what he considered a scholarly
to DISprove some of the Church's basic teachings.
one or two others, then even more, joined in a
"scholarly research" to DISprove plain biblical
It became evident that those attending other universities came
Ambassador College as inferior and substandard
and academically because of our belief in God.
and the anti-God approach of evolution seemed to them
to the revealed knowledge of God.
The first committee I had assigned to research the "sacred
error did reaffirm the truth on that question beyond doubt.
a few would-be scholars had established themselves into a
Team." What started as an honest effort to find and
real TRUTH in due time turned into a group or "would-be
not appointed by me, seeking to destroy the true
of the Church.
This brought controversy into the Church. These self-professed
influenced by teaching in universities in which they
enrolling for higher degrees, were becoming more and more
They wanted to skirt as close as possible to the precipice
falling off the cliff into Satan's world.
These were the years when my commission required that I be
from Pasadena, and traveling overseas to almost all parts of
as many as 300 of the 365 days of the year. This liberal
small at first, came to be in executive positions at
surrounding and influencing the one responsible for
administration at headquarters during my absence. Much
they did was carefully kept from me.
Those of higher rank, but subject to the one in day-to-day
administration at Pasadena, who were steadfastly loyal to
and its true teachings, were suppressed or gradually
from Pasadena and sent "into the field," pastoring single
in other locations. So much of what was going on in
was kept from me that I did not realize the direction the
was actually traveling into controversy, liberalism and
Protestantism or total secularism.
It was then that the matter of obtaining accreditation from
accreditation societies of secular education became
The liberals at Pasadena wanted accreditation. They did
to be accredited as a Bible college, but as a full
college or university. As such the college would fall
the rules of the secular accrediting society, which would
or less determine policy and curricula.
Finally this effort on the part of the liberals increased the
of the college from the approximate 500 limit that I had
about 1,400 and going up. It was no longer God's college. I
the danger of a student body in excess of 500
in residence on campus, and had set that as a definite
policy. But during those years when I was absent from
headquarters most of the time, changes were being
made in college policies as well as Church doctrines.
Jesus Christ had founded this college through me as God's
I had realized the state into which higher education had
into materialism. Moral and spiritual values were being
almost entirely in colleges and universities. I had
the tremendous responsibility to avoid neglecting this
dimension in education at the time of founding Ambassador
From its founding I had made the slogan of the college,
True Values." The college started with the highest moral
values. It was God's college. A high moral and
conduct had been vigorously taught and maintained. There
teaching against "necking," and any sort of lovemaking
students. "Going steady" toward marriage was forbidden until
of the first semester of the senior year. Smoking and the
drugs were positively prohibited.
But as the liberal element gained control of the campus
during those years of my long absences from
the high standard of student conduct was more and more
through lack of discipline or enforcement. The college
to be more like other college campuses.
At this juncture let me jump ahead of the sequence of events
to say that, after sufficient recovery from my heart failure
of 1977, I found it necessary in 1978 to close the
at Pasadena completely (the colleges in Bricket Wood,
and at Big Sandy had then already been closed) and to
Ambassador College in Pasadena all over again with one
class only, except for a few in proper attitude and
who were retained to allow them to complete their studies
graduation. Also on Aug. 21, 1981, the campus in Big Sandy
But now back to the sequence of events.
I quote now from a memorandum by Leroy Neff, the current
who was on the first Doctrinal Research Committee and
concerning others on the committee. I am quoting this to give
of the direction some of the liberals on the doctrinal
1. Any marriage where the people are unconverted, or did not
know what they were getting into, was not a valid marriage.
2. Polygamy was tacitly approved by God in Old Testament
so multiple marriages or divorces in modern times might just
form of polygamy by having wives sequentially rather than
3. God divorced ancient Israel and then both parties were free
4. The ministry should be able to loose marriages that God had
These liberals wanted complete freedom in the Church for
and remarriage at will. Other questions raised by the
were complete freedom for any type marriage, some more and
less freedom from tithing, doing away with or modifying Church
on healing by direct prayer as in James 5:14, complete
for women in facial makeup, and even the approval of
birthdays (never approved in the Bible) and even of
in elections as part of the world.
On the Pasadena campus more and more friction developed
the liberals and those loyal ministers and members who held
biblical truths God had placed in His Church. It was a sort
war of nerves.
