Hebert W. Armstrong died on January 16, 1986, at age 93 1/2. Many never heard of him, but multiple millions did. His death seemed to mark the end of the predominance of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God and the predominance of the Laodicean era instead and many Laodicean groups formed since his death.
Herbert Armstrong’s successor in the old Worldwide Church of God did not remain faithful to the teachings that many of us believe God inspired him to restore to the church. Here are Some Quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong on Laodicea and Holding Fast to Doctrine.
The following is from Herbert Armstrong’s book The Mystery of the Ages:
True religion–God’s truth empowered with the love of God imparted by the Holy Spirit…JOY UNSPEAKABLE of knowing God and Jesus Christ–of knowing TRUTH–and the warmth of God’s divine LOVE!…
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”… And what was Jesus’ appearance? It was that of a human man, for he also was the Son of man…
Most important of all however is what is God’s nature–his CHARACTER–like? One cannot know what God is unless he know what his CHARACTER is!
THE CHARACTER of both God the Father and Christ the Son is that of spiritual holiness, righteousness and absolute perfection.
That character might be summed up in the one word LOVE, defined as an outflowing, loving concern. It is the way of giving, serving, helping, sharing, not the “GET” way…
The teachings of God’s true Church are simply those of “living by every word” of the Holy Bible…
Men shall turn from the way of “get” to the way of “give”–God’s way of love.
A NEW CIVILIZATION shall now grip the earth!
The NEW CIVILIZATION is the Kingdom of God. Proclaiming that new civilization is to come and be based upon love is a major part of what Christ’s gospel of the kingdom is all about.
Let’s look at the following from Herbert Armstrong’s What is the True Gospel? booklet:
Which Gospel Did Jesus Preach?…
Notice, Jesus said, “Believe THE GOSPEL!”
WHAT Gospel? the one He was proclaiming—”the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”
But, one may ask, don’t we need to believe on Jesus? Of course. Other scriptures teach that. but at this particular time Jesus said we must believe Him –believe what He said—believe the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!
Some believed on Jesus, but did not believe Jesus –did not believe what He SAID (John 7:31; 8:30, 31, 46).
What About the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
But if the one and only TRUE Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, what about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is that a false gospel?
Not at all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel He brought as God’s Messenger—the Gospel He proclaimed is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS NOT man’s gospel ABOUT THE PERSON of Christ. It is CHRIST’S Gospel—the Gospel Jesus PREACHED—the Gospel GOD SENT by Him, and therefore it is also called, in Scripture, the Gospel of God. The Gospel of God is God’s GOSPEL—His Message—His Good News which He sent by Jesus.
Also the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Christ’s Gospel—the Gospel Christ brought from God—the Gospel He proclaimed.
We hear a great deal today of the gospel of MEN about the PERSON of Jesus Christ—confining the message solely to the things ABOUT Jesus. As a result, millions believe on Christ, who do not BELIEVE CHRIST! But Jesus’ Gospel IS HIS MESSAGE!…
Conditions of Entering
Now, HOW do we enter into that glorious KINGDOM? Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, “REPENT,” and “BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.”
Just TWO things we do—REPENT, and BELIEVE. We must BELIEVE the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOUR, as High Priest now, and as coming KING.
But to repent is to completely CHANGE THE MIND in respect to SIN, and “sin is the transgression of the LAW” (I John 3:4)—the law of God by which God RULES the Kingdom.
It means a total, complete CHANGE OF MIND AND OF LIFE. It means we REPENT of transgressing the rule, the will, the laws, of GOD. What did Jesus say to the young man who asked Him HOW to inherit eternal life? He said, “IF thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS” (Matthew 19:17) (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? WCG booklet, 1972, p.6).
The kingdom of God is what Herbert Armstrong also taught as the wonderful world tomorrow (and actually he wrote a book on it titled The Wonderful World Tomorrow: What Will it be Like?).
Here is some of what he learned about the gospel as written in The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong:
My shocking, disappointing, eye-opening discovery, upon looking into the Bible for myself, had revealed in stark plainness that the teachings of traditional Christianity were, in most basic points, the very opposite of the teachings of Christ, of Paul, and of the original true Church!
Could the original and only true Church have disintegrated and disappeared? Could it have ceased to exist? No, for I read where Jesus said the gates of the grave would never prevail against it. Also He had said to His disciples who formed His Church, “Lo, I am with you always.”
Then I saw that the very PURPOSE of the Church was to preach Christ’s GOSPEL! It is HIS BODY — His instrument by which HE carries on GOD’S WORK!
I looked carefully at that Gospel as Christ Himself preached it, and taught it to His first ministers. It is recorded in the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At almost every point of teaching that Jesus enunciated, the teachings of traditional Christian bodies today are just the opposite.
THEY WERE NOT PREACHING THE SAME GOSPEL AT ALL, BUT A TOTALLY OPPOSITE MESSAGE! This was shocking — incredible — unbelievable! Yet I was compelled to see it was true!
Jesus began the work of preaching the very Gospel which GOD the Father had sent to mankind through Him. He commissioned His disciples — His Church — to carry this same Gospel to all the world. And He had said He would never drop the Work He had begun! But WHERE was it going on today?
I knew now that when I found the one and only true Church, I would find a Church obedient to God — keeping His commandments — having the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the TRUTH of the Scriptures.
I had been much impressed by a description of the true Church, as it is to be found in our time — just before the second coming of Christ. It is found in Revelation 12…
My intensive study had revealed one thing plainly: “the commandments of God” mean “Sabbath keeping” to most traditional denominations. They say, “The commandments are done away!” They reject “the commandments of God.”
That automatically ruled out all churches observing Sunday. So far as I could learn, it reduced the search to three small groups — the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Seventh-Day Baptists, and a little, almost unheard-of church called the Church of God, which maintained a small publishing-house headquarters at Stanberry, Missouri…
It seems necessary to add here that I have never been a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination…Next, I looked into the teaching of the Seventh-Day Baptists. I found it to be virtually identical, except for observing a different day of the week, with other Protestant denominations — especially the Baptists.
But of these three churches to which the search had been narrowed, only one had the right NAME for the true Church. This was the small, little-heard-of Church of God whose headquarters were at Stanberry, Missouri.
Two articles of related interest may include The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church and Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
Part of Herbert W. Armstrong’s legacy is that he took the Bible to be the word of God and taught:
…the Bible tells us to PROVE all things (Armstrong HW. The RESURRECTION was NOT on Sunday. 1952).
Which of course, it does as the Apostle Paul wrote:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).
Sadly many have falsely maligned Herbert W. Armstrong (please see the article 15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong), while others have exalted him beyond appropriateness (please see the article The Elijah Heresies ). Since his death, only relatively few seemed to really understand his work and what he felt Christ expected of the church.
Those truly interested in learning more about Herbert W. Armstrong, should read the article Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today?.
And everyone should try to live by the following teaching of Herbert W. Armstrong:
“Don’t believe me – BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE – BELIEVE GOD! I always say…check up! Listen without prejudice, with open mind, then check up–go to your BIBLE, and BELIEVE what you read there.” (Herbert W. Armstrong, Plain Truth magazine, Sept. 1963, Personal pg.1)
Several articles of possibly related interest include:
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Here are Some Quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong on Laodicea and Holding to Doctrine.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.