Hold Fast to "All things" (Herbert W Armstrong)

Who Is Worthy To Escape?
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World news and events today show that we are rapidly approaching the time the Bible calls: "The Great Tribulation".  The Bible also foretells that a few will escape this tribulation, but the vast majority will not. Do you know the way of escape? Your very life and possible reward in God's Kingdom may depend on this knowledge and whether you are in the majority, or minority!

WARNING: This is VITAL yet simple knowledge (plain truth) for anyone who was ever a part of the Worldwide Church of God, or presently affiliated with any of its "splinter groups"!

WHO Is Worthy To Escape?

The Bible indicates that there will be some who escape the soon coming great tribulation. But does the Bible also indicate WHO these people might be? Read on!

Daniel Cohran

For true Christians today, there is much to do in order to qualify for the Kingdom of God. We must overcome Satan and his strong influence on society and the broadcasting of his attitudes on the same wavelength as the human mind. We must overcome this world and all of its ways. We must overcome our own human nature (carnal mind) which in its natural state is hostile against God. We must overcome sin in our lives.

We must also be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18), and putting on His mind (Philip. 2:5), replacing our human nature with His divine nature or character (II Pet. 1:4). We must be developing the very character of God. These are all things we MUST DO. But what about the tribulation?

Some WILL Escape!

As a quick review, the Bible does show that some, however few, do escape. There are many scriptures that point to this time period and the protection of some of God’s people. Here are a few:

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” (Psalms 27:5)

 

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,

no, nor ever shall be. (Matt. 24:20-21)

 

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (Rev. 12:14)

Will all commandment-keepers escape?

Todays’ world is in spiritual darkness and is spiraling rapidly toward the time called the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21). The Bible clearly shows that some will escape (Rev. 12:14). But who is this woman (church) that escapes? Is it simply anyone who keeps the commandments of God? One would surely think that all commandment keepers would escape, wouldn’t you think? But God’s Word says otherwise! (Rev. 12:17). There will be many commandment-keepers who do not escape! So there must be something more than keeping the commandments required in order to be accounted worthy to escape this great tribulation.

Two Primary Things

In Luke 21:36, Christ says that there are two primary things we must do in order to be accounted worthy to escape the coming great tribulation. The first is WATCH. To watch world events as they unfold, especially in relation to prophecy, which means one would need to know what those prophecies are and what that outline of prophecy is. But will that knowledge alone allow one to be accounted worthy to escape? No! We must also watch our spiritual condition!

We must also PRAY ALWAYS that we are accounted worthy to escape. The Bible admonishes to pray for each other, pray for God’s work, pray for every need in our lives, and to pray for God’s Kingdom to come. And yes to pray to be accounted worthy to escape.

Surely there are many “commandment-keepers” in this world who are praying for these things! Yet God indicates that there will only be a few who escape. Many who keep those same commandments and even understand those prophecies will NOT escape! (Rev. 12:17, Rev. 19:10)

Is God unfair? Is He going to choose between the commandment-keepers (God’s people) and leave some behind yet take others to a place of safety? Yes He is! So is God then a “respecter of persons”? NO He is NOT! (Acts 10:34)

So there MUST be more to it than keeping God’s commandments in order to be accounted worthy to escape, and indeed there is!

Elijah, God’s Truth, Crowns and Tenacity

Is it possible to actually perhaps identify those who Christ might deem worthy to escape? Is there a special “identifier” that differentiates these from other commandment keepers?  Yes there is, and God’s Word gives the keys!

The last command and admonishment (warning) that Jesus Christ gave to the Philadelphia era of God’s Church was to “hold fast to what you have, that no man take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). What did Christ mean by “hold fast to what you have”?  What was it we were to hold fast to?

During the Philadelphia era of God’s Church, much truth that had been lost down through the centuries had been restored to the true Church, along with much more new understanding and truth, along with many doctrines and the true understanding of God’s laws and plan for mankind, all encompassed under the term: “The True Gospel Of Jesus Christ”.  But there’s more…

The restoration of all these truths and doctrines, this knowledge of God’s true way of life, was accomplished by Jesus Christ through one man! Yes he (that man) had the support system and help of the Church and its members and ministry during that time. But this restoration came by Jesus Christ through this one man, His chosen servant and apostle, Mr. Herbert W Armstrong. But there’s more…

This servant, chosen specifically by Jesus Christ, in addition to fulfilling his commission in Matt. 24:14, also fulfilled several other end-time Biblical roles, a primary one being the end-time Elijah, whom Christ would use to restore all things (Matt. 17:11). So again, during the Philadelphia era, Christ used Mr. Armstrong to restore “all” things. What are these “all” things? Are they all knowledge in the universe, or, all the knowledge of God? No! They are simply the knowledge of the things we need for salvation (in addition to our part of overcoming & putting on the mind of Christ, etc.).

