Legacy Institute is primarily the efforts of Leon and Gloria Sexton and their supporters. It claims to be a ministry as opposed to being a church. This article will mainly include quotes from Leon Sexton to give an idea of the work he feels needs to be done, with all of my comments (except the headings) being in italics.
The Sextons used to be involved with many of Herbert Armstrong's trips to southern Asia:
"Gloria and I first met the Abbot in the early 1970s when we visited the LA Thai Temple with our close Thai friend and my old teacher, Sawat Yingyuad. At that time the Abbot was called Phra Thepsopon which is a royal title for a high-ranking monk. We got to know him quite well over the years and a very close relationship between Wat Thai and Ambassador Foundation developed. When Mr. Herbert Armstrong started traveling and visiting heads of state again after a long hiatus because of his heart attack, it was the Abbot who made the call to arrange a meeting with King Bhumibol. And it was the Abbot who arranged a visit to Ambassador College by the Thai Buddhist Supreme Patriarch which led to our first overseas student project teaching Laotian refugees in Thailand" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, October 1, 2002).
"My first trip to Nepal was in 1984. At that time I was working as Asia liaison for Ambassador Foundation, and was sent to help set up Herbert W. Armstrongs visit with King Bhirendra and Queen Aishwarya" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, January 6, 2002).
While I have major doctrinal disagreements with him, I have also respected his and wife's commitment to moving to Asia and my few interactions with Leon Sexton have basically been positive.
Legacy Institute is Not a Church
"We want you to understand that Legacy Institute is not a church organization. We formed Legacy as a non-profit, charitable foundation and not a corporate church body. One of the founding principles of Legacy Institute is the firm belief that the Church, the ecclesia, the BODY OF CHRIST is a SPIRITUAL entity that transcends human church organizations. And when we say that the Church (for which Jesus is Head) is spiritual and not limited to a human corporate church organization, we really mean it! Therefore, we cooperate with fellowships organized into corporate bodies or otherwise, or specific lay persons or ministers who happen to be (or not be) members of one or another human organization. We cooperate, IF they demonstrate, by their fruits of obedience, the presence of the Holy Spirit and an humble attitude of serving all God's people, wherever they are found. We do this in a spirit of honest cooperation and brotherhood. We can only do this if we REALLY and TRULY believe Jesus is the TRUE Pastor General and God's TRUE and SPIRITUAL Church (ecclesia) is not limited to nor divided by human organizational lines" (Sexton, L. Newsletter June 15, 2001).
"We organized Legacy Institute as a charitable foundation and not a church" (Sexton L. Newsletter, August 21, 2003).
"Also, please continue to remember that Legacy Institute is not connected to any particular Church of God corporate group. Therefore, we receive no salary or regular financial support from any church organization. We must rely on donations from brethren of all fellowships to continue our Work among the Karen as well as the other projects we are doing in Asia" (Sexton, L. Newsletter February 25, 2000).
Leon Sexton's Health
"We received with heavy heart the results of Wednesday’s CT scan. Unfortunately the shunt is releasing too much fluid which the doctors think is causing some atrophy. It also showed an increase in the fluid build-up in the meninges near the skull. They believe the body/brain is trying to produce more fluid in another area to compensate. Because of the fluid near the skull, they will need to make a small incision and drill a tiny hole to release that fluid. The shunt will need to be replaced also. We will opt for the adjustable shunt which can change the pressure as needed from the outside. This will more likely prevent or prolong the need for any future shunt replacement surgery which always involves 4-5 days prep and post care, due to Leon’s blood thinner medication (in addition to the surgery and recovery). There is a tightrope balance for the blood to clot during surgery, and at the same time prevent stroke. Our initial question to the Dr. was: “WHY was there an excess of water on the brain”? His answer was that it is caused by a stroke, although it is also prevalent in many other situations for other reasons, also with children though more so with elderly, however with Leon the initial stroke/s are what is causing the issue and need for the shunt. It is also relatively common for shunts to need adjustment and/or replacement. Leon’s blood pressure continues to be normal, unless he has pain from headaches—which have now pretty much subsided. He still gets cold sweats for some reason. Also Leon remains free of diabetes. He takes no meds for either. He takes 2 meds: a blood thinner (Warfarin) and Lanoxin for an irregular heartbeat. The rest are supplements. But during this surgery many drugs are administered. Thank you our dear brethren for your prayers and encouraging messages! We know we are in God’s hands! God knows all the what’s, when’s, where’s, why’s, and how’s to His human creation; God knows every little detail about us and that He is with and beside us, to guide us. We ask for wisdom in decisions we must make. I hate to see Leon go through the same ordeal again. Many of God’s people have suffered down through the ages. We too suffer. Many of you also are going through trials—some more and some less—some similar and some different. So we understand more fully the griefs of one another and all those that went before us—especially those of Jesus. In Christian love, Gloria and Leon" ()Newsletter, June 30, 2019)