It had become custom to hold an annual ministerial conference
at Pasadena headquarters. In the 1974 to 1977
these meetings had been marred by controversies over
Just before the January, 1978, conference I was determined to
doctrinal controversy. I was also due to leave on another
trip. I had decided to postpone the trip until
the conference in order to keep controversy out of the
But the one to be left in charge in my absence urged me
for the opening morning session, so that I could open the
and keep my departure at 12 noon, and he gave me his
no doctrines would be discussed in the conference, only
I agreed to this. I opened the conference, left immediately
airport and had lunch on the plane. I was going first to
then across the north pole to Europe, and into western
before returning to Pasadena.
I had not gotten very far out over the Pacific Ocean that
until in the afternoon session of the conference a
printed work called "Systematic Theology Project," or
for short, was distributed to the ministry with specific
that this was a definite outline of basic Church
and no minister was to preach anything contrary to this
I knew absolutely nothing of this STP, or that it had been in
It had been carefully concealed from me. It was a
violation of the promise made to induce me to leave so
doctrinal change in Church teaching could be given to all
without my knowledge. I knew nothing of this STP in spite
made by others, until a copy was brought to me by some
ministers in late April or early May of 1978 when I then
every minister in the world to return his copy immediately
all its liberal doctrines and teachings.
It has come to my attention that some of the liberals, no
members of God's Church, have claimed that I did know of
infamous STP project. That is positively NOT TRUE. A few
on one or two subjects, which were not liberal, had been
to me in Tucson, Ariz., but no clear mention was made of
under way for producing this STP project. None of
teachings in the STP were shown to me or approved
at any time.
Some of these liberal ministers who worked on and produced the
the one who was in charge of executive administration in my
were disfellowshipped and others left the Church.
At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles that fall, 1978, at a
held by one of these split-off liberals and a few who
in their own Feast of Tabernacles, a conspiracy was
to attack and destroy the Church by the legal process of a
action lawsuit. Some six or seven liberals, former members.
the suit against the Church. This resulted in an ex parte
by a judge. Secretly without prior notice, deputies on order
Attorney General's office swooped down on the Church on the
or Jan. 3, 1979. The ex parte order had been signed by a
late the day before.
A very severe struggle for the existence and life of the
ensued. Some months later the State dropped the case, and
later an appellate choral judge issued a declaration from the
that the lawsuit was groundless and should never have been
Even to this day some newspaper comments mention the false
accusing me of misuse of millions of dollars of Church
but they never mention our vindication of these false
However, this class action State of California lawsuit brought
dissident members and former members did, virtually, result
housecleaning of the liberals, malcontents and troublemakers,
causing division in the Church of the living God. And the
has enjoyed a most healthy development and growth in these
five years since.
Now a recap of what has happened to the Church and its work.
God had blessed His Church with an unprecedented approximate
of 30 percent per year for 35 years. As these liberals
gaining more and more control God removed His blessing. I
often said that God blesses us as we please Him. During these
years in the 1970s, the income virtually stagnated. In 1974
experienced a 1.6 percent decrease in income under 1973,
negative growth in the Church's history. It fell another
the following year.
Since God brought me back from total heart failure, and
me in removing these liberals, and putting the Church back
He has restored His blessings. Income for the Church this
will run two times the dollar volume of 1978. Income growth is
the Church to get the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the
as a witness as never before. The physical blessings are
by new spiritual growth and new truth added to His Church.
For 35 years the Church grew at the average rate of nearly 30
per year -- a phenomenal and so far as I know unprecedented
for almost any kind of organization. When I gradually
handing over the broadcasting of the World Tomorrow
it was primarily radio and had grown to be by far the
program, especially classified as religious, in the world,
more wattage of radio power than any other program.
But by 1978, it had become virtually the smallest. Meanwhile,
had again started on TV in 1967. I had first gone on TV in
1955, but discontinued TV after six months. We restarted in
with one or two stations, but my voice was not then heard on
It gradually increased to about 90 stations in 1975.
During most of these years the telecasting was ineffective in
out the real Gospel.
By 1978 we went down to about 5O stations weekly. At that
following my heart failure while in Tucson, I once again
over TV broadcasting. We held steady while I was stuck in
until 1981, when I came back to headquarters at Pasadena.
that time the TV program has produced steady growth, until
we are the second in the world in the religious category,
over 300 TV stations worldwide. Hopefully we shall soon be the
Since the beginning of 1985, we have averaged around 13,000
responses per program. Four times this year so far we
received over 17,000 telephone responses and once over 18,000.