Back to Christ’s final command (Rev. 3:11) to the Philadelphia era: “hold fast to what you have, that no man take your crown”. What was it that we had? We had the “all things” (Rev. 17:11), all that restored truth and doctrine included in the knowledge of the true gospel!  And notice the last part of Christ’s statement:  “that no man take your crown”. That means you will have your crown IF you hold fast to what was given to us during that era!

Christ didn’t say it would be easy. It would take fierce tenacity to “hold fast” to His truth until the very end. Satan has been very active trying to destroy those who are (along with Christ) destined to replace him on his throne here on earth!

Laodicean Attitude

So now we can look back in recent church history (28 years). What has happened to God’s Church (commandment-keepers) since the death of Mr. Armstrong? How many followed Christ’s command to hold fast to what we had?  VERY FEW!

Today the vast majority have gone off-track from the plain truth and way of God’s life that was restored in the end time through His apostle. Almost 400 splits and divisions of what was once the Worldwide Church of God. Each group teaching and preaching its own version of the gospel or its own version of truth. But is it really GOD’S VERSION?  They no longer live by or OBEY the true gospel (II Thes. 1:8, I Pet. 4:17) There is only ONE true way, one way of truth, one true gospel, and that one way was restored by Jesus Christ through one man, Mr. Herbert W Armstrong!

Those commandment-keepers (God’s people!) who are not accounted worthy to escape and have to go into the tribulation, will have to repent, be corrected, and learn once and for all to live by those “all things” (the true gospel), and to die as martyrs in order to qualify for God’s Kingdom. Let that be a warning to all of us!

The Keys that identify those who escape!

So it takes more than just being a commandment-keeper to be accounted worthy to escape. It takes more than having the true understanding and outline of prophecy. And yes indeed it requires us doing our part in overcoming (self, sin, world), indeed Christ says it is the “overcomers” who will rule with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21).

Yes, Christ says to watch and pray, that we may be accounted worthy to escape the great tribulation, and these things we MUST do. But who is Christ going to be accounting as worthy? Can we know? Yes we can! We cannot of course know exact names of people or how many. But we should be able to see, that He is going to take those who have been obeying the gospel or God’s way of life, fiercely defending His truth, striving to live by that truth, and who are not throwing away their crowns!

Many of God’s people are in the process of throwing away their crowns today. How are they doing that? By doing away with, or watering down God’s truth and way of life, either by neglect or willfully. In other words, no longer LIVING BY that true gospel. This applies to churches as well as individuals.  This is the VERY truth that Christ warned us to HOLD FAST to in order that you CAN receive your crown!

And WHERE did that very same truth come from and from WHERE did we get it? It came from Jesus Christ Himself through His chosen end-time Elijah and apostle, Mr. Herbert W Armstrong!

Christ is going to take those who put a high value on those crowns and understand what those crowns represent (to help Christ teach and save mankind!) to a place of final training in order to be prepared for the awesome job ahead. This is the REAL reason for “escaping” the tribulation, not to save our physical skins, but for that final all important training! Physical life is only temporary anyway, and physical death is only sleep. But Christ is going to take a few who really are serious about their calling and finish His work in them and finish preparing His Bride!

The Simplicity of Christ

The simple fact is that Christ Himself will ultimately decide which individuals escape the tribulation and which do not. But can it really be this simple, that the ones whom Christ will find worthy to escape the great tribulation are those who (in addition to keeping God’s commandments) are not throwing away their crowns, those who are following His last command to the previous church era to HOLD FAST to what we had, what was given us, and to LIVE by it, and that the understanding of WHAT it was we were to hold fast TO is that “all things” given by Christ through His end-time Elijah? Could it really be that simple? (See II Cor. 11:3)

A Final Key

How ironic (or planned by Christ?) that the very key to the understanding of this question of “who will be accounted worthy to escape”, lies in the very name of the Church of God website, and is engraved on our seal!

“HOLD FAST TO ALL THINGS!” (Matt. 17:11, Rev. 3:11)

 

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