Seeks to Serve Those Not Being Served
"A year ago I visited Sri Lanka for the first time in many years. At that time there were a number of COG families not attending weekly Sabbath or going to the Feasts. So we considered holding a Legacy Institute sponsored Feast of Tabernacles site this year for these scattered brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. But after visiting and discussing this with several families, it is clear that this is not the best way that we can help the people there. Almost all the scattered families holding onto observance of the Sabbath and Holy Days have now started fellowshipping with either the LCG or PCG. Each of these organizations already provides a means to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles and it is clear that a Legacy sponsored site is not needed in Sri Lanka. Legacy Institute seeks to help those lost sheep and scattered brethren who are not already being served by others" (Sexton, L. Newsletter April 2, 2002).
Teach the Right Way
"I remember an audience Herbert W. Armstrong once had with King Bhumibol in the early 1980s. Mr. Armstrong was telling the king that Ambassador College had only a small student body. He told the king that Ambassador was interested in teaching a quality way of life and not interested in just getting many students. The king commented, 'It is better to teach 10 the right way than teach 1000 the wrong way. The 10 will then be able to teach hundreds the right way. The 1000 perhaps can teach many more, but it will be the wrong way' " (Sexton, L. Newsletter December 23, 2001).
"Our job is not to control these people. Nor is it to try to bring them under the umbrella of one of our existing Western church organizations. God has already given them His Holy Spirit and is working with them. He is doing this without (and sometimes, in spite of) the control of any Western parent church. Our job is to SUPPORT what God is ALREADY doing! Our goal is to EMPOWER them to carry out the Work among their own people. We do this by teaching, encouraging and providing seed money for evangelistic efforts and any immediate physical daily bread needs they might have. We will not seek to CONTROL them. We do not seek to legitimize them. We are their brothers, not their fathers" (Sexton, L. Newsletter July 22, 1001).
"Legacy Institute's philosophy allows for various individuals or Church of God fellowships to cooperate together, in a spirit of one body and Christian fellowship, to achieve a common goal--without the 'baggage' of our traditional idea of how corporate church organizations should operate" (Sexton L. Newsletter, August 21, 2003).
The last portion of that statement suggests that L. Sexton does not believe that governance, such as HWA taught as one of the 18 restored truths, is a legacy that should be continued. Clearly he considers that legacy to be baggage. For more on governance, check out the article: The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government. Let me also add that CCOG has cooperates with various ones (including Legacy), which shows that the proper application of hierarchical does not prevent appropriate coooperation.
Do the Work First
"The mentality of some is that they cant do anything without western money and leadership. I have actually heard one man tell me, If you provide me with funding, I can then preach the Gospel in such and such a place. I told him, First go and preach the Truth of God. God will then provide you with what you need. What Gods people in Asia need is encouragement, education and empowerment. God will take it from there; raise up leadership from their own peoples, and provide for their needs" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, February 21, 2002).
I do agree with Leon Sexton on this point. For a documented article, please read, Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority?
Claims to Spread the True Gospel
"our job to spread the True Gospel message in Myanmar is not getting any easier" (Sexton, L. Newsletter August 31, 2002).
"India needs the True Gospel message of the soon coming Kingdom of God that will break this evil cycle of ignorance, poverty and hopelessness" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, April 5, 2002).
"Jesus said, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold. I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are ripe already to harvest. John 4:34-35. These words keep ringing loud and clear in the heads of those of us who are committed to finishing the Work of God. But we cant do it alone" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, May 31, 2002).