Now look at the facts of the Plain Truth circulation. From its
worldwide circulation in 1973, during the liberal years the
of subscriptions went from 3.1 million down to just over one
in January, 1977. In 1974, funding for preaching of the
in international areas was cut off because of financial
in Pasadena. In Europe at the time, it meant the untimely
a newsstand program that had taken two years to build across
Personnel from Pasadena were sent to the U.K. to cut off these
and make reductions as part of an overall policy of making
areas self supporting. The result was a decline
Truth circulations around the world.
During that period in 1975, the fine quality of The Plain
was reduced down to a tabloid, printed on cheap newsprint
In 1976, I restored The Plain Truth to the high quality
It is now clearly evident that God brought me back for a vital
by CPR, from death by heart failure. Had I remained dead
of the living God would have been virtually destroyed by
element that had crept in, especially in headquarters
during my absence from Pasadena. During those
years, much of what was going on in policy changing and
liberalization had been carefully kept from me.
The Church of God was being systematically liberalized, the
had gone from top to bottom in the world, and from
effectiveness to almost total ineffectiveness. God says
to judge by the fruits. During those liberal years, the
was bearing virtually no fruit. The Plain Truth and
work also had become almost totally ineffective.
College had been destroyed as God's college. In 1978,
my "resurrection" from total heart failure, I had to
close Ambassador College at Pasadena, starting all over
as in 1947, with one freshman class. The colleges in England
Texas had already been closed.
It is very evident to those led by the Holy Spirit of God that
was a very significant reason why God brought me back to life
85 in 1977 to once again take over the reins and remove this
element -- to once again recapture the true values and to
this Philadelphia era of God's Church for the coming of
and the reign of the Kingdom of God.
Today the bona fide Plain Truth circulation is over 7.5
The Youth magazine has gained an already large circulation
200,000. The Good News magazine circulation is projected to
close to one million subscribers monthly by the end of this
The Bible Correspondence Course has been rejuvenated with a
enrollment of approximately 130,000 students worldwide.
God has revealed much vitally important new biblical truth.
has taken on a new spiritual vitality. Ambassador
is once again God's college and students are serving in a
of important projects in other nations around the world.
of the important new biblical truths will be covered in the
Mystery of the Ages.
Those liberals who went out or were put out of the Church
1979 have no idea of the difference in the Church today. It
different as white is from black or up is from down. In those
headquarters was filled with contention, political striving
and power. The atmosphere was rife with doctrinal
and contentions. There's an old saying, "When the
away, the mice begin to play."
While I was away from headquarters, there were strivings and
over policy, doctrines, not only on the headquarters
but in many local churches. A liberal minority of members
contention. The membership dipped slightly since a
number followed these liberals who left. God was weeding
members and liberal ministers who were causing division
Church. The contenders, the disgruntled, the liberals did
God's government in the Church.
Speaking primarily of religious leaders, Jesus said: "Ye shall
them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but
tree bringeth forth evil fruit" (Matthew 7:16-17).
The "fruits" of the rebel leaders and "liberals" of the 1970s
now be clear to all. After some 35 years of steady growth in
of the Work of God's Church, the rate of growth began to
then ceased entirely in some areas, and, finally, even
began to be experienced in the number of radio and
stations, Plain Truth circulation, number of prospective
number of co-workers, amount of income for the Work,
-- all under the "leadership" of the liberal element. These are
facts that cannot be denied.
I want you, brethren, to think about and understand what
to God's Church in the 1970s "lest history repeat itself!"
want you to see the "fruits" of rebelling against God's way and
After all, the basic issue all along was that of God's
in the Church. One who followed one liberal who, as the
Paul had predicted, sought to draw away followers after
(Acts 20:30) said, "We are liberated from that church
and now have a loosely knit organization, and that's the
Those liberals, who are no longer in God's Church, actually
to be more interested in news of the Church -- especially false
criticisms and persecutions of enemies -- than are the
members of the Church. It would seem the chief interest in
lives is to hear false reports, accusations and innuendos
Daniel prophesied of our time: "Many shall be purified, and
white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none
wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand"
12:10). Truly this has been a time of trying and testing.
the first fruits called to be students that we may become
and priests and rule with Christ (Revelation 5:10). We in the
are students, and we are in the time of final exams.
Little groups, splintering off, centered in Washington, D.C.;
Ore.; Tyler, Tex.; Monterey, Calif.; and other places with
too small to mention. They are not bearing fruit for the
They are not pleasing God or being blessed by Him. Jesus
"By their fruits you shall know them." They usually claim to
"branches" of the Church of God. But Jesus said, "I will build
church" (Matthew 16:18). He did not say denominations, sects,
branches or a church divided against itself. Rather He said
house divided against itself cannot stand. There is one true
and one only. The apostle Paul pictured humanly
"branches" when he said to the elders of the local
at Ephesus that some of their own selves would depart to
a following after themselves.
Paul said, "But now are they
many members, yet but one body"
12:20). How was that one body organized? Did it have
"And God hath set some in the church, first
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that
then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities
(verse 28). Verse 25 shows there should be no divisions
the body -- no branches or branch organizations.
The Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in
all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy
in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:20-21). Note, the Church is
and fitly framed together, not organized with competing
Notice Ephesians 4, there is only one organized church "fitly
together and compacted" (verse 16) -- compacted as if welded
into one well organized body. And how did He organize this
How was it governed? "And he gave some, apostles; and some,
and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for
of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity
faith ... (Ephesians 4:11-13). It is not DISunity or some
type of organization and government. Paul also said "that ye
speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you;
that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in
same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10).
A primary reason for the contentions and slowing down in the
of the Church during the liberal years is the fact that, in
to hold rebellious and liberal ministers and members
our fellowship, we did not rigidly obey the command of
16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have
and avoid them." Also in I Corinthians 5:11: "But now I
written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is
a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or
or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not
To make clear one of the reasons -- if not the primary
-- for the conflict caused by the liberal element, I quote
a Western newspaper. In an interview with a former minister,
sought to draw away a following of members after himself,
stated concerning this split-of-church that they have "a
different administrative structure."
The story continued to explain that they totally differ with
structure of God's Church. He was quoted as saying
does not believe in expelling people from the church if
do not live up to its teachings." It also stated they believe
church is where people belong to help them overcome their
In other words the liberal idea is to disobey God's
to disfellowship and avoid those who are contentious
division and accept members who believe and live contrary
teachings of Christ and the Bible.
Most of the dissension of the past in the Church had been over
matter of government. The dissenters believe in a very liberal
government -- the way of Satan and his world. The whole purpose of
is to call those chosen by God out of this world and its
into the ways of God. God's government is based on God's law.
even in the world's nations, is based on a
of law. A law is simply the rules of human conduct and
The righteousness of God merely means righteous conduct
based on the great spiritual law of God.
Christ said, "Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not
shall be rooted up" (Matthew 15:13). And the apostle John
stated, "They went out from us, but they were not of us ..." (I
We who remain in the one and only true Church grieve over the
of those who are so far failing in their final exams.
But sadly we remember that part of the responsibility is ours
strictly heeding the admonition in Romans 16:17 to note
that cause division and avoid them. We love them all and pray
Some of them who have gone out from us were parents,
brothers, sisters or close relatives to those who remain
Meanwhile we pray also that God will keep those of us who
loyal, constantly steadfast, growing in grace and spiritual
and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
self, the world and Satan and enduring to the end. Pray
you, the loyal members of God's Church, remain dedicated to
of God -- which is the government of God.
Now one final reminder to the Church and all loyal ministers.
who have gone out from this wonderful fellowship that we
in God's one and only true Church, profess repentance and wish
back, they must now, as John the Baptist said, "Bring forth
meet for repentance" or prove their repentance by
over an adequate period of time. I personally do, and
all of our loyal members will, pray for their repentance and
The Church is the embryo of the coming Kingdom of God, which
family of God. There will be no divisions in that Kingdom.
must be none in the Church.
A final personal word. In a few days I will be 93 years of
For some years now, there have been some, like vultures,
for me to die. They would like to come back and take over
leadership of the Church in my stead. I have been deeply
about this, but in no sense worried. This is the Church
not of any man. Jesus Christ is the living Head of this
I am not.
And Jesus Christ will never receive any of those who have gone
draw a following after themselves to come back and lead
Church into Satan's liberalism. It would be no longer God's
Church, even as Ambassador College was no longer God's college, and
had to start it all over again through me with one freshman
When I have, even rarely, mentioned my concern in this
the response of members has always been the belief that
keep me alive. I hope that He will, and I do try to take
care of my health and physical condition, but whether God
me alive 10 more years, or only 10 more minutes is entirely
hands. Brethren, put your faith in Christ and the living
not in me. If Christ should remove me, He will direct the
Council of Elders to select one of them to continue
you until the coming of Jesus Christ in power and in glory.
that God will keep YOU in His Church until He replaces this
world and brings the wonderful, peaceful and blessed Kingdom
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