For more on the true gospel, check out the free online booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Work Not Finished
"Many times over the past decade and several times just recently, I have heard comments that go something like this, the Work is finished, now our job is to prepare the bride or the Preaching of the Gospel was completed by Herbert Armstrong. There are a number of problems with these statements, not least of which is that they cannot be substantiated by scripture. When is our job complete? Certainly not with the passing of one man. Mr. Armstrong did a powerful work under the inspiration of God, but God didnt stop The Work with his death (now nearly 16 years ago!) Jesus is still head of the Church, and in Matthew 28, He said we are to take the Gospel to ALL the world as a witness. He also said He would be with us always until the END OF THIS AGE! This age did not end in 1986. That means our job is not yet finished!" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, October 14, 2001).I absolutely agree with Leon Sexton on this point. For a documented article, please read, Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority?
Church Should be Mostly Gentile
"Paul is saying that Israel is not saved until the second coming of Jesus! We are currently in the time the Bible calls the blindness of Jacob with only a very few (remnant) elected from Israel. This blindness will end when the fullness of the Gentiles is achieved (come in) and Jesus returns to Jerusalem. Well, if this is true and the Bible says that it is WHERE ARE ALL THE GENTILES?! Brethren, we are living in the time of the fullness of the Gentiles and NOT the calling of Israel. The Church of God should be full of Gentile peoples, with only a minority of members hailing from the modern Israelitish nations of northwestern Europe, Britain and America! So where are they? Where are all the Gentiles? Look around. There can be only one answer. There is still a GREAT HARVEST to be done before Christ returns. It is the harvest of the Gentiles. Why havent we seen this harvest over the past 70 years? Because it has been our modus operandi to concentrate all our resources on preaching the Gospel to the Western Israelitish nations, with only a few meager crumbs falling to the Gentile world. But that is going to change. I believe with all my heart that The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully to stir up the hearts and minds of those He is calling in the Gentile world. There are THOUSANDS out there starved for the TRUTH of Gods Word. And once the gates are opened, a FLOOD will come pouring forth into the Body of Christ! That is why I am writing with such urgency. There is no time to be wasted. God is not going to wait for us to get our acts together. He WILL do according to His will. We can either get onboard, or be left behind. We have been given the precious TRUTH of Gods Word. It is now time for us to pass it along to our Gentile brothers and sisters. Our course is clear. An important part of our job is to prepare laborers for Gods fields, so that the TRUE Gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached to ALL the world, not just to the West. So, we WILL continue our Leadership Training Programs. We WILL increase our efforts translating the TRUTH into languages such as Burmese, Hindi, Kachin, Karen, Portuguese, Tamil, Tegalu, Thai and other languages. We WILL start our school in Northern Thailand to train young people from Asian countries for the Gospel Work. And we WILL continue to ask all of you for your urgent and heartfelt prayers that Almighty God supplies our every need and directs us every inch of the way! We cannot hesitate. We cannot wait. We are compelled to go forward through the doors God has opened for us" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, October 14, 2001).
While I believe that Gentiles need to be reached (see also God's Grace is For All; here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?), I believe that Leon Sexton has allowed himself to be persuaded by local circumstances a bit much. Perhaps I should add that the Continuing Church of God has been getting materials in Telugu, Tamil, Portuguese, Hindi, Kachin, and African languages he did not mention (we have literature in over 100 languages: check that out at www.ccog.org). Most of our members are Gentile, but this is how various ones were called by God (cf. John 6:44) as we have not tried to focus on particular ethnic groups.
Gentiles to be Raised Up to Carry On the Work"In my last letter, I talked with you about the implications of Romans 11: 25-27, and how the Holy Spirit is becoming very active among the Gentile peoples scattered in remote parts of the world. Because of these passages in Romans, I foresee that the next great effort of Gods Work will be the calling of many thousands of Gentile people into His Church just before the return of Jesus. There are more out there who have not bowed the knee to Baal than we ever imagined! God has not been sleeping. Over the past 10 years, while, sadly, many have turned away from God and others have been busy re-organizing or involved in church wars, God is raising up servants among the Gentiles to carry on His Work around the globe. And Romans 9-11 tells us there is more to come!...Romans 11:26-27 is clear. Israel is now blind and will not be saved until the full number of the Gentiles comes in (NIV translation) and Jesus returns to establish His Government in Zion" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, November 2, 2001).
I support calling Gentiles, and have several articles at the COGwriter site directed specifically towards them. And I recognize that going to these lands is important (various COG groups have ministers in these areas, plus I have personally visited them sometimes). However, I do not believe that too much emphasis away from the warning message to Israel is appropriate, which is what Leon Sexton seems to me to be doing. Jesus said, "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone" (Luke 11:42).
In the Continuing Church of God we heed Jesus words to not leave certain things undone as we regularly warn the end-time descendants of Israel (see What is the Ezekiel Warning?) as well as all the non-descendants we can reach (see What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles? and The Final Phase of the Work).
Here are some COGwriter and CCOG articles directed towards Gentiles and non-Gentiles:
God's Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles? Does God have a plan to call more Gentiles before Jesus returns? Can you accept God's plan?
What is the Ezekiel Warning? Do the end time descendants of Joseph and the other sons of Jacob need to be warned? Why?
Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean in Prophecy [Español: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía] [Português: México, América Central, Ámérica do Sul, e Brasil na profecia] What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future? What role might the various Caribbean nations/territories play?
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There are also two related YouTube videos you can watch: Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated and God's and Satan's Plan for Jerusalem.
Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
The 'Lost Tribe' of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The 'Lost Tribe' of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher Who did some in Belgium and Luxembourg descend from?
Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch Who did some in the Netherlands descend from?
Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden Do the Swedes have any ties to the biblical tribe of Naphtali? Some think so.
The Bible and the Arab World In History and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?
Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy What is ahead for North Africa? What does the Bible teach?
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Egypt in Prophecy Does Egypt have a special role in end time prophecy? Will Egypt rise up and then be defeated. What does God teach will happen to those in Egypt? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Egypt and End Time Prophecy.
Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy What will happen to Iraq? Is it the prophesied Mystery Babylon? What is Armageddon and how does that have to do with Iraq? Here is a related video Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran in Prophecy. Here is a related video Iran In Prophecy.
What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy Do you know the Turkish people descended from? Did the Ottoman Empire possibly fulfill a promise in Genesis? Will Turkey support the European King of the North or Arabic King of the South? Will it betray one of them? Will Turkey be involved in the encouraging the destruction of Israel? Is Turkey going to become Catholic? Is Turkey mentioned in Psalm 83, Daniel 11, and elsewhere in the Bible? This video provides answers.
Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans?
India, Its Biblical Past and Future: Any Witness? The Bible discusses the origins of those of Indian heritage. This article quotes the Bible and also discusses some of the witness to India throughout history and what is happening in the 21st century (including those in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka).
India and the Beast of Revelation 13 Do biblical, Catholic, and even Hindu prophecies suggest that many in India will follow, for a while, the Beast and False Prophet/Antichrist? Here is link to a related YouTube video Will People in India Worship the Beast of Revelation 13?
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel. Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia?
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God's Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the "Kings of the East"? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Korea in Prophecy, Any Witness? Where did the Korean people come from? Does God have a plan for the Koreans? Is Korea mentioned in any prophecies? Will Koreans be among the first in the Kingdom of God? Here is a machine-translated link to that article in Korean: 한국의 언어로 : 한국 예언, 모든 증인에?; here is a link to that article in Mandarin Chinese: 在预言中的韩国：有任何证人吗？
Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Any Witness? Where did the Japanese people come from? Have they had any witness?
Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: Prophecy Japan in prophecy. What is prophesied for Japan? Will God save the Japanese?
Russia and Ukraine: Their Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? There is also a video sermon available: Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy and a video sermonette available: Ukraine in Prophecy?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about "the Beast"? Is an emerging European power "the daughter of Babylon"? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
Germany's Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the "Holy Roman Empire"? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany's Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a link to a video Is the USA Pushing Germany to Start WWIII?
Islands and Bible Prophecy What's ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
Preparing for the 'Short Work' and The Famine of the Word What is the 'short work' of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
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.
Focus on Gentile Sheep
"Who are the sheep Jesus refers to time and again? And what is this harvest He keeps talking about? We will have to examine Jesus own words. He tells us who He considers HIS SHEEP to be! Please read JOHN 10:1-16. It seems probable Jesus was talking about Israel when He talks about the sheep of the first sheepfold. But who are the OTHER SEEP WHO ARE NOT OF THIS FOLD which He refers to? Why the Gentiles, of course! The Bible is filled with prophecies concerning the conversion of the Gentiles" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, December 22, 2002).
"All of us experienced the same phenomenon, seeing Gods Holy Spirit at work changing hearts and minds in people who were discovering the True God for the first time. Dont ask me to explain where all this is going. I am still trying to digest it all myself! But if I am reading my Bible correctly (and I believe I am), this is not the first time pagan Gentiles have been called by God to receive salvation. In Acts 13, the Apostle Paul and Barnabas were asked to preach about Jesus in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia. When the Jews left the synagogue to return to their homes, the Gentiles besought that the Gospel might be preached to them the next Sabbath. The next Sabbath came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God (verse 44.) Then the Jewish leaders, out of envy, spoke against what Paul was preaching. Now lets look at what happened next. Verses 46-49: Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. I never understood the power of these words in the book of Acts until now. After the Feast in Madras this year, I understand better what was taking place then, and what looks like is taking place again today. Is the arm of God shortened that He cannot call people directly out of the pagan religions in this sick world? Can God only call people who come from what we understand to be Israelitish nations today? Will God only call Gentiles with Christian backgrounds? Must they speak the English language before God can call them? I keep reminding myself that God is far, far greater than the box we keep trying to put Him in" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, October 1, 2002).
While we have more Gentile sheep than Israelite-descendants in the Continuing Church of God, our focus is to serve and teach all who God calls (Matthew 28:19-20). We do not believe that we put God in a box, just that we go through the doors that Jesus opens for the Philadelphians (Revelation 3: 7-13). Yet, we know that more Gentiles are to be called (Romans 11:25) and we have been reaching out to the Gentiles as part of the final phase of the work.
Israel was Warned First
"Now am I saying it was wrong to concentrate on the Israelitish nations? NO! I believe God wanted us to first go to Israel. And many seeds from that Work did fall among the Gentiles. But it is becoming more and more clear to me that God is shifting gears. The True Gospel message is now being taken directly to the Gentile nations of the earth. The Holy Spirit of God is showing us the way by calling thousands of Gentiles to the Truth, APART FROM OUR EFFORTS and affiliation with our CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS, even as God showed Peter His Will by causing the Holy Spirit to fall on the Roman Centurion Cornelius and all his household (see Acts 10.)" (Sexton, L. Newsletter November 2, 2001).
I do not believe that the warning for Israel is over (see What is the Ezekiel Warning?) and this will be part of the final phase of the work until Matthew 24:14 is fulfilled.
Persecution from the World's 'Christians'
"Brethren from around the world have donated funds to purchase land and construct a bamboo church meeting hall, but that construction has been temporarily halted. The reason is that the local Baptist and Catholic leaders successfully petitioned the town authorities to pass a law that only Baptist and Catholic church buildings can now be built. This was done specifically to thwart the activities of the Church of God in Na Mawn. Persecution comes in many forms and from many sources. This is a Buddhist country under the rule of a military dictatorship, but the persecution is coming from other Christian groups! So much for the ALL CHRISTIANS ARE BROTHERS idea. This has NEVER been the case. There has been more blood spilled by Christians at the hands of other Christians than I want to even think about. Anyone who has had any knowledge at all about the Christian history of this world knows this" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, May 27, 2000).
Persecution will be coming (Persecutions by Church and State). Part of this will probably come from resistance to the ecumenical and interfaith movements (Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).
Changed the Order of Passover Services
Leon Sexton wrote:
The eating of these two symbols – the bread and the red wine – make up the main part of the Passover ceremony.
In addition, there is the foot-washing. Some Christian denominations choose to leave this out. But the Holy Bible includes it for a reason. In fact, the Church of God fellowship I was trained in traditionally put the foot-washing at the beginning of the Passover ceremony. However, the Apostle John puts it at the end (Sexton, T. Leon. Legacy Letter. February 24, 2007. Copyright © Legacy Institute 2007).
I have looked at John's account and believe that Legacy has inaccurately made a change--he also really should look at Luke's account as well as the other Gospel writers. See also Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
CBCG's Fred Coulter looked into this earlier and noted:
Some confusion has arisen over the time of footwashing due to a mistranslation of John 13:2...A correct translation of this Greek phrase is "while supper is taking place"...In The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Berry uses the translation "supper taking place"...it is obvious that the time being designated was at or near the beginning of the Passover meal. John 13:2 could also be translated in the following manner: "As supper was beginning..." (Coulter F. The Christian Passover. York Publishing, Hollister (CA), 1999, pp. 242-243).
Sexton's Moved to Thailand to Carry on a Legacy
"Gloria and I are in Texas. We have decided to sell our house here and move lock, stock and barrel as they say, to Thailand. There is just too much work to be done in Asia. This decision was long (and hard) in coming, but I think we were headed this way all along...Some have felt that, with the death of Herbert W. Armstrong and the breakup of the WCG, God was pretty much finished with preaching the Gospel, or that the blood, sweat and tears shed were all for naught. Nothing could be further from the truth! What I have experienced over the past several years is telling me that God is just getting started! The fields are ripe with harvest. The Holy Spirit is more active now than ever before. We believe that we have been given a Legacy. We are compelled to carry on" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, July 22, 2001).
"Service in the 3rd World is not glamorous. It means hard work and sacrifice. God has blessed us with adequate western style housing for our volunteers (even flush toilets!), but little can be done about the heat, humidity, bugs and living in a culture that is so different from what we are used to at home. While in Thailand, all volunteers must adjust to the society in which God has placed us IF we want to make a real difference" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, December 22, 2002).
Progress of Legacy in Thailand
"I am very encouraged by the progress of Gods Work here in Thailand. It has come a long way since I first started teaching 2 Karen families in my one room apartment in Bangkok nearly 6 years ago. The first year we started to do Gods Work through Legacy Institute, I baptized 2 persons. The second year I baptized 2 more. The third year we baptized 3. Now this year so far we have baptized 4 and, if God wills it, we will baptize at least 3 more by Passover! We have formed 3 house churches with 38 adults (including our 10 Legacy students) and 29 children in attendance. We have a taped sermon program that is translated into the Karen language and sent to COG members and prospective members in refugee camps all along the ThailandBurma border" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, February 28, 2003).
The Journal: News of the Church of God reported in its May 2017 issue:
CHIANG MAI, Thailand—Leon Sexton, who with his wife, Gloria, is founder of the Legacy International Leadership Training Center in Thailand, announced the school must move to Myanmar (also known as Burma). Legacy, an independent Church of God ministry, has operated in Thailand since 2000. The reason for the move: a problem with visas prospective students from Myanmar need to enroll in the school (see also legacyinstitute.org). “It is clear to me,” Mr. Sexton said, “that the Holy Spirit is active in Myanmar and not yet in Thailand. Even the Karen tribal church members in Thailand are all from Myanmar.”
Meeting the Queen of Thailand
In the August 31, 2014 edition of The Journal was an article written by Leon Sexton where he wrote:
CHIANG MAI, Thailand--In early August 2014 I received a call from a palace official asking if I would participate in an event honoring Queen Sirikit of Thailand on her 82nd birth anniversary. I of course said yes, but not knowing what to expect. . . .
What activities and projects of the queen have I participated in? I talked about how, as Ambassador Foundation representative to Thailand, I traveled with the queen to her many SUPPORT Foundation projects in the north, northeast and south of Thailand. I have seen Her Majesty hard at work for many hours at a time with no breaks. I have seen her kneel in the dirt to talk to the poor people sitting on the ground instead of sitting in a chair at a much higher level. . . .
I answered all her questions in the Thai language. The interview lasted for 20 minutes.
The late Herbert W. Armstrong met with many world leaders decades ago and had the Sextons with him when he met the royal family in Thailand. The Sextons continued to have contact on behalf of the old Worldwide Church of God with the Thai royal family, and in particular, the Queen, after the initial meeting.
I personally admire the dedication of the Sextons and others who have gone to southern Asia to proclaim the Gospel. Leon Sexton's position that the Gentiles are the main ones to be called now and to carry on the Work now is not specified in scripture.
I personally pray regularly that the Gospel message will reach more in Asia, and have even, to a degree, done some of that personally. Also, it has been our family's practice to often visit Gentile areas, where we believe we have helped the objective of proclaiming the Good News to the Gentiles.
I mainly disagree with Legacy on the points of governance (being part of the leading work of the Philadelphia remnant to get the Gospel out is more effective overall than being separate as he prefers) and that the Gentile portion of the publication work should be the COG's main priority--but I do agree that it should be an important priority--and have worked to support that as well as supporting the fulfillment of Romans 11:25 is part of the final phase of the work.
Here are some links to Continuing Church of God websites:
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. This page has links to materials in over 100 languages.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
CDLIDDSermones channel. This contains messages in the Spanish language.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in many other Asian languages. Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